TIP OF THE WEEK
Never underestimate the power of a powder room to make your home more livable and increase its resale value. Having more and nicer bathrooms consistently scores high in surveys on homeowners’ wish lists. What’s more, extra baths deliver more than just convenience; a National Association of Realtors study found each extra bathroom boosts home sale prices approximately 24 percent.
Finding the right spot. Adding a full bathroom can be problematic. A full bath requires you to give up more living space, or even build an addition on your home. However, powder rooms can be tucked into small spaces like part of a walk-in closet and areas you might not use otherwise, such as under a staircase or in a nook in the garage. A space as small as 20 square feet (5 feet by 4 feet) can make a comfortably sized powder room, but you can even squeeze a half bath into a space as small as 11 square feet. You need enough room to fit a toilet and sink, and accommodate required setbacks. When choosing a location for your powder room, be sure you understand building code requirements for your area.
Smarter plumbing. If you attempt to run water and drainage to your powder room using traditional plumbing methods, you’ll be limited as to where you can put it. Typically, with traditional plumbing you’ll need to locate the powder room somewhere that has easy access to existing water and waste lines. You’ll have to open walls, add new piping and possibly even cut through concrete if you’re adding a bathroom in a basement or in the garage or ground-floor of a slab-foundation home. However, opting for up-flush plumbing opens up a greater range of possible locations for a new powder room, because above-floor macerating plumbing systems allow you to easily add a toilet and sink where no drainage existed before. Above-floor plumbing eliminates the need to open walls or cut through concrete flooring.
Size and space wise planning. Because powder rooms typically occupy small spaces, it’s important to be smart about how you lay out the space and keep in mind the size of the fixtures you put in it. As you plan the space, think of where the toilet and sink will go — side by side or on opposite walls — and be aware of clearance needed for the door to open. Choose a toilet, sink and vanity that fit the space without overwhelming it. For example, a pedestal sink, rather than a cabinet, can make a powder room feel larger. Powder rooms frequently lack windows, so be sure to provide ample lighting. If you really crave a window in a powder room, one option is to install a small one above the door. This preserves privacy but allows additional light to enter the room from the space outside it.
Disclose it all
Filling out a set of disclosures before the closing of your home is one of the most important steps to take when selling your home because it could save you money down the road. In most of the country, sellers and real estate agents are required to document any known defects (current or past) to potential buyers. Mainly used to inform buyers of anything from knowledge of a leaky roof to work done without a permit to a construction project nearby, disclosures also can protect the seller from future legal action. In some areas, a home seller can be held responsible for disclosing or not disclosing any defects or unpermitted construction for up to 10 years. Disclosures should include previous improvements, renovations, upgrades done to the home, existence of pets, termite problems, neighborhood nuisances, property line disputes and defects or malfunctions of major systems or appliances.
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With the new year underway, the housing world is buzzing about the next transformative trend in home design and remodeling. This year it seems certain the growing trend of mixing and layering materials, something many designers and architects noticed was growing in popularity over the past few years, will dominate the remodeling and design scene. The most immediate effect of mixing materials is that it opens new possibilities and new ways of expression. An example of this can be likened to how hard stone surfaces in a room can be complemented by soft carpet and furniture, or how the highly textured wood on a ceiling can stand in stark contrast to polished stone. Mixing materials gives you greater freedom to create a space that represents your style.
Quit messing with the thermostat
Whether you turn a dial or click a button on your phone, the temperature you are setting your thermostat could be the reason your energy bills are high. In the winter months, some people believe that by setting the thermostat higher than their desired temperature, the heater will warm up the house faster, but this is not true. No matter if the temperature is set two degrees or 20 degrees warmer than normal, it takes the same amount of time for the temperature to reach your desired setting. Turning the thermostat up will increase the cost of your heating bills because the system will run longer to reach the “upper” temperature.
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Home Help: The power of a powder room addition
TIP OF THE WEEK