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Appalachian Mountain Realty Guide

Home Remodeling

Kitchen and bathroom renovations are among the most commonly chosen home remodeling projects, and they also do the most to enhance a home's future resale value.

Great Rooms are becoming popular - homeowners are removing walls and merging kitchen, dining and family room areas, moving toward this combined room effect often seen in model homes and builders' showcases. These new-style kitchens are acting as the hub of family life - warmer and softer than traditional kitchens, often with cabinets that match furniture in order to blend the room and lifestyle.

Another consideration is the creation of an energy-efficient, state-of-the-art, Earth friendly kitchen. Search out the companies currently manufacturing energy-saving appliances, some of which reduce power consumption in dishwashers and refrigerators by as much as 30% - 50%.

No other appliance uses as much energy as the refrigerator, so when it's time to retire the old model it pays to purchase a high-efficiency one. Look for the yellow Energy Guide label to compare the estimated yearly energy costs of the models you are considering. Include a recycling center in the kitchen or pantry which serves the purpose of a staging area for primary sorting of recyclable such as plastics, cans, bottles, junk paper, newspapers, and vegetable scraps for your compost maker.

Bathroom upgrades should include the installation of low flow toilets and the latest in water saving shower heads and sink faucets, as well as faucet aerators. Remember to keep color and style conservative for best resale potential. Pay special attention to tile, bathroom fixture and appliance colors; light colors and conservative choices are best.

Personalize a neutral room by decorating with bright towels, pictures and other decor touches.

Other popular projects include master bedroom suite remodeling projects which add large windows or French doors leading to patios or decks, blending the house with the yard. Consider using dual pane windows for heat retention, compact fluorescent light bulbs to lower energy costs, or an appropriate solar heating system.

Doing the work yourself?

Survey any and all areas affected by the project and determine if there are any building materials in place which may contain asbestos, lead, or formaldehyde. Old pipe and pipe insulating wrap, lead based paint, old insulation and particle board are among the possibilities.

If you suspect the presence of these materials, locate a laboratory which can test and thus confirm or deny your suspicions, research the proper removal and disposal methods for them, or contact a professional who can remove the materials for you.

Don't remove old lead-based paint using a method which might spread the dust throughout your home; your entire family is at risk of inhaling and absorbing lead that may become airborne as a result. The older the home, the better the chances that it may contain materials of this type, and it's best to confront and resolve any potential problems now.

During demolition, minimize dust travel by closing doors and laying damp towels along the bottom or taping heavy drop cloths over openings. Open all windows for maximum ventilation and to provide an exit for debris, preferable to dragging it through the house, and wear a mask to inhibit the inhalation of airborne particles. Remove such things as wall board and wall paneling in as large a sheet as possible to avoid flying dust and particles.

Keep improvements simple and use a licensed contractor or obtain all the appropriate permits if you choose to perform the work yourself. Concentrate on creating an ambiance of spaciousness, warmth and sparkling cleanliness.

Create a feeling in your home that will invite people in and make them want make your house their home.

Thinking of buying or selling real estate? Visit the Appalachian Mountain Realty Guide.
Realtor and For Sale by Owner real estate listings with a great selection of mountain homes and land for sale.

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