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Tips and tricks for Condo and Villa Renovations.

Tips and tricks for Condo and Villa Renovations.This may be a good time to consider investing in an outdated condo or what we like to call villas in the Lowcountry. Many of these available condos are in need of major updating or remodeling and have been neglected since the ’70s or ’80s. Once you have completed the very important inspection of the basic plumbing, electrical and structural conditions, you will be ready to start creating a desirable living space.

The first question you will want to answer is, “Do you plan to rent this condo to vacationers, or will it be someone’s home?” You may even plan to sell the unit after completing the renovations. If you do a little research of your neighborhood, it will become evident as to what type of use this condo will have and how you should approach your remodeling. If it is for weekly rental, you will want to make sure all products installed are a quality that can endure this type of use. How this condo is used may also affect the décor, colors and style you plan to incorporate into the project.

EVALUATION

Most older condos are going to need some very basic remodeling and you will want to make a careful evaluation of your unit. Look first at the layout to see if it flows well and has the open floor plan that is preferred by most homeowners. You may want to open the kitchen more to the living area if it is closed off from that space. This is often a simple renovation and requires the removal of a half wall or entire wall. If you decide to make a structural change, you will need to have an architect’s advice and guidance to make sure it is safe and will meet all the local requirements and building codes.

As you inspect the condition of your condo, consider updating flooring to include wood and ceramic tile. These are quality products that all renters and homeowners appreciate and notice when comparing your property to others. Developers and renovation experts are also seeing a trend to use more color for walls and in other improvements to include cabinets and countertops.

In other words, the use of white and light beige is not the current choice as seen in the past. Most renovated units are being painted deeper shades such as golden tones, Khaki and Sage green. As you make this selection, think about asking an interior designer for guidance to make finish selections and to achieve a modern coordinated look.

SPARKLING KITCHEN AND BATHS

Kitchens and baths are two areas of any home that often require updating and renovation, but owners will be pleased to know remodeling these areas adds the most to the value of a property and can be an excellent investment. An outdated kitchen can be the downfall to attracting potential rentals or buyers. If the cabinets are worn, scratched and falling off the hinges, obviously you will want to replace them. Maybe the color is atrocious or the hardware is outdated. If a simple paint job and new hardware will make the cabinets come back to life, by all means, give it a try. But there are other alternatives, such as resurfacing the sides and adding new doors with attractive hardware. You can also consider in-stock cabinets available at home improvement stores. If your budget allows new cabinets, there are numerous companies that offer reasonable prices for semi-custom kitchens.

Make sure all appliances match and are not outdated. Front panels can be ordered in matching finishes, such as stainless, black or white to create a matched look. Granite or solid surface countertops are important finishing touches to consider for the kitchen. This is a practical, long-lasting product that adds a high-end look to any kitchen and is worth the extra cost. Don’t overlook lighting because if it has not been updated recently, it will be obvious once the renovation is complete. Great looking light fixtures can be found at local home improvement stores or lighting showrooms at reasonable prices.

How far your bathroom renovations may go will depend on your budget. Look at the fixtures and if they are just scratched and stained, consider having them reglazed to save some expense. But if the age and condition is in need of replacement then make sure you install new tubs and sinks. Stylish faucets will give the bathrooms an updated look and generally are in need of replacement every 5 to 10 years. Older condo baths were often designed with white on white color schemes. You may be able to use the current tile floor but, if it is vinyl, consider replacing it with large ceramic tile in softer, natural stone look. It not only will give a fresh modern look to the bath but will also open up the space. It is advisable to remove wallpaper that was very popular in the past and opt for a faux finish or an interesting color.

Explore the world of neglected villas or condos in your area and, with careful choices and renovations, you can transform a sad condo into a warm, irresistible home or vacation retreat.