Published at Friday, March 29th, 2019 - 10:39:31 AM. Home Decoration. By Amett Krause.
Spindler is active in local preservationist and historic groups. But perhaps the most important connection she can make is with a capable contractor. While the exteriors of many San Francisco Victorians are protected by historic preservation ordinances, the interiors are generally not. Electricians and plumbers often suggest that the only way to update a Victorian is to tear out original walls. But Spindler knows it can be less expensive to drop pipes and other infrastructure straight through the homes balloon framing or to wire electrical lines through an attic than to tear out valuable, original plaster work. “The crazy things that people do to these poor old houses. The walls never look the same,” Spindler laments. She compares the work of contractors who skillfully retain old Victorian walls to that of arthroscopic surgeons, who use fiber optic technology and video cameras to avoid open surgery: “Its better for the patient in the long run.” While Spindler is glad to see more young people interested in historic homes, she acknowledges her niche is limited by the number of Victorians in her market, estimated to be around 7,500 single-family homes. “Its not a lot, and we lose more every year,” she says. “Theyre not making any more of them, obviously.”
Decide to switch out or credit. Sellers—understandably—want to limit the amount of money they spend on toning down an ultra-personalized kitchen before selling. There are some affordable options for expanding the buyer pool, though of course, this is highly subjective based on the clients budget and homes listing price. Big Chill Appliances, which is becoming well known for its 200 color options, charges $525 for a new panel on its $1,995 dishwashers. Homeowners looking to make a splash but also resell in the near future might want to consider appliances that offer this kind of flexibility. New countertops and backsplashes can be pricier—sometimes several thousand dollars, depending on the material and installation charges. Repainting cabinet fronts runs a wide range, depending on what the color was and will be, the finish selected, number of cabinets, and who does the work. Contractors at George Apap Painting Inc. quoted $5,000 to remove fronts and spray paint them in its factory for a small kitchen in upstate New York. Sellers willing to repaint themselves can save a lot on materials and achieve great results if they take the time to prime and paint properly. Switches like simpler hardware or faucets may be easier and less costly—a few hundred dollars, says Peter Albanese, vice president of Bellari Design in Branchburg, N.J. Designer Erica Islas of EMI Interior Design in Los Angeles suggests offering a credit to buyers in the negotiation process, so they can make their own choices. “Interior design shouldnt be a quick fix to sell, but a very personal, thought-out process,” she says. Biggs agrees. “The seller will never get their money back on most big changes. The truth is the next person probably will renovate and blow off the back of the house anyway,” she says.
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