Mark's General Renovations Ltd.
Show MenuHide Menu

Category Archives: General

The Best Feng Shui Positions For Your Bedroom

July 1, 2018

At times while it is quite difficult to understand, we call or refer to the best feng shui position in the bedroom as the command position. This command position imposes the best feng shui position and it just doesn’t involve the bedroom, but it also comprises or includes business like your building or office where you work.

According to the guidelines about the best locations on this Chinese system, it clearly declares that you must not have your office or workstation in your bedroom so set aside those PCs and try to replace it with the best feng shui position. The concept behind this is that resting and working do not go in harmony with each other and as such, it gives gives rise to certain negative energies which affect you and possibly also the fact that except you are richly independent, you likely do not have that huge of a bedroom that you could place both a desk and computer as well as a bed in the best feng shui position.

It is said in some of the guidelines in this practice is that– if you cannot see the door from your bed, that you keep away from issues and could be freely be hurdled with different stresses and life could easily daze you. The best feng shui position is in placing your bed so that it’s in line with with the entrance door of your room, as this would invite a more positive ambiance which carries with it some positive energies about it.

The good feng shui position for your bed is of chief importance because in modern society, it is not uncommon having a TV or even a computer inside the bedroom. In addition, it is also believed that the great feng shui location could actually, relieve irritability, some stresses, and even certain health problems or difficulties.

If you could accomplish all of these through a simple repositioning of your bed to give way to a greater feng shui location, it is highly recommended that you should at least give it a try. And because many of us can relate to having just small bedrooms, it is a very usual circumstance that it is often quite a challenge to even attempt to place the bed in the optimum feng shui location.

It could actually cause some unnecessary problems and certain inconveniences due to limitations in the space available. It is very essential not to place your bed on the very same wall with the bathroom, kitchen, shower as well as any other ‘active’ items that may be on that same wall.

Try to attempt in investing in your finest interior decorating endeavor to arrange or coordinate the greatest location in feng shui also to receive the optimal benefits and advantages even if it would mean taking the TV out of your bedroom! Consequently, if you try following all these guidelines and tips given, you would be sure to generate a more balanced atmosphere and welcome harmony in your offices or in your homes.

Mix, match and mosaic: The top interior design trends of 2018

January 10, 2018

Whether you’re redecorating your home, changing up that old carpet for warm hardwood flooring, or just longing for a fresh coat of paint and some new accents in the living room, the design trends this year are all about texture, style and surprises. It’s hardwood floors celebrating knots and imperfections or variations in plank sizes and color. It’s wood on your walls and faux stone tile back splashes. It’s mixing unexpected materials to create an entirely new look. Mix, match and mosaic is what it’s all about this year.

Inspired by nature

Earth tones are big this year in everything from accent pieces, to linens and walls, to flooring. Think natural-colored solid hardwood and rattan dining chairs. Also on trend: breezy, uncomplicated seaside styles that incorporate natural aquatic blue and green shades.

A trend that was hot in the ’90s is also making a resurgence: faux stone, and designers taking artistic license with depicting natural stone in decor, flooring, and walls.

Stimulation of the senses

Create a mosaic of varying colors and textures in your home.

Hardwood flooring in 2018 will celebrate the natural beauty of the wood, showing and highlighting knots and naturally occurring imperfections, including varying plank sizes, colors, and widths. Artisan styles will also be popular this year, with hand-brushed and -scraped patterns.

The “raw meets polished” trend is all about high shine versus ultra low gloss. This may include reclaimed wood furniture, updated with modern, shiny metal hardware or the aesthetic of using both low gloss and medium gloss on your floor.

Also on tap this year is mixing metals, especially in the kitchen. Warm-toned fixtures can now live harmoniously with stainless appliances and with the latest appliance trend – a beautiful black finish! Copper, rose gold and oxidized metals are especially popular.

Cultural influences and animal prints

Globally, there are trends of warm minimalism (warmer shades of gray, blue and brown evoking Hygge), and on the flip side, bold maximalism, a strong mix of bold colors and patterns balanced with gray walls and blonde hardwood and wood-look floors.

Cultural influences in accent pieces continue to trend. Whether it’s a hand-woven basket or a lamp with a Moroccan design, they add a sense of global style to your rooms.

Although exotic hardwood is going out of style in favor of domestic species, we are still seeing fun pairings with animal prints in furniture and accessories, such as area rugs, which pair perfectly with natural material floors.

Victorian and antique

The reemergence of Victorian and antique decor can translate easily to flooring trends like Millwork Square Solid Hardwood parquet and strip hardwood in Prime Harvest.

Also in 2018, patterns are meant to be broken, especially in floors. Herringbone-patterned flooring is trending, and floors will incorporate different colors, textures, glosses, plank widths and lengths.

Flooring can even go on the walls, as seen by the continuation of the wood-on-walls trend. Overwhelmingly, though, hardwood floors will continue to be low-gloss and ultra-matte.

Add fire safety to your family’s routine

November 3, 2017

Think of all the items you replace regularly – your cellphone, light bulbs and even your toothbrush. But when was the last time you replaced your smoke alarm batteries, or even the alarms themselves? It’s easy to overlook, but the time to think about fire safety is now – before an emergency strikes.

Many assume that because they have smoke alarms in their homes, they’re protected in the event of a fire. In reality, smoke alarms need to be installed, maintained and tested regularly to ensure they’re working properly. That effort includes knowing how old smoke alarms and their batteries are, as neither lasts forever. While smoke alarm lifespan and sensing technology have improved in recent years, the fact remains that all smoke alarms – even hardwired and sealed battery models – expire after 10 years.

Three out of five home fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms or from missing or dead batteries. Just like other household duties, it’s important to make sure alarm maintenance and replacement and escape planning and practice become a regular, ongoing part of your family’s routine.

Count the alarms – In most cases, one alarm isn’t enough. It’s recommended that smoke alarms be installed inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement, as well as one carbon monoxide (CO) alarm on each level and in each sleeping area. A quick and easy way to remember is one on every level and in every bedroom.

Install them properly – Does your alarm ever sound when cooking? Chances are, you’ve installed the alarm too close to your appliances. An easy way to reduce false alarms and maximize coverage is to take a moment to review manufacturer guidelines and install alarms in the proper locations. Smoke alarms should generally be installed at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance to minimize false alarms. It’s also recommended to install smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings. Remember, smoke rises, so high placement provides a direct path for detection. Lastly, don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors or ducts, where drafts might interfere with their operation.

Get complete coverage – In general, there are two types of fires – quick flaming and smoldering. Today’s smoke alarms are effective at detecting both but use unique technologies that make them better suited for particular locations within the home. The installation of dual-sensor alarms will provide the best potential for early detection of all types of common household fires while helping to reduce the number of non-emergency alarms – all while providing a decade of protection without the need for costly and ongoing battery replacement.

Install and maintain – Having smoke alarms is only one part of the story. In order to function properly, all alarms must be regularly inspected and maintained. Make sure to test the alarm, by simply holding down the test button, at least once a month. Also, when testing, it’s important to clean the alarm to remove any dust or debris. This advice holds true even for newer alarms, which feature 10-year batteries, as well as hardwired alarms that feature a battery back-up. Check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall.

Plan your escape – Maintaining alarms is essential to every household, but what about your escape route? Unfortunately, recent research indicates that just 25 percent of families have an escape plan that they practice regularly. To develop an effective plan, walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Identify two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Practice your home fire escape plan at least twice a year and make sure to plan a meeting spot.

House hunting? Use this handy checklist before you make the offer

October 31, 2017

House hunting can feel like an adventurous new chapter in your life. If you’re lucky enough to find the property that checks off all the “must have” boxes – appearance, size, price, location – it’s easy to fall in love.

Not so fast. Before making an offer on any property, it’s smart to take a deeper look at the overall structure and its systems, just to make sure warning signs of major and costly problems are not hiding in plain sight. If the house holds more issues than your budget (and drive to renovate) can handle, it might be best to walk away.

Of course, once the offer is accepted, it’s always a smart idea to hire a third-party home inspector to take an in-depth look at the property. In the meantime, one last pass-through with this checklist in hand can give you peace of mind about taking the next step.

Exterior: Walk around all four sides of the house, scanning it from ground to rooftop. Note the condition of the doors and window frames, and look for cracked or peeling paint or signs of loose siding. Higher up, eye the chimney, making sure it appears straight and is in good condition, while the gutters and drainpipes should be in place and functional.

Roof: Ideally, the roof would be 10 years old or less, so scan the roof for the classic warning signs of aging and neglect. Things like curled and missing shingles, dark stains, moss growth and signs of sagging can signal serious issues. (A home inspector can confirm if full replacement is needed, or if a few simple repairs would stabilize things for another decade or so.)

Yard: Take note of the landscaping. Is there a slope angled away from the house, or is there a potential for a flooded basement after a major rainfall? Mature trees provide lots of shade, but watch for overhanging branches, as these can break off in a storm and do major damage to the roof. Finally, take note of the condition of the driveway and sidewalks.

Foundation: The sight of a few hairline cracks in the cement is no cause for panic. Do look for telltale signs of serious issues, such as widening cracks, water stains and bulges. It doesn’t hurt to bring a level to make sure the walls are straight.

Plumbing: In addition to checking basement and under-sink pipes for signs of leaks, scan the ceilings for water stains. Open all the faucets to check the water pressure as well as the time it takes for hot water to reach the tap.

HVAC system: Know the age of the heating and cooling systems, and check these for tags and other signs of routine maintenance. If the system is older than a decade, that can spell costly repairs and a replacement in a brief time frame. When it comes to older systems, energy efficiency is another consideration. Newer HVAC systems are remarkably more efficient when compared to those from even a decade ago, which means they keep your house comfortable for as little as half the cost.

Appliances: Note the age and condition of things like the refrigerator, oven and range, washer and dryer, and hot water heater. As with the HVAC, older appliances tend to consume more energy and you’ll face a shorter timeline for needed repairs and replacements.

Buying a house is a big decision, but knowing what you’re buying can go a long way in assuring you that you’ve found the right place!

8 simple things you can do at home to improve indoor air quality

August 7, 2017

A clean house always looks and feels good. But did you know a clean environment goes a long way toward keeping you and your family healthy?

For starters, dust holds dander and pollen, which explains why dust so easily triggers an allergy attack. But common household dust contains other bad stuff you just wouldn’t want to breathe in, such as 45 kinds of toxic chemicals used in consumer products, according to a recent study. Exposure to these chemicals is linked to cancer, hormone changes, developmental problems and more.

This does sound quite alarming, but it underlines the importance of maintaining your home’s indoor air quality. The good news is all it takes is a few simple things to minimize the dust, dirt and other air-choking particles in your home environment.

So breathe easy at home with these tips, and almost instantly, you and your family can improve your home’s indoor air quality.

Weekly vacuuming and mopping is one effective way to reduce the amount of nasal-irritating dust that settles on the floors throughout your home. In high-traffic areas, you may want to vacuum or mop more often. Don’t forget to push beds and other furniture out from the walls so you can collect those dust bunnies as well.

While dust on hard furniture is easy to see and remove, remember that it also settles on furniture and upholstery. That’s why it’s important to get out the vacuum’s brush attachments every month or so and suction it out of the fabric.

Turning on your HVAC fan before vacuuming can improve indoor air quality even more. Vacuuming is great at removing dirt and dust that’s directly under the cleaner, but the moving air also stirs up other dust and dirt particles that can later resettle on furniture and other just-cleaned surfaces. The airflow created by the HVAC fan can pull these particles out of your rooms and trap them in the filter.

Checking your HVAC’s filter on a regular basis is always good practice. But the next time you shop for a replacement filter, be mindful of its MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value). Filters with a higher rating can catch smaller dust particles and other contaminants, keeping them out of your breathing space.

Make sure fireplaces and wood-burning stoves are properly vented to the outside, away from windows and any heating and air conditioning intakes. This keeps fumes and other unwanted particles from re-entering your home’s HVAC system.

Minimize the amount of unwanted outdoor particles from coming in so you can keep your airways clear and, hopefully, cut back on vacuuming and dusting. Keep windows closed on windy days, and encourage family and guests to leave their shoes at the door. (For those who feel adverse to going barefoot, keep a bin of inexpensive slippers in many sizes at the ready.)

Keep humidity at a healthy level. An overly humid home can create the perfect environment for mold and other allergens to thrive, which can make the indoor air extra irritating for allergy sufferers. Invest in a humidity meter and make sure the levels stay within a comfortable, healthy range of 30 to 50 percent humidity.

Make sure dryer and bathroom fans are venting directly outside. When it’s time to replace these, opt for quiet, energy-efficient models, because they’ll keep things quiet while improving your air quality.

Making the indoor air quality in your home healthy and comfortable always starts with a high quality and well-maintained HVAC system. At the same time, following these tips to manage dust, fumes and other contaminants to your breathing space will let your HVAC system work much more efficiently and effectively.

How to blend contrasting materials for high-impact design

January 31, 2017

The melding of contrasting materials throughout the home is a sophisticated way to add visual interest and depth to your design. Bold finishes coupled with muted color tones create an eye-catching statement, while natural wood combined with cool metal boasts a stunning blend of nature and machinery. From partnering unconventional textures to pairing deep wood tones with warm gold finishes, mixing materials in a space poses a refreshing take on luxury design for each room of the home.

Textured charm

Incorporating different textures with furniture, textiles and accessories can add layers of visual and tactile appeal to a living space. Create an elegant, yet contemporary design by complementing white wooden floors with shag rugs and velvet accent pillows in neutral colors of blush and dusty blue on cream or light gray upholstery. The contrast of a coarse wool throw draped over a smooth leather chair quickly adds texture to a sitting room. For tabletop décor, brushed silver and wood statement pieces in tiered sizes radiate a deluxe aesthetic to draw the eye to a central gathering point.

Exposed materials

Exposed brick and wooden beams bring a modern, industrial vibe to any space, while doubling as focal points in a room. From urban-rustic to contemporary environments, the rugged masculinity of the exposed elements can be balanced by soft, feminine touches to suit a multitude of design preferences. Incorporate scalloped linens and delicate prints framed in brushed gold to instantly soften and brighten the room. Reinvigorate a traditional design statement by offsetting rich, jewel tones with a neutral or light color scheme and warm metals.

Naturally inspired

The infusion of metal and natural accents into one space brings a clean, spa-like aesthetic to the home’s oasis – the bath. Live plants and bamboo décor bring an element of the natural environment into the space, enhancing the tranquil atmosphere.

Sophisticated luxury

Deep wood tones combined with metallic and brass finishes bring refinement to any room, especially the kitchen. Darker grains, such as walnut and mahogany, emanate refined luxury, while cabinet hardware, back splashes and modern bar stools in bright metal finishes instantly capture the eye’s attention. Adding hanging light fixtures in varying heights add depth and dimension. Complete the space with minimalist furniture, such as a sleek kitchen table and structural chairs stained in cocoa tones, to bring all pieces of the room together for a cohesive look that is both polished and inviting.

Home innovations that protect against moisture

November 20, 2016

There is an insidious enemy that every homeowner dreads: moisture and the damage and degradation it can cause if left unchecked. Luckily, home improvement manufacturers have discovered new ways to prevent moisture from penetrating the home in the first place. With new home product innovations, there is no reason to suffer the costly and damaging effects of rain, snow or ice.

Unique fasteners add longevity to decks

Innovative fastening methods can extend the life of your deck and provide a beautiful fastener-free surface that also stands up better to weather and moisture. Although there are several kinds of deck fasteners that conceal the fastener, edge fastening is the latest method. With edge fastening, which delivers real screws into the edge of the deck boards with a series of unique guides and drill bits, fastener-related splitting and cracking can be eliminated. This can add to deck life because moisture is not seeping into those cracks and splits, causing accelerated degradation. Edge fastening works great for composite, PVC and all types of wood decks and creates a safer, fastener-free surface.

Exterior cladding that resists moisture

When searching for alternative exterior products that have beauty and curb appeal, make sure they repel moisture, especially near the foundation or near the gutters at the roof line. It is now possible to have the look of rich wood cedar shake or a variety of stone looks to cover foundations or to upgrade the ugly space under decks. New technology enables polymers to actually be stained or finished to be indistinguishable from the real thing. Homeowners can keep moisture at bay and have luxurious exteriors without sacrificing beauty.

Protect your home in every season

As if heavy spring rains and winter’s melt-off didn’t threaten homeowners’ properties enough, the hurricane season is expected to be more erratic than in years past – with a predicted early start and activity right into late fall. Thankfully, there are new, affordable technologies to quickly remove standing water from homeowners’ properties, keeping it away from their foundations. Having both dependable sump pumps and multi-use pumps are the first lines of defense against storm damage. Having reliable multi-use and sump pumps in your home can save thousands of dollars in property damage and basement repairs.

Seal it or patch it to keep water out

Water damage doesn’t have to happen, and by having the right caulks, sealants and hand tools, homeowners can easily do the job themselves and save on contractor costs. And, if moisture gets ahead of you, there are ways to repair the damage and prevent it from happening in the future. After winter, check windows, under door frames, gutter lines, concrete and other vulnerable areas that need sealing or patching. Very often, the simple act of sealing these areas with the right type of caulk can make a big difference in keeping out moisture. You need a caulk that has a tight seal, won’t sag or crack no matter the temperature and especially for outdoors, one that adheres well to any surface.”

No matter the season, moisture can put your home and valuables at risk, so don’t delay in taking preventative action or repairing damage where it starts. With innovative new technologies on the market, you can easily protect your home from nature’s wrath.

7 ‘little’ upgrades that can mean a lot to home buyers

October 7, 2016

Anyone who’s ever bought or sold a home knows how even little things can sway a buyer to feel a particular house is “just right.” While major features such as a good location, a big kitchen, and a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms all drive a home’s price and how attractive it is to buyers, small details like fresh paint and new faucets can also help clinch a sale.

When you’re trying to sell your home, you should be willing to spend some money on repairs and improvements to help boost the sale price. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot to make a big impact if you invest in key quality details. Here are seven “little things” you can do to help make your home more appealing to buyers, and possibly get a better price – and you can accomplish them in just a weekend:

Upgrade your kitchen faucet and sink – The kitchen faucet and sink aren’t just practical tools every kitchen needs – they can also be essential elements of a room’s overall design and appeal. Replacing a dated kitchen faucet is a minor change that can mean a lot to home buyers. Choose a pull-down, multi-function option. In addition to modern styling, you’ll get four spray functions and a convenient pause feature, the ability to set a preferred water temperature without re-adjusting the handle, and a water-conserving maximum flow rate of just 1.5 gallons per minute. Pair it with a double bowl stainless steel kitchen sink, and you’ve created a new focal point of design, efficiency and utility sure to catch buyers’ eyes.

Install a programmable thermostat – If your home’s thermostat predates Facebook, it’s probably time to ditch the dial and install a touch pad programmable thermostat. Not only would a new thermostat help your home look more modern, a programmable thermostat helps with energy efficiency – something that’s very important to today’s home buyers. Reducing your thermostat setting by just 7-10 degrees for eight hours a day can save you as much as 10 percent annually on energy bills. A programmable thermostat automates the savings for you!

Replace incandescent light bulbs – If your home still has traditional light bulbs, replacing them with energy-saving LEDs or CFLs is an easy way to improve your home’s overall energy efficiency. These bulbs use 25-80 percent less energy than conventional bulbs and last three to 25 times longer. Imagine the appeal for home buyers when your selling agent mentions that light bulbs won’t need replacing for years after moving in!

Upgrade the front door – Your home’s entrance is the feature that officially welcomes potential buyers into your humble abode. Replacing an old, weathered front door with a new one creates a positive first impression. What’s more, installing a steel entry door returns 90 percent of its value at the time of resale.

Put a water-efficient faucet in the bathroom – A great deal of water can be wasted in the bathroom, and the faucet can be one of the biggest culprits. Replacing an older bathroom faucet with a modern water-conserving option like one from the Townsend bathroom sink faucet collection is not only visually appealing for buyers, it also speaks to their sense of environmental responsibility. What’s more, upgrading to a faucet with handles, instead of a knob-style operation, allows for easier functionality for people with varying degrees of dexterity, from small children to senior citizens.

Add a water filtration system in the kitchen – People are more aware than ever of the quality of water inside their homes, so adding a filtration system can be an extra feature that appeals to home buyers. Simple under-sink filtration systems can cost as little as a couple hundred dollars.

Install a sun tube – Who doesn’t want a home filled with natural light? Not only does sunlight deliver physical and mental health benefits, using natural light can also help reduce dependence on artificial light sources that impact your energy bills. Sun tubes can bring natural light into dark spaces, even those on the ground floor.

When you’re selling a house, every little bit helps, and upgrading small details can make a big difference in how potential buyers view your home. Go ahead, make these upgrades now, and see potentially higher gains in the sale of your home.

6 home improvement trends to update your stale space

July 18, 2016

When you’re in the process of buying or building a home, you’re constantly researching trends and technology that will set your home apart. Fast forward a few years and you probably don’t have your finger on the pulse of home advancements like before.

It’s good you’ve settled in to your home, but a lot can change in just a handful of years. If you’re finally thinking about finishing the basement, updating the kitchen or investing in landscaping, there’s probably a lot of new processes and products available since you’ve last been in the market.

Get up to speed by learning about the top home improvement trends that are getting lots of attention in 2016:

Air quality
Homeowners are taking action to improve indoor air quality by choosing smart products like drywall boards that clean the air. Ideal when remodeling or finishing basements and bathrooms, these boards feature the industry’s first formaldehyde-absorbing technology. That means they actively remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air, converting them into a safe compound that improves indoor air quality. VOCs are prevalent in bathroom spaces due to personal hygiene products like hair spray and the use of cleaning chemicals.

Acid stained concrete
Homeowners are looking beyond concrete’s core strength and durability to discover its beauty when treated with acid staining techniques. Specialty stains are used to add stunning depth and color that closely mimics stone, including marble. Perfect for basements and patio spaces, concrete experts pour the slab and then after it has cured, return to apply the stain treatment. The result is completely customizable and often closely resembles upscale applications at a fraction of the cost.

Durable drywall
As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, homeowners need the option of mounting and remounting the newest televisions, speaker systems and other home electronics. By thoughtfully selecting drywall, you can say goodbye to anchors and stud finders for good.

MDF cabinets
Medium density fiberboard (MDF) is a high-grade, composite material that is used to create cabinetry for kitchens, bars and bathrooms. Made from wood fibers and resin, MDF is dried and pressed to create an incredibly durable material. Homeowners are choosing MDF cabinets because they do not expand and contract like solid wood, which means it better withstands seasonal changes in temperature and humidity.

Today’s approach to home design goes beyond appearances to look at how the spaces affect every one of the senses. Homeowners in particular are paying close attention to the acoustics of a home. Knowing how sounds can be manipulated and controlled within a house is important for functionality and livability. A professional can assist in the details of acoustics design, but basic features that best control sound are insulation, ceiling material and flooring design.

Smart spaces
High tech knows no bounds because more homes are incorporating smart spaces into each room. These are special areas where you can store and charge devices so that they are always operable. For example, a drawer in the kitchen will have built-in USB chargers. The cabinet in your master bath will hold and charge your tablet. The living room built-in will feature a smartphone dock. Personal technology continues to grow and today’s home is growing with it.

Turn your empty attic into new living space with 3 smart moves

June 11, 2016

When your family outgrows your home’s available space, moving to bigger digs isn’t always the best option. Maybe you really love your current home. Perhaps you can’t find a bigger home in your price range in the area of your choice. Whatever your reason for staying in place, expanding the home you already have can be a cost-effective option when your family needs more room.

Converting an unused attic into usable living area is a reliable, cost-effective way to gain more space in a home. It’s also a good investment; when you add an attic bedroom, you can expect to recoup about 77 percent of the construction cost when you resell the house.

Three time-tested techniques can help you turn an empty attic into the extra space you dream of:

1. Rely on natural light for beauty, visibility and cost savings.

Attics don’t usually have many windows, and adding them can be difficult if the ceiling is sloped. Adding dormers – a typical solution – can be costly and time-consuming, and eat up wall space that is often at a premium in attics.

Skylights or roof windows can be a better, more cost-effective way to bring natural light and fresh air into an attic. Installation is faster and cheaper than adding dormers, and they work well on slanted ceilings. Solar-powered, fresh-air skylights make it easy and affordable to bring natural light and fresh air into an attic space.

Add solar-powered blinds in designer colors and patterns, and the skylight becomes an even more valuable piece of the room’s overall decor. Solar-powered skylights close automatically in case of rain. They, and the blinds, are operated by programmable remote control, making it easy to adjust the amount of sunlight that enters the space.

2. Pay close attention to insulation.

In any home, the attic is often the hottest spot in the summer and the coldest in the winter. The amount and quality of insulation in the attic directly affects the comfort level in the space – and the overall energy efficiency of your home.

Have an insulation pro evaluate the insulation in your home’s attic before you begin planning your conversion. You may need to add insulation or even replace older, inefficient types – a move well worth the investment since insulation is so important to your home’s overall comfort and energy efficiency. Many insulation pros will recommend spray insulation for attics because it goes easily between existing joists. Plus, it can create a tight air barrier without losing the inches of space required for thick fiberglass batt insulation.

3. Get smart about plumbing.

If your attic conversion will incorporate a bathroom, good for you! Bathroom additions return more than 56 percent of your initial investment when you resell.

If pipes are already present in your attic, adding a bathroom can be simple. If no plumbing exists, consider cost-effective alternatives that will have less impact on the space, like up-flush plumbing. Because it fits into the kind of tight spaces that often occur in attics, up-flush plumbing can be an easy, cheaper way to plumb a sink, toilet or shower stall in an attic space.

Converting an unused attic into living area can be a great way to expand your space without moving. Plus, when you finally are ready to move one day, that attic renovation may end up paying for itself by boosting the sale price of your home.