Property Management – Everything an owner needs to know

Get More Bang for Your Buck with These Home Improvements

The warmer weather means it’s time to think about home improvement projects. Whether you’re getting your home in tip-top shape for your own enjoyment, or getting it ready to put on the market, not all home improvement projects are created equal when it comes to returning on investment (ROI). Here are top areas on which to focus:


The kitchen is the heart of the home and it’s one of the best areas to renovate in terms of ROI, according to Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report, which puts the price tag of the average minor kitchen remodel at $22,507, with 80.5 percent of the cost recouped upon resale.

To give the kitchen an updated appearance, replace the flooring, countertops, sink, and faucet. A fresh coat of paint in a trendy shade, such as Living Coral, Pantone’s Color of the Year, can add a vibrant pop of color to energize any kitchen. Not looking to go that bold? Consider an accent wall, or stick to a classic palette of gray and white in terms of cabinets and countertops. White on white is also a popular new style for kitchens and bathrooms.

Other features home buyers are paying close attention to are laundry rooms and such energy-saving elements as Energy Star appliances and windows, according to the survey “What Home Buyers Want in 2019” by the National Association of Home Builders.

Curb Appeal:

The popularity of outdoor projects remains strong and it’s for a good reason. According to the Cost vs. Value Report, the biggest bang for your buck in 2019 will come from replacing a garage door. The report says the average price is $3,611, and 97.5 percent of it is recouped when the house is sold.

Other outdoor projects with high ROI include adding manufactured stone veneer to the exterior (94.9 percent), adding a wood deck (75.6 percent) and replacing siding (75.6 percent). Looking for a simpler way to make an impact? Sprucing up the landscape by planting flowers or bushes or even just clearing the yard of debris will make a big statement.

No matter what updates you end up making, it’s always a good idea to notify your insurance agent. “Certain upgrades may change the value of a house, so homeowners need to make sure they’re properly covered,” says Bob Buckel, vice president of product management, Erie Insurance. “There are a few things to look for. Ask your agent about guaranteed replacement cost policies that can cover the cost to rebuild a home in today’s dollars following a covered loss.”

Some upgrades may also make you eligible for discounts, Buckel adds, especially if they make the home more secure. “For example, Erie Insurance offers certain safety discounts such as for installing smoke alarms or an automatic sprinkler system.”

Now you have a checklist of DIY projects. But before you start, take a moment to assess which ones are worth your time and money. (StatePoint)

On-Trend Ideas for Updating Your Home Exterior

If it’s time to upgrade your home exterior, you may need some guidance, particularly if you want to make on-trend choices that will instantly boost your curb appeal.

Bear in mind that much younger, trend-setting homeowners are gravitating toward the natural, earthy look, and they are achieving this with manufactured stone. As you make your own upgrade, consider the following:

Prioritize Authenticity: Not all manufactured stone is of equal quality. Do a close inspection to ensure the products you select are molded and colored to look and feel like natural stone.

Select Your Cut: Choices abound when it comes to the cut of manufactured stone veneer. However, linear shapes that provide a sense of calm and order are very popular right now, making profiles such as the Chisel Cut offered by ProVia a smart move for staying on-trend. The natural texture complements the chiseled form and looks great grouted or dry stacked.

Be Serene: Gray is in right now, and this is likely due to its low-key aesthetic. Likewise, any color on the gray-scale will add instant appeal, including black and white.

Choose Your Grout: You can add a lot of design drama with the right choice of grout color.

Here’s a simple guide to help you choose:

• For an understated, elegant look, match the grout color with the dominant color shadings in the manufactured stone. This is a subtle-but-sophisticated choice.

• To bring bold drama to the home, choose a grout color that’s the exact opposite of the stone color. With light stone, use dark grout, and with dark stone use light grout. The effect is eye-popping and shows off the shapes and textures of the manufactured stone.

• Blend both approaches above to reflect an array of earthy colors. Choose a grout color that matches one of the shades found in the stone. It will naturally contrast with the other shades.

• For a pulled-together look, weave a matching color choice throughout the various home exterior elements — siding, garage door, front entry door, roofing, etc. — to reflect a design aesthetic and provide instant curb appeal. Just like a well-coordinated suit, shirt, and tie, this look projects confidence.

Visualize: The decisions you make regarding your home exterior are important, so do a bit of homework first before committing. Free online tools and resources can help you pick colors, cuts and other important features, by allowing you to get a better sense of how they will look on your home. Visit to access ProVia’s Grout Visualizer, a handy tool that allows you to mix and match stone and styles with grout options.

The exterior of your home makes a statement. Make sure it’s making the right one. Select elements that suit your personality while also staying on-trend. (StatePoint)

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