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Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

By Informational No Comments

Fall is a great time to prepare your home for the coming winter months. Here is a fall home maintenance checklist to help you get started:


  • Inspect your heating system.
  • Change your furnace filter.
  • Check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Seal air leaks.
  • Insulate your attic.


  • Clean your gutters and downspouts.
  • Inspect your roof.
  • Trim your trees.
  • Protect your outdoor faucets.
  • Store your lawn equipment.
  • Clean your fireplace and chimney.
  • Winterize your sprinkler system.
  • Cover your outdoor furniture.

By following these tips, you can help keep your home safe and comfortable all winter long.

Memorial Day - Remember and Reflect

Memorial Day – Remember and Reflect

By Holiday No Comments

As our elected officials continue their political struggles in Washington, each exercising their rights to voice their opinions, as to what they think is best for our nation, we the people continue to hang in limbo. But no matter how frustrated we may be, we must practice patience and not loose sight of the fact that we live in this great county called America, where we have these rights.  And while it may not be perfect, it must be pretty desirable, because thousands of people from all over the world, are trying to cross our borders  every single day, so that they too may live the American Dream.

We are the United States of America

United we will stand

But divided, we are destined to fall !

So let us take a minute to give thanks for all that we have. And let us pray for those who are less fortunate. And let us also pray for the strength and wisdom to find compromise, so that we can preserve this great nation, for future generations to come.

And  on this Memorial Day weekend  let us honor and pay our highest respects those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, to preserve these rights and freedoms that We the People enjoy every single day!

And please enjoy this song that I wrote freely with my friend and fellow songwriter Ron Day (Red and Blue link below).

Red and Blue

And have a Great Memorial Day

How Bathroom & Kitchen Renovation Projects Can Affect the Value of Your Home

By Resources

Do you want to boost or maintain the value of your home? 

If your answer is yes, then consider executing some renovations. Homeowners engage in upgrades for various reasons. Sometimes, they intend to improve the functionality and aesthetics of the home to enjoy the property. Other times, they renovate the house to boost its value and make more returns on investment after selling the home.

No matter your reasons for home upgrades, it is essential to note one vital fact; not all renovations will boost the value of your home. Some remodeling may improve the aesthetics of your property without adding quality, warns Rollingwood Management . However, there are upgrades proven to increase the home’s value. That brings us to bathroom and kitchen renovations.

Bathroom and kitchen renovations are among the top-ranking upgrades that can boost the value of a home. That is because these two areas influence the amounts that buyers are willing to pay for the property. 

Also, bathroom and kitchen remodeling are deciding factors whether buyers will choose the property or not. From survey results, both kitchen and bathroom upgrades have high joy scores because they offer the most enjoyment to homeowners.

How much do kitchen and bathroom renovations improve the home’s value?

Kitchen renovations are costlier than bathroom upgrades by twice the price. In addition, kitchen remodeling adds more value to the home than bathroom renovations. The average return on investment for bathroom renovation is 57.2%, compared to 69% for kitchen upgrades. These rates of returns vary based on several factors. They include floor size, the scale of renovation, and the specific features that homeowners upgrade.

How bathroom renovation can affect the value of your home

There are three levels of bathroom renovations: upscale, midrange, and minor. If homeowners sell the property after bathroom renovations, they can recover 60% to 70% of their investment on the upgrades. In cases where the homeowners do not intend to sell the property, they will enjoy maximum satisfaction from the upgraded features. 

Upscale and midrange bathroom renovations offer a joy score of 9.6 on a scale of 1 to 10. Midrange upgrades deliver more returns than upscale remodeling. However, upscale upgrades perform better than midrange remodeling on the joy scores. As a result, upscale bathroom renovations will make the property sell quicker for homeowners who intend to sell the property.

If you spend up to $65,000 on bathroom renovations, expect to recoup about 60.2% of that money. However, you should expect a return of 67.2% of your investment in bathroom renovation if you spend around $20,000.

Bathroom renovations that offer the best returns on investment are:

  • Installing energy-efficient features that reduce electricity and water bills like energy-saving bulbs, low-flow toilets, and faucets.
  • Install a heated floor.
  • Repair and repaint the walls.
  • Improve lighting and allow more natural light.
  • Replace the floors.
  • Install an exhaust fan to reduce humidity.
  • Upgrade the vanity area; add granite countertops and modern sinks.
  • Replace outdated and worn plumbing fixtures with new ones.
  • Install a rain showerhead that has multiple flow settings.
  • Install a walk-in shower with a glass enclosure.
  • Update the cabinets.

How kitchen renovation can affect the value of your home

Like bathroom renovations, kitchen upgrades also have three levels: minor, midscale, and upscale. On average, kitchen renovations offer a return of between 60% to 80% of homeowners’ investments on the upgrade. Kitchen renovations rank as the best interior upgrade for improving the value of a property.

However, homeowners should note that the increase in value is not because the renovation is expensive. If the upgrades you conduct are costly, it doesn’t mean that you will earn more returns. For kitchen renovations, minor and midscale remodelings offer more returns than the major ones. But major remodelings will help you sell the house quicker.

Minor upgrades may involve things such as deep cleaning, repainting walls, upgrading appliances and countertops, and replacing or refacing drawer front and cabinet doors. Major kitchen renovations include the ones that involve expanding the floor space, removing or rerouting the plumbing, and replacing the floors.

Kitchen upgrades that deliver the most value are:

  • Installing new floors.
  • Installing a new backsplash.
  • Buying new appliances.
  • Adding extra storage with a pantry or an island.
  • Installing new cabinets with under-cabinet lighting.
  • Creating an open floor plan by merging the kitchen and dining.
  • Painting the kitchen in modern colors.
  • Installing stone or stainless-steel countertops.
  • Implementing smart storage ideas.
  • Changing plumbing fixtures.

The bottom line

A do-it-yourself approach to bathroom and kitchen renovations will not add more value to your home. Instead, it would be best if you hire experts to execute the project. Your aim for the renovation should be to enhance the functionality, improve the quality of life, replace damaged items, and improve the overall design.

[Guest blog post by our friend Michael Francis of Rollingwood Management]

Welcome to Austin: The Live Music Capital of the World

By Art, Inspiration

Welcome to Austin: The Live Music Capital of the World

Austin is known for many amazing attributes but we are most proud to boast our incredible live music scene. The “live music capital” slogan became famous in 1991 after it was discovered that the ATX had more music venues per capita than anywhere else in the United States. However, the “live music capital of the world” is more than just a slogan. Live music is a way of life here in Austin, Texas. You can find an incredible live music show any night of the week in some of the venues that make our city what it is. Broken Spoke, Antone’s Nightclub, The Saxon Pub, The Continental Club, and Historic Scoot Inn are some well-known local gems trusted for showcasing local and touring talent. However, this list barely begins to scratch the surface of all the noteworthy music venues in the heart of our city.

AHR’s Live Music Roots

Ronnie Jackson, owner of Austin Home Renovations, is one of the musicians who makes Austin’s live music community the magic that it is known for. He is a singer, songwriter and guitar aficionado who creates songs about life, love and The American Dream. Ronnie can be found playing music at The Saxon Pub or Broken Spoke when not overseeing AHR job sites. Whether he is playing music for a crowd or enjoying a show as a fan, Ronnie is an integral part of the Austin music scene. In addition to home improvement, music is a way of life for Ronnie, as it is for many other Austinites.

“When God created Songwriters, he pulled out all the stops. Songwriters are a unique and special class of human beings. They are warm and fuzzy, serious and passionate. They are creative, fun loving, caring and emotional,” said Ronnie.

You can catch Ronnie live around the Austin music scene or listen to his newest song “Making It Up As I Go” from the comfort of your own home here. We highly recommend you get out and embrace the culture of The Live Music Capital of the World, whether you are new to the 512, or if you are a long time resident who reminisces on the “Old Austin” days.

How To Get Your Austin, Texas Home Refinance Ready

By Inspiration, refinance, Resources

You’ve probably been hearing the word “refinance” a lot these days if you’re a homeowner in Austin, Texas. This comes as no surprise. It’s a great time to re-finance your home here in the proclaimed Live Music Capital of the World. There’s much to prepare for in order to do it the right way and maximize your ROI. It should come as no surprise that getting your home ready for a re-appraisal is incredibly important in the refinancing process. So, just how do you get ready for a re-appraisal? We’re glad you asked!

A combination of research, cleaning and home renovations can help you raise your home’s re-appraisal value in order to get your home refinance ready. The condition of your home at the time of appraisal actually plays a big role in its determined value, which ultimately affects your refinance rate. Remember the $500 rule. This mean that most appraisers measure a home’s value in increments of $500, so for all minor repairs left for the appraiser to find, such as broken doors or holes in the walls, could add up very quickly when multiplied by $500. If possible, take care of all small and relatively affordable problems on your own before having an appraiser out. It could end up making a huge difference in your determined home value.

Upgrades and renovations can also greatly affect the reappraisal value or your home. We found this list of renovations that contribute most to home value by Realvals incredibly insightful. Amongst the list are: Remodeling kitchens and bathrooms, landscaping to improve curb appeal, adding a deck or outdoor kitchen, installing a new roof and opening up some walls (if they are not load bearing).

Keep in mind that the updates which add the most home value can vary housing market to housing market. It’s also a good idea to speak with a realtor in your neck of the woods about what renovations are catching the eye of homebuyers in your city! Local realtors are usually experts on this subject. 

We’re happy to help you get refinance ready with the renovations and upgrades necessary for maximizing your home’s determined value. Contact us today for a free quote!

Creating the Perfect Home Office: Tips & Tricks 

By Resources

Many Austin, Texas based companies have decided against transitioning employees back to the office after over a year of working form home, despite restrictions becoming a lot more relaxed. Working from home has become the new norm for many of us, and lots of people have grown to actually prefer working this way. This means that those make-shift home offices (such as sprawling out across the coffee table in the middle of the living room) may not cut it anymore. It’s the perfect time to take the plunge and commit to renovating a new office in your Austin, Texas home. 

Find The Right Space 

It’s important to find the right space for your home office. An underutilized spare bedroom, or an unnecessary dining room are great candidates from a home office conversion project. If options such as these are unavailable, you can always think outside the box and look into converting a garage or adding a home extension. However, these options often require even more planning, budgeting and proper permitting from the city. 

Check for Required Power Connections 

Once you’ve chosen the right space it’s time to make sure it contains enough required power connections for your home office needs. Take some time to think about how power connections are necessary for all of your work from home needs; this can include plugins for your router, computer, second monitor, lighting, as well as laptop, tablet and phone chargers.  You may find it’s time to consult with an electrician. 

Design Around Your Needs

Not all work-from-home jobs are the same, so make sure to consider all of your own unique home office needs when tackling your home office conversion project. For example, if your job requires a lot of video conferencing think about the kind of lighting and backdrop space is needed.  We recommend really thinking about your own daily work tasks when designing, building, converting and renovating to accommodate!

Select a Desk & Comfortable Chair 

These two things make a big difference. Your desk should meet all of your needs for storage and devices. The right chair is one that doesn’t cause an achey back at the end of the day. Pro-tip: read reviews or even try sitting on different ergonomic chairs at office supply stores before buying one. We also suggest measuring your home office space before buying these things, so that you know they will fit properly.

Incorporate storage

A functional home office requires an appropriate amount of home storage. Make sure you leave enough room for filing cabinets, shelving and even building out a storage closet if necessary when planning and measuring out the conversion. If you are converting a bedroom, you can utilize the existing closet as office storage.

Home Office AustinPersonalize the Space

Once all the heavy lifting is done its time to personalize the space. Personal touches can help with daily work motivation and inspiration. Think about paint, plants, accents and art that you want to personalize your work space with. HGTV has some great decor ideas here.

The Good News

Creating the perfect home office may require a lot of work, but there are plenty of benefits to having this dedicated workspace: more inspiration, higher productivity, and even some tax write-offs (especially for those of ya’ll who are self employed). We hope you are able to find the perfect spot to create your own home office. We are here to help as well! If you’re ready to commit to creating your own home office, contact us today for a free quote.

Renovation Tips for New Austin Homeowners

By Resources

You’ve found your first home — the house has good bones and its in a perfect location, but you know it’s going to need some serious renovating before you’re ready to call it your “dream home”. Your offer has been accepted, paperwork signed, and the keys are finally in your possession. Now it’s time to start seriously planning those renovations! We know it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to start, especially for first time Austin homebuyers, so we’ve put together a list of tips to help you tackle the next steps. 

Set a Project Budget

Setting a project budget is arguably one of the most important parts of any home renovation planning. Make sure to be realistic about your budget, then consider all of the costs of your renovation plans: materials, contractors, etc. The costs of all of these things should never exceed your budget — if they do then its probably time to revise your plan. 

Create a Contingency Fund

Setting a budget is incredibly important, but we suggest also creating a contingency fund to cover the “what if’s”. It’s recommended to set aside at least 10% above the estimate bid to cover any surprises that may come up. You also need to consider that every time you make a change, the costs are extremely likely to increase. Unforeseen things are likely to happen and minds often change, so a contingency fund is very beneficial. 

Plan Time to Get Necessary Permits

Certain home renovation projects (such as a new garage, patio or other additions) can actually require obtaining permits. The permit process ranges from a couple of days to several weeks. Often times you need to close on your new home purchase before you can even start the paperwork to obtain these type of permits. It’s important to consider this when planning a big renovation project, and allow yourself enough time to get one before diving in head first. 

Find the Right Contractors 

It’s important to find the right contractor for every home renovation job that is not DIY material. You want to make sure that hired contractors are comfortable and experienced in executing your home improvement ideas. Ensure contractors are people that you can actually foresee yourself working well with over the duration of your project. Not all contractors are the same, but we know of a great home renovation team if you are looking…

Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!

It’s important to find the right contractors, because you are going to need to communicate with them often. Expect to have meetings with your contractor often and speak up about your needs. Clear communication and expectations are the key to creating your dream home. 

Manage Your Expectations 

We all love a good home makeover show (us included), but it’s important to remember entire kitchen remodels don’t happen in an hour. It can actually take up to several weeks. A quality and thorough renovation is a time commitment. You should budget your time in the same fashion that you budget your finances when it comes to home renovation projects.

Get an Estimate

Contractors should offer a free estimate. You can get a free estimate from us here when you are ready to make your dream home a reality.