Q: I’m beginning a home remodel project, and I want it to reflect my vision and taste while maximizing value and enjoyment of the space. What are some considerations to keep in mind to ensure a successful renovation?

A: As homeowners continue to invest more in remodeling and home improvements than ever before, spending on home renovations has surged, and experts predict that trend will continue.

Let’s look at three key elements of successful home improvement to consider during your next project.

1. Stay true to the original character

Sometimes during extensive home renovations, the original character of the home gets lost. Experts say this approach can make the home appear disjointed and out of place, so staying true to a home’s origins should be a primary objective for successful design-build teams.

“The vision for the remodels our firm undertakes is to capture the essence of the home’s current era, without taking away from its original beauty and charm,” says Joseph Irons, president of Irons Brothers Construction in Seattle. “When remodeling homes in north Seattle and Shoreline, our design team aims to keep most of the original architectural elements of the home, while enhancing and modernizing its functionality for the homeowner.”  

2. Optimize natural light

The right amount of illumination can make or break a room. In 2020, the America at Home study surveyed nearly 7,000 consumers nationwide to better understand how their home-design preferences may have changed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The study confirmed that one of the top needs for homeowners is abundant natural light.  More light in your home isn’t always better — the key is determining the size and placement of the windows based on a home’s layout. Different angles of light at different times of the day will add character and balance to the space.

3. Connect with the outdoors

Especially for those who spend most of their days indoors, creating a connection to the outdoors has become increasingly valuable. In fact, according to a recent study by the National Association of Home Builders, 78% of home buyers consider a patio to be either “desirable” or “essential.” As a result, builder data shows that the percentage of new single-family homes with patios rose to 63% last year.

Irons says demand for outdoor living space is especially high among millennials, many of whom indicated a specific interest in porches. “People want to be outdoors, and covered structures can get them at least two to three more months of extended living space outside [in the Seattle area],” he says.

But not just any outdoor space will do, as most consumers say they strongly prefer “multifunctional” patios over “open yard” designs. For homeowners who want to make that ideal, multifunctional space, design professionals suggest creating multilevel terraces, sunken patios or outdoor kitchen-living rooms.

No matter what your home improvement needs are, it is always best to enlist the expertise of a professional remodeler to help guide you through the process. To find a professional remodeler in your area, visit mbaks.com for a directory of licensed home remodelers.

For more renovation inspiration, mark your calendars to tour a home virtually or in person on the Remodeled Homes Tour on Oct. 22.

Melissa Irons is the marketing and operations manager for Irons Brothers Construction Inc. and is a member of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS). If you have a home improvement, remodeling or residential homebuilding question you’d like answered by one of the MBAKS’s more than 2,600 members, write to homework@mbaks.com.