Hillary Swenson Corner's Blog
Face it; you probably don't think about your laundry room until you're in there doing ten loads of clothes after vacation. Even then, it might seem like a minor inconvenience to have to step over piles of sorted clothes to get to the washer and dryer. Then, with the load done, you carry the basket of clean laundry to the family room to fold because there's no floor space to stand and do it there.
Most people think of the kitchen and bath when considering a remodel. But a well-appointed laundry room can add value to your home and make your life easier to boot!
When asked what items a laundry room remodel needs, here are some top contenders:
- Folding station: as simple as a flat surface above the appliances and as exotic as an exclusive island just for folding clothes.
- Sink for soaking stains and hand washing: it is surprising how many laundry rooms do not have sinks. That means hand-washing and stain removal often take place in the kitchen or a bathroom.
- Room to sort clothing: no one wants stacks of dirty clothes on the kitchen floor when the nice new neighbor decides to come to visit. And if you get interrupted before completing your washing, where do they go?
- Hanging racks for drip-drying, flat racks for sweaters, and rods for putting clothes on hangers: many clothes require special care. With no place to hang them or a flat frame to dry them on, many homeowners end up taking special-care items to the dry cleaners, costing extra time and money.
- Room for the ironing board: because many laundry rooms have no space keep an ironing board, so consider a hanger made to hold it and the iron on the back of the door. If you’re remodeling though, a built-in ironing board cabinet is a nice feature to add.
- Extra outlets for the iron or steamer: even when there is room for the ironing board or a steamer, the original design often neglected to add additional outlets, making your reach behind the washer or dryer to plug it in. Add plenty of outlets to your remodel, with the appropriate wiring and breakers.
- Built-in cubbies and hooks for coats if doubling as the mudroom: many laundry rooms are an alcove off the mudroom, or even in the hallway leading from the back door or garage. If possible, separate the mudroom area by adding in cubbies for boots, shoes, hats, and gloves, and hooks for jackets.
- Cabinets to store laundry powders and other cleaning products: Steam from your washer and dryer can cause powdered soaps to harden and spray cans to rust. And all those bottles and boxes are unsightly on top of the appliances. A cabinet above the machines for storage lets your room appear organized and protects your products from moisture.
- Light and bright space: since you spend a lot of time there, make the area as bright as possible. If a window isn't available, consider a tubular skylight and recessed lighting.
Make your laundry room a place you won’t mind being! For other ideas on ways to increase your home’s value, consult your local real estate professional.
Not all home improvements cost thousands of dollars. Sometimes, it’s the little things that make the most impact. So, if you’re avoiding putting your house on the market because you know it needs work, or if you’re passing over the house in your budget’s sweet spot because you think it might be a money pit, check out these inexpensive options for adding to your property’s value.
$999 and under
- Give your appliance package an overhaul: Upgrading appliances to modern, energy-efficient versions gives your kitchen an instant update. Wait for the next holiday sale (New Years, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Black Friday) to hit up the big box appliance and DIY stores for deals on appliance packages. Stainless steel remains on-trend and complements any kitchen style.
- Trick out your turf: Re-sod your lawn to replace the weed-prone mixtures to give your property instant curb appeal. Consult with a landscape professional to make certain the sod you choose is best for your property's soil, drainage, and sun/shade requirements.
- Deal with the door: After all, your entry is the first impression of your home. Replace the outdated one with an architecturally advanced solid core beauty or give your home a needed decorative leaded window version. Then, stain or paint it with an eye-catching splash of color.
- Lighten up: Change out all existing light bulbs for high-efficiency LED replacements. Not only will your utility bill go down, but if you choose “daylight” or “warm” bulb versions, your home will feel light and bright.
- Add a fan: Replacing ceiling light fixtures for fans gives your room an instant upgrade. Choose from sleek metallic models for a modern look or beautifully detailed versions to match your home's authentic vibe. If you happen to live in a temperate climate, a whole-house fan is an excellent investment. These fans, installed in a hallway ceiling or at the top of the stairs, pull cold air from lower levels throughout the home reducing your need for air conditioning.
- Fix the fixture: Okay, so sometimes they aren't fixable. But faucets and light fixtures are easy to replace. Check your local hardware store for sales, closeouts, and other discounts on lighting or faucets and you will give your home a whole new look for less.
- Pitch the popcorn: If your home still has those outdated popcorn ceilings, invest a little elbow-grease into scraping them off. Over a weekend, using a softening solution available from your favorite DIY store (and some drop cloths), spray and scrape those ceilings smooth. Once your ceiling is clear of the texture, paint it a lovely flat white or complementary color to your walls. Trim them out with crown molding for an added touch of luxe. Paintable polyurethane versions become indistinguishable from wood when installed and brushed with a lovely glossy white.
Over time, a little change here, a little upgrade there and your home's value magically improves without breaking the bank. If you'd like a professional opinion about which updates and upgrades could add the most value to your home, schedule a consultation with a real estate professional.
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491 W Central Street, Franklin, MA 02038