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The Home Depot

Home Improvements that will Impress Your Mother-In-Law

Pro Referral > Home Guides > General Contracting > Home Improvements that will Impress Your Mother-In-Law
Home Improvements that will Impress Your Mother-In-Law

No one scrutinizes quite like a mother-in-law. Whether she comes once in a while or you have the enjoyment of frequent visits, you’ll want to make sure that your home improvement projects meet with her approval. On second thought, you’ll want to make sure you knock her socks off, right?


As you’re researching and browsing for the best home improvement projects to tackle, check out the Federal Trade Commission's Facts for Consumers to help you make the best project decisions. This isn’t the time to get soaked by a contractor who doesn’t deliver or hire someone who doesn’t know which end of the hammer to hold.


Once you know the home improvements that will impress your mother-in-law, get ready to get the work done and move on to enjoying your handiwork.

  1. 1.Attic Renovations

    If you’ve got unused space in your attic, why aren’t you using it? Converting an attic to additional living space can be a home improvement project with big appeal and payback. You could make an attic into another bedroom, a family room or even a mother-in-law apartment (Be careful here – if you make it too impressive you know what might happen). A self-contained suite might include a bedroom, sitting area, bathroom and even a small kitchen area.


    Part of renovating an attic will include adding insulation, ceilings and flooring. You may need to add some additional windows to make the living area pleasant. This will probably involve hiring a contractor unless you’re extremely handy around the house.

  2. 2.Additional Square Footage

    Adding square footage to your existing home raises your property value considerably. Who wouldn’t be impressed with this? Think about the possibilities. You could add a rec room where the kids can congregate, a first-floor laundry room to make life easier and more convenient or even a den to let some family members hide from the world – think “man cave” and you’ve got the right idea. You might even bump out your kitchen and add a formal dining room. The options are virtually endless once you start considering additional rooms you’d like to have in your current home.

  3. 3.Kitchen Remodel

    Imagine how much you’d enjoy a remodeled and renovated kitchen. If your appliances, countertops, cupboards and fixtures are tired and worn, transform your old kitchen into a new work of art. Most families seem to congregate in the kitchen, so a new one would probably make everyone happy. Your mother-in-law might even come over and cook gourmet meals for you!


    Kitchen remodels can be minor or major, depending on your budget and your desires. If you need only a few things changed, you might just paint the walls and the cabinets and add new flooring. A major kitchen renovation would include new flooring, new countertops, new cabinetry, new lighting, new appliances and all new fixtures. Don’t overlook existing equity you have in your home if you’re looking for creative ways to finance a major renovation. You may be able to tap into this equity to pay for work you want to do.

  4. 4.Bathroom Remodel

    Bathrooms get a lot of use in a household, so it’s not unusual for them to require remodeling and renovations from time to time. If your fixtures and flooring are looking old, freshen things up a little bit in the bathroom. Try a new paint color on the walls, replace the old tub and sink fixtures and upgrade the flooring to ceramic tile and you won’t believe the transformation in your bathroom.


    If you have the room to expand, why not consider adding an extra bathroom? Even another half bath could make a big difference for your family.

  6. 5.Outdoor Makeover

    When your mother-in-law drives into your driveway, what would she think if she saw a completely new and renovated landscape? Although making over your outdoor landscape is a big job, the finished results can be nothing less than spectacular. The instant curb appeal should have a dramatic effect on your home’s value, too.


    Try adding ground lights to line walkways and flower gardens, freshening up flower beds with new and colorful flowers, adding perennials here and there around your landscape, planting new trees and shrubs, and working on your lawn until it’s healthy and green.


    You might even add a gazebo or deck to the backyard for some outdoor living areas that the entire family would enjoy. A fire pit could be the finishing touch for a spot where the family could gather in the evenings for quality time.

  7. 6.Basement Refurbish

    The possibilities for a finished basement can add additional living space and increase your home’s value. Perhaps an additional family room or even a home theater is in your home’s future. Add a pool table or a Ping-Pong table and the kids will have a spot where they can hang out and chill.


    Basement refurbish projects have come a long way from the home improvement projects of the past. It’s possible to install windows and even a doorway with a little additional excavation work. Make the walls, ceilings and flooring look like main floor rooms and you won’t even know you’re in a basement. Just watch out for moisture issues before you go to all this work – it would definitely be unimpressive if your new flooring and walls were damaged by mold or leaks.

  8. 7.Luxury Projects

    Go for the big wow-factor with some luxury projects. How about a bathroom spa with Jacuzzi and luxury amenities like shower and sauna? Why not upgrade all your kitchen appliances with top-of-the-line models that exude luxury? Don’t forget a custom wine cooler that will keep your wine bottles at the perfect temperature for serving.


    Since most mother-in-laws spend a significant amount of time worrying, you might impress yours with an alarm system installed in the house. Having your home secure against intrusions will give her some peace of mind that your family is safe.


    Even the most difficult mother-in-law would find it hard to resist many of these home improvement projects. She may even want to spend more time with the family once she sees the work you’ve accomplished.

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