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Neighbors of Kane County

Home Upgrades from the Inside Out

May 04, 2015 03:58AM ● By Family Features
Sponsored Content

(Family Features) Looking to do some home improvement projects this spring? Plan ahead for the biggest impact for your budget.

Follow these tips to protect your home’s air quality, use online tools to plan your project, extend your budget and enlist qualified professionals to help complete the job.

Remember the big picture.
Keep all seasons in mind when planning a home upgrade, and make sure your home will be comfortable and healthy all year. The type of insulation and drywall you use can have a big impact on these factors, yet it’s not something many homeowners think about.

According to a 2015 study of over 1,100 U.S. house owners, conducted online by Harris Poll and commissioned by CertainTeed, one in five (19 percent) U.S. adults who own a house say they would give little to no consideration to insulation if planning a kitchen remodel or home addition. Even more – one in four – say this about drywall. This is a big misstep, considering the average American spends 90 percent of his or her time indoors, and indoor air pollution can damage the health and comfort of those in the home, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Health benefits aside, the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association says spending $1 on insulation will save $12 in energy costs.

Look for products like SMARTBATT with built-in smart vapor retarder technology to help prevent mold and AirRenew, a drywall product that actually removes harmful contaminants from the air inside your home.

Color concerns? Try before you buy.
In home design, there is an increased interest in individualization and creativity. According to the online survey CertainTeed commissioned from Harris Poll, curb appeal was cited by 39 percent of house owners as the most important factor when considering an exterior home improvement project.

“While consumers want their homes to stand out, they also seek colors they want to come home to year after year,” said Mike Loughery, CertainTeed director of corporate marketing communications. “Neutral and traditional colors are a good bet – you want a look that is warm and inviting.”

The online poll also found that 40 percent of U.S. adults who own a house say they understand colors but are not exactly sure which color direction they would want to go when it comes to selecting a new exterior color for their home. Furthermore, 11 percent said they are “clueless” about colors and wouldn’t know where to begin.

You can visualize a project prior to investing in a renovation or replacement with online resources such as the Design Center at

Make your investment count.
If you want to maximize the return on your investment, consider kitchen remodels, additions and exterior projects that impact curb appeal, as all will give you a big bang for your buck. These were among the top projects listed in the “2014 Remodeling Cost vs. Value” report released this year by Remodeling and Realtor magazines.

If your budget for home improvements is limited this year, enter CertainTeed’s annual Living Spaces Home Makeover Video Contest for a chance to win an incredible $100,000 grand prize, which includes $75,000 worth of building products, professional installation and $25,000 to help cover taxes. For more information and complete contest details, visit

Hire smart.
Make sure you’ve got the right pros on your side. Reputable contractors make a big difference in your satisfaction, the quality of the installation and the selection of products.

For example, the National Roofing Contractor's Association says most rooftop problems are due to installation workmanship, not material failure. Search customer review websites or use online resources such as CertainTeed’s “Find a Pro” tool to locate credentialed contractors by zip code, as well as the type of products needed for the project.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (man and woman)

Sponsored by Certain Teed