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Subtraction by Addition

by The Jana Caudill Team

Thinking about doing a large remodel or addition?  Are you justifying the expense with the belief that you’ll get that money right back out of the house when you sell it?  Be careful.  You might just discover you’re losing money – subtraction by addition.

There are many inexpensive fixes, updates, repairs, etc. you can do to your home and expect to get your money back after selling your house.  The key in today’s economy is fixing what you already have rather than adding.  Of course home buyers love more space, but that sun room addition or garage addition may not equate to the return you are expecting down the road.

Anytime you add onto a home, increasing the footprint of the structure, you should see dollar signs flashing before your eyes, and I don’t mean money going into your pocket.  Think about your reasoning for the addition.  Is this something your family needs?  Do you only have one bathroom for your family of five?  That expense might be justifiable.  But is a new master suite built off the back of the house a good decision?  How long are you going to be around to enjoy the new space?  Over-improving compared to the rest of the neighborhood is another recipe for diminishing returns.

Here are a couple resources for cost effective fixes for your Crown Point, Munster, or Lowell home, inside and out.

Combating Lead-Based Paint

by The Jana Caudill Team

Most homes built before 1960 contain paint with dangerously high levels of lead.  Many homes built as late as 1978 contain some level of lead in their painted surfaces.  This doesn’t mean only interior and exterior painted walls though.  Other common areas for lead-based paint in older homes are window frames.

There is a significant health threat by ingesting particles of lead-based paint, most often by inhaling dust from dry-scraped lead-based painted surfaces.  The danger is compounded for infants, children, and even unborn fetuses as the growing body more readily absorbs and is damaged by the lead.

If you are undergoing a remodeling or refurbishing job and have old lead-based paint to deal with, here are a few safeguarding tips and links going into greater detail to help you mitigate the potential negative impact on your family’s health.

  1. Seal off and ventilate remodeling areas separately from the rest of the living areas in your home.
  2. If it is in good condition, leave lead-based paint alone!  Lead paint in good condition poses little threat.  It is a surface that is worn, potentially from rubbing against itself like in a window frame that creates the harmful dust.
  3. Keep work areas clean, and avoid tracking paint dust through the house on your clothing or work boots.
  4. Read the EPA’s pamphlet titled “The Lead-Safe Certified Guide to Renovate Right” here.

If your home was built in 1978 or earlier (really, if your builder’s permit was issued in 1978 or earlier) you owe it to your family to observe these safety tips before beginning any project that could expose them to potentially lethal levels of airborne lead through lead-based paint.

Check out our blog for more how to tips for Do-It-Yourselfers.

Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2