Lancaster PA Remodeling Tips & Tricks

July 29, 2011

To Move, or to Remodel, that is the question.

At least that is the question a lot of homeowners we meet with ponder: Should I move to a new home, or remodel the home my family is in now? Well, since we at MBC do remodeling in Lancaster County, PA, you should definitely remodel… JUST KIDDING!

With our housing market still down, you don’t want to rush into any decisions involving your largest asset. Does your family like the area and how long do you plan on staying in the home? You want to consider not only what your family will gain from your choice, but also the financial investment you stand to gain down the road. Your family’s well-being and overall happiness should always be at the heart of your decisions.

If your spouse, the kids and yourself love the neighbors and neighborhood, their school and your distance from work, changing the layout or adding space to your home by remodeling is probably a better choice. You will improve your enjoyment of your own home without losing your perfect location.

How long do you plan on staying? The investment in remodeling your home could take 5-10 years to fully appreciate in value, depending on what type of project you are planning. Spending $10,000 on remodeling will not add $10,000 to your homes value. There is no set percentage of gain from project to project or location to location. Kitchens and baths are always the best investments because people spend a lot of time there. Keep in mind you could always break down large projects into smaller sections, or lessen the scope, such as a kitchen re-facing versus a complete remodel.

Also, keep in mind that if your home is already the nicest in the neighborhood, putting on a room addition or renovating the kitchen will really not add much value to the home, only to your enjoyment of it. Now, if you are in a less valuable home, you can remodel to be average or above average with the other homes in the area. One example would be adding another bathroom if you currently have 2 but the others in the neighborhood have 3 to 4.

You must find a balance between Enjoyment & Investment Return to help steer your decision. Talk with an experienced contractor and real estate agent to get opinions and figures on the actual costs you are looking at. Take a look at this list Pro’s and Con’s to consider when you are thinking of remodeling or selling your home:

• You will see at least some return on your remodeling investment when you go to sell your home.
• More functional home, plus you will increase everyone’s enjoyment of it.
• Makes your home fit your family’s lifestyle better.
• Stay in neighborhood/school district you like,

• Certain projects pay off more than others.
• Don’t upgrade beyond what your neighborhood is worth – a $500,000 home in a $200,000 area won’t return the cost of remodeling. If your home is already the biggest and nicest around, it will not appreciate much more when remodeled.
• Remodeling is an invasive process.
• May take 5+ years to fully increase your home’s value.

• The layout you are looking for is already there with no time or work to be done.
• Your budget is the only limit on the size, style and area you move to. Depending on lot size, etc, you may not be able to remodel your current home into the dream you envision.

• Real estate fees– real estate commissions, taxes and closing costs; plus minor improvements in new home, furniture & window treatments, movers, etc
• Selling your current house.
• Cost of moving – time, money and energy spent moving

Free Resources:

Check out these free resources to help guide your decision whether to move, or to remodel.

Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs Value 2011 report. This site compares the average cost for 35 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale. Choose your state to display data for one of 9 regions; choose any one of 80 U.S. cities to download a PDF with local data.’s Cost Calculator. Here you’ll find home remodeling and moving cost comparison tools, articles with advice and tips on remodeling and moving and more.

Thank you for reading our blog. When the time comes for your home remodeling project here in Lancaster County, PA, please call MBC Building & Remodeling, LLC at [717] 371.5136.

July 11, 2011

Kitchen Island Innovations

Filed under: Kitchen Remodeling & Renovation — Tags: , , — MBCremodeling @ 3:27 pm

Dreaming of your own fantasy island here in Lancaster County, PA? No, I don’t mean the island with white sandy beaches, palm trees and sun… a kitchen island. They are increasing in popularity here; and with the interest both the attractiveness and innovations of kitchen islands continue to grow. Centrally located, islands are easily accessed and ideal for kitchen tasks such as food prep, cooking, clean up and entertaining. Here are the newest kitchen finds and options to consider when building or turning your fantasy island into a functional, stylish workspace.

Create Levels – Multi-level islands are becoming increasingly popular since most homeowners not only want a work area, but also an informal place for entertaining guests. With the kitchen as one of the main gathering areas in a home, your guests will be able to sit, chat or rest their beverage glasses on the high-top counter, while the lower tier of the island features an ample work area and storage area.

Be sure to incorporate enough drawers and shelves below the work area to keep key ingredients, utensils and your favorite cookbooks right at your fingertips.

If you love to entertain, consider adding a wine refrigerator to maintain proper temperatures for your reds and whites. You could also use the other side for seating like the picture above shows.

Turn Up the Heat – Installing cook tops as part of your kitchen island brings counter top burners within easy reach, while also creating room for amenities below, such as additional storage or warming drawers.

Easy Clean Up – Install a sink and faucet in your kitchen island to make food prep and clean up quick and easy.

Top It Off – Add character to your island countertop with a dramatic surface finish, such as granite, metal, solid-surface, marble and new custom, hand-applied finishes with unique designs, such as full circles and waves.

Finish off your counter with a thick butcher block, making it an easy spot for all your cutting needs.

With a few island innovations, you’ll make the most of your kitchen space and create your own, customized fantasy island! When it’s time to do your kitchen in Lancaster County, PA, please contact MBC Building & Remodeling, LLC.

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