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Home Improvements That Never Go Out of Style

Home Improvements That Never Go Out of StyleIf you’re looking to remodel or upgrade your house these days, creating lasting value is sure to be a top concern. You’ll want to add features that won’t be outdated just a few years from now — reducing your home’s marketability and making your house look like it just crawled out of a time machine. Many people have the idea that a home remodel has to involve a new kitchen or bathroom. But some simpler, less expensive projects, can also bring lasting value to your home.

Lighting: Adequate light is more than just brightness — it’s a major contributor to our sense of comfort and well-being. Good interior lighting reduces fatigue and stress by reducing strain on eyes; outdoor lighting adds curb appeal and safety. Interior and exterior lighting fixtures — recessed ceiling lights, sconces, track lights, and flood lights — contribute to the overall value of a house and property, making it more marketable when it comes time to sell.

Storage: Storage is one of the most sought-after features of prospective home buyers, and built-in storage solutions always deliver. Built-ins have a neat, fitted appearance that takes advantage of every available square inch of wall area. Because they make use of existing structural components, such as wall studs, built-ins generally cost less than free-standing furniture of comparable size, quality, and function. Fit built-in storage solutions under stairs, as window seats, and in closets.

Paint: From boring beige to rocketing red, your rooms will never go out of style. Why? Because you can easily redo them — a new paint job is one of the simplest, least-expensive of all remodeling projects. A Do-It-Yourself paint job on a 12-by-12-foot room costs only about $150 for paint and painting tools; if you’re not the do-it-yourself type and need to hire someone, expect to pay a licensed paint contractor $300-$400.

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Wood Floors: Shag carpets come and go, but wood flooring has the uncanny ability to look great in any setting, whether traditional, contemporary, or country. The warm, upscale ambience of wood floors helps preserve the value of your home, and the cost isn’t prohibitive: Pre-finished wood floors in oak, maple, and bamboo run $8-$12 per square foot, installed.

Molding: Adding architectural interest with trims and moldings is a good way to bring rooms to life. Little details can have a big impact when it comes to creating homes that really stand out. You’ll pay $1-$3 per linear foot for a 5-inch-wide, paint-grade crown molding; $1.50-$6.50 for wood.

Stonescaping: Masonry materials used to create walkways, patios, and retaining walls helps define and shape outdoor spaces. Making your yard usable for sitting and strolling increases living area, which contributes to your property’s value. Materials, such as brick and stone, are virtually indestructible, readily available, and have timeless good looks. You’ll pay $17-$28 per square foot for professionally installed natural stone pavers.

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