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Surviving Stressful Home Renovations

Chapter 4 The Right Stuff, Not the least expensive

Sometimes it pays to pay more.

We believe in saving money.

But sometimes saving money over the long haul means paying a little more in the short term. In fact, there are four main areas of renovation and construction where we feel spending a little more will result in a lot more comfort, durability and long-term value.

Weather resistance

Weather resistance. Roofing and siding are your first line of defense against severe weather, high winds, driving rain and unrelenting UV rays.

They literally protect everything within your house, so it makes good sense to pay for adequate protection. But consider this: with many roofing and siding products, moving up slightly in price can result in a giant step forward in protection. In fact, for the average house, spending an additional $500 on superior quality siding or roofing can often result in protection that is guaranteed to last significantly longer.

You don't need a degree in math to realize that's a good idea.

Windows and insulation

Windows and insulation. It's a known fact, if your house isn't air-tight, it'll leak - dollars.

And that's exactly what happens if you choose inadequate amounts of insulation or inferior windows when remodeling. Interestingly, many homeowners don't realize that you don't have to spend a huge amount of money to get energy-efficient windows that are weather stripped, insulated and tight to the weather when properly installed.

And while insulation is one of the least expensive building materials, pound for pound, it can save you countless amounts on your heating and cooling bills over the lifetime of your home.

So choose the right R-value and reap the benefits of a lower heating/cooling bill.

Kitchen remodeling

Kitchen remodeling. If you don't plan to stay in your present home forever, you should know that a remodeled kitchen, on average, retains 85% of its resale value.

So fixing up a kitchen can be a great way to add to your home's appeal and get a good price when you sell it. Consult a kitchen design expert prior to starting a remodeling project so that you can plan the most efficient storage, workspace and comfort solutions. And make sure he or she knows your neighborhood and the kinds of amenities buyers will expect in a home like yours.

Who knows, after the remodeling project, you might just reconsider your plan to not stay in your present home forever.

Outside improvements

Outside improvements. Another area where you might realize a higher return on your investment by using higher-quality materials is on the exterior of your home.

Anything that adds to your home's "curb appeal," such as a new deck, fencing, geometric windows, siding, or a new roof (interesting fact: roofing usually makes up 40% of what one sees from the curb), can net you big returns when and if you decide to sell.

Using inferior products may actually lower the perceived value of your home in that situation.

Next: Chapter 5: Living without Utilities

Surviving The Stress of Home Renovations.

Chapter 1 : Keeping The Peace

Chapter 2 : Contract Basics

Chapter 3 : Surviving the Noise.

Chapter 4: The Right Stuff, Not the least expensive

Chapter 5: Living without Utilities

Chapter 6: Deliberate Decisions/Painless Changes.

Chapter 7: Dealing with Dust

Chapter 8: Keeping Track of Money.