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The remodeling game: winning ways to transform your kitchen or bath.

In the current real estate market, fewer people are moving into new

houses, but one area is coming out ahead: renovation. Joe Angeleri,

chairman of the Remoderlor’s Council of the Home Builders

Association of Manatee-Sarasota, sees it firsthand. “People are

getting the message,” he says. “If you can’t move,

improve.”

Whether you’re simply staying put or are one of the lucky

souls who captured a below-market deal, renovation can make sense, says

Angeleri: “People can spend a hundred grand on cosmetic redos and

still be below the market.” And of all the improvements, kitchen

and bath updates earn the most points for lifestyle and resale.

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Goodbye, Game Room, Hello, Efficiency

A 2009 survey by The American Institute of Architects notes a

decrease in the desire for specialized game rooms, guest wings, home

theaters and three-car garages. Instead, homeowners are concentrating on

the basics, like kitchens and baths, and opting for energy efficiency,

low maintenance and convenience. Technology is still hot when it serves

those needs, whether it’s a refrigerator that cuts electric use or

a shower that conserves water at the same time it provides a powerful

spa-like experience.

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“A lot of clients are paying more attention to the energy

rankings on appliances,” says Steve Ellis of My Green Buildings.

“We’re helping people understand their options in heating

water and water use, too.” Ellis installs solar water heating Water heating is a thermodynamic process using an energy source to heat water above its initial temperature. Typical domestic uses of hot water are for cooking, cleaning, bathing, and space heating. In industry both hot water and water heated to steam have many uses.

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