Top Ten Projects (while lumber is in short supply)

Posted on Wednesday, May 12th, 2021.

When lumber was cheap and available, we complained about the late delivery or the 10% cost increase. If I knew then what I know now I would have been able to be much happier with the situation – plentiful supply and affordable. Remodeling contractors have it better now than new home builders since interior remodeling requires less of the scarce, expensive lumber.

For years, we had it easy and took it all for granted. Isn’t that how it is? We find a problem even when we have it made in the shade and forget to be grateful for ALL we do have…and get to do…to enjoy a good life.

Despite the challenges, Triangle area property values are rising and are likely to continue increasing with FUJIFILM and APPLE bringing more high-paying jobs. Your house is worth more than it was two years ago. Remodeling your home is a great investment, likely to make your life better right away and add significant equity when you decide to sell someday.

My top ten list for less costly, materials-intensive renovations, that focus on “finishes”, lighting and landscaping:

  1. Replace bathroom countertop, sinks/faucets, vanity lighting and toilets. Buy some nice towels.
  2. Replace ceiling fans and light fixtures with new, more stylish ones.
  3. Paint your house, interior and/or exterior. Tip: a good pressure washing might take care of the outside for a few years. Tip #2: paint colors look more intense than the sample chip when painted on the interior and look lighter than the sample chip when painted on the exterior.
  4. Gut and redo your old kitchen…not exactly the low-hanging fruit but a huge daily payoff.
  5. Make coming home a pleasant experience with a new (or new color) front door. Bring home some colorful planters and flower boxes from Logan’s or Homewood nursery.
  6. Buy some lamps, rugs, and artwork to revitalize your home interior – to like it more than you do now.
  7. Build a sunroom on the back to add natural light, views of your nice yard and a new room to read your book or gather with family.
  8. Invest $9,000 (of your increased home value) in outdoor landscaping. Colorful plants and neat edges (mulch) dress up a boring front yard.
  9. Resurface your old deck with new decking and get a cool, new railing installed. (Cables or horizontal pipes don’t need repainting in five years).
  10. Replace tired carpeting with luxury vinyl tile (LVT) which looks like wood planks.

Liking your home is a huge influence in how much you like your life. Happy homeowning.