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Posts Tagged ‘home improvement’

Should you move or improve? A Spring Guide to the right Home Improvement or Renovation Project

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Kitchen Remodeling, Windows

Spring Guide to the Right Home Imrpovement or Renovation Project | Innovate Building Solutions | #HomeRemodeling #SpringHomeImprovement #ClevelandRemodeling

I was looking forward to a quiet – yet quick – dish of twice cooked pork from Billie Lee’s (my favorite Chinese restaurant in Columbus Ohio). It wasn’t as quiet as I expected this night (even though it was a slow night). 3 tables over I could hear loud and clear (and I wouldn’t describe myself as a “Snoop Doggy-Dog either!) an upper 60-year old couple describing to friends their recent home sales experience. They described how their home sold in less than 2 weeks. EVERY offer was above the asking price. They accepted a full cash bid. I thought to myself – wow – housing markets sure can change from year to year.

I’m not sure why this couple was selling or where they were moving to, but what I could figure out (and a crack detective I’m not) is their home was a hot. Also, I came to the conclusion if you’re buying a home in Columbus Ohio you’d better act quick – and don’t plan on finding big bargains either.

You may be in a stage in life where you’re kicking around, should I move or improve?

Perhaps you have to move because your existing home is too expensive, too big, has a bad layout or you’re being relocated.

Perhaps you want to move because your home is too small, or neighborhood safety is a problem, or the school system is going down the tubes.

Perhaps you never want to move. Even though your home doesn’t ‘live’ due to your mobility challenges you’ve told your family they’ll have to roll you out of here.

Whether you decide to move or improve isn’t a question I’m smart enough to chime in on (it’s one you’ll need to discuss with family, friends and a sharp realtor), but what I would like to discuss is what home improvements make sense if you (A) decide to move or (B) decide to improve and stay put.

The list of what you could do to improve your home is longer than you have time or money for. The list of what you should do to improv your home will be different if you decide to stay put or you decide to run, run as fast as you can. Below I’ll look at 5 smaller-scale, yet smart, home improvement projects should you decide to move, and 4 larger-scale projects if you decide to stay and improve. Note, I’m only looking at 4 because these ones will require a decent chunk out of your wallet to do.

At the end of the article I’d love your ideas on which projects should (or shouldn’t) be on your list. My ‘lists are purposely incomplete.’ Let’s face it – these lists could go on and on. Please add to your recommended project ‘to do list’ at the end of the article.

7 Smart Spring Home Improvement Projects to Fall in Love with Your Home Again

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Exterior Remodeling, Glass Block, Home Organization, Home Organization & Storage, Windows

7 smart spring home improvement projects to fall in love with your home again | Innovate Building Solutions

Are you like me and H-A-T-E winter? “Old-Man-Winter” is finally behind us. Spring temperatures are here. I can smell the Lilac and Korean spice bushes outside my home. Everything is just perfect …. except the abuse winter inflicts on our houses.

Now that I’m getting outside raking dead leaves away, getting mulch spread and putting in the screen windows it’s doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or a rocket scientist’s husband or wife!) to see your home has gotten a bit (OK maybe more than a bit) tattered and torn from the cold winter season. A front door or window may have rotten wood. Your siding can be showing its age with the paint coming off the boards. Your basement windows might look like they can practically fall out if you blew on them. And the garage – can you saw DISASTER. It’s tough to even get to the rake without stumbling over bikes and excess junk all around the garage floor!

Now that you’re out of your winter hibernation season what can (and should) be done to resurrect the outside of your home? In this article, we’re going to go on a “tour” of 7 smart projects you can tackle this spring to help you fall in love with your home again (and protect it the next time winter comes back again sorry to remind of you of this). We’ll start in the front of the house, go around the sides and finally look at some cool projects for the backyard. At the end of the article let me know project would make the most sense for your home.

5 Critical Facts to Get A Higher Return on Your Remodeling Dollars Now

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

5 critical facts to get higher returns on your remodeling based on the 2016 Cost to Value Study | Innovate Building Solutions

Do you struggle with where to start first when it comes to remodeling or fixing up your home? Does your home resemble The Money Pit from the 1986 movie with Tom Hanks and Shelly Long? If you were taking a multiple-choice quiz about what need to be done at your home would you click the box that says “all of the above?”

Knowing where to put your hard-earned remodeling dollars can be confusing. Is it best to fix the broken windows, doors or poorly insulated walls or do a major addition to gain more space? Do you get bigger returns from a kitchen or bathroom remodel? If you redesign and remodel your bathroom to “age in place” will this improvement hurt you when you go to sell your home?

It’s easy to come up with these questions – the answers, though, are not so obvious. So, this brings us back to the question where should you put your remodeling dollars to get the biggest bang for your buck (or conversely should you even give a hoot about return on investment?).

Every year an extensive research team puts together the Remodeling Cost/Value Study to dig into these questions and provide you and I with the answers. My goal in this article is to not bore you with stats. I say this even though I will confess to being a bit of a stats geek. I’m so strange I took 3 statistics courses while majoring in Business at Carnegie-Mellon University. You’ve got to be a bit touched to do that (ha! ha!).

In this article, I’m going to focus on 5 critical facts (which don’t require you to like statistics) so you can get the best return on your remodeling dollars. At the end of this article I’m going to share with you my IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) how I look at return on remodeling personally (my opinion as a financially conservative building material supplier and contractor may surprise you). Let’s check out these 5 critical facts.

Getting the most for your home improvement & remodeling spending – The 2011-2012 Cost to Value Report

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in doors, Kitchen Remodeling, Windows

Vinyl replacement windows provide a good return on investment
Vinyl replacement windows provide a good return on investment

Everyone is looking for value these days for their hard earned dollars. There may be no place where this is as true as it is with money spent on residential real estate. With home value still declining (although at a slower rate) when homeowners do decide to spend money they are careful where they are allocating their remodeling budget.

 

If you’re looking for some guidance on the right type of remodeling projects to give you the biggest bang for your buck an excellent reference source is the 2011-2012 Cost to Value report. This report is done through a group of collaborative surveys done by Realtor Magazine (who gets estimated resale value data through sales agents, brokers & appraisers), Specspan (an on line marketing and research company which host the on line survey) and HomeTech Publishing (a developer and publisher of construction estimating books and software).  Here’s a recap of the conclusions, trends and some of the top home improvement & remodeling projects bases on their respective return on investments.

 

 

Deceptive Home Improvement Sales Practices – Don’t Be Victimized By “Tin Men”

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Basement Remodeling, Bathroom Remodeling, Exterior Remodeling, Glass Block, Kitchen Remodeling, Windows

Tin Men Movie about Deceptive Home Improvement Sales Practices
Tin Men Movie about Deceptive Home Improvement Sales in Aluminum Siding Industry in 1963
Vinyl replacement window industry has been target of deceptive sales practices
The vinyl replacement window industry was the first target of deceptive sales practices in Washington State

Remember the movie Tin Men with Danny Devito about high pressure sales tactic used in the 60’s selling customers door to door aluminum siding jobs? Although Danny Devito was hilarious in the movie getting pressured or deceived into making any type of purchase is not good.

Unfortunately if you think the days of the “Tin Men” (high pressure home improvement sales people) are over – think again. In Washington State Jack G. Zurlini Jr. (the Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Protection Division) is taking action against multiple home improvement companies selling vinyl replacement windows for unlawful marketing and sales practices (and the practices mentioned are not confined to the state of Washington). Here’s 3 questions to help educate and protect you against making a bad choice in contractors:

Remodeling Trends 2010 & 2011 – How to get the biggest bang for your buck

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Basement Remodeling, Bathroom Remodeling, Exterior Remodeling, Kitchen Remodeling, Windows

Basement Remodeling to add cost effective living space
Basement Remodeling Adds Cost Effective Living Space vs. a Room Addition
Steel Entry Door for curb appeal and high cost/value relationship
Steel Entry Doors Add Curb Appeal and Provide a Great Value vs. Cost

Maybe at no time in recent history is it more important than now to spend your money wisely. We’re just pulling out of a recession (at a slower pace than most would like), housing and resale prices are still depressed, and unemployment is coming down (very slowly).

So – if you’re in a home that’s in desperate need of several home improvement projects where should you begin to get the most return for money spent? Is there some type of statistical guide to help you prioritize remodeling projects based on the market value they will add to your home? Fortunately the answer is yes!

Every year the remodeling industry with the assistance of Realtor magazine, the National Association of Realtors, Specpan (an on line market research company) and HomeTech Information Systems (an estimating software developer) team up to complete the Cost to Value Report. Here’s a quick recap of the findings:  

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