Categories
remodeling

Rebuilding Together in April

Gene and Katie Hamilton
Gene and Katie Hamilton

This month nearly 50,000 volunteers will participate in more than 1,700 affiliate led rebuild projects during National Rebuilding Month. The initiative will culminate on Saturday, April 25 and will bring national attention to the low-income homeowners and families who struggle to remain in safe and healthy homes.

What a great organization! To learn more go to RebuildingTogether.org.

Categories
cost of home improvements Decorating DIY remodeling

Lighten Up Dark Woodwork

Diy359a

Many older homes have the details that make a difference, handsome wood molding surrounding windows, doors and other elements of a room. The downside is that the wood is often darkened by varnish that makes it look old. When we remodeled homes that molding was often the feature that sold a house because it added charm and character to the rooms. The trick was covering the dark stained with paint to make an impressive frame around the openings in a room. It’s not a quick and easy job, but it’s well worth doing.

Of the hundreds of job costs on DIYORNOT we’re not surprised that the cost to paint stained wood” is one of the most popular.

For more about the project and hundreds of other home improvement jobs go to Cost to Paint Stained Wood

Categories
cost of home improvements DIY deadlines Do it yourself flooring Hire a contractor remodeling

Bonus Storage Space – The Attic

Listen to anyone who has moved from one house to another and they sound like born again zealots preaching that they will never again accumulate stuff they don’t need or want.  We’re guilty of being in that crowd despite our best efforts to downsize and scale back to fight the urge to live large.

But I have to admit two of the best improvements we ever made to a house were adding pull-down stairs and installing an attic floor to tap the storage potential up there. Without a basement or garage the house was screaming for storage space. In a second floor bedroom there was a small opening hatch that barely anyone could fit through so we poked a hole in the ceiling and added a folding attic stair unit.  Then we installed floor sheeting to span across the rafters and provide easy access to boxes and must-have stuff. Considering the cost of each upgrade I think it was money well spent.

How much should you budget for these jobs? The national average cost to hire a contractor to install an attic stair unit is $647, or if you have carpentry experience and are comfortable cutting a hole in your ceiling, you can buy the unit for $220.  Here’s a link to our cost analysis  Install Attic Stairs.

You’ll pay a carpenter $252 to install flooring in a 10-foot square area, but you can do it for $120, the cost of the material. Follow this link to learn more Install an Attic Floor.

To find the cost of hundreds of improvement projects costs and compare doing it yourself with hiring a contractor go to www.diyornot.com or http://www.diyornot.com on your smartphone.

Categories
bathroom remodeling cost of home improvements price of bathroom remodeling remodeling

3 Top Bathroom Job Costs

Gene and Katie Hamilton
Gene and Katie Hamilton

The most viewed job costs on DIYORNOT are often those involving remodeling a bathroom by making it more comfortable, convenient and attractive. Here’s a look at the top three bathroom job costs that site visitors refer to when planning to remodel a bathroom.

Converting a tub to a shower takes advantage of an extra bathroom in a house that’s no longer needed or used when the kids leave the nest. A nice wide standalone shower is especially popular if the bathroom is old and ripe for remodeling and a sleek new unit is wanted. Cost to Convert a Tub to a Shower DIY $975  Pro $2,782

Tiling a tub surround is a job we’ve done many times to transform the old walls surrounding a bathtub. Removing the old surface and installing new ceramic tiles to the walls makes them attractive and durable for years to come. Cost to Tile a Tub Surround DIY $225  Pro $802

In many older homes a bathroom had a window in the tub area and over the years the wood or metal frame has deteriorated. A new opening glass block window designed as a replacement is a solution that creates ventilation and privacy at the same time. Cost to Install a Glass Block Window DIY $245  Pro $556.

Visit www.diyornot.com for hundreds of job costs so you can compare doing it yourself with hiring a contractor.

Categories
Buying a House remodeling

Remodeling? Consider Key Features in 2014 New Homes

Gene and Katie Hamilton
Gene and Katie Hamilton
Quick Video YouTube_Small
Cost to Paint Kitchen Cabinets

If you’re pondering a major remodeling project for your home it’s a good idea to take a look at the key features being built into new single family homes. According to the National Assn. of Home Builders the features most important to new home buyers in 2014 are not startling or new ideas, just practical and functional features that make living in a home comfortable and convenient. They include a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, low-e windows, a laundry room and a great room.
These top priorities have been a part of the mix for several years, but increasingly energy efficiency – in the construction of windows, appliances and heating and cooling units – are important to home buyers. The realization that saving energy dollars now and in the future makes the Energy Star rating an important factor for home buyers.
To compare the cost of doing it yourself with hiring a contractor for hundreds of improvement projects, visit us at www.diyornot.com.

 

Categories
DIY remodeling True Grit

True Remodeling Grit

Gene and Katie Hamilton
Gene and Katie Hamilton

The range of do it yourself home projects goes from “easy does it” jobs like painting to highly skilled electrical and plumbing jobs, some of which should be left to a professional.  But some jobs fall into the true grit category and those require the likes of a Rooster Cogburn or Mattie Ross.

If you’re known as persistent, resilient and determined you have what it takes to tackle some challenging remodeling jobs, which are ambitious because they require so much time and stick-to-ness. I’m thinking about a first-time homeowner who took on the job of removing layers of wallpaper in all the rooms of a handyman special.  Or how about the guy who insisted on unfreezing a frozen water pipe, not in interior wall, it was a pipe that could only be reached by crawling under the house and working on his back on cold, wet ground.  Just wiggling his way into position to get to the pipe required the strength and dexterity of a gymnast.

A neighbor showed true grit when he decided to save money and restore his entire lawn, by manually removing all the weeds and layers of thick thatch, a job that took him most of the summer. The next summer he built a stone fence surrounding his property, another tedious and labor intensive project.

If you have true remodeling grit, I salute you. If you don’t, you’re like countless others who stand in awe as we call a contractor for those seemingly unending jobs.

To compare the cost of doing it yourself with hiring a contractor visit us at www.diyornot.com.

Categories
remodeling romance Valentine's Day

Romance in Remodeling – For Some There Is

Gene and Katie Hamilton
Gene and Katie Hamilton

Romance is in the air with Valentine’s Day coming up on the calendar. Makes me remember that there is romance in remodeling. Are the words “romance in remodeling” an oxymoron? Can those two words be in the same sentence? Isn’t it a contradiction to say there’s anything remotely endearing about renovating a house? I remember one incident which felt very romantic. We were doing a major remodel of a Cape Cod in the Chicago area and were behind schedule getting new insulation installed in the crawl space. An unexpected cold front rolled in and was dumping piles of snow. When the wind shifted to the north the pressure was on because we knew the lack of insulation and wind direction could freeze the pipes.

It was getting dark outside and we found ourselves crawling around on the gravel in the frigid confines of the 3 1/2 foot crawl space with only a work light to guide us. Gene cut the pink insulation batts and secured them between the floor joists and I followed with a staple gun to fasten them to the wood. We didn’t stop, we didn’t talk, we just moved as quickly as we could in the uncomfortable and frigid conditions. As the last staple went in we just sprawled out on our backs on the gravel, noses running, near frozen to the bone and laughed at the absurdity of the situation. But the good feeling of completing the task, beating the odds, and doing it together, was so real and intense it was a moment I’ll never forget. If that ain’t romance, I don’t know what is.

Visit us at www.diyornot.com.

Categories
bathroom remodeling remodeling Uncategorized

Easy Switch from Tub to Shower

A few years ago we saw a new shower receptor unit from Sterling Plumbing that seemed right on the mark for many homeowners wanting to replace a bathtub with a shower, a popular switch for aging Boomers who want to stay in their home. For empty nesters with two bathrooms one bathtub is enough, what’s needed is the convenience and safety of a walk-in shower stall. The new receptor unit lets you use the same 5-foot tub alcove so it’s not a major remodeling project. You remove the tub and replace it with the receptor that comes in both left-or-right drain configurations depending on the location of the plumbing line. It’s installed directly into the wall studs at the subfloor. To complete the project, install tile or a solid surface on the three surrounding walls to create a comfortable walk-in shower.

A plumber will charge $2,782 to remove the old bathtub and fixtures and install a new receptor, wall surfaces. If you have experience with plumbing projects, you can dismantle and remove the old bathtub and fixtures, and buy the receptor wall surround kit for $925 and install it. Here’s the cost analysis for this job Convert a tub to a shower.

We hope you’ll visit us at www.diyornot.com and www.m.diyornot.com on smartphones when you want to know the cost of doing a project yourself compared with hiring a contractor. You’ll find more than 350 projects analyzed with the DIY and Pro costs so you can compare them.

Categories
cost of home improvements DIY deadlines Do it yourself flooring Hire a contractor remodeling

Bonus Storage Space – The Attic

Listen to anyone who has moved from one house to another and they sound like born again zealots preaching that they will never again accumulate stuff they don’t need or want.  We’re guilty of being in that crowd despite our best efforts to downsize and scale back to fight the urge to live large.

But I have to admit two of the best improvements we ever made to a house were adding pull-down stairs and installing an attic floor to tap the storage potential up there. Without a basement or garage the house was screaming for storage space. In a second floor bedroom there was a small opening hatch that barely anyone could fit through so we poked a hole in the ceiling and added a folding attic stair unit.  Then we installed floor sheeting to span across the rafters and provide easy access to boxes and must-have stuff. Considering the cost of each upgrade I think it was money well spent.

How much should you budget for these jobs? The national average cost to hire a contractor to install an attic stair unit is $647, or if you have carpentry experience and are comfortable cutting a hole in your ceiling, you can buy the unit for $220.  Here’s a link to our cost analysis  Install Attic Stairs.

You’ll pay a carpenter $252 to install flooring in a 10-foot square area, but you can do it for $120, the cost of the material. Follow this link to learn more Install an Attic Floor.

To find the cost of hundreds of improvement projects costs and compare doing it yourself with hiring a contractor go to www.diyornot.com or http://www.diyornot.com on your smartphone.

Categories
Hire a contractor home improvement trends remodeling Uncategorized

Remodeling on the Upswing


The latest LIRA (Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity) report is optimistic about the growth of remodeling in the U.S. That’s good news for home buyers and seller, and the remodeling industry in general.  The LIRA report is the study of national homeowner spending on improvements by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

The director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center, Eric S. Belsky says “Warm weather in the first quarter temporarily bumped up remodeling activity in many areas.”  The LIRA suggests that annual homeowner improvement spending may reach double-digit growth by the end of the first quarter of 2013. Sales are picking up and contractors are seeing more positive business conditions in the future.  The past three year tell a different story but with the combination of low financing costs and stronger consumer confidence, the future is brighter than it’s been for a while.

This optimism is encouraging homeowners to start working on their bucket list of upgrades and repairs they’ve been putting off, which may help to grow the interest in remodeling at a slow, but steady pace. We can only hope.

Visit us at www.diyornot.com and www.m.diyornot.com when you’re looking for the cost of home improvement projects.