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Remodeling
Today we started remodeling our own home.  As I designed the renovations, I couldn't stop thinking about how much easier it would be to start from scratch.  Trying to stick new into the old is certainly no easy chore.  What a mess it makes, but hopefully it will be worth it.  I actually designed and built the home we have been in for the past eight years.  We are expecting our fourth child in September, so my wife has the nesting instinct and feels like we need more space.  I have to admit that my building business does well because of expecting mothers.  It kind of forces people out of smaller homes and into bigger homes.  Apparently expecting mothers like Read more
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Published On : 07-06-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
1383 Views
Remodel or Build?
As a builder and part owner of a house plan company, I naturally love when people invest their money in buying a home plan from www.theplancollection.com to build a new home.  However, I also realize that many of you are just looking at our home plans, in order to get good ideas for remodeling your current home.  I know there are many of you who are doing this, because we have over 5,000 unique visitors come to our site on a daily basis.  Most of you don't buy a house plan, but that's okay because there are many who do.  For those who don't, I hope you are finding some good ideas on our free collection of great house plans. Speaking of free ideas and advice, I ran across an article on www.nahb.org that talks about buildi Read more
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Published On : 07-15-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
5139 Views
 
Think about doing it yourself
I was talking with a man at church yesterday. He told me about his awful weekend.  He is currently remodeling his home,  like I am.  (By  the way, I would highly recommend that you just start over.  Remodeling is not fun and mine has cost almost twice as much as I thought it would; and I build houses and know how much things should cost.)  Anyway, this man started remodeling on Saturday.  He got off to a bad start when he stepped on a nail.  He then got stung by a bee.  He said he was just getting going again when he did what all framers worry about.  He was using a nail gun and shot himself in the hand with a nail gun.  Now this guy might just be accident prone.  Ho Read more
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Published On : 08-02-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
1921 Views
Think twice about remodeling
I have been complaining to Jake about how awful it is to remodel.  The hard part is we are trying to live in the home at the same time.  Not only is remodeling messy, but everything is twice as much as I originally anticipated.  For  instance, I added some square footage so I knew that I would need a larger central air unit.  When they brought the unit, they decided that the furnace would not be big enough for the new central air.  The other bad thing is when we put in new fixtures etc. then all of the new stuff makes the older look totally out of date.  The bad thing is we were perfectly happy with the older things, until it was next to the new.  What a waste! I think we probably should have just sta Read more
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Published On : 08-05-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
1538 Views
Spending too much time in home improvement stores
Because we are currently remodeling, I have spent a lot of time in home improvement stores searching for products and price checking.  I am surprised by the limited selection these massive stores have. These stores are gigantic but still don't have much selection.  They also don't cater to the contractors like the smaller lumberyards do.  My theory about why they don't have much selection is because they cater to the homeowner who is fixing or remodeling their older home.  Honestly, there is not much selection on common items like baseboards and trim.  The selection consists of the same designs that my parents put in their home 25 years ago.  I guess people still buy it by the truck loads because when they remo Read more
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Published On : 08-10-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
1675 Views
Installing a putting green in our backyard
Part of our remodeling project included installing an artificial putting green in the backyard.  I researched all the different options available.  In fact, 7 years ago I actually tried to grow a real putting green.  I talked with several people who maintain the greens at the golf course.  All of them tried to talk me out it.  I ignored their advice and tried it anyway.  I followed all of the steps and used the exact bent grass that the courses use around my home.  It grew very well and looked great in no time.  However, it required a lot of attention.  It needed to be mowed with a special greens mower on a daily basis.  I tried to find a used mower, but the lowest I could find was around $6 Read more
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Published On : 08-12-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
8924 Views
Was the Remodel Worth it?
Many people are asking me, “Now that you are done remodeling, do you think it was worth it?”  Well, our house is very comfortable now and we enjoy it.  However, the costs are nearly double than what I anticipated.  The reason they are double is because when we put new things against the old things, we just ripped out the old and put went new.  I probably should have just started over with a new home.  New homes just appreciate in value so much quicker than an older home.  When I say old, I mean like 10 years old.  That doesn't sound old, but in 'house years' it really is.  The reason is, fashion changes so quickly.  The value of most homes increases dramatically in the first ten year Read more
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Published On : 10-30-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
1528 Views
How To Spot a Good Buy
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, particularly when it comes to buying a home. Features that attract one home-buyer may repel another. However, the one feature of interest to every home-buyer is price. Getting the most home for your money is paramount. The real problem is figuring out whether that fixer-upper on one street is a better buy than the home in next-to-new condition two blocks away. That’s why knowing what to look for before you buy can save you time, energy and money down the line. The first step is figuring out what kind of house you need. A good buy is only a good buy if it meets your current and future living requirements. Before shopping for a home, decide how much space you and your family require. How man Read more
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Published On : 04-30-2005
Author : Steve Donegan
3193 Views
See the Return on Investment for GREEN Home Remodeling
By Charlie SzoradiNow you can take any house plan and add the green finishes and systems that have real payback for your wallet and the environment. While Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio have done a great job making films to inform Americans about Climate Change, Green Architects Charlie Szoradi and Master Carpenter Mark McGraw, along with a team of partners have spent two years building an eco-friendly house and a website that shows mainstream Americans how to help themselves and also save the polar bears.  GREENandSAVE.com is the first site to offer Return On Investment (ROI) rankings for home improvement projects that not only save you money but also help save the environment. The house remodeling site is designed for both hands- Read more
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Published On : 12-12-2007
Author : Steve Donegan
4097 Views
Remodeling Trends: House Plans for Green Living Remodeling
Have you been thinking about home remodeling lately? With the economy on its way to recovery, and improvements in the real estate market, many people have started to think ahead about home improvements or remodels to increase the value of their properties and home sales. In fact the recent Remodeling Market Index (RMI) has rising six points to 55, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). This is just one more reason why confidence in the remodeling market rebounded in the second quarter of 2013. To back this up there has been an increased demand for remodeling projects. NAHB economists predict that within the next 10 years the funds spent on home remodeling jobs will surpass that of new home construction Read more
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Published On : 08-08-2013
Author :Brian Toolan
575 Views

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