These homestead upgrades aren’t for the house flippers, the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses, or the downsizing empty-nesters. They’re not quick and flashy, and you can’t hammer your way through the list over a long weekend. These upgrades are for the craftsmen who love their homes and plan to stick around for awhile – a long while. They’re for the homeowner who admires clean lines and straight edges, who thinks long and hard before ever picking up a tool, and who can learn to be patient.
Open Up Your Floor Plan
Maybe you’re lucky and your home came with what is called an “entertainer’s floor plan.” Maybe your kitchen already opens to the dining room and primary living/family room, complete with fireplace, vaulted ceilings, and French doors to a side patio. But there’s a high probability that your home did not come this way; and so you’ve got a good project that will take you a good, long time, and once you have finished, it will feel like you’re in a completely new living space. And everyone will say, “I thought that was never going to be finished,” but they’ll be so happy they suffered through all the dust.
Add a Second Kitchen – Outside
This project can be as involved as you want to make it. Ideally, an outdoor kitchen is equipped with refrigeration, a sink with running water, and some kind of equipment to cook on. Your cooktop could be a traditional range or, since you’re outside, a gas grill. If you opt for a grill, you can choose between freestanding and built-in options; just remember that a built-in model will probably feel like more of an upgrade.
Then… A Built-In Firepit
When the evenings aren’t too warm and aren’t too cold, there’s nothing quite like spending time around a firepit. The flames mesmerize, and the camaraderie feels that much more special. As with the outdoor cooking set-up, you once again have a variety of options; you may consider gas for its ease of operation and because it does not tend to flood your backyard with smoke the way wood-burning fire pits do.
Back Inside for a Bathroom Remodel
A well-remodeled bathroom will bring you more joy than all the popcorn ceiling removal and all the carpet upgrades in the world. One area of primary focus should be that of reforming your showering experience into one that rivals a luxurious hotel; it’s honestly not that difficult to do. Some in your home might really appreciate updated toilets, and if you live in a colder climate, heated toilet seats may not be out of order.
Nothing Says Pride of Ownership Quite Like Mature Landscaping
If you plan to live in your home for a long time, begin landscaping early on with an eye to the future - the distant future. Plant trees now that might take several years to come into their own, and before you know it you’ll be happy you made that decision. Mature landscaping is not unlike an overnight success; everybody will see (and probably envy) the sudden manifestation of awesomeness, but you’ll know that it took years of hard work.
Update Your Fencing
Finally, let’s look at your fencing situation. If you’re still rocking the chain link fence that came with your home, you might want to consider installing something nicer. Because fence work is hard physical labor and can be difficult to do correctly, many homeowners bring in professionals. However, if you’re willing to put in the effort, you can save money on labor and spend those savings on the materials instead; this will result in a far more enjoyable fence. Don’t rule out privacy hedges and other forms of perimeter landscaping. While it may take some time for these plants to serve their purpose, they will grow soon enough, and you’ll be happy you got a head start.
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