Revitalizing Your New Home

Revitalizing Your New Home: Remodeling Before Moving In

Are you considering a new home purchase, or have you recently closed the deal? If so, it’s worth exploring the benefits of remodeling before moving in. This approach can significantly enhance your comfort and the functionality of your space right from the start. It’s a pivotal step in both building and remodeling a home that truly reflects your style and needs.

Why Remodel Before You Move?

When you remodel before moving in, you liberate yourself from the inconvenience of living through ongoing construction. It’s about having the freedom to design a living space without the constraints of existing furnishings or daily routines. Imagine this: stepping into a home that’s already customized to your taste and requirements—a place where every corner is just as you envisioned. This freedom of design can inspire and excite you about the endless possibilities.

Assess Your Needs and Goals

Prior to embarking on the renovation journey, it’s crucial to establish clear goals. Begin with a budget estimate. Understanding your financial boundaries will steer your choices on what modifications are viable. Are you aiming to boost the house’s resale value, or is your focus on personalizing the space for your comfort? These objectives will shape the scale and nature of your remodel.

After setting your budget, consider the scope of your project. Are you looking at knocking down walls for a more open concept, or is it more about updating fixtures and a fresh coat of paint? Each decision should align with your ultimate vision for the home.

Design Concepts and Inspiration

As you plan, gather inspiration that matches your lifestyle. Do you thrive in a minimalist environment or prefer cozy, decorated spaces? Use platforms like Pinterest or home design blogs to collect ideas. Think about how each space will be used. A well-designed kitchen can invite family gatherings, while a peaceful, well-organized bedroom can become your relaxation haven.

Hire the Right Professionals

Choosing the right team is a pivotal aspect of your remodeling project. Seek out experienced contractors who come highly recommended. Review their past work, read testimonials, and conduct interviews. Ensure they grasp your vision and can provide valuable insights, not just labor.

Choosing a designer or architect who aligns with your aesthetic preferences is also essential. They can turn your ideas into practical designs that fit your lifestyle. A good professional will help manage the project smoothly, keeping open communication lines and ensuring your plans stay on track.

Navigate Permits and Regulations

Remodeling before moving in requires more than just design and labor; you must also navigate the maze of permits and regulations. Here’s what you should know:

  • Local Building Codes: These determine the standards for construction and remodeling. Ensuring your project meets these codes is essential for safety and compliance.
  • Zoning Regulations: These rules dictate how a property can be used and what structures are allowed. For example, some areas may restrict the height of buildings or the percentage of land coverage.

Before starting your project, visit your local building authority or city hall to learn about the necessary permits. Getting this right will prevent legal headaches later.

Manage the Remodeling Process

With all permits in hand, managing the remodeling process becomes the next challenge. Here’s a straightforward approach:

  • Phase Planning: Break down the project into demolition, construction, and finishing phases. This helps you track progress and manage tasks more efficiently.
  • Scheduling: Keep a tight schedule to avoid delays. Regular check-ins with your team can keep everyone on track.
  • Handling Surprises: Despite the best plans, unexpected issues may arise. Whether it’s a hidden pipe or a sudden material shortage, be prepared to make decisions quickly to keep the project moving.

Next, remodeling before moving in offers the perfect opportunity to expand your living spaces. You might find that what was once an awkwardly placed wall can be transformed, opening up your home and creating a more flowing, functional living area.

Smart Home Technologies and Sustainability

Adopting smart home technologies during remodeling is not just about convenience; it’s about efficiency. Consider these options:

  • Energy-efficient appliances: Reduce power usage while increasing performance.
  • Smart thermostats: Maintain ideal temperatures and minimize energy consumption.

In addition to technology, choosing sustainable materials can cut down on both waste and energy costs. Options like recycled glass countertops or bamboo flooring are not only stylish but also kind to the planet.

Final Preparations Before Moving In

Once the dust settles, a few steps remain before you can move into your newly remodeled home:

  • Cleaning: Construction can leave a lot of dust and debris. A thorough cleaning ensures that your home is sparkling and healthy to move into.
  • Final Inspections: A final walk-through with your contractor will ensure everything is complete and up to standard.

Finally, remodeling before moving in also allows you to creatively transform unused space into a functional area. What was once an empty nook under the stairs could become a cozy reading spot or extra storage space.

What To Do If Delays Happen?

If remodeling delays occur, it’s essential to have a plan to manage the inconvenience. One practical solution is renting one of the many types of storage units to house your belongings until the work is completed safely. Storage units come in various sizes and can be a flexible, secure option to keep your items protected. If staying in your old home isn’t an option and the delay is extensive, finding temporary housing should be considered. This could be a short-term rental or staying with family or friends. If you can, extending the lease on your current residence or negotiating a longer stay can also provide a much-needed buffer. Each of these strategies can reduce the stress of remodeling delays, allowing you to focus on the excitement of eventually moving into your newly transformed home.

Remodeling Before Moving In Brings Many Benefits

Remodeling before moving in is a great idea. Stepping into a freshly remodeled home is incredibly satisfying. By handling the essentials, you’ve set the stage for a home that looks great and feels perfectly suited to your needs. Enjoy your new space, knowing you’ve built a solid foundation for your future there.


7 Cost-Effective Ways

7 Cost-Effective Ways to Expand Your Living Spaces

Most homeowners want more room for household activities like relaxing, cooking, eating and sleeping than less. Increasing your home’s living spaces means more room to do what you love. If you decide to sell, it also promises greater privacy, a higher property value and a more marketable house.


You can go about it in various ways, such as adding bump-outs, enclosing finished outdoor areas and finishing uninhabitable indoor ones. Remodeling usually costs a fortune, but these seven tips prove you can spend less to gain more square footage.

1.  Upgrade to Bay and Bow Windows

Bay and bow windows comprise a band of glass units jutting out into the exterior area. The main difference between the two is the bay style is angular while the bow is round. Bays usually have three glass panels, whereas bows have more.


Replacing a set of windows in a wall with a bay or a bow creates a bump-out or provides a ledge to increase your counter space. If you use operating panels, these windows can improve your home’s natural ventilation and promote daylight.


Common bay window configurations include oriel, canted, box and circle:


  • Oriel: This is the oldest bay window iteration. It exists on the side of a house’s upper floor with corbels at the bottom providing structural support.
  • Canted: It’s today’s textbook bay window design. Canted windows have a flat main panel flanked by angled, narrower ones. They also generally touch the ground.
  • Box: Box and canted bay window configurations are identical, except the former’s side windows meet the primary panel at a 90˚ angle.
  • Circle: Besides having a more prominent trio of panels, the circle bay window features panes above it.


Architecture usually dictates window design to achieve historical accuracy. For example, Queen Anne-style homes have been synonymous with bay windows since the 19th century. Adding the bay or bow is usually ill-advised when it’s not your home’s classic feature, but putting them in a wall not seen from the street can be a neat workaround.

2.  Add Dormers

Dormers offer the same benefits as bay and bow windows — increased space, enhanced ventilation and abundant natural light. The difference is these bump-outs tend to cost more to construct and maintain because they involve the roof and may require foundation reinforcement.


These projects can run you four to six figures. Still, they’re more affordable than adding a second story.

3.  Install Operable Walls

An operable wall is a room divider that can turn a part of your garage or basement into a conditioned space for any purpose. Its wood, metal, or glass panels become an air- and watertight barrier when locked in place.


Save for drilling, this addition’s installation is minimally disruptive. The partition can even be uninstallable, so your space can revert to its original size anytime you want. Demounting it may involve removing hazards like electrical cables, but you can safely detach it for storage.

4.  Enclose Your Porch

If you hardly use your porch because of the weather, outdoor noise and wildlife, turning it into a sunroom may crown this space as your new favorite spot. Unlike solariums, sunrooms use typical roofing materials.


A sunroom at your house’s front can reinforce your property’s architectural style and increase its curb appeal. If your winters are tolerable, building a three-season sunroom should suffice. You only need to pay extra for the four-season kind if your coldest months are too frigid for comfort.

5.  Make Your Attic Habitable

An unfinished attic is about half the size of your ground floor, so this untapped real estate can quickly increase your home’s overall living area. Improving it isn’t cheap, but it’s almost always more budget-friendly than building up.


Only some attics make an excellent living space. Plus, finishing yours may still disqualify it as additional square footage based on its shape and size. Do your research to determine how feasible it is to bring your attic up to code and whether it’s worth the trouble.

6.  Do a Patio-Solarium Conversion

Patios have become a staple of American houses. About 63% of single-family homes in the United States had one in 2022, recording a new high for the seventh straight year. However, a patio is a true extension of your living space only when the weather is mild. It’s unfit — and even unsafe — as a relaxation or social area when it’s too hot or raining.


Many add a retractable awning — or a pergola if you want to use greenery for shade — to make the patio more livable. This minor addition can shield your space against intense sunlight and block light rain. The problem is it offers limited weather protection.


If you wish to enjoy your patio all year round, transform it into a solarium instead. A solarium has a glass roof that can catch plenty of sunlight and frame virtually unobstructed panoramas of the outside world. If you’re part of less than 1% of the American population living in a place without light pollution, a solarium makes a perfect spot to stargaze and marvel at the Milky Way safe from the elements.

7.  Finish Your Shed

A climate-controlled shed can be anything you want. If one of your primary residence’s rooms is doing double duty, it can return to its intended purpose when your unfinished outbuilding becomes habitable. You can enhance your house’s living space by simply not using your bedroom as a home office, your enclosed porch as an indoor gym or your living room as a man cave.


A shed conversion can be a significant expense, but it’s cheap when you consider how much it may cost to build up and down. Plus, remodeling an outbuilding can spare your main dwelling’s interior from disruption, no matter how long the project takes.

Maximize Your Home’s Living Space Potential

Your house may have plenty of underutilized areas waiting for discovery. Focus on improving what you already have instead of building something from scratch to obtain more square footage without spending a fortune.

4 Home Renovation Projects

4 Home Renovation Projects to Complete Before the Summer Heat Comes

Home renovations are excellent to tackle before the summer arrives. Getting them done before the weather turns allows you to tackle exterior upgrades without getting overheated, find more time to work while your kids are at school and welcome your summer guests into an upgraded home.


Choosing renovations to finish before the summer requires considering your budget, goals and time. Plan to prioritize upgrades that offer advantages beyond a single season.

1. Install Screens and Window Restrictors

If you live where the temperature drops significantly during summer nights, sleeping with open windows is an effective way to cool your home. However, you may need minor upgrades to keep this option safe and comfortable.


First, put screens on the windows to keep insects out. Some types expand or shrink to fit the frames, and you can also find options that attach with magnetic strips.


Next, install window restrictors to discourage criminals. Only sleeping with the windows open in non-ground-floor bedrooms is a simple safety tip to deter many potential intruders. However, the most motivated may see open windows on upper stories as tempting opportunities.


Window restrictors have bars, cables or hinges that make openings wide enough for you to enjoy fresh air but sufficiently narrow to stop anyone from getting inside. Some styles include child-safety features to give more peace of mind if your home has young kids or you have visitors who do.


You’ll also enjoy the ability to open your windows safely during other seasons. Fresh breezes improve air quality by removing indoor pollutants and prevent mold growth by lowering a room’s humidity.


Installing screens and window restrictors is relatively quick. You’ll get the best results by spending enough time browsing what’s available and determining which possibilities fit your needs.

2. Mount Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans don’t create cold air but improve circulation, helping you feel cooler. Put them in rooms where people spend the most time. These additions keep the temperature consistent, which could mean you don’t need to run the air conditioner the whole day.


Check that your ceilings are at least 8 feet high and the fan can hang at least 7 feet above the floor for optimum results. Next, measure the room’s square footage. Choose a fan with a 36- or 44-inch diameter for areas up to 225 square feet. Select one of at least 52 inches for larger spaces or consider mounting two fans in such areas.


When putting a ceiling fan in an office or other room with papers and other lightweight items that could blow around, prioritize options with larger blades. Smaller ones cause more air velocity, making the effects on some lower objects more noticeable.


After attaching your fan to the ceiling, look for its blade-direction switch. A counterclockwise direction will push cool air down, refreshing the room during warmer months. Change to clockwise as the days get colder to move warm air down.

3. Replace Your Garage Door

Many people spend the summer months organizing their garages, or using the spaces as convenient places for car and bike maintenance. Now is a great time to inspect your garage door and see if it’s time for a replacement before summer arrives. If it’s rusty, noisy, or hard to open and close, those are all reasons to install a new one.


This decision could also significantly increase your home’s value. People living in parts of Michigan get an average 94.4% return on investment after making these renovations. The prominent location of many garage doors means the replacement will increase curb appeal no matter where you live. You’ll also appreciate the hassle-free functionality of a new door.


Consider the desired material first. Aluminum options are inexpensive and generally sturdy, although they get easily dented if the door is too thin or insufficiently insulated. Wood offers an elegant look, but it can become challenging to maintain in coastal or high-humidity areas. You’ll also need to paint or refinish the surface periodically to keep it looking nice.


Steel doors are good choices for people living in wet or windy areas who want a wood look. These doors are also easy to insulate, promoting seasonal comfort.


Explore windows, complementing colors or decorative hardware to customize the appearance. Familiarize yourself with smart garage door openers that’ll work with the new door, too. Many products sync with your phone or recognize voice commands, expanding functionality and convenience.

4. Block the Sun Inside and Out

A 2023 study showed sun coming through windows is most homes’ biggest heat gain source. The researchers recommended tackling it whether you’re preparing for summer or enduring a heat wave. They found insulated cellular shades reduce air conditioner usage by 13% and offer results up to 25% more effective than no coverings. Some versions feature materials that reflect the sun’s rays. Alternatively, shutters, awnings and other exterior options get similar results.


Keeping your shades closed during the day is the most practical way to stop the sun from heating your home. Otherwise, shut them when the sun’s position makes it shine directly into the window. Then, you can continue enjoying the birds, trees and other outdoor pleasantries except when the sun is most intense.


Some home improvement projects only become maximally beneficial with time. Planting outdoor shade trees is a good example. Besides preventing the sun from streaming through the windows, these additions can become favorite spots for picnics or other summer activities.


Visit your local garden center for advice about which trees will grow best in your area’s hardiness zone. Plan where you want to put the trees before going so the employees can determine which varieties will fit in the chosen space. Some get so large that you have to plant them at least 40 feet from the house. Mention you want something that will grow into a suitable shade tree and get details on its eventual size, average growth speed, and maintenance.


While finding suitable spots for new trees, survey the rest of your yard and make a list of possible improvements. Planting grass seeds is one of the simplest enhancements and a lush lawn makes summer more enjoyable.

Create an Abode for Summer Enjoyment

Rising temperatures can make summer particularly challenging. Try these renovations to make your home well-equipped for the hottest parts of the year and more satisfying the rest of the time.

How to Turn Unused Space

How to Turn Unused Space into a Functional Living Area

Have you ever looked around your home and noticed that there are areas just begging to be used more effectively? Perhaps it is a spare room collecting dust, a neglected corner of your basement, or an underutilized attic space. Whatever the case may be, turning that unused space into a functional living area can enhance your home’s enjoyment and add value to your property.

Assessing your unused space

The first step in repurposing unused space is to take a critical look at what you have available. Walk through your home and identify areas that are currently underutilized. This could include unfinished basements, empty corners, or even awkward nooks. Consider the size, layout, and potential of each space as you envision how it could be transformed to better serve your needs.

Setting clear goals

Before diving into any renovations, it is essential to establish clear goals for the space you are planning to transform. Are you looking to create a cozy family room where you can relax and unwind? Or perhaps you need a home office where you can be productive? By defining your objectives upfront, you will have a clearer vision of what the result should look like and can plan your project accordingly.

Maximizing storage potential

One common challenge with unused spaces is clutter. To combat this, prioritize storage solutions as part of your remodeling efforts. Built-in shelving, cabinets, and hidden storage compartments can help keep your new living area organized and clutter-free. Consider utilizing vertical space to make the most of smaller rooms, and opt for multifunctional furniture pieces that offer both style and storage.

Creating a cozy atmosphere

Regardless of how you plan to use the space, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere is key to its success. Pay attention to lighting, color schemes, and furnishings to cultivate a cozy ambiance that encourages relaxation and enjoyment. Incorporate soft textiles like rugs, throw pillows, and curtains to add comfort and warmth. Don’t forget to personalize the space with meaningful decor that reflects your unique style and personality.

Embracing flexibility

When considering the design of your renovated space, it is important to prioritize flexibility to accommodate changing needs and lifestyles. This approach ensures that your living space remains relevant and adaptable and maximizes its long-term usability and value. Incorporating flexibility in design empowers you to effortlessly transform your space to suit evolving requirements, whether it is transitioning from a home office to a guest bedroom or adapting to accommodate a growing family. By planning for flexibility from the outset, you can future-proof your living area and ensure that it continues to meet your needs for years to come.

Bringing the outdoors in

If your unused space has access to natural light or views of the outdoors, make the most of these assets by incorporating elements that blur the line between indoor and outdoor living. Consider installing large windows or glass doors to flood the space with sunlight and provide a seamless connection to the surrounding environment. Indoor plants, nature-inspired decor, and outdoor seating areas can further enhance the sense of tranquility and connection to nature.

Adding value to your home

In addition to improving your quality of life, transforming unused space into a functional living area can also increase the value of your home. Potential buyers are often drawn to homes that offer versatile living spaces that can adapt to their changing needs. By investing in thoughtful renovations that maximize the usability and appeal of your home, you can position yourself for a higher resale value in the future.

Considering room remodeling

When contemplating a room remodeling project, you are delving into a world of untapped potential. For example, basements offer a unique opportunity to expand your living space and enhance the functionality of your home. With the right vision and execution, your basement can be transformed into a versatile area that serves many purposes, from a cozy family retreat to a state-of-the-art entertainment hub. Whether you dream of a stylish home theater, a spacious guest suite, or a dedicated home gym, the possibilities for remodeling your basement are limited only by your imagination. Unlock the hidden potential of your basement and elevate your home to new heights of comfort and luxury.

Incorporating functional design elements

When redesigning unused spaces, it is important to prioritize functionality without sacrificing style. Consider how you can integrate practical design elements that enhance the usability of the room. This could include installing additional electrical outlets for convenience, incorporating built-in desks or workstations for productivity, or adding features like a wet bar or mini kitchenette for entertaining guests.

Seeking professional guidance when remodeling

If you are thinking about transforming your unused space into a functional living area, it necessitates considering professional guidance, which can be a game-changer. While DIY projects may offer personal satisfaction, the expertise of an interior designer or architect can significantly enhance your renovation endeavors. These professionals bring valuable insights and creative solutions to the table. This ensures that your project aligns with your expectations and complies with building codes and industry standards.

From bathrooms to kitchens or basements, their guidance can streamline the process. They will assist you in remodeling any of those in the best possible way. Together, you can transform your vision into reality, crafting a functional living area that surpasses your wildest expectations.

Turning unused space into a functional living area

Unused spaces represent untapped potential within your home. They are waiting to be unlocked and transformed into functional living areas that enhance your daily life. Whether it is a forgotten corner, an underutilized basement, or an attic gathering dust, any of those rooms can become an environment that reflects your lifestyle and priorities. With careful planning and creativity, you can turn unused space into a functional living area. By following the strategies outlined in this guide, you can maximize its value, comfort, and enjoyment for years to come.




Revamp for Remote Work:

Revamp for Remote Work: Redesigning Your Home Office

Many aspects of life have returned to “normal” in the years following the COVID-19 pandemic. One area that has not is modern working trends. The demand for remote work seems to only have increased in the days since a return to the corporate office was given the green light. This has led to the home office becoming a critical feature of all contemporary homes. However, not all home offices are created equally when it comes to productivity. Keep reading as we explore modern home office designs that will help remote professionals get the most out of their work day.

Noise Mitigation 

The home office is not insulated by dozens of other offices designed with a similar goal in mind. It is part of a disparate household dynamic. Dogs barking, kids playing, and the neighbor mowing the grass are just a few of the many everyday noises that can disrupt professional responsibilities. 


There are a number of renovations that can provide some noise mitigation. Decorative soundproof panels can provide a noise reduction coefficient (NRC) of up to .95 while covering as little as 15% of the wall area. This much-needed soundproofing mass can also provide an element of artistic intrigue to the office. Area rugs are another strong idea for limiting sound reverberation off of hard surfaces. There is even some noise-reducing office furniture with adjustable sound shades for next-level soundproofing. 

Sliding Pocket Doors

Many home professionals do not have the luxury of living on sprawling estates. A 500 square-foot office is a pipe dream. Most remote workers have to get creative with the limited space they have.


One slick idea is to replace a traditional hinged door with a sliding pocket door. This can open up valuable square footage that can be used for extra seating or storage. Glass pocket doors are a trending option for their utility in creating clear sight lines and promoting natural light flow. 

Accessibility Features

Accessibility issues are some of the most significant blockers of productivity in the home office. Too many people mix their personal and professional space. Shelves piled with dishes, clothes strung on office furniture, and Amazon boxes littered throughout create an environment that is not conducive to work. 


Take steps to reduce clutter throughout your home workspace. Try open shelving instead of drawers and/or filing cabinets. This can create an element of visual accountability. It is important to keep the home office open, well-lit, and flowing to boost mood and enhance productivity.


In addition, consider ADA accessibility as well. Even if you yourself are not ADA, there may be a time when you have an office visit with a client. Ideas such as ergonomic furniture, sleek wall mounted handrail options, and hard flooring materials (no carpet) are great features for improving visitor accessibility. 

Low Maintenance Design

There are many advantages to being a home professional. No commute is nice. So is the more relaxed dress code (in most cases).


On the flip side, home professionals are in charge of their own custodial tasks. There is no one to come and vacuum or take out the trash after hours. To minimize time spent in these areas, consider designing with low maintenance materials. Solid surface desks and countertops make cleaning spills as simple as a wipe of the rag. Their nonporous fabrication ensures that a stain will not form even if spills are left standing for a while. Durable flooring, such as polished concrete, is not damaged by sliding chairs and can be easily cleaned with the occasional run of a Swiffer mop. 

Flex Furniture

It is important to separate business from pleasure when designing a productive home office. Nonetheless, there will be times when some remote professionals simply have to double-dip on their space. The office may become a guest bedroom after hours during the holidays. Look for flexible furniture that can help accommodate this. Consider futon sofas that pullout into beds as needed. A Murphy bookshelf takes this concept one step further. The heavy oak desk is a no-go. Keep the desk slim and simple for easier reconfiguration. 

Biophilic Elements

Despite spending more time inside than ever before, people are naturally drawn to the outdoors. Getting in touch with nature provides a calming sense of connecting to your roots. Biophilic design brings elements of nature into the home office. A large office window with ample sunlight is a great starting point. Plants and nature-inspired artwork are another great idea. Exposed wood beams or a stone focus wall are other features that can bring a calming, natural ambience to the home office. 

Revamp Your Home Office for Increased Productivity

With the increased demand for remote work opportunities, home office design has seen a proliferation of interest in the past few years. From noise mitigation features to biophilic elements, consider any of the ideas listed above to make your newly redesigned home office a haven of productivity. For more on the latest trends in home improvement, explore the resources at Castle Building & Remodeling for the leading insights in the industry!


Author Bio:

Sam Willis is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise in residential and commercial real estate, as well as engineering and construction. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia where he enjoys spending time with his wife and researching real estate trends in his free time. Sam’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a construction industry resource site.