12 Home Remodeling Projects to Add to Your Wish List

Once you swing a sledgehammer or smell wet paint, your home remodeling juices start flowing. The sky's...

Once you swing a sledgehammer or smell wet paint, your home remodeling juices start flowing. The sky's the limit when you're planning a home makeover. Not sure what upgrades and improvements to make to your home? Here are 12 projects to get you inspired.

1. Build a Backyard Patio

Tired of trying to keep grass alive during hot summers? Hardscape the backyard by adding a relaxing brick patio or decorative rock walkways. From creative lighting to potted plants and outdoor fountains, you can turn your backyard into an oasis.

2. Add an Outdoor Kitchen

If you love to barbeque, why not make your yard an extension of your cooking space? In addition to a grill, consider installing a woodfire oven for baking bread and a fire pit to roast meat. And, don't forget to have a contractor build counter space complete with a sink and wine chiller to keep cold beverages ready at a moment's notice.

3. Install a Luxury Bathtub

Relaxing in a bubble bath after a long day is wonderful. Soaking in a luxury bathtub with powerful jets and heaters to keep the water perfectly warmed is decadent. Or, consider adding a more spacious bathtub, an old-fashion claw-foot tub or a raised whirlpool tub.

4. Change the Flooring

Give a room an instant makeover with new flooring. Say goodbye to worn carpet and hello to shiny hardwood floors. Or, add tile to an entryway to set off the look of your foyer. From retro-style 1-inch square bathroom tiles to tropical-inspired bamboo floors, your flooring enhances rooms with distinct themes.

5. Alter the Ceiling

Make your living room or recreation room appear rustic by installing a drop ceiling complete with weathered wood beams and trusses. This old-world style will remind you of the charm of an old European pub. For a modern appeal, consider having skylights installed above a foyer or walkway to flood your home with natural light.

6. Revamp a Porch

If you love spending time on your front porch but it's seen better days, turn it into an extension of your living room. Install a wood porch swing, outdoor rugs and potted plants to give the space a sitting room feel. Don't forget a few end tables and chairs to accommodate Sunday afternoon guests.

7. Enlarge the Bathroom

Spacious bathrooms are key selling points for homes. Make your personal space luxurious and valuable. Consider widening your bathroom by removing a nearby closet, small bedroom or pantry. Then, install a larger shower surround or a cute free-standing makeup table for a feminine appeal.

8. Create an Open Floor Plan

Make your home feel larger by removing non-supporting walls. Ask a contractor to walk through your home and give you ideas. Walls between kitchens and dining rooms are often decorative and able to be removed, creating a spacious, open floor plan. Also consider enlarging living room space by replacing traditional doorways with French doors.

9. Transform a Pantry

Older Southern homes are known for their large, deep pantries. If you keep take-out restaurants on speed dial and pride yourself on firing up the oven on holidays only, convert that pantry into a more useful space. Depending on the position of the pantry, it can be plumbed and converted into a small guest bathroom. Or, make the pantry a craft nook with a small workspace and ample storage.

10. Add a Bay Window

Give your home even more charm by installing a bumped out bay-style window. These add space to dining rooms, kitchens and even living rooms. Use the area for a small indoor garden or to showcase a bistro table and two chairs. This space is perfect for enjoying a glass of sweet tea with a guest.

11. Install a Graywater System

Make your home more environmentally friendly and lower your water bill by having a plumber install a graywater system. This water recycling system uses waste water from the bathtub, showers and sinks to flush toilets and irrigate the yard.

12. Add Creative Lighting

Lighting adds ambiance to your home. From warming up a bedroom with wall sconces to illuminating an outdoor walkway with recessed ground lighting, you can transform the look of your home just by adding creative lighting. Consider a chandelier in your foyer or drop lighting above your dining room table.

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