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We’re creating more space for these homeowners to entertain with the addition of a game room. The existing French doors on the back of the home offered the perfect access point to the new addition.

The game room flows incredibly well from the existing family room of the home and the vaulted ceiling makes it feel larger than it is. A built-in bar opposite the family room adds a cozy feel to the space. And, a bathroom with accessibility from the game room or from the pool deck was certainly a wise decision.

Easy storage solution

To find more storage in your home, garage or workshop sometimes you have to think outside the box. For instance, shoe bags made for hanging in closets or over the back of a door are also great for general purpose storage around the garage or even the laundry room. Flashlights, tubes of caulk, paint rollers, cleaning supplies and even glue or safety gear fit nicely into the pockets.

Locating utility lines

Locating utility lines

Before you plant a tree or break ground on a new addition you need to call to have your underground utilities marked. Keep in mind; most states have requirements as far as how close you can dig to these lines. To find out the requirements and have your lines marked simply call 811. Here’s the color coding used for marking buried utility lines.

  • White – proposed excavation
  • Red – electric power lines, cables, conduit and lighting cables
  • Yellow – gas, oil, steam, petroleum or gaseous materials
  • Blue – potable water
  • Green – sewers and drain lines

Producer's Notes from Allen Lyle

This was an interesting job. I enjoyed the progress right up until the paint job. The first time I saw it, I thought, “Holy cow, that’s red! I don’t like it.” But after giving it a second thought, I realized it actually looked pretty good. After all, this wasn’t a kitchen or bathroom, it’s a game room. And it really did look great once it was all decked out. Just goes to prove the point that I am not a decorator, nor do I have any design sense.

I normally have two or three tidbits of information when I write my Producer’s Notes, but I wanted to focus on just one thing for this episode. It’s a question I’m asked quite often. Just how much value can be added to your home with various remodeling projects?

adding a bathroom

First of all, you need to understand that in order to get any kind of decent return on your investment, you typically have to resell your home within five years after the remodel. After five years, the profit margin tends to drop. Secondly, even though I can give you some average numbers of return versus investment, it’s only a rough estimate and the true return will depend greatly on the specific neighborhood and current state of economics. But, enough dilly-dallying, let’s get down to brass tacks.

Since kitchens and bathrooms are the most popular, especially to add value, let’s check those out first. The added value has actually dropped over the last 15 years. At one time, you could see up to a 120% return on your dollar on a kitchen remodel. That’s dropped to just under 110% today, and that’s a best case scenario. You can actually do a minor kitchen remodel, spending upwards to $7500 to update appliances and countertops and flooring and make a bigger profit on a resale. Up to 125%, in fact. The best return on the dollar is adding a full bath. You can recoup up to 128% of every dollar spent.

If you take an existing unused space, such as an attic, garage or basement and convert it into living space, you’ll also see a return on your investment. It won’t be as much as kitchens or baths, but you’ll still increase the value of your home and pad your wallet with more moolah on a resale. But, that brings up the question, can you spend money on a remodel and lose value? And the angels sing out a resounding, YES!

Adding a swimming pool

Decks are great additions, and while they may add value to your home, you’re not likely to recoup the money you spent to have it built. In fact, you usually lose on that deal. The same goes for swimming pools. In most cases, you don’t recoup the money spent. However, as I mentioned earlier, these are rough estimates and there are other variables. If the buyer is a pool nut, you could most definitely make money back on the deal. By the way, as a side note it may interest you to know that banks usually don’t include pools when making a mortgage appraisal.

One final tip. If you want to know the absolute best investment to make that cost you the least amount of money with the best profit, it’s repainting the exterior of your house. This really is only true when the outside of your home looks pretty bad to begin with. But, by spending only $1500 or so, you can expect a return of up to 120%.

For more information on remodeling projects, I would highly recommend visiting the website of the National Association of Home Builders. They have a pretty cool house price estimator that you can plug in information specific to your home and get a rough idea of its value.

Other Tips from This Episode

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Shoe Bag Workshop Storage Tip

A plastic shoe bag, that’s made to hang on a closet door, makes a perfect storage rack for caulking, spray paint cans, or small tools in your workshop. Simply hang the shoe bag on the workshop wall, and fill it with items.
(Watch This Video)

Best New Products with Danny Lipford:
Black & Decker Alligator Lopper

These alligator lopper from Black and Decker are a great alternative to using a chain saw for cutting limbs up to 4″ in diameter. Black and Decker alligator loppers are available at The Home Depot.

Around the Yard with Tricia Craven Worley:
Locating Buried Utility Lines in Your Yard

Before digging in your yard for fence posts or to plant a tree, always call 811 to have the utility companies come out and mark any buried utility lines in your yard. (Watch This Video)

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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