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Are You Ready For a Victorian House Renovation?

September 10th, 2020 |

Victorian architecture, known for its ornate style and rich beauty, is a grand testimony to quality craftsmanship. While other home styles have faded away due to the ravages of time, Victorian home styles are still going strong, although many are in need of a significant amount of tender loving care. For those considering taking on a Victorian house renovation, it’s worth considering whether one has the time, the expertise, and of course the financing, to restore one of these grand beauties to their former glory.

Reasons for Restoration 

When one considers that the alternative to restoring an older home will likely end in it being bulldozed at some point to make way for another home, it suddenly becomes important to take a serious look at all the reasons why restoring one of these homes is definitely a worthwhile project.

Consider the ornate external detailing of a typical Victorian home, the potential of the interior hardwood floors, the grand staircase, all the baseboard, and cove moulding, and it’s difficult to imagine being able to successfully incorporate all this unique character in a replacement home. When properly restored, even older homes can hold their own in terms of safety, comfort, size, and curb appeal when compared to today’s new builds.   

DIY or Hire the Pros?

While many a Victorian home is definitely worth restoring, it is a big project to tackle, especially when care is taken to honor the history and the architecture of these unique homes. Unless the homeowners or investors have professional trade experience, it’s probably best to leave the jobs such as updating the plumbing, electrical, roof and windows, etc. to the pros. 

The average DIY person can probably handle the smaller tasks such as removing wallpaper, refinishing floors, painting, and with some help from carpenters with the skills to create historical pieces, they may be able to replace a staircase tread here and there, along with replacing some worn-out baseboards or cove moulding.

Consider a Design Service

Anyone who decides to take on a Victorian renovation is likely the type of person who appreciates its history. While they want to make the home as comfortable and functional as possible, they also want to honor its unique style. The best way to blend both history and function is to hire a design service that is full of creative ideas, as well as in-depth knowledge of Victorian architecture.

If you are considering a Victorian house renovation, we can help. Please contact us today for more on our project and design services. 

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Property Focus: Apartment Remodeling

July 9th, 2020 |

Whether you’ve taken the leap into real estate investing, or are still shopping for your first Boston-area investment property, you’ve likely come across a listing or two that would be an ideal investment “If only.” If only it had an updated bathroom, if only it had a more efficient kitchen layout, if only it had more natural light…etc.

Luckily, turning an investment property from “almost ideal” to “practically perfect” is possible if you keep these apartment remodeling tips top of mind:

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Property Focus: Old House Renovation

May 21st, 2020 |

Renovating an old home can be a daunting task. On the one hand, the promise of a revitalized older house is tantalizing, bringing with it increased property values and a better quality of life for residents. On the other, an old house renovation can be a stressful and costly endeavor, further complicated by the unique challenges and needs presented by an older home. But don’t let this fear stop you. Renovating an old home doesn’t have to be a grueling or painfully expensive project so long as the right guidelines are followed. Here are five tips to keep in mind before you move to upgrade an older property.

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Pros and Cons of a Boston Home Remodeling Project

March 5th, 2020 |

Despite the fact that Boston has the third-highest rental costs in the US, demand for quality rental housing is perennially strong. There are many factors to consider if you’re deciding whether to renovate an investment property or start home remodeling in Boston, and these pros and cons can help you consider such a project.

Con: Remodeling Cost Is High

Especially in an area with expensive housing costs like Boston, a remodeling project can feel like an unending list of bills to pay for contractors, materials, licenses, carrying costs, and of course, unexpected expenses. This can be especially true in remodeling an older home or doing extensive renovations. Some remodeling projects can also be very time-consuming depending on the extent of the work being done. That doesn’t even take into account added time due to supply delays, contractor and labor scheduling issues, and even weather problems. In addition, you may face unexpected expenses as a result of issues discovered during the remodeling process or changes in the original plan of work to be done.

Pro: Strong Return on Investment

Because housing costs are so high in the Boston area, an owner who does a smart, careful job on a remodeling project should see a return on that investment in a short time. Renters and buyers are choosy, even in a tight market, and your investment in quality remodeling should pay off in higher rental and sales rates. Buyers and renters are willing to pay more, however, if remodeling choices result in designs and amenities that appeal to them.

Con: Bathroom and Kitchen Remodels Can Cost the Most

Because of their function and complexity, bathrooms and kitchens can be the most expensive rooms to remodel in a home. These spaces require skilled workers across many of the trades including plumbing, electrical, carpentry, tiling, and more. This results in more workers and associated costs. These are also spaces that require a lot of specialized materials and supplies, all of which add to the total expense.

Pro: Bathroom and Kitchen Remodels Add the Wow Factor

Time after time, results show that good bathroom and kitchen remodels can be the special features that make a property move. There’s something really delightful about a clean, fresh kitchen and bath that gives an entire home some added appeal.

Con: Remodeling Costs Can Outweigh Earnings

It can be easy to let a remodeling project get out of hand, adding more and more to a project until it’s become an overly expensive money pit. It’s often tempting to keep finding additional upgrades to make during a renovation project, adding time and expense overall.

Pro: Careful Planning and Quality Contractors Can Save You Money

Working with quality contractors and carefully planning a remodeling project can save you money upfront, increasing the odds of a strong profit in the end. Of course, there are unexpected problems that can turn up during renovation that require attention, but the scope of a remodeling project should be well defined at the start and changes carefully evaluated.

Con: A Remodeling Project Can Be Stressful

A remodeling project can be a very stressful time. A lot of money can be at stake, and there are many unknowns including the time required to complete the project, the possibility of encountering unknown problems, and worries over successfully renting or selling the property when work is completed. In addition, coordinating the work, workers, schedules, and expenses can be an overwhelming task.

Pro: A Good Contractor Can Reduce Stress

Hiring a quality contractor to oversee a remodeling project can provide you peace of mind while the work is done. Experienced contractors can identify small problems and resolve them before they become large issues, are used to coordinating complex projects and have the knowledge to make sure every detail is taken care of.

Contact us at R.H. Blanchard today to discuss remodeling your investment property and home remodeling in Boston.

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Best Remodeling Services for Your Money

February 26th, 2020 |

Unsurprisingly, recent reports confirm exterior remodeling projects provide the most value. Upgrading the exterior is an excellent strategy to have the property make a good first impression on potential tenants or buyers. Since you’re probably spending the bulk of your remodeling services budget on big-ticket exterior improvements, finding ways to make the most of your interior remodeling budget is a must.

Remodeling Services that Improve Curb Appeal

In New England, the best remodeling services for return on investment are projects that improve curb appeal according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value Report. Replacing the garage door is the top-performing remodeling project with a 95.5 percent ROI.

A close second is replacing the bottom third of the facade’s siding with manufactured stone veneer (87.8 percent ROI). Third place went to replacing vinyl siding (76.6 percent ROI). Nationally, a new roof is the remodeling project that provided the biggest ROI (107 percent) according to data from the National Association of Realtors.

In the event your property doesn’t need the already-mentioned remodeling services, you may want to consider other ways to improve curb appeal such as:

  • Having the exterior painted
  • Power washing the driveway, walkway, and porch
  • Adding or upgrading exterior lighting

Saving on Interior Remodeling

There are many ways to help you save money on interior remodeling services. Some of our favorite tips include:

  1. Use stock products rather than custom ones. During the design phase of your project, it’s important to use standard dimensions for everything to avoid the need for custom products later.
  2. Put new plumbing fixtures in the same locations the old fixtures had. Moving toilets, sinks, showers, or tubs can add thousands of dollars to the project’s cost.
  3. Increase natural light with solar tubes. They’re a less expensive alternative to adding a skylight or a new window.
  4. If the property needs new floors, consider installing luxury vinyl plank (LVP) for rentals. It’s affordable, durable, and looks much nicer than the vinyl floors of decades past.
  5. If you’re selling the property when the remodel’s complete, engineered hardwood is an attractive and budget-friendly alternative to hardwood floors.

Boston Remodeling Services

We have years of experience remodeling properties for Boston area investors. Contact us when you’re ready to remodel your next investment property.

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10 Tips for Your Next Multi-Family Renovation

December 19th, 2019 |

Multi-family real estate is booming. With less working-age professionals buying houses, you can rest assured that any investment you make in your space will be profitable. You know that not every investment will result in immediate cash-flow, so here are some well-researched, handy tips to keep in mind when you are considering your next multifamily renovation. R.H. Blanchard has you and your multifamily renovation covered.

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Home Renovation Projects: To DIY or Not to DIY?

December 13th, 2019 |

Your home will always need work performed to maintain or improve your quality of life. Many people are looking for a cost-effective solution when it comes to home remodeling, repair, or general upkeep of their property. One question for homeowners facing their property needs that comes up when doing a home renovation projects is “when is it appropriate to DIY or when should I hire a contractor?”

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