Homes Plus

February, 2017

Homes Plus

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By Sara Rae Lancaster Special to HomesPlus Looking to add value to your home? Now might be the time to tackle that home remodeling project you've been putting off. According to the Cost vs. Value report, home remodeling projects saw a slight gain in return in 2016. With- in the top five "best value" projects, a major kitchen remodel put 4.2 percent more back in the pockets of homeowners compared to previous years. But to make sure you get the most bang for your hard-earned buck — and then keep your sanity during the remod- eling process — there are a few key steps to follow before construction begins. Step 1: Do your homework "Do your homework," said Chris Egner, owner of Egner Design-Build- Remodel in New Berlin, "not only on your project and what you want your remodel to accomplish, but on the con- tractors you're looking at and their background." A good place to start is with word-of- mouth referrals or industry trade asso- ciations, like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. (Attending a NARI home show will let you talk to sev- eral contractors face-to-face in one after- noon.) "Working with contractors that are part of a professional trade association, such as NARI, gives the homeowner peace of mind that the person they are working with holds themselves to a high- er standard," said Egner, who is the cur- rent vice president for Milwaukee/ NARI. You'll also want to ask about their licenses and insurances, how long the companies or contractors have been in business, if they have examples of proj- ects similar to yours, and whether they use subcontractors (and if they do, if those subcontractors are covered by insurance in case of an accident). Don't be afraid to ask if you can speak to pre- vious clients, too. C O N T E N T S From bicycles to even logs, planters take on antique and natural influences Taking different paths to achieving in-floor heating The designers pick for 2017? A warmer gray, with colorful accents A publication of the Waukesha Freeman and Oconomowoc Enterprise • February 2017 Your Guide to Homes, Home Improvement, Lawn & Garden and MORE! HOMES HOMES WAUKESHA + Getting remodeling done right Some simple do's, don'ts make an impact on outcome See REMODEL/Page 7 Carmel Builders This historic kitchen in the Story Hill area of Milwaukee illustrates the need for a plan in developing details that make a project pop.

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