“Buy low, sell high.” Owners who intend to sell their homes often make improvements designed to maximize their profit. Reasons vary, but most homeowners said they want to upgrade worn-out areas, while others want to add features and improve livability. Still others might be tired of their home’s current look & simply want a change.

Realtors agree that new roofing, new vinyl windows and new siding are most appealing to potential buyers and add to a home’s resale value. Upon resale, new roofing is thought to recover 105% of its project cost, while new vinyl siding would recover 83% and new vinyl windows bring back 80% of the cost.

Even if you have no intention of relocating in the foreseeable future, though, remodeling can significantly add to the enjoyment you derive from your home by achieving a long-held goal or vision. Homeowners not intending to sell mention new fiber-cement siding, new fiberglass or steel front doors and new roofing as improvements that most enhanced the comfort they felt in their homes.

Whatever the reasons for making home improvements, it is important to choose a reputable remodeler. NARI, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, is an organization of highly qualified remodeling contractors, product manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, trade publications, utilities and lending institutions. NARI members have access to the latest information in the industry through online publications and ongoing educational programs and conferences. Its members are committed to enhancing the professionalism of their industry as well as serving as allies to homeowners.

Plan your project carefully in order to increase the value of your investment. Be objective when evaluating your property. Think of what repairs are necessary vs what improvements you want to make. Think of your future needs: will your family be expanding soon? How long do you intend to stay in the house? A professional contractor will help by outlining your options and discussing the choices that are available within your budget. Equally important is to review your homeowner’s insurance policy and make any necessary changes for your home’s added value.

So how does one go about choosing a qualified, professional remodeler? NARI has the following tips for finding a qualified, professional remodeler:

• Employ a contractor with an established business in your area. Check their reputation with online services such as Yelp & Google Reviews or with a government agency such as the Better Business Bureau or the Consumer Protection Office. The remodeler you are considering should be willing to provide references.

• Ask friends, family and coworkers who have recently remodeled about their experience. Was the remodeler helpful, reliable and respectful of their time and home? Were the stated time frame and budget honored? Would they use this remodeler again? Were they happy with the results?

• Many states require contractors to be licensed and/or bonded. Contact your state or local licensing agency – typically the Building Division – to ensure the contractor meets all requirements. If your home was built before 1978, perform a Search on https://www3.epa.gov to determine if the contractor you are considering is a Certified Lead Renovator.

• Most states require contractors to carry workman’s compensation, property damage and personal liability insurance; your contractor should provide a copy of certification of insurance.

• If you are getting bids from more than one contractor, make sure they are bidding on the same kind and quality of work. Question variations in bids and be wary of any proposal that is significantly lower than others.

Harris Exteriors & More Inc. is proud to be a Certified Lead Renovator and a long-standing member of NARI. We welcome the opportunity to educate you about the remodeling industry while we help turn your vision into a reality.