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When people hear “bucket list,” they automatically think of the places in the world they’d like to experience. While you can travel to make memories, home is where the heart is and where you spend the majority of your time. Why not make it the sanctuary you’ve always dreamed of?
That’s why we propose this bucket list for your home – the best home improvement ideas you have always wanted to do but never took the plunge. And maybe now you should!
1. Install an outdoor kitchen
An outdoor kitchen is one of those must-haves for the foodie homeowners. Here, you can cook without worrying about losing the energy efficiency of your home. Clean up is generally easier, and cooking outdoors also keeps harmful particulates out of your indoor air.
Many outdoor kitchens also come with built-in grills or a BBQ island. Some even have a pizza oven, and these outdoor living spaces are a great place to entertain with a seating area for those warm, summer nights.
Of course, you’ll need to speak with an outdoor kitchen designer first to make sure your space is weatherized and ready to stand against the elements.
On a budget for an outdoor living space upgrade? We’ve got 7 Awesome Backyard Upgrades That Will Totally Make Your Summer.
2. Create the primary bedroom of your dreams
Maybe you’ve always shared the bathroom with the kids and now you want one that’s just for you? Or perhaps you want to upgrade your current bathroom into a spa-like experience? Maybe you’re looking for a lovely seating area with a gas fireplace or a set of French doors leading to a patio or backyard?
Finally create a space that’s all your own, and though some of the more outlandish additions may not add as much value to your home as you may like, Remodeling Magazine estimates homeowners recoup 63% of the costs from adding this bucket list item.
Learn which home improvement projects get you the most bang for your buck in Top 10 Home Improvements That Add Value.
3. Add a mancave or she-shed
Now, we’re not for giving the man in your life the furnished basement and the woman in your life the backyard storage room, but a place of your own may be one of your priorities. This is especially important for homeowners with hobbies. If you collect comic books, play video or board games, love the sew, or enjoy LEGO bricks, you may need a place to enjoy your stuff – or even just to store it. (Storage facilities can be expensive!)
4. Complete an entire kitchen redesign
This idea came straight from our very own VP of Ecosystem Development! Instead of going for a quick remodel – new appliances, a fresh coat of paint, and maybe new countertops – finally make your kitchen the gourmet one you’ve always dreamed about.
Enjoy that kitchen island with Sharker-style bar stools or give your space a farmhouse feel with natural materials and elegant kitchen cabinets. Maybe add a walk-in pantry, your favorite paint color, and incredible stainless-steel appliances, like multiple warming drawers and a professional-grade range.
Whatever style and space you’ve admired on your favorite remodeling shows, now’s the time to create it in your own home. Browse different kitchen features, so you’re ready to talk to your contractor and/or make it your next DIY project.
5. Carve out your own wine cellar
We’re not talking about Oprah’s famous wine mine in her home in Telluride, complete with a mining car that takes guests to a local ski trail, but a wine cellar is certainly one of the cool home improvement ideas. Some homes create a wine cellar under their stairs (move over, Harry Potter!) with enough room for a dozen bottles of the family’s finest merlot.
You might even want to add a wet bar next to your cellar, so you’re ready to entertain your favorite people as soon as you pop the cork.
6. Enclose your front, side, or back porch
One of the simpler bucket list ideas! Imagine stepping onto your front porch, enclosed with large windows and skylights that showcase the turning leaves, coupled with a farmhouse table surrounded by those you love. It sounds like the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, but maybe you’d like to make your sunroom a sitting area! There, you can enjoy your favorite book or a glass of wine (from your new wine cellar, of course).
Get inspired by browsing furniture for your new sunroom now!
7. Stretch out in newly expanded spaces
Sometimes, your current space just isn’t enough. Finish your basement or add an apartment or home office over the garage. You may even want to consider adding a dormer or a second story to your home.
8. Upgrade your outdoor living space with a pool
On a hot summer day, sometimes you just want to take a cool dip in a pool, but then you might have to go to the neighborhood pool, a local gym, or a hotel. If you had your own pool, you’d just have to walk outside. You can also customize your pool with a slide, waterfall, or even a tanning shelf with loungers.
Before you put in your pool, make sure to talk to the pros about the saltwater route. Saltwater pools are generally gentler on the skin, eyes, hair etc. since they don’t rely upon chlorine. Of course, the salt can erode your pool’s mechanisms quicker, and saltwater pools do not work in temperatures below 60 degrees.
Learn more about saltwater pools (and chlorine conversions!) in Swimming Pool Care Tips You Might Not Know (but You Should).
9. Enjoy movies from your own home theatre
With most movies being released onto streaming services the same day as theatres, you may want to create a theater-like environment in your own home. Find a nice area to add a larger-than-life flat screen TV or go all-out with projector and screen. Furnish with comfort recliners or go for authentic seating with cup holders, similar to those dine-in theatre experiences.
Not sure who to call for this? There are actual home theatre professionals!
10. Give yourself a spa-like experience
While you could certainly add a sauna to your home for as little as $1,500, a total spa-like experience with a redesigned bathroom might be on your bucket list at home. There are so many indulgent options for your bathroom redesign – heated floors and towel bars, glass showers with rainshower shower heads, clawed or whirlpool tubs, shimmering chandeliers, and a skylight.
Some of these solutions are easy to install yourself, though you may need to contact a bathroom remodeling professional for some of the lavish extras. But once it’s done, you can finally enjoy your bathroom the way you were meant to.
Not everyone is able to have a driving range on their balcony (looking at you, Tiger), but there are some great items to include on a bucket list for your home. Have you ever considered:
- A walk-in closet that rivals the size of your bedroom.
- A true outdoor living space with a firepit, that aforementioned outdoor kitchen, and a stunning pool.
- A top-of-the-line gym with state-of-the-art equipment.
- A decked-out deck with pergolas, built-in benches, and TVs.
- A hot tub for your patio (or even your pool!).
- An elevator (for homeowners with accessible needs).
- A bowling alley (similar to the White House).
- A tennis court to work on your backhand.
Not sure when is the right time to make a bucket list for your home? We suggest when you’re buying your “forever” home. When you’re in the place you want to be for the rest of your life, it’s time to make it your own.
Start by making a list of the home improvement projects you need to do (for safety reasons) and then a list of the dream home projects you want to do. Once you have that down, then you can decide when you want (or can) tackle them.
While you may be looking to upgrade your home –
You always need to take care of it, and the vipHomeLink home management app can help! Our personalized reminders for home maintenance can help you know what to do and when to do it around your new home. Our tailored recommendations can help improve your home, and our Money Meter can show you how much value you’ve added to your home – simply by taking care of it (or after adding a few upgrades)!
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