kitchen upgrades

This is the fourth installment of an occasional column called Getting Real About Renovations. We’re looking at renovation realities for all sorts of projects, from hardwood floors and open floorplans, to master suite additions and kitchen upgrades. We’ll give you the unadulterated truth about options, costs, effort, Realtor opinion, and estimated ROI for these projects. You can read the last one about adding new insulation here.  

Kitchen renovations are a big deal on popular media—there’s hardly a home improvement show that doesn’t glorify the tearing apart and putting back together of a kitchen.

This is probably for good reason. The kitchen is the heart of the home and updating it can make a huge difference in the look and feel of a house.

But is it worth it? The headache and expense? Fully 35 percent of U.S. homeowners would rather move to another home than remodel their current home, according to the 2015 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

It depends on the reason for renovating, says Harrison Polsky, a Realtor with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty.

“Doing renovations can either do nothing for the seller, benefit the seller, or even hurt the seller—there honestly isn’t a right or wrong answer—think about how many spec homes are still on the market,” Polsky said. “When you start to speculate what buyers want, your risk increases. However, some buyers can’t see past an outdated kitchen and can’t get a construction loan to do the work.”

No matter the reason, though, the return on investment (ROI) for kitchen renovations is more than two-thirds the investment. Jump to learn more!

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This is the third installment of a new occasional column called Getting Real About Renovations. We’re looking at renovation realities for all sorts of projects, from hardwood floors and open floorplans, to master suite additions and kitchen upgrades. We’ll give you the unadulterated truth about options, costs, effort, Realtor opinion, and estimated ROI for these projects. You can read the last one about garage doors here

When people think of home renovations, things like “new kitchen” and “hardwood floors” typically come to mind. But when it comes to bang for your buck — and it might not be as sexy as a new vaulted ceiling or bathroom tile treatment — you really can’t beat adding insulation.

Both nationally and in Dallas, the top home remodeling projects last year were those that increased the functionality and sustainability of the home. They did this by improving either a home’s drive-up appeal or energy efficiency, according to the 2016 Cost vs. Value Report by the National Association of Realtors and Remodeling magazine.

Fiberglass attic insulation, which increases a home’s energy efficiency, ranked among the top five most profitable projects nationwide. In Dallas, it recouped 100.9 percent of initial investment, based on an average project cost of $1,482, according to that report.

“I think adding insulation is a great ROI in most cases —it is relatively inexpensive, as compared with radiant barrier, HVAC, solar panels, and a lot of other energy efficiency features,” said Kay Wood, a Realtor with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. “There are also sometimes incentives from Oncor or federal tax credits for increasing the efficiency of your home. I always encourage clients to think about how long they plan to stay in their home and how long it looks like it will take to see that savings pay for their investment. Energy efficiency and green features can also improve resale.”

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garage doors

Steel carriage garage door. Photo: NTX Garage Doors

This is the second installment of a new occasional column called Getting Real About Renovations. We’re looking at renovation realities for all sorts of projects, from hardwood floors and open floorplans, to master suite additions and kitchen upgrades. We’ll give you the unadulterated truth about options, costs, effort, Realtor opinion, and estimated ROI for these projects. You can read the last one about hardwood floors here.

Generally speaking, homeowners remodel to upgrade worn-out surfaces, finishes, and materials; to add features and improve livability; because it is time for a change; and because they’re selling.

Garage door replacements may not sound like a big deal, but in fact, they are one of the easiest ways to quickly boost a home’s curb appeal if the garage faces the street (a front-facing garage door can be almost 20 percent of your home’s front facade). They are also ranked among the top five most profitable projects nationwide, and in Dallas, according to the 2016 Cost vs. Value Report by the National Association of Realtors and Remodeling magazine.

Midrange garage door replacements recoup 100.7 percent ($1,544) of the total project cost in Dallas. Upscale garage door replacements are quickly gaining, too — in 2015, they increased 19 percentage points year-over-year to recoup 82.2 percent ($2,550) of the total project cost.

“I think we often forget to consider that a garage door is not only a functional feature but can be a design feature as well,” said Robin Moss Norcross with Nathan Grace Real Estate. “A garage door update, especially if front facing, can certainly continue the exterior design scheme.”

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hardwood floors

Antique wormy chestnut reclaimed hardwood floors by Olde Wood Ltd.

Today, we’re starting a new occasional column called Getting Real About Renovations. We’re going to look at renovation realities for all sorts of projects, from hardwood floors and open floorplans, to master suite additions and kitchen upgrades. We’ll give you the unadulterated truth about options, costs, effort, Realtor opinion, and estimated ROI for these projects.  

Americans can’t get enough about home improvements, from reality TV shows to demand for renovations in properties on the market at all price points. In the first ten months of October 2015 alone, Americans spent $326.1 billion on remodeling their homes, according to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the 2015 Remodeling Impact Report.

Many homeowners wonder which will bring them the most happiness and get the best return on investment (ROI) should they sell in the future (or if they’re flipping a property!).

We’re starting this series by looking at hardwood floors in all their forms: engineered, solid wood, and reclaimed wood floors, as well as refinishing existing floors.

So are they worth the investment? In a word, absolutely.

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