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Link Love: Bang for your buck while remodeling, "cash for caulkers" and more

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Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report
Remodeling Magazine
In this ongoing report, now updated for 2010, Remodeling Magazine digs into the approximate return on investment homeowners can expect for several common remodeling and home-improvement projects. For example, you can expect to spend about $10,634 to add a nice wood deck to your home, and data shows that will likely return about 80 percent of that value if you sell your home. The data is broken down by region and comes accompanied by a series of articles elaborating on the hard numbers.

25 Biggest Renovating Mistakes
HGTV.com
“From ignoring prep work and safety, to setting unrealistic budgets and selecting the wrong fixtures, this is a fearless exposé of the most common renovation mishaps. Find out how it happens, why people do it and, best of all, how to avoid making these mistakes in your own home.” The list includes everything from the small — excessive use of duct tape and inaccurate measurements — to the big — building a small bathroom and hiring the wrong contractor. Read up to help protect yourself.

Home Star: 5 answers about ‘Cash for Caulkers’
Professional Remodeler
“The Home Star program — or “Cash for Caulkers” as some have dubbed it — could provide a big boost to home energy efficiency through billions in tax credits and other incentives over two years. President Obama came out in favor of the program in December as part of the administration’s plan to drive job creation, but the final approval has to come from Congress.” Written for an audience of builders and remodelers, this article provides a good overview for anyone who’s interested in how “cash for caulkers” might help encourage energy efficiency and help homeowners save some money.

Energy for the future: Smart grid technology
Builder Blog
This introduction to smart grid technology — which generally refers to efforts to add computer and communications technology to the existing electricity grid, making it possible for the grid to operate more efficiently and reliably — is full of links and information about where the technology stands today and the benefits it offers homeowners.

Behind the Scenes of Shipping Container Architecture
Re-Nest
Perhaps you’ve seen photos (like the one here) showing modern, almost futuristic-looking homes, office buildings or other structures using massive shipping containers as the core of the structure. Well, if you’ve ever wondered how container architecture works, where the containers come from, or how they’re modified into livable structures, Re-Nest has some answers for you.

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