Category: News

Spring and summer remodeling projects that will increase your home’s value

  • Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Homeowners have many remodeling project options that can increase their home’s resale value and add plenty of enjoyment as well. Today’s buyers want a home that is sustainable and energy efficient so they can have a home that will last a lifetime. As a result of this, it is important to know what improvements will best increase home value without going overboard. Homeowners planning to remodel should concentrate their efforts on projects that are energy efficient and add character and comfort to their home. Luckily the economy in our area has shown significant improvements and it is a good time to start new projects.

Siding Improvements

The first thing people notice about a house is its curb appeal, and upgrading a home’s siding can result in a significant increase in both curb appeal and overall home value. According to the 2014 Cost vs. Value Report, a midrange siding replacement increased home value with a 103 percent average return on investment. Since prospective buyers are looking for sustainability when house hunting, it is important to pick siding that is eco-friendly. A good siding option is Hardie Plank Cement Siding, which is made of cement, an abundant natural resource, and impervious to our local harsh weather.

Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen is the place where families spend the majority of their time together, making it one of the most essential selling points for prospective buyers. According to the 2014 report, homeowners can expect a 96.5 percent return on your investment on a kitchen remodel. A complete kitchen overhaul might not be necessary, but it is important to consider energy-efficient appliances that use 10-50 percent less energy and water than ordinary appliances. New kitchen appliances can add appeal and functionality to even the smallest of kitchens and are a great investment for anyone looking to increase the value of their home.

Deck Addition

Adding a deck increases the value of any home and increases the area of the existing space by opening up new places to entertain and relax with family. Decks and outdoor spaces also make the house more appealing to prospective buyers when the homeowner decides to sell; owners can expect a 112 percent return on their investment just by adding a deck. With more and more people choosing to stay home for vacations, outdoor living spaces have become more desirable, and this is a great option whether the owner is looking to sell or just add a new space for their family to relax this season.

New Paint Job

A new paint job is one of the most inexpensive and time-effective ways to give any home a crisper and newer look. Fresh paint, in modern colors, can go a long way towards updating the look and feel of any room. In the Lowcountry, we experience more painting due to our environment. Consider painting the wood trim to prevent wood rot.

Learn more at www.costvsvalue.com and www.rockcreekcraftsmen.com.

Notice about comments:

Moultrie News is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. We do not edit user submitted statements and we cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not Moultrie News.

If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click “report abuse” and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Read our full terms and conditions.

Remodel gives 1890s house a homey update

Becky Summers of Hamilton wasn’t going to let an opportunity pass her by, even if that opportunity presented itself while her husband, Doug, was out of the country on business.

Despite owning a home on Hillcrest that was perfect for the family, including sons Zach, Ben, and Kendall, there was something about the rundown old house on the corner of Laurel St. and Highway 96 (14th St.) that caught Becky’s attention.

“Doug was in France. I was coming down Laurel and thought ‘I wonder what that house looks like. I’ve always wanted an old home,’” Becky said. “I called the realtor and she told me it had been sold, but to call back in case it didn’t go through. The deal fell through. So I drug Doug over there and we looked at it.

“The house seemed in good condition other than needing remodeled, and the rest is history. We bought it.”

That was in 2003. Now the Summers’ home looks nothing like the house when they bought it. The family began doing work to the house at the beginning of 2005, and the property was ready to move into in August that same year.

Since then, converting the house into a home has been an ongoing process and a family affair even after the boys have grown and left home.

“We’d come over on the weekends and tear plaster out,” said Becky. “All three of the boys had their hammers and crowbars and we just tore it up. We gutted everything. There was no insulation in the house. We installed all new heating and air systems, new windows, insulation, plumbing, and electrical.

“Everything in here is brand new.”

Becky not only relied on her husband and three children during the initial remodeling phases, but she also got a great helping hand from her late father, George Delozier, who was an electrician for years. Roger Turner was the master carpenter for the overhaul.

“Dad did all the wiring, all the duct work,” said Becky. “He helped us do everything. He was our go-to guy. It was a family affair. We all had some part in doing stuff.”

The new floor plan did not present itself until a lot of the demolition had begun. On the main floor they put up additions on the north side to create a larger master bedroom, on the west side there was an additional space for the kitchen and family room area, and on the south side a new door and steps were built on as well as a two-car garage.

“We tore lots of walls down but didn’t really have a plan when we first started,” said Becky. “After we tore everything apart my dad and I arranged things the way we thought they’d work with the plumbing and the bathroom and the laundry room.

“That’s how we ended up with floor plan that we have.”

Doug and Becky put the master bedroom on the main floor along with the laundry room to avoid steps as they grow older. They also focused on an open space floor plan throughout the main floor where the kitchen, main dining, and living room on the west side of the house all blend into one large space.

“That’s where everybody’s at when you have get-togethers,” Becky said. “Everybody is together here instead of being separated in different rooms. It’s pretty much an open concept even with the dining room in the front room (on the east side). If we have a large group nobody’s really secluded.”

Not much was changed to the upstairs portion of the house. A wide open stairway is highlighted by a leaded glass decorative window Becky installed at the turn of the steps.

Becky runs her business “Summers Home Originals” at the house, so having space for all of her custom sewing and drapery work was a must. A 15 by 30-foot addition extends from the kitchen to the west where the old garage used to be. The Summers’ then built a new two-car garage extending south from the sewing room.

“Originally I was going to put the sewing room up in the attic. I thought that would be really cool,” said Becky with a laugh. “My dad said that was the dumbest thing he’d ever heard, and needless to say it was a good thing I listened to him.

“I buy 100-yard bolts of fabric, and carrying all of that heavy stuff would not have been very functional.”

As the house sits now with the garage extending into the sewing room, Becky is able to move her products easily when going on installations. Deliveries to her business are also made easier.

The most noticeable aspect of the home is all of the wood flooring and baseboard work throughout, except the bathrooms which are tiled. Most of the wood is original to the home, which was built in 1893 by W.W. Holt, a fact that was discovered when working on the peak at the south side of the home.

“I just wanted to keep as much of the character of the house as I could,” said Becky. “As we got into it, I decided to keep the wood tone color. That’s a characteristic of the house, and that’s what it needed to be. We tore up all the hardwood and cleaned every piece by hand. We had to buy some new, but we bought seconds so it would blend in.

“We laid all of it, sanded it all down, stained and finished it, and you can’t tell where the new and the old meet.”

Despite all of their work in the past several years, the work still isn’t complete, although the end is in sight. The porch on the east side of the house, facing the highway, is the next major project, and after that a few little things should finish the job.

“The house had been sitting here vacant for years,” said Becky. “It was pretty much an eyesore on the highway. The best part of all this was it was a family project. We got the boys involved and we had a lot of laughs over it.”

After the porch work is completed and repainted, Becky will focus on finishing the baseboards and the window sills. From there other projects will surely pop up.

“Basically it’s finished,” Becky said. “And I’m probably ready to remodel and do something different again!”

Perhaps someone should warn Doug before he gets on another plane to France.

April House renovation in the works in Morrison

The reason? The renovation of a gray, county-owned home that is to be the new site of Whiteside County’s child advocacy center, April House.

April House is a place where children – victims of varying types of abuse – go to be inerviewed by Johanna Hager,the county’s forensic interviewer and the center’s executive director, about the things they have endured.

The club is providing a lot of the funding, as well as the sweat equity needed for the center’s big move. On Tuesday, the guys who showed up were building new door frames and laying down the groundwork for a new, soundproofed wall, which will create a separate room where officers and the state’s attorney will watch the video-taped interviews conducted by Hager.

The victim’s family members will be in a separate room, also soundproofed, where they’ll watch movies, play games, and just wait until Hager’s job is done.

But on this Tuesday, the volunteers zeroed in on that one wall, as well as the doorframes, which have to be newly shaped to fit doors that meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

Gary Schopt is acting as a sort of liaison for the whole project, and Marv Lofgren, a former club member and retired contractor, is leading the charge when it comes to the technical stuff, like building and soundproofing a wall.

Last summer, the center faced closure because of a lack of grants and a downturn in donations.

Since then, however, its fortune has turned, thanks in large part ot a $12,500 United Way grant, and a private donor who sought to match it.

The next step to ensuring the center’s future lies in its move from its current yellow house location to the more modern gray house next door. Modernizing the center’s location would make it eligible for other grants, specifically a large one from the attorney general’s office, which the center had relied on for years.

The gray house, though more modern than its 100-year-old neighbor, is not without its faults. It, too, required an extensive upgrade, which is where the Twin Cities Sunrise Rotary Club came in.

Back in November, Hager gave a presentation at one of the club’s meetings. When members heard of its plight, and understood just how important the center was to the community, they were immediately interested in helping, Schopt said.

“The overlying motto of rotary is ‘Service above self,’ and that’s really what this is all about,” Schopt said. “This is something that, obviously it takes a little bit of skill to do it, but it’s primarily just a matter of being willing to give your time to a worthwhile project. And this is certainly a worthwhile project.”

Schopt said he expects the home’s renovation to be completed within the next few weeks. Next Wednesday, volunteers will install the ADA-compliant doors, he said.

There’s just one more thing April House needs: a new video system to record the victim’s interviews, and the wiring system to go along with it.

Finish Your Remodel Right: 10 Tasks To Check Off

Laura Gaskill, Houzz Contributor

When you are in the throes of a remodel (even a “minor” one), it can seem as if it will never end … that is, until it does. When the contractors, architects and designers who seemed to be everywhere you turned are suddenly gone, it can be surprisingly easy to forget to nail down those key last details (like making sure everything actually works) in the rush to get your house back. So grab a notepad and be sure to check off these 10 items before you close the book on your remodel. Your house will thank you.

1. Keep the old stuff. Remodeling an older home often means replacing older fixtures and finishes with new — but think twice before sending any of your home’s original details to the dump. Keeping original light fixtures, a few shingles or worn hardware can be a blessing down the road if you or a future homeowner wants to know what the original home looked like, or perhaps even wants to restore the old stuff and reinstall it.

More: Ideas for your living spaces and exterior

2. Make sure everything works. Before you send your pros home on the last day of work, be sure to carefully check that everything works as it should. Turn on appliances, faucets and lights. Check to make sure the hot and cold water work, and plug a lamp into outlets to test them.

 

3. Send in warranty cards. Those gorgeous new appliances or floors may come with a good warranty, but it’s only valid if you activate it — so be sure to send in those cards right away.

4. Update your homeowner’s insurance policy. Anytime you make a major purchase for your home, you should also contact your insurance agent to update your policy. Good record keeping is essential to protect yourself in case anything ever happens to your home and stuff.

How to Create an Inventory, Whether You’re Naturally Organized or Not

5. Open every cabinet, drawer and door. Can you fully extend every drawer and open all the cupboards and doors without knocking into anything? Are the handles affixed properly? Do they open easily? Hopefully you won’t find any problems, but if you do, it’s better to find them right away.

 

6. Learn about proper maintenance.While you still have the ear of your architect or contractor, be sure to ask about how to care for each of the materials used in your remodel. Ask for specifics — if there are brands of products they recommend or homemade cleaning formulas to whip up, write them down.

 

7. Keep all extra materials. Unless you speak up, your contractor may be planning to toss out all of the leftovers from your project … so be sure you do speak up. Having that extra tile, grout or section of countertop can be a lifesaver when you need to repair or replace something.

8. Save and label paint. Even tiny amounts of paint can be used for touch-ups, so make sure you keep it all. Dotting a small amount of paint on the lid will help remind you at a glance which color is which, and a master list of colors used in each room will help down the road if you need to repaint.

 

9. Take care of the legal stuff. Have forms that need to be filed with the city? Even if your contractor or architect told promised to take care of them, it wouldn’t hurt to double check at the end of the project. Sign whatever you need to sign and make sure the appropriate forms have been filed so your remodel is all aboveboard.

10. Keep all of your reno info in one place. Remodeling, no matter the size of the project, generates a lot of little bits of information — contact info for all the pros involved, receipts, paint color names, plans, product manuals and on and on. Dedicate a box or file to documentation from your remodeling project so it will be easier to find exactly what you need in the future.

More: What to Look for in a Contractor’s Contract

Fundraising campaign begins for remodel at Detroit’s Cody High School

WENT OFF AND THEN FIRED AT DETROIT POLICE WHO CAME TO THE SCENE. NO ONE WAS INJURED. Karen: DETROIT’S CODY HIGH SCHOOL NEEDS HELP. IT’S IN DISREPAIR. Devin: STUDENTS DESERVE A LOT MORE THAN THEY’VE BEEN GETTING AND THEY’RE ABOUT TO GET IT. CHUCK IS BACK WITH WORD ABOUT A SPECIAL PROJECT. WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS BEHIND THE SCENES FOR SOMETIME. TELL US ABOUT IT. Chuck: CODY HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATING 37% OF ITS STUDENTS AND NOW THEY GRADUATE OVER 80%. SO DETROIT PUBLIC SCHOOLS COMING TO SCHOOLS, UNITED WAY, A LOT OF GROUPS AND STRATEGIES, HOW TO TAKE THE KIDS WITH SO MUCH NEED AND SO MUCH HOPE AND MOVE THEM TO THE NEXT LEVEL WHILE MOST HIGH SCHOOL KIDS ARE THINKING ABOUT VIDEO GAMES, THE CODY KIDS ARE BUCKLING DOWN, BUT THE PHYSICAL BUILDING AND THE NEIGHBORHOOD AROUND IT IS IN NEED. HERE’S LIFE REMODELED TO THE RESCUE TO NOT ONLY REMODEL THE SCHOOL AND 100 BLOCKS AROUND IT WITH TENS OF THOUSANDS OF VOLUNTEERS, BUT HELP REMODEL LIVES. YOUNG PEOPLE ARE THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF ANY COMMUNITY, AND NOWHERE IS THAT MORE FOCUSED THAN AT OUR LOCAL SCHOOLS. TIGHT BUDGETS HAVE CAUSED SOME SCHOOL BUILDINGS LIKE CODY HIGH SCHOOL TO FALL BEHIND IN UPKEEP AND MAINTENANCE. THAT’S WHERE LIFE REMODELS STEPS IN. THIS AUGUST, THE CODY HIGH SCHOOL CAMPUS, WHICH IS HOME TO THREE SMALL HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS, WILL BENEFIT FROM MAJOR RENOVATIONS THAT WE AS A DISTRICT OPERATING UNDER A FINANCIAL EMERGENCY WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO UNDERTAKE OTHERWISE. Chuck: SO COMING IN AUGUST, LIFE REMODELED WILL BRING RENOVATION ARE FOR STATE-OF-THE-ART CLASSROOMS AND LABS, AND INCLUDES PAINTING, LANDSCAPING, REPLACING WINDOWS, A NEW ROOF AND REPAIRING ELECTRICAL AND PLUMBING AND TRANSFORMING CODY INVOLVES MORE THAN JUST WORK ON THE BUILDING. IT INVOLVES IMPROVING THE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT. IT HOPES TO INSTALL A NEW TRACK AND FOOTBALL FIELD ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE HIGH SCHOOL, AS WELL AS RENOVATE HOMES IN THE SURROUNDING AREA AND DEMOLISH SEVERAL BURNED-OUT HOUSES. THE FOUNDER, CHRIS LAMBERT, EXPLAINS WHY THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. THE REASON IT’S NECESSARY IS BECAUSE DETROIT HAS A LOT OF HOPE BUT THEY HAVE A LOT OF NEED. WE, AS A CITY. AND DOWNTOWN IS SEEING INCREDIBLE IMPROVEMENTS, BUT THE NEIGHBORHOODS, THAT’S ANOTHER STORY. AND WE HAVE GOT TO WORK TOGETHER TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. Chuck: YOU MAY RECALL LAST YEAR, LIFE REMODELED WAS IN DETROIT AND OTHER CITIES BUILDING HOMES, SORT OF A HABITAT FOR HUMANITY EFFORT BUT WAS HELPING REMODEL THE LIVES WITH A GUARANTEE OF STAYING THREE YEARS TO HELP EVERYTHING, JOB COUNSELING AND COMING ALONGSIDE THE KIDS, ET CETERA. NOW THEY’RE GONNA ADOPT THE HIGH SCHOOL, THE HIGH SCHOOL AND THE 100 BLOCKS AROUND, TEARING DOWN, AND PAINTING UP. IT’S A COMBINATION OF GOVERNMENT, CHUMP, AND ORGANIZATIONS COMING TOGETHER WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR TENS OF THOUSANDS OF VOLUNTEERS AUGUST 11-17 ALL COMING INTO THE CODY/ROUGE AREA. THE SCHOOL IS IN ON THIS AND THE KIDS ARE FIRED UP AND THE NEIGHBORHOOD SUPPORT SYSTEM FROM THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION TO THE ROUGE ASSOCIATION, THEY’RE ALL IN. THIS IS SOMETHING WE’LL WITNESS THAT I THINK IS HISTORIC AND WILL HELP WITH OTHER SCHOOLS AND GETTING OUR CITY ON THE RIGHT TRACK. IT’S REALLY COOL! Devin: ENORMOUS!


Login