Home Improvements For The Summer-What You Need to Know

According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, Americans spent over $400 million in home improvements and repairs in 2017. A 50% increase since 2010, yet many homeowners don’t have a good understanding of the normal home improvement or repair process. 

Any home improvement includes a three-phase process. There is a beginning, a middle and an end. If you watch any home improvement show, they show you the renovation process and the big reveal. Unfortunately, they leave out the most important part; the beginning. The beginning of a renovation project is the most important because it includes finding a good, reputable contractor to do the job. 

The reality of your home improvement or repair project will be very different than the “reality” of what you see on TV.  What happens on the screen isn’t what’s likely to happen in your home.  Many people shrug and say, “Sure, I know that.”  But, do they really?

Unforeseen problems (the middle of the process) are normal for home repairs, and these shows are good at highlighting them.  The hallmarks of any good home improvement show are the “finding the problems” moments (i.e. bees in the wall, rotten sub-floor, leaking pipes, overloaded electrical box).  These problems usually add time and money to the renovation, as well as drama.  

The problems are fixed and there’s a happy ending to the process.  We see a beautiful basement, bathroom, house, yard, kitchen, etc.  The time, money and drama paid off and most of the home owners are happy.

But, what’s left out of these shows is the beginning.  A good beginning to any project is what makes the difference between a successful one and one from hell.  They’ve left out the part where you have to find a good contractor.  They already have a capable contractor, because they know that’s the key.  

The start of a renovation is not when the crew first digs a hole, paints a wall or hammers a nail.  It starts with your job – with you doing the work of finding a competent contractor.  Because, the reality of any project is that one of the most difficult parts of it, often the most difficult, is finding one.  

Reality home improvement shows do the beginning of the process off camera; they already have a reliable contractor and crew in place.  They’re the real heroes of the show, as anyone who has ever done any renovations or repairs knows.  So, if you want a successful renovation, adjust your perception of “reality” and first do the work of finding your own real world star.

Home Remodeling Cost vs. Value

The cost associated with doing home projects increases every year, and the recouped costs are very different depending on the project you are doing, especially, when you do those projects with the intention to sell your home.

According to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value report, the price you pay for those remodeling jobs will not be recouped entirely when you sell your home. According to Remodeling Magazine’s data, a midrange bathroom addition will cost you between  $45,980  and  $44,717, and you will recoup about 52.7% of the cost when you sell your home.  A garage door replacement, on the other hand, will cost you about $3,497  to $3,470, and you will probably recoup 96.6% to  98.3% of the cost.  Here are four different projects, their costs, and their recouped cost for you to see.

Every home is different and it needs different projects to spruce it up to make it more sellable or to enjoy with your family. If your intention is to sell your home and get as much value as you can from the sale, consider the projects that will make the home look better-an entry door for example-without spending too much money with the project.

There are many projects that will make the home look better to sell or for purely aesthetic reasons, but keep in mind a wet, moldy or unkept basement will not help you sell the home no matter how pretty the new bathroom is.

Basement waterproofing is not something we have to do every year.  Basement waterproofing is an investment we need to do to keep the value of the home increasing.

If you need to waterproof the basement before selling the home, or to remodel the basement to enjoy, remember we do not need to do it every year and we do not need to wait till the spring and summer months to do it.  Waterproofing the basement in the winter is something that can be done as easily as during the summer months.

If you need to contact us, do not hesitate to do so, we’ll be happy to come and offer you a hassle free consultation to waterproof the basement of your home.


 

Home Maintenance Tips That Can Save You Money

Spring and summer months are the chosen moths for most people to sell and buy homes.  The curb appeal during these months is enhanced by the vegetation around your home, but the problems are clearly noticeable as well.  Basement and foundation problems are clearly visible if water is sitting on the basement floor of your home during the spring months, and the humidity during the summer months is felt when checking the basement of your home.

If you are selling, buying or just enjoy the feeling of shopping for a new home, here are some tips that you need to check when shopping or selling  a home. Just follow the links below to find out more about this topic.


15 Preventative Home Maintenance Tips That Save You Money

Plus: What regular home repairs can mean for your homeowners insurance.

No doubt there are plenty of benefits of owning your own home: freedom from rent and landlord rules, contributing to an investment, building a home on property that you own, and so on. But let’s face it – being a homeowner also means dealing with costly repairs yourself from time to time.

Every time something breaks or stops working, it feels like it came out of nowhere, and when you head to the hardware store or call a specialist to get a repair quote, your wallet winces at the expense.

But, hark! A spot of good news! Many of the expensive fixes homes often require can actually be prevented if you simply remember to do the proper maintenance. A fix here and a test there can save you some real cash over time.

Make these 15 preventative maintenance tips part of your spring cleaning ritual this year, and set calendar alerts so you remember to stay on top of them in the months and years to come.


Not uncovering problems with home before you buy can cause big headaches later

We purchased a home in Maryland about three years ago. Following the purchase, we discovered that a sunroom addition on the upper and lower levels of the home was built on top of an existing outdoor deck.

The addition does not have a proper foundation or insulation. We found no evidence that the addition was permitted. We consulted with an architect, who advised us that the addition on both levels will need to be removed and completely rebuilt. In the meantime, both rooms are freezing cold in winter and boiling hot in summer due to lack of insulation.

Our home inspection report did not flag the construction of these rooms as a problem, nor did the seller disclose any foundation, structural or latent defects in the residential property disclosure statement. Do we have any recourse with the inspector or the seller?


Home Inspections: Items That Aren’t Deal-Breakers

After making an offer on a home, you’ll enter into a contract. Part of that contract should always include getting a home inspection. It is recommended that any homebuyer make an offer to purchase contingent upon a home inspection. This allows you to withdraw your offer if there are any major issues discovered during an inspection.

More than likely, the home inspector will find problems that need to be fixed before closing. Major foundation issues and significant water damage are at the top of the list of signs to walk away from.

On the other hand, there are some home defects found during an inspection that don’t have to be deal-breakers. Many of them can be fixed, and they can be used to negotiate with the seller for a lower price point or additional help with the closing costs.

Lead-Based Paint
Lead-based paint was banned in 1978, but it’s still possible that you could purchase a home that contains it if it was built before the ban. The sellers should disclose this, but the home inspector may find it, as well.


 

Protecting Your Basement From Spring Rains

Spring weather is here and along with it comes the rain.  It is inevitable that as homeowners we want to ensure the basement of our home is dry and free of humidity, mold or mildew, and that is a safe place to spend time with our kids.  Knowing if you have a problem with your basement, is the first step in solving a problem that may go undetected for years.  The humidity in your basement may be an early indicator to problems with water leaking into the basement of your home.  Taking care of humidity issues right away, ensure your foundation won’t sustain damages that are more troublesome and can jeopardize the structure of your home.

For more about this and other topics, follow the links below.


Many people associate a wet basement with seeing water, but that’s not the only symptom of a potential problem, according to Wes Pfleiger, marketing manager at Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing.

In addition to water seepage, loose or crumbling mortar between stones and plaster, mold and mildew, musty odors and cracks or dark spots in basement walls and floors can all be signs of a basement with a water problem.

Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing is primed to educate consumers as a vendor at the Northeastern PA Home and Better Living Show April 8 and 9 at the Lodge at Montage, 1000 Montage Mountain Road in Scranton.

The event is presented by the Home Builders Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania and sponsored by Scranton Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, Window World and Bath Fitter/Kitchen Saver.

Pfleiger said trained professionals from the 52-year-old company will be on hand at the event to answer “any and all questions” about basement waterproofing. Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing will also offer free, no-obligation basement inspections for home show visitors.


Basement flooding season begins

(WTNH) — I have been lucky to never see basement flooding in my house, but whether you’ve lived in your house for 20, 30, or even 40 years, it does not mean it can’t happen to you. So how do you prevent it from happening in the future, and if it does, what can you do to make sure it doesn’t happen again? Well let’s find out.

Weeks of above average rainfall and lots of snow melt have helped us hugely to lower our drought numbers, but with a saturated ground and more rain on the way, your basement may flood over the coming weeks, so what can you do?

“It’s real imperative for residents throughout the state to be looking for signs of water seepage. Is it damp around cracks, and the floor wall seam. Is it damp to the touch? These are all indications that the soil around the outside of the house is over saturated and it could be poised to flood any time,” said Mike Lane, Sales, Connecticut Basement Systems.

There are some things you can do to help prevent this. Buy gutter extenders to keep water from dripping close to your foundation, and try to make sure that if you live on a hill, rain water gets routed away from your home. If all else fails, call a professional.