The Correct Use of Lighting in Your Home Improvements

In order to bring your remodeling projects to a whole new level consider the lighting in the space. In order to truly understand how the lighting in a room can spice up any renovation it is important to know what types of lighting is available and the best ratio of light to use within the space. To help we have created a list of different lighting options available to choose from.

Options in Lighting

Lighting can be used in a number of ways.  More often than not layered lighting is the best option to really boost your rooms appeal. When renovating the space consider how the three options below work together to not only provide functionality but also style, and beauty. Ambient Lighting: General lighting is considered ambient lighting and is used to create overall illumination within your renovation. Ambient lighting is the lighting is the usable lighting in the space.  It provides the brightness that is needed in the room to proceed with the tasks that are done within the space.More often than not your renovations will include ambient lighting.  This includes lighting that comes from the ceiling from ceiling mounted lights, recessed lighting, track lights, and chandeliers. Task Lighting: As the name applies, task lighting is in place to make every day tasks easier.  Task lighting provides a small beam of targeted light for activities like working, cooking, reading, getting ready and more.  Some examples of task lighting are floor lamps, reading lamps, under-cabinet lighting, stove lighting and more.  Task lighting take away the imperfections such as glare and shadow. Accent Lighting: Much like you add a hat and scarf to your coat or earring to an outfit, accent lighting is used to add flair to your room. It adds a focal point within your room. Most accent lighting fixtures provide at least three more times the light then ambient light does.  If you have incredibly high ceilings and you want to accentuate the height add an accent light to the ceiling.  If you have a picture on the wall that you want to be the main focus of the room, try adding in sconces that project lighting on to the pieces.

Plan for Lighting in Your Renovation

As you are planning for your remodel clarify your goals for the space and how the lighting needs to be utilized in the space.  What will you be doing in the space?  If you are renovating a kitchen are you looking to do more than cook and eat? Often times extra lighting is needed above an island area to illuminate the space for working or studying. Consider adjustable lighting as well in areas like a dining room so that the mood of the room can be changed depending on the situation. Your lighting should also take into consideration the style of your renovation.  Modern lighting options don’t fit in aesthetically with country chic.  When choosing lighting consider the different aspects of the room remodel you want to coordinate with. Next it is important to consider how much lighting you actually want and need.  What is the right amount of lighting to make your renovation usable as it is intended too?  Having too little lighting in a space may make the remodel useless which is the last thing you want for your new space.  Consider the size of the space.  A good calculation to make is that 40 lumens are needs per foot of room space.  A 600 square foot room would need 24,000 lumens, 600 square foot x 40. Build a plan for your room remodeling lighting elements that begins with a central source of ambient lighting.  You can build onto the lighting in the space from there.  Task lighting is usually the next element that contractors consider. Do you need some glare free work space above the counters to allow you to easily measure ingredients?  Do you need additional lighting over a kitchen island where you will be prepping meals or bake goods?  Lastly, choose one interesting feature in the renovation that you want to bring attention to.  Add in an accent feature to highlight the feature.  If you have had an amazing arched entry add you may want to include wall sconces that shine light upward on each side of the entry to highlight the arch. It is also important to choose the right type of light bulb for each type of lighting feature.  Will you be using all incandescent lights?  Do you prefer LED bulbs?  Are you okay with a combination of both?  Most ambient lighting will use incandescent light bulbs as they provide a warm glow.  LED lights are best used in task lighting where the brightness of the bulb helps to see what you are working on better. Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plans, age in place remodeling, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, finished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/

‘The Best Home Improvement Advice I Ever Heard’

If you’re a homeowner, you’ve probably heard and read plenty of home improvement advice. It just kind of comes with the territory, right? In fact, the second you sign the mortgage, your fellow homeowners will welcome you to the club with tons of tips about fixing up your humble abode—whether you welcome their help or not.

Some of the advice you’ll receive should probably be taken with a smile and a nod … and then immediately disregarded. But every now and then, you’ll hear a piece of advice that’s so full of wisdom, it will stick with you for years to come. Maybe you’ll even pass it on to everyone else!

We asked homeowners and real estate experts about the best home improvement advice they’ve ever heard. So take out your notebook and jot these gems down (or, you know, just bookmark this page). You’re going to want to remember these later.

Paint can solve a plethora of problems

“The absolute best home improvement advice I ever received was one word, and it [was] something of a mantra for my father: ‘Paint.’ Style looking dated? Paint. Want to brighten up a room? Paint. Need to enhance curb appeal? Paint—even if it’s just the front door.

“But my dad also emphasized it was about more than aesthetics. Air getting in through a crack? Caulk it, then paint it. Eaves or fascia rotting? Replace, reseal, paint. Metal patio furniture rusting? Coat it with a rust-prohibiting primer, then keep it painted. The fastest, easiest, and most straightforward answer for both immediate home improvement and long-term care? Paint. This advice has never steered me wrong.” —Monica Eaton-Cardone, homeowner in Clearwater, FL

Fix what you can before you move in

“Before [I moved] into my first home last summer, my mom advised me to fix whatever we could prior to moving in. … And I’m so glad we did, because little projects I saved for after the move, like painting the inside of closet doors, are yet to be complete. Once your furniture and clothes are moved in, it’s just so much harder to work around all this stuff.” —Rebecca Graham, homeowner in Pleasant Grove, UT

Planning a huge renovation? Wait awhile

“If you can, live in a home for a while before renovating. You will be much more thoughtful about how you utilize the space, problems that need to be solved, and new additions you would like to have. This is especially true for high-use locations, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and entrances, which can all be costly to renovate.” —Joan Kagan, real estate agent at Triplemint, New York, NY

Renovate with the next buyer in mind

“I’ve moved a lot and purchased homes in a few different states, and the best home improvement advice I ever received was: ‘Don’t think of what you want, think about what the next owner will want.’ When renovating, keeping this wise advice in mind has helped me have every house I’ve ever tried to sell under contract within a week of listing.” —Julie Gurner, homeowner in Lancaster, PA

Do improvements long before you sell

“Make and enjoy home improvements for yourself—what’s the point of waiting until you’re ready to sell your property?” —Barbara Bowers, homeowner and real estate agent in Key West, FL

Cheaper isn’t always better

“‘Cheap is often expensive.’ This proved to be painfully true when we hired a painter to paint our apartment while we were out of town. We got a referral for the guy, who seemed to do a great job for a friend and … we found his fee attractive. Fast-forward a week, when we came back to a filthy apartment that was half-done, with paint everywhere—on the sofa, our floors, and even on newly painted areas! We wound up dealing with more stress than it was worth.” —Brenda Della Casa, homeowner in London

There are some things you just can’t DIY

“My dad told me, ‘You can do anything yourself, except foundation, electrical, or plumbing.'” —Kirsten Selvage, homeowner in Ontario, Canada

Pretty stupid is not pretty

“Don’t forget function. ‘Pretty stupid is not pretty!’ I’ve shared that quote with many clients over the years; never allow aesthetics to trump function in your design. A common example we see all the time is beautiful kitchens with inadequate counter space or cabinets that can’t open when appliances/other cabinets are being used.” —Katherine Scarim, owner of Island Bridge Realty, Jupiter, FL

Do it right the first time

“It’s cheaper to do it right than it is to do it over.” —Jim Molinelli, architect in Columbia, MD

Not everything goes as planned

“Every project costs twice as much and takes twice as long as you think.” —Lori Smith, homeowner in Pataskala, OH

Original Source: https://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/best-home-improvement-advice-ever-heard/

Written By: Whitney Coy

Published Date: Nov 28, 2018

The Importance of Fire Blocking Techniques and Products In Construction

The last thing that homeowners want or deserve from their contractor is short cuts taken in their home improvement project.  When doing any renovation around the home from installing a new door between your garage and your home, as in the picture above, or adding a new room onto an existing structure, the homeowner’s safety, now and in the future, is of utmost importance.

The need for for stopping or blocking

One safety issue we have found in many house’s that we have worked on is the lack of fire stopping or fire blocking with in the walls and door jams of homes.  Even though building codes and regulations state that fire blocking materials are included in construction, it is an all too often short cut that less than professional contractors take.  Talk with any firefighter and they will agree that this is a huge mistake.  Proper installation of fire blocks and fire blocking materials within walls and doorways is a property and life saver.

People have been seriously injured or lost their lives because of the lack of simple fire stopping blocks.  Fire stopping blocks are a simple component used in framing homes that when done correctly can help decrease the speed at which fire ravages your home, giving your family more time to escape.  This building technique is not as common in older homes, thus leading to a total loss of many older homes.

Modern day home construction

In modern day construction horizontal double 2×4’s can be seen on top of vertical studs to create a wall blocking system.  This helps to seal in the cavity and separate it from the one next to it which in turn works to prevent the rapid spread of fire throughout your home.

Without properly installed fire stop, the framing in your home can act like many mini chimneys throughout the home.  In older homes it was common to be able to drop an item from the homes attic only to have it shoot out on the basement floor moments later.  With out a barrier between the floors, flames are sucked up through the walls, acting very much like a chimney.

It may be hard to believe but the use of a single solid piece of wood at the top and bottom of the wall in between the studs can significantly reduce how fast fire spreads throughout the home.  If a fire does occur within the wall, the top block will help stop the fire from shooting upwards and into the home’s attic. Fire blocking at the intersections of joists and walls as well as sideways between floor and ceiling joists can literally save your family.

Materials used for fire blocking

Another material that can be used in construction and during renovations is known as Fireblock foam insulation and fire barrier caulk. When a hole is created within the home it is important that it is filled.  Not only will it help to prevent drafts, it also helps to stall fires from sneaking between the walls. Fireblock products should always be used when contractors are installing door jams or have created holes.  Plumbers, electricians, heating contractors, and even general contractors should all be well versed in the use of Fireblock products.

Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plans, age in place remodeling, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, finished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.

How to find financial assistance for aging in place

An AARP survey found 71 percent of Americans in their 50s and early 60s want to stay where they are as they age, and the preference for “aging in place” jumps to 87 percent among people 65 and older.

Successful aging in place combines the comfort and stability of living at home with the kinds of safety and accessibility features found in an assisted living facility or nursing home. Some necessary modifications to the home can be easy — while others are much more involved and expensive.

Fortunately, financial help is available.

Prepping a home for aging in place

Popular accessibility modifications include adding grab bars and a shower seat in the master bathroom — which are relatively cheap and easy changes.

But more complicated work may be required when an older person needs a wheelchair or walker to get around. Doorways are often too narrow and kitchen countertops can be too high for a homeowner with serious mobility issues.

Widening doorways and lowering the height of kitchen counters (or raising the floor) can get quite costly. For example, in the kitchen it might be necessary to buy brand-new cabinets — possibly at a price of up to $20,000.

Installing a roll-in shower in a bathroom can cost as much as $10,000, says Homeability.com. Putting in a walk-in bathtub costs an average of $6,000, says Fixr.com

Programs that cover all or some of the costs

An older homeowner might decide the modifications aren’t worth the expense and hassle. For someone straining to get by on a fixed income and meager savings, the costs might seem out of the question.

But several government and private programs can help offset the cost of aging in place:

  • Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance generally won’t cover modifications to a home, though Medicare might pay for a walk-in tub or wheelchair ramp if either feature is deemed medically necessary.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Repair Loans and Grants program (at USDA.gov) offers grants so Americans 62 or older can make home repairs and improvements for the sake of health and safety.
  • At NCSHA.org, the National Council of State Housing Agencies has a list of state offices and organizations offering various types of support and assistance.
  • The U.S. Administration on Aging’s “Eldercare Locator” tool can help you find home repair and modification resources near you. All you have to do is plug in your ZIP code.
  • A nonprofit called ModestNeeds.org provides “self-sufficiency grants” to help Americans just above the poverty line cover unexpected expenses, such as a necessary home project.
  • Reverse mortgages, available from lenders, allow seniors to tap the equity in their homes to fund improvements.

Never assume that you can’t afford whatever alterations are needed to age in place, with all the dignity and comfort of remaining at home. Assistance is out there!

Original Source: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/caregiver/housing-choices/remaining-at-home/sd-he-sae-financial-assistance-20181022-story.html

Original Author: Doug Whiteman

Original Date: Oct 22 2018

The real deal on TV home-remodeling shows


Commentator Stephanie Brick says that while reality home shows are fun to watch, not everything you see may be reality. (Michael Noble Jr. for The Washington Post)

It is no surprise that reality television is rarely a representation of reality. How genuinely can anyone act (no pun intended) with a crew of cameras and microphones within arm’s reach? From scripted dialogue to behind-the-scenes staging, reality TV has seeped into nearly every corner of the market, and home remodeling is no exception.

Through the evolution of television, facts and fiction have generally known their respective places and, even if commingled, remained distinct from each other. Historically, there has been a differentiating line between programming intended for entertainment and programming intended for information.

The difficulty is that the television industry has increasingly blurred the line between shows designed for entertainment and shows designed for education. Channels such as TLC (which once stood for “The Learning Channel”), HGTV, and even the Weather Channel and various news syndicates used to be defined by either their informative or educational programs. Now, however, they are more entertainment than information channels: You are more likely to tune in to facts or reality — when it is even presented — encased by opinions, drama, heavy editing or outright inaccurate data.

How we process information changes when that entertainment/education line is blurred — specifically, when programs designed for entertainment start introducing elements of their show as factual (or vice versa). It is a sneaky way to tip the scales: The entire show is easy to register as entertainment. So when little “facts” or context-specific truths work their way in, we have our guard down and accept them, often without even thinking about it. At times, almost insidiously, these programs start to rebalance themselves in our minds as mildly educational. This is the danger zone of misinformation.

As a design professional, I believe one of my responsibilities is to help educate my clients. Despite living in the information age, we are surrounded by misinformation — and it can be nearly impossible to differentiate between the two without proper guidance. I see the source of this problem regularly when I tune in to shows about remodeling. So how can you tell what is true to the screen and what may be — directly or indirectly — propagating misinformation?

When it comes to home-remodeling reality TV, context is everything.

First consider the context of the home: Where is it located?

In some renovation shows, the city, state or even country (a surprising number that air in the United States are produced in Canada) are omitted. This becomes a honey pot for misinformation when numbers are then, inevitably, discussed.

Pricing for materials, labor and overall project budgets are not consistent across the United States, and any dollar amount needs context to have value. A $50,000 budget will yield wildly different results for a project in the heart of an East Coast city than it will in a Midwestern suburb. Always think to question where a project is located if numbers are discussed on a remodeling show.

It should also be noted that budget and total project costs may be influenced by the channel paying its regular and/or guest cast members each episode. (Do you think the designers, contractors and homeowners are only receiving 15 minutes of fame as compensation?)

Next, consider the episode in the context of its series. Does it follow a formula? Confident designer makes lofty promises on seemingly low budget; problems are discovered during demolition; lofty scope must be dramatically reduced “to resolve discovered problem” or an egregious budget increase is required . . . every time.

To their credit, many of these shows do an excellent job communicating this true reality: Once construction has started, sometimes hidden or unknown existing conditions are revealed that warrant (or require) an unexpected increase in scope — which results in an increase in cost.

For instance, disintegrating pipelines or tangled DIY electrical work behind drywall usually cannot be detected — or accounted for — ahead of time. (As I tell my clients, we are still working on X-ray vision technology.)

However, this does not happen with every single household or project. So if you notice it happening — on a dramatic scale — during every episode of a reality TV show, recognize this consistently injected drama for what it is: a real representation of renovation risks? Perhaps. An excuse to get out of building that third-story addition that was never even close to realistic for the proposed, yet accepted, budget? Definitely.

Third, what is the context of the final results you are seeing? Extravagant scopes on extremely short timelines are simply unrealistic. In theory, you could hire a huge workforce — but have you ever tried to find more than one really good craftsman or contractor to work on your home? How about a hundred? Even with the best of laborers, tight timelines rarely set anyone up for quality success.

In recent years, the grand unveiling of these finished houses have been quietly revealed as — sometimes — just grand shams, showcasing a meticulously composed staging. What you see is a beautiful, furnished, finished space, but just beyond the camera’s precisely calculated pan is an unfinished room and incomplete home.

Not knowing a project’s geographic context can lead to a misperception of budget and costs. Having only the pinhole sightline of a camera’s view can lead to unrealistic timeline expectations — even if just as an indirect, trickle-down effect.

We all know building a custom home from scratch in a week is unrealistic under normal circumstances. But does it not still, despite this acknowledgment, make three weeks for a bathroom remodel seem a little longer than it should be?

Whether or not your project is filmed by a crew and broadcast to the world, all architecture projects are governed by three factors: time, money and quality. If you are lucky, pick any two — speedy schedule, low cost, genuine craftsmanship — at the sacrifice of the third.

Many home-remodeling TV shows seem to deliver all three. These may be excellent sources for entertainment but should be recognized as poor sources of information.

Original Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/10/29/real-deal-tv-home-remodeling-shows/?utm_term=.4e87e0983e19

Original Date: October 22 2018

Written By: Stephanie Brick

Is ‘visitability’ included in your home remodel goals?

If you’re considering a remodel, and especially if you’re looking to age in place, learn what visitability is and how it can benefit you and your loved ones.

Q: My aging mother and newborn nieces and nephews love visiting our home, but we fear it’s not safe at times. How can we accommodate our extended family to minimize potential dangers and stress for all? 

A: Articulating a clear goal and vision for your home space will help clarify what you want to get from your remodel project when it’s time to talk with design and construction firms.

Defining what you want with words (and even pictures or vision boards) can be challenging, especially if you’re undertaking your first remodel experience. This bit of challenge can yield a longer-lasting project, and this term may help: visitability.

Visitability is a gauge. Incorporating visitability design elements during your remodel will make your home more … well, easy to visit. Easy not only to approach and enter, but also to stay and socialize. Components of a visitable house include:

  • A clear exterior and interior path.
  • One zero-step entrance.
  • Doorways and hallways that are wide enough to navigate through easily (for scooters, wheelchairs, crutches, etc.).
  • A bathroom that is located on the main floor and large enough to easily use by the person with additional mobility requirements without any more support or care than they typically use.

In terms of your home and your potential remodel project, let’s think about you and your loved ones specifically, while taking a fresh look at your current space. Consider these scenarios:

Are you starting a family? Once you have a stroller, a baby, a bag or two and a dog, how will it feel to navigate several steps to each door? Could you use a no-step entrance as one of your entry points?

Do you have relatives close by and a yen to host Thanksgiving Day gatherings or holiday parties? As your relations age (and as you age, too), how will they get to and through your home?

Does anyone in your family or friend circle have additional mobility requirements due to multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy? What’s the plan to get them in and comfortable should they come for a visit?

What about those around you (and let’s include you as well)? Would a more visitable home improve your quality of life or that of your family? Picture the same home, same loved ones and yourself 10–20 years into your future.

Perhaps in the future your kids have finished or are finishing college, or have moved out, and their ground-floor room is unoccupied. Let’s also say the room is not already needed for crafts, a game room or storage. The room could be made to accommodate an elder parent in that future, couldn’t it?

Or, maybe you’re just ready for a bigger bathroom, a no-stairs walkway to the back door and wider doorways? It works in hotel rooms and feels wonderfully spacious, doesn’t it? Who knew that these few changes could also positively impact a friend or relation?

Have you considered that improved visitability could also be a positive selling point? When it’s time for you to move on from your current home, and you’ve got easier access, a larger bathroom and wider passages throughout your home, it’s going to appeal to more people — especially if those new owners are looking for a home they can stay in for a long time to come.

Visitability really has more to do with improving the quality of life, not only for who is living in the home but also for those who come to visit and connect.

Originally Source: https://www.seattletimes.com/explore/nwhomes/is-visitability-included-in-your-home-remodel-goals/

Original Date: Sept 20 2018

Written By: Paul Kocharhook

What Should You Know About Aging in Place?

Financially, It’s Worth Tweaking

The average cost in the United States to live in an assisted living community is upwards of around thirty-six hundred dollars a month, that is roughly forty-two thousand dollars a year.  Age in place modifications for the average single-story home on the other hand are roughly between ten and fifteen thousand dollars.  That is one heck of a cost savings over the course of seven to ten years.  If simple age in place modifications can keep you at home even one year longer than you anticipated the amount you save is astronomical.

Don’t Over Complicate

Even the smallest updates can make a huge difference in how you co-exist with your home.  Start with something as little as replacing the hardware on doorknobs, cabinets, and more.  In bathrooms it is important to install sturdy grab bars, replace dual faucets with single-handled faucets, upgrade the toilet to a comfort height style, and increase the amount of lighting.  Kitchens are much like bathrooms with the addition of roll-out shelving and undercabinet lighting.

Renovate for Accessibility

Accessibility modifications are costlier than the previously mentioned simpler updates in hardware and lighting but can add more independent living years for you.   Consider installing a handicap ramp to entry ways with steps.  Depending on the length and incline needed a wheelchair ramp can be installed for under three thousand dollars.  Another common accessibility renovation that is recommended is the installation of a lip free shower.  If you choose custom-tiles, upgraded materials, fixtures, and fixings a custom, curb-free shower can run a family up to fifteen thousand dollars whereas simple, modular options run around three thousand dollars installed.

Think Bigger

Sometimes structural changes to the home are needed.  Some of these options can include widening doorways, creating a more open floor plan by eliminating walls, and event he addition of elevators in some cases.  If you are doing a major renovation to the home that is the time to think about the longevity of your life in the home.  It is less expense to do large structural changes while doing major renovations within your home.

Considering Using the Equity in Your Home

With the equity that has built up in your home over time there are multiple ways to pay for age in place modifications:

  • Cash-Out Refinance of Your Mortgage
  • A Home Equity Loan
  • Line of Credit
  • Reverse Mortgage

Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plans, age in place remodeling, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, finished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.

 

 

Major home projects call for remodeling pro

Is shelling out extra cash really worth it, especially with all the tools available online today?

Q: What is the benefit-cost ratio of hiring a professional remodeler? Is shelling out all that cash really worth it, especially with all the tools available online today?

A: The list reads like a DIY horror-story script and gets bigger with each desperate cry for a professional remodeler’s help. It’s filled with hundreds of accounts about homeowners who thought they could tackle a seemingly simple project after reading a decade-old PDF and watching the first two minutes of a YouTube video.

Whether a simple kitchen backsplash install or new bump-out addition, area remodelers every day hear — and see — the disastrous results of homeowners who took on too much to save a little money. Or so they thought.

We get it. Why spend extra cash when you don’t have to, right? Wrong. Your home is likely the biggest investment you’ll make in your lifetime and you don’t want to chip away at its value with subpar work. For the price we Puget Sounders are paying for homes these days, you could purchase a nice little collection of exotic cars — and you wouldn’t attempt to tinker with the engine or switch out the chassis on a Ferrari, right? No, you’d take it to a professional.

(Courtesy Nip Tuck Remodeling)
(Courtesy Nip Tuck Remodeling)
(Courtesy Carlisle Classic Homes)
(Courtesy Carlisle Classic Homes)

This is a roundabout way of saying that contracting the work of a professional remodeler is always the way to go if you’re not an experienced home renovator. Melissa Irons of Irons Brothers Construction takes this statement four steps further when speaking to those who are hesitant about hiring a pro. She reminds homeowners to ask themselves four questions when approaching a project of any size.

  • How much do you really know about what you’re attempting to do?
  • What if the project doesn’t turn out right?
  • Will there be any unintended consequences and, if so, how will you deal with them?
  • How do you know if the project is right for your home?

If you cannot confidently answer any of these questions, you need to hire professional help.

April Bettinger of Nip Tuck Remodeling urges homeowners to think long-term about their decision to ditch the DIY approach, especially if it’s a project of bigger size and scope.

“Embarking on a remodeling project such as a kitchen or bathroom renovation or addition is not something the average homeowner does every day,” she says. “Projects of this size are likely to occur once every 10–20 years. If that is the case, doesn’t it make sense to use the best materials and installation practices available so that you are making the most of your investment today? In the long run, it will save you money to hire a professional.”

Doing proper research and choosing the right remodeler for your unique situation is also key, Bettinger says, and will save you time (and headaches) down the road. “Finding a contractor that will be able to grow with your home and be a continual resource for you is not only a benefit, it means that you only need to do the hard work of research once.”

Original Source: https://www.seattletimes.com/explore/nwhomes/major-home-projects-call-for-remodeling-pro/

Written BY: Cameron Poague

Published Date: Sept 27 2018

 

National Fire Prevention Week: October 7–13

Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire Can Happen Anywhere™

National Fire Prevention Week is a great reason to show your customers how much you care. As a chimney sweep, you are saving lives every day. Check out this quote from NFPA for Fire Prevention Week: “The leading factor contributing to home-heating fires (30%) was a failure to clean. This usually involved creosote buildup in chimneys.” To access this information, click on this link, then heating.

There is so much more you can do to show your customer you care:

  • Smoke Alarms – According to NFPA three in every five home-fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%). Dead/missing batteries caused one-quarter of smoke alarm failures. The life span of a smoke alarm can be in the 8-10 year range.
  • Fires can happen for many reasons. Post this video link from NFPA link on your site, to help your customers plan their fire escape: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I1nb9VD-mk.
  • Here’s a source for 12 Safety Tip Sheets including escape planning, smoke alarms, home heating, etc.
  • Here’s a fun page for children that includes videos, games, etc.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen during a fire. Remind your customer to replace their battery also that the average life of a carbon monoxide alarm is five years.
  • Let’s not forget Dryer Vent Fires. According to NFPA, “The leading factor contributing to the ignition of home fires involving clothes dryers was failure to clean, accounting for one-third (33%) of dryer fires.” Here’s a link for dryer vent information for your customer.

By taking a little time to educate your customer, you can make a difference in their lives. They will not be likely to forget your concern and kindness.

Original Source: http://links.mkt3552.com/servlet/MailView?ms=MjIwNTIyMzUS1&r=MzQxNTkzNzQ4NDcS1&j=MTMwNDEwMTk5NgS2&mt=1&rt=0

Which home improvement projects offer a great return on investment?

Mother and son in kitchen
FILE PHOTO — Digital First Media

Let’s take a quick quiz:

Which is the top home improvement project that brings the best return on investment?

A. A major kitchen remodel

B. A bathroom addition

C. A bedroom upgrade

D. A minor kitchen remodel

While all these projects add value, beauty and function to your home, it’s the minor kitchen remodel that comes out on top this time, according to REMODEL Magazine.

For 2018, the highest-ranking return-on-investment project was the minor kitchen remodel (81.1 percent) while a major kitchen remodel only returned 59 percent, said Michael Stoskopf, CEO, HBA of Southeastern Michigan.

“REMODELING found a similar pattern with bathroom projects, with the highest returning project being a Universal Design bathroom renovation at 70.6 percent while a bathroom addition project only returned 59 percent,” he said.

But today’s buyers also have another focus in addition to traditional kitchen and master bedroom/bathroom remodels – and technically it’s not even inside your home. It’s the great outdoors.

“Another area gaining popularity is outdoor living space, including the transition from the house to the outdoor patio/veranda,” said Stoskopf in an email.

Most homeowners will undergo a home renovation project for one of two reasons: They want to increase enjoyment of the home they plan to live in for years or they plan to sell and want to make the home as attractive as they can to potential buyers.

Both are great reasons, but just remember that they are not the same, he said.

“Homeowners must weigh the time and cost for any planned remodeling project against the outcome they hope for once the project is completed,” said Stoskopf. “For a consumer looking to ultimately sell their home soon after the project or projects are completed, the decision is decidedly more of a financial one, centered around investment cost vs. expected increase in the sales price. On the other hand, for a consumer who is looking to keep their home for years to come following the project, the decision becomes a much more emotional one, centered around the expected enjoyment of their new space.”

So how can a homeowner decide which home improvement project is best for their specific situation? Again, look at the reasons behind your decision. If you seek increased comfort or convenience, begin upgrades that will “make the home your own,” said Stoskopf.

If you are preparing to sell, consider those projects that will improve your financial windfall after the sale of your home, he said.

In addition to home remodels, those looking to place their home on the market will benefit from taking the time to hire a home inspector to walk through the property. This professional can identify items in need of repair and/or replacement so a prospective buyer spends their time falling in love with your home and dreaming about their family’s future there instead of taking notes on what needs fixing or upgrading, said Stoskopf.

Need a contractor?

For most people, a home is the biggest investment they will make, so protect your investment by hiring a qualified home contractor.

“Whether you are trying to gain value prior to a sale or making the house you just bought into a home that fits your lifestyle and taste, take the time necessary to ensure you select licensed and insured professionals that you trust to do the work,” said Michael Stoskopf, CEO, HBA of Southeastern Michigan.

He offers these tips:

• Consider members of a nationally-recognized residential construction industry trade association, such as the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan

• Strive to get at least three bids in order to better ascertain what the real price of your project will be before starting/committing to it

Original Source: https://www.theoaklandpress.com/lifestyles/which-home-improvement-projects-offer-a-great-return-on-investment/article_d5976c62-a156-11e8-8fec-af9d25b68a84.html

Original Date: Sept 19 2018

Written By: Jane Peterson