Category Archives: Home Improvement

Use Tax Refunds To Make Necessary Home Improvements

Financial analysts say that taking your tax refunds and investing them into home improvements is wise. Anyone with dependents has the ability to get a nice size refund. Many people struggle with the decision on what to do with those funds. Some take a nice vacation, others pay their bills, but what about taking the money to do long overdue home repairs?

 

Home improvements boost the value of the property. It is one way that your money can work for you. Depending on the size of the refund, it can accomplish things big and small. If you are having trouble deciding what repairs to tackle first, you need to work on the kitchen. You can make big changes by painting cabinets, adding new lighting and flooring, and doing some cosmetic upgrades. If your kitchen needs an overhaul, then you can get back 100 percent of your repairs if you decide to sell. The bathroom is another area that needs to be boosted. Adding some new fixtures and a fresh coast of paint can really brighten up any room.

 

If you have major repairs, like the HVAC unit or windows that need to be repaired, using tax funds can be a great way to accomplish household repairs without dipping into the operating expenses. Many people spend all of their tax returns on frivolous purchases and don’t have anything to show for them. At least by putting some of that money back into the home, it is adding to the home’s equity.

Simple Ways to Boost Your Home’s Resale Value

Whether you’re planning to put your home on the market or want to give it a makeover for your own enjoyment, we’ve got three good strategies for you to consider.

 

  1. Update the kitchen

 

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. Potential buyers will focus more on the kitchen, so if yours is stuck in a time warp, buyers may walk away. For $10,000 to $15,000, you can paint walls, reface cabinets, replace the kitchen faucet set, update old lighting fixtures and upgrade the sink.

 

But if you have a slightly larger budget ($30,000+), you can install custom cabinets, granite counters, hardwood floors and high-end appliances.

 

  1. Buff up the bathroom

 

Just like the kitchen, the bathroom is also an important room in the home. You can update your bathroom without having to spend a lot of cash. Even doing simple things like installing a new toilet seat, re-caulking the tub, cleaning grout, and replacing an old-fashioned vanity for a granite version can make a big difference in the look of the bathroom.

 

  1. Refresh your entry

 

If you attracted potential home buyers with your wonderful landscaping, the next place their eye will reach is the entryway. In case you have a defective little knob on your main entry door, it is time to consider replacing it with a substantial-looking handle and lock set.

 

According to this report by Remodel, updating the front entrance can have one of the biggest returns of any home improvement homeowners can do themselves.

 

So, that’s it. These are just three of the numerous ways to add value to a property.

Problems Homeowners Face with Their Air Duct Systems

The air duct system in your home is crucial for bringing either cool or warm air to each and every room. Unfortunately, too many homeowners don’t have the duct work cleaned on a regular basis and run into problems. At worst, a dirty system can cause a fire or smoke hazard. At best, not cleaning your duct work can cause it to not work properly and you’ll find that the forced air in the home isn’t functioning the way that it should. This is why it is important that you call in the professionals to have these lines cleaned.

 

When you call in a professional air duct system company, they will bring all of their own tools to get the job done. They will do a great job of cleaning out the entire system and making sure that the lines are free of dust and debris. Also, they will be able to check for mold within the duct work to ensure that you and your family aren’t breathing this in. If it is found, they can work to get rid of it so that you and your loved ones can breathe easier while in the home.

 

It is important that you have your duct work cleaned every spring and before winter. This guarantees that the lines will be free and clear of any dirt before you get the system started for the new season. There are lots of companies that provide this service and can be contacted immediately to have the work done.

 

Does Going Tiny Have Big Perks?

Many people are trading in their sprawling 2,000-3,000 homes for an abode quite a bit smaller. A tiny home is a dwelling that has less than 550 square feet. Television has made this movement popular, but is the real estate market in trouble because people are tired of “big living?”

 

It seems that living for experiences rather than material possessions is the way of the millennial crowd. They are selling their big homes and opting for a smaller space. This eclectic group of people doesn’t focus a great deal of their energy on things. They need a place to cook, lay their head, and call home. Many of them like the fact that a tiny home can be towed back and forth. With the job market being so poor in many parts of the country, they can pick up their home and take it with them.

 

Several states have joined in the movement and have created tiny home parks. Think of it as an RV park or trailer park from the 1970’s with little houses. More than anything, it seems that people just don’t want the burden of being tied down. They can customize these tiny homes to fit their needs and character.

 

The best thing about going tiny is the price. The average tiny home costs just $40,000. The median home price in this country is a whopping $188,900. It is easy to see that going small has some big perks. Still, there are some who are not sold on this new type of dwelling. It’s an acquired taste for sure.

 

Granite: A 2017 Trend to Watch in Michigan

At the Novi Home and Garden Show near Detroit this year, vendors are hoping that the recovering housing market will mean increased business for 2017. Representatives from the regional Home Builders Association proudly announced that the number of exhibitors participating this year had climbed to 270, a figure that had not been reached since 2004.

 

According to a late April article published by The Detroit News, one of the exhibitors getting significant attention was the Eco Granite Group, a company that specializes in recycled granite solutions that can be used for interior and exterior purposes. Recycled granite tends to be slightly uneven, and thus many homeowners choose it for summer kitchens and fire pits. This year, however, the Eco Granite Group introduced a novel back splash for kitchens or wet bars. What makes this back splash unique is that it incorporates decorative LED lighting with color changing options that can be selected via remote control.

 

The granite vendors reminded visitors that once professional installers complete a project involving natural stone materials, they will immediately proceed to clean, seal and polish the surfaces. Once this initial treatment is completed, homeowners should focus on cleaning frequently; this is what will help keep the sealing and polished finish for as long as possible.

 

The idea of cleaning granite surfaces is to avoid leaving particles and spilled substances from breaking down the sealant. Cleaning should take place immediately in case of spills. A granite kitchen counter, for example, should be immediately wiped down if a soft drink spills onto the surface. Dust, dirt and food particles left on the surface of tiles could eventually wear down the seal and create a permanent stain.

 

In general, clean tap water and a mild detergent applied with a non-abrasive sponge will be sufficient for periodic maintenance. For heavier spills and stubborn stains, you may want to add baking soda.

 

 

Using The Extra Space

Looking around the home, you might see unsightly unused space that is simply going to waste. Fortunately, there are numerous ideas that you can look at when it comes to a home improvement project to give life to the empty spaces in the home with most of them being inexpensive to complete. Look at every space that you have available in the home to see how it can be used. You do want to have some empty areas so that you don’t feel too confined, but most spaces in the home can be utilized in some form or fashion.

 

A spare room can be used for guests who spend the night by setting up a bed and dresser, but if you don’t have many people who spend the night during the year, then the space still isn’t used. Consider setting up an area on one side of the room to complete a hobby that you enjoy or even an office space. Create an identity for the extra rooms that are in the home so that they aren’t left out and aren’t used just for storage as they will tend to go downhill rather quickly if they aren’t used at all.

 

An open floor plan is one that is sometimes a bit harder to find enough spaces to utilize. The home is more like an empty canvas where you can position furniture in any way possible, but it’s also easier to have empty corners and spaces that just have nothing there. You can make a smoother transition from one area to another with cabinets, shelves and different types of flooring to separate one room from another. Another option is to use the empty space for chairs to sit on and tables to display the decorations that you think you don’t have room for and that are hiding in boxes.

 

Checking The House After Winter

Spring cleaning is more than just cleaning the inside of the home after the long winter months. It also means performing a few home improvements that have probably been neglected since the previous summer. As the salt that is used on the ground and the sidewalk goes away and the temperatures begin to rise, you’ll start to see where any cracks will appear and if there is any damage to the home. You want to scrub the salt off of as many items as possible, but if it’s rusted or just can’t come clean, then it’s best to throw the items away as the salt left behind will begin to damage the surface. Walk around the exterior of the home to see what needs the most attention before focusing your efforts on the smaller areas that could go untouched until warmer weather.

 

One of the first home improvement areas of spring that you need to examine is the roof. Look for any loose shingles or areas where there is damage done by excess leaking of snow, ice or rain. While you’re on the roof, look at the gutters to see that they are still attached. You also want to clean them to keep rain water moving freely as spring often brings some severe weather with torrential downpours.

 

Check the vents outside the house to see that they aren’t clogged. You also need to look at the filters to the HVAC unit as this is a time of the year that they need to be replaced. Examine the system itself to see if there is any damage from heavy snow and ice. The windows are another area of the home where you want to focus home improvement efforts as there could be cracks that develop from the colder temperatures and the warming of the air during the spring.

 

Excellent Tips for Making Any Room Seem Bigger

If you’ve been looking for ways to make a small room seem bigger, you’ve come to the right place. This article will present you with the top tips for making any space look bigger, and that’s true even if it’s about as big as a closet to start with.

 

  1. Choose the right furniture.

 

The first thing that you need to do is to choose the right furniture. Not all furniture is created equally, which means that some looks better than others in small spaces. A great place to check out for small space furniture is Pottery Barn because they only recently released a line of this type of furniture.

 

  1. Use mirrors to your advantage.

 

Mirrors can be great for small spaces because they open them up by reflecting the opposite side of the room. Aim for big mirrors because small ones just won’t do the trick unless you have a lot of them.

 

  1. Open up the room with light.

 

There are techniques ways that always open up a space, and light is one of them. If you have windows in the room, don’t cover them with blinds or curtains all of the time. Instead, keep them as open as possible. If you must have curtains, use sheer curtains that still let some light in. Additionally, try to have as many lamps as you can in the room. Candles can help make the space seem cozier as well.

 

  1. Get rid of clutter where you can.

 

Last but not least, get rid of all of that clutter in your small space. It can’t handle it! You’ll want to pick pieces of furniture that have storage space inside so that you can put some of the knickknacks away once in a while. Similarly, try not to keep lots of figurines, vases, books and picture frames on the tops of tables. Put them on the wall or don’t put them up at all.

 

Using these tips and tricks will surely open up any small space. Try them in your home to see how they work!

 

Home Remodeling Trends of 2017

With every new year comes a catalog of exciting and inspiring trends for the home improvement industry. These trends are meant to make your home even better than before. We are three months into 2017, and new trends are endlessly popping up, with a big focus on sustainability and style. It pays to see what trends will emerge in the coming months so that you can capitalize on them immediately.

 

Here are some of the current trends that you should know about.

 

  1. Energy-Focused Improvements

 

Today, most homeowners are looking for ways to make their homes more energy efficient at the same time more comfortable and convenient. Most of the popular energy-focused trends involve making minor changes to the home. Good examples are:

 

  • Programmable smart thermostats
  • Smart light fixtures
  • High-efficiency HVAC
  • Caulking and weather stripping

 

Although you may not visibly notice these improvements, they will cut your utility bills and make your home more comfortable.

 

  1. Gravel Landscaping

 

With the desperate need to conserve water, more and more homeowners are becoming open to the idea of doing away with their high maintenance grass lawns and replacing them with gravel areas, driveways, pathways, patios and playground spots. Gravel landscaping is preferred over other types of landscaping because it has a natural feel, prevents erosion, saves water and requires no upkeep.

 

  1. Matte Finishes

 

This trend began in the beauty world but has finally found its way into our homes. Matte finishes make a warm and elegant statement in the kitchen. We expect to see a lot more of this trend in the coming months.

 

  1. Open plan kitchens

 

More and more property owners appreciate open plan kitchens. In fact, if you watch any renovation show on TV, you will notice that they extol the benefits of an open and spacious living area. Depending on your budget, creating an open plan kitchen can be as simple as eliminating clutter with innovative storage solutions, and trying out feature spaces such as woodwork, ceramic tiles, and hanging shelves. At the ‘high-end,’ the process can involve gutting an entire room to make space for new fittings.

 

These are just a few of the home remodeling trends that we have noticed so far in 2017. Keep an eye out for new trends these coming months.

Springtime is Perfect for Tackling Outdoor Repairs

The winter can be a harsh time for the exterior of your home. When the snow melts and the ice thaws, you’re likely to be left with filthy home siding, a broken roof and cracked asphalt in the driveway. The springtime is an important moment to tackle these repairs so that they are fixed before being able to get worse. For instance, if you notice that your driveway has a large crack in it from the winter freeze and you do nothing to fill in the space, it can get bigger and leave you with a destroyed driveway that will need to be fully replaced and cost you thousands of dollars.

 

First, you need to take a walk around the perimeter of your property and make notes of what needs to be done. Don’t forget to look all around the home and property to find damage. Your roof should have a thorough inspection for holes and pitting to prevent leaks and floods from occurring. If you don’t feel comfortable doing the inspection yourself, you can hire a local roofer to come in and do the work for you. There will be certain repairs that you simply cannot do on your own. It’s important to call pros in if you find you’re having issues repairing damage yourself. It’s better to pay someone to fix these problems for you as opposed to leaving them to get worse just to save money. They’ll cost you more in the long run if they’re allowed to worsen.

 

It’s hard to know what type of damage the winter will leave for your home and property, but it is crucial that you face facts and make notes of what needs to be repaired. Springtime is often looked at as a perfect time to do some cleaning inside and to get rid of clutter, but it’s also critical to repair the exterior of your home after dealing with a harsh blustery season. When you get everything cleaned up and fixed in the spring, you will have all summer to enjoy the hot weather with your family and friends.