Today, there are so many TV show about renovating that homeowners get the bug totransform their own homes. If you like your neighborhood and your home has possibilities for expansion, it is a good option. The experts however,make it look easy and their pricesseem to be pretty good! The problem is that many of us do not have the expertise to handle a major renovating project. If you have to hire everything done, the project could get very expensive. Hire experts for specific areas that are not your expertise such as electrical issues and save the unskilled jobs such as demolition, for yourself. This can save money and make you feel a part of the outcome. Set your budgetand them go to work getting 2 or 3 prices for each project being done. Some homeowners get inspired, charge forward and do not do their homework. Check the basic structure of your home and its ability to handle the changes. Here are a few tips if you have decided to charge ahead!
1) Basement renovation can add additional living space for the family, a cozy theatre room and even added income if you have the space to add a rental suite. However before you begin, check that the basement is waterproof. Always inspect the interior foundation to ensure there are no moisture issues or mold problems before beginning. Examine the outside grading to make sure water runs away from the foundation.
Insulation is key. You want your new lower level space to feel comfortable. Make sure yousoundproof it. You want your new space to be quiet and private. Safety is also an important issue. Evaluate the exits in case of a fire. You may have to add a large window or another door. Educate your self on fire resistant materials and alarms and know your local fire codes.
2) Kitchens are often the last area to be upgraded. You can put in a whole new kitchen withcustom cabinets but there are ways to upgrade without breaking the bank. If the basic structure of your cabinets are satisfactory or due to the layout cannot be changed, then consider refacing them. There are several companies out there that will come in, paint the bases and add new wood doors. Ask around and get referrals. We are currently using Heritage Cabinets. They manufacture their own doors in their own factory and they turn out quality work! If refacing is not for you, you might just consider new hardware and an upgraded counter top. This alone will make a huge difference.
3) Consider creating an Open Concept look which is very popular today. Find out which walls are non-load-bearing walls and remove them to create large living spaces. This can give your home a spacious feel, improve flow, lighting and overall function.
4) Garages are being used today for much more than overflow storage or car parking. If insulated properly, your garage can become a rental unit, a home office, a guest suite forcompany or a gathering place for the family. Carpet, quality thermal insulation and a couple of windows can transform your space into added value for you home.
5) Re-evaluate the lighting in your home. If you have opened up spaces by removing walls, you may have to add French Doors or addition lighting to enhance that light open space feel. Color can be a real asset here. Light tones, especially greys are big this year and really do a great job.
6)The finishing touches are vital.Furniture and accessories will be the icing on thecake. Avoid pieces that overpower the space. Large pieces such as wall units can often shrink a room simply by its proportions. Develop an eye for chosing lower profile or smaller scale furniture. Investigate dual purpose pieces such as ottomons which double as storage units for throws, books or even knitting.
Have fun but watch the budget. You do not want your home to turn into a money pit. If you are in the market for a new home to transform into your own space, by using some of theses ideas, call me, Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal LePage Peifer Realty Inc. Brokerage Inc. Chatham-Kent today, for all your Real Estate needs.
I do not know if you have watched any of the home decorating shows on HGTV these days but Tiny Houses seems to be a trend. As many of my followers know, my wife is an Interior Decorator and she loves them all and especially the 'Love it or List It' shows that do complete home makeovers. The latest is Tiny Houses which are very small, often easily moved to the owners favorite location, be it a beach or a wooded lot along the lake, and very well laid out. Storage is at a minimum and even if these tiny houses are not your thing, some of their ideas can be transferred to a medium sized home.
I think we all have one or two rooms that we wish were larger. That is probably the rooms you spend the most time in, like the Family room or the Kitchen. Although we have never lived in a Tiny House, we did boat for years when the children were growing up and then we had a Motorhome. When we arrived at the boat for the weekend, I would help my wife carry everything in and then leave her while she put things away, like food, clothes, toys, extra jackets etc. The same was true when she packed the Motorhome. There was very little clutter when she finished. This is necessary since things will slide, move and fall when you are in motion in both of these vehicles.
1) Make use of vertical space. Look up and be creative. If you find some pictures of Tiny Houses, Boats or Motorhomes, there is no space above cupboard or doorways that do not have storage. It may require a step stool to reach but sort your extra items and use the higher places for seldom used articles.
2) De-Clutter, especially those high traffic areas like your kitchen, family room or entrance. Items not put away or laying on the floor or furniture can make a space appear even smaller. Hang some hooks at the door for coats. Get a small hassock for mitts and hats. Have a shoe rack along the floor for shoes. This is much neater than shoes laying on the rug for people to trip on. If there are toys in the family room for small children, consider a storage ottoman that can double as a coffee table and a toy box when the children go to bed.Built-ins such as a bench banquet along the wall with chairs on the other side of your table can add width to your eating area. It can also double as extra storage below the bench. A centre island in the kitchen with stools can add sitting room and be a real plus for limited cupboard space.This may necessitate removing a wall. Consult a contractor to be sure it is not a supporting wall. Eliminate kitchen appliances and extra food from on top of the counters. You will be surprised at how much bigger your kitchen looks.
3) Create dual purpose rooms. In our own personal scenario, my wife always had an office for her to work in with lots of windows. When we moved recently, that office space was in the basement and she did not want to go down there daily. We have a large family room so we arranged an office space at one end surrounded by windows. It works great and is veryconvenient and bright. If your family room does not work, try a nook in the bedroom for an office space or a reading chair away from the family hub-bub. If you are lucky enough to have a basement, convert a space for the men to watch a ball game or play cards. I even saw one home where the garage was converted for the summer into a family room. The car sat out for the nice weather and they put a portable screen door where the garage door was. Great for those nice summer evening barbeques with friends or a man cave when the men are there for a big game.
4).Lighting Fixtures: You may need help with this. The proper placement of the light fixtures can make or break a room. I often hear my wife say" Let the experts do what they dobest!' That means that you may know what you want, a bright kitchen with no dark corners or shadows that can make the space feel smaller. But do you know how to achieve that? Go to the Lighting Experts, often an Interior Decorator or a savy sales person at a Lighting Boutique. It will make a huge difference.
5) Paint Choice: Remember that light colors will make a space appear larger. Bright white may appear a little stark `Limed white is the new grown up white` according to one of the latest decorating magazines, quotes my wife. Painting all one color, especially with the open concept look will enlarge your space. If you use the limed white you can accent with dark blue, greys which are big today, and even purple which one of our friends recently used in their waterfront condo. The purple was spectacular! You can use your floor covering as an accent, dark wood or wood look or you can use one of the light wood floor looks in vinyl to create a great background for an area carpet that pulls in all your accent colors.
6) Mirrors and Pictures: Mirrored walls and kitchen backsplashes are a little dated today but you can still use hanging mirrors with suitable frames to enlarge space. If used properly, mirrors and pictures can make a space flow and appear large than it is.
I hope this helps you. if you are looking to buy or sell your home, call me, Wayne Liddy 519-436-48910 Royal LePage Peifer Realty Inc. Brokerage today. I come with a whole team of experts to make your transaction as easy as possible. I have an Interior decorator on the team who can help you stage your home for sale or make your new homeexactly what you envisioned. I have to confess that a lot of what I just wrote came from her. Oh well, it is all in the family. Visit my website for Chatham-Kent Events, Happenings and Choice Properties for sale in our great area. I have been serving the people of Chatham-Kent and surrounding area for over 30 years in the Real Estate Industry.
A relaxing deck gives you the great outdoors without the need to venture too far from the comforts of home. When done right, a deck improves the appearance and utility of your home and can add to its resale value.
Homeowners should pay special attention to the plan for any new deck. To ensure the structure enhances your property, both now and in the future, a good design and quality materials should be your guiding principles.
Whether you plan to build it yourself or hire a contractor, consider the following:
How will you use your deck? Barbecuing, sunning and lounging, supervising the children at play, enjoying nature and setting off a pool or spa are popular functions of a deck. Think about how you would typically use the space and plan your deck accordingly.
How can you enhance your house and yard? A deck usually sits against your house and alters the landscape of your yard. Always keep the surroundings in mind and consider the combination of visible elements. Think about the view from the deck, and if it is raised, how it will look from ground level.
How large and what shape? The deck should suit the scale of your house and yard. Going too large or too wide for the space can visually overwhelm and detract from the setting. Avoid a plain, boxy rectangle by adding interesting angles or changing the orientation.
What materials will you use? Cedar and redwood are popular choices, but for the budget-minded, look for pressure-treated pine and select your pieces with care. Composite deck materials are growing in popularity in some areas.
With careful attention to your needs and landscape, a deck creates a welcome transition between your indoor and outdoor spaces. And, it might clinch the deal when it comes time to sell.
Article from Royal LePage Home Connection Newsletter
I know our weather often goes from winter to summer with very little Spring but don’t forget those Spring cleanup chores for your home and gardens. We have had a few warm days and the time is right to start those outdoor tasks. Curb appeal is vital if you are thinking of listing your home for sale but it is also very important even if you are not moving or contemplating a move. Pride in ownership requires a constant basic improvement plan for your home. You want to greet guests and family with the best curb appeal possible for those summer months ahead.
Here are just a few tasks that will give your home a summer WOW factor!
Rake up dead leaves and winter debris from under and around the shrubs and gardens.
Weed beds and get ground ready for planting flowers
Put a fresh layer of mulch on beds if applicable.
Put spring fertilizer and the appropriate weed control product on your lawn. (ask the experts what and when)
Wash windows and doors inside and out!
Wash outside patio furniture and get deck ready.
Put a coat of fresh paint on the front door and garage is they need it. (Nothing worse than peeling, faded paint greeting guests)
Repair broken or cracked cement on front porch and steps and paint with new aggregate paint ((check with hardware store for prep work needed)
Add a Welcome Mat to front door.
Plant flowers in beds, containers or window boxes.( Not too early! Remember, before May 24 weekend, the weather is still iffy)
Now you are ready for summer and you have a home with great curb appeal and pride of ownership. Put the barbeque and the patio furniture out and enjoy the season!