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5 Ways to Improve your Home's Value.

Christopher Woodhouse <>
Subject: 5 Ways to Improve the Value of your Home

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Handy News from Hands4Hire

Fall 2012

Investing in the Home You Own

When customers ask me for advise on a maintenance or home improvement project, I always ask the customer how long they plan on being in their home.  There is typically more than one solution to a problem and it does not always make sense to recommend the Cadillac repair if the homeowner is intending on moving in the near future.  PVC wood is now widely used as a replacement to rotted wood window trim.  It is more expensive but you will have a maintenance free trim once installed.  When we paint the exterior of a home, make sure you know what kind of paint is being used and for the most part, more expensive paint is well worth the cost.  Our goal is to help you decide what is best for you and your home.

I look at our work as an investment on your home that is  meant to maintain and add value.  We are honored to be entrusted with improving and maintaining your home.  And when it comes to helping you add value to one of your biggest investments, we try to treat your home as if it were our home by doing quality work with your best interests in mind. 

As always, thank you for the opportunity and privilege to help you.  It is a responsibility we work to earn every day.
Kind regards,

Chris Woodhouse
Hands4Hire Professional Handymen
Hands4Hire Weatherization Experts

5 Ways to Improve the Value of your Home 


When determining what improvements you should invest into your home, there are many factors that will shape your decision. Adding a child may lead to a need to create more space.  Your lifestyle will dictate your interests such as wanting outdoor living or entertaining space. The age of your home is also a key factor. Older homes have designs that are less open and typically have less closet and storage space. Older homes were also built when energy efficiency was not a factor. If you have old, wooden, single pane windows, they lower your home's value.



The decision is not just about adding value to your home, but about being able to sell your home quickly when you put it on the market. But above all, especially in this economic age, return on investment is typically the most important factor in making your decision.

When determining the value of your home improvement, determine the return on your investment by first calculating the cost of your home per square foot. If you are adding an addition, the improved value will be determined by the amount of space added. A ballpark value for adding outdoor decks or screened porches can add 50% of that value. Finishing a basement or bonus room would add somewhere around 75% of that value because there is already a small value given to that space. Upgrading your home with more light and upgraded fixtures or materials like adding hardwood floors is harder to factor. What you are trying to do is increase the cost per square foot of your home and to factor that value a comparison to other homes with those upgrades is most accurate but harder to factor out other variables.  


The bottom line is do your homework. Shop around and if you are up to the task, do the work yourself to get the biggest bang for your buck.  


So here is my list based on our 8 years of experience helping you add value to your home:


5. more space and light

In real estate, dark and cramped are no good, so a little light goes a long way. If your house has small rooms that block the flow of natural light, you may want to consider knocking down some walls and opening up your floor plan. Open floor plans usually involve combining your kitchen, dining and living areas into one big space that suits a casual lifestyle. If you're not up for taking down walls, even widening doorways 6 to 12 inches will make a noticeable difference. Vaulted ceilings will make it feel like there's even more space and a skylight adds natural light. Homeowners who turn their dusty old attic or an unfinished basement into a functional bedroom recoup on average about 83 percent of the project's cost when they sell the home. When it comes to adding new livable space to your home, building an attic bedroom or finishing out a bonus room is often easier on your budget than the alternatives. When you finish off unfinished space in your home, you don't have the cost of a foundation, framing and exterior finishing.


4. Curb Appeal

If your house doesn't look appealing from the outside, chances are a potential buyer will never make it inside. According to, a good first impression can add five to 10 percent to the value of your home. Shutters add charm and depth. Paving a driveway or walkway that is in disrepair is a must, because this is what leads people to your home -- you want it to be welcoming. Attractive, manicured front-yard landscaping will also add value to your home. And don't forget about your backyard.  


3. Add Outdoor Living Space

According to Remodeling Magazine's "Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report for 2007," more than 85 percent of your wooden deck's cost can be recouped if you sell your home, compared with 78 percent of a bathroom remodel and 68 percent of a family room addition. If you're going to add a deck, take some time to come up with an interesting shape, and consider adding enhancements such as a built-in fire pit, benches or raised garden beds. Using higher-grade materials for the flooring and railings not only further enhances this addition, but can make it easier to maintain, too.


2. Modernize your Living Space 
If you are not up to a complete bathroom or kitchen makeover, look at an upgrade. Today's modern homes want modern appliances, plumbing fixtures and stylish tile. These upgrades can be done one at a time with a master plan in mind.

1. Improve your Home's Energy Efficiency

If you have read my earlier newsletters you will know that improving your home's energy efficiency is typically the low hanging fruit that will give you a quick return on investment and continue to save you money for years into the future. On top of that, there are federal tax credits and local utilities incentives that will recoup your costs more quickly. In order of priority, air sealing your attic, crawl space and HVAC ductwork are typically the most effective way to lower your heating and AC bills. Adding additional insulation to your attic or crawl space comes next and energy star standards dictate at least 12" of attic insulation and 6" of floor insulation. If your home is older and has inefficient wood windows with single pane glass or older doors, replacing these is both an upgrade that adds visual value as well as energy efficiency. However, newer homes with dated double pane windows will not see a return on investment because the cost of new windows is so high and the energy efficient improvement on Energy Star windows will be marginal.


Tell Your Neighbors About Hands4Hire 


Hands4Hire has been in business for over 8 years and we owe it all to our great customers who continue to use our services and tell their friends about us as well.

And remember we do Expert Handyman Work, Home Energy Audits and Weatherization improvements!


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Energy Saving Facts:

You can determine the base load of electricity that you use in your home by comparing high demand months to low demand months.   

Base load usage consists of things you plug in your wall.  If your average low demand usage is high - over $150 / month, look for ways to reduce this energy.

-  Unplug things that run off transformers like computers.

-  Turn off lights when not in use or use a timer to better mange them.   

-  Upgrade to Energy Star appliances.  Replacing that older refrigerator in the garage can save up to $200 per year. 

to replace bulbs with  


Fall Maintenance Special - Any exterior maintenance

10% off labor 

     *May not be combined with other offers, this offer is not redeemable for cash, cash equivalents, Gift Cards or online Gift Certificates and is not valid on past purchases.  


Hurry - Offer Expires: 10/31/12