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home remodeling tips

Posts Tagged ‘home remodeling tips’

Four Upgrades To Avoid When Preparing Your Home For Sale

Friday, October 15th, 2010

If you’re thinking about putting your house on the market and want to stand apart from all the other homes for sale in your neighborhood, there are a few things you can do; remodeling a bathroom or kitchen is always good. But be careful to stay away from certain pitfalls that could derail your chances for a quick sale at a price you like.

While making improvements is always good, you don’t want to overdo it. If you spend a ton of money remodeling, you’ll probably never recoup your investment. Plus, with the economy the way it is these days, you most likely don’t have a bunch of extra money to throw into a house you’re leaving.

Real Estate experts agree that small things like new countertops and appliances in the kitchen, simple bathroom remodels, and energy-saving improvements will pay off in the long term. However, they also agree there are several upgrades that aren’t worth your time – or money.

Below are four upgrades experts say to stay away from when it comes time to prepare your house for sale.

From Investopedia:

1. Over-the-Top Improvements
Before you invest tons of money in an elaborate full-house renovation project, consider what the competing properties in your neighborhood have to offer. While you want your house to stand out from the competition, you shouldn’t make unwarranted upgrades that greatly exceed other properties in the area. Not only will you end up losing money, but you may even scare off potential buyers.

Find out how similarly priced homes in your neighborhood measure up, and make improvements based on your specific marketplace

2. A Swimming Pool
Believe it or not, a swimming pool rarely adds value to a home in this day and age. First of all, it usually costs a small fortune to have an in-ground swimming pool installed. Secondly, you’re probably not going to recoup your investment. Why? Because many homebuyers view an in-ground swimming pool as a high-maintenance hassle and safety hazard.

3. Replacing A Popular Feature
Before you consider making a major home change, such as converting your garage into a game room, take a look around. If every other home in your neighborhood boasts a two-car garage, you should probably think twice. Do you really want to be the only house in the area with no garage? Most homebuyers would prefer to have a sheltered place to park their car than a room to play ping pong and darts.

4. Daring Design
We all want to design and decorate our home so that it reflects our unique style. However, if you’re trying to sell your home, now is not the time to incorporate bold design choices into the décor. If your home already beams with your eclectic tastes, try to tone it down before you plant that “For Sale” sign in the front yard. Homebuyers should be able to imagine themselves living in your home.

Upgrades To Avoid When Selling

You Can Save Lots of Money Refurbishing the Kitchen

Monday, August 30th, 2010

The kitchen, for many families, is the main gathering place of the home. You cook, talk, and probably eat there as well. For such an intensively used area, you want to ensure it is the focal point of your home. A kitchen refurbishment has the potential to be one of the most rewarding accomplishments of owning a home. Getting the kitchen to look and function the way you want it to can be a terrific gift that you can give yourself. All too often, unfortunately, redoing the kitchen can involve spending more than you want to spend. A kitchen remodel can be easily thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. Unless your family name is Gates or Walton, you could benefit from some ideas to save money on the kitchen job. Why should you spend all your money on the kitchen when you could just as well use part of it for something else in addition? Hey, after all when you’re finished with all that work and worry you’ll be ready for a vacation trip anyway. In order to help you get on the right track with saving on a kitchen job, here are a few tips to consider when you’re faced with doing the kitchen without breaking the bank.

Find a good handyman who does small jobs. Find a person who is a “jack of all trades” instead of hiring out the various tasks. If you hire a cabinetmaker to do the new cabinets, a flooring contractor to do the floors, and a painter to do the painting, you will pay more than you planned on paying. With a good handyman, they will be able to do it all and usually charge you less money for the work. Ask around and see if a friend can recommend someone that they know. A competent handyman will be able to help you get the necessary local permits. This is a good way to keep costs down.

Consider getting second-hand kitchen appliances. Brand new appliances can add up the cost really quickly. Instead of just picking out the newest, most expensive top of the line stainless appliances, consider getting some that are used. Most of the time, you can’t tell the difference, but you could end up saving hundreds of dollars.

Do a lot of research and shop around. Materials for your kitchen makeover can be affordable or surprisingly expensive. Depending on what you settle on, you could just about pay however much you decide. Just as an example, you can find a nice type of plain ceramic tile for under $1 per square foot, or you could find one for as much as $50 per square foot. Start by getting a general idea of a price/quality range and decide what level of quality you are aiming for. Then, once you decide on the quality level of materials you want, look for the material around at specialty stores. If you go to one with sales personnel on a commission basis you are in a good position, comparatively speaking. Salesmen have to sell in order to get paid. The sales people probably only get a few opportunities per week to sell to a qualified customer come in, ready of buying. That is why they really want to sell something when you come in the door. Go around and get quotes from other stores and use them to press for an break. Retail places such as appliance and flooring or tile stores usually have a good profit margin to work with and they will do everything they can to make the sale. Don’t give in easily and they will usually give you some good savings that can help you get more satisfaction out of the job.

Whatever money you can save on your kitchen job is money you can put to work on much more attractive and worthwhile pleasures and amenities of life — so be smart and enrich your life in more than just having a remodeled kitchen.

When you want to check out real estate in Broomfield, try the Colorado real estate specialists, Automated Homefinder.

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6 Ways You’re Wasting Water And May Not Know It

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Did you know that the majority of wasted water in households is through the bathroom? It’s true. Here are a few ways your bathroom habits may be running up your water bill, as well as a couple other things you’re doing to waste water that you may not even be aware of.

1. Leaking Toilet: Of the more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted by households each year, the majority comes from the toilet. If your toilet constantly runs, check the flapper valves and the inner parts. To check for “silent” toilet leaks, put a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank; if the coloring makes it to the bowl within 15 minutes, your toilet is leaking.

2. Trashcan Toilet: Even if your toilet isn’t leaking, improper use of it can lead to unnecessary flushing, which results in wasted water. Do not use the toilet as a trash can – if you have a tissue, throw it away or compost it. Flush nothing down the toilet except bodily waste and toilet paper.

3. Asleep at the Sink: When you’re standing at the bathroom sink shaving, brushing your teeth, or even washing your face, turn off the water when you’re not using it. Simple as that. Also, taking showers uses much less water than taking baths.

4. No WaterSense: In an effort to make your home as water efficient as possible, look for the WaterSense label when buying or replacing appliances. Working with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the WaterSense program makes it easier for consumers to identify water-efficient products.

5. Overwatering the Lawn: Reports show that more than 50% of residential water – water treated to be drinking water – is used to water the lawn. To help conserve water without having to let your lawn die, do not water it during the hottest part of the day so you’re not losing water through quick evaporation. Also, avoid watering when it’s windy so the water isn’t blown away before it hits the grass. Lastly, make sure the water lands only on what you’re watering – don’t let it water the driveway or street.

6. Small Loads of Laundry: Only use the washing machine when you have a full load of laundry. Combining small loads will minimize the use of your machine, which means less water is used.

Do you have any other ideas on how to stop wasting water and saving money at the same time?? I would love to hear them…..


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Is Composite Decking More Eco-Friendly Than Cumaru?

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Author: gwatson

You definitely have choices when it comes to quality decking. By far, wood decking is the most diverse and offers advantages that are unique to each species. Cumaru wood is one species known to be the most superior decking material available. It is a high quality natural material that is grown as a sustainable wood. Its durability, strength, versatility, and density make it the perfect option for any outdoor project. Cumaru is naturally durable and has a flame spread rating of Class A, the same as concrete or steel. Cumaru wood offers a lifespan well over 40 years without preservatives. If you do treat it, you can expect an average lifespan of over 80 years. Due to its strength and high density, it is also naturally resistant to rot, decay and damage from wood boring insects like termites. Its versatility makes it a great choice for both commercial and residential decking. Cumaru makes the most beautiful longest lasting decks in the world. Its density helps make Cumaru remain smooth and splinter free. It doesn’t absorb water, twist, splinter, or bow like softer woods.

Cumaru wood is also extremely rich in color and appearance. Its color varies from a golden tan to reddish brown with some dark grain accents throughout the wood. It has an irregular, slightly interlocked grain which is coarse and wavy in texture. Unlike most exotics, Cumaru endures very little color change due to sun light. Its color will slightly mute over time into a more consistent color. It is also very low maintenance and easy to work with. Cumaru wood is far greater than most composite decking products.

Composite decking tries to compete with high end decking materials, but is unable to when it comes to quality. It is made of a mixture of recycled materials and glue. The recycled materials typically consist of a 50/50 mixture of wood fibers and waste plastic. This plastic includes high density polyethylene and PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Many people think that because composite decking uses recyclable resources it is eco-friendly. That is not the case because PVC is known as a toxic plastic and is obviously not good for the environment. Due to the manufacturing process of composite decking, it is extremely porous and soaks up water very easily. This causes it to be prone to rot, decay, mildew, mold and fungus. Also, it will expand and contract according to the temperature, causing loosening of screws and plates. Many of the cleaners for composite decking are extremely dangerous and clean only the surface.

Composite decking products claim to be cost competitive, but they are actually significantly more expensive than real wood products. When you factor in installation costs, maintenance fees, and possible replacement costs, it turns out to be much more expensive than a wood deck made of Cumaru.

Most composite decking materials haven’t been thoroughly tested, but it sure has been thoroughly marketed. This causes home owners to think that composite decking is a great choice. However, with some research, you can find complaints and problems about the quality of the product. You can avoid all this and simply build a deck with Cumaru. Cumaru wood is the ideal choice in decking.

Discover why wood decking such as Cumaru and other species of Brazilian Hardwood is superior to composite decking materials. Grayer Watson enjoys building decks, installing floors and working with people to make their homes better.

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Consider Building A Wine Cellar In Your Basement

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
Author: clavinee

Building a wine cellar in your house will surely enhance the beauty of your home. Also, the wine cellar boosts the market value of your home. Whenever you feel like drinking your finest wine, it would be a great place in your home to enjoy it. If you’re a wine lover, this would be a perfect addition in your house.

Though it is not an easy project, creating a wine cellar will definitely add beauty to your home. Here are some things that you should think about as you decide to build a wine cellar.

· Plan carefully. It is crucial to consider your spending budget for building the wine cellar. You should also think of the right design and combination to make it really attractive.

· Put together all building materials. You will need to pick the necessary materials for building the cellar. Preparing the right materials needed in building the wine cellar will allow you to be able to easily work.

· Install ventilation. The place should have proper ventilation to make the place really comfortable. You may install an air conditioning unit to ensure that things will be good and convenient. Installing proper air flow in the cellar is needed as it is located in the basement. Without the right ventilation, you will have so much heat in the place.

· Install the right plastic protection. The wine bottles need protection too. Putting on the right plastic protection will shield the wine bottle just in case it falls on the floor. The protection of the wine beverages is very important in securing what you have invested.

· Install proper flooring. One thing that also contributes beauty to the wine cellar is the flooring. It is important that you install the right flooring in creating a fine wine cellar. You may want to use tiles to make the place look pretty much better. Moisture resistant flooring will help the wines to be protected.

· Install wine racks. Depending on the quantity of your racks, installing the right wine rack in the cellar is necessary. Wine bottles have various sizes and shapes, so you need to install the right wine racks. There are different sizes of the wine racks that you can choose from and installing the right size will allow you to properly arrange and organize your stock of wines.

Obviously, what is a wine cellar without wines? When the wine cellar is completed it time for you to put the wines. Understanding the capacity of your storage place will give you the right number of wines that you will stock. The wines are important elements of the wine cellar.

Building a wine cellar in your basement is not an easy task, but it is a good project that you should take. With the right spending budget and proper planning you can build a nice wine cellar in your basement. Having a nice space to stock your wines is not only pleasurable for home owners, but also a great addition as it boost the value of your home.

Laveen View Homes for Sale highlight the area’s splendor. Laveen Waterfront Property lets you enjoy the view. Laveen Homes with Pools make a splash.

how to build basement wine cellar

Feng Shui Essential Rules

Monday, May 31st, 2010

You have likely heard of “Feng Shui.” But do you know what it’s about? Feng Shui is basically a body of guidelines for arranging the home environment, based on ancient principles, in which things flow together to create a more tranquil setting. You can use the following basic of this venerable body of art to get started on your own Feng Shui project in your home.

Clean out the Clutter

Actually, you don’t have to be doing Feng Shui to accomplish this first step, even without the others. This is done to “lighten the load” of the possessions in your environment and it’s probably the most essential part of the process. Throw away anything that you do not really need in your home. Then when you have done that, you will automatically feel refreshed and lighter.

Introduce More Light and Fresh Air

Whenever possible, open up the windows and let the fresh air enter in to encourage a good “energy.” Get plants that do their part to purify the air or purchase a good air purifier. And, just as vital, let the sunlight come in, too.

Know the Esoteric Elements of Feng Shui

Elements of Feng Shui such as wood, water and metal each have an optimal place in the home. For example if you want to increase your prosperity, put water and wood in the southeast corner of your room or home.

Identify and Orient According to the Ba Gua

This has to do with evaluating and optimizing the layout of the home with the Feng Shui compass. The word refers to eight diagrams (eight areas) which are used to optimize the location of elements of the room or home for maximum benefit to those who enter into the space. You can read up on it in various online sources, and many people find it to be a fascinating topic. By relating to Ba Gua, you’ll find how areas of your home are tied to specific areas of your life and what you experience.

Find out Your Feng Shui Birth Element and Create a Plan Around It

Your Birth Element requires a specific analysis, which is something you can do with various reference sources. For example, if you have fire as your Birth Element use lots of reds, purples, oranges and yellows to decorate your home. Generous use of wood would also be a complementary element to emphasize as it feeds fire, building upon the relationship between these elements.

Know Your Individual Kua Number

This lets you know which direction is the best way to position yourself in the room where you spend a lot of time for better tranquility. It will guide you in placing desk or favorite chair so you’re facing in your most auspicious direction.

Know How Your Home’s Energy Influences You

Pay special attention to your living room, your bedroom, and the kitchen to make sure the layouts in each of these areas are positive inputs to your comfort and prosperity. These three most important living spaces constitute the Feng Shui triangle.

Whether you think the effects of Feng Shui are genuine or imaginary, countless people over the years have used it as a way to improve their lives. After all, that first big step of getting all the clutter out of your home is important whether you use Feng Shui or not. After you get that done, it doesn’t require much more work to try different techniques to see how what happens.

Article made available courtesy of Automated Homefinder, the best Lafayette Colorado home location experts.

feng shui your home

Spruce Up The Bathroom Without Going Broke

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Investing in the bathroom in your home can be the best investment you can make. Time and again it has been proven that the bathroom and kitchen are the two rooms with the most significant impact on home values. That is a very good reason why making improvements to the bathroom is very important, especially if you plan to sell anytime soon. There are a number of companies out there that sell bathroom remodeling jobs that do not require that you do any of the work yourself. These deals might be like a good idea, but they can turn out to be pretty expensive when it is time to pay the bill. As an alternative, there are some very sensible and inexpensive ways to fix your bathroom that are fairly affordable. Here are some handy suggestions that you can use to get your bathroom up to par and save some cash while you’re doing it.

1. Add a Shower Door Instead of the old Curtain. Installing a door on the shower is a great way to add functionality without breaking the bank. You can do the job yourself or install or have someone install a door in the shower without replacing the whole shower. This will avoid a lot of expense and problems.

2. Consider Vinyl Tile. Much of the time, bathroom remodels include chipping up ceramic tile and installing new. Most people think that tile is the only choice there is. Although ceramic tile used to be the only way to go, that is no longer so. New vinyl products have come on the market that are so realistic that it is hard to tell the difference. Flex-floor vinyl gives you a surface with a little cushioning to it as well as durability. It costs less than regular tile, and it can be found in a variety of tile, stone and woodgrain patterns. In many installations you can install it over the existing flooring material. Just fill in the grout lines with patching material, and just lay the thick new material over it. This will save money on tearing up the old tile and on the installing the new. Check into the new vinyl materials out there before you spend money on a new tile floor. For small jobs, any flooring specialty shops will offer remnants that can be perfect for bathrooms.

3. Countertop Remnants. In much the same way as flooring has remnants, many types of counters are made in a way such that there are remnants, or leftover pieces. If you want a particular kind of countertop for your vanity, check with a shop that sells granite to see if they have any remnants. Generally you can pick these up for a small fraction of what it would cost for a full piece of granite. You can still have them install it and get it cut to your counter size, and the price you pay for the stone will be much less.

By using some imagination and careful shopping, you can make a meaningful improvement for a small expenditure. Because of how big a factor the bathroom is to everyday functioning of most families, the modest amount of money you spend on this kind of renovation can pay off big in satisfaction.

To learn all about Broomfield CO homes, go to AutomatedHomefinder.com.

Kids And Family Camping Trips. Be Prepared So Your Kids Will Have Fun Camping! by Dave Clair

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Kids And Family Camping Trips. Be Prepared So Your Kids Will Have Fun Camping! by Dave Clair

Taking your kids camping can create the kind of fond memories that they will cherish for a lifetime. In order to make sure your trip is a success, be prepared on your next camping trip. Being outdoors with their endless energy and imagination is all they need to have a great time, as long as the basics are covered.

You’ve heard it said: Safety first. First aid kids are a must. Kids are great at getting bumps and cuts and scrapes when they are outdoors. Make sure your first aid kid is up to par.

Personal care items are very important. Bring toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, tissues, and other related items.

Nothing is worse than sleeping on the hard ground with a poor sleeping bag. Bring good sleeping bags, along with some extra blankets and extra pillows to make sure they are comfortable.

Lanterns and flashlights are a must. Bring plenty of batteries for them, too. Your kids will have more fun if they have their own flashlights and they’ll be a lot safer in the dark.

With younger kids, you need to prepare for boredom control. Small toys and coloring books can work wonders for this. For long car rides, bring some travel board games.

Bring food that kids will eat! Hot dogs, marshmallows, trail mix, etc. Don’t assume that your kids will be happy eating things they aren’t used to just because you are camping. Don’t forget to pack plenty of clean water.

You might like sitting on a tree stump all weekend, but your kids probably won’t. Camping chairs and folding tables can make a huge difference and make your family way more comfortable around the campfire.

Be ready for any kind of unforeseen accidents by packing extra clothing. Kids have a gift for getting dirty, wet, or rips in their clothing.

Follow these tips and your kids will have a wonderful time camping with you. They will have memories they will treasure for a lifetime.

About the Author:

Learn more about folding tables at mightychair.com

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Save Money! Improve Your Home With Artifical Building Materials

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Believe it or not, you can build with plastic and no one will ever know! It’s virtually impossible to tell the difference between artificial materials and materials found in nature.

And artificial is so much cheaper!

Here are some of the best state-of-the-art building material look-alikes:

Fiber Cement Siding

Average price: $13,000 to replace existing siding and trim with fiber cement
Savings: 25% less than wood

Unlike vinyl siding, which comes in large sheets, this consists of individual shingles or clapboards nailed in place one at a time to closely resemble wood. Made from recycled wood fibers mixed with cement, this siding won’t rot.

home improvement fiber cement siding

Manufactured Stone

Average price: $1,700 to create an interior floor-to-ceiling wall above a fireplace
Savings: 50% less than real masonry

Get the look of real stone for a chimney, a fireplace or porch posts with these artificial rocks that are molded from concrete and then individually tinted to slightly different colors for an authentic appearance.

home improvement manufactured stone

Engineered Stone Countertops

Average price: $2,500 to $5,000 for an average kitchen countertop
Savings: Same price as granite, but needs no sealing

Made from chips of quartz pressed together with resins, the best-engineered countertops look like real stone that just happens to have an extremely uniform pattern on its surface (man cannot mimic a highly variegated look yet – maybe in a couple of years).

home improvement stone counters

Cellular PVC Trim

Average price: $120 per window or door, installed
Savings: Costs 20% more than cedar up front but lasts longer and better

Made by injecting air into vinyl chloride (a liquid form of vinyl) and then forming it into solid pieces of trim, the resulting boards get cut, nailed and even shaped into custom profiles by the same tools and techniques used for wood.

home improvement cellular pvc trim

Stamped Concrete Patios

Average price: $4,000 for a 16 x 20 patio
Savings: Half the cost of bluestone

Instead of laying individual bluestones, cobbles or bricks, a contractor can simply pour a slab of concrete and then emboss and tint its surface to make it look like any one of those far more expensive materials.

home improvement stamped concrete

Find out more about Plastic fantastic building materials at Money.Cnn.Com

Ensure Your Remodeling Project Pays Off

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

You might not be selling your home anytime soon, but you could in the future, and what you’re doing now will have a definite have an effect on on that.

Repairs get the biggest returns

You may think it’s the big things like a updated kitchen or a hot tub that will bring in the buyers, but often times it’s the lack of general repairs that need to be done that really catches their eye.

Austin, TX real estate appraiser Jim Amorin says, “If a property is known to have issues, today’s buyers won’t even look at it.”

He goes on to point out that asking sellers to not only pay for the repairs as part of the agreement, but also pay a penalty to compensate the buyer for the inconvenience is now common practice., and that $20,000 roof repair you never did because you wanted to save money, could very well turn into a $30,000 credit to the buyer.

Remodel instead of adding on

The desire for a large and spacious home is dwindling. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add value to your home.

Instead of adding on to your house, remodel the existing areas to better suit the needs and wants of today’s buyers.

Eco-friendly upgrades can save money

Green-living is huge right now. Why not make your house part of the environment-friendly trend?

Think energy-efficient – with such features as EnergyStar appliances and extra wall insulation.

Perhaps the best way to go green is make the changes while you’re there anyway. For example, when it’s time to replace your furnace, upgrade to a super-efficient model – it could very well save you, and your future buyers, $150 or more in annual heating costs.

Get more tips on how remodeling your home can pay off at Money.Cnn.Com.

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