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17 Divinity St
Bristol, CT, 06010
United States


Since 1975, O'Donnell Bros has been providing greater Bristol and Central Connecticut with residential and commercial remodeling solutions. We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, doors, gutters, downspouts and so much more. We look forward to helping you with all your remodeling needs. 

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O'Donnell Bros President, Bob O'Donnell, is a regular contributor to The Bristol Press. Read his home improvement articles here.


Filtering by Tag: resale

Simple Projects To Increase Your Home’s Resale Value

Chelsea O'Donnell

With real estate season heating up, you might be thinking about small remodeling projects to get the best possible price for your home. If a major renovation isn’t up your alley, you could consider smaller “spruce-up” projects that will give your house a refresh without breaking the bank. Here are some areas to focus on:

The Kitchen

A kitchen is almost always the hub of a house, even for non-cooks. People love to get together to make meals, chat about each other’s day, and enjoy casual snacks in a comfortable common space. For any potential buyer, a kitchen design that’s clean, functional, and snazzy will help to increase the sale price. Just remember to keep your updates neutral enough to appeal to lots of potential buyers.

Curb Appeal

First impressions are crucial when listing a house on the market. It goes without saying that roof streaked with mold and overgrown landscaping will turn people away. Spend some time updating roofing and siding and use a professional landscaper or tap into your inner green thumb to spruce up plants and shrubs. You’d be shocked at how much of a difference a few small changes will make.

The Master Suite

With how busy people are, creating an oasis for a potential buyer to enjoy can score you major points. A master bedroom complete with an ensuite is always a wise investment, especially if it exudes relaxation. Soaking tubs, double sinks, and large closets have mass appeal and paying attention to little extras can help people see themselves enjoying their potential new home.


When the warm weather comes people are chomping at the bit to get outside, which is why creating a backyard retreat is always a good idea. From firepits to barbecue areas, privacy fencing to comfortable seating areas, making the most of a yard is a sure fire way to encourage buyers to consider your home. An additional living space, such as a three season porch, is also a huge bonus.


Lots of homeowners paint their interiors to suit their lifestyles. That might mean bright blue and pink colored bedrooms for kids and a few old trends that have seen better days (who ever thought red walls were a good idea?). Repainting with neutral grays, bright whites, and warm taupe tones will give a home an instant facelift without too much expense or effort.

Have you thought about giving your home a mini-makeover to get it ready for sale? What are your favorite tips? I’d love to hear from you, send me a message on Facebook at

Bob O'Donnell is the owner of O'Donnell Bros, Inc., a Bristol-based home improvement company established in 1975. Email your questions for Bob to with the subject line “Ask the Pro”. All questions may be considered for publication. To contact Bob for your remodeling needs, call O'Donnell Bros, Inc. at (860) 589-5155 or visit Advice is for guidance only.

Cost Versus Value 2019: Home Remodeling Projects That Will Pay Upon Resale

Chelsea O'Donnell

One of my favorite things to review is the annual Remodeling Magazine Cost Versus Value Report which comes out at the end of January. This report compares home renovation projects by assessing their cost and their value in terms of resale if and when a house is put on the market. I always find this information to be extremely valuable and I love sharing it for two reasons: it gives my readers an idea about which remodeling projects will actually pay off in the long run and it also uncovers some less glamorous projects that can fetch bigger dollars on a home sale. One of the things I love about this report is that it gives remodelers and owners a glimpse at national trends, but it also breaks it right down on a local level. So let’s jump into the projects that are paying off right here in Hartford County.

Topping the list for 2019 is garage door replacement which, at an average cost of $3,717, will net you an average 99.9% back upon the resale of your home. Garage door replacement actually took the top spot locally, regionally, and nationally for the first time. It also just so happens to be one of the cheapest home remodeling jobs you can do.

Another big category was outdoor improvements with both deck additions and stone veneer upgrades recouping three-quarters of their costs. Here in Hartford County, a wood deck addition netted a homeowner 78% of its cost on an average $14,000 project and stone veneer came in at 73% cost recouped on a project under $10,000. My take on this is that people value both curb appeal and outdoor liveability, and smaller projects that make a house look like the best on the block can mean a major payoff in the long run.

Rounding out the rest on the top of the list in Hartford were minor kitchen remodels, midrange bathroom remodels, and siding and window replacements which all scored well above 50% in terms of their cost versus resale value. Again, investing in these types of projects which both beautify and modernize the home are smart spending and projects such as window upgrades are also both practical and cost-effective since they offer major bonus points in the energy efficiency department.

But what about the projects that don’t deliver as much value? At the bottom of the list were additions with a new luxury master suite netting only 45% of the costs outlaid and a bathroom addition only earning 47% on resale. My take on this? Bedrooms and bathrooms are highly personal and for these higher priced remodeling jobs, it’s tough to get someone to want to pay a premium for a costly job that might be unique to your family. If a bathroom or bedroom addition is in your future, try to tackle it with a flexible plan in mind and know that if a real estate transaction is in your future, a new family might not be as keen on a French bidet and walk-in dressing room as you are.

If you’re interested in the full report, you can access it here. Happy remodeling!

Bob O'Donnell is the owner of O'Donnell Bros, Inc., a Bristol-based home improvement company established in 1975. Email your questions for Bob to with the subject line “Ask the Pro”. All questions may be considered for publication. To contact Bob for your remodeling needs, call O'Donnell Bros, Inc. at (860) 589-5155 or visit Advice is for guidance only.

An Entry Door Buyer’s Guide – Tips from The Pro

Chelsea O'Donnell

A front door is one of the most defining features of a house. It welcomes people into your home and sets the stage for what to expect on the inside.  An entry door can really increase the curb appeal of your home, and it generally recoups between 80 and 95% of its cost in resale value. So if you’re thinking about an upgrade, here is what you should consider.

Entry doors are generally made of wood, fiberglass or steel, and each material has both positive and negative factors. To make the comparison simple, I am going to focus on three important factors: energy efficiency, maintenance, and price. 

Fiberglass is the newest kid on the block and it’s a favorite because of its flexibility. The material gets a tick for energy efficiency is generally a top performer for retaining heat and air conditioning, and reducing your carbon footprint. Fiberglass doors can also be made to look quite unique in terms of style, even mimicking wood or metal to ensure your personal aesthetic can be achieved. Fiberglass doors are also very sturdy and generally stand up to most kicks, bumps or denting. But it’s not all gold stars for fiberglass. Under extreme impact or weather conditions, fiberglass has been known to crack, and although it’s not common, it is something to consider. Also, these doors tend to be a bit more expensive than your average steel option, but less expensive than most wood models. 

Steel doors are a popular choice because they are relatively low cost and provide one of the strongest options available on the market. From a security perspective, a steel door is a reliable choice and it will stand up to most wear and tear with ease. Steel is also relatively easy in the maintenance category as it really only needs to be repaired when it's scratched or dented.  Conversely, weather can play a part in the lifetime of a steel door as they do have the potential to rust when hit with severe and persistent rain, snow and other wet weather conditions. Additionally, steel doors are huge heat conductors, to the point where we often don’t suggest pairing one with a storm door if it’s facing south as the heat that collects between the two doors has the ability to melt parts of the door or even shatter the glass.

Lastly, there are wood doors, which are probably the most aesthetically pleasing. In addition to looking beautiful, they also resist scratches and are very difficult to dent. Of course, with the good comes the bad, and with wood, the biggest negatives are its price and upkeep. Wood is easily the most expensive of the three options, and the material does need to be painted or stained every few years to ensure it still looks like new.

No matter which type of material you choose, you want to ensure you’re purchasing a door from a reputable manufacturer and that you have a rock solid warranty. Also, be sure to choose a professional, recommended contractor for the installation, as the fitting of the door can make all the difference in terms of performance. Most of the time, the air that flows through the home generally comes from the gaps and spaces between windows and doors, not the product itself. There’s no use spending good money on a new door and have a bad install impact its performance. Don’t forget, if you have a question, I’m here to help!