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When It Comes Time to Remodel, Sometimes It’s Best to Go Better, Not Bigger

Find your remodeling inspiration at the Tour of Remodeled Homes, May 4 & 5

Presented by Homebuilders Association of Portland April 15, 2019

When faced with a home that no longer meets their needs, homeowners have to a make difficult decision: Do I buy new, or do I stay where I am and remodel?

“The prices they pay for new, what they’re getting is a lateral move,” explains John May, of Creekstone Design + Remodel. “They would still have to remodel the space they were going to buy.”

With limited land in the Portland Metro area, more homeowners are turning to remodeling to make their homes work for their needs without having to add additional square footage.

Whether that means finishing an unused space, or just updating the design for a contemporary feel, the remodeler’s on this year’s Tour of Remodeled Homes have found ways to help homeowners fall in love with their homes all over again.

Refinish basements and crawl spaces 

When homeowners need additional square footage, May says. “The balance is always between purchasing new, doing an addition, or finishing off unfinished space.”

The basement is an area where many homeowners have the most unutilized space, and based on cost alone, it’s usually the best investment of the three.

Finishing a basement or crawl space doesn’t require extra money to be spent on pouring foundations or adding siding and a roof, but it does comes with its own host of design challenges.

Inconveniently-placed structural supports, utilities coming through the ceiling, lack of light and low ceiling heights are just a few of the problems remodelers face, but a well thought out design can camouflage or compensate for these flaws.

Creative wall finishes and an abundance of lighting distract the eye from low ceiling heights, and a carefully considered design can help hide structures you would otherwise pay to move. 

“The biggest thing we’re trying to do is always make it feel like another floor to the house and not a finished basement,” May says. 

Add new lighting and wall textures

Updated lighting is one of the cheapest and easiest fixes to make a home feel like new again.

A new product May likes is a thin LED light that can be mounted directly to the ceiling, saving the expense of cutting holes in the ceiling and rewiring. 

“When you take those types of products and start placing them in your spaces near your walls or in accent areas,” May says. “What you start to do is create a showroom feel.” 

Having only a single light in a room, like in a bedroom or over a countertop, casts a harsh shadow. But, if you place multiple lights against walls or near walls, your home will not only feel warmer, but bigger and more comfortable. 

Adding accent walls, like shiplap, barn wood or murals, over the existing drywall allows homeowners to update their homes with contemporary style without making a big commitment. 

When these trends go out of style, they are relatively easy to take down and replace with newer looks, May says. “So, it allows you to be contemporary but then evolve down the road.” 

Open up some walls 

Finding new and unused space in a home doesn’t have to mean costly additions. Sometimes, it’s a simple as opening up a few walls and squaring things up to turn small, segmented rooms in a larger space that increases livability.

The more open space you can create in the common areas like the living, dining and kitchen, the bigger the home will feel. “You’re going to feel like you’ve added square footage, even though you haven’t,” May says. “It’s making more with what you have, rather than trying to invest in buying more square footage.”

Tour eight large-scale remodels May 4 & 5

John May is one of the professionals remodelers featured in the 20th annual Tour of Remodeled Homes™ presented by Standard TV & Appliance. The scattered home tour runs Saturday, May 4, and Sunday, May 5 throughout the Portland Metro area. Eight large-scale remodels will showcase the latest trends in home remodeling from the area’s top remodelers and professional designers to provide inspiration to show visitors. You can purchased tickets at www.RemodelTourPortland.com.