Blog :: 08-2015
Thinking of remodeling your home? Before you splurge on a finished basement or a new kitchen, make sure you choose a home improvement project that will add to your home's lifetime value. Check out Remodeling Magazine's 2015 Cost vs. Value report for projects with the highest ROI. Realty Times picked these three as Home Improvement Projects that Last a Lifetime:
Get a New Roof
Although adding a new roof isn’t as exciting as a major kitchen remodel or a new deck, this improvement can significantly improve the appearance of your home — and, it boasts a national average ROI of 71 percent, according to the Remodeling Magazine report. Champion Home Exteriors offers lifetime shingles with advanced protection technology. The special shingles are specially constructed with materials that cause less harm to the environment than traditional types, and the lifetime shingles offer superior protection to your home as well. Plus, Champion Home Exteriors offers shingles in a variety of colors, from modern gray shades to light tan tones, to perfectly complement your home’s style and its color.
Change Out Your Front Door
The door is the focal point of your home. It’s the first thing that guests and visitors see when they come to your house. Adding a new door to your home can significantly boost its curb appeal, too; in fact, if you’re planning to eventually sell your home, the Remodeling Magazine report found that a steel front door can recoup 101 percent of the project's total cost when it comes time to sell.
However, if you plan to spend a little more time in your home and you’re not looking to sell, you can enjoy the perks of having a steel door. One example: Steel doors make your home more energy-efficient, Energy.gov reports. Most steel doors have a magnetic weatherstripping that seals up nicely when the door is closed, which can help to keep your energy use down. A steel door is also easily customizable, so if you decide to repaint your home a new color in the future, you can simply paint the door to complement the new exterior color.
Install New Flooring
Wood flooring can last up to a century. It’s classic and can fit a wide range of different styles and designs, from modern to historic homes. Keeping wood floors like new doesn’t take much work, either. A little elbow grease and the right cleaning solutions is all that it takes. By taking extra precaution you can preserve the floor’s integrity, too. Decorate with runners and rugs to and consider using soft felt covers on the legs of your furniture to keep them from scratching the wood floor. This addition can also increase the overall value of your property. If you’re looking to sell your home, buyers are attracted to this improvement. If not, 50 years from now, you can still be enjoying your wood floors. And who needs a contractor to do this project for you? Learn how to do it yourself here.
Celebration is in our Vermont air as the Waterbury-Stowe community gears up for the upcoming Brew Festivals!
- Friday, August 14th is the First annual Stowe Brewers Festival. Featuring 40 artisan craft brewers from Vermont and beyond pouring more than 120 of their finest, and often newest, beers, hard ciders, and even a couple of meads, this festival is a craft brew lover’s dream! Festival goers will enjoy live music, tented free workshops and demonstrations, delicious food from a variety of vendors, including some of Stowe’s favorite restaurants, free unlimited fresh drinking water to help keep you hydrated, free on-site parking, and a free and secure bike valet for those who prefer to arrive on two wheels. Get your tickets at StoweBrewersFestival.com for what will surely become one of Stowe’s signature events!
- Saturday, August 22nd is the second annual Hop Jam at Bolton Valley Resort. Featuring a line up of killer music, an unparalleled selection of top quality and hard to find craft beer and delicious locally made food. Conveniently located between Waterbury and Burlington, a perfect setting for Hop Jam. Go to VTHopJam.com for more info and to buy your tickets.
Did you know that every 15.4 seconds, a burglary occurs somewhere across the United States? The Real Estate Book spells out what we should all be doing to make our homes safe and secure.
When & how do burglaries occur?
The majority of home and apartment burglaries occur during the daytime when residents are away from their house, most likely when they’re at work or school. Home theft is most frequent in the months of July and August, and the fewest burglaries occur in February.
According to the FBI, 70 percent of home burglars use some amount of force to enter a residence, but their preference is through an open door or window. Also, you may be surprised to know that homes are not randomly selected. Burglars look for unoccupied homes with the easiest access, greatest amount of cover, and with the best escape routes.
Fortunately, there are ways your can minimize your risk to keep your family and belongings safe. Here’s how to make your home look unattractive to burglars.
Doors & Locks
The more difficult that your home is to break into, the less likely burglars will want to put forth the effort. The FBI recommends using a high-quality Grade-1 or Grade-2 locks on your exterior doors to resist twisting, prying, and lock-picking attempts. Consider implementing these additions in your home:
- Solid core or metal door for all entrances
- Quality, heavy duty, deadbolt lock with a one-inch throw bolt
- Quality, heavy duty, knob-in-lock set with a dead-latch mechanism
- Heavy duty, four-screw, strike plate with 3-inch screws to penetrate into a wooden door frame
- Wide-angle 160° peephole mounted no higher than 58 inches
It is much more common to leave a window open or unlocked than a door. If the burglar sees a home from down the street that has an open window, they will commonly choose that home to burglarize.
- Secure all accessible windows with secondary blocking devices
- Block accessible windows open no more than 6 inches for ventilation
- Make sure you can’t reach through an open window and unlock the door
- Make sure you can’t reach inside the window and remove the blocking device
- Anti-lift devices to prevent window from being lifted out
- Crime prevention or alarm decals on ground or on windows that are within reach
Keeping a couple interior lights on gives burglars the message that someone is home. If you don’t have one already, light timers are super inexpensive and easy to find. Use a light timer (even when you’re not on vacation) near the front and back windows behind closed curtains. You should also follow these rules:
- Exterior lighting should allow 100 feet of visibility
- Use good lighting along the pathway and at your door
- Use light timers or photo-cells to turn on/off lights automatically
- Use infra-red motion sensor lights on the rear of single family homes
If used properly and consistently, alarm systems add a huge benefit to your home’s overall security. As a matter of fact, burglars will often give up on trying to break into a home if it has visible alarm signs in the lawn or decals on the window.
Get to Know your Neighbors
When it comes to the safety of your home, it’s important that you establish some sort of communication and trust with your neighbors. Good neighbors will watch out for your home when you’re away, and can let you or the police know about any suspicious activity going on. Remember to always keep safety first, communicate, and stay informed.