Home Improvement Tips: Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

Reasons for A Redo

Home improvement projects often begin with someone who says, "Would not it be nice if …?" generally followed by a desire for a remodeled kitchen or an addition of space to accommodate the needs of each family member. Most of the time, reality and dreams do not coincide, due to limited funds to realize the dream or limits in the available space. The trick: turn your dreams into reality. Start with a realistic assessment of your needs. Homeowners often consider improvements in the home for one of the following reasons.

You may feel the need to update something that is outdated. If the color scheme of your kitchen was perfect a few decades ago, but it does not work anymore, now can be a good time to update it.

Some home improvement projects arise from an immediate need to replace broken or inefficient fixtures. If you need to replace a sink, bathtub or toilet, consider taking the opportunity to make a makeover throughout the bathroom.

If you are preparing to sell your home, make sure you get the best dollar from the sale. That is a great motivation for some home improvement projects.

You have decided that staying and improving your home is a better option than moving.

Your family has grown and needs more space.

Improving to move? Improving to stay?

Evaluate your plans carefully if you are improving your home to put it up for sale. Cutting corners can hurt your prospects instead of helping them. But do not overdo it either. Potential buyers may prefer not to pay for some of the extras, such as a Jacuzzi or pool. It would be better if you kept the changes simple.

And remember that buyers who see your home may not share your tastes and not appreciate the attention you took to find the right shade of green paint for the walls.

You will find that improving to sell is easier if you can think about it from the point of view of the potential buyer: what is important for the buyer of the home? Here are some remodeling projects that buyers can find valuable:

Add or remodel a bathroom

Improve kitchen

Add a new room

Landscaping

Add a bedroom

Add or attach a garage.

If you are remodeling because you want to stay at home, you should still avoid improving it excessively. You may want to sell it someday, and even if your house is the best on the block, it can be difficult to convince prospective buyers to pay for things you consider important. And when you consider making improvements, consider the value of other houses in the area. The value of your home should not exceed 20% of the average, which means that a kitchen improvement project of $ 10,000 could well be a better investment than a $ 10,000 jacuzzi, especially if yours will be the only home in the area with a hot tub.

Home Maintenance versus Home Improvement

It is unfortunate that some home improvement projects are being carried out because something has broken down. Replacing a leaking bathtub can be the first step in remodeling an important bathroom: since the bathtub must be replaced anyway, why not make the whole room?

While that may be a legitimate reason to remodel, avoid basing your home improvement projects on immediate needs. It will be better if you minimize the problems with proper maintenance. Examine every part of your home at least once a year. Check the roof, plumbing, electrical wiring, etc. As soon as you know of a problem, fix it. Making repairs when you first find out about them will help you avoid further expenses later. Keep in mind that maintenance does not increase the value of your home. Generally, repairs are not improvements; they are needs.

Hiring professionals can save you time and money

It goes without saying that home projects can be expensive, so you may be tempted to tackle them yourself as a way to save money. That can be a smart move for small projects. You will not have to wait for someone to adjust your home to your busy schedule, and you can boast of having done the work yourself.

But unless it is very versatile, important improvements in the home are best left to professionals. If you decide to remodel the kitchen and plan to do the work yourself, can you handle the plumbing, electrical and carpentry work on your own? And do not forget that you will have to finish it quickly, because you will not have a kitchen, as long as it is a "work in progress" and eating three meals a day in restaurants could be expensive. Keep in mind that DIY jobs usually take more time. And you will be responsible for obtaining all necessary permits and inspections.

Hiring people who have the required experience can also save you money and time. For example, these professionals can help you get a personalized look using products in stock, and that can represent significant savings. Doing something right the first time will give you value that will last for years.

To find qualified and reliable home improvement specialists, check with friends, business partners, and neighbors for recommendations. Always obtain at least three references and check them thoroughly. Also check with the local chapter of the Better Business Bureau or the Chamber of Commerce. Your numbers can be found in the community services section of your phone book.

Once you have located the necessary home improvement specialists, make sure everyone agrees with the design, schedule, and budget, and get the details. in writing in a signed contract.

It is also advisable to verify the professional certifications and licenses, when necessary, and be certain that the contractors hired are fully insured and in conditions of servitude. The Construction Department of your city or city can provide that information. And it is very important that you make sure that the contractors have workers' compensation insurance: if the workers are injured at work, you will not be responsible if the contractor is covered. Request copies of your insurance certificates. And make sure that you or your contractor have obtained the necessary permits before the work begins. Contact the Planning and Local Zoning Commission for more information.

Below, we present a brief description of some of the professionals you should work with when remodeling your home:

Architect: architects design homes or complements from foundation to roof. If your project will require structural changes, such as adding or removing walls, or if the design is complex, you probably need an architect. Since architects can charge an hourly rate or a flat rate, be sure to get an estimate of the total cost: drawing up the plans for a major remodeling project can take 80 hours or more.

Contractor: the contractor supervises the home improvement project, including hiring and supervising the workers, obtaining the necessary permits, making sure that the necessary inspections are carried out and providing insurance for the work equipment. It is always a good idea to obtain proposals from one or more reputable contractors, depending on the specific details of your project.

Make sure that each contractor offers exactly the same plan so you can compare their offers more easily. When you have chosen a contractor, make sure that the contract specifies that you will pay in stages. Generally, it will pay a third when the contract is signed so that the contractor can buy supplies. The number and time to make the remaining payments will depend on the size of the project. Do not make the final payment until all the work is completed, inspect and approve successfully.

Interior Designers: Interior designers are specialists who will provide advice on furniture, wall coverings, colors, styles and more. They help save time by reducing your selection and saving money, as they generally receive professional discounts from their suppliers. When meeting with an interior designer, be sure to tell them about your personal style and preferences. Expect to pay between $ 50 and $ 150 per hour, or you can negotiate a flat rate of approximately 25% of the total project cost.

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