Posts Tagged "home renovation"

Spring and Summertime Home Maintenance Ideas for Greenwich, CT

June 16, 2015

As you may have gathered by looking at either past posts or our website, we’re passionate about adding beauty and value to homes in our area. Sometimes this is done through quality building and remodeling, or by applying beautiful new interior or exterior paint to fortify and protect your surfaces. At the same time, however, investing in other strategic home maintenance activities will also pay a large dividend down the road.

Gerety Building and Restoration: Winner of the 2015 Best of Houzz Award for Customer Satisfaction!

February 14, 2015

In addition to offering a high-quality product, we also are very focused on providing a high-quality customer experience. This is important for any business, but in our line of work it takes on a new level of importance. Why? Because when people call on our home building and remodeling services, we aren’t just arriving on a jobsite. We’re being invited to your home!

What Home Renovations Qualify for Tax Credit?

June 17, 2014

I realize this is probably an odd time of year to talk about tax credits, but the summer months are the perfect time to talk about home renovations; and if we learn a little about tax deductions and tax credits along the way, it’s a good thing, right? Home renovation isn’t generally something that is tax deductible, but it can help minimize the amount of taxes that you pay. Some improvements may even qualify as medical expenses if they are deemed medically necessary. Let’s take a quick look at each of these categories.

*Please remember that I’m not a tax consultant. I’m simply passing along information that is readily available from the IRS website. None of this information should be taken as tax advice. That’s what your CPA is for; but I will help you design and implement your home improvements as needed.

Tax Credits for Home Improvement

The costs incurred in modifying your home for medical purposes may be deducted from your income as medical expenses. These renovations must be deemed medically necessary to qualify. Here are several examples:

Entrance or Exit Ramps – Immobility or impaired mobility require easier access to your home than steps or stairs.

Modifying the Bathroom – Impaired mobility creates problems for homeowners. They’re often faced with the option to either sell their home and move somewhere more accessible or make costly modifications on top of other medical expenses.

Lowering Cabinets – Kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, and the bathroom vanity are often lowered to make life easier on people in wheelchairs, or those who may be reliant on a walker.

Widening Doors and Hallways – The average doorway and hallway are 36 inches wide. The average wheelchair clearance requirement is 32 inches wide. As you can see, this doesn’t leave much room for actual maneuverability.

Hand Rails – Adding hand rails near the toilet, shower, bath tub, and other areas where impaired mobility can cause problems helps the affected person maintain their independence.

The home improvement you implement must be deemed medically necessary in order to deduct it from your income as a medical expense. You can’t, for example, remodel your kitchen and claim it as medically necessary.

Many energy generation systems, upgraded appliances, windows, and doors are eligible for tax credits. Look for the Energy Star sticker on all major appliances to see how each one rates. You benefit doubly from upgrading the appliances in your kitchen during a kitchen remodel. New appliances are more energy efficient, so you can get the tax credit toward this year’s taxes and enjoy decreased energy bills for the life of the appliance. Win/Win.

As I stated above, I’m not a tax consultant. My primary goal for today’s blog was to make you aware of tax credits that you may be eligible for, and briefly describe them. Feel free to call my office to discuss more options for remodeling or modifying your home.

Work with a Building and Restoration Contractor Who Truly Understands the Desire to Remodel

May 17, 2014

I’ve been a homeowner most of my adult life. I love the entire process of remodeling and completely understand the desire to make your kitchen bigger, or combine the living room and dining room for extra play space for the kids. I believe a house isn’t a home unless it feels like home. If you’re here reading this, you must be searching for a way to make your house feel more like home. Let me show you some great ways to remodel that won’t break the bank, but will make a huge impact on your family life. The biggest thing to remember when planning to remodel is to do it for yourself and your family. It doesn’t matter if you have a formal dining room if you never use it in lieu of the breakfast nook or bar. What’s the use of a full basement if it isn’t finished and usable? Sure, it can collect boxes and be a dry storage area, but think about all of that space that could be put to great use.

Why Should You Remodel Your Home?

Homeowners choose to remodel for a variety of reasons. You may just want a change, which I completely understand, or you may want to modernize or customize some aspect of your home. New kitchen appliances should always be accompanied by new kitchencabinets, a new counter top, all new hardware, and new flooring. Why? Because you’re into it now, and if you don’t do the rest now, you won’t be happy just swapping one fridge for another. I know this from experience.

Remodel instead of selling – Remodel your existing home instead of going through the headache of selling and purchasing a new one. You’d be amazed at how adding a room changes the entire dynamic of your home. That extra space suddenly becomes an amazing, exciting new land full of opportunity. Take the opportunity to knock out a wall here or there to expand other rooms while moving an entire room to the new land (room).

A lot of people choose to remodel their home as their family grows; a new baby is born; children become teenagers; children become parents and you need more space for grandchildren because you remodeled after the teenagers left the roost and you aren’t willing to give up your hobby room. Whatever the reason; I get it. Don’t give up one part of your lifestyle, something that makes you happy, just for more space in the house. Create more space. Pretty simple solution when I put it that way, right?

Here’s a project for you – Decide what changes you want to make. Visit my website’s contact page and fill out the form for 10% off of your next project of $5,000 or more (I’ll help you find the best bang for your buck, starting with my own services). Call me for a free consultation, and we’ll hash out the details. I’ll get you a quote, and we’ll decide from there what you need to do.

When Is The Best Time To Remodel

January 19, 2012

Most people think of spring and summer as the perfect time to undertake a remodeling project. It is quite true that warmer temperatures and sunny days are beneficial when it comes to working outside – or rather hiring other people to work outside – but temperature is far from the only consideration when deciding when is the right time to begin your remodeling project.

In many cases, knowing when to remodel is likely to save you money as well as time during your project. Spring and summer may be the most popular times to call in a contractor but they may not be the right option for you.

Avoiding Contractors’ Busy Times

If you go to your favorite restaurant when they are very busy you are unlikely to get the same careful level of attention as you would at off peak hours and you are far less likely to get the extra side portion of salad dressing or any other extras you want the first time you ask for it. The staff are simply going to be too busy to give you all the attention they probably should.

The same can often hold true for renovation or remodeling contractors of all kinds. If they are juggling several projects at once they may simply not have the resources or time to pay as much attention to yours, especially if it a smaller project, as they usually would if they were less pressed for time.

Additionally, when every contractor within a ten mile radius is putting in orders for hardwood flooring, paint, lumber and all kinds of other building supplies there is a much greater chance that orders will suffer stock shortages, get delayed, or even mixed up, causing everyone involved extra headaches. Remodeling projects are already a bit of a hassle anyway so these types of extra delays can become a real annoyance.

By working with remodeling contractors in their “off season” you may also get a more favorable to you price estimate as when they have less projects on their books.

The best possible scenario for many remodeling and home maintenance projects is to schedule them a few months earlier than everyone else is likely to be doing.

5 Easy Steps to a Stress Free Home Renovation Project

January 9, 2012

With spring around the corner, now is the perfect time to start planning your home renovation projects. Take the next several weeks to analyze, research, and evaluate your current home to find out what you really want and need. This will save you from wasted time and potentially costly mistake down the road.

Whether it’s that gourmet kitchen you’ve been dreaming about, the outdated master bathroom you’ve been putting off, or the new bedroom addition you desperately need, winter is for planning and spring is for building.

Following this five-step approach will take the stress and anxiety out of the home renovation process, at the same time saving you valuable time and money.

1. Dream It!

Assess Your Situation: Taking a realistic look at your current situation will make all the difference between a good home renovation project and a great one! What problems need to be solved? Walk through your home room by room and take great notes along the way.

Inspiration File: Educate yourself on the materials, finishes and appliances that are available to you. Check out the design magazines and the plethora of home design shows to gather ideas that inspire you in some way. You’ll see a pattern beginning to emerge.

Wish List: Creating your wish list will influence the overall concept and design that you ultimately want your home to reflect. Gathering all of this information will help you determine the overall scope of your project.

2. Plan It!

Budget and Financing: If you plan on staying in your home for ten years or more, then budget what you can to create the home of your dreams. Be realistic, as your lenders will let you know exactly how much you’re qualified to borrow.

Professionals: Hiring the right design professionals will definitely save you valuable time and money, and eliminate any planning mistakes down the road. Pre-planning is undoubtedly the biggest money saver!

The Contract: Once you’ve committed to a licensed contractor review the bid and contract line by line and make sure that the scope of your project is documented throughout. If you’re unclear on a item, ask for clarification.

3. Design It!

Floor Plan: Designing the floor plan is where you begin to see your dream
take shape. Try to visualize this space three dimensionally.

Details: Whatever your style, focusing on the details will set your space apart from the rest and will provide you with a true reflection of your
personality.

Shopping: Selecting the perfect materials, finishes, appliances and fixtures
is what will infuse the detail and character into your project. Take your
plans, samples and photos with you on every single shopping trip. You never know what you’ll find.

4. Do It!

Demolition: This is chaos at its best. If you want to release some deep seeded aggression now’s the time to grab a hammer and crowbar and help the demo crew. I highly recommend it!

Construction: The most exciting phase of the renovation process. This is where you begin to see all the pieces of the puzzle come together. Attending weekly site meetings and following an agenda will keep your project
running smoothly.

Coping with Construction: Be realistic and plan for delays. It will reduce the level of stress and anxiety you could potentially feel. Be flexible.

5. Live It!

Punch List:

Do a final walk-through with your contractor and list all the outstanding minor repairs and completions that still need to be done before your project is one hundred percent complete.

Clean Up:

Even if your stipulated a clean up clause in your contract, hire your own cleaning crew to come in just before you move back in. Just remember though – it will take weeks for the dust to settle.

Moving Back In:

It’s all behind you and you’ve made it through the renovation process relatively unscathed. Now roll up your sleeves and put your personal signature on everything. Invite some family and friends over for that dinner party you’ve wanted to host – and start living the dream.