Wants vs. Needs: A Look at Prioritizing Home Renovations

Our clients, Robin and James,* have lived in their large, 90-year-old stone single home for 20+ years. They are now in their 40s, and have raised two active boys. James runs daily in the neighboring wooded parkland. The kids are active in hockey, tennis, and do well in school. In fact, they are preparing to head off to college in the next few years. The college fund is paid up, and it’s time for Robin and James to plan ahead for their own needs and enjoyment.

Part of that planning includes renovating their home to maintain or enhance its value. It’s a very well built, handsome home so they want to renovate carefully. The changes they make to their home need to be seamless to the style of the house, and they should be very long lasting. Robin and James want to be able to enjoy the improvements they make to the house while they continue to live in it. And they want the future buyers of the home to appreciate the improvements, as well, even if that is 20 years from now.

The couple decided to begin with practical renovations, so they added air conditioning and a new, energy-efficient heating system to the home.

After that practical home improvement came some luxury, in the form of a master bathroom. Robin and James were tired of walking down the hall to use the main bathroom on the bedroom level of the home. They wanted more privacy for themselves since the boys were old enough now to need privacy too. Their sons benefited, as well, since after the master suite bath was added, they had the hall bathroom for their own use. Overall, the house was more valuable since the new renovations enhanced its quality and value.

In the process of the master bathroom renovation, the two other bathrooms in the house were also updated with long-lasting classic components and completely new wiring and plumbing. The old home’s lighting was updated, along with the electrical wiring and plumbing.

The couple is now planning other future improvements, which include the renovations of the 1960s kitchen that was built by a former owner with a very different style from their own. They want to have a large kitchen that will welcome friends and family to gather within it, since they both enjoy cooking and entertaining.

Having a long-term, workable plan that incorporates both the wants and needs of this couple will guide us as we work with these clients in the future.

*Names have been changed to protect our clients’ identities