modern open concept kitchen mickleton nj reverse view

Updating a House: Determining Whether Your Remodel Is a Want or a Need

Whether it’s early on or decades into homeownership, many of us will think about updating a house at some point or another. There are those of us, too, that get so accustomed to our surroundings that we begin to ignore or neglect a dire need for change. But is now a good time to remodel your home, should you wait, or should you start over entirely?

Your best approach, of course, will depend on how much of your house needs updating, how significant you want those updates to be, and whether your budget can accommodate them. 

Why would you want to remodel vs. buying a new home?

Remodeling a home you already own can present several advantages over buying a new home

  1. Your neighbors and your neighborhood have a direct impact on your quality of life — if you enjoy where you’re at currently, there’s no guarantee you would have the same luck following a move.
  2. If you have a family, uprooting can be very disruptive, especially to younger children. 
  3. Selling your home — and consequently finding a new one — can be a time-consuming and expensive process when factoring in real estate agent commissions, closing costs, and the fact you may need to make fixes or upgrades to your home anyway in order to sell.
  4. Familiarity — over time, we become well acquainted with our home’s admirable qualities and its shortcomings. Therefore, when you plan a remodel, you’ll have a much better idea of how to play up the good and minimize the bad.

When to remodel: minor issues vs. major issues

So how do you know when to remodel your home? In a perfect world, the answer would be “whenever you feel like it” — but money and the pull of career and family and life can drastically sway timetables and priorities. Depending on the season and the remodeling job you have in mind, it is very possible that your preferred home remodeling contractor may not be available. For this reason, it may be wise to save interior home remodeling projects for the winter when there is less demand. 

Less dire reasons for remodeling would include aesthetic or cosmetic updates — and to that end, some of these are easy enough to make yourself (painting, swapping out switch covers, door knobs, and/or light fixtures). More dire reasons for remodeling relate to how your home is functioning — does it seem too small or too big? Are your cohabitants bumping into one another in the kitchen or fighting over the bathroom? Perhaps the areas for work and play are not well distinguished or separated.

Other reasons you might have for remodeling, such as a leaking roof or rotting floors, would be better classified as home repairs. Obviously, these items should be addressed before planning more topical updates.

hall bathroom in mickleton nj

When would I be better off buying a new home?

When updating your house starts to look like transforming it into something unrecognizable, or something it can never be, then you might be better off buying a new home. For example, if you have only a tiny piece of property to work with, you’re never going to be able to create that outdoor living space or build that home addition you’ve been dreaming of. If you really want an open concept and your existing structure can’t support that, then perhaps you’re best served to look elsewhere. And of course, if that existing structure has suffered major damages due to wind, fire, or water, remodeling may no longer even be an option. 

Complete home improvements with Ayars

Your home may have more to offer than you think. If you don’t know that yet, then perhaps after a consultation with Ayars Complete Home Improvements you will. Over the course of 50 years, we’ve worked with hundreds of homeowners throughout South Jersey on projects great and small. It’s not that we’re mind readers, it’s just that we’ve spent a lot of time listening to what’s on your mind.
And remember, if you have any further questions or concerns, we are only a quick phone call or message away. 

How to Choose a Home Remodeling Contractor

As much as we’d like to believe in ourselves as a nation of DIYers, the fact of the matter is that most Americans are not handy — more than 80 percent enlist outside help for home improvement projects on an annual basis. Although many prioritize essential utilities like HVAC, electrical, and plumbing in their budgets over shelling out for a professional home remodeling contractor, home remodeling services remain highly coveted — particularly for kitchens and bathrooms.

While kitchens and bathrooms typically require the most investment, any project is an investment, which is why knowing how to choose a home remodeling contractor is crucial. Given the constant demand, there are a lot of us out there — but how do you know whether they’re the right fit? Before you sign up, make sure you can answer the following questions.

Do they have the capabilities?

Your first priority is finding a home remodeling contractor with compatible areas of expertise. If you’re using a search engine, be as specific in your query as you can in describing the job you want to have done. 

The contractor’s website should be upfront about what they can and cannot (and/or will and will not) do, whether that information is divulged on the homepage, a services overview page, or in a list of FAQs (frequently asked questions). Service subpages and portfolio pages can give you a great snapshot of what the contractor is capable of. 

What is their reputation?

The best predictor of the future is the past — if you want to know how to choose a home remodeling contractor, start by confirming that others would choose them. Read reviews on Google, Facebook, and sites like Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, Houzz, and Porch.com. What do past clients have to say about the contractor’s:

  1. Communication skills and accessibility? 
  2. Adherence to budget and schedule? 
  3. Quality of work and materials?
  4. Professionalism, respect, and stewardship of their property?

There will always be outliers whenever and wherever opinions are gathered, but the consensus will rarely lead you astray. Social proof is incredibly important in this business.

Are you in their service area?

Choosing a home remodeling contractor that is close to you is common sense for a lot of reasons:

  1. A local contractor will know your community best (and vice versa).
  2. A local contractor will know the area’s zoning laws and restrictions best.
  3. A local contractor has the ability to be more attentive and responsive to your needs.
  4. If a contractor is willing to range too far beyond its base of operations, it could be a major red flag — why are they unable to find work in their own area? Are they reputable? Be wary of unfamiliar or unproven companies.

(See Ayars Complete Home Improvements’ service area in South Jersey)

Are they licensed?

It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway — do NOT choose a home remodeling contractor who is not properly licensed or certified to do the work! Licensing and certification requirements vary by jurisdiction and the type of job, so there is no universal answer of what to look for. But for anyone to enter and perform work on your home without the proper (or any) credentials is not only unethical, it’s unlawful. 

Beyond licensure and certification, the home remodeling contractor should possess liability insurance (to cover any potential damages to your property) and offer worker’s compensation to their employees (so you are not liable for any injuries/accidents that happen on your property).

Why choose Ayars as your home remodeling contractor?

If you live in Gloucester or Camden counties in South Jersey, you should choose Ayars as your home remodeling contractor because:

  • We’ve been serving South Jersey since 1970, an area we know and love — it’s our home, too!
  • We’re committed to the continuous education and certification of our employees, to develop a level of craftsmanship seldom paralleled in our industry. 
  • We have over 7,000 satisfied customers to our credit
  • We’re fully insured (General Liability and Worker’s Compensation)
  • We’re a Guild Quality member, Angie’s list certified, and own an A+ Better Business Bureau rating.

And remember, if you have any further questions or concerns, we are only a quick phone call or message away. 

front porch and siding remodel

How to Increase Home Value in 2021

People often fantasize about finding their “forever home,” but what they should be daydreaming about is ways to increase home value — particularly those with a high return on investment (ROI). A National Association of Realtors study showed that the median time span between a home purchase and a home sale was around 9 years — far short of “forever.” 

How you approach a remodel or renovation depends on your long-term goals — do you plan on sticking around a while (5 years or more), or is your current residence just a stop along the way? It doesn’t make sense to delve into a highly involved, low-ROI project if you won’t be around to enjoy the fruits of that labor (and recoup those costs yourself). Conversely, a simpler, high ROI project will yield greater dividends over a shorter period of time — consistent with a seller’s mentality.

The Cost vs. Value Report for Home Remodeling Projects

So what are the best ways to increase home value then? The answer can vary from year to year and region to region, which can make it hard to know where to start. Thankfully, the Cost vs. Value report published annually by Remodeling magazine helps keep things straight. The report compares the average cost of 22 popular remodeling projects with the value they retain at resale across 101 U.S. markets — in our case the Middle Atlantic and more specifically Philadelphia (right across the Delaware River). 

Compared to 2019, the costs of nearly all project types went up while the perceived value dipped. It’s important to note, however, that there are many factors that figure into the numbers — such as the condition of the rest of the house wherein the project is taking place, the economic health of the surrounding region and home values within the neighborhood, and the fact that many projects come with some sort of tradeoff. A solution you’re creating for yourself may actually be problematic for a prospective buyer. 

For instance, say you absorb the walk-in closet or spare bedroom beside your master bedroom to create a luxury master bath. Yes, certain buyers may appreciate the beauty and indulgence of that reimagined space, but the loss of an additional bedroom may be a dealbreaker for buyers with growing families. This is why we see such variances from region to region (e.g. a population heavy with single young professionals vs. families) 

Three popular remodeling projects (and their ROIs)

In South Jersey and across America, kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects were among the most coveted in 2020. Home Advisor’s annual State of Home Spending Report polled 5,000 Americans about their home improvement spending habits, and kitchens (22.6% of respondents) and bathrooms (30.9%) both ranked within the top 5 most popular. On average, people spent $745 more than the previous year on home improvement — a byproduct of higher prices and a lot more time spent at home due to the pandemic. All that stress had some Ayars customers wanting to retreat into a beautifully appointed new master suite.

Kitchen remodeling projects

kitchen remodel south jersey

Midrange minor kitchen remodel

The midrange minor kitchen remodel mentioned in the Cost vs. Value Report assumes a “functional but dated 200-square-foot kitchen,” the project calls for replacing cabinet fronts with shaker-style wood panels and drawer fronts with new hardware, as well as upgrading the range and refrigerator with new energy-efficient models. Laminate countertops, sink, faucet, and flooring all receive mid-priced replacements. The walls, trim, and ceilings get a new coat of paint.

Major kitchen remodels

A midrange major kitchen remodel takes all that but ups the ante with a more functional layout, including 30 linear feet of semi-custom wood cabinets and a 3×5 foot island. An upscale major kitchen remodel spares no expense: fully customized cabinets, stone countertops, imported tile backsplash, commercial-grade cooktop and wall oven, designer faucets and filtration system, upgraded general and task lighting. 

Return on investment

The midrange minor kitchen remodel had the highest ROI, with 73.2% of costs recouped at resale. The midrange major kitchen remodel still saw South Jersey homeowners recover over half (54.0%) of their investment, while the upscale remodel yielded the lowest return of the three.

Bathroom projects

mullica hill master bath herringbone floor and vanity

Bathroom remodels

The Cost vs. Value Report bases its midrange bath remodel (5×7 bathroom) on updates to all fixtures with quality but affordable materials (porcelain-on-steel tub, ceramic tile surround, solid surface vanity top), with features you’d expect in a modern bathroom (single-lever temperature and pressure control in the shower). Its upscale bath remodel template greatly builds on that, not only in size (100 sq. ft. vs. 35 sq. ft.) but in luxuries (recessed shower caddy, body sprayers, freestanding soaker tub, electric in-floor heating, etc.). 

Additional bathrooms

The Cost vs. Value Report’s baseline bathroom addition projects call for very similar features and functionality as the remodeling projects mentioned above, but with the added preliminary steps of framing walls and extending HVAC, wiring, and plumbing. 

Return on investment

Generally speaking, bathroom projects had some of the lower ROIs listed in this year’s Cost vs. Value report, with remodels (45.1% to 54.9%) faring better than additions (41.9% to 43.1%) — running new plumbing and wiring is not a cheap date. That said, an extra half bath adds about 10% to a home’s value, while converting a half bath to a full bath adds about 9%. By extension, a brand new full bath would increase home value by 19% (National Association of Home Builders).

Master suite additions

clarksboro nj master bathroom renovation

Midrange

The midrange master suite addition involves 24’x16’ of new space, with a carpeted master bathroom with a walk-in closet and dressing area, and a master bathroom with a double-bowl vanity (his and hers), freestanding soaker tub, and 3’x4’ ceramic tile shower

Upscale

The upscale master bedroom suite addition is an even classier affair, with 32’x20’ of additional space with a lounge area, custom millwork, a high-end gas fireplace with a stone hearth, fully functional wet bar, custom lighting controls, master bathroom with a dual shower, freestanding tub, and separate custom vanities, and a whole lot more. 

Return on investment

A new master suite is worth the investment if you’re looking to spoil/pamper yourself for years to come, but maybe not so much if you’re on your way out. The midrange project had an ROI of 44.1%, while the upscale project had an ROI of 37.3%.

High ROI vs. Low ROI remodeling projects

The top 5 ROI remodeling projects in South Jersey (i.e. Philadelphia area) favored exterior home improvements: manufactured stone veneers (94.1%), garage door replacement (70.0%), wooden deck addition (66.6%), and vinyl siding replacement (64.0%); midrange minor kitchen remodel (73.2%) ranked second. 

Across the board, more “luxury” and “upscale” remodeling and renovations projects tended to not increase home value as much as one might hope. So is it worth it to add an upscale bathroom, totally reimagine a kitchen with state-of-the-art features and materials, or build on a gorgeous new master suite? 

Again, it depends on your long-term plans and your willingness to spend. If you’re ready to settle down and have the budget, there’s no question that significantly upgrading and beautifying your home will seriously enhance your enjoyment of the space, and in turn, your quality of life. If you’re planning on selling soon, think more surface level. But if you’re planning on staying for the long haul, think deeper about what you want and what would make you happy. 

large home addition south jersey

Interior Remodel or Home Addition? Ideas for Consideration

Home addition ideas are highly sought-after every calendar year, but 2020 has people seeking them out more than most. With offices closed, events canceled, venues shut down, and vacations postponed, we’ve had plenty of time to get brutally acquainted with our homes’ flaws, especially lack of space. How tantalizing it is to think about what you could do with all that extra square footage…

Here’s the thing, though — you might already have it. There are some instances when an interior remodel can be just as effective as a home addition to open up the extra space you’re craving. As always, it’s a function of your home’s architecture, your property, and what you can afford.

Open concept floor plans

kitchen renovation gibbstown nj

Is it just you, or is it the floor plan?  In interior design, it is the perception of space that matters most. We may not be able to physically create more space, but we can create the feeling of more space. This is why “open concept” will forever remain a buzzword for homeowners both current and prospective — by breaking down walls and combining spaces (most traditionally the kitchen, dining room, and living room), you allow for freer movement, easier communication, and a better passage of light and airflow from end to end.

Before you (or more advisably a professional contractor) go to town with a sledgehammer,  there are a few very important things to keep in mind.

  1. Is the wall you’re removing load-bearing? If so, you’ll need something to replace that supporting structure, such as a partial wall, column, or flush beam.
  2. Does the wall contain any wiring, plumbing, or ductwork? If so, that will need to be rerouted.
  3. Is your house one story or two? Knocking out a load-bearing wall becomes trickier if it is also supporting an upper level.

Other things you can do to enhance your sense of space might include alterations to the room’s lighting (such as recessed), storage and organization system, or simply rearranging the furniture and applying a fresh coat of paint. 

Finished basements

South Jersey Basement Remodel

Is your basement an afterthought to other home addition ideas? Perhaps it shouldn’t be. That graveyard for the misfit and miscellaneous items of your life could potentially be a home theater, studio, family room, man cave, or even at-home sports bar. There is so much you can do with a finished basement that it’d be a shame if you did not explore that option. It has the functionality of a home addition at a much lesser cost, and it’s right beneath your feet.

Ideas for building up

 

Finally, there’s the option of constructing something entirely new to expand your living space. There are two ways we can go about this — building up (a second story addition) or building out (ground floor addition). Adding a second story is usually the more economical of the two, because you do not have to factor in the costs of excavation and pouring a foundation. It’s also less likely to be a hassle in terms of zoning requirements, as your contractor will be working with your existing footprint.

Be aware, however, that structural elements may need to be retrofitted to support the weight of addition and that most municipalities set limits on how high a residential home can stand. Caveats aside, there are again limitless possibilities for that extra space. 

Second floor laundry room

The second floor laundry room has become a popular commodity in recent years, and for good reason. It may not reduce the amount of laundry, but it can make each load seem a little lighter by reducing the distance it has to travel, putting the washer and dryer on the same level as bedrooms and bedroom closets. The possibility of a skylight or window could lighten your mood, too, making the task seem less like a chore — remember context is everything!

Studio over a garage

Practice your craft, whether it be sculpting, painting, or music in a distinct and discreet space, where you will neither disturb nor be distrubed by your home’s cohabitants. 

Guest suite

Family and friends visit often from out of state? A dedicated guest floor with its own bathroom can prevent home dwellers and home visitors from stepping on one another’s toes, especially during hectic times like the holidays.

Ideas for building out

second story home addition framing

If you have the kind of budget and the property to properly accommodate a ground floor home addition, your creativity can truly take flight. Ideally, it should integrate seamlessly into the existing layout as if it were a natural extension of the home rather than something tacked on. Of course, if you’re thinking of adding a mother-in-law suite for an aging parent or relative, remember to account for their/your privacy as well. 

Here are a few more ideas to get your inspiration flowing. 

Home office

Giving a home office or study its own separate wing of the house is a great way to enhance focus and productivity, whether you’re working from home by choice or by necessity. 

Mudroom

For the active family, a mudroom is a great place to stow away recreational and sporting gear between outings or between seasons in order to keep your main living area as clean and tidy as possible. Before designating part of a home addition for this purpose, consider whether you can utilize the garage for your mudroom instead.

Hobby room

Are you a passionate hobbyist or collector? Incorporating a hobby room into your home addition gives you a prime location to proudly showcase your rare items and memorabilia without cluttering the main living space.

Plan ahead on your addition with Ayars

Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg as far as home addition ideas go! Tell us what you’re after and we’ll tell you if we’re a good match. 

patio room in mickleton new jersey

5 Creative Ways to Use Eze Breeze Enclosure Systems

Forty years after its introduction, the popularity of PGT Eze Breeze has yet to blow over. This incredibly versatile line of products was spawned from the Progressive Glass Technologies division of VinylTech in the 1980s, first offering vinyl porch enclosures. Later that decade, the Florida-based company began manufacturing Eze Breeze windows, opening up even more design possibilities to homeowners. Just as Eze Breeze helped launch a NYSE-traded company (PGT Innovations), it can still help you launch some truly inspiring home remodeling projects

What is Eze Breeze?

The fundamental building block of every Eze Breeze product is the impact-resistant vinyl-glazed panel. Despite its lightweight construction, it’s remarkably resilient and durable. The panels can be configured vertically or horizontally, with various venting options to allow for as much or little airflow as you desire. Both panels and frames are available in various colors and tints to comply with your aesthetic and privacy requirements, and can be customized to fit any opening. As an added bonus, the panels easily pop out for cleaning and maintenance

Whether you’re using them to fully or partially enclose a porch, patio, or sunroom, Eze Breeze panels offer an excellent way to meld indoor and outdoor spaces. 

Retrofitting with Eze Breeze

The real appeal of the Eze Breeze vinyl enclosure system is its ability to transform and extend the utility of an existing deck, screen porch, or patio. By retrofitting these spaces, you can create a room you can enjoy nearly all year-round. It capably keeps the elements (and critters) out while letting air and light in, and screens UV radiation to preserve your furniture from fading. The standard vertical 4-track unit can be mounted into an opening from the outside (no interior trim required) or inside and is sealed for weather-tightness. With a little assistance from a portable heater or air conditioner, your enclosed porch or patio can maintain a comfortable temperature whether it’s snowy or sweltering outside.

Better yet, after installation, the enclosed porch or patio is still considered a porch or patio —  meaning it won’t alter your home’s assessed tax value in the same way an addition would. With an Eze-Breeze retrofit, you get a lot of the functionality of an addition at a fraction of the cost. 

patio room in mickleton new jersey

What can you enclose with an Eze Breeze retrofit?

Your Eze Breeze porch enclosure can be implemented in a bounty of creative ways.

1. Enclosed Gazebo

Plan an escape within your own backyard with an enclosed gazebo. Totally detached from the house, these outdoor sanctuaries offer a full 360-degree view of your surrounding landscaping while providing around-the-clock shade and shelter. Enclosing your gazebo with Eze Breeze vinyl-glazed panels is an upgrade over mesh screens alone, allowing you to adjust airflow and keep windblown precipitation out as you read, practice yoga, meditate, or just unwind after a long day. 

2. Pool House

Tired of wet feet trudging through the kitchen on a hot summer day? Build an enclosed pool house or cabana stocked with dry towels, refreshments, and toiletries — for a truly luxurious feel, you might even add a bar or lounge seating — and drippy kids and houseguests may never have to venture inside again. When the sun goes down and the air gets cooler, Eze Breeze panels can help keep the heat in and bugs out. The pool party is over when you say it is.

3. Greenhouse

Green thumbs will appreciate Eze Breeze in the context of a greenhouse. Bathe fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers in sunlight while regulating UV radiation and precipitation infiltration by simply sliding out or removing vinyl panels. A Eze Breeze greenhouse would make a beautiful home addition, patio feature, or even freestanding structure elsewhere on your property.

4. Sunroom

Wake up and smell the coffee — or the sweet fragrance of spring flowers, fresh-cut grass in the summer, or crisp scent of fallen leaves in the autumn — by incorporating Eze Breeze into a sunroom. And because the panels are UV-resistant, your skin can enjoy all the benefits of sunlight without the sunburn.

5. Garage

Garages aren’t just for cars anymore (or storing your tools/equipment/junk either). With PGT Eze Breeze’s garage side slider, you can aspire for more — a home bar, mancave, game room, gallery, studio, or anything else you can conceive — it’s like pairing the functionality of a finished basement with the breathability of a patio. If you’re content with your car parked outside, you’ll be more than content with exploring the possibilities with Eze Breeze.

At Ayars Complete Home Improvements, we love the Eze Breeze enclosure system and we think you will, too. We’re booked through the current season, but would love to see if your project is a good match for us in the long term. Peruse our project galleries for a glimpse of what we can make happen for you. 

Clarksboro New Jersey Porch Enclosure

3 Reasons Why Your Home Seems Hotter This Summer

Does summertime have your home feeling like a sweatbox? There may be a reason your home is not cooling as well as it used to, and we are here to tell you what those reasons may be and how you can fix them. Don’t blame the air conditioner for not doing its job — unless you are sure you’re not making its job harder.

1. Your home is not airtight.

In many cases, our homes are not sealed properly, allowing air and heat from the outside to seep in and cool air to seep out freely. Unlike the freedom to design your dream home, the freedom that leads to higher energy bills is not a cause for celebration. Air leaks can occur in roofs, attics, walls, floors, and around the framing of windows and doors — anywhere two surfaces meet and anywhere in between. 

Major trouble spots may require replacing parts of the structure, but smaller leaks can be patched with caulk or weather-stripping. Caulk, a class of flexible compounds pumped out of a caulking gun, is most useful to seal small spaces between stationary building elements. Weatherstripping is preferable for moving building parts, such as doors or operable windows. 

According to energy.gov, taking steps to air seal your home can save you more than 20 percent on your household’s heating and cooling bills.

Ayars Complete Home Improvements Windows

2. Your home has inefficient or outdated windows

Windows have been proven to be a serious contributor to discomfort in the house, especially when they’re outdated or not optimized for your climate. If you still have single-paned windows, it might be an appropriate time to upgrade. Double-paned windows (two layers of glass, sometimes with a layer of nonreactive gas like argon in between), especially those with low-emissivity coatings, have been known to reduce energy costs by 30 to 50 percent. A low-emissivity coating is a metal or metal oxide film applied to the surface of a pane of glass that regulates heat transfer.

Due to a long cold season, South Jersey homeowners will typically want to opt for a low-emissivity coating designed for moderate or high solar gain, as indicated by the window’s solar heat gain coefficient (or SHGC, the fraction of solar radiation permitted through the glass). Such windows are better at trapping heat indoors, which is appreciated in the winter but not so much in mid-summer. To help regulate the heat, utilize window treatments such as shades, blinds, curtains, or drapes. Awnings, trees, and shrubs can assist with shading from the outside.

Home Interior Renovations in South Jersey

3. You have too many electronics running.

Individually, each appliance or electronic device in your home generates heat. Collectively, they can significantly drive up the temperature, making it difficult for your air conditioner to keep up. Power down electronics and appliances as much as possible or find alternatives. For example, grill dinner out on the patio instead of turning on the oven, or read a book in a well-ventilated, naturally-lit area (such as an Eze-Breeze Porch Enclosure) instead of bingeing on television or video games.

Keep cool with Ayars Complete Home Improvements

Whether you’re looking to seal gaps or replace windows to improve energy efficiency, or power down and get some air outside with a shaded outdoor living space, Ayars Complete Home Improvements is committed to preventing you — and your budget — from burning up this summer. Call or use the online form to schedule a free estimate today!

Clarksboro New Jersey Porch Enclosure

5 Ways to Open Your Indoors to the Outdoors with Porch Enclosures

Feeling closed off from the outside world? It’s either time to fill out your social planner a bit more or open your home to the natural light and scenery of your immediate surroundings. Ayars Complete Home Improvements offers several solutions to help you integrate your indoors with the outdoors, whether it’s in the form of a major project like a deck, porch, home addition, or something as subtle as a well-placed window or skylight.

Clarksboro New Jersey Porch Enclosure

The key to blending indoor and outdoor spaces is to create continuity both visually and in purpose. Every situation is different (we’ve been around nearly 50 years, so we’ve seen a few!), but here are some important considerations. With hundreds of porch enclosure installations under our belt, let’s take a look at some of the best practices for ensuring the best possible results of your very own porch enclosure.

Transparency

Materials like glass or cost-efficient and durable EZE-Breeze panels eliminate the visual barrier imposed by solid walls, thus connecting the spaces. In addition to their transparency, Eze-Breeze panels are vinyl-glazed porch enclosures, ensuring that, if accidentally pushed or distorted, the panels with revert back to their original shape.

South Jersey Porch Enclosures

Alignment

Whatever material you choose, broadening the connecting porch enclosure to stretch from floor to ceiling creates the sense of your indoor space directly opening to the outside. It is important that the two spaces run parallel to one another so as not to disrupt the effect.

South Jersey Porch Enclosures

Decor and style

The flooring material and style should match between the two spaces as close as possible. Furnishings and decor should be complementary to one another within the porch enclosure. This will secure the feeling of being indoors, with the view of being out.

Clarksboro New Jersey Porch Enclosure

Shading and lighting

Extending a roof or ceiling draws the eyes out further — and where the eyes go, the feet follow. Once you’re outside, the overhang of a porch enclosure helps shield from the elements. Don’t underestimate the effect of subtle and transitional lighting either — too jarring a shift in the quality or intensity of light can shatter the ambiance.

South Jersey Porches

Theme and purpose

With every adjacent room in your house, it’s vital to consider harmony in purpose. Your porch enclosure is no exception. For example, outdoor kitchens are a tremendously popular space to celebrate the warmer months, but chefs and grillmasters should have easy access to a pantry storing essential ingredients, tools, and supplies.

Porch Enclosure Mantua South Jersey


Enhance your outdoor living space

Start enjoying the best of both worlds with Ayars Complete Home Improvements’ EZE-Breeze porch enclosures today.

Request a Free Consultation

Increase Your Home Value with 8 Home Remodeling Ideas

Increase Your Home Value with 8 Home Remodeling Ideas

Did any of your home upgrades pay off when it came time to sell?  There are many things you can change and remodel in your home, but these 7 key home improvements are guaranteed to increase the value of your home.

  1. Remodeling the Kitchen

The kitchen is usually the first room in the house that needs updating.  After all, the kitchen is the heart of the home.  I’m not sure about you guys, but the hang out spot at my house is usually the kitchen.  Remodeling continues to have the highest budget allocation.

 

For many families (mine included), this room is where everyone gathers around or entertains their guests.  Holidays, birthdays, a little family get together; this room is definitely utilized the most in a home.  For this reason, you can expect to recoup 60%-120% of investments from remodeling a kitchen, as long as you stay within your budget.

 

  1. Adding a Bathroom

You can never go wrong with having more than one restroom in your home. This is why you can recoup 80%-130% of investments from adding another bathroom. Most homebuyers will use any room with underutilized space or take an extra room to upgrade it into a master bathroom.

 

  1. Reinventing a Room

This home improvement can be the most expensive upgrade to a house. Adding more square footage to your home can easily accumulate costs but it can bring you a 50%-83% return on investment.

 

  1. Adding Energy-Efficient Windows

Energy-efficient home improvements not only recoups 60%-90% of investments cost, but it can also reduce energy taxes as well!  When you replace your windows or doors with energy efficient models, you can receive a tax credit and 10% of costs, up to $200.00 per window.

 

  1. Adding a Deck

Outdoor living spaces, otherwise known as staycations, can significantly increase the value of your home.  As more homeowners are adding decks and patios to their backyards, it instantly becomes more appealing to prospective buyers when the house is for sale.

 

  1. Energy-Efficient Insulation

It’s about that time everyone has basic insulation installed, otherwise the cost to live in and maintain an unmodified home can be a burden.  Most potential buyers make sure to include this home improvement into their reports.

 

*One way to ensure your house is well insulated is with the right masonry.

 

  1. Basic Updates

Making basic updates to your home is a no-brainer.  Making small improvements such as fixing a leaking roof, replacing rotting wood and keeping paint fresh will always add the most value to your home.  A solid and safe home is always appealing to homebuyers.

 

So if you plan to remodel or make improvements to your home, remember that even the smallest of projects can make a big difference to the value of your home.  Also, focus on making your home safe and energy-efficient because it guarantees lower energy costs in the future.

 

  1. Flooring

Take a look at your home’s soft flooring. Are your carpets and area rugs stained or worn? Ideally, you may want to replace them all, but if a limited budget puts a snag in that plan, start by replacing the carpet in the room that shows the most wear and tear and replace the others as your finances allow.  Hardwood flooring is also an upsell.  Visually it’s beautiful, and gives such a natural feel to your home.

7 Tips on Building a Mother-in-Law Suite

In recent years, we’ve seen a nagging curiosity for so-called “mother-in-law suites” (aka “in-law suites” or “granny pods”) — apartment-like spaces equipped with all the amenities an aging parent may need to live independently, but located on the same property.  Whether related by blood or related by marriage, our moms and dads deserve to be celebrated beyond a single holiday — in-law suites give homeowners the opportunity to do just that.

Mother-in-law suites can be whatever you need them to be.  Bed and bath additions to a home, converted rooms, free-standing apartments (this is what is most often meant by “granny pod”), or in-home suites.  What they all have in common is their preferred locations on the ground level for accessibility and their added sales appeal (depending on the kind of addition, in-law suites can increase property values up to 60%).  The additional space need not necessarily house parents full-time — it can be purposed as an office, living space for recuperating relatives, or serve as a guest bedroom until you yourself no longer wish to tackle the stairs.

Multigenerational housing is increasing yearly, and professionals agree: it’s best to start thinking of the future of your parents and in-laws (even your own) now, rather than when it becomes a matter of urgency.  They’re perfect for living situations between relatives who want to keep their privacy and save some independence while also feeling included with the rest of the household.  If creating these mother-in-law additions seems to be in your future, then consider these seven tips before you build.

  1. Check Building Area Codes

Before you begin, check with your city on building area codes because this can limit what you can do with your addition.  Most zoning rules limit additions to having a bedroom, bath, sitting area, and kitchenette.  You can get around the kitchen problem by installing a wet bar or making sure the addition has access to the communal kitchen.  Adding a kitchen or creating a free-standing unit makes it an ADU (affordable dwelling unit) which is considered rentable — this makes your home no longer a single-family home and requires separate permits.

  1. Check Your Septic Permit

You probably rarely think about it, but if you have a septic tank, you also have a permit for it. Most of us aren’t well-versed in plumbing rules because we don’t have to be, but here’s one to be aware of before building an in-law suite — many septic tanks only allow for three bathroom connections.  There’s a chance you may have to increase the size of your system to allow for an addition with a bath, which means increased costs to prepare for.

  1. Choose a Location

Once you have the type of space you want to build in mind, it’s time to look around your home for the best place to build or convert.  Permits permitting, you can transform your garage or porch area to an enclosed dwelling.  If you’re looking to create a new addition to your house, look for an area along the first floor next to a room you’ve underutilized, preferably a space near an existing bathroom.  If you convert existing rooms, consider combining two rooms to make a suite, such as formal dining and living areas you use only for guests, etc.  They can be great candidates for housing more permanent guests.

  1. Separate Power

It’s a good idea to keep your addition on its own separate power, heat, and A/C source.  It will help in the future should you decide to charge an occupant rent, but more importantly, you can shut the unit down when it’s not being lived in.

  1. Keep Occupants in Mind

When laying out the blueprints for your addition and choosing what kind of addition to create, keep the ones who will be living there in mind.   Will they need wider doors and hallways?  Assisted baths with lever handles and stylish guardrails?  Non-slip flooring and no-curb showers?  Even if your parents or in-laws are physically active now, they may need help from time to time in the future.  This also goes for how much privacy and independence they desire.  If you want to spend a lot of time together, maybe you can forgo a kitchen or sitting area and share the communal ones.  Or maybe they would prefer an entirely separate living arrangement.  It’s up to your family.

  1. Keep Others in Mind

If your relatives aren’t planning to move in permanently or they won’t move in for a while, it’s important to keep everyone in mind with the décor of your addition.  Keeping things neutral, from flooring to curtains to wall color, will allow whoever lives there to add their personal touches on top of this basic groundwork.

  1. Enjoy Your Family

Having a parent move in with you may seem daunting at first, but many families who are interviewed say it’s been a blessing and many wish they’d done it sooner.  Sure there are the logistical benefits of cut care costs, but the biggest benefit is spending more time with your entire family and taking care of those who once took care of you.

After you’ve had a chance to discuss building a mother-in-law suite with your family, do not hesitate to discuss with our family to make it a reality.

Eight Must-Knows When Adding an Addition to Your Home

Eight Must-Knows When Adding an Addition to Your Home

 

For many homeowners, they love their neighborhood and location, but they are growing out of their house.  Consider adding on, because in many cases you can get exactly what you want without moving to a new home.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind when thinking about an addition.

  1. An addition will forever change the layout of the house, so keep the flow of the home in mind and how the addition will change the existing feel.
  2. Create a thorough and detailed wish-list. You can always prioritize it once you consider all elements.  This is a great way to find out what you really want out of your addition.
  3. Legal Restrictions – be sure you are allowed to extend your structure and that it meets all ordinances, zoning restrictions, and rules.
  4. Know your budget – don’t lose track of the cost. Know what you plan to put in and if that will add value to your home.
  5. Materials – when adding on, try to match the existing exterior so your addition will look original. If a perfect match is not possible, choose material with the same tones and textures.
  6. The details matter – a well-designed addition will incorporate key architectural elements from shingles to gutters to windows to trim.
  7. Remember the landscaping – include these elements in your overall plan to ensure proper flow from indoors to outdoors.
  8. Plan for some chaos – depending on the size of the addition remember that your home will not be back to normal for quite some time. A general contractor or remodeling firm can handle most of these details for you and has the knowledge and experience that is necessary.  It is highly recommended that you review testimonials and ask for references from your potential contractor.  You may even want to interview up to 3 contractors or companies.  You will want to have several meetings to discuss ideas, plans, budget and timing.