Think About Remodeling During Home Improvement Month

May 16, 2011

May is National Home Improvement Month, and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is offering homeowners a few words of advice for getting the most value out of a remodeling investment.
More Americans are staying in their homes rather than moving. According to Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey released in November 2010, 85 percent of the general population believed it was a bad time to sell their home. In addition to increased functionality, new appliances, efficient systems, updated décor and additional space, home improvements also increase the value of a residence.
For homeowners who want to get the most out of their remodels, NARI offers a few considerations and ideas on where to begin.

•    Curb appeal goes a long way. Exterior home improvements such as roofing, siding, windows and doors are subject to the elements and usually need to be replaced after a number of years. In terms of resale value, updated exteriors give sellers an edge over buyers who are attracted to your home before entering.  

•    According to Energy Star, half of a home’s energy use is dedicated to heating and cooling. If a system is more than 10 years old, it may be time to replace it. New, energy-efficient systems are not only more cost-effective but are also better quality.  

•    All homes benefit from increased insulation and sealing, regardless of climate. Older homes are traditionally under-insulated compared to new homes. And recent insulation innovations like spray foam or cellulose increase the ability to trap air inside. Proper insulation evens temperature flows, reduces energy use and has long-term benefits.

•    Kitchen and bath renovations are still popular. Homeowners continue to see the value in updating areas of the home that are used frequently and are high functioning. Universal Design concepts are commonly incorporated into kitchen and bath areas to accommodate people of all sizes and abilities and conveniences for long-term residents.  

Homeowners that need to make several updates to their homes but cannot afford a complete overhaul can think about phased remodeling. In this instance, remodeling projects are broken into phases over time, for a long-term project plan. This also lessens the burden of remodeling to the homeowner as they remain in the home as work is being done.

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