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Remodel & Renovate : Nationwide Real Estate Advice

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  • Home Buying258K
  • Home Selling43K
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Activity 3,250
Yesterday at 9:12am
PG asked:
I got some plumbing changes done without permit. I changed the toilet/vanity locations in the bathroom. There are no structural changes. I realized I needed permit after I made the changes.…
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Yesterday at 8:38am
NewGuy asked:
Hello all quick question I have a approved Certificate of Completion for an enclosed porch/ sun room converted from a rooftop patio. The room has electric in it and no plumbing. If I decide…
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Sun Apr 23, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
If you are building an addition to your home, you will need a permit and the permit from your county will tell you where you can build.
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Sat Apr 22, 2017
Hermitlife asked:
I have a tiny 700 sqft cottage in Berkeley on 2200 sqft lot. It was built in 1950 and I don't consider it fine craftsmanship. I am thinking of lifting it up to add a new story underneath.…
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Fri Apr 21, 2017
Wed Apr 19, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
Generally, no. Permits are normally for any physical changes to the walls, outside structure, electrical, plumbing, roof, adding square footage, changing number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. ... more
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Sat Apr 15, 2017
Juliacresci answered:
I had a problem with a licensed contractor who charged me for things I never got. I complained to the licensing board. They investigated and said that they found violations, I would receive money back and that I would need to go to court. the case was taking a long time because the contractor wasn't producing all the info (warranties and receipts) that were requested. The investigator got tired of the case and threatened to close it even though it was the contractor that was holding up the settlement. I just received a letter that they were disposing my complaint and putting a letter in their file for technical violations. I am furious. The CSLB isn't there for consumers unless they can get rid of the case quickly. This company is out there to scam other elderly people like me and get away with just a slap on the hand. The BBB is even worse. Don't trust anyone. ... more
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Wed Apr 12, 2017
Jessica asked:
Kitchen is mid sized. New kitchen would be much larger with an island and pantry but we would lose the "bonus room"
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Mon Apr 10, 2017
Ronnie Rommel answered:
Our experience with Lumber liquidators 1/2" x 5" x 72" Carbonized Bamboo was AWESOME!! In year 2013, we purchased and had the product professionally installed by a local Lumber Liquidators' recommended installer. We had this product installed in our remodeled kitchen. We removed all of the old flooring all the way to the original sub-floor planks and installed kiln dried 3/8" interior plywood and added the premium moisture barrier sold by Lumber Liquidators.
Our installer installed the bamboo as a click and floated floor against the cabinets and even under the build-in dishwasher.
We purchased Lumber Liquidators' Pre-Finished Quarter Round to edge against the cabinets. The floors took a few dents from a few pots and pans, but the darker color tones hides from the eyes.
The floor is so easy to clean and maintain with Lumber Liquidators BellaWood Cleaner. It made the kitchen POP!! In fact, in year 2016, we sold the home after living there for 26 years and got $10,000 more than we asked for at the sale.
We feel the bamboo adds a lot of POP! We got every dollar back from our investment in bamboo and for that matter, every dollar over the last 20 years!!
... more
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Mon Apr 10, 2017
Maricris A answered:

Please note that since your property is inactive on Trulia, we do not have the option to add new photos. However, we do have the ability to remove your home photos.

Please be assured if you are intending to sell your home in the future, you (or your agent if you choose to use one), will have the ability to create a new listing with new photos, and submit the listing to Trulia.

The new listing will override the off market property page with the outdated home photos.


Consumer Care Advocate
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Sun Apr 9, 2017
Fehn_chad asked:
I would like to make the family room bigger by taking out the 4th bedroom and possibly add a 3/4 bathroom. What will this do to the property value of the house?
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Thu Apr 6, 2017
Stephanieemerymusic answered:
I meant, cost per square FOOT, not inch! I've read anywhere between $60 and 200, but that seems low. Anyone?
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Wed Apr 5, 2017
Arpad Racz answered:
Hi Vicki,

I am also in the same part of Mountain View.

There are several considerations. A few may be:

1) How many bedrooms and bathrooms are in the home? If the number of bedrooms is 3-4, then many buyers may be ok with a 2 car garage, but if there are more bedrooms, than more garage space may be more desirable. At the end of the day, it is a buyers personal choice, but we want to appeal to what most people would like and find more practical. Desirability of the features will have a bearing on value.

2) Researching the norm for your neighborhood would be another plus. If others have done something similar, then it may be more common and less of a concern for some buyers.

3) Doing the conversion With permits will be important from a value and desirability perspective.

4) How you tie access to this area into the existing floorplan may also factor into desirability and thus value. For example if you have to go through one bedroom to get to another, or a laundry room leads to another bedroom, it may be an odd configuration. Thinking this through from an average buyers perspective is important.

5) How much sq. ft. will the conversion add to the living area, and increase the dollar per sq. ft. living area?

There are several other thoughts as well. Please feel free to email me from my profile if you wish to chat about this.

All the best,

... more
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Wed Apr 5, 2017
Susie Kay answered:
That varies depending upon what you'd like to add on your second storey. Are you adding more bedrooms and bathrooms or is it going to be just a game room? What upgrades are you putting in? Carpet vs hardwood floors? What type of stairs and railings? I would suggest that you obtain a bid or two and go from there. ... more
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Tue Apr 4, 2017
James Nicklaus answered:
From a home owner point of view and who recently moved 3 x's in the last 2 years, my wife and I are very knowledgeable w/the housing markets we had to navigate. After reading a lot of the reply's to this question, I have to disagree w/most of them. The BLUF (military for bottom line up front) is that the over riding factor is the appraisal value. We have found that there are MAINLY only 4 factors that determine this number: # of BR's, # of baths, sq footage, comp values. Anything else is minor. Meaning that, in our opinion, you will only get a fraction return on upgraded kitchen and baths.
For example: if you have 2 houses in the same area and built at the same time w/the same parameters (sq footage, # baths, #BRs) and the one with the dated kitchen and bath and is selling for 200k. The other house has ploughed 50k + into the kitchen and bath. I would say that the updated house will sell for no more than 10k more (and this is being generous). It will definitely sell faster, no doubt, but the owner just took a 40k hit. Is it worth it? We would say, NO.
Our advice is, DO NOT ask this question to a real estate agent or bathroom/kitchen contractor. You must ask an appraiser. And trust me, the 4 points that I mentioned above are what it's all about.
What a seller can do is to put a face lift on what is there. New paint, toilet, counter top, floor and items that may cost some but are a fraction of a major gut job. A face lift of a kitchen/bath combined should be under 5k and then put you in a much better position to sell and you save 45k.
The only time we think a major gut job is worth it is if the areas are really shot and you will be living in the property for 20 + yrs in order to use and enjoy the update yourself. Then, because of inflation the property will naturally raise the value enough (hopefully) in order to eventually recoup the cost.
... more
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Mon Apr 3, 2017
Maxicash55 asked:
Must be hands on, self starter, knowledge about electrical, carpentry, paiting and repairs.
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