Reasons to remodel are as varied as individual homeowners are. You may be a recent empty-nester, have a growing family, or simply have a hopelessly outdated kitchen or bath. Remodeling can make your home more functional, comfortable and more of a fit for your current lifestyle.

Replacing cabinets, fixtures, repainting and installing new countertops help to update your home. The overall color scheme may be long past it’s “use by” date; a slight change in the color scheme can make a huge difference.

While things are disrupted and torn up, it would be wise to improve the home’s energy efficiency; choose more efficient appliances, both for water, electricity and heating cost savings. New windows can reduce energy loss in the winter, and reduce cooling costs in the summer.

Adding or improving a deck will pay off next summer when you can entertain outdoors in your expanded living space.

Remodeling the kitchen will provide benefits year-round as you enjoy a more efficient work space, perhaps including opening up the kitchen to the dining and living areas. People like to gather in the kitchen; including islands with seating area allows conversation during meal preparation and a cozy atmosphere.

Be sure to include bath updates in your remodel plans. These are hardworking areas that need repair and replacement of fixtures, paint and materials probably more often than any other part of the home.

Don’t forget to ask your contractor about possibly adding some aging-in-place or universal design features to any portion of your home that you will have remodeled. This is especially beneficial in bath remodels, as the frequently wet surfaces are more prone to causing accidents. Whether you could use this yourself or may have family or friends who do, it is a growing trend to include these features in remodels.

open kitchen, custom cabinets