Most homebuyers are eager to acquire a property that has “character.” Character is that intangible quality in a home that makes it feel special. Character can look different to different people; some might love leaded windows; others might look for secret rooms. However, almost every homebuyer hunting for character will appreciate certain architectural details that help a home feel unique.
Fortunately, many of those architectural details are relatively easy to manufacture by homeowners. If you settled for a home without character, you can give yourself the home of your dreams by completing the following improvement projects focused on adding architectural interest.
Millwork is any type of woodwork that is produced in a mill, but it most often refers to molding and trim. Enhancing the millwork in your home is a relatively fast and easy process, and it will improve the look of your home for decades. What’s more, all you need to put millwork into your home is a miter box (or miter saw) and a nail gun.
Your first step might be to add crown moldings to your rooms, which will hide imperfections along the connection between your walls and ceilings while increasing your home value by providing a stately feel. If you want to go a step further, you might replace the moldings and trim around your home with carved options, which might be available from big-box home improvement stores and are certainly accessible through local woodworking shops. Carved millwork is more expensive, but it adds a timeless charm that is certainly unique.
Solid Wood Doors
Most homes today are built with hollow interior doors, which are lightweight and inexpensive. However, hollow doors tend to age poorly, developing chips and holes that are impossible to patch. An option with much more character is a solid wood door, which in addition to beautifully withstanding years of heavy use help to improve the insulation of your home while dampening sound from different rooms.
If you want an advanced woodworking project, you can build your own solid wood doors for much lower cost than buying them from a big-box store. You will need a few different tools, to include a table saw and miter saw, a jointer and router, a variety of clamps and the door hardware of your dreams. With patience and skill, you could give your home a new set of doors dripping with architectural interest.
Real Hardwood Floors
There is all manner of less expensive flooring options that simulate hardwood floors, but there is no perfect replacement for the real thing. Most people can easily tell the difference between real wood flooring and fake stuff like tile, laminate and vinyl. If you have the budget, you should pay for real hardwood, which in addition to increasing the value of your home will provide an unparalleled warmth to your interior spaces. If you do replace your floors, you might investigate whether these home improvements will lower your home insurance payments.
The great room is slowly falling out of trend — thanks in no small part to the pandemic, which demonstrated the true value of separate rooms. Still, you probably want your communal living spaces to feel connected, which means you might connect rooms like your kitchen, dining and living rooms with cased openings. A cased opening is an opening in a wall that is enclosed in a casing, which tends to look like molding, as a way of providing a finished and classic look.
Opening a wall is a potentially risky process, so you should only embark on this character-building project if you have experience in demolition or are working under the supervision of someone who does. You should feel free to be creative with your opening, opting for shapes and casings that suit the style of your home and your interior aesthetic.
Perhaps the simplest way to add character to your home is to replace any hardware with unique vintage options. Many antique stores, flea markets and swap meets have stalls overflowing with old and intriguing hardware, like crystal doorknobs or ornate cabinet pulls. If you can be patient, you are bound to find amazing discounts on some beautiful vintage hardware.
Before you embark on any home improvement project, you should check with your homeowner’s insurance provider to verify that your project will not cause your homeowner’s rates to increase. Then, you can invest your heart and wallet in creating the character-filled home you deserve.