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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Most Profitable Remodeling Projects for You

Yesterday, I wrote about Remodeling Magazines current Cost vs. Value report. ( It's the results of their research into what projects hold the most value when it comes to selling your home.

Anyway, here's my opinion. I'd say that the most profitable projects are ones where you're adding finished square footage to your home. It might be finishing a garage to become a den or converting an attic into a master suite. Even adding a sunroom on the back. These can actually make you money when it's time to sell.

Hang with me and let's look at some real numbers...

For example, I recently converted an unfinished garage to become office space in a smaller home. It added around 200 square feet to the house. The homeowner should easily get at least $100+ a square foot when they sell, which means this additional space will bring an additional $20,000! With construction costs around $10,000, this renovation just made them $10,000 or more in profit!

In addition, the homeowner gets to enjoy the space while they live there. Truly a win-win scenario.

Here are a couple other things to think about when you're remodeling:
1. Be careful not to over-build for your neighborhood. For example, if all the homes on your street are small 2 bedroom homes with around 1000 square feet, you may not want to add that 1500 square foot addition. If all the other homes are carpet and vinyl flooring, you may not see much return by replacing it all with hardwood and tile.

2. Call a Realtor. Before I was a contractor, I was a Realtor helping buyers and sellers with their home sales. I had worked with dozens of clients and developed a real feel for what buyers in my area were looking for and what they wouldn't like. Find one that you like and talk to them about any major renovations that you're considering. They are bound to have some great input and might even save you some money (and headaches).

3. When finishing an attic or basement, keep in mind that there are often rules about minimum ceiling height allowed to officially count the space as finished square feet when you sell. This makes a huge difference, especially in an attic space that feels huge, but has shorter knee-walls around the sides. This lower space normally doesn't count toward the square footage of the home. Again, you might check with your Realtor on this one.

So, if you're ready to finish off that basement, give me a call and let me make you some money, eh? :)


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