What You Should Know Before Adding an Addition to your Home


The idea of adding an addition to your home is simple in theory and even increases the comfort of the people living inside your house. Especially if you are looking for more space to accommodate a guest, family member or start that in home gym you’ve always wanted. By investing in a home addition, you are customizing your home to your liking while also maintaining the same level of comfort. Whether you are a new or experienced homeowner, there are key components you should understand before committing to a home addition. Realistically, home additions can cause unforeseen problems that would make them unfavorable to some people. 

Good or Bad Investment?

One of the most prevalent questions regarding a home addition that should be in the forefront of your mind is, “Is this considered a good or bad investment?” To determine if a home addition is a wise investment, you should compare your home to the sales price of other local homes with similar characteristics to yours. If the cost of your home addition exceeds the new property value of your home, it would be considered a poor investment. If you are unsure of how to calculate this, our dedicated team of seasoned professionals will provide an accurate assessment on the costs associated with your Los Angeles home addition project. If it’s a good investment that improves the value of your home without exceeding the cost, we will provide you with a multitude of financial options best suited to your needs. This may consist of utilizing a home equity line of credit, an extended mortgage, etc. 

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Property Taxes Will Increase:

A home addition will most likely raise your property taxes. But the question is, “by how much?” Before committing to adding on, homeowners should evaluate the enhanced value of their home, included with the addition, to accurately assess the new tax liability based on current tax rates. At RL Remodeling, we are normally able to make a logical prediction based on the current property value of your California home and the current tax ramifications associated with it. 

Conserving Energy:

When investing in a home addition, energy efficiency is something to keep in mind. Such as energy efficient fixtures, windows and construction. For example, windows that are able to successfully prevent hot and cold air from escaping the room would be considered energy efficient. Also, low energy consumption appliances will exponentially decrease the costs associated with an addition. These things will lower energy bills and overcome negative impact on the environment. As an energy efficient construction company, our main focus is to provide maximum value to homeowners while lowering the environmental burden and excessively high energy bills, due to poor planning and lackluster home improvements.

Additions Take Time:

While the thought of an addition can be exciting, that doesn’t take away from the time required to provide the best results. There are a number of problems that can occur, such as bad weather conditions that cause unanticipated delays, damaged areas of the home, unexpected challenges within the construction process, and possibly reassessment of the property. As a homeowner, it’s imperative to understand the normal timeframe for project completion, so you can decide if an add on is the best option for you. This process can take weeks to months depending on the complexity and challenges presented in the project. If a homeowner wants expedited results, buying a new home might be the better alternative option. 

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Considering buying a home that needs remodeling? Read this…

Considering buying a home that needs some TLC? Are you concerned about the remodeling costs? Well Freddie Mac is now offering a new loan product which allows homebuyers to purchase a home and finance the remodeling costs with a single close mortgage.

According to McLean, VA June 19th 2019 (Globe Newswire) Freddie Mac announced its CHOICERenovation loan to help address the nations aging housing supply, support the need for affordable housing, and offer renovation, repair, improvement or refinance options to support the increasing demand for cost-effective financing solutions.

The CHOICERenovation mortgage is available immediately to all eligible lenders nationwide.

This is a great opportunity for buyers looking to purchase a fixer home and remodel it with their own needs, wants, and personal tastes. At RL Remodeling we offer free consultation during the buyers escrow period. Meeting with a contractor prior to obtaining the house is a great way to save time and money.

First, by knowing the exact costs  to renovate the home, the buyer will know the  exact funds needed to mortgage. Up until now, buyers assumed the remodel costs and either had funds ready after closing, or moved in and saved up for the particular remodel to be done down the road. In addition, knowing the remodeling time frame, makes it easier to schedule moving in and out, which usually creates stress and lots of logistical planning.

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Second, buyer will be ready to begin the remodeling process right after closing. Being able to start the remodel process right after closing is a great way to save on overlapping living expenses. Remodeling prior to moving in also means that one doesn’t have to be living in the home during the remodel process. Or, if planning to remodel only  after moving in, having to find temporary housing during the remodel process.

In all, we find this new tool a great way to make home buying a more affordable and pleasant process. Having an option to lend more, and knowing all the costs and expenses prior to purchase is a key to a successful home purchase.

 

 

 

Tips To Consider When Hiring A Contractor

The contractor you hire when beginning a home design and remodel can have a big impact on your project’s success. Good contractors use smart business practices and have the proper credentials. Asking the right questions and doing careful research can help you find the right construction professional. Below are 4 important factors to consider when hiring a contractor for your upcoming project.

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1. Reputation

Good contractors earn their reputation by doing quality work over and over again. Checking your contractor’s reputation will help you separate the good contractors from the others. When checking contractor reputation, find the answers to the following questions:

  • Does the contractor normally work in your area?
  • Are they bonded, licensed and insured?
  • Do they have workers comp insurance?

To answer these questions, check the contractor’s website for information about their licensure and work history. A look at Facebook, Yelp, Houzz, BuildZoom and Angie’s List will give you access to customer reviews. Googling the contractor’s name may also turn up information about their activities in your community. Read what people say about them and see how active and current they are.

Online reviews may vary, but a good contractor will generally get five star ratings from satisfied customers. A glance at the various comments on social media should reveal that most jobs were completed to the customer’s satisfaction, on time, and within the customer’s budget.

Checking references is another way to find out whether your contractor has a good reputation. When checking references, ask each reference the same questions. Some good questions to ask include:

  • When did you work with this contractor?
  • What kind of work did this contractor do for you?
  • Would you hire this contractor again?
  • Did the contractor stick to original plan? i.e. finish on time, stick to budget.

A contractor who has done a lot of work in the past should have many references. Ideally, the references your contractor provides should relate to the work being done (i.e., if you’re getting a kitchen design and remodel, the references should have had similar work done on their house). At RL Remodeling we will gladly provide you with a list in your area to talk to and even tour our work and see us in action.

2. Business Practices

A contractor’s business practices can also have a big impact on your ultimate satisfaction with the job being done. Some companies send out a “salesperson,” who then disappears and various crews come in to complete the job. A good contractor will give customers one point of contact for the entire job. That single point of contact helps reduce the chances of a miscommunication. At RL Remodeling we care fully assign a Project Manager for your entire project duration. The Project Manager is chosen based on his experience in your city, type of project, and his availability.

The consultation should always be free, and if multiple consultations are needed, the contractor should comply. This helps ensure the consumer will make a well-informed decision when they hire the contractor. No pressure should ever be made.

Finally, whether the contractor works with sub-contractors or employees is another important factor to consider. Contractors who work exclusively with sub-contractors may not have tight control of the project. Contractors who work exclusively with employees often have an easier time with organization and communication.

3. Availability

Good contractors book up fast! Ask each contractor about their availability as you meet with them, and don’t be surprised if you have to wait for the best contractors. However, a good contractor knows how to manage their time and inform you a head of time of project duration. Furthermore, a good contractor will work around your schedule not theirs.

4. Design and Style

Some contractors don’t do any design work of their own. Homeowners who hire these contractors must first go to an architect to have their design made. Other contractors, sometimes referred to as design-build contractors, have in-house designers for added convenience. You can see their style by looking through their website and viewing photos of previous jobs. At RL Remodeling we have our in home design team. Working with a design team and Project Manager together has many advantages. First, you can make all the needed amendments and changes based on budget and timing prior to plans approval. Many times we are contacted by homeowners who created beautiful designs, later to find out that the cost and timing of their project exceeds their initial budget and expectations. Thus, making their design useless. Carefully monitoring the process, prior to pulling permits and getting plans approved are keys to success.

To sum up, whether you are looking to remodel your kitchen, remodel your bathroom,  expand your home or perform a room addition, convert your garage, or simply do a backyard remodel; research well, ask many questions prior to hiring a contractor. This will assure a smooth and easy process with no surprises or bumps in the journey.

Surviving a Kitchen Remodel While Living in Your Home

Your kitchen is the heart of your home, and most of the time the first room one notices when walking in. We all know that an updated and remodeled kitchen adds value to your home. For most homeowners who choose to remodel their kitchen, moving out during the process is not an option due to the added expenses, and living at home during the process creates many challenges. Living without a functioning kitchen due to remodel can  be challenging. Over the years we’ve learned that planning ahead, choosing the right time for the project, and hiring the right contractor can make the process much easier. Some of the key factors to consider are:

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Prepare and freeze meals in advance.

A functional freezer can be a godsend during a kitchen remodel,  particularly if you take the time to prepare and freeze meals in advance. From casseroles to lasagnas to pot pies, these can easily be popped into the microwave and defrosted for a healthy, hearty and home-cooked family dinner any night of the week.

Set up a temporary kitchen.

Why make do without a kitchen when you can set up a temporary space instead? If you have a sink in your utility room, basement or garage, consider turning it into a makeshift kitchen. Think practical, not pretty: Instead of disposing of your old cabinets, ask your contractor to relocate them to this part of your home for the time being. A piece of plywood laid on top of the cabinets becomes a work surface.

Keep kitchen items handy.

Once you’ve set up your temporary kitchen, you’ll want to make sure that it’s stocked with necessities, including your go-to cooking equipment, plates and utensils, and paper towels. Store these items in clear plastic containers so you can easily locate them when you need them. Pack everything else away to maximize organization and minimize mess.

Cook (and dine) al fresco.

If your kitchen remodel takes place during warm weather, barbecuing is a fun and festive way to make the most of the season — and your time without a kitchen. Or, consider planning and packing a weekly picnic.

Get creative.

If you’re like most people, you may have found yourself in the occasional cooking rut. Use your time without a kitchen to think outside the box. Panini makers, for example, are inexpensive, portable and perfect for making tasty sandwiches. Buying or borrowing a camping cook stove, meanwhile, can help you pull off more ambitious meals.

Find dining deals.

Despite your best efforts, you may still find yourself eating out more than usual during your kitchen renovation. However, this doesn’t have to mean blowing your budget. Instead, scour your local paper for take-out coupons and dine-in promotions, such two-for-one deals and “kids eat free with an adult” nights. Taking advantage of these specials is a simple way to avoid overspending.

Choose the right contractor.

It’s important to hire the right contractor for your kitchen remodel. Be sure to check the contractor’s experience in your area. Read the reviews, and browse their  kitchen gallery for design inspiration. A good contractor will have active social media accounts featuring all the latest design trends and styles. In addition, your chosen contractor should provide you with local references in your area.

Hire a contractor who works around your schedule. For example, you should expect your contractor to hold off on starting your kitchen remodel, including any demo of your current kitchen, until all the materials are delivered to the job site. This will ensure you’ll have a shorter time without a working kitchen. Your contractor should also be respectful of your space by covering walkways and furniture to avoid dust and damage, and by cleaning up each day before they leave. They should show up on time, and only perform noisy tasks during reasonable hours when they’re less likely to be a nuisance to the neighbors.

One last thing to keep in mind about your remodeling project– hiring the right kitchen contractor can make all the difference. When you choose RL Remodeling, you are assigned an experienced dedicated project manager who will serve as your main contact for the entire duration of your project. This not only ensures that we will understand your kitchen remodel goals, but also that we will be readily available to help you achieve them.

 

5 Inexpensive x Maintenance And Repair Strategies

With our busy lifestyles, it can be all too easy to neglect the little maintenance issues around our homes until the problem gets worse. Mold buildup in the bathroom, holes in your window screens, and dusty exhaust fans might not seem like much, but over time, they can create serious annoyances, disrupting your lifestyle and leading to bigger issues.

Catching even little issues before they escalate saves you money, and it keeps your home pleasant and liveable. With this in mind, familiarizing yourself with some of the best inexpensive home maintenance hacks is a great first step to doing everything you can to preserve your home’s liveability. If you don’t already have a maintenance checklist for your home, check out these handy tips. 

1. Use painter’s tape for perfect caulk edges

Caulking is like a magical home maintenance strategy: you can use it in just about any space to prevent costly water damage, dampness (and associated mold and mildew), and unwanted airflow. In the bathroom and kitchen, caulking can prevent water damage. Caulking can also be used around windows and other gaps to stop heated or cooled air escaping your home. Ongoing caulking is great basic maintenance that can help you avoid costly damage over the long term and even preserve the value of your property.

Getting your caulking right is easy if you apply a simple hack. The next time you need to apply caulk to seal your bathroom areas or a window leaking airflow, apply painter’s tape, ensuring you press down firmly to eliminate the risk of seepage. This can keep your caulk joints professional-looking, even, narrow, and straight. Once you’ve applied the caulking, remove the tape immediately, while the caulking is still wet.

2. Use canned air to clean exhaust fans

The humble exhaust fans around your home can help keep your interior spaces well ventilated and free of damp, mold, and mildew so it’s worth making a little extra effort to keep them clean. Well-maintained exhaust fans function more efficiently and could be less prone to breaking down or needing repairs. 

One of the easiest ways to clean your exhaust fans is to use canned air. Turn off the exhaust fan, remove the grate, and wash and clean it with water as best as you can. You can then spray canned air to clean out the narrow, hard-to-reach parts of the grate. 

3. Fix small screen tears with clear nail polish

Have you noticed bugs and insects seem to be getting into your house lately? Your window screens could have small tears in them, which means all kinds of pesky little critters are getting into your house. Check your screens carefully, checking for any small tears that are easy to overlook.

If you end up discovering you’ve indeed got some tears in your window screens, an easy hack to try is using nail polish to repair them. Apply the clear nail polish to the tears using the included applicator brush, and watch it dry like glue to act as a barrier against unwanted bugs and insects.

4. Eliminate showerhead buildup with a vinegar wash

If you’ve got hard water in your area or alternatively you haven’t cleaned out your showerhead for a while, you’ve probably got some discoloration around your showerhead holes. This mineral and limescale buildup not only looks unsanitary; it can clog up your showerhead and interrupt water flow. 

Luckily you can liberate your showerhead from the buildup with an easy, inexpensive hack that doesn’t use harsh chemicals. Fill up a plastic bag with enough vinegar to soak your showerhead and tie it around the showerhead. Let it sit for a few hours or longer, and wipe it clean. You’ll be surprised at how clean your free-flowing showerhead now looks. 

5. Use a squeegee to remove hair from carpet

Have you noticed your vacuum cleaner often leaves behind quite a bit of hair on your carpet? Whether it’s human hair or hairs from your pets, those bits of scraggy clumps of hair can turn your cleaning routine into a hassle.

To keep your carpets in pristine condition, try this cheap and easy time-saving hack. Buy a good-quality squeegee and run it over your carpet after vacuuming. As you do, you’ll notice it efficiently catching hairs as well as any dirt and dust your vacuum cleaner left behind. 

Keep your home in great shape on a budget

Every homeowner will have good reason to carry out ongoing maintenance. Ongoing maintenance preserves the value of your home, lets you prevent minor issues from getting worse, and at a practical level, makes your home a pleasant space to live.

Home maintenance and repairs can be an involved process, and at times, it can be costly. For this reason, using to a renovation calculator to stay on budget, plus getting to know some of the inexpensive yet effective hacks helps you save money and keeps the process simple. Whether it’s keeping your carpets spotless, maintaining fixtures like showerheads and exhaust fans, or waterproofing bathrooms and kitchens, try these easy hacks today.