Smart Spring Tips for Home Renovation and Improvement Projects
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Smart Spring Tips for Home Renovation and Improvement Projects

Planning on tackling a spring improvement project for your home? RenovateResidential by ProGroup has you covered with some tips for popular spring renovations for homeowners.

In New England, our homes can take a beating in the winter months. After the powerful winds, freezing temperatures and damaging ice storms, many homeowners take advantage of the warming spring temperatures to start a home improvement project. Whether your home is in need of exterior painting, roofing, or deck and home power-washing, the following tips will be helpful for planning your renovation project:

Tip 1: Know your permits

Even if your next home improvement project seems minor, you might be surprised to find it requires a permit. Permitting requirements vary considerably depending on where you live and the scope of the project. Some of the work you’ll do to your home will always require a permit. According to Redfin, these projects require building permits in most regions:

  • Fencing installation and repair
  • Window installation
  • Plumbing work
  • Electrical work
  • Structural changes
  • Many HVAC maintenance projects (like installing a new water heater)
  • Additions and remodeling projects (even including sheds and garages)

Tip 2: Know Your Budget

Thinking about repainting your home’s exterior? In New England, painting the exterior of your home is recommended every 5 to 7 years. According to, homeowners report that painting a home’s exterior costs an average of $2,939 with a typical range between $1,745 and $4,146. In New England, this national average can be higher due to wood rot and necessary wood replacement prior to painting due to the dramatic changes in temperature. Maintaining your home’s exterior paint and repairing wood rot on a regular basis will protect your home from outdoor elements getting inside. Before booking with any major service provider, be sure to meet with a professional contracting company for recommendations on possible home renovations. The right contractors will help you determine any unforeseen costs which will, in the long run, help you save money.

Tip 3: Hire Contractors with Credible Connections

According to Pittsburgh Business Time, “this past year has been a “gold rush” for home improvements, particularly outdoor ones, but cost increases and delays in materials have created challenges for contractors.”  Smaller mom & pop contractors may not have the connections to procure materials in a timely fashion which can mean substantial delays and even leaving projects incomplete. Choosing the right contractor for your home improvement project is important, from trusting their recommendations to the assurance they can finish the project on time. We recommend hiring contractors that have a wide network that can help procure materials and crews.

Tip 4: Spring Roofing Maintenance and Replacement

Another popular home improvement renovation in the spring is roofing. You don’t need a farmer’s almanac to know this past decade has been filled with dramatic temperature changes, from California’s roaring forest fires to frigid New England winters. Below freezing temperatures often take a toll on your roof, sometimes causing ice dams and water damage that needs attention. Homeowners should check to see if there are any signs of water leakage indoors. Warm springs provide opportunities for you to better examine any possible winter damages. A trusted contractor can help determine the extent of any seasonal-damage and provide a resolution, whether it be simple repairs to full replacement to make your home protected from the outdoor elements.

Tip 5: Gutter Cleaning

Our last spring home renovation tip is to check any and all gutters around your home. Cleaning out your gutters is an easy task that can also save you money, especially in the long run as consistent build up of debris and pressure from ice and snow can cause cracks and leaks.

If your home is located in the shade of trees, gutter cleaning becomes even more important. Leaves, which may seem harmless in small numbers, will eventually cause a blockage of water and ice that can create heavy water leakage inside your home. Water damage in general brings wall and floor decaying, which can then attract carpenter ants and mosquitoes. Once carpenter ants have festered into your commercial property’s roof the damage is irreversible.

Cleaning out your home’s gutters should be a routine task throughout this spring. Although the warmer weather is starting, the freezing temperatures are only one cold nightfall away. Don’t get caught with icy mounds of leaves in your home’s gutters. Keeping up on this easy task could be the difference between a new foundation or roofing replacement project.

Starting to notice possible signs of roof leaking, decaying wood or carpenter ants?

Visit RenovateResidential Contracting services page for details on how RenovateResidential by ProGroup can provide solutions for your home.


Boston City Hall

How to Sell Your Home in the Spring: A Seasoned Guide
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How to Sell Your Home in the Spring: A Seasoned Guide

Thinking about selling your home? Well, it’s proven: springtime is the best time to do so. This time of year people feel inclined to change up their lives and try something new. Therefore, we have created a checklist that will ensure a line out your front door!

It’s proven. Springtime is the best time to sell your home. And, it makes sense. With spring comes fresh air and new beginnings, so people feel inclined to change up their lives and try something new.

According to experts, 2021 is predicted to be the best year to sell a house for a long time. Therefore, if you are thinking about selling your home or have been recently trying to, this is the perfect time of year to prepare properly. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be sure to have a line out your front door.

Shine On

Make sure everything (inside and out) shines. We are talking about windows, mirrors, glass, metal, stainless steel appliances, and flooring.  When a potential buyer walks through your door, they will first be taken by the cleanliness of your home. When the floors and windows glisten, they will be more impressed and trusting of everything around them. Remember polish and shine, polish and shine.

Last Minute Fix

Before you open your house, it is crucial that everything is top-notch. Regardless of your overall budget, there are specific things you can fix that will make an impact. First, you must get rid of any clutter and too many family photos, in and around your home. It sounds harsh, but this helps in the depersonalization process. Even though it’s your home, it’s important to help the buyer see the space as a blank canvas – one they can mentally decorate as they see fit and make their own.

You will then want to find areas that look worn down or broken. Apply fresh paint to scratched trim, repair minor cracks and holes, and make sure the door handles, lights, and appliances work properly. If they really need it, you may want to refinish your floors as well. Sometimes putting in the money and effort will pay off in the sale.


Clean It Up

After decluttering ­– magazines, remote controls, photos, trash, toys – you will want to freshen up the interior and exterior of your home. Really nice touches that will attract homebuyers can be made quite easily. You can rake the yard, mow your lawn and edge your driveway and sidewalk, if applicable. Clean lines are always eye-catching.

You may also want to hire someone to power wash. Even though it may sound extreme, power washing is a relatively cheap service that really accentuates the work you have already done. Make sure to hit the sides of your house, as well as your driveway, pathways, and steps; This will provide stellar curbside appeal.

Inside, there are other opportunities to tackle. We recommend you attempt to treat your house as a hotel. Even though no one will be checking in, it helps to purchase new towels and throw pillows. Presenting the bathrooms, bedrooms, and kitchen professionally is crucial, for those are the spaces that potential buyers judge most intensely.

Finishing Touch

Ask yourself, “What will people want when they enter my home?” It is your job to provide potential buyers with an easy-going, well-crafted experience. When they step into your home, you want to do everything in your power to provoke a lasting impression.

This can be done by laying out easy-to-read flyers and marketing materials. Make sure they know the numbers – be straightforward – and print in color. And open the windows! The best thing about spring is the fresh smelling air. Buy some freshly cut flowers and display them throughout your home. A fresh fruit bowl display will also add brightness to the house. The combination will leave a wonderful scent. Lastly, don’t skimp on complimentary beverages and snacks. People love free food and cocktails!

By completing this checklist before putting your house on the market, you will have a good chance of competing with other springtime home sellers. Good luck!


Think there is more painting to do on your home than a quick touch up? Call our team of pros at RenovateResidential, today at 866-RES-RENO, to get your FREE painting and/or renovation project estimate!

5 Secrets to Mastering the Perfect Kitchen Island
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5 Secrets to Mastering the Perfect Kitchen Island

Selling your house? A stunning kitchen is one definite way to make a first big impression on potential homebuyers.

It’s no secret kitchens sell homes.  When it comes to the kitchen, the kitchen island is a home renovation which never goes out of style.  Mastering the perfect kitchen island is another story.

That’s why we are giving you five, top secrets every homeowner should know in order to achieve the perfect kitchen island. 

Over the past twenty years, kitchen islands have continued to evolve with modern home designs.  Although kitchen islands continue to sell homes, many homeowners struggle to master the art of this feature.  Before we unlock our top, five secrets to achieving the kitchen island of your dreams, lets look at some reasons why many people fail at kitchen island renovations. 

Reasons for Kitchen Island Failures:

Not Enough Space

Be mindful of space when designing your kitchen island. Often homeowners are anxious to achieve the kitchen of their dreams, they forget how much of a difference a few inches of space can make when designing their kitchen. Industry standards recommend kitchen pathways to be at least 32 inches wide. Paths within a cooking zone should be 42 inches wide for a one-cook kitchen and 48 inches wide for a two-cook kitchen. It’s important to place the cooktop away from high traffic areas. You don’t want the younger ones running into any catch handles and causing dangerous spills.

Dangerous Setups

Once you have designed your kitchen with enough space for people to move around safely, it’s time to start thinking about where put all the appliances. Another common mistake homeowners make when designing their kitchen is not putting enough thought into determining a kitchen island’s function. Careful design decisions make recycling, cleaning, eating, meal prepping and cooking easy. Poor design decisions can cause the kitchen island to be used as a place to store sharp knives or dangerous cooktop placements.  Bottom line, be sure to make your kitchen island a place for both safe cooking and game-night entertainment.

Incorrect Use of Color

Another common mistake homeowners make while designing their dream kitchen island, is forgetting about the importance of color in room designs. Often homeowners drown out their design renovations with too many dark paint colors or design finishing. Make sure you take advantage of contrasting color designs. Use the top of a kitchen island as an opportunity for dramatic wood trimmings or bright color finishes. Brighter, contrasting colors create the illusion of a bigger kitchen.

Bottom line: kitchens sell homes.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, kitchens are the second most popular home renovation project behind bathrooms. It’s no wonder homeowners are so eager to install the perfect kitchen island, kitchens remain a staple in the American home.

Now that we’ve discovered three popular reasons homeowners fail to accomplish the perfect kitchen island renovation, let’s look at the must-have tips. Discover our top, five secrets for uncovering the kitchen island of your dreams.

5 Tips for Mastering the Perfect Kitchen Island:

Create a focal point

The eye typically reads from left to right and up to down. We can’t stress enough the importance of this basic human trait. The first essential tip is to create a focal point for your kitchen.  We recommend adding a suspended hood on top of an island cooktop.  Suspended hoods are an effective way to create a focal point for the room.

Dare to Be Unique 

You’re going to love our next kitchen island renovation secret. When designing your dream kitchen island, don’t forget to be yourself. Choosing to copy the latest design styles into your home are not always the best design decision. Wooden cabinets, floral wallpaper, and pearl white countertops which were once popular in the 1980s and 1990s have now become a design trend of the past. Adding your personal design touch to a kitchen island renovation sets your kitchen apart from the rest. We recommend using unique building materials, like recycled wood. Wooden panels and white bead boarding are two unique design choices which make the ultimate touch.

Design for Premium Functions

Don’t be afraid to knock down walls. Remember industry standards recommend kitchen pathways to be at least 32 inches wide. When designing your kitchen island do not force the structure into your kitchen design plans. The most stunning kitchen islands allow people to safely move around while the food is cooking. Opt for extra wall outlets for more electricity and double up on highly used appliances like microwave ovens and mini refrigerators in the kitchen. These extra features allow your kitchen island to remain a practical use of space while also keeping guests away from the cook in the kitchen.

Choose Custom

You won’t regret spending the extra money on custom-built island features. Cottage-style islands, for example, allow for both raised bar stool seating and cooktop working stations. Spending the extra money on custom island designs allows for more diverse activities. Custom design finishes, like flush-set sinks or matte, don’t show dirt as much as other glossier finishes. Don’t be afraid to choose custom features for your kitchen island renovation. The extra money will be worth the investment.

Keep it Simple

With so many different design choices it’s easy to get swept up into design confusion. Don’t forget the basics. Remember, people come into a kitchen for home cooked meals and conversations. Be sure to make the essential functions of the kitchen accessible. The refrigerator, for example, should have enough space for both the passersby and the person cooking. The last thing you want after spending the money on an expensive kitchen renovation is for your refrigerator door to hit your houseguests while they’re sitting in the kitchen.

Do you want to renovate your kitchen and change the layout and look? Contact our team today!

Our team offers a wide variety of services of all sizes including ongoing property repair and maintenance services committed to delivering excellent results.

The Realities of Home Renovation
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The Realities of Home Renovation

Our List of Realities

Considering taking on a home renovation? Make sure you’ve thought through these key points before you start knocking down walls.

Planning and budgeting for a home renovation can quickly go from exciting to overwhelming. By being prepared with ample research and planning, you can stay calm throughout the whole process. Here’s what you need to know to ensure smooth sailing:

1. True Cost

The quote or contract from your contractor may give you an allowance budget or you might just set aside what you think you need for fixtures, appliances, lighting, etc., but this is where detail becomes a necessity. Sure, it can be tempting to guess at these numbers when you already have your hands full with other renovation details but watch out because this is an area that can quickly break your budget.

For instance, you may have your mind set on a certain type of cabinet style and assume it’s within the allowance set by your contractor but find out the price is double when you go to the cabinet supplier. Having a specific list of all the allowance costs and actually making your selections before you start your renovation, is the best way to get a clear picture of your true costs, and steer you clear of disappointments.

2. Timeline

Obviously, everyone would like their project to go as efficiently as possible, which is why it’s important to have a clear understanding of aspects of the project that will ultimately affect the timeline:

  • Permits
  • Contractor availability
  • Supplier wait times

It took two weeks to obtain a permit for a project I recently managed in a city with many construction projects underway. Your contractor may have several projects to manage at one time, or only manage one project at a time. Knowing your contractor’s schedule will help to keep expectations realistic. Also, waiting on certain supplies can keep a project from moving forward. For example, a countertop template cannot be done until the base cabinets are installed. During busy times, it can take over two weeks for the countertops to be finished, and the rest of the project (plumbing, fixtures, etc.) cannot be done until the countertop is installed. Don’t let this happen to you!

3. Involvement

Do you enjoy managing projects? Do you have a hard time making design decisions or envisioning what a structural change will look like? Do you prefer to have someone else be the point person for questions? Having a realistic expectation of how involved you can be, or would like to be, is critical to your project going well and keeping your stress level low. Taking a step back, and thinking about this, will help you to decide if you need the help of an interior design professional and what type of contractor you are looking for.

4. Contractor

Finding a contractor, you are comfortable working with, and trust will produce quality work, is critical to the success of your home improvement project.  Start by asking for referrals from friends and family.  In addition, there are many online resources where you can check contractor reviews.  Next, I recommend meeting with several contractors to compare estimates and decide which one feels like the right fit.  Having that list of allowance costs, your desired timeline, and a clear understanding of your level of involvement, will help to ensure that you are comparing apples to apples with each contractor.  Remember: a written contract with as much detail as possible is one of the keys to a successful renovation.

Good luck with your home improvement project!

Do you want a home renovation professionally done and completed the right way? RenovateResidential offers a wide range of services of all sizes including ongoing property repair and maintenance services committed to delivering excellent results. Contact our team today to learn more about our services!