Why Should I Do Home Improvements?

There are several different reasons improvements are done and you will find that they are very time consuming. They are however usually worth the energy and time that you put in to them and you are bound to appreciate the outcome. An improvements is basically altering and changing the home.

The exterior and interior of a home can undergo improvements. Enhancing the beauty and value of a home is just one reason for improvements, they can also be done to repair any damages. Adding more space and making the home safer is anther reason for home improvements.

Some of the types of improvements done to make your home prettier is interior design type projects. This projects include painting and wallpapering the walls or ceilings, adding new flooring, or upgrading and adding doors and widows. You can add beauty and style to your home by doing these improvements. Improvements can often be as little as changing a blown light bulb or even as big as rebuilding the home after a disaster.

Home improvement prices can change drastically. A common improvement that is done is changing the kitchen or bathrooms of a home. Some homes may not have the cabinet space they need therefore extra cabinets need to be added. Some improvements involved upgrading to elegant fixtures in the bathrooms or kitchen. You can find gorgeous fixtures very affordable.

When doing improvements to repair damages these can include electrical fixes or upgrades, plumbing repairs, or roof replacement. Of course these are not the only things people have to repair around their homes. Repairs often need to be made around the home at any given time.

The safety of the home has become an improvement that most people are doing by adding security systems. Cameras or security systems are improvements that will keep your family and your home safe. This is a great improvement to make to any home.

Adding extra rooms and closets is another home improvement that is quite popular. People add room for different reasons some of which are for more bedrooms, an office, or to add another bathroom. These improvements will also raise your homes value. These are very expensive and time consuming improvements but are generally worth it. Whatever home improvement you do, you will be happy with these improvements in the end.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3293231

Home Improvement Tips: Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

Reasons for A Redo

Home improvement projects often begin with someone saying, “Wouldn’t it be nice if… ?” usually followed by a wish for a remodelled kitchen or a room addition for space to accommodate every family member’s needs. More often than not, reality and dreams don’t coincide, due to limited funds for realizing the dream, or limits on the available space. The trick: turning your dreams into reality. Begin with a realistic evaluation of your needs. Homeowners usually consider home improvements for one of the following reasons.

You may feel the need to update something that is out-of-date. If your kitchen colour scheme was perfect a few decades ago but no longer works, now may a good time to update it.

Some home improvement projects grow out of an immediate need to replace broken or inefficient fixtures. If a sink, tub, or toilet needs to be replaced, consider taking advantage of the opportunity to do a makeover on the entire bathroom.

If you’re preparing to sell your home, you’ll want to be sure to get top dollar from the sale. That’s great motivation for some home improvement projects.

You have decided that staying put and improving your home is a better option than moving.

Your family has grown and you need more space.

Improving to Move? or Improving to Stay?

Evaluate your plans carefully if you’re improving your home to list it for sale. Cutting corners may hurt your prospects rather than helping them. But don’t go overboard either. Potential buyers may prefer not to pay for some of the extras, such as a hot tub or pool. You’re better off keeping the changes simple.

And remember that buyers who view your home may not share your tastes and may not appreciate the care you took to find just the right shade of green paint for the walls.

You’ll find that improving to sell is easier if you can think about it from the prospective buyer’s point of view: What is important to the home buyer? Here are a few remodelling projects buyers are likely to find valuable:

Adding or remodelling a bath

Improving the kitchen

Adding a new room

Landscaping

Adding a bedroom

Adding or enclosing a garage.

If you’re remodelling because you want to stay in your home, you should still avoid over-improving it. You’ll probably want to sell it someday, and even if your house is the best on the block, it may be difficult to convince potential buyers to pay for the things you considered important. And when you consider making improvements, keep in mind the value of other homes in the area. Your home’s value should not be more than 20% above the average, which means that a $10,000 kitchen improvement project well could be a better investment than a $10,000 hot tub, especially if yours will be the only home in the area with a hot tub.

Home Maintenance versus Home Improvements

It’s unfortunate that some home improvement projects are undertaken because something has broken. Replacing a leaky bathtub may be the first step to a major bath remodeling: since the tub has to be replaced anyway, why not do the whole room?

While that might be a legitimate reason to remodel, avoid basing your home improvement projects on immediate needs. You’ll be better off if you minimize problems with proper maintenance. Examine every part of your home at least once a year. Check the roof, the plumbing, electrical wiring, etc. As soon as become aware of a problem, fix it. Making repairs when you’re first aware of them will help you avoid larger expenses later on. Keep in mind that maintenance does not add to the value of your home. Usually repairs are not improvements; they are necessities.

Hiring Professionals May Save You Time and Money

It should go without saying that home projects can be expensive, so you may be tempted to tackle them yourself as a way to save money. That may be a smart move for small projects. You won’t have to wait for someone to fit your house into their busy schedule, and you can boast about having done the work yourself.

But unless you’re very versatile, major home improvements are better left to professionals. If you decide to remodel the kitchen and plan to do the work yourself, will you be able to handle the plumbing, electrical, and carpentry work on your own?. And don’t forget that you’ll need to finish it quickly, because you won’t have a kitchen as long as it’s a “work in process” and eating three meals a day in restaurants could get expensive. Keep in mind, do-it-yourself jobs generally take more time. And you’ll be responsible for getting all the necessary permits and inspections.

Hiring people who have the required experience can save you money and time, too. For example, these professionals can help you get a custom look using stock products, and that can be a significant savings. Getting something done right the first time will give you value that lasts for years.

To find qualified and dependable home improvement specialists, check with friends, business associates, and neighbours for recommendations. Always get at least three references, and check them out thoroughly. Also check with the local chapter of the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce. Their numbers can be found in the community services section of your telephone book.

Once you’ve located the necessary home improvement specialists, make sure everyone is in agreement about the design, the schedule, and the budget, and get the details down in writing in a signed contract.

It’s also wise to check on professional certifications and licenses, where required, and be certain that the contractors you hire are fully insured and bonded. Your town or city Building Department can provide that information. And it’s very important that you make sure contractors carry workers’ compensation insurance: if workers are injured on the job, you won’t be liable if the contractor is covered. Request copies of their insurance certificates. And make sure that either you or your contractor have gotten any necessary permits before the work begins. Contact your local Planning and Zoning Commission for information.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the professionals you may need to work with when you remodel your home:

Architect: Architects design homes or additions from the foundation to the roof. If your project will require structural changes such as adding or removing walls, or if the design is complex, you will probably need an architect. Since architects may charge an hourly or a flat fee, make sure you get an estimate of the total cost: drawing up the plans for a major remodeling project can take 80 hours or more.

Contractor: The contractor oversees the home improvement project, including hiring and supervising workers, getting the necessary permits, making sure inspections are done as needed, and providing insurance for work crews. It’s always a good idea to get proposals from one or more reputable contractors, based on the specific details of your project.

Be sure each contractor bids on exactly the same plan so that you can compare their bids more easily. When you’ve chosen a contractor, make sure the contract specifies that you will pay in stages. You’ll usually pay one third when the contract is signed so that the contractor can buy supplies. The number and timing for making the remaining payments will depend on the size of the project. Do not make the final payment until all the work is successfully completed, inspected, and approved.

Interior Designers: Interior designers are specialists who will provide advice on furnishings, wall coverings, colors, styles, and more. They help save you time by narrowing your selection, and save money because they usually receive professional discounts from their suppliers. When meeting with an interior designer, be sure to tell them about your personal style and preferences. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour, or you may be able to negotiate a flat fee of approximately 25% of the total project cost.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7198211

IFD, Vicinity Media launch cost-effective location-based mobile advertising

Interface Digital (IFD) and Vicinity Media have partnered to deliver location-based mobile advertising solutions to drive feet to participating stores in a more efficient and cost effective manner.
IFD, Vicinity Media launch cost-effective location-based mobile advertising
“Location based advertising (LBA) allows companies to adjust their marketing messages to suit a number of specific scenarios,” says Dennis Armstrong, MD of Interface Digital. “Not only are they able to geographically target customers (down to street level), but their marketing can also be adjusted dynamically to suit variables such as a specific time of day or prevailing weather conditions.”

How it works

“Imagine an invisible fence (e.g. 5km) setup around your location or destination,” says Charles Talbot, Vicinity Media’s chief of publisher development. “We then serve mobile ads across our partner publisher network that includes most major sports, news and entertainment titles in South Africa. Any person browsing those channels within the geo-fenced area will then be able to view and respond to the marketing served.”

You own a hardware store and want to run a Saturday DIY special on tiles, specifically targeting individuals (within a desired radius of your store).
The campaign would target mobile users who are viewing content relating to home improvement, interior design, flooring and relevant topics of that nature.
You will then serve your advertisement, offering (for example) 15% discount on all tiles and/or other products that specific day, and provide the viewer with a unique promo code or voucher they can use at your store.
The ad further provides you location, contact details, map and estimated travelling time – depending if the client walks or drives.

“Obviously the point of any digital marketing is the ability to accurately track and measure campaign performance. Through our partners, Interface Digital, clients will receive detailed reports providing accurate data on each interaction and option taken by their customers, allowing for additional campaign optimisation and increased ROI over the duration of their campaign.”

“Knowing where your customers are and how they behave (based on their online activity), allows you to serve the most relevant marketing messages, at the right time and place,” adds IFD’s Dennis Armstrong. “Mobile location-based marketing is effective, because you can personalise your content and target people who are most likely to convert into paying customers. Combine that with the special introductory rates we are now offering and businesses have a real opportunity to significantly increase their return on marketing investment this summer.”

Amazon launches ‘unlimited’ reading for Prime members

WASHINGTON – US online giant Amazon on Wednesday launched a new “Prime Reading” programme for US members of its subscription programme, allowing unlimited reading of a rotating selection of e-books.
Amazon said the “Prime Reading” program would include “over a thousand popular books” ()
Amazon said the “Prime Reading” program would include “over a thousand popular books” (AFP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
“Prime members can now enjoy unlimited reading from a rotating selection of books, magazines, comics and more — at no additional cost,” the online retail giant said in a statement.

The move ramps up Amazon’s effort to win over more Prime subscribers — which costs $99 for US customers — with free shipping, access to its video service, music and more.

Amazon said the program would include “over a thousand popular books” as well as “rotating selection of fresh, full issues of top magazines covering sports, technology, cooking and home improvement, current affairs, notable people and more”.

It will also offer “short-form reads” from its “Kindle Singles”.

The service will be available on a variety of devices including Kindle tablets as well as Apple or Android-powered gadgets.

“Prime is the best deal in the history of shopping and today it got even better,” said Amazon vice president Greg Greeley.

“Prime members can now enjoy an awesome selection of books including ‘The Hobbit,’ ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,’ ‘The Man in the High Castle,’ plus magazines and more.”

Home improvements – which to make, when to make them

A few strategic upgrades can be a great way to maximise the saleability of your home, but knowing which improvements to make – and when to make them – is vital if you want to avoid overcapitalising.
Home improvements – which to make, when to make them
© Boris Rabtsevich – 123RF.com
“There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to the perfect time to renovate a property for the purpose of adding value,” says Tony Clarke, MD of the Rawson Property Group. “It all boils down to what condition your home is currently in, what other properties in the neighbourhood are like, and how long you intend to wait before selling.” While the best way to get an accurate assessment of these factors is to consult a real estate agent in your area, the following situations could indicate the potential for a profitable home improvement.

You’ve lost touch with the Jones’

“The nicest house in the neighbourhood will have fewer opportunities to add value than the ugly duckling on the block,” says Clarke, “so if you’re already in the top tier of properties in your area, renovating purely for profit may not be a great idea. If your home is outdated, run-down, or less comfortable than your neighbours, however, a few renovations could add significant value.”

You’re at the bottom-end of the price range

“Take the current value of your home and compare it to the highest average listing price for top-tier properties in your area of a similar size to yours,” says Clarke. “The difference between these figures is the maximum amount you could spend on renovations and potentially recoup on a sale. If the difference is minimal, consider focussing on maintenance rather than major improvements. If the difference is significant, however, there could be room to renovate key areas of your home and see a decent profit.”

Your house has seen better days

“Never underestimate the value of maintenance,” says Clarke. “A well-loved and looked after home will always sell better than a run-down one, even if it’s not as modern or trendy as it could be. Refurbishing basic structures, fixtures and fittings may not be as glamorous as a full renovation, but can have an excellent cost-to-return ratio. If your windows, doors, lights, air-conditioning or other property features have seen better days, seriously consider giving them a once-over.”

You’re not in a hurry to sell

“Unless you’ve bought a fixer-upper for a steal, it can take a few years for the cost of improvements to be fully reflected in your sales price,” says Clarke, “so if you’re planning on selling within a year or two, you may be better off sticking to more affordable, cosmetic upgrades.” There are some exceptions to this rule, however. “Kitchen and bathroom renovations are renowned for giving the most bang for your buck,” says Clarke, “and if these areas are very outdated or in bad shape, a smart renovation could pay off in the short term. Remember to keep your budget realistic, though, and keep the price ceiling in your area in mind at all times.”

You want to improve your own lifestyle

“Your house isn’t just a financial asset,” says Clarke. “It’s also a place in which you and your family should be able to thrive. Quality of life is very valuable, and shouldn’t be discounted when weighing up the pros and cons of a potential renovation. That swimming pool, or games room or workshop might not pay for itself when you sell, but the value it adds to your life in the meanwhile could still make it a good investmen

Home Improvement Catalogs – Why Home Improvement Catalogs Make Great Resources

Home improvement catalogs are must haves for anyone who is thinking of remodeling their home or doing any kind of do it yourself project. There are many reasons why they are essential, and if you haven’t already gone out and picked up as many as you can possibly get your hands on I strongly recommend that you do so in the near future. The first use for home improvement catalogs is stealing ideas. From kitchen color schemes to which bathroom fixtures go with your tile floor, looking at their models can give you ideas of your own. You don’t have to hire an expensive interior decorator, but you do need to do some homework. Consider home improvement catalogs your textbooks and be sure to study. The second use for home improvement catalogs is to compare prices. Buy a Sunday paper, look through the ads and compare the prices of products found at home improvement warehouses to their catalog counterparts. Be sure to account for the cost of shipping that catalogs charge, and make sure you’re aware of sales that the regular stores will be having. Don’t be afraid to ask an associate if something in particular will be going on sale soon. If you see something in a catalog that you like, but don’t see it in a circular, call the store and ask for the price on the item. If you have enough home improvement catalogs, you can get a ton of great ideas and save a lot of money. If after you’ve done all of your research and have decided to hire a contractor and interior decorator to do all of the hard work, you can still put your home improvement catalogs to good use. Throw them under a wobbly table, and your home will be instantly improved! Published at: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=183348&ca=Home+Management

Home Improvement How To: Tips For Learning Home Improvement How To The Easy Way

If you want to remodel your home or fix some things up, some of the greatest resources you can get your hands on are home improvement how to books. While you might have to shell out a couple of hundred dollars to buy these books from a bookstore, the time and money you’ll save in finding and hiring skilled laborers can make it more than worth the investment. Plumbers, for example, can charge up to $150 per hour, plus travel time to and from your house. Of course, this $150 per hour fee does not include the materials the plumber will need to repair or improve your plumbing. Electricians can charge just as much, and you also have to deal with inviting a relative stranger into your home. Also, if they make mistakes you might have to rehire somebody else to fix the problems. Home improvement how to books help you to teach yourself the ins and outs of what skilled laborers and contractors already know. Depending on which books you choose to buy, some even come with diagrams that will show you (as well as provide written instructions) how to rewire things or work on pipes. If you have enough time to search for the right books and then spend the hours required to learn what they’re trying to teach you, you can save a ton of money. In addition to picking up some home improvement how to books, you might want to head over to your local home improvement warehouse store and pick the brains of the people who work there. Unlike people found in general stores, most of the time they know what they’re talking about and can help you with any problems that you’re having. From making suggestions to the right materials to buy to best suit your needs to suggesting which books to buy, they can be an awesome tool to use. Published at: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=179200&ca=Home+Management

Online Home Improvement Loans – How To Finance A Home Improvement Project?

Finding a qualified contractor for a home improvement project is painless. On the other hand, financing a home improvement project often poses a challenge. If you own a home, you will likely need to make necessary home repairs in the upcoming future. This could be replacing the siding, windows, roof, etc. Because the average homeowner does not have thousands of dollars in disposable cash, most will finance the project. Home Equity Loans and Home Improvements There are several ways to finance a home improvement project. One method involves taking out a second mortgage on your home. Commonly referred to as home equity loans, second mortgages allow homeowners to borrow money against their home’s equity. Because of a booming housing market, some homeowners are able to borrow tens of thousands of dollars. The interest rate on home equity loans is reasonable, and the funds are repaid within a few years. Low Interest Rate Retail Credit Cards If a local home improvement retailer will be managing your home improvement project, you may consider obtaining a store charge account. This way, you can purchase all the necessary materials and pay the balance over time. If your credit is good, you may qualify for a low interest rate or 0% financing for the first 12 months. Although obtaining a store credit card is convenient and tempting, carefully weigh the pros and cons before applying. Can you realistically afford another monthly payment? Furthermore, if you get approved for a credit card, avoid spending too much money. If you have several home improvement projects that need completing, payoff the balance incurred from the first project prior to buying materials for the next project. Finance Home Improvement Project with a Contractor The majority of home improvement contractors offer financing. However, the rates are higher and you can usually find a better loan package on your own. On the other hand, if you are having a hard time securing outside financing, accepting a contractor’s terms is the next best thing. Before choosing a contractor, get estimates from at least four other contractors. You will save money by shopping around. Moreover, do not accept an offer until you review a copy of the final contract. If you have difficulty understanding certain terms or the language, opt to have the contract reviewed by an attorney before signing. Published at: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=33921&ca=Finances

Bad Credit Home Improvement Loans – Home Improvement Personal Loan Options

Home improvement projects are expensive, and most homeowners choose to finance the project. Having a high credit rating makes obtaining a home improvement loan easy. While bad credit will not enable a homeowner from securing financing, the chances of getting a good rate are low. Here are a few options available to help homeowners get approved for a bad credit home improvement loan. Secured Home Improvement Loan If your credit rating is low, lenders will not approve a loan application for an unsecured loan. Hence, homeowners must resort to applying for a secured personal loan, which requires collateral. When home improvements are necessary, many homeowners take advantage of their home’s equity. There are two types of home equity loan options, and both are secured by your home’s equity. If applying for a home equity loan, homeowners may acquire a lump sum of money that can be used for any purpose. Common uses include home improvement projects, debt consolidation, etc. Another option involves the home equity line of credit. With this loan option, homeowners open a line of credit with a mortgage lender. As needed, the homeowner may withdraw funds from the account using a debit card or checkbook. This option is ideal for homeowners who are undertaking many home improvement projects over an extended length of time. Other Loan Options for Home Improvement Projects Because home equity loan options are secured by a home’s equity, homeowners must maintain regular payments. Defaulting on a home equity loan has serious consequences. To avoid the risk of losing their home and equity, some homeowners explore other options. If needing to finance a quick, low-cost home improvement project, homeowners with poor credit may consider applying for a short term cash advance loan. Some cash advance lenders offer loans up to $3000. This is ideal for small home improvement projects. Cash advance loan companies require repayment of funds within 14 to 30 days. Before applying for a short term loan, borrowers should evaluate their personal finances. Loans require no credit check or collateral. However, if a borrower fails to repay the loan or make payment arrangements, the loan company can seek a judgment against the borrower. Published at: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=45549&ca=Finances

How Not To Alienate Your Home Improvement Contractor Or How To Guarantee An Excellent Home Improvement Project From Hired Help

The following article was written from the expert advice of an experienced 20-year contractor. Having contracted jobs from over two hundred homeowners in five different cities, his advice suggests some things that you can to do prevent things like confusion and conflicts on the job. Although we never enter into an agreement believing things will go wrong or turn sour, things happen and have the potential of unnecessarily creating a bad working relationship. Hopefully the following hints will help you help your contractor do the best job that he or she can do. 1. Resist the urge to talk to your contractor about things that aren’t related to the job. Because your hired contractor has so many things on his mind and a set deadline to meet, irrelevant chatter is nothing more than distracting and a waste of time. This doesn’t mean that your contractor is a grouch or has no interest in you as a homeowner. In fact, some of the conversations that you have with him will shed some light on the problems that you’re trying to solve with your home improvement project. But it really isn’t necessary that he or she know where you graduated, or where you’ll go on vacation five years from now. Conversations like these are better served at time when your contractor is off the job, has a little time to spare, and is invited to your home as a guest – not an employee. 2. Don’t tell your contractor how to do the job or offer to help. Even if you think what you have to offer or suggest is helpful, your contractor knows best. Contractors have spent years in trade school and years of training-on-the-job and they already know what they’re doing – else they wouldn’t be on the job. (We promise!) We don’t believe you would like it if your boss or another co-worker (especially one without the skills that you have) told you how to do your job at work, would you? Nah! So please extend the same courtesy and trust that your contractor will fulfill your contract exactly as stated. Besides, problems could occur if your contractor follows your advice or accepts your help – and you later discover that your advice is the cause of a failed installation. In a court situation, you could be found at fault for interfering. 3. Don’t ask for more than what’s contracted. If you discover that you’d like additional work, don’t try to squeeze in more work than the labor that your contractor is already performing. You must remember that your contractor is only legally bound to perform the work outlined in your contract. Anything more requires another contract. 4. Be polite and extend the same courtesy to your contractor that you would extend to anyone else. Your home improvement contractor is not your servant (not that you should disrespect your servant either)! The point is that your behavior can affect the way that your contractor behaves toward you. And if you want to help to create a working environment that’s pleasant to everyone involved, have respect for your contractor and the hard work that he’s accomplishing. In return, you’ll not only get a perfect job, you’ll get an excellent resource for other work that you’d like to have done! Published at: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=72326&ca=Home+Management