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What to Consider Before Renovating Your Home

Modern kitchen

Photo courtesy of R Architecture via Unsplash

When you move into a new home, you have an opportunity to take a virtually empty space and turn it into an oasis for your entire family. But, which projects should you take on first? And furthermore, when is it okay to do it yourself versus hiring a professional?

An Investment for You

Home improvements require putting money into your home. If you plan to stay for the long haul, customize these according to your wants and needs. However, if you think you’ll be moving in the next few years, pay close attention to what buyers in your area tend to want in their next home. Most renovation and remodeling projects can add value to your property, but you might want to keep before and after photos for when come time for the appraisal. This can help you justify a higher selling price, particularly if you plan to list at slightly more than similar homes on the market.

Projects That Pay Off

Modern bathroom

Photo by Christian Mackie via Unsplash

Depending on the type of return on investment you seek, you may be tempted to do a full-blown remodel or just a small upgrade. For the former, such as a kitchen or bathroom remodel, it’s probably best to call a professional that has plenty of reviews from the local community. Any time something involves changing the fundamental layout of your house or moving the electrical or plumbing, you are almost always better off with a licensed contractor.

For smaller upgrades—such as painting, landscaping or even putting a fence around a small backyard pool—do your research before grabbing the hammer, nails and safety glasses.

A few projects to consider that will help your house feel more comfortable include:


Phoenix Home & Garden has illustrated many different landscaping vibes in the past. Some are bold and contemporary while others are more traditional. No matter what you choose, stick with native plants and don’t stray too far from neighbors’ landscaping. While you want unique, you don’t want your home to stand out negatively.

Scottsdale poolscape

Photo by Mark Lipczynski for Phoenix Home & Garden

Quick bathroom updates

Paint, new hardware, and a large vanity mirror can pretty much instantly update a worn-out bathroom. If you want to really change the way it looks without changing up the space, add wainscoting to the walls and decorative privacy film to the bathroom window.

Outdoor safety

You can’t go wrong with adding safety features to your home, whether it’s putting a fence around the pool or adding a home security system. Even if you live in a “safe” neighborhood, even small measures, such as trimming the bushes and installing floodlights, will improve your sense of safety and are great selling points if you plan to move at some point in the future.

Add a backsplash

Tile is timeless, and it’s also much easier to clean than paint. Add a backsplash to your kitchen for a pop of color. The Home Depot explains that your first step is to measure the wall and then prepare the surface. If you are using peel and stick faux tile, you’ll have less of a mess and won’t have to deal with cutting or tile adhesive.

When it comes to home improvements, there are few wrong ways to upgrade. If you plan to stay in your home, cater to yourself and your family’s needs. But, do keep in mind that you may not recoup all of your cost at appraisal time. Talk to your realtor and keep an eye on the local market. Both of these small steps can help you make better decisions if a return on your investment is your primary goal.


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