Tag Archives: home improvement projects

How To Get The Most Value From Your Home Improvement Project

Remodeled kitchen

Kitchen Remodel, Bothell

We all want to get the biggest bang for our buck, especially when it comes to home improvement. While it might be tempting to hire the cheapest contractor you can find, that can and often does backfire. There are many other ways to cut project costs. Following are some useful tips that can help you save money without sacrificing reliability and quality of workmanship.

1. Shop carefully for materials. You can save a lot of money shopping sales and comparing materials at different suppliers. For example, if you’re installing hardwood floors, you may be able to save several thousand dollars on materials by choosing flooring that runs $10/square foot vs. $14 that is just as good.

Habitat for Humanity’s Home Improvement Outlet Stores can be a valuable resource. They are open to the public and offer deep discounts on a wide variety of home furnishings including appliances, doors, windows, flooring, countertops, plumbing fixtures, and much more. At the same time your purchases help finance low-income housing for qualified Habitat families. Two nearby locations:

The Habitat Store Snohomish County

2302 Broadway

Everett, WA 98201

The Habitat Stores King County

21 S. Nevada St.

Seattle, WA 98134

13500 Bel Red Rd.

Bellevue, WA 98005

Additional bargain shopping opportunities:

Second Use

3223 6th Ave S

Seattle, WA 98134

The RE Store

1440 NW 52nd St

Seattle, WA 98107

2. Consider doing projects in the off season. Most contractors start getting busy in the spring and slow down during late fall and winter during the holidays and colder winter months. If you plan your project when their schedules are open you won’t be competing with other homeowners who may have bigger budgets or bigger jobs.

3. Consider doing your project in stages. If you’ve found a reliable contractor but his bid is too high and there’s no room for negotiation, consider doing the project in stages. A good contractor will recognize that gaining a customer for a smaller job with prospects for future work is worthwhile.

4. Talk to References. Before hiring any contractor, ask to speak with other homeowners who hired the contractor for a similar project. Ask them about their experience and where they felt they could have saved a few dollars.

5. Consider doing prep work yourself where you can. For example, if you plan to have the exterior of your house painted, you can save money by clearing the area around the house yourself and power washing just prior to when painting is scheduled to begin.

6. Reconsider your plans. Review the details of your project with your contractor and ask if there are any design elements in your home that can stay and be incorporated into the job rather than replaced. For example, perhaps you can save money (and not compromise too much on design) if you paint and reuse doors rather than purchase new ones.

Top 5 Home Improvement Projects


Kitchen Remodel and Full Home Renovation

Kitchen Remodel and Full Home Renovation

If you are planning a home improvement project we have good news to share with you. According to the Remodeling 2014 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvsvalue.com), for the second consecutive year the value of home remodeling projects is rebounding, with a 5.5% jump (national average) from last year and the largest increase since 2005. A consistent trend in real estate’s rising resale value is driving the overall improvement.

The survey includes data from 35 projects ranging from lower cost improvements such as entry and garage door replacement to upscale remodeling projects and home additions. The report compares the average cost for these improvements against the value they are expected to yield at resale. Actual numbers will vary depending on specific neighborhoods and how closely the improvements match the report’s project description.

According to the report, the top five home improvements with the highest potential rate of return in Seattle are: 1) Entry Door Replacement 2) Minor Kitchen Remodel 3) Siding Replacement 4) Garage Door Replacement and 5) Window Replacement.

Entry Door Replacement (steel): Exterior replacement projects often yield a better return than remodeling projects. They are some of the least expensive and non-discretionary improvements to make that add instant curb appeal. Replacing an entry door is a relatively simple job, highly cost effective, and may also reduce utility costs. According to the report, up to 104.1% of the cost can be recouped to replace an existing door with a midrange steel door and new lockset.

Minor Kitchen Remodel: A minor remodel of a 200 square foot kitchen that is functional but in need of cosmetic updates. It includes replacing cabinet and drawer fronts, including hardware, but leaving the cabinet boxes intact. Replace laminate countertops, sink, faucet, flooring, wall covering, and paint the trim. Replace wall oven and cook top with new energy-efficient models. Being careful to stay within a modest budget this type of remodel could yield a 97.9% return.

Siding Replacement (fiber cement): Siding replacement is good value and can significantly increase curb appeal by improving the overall look of a home’s exterior. Replacing siding with fiber-cement siding can yield an average return of 87.9% on your investment (in comparison vinyl siding yields 67.7% and foam-backed vinyl siding 71%). However, when deciding on the best siding materials for your home it is also important to keep in mind the style of your home and the others in your neighborhood. For instance, replacing traditional wood siding with vinyl may actually detract from the home’s value.

Garage Door Replacement: Replace an older garage door with a new high tensile strength steel door on new heavy-duty galvanized steel tracks (reuse existing motorized opener). The upscale category door is foam insulated with thermal seals between pinch-resistant panels, includes top panel insulated windows, and has a lifetime warranty. The return on this improvement is expected to be 87.6%. The midrange category door is un-insulated, single-layer, embossed steel with a 10-year limited warranty and yields an average 85% return. Similar to replacing the entry door, garage door replacement is a relatively inexpensive improvement that adds resale value by increasing curb appeal. The added convenience of a highly functional door goes without saying.

Window Replacement (vinyl): Replacing older double-hung windows with insulated vinyl windows is the 5th project with the highest potential rate of return. The highest yield on window replacement is 86.9% and is based on a midrange product, wrapping the existing trim to match, and not disturbing the interior trim. Midrange insulated wood windows with the exterior clad in vinyl or aluminum has a slightly lower return of 82.3%. Alternatively, one can expect a 79.3-86% replacement value when choosing upscale, insulated, low-E, divided-lite vinyl or wood windows. The added comfort and energy savings achieved are yours to enjoy above and beyond the resale value of this improvement. © 2014 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2014 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.

Our expertise is matching customers with the most appropriate service professional for their project. Each contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured, has successfully passed a thorough screening process including reference checks and regular credential audits, and continues to meet high standards of workmanship and professionalism.

Home Remodeling Projects Can Be Fun, But Challenging.

Our mission is simple – to ensure our customers accomplish their home improvement projects successfully, from concept to completion. Remodeling projects, whether it be one room or your entire home, require careful planning. Initial design, preparing plans, material choices, obtaining permits, and installation is a lot to think about and manage – all while keeping the project on budget.

To help you accomplish your home improvement goals, we take great measures to ensure our network of home service professionals are some of the best in their field. We are excited to welcome and introduce Meg Keogh to our team of remodeling professionals. Meg’s attention to detail, ability to listen and address your needs and concerns, and keen eye for design are just a few of her qualities.

We are confident we have the right professionals to recommend for your remodeling needs and will be there for you throughout the entire process. If you are considering a home improvement project, please give me a call at 425-775-9085 to discuss or submit a work request.

We look forward to assisting with your next remodeling project!