Remodeling Projects: “Remodeling Magazine” Releases 2011-2012 National Averages For Home Remodeling Projects And Resulting “Resale Value”

8 08 2012



Home Remodels Without Much Equity?: FHA 203K Renovation Financing Allows Homeowners To Finance Most Improvements Using Up To 110% Of The “As-Repaired” Appraised Value For The Maximum 96.5% LTV Loan Amount

25 03 2011


  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reports that homeowners lost more than half their equity from 2006  to 2009
  • At that point the economic recession ended but home prices have continued to fall
  • Finding a lender to make a loan is difficult although not as hard as 12 months ago
  • Second mortgages all but extinct

THERE IS STILL ONE OPTION: The Federal Housing Administration FHA 203(k) Renovation Mortgage

  • The FHA 203k is not just for buyers who want to purchase distressed properties as it allows them to roll the price of the house and renovations into a single loan
  • Buyers of “non-distressed” homes can use the 203(k) if they want to do some work on their dream houses before moving in
  • Current homeowners can use it to refinance and roll the costs of their home improvements into a new first mortgage at today’s low rates
  • There is no limit on how much you can spend on your improvements as long as the total loan amount does not exceed the FHA maximum
  • FHA maximum loan amounts range from $271,050 to $729,750 in the country’s high-cost areas
  • The “as improved” appraised value of your property must be higher that the maximum loan amount
  • Almost ALL improvements are allowed except for luxury items
  • Cost must exceed $5,000 and the existing foundation must remain in place
  • The home can even be torn down!
  • Inspection fees, architectural fees, closing costs and permits can be included in the new loan amount
  • A $300,000 home can include a $100,000 remodel and the loan can be as high as $424,600
  • If the appraiser says your $100,000 project will add $125,000 in value, then  the loan amount can be $451,100
  • The maximum loan amount, subject county-specific maximum loan amounts,  is 96.5% of the improved value of the property
  • There is no requirement for the property to be “re-appraised” once the work is finished
  • The streamlined version of 203(k) is available for minor home improvements under $30,000

FHA 203k Remodels: Homeowners Are Completing “Recession Remodels” To Stay In Homes Longer Or Improving Home For Elderly Parents To Move Into

2 01 2011

  • Eighty percent of those 65 and older responding to a recent telephone poll of 1,616 adults ages 45 and up conducted for AARP said they wanted to stay in their houses as long as possible.
  • Eighty-two percent said they had a full bath on the main level of their homes, and 81 percent had first-floor spaces that could become bedrooms if the need arose.
  • This generation is making small and not-so-expensive changes to their houses to accommodate health or other life-changing issues.
  • Kitchen renovation can accomodate a move into the home by and elderly parent after the death of the spouse
  • A renovation can expand and upgrade rooms into an open floor plan, with cabinet and counter space, multilevel work and eating space, and easy-to-reach appliances. Bathroom Remodels Can Return 70% On Investment And Should Be Completed By A Professional Contractor

19 09 2010

According to the National Association of Realtors, remodeling a bathroom will give you a 71 percent return on investment, based on 2009 statistics.

“Bathrooms are not really do-it-yourself projects. They are very labor intensive. I think in the long run you’ll be frustrated and you’ll have to bring someone in anyway,”

“It’s money well spent,” said Cambridge interior designer Mary Johnston, who remodeled the bathroom in her 1897 Queen Anne Victorian.

Johnston and her husband spent about $15,000 to upgrade their bathroom three years ago, a cost considered to be mid-range.

She planned the room to reflect a century-old period but made sure that the master bath functioned as a modern space for her and her husband.

Previous owners had moved walls to the original bedroom and created a huge space that dwarfed a pedestal sink, toilet and claw foot tub, so Johnston scaled down the 172-square-foot space by almost half and built a walk-in closet on the other side.

For more:

Green Homes: High Energy Star Ratings On Home Appliances Can Reduce “Home Energy Consumption By 10-50%”

24 08 2010

 It’s time for you to replace your old appliances with energy-efficient ones, especially those with an Energy Star certification. By doing so, you are able to do three things: save more, reduce home energy consumption by 10-50%.

From, “Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.  According to Energy Star, Americans saved enough energy in 2009 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 30 million cars — all while saving nearly $17 billion on their utility bills. To ensure that all products are energy-efficient, Energy Star sets forth energy-efficient requirements which are based on the following set of key guiding principles (from

  • Qualified products must deliver the features and performance demanded by consumers, in addition to increased energy efficiency.
  • If the qualified product costs more than a conventional, less-efficient counterpart, purchasers will recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through lowering utility bills within a reasonable period of time.
  • Energy efficiency can be achieved through broadly available, non-proprietary technologies offered by more than one manufacturer.
  • Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing.
  • Labeling would effectively differentiate products and be visible for purchasers.

You may have a high-end model refrigerator that’s been with your for ten years or may be even more, but it’s been eating your budget ever since. Newer models of appliances are built with energy-saving features that allow you to save from $100-200 of energy costs annually. Energy-saving appliances can be expensive but you can save more on your electric bills in four years or so which substantiates for those extra costs.

If you replace your older model with an Energy Star high-efficiency dishwasher, you can definitely save money on your electric bill since you’ll be using 25% less energy than an older model. Other than that, you’ll also be saving 5,000 gallons of water annually. Thus, you can save money, energy and water all at the same time with an Energy Star high-efficiency dishwasher.

When you’re going “greener”, saving water is your greatest contribution to mankind and to planet Earth. Experts have forecasted that fresh water may become planet Earth’s most valuable resource. Saving up water today will give everyone enough water in the near future.

Almost all American homes are equipped with a washer and dryer. However, utilizing a 10-15 year old washer or dryer, will only make electric bills higher than what you can afford to pay. Purchasing green appliances, such as green washers and dryers can be costly but in the long run, you get to save a lot.

So, getting your old washer out of your home and swapping it with a horizontal axis washing machine, is your smartest and the most economical choices you’ll ever take for a longer term. The replacement is a sure opportunity for you to save up $120 a year or even more on your electric bills, which can still compensate for the price of your newly bought horizontal axis washing machine. Aside from saving up energy and money, these machines have other advantages as well.

Horizontal axis machines can fit into smaller spaces. Other than this, they’re quieter and allow you to wash large loads of laundry while using lesser amount of detergent. That way, you’re only putting fewer chemicals into your home’s waste water stream.

On the other hand, getting a dryer that’s equipped with moisture and temperature sensors is also one of the best green choices you’ll be making. Unlike other dryers that run for a set time, a moisture-temperature-sensor-equipped dryer will shut off earlier if the clothes inside it are already dry enough. Other than your energy savings, you can even save your clothes from possible wear and tear and you don’t have to keep on replacing them as well.

Compared to conventional models of dryers, sealed combustion gas clothes dyers use up lesser energy. It’s also beneficial for your health since they expel only a few gases that get into your home. But among all the dyers mentioned, nothing could ever beat the greenest and the most traditional way of drying your clothes.

For more:

Skip Schenker’s “Fund My Remodel” Bathroom Contractor Profile: Phelan Construction (PA) Delivers High Quality Remodels In Eastern U.S. (Video)

7 08 2010

Phelan Construction, LLC is a residential remodeling company that understands the importance of process as well as product in delivering high quality projects. Through clear and thoughtful communication, we strive to exceed our clients’ expectations in every stage of the remodeling project, whether it be a kitchen, bathroom, deck, addition or whole house renovation.

Serving Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Residential Remodeling in the Delaware Valley.

Home Remodeling Costs Vs. Resale Value In Western U.S.: What Home Improvements Make The Most Dollars And Sense?

23 07 2010




Job Cost Resale Value Cost Recouped Project Midrange Job Cost Resale Value Cost Recouped
$55,306 $54,186 98% Attic Bedroom Remodel $46,691 $35,771 76.6%
$15,220 $9,681 63.6% Back-Up Power Generator $13,357 $7,748 58%
$70,064 $67,844 96.8% Basement Remodel $59,435 $44,661 75.1%
$43,884 $36,657 83.5% Bathroom Addition $37,202 $24,553 66%
$18,112 $17,500 96.6% Bathroom Remodel $15,789 $12,366 78.3%
$12,812 $13,836 108% Deck Addition – Wood $10,347 $8,835 85.4%
$92,710 $78,647 84.8% Family Room Addition $78,989 $54,148 68.6%
$63,485 $55,839 88% Garage Addition $53,897 $37,461 69.5%
$29,892 $20,584 68.9% Home Office Remodel $27,193 $15,498 57%
$61,122 $59,056 96.6% Major Kitchen Remodel $55,503 $43,363 78.1%
$116,134 $101,224 87.2% Master Suite Addition $98,863 $68,172 69%
$22,698 $23,494 103.5% Minor Kitchen Remodel $21,185 $17,576 83%
$21,360 $18,182 85.1% Roofing Replacement $18,042 $12,166 67.4%
$12,139 $10,061 82.9% Siding Replacement $9,910 $8,245 83.2%
$78,055 $54,164 69.4% Sunroom Addition $69,817 $41,231 59.1%
$160,637 $146,021 90.9% Two-Story Addition $139,297 $103,010 73.9%
$12,164 $11,978 98.5% Window Replacement – Vinyl $10,448 $8,290 79.3%
$13,120 $13,497 102.9% Window Replacement – Wood $11,384 $9,241 81.2%


Job Cost Resale Value Cost Recouped Project Upscale Job Cost Resale Value Cost Recouped
$83,573 $70,254 84.1% Bathroom Addition $73,145 $50,442 69%
$56,822 $48,139 84.7% Bathroom Remodel $50,590 $34,588 68.4%
$16,623 $16,354 98.4% Deck Addition – Composite $15,039 $11,672 77.6%
$95,213 $74,389 78.1% Garage Addition $82,108 $53,056 64.6%
$117,254 $104,241 88.9% Major Kitchen Remodel $109,394 $81,096 74.1%
$248,404 $192,084 77.3% Master Suite Addition $220,149 $141,120 64.1%
$38,414 $30,703 79.9% Roofing Replacement (steel) $33,151 $21,769 65.7%
$13,637 $13,766 100.9% Siding Replacement (fiber-cement) $13,212 $11,633 88.1%
$14,760 $11,855 80.3% Siding Replacement (foam-backed vinyl) $12,132 $9,668 79.7%
$15,743 $15,855 100.7% Window Replacement – Vinyl $13,479 $10,913 81%
$19,608 $20,270 103.4% Window Replacement – Wood $17,383 $13,784 79.3%