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Things to Consider Before a Home Remodel

Construction / Remodels

A home remodel can be one of the most rewarding and stressful events a home owner will go through. There are numerous considerations to go over before making a decision to remodel–event down to considering whether the project is worth taking on at all

Do you love the area? Even if you only plan to stay in a house for a short time, it’s important to like where you live, and it’s even better if you adore your neighborhood. Don’t worry what your parents or friends think — does the area work for you and your family? Neighborhood vibe, friendliness, local attractions and restaurants, noise level, schools, weather, history – what matters to you is what matters most.

Will the area love your ideas? Are you planning to fit an edgy, slick design into a folksy ranch neighborhood? You could be risking your new neighbors hating you before you even move in! Blending an extensive remodel into a well-established neighborhood while incorporating fresh ideas is not for the do-it-yourselfer. Hiring experts, like our team at A.C.T. Builders ensures we get it right the first time.

Don’t overbuild, but don’t underbuild either. Updating an older home is a rewarding process, but if your ideas go beyond what a future buyer will appreciate, you’ll pay for it when you go to sell. On the other hand, choosing shortcuts and inferior building supplies is readily evident as well.

Does the house have “good bones”? Tearing out walls is not the time to discover an original structure was so poorly built that major changes, and expensive renovations, need to be made. Our experienced team of builders are honest and upfront, so we are not afraid to tell you a certain design won’t work in the hopes of netting a larger fee when the “worst” is discovered. We are also great at making the good bones of a house into a stunning place to live — the home your house was always meant to be


What you can do now to plan and manage a home renovation once conditions are right

Contractors are more likely to take outdoor rather than indoor projects during the coronavirus pandemic. But you should plan your remodeling job and sign your contract now so that you’ll be at the top of the list when conditions improve

Like everyone else, you’ve been spending lots of time at home during the past several weeks. And you’ve probably become more acquainted with all the flaws in your home: the outdated kitchen cabinets, the frayed carpeting in the family room that needs to be replaced by hardwood, the spare bedroom that needs to be converted into a dedicated office

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, home construction — including remodeling — had been deemed an essential business under the original stay-at-home orders in the District, Maryland and Virginia. But whether a specific project is considered appropriate is a matter largely determined by homeowners and contractors.

Merrick, who also serves as chairman of the government affairs committee for the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), said contractors are more likely to take on outside rather than inside projects. In the case of a customer seeking to renovate the basement of her D.C. rowhouse, the decision was made to wait until the late spring or early summer when everyone would feel more comfortable.

The slump in activity may work to your advantage, experts say. Because work has dried up, some contractors may be more willing to give you a better deal on the pricing than they would have several months ago when demand for their services was high.


Home Improvement

Spend an hour with a pro.

Invite a realtor or interior designer over to check out your home. Many realtors will do this as a courtesy, but you will probably have to pay a consultation fee to a designer. Check with several designers in your area; a standard hourly fee is normally less than $100, and in an hour they can give you lots of ideas for needed improvements. Even small suggested improvements, such as paint colors or furniture placement, can go a long way toward improving the look and feel of your home

Inspect it.

Not every home improvement is cosmetic. Deteriorating roofs, termite infestation or outdated electrical systems — you can’t fix it if you don’t know it’s broken. Hire an inspector to check out the areas of your home that you don’t normally see. They may discover hidden problems that could negatively impact your home’s value. Small problems (such as a hidden water leak) can become big, expensive problems quickly; the longer you put off repairs, the more expensive those repairs will be.

Paint, paint, paint.

One of the simplest, most cost-effective improvements of all is paint! Freshly painted rooms look clean and updated — and that spells value. When selecting paint colors, keep in mind that neutrals appeal to the greatest number of people, therefore making your home more desirable. On average, a gallon of paint costs around $25, leaving you plenty of money to buy rollers, painter’s tape, drop cloths and brushes. So buy a few gallons and get busy!

Find inspiration.

An alternative to hiring a designer is to search for remodeling and decorating inspiration in design-oriented magazines, books, TV shows and websites. Simply tear out or print off the ideas you want to try and start your to-do list. Keep it simple — when remodeling on a tight budget, do-it-yourself projects are best.

Cut energy costs.

The amount of money you spend each month on energy costs may seem like a fixed amount, but many local utility companies provide free energy audits of their customers’ homes. They can show you how to maximize the energy efficiency of your home. An energy-efficient home will save you money now, which can be applied to other updates, and is a more valuable and marketable asset in the long run.


Things to Consider While Planning a Budget for Your Kitchen Remodel Costs

The kitchen is a popular place for families and friends to congregate. Family members grab a quick breakfast before rushing out the door, kids work on  homework and chat about their day while a parent prepares dinner and friends  gather around sipping drinks and tasting appetizers during a dinner party. The  kitchen really is the heart and soul of what a home is.

Two big reasons to remodel your kitchen

A kitchen remodel is one of the most popular ways to spruce up a home in order  to make it more comfortable. A remodel can also make the house more appealing prior to getting an appraisal. It is second only to remodeling a bathroom as the most common home remodeling project.

Home buyers want nice kitchens, so kitchen updates are likely to cause an increase in value during the appraisal process, and buyers may favor your home over others that have outdated kitchens. Having an updated kitchen will likely result in improving your equity and overall home value.

With predicted home value increases, you will eventually recover part of the money you spend on a home improvement – here are some facts:

Remodeling Magazine research indicates that homeowners typically recover 83% of their costs for minor kitchen remodel projects (average of $20,000) and 65% of their costs for major remodels (average of $60,000).

An upscale major kitchen remodel, with an average cost of $120,000, provides an estimated 62% return on a home’s selling price.

With a kitchen remodel, you get the immediate benefit of living in a nicer space with the added benefit of a higher sale price and a faster sale when you go to sell your home in the future.

Setting up your kitchen remodel and expense budget

Kitchen remodels that may add value typically include new appliances, cabinetry, countertops, flooring, and fixtures


Home Improvement Ideas For Those On A Budget

Need to do some updates around the house but think you lack the funds for any worthwhile home improvement projects? It is true that home repair and renovation can be expensive, but there are also some cool things you can do on the cheap

Check out these step by step tutorials for some inexpensive ways to update and improve your home, but on a budget. From DIY kitchen decor ideas to ways to update your bathroom on a budget, cheap living room decor to bedroom furniture, you are sure to find one or more projects to try out this weekend. Recently, I updated my bathroom vanity using the concrete countertop suggestion, and it looks so amazing

Trying to decide which easy home improvement project to tackle next, and super excited knowing I have some affordable options. Cheap home renovation projects and home improvement ideas that are sure to fit your budget, there is now no excuse for not having the home of your dreams.

Paint Your Cabinets

Are you thinking about updating your kitchen, namely your kitchen cabinets? Repainting them is easy, but only if you know what you are doing. Proper surface prep is crucial if you want this home improvement project to turn out right. Learn how with this step by step tutorial with this DIY idea for kitchen cabinets.

Faux Shiplap Backsplash With Peel ‘N Stick Flooring

Another easy home improvement project idea that you can make without spending a ton of money or time, this faux shiplap backsplash tutorial uses adhesive flooring to create an easy backsplash. No serious woodworking or carpentry skills required and of course, no tile cutter needed. If you love the look of a pretty tile backsplash, but can’t exactly lay tile yourself or afford it, try this cool tutorial. For DIY countertops you’ll love, look no further than this cool home improvement hack.