ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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For Sale: Standards Aid in Home Appraisals and Improvements


New York, Nov 12, 2007

In today’s housing market, sellers face many tough decisions. Whether they choose to put their home up for sale or hold out for more favorable conditions, several key standards help homeowners to appraise their property and increase its value.

One of the most important indicators of a home’s worth is its square footage. An American National Standard from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center helps homeowners and real estate professionals make accurate appraisals of a property’s size. ANSI Z765-2003, Single-Family Residential Buildings - Square Footage - Method for Calculating, suggests measuring and multiplying the home’s exterior dimensions, then subtracting unfinished space, rooms that are not usable year-round, and rooms with a sloping ceiling. An additional differentiation is made between above-grade and below-grade square footage.

Armed with an accurate appraisal, sellers can decide if renovations and other home improvement projects will add substantially to the worth of their property. For example, a simple appliance upgrade can have a large impact in a buyer’s eyes. A revised American National Standard from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) provides a performance evaluation procedure for household refrigerators, freezers, and wine chillers, helping homeowners to make smart decisions about their new appliances. In addition to total volume, durability, and safety concerns, ANSI/AHAM HRF-1-2007, Energy, Performance and Capacity of Household Refrigerators, Refrigerator-Freezers and Freezers, provides a method for accurate calculation of energy consumption – an important feature for homeowners looking to decrease their monthly electric bill.

Once any desired renovations are completed, homeowners may begin to think about listing their property and hosting an open house. When creating a warm and welcoming environment for potential buyers, quality of light is of key importance. The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, an ANSI-accredited standards developer, has developed an American National Standard for residential lighting. ANSI/IESNA RP-11-95, Design Criteria for Lighting Interior Living Spaces, provides guidance on typical lighting challenges, offers a discussion of commercially-available lighting equipment and controls, and lists the physical and performance characteristics of both incandescent and fluorescent light sources.

Whatever improvements homeowners decide to make, standards are in place to help them choose the most efficient appliances and systems and to protect their health and safety.

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