Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Q: We've been thinking about doing some remodeling to our house

and even saved up for it. With all the economic problems, maybe this is a bad time to do it. Any comments?
A: I'm glad you asked. I would say this is a great time to do repairs and remodel because, frankly, contractors are aggressively looking for work. Many are willing to even cut prices to bare bones just to keep their crews busy. Suppliers are also discounting materials to try to keep a cash flow going during the difficult times. I've spoken to several of our local contractors and they are eager for work. That's a change from even a year ago when you would have had to wait your turn, maybe several months, to get anything done.
Don't forget while you're doing this work to look for green products and contractors who are willing to make your remodel as green as possible. With energy costs so high, this is the perfect time to make your home more energy efficient. Look for local materials and products. I always recommend recycled materials, too. Our state offers some very innovative building material suppliers who offer alternative, green products.
The recent election made much of climate change and the necessity to move toward a sustainable economy. You will be doing your part to insist on green materials and local products. Plus, you will save on energy costs for as long as you own your home.
Resale value is another prime reason to upgrade your home. The market doesn't look all that great right now, but "this too shall pass."
Most of the buyers I show homes to ask about energy efficiency and utility costs. They pass up the homes with single pane windows, lack of insulation, outdated heating systems, and unhealthy mold and moisture.
I, and many of the local real estate professionals, can give you lists of good, local contractors who are eager to help and do excellent work. Best of luck with your project.