Home Improvement Advice

In this article, I’ve included information on home improvements that increase the value of your home as well as ways to save money on home improvement costs.

It should go without saying – but needs to be mentioned – that certain improvements give a house more curb appeal, which will make it sell more quickly. For easy, inexpensive ways to add curb appeal read, “Creating Curb Appeal.”

The “in” thing now in home improvement and remodeling is creating a master suite that has a bathroom with a garden tub, separate shower and double sink vanity. A sitting area and/or walk-in closets add to this luxurious feel. Buyers are looking for these mini retreats in the houses they view.

Will we get a return on our investment?
Certain additions, improvements and renovations fare better than others do for Returns on Investment (ROI) in different areas. But a minor kitchen remodel averages 88% (meaning you’ll recoup 88% of the money you spent on remodeling when you sell your home). So, revamping cabinets, upgrading or replacing appliances and recovering kitchen floors is usually a safe bet. No matter where you are in the country, you can usually recoup most of your money spent on remodeling a kitchen.

Cost versus Value Study
Every year, Remodeling magazine publishes a “Cost vs. Value” study in which they gather, compile and analyze information from real estate professionals around the country. This information includes both national and regional average ROI for various home improvements. If you’re serious about getting the most out of your home improvement dollars, it’s wise to check this out ahead of time.

Plan ahead
It’s important to note that, on average, most improvements will not recoup your full investment if you sell the house within a year. But if you intend to stay in your home for years, the short-term ROI doesn’t matter anyway, does it?

Once you’ve decided which improvements you’d like to make, you might be interested in finding ways to save money on those projects.

  1. First, decide what is essential and what isn’t. There are probably some things at the top of your wish list so budget for what you really want.
  1. Next, consider whether cosmetic changes will suffice rather than whole-scale remodeling. A new coat of paint will do wonders for a room as will updating fixtures.
  1. Avoid moving bearing walls, altering the roofline or restructuring a floor. These require costly construction and aren’t usually necessary. Work within the existing exterior walls and roof by planning bathrooms and kitchens so they share major drains, vents and pipes. By arranging plumbing fixtures against one or two walls, you can save significant plumbing labor costs........
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