How to increase your home's value

How to Increase the Value of Your Home

One of the biggest goals of our blog is to provide education on the construction industry so that you can make well-informed decisions regarding your home. Our goal is to make sure you are happy in your home for as long as you want to live there. But sometimes things happen, and you have to move. And when you’re ready to move it’s better to be prepared by ensuring your home’s worth is as high as possible.

That’s why in today’s article, we’re going to give you some tips on how to increase the value of your home. Not every home improvement project has to be extravagant or incredibly expensive, by the way. Oftentimes, simply making the most of what you currently have provides a substantial boost to property value.

Alternatively, remodels (particularly to kitchens and bathrooms) are a great way to not only entice buyers, but of course, give you a more enjoyable experience in your property for the time you live there.

kitchen remodel
Installing new cabinets and a new island.

Common ways to increase your home’s value

Whether you’ve just bought a house and have been living in it a few months, or have owned your house for a decade, there are many ways to increase its value. The truth is that you don’t have to wait to get started. You can begin boosting the value of your home the first year you own it.

Obviously, the main goal with home ownership of any kind is to be happy with the space in which you live. However, should you ever decide to move out and sell your home down the road, you want to get a return on your investment. Ideally, you can have both a quality living space, and a large sale price, once you’re ready for the next stage of life. Here’s how to make both of those happen:

Bathroom and Kitchen Remodels

If you’ve considered renovating your kitchen or bathroom, there’s never a bad time to get started. In fact, most people believe bathroom and kitchen updates to impact resale value the most. In any case, there’s no denying that renovating your bathroom or kitchen is a great way to improve the value of your home by at least a reasonable amount.

People love to personalize their homes (kitchens and bathrooms make for excellent spaces to do so). They want to make sure that the home is usable, and is not worn down when it comes to bathroom and kitchen spaces. Plus, remodeling bathrooms and kitchens are just sort of “what people do” when it comes to home renovations. It’s part of our culture.

So, to wow potential buyers – and to make the most of your own desires to personalize your space – look into remodeling. The value you get per dollar spent is almost unbeatable.

bathroom-remodel-example
Newly installed bathtub, with jets.

Landscaping

Landscaping is another great way to increase the value of your home, and it’s also one of the easiest and most affordable ways to do it. Oftentimes, landscaping is the way that particularly new homeowners increase the value of their homes the most. It’s easy to do, and though it’s not overly expensive, it can greatly improve the value of your home.

It’s common sense, really. The better your home looks on the outside, the more people are going to want to buy. But if you’re a first-time homeowner, you may not know exactly what to do. One of the best things is to plant native trees in places that offer shade to your house. The best part? Shade from the trees can also save you up to 50% on your energy costs during warmer months.

Add Square Footage

Though it might seem obvious, you can dramatically increase the value of your home by adding to its square footage. More space inside your home means that there’s more to sell when it comes time to move out.

Having a larger home also means that your home has increased versatility for anyone looking to purchase. If you add an office to your current home’s layout, for example, it’s possible that a young family may buy your home because they can turn the extra space into another room, or a play space for their kids.

landscaping home value
Simple curbing and placement of shrubs or trees can add color and variety to a yard.

Home Cleanliness and Upkeep

It’s impossible to talk about how to increase the value of your home without also talking about properly cleaning and maintaining your property. There’s no denying that simple and manageable as it is, it’s a great way to sustain, or even boost your home’s value. Keeping a clean house is more than just keeping your property pretty, though. It’s also about staying on top of any potential problems.

If your home needs general upkeep, maintenance, or repairs, take care of those issues right away. Think of them as opportunities to maintain the value of your property. The sooner you head off any potential maintenance issues, the less costly they are for you, and the more likely someone else is to purchase.

Also, if you don’t know what’s wrong with a part of your property in the first place, it’s impossible to take care of problems. Not only should you do your best, personally, to watch out for issues with your home, but it’s also a good idea to hire professionals to occasionally come by and look at your home as part of a maintenance visit.

Proper cleaning and maintenance also keep things like mold from causing damage that could lower your home’s value. It’s much easier to occasionally clean your house than it is to deal with mold colonies, unchecked water leaks, termites, cracked foundations, or any of the other large-scale issues that may negatively impact your property.

Energy Efficiency

You can also increase the value of your home by making it more energy efficient. Energy-efficient features like double-paned windows or solar panels on the roof can greatly increase the value of your home. Future homeowners like to know that they can save on their utilities, as well.

Making your home more energy efficient saves you money in the short-term by reducing your electric bill, and in the long-term by increasing the value of your home. It’s really a win-win situation for you, and a winning proposition for a buyer.

increase your home's value solar panels
Solar continues to become more affordable, especially with subsidies that are often available to homeowners.

Housing Trends

Keep an eye on current housing trends. If people prefer more open home designs, consider having a contractor pull down a wall to open up your floor plan, before selling. You should also try to stay aware of the costs of other homes in your area. If the most expensive home in your neighborhood is going for $300,000 and your house is already worth $285,000, committing to serious renovations may not be the best idea. Still, increasing the square footage, landscaping quality, modifying your home’s design, or installing other amenities is a great way to increase its value.

Maximize Your Home’s Value

At Western Constructors, we want to make sure that you have a good experience with your home, whether you’re buying one for the first time or maintaining your current property. It’s our genuine hope that our blog helps inform you to make the right decisions.

We’re dedicated to educating our community because we know how important it is for you to understand the construction industry. The more you know, the better decisions you can make for yourself, your home, and your family.

general contractor services

General Contractor Services

The term general contractor is synonymous with construction, but for those outside the industry, there is confusion surrounding what services a general contractor provides – what they do, exactly. For any business or homeowner looking to build or remodel, having a general contractor is key, as is understanding their function.

What is a General Contractor?

A general contractor is a company (or in some cases, an individual) that oversees and supervises the daily operations of a construction or remodeling of a building project. They are responsible for supplying the labor, materials, and equipment for the construction phase of a project. They’re also responsible for securing permits for building, and can be asked for procurement of a building site should one not already be available or planned. A general contractor is essential for any construction or remodeling project, as they ensure the work is done correctly and safely. They make sure no shortcuts are taken that could compromise worker safety or building integrity.

The general contractor also carries full responsibility for a project during the construction phase. As a result, they carry worker’s compensation and liability insurance. Should an accident or issue occur – such as worker injury or property damage – the general contractor addresses the incident through their insurance.

Why Hire a General Contractor

You’d be surprised how often folks attempt to build or remodel on their own, only to meet disastrous consequences. Common problems are: failure to complete a project, sustaining injury, and financial upset. The reason why a general contractor is crucial is that they are highly trained, and licensed. Their entire job is to ensure that a project is not only completed, but is finished properly and safely according to code, and all in a timely manner. No one wants to rebuild or restart a construction project; clients want their project(s) completed once, and more importantly, general contractors ensure a project is completed correctly.

General Contractor Skyscraper

Services Provided by a General Contractor

General contractors are involved with and oversee the construction phase of a building or remodeling project – not the before (initial design phase) and after (close-out) of a project. That is, unless the company offers “design/ build” (more on that below), in which case they are also involved with the clients and architects in the initial design phase. On a day-to-day basis, general contractors:

Hire and Pay Subcontractors

Subcontractors are specialists in various specific fields of construction, such as electricians, carpenters, plumbers, etc. General contractors find the right individuals or companies for each individual stage of the job and bring them all together.

Ensure that all Aspects of the Project are Completed to Code

Building codes are laws relating to how buildings are designed and built. Cities put them in place to ensure that finished projects are structurally sound, and safe for occupants.

Bring in Specialists, as Needed

When it comes to highly technical details of any project, general contractors coordinate bringing in advice from engineers, architects, and other specialists to make sure the job is completed.

If you’re a business owner or homebuyer looking to build, working with a general contractor ensures that the project is built and completed by specialists and meets code: no slipshod work, and no potential dangers. While a general contractor sees that a job is completed properly, it is also worth noting what they do not do.

General Contractor hires specialists

General Contractor, Project Management, and Construction Management

It’s obvious that a general contractor oversees and deals with many factors of a project. They are involved with all crucial aspects of a build, including choosing project managers and construction managers. Each position has some overlap, and all are trained and licensed individuals.

For folks outside the construction industry, the differences between a general contractor, project manager, and construction manager can be confusing. Some may even use the terms, interchangeably. However, while each of these roles serve different functions, they are not entirely exclusive.

Project Management

Clients looking to build or remodel often tend to focus on the construction phase of a project. But what about the planning before, and the close-out after? Project Management is the HR, administrative side to a build project, overseen by a project manager. The project manager deals with budgeting and timeframe of a project, whereas a general contractor oversees the actual construction side. However, in some build projects a general contractor also serves as project manager as well: hence the confusion among the terms and roles of general contractor and project manager.

Construction Management

Construction management on a project is the person handling all the details of that project. Whereas the general contractor is ultimately responsible to the client, and handles all business aspects of the project at-large, the construction manager is the one actually performing scheduling, ordering materials, and making sure all aspects of the job are finished to design. It’s not uncommon for general contractors to act as construction managers as well. Especially, depending on the size of the general contractor’s business, one person may wear multiple important hats.

Design/ Build is Effective Construction

Traditionally, when a business or homebuyer decides to move forward with a building or remodeling project, they have to sign two contracts: one with the general contractor, and one with the designer. In addition, it falls on the homebuyer or business to settle disputes between the two entities. This can be a major pain for clients, and often overwhelming. Doubly so for those with no knowledge of or experience in the construction industry. Any kind of dispute between general contractor and designer can additionally lead to delays and budget issues on the project.

There is a method, however, that is much more simplified and cost effective: Design Build. This increasingly popular build method eliminates the need for clients to sign two contracts. How? Rather than being two different entities, the general contractor and the designer are on the same team: they work together. The result is a streamlined process with open communication from all parties involved.

Western Constructors Services

At Western Constructors, we provide both general contracting and construction management services, as a general constructor. As we build both residential and commercial structures, we’ve done it all: from constructing homes, banks, retail buildings, industrial structures, multifamily dwellings, tenants improvements, and restaurants. This post is all about Western Constructors Services. Whether you’re looking for someone to make your dream home come to life, or need a new structure for your business, we have years of experience and long-standing repertoire with our clients.

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