No Picture
Kitchen Renovation

Home Remodeling and Renovation Tips for Homeowners

Maryland homeowners are undertaking renovations and remodels for several reasons in today’s real estate market. Many owners who purchased in the last 5 to 7 years have been forced to stay in their homes because they owe more than the present market value. They realize that since they will be staying in their home for a while, they might as well make improvements that they will enjoy. Others, who are considering a move, are improving their homes to make them more market ready when they decide to sell. Upgrading a home to the standard of the neighborhood is usually a wise choice for a value-conscious homeowner.

Return On Investment

Whatever the reason, making careful and thoughtful decisions about home improvement is the key to getting the most return on investment. Most improvements that are made do not bring the full return of the cost at the sale of the home, but some improvements bring a better return than others.

In conjunction with National Association of Realtors, Remodeling Magazine conducts an annual survey that is one of the most comprehensive and most cited on the subject of return on investment when it comes to home remodeling. The 2010 survey has just been published at .

The average payback on home improvement projects in the Washington Metropolitan Area, which includes a large part of Maryland, is 64%, with a low of 48% on a home office remodel, and a high of 147% on a steel entry door replacement.

The 5 top ROI projects are:

An attic bedroom at 90% ROI

A basement remodel at 84% ROI

Siding Replacement at 80.5% ROI

A wood deck addition at 79.8% (A composite deck has a 71.2% ROI)

Window Replacement (wood) at 78.4% ROI (Vinyl widows bring 76.4% ROI)

What gets the least ROI?

Office Remodel at 48% ROI

Sunroom Addition at 55% ROI

Backup power generator at 60% ROI

Bathroom addition at 62% ROI

Garage addition at 66% ROI

Renovations on Older Homes: Lead Paint

The median age of homes in the U.S. is 36 years old. In other words, half the homes in the country were built before 1974. The median home age in Maryland is 42, half of the homes in Maryland’s communities were built before 1968. Lead paint was not banned until 1978. Many of these older homes contain lead paint, which is a health hazard and requires special treatment. New environmental regulations took effect this year, requiring a contractor to have a certification by the EPA to perform work on homes with lead-based paint. The enforcement of the rule won’t start until October 1 of 2010, to give remodeling contractors time to get the certification.

The rule doesn’t apply to do-it-yourself homeowners, only to professionals. But homeowners who undertake renovations should become familiar with issues surrounding lead-based paint. The EPA publishes guidelines in “Renovate Right”, found on their website.

To find out if your home has lead based paint you can use a test kit found at your local hardware store. You can also hire a certified risk assessor or contractor to find out.

Greening Your Home

Once the testing is out of the way, the possibilities for renovation plans can be endless. Green renovations are just one of the considerations to think about. Green construction is getting much more positive press these days, from builders and from buyers. Green renovations could make your house more desirable to buyers in today’s market. In a recent survey by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and McGraw-Hill Construction, the results show that interest in green-friendly renovations and building strategies are on the rise. Some of the findings:

Green building combines smart design and careful material selection to reduce energy and water consumption. One of the many resources for green design ideas is the U.S. Green Building Council. When planning green renovations, remember the Federal tax Credits for certain qualifying energy efficient renovations, but also remember that Maryland’s tax credits and grants for certain home renovations.

If the renovations you are planning are beyond your scope, hiring a reputable contractor is a wise choice. The cost is often well-spent when the results are professional. But how does one select a contractor who will do a great job for a reasonable price?

Tips from the Better Business Bureau

While the cost vs. payback factor is important in planning renovation projects, it’s not the only consideration. For homeowners who are renovating to be able to “age in place” or who need to care for an elderly family member, or remodel for a home office so they don’t have to commute, other issues may be more important than return on investment. For some projects, the satisfaction and quality of life while living in a house that you love is the main priority.

Gather bids from between 3 to …

No Picture
Kitchen Renovation

Kohler Toilet – A Brand With Name, Fame and Trust!

Toilets today play an important role in the every house. Previously houses were huge and they had their toilets in the backyard, today with the coming of apartments for many families it has become essential to have compact bathrooms with attached toilets. It has become according to the need of times to have a beautiful toilet in case any visitor visiting has the need of it. Moreover, if there is a neat and clean toilet that would speak volumes of the owner, who has regard and concern not just of those, who will get to use the toilet, but also the family and the neighbors by having an environment clean and healthy.
Kohler toilet! Where does this name steps in from? Kohler is renowned as manufacturers of fine toilet products. Having an excellent history dating back to 1873 when as immigrants this trade was started, then soon with the passing of time and scope for improvement the need to innovate was felt.
Research was carried, surveys were made and finally in the 1960 emerged the new bold looks of Kohler toilet, with respect to the environment and conservation of water, together with the facility of satisfaction for the ultimate user. Colors varieties were offered.
Their surveys were beginning to pay dividends they succeeded in creating awareness and soon the demand was established with the coming of the new generation. These innovations also were introduced taking into consideration the demand was there but the need for changes was as essential. Soon the need for flushing was becoming a major issue clean bowls needed water, but the need to conserve water also playing a major role was the need of the hour. Detailed etching was done studies carried out with the cooperation of the health department, and soon it was found that the pressure of the water could assure clean bowls again Kohler toilet with this research and development board came with solutions.
This goes to show determination and the hope of building and presenting a product depends on the amount of faith and confidence you have in you. Even the clay, the sand and the rubbles combined can eventually bring out the finished product a thing to see, appreciate and desire to relish the ownership of this toilet. It was also noticed earlier though that the need for seat cover were one of the innovations made in order to restrict the stench from spreading.
Today Kohler toilet with pride can say it has to offer ranges that can be ideal for toilets; yet going unsaid they still are involved in making better toilets to suit the situation with all facilities. It is not the end of their pursuit; they continue to carry on with their research in providing endless range.…

No Picture
House Improvements

Kitchen Renovation: One of the Best Ways to Add Value

What type of remodeling is the best bet when it comes to adding value to your home?
A kitchen renovation is one of the best ways to add value to your home (a bathroom renovation is another potentially good home remodeling investment.) In addition, a renewed kitchen also gives you something you can enjoy while you continue to live in your home.
So, what should you keep in mind when planning your kitchen renovation? Houston homes with custom kitchens sell more than homes without — and there are some specific keys to keep in mind:
1.) Your kitchen renovation should be as functional as it is beautiful. Keep this in mind when it comes to the flow of your kitchen. Where will the work space be? Will the dishwasher be close to the sink?
2.) Lighting & fixtures can go along way in making a statement — sometimes it’s the small things that make the difference.
3.) Appliances are important — especially if you are selling your home soon. In this market — nice appliances can make the difference. Nice means both appearance (stainless perhaps,) and also brand & functionality.
4.) Storage is important — this is one of the top requests when it comes to a new kitchen. Additional storage space can often be added during a remodel. When renovating, think about way to add rather than decrease storage.
The best thing about a kitchen renovation in Houston, is the joy it will bring you for years to come as you remain in your home.…

No Picture
House Improvements

Many Bathroom Remodeling Ideas Do Not Have to Be Expensive

Outside of the kitchen, the bathroom is the biggest selling point in a home. Why? Because when a prospective home buyer sees a bathroom that is in disrepair all they see is the money that they would have to spend to fix it up.
While there are plenty of do it yourself projects that you can do for yourself, when a prospective homeowner sees a home that they have to work on, they are deducting the amount of money that they are willing to pay for your home. You can get more value for you home if you just implement a couple of bathroom remodeling ideas
Some bathroom remodeling ideas like replacing an entire bathtub might require that you bring in a contractor to help you out. That is a project that most unskilled do it yourself homeowners cannot tackle. However some bathroom remodeling ideas such as replacing the tile in your bathroom is a do it yourself project that you can fully do yourself.
Replacing bathroom tile is going to require a lot of hard work. What you do not often see on DIY programs is the hours that the people spend ripping tile out of their bathrooms before they start installing new tile.
However, compared to the cost of paying a contractor to do it for you, a bit of elbow grease is well worth the money that you save.
While you are putting tile on the walls and flooring, you may want to go ahead and take on some inexpensive projects as well like purchasing fabric shower curtains or replacing the lighting. You can also find expensive wall cabinets and molding for the mirrors to give them a finished framed look.
Some bathroom remodeling ideas require some more work than others but that does not mean that they are not good ideas or impossible to do. Some small design changes could be getting new faucets, bathroom liners or extra long shower curtains to change the look of the bathroom.
By purchasing small designer items, you can make a bathroom look more expensive that it really is, which will help increase the value of your home.…

No Picture
Kitchen Remodel

Kithen Cabinet Refacing – Cutting Costs But Not Quality

A couple things need to be considered when dealing with cabinet refacing. First of all, what conditions are your cabinets in? If the shelves on the inside are perfectly fine then you might not want to replace the whole cabinet because that can be a very expensive process. You will most likely want to hire a professional to do that job. If they’re in pretty good condition you could possibly do some resurfacing yourself through a paint job.
If you’re cabinets are already painted then you get the proper materials to strip the paint so that you may apply a new color. If your cabinets are currently a light color than you may be able to just paint over the existing paint. This can help eliminate any stains that may be on the cabinet and be able to change your kitchen just enough to make the difference. If you do decide to paint your cabinet a different color you might consider doing the walls around the kitchen as well. If you have wooden cabinets then you might consider refinishing the wood to give it a newer and cleaner look.
Cabinet refacing doesn’t have to be a major, expensive project. If you repaint or refinish your cabinets go to your local hardware store and look to replacing the handles on your cabinet. A nice brass handle can really be an upgrade from a simple cabinet that many homes have.
As you start your cabinet refacing project don’t feel that you have to do it on your own. Talk to some experts at the hardware stores or don’t be afraid to hire a professional to do the work for you. It’s more of a hassle to try a job yourself and do a poor job and have to hire a professional to come fix your cabinet resfacing attempt. From the beginning you might want to find the best professionals around and get the job right the first time.…

No Picture
Kitchen Remodel

Learn How to Transform Your Bathroom Into a Personal Spa

At the end of a tough day at work wouldn’t it be great to sit down in a Jacuzzi or inside of a sauna. It is so decompressing and it assists to relieve the tension that is contained within our muscles. Regrettably numerous of us don’t have these conveniences in our home. Why not remodel your master bath into your own private spa.
Unless you live in a mansion the measure of space that you have accessible will be very limited. You should settle for yourself what is most essential to utilize and what you can live without. Begin by selecting what style you wish to utilize. You will be able to have contemporary, go for the modern, or find something that is in between both.
Pick out sinks, toilets, faucet fixtures, and tubs that assist to make it more relaxing and attractive to the eye. For example; numerous individuals prefer to utilize either the claw foot bathing tub or something bigger that has jaccuzi jets inside of it. Just be sure that everything you pick out works well together.
You must have plenty of lighting to see what you are doing and to get your face in the morning. However, you don’t want them to be blinding you. Try to have at least three kinds of lighting; ceiling, ambient, and task. The task is situated around the mirror and is what will assist you to put your make up on.
One of the greatest transformations to your master bathroom remodel is the type of shower you would like to utilize. You can’t have a personal spa without a showerhead that is designed with a lot of pressure. You might have to spend $100 or more for a unit that will help to massage you. These can be altered to your height, and are usually hand held.…

No Picture
House Improvements

Budgeting for a Home Renovation

Budgeting for home renovations is always tough. Even when you plan for everything and even a few glitches along the way budgets often find a way to be busted. In order to keep your progress from ending in a budget stale mate here are a few things to keep in mind when renovations are planned for your home.
First decide why you are renovating your home. What do you hope to accomplish with the renovation? Are you adding space for a new addition? Are you adding space for a kids play room or do you hope that with your renovation you increase the value of your home. Knowing exactly what you hope to accomplish with your home renovations will make it easier to create a budget and stick to it. It is often when a plan is not created that we go overboard with spending. So the more you can think out ahead of time before renovations on your home begin the better your finances will look in the end.
Speaking of a budget determine how much you can afford to spend on this home renovation. If you realize that what you hope to accomplish is not possible within the funds you have allotted for the project than you can easily put it on hold at this stage of the process. Determine the cost of all materials, tools and furnishings that will be needed to complete the renovation. If you are doing a kitchen renovation make sure to take into account large items like stoves and refrigerators. If you are doing a bathroom remodel take into account a new tub, sink and vanity. A toilet and new fixtures should also be added to the budget.
Next ask yourself are you up to taking on the challenge of a remodel or is it better for you to hire a contractor to ensure a smooth renovation. If you are the handyman type simple renovations can easily be done on your own and can save your contractor fees. If you are going to hire out a residential contractor make sure to look at examples of their previous work. Ask for references and check out their website. The detail put into their work, references and website will give you a good idea of their work and work ethic. It is also important to make sure your gut tells you that the contractor you have chosen is right for you and your home renovation.
A timeline is also important in home renovations. It is important to go over this with your contractor and get in writing a plan of attack. It is important that each step is broke down into a time frame so that you and the contractor can work together to make sure progress stays on track.
Making sure that the contractor you hire is on the same page as you is one of the most important steps in home renovation. You can have this by opening the lines of communication from the start. Know that sometimes things can take an unexpected turn but that you are interested in keeping up to date with the progress and would like updates even when something goes haywire
Once you have agreed upon a plan do not keep changing things. Nothing makes a contractor bitter more than an indecisive customer. They to have a time frame to stay within so that they can continue work with other clients. Every change adds time and money to the budget so stick to the original plan of attack. It will ease the schedule and budget if you stick to the initial renovation plan.
The last thing you will need to decide is if you plan on living in your dwelling during the construction or if you plan on finding a place that is more conducive to your life. If you decide to live in your home during the renovation make sure that you do not interrupt the progress. A happy contractor makes for a happy homeowner.…