5 Signs It’s Time to Remodel Your Bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most important parts of the house. It is where you start and finish your day. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get much attention as much as the bedrooms, kitchen, and living room.

Has your bathroom worn out its welcome? Maybe it’s time to update it and bring it back to life.  There are telltale signs that it’s time for a bathroom makeover.

Here are 5 signs it’s time to remodel your bathroom.

Planning to sell your home

If you’re considering selling your home, a bathroom renovation can benefit you in a number of ways. Not only will it increase the value of your home, it also makes your home more attractive to potential buyers.

Bathroom renovations can be expensive, but studies suggest that you can recoup about 58% of the cost in resale value. If you are on a tight budget, don’t worry. Simple updates like getting new fixtures, repainting the walls, cleaning the grout, and adding clean lines of caulk around the sink and tub can help transform your bathroom.

Outdated design

Is your bathroom old and outdated? If so, a bathroom is in order. Today, people are coming back to that white, timeless look. White, gray, and black palettes will lend an element of ageless beauty to your space. Installing new lighting fixtures, cabinets, mirrors, and towel holders are also a great way to improve the look and feel of your bathroom.

Poor lighting

Of all the rooms in the house, bathrooms are given the least considerations when it comes to interior lighting. If you can barely see yourself in the mirror, this requires action.

Use lighting fixtures that provide 75-100 watts worth of illumination for the master and guest bathroom. Installing proper task lighting is also important as this is the light by which you can best see yourself.

Bathroom smells bad

You walk into the bathroom and crinkle your nose as you smell a noxious sewer-like odor in your bathroom. This could be an indication that sewer gas is escaping from the drainage system. This is a prime indicator that you need to update your bathroom.

Adding better ventilation to a windowless bathroom, fixing that persistent leak that is building up mold, and replacing a toilet’s wax seal are all smart fixes to get rid of bathroom smells.

Lack of storage

Don’t have enough space to store everything you want? Your bathroom may be due for an update. Make use of the vertical space and under the sink for storage. Come up with creative ways fit everything in the cabinets and closets.

4 Maintenance Skills Aspiring Homeowners Need to Master

Being a homeowner entails a lot of responsibilities. This includes taking care of your home and making sure that it stays in tip top shape. Some maintenance tasks require the assistance of a professional, but there are a number of things you can do to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Here are 4 maintenance skills aspiring homeowners need to master. Master these skills to keep your home in the best condition possible. Plus, it will help you save lots of money down the road.

Changing air filters

According to the U.S. FDA, indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air. You may not realize it, but there are lots of pollutants inside your home. Dust, dirt, pet dander, mold, pollen, chemicals, and the list go on. These pollutants get trapped in the air filters.

During the summer and winter months, your HVAC system is running round the clock. That means, the air inside your home is being re-circulated again and again. When the air filter is dirty, these pollutants will be blown back into your home and will be floating in the air. Make it a habit to change your air filters every 30 to 90 days. Not only will it improve indoor air quality, it will also help extend the life of your HVAC system.

Unclogging drains

If you notice that the sink is draining slower than usual or there is standing water in the tub, you probably have a clogged drain.

Clogged drains can be a serious nuisance, which is why you need to address the problem fast. You can clear up even the most stubborn clogs with a little practice and some simple tools.

Cleaning gutters

Most people don’t give their gutters much thought until they stop working properly. Your gutters are designed to keep water away from your home. When it’s clogged, water can’t run through them and will collect in the roof. Eventually, it will cause damage. When there is too much water on the roof, it will drip down the side of your house.

The last thing you want is to deal with water damage due to clogged gutters. Make sure that you clean your gutters regularly to ensure that they are working properly. You may also want to consider putting a gutter guard to prevent leaves, twigs, and other debris from accumulating.

Repair a leaky faucet

Every homeowner will experience plumbing problems at some point. Leaky faucets are one of the most common problems homeowners face. Often, they tend to ignore the problem thinking it isn’t a big deal. But if left unattended, you’ll be wasting a lot of water. Also, this can lead to a bigger, more complicated problem. Learn how to fix a leaky faucet. It’s a simple task that anyone can handle.

Home Fixes You Must Complete Before Listing Your Home for Sale

If you are looking to make the most money for your home, you need to tackle some issues before listing your home for sale. Leaving repairs for a buyer is not a smart thing to do. Not only will buyers negotiate for a lower price, you may also have a hard time selling your home.

Here are 4 home fixes you must complete before selling your home.

Improve curb appeal

If you want to sell your home fast and for top dollar, make sure that the property looks good on the outside.

Your home’s exterior is the first thing potential buyers will see. Often, homebuyers will make a decision about whether or not they are interested in the house by just looking at it from the outside. They are less likely to be interested to see what’s on the inside if the exterior looks messy, unkempt, and disorganized.

Power spray your home’s exterior, repaint the front door and mailbox, plant some flowering plants, and keep the lawn mowed. These are just some of the things you can do to make your home more appealing and inviting.

Paint walls and ceilings

If you are looking for an easy and inexpensive way to refresh the look of your home, consider painting the walls and ceilings.

Red, pink or blue are great colors, but not everyone will love it. Paint the walls a neutral color to make your house more appealing to the greatest pool of prospective buyers. They need to be able to envision themselves in that house. Potential buyers may have a hard time doing so, especially if they can’t get past the red master bedroom.

Kitchen improvements

The kitchen is one of the most used rooms in the house. Today, homeowners don’t just use it for preparing meals. Many of them would use the kitchen to entertain their guests and bond with their family. If you have the budget for a renovation, the kitchen would be a great place to start. A spacious kitchen with huge counter space would be much appreciated by potential buyers. Some would even be willing to pay more for a kitchen with updated appliances.

Flooring fixes

The flooring is one of the first things prospective buyers notice when they enter the house. An old, dingy, and smelly carpet is sure to put off buyers.

Most homes come with wood flooring. Before putting your home on the market, we suggest that you get rid of that old carpet and get that wood floor refinished. Hardwood floor is one of the features buyers are looking for in a home. Not only will it give off a classic and elegant vibe to your home, it will also add value to your property.

Tips to Avoid Holiday Plumbing Disasters

Christmas is such a joyous occasion. Everyone is looking forward to eating good food and spending time with their family. However, holiday meal preparation and clean up can lead to a lot of unwanted waste in the kitchen. Plus, extra occupants who require additional toilet flushes, hot water usage, showers, and washing can put a strain on your drain system. As much as you try to avoid plumbing problem during the holidays, you still end up with clogged sinks, toilets, disposals, and sewers.

Here are some tips to avoid holiday plumbing disasters.

Turn off water before going on vacation

There is nothing more frustrating than coming home to a flooded home. To prevent plumbing disasters, make sure that you turn off the main water valve prior to your trip.

Pipes are susceptible to freezing during the winter. Water inside them expands as the temperature drops. This causes the pipes to freeze and burst. Shut off the main water valve when you leave your home, even if it’s overnight. This is the best protection against catastrophic water damage.

Use a strainer screen

During the holidays, you cook more food and wash more dishes. Having guests also mean taking more showers. Hair and food particles that go down the drain can cause it to clog eventually. Using a strainer screen can help prevent these issues. They keep hair from clogging your bathroom sinks and bathtubs. Plus, they prevent food particles from going down the kitchen sink.

Give the garbage disposal a break

Your garbage disposal is not a trash can, so you shouldn’t treat it like one. Overloading your garbage disposal can damage the blades and create clogs. Never feed your garbage disposal with non-food items such as fibrous foods, fruit and vegetable peels, and bones.

Never dump grease down the drain

Fat and grease are common bi-products of any holiday feast. But they are a drain’s worst nightmare. Pouring excess grease down the drain may not seem like a big deal, but they tend to harden as they cool down. This can seriously clog the drain.

Be mindful of what you put down the drains. Pour excess grease in an empty container and then throw it in the trash can.

Get your trashcans ready

Throwing trash like cigarette butts, kid’s toys, sanitary napkins, and paper towels down the toilet can create a plumbing disaster you don’t want to deal with. Place trash cans in the bathroom, so guests won’t be tempted to throw trash elsewhere.

Quick and Easy Ways to Winterize Your Home

As temperatures start to drop, many of you are probably taking steps to ensure that your family stays warm and comfortable throughout the winter. While cranking up the heat seems like the best way to keep your house warm, it can be quite expensive.

This blog post will help you prepare your home for the cold weather. Here are 4 quick and easy ways to winterize your home while saving money.

Install a programmable thermostat

The furnace typically runs 24/7 during the winter. Installing a programmable thermostat keeps your home at a comfortable thermostat while saving money and energy.

A programmable thermostat allows you to program the thermostat to be at a lower temperature in the morning and then set it at a higher temperature in the afternoon. In addition to saving money and energy, it also simplifies your morning routine.

Check for air leaks

Air leaks will allow heated air to escape. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5 to 30% of your energy use. This will prevent your home from being the cozy, energy-efficient home you want.

Inspect the doors and windows to ensure that there is no air leakage. Make sure that the weather stripping around the doors and windows are in good condition. Inspect the threshold under each door.  Make sure to caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows that leak air.

Run fans in reverse

Most people will only turn on the fan when they feel hot. But fans can actually come in handy during the winter.

Reversing your ceiling fan direction will make the room feel warmer. When you turn on the fan, cooler air is drawn upwards while warm air is pushed back down. This allows you to set the thermostat at a lower temperature without sacrificing comfort.

Insulate your pipes

Nothing is more relaxing than taking a steamy, hot shower in winter. However, your pipes are in danger of freezing and bursting in winter.

Insulating your hot water pipes will prevent heat from escaping through your pipes. Since insulated pipes deliver hotter water than uninsulated pipes, you can raise water temperature by 2 to 4°F; thus, saving you money and energy. It also prevents pipes from freezing and bursting. Pipes in the garage, crawlspace, and attic are in danger of freezing. Insulating them is essential to prevent broken or leaky pipes.

Update Your Home Needs Every Decade

As a homeowner, tackling home improvement projects and updating your appliances are the best things you can do for your home. This can benefit your home in a number of ways. Aside from improving your home’s aesthetics, these updates will increase the value of your home and make it more comfortable.

Here are 4 updates your home needs every decade.

Repainting

A fresh coat of paint gives the outside of your home a fast and impressive face lift. Some professionals will tell you that you only need to repaint your home’s exterior every 4 to 6 years to make sure it looks good. If you haven’t repainted your home in 10 years or more, we encourage you to start painting. Don’t wait until paint chips are visible from the street before you start painting.

Replace garbage disposal

Your garbage disposal is designed to break up food into smaller pieces, so that it travels safely through the sewer system. However, it tends to lose its efficiency overtime. Eventually, it will wear down to the point where repairs are no longer worth the effort.

Dull blades, lingering smell, and frequent clogs are the most common signs that your garbage disposal needs replacing. Often, these issues become evident on the 10-year mark. If you notice any of these issues with your garbage disposal, consider investing on a newer model.

Update ceiling fans

How old is your ceiling fan? Have you ever wondered when exactly do you need to replace your ceiling fan?

Ceiling fans have an average lifespan of about 10 years. This estimation depends on the frequency of usage and the quality of the fan you have. The more frequently you use it, the more likely is it to wear down early.

Although it’s normal to hear a sound while the fan is in use, too much noise can be a sign of a bigger problem. A humming noise can indicate a problem with the fan’s motor. Clicking or scraping noises can be the result of a broken or bent blade. If the light bulb seems to burnout more quickly, it can also be a sign that you need to get a new ceiling fan. If you still haven’t replaced yours in the last 10 years, now would be the best time to swap it out for a newer model.

Get a new carpet

Buying a carpet is not something most people do regularly. Depending on the type of carpet you have and the amount of traffic in your home, medium-grade carpets have an average lifespan of 5 to 15 years.

Regular cleaning and vacuuming can extend the lifespan of your carpet. But no matter how well you take care of it, there will come a time when it needs replacing. Old carpet padding, wear and tear on carpet, permanent stains and lingering smell are just a few signs you need to get a new one, ding carpet can negatively affect the look and feel of your home. An update wouldn’t hurt.

Tips to Perk Up Your Outdoor Living Space

Your outdoor space can be used in a lot of ways. In fact, most homeowners would look at their empty or cluttered outdoor space and think of how to use the space in the best way possible. Many of them would envision turning it into a garden, entertainment space, outdoor kitchen, playground or a pool.

If your balcony, lanai, garden or outdoor nook is bare or has tons of weeds and dry leaves, your outdoor space may be in need of a makeover. Summer would be the perfect time to tackle some home improvement projects.

Here are some tips to perk up your outdoor living space. Make the most of your balcony or garden space with these ideas.

Power wash your home’s exterior

If the paint on your home’s exterior still looks good, it is a good idea to pressure wash your house to get rid of dirt and mildew. If you want a truly clean house, then this is the way to go.

You want to make sure that the bottom area of your house siding is clear of bushes. This way, you can pressure clean this area. Also, clear the area – remove all the toys, tools etc – to avoid tripping over them. Wear safety rated sunglasses to avoid eye injury.

Never use a pressure washer while standing on a ladder. This is a safety risk. The pressure from the equipment may cause you to lose balance and fall.

Create a dining or entertainment area

This summer, wouldn’t it be nice to sit on the balcony or the garden when you want to take a break from household chores or other tasks. It would be the perfect place to entertain friends while connecting with nature. You can invite your friends over for a barbecue party or just have dinner with your family outdoors.

Create a wonderful dining area for you and your family outside the house. If you have enough space, consider adding a countertop next to the grill. Use natural materials like slate, granite or stone to create a kitchen-like environment and make outdoor cooking more enjoyable.

Add a fire source

A fireplace draws people. It encourages family and friends to gather around. It exudes coziness and offers warmth and light. The same is true in your outdoor living space. Consider adding a firepit or a fireplace to your outdoor space. This will instantly turn your patio into a gathering place.

Outdoor lighting

Having good lighting can really improve your outdoor space. With proper positioning, outdoor lighting can really enhance the look of your home. They can also improve the functionality of your yard and present a cared-for impression to the entire neighborhood.

A well-lit yard presents a feeling of security. This makes it easier for you to navigate the walkways, driveways and entry way safely. The more lights you have, the safer your outdoor areas will be.

 

Why You Should Tackle Home Repairs Before Listing Your House for Sale

Spring and summer is the busiest time of the year in the real estate market. Because of this, most homeowners choose to sell their home during this time of the year. If you are looking to sell your home, we highly recommend that you tackle some repairs and home improvement projects before you do so.

Here are 4 reasons why you should tackle home repairs before listing your home for sale:

Add value to your home

Small home improvement projects like repainting the walls, repainting the kitchen cabinets and pressure washing your home’s exterior always pay off. These projects will only cost you a small amount of money and a few hours of your time, but these home improvement projects will help boost the value of your home.

An attractive and well maintained house will increase its perceived value. It will attract lots of potential buyers and get better offers as well. Plus, buyers will be willing to buy your house at your asking price knowing that it it’s in tip top shape.

Sell your home faster

Home buyers are looking for a house that is in move-in ready condition. They don’t have time to tackle repairs after moving in to their new house.

By handling repairs early on and assuring buyers that your house is in good shape, there’s a good chance that your home will sell fast and for top dollar. Properties that are in poor condition are likely to linger on the market.

Reduces the risk of losing the deal

Most buyers get a home inspection before pushing through with the transaction. Even if you don’t tell them about certain issues, potential buyers will be able to find out about it later on. With these issues showing up on the home inspection report, potential buyers may think twice about buying the house. Worse, some may consider backing out of the deal.

By anticipating any problems the buyer may have with your home, buyers will be able to focus on the positive features rather than the negatives.

Save money

We all know that handling repairs can cost you money, but fixing issues before putting it on the market will help you save money. For instance, a leaky faucet is one of the easiest home maintenance tasks to perform. If you ignore it and potential buyers find out about it, this will leave a bad impression on potential buyers. Some of them may think that the house hasn’t been properly maintained, and there are a lot of problems that are yet to be discovered.

Many common repairs are inexpensive and easy to fix. The amount of money you’ll spend to tackle these repairs will be far less than having to pay a contractor later on when potential buyers find out about these issues.

Important Parts of Your Home to Deep Clean This Spring

Spring is the best time to take care of some home maintenance tasks and give your home a thorough cleaning. While certain areas in your home will receive spring cleaning attention, there are certain parts of your home that tend to get overlooked.

Let’s take a look at some of the most overlooked germy spots in your home. Make sure you that you deep clean these areas this spring.

Kitchen shelves and cabinets

Those Chinas in your kitchen cabinet have probably been collecting dust. When was the last time you cleaned your shelves and cabinets? We recommend wiping down your cabinets and re-organize your glassware, silverware and cooking supplies as well.

Clean and organized kitchen shelves and cabinets will not only make your whole kitchen look better; cooking and preparing meals for your family will also be more fun and enjoyable.

Curtain

Most people don’t realize how dirty their curtains are until they really begin to look at them. Curtains catch a lot of dust. Sometimes, they even get cobwebs on them too. If your curtains have been up for several months now, now is the best time to change them or maybe remove them altogether.

Closet

If you’re like most people, you probably buy some pieces of clothing every now and then. If you do, chances are you’re closet is almost full by now. While  cleaning your room, you might want to tackle your closet as well.

Get rid of clothes you haven’t worn for a few months or will no longer be using in the coming months. After all, the season has changed. It’s time to swap out your wardrobe as well. This task can be overwhelming, but it’s actually beneficial. For one, it would be easier for you to organize your closet. Since you have more space in your closet, you’ll have more reasons to shop. Sounds like a great idea, right?

Stove

The stove is probably one of the most used appliances in your kitchen. Since you use it every day, it is probably one of the dirtiest as well. Unless you’ve developed the habit of cleaning your stove after cooking, chances are there are some stains or traces of food on the stove. Give them a good scrubbing. Cooking will be much more enjoyable with a clean and squeaky stove.

Refrigerator

There are probably some stale and old foods in your fridge. Since you’re in the process of deep cleaning your kitchen, we suggest that you take a look at your fridge and throw away old foods. While you’re at it, remove the shelves and clean them as well.