Do you need to have a project started around
We’re your source for local Home Improvement
Pros in Northern California.
I see more and more people are starting to renovate
their homes. They know they need to update that flooring. It’s probably way
behind the times. Or the bathroom was built in the fifties and sixties. In fact,
the Alex job that we will take you on today, her bathroom was almost 70 years
old. Her kitchen was renovated 20-30 years ago but still, that’s 25-30 years
I can’t tell you how happy you will feel after freshening up your home. And by the way, that doesn’t mean you have to completely re-do the kitchen. You can update your appliances only. Consider simply upgrading the hardware or painting the cabinets. That’s very common. You will get a fresh, new look.
This doesn’t mean you just slap something together.
“When you do your project, start with a permit and a set of plans. Pick the right contractor, they will have the subs, and you’ll be on your way.”
Welcome to Ask The Contractors. Your source for local Home Improvement Pros. I’m your host Todd.
We are advocates for your next Home Improvement project
home. You’re proud of it. Homes are kind of like a kid. You know how to
maintain it. You’ve got to take care of it, and you certainly must love it. Your
home has memories in it. You’ve raised your family and done so many good things
in that home over the years. Take really good, good care of it because it’s
worth a lot more money now than it was when you originally bought it.
*Sacramento came in 12th on the list of the nation’s hottest markets. Sac was number 18 on the list in 2018 with a 10% listing price increase. So, if you bought your home a year ago, it’s worth 10% more. That is good news for local homeowners.
really interesting… Homeowners 62 and older are seeing their housing wealth
grow by $104 Billion in the past year. (5:00) That’s because Senior housing
values are at an all-time high.
Grandpa and Grandma are becoming rich just by sitting in their homes and taking care of their home.
We talk a lot on this show; living longer in your home and being comfortable. If you want to live longer in your home you might want to go to my website and check out Adaptive Living Renovations for ideas that can help you stay comfortable in your home for a long, long time.
Here’s one I like. (6:45) Home Depot founder will give away his billions. The co-founder of Home Depot says he’s planning to give away nearly his entire fortune. Bernie Marcus has already donated about 2 billion dollars to more than 300 organizations worldwide. Well, bless his heart. We’ll tell you more.
Lastly, I can relate to this story. Early-era wine discovered during renovation on a New Jersey home, some of it dating back to 1796. (8:15) During a recent renovation of a colonial-era home, employees discovered a forgotten cellar door.
I have a related story…
I grew up in the Curtis Park area. We bought a home that was built in 1919 through an estate sale. What’s interesting is, my father was in the basement one day building some shells for my mom. (10:00)
He yanked on this cord, on the wall, underneath the stairwell, and by-golly, the wall collapsed with stairs going down underneath the basement.
It’s very uncommon, but when it does happen it’s exciting.
Next, we take you to the first phase of Alex’s Kitchen and Bath Renovation. We will be tearing out cabinets, tiles, and beating down walls while describing the plans for a new kitchen and bath. (13:45)
With the long days of summer, now is a good time to get outdoors and tackle some home projects.
You can look for damage and make any needed repairs, as well as prep your home and garden for the rest of the year. At (23:00) we offer you a simple home maintenance checklist. These are things you can do over the summer, and before the winter hits us.
Quick Summer Maintenance list
These are really simple. Like, inspect your driveway and sidewalks. Make sure you’re getting good drainage.
Keep an eye out for termites.
Wash your windows.
Clean the gutters and downspouts.
Clean your fireplace.
Check Sprinklers and irrigation systems, and much more.
Before we end…
We answer a Question from a Listener…
James is adding a large porch to the front of his home. (30:45) The home also features a large chimney at the front of the home. He’s trying to take the ridgeline of the home out onto the patio. James wants to know, “How do I join the ridge beam into an existing structure where there’s a brick chimney stack?”
If you have a question for me send it to askthecontractors.com. I want to answer your question. If I can’t answer it, I’m going to go to my website and find one of my Trusted Pros to help me.
Folks, as always, this is where we cut through it all and nail things down.
Do you want to find some great contractors that can help you with your next project? These are businesses and contractors to get you through some of those things that you want to keep your house in really good shape. These are the people to help you do it. Go to AsktheContractors.com.
In fact, our show today is partly being recorded from my own very Garden. I love being out here. It’s just so nice and so relaxing, so I hope you’re having a great day in this beautiful Sacramento Valley weather.
In the News…
As always, I like to start off with a little bit of news about the State Contractors Board license board catches repeat offender. [4:00] The California State License Board Statewide investigative fraud team set up an undercover operation in a single-family home and caught a two-time loser. Jacob Daniel Cobb was caught for illegal Contracting in a sting last year, now the repeat offender was one of 13 cited in the sting in Gold River in June. We have the details.
“It’s illegal for an unlicensed contractor to bid over $500 on contracting jobs for both labor and material combined.”
The Federal Open Market Committee stood strong on rates. [7:00] At the end of its June meeting, the Fed signaled it was ready to help to sustain economic expansion. As a result, the feds elected to leave the Benchmark interest rate alone.
Then we answer a question from a listener. It’s about Black Mold. [18:00] Jeff sent us a question asking how he could detect mold and protect himself in his home. Blake Roath with Select Environmental helps us explain what it takes to test for mold in your home.
Average Cost to Renovate, per Room
There’s a lot going on in this episode because we’ll also share the approximate costs to renovate each room in your home. The costs vary from the Kitchen to the Living Room, your Bath, and Attic. [10:00] I’ll explore what goes into specific room renovations, and why the cost varies.
Well, we’ve seen over the past 30 years only several times where homes would be considered “affordable”. We saw it in the mid-1990s. We saw it early in 2000. Briefly, we saw it much later in that decade; 2009-2010, probably through 2012. Each one of those times, “why did we have affordability?” Well, home prices had come down considerably in the previous couple of years. It seemed the only time that we’ve had affordable home prices in 30 years is when the home prices collapse.
Today not much is being done to create a healthy stock of affordable housing. So over time, as housing gets too expensive, it will correct. That’s when we get ‘affordable’ housing.
The last crunch came in late ’06, ’07, ‘08 and ’09. That’s when we had major foreclosures. These were record-breaking foreclosures. When that happened, it was not first-time buyers picking up these homes. It was investor groups. The investors renovated them. So, if a young person, or a person who wants to enter the entry-level home market, it’s hard. The question is, do young home-owners have the talent to renovate and are banks willing to lend on that home?
A Brief History Lesson
Let’s go back to that period during and after the Great Recession. One of the ironies of it is when housing, by statistical methods, was seen as affordable it really wasn’t. Unless you had cash, or perfect credit and a big down payment the bank wasn’t interested in talking to you.
Lets’ go back to 2004 and 2005, the hay day of subprime lending, by math and statistics, affordability was very low. The thing is, you know and I know that affordability was really a hundred percent because if you wanted to buy a property then someone would lend you the money. If the banks put a feather underneath your nose and it moved, you could get a loan.
A Long Look at Affordability… and what it takes to get there.
#1, are there jobs? Without jobs that is immaterial. In 2010/2011 there were no jobs. Unemployment in the state was 12%; that’s one-in-eight people. People were losing their homes. Today unemployment is in the 4% range. There are plenty of jobs. There are also lenders that are willing to lend because the refi business is very slow. Today, they’re willing to lend. Rates just in the last few months it come back to 4%. These are rates that, I hate to say because we’ve been saying it for 5 years, but these are historically low rates and another reason to buy now.
#2, just because you can’t find that luxury home on the cul-de-sac for a price that was never available for but in your mind, you wish you could pay, doesn’t mean that homes are unaffordable. It means that perhaps you either must stretch to get there or re-adjust your thinking of what a first-time home should be.
As an example, I use myself in
my younger days, in my early twenties. I would buy homes in the worst part of
Sacramento and paint them and fix them up. It wasn’t where I wanted to live but
I knew I was going to eventually work up the ladder. So, you’re right, it’s a
good time to buy and maybe it isn’t the place that you want to live, but
unfortunately to get up that ladder sometimes we have to work a little harder.
The Role of Banks
Banks do want to loan money. Because if you take an average $500,000 loan at 4.5% and $2,250 a month payment, 12 months. That’s $27000 over 30 years and you’re paying close to $810,000 for that $500,000 home. That’s what fuels banks. It’s these mortgages. We’ve got to find some middle ground to get the first-time home buyers going.
It just seems housing in California is still getting stalled. We keep sputtering along, especially with the SB 50 being shelved for another year. It was proposed by Senator Wiener out of San Francisco and held by the legislature until 2020. What are your thoughts on that? Again, this is sort of this Grand Debate we are having. If we want “more affordable”, whatever that means, housing in California we will have to lower the price of the existing housing. Whether you lower the price of my home, or yours, or build cheaper homes in our neighborhoods, so to speak.
The truth is, instead of wasting a lot of people’s tax money and putting a bullet train down the middle of California, we need to take that bullet train from where their jobs to where there can be affordable housing. My point is the number one spot right now in America for millennials is Bakersfield. They’re not just going there; they’re staying there. They are living there. Why, because two-by-fours in San Francisco cost the same in Bakersfield. The difference is, the property that you’re going to build that house on in San Francisco or San Jose you start off spending $600,000 – $700,000 just for the property. In places like Bakersfield, Fresno and up in our neck of the woods, Yuba City, you start off by paying $40,000 for that lot. It seems like we must find the areas that are affordable. The equation starts with land prices.
Land Prices are Key
Land prices are certainly a big part of the equation and a lot of that is supply and demand amongst people on both sides of that deal are educated. This is not mom and dad buying land for a huge master-planned community. These are Pros on either side. The pros are willing to bet that this is a good price, or this is a fair price. As a result, you end up seeing the base so high because of the land price. Unfortunately, because of the high land price, it makes more “sense” for the builder to lean towards the luxury side. It will be expensive anyway, or you will end up paying a lot of money for a tiny condo or a low rise project.
It’s one of the big issues when
we talk about all our kids who don’t want this or can’t afford to live there.
High Expectations all Around
Finally, there seems to be a general disinterest amongst home buyers, and I’m talking about those who are buying a home for a home starter. It’s what we would consider a starter home. It’s that one-bedroom or two-bedroom condo or a small house on the wrong side of town which needs some TLC. Investors are taking those homes, while the current crop of first-time buyers want a slightly nicer home. Meaning, they want to skip that first level and go straight to that second home. The problem is that home is: 1, expensive and 2, unobtainable. So again, we have one of these great “a-ha” moments. If we build all these starter homes that people claim people want, the builders will tell you they are not sure there’s any interest in someone building a community of one-bedroom condos for a homeowner.
Games Developers Play
The margins of profit in the new home industry are not as large as people think. If builders can make a larger profit on a luxury home opposed to affordable housing, then obviously that’s what they’re drawn to.
And to add another bit of California logic…
I’m a builder. I go to Neighborhood X. I propose a high-density, affordable first-time homebuyers project. Everyone says, oh no, “Traffic”. “Safety”. “Not in my neighborhood”. Then the builder says, “How about on that same site we put a hundred luxury homes?” People usually say, well I really don’t want homes but builders have property rights. “A couple of million-dollar homes can’t hurt”. So, neighbors say, “yes”.
Not only do developers make more money, but it’s easier to get a neighborhood to roll over and say, “Okay, fine build those luxury homes”. Now developers don’t need to build that high-density condo project. This way developers are motivated financially to build luxury homes because they can get it done.
The lines have been blurred between what’s indoor-only and what you can use outside. Thanks to tips from our Trusted Pro, Kerrie Kelly, Zillow’s design expert and founder of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab, we have…
Old-aged recycled wood furnishings and industrial chairs are out in 2019. Swap it out for teak and aluminum. Transform your existing barn wood table and give it a coat of bright paint of complementary colors.
Keith’s out at this weekend’s Home Show in Auburn. We got to talking about his Walk-in Tubs…
“Our tubs give you a lot of flexibility when you are looking to add a spa-like therapeutic tub to your home. We have 19 models and we custom build every tub for the customer, so they can get the tub designed specifically with the right systems for them. Homeowners do not have to pay for systems they don’t think they would use. That allows us to fit more people and stay within budget.
“If people want to go down and look at our showroom they can actually touch and see our Walk-in tubs because they are the Mercedes-Benz of tubs.“
Come by our showroom or request an estimate online, we will give you $1,000 off the cost of installation.
“Anybody can come into our showroom. They can look at the different styles of tubs. They can actually sit in a tub and experience all the systems and decide which features they would like in their own tub.“
Give Keith a call to set up your appointment. 916-685-0888. Take advantage of their offer of $1,000 off Installation by mentioning Ask The Contractors, or through his website, and experience the benefits of an American Therapy Walk-in Tub for yourself.
The Health Benefits of an American Therapy Walk-in Tub:
– The micro bubble system
It infuses oxygen into the water so you’re sitting in oxygen-rich water. The largest organ on your body is your skin, so you absorb oxygen through your skin improve the cells in your body.
– Powerful Water Jets for water therapy
These many water jets massage you in specific ways to eliminate sore muscles and joints. Take Fibromyalgia, for example, our water jets can alleviate the pressure that causes pain.
– Ease the pain of Arthritis
– Improve Blood Circulation
– Pull out and eliminate Toxins from your skin
– Aromatherapy to improve your sleep patterns
Light therapy along with aromatherapy balances your emotions and puts your mood, and mind at ease.
To learn more about American Therapy Tubs, browse the website, www.AmericanTherapyTubs.com. Take advantage of their $1000 off your installation by calling Keith or Lawrence at 916-685-0888.
Here are some suggestions I’m can to give when you’re considering a remodel with your significant other:
Stick to the Plan
Budget Enough Money to Cover the Whole Project
If it’s a Big Project, Move Out and Make it an Adventure
Plan Your Meals in Advance
Be Aware of the Toll on your Pets and Kids
Stick with the Plan
Do not alter your plans because it causes so much stress. It trickles down to all the subcontractors, it causes a lot of disruption in the schedule, and it’s going to cost you more money. Resist saying, “I want this wall moved over 6 inches.” I encourage you to make sure your plans are well-done so you and your partner know exactly how you’re moving forward.
Make Sure You Have Enough Money
In fact, have a little reserved. If you’re doing a $150,000 renovation you should have 10% to 20% put aside. Hope you’ll never have to use it because the stress is not worth it. When you’re out of money it’s stressful, especially when you’re down to the last 10% of your project.
“The last 10% is 90% of the work“.
It’s where you’re going to spend a lot of your money on light fixtures, granite countertops, and faucets. All of these finish projects cost a lot of money.
Move Out and Make It an Adventure
If it’s a big remodel, find an apartment and move out of the home. You can rent a little three-bedroom, one-bath home. You can live there for a year while you renovate the home. It’s cramped but it’s cozy, and it can be an adventure. This way you’ll be comfortable, and your family will be comfortable.
Plan Your Meals
When you’re doing a kitchen remodel and you don’t have a sink or appliances for 6 weeks that can become very expensive. And, this is another area where it can cause stress because you’re spending money you didn’t realize you were going to have to spend.
Keep an Eye on your Pets and Kids
Your children can be affected by remodels. You’ll want to make sure they are safe and that they understand what’s going on.
If it looks like you’re heading toward a divorce, get what I called the perfect house for married couples and that is a Duplex. Ha Ha. Get a duplex instead of a divorce. You don’t want to end your relationship with your partner over a remodel.