January 2013 “Remodeling Magazine” Digital Edition Features “Cost Vs. Value Report”

24 01 2013
Remodel Magazine Digital-page-001

Click on “Remodeling” to view online

April 2011 “Remodeling Magazine” Digital Edition Features “Simply Smart” Kitchen Remodel Designs And Details

15 04 2011


The FHA 203k Streamline Renovation Purchase Loan Is Perfect For First-Time Homebuyers

25 01 2011

The FHA 203k Streamline Renovation Loan is an outstanding first-time home buyer loan.  First-time buyers can utitlize up to $35,000 to make renovations or repairs needed for some distressed properties, such as:

  • Buying all new appliances 
  • Modernizing interior plumbing
  • Central Air Conditioning and Heating
  • Electrical system upgrade
  • Remodeling a kitchen or bath
  • Windows and doors replacment
  • New flooring
  • Roof replacement or repair

Kitchen Remodel Projects: Homeowners Should Use An Architect Or Interior Designer For “Luxurious” Look, Install Premium Countertops While Saving Money On Fixtures, Floors, Hardware And Appliances

23 12 2010

The PROJECT:  To create a more efficient kitchen and better flow between the kitchen,  breakfast area, living room and powder room.  A contemporary, warm style was sought that was still respectful of the old home’s character.  


Kitchen Before....




Costs were trimmed by buying much of their own fixtures such as plumbing, flooring, lighting, door hardware and appliances. Some items were ordered online and had to be returned due to scratches or imperfections. Pre-finished wood flooring was picked over traditional wood floors, while cabinetry was from Ikea. They stuck to mid-grade cabinets and appliances.


Countertops, faucets and mechanical hardware for the cabinets.


The homeowner was keen not to waste even half an inch of space, closely supervised the cabinet supplier, who still managed to order incorrect cabinets which had to be replaced three months after the project had been completed.  Some cabinet doors did not get delivered for 5 months.

“It was time consuming to order all the materials and we took on the risk or errors if the product was not right.”

....Kitchen after.


“Luckily as a professional I was aware of the pitfalls of scheduling and budget,” said homeowner. “We contracted for a 6 week project but were mostly complete in 8.”

And they were 20% over budget once the unknown construction issues were addressed.

She advised home owners looking to remodel their kitchen to use an architect or interior designer to do the layout, saying “even for a budget kitchen, one should feel they have a luxurious renovation when it is complete.”


Before commencing a remodeling project, a home owner should consider the following:

  • How do you use your kitchen/home
  • What feeling do you want to have when you are in the room
  • What style do you like. Pull out pages from magazines that respond to these questions to help you make design decisions.
  • Too many people go with a standard look. The best kitchen renovation is one that reflects your personality.

For more:  http://www.baristanet.com/2010/12/kitchen-remodeling-4-an-experts-eye/

FundMyRemodel.com Home Improvment: Lowe’s Is Honored By Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) For Its “Build Your Savings” Program On Educating Homeowners On Energy-, Water-, And Money-Saving Products

14 10 2010

The EPA announced its annual WaterSense Partners of the Year, which recognize companies for excellence in promoting water efficiency and WaterSense-labeled products. 

And Lowe’s was honored:

  • Lowe’s: An honoree for the second straight year, the big box retailer’s “Build Your Savings” program educated consumers on energy-, water-, and money-saving products. 

Step 1:
Use the Home Audit Tool to uncover hidden savings in your home.

Step 2:
Purchase qualified items at Lowe’s and install in your home between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010.

View all eligible product categories

Step 3:
Keep your receipts and other documentation to provide to your tax advisor. Be sure to consult with a qualified tax advisor to discuss your ability to claim and qualify for benefits under the programs.

You may need to provide a Manufacturer’s Certification and/or product labels containing U-factor/Solar Heat Gain Coefficient if applicable.

Look for this sign in your Lowe’s store to identify which products qualify for tax credits.

Use your Lowe’s Consumer Credit Card and we’ll send you a year-end summary of “Tax Credit Eligible” purchases.**

On February 17, 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed into law. The act includes payroll tax cuts, the First Time Homebuyer credit, provisions for state rebate programs for the purchase of energy-efficient appliances and tax credits for energy-efficient improvements to existing homes. The information provided herein is provided for reference purposes only and should not be interpreted or relied upon as tax advice. Consult with a qualified tax advisor to discuss your ability to claim and qualify for benefits under the programs.

What Is the Energy-Efficient Tax Credit for Existing Homes?

Beginning January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010, when you purchase qualifying energy-efficient items from categories such as doors, windows, skylights and insulation, you may be eligible to claim a tax credit of up to 30% off the purchase price on your 2009 or 2010 tax return (up to $1,500). A qualified tax advisor should be consulted to determine eligibility.

What Items Qualify?

Products from among the following categories may qualify* :

  • Exterior windows and skylights
  • Storm windows
  • Exterior doors
  • Storm doors
  • Metal roofs
  • Asphalt roofs
  • Insulation
  • Natural gas, oil, and propane water heaters
  • Pellet stoves

View All Eligible Products

*See www.energystar.gov for more information about qualified products. Not all ENERGY STAR® products qualify for a tax credit. Qualifying products may cost much more than standard products.

State-Specific Appliance Rebates

Check with your local utility company or click to visit the ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder website to find out if you qualify for a rebate on your ENERGY STAR appliances.

For more information on any of the topics above, consult with a qualified tax advisor. He or she can help you determine your eligibility for any of the credits or rebates, as well as how much you may receive. You may also visit the ENERGY STAR website for more information. http://www.energystar.gov

**Receive a year-end summary of items purchased on your Lowe’s Consumer Credit Card that Lowe’s identifies as “Tax Credit Eligible.” The year-end summary is not intended as tax advice. The year-end summary may not include eligible Special Order purchases. You should retain and review all of your receipts. Visit Lowes.com/BuildYourSavings for a list of eligible products and additional Energy Tax Credit Program information. GE Money Bank and its affiliates do not provide tax, accounting or legal advice to third parties. Accordingly, any discussion of U.S. tax matters contained herein is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding U.S. tax-related penalties. Accordingly, parties should seek advice based on their own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.


For more:   http://www.ecohomemagazine.com/news/2010/10/moen-lowes-among-epas-watersense-partners-of-the-year.aspx

Green Home Appliances Update: Miele Introduces “Smart Washing Machine And Tumble Dryer” That “Start Automatically” When Electricity Is Cheapest

3 09 2010

 The first two appliances featuring smart-grid functionality will be a washing machine and a tumble dryer. The models can also be fitted with Miele’s gateway communication module, providing access to the appliances through a PC and the ability to monitor electricity rates.

Miele has announced its new smart grid ready domestic appliances at IFA 2010. These appliances have been designed to start automatically when electricity is cheapest, offering consumers energy savings.

After adding tariff data, the consumer can activate the Smart Start function in the appliance display – once the earliest starting time and the latest finishing time have been programmed in. Once installation is complete, the appliances will automatically run when electricity is cheapest. “Over the coming years, we are likely to see considerable variance in electricity rates in Germany,” says Peter Hübinger, Managing Director of Electronic Production at Miele. “With smart grid ready appliances, Miele is offering a highly relevant and future-proof solution.”

For more:   http://www.gizmag.com/miele-washing-machinet-knows-when-electricity-is-cheap/16203/?utm_source=Gizmag+Subscribers&utm_campaign=96f04a5cfd-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email

Green Home Appliances: “GeoSpring Hybrid Electric Heat Pump” Can Save Up To 62% On Water Heater Costs

1 09 2010

The most energy efficient 50-gallon electric water heater you can buy

To create the next generation of water heaters, GE rethought every aspect of this appliance from the ground up. The result is an innovative new product that can reduce water heater operating cost up to 62% and save $320 per year.* That adds up to significant savings, and you won’t have to give up a single drop of hot water.

The GeoSpring is an incredibly innovative device.  Like the Dewpoint DH9 that pulls water vapor out of the air and makes pure drinking water out of it, what really sets the GeoSpring apart is that it derives heat from its surroundings, and uses it to heat water in its porcelain tank. This process is complemented by electric heating coil elements, somewhat like a hybrid car.

Unlike a hybrid car, though, the GeoSpring has the capability for user control of its settings that allow it to really maximize efficiency….or to really maximize its ability to produce hot water.By setting the control to the energy saving setting, a user can allow the GeoSpring to fully utilize the ambient heating of water.  The drawback is that hot water is not replaced as quickly.  Conversely, if hot water needs are higher during a certain period, the user can set the heater to high volume production, wherein the electric heating elements are more engaged.

GE’s calculations show a $320 annual savings for an average American.  Adding in a 30% Federal Tax Credit (actual credit dependent on household income) means the GeoSpring can help contribute to a healthy bottom line for small businesses and homeowners.

For more:  http://www.triplepundit.com/2010/08/ges-geospring-hybrid-electric-water-heater-saves-320-annually-plus-breaks-fossil-fuel-dependency/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TriplePundit+%28Triple+Pundit%29&utm_content=Yahoo%21+Mail