Top Home Improvement Projects
Home renovation can seem overwhelming with research on finding the right contractor, return on investment (ROI), aesthetic appeal and most importantly, the cost. With all these factors, how do you know if the house renovation or a house upgrade is worth it?
With your house being your biggest investment, we’ve listed below four of the top home improvement projects that get the most home renovation bang for your buck – roof replacement, bath remodeling, window replacement, and home exterior siding replacement.
1. New Roofs
Installing a new roof is nearly the best home improvement project you can do because of the many benefits such as the impressive ROI.
Benefits of Roofing Replacement
- Yields an impressive ROI of around 67% to 70%
- Increases property value and makes your home easier to sell
- Enhances curb appeal – 40% of which, according to Better Homes & Gardens, can be attributed to the appearance of the roof
- Cost-effective because it improves energy efficiency, making it easier to keep the home either cool or warm
- Helps prevent the development of health hazards like mold and mildew
- Brings peace of mind because you will know that your roof is capable of withstanding the rigors of harsh weather and that it will last for many years to come (if, that is, you use a qualified, reputable roofing contractor)
Top Benefits of Roofing Replacement
Your roof is one of the first lines of defense against all weather elements and one of the country’s top house-renovation experts explains that “[R]oof replacement stands out as one of the most critical steps you can take toward safeguarding the structural integrity of your home.”
Don’t be mistaken though: A sturdy, sound roof does much more than simply keep out the weather. In fact, it delivers a suite of less obvious, all-too-often overlooked benefits, both immediate and long-term.
“A newly roofed house simply performs better,” says Dave Lincon, a product manager of Sears Home Services. So if you need help with your roofing needs, get in touch with anyone of our team!
Enhanced Curb Appeal – Not only does a new sound roof protect your home, it can also improve the curb appeal which isn’t often factored into the decision making. The roof on your house occupies nearly half of the curb appeal as it can be seen from far away. This makes the roof one of the “most visible components of a home’s exterior.” And that further means, as Lincon says, that “a new roof can work wonders to promote curb appeal.”
Improved Energy Efficiency – A new roof can do a lot to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Keep in mind that when it comes to energy efficiency, not all shingles are created equal.
Advances in design and manufacture have led to shingles that limit solar heat gain. With these shingles, your air conditioner doesn’t have to work so hard to keep your house cool and as a result, your electric bill is lower.
For best energy efficiency, you’ll want shingles that have a high rating in this regard. But you also need to consider ventilation, as Lincon advises. “As part of any roof replacement, competent installers . . . assess the attic to confirm that rising warm air can easily escape.”
Other important ingredients in energy efficiency are “attic insulation and radiant barrier installation to help ensure that your energy costs don’t go through the roof.”
Discover more about top-rated American-made roofing products to get the new roof you need.
Better Resale Value
You may not be interested in selling your home now, but it’s comforting to know that you can sell it for more if you decide to. Roofing replacement isn’t cheap, and that’s why prospective buyers often walk if the roof is in need of repair. A new roof, though, makes your home worth more to buyers and to you.
Roofing your home “isn’t a sunk cost,” as Lincon points out. “That is, the [house] upgrade doesn’t simply take a bite out of your bottom line. On the contrary, it often adds a considerable amount to the resale value of your home.” There is one caution, though. Because a new roof is a fairly large investment, you shouldn’t settle “for the first roofing company you run across. The quality of your roof replacement depends largely on the [roofing contractor] you choose for the job.”
2. Bath Remodeling
The most important rooms by far in any home are the kitchen and the bathroom(s) – for both buyers and the people who live in it. These are the rooms in a home “where you can tell if money has been well spent or not,” according to a top architect in Los Angeles-based KAA Design Group.
They’re the most expensive areas of the home in terms of construction. They’re where people spend time in their homes. And that’s also why renovations/remodels in these areas can yield such an impressive ROI.
Did you know? That an experienced contractor will do exploratory work early in the project to sniff out as many issues as possible.
Importance of Bathrooms and Bath Remodeling
But why are bathrooms so important, and why is bathroom renovation such a sound home-renovation project?
Well, there are the obvious reasons, of course, but it goes far beyond that, touching on matters of satisfaction, comfort, and luxury.
It Sets the Home’s Tone – Your bathroom’s aesthetic and stylistic make-up can in fact set the tone for all the rest of your home. When the fixtures in your bathroom have been upgraded, it tends to brighten your entire home – and your mood.
It Offers a Place for Solitude and Inspiration – For many people, the bathroom is the only place they can truly find some alone time. That quiet and solitude, say, in the shower, provides the perfect opportunity for thought and reflection – a time and space to revolve ideas and find some inspiration. The bathroom can offer that momentary space of solitude as well as a great place to unwind from the stresses of the day with a nice hot shower or warm bath. In this, the bathroom becomes much more than just another room in the house, it becomes a safe space.
It Provides the Day’s Bookends – Other than our bed, the bathroom is where we essentially begin and end each day. Often what happens in the bathroom will set the tone for what will happen the rest of the day. Besides, the average person will spend at least 1.5 years of their life in the bathroom.
Tips for Superior Bath Remodeling and Renovation
Consumer Reports offers these invaluable tips to ensure your bathroom re-do is the best it can be:
Be sure to budget for the unexpected. Whenever plumbing, especially older plumbing, is involved, things can and will go wrong – and you should factor that into your budget. Hidden water damage, for example, is a common surprise issue. You certainly don’t want to begin a bathroom renovation and then have to worry about how to finance this home renovation.
Allow for plenty of ventilation and light. To avoid the genuine health hazard of mold and mildew, you need to make sure your bathroom has enough ventilation. This means, at a minimum, an adequate exhaust fan and ducting that is up to code. Many bathrooms are windowless or have small windows, so lighting becomes an important issue.
The goal is to bring different layers of illumination into the room. A ceiling fixture is suitable for general lighting, but it will cast shadows on your face when you’re seated at the vanity. That’s why you’ll also want sconces or other vertical fixtures mounted on either side of the vanity.
Some medicine cabinets are available with vertical lighting strips. The shower and toilet should also have a dedicated task light, such as a recessed canister light.
Don’t DIY it all the way. While bath renovation projects can be expensive, it is highly recommended to leave the wet area (ex. bath tub and/or shower) to the experts as it requires a lot of experience if and when a problem occurs.
If this projects seem too overwhelming for you, talk to our experts now and let’s discuss how we can help you with your bathroom remodeling.
3. Window Replacement
Replacing old, drafty windows with modern energy efficient windows – is another house upgrade that will yield a hefty ROI, one of the highest in fact.
Not only that, but window replacement also provides greater comfort inside your home, enhanced enjoyment, better lighting, reduced noise, easier maintenance, and lower utility bills.
Major Benefits of Window Replacement
Ease of Maintenance – Window construction has come a long way since the days of those old wood frame windows with sash weights your grandparents had in their house. Today’s designs not only increase sustainability, but also make windows easy to maintain. Features like between-glass blinds and fold-out panes make cleaning a breeze, so you can spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying your new windows.
UV Protection for Your Home – Plenty of natural lighting in your home will make it a bright, cheery living space, as well as contributing to your mental and emotional health. But having too much ultraviolet light getting into your home can damage it. Modern windows with built-in UV protection can guard against that damage. Look for windows that have Low-E insulating double-pane or triple-pane glass with argon gas between.
Enhanced Curb Appeal – Like roofing replacement, window replacement is a home improvement that can go a long way toward enhancing curb appeal. It’s not just that the windows are newer and brighter, but the right style, color, and material can complement your home’s exterior and bring out its best features. Your home will then have more visual appeal and will be worth more.
Increased Home Value – A National Association of Realtors survey indicates that “window replacement projects can return homeowners more than 78% of the project costs upon resale.” Besides the many other benefits, replacing old windows with newer energy efficient windows will increase the value of your home.
Lower Utility Bills – Energy efficient windows can also cut your utility bills dramatically. Well insulated and well installed windows will help in keeping out weather extremes, making your home both easier to cool and easier to heat. This is just another way in which window replacement is an extremely cost-effective home improvement.
Getting an expert to do the right replacement windows for your home is easy! Why not give us a call to find out all the details?
Although choosing and installing replacement windows can seem straight forward, there is nevertheless a lot that can go wrong. There are a few things you need to keep in mind when selecting your windows and your window installer:
Aesthetics and Fit – Although replacing your windows can indeed increase your home’s value, installing the wrong windows can have the opposite effect and detract from your home’s value.
Climate Match – Consumer Reports recommends, too, that you take a careful look at window-rating scores and “then zero in on test results that apply to where you live. If your home is exposed to high winds and cold temperatures, look for windows that were excellent at low-temperature wind resistance.”
Installer – When it comes to choosing your window installer, do plenty of research and ask about their window-installation process. Here’s what Consumer Reports recommends: “A seasoned installer should tell you about how long the job will take. Ask about the process. It’s better if each new window is put in right after the old one is removed. Insist that the installer measure each replacement window before ripping out the old.”
4. Home Exterior – Siding
After the roof, there is probably no component of your home as noticeable and as critical for protection as the siding. New siding, therefore, serves to greatly increase curb appeal and maintain your home’s structural integrity.
While siding replacement may seem like a big expense initially, it will more than pay for itself over the long haul. Here’s why . . .
Top 2 Money-Saving Benefits of New Siding
Structural Protection – When you take care of your home exterior (siding replacement), you protect what lies beneath. Keeping that outer skin that separates your home from the elements healthy and sound means that the house’s bones will remain strong and solid.
Without new siding, you may face the expensive consequence of structural deterioration. For it can often happen with aging siding that rain gets in around windows and at corners and eventually causes structural damage – damage to the framing that holds your house up. Such structural damage can include delaminating plywood, deteriorating/rotting wall studs, and deteriorating/rotting floor joists.
Often, you can tell if this sort of structural deterioration is occurring if you observe water along window sills. But sometimes you won’t be able to notice any signs until it is far advanced – till you notice something like cracking drywall. And the longer you wait, the worse it gets.
This is indeed a good reason to regularly replace siding: to find structural damage that has occurred unnoticed and fix it before it turns into an enormous expense.
Improved Energy Efficiency – Taking care of the home exterior (siding replacement) is another home improvement that can hugely boost your home’s energy efficiency. This is especially the case if you live in an older home that has little or no insulation.
Depending on the type of siding, replacement may include insulation, often a layer of foil-backed, energy efficient foam sheathing just before the new siding goes on. In addition, any uninsulated wall cavities can be filled with blown-in insulation at this time. Adding the rigid foam insulation can help you get up to an R-10 insulating value, which is pretty impressive really.
Choosing a Siding Installer
Installing new siding is definitely a smart move to keep your house in tip-top shape – structurally sound, energy efficient, and looking good. The difficult part, though, lies in choosing your installer.
There are plenty of siding contractors out there. You can skip the four points below or the part of being confused and call us instead!
Ask friends and family for recommendations/referrals. There’s a good reason word-of-mouth advertising is the best, and that’s because the Recommender has had first-hand, personal experience with the company. Friends and family who have hired a particular contractor will know exactly how reliable she is and the quality of her work.
Get references from potential contractors. Once you have a short list of potential contractors, ask them to provide references from current and recent clients. And be sure to get more than the standard three references. Then talk to these clients and drive by their homes to scope out the contractors’ work.
Ask plenty of questions – the right ones. Siding replacement is no small expense, and it’s crucial to the wellbeing of your home. So, you have to ask a potential contractor plenty of questions that will allow you to get a feel for the work process, quality of work, reliability, commitment, and fit. And do be sure to ask for proof of licensure, insurance, and bonding.
Inquire about waste removal. And don’t forget to ask the contractor how she plans to handle waste removal. A big part of a siding-replacement job is hauling off all the old siding and other inevitable waste material. You don’t want all that piling up around your home and creating a hazard while the job is in progress.
A Final Caution About Home-Exterior Siding Replacement
A final caution is that you absolutely must find out about the materials and products a contractor uses. First-rate workmanship can be negated by the use of second-rate materials.
Look for a contractor and experienced siding installer who uses only the world’s best siding products. Even better is when your contractor partners closely with leading siding and siding-products manufacturers.
Here at DaBella, we use American-made James Hardie fiber cement products, as well as Alside vinyl siding products to give customers the peace of mind they want and need.
After all, the siding is that last barrier that stands between your family and your home’s interior and the harsh elements outside . . . so it has to be a good one.
A Final Word
So if you’re considering a home improvement or a home renovation project, make it count. And if you stick with roofing replacement, bath remodeling, window replacement, or siding replacement, you’ll likely do that.
Any and all of these house upgrades offer a good ROI in terms of money, practicality, aesthetics, and peace of mind. Just choose your contractor carefully and then . . . enjoy.