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June 17, 2017

How to Add Curb Appeal to Your Home

How to Add Curb Appeal to Your HomeThe experts here at Wholesale Home Improvements have some great ideas on how to add curb appeal to your home. This article will explore some of our favorites, as well as show what you could potentially get in return for your time and money. We know that even if you aren’t planning to sell soon, you’re probably still thinking about what impact any home improvements you make now will have on your selling price in the future.

Curb appeal is significant. As human beings, we are naturally attracted to beautiful things. The same applies when it comes to houses. Just ask any real estate agent. It’s not unusual for the look of a house to have a much bigger impact on the sale than how it functions. A perfectly sound home with no flaws but painted an ugly color can easily be beaten by a charming home with defects needing repairs.

So, let’s look at how to add curb appeal to your home with a few home improvements . Remember, even if you don’t necessarily plan to sell soon, you get to enjoy these updates for the time being and feel proud to have guests over to see your beautiful home. 

Replace the Siding

Siding is not only a large part of your home but also makes up a huge part of its curb appeal. Cracked, rotting, or peeling siding looks downright terrible and makes any home look unkempt and old. Depending on how badly the siding is damaged you might even be throwing money away as cracked or rotting siding is of course not as energy efficient as it could be.

If it’s damaged, you should replace your siding, but in some cases, you can just refresh it with a fresh coat of paint. Just be sure to ask an expert’s advice on color choices because the wrong color can have the opposite effect that you’re looking for. You might love the idea of a neon green house but there will be a smaller pool of potential buyers that would agree with you, thus hurting your chances of selling.

Windows

Sparkly clean windows are also a large part of curb appeal. If you have a broken window, taping it over is NOT going to cut it if you’re looking to up your home’s curb appeal (not to mention the effect that will have on your energy bill). Better to just replace it and keep your house looking lived in and cared for.

Big beautiful windows are popular, and if you have the extra cash, it may be a good idea to replace a few with larger ones to add some pop. Or a cheaper option would be to decorate your windows with shutters or even garden accents. Whatever you do, be sure that your windows are functional. Windows that don’t open right are a fire hazard and windows that don’t lock correctly are a security one. 

Beef up the Garden

Not everyone has what it takes to be a great gardener but when it comes to how to add curb appeal to your home, successfully utilizing your landscape is a great way to go. Everybody loves a little bit of nature, and nothing makes a more beautiful accent piece for your front yard than lovely flowers and stately plants. If you don’t know what to plant, try looking up gardening blogs online in your area, or visit a local nursery to talk to the experts there. Another option is to simply stroll around your neighborhood and see what types of plants are working for your neighbors.

Add a Front Porch

A front porch, especially one with tasteful decorations or comfy furniture, is a great way to make your home look cozier and inviting. Comfortable and inviting are both factors that up your home’s curb appeal. It also doesn’t necessarily have to be super expensive to install a front porch; even a small one can make a big difference. Or if you already have one just make sure that it is nicely maintained. For bonus points, your porch remodel can add a beautiful cushioned rocking chair or maybe a couple of colorful potted plants for decoration.

Little Bits that Go a Long Way

Last, but not least are a random assortment of extremely low-cost ways to up your home’s curb appeal and make your home a more inviting place overall.

  • Trash: Don’t ever leave trash or clutter lying around. It makes your home look unnecessarily unkempt and uncared for, not a good first impression on buyers. It also doesn’t cost a thing, and your neighbors will appreciate you for it.
  • Fence: If you have any fences, ensure that the paint looks nice and there aren’t any holes or rotting portions. Get repairs done as needed.
  • Pets: If you have pets, or if some random neighbor’s pet uses your front lawn as a bathroom be sure to clean up. It doesn’t affect the functionality of your home at all but as we mentioned earlier, unsightly little things have a big impact, and pet waste on the front lawn is just nasty.
  • Cars: Don’t leave broken down or scrap vehicles sitting in your driveway. Get rid of the heap or park any broken vehicles that you plan to fix in the garage. Even your everyday car should be kept clean and shiny if you park in your driveway.
  • Lawn: Keep it nicely mown and any leaves or other debris raked up.

We hope this article has given you some useful ideas on how to add curb appeal to your home. If you need any more suggestions, you can always talk to one of our experts. Here at Wholesale Home Improvements, we have almost 25 years of experience helping people in the metro Denver area with home improvement projects. We know what works, and what doesn’t, and how to get creative even on a tight budget. Just ask any of our satisfied customers and see for yourself the great work that we do!

May 18, 2017

Home Improvements that Increase Property Value

Home Improvements that Increase Property ValueIf you’re looking for home improvements that increase property value, this list from Wholesale Home Improvements has a few handy ideas for you. Home improvements are a great way to spruce up your home and make it more comfortable for the time you live there, as well as put a little extra money in your pocket when the time comes to sell.

However, make sure to choose the right kind of home improvements. Some offer a better return than others and some even detract from your selling power. And some energy saving ideas even help you recoup money on potentially lower energy bills while you’re still living in the home for a double bonus. So now that you’re getting excited, let’s get started on that list of ideas!

Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen remodeling, construction and repairs are an excellent investment. If you do it right, you can recoup 60-120% on your investment, plus you get to use a cool kitchen for the remainder of the time you live in the home. Just make sure you don’t overdo it! If you make the kitchen fancier than the rest of the house, it won’t fit and buyers that are looking at your home style (and price range) are not going to want to pay extra for an overdone kitchen.

Instead, choose simpler options that aren’t as expensive and will still help in a big way. For example, a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a room, including kitchens. Update with a modern color combination for an inexpensive, time-efficient remodel option. It’s amazing how much just changing the color scheme can change the way a room looks.

Another great option for kitchen remodeling is to update your appliances, particularly if you have older ones. This is a great way to lower your energy bills by replacing older models with new energy efficient designs. Plus, it is a highly attractive quality to buyers when looking at a new home.

Add a Bathroom

Adding another bathroom is a great option, particularly in houses that only have one. At least two bathrooms in a home is a highly desirable feature and it is estimated that you can recoup 80-130% of your investment, plus you get the convenience of an extra bathroom while you live there.

To add a half-bath to your home, you only need about 18 square feet of space, which you might already have unused and available. Take a look at underutilized spaces, closets or under the stairs. If you want a full bath you’ll need something roomier, about 30 sq ft with a shower and 35 sq ft with a bathtub.

The cost on this one can vary widely and primarily depends on how fancy you want to get. Again, keep in mind to maintain the style in step with the rest of the house.

Reinvent a Room

Actually adding square footage to your home is generally pretty expensive. You can probably recoup 50-83%, which is decent but not that amazing. Instead, home improvements that increase property value may require you to get creative and reinvent an underutilized space.

For example, you can convert an attic into a bedroom, game room or play room. If you have an unfinished basement, you can finish it – maybe even make it into its own apartment. Or you could build a room/apartment over the garage that you could rent out to earn a little income that pays for the reno. Get creative and think about how you, and potential buyers, could better use a space in your home.

Replace the Windows with Energy-Efficient Ones

Energy efficient windows are not just a buzzword these days, they are actually something potential buyers are extremely interested in and drafty, single-pane windows are, simply put, a huge turnoff. According to Energy Star, windows with their stamp of approval save homeowners an average of $500 a year on their energy bill and many buyers won’t even consider a house that doesn’t have them.

You can typically recover about 60-90% on your investment and possibly qualify for a tax credit. Also, check to see if your state or utility company offers credits for even more savings. If you plan to still be in your home for a few years, you can often recoup your entire investment with the credits and energy savings combined. The extra desirability your home receives for resale is just icing on the cake!

Add a Deck

With the popularity of staycations (at-home vacations) on the rise, outdoor living spaces have become even more desirable. Sprucing up your backyard by adding a beautiful area to relax is a surefire way to add value to your home. You may recoup around 65-90%, and your backyard barbecue game will get a strong boost.

Decks can get pretty expensive, so keep it simpler if you want to keep costs down – either way, you will see an increase in home value. Again, just be sure to maintain the style and luxury level consistent with the rest of the house. People may not be interested in paying extra for a deck that’s bigger or fancier than the house itself!

Routine Maintenance

The easiest, most cost-effective home improvements are simply the regular maintenance that a house always needs. Buyers want a home that has been well-cared for because then they know that they are buying a house that is not going to be falling down around their ears within a few years.

So, if your roof starts to leak a little, get it repaired before it gets to be a bigger problem. Keep up on fresh coats of paint and replace your home siding when needed to make a great first impression on potential buyers. Also, check for any problems, either with your roof or near your foundation, allowing excess moisture to get in and facilitate mold growth.

We hope that this list of home improvements that increase property value has been helpful to you as you are looking for profitable ideas. But remember, you live in the home right now and think about undertaking projects that not only add value but also you and your family will enjoy for the rest of the time you live in the home. If you need extra help or ideas, feel free to talk to the friendly experts here at Wholesale Home Improvements and we’ll be happy to get you started.

April 18, 2017

Get Started on These Summer Home Improvement Projects

Get Started on These Summer Home Improvement ProjectsThe weather is heating up, are you ready to get started on these summer home improvement projects? Wholesale Home Improvements offers these 5 ideas to get you thinking about what projects your home could use this season. Now is the time to get them done, before you start inviting all your friends and family over for barbecues and outdoor parties.

Replacement Windows

If you have noticed that your energy bills seem high (well, higher than normal), it is a good idea to check your windows. Excessive condensation, mold, mildew or ill-fitting windows that are difficult to open and close are all signs that your windows may no longer be up to the task they were meant for.

We know that replacing your windows can seem like a daunting and expensive task, but here at Wholesale Home Improvements, we make it easy! Our expert staff can help you pick from our huge variety of styles, colors, and materials to customize the look for your home easily. Then, our crew will work quickly and efficiently to get your windows changed out before you know it!

As far as the expense goes, while new windows can be a significant upfront investment, it is not money wasted. Not only do new windows improve the resale value of your home but also if your current windows are letting an excessive amount of energy escape you’ll end up saving a lot of money on your energy bill. Plus, you can feel good about doing something to lower your energy use and help out the environment.

Depending on what type of windows you had before, you might even notice a marked decline in street noise with the better insulation provided by new windows. That will make your home, even more, the peaceful oasis that it should be for your family.

Add a Deck or Screen Room

Take your summer entertaining up a notch with a remodeling project like a deck or even a screened-in room. A deck is ideal for barbecues and outdoor entertaining, and if you build a covered one that helps to shade your home and keep it cooler. Plus, it gives you and your guests a nice shaded place to relax during the heat of the day and even protects it from any summer showers that might come along.

A screened-in room is an excellent way to keep enjoying the outdoors well into the evening without all the mosquitoes feasting on your exposed skin. It also acts as a barrier and helps keep your home cool. Plus, you won’t have to turn up the air conditioner because you’ll get the benefit of the gentle summer breeze wafting through and keeping things fresh.

A New Entry, Storm or Patio Door

Are you happy with your entry door? Entry doors are necessary for two reasons. Aesthetically, they are one of the first things your guests will see up close upon entering your home. Practically, it is the safeguard for your home. It keeps you safe not only from the elements but also from unscrupulous individuals that might be looking at your home with bad intentions.

If your entry door is sufficient for these two tasks, you might also consider a storm door or French doors out to the backyard. A storm door will further protect your entry door from the elements, and you can choose the perfect style to add a bit of pizzazz to your entryway. And a patio door will bring in light and provide a better flow for both indoor and outdoor living.

New Landscaping

Go even greener with new, specially designed landscaping. This can be an excellent way to shade your home and use natural elements to save on energy costs. Also, the right combination of beautiful flowers, trees, and even vegetable plants can make such a distinction in the look of your home and its wow factor. Soon everybody on the block is going to want to come and hang out at your house to enjoy the beautiful garden during lazy summer afternoons.

It might sound like a lot of work to maintain, but actually, properly designed landscaping shouldn’t be that much work at all. Once you get the initial installation over with you’ll find that the benefits outweigh the effort you must put into it. Plus, if you install a well-designed sprinkler system with a timer that will take care of a lot of the daily work that you would have to do.

Insulated Siding

Here’s another great project for if you’re looking to lower your energy bills. It can be a hassle to install, but if you rely on the crew at Wholesale Home Improvements, it is as easy as picking up the phone and scheduling an appointment!

Insulated siding is useful particularly if your home is older. It may be adequately insulated already, but insulated siding can give your home an extra blanket making sure it is sealed up tight. It is also an excellent way to truly change the look of your home if you’ve gotten bored with it, or your current siding is a bit sad looking. There are so many colors, textures and designs to choose from that you can pick what you want exactly to make your home look amazing and fresh.

We hope that we have inspired you to get started on these summer home improvement projects. Depending on the state of your home (and your pocketbook) you may even want to choose more than one to put some love into your home this summer. The wonderful thing about investing in your home or garden is that eventually, you will see a return on investment when you sell and get to enjoy the benefits in the meantime.

For answers to any questions you may have, or even more ideas for home improvement projects, don’t hesitate to call us here at Wholesale Home Improvements. We have ample experience with our staff holding an impressive combined 108 years of home improvement expertise. While you might feel like you are floundering, we’ll come alongside and offer the right suggestions and advice to get you grounded solidly again. So, don’t wait, give us a call today to get started!

March 14, 2017

10 Signs that You Need New Siding

10 Signs that You Need New SidingThe experts here at Wholesale Home Improvements recommend looking for any of these 10 signs that you need new siding. Siding is not something the typical homeowner spends a lot of time worrying about. Particularly with the long-lasting materials that are typically used, siding isn’t something you as the average homeowner need to worry about very often. However, even siding that is made with the best materials in the world doesn’t last forever, so take a look.

  1. Frequent Repainting

Of course, this time-frame will vary depending on the type of siding you have on your home, but typically if you must repaint every 5 or 6 years, that may be an indication it is time to install new siding. Any quality siding should easily provide 8-10 years of use (in some cases more) before needing to be repainted. If you’re getting a lot of chipping, peeling, or cracking, your siding might not just be asking for a fresh coat of paint.

  1. Energy Bills Go Up

Many factors can cause your heating bill to go up, so if you have noticed an increase, be sure to put your siding on the list of things to check while looking for the culprit. Usually, a visual inspection is all you will need to determine if your siding is the cause. Pay particularly close attention to the seams as you inspect and if you find cracked or open areas where heat (or cold) are escaping, you have found your energy bill inflator.

  1. Rotting or Warping

Well, it goes without saying that rotting and warping are obvious problems with your siding. However, they may not be so obvious to the casual observer. To determine if your siding is rotting or warping you should take a screwdriver along with you during the inspection. If you find siding that looks obviously warped or even just a little bubbled up, start poking around underneath with the screwdriver to see if the layers underneath have become soft and are rotten.

  1. Siding is Cracked or Loose

Again, these are obvious problems and good indicators that your siding needs to be replaced. Keep in mind, though, that if a few boards come loose or get damaged during a storm, that is not necessarily an indication that you have to replace all of your siding. You might be able to make the repairs only to the affected areas, and that will be sufficient. A reliable way to determine the extent of the damage is through careful inspection.

  1. Loose Wallpaper or Paint Peeling on the Inside

Occasionally there might not be solid indicators on the outside but if you are noticing loose wallpaper or paint beginning to peel on the inside of your exterior walls that is an indication that moisture is somehow getting into the wall. The fault may lie with your siding, and you will need to take quick action to prevent extensive damage to the walls. Obviously, leaving water in the walls for an extended period is a dangerous prospect.

  1. Mold, Mildew, or Fungus Growing

Another of the 10 signs that you need new siding is if you notice that you have mold, mildew or fungus beginning to grow on your siding, investigate further. In many areas, these growths are not indications of problems with the siding but merely a result of the climate. However, they can be signs of moisture being trapped inside the siding, causing it to grow. This is most notably the case if you notice that the growths appear mostly around the seams. Even if you find that mold, mildew, or fungus is common for your area, keep an eye on it as it could turn into a problem at any time.

  1. Fading Color

Good quality siding lasts for a very long time, but not forever. Changes in the color of your siding can indicate that the siding is reaching the end of its effectiveness even if the other problems mentioned in this post are not present. Just as with the other issues, faded siding does not necessarily mean it is too old but rather is an indication that you should investigate further.

  1. Bubbles

Bubbles are fun for kids to play with, but they are not fun when they appear in your siding. Unlike the other signs mentioned, this one is almost a certain indicator that you have some serious problems with your siding. Virtually the only reason your siding will start to bubble up is that there is moisture trapped inside and most assuredly is causing damage.

  1. Holes

Holes may be difficult to spot and require close inspection to find. If you do find them, know that they are definitely a bad sign. Usually, this is an indication that insects are burrowing into your siding and making little homes. In addition to the damage they will do, eating junk inside your wall, the holes they make create pathways for the ever-dangerous enemy, water, to get inside and start wreaking havoc!

  1. Dry Rot

Dry rot is another tricky problem that does not make itself readily noticeable. The rot begins in the innermost layers, often leaving the top layer intact, and can eat away a significant portion of your wall before becoming visible from the outside. If you suspect dry rot problems, the best thing you can do to confirm is, start tapping on the siding with the handle of a screwdriver. Areas with dry rot will break easily. You may be able to replace only a portion of your siding, but if the damage is extensive, it is a better idea to replace all of it.

Sometimes homeowners want to replace their siding simply for aesthetics. Maybe the siding still has some life left in it, but you are looking for a nice change and feel that siding replacement is a good idea. Keep in mind that replacing your home’s siding is not an easy task and one best left to professionals, regardless of whether you are fixing an issue or just changing things up a bit.

Wholesale Home Improvements has been operating in the Denver, Colorado area for over 25 years. We consistently offer great products at great prices with quality service and installation. If you notice any of these 10 signs that you need new siding, but aren’t sure how extensive the damage is, call on one of our experts to help you determine the best course of action.

February 24, 2017

Buying New Construction Windows

Buying New Construction WindowsWhen building your dream home, start with this handy list of 6 things to consider when buying new construction windows. At Wholesale Home Improvements, we know you want everything to be perfect. Did you know that lighting is ranked as one of the significant areas where homeowners make mistakes? Not only are we talking just about lamps and electrical outlet placement, but also positioning windows and optimizing to bring natural light into the home. To avoid a misstep, this list can keep you on track. 

  1. Choose the right window type

Windows come in two forms, being new construction windows and replacement. The first is what you should choose for a new building. Replacement windows lack a nail fin for nailing the window directly into the frame, the purpose being a less invasive method of installation, so that siding or trim doesn’t have to be removed to install the new window. This one is an easy choice so you can just move on to the next step.

  1. Choose the right window material

There are a large variety of materials used to make windows, the three most common being wood, vinyl, and aluminum. Each type of material has its set of pros and cons which will undoubtedly be deciding factors in which type of material you choose.

For example, wood windows are very energy efficient, but require a bit more upkeep and tend to land on the pricier end of the spectrum. Aluminum windows, on the other hand, is very inexpensive but is severely lacking in the energy-efficient department. You might pay less upfront, but you will certainly make up the difference in your monthly energy bills over time.

Vinyl windows makes a nice compromise between the other two by being energy efficient, relatively inexpensive, and also come with easy maintenance, but you lose a little on style. You can choose from a variety of colors but you can’t change your mind later like with wood.

Determine the factors that are important to you and base your decision on that. It will be different in every situation and depend primarily on your budget and sense of style. 

  1. Choose your window style

When buying new construction windows, there are a variety of styles to choose from, and each offers various benefits. For example, double-hung windows are highly popular for the ability to open them from both the top and the bottom, making cleaning and maintenance very easy. Plus, the design goes well in any room of your home.

Other options to choose from include single-hung, casement, awning, slider, bay, bow, picture, geometric and garden windows. Casement windows are similar to single or double-hung, but the hinges are on the side, and there is a crank to open them, making them ideal for difficult to reach places like over the kitchen sink. Awning windows also have a crank but are hinged at the top, meaning you can open them in the rain and the window itself will act as an awning to keep out the rain.

Sliders are like double hung windows on their side. They open from side to side in both directions and are ideal for rooms where you want a wide view. Bow and bay windows both project out from your home adding dimension and character to the outside and even space for seating and storage to the inside. Garden windows also jut out but are smaller, and people often use them in kitchens and put potted plants or herbs in them to take advantage of the extra light.  

Picture and geometric don’t open, which makes them more energy efficient than other types of windows. They’re perfect for rooms where you want a big window, but airflow isn’t your primary concern. You don’t have to choose the same window style for your whole home but rather can change it up depending on the window’s location and the mood you are trying to create in each room. 

  1. Choose the level of energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is a remarkably important topic in our culture today. Not only are people interested in how they can help with protecting the environment, but also, they are interested in effective ways to manage their heating and cooling bills, what with the rising costs of energy these days.

There are various options for improving the efficiency of window glass. Argon or Krypton gas can be injected into the space between the panes to offer better insulation than just plain air. Windows most commonly are double paned, but if you have the extra cash to spend on triple-paned windows, you will enjoy an added boost to energy efficiency.

You can also use Low-E window coatings to help reflect infrared light. This helps keep heat in during the winter and out during the summer. It also has the added advantage of contributing to the prevention of your furniture and drapes from fading as a result of exposure to UV light.

Also, look for an Energy Star rating when buying new construction windows to know that the government has approved the efficiency of that window model. There are various levels of energy star performance and you can choose the one that best suits your needs. 

  1. Choose custom options

Building new construction is the perfect opportunity to design a house exactly the way you want it and give it your creative flare. Custom window options like colors, added grids and window shape are all great ways to add character to your home and make it stand out from the rest. With all the options available today, the sky (and your budget) is the limit for how creative you can get with your windows. 

  1. Send your choices to the builder

Once you have settled on your choices, be sure to share those with the builder so they can do their job effectively. Also, be open to any suggestions or modifications the builder might offer. At the end of the day, you want to end up with the best results for your new home, so don’t be afraid to take advice.

If you have any concerns or don’t know what you should choose at any point in the process, know that you have friendly experts here at Wholesale Home Improvements who can answer all your window questions. You may not be an expert in buying new construction windows, but we are! Our 25 years of experience selling and installing new windows in the Denver area gives us a wealth of knowledge and expertise that will be yours when you enlist our help in choosing windows for your home. Call today!

 

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