Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Why Remodel Your Home

Why remodel?
Remodeling your home can modernize the style, make it more comfortable, improve energy-efficiency and home functionality, increase the value of your home, and help with upkeep and maintenance. Home remodeling is a sure investment in your home to ensure longevity, usefulness, and home value.

When is it time to remodel?
Perhaps it was that moment when you realized that avocado green and harvest gold are no longer the "in" colors for today's trendy kitchens. Or maybe you had an epiphany one day as you stood in line to use your own bathroom. Whatever the impetus, the thought has crossed your mind: Maybe it's time to remodel . . .

If you decide to follow through on that thought, you'll join millions of others who decide to remodel their homes each year. The reasons for home remodeling are as varied as the projects we undertake. Some of these include:
  • Adding more space.
  • Upgrading cabinets, counters, appliances, and fixtures.
  • Creating a floor plan that's customized for your lifestyle.
  • Improving energy efficiency with new windows, doors, insulation, and climate control systems.
  • Increasing the resale value of your home.
What are some home remodeling ideas?
Before you head too far down the remodeling path, it's a good idea to think through your wants and needs:
  • Decide what changes you want to make.
  • Ask yourself and other family members what you like and dislike about the house, then create a prioritized list.
  • Look at magazines and collect pictures of what you like.
  • Think about traffic patterns, furniture placement, colors, lighting, and how you want to use the remodeled space now and in the future.

How do I plan a home remodel?
The first step is to develop an idea of what you want to do. Write a prioritized list of your needs and wants. Look at magazines and websites and collect pictures of what you like. The more clearly you can envision the project and describe it on paper, the better prepared you'll be in making your decision.

Think about traffic patterns, furniture size and placement, colors, lighting and how you expect to use the remodeled space. If your decision to remodel involves creating better access for someone with limited mobility, you may want to consider contacting a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist.  

Figure out how much money you have to spend on the remodeling job, furnishings, landscaping or any other cost you might incur.

If you’ve decided you want to hire a remodeler, learn how to choose a professional, avoid contractor fraud, and make your dream home reality.

How do I pay for a home remodel?
One of the most important considerations for your home improvement project is financing. After all, the project will go nowhere if you can't pay for it.

Fortunately, there are several options that can provide the dollars you need. Four of the most common are a home improvement loan, a home equity line of credit, a home equity loan (second mortgage), and a cash-out refinancing of your current mortgage. However, the simplest method of financing is cash.

How do I find a professional home remodeler?
When you hire a remodeler, you are buying a service rather than a product. The quality of service the home remodeler provides will determine the quality of the finished product and your satisfaction with the result. To ensure your satisfaction, make sure you hire a qualified, professional remodeler.

What should I expect during the remodel?
While remodeling can be an exciting process, it can also present unexpected challenges. Many problems can be avoided by planning ahead.

Owners of homes built before 1978 who are contemplating any work that will disturb more than six square feet of painted surfaces inside the home or 20 square feet on the exterior of the home - for example, replacing a window, installing cabinets, or adding on to the home - the contractor you hire is required by law to be trained and certified by the EPA. Learn more about EPA Lead-Safe Certified Renovators and lead paint.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The 2012 Sunset Breezehouse

Sunset 2012 Breezehouse

The 2012 Idea House is a pre-fab home that's currently being built in a Vallejo, Calif., factory that will be unfolded on its scenic wine country site this summer.

The 2012 Idea House, located in Healdsburg, Calif., about 70 miles north of San Francisco. It will be open for tours every weekend from August 3, 2012, through September 9, 2012.

Dates: Tours will be available every weekend from August 3, 2012 through September 9, 2012.

Time: Fridays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: $17per person; $15 on Fridays for seniors

Directions from San Francisco:

Take US-101 N for about 70 miles. Take Exit 505 for Dry Creek Rd., and turn right on Dry Creek Rd. Take your second left onto Healdsburg Ave. and drive .8 miles. Turn right onto Parkland Farms Blvd. and drive .4 miles. Take the third right onto Canyon Run, then the first right onto Long Acres Pl.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Remodel Forcast Increase

The National Association of Home Builders is forecasting a 9% increase in remodeling


Top Projects:
Windows/Doors, Insulation, HVAC for Energy Efficiency
Bathroom makeovers, Painting, and Landscaping  for Comfort/Enjoyment
Source: American Express study and Wall Street Journal article

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spring Forward

Spring officially begins on March 20th, and it's time to Spring Forward.  Daylight saving time begins at 2AM on Sunday March 11th.  Remember to set your clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night.  Daylight saving time lasts until November 4th when we will need to set our clocks back one hour.       

Let this time change be a reminder to do a few "Spring" changes.  

  • Change filters  in your home's heating and air conditioning system.  This saves energy and improves your indoor air quality.  Most systems state to change filters monthly, some require a change every six months.  Tip:  write the date on the filter when you change it.  
  • Change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide monitors.  Make sure you test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide monitors as well.  

Did you know?      
  • Two thirds of households are not in compliance with the national recommendation for the number of smoke alarms set by the National Fire Protection Association.     
  • About 90percent of American homes do not comply with the recommended number of carbon monoxide alarms per home.     
  • About 40 percent of those surveyed have no working carbon monoxide detectors in their homes.     
  •  California requires carbon monoxide detectors in ALL single family homes with at least one detector per level.  If your home does not have one, install one now.  For smoke alarms, homes should have one installed at the top of each staircase and one in every bedroom or sleeping area, according to the NFPA.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Architecture of John Lautner

On Sunday, January 22, 2012, join Movies on a Big Screen, AIA Central Valley, SacMod, and Sactown Magazine for a screening of INFINITE SPACE: The Architecture of John Lautner at the Guild Theater at 7:30pm to 9:00pm. Please arrive in time to allow yourself a moment to learn more about the organizations and get comfortable before the film begins.

RSVP for this event and get your tickets online via Brown Paper Tickets