When it comes to renovating an old house, it’s all about
return on investment (ROI). Jumping into a costly remodel that does little to
add value represents a significant financial loss, so it’s important to make
smart, well-informed decisions about how much renovations cost and where to focus your efforts. Buying an
old house is always a gamble and it’s usually a huge, long-term investment, so
it’s essential you know where to renovate to do the most good. According to an
article in Remodeling Magazine, the average remodeling job recovers under two-thirds of its cost at the time of sale.
Fortunately, there’s a handful of renovation projects that are normally quite
reliable when it comes to ROI.
old houses suffer from a lack of insulation, which results in extremely high-energy costs. Adding or
replacing insulation may not be the sexiest of renovations, but it makes a
great deal of sense from a savings standpoint. Check the insulation in the
attic, which should have a minimum of 8 inches of cellulose or 11 inches of
fiberglass insulation. If not, or if what you find is dirty, it probably means
it’s reached the end of its effectiveness and needs replacing. The average cost
of re-insulating an attic is around $1,300, but the energy savings will be
significantly higher, making this one of the best remodeling projects for an
Replacing old, drafty windows has a doubly positive impact.
Not only does it upgrade a significant aesthetic feature, it’ll save money if
you replace the old ones with Energy Star-approved and certified windows. New, energy-efficient windows can save you as much $465 a year in heating costs, and will
recoup your investment in about 5 years. However, be aware that a full window
replacement project is often unnecessary, even if your pro recommends it; focus
instead on window frames showing signs of age, including rotting wood and
excessive window condensation.
Hardwood flooring lends an air of elegance and refinement to
any home, particularly an older house with an overall vintage look. Many
homeowners assume that it will be too expensive and too difficult to maintain,
but hardwood lasts considerably longer than carpeting, which wears out
after about 10 years. It’s not unusual for hardwood flooring to last for
decades if it’s well taken care of. Applying a protective coating every 5 years
or so will add considerably to the lifespan of hardwood, which should only need
to be sanded and refinished about every 10 years.
Home renovating doesn’t always have to be an indoor
activity. You can also enhance your home’s look by beautifying your landscaping. There’s nothing quite like the green glow of an attractive
stand of grass, which you can achieve with regular applications of fertilizer
and weed control. Why not add a few design elements, like decorative flagstones
or a brick-lined walkway? Brick adds an appealing touch of color set against the
green of your lawn. If you’re into gardening, think about adding a flower bed
lined with railroad timbers, an appealingly rustic aesthetic element. Add a
fresh layer of mulch around trees and shrubs, and you’ve got a colorful lawn
that’ll turn heads and add to the visual appeal and value of your home. If you
need some help with your outdoor beautification projects, lawn and landscaping
service prices vary greatly depending on what you’d like to have done; you can
expect to pay around
$320 for a minor project that doesn’t include a lot of labor or materials,
meaning you’ll see a significant ROI for giving your yard a little TLC.
Renovating an older home can be a tricky proposition if there’s
lots of expensive antiques and furniture in the way. To avoid doing damage,
look into renting a temporary storage space to preserve them while you’re
kicking up dirt and dust remodeling. Shop around for the best deals; for
instance, CubeSmart Self Storage in Orlando is currently reducing storage fees by 50 percent for the first month.
A house, particularly an old one, is more than a home; it’s a major business investment. Choosing renovation projects that earn you a high return on investment is important for turning an old house into a highly profitable asset.
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The need to relocate can arise at any time for any number of
reasons. A homeowner may need to pack up and move due to downsizing or because
of a job change. If you have a lot of boxes to pack and plenty of furniture,
exercise equipment and other large pieces, a moving company is probably your
best bet – unless you happen to know a lot of brawny men with time on their
hands. But bear in mind that commercial moving is a seasonal industry,
and moving companies tend to be a lot busier during the warm months, namely
spring, summer and early fall.
It’s not always possible to pick and choose when you’re
going to move, because circumstances sometimes dictate when and how quickly you
have to do it. Winter may not be the ideal time, but if done carefully and with
a vigilant eye on the weather, moving “off-season” can save you money and a few
headaches as well.
Be warm, stay safe
On moving day, you’ll be going in and out all day, so be
smart about how you dress. If the temperature dips below freezing, keep exposed
skin covered and protected from the wind. Wear boots with rubber soles or studs
that grip the snow and ice, and apply layers to keep your feet and legs
dry and warm. Use foresight and common sense, and leave snow removal equipment
(i.e. shovels, ice scrapers, salt, etc.) unpacked in case it’s needed when you
Track the weather
course, the weather can quickly turn a winter move from a great idea into a
dangerous venture. Watch the forecast leading up to moving day. If the
weatherman predicts snow and ice, track the situation closely in case it
becomes necessary to postpone your departure or call it off for safety’s sake.
Work with your moving company to plan the safest and most direct route, one
that emphasizes major roadways and avoids any
scheduled road construction.
When it comes to moving, you can’t have too many extra
hands. Don’t hold back – now’s the time to call on all those friends and
relatives you helped out on their moving day. Friends can help you declutter, organize and pack
everything, make sure all those boxes are properly labeled and, maybe most
importantly, be there to lend a smile and an encouraging word when you’ve had enough. The more you can do to
prepare ahead of time, the better off you’ll be when it’s time to load up the
moving van. Just don’t forget to order plenty of pizza once it’s all ready to
The right moving company
Do plenty of online research before hiring a moving company. Take the time to
read customer reviews, interview your candidates
and ask them for three references. Be sure that whomever you engage is fully
insured and licensed – a requirement for any interstate moving company. Once
you have a firm estimate in hand, make sure to get it guaranteed in writing,
which should include pick-up and delivery dates. Always be wary if you’re asked
for a sizable deposit (20 percent or higher), since most moving companies don’t
do business that way.
Keep your pets safe
Pets tend to get very skittish when their environment is
“invaded” and there’s suddenly a lot of strange people stomping around. The
chances of your pet escaping and getting hurt are much greater while the movers
are getting you packed up, so find a friend to play pet sitter while all the chaos is
going on, or find an affordable boarding service. It’ll be one less thing to
worry about on moving day, and that’s worth a lot.
There’s no need to fear moving in winter. It may be cold, but it’s also an excellent way to save money on what can be a very costly expense. With the moving business at a low ebb in the winter, you’re virtually assured of getting the moving date you want.
Guest Post by: Kris Louis firstname.lastname@example.org