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Old 07-20-2014, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Pluto's Home Town
9,995 posts, read 11,243,043 times
Reputation: 5555

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I've just purchased a 3 br/2 ba home of about 1400 sf. It is at the smaller range of what I wanted, but the wife wanted it, and the neighborhood is great, so I would like to consider ideas and suggestions for improving the use of the space, and to improve the appearance of the home. It has a nice, open living room with vaulted ceiling, but the bedrooms, baths, and kitchen are somewhat small. The kitchen is also rather dark. The home is about 30 years old, so some updating would be nice. The lot is also fairly small, so huge additions are out, unless it was adding a second story, which would probably be out of my budget. Bump outs seem doable though.

It is my second home, and I plan to live in it for at least 4-5 years, so I'd welcome ideas of big and little things I could do over time that would help it meet my family's needs and that would help in eventual resale.
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:19 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
16,176 posts, read 27,459,755 times
Reputation: 11838
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddlehead View Post
I've just purchased a 3 br/2 ba home of about 1400 sf. It is at the smaller range of what I wanted, but the wife wanted it, and the neighborhood is great, so I would like to consider ideas and suggestions for improving the use of the space, and to improve the appearance of the home. It has a nice, open living room with vaulted ceiling, but the bedrooms, baths, and kitchen are somewhat small. The kitchen is also rather dark. The home is about 30 years old, so some updating would be nice. The lot is also fairly small, so huge additions are out, unless it was adding a second story, which would probably be out of my budget. Bump outs seem doable though.

It is my second home, and I plan to live in it for at least 4-5 years, so I'd welcome ideas of big and little things I could do over time that would help it meet my family's needs and that would help in eventual resale.
Well, you can build a shed or two in the backyard to store some items that otherwise would be stored in the garage.

With a vaulted ceiling, would it be possible to build a loft or heated attic at one end of the house?
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Old 07-21-2014, 02:27 AM
 
1,372 posts, read 424,608 times
Reputation: 2725
One idea is to make sure all the closet space is double-shelved. Many home builders just put in the one shelf. Add lots of hooks, including on the underside of shelves. Clear plastic hanging shoe storage units are a great helper. And be sure to utilize the insides of kitchen and bathroom cupboard doors! Congrats on the new home!!
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:01 AM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,170 posts, read 10,489,634 times
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Multi functional furniture.
Murphy type beds, is the first item that should replace all your beds,
unless you spend more than half the daylight time in bed ...

Yes a second story on older homes is a no-no, due to load requirements.

Add a light tube to your kitchen.

Why do you think that your bathroom and your kitchen are smallish?
What do you do in your bathroom that needs more space than what it now has.
Do you entertain in your kitchen or just prepare your meals?

Maybe start thinking where you spent most of your time when *home*.
That place should have room to move around with the *whole Family*.
Any other place should be just big enough to do the necessary things.

Your wife was the deciding factor in buying the house !
Does she complain about the house ?

Lastly, you mention that you only want to be there for maybe 5 years max.
By the time you have done all you want to change, you are leaving it for the next owner.
A waste of time, effort and money !
Whatever you spent on this house today, may not be recoverable when you sell it !
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:12 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,426 posts, read 35,758,561 times
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While I disagree with these...
Quote:
Originally Posted by irman View Post
Multi functional furniture.
Murphy type beds, is the first item that should replace all your beds,
unless you spend more than half the daylight time in bed ...

Yes a second story on older homes is a no-no, due to load requirements.


I totally agree with these...
Quote:
Originally Posted by irman View Post
Lastly, you mention that you only want to be there for maybe 5 years max.
By the time you have done all you want to change, you are leaving it for the next owner.
A waste of time, effort and money !
Whatever you spent on this house today, may not be recoverable when you sell it !
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:37 AM
 
Location: NC
6,081 posts, read 7,044,848 times
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Create some outside living space next to the house with table, chairs, grill. Covered if possible, for shade. Lush plantings to make the backyard enjoyable.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Pluto's Home Town
9,995 posts, read 11,243,043 times
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Great suggestions folks. Keep them coming!

You are right about making all these changes to move. Kind of ironic. Hopefully, the changes will occur earlier, and we will enjoy them!
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:44 AM
 
6,015 posts, read 2,702,827 times
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If you only plan to be there 4-5 years, I would not do major things like add a second story.

First, I would figure out what I had to save in order to buy the size house I wanted in 5 years. Then I would work within that buget while taking into consideration what the likely appreciation would be in that area.

Light paint generally creates a more spacious feeling and is relatively cheap if you do it yourself. Pick neutral colors, quality paint that's cleanable, do the job right and keep extra paint in glass jars so it wont dry out and you could add resale without having to repaint when you move.

Any major money should go into bathroom or kitchen updates for the most resale value. Possibly flooring updates depending whats there now. The same flooring throughout will make the house seem larger.

Some 30 year old cabinets are more solid than many new cabinets and can be painted for a fresh look.

Especially in kids rooms consider built in furniture. Example, a small chest on either side of a window bridged by a kitchen counter top cut to size creates a desk under the window. Add, book shelves on top. Get solid wood furniture from an unfinished furniture place and paint or stain. Pick clean lines that wont go out of style.

Choose furniture wisely. Sometimes a large sectional can use space more effectively than a sofa and several chairs for example. It can also feel less cluttered.

Hang your TV's on the wall. Stacking washer and dryer takes up less space. Hanging systems in the garage for everything from mops/vacuums to bikes.
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:50 AM
 
1,915 posts, read 3,212,778 times
Reputation: 2996
1400 square feet is small? Look towards European design, especially in the kitchen. Smaller appliances and white walls will brighten the space.

http://www.houzz.com/European-style-kitchen
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:13 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,426 posts, read 35,758,561 times
Reputation: 38835
The BEST thing would to get rid of excess belongings.
You should have enough room for what remains.
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