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Everything You Need to Know About Home Remodeling


When you live in a home for many years, there will come a time when you will consider remodeling the house as it is starting to wear down and does not look as upbeat. The entire process, including deciding whether to rebuild the house, is a very daunting task and can easily take a few months to complete. You can achieve your dream home as long as you know the home remodeling ins and outs and hire reliable contractors. As long as you follow the right steps, you will have the perfect remodeled home in no time.

There are many advantages of having your home remodeled; you will get the feeling of living in a new home, your home will last for another 15 to 20 years, and best of all, the value of your house will increase. Remodeled homes, no matter which area they are located in, get extra value because of the effort, time and money put into it by the investor. It also becomes highly attractive for buyers.

The Home Remodeling Industry

Going into a bit more details about the home remodeling industry, there are a lot of numbers that you need to be aware of. This will help you gain a better understanding of what you are getting yourself into and be a better judge of the value you will gain.

Let's face it; the housing industry hasn't had a very good reputation in recent years, largely because it's inexplicably tied to the real estate market, which really took a turn for the worse during 2007-2008 as the Great Recession began. However, luckily, both industries appear to be on the upswing. Don't believe it? Take a quick look at the numbers below:

$57.2 billion: This is the estimated amount of money, according to recent data, that the US home improvement industry is worth. Of course, it's important to keep in mind that the housing industry has been growing and stabilizing quite a bit in the past year, and the entire home remodeling industry will likely be much higher than $57.2 billion when those numbers become available. In fact, according to Houzz's research, there has been a 47% increase over the past year in the number of Americans remodeling a house before selling it, and there has been an 83% increase since 2012 in the number of Americans remodeling a house simply to improve its aesthetic or comfort.

$19 billion: This is the amount of money that Americans spent on home improvement projects from April 2012 to April 2013 — and that was even before the real estate industry began reaching pre-Recession house sales and property values. Now that the industry is very secure — perhaps the strongest it's been in the past decade — home remodeling projects and home additions are more popular than ever. Whether people are looking to make external house additions or revamp their interior home design, they're seeing the long-term value of remodeling a house, and they're beginning to have the funds to do so.

It may sound like a ridiculous cliché, but the numbers don't lie! There really has never been a better time (at least in the past decade or so) to invest in real estate, and that can mean everything from buying acres of new property to making a few simple additions in a home renovation project. With a bit of research, patience, and hard work, it's impossible for these projects not to pay off in the long run. Just know that home improvement is a trend that is here to stay. 

Why Is Home Remodeling Trending?

When individuals go out to buy a home, especially first-time buyers, what they look for is a home that is updated with the best flooring, kitchen gadgets, bathrooms, etc. This need for having new versions of everything is here to stay as every person likes to keep themselves updated with the newest trend in the market.

Nothing is more frustrating than spending tens of thousands of dollars on home remodeling only to find out your style is considered passé a few years later. With the help of an experienced design contractor, you'll love the fabulous improvements made to your home for years to come. According to a recent piece by Angie's List, Harvard University's Remodeling Futures Program predicts double-digit gains in home improvement spending. Most people plan to make improvements that are strategic to improve functionality and capitalize on the space that's already there.

There are a few things that are trending these days, and knowing them will help you greatly in making sure your home remains up to date. These relatively new features include:

Open Kitchen

Opening up the kitchen is still one of the major focuses of many remodeling projects. According to the article, many homeowners decide to remove a wall between the kitchen and an adjoining room because it creates instant space. Placing a kitchen island between the kitchen area and the great room or family room is one way to delineate between the living areas as well as provide usable work and dining space.

The Hardwood Factor

Hardwood floors are appealing on many levels, especially for kitchens. It's easier to keep hard surfaces cleaner compared to carpeting, which tends to hold in dirt and grime. Today, there are many eco-friendly flooring products as an alternative to the solid hardwood flooring used in the past. Some glazed porcelain tiles are made to look like natural wood yet are easy to maintain without scratches. One trend is to carry the hardwood floor from the family or great room into the kitchen so that there is continuity.

Custom Features

Another remodeling trend is to customize an older home with targeted improvements for a growing family. Homeowners may want to convert unused guest rooms into specific living spaces such as a hobby room, office, game room or media room. Custom charging spaces for laptops and phones are also important.

Other interior design trends that are here to stay include the eclectic look or transitional style. Placing a farmhouse sink next to a modern stainless steel refrigerator or contemporary furniture mixed in with antiques is a great way to personalize a space.

However, you need to remember that you will be exposed to some remodeling mistakes when you hire a contractor to do the job and avoiding them will be your biggest task.

Home Remodeling Mistakes That Can Be Avoided

Knowing the crucial mistakes will help make sure that you avoid them as you will keep an eye out for them whenever you check on your home’s progress. It will make sure that your improvement project carries on smoothly and you get what you want.

1. Not Thinking It Through

Since most homeowners aren't builders, it stands to reason they won't know certain aspects of remodeling. The subject has many facets that only a professional is trained to know. A few are as follows:

  • This is probably an important aspect of remodeling. Homeowners should know their base budget and add 20 percent to it to cover the unexpected.
  • A lot of homeowners are unaware that if they improve a portion of their property without the necessary permissions, their homeowner's insurance won't cover it if disaster strikes.
  • DIY mistakes. Some homeowners begin working without having established a plan, a design or even a clear idea of what they want. People who take a sledgehammer to knock out walls or tear off cabinetry or take a crowbar to pull up flooring or take tiles off walls without a clear plan of what to replace these things with, end up with a mess that will require a professional to fix.
  • DIY mistakes 2.0. Homeowners who fail to remember to upgrade the electric and the plumbing are asking for major trouble. When they fail to take safety precautions such as goggles, gloves, hearing protection and a handy first aid box, they're asking for trouble of the ER kind.

2. Buying Cheap Building Materials

Even if homeowners use a contractor, they might have picked up deals too good to pass up or materials they simply could not live without at yard sales, antique shops and such. Most contractors will work with things like these. However, one of the essential rules of remodeling is not to use the cheapest materials available. It is true that you get what you pay for. Contractors have access to building supply places from where they can get deals on materials that homeowners can't get. Let the contractor handle that part.

Another aspect of this particular rule is the homeowner who is too frugal. Saving money is a good thing. It's just not good when we're talking building materials. For example, single-pane windows might be cheaper than double-pane or triple-pane windows, but if you go down this route, you can look forward to paying out more on your power bills than you would have had to if you bought the much more energy-efficient double- or triple-paned windows.

3. Taking Incorrect Measurements

One of the most ignored yet essential rules of remodeling is measuring. Too many doorways, hallways and staircases are narrow when they didn't have to be. Too many bathrooms tucked into a corner are too small to turn around in when they didn't have to be. When a contractor sits down with homeowners to sketch out a design, these things are taken into account before the first nail is driven.

4. The Home Doesn't Fit the Neighborhood

Everyone wants their home to stand out or to make a statement regarding who they are and what they're all about. "That's the Macintosh House," people whisper admiringly as they drive by. While that's all well and good, what homeowners don't want is for people to drive by and wonder what possessed the homeowners to build a house like that. Some homeowners build an addition or upgrade the outside of the house in such a manner that it no longer fits in with the neighborhood. The homeowners then have a white elephant that may or may not be easy to unload… oops, we mean sell. An essential rule of remodeling is to fit in with the neighborhood.

5. Choosing the Right Contractor

Perhaps we should have listed this first, but there are so many essential points to remodeling that we had to begin with those. Now that homeowners have seen some of the important aspects of remodeling, they should know how to choose a contractor:

  • A contractor who does not return a homeowner's call quickly either has so much work going on that they have to schedule a lunch break or is too picky about the jobs they accept.
  • Check every reference.
  • Check the Better Business Bureau as well as any professional associations. Homeowners need to know if there are any complaints or lawsuits against a contractor or complaints of unethical practices.
  • Every contractor should have business liability insurance. Check on that.
  • Make sure that any subcontractor the builder uses has, at the very least, worker's compensation insurance if not business liability insurance.
  • The contractor chosen should sit down with homeowners, listen to their needs, draw up plans answering those needs, and list every last dime in the budget and its purpose as well as a list of labor costs or a flat rate for all of it. The contract should be confirmed and signed before work begins.
  • Get bids from several contractors. Go with the contractor whose personality and business practices best suit your personality and needs.
    Investing in home remodeling is not child’s play; it involves a lot of money and will play a huge role in increasing the value of your property. Before deciding to go ahead with the project, make sure you have done some research and have knowledge about what you are getting yourself into. It will make the entire process a lot easier, and you won’t be wasting your money.
    Homeowners looking for integrity, honesty, long-lasting relationships with their contractors, and unmatched skill in addition to a love of the community and the environment could do worse than work with a company that's practiced these things for almost 40 years. We'll be happy to discuss your remodel when you contact us for more information.

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