Home Improvement: Upgrading Your Home

If you are a home owner then you should know the importance and benefits of home improvement. First let us define what is home improvement. Home improvement is the process of making changes into one’s house and thus improving its level of comfort, aesthetics and safety. Home improvement is usually done by hiring professionals such as handymen and contractors but the home owner can do it personally if he or she knows what she is doing. As we all know properties are subjected to depreciation over time. But with proper maintenance and improvement you can keep your property’s real estate value up. So if you are planning to sell your house someday, maintenance and home improvement is very important.

But home improvement is not all about increasing the real estate value of our home. Improving the home is also important for those who are currently living in the property. If you want to make your home a better living place for you and your family, home improvement jobs are a must. If you perform maintenance checks for your home, you can detect and anticipate structural damage to your home which could be a potential threat to you and your family’s safety. Utilities such as heating and cooling systems, smoke detectors, ovens and many others also needs to be subjected to regular maintenance checks to prevent them from malfunctioning because they may cause accidents. Maintenance checks will also address the common problems associated with insect infestations such as termites which as we all know can cause great damage and deterioration over time.

Aside from maintenance checks, improving your home also means remodeling or renovation. Over time it is very possible to be bored with the decor of your home, so a renovation is certainly a great way to spruce it up. Home remodeling can be quite simple. From a fresh coat of paint to the house’s as well as new furnishings to changing the curtains or the carpet in the living room, it all counts as remodeling efforts. A good example of renovating your home is to install UPVC French doors into your home. French doors are ideally installed in doorways that leads to the house’s exterior locations such as the patio or the poolside. French doors does a great job of enhancing the looks of your home as well as providing other functionalities such as being an insulator. If you cannot handle the tasks of remodeling and renovation, then you can always hire a profession to make the job easier for you. You’ll be surprised at just how a remodeling or renovation, may it be simple or complex, can change the overall mood of your home.

Unfortunately there are still those that treats home improvement a necessary expense, but such notions would cost them in the future. Home improvement is a necessity because it does not only increase the value of your home but also make its living condition favorable. Like you what you are doing with your other properties and possessions, treat it as a way of taking good care of your home.

The New Rules of Home Improvement

Many homeowners are beginning to recognize the higher standards that are being demanded from home improvement contractors.The new rules of certification, accreditation and independent verification have complemented well the old ways of selecting a contractor so that the two establish a benchmark that bodes well for the professional perception of the industry. It is not a coincident that in 2010 credentialing and training organizations have achieved their highest growth rate in recent years.

I believe that a profound shift is taken place in the home improvement industry. This shift has embraced certification, accreditation and independent verification as the new rules of doing business. As a contractor who has been in the business for many years, for me, this shift means one thing – a chance to increase market share by showcasing a brand that understands and welcomes the new reality. Indeed, homeowners are beginning to demand this higher standard of training and perceived credibility to measure value. And, the surest way to achieve this is by checking for the credential of companies and the skill of their people. Now, besides the old ways of relying chiefly on word-of-mouth recommendation, customers will be able to more independently check for and measure the training and professional underpinning of a company. This is quite a significant development in the home improvement business brought on by dramatic emphasis on energy efficiency improvements in building.

The Federal government and large utility companies have contributed to this by providing tax credits and purchase rebates respectively for energy efficiency improvement initiatives. States have seized on these opportunities and have enacted changes to their building codes to encourage higher efficiency standards in building. The State of Massachusetts for example, has adopted the ‘Stretch Energy Code'” which its cities and towns are using to promote energy efficiency improvement to their building stock. The execution of these strategies create jobs, save money on utility bills and decrease the Carbon output to the environment from buildings. The savviest of small home improvement contractors are using these new rules to improve their companies’ image to portray a well trained professional operation. The majority of the buildings in the nation are in need of some sort of energy efficiency improvement, if we are committed to improving our building stock then the adoption of these new rules are just the start of the revolutionizing of the home improvement industry.

To be clear, the changes that are taking root are a result of the budding Home Performance Improvement industry that is taking shape and which is buttress by the Building Performance Institute (BPI), a national credentialing and training organization. Indeed, I believe two things, one, this is setting a new benchmark for the professional assessing of the home remodeling industry. Two, brand recognition will be an important criteria in selecting a home improvement company. The companies that recognize this and make the necessary positioning adjustment will be the winners.

Why Home Improvement Loans Suck

Imagine the scenario: you’re ready to buy your first house. But you don’t have the cash lying around to buy your dream house, so you decide to settle on a fixer-upper that you’ll spend your free time turning into the perfect home. If you’ve been through the home buying process this already, then you probably remember this quite well. In fact, buying a fixer upper in need of major TLC is a rite of passage for many homeowners. Tons of first homes need work done like re-painting, deck repair, all new floors and wallpaper or an extra bathroom.

Of course the problem is that most first time home buyers simply don’t have the funds to pay for these home improvements after closing on their mortgage. So they go into a do-it-yourself mode. Sometimes they use home improvement loans to help pay for the work. Other times they do all the work on nights and weekends. Maybe the financing comes from credit cards. Sometimes, it’s all one terrible experience. This begs the question: Why do home improvement loans suck?

They take too much time. From the bidding process for the work, to the actual upgrades and construction to moving day, it can be very time-consuming. Many borrowers say closing a home improvement loan takes more than 3 months, and might never even close. An efficient lender who understands the home improvement loan process should be able to get your loan closed in a little more than a month. Sometimes even less time than that.

Renovation mortgages are too much work. Yes this option will take more paperwork. After all, the bid process alone can add a lot of extra work to the process. However, working with an experienced mortgage consultant will help you avoid the extra work, requiring mostly just extra signatures.

No one understands programs like FHA 203k or HomePath Renovation. It’s true that many real estate agents haven’t heard about some of the options for financing upgrades. Many deals die because the buyer sees a house they like but there may be a few things they’d like to change. The challenge to home improvement loans lies with the effort to help educate real estate professionals and buyers alike.

Do it yourself work is a real pain. Putting in a new kitchen takes time and skill, and doing all on your own isn’t likely something you want to do. Same with a bathroom, wider hallways for wheelchair access or painting the entire house. Again, it’s not something you may want to do, and that’s okay. Home improvement loans are generally for paying a professional to do the work. They’re not really for the DIY crowd.

Buying a new home is easier than buying a fixer-upper. This is certainly true in many cases, but it’s not always feasible. And with so many homes on the market today under the foreclosure cloud, you can actually find a great deal on a fixer-upper and roll the cost of the repairs right into the monthly payment! Plus, older houses have more character than subdivision cookie-cutters.

They are expensive. Home improvement loans generally come with a little higher interest rate, it’s true. Interest rates are based in part on risk. Paying for home improvements can be risky, as the after-improved value is used to predict the future worth of the house. But the difference between a home improvement loan and a regular mortgage is pretty low. It’s definitely lower than the cost of financing the work and materials on a credit card!

Store credit is so much easier to get. Again, this may be true, but you’ll pay a much higher rate than a home improvement loan and you’ll have to do the work yourself. If that’s your goal, then a home improvement loan isn’t for you.

Home improvement loans are definitely not for everyone. There’s no doubt that they take a little extra time and work. Sometimes you can find a newer home that needs less work for a good price. And that’s okay. Go for it. But if you find a home that’s average and needs your personal touch with a few upgrades and renovations, then a home improvement loan just may be your next step. Good luck in the house hunting, and let us know if there’s some way we can help!

Tips to Make Home Improvements Affordable

If you are like many homeowners, your house is among the most significant investments that you own. In addition to being your largest asset, it is the place where you live, entertain and more. By keeping your home well-maintained and making improvements as needed, you can easily maintain or improve its value while also enjoying increased pride of ownership. However, many home improvement projects can be costly, and you may be looking for a way to make improvements to your home more affordable. By following a few key tips, you can enjoy the benefits associated with improving your home without paying more than necessary for those improvements.

Affordable Materials and Equipment
One of the key factors that contributes to the cost of home improvements pertains to the materials and equipment needed for the project. Many homeowners commonly head down to a local home improvement store to buy the items needed for their projects. While these stores are a convenient source for materials and equipment, they may not be the most affordable source. You can consider looking for used equipment in local online classified listings. In some cities, you may find wholesale materials and supplies stores that offer a great selection of steeply discounted materials. If you must shop at local home improvement stores, be sure to look for sales, coupons and special offers that can save you money.

The Cost of Labor
The other main factor associated with home improvements is the cost of labor. Some homeowners have a real knack for completing home improvement projects. Others, however, may require several attempts at a task before completing it right, and this can result in wasted supplies and materials. If you lack the skills and experience necessary to do the job or are not comfortable with the processes involved, it is best to utilize the services of a contractor. Some specialized contractors will charge you a higher rate than other contractors who may have an equal ability to perform the tasks you need completed. A professional handyman, for example may be a jack-of-all-trades, and he may perform services at a lower rate than a contractor who offers only a specialized skill.

Making home improvements is a necessity if you want to keep your home in great condition and improve its value more significantly over time. By keeping the costs of your improvements low, you can enjoy a greater return on your home improvement project. These tips can help you to save money on your projects for years to come.

Home Improvements – On a Budget

Home improvement is a very popular past time for home owners for a number of simple reasons, for starters you of course want a beautiful and enjoyable home environment; small repairs and improvements are just little steps on the way to accomplishing this, which can aid you in enjoying your home life a little more, and seeing the visual improvements to our property’s appearance can provide us with a great sense of self satisfaction. Small home improvements can also be a great idea for anyone looking to sell their home as they can improve the value of the home and help you to find a buyer faster.

Many home owners put off the idea of investing in home improvement because they consider it to be such a costly processes, however there are a number of ways of improving your home without a particularly large budget. The main investment would be your tools – buying high quality tools might be a little bit of a high cost process, however it does ensure that the tools last and perform the tasks they need to effectively. In the long run this does work out cheaper; buying one set of tools that will last you a lifetime rather than buying several sets of tools, each of which only last a few months.

Home Improvement is particularly important if you’re trying to sell your home as most buyers will overestimate the cost of work on the property and reduce their offer on the property considerably more than they should really need to. Having the obvious tasks done and improving the general appearance of the property will encourage buyers not only to make an offer but also to make a higher offer. Think of yourself as a buyer and walk around you home making a list of the things that look bad, or if you’re feeling too biased towards your much loved home ask a friend to do it, then work through the list of things either fixing it, cleaning it or replacing it. If you are looking to sell then stick to light, new, clean looks; simplicity and elegance sell better than something suited to your own individual taste, but of course if you are looking to improve but not sell your house you can comfortably decorate it in any style that suits you.

Start on the outside; often cleaning up your garden and the entrance to your home will cost very little but could make a huge difference. Cut the lawn, pull the weeds, clean the path, trim the plants, clean your windows and doors and perhaps give things a fresh coat of paint. Most of this requires a little bit of work on your part rather than needing you to spend any money but it can make a huge difference to the impression people have when they enter your home.

Make sure things are kept clean and organised inside your home. People, particularly buyers, hate clutter. If you’re trying to sell move your stuff into storage until you have your next home; leave only enough to make the property look liveable. Buyers often have trouble seeing themselves in a home and take inspiration from the way the space was used previously, they can feel rather lost and intimidated when looking at a completely empty home and may be put off. Of course if you’re home improvements are for yourself sell some of the old clutter you no longer need, this will give you more space and freedom.

One popular home improvement that can make a huge difference to a home is the addition of storage space. Lots of people have experienced the problem of not having anywhere to put all of your things. Getting new fitted wardrobes built into your bedroom is rather expensive, however shelves are relatively cheap and can add a lot of storage space; thinking about filling one wall with storage units like bookcases to provide a home office or library feel and provide a lot more space. Removing any wallpaper and adding a fresh coat of paint can make the space look new, stick to lighter colours to make your home appear brighter and bigger, this in itself will aid in adding to the value of a home.

Home Improving while Budgeting

As we all know, budgeting and home improvement does not always go together but this article will give you information that could help improve your home and still save a little money.

Home improvement projects regularly scare people off, because many judge that they will pay thousands of dollars to alter one room, because they do not have the skills to do the job them self. They may also feel that the job is costly because supplies and tools are needed.

To the contrary, home improvement does not have to be costly at all. Of course, if you hire a subcontractor or contractor to do the job, you will pay a fortune, but if you have patience and the ability to read and stick to the directions, then you can renovate an whole room in your home for fewer than a hundred dollars. Of course, you will need to change and correlate materials.

Before starting the procedure of improving your home, you will need to system of funds and a schedule to get started. You will need to ponder various notions when considering and preparing home improvement. For example, do you plan to paint your home? Do you plan to tile your home? Do you want carpet in your home?

Going through the final part of this article, you will see just how important budgeting and home improvement can be done which will help save you money and improve your home.

Asking questions is part of analyzing and preparing for home improvement. One of the best tools to have when considering home improvement is calculating what you like and calculating what you want. When I improve my home the first thing I do is explore my mind searching for favorites and what excites and appeals to me. Thus, when I go to the home improvement warehouses, I already have in my brain what I am ready to purchase, therefore this relaxes my quest to improving my home.

If you are short of funds to improve your home, then setting up a financial plan will help you get what you want as well as put away some cash for a rainy day. You may even think about purchasing equipment and tools for home improvement at the companies that propose lower prices and/or purchases with no payments until a particular date. This notion will give you time to get your home better while putting away the currency to purchase the improvement equipment and tools.

Unfortunately, many people go for another home loan to enhance their home. Receiving loans from lenders regularly lead to debt, and home loans for improvement only leads to paying off your home twice. Thus, elude high interest rates and loan payments and learn to plan your finances to improve your home.

Let me give you a general view of what one area could cost you for repairs. Say you want to paint a specific room in your home. You will need plaster, sealers, primer, paints, paint thinners, scrapers, screwdriver, paint opening (often come with paint purchases), patches, paintbrushes, tray, and so forth. Now you may think this will cost you a lot of money to improve your home, but to the contrary, you are wrong.

The paint and tools will cost you the most, while the other items will be priced less; thus, primer, sealers and plaster be priced around fifteen dollars if you go to the correct store.

Paint thinners, trays, brushes and screwdriver will cost around fifteen dollars if you go to the right store. Thus, the patches should be purchased with a plaster kit, which will salvage you a few pennies. The paint will cost around twenty dollars per can, depending on the kind of paint purchased. Therefore, for around a hundred bucks you could alter a room in your home lacking hiring anybody to do the job providing you stick to the instructions.

What about the bathroom, can you alter the room on a financial plan? It depends on the range of the area, but if you are yearning to tile your bathroom and paint the walls you could get the job done for around a hundred bucks give or take. If you go to the correct home improvement store and know what you are doing, you could remodel a small bathroom or average bathroom for around fifty bucks.

Learning to create a financial plan and prepare for home improvements can help you to remodel your whole home (if the home is in good standings) for a few hundred dollars. Furthermore, completing the work yourself, you will recoup you thousands of dollars.

10 DIY Home Improvement Ideas

DIY Home Improvement Idea #1

Install handmade shelves. Rather than purchasing typical cookie-cutter shelves, consider visiting a local craft fair or woodworker for customized shelves. Everything from style, color, design and cutouts can be customized with handmade items. Shelves are ideal for storing tools in the garage or knick-knacks in the family room.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #2

Replace vinyl flooring or install new tiles. These days, convenience is everything. It’s easier than ever to replace vinyl flooring or install tiles with simple self-adhesive backing for easy placement. This will literally give you a new floor surface within a few hours.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #3

Install carpet. Before making a purchase, be sure to measure the area that you need to carpet. If you need to cut carpet, it’s not a problem and special cutting tools can be purchased at any home improvement store. Simply roll it out and secure it to the floor for an easy DIY home improvement project.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #4

Install a ceiling fan. Not only will this add beauty to the room, but it will also help to circulate the air. Just be careful during the installation process and when climbing up or down a ladder.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #5

If you are a big fan of wallpaper, then you already know that it can start to peel from time to time. It’s inevitable. At some point, wallpaper will need replacing and it’s arguably one of the easiest home improvement projects that you can do. Wallpaper is sold at any home improvement store and can be cut to fit any room in your home. During installation, be sure to smooth the paper as you go in order to avoid bubbled areas.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #6

If you like the idea of sitting out on the porch or deck and watching fireflies light up in the night, consider adding an outside addition to your home. Plans can be purchased online or at some home improvement stores, along with the materials needed to complete the job.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #7

Painting your home, either inside or out, is a very popular way of improving it’s overall appearance. Always be sure to read the instructions and use paint in a well-ventilated area.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #8

One of the more sensible DIY home improvement projects includes the installation of a dusk to dawn lighting system outside of the home. This type of lighting will automatically turn on if there is any movement outside of your home and is ideal for anyone, whether you live out in the country or in a larger area.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #9

As winter time rolls around, many people begin to consider replacing their windows to ensure that they are protected from the elements. Many people think of windows as simply something to look through but, in fact, they are much more than that. Windows can actually help to keep warm air inside your home and the cold air out during those harsh winter months, which will make it more comfortable for your family and also your wallet where heating costs are concerned.

DIY Home Improvement Idea #10

Install wall paneling. If you don’t like the idea of painting or simply prefer the look of paneling, a visit to your local home improvement store could be the answer to your next DIY home improvement project. Wall paneling is sold in sheets, is pre-cut and ready for installation. All you need to do is place it in the desired location and secure it.

Home Improvement Tips

Whether you are planning to put your home on the market or make it more comfortable to live in, there is a lot to be gained from making home improvements.

Improvements in your home could involve:

– Repairs of already existing structures,

– Remodeling certain parts of the home to give them a facelift,

– Making additions to your home to improve quality of life,

– Home improvement projects in order to make a house more energy efficient or environment-friendly.

To decide on a home improvement project can seem pretty daunting. But armed with a few handy home improvement tips, you could be well on your way to the ideal home of your dreams. Most of these tips are easy to follow and will make deciding on home improvement projects a breeze for you.

– Before deciding on a home improvement project, you have to decide exactly why you think your home needs it, how much you should be spending on it, and what is the result you would be satisfied with.

– The first home improvements you should consider are repair moves. Attend to any ceiling repair problems, the plumbing job you have been putting off or that attic insulation that has become necessary. This holds true whether you are planning to live in the home yourself, put it on rent, or put the home on sale.

– Remodeling your kitchen or bathroom is a smart home improvement move if you are planning to put your home on sale. This increases the value of the home immediately, and if researched properly, can be done with very little investment.

– Home improvement projects that involve remodeling need to be well thought out, so that they do not look out of place in the house. They are usually done to improve lighting, provide more space or glamorize the home. Remodeling a home can also mean an improvement in the atmosphere. For instance, if a kitchen wall is broken down to create an open kitchen, it immediately makes the home more friendly and sociable.

– Making additions to a home like adding a deck, a pool, or an outdoor storage area are usually the result of what the family needs, but could also be excellent selling points if the home goes up for sale some day. Additions to the home should be considered as home improvement projects if there is extra outdoor space which by itself does not improve the value of the home. A good tip for an improvement in the exterior spaces of the home is also to consider the neighborhood and only make changes and additions that would blend in.

– Helping a home improve its energy efficiency is also a great idea for a householder, because not only does it cut down on the electricity and gas bills, it is a great thing to do for the environment. Improvement in the insulation of the home can be a long-term blessing. Investing on a home so that it at least partially harvests solar energy could be another way of improving the home for posterity.

It is obvious that home improvement projects should not be carried out on a whim. It is essential to evaluate why a specific home improvement project is required, and what would be gained from the investment. While home improvements that involve repair increase the comfort in the home and its longevity and are therefore essential, all other sorts of home improvement need to be carefully evaluated before embarking on them.