Thursday, February 13, 2014

Get Innovative Remodeling Ideas From a Home Improvement Show

If you have not yet attended a home improvement show, you can determine the importance of it for enhancing the look of your home. You cannot attend home shows for free, but then these are important if you want to find exciting ideas for improving the look of your home. You need not pay a huge sum of money, but it will definitely give you a great payoff in case you are looking actively for ideas for home improvement. The home d├ęcor shows have hundreds of vendors who display everything from African violets to light fixtures. There is really a lot to see, feel and absorb.
For the enthusiasts, it really pays a lot to absorb whatever is being said. Visitors to the home and remodeling show are advised to carry a camera, paper and pencil for documenting any ideas or details that they feel worthwhile. Vendors display their outdoor patio treatments such as pools, outdoor kitchens, paving materials and lighting devices. Landscape architects present a variety of ways for creating a landscape plan for your home. You may even find businesses that are willing to install a hot tub in the outdoor deck. A few vendors also offer support services including insurance, insect control and security systems.
The professional home remodelers display different equipment and tools which could help the homeowner. These comprise the ladder that can be converted to different sizes, supported on rough surfaces and also used for scaffolding purposes. Other demonstrations include siding, painting solutions and replacement windows. You may even purchase liquid siding or exterior paint which lasts longer than paint. Outbuildings like saunas and sheds can also be found. If you go for a heavy-duty liner, you can carry logs and rocks without affecting the insides of your SUV in any way. Wash the liner with a hose after emptying the load.
Interior flooring is another important aspect. It also includes the choices of kitchen cabinets and counters. A home improvement show is a unique way of checking out the liable latest treatments and materials that are available for improving your home. In case there are any questions that you have come across in newspapers and magazines, carry them along, and have your queries answered. Before starting, make sure you are prepared with a list of vendors and mark the ones that you need to visit compulsorily. For those who have questions, do not hesitate to ask.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Home Improvement: Landscaping Ideas for the Front Yard

Whether you are buying or selling a home, the front yard is the first thing that people look at. Without curb appeal, it is impossible to sell a home because buyers are often turned off by unkempt yards. Many home owners associations require you to keep up your yard or you could be fined. The unattractiveness of a yard can actually bring down property value, a quality your neighbors will not appreciate. Luckily, there are many things you can do to improve the look of your front yard.
Most homes of the year win because of their exceptional green grass. Some grasses have thick course blades, and others are more thin and smooth and grow thicker. However, different grass grows in different kinds of soil. Ask someone in your local home improvement store which grass grows best in your area.
Planting a flower garden is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your yard. It is important to find flowers with height and colors that complement each other. Just like the house required planning to build, a good garden requires planning. Researching types of flowers and whether or not they are perennial or annual will help you plant a better garden.
Trees also help to improve the look of a front yard. Palmetto trees often look nice at the edge of the curb. Two Dogwood trees, one at either side of the yard, bring color to your yard in the spring and summer and add curb appeal to your home. One Dogwood in the middle of the yard also adds color and style.
Regardless of what type of tree you decide to put in your yard, be sure to plant it so that it is at least 5 feet away from your home when fully grown. Homes need room to breathe; having a tree planted too close could eventually cause the home to rot where air is not coming through. Keep an eye on branches so that they do not tower over the roof of your home and become a potential hazard.
If your front yard is big enough, another idea that helps bring a look of tranquility to the yard is a small pond or fountain. If you decide to place a pond in your front yard, adding some stones and rocks to the outside and planting lily pads will bring a unique look and design to your front yard. Bird baths also help enhance the look of a yard, and the birds are entertaining to watch.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Home Improvement Project - Budgeting Ideas

We need to take care of our home if we want to have a beautiful dwelling. In addition to care, we also need to find ways to improve its value. After all, it is a valuable investment. Home improvements are just some of the ways to beautify it and improve its value. In order to have a smooth home improvement project, careful planning is necessary.
Planning involves a lot of things. This should take place months before the implementation of the project. First, you need to survey your house. What does it needs? Most would do a home improvement project because a room in the house needs an upgrade. The kitchen may look less appealing. In some instances, homeowners would just want to change how the room looks. And for others, home improvement is necessary because they want to improve its value.
As mentioned earlier, planning should begin early. This will allow you to prioritize different projects. You might need to fix bathroom problems first before you can upgrade your kitchen. This will also make your budget preparation easier because you can save for it. Saving for a project is a better idea than loaning the needed amount or using a portion of your savings.
You do not have to spend a lot on home improvement projects. There are inexpensive ways to update your home. If you want to increase its value, focus on home improvements that will surely add value to your property. Some of these are the bathrooms and the kitchen. No drastic changes are necessary. You can simply apply a fresh coat of wall paint, change small details like cabinet and drawer handles, change the shower curtain in the bathroom and install new fixtures. These are inexpensive, yet they deliver visible and beautiful results.
Make sure that you allocate the budget properly. Prioritize the materials and labor. You can save on labor if you do most of the work and if you ask help from other members of the family. A hand from your friends will surely help. If you have a plan, you can be sure that everything will go smoothly. You can play the role of the designer in this case.
Divide your plan into different projects and check which projects will enable you to save more. For instance, instead of purchasing an expensive mirror, you can purchase simple mirror, and frame it. You can also sew the pillowcases and drapes instead of purchasing them. Use old items too. Check your garage. You may have an old rug you can use. Simple treatments may also revive your old coffee table.
After checking everything, make a list of the materials you need to purchase. Buy the things that your really need first. But before that, compare the prices by checking the sites of local stores. This will also help you save a lot.
Make sure to have your budget ready before you start the project. Having enough budget will make planning a lot easier. To save on expenses, do most of the things yourself and ask friends to help out.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Make It Easier to Sell Your House With These Home Improvement Tips

By performing the right home improvement jobs ahead of putting your house up For Sale, you should be able to increase the value and this will help you to get a buyer. You need to be honest when it comes to your home and determine which things absolutely need to be fixed up, cleaned up or replaced. Both large and small changes may be necessary, and the following are some principles to keep in mind when considering which projects are worth doing.
A lot of the time, giving your house a new coat of paint is one of the simplest and most straightforward home improvement projects that you can do. If your house hasn't been painted in a few years, it might not look that bad to you. However, when you've put a good and fresh coat of paint on it, your buyers will take a lot more away from it. The outside of your house is most deserving of your focus, but it is a good idea to paint the inside of it too. Neutral colors are best because they aren't as likely to turn off buyers. If you want to make sure that you've got the best possible paint job, you should hire a professional painter instead of trying to do the job yourself. Never have a cluttered house as this will send the wrong message to the prospective buyer. It is important that these people not see the cluttered mess as this plays a psychological role in regard to whether they buy or not. This type of visualization will make them believe that the house is disorganized or not livable at all. This makes it very unattractive to potential buyers stopping by. Storage is a great place to put these belongings so that they are out of the way while you are trying to market your place. The idea is to make your home look larger and extremely clean so that prospective buyers will jump right on it.
Of all of the rooms in your house, you need to make sure your kitchen looks outstanding every time someone drops by. A clean and orderly kitchen is extremely essential when trying to sell a home. It is important to represent your kitchen as being new which means you may have to purchase brand-new appliances and cabinets to present this overall effect. Your kitchen is very important, but don't do too much or go too far. If you decide to put in luxurious countertops, sinks, and a several thousand dollar refrigerator, the potential buyer may think that the upkeep is too much or that the cost is beyond their means. The bathroom is another important room. Just make sure everything is working, and don't go overboard with a high-end spa bathtub that will scare them off as well.
These are just a few of the really important steps that you can take that will make your home even more appealing to the people who might want to buy it. The value of your house can be much improved by making sure that you do all of the most essential improvements before you try to sell but you need to be discerning here because it's hard to tell if the improvements you make are honestly worth it and whether or not you can recoup the money you spend on them through the sale of the house.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Home Improvements That May Devalue Your Home

Making a few home improvements should normally be a sure fire way to increase the value of your home at resale time right? Wrong, not always. There are, in fact, some home improvements and home renovation projects that may make getting the selling price you want harder than had they not ever been implemented in the first place. Here are some home improvement projects to avoid.
Taste and Function Specific Kitchens
You are an avid amateur chef. You remodeled your kitchen and it now rather resembles the ones they use on Hells Kitchen, all stainless steel and professional equipment.
Personally you love it because it is so functional, but a potential buyer may be intimidated by it, especially if their culinary interests don't go far beyond making toast. You always want to appeal to the broadest range of buyers when selling any home and, if a potential buyer believes that it will cost them significant amounts of money to make changes to the remodeling initiatives you made, they may still make the offer, but it is likely to be for less than you wanted.
The same goes for bathrooms as well. Not everyone always dreamed of having a heart shaped tub the way you might have done...
Bright Paint Jobs
Most real estate brokers will tell you that giving your home a nice new coat of paint before you put it on the market is a good idea. But by new paint they mean a nice neutral color, not bright, bold shades that may intimidate some buyers. Save the bright red walls that looked so trendy on that home show for your next house.
Water Features
Added water features like in ground swimming pools, hot tubs or fountains may give you a lot of pleasure but, to some potential buyers, they can represent an extra expense and inconvenience they don't really want rather than an extra that they do. Once again, that will often cause them to offer a lower price because of the extra money they perceive that the water feature will cost them once they move in.
Bad DIY
They seemed like good ideas at the time - laying your own floor, installing your own cabinets and so on - and the results weren't all that bad. One or two mistakes here and there but you have learned to live with them.
The problem is while you may have lived with the flubs that occurred during your do it yourself project a potential buyer will probably not want to. And they will see it; home buyers develop eagle eye vision and demand a price reduction because they will have to be the ones paying to fix it.
The bottom line is that, yes, your home is your castle and if you want a heart shaped bath and bright blue walls in a restaurant style kitchen you should be able to have them. Just make sure that you understand the potential impact such things will have on your home's resale value before you get such projects underway.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Home Improvements - On a Budget

Home improvement is a very popular past time for home owners for a number of simple reasons, for starters you of course want a beautiful and enjoyable home environment; small repairs and improvements are just little steps on the way to accomplishing this, which can aid you in enjoying your home life a little more, and seeing the visual improvements to our property's appearance can provide us with a great sense of self satisfaction. Small home improvements can also be a great idea for anyone looking to sell their home as they can improve the value of the home and help you to find a buyer faster.
Many home owners put off the idea of investing in home improvement because they consider it to be such a costly processes, however there are a number of ways of improving your home without a particularly large budget. The main investment would be your tools - buying high quality tools might be a little bit of a high cost process, however it does ensure that the tools last and perform the tasks they need to effectively. In the long run this does work out cheaper; buying one set of tools that will last you a lifetime rather than buying several sets of tools, each of which only last a few months.
Home Improvement is particularly important if you're trying to sell your home as most buyers will overestimate the cost of work on the property and reduce their offer on the property considerably more than they should really need to. Having the obvious tasks done and improving the general appearance of the property will encourage buyers not only to make an offer but also to make a higher offer. Think of yourself as a buyer and walk around you home making a list of the things that look bad, or if you're feeling too biased towards your much loved home ask a friend to do it, then work through the list of things either fixing it, cleaning it or replacing it. If you are looking to sell then stick to light, new, clean looks; simplicity and elegance sell better than something suited to your own individual taste, but of course if you are looking to improve but not sell your house you can comfortably decorate it in any style that suits you.
Start on the outside; often cleaning up your garden and the entrance to your home will cost very little but could make a huge difference. Cut the lawn, pull the weeds, clean the path, trim the plants, clean your windows and doors and perhaps give things a fresh coat of paint. Most of this requires a little bit of work on your part rather than needing you to spend any money but it can make a huge difference to the impression people have when they enter your home.
Make sure things are kept clean and organised inside your home. People, particularly buyers, hate clutter. If you're trying to sell move your stuff into storage until you have your next home; leave only enough to make the property look liveable. Buyers often have trouble seeing themselves in a home and take inspiration from the way the space was used previously, they can feel rather lost and intimidated when looking at a completely empty home and may be put off. Of course if you're home improvements are for yourself sell some of the old clutter you no longer need, this will give you more space and freedom.
One popular home improvement that can make a huge difference to a home is the addition of storage space. Lots of people have experienced the problem of not having anywhere to put all of your things. Getting new fitted wardrobes built into your bedroom is rather expensive, however shelves are relatively cheap and can add a lot of storage space; thinking about filling one wall with storage units like bookcases to provide a home office or library feel and provide a lot more space. Removing any wallpaper and adding a fresh coat of paint can make the space look new, stick to lighter colours to make your home appear brighter and bigger, this in itself will aid in adding to the value of a home.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Finding The Best Home Improvement Contractor

So you finally decided to take on that home remodeling project. Good for you.
While I admit there is something about doing your own home remodeling, the first thing you need to ask yourself is whether you are truly up to the task. If, after doing some research and inner searching you decide that you need to have a true professional home improvement company do the job, there are a few things to do to get the job off the ground.
Figure Out Your Budget
Home improvement projects aren't cheap. Even the smallest of laundry room could cost over one or two thousand dollars.
If you know anyone that has had a similar renovation recently completed, you can ask them how much the project costed if you feel comfortable doing so. Otherwise, the best idea is to search online.
There are many forums and other websites that people talk about their home improvement projects. However, you need to know that prices are relative to the area which you live. It is best to do a local search so you have a better idea what it will cost in your area.
My rule of thumb is to double whatever figure I first thought of. I recently had a local home improvement company completely renovate my laundry room. I was estimating it would be around $1,000. Well, the final price was $2,000 after a $300 addition to the project after the original estimate was completed.
Find Local Contractors
This isn't the hardest task really. You can easily find a list of 30 to 50 contractor by using websites like Manta.com or the Yellowpages.com.
The problem is that much of the details on those sites are incorrect. After painstakingly building a database of contractors over an hours or two, there is nothing worse than finding out the information is incorrect. What a waste of time.
Of course you can do a simple search on Google for home improvement companies in your area, and that should get you a fine list. But the problem is that some of the best and most affordable company's websites aren't optimized for Google Searches. By using this method, you are finding the most internet marketing savvy companies, which usually means they charge the highest prices because they get the most calls.
Another option you have is to use a local website that partners in the with the top local home improvement companies. A site like this is PittsburghHomeImprovements.com. All you have to do is enter your information and they will provide it to their incredible database of the top home improvement companies in the area. All you have to do is sit back and let the companies call you.
Accepting A Bid
However you find your contractors and receive your bids, the next step is to accept a bid. While you might want to simply go with the lowest estimate, there are a few things that you might want review prior to accepting that bid.
First, how soon can each contractor start your project. If you are in a hurry, and the cheapest bid can't start for a month or two, you might be forced to go with another bid. Also, how fast will the project be completed. Some companies will over promise and say a job can be completed quicker than they can actually do it.
If one company's bid is quoted quite a bit quicker than all of the other contractors, you might want to either question that or go with another bid. I would always rather a contractor overestimate than underestimate the time needed to complete the job correctly.