I'll be honest with you...running a true licensed and insured business isn't cheap! Doing things the right way, using the proper materials, abiding by building codes, applying for and obtaining permits when needed, and working with high quality, trusted workers can cost more and take a bit more time. And yes, these costs of doing business are included in our project estimates to our customers. However these costs are for your protection.
Recently I assisted a customer with a roof leak and interior damage repair. The homeowner had the same "handyman" visit twice to fix this issue, which was still resulting in water damage in her home. Upon my arrival I was able to quickly identify a large hole in her roof, that had never been patched and repaired - the work in which this "handyman" had claimed to complete both times, and bill her for. She has now paid for this repair three times over because she trusted an unlicensed handyman - leaving her little to no consumer protection.
But don't just take my word for it. Angie's List provides a great article here: https://www.angieslist.com/articles/what-are-risks-hiring-unlicensed-contractors.htm, explaining the true risks a homeowner takes when hiring an unlicensed contractor.
Hopefully after reading this article you'll think twice about hiring the cheap unlicensed handyman and instead call a trusted, licensed, and insured contractor to take care of your home.
Eric Daubert President – Nysa Construction Cell: 240-285-0741 Email: Sales@NysaConstruction.com
The “unofficial” end to summer is upon us – kids are going to back to school, vacations are over and sunburns have healed. Now it’s time to get back to work and tackle some great home improvement projects.
Below is a fantastic article from Forbes/Trulia reviewing the most rewarding fall home improvement projects, and their estimated return on investment. The fall real estate market is almost as hot as the spring, so if you’re planning what projects to complete this is a great article for you. And if you need help with any of these projects, Nysa Construction is here to help! Call, text, or email us today!
Eric Daubert President – Nysa Construction Cell: 240-285-0741 Email: Sales@NysaConstruction.com
The Most Rewarding Fall Home Improvement Projects
Fall is the season for posting apple-picking photos on Instagram, enjoying pumpkin spice-flavored everything, and spending weekends enjoying the autumn scenery. Just peek out your window—whether you live in Boston, MA, or own a piece of Atlanta, GA, real estate — the cooler temps and changing leaves are hard to resist. While beautiful, fall is also the perfect time for rolling up our sleeves and tackling those home improvement projects we put off during the summer. “Enjoying the weather can put you in a great state of mind and allow you to focus on the task at hand — and do it well. Beyond that, most building materials are at their best when they are installed at moderate temps,” says Phil Eby of Eby Exteriors in Akron, PA. Plus, contractors typically have fewer projects during the fall, so you’re more likely to find help quickly if you don’t want to go the DIY route. Especially if you plan on listing your home in the spring (or anytime within the next year), you’ll want to prioritize the best home improvements for resale.
To figure out what’s worth your time and budget, we asked real estate agents and other professionals for their expert opinions. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Paint the front door - ROI: 80% to 140%
Hands down, the easiest exterior project is also the one that reaps the biggest rewards. A freshly painted front door helps your home stand out from the block, and it can be finished in less than an afternoon. Fall is usually the perfect time for this activity; just pick that afternoon wisely. “Normally, exterior painting should be done at a time when the temps are at least 50 degrees or so and aren’t dipping below the 40s at night. This allows the paint to adhere properly and prevents it from freezing before it is fully dry,” Eby says.
2. Refresh (or repair) the deck - ROI: 80% to 120%
A deck is only as good as its condition. If the wood is splintering, the finish faded, or the rails shaky, call in the experts. “A buyer who sees a dirty deck that’s in disrepair may sour their feelings about your house, and even if they still want to buy your home, they will certainly use it as a negotiating point,” says Eby. Even if you have to outright replace the deck, it’s worth the expense. (Just remember to get a permit!)
3. Enhance the exterior - ROI 60% to 100%
If your exterior paint job is in decent shape, a few touch-ups could suffice. But for those with chipping paint or a 1970s color scheme? Call the pros immediately. “The last thing you want is to scare buyers away before they even get inside,” says Than Merrill, former host of A&E’s Flip This House and CEO of FortuneBuilders. On average, you’ll spend $1,000 to $3,000 (for a 500- to 1,500-square-foot single-story home), but he estimates that the investment in curb appeal can help properties sell for up to 10% more than others on the block. Just stick to neutrals: This isn’t the time to try out a statement color.
4. Replace or repair your roof - ROI: 50% to 110%
“The peace of mind offered by a functionally sound roof is invaluable to its respective occupants and is weighed heavily by those intent on making a purchase,” Merrill says. A new roof can be basic or with details that enhance curb appeal, but its main value comes from instilling confidence in a prospective buyer. This holds true for repairing leaks and for cosmetic damage, which buyers often use to negotiate a lower price.
5. Power-wash the exterior - ROI: 40% to 110%
The ROI for this project can vary based on just how dirty your home was before the wash. If the home was merely a little dirty, the ROI may not be as great as it is for one that will look almost new after the wash. If your home falls into the latter category, it can be worth it to hire a pro. “The ROI could be 100% or more, even if done by a pro for $1,000 or more,” Eby says. If you decide to go DIY, Eby cautions to take care to avoid spraying water in a direction that’ll force it behind siding or under shingles.
6. Window replacement - ROI: 50% to 80%
Windows can be hit-or-miss investments, mainly because they are expensive to replace and almost invisible to buyers. “It’s been my experience that unless the windows are damaged or so poorly insulated that your utility bills are sky-high, most buyers don’t consider windows to be a major deciding factor,” says Wingfield.
7. Update your HVAC - ROI: 20% to 50%
This project ranks as one with the lowest payoff, simply because current buyers have come to expect all homes have central air. An upgrade isn’t a selling point unless the system was old to begin with. “If your existing system has been in place for more than 10 to 15 years, it’s likely that you’ll soon need a new one. It becomes an area that a potential buyer will most likely use to negotiate a lower price,” Eby says. Even then, you might have to show proof of gains in efficiency to recoup your costs.
8. Clean the gutters - ROI: Priceless
Here, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. “While you may need to wait for inclement weather to realize your return on investment, a mere 30 minutes of routine rain gutter maintenance could prevent thousands of dollars in damage to the foundation of a home,” Merrill says. If you outsource this chore, expect to pay $3 to $9 per foot.
This great article from Erica Sooter of Zillow.com can help you determine what projects
you can do on your own, or which ones you should call me for!
Completing a DIY project can be incredibly satisfying, but get in over your head and you could be looking at some major expenses to fix the damage. Before you grab your toolbox, ask yourself if you're really equipped to tackle that task.
In an increasingly do-it-yourself world, homeowners are now taking on more improvement jobs themselves. And while many projects are easy to pull off — even for the most novice DIYers — some are better left to a professional. Here’s a guide to when it’s a good idea to DIY, and when it’s better to hire someone who’s got the tools, knowledge and skills to make your home the best it can be.
TILE AND FLOORING
DIY: Laying down flooring or putting up a kitchen backsplash has become increasingly DIY-friendly as companies come up with easy-to-use products, such as snap-and-click floorboards and peel-and-stick tiles. Many online tutorials can show you how to properly grout bathroom tile, lay a subfloor, and more. If you feel confident installing a tiled backsplash or putting in some new floorboards — and have the time to commit to the project — go for it.
Hire a pro: Though these sorts of installations are becoming easier for the everyday homeowner, there still might be times when you want to invest in a pro. If you’re replacing the flooring in your entire house, have uneven flooring or lots of tricky corners, or simply don’t have the time for a project this involved, bring in a professional to make a quick job of it. With tile, if you want special accent features or are working with a difficult-to-use type of stone, then your local contractor will be able to help get it just right.
DIY: Electrical work can be very dangerous if not done correctly. If you just need to do simple jobs like changing out switch plates, hanging a new light fixture, or figuring out how to hide the cords for your TV, then generally you are safe to do it yourself. Resources online will show how to make simple electrical fixes. Whenever you are working with electricity, make sure to turn off the power to that area of the house, and only use tools and parts meant for electrical work.
Hire a pro: Basically, anything above the level of switching out a light fixture should be left to a pro. If you want to have outlets grounded, add lights where there were none previously, fix your electric fireplace or tackle anything that looks complicated or difficult, absolutely hire someone. Messing around with electricity is extremely dangerous and, unless you know what you’re doing, you could get seriously hurt.
DIY: Painting is usually fairly low-risk and easy for anyone of any skill level. It’s very simple to grab some painter’s tape, a roller or two, your favorite hue and paint away. Most interior painting is DIY-able, and it’s more cost-effective than hiring a pro. Make your project safe by securing ladders and keeping windows open to ventilate fumes. Before you open up that paint can, be sure to consider the amount of time, cost of materials, and the strain painting might take on your body.
Hire a pro: If you’re looking to paint the exterior of your house, it’s generally easier to let a professional company handle it so you don’t have to deal with tall ladders, working around foliage, or spending all your free time completing the project. Though it can be expensive, it’s still a good option, especially if you don’t feel able-bodied enough. The same goes for cathedral ceilings or lots of intricate work inside your home. And if your house is older and has any lead paint inside or out, call a professional and have them look at it or remove it for you — otherwise you risk exposure to health hazards.
DIY: Stick to simple fixes like switching out sink fixtures, unclogging drains, or making easy repairs to your toilet. When you go to pick out new hardware or sink fittings, ask an employee about the best method to install it. Most easy plumbing upgrades just involve switching off the water and using some elbow grease.
Hire a pro: If you are planning on changing out toilets or tubs, it’s generally best to call someone trained for the job. Porcelain gets heavy, and can be tricky to maneuver and hook up. This also goes for adding completely new piping where there was none previously, or putting in a hot tub or water feature. Never dig without having the proper permits and calling the county to see if your house is on top of important utilities.
DEMOLITION AND RENOVATION
DIY: Simple demolitions or renovations are okay for some homeowners to handle — if you know your stuff. If you’re ripping out old kitchen cabinets or tearing out an island, it’s generally pretty safe to take them out yourself. As long as you wear protective gear and are sure that you aren’t going to hit any utilities, such as electrical wires or plumbing pipes, go for it. If you are building anything outside the home, like a deck or shed, make sure that you have the proper permits and build it properly so it doesn’t fall apart after a year.
Hire a pro: If you’re building an addition or are demoing walls or whole rooms, consider getting a professional on the scene. A lot of permits and specifications must be managed for an addition or big project, so using a contractor will guarantee that your renovations are legal and up-to-code. As for demolition, having a pro do it for you will ensure you don’t accidentally hit any electrical or plumbing lines, and that whatever is being demoed won’t affect the structural integrity of your home.
These are general suggestions and precautions — only you as the homeowner know what you are capable of. If you are a DIY pro, have extensive experience, or know friends that do, you may be able to take on some higher-level work and skip hiring a pro. On the other hand, if a project seems out of your scope of capabilities or too dangerous to take on, call in your local handyman or contractor.
Whether you take the DIY route or get help from a pro, renovating your home can be a rewarding and beneficial experience. See home design inspiration to get you started.
Not quite ready for your free in-home consultation, but still interested in some budgeting numbers?
Check out this free remodel cost calculator: http://www.remodelingcalculator.org/. You are able to enter the work you want completed, material quality, and region (for more accurate pricing) for a rough estimate to start planning for your next project!
Then, once you’re ready, call us to schedule your free in-home consultation for additional guidance, suggestions, finishing options, and more accurate pricing.
So you’re ready to sell your home! You’ve selected a great realtor, started to clean and declutter, and now you’re worried about what to fix before selling. What items in your home “need” to be fixed or upgraded, and what items can be left alone?What will keep the most money in your pocket, or earn you the highest return? Well that’s where we come in!
During your free in-home consultation we’ll review your home and discuss several options that will increase your home’s value while also protecting your investment. We know that traditionally there are a few areas that usually need attention such as walls and floors. A fresh coat of paint, removal of distracting wall paper, hardwood resurfacing, new laminate/tile, or new carpet - are all fairly inexpensive ways to make a positive first impression. However depending on your home’s condition, the neighborhood, and competitive properties – kitchen, bathroom, and fixture upgrades may also be needed to ensure your home sells, and earns the value you desire.
Let our expert’s help you make some of these more difficult decisions. With our no-pressure guidance, we will help you identify what repairs or renovations you want to make, while understanding the possible return they will generate.
Call us today to schedule your appointment!
So hopefully if you’re reading this article it’s because you are ready to use our
services for your repair, renovation or remodeling needs.
However, if you’re not quite convinced that you need a contractor, or have found the right one,
don’t let us tell you…let the experts at Zillow help you make your decision. This great article www.zillow.com/wikipages/How-to-Find-a-Contractor/ helps explain why you should hire a contractor, and how to tell if you’re picking the right one.
Hopefully after this great advice, you’ll be ready to meet in person, to ensure
that our services, and our professional team are the right fit for you!
Call us to schedule your free in-home consultation (when you’re ready).