Planning to Sell or Refinance? Improve Your Home First!
Some people will do home improvements because they want to live in a nicer home. Others will complete them so that they can sell their home for a more. Still others want to refinance, and need to increase the value to get rid of that pesky PMI. And there are even those that are seeking a reverse mortgage soon, and they want to make sure their monthly checks are large enough.
No matter your reason, you don’t want to dump a bunch of time and money into little improvements that won’t affect the value of your house very much. You want to focus on the top improvements to increase your home’s value. Here are a few things that you can do.
Touching up that paint that has been marred, chipped, scraped, and scuffed over the years makes the home feel new. Just don’t get too crazy, an orange, yellow, and green living room is probably too much for potential buyers. 😉
Cost: $3.00 to $6.00 per sq. ft. on average, depending on the paint quality, amount of prep work required, and overall size of the project. A typical interior remodeling painting project for the whole house may cost between $3,000 and $6,000 on average.
Many people don’t know that shipping containers can be used for more than transporting merchandise across the ocean. You can actually build residential dwellings and custom-designed homes by assembling the old shipping containers!
Not only can you build a fully-fledged, custom-designed home with all the bells and whistles of traditional construction, but even modern and trendy coffee shops, office spaces, apartment buildings, schools, and emergency shelters can be constructed utilizing re-purposed shipping containers.
The containers are made of steel, a durable material that is strong enough to be used for building and yet soft enough to be cut in suitable shapes. The fact that shipping containers are stack-able makes them a good option for creating homes and even office buildings that are several stories high! 😉
So, if a shipping container home build uses five standard shipping containers, around 17,500 kg (38581 lbs) worth of steel will be recycled. Not to mention that by building with containers you aren’t using other building materials, which helps reduce a tall on the environment.
Shipping Container Home Costs:
According to 24hplans.com, there are two standard sizes for shipping containers: 20 x 8 x 8 ft. covering a surface of 160 sq. ft. and 40 x 8 x 8 with a surface of 320 sq. ft.
A used 20-footer container costs anywhere between $1,400 and $2,800, whereas a 40-footer costs $3,500 – $4,500.
You will also have to pay for labor (about $50-$150 per hour) and for the modifications needed to make the container livable.
Expect to pay at least $10,000 for labor, more likely $15,000 per container, plus permitting, planning, structural engineering and architectural design fees.
What the developer aimed to accomplish with this design: “Our goal is to set the standard in quality in this type of construction. You have no idea it’s made out of shipping containers,” said Stephanie Coyle, co-founder of Forever Home, who partnered with Dee Tignanelli, owner of Alpha to Omega Properties LLC, to build the house – their first made from shipping containers.
Coyle said she hopes their house will “remove the stigma that can sometimes be attached” to such homes, which are found throughout the world, but are a new concept to many. “It’s just a different way to build a home,” said Coyle. “Show people this type of construction can be beautiful, and let’s show you it can actually look and blend into a community.”
This design features entire walls made of glass. Some would argue that it makes the house less energy efficient, but this can be resolved by purchasing Energy Star windows.
There is a small porch near the entrance door where you can put some outdoor furniture and enjoy a relaxed meal with your family.
Inside, the living room is very spacious as you can see in the pictures showed by the source website.
The metal walls were painted in a light blue shade to mix with the rest of the interior design elements while creating a warm feeling of harmony that is not what you would expect when looking at the exterior of the building.
This year, homeowners are more focused on renovating their houses rather than buying new, especially in places with booming economy like Seattle. Hot real estate markets mean that it’s often too expensive to buy a new place for many people, but it’s a great time to fix up your current home! 😉
If you can’t afford to move, but you are getting bored or frustrated with your house, a properly planned remodel can help make it feel like a brand new place! 🙂 And if you ever decide to sell your home in the future, strategically-done home improvements will help make it more desirable and attractive in the eyes of potential buyers.
No matter whether you’re remodeling to make yourself more comfortable or to entice potential buyers, it’s a no-brainer to lean towards environmentally-friendly design. Most green home remodeling projects result in huge savings on your energy bills, in addition to simply being the right thing to do for the future.
A lot of people are under the impression that green remodeling will cost them a fortune, but that’s not necessarily true. We’ve rounded up a set of 10 awesome (and cost-effective) green remodeling projects for your consideration. Read on to get the scoop on what goes into each project, how much each one might cost you, the kind of return on investment you can expect, and more.
1. Energy-efficient exterior doors
Replacing an old exterior door is a great way to improve your home’s energy efficiency. If your current door is worn, cracked, or isn’t energy efficient, replacing it with an Energy Star-certified exterior door can result in a savings of as much as 10% on your costs to heat and cool your home.
To replace your door, you’ll need to first choose what kind of new door you want. While there are a variety of options, the most energy-efficient and durable kinds are fiberglass and steel.
Fiberglass doors are often better looking, since they more closely mimic the look of authentic wood doors. They are also ideal for harsh climates (very cold or very humid), since unlike steel, they don’t sweat when exposed to cold or moisture. However, they are more expensive than steel, and easier for intruders to break into.
Steel doors, on the other hand, are cheaper, stronger, and usually more energy efficient in temperate or hot, dry climates. However, they may not be as attractive, and they can rust if not treated properly and exposed to the elements.
Many doors come in pre-hung in a frame and pre-drilled and can be installed yourself, but if you are choosing a door that is not the exact same size as your old door, you’ll need to hire a contractor (usually a carpenter) to install the door.
A new exterior door offers some of the very best returns on your investment. This year, the average cost of a new exterior fiberglass door, including installation, is $3,276, and tends to add an average value of $2,550 to your home, for a 77.8% ROI.
The average cost of a new exterior steel door, including installation, is only $1,826, and tends to add value of $1,368, giving a respectable 75% ROI.
If you want to install or replace your carpet, you should be aware that not all new carpets are the same. A lot of new carpets and their adhesives contain chemicals called VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are not only bad for the environment, but also dangerous to breathe in, causing a host of symptoms like dizziness, nausea, and fatigue.
Still, there is an ever-widening variety of Eco-friendly, non-toxic carpet available on the market today, and there are benefits of carpet over wood or laminate floors: carpet is cheaper and provides comfort, noise damping, and – most importantly – energy conservation. They are a great way of keeping the warmth in your house in the wintertime without turning up your heater.
When picking a green carpeting solution, look for carpets labelled “low VOC” and made from natural fibers like wool, jute, seagrass, or sisal. Choose lightweight carpets without petroleum-based padding – either no padding or padding made from felt is ideal. If the carpet requires adhesive, go for water-based, low-VOC glues, or ask your carpet installer to use these eco-friendly products.
This year, new wool carpet is running about $8-$10 per square foot. Installation is typically between $2.00-$4.00 per square foot. While return on investment data is somewhat hard to find on carpet alone (as opposed to a whole room remodel), there is widespread general agreement that potential buyers are turned off by old or dirty carpet, making replacing carpet a winning resale strategy.