Top Five Improvements for Americans Remodeling, Not Moving

Americans are staying put and upgrading their homes rather than moving, a trend reflecting the oversupply of the nation’s housing, according to Ron James of Green Builder Media (GreenBuilder Gatekeeper, Oct. 30, 2009).  Citing a recent Census Bureau Quarterly Vacancy Survey, James said there is an “immense need to upgrade, update, and improve the performance of our existing residential building stock.”

Big Canoe homeowners are updating their current homes to be more livable, energy-efficient, and comfortable, according to David Peagler of Peagler Custom Homes.  “Clients are upgrading kitchens and bathrooms and adding more entertaining space to their current homes,” says Peagler.  “People are making long-term improvements to homes they expect to live in for the next five to ten years.”

Here are the top five home improvements that provide both immediate impact and long-term benefits for resale once the economy improves:

  1. Kitchen.  Change out dated and worn countertops for granite and quartz to update your home.  Replace broken cabinets or reface door fronts for a more affordable alternative.
  2. Bathrooms.  Install ergonomic 36” vanities that require less bending to use and provide more storage space.
  3. Screen Porch.  Extend outdoor living space by installing a rustproof stainless steel fireplace.  Wire your screen porch for cable and electricity so you can add a flat-screen television to enjoy football and baseball seasons from your porch.
  4. Deck.  Entertain family and friends with an outdoor kitchen. Connect your built-in outdoor grill to your home’s existing gas line to avoid the hassle of refilling portable propane tanks.
  5. Terrace Level.  Add value and living space by finishing your terrace level.  Create a guest suite by adding a bedroom and bath, or create a home office for working from home.  Big wedding or anniversary party coming up?  Don’t spend thousands on an expensive rental facility; instead, invest in your home, host an at-home wedding and reception or 50th anniversary party, then enjoy the benefits of your new space long after.

David Peagler is owner of Peagler Custom Homes in Big Canoe.  He is a licensed member of the Greater Atlanta Homebuilders Association, a certified Green Builder, and a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist.  His website is and his phone is 706-268-1563.