Archive for Energy Efficiency

Maintenance Tips for New (and not so New) Home Owners

Posted in Around Your Home, I Wish I'd Thought About That with tags , , on October 6, 2011 by Kevin Fox

As a new home owner, you are excited about getting your house in order — setting up furnishings, rearranging and decorating.  But once you have place for everything and everything in its place, it’s time to get a handle on the routine maintenance you’ll need to perform to help ensure that you and your family live comfortably in your new home for years to come.

Maintaining a clean home is one way to ensure its longevity. Here are some tips for properly maintaining some of the systems in your new home:

Heating and Cooling Systems

  • Late summer or early fall are the ideal times to do an annual inspection and cleaning of these systems.
  • Change or wash the filters every three months.
  • If you have a gas furnace, keep your pilot light burning during the summer to help keep the furnace dry and prevent corrosion.
  • Registers help regulate the flow of air and maintain the desired temperature in your home.  Keep registers closed in rooms you don’t use to save on cooling/heating costs.

Plumbing

  • Every member of your family should know where the shut-off valves are located.  Label each one.
  • If any of your appliances develop a leak, inspect your drain trap.  A partially clogged drain can cause overflow. Use a plunger or a plumber’s snake to unclog the drain. If you need to, use boiling water to help unclog a partially opened drain. Call a plumber if these techniques don’t work.
  • A worn washer, a loose part in a faucet or steam in a hot water pipe are generally the causes of a noisy pipe.  Do not hesitate to repair the noise — vibrations can follow the noise and lead to leaks.

Gutters and Downspouts

  • Clear away leaves, tree limbs and other debris from gutters and downspouts.
  • Turn the downspouts away from your home’s foundation.
  • Every four to six years, paint gutters that are not made of aluminum or vinyl to help prevent rust. 

Remember to read the instruction manual for every appliance in your new home.  The manuals provide recommended cleaning and maintenance schedules. Also familiarize yourself with any warranties you have on both the house and its systems. Some warranties may be voided if problems arise because of failure to perform routine maintenance.

For more information about taking care of your new home, visit www.nahb.org/forconsumers

This article is courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders

Part 2 – Where is Green Headed?

Posted in Lifestyle with tags , , , on August 11, 2011 by Kevin Fox

The goal of a low or zero energy home or business is far more attainable today than it was even 10 years ago.  Photo-voltaics are better.  The digital age has brought affordable products to the market for controlling and optimizing heating and cooling systems.  There are enough off-the-shelf products available that Zero-Net Energy (ZNE) home is viable in today’s market.

The following ideas summarize some of the issues that need to be considered to move toward zero-net energy consumption:

  • Reduce the impact of the environment on buildings by knowledgeable design – utilizing overhangs and shading to save energy.  Design smaller, leaner and more efficient buildings
  • Reduce power needs through the use of better and higher quantities of insulation and more judicious use of more energy-efficient windows
  • Reduce energy demand via more efficient appliances and heating/cooling systems – use of geothermal for heating, cooling and hot water needs is one such idea
  • Take advantage of the environment through the use of passive heat gain, natural ventilation and energy harvesting via solar photo-voltaics and wind turbines
  • The use of new electronic devices that provide continuous feedback on energy consumption of all parts of the home or building – systems that can be monitored and controlled remotely via computer, tablet device or smartphone

In the U.S. progress toward ZNE has been slow compared to other parts of the world.  Some countries in Europe may implement requirements for ZNE for home building as soon as 2016 (United Kingdom).  For America, however, a slower approach may make more sense, given the depressed condition of the Building Industry.  The last thing the Building Industry needs is more regulation and mandates.

For the ZNE movement to take hold it must make economic sense without the need for government subsidies.  It may take more time, but in the end competition will provide a better result.

What does it mean to you?  If you are planning to remodel or build new, you should first educate yourself about Green Building.  Incorporate as many of the principles of green building and energy efficiency as you can afford or that make sense to you. As more Green, ZNE homes are built, advancements in technology will make tomorrow’s systems less expensive.  This will pave the road for others to follow.  And don’t forget to hire a Green Professional to guide you.

Learn more about Green Building at http://www.epa.gov/greenbuilding/ and http://www.nahbgreen.org/

Part 1 – Where is Green Headed?

Posted in Lifestyle with tags , , , on August 4, 2011 by Kevin Fox

Most people have a general notion of what Green Living or Green Building is about, namely sustainability and energy efficiency.  Green is thought to be better for the environment as well as better for personal health.

Green living involves lifestyle changes such as the following:

  • Recycling
  • Changes to save energy around the home
  • Making purchasing choices to buy more local products or those which minimize impact on the environment
  • Making choices for sustainable products
  • In general reducing your carbon footprint

One of the directions Green is headed is toward Zero-Net Energy (ZNE).  In its simplest terms this is a goal whereby buildings, whether residential or commercial, return power to the energy grid equal to their consumption over a period of time.  The reality is a bit more controversial and complicated since there is no widely accepted definition of what factors ZNE should actually include.  For example, ZNE may also include the concept of zero carbon emissions, which, in itself, is difficult to define and measure.  Like-wise, is it really Green if a component of a building relies upon government subsidies to be economically viable?

There can be no disagreement, definitions and politics aside, that low or zero energy consumption is a worthy goal for homes and businesses.  More on this topic in next week’s Blog

Learn more about Green Building at http://www.epa.gov/greenbuilding/ and http://www.nahbgreen.org/

Gas vs. Electric Cooktops

Posted in Around Your Home, Lifestyle with tags , , , on August 1, 2011 by Pat Hansen

Each type of cooktop has features that appeal of different buyers. Your decision must be based on the amount of cooking you do and the qualities that are the most important to you.

Advantages of Gas Cooktops

  • Gas cooktops offer immediate heat as soon as the burner is turned on. No waiting time is involved. The flame is extinguished as soon as the element is turned off.
  • You can use most types of cookware on a gas cooktop
  • Gas cooktops offer a precise tuning, and can cook food at a very high temperature. This is why most professional chefs prefer cooking with gas.
  • While cooking, the heat level can be visually checked. Change of temperature is also instantaneous by reducing the flame.
  • Sealed burners offer easy cleanup. The grates are built to last, and can withstand falls and heavy weights.
  • In most areas, gas cooktops cost less to operate.
  • If there is a power outage you can still cook.

Disadvantages of Gas Cooktops

  • The open flame makes cooking on a gas cooktop more of a safety hazard. You must be cautious not to wear loose clothing and also to keep children away from the flames.
  • Gas cooktops are not as environmentally friendly an option as electric cooktops.  There is also a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if the appliance is not used properly.
  • Gas cooktops cost more initially and require both a gas line and an electrical connection to power the burner igniters.  This also means that both a plumber and an electrician are necessary for installation.

Advantages of Electric Cooktops

  • There are more options available in electric cooktops such as solid, glass surfaces, induction, and of course, the coil-type burner.
  •  The solid surface burners are sleeker than gas grates.
  • Electric cooktops are considered more environmentally friendly to operate.
  • Safety levels are higher without an open flame.
  • Cleaning is easier.
  • The initial investment is less than a gas cooktop with the exception of the induction cooktops.
  • Water boils much faster on an electric cooktop.

Disadvantages of Electric Cooktops

  • If there is a power outage, cooking is not an option.
  • Preheating time is slightly longer.
  • Less efficient than gas which increases the utility bill.

As a Builder and Remodeler, we at Robert R. Jones Homes are often asked about the pros and cons of gas and electric cooktops. It really comes down to what features are important to the homeowner and which appliance suits their lifestyle better.

Top Five for New Home Owners

Posted in Around Your Home, Housing News, I Wish I'd Thought About That, Worth Repeating with tags , , , , on June 29, 2011 by Kevin Fox

You’ve gotten through shopping for a home, the closing process, and even unpacking your boxes. But it’s not time to put your feet up and relax just yet! There are a few more things you should do shortly after moving into a new home to make sure you and your family will have a safe and healthy place to build lifelong memories in.

1. Create a home maintenance checklist.

To make sure your home stays safe and healthy for you and your family, you should regularly check, clean and/or test a wide variety of interior and exterior systems and structures. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a Home Maintenance Checklist that you can download from their website http://www.hud.gov/. It provides basic guidelines for keeping your home dry, clean, well-ventilated, free from contaminants, pest-free, safe and well-maintained.

2. Make sure you have enough insurance coverage.

At a minimum, you need to purchase a home owners insurance policy to cover the house and all of your family’s belongings inside. To determine how much insurance you need, find out how much it would cost to rebuild your house today on your existing lot. Your personal property coverage should then be anywhere from 55 to 75 percent of that amount.

Damage caused by natural disasters such as flooding, earthquakes and hurricanes are not covered by regular home owner’s policies, so depending on where you live, you may want to consider additional coverage. Your insurance agent can help you figure out the right amount of coverage and suggest upgrades or additional policies that would be appropriate for your specific situation.

3. Protect your home from break-ins.

If you bought an existing home, you should re-key the locks right away. You never know who the previous owners gave keys to. The National Crime Prevention Council recommends that every exterior door should have a dead-bolt lock with a one-inch throw. They should be at least 1 3/4 inch metal or hard wood with the hinges on the inside.

Install a peephole or wide-angle viewer—not a chain—in all entry doors so you can see who is outside without opening the door. Sliding glass doors can be secured by placing a long piece of wood at least one inch thick in the track. Keep all entrances and doors well-lit, and prune shrubs so they don’t provide hiding space for someone who wants to break in.

4. Prepare an emergency kit.

In the event of a disaster, local officials and relief workers may not be able to reach your home immediately, so you should have an emergency kit on hand.

Basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment, and telephones may be cut off for days, or even weeks, so you should be prepared. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends stockpiling at least three days’ worth of food and water for your family. Their website http://www.ready.gov/ offers a list of items to include in a basic emergency preparedness kit, as well as guidelines on food and water storage and protecting yourself from airborne contaminants.

5. Improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Even if you’ve purchased a brand new home with the latest energy-efficient building materials and techniques, there are still some improvements you can make to save even more money on utility bills. For example:

    • Replace incandescent light bulbs with longer-lasting CFL or LED bulbs.
    • Install a programmable thermostat that can be set to automatically adjust the heat or air when the home is most or least used.
    • Increase the insulation in your attic, on exposed water pipes and around your water heater.

The U.S. Department of Energy has an online Home Energy Saver™ tool for home owners at http://www.hes.lbl.gov/ that recommends energy-saving upgrades that are appropriate for the home, the climate and local energy prices.

Even if you haven’t just moved, these suggestions will help you protect your family and maintain your investment for years to come.

Green Your Home During ‘May is Remodeling Month’

Posted in Around Your Home, Green Building, Lifestyle, Renovation, The Drawing Board with tags , , , on April 18, 2011 by Kevin Fox

It’s nearly impossible these days to open the newspaper and not see a story about the rapid growth of green building, where new homes are built using materials that conserve energy and environmental resources. In fact, nearly 20 percent of new homes built in 2009 were certified by the federal Energy Star program. This means the homes include insulation, windows and doors, and appliances so they’re built to achieve energy efficiency savings of at least 15 percent over a traditionally built home.

Home owners of green homes said in another survey that they were happier 85 percent of the time with their new green home than with their previous, more traditionally built ones, due in part to the lower operating and maintenance costs that come with energy- and resource-efficient homes.

But for the 120 million existing homes in the United States, remodeling is the only way for home owners to incorporate green. NAHB Remodelers offers the following suggestions to home owners who want to increase their home’s efficiency, decrease costs, and take advantage of the other benefits that green offers.

1. Install maximum insulation in the area to be remodeled.

Forty percent of the energy consumed in a typical house goes to heating and cooling. Adding insulation is an easy way to increase efficiency. Insulation is rated by its ability to resist heat flow, commonly known as “R-value.” The higher the R-value, the better its ability to resist heat flow. Adding insulation will help save energy costs, increase comfort by better controlling temperature, and improve indoor air quality by eliminating many gaps through which dirt, dust, and other impurities can enter.

2. Install high-efficiency windows instead of those that just meet the energy code.

Ordinary window glass transmits ultraviolet heat rays from the sun, which can increase your air conditioning bill dramatically. ENERGY STAR windows can help control this effect. These windows may have two or more panes of glass, warm-edge spacers between the panes, improved framing materials, and microscopically thin metal or metallic oxide layers deposited on windows to reduce radiative heat flow.

3. Seal all exterior penetrations in the area being remodeled.

You can reduce cold air drafts and heat loss by inspecting your home from the inside and outside and plugging cracks or openings. Be sure to check the areas where window frames meet the structure or siding of the house. Use caulking to seal all small cracks on non-moving surfaces and weatherstripping on windows, doors and other movable parts of the home.

4. Purchase only ENERGY STAR-rated appliances.

ENERGY STAR -rated appliances, ranging from dishwashers and refrigerators to computers and televisions, meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy. Qualified refrigerators, dishwashers and vent fans incorporate advanced technologies that use 10-50 percent less energy and water than standard models, more than making up for the slightly higher costs of these products.

5. Install low-flow water plumbing fixtures.

In the average home, flushing toilets accounts for some 30 percent of water usage. By using low-flow plumbing fixtures such as toilets, faucet aerators and showerheads, you can save up to 25 percent of that water compared to conventional fixtures while providing the same utility.

6. Upgrade to an ENERGY STAR-rated or tankless water heater.

Tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand at a preset temperature rather than storing it. Replacing an electric water heater with a solar model can reduce costs by up to 80 percent a year. Over its 20-year lifespan a solar heater will prevent more than 50 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. A low-cost option is to wrap insulation around your heater, which can reduce standby heat losses 25 to 45 percent.

7. Purchase the highest efficiency HVAC system you can afford.

Over a ten year period, the average home owner spends more than $10,000 for heating and cooling. Installing high efficiency ENERGY STAR HVAC equipment can reduce utilities costs on average by ten to 30 percent over minimum efficiency equipment. It also can improve home comfort with more heating and cooling and a quieter operation, and often features higher quality components that result in longer equipment life.

For more information on Remodeling, call Pat Hansen @ 248-895-1115 or visit her at our Sales Office/Model: 6363 Deer Cross Dr, Clarkston, MI 48348

Make Your Big Appliances Last

Posted in Around Your Home, Green Building, Lifestyle, Renovation with tags , , on March 16, 2011 by Kevin Fox

Kitchen and laundry appliances are real workhorses, making cooking and cleaning quick, easy and convenient. With just a little pampering now and then, you can keep these machines running smoothly and safely longer. That helps save you money and helps reduce the risk of damage to your home.

Nearly 10,000 residential appliance fires break out each year, causing more than $200 million in property damage, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. With any appliance, if you notice frayed wires, overheating, unusual smells, tripped circuit breakers, sparks or sputters, immediately turn off the appliance and call a service contractor. Contact the manufacturer, as well.

Problems with clothes washers, dishwashers and refrigerators with icemakers and/or water dispensers can lead to water damage. Check for signs of leaks around these appliances and don’t ignore small leaks that can lead to floods later.

Here are some simple maintenance steps that will help keep your big appliances running safely and efficiently:

  • Refrigerators: Vacuum dust from the coils behind and underneath your refrigerator to allow proper airflow. If the unit has an icemaker, check the water-supply tube for leaks.
  • Gas ranges: Remove the cooktop grills, burners, and drip pans and wash them in soapy water to improve performance and reduce the risk of fire.
  • Electric ranges: Clean cooking surfaces to prevent grease buildup. Keep flammable materials, such as towels and potholders, away from the cooktop and oven elements.
  • Washers: Replace dry, cracked or brittle hoses before they leak. Clean the tub by running the washer empty for a full cycle at a high temperature setting, using two cups of vinegar or lemon juice instead of detergent.
  • Dryers: A dirty lint filter can cause the dryer to overheat and start a fire. Clean the filter after every load and periodically clean out any lint trapped behind the dryer. Have the interior and venting system occasionally cleaned by a service professional.
  • Dishwashers: Use a soft brush to clean the gaskets around the door and frame to prevent food debris from weakening the seal and causing a leak.

New Home Design Trends for 2011

Posted in Housing News, The Drawing Board with tags , , , , on February 24, 2011 by Kevin Fox

What are homebuyers looking for today?  The answer is a mixed picture and, as expected, varies depending on the local market.  Some new trends are emerging, according to a survey of nearly 10,000 potential homebuyers conducted in October 2010 by John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

Homebuyers want their homes to come equipped with the newest technology.  Most often they will find this available in the new home market.  This trend will make it difficult for sellers of existing homes and foreclosures unless they are willing to remodel to include high-tech features.

Homebuyers surveyed indicated they want the following features and were willing to pay extra to get them

  • Dark cabinetry
  • A separate tub and shower in the Master Bath
  • A fireplace in a Living Room rather than in a Family Room
  • Homes with an indoor / outdoor connection
  • Storage, storage, storage … Big box shopping means walk-in Pantries.  Walk-in closets with fully equipped closet systems.

Potential homebuyers also were looking for:

  • Bigger secondary bedrooms
  • An open space concept for the basic layout – this was especially true for warm weather climates
  • A large single living area, the Kitchen, Dining and Living areas combined into a single Great Room, was preferred over traditional, separate formal rooms

What motivates homebuyers?  What are they actually buying or not buying?

  • Buyers are looking for smaller homes with less rooms, but they want those rooms larger
  • Universal design has not caught on. The ‘look’ is viewed as a negative and not flexible enough.  An ageing-in-place strategy seems to be a better solution
  • Buyers move because of a change in life: marriage, divorce, children moving from the family home, a death in the family or retirement.
  • New home buyers are looking for low maintenance features
  • Dual master bedrooms are an important feature for multi-generational homes, which in itself is a growing trend
  • Buyers expect green, but also expect it will save them money on a monthly basis (think energy savings and paybacks)
  • Granite continues to be the countertop material of choice
  • Private outdoor living, with both covered and open areas is a trend that started several years ago and continues even stronger now, especially with overall home square footage trending lower.  This outdoor living trend works for all parts of the country. Adding an outdoor fireplace allows 9 month usage in even the coldest climates.

Many of the features these homebuyers were looking for are not available in the re-sale market. Savvy homeowners looking to sell their existing homes should consider remodeling to incorporate some of these features.

8 Reasons to Invest in Your Home

Posted in Around Your Home, Worth Repeating with tags , , , , on February 17, 2011 by Kevin Fox

(from MONEY Magazine, By Josh Garskof) — Not long ago, you could have your big remodeling project and get your money back too. Owners recouped an average of 87% of home improvement costs at resale in 2005, according to Remodeling magazine.

But by 2010 the magazine had pegged the typical payback at just 60%. Hardly the right time to tackle the new kitchen or master bathroom you’ve been dreaming of, right?

Not so fast, says Kermit Baker, senior research fellow at Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

“In many cases, these projects make more sense now than they did at the height of the market,” he said.

Assuming you like what you can’t change about your home — the neighborhood, the school district, the proximity to things that matter to you — and you’re planning on staying for five or more years, improving your home is a smart move. Here’s why.

1. Funding is cheap

The current economic climate sweetens the pot for people on solid financial footing.

Should I spend $60,000 to renovate my house?

“The Fed doesn’t want you to save — it wants you to put your dollars into circulation,” said Keith Gumbinger, mortgage market analyst at HSH.com.

Today’s historically low interest rates mean that most home-equity lines of credit are charging their floor rates (your HELOC’s probably is around 3% if you’ve held it for a couple of years, 4% or 5% if the loan is more recent).

And with the typical bank account and money fund paying far less than 1%, drawing down your savings barely costs you anything in lost income — just don’t jeopardize your safety cushion.

2. Eager contractors are discounting

Although the construction industry rebounded somewhat last year, business is still slow. Remember when getting a contractor to call you back was a challenge?

Now the best pros in town will happily bid on your job — and they’ll probably offer you prices that are 10% to 20% below what you would have paid when real estate was going gangbusters, according to Bernard Markstein, senior economist for the National Association of Home Builders.

3. Materials have come down

The cost of building supplies has tumbled too. Plywood is down 23% since its peak in the mid-2000s. Drywall is off 29%, framing lumber 35%.

Not all raw materials prices have fallen that much: Asphalt roofing, which is made from a petroleum byproduct, is down only 7% over the past two years. Insulation — which has been in high demand because of energy rebates and high fuel prices — is down a mere 2% since 2006. Still, on the whole, construction supplies are bargains right now.

4. You’ll cut your energy costs

You don’t have to hire a green builder to see energy savings from a renovation. In a prewar house in the high-energy-cost Northeast, for example, a standard kitchen remodel could cut your utility expenses by $400 a year thanks to new insulation, windows, and appliances.

Even years of such savings will never come close to covering the project’s price tag, but think of your lower electric and heating bills as an annual dividend.

5. Fixing up costs less than trading up

With the median home price down 22% since 2006, you might think this is an opportune time to trade up for the new master bathroom or other modern feature you want. After all, why not buy somebody else’s remodeling headache at a discount.

But you can’t assume that you’ll easily sell your house in this tough market and then find a new place that has the exact features you want (and not a bunch of stuff you don’t want). And moving remains far costlier than improving, said John Ranco, past president of the Greater Boston Association of Realtors.

For starters, commissions and fees to sell a $400,000 home could run $25,000.

“You can get a lot of remodeling done for that kind of money,” said Ranco. “And that doesn’t even include the higher price you’re paying for the new house, the moving costs, or the inevitable painting and window treatments the new place will need.”

6. You can keep that sub-5% mortgage

As long as you’re not underwater and haven’t wrecked your credit, you’ve been able to take advantage of recent rock-bottom interest rates to lock in a fixed-rate mortgage below 5%.

Move several years from now, and you’ll have to give up that loan, probably for something in the sixes or sevens, said Harvard’s Baker. That’s not bad, but it could mean hundreds a month in added interest costs.

“If you can remodel your way into staying put long term, you can hold on to that once-in-a-lifetime rate,” says Baker.

7. Smart projects still add value

In the post-boom era, the rule of thumb for gauging the potential payback from a home improvement is simple: If you’re bringing your house in line with similar homes in the area, you’ll most likely earn back the lion’s share of the cost when you sell. If you’re surpassing the neighborhood, you probably won’t.

“Remodeling a 10-year-old kitchen because you don’t like its style doesn’t pay anymore,” says Thomas Collimore, director of investor education for the CFA Institute. “But replacing a 1960s kitchen is a different story.”

At least for the foreseeable future, buyers will either lowball their bids or pass on your house entirely unless you’ve already tackled this kind of deferred renovation.

8. You get to enjoy the results

When it comes time to sell your place, chances are you’ll probably wind up having to do the sorely needed renovations you didn’t take care of earlier. Not only does that add a huge amount of stress to the process of putting a house on the market, but you still end up spending the money (quite possibly when contractor, materials, and borrowing costs are higher).

Why not get the benefits of a new furnace or an updated powder room for you and your family instead of buying them for the house’s next owners? And why not do the projects soon so you get as much time as possible to enjoy the results?

Unlike vacations, luxury cars, or other discretionary expenditures, your remodeling project might recoup a significant chunk of its cost someday.

Even so, home improvements aren’t purely investment decisions — you shouldn’t redo a kitchen or bathroom in the hopes of making a profit. But if you want to upgrade the quality of your home life and you can afford the cost, it’s money well spent.

To Remodel or Not To Remodel …

Posted in Around Your Home, Renovation with tags , , , on February 10, 2011 by Pat Hansen

Since the economy has slowed down, most of us are afraid to dip into savings or income because banks are making it more difficult to get loans. We think that holding on to our money in case times get worse is the best way to go. However, most people don’t know the smart ways to invest in their home. Remodeling is an investment that can help in the long run.

The first step towards successful Home Improvement Remodeling is to find out how much your home is presently worth.

The next thing you need to know is the top sales price in your area for totally updated and renovated homes of the same approximate size as your home.  You can start this investigation by talking to neighbors who have just sold their homes, by scanning your local newspaper, by searching your local area on the internet, talking to real estate agents who have an in-depth knowledge of your area and finally by visiting other homes for sale in the neighborhood to see what they have to offer that your home does not.

The end result of this search will give you the present top or “ceiling” price for similar homes in your area. The difference between the present value of your home and the “ceiling “ price of similar homes in your area is your maximum Home Improvement Remodeling budget for all and any work you plan to have done around your home.

Choosing the right project for your home remodeling is easier if you have seen the standard of finish and amenities featured in top priced homes in your area, the ones that are selling and not sitting on the market.

  • Kitchen Remodeling – An updated kitchen including energy efficient appliances, plumbing, wiring, flooring, lighting, quality cabinetry and countertops go a long way in raising the saleability value of your home.
  • Bathroom Remodeling – The more up-to-date facilities your bathroom offers the better, like Jacuzzi tub, spacious walk-in shower with body massaging jets, neutral tile and updated fixtures and lighting. The key here, as in the kitchen, is not over spending on designer fixtures and fittings when good quality options would update your project, reflect the value of your home and fit your remodeling needs.
  • Master Bathroom – The most popular home improvement remodeling options for the master bedroom is the inclusion of a master bath, and if space allows, a walk-in closet and/or dressing area. The potential for maximum results may be determined by any available space situated beside the present master bedroom, i.e. a small spare room that you can incorporate without adversely affecting the value of your home.
  • Energy Efficient Equipment – In all home types, updating all fuel consuming equipment for energy efficient options is going to be a solid investment now, on saved energy bills, and a great selling point backing up the value of your home in the future.
  • Exterior Renovations – Nine out of the ten most cost-effective projects, nationally, in terms of value recouped, are exterior replacement projects. These include front entry door replacement, siding replacement, both fiber-cement and foam –backed vinyl, window replacement and garage door replacement with an insulated steel door.

Links:

Robert R Jones Homes Remodeling

Hardwood Door & Bevel

KSI Kitchen Cabinets

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