Home improvement projects with the most ROI

Home improvement projects are an investment.  It makes sense to take good advice and buy high quality materials and tools from reliable vendors.  When consulting with contractors in the skilled trade for new and future home improvement projects, a homeowner should not be intimidated.  Building a new kitchen or bathroom will take careful planning to make sure the space is used in a way that will increase the resale value of the house.  Save money and do the work yourself.  Good planning will lead to a professionally finished project which will add true value to your home.

Kitchen and Bathroom projects always return more of your money and are a high return on your investment.  Bathrooms are low maintenance projects and give you the biggest bang for your buck.  Options are endless in the bathroom area, custom stone, vanities with under mount sinks, medallions, and French style sinks.  Custom stone can completely change the look of the room, and if you have a crawl space under your home, you can put in a full kitchenette or small dining area.

Kitchen Cabinet Remodel
Carpenter working on new kitchen cabinets

Kitchen remodels return the best return on your investment and are certainly worth the investment.  High-end finishes like stone countertops, granite or marble flooring, natural fibers for cabinetry, plus high-end appliances are just a few of the real estate benefits of kitchen remodels.  Choose cabinets that are sturdy, functional, and make a statement about your taste and style.  Natural fibers for the flooring, wood (especially cherry), and fabrics for upholstery and draperies all add the finishing touches.  Accessorize with stone, resin, and tile accents in the kitchen and bathrooms to round out your space.

Bedrooms are a great place to showcase your style with a great bed and accessories.  Simple bedroom sets or custom made furniture can add a dramatic look to your room and make up for the lack of space with style that will add value to your home.   Wooden furniture sets make for a timeless look and there are infinite stain options, so warm for classic and beat up appeal.  Accessories are the perfect way to add function and panache to any bedroom design.  Yellow walls add the perfect splash of color and design.  There is no need for clashing colors, just the right balance of neutral and dramatic and you have created a bedroom that ranks on the top of the list of rooms that are the most important in families.  Alternative material, such as thread, can offer natural warmth, which is ideal for bedroom furniture, fabrics, and design.  These options will change the look and feel of the room and take their impact to any room.

A custom home can be smart as well as stylish with the right ideas and planning ahead.  Savvy contractors who understand the importance of a well designed and finished project will create an alternative reality.  Be equipped with a list of recommendations and visit some showrooms to get ideas.  Pick up a few good books and take notes, and then put your inspiration on paper.  Develop a realistic budget but be flexible.  Consider eco-friendly options for kitchen appliances with low maintenance, low maintenance appliances for the more high traffic areas, and textured surfaces for walls, floors, and furniture and linoleums.  A home contractor will help you plan the project as well as understand your needs.  Good contractors will lead your project from start to finish and suggest the options that will fit the budget you have set.

As you develop your project, take a different approach every few months as you gather materials, select designers and contractors, choose flooring and counter tops and explain them to everyone that you meet.  When you are done, all that remains is to live in the home, co-create the space with everyone helping to make it happen and engineered to be as appealing to all members of the family as it must be to you and your partner.  That’s the perfect marriage between project objectives, budgeting, and letting everyone involved have input into the process and design.   You’ll love it!  Great design not only means great design.  Create beautiful design, where you will live, in comfort, and where you and your family will feel good no matter how often they tell you the need to pamper yourself, go out and have fun, have a local coffee with family, have an entertaining adventure.  It’s your home!

According to most real estate professionals, entertainment rooms, including media rooms and home theatre rooms offer a return of liquor and economy styles.  You can have the best of both worlds: you can keep entertaining at home while enjoying the awesome evenings out at the movies, and be the envy of friends and family for being able to show it off.  The following rooms, from small to medium, are effective choices for entertainment rooms, as compared to the traditional media room.

Deck Repair vs Deck Replacement

Remodeling a broken deck is one of the trickiest and often most laborious aspects of a home improvement project. With many additional physical tasks that come along with repair, getting the job done properly may require greater intellect, stamina and endurance while working in the sun and blistery heat. When you finally decide to take action on the problems, you’ll find that the quality of a deck repair job isn’t all that different from the job of a new construction job, whether the deck is stained to match the home, painted, artificial, or even a simple no-slip surface.


The very first step to a deck repair job is generally focused on removing the dirt, debris, and grime that invariably gets embedded in any deck. If your home allows for it, a power washer can bring your deck back to spic and span condition. A good quality deck cleaner will allow for a fresh base to start the restoration and repair process. Deck restoration can mean the difference between a relatively quick and nicely covered deck resurfacing job and a full renovation that takes a great deal more time and effort to accomplish properly.


When you’re first considering a deck repair job, realize that a proper repair generally involves repairing a few deck boards only or a more extreme case that will involve the support frame underneath. Repairing the deck is best done with the help of an experienced deck builder using smaller caps or adaptors – they can often get in and under the deck flooring and locate any obvious damage no matter how compact the deck may appear. Although they can’t usually fully get underneath the deck, experienced deck builders can determine if the deck is in good enough shape simply by identifying unseen damage by measuring under the deck visually. The deck repair professional can then replace the damaged boards – which is often much more cost effective than complete deck replacement.

Deck Repair

Deck replacement

A deck substitute – just as its name suggests, is a synthetic alternative to a wooden deck. Made with a combination of synthetic materials, deck substitute materials are much less expensive to maintain in the long run. They can also be more resistant to both sun and moisture, which in most cases is better than wood. Deck substitutes often come with undertaking an impressive amount of durability than a regular natural wood deck – in some cases they’ll have a twenty-year warranty.

Deck additions

In some situations, the cost or necessity of a deck replacement is avoidable. In these cases a smaller alternative can correct the problem, creating a seamless finished product. Deck additions, especially milled types, can be fitted into existing deck spaces with virtually no flooring alteration necessary. Although they are more costly than a “no-slip” deck, a deck addition is a good alternative for homeowners that can’t justify an entirely new deck.

Flood Repair, Damage Control, & Future Prevention

When your basement becomes wet and it has standing water, you have the immediate need to take action as soon as possible. This reason being is the longer you wait to do something about it, the worse the problem will become. Mold, mildew, structural damage, and even the threat of electrical wiring damage are all dangers to your health and your families health.

The initial task you want to undertake is remove the source of the moisture. If you determine that rain is the primary culprit, then you want to direct that runoff away from the house. You can accomplish this by having a downspout run away from the house or you can divert it toward a dry area where water can drain rather easily. If you already have flooding or standing water close to your home you can use the storm drain in your yard to direct the water far away from the house.

Basement Flooding
scale of a House fully flooded during the flooding of the river

If you have a sump pump, you want to use it right away. Most home improvement stores will sell sump pumps that attach to a garden hose or a sump pit. First, place the pump where it will be most effective and then install the pump. A very important point when using this piece of equipment is to place a lead on the sump pump with a rope attached to some type of anchor mechanism. You will need to attach the rope to the pump to keep it from working independently. The pump essentially “rinses out” the flooded area and then replaces itself back to its original location. Just be sure to be home while the sump pump re-attaches itself.

Once your basement is cleared of excess water, it is time to start treating the mold and mildew growth. These two hazardous materials can inflict a real threat to your family and can also cause much damage to your home if left unchecked and not treated as soon as possible. While these two appear to have little effect on the air quality of your home, they may cause much damage to your furniture and any items stored in the basement. The best way to treat and remove it in a timely manner is with the help of a professional. Call your local mold remediation specialist to have the area thoroughly treated with a special solution to prevent recurrent mold and mildew spores from regrowing. Some technicians may also treat your basement and home with antimicrobial solutions that will destroy any existing mold and mildew. While removing it from your basement is important, if you have a flood you can help mitigate the damage done to your home by performing flood restoration as soon as possible.

Painting Contractor Marketing Tools

Marketing a painting contractor business is an easy task if you have the right marketing tools to get you ahead in business. It is important to take every opportunity available to promote your business.

Not every job will fall into your lap; it is vital to use the right marketing tools to get your next job.

One marketing tool for a painting contractor is to keep cards with you at all times and give them to everyone you meet. Give stacks to any friend that might be willing to help you, and have them leave them around town: showrooms, restaurants, stores and bulletin boards.

Create a letter series to get business. This marketing tool is extremely effective as you can reach hundreds of prospective customers through letterbox drops, or follow up on clients who have expressed an interest in the services you have to offer as a painting contractor.

It is very important to make your phone number jump off the page. Increase the font size and use a bold color like red. Studies show red is an action color and you want people to take action.

For a more formal approach go through the neighborhood and write down the address of the house that looks like they need painting. Houses that look freshly painted can be skipped if you are targeting exteriors.

Also, note things like decks on your notes for future mailings. For flyers to be really effective they need to be mailed a few times. I like to mail the same group of homes two flyers each mailed one week apart.

Follow up serious inquiries and sales leads with more than one piece of mail. An interest in the customer will lead to a customer’s interest in your business.

Always acknowledge when something nice is done for you with a thank you letter.

Offer clients a newsletter. A newsletter can be mailed every six months, every season or once a year. It can be a simple one-page update or a fancy, multi-dimensional media piece.

Whichever you choose, it should be a staple of your marketing efforts.

Again, newsletters update your information so customers know how to reach you; you can include new services that you are providing, new certifications that you or your staff acquire, etc. etc.

It is also a really good opportunity to remind your customers to send you referrals.

A newsletter is a good marketing tool as it keeps your name in front of the customers on a regular basis within a very positive context.