News You Can Use From Leading Edge Homes
May 2013


Who knew an entire month of the year was set aside to highlight home remodeling?  I didn't.
In honor of National Home Remodeling Month, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) has released their list of projects that add value to a home.
  1. Spruce Up The Exterior.  Planting flowers and doing some landscaping might seem like good projects to add curb appeal but they don't add value.  Replacing a worn roof, leaking windows, drafty doors and rotting siding are good, but a simple, clean paint job gives the best bang for the buck - up to a 100% Return On Investment (ROI).
  2. Make It Energy Efficient.  Replacing an old (over 10 years) central A/C system will make a dramatic difference to your energy bill.  So will upgrading ceiling insulation and replacing an old water heater or clothes dryer. 
  3. Kitchens and Bathrooms.  Not only are these the most remodeled rooms in a house, they are usually the first rooms perspective buyers get excited over, or turned off by, when visiting a house.  Remember that if two houses are virtually identical but one has a new kitchen or updated bath and the other one does not, the remodeled house will sell first.  Kitchens typically have a 75% ROI and bathrooms have a 65% ROI.

Before jumping into any remodeling project, ask yourself why you're remodeling.  Are you selling?  Addressing changing family and lifestyle needs?  Wanting more efficient appliances and lighting?  Your reasons for remodeling can impact your decisions.  For example, if you're selling, your choices may be more about buyer appeal than personal taste.  On the other hand, if you're building your dream kitchen, you may not want to compromise on certain features.  Evaluate your project in light of your property value and return on investment and look for options that meet your overall needs.


Make a wish list/scrapbook. Use the Internet to peruse pictures and articles.  Get brochures, color samples, and fabric swatches, and cut out or print pictures that show features or details of work that you like.  Take pictures of other homes, and keep a scrapbook of ideas.  These ideas can help your home-improvement specialist achieve the look you want.

Know your budget.  A realistic budget can help you prioritize options.  In your bathroom upgrade, will you really use that expensive spa tub, or are luxury shower heads, bath fixtures, and a towel warmer more important?  If you want a contemporary, industrial look in your kitchen, can you compromise elsewhere so that you can afford concrete or stainless-steel countertops?

Research products.  Research your options for features like countertops and flooring.  Manufacturers' Websites are a great place to start, and most companies have an 800 number for product questions.  Evaluate the pros and cons for each product type to determine which options suit your budget, lifestyle, and taste the best.


Some up-front planning and research can make your remodeling project go a lot smoother and help ensure that you're satisfied with the end results.  Above all else - remember to have fun!


For more information on how we can help you improve your home, please call us at 561-795-2551. 


Till next month...



Todd Perry
Leading Edge Homes, Inc.


Building Contractors Aren't Experts in Everything...


There are two critical engineers that must be a part of any home remodeling company's team if it is going to perform room additions - a Soil Engineer and a Structural Engineer.

A Soil Engineer analyzes the soil structure beneath an existing or a proposed building to identify any problems that may exist and recommend methods to solve these problems.  Soil Engineers also consider the weight-bearing capacity of the ground under a building's foundation to evaluate the likelihood that the building will settle or shift over time.


A Structural Engineer analyzes and designs structures that support or resist loadsStructural engineers are most commonly involved in the design of buildings and large non-building structures and must ensure their designs satisfy given design criteria, predicated on safety.


Most room additions can be built on compacted, existing soil because the underlying layers can support the load of the addition.  Sometimes, however, there are problems with the soil.  Then Leading Edge Homes uses the services of outstanding soil and structural engineers.  Their expertise was needed on a recent project when it was discovered that the soil beneath the surface, where an addition was to be built, contained muck (unstable soil).


Both engineers agreed that the addition foundation should be supported by helical piers as shown being installed below (the silver pipes).


Helical piers are pipes with threaded ends that get screwed through the soil and lodge into bedrock below the surface - in this case about 25 feet down.  They act as strong legs to support the foundation.


Then the structural engineer specified the size, type, and design of steel for the foundation as shown below.



Once the concrete was poured, this addition now rests on a super strong system that will not sink.  That is why a team of experienced professionals is needed to produce safe, permanent results - the Leading Edge Homes team.

Six Smart Home Remodeling Tips

So long as you are going to remodel your house, you may as well make smart decisions that are more logic based than emotional.  Consider the following:


Match Materials to the Neighborhood.  Using low-end remodeling finishes in a high-end neighborhood diminishes your home's value, and putting high-end finishes in a lower-priced neighborhood won't push your home's sale price much above the last sale price.


Do the Job Right

If you can't do professional quality remodeling work, hire someone who can.  Nobody pays top dollar for amateur workmanship.


Blend in With the Neighbors

If you over-improve, you'll get less at resale.  Would you pay full price for a mansion located in a trailer park?


Think Timeless

Today's trendy remodeling finish choices are tomorrow's dated decor.  Even a beautifully executed remodeling project fades in value over time. Brass bathroom fixtures, anyone?


Finish Existing Space First

A remodel that turns storage or little used areas (think covered patio or garage) into useable space trumps adding completely new rooms.  In general, it's less expensive to finish existing spaces than add new ones.


Make Sure Additions Aren't Really Subtractions

A third bedroom transformed into a walk-in closet might bring you bliss, but it eliminates a bedroom and will lower your home value at resale.


On A Personal Note...
It seems like just yesterday that my daughter graduated high school.  In three months she will graduate college.  She is already applying for employment in her field of study - Public Relations.  Where has the time gone?
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In This Issue
Building Contractors Aren't Experts in Everything
Six Smart Home Remodeling Tips
Featured Article
What do you mean my contractor doesn't know everything to build my addition?  Then click on "Building Contractors Aren't Experts in Everything" above to discover why.


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