4 Home Renovations To Consider In 2019


What do you have planned for 2019?  Are you ready to take control of your career and your personal time by striking peak home-life balance? Is it time for a smart upgrade with the latest gadgets? Why not take up gardening without having to buy a farm? Every great change comes with a great set of ideas, but having direction and a helping hand won’t hurt. Here are 4 great renovation ideas to make 2019 a year of fresh inspiration.

The Home Office Takeover

Home offices are becoming more than just a place to store your computer and printer. While many people catch up with a bit of work over long weekends, vacations, or sick days, more people are performing their official duties from home.

Whether you’re a full-time work-from-home professional or balancing your brick and mortar office with your home office, it’s time to stop compromising and start upgrading. Your home office must be free of distractions, but what does that mean? No loud noises, no chatter from visiting friends or others in the home, and no roaring fans are a few obvious issues, but there are some design and function problems that can be distracting as well. When you sit down to work, how do you get started? Do you need to sift through drawers or walk across the room for materials? Are you counting down until your back, legs, and arms give up for the day in your awkward sitting position? Many of these issues can be solved with furniture and home renovation. If your home office has a thin door, it’s time to look into soundproof doors and soundproofing materials for the walls. Replacing your windows with thicker panes and adding sturdy shutters can help you reduce construction and traffic noises outside.

What if you don’t have a home office at all? If you’re using your bedroom, you may want to install additional shelves and cabinets to give your working area a bit more utility. The same thing goes for the living room, but you could bring in a partition wall or a half wall to section off the working area to put some official distance between you and distractions.

Smart Kitchens May Require Smarter Upgrades

Temperature management, cooking timers, recipe delivery, and keeping stock of your materials. The Internet of Things (IoT) generation is here, and there are many renovation tips to keep you productive and active with new kitchen tech. Most smart home devices rely on wireless internet and touch screen capabilities, but they may add some bulk to your appliances. This could be a great time to remove your old cabinets and install sleek, low profile storage that gives your appliances a bit more space without sacrificing too much storage. Interference can be an issue. Even though many smart devices are designed to avoid conflicts with microwaves and other radio wave-emitting devices, you may run into a few brands that disconnect whenever you pop some popcorn.

Distance can often solve the problem, so consider creating a dining room station with auxiliary kitchen appliances. Between the kitchen and the dining room, taper off the design with a pair of wall shades that blends the two areas. In the additional area should be anything that doesn’t need immediate sink access. Microwaves, grills, air fryers, toaster ovens, and other countertop appliances can be placed on a new, but differently-colored set of counters or on tables to deliver a banquet-style display.

Gardening Upgrades And Safety

Whether you’re using a big backyard or a small patch of land, you need to pay attention to your surroundings while gardening. Many plants can be affected by water from your room, street access, and even your neighbors. Do you have a plan for managing that water? If so, do you have a plan for managing a flood as well? For any household that plans on gardening, make sure to have an inspector check the flood potential. Even if you’re not in a flood plain, regular watering or automated irrigation can lead to standing water around your home, which brings in mold and mosquitoes. Soil can be leveled off fairly easily, but make sure any watershed is going towards the street or drainage. This will prevent complaints from neighbors as well, since you wouldn’t want to dump water into their yard or ruin their lawn with a muddy mess.

Safety aside, how good is your soil? Does the soil have good enough nutrients for your plants, and is the soil the proper type for your plants? Different plants have different nutrient levels, and soil type such as sandy loam may not be good for everything. The plants may grow, but stunted growth can be an issue without the optimal soil type. Consider bringing in soil treatment such as new fertilizer or large containers of soil from another location. As long as you stick with professional soil sources within your state, invasive species and contamination shouldn’t be an issue.

Finally, be careful about how you till your soil or work the land for planting. If you’re considering urban/suburban farming—and if your city doesn’t prohibit such planting—you must ensure that your home isn’t damaged in the process. It’s too easy to dig a bit too deep and too close to the home. Exposing too much of your home’s foundation to lower soil can make erosion easier when it rains, which can lead to more expensive renovation later. Termites are another big issue that could be caused by bad gardening practices. For shrubs and trees, you’re creating a food and housing source that could lead directly to the rest of your home. Be sure to keep your garden at least 3 feet away from your home’s slab. This accounts for plant growth and will give you a bit of working space to relocate if the plants are growing too close to the home.

As far as depth, make sure that you don’t have any electrical, plumbing, or other service lines in the area. Call before you dig is a national campaign to call 811 before digging, excavating, or otherwise tearing ground that could lead to big consequences. Digging into a line could destroy your or someone else’s electricity, plumbing, internet, or other service cables. Unless specifically states, you don’t own all of the land below your feet—especially in urban and suburban areas.

Sheds And Shelters

Are you storing too much in your home? Do you have a few items that are too big for the living room or bedroom, or eyesores that should go into a storage unit? Now might be a good time to invest in your own storage unit. A shed can expand your storage and give you a bit of extra working room, but it’s a bit more than plopping down an extra building. The cheapest sheds are boxes that need a slab or other foundation for safety. While some people try to install their own floor made of a metal sheet or wood planks, you need to be wary of sinking soil and uneven walls that can collapse at odd angles if left untreated.

For any storage shed or shelter option, make clearing the ground and installing a foundation your first priority. Look up the different sizes available for shelters and install a slab slightly bigger than your shelter, or follow the shelter manufacturer’s foundation suggestions.If you plan on adding electricity, consider asking an electrician for the best option. Don’t worry, if it’s a small project such as a shed’s lighting and outlet, they’ll likely give you the advice you need rather than scrambling to run a single wire for a free. Of course, if you’d rather have a professional do the job, you’ll get a great set of hidden wires, neat outlets, and switches that fit your aesthetic. If in doubt, a renovation team such as Baird Brothers can help you with the design and safe, professional installation you need.

Plumbing can be added to shelters and sheds as well, but getting a professional’s help is even more vital here. While plumbing is less dangerous than electricity, getting proper pipe and water delivery takes a bit more effort than dragging a wire and connecting an outlet.

You need to think about leaks, standing water, proper shutoff valves, and what to do if your additional plumbing bursts. A plumber will be able to plan your water management details and give you the proper faucets and mounts for your new installation.

Finally, be careful when trying to turn a shed into an additional bedroom. There are a lot of laws you could be violating by not following certain safety standards, since most sheds aren’t designed for habitation. Check with your local laws to figure out what’s required to convert a shed into a legal living area. While your friends, visiting family, or adult children who need a place to live for a short while, you could be risking their lives with sneaky situations such as carbon monoxide poisoning or electrical fires if their electronics are too much for the shed.

Bring it All Together

Shed and shelter options can be tied into a good gardening plan to make a small home farm without living in a rural area. With the right planning, you can turn your home into a self-sustainable powerhouse by incorporating all of the previous ideas.

If you can't decide, why not ask a professional for more ideas? Contact a renovation expert to discuss other great options for your home's fresh start.

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