RANCH HOUSE or colonial, a man’s / woman’s home is his / her “castle” — but sometimes even castles need improvements. Just ask Michael Dubb, chairman of the board of the Long Island Builders Institute. Whether you’re investing time and money to sell your home or just enjoy a better lifestyle, here are some of Dubb’s Top Ten Tips on making it a better place to live: — Kitchens are crucial, Dubbs says, “particularly for the head of household: “In kitchens, new cabinetry means a great deal. It often sells a house.” Other touches: An island to yield bonus space, a microwave that is built-in, and good flooring. “It is important to have a floor that doesn’t look old and worn. ” Good ceramic or vinyl tiles for instance. — Rethink and maybe redo your bathroom. Larger ones increase the value of a home. Consider expanding and adding a whirlpool, Jacuzzi or one of those popular new skylights. Here too, a quality ceramic tile is important. (These days the larger six-by-six-inch ones are desirable.) And when you’re picking out new fixtures, remember that homebuyers like to see familiar brand names.
Maintenance-free brick or vinyl siding are popular now. Adds Dubb: “And a new, long-lasting roof made from material specified for 25 to 30 years gives people a large comfort level.”
Windows have never been so important. Vinyl-clad windows are said to be a little more energy efficient and better built than less-expensive metal windows.
Install central air-conditioning, wiring for cable.
Enlarge the laundry room. Put high ceilings on the most-wanted list. Add well-kept flooring and a dry basement.
Landscape your property correctly. Keep it clean and well-maintained from fences to flower beds.
If for no other reason than to enhance your own lifestyle, consider a pool — inground or aboveground — and surround it with a tasteful deck and other outdoor living amenities.
Consider small, cosmetic improvements that really won’t cost much money, things like a six-panel hollow-core door or unusual doorknobs.Dubb adds: “You can change from flat moulding to colonial-style with more definition and install it in the entire house for under $400.”
Protect your newly revamped home and all those thousands of dollars you’ve put into it with a good security system, smoke-detectors and outdoor lighting. As for Dubb, these days he’s busy creating Country Point, 193 new homes in Melville. His firm The Beechwood Organization is headquartered in Williston Park.