6 Trends That Increase The Value of Your Home

Contributed by Susan Mackey

Let’s start with the good news: The real estate market in Connecticut is heating up. Home values bottomed out in 2012 and 2013, but they’ve been climbing since. If you’re looking to increase the value of your home, and if you make a few improvements, you’re more likely to see some return on the investment. Here are six trends that increase the value of your Connecticut home.

Shut the Front Door

Your front door is what makes the first impression on a potential buyer, whether they show up at an open house or they are just driving by. You likely still have the front door that was on the house when you moved in, so a new front door is a cost-efficient update that will increase the value. You can spend anywhere from $150 to thousands of dollars on a new door. Before you spend the cash, make sure the door complements the rest of the house and that it’s similar to doors on homes in your price range. You may also consider painting your existing door. If so, black is trending right now and can increase the price of your home by as much as $6,000.


Don’t Let Your Window Panes Hurt

Old, drafty windows will decrease your home’s value right away. To a buyer, all they see is work that needs to be done or high energy bills. Don’t give prospective buyers a good reason to lowball you. If your windows are original to the house, you should consider replacement windows. New windows — although they can get pricey — can match that new front door for a completely updated look.

The Envy of the Neighborhood

Even if you don’t win “Lawn of the Month” prizes, the time to keep your yard in tip-top shape is when your home is on the market. Take a hard look at your lawn. Is it brown? Untrimmed? Full of weeds? Or is the grass struggling to grow? Don’t put off hiring mowing, weeding and fertilizing. You can hire a professional, or pick up some weed and feed at a local gardening store. Make sure you prune the trees and shrubs. You won’t regret it at closing.

Light It Up

Combine wellness trends with home improvement trends and you’ve got circadian rhythm lighting. The idea is to limit the impact of artificial lighting on the people who live in the home. It combines warmer lights (no more ghastly white LED bulbs!) with home automation to more closely match the lighting found in nature. If that sounds like too much of a project, consider changing all your interior light bulbs to a warmer, natural light color. Brighter light makes people feel more positive, so improving the light inside your home can help leave buyers with a good impression.

Clean Up the Kitchen

Your bathrooms and your kitchen can make or break an offer on your home. You don’t have to go crazy updating your kitchen to bring in a sale. You can spend just a few hundred dollars repainting the walls to a more buyer-friendly color. Update the hardware on the kitchen cabinets to give the space an updated feel. Or you can spend thousands on quartz or marble countertops and new stainless steel appliances.

Smart Technology

Buyers want to see high tech upgrades, such as remote control thermostats and doorbell video cameras. You probably won’t get a big return on investment if you go overboard by installing an expensive audio-visual system for the house. But high tech upgrades that save money or time, or those that increase security, add interest to your home. A Ring or Nest doorbell camera costs just a few hundred dollars. A programmable thermostat you can control from your phone isn’t expensive either.

You don’t have to go overboard to increase your home’s value in the current upward trend in real estate in Connecticut. Bigger improvements are always a selling point, but they’re not always going to bring in bigger offers. Think about what would make you fall in love with a home, and what would make you increase your offer. Let common sense — and your bank account — be your guide.

Susan Mackey is an interior designer and home stager as well as a freelance writer who focuses on the latest home fashion trends. She loves taking older homes and turning them into the envy of the neighborhood.

The Benefits of Sliding Doors

The versatility of sliding doors is what makes them a hot item for many homeowners. They are a great feature for any home, and add simply beauty. Here are the top three reasons they are such a requested item:




The problem with many doors is that they are not a good source of natural light. Many doors do not even have a window, or if they do, it is a very small window. A sliding door is made of glass and provides enough natural light to a room to not require a traditional fluorescent light. You can replace an old solid door with a sliding door, and you will see a drastic change in the amount of light you receive in your home.


Better Outdoor Views


The beauty of sliding doors is that they can give you a really great view of your yard. A solid door prohibits the wide view that you will only get from a sliding door. This will create both a beautiful interior and exterior space. You can enjoy the outdoor views from glistening snow to sunny weather, without having to step foot outside.


Space Management


Because this is a visual feature, this aspect of sliding doors is often overlooked. Sliding doors do not need room to open, which is a huge plus when trying to save space. Swinging doors will require space and also caution to not place objects behind the door. With sliding doors, you have space for decorative objects, furniture and plants without having to worry. When dealing with tight spaces, sliding doors are always the best option.

Getting new doors for your home is an investment, but it is important to make that investment count. By adding doors that not only provide beauty but also add light and save space, you are looking at a door that will stay beautiful for decades to come. Contact us today to get to see a list of doors we offer to make your home investment count!

How to Profit from Home Renovations

What Gets the Best Return on Renovations to Your Home?

Surprise! Renovating the exterior will get you a bigger return on your investment when it comes to home improvement project. Sure, it may not be as satisfying as remodeling the spare room, or redesigning the kitchen, but people take notice from the outside.

SignetWhat Type of Return Can I Expect?

For siding repairs, according to Remodeling Magazine, vinyl siding jobs on average cost about $12,528, and come with an 80 percent return rate. That’s a high percentage rate, and something not to pass up! But since investing on the exterior is one of the best investments for your money, you are probably wondering what is the worst investment?

What is the Worst Home Improvement Investment?

An investment with the least rate of return would be home remodeling. The worst way to spend your money would be to remodel a home office. From Remodeling Magazine, the average cost of this job would be $28,094, with only a small return rate of about 54.6 percent.

It’s probably more visually satisfying to have a shiny new office, or a newly furnished living room, since you can get everyday pleasure from these improvements. A new furnace, roofing or siding project may cost more money, but the good news is that these more expensive improvements do not go unnoticed and have a great resale!

Cedar Siding is a Connecticut Favorite


Cedar siding has gained popularity in CT, and is a top choice for homeowners across the country. People often choose this option for its style and durability. Cedar will give your home the warm look without much effort on your part. One of the greatest aspects to cedar is that it is eco-friendly, renewable and biodegradable. The upkeep is minimal, with little processing or treatment required.


The maintenance to cedar is ideal because it could last decades without much work put into it.  It needs to be treated when you first install it, and then refinished or repainted every 5 years. This will prevent the Cedar from aging and having a ‘rustic’ look. The color options for cedar are red or white, and the different patterns include rough cut, tongue and groove, board and batten and bevel. The look of cedar is an added bonus because it will blend in with almost all backgrounds. Inspections for insects are only twice a year to rule out any damage done to the wood, and the material does not warp or cut easily. Among all types of wood, cedar is the most resistant to rot, mold, mildew, fungi and bacteria.


cedar-sidingSo why is cedar such a popular look in CT? Is it because it provides your home with a beautiful exterior and warmth that you can’t find with other materials? Is it the low maintenance that gives the owners a peace of mind that they settled with the right choice? Or is it the lack of guilt that homeowners will feel when they learned their purchase was for the better of the environment?

Check out our cedar siding today to learn why people in CT are once again excited about their homes!