A driveway doesn’t warrant much thought for most of us. But when you drive past house the with all the bells and whistles and notice the worn out asphalt or cracked concrete driveway with weeds growing from the cracks, it suddenly comes into focus. Stamped concrete and paved driveways compliment a beautiful home. You may even consider reconfiguring it. “A correctly designed driveway will actually make the house look bigger when your potential buyer is pulling up to the house for the first time,” notes Dominguez.
Sure, a concrete patio or deck is great for BBQs and entertaining, but we scurry indoors if the sun is baking us or a few rain drops threaten to ruin the fun. “Adding a covered terrace can expand your house exponentially,” says Dominguez. Make it more enticing by adding electricity, comfy seating, decorative patio heaters, and bar area. “Having an outdoor space under a roof will allow the buyer to imagine extra living area space, allowing your home to compete against bigger homes,” says Dominguez. Read on for the best tips for outdoor kitchens.
Nothing evokes a feeling of coziness than a fireplace. Even if your home is in southern California, and you don’t need it for heat, Dominguez says homes with fireplaces typically sell for 10 percent more than similar homes without one. You don’t have to hire a mason to lay bricks or stones; freestanding gas or electric fireplaces with mantles with built-ins for books and knick-knacks are great for traditional homes or go contemporary with wall mounted units.
“Although it may not have the same immediate appeal as a new master suite or family room, a mud room will prove to be extremely functional, especially for families,” says Nick Cohen from Advanced Builders and Contractors in Los Angeles. “Along with providing a space for your washer and dryer, it can also help reduce clutter, open up new storage option, and help protect your wood flooring over time.”
Finishing a basement
You could potentially double the square footage of your home if your basement footprint mimics your one-story home, in a move that Cohen says will significantly impact the resale value of your home. “From a resale standpoint, consider transforming this space into a man cave, game room, or second living room. We always recommend adding at least a half bath when refinishing your basement, despite the added cost,” says Cohen. These are the 16 things all smart homeowners do once a year.
Convert an attic
If the only purpose of your attic has is to store old junk—that you actually don’t want—finish the space off for a bonus storage room or convert this under utilized space into more livable square footage. “Some homeowners may have the option to turn their attic into a loft, master suite, or home office, without having to deal with confusing zoning restrictions,” Cohen says.