General Home Improvement

Avoid DIY Nightmares With Professional Installation

Some home renovation projects seem easy to do at first. You may feel confident that you have the skills to handle the project, and it will be cheaper to do it yourself. All too often, however, unforeseen difficulties can make even the simplest project more complicated (and expensive) than you ever thought it would be.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for a renovation project to go wrong. In untrained and inexperienced hands, what contractors can do easily ends up taking much more time and work than it needs to. One slip of a saw or hammer can cut into a wall or pipe and cause more expense and more work than it would have cost to hire a professional in the first place. One wrong measurement can mean that materials must be bought twice, or that you will need to rip them out and start all over again when the work is nearly done.

Why DIY Often Isn’t

One reason it’s gotten more difficult to do your own home renovations is that technology keeps advancing. Renovations that used to be simple now have complex parts and procedures to follow. New rules about lead paint and other chemicals were set up to protect consumers and contractors from harmful exposure. These make installing new windows, sinks or other fixtures much more difficult. The permit process has also become more complex, but professionals are familiar with the process and can navigate it easily.

In the end, advances in technology have given us products that work better and are often more efficient to use, but may be more difficult to install initially. Home improvement professionals have been trained on all the ins and outs of these complex installations, and their experience allows them to complete your project quickly and with far fewer mistakes. Not only that, but if a costly or time-consuming mistake does occur, it is unlikely that the expense will be passed on to you because you have already agreed upon a price.

Even simple projects like installing a new door may be better left to a professional.

Professional Installation Can Save You Money

Hiring a professional to renovate your home is often thought to be more expensive than doing it yourself, but that may not always be the case. If you take a day (or week) off from your job to do a project yourself, how much is your time worth? And if you injure yourself, there are medical bills (and additional lost wages in some cases) that can also add to the cost of doing it yourself.

Professional installers can often get materials at a lower cost than you could get on your own, since they may have access to wholesale suppliers or contractor discounts. Another way installers can save you money is by buying the correct materials the first time, instead of the common DIY practice of buying the wrong thing, trying to use it, then having to go back and buy a second item that will actually work.

Sure, there may be simple projects you can do around your home with confidence and efficiency, but for many renovations, professional installation is the best way to avoid a DIY nightmare. The professionals at Moonworks will give you an estimate for your installation so you can avoid a DIY nightmare. Call 1-800-975-6666 to talk to a Moonworks professional.

General Home Improvement

5 Tips for Smart Remodeling

When it comes to home improvements, homeowners are counting their pennies and really thinking about what improvements are worth investing in.  Whether you are looking to sell your home this year or in a decade, making smart home improvement decisions now will allow you to get the biggest bang for your buck.

Below are 5 tips for Smart Remodeling:

Basic Home Improvements#1 Basic Home Maintenance Always Pays Off

While we all would love to have a chef&;s kitchen with granite countertops, this upgrade hardly seems worth it if the roof is leaking and the siding is cracked.  Basic home maintenance such as a new roof, gutter system, siding, windows, working appliances and upgrades to electrical, heating and duct systems are always important selling features.  Many buyers can look past an area of the home that is outdated because they know they can remodel to their taste when the time and budget allow.  A home that needs basic maintenance is something that needs to be addressed immediately and the cost can really add up quickly.

#2 Pay Attention to your Neighborhood

Your neighborhood is a great guide to what types of improvements will pay off.  Are you the only house on the street with cracked, faded siding?  This is an area that you may want to address.  Do all the other homes in the area have 2 bathrooms?  Then upgrading the half bath to a full or adding a bathroom to your 1 bath home is something that will add value.  Keep in mind; buyers are looking in certain neighborhoods because they are interested in those types of homes and the features that they offer.

#3 Home Values Should Guide your Remodeling Decisions

Understandably, you want your home to be a place where you enjoy living, regardless of whether you plan to sell soon or later in the future.  But, there is a line between making improvements that are simply for your enjoyment only (too taste specific) and making improvements that add value.
For example, if your home is worth $200,000 and most homes in your area are valued in that area, you don&;t want to price yourself out of the neighborhood.  Say you are thinking of adding a master bedroom suite complete with a steam shower.  This might sound like a great idea but in the end, will it really pay off?  Probably not.  It is an upgrade that the neighborhood cannot support and frankly something that buyers probably feel falls into the “take it or leave it” category, especially in a $200,000.

#4 Kitchens and Bathrooms Can Sell a House

Updating your kitchen and/or bathrooms can really add value to the home if you are smart about it.  Adding a $10,000 stove to a $200,000 is a cost that is not going to be recouped.  Smart kitchen updates include: wood or tile flooring, all wood cabinets, stone countertops and matching appliances.  You don&;t need to spend a fortune to have a nice kitchen that can be decorated to various different tastes.  Same goes for the bathroom.  If your bathroom is outdated but in good shape and functional, adding a second bathroom may be money better spent that upgrading the one you have to a spa like bathroom.  If you do need to update your bathroom, you can&;t go wrong with a new toilet, vanity, additional storage and fresh, neutral tile.

#5 Pay Attention to Curb Appeal

Curb AppealYour home should give off the appearance of being warm and welcoming.  While basic home maintenance (siding, roofing, windows, doors, etc) really help reflect this image, adding a little décor and style to your home&;s outdoor appearance can go a long way.  On a budget?  Simply planting some flowers, and/or adding some bushes to the landscaping can really make a difference.  Also, try updating the smaller items like mailboxes, outdoor lighting and adding a welcome mat.  These little touches can show that the person who owns the home really put some thought and care into it.

While you want to be smart in improving your home, you also want your home to be a place that reflects your style and is functional for your family.  Using the above tips as a guide will allow you to realize how the decisions your make when remodeling could affect your home&;s selling potential in the future.

What improvements have you done recently or are you thinking of tackling in the near future?  Do you have any additional tips on how to remodel smarter?