(ARA) - Think you have a crowded house? Maybe you're not alone. Surprising new data from the U. S. Census Bureau finds that many Americans are making room in their home for parents, followed by siblings and other relatives.
From 2000 to 2007, the number of parents who move in with their adult children grew 67 percent to 3.6 million. Even more interesting, the number of parents younger than age 65 in these households increased by 75 percent and those 65 and older rose 62 percent.
With uncertain economic times and higher housing costs, combining households has become a more prudent approach to managing expenses. If you're planning on making room for parents, siblings or others, a room remodel might be first on your agenda. It is estimated that more than a million homes undergo a remodel or renovation each year. And now's a great time to connect with contractors.
Kitchens remain the most popular room for remodeling, according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), because they tend to keep their resale value. Kitchen upgrades come closer than any other home improvement project to recouping the remodeling cost when the house is sold.
And today, many people are looking for cost-effective yet environmentally sound remodeling techniques. In their book, "Green Remodeling: Changing the World One Room at a Time," authors David Johnston and Kim Master write, "Green remodeling actually makes and saves money. And this is not just long-term energy saving costs; the cost to implement green features ('first costs') is often less than remodeling by conventional standards. In the long term, green renovations increase the resale value of your home."
If you're looking for home improvements that are also good for the environment, consider these green remodeling tips from Pella Windows & Doors:
* Windows -- Install Low-E double or triple-pane windows for at least the east and west windows, subjected to intense morning and afternoon sunlight, causing significant summer heat gain. Look for a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of 0.40 or less. And select Energy Star qualified windows and doors for greater energy efficiency.
* Lighting -- Purchase compact fluorescent bulbs; they typically use 75 percent less energy.
* Appliances -- It makes economic sense to buy energy-efficient appliances. The initial price is often less than the cost of running them over a long period of time. For a greener home, look for the Energy Star label when selecting appliances.
* Daylight -- Consider adding natural light sources like larger or additional windows and doors to reduce the need for artificial light.
* Flooring -- Buy more durable and natural surfaces like tile, stone, cork, harvested wood, exposed stained concrete or bamboo.
Living in perfect harmony with your relatives may not be your first choice during tough times, but it could be the most cost-effective. Remodeling or updating your home could make the transition much smoother. Courtesy of ARAcontent
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