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Fire damage cleanup costs anywhere from $800-$93,000. Kitchens used to be hidden-away work spaces, but today they’re rooms in which we spend huge amounts of time, even in period properties. Not only do they need to offer the preparation and cooking facilities that suit all the home’s occupants, but they must also be stylish space we want to enjoy being in. Often, they’re a zone in an open-plan kitchen diner and living space , so the kitchen’s decor must work harmoniously with dining and relaxing areas as well.

HOME improvements can be difficult decisions to make. Whether or not they’ll help sell your property is often a guessing game, but a recent survey has revealed the most profitable home improvements you can make, and could lose you money. A great way to make strong ROI on your home is to rent it out. Renting out an additional room or flat can be a great way to make money. You could get someone looking for a permanent spot, or rent out to travelers (as AirBnB does). Some people even pay their entire mortgage by doing this.

For some homeowners, home improvement isn’t about return on investment; it’s simply about making dreams come true. Architect Steve Straughan recently finished work on a $250,000 home theater room with a 12-foot wide screen and an elaborate sound system. “There’s not a home we’re doing that doesn’t have a home theater,” Straughan says. “It’s a common request across the board and typically it’s a big investment.” Most home theaters involve wiring speakers into walls and extensive built-in cabinetry, as well as soundproofing-“it’s not something you can take with you” if you move, Straughan points out. Still, a home theater is likely to have broad appeal, so you may recoup a large chunk of your costs at resale. “A home theater makes sense,” says realtor Ron Phipps. “A six-car garage does not make sense.” In the high-end L.A. market, Straughan also sees demand for wine cellars, massage rooms and yoga rooms.

Personal preference projects are nifty items that you want but that other people may not like or be willing to pay to get. In most areas of the country, these include amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, hot tubs, wine cellars, basement game rooms and ponds. Believe it or not, a swimming pool rarely adds value to a home in this day and age. First of all, it usually costs a small fortune to have an in-ground pool installed. Secondly, many homebuyers view a pool as a high-maintenance hassle and safety hazard – and for something that’s useable only a few months out of the year (unless you live in a tropical climate, of course).

Today’s home improvement trends show that we like our houses to work harder and smarter for the money we spend maintaining and improving their no longer want bigger; instead, we want space that’s flexible, efficient, and brings order to chaos. AFTER: Once the tub was replaced, cool grey paint was added ot the walls and the homeowner’s grandmother’s desk was repurposed into a sleek bathroom cabinet. Updated fixtures and a vessel sink are the final modern touches that polish off the space.