Top Reodeling Tips
Should you stay or should you go?
Both remodeling and relocating can be expensive. The difference is that the money spent on remodeling is reinvested into your house, and if you finance correctly, the interest on your payments can be tax deductible.
The American Homeowners Association estimates the total cost of moving to be at least 10 percent of your home's current value. In other words, if you can make things right with your home for less than 10 percent of what you could sell it for, it makes sense to stay put and fix it up.
Keeping up with the Joneses.
When searching for project ideas, look at amenities of other homes in the neighborhood. Building an addition may not be a sound investment if yours is the first on the block, yet it would be very wise to add should all the neighbors have one.
Kitchens and bathrooms still count.
These rooms are consistently rated the best places to spend your remodeling dollars. However, don't neglect the rest of the house. Money spent on a beautiful kitchen is wasted when other rooms have cracked drywall and 1970s shag carpeting. Make sure the entire home is updated to an acceptable level.
A topical solution.
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to add value is through a fresh coat of paint, breathing new life into a room for just a little money and some elbow grease.
Does this kitchen go with these bedrooms?
If you're considering a major project, a design-build remodeling firm or architect should be consulted so the look and feel blends seamlessly into the rest of the home. Poorly matched additions can even decrease value.
Nice, but not too nice.
While you may want to have the best house on the block, the return diminishes if your home
becomes the most expensive in the neighborhood.
Square peg, round hole.
When renovating or adding on, avoid too much customization of space so potential buyers can envision the home suiting their needs. A well-designed fourth bedroom to you could be an office, workout room or home theater for someone else.
No curbing the appeal.
The exterior is your home's first impression, so be certain that siding, paint, landscaping and any other outside areas look acceptable.
There is no single project that guarantees a 100 percent return on investment.
However, careful planning and professional work will ensure your remodeling dollars go farthest.
Remodeling Tips That Pay Off
What can you expect to recoup for renovations to an older house?
According to the 2004 survey by Remodeling magazine that compares the cost of construction to likely return on investment (ROI) at resale, minor kitchen remodels rule, returning 92.9 percent of your investment, followed closely by new siding at 92.8 percent.
Here's what's hot in remodels, room by room:
Kitchen remodels typically suffer the most wear and tear. And because kitchens tend to follow style and color trends, they often seem dated sooner than other rooms in the home. The most popular minor improvements include adding functionality with dual sinks and cooking stations, and cosmetic improvements such as under-cabinet lighting, marble or granite countertops and ceramic tile backsplashes. To add space, consider a walk-in pantry or breakfast alcove.
Bathroom remodels have changed the most during the past century. Your grandparents may remember when they were outside. Your parents probably made do with just one. Today, homes that have more than one sell faster and fetch a higher price. A mid-range bath remodel (less than $10,000) placed third in the 2004 survey with a ROI of 90.1 percent. Popular renovations include skylights, couples walk-in showers, glass block windows and vaulted ceilings. Raised Jacuzzi tubs, ceramic tile floors and ceiling fans have become standard features in affordably priced new homes.
Bathroom additions ranked high in the survey as well. A midrange addition (approximately $20,000) returned 86.4 percent; an upscale addition ($40,000-plus) fetched an 80.1-percent return. But finding space to add a bathroom can prove tricky; for best results, consider a contractor.
Family rooms came into vogue after many American homes were built; hence, you may face sacrificing other spaces (rooms, closets) to create one. To enlarge the space, try lowering the floor, opening the ceiling or expanding out with box-bay windows. According to the survey, adding a family room can be a wise (80.6 percent ROI) but costly ($50,000-plus) investment.
Bedroom remodels are always listed first in real estate descriptions for good reason: We spend nearly half our lives there. If you can put one in your attic, you're likely to recoup 82.7 percent of the estimated $35,000 cost of installation. Consider stacking your bathrooms to cut costs. Properly placed dormers and roof windows can help offset the add-on appearance.
Master suites have become more the rule than the exception in most hot real estate markets. If you are converting a bedroom into a master suite, try to locate the closet as a buffer between bedroom and bath, and enhance the suite effect with recessed lighting, sconces and built-in adjustable reading lights. A mid-range master suite ($70,000-plus) will return 80.1 percent; an upscale master ($135,000-plus) a bit less, at 77.6 percent.
Decks expand your living space, and you rarely lose by making your home larger, be it exterior or interior renovations. A $7,000 deck addition placed fourth in ROI at 86.7 percent.
Unused/renewed spaces might not top the list of money-smart remodeling projects, but a basement makeover ($47,000-plus) can still command a 76.1-percent return. A sunroom addition ($30,000-plus), which made the survey for the first time, might fetch a 70.8-percent return.
Windows quickly and inexpensively add to a home's volume, and volume is the buzzword in real estate these days. So it's no surprise that your return on new glass is excellent, whether you're contemplating a mid-range window replacement (less than $10,000) at 84.5 percent or an upscale replacement ($15,000-plus) at 83.7 percent.
Place your next project in the hands of Edgewater Contractors and you will notice the difference, from conceptual development to adding the final details, in the quality of our work. Whether you are thinking of an addition, remodeling a kitchen or bath, building a new custom home, or making your home stronger for our Florida weather, Edgewater Contractors can help.
From Jay Anderson
and Edgewater Contractors