Long Island NY Home Remodeling Costs That Might Surprise You

Planning to do some Long Island NY home remodeling and think you have it planned down to the penny what it’s going to cost? Better think again.

We’ve touched on the importance of making sure you have a budget in other articles we’ve posted on this subject. Even when people make a budget, what they often forget is to factor in for surprises.

It’s always a good idea to budget 20 to 30 percent over your remodeling estimate so that you’re covered no matter what happens. Here’s just a sampling of the surprises you might encounter when tackling a Long Island NY home remodeling job.

Long Island NY Home Remodeling – Hidden Horrors

Long Island NY home remodeling may mean some demolition workIf demolition reveals a colony of creepy crawlies lurking beneath your drywall, you’ll have to call in the pest control folks to evict them before work can proceed. Insects and vermin are just one unpleasant surprise you might discover — you never truly know what’s going on behind the walls until you tear them out. Prepare for the possibility of mold, faulty wiring or plumbing, asbestos and other pricey pitfalls.

Long Island NY Home Remodeling – Storage Issues

You’ll need to stash your stuff somewhere while work is in progress. If you don’t have a garage, attic, basement or a willing friend with a large spare room, you may need to rent an offsite storage unit for the duration of your Long Island NY home remodeling project. Depending on size and other factors, these units can cost anywhere from $20 to a few hundred bucks a month.

Long Island NY Home Remodeling – Higher Utility Bills

Who’s electricity powers all those table saws, nail guns, paint sprayers and floor sanders? That’s right — yours! In addition, heavy traffic in and out of the house could cause your heating and cooling bills to escalate, especially in hot or cold weather.

Long Island NY Home Remodeling – Eating Out

Does your Long Island NY home remodeling project include a kitchen makeover? You won’t be whipping up meals in your brand new kitchen for a while, and you can spend a small fortune on restaurant meals and takeout in the meantime. Even prepared or microwaveable foods cost significantly more than cooking from scratch, so add this cost into your budget.

Long Island NY Home Remodeling – Higher Property Taxes

Major additions or updates, particularly in spaces such as kitchens and baths, can increase your home’s assessed value, and that can enlarge your tax bill. Assessors typically get copies of building permit applications, so they’ll know about your project and may determine that it warrants upgrading your home’s value.

These are just a few of the many costs you may need to factor in when planning the budget for your Long Island NY home remodeling. If you’ve done a remodeling job and had hidden or unexpected expenses related to the job that we haven’t covered here, tell us about them in the comment box below.

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Long Island NY Home Improvements: Checking Your Deck for Safety

When it comes to Long Island NY home improvements, sometimes, improvements can be as simple as checking existing items for safety and making necessary repairs to prevent someone from getting injured.

Home Improvements - Checking Your Deck for SafetyAging deck structures are on this list of things you need to check around your home. Harsh storms, high temperatures, and a lack of general routine maintenance can increase the risk of deck injury. Just keeping your deck sealed with a good deck sealant will go a long way towards preventing rot and decay of the wood and structure.

There are more than 40 million decks in the United States that are more than 20 years old or older, according to the North American Deck & Railing Association, and hundreds of reported deck accidents occur annually.

Check your deck by following these seven deck safety inspection tips from outdoor living company Archadeck:

Boards: Check deck boards for rot, softness, or major cracking.

Every Connection: Inspect every hardware connection on the deck. Look for screws and/or nails backing out, red rust, and other signs of corrosion on metal connectors that can weaken the integrity of the deck.

Structure: Look at the posts, beams, and joists that provide the structural framework of the deck. Is there any noticeable sagging between supports?

Attachments: Most deck failures occur at the attachment site to the home. Ensure that the deck is properly attached to the house with bolts (not nails) and proper flashing for water protection.

Foundation/Footings: The foundation and footings support the weight, or load, on a deck and the columns that bear on them. Look for sinking or a noticeable sag.

Exits: Check deck’s exit areas, usually stairs. Are the stair stringers, treads, and risers ok? Do the stairs require a handrail? Is there adequate lighting to safely use the exits at night?

Rails: Look at rail posts and railing sections to make sure that they aren’t loose or wobbly. All pickets/balusters should be fastened securely and spaced no more than four inches apart.

How often you need to make Long Island NY home improvements and repairs to your deck will depend a lot on the materials used to build your deck, the age of your deck, and how well you’ve maintained your deck over the years since it was built.

Get more home improvement tips by checking out the “Long Island NY Home Improvements” section of our site under “Long Island NY Real Estate Categories”.

Long Island NY Home Improvement Mistakes to Avoid

Home improvement mistakes to avoidWhen it comes to Long Island NY home improvement mistakes you could make, the list is long. These 6 tips will help you avoid some of the most costly ones:

1 – Don’t Ignore Important Maintenance Items: One of the new expenses that accompanies home ownership is making repairs. There is no landlord to call if your roof is leaking or your toilet is clogged. While you should exercise restraint in purchasing the nonessentials, you shouldn’t neglect any problem that puts you in danger or could get worse over time, turning a relatively small problem into a much larger and costlier one.

2 – Hire Qualified Contractors: Don’t try to save money by making your Long Island NY home improvement and repairs yourself that you aren’t qualified to make. Your home is both the place where you live and an investment, and it deserves the same level of care and attention you would give to anything else you value highly. There’s nothing wrong with painting the walls yourself, but if there’s no wiring for an electric opener in your garage, don’t cut a hole in the wall and start playing with copper. Hiring professionals to do work you don’t know how to do is the best way to keep your home in top condition and avoid injuring – or even killing – yourself.

3 – Don’t Overspend on Remodeling: Everyone wants to personalize a new home, but don’t go on a massive spending spree to improve everything all at once. As nice as solid maple kitchen cabinets might be, they aren’t worth jeopardizing your new status as a homeowner. Give yourself time to adjust to the expenses of home ownership and rebuild your savings – the cabinets will still be waiting for you when you can more comfortably afford them.

4 – Don’t Confuse a Repair with an Improvement: Unfortunately, not all home expenses are treated equally for the purpose of determining your home’s cost basis. The IRS considers repairs to be part and parcel of home ownership – something that preserves the home’s original value, but does not enhance its value. This may not always seem true.

For example, if you bought a foreclosure and had to fix a lot of broken stuff, the home is obviously worth more after you fix those items, but the IRS doesn’t care – you did get a discount on the purchase price because of those unmade repairs, after all. It’s only improvements, like replacing the roof or adding central air conditioning, which will help decrease your future tax bill when you sell your home.

5 – Keep Receipts For Any Long Island NY Home Improvement: When you sell your home, you can use these costs to increase your home’s cost basis, which can help you to maximize your tax-free earnings on the sale of your home.

Let’s say you purchased your home for $150,000 and were able to sell it for $450,000. You’ve also made $20,000 in home improvements over the years you’ve lived in the home. If you haven’t saved your receipts, your basis in the home, or the amount you originally paid for your investment, is $150,000. You take your $250,000 exemption on the proceeds and are left with $50,000 of taxable income on the sale of your home. However, if you saved all $20,000 of your receipts, your basis would be $170,000 and you would only pay taxes on $30,000. That’s a huge savings: in this case, it would be $5,000 if your marginal tax rate is 25%.

6 – Get Help With Your Tax Return: Even if you hate the idea of spending money on an accountant when you normally do your tax returns yourself, hiring an accountant to make sure you complete your return correctly and maximize your refund is a good idea. Home ownership significantly changes most people’s tax situations and the deductions they are eligible to claim. Just getting your taxes professionally done for one year can give you a template to use in future years if you want to continue doing your taxes yourself.

Bottom Line: These are just a few of the many Long Island NY home improvement savings ideas. We could go on with more. But you get the idea. If you’d like more ideas on ways you can save money on your home improvement projects and goals, check out the other home improvement articles at our site under the Long Island NY Home Improvement category.