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Home Renovation Preparation

DIY home improvements always have the chance to go terribly wrong because most of us are not professional contractors and therefore really have no idea what they are doing.  In this installment we are going to prepare the average homeowner for what they can expect during the home renovation process.  Whether you hire a professional contractor or attempt renovations around your home there are a few things you will need to do to prepare.

Preparing for Your Homes Renovations

Budget

It is crucial to have a realistic budget when it comes to any home improvement project.  Take time to research the average cost of the budget you are interested in.  Once you know about how much you will need you can start to allocate funds accordingly.

Larger home renovation projects require you to have a substantial amount of money on hand.  If your remodel is not something you wish to cover with cash out of pocket, you can look into a home equity loan or line of credit.  The benefit of borrowing against your home’s equity is that often the interest that you are paying on the loan can be deducted off of your taxes each year, up to $750,000 dollars.  Other options for funding a renovation include a reverse mortgage and contractor financing.

Scope

The scope of your project is another element to consider.  It is necessary to take into consideration your budget and what you want to see completed during your renovation.  Are you considering a complete overhaul of your 1980’s kitchen and hoping to create an open concept where it opens into the living area?  Or are you thinking that a fresh look could be achieved with some freshly painted cabinets with updated hardware?

Your budget needs to be comparative with the tasks that you want to accomplish.  It is important that you work with your contractor to make sure that between the materials and labor your budget is large enough to cover your renovation while having a reserve just in case some aspect of the project doesn’t go exactly as planned.

Materials

Sometimes the materials that you choose are simply out of necessity and exactly what you need to accomplish within a limited budget.  For years you may have dreamed of installing granite throughout your home but as the time approaches the realization of just how much more the cost of the renovation will be with granite vs engineered quartz hits.  You suddenly realize that engineered quartz is quite elegant and helps you get more out of your limited budget.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.

 

The Lowest Price Isn’t Always the Deal Homeowners Think It Is

It doesn’t matter if you are starting on a new construction project or a simple home remodel, going for simple or extravagant, sticking within your budget is important.  Although the price of any job is important there are many other factors that should come into play when choosing a contractor to create your dream home or produce a kitchen your neighbors will envy.  The lowest bid is not always the best choice.  Below are circumstances that may make you think about signing on the dotted line of the lowest bid.

  • Sometimes the lowest bid equates to a contractor using inferior materials. Lower quality is often synonymous with a low bid however not always that is why it is important to have open communication with your contractor.  Materials that are substandard often need to be replaced or repaired more often than those of higher quality.  This means you are spending what you would of on better materials later on repairs.  That just doesn’t make sense.  In many situations when you are renovating or building a new home it is cost effective to look into materials that are of better quality rather than settling for bottom budget options.
  • A lower bid may mean that your job could take longer than it should. Professional companies with several contractors on staff may cost a bit more than a single contractor because of the efficiency they can guarantee.  With more contractors on staff your project will continue to move along without hiccups no matter what other projects the company has in que.  This however, is not always true with independent contractors.

Often times companies are working on more than one project at a time and if a snafu occurs on another job a single contractor company is obligated to make necessary adjustments.  This means your kitchen renovation that was only going to take a month could stretch into two or three months.  Time is money, and this can quickly add to the stress and costs associated with renovating.

  • Often times contractors use a low bid to lure in clients. They produce a contract with a lower bid than the competition by not including the “extras”.  However, often the “extras” aren’t above and beyond and are actually needed elements of the project.  Contractors that specialize in low bid offers do so in a way that makes the extra costs come across as unexpected expenses.  This can be avoided by having a detailed contract that lays out all of the costs from materials to labor.  It is best to receive an up-front price for your project with any changes whether in budget, materials, time, labor, or anything not included in the contract must be approved in writing by the homeowner and the contractor with an agreed upon cost.

You certainly get what you pay for in new construction and home renovations but that does not mean that the highest bid will be any better than the lowest bid.  It just may mean that they included more in their proposal.  To get an accurate assessment of the bang you are getting for your buck you must have a detailed contract with a reputable company that is known for providing superior craftsmanship at industry average wage.

Learn more about Kearns Brothers, a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan’s construction needs by visiting their website at www.kearnsbrothers.com or contact a remodeling expert at 888.355.6700.

Should I Hire A Professional Contractor for Renovations?

If you are like most homeowners, there will come a time when you must consider renovations around your home.  It could be the kitchen is outdated or the plumbing in the bathroom is no longer working properly; whatever the reason you will start to consider whether you should tackle the renovations by yourself or if you should hire a professional to get the job done.   Most homeowners will opt to hire a professional contractor because it saves time and money in the long run.  The question than becomes who will you hire and how will you know that they are reputable?

Choosing a contractor starts with a search of the local area to find licensed, insured, and reputable professionals who offer services in your area.  After meeting with contractors, you will be able to narrow down the selection based on the following:

  • Familiarity with Home Improvements That are Similar to Yours

Although no two home improvement projects are quite the same there are usually some common elements amongst them.  It is important to hire a professional home improvement contractor that is familiar with the type of renovation you are seeking.  If you are looking to renovate your kitchen or bathroom than it is important to find a contractor that has experience in kitchens and baths.  If you are looking to do exterior home improvements then it is crucial you seek a contractor with experience in siding, window installation, chimney repair, roofing, and more.

  • Vendor Connections

To complete any project your contractor must have access to the materials and supplies that are needed. Better yet is when the contractor that you hire has access to materials and supplies through vendors that offer significant discounts thus allowing your budget to stretch further.

  • Experience in Various Home Improvement Skills

Not only is it crucial that the contractor you choose has expertise in the area in which you are seeking to have renovated but also that they have a wide range of expertise that have been developed overtime with on-site experience.  The contractor that you hire should have experience with the pitfalls that can occur in your project.  This way if they should incur any with yours they will know how to handle them effectively.  From hanging windows, mounting doors, framing walls, or installing a new subfloor your contractor should have experience to keep your project running smoother.

  • An Understanding of the Importance of Safety in Renovations

Safety should be of the utmost concern when it comes to your home and family.   When a contractor performs their job with safety as their top priority it means your job will be done correctly and without injury or property damage.  The contractor should pull the proper permits for the job, understand OSHA regulations, and be compliant with local codes.  Not only will they be schooled in safety surrounding home improvements so should their employees.

There is never a reason not to hire a contractor when it comes to all your home improvement needs.  Not only can they save you time and money, it will help to ensure that your project is done correctly from the start.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.

5 Tips on Why it Pays to Hire a Professional Contractor

Renovating a home can be daunting, but the entire process can be much easier if you hire a professional contractor to assist you.  After all, how much do you know about building codes, permits, and basic home remodeling projects?  Seriously though, there are literally dozens of reasons why you and everyone else should hire a professional contractor for home improvement projects of any size.

Here are 5 tips on why it pays to hire a professional contractor:

  1. Saves Time

Most home remodeling projects are completed on schedule when a professional contractor is involved, which means that you will have your home back to normal much sooner that you would if you didn’t hire someone.

  1. Connections

A professional contractor is going to have numerous connections that you do not have, and that means that they may be able to get their hands on the materials that you can’t find.  These connections can also help you save money, because they will receive discounts from the vendors that they work with often.

  1. Experience

A professional contractor has multiple years of home improvement experience, and that experience can benefit you immensely.  Your professional contractor can tell you immediately if something you want will work in the space or if you are wasting your money choosing one material over another.

  1. Safety

Professional contractors know all the codes for the home remodeling projects they work on, so you will never need to worry if your electrical, plumbing, or anything else will pass inspection.  This also ensures that you and your family are safe long after the work is completed.

  1. Saves Money

You are going to want to come in at or under budget for your home remodeling project, and while anyone can accomplish that feat, only professional contractors will do it properly.  Anyone who isn’t a professional may cut corners to make the numbers work out, but that is only going to cause you headaches in the future when half of the work needs to be done once again.  You will never need to worry about that happening when you hire a professional contractor, as they will get everything done correctly the first time.

These are the five best reasons why you need to hire a professional contractor for your next home improvement project.  If you have never hired a professional contractor before, you should do so for your next home remodeling project, as you will see a major difference in the results.

Learn more about Kearns Brothers, a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all of Southeast Michigan’s construction needs by visiting their website at www.kearnsbrothers.com or contact a remodeling expert at 888.355.6700.

Increase Your Home’s Value Through Exterior Home Improvements

Chances are your home will be the single largest investment you will ever make in your lifetime and because of this, you will want to be sure that you are doing everything to prevent it from losing value. One way that a home’s value can be maintained or even increased is to pay close attention to the exterior of the home.

 

When it is time to consider exterior improvements, you should look for reputable exterior home improvement contractors in your area. These companies have the expertise in planning and carrying out most any type of exterior work that you could ever need. Be sure that do your due diligence when it comes to selecting the best contractor so that you feel confident that they will do all of the work you that are asking them to do.

 

Curb appeal is one of the primary motivators when it comes to planning any exterior home improvements. Making the outside of your home and the surrounding areas will go a long ways in making it more appealing from a visual standpoint. We have come up with 7 ways that you can easily spruce up the exterior of your home that will add value to the property.

Entry door replacement

The front door of any home is absolutely the first thing that most people notice about a house when they are looking at it from the street. That is why it is essential that you pay extra attention to how attractive your front entry door looks from the street. You also will want to be sure that it is up to date, but not look out of place with the rest of the exterior.

Adding architectural stone accent

Architectural stone and rock will add an extra bit of character to the outside of your home. This is one way to really spruce the outside of your home if it looking kind of blah. You may want to reconsider if you have any brick veneer on your home currently, if so the two may clash and not really look good together.

Garage door replacement

If you have an attached garage and it faces the street, chances are it might be the largest single feature on the front of the house. If this is the case, then you might want to consider replacing or even repainting the entire garage door. This will help to add a really nice touch to your home and quite possibly may add some value to your home.

Siding replacement or refinish

If you still have the original wood siding on your home from when it was first built, you may want to consider looking into one or more of the newer siding materials that are being offered by contractors today. Vinyl siding gives you really good looks, amazing durability and extra insulation can be added for additional energy savings in your home.

Adding a deck

Outdoor entertaining is really popular these days and having a deck off the back door can really add quite a bit of value to your home. With so many material options and colors to choose from, you should easily be able to find what looks best for what you can afford.

Replace the whole roof

A good-looking roof is very important when it comes to curb appeal and the elements can easily take their toll on the look and effectiveness of a shingle roof. You may want to get a professional opinion about the condition and look of your roof from a professional inspector.

 

Rework the patio

There is so much that can be done on a patio these days which can easily add some much desire value to your property. If you find one of the top exterior home improvement contractors, you can be assured that they will help you make it look its best.

 

Learn more about Kearns Brothers, a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all of Southeast Michigan’s construction needs by visiting their website at www.kearnsbrothers.com or contact a remodeling expert at 888.355.6700.

 

 

 

5 Reasons Homeowners Should Enhance Their Home’s Exterior

For most homeowners their home is their biggest source of pride and joy. You’ve spent hard-earned money to buy it and keep it up, so why wouldn’t you want it to look great on the outside. Your home’s exterior is the first thing people will look at, so you obviously want it to look amazing and considered one of the best-looking houses in the neighborhood! Here are some reasons why homeowners will want to work with a full-service home improvement company when it comes to enhance your home’s exterior:

Create a More Modern Look

Even the smallest updates done to a homes exterior can create a look that is no longer dated.  Older homes appear fresh with simple additions like a color change, freshly painted trim, and a few fresh accessories in the yard can completely enhance the homes modern look.

Enhance Curb Appeal

The first thing that people see when they are driving by your home is the exterior.  Your homes exterior curb appeal will send a signal about how they feel about your home within the first seconds of seeing it.  This is especially crucial when looking into selling your home. Prospective buyers will judge your home by its exterior which will then either lead them to view the interior or skip it in favor of something that is more appealing to the eye.  A full-service home improvement company can offer you suggestions that will benefit your homes curb appeal be it fresh siding, new window, adding a porch, or even upgrading parts of the siding with natural masonry stones.

Increased Value

When you want to sell your home, some exterior enhancements will get you more money than if you left it in a state of repair.  Getting more money for your home is always the goal when you are looking into selling your home.  A good-looking exterior will get you that!

Increased Neighborhood Value

If the homes within your neighborhood all look like a million bucks and your home is still harboring an old dingy, outdated look, your home will decrease the overall value of the homes within the space.  Don’t let your home get the “worst on the block” wrap.  Whether you make major changes or minor ones keeping your home up to date.

Fewer Complaints from Your HOA

When you live in a community with an HOA it is important that your homes exterior stay in line with the rules of the neighborhood.  Many HOA’s will fine you if you fail to keep with the homes look and overall appeal.  Unused cars or RV’s, unkept bushes, faded mulch, worn out fences, and more can all lead your HOA to fine you as a homeowner until updates are put in place to fix the issues at hand.

Learn more about Kearns Brothers, a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all of Southeast Michigan’s construction needs by visiting their website at www.kearnsbrothers.com or contact a remodeling expert at 888.355.6700.

Turn Your Bathroom into An Oasis Through Bathroom Renovations

When it comes to creating a space where homeowners renovate for the sheer purpose of relaxation look no further than the bathroom.  Bathroom remodeling, in the last few decades, has come a long way in creating an oasis that can be thoroughly enjoyed in a different manner for each member of the family.  Bathroom contractors have complete knowledge on implementing various designs and strategies into your bathroom renovation to create an oasis for your family.

Bathroom Renovations Using Mirrors and Clear Glass

The bathroom is a space within the home where families migrate to relax and escape free and clear from the stresses of the day from work, kids, and more.  One strategy that contractors use to help create a unique, oasis like bathroom space is through the strategic use of mirrors.  Using large mirrors in the bathroom renovation design helps to create the sensation of a more substantial room.  Mirrors make smaller rooms appear less cramped.  Another option in bathroom renovations to enhance the size of the space is to use clear glass partitions.

Remodeling Bathrooms Choosing the Best Sink Styles

Instead of using a traditional white porcelain sink in your bathroom, contractors specializing in bathroom renovations choose copper handmade vessel basins, natural stone, ceramic, or glass.  These sink vessel materials when used in conjunction with proper fixtures, tiling, paint, and more can provide you with am undeniably serene vibe.

Maximize Natural Lighting During Renovations to The Bathroom

Natural light is not easily replicated.  When a bathroom doesn’t have outside light entering the space it is important that the soothing, natural feeling it offers is replicated.  Certain lighting elements can be used to emulate natural light while other contractors will suggest bringing natural light into the space through the addition of windows and/or skylights.

Increased Light Features in Your Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom contractors use lighting to brighten up bathroom spaces making them appear clean, sleek, and modern.  Bright lighting, with the ability to dim, create an oasis atmosphere.   Light fixtures, as well as the type of bulb that is used can change the entire vibe of the space.  Crystal lighting often enhances the crisp, clean lines that contractors emphasize within the bathroom space.

Proper Bathroom Flooring, Accessories, Fixtures, and More

Bathroom contractors really pull a space together through proper flooring, accessories, and fixtures.  Little elements used together and arranged properly create a clean look that emphasizes comfort and size.  All the choices from the floor to the vanity, from the toilet paper roll to the towel holder, each helps to create a soothing retreat while maximizing your bathroom space.

Learn more about Kearns Brothers, a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan’s construction needs by visiting their website at www.kearnsbrothers.com or contact a remodeling expert at 888.355.6700.

5 Ways Kitchen Renovations Increase Your Homes Resale Value

If you didn’t build your current home from scratch, but instead bought it, chances are you have had to put up with someone else’s idea of a kitchen layout that does nothing to impress the eye. As we approach the hottest selling season, with billions of potential homes expected to change hands, there never has been a time like now, that you can use cost-effective strategies to help you leverage all you can against the competition.

If you shudder each time you waltz into your kitchen, then it’s time to take the plunge to upgrade and refresh one of the most important spaces in your home, the kitchen. According to contractors specializing in kitchen renovations, a professionally remodeled kitchen will not only improve and add value to your home, but when the time comes to sell it, you can command a higher price without batting an eyelid.

  • Quick Resale

One of the main reasons that homes stay on the market for too long without receiving any offers is because the last thing a home buyer wants is to move into a home that they must renovate right away. No one wants to buy a home with an outdated kitchen where appliances aren’t working, or the cabinets and countertops are falling apart. It is easier to attract prospective buyers when the kitchen is in pristine condition and compel them to pay a premium price for the home.

  • Energy Efficiency

Anything that can save a potential homebuyer some money is a prime motivating factor for purchasing a home. Installing modern appliances and solar panels will not only increase the energy efficiency of the kitchen but adding skylights in place of artificial lighting will flood the kitchen with more natural light without spending any energy, therefore, contribute greatly toward energy savings, and who doesn’t want to save a buck or two?

  • Lifestyle

According to contractors specializing in kitchen renovations, your kitchen’s design not only needs to meet your current needs but those of future buyers.  Some basic concepts to keep in mind during your project design is open space, easy to access cabinetry, and accessible storage.  These are trends that are good for meeting most family’s needs.

  • Modernity

Provided a space doesn’t feel cold or clinical, remodeling your kitchen to bring it to the 21st century will yield great results in increasing the value of your home and making a big impression in both the young and old homebuyers.  Choose colors and styles that create a space that is clean, comfortable, and allows people the ability to relax and stay awhile.

  • Return on Investment

If your kitchen is too outdated, consider spending about 15 to 25% of your home’s value for new cabinet doors, appliances, countertops, sink, faucet, paint, and hardware. According to contractors specializing in kitchen renovations will increase your homes resale value and yield a higher return.  Especially if you are going to be in the house awhile and enjoying the renovation. A kitchen renovation is a terrific way to add value to your home while enjoying the new space.

Learn more about Kearns Brothers, a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan’s construction needs by visiting their website at www.kearnsbrothers.com or contact a remodeling expert at 888.355.6700.

Increase Your Homes Curb Appeal

In real estate, a good looking exterior of a home isn’t just memorable, it’s key to brokering a deal. Hence it is pertinent to give maximum attention to the basics of how increasing your homes curb appeal. The first impression of your home is what makes buyers pick interests in it, your exterior home improvements should be top notch in terms of quality and beauty.

Front entry, sidewalks, driveway, and yard serve as a summary of what to expect on the inside. Potential buyers pay attention to little details that define your home’s exterior outlook – your replacement windows should be perfect. You can’t leave anything for granted when it comes to what can make or break your home sales.

Here some few ways to get it right:

Buyer’s instinct

Put yourself in the position of the buyer and walk around to examine your home by yourself. This opens your mind and you start to notice so many imperfections in your home which you have not been noticing before or paying attention to.

While doing the walking, take proper and critical notes of those things that need repairing, those that need to be updated and don’t forget to keep an eye on the windows and the roof as well. There are a lot of replacement windows for those that need replacement. You roof condition is critical to the overall exterior outlook of your home. If need be, give it an exterior home improvement.

Get an expert opinion

If you have tried to improve your home’s curb appeal using the above method and you are still not sure of your decisions, get an expert view. It might be a siding contractor or a flooring expert, all you really need is someone who understands what it means to improve your home’s curb appeal.

Their responsibility, in this case, is to critically and construct active point out other places that need improving that you have not been able to see. Somethings you might be wrong with your judgment, say you decided to repair what is supposed to be totally evac and replaced.

Under Pressure

Pressure-washing the dirty siding and deck, as well as the stained driveway and faded walkway in a highly cost-efficient way to improve your home’s curb appeal. This is a good option for some budget-conscious homeowners. You can rent a pressure washer from a local home improvement store near you if you don’t own one.

These are just some helpful options that would have you achieve your goal of increasing your home’s curb appeal. Remember to add some colors, light up the landscape, and add some polish to make them see it as beautiful as you do.

Learn more about Kearns Brothers, a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all of Southeast Michigan’s construction needs by visiting their website at www.kearnsbrothers.com or contact a remodeling expert at 888.355.6700.

Four Reasons To Plan Exterior Home Remodeling During The Winter

Many homeowners do not consider the winter season as a good time for home improvement projects and repairs – and this is understandable. Although several factors could determine the ideal time for your exterior home improvement project, the winter presents a perfect time for several reasons. Here are four big factors.

Contractor Availability

The spring and summer season months are usually the busiest seasons for building contractors. Engaging in an exterior home improvement project during this period can be difficult as well as frustrating. On the other hand, contractors are usually more available during winter as most people prefer not to invest in major home remodeling projects during the winter. This makes it convenient for you to schedule a timeline that suits both parties – you and the contractor, for the completion of your project.

Another big advantage of the winter season is that building contractors usually give more attention to little details. Although it is normal that every experienced and reputable contractor will go to any length to satisfy a client, there is more time to focus on your project during the winter.

Accelerated Permit Approval Process

Depending on the scope of your home remodeling project, you may require some sort of permission from local government agencies or homeowner associations. During the summer seasons, these agencies and offices receive a lot of requests and this could delay your approval. However, you can rest assured of an expedited process when you send your request during winter as government agencies receive fewer home improvement/addition requests.

Cost Effective

Summer months are usually peak seasons for building manufacturers. As more homeowners renovate or remodel homes during this period, the prices of certain building products and materials will increase. However, during the winter off-season, these manufacturers offer product specials and promotions. This will save you lots of money on items such as windows, doors, flooring, and tile. Scheduling your home improvement project during the winter will allow you take advantage of the available opportunities and save lots of money in the long run.

Vacation

People often seize the opportunity that the winter season presents to travel to warmer climates. Planning your home remodeling project during this season allows you take off for your much-needed vacation as you have little to nothing to do once you have everything well planned out with your contractor. The vacation also helps to limit your exposure to the noise pollution and demolition hazards.

It is very important that you plan your exterior home improvement project well on time, so you can have your home ready during the winter, ahead of the summer when you can invite friends and family to the house.

Learn more about Kearns Brothers, a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all of Southeast Michigan’s construction needs by visiting their website at www.kearnsbrothers.com or contact a remodeling expert at 888.355.6700.