Monday, 10 May 2010

What You Should Know About Property Renovations

With so many people facing economic woes and the real estate market in a severe dip, you may not be able to sell existing property because there are qualified buyers. If you can't sell, but your existing home is not large enough or needs major repairs, property renovations may be a good answer for you.

Another reason for renovation as opposed to moving is that you may really like the neighborhood where you live. It may be close to shopping or have good traffic patterns. There may be parks or playgrounds nearby. It could be close to work and good schools for your children. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to fix or move.

The style of the home is important. If it is a fairly representative home in the neighborhood, your renovation should not make the finished property a sore thumb amongst the other homes. If your neighborhood is a community of three-bedroom, two-bath ranch style structures on one level, remodeling your home to be a three story brownstone style structure would mean that the house could never be sold at a price that would recover the cost of the renovation. A potential buyer might not be able to qualify for a loan on the property because of appraised value issues.

The neighborhood itself should be considered before doing major remodeling. A neighborhood of starter homes for young families might be a poor location to renovate, if you want to do a lot of entertaining for your teenage children. Renovation that adds outdoor living space such as a pool or tennis court can be a poor choice in a more conservative neighborhood. The cost of the renovation could be impossible to recoup upon sale of the home.

Generally, it is a poor renovation plan to close in an attached garage to add a family room or game room. Most home buyers want a garage. Again, this may be different in some communities and neighborhoods. Some subdivisions will not allow renovations to change the basic character of the neighborhood. Homeowner association rules can prohibit certain types of additions, renovations and demolitions.

Design plans are an important part of a renovation. You should make certain that the finished product is comfortable in arrangement, materials and structural integrity. A seamless transition between new areas and existing areas is important both inside and outside the home. The services of architect may be necessary to accomplish what you want to do without compromising the construction.

Be sure that you get the necessary permits for construction and the required inspections in your home. You need to be able to show that your changes are up to code. Homeowner's insurance claims could be affected without appropriate sign offs. Renovation approval can affect everything from the height of the roof to setbacks from the property lines, power poles or sidewalks, so be sure that your approval and permit process is completed before you begin work.

Property renovations can provide the opportunity to make an almost right home into the perfect showcase for your family activities. If you are torn between moving and remodeling, consider all the neighborhood factors. When an existing home can be one that grows and changes according to the size and activities of your family, you may look on renovation as the ideal answer.

For Builders Midlands and for a Property Renovations Midlands try Building Solutions (Midlands) Ltd.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Deciding Whether Or Not Boiler Replacement Is The Right Answer

For those who have a boiler in their home there comes a time when the technology becomes outdated causing it to run inefficiently and increasing operating costs. Technology has changed much in the past 15 years and with ever-increasing fuel costs, one needs to take advantage of every opportunity to ensure a boiler replacement is made before an urgency arises.

Older boilers are now found to emit pollutants which are not only potentially harmful to residents, but can also negatively impact the environment. Due to new governmental focus on improving these issues, many incentive programs now exist including tax rebates and "cash for clunkers" programs. For many it is incentive enough to know they are helping to reduce greenhouse emissions, but for others the financial rewards provide the motivation needed to make a commitment.

Just as with the financial rewards through incentive programs, increasing energy efficiency will also put money in one's pocket regularly. For those who have a boiler that is 15-20 years old, even if working it is probably operating at a maximum of 60% efficiency. This means that one must purchase an additional 200+ gallons of fuel per year which is just wasted.

Boilers are often used to not only heat a home, but also provide hot water. Both work on the same principal in that water is heated with a coil and circulated through a system. In these systems, hot water is then converted into forced air by air handlers and pushed into baseboard units set in walls and/or floors. The newer units are amazingly efficient as well as cost effective.

Many new boilers on the market today offer a wide variety styles, designs, sizes, and price points. One needs to look for reliability and digital technology, which ensures the system is running smoothly and consistently. Many contain computers that control the overall functioning of the unit while controlling fuel consumption. A reasonable expectation would be for 0.75 gallons of fuel per hour would be used to heat a 2000 square foot house.

Just as with any system in the home, boilers also require periodic maintenance. This ensures the run efficiently while ensuring long life. Many require a thorough cleaning every couple of years when needed adjustments are made. It is best this be done by a professional who has knowledge of boiler systems. Knowing that the heating and hot water system will run optimally during times of needs provides peace-of-mind to homeowners who may be uncertain as to when their system will fail.

When a boiler goes on the blink there are many options available that need to be considered. It's always wise to get a second opinion, but beyond that one needs to decide whether the time has come to replace it with a similar unit, upgrade, or change it out for something entirely different. A primary consideration should be current finances and the long term ramifications of a change.

When a system starts getting older, one should think about boiler replacement rather than repair. As technology advances, many benefits are reaped could save not only future headaches, but money as well. Much will be based on circumstances of the individual homeowner including financial situation, how old the system is, and whether or not the system is efficient. Ultimately, replacement will benefit the family as well as the home's value.

Northern Gas Heating - the UK's local supplier of new Central Heating Systems. and Boilers.