Tag Archives: home improvement

Spring Home Improvement 2016

Home improvement couple, seen in happier times
Home improvement couple, seen in happier times

The path to spring home improvement can be rewarding. All it takes is a lot of time, work and money, and the willingness to disagree long and loudly with your significant other. As for the marriage counseling, it’s often covered under your health insurance plan, so there’s that.

If you decide to go down this road, you probably have a few projects in mind, both big and small. But which ones make the most sense for you, your house, your neighborhood and your budget?

Fortunately, this is the time of year when teh intarwebs are full of spring home improvement tips. So we thought we would be a good neighbor, passing along constructive advice, and not just threatening to call the City about your shutters that haven’t been painted since Bush was in office – no, not him, his father!

Here are some links:

And, just so you know, I am right there with you. Our sliding patio door is forever cloudy. The seal has rotted between the panes in the double-glaze. Estimated repair? $480.00! Yay, home improvement!

What’s on your infernal to-do list this spring? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Home Improvement Winners & Losers

home improvementThis past Saturday, I was cleaning out the garage (or “rearranging the mess” as my wife calls it.) Meanwhile, wife was potting plants. The lady across the street was laying paving stones on her garden path, and the guy two doors down was planting a palmetto tree. As you can see – in South Carolina, at least – it’s “that time of year.”

Spring home improvement projects… You sit cooped up all winter, and your imagination runs wild. The sun comes out, and where do you begin? Well, as a homeowner, you are trained to do projects that will come as close as possible to “paying for themselves” when you sell your house.

Fortunately, there are a lot of resources out there to tell you which projects meet that criterion. Here’s one called The 2015 Cost vs Value Report. It gives national averages and also breaks it down by region. Here are some highlights, looking at the national average of mid-range home improvement projects…

Biggest return:

  • Steel entry door replacement: Costs $1200, you will recoup $1250, a 102% return
  • Exterior stone veneer: Cost $7100, recoup $6500, 92% return
  • New garage door: Cost $1600, recoup $1400, 88% return
  • New vinyl siding: Cost $12K, recoup $9700, 81% return
  • Deck addition (wood): Cost $10K, recoup $8100, 80% return

Biggest losers:

  • Master suite addition: Cost $111K, recoup $69K, 62% return
  • Backup power generator: Cost $12K, recoup $7000, 60% return
  • Bathroom addition: Cost $39K, recoup $23K, 58% return
  • Home office remodel: Cost $29K, recoup $14K, 49% return
  • New sunroom: Cost $76K, recoup $37K, 48% return

TONS more info at the original piece, so check it out! So, are you doing any home improvements this spring? Have you had any success stories when you went to sell? Any nightmares? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Spring Home Improvement Fun?

Savings Tip #1: Find a bunch of giant $100 bills in the yard
Savings Tip #1: Find a bunch of giant $100 bills in the yard

It’s been a tough winter for just about everybody. And, trust me, I know it’s relative. If I tell you that here in Charleston SC, we had a cold snap where “it got down to 19 degrees one night!” many of you will laugh. But that’s a big deal here! Anyway, as spring finally breaks, we emerge from our caves to find that our lawns, landscaping, patios and home exteriors look decidedly more beat-to-crap than we remember them. Disgusted, we go back inside to the dank grizzly den we burrowed into all winter long, only to see that it has suffered a similar fate.

I’m pretty sure this is where the whole Spring Cleaning thing came from. I believe it’s as much as a psychological need as a physical one.

Of course, that takes money. That is, if you (I) have any left after watching your (my) heating bills more than double over the winter. A lot of folks use their tax refunds and – even in 2014 – over half of us plan to get one.

How will we spend? According to Zillow.com, about 60% will take on some kind of project, but we will only spend $700 on average – which is the lowest since Zillow started their survey. So, since we are being so conservative, here are some links to help you spend wisely!

Also, Walmart and Target are having HUGE home improvement sales this weekend.
How about you? Any home improvement plans? I plan to smash my thumb with a hammer and cuss a lot. Share your plans and savings tips with us over at the MindField Online Facebook page. And have a great weekend!