Well-planned outdoor lighting improves curb appeal, safety, and security for your home.
Much of the success of exterior lighting hinges on its design. Hang around lighting designers long enough and you’ll hear a lot of talk about “moonlight effect.” That’s a naturalistic look that features light no more intense than that of a full moon, but still strong enough to make beautiful shadows and intense highlights.
Other techniques outdoor lighting designers use:
Highlight trees: Whether illumined from below or given presence by a light mounted in the tree itself, trees make stunning features.
A family room is one of the most straightforward additions you can build with a relatively large payback—and it’ll completely transform your home.
But also, a family room can be much more than just an addition: By building it next to the kitchen, with an open floor plan, you can create a single, multipurpose gathering space that’s well suited to life in the 21st century.
A 16-by-25 foot family room addition constructed over a crawlspace foundation, with vinyl siding, hardwood floors, recessed ceiling lights, and 180 square feet of glass, including windows and atrium-style doors (double French doors with fixed door-sized panels on
If you practice fence etiquette and bone up on local zoning regs, you can avoid neighbor disputes.
Observe boundaries: Don’t risk having to tear down that fence by going even one inch over your property line. Study your house line drawing or plat or order a new survey ($500 to $1,000) from a land surveyor to be sure of boundaries. Fence companies usually install a foot inside the line, to be on the safe side.
Respect limits: Fencing companies obtain permits and must know local zoning regulations for height, setbacks, and other restrictions. Height limits typically are 6 feet for side and back yards; 4 feet for front yards. More restrictive
When planning a home office remodel, consider the specific needs of your profession for space, light, storage, technology, and security.
That said, while an office may make your home more attractive to potential buyers, it won't add significantly to value. According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, converting a 12-by-12-foot bedroom into an office costs a national average of around $28,000 and recoups less than half the investment. But if you're among the more than 20% of Americans who do some or all of their job at home, a comfortable, functional work space is a must-have.
Here’s how to get the bathroom of your dreams without making your budget a nightmare.
A mid-range bathroom remodel is a solid investment, according to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report. An average bath remodel of $16,500 will recoup about 62% of those costs when it’s time to sell your home, and a more extensive $52,200 job returns about 55.5%. In addition, you can maximize the value of your investment by using these smart strategies, which will create a stylish yet budget-friendly bathroom.
1. Stick to a plan
A bathroom remodel is no place for improvisation. Before ripping out the first tile, think hard about how you will use the space,