Thursday, December 1, 2016

Home Improvement Trends For 2017

Are you thinking about putting your house up for sale during the next peak selling season?  If you are considering this it is time to think about inexpensive trends to incorporate into home improvements that you are contemplating right now.  When you put your house on the market the goal is to make the home appeal to the most buyers possible.  This can be done by creating a more general environment that offers less personalization and more generalization to the space.
Homeowners considering new appliances will want to consider some of the newer finishes available.  Even if you prefer white or black it is imperative that if your plan is to leave the appliances with the home that you consider upgrading to matte or stainless steel finishes.  Matte appliances are quickly outweighing the popularity of stainless steel but both are still preferred over colored appliances.  Matte finishes on appliances are great for families as they hide fingerprints, dirt and smudges that other finishes don’t.
Another popular home improvement project that is in style is cork flooring.  Cement flooring has had its day in the sun but quickly is being replaced with cushioned flooring options.  Cork is popular because it is compliments a variety of home environments.  It is offered in a variety of styles and color options.
As flooring trends go, in 2017 shag and pile carpeting will be viewed as outdated with a more popular option being cut and loop carpet.  Textures and patterns in carpet will be popular as well.  If you decide on using texture and pattern in flooring remember to remain neutral and complimentary on the walls, counter and furniture.  This will keep the home from becoming too personalized and keep it neutral for buyers to be able to visualize themselves in the space.
Technology is another popular trend that people are looking to incorporate into home improvement, especially in lighting.  Circadian lighting is a popular upgrade that is helping to sell homes to modern day buyers.  This type of lighting is in sync with the rhythm of our bodies.  The technology communicated with a phone to allow the homeowner to control the temperature settings throughout the day.  Homeowners can set the day lighting to be warmer and whiter while fading to an orange glow in the evening for a calmer more relaxed lighting option.
Water quality is another trend that has become more important to new buyers as well.  If you are looking to increase the attractiveness of your home a great way to do this is with an improved whole-home water filtration system.  This is a trend that goes right along with the popularity we have seen in previous years for home to be more eco-friendly.
The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact today all of your home renovating needs.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Tips When Hiring A Handyman

Many of us are not handy when it comes to even the smallest home improvement project.  This is why it is important to have a professional handyman on speed dial at all times.  In order to get the most out of hiring a handyman consider the advice below.

Get organized and maintain an ongoing list of work that needs to be accomplished.  This will allow you to maximize the work that is done when the handyman is at your home.  When it comes to the repairs and work needed on your home be upfront with your expectations.  Handyman services vary between companies and therefore it is important to make sure what you need is something that can be accomplished using the individual you have contracted.  If your request is not within the services that they offer they will be more than happy to refer you to someone who can handle your request. 

When hiring a handyman look no further than friends and family for referrals.  Most handymen businesses are grown based on word of mouth alone.  If the person you are looking to hire can’t provide at least three local references then pass on them.  Any good handyman will have a large handful of regular clients that use their services on an ongoing basis.

As with any contractor working within your home or business it is crucial that they are not only licensed and insured but also bonded.  If they are injured on your property while performing work for you it is important that they have insurance otherwise you will be fully liable. 

Before you allow a handyman to perform any work within your home make sure you get a signed, written estimate that includes both the cost of labor and materials.  Reputablehandyman will be able to estimate jobs within ten percent.  Make it clear to potential handyman that you are looking to hire that you understand this fact and aren’t interested in any low ball estimates. 

You have to be one hundred percent comfortable with this individual as they will be working in your home close to your family.  It is pertinent that you are not only comfortable with their work and pricing but also their demeanor.

Establish a detailed schedule of when work is to be accomplished.  It should include when work is to start, an estimate on finishing with check in points throughout the project.  This schedule should be agreed upon between both parties to avoid any miscommunication in what is to be done. 

Finally ask about guarantees on materials and craftsmanship.  If the handyman you are looking to hire does not offer any type of satisfaction guarantee then avoid hiring them.  You should get in writing a statement of from the handyman ensuring that they will take care of quality issues and workmanship failures for a specific amount of time, free of extra charge.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact today all of your home renovating needs.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Challenges In Home Remodeling

There are many challenges that homeowners face when doing remodeling whether it is a big renovation like the kitchen or something smaller like painting a room.  Avoid allowing your home improvements to become an emotional or financial burden for you or your family.  Below are the top stressors to both contractors and homeowners when it comes to taking on any sized home improvement project.
Making Too Many Changes To The Original Plan
It is important to understand that every time a contractor needs to make an adjustment to the original renovation plan that it will increase the time and money that is being spent on the project.  After the construction process has begun, any change in the materials, design or such will lead to longer lead times and increases in costs.
Miscommunication can occur at a multitude of levels during home improvement projects.  Whether it is between a couple, the material supplier, the contractor or a combination of the three, a failure to communicate can cause a great deal of stress.  Prior to beginning any home improvement projects discuss the chain of command for the renovation.  Clearly set up a path that communication should follow and adhere to it in order to avoid confusion and delay with the project.
Not Following A Budget and Ignoring The Cost Of Materials
Before beginning any renovation have a set budget that clearly defines the amount of money that is to be spent on materials and labor.  Without a set budget in place contractors do not know the limitations to put on material costs and such.  This leaves a lot of room for error between the amounts that the homeowner wanted to spend verse what the contractor is expecting.  One way around this is to define a budget and meet weekly to ensure that expenses are staying in line with expectations.
Lacking a Timeline
Frustration often occurs when a timeline for the project’s completion is not in place.  An experienced contractor should have a solid idea of how long a renovation should take to complete.  When there is a delay in the project it is important that the line of communication is kept open to avoid any resentment about the changing time frame.
Taking On Too Much At One Time
Some homeowners try to take on too many projects at one time.  If at all possible don’t take on a number of renovations all at once.  It is difficult enough to manage one at a time let alone multiple different projects.  Take your time when it comes to home improvement projects and don’t take on too much.  Even when you hire a professional contractor, taking on more than one project can lead to big problems.
The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact today all of your home renovating needs.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Handyman Renovations Under $500

There are so many things that can be done to increase the appeal of a home without breaking the bank.  Below are seven of the best home improvements that local handymencan be hired out for less than five hundred dollars.
The first improvement that is always suggested by contractors has to do with increasing the curb appeal of your home.  For less than five hundred dollars homeowners can hire a handyman for the day to do just that.  Increasing curb appeal is going to involve different tasks for every home however the following improvements should be considered when seeking to increase your homes curb appeal:
  • Exterior Pressure Washing
  • Wash Exterior Windows and Screens
  • Repair Broken Concrete Sidewalks and Steps
  • Update The Mailbox
  • Edge The Lawn
  • Trim Bushes
  • Pull Weeds
  • Freshen Up Mulch
Another inexpensive home improvement that makes a big difference comes with the entryway of your home.  For less than five hundred dollars you can replace the front door, add some color to the entry, update light fixtures and add an entry door rug.  Contractors all say that the little enhancements to the home’s exterior appearance do a lot to add to the attraction of your property.  A well kept exterior translates into a home that is taken care of.
If you have five hundred dollars for home renovations another huge renovation that can be done that does a lot to increase the homes overall presences is repairing and painting the interior walls.  Handymen are often called in to freshen up interior paint.  A fresh coat on the walls and trim can really transform a room.  Don’t forget the ceiling!
Just like a new necklace can transform an old outfit lighting can change up a room.  A little pizzazz can be added throughout your home my switching up the style of lighting fixtures that are installed.  For less than five hundred dollars you should be able to budget for lighting upgrades and fresh light bulbs to almost every room in your home.  Larger fixtures such as ones you would find in a kitchen or foyer will take up the majority of the budget.  For these pieces consider looking for ideas outside the normal.  Online sites offer a great deal of large scaled budget lighting options that can be fairly inexpensive to reproduce.
No matter what home renovation that you choose there is a lot that can be done by hiring a professional handyman for the day.  For less than five hundred dollars it is possible to hire a local handyman once a year to add a different perspective to a space that needs some wow factor added.
The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact today all of your home renovating needs.

Home Improvements and Their Return On Investment

Every update done to your home has a return on investment at resale that should be considered before tackling it.  Below you will find the average ROI you can expect when contracting popular home renovations.
  • Minor Bathroom Updates Average ROI 102% – Renovations to a bathroom that do not include redoing electrical or plumbing range around eleven thousand dollars. This includes replacing the tub, tile surround, flooring, toilet, sink, vanity and fixtures.   If the tub is going to be too difficult to replace consider updating the tub by re-glazing the surface.  Fresh glaze allows a tub to appear brand new.  A fresh coat of paint and updated shower curtain or doors really add to the any bathroom renovation.
  • Updated, Simplified Landscaping Average ROI 100% – Hiring a landscape designer really pays off when it comes to landscaping. For the most part it is safe plan three quarters of your budget for materials and one quarter on the design and installation.  Check around your neighborhood to determine what is appealing to the exterior of homes that are similar to yours.  A bit of color can really enhance the landscape.  For a grand impact choose one color and vary the heights of the landscape plants.   Don’t allow the landscape to become overgrown.  Keep it charming and simple.  Walkways and water features are other attractive features that add interest and visual appeal.
  • Minor Kitchen Renovations Average ROI 98.5% -Most kitchens can be completely renovated without changing the floor plan of the space. To maximize your renovation dollars re-face cabinets and drawers, change out the sink and fixtures, cabinet hardware, flooring and countertops.  Additional lighting will add substantially to the kitchen.   The overall value of your home before the minor renovation will also determine the materials you should use.  For homes over three hundred thousand dollars can be updated with higher valued materials like granite, glass and stone.  Consider your flooring choice as well depending once again on the value of the home.
  • Exterior Improvements Average ROI 95.5% – The curb appeal of your home really sells itself. Updates to the siding can really change the appearance of your home while helping to lower maintenance.  Wood siding requires real maintenance whereas vinyl siding only really requires a spring power washing every other year.  Another renovation that contractors suggest when updating your home’s exterior is the addition of a new entry door.  Fresh paint to exterior columns can really freshen up the space as well.  Add some seating and lighting to really add to the return on investment of your exterior renovation.
The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact today all of your home renovating needs.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Projects That Add Value to Your Home

Kitchen Renovations: The kitchen is the main hub of the home.  Updates within the kitchen go a long way in increasing the value of the property and building your homes equity.  When you invest in the kitchen it is possible to recoup around sixty to one hundred and twenty percent of the investment that was put into the home improvement project.  The kitchen renovations should be kept within reason; don’t ever make the kitchen more impressive than the rest of the home or homes within the neighborhood.   Avoid the mistakes below:

1) Stop over Upgrading: Don’t invest sixty thousand dollars in a kitchen in a neighborhood that is full of first time home buyers with houses in the low hundred thousand.  The investment will not pay out in the end.  The style, size and quality of the kitchen remodel should remain similar to those in the neighborhood.

2) Paint is Important: Kitchens are easily freshened up with a coat of fresh paint.  Paint is relatively cheap and an update in color can really clean up the kitchen.  Make sure the color of the paint is a neutral color that can allow buyers to see themselves within the space.

3) Eco-Friendly Appliances: Energy efficiency is important in all home improvements but especially crucial when it comes to updating your kitchen appliances.  Appliances with energy star ratings are not only good for the environment but are also less expensive for potential buyers to operate.

4) Bathroom Upgrades:  A bathroom renovation is another terrific way to invest in your home.  Adding a bathroom or updating an existing bathroom is a home improvement many homeowners chose.  A new bathroom can recoup anywhere from eighty to one hundred thirty percent of the investment made.  Again, be careful that you don’t over upgrade.  Don’t invest in overly expensive faucets or tubs.  The renovation style should stay in line with that of the overall home while noting other bathroom additions in neighborhood homes

5) Reinvent a Room: Take a space within the home and reinvent it.  Finish a basement, upgrade an attic or improve the space above the garage to add additional square foot to your home.  Consider potential uses for the space before beginning the renovation process.  Rooms that are versatile are a great bonus to potential buyers.  Basements can be transformed into extra living space that can be used as a living room, playroom or apartment for rent.  Attic spaces are great additional spaces for craft rooms, play rooms and more.  Usually an attic space will be renovated to accentuate the higher ceilings.

These are just a few of the ways to make home improvements that will bring value to your home when you go to sell it later on down the road.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact today all of your home renovating needs.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Home Improvements That Pay Off

Certain home improvements yield a higher value than others.  The first thing that comes to mind when going for renovations that increase the equity seems to always be kitchen remodels.  More important than a new kitchen is those basic home maintenance items such as a new roof, updated siding, fresh paint, basically any renovation that keeps maintenance low and appeal high.
Sometimes home improvements are needed instead of wanted.  As a handyman I have installed many new furnaces when homeowners dreamed of countertops of granite and showers that steam.  Often times as a contractor I need to remind homeowners that reliable furnaces and dry basements are far more important than updated kitchens and luxury bathrooms.
As a handyman I talk to a ton of real estate agents, architects and other contractors.  We all agree that buyers can’t get past a roof that leaks however can get over a kitchen that would seat more people with the addition of an island.  Homeowners are more likely to recoup their investment with the addition of new siding.  Replacing the siding recoups around ninety three percent of its cost, replacing the roof and windows return about eighty percent or more.
Home buyers often take basic home systems for granted.  When an offer is put in on a home it is expected that when the inspector checks the home out that the roof will not leak, the plumbing works, and heating and air conditioning systems are in order.  Basichome maintenance items will eat up a new homeowner’s budget quickly; in reality however they desire to use their financial resources to update the aesthetics of the home.  Maintenance items within the home can quickly eat away at a homeowners updating budget quicker than quick.
If 2016 is the year that you are thinking of finally get to the home improvements you have been putting off here are a few things to keep in mind.
  • What are you going to get back on your investment? How does the value of your home relate to others within the area?  If you live in a neighborhood where your home is already going for top dollar it is going to be difficult to get money back on any of your home renovations.  Installing a ten thousand dollar garage addition to create a three car garage where two car garages are the norm may not be the best investment for your renovating dollars.
  • If homes in the area have only one bathroom it may not make sense to increase the number of bathrooms in your home. A bathroom renovation can cost anywhere between nine and twelve thousand dollars.  Adding another bathroom to a neighborhood where one bath is the norm may not yield that expense in increased home equity.
It is important to understand that not all renovations are created equally.  Handymen that tell you anything other than that are lying.  Yes, you may want an in-ground pool but be sure that you know you may not get your money back out of the investment; be sure it is worth it for you.  If the value you will receive from the renovation is greater than the amount you will be able to recoup go for it!
The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact today all of your home renovating needs.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Spring Home Improvements

It is official; winter has ended and spring is here.  Homeowners often find the spring a perfect time to begin the home improvements they have planned over the previous months.  Below you will find the top spring home improvement projects to add to the resale value of your home.
  • Repair Roofing and Update Gutters: The structure of your home only functions properly when it is cared for.  Roofing repairs should be done twice a year.  Shingles replaced, flashing caulked and gutters put back in place.   When the gutters around our home are not correctly placed the rain water can leak into the cement foundation and erode the soil surrounding the foundation causing major issues.  Your homes main structure comes from the foundation and trusses.  Proper care of these main components revolves around professional roof and gutter maintenance.
  • Put A Deck On: Homeowners looking to socialize, dine and enjoy the sunshine should consider adding on a deck.  A deck can come in any size.  Consider building a deck with pre-treated wood to ensure that it survives the harsh weather winter will bring.
  • Update Your Home’s Exterior: Inspect the exterior of your home.  Does your current exterior look like it has barely survived the winter?  Spring is the perfect time to update the siding on your home.  Vinyl siding comes in a wide variety of good looking, energy efficient, high performance varieties.  Look into exterior options that best meet the need of your homes climate.
  • Heat and Air Conditioning Inspections: Homeowners should have their heating and cooling systems inspected yearly.  Before it gets hot it is crucial to make sure the air conditioning system is running properly and that vents are properly clean. If possible install a dehumidifier that runs along with the air conditioning system.  This will prevent mold build up from occurring within the walls of your home.
  • Roof Repair: Heavy snow fall in the North is tough on a home’s single roofing.  To ensure that damage to your roof is kept to a minimum inspect the roof for any moisture seepage.  Check in the cracks, creases, loose roofing tiles and such on the roof.  Any curling, peeling or shingle disintegration should be repaired to avoid considerable structural damage to the roofing.
  • Kitchen Upgrades: The number one home improvements that consumers should take to increase the value of their homes come from the kitchen.  You don’t have to do a full kitchen makeover to increase the value of your home; consider new cabinets, updated hardware and add an island.  This will help make the kitchen the gathering place you have always wanted.
  • Increase Curb Appeal: The first thing that people see is the exterior of your home.  The outside should accurately represent the inside in order to attract the attention of future buyers.  This can be done by updating the landscaping, adding an entry gate, updated roofing, adding on a patio and more.  When you enjoy the outside of your home as much as the inside you have succeeded!
Home improvements that increase the value of your home are always the first to consider.  Whenever you can improve the environment for your enjoyment in a way that will also add to the equity of the home it is a win-win.
The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact today all of your home renovating needs.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Doing It Yourself Verse Hiring A Professional Contractor

Doing a bathroom remodel yourself may save you money but at what additional cost?  The cost of course is skill, convenience and every bit of your sanity.  Extensive bathroom remodels should be left up to an experienced contractor.  Hire a remodeling contractor that has experience doing the job right the first time.  A licensed, insured contractor has acquired the skills necessary to ensure the job meets your specifications within an allotted period of time that is contracted between the two of you.
When hiring a contractor it is important that they understand what you are envisioning.  Homeowners come up with a gazillion ideas on remodeling their homes; the problem comes when trying to articulate what you expect out of the completed project.  When you can show your contractor pictures out of magazines or ideas found online it opens the lines of communication.
Your contractor should be able to take ideas from your design concepts to create a visual representation of exactly what you are looking for.  This should be the first step in any home improvement project.  Going into remodeling without a definitive concept in mind is never a good idea for you or the contractor.
When ideas are not set in stone before the job begins a project that should take a few weeks’ turns into a few months.  The fixtures start to change, the color of paint no longer goes well with the tile and cabinet colors and before you know it aspects of the project that were not in the original contract which starts the demise of any time line that was established to begin with.
As new items start to be requested contractors have to halt where they are at in the project to reevaluate and order the homeowners new requests.  When this occurs too often throughout the remodeling process it can really turn into a project that is outside the realm of time the contractor has established for your renovation.  This in turn increases the amount of money the contractor deserves to be compensated, increases in material costs and restocking fees and more.
Professional home remodeling contractor that have established a solid reputation and work history within the industry make for an ease that doesn’t come from contractors who are new to the construction industry.  The best way to find an individual to contract for the home improvement projects around your home is via referral, word of mouth and online reputation.  It is hard for good contractors and their work to go unnoticed in the home remodeling industry.
The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact today all of your home renovating needs.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

2016 Is The Year Of Bathroom Renovations

We are almost a month in the New Year and the thoughts of remodeling are still fresh in the air. The New Year is a perfect time to begin making soft plans for complete room renovations or small updates to different spaces within your home. 

Contractors are already booking up their spring and summer with major kitchen renovations, porch additions, additions and more.  If you are considering a renovation now is the time to meet with local contractors to establish an action plan.  Now is the time to schedule your remodel to ensure that the contractor that you desire has time booked in to his schedule for your renovation project. 

Consider the following trends of 2016

Bathrooms are the big rage of 2016 following the massive trend of kitchen remodeling that 2015 was witness to.  Bathroom renovations will be the top remodeling project for home owners this year.  Homeowners are looking to create a spa getaway in their own homes.  Large soaking and free standing tubs are what is currently trending. 

In bathroom spaces, shower surrounds will start to see a decline and a move to large custom showers moves in.  Showers and tubs will be separate features within the bathroom space.  Showers will be extravagant within themselves.  The use of natural materials, larger showers and multiple fixtures will be the trend over the classic minimal cubical style stand up showers of the past.

The colors used within the bathroom space will be muted.  Gray is a continued favorite in 2016 along with the inclusion of darker hues mixed in.  Shades of charcoal mixed with whites and blacks offer a classic, sophisticated look to any space.  Bathrooms tiles are popular in white paired with a gray color pallet with darker accents to create an elegant spa retreat.  Hues of green, beige, blue and gray are nice to give your bathroom a beach like feel.

The bathroom sink trend of 2016 is moving away from the on counter giant bowl sinks and moving towards deep single sinks.  Incorporating a large vanity with lots of storage is a key element in making large, deep sinks look like an attractive accent within the bathroom space. 

When choosing faucets heavy metals are still popular, copper is trendy as is muted black.  Replace gold and polished silver with darker faucets.  The darker trend is not only saved for the faucets within the bathroom.  Lighting options throughout the bathroom should include these darker, heavy metal shades to compliment other fixtures throughout the space.

Accent walls are also common in the bathroom of 2016.  Consider using natural elements to bring character to the space.  Accent walls of the past have always been set apart by using a bold color pallet; this is not so with bathroom renovations of today.  Natural, reclaimed materials that add drama, warmth and character.

Statement flooring in the bathroom is not a trend that is letting up.  The floor is a great pallet that provides an ample area to create something unique.  This is extremely popular with spaces that have no clear wall space that offers an accent feature.  Bringing interest to the bathroom can be difficult is such situations which is when the bathroom flooring becomes extremely important.  Statement tiles and engineered hardwood remain popular trends in bathroom flooring. 

With February fast approaching now is the perfect time to make an appointment to meet with residential contractors to discuss plan to revamp your homes bathrooms.  
The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact today all of your home renovating needs.