Avoid 4 Common Remodeling Mistakes
April 25, 2011
Tips & Trends
From Rory S. Coakley on some of the latest real estate news and happenings.
The road to bad remodeling is paved with good intentions. Anyone tackling a major project wants his home to look and work better – and to get a reasonable return on investment. But renovations are packed with so much stress and emotion that it’s easy to go wrong.
“I see homebuyers discount brand-new kitchens and bathrooms all the time – especially in this market,” says Curt Schultz, a realtor-architect-builder in Pasadena.
Read on to learn how to keep from falling into these four common traps.
1. Being a slave to fashion
The more up-to-the-minute your project is today, the more out-of-date it will seem in five or 10 years.
Skip trends such as glass tiles, wire-hung track lighting, and vessel sinks (the kind that sit on the countertop like a salad bowl), says Schultz.
Instead, go with classic choices that match the house’s original style.
For a bathroom in a 1920s colonial, for example, that might mean a white pedestal sink and subway-tile wainscoting, but those choices wouldn’t look so timeless in a 1980s contemporary.
2. Skimping on the design
The payoff you’ll get on a redo will diminish if the project isn’t well thought out, says Omaha appraiser John Bredemeyer.
If you’re building an addition or moving interior walls, it’s worth spending $1,000 to $3,000 to hire an architect (to draw a plan, not project-manage).
True, many contractors and showroom salespeople/designers can provide plans, but they don’t have an architect’s specialized training.
3. Over investing in the kitchen
Yes, great kitchens sell houses.
But there’s a limit to what you can recoup for granite countertops and commercial-grade appliances. Because the kitchen generally represents 5% to 15% of a home’s value, limit your kitchen renovation budget to that range – and do the work only if your kitchen is in really bad shape, says Bredemeyer.
4. Counting on a big pay-back for going green
Greater energy efficiency alone rarely justifies a pricey project.
Take windows. Window companies may tell you that replacing old ones ($300 to $1,200 each) will knock 50% off your energy bills. But windows really account for only about 15% of a house’s heat loss, says Jerry Thatcher of Energy Diagnostics, a green-building certifier in Valparaiso, Ind., so you’d save just $50 to $175 a year.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t go ahead with new windows. As long as they match your home’s style, new windows will add value. They’ll open and shut easier, tilt in for cleaning, and reduce draftiness – they just won’t pay for themselves too.
If you would like to suggest a topic for comment in one of our future emailers, please let me know. You can always reach me at email@example.com or by phone 301-637-0966 ext. 101. I look forward to hearing from you!
Rory S. Coakley
Coakley Realty, Inc.
20 Courthouse Square, Suite 107
Rockville, MD 20850
FIND THE PROPERTY YOU NEED.PROPERTY SEARCH
CONTACT US TODAY
Featured Real Estate Listings
Residential 9476 Newbridge Dr,
Potomac, MD 20854
ENTERTAINER'S DELIGHT! Stunning 2 acre lot located in sought after Falconhurst. Spectacular, private yard features newly renovated pool, pool house w/ FB, tennis courts & beautiful sun filled patio. Enjoy the spacious kitchen, formal living & dining rooms,1st floor office, fin bsmt, storage & 3 car garage. Two story family room features over sized windows & offers scenic views of the backyard.VIEW LISTING
Residential 5611 Ogden Rd,
Bethesda, MD 20816
SPECTACULAR home in sought after SPRINGFIELD! Renovated and expanded in 2014/2015 this home SHOWS LIKE A MODEL! Four finished levels include GOURMET KITCHEN w/ grand center island & adjoining fam rm, formal dining room, library with built-ins, mudroom, 6 bedrooms, 5 and 1/2 baths, fin basement incl recreation room w/wet bar and outside entrance. Amazing back yard features fence and patio.VIEW LISTING
Residential 23400 Woodfield Rd,
Gaithersburg, MD 20882
Mitchell & Best Home on gorgeous 2+ acre lot in Watkins Preserve - a subdision offering 5 additional lots! 5,700 SF (3,934 fin above grade) incl. 4 bdrms, 3.5 baths, 2 car gar, & a full W/O bsmt. 1st fl features office, formal liv& dining rms, gourmet kitchen w/ cntr island, brkfast area & lg family rm w/ FP. Enjoy the gorgeous sunset views from the spacious deck!VIEW LISTING