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5 Energy-Efficient Home Improvements that Save You Money

October 19th, 2022 |

As an investment property owner, you may want to save money, “go green,” or both. The good news is homes with higher energy-efficient ratings sell for 3% to 5% more than lower-rated homes. Here are five ideas for energy-efficient home improvements, from window upgrades to Energy Star products.

1. Add Insulation 

All spaces in your home should be properly insulated, including your attic, crawlspace, and basement. Insulation is a cost-effective line of defense for reducing heating and cooling bills. For example, you can install 12 inches of insulation in a 500-square-foot attic for about $200. That’s a small investment in return for lower energy bills. The home interior will also be more comfortable with more consistent temperatures. 

2. Repair Your Roof

A roof takes a beating from seasonal temperature changes and harsh weather conditions. Traditional asphalt shingles absorb heat and force a home cooling system to work harder. Other materials, such as clay or sheet metal shingles or cool roof coating, reflect heat to keep your home cooler and reduce energy costs by up to 25%

If the roof is over 20 years old and there are cracked, curled, or missing shingles, it’s time for a new one. Consider replacing asphalt shingles with energy-efficient clay or sheet metal. Even if your roof is in good condition, you can add a cool roof coating to save up to 30% in cooling costs

3. Replace Windows 

Does your home interior feel drafty on a cold, windy day? Maybe it’s time to replace or seal your windows. According to the US Department of Energy, heat gain and loss account for 25% to 35% of home heating and cooling use. Windows older than 20 years can be replaced with newer, energy-efficient models. Look for double-pane windows with energy-efficient, low u-factors of 0.22 to 0.23. 

If you already have energy-efficient windows, consider installing storm windows. Depending on the brand, storm windows cost between $50 to $100. The indoor temperature will be more consistent and you’ll save money on heating and cooling costs in the long run. Installing Energy Star-certified windows can save up to $100 to $500 per year. 

4. Seal Leaky Heating and Cooling Ducts

When you have leaky ducts, up to 40 percent of the warm or cool air is lost before it reaches the home interior. An HVAC technician can use an injection process to seal leaky ducts at an average cost of $750. The result is a more comfortable and consistent interior temperature. The injection process can pay for itself within one or two years.

5. Install New Water and HVAC Systems

Upgrading your water heater or heating and cooling (HVAC) systems can greatly affect energy efficiency. For example, you can replace a 60% efficiency standard water heater with a 200% to 350% efficiency electric heat pump water heater. Is your HVAC system more than 10 years old or not heating or cooling consistently? Consider upgrading to an Energy Star-certified unit that can save up to $100 or more annually.

In the Boston area, RH Blanchard provides expert general contracting services for energy-efficient home improvements. Contact us today for a free quote! 

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How to Avoid Home Improvement Fraud (and What to Look For)

September 19th, 2022 |

When renovating or updating your investment property, you want to hire trustworthy, skilled contractors. But how do you know which housing contractors are legitimate? The following blog post explains how to avoid home improvement fraud.

Warning Signs of Potential Fraud

If you know the warning signs, you can spot a potential scammer. Here are some common tactics to watch out for: 

  • Door-to-door solicitation — the contractor knocks on your door or leaves a flyer, claiming they are in the area.
  • High-pressure sales — the contractor pressures you into making a fast decision
  • Offers of a lower price due to “surplus material” — could mean that they never finished a previous job
  • No verifiable credentials — the contractor will not provide references, business address or proof of license and insurance
  • Contractor asks you to obtain required permits — a legitimate contractor will apply for necessary building permits.
  • Contractor requires full payment upfront and in cash — payment should be by traceable check or credit card after agreed-upon project milestones are met.
  • Contractor refers you to a lender they know — you could end up paying high Interest rates while the contractor has little incentive to finish your project.

Work with Licensed Contractors Only 

Before hiring housing contractors, ensure they have the required license and insurance. Your state or county government has a list of licensed housing contractors. In Massachusetts, for example, you can verify a contractor’s license online with the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.  

Get Bids From at Least Three Contractors 

Don’t sign on the dotted line until you’ve received bids from at least three contractors. Take your time, and do not let anyone pressure you into making a quick decision. Get written estimates that show a description of the project, materials, anticipated completion date, and price. Remember that the lowest bid is not necessarily the best option. Ask for an explanation if one estimate is much lower or higher than the others. 

Get Recommendations From People You Trust 

When looking for a reliable home improvement contractor, get recommendations from people you know and trust. Ask the contractors themselves for references and photographs of past projects. A legitimate contractor will be happy to provide references and their contact information. Contact the references and ask if you can see their completed projects.  

Have a Written Contract — and Read it!

Once you have found the contractor you want to hire, ensure you have a written contract. You should receive a copy of the contract to keep for your records. Besides the contractor’s name, address, and contact information, the contract should include at least the following information  

  • Contractor’s license number
  • Estimated start and finish dates
  • Description of work to be completed 
  • Cost of labor 
  • Cost of materials
  • Payment schedule
  • Warranty information
  • Your right to cancel if the contract is not signed at the contractor’s permanent place of business

At RH Blanchard, we provide reliable, transparent general contracting services to Boston-area property investors. Get in touch today and ask for a free quote.

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A Pocket Guide: Buying and Remodeling a Fixer-Upper Home

September 8th, 2022 |

Do you dream of buying a fixer-upper and turning it into a valuable investment? The following article provides tips on buying and remodeling a fixer-upper, from permits to budgets and beyond.

Weigh Benefits and Drawbacks

Before you buy that charming fixer-upper, step back and make a list of pros and cons. Is it the type of project you want to take on? Does the property need cosmetic repairs, such as installing a new carpet or replacing kitchen cabinets? Do you want to invest in adding a garage or replacing a plumbing system?

When you ask these difficult questions, you may decide not to buy a property. But you’ll be prepared when the right fixer-upper comes along.  

Set a Realistic Budget and Timeline

When buying a fixer-upper, a realistic budget and timeline are essential. A budget ensures you will not take on a more complex project than you can pay for. If you take on a project you can afford, you’ll be able to include quality materials and workmanship in the budget. Ensure you include permit fees and a 10 percent cushion for surprise expenses.  

A complex project, such as an entire kitchen remodel, can run into unforeseen delays. An experienced general contractor can develop a realistic timetable for your fixer-upper renovation. 

Invest in Quality Materials  

When renovating a fixer-upper, quality materials are worth the investment. Be willing to pay mid-range or higher for flooring, insulation, or trim materials. Premium quality siding, for example, may cost more upfront, but it usually lasts longer and can save you money on repairs.  

Financing Your Fixer-Upper Remodel

There are several options for financing your fixer-upper. You can probably pay for the property with a conventional home loan if it just needs cosmetic repairs. For more complex projects, you may need a renovation loan, such as an FHA 203(k) renovation loan or a FannieMae Homestyle Renovation Loan. Veterans can apply for VA renovation loans.  

Inspections and Permits

Inspections, permits, and approvals are a fact of life when remodeling a fixer-upper. Multiple home inspections will give you an accurate picture of repairs and upgrades you’ll have to make. Other worthwhile inspections include pest, sewer line, and roof inspections. 

Make sure you research zoning laws and permit requirements, too. Certain renovations may not be allowed or require a special permit in your neighborhood. A general contractor usually takes care of the paperwork for construction permits and approvals.  

Considerations for Rental Property  

If you plan to turn your fixer-upper into a rental property, renovations should appeal to the tastes of a wide range of potential tenants. When choosing paint colors or floor stains, choose classic neutrals rather than trendy or unusual colors. Think durability. Hardwood floors, for example, should be thick enough to tolerate wear and tear and multiple refinishing.   

Hire a Reputable General Contractor

A general contractor will oversee the fixer-upper remodel, set schedules, and ensure work is properly completed. Before hiring a general contractor, check online reviews and get referrals. Ask contractors for photographs of past projects and always check references. 

If you’re a Boston-area property investor, you can depend on the experienced general contracting team at RH Blanchard. Contact us and get a free quote for your fixer-upper remodel.

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Sustainable Building Materials: How to Use These in Your Next Renovation

July 14th, 2022 |

When it’s time to renovate your investment property, consider using sustainable building materials. Besides protecting the environment and saving energy, going green can improve the resale value of your property by an average of 8 percent. Here are some eco-friendly examples. 

Solar Panels

A well-known sustainable building material, solar panels help keep electric bills down while using a renewable resource. The United States Energy Information Agency predicts that in 2022, solar power will account for nearly half of the new electric generating capacity in the US. Over the years, solar panels have become more aesthetically appealing and can be installed on a roof or in the yard. If you opt for rooftop solar panels, consider installing galvanized roof hatches for easy access.

Composite Roofing Shingles

If you’re looking for sustainable building materials that help save energy and need little maintenance, consider composite roofing shingles. Asphalt shingles and roof shakes tend to crack and fade, allowing air to enter the building and driving up energy costs. Composite roofing shingles, on the other hand, are a durable option that helps reduce heating and cooling costs. Plus, you’ll save money on repairs with this long-lasting material. 

Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo is a highly sustainable material that is usually more affordable than traditional hardwood flooring. It’s suitable for any area where you would use hardwood flooring, from living rooms to mudrooms. Even better, it has a rapid harvest cycle of three years compared to about 25 years for most hardwoods. When you choose bamboo flooring, you are helping to preserve forests by giving trees a chance to grow back. 

Smart Glass Windows

Smart glass windows adapt to seasonal temperature changes to help reduce energy use. For example, the glass becomes transparent in the winter to allow the sunlight to get through and aid in heating. In the summer, the glass turns translucent to keep out heat and reduce air conditioner use. The result is lower electric bills and a more comfortable building interior.

Hemp Insulation

Legally grown in the United States since 2014, industrial hemp is one of the most sustainable building materials. Hemp insulation is a sustainable, natural alternative to fiberglass and foam that does not contain toxic binding chemicals. Hemp also grows fast, improves soil health, and does not require the use of pesticides. Usually sold in batts, it is easily compressed and beats the industry standard R-value for the coldest zone in the United States. 

Insulated Concrete Framing

Insulated concrete framing (ICF) is another energy-saving building material. Unlike wood panels that can crack, ICF provides an airtight layer that prevents moisture and air transfer. It also stores heat and helps prevent temperature fluctuations throughout the day and night. Besides sustainability, ICF is a durable, fire-resistant material that helps keep out noise.

The experienced professionals at RH Blanchard are ready to make your Boston-area sustainable renovation happen. Let us be your go-to general contracting team, from project development to remodeling and finishing. Get in touch with us today for a free quote.

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When Is the Right Time to Renovate Your Investment Property?

July 7th, 2022 |

A building renovation can be exciting and disruptive at the same time. Whether a commercial building or a rental home, the project needs to go smoothly. So when is the right time to renovate your investment property? Here are some tips for the best times to schedule your building renovation.

Before You Rent

After you buy a rental property, check for areas that need repairs or upgrades. Now is the time for a fresh coat of paint or new flooring. When you’re ready to rent, you want prospective tenants to see clean, hard surface floors, not worn or stained carpeting. Replace appliances that are 20 years old or more. Make changes that will show renters that the property is well-maintained and up-to-date. 

Between Tenants

Take advantage of the transition period between one tenant leaving and a new tenant arriving. Consider any improvements that will let you charge higher rent and possibly increase your return on investment (ROI). Have you been wanting to replace that tired kitchen linoleum with tile or bamboo? Maybe it’s time to upgrade appliances. 

As soon as you find out that a tenant is leaving, contact any contractors you plan to hire. The sooner you can schedule the building renovation, the sooner you’ll be able to rent the property again. 

When the Property Needs Repairs 

Maybe your investment property needs some urgent repairs. If your property needs new plumbing, for example, your drywall will need replacing anyway. You might as well schedule that remodel you’ve been considering simultaneously. For an extensive renovation, it’s a good idea to hire a general contractor to coordinate subcontractors and keep the project on schedule.  

During Slow Business Periods 

If you’re planning on a commercial building renovation, it’s best to schedule the project during a slow business period. If your tenant is an accountant, for example, plan the renovation after the tax-filing season has ended. For a florist shop, don’t schedule the project the week before Valentine’s Day. During a busy time of year, you don’t want the office torn apart or the store temporarily closed.

When you schedule a commercial property renovation, the business should be able to operate during the project. This can require temporarily leasing office space, which can take months to secure. Make sure you allow enough time for the business to relocate, if necessary temporarily.

Before You Sell the Property

Maybe you’re ready to sell an investment property you’ve owned for years. When you list your property, you want it to look fresh and up-to-date. Your real estate agent can help you decide what renovations are needed to improve the resale value of your property. Whether you’re considering new windows or an extra bathroom, consult a general contractor well before you want to begin the project.

RH Blanchard has been providing Boston-area investment property owners with general contracting services for more than a decade. Our experienced team will manage your renovation project and get your property in shape. We’re happy to provide a free quote, so contact us today!

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5 Common Building Construction Delays (and How to Avoid Them!)

June 13th, 2022 |

Many factors and considerations go into planning a construction project. As a property investor, you want your remodel or renovation project to stay on schedule and on budget. Some potential construction delays, such as holidays, can be anticipated. But what about weather conditions and other unforeseen problems? The following post looks at common construction delays and how to avoid them.

1. Scheduling Gaps

Scheduling gaps can cause construction delays for a variety of reasons. For example, an electrician may run into a problem that causes setbacks for other subcontractors. You may even have to wait a month or more just to have your first meeting with an architect or designer. Then there are wait times for bidding and ordering materials 

That’s why it’s a good idea to schedule contractors at least three months in advance. Also, extra time should be built into the project timeline to allow for unforeseen setbacks and delays.  

2. Design Flaws

Sometimes a general contractor will discover a design flaw after the construction phase has begun. It may take an experienced contractor’s eye to discover a structural flaw, even after the blueprints are complete and approved. Needless to say, a flaw in the design itself can cause major delays and cost overruns, especially if part of the project must be dismantled and rebuilt.

One way to avoid such delays is to hire a general contracting company that includes in-house design and other pre-construction services. When stakeholders work together from start to finish, issues are resolved before they cause delays. 

3. Weather Problems

Weather conditions are beyond anyone’s control, but there are ways to avoid weather-related construction delays. If inclement weather prevents completion of outdoor work, for example, work can begin on indoor parts of the project.  

Weather can cause many types of construction delays. Muddy conditions may prevent operation of heavy equipment. Hazardous roads may prevent workers from driving to the project site. Shipping delays may cause materials to arrive late. Extra time should be built into the project schedule to prevent disruption from weather delays. 

4. Holidays and Vacations  

Of course, time off for holidays should be factored into the project timeline. Buffer time for major holidays and vacations can be worked into the schedule in advance. However, it’s also important to keep the lines of communication open during holidays. If you are on vacation, the project team should be able to contact you to help resolve any problems that could cause delays. 

5. Overbooked Subcontractors  

An experienced general contractor will have a long-standing network of reliable subcontractors. Unfortunately, some less reliable subcontractors will overbook their workers. Eventually, work on one project suffers while overextended workers are catching up on another project.  

You can prevent this type of delay by hiring an established general contractor who has built relationships with dependable subcontractors. Through years of experience, the general contractor will know which subcontractors will keep your project on schedule. 

For more than a decade, RH Blanchard has been providing general contracting and project development services to Boston-area property investors. Get in touch today for your free quote.

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Ask a Contractor: What to Expect During Renovations

March 21st, 2022 |

Before you begin a renovation project on your investment property, there are many factors to consider: cost, permits, hiring renovation contractors and more. Here is a guide to help you through the process.

Mandatory or Optional Upgrades

Your renovation project may include either mandatory or optional upgrades, or a combination of both. 

Mandatory Upgrades

Sometimes a building needs mandatory upgrades to comply with local safety codes. For example, you may need to upgrade the electrical or plumbing systems before you can rent out a home. 

Optional Upgrades  

Optional upgrades are a matter of personal preference and are not required for code compliance. Examples include installing solar panels, adding a new porch or replacing kitchen countertops. Optional upgrades can improve the design, func or curb appeal of your home. 

Licensed Contractor

A licensed general contractor has the experience and knowledge necessary for a successful and safe renovation project. In Massachusetts, for example, a general contractor must have a valid Construction Supervisor License (CSL). Specific licenses are required for plumbing, electrical and other specialized work. You can verify a Massachusetts contractor’s license with the Board of Building Regulations and Standards

Contract

A contract need not contain pages of legal jargon, but it should clearly state the essential points of the renovation project. Before you sign, make sure that the following details are written into the contract: 

Project description, including materials and their costs, labor costs, permit applications, debris disposal, liability insurance and workman’s compensation coverage. 

  • Payment installment schedule and payment method. 
  • Estimated project start and end date.
  • Lien waivers for each payment, stating that the funds were used to pay for materials and labor described in the invoice. 
  • Clear procedure for changes, including a description of new work, cost, and impact on the timeline. 
  • Escape hatch providing a specified time period to rescind the contract without penalty.
  • Signatures of both parties (general contractor and you)

A contract is essential if you want to avoid surprise charges, unnecessary delays, debris left at the construction site or other issues. 

Permits 

For a renovation project, the general contractor usually applies for permits through your local building department. A permit application ensures that the project will adhere to local building and fire codes. The required permits depend on the type of project. In Massachusetts, for example, permits are required for alterations to a building’s structure or major systems, such as 

  • Home additions
  • New garage
  • New deck
  • Interior wall removal 
  • Electrical rewiring 
  • Plumbing replacement

The permit must be prominently displayed at the project site. If construction has begun without the proper permits, the building department can order a shutdown or even a tear-down of the project. 

Inspections  

The local building department will send an inspector to check certain stages of the renovation. These inspections ensure that the project is meeting safety code requirements. If a violation is found, the inspector will tell the contractor what to do to bring the project up to code standards. 

The general contracting professionals at RH Blanchard have the skills and experience for your renovation project. Get in touch today for your free quote.

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5 Advantages of Basement Renovations

February 16th, 2022 |

A basement does not have to be a dark, forgotten space in your investment property. It can turn into a second bathroom, bedroom, or another source of income. Read on to learn about basement renovation costs and return on investment (ROI). 

#1 ROI vs. Basement Renovation Cost

Basement renovation costs can be pricey, but this type of renovation provides a 70 percent average ROI nationwide For houses in Massachusetts and other New England states, the ROI averages 52.8 percent. The cost of a basement remodel depends on the type of remodel and the planned use of the space. The nationwide average cost for a midrange basement remodel is $71,115, while in New England it’s $76, 429.  

Of course, the size of the basement helps determine the cost of a renovation. For a small 300- to 700-square foot basement, the price typically ranges from $9,000 to $52,000. Renovating a 1500- to 2,000-square foot basement, however, can cost from $45,000 to $150,000.  

#2 Increases Home Value

As a property investor, you’re keeping your eye on the bottom line — especially your property value. Basement renovations tend to increase the resale value of homes. You will likely be able to recoup a good chunk of your expenses when you sell your property.  

Let’s say you’re spending $50,000 on a Boston-area basement renovation. With the typical ROI of 52.8 percent for the region, your resale value could increase by $26,400. 

#3 Increase Living Space

With a basement renovation, you can increase the living space of the property without enlarging its footprint. This is an important advantage if zoning codes prevent you from expanding outward or upward. In some neighborhoods, an addition may not be possible because it will be too close to the neighboring house. Other locations have a two-story limit on homes. If your property has a basement, you can still add that extra room or apartment. 

#4 Increase Income

If zoning laws allow it, you can turn the basement into a rental unit and increase the income potential for the property. If you keep the property after the renovation, you will have increased cash flow from the additional unit. If you sell the property, the potential income from the renovated basement is a good selling point. A buyer may see the rental income as a chance to ease the burden of mortgage payments. 

#5 Additional Uses for a Renovated Basement

Bathroom 

An additional bathroom can be a deciding factor for a home buyer. The cost of hiring a plumber for this renovation can be worth it when it’s time to sell the property.

Bedroom 

Adding a bedroom increases the size of the home as well as potential rental income. A bedroom must have two forms of egress, such as windows, so the project will likely involve knocking down foundation walls to create openings. 

Recreation Room

Since it is below ground, noise from loud parties or kids playing will be muffled. A basement is an ideal location for a recreation room if you don’t want to disturb the neighbors. 

With more than 15 years of general contracting experience, RH Blanchard will give your Boston-area basement renovation the care it deserves. Get in touch for a free consultation.

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7 Types of Flooring to Consider for Your Investment Property

November 16th, 2021 |

The right flooring is essential for any rental property. As an investment property owner, you’ll need to consider some important factors when selecting flooring – you can choose from many types of flooring that will appeal to future renters. Some factors to consider include:

  • Durability 
  • Price
  • Installation requirements 
  • Ease of maintenance 
  • Appearance

Keep reading to learn our suggestions for the best investment property flooring!

1. Laminate 

Laminate is a synthetic alternative to genuine hardwood. Available in planks or squares, it is a good choice for bedrooms, dining rooms and living areas. 

Laminate pros:

  • Easily installed by clicking or gluing in place
  • Tough finish resists scratches and stains  
  • More affordable than genuine hardwood
  • Suitable for pet-friendly rentals

Laminate cons: 

  • Does not add the value of genuine hardwood flooring
  • Cannot refinish
  • Chips easily
  • Does not last as long as hardwood

2. Tile

Whether it’s porcelain, ceramic or stone, tile is a hard flooring installed over cement. The spaces between the tiles are filled with a mixture known as grout. Tile is a good choice for humid areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. 

Tile pros: 

  • Durable
  • Easy to wipe clean
  • Water-resistant 
  • Available in many styles and prices

Tile cons:

  • Can crack 
  • Does not insulate
  • Requires skilled installation 
  • Needs sealer or polish 
  • Grout requires periodic deep cleaning

3. Vinyl  

Vinyl is synthetic flooring that is manufactured in sheets, tiles or planks. It is usually seen in bathrooms and kitchens and is installed by gluing or clicking in place. 

Vinyl pros: 

  • Affordable 
  • Water-resistant 
  • Easy to clean with dry mop or vacuum 
  • Easily installed with little prep
  • Flexible  

Vinyl cons:

  • Moisture underneath flooring can form mildew 
  • Subject to tearing or ripping  

4. Hardwood

Suitable for high-end rentals, hardwood flooring is available in solid wood or engineered planks. It is installed by nailing the planks to sub-flooring and is ideal for bedrooms, dining rooms and living areas. 

Hardwood pros: 

  • Durable
  • Luxurious appearance
  • Easy to sweep clean
  • Can refinish solid wood

Hardwood cons:

  • Higher initial cost
  • Needs skilled installation 
  • Can be damaged by water or sun
  • Cannot refinish engineered wood
  • Easily dented or scratched

5. Linoleum 

Usually seen in kitchens and bathrooms, linoleum flooring is available in tiles or sheets. It is often installed over plywood underlayment.  

Linoleum pros

  • Simply sweep, dust or vacuum clean
  • Lasts up to 40 years
  • Water-resistant 
  • Available in a variety of patterns
  • Color runs deep, minimizing scuffs 
  • Springy and comfortable underfoot

Linoleum cons: 

  • Can expand or contract if water seeps underneath
  • Needs sealer and regular refinishing  

6. Cork 

Made from oak bark, cork tiles are glued to the sub-flooring or to each other. Cork flooring is a good choice for kitchens. 

Cork pros:

  • Affordable
  • Reduces noise 
  • Needs only occasional sweeping and mopping
  • Renewable resource
  • Biodegradable 
  • Easy to install

Cork cons: 

  • Can warp in humidity
  • Easily dented
  • Does not tolerate high traffic
  • Needs sealer  

7. Carpet 

Carpet is one of the most common types of flooring you’ll see on the market. It can be cut to fit a floor space and stapled to a carpet pad and works best in bedrooms and second-floor rental units. 

Carpet pros: 

  • Reduces noise
  • Insulates and reduces energy bills

Carpet cons:

  • Stains easily
  • Holds odors and pet hairs
  • Needs labor-intensive cleaning

At RH Blanchard, we’ll bring our general contracting expertise to help you determine the best types of flooring for your Boston-area project. When you’re ready to move forward, contact us for a free quote. 

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Home Addition Plans Guide: Where to Start?

November 9th, 2021 |

Are you thinking about a home addition for your investment property? Home addition plans involve many decisions and considerations. Read on to learn some helpful tips for your project. 

Start with a Budget 

The first step in building a home addition is to set a budget. It’s easy to become caught up in the excitement of a new addition, but costs can get out of control. Figure out how much you can realistically afford to spend and how you will finance the project. Several finance options are available, including  

  • Mortgage refinance
  • Home equity loan
  • Savings
  • Line of credit

Don’t forget to include non-construction costs, such as  

  • Higher property taxes
  • Increased homeowners’ insurance premiums
  • Increased utility bills

Most importantly, stick with your budget when you discuss your plans with a general contractor. 

Consider Alternatives to an Addition 

Before you commit to an addition, consider less costly alternatives that do not require a new foundation or roof. A remodel can cost 25 to 50 percent less than an addition. For example, a kitchen remodel may meet your needs. Maybe the attic or basement could be converted into additional living space. Tearing down walls or removing a closet or staircase can improve traffic flow throughout the house. If you decide that an addition is the best route, a general contractor can help you plan the next steps. 

Decide the Purpose and Type of Addition  

The best type of addition will depend on the purpose of the addition. Do you want to add more room for kids to play? Does the kitchen seem cramped and crowded? 

Once you’ve decided on the purpose, you can choose the right type of addition for your needs. Sometimes, less is more when it comes to adding space. A bump-out, for example, is a cost-effective way to add a narrow space without the need for a new foundation or roofing. Consider a bump-out if you want to add an eating area to a kitchen or extra storage room in a closet. 

Another important consideration is the effect of the addition on property value and return on investment (ROI). For example, Home Advisor notes that master bedroom suites produce an average 63 percent ROI, while second-story additions typically bring in a 65 percent ROI. You should also compare your planned addition with other homes in the neighborhood. If your property becomes overvalued in a moderately priced area, you won’t be able to recoup your investment.

Choose Materials that Blend with Existing Home

You’ll want the addition to look like it’s part of the original home. If the home has double-hung windows and vinyl siding, then the addition should have similar features. If you can’t find an exact match, look for comparable alternatives. A general contractor can help you choose materials, such as siding, roofing, trim, windows and flooring, that will integrate with the existing structure.  

Hire an Experienced General Contractor  

A licensed general contractor can assemble and oversee the work team and get the required permits for your home addition plans. With more than a decade of general contracting and project development experience, RH Blanchard will guide you through every step of your project. Get in touch today for a free quote.

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