In this blog I will do my best to describe the process I went through in turning my 1957 Ranch-style house into a 2006 Craftsman house as inspired by the Gamble House in Pasadena. Please feel free to comment on anything I write and ask questions as it is the only way we learn.

Note: Since completion of the house I have also decided to allow guest bloggers to post articles related to remodeling. This continues the education process.


TIMELINE
Architect Selection - December 2002 through January 2003
Getting a Permit - January 2003 through November 2004
Construction - November 2004 through September 2006
Post Construction - October 2006 through ???



10 Astounding, Inexpensive Remodeling Projects that Pay Off

Using value-conscious guidelines, home remodeling can add a major price bonus to any house you want to put on the market, yet not all home remodeling ideas produce an adequate return on the investment. This article considers ten remodeling projects that can bring in high rewards for limited expenditures.

Find a Balance 


When it comes to houses, fix it like you plan to stay in it and pay attention to the market. Unless you happen to own that one faultless house that every U.S. citizen dreams about but never finds, selling your home will require some measure of home improvement. If you want to increase the profit, the remodeling must be balanced and well applied.
Start with a bit of observation. Consider the design points that make your home unique. Focus on the outside as well as the inside. Don’t overlook the importance of indoor air quality and don’t miss the value of creating enticing curb appeal. Also be sure to set an eye for basics such as curtains, blinds and other fundamental items that present the “feel” of a home.
When planning the modifications, think like a homeowner, but keep the mind-set of a real estate agent. Find a balance between what you like and what actually sells. Don’t get lost on a vanity trip.
Bone up on current home improvement concerns, finance plans and basic cost issues. Spend some time browsing the home improvement section of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website. It's not just about getting loans. The information offered by HUD ranges from how to fix a faucet to what you need to know concerning “the facts and the pitfalls of home improvements.”

Focus on Curb Appeal


According to Remodeling Magazine, the following ten projects – all focused on curb appeal – promote the best return on your remodeling dollars. These are simple, value-added improvements – not vanity makeovers:
  • Exterior Siding – Replace old siding with high-end fiber cement. Cost: $15,000 or less. Payback:78%.
  • Entry Door – Replace that cracked and discolored entry door with an inexpensive steel door. The payback: 73% on $1,300 or less.
  • Attic Remodel – Turn the attic into an extra bedroom. Remove a dormer. Install a shower. Revamp the flow of heating and cooling. Add Insulation. Update the lighting. Put in four vinyl windows. Polish out the walls and ceiling. Average cost: $50,148. Payback 72.5%.
  • Minor Kitchen Remodel – Put new hardware on the cabinets. Add some Blinds.com blinds over the sink. Install new faucets, a new sink and laminate countertops. Top it off with a quality selection of new appliances. Cost: $20,000. Payback 72.1 percent.
  • Garage Door, Midrange – As a low cost improvement, a midrange garage door update can really pump up a home’s curb appeal. Cost: $1,500. Payback 71.9%.
  • Garage Door, High-End – It’s all about curb appeal. The payback on a high-end garage door update performs just as well as the midrange counterpart. Cost: $2,994. Return 71.1%.
  • Deck – New wood decks are not as expensive as composite materials, but the return on investment brings a healthy balance at a lesser cost. On average, a wooden deck runs around $10,350. Payback: 70.1%.
  • Vinyl Siding – Foam-backed vinyl siding provides several value-added services. It helps maintain a steady temperature within the home and it lends a fresh look on the curb. Cost $14,274 for an average project of 1,250 square feet. Payback: Around 70%.
  • Midrange Vinyl Siding – More expensive than basic siding and high-end fiber cement, midrange replacement vinyl siding provides stronger, longer-lasting protection for the home. Cost: $11,729. Payback 69.5%.
  • Windows – For holding back the elements, you can’t beat the performance of double-pane vinyl replacement windows. They are easy to clean, double-hung and easy to install. Plan the project around using low-emissivity glass, insulated units and simulated wood-grain casings. Cost for 10 3x5 windows including installation: $14,328. Payback: 69.1.
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How to Prepare Your Home to Be Remodeled

If some or all of the rooms in your home are being remodeled, you’ll need to do a few things to get your home ready. Preparing your home inadequately before a remodeling project begins can make things significantly more difficult for you and those working on your house. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure your home is ready to be remodeled, whether you're installing new Kohler Bathroom Sinks or remodeling the kitchen. Here’s what you should put on your to-do list:

Organize

Remodeling your living room won’t be easy if the walls are lined with paintings and the floor is covered in furniture. You have to clear everything out of the rooms that are going to be remodeled. Before you clear everything out, though, you’ll need to organize it all and put smaller items into boxes. During this organization step, it’s a good idea to try to get rid of a few things you don’t use very often. Lightening your load a little bit will make packing and finding a place to store your belongings easier. After you’ve lightened your load, it’s a good idea to start sorting all of your small belongings according to type to help ensure that they stay organized as you pack them up.

Pack

Once you’ve organized everything based on type, you can start packing things up into boxes. Be sure to label all the boxes you pack up, so you’ll have an easy time finding everything you need when you unpack. Remember to label boxes that contain fragile materials with the word “fragile” as well, especially if other people will be helping you carry and transport the boxes.

Clear Out

Once everything’s packed up, you’ll need to clear it out and find a place to store it. You may want to consider renting a storage pod you can put in your driveway or backyard, especially if you want to store your things close to your home. You may also want to consider signing a short-term lease for a storage unit, especially if you’ll be storing antique furniture. You have the option of renting a climate-controlled storage unit that will keep all of your antique furniture and temperature-sensitive items like musical instruments safe.

Once you’ve successfully and efficiently transported everything out of the rooms that are going to be remodeled, the project can begin. You’ll be amazed by how great your old things look in your newly remodeled home when you transport them back out of storage!

Author’s Bio: Lisa is a writer at SelfStorageDeals.com, your price-focused search engine for finding deals on storage units in Colorado Springs and storage units in McAllen.
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