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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Kitchen and Bath Remodel Budgets

Many of our recent clients coming into the Design Center are interested in kitchen and bathroom updates.  Realtors will tell you that these are the glamour rooms of your home.  These are also some of the most used areas and rooms----and function is just as important as beauty. 

If you are thinking about a bathroom or kitchen remodel, you probably don't know how at start and have no idea how much to budget.  This week we will share with you average kitchen and bathroom costss
The average cost for a major kitchen remodel is roughly $60,000, a minor one under $20,000, but you can spend a lot more---or less.

Per John Bredemeyer, spokesperson for the Appraisal Institute, a standards-setting organization, you should spend 10 to 15 percent of your property value and expect about 75 cents back on the dollar at resale on a kitchen remodel.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association says for a "gut" remodel, plan to spend approximately 30 to 50 percent of the budget on cabinets (including installation), 5 to 20 percent on countertops, 10 to 20 percent for appliances, 5 to 11 percent for flooring, 2 to 5 percent for lighting and other electrical work, 1 to 2 percent for a tile backsplash, 3 to 6 percent for plumbing and fixtures, and 10 to 20 percent on fundamentals like windows and wallboard.

Using these guidelines, let's say your home is valued at $250,000. Your budget for the kitchen remodel should be $35,000.

By category you should budget:
Cabinets $17,500
Countertops $4,500
Appliances $3,000
Flooring $2,500
Lighting/electrical $1,000
Backsplash $1,000
Plumbing/fixtures $1,750
Misc. $3,750

You should also set aside a minimum of 10% of the budget as a contingency fund (in case of unforeseen structural problems, for example.)

You may think that because your bathroom is a fraction of the size of your kitchen that is would be easier, right?   Sorry, but you are sure to find that updating your bathroom is as overwhelming as a kitchen makeover!  There are just as many choices as well as huge price ranges to consider.  For example, a toilet can cost $100 or over $5,000, tub prices range between $125 to over $10,000, and even something "simple" like shower heads vary from $5 to $10,000.  Really. 

In 2012 a major bathroom remodel cost an average of $26,052.  An industry average price per square foot for a professionally done bathroom remodel ranges $175 to $225 per square foot on the low end and over $600 per square foot for a luxury bathroom. For a 5 x 8 bathroom (40 square feet) that is a range of $7,000 to $24,000. 

The NKBA breaks down bathroom remodeling costs like this:
·  Design fees: 4%
·  Installation: 20%
·  Fixtures: 15%
·  Cabinetry and hardware: 16%
·  Countertops: 7%
·  Lighting and ventilation: 5%
·  Flooring: 9%
·  Doors and windows: 4%
·  Walls and ceilings: 5%
·  Faucets and plumbing: 14%
·  Other: 1%
These figures are guidelines, not rules, and each project is different. Using these percentages and a bathroom remodel budget of $20,000  you will spend by category:

Installation (labor) $4000
Cabinetry and hardware $3200
Fixtures $3000
Faucets and plumbing $2800
Flooring $1800
Countertops $1400
Lighting and ventilation $1000
Walls and ceilings $1000
All other $1800

Also set aside a minimum of 10% of the budget as a contingency fund (in case of unforeseen structural problems, for example.)

New Carpet?  If You Want The Very Best . . . . .
You will want to consider the new "Bliss Indulgence" line of premium soft carpets from Beaulieu of America, the third largest carpet producer in the nation.  Indulgence is constructed with the company's patented 100% PermaSoft solution-dyed nylon fiber that is colorfast and stain resistant. Bliss Indulgence is elegant, incredibly soft and durable, and is available in 5 textured plush styles and 2 fashion forward patterns.

What is different about this nylon carpet is that it is solution dyed.  That means the color is integral to the fiber and not added later, so stains have nowhere to attach.  In fact, you can spot-clean Bliss Indulgence with a 50% solution of household bleach and water. Indulgence comes with a Lifetime No-Exclusion Stain Removal Warranty and Beaulieu's Magic Fresh treatment that reduces household odors.  Indulge yourself today with the softest carpet with the ultimate in performance.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Write A Review, Win $500

More Home Improvement Projects That (Almost) Pay For Themselves

We have been reviewing Remodeling Magazine's annual survey list of home improvement projects. These are the next group of projects in order of Return On Investment and a few additional comments from the experts at HGTV. It's hard to decide which project to undertake first, isn't it?

#11 Family Room Addition
Average return at resale: 83 percent
•The average family room addition costs $54,464 and adds $45,458 at resale, a recoup rate of 83 percent.
•A sunroom counts in the home's square footage only when the room is heated and cooled for year-round use.
•A sunroom adds value only in upscale neighborhoods. It won't bring in higher bids in lower-end neighborhoods.
•An addition shouldn't be obvious. Make sure it has an open transition. A wider interior doorway and more substantial steps (if on a different level) visually connect the addition to the rest of the house

#12 Bonus Room Updates
Average return at resale: 72.8 percent
• Finishing a 12x12 bonus room costs on average $13,143 and brings in $9,569 at closing.
◦If you're selling, know your target market and decorate to please them. Families use bonus rooms differently than empty-nesters and singles. Bonus rooms can be used as additional bedrooms, home offices, media rooms, and family rooms. (NOTE: if you want the room to "count" as a bedroom, it needs to have a closet.)

#13 Living Room Updates - Decor
Average return at resale: 66 percent
• Spending about $1,350 on staging and updating living room decor will get you new light switches, outlet covers, floor registers, crown molding, chair rails and drapes, plus fresh, live flowers and accessories.•Details add dollars. Crown molding gives a room a crisp, clean finish that buyers love. Make sure you choose molding that complements window trim and floor boards. Prices start at around $1.40 per linear foot.
•Add square footage with a simple trick. Shift furniture away from the walls to make living rooms feel larger and more contemporary. Create a seating area around a feature you want buyers to notice - like a dramatic fireplace. •If you're staging your home to sell, don't move excess furniture and clutter into the garage. Rent a storage unit for about $1 per square foot per month.
•New window treatments are a cost-conscious way to add a punch of designer color. For low ceilings, suggest the illusion of height by positioning drapes and valances higher on the wall.

#14 Bedroom Updates
Average return at resale: 52 percent
• Cost for new lighting will vary from $100 - $500.•For a romantic design touch, swap the old light fixture for a small chandelier. The formula for sizing a chandelier: Room width + Room length in feet = chandelier diameter in inches.
•Scale your window treatments to your room size.
•New bedding and window treatments: $300.
•Hardwood floors are hotter than ever. If you live in an older (pre 1970s) home, you may have hardwood floors under the carpet. If so you can pull up the worn carpeting and refinish the old floors to let the wood shine. Sanding hardwoods is physically demanding and if you do it wrong, you ruin the floor. Hire a pro!

#15 Living Room Updates-Walls and Floors
Average return at resale: 40 percent
• For only $25, freshen the living room walls with a coat of paint in a light, neutral color. And don't overlook the trim - brighten it with a high-gloss white paint and caulk any open seams between the molding and ceiling and baseboard and wall.•On average, quality hardwood flooring ranges from $6--$8 per square foot installed. For a 200 square foot area, expect to spend about $1,600 for new hardwood floors.
• If you have carpet in the living room, either have it professionally
cleaned ($100-$150) or replaced if it's torn, stained or has an unrelenting odor. A 200 square foot living room ranges $500 to $1000 fully installed with new carpet and pad.
•Always test popcorn ceilings for asbestos before you start (find an accredited lab at Asbestos was used in textured paints manufactured before 1977.
•Buy a new wood or stone mantel for as little as $500

Did You Know?
Reviews are important. Many of our clients tell us that they "checked us out online" before deciding to call us or come in. The BrightLocal 2013 Local Consumer Review Survey found that 85% of consumers say that they read online reviews for local businesses (up from 76% in 2012.) Only 12% of consumers said they take no notice of online reviews (down from 17% in 2012.)We are very proud to have great clients that have taken the time to write a review about their experience with Enhance Floors & More.

There are many places that consumer reviews are published:, Yelp, Google, and Angie's List, to name a few. One of the best known in Atlanta is Did you know that each month has a random drawing of everyone that has written a review on their website that month, and that lucky person wins $500? We encourage you to write a review, about Enhance Floors & More, or your vet, or the electrician you just used, whatever business you want to review. This not only helps other consumers determine if they can trust and should use that business, but it can also win you $500 Good luck!

Only Whisper Around The Kids
It is almost back to school time. If you are wondering when the first day of school is:
Cherokee County Monday August 5
Cobb County Wednesday August 7
Fulton County Monday August 12