May is National Home Remodeling Month, and the National Association for Home Builders (NAHB) has been promoting the benefits of hiring a professional remodeler, including tips for why, when and how to choose one that’s right for you.
Thanks to online resources like Pinterest and the wide array of retail establishments that cater to DIYers, home improvement is more popular than ever. As a result, the NAHB also wants to remind would-be DIYers about the safety, cost and timing benefits a professional remodeler can bring to any job.
When it comes to remodeling, it’s always important to consider how any investment will add to your home’s longevity, usefulness and value. Projects range from routine upkeep and maintenance to improving energy efficiency and functionality, modernizing the style and generally making it more comfortable for you and your family.
Millions of homeowners remodel in a given year, and their reasons for remodeling are as varied as the projects they undertake. Whether you want to add more space or improve the flow of your floor plan, upgrade cabinets, counters, appliances and/or fixtures, install new windows, doors, insulation and/or climate control systems, remodeling not only increase the comfort of your home, but all the resale value.
With that in mind, as the housing recovery begins to really take hold, homeowners are looking to add more value and function to their kitchens and baths - vital and specialized rooms that are often the last be downsized when a recession strikes, according American Institute of Architects Chief Economist Kermit Baker.
“During the housing downturn, less attention was paid to these areas as households were looking to control costs for new homes, and to limit home improvement expenditures on existing homes,” he reports. “As housing markets have begun to recover, households are concentrating more on these areas. More activities are taking place in kitchens, as they are regaining their role as “control center” of the home. While they haven’t significantly increased in size, they generally are utilizing more technology. Likewise, bathrooms are getting more attention. Along with kitchens, baths tend to garner a lot of attention for new homebuyers, and are among the first spaces to be upgraded in existing homes. Accessibility into and around the bathroom is a growing concern for homeowners, particularly those who may be planning to remain in their current home as they age in place.”
With accessibility and sustainability noted as top priorities for both of these areas, Baker notes that homeowners and homebuilders alike are putting more emphasis on open designs, multi-functional rooms and homes that will generally age well with us. As a result, another remodeling trend focuses on optimizing the use of space and special purpose rooms such as a home office for telecommuters, designated craft room for hobbyists and an extra bedroom suite for multiple generations under the same roof or frequent guests.
According to the annual Remodeling Cost Value Report, the 2013 national average cost-value ratio rose to 60.6%, ending a six-year decline. The ratio represents nearly a three-point improvement over 2011-12, and is more than a half-point higher than the ratio from two years ago. Lower construction costs are the principal factor in the upturn, especially when measured against stabilizing house values.
That’s a positive sign for the remodeling industry.
When it comes to weighing the cost of a remodeling project so you get the biggest bang for buck when selling, exterior projects such as replacing siding, entry doors and garage doors as well as updating/refreshing landscaping recoup the most value at resale. Interior projects like a bedroom addition, minor remodel/update of kitchens and/or bathrooms, finishing the basement and adding a sunroom/family room all contribute to resale value. Energy efficiency improvements such as new windows, doors and appliances are quickly rising in payback value, with backup power generators now making the list as well.
Check out the Remodeling Cost Value Report for 2013 online at remodeling.hw.net/2013/costvsvalue/national.aspx. Our area falls in the Midwest East North Central zone.
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