Scottsdale Home Improvements

If you’re a homeowner, you probably already know that a remodeler’s best friend is paint. Painting is relatively easy, it’s cheap and it can make a big difference in the appearance of your home. Therefore, it should be at the top of your Scottsdale home improvements checklist. Here are a few tips and tricks to help your next paint job go smoother than ever.

Scottsdale Home Improvements: Painting Tips

Try these ideas on for size –– and convenience!
Use a lint remover to clean dust, fuzz, or other debris particles from a paint roller.

There's no need to ever clean another paint tray. Simply line it with aluminum foil or a small plastic bag, pour your paint in, and remove and dispose when finished.

If you’re doing more painting the next day, don’t clean your roller or brush. Wrap it with aluminum foil, make sure it’s air tight, and put it in the refrigerator. It should last for days.

If you have an old roller, you can salvage it and use it again by trimming the ends with scissors.

Hate the smell of paint? Mix a little vanilla extract in it.

If your masking tape has hardened, put it in a microwave for thirty seconds and it will soften up.

Keep paint cans clean by wiping your brush on a rubber band stretched across the top of the open can.

When it’s time to clean up, put your brush in a pot with a little vinegar and heat it up on the stove. Even a stiff brush will come clean more easily. However, this works on latex-based paints only.

 
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When it comes to Scottsdale home improvements, going solar probably isn’t your first thought. Adding solar panels to an existing home sounds to some like an idea that will never see the light of day. However, it may be time to seriously consider going solar — a new day is dawning.

Scottsdale Home Improvements: Let the Sun Shine

When it comes to Scottsdale home improvements, solar panels are probably not on your list

From 2013 to 2014 solar powered homes increased by 30%. Greater growth is expected through 2016 and beyond. In fact, California recently became the first state to generate over 5% of its electricity from utility-scale solar power.

The reasons solar panels should be considered among the top Scottsdale home improvements are many. Saving money on your home’s electric bill is one. Increasing the value of your home is another. For many, becoming a part of the movement to decrease our carbon footprints is an even bigger incentive. It is estimated that in just 20 years a home powered by solar energy can offset tons of carbon dioxide from the Earth's atmosphere.

One of the biggest challenges solar energy faces are the commonly-held misconceptions of many homeowners. Let’s address a few.

Solar panels are unaffordable.
Experts say the cost of solar panels has reduced dramatically. Ten years ago the average cost for solar panels on a home’s roof was $43,000. Today the cost is roughly $29,000. In addition, there are renewable energy tax credits available for homeowners who use solar energy. Plus, if you install solar panels on your home, you can claim a 30% rebate. That could give new interest in adding solar energy to your list of home improvements. Still need convincing? There are solar panel leasing options available.

In bad weather, solar panels are useless.
This is a common misconception. The truth is that solar panels operate off of ultraviolet light which is present even on cloudy days. Case in point: Germany leads the world in solar energy implementation despite enduring harsh winters with minimal sunlight.

Solar panels require constant maintenance.
On the contrary, rooftop solar panels need minimal maintenance. Manufacturers recommend you clean the panels with a water hose once a year. Normal rainfall will usually suffice. The only other suggestion is to make sure there isn't excessive debris such as pine straw or leaves that may block the panels from doing their job.

If you’re ready to look into solar for one of your desired home improvements consider this: not all roofs are able to accommodate solar panels. Contact a roofing contractor trained and certified in photovoltaic (solar panel) work by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. And do your homework. Ask for references you can contact.

If everything checks out, you may just enjoy the solar energy advantages resulting from your Scottsdale home improvements wish list. That’s guaranteed to give you a sunny disposition!

Scottsdale home improvement projects can be inexpensive, fun and timely — especially now as the holiday season approaches. You can give your home a minor makeover just in time for the first waves of guests or family you may plan to entertain. Let’s look at a few simple "spruce-ups" that will make the holidays even more festive.

An easy Scottsdale home improvement could be to paint, re-finish, or replace your front door.

Easy Scottsdale Home Improvement Ideas

The best welcome starts at your front door. You can make a tired and worn out front entry door look warm and inviting. Replacing or repainting it can really change your home’s appearance. Adding a festive wreath with a colorful bow is a nice touch. Pay attention to your landscaping. Often it’s the first thing a visitor sees from the road. Enhance your home’s curb appeal by trimming hedges, pruning trees, raking leaves and edging around flower beds.

Cosmetics for your powder room. One of the least expensive Scottsdale home improvement jobs you can perform is giving your bathroom a little facelift. Replace old cabinet or vanity hardware. Add a new mirror, lighting or upgrade your faucet. Even adding new towels and accessories will give a tired bathroom new life. For a little more money you can replace your toilet with a new, more efficient water-saving model.

Paint the town… or, at least, a room or accent wall. Nothing makes a dull, dingy-looking wall look better than a fresh coat of paint. Sometimes just painting one or two accent walls in a room is all that’s needed. Use an off-white, neutral color. An interior latex eggshell or flat paint will mask minor irregularities or blemishes better than glossy paint. Best of all, this is one Scottsdale home improvement task you and your spouse can complete in a few hours over a weekend.

Cut through the clutter and clean up the mess. We all have “those places” in our homes that just seem to be magnets for clutter. Whether it’s a drawer, a table or a home office desk, it doesn’t take long for clutter to accumulate. Go through each piece and make a decision to either keep and file, or throw it away. With a little focus and determination, the clutter will disappear before your eyes in no time. Don’t forget to vacuum up the dust bunnies. Once you’ve eliminated the trouble spots, take time to deep clean your carpets or area rugs.

Clean light fixtures, replace old bulbs and brighten up your day. Light fixtures and lamps are notorious for collecting dust. Give your fixtures a good cleaning with a little soap and water. And while you're at it, replace old lightbulbs with newer energy-saving bulbs. Your home will look brighter and more inviting to guests. And after all, isn’t that one of the reasons you began your holiday Scottsdale home improvement plan in the first place?

We have more tips for all you Scottsdale home improvement projects under our Scottsdale Home Improvements section just below our Scottsdale Real Estate Categories in the column to your right.

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Many Scottsdale home improvement projects are taking shape thanks to rising home values. There’s probably no greater investment opportunity over the long run than the growth in real estate equity. As a result, many homeowners are taking advantage of the opportunity to use that equity to fund home improvements by refinancing their mortgages.

Why is the Scottsdale Home Improvement Market Booming?

The Scottsdale home improvement market is booming, and here is the reason...

Financial analysts report refi's increased 68% in the second quarter of 2015 compared to 2014, the highest volume since 2010. Insiders say this is due in part to homeowners being able to access their equity more easily — and more inexpensively — and they are capitalizing on their home's appreciation while values are higher and interest rates remain low.

One major beneficiary of the equity refinancing phenomenon is the Scottsdale home improvement market. Increased home prices — along with the threat of rising interest rates — coupled with fewer homes available for sale, has made more homeowners content to stay put in their existing homes. And, when potential home buyers do this they tend to tackle previously-shelved remodeling projects.

Scottsdale home improvement contractors have enjoyed good business so far in 2015. Remodeling projects have been revived by homeowners flush with new-found equity turned into available cash. In addition, industry insiders predict remodelers will see a 10% or more increase next year.

It’s estimated that homeowners have gained nearly $1 trillion in home equity during the past year, averaging roughly $65,000 on a cash-out refinance. And, experts say, that’s more than enough to undertake a number of Scottsdale home improvement projects ranging from room additions to kitchen upgrades and most everything in between.

When homeowners are less likely to move due to the availability of new or comparable homes they often elect to perform improvements previously on the back burner. Luxuries such as backyard patios, outdoor kitchens, decks and patios and even swimming pools are within financial reach to many by way of equity gained from refinancing. While the dollar amount is significant, it still represents a lower loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of, on average, 68% — much less than of a decade ago. What this means is, homeowners are in a more grounded equity position than that of their peers during the most recent housing crisis, where many borrowers were “upside down” in their LTV ratios.

Find more tips related to Scottsdale home improvement projects by checking our other articles in the Scottsdale Home Improvements section under Scottsdale Real Estate Categories to your right. And remember, we post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook. Check us out there as well.

Scottsdale home improvements are often planned and made by senior homeowners and many of them make mistakes by not considering their future needs. As homeowners get older they should carefully consider remodeling and renovating their homes. Mistakes may lead to financial challenges as the homeowners reach retirement age or beyond.

Senior homeowners thinking about Scottsdale home improvements should be careful to avoid these common mistakes.

Scottsdale Home Improvements: The Four "No-No's"

1. Renovating, Remodeling and Relocating.

Some homeowners in their late 40s and 50s buy or build huge houses and then take on extensive remodeling projects in the critical years prior to retirement. When they decide to retire they often elect to downsize, move to a different neighborhood, sell their home for a condo requiring little or no maintenance of yard work, or moving out of town to a warmer climate or to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

If they’ve spent a large amount of money on Scottsdale home improvements, they often discover they are unable to sell their home for an amount sufficient to recoup their investment. The lesson learned the hard way? Don’t spend money on remodels or renovations without knowing what your future plans for the house may be. If you plan to stay in the home for life, home improvements can be a good idea. If you plan to move within a few years, put your remodeling plans on the back burner and save your money for your new home.

2. Neglecting Future Needs.

We all think we'll be in relatively good health for a long time. However, statistics show that seniors run a higher risk of having a condition that may limit their physical mobility and comfort. Neglecting the possibility of a future need based on a health problem or shortcoming can end up costing senior homeowners a considerable amount of money. Industry experts encourage seniors to consider features such as first floor bedrooms and full bathrooms, no-step home entranceways and no steps between rooms in the home. Furthermore, Scottsdale home improvements, when planned, should include open floor plans and wider spaces such as hallways or doorways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair or a walker. Other considerations may include multilevel kitchen countertops that are wheelchair accessible, appliances that are easy to reach and laundry rooms near the master bedroom, enabling seniors convenient access to washing clothes and linens.

3. Borrowing Money to Remodel.

As with any Scottsdale home improvements, it's always best to obtain cost estimates to ensure the project is affordable and worthwhile. For senior homeowners the financial overview is critically important. Seniors approaching retirement age or those living on a fixed income should think long and hard before they borrow money to pay for a remodel. Adding another monthly obligation to an already-strained budget should be avoided.

4. Paying for Renovations From Retirement Funds.

Some seniors assume that their retirement nest egg, dividends and investment income will be more than sufficient in their golden years. For some, it may be. For others, it won't be. So paying for Scottsdale home improvements from a retirement account may negatively impact available liquidity for the remainder of your — or your surviving spouse's — life.

Financial experts recommend only paying for home renovations if you have more than enough assets and cash to comfortably do so while planning for potential medical bills or other emergencies. Remember, seniors either out of the workforce or soon to be retired have limited options of earning additional money to replace cash that might be spent on renovations.

Want more tips and articles on Scottsdale home improvements? You'll find them to your right under Scottsdale Home Improvements just below Scottsdale Real Estate Categories.  And remember to find us on Facebook, and we post daily to Twitter.