Get the Most Bang for Your Remodeling Buck

The newest Cost versus Value report  is out. Boy, adding an attic bedroom is a great way to recoup remodeling dollars (at the national level)! Is that what you’d think would be near the top of the list?  Let’s assume this is because it’s much cheaper than adding on and it retains the home’s original look and feel.

Cost versus ValueTake a look at the cost recouped for remodeling projects the Sioux Falls area and, if you’re curious, compare them to the numbers for Fargo. For example, the cost recouped on a basement remodel is %55.5 in Sioux Falls is whereas it’s 66.2%  in Fargo.

Without remodeling numbers that are unique to Aberdeen, it’s safe to say that you need to have a budget for your remodeling job that is discussed with a local contractor. You can use these numbers to compare and contrast labor costs (your contractor should be familiar with them), but count on a lot of variation.

Cost vs Value: Are You Remodeling Wisely?

We’ve talked about Remodeling Magazine’s awesome Cost versus Value report that they issue every year, but this year deserves some attention because for the first time in half a dozen years years, “the overall average cost-value ratio has improved, reaching 60.6%. This is 2.9 points better than the 2011–12 number, which hit a low of 57.7% (the lowest point since at least 2001), and is more than a half-point better than the 60.0% ratio from two years ago.

One of the great things the report does is break down the data by region. The closest we can get here in Aberdeen is Fargo, ND or Sioux Falls.

It’s not surprising but you still have to chuckle that those projects where the most money is recouped revolve around insulating homeowners against bad weather or allowing them to enjoy the GOOD weather. These include upgrading your front door, replacing your windows and adding a wood deck.

Aberdeen remodelers take note! Adding a master suite, a family room, even a garage, have a low cost versus value rating. Spend your precious remodeling dollars wisely.

Adding a sunroom, a bathroom or remodeling an office rank among the lowest.

Here’s the link directly to the Fargo, ND data.

I’ve been in construction full or part time for most of my adult life. I’m always available as a sounding board if you’re considering a remodeling project, especially if you have selling your home in view.

Home Building Trends: People are still building home theaters?

If you’re curious about home design trends as reported by the architects, you might appreciate these highlights from the AIA (American Institute of Architects)’s second quarter 2012 Home Design Trends Survey.

Home Building Trends

Special Function Rooms

I find it odd that the demand for energy efficiency and low-maintenance living are DOWN since 2011. Not surprisingly, home offices are still the most important “special function” rooms.

Not huge changes any direction, but if you’re into seeing what modern home builders and their buyers are interested in, you’ll like the graphs.

Would you live in an Erdhaus?

From the article:

German for Earth House, an Erdhaus is built by digging out the perimeter where the house will stand. From the dirt and mud dug out, bricks are formed and stacked to become the building material itself. Widely popular in Europe, this technique is also starting its way onto the grounds of the United States. Another interesting fact is that this technology dates back to the Neolithic times. Such process eliminates most construction steps that are hazardous to the environment and that cause a huge dent on the developers’ pocket.

There are some more amazing images of Earth Houses on this FlickRiver page or available just by googling images.  (Some of them are reminiscent of Hobbit holes. In fact, isn’t that EXACTLY what they are?)

The article at Agent Image (a real estate web design site) goes on to list a number of other eco-friendly building options that are apparently catching on in the United States. How many have you heard of?

Earth House

An an example of an Earth House (but not one you could build in South Dakota if you didn’t want to be underwater.)