Summer is a popular season for home remodeling, and there are many projects that add both beauty and value to a dwelling. Whether a homeowner plans to replace old, drafty windows or renovate a kitchen or bathroom, it will likely increase the value of his or her property and make it a more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing place to live. Below are some projects homeowners may wish to consider, as well as tips on hiring a qualified general contractor:
Replacing Windows and Doors
It does not take long for most homeowners to discover that there are multiple benefits associated with a window or door replacement project. Saving money on energy costs and increasing property value are two of the most common reasons a person may choose to embark upon such a project.
Substandard windows allow warm air to escape from one’s home during winter, and, not surprisingly, they also allow cool air to leave the home when temperatures rise. This leads to an overtaxed HVAC system, and subsequently higher energy costs. Many homeowners are unaware of the impact of old, leaking windows on their energy bills. For example, most people would never consider allowing a window to remain wide open during frigid temperatures, but many studies show that it only takes four or five windows with small leaks to have this exact effect. Investing in energy efficient replacement windows solves this problem and instantly adds value to the home.
Doors also play a role in keeping heating and cooling costs down, as new, energy conserving models are designed to seal tighter and open and close faster, thus keeping hot or cold air inside the home. Doors also add value to a dwelling. Almost anyone would agree that beautiful, modern entry doors boost the curbside appeal of virtually any home.
Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling
Among all rooms in a home, consumers typically find that renovating a bathroom or kitchen offers the most return on their money. Installing new fixtures, replacing or resurfacing cabinets and drawers, updating appliances or completely changing the style and appearance of a bathroom or kitchen are all projects in which one should not hesitate to invest.
Rain forest shower heads, vessel sinks, and skylights are some of the most popular trends in the bathroom remodeling industry. Many homeowners also choose to exchange an old bathtub for one with whirlpool jets or enlarge their current shower and enclose it with glass doors.
Kitchens can be revitalized by the addition of a center island, new stainless steel appliances, or recessed lighting, the latter of which has become quite popular for modern kitchens. However, simply refurbishing old cabinets and adding new knobs, pulls and handles is a great option as well.
Turning an Unfinished Basement Into a Recreation Room
Most homeowners find that few projects add more enjoyment and value to a dwelling than renovating an unfinished attic or basement. Such rooms can be used for almost any purpose when completed. For example, homeowners can use a finished basement or attic as a family room, game room, guest bedroom or simply an all-purpose recreation room for members of the household, relatives and friends. In many cases, insulation and cosmetic work are all that are necessary to make such a room highly usable, after which it can be decorated according to the homeowner’s taste.
Virtually everybody know at least one person who has made an addition to his or her home. This may be in the form of a spare bedroom, an office or a recreation room. Although additions are a bit more expensive than other types of renovations, they are a great choice for any homeowner whose budget allows for such a project. Adding a greenhouse or similar structure to the property is also something homeowners should consider, particularly if they own a substantial amount of land that is not being used.
Underground Swimming Pools
Most people find the idea of their own swimming pool appealing. Although this is also a somewhat expensive project, an underground swimming pool not only provides a great recreational area for all members of the household, but it also significantly increases the value of most properties. A perfect summer project, an addition of this type can usually be completed quickly when the appropriate pool company is selected. In certain cases, an underground pool can be installed and ready to go in less than a week.
The Importance of Hiring a Professional
Certain types of renovations are perfect for DIY projects, while others are best left in the hands of professionals. Refurbishing old cabinets, installing a new bathtub and painting or wallpapering rooms are projects that are easily completed by some homeowners. However, completely remodeling a bathroom or kitchen, adding an addition to a home or installing a swimming pool are renovations that require the services of a professional contractor.
Asking neighbors and friends for referrals is a great way to find a good home remodeling contractor. It is also wise to obtain multiple estimates from more than one company or contractor before a final decision is made. All estimates should be in writing and all documents concerning the project should be carefully reviewed before a general contractor is selected. Ultimately, renovations add value and beauty to any dwelling for many future years.