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The Average Cost of New Windows for Your Home

In a world of rising energy costs, everyone seems to be looking for ways to cut their bills. Replacing old leaky windows can actually cut your energy bills up to 25%. It’s important to weight the cost of replacement against the savings over time. So how much does it actually cost to outfit a home with new windows

The actual cost of new windows depends on a number of factors, such as the quality of the new windows, the number of windows, and whether or not the window frames are damaged and need replacing as well. If the window frames are in good condition, you can expect to pay an average of $300-$700 per window to be placed inside the existing frames. Depending on where you live, it could be as much as $1,000 per window. This means that for a single-story home with 10 windows, you’re looking at anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. Larger homes with more windows and second stories can run anywhere between $10,000 and $20,000. If the window frames are rotten or damaged, expect to pay 50-100% more for new construction windows.

The type of window has a big impact on the cost. Higher-end manufacturers can charge more for more energy-efficient windows. Sometimes you can find a lesser-known manufacturer that produces top-end windows, but charges less than the leading brands. Where you live matters too. In areas with a higher cost of living, your window replacement contractor will be have to charge more.

Another important cost factor is the size of your windows. Non-standard sized windows generally require custom replacements, which can increase the cost by 50-100%. It’s important to know the size of your windows and to shop around with different manufacturers to see who will give you the best deal. As with any home improvement project, it’s important to obtain estimates from several contractors before settling on one to get the job done.

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The Average Cost of Gutter Replacement

Sometimes we forget how important gutters are, until a torrential rain sends sheets of water flying off the roof, turning the yard into a sloshing mess for a week. If you’re looking for new gutters, your first question is probably going to be about the price.

The cost of your gutter replacement depends on the length of your gutters and the material being used. The average residential home has 120-250 feet of gutters. For vinyl gutters, you can expect to pay around $3-$5 per linear foot for installation. That comes out to anywhere from $360 to $1250 depending on how much you need.
Aluminum gutters are slightly more expensive at around $4-$9 per foot, with the downspouts costing about $8 per foot. Galvanized steel costs about the same as aluminum, so roughly anywhere from $480 to $2250 total cost. Wood gutters are also available, although these are usually only used in restoration projects and can cost $12-$20 per foot.
Stainless steel and copper gutters are two of the highest quality gutter materials. Stainless steel gutters run at about $20 a foot ($2400-$5000 for the average house). The upside to this is that stainless steel gutters are very strong, rust-free, and will remain shiny for years to come. Copper gutters cost between $15 and $20 per foot ($1800-$5000), and are also low maintenance and rust-free. Copper, however, will develop a green color from being exposed to air over a lengthy period of time.

On average, gutters can cost anywhere from $360 to $5000 depending on the size of your roof and the materials you choose. Also, expect to pay somewhere between $40 and $100 for the hauling away and disposing of your old gutters. As with any home improvement project, it’s best to shop around and get estimates before beginning.

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The Average Cost of a New Fence

When choosing a fence for your home, you’ll want to choose a style that will compliment your home and your personality. Fences come in many different styles, and each one has its own advantages. If you’re thinking of building a fence around your home, you’ll want to consider the initial cost, as well as the maintenance that a fence will require. Fencing costs generally take into account the cost of materials, the perimeter of the fence, and the difficulty of the terrain (when applicable).

The cost of a new fence varies mostly depending on the cost of the materials. For example, wood rail fences often cost $9 per foot in materials, while the vinyl alternative can often cost twice as much. Ornamental steel and wrought iron fences can cost around $20-$30 per foot, and they often include stone or brick posts which add to the cost. Privacy fences in wood or vinyl generally run about $15-$20 per foot, with vinyl being more expensive.

The final cost of your fence largely depends on the size of the area you are enclosing. Building a fence around one or two acres will be more expensive than a fence around the backyard of a townhouse. Also, if your property is in the mountains, or if the terrain is steep and difficult to build on, the cost may be higher.

Related to cost, durability is another important factor to consider when choosing a fence, as certain types of fences require more maintenance than others. For example, many homeowners choose to build rail fences out of vinyl instead of wood, as vinyl doesn’t decay, though many people still prefer the classic look of real wood. Iron and steel fences are generally the most expensive to build, but they usually require very little upkeep over the years.

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What to Consider before Beginning a Home Remodeling Project

If you’re thinking about updating your home, you have a few things you need to consider before your break out the power tools and paint. A little planning now can go a long way to preventing a home remodeling nightmare later on. Here are 4 things you need to consider before starting your home improvement project.

1. Your Budget—Before you begin your home remodel, you need to have a clearly defined budget. More importantly, you need to make sure you stick to your budget (after all, that is the point of having a budget). See, the costs of a home remodel can start to add up pretty quickly. Once you see one thing renovated, you might be tempted to renovate something else. It can be easy to get carried away, leaving you with a drained bank account. When setting your budget, think about how long you plan on staying in your home (the longer you plan on staying, the more money you should probably spend), your other monthly expenses (car, mortgage, credit cards, etc.), and how much money you need to maintain your standard of living.

2. Return on Investment—If you’re going to put money into remodeling your home, you want to make sure you get a decent return on your investment. Each year, a report is compiled analyzing the return on investment for various home improvement projects. Deck additions, kitchen remodels, and bathroom renovations always tend to earn top returns.

This said, your ROI calculation might be a bit fuzzier…  Often home remodeling investments are evaluated in terms of ROI when considering resale price, but if you are planning on staying in the home than its resale value isn’t really of importance.  Instead, try and quantify the value you will derive from a new space, new layout, style, etc.  Its a bit of a gray area, but it would be silly to only look at resale unless you plan on moving soon.

3. The Purpose—What’s the purpose of your home improvement project? Are you simply looking to add value to your home before you sell it? Or do you just want to make a more comfortable living space? By clearly defining a purpose for your remodel, you’ll be sure to make sure everything you do is aimed at achieving that ultimate goal. Without a purpose, you could end up blindly spending money on random renovations that really don’t meet your true needs.

4. Your Home Remodeling Skills—How much of this home remodel will you be handling yourself? Before you start remodeling, you need to truly assess your handyman skills. And be honest here because an amateur mistake on your part can end up costing you more money than you’d spend on hiring an experienced contractor. Only take on those tasks that you know you can handle. For other assignments, hire a trusted home remodeling contractor in your area.

Once you consider all of these things, you should be ready to begin your home remodeling project. Good luck with your renovations!

Budget Friendly Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

Bathroom remodeling. It just sounds expensive, doesn’t it? I mean, doesn’t a bathroom remodel mean you have to rip up the flooring, tub, sink, and toilet?
Not necessarily.

Even in these tough economic times, there are several simple renovations you can do in your bathroom that won’t leave you with an empty wallet. And with bathroom remodels fetching a high return on investment, you can make your modest budget go a long way in terms of adding value to your home.

Here are a few budget-friendly ideas for updating your bathroom…

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5 Easy Ways to Green Your Home

Regardless of what you think of the political side of the green movement, a one thing is certain: going green in your home can save you a lot of money down the line, getting you maximum return on your investment. And going green doesn’t have to be hard. Here are 5 easy ways you can increase the energy efficiency of your home.

1.  Get New Light Bulbs — Probably the simplest thing you can do to increase your home’s energy efficiency is to swap out old incandescent light bulbs with new compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). While these might cost more up front, CFLs use about 66% less energy than normal light bulbs. They also last about 10 times longer. A single bulb will save you about $30 in energy costs over its lifetime. Now, imagine how much money an entire house full of these bulbs will save you…

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