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Home Improvements That Make Sense

Q: I am asked the following question all the time... If I am not selling my house what work could or should I do that makes sense both economically, functionally, and esthetically?

A: 1. Kitchen & bath remodeling...If you plan on staying in your home 5 or more years and it is 25 years old or more consider redoing the bathrooms and kitchen. Why? a) You will enjoy the change; b) Buyers who are considering older homes want these areas up to date; c) Historically the cost for this work increases value and can be recouped in a sale.

2. Check the insulation in the following areas: a) Attic - Insulation should be at least R-30 or more; b) Basement - In the basement the exterior perimeter of the floor joist should have R-30 insulation; c) Crawl space - The ceiling of the crawl space should be insulated to R-30.

3. Heating/Ventilating & Air Conditioning (HVAC): a) Duct work in the basement should be sealed; b) Duct work in a crawl space of attic should be insulated to R-8 and sealed; c) Furnace - Old furnaces still work but the fuel goes up the chimney. Consider installing a 95% efficient unit. Old units rated at 80% often run at 65%; d) Air conditioning unit - Old units had a SEER rating of 8 to 10 and their efficiency can be lower. New units have a minimum SEER rating of 13; e) Install a humidifier and if you have one and it is old check to see if it is working; f) Check your filters regularly and consider adding a modern filter.

4. Caulk all your doors and windows regularly to stop air leakage.

5. Windows - If you have single pane glass windows with old fashioned storm windows on the outside consider changing the window sash to an insulated glass sash. You do not rip out the old frames saving the cost of exterior or interior modifications. The windows will be more energy efficient and look better and this modernizes your home.

6. Replacement of refrigerator and/or freezer. We have all been accustomed to taking pride in how old our freezer and refrigerator last. Check out the energy usage cost of these old units vs the energy usage cost of new units.

Tax credits and rebates are available for some of these items. Check with your accountant about the tax credits and your utility company or HVAC contractor about rebates for high efficiency equipment.

If we at Dickson Development can help you with any of the above noted items please call us to discuss what you may want to do. If you know of someone who may find this information useful please forward it to them.

Ronnie M. Rudolph
Dickson Development Corporation
666 Plainsboro Rd., Ste. 1300
Plainsboro, NJ 08536
Ph: 609-799-0220
Fax: 609-799-9099
www.dicksondevelopment.com

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