Smart remodeling adds value to your home Print
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Written by Morgan Zenner   
Monday, 09 May 2011 12:44

Start planning for your summer remodel during Home Improvement Month

Des Plaines, Illinois, May 4, 2011—Spring is in the air, and homeowners are starting to plan their dream home remodeling projects. To commemorate May as National Home Improvement Month, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) offers homeowners a few words of advice for getting the most value out of your remodeling investment.

More Americans are staying in their homes rather than moving. According to Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey released in November 2010, 85 percent of the general population believed it was a bad time to sell their home. There’s a lot more to be gained through remodeling besides increased functionality, new appliances, efficient systems, updated décor, additional space or the pure enjoyment of making your home your own. There’s also the increased value your home receives when you make improvements.

With so many options available today, NARI offers a few considerations for homeowners who want to get the most out of their remodels.

  • Curb appeal goes a long way. Exterior home improvements such as roofing, siding, windows and doors are subject to the elements and usually need to be replaced after a number of years. In terms of re-sale value, updated exteriors give sellers an edge over buyers who are attracted to your home before entering.
  • According to Energy Star, half of a home’s energy use is dedicated to heating and cooling. If a system is more than 10 years old, it may be time to replace it. New, energy-efficient systems are not only more cost-effective but are also better quality.
  • All homes benefit from increased insulation and sealing, regardless of climate. Older homes are traditionally under-insulated compared to new homes. And recent insulation innovations like spray foam or cellulose increase the ability to trap air inside. Proper insulation evens temperature flows, reduces energy use and has long-term benefits.
  • Kitchen and bath renovations are still popular—and for good reason. Homeowners continue to see the value in updating areas of the home that are used frequently and are high functioning. Universal design concepts are commonly incorporated into kitchen and bath areas to accommodate people of all sizes and abilities and conveniences for long-term residents.

Most homeowners can handle routine maintenance projects and cosmetic touch-ups, but it’s recommended they consult with qualified professionals for larger remodeling jobs and major changes to the home’s structure.

Homeowners that need to make several updates to their homes but cannot afford a complete overhaul may be interested in phased remodeling. In this instance, remodeling projects are broken into phases over time, for a long-term project plan. This also lessens the burden of remodeling to the homeowner as they remain in the home as work is being done.

As of April 22, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed new regulations for contractors working in homes built before 1978. The Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rule mandates that remodelers who intend to work in pre-1978 homes to register their company and complete an 8-hour training and certification course with an accredited trainer. The course teaches remodelers how to safely contain lead in a home as it is being disturbed and reduce exposure to residents and workers. Homeowners should be aware that this new rule is enforced and should be skeptical of any contractors who choose not to follow the law. Visit www.nari.org to find a Certified Lead Renovator in your area.

NARI members represent a select group from the approximately 800,000 companies and individuals in the U.S. identifying themselves as professional remodelers.