Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Three Reasons to Renovate Your Garage

For some homeowners, the garage serves more as an office than a place to keep the car when it's not in use. Men, and even women, like to tinker with engines and work on projects with the door open to the summer sunshine. If you feel lately the contents of your garage are threatening to spill over into the yard and beyond, however, perhaps it's time to consider a professional touch. Yes, there are contractors that specialize in garage renovation who are ready to assist in optimizing this important part of the home. The reasons why you should invest in a garage makeover can save you sanity in the long run.

Safety First! An organized garage is a safe garage. When you hire a remodeling crew to install a new skid-free floor and wall racks without sharp hooks you minimize the opportunity for injury. You can also place dangerous tools out of reach of children and minimize the risk of loose wire and unsteady shelves causing heavy equipment to fall and hurt somebody.

There It Is! Wouldn't it be great to find that one Allen wrench you haven't seen in years? Re-organize your garage with new cabinetry, drawers, and rolling toolboxes and you'll never have to dig around unkempt piles of tools again. Doing this also gives you the opportunity to clear away what you don't need anymore, tools and junks that have taken up space and you hadn't realized it.

Increased Functionality! Once your garage is renovated, you'll find there's plenty of room to move around and work, even with your car parked. You'll be motivated to work on projects you didn't think you could finish without making a mess in the yard, and you may be more inclined to spend time outdoors instead of watching TV for hours on end. Increased functionality equals more activity.

If you haven't thought about calling a renovation consultant, ask today about your options for fixing up the garage. Make it more than just a place to store junk.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach garages and Virginia Beach awnings.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tax Credits for Energy Saving Windows Still Available

USA Today reports that tax credits for energy-efficient products like windows and doors are still available to homeowners. According to their website, last year's economic stimulus package has expanded some energy-efficient breaks, including:

The non-business energy property tax credit. This tax break provides a credit of 30% of the cost of new insulation, energy-efficient windows and doors, furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, water heaters or boilers, up to a maximum of $1,500. To claim the full credit, you would need to spend at least $5,000 on qualified energy-efficient home improvements, says Mildred Carter, federal tax analyst for tax publisher CCH.

The credit is available for 2009 and 2010, so if you replace your aging furnace or leaky windows this year, you can claim the credit when you file your 2010 tax return. However, the $1,500 is a lifetime cap, so if you claim a $1,000 credit on this year's return, you're limited to $500 in 2010.

If you need to replace windows this year and haven't yet claimed any such breaks on your taxes for 2009, you could get the full $1500 next year! Home Solutions, your leader in Virginia Beach window replacement, is the one to call for your free estimate on window and panel replacement or installation. Right now, too, when you buy two windows the third one is free, so you save even more!