Executive Realty
Joe DeChristofaro

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Your home is your biggest investment, and one of the best ways to increase your property's worth is to consistently put money back into it. Home renovations offer the dual advantage of increasing your quality of living in the present, but also adding immense value when it comes time to sell.

The projects that add the best value to your home are ones that accomplish the 'big three' of an improved quality of life (added security, more space, higher curb appeal), an increase in energy efficiency, and also provide a market value boost.

Not all projects (or budgets) are created equal, but there is a wide range of projects that border from DIY to professional, all bringing something new and unique to your home while also increasing the value of the property.

Replace Old Wallpaper

Corn-on-the-cob wallpaper was a great look in 1982, but aside from a hipster looking for irony, most home buyers want an updated appearance nowadays. Old wallpaper that is cracked, ripped or bubbling gives an unkempt vibe and may have your guests feeling like their health is at risk.

One of the best advantages of removing wallpaper is that it's a fairly simple DIY task. You can give any room a vibrant new look with a very minimal amount of spending and some good old fashioned elbow grease – or you can also hire a pro for a guaranteed high-quality result.
One big debate is whether you should remove the old product or just wallpaper over existing wallpaper. The recommendation is to always go for the clean slate, and make sure the subsurface is pristine for best results.

Fix Drafty Windows

One project that very much tackles energy efficiency issues is to fix drafty windows. The costs of this project can vary depending on the issue causing the air leaks, but it's also a task that pays for itself. Whatever money you put into these replacements will be recouped in lower heating and cooling bills. You'll also be saving wear and tear on your furnace and AC, hopefully extending the life of both.

The most obvious cause for a drafty window would be a crack in the glass, which would need to be replaced for not only energy efficiency reasons but also for safety. The most common reason that air enters and escapes around a window is because of a lack of insulation around the sides or caulking that has rotted away, both of which are easy fixes.

Windows also 'go bad' for lack of a better term. Triple and double hung vinyl windows have an insulating gas between them that can eventually escape, which is what causes some units to look like they have permanent condensation. These will need to be replaced to maximize efficiency.

Add Decorative Garage Door Hardware

It's often accepted that the home improvement projects that have the best return on investment are replacing a steel entry door or having a new garage door installed. New garage doors instantly give your home a facelift, while also boosting security.

Scaling that back a bit, a much more cost-effective and less labor-intensive project that has very similar curb appeal results is simply adding decorative hardware to the existing garage door. Decorative latches, pull handles, hinge fronts, etc. go a long way in making a garage door look a lot more sophisticated than it really is. The fake eyeglasses of home hardware if you will.

Install Impact Resistant Roofing Shingles

Getting a new roof is not a project that should be done before it is needed, but if your current asphalt shingles are starting to curl and break or if you're noticing a lot of leaking it may be time to invest in composite materials.

One thing new home buyers love is knowing they won't have to replace a roof anytime soon (barring a major weather catastrophe). Impact-resistant roofing shingles add incredible value to your property in that regard, these composite tiles are virtually impervious to wind, hail, and the quiet threat – the sun's UV rays.

Class 4 shingles are the most durable on the market, resisting winds of up to 110 MPH with a life span of 50 years or more. That's about the same durability as metal roofing, but with a much more welcoming style. The cost is about 25% more than standard roofing installations, but that longevity makes it a worthy investment.

Incorporate Modern Window Casing

Some real estate agents will tell you that replacing windows boosts the curb appeal of your home. That's not necessarily true – windows are just glass – but casement windows can definitely provide a rich new allure to a drab design.

Window casings are the product that surrounds the frame, sometimes called window trim. You get the most value when wrapping a window with oak, or another hardwood that is as durable as it is elegant. Window casings combined with baseboards and crown molding can really become the focal point of a room.

Window casing style options are available for all sorts of tastes. They can include:

-Abundance of the same wood (oak, mahogany, pine)

-Light and dark wood contrasts

-Popping contrasts of white on dark or black on white

-Soft and neutral painted casings

-Wide trim for a modern look

-Elaborate casing headers

Incorporating a new window casing can cost a bit more than you'd expect depending on the quality of the wood. That being said, even though it may seem like a small task the improvement will be instantly noticeable.

These are some projects to consider if you're thinking about listing soon, or if you just want to make some home improvements now that will pay off in the long run.  

Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.

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Executive Realty
1 Richmond Square
Providence, RI 02906

What my clients are saying  

Without reservation and to the highest degree, I whole heartedly recommend Joe as a realtor. As a seller, I entered the process a bit weary (having previously encountered realtors who were willing to tell me anything I wanted to hear when I was a buyer years ago). In refreshing contrast, Joe is honest, ethical, patient, and transparent. He is a wealth of knowledge and will advocate for you as his client. There were many roadblocks that arose during the sale of my condo, which Joe was able to expertly navigate.


~ Elisabeth E - Downtown Providence

It was my first time buying a house/condo and Joe was beyond helpful in finding the perfect place for me. Once I did, he advised me on what to offer and I trusted his judgement completely. I would use Joe’s services again in a heartbeat.


~ John B - West Warwick

About a month a go I reached out to Joe as our first step in finding a home. He immediately set us up with an MLS account that sent us listings that were tailored for exactly what we wanted. He was friendly and extremely accommodating. He encouraged us to look at as many homes as we wanted. He was incredibly knowledgeable, researched all the neighborhoods and was detailed oriented in comparing homes. What I appreciated the most was that he never pressured us to rush into buying anything and was able to guide us when it came to putting offers negotiating for the best price. In the end, we found our perfect home faster than expected and under Joe’s advice we were able to put in an offer that was accepted at $30,000 less than the asking price. With his help and great references, we were even able to close on the house in just over 2 weeks! We couldn’t be happier with the house we bought, the money we saved and everything our realtor Joe did for us to make it all happen. Thank you Joe!!!


~ Katherine & Tyler W - North Providence

Joe was incredibly helpful and resourceful when helping me purchase my new home. He went above and beyond to make sure I found the right place at the right price and made sure every detail was to the highest standard. Additionally, Joe is very professional and truly looks out for his clients.


~ Ella C - East Side of Providence

Joe has been amazing!. We felt we really had somebody working with and for us. He is the best real state agent!. Particularly working with him from the distance. He made easy every step for us without making us feel stressed through the process. I would recommend him in a heartbeat!


~ Marta C - East Side of Providence

I have recently had the best experience with Executive Realty and cannot be more impressed with Joe’s knowledge, enthusiasm, professionalism and dedication. He found the perfect condo in Providence for my daughter and provided us with the most amazing contacts from banks to movers to contractors. Without Joe’s amazing efforts, we would still be searching instead of being ready to move in this week. My friends find it amazing that we visited the condo on November 11 and closed on December 12! In fact, what’s even more amazing is that Joe has followed up with us over the past week to make sure everything is going smoothly with my daughter’s move, our contractor, and the condo unit in general. Executive Realty is on the top of my list and I would be happy to recommend Joe to anyone. Having a realtor who knows his stuff and cares about his clients really matters, and that is why I took the time to acknowledge Joe and his business :)


~ Lynne R - Downtown Providence

Joe was extremely attentive and provided an excellent level of service. A true professional, Joe's experience and vast knowledge of the market shined when handling both of our transactions (selling and buying). I would highly recommend Joe to others for their real estate needs.


~ Bob & Joy S - Cranston, RI

I would highly recommend Joe DeChristofaro as a realtor. I worked with Joe for several years as I wanted to purchase a home in a specific area. Joe was very patient and accommodating while we searched for the perfect home. Joe gave great recommendations and even helped point out potential issues with the houses we viewed. I had a great experience with Joe and I would recommend him to anyone purchasing or selling a home.


~ Dave P - Warwick

Joe is just excellent. His expertise in the field is exceptional and he walked me through the process of buying my first home, step by step. He is extremely humble and disarming, making him a very approachable person and so easy to work with. I never hesitated to call or email and he was readily available. I would recommend him without any hesitation to friends and family.


~ Bianca C - Downtown Providence

Joe is an amazing realtor and person! He is knowledgeable, honest and ethical. He helped us from the beginning to find the house we wanted. Even after we bought to house, he still keet in contact with us to make sure everything was okay. And he gave us incredible tips about being a homeowner and a landlord...


~ Tiffany & Efe K - West Warwick

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