Twenty-One Ways to Increase the Value of Your Building
1. Obtaining advice from local professionals on project goals and design choices is essential for maximizing equity in a new build or remodel project. These experts are most knowledgeable on which goals and design options will produce the most ROI. Experts include architects, builders, designers, real estate agents, even financial advisors. Their advice is crucial to the successful design of either a new building or a remodel project that maximizes the value of the structure.
2. Certifying a structure according to Energy Star or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rated standards, increases the value of any home or building. In fact, a recent study compared 1.6 million homes of similar design, construction, and location between 2007 and 2012; some had Energy Star, or LEED rated certification, some did not. The study concluded that an energy compliance certification added about 9 percent to a home’s selling price.
3. In today’s market, energy-efficiency is often a required feature for buyers of both residential and commercial buildings. In fact, according to a survey of builders by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), energy-efficiency is a top demand of homebuyers and they are willing to pay $10,732 more up front to save $1,000 a year in utilities. A most crucial feature of an energy-efficient building is continuous insulation (CI). The ASHRAE 90.1 and the International Energy Conservation Code (2015 IECC) also require CI. Continuous insulation saves building owners money and energy by reducing heating and cooling expenses along with mechanical ventilation costs. Continuous insulation is an essential component of an energy-efficient building: CI increases a building’s value and saves energy and money over the lifetime of the structure.
4. Ensuring a building’s air and moisture resistance is essential to managing a structure’s integrity and value. Without air and moisture resistance, rot, mold, and mildew may occur which can degrade the indoor environmental quality of a building. An air and moisture barrier is imperative to an energy-efficient home design. Preserving the integrity and health of an energy-efficient building with an air and moisture barrier is an essential component of maintaining a building’s worth.
5. Constructing an exterior wall with the easy to install Bautex Wall System and the Bautex AMB 20 air and moisture barrier will create an energy-efficient, air and moisture resistant structure. Energy-efficiency and air and moisture resistance are essential to the value of a building. The Bautex insulated concrete blocks are energy-efficient and provide an R‑14 continuous insulation that meets if not exceeds, the codes and standards of the (ASHRAE 90.1) Code (2015 IECC). The application of Bautex AMB 20 air and moisture barrier on the Bautex Block wall creates a moisture resistant and airtight building that eliminates thermal bridges and condensation. Bautex Wall System creates a healthy, energy-efficient building and ensures the long-term integrity of the structure; all factors that will increase and maintain the value of a building.
6. An attractive energy-efficient roofing product can increase the value of a building. For instance, a cool roof, made of a low thermal mass material like tiles, slate, or clay with light colored pigments, will reflect solar heat and reduce cooling costs. Cool roofs improve indoor comfort and lessen energy bills. They also have curb appeal and can extend the roof’s service life. All factors that can increase the value of a building.
7. According to Remodeling Magazine, in Texas, the number one best return on investment is attic insulation, with an estimated return of 108 percent. Typically loose-fill or batt insulation is installed in an attic. According to Energy Star, the recommended insulation level for most attics is R‑38 or 10 to 14 inches, depending on the insulation type. Attic insulation is an essential feature of an energy-efficient building with the added benefit of a high ROI.
8. A high-performance HVAC saves energy and money (10 – 40 percent), improves thermal comfort and indoor environmental quality (IEQ), and also increases the value of a building. In fact, a SmartMarket study of home builders and remodelers, and qualitative interviews with recent homebuyers, concluded that of ten products and practices considered important for creating an energy-efficient building, a properly sized and installed HVAC systems was the highest (92 percent). A high-performance HVAC is expected by many of today’s buyers and will add value to a building.
9. Ensuring the interior of an energy-efficient structure is healthy with controlled ventilation will add value to a building. Ventilation of an energy-efficient, air-tight building is essential because pollutants (like radon, formaldehyde, and volatile organic compounds) can become trapped. Installing an energy recovery ventilation system controls ventilation, minimizes energy loss, and creates a healthy indoor environment. All features that can add value to a building or home.
10. High-performing windows add value to a building and can save money and time over the lifetime of the structure. High performing windows also create a less drafty, quieter interior than the old single pane windows. In today’s market, high performing windows are a sought-after feature. In fact, according to a survey of builders by the (NAHB), Energy Star-Rated, low‑E windows are one of the top ten features home buyers want in a new home and will increase the value of a building.
11. An open floor plan with flexible living areas is an essential feature for increasing the resale value of a home. In fact, a Consumer Reports’ survey of 1,573 millennials, found that an open floor plan was second to a modern kitchen on millennials’ list of most sought-after features.Today’s young buyers want large, double-duty rooms. The open floor plan can increase the value of a home by 4 to 6 percent.
12. Effective acoustics and reduced noise are relevant to both homeowners and occupants of commercial buildings. Ensuring these elements can contribute towards increasing a building’s resale value. The Bautex Wall System is ideal for creating a quiet, acoustically positive interior environment. The Bautex Block is an insulated concrete exterior and interior wall system that provides high sound reduction. The Bautex Wall System also meets the American National Standards Institute criteria for schools and received high Sound Transmission Class and Outdoor-Indoor Transmission Class ratings from ETS-Lindgren Acoustic Research Laboratory. Controlling the acoustics and noise of a building will increase its value.
13. Energy Star-rated appliances (dishwashers, refrigerators, washing machines, ceiling fans, and ventilation fans) reduce energy costs and offer improved performance, quality, and durability. They also increase a home’s resale value. In fact, according to a survey of builders by the NAHB, Energy Star-rated appliances are one of the top features homebuyers want in a new home. High performing, Energy Star appliances lessen monthly utility bills and increase the value of a home.
14. Proper and adequate lighting is a quick boost to a building’s value; particularly when using Energy Star certified fixtures and bulbs. Lighting affects the comfort and livability of a room. It also highlights a building’s design and architectural features. A well-lit space that is warm and inviting is much more likely to add value to a building than a one that is dark and unwelcoming.
15. Smart building devices like programmable thermostats, occupancy or motion sensors, CO2 and other air quality alarms, are desired features in today’s homes and buildings. In fact, according to a survey of builders by the NAHB, programmable thermostats are one of the top ten features home buyers want in a new home. Smart building devices can save money and energy and make a building safer. They are also convenient and can increase the value of a building.
16. Safe rooms or storm shelters are becoming a wanted feature in homes and commercial buildings and can add value to the structure. In fact, a study by Dr. Kevin Simmons, professor of economics at Austin College in Texas, found that the existence of a shelter in a home increased the home’s value by 3.5 percent. Safe rooms are particularly sought-after in Texas, where between the years of 1991 and 2010, there was an annual average of 155 tornadoes, more than any other State. An ideal choice for material for building a storm shelter is the Bautex Block Wall Assembly.
- The Bautex Block Wall Assembly exceeds the 2014 International Code Council’s (ICC) ICC-500 standards for safe room or storm shelter design.
- The Bautex Block Wall Assembly’s meets the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA 320 and FEMA 361 guidelines in storm zones with possible wind speeds up to 250 miles per hour.
- The Bautex Block single integrated concrete assembly also meets or exceeds the following ICC-500 and FEMA standards for debris impact.
Installing a safe room in a home or commercial building can increase the value of the structure and, more importantly, protect the safety of the occupants during extreme wind and tornado events.
17. The addition of solar panels saves a building owner money and energy and increases the value of the building. In fact, a recent study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories found a sizable increase in value for homes with solar panels. The design of an energy-efficient building should strive to create as much energy as it uses by installing renewable energy measures, like solar panels. Renewable energy sources can lessen if not eliminate a home’s utility bills, along with increasing the value of the building.
18. Upgrading the kitchen is a popular way to increase value to a home while adding enjoyment to the occupants. In fact, according to Remodeling Magazine, a minor kitchen remodel recoups 81.6 percent of its cost, while a major kitchen remodel recoups 70.0 percent. Additionally, according to Consumer Reports, a “modern/updated kitchen” tops the list of ideal home features desired by millennials and can increase the value of a home by 4 to 6 percent.
19. Modern and upgraded baths will also add value to a building. Always choose higher-end finishes and materials and include a jet/spa tub. An upscale bath is essential to today’s buyers and can recoup 69.4 percent return on investment.
20. Curb appeal is the first impression a guest or buyer gets and it is essential to the value of a building. The building must present itself as neat, clean, and upscale to maximize its potential selling price. A new, or high-end garage door can recoup 85 percent of its cost, a new high-end front door can recoup between 78 and 91 percent, and an overall landscape upgrade can produce an ROI of 105 percent. A building’s exterior reflects the mood of the whole building. An attractive, tidy, high-end exterior will increase the value of the structure.
21. The final tip for ways to increase the value of a building is to keep up with regular maintenance and repairs along with keeping detailed records. Keeping up with regular building maintenance will keep the building safe and functioning and will safe money in the long run. Not allowing a building to deteriorate is as important, if not more, to ensure the value of a building will increase over time.
Designing or remodeling a building or home to maximize its worth requires planning, researching, and organizing. Features that increase the building’s value should also improve the comfort level to the occupants, and potentially save money and energy during the building’s lifetime. Visit Bautex Wall Systems for more ways to increase the value of your building.