Factors To Consider When Looking For A US Home Improvement Contractor

Many residents who live in the US find the need to make home improvements season by season. The main reason for doing these is to make their homes look newer, improve on the architecture, bring new technologies in the home and even increase the value of their homes. All the above services can be hired from different US contractors spread all over different cities.

Some home improvement jobs for hire:

Different clients who want to hire contractors have choices to make from the available services. Some of the jobs include treating the windows, roofs and doors. Other home owners will hire the contractors to remodel the homes while others will pay for the storm drain repair, insulation needs, plastering needs, glass work jobs and even carpentry services.

Factors to put in place when looking for a contractor:

It is obvious that different home owners have different needs when it comes to their home improvement. The first thing to consider is the type of home improvement. For example a person who requires roofing facelift must check on the different roofing experts in their locations. It will be awkward when looking for a roof fixing expert and you head to a company that has expertise in storm drain remodeling.

Secondly one has to consider the pricing. Many companies will charge different prices. This will depend on the services offered. When a client is looking for any of the services, then they must compare the prices to be paid. This can be done by checking various online sites for the services offered by each company and initial charges.

In addition, some of the US home improvement companies have been in the business for a number of years therefore they have a good reputation. When a home owner is getting the services, it is only ideal to consider the companies that have worked in various cities and many people are recommending them. These reputable companies have the latest technologies to deal with any jobs offered.

The technology used:

Due to the competition among various US service providers, the home owner must get some information about the technology used to finish the jobs given. For example, a home owner seeking to improve the insulation around the home can check the companies with the best materials and technology to help in insulation remodeling. Since they know the requirements, then they will have to choose the best.

Availability:

In some parts, it is impossible to get specialists to solve a particular need. So this will mean importing the services from a neighboring state. This will translate to higher payments. To reduce the operation costs, they service provider needs to be contacted online to reduce the costs.

Offers made:

Some companies providing US home improvement services have various offers for different improvement jobs. In order to get the best at reduced prices, the home owner should ensure they take advantage of the discounts given on any service that will reduce the costs significantly.

The US home improvement has improved in the recent days as more people contact the experts to give a facelift to their homes. With these services available, home owners can pay smaller fees to ensure their homes look good every time.

Home Improvement Tips: Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

Reasons for A Redo

Home improvement projects often begin with someone saying, “Wouldn’t it be nice if… ?” usually followed by a wish for a remodelled kitchen or a room addition for space to accommodate every family member’s needs. More often than not, reality and dreams don’t coincide, due to limited funds for realizing the dream, or limits on the available space. The trick: turning your dreams into reality. Begin with a realistic evaluation of your needs. Homeowners usually consider home improvements for one of the following reasons.

You may feel the need to update something that is out-of-date. If your kitchen colour scheme was perfect a few decades ago but no longer works, now may a good time to update it.

Some home improvement projects grow out of an immediate need to replace broken or inefficient fixtures. If a sink, tub, or toilet needs to be replaced, consider taking advantage of the opportunity to do a makeover on the entire bathroom.

If you’re preparing to sell your home, you’ll want to be sure to get top dollar from the sale. That’s great motivation for some home improvement projects.

You have decided that staying put and improving your home is a better option than moving.

Your family has grown and you need more space.

Improving to Move? or Improving to Stay?

Evaluate your plans carefully if you’re improving your home to list it for sale. Cutting corners may hurt your prospects rather than helping them. But don’t go overboard either. Potential buyers may prefer not to pay for some of the extras, such as a hot tub or pool. You’re better off keeping the changes simple.

And remember that buyers who view your home may not share your tastes and may not appreciate the care you took to find just the right shade of green paint for the walls.

You’ll find that improving to sell is easier if you can think about it from the prospective buyer’s point of view: What is important to the home buyer? Here are a few remodelling projects buyers are likely to find valuable:

Adding or remodelling a bath

Improving the kitchen

Adding a new room

Landscaping

Adding a bedroom

Adding or enclosing a garage.

If you’re remodelling because you want to stay in your home, you should still avoid over-improving it. You’ll probably want to sell it someday, and even if your house is the best on the block, it may be difficult to convince potential buyers to pay for the things you considered important. And when you consider making improvements, keep in mind the value of other homes in the area. Your home’s value should not be more than 20% above the average, which means that a $10,000 kitchen improvement project well could be a better investment than a $10,000 hot tub, especially if yours will be the only home in the area with a hot tub.

Home Maintenance versus Home Improvements

It’s unfortunate that some home improvement projects are undertaken because something has broken. Replacing a leaky bathtub may be the first step to a major bath remodeling: since the tub has to be replaced anyway, why not do the whole room?

While that might be a legitimate reason to remodel, avoid basing your home improvement projects on immediate needs. You’ll be better off if you minimize problems with proper maintenance. Examine every part of your home at least once a year. Check the roof, the plumbing, electrical wiring, etc. As soon as become aware of a problem, fix it. Making repairs when you’re first aware of them will help you avoid larger expenses later on. Keep in mind that maintenance does not add to the value of your home. Usually repairs are not improvements; they are necessities.

Hiring Professionals May Save You Time and Money

It should go without saying that home projects can be expensive, so you may be tempted to tackle them yourself as a way to save money. That may be a smart move for small projects. You won’t have to wait for someone to fit your house into their busy schedule, and you can boast about having done the work yourself.

But unless you’re very versatile, major home improvements are better left to professionals. If you decide to remodel the kitchen and plan to do the work yourself, will you be able to handle the plumbing, electrical, and carpentry work on your own?. And don’t forget that you’ll need to finish it quickly, because you won’t have a kitchen as long as it’s a “work in process” and eating three meals a day in restaurants could get expensive. Keep in mind, do-it-yourself jobs generally take more time. And you’ll be responsible for getting all the necessary permits and inspections.

Hiring people who have the required experience can save you money and time, too. For example, these professionals can help you get a custom look using stock products, and that can be a significant savings. Getting something done right the first time will give you value that lasts for years.

To find qualified and dependable home improvement specialists, check with friends, business associates, and neighbours for recommendations. Always get at least three references, and check them out thoroughly. Also check with the local chapter of the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce. Their numbers can be found in the community services section of your telephone book.

Once you’ve located the necessary home improvement specialists, make sure everyone is in agreement about the design, the schedule, and the budget, and get the details down in writing in a signed contract.

It’s also wise to check on professional certifications and licenses, where required, and be certain that the contractors you hire are fully insured and bonded. Your town or city Building Department can provide that information. And it’s very important that you make sure contractors carry workers’ compensation insurance: if workers are injured on the job, you won’t be liable if the contractor is covered. Request copies of their insurance certificates. And make sure that either you or your contractor have gotten any necessary permits before the work begins. Contact your local Planning and Zoning Commission for information.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the professionals you may need to work with when you remodel your home:

Architect: Architects design homes or additions from the foundation to the roof. If your project will require structural changes such as adding or removing walls, or if the design is complex, you will probably need an architect. Since architects may charge an hourly or a flat fee, make sure you get an estimate of the total cost: drawing up the plans for a major remodeling project can take 80 hours or more.

Contractor: The contractor oversees the home improvement project, including hiring and supervising workers, getting the necessary permits, making sure inspections are done as needed, and providing insurance for work crews. It’s always a good idea to get proposals from one or more reputable contractors, based on the specific details of your project.

Be sure each contractor bids on exactly the same plan so that you can compare their bids more easily. When you’ve chosen a contractor, make sure the contract specifies that you will pay in stages. You’ll usually pay one third when the contract is signed so that the contractor can buy supplies. The number and timing for making the remaining payments will depend on the size of the project. Do not make the final payment until all the work is successfully completed, inspected, and approved.

Interior Designers: Interior designers are specialists who will provide advice on furnishings, wall coverings, colors, styles, and more. They help save you time by narrowing your selection, and save money because they usually receive professional discounts from their suppliers. When meeting with an interior designer, be sure to tell them about your personal style and preferences. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour, or you may be able to negotiate a flat fee of approximately 25% of the total project cost.

If we can help you or anyone you care about understand the processes of selling, purchasing, or improving a home, contact us to schedule a free consultation. We’ll sit down with you for about half an hour and show you the latest technologies and strategies for buying a home. No high pressure; just plain, honest talk. Your consultation is completely free and does not obligate you in any way.

Home Improvement

In many cases, when homeowners are interested in home improvement projects, professionals are hired to improve the home. There are, however, a lot of people who prefer the do-it-yourself approach for improving their own homes.

Home improvement may be done individually or with the help of professionals through consultations. Also, a lot of home improvement stores offer efficient tools and kits and even lessons for the do-it-yourself individual.

Homeowners may hire general contractors to supervise home improvement projects. These contractors perform multiple tasks in managing the resources to be used and the people who will be working on the project, providing site access, removing debris after the project, and even performing some the tasks needed for the project. They are also in charge of hiring specialized workers such as plumbers, electricians, or roofers, although homeowners may actually opt to hire these workers themselves.

Different Types of Home Improvement

Improving one’s home varies from house to house; it may depend on what part or area of the house is to be refurbished. Improvement may be as simple as applying wallpaper or painting the walls, or it can be installing wood paneling on the walls. It can also included improving flooring by such means as installing carpet, tile, linoleum, or wood parquet, or even installing solid hardwood flooring. Upgrading cabinets, adding shelves, changing fixtures, and replacing sinks in the kitchen and the bathroom are also home improvement projects. Even repairing or adding to existing plumbing and electrical systems are considered home improvement. Upgrading heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in the home and waterproofing and roof replacement are also ways of improving the home. Installing or replacing doors and windows, turning marginal areas into livable spaces as well as reducing utilities through insulation and solar paneling are still other ways of refurbishing the home. In general, anything that is employed to improve and beautify or make the home or a space in the house more functional may well be considered to be a home improvement project.

Making Home Improvements That Add Value, Avoiding Those That Don’t

You watch that TV channel. The one with all the stories about real estate and what improvements you can make to your home to increase its value. It all sounds great — simple even. Add a room, get better counters, slap down some hardwood, command top dollar at closing. Sorry to have to say this, but slow down. It’s not that simple.

Do Home Improvements Really Increase the Sale Value

The average return on home improvements will, of course, follow the ups and downs of the real estate market itself. In 2006, for instance, every dollar spent on improvements raised the value of the home by 76.1 cents. In 2007, the figure was 70 cents, and by 2008 it fell to just 67.3 cents.

Looked at in terms of recouping the expense of the improvement itself, the ratio is rarely 1 to 1. You’re not going to get $20,000 more for a home you’ve put $20,000 into. There are, however, regional exceptions to that rule. In San Francisco, the addition of a deck, the number-one-rated improvement for that city, often returns more than 100 percent the cost of the work. This raises an extremely salient point.

If you are making improvements specifically to increase the value of your home before selling it, talk to a real estate professional first and find out what upgrades the local market values. Even if you’re thinking of selling within five years, take the time to visit with a real estate agent. Some improvements are widely accepted as being of higher value than others, but each market may put a different emphasis on what constitutes “value” and what does not.

Kitchen Renovations Are Always a Winner

It’s difficult to go wrong with kitchen improvements since, for most people, especially families, that’s the room that is the heart of the house. At minimum, fresh paint, new or refreshed cabinets, and new flooring will go a long way. Higher end improvements might include granite counters or stainless steel appliances. On average, kitchen remodels return 75 percent of the amount invested.

Bathroom Makeovers Are a Close Second

Let’s face it. No room in a house has the potential for a bigger “ick” factor than the bathroom. No one wants to buy someone else’s dirt. Even the cleanest tub in the world is going to look dirty with peeling, moldy grout or rust stains around the drain. Most of us never look twice at our own bathrooms, but will recoil in horror at one in a listing we’re viewing.

At the very least, a bathroom in a home for sale should be so clean it sparkles. If there’s no way to get sparkle, then get new tile, a molded sink, marble vanity, and nice fixtures. So whatever you have to do to make the bathroom look pristine. You’ll easily see 75 to 80 percent of the cost coming back to you at the time of sale.

New Emphasis on Green, Energy Efficient Improvements

Especially in Texas and the Southwest where brutal summer heat saddles residential customers with astronomical electric bills, green improvements to a home can significantly add value to a property. This could be anything from insulating doors and windows to a roof with a radiant barrier, high-performance insulation, and potentially alternative energy systems. The latter are most likely to be solar panels or small, residential wind turbines. At present, these sorts of modifications appeal to a highly select clientele, but such additions are likely to grow in acceptance and value rapidly over the next decade.

Upgrades that Generally Don’t Add Value

Not all home upgrades are created equal. In picking things like counter tops, cabinets, and fixtures, try to match the overall “quality” or “range” of the home. Ultra high-quality upgrades in a fairly “normal” or “modest” home stick out like the proverbial sore thumb.

Avoid adding rooms that make no sense in terms of the basic floor plan. Always preserve the flow from one room to the next, and don’t do things like adding on a family room only to cut off any view from the dining room. Worse yet, don’t add on a room that can only be accessed by going through the master bathroom! You get the idea. If it feels “tacked on” to you, the potential buyer will experience that same feeling to the tenth power.

Finally, it’s best to avoid pools. Once seen as a premium enhancement to value, most buyers now perceive a pool as a home maintenance albatross. This is especially true in climates where the pool is only usable a few months out of the year. You might be able to make a case for a pool being a selling point in Florida. That likely won’t fly in South Dakota.

Always Understand the Local Market for Upgrades

These are the kinds of factors that make a consultation with a real estate professional essential before you start knocking out walls. Find out which upgrades sell in your area and try to match a dollar figure to what “sell” means. Only undertake the improvements that make the most sense for your property and the ones that will largely pay for themselves when you sell the home.