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By Amy Mullen | Agent in Marlborough, MA

Extravagant Home Improvements You Wish You Had

Tired of pinching pennies? Weary of the recession? Dream along and pretend we can afford these top-shelf home improvements. But don’t worry if these budget-stretchers are out of reach — we’ve got you covered with smart advice for alternative products and systems that will make you feel luxurious without draining your bank account.

Borrow the breeze

home-improvement-costs-wind-turbine_e88685e775b33e707196310c66064f2f_3x2_jpg_570x380_q85Throw the switch on your very own wind turbine and you’ll get a 50% to 90% reduction on your electrical energy bills. The price of all this efficiency is about $40,000 for a 10-kilowatt turbine, a steel tower, and professional installation. If that’s not in your budget right now, a little regular maintenance will keep the HVAC system you have running at peak efficiency.  Credit: Bergey Windpower Company

Vintage storage

home-improvement-costs-wine-storage_dbcd21a4fca4df7350b88f0fa87e5dbb_3x2_jpg_570x380_q85Wine connoisseurs know that the beverage itself is only part of the fun — a glass-front, temperature-controlled wine cellar adds to the delight. For wine aficionados who collect as well as sip, storage is a must — the wine cellar shown here holds 1,346 bottles. Ceramic tile floors, hand-carved trim, stained glass, and lighted racks add up to a $70,000 taster’s haven. If your storage needs are more modest, check out under-stairs storage solutions that gobble up clutter.  Credit: Wood wine racks by Wine Cellar Innovations

Some like it hot

home-improvement-costs-custom-stove_0fae0d016d566775329a892eec81aed4_3x2_jpg_570x380_q85Stoves from La Cornue are known as some of the world’s most elegant cooking appliances. Each is handmade, and can be ordered as gas, electric, or a combination of both. Choose from 25 enameled finishes and 12 metallic trims. The GrandPalais 180 model features dual ovens and retails around $45,000. For that, you could buy a dozen top-of-the-line, double wall ovens with options that include convection heat, temperature probes, and variable broiling.  Credit: Culinary Architecture by La Cornue

Keepin’ your cool

home-improvement-costs-refrigerator_9a762f62786c5783fbfb3b6849f2ef75_3x2_jpg_570x380_q85With an insulated glass panel that lets you check contents before opening the door, the stylish Sub-Zero Pro48 is billed as one of the most expensive — and best — refrigerators on the market. Listed at a cool $15,540, the Pro48 features an LCD touch-pad that controls two compressors and three evaporators. Be sure to green clean the inside of your Pro48 so that it’s nice and tidy if guest should peer through the window.  Credit: Sub-Zero

Making a grand entry

home-improvement-costs-custom-door_cbd2d831fd7e4f00c2a588676e71dbd8_3x2_jpg_570x380_q85Nothing quite says “welcome” like a pair of custom-designed, hand-carved entry doors made of pine, mahogany, or oak. Expect to pay $5,000 to $25,000 for a matched set of custom-made, double-opening exterior wood doors, installed. The price may be worth it: A good-looking exterior door is a big contributor to curb appeal, and helps preserve the value of your home.  Credit: Pinecrest, Inc.

Plus-size comfort

home-improvement-costs-geothermal-heat_8bff2bd05225e9b481fac9749411ac8f_3x2_jpg_570x380_q85If your little slice of heaven is racking up heating and cooling costs, consider a geothermal heat system. A geothermal heat pump system extracts heat and cooling from deep underground to keep your interiors on an even keel, reducing energy usage. The price for a geothermal system can be steep — typically $20,000 for a 3,000-sq.-ft. house. The good news: A system placed in service between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2016, is eligible for a 30% federal tax credit. Credit: Colorado Geothermal Drilling

Slate roofing: budget-challenging beauty

home-improvement-costs-slate-roof_d6340a6f5c0cac1abdb4283f290338a2_3x2_jpg_570x380_q85Slate shingles were once common, but modern roofing, such as asphalt shingles, have become so much more cost-effective that slate is increasingly rare — and expensive. According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, covering a 3,000-sq.-ft. roof with top-quality asphalt shingles costs about $21,000. A comparable slate roof costs $100,000 to $150,000. Nevertheless, if you want a roof that’s classy, fireproof, and will last 100 years or more, slate is hard to beat.  Credit: Linda Hartong

Now dream of sugar plums…it’s Christmas time after all!


By David & Samuel Rifkin,  Tue Mar 26 2013, 11:08
Thank you for this great information.

Samuel Rifkin
The Rifkin Team

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