Home Remodeling Projects That You Should Skip

February 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Home Improvement 

Remodel projects to avoidHome remodeling is back in vogue.

With contractors dropping prices in most U.S. markets, and a resurgence in confidence among homeowners, home remodeling projects are expected to top $125 billion this quarter.

Not all renovations will be “worth it”, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2011 Cost vs Value report, but some projects should never be started — especially when said projects render a home somewhat un-sellable.

For example, if installing a new toilet requires that the discharge pipes run along the living room ceiling, the project should be re-engineered, or skipped entirely.

A recent renovation article on CNNMoney.com listed several others “never do” projects.

  • Don’t add a 4th/5th bedroom to a home with just one bathroom.
  • Don’t build a bedroom with no closet space.
  • Don’t make common rooms disproportionately large or small to one another.

And, for all projects, no matter what the details, try to keep the home’s traffic flow intact. Nobody likes to walk through bedrooms to get from the kitchen to the living room.

Home remodeling can be a less expensive alternative to moving, and can improve a property’s resale value. But keep in mind — just because a project is featured on HGTV, for example, that doesn’t make it a Do-It-Yourself. Some projects can be handled on your own, but most should not.

With the help of a professional, you’ll be sure the job is done properly.

If you need the name of a local contractor or specialist, please reach out anytime. I am happy to help you with a referral.

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Is This Home Renovation Going To Be Worth It?

January 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Home Improvement 

Remodeling valueHome remodeling projects can add function to a home, but don’t always add value. Consider the latest report from Remodeling Magazine. 

In it, the average cost of 35 projects are evaluated for the value they retain at the time of resale. Function beats flash, it seems, in today’s housing market.

Expansive kitchens and custom vanities are returning less value to homeowners in Madeira  on a percentage basis than energy-efficient doors and windows, for example.

A sampling of Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs Resale report shows the following cost recovery, by project:

  • Attic Bedroom Remodel : 79.90 percent cost recovery
  • Bathroom Addition : 74.90 percent cost recovery
  • Bathroom Addition (Upscale) : 72.80 percent cost recovery
  • Home Office Remodel : 63.40 percent cost recovery
  • Minor Kitchen Remodel : 85.20 percent cost recovery
  • Major Kitchen Remodel : 75.90 percent cost recovery
  • Roofing Replacement : 73.90 percent cost recovery
  • Window Replacement (Wood) : 85.30 percent cost recovery

Overall, “green” projects are returning a high percentage of costs to remodeling homeowners — especially for respect to homes that are “over-improved” with respect to the neighbors.

CNNMoney.com hosts a “Will This Renovation Pay Off?” calculator on its website, based on the data from Remodeling Magazine’s annual report. It may be a helpful guide for you. That said, before starting a home improvement project, regardless of whether your goal is increase your home’s resale value or to improve its function, be sure to talk with a real estate agent that knows your neighborhood well.

At worst, you’ll gain insight to what’s “typical” for your area to work into your plan, and, at best, you’ll keep yourself from over-improving your home.

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Caulking Made Simple With “Caulk Singles”

November 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Home Improvement 

Caulk SinglesThe amount of air that leaks from the seams of a typical home is the same amount of air that would escape through an open window. It’s why home care experts recommend a routine caulking of a home’s windows and doors — at least once per year.

Solid, all-around caulk jobs can reduce a home’s energy bill by as much as 20 percent.

A Mason homeowner’s basic toolkit should include the familiar caulking gun and tube for larger jobs, but for spot treatment, Caulk Singles can be a good alternative.  A product of GE, Caulk Singles are single-use caulking “packages”, squeezable like a toothpaste tube. 

The singles are easier-to-control than a traditional caulking tube, and require no instruction or experience.

Caulk Singles are made in 3 varieties :

  • Waterproof Silicone (White), for white finishes
  • Waterproof Silicone (Clear), for colored finishes
  • Paintable Acrylic, for paintable seals

Caulk Singles cost roughly $2.50 per package on Amazon, but may be cheaper at a local hardware store.

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