April 25, 2018
Homeowners eager to shake off the memories of bad winter weather can get started on upgrades to their homes. May is Home Improvement Month, a great time to make changes to the interiors and exteriors of homes that can have strong payback in the future.
“This was a brutal winter for people across the country,” says Tom Kraeutler, host of , the nation’s largest home improvement radio show and podcast. “Many house exteriors took a hit from high winds, severe cold weather and excessive snowfall. Now is the time for homeowners to look at the home exterior --- like the roof, gutters and siding --- to determine if any products need to be replaced.”
Kraeutler, who serves as a frequent contributor to , recommends that when replacing products, both inside and outside the home, it’s smart to research newer home remodeling products with more enhanced features and benefits. “As an example, if your home has original windows, or windows that were replaced decades ago, it’s most likely they’re not very energy efficient,” says Kraeutler. “Now when people go window shopping they should look for ENERGY STAR® qualified windows that are custom made to handle the weather conditions a home experiences in their very specific geographic area.
“Choosing upgraded products for home remodeling projects makes life easier every day while enhancing the value of your home.”
With 20 years experience as a home inspector and another two decades providing as a radio show host and expert, Kraeutler knows there’s dual value for those making upgrades to their homes. “Homeowners should always make improvements based on both what they truly need for their home and what will give them day-to-day enjoyment,” says Kraeutler. “Reinvesting in a home with top-quality products will always be a win-win situation for homeowners.”
Here are five home remodeling projects that add style and everyday enjoyment to a home while increasing its resale value:
Home Remodeling Project #1 – On the exterior of the house, no product works harder to help protect a home than the roof. Mother Nature takes full aim at the roof every day with everything from searing sun’s rays to rain, winds, hail and snow.
While asphalt shingles, wood cedar shakes, natural slate and other products are seriously impacted by these relentless weather conditions, composite roofing materials laugh at Mother Nature. Made to withstand severe weather conditions, composite shakes and slate roofing tiles, like those from , have a Lifetime Limited Warranty. That’s because the products are made to last.
Each durable roofing tile is crafted to resist curling, fading, impact, hail, pest infestations and fire. Available in 49 colors, plus the company’s new Black Oak, Aged Cedar and Mossy Cedar options for multi- and single-width shake tiles, this roofing material adds both strength and beauty to the home. And, as an extra bonus, many insurance companies provide a hefty discount on homeowner’s insurance for people using these attractive composite roofing tiles.
Home Remodeling Project #2 – Another hard-working exterior home product is the garage door. People go in and out of it more than any other entry, and it also has to stand up to severe weather. For many homes a garage door enhances the curb appeal of the house. That’s a big reason why a replacement garage door should complement the style of the home while providing protection from the elements.
Durable aluminum and steel garage doors are now available with realistic wood grain exteriors, decorative and specialty glass windows along with panel style options. One garage door manufacturer, , even offers Trinar® color finishes that carry a 35-year warranty, making them an ideal long-term investment.
Consumers can feel truly good about investing in a new garage door. According to the by Remodeling magazine, garage door replacement jobs have the highest payback for a homeowner of any home improvement project. A whopping 98.3 percent of the cost of the garage door can be recouped according to the nationwide study.
Home Remodeling Project #3 – When it comes to products that have appeal from both the inside and outside of the house, windows take center stage. In many homes they can also take up a majority of exterior wall space, making it important to upgrade to energy-efficient units.
Homeowners should look for ENERGY STAR® qualified windows featuring both low Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) and U-factor numbers to block unwanted heat gain and heat transfer. Another key factor in the search for windows during a home remodeling project, is to select a dependable, reputable manufacturer that stands behind its products with a strong warranty on the glass and parts in their windows.
For low maintenance, outstanding thermal performance and appealing design options, many homeowners select easy-care vinyl windows. When upgrading with style and efficiency in mind, offers vinyl windows in 28 different exterior finish options --- from sable to copper to sandstone --- all designed to enhance the curb appeal of the home. On the inside, select from hardware options like brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronzed to enhance the home decor.
Home Remodeling Project #4 – Not every window in the home needs to be clear glass. There are some rooms --- like the bathroom --- where people need extra privacy. For those rooms, obscure decorative glass and acrylic block windows are an appealing upgrade project.
Available in both fixed and operable styles, fashionable privacy windows from accent both the interior of a room and the exterior of the home. Whether choosing a Craftsman or Prairie style decorative glass window to complement the same type of grids on the home’s clear glass package, or a contemporary acrylic block window, there’s privacy appeal in every selection.
Secured in durable vinyl frames, privacy windows can come in sizes as small as two-feet by two feet or as large as a full wall. Whether you’re keeping out the gazes of too-close-to-our-home nosy neighbors or protecting the seclusion of a child in a nursery, privacy windows are a stylish choice for a home.
Home Remodeling Project #5 – Going up? Stair systems, a key design element of any two-story home, can become outdated after many years of use. Upgrading from a very traditional wood-on-wood stair system to one with iron balusters (or a mix of wood and iron balusters) brings new life to a home interior.
Whether selecting a post-to-post system with the handrail running between the newel posts or an over-the-post system with the handrail running over the newel posts, there are many upgrade options for stairways in today’s market.
Innovative companies, like industry leader , offer balusters, hand rails and newel posts in ornamental iron and wooden versions, plus custom stair systems. For a newer contemporary look, homeowners can consider the company’s Linear Collection. Featuring marine-grade stainless steel cable along with brushed stainless steel tube infills, this stairway provides a sleek appearance that accents many home styles.
Homeowners interested in getting more home remodeling project ideas can visit The Money Pit at .
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