Which Home Remodeling Projects Deliver the Most Value?

Remodeling DIYAccording to the 2013 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report for the Portland area, the projects with the greatest potential for recouping a portion of the cost of mid-range projects) are:

1. Entry Door Replacement (steel) – 104%

2. Garage Door Replacement – 101.8%

3. Attic Bedroom Remodel – 90.9%

4. Window Replacement – 85%

5. Basement Remodel – 84.8%

See the chart below for other project highlights…

Remodeling_cost_vs_value_Portland

 

 

Need a reliable service provider? Visit HomeServices at www.HomeServicesNW.com for a directory of carefully screened vendors committed to meeting our high standards of customer service.

If you’re thinking about updating your home and would like to read more about the 2013 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, complete data from the report can be downloaded at www.costvsvalue.com.  © 2013 Hanley Wood, LLC.


Tips for protecting your home from frozen pipes this winter

frozen pipesRain, ice and snow can play havoc with water pipes. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help prevent plumbing emergencies.

Outside plumbing tips:

  • Caulk around pipes where they enter the home.
  • Close all foundation vents and fill vent openings with wood or Styrofoam blocks
  • Wrap outside faucets or hose bibs with insulation if you don’t have a separate outside valve to turn them off. Use molded foam-insulation covers which are available at hardware stores. Newspaper or rags (covered with plastic wrap) are another option.
  • Disconnect garden hoses and drain in-ground irrigation systems.

For inside plumbing:

  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas, such as attics, crawl spaces and basements.
  • When below-freezing weather is forecast, open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathrooms. This allows these pipes to get more heat from inside your home.
  • If you leave home for several days, put your furnace on a low setting. This may not prevent freezing pipes but it can help.
  • Let a slight drip of water run when temperatures dip below freezing. Use cold water to avoid water heating charges.

What if pipes freeze?

  • Thaw plumbing lines safely with a hair dryer or heat lamp. Once the pipe has thawed, make sure to leave a little water running so the pipe doesn’t freeze again.
  • Do not open the water meter box near the curb. It could increase the chance of freezing water at the meter.

What if pipes break?

  • Close your main water shut-off valve to your house. Most shut-off valves are located where the water line enters the house, either at the front of your house where you connect your hose, or basement near the hot water heater, or inside the garage.
  • Turn off the water heater. Locate the dedicated shut-off valve on the cold water inlet.
  • Remember, the repair of broker pipes on the customer’s side of the meter is the customer’s responsibility. Contact a plumber for repair work.

Hopefully these tips will help prevent problems at your house this winter! Click here to learn more about protecting your home from frozen pipes.

Information courtesy of the Portland Water Bureau.

 


Homeowners Advice: Get Ready for Fall

Fall treeFall is just around the corner in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s a great time to think about home maintenance. To retain your home’s best value, it’s important to stay on top of projects and repairs, both large and small. At Prudential Northwest Properties, we believe seasonal maintenance is a great way to stay aware of issues that need to be addressed.

Small repairs may seem insignificant, but letting them add up over time can lead to an overwhelming list down the road.

Take a personal inventory of repairs that need to be addressed. These could range from paver stones that need to be repositioned in a patio to a large-scale roof replacement. Walk your home inside and out, from top to bottom, and make a list of issues.

Look for paint that could use some retouching, tiles that need to be grouted, loose or scuffed baseboards, broken screens, squeaky doors, and everything in-between.

Budget and prioritize what can be addressed now, what needs a professional to fix, and what needs to wait for available funds.

Fall is also the time of year to prepare your home for the coming winter months. It is much easier to install storm windows during temperate weather than during a blizzard!

Be sure to address each of these issues each fall:

  • Call the HVAC guy:  Your unit has been working hard all summer during our hot weather. Now is a great time to service your unit before the chill of winter sets in.
  • Check and clean chimney:  Dirty chimneys cause hundreds of home fires every year. Be sure to have a professional clean and inspect your fireplace and chimney each fall.
  • Clean the gutters:  It’s not just about appearances, though clean gutters do look better. A clogged gutter system can back-up water on your roof and cause leaks.
  • Check your attic and roof:  Inspect the metal flashing around chimneys, pipes and vents. Look for loose shingles or tiles. Some observations can be made from the ground with binoculars or from a ladder, but think safety first and call in a professional if you need assistance.
  • Yard maintenance:  Be sure to rake leaves and pick up downed limbs during Fall. Empty and put away flower pots. Address flower beds and put down new mulch for a clean appearance.
  • Check your windows and doors:  Are there seals that need attention? If you have storm windows, now is a good time to install them.
  • Prepare winter equipment:  Put away your lawn mower (yay!) and service your chainsaw. Check to be sure your snow shovel is in working order in case you need it. It’s better to know now that a tool isn’t working than to discover this on a day you need it! 

Fall is a great time to address the needs of your property, while the weather is still warm and the sun still shines. Take an inventory of your home’s needs and be sure to follow through with proper home maintenance. When it comes to your home’s value, you’ll be glad you took care of things early.

If you need professional assistance, our HomeServices program is the place to turn. Their vendors have all been carefully screened to meet the highest standards of customer service. Visit www.HomeservicesNW.com today for details.

Indoor Air Quality and Health – How One Impacts the Other

indoor air qualityMaintaining a healthy home means promoting a healthy lifestyle, but some Americans aren’t aware of the important role indoor air plays in creating a healthy home. In fact, nearly half of Americans (49%) believe indoor air quality has little to no impact on overall health, according to an online indoor air quality consumer survey conducted by Harris Interactive.

The truth is that improved indoor air quality can lead to a healthier lifestyle for you and your family. The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to improve the air quality in your home and your overall quality of life. If you are remodeling or building your home, there are several changes that can minimize contaminants and improve the air you breathe inside your home.

According to the study, Americans are more likely to improve air quality by making temporary changes—cleaning carpets, using cleaning products that promise to reduce pollutants and cleaning and/or disinfecting ducts. However, there are things that can have a longer lasting affect such as:

-Keeping your house mold-free. Mold spores produce allergens that can trigger asthma attacks and cause sneezing, runny nose and red eyes.
-Using safer building materials such as stainless steel, tile, adobe and insulation without added formaldehydes.
-Keeping your home free of radon. The colorless, odorless gas can cause lung cancer.
-Ensure your home is properly insulated to prevent leaks.

For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/iaq/


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