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Renovations that Add the Most Resale Value to your Home

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Spring is a time for new projects and many homeowners take advantage of the warmer weather to tackle renovations. Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or are relying on a contractor, you want to know that you are getting the most out of every home-improvement dollar.

Not all home renovations are created equally and some will give you more resale value and will help you to save money on your monthly bills.
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How to Choose the Right Contractor

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Whether you are building a new home or remodeling your existing home, selecting the right contractor is the single most important decision you will make. Selecting the right builder can mean the difference between creating a dream home and a nightmare of spiraling costs.

Know what you Want

Work with your designer to make detailed plans of what needs to be done. Knowing where you are going will help your builder give you a comprehensive quote and leave enough time for the job to be done.

Detailed plans will mean there is less room for errors or misunderstandings. Always get everything in writing—this protects both you and your builder.

Your plans should include all the jobs that need to be done including a list of site preparation and cleanup work so you aren’t left with unforeseen expenses.

Preparation will include getting any permits that need to be obtained and inspecting any dangerous areas or hazardous materials on site.

Make a List, Check it Twice

Make a list of criteria for choosing a contractor. You should include experience and qualifications, time, cost and attention to recycling and eco-friendly disposal of building materials. Be sure to check referrals to ensure that your contractor has done a similar job elsewhere and that their previous clients are happy with their work.

Ask your friends and family members, your designer or architect for referrals. You can also ask your building inspector which contractors do the best job. Check that your contractor is licensed and with the Better Business Bureau to ensure that there are no complaints listed against your builder.
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Remodeling Projects that Reduce the Value of your Home

Your home is your greatest asset and remodeling it from time to time should add to its value. Unfortunately, ill-conceived remodeling projects may actually devalue your home and could end up costing you twice. Whether you are a homeowner or a construction professional providing advice, be sure to avoid the following remodeling missteps.

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Out with the Old
Before tearing down the stone fireplace or brick wall for a more modern alternative, ask your designer or realtor if the feature adds value to your home. Modern updates that remove historically significant or architecturally sound features may actually be a step in the wrong direction.

Love your Closets
While a bigger bedroom or bathroom can seem like a good idea, getting rid of your closets is not the best idea. A walk-in closet can really add value to your home, while a lack of storage space may put some buyers off. Even though installing closets is easy enough, prospective buyers want ready-made solutions to storage.
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Save up to 75% on Your Lighting Bill

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Lighting your home accounts for around 16% of your hydro bill over the light summer months and for even more when winter sets in. There are many innovative ways to reduce your lighting bill that won’t involve you yelling at the kids to turn off the lights.

CFLs or LEDs?

So the obvious start to slashing your lighting bill will be to change out your lightbulbs. Advances in technology mean you won’t be switching your warm incandescent lights for cold, blue LEDs. Instead, a wide range of warmer colours are available in CFLs and LEDs. Here’s a comparison of lighting options to help you choose the best one for your home.
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Safety Checklist for Construction Projects

Date:

January 4, 2016

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Whether you are a homeowner doing your own renovations or a construction manager overseeing your jobsite, safety should be your top priority. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) in the U.S. recorded 4,679 deaths on construction jobsites in 2014—about 90 a week and just over 13 deaths every day. This number is far too high and we need to practice greater jobsite safety in order to avoid these kinds of accidents.

OSHA has a comprehensive list of regulations which must be followed on all jobsites. These regulations are available on their website and should be carefully followed. OSHA inspectors regularly inspect sites and will close any sites they deem unsafe for personnel. Large fines will be imposed or organizations who are placing their personnel in danger.
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Panelized Construction Streamlines Construction Process

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As profit margins get tighter and building codes more stringent, construction managers are continuously looking for more economical ways of producing homes. Panelization is a building method where pre-engineered wall sections are manufactured under factory conditions. The wall systems are shipped to the building site where they are assembled. What this means is that builders can have the home sealed in just a few days.
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