Monthly Archives: March 2018

The New Rules of Home Improvement

Many homeowners are beginning to recognize the higher standards that are being demanded from home improvement contractors.The new rules of certification, accreditation and independent verification have complemented well the old ways of selecting a contractor so that the two establish a benchmark that bodes well for the professional perception of the industry. It is not a coincident that in 2010 credentialing and training organizations have achieved their highest growth rate in recent years.

I believe that a profound shift is taken place in the home improvement industry. This shift has embraced certification, accreditation and independent verification as the new rules of doing business. As a contractor who has been in the business for many years, for me, this shift means one thing – a chance to increase market share by showcasing a brand that understands and welcomes the new reality. Indeed, homeowners are beginning to demand this higher standard of training and perceived credibility to measure value. And, the surest way to achieve this is by checking for the credential of companies and the skill of their people. Now, besides the old ways of relying chiefly on word-of-mouth recommendation, customers will be able to more independently check for and measure the training and professional underpinning of a company. This is quite a significant development in the home improvement business brought on by dramatic emphasis on energy efficiency improvements in building.

The Federal government and large utility companies have contributed to this by providing tax credits and purchase rebates respectively for energy efficiency improvement initiatives. States have seized on these opportunities and have enacted changes to their building codes to encourage higher efficiency standards in building. The State of Massachusetts for example, has adopted the ‘Stretch Energy Code'” which its cities and towns are using to promote energy efficiency improvement to their building stock. The execution of these strategies create jobs, save money on utility bills and decrease the Carbon output to the environment from buildings. The savviest of small home improvement contractors are using these new rules to improve their companies’ image to portray a well trained professional operation. The majority of the buildings in the nation are in need of some sort of energy efficiency improvement, if we are committed to improving our building stock then the adoption of these new rules are just the start of the revolutionizing of the home improvement industry.

To be clear, the changes that are taking root are a result of the budding Home Performance Improvement industry that is taking shape and which is buttress by the Building Performance Institute (BPI), a national credentialing and training organization. Indeed, I believe two things, one, this is setting a new benchmark for the professional assessing of the home remodeling industry. Two, brand recognition will be an important criteria in selecting a home improvement company. The companies that recognize this and make the necessary positioning adjustment will be the winners.

All in all, these new rules that are required to operate a professional home performance improvement entity will no doubt usher in a change in the way the home remodeling industry operates generally.

Save Money With These Home Improvement

You can decrease your energy bills by implementing certain home improvement ideas in your home. In this economy, who wouldn’t want to save more money in the long run. Of course, some of these ideas can be put into place right away and start saving you money on the short term as well.

Invest in a low-flow faucet or shower head in your bathroom. Low-flow fixtures come in a variety of designs to suit modern or classic tastes. In terms of water pressure, a low-flow fixture can produce the same amount of pressure as a normal fixture. You don’t have to spend a fortune to install low-flow fixtures. These are easy do-it-yourself projects that can be done on weekends.

Purchase an awning to keep heat out of your home in warmer temperatures. This will enable you to reduce your energy bills as you won’t have to expend as much energy to keep your house cool. Some good places to place and awning would be over doors and windows. They can be custom designed to fit over any size door or window and also to blend in with the surroundings.

If you don’t like the visual effect of an awning, consider investing in a retractable sun screen. These screens are similar to awnings by the way they provide shade and keep the sun out. However, they are retractable, which allows you to retract the screen when the weather is cooler or the sun isn’t shining as brightly.

Good windows can also save you money. While windows can be a costly home improvement idea, you will definitely save money in the long term. Drafty windows can cause your energy bills to increase significantly. So, purchasing better windows will more than likely cost less than the money you are paying now for energy.

Home Improvement Ideas

Before proceeding with the sale of your home, the majority of property agents tend to take a good look at your property pointing out repairs necessary to make it look presentable. Since the first impression is lasting it is important to make certain when buyers come to tour your home, it is immaculate giving an impression of a home they can visualise themselves live in.

As a veteran property agent I am focusing on a few home improvement ideas which could help increase the value of your home, making it desirable to potential buyers.

Indoor Maintenance:

Broken windows, leaky plumbing, faulty air conditioning and heating systems may spell disaster for the sale price of your home. Buyers keep in mind the cash they will have to spend on the renovation of a house and make adjustments in the home value accordingly. The greater the number of repairs the lower will be their final price offer.

Hence spending a few hundred dollars to upgrade the look of your home, and fix the basic necessities will gain you a lot more in the long run. Apart from the plumbing and wiring, it is a good idea to check the roofing and all other appliances in your home ensuring they are in a good working condition. These are small measures which will surprisingly give you amazing results when you set your home up for sale.

Space and Lightning Make a Difference:

Buyers prefer spacious and well aired homes. Doing away with non structural walls which add room to the living area and coming up with mobile kitchen islands can increase the space in your home. A house which is airy with ample lightning using dimmers to create an interesting effect is more sought after by buyers when compared to a cramped, dark home.

Pay Heed to the Flooring:

Flooring makes a world of difference and with a few amendments you can get rid of squeaky or damaged floor boards, broken tiles and if required removing the wall to wall carpeting could add to the look of your house. However, at times the floors are in such a shabby condition that it is better to get a new floor rather than try to renovate what you have.

It is crucial to keep in mind that badly damaged floors can result in a substantial decrease in the value of your home. New flooring will be expensive but you will be able to make up for your expenses with better offers for your property.

Property agents are adept at giving suggestions about creating spaces and renovating homes according to your budget. For further assistance ask your property agents when you interview them for their professional evaluation about the state of your home and make sure to carry out the essential maintenance to enhance the value of your property.

Incorporate These Useful Home Improvement

Tired of looking at the same décor everyday? Follow these simple and useful home improvement ideas to bring about a visual change in style and impact. There is no need to splurge on expensive items to give your home a new look. Look around you and decide how you can re-arrange the furniture and introduce a few pieces from another room to create a new seating area. Browse EBay for any unusual objects or pieces of furniture which may suit your home. They generally sell used and sometimes antique furniture for a throw away price.

Spruce up your living room

Introduce the colors of spring into your living room. Give a cheery décor to the dining area and all areas that have public access. The kitchen is also a place where friends drop in to have a chat and a quick cup of tea. A fresh coat of paint makes a world of a difference to a dull drab home.

A useful home improvement idea would be to highlight one wall with a bright color. Run the same color on the cornice of your ceiling keeping the rest of the ceiling a pale color. You will be amazed to see how this brightens the room. Change the lighting and use highlighters to focus on any particular object that you would have stand out like for instance, pieces of art or architectural details. Use mood-elevating task lighting or a couple of hanging pendants over your sink or island in the kitchen. If you are using track lighting suspended from a single point on the ceiling, manipulate the direction of the curve.

Make your bedroom a haven in your home

Use these useful home improvement suggestions to make a transformation in your bedroom.

Remove all the heavy curtains and drapes and go in for a mix and match of color. Create a stunning room by using a single design with large floral prints or a theme. Cut out one of the flowers and make a frame to hang over the headboard. Use two or three of the colors on the design to sow full length curtains. The color scheme could be placed horizontally and need not be proportionate. This means that the top and bottom layer could be more than the one used in the centre or you could make the bottom layer larger than the second and use a smaller layer for the top. Use your eye to decide which would look nice. Use all of the design when making your coverlet so that it drapes all around and overhangs on the bed. Use the smaller prints on the cushion so that the whole room has a theme. Throw in a few bed side rugs, make sure the lampshade matches any one colour and voila! You have a new bedroom!