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Home Improvement Over Major Holiday Weekends

by Gabby Hyman
Repair-Home Columnist

While many American families enjoy long holiday weekends by going to theme parks or to the beach, others stay put to knock out a home improvement project. According to a survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation and Johns Manville, painting, landscaping, and kitchen improvement projects are the most popular activities since all contribute to the value of the home. Many Americans use the extra day to get a jump on a project, even if they have hired a contractor.

Among the participants in the survey, more than 50 percent believed that a kitchen project would deliver the best return on their labor and materials investment. Landscaping and bathroom upgrades were also tops on the list. Location of the home notwithstanding, only 14 percent of home owners planning projects intended to add insulation.

Surprising Home Improvement Findings
Home insulation projects ranked low in priority on the survey, surprising Johns Manville's building science director Bapi DasGupta. While energy savings from added insulation can provide a more rapid return on investment (ROI), "Insulation also makes homes more comfortable by eliminating drafts and hot spots," he said.

The Appraisal Institute told Street Insider.com that each dollar that a homeowner saves in utility bills by making their home more energy efficient, converts to a $20 increase on their home's market value. With nearly half of all household energy leaks originating in the attic, it makes a kitchen project completed over a holiday weekend pale in comparison to the return of investment in adding insulation.

There's little doubt that a kitchen improvement or bath upgrade project shows more to an appraising eye, but energy bills may mean more to someone doing diligence for a home mortgage package. Not only that, reports Street Insider, but many homeowners are eligible for a $500 federal tax credit applied to home improvement projects that target energy conservation.

Getting a Return on Home Improvement Investments
Nearly half of the homeowners in areas where housing prices are high, were the most concerned about getting ROI from their home improvement project, according to the survey. Those with homes in metropolitan areas were also more concerned about ROI than their rural counterparts. 

Spend wisely. Whether you intend to stay home and kick-start an improvement project, or play over the long weekend, it's best to know where you money's going.


Street Insider

Opinion Research Corporation and Johns Manville


About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.