You see them advertise on the TV every day, orange aprons fluttering down the aisles at Home Depot, “You can do it! We can help!?”, the warm voice of Gene Hackman telling you “Lowes, let’s build something together”. These big names spend big bucks to convince you that if you want to improve your home you need to do it up big time at their big name, big box, home improvement chain stores.
Whew, that’s a mouthful and in a lot of ways very true too. Except for vinyl fencing. Oh, they sell vinyl fencing and their prices seem to meet the big box standards but everything is not always as it seems.
One of the first questions clients always ask me is, “How do you compare to them?” or “Why was our fence more expensive then theirs?” (If it was more). I found the best way to respond was by simply telling the truth. Sometimes our prices were more and sometimes they were less but one thing was certain. We always delivered a higher quality product.
I have nothing against them and have even advised certain people that the H. I. C.S. might better suit their unique needs. For … Read More
Once upon time, in a quiet village, stood a small bungalow, which suffered from neglect because its owners didn’t have any money to maintain it properly. A sign "for sale" had been standing in the front garden for a very long time, but nobody was interested since the bungalow was of very modern design, which was a sharp contrast to the rest of the historic village. Day after day the wood rotted away and nature slowly took over the garden, until only a complete make-over could help the bungalow to survive…
Determining if you have a foundation problem with your home or other building is determined mostly by using your eyes and just good common sense. If you are starting to see cracks in interior drywall, windows that won’t close or open, doors that suddenly seem out of kilter or other abnormal things around the home your foundation may be the culprit.
If you do a little investigative looking, finding problems can be quite easy if they are actually present. Finding a sticky window or door does not mean your foundation is bad. It may be nothing more than humidity, loose hinges or a window that needs a spring adjustment. If you find all of sudden there are a great many items with a problem then it is time to look around. Drywall cracking is a pretty good sign that the building is settling and there should be a reason why. If it is a brand new building you may expect to see a few very minor settlement cracks. Slight cracks over doorways or window corners may be caused by wood shrinkage as well. Anything beyond these minor defects should cause some added concern.
Starting on the buildings exterior, slowly walk … Read More
Cutting down on your home remodeling cost really isn’t difficult. All that’s needed is some innovation. Let’s talk about cutting down the costs while refurbishing your home.
First of all, what sort of style are you looking into? You might be more into classical design. On the other hand, you might be more into modern design. Think about the mood or ambience you want to set up.
An inexpensive way to liven up your interiors is by changing your walls. You may either paint the walls or add wallpaper. To complete the look, all you have to do is replace your old lighting fixtures. Even if you remodel just the living area, this would create a huge impact to your whole house. This is where you sit your guests and spend most of your time in, so it’s worth making a change without the large home remodeling cost.
The kitchen is also a busy place. In the modern day, we don’t just use the kitchen for cooking. It is also an area for entertainment. Consider extending your kitchen to the living area. Install additional kitchen storage to get rid of the clutter.
When refurbishing your kitchen, think about your health, … Read More
The recent sagging housing market has homeowners looking for ways to maximize their home and get the highest appraisal possible when they refinance, whether they need equity from their home or want a lower mortgage payment.
Here’s some quick tips for your unique house plans and a to do list to review prior to setting up the appointment for an appraisal.
1. An appraiser will check all rooms throughout your home for damage that could affect the overall value, so scope out your entire home for anything that needs fixing.
2. An appraiser will verify any upgrades if you choose to provide a list of these upon their arrival. Creating a thorough list with all the upgrades, additions and special features will make it easier for the appraiser to remember these once they have left your home.
3. Appraisers note all permanent features to a home that will affect value. For example, built-in appliances in the kitchen. Any removable appliance is not included in the appraised value.
4. Appraisers will check the basement for upgrades and finishing, because an updated finished basement can increase a property’s value, but they are never included in the total square footage.
Most people who renovate a split-level house want to update and modernize it. Therefore, these renovations are projects to finish unfinished or partly finished areas, open up the main floor, update the kitchen, add bathrooms to the main floor and/or to the upper level.
The main floor of a split level usually consists of living room, dining room, kitchen and possibly a bedroom. Many people want to create more openness. This can certainly be achieved by removing some of the walls between rooms, but you will need to be sure you know which walls are load-bearing walls that cannot safely be removed.
Either removing the wall, or opening up the wall by carving out the upper portion and putting in a counter will create more openness between the kitchen and the dining room. It will open up the area and make it feel more spacious. Removing the wall between the living room and dining room can also open up that area and make it more conducive to entertaining, as well as making it feel more informal. Many split level homes have an unfinished bottom level. Finishing this area is really no different from finishing any basement. It will be importantto … Read More