Monday, June 11, 2012

The Top Home Improvement Tricks Of The Pros

You don't want to end up with a structurally unsound house full of shoddy home improvement work! This is why it is important to know what you are doing before you try and tackle a home improvement job. This article will provide you with the information you need to be on your way to an A+ handy man.

Try not to cut corners when it comes to the quality of building materials for remodeling or you may pay for it later. Buying cheap wood, plastic or appliances with dings and dents will reduce the initial cost of a project but devalue the entire house later. Since your home is a long term investment, build and rebuild with quality materials, whether for resale value or your own occupation of it.

To keep your painting equipment from crusting up or getting dry when you take a break, keep Ziploc baggies handy. When you go on your break, put every brush or roller head in a bag and seal. This prevents the paint already on the brushes from drying out before you apply another coat.

Purchase your building materials at re-use stores such as Habitat ror Humanity's Re-Store. When you do this, you are saving resources and recycling your money by investing it in your own home and in providing homes for the homeless. If you hire a contractor, make sure s/he does not throw out usable materials. Either re-use them yourself or donate them to the Re-Store.

Light is a premium often overlooked in many home improvement projects. There are far, far more rooms in the world that are too dim than there are rooms that are too bright. Adding more light fixtures is almost always a wise home improvement job, and often a fairly simple one. In more extensive renovation work, installing more windows accomplishes similar results. Adding natural light to bathroom renovations and kitchen remodels will add value to any home.

Your ceramic tile can lose its luster after a while and appear grungy. Mixing a solution of water and vinegar can create a safe solution for most flooring. Grab a bucket, fill it with your solution and you can mop your floors with ease. This will get rid of the grime and dirt, making your floors look as though they are gleaming and new.

Buying new appliances can actually save you money in the long run. Companies today have invested a lot of money in creating appliances that conserve energy. If you buy a new fridge that uses less electricity, during the life of the refrigerator, you will actually be saving money. This is a great way to add value to a home you are selling as well.  New appliances are an inexpensive way to bring in a bigger offer on your home.

When it comes time to re-do your roof, put up light colored shingles, or another light colored roofing material. The lighter color will reflect the sun’s rays instead of absorbing them, reducing the heat buildup in your attic. You can save a substantial amount on your monthly heating and cooling bill.

The life of your home and the repairs you do to it could be drastically reduced if you do not know what you are doing. This is why you should take the information you have obtained from this article and devise a set plan for how you will tackle your home improvement issues.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Reason To Opt For A Second Story Home Addition

Often times we purchase homes in the beginning of our marriages that are meant to be starter homes.  Eventually when children come along a bigger space will be needed to accommodate the growing family so we will move on to another home.  What happens when you find yourself in this situation however you don’t want to move?  For whatever reason, the neighbors are great, the economy is poor, etc… you find yourself wanting or needing to stay in this home however need more space.  Your house needs to grow and we all know there is not any fertilizer out there that will make that happen.  What is the next best option?  That’s right; add on to the existing home.
Adding a second story to your home allows you many benefits as does any new room addition,  the obvious being extra space.  The addition of a second story means that you do not have to acquire additional land.  This is super beneficial when looking at the cost of land and the limited quantity available in many already existent areas where homes inhabit. 
Another benefit to adding a second story is the fact that if you like the location of your home.  This is especially true if the property is enhanced with a pool, water features or a family park within walking distance you aren’t going to want to move.  The neighborhood means so much too many of us.  You might enjoy the history of the home or the proximity to a school. 
Another major benefit of adding a second story to a home is the opportunity to modernize the look of your home.  Adding space and light often brightens the home up and adds an entirely new perspective.  Adding windows and higher ceilings to the second story addition and in turn add light and brightness to the space.
The second story can be used to meet any need for addition space.  Traditionally second stories have been built to accommodate more children, guest bedroom or spare bathrooms.  So many ideas for addition space within a home. 
·         If you are a movie fan think about adding on a second floor space to accommodate a home theatre.  Think about the possibilities with a space dedicated to the movie watching experience. HD wide screen television, theatre seating (comfy extra wide recliners), a small kitchen for drinks and popcorn and some surround sound speakers.  Do I have you convinced yet?  Room additions and extra space can mean luxury to any second store addition. 
·         Crafters are also in need of a space that can be left undisturbed.  Who likes to clean up after every time they start a project when they are interrupted by daily life?  A second story addition is a perfect space to create a hobby and craft room.
·         A playroom is also something many of us moms desire right around dinner time.  A space that is safe and free of mini disasters happening.  The addition of a second floor can mean an additional space to harbor toys for your kids.  A space all of their own with a door that can be closed and clutter kept within.
·         In-law quarters are also becoming increasingly popular.  A space designed to fit their aging needs.  Barrier free living quarters are often needed as we age and a floor designed to meet their needs under your roof where you can care for them is ideal.  This floor can be accessed using stair chair lifts or even a redesign keeping loved ones on the main level and moving the household into the second story addition.
Of course a second story addition will likely cost more than a simple additional room added on to your home however will likely add tenfold to the value of your home. It is also likely that you will have to hire a licensed contractor or general builder to oversee the project.  Home remodeling of any kind is tricky enough to bring in the professionals but with a second story addition it is a must. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Home Renovations Tips On Hiring A General Contractor

What comes to mind when I say home remodeling?  Dread I bet! Remodeling, renovations, sprucing up, whatever you want to call it can all be done without headaches guaranteed.  I know it is hard to believe but it is possible to do kitchen and bathroom remodeling, flooring renovations, home additions, porch upgrades and general upgrades without stress or breaking the budget. 

Our home, like many, is in a constant state of repair and could always benefit from a minor remodel or home renovation.  I can think of many things that need to be done right now.  The bathroom renovations would include a flooring renovation along with updates faucets and a new styled mirror.  The kitchen remodel could easily start with cabinet refinishing, flooring upgrade and hardware touches.  This is not to mention we could use a room addition for extra storage and possible a guest bedroom along with some work in the basement.  A basement transformation would be on that wish list too.  I am sure if you spoke with my husband an out building, shed addition would be first on his list.

Of course these are the major things.  This does not touch base on the millions of little items that could use some handyman touches.  The doors get loose, moldings could be updated, crown molding added, pavement outside needs some repair and I am sure you could find some lose boards on our porch and deck not to mention some staining efforts could be used.  There is always something big or small to be done.

This is when I begin to tell you the secret to painless home renovations.  Listen close. The key to stress free remodeling is to hire a trusted contractor.  When you hire a contractor you are not only hiring that person but a team of experts that support him.  A licensed contractor has resources available at the touch of a button.  If you need an electrician, a plumber, general handyman, painter or skilled carpenter they will be able to show you the way to a trusted professional.  I am not saying that finding a contractor will be easy but the effort will pay for itself tenfold.  

There are some things that will help lead the way in helping you find a licensed skilled contractor that best fits your need. The first step in finding a contractor you want to work with is to get a list of contractors from friends, family and acquaintances have used in the past.  This is a great place to start.  If you are new to the area a quick Google search will lend a hand in supplying a number of home renovation specialists.  A terrific way in which to find out a lot of information quickly is to check their website.  A website is the front window to their “store”.  Your gut will help steer from here on whether you want to interview them in person.

Once you have a list the next step is to call and do some preliminary checking.  You will want to only work with insured, licensed contractors.  This is an important first question.  If they are not licensed and insured move on to the next home remodeler as a possible source for your renovation needs.  Eventually you will decide on a few to meet in person.  Ask them to bring a portfolio with references.  Most general contractors will let you know what their specialty is.  Finding a home remodeling specialist will not be difficult.  Your first impression will immediately tell you whether or not this person is someone that is a professional or a quack.  Ask basic questions, get a general feel and move forward.  It is this simple.

A contractor should be willing to vouch for the professionals they hire to work alongside them.  Professional renovators will ensure satisfaction and will guarantee that a job is not complete until the client is one hundred percent satisfied.  Once you have found someone you like. Trust and that does work that impresses you refer them often and use them often.  A reliable general contractor is a commodity and should be treated as one.  You will find that the quality of work they do is good but is better when you are pleasant and helpful in continuing to help them grow their business as well.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Home Buyers Learning Curve Regarding Home Remodeling

When looking for a new home buyers go through and make a mental list of the things they love about where they currently live and what they are not going to miss. When purchasing a second or third home it is all about the things you have learned from the first.  If remodeling your first home was an enjoyable experience for you than you might not mind so much when the next home has a few fixable flaws.  However if homeremodeling was not a picnic for you then you will be looking more towards newly renovated homes or homes with the amenities you desire included.  

Many home buyers are content on doing a few minor remodel jobs around a new house on their own.  These small things are what make the home yours.  However when the home remodeling jobs get a bit larger, like renovations in the kitchen or bathrooms it is recommended to call in a professional home remodeler. Many little mistakes made by the homeowner can add up to major out of pocket costs.  It is quite possible hiring a professional in the home remodeling industry might not only save you time but money as well. 

When looking into a bathroom remodel there are always a few things that are on everyone’s list consisting of options such as new cabinets, more storage, a designer sink, fancy faucets, or more lighting.  If you are looking into a room addition, adding a new bathroom, it is going to impact your daily routine way more than some small renovations such as faucet changes and a new cabinet.  

There are definitely things to think about in every remodeling project and a bathroom is no different.  First consider the impact that the remodel will have on the home’s value.  Bathroom remodeling is a smaller renovation, making it affordable, and has a large impact on the overall appeal and value.  A few small changes such as new tile or more storage or a complete overhaul will be beneficial. The changes you consider should bring an improvement to your daily routine and increased value in your home for the renovation to become reality.

The kitchen area plays an important role in every family’s life.  When purchasing a home it is pertinent that the home is something that you love or something that you can see turning onto a space you will love.  Family’s find the kitchen is not only a dining space anymore.  Kids use it as a study, a gathering hot spot and a place to relax.  

When considering a new home consider the changes you will need to make the kitchen a dream space for your family.  Does the kitchen need a few minor spruces to rejuvenate it or do all aspects need to be overhauled.  This will need to be considered in the value you place within the home.  If a kitchen overhaul is needed consider lowering your offer by at least twenty-thousand dollars.  Kitchen remodeling is expensive and time consuming.  These factors should all be considered.  If it is too much to ask from the seller maybe it is better to keep looking until you find wither a kitchen you adore or a seller willing to dicker so you can renovate the kitchen into something you will love.

Bathroom and kitchen remodeling are only two of the many renovations to think about when owning a home.  Small changes often make a big difference in the overall appearance of a space.  Think about the last time you visited someone’s home after they had flooring renovations done.  Consider the impact this minor renovation had on the appearance of the space.  It was huge right?  This is something to consider when looking into a home purchase as well.  Small changes can add up in increasing the aesthetics of a space without tearing your budget apart.