Which Home Remodeling Projects Are Worth Your Money?

Even if you’re not planning to sell your home anytime soon, it’s an inevitable question when you consider remodeling: How much will this improvement add to the value of my home? If you are looking to have your bathroom and kitchen renovations Sydney then our range of packages will undoubtedly have something to meet your tastes.

Surprisingly, much of the time the answer is not as much value as it costs to actually make the improvement.

But some home renovations bring you more bang for your buck than others.

The top-ranking home improvement? A new front door, which on average adds 96.6 percent of the amount you spent to the value to your home, according to Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report for 2014.

But “it has to be the right front door,” says Steven Aaron, owner of the Steve Aaron Realtor Group at Keller Williams Beverly Hills and one of the protagonists of the HGTV series “Selling LA.” Keep in mind that sometimes painting the existing front door provides the same payoff.

All 35 projects included in the Cost vs. Value report added more value this year than last year, and this is the second consecutive year of increases after several years of decline.

Replacing old elements, such as doors, windows and siding, in general yielded a better financial return than bigger remodeling projects, such as additions. But real estate agents and remodelers say updated kitchens and baths still bring a significant payoff, especially at resale time. The report found that kitchen projects yielded a higher return than bath projects, with a minor kitchen remodel adding 82.7 percent of the project’s cost back to the home’s value. Kitchens are important, Aaron says, because would-be buyers often overestimate how much they would cost to update.

“If you have a dated kitchen … and a buyer walks into that kitchen, they’re going to think that in order to redo that kitchen, they’re going to have to spend $40,000 or $50,000,” Aaron says.

But the average cost of a minor kitchen remodel – new cabinet doors, appliances, countertops, sink, faucet, paint and hardware – was $18,856 nationwide, according to the Cost vs. Value report. Savvy shoppers can do it for less than the buyer assumes.

But, like the front door, it’s important to do the right kitchen remodel. Adding a $75,000 kitchen to a $100,000 house is unlikely to yield $75,000 in value, although it may make you a happy chef. As a general rule, look to spend about 25 percent of the home’s value for a new kitchen and 12 percent to 15 percent for an updated bathroom, says David Pekel, president and CEO of Pekel Construction in Milwaukee and a master certified remodeler.

Putting an ultramodern kitchen into a 100-year-old Tudor home isn’t smart, either. “Whatever your home improvement is … I strongly discourage designing new spaces in a fashion that’s incongruous with the rest of the house’s architectural vernacular,” Pekel says. “It doesn’t really add value. It detracts.”

Whether certain improvements will pay off varies not only regionally, but also neighborhood by neighborhood, based on who is going to live in the house. For example, a pool adds more value to homes in some Los Angeles neighborhoods than in others, Aaron says. In cities with colder climates, a pool may not add any value. (Pools are not included in the Cost vs. Value report.)

Renovations within the existing envelope of your home – those that don’t require you to build an addition or expand the roof and foundation – often return more value than building extra rooms onto your home. For one thing, they’re much cheaper.

Converting an attic into a bedroom ranked third of the 35 improvements in the Cost vs. Value report, returning 84.3 percent of the amount spent. Turning attics into usable space is a popular and profitable improvement in the Milwaukee area, where much of the housing is older, Pekel says.

Adding a powder room and then closing off a hall bathroom to make a bedroom suite is popular in Los Angeles, and it doesn’t require adding to the home. But an addition can pay – especially the right addition. Aaron tells the story of an investor client who added a 500-square-foot family room off the kitchen of a 1,200-square-foot house in the Los Angeles area, opening the home to the yard. The cost was $20,000, but it added $100,000 to the value of the house, which sold for $850,000 instead of the projected $750,000. “It’s a smart addition that’s not that expensive,” Aaron says.

Replacing windows with French doors that open to the backyard is another popular, and not very expensive, renovation project. “It makes the room feel bigger and gives you somewhere to go,” Aaron says. “Suddenly your home just feels more spacious.”

In the years before the real estate market crashed, additions were the most popular remodeling project, Pekel say, with family rooms, kitchens and master suites among the top choices. But in the current lending climate, it’s easier to get a mortgage to buy a bigger house than it is to get a home equity line of credit to add to an existing home.

Among the home improvement projects Pekel is seeing these days, many focus on updating the envelopes of homes with new siding, windows and insulation. For people who plan to stay in their homes, investing in those projects, as well as in more energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems and appliances, saves money all year.

He points out that resale value is one factor to consider in a remodeling project, but the value to you as an occupant matters as well. This is especially important if you plan to stay in the home for a long time.

“Remodeling from the perspective of looking at it from an investment strategy is a terrible model,” Pekel says. “What we can’t quantify is the value of lifestyle.” For comfortable life I strongly suggest that we need to build your bathroom and kitchen beautifully, click here to better know us.

Here are the home renovations that Remodeling’s Cost vs. Value study says will give you the biggest bang for your buck, as well as projects that generate the lowest return.

Renovations that bring the greatest percentage return on investment:

  • Entry door replacement: 96.6 percent
  • Deck addition (wood): 87.4 percent
  • Attic bedroom: 84.3 percent
  • Garage door replacement: 83.7 percent
  • Minor kitchen remodel: 82.7 percent

Renovations that yield the smallest return:

  • Home office remodel: 48.9 percent
  • Sunroom addition: 51.7 percent
  • Bathroom addition: 60.1 percent
  • Backup power generation: 67.5 percent
  • Master suite addition: 67.5 percent

Your Next Home Should Be A Truly New Home

Learn why you need to choose a better custom homes builders

Questions on new homes?

Your search will find new homes & communities, floorplans, photos, videos and deals available in your area. Refine results by price, beds, baths, schools & more! When you have a list of potential custom homes builders Sydney, it’s time to start asking lots of questions — of both the potential custom homes builders and the owners of their homes.

Not sure where to start?

One of the first decisions to make in the new home process is rather to go with a production versus custom home builder. Do you know the difference?

As you plan your new home, one of the firstquestionsto consider is whether working with custom home builder or a higher volume home builder (also referred to as a production builder) is the best choice for you. Both types of builders are excellent options and each can deliver a great new home for you. Much of the decision will rest in how many choices you wish to make — as well as how much design input you’d like to have during your home’sconstruction process. At its core, the difference between a production home builder and a custom home builder is simple: A production builder simultaneously builds a community of homes based on a library of floor plans, each with a limited array of personalization options.

A custom builder typically creates a one-of-a-kind home that offers an even greater range of design choices that’s often built on a single lot.

Custom Builders As the name implies, the process of building a custom home is less scripted because there are no pre-defined choices or menus to choose from.

The home can be built on land you own orland that you acquire. You can supply a floor plan or commission a set of floor plans to be drawn from scratch. You can work with a separate architect and builder — or with a design-build company that manages both the architectural design and the construction process. You’ll be more involved in the process and have the opportunity to make many decisions.

You can pick from nearly any product in a category — within your budget, of course – rather than selecting from a defined menu of choices.

The Production Home Process A production builder can usually deliver the same size home for less money than a custom builder. The reasons lie in volume purchasing power when buying building materials and land and a higher volume, often systematized approach to construction. Buying the right type of land is a big part of a production builder’s strategy. Many larger builders construct homes in large, master-planned communities.

A production builder’s scale and access to a large number of lots in such communities also allows the construction process to be fine-tuned for greater efficiency. Higher volume builders can also pass on cost savings by purchasing building materials in bulk. Just as large airlines can lock in low fuel prices by ordering in volume, production builders can use their size to order materials for hundreds of homes at a time, often at lower prices. An advantage of production home communities is that the community developer also works closely with each builder to insure an attractive mix of homes. In addition to mixing models or floor plans from several builders, each floor plan typically offers multiple elevations to vary the look of the front of each home.

By changing the placement of windows, gables, and the size and shape of the front porch, a single floor plan can be built in several different looks. To add further design appeal, each elevation can usually be constructed with a differing type and color of exterior. A given model home can be built with various in brick, siding, stone or stucco and varying shades of color to offer pleasing diversity and individuality. As a buyer working with a production home builder, you’ll typically start by selecting a lot for your home and your favorite floor plan from the builder’s library of plans. The next step is to select an elevation. Many production builders also offer the opportunity to specify the use of a bonus room; based on your needs, a bonus room can be built as an extra bedroom, a study or even a media room.

Next, you and the builder will work together — often in adesign center— to further personalize your new home by selecting design options, home styles, colors, finishes and other key products in your home such as appliances, cabinets, countertops and carpet and flooring. Buyers who select a production builder typically cannot change the basic structure — i.e. the layout of rooms or square footage — but each model has a wide array of attractive options to choose from to personalize your home in many respects. The Custom Home Process Expect to pay more for a custom home than a production model of similar size and floor plan; after all, the typical custom builder doesn’t enjoy the economies of scale and labor efficiencies that a production builder does.

Of course, the actual price will depend on a number of variables — the most obvious being the size of the home, the intricacy of its design, the building products and materials you select, and the land you purchase. While many people associate custom homes with large and expensive homes, a custom home can range from a simple ranch-style home to a more elaborate and multi-story floor plan designed around your lifestyle. Once you select a custom builder, you can supply your own floor plan or work with an architect to design a home from scratch. As a custom-home buyer, you can select most of the details in your home and you can even work closely with your builder to design a floor plan that works around existing trees on your land and that places your windows to take advantage of the best views. When building a custom home, your choices are nearly unlimited. The main restrictions are your budget and any building code or zoning limitations.

If you find that freedom to create a home from a blank sheet of paper to be exciting, then building a custom home is likely for you. The key to working with a custom builder is to establish a realistic budget and to stick to it, even when you’re enticed by a lovely but higher-cost option. While most buyers realize that additional customization will increase the home’s price, unexpected land-related costs can take you by surprise, so it pays to do your homework. At one end of the scale, you may hold the deed to a flat suburban lot with in-ground utilities already available at the curb. Such a finished lot is ready to build on. On the other hand, you may be considering wooded, rural or steep hillside property. While such land is no doubt scenic, the upfront costs of preparing previously undeveloped rural land for construction is typically a significant additional cost in addition to the purchase price of the land. Site prep — building a driveway, bringing in water, electric and sewage lines, and excavating the foundation — can be quite expensive.

Your builder and architect can help you estimate those costs, too. Even if you’re building on already developed land, you and your architect and builder need to carefully research zoning or deed restrictions. To avoid surprises, have an attorney clarify all restrictions and get estimates on site work (either via the builder or on your own) before completing a land purchase. Because the process of building a custom home is, not surprisingly, truly customized, you’ll typically spend a lot more time designing and constructing your new home than you would if you work with a production builder. That said, knowing what to expect at each stage — and especially what choices you’ll make and when — can make your custom home process smooth and result in the home you’ve always dreamed about.

Charlie Wardell has twenty years of experience writing and editing about home building for Architectural Record, BUILDER Magazine, Coastal Living, Fine Homebuilding and The Journal of Light Construction.

Comments from users do not reflect the opinions of The BDX and carry no endorsement. All comments are subject to review before they’re publicly available. Contact us to report inappropriate comments for review.

While the process varies somewhat by builder, these 10 steps summarize the process of building a typical new home. These steps will help you understand the major stages of construction, what will occur when, and key decisions you’ll make, in partnership with your builder, to create your new home.

Learn who’s who on your building team and understand what each highly trained professional will do to help build your new home. Know how to best work with each member of the building team and be ready for choices you’ll make.

Our panel of experts can answer any questions you may have about new homes, the buying process, locations, and more.

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Understanding What an Emissions Test Is

Image result for emission testIn some states, you have to have your car regularly inspected. Part of that inspection should include an emissions test. If your vehicle is new, you may not have to worry as much. However, older automobiles may have trouble. Catching potential problems and fixing them in advance can save you time and frustration.

What Are Emissions?

To understand how an emissions test works, you first must understand what the technicians are looking for when examining your vehicle. Simply put, as your automobile uses fuel to power the engine, combustion takes place. What is left over from this process comes out of your vehicle’s tailpipe. Because of the toxicity of the outflow, inspectors must ensure that these gases are within certain levels.

What Does an Emissions Test Look For?

To perform this examination on your vehicle, the technician places a sampler into the tailpipe. This piece of equipment samples the exhaust coming from your engine and reads what the level of gases are in parts per million.

The equipment is set to sense or “sniff” five different types of gases: NOX, O2, CO, CO2 and HC. NOX is the term for oxides of nitrogen and is produced by heating and compressing air containing nitrogen. This compound is very toxic at high levels.

Oxygen is always found in the exhaust as there is always some unburned oxygen being admitted into the air. While this is not a harmful residue, O2 tells how well the engine burns through the fuel. Excessive amounts may indicate that the engine has been tampered with in order to pass the test with faulty equipment.

In addition to O2 and NOX, CO and CO2 are also tested for. CO, or carbon monoxide, is a well-known, colorless, odorless compound that is deadly. CO2, better known as carbon dioxide, is a leading cause of global warming.

The final compound tested for is HC or hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbon is unburned fuel. As with CO and NOX, HC is not something you want to breathe. It is the leading cause of smog seen in large cities.

How Can You Pass the Emissions Test?

Your car must be in fairly decent shape to pass the test. If you have not had a tune up in a while, it is important that you do so before your next inspection. Changing spark plugs, changing the oil, and having a fresh air filter can address many of the issues that your automobile may have. You should also ensure that your gas cap is free of cracks and that it fits snugly.

In addition, if your vehicle has a check engine light on, you will not pass the inspection. Be sure to take your vehicle in for service when this light comes on. There are many different reasons the light could be on, and not all of them are expensive fixes.

The emissions test is designed to help keep our environment clean. While it might seem like a hassle, having cleaner burning vehicles is better for everyone. In addition, you can be certain that your car is in great running condition and will be less likely to break down.

Know Why Your Car Brakes Squeak

Image result for car brakes squeakAll of you must be aware of the fact that brakes are quite an important safety feature for cars and that is the reason as to why squeaky brakes can easily cause a driver to panic. Sometimes squeaky brakes can be a cause of genuine concern as it may signify that our brakes are going bad and at other times there may not be any reason to worry. However, it needs to be noted here that certain sounds from the car’s brakes are quite normal and are caused by different driving conditions. For example, conditions like severe braking, dusty or sandy conditions or even humidity can cause various noises from the car’s brakes.

Some of the common causes of brake squeaks in the car are the following:
Rust on the Rotors: This is quite common and it has been seen that disc brakes of car have a tendency to squeak if they are parked out in the open air throughout the night. Most brakes squeak after sitting overnight because the moisture from the rain or dew or condensation collects on the surface of the rotors. When there is moisture on the surface of the rotors, a thin layer of rust forms on the surface. As the rotor turns, the pad scrapes the rust off the rotors and then the rust easily gets caught on the leading edge of the brake pad. The fine particles of rust get embedded into the leading edge of the pad which in turn causes a squeaking sound.

This squeaking sound will continue until the rust is removed from the rotors.

Brake Pads: Another cause of squeaking brakes can be thinning brake pads. This usually happens when the brake pads are worn out and has become extremely thin. In fact, this is an effective warning that the brake pads are in a bad condition and needs to be replaced soon so that it does not cause an untoward incident on the road.

High Metal Content: It has been seen that high metal content in brake pads also cause the squeaking sound. However, it is natural that there is some amount of metal in the brake pads but some of the cheap varieties are manufactured with high metal content. In fact, large chunks of metal are embedded into the pad material. The result is that the large pieces of metal drag on the rotor and causes the brakes to squeak while the car is on the move.

Lubrication: Sometimes a squeaking sound from the rear brakes are also heard after pushing the brake pedals. It indicates that the shoe-to-backing-plate contact points need to be lubricated. Once the contact point loses lubrication the metal begins to rust. When such a thing happens the shoes will scrape against the backing plate, which in turn causes a squeaking sound while the wheel rotates.

If your car brakes are squeaking, it is best to get your vehicle checked by a trusted car mechanic and get his opinion on the condition of your brakes and the reason as to why they are squeaking. Remember, car brakes play an important role in maintaining the safety of the vehicle while on road and so it is always better to be safe than sorry!

Things To Look For When Hiring a Plumber

The plumbing of your home is one of the most important parts of your home. Eventually, because all things wear down, you will need to call a plumber in Salt Lake City to help you with your plumbing needs. While all plumbers need a fare wage, there are things you can do to minimize your costs. Plumber Salt Lake City should be called when you have plumbing needs. When calling a plumber, you should compare their hourly rate with other plumbers in the area. Going with the cheapest plumber may sound like the easiest way to choose your plumber, but it’s not that simple. What’s more important when comparing two plumbers than their hourly rate is their reputation in the area. A good reputation, just like the cheapest price, also doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to get the best product. A good reputation can be made from simple jobs being down well for a long period of time. Just because that plumber has a good reputation for unclogging leaks doesn’t mean they have the knowledge or the experience to tackle a big job or an emergency plumbing problem that might arise in your home. Remember that just because a company has been promoted and marketed a lot doesn’t mean they have a good track record or that they will come through when you need them most. The most important thing you can do is get explicit references from people that have had work done or go through a prescreened plumbing service. Another problem with comparing the hourly rate of two plumbers in one area is they may bill their hours differently. Travel must be factored into the final cost, and if you are in the middle of nowhere, may have to pay more. Looking for a plumbers’ overall customer satisfaction is probably the best way to select who will be best for your job. When you take everyone’s collected accounts of the service provided by a plumber, you get a good picture of what that plumber can offer you.

If you are still looking for ways to save money when looking for a plumber, instead of comparing them, you could leave them out of the equation entirely. There are things you can do to save money and save a plumber call that you can do on your own. Don’t bite off more than you can chew though, or you will need to call Plumber Salt Lake City to correct your mistakes. If you don’t have the proper knowledge, a professional should be brought in. Some maintenance is very easy, however. There are three very common pipe problems with easy solutions. A plumber in Salt Lake City might tell you these very tips. First is frozen pipes. You need to ensure all your pipes are in heated spaces. If they are not in heated spaces, you need to make sure your pipes are well insulated. When the seasons change from summer to fall, you must disconnect your garden hose first, and then drain it of all liquid. You should then turn off the valve indoor and open the faucet outdoor. If you don’t have a cut-off valve indoors, you should consider having one installed. Water that is left in the pipes when the temperature becomes freezing will freeze in the pipes and this can cause problems. Next is hair build up in your pipes in the bathroom. Whether in the sink or in the bathtub or shower, if you don’t have something to block hair from going down your drain, you might eventually end up with a hair-clogged drain. Buying something to cover the drain so you can intermittently remove the hair is the first step. If you haven’t done this and you already have a clog, consider using a specially made product to remove the clog. Be careful and remember to read all precautions and directions before using any chemicals you aren’t familiar with. Last is grease build up. You can buy a product designed for this as with a hair clog, or you can try boiling hot water and a soap mixture and pouring that down the drain. Be careful with either choice.

Another way to save money on your plumbing needs is to buy your own fixtures as opposed to buying the ones the plumber installs after you have chosen the right plumber for you. A plumber will normally buy the parts at wholesale prices and sell them to you with a markup on them. Plumber Salt Lake City will be able to save you money, but you might try buying your own parts too. Because home-centers now charge prices that might be less than wholesale, buying your own fixtures can save you money. Even though you might be saving money, you do need to be wary of things bought from home-centers. Usually the cheaper price comes with cheaper craftsmanship and this may affect your plumber system in a negative way. Don’t rely on cheap parts for your homes most important fixtures. Cutting corners can’t replace quality when your home is on the line, and with the possibility of the things that might fail, you should always choose quality products over saving a few bucks. Another problem with home-center products are that they sometimes might be missing parts or need additional parts or adapters for use in your home. Read the product carefully before purchase.

The Self Watering Flower Boxes Is Better For People With Busy Schedules

If you cannot stay for one day in your home just because you are too busy with your job right now, you may be thinking that having some extra baggage’s with your household activities right now. If you are keep on thinking that when you are busy you have no chance to beautify your own home. You can always say that you will have no time to maintain some additions in your home but there are some innovations with regard to home addition that even if you have no time to maintain it, its function will not alter. The street lights are produce to automatically shots off during day time and the lights on during dark. It is a very simple innovation but it keeps your way of life easier and productive. And since people are very busy now a day, manufacturers will be having a great deal of effort to produce products that could give convenience to the public.

Like the self watering window boxes, you can make your home beautiful without the worries of watering the plats every day. The moment you attached the self watering window boxes on your windows or in your porch, you will just water the plants twice a month. It is the most practical way of making your home beautiful without too much effort of maintaining it.

The self watering window box is also perfect for buildings and other business establishment. If you own a large building and you want to put some life on it, you can place the self watering window box each balcony you have and the good thing about this is that you will not worry for its everyday maintenance. Even the tenants of your building will find it beautiful to have the self watering window box because even if they are busy they could still have the flowering plants in their area that will help brighten up their day.

Moreover, the self watering flower boxes are ideal for some homeowners that don’t stay on their houses more often. People who use to travel because of their job will still enjoy the beauty of having flowering plants in their windows and verandas with the help of some self watering flower boxes. It is then, not an excuse that you are busy not to make your home attractive. You just install the self watering flower boxes in your home, you are then ready to take off and do what are the demands of your today’s schedule.