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Unseen Updates That Add Value During a Remodel

by ION

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A major remodel gives a homeowner the opportunity to make updates that add value and comfort but aren’t immediately noticeable. There are so many inner workings in a home that affect not only the look but also its functionality. It can easily be argued that the guts of the home are more important than what’s happening on the surface.

While you’re tearing things out, replacing floors and opening walls, it’s the perfect opportunity to make unseen updates that will improve the livability of your home.

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Security System

The home security experts at Alarm Relay work with a lot of new homeowners who want to protect their investment and the safety of their family. But security specialists also stress the importance of having a security system from the moment you get the keys.

Homes that are being renovated are targeted by burglars who think there are expensive tools and materials lying around unprotected. They also like homes that are undergoing a big remodel because there’s less likely to be someone inside at night.

Before you even move in, a security system adds value and it can help you get lower home insurance rates. You’ll also have a nice blank canvas that allows you to focus on the most susceptible parts of the home, like the windows, doors, and exterior of the property.

A monitored alarm system is highly recommended, especially if you aren’t living in the home yet. App connected sensors and cameras are also becoming a standard part of modern security systems.

Improved Wi-Fi Based Automation

Ask buyers what they’re looking for today and many of them will say a “smart” home. These are the homes that have interconnected systems that allow you to sync equipment and automate just about anything with your phone. In recent years an amazing amount of home automation products have been created, but you need a solid Wi-Fi connection to realize the full benefit.

It helps to design a home automation system from the ground up, which is much easier during a renovation. Some systems, like those in commercial buildings, are wired during construction, but the wireless is the preferred option for residential properties. Wireless offers more flexibility and less concern over maintaining equipment and components. With this type of system, a server with a built-in Wi-Fi card and hardware interface modules will be needed.

Updated Electrical

There’s a good chance the electrical system that was installed in a home just two to three decades ago aren’t up to code today. If you buy an older home (1930s and older) with a knob-and-tube electrical system, you’ll probably be required to make updates.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical problems are one of the top causes of house fires. Electrical malfunctions and failures are contributing factor in approximately 48,000 house fires each year. Electrical improvements aren’t a sexy update, but it’s one that can dramatically increase the safety and the functionality of a home.

Another issue with old electrical systems is their capacity. Today, the average home has many more electrical devices than in years past, which has increased electrical demand dramatically. If you’re updating the electrical system keep in mind that homes 1,800 square feet or less need at least 150-amp electrical service and larger homes need at least 200 amps. You’ll probably also need a new electric panel.

While everything is opened up during a renovation, it’s the perfect time to take a hard look at the electrical system – and it’s often necessary if you’re installing new appliances, making additions, etc. Consider what the home’s needs will be after the remodel is complete to determine what needs to be done to bring the electrical up to speed.

Insulation

One of the easiest ways to increase comfort and decrease monthly utility bills is to add proper insulation around the home. Many homeowners add insulation to the attic because it’s quick and easy. However, there are others areas that can benefit from improved insulation as well.

Energy.gov has created a fantastic diagram that shows all the different places where insulation can be added. During a renovation you can focus on areas that aren’t easily accessible like:

Doing this update while things are opened up will significantly reduce the overall cost and provide an amazing return on your investment.

Heated Flooring

Oftentimes heated flooring is considered a luxury because it can be expensive to install – unless you’re already planning to rip up the floors. No matter where the home is heated flooring in the master bath is a big plus. In some areas and in some real estate markets it can be a top selling point.

But it’s one of those updates that only make sense if you’re already planning to renovate.

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