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The Best Home Improvement Projects

The chances are if you own your own home that you will have done some kind of home improvement or have thought about doing some. You may either do it yourself or get in a professional, either way it would have considered the reasons for improving your home carefully. Maybe you have just moved in and you want to put your mark on the house or you just simply want a refreshed style. You may have had a child move out and you are redecorating or you just want to add value to your properties value. The latter being an increasingly important consideration these days

In any case you probably have limited time and / or resources and so choosing the projects that re going to make the most impact are very important decisions. We have explored the top three rooms to improve in a home in the UK to give you an idea of how it can affect your home in terms of its value.

1) Build a conservatory (7%)

Granted this is a big job to get done. However, it can tick a lot of the home improvement boxes. It adds around 7% of the value of your home and adds vital living space. This is a great option if you cant afford a full blown extension but have a requirement for more space like having a family and out growing the existing space.

2) Update the kitchen (5%)

Most home owners spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Updating it can add around 5% to the homes value and will lead to a much nicer experience at home. You can even use the same units and renew the doors and worktops and appliances to give your kitchen a completely new look. You may also want to consider adding new kitchen wall tiles and floor tiles as this can add real impact to a kitchen. Don’t forget lighting too!

3) Update the bathrooms (3%)

Another room which gets a lot of use and can add great value to your home is updating a bathroom. For a relatively small investment you can add a significant amount to the value of the property. Also it will just be so much nicer to have a lovely bath or shower you can spend lots of time in. Again, tiling in a bathroom in paramount to it finish. Using quality bathroom tiles is a must here and get some good fixtures such as taps as it can really dress up a bathroom.

So there are our top three home improvement ideas but of course you could juts decorate and put some value on your home.

Top Fall Home Improvement Projects

As the seasons come and go, it should not only be fun activities that we should be thinking of and be busy with but also tasks to maintain, if not improve, the comfort and functionality in our New York homes. The warm and sunny days will soon be over and putting off important fall home improvement projects until the months get chilly can prove to be costly and so inconvenient. So if you do not want to go through all the headaches, it’s time to plan your fall home improvement projects whether you are in Long Island, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Homes, indeed, are one of the greatest investments anybody can have in a lifetime and allotting time and money to take care of it will provide safety, security, and comfort as well as a boost in property value and enhanced quality of everyday living. To make them last throughout the harsh winter chill and beyond many years to come, here are the top fall home improvement projects to undertake:

1. Property and Home Inspection

The best start to your line of fall home improvement projects this year is a thorough evaluation done by a qualified professional. Though this can initially cost you some, this step will prove to be worth more than your money’s value. By discovering damages early on, you will save yourself from grave surprises instead of them finding their way to you and your house from silently deteriorating.

2. Roofing

Being among the areas most exposed to damaging elements, natural and not, your roofing should be the first area to look into when considering fall home improvements. Especially with the snow on the way, patching whatever roofing problems would be crucial. Things to look for include:

· missing or damaged shingles,

· slits between flashes where the siding and roof joins with flues and vents,

· damp and moldy spots,

· and broken mortar surrounding the chimney especially at caps joints, and washes.

3. Clean and Tune Up

Simply cleaning your surroundings and tuning up important systems can take your efforts for fall home improvements a long, long way. The seemingly harmless accumulation of dead leaves and branches on your gutters can easily bleed you financially. If your gutters got clogged and standing water freezes, this could not only impair the existing gutter system but could also affect efficiency and condition of basement, foundation, walls, crawl spaces and even landscaping. Consider the installation of gutter guards that prevents debris from getting into your gutter system. Also make sure that your drain and gutter system efficiently draws water away from your house.

Other fall home improvements that fall under this category include:

  • Sweeping chimneys
  • Mowing and removing leaves and dead branches on your lawn to avoid snowmolds
  • Checking and maintaining furnace
  • Winterizing lawn by nitrogen fertilizing
  • Avoid freezing by adding insulation to pipes
  • Checking thermostats and considering a programmable one to replace your old thermostat
  • Making sure that no pests can sneak into your home, or worse, have already made a home of house.

Finding The Best Home Improvement Contractor

So you finally decided to take on that home remodeling project. Good for you.

While I admit there is something about doing your own home remodeling, the first thing you need to ask yourself is whether you are truly up to the task. If, after doing some research and inner searching you decide that you need to have a true professional home improvement company do the job, there are a few things to do to get the job off the ground.

Figure Out Your Budget

Home improvement projects aren’t cheap. Even the smallest of laundry room could cost over one or two thousand dollars.

If you know anyone that has had a similar renovation recently completed, you can ask them how much the project costed if you feel comfortable doing so. Otherwise, the best idea is to search online.

There are many forums and other websites that people talk about their home improvement projects. However, you need to know that prices are relative to the area which you live. It is best to do a local search so you have a better idea what it will cost in your area.

My rule of thumb is to double whatever figure I first thought of. I recently had a local home improvement company completely renovate my laundry room. I was estimating it would be around $1,000. Well, the final price was $2,000 after a $300 addition to the project after the original estimate was completed.

Find Local Contractors

This isn’t the hardest task really. You can easily find a list of 30 to 50 contractor by using websites like Manta.com or the Yellowpages.com.

The problem is that much of the details on those sites are incorrect. After painstakingly building a database of contractors over an hours or two, there is nothing worse than finding out the information is incorrect. What a waste of time.

Of course you can do a simple search on Google for home improvement companies in your area, and that should get you a fine list. But the problem is that some of the best and most affordable company’s websites aren’t optimized for Google Searches. By using this method, you are finding the most internet marketing savvy companies, which usually means they charge the highest prices because they get the most calls.

Another option you have is to use a local website that partners in the with the top local home improvement companies. A site like this is PittsburghHomeImprovements.com. All you have to do is enter your information and they will provide it to their incredible database of the top home improvement companies in the area. All you have to do is sit back and let the companies call you.

Accepting A Bid

However you find your contractors and receive your bids, the next step is to accept a bid. While you might want to simply go with the lowest estimate, there are a few things that you might want review prior to accepting that bid.

First, how soon can each contractor start your project. If you are in a hurry, and the cheapest bid can’t start for a month or two, you might be forced to go with another bid. Also, how fast will the project be completed. Some companies will over promise and say a job can be completed quicker than they can actually do it.

If one company’s bid is quoted quite a bit quicker than all of the other contractors, you might want to either question that or go with another bid. I would always rather a contractor overestimate than underestimate the time needed to complete the job correctly.