Remodeling Projects that Can Increase your Home’s Resale Value

Even if you aren’t considering selling your home any time soon, it pays to know which home improvement projects offer a reliable return on investment (ROI). Keep in mind, though, that what you’ll get back on your investment depends on the value of your house, the value of houses in your immediate neighborhood, the current housing market, and the quality of the projects. With that said, here are a few home improvement projects that can increase your home’s resale value, according to the 2016 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report: New Siding Some of the finest choices for updating a home lie in outdoor projects. Replacement siding adds to the property’s curb appeal and also helps control energy costs, which makes it a smart investment. Vinyl siding is the most popular because it’s cost-effective and relatively easy to install. Concrete siding can add fire protection, while wood siding is eco-friendly and easy to repair. A 77 percent return on investment can be expected. New Front Door The front door is the focal point of your home’s exterior. Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest ways to add curb appeal and a touch of personal style. You’ll also get a solid return on your investment- up to 91 percent, depending on the door’s material. Here are some tips on choosing your new front door. Basement Remodel A basement remodel can give you a return on investment of 70 percent, plus a lot more. A renovated basement can mean an extra bedroom, an extra family room, or a kid’s play room. This is a bonus for any homeowner. Roofing Replacement A new...

How to Choose the Best Front Door for Your Home

Front doors have a tall order to fill. They must make a great first impression, yet be tough enough to withstand the elements. When it comes to choosing an entry door, the most important factor is the surface material: wood, steel or fiberglass. All three perform well. The decision comes down to the look you want, your budget, and how much maintenance you’re willing to put in. Here’s how they compare. Wood Front Doors PROS: Looks Strength and durability CONS: Requires regular painting or varnishing to resist moisture More expensive When it comes to curb appeal, you just can’t beat a wooden front door. Wood entry doors have the look that the other types try to mimic. From handsome natural-finish doors in rich cherry, oak, mahogany and maple to paint-grade wooden doors, the design options are endless. Strong and durable, wood doors resist wear and tear and aren’t likely to dent. However, they do require regular varnishing or painting on all four sides to help them look their best and resist the elements. Without proper maintenance, wood doors are susceptible to bowing, swelling and warping from moisture. Wood doors are also the most expensive choice, though there is a lot of variation in price. Solid wood doors are the most expensive (but also the strongest and most durable), while wood veneers over engineered wood core offer a lower-cost alternative. Steel Front Doors PROS: Security and strength Lower price CONS: Dents If security and price are at the top of your priority list, a steel front door may be your best option. Installed correctly with rugged deadbolts, you have a...

How to Choose Kitchen Cabinets

If you’re remodeling your kitchen or building a new home, there’s a lot to consider. The kitchen is one of the most frequently used rooms in the house, so it has to be functional. And, if you ever decide to sell, kitchens are one of the main rooms that can impact your home’s value and appeal to potential buyers. The flooring, countertops, backsplash and appliances can’t be placed until the cabinets go in, so they’re usually the first thing you’ll select. Here are some things to consider when choosing kitchen cabinets. Materials Solid wood, plywood with a laminate or melamine veneer, thermofoil, MDF and particleboard are most common. Solid wood or veneered plywood cabinets are the most long-lasting options. Cherry is a common wood choice if you want a dark, rich finish, while bamboo and mahogany offer a more exotic look. Maple and poplar are lighter woods that are often used with more natural finishes, or for cabinets that will be painted. Most cabinets you’ll find today have overlay doors, with the drawer fronts and doors either partially or fully covering the cabinet box. Partially overlaid doors and drawers have part of the cabinet frame showing around the edges, and the door hinges are usually visible, too. Euro-style or full overlay doors, on the other hand, cover the front of the cabinet box completely. This is type used for modern-style cabinetry, and the space inside is slightly more accessible. A less common, and more expensive, cabinet door style is inset. These doors are installed inside the door opening, and they sit flush with the font of the cabinet. They...

Which Siding Style is Right for Your Home?

When considering new siding for your home, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the variety of choices available. But which style is right for your home? That’s a decision only you can make, but here’s an overview of the basic styles and their costs. Note: Many homeowners and builders combine siding styles to create a unique look. For most siding choices, quality installation makes a big difference in how long it will last, particularly with stone, stucco and brick. Price ranges given are just estimates and may vary depending on the materials chosen, complexity of your home’s design, and the labor involved to install the siding. Horizontal Lap Siding This is one of the most common siding choices, and for good reason. Horizontal lap siding works well on a variety of home architecture styles, including traditional, colonial, cottages, and Cape Cod. Material choices range from wood and fiber cement to vinyl or aluminum. Depending which type you choose, the siding may be pre-colored, or you may need to prime and paint it. Cost: Varies from around $3 to $7 per square foot. Board and Batten Although typically associated with country barns and traditional country cottages, board and batten siding is a timeless style that can work even on more modern style homes. Unlike horizontal lap siding, board and batten runs vertically, making buildings appear taller and giving them a clean look. This siding is durable, weathers well and can be created with wood or fiber cement boards. Board and batten is commonly associated with rural architecture, and was in fact used at first as a low-cost siding option for farm...

The Best Carpet for High-Traffic Areas

Shopping for new carpet involves more than just choosing a color and style. This is especially true for areas that get a lot of use, like hallways and family rooms, or if you have children or pets. Here are some things to consider when shopping for carpet that will fit your budget and lifestyle, look great, hide footprints, resist stains, and last for years to come. Fiber Materials Best choice: Nylon is the most durable and low-maintenance type of carpet fiber, but make sure you choose one that’s been treated for stain resistance. High-quality nylon carpets will include a brand name, such as Mohawk, or Stainmaster Tactesse. Triexta fibers, sold under brands like Sorona and Smart-Strand, are made in part from corn sugar. Its exceptional stain resistance is permanent, so there’s no need to re-apply a stain protector. Although it seems to be a resilient product, it’s still too new to know if it can match nylon’s durability in areas with high traffic. Polyester, or PET, is soft and resists stains, but it’s difficult to clean, sheds a lot, and doesn’t resist wear as much as nylon. Its softness makes it better suited for bedrooms or other low-traffic areas, and in homes that don’t have pets or kids. Olefin polypropylene is inexpensive, fade-resistant and strong, but it doesn’t hold up to high traffic as well as nylon. It’s typically used for looped Berbers and promoted as being stain resistant, but lower-quality Berbers can actually attract dirt, and stains keep reappearing, even after a professional cleaning. That’s because Olefin fibers are naturally oily and the process to remove the excess...

Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring

If you’re trying to decide on new flooring for your home, laminate may be just what you’re looking for. It’s a budget-friendly choice that offers many benefits, but there are a few things to consider before deciding if laminate is the right flooring for your home. Pros Affordable – Not only does laminate cost less per square foot than hardwood flooring, you’ll save on installation costs, demolition, and surface prep costs, too. Easy to install – Laminate flooring can be installed on nearly any type of existing floor because it’s a “floating” system. Unlike wood that has to be glued down, laminate is available in tongue-and-groove planks that can be snapped together. This makes it a great DIY project for any homeowner. Durable – Laminate planks are created using high heat and pressure, making them typically harder than natural wood and resistant to dents, moisture, fading and staining. Many manufacturer’s warranties last 10 to 25 years. Can be used anywhere –Laminate can be installed in any room of the house, and the planks don’t have to be acclimated, because they don’t expand and contract as humidity and temperature changes. Easy to clean – This low-maintenance flooring option just needs regular sweeping and dry or damp mopping to keep it looking great. Many design options – Laminate planks are imprinted with a pattern that simulates the look of real wood, but it’s available in many more color and pattern options than hardwood. With today’s technology, it’s difficult to distinguish a high-quality laminate floor from real wood. Cons Sound – Laminate is notorious for having a “hollow” sound when you walk on...

What are the Differences Among Countertop Materials?

Remodeling your kitchen is an important investment in your home’s overall value. That’s why it’s important to choose the countertops that go best with your kitchen design and budget. Experts say you should be spending between 10-15% of your total kitchen remodel budget on countertops, including installation. With that in mind, here is a summary of the four major countertop materials available so you can make a plan and budget for the countertops you want. Granite Granite, one of the most popular countertop surface types, is a rock comprised of quartz, mica and feldspar mined around the world, including the United States. Resilient, attractive and long- lasting, granite is also recyclable, but the large amount of energy required for mining and transport make it one of the more expensive materials you can buy. Pros:  Each piece of granite is unique in color and pattern, beautifying your kitchen for years to come. It holds up to everyday wear and tear like liquids, nicks, heat and other kitchen activity. Cons: Granite is a heavy material, so you’ll need to make sure you have quality cabinets underneath to support the weight. Granite also needs to be sealed once in a while to avoid stains from appearing. Synthetics Also referred to as Corian, synthetic countertops are a popular solid-surface choice for homeowners buying countertops, and for a fraction of the price of stone. Made from non-recyclable products like petrochemicals, aluminum trihydrate, acrylics, polyester resins and marble dust, these countertops won’t provide the long-lasting quality of other surfaces but are available in a wide range of colors and styles. Pros:  Synthetic countertops don’t need...

Finish Options for Unfinished Cabinets

When purchasing unfinished cabinets, there are lots of options for applying a finish to them. You can choose from a wide variety of finishes, including: paint, stain, glaze, oil and polyurethane. Finishing your cabinets doesn’t require special tools or lots of experience. With a little research you can finish your cabinets like a pro. Here is a guide to choosing your finish before you get started. Paint Finish Painting cabinets gives them a clean, classic style and seemingly endless color options. The kind of paint used will affect how they look, wear and their resistance to moisture. Oil or water-based paint may include resins to help with curing. Painted cabinets have an opaque color and the wood grain doesn’t show through. Hairline cracks show up in the finish surface at door joints. This is normal and doesn’t affect the strength of the wood. Stain Finish Staining shows the natural grain of the wood while also allowing for a wide variety of colors. Stains combined with stylistic techniques like glazing, distressing, antiquing or fly specking can be used to customize cabinets. Wood characteristics are more prominent, giving lighter or darker effects. The stain color can vary on the different parts of the wood. Gel Stain Finish Easy application for vertical surfaces. Distributes color evenly on wood. Allows better color control during application. Can also be applied to metal, veneer and fiberglass to give them a wood-like appearance. Glazing Applied over paints and stains to add detail. Appears darker in crevices and highlights wood grain variations. Displays slight variations with each application. Creates a subtle brushed look. Brushed variations mean no...

(316) 263-1649