|Home Improvements; Home Repair & Maintenance; Remodeling Contractors; Architects; General Contractors
As a home is a major investment, it is important to ensure the value continues to grow exponentially while providing a comfortable and beautiful environment for your family. Completing the right home improvement project not only boosts the equity of the home, it also increases quality of living. Valuable contentment and security is gained by providing additional space, luxurious surroundings and modern conveniences.
In designing the ideal dream home, be careful not to overbuild. While the additional square footage looks great on paper, the return on investment may be limited if the home is much larger than those of the neighborhood. At some point, selling your home will become a priority. Garner the greatest return by focusing on home improvement projects that are right for the area and offer the largest return on the dollar. Learn what home improvement projects are best to tackle, based on where you live, and ensure the projects you take on provide the greatest return both now and in the future.
|Banks; Home Improvement Loans; Real Estate Loans; Financing
Planning a home improvement project requires more than a solid design; it requires significant financial planning as well. While minor projects costs a few hundreds of dollars, major remodels cost upward of $50,000-100,000. If building a home is preferred, after the lot, architects, contractors, materials, etc., costs will reach several hundred thousand dollars. With so much invested, it is critical that every dollar is spent wisely and a large percentage of that dollar is regained in equity. Determining the appropriate budget and sticking to it is vital. Use the knowledge and tips found in this guide to help you determine the most appropriate budget and how to manage it. For major remodels, securing a loan is often required. Learn what lending options are available and which type of loan best fits your needs. Managing your budget wisely ensures enough money is available to complete the project and the end result is enjoyed for years to come.
|Alarm Systems; Fire Alarm Systems; Lead Testing & Consulting; Lead Removal & Abatement; Asbestos Abatement & Removal Service; Insurance; Homeowners Insurance
Nothing is more valuable than the safety and security of your family. Ensure their protection by implementing a few simple measures that can shield your home and loved ones against a variety of threats. Discover valuable guidance on products and procedures that safeguard against potential hazards and provide peace of mind. Learn what efforts make a major difference in better securing doors, windows and garages. Gain insight on how home security or surveillance systems protect your home against burglary. Fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, household chemicals and toxic materials also pose serious threats to your home and family’s safety. Eliminate their risk by using the information and advice found in this section to safeguard and defend what matters most to you.
Homeowner’s insurance is also a valuable protection in restoring what was lost, should anything go wrong. Ensure the coverage you purchase will fully replace what you care about most and rebuild a safe home for your family. Use the advice found in this section to find a quality agent and determine the coverage that is right for you.
|Architects; Building Designers; General Contractors; Construction Consultants; Remodeling Contractors; Home Builders
Hiring quality professionals to help with your home improvement or remodeling projects can save you significant time and money. Architects and contractors have extensive knowledge and expertise, ensuring the job gets done quickly and more efficiently. Major remodeling projects are often beyond the experience of the average do-it-yourselfer. Utilizing the services of professionals guarantees the final product complies with building code, is structurally sound and is aesthetically pleasing. Obtaining the proper permits and passing inspections is also easier, often granted on the first submission. This saves money long term as labor and materials costs are drastically reduced.
Apply the advice and guidance found in this section to help you select the professional right for you. Learn what you should look for when choosing an architect, contractor or design firm. Discover the advantages of each professional and how their expertise can be applied to your project. Building the optimal team of professionals will reduce the required time for the project and provide peace of mind, knowing the job will be done accurately.
|Home Inspection Services; Building Inspection Services; Appraisers
These two basic assessments are required to determine an accurate value of a home. A home inspection evaluates the current interior and exterior structure and identifies any problems prior to purchase. A home appraisal determines the market value of a property based on its size, age, location and current condition. Both assessments are independent of each other and are often required by mortgage companies prior to granting a loan. The results provide an accurate value of the home which can be compared to the asking price. This provides assurance to both the buyer and lender that the home is being offered at a true value.
Use the information and guidance found in this section to learn what to expect from each procedure and why they need to be completed separately. Find out what you should do if the results are not in your favor in order to protect your overall investment. Purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments you’ll make; leverage the value of a home inspection and appraisal to protect that investment and ensure you receive the full value of your purchase.
|Bathroom Remodeling; Bathroom Fixtures, Cabinets & Accessories;
Bathtubs & Sinks-Repairing & Refinishing;
Shower Doors & Tub Enclosures
Today’s bathroom is becoming more than a functional room for starting and ending the day. Modern conveniences are transforming bathrooms into spa-like sanctuaries designed for maximum comfort and relaxation. Steam showers, jetted-tubs, and heated floors are popular inclusions to increase luxury. A double vanity, glass countertops, multiple shower heads, vessel sinks and decorative lighting increases bathroom functionality and enhances its artful form. In order to make the most of the time spent in the room, flat screen TVs and enhanced sound systems are incorporated into the final masterpiece. Once an afterthought in terms of design, the modern bathroom is becoming an elegant showpiece within the home.
Use the information found in this section to help you get started and ensure your bathroom remodel has an equal balance of form and function. In order to maximize the return on investment, this section will also help you manage your budget and make sure your project builds home value and equity.
|Kitchen Designers; Kitchen Cabinets & Equipment; Appliances; Kitchen Cabinetmakers; Kitchen Countertops; Kitchen Flooring; Kitchen Lighting
Nothing enhances a home more than a modern updated kitchen. As the primary location for gathering and entertaining, an elegant contemporary kitchen creates a warm and comfortable atmosphere. In addition to enhancing the quality of living, a modern kitchen also significantly increases the equity in the home.
Making the decision to start a kitchen remodel however, can be difficult. There are many elements to consider from flooring to cabinets, countertops to appliances and hardware to lighting. Upgrading each of these elements all at once requires a significant amount of budget and will upset normal routines as a main living area is unusable for several months. But despite its challenges, completing a kitchen remodel is well worth the hassle and stress.
Use the guidance and advice found in this section to help make your project run smoothly and learn cost saving techniques to make it easier on the budget. Learn the advantages and disadvantages of the different material choices. Acquiring the right knowledge upfront will help you make quality decisions to build your dream kitchen without exhausting your pocketbook.
As your family grows, it could feel as if the walls of your own home are starting to smother you. Everyone is fighting to get into the same bathroom, the kitchen is cramped or there is no where to escape for some much needed privacy. If this is a scenario you are familiar with, it may be time for building out or
remodeling. Room sizes can be increased and modern amenities added to enhance the quality of life for the whole family. Perhaps you are looking to bring an outdated room into the modern era. Whatever your desire, tackling remodeling projects can upgrade the look of a home and make living more comfortable.
Perhaps the walls of your home are stretched as far as possible but more room is desperately needed; it may be time to consider a new build. Determining the right direction for you requires research and guidance. Use the information found in this guide to help you decide what is right for you. Discover where you can find unused space in your house, what permits and inspections are required and who can help you complete the project. If a new build is needed, learn what you should consider and how to keep the project on budget.
|Interior Decorators & Designers; Home Designing & Planning Serv
There is no wrong or right way to design a room. However, knowing a few principles of design and color could be the difference between a chaotic mess and a magazine cover. Let the guidance found in this section help turn you into a quality designer or help you know what to look for when hiring one. Learn the basic rules of design and become familiar with design terminology. This will help you develop your own eye for optimal design if you go at it alone or allow you to directly express the look you desire from your designer.
Discover how to maximize the use of color, what colors work well together and how color positively and negatively affects a room. Applying the information found in this section will help you design the perfect room and make it one you’ll be excited to show off.
Patio & Deck Builders;
Patio Equipment & Supplies;
Patio, Porch & Deck Covers & Enclosures
Building a deck or
patio increases the available living space of a home. When inside space becomes limited, leveraging vacant outdoor space can increase the size of the home and provide much needed elbow room outdoors. Incorporating outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, comfortable furniture and shade structures make the space relaxing and provide the cozy feel of indoor living. Choosing the right materials for your build will enhance the life of the space and cut down on the necessary maintenance. Use the information found in this section to learn what materials are ideal for your climate and how to minimize the amount of work required to keep it looking good.
In addition to providing additional living space,
decks are also a worthwhile investment. As much as 87% return on investment can be expected by building a quality deck. Visit this section to find guidance on designing an optimal layout and discover what materials extend the life of the deck while providing maximum enjoyment.
|Energy Conservation Services & Products;
Energy Management Consultants;
Furnace Repair & Cleaning;
Air Conditioning Contractors;
Solar Energy Contractors;
Save hundreds of dollars every year by maximizing the
energy efficiency of your home. Dollars are lost every day through outdated duct work, outdated
appliances and excessive temperature settings. Start saving immediately by using the information found in this guide to help you reduce your energy bill. Learn what areas of your home are costing you the most money and how you can develop a home energy audit to uncover the trouble spots in your home.
Discover what appliances and electronic equipment use the most electricity and what upgrades can be made to maximize their efficiency. Find out how implementing simple processes like adjusting the thermostat just one or two degrees can save you money while still providing a comfort environment. Applying the
energy saving advice of this section can save significant dollars on your energy bill and maximize the efficiency of your home.
|Electric Contractors; Electric Equipment Service & Repair; Lighting Designers & Consultants; Lighting Fixtures-Retail
Electricity is an essential element in every home. It is woven throughout every room and is the underlying energy that makes a home function. For home improvement projects that involve electricity, hiring an electrician to handle the job is often ideal. Major electrical changes or upgrades require a professional who is familiar with electrical wiring and voltage requirements to ensure the job is done right. A few projects, however, can be handled yourself if you have some electrical knowledge. Use the information found in this section to learn what projects are safer for do-it-yourselfers and which one should be left to the professionals.
Developing the right lighting strategy can dramatically change the look of any room. This section also outlines how to use lighting effectively to brighten and highlight a room. Learn lighting techniques to showcase primary elements, create the appropriate atmosphere and how choosing the right lighting fixture can upgrade the room. Designing the right outdoor lighting strategy will keep your home safely lit at night while highlighting its exterior elegance and structural appeal.
Keeping the exterior of your home updated and modern maximizes both its value and its elegance. A fresh, clean exterior provides enhanced curb appeal and highlights the exterior beauty. It also maximizes the overall value as updated exteriors increase the selling price and attract potential buyers. Whether you are looking to give your home an exterior make-over or get it ready to sell, choosing the right exterior cladding requires a little time and research. There are many materials to choose from and the optimal selection will need to consider the architectural design of the home and the climate.
Use the information found in this section to learn the advantages and disadvantages of each exterior cladding. Discover what materials are ideal for hotter climates, require less maintenance and have the longest lifespan. Compare the cost differences of each material and learn what materials are easier to install, saving you money whether you hire it out or do-it-yourself.
Adding a fence to your yard provides increased privacy, security and curb appeal. Prior to making any fencing decision, consult the advice found in this section to help you learn what material choices are available and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Discover the cost difference, general maintenance and ease of installation for each material as this could heavily impact the final decision.
The section also outlines the necessary approvals you’ll need before starting. Building codes need to be followed to ensure its stability and structural strength but as a fence affects the neighbors around you, it is also considerate to get their approval as well. A variety of fence components and styles allow you to customize your fence based on height, privacy and design. Learn what options are available to build the fence that is right for you.
|Fireplaces; Stoves-Wood, Coal, Pellet Etc.; Chimney & Fireplace Cleaning & Repairing; Chimney Builders
A fireplace provides unmatched warmth and comfort to a home. The soft glow and penetrating warmth they generate, creates a soothing and relaxing atmosphere unequaled by conventional heating. When used as a supplemental heat source, a fireplace also provides an additional benefit by reducing energy bills. Running a fireplace during cold winter months will cut down the amount of time the furnace runs, saving you money.
By burning more efficiently today’s fireplace is more energy efficient and safer to the environment. A variety of fireplaces are available to accommodate various structural needs and energy sources. Beyond traditional wood, gas and electric fireplaces are quality alternative fuels. Research the information found in this section to help you learn the differences and choose the fireplace that is right for your home.
|Floor Laying, Refinishing & Resurfacing Residential;
Flooring & Floor Covering Contractors;
Floor Waxing, Polishing & Cleaning;
Carpet, Rug & Upholstery Cleaners;
New Carpet & Rug Dealers;
Ceramic Tile Contractors
With today’s extensive
flooring options, narrowing the selection to just one may be difficult. Prior to making a final decision, consult the information found in this section to help you make the choice that is right for you. Even if you already have a choice in mind, reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of each option will ensure the flooring choice you’ve made is optimal choice for the room.
Each room of the house provides a unique set of considerations and challenges. Make sure your flooring is ideal to handle any challenges and can withstand the wear and tear it will receive. Learn what standard maintenance is required for each flooring material and how long you can expect it to last. Review the average cost of each flooring option and what is required for proper installation.
|Garage Doors & Openers;
Remodeling & Repairing Building Contractors;
Improve the quality of your outdoor living space by building a
garage. In addition to providing a dry environment for your car, a garage can also offer extensive storing, a hobby or work space, or increased living space. Many home buyers already expect the home to have a completed garage and will continue their search if they don’t see one. If your home is lacking an attached or enclosed
garage, seriously consider adding one. Not only will it increase outdoor benefits, it will make the home more valuable when it comes time to sell.
Ensuring your current garage structure is up-to-date and functioning will ensure it maintains its value. If you need additional living space, consider converting a portion or the entire garage to indoor living space. Consult the information found in this section to learn what
garage options are available and determine the products and functions that are ideal for you.
For smaller home improvement projects you don’t want to tackle yourself, yet you don’t want to pay the price of a contractor, consider hiring a handyman. Many handymen have years of experience in the construction industry and offer the same depth and quality service as a contractor. This experience also qualifies them for larger jobs if you are looking to keep costs down. Handymen are often licensed professionals who can complete a variety of jobs including electrical and plumbing.
Before hiring a handyman, be sure to perform a little research. Licensing qualifications are not as strict for handymen as they are for contractors. Therefore, it is important to find out their qualifications and experience prior to turning a job over to them. Take the time to interview them and become familiar with their knowledge and expertise. The information found in this section outlines a detailed process for finding and hiring a quality handyman to ensure the job is done right.
|Air Conditioning Contractors;
Air Duct Vent & Cleaning;
Furnace Repairing & Cleaning;
Heating Equip & Systems;
Heaters Sales & Service
A large percentage of your annual energy bill is spent on heating and cooling your home. With so much invested into these appliances, it is important to keep them running efficiently and correctly. Hundreds of dollars could by saved each year by applying a few energy saving techniques or upgrading old systems. Several energy saving techniques are outlined in this section to help you get the most from your heating and cooling systems. Taking the time to implement these techniques can extend the life of your systems and save you money on your energy bill.
Knowing the right time for a new appliance is difficult but upgrading to today’s energy efficient systems can make a huge impact on both your comfort and your pocketbook. Use the information found in this section to help you understand more about your heating and cooling systems and how they can work harder for you. Learn what changes can be made to existing systems to gain more efficiency and when it is time to replace an old system. Applying this guidance can help you get the most of your heating and cooling appliances, saving you hundreds of dollars.
|Closets & Closet Accessories; Shelves & Shelving; Storage, Self Service
There are several benefits to establishing an organized home. Taking the time to ensure everything is in its proper place and your home is in order creates a clean, positive and stress-free environment. Being able to find things when they are needed reduces anxiety and saves time and money. While having an organized home is something you desire, it is often difficult to achieve. Amazingly, and often without notice, piles of papers, clothing, books, and other items find permanent residence on dressers, tables, closets and corners. But before you let the clutter and mess intimate you, apply some simple techniques and strategies found in this guide to help you get a handle on the clutter. Use this valuable information to help you create a strategic plan to tackling one project, one room at a time. Focusing on smaller projects, one-by-one will keep you focused and on task and before you know it your home will be fully organized.
|Home Theater Systems;
Television Repair & Service;
Remodeling & Repairing Building Contractors;
Sound Systems & Equipment;
Stereo, Audio & Video Equipment Dealers
A popular trend in home improvement is to create a home entertainment or theater room. Electronic advancements now make it possible to create a movie theater experience in the comfort of your own home. Home furnishing, lighting and paint manufacturers have also stepped into the home theater category by designing specialized home theater products to further enhance the experience.
Begin the development of your own home theater by researching and reviewing the information found in this section. Discover some of the latest advancements and technologies on the market that provide optimal picture and sound quality. Find out what sound systems are ideal for creating a true movie experience, making you feel like your part of the action. Don’t have the spare room to create a home theater? Don’t worry. Strategic planning and subtle changes can be made to turn a regular living or family room into a quality home theater.
|House Cleaning; Carpet, Rug & Upholstery Cleaners; Floor Waxing Polishing & Cleaning; Window Cleaning; Janitorial Supplies
Enjoying a clean, beautiful home does not require excessive cleaning for several hours, several days a week. Maintain a beautifully kept home by performing minimal tasks every day. Use the information found in this section to help you determine a weekly task schedule that allows you to achieve the clean house you want by completing a few chores each day.
Occasionally a deep clean is necessary, especially during the spring and fall. Learn what jobs should be done every spring to re-open the house after the winter, and what fall jobs help you prepare again for the winter and holiday months.
If household cleaning is more than you want to take on, consider hiring a local cleaning service. Bringing someone in once a week, once a month or more frequently will free up time and still provide the clean, beautiful house you desire. Find out what you need to know before choosing a service. Learn what questions to ask, how to find references and verify experience.