Home Renovation Tips for Empty Nesters
By Charlotte Bumstead
The kids have moved out, and there is a noticeable amount of extra space in the house. Walls that were once covered with movie posters are left bare, and the all too familiar sound of the stereo blasting from behind a closed bedroom door is replaced with a serene silence. There comes a time when empty nesters need to make some alterations to fit their latest lifestyle. Some choose to downsize to a new nest all together. But others wish to stay put. There’s a way to remain close to your neighbours while also making your dream home a reality. Zoomer offers the following helpful renovation ideas for transforming the home that was once meant for five into an ideal space for two.
1. Build the ensuite bathroom you’ve always wanted. Does your master bedroom share a wall with the upstairs bathroom? Perhaps you sleep next to the empty bedroom where your son or daughter once stayed. It’s time to knock out the adjoining wall and renovate. Put in the Whirlpool bathtub you’ve always wanted but never had the space for. Expand the single sink to a double with more counter space. An ensuite bathroom renovation can provide you with the luxury hotel feeling in your everyday life, and it is also a bonus for re-sale if you decide to sell in years to come.
2. Dedicate an entire room solely to your favourite hobby. Depending on the layout of your home—whether the extra space is upstairs, on the main floor or in the basement—consider how the space can be transformed for regular use. Maybe you have a dining room, but now you always eat meals at the kitchen table. Or perhaps a bedroom in the basement is rarely slept in. Transforming the space into a home office or library can require little construction at a low cost. Other ideas could be creating a basement workshop for the handy man or woman, or building a sunroom on the main floor for plant and garden lovers. Maybe you’ve always wanted an art studio—an entire room where you can let your creative side shine. This is the time to be selfish; renovate an entire room to revolve around what makes you happy.
3. Get around to finishing the basement. Remember when you first moved in some 20 years ago with big plans for the unfinished basement? It’s not too late. In fact, this is the perfect time to turn the underused space into the entertainment area you’ll love. Click here for some remodelling ideas to make your basement an at-home getaway. Install a wet bar and big screen TV for the sports lounge your friends will never want to leave. Or put in a craft and sewing area with comfortable seating and plenty of trendy storage units.
4. Convert an empty bedroom into the home gym. Here’s another quick fix with little construction work required. Motivating yourself to fit exercising into your daily routine is a lot easier when you only need to visit the room across the hall. You don’t even need to purchase a lot of heavy duty expensive machinery. Invest in one quality piece of fitness equipment—like a treadmill, a stationary bike or elliptical trainer for meeting your cardio workout requirements. From there, you’ll want some simple accessories, like dumbbell weights, a Swiss exercise ball and yoga mat, for completing your basic recommended physical activity.
5. Update and/or expand the kitchen. Remodelling the kitchen can make a huge difference in your home. Consider replacing old appliances with something more modern. Often the best deals are available in a three-piece set—replacing your fridge, oven and dishwasher all at once. Substituting original countertops with beautiful granite also makes a grand difference and is another helpful trick for re-sale one day in the future. Click here for more kitchen renovation ideas.
Remember, when constructing your renovation plans, it is extremely important to do your homework. Work everything out ahead of time; make a budge and speak with a professional (or two or three). Hiring a contractor can save you money and time in the long run—but be sure to check licences and insurance when doing so. Get all contracts and price quotes in writing. If something doesn’t look right, don’t be afraid to ask. Be sure to apply for any permits required by your city building department.
Don’t be afraid to take the steps toward designing the perfect home for your personal needs. Make sure you are planning for the future. Keep a spare bedroom available for when children and/or grandchildren come to visit. When all the hard work is done, you will be able to enjoy the features of a new home while preserving the comfort of familiar surroundings.