Properly Planning Your Home Improvements

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Home improvements are great things to do, because they achieve two purposes. They make your home a nicer place to live while you are there, and they help boost the value when it comes time to move and sell. These particular projects can run the gamut from simply replacing worn carpeting to painting the whole house. Read on into the following paragraphs for how to make sure you properly plan your target improvements.

If your goal is boosting your home value, then you first need to know how much it is currently worth. You need to have a good idea just how much value you will get from a home improvement so you can know where your home value will wind up, and then you can figure out whether or not it is worth all the time and money you have to invest into it.

You have to know what your budget is. You might identify a five thousand dollar project that adds fifteen thousand to your home value. But what if you only have two thousand dollars free? At that budget, you should not even do a two thousand dollar project because you have no wiggle room for errors, accidents or overruns.

Make sure that you apply for and receive all needed permission for the project you want. At a minimum, you have to check your local government for building codes. Depending on your neighborhood or property, deed, covenant and association regulations might also have to be taken into consideration. Also call your homeowner’s insurance, just to see what they have to say.

Make sure that the project is safe to do. Do not work on electricity or plumbing on days anyone else is home so that you can shut them off in full before starting. Do not have your children help you out. Have a first aid kit handy, as well as a way to call emergency services in the event of an incident. Do not handle open flames outside on dry or windy days, and do not use harsh chemicals and aerosols in closed door environments.

Plan out a schedule that is detailed and realistic. If you are planning on putting your house on the market, you want to have your improvement complete before you start the final process. Even if you are staying, you want your project done before shorter or hotter days happen due to a season changing, or have to go on vacation only to come home to a big project needing finished.

If you are seeking home improvements to enjoy rather than just bump up your home value, then you need to think about how long you intend to stay in your home. Your home improvements are going to need maintenance, upkeep, repair and eventually even replacement. Make sure you know what these costs and schedules are and are personally prepared for those responsibilities.

Select Your Home Improvement Contractor

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When you plan any home improvement, you should employ a building contractor knowledgeable with the right building materials and hardware. A good building contractor should be familiar with all aspects of home additions. Your home renovation should meet the following goals.

Comfort

Comfort of existing home improves with the under mentioned processes.

• Upgrading existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
• Enhancing the capacity of electrical and plumbing systems
• Waterproofing of floors, basements, and walls
• Soundproofing bedrooms, bathrooms, and other rooms

Repair and Maintenance

Repair and maintenance work includes

• Tearing off and replacing roofs
• Repairing electrical and plumbing systems
• Repairs to foundation through masonry and concrete repairs

Creation of Additional Space

One of the most important home additions is creating additional space. This could be through

• Converting marginal and free outdoor space as livable spaces like turning attics into extra bedrooms or turning basements into recreation rooms, home offices, or home theaters
• Extending your home by adding rooms to existing building or by building extra levels above the original roof

Energy Saving through Right Home Additions

If you employ an expert home improvement contractor, you could considerably save on utility costs. The home additions expert would implement the following steps to help you save energy.

• Thermal insulation for higher energy efficiency and replacement of lighting and windows for energy saving
• Installing renewable energy devices like solar panels, biomass stoves, geothermal exchange heat pumps, programmable thermostats, and wind turbines

Safety and Security Measures in Home Improvement

The following safety and security measures are part of any good home improvement.

• Installation of burglar alarm and fire alarm systems
• Installation of fire sprinkler systems to extinguish fire quickly
• Security doors, shutters, and windows
• Backup generator for having continuous power when power outages occur
• Storm cellars in areas prone to hurricanes and tornadoes

Employment of Expert Home Additions Contractor

Even though you could yourself undertake a few of the above processes, it is always advisable a specialized home additions contractor. When you hand over the entire project to an expert, you could be sure that the contractor would take care of everything related to your home improvement work. The contractor would coordinate work schedules, purchase quality materials and hardware, remove debris, and suggest steps to enhance the efficiency of the project.

Shop Local Home Improvement Stores Instead of Big Box Stores

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Often, people want to improve their homes, but they just don’t have the patience to try to struggle through trying to get a big box home improvement store employee to help. Surly, clueless hourly employees are just one of the many drawbacks to using a big box store for your renovation project. Instead of making revitalizing your home into a hassle, opt to shop at a locally-owned home improvement store. Not only does a local store offer significantly better service, but they also know their products incredibly well, making it much easier for you to find both the help and knowledge you’ll need to make your project a success.

Better Customer Service

Local home improvement stores can offer a better shopping experience all around. With knowledgeable staff, mom and pop stores have an advantage that big box stores don’t have: personal connections to the customers. Many times local home improvement stores are owned by individuals within the community, and because of this, they have more of investment in their customer service. They help their neighbors, their friends, their friends’ friends; basically they represent the entire community within one store. Because of this, they offer a more personal connection to their customers. Local stores tend to be smaller, which gives them more opportunity to get to know their customers and gives the customer a greater sense of comfort. Often in big box stores, customers have to search out an associate to help them, and most of the associates are not as knowledgeable as the local home improvement store owner.

Specialty Stores

The best kind of locally owned home improvement store is definitely the specialty stores that focus their business on one aspect of home improvement, like flooring, cabinetry or countertops. Specialists like this know their product inside out and are able to make the best recommendations for your specific project. Often, flooring, cabinetry, countertop and other specialty stores also have professional installation teams on staff that can help you take your inspiration and turn it into a reality. Even if you want to go the DIY route, specialized stores are an amazing asset thanks to their extensive knowledge.

Community Connections

Because local home improvement stores are owned by individuals within the community, they also have inside information on contractors, builders, electricians and plumbers. Store owners will know the perfect person to help you with any need; all you have to do is ask. They know the people in the trade and can guide you to the business or individual who can solve your home improvement problem. Local business owners will know the ins and outs of who is a reliable tradesmen and who is not, helping you find individuals who will give you the best customer service for your specific needs.

Community Support

Supporting your local economy is always a great idea. This means money being earned within that county is being applied back to businesses within that community. Big box stores do not have much stake in how well the local economy does, but locally owned businesses will. Putting money back into the community helps to support the county as a whole and keep big businesses from moving in. Also, local home improvement store owners will often refer customers to local tradesmen and businesses, which helps increase the overall revenue within the community. Big box stores may not have such information to give. This not only gives the customer a better experience, but helps promote the community’s economy.

Home Improvement Doesn’t Have To Be A Headache

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There are many projects that can improve your home. Maybe money has been the reason you have not done home improvements. Or, maybe you just are not aware of how to do it. If those reasons apply to you, keep reading to obtain some tips for getting started.

Are you attempting a home renovation project for the outside of your home? If so, then you should ensure that your property’s appearance is proper for the theme of your local area. If your property sticks out in a bad way, your neighbors won’t like it and it will also be more difficult to sell.

In the rooms with the most traffic, if you want to circulate air, use ceiling fans. Ceiling fans will allow you to cut back on air conditioner usage and add efficiency to your furnace by pushing warm air down. Most fans switch directions so you can draw air up or push it down, depending on your preferences.

An easy way to improve the functionality of your kitchen is to clean and organize your pantry. Throw out any spices, foods, or canned goods that are past their expiration dates. Once the shelves are cleared, give them a good wipe down. Once they dry, line them with fresh paper liner. Then, organize the shelves, putting like products together. Something as simple as this means you spend less time looking for things you need, and all your ingredients and cooking supplies are available quickly.

If your home is in need of more space or you are not happy with the appearance, consider beginning a home improvement project to change it. Renovating your home allows you the opportunity to build it exactly as you’d like. It is usually a lot less stressful and expensive to renovate the home you have, rather than moving to a new home.

Get paints that are no-VOC. They are environmentally friendly and do not have harmful chemicals. They are equally as effective, but prices slightly higher than other paint.

For a simple, but sometimes overlooked project to improve your home, consider having your air ducts and return vents professionally cleaned. This is a largely overlooked, but very important project when considering the safety and health of your family. Mildew, dandruff, mold and other toxic, airborne debris can be lodged in your air vents and spread to the air your family is breathing. Also, dryer vents that are clogged and have not been cleaned can cause costly, and dangerous fire in your home. Cleaning your air ducts and dryer vents is only a bi-yearly project, but can do wonders for the safety and health of your home.

Are you wanting to save lots of money on your home renovation project? If so, then make sure you are comparing prices for materials at many different stores before you decide to purchase any. When you compare prices you can save a large amount of money.

When choosing paint colors, opt for colors like light blue, light purple or light green to produce a tranquil space. Utilize fabrics such as cotton or linen and not dark patterns and heavy brocades. You can also place a scented candle or potpourri in the room for a nice, tranquil scent.

Get an idea and estimate to figure out what it is going to cost to improve your home. Many novice homeowners make the mistake of underestimating the cost of their improvements. Always get more than just one estimate, and always add in extra for those unforeseen problems that may arise.