How Renovation Can Boost Your Home’s Value

Renovating your home can have a substantial positive impact on its value. Not only will you enjoy the improvements to your living space, but you’ll also see an increased return on investment when it comes time to sell. A few simple changes can significantly affect how much buyers are willing to pay and how quickly they’re ready to purchase your property. Here are some of the most effective renovation strategies that can help boost your home’s value: 

Update Your Kitchen

The kitchen is among the vital rooms in any house and often serves as the centerpiece for potential buyers, which means updating it is key to increasing your home’s value. Investing in new countertops, cabinets, and flooring can make the room look and feel more modern while increasing its appeal to buyers. If you have limited funds, you can save money by painting your current cabinets instead of replacing them. 

Add a Bathroom

Adding an extra bathroom is among the easiest ways to increase your home’s value, especially if you only have one or two existing bathrooms. The cost of adding a bathroom will vary depending on several factors. However, you can know the price by talking to potential contractors. 

Make Energy-Efficient Improvements 

Making energy-efficient improvements to your home is another excellent way to boost its value. Adding insulation, upgrading to an energy-efficient HVAC system, installing solar panels, and replacing old windows with double-pane ones can all help make your home more attractive to buyers. Not only will these updates make the home more comfortable for occupants, but they’ll also save money on monthly utility bills. 

Update Your Curb Appeal

First impressions matter a lot when selling a house. Therefore, updating your curb appeal is essential to increase its value. Simple things like mowing and edging the lawn, painting the front door, and planting new flowers can all impact how buyers perceive your property. Also, consider investing in landscaping that adds dimension and texture to your yard. 

Renovating your home can boost its value and entice potential buyers. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to increasing the worth of your house before it goes on the market. Good luck! 

Signs That Your Contractor is Doing a Good Job

 

 One thing that contractors can do is they can make or break your experience during a construction project. If you know what you are looking for in a good contractor, you are good. That’s because finding one that will deliver as per your needs is hard. This article outlines signs that you are working with a good contractor.

 Ability to Take Responsibility

During unforeseen future mistakes or delays, they should be able to develop a plan B rather than causing more damage to the project and unnecessary delays. No client is willing to work with an irresponsible contractor.

 Good Communicator

When there is any negative news that comes up during the project process, they should be able and are willing to communicate with you. Address delays, such as late delivery, on time to ensure timeliness in project completion.

 Relationship with Subcontractors

When deciding on your contractor, settle on one who has no bad blood with the subcontractors and has a healthy relationship with them. Being the leader is essential to communicate with subcontractors and listen to them when issues arise. Reliable subcontractors can positively or negatively impact the project, so settle for a contractor with unquestionable relationships.

 Put in Writing

Verbal communication can hold you up in court in case of future misunderstandings between the contractor and project owner. Written communication can help you as a source of evidence for future claims if they arise. Therefore, ensure the contractor details any changes during the construction process on paper and signs any changes.

 There are a lot of signs one could see to find out if they are working with a good contractor. Therefore, pay attention and do your research before settling on any contractor. 

Is 2022 the Best Year to Build a Home?

Building a home is not just about having a roof over your head but a long-term investment. Apart from offering you and your family a place to call home, the property will also serve as an investment that you could sell off to settle liabilities or acquire more assets. As such, the decision to build one requires proper thought and due diligence. Nevertheless, here’s what the industry looks like for those who intend to construct homes in 2022. 

Lower Construction Costs 

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many supply chains, impacting great panic among home developers and builders. The crisis drove production costs higher, affecting the entire manufacturing industry. That has surged the prices of building materials for homes. However, experts predict that the continued global economic growth will enable many companies to re-stock their shelves and fix the bottlenecks in the supply chain, driving down the construction costs. 

Relatively Lower Demand for Mortgages 

In 2020, the mortgage interest rate was 2.66%. That figure increased by 0.15% to reach 2.75% in 2021. While that rate is still lower than the previous years, financial experts predict it will increase in 2022, impacting slight damp in demand for new mortgages. 

Diminishing Land Supply 

The National Association of Home Builders recently established that the supply of developed lots is rapidly declining. NAHB says that is a problem many homebuilders will grapple with over the coming years. 

Increasing Property Value 

Many constructions and real estate property experts are optimistic that house prices will remain high in 2022 and beyond. Researchers predict the annual home value growth will increase by significant margins in 2022 if the conditions stay as they are. 

While there are several considerations for building a home, the decision mainly comes down to your preparedness. Nevertheless, the expected reductions in construction costs, growth in property value, and diminishing land supply suggest 2022 is the best year to build a home. 

How Construction Affects the Environment

Some people assume that climate change is a myth. However, that’s not true. The climate is changing rapidly, and most economic sectors are to blame. The construction sector alone contributes up to 23% of air pollution. It also contributes up to 40% of water pollution and 50% of landfill wastes. These are alarming statistics that should prompt changes in the construction sector. Here are some of the ways constructions affect the environment.

Natural Resources

Construction is among the significant exploiters of natural resources. Almost half of the resources that this sector uses are non-renewable. This industry utilizes 40% of raw stones, sand, gravel, and virgin wood every year. Although humans can prevent this non-existent problem, this sector and others will eventually deplete natural resources.

Biodiversity

Construction affects animals in different ways. For instance, loud construction machines and noise from the construction sites can affect animals negatively. Light and noise pollution affect the wildlife heavily, especially badgers, bats, and birds. That’s because it disturbs their natural cycle every day. Nevertheless, this is only an aspect of the complex problem.

Here are the significant effects of construction on the wildlife:

  • Water and air pollution
  • Isolation
  • Hydrological impacts
  • Fragmentation of wildlife populations

Construction can cause changes that can affect animals and force them to change how they live or reduce their population.

Waste

Construction waste is almost everywhere. Some countries produce millions of waste tones. Although some people can ignore this figure, the massive waste from the construction industry can eventually have dire consequences. What’s more, recycling is not a must in the construction industry. And for this reason, many valuable construction materials go to waste.

Construction affects the environment in different ways, including gases that may contribute to global warming. A significant percentage of these gases arise from construction sites, building materials’ manufacture, and transportation.

Important Steps to Follow When Planning a Construction Project

It’s easy to be tempted to start your construction project right away. That’s because many people believe that starting earlier means they will complete their project sooner. However, that’s not how things work when it comes to building a house. To ensure the successful completion of your project, you should follow these steps. 

  1. Pick an Experienced Design Professional 

To understand the scope of the work to be done and come up with a detailed plan, you should hire an interior designer or an architect. In some cases, you may want to work with both professionals. Different construction companies do things differently. Therefore, decide whether to work with an architect or an interior designer. Pick an experienced professional to get the best results. 

  1. Come up with a Plan 

Once you’ve chosen a designer or an architect, come up with a plan for your building. A plan is called a schematic design and it is usually a rough layout. This shows the floor plan and some views of the house exterior. 

  1. Interview Contractors 

Once you have a plan for your dream house, move on to hiring a contractor. A contractor should estimate your schematic design and provide estimates for the construction project. This can take time and you should talk to different contractors. 

  1. Shop for Materials 

Go shopping for the construction materials after receiving the estimates and picking a contractor. You can purchase things like windows, doorknobs, light fixtures, and countertops. Your contractor can guide you to ensure that you purchase the right materials. 

  1. Obtain Construction Permits 

The time required to obtain construction permits depends on the project’s scope and location. It can take months, a day, or a year. Nevertheless, knowing the duration that the process of obtaining a permit will take will enable you to know the possible start date for the project. 

  1. Start the Construction Project 

Once you submit your construction plans to obtain the permits and purchase the required materials, your chosen contractor should provide detailed pricing and come up with a contract. You may want to perform value engineering if the materials’ costs are more than what was budgeted for. The longer-lead items like windows, cabinets, doors, electrical and plumbing fixtures should be identified before signing a contract. 

These steps can take 4 to 6 months or more. However, the planning process may take longer but it enables you to complete your construction project without any hassles. 

How to Apply Lean Thinking in Construction

Over the last few decades, productivity has been declining in the construction industry globally. One of the best ways to improve this situation is through the use of lean construction. This technique arises from the use of new production management methods in construction. 

More often, the focus of contractors is on the use of certain procedures or tools to boost efficiency. However, lean construction is not a simple step-by-step process. It’s a philosophy. As such, the application of lean methods and ideas at every organization level and construction stage is the best way to enjoy its full benefits. 

Features of Lean Construction 

Some of the major features of lean construction are: 

  • Clear objectives for every delivery process 
  • Concurrent design 
  • Focus on maximizing performance at every project level 
  • Project control throughout its life cycle from the design stage to delivery 

Several professionals and construction academics have stormed the ramparts of conventional management in the construction industry with an effort on better value delivery to owners and making profits. Consequently, the current market has several lean-based tools. Complex and simple construction projects have used these tools successfully. 

Why Lean Construction Project? 

The management of lean construction projects is easier. What’s more, these projects are completed sooner and are safer. They also cost less and their quality is better. But, significant research is required to make lean thinking effective in the construction industry. 

It’s only through research that lean construction principles and methods can be implemented to minimize waste and increase profits without compromising quality. For instance, builders should focus on the planner system that enhances the application of lean construction methods and concepts. Evaluation methods should also be developed or improved based on different principles for the lean approach in construction. 

Nevertheless, the proper application of lean thinking in construction can boost productivity, minimize wastes, and yield quality results. 

A Guide for Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor

You probably know that what you pay for is what you get when it comes to home improvement projects. As such, hiring the right home improvement contractor is very important. The contractor that you hire will influence the outcome of your project. They will also determine the costs you will spend on the project. Here’s a guide for hiring a contractor for your home improvement project. 

Connect with a Contractor 

An ideal home improvement contractor should be a person that you can talk to with ease. This should be a professional that understands your needs. The professional should be easy to reach and communicate with at any time. 

Request an Estimate 

Price can be a reflection of quality when it comes to a home improvement project. Therefore, don’t rush to hire the cheapest home improvement contractor. Instead, find out more about the past work of a contractor. If possible, talk to their past clients to know whether they can recommend the same contractor to another person. 

Check the Credentials of the Contractor 

Find out whether the contractor is an accredited professional. Inquire about their professional training and experience. An ideal home improvement contractor should be affiliated with professional bodies in their industry. 

Be Upfront with Your Budget 

Let the contractor know the amount you want to spend on your home improvement project. That way, they will give you an estimate that is within your budget. What’s more, make sure that the free estimate you get from the contractor details what they will do. 

Get a Written Home Improvement Contract 

Don’t just assume that the contractor will do everything they promise. To be on the safer side, get a written contract that details what the contractor will do and the amount you will pay them. That way, you can file a claim if the contractor fails to play their role. 

Don’t rush to hire a contractor for your home improvement project. Instead, take your time to scrutinize different contractors to find a professional that will do an excellent job. 

How to Finance a New Construction Project

Building a new property usually comes with great anticipation. However, financing is one of the greatest worries that every property developer has to deal with when planning new constructions. Check out the following tips on how to finance a new construction project. 

Construction Loans for New Home Financing 

A construction loan is the best option to consider when seeking financing for a new home. As it suggests, the short term loan is issued to cover the costs of new constructions. In case your application is approved, you will be able to withdraw a set amount of money during the construction process. And, the financial provider will only charge monthly interests based on the amount of money that you withdraw for the new construction. 

Types of Construction Loans 

There are two main types of construction loans that you can choose from to build a new property including one-time close and two-time close loans.

One-Time Close Loans 

This type of loan integrates both a construction loan and a traditional mortgage. When getting the loan, the provider will set a maximum mortgage rate. After the end of the construction, the loan is converted into a long-term mortgage. The new disbursement is used to pay off the balances from the first loan then; you now begin re-paying the mortgage. 

Two-Time Close Loans 

The other alternative is a two-time close loan that is also offered in two parts; a construction loan and standard mortgage. However, you will have to re-finance the mortgage upon the completion of the construction. That means, you have to apply again for the mortgage for approval and pay closing costs. 

Each of these types of construction loans have unique pros and cons that you should carefully look into before applying. Besides, it is also important to keep in mind that financial institutions often approve financing for 75% to 80% of the appraised value. The owners of the property will need to shoulder the rest. Nevertheless, a construction loan is the most convenient and risk-free option for financing a new construction project.  

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Things to Talk about with a Contractor Before a Project Starts

Once you decide to embark on a construction project, there are things you should talk about with your contractor before shovels and hammers start to fly. Having a candid conversation with your contractor will ensure that you are on the same page.

Here are some of the things to talk about with your contractor according to Mr. Sims from Southwest Appliance Repair:

Work Schedule

There are standard working hours for most companies. They may vary depending on the project, the contractor, and location. Ensure that you understand the work schedule of your project to know what to expect and when. Also talk about having a well-written contract signed by both of you.

Trash, Recycling, and Parking

Depending on the location of your property or project, parking may be available or unavailable. Neighbors can be a territorial for parking spots. You can even need a permit from relevant authorities. You might also need special equipment or dumpsters depending on your location and project type. Therefore, discuss how trash will be handled, recycling and parking with the contractor.

Security and Access

Talk with your contractor about security of the jobsite and its access. Talk about who will have access to your site or property and when. Essentially, discuss all security measures that you will have in place like signs and fences.

Contacts and Communication

Get a full list of the email addresses and phone numbers that you can use to contact the contractor or employees that will mostly be onsite. Ensure that your contractor has all the necessary information they need to contact you. Additionally, find out how the contractor will communicate details of your project.

In addition, talk about how scheduling and billing will be done. Also know who will get permit for the project and when. If you have questions regarding how your project shall be handled, talk about it before the project starts. Be transparent and honest with the contractor to avoid trouble down the road.

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Top Trends in Residential Construction

If you are planning to build a new home, you definitely want to know the top trends in the industry. Most probably, you want to strike a balance between the hottest trends and timeless designs. After being around for some time, you most likely know timeless designs that you should consider. However, you may not be familiar with the latest trends in the residential construction industry. Here are some of the trends that you should consider when building your home.

Sustainable and Digital Technology

Technology is playing a crucial role in the construction of homes in two major ways. First, people are paying more attention to the technology features that increase the overall efficiency of homes. Second, people are using digital tools to make their homes more attractive. People are also using devices like Smartphone and other gizmos to perform activities like controlling home temperature and enhancing entertainment.

Blending Outdoor and Indoor Spaces

In the past, screen doors served as the only connection between outdoor and indoor spaces. However, modern homes integrate the out and the in. These homes have rooms that are not completely indoor living spaces and not completely outdoor porches. Thus, modern homes provide the benefits of improved sunlight and airflow. People are also having better access to their outdoors even during times of unfavorable weather. They are enjoying great entertainment all round at different spaces of their homes.

Inviting Aesthetics

People have criticized the modern design for being sterile and severe. However, some homeowners are favoring a more inviting, softer feel. Instead of providing harsh, cold aesthetics, modern homes are offering a warmer, handcrafted sensibility.

These are some of the prominent trends in the residential construction niche. If you want to have any of them for your new home, talk to a reputable contractor about it. A professional contractor will help you have a home that looks and feels just the way you desire.

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