Northern Virginia Home Improvement Projects That Deliver High Returns

Filed Under: Virginia Home Remodeling    by: Steve Kayhill

northern-virginia-home-improvementHomeowners tackle certain renovation projects out of necessity. Space considerations, damage or expanding families propel Northern Virginia home improvement projects ahead. But many times a renovation can be viewed as an investment, as well as an improvement, increasing the value of your home. Certain projects deliver a decent benefit, with some actually providing greater returns than the initial investment. How can homeowners choose wisely and invest their money into valuable projects?

Choose the Right Project

The total return often depends on the style of home and the neighborhood itself. A period restoration of a colonial home may be costly, but that house will command an impressive price on the market given the quality and details throughout the property. Newer homes go up in value when modern renovations are completed, such as finished basements, luxury bathrooms and walk-in closets.

A kitchen remodeling project almost always delivers significant return on investment. Since this room is the hub of any home installing up to date fixtures, quality cabinetry and durable, low maintenance flooring is a good idea. Bathroom remodels and additions are also a wise choice, although having too many bathrooms in a home could potentially decrease the overall value and functionality of the space.

Choose the Right Design

The design holds a place of importance when planning Northern Virginia home improvement projects. Optimum designs combine function with form and stay away from trends and bold statements. Classic layouts ensure that your new kitchen or bath will remain attractive to any buyer, while high quality, beautiful fixtures and finishing create an impressive appearance that will last.

Think about how the renovated space will work with the entire house, including traffic flow throughout the rooms, decorating and scope. You want your whole home to appear well designed and practical, not just the new space. If a larger home remodel seems daunting consider each stage of the project individually while maintaining an end view of the whole house.

Choose the Right Contractor

An experienced contractor is a must when planning projects of this scale. You could attempt a DIY painting project or work on smaller components of the large job on your own. But when it comes to home improvement that will increase the value of your property the skills and expertise of contractors are a necessity.

Contractors guide you through the design phase, pointing out difficulties and challenges with your vision. They also offer advice on the best materials and layout. Homeowners need to do an enormous amount of research to match the knowledge an experienced contractor offers. And isn’t your time better spent elsewhere? Trust the pros to do their job and have a home renovation project done right the first time.

Renovations deliver a variety of benefits to homeowners. From better function, more attractive living space and greater levels of comfort to an increased property value, Northern Virginia home improvement projects that are completed with care offer a positive return. Invest in your home, your family and your future with home renovations done by a professional contractor.

Get Ready For Winter With Virginia Home Improvement Projects

Filed Under: Virginia Home Remodeling    by: Steve Kayhill

virginia_home_improvement_winterThe summer is winding down and cooler temperatures are invading the night. Is your house ready for winter? Take a look at these simple, yet beneficial Virginia home improvement projects that will help your residence gear up for the coming cold.

Fireplace and Chimney Inspection

Along with a check up of your central heating system, the fall is an ideal time to schedule a fireplace inspection and chimney cleaning. These processes – many times offered by the same company – help to clear any creosote build up and reduce the risk of chimney fires significantly.

Keeping your fireplace or wood stove in peak condition will ensure it remains efficient. Heating bills continue to rise and it is more important than ever to maintain your existing systems. Both wood burning hearth appliances and those fueled by natural gas need to be inspected. Keep your family safe by following the maintenance schedule outlined in the owner’s manual of your hearth appliance.

Door and Window Replacements

Drafts steal heat out of your home and contribute to an uncomfortable atmosphere. Older windows (single pane or those with deteriorating frames) also make it more difficult to capture the warmth of the sun in those long months of winter. Open up your home and maintain a cozy level of heat with a window replacement project. Even if you choose strategic locations and replace a few windows at a time, this project will pay back major dividends.

Improperly insulated doors can also leave gaps that are unsafe and inefficient. Consider how much better your home will look and feel with a new front door and sidelights. Or how about upgrading from an older style to the latest composite doors, known for their durability and strength? Take a good look at the windows and doors in your home and think about how a Virginia home improvement project would spruce up the appearance while offering more comfort and efficiency.

Roof Replacement

Fall is also an ideal time to take a look at your roof. Harsh heat and summer storms can take a toll on shingles, causing them to deteriorate much faster than expected. Your local Virginia contractors have a variety of roofing options available – from metal roofing to lifetime shingles and even recycled rubber products. Research and compare the brands and styles currently on the market.

This is a major investment, but when your roof is worn and aged there should be no hesitation. Replacing the roof before any major leaks occur is the best option. And tackling this project in the fall will help you to rest easy this winter, knowing the interior of your home is well covered and protected.

Although you may not be looking forward to the coming winter, time marches on. Preparations will allow you to make the best of the cold and enjoy all of the pleasures that winter has to offer. Take on the Virginia home improvement projects that apply to your home and are within the budget. Then settle in, knowing you and your house are ready.

Small Northern Virginia Home Improvement Projects With Big Returns

Filed Under: Virginia Home Remodeling    by: Steve Kayhill

northern_virginia_home_improvement_smallNot all Northern Virginia home improvement projects are vast and expensive. Many are smaller and much more manageable on a limited budget. Some you can tackle as a DIY project and others will require the help of a professional contractor, but all of these home reno ideas deliver maximum impact for minimal work.

A New Coat of Paint

It’s amazing what a new coat of paint will do to your home – inside and out. Your interior living space can be rejuvenated or completely redecorated with a fresh paint job. Ripping down old wallpaper takes a fair amount of time, but paint-over-paint finishes (especially when covering over a lighter shade) are easy. Depending on the size of the project and the preparation involved, this home improvement project may take only a day or two.

Repainting the exterior of your home may be a lengthier project, but it will still deliver a major change with only minimal investment. Call a local general contractor or professional painting firm to get a quote on painting your wood or aluminum siding, window frames and trim. Some homeowners may dare to DIY an exterior painting project, but unless they are skilled and have the proper equipment this job can turn into a difficult and lengthy task.

Bathroom Refresh

If your bathroom is tired looking and the plumbing fixtures need an upgrade, consider doing a quick refresh renovation. Leaving all of the tiling, flooring, showers and/or tub, a bathroom makeover often consists of new water saving faucets and taps, an attractive and modern low flush toilet, possibly a new vanity or countertop and a fresh coat of paint. It sounds expensive, but these upgrades can be done for a reasonable cost and the new fixtures will help you save money every month on your water bills.

Install a Sliding Patio Door

Replacing your existing patio door is a simple job that can help control drafts, provide better energy efficiency and decrease the maintenance requirements (especially if your existing patio door frame is wood). But for those homes that do not yet have a sliding patio door, this affordable Northern Virginia home improvement project will literally transform your living space.

Your family room or kitchen will be much brighter with sliders installed. Much more than just another entrance, patio doors offer nearly floor to ceiling viewing. This creates a gorgeous view from the inside of your home, allowing you to appreciate your yard all year round.

In order to make the sliding door a practical entrance and exit you will likely need to set up a small exterior space to wipe your shoes and boots. Building a wood deck or a stone patio will extend your living space even more, but if that’s not in the budget for this year a few patio slabs on a gravel base will work just fine. The idea is to provide an even surface at the entrance that is easily cleaned.

From a fresh coat of paint to refreshing your bathroom or installing a sliding patio door, these smaller Northern Virginia home improvement projects will have a larger impact than you think. Call in the professionals to be sure the job is done well and choose quality materials for an attractive, durable finish. Look around your home for many more opportunities where spending a little bit of money will make a big improvement to your home.

Go Green at Home With Northern Virginia Home Improvement Projects

Filed Under: Virginia Home Remodeling    by: Steve Kayhill

northern_virginia_home_improvement_greenHome is where you tend to have the most influence. So when your family wants to make a positive impact on the environment it makes sense to start at home. There are all sorts of different Northern Virginia home improvement projects that will help your family go green – ranging in scale from small to large and everywhere in between. Choose an area to focus on and put these positive changes into effect.

Plumbing Upgrades

Upgrading the plumbing fixtures in your bathroom, kitchen and laundry area is an excellent way to save water. Low flow toilets and water saving taps, faucets and showerheads are all fairly inexpensive to install and over time these upgrades may save you more than the initial cost.

Consider adding pipe wrap to your copper plumbing to cut down on your water heater’s energy requirements. Some of these simple green home improvement projects can be done yourself, but any major replacements or upgrades should be handled by a general contractor or plumbing firm.

New Windows and Doors

Perhaps one of the most effective renovation projects homeowners can do is window and/or door replacement. These areas of your home are some of the main culprits for heat loss (and wasted energy as a result). Upgrades include double or triple paned glass, low E coatings and argon-filled windows that will provide an effective barrier against heat loss all year round.

New doors are also helpful and will provide more security as well as lowering your energy bills. Choose environmentally friendly materials for the frames – including low maintenance vinyl, made from a recyclable product or charming timber, made from a renewable resource.

Flooring Upgrades

Take a look at your kitchen and living space. If your traditional flooring is looking worn and tired the best replacements are eco friendly products like bamboo (incredibly strong), cork (durable and dependable) and even salvaged wood flooring (beautiful and completely recycled). Carpet can also be installed, although you should ask about the adhesives used and be sure the off-gases are not harmful to your family.

There are plenty of low maintenance tiles to choose from as well, although these need to be installed by a professional in order to obtain the most durable and attractive finish.

Insulation and Siding

Your heating and cooling bills are the most obvious marker of how green your home is. If the usage is high take steps to lower it (and save money) with new siding and beefed up insulation. Your original wood or aluminum siding may have gaps and holes that are stealing hot air (in winter) and cool air (in summer) from the inside of your home, increasing your energy usage and utility bills. By replacing the siding with attractive, professionally installed vinyl siding you can look forward to less drafts and a better insulated home.

Attic and wall insulation can also be added during a roofing or siding renovation. This will make a significant difference in the comfort level of your home, as well as your heating and cooling bills. Talk to an experienced general contracting firm about doing a combination renovation to be sure that your house is well insulated and sealed up against heat loss.

From minor plumbing upgrades through to window replacements and siding renovations, there are plenty of Northern Virginia home improvement projects that will allow your family to go green. Each of these will offer savings over time as well as reduce your carbon footprint or encourage water conservation. Little steps or major changes, every move makes a difference and shows your family’s commitment to the planet.