Ask The Expert: Q&A

Katelyn Preston January 29, 2016

New year, new start, new opportunities. Many of us are looking ahead to what we want to accomplish in 2016, and for some of us that includes upgrades or changes to our home. We’ve been discussing home improvement, and we spoke to Marjeanne Fields from Rise Above Remodeling to learn how remodeling projects large and small can impact your residence’s value.

Q: Does Rise Above Remodeling (RAR) see a jump in business early in the new year?

A: RAR sees an increase in inquiries after the holidays. In January, homeowners are thinking about tax season, and about getting their tax return for the year. “Oftentimes, January is the start of the planning stage, when the relationship with Rise Above begins,” said Fields.

Q: Based on your experience, what are some ideas for homeowners wanting to increase the value of their home on a tight budget?

A: In the kitchen, “fixtures, countertops and backsplash projects can give you anywhere from 60% to 120% ROI,” said Fields. Depending on the quality of your cabinetry, taking a few days to sand and repaint your cabinets can change the whole look, and updating your fixtures to tie into your desired design and feel can polish off the project. 

A fresh coat of paint and new flooring offer dramatic change as well. Trends evolve (thankfully), and updating your paint color and flooring is an easy way to update the look of an entire room. “Flooring is the best way to put lipstick on your home!” said Fields, adding that when homeowners see new flooring, baseboards and paint, it’s like looking at a whole new home! If your bathroom needs some help, especially if you’re looking to sell your home, one of the best ways to increase value and get a return on your investment is to update to tile. You can also update the paint, vanity and countertop style for a totally fresh look.

Q: As an expert in the field, what is the first thing you recommend homeowners do when they decide to undergo a renovation project?

A: “Everyone is different, and it’s helpful when the homeowners know what they like,” said Fields.

By that, she means that you should have an idea or ideas of what style, layout, colors, patterns, etc. you want to see in your remodel before getting in touch with a contractor. Fields recommends looking online at website like Pinterest and Houzz to find photos to present to the contractors at your consultation. After the consultation, RAR will provide an itemized estimate of your project of everything – and they mean everything! – that will be included in the job scope. As an additional tip, try not to schedule parties or family gatherings for at least a few weeks after your project is planned to be completed to allow for any changes in schedule. Sometimes unexpected things happen, and change orders must be made. RAR works very hard to limit change orders and to keep to their timeline for completion from the start.

Q: What are some ideas for homeowners who have a larger budget, but want a fast turnaround time?

A: If you’re prepared to do a full upgrade to your kitchen or bathroom, RAR is ready to assist and guide you through the entire process. For example, a complete kitchen remodel as a turnaround time of two to three weeks once the materials arrive. Quality, custom cabinetry and granite countertops take time; granite must be templated and cut, polished and further prepped for installation.

Q: What projects are you most excited about or looking forward to in 2016?

A: RAR is expanding their market to include more custom work, including wood, tile and more. Details mean a lot in a home, and Rise Above wants to help you bring your ideas to life. Though more challenging, their team is excited to improve their skills in this area.

Fields said the business is also updating to an adapted Customer Relations Management system, allowing for a constant and more streamlined communication channel between the customer and the contractors. Customers will have more control and access, and the opportunity to increase communication throughout their project’s progress. Rise Above’s Project Management system will also be updated, making things easier for the team of contractors and craftsmen. Whether you want to install new flooring in one room, or want to completely gut and update your kitchen or bath, Rise Above Remodeling can guide you through the process and provide a pleasant remodeling experience for your family. Check out the Rise Above Remodeling booth for more information, special offers and photo galleries of their work!


At AZ Home & Garden, our goal is to provide you with a valuable and convenient resource for information to help you complete your next home and garden project. We’ve decided that to further this endeavor, it would be beneficial to speak to the business owners directly; those who know their industry inside and out – the experts. Ask the Experts will be available each month right here on our blog, answering a question or addressing a topic surrounding a theme for the month.