The 12 Most Common Renovations for Empty Nesters

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The 12 Most Common Renovations for Empty Nesters

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When there are children at home, the home goes through a lot of wear and tear, making it difficult to justify certain fixes or upgrades. From chipped paint to chipped floors, dents to stains, parents put up with many imperfections when their children live under their roof.

Once those kids go off to college or move out, empty nest renovation becomes a practical option for those who are ready for an upgrade but not ready to downsize. About 3 out of 4 empty nesters fix up their homes after their kids move out, and here are twelve projects they’re most likely to tackle.

RELATED: 15 Room Redos You Can Complete in a Day

1. Upgrade the furniture.

The 12 most common renovations for empty nesters

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Now that your kids are no longer around to spill, put their feet on the furniture or roughhouse, a world of new design options opens up. The pieces of furniture you have when the children are there have to put up with a lot. For this reason, many family homes tend to have darker sofas made from washable fabrics to hide imperfections and spill-proof tables and chairs to make cleaning easy, rather than more luxurious options.

Parents who avoided buying premium furniture can now invest in the pieces and materials they are drawn to, as opposed to what looks “good enough” and has endured years of abuse. From high-end kitchen bar stools to solid wood tables to pristine living room seating, empty nesters look forward to revamping their decor.

2. Design a dream office.

The 12 most common renovations for empty nesters

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Many empty nesters still have years of work ahead of them, and telecommuting is on the rise. According to Forbes, 25% of all professional jobs in North America are completely remote, with that number expected to increase next year.

After the birds have flown the nest, they leave behind a space that can be converted into a spacious office. Add in an ergonomic desk, comfortable chair and the tools you need for your work – not to mention a convenient snack fridge – and you have a nice workspace that will serve you well into retirement.

RELATED: 10 Tips for Creating a Home Office That Works for You

3. Add a home gym.

The 12 most common renovations for empty nesters

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Bedrooms are not the only rooms that children inhabit. Once they’re out of the house, the basement or rumpus room becomes fair game for renovation. These rooms become excellent areas to set up a home gym. Having a dedicated workout routine can prompt you to start your morning jog on the treadmill, lift weights, or join an online yoga class.

Start by removing all the unnecessary clutter from the room, then add the gym equipment you need, from free weights to cardio machines to a wall-mounted television so you can follow along with virtual workouts.

RELATED: The Best Home Gym Equipment of 2022

4. Upgrade the kitchen.

The 12 most common renovations for empty nesters

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The kitchen always serves as a gathering place, but with teenagers and young adults around, your counters are put on just as often as they are used for food preparation. Whether you have dents in the fridge, burn marks on the counter, or a cupboard door that is on its last legs from being slammed too many times, this is the ideal time to give your kitchen some love as one of your first projects.

Put back the cabinets, change the light fixtures, install the undermount sink you want, or do a complete renovation, including new countertops and tile backsplash.

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5. Add an entertainment or home theater room.

The 12 most common renovations for empty nesters

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Empty nesters have worked hard to raise their children for many years, and they deserve a place to relax for movie night or watch the game. Several of these people prioritize adding or improving their home theater, giving it a dedicated space away from other noise in the house, say, in the basement.

This renovation can be a small change, such as exchanging the television for a better one or getting a new surround sound system. For more ambitious homeowners, purchasing plush theater seating or even adding a popcorn bar in the corner of the room creates the right atmosphere for movie marathons. Hardcore movie buffs can also choose to add acoustic foam panels to their walls, allowing them to enjoy a true home theater experience.

RELATED: 10 Essentials for an Authentic Home Theater

6. Refresh the living room decor.

The 12 most common renovations for empty nesters

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In a home that has raised children, a living room can hold many memories. After all, it is one of the rooms where families spend the most time together. Parents who want their money to stretch a little further may put off updating a room that gets so much love because of all the shenanigans going on.

However, once the kids are on their next chapter, parents can finally feel free to reinvent this space around a new theme or color scheme with new art, plants, window coverings, rugs and even updated electronics.

7. Create a cozy guest room

The 12 most common renovations for empty nesters

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Now that you’re an empty nester, you have an extra bedroom. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel and turn the space into something completely different; many empty nesters choose to keep it as a guest room that their children can use when they come home to visit.

This general renovation usually includes a refresh of the walls, new bedding, perhaps a different bedroom set, updated nightstands and lamps, and some thoughtful additions for guests, such as extra clothes and slippers in the closet.

RELATED: 25 Smart, Inspiring Ways to Use a Spare Bedroom

8. Repaint interior walls.

The 12 most common renovations for empty nesters

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After the kids are gone, empty nesters feel it’s finally safe to paint their walls. Having kids around not only makes painting more complicated, but over the years those kids have left their mark in the way of paint and stains throughout the house.

Empty nesters have probably lived with the same color on their walls for a long time, and they look forward to the renovation that a new paint color brings. A fresh coat of paint is a simple DIY that can make a house look completely different and symbolize a new phase of life.

RELATED: 9 DIY Ways to Redo Your Wall—Without Paint

9. Replace flooring.

The 12 most common renovations for empty nesters

Photo: istockphoto.com

Over time, kids can do a number on the floors by dropping heavy items, making messy spills, or using the wrong cleaner. This does not only apply to special floors; this applies to all types, including hardwood, carpet, tile and vinyl.

Once a home becomes an adult domain, empty nesters may be inclined to eventually replace their flooring that is outdated or just worn out from age. Homeowners can finally invest in modern flooring that will be properly cared for and add to the home’s value.

RELATED: 8 Ways to Fix a Floor: Proven Solutions for the Most Common Floor Problems

10. Invest in new devices.

The 12 most common renovations for empty nesters

Photo: istockphoto.com

Even if they’re not redoing the entire kitchen or laundry room, empty nesters are happy to upgrade their appliances to more modern versions. Over the years, they’ve likely accumulated a multitude of devices, holding on to the items that still work while the kids are at home.

Now that there’s less worry about someone misusing the appliances, empty nesters can feel more confident about upgrading their washer and dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, and stove. They may also want to add or replace their garbage disposals, espresso machines, stand mixers and other smaller kitchen appliances in colors and designs that give their homes a more cohesive feel.

RELATED: 12 Energy-Efficient Appliances That Will Save You Money in 2022

11. Redo the existing bathrooms.

The 12 most common renovations for empty nesters

Photo: istockphoto.com

It’s probably been a while since the bathrooms in the house had a makeover. Although some empty nesters have upgraded their master bathroom at some point, the other bathrooms in the home may have gotten a little dated.

Once the kids are out of the house and there’s no one using the guest bathrooms, it’s the perfect time for a renovation. Small changes, such as new light fixtures or towel bars, make a difference, but some homeowners gut the entire room by adding new tiles, bathtubs, dual shower heads, vanities and mirrors. It’s easier to redo multiple bathrooms at once because you can buy supplies like tile in bulk to ensure that all the bathrooms fit throughout your home.

RELATED: The 6 Best Reasons to Renovate Your Bathroom

12. Implement a hobby room.

The 12 most common renovations for empty nesters

Photo: istockphoto.com

If the home already has a guest room, empty nesters may choose to turn a child’s former bedroom into a room for themselves. For crafters who have lots of bobs and bits, a dedicated hobby room frees up storage space elsewhere. The same goes for book enthusiasts, music lovers, photographers, collectors and other hobbyists.

Having a space to unpack your hobby helps ensure that you actually participate in the hobby. In a new child-free home, empty nesters now have more time to do other things they enjoy. Add the shelves, lights or desk space you need to really make the most of your extra free time.

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