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Posts Tagged Renovation

Trendy Bathroom Upgrades for a Quick Sell

A recent poll on Houzz, a popular home design website, asked consumers what bathroom improvements they desire most. Many of the answers were both luxurious and affordable, and others were downright simple changes to make. Here are five hot bathroom upgrades and some ideas for incorporating them into your home to ensure a quick sell.

skylight1. Skylights

In rooms where privacy is a concern, skylights can provide both natural light and ventilation. They’re beautiful, endowing bathrooms with a major “wow” factor, and practical.  Energy Star-qualified no-leak, solar-powered fresh-air skylights can help trim electricity costs by providing natural light and passively venting moist, warm air from the room.

bathroomb2c2. Lighted vanity mirror

Home improvement stores, design studios and online retailers carry a variety of lighted vanities in shapes, sizes, styles and light sources (LED, CFL or incandescent) to suit virtually every taste. Installing one is a simple do-it-yourself job that has a big impact on a bathroom’s appearance and usability.

3. Double-flush toilet

Dual-flush toilets use only the water you need to get the job done, so they contribute positively to a home’s overall footprint and can help save on water bills. They’re a lower-cost upgrade, and even more cost-effective when installed by a savvy DIYer.

towelwarmer2

 

4. Towel warmers

Wall-mounted or free-standing, plug-in or hard-wired, all towel warmers work the same way; heated bars warm towels hung on the rack, providing a cozy, warm towel every time you bathe. Plug-in versions install easily, while hard-wired ones may require professional installation.

footrest5. Shower foot rest

Foot rests are an economical improvement – some suction-cup styles cost under $20. For a more refined look or enhanced sturdiness, it’s possible to find one that anchors into the wall through screws, or a style built into shower surrounds. If you’re redoing your shower stall, it’s the perfect time to add a stylish, sturdy foot rest.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

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The Most Popular Features to Improve the Performance of Your Home

hAccording to a new National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers survey, high-performing, Low-emissive (Low-E) windows are the most common green building products used by residential remodelers. To kick off National Home Remodeling Month in May, NAHB released the survey results, which highlight the most common building features that home owners are using to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

“The improved availability and affordability of high-performing building products means energy-efficient features are being incorporated into more home improvement projects,” says NAHB Remodelers Chair Paul Sullivan, CAPS, CGR, CGP, of Waterville Valley, N.H. “Remodeling can not only improve the overall layout and features of a home, but depending on the upgrades you choose, you can also save money on utilities, improve indoor air quality and strengthen the long-term value of your home.”

The most popular green building features in the survey of residential remodelers in the first quarter of 2014 are:

• High performance windows including Low-E and Argon gas windows

• High efficiency HVAC systems
• Programmable thermostats

• ENERGY STAR appliances

Other popular features include ceiling fans, moisture control products such as bathroom fans, water conserving fixtures and high performance insulation.

The usage of technology to improve a home’s performance has increased dramatically during recent years. Seventy percent of remodelers says they used programmable thermostats, an increase from 42 percent in 2011. Sixty-two percent of remodelers used ceiling fans in their remodels, compared to 37 percent in 2011.

Over the next five years, the percentage of remodelers who expect to be doing more than 60 percent of their projects green will double, according to the McGraw Hill Construction green building study in conjunction with NAHB.

“The lower operating and maintenance costs of energy-efficient homes are a compelling reason for more home owners to incorporate green features in their remodeling designs,” says Sullivan. “A professional remodeler can help maximize the benefits of including these features in a remodel. The survey results provide useful examples of ways to increase a home’s efficiency, decrease costs and take advantage of the other benefits that high performance green homes offer.”

For more information, visit www.nahb.org/remodel.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

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Getting Ready to Sell? What to Fix and What to Skip

Thinking of selling your home?  Is now the right time?

That’s the question on homeowners’ minds as house prices just realized their largest annual gain since 2005. Congrats to those no longer “under water” on their mortgages, even as interest rates remain tantalizingly low. But here’s the catch: Those same higher prices can make buyers as choosy as a restaurant reviewer.

“A house with a $1,600 mortgage payment last year now has a $2,000 mortgage payment,” one broker told the Wall Street Journal. “Buyers are saying, ‘I better like it.'”

To increase your home’s “like” frequency, read on to see which upgrades are worth making and which are really not.  You may be surprised.

Worth It: A new front door. Strictly in terms of return on investment, a steel one topped the list of Remodeling magazine’s annual “Cost vs. Value Report for 2014” – recouping 96.6% of the average price. But, a fresh coat of paint can work wonders, too.

Not Worth It
: A home-office remodel. We know what you’re thinking: With so many more people working from home, wouldn’t it be brilliant to rewire the space for electronic equipment, say, and install commercial-grade carpeting? Not really. The magazine gave it the lowest return on investment (48.9%).  According to the study’s administrator, “Home offices don’t sell houses.”

Worth It: A back-up power generator. It’s the biggest gainer in the study, jumping 28% over last year, and plays especially well in areas brutalized by storms.

Not Worth It: Major bathroom work. “You could install the most spectacular jetted tub, and it still might not suit a buyer,” says Patsy O’Neill, a sales associate in Montclair, N.J. “Meanwhile, you’d have spent tens of thousands of dollars.”

Worth It: Roofing replacement. There’s a reason this ultimate “curb appeal” enhancer consistently makes Remodeling’s list and is up 11.2% over even last year: A roof is the first thing prospective buyers notice even before exiting their cars, and you can kiss that sale good-bye if yours looks like it’s been through hell.

Not Worth It: Major kitchen renovations. Again, the key word is “major,” and again it’s an issue of individual tastes.

Source: GAF

Related – Do it Yourself Storage

Related – Is Your Home Staged for Every Season? 

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

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