Add Curb Appeal and Value to your Home during National Home Improvement Month
According to professional contractor Mark Clement, National Home Improvement Month in May is the ideal time to make improvements to the exterior of your home. By upgrading your home's curb appeal, you increase the value of your house and make a positive impact on visitors.
"According to Remodeling magazine's 2014 Cost vs. Value study, home improvement projects involving curb appeal have very strong return on investment numbers for homeowners," says Clement, co-host of MyFixitUpLife home improvement radio show. "Their research shows that in a mid-range priced home, up to 67.8 percent of the cost of a roof replacement can be recouped when selling a home.
"For the replacement of a fiberglass entry door, the cost recouped is up to 70.8 percent and homeowners can expect to regain up to a whopping 78.8 percent of the cost of replacing older windows with vinyl replacement windows. These numbers show that curb appeal improvements add value to the home overall and can be considered extremely smart investments for homeowners."
Clement points out that homeowners should start each May with a "top-down" evaluation of their home's exterior products. "Begin by checking out the appearance and functionality of your roof, siding, windows, trim and doors," says Clement. "Look for products that are worn out, need repair or re-painting, or simply should be replaced. Tackling these projects in May means you'll have more time to enjoy the results and a carefree summer."
Clement recommends the following checklist for National Home Improvement Month to make sure your home is in top condition:
1. Check the roof. Using either a ladder or binoculars from across the street, look for problem areas, such as missing or broken shingles, along with roofing tiles that may be "flapping" in the wind. These are all indications that a new roof may be in your future. If that's the case, research the benefits of polymer shake and slate roofing tiles. These impact- and fire-resistant tiles come in a wide variety of colors. Some roofing tiles are sustainable and recyclable. They also have a 50-year limited warranty.
2. Clean and assess the home's siding. Environmentally-friendly detergents, scrubbing and/or pressure-washing all work well for many homes to remove dirt and algae that can grow on siding. Never pressure-wash trim pieces, doors, windows or screens. The extreme high pressure could crack or destroy the caulking around the units. Check for changes in the exterior from the previous year and be alert to buckling, rotting, peeling paint or insect damage that may need to be fixed.
3. Check on the gutters. Each year homeowners should check to make sure their gutters are clean, unclogged, securely attached to the home and remain sloped for proper drainage. Plus, make sure the water running off the roof doesn't cause damage to the building structure, landscaping or property below the roof.
4. Evaluate the windows. If you find that the windows in your home don't operate easily, there's air leaking in or out of the units, or there's condensation between the glass panes, it may be time to seriously consider replacement windows.
Vinyl framed windows have the highest growth rate in the country due to their energy-efficiency, aesthetic appeal and durability. Some of the best have fusion-welded corners and multi-chambered construction. Plus, maintenance hassles are so low you'll forget the horrors of rotting frames, scraping and repainting that come with wood windows.
5. Spend time with your doors. If you can see light around a door from the inside, your door is hard to close or lock, or the door itself is warped, it's time to consider a new door. Even if you can't see light, air may be moving through gaps in the weather stripping at a surprising rate.
Think about the weather conditions that your home's doors face along with your energy bills. If either run to the extreme, consider replacing an inefficient entryway with a high-performance fiberglass door.
6. Look at your home's accessory features. Spend time with your shutters, trim and louvers to see if they're rotting. Check the bottoms and tops of columns and near the joints in crown and other mouldings for water spots, decay or peeling paint to see if they're deteriorating in any way. They may also be suffering from termites, insect infestations or warping.
Source: Ziprik Consulting