It seems many people are thinking of remodeling or adding on to their homes rather than moving given the real estate market we’ve had these past several years. If you’re one of these homeowners, here’s information on the Top 10 Remodeling Don’ts. A remodeling project is very often stressful. These tips may help reduce your stress levels and keep you on budget! .
Real Homes. Real People. Real Ideas.
April 28–29, 2012
This weekend offers an opportunity to take a FREE, self-guided tour of 60 Twin Cities remodeled and/or reinvented homes. See homes projects that were both “on-a-budget” and “blow out”. You can tour examples of remodeled kitchens and baths, room additions, and whole house renovations.
These projects are unique in that they cover a wide range of housing eras. The home tour is also unique in that homeowners, contractors and/or architects are available to discuss the projects with visitors. This is a wonderful way to learn about remodeling, meet contractors and architects, and discover different neighborhoods.
This is the twenty-fifth year of the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour. It all began when some Minneapolis real estate agents and city officials were concerned about suburban flight. They took it upon themselves to promote city living and the home tour was born.
Homes will be open to visitors:
Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 29, 2012 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The home tour will take place regardless of weather conditions.
Visit HistoricSaintPaul.org for information on: “Historic Homes for Everyday Families” workshop, why preservationists will enjoy the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour, walking tours of “Storybook” houses with architect Bob Roscoe, and more.
Thinking of buying or selling real estate? Call Kate and Ellen Walsh and we’ll help you make all the right moves.
The award-winning energy-efficient Devonshire building .
A new study says home owners won’t see their utility bills drop until they’ve conducted four or more energy upgrades. Here are projects that will give you the greatest bang for your energy buck.
I’ve long suspected that saving energy is like saving calories: Small measures add up, until a Thanksgiving pecan pie — or a dazzling holiday light display — wrecks a year’s worth of small though consistent efforts.
Evidently I’m right, according to a new study claiming that doing a couple of small, energy-saving measures actually increase utility bills. And that a home owner must perform at least four energy upgrades before their utility bill drops.
The 450-page study, conducted by the eco-curious Shelton Group, found that energy-efficient home owners think they should replace water heaters and install a higher-efficiency HVAC system, though they actually replace windows and add insulation.
We think they’re half right: Adding insulation, especially in the attic, is a low-cost way to reduce utility bills. But replacing windows requires a huge upfront cost, which you probably won’t live long enough to earn back.
To see net-net savings — in your lifetime — select upgrades that reduce energy consumption by 5% and require modest initial investments. We suggest:
Seal and insulate ductwork through unfinished and unheated areas, such as the attic, garage, and crawl spaces.
Install a programmable thermostat so you don’t overheat your house when you’re away or asleep.
Seal air leaks around windows, doors, attic access, and recessed lights.
How many energy-efficient improvements did you make last year? Did you see a drop or increase in your utility bills?
If you’re replacing a working refrigerator in your home to improve the energy efficiency or due to a kitchen remodel, get paid for recycling it. No hauling required. They’ll pick up. Incentives and requirements vary between power supply companies. Here’s what Xcel Energy in Minnesota will do:
Excel Energy Refrigerator Recycling Program
$35 incentive check
Must be cooling and capable of making ice
Must be a secondary unit in the home for at least 6 months
Must be 10-30 cubic feet
One unit allowed per calendar year
To qualify for the program, you must:
1) Be a residential electric customer of Xcel Energy.
2) Own the refrigerator and it must be picked up at
a location listed on the billing account.
This is a nationwide program. I called to inquire about the secondary unit and learned that I could replace my primary (and only) refrigerator to qualify for this program. Learn more about the program by clicking on the links below.