Whether you’re prepping your B&B to go on the market or looking for ways to maximize its long-term appreciation, these nine improvement projects are great ways to add function, beauty, and real value to your inn.
The best part is, once you’ve secured the materials, most of these renovations can be completed in a few days. And many don’t require a lot of specialized skills or experience. So get ready to boost your inn’s appeal AND investment potential!
Spruce Up Your Landscaping
Landscaping improvements can increase a place’s value by 10-12%. But which outdoor features do buyers care about most? According to a survey of Realtors, a healthy lawn is at the top of their list. If your lawn is lacking, overseeding or laying new sod can be a worthwhile investment.
Planting flowers is another great way to enhance your home’s curb appeal. And if you choose a perennial variety, your blooms should return year after year. For an even longer-term impact, consider planting a tree. According to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, a mature tree can add up to $10,000 to the value of your home.
Clean the Exterior
When it comes to making your inn shine, a sparkling facade can be just as important as a clean interior. Real estate professional estimate that washing the outside of a home can add as much as $15,000 to its sale price.
A rented pressure washer from your local home improvement store can help you remove built-up dirt and grime from your home’s exterior, walkway, and driveway. Just be sure to read the instructions carefully—and only use it on surfaces that can withstand the intensity. When in doubt, a scrub brush and bucket of sudsy water will often do the trick.
Add a Fresh Coat of Paint
New paint can have a big impact on both the appearance and value of a structure. In fact, it’s one of the most effective ways to revitalize a home’s exterior, update its interior, and make it appear larger and brighter. The best part? Painting is relatively easy and inexpensive.
To get the maximum return at resale, stick with a modern but neutral color palette that will appeal to a broad range of buyers. However, it’s important to consider a property’s architecture, existing fixtures, and regional design preferences, as well.
Moreover, neutral colors may not be the right choice for historic B&B properties. This is according to "The Decorologist", Kristie Barnett, who is an award-winning expert in Residential Paint Color, Home Staging, & Decoration. She wrote an insightful blog post titled, "Neutral Paint Colors for Historic Homes? No Way!"
Install Smart Home Technology
In a recent survey, 78% of real estate professionals said their buyer clients were willing to pay more for a home with smart technology features. The most requested smart devices include Thermostats (77%), smoke detectors (75%), and security cameras (66%).
The good news is, many of these gadgets are fairly easy to install. And some of them, including smart thermostats and light bulbs, will pay for themselves over time by making your inn more energy efficient. In fact, many manufacturers report that smart thermostats can cut back on heating and cooling costs by 10-20%.
Modernize Your Window Treatments
Smart—or motorized—blinds are also growing in popularity, and several manufacturers make models you can order and install on your own. But they’re not the only way to modernize your window treatments.
If you have old aluminum blinds, consider replacing them with plantation shutters, which are energy efficient, durable, and have strong buyer appeal. Roman and roller shades are another stylish alternative, and they come in a variety of colors and fabrics, which you can personalize to meet your design and privacy preferences.
Fortunately, upgrading your blinds has gotten easier and less expensive in recent years. There are a number of retailers that specialize in affordable window coverings that are simple to measure and hang yourself.
Replace Outdated Fixtures
Drastically transform the look and feel of your home by swapping out dingy and dated fixtures for contemporary alternatives. Start by assessing your current light fixtures, faucets, cabinet hardware, door knobs, and even switch plates. Then prioritize replacing those that are particularly outdated or in highly-visible areas, such as your entryway or common areas of your inn.
Upgrade Your Bathroom Mirrors
Minor bathroom remodels offers one of the best returns on investment, with a $1.71 increase in value for every $1 you spend. We’ve already explored several improvements you can make to your bathroom: new paint, fixtures, and hardware. Now complete the look by upgrading your vanity’s mirror.
Before you purchase any new mirrors, examine your existing one to see how it is attached to the wall. Some vanity mirrors are glued to the wall and difficult to remove without shattering the glass or damaging the sheetrock behind it.
If you prefer to keep your existing mirrors, you can paint the frame—or add one if it’s currently frameless. There are several online retailers that will send you the frame components cut to your specifications, which you can assemble and mount yourself. Much like a work of art, your vanity mirror serves as a focal point for your bathrooms, so let your creativity shine through!
Shampoo Your Carpets
Carpet is notorious for trapping dust, dirt, and allergens. It’s one of the reasons that most buyers prefer hard surface flooring. But if you love your carpet, or you’re not ready to invest in an alternative, make an effort to keep it clean and odor-free.
To properly maintain your carpet, you should vacuum it regularly. Experts also recommend a deep shampoo at least every two years (this is needed more often for inns who get high foot traffic). Fortunately, this is a relatively low-cost and simple project.
Transform an Unused Space
There may be unused square footage that you are not taking advantage of. This can be found in basements, attics, and bonus areas. It is much less expensive to make the most of that (rather than adding more floor space to your inn). Its use depends on the size of the space and the expected return on your investment (ROI). For example, your unused space can be made into a common reading area, an additional guest room, or even a game room.
GET A COMPLIMENTARY ANALYSIS OF YOUR PROJECT
We’ve been talking averages. But the truth is, the actual impact of a B&B improvement project will vary depending on your particular inn and area. Before you get started, contact B&B Consulting to schedule a free consultation. We can help you determine which upgrades to your inn will offer the greatest return on your effort and investment.