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Fri, Nov. 22

Ask the Contractor: Get professional input before starting renovations

Question: I am thinking of remodeling and updating some items in my home and I want to spend my money wisely and do things in the proper order. Is there a company or service in our area that can give me some guidance as to what I should or should not remodel based on my budget? - Dan in Prescott

Answer (by Janet Bussell- President, Bussell Interiors): For all renovation and remodeling projects, it is important to spend your money wisely, so first off you deserve a gold star for recognizing the need for a project outline. Remodeling is a tough undertaking at times, as more than likely you will be living with all of the work while it is in process. If the project is planned properly from the beginning, you will be able to remain within budget and minimize disruption in your home.

Many firms offer an assessment service for a reasonable price. In most cases, a professional will do a walk-through of your home, both interior and exterior, and write a report addressing the items that can use improvement and providing a cost and time estimate.

Question: I have heard about "cost vs. value" for remodeling. Can you please give me some percentages of value recouped for remodeling projects? - Susie in Dewey

Answer (by Sandy Griffis, executive director, YCCA): Here is a listing of projects with approximate percentage of cost recouped based on current 2009 averages for the State of Arizona.

Bathroom remodel: 70.0 - 82.6 percent

Bathroom addition: 63.5 - 66.1 percent

Deck addition: 63.0 - 73.7 percent

Garage addition: 62.8 - 68.9 percent

Minor kitchen remodel: 70.7 - 81.5 percent

Roof replacement 63.0 - 71.4 percent

Window replacement 79.2 - 80.0 percent

DID YOU KNOW

• You can calculate the operating cost of any electrical appliance by checking its wattage and using this formula:

Wattage x hours used/1,000 = kWh

kWh x cost per kWh = operating cost

• EnergyStar dishwashers are at least 13 percent more energy efficient than standard models. Sixty to 80 percent of the power used by the dishwasher is consumed just to heat the water.

• Your refrigerator uses the most electricity of all the appliances in your home.

• There are a lot of simple things people can do to save energy. And there are deeper improvements that make homes more energy-efficient (and safer and more comfortable at the same time). An energy audit can help you figure out the steps that make the most sense for your and your home.

Regarding the home energy audit, it is important to get the right audit - accurate and actionable - that looks at the right things, like duct leakage, air infiltration, and equipment efficiency and combustion safety and an analysis of utility bills.

Yavapai County Contractors Association (YCCA) is a professional association representing licensed, bonded and insured contractors, suppliers, distributors and business entities. YCCA, your local trusted referral source, can be reached at 778-0040 or at www.ycca.org.

Submit your questions and concerns to ycca@cableone.net and watch for your answer in the weekly real estate section of the Daily Courier.

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