Gutter Installation: Should Homeowners Hire a Professional or DIY


There are plenty of homeowners who feel like hiring a professional contractor for jobs they deem “simple” is a waste of money.  We see it time and time again, do-it-yourselfers that get in over their heads and end up in a situation that costs them more than if they would have hired a professional from the start.  This is a common situation we run into, especially when it comes to roofing and gutter installation.  Believe it or not, installing gutters or replacing your roof is not as easy as it appears on television or in YouTube videos.  Below are the most common issues that arise when DIYs tackle gutter installation.

Incorrect Pitch:

If the pitch of your gutter is off even slightly it can create an issue.  Although gutters look even from a distance, they are in fact slightly pitched from one end to the other.  Striking a balance is key. A gutter with too little of a pitch allows the gutter to fill up until it overflows, while a sharp pitch is not pleasing to look at.  For every forty feet of gutter that is installed the gutter should slope between one to two inches.

Incorrect Pitch:

If the pitch of your gutter is off even slightly it can create an issue.  Although gutters look even from a distance, they are in fact slightly pitched from one end to the other.  Striking a balance is key. A gutter with too little of a pitch allows the gutter to fill up until it overflows, while a sharp pitch is not pleasing to look at.  For every forty feet of gutter that is installed the gutter should slope between one to two inches.

Forward Tilt:

Even though your gutter must be installed on a slight downward angle to allow for drainage, it must be completely level from front to back.  If it is not level it will spill over the edge.  Professional gutter installation takes time.  A level must be used to accurately level gutters and properly install the fasteners that will hold the gutter in the proper position.

Improper Positioning:

Gutters do not just hang on the edge of your homes roof.  Instead a gutter must be installed a couple of inches below the roof line. If a gutter is installed too high cause water to runoff down the back side which can cause staining on the exterior siding of the home.

Unsuitable Hanger Spacing:

Try as you may to properly slope gutters, improper positioning of gutter hangers can cause the gutter to sag.  Gutter hangers need to be properly positioned no more than three feet of space between one another.

Seams:

Gutter seams are the source at which the most damage can occur.  Sometimes the sections of a gutter will separate at the seam completely.  It is important to keep the number of seams to a minimum when installing gutters in fact, seamless gutters are made to help prevent this issue.

Gutter Damage During Installation:

When hanging gutters, it is important to be cautious to prevent damage to the gutters (and to yourself).  Bent or dented gutters should not be installed.

There are quiet a few issues that can arise when installing your homes new gutters.  Before you jump into DIY gutter installation, contact a professional to get a free quote.  This will allow you to visually see the cost difference between professional gutter installation that come with a warranty vs the time and cost of materials involved in doing it on your own.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.



Repairing Your Roof In the Winter Months


Obviously, it is best to repair leaks in roofing during the spring, summer or fall however, if necessary, roof repair is possible during the winter.  Although there are limitations in roofing materials, winter roofing is ever bit as possible as it is in the spring, summer, and fall.  It is worth repairing or replacing a roof in the winter if damage to the home is occurring. 

If you notice a leak or damage to your roof during the winter months, it needs to be replaced or repaired to prevent damage.  The smallest of leaks can cause incredible damage to the structure of your home.  Roof leaks are worsened by the expansion and contraction of roofing materials during the constant freeze and thaw that occur during the winter months.  Small leaks turn into major leaks almost overnight. 

Winter Roofing

Yes, roofers work during the winter months.  Roofers are used to extreme weather whether in the sweltering heat of the summer sum or the freeze of the winter, roofers are hard at work.  There are pros and cons to working in both environments.   Roofing materials all react differently in conditions under forty degrees.   These materials should not be installed in the winter.  Instead, roofing contractors use materials that can be installed at any time of the year, no matter what the weather.        

Flat Roofing

Two types of flat roofing systems can be properly installed in the winter, PVC and TPO.  Instead of adhesives, thermoplastic single ply flat roof products are mechanically installed, and the seams are hot air welded.  Rubber roofing, an alternative to thermoplastic, are not a good option during the winter months when temperatures are below forty degrees because the adhesive used to install them will not seal.  The adhesive will end up freezing and not bond.  It is important to use the proper material for the season in which you are having a new roof, replacement roof, or roof repair completed. 

Sloped Roofing

The most common material that roofing contractors use on sloped roofs is asphalt shingling.  It is possible for asphalt shingles to be installed during the winter months however they must be careful not to bend the shingles. Asphalt shingles require a proper seal between the overlapping shingles.  In order to bond the shingling needs heat from the sun.  When asphalt shingles are installed in the winter they will not properly seal until warmer weather sets in. 

Asphalt shingling is susceptible to ice dams.  Ice dams are large ice buildups that form at the eaves of the roof.  They are caused from improper attic insulation and poor attic ventilation.  Installing an ice and water shield membrane helps alleviate ice dam leaks.  The sun’s heat is also needed to adhere the material to the roof decking. 

Metal Roofing

Metal is one roofing material that can be installed in the winter, no matter what the temperature, without compromising quality.   Metal roofing materials do not crack and allows for expansion and contraction even in cold temperatures.  Roofing contractors use premium, breathable, synthetic underlayment to contend with moisture from improper ventilation.  Modifications to ventilation should be done when a roof is replaced to prevent damage from ice build up no matter what material is used.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.



The cheapest times of year to make home improvements – from garden clearing to fitting a bathroom

Save hundreds on the cost of changes or repairs by hiring tradespeople at their quietest times

There’s no avoiding the regular maintenance our homes and gardens need, but you can at least do something about the cost. And no, we’re not talking about you donning your overalls and attempting to do all the work yourself. Or getting caught out by cowboy workmen with their knockdown prices.

Instead, with some help from experts in their field, we’ve come up with a helpful timetable with the cheapest times of year to make home improvements.

Whether you’re looking to clear you garden of weeds, insulate the loft or sweeps chimney. Picking the right moment could mean you have a larger selection of tradespeople. And you’ll avoid paying over the odds for services that are in big demand at certain times of year.

The best time of year to clear the garden – January

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Image credit: Colin Poole

Usually done: March

Don’t wait until the warmer months to have your garden cleared – it’s far easier in winter because the foliage has died back. Less work (and potentially, a smaller skip) means a smaller bill for you. We estimate that a clearance job in winter would cost around £150 less than it would in the spring.

The best time of year to fit a new kitchen – February

Galley-kitchen-makeover-with-pale-blue-cabinets-roof-lantern-and-parquet-flooring-7

Image credit: David Giles

Usually done: May/June

February is especially quiet for kitchen fitters, since most people want to get their kitchens revamped in time for Christmas, or don’t want the disruption when they have their kids at home in the school holidays. Negotiate, and you should be able to get at least a 10 per cent reduction on a fitter’s rates at this time.

The best time of year to replace or repair windows – March

Image credit: Nick Pope

Usually done: September/October

From March onwards is an ideal time to get your glazing and/or frames replaced. Lots of people will leave it to the autumn, when they begin to feel a chill, but you might find a longer wait for your first-choice contractor. The better weather means you won’t have to deal with issues caused by damp and condensation, either.

The best time of year to sweep the chimney – April

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Image credit: Simon Whitmore

Usually done: October/November

Generally, chimney sweeps are run off their feet between September and March. Appointments are more readily available in the quieter summer months and there’s more of an opportunity to negotiate rates. Also, lighter, warmer and drier conditions help when your sweep is examining the exterior chimney conditions.

The best time of year to clear guttering – May

Usually done: October

Contrary to popular belief, you should clear your gutters at the end of spring when you can be sure that the worst of the weather has passed. May is the best time of year – though we’d recommend that a professional cleans your gutters twice a year to prevent the build up of leaves and rubbish.

The best time of year to fit a new floor – June

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Image credit: David Giles

Usually done: September to December

Demand for flooring trades steps up from September as we move our focus from outdoor projects back indoors. June is therefore a great time to have new floorboards and carpets installed as everyone else will be more preoccupied with their gardens. At the very least you’ll be able to cherry-pick who will fit your flooring and when, and you might be able to wangle a discount, to boot.

The best time of year to fit security systems – July

Usually done: October/November

It’s only human nature to start thinking about security lighting and alarms as the nights get longer, but at that time of year several factors, including bad weather, make installing systems harder and therefore more expensive. As such, it’s generally cheaper to have the work done in the summer.

The best time of year to replace the boiler – August

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Image credit: Lizzie Orme

Usually done: October/November

During the summer, when our boilers aren’t working as hard and are therefore less likely to need running repairs, you’ll find it far easier to get the appointment slot you want. Also, we’d estimate that you can make a 10-15 per cent saving when the market is less competitive.

The best time of year to fit a new bathroom – September

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Image credit: Colin Poole

Usually done: January/June/July

Booking a bathroom fitter in a quieter month could save you around 10 per cent in costs. September is a good time as the kids are back at school and people have just returned from their holidays, so they might not have the cash for a big project.

The best time of year to put up new fencing – October

Dining area outdoor living room SAH June 17 p98 garden makeover

Image credit: Jamie Mason

Usually done: June/July/August

During the summer, your garden is looking its best, so having fencers coming in and trampling down your borders and lawn isn’t ideal. Get hard landscaping jobs done later on when all the plants are dormant, and you might also find availability is higher and costs are lower.

The best time of year to paint rooms – November

Usually done: June

Summer isn’t a great time to get hold of a decorator, because they are usually busy, particularly with exterior painting jobs. You might think it’s a hassle to get the painters in just before Christmas, but a quick prep and two coats should take two days at most.

The best time to insulate the loft – December

image: https://ksassets.timeincuk.net/wp/uploads/sites/56/2019/01/berkshire-village-house-chi-feb19-loft-bedroom.jpg

Berkshire village house

Image credit: Polly Eltes

Usually done: September

It’s tempting to get this done at the first signs of cold weather. But if you can hold out, it’s worth it. At Christmas, your loft will be clear of decorations – and an emptier space means a quicker and less expensive job!

Original Source: https://www.idealhome.co.uk/property-advice/cheapest-times-of-year-to-make-home-improvements-220352

The Roofing Experts Speak: Don’t Forget Your Roof When Preparing for Winter


Winter is in full swing here in Southeast Michigan.  The harsh weather winter throws at us during these next three months is especially hard on your homes roof.  The presence and continual thawing and refreezing of snow and ice tends to create roofing issues that can be quite costly to repair when not addressed properly.  Our roofing contractors will address common problems that your roof may face during the winter season.

Condensation

Condensation occurs when warm air meets with cold surfaces.  When an attic is not properly insulated condensation can form and lead to mold and mildew that damages the interior structure of the home. In order to prevent condensation homeowners must make sure their attics have proper ventilation.  When a roof is inadequately ventilated damage can occur to the roof or roof decking.  It will also promote ice dams, all of which will shorten the lifespan of your roof. 

Leaks in Flashing

Flashing refers to the metal strips that are on the front edge, corners, and ridges of the roof, around the chimney, and the skylights.  Leaking flashing is a common issue of sloped roofs.  If flashing is not properly installed or we are experiencing a common Michigan winter storm the flashing can start to pull away which can lead to leaks.  To prevent this the flashing on your homes roof should be inspected every six months to avoid this common problem. 

High Winds

Although wind storms are not common in Southeast Michigan, they do happen.  Strong wind speeds can loosen asphalt shingles.  If you start noticing little bits of roofing on the ground it is important to contact the professional roofing contractors at Kearns Brothers to have your roof inspected.  The sooner the shingles are replaced the less damage that will occur. 

Tree Limbs

One of the biggest benefits of living in Michigan is the number of trees that surround us.   Trees are both a blessing and a curse when it involves your home.  Large trees add privacy to the landscape but also can cause damage if left untrimmed.  Overhanging tree branches can end up damaging the surface of the roof by scraping the protective layer on the shingling.  Falling branches can also cause problems for homeowners. In order to protect your homes roof from damage it is important to keep branches trimmed.  This also helps to prevent small critters from getting up on the roof. 

Ice Dams

Ice dams are a common issue that homeowners in Southeast Michigan have to deal with.  An ice dam is when the upper areas on an icy roof start to thaw while the lower perimeter of the roof are frozen over.  Snow and ice continue to melt from the warmer sections of the roof and refreeze when they come in contact with the lower section of the roof and gutters, thus creating an ice dam.  As the water continues to flow it can pool behind the dam which can cause a leak. Ice dams are impossible to eliminate however, with proper attic insulation and ventilation, they can be curtailed.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.



What Are the Most Common Roofing Problems for Michigan Homeowners?


Your homes roof is one of the largest and most important exterior features of your home.  It is easy to forget about because it is not an element of your home that is in your face screaming for attention.  It is important that homeowners do not neglect their roofs. Issues with your roof are easily masked, they are not easy to spot especially from the ground.

It is important to catch issues with your roof before they turn catastrophic.  Roofing contractors have years of experience and industry knowledge that allows them to have a better grasp at what they are looking for when they are inspecting a homeowner’s roof.  This is not to say that you as a homeowner shouldn’t take time to inspect your homes roof bi-yearly as you clean out the gutters, it just means that a professional should also be involved in the inspection process at least once a year.  They will be able to detect issues earlier than any DIY homeowner thus saving the structural integrity of your roof from severe damage.

Roofing Contractors Share the Most Common Problems They See in Roofing

Lack of General Maintenance and Upkeep

The ideal maintenance schedule for your homes roof consists of bi-yearly inspections from the homeowners and an annual inspection from a professional roofing contractor.  Another inspection is needed if your home has been involved in a severe storm.  There are many things that can go wrong with your roof however, regular repairs and keeping up on normal care your roof can out last, it’s warranty.  Check for mildew, mold, peeling caulk, holes, sagging, or missing shingles.  These are all obvious issues that there is a problem that needs to be fixed.

Improper Repairs

This is the most common problem that our roofing contractors report, improperly executed roofing repairs.  Homeowners like to believe they can save a ton of money by fixing issues on their own.  This is however not always the truth.  Yes, homeowners are highly capable of attending to many maintenance issues that pop up around their homes.  Roofing however is not one of those areas where we believe a homeowner should take repairs into their own hands.  Your homes roof is what keeps the structural integrity of your home safe from the outside elements.  Without a roof, well you can just imagine what the interior of our homes would look like.

Storm Damage

No matter what the season, Michigan homeowners are familiar with inclement weather issues.  Spring brings heavy rain, winter brings heavy ice and snow, with fall comes rotting leaves and debris and then there is summer where we can go from 100 degrees and 100 percent humidity to thunderstorms with winds that can be greater than 60 miles an hour.  If your area experiences a substantial storm it is important to clean off the debris and call in a professional for an inspection.

Leaks

No matter if you have a shingle roof or a metal roof, if you are experiencing a leak, you have a major problem.  Your homes roof is its lid.  It is meant to keep the elements out.  When this is compromised it is crucial, to minimize damage, that your roof is fixed properly and FAST!  Moisture that is allowed to build up also can prevent problems such as mold and wood rot.  It is not only important to fix the roof but also to perform proper drying and clean up to prevent further issues.

In order to truly make sure you are hiring a reputable roofing contractor always make sure to work with someone that comes recommended from a friend, neighbor, family member, or co-worker.  Word of mouth referrals are the best way to hire professionals as they have previously done work and are being recommended.  It is important as well to perform a little background research on your own as well.  Be sure to check Google reviews, contractor licenses/insurance, and their standing with the BBB.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.



Answers to Every Day Roofing Questions


One of the most neglected areas on the exterior of a home is the roof.  Many homeowners don’t notice problems with their roofing until it has turned into a real issue.  Maintenance, although important, is not often done yearly, leaving small roof repairs to become major issues.  Homeowners often have a lot of questions by the time they are reaching out to the roofing contractors of Kearns Brothers.  Compiled below is a list of questions and answers to the top roofing questions we are regularly asked when seeking roof repair or roof replacement services. 

How Will I Know It Is Time to Replace My Homes Roof?

The age of your shingle roofing is one of the most tell tale signs your home needs a new roof.  Most shingle roofs have a lifespan of between twenty to thirty years without issue.  Regular roofing maintenance can help increase the longevity of shingles and underlayment.  Older roofs often have visual signs that it is time to consider replacement.  If you notice curling or buckling shingles, missing shingles, leaking, or sunlight coming through attic boards it is time to call the roofing experts at Kearns Brothers roofing experts.

Is a Shingle Roof Something I Can Install on My Own?

Many homeowners think that they can save money by replacing their homes roof.  Although it is possible for homeowners to replace their own roofs, we don’t recommend it.  The process to remove and replace shingles is time consuming.  If roofing materials are left without shingle protection for too long the underlayment will take on moisture which can lead to problems.  Also, let’s face it, homeowners are notorious for getting in over their heads when it comes to DIY projects, especially large scaled ones such as replacing a roof. 

While some home improvement projects can be done in time and are completely possible for DIY homeowners, roofing is not one we would recommend tackling.  Proper roofing is done through years of experience and decades of knowledge, both which the roofing experts at Kearns Brothers offer to homeowners throughout Southeast Michigan.

How Much Does a New Roof Cost?

There is a lot that goes into determining how much a roofing expert charge to replace a homes roof.  An accurate estimate will be given once roofers are able to determine the square footage of your home, the type of roofing material that will be used, the number of stories and pitch, accessibility to the roof, time frame for job to be completed/labor, and such all need to be considered.

What Is the Time Frame When Getting Your Roof Replaced?

The same factors that go into determining the cost of a new roof are used in calculating the time frame for installation.  The extent of roof damage and the climate where your home is located also can affect the time frame for having a roof replaced.  Expect a new roof to be installed over the course of a few days.  Some roofs can take a couple of weeks to install but this is rare.

What Type of Material Is Best When Roofing My Home?

Asphalt shingling is the most popular option for homes here in Michigan however there are a number of materials in roofing that homeowners can choose including: asphalt shingles, cedar shingles, metal, tile, clay, slate, and more.  To determine what material is the best for your home talk with the roofing contractors at Kearns Brothers.  Here are a few things to consider:

  • How much will each type of roofing cost to install?
  • How long can I expect my roof to last?
  • Does the roofing material hold up under the most extreme weather conditions in the area?
  • What roofing material will compliment my home best?

No matter whether you are building a new house, having your roof repaired, or replacing an existing roof the experts at Kearns Brothers have you covered.  Not only do we offer a wide selection of roofing accessories, we also offer gutter installation, and offer professional chimney repair, rebuilding, and installation. 

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.



Does New Siding Increase the Resale Value of Your Home?


Replacing old, worn out siding can have a significant affect on the overall curb appeal of your home, but does it add value?  Is new siding a solid investment when it comes to the return on your investment?  The answer to both is YES!  Updating the siding on your home does more than add to the curb appeal of your home, it adds resale value as well as offering a solid return on investment.  It has been noted by more than one professional real estate association that when it comes to improving the value of your home nothing brings in higher ROI’s than exterior home improvement projects such as new siding and replacement windows. 

There are a variety of siding options from vinyl, fiber cement, and foam-backed vinyl.   Homeowners that make the decision to re-side their homes have steadily increased the resale value of their homes.  Not only does new siding add to your homes curb appeal, it also adds to the energy efficiency of the home which controls energy costs as well.

Updating with Midlevel Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is an affordable, lightweight, almost virtually maintenance-free way of increasing thermal protection to your home’s exterior.  It has been reported that choosing midrange vinyl siding in updating your exterior siding increases the value of your home by upwards of 78% of the cost of the overall project including the cost of the materials and labor.  On average midgrade vinyl siding material and replacement will run homeowners around $11,000 to $12,000.  Adding approximately $8,580 to $9,360 in resale value to the home.

Updating with Fiber Cement Siding

If you are looking to reside your home with a material that is resistant to moisture, fire, termites, and rot, look no further than fiber-cement siding.  Another benefit to fiber cement siding is that it doesn’t flex.  Industry experts report that on average a 1,250 square foot home costs between $13,000 to $14,000 to reside with factory primed and painted fiber cement siding.  This cost includes replacing fiber-cement boards or cellular PVC and trim. The installation of fiber cement siding can increase the overall value of your home upwards of 87% which works out to be an increase in overall value to the home of between $11,310 to $12,180.

Updating with Foam-Backed Vinyl Siding

Another solid choice in siding is the use of foam-backed vinyl siding, otherwise known as foam-core vinyl siding.  This choice helps to create a dense foam barrier between the siding and the home which makes the home less vulnerable to impact from objects and weather.   Foam-backed vinyl siding is considered an upscale material choice.  The average cost for a 1,250 square foot house is between $14,000 – $15,000.  The increase in home value with re-siding a home with foam-backed vinyl is around 78% thus the overall value increase between $10,920 – $11,700.

Overall the trend on an increase in home value when siding has been replaced has stayed steady.  Curb appeal from new siding, updated windows, replacement roofing, and other such exterior home improvements remain winners when investing in your home. 

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.



When to splurge and when to scrimp on home improvements

The only thing harder than setting a realistic remodeling budget is sticking to it. The secret? Knowing when to splurge and when to save. Here are top picks for each category from the pros at HomeAdvisor, including the architects and designers who draw up the plans, contractors who do the work, and repairmen who get called when things go wrong.

When to splurge:

It’s not worth cutting corners on the following five items:

Long-lasting paint

Cheap contractor-grade paint goes on thin and is prone to fading, staining and other flaws that make for an eyesore. You don’t have to blow your budget on crazy-expensive designer paint costing $100 per gallon or more. But it is worth investing in a high-quality paint in the $30 – $40 per gallon range over the $10 – $20 per gallon economy stuff. Better paint will provide ample coverage — often in just one coat — and it will withstand scrubbing, fading, and mildew for many years.

Installing wood floors costs $4,500 on average, according to HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide. That’s three times as much as you’ll spend on bargain materials like vinyl or linoleum. But the warmth and beauty of wood floors is without comparison. Plus, they can be refinished several times, so they’re probably the last floor you’ll ever have to install. That’s a big reason why wood floors add significantly to a home’s value. Ultimately, you’ll recoup the cost if you ever decide to sell.

Cabinets you can count on

It always pays to spend more on things you interact with every day, and that includes kitchen cabinets. A drawer that sticks or a door that’s falling off its hinge after just a few months will fill you with all kinds of remodeler’s remorse. Custom cabinets can get very pricey, but nowadays you can find solid construction, including dovetail joinery and full-extension drawer guides, in reasonable semi-stock cabinets.

Hard-wearing countertops

Countertops take a ton of abuse and they’re often a focal point of the kitchen. It’s worth spending more on a material that combines beauty and durability. Natural stones like granite and marble are the traditional favorites. But in recent years, quartz has emerged as a popular countertop material because it looks great and wears incredibly well. And it doesn’t require the periodic sealing that many other natural stones need.

Professional designer

Don’t underestimate the value of good design help, especially on more involved projects like a kitchen or bath renovation. If you’re knocking down walls and putting in new mechanicals, you’ll need to hire an architect for a fee of about 10 to 20 percent of the overall project cost. If you just need help choosing fixtures and materials, a certified kitchen and bath designer will fit the bill for about half as much as an architect.

When to save:

Balance your budget by cutting back on these items.

Appliances

A suite of high-end appliances — fridge, range, dishwasher — might run $20,000. That’s the price to pay for true built-ins. But you can get similar looks and performance by choosing a cabinet-depth refrigerator, slide-in range and traditional dishwasher, all for as little as $5,000.

Bathroom tile

Designer tile made of natural stone or glass is certainly striking, but a simple glossy white ceramic tile can deliver an elegant look for a fraction of the cost. Plus, it’s often much easier to maintain.

Light fixtures

Lighting is another category that can quickly get over the top with sculptural designs and luxury finishes. If you’re on a budget, pass on the glam and instead make sure the overall lighting plan incorporates ample layers of ambient, task and accent lighting.

Original Source: https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/01/07/high-end-home-improvements-that-are-worth-the-splurge-and-when-its-best-to-scrimp/

Original Date: Jan 7 2019

Written By: Ap Mcclatchy

Home Advisor: Home improvements you might regret

Athome Homeadvisor Mct 35

(Photo: Dreamstime, TNS)CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE

Between trying to save money and customizing a home to an exact lifestyle, homeowners can make some big mistakes. Whether they decrease resale value, go way over budget, or increase maintenance costs, some renovations are better left undone. These are the projects homeowners most commonly tell us they regret.

MAKING A BEDROOM INTO A CLOSET

Most of us dream of a big closet, but converting a bedroom into a walk-in will make your realtor cringe. First, removing a bedroom usually decreases a property’s value up to 15 percent. Second, installing shelves typically costs between $1,000 to $2,600. Instead of going this route, consider maximizing the storage space you already have. Use pre-built racks and closet organizers to take advantage of your existing closet space.

INSTALLING A POOL

Pools come with a few unexpected costs people don’t always consider. First, building a pool can increase the cost of homeowners insurance and property taxes. If local codes require pool owners to install a barrier, you’re looking at more than $2,500 in fencing costs. Installation is expensive, and the ongoing time and pool maintenance costs can also be steep. If you’re on a budget, a pool can easily become a regretful addition.

SPRINGING FOR AN EXPENSIVE BATHROOM REMODEL

High-end finishes like time-consuming tile patterns, costly tubs and showers, and luxury faucets or fixtures can end up breaking your budget and falling short of your anticipated return on investment. Getting rid of the rust and laminate and adding efficient features is great. Just don’t go overboard. Set a budget in advance. A general guideline is to spend no more than 10 percent of the home’s value on a bathroom remodel.

ADDING A SUNROOM

According to Remodeling Magazine, sunrooms typically yield returns less than half of your initial investment. The average sunroom costs over $16,000. Unless you’re adding much-needed livable square footage to a small floor plan, building and furnishing a sunroom can drain your bank account and create less enjoyment than you hope.

INVESTING IN EXTENSIVE LANDSCAPING

It’s easy to overdo landscaping, but it can be a fine line between just enough and too much. Too many trees, shrubs and plants can detract from the natural beauty and curb appeal of the home. Plus, homeowners can end up spending thousands of dollars and all of their free time doing yard work. Intricate landscaping is a choice most homeowners wish they hadn’t made.

ANYTHING WITH INFERIOR CRAFTSMANSHIP

From the smallest update to the largest renovation, it pays to choose better quality. It’s easy to end up with mediocre or regretful results when you accept the lowest contractor bid or go the DIY route. In the world of poor-quality construction, there are nightmare stories of contractors who demanded extra money to finish the job, used substandard or dangerous materials, or just stopped showing up altogether. The best way to avoid this? Interview at least three contractors before you hire, verify licensing and insurance, and always call to check the references of any professional you’re considering hiring.

Original Source: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/life/home-garden/2018/12/27/home-advisor-home-improvements-you-might-regret/2416424002/

Original Date: Dec 27 2018

Written By: Home Advisor Staff