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8 Home Remodeling Projects With Top-Dollar Returns

Link To Original Article From HouseLogic.com

By: Anne Arntson
Published: January 14, 2015

 

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Not all home improvements are created equal. These will reward you the most when it comes time to sell.

Your home is in the perfect location, came at the perfect price, with the perfect lot. (Yay southern exposure!)

But the home itself? Perfect isn't the adjective you'd use. But you knew that moving in, and now you're ready to start making it just right.

Where to begin, though? How about with data? Data is that friend who tells you like it really is.

Because while any home improvement that brings you joy is priceless, not all add as much home equity as you might expect.

The "Remodeling Impact Report" from the National Association of REALTORS? has tons of data on how much improvements cost -- and how much of those costs you can recoup.

Here are eight of the report's best home remodeling projects with equity-building might:

 

 #1 New Roof

If you find yourself sprinting for the buckets when it starts to sprinkle, getting a new roof should be your No. 1 to-do. Measuring rainfall from the indoors isn't cool.

 The cost: $7,500

 The return: 107% at $8,000

Considering it's what's between you and the elements, it's a no-brainer.

Not sure if you need a new roof? Signs you might include:

 

#2 and #3 Refinished or New Hardwood Floors

You flip on the TV to see that your fave home reno-ing duo is it at again, flipping a ranch that's stuck in the '80s.

They make it to the living room, pull back the dingy carpet to reveal hardwood floors in great condition. They're psyched -- and for good reason.

Hardwood floors are a timeless classic. Refinishing is a no-brainer. Neither will you regret adding new hardwood floors if you have none.

 The cost to refinish: $2,600

 The return: 100% at $2,600

 The cost to buy new: $4,700

 The return: 106% at $5,000

 Related: Should You Refinish Hardwood Floors Yourself?

 

 #4 New Garage Door

No surprise that a garage door replacement project made it onto this #winning list -- a new garage door provides a big boost for your home's curb appeal at a relatively modest cost.

 The cost: $2,100

 The return: 95% at $2,000

There are options galore, too. A host of factory-finish colors, wood-look embossed steel, and glass window insets are just some of the possibilities that'll give your doors bankable personality.

 

 #5 Better Insulation

Insulation is tucked out of sight, so it's often out of mind -- that is, until you're forced to wear your parka indoors because it's sooo darn cold.

 The cost: $2,400

 The return: 83% at $2,000 (plus the added savings on heating and cooling costs!)

 

#6 New Siding

In any color! And never paint again.

Those are two of the three benefits of vinyl siding. The third, of course, is your home's value.

But if long-time homeowners look at you funny when you mention vinyl siding, just tell them that today's vinyl is way better than what they remember because of fade-resistant finishes and transferable lifetime warranties.

 The cost: $15,800

 The return: 63% at $10,000

 

#7 Fiber-Cement Siding

Want fiber-cement siding instead? It also shows a strong payback of 76%. Although it's the pricier option -- you'll spend about $19,700 with a payback of about $15,000 -- it has one thing vinyl still lacks -- the perception of quality.

 The cost: $19,700

 The return: 76% at $15,000

 

#8 HVAC Replacement

Air quality is top of mind these days, so replacing an HVAC system is a timely project -- plus it cuts those pesky utility costs. Of the people surveyed in the NAR report, almost half said the most important benefit of HVAC replacement was better functionality and livability.

 The cost: $8,200

 The return: 85% at $7,000

Quality matters. In a survey from the National Association of Home Builders, "quality" was the one of the most important traits home buyers focused on when house hunting.

Perceptions of quality can vary, but the majority of both first-time buyers and repeat buyers said they'd rather have a smaller home with high-quality products and services than a bigger home with fewer amenities.

 

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Copyright 2022.  All rights reserved.

How to Fix Common Wall and Floor Problems

Link To Original Article From HouseLogic.com

By: Deirdre Sullivan
Published: August 19, 2016

 

Although some maintenance projects are best left to the pros, these three easy DIY fixes will give you bragging rights.

We turned to three bloggers for ideas on how to tackle some little, but nagging, household wall and floor issues.

A Made-Up Drywall Repair

 The problem: Concealing drywall damage is a tricky business that requires a handful of drywall tools and materials to make walls look like new. To fix coin-sized holes, many traditionalists use mesh or paper tape. But not Lesli DeVito, the DIY blogger behind My Old Country House.

 The fix: Cosmetic wedges! DeVito first tried patching the two nickel-sized openings with cement board she had lying around, but the pieces didn't fit as you can see in the picture below (left).

 Tool list:

How to:

  1. Cut the wedges into pieces that are slightly larger than the holes.
  2. Spackle the drywall and wipe off the excess.
  3. When the spackle dries, sand the area until it's smooth.
  4. Add a fresh coat of paint.

Now DeVito challenges people to find where the holes were; go ahead, take a peek.

A Seamless Way to Remove Nails from Trim and Flooring

 The problem: You can save some dough by using salvaged materials like trim and oak flooring. But before you can install or even safely store them, you have to pull out any old nails -- without damaging the wood.

 The fix: Although you might be tempted to whack the nail from the back with a hammer and then yank it, don't. That can mar the surface. Instead, pull the nails out from the back, says Peter Fazio from the site Dadand.

 Tool list:

How to:

  1. Put the trim or floorboard face down on a drop cloth to protect the front surface.
  2. Using your pliers, grab the nail and gently roll onto the curved part of the tool until the nail pops out.

If the old filler used to conceal the nail on the front side pops out, it's easy to fix. Refill the hole with color-matched wood filler (it'll work for composite trim, too). Scrape the top of the repair gently with a putty knife to remove excess filler -- otherwise you'll leave a noticeable bump.

If you can't find color-matched filler, repair the hole and gently sand the area smooth. Spot paint to match.

The Trick to Spiffing Up Grody Grout

 The problem: When Virginia from LiveLoveDIY painted her kitchen cabinets bright white, her dingy tile grout became a real eyesore.

Sure, cleaning agents like hydrogen peroxide can brighten discolored floors, but they won't do much for grout. Grout is gritty and easily stains; despite scrubbing, it may never appear clean.

 The fix: Using what she calls the "best product ever," a bottle of Polyblend Grout Renew (there are other brands, too), a stain- and fade-resistant grout paint in snow white. It costs about $14 for an 8-ounce bottle, which was enough to cover the all grout in her kitchen.

 Tool list:

How to:

  1. Squeeze a dollop of paint on the grout and scrub it in with a toothbrush. (The paint Virginia used dries fast, so you'll need to work quickly.)
  2.  Wipe off the excess from tile with a paper towel.

Including a few breaks, it took her about four hours to complete the job, which she says was time well-spent. Virginia also says the grout paint is easy to keep clean.

 Tip: You might also want to seal the grout paint after it dries.

 

 

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Copyright 2022.  All rights reserved.

 

Home Upgrades With the Lowest ROI

Article From HouseLogic.com

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon
Published: August 26, 2013

 

File these 4 home upgrades under wish fulfillment, not value investment.

Life is a balancing act, and upgrading your home is no different. Some upgrades, like a kitchen remodel or an additional bathroom, typically add value to your home. Others, like putting in a pool, provide little dollar return on your investment.

Of course, homeowning isn't just about building wealth; it's also about living well and making memories -- even if that means outclassing your neighborhood or turning off future buyers. So if any of these six upgrades is something you can't be dissuaded from, enjoy! We won't judge. But go in with your eyes wide open. Here's why:

 

#1 Outdoor Kitchen

 

 The fantasy: You're the man -- grilling steaks, blending margaritas, and washing highball glasses without ever leaving your pimped-out patio kitchen.

 The reality: For what it costs -- median cost is $14,000 -- are you really gonna use it? Despite our penchant for eating alfresco, families spend most leisure time in front of some screen and almost no leisure time outdoors, no matter how much they spend on amenities, according to UCLA's "Life At Home" study.

 The bottom-line: Instead, buy a tricked out gas grill, which will do just fine when you need to char something. If you're dying for an outdoor upgrade, install exterior lighting -- only 1% of buyers don't want that.

 

#2 In-Ground Swimming Pool

 

 The fantasy: Floating aimlessly, sipping umbrella drinks, staying cool in the dog days of summer.

 The reality: Pools are money pits that you'll spend $57,500 to install, and thousands more to insure, secure, and maintain. Plus, you won't use them as much as you think, and when you're ready to sell, buyers will call your pool a maintenance pain. In fact, according to the "Remodeling Impact Report" from the National Association of REALTORS?, you'll only get back 43% return when you sell.

 The bottom-line: If a backyard swimming pool is on your must-have home list, go for it. But, get real about:

 

#3 In-Ground Spa

 

The fantasy: Soothing aching muscles and sipping chardonnay with friends while being surrounded by warm water and bubbles.

The reality: In-ground spas are nearly as expensive as pools and cost about $1 a day for electricity and chemicals. You'll have to buy a cover ($50 to $400) to keep children, pets, and leaves out. And, like in-ground pools, in-ground spas' ROI depends solely on how much the next homeowner wants one.

The bottom-line: Unless you have a chronic condition that requires hydrotherapy, you probably won't use your spa as much as you imagine. A portable hot tub will give you the same benefits for as little as $1,000 to $2,500, and you can take it with you when you move.

 

#4 Elevator

 

 Your fantasy: No more climbing stairs for you or for your parents when they move in.

The reality: Elevators top the list of features buyers don't want in the NAHB "What Buyers Really Want" report. They cost upwards of $25,000 to install, which requires sawing through floors, laying concrete, and crafting high-precision framing. And, at sales time, elevators can turn off some families, especially those with little kids who love to push buttons.

The bottom-line: If you truly need help climbing stairs, you can install a chair lift on a rail system ($1,000 to $5,000). Best feature: It can be removed.

 

 

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Copyright 2022.  All rights reserved.

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