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Milwaukee/NARI Offers Remodeling Tips to Improve the Value of Your House

Oct. 24, 2013

Basic remodeling projects can add value to your house and attract homebuyers according to members of the Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council, Inc., the area’s leading home improvement and remodeling industry resource for 52 years. Members identify the types of home improvements projects that can raise the asking price of your home when you decide to put it on the market.

“In today's market, there are various ways of gauging one's home value in relation to remodeling improvements. It can be measured in terms of future monetary value when selling a house to the immediate increased comfort and enjoyment received by the homeowner, or ideally a combination of the two outcomes,” said Masha Wagner of Design Tech Remodeling in Milwaukee. “Overwhelmingly, the two areas that add the greatest value in all three cases are kitchen and bathroom remodeling. For people looking to stay in their homes longer, changes are made that improve their home’s function and flow,” she added.

“Years ago, kitchens were built to cook, eat, and clean dishes. They were smaller and many times cut off from the rest of the home. Today they are the hub of the home, a place to cook and entertain family and friends. Creating more space within the existing structure by moving or sometimes removing walls to improve the flow or functionality of the kitchen will improve a home's value,” according to Wagner. “Kitchen improvements that are popular include new granite or quartz countertops, eco-friendly natural floors such as bamboo and hand scrapped floors, as well as stainless steel appliances,” she said.

“Bathrooms are another area for major changes both esthetically and functionally,” Wagner said. “Greater emphasis is being placed on larger showers with multiple body sprays, as well as more efficient showerheads and toilets for better water conservation,” said Wagner. “Recently, many homeowners are trading their small tubs for larger soaking tubs for greater relaxation, or removing them altogether and replacing them with a shower for easier accessibility,” she added.

“People buy a house on emotion because they fall in love with one aspect of it, or because it’s a deal they just can’t pass up,” said Scott Riemer, of Mukwonago Remodeling, LLC. “The number one reason for remodeling a home for resale is to improve its curb appeal and the second is to improve the kitchen where people spend a great deal of quality time,” he added.

“One way to improve the look of a kitchen is by switching the wood types of the cabinets. Many homes in this area have oak, so you might want to consider maple or birch,” said Riemer. “Depending on your budget, you can do a full cabinet replacement or a more affordable refacing which involves replacing the doors and drawers rather than a full demolition of the cabinets,” he added.

“To improve the home’s curb appeal, you can invest in new exterior siding, windows, or a roof. All of these upgrades are visible from the street,” said Riemer. “In addition to traditional siding, homeowners might consider EIFS, a synthetic siding material that gives the appearance of stucco and adds a southwestern style look to the house. A portico shelter or mini roof above the doorway can improve the appearance of the home, as well as provided shelter from the weather,” he added.

The Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Council was chartered in July 1961, as a Chapter of the National Home Improvement Council. In May of 1982, the National Home Improvement Council merged with the National Remodelers Association to form NARI – the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

The Council’s goals of encouraging ethical conduct, professionalism, and sound business practices in the remodeling industry have led to the remodeling industry’s growth and made NARI a recognized authority in that industry. With over 740 members, the Milwaukee Chapter is the nation’s largest.

For more information or to receive a free copy of an annual membership roster listing all members alphabetically and by category, and the booklet, “Milwaukee/NARI's Remodeling Guide,” call 414- 771-4071 or visit the Council’s website at

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