Home Renovations Deliver Improved Satisfaction and Value, Study Shows

Home Renovations Deliver Improved Satisfaction and Value, Study Shows

A recent study has confirmed what many homeowners have experienced after completing remodeling projects: such projects Custom Kitchens Phoenixboost a property’s value and enhance the homeowner’s satisfaction.  Conducted by the National Association of Realtors® and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, the 2015 Remodeling Impact Report quantifies the benefits of several popular home improvements.  The results suggest that renovations are worthwhile investments regardless of whether the homeowners are planning to sell their homes in the near future.

Of over 4,000 respondents, 64 percent experienced greater satisfaction with their homes following a renovation.  Specifically, respondents enjoyed improved functionality and livability, enhanced aesthetic appeal, and more up-to-date materials, styles, and appliances.  The report calculated a “Joy Score” for each project to reflect the happiness that homeowners gained from different types of renovations.  Realtors were also questioned regarding the renovations that, in their experiences, had appealed most to buyers, minimized time on the market, and contributed the most to a home’s resale value.

The study’s findings on different remodeling projects included:

  • Kitchen upgrades.  As the proverbial heart of the home, renovations to the kitchen are often considered among the most effective ways to boost a home’s marketability when it is for sale. The results of the 2015 Remodeling Impact Report support this idea.  A quarter of the realtors surveyed believed that a renovated kitchen had helped them close a recent sale, and 57 percent had at some point suggested that sellers upgrade their kitchens.  Upon resale, homeowners recover an average of 67 percent of the costs of a kitchen remodel.  Kitchen improvements also yield benefits for homeowners who have no intention of moving any time soon: respondents cited improved function and livability as benefits stemming from their new kitchens, and approximately 75 percent reported greater overall enjoyment of their homes.
  • Bathroom remodels.  Renovated bathrooms are also likely to deliver satisfaction to homeowners and attract potential buyers.  Sixty-two percent of respondents stated that they had a stronger desire to spend time at home after completing a bathroom remodel, while 45 percent of realtors had suggested that sellers undertake such projects.  Homeowners recoup an estimated 58 percent of the costs expended on bathroom remodels.
  • Exterior remodels.  For projects performed on a home’s exterior, realtors estimated that new roofing, new vinyl windows, and new garage doors were the most appealing to buyers. Realtors also ranked these projects as having the highest value at resale and the greatest cost recoveries.  New roofing, which homeowners often install to improve energy efficiency, is likely to yield the highest return on investment of all exterior renovations.  On average, this upgrade carries a staggering 105 percent cost recovery, and the study assigned new roofs a Joy Score of 9.6 based on responses from homeowners.  In addition, 32 percent of realtors believed that a home’s new roof had recently helped them close a sale.
  • Other home improvements that yielded strong returns on investment were insulation upgrades and HVAC replacements, with homeowners recovering approximately 95 percent and 71 percent of the costs, respectively.

Whether you are interested in remodeling your home to boost its resale value or simply to increase your enjoyment of the property, AEH Builders can help you achieve the style of your dreams.  From minor upgrades to major overhauls, our team of professionals specializes in kitchen and bath remodels, additions, exterior upgrades, and much more.  Ready to begin reaping the proven benefits of renovating your home?  Contact us today at 480-442-2341!

(Source: http://www.realtor.org/reports/remodeling-impact).

Spring Cleaning and More: Is Your Home in Prime Condition This Season?

Spring Cleaning and More: Is Your Home in Prime Condition This Season?

A change of seasons marks an opportunity to ensure that all the systems and components of your home are running AEH Builders Outdoor Livingsmoothly.  In Arizona, springtime heralds the arrival of rapidly climbing temperatures and summer monsoons on the horizon.  Both of these natural phenomena can have destructive impacts on your home, so it is particularly important for residents of the Phoenix area to take steps for preventive maintenance before summer begins.

Although some homeowners make the mistake of shying away from the upfront costs of preventive maintenance, such maintenance could potentially save thousands of dollars in the long run.  When a system or appliance malfunctions unexpectedly, the cost of emergency repairs or replacements may be staggering.  By maintaining your home well in advance of a problem, you will reduce the risk of these expensive unforeseen crises.

In order to avoid costly home repairs necessitated by the extreme weather of an Arizona summer, AEH Builders recommends that homeowners schedule the following maintenance procedures during the spring:

  • Clean and repair gutters. In preparation for the summer rains, it is important to check the integrity of your gutters.  Gutters that are loose, damaged, or clogged with debris may drain improperly, resulting in water damage to your home.
  • Patio repair. Over the next several months, you will likely be spending a great deal of time outside, particularly if you have a pool.  A patio that is in poor condition may detract from the outdoor living experience and could even create safety hazards.
  • Inspect your roof and repair it if necessary. Unfortunately, the intense sun that warms the desert throughout the year can have a damaging effect on roofs.  If your roof contains cracks or other imperfections, the torrential rains of monsoon season may cause leaks and other problems.  During the relatively mild weather of spring, make sure that your roof is in good repair and if necessary, seal cracks, replace damaged shingles or tiles, and clear any vegetation that may have accumulated.
  • Clean, repair, and install sun screens. Sun screens can help to keep your home cool as the hot summer sun beats down on it, so spring is a great time to install them or ensure that your existing screens are in mint condition.
  • Install or repair pools. Swimming pools provide a refreshing escape from the summer heat, so now is the time to consider installing one.  If you are fortunate enough to already have a pool, spring is the season to ensure that it is in perfect condition for summer fun by making any needed repairs or implementing a regular cleaning routine.
  • Change air filters. As you enjoy the fresh air outside, remember to keep the air inside your home clean.  While the frequency with which you should change your air filters varies depending on the environment within the home and your specific needs, cleaning or replacing them on a regular basis will help your AC system run efficiently and create healthier, more breathable air by reducing the amount of dust and allergens.

In addition to our custom building and remodeling services, AEH Builders offers home repair services to take care of all of the above maintenance issues and many more.  We offer a Home Maintenance Program with a variety of plans that may be tailored to suit your needs.  Learn more at http://aehbuilders.com/home-maintenance-program or contact us at 480-442-2341!

The Top 5 Outdoor Living Design Trends of 2016

Outdoor Living Phoenix AZThe Top 5 Outdoor Living Design Trends of 2016

While the backyard has long been recognized as an at-home oasis for relaxation, gathering, and communion with nature, this extension of the home has been taking on an increasingly important role in recent years.  Today’s homeowners are seeking to build fully equipped outdoor living areas that incorporate the comforts of the indoors and can be enjoyed year-round.  According to a landscaping trends study conducted by Houzz, homeowners cited the creation of  a place for entertaining and the desire to boost their property values as two of the most common reasons for pursuing backyard remodels.  In Arizona, where temperatures are conducive to outdoor living for most of the year, these projects are likely to deliver a positive return on investment.

As the weather grows warmer, backyard season is officially underway.  If you are thinking about creating or improving an outdoor living space for your home, consider these five trends that are popular this year:

  1. Fully functional kitchens. Over the years, the outdoor kitchen has evolved significantly from the humble grill that was once the centerpiece of backyard cooking.  When designing outdoor living spaces, today’s homeowners seek to minimize the number of trips darting to and from the house.  The solution is to develop built-in kitchens that incorporate many of the features found in their indoor counterparts, including sinks and refrigerators, sufficient cabinet space, and stoves.  More luxurious options include islands and even pizza ovens.
  2. Living areas equipped with furnishings and accessories that are resistant to the elements. Just as the living room or family room is the gathering spot of the home, no outdoor living space is complete without a comfortable area for relaxing with friends and loved ones.  Consider adding outdoor area rugs, artwork, and seating areas with comfortable yet durable cushions and pillows.
  3. Methods of adjusting the temperature. With even the most elaborate outdoor living spaces falling beyond the reach of heating and air conditioning, mechanisms for countering Mother Nature’s temperature spikes are essential for an enjoyable outdoor living experience.  Heat lamps, built-in fans, and misting systems will all extend the outdoor living season and help to ensure a comfortable backyard experience regardless of the weather.  Fire pits and fireplaces are especially popular choices for achieving this goal while also serving as cozy gathering spots.
  4. High-tech touches. Technology plays a role in nearly every facet of modern life, so it is unsurprising that today’s homeowners are seeking to incorporate it in their outdoor living spaces.  Features such as LED or solar lighting, automated sound systems that can be controlled from a smart phone, and high-definition TVs elevate the backyard to an impressive zone for entertaining.
  5. Native plants and edible gardens. Sustainability is a hot-button issue across the country and particularly in Arizona, where drought and water shortages are imminent threats.  Landscaping that is native to the area promises to conserve natural resources while reducing homeowners’ maintenance burdens.  In keeping with the eco-friendly theme, gardens featuring edible fruits, vegetables, and herbs have also increased in popularity.

(Sources: http://www.hardwareretailing.com/five-trends-in-outdoor-living/, http://finance.yahoo.com/news/top-outdoor-living-trends-2016-153000543.html).

At AEH Builders, we consider your outdoor living sanctuary to be just as important as any room in your home.  We specialize in the design and construction of built-in kitchens, hardscapes, and more, and can help you create a backyard space that is customized to suit your lifestyle.  Contact us today at 480-442-2341 to learn more about how we can make your outdoor living dreams come true!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Choosing a General Contractor

Kitchen Remodeling PhoenixThe Do’s and Don’ts of Choosing a General Contractor

Caught up in the excitement of embarking on a construction project, homeowners may sometimes rush through the process of selecting a general contractor (GC).  Unfortunately, a lack of due diligence may lead to the homeowner hiring someone who is not the most qualified choice for the job.  At worst, this could result in subpar work quality and unnecessary cost to the homeowner.

As a homeowner, how can you be sure that you choose a GC who will deliver the results you are seeking in a safe, professional, and cost-conscious manner?  Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:

Do ask trusted sources for recommendations.  Do you have any friends, neighbors, or family members who have built or remodeled a home?  Ask them if they used a GC who they would recommend.

Do your due diligence.  The internet makes it easy to investigate the backgrounds and reputations of any GCs you are thinking about hiring. Read their online reviews and check for photos of their work on their websites and social media accounts.  Additionally, each GC bidding on your project should be able to provide references.  Do not hesitate to contact these references and ask them specific questions, like whether the work was completed on time and within budget, how adeptly the GC managed the project, and whether they would hire him again.

Do not forget to verify the most important qualifications that a GC must have: proper insurance and a license from the state.  This information, as well as information regarding complaints filed against the GC, may be easily accessed at the Arizona Registrar of Contractors website (http://www.azroc.gov).

Do compare bids from at least three GCs.

Do not simply hire the GC with the lowest bid.  A construction project is a major investment, and focusing on value over price may save you money in the long run.  A GC who is not highly skilled may perform shoddy work that will require extra cost to repair and may even create unsafe conditions on your property.  If one bid is significantly lower than the others, it may indicate that the GC lacks experience or is using materials of inferior quality.

Do ensure that each GC you are considering is qualified to undertake a project of the style and scope you are seeking.  For instance, if your plan is a major renovation, you might not want to hire someone who has only mastered minor repairs.

Do ask about the GC’s relationship with subcontractors.  The work performed by subcontractors has a significant impact on the success of the project overall, so GCs should have a stringent process for vetting and selecting only trusted professionals.

Do not rush the process.  A construction project is a substantial financial undertaking and requires the presence of strangers in your home, possibly for several weeks or months.  Trust your instincts and ask yourself whether the GC you are considering is someone who you are comfortable having around your loved ones and your precious belongings.  If any issues arise along the way, would you feel comfortable discussing and working through them with your GC?  When managed by a professional, highly skilled general contractor whom you trust, construction projects can be exciting experiences that will bring you joy for years to come.

At AEH Builders, we work closely with each client to ensure that the construction process goes as smoothly as possible and the finished product exceeds expectations.  As a family business, we take great pride in our work and will treat your family and your home with the utmost respect.  We thoroughly vet all of our subcontractors and will only bring people into your home if we would feel comfortable bringing them into our own.  Contact us today at 480.442.2341 to start transforming your building dreams into reality!

(Source: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20539027_21071429,00.html)

5 Top Design Trends for Your 2016 Bathroom Build or Remodel

aeh-55 Top Design Trends for Your 2016 Bathroom Build or Remodel

When tackling a home remodel, most homeowners first devote their attention to kitchens and bathrooms. These rooms are among the most heavily trafficked, and renovations of them yield the greatest return on investment when the home is for sale.

The demand for bathroom remodels was strong in 2014 and 2015, and this trend is expected to continue through 2016. Today’s bathroom remodels aim to create an at-home sanctuary that is both functional and stylish.  If you are planning a bathroom renovation, here are five trends that experts predict will surge in popularity this year:

  1. Accessible showers: while an aging population may be the driving force behind an increased demand for accessibility measures, homeowners of all ages are demonstrating an interest in showers that feature seats, grab bars, and low or nonexistent curbs. Installing a seat or bench can transform the shower into a relaxing retreat, while stylish grab bars enhance ease of use. A low curb reduces the risk of tripping while stepping into or out of the shower. Some designs forego the curb altogether and extend the bathroom flooring into the shower, which simplifies cleaning and has the effect of making the entire room appear larger.
  2. Sustainability: in bathrooms, “green” design manifests not just in the water-efficient fixtures that are essential in the drought-stricken Southwest, but also with the incorporation of natural stone and wood elements. Beautiful as well as durable, materials like polished natural stone or marble may be used decoratively or functionally for fixtures such as tubs, sinks, or countertops. Homeowners are also incorporating nature into their bathrooms with the addition of plant life, ranging from a single green plant to entire walls covered in greenery. This trend adds color and fosters a Zen-like sense of harmony with the outdoors.
  3. Contemporary designs with geometric patterns: square-shaped and angular designs are currently popular, and homeowners are seeking to incorporate these styles into their bathrooms with geometric-shaped fixtures such as showerheads and even bathtubs. These designs are attractive in bathrooms of most styles, but fit best with the clean lines of modern or transitional-styled rooms.
  4. Black, white, and gray colors: while beige is no longer a popular color choice for bathrooms, black, white, and gray achieve the same starkly soothing effect and can be used to create a spa-like quality in the room. These colors are often used as a backdrop for more vibrant accent hues, such as turquoise or lavender. Popular finishes for faucets and cabinet pulls include brushed nickel, rose gold, and polished chrome.
  5. High-tech showers: technology plays a major role in most aspects of modern life, so it is unsurprising that it has worked its way into today’s trendy bathrooms. In 2016, homeowners are seeking to enhance their shower experience with LED lights, water-resistant systems for playing music, and Bluetooth-enabled water saving features.

(Sources: http://decoratorswisdom.com/decor/interior-design-trends/bathroom-trends-2016/#, http://bathrooms.about.com/od/Decorating/tp/2016-Bathroom-Trends-You-MUST-Know-About.htm, http://freshome.com/2016-design-trends/).

Whether you are building a new custom home or remodeling your existing one, the experts at AEH Builders have the vision and technical knowledge needed to design and construct a bathroom that reflects your style and needs. We stay up to date on the latest trends, but we will work with you closely to bring your own unique building dreams to life. Ready to begin designing a custom bathroom for your home? Contact us today at 480.442.2341!

7 Reasons to Hire a General Contractor for Your Next Building or Remodeling Project

2012-02-21-13.267 Reasons to Hire a General Contractor for Your Next Building or Remodeling Project

In an attempt to save money or due to high confidence in their do-it-yourself skills, some property owners try to tackle a construction project without the assistance of a general contractor (GC).  However, even relatively minor building and renovation projects are more complex than they seem at first: there are numerous decisions to make along the way, building codes with which to comply, and subcontractors to select and manage.  Navigating the process without a GC carries a high risk of costly errors that could derail the project.

If you are unsure whether to hire a GC for your next construction project, consider the following ways in which these licensed professionals add value:

  • Building and renovation projects can be overwhelming. General contractors handle everything from start to finish, guiding you along every step of the way from the brainstorming phase to final completion.  A general contractor can provide you with the information you need to make any construction decisions that you may not have foreseen at the outset of the project.
  • General contractors manage the construction schedule, including the order in which subcontractors complete their work, and do everything in their power to ensure that the project is completed on time and within the set budget.
  • General contractors handle the vetting and management of subcontractors, screening and interviewing them and then verifying the quality of their work as it is performed.
  • General contractors possess the requisite knowledge of applicable building codes and laws. These regulations, which vary by location, can be confusing to anyone who is not a licensed contractor, and code violations may result in construction delays and additional expenses.
  • General contractors are skilled in adhering to safety procedures. Construction can be a dangerous business, and general contractors have the training and experience needed to reduce the risk of accidents occurring on your property.
  • General contractors possess substantial knowledge about the construction process. Sometimes, property owners think that they can perform repairs or improvements on their own, not realizing the limitations of their knowledge.  When trying to take on a project by yourself, even a minor error can translate to costly repairs.  Avoiding errors in the first place is the best way to control costs and achieve the result you are seeking, and GCs provide the experience and knowledge needed to get the job done correctly from the outset.
  • Since a GC oversees all work that is performed and the subcontractors performing it, if something goes wrong during the course of the project, the GC is responsible for rectifying it. This means that the property owner does not have to worry about fixing or paying to fix every little mistake that may occur; the GC will handle it and the cost of repairs will typically come out of the overall budget for the project.

Regardless of the scope, our team of professionals at AEH Builders treats each project with the same degree of care as if it were our own.  We handle your project from beginning to end, whether we are building your dream home, completing a renovation, or performing handyman services.  We thoroughly vet all subcontractors to ensure that they comply with our high standards.  Contact us today at 480-442-2341.

Air Filter

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Filter cleaning or replacement will provide cleaner air, improve airflow and help reduce utility cost. To clean, remove or replace filters, turn the fan off using the thermostat control, then carefully remove the old filter and clean or insert a new one. Replacement filters are available through most hardware stores.

New Kitchen Recipe

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INGREDIENTS:

1. Dark Stained Cabinets

2. Stainless Steel Appliances

3. Stone Countertops

4. Tile

5. Patterned Backsplash

6. Farm House Sink

Nothing “beats” that mixture of ingredients! If you would like to hear about the full details of this recipe contact AEH Builders. Our skilled team can whip you up something spectacular.

Why General Contractors?

AEH Builders, proudly offers professional contracting services for your home and your business. If you are looking to build a custom home, remodel your current home or only need minor repairs for now, call on AEH Builders. We handle many trades in house and hand pick our subcontractors so you know you are getting people who share our quality craftsmanship and excellent customer service.

So what’s the big deal about general contractors? Good question! One of many major benefits of hiring AEH Builders is that we will be there from start to finish of your project. A general contractor is the “eye in the sky” so to speak. We take on your project like it was our own. We will manage all of the subcontractors, be sure the work is being done per applicable codes and drawings, safety procedures are adhered to, which materials should be used and much more. We do everything in our power to complete the project on time and in budget, and, if need be, communicate any set backs. We manage your project for you so that you don’t have to.

So why choose us as your general contractor? Even better question! AEH Builders is the “eye in the sky” for your whole project, while paying attention to the details of your finished project. We are here for you from the very initial brainstorming idea to the completed masterpiece. We are a small family owned business, which hopefully conveys to you that we are invested fully in each and every one of our projects and take great care to serve each client. We have the strength of experience in trades and in contracting to back you up. Here is a list of services and benefits that are available when you choose us:

 

RESIDENTIAL

– custom home

– home addition

– remodel

– home maintenance

– home repairs
COMMERCIAL

– new building or business

– franchise expansion

– tenant improvement

– building maintenance

– building repairs
Here are a few of the benefits you receive when using AEH Builders

– We give you the time we will show up or give the courtesy of a call if we will be late

– Getting more attention and better service for less cost than much of our competition

– Hand picked list of subcontractors who are screened and interviewed so we know they share the same philosophy as AEH Builders

 

We take pride in what we do, because our family counts on it. So the next time you need a general contractor, contact AEH Builders

We are building for YOU and building with YOU

Type of Home Improvement Quotes

ESTIMATE:

This is an educated guess about the time and material costs necessary to complete your medium to large job. Usually, you will be provided a low and a high number that normally range within 20% of each other. The advantage is that you pay the actual cost and no extra markup to cover contingencies. The disadvantage is that you do not know your exact cost in advance, but if you are comfortable with a price range then you can save money.

BID/PROJECT:

This is a firm quote on labor and materials for your job and will be the amount you pay. The advantage is that you know the exact cost up front. The disadvantage is that the contractor has to plan on unforeseen problems and your cost will be substantially higher than other methods because the contractor has to charge more to cover the risk of unexpected costs.

T + M:

You are charged only for the actual time worked and materials purchased. The advantage of this method is that it is the least costly (estimates are always calculated at a higher hourly rate) and fastest way to have many small to medium sized projects done. Also, it is easy to expand your to-do list without changing any contracts. The disadvantage is that you do not have a firm price up front, but rather an approximate time frame.

PRICE NOT TO EXCEED:

This is like T+M but provides the homeowner with a price the project will not exceed. Typically, the contractor will quote you a price they are sure of, taking all unexpected problems into account. This method will be slightly more expensive than T+M, but it is your second best choice to keep your costs down on small to medium sized projects.

HIDDEN DAMAGE:

Damage discovered that could not be seen before starting your project is not included in any of these methods. AEH Builders will notify you of this and give you a written change order, upon request, with any additional costs as a result before proceeding. AEH Builders’s policy is to stop work, inform you of any problems we discovered, and, if requested, give you a written change order detailing all the additional costs for you to approve before continuing your project.

Depending upon the scope of your project, AEH Builders can work with you in any of these ways, and we have found it’s best for you to choose T+M for typical “handyman work”, and the Price Not to Exceed option for larger projects.