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6 Advantages for Contracting Out Remodeling Services

April 6th, 2021 |

Remodeling projects are a fact of life when you own investment property. Your first step? Call a general contractor who offers remodeling services. While it’s tempting to do the work yourself, you’ll save time and enjoy peace of mind when you hire a qualified professional. Keep reading to learn about 6 advantages of hiring out contractor remodeling services.

1. License and Qualifications 

A licensed general contractor will provide high quality remodeling services. A contractor must have certain training, skills and experience to obtain a state license. They will be familiar with building codes, permit processes and inspections. You may even be able to get better building loan terms when you hire a licensed contractor.

2. Project Management Services  

A remodel involves calling multiple subcontractors and filling out endless paperwork.  As an investment property owner, you already have enough on your plate – you don’t need that hassle. A general contractor is the only contact you’ll need for your remodeling project. They will obtain permits, arrange schedules and communicate with suppliers and designers. They know how and when to complete each part of a job, from updating light fixtures to adding a new room.

3. Design Experience  

You have certain goals for your investment property. During your first consultation, you’ll tell the general contractor about your vision. The contractor has the professional experience necessary for putting your vision into action. They know which design elements to combine and how to safely complete each part of the job. Whether it’s a new wood floor or replumbing a kitchen, a contractor will make sure the project is up to code.  

4. Insurance Coverage 

Every remodeling project has risks that can bring headaches. Injuries, equipment malfunction or property damage can occur on the safest job site. If you do the work yourself, you will have to pay for any problems that come up. If you hire multiple subcontractors, you’ll have to keep track of their separate insurers. 

A licensed general contractor, however, will carry liability insurance. Their insurance will cover injuries or accidents that occur during the remodel. If something goes wrong, it’s your contractor’s job to deal with the insurance company.

5. Remodel Completed Efficiently and Safely

DIY projects almost always involve hours of research, mistakes and false starts. The learning curve alone can slow your progress and add costs. Where can you buy that specialized tool? What type of glue should you use and how long should it dry? Add your own daily work schedule and family needs, and you have a recipe for stress and frustration.  

A professional contractor can anticipate the length of each stage of the project. They will know which subcontractors to hire and when to schedule them for each task. They’ve learned which materials to use and which suppliers are the most reliable. This knowledge and experience will help the project run smoothly and efficiently.

Safety is another concern during a remodeling project. Updates like electrical work, structural changes and plumbing can be dangerous. Licensed professionals are trained to complete high-risk tasks. You’ll rest easy knowing that all aspects of your project are in skilled hands.

6. Better Return on Investment

What about the return on Investment (ROI) from your remodel? A professional contractor will give you better value for your money than if you do the work yourself. Your newly remodeled property will provide opportunities for increased ROI. For example, you can recoup your costs by charging higher rents or selling the property at a higher price. 

Hire an Experienced General Contractor 

At R.H. Blanchard, we’ve been providing contractor remodeling services in the Boston area for more than 15 years. Is it time to replace that dated linoleum floor? Do you need to enlarge a room or add storage space? Contact R.H. Blanchard for a free initial consultation.

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Galley Kitchen Remodel: Should We Open It Up?

March 24th, 2021 |

When moving to a home, many people love to have the opportunity to take something old and make it new again. Home style and home design consistently change to accommodate our needs and tastes. Many old homes face the same problem, too many walls, and too many rooms. Boston is full of old spaces that weren’t designed to accommodate the needs and tastes of our ever-evolving style. 

An extremely common feature of some older homes and apartments is the galley kitchen. Originally designed to fit the limited spaces of trains and boats, the galley kitchen eventually made its way into our homes and is something that can divide people depending on their personal preference. 

Efficient or Crowded?

Although galley kitchens may not fit into the modern, open-concept homes, they do have their upside. They are meant to be an efficient use of space in homes that have limited square footage due to their narrow footprint. Because of their narrow footprint, a galley kitchen is ideal for serious cooks, they allow any chef to have everything in close proximity and allows them to be more efficient in the kitchen. They are also meant to be unseen, so definitely a plus for any messy cooks out there. 

The small space can have a downside as well. Galley kitchens are not meant to entertain, if you want your kitchen to be a place for people to hang out, a galley kitchen is not for you. They are also tough for anybody who cooks with other people, the small space can quickly become crowded and difficult to maneuver with others in the kitchen with you. 

Should You Invest in a Galley Kitchen Remodel?

So, should you open up your galley kitchen? That depends! Do you like to entertain people in your kitchen? Do you want your kitchen to be a great space for your friends and family to hang out? Then yes! Opening up your galley kitchen can be a great way to open up your house and make your kitchen a top destination for your family or friends. 

One major consideration is the size of your overall house and living space. If you were to knock down a wall and open up your galley kitchen would it open up your kitchen the way you intend? Or would it make your whole house feel like a kitchen? Keep in mind that if you typically have a messier kitchen, that will now be on display to anybody in your home. 

It’s estimated that a galley kitchen remodel can typically run $17k to $21k on average. A few factors to consider before opening up your galley kitchen includes:

  • Is the wall you want to remove a load-bearing wall? If so your project could be much more expensive, and you could have to incorporate a large beam in your kitchen. 
  • Look into other ways to make your galley appear more spacious, such as removing top cabinets. 
  • If you are ready to get an estimate on your galley kitchen remodel or just want to get some additional information, contact R.H. Blanchard today!
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5 Interior Design Trends of 2021

March 10th, 2021 |

Being aware of the major interior design trends for 2021 can be helpful for property managers and real estate investors who are planning to update their Boston properties. Since many people are spending most of their time at home, this year’s interior design trends focus on making interior spaces tranquil, comfortable, and functional. 

Elements of Nature Are Everywhere

Due to the emphasis on creating calming spaces, making links to nature has become the biggest trend in interior design today. Furniture, light fixtures, and home accessories made of natural materials like rattan have exploded in popularity. Translucent window treatments have gained favor as a way of increasing natural light. When possible, this year’s renovations will include adding windows and doors to boost natural light and views to the outdoors.

Also, houseplants are back in style as a component of home decor. In 2021, there will be more wall planters, open shelving, and living walls to give people a place to display their houseplants.

Rich Color Is Back

The neutral tones that have dominated interior design in recent years will take a backseat to nature-inspired colors.  Prevailing colors will be ocean blue, forest green, burnt orange, sunny yellow, and jewel tones like sapphire, emerald, and ruby.

Multi-Functional Rooms Are the Norm

Given the rise of working and learning from home, rooms have to do double duty. Workers and students will appreciate built-in storage options that make it easy to stay organized when your living room, dining room, or bedroom is also your office or classroom.

Yet Dedicated Home Offices Are Prized

Remote workers yearn for dedicated home office space. Terms like cloffice are trending on social media as desperate teleworkers seek to turn closets into home offices. Properties with dedicated home office space will be sought after.

Maximalism Is Here to Stay

The influence of minimalism is waning. Maximalist trends are on the rise. In particular, grand-millennial style is the millennial generation’s nod to the comfortable interiors of their grandparent’s generation. The style features antiques, wood furniture, ruffles, tassels, pleated lampshades, toile, chintz, and floral wallpaper.

R.H. Blanchard Contract & Design helps Boston area property managers and real estate investors keep their properties in step with the times. Contact us to discuss your next project.

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4 Home Electrical Improvements You Need to Invest In

February 25th, 2021 |

Home electrical improvements may not be as glamorous as other home improvement projects. However, electrical upgrades are essential. They can increase your property’s value as well as save money on taxes and return on investment. For example, home electrical improvements usually increase your basis for tax purposes. As you make plans to update your property’s electrical system, here are specific upgrades to consider.

Upgrade the Electrical Panel

Since Boston’s housing stock is among the oldest in the nation, older electrical panels are commonplace. The main problem with them they weren’t designed to handle the tremendous electrical load of modern lifestyles. If your property has an electrical panel rated 100-amps or 60-amps, it’s time for a new panel that can support the multitude of appliances and electronics most households have today. Other signs you may need to upgrade your electrical panel include:

  • Dimming or flickering lights
  • Rust or other signs the panel has been wet
  • Scorched areas on the panel
  • Circuit breakers trip regularly

Install More Dedicated Circuits

In an older home, the most recent home electrical improvements may have been completed before changes in the National Electrical Code increased the number of dedicated circuits homes need. The code specifies which appliances and fixtures require dedicated circuits. Your professional contractor will be familiar with the code and can determine whether your property needs additional dedicated circuits.

Upgrade Outlets

Replacing outlets that are showing signs of damage is a must. An optional yet inexpensive way to add value to a property is to install USB outlets. They eliminate the need for adapters because electronics like smartphones and tablets can be recharged by plugging them directly into the USB outlet. Another budget-friendly upgrade is to replace traditional outlets in the bathroom and kitchen with safer GFCI outlets

Make Strategic Lighting Improvements

Upgrading the lighting in the bathroom and kitchen frequently enhances the property’s value, functionality, and aesthetics. Properties that have a single light source in these rooms aren’t competitive in today’s marketplace. In addition to ambient lighting in the kitchen, task lighting for the sink and food prep areas are necessary to meet tenant or buyer expectations. For the bathroom, it’s becoming customary to have lighting on both sides of the mirror instead of a single light above it. Your professional contractor can suggest additional lighting upgrades for these rooms based on your property’s layout.

Contact R.H. Blanchard Contract & Design when you’re ready to make home electrical improvements for your property.

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Top 5 Non-Slip Bathroom Floor Tiles

February 11th, 2021 |

Even though most homeowners prioritize decor and aesthetics when remodeling their homes, bathroom renovations call for safety first. According to a CDC report, approximately more than 230,000 people slip and fall in the bathroom every year, resulting in unintentional injuries that require a lifetime of medical treatments. These figures show the importance of prioritizing safety measures in the bathroom and using hazard-free flooring options such as non-slip bathroom floor tiles. This article will give you 5 non-slip bathroom floor tiles that you can consider when upgrading your bathroom to enhance safety without compromising on your aesthetic preferences.

Ceramic or Porcelain Flooring

Ceramic or porcelain tiles are popularly used in bathrooms because they are affordable, aesthetic, and durable. They are also easy to install and maintain, making them ideal for small and big bathrooms. If you choose ceramic or porcelain tiles, you should go for the non-slip textured options that offer a good grip and more protection against accidents.

Natural Stone

Despite its high cost, natural stone is one of the top non-slip bathroom flooring options you can invest in. Its beautiful touch can elevate the look of your bathroom and its durability is unquestionable. The sandblast and stone combination give this textured stone enough grip, enhancing your bathroom’s safety. Your high investment in the natural stone flooring will not be in vain because installing it increases the value of your home.

Non-Slip Vinyl

As a flooring material, vinyl is known for its affordable, wide array of aesthetic finishes. This option is suitable for the bathroom because it is durable, easy to clean, and rarely stains. Most vinyl tiles are also waterproof and are unlikely to absorb water. Its textured surface and in-built padding make for a great non-slip bathroom floor. You must ensure that your vinyl is properly installed to prevent water from seeping through the seams and causing mold issues.

Linoleum

Often confused for vinyl, linoleum is the perfect bathroom flooring option for anyone looking into biodegradable and environmentally friendly material. Linoleum bathroom tiles are usually produced from linseed oil mixed with ground limestone, jute, or cork powder. Resin solutions are also used to incorporate the non-slip, anti-skid feature on the linoleum tiles. This flooring material is also ideal for your bathroom because it is water-resistant and easy to maintain.

Rubber Flooring

Rubber is an ideal material for non-slip bathroom flooring because it is soft and padded for maximum protection in case of an accident. Nonetheless, rubber flooring is quite expensive hence very few homeowners choose it.

The Best Non-Slip Bathroom Flooring Options

Ultimately, choosing the right material for your bathroom floor can prevent falls and accidents. There is never a perfect non-slip bathroom material and accidents can still happen after you have installed the above flooring. However, you can create an accident-proof bathroom by placing anti-slip mats on your bathroom floor to protect yourself and your loved ones. Contact R.H. Blanchard to get a bathroom remodeling contractor in Boston.

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What Is the Average Cost of a Bathroom Remodel in Massachusetts

January 21st, 2021 |

Bathroom remodeling is one of the home improvement projects that need a balance between cost and value. A luxurious project costs more than an average one. Other factors, such as the size of the project, determine the average cost of remodeling too. If you are researching the average cost of a bathroom remodel in Massachusetts, here are some estimates that would guide you.

Average Cost of a Bathroom Remodel in Massachusetts 

Two main factors are likely to determine the cost of your bathroom renovation project in Massachusetts:

  • Quality of materials
  • Size of your project (small, medium, or big)

A bathroom remodeling project can cost you any amount between $5,000 and $30,000. The average cost for remodeling most home bathrooms can go up to $20,000.  Some projects can cost around $15,000, especially if the bathroom is smaller in size.

Cost Based on Quality of Materials

According to Remodeling Magazine, the average cost of DIY bathroom renovation projects was about $6,000 in 2020 for a small bathroom. If you decide to use high-quality materials for a luxurious bathroom, the cost will go up to around $20,000. This estimate considers the possibility that you have hired a remodeling expert for a small bathroom.

Size of Your Bathroom Remodel Project

You may choose to do a complete make-over of your bathroom or renovate a few things. Smaller tasks that include replacements will cost a lower amount, while significant tasks will require more cash. Here are some estimates according to Remodeling Calculator:

  • Relatively smaller installations like a bathtub, shower assembly and sink plumbing can cost around $380, $230, and $70, respectively.
  • Installing a toilet or a shower door curtain costs between $370 and $390 on the higher side
  • Other installations have varying costs – this includes tile flooring which can average about $450-500, wall tiling which can run you around $1100 on average, and sink installation which can cost from $400-600 or beyond, depending on what materials you use.

As you research the average cost of a bathroom remodeling in Massachusetts, consider all factors plan prudently. Contact us now to inquire about our contracting services for your next project in Massachusetts.

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Color Forecast 2021: Your Complete Interior Paint Guide

January 7th, 2021 |

If it were possible, we would all make the jump to 2021 and get rid of 2020 as quickly as we can. 2020 is not without merit, though, as it is an essential cog in mapping industry trends. Lockdowns and restrictions have forced many to spend more time in their homes, leading to people channeling their funds to home improvement and an industry change in the direction of in-home painting trends. Predicting the color forecast 2021 will highlight gives us all something to look forward to!

One fine example is how color has come back strong into the interior design space. Industry trends point to ocean blues, forest greens, and earth tones, perhaps to compensate for the lack of outside action. We all need some cheering up, and it shows in the warm and bright colors people are choosing. Follow us as we unveil the interior paint color forecast for 2021.

Yellows

Nothing reminds us of the outside other than a nice splash of sunny hue. Use soft yellows to complement different hues to create a mood of optimism and strength.

Urbane Bronze

It is a warm, calming color that stabilizes the mind by anchoring it to the natural world, recreating the ultimate retreat.

Aegean Teal

With a bright teal, recreate natural harmony that leads to a profoundly soothing environment for reflection and finding inner warmth and wellbeing.

Rich, Saturated Tones

Choosing these colors will make any room pop, creating an energetic and cozy environment perfect for meeting and conversing. Rich shades include red, orange, and pink.

Nature Tones

Continuing in the warm colors trend, painting a room in nature colors promotes a feeling of comfort and safety and makes the space cozy. Bring nature to the living space with shades of chocolate browns, ocean blues, and moss green.

Jewel Tones

Transform any dull room with a jewel tone, such as sultry purples and ruby, to give it a reinvigorating and refreshing vibe of visual stimulation.

Contact RH Blanchard today if you need any information about the color forecast 2021 will highlight. They will give you expert advice on the paint you should choose for your investment home in the Greater Boston area.

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Commercial Property Investment for Beginners

December 25th, 2020 |

Commercial real estate investing offers some of the highest income streams available, so it’s no wonder that individuals would be interested in an investment opportunity that likely offers a lower turnover of tenants, thus translating into a steadier monthly cash flow. Nevertheless, it’s important to review at least some of the basics of a commercial property investment to ensure that investing in a warehouse, office, mixed-use, retail, industrial or apartment building in the Boston area truly aligns with one’s overall investment strategy.

The Basics of Commercial Investment

Some might assume that the highest monthly cash flow investment would be the best opportunity, however, that is not necessarily the case. It’s also important to consider how much one might need to add value to an investment. Examples of value-added items include interior renovation and/or improvements such as landscaping or remodeling a building’s exterior.

Other considerations include the anticipated appreciation of business property (it should look promising), within the timeframe an investor plans to hold onto the property.

Which Type is Best for You?

Investors who may have owned a small business in the past may be more comfortable beginning their investment career in a warehouse, office, or retail property. Others may be more comfortable making the switch from a single-family landlord to investing in an apartment building. Having at least some practical knowledge about the various types of commercial investments available may also be an advantage when it comes to accurately comparing the current market value of a property against the location, style, and size of nearby competitors.

More Stringent Financing

Be prepared to meet or exceed the financing requirements for commercial investments, which is typically higher than for residential investments. Most lending institutions require that commercial investors meet higher income or net worth standards, in addition to making a larger financial commitment.

Contact R.H. Blanchard

It’s important to weigh the pros (higher income stream, lower vacancy risk) of investing in commercial properties vs the cons (rigorous financing, more complex planning), especially for those most comfortable with residential properties. If you would like more tips on how to become a successful commercial investor in the Boston area, please contact us at R.H. Blanchard.

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4 Tips for Investing in Luxury Home Rentals

December 17th, 2020 |

The market you are investing in plays a critical role in determining the value of your investment now and in the future. For example, if you want to buy a property in Boston, say in the neighborhoods of Back Bay or Newton, you should first assess the economic outlook, cost of living, the sale price of comparable luxury home rentals, etc., before making a decision. Also, make sure to check out the surrounding areas as they can influence the dynamicity of the market.

Pay attention to economic indicators

Take advantage of economic indicators to gauge the current and future state of the market before investing your money. Besides the location, be keen on indicators that predict economic cycles, particularly in regard to demographic change and economic growth.

The takeaway

Real estate investments can turn out to be quite profitable; it all depends on the market you invest in, the resources at hand, and your shrewdness as an investor. Remember that for you to see a return on investment in luxury home rentals, you need to work closely with a professional, especially when it comes to design and renovation as it helps to create more value for your property.

R.H Blanchard has the experience and expertise to help you navigate the luxury home rentals market to ensure you acquire the rental home that you are looking for. Contact us to learn more.

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3 Tips for Remodeling Tiny Bathrooms for Resale

November 24th, 2020 |

When remodeling your home for resale, keep in mind that buyers take a close look at the bathrooms when they tour homes. For some, the sheer number of bathrooms in a home is critical. So, if you are remodeling the house to resell it, you might consider adding some small bathrooms. Here are some tips for a tiny bathroom remodel, whether hiring contractors or starting a DIY project.

1. For resale, focus on the visuals

Think: nice tile, nice colors, nice fixtures—and don’t spend a lot on the high-end utilities because most people can’t tell the difference,” points out Cameron Snyder, president, Roomscapes Luxury Design Center. Style over substance is the key here. You are looking to resell the house, and aesthetics matter. Make the bathroom look nice, and people will be pleased despite what you spent on the utilities.

2. Consider your timetable and how quickly you want to flip the house

It costs more to remodel rapidly than it does to take your time, but it may be worth it if you are in a hurry. A quick remodel will probably require a general contractor (GC) to coordinate the project with various subcontractors, and you are paying for the general contractor’s expertise.

It is possible for you to be your own general contractor but interviewing, hiring, supervising, and paying individual professionals is much slower than letting a GC do it. But hiring your own subcontractors will save you money as you do not have to pay for a GC. DIY takes the most time as you are doing most of the work yourself. Decide early in the process if you want to save time or money.

3. Consider interior decorating to save space

Use a corner sink to save space, use large squares or thick stripes on the wall to create the illusion of a larger area, and use a vanity with open shelves to stop vanity doors from blocking the bathroom.

Buyers consider bathrooms essential when buying a house but will often accept smaller bathrooms than fewer larger ones. If you’re interested in a tiny bathroom remodel, contact us at R.H. Blanchard here.

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