Video: Good and Bad Home Remodeling Investments

Which remodeling projects translate into higher resale values and give you a good return on your investment? 2 new news videos answer the question.

KSTP Video: Good Home Remodeling Investments

The most profitable home renovations are:

  • Kitchen remodel – 73%
  • Bathroom remodel – 73%
  • A 2 story home addition – 73%
  • Siding replacement – 81%

KSTP Video: Bad Home Remodeling Investments

The losers:

  • Master Bedroom suite remodel – 62%
  • Sunroom – 60%
  • Home Office – 55%

Payback stats quoted in the videos are from the National Association of Realtors.

Do you need extra insurance during your renovation?

Maybe so, according to a new article from the Wall Street journal.

As a general rule, you should check your contractor has general liability, workers compensation and auto insurance. These will cover contractor injuries and damage to your property caused by the contractor. But there are still a risks to be covered.

Your homeowner policy, meanwhile, may not cover damage that occurs during construction work, such as fire, theft or mishaps, which are major sources of claims. Theft of materials, including copper pipes, from work sites is also epidemic. The fact that smoke and burglar alarms are often turned off while workers go in and out of the house doesn’t help.

The article goes on to recommend buying a builder’s risk policy or course of construction (COC) policy which usually covers damage from wind / rain, vandalism, and theft depending on the scope of your renovation or remodel.

Read more – When renovating, get covered via MyrtleBeachOnline.

ZZZerious emerging home trend: the snoring room

Remember “til death do us part”? Traditionally, it meant putting up with a lot, including the snoring spouse or partner. Well no more.

One of the emerging trends in new home construction is the addition of a snoring room adjacent to the master bedroom suite, along with the usual bathroom and walk-in closet. Typically it’s an 12′ by 12′ soundproofed room with a double bed. And since it’s part of the master bedroom with full-sized bed, it beats the couch every time. Better for sleeping and the relationship.

“It’s an emerging trend,” Nash said. “I think it will definitely go mainstream in the next three years.”

Among “active adults,” the demographic term for people 55 and older, it already has.

Now some don’t like the the word “snoring room”, as snoring is often associated with more mature adults or overweight adults, and why compromise the value of a good idea? So the “double master suite;) ;) is also being promoted as a solution to “lifestyle issues” like being on different schedules, or spouses that move or talk in their sleep.

In existing home remodels, space for the snoring room is being carved from master suite sitting areas or largely unused hallway closet space.

Props: The Chicago Tribune.

How to quit procrastinating on that kitchen remodel

Do you want a more attractive kitchen? Do you go to the trouble of window shopping for a new kitchen, collecting numerous samples & brochures, but never seem to quite “get there”? Here is some insight into your potential “procrastination”:

“I don’t think you are describing procrastination so much as a form of paralysis caused by fear of making the wrong decisions,” says David Gray, owner of Kitchen Cabinet Expo in Rancho Cordova.

“A kitchen remodel is a major undertaking. When you consider all the choices, time, effort and money involved, it is not hard to understand why many people feel overwhelmed. I think the solution is to find the right professionals you can trust to listen to your needs and help you make the right choices, provide a good experience and do a good job,” he says.

Find more insights and answers to your remodeling jitters at the Sacramento Bee.

The ugliest front door in America

Therma-Tru Ugly Door Contest Winner

Who wants to admit their front door is an eyesore and the “ugliest door in America”? Quite a few people actually, which shouldn’t be surprising as the warts ‘n’ all reality makeover is now a staple of the home improvement industry. Therma-Tru Doors has just announced the winners of their Third Annual Ugliest Door in America Contest.

The grand prize winner is shown left, selected from over 200 entrants. To enter homeowners had to submit 2 photos and an essay explaining why their front door deserves to be named as the Ugliest Door in America; “worst in show” wins.

Judging was done by a team of 6 home improvement industry professionals including consultants from HGTV, Qualified Remodeler, the “On The House” radio show, and Home magazine.

The 2 winners will each receive a $3000 – $5000 front door makeover.

To see the winners and later the makeover results, visit www.myuglydoor.com.

The toughest material for kitchen countertops?

Limestone? Concrete? Granite? Corian? Tile? Laminate? Marble?

The answer none of the above. The toughest, most resilient and stain resistant counter top material is Quartz.

… the fastest-growing countertop surface. Also known as engineered stone, quartz outperformed even granite in our tests, especially in stain resistance. The latest examples also mimic granite, marble, and other natural stone better than before … While you’ll pay about the same for quartz as you will for granite (about $45 to $90 per square foot, installed), you’ll never have to reseal this engineered stone like the real stuff.

More countertop insights at the Consumer Reports Home & Yard blog.

More professional advice for the DIY General Contractor

This article features advice from DIY General Contractor expert Pay Fay, author of The Pat Fay Method: How to Manage Your Home Remodel or New Construction Without a General Contractor to Save Serious Money.

Mr. Fay offers some interesting insight into the growing trend of do-it-yourself General Contracting:

The actual cost of home improvements is not aligned well with the prices being charged, the quality of work has been declining and the working general contractor is slowly disappearing. Many now simply arrange subcontractors and provide minimal supervision. Quite frequently, general contractors will take the cost of the materials, add labor, then triple it. People are being charged $200-$250 per square foot for projects that can be accomplished for half that price.

Read How to do it yourself – as a general contractor on the Seattle Times.

Read reviews for The Pat Fay Method on Amazon.com.

See my previous post, The Top 5 Unexpected Pitfalls of being your own General Contractor.

Top remodelers & renovators honored at Chrysalis Awards

Looking for a showcase of real remodeling jobs with real budgets & real results (as opposed to those unlimited budget jobs we see on home and garden TV)? Reflecting current trends? With beautiful workmanship? In your area? Look no further than the Chrysalis Awards, a website dedicating to celebrating “the finest remodeling projects in the United States”. The awards for 2006 were just presented at the Southern Building Show.

The judges are editors and publishers from the Home & Garden industry: Better Homes & Gardens, Woman’s Day’s Home Remodeling & Makeovers, Southern Living Magazine and Sunset Magazine.

The judging criteria?

The projects are judged on design, use of materials, use of space and integration into the existing space. What makes these projects so relevant to you is that these judges apply their training to select project they want the public to see…just as they would do in their publications.

This makes it a little different from other industry awards which are typically awarded by trade associations. It’s very consumer oriented and attuned to what homeowners want to see.

Browse the Chrysalis Awards award winners index to find top renovators & remodelers (and design ideas) in your area.

Or check out our hire a home improvement contractor blog to see photos from award winners in the northeastern states.

Source: Qualified Remodeler via Kitchen & Bath Business.

Sound Proof Drywall: a high performance, low cost soundproofing alternative

Have a home theatre room that needs soundproofing? Want more privacy for (or from) mancave powertool experiments? Have kids with rock’n'roll dreams you can’t wait for them to outgrow? You can have it all and your peace and quiet too. The answer lies in using soundproof drywall where needed in your home.

Traditional soundproofing methods have been labor-intensive, lengthy processes requiring specialized knowledge. Soundproof drywall, such as QuietSolution’s QR-525 product is a significant leap forward in ease of use both for DIYers and home improvement / construction professionals. The benefits …

Ease of Use with Low Cost

QuietSolution soundproof drywall is “score, snap and hang” – no special training, tools or equipment required to install. Accessible for DIYers, an efficiency gain for professionals.

High Performance

A single layer of QuietRock QR-525 offers the same sound protection as 8 layers of standard drywall with a Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating of up to 72. QuietRock’s patented technology uses 3 layers of viscoelastic, ceramic and gypsum material but still manages to be “eco friendly” and fire-rated.

An Award Winner …

I’m thinking along the lines of QuietRock QR-525 soundproof drywall – a Hanley Wood Most Valuable Product award winner.

“Each of these products will make a strong impact on the way builders and remodelers do their job,” says Jean Dimeo, Editorial Director, ebuild and BUILDING PRODUCTS. “From improving efficiency to cost-savings, the winning products represent the best new products to enter the housing industry over the previous year.”

With High Profile Press

QuietSolution soundproof drywall has been featured on Holmes on Homes (video snip from QuietSolution website), the CBS Early Show, and HGTV’s I Want That.

Check it out. See complete QuietRock drywall product specs & information on the QR website.

Renovation’s Seven Deadly Sins

Deadly to your project that is. Came across an interesting take on the Seven Deadly Sins … at least as they apply to renovation and remodeling. They are:

  • DIY Pride can come before a fall,
  • Contractor Lust,
  • Greed,
  • Gluttony,
  • Anger,
  • Sloth, and
  • Envy.

For the full explanation (and an entertaining read) with insightful professional advice on how to “absolve” yourself of these failings read How to Avoid the “Seven Sins” of Remodeling on the Palisadian Post.

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