How to Use Home Improvement Loans To Install Virginia Replacement Windows

Filed Under: Windows    by: Steve Kayhill

virginia_replacement_windows_loanIn these tough economic times many homeowners ignore or put off necessary projects due to a lack of funds. But certain home improvements can actually help you save money and are worth the hassle to take out a loan or arrange for financing. Through greater levels of energy efficiency and by increasing the value of your home Virginia replacement windows are an excellent way to use a home improvement loan wisely.

Where To Obtain Home Improvement Loans

Visit your preferred financial establishment first to find out if they are currently offering any home renovation loan programs. These financing deals take your current credit status into account and use short-term loans with decent interest to make funds available for a specific reason. Replacement windows are a common reason.

If your preferred financial institution is not offering anything, try an Internet search to obtain the names and contact information of other firms that do have these packages available. You may also find information on government grants and environmental programs that will help to offset the cost, if not pay for it all in full. Every little bit helps and often these types of grants and programs do not need to be paid back.

Think about any groups that you belong to. If your professional organization, church group, alumni or neighborhood association has connections with any particular financial establishment the arrangement of this may be easier than you think. If you are a veteran or a civil servant, you may even be able to secure financing through the government for home improvement projects such as window replacement.

Why Virginia Replacement Windows Are Worth the Hassle

Replacing the windows in your home is a smart project that will pay you back in energy savings. Discounts will trickle in over time through reductions on your heating and cooling bills. This occurs because of the design of these new windows – they allow less heat transfer and provide a more airtight finish inside your home.

Even if you don’t have the cash for this project, it may well be worth arranging for alternate financing. This is especially true if your existing windows are single paned or deteriorating at the frame and/or sill. Gaps around the window or an inefficient design will result in major heat loss, which will drive the cost of utilities sky high. Any interest paid for a home improvement loan will be quickly and easily made up through these cost savings.

You’ll need to be thorough when choosing a Virginia window replacement contractor and keep all of your paperwork well organized. The bank may ask for specific forms from the contractor and there may be inspections involved. Requirements and specifications will depend entirely on the institution.

If your home is in need of new Virginia replacement windows and the funds are not readily available it may be wise to investigate a home improvement loan. The cost of financing is outset by the savings on your heating bills and the improved appearance and comfort will make your day to day living much better.

Why Cash Deals With Virginia General Contractors Can Be Dangerous

Filed Under: Virginia Contractor    by: Steve Kayhill

virginia_general_contractors_contractMost homeowners would jump at the chance to secure a good deal, especially in these tight economic times. But when it comes to hiring Virginia general contractors to look after your home renovation, addition or remodel, cash deals can put you in a surprising amount of danger. Find out why these under the table arrangements really are too good to be true.

Assumptions About the Advantages of Cash Deals

Many homeowners assume that a cash deal presents no risk to them. The contractor is simply operating “under the table” to avoid paying income tax. Homeowners also assume that they are saving money by avoiding any state or sales tax. But the reality is that much more is happening during a cash deal, especially when that transaction involves home renovations.

Cash deals are generally un-receipted work, which means that no paperwork is issued and no proof that any particular contractor completed the work exists. This also means that no warranties are in place – neither the workmanship nor the materials are under warranty (unless the homeowner has paid for the materials separately and keeps the receipts). In this way the contractor is avoiding any legal action or service calls in regards to substandard work.

Insurance Coverage Nullified

Homeowners may have trouble obtaining insurance with no receipts to show for the completed renovation work. They may be able to claim that some of the project involved DIY work, but with plumbing, electrical and mechanical work involved that clam could pose a serious problem.

Cash deals often skip the building permit stage as well, since that adds to the cost and also leaves a paper trail (something most under the table Virginia general contractors want to avoid). But your insurance company may cry foul with no building permits issued and coverage could be denied or refused in the case of damage.

In some cases a house sale has been held up or overturned due to the lack of building permits or proper home insurance. Any money saved on the cash deal seems small in comparison to the cost of these hassles.

Beware of Cash Deal Contractor Business Practices

You may be tempted to hire a casual contractor for your Virginia home improvement project. But before you count up any dollars saved, be sure you investigate whether or not that contractor has the proper insurance and safety procedures in place. If not, you could be on the hook for some serious damages should an accident occur.

Liens may also be in place on the materials for your project. If the renovation is large enough, those liens can represent thousands of dollars and the homeowner may be responsible for those dollars should the contractor default on supplier payments. Usually professional and established general contractors will issue a contract spelling out liability and waiving the homeowners from any responsibility for defaulted payments on the contractor’s accounts.

It may seem like that cash deal will save you a lot of money, but if you are not dealing with experienced Virginia general contractors in a professional and legal manner you run some serious risks. Keep it on the up and up and enjoy better peace of mind during your home improvement project.

How to Choose the Best Colors for Virginia Siding

Filed Under: Siding    by: Steve Kayhill

virginia_siding_colorsCurb appeal is an important factor for every home. Elements such as landscaping and architectural design combine to create an attractive face for your house. But many would agree that the color of your Virginia siding is the most important factor in curb appeal. Are there any foolproof methods of choosing the best siding color for your home?

Color Selection

There are a few different aspects that will affect the colors available for your project:

  • What Type of Siding Are You Installing? – Each siding type has a certain range of colors available. Wood and fiber cement siding tend to come in natural tones, although these types can also be painted in bright or bold colors. Vinyl siding is available in a wider range of custom colors, but cannot be painted.
  • What Siding Manufacturer Will You Choose? – Not only do the different types of siding come in a variety of colors, but the various manufacturers offer unique choices as well. You will find many popular colors available from most of the major brands, but each tone may be slightly different and certain companies have unique offerings.

The Importance of Color Schemes

There will be one main color that forms the foundation of your Virginia siding. This tends to be a neutral color that is not too overpowering and suits the architecture of your home. Be sure to choose the main color wisely – a bold hue will draw attention away from the details and shape of your home’s architecture. Strive for a balance between an attractive color and a suitable foundation to showcase the beauty of your home.

The overall color scheme of your neighborhood should also be taken into account. If most of the homes around you have natural hues and earth tones, try to steer clear of bright primary colors. You certainly want your home to stand out, but not so much that it is considered the sore thumb on your block.

Consider how the color scheme meshes with the style of your home as well. Southwest ranch styles look best with earthy colors in the brown and tan range, while colonial homes can pull off pastels with ease. If your home is not a distinct style you may have more flexibility, but otherwise it is best for the siding color to pay homage to the design.

Choosing the Trim

Trim work and detailing can make all the difference to the appearance of your home. Choose the color and style of trim that will compliment the main siding color. Often a tone-on-tone color scheme looks stylish and can draw more attention to the shapes and slopes of the house. Contrasting trim colors make a bold statement and often look better on a larger home with fairly plain styling.

Don’t forget that the color of your shutters and doors needs to match well with the color scheme woven by the siding and trim. Be mindful of how everything looks together and be sure to consider samples at different times of day. That brown siding color you love may look much darker in the twilight or much lighter in the morning. Keep the samples out for a few days before making your final choice.

The color of your Virginia siding will help to create the overall appearance and curb appeal of your property. Consider all of your options and make wise decisions. After all, the face of your home will have a major effect on the value.

Renovation Projects Your Washington DC Realtor Will Not Recommend

Filed Under: Washington DC Real Estate    by: Steve Kayhill

washington_dc_realtorRenovations and home improvements can be a good idea when your property is up for sale. These investments may help to close the sale quicker or bring in a higher return. But there are certain projects that your Washington CD realtor cannot recommend, mainly because they will make your home less appealing and more difficult to sell. Find out what you need to stay away from and make the home selling process smoother.

Adding Bold Colors

Repainting is a wise idea when your home is up for sale. This quick and affordable project will give your home a fresh look and appeals to many buyers, unless you choose a bold color. Covering the walls in bright red, bold green or even a deep yellow will put off most people and severely limit your buyers. Even though paint is easily recovered, most homebuyers want to purchase a property that they can comfortably move into.

Adding colored bathroom fixtures is another bad idea. Although it may be trendy and suit your own tastes, it’s always best to stick with neutral colors for the sink, tub and toilet. Ditto for the flooring and any bathroom tiles.

Installing New Carpet

Although this may seem like a good plan, especially if your existing carpet is worn and aged, wall-to-wall carpeting is becoming less attractive to homebuyers. Because carpet can trigger allergies and is often considered incompatible with pets, a home with carpeted rooms (even newly carpeted rooms) may lose out over one with hardwood or laminate flooring.

It’s a better idea to have your existing hardwood floors refinished or to install new laminate. Even low-end laminate flooring will be more attractive than carpet to many homebuyers. And laminate flooring can be installed as a weekend DIY project.

Built Ins of Any Sort

You may be a sucker for built in bookshelves and maybe you’ve always dreamed of a built in stereo system, but not every homeowner has the same tastes. What is convenient and attractive to you is not necessarily going to be seen as such by other buyers. Most Washington DC realtors will tell you the same thing – stay away from built in features as much as possible. Not only do they limit your buyers, but they can also make staging more difficult.

Fancy Appliances

You might think that the latest and greatest appliances are an immediate trigger for potential buyers. But the truth is that many of these appliances will not pay out in the end. You won’t recoup what you paid for them after the sale and this type of home improvement does not generally make or break the decision for buyers.

It could be that homebuyers have their own appliances or at the very least, their own idea about what constitutes a high-end appliance. You may appreciate the space age look or feel that every home needs a large capacity washer, but their opinions are likely to be different. And then the thousands of dollars spent on those new appliances will go to waste. If new appliances are needed it is best to buy midrange and invest the balance of the money elsewhere.

Your Washington DC realtor is likely to recommend a few home improvement projects that will help to close the sale quickly and for a decent price. There are certain projects that will not be on that list though, and you are best to heed their professional advice. It is offered in your best interest.