Staging Your Home with Renovations – Basement(s) and Exterior

These past few weeks I have presented various article surrounding our home buying and selling experiences.  In these articles we show there are numerous considerations and strategies to buying a home, selling your house quickly and even presented 34 house staging tips. More recently I have been a bit more anecdotal in describing how you by staging your home with renovations a little sweat and elbow grease can go a far way.  By embarking on this strategy we got a 461% return on investment (ROI).  Today I will discuss staging your home with renovations you can make to basement areas and the exterior of your home.

As mentioned we had two basements in our last house. One basement (unfinished) was under the 100 year old part of the house and the other basement (finished) was under the addition to the century home and was about 20 years old.  Neither basement was walkable to the other which was odd but the one thing both shared: they needed work.

The “old” basement had not been maintained for years even before I bought the house and it’s condition worsened over the years I owned the house.  Yes, I neglected it mainly because it held little function for us aside from containing our furnace, the cat litter, our freezer and housing some storage space.  The “tile” ceiling was coming down in a number of spots so I spent one evening drilling it back into place.  Additionally the painted concrete floor was faded and multi-coloured so we used the rest of the porch paint we used on the main staircase and Mrs. SPF painted the entire floor!  Neither of these projects have great ROI but when you are staging your home you really want to eliminate “issues” and this work did just that.

The “new” basement was actually a pretty nice space.  It had a gas fireplace (handy for an underground room), some great brickwork (it used to have a wood stove), great closet spaces and a 3 piece bathroom.  I actually rented the room when I first moved in to bring in extra income.  Thing is, the room had been the same awful lilac colour that was painted through the kitchen and dining room.  So that got painted years earlier by my then tenant, but it needed to be touched up as she had missed a number of spots.  This space was another area where I had unfinished projects to complete which I feel is key when staging your home.  I had built a wall and installed a door for when we had a tenant but I had never gotten around to finishing the trim.  So I stained the trim and my friend Jim made quick work of installing the trim.

staging your house - basement

Den – Before

House Staging - Basement

Den – After

The floor in the den was covered with an ugly brown carpet that was worn and buckling in some areas.  It has to go as we were buying a home and knew that selling your house quickly was a must as we were likely going to carry two houses at once.  I discussed the floor I laid in staging your home with renovations on the 2nd floor.  The den was my testing ground for laying the flooring and boy oh boy did I ever learn a lot!  Through trial and error I figured out a lot of tips and tricks but did so in a space that would likely be the last room visited by a buyer.  I got used to using the tools and managing distances and such.

The bathroom had a big no-no when it comes to staging your home: carpet in a bathroom.  I do not know what possessed anyone to put carpet in a bathroom but it had to go.  We rarely used this bathroom and didn’t feel a need to make the change while we lived there but now was the time to tile the bathroom.  Jim suggested we use peel and stick tile for a few reasons.  First, on a concrete floor it is less cool to the touch – important in Canadian winters.  Second, the tile looks pretty “real” these days – especially if you lay it like you would porcelain tile with spacers and grout (which Mrs. SPF did!).  Third, ease of installation.  The floor looked pretty great when it was done.  Mrs. SPF also painted the vanity and mirror the same colour (a nice yellow) as she had painted the bathroom months earlier.  Lastly, part of staging your home means clean bathrooms.  The shower stall tile grout had become permanently dirty and trust me, we scrubbed it a lot.  Mrs. SPF’s Mom told us about a grout paint so we used that to spruce up the shower.  Jim also helped secure the toilet as I hadn’t yet  installed a toilet.

Buying a Home - Our Old House

Our Old House

We did not neglect the exterior of the house when we were staging the house with renovations.  The first thing people see and evaluate when buying a home is the exterior so we felt it was critical to make the exterior pristine and void of issues when staging your home.  Jim and I did a lot of this work with a little help from my brother-in-law.  Jim who is a master painter helped us paint the exterior of the 2nd storey of the garage and the higher parts of the porch trim that we couldn’t reach.  Mrs. SPF and I painted the rest of the porch and the lower half of the garage.  The entry door to the garage was peeling away so I stripped and painted it.  I also painted the garage door and even the exterior motions sensor. Lastly I painted the base of the window trim as well.  Everything that was white got re-painted as it was peeling horribly.

The exterior doors were in OK shape but looked really sharp after I painted them.  They were looking old and weren’t the same colour.  We had bought a ton of beige paint so the doors became beige as well.  When you are staging your home neutral colours rule supreme and beige is as neutral as it gets!

Our real estate agent suggested that we should replace our rusting mailbox.  As our mailbox also had the house numbers on it I bought and installed new more prominent numbers on the freshly painted porch.  The mailbox we purchased was not the same style as the old one so I got to use my hammer drill to create new anchors in the brick exterior.

The final piece of work we felt important to do when staging your home with renovations was to fix the railing on the front porch.  Large portions of the railing had rotted out to the point we couldn’t salvage it so my brother-in-law cut all of the replacement pieces for us and we once again painted the railing!

So that is everything folks.  We did a ton of house staging renovations which we truly believe helped make our house more sell-able.  Have you done reno’s on your house lately to try to sell your house?

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