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Get expert decorating ideas, watch H&H TV, see inside celebrity homes, find how-to tips, DIY projects, small spaces and kitchen makeovers. There are always extra costs. That’s because home renovation planning takes a little bit of guess work. How do you know if you have lead pipes or that your oven in a potential fire hazard? To avoid blowing your household budget, due to unexpected reno costs, add a contingency fund. Most contractors suggest adding 10% but larger projects may need a 20% contingency fund. Talk to your contractor for a better understanding of what this extra money could potentially cover.

There are two golden rules that you should remember when planning improvements. The first is not to spend more than you have to. Never improve a house to the point where its desired sale price would be more than, say, 20% higher than the most expensive of the other … Read more

Getting Help With Home Improvement Costs

Better Home and Gardens just released the results of a national survey asking two distinct sets of homeowners what they want to change in their home for 2018. Why it pays off: A deck will provide you with more than a place to flip burgers and soak up the sun. Buyers see a deck as offering a seamless transition from inside to out,” says Jerry Levine, president of the Levine Group, an architectural and construction firm in Silver Spring, Maryland. Experts suggest using natural, rustic wood. In 2007 wooden decks (as opposed to concrete or composite ones) reaped an impressive return on investment: Home owners who spent an average of $10,350 on lumber and labor could expect to recoup $8,840, or 85 percent of their costs.

House plants are this season’s hottest accessory and there is a plethora of planter options available from any decent homewares store. But a hand-made … Read more

House Renovation Loans

Designer Felix Guyon shares a penthouse in a 25-storey building on Nuns’ Island in Montreal, with a stunning view of the Saint Lawrence River. When you add green energy features to your home, the appeal and value is increased immediately. Make a clean sweep throughout the entire house. Change all light bulbs to CFLs, purchase low-energy appliances, replace toilets and showers with low-flow features, swap old windows for energy-efficient ones, filter your spigot water so you can ditch the plastic bottles, and add a programmable thermostat so you can turn down the heat when you are gone during the day,” suggest Graboyes.

The positives of renovating a 1980’s home can include good foundations, big layouts and solid double brick walls. On the downside, you might have to contend with weak natural lighting, poor ventilation, low ceilings and minimal environmental efficiency. Yet despite some negatives, 1980’s homes can be optimum candidates … Read more

What’s The Difference Between A House And A Home?

Designer Felix Guyon shares a penthouse in a 25-storey building on Nuns’ Island in Montreal, with a stunning view of the Saint Lawrence River. In the hottest housing markets, springing for a kitchen or bath remodel is a sure-fire investment, often returning more than 100 percent of the cost. In Baltimore, for instance, a $9,400 bathroom remodel recouped 182 percent of its cost at resale, according to Remodeling’s 2004 study. The markets in Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco and San Diego also offered triple-digit returns on a bathroom remodel. Minor kitchen remodels (average cost: $15,273) also provided returns of more than 100 percent in cities including Providence, R.I., Miami, New Orleans and, of course, San Diego, where a $17,928 investment netted $27,000 on resale.

Zopa surveyed 1,550 UK homeowners who had recently taken out a home improvement loan. With either option, you’re pledging your home as collateral , … Read more

Home And House Magazine

Better Home and Gardens just released the results of a national survey asking two distinct sets of homeowners what they want to change in their home for 2018. Make achieving thermal comfort with the lowest ongoing operating cost central to your decision making at every stage. Passive heating and cooling is free to operate but upgrading a home to achieve better thermal comfort (more stars under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS)) does cost money but rewards with lower energy bills — particularly in climates with high auxiliary heating or cooling needs (see Design for climate).

You can spend endless cash on anything from redecorating to extending and even redesigning the entire floor plan of the house, but it’s important that whatever you do, you add value to your home so any improvement is an investment, rather than simply an indulgence. Here are some tips to keep your house … Read more