Brett Winter Lemon
Consider Every Step Before You Remodel. Area experts talk about the steps and the realities of fixing up your home.
Thinking about floors:
“When homeowners come in my shop to look at flooring, I ask if they are redoing the floors to sell the property, or for them,” says Bob Evans, an owner of Classic Floors of Virginia.
If the customer wants to prepare the house for sale, Evans advises them to talk with a real estate agent for tips. What will get your money back might be just a fresh coat of paint on the walls and refinished floors, getting rid of carpeting.
“If you replace carpeting, you are doing it for yourself, not a prospective buyer,” he says.
If the owners are remodeling to make the house more pleasing or liveable, Evans tells them to choose what will make them happy and do it the way they want it. If you heat tile floors, you might not get your money back, But you will appreciate it every morning.
“The biggest thing is how do you want the space to look and feel when you’re done.”
Evans also cautions you to educate yourself about flooring, where choices have proliferated tremendously. Once his business only sold two-and-quarter inch oak hardwood. “Today, we have flooring from all over the world.”
Lighting Makes a Difference
“Make sure when you’re remodeling that the result makes the new area better than what you have, even if you are downsizing,” suggests Robin Maxey, marketing manager for Williams Lighting Galleries in Roanoke and Daleville.
Also, try to think about lighting early in the plans. All too often, customers began their search for lighting at the end of a remodeling, which means they may not have planned for what they want and also may not have put aside enough money for that part of the project.
Decisions in lighting are especially important because you need to decide where to put task lighting, where lighting should be used to set a mood – in other words what lighting is needed for each area.
Keep this in mind about lighting:
• Dimmers make it possible for lighting to be changed to suit the use of the room and also allow for more efficient use of electricity.
• Spend for the best lighting in high traffic areas; laundry room lighting can be a different quality.
• Lighting also can be done in phases as long as the later phases are planned for during the current phase. For example, if you want lights at the top of your cabinets (uplights) to highlight a ceiling, but cannot afford them right now, at least plan for them in the electrical changes.
• If you plan to hang a light in a high ceiling, put in a light lift so you lower the chandelier down for cleaning. Otherwise, you will need a very tall ladder or have to hire someone to do the maintenance.
• Calculating your lighting: Designer Diane Poff of Roanoke offers these formulas for deciding on lighting for rooms other than baths or kitchens. To get the total wattage for ambient lighting, for example, use length of room times width of room times 1.62. If the room is 18 x 12, this comes out to about 350 watts of lamps or recessed lighting, not ceiling lights.
• Where you need overhead lights, add length plus width to determine the fixture size. Example: 15 + 20 equals 25 inches, which is how wide the fixture should be.
Consider How Rooms Will Be Used
Today’s homeowners not only multitask at work, they want to design areas of their homes for multiple activities. For example, a laundry room might also be a crafts room, says Blair Graninger, key business manager for Reico in Roanoke.