Let's talk countertops. Whether you're selling your home in the future or just giving your kitchen a new look, at some time you're likely going to need to pick a new countertop.
So many choices... granite or butcher block? Concrete or quartz? During your kitchen renovation, choosing a countertop material may just about be your hardest decision. Which one is the best option? One of today's top choices is quartz. Here are three reasons why quartz is the logical choice for your new countertops.
As you can see, quartz offers a number of benefits for your kitchen. It's growing in popularity among those looking into home improvement, so it will also give your home a boost in value should you decide to sell. With all of these benefits, it's no wonder more and more homeowners are choosing quartz countertops as they redo their kitchens.
No matter what kind of dream renovation project you may be planning, make sure to understand your potential return on investment before you begin.
These six home projects can maximize your home's value paying off in the long run.
If you're hoping to add value to your home, then you can't go wrong with these projects.
Does your home need a reboot? Remodeling projects don't have to be major to make a major difference in your home. If you're considering an update, you're already on the right track because most permanent updates offer a return on your investment eventually. But some investments actually pay off two-fold. These upgrades increase the value of your home while decreasing your carbon footprint, and some decrease the ongoing cost of utilities too. From energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs to more eco-friendly floors and windows, green renovation choices are red hot right now, and for good reason.
Whether you care about the environment or you're worried about rising utility costs, start with making greener choices around the house. When it comes to home improvement, it's hard to beat a green remodel, but here are some of the smartest planet-saving upgrades to date.
With these tips, you'll be on track to having a greener, more energy-efficient home.
Buying a fixer-upper offers you an amazing investment opportunity and provides an endless assortment of projects for those who like to work with their hands.
No matter if you plan to flip the property quickly or live there for some time, you shouldn't cross a fixer-upper off your list when buying a house. Still, we all know that buying a house can be a complex challenge and fixer-uppers add a bit more for you to think about.
So... What do you really need to know when buying a fixer-upper?
Get off to a running start with these five tips:
Buying a house can be the greatest step you ever take for your peace of mind, financial security, and yes — your enjoyment. The choice to make that house a fixer-upper can be considered a bold one. Still, for some people, there's simply nothing better.
Use our tips, and you'll find it's easier than you ever imagined to make the right decisions for buying a house. In just a matter of months, your very own fixer-upper could become the home of your dreams. If you go in with a clear view and realistic expectations, you can't lose!
Many homeowners dream of completing their first home improvement project. Kitchens, baths, and additions top the list of projects that improve the functionality and aesthetics of your home. One of the biggest barriers to achieving your home remodeling dreams is money. However, it's possible to make it happen if you take the correct steps to create a budget that will get you to your goal.
If you're ready to budget for a remodel, sit down and look at how to make it happen today.
Homeownership is an exciting time — one filled with many new possibilities and experiences. One possibility that has the potential to elevate your home to the next level is a remodel. Remodeling can transform your space into something more functional by better reflecting your lifestyle and adding value to your home. However, your dreams of the perfect renovation project can turn into a nightmare if you don't do your homework. To have a successful remodel, you need the right contractor.
It's understandable to want the best person for the job, but finding that person often involves a number of factors like availability, cost, and areas of expertise. The best way to choose a remodeling contractor is to do your homework and take steps to ensure that you find an ideal match for your project.
Homeownership means making the decisions; it's your house, and you get to choose who remodels it. For the best remodeling experience, by taking your time and the correct steps, you're more likely to find the right person for your project. Not only will it save you time and money, but it will also get you the home of your dreams.
Got a fixer-upper in your sights? Good for you. Whether this old house is going to be your dream home or you're angling for a rental income, it's best to know what you're getting into before you lay your money down. Don't be beguiled by the dream: make a cool-headed assessment from the top of the roof to the foundation and, if it's got one, the basement.
Finding a Fixer-Upper
The local clerk of court's website is a good place to find deals, including foreclosures and short sales. Also, find foreclosure listings on Homes.com. Shop through auctions and estate sales. (Caution: Do your due diligence and research thoroughly; avoid careless bids.) Your real estate professional may also be able to help you with finding the right fixer-upper.
Once you find a home you want to acquire, hire a home inspector. You might even enlist a couple of home inspectors. Or, ir you're competent to judge how well a house is holding up, you'll need to look at the following:
Pay particular attention to foundation and wall cracks, as well as water damage.
Flooring is likely one of the major renovations you will make. If you have hardwood, it may be worth refinishing. If it needs to be replaced, you might consider laminate, which looks good, is easily maintained, costs less than hardwood, and is very durable. You might go for carpet, especially if you're in a colder climate, while tile might be the best choice for the kitchen and bathroom.
Hiring a Contractor
Once you've got an idea of the scope of your renovation, interview some contractors — at least three. You'll want to hire someone who has the ability to create a prospectus for the work so that you can refer to it and be assured the contractor is on track with the timeline and knows what you want. By interviewing more than one contractor, you could have a backup if one starts giving you the run-around.
Planning Your Project
The kind of fix-up you will do should depend on whether you intend to stay in this home for the rest of your life, or if you want to fix it up for a shorter-term goal: to sell it or to use it as a rental property. For instance, if you intend to stay in the home you may want to spend more for better, long-lasting materials, personalized colors, and in general, unique touches that will appeal more to you and your family rather than to a potential buyer. If the home is to be a rental property, you will want to use durable materials.
Fees and Permits
Chances are you'll need to pay fees and purchase permits to do some of the work on your fixer-upper. A reputable contractor may do this for you, but do follow up and ask questions about what kind of permits have been obtained. Check with your local authorities so you will know what is required.
Will You Stay or Go?
Staying in your home during renovations may work out if you're doing the work yourself — or not. It could be easier to remove yourself and the family to a motel until the work is done.
Fixing a fixer-upper can be an exciting and rewarding adventure. Above all, remember that good planning and organization can get you through the rough spots and will see you to the satisfactory completion of your project.
Painting a fireplace can transform a room from ordinary and dated to fresh, modern, and, dare we say? Gorgeous. For a homeowner with fair DIY skills, it's a fairly straightforward, achievable project, but it does require some care and diligence with details. So here they are.
Choosing the Look
Before you go out and buy paint for your fireplace redo, think about the look you want to achieve. Are you intrigued by that whitewashed look you've seen on fireplace redo websites? Or are you thinking about going darker to cover up soot and cracks? Or should you just paint over that old red brick or the passé tile, or just let it go and wait for the painted fireplace trend to pass? (Hint: It's probably not going to pass anytime soon.) What kind of surface are you covering up? Brick, tile, marble, metal, or granite?
Two Kinds of Paint for Fireplaces
Fireplace paint is different from the paint you put on walls, and there are two types. The interior of the fireplace, called a firebox, must be painted with a high temperature-tolerant paint formulated for metal surfaces that may reach 500 degrees or more. Any paint not formulated for this use will chip and peel.
Use heat-resistant (up to 200 degrees F) latex for the outer part of the fireplace.
Assemble Your Supplies
Choose your paint according to the look and style you want. Then assemble these materials:
After you have your supplies, cover the floor with a drop cloth. Tape off areas you want to protect. Use a wire scrub brush to clean up the brick, then vacuum the debris. Then, wearing gloves and safety goggles, clean the fireplace with trisodium phosphate. You can also try soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and dry surfaces.
If you're cleaning a metal fireplace, scrub it with a coarse brush and degreaser, then rinse the fireplace with wet rags. For granite, clean it with soapy water.
After cleaning, you're ready for primer. Oil-based primer will block stains and protect the paint. Work the primer inside crevices with a stiff brush. Apply the primer evenly with a roller. You may need two coats. Let it dry overnight.
Use a roller to apply the paint evenly. Then take a small paintbrush to any missed spots.
You can paint brick or stain it in flat, semi-gloss, or gloss, and it can go over textured surfaces such as stone, brick, and wood quite successfully. Limestone, sandstone, and river rock are harder to paint over. Use interior latex masonry paint for bricks and stone. Masonry paint works well on porous and textured surfaces. Cover granite with adhesion primer, allowing it to dry overnight. You could then paint it with textured paint (acrylic paint with sand in it) for a different look. For metal, apply a light coat of galvanized metal-etching primer before painting.
As mentioned, the key to successfully painting your fireplace is extremely heat-resistant paint. Also, apply as many as three layers if needed, allowing the layers to dry before you apply the next one. After the last coat of paint has dried, touch up any missed areas or flaws.
A painted fireplace is a relatively inexpensive and not-too-difficult way to rejuvenate a room. So get going, and see how you can put your skills to use, transforming your fireplace.
Downsizing? Homeowners who move from a big house to a smaller dwelling often confront the problem of rooms that seem too small. Maybe the rooms are small, or maybe the homeowner miscalculated how much stuff could be moved into the new house and crowded conditions are making the rooms seem small.
Whatever the reason, decorators have a number of cool tricks they share with homeowners to make a home's rooms seem bigger.
Making your rooms look larger than they are is one project that doesn't require a big outlay of cash. Yet another reason to celebrate small spaces: They are easier to organize and decorate, but also easier to keep clean.
A bigger and brighter kitchen is always on the list of top home features buyers are willing to move for. For those who love to cook and entertain guests, a nice kitchen is a must-have. As a seller, this means investing a little time and effort into sprucing up your kitchen can be well worth the time and energy.
Because the kitchen is such an important selling feature, we often recommend our clients invest in some upgrades and repairs before listing. While a full remodel may not make sense financially, here are some upgrades you might want to consider this year:
The kitchen is often considered one of the most important rooms of the house when it comes to selling a home. It serves as a gathering place where food is prepared and guests are entertained. Looking at your kitchen through the eyes of a potential buyer will definitely help your home sale.
No doubt you've dreamed of your home renovation for a long time, making sketches and jotting down notes, studying websites and home improvement publications, and just generally imagining how your changes will look. A renovation sure can be exciting, but it's also fraught with pitfalls that can bring on regrets. How do you ensure that, by and large, when the grand project is concluded, you're content with the results?
Fortunately, a little organization and good planning can keep renovation regrets to a minimum. Here are some tips to help you avoid remorse so you can enjoy results to the max.
After your renovation is finished, you may be tempted to focus on imperfections and what you don't like. Try to avoid this by focusing instead on what you love about the renovation. If the results are still too dissatisfactory, then you may need to redo — that is, paint a wall a different color or send a piece of furniture back and get another. It's not a failure, after all. A renovation is an exploration into unknown territory, and you can't always know what you'll love before you find it.
Your home is a special place where you can relax after a long day. While wanting to make home improvements that increase comfort and value is normal, some renovations can end up costing you money in the long run by decreasing your home's resale value. Take a look at some of the riskiest home investments that may not return your money.
Before you invest in expensive home renovations, make sure you can recoup your investment costs when you decide to sell your home. Think twice about costly renovations that may cost you profits.
Putting work into a home you're about to sell may seem counterintuitive, but in some cases, it can land you a higher sale price. However, in other cases, major upgrades can be a sunk cost. So how do you know if a certain renovation is worth your time?
The truth is it can be difficult to know whether renovations will lead to a higher sale price, but this is where your real estate agent's expertise can be a big help. If you're planning to sell soon, here are a few reasons why it's essential to consult with your agent before making any major upgrades or renovations:
While many sellers believe the right time to start working with an agent is when you're ready to list your home, the truth is you can start working with an agent any time. Consulting with one before beginning major upgrades can save you a lot in the long run.
Are you dreaming of making some major changes to your home? While renovating is a great way to make a space truly "yours," there are some things you simply shouldn't touch. Many updates will add value to your home, but if you make one of the following mistakes, you could end up doing just the opposite.
Here are six things you should consider leaving alone when planning your home renovation.
When renovating your home, it's important to create the features you really want. However, before making any of the changes above, consider whether the potential impact on your home's value is truly worth it. In the end, you may decide it is, but at least you'll have made an educated decision.
Renovations, upgrades, and staging make a world of difference when it comes to listing your home on the market. While the kitchen and bathrooms are often top selling points for many buyers, you don't want to forget about the living room.
The quality of the living room is an important selling point, and as a seller, you'll want to create an environment that enables buyers to envision themselves relaxing and spending time with family in the room. To help you achieve this, below are some important living room upgrades that you may want to prioritize before listing your home:
The living room is often one of the first rooms buyers encounter, so it often sets the tone for the rest of the home. Making the proper upgrades are essential for creating an attractive listing and maximizing your sale price.
Whether you realize it or not, the kitchen is often the centerpiece of a home. If you're entertaining family or guests, or you're simply closing the day with your evening dinner, odds are these events all begin by cooking in the kitchen. Considering how much time we spend in the kitchen, it makes sense that this space should be clean, organized, and stylish. After all, if you don't like how your kitchen looks or functions, you're less likely to use it and more likely to spend money on meals you could easily whip up at home. That's why it's critical to get the kitchen right when you're selling your home. Here are the upgrades you consider first for making your kitchen buyer ready.
Your budget will undoubtedly affect what upgrades you can do to your kitchen before selling, but there are plenty of repairs and renovations that can be completed at little to no cost. Don't underestimate one of the most important rooms in the house, and use these tips to make your kitchen irresistible to buyers.
Whether it's time to list your home or you just want to brighten up the exterior, your garage door could probably use a new coat of paint. Sure, you can go to everyone's default favorite, white, and you'd probably be safe to do so, but maybe you'd like to jazz things up. But before you run out and buy Raving Red or Habanera Orange, it's probably best to give your color scheme some serious thought.
These pointers will help steer you in the right direction with your color scheme.
The principal tenet to remember about your garage door is that the color should complement your home's appearance but shouldn't dominate. That means, as much as you love Habanera Orange, it just really won't do for the garage door of your sedate Craftsman-style home.
To be sure, there aren't necessarily hard and fast rules about exterior color schemes, but there are general rules, and the one that predominates is the three-color rule: a primary or field color; a trim color for awnings, door and window frames; and an accent color for shutters and door. You'll have to decide if the garage should match the field or primary color or the trim color. Sometimes the placement of the garage door can determine which color requires balance. For instance, pairing a light field color with a darker trim color or vice versa is often a pleasing combination. In general, an accent color on the garage door might tend to overwhelm.
Another helpful rule is that the garage door should be white or the dominant color. It's usually recommended that the white be off-white or ivory. Painting the garage door a variant of white or the dominant color will help make your home look bigger, and it will help draw eyes to other aspects of the house.
Other garage door colors to consider:
Blue and green are soothing colors but might not be the right choice unless the house is already one of these colors.
Studying the color wheel and the basic color schemes — monochromatic, analogous, and complementary — can help you understand better how colors go together. For instance, monochromatic, as the name implies, uses different shadings of the same color. For instance, the front door and trim might be a medium gray, while the door color is darker and the accents lighter. This type of cohesive color scheme is visually pleasing but lacks contrast, and sacrifices vibrancy.
You may have noticed a trend to paint houses in various shades of gray, but to spark things up by going boldly red on the front door. It can be an arresting and attractive scheme, but you probably wouldn't want to paint your garage door red. If you want to make a bold statement with the garage door, you may be more likely to choose some shade of purple to pair with the gray. Purple matches gray, but it also can be a standout.
Have a brick or stone home? Avoid contrast with brick or stone, choosing cream instead of stark white, and use neutral colors on the garage door. Allow accent colors to magnify the natural beauty of the brick or stone. Some pleasing accent color combos include: yellow/cream; charcoal/light gray; or cool green/cool gray.
For best results, drive around and study color combinations on other homes that might work for your own exterior. Above all, have fun with it.
Nothing can throw a wrench in your home improvement projects quite like a stripped screw! We're talking about those stubborn screws that have been over-tightened so much they won't turn properly or simply refuse to budge. If you're a home improvement enthusiast, these can quickly become the bane of your existence!
Next time this happens to you, take a deep breath. All is not lost. There are actually several simple ways to remove a stripped screw. Once you learn these techniques, you'll be able to fix the problem in a matter of seconds and get your home improvement project back on track.
Next time a stripped screw threatens your home improvement project, stay calm, and refer back to this list. One of these tricks might help salvage your project and save your sanity!
If you're like most homeowners, you used your time during the early months of the quarantine to take care of all the home improvement projects on your list. Now, you might be getting bored and wondering what to do next.
Don't worry, we've got six ideas for fun home improvement DIYs that you're sure to love. They're easy to complete in a single weekend and will totally transform your space.
We think the best home improvement projects are ones that help you to add a personal touch to your home. Each of these suggestions will do just that! Which one will you start first?
Once upon a time, an unfinished basement was a common sight that hardly deserved a second glance, let alone a full-scale home improvement project. It was a space for storage and sometimes included a small area where adults or kids could carve out a little time for themselves. Today, the unfinished basement is a hidden gem just waiting to be transformed into the house's best room. There are so many practical ways to renovate this functional space that most homeowners can complete this home improvement project over the course of a few weekends. If you're ready to turn your unfinished basement into a family retreat, consider taking on one of these home improvement projects.
Your unfinished basement has the potential to become the coolest room in your home. With a little creativity and supplies, this home improvement project can completely revolutionize the room into the perfect family retreat.
Outdoor entertaining is even better when you have an attractive deck in your backyard. Decks provide hours of fun and relaxation; however, they also endure constant exposure to the elements. Like most outdoor amenities, your deck requires regular maintenance to retain its beauty, functionality, and safety. Over time, wear and tear from weather and walking can damage the planks. Thankfully, a water-resistant sealant can help your deck stand up to harsh weather.
Whether you're installing a new deck or have an existing wooden patio, you should take measures to protect your investment throughout the year. A deck sealant protects the wood from moisture, sunlight, and UV rays to help it retain its aesthetics and strength. Most new decks should be stained between two weeks and one month after installation. The deck should be resealed every one to three years, depending on the strength of the sealant and the amount of weather-related trauma the deck faces across the seasons.
Sealing a deck isn't expensive or difficult, but it one home improvement task that many homeowners may neglect. Use these tips to seal and reseal your deck once every year or two so your deck looks great, stays safe, and keeps providing your family with hours of outdoor fun for years!
Remodels and renovations can transform your home in powerful ways. Whether you're preparing to list your house or if you've recently moved into a space that needs a facelift, a home improvement project will make any room feel refreshed. There are plenty of home improvement projects that you can accomplish with a few supplies and a little hard work, however, homeowners should acknowledge that some tasks are best left to professionals. Let's take a look at the most common home improvement projects and identify which ones require the help of licensed, trained, and certified specialists.
According to the National Association of REALTORS® Magazine, here are eight of the most common home improvement projects:
Home improvement projects can transform a house into your dream home — but many of these remodels and renovations require the expertise of a professional. Before attempting any home improvement project, be sure to conduct thorough research to determine if you legally need the assistance of a licensed professional.
Some home improvement projects are a no brainer--renovating the master bathroom, creating storage space in the garage, upgrading landscaping in the front yard. Even if you're not preparing to sell your home, enhancing your interior and exterior spaces with a home improvement project is a great way to refresh your surroundings. However, some home improvement projects give homeowners pause--such as deciding whether or not to paint brick walls.
Should you paint a brick house and reinvigorate its beauty, or should you leave it as is and showcase its natural charm? Let's weigh the pros and cons of painting the brick within and around your home.
Can you paint over the brick exterior of your home? Technically, yes. Should you paint over it? Many real estate and construction professionals suggest not to. Although it seems like an easy home improvement project to tackle, painting exterior bricks can present some problems. Some cons of painting your exterior include:
If you do decide to paint the exterior of your brick home, there are a few instances in which this is acceptable, including:
Should I Paint an Interior Brick Wall?
You can paint the brick walls inside your home. It's safer and easier to complete this home improvement project indoors because the bricks aren't subject to the elements. With a lack of exposure to moisture and humidity, the brick has less of an opportunity to incur damage. It's also quite easier to keep interior brick clean than exterior brick.
What About a Brick Fireplace?
Yes! Brick walls surrounding a fireplace are often painted by homeowners hoping to refresh the space!
A professional painter is often required to paint a brick exterior correctly. If you plan on painting it yourself, you'll need to clean, prep, prime, caulk, and seal the entire brick area before you can begin the painting process.
Brick has a natural beauty that many homeowners love. However, painted brick can transform an interior and exterior so dramatically that some homeowners believe it's worth the investment. If you're interested in painting your brick exterior, be sure to consult a professional before attempting this significant home improvement project.
When you're a homeowner, there is always "just one more project" sure to make your home more comfortable and up to date. Which projects from the list below have you already check off your list?
Are you considering a new home improvement project that will transform your room into something spectacular? Build your very own home entertainment theater! Imagine the fun you could have with your family and friends as you watch your favorite flicks without leaving the house. Popcorn, privacy, and the perfect company — movie nights will never be the same after you've hosted your own screening from the comfort of your personal theater. Believe it or not, building your own home entertainment theater is possible for homeowners of all budgets.
With a little planning, budgeting, and hard work, you can have the home theater of your dreams within a few days. Follow these steps and forever change the way you watch movies at home.
Building a home theater is a surprisingly practical and affordable home improvement project. With a little creativity, planning, and elbow grease, you can create an amazing home entertainment theater for your family to enjoy every day of the year!
A comfortable room with a crackling fireplace can be the coziest space in a house. Even for southern homes, a fireplace can enhance the aesthetic of a room, captivating your attention as the focal point of a room. A neglected fireplace, however, can be an eyesore. Fireplaces are a desirable feature for many buyers; showcasing one in a presentable way can also increase the value of your home depending on your location.
Does your fireplace need a facelift? Don't put this home improvement project off any longer. Whether you're getting ready to list your home or plan on staying put for a few more years, give your family the coziness that comes with a renovated fireplace. Here are a couple of ideas to fan the flames of your creativity.
Not all home improvement projects need to cost an arm and a leg, especially a fireplace facelift. With a little creativity, patience, and effort, you can use a spark of design to reignite your fireplace's aesthetic and watch it rise like a phoenix from the ashes.
When it comes to renovating a home for sale, many people look up – at a new roof. However, it's a good idea not to overlook what's beneath your feet: Flooring and carpet. New flooring can make your home much more attractive to prospective buyers.
Choosing the right new flooring can be tougher than it seems. In addition to getting the perfect look and feel, you also have to consider factors like moisture, durability, and cost.
Although there are many kinds of flooring out there, most homes will sport one out of just five options. Understanding the benefits and drawbacks of each type will help you make the right selection to add value to your property.
Let's take a closer look:
Vinyl is made from synthetic polymers with added color and is the most budget-conscious choice. It's easy to clean, and it resists water damage, so it tends to be the best selection for areas like kitchens and laundry rooms where other floors show age fast.
Things to Remember
Tile is made from ceramic or porcelain. It combines the strong water resistance of vinyl with a premium appearance most associated with bathrooms. It can also be an excellent choice for kitchens since it won't fade with repeated cleaning. Faux finishes can enhance its appearance.
Things to Remember
Composite or Engineered Wood
Processed wood flooring can look similar to hardwood but is made by compressing multiple layers of plywood with a single hardwood layer on top. It is very versatile, with easy installation over any subfloor, and is good in any moisture-free environment.
Things to Remember
Hardwood is considered the "gold standard" and adds value to almost any home. It tends to last for about a century but will require more maintenance than other floors. It can be sanded and re-finished to extend its lifespan and will work in any moisture-free area.
Things to Remember
Carpet is the go-to flooring in bedrooms, living areas, and many playrooms because of its comfort. It can be made from polyester, nylon, or polypropylene, with plenty of colors and styles to choose from. For the most part, it will last throughout the life of the home, but it can show wear in high-traffic areas.
Things to Remember
Just like a fresh coat of paint, new flooring can refresh a home's look before going to market. Your real estate agent can advise you about flooring trends that match buyers' tastes.
Painting requires patience because how your job looks at the end depends so much on how you prepare at the beginning. Skipping steps in the prep process is often the difference between a pro-level finish and a paint job that you'll have to revisit in six month's time. The good news is that prepping for painting isn't hard to do, it just takes an investment of time. Follow these key prep steps to get a pro-level look from your next DIY painting project.
It may be a cliché among professional painters, but that's only because it rings so true. The time that you invest into prep work is the key to an attractive, durable finish, and preparation will make your life much easier when it's time to start painting.
Choosing exterior house colors sounds easy until you realize just how many colors you have to choose from. With such a dizzying array of color combinations at your fingertips, many homeowners find themselves paralyzed with indecision.
Still, it's important to choose wisely, especially if you're thinking about selling your home in the not-too-distant future. Of course, even if you have no intention of selling, these tips should help you make a great color choice that you'll be happy with for years to come.
Whether you're considering selling your home or investing in home improvements, you're likely among the many homeowners that understand the importance of curb appeal. Although plenty of focus is placed on features like landscaping, windows, and garage doors, there's another vital element of the exterior that sometimes falls by the wayside.
The driveway is one of the most used portions of your entire home--interior and exterior alike. It's the path that leads you to your home, where your guests can park and the wide-area that provides your family with additional room to work and play. Let's take a look at the different types of driveways that can meet your needs and those of potential homebuyers.
The driveway welcomes you and your guests to your home — make sure it looks exactly the way you've always dreamed. There are many options available when choosing a material for your driveway; some of which are affordable and easy DIY home improvement projects. Consider the following ten driveway materials:
Like many home improvement projects, there are a few additional factors to consider when choosing your driveway material:
Upgrading your driveway can be fun and financially smart when you choose the right materials.
As a homeowner, there is no shortage of home improvement projects on your to-do list. The best ones to tackle first are typically those which can provide a great return on investment and can potentially increase the resale value of your home. It comes as no surprise that replacing the garage door is one of the quickest and easiest ways to transform your curb appeal.
Like all other aspects of your exterior, you need to choose a garage door that complements the aesthetic of your home and provides you with the versatile functionality you need. We've gathered the following tips that will help you choose the right garage door for you home.
As you get ready to shop for a new garage door, keep these helpful tips in mind to ensure your project is completed the way you envision it:
Home improvement projects are exciting, and we encourage all homeowners to spruce up their exteriors to create exceptional curb appeal. Replacing your garage door is one of the best ways to transform your home and bring style, convenience, and safety to your life.
For many homeowners, buying a home is simply the start of a long, rewarding journey. Customizing and upgrading the home to better suit your needs is an important part of the home improvement process, and a priority for many homeowners. In order to keep renovations running smoothly, it's important to have a plan and stick to it the best you can. Budgeting effectively for home improvement can save both money and headaches, allowing you to get busy enjoying the new perks that renovations add to your home.
Preparing for renovations is so much easier when you have a detailed plan in place, and research costs ahead of time. By planning renovations based on the value of the home, building a detailed budget, hiring the right contractor, and preparing for the unexpected, you can comfortably navigate the process of budgeting for your next big home improvement project.
Installing a ceiling fan is a relatively simple DIY home improvement project when you are installing the fan where a light fixture already exists, but may require an electrician if new wires need to be run. Either way, the payoff is worth it. A fan improves air circulation, keeps temperatures comfortable, helps lower cooling/heating costs, and can even add something new to the look of a room. When installing a ceiling fan, it's important to prioritize safety first, make sure you have the right tools, and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Start your next home improvement project with our guide to installing a ceiling fan in your home.
Congratulations, with installation complete all that's left, is to enjoy your new ceiling fan. Remember that with any home improvement project it's important to prioritize safety first and that an electrician or contractor can always help out if you run into trouble or need new wiring to install the fan.
Do you dream of a kitchen worthy of a Top Chef contestant? You're not alone! The kitchen is one of the most popular rooms for home improvement projects, but it can also be one of the trickiest if you're working with a tight budget. Fortunately, it's absolutely possible to update your kitchen on a budget, and still create a space where you look forward to cooking every meal. It's important to start with a plan, set goals, and be willing to invest some elbow grease into the process. Get started with our home improvement guide to making your kitchen Top-Chef worthy on a budget.
Creating your dream kitchen on a budget starts with knowing what you want, and developing a plan for how to get there. While a tight home improvement budget may eliminate some possibilities for kitchen updates, with a little ingenuity you can transform your kitchen without breaking the bank.
There are so many choices when remodeling the floors in your home that it's easy to get overwhelmed with options. While classics like hardwood, carpet, and tile are still popular, laminate flooring has become an increasingly popular option for homeowners. Laminate is sturdy, long-lasting, versatile, and can match the style of a wide variety of hardwood types. It's also easy to install with minimal mess, making it a popular choice for DIY home improvement projects. If you haven't looked into laminate flooring, now is a great time to learn more.
Laminate flooring is being installed in high-traffic businesses, with great results. The right laminate flooring offers high quality at a budget-friendly price, with a nearly limitless choice of styles. Since it works in every room, laminate is well worth considering any time that your planning a home improvement project for the flooring in your home.
Mold and mildew are two things that no homeowner ever wants to see, but they are also fairly common problems. Both can cause health issues for people residing within the home and can grow unseen in places you may not expect. Mold thrives on moisture, spreads quickly, and can be especially prevalent during the hot, humid summer months. Water damage in walls, crawlspaces, and basements can provide just the right conditions for mold to gain a foothold. Learn how to prevent and address mold in the home, with these six home improvement tips.
Managing moisture is the key to limiting the chance for mold to thrive within your home. You can greatly aid in that process with a variety a simple home improvement and maintenance steps, along with vigilance for spotting mold where it's most likely to grow. Clean surfaces, increase airflow, fix leaks, and make sure that anything you store in your home is dry. While you can't completely eliminate the possibility of mold, these steps will make your home a much tougher target.
Whether you want an updated look to wow potential buyers or a more personalized look for your new home, painting the front door can make a big impact. But what color should you go with? Here are a few tips and some trendy color suggestions to get your home looking its best.
Start with the color wheel
If you aren't sure what colors go together, using a color wheel to pick the right door color can help. The color schemes below represent arrangements of color that are generally pleasing.
If you're not painting the entire outside of your home, take a look at the colors that are already there. Find the predominant color on the color wheel, and use one of these color schemes to find your door color.
Neutral colors include black, white, gray, brown, wood stain and variations of these colors. The good news is neutrals go with just about everything. They're a good choice if you'll be changing other outdoor features or if you're repainting for selling purposes.
If your home is already a neutral color you can pair it with a bold door color, or a color with a similar or opposite undertone. For example, if your home is a shade of gray with a blue undertone, a navy blue door might look good. Or you may want a warm color such as yellow or orange to go with a cool gray. Your choice will depend more on the look and feel you're going for.
If your door or the area around it has architectural details, a lighter neutral paint or stain ensures they'll still be visible.
Other color inspiration
Location can inspire color. Some areas of the country have persistent color trends like the bright exterior home colors of the Southwest. Or if your home is in a wooded area, natural colors such as greens and browns may look more appropriate. There may also be a color that's unique to the buildings in your neighborhood or the style of home you have. Also, consider what kind of feelings a color evokes. Are you looking for a modern feel, playful, or traditional? Something bold or more subdued?
Remember you can get a different look by painting the area around the door, or the frames of screens and storm doors too.
Trendy ideas for color
Just want something fashionable? One of these trendy door colors may fit with the style and color of your home.
Picking the right color for your front door can create a unique look and make a big impression. These rules offer guidance, but ultimately you'll want something you like that works with the design of your house.
If you're thinking about selling your home, now is the time to start making any necessary renovations and updates. While you might think you know exactly what needs to be done, it's smart to talk to a real estate agent before you get started. He or she will be able to tell you exactly which features are most popular with homebuyers so you can focus your time and money on the projects most likely to improve your bottom line.
While buyers often have varying priorities when it comes to a home's interior, most may want the same features on the outside. Investing in the following five projects will help increase the chances of selling your home for top dollar.
There's been a lot of buzz in the U.S. lately about the Danish way of living known as Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah). If you're not sure exactly what it means, that's okay. It's somewhat difficult to explain since the word doesn't translate into English and is based more on a feeling than on anything concrete. The general concept revolves around creating feelings of intimacy and coziness, connecting with the people you love, and taking pleasure in the small things.
If this sounds appealing to you, you're not alone. After all, it could be one of the reasons that Denmark is ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world. While many of the concepts are based around staying warm and cozy during the winter months, it's easy to apply Hygge to your home all year round. Here are five tips to help you get started.
Once you've adopted the Hygge lifestyle, you'll naturally start noticing even more opportunities to incorporate it into your home. Eventually, it will begin to feel like second-nature.
The color of a room can drastically impact our mood and productivity. Although each person perceives color differently, most people respond to colors similarly. Warm colors like yellow, orange and red can stimulate the mind while cool colors like green and blue can have a calming effect.
You can change the color of each room to influence your desired mood. For instance, using green in your home office can spark creativity while a subtle gray or a pale shade of blue in the bathroom can create a soothing and calming ambiance.
The choice of room color is vitally important when you choose to list your home. When buyers tour your house for the first time, their immediate reaction will be influenced by the hues and shades that impact their emotions both positively and negatively.
Take a look at your current wall colors and reference the list below to discover how each room may psychologically impact those within it:
As you prepare your home for sale, you may want to consider repainting certain rooms to appeal to potential buyers. Here are five of the top twenty color trends for 2019 that we believe you should incorporate before you list your home.
For over 20 years, the Pantone Color of the Year has been a driving design influence in everything from home furnishings and fashion to industrial and graphic design. This year's color, Living Coral, symbolizes optimism, comfort and the lighthearted playfulness in everyone. Living Coral is a fantastic choice to incorporate into rooms of high activity such as entranceways, kitchens or children's playrooms.
Homeownership is an investment in your future. As with all investments, your home requires constant vigilance and a little maintenance along the way to protect its value. When you buy a home, the following are ten skills you should master as soon as you sign on the dotted line.
Let's face it, after a long day of working or taking care of your kids, dragging yourself to the gym isn't easy. If you want to improve your health and wellness, consider adding a home gym to your list of home improvement projects.
Before you start this project, you might wonder whether you have enough space in your house and your bank account. Luckily, with a bit of creativity, you can create a home gym that will fit almost any space and budget. These five simple tips will help you get started.
Incorporating Feng Shui into your home isn't only about home improvement, but making your home more balanced and healthy overall. Feng Shui is more than just improving the look of your home. It teaches us tools, such as mindfulness and joyfulness so we can connect with the spaces in our home and learn how to remove negativity and highlight different aspects of positive energy. These tips will help you get started with Feng Shui.
Feng Shui isn't necessarily about having the best-decorated home or adding another home improvement but more about creating a happier and healthier environment for you. Though it looks better, it's just an added bonus.
When you're selling your home, it is to present it in the best possible light. From tackling home improvement projects to staging an open house, small details can make all the difference in the world to a potential buyer.
When it comes to fixing up your house, it's important to pick your battles carefully. Some home improvements can help boost the resale value of your property, while others spend money you won't get back. Here's what you need to know about what to fix, and what not to fix when you're selling your home.
Fixing Cosmetic Problems
There are two ways to look at minor cosmetic blemishes – the kinds of issues that don't affect a home's functionality but do make it look run-down or outdated.
Painting a room is an inexpensive way to correct a home's cosmetic problems. However, many of today's buyers are willing to overlook flaws dive into DIY projects after they buy a house.
Fixing cosmetic flaws is a judgment call. Weigh the value of your own time and effort against the relatively small effect that cosmetic improvements are likely to have on your home's value, and decide if it's worth it. Either way, most of your efforts should be focused on making sure your home's major systems are in good shape.
Fixing the Big Stuff
While buyers are usually able to overlook flaking paint and outdated carpeting, they're much less likely to spring for a house that needs new plumbing or has major electrical issues. It's essential that you make sure the "bones" of your house are solid. That means making sure the plumbing, wiring and HVAC systems are up to par, and that the roof and foundation are sound. If any of these areas are lacking, it's important to fix them up – or hire a professional to do so – before selling your home.
Kitchen and Bathroom Updates
Conventional wisdom says that the kitchen and bathroom are the essential rooms in the house to a potential buyer, and this is true – up to a point. The problem is, many sellers sink a ton of money into kitchen and bathroom remodeling right before they sell their house, only to discover that they might not get that money back.
Many buyers plan to remodel these rooms anyway, so anything you do could end up being erased as soon as your home changes hands. Besides, do you want to finally create your dream kitchen and bath, right before selling your house? As a general rule, don't spend too much on your kitchen and bathroom, unless they are in such bad shape that they would prevent anyone from ever wanting to buy your house.
When you do decide to make home improvements before selling, it's important to avoid doing anything too trendy. Tastes change so quickly that today's hot color or design could look hopelessly out of date within a year. Stick with neutral colors and timeless design elements, so your house will appeal to the broadest range of buyers for as long as it may be on the market.
Have you decided to hire a professional interior decorator? Perhaps you are moving into a new home, or maybe you want to update your current décor. An interior decorator can offer you insights and skills that go beyond aesthetics. They can help with space maximization and turning unused space into livable areas.
Expertise for Any Home
Interior decorators aren't just for the rich and famous. Yes, the affluent do use them to plan their home furnishings. At the same time, interior decorators excel at optimizing your budget to make your home stunning, well planned, and more useful. You can choose an interior decorator to design and execute a project for your whole house, or you can hire one to help with a smaller project.
An interior decorator can assist with advice on paint colors, fabric sourcing, lighting, space planning, and furniture shopping. Hiring an interior decorator can also be on an "as needed" basis when your budget allows. This gives you access to expertise and insight while enabling you to fulfill your vision of a perfect home for you and your family.
Once you have decided to hire an interior decorator, you need a plan to select the right professional for your project. Here are some tried and true recommendations for finding an interior decorator.
Where to Look
Doing a quick internet search may be a good starting point, but you need more information before actually hiring an interior decorator. Consider these three steps as well:
If this is your first time choosing an interior decorator, you may feel more comfortable hiring one with professional certification. Some states regulate the interior design industry and require specific education and degrees to obtain a state certification. Also, an individual may be required to pass a certification exam by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ).
ASID accreditation means that your decorator has completed the required experience and education to meet state guidelines. Also, they will be up-to-date on building codes as well as project management. This is especially pertinent if your project involves construction and subcontractors.
If your interior design project does not need an accredited interior designer, you can interview interior decorators that focus on less complex projects.
As with any project, assessing your specific needs and desires is the best place to start. Do you want help coordinating colors and fabrications? Do you want expertise in maximizing space in a small kitchen? Once you have your objectives clearly defined, finding the right interior decorator will go much more smoothly.
When it comes to home improvement projects, window replacement offers a variety of advantages. From increased efficiency and comfort to the added home value and enhanced curb appeal, you simply can't go wrong.
Considering the vast number of options on the market today, it's understandable how picking the best windows for your climate can be a bit overwhelming.
So when it's time to replace your windows, it's important to carefully consider a number of factors in order to make the best choice for you and your family. Here's what you should know about choosing the right windows for your home and climate.
For homes in average climates with cold winters and hot summers, consider a low-E coating. This will help to reflect the sun and reduce glare, providing you with better climate control for your home year round.
If you live in a warmer climate that's mostly sunny, choosing a glass that has a very low SHG coefficiency will help to reduce the amount of solar heat gain. Adding a low-E coating can help you to further reflect the sun and maintain maximum efficiency for your home.
For homes in colder climates, a single or double-glaze for your glass can help reduce utility costs by as much as half! You'll also want to look for glass options with a higher SHG to utilize the heat from the sun.
As technology and science advances, new window frame material choices offer a number of additional advantages for homeowners. For relatively warm and sunny climates, vinyl makes the best choice. Vinyl windows can be insulated to keep heat from entering your home and require little to no maintenance.
For low-moisture climates, wood and vinyl-clad wood windows are great for home improvement projects. It's important to note that these types of window frames can have a higher cost and requires a moderate amount of upkeep.
Fiberglass and vinyl-clad windows are best suited for colder climates that experience ice and/or snow. These materials offer superior insulation and thermal performance during winter storms.
Regardless of what type of climate you live in, it's highly recommended to choose a double or triple pane window. This will provide your home with the best climate control and help to keep your home and family comfortable year round. It's important to note that poor installation can render your windows useless, regardless of the quality of your materials. As with any home improvement project, quality workmanship and professional installation services are essential to getting the best performance and efficiency from your new windows.
Whether you're a first-time buyer or experienced homeowner at some point you'll need to make home repairs. And those repairs will cost money. It's something first-time buyers often don't think about ahead of time and experienced owners may have learned the hard way. So budgeting at least some money in advance for these expenses is a must. Here's how to figure it all out.
The first step is deciding how much to save for home repairs. Here are a few different ways you can approach budgeting.
Once you have a starting point you'll need to adjust your budget to account for the specifics of your home.
Add 10 percent of your basic budget per year for each factor that increases the likelihood of repairs. For example, a basic budget of $2,000 per year for an older home in an area where bad weather is common, would increase that budget to $2,400 per year.
While no one can guess exactly what your home repair costs will be, being prepared and budgeting in advance will save you lots of headaches later and allow you to enjoy the benefits of homeownership for years to come.
When it comes to choosing your home's siding, the number of choices available can be overwhelming. It is the first part of your home that anyone will see which adds more pressure to the decision-making process. The good news is there is a simple approach to choosing your best option.
While it's easy to get distracted by choices such as color, it comes down to the best combination of price, durability, and return on investment. With that in mind, here's our guide to choosing the best siding options for your home.
To begin with, let's make take a quick look at each of these three factors.
Let's take a look at siding options available today.
Perhaps the most common type of siding these days is vinyl. Its combination of affordability and ease of installation make it an ideal choice for most homeowners. There is also a wide range of color and accessory options to choose from which further adds to its appeal.
In addition to being lower priced, some homeowners even feel comfortable installing it themselves which can save on the labor costs. The tradeoff for the lower price will be durability. While you can expect to enjoy your vinyl for 15 years or more, it will typically not last as long as some of the other options.
One of the newer options available today is Fiber Cement Siding. Its popularity has continued to grow due to its combination of price and durability. Homeowners can expect to enjoy their fiber cement siding for 30 years and beyond.
One potential drawback of this type of siding is the installation process. The fiber cement siding is much heavier and requires special tools and installation techniques. This could drive up your costs due to increased installation labor charges.
Nothing turns heads like a beautiful wood sided home. Plus, you can customize the look of wood siding. Depending on the grain of the wood and stain that you intend to use, you can create a naturally beautiful look to your home.
The challenges with wood are price and maintenance. Wood siding is going to be more expensive than other options. Plus, you will have to re-stain or re-paint it every 3 to 5 years. Since the wood exterior can last for 20 years, you could end up doing this several times while you own your home.
Stay focused on price, durability, and ROI, and you can't go wrong with any of these siding options.
Whether you are in the middle of a home improvement project or just working in the garage, having access to the right tools for the job can make the entire process much easier. Of course, having access to the right tools is especially important for someone new in the DIY world, and here are the top ten tools that everyone needs for a wide range of projects.
Of course, there are plenty more tools available, but these tools are a great starting point for anyone beginning a new home improvement project. Whether you are a beginner or have many years of experience, you can save the added expenses of using a contractor and start your DIY project today!
Whether you're tired of paying for costly repairs on a traditional roof or want to try something more efficient and stylish, there are many good reasons to consider a metal roof for your home. Today's metal roofs can be manufactured to look like nearly any traditional roofing material, and offer significant advantages over traditional roofing. However, there are some potential drawbacks to metal roofing, and it's wise to consider both sides of the equation before embarking on a major home improvement project. So let's take a closer look at the pros and cons of installing metal roofing on your home.
Pro: Metal Roofs Are Built to Last
One of the biggest advantages of metal roofs is that they're built to last, with durable materials and less potential for leaks than traditional roofs. While you may have to replace a traditional roof more than once over the lifespan of a home – and pay for repairs in between – the right metal roof can last for as long as you own your home. In addition to being sturdy, metal roofs are very efficient at whisking away the rain, ice, and snow that lead to leaks with traditional roofs.
Pro: Metal Roofing Is Environmentally Friendly
If you like your home improvement projects to have a limited impact on the environment, then metal roofing is more than worth a look. Asphalt shingles, the most common non-metal roofing material, are a petroleum product and need to be replaced relatively frequently compared to metal roofs. Your metal roof, on the other hand, won't be heading to the landfill any time soon.
Con: Metal Roofs Are Costly to Install
When it comes to durability, look, efficiency, and environmental impact, it's hard to argue with the advantages of metal roofing. However, those advantages come with a cost, and installing a metal roof can be considerably more expensive than a traditional roof, depending on the metal roofing that you choose.
Pro: Metal Roofs Are Energy-Efficient
Those increased costs will be evident up-front, but the efficiency and durability of metal roofing often make it more affordable in the long run. Metal roofing is very energy-efficient, minimizing heat gain and reflecting the sun rather than absorbing it, which can help lower cooling costs in your home.
Con: Some Metal Roofing Materials Can Dent
While metal roofing is much more durable than most traditional roofing materials overall, some types of metal roofs do have the potential to dent. Metal roofs made of softer materials, like copper or aluminum, are more likely to dent than steel roofs. If you want to avoid this drawback, choose a metal roofing material with a "no dent" guarantee.
Pro: Choose Any Look for Your Metal Roof
Today's metal roofs are more stylish than ever, and you can choose nearly any look for your home. If you want to replicate the look of just about any type of traditional roofing material, you can find a metal shingle that will do the job. Metal shingles come in a wide range of colors, styles, and materials, to achieve the look that you crave.
While there are some potential drawbacks to installing a metal roof, the advantages are likely to outweigh those drawbacks for most homeowners. Metal roofs are durable, long-lasting, efficient, and attractive, so for many, the real question comes down to cost. A metal roof may be a more costly home improvement project more up front, but it can also save plenty of headaches (and repair bills!) in the long run.
Surely we don't have to tell you all the benefits of owning a swimming pool. From hosting great backyard get-togethers to the ability to take a dip anytime you want, the benefits of having an in-ground pool at your house are self-apparent. What some homeowners miss are the costs and potential drawbacks, of which there are many.
The purpose of this piece is not, of course, to scare anybody away from having a pool. We would never think of coming between our clients, and the joys of having your own swimming hole just footsteps from your back door. We want you to understand the pros as well as the cons so that you can make a well-informed decision.
Many homeowners have an in-ground pool installed with the idea that it will increase the value of their home. Sometimes this idea works out, and sometimes it does not. It all comes down to getting a higher return on your investment than you put into it. Having a pool put in makes good financial sense if:
Whether or not a pool will boost your home's value also depends on the pool's style, condition, and age. Generally speaking, the more years go by after installation, the less likely a pool is to recoup its costs.
Surely, one wouldn't expect to install an in-ground pool to be cheap, but it's essential to examine the costs before you commit really. At present, the cost to install a 600 square foot concrete pool starts at around $30,000. That's before factoring in the lighting, landscaping, and fencing – a safety fence around the lake is a requirement in many states – which lead many homeowners to pay nearly $100,000 when all is said and done.
Costs depend on the type of pool you choose. Fiberglass shells and pools with vinyl liners are less expensive but often need more maintenance. Some need to be replaced as frequently as every ten years. And not to focus too much on the negative, but you'll also be responsible for the ongoing costs of heating, filtration, and maintenance over the lifetime of your pool.
An in-ground pool might be a worthwhile investment, or you might be better off buying an above-ground pool, which will cost a fraction of the price but won't do much in the way of boosting your home's value. If you're still on the fence, talk to your real estate agent to help weigh the pros and cons.
Like most homeowners, you may be considering a number of summer upgrade projects to your home. After all, the weather is great and the days are longer which creates the perfect environment to make these changes happen.
If your list of possible do-it-yourself projects is getting long, then you need a way to prioritize which ones to invest your time and, more importantly, your money in. To help you out, we've put together this list of five DIY projects that can help your home look fabulous and maximize your efforts. So grab your list and your budget and let's get started.
Many people enjoy DIY projects. Even if you never picked up a hammer before, there are plenty of projects that easy to start especially for the first-time homeowner.
Some people discover that they love home improvement projects so much, they end up using their newfound skills to "fix and flip" homes for a living.
Even if you have humbler ambitions, tackling some DIY projects is a great use of time and saves money on minor improvements.
Let's look at some of them right now:
Getting involved in a bit of DIY can give you a tremendous sense of satisfaction. Once you see the results you can get from a tiny bit of time and effort, the inspiration is likely to start flowing.
All in all, these subtle touches – occasionally fixes, repairs, and updates – could make your home feel more comfortable and might even help you catch a buyer's eye when that time comes!
Interested in giving the interior of your home a fresh, new look, but not interested in home improvement projects that require knocking down walls or major remodeling? While it is often overlooked by homeowners when redecorating, the lighting that you choose plays an important role in bringing out the best of your home. The right lighting can help you decorate your home in style, bring life to lesser used rooms, and even help small spaces appear bigger than they really are. Today, we're going to take a closer look at key tips for transforming your home with interior lighting.
Choosing the right lighting to transform your home depends on an understanding of the latest trends, along with the classic concepts of interior lighting. By taking advantage of both, you can create a unique, new look for your home.
Smart, stylish lighting choices can make such a difference in the interior of your home, and new lighting is often inexpensive compared to larger home improvement projects. There's also a ton of room to customize your lighting based on what suits your taste, and what you hope to accomplish with your lighting in each room. Next time you're thinking about ways to re-imagine your home's interior, be sure that lighting is near the top of the list.