5 Quick and Easy Home Updates that Increase Home Value

Increase your home’s value with these easy updates that look great and don’t break your budget! Keep reading!


Photo: Elmueble

Rarely do homeowners purchase a home that meets their every space and design needs. Thankfully there’s no shortage of renovation and upgrade projects that you can tackle in order to turn your abode into your dream home. Because some home projects can cost thousands of dollars, you want to ensure that you’re getting a good return on investment.

Want to upgrade your home but don’t know where to start? Here are 5 quick and easy home updates that will not only improve your home’s appearance but will also increase its value.


Photo: Elmueble

1. Kitchen Makeover

The kitchen is the most popular room in any home. It’s where you make dinner, enjoy meals, and entertain guests. Over time kitchens can quickly become outdated. While a full kitchen makeover can cost thousands of dollars and take weeks to complete, there are some simple updates you can make that will breathe new life into this space. Give old cabinets a quick facelift with a fresh coat of paint or a new stain color. This project will cover up scratches, nicks, and discoloration. Complete the look with new hardware. Installing new flooring is another way to spruce up the kitchen. Laminate flooring is an affordable option that can completely transform the space.


Photo: Elmueble

2. Bathroom Makeover

The bathroom is another important room in a home. No one wants to buy or live in a home that has dated and old-fashioned looking bathrooms. A total makeover costs thousands, but you can make some quick and easy updates that will bring your bathrooms into the modern day. Replacing old fixtures to include the faucets, cabinet hardware, and even lighting can make a huge difference. These upgrades also improve functionality. Another option is to repaint the walls and introduce new decor. Printed towels or a big mirror can quickly transform and perk up a bathroom without breaking the bank.


Photo: Elmueble

3. New Doors

Doors are one of those things that we use each day but rarely think about. Chances are the various doors throughout your home could use an upgrade. White doors can easily become dinged and dirtied. Wood doors can start to warp. Glass doors can become discolored and hard to close. By swapping out the doors in your home, you can give the interior and exterior a fresh look. The most important door to start with is the front door. Depending on the age of the door, you may want to replace it or give it a fresh coat of paint. Eye-catching doors that are painted with a bright hue give your home a unique look. Interior doors can also be replaced. For a cheap upgrade, swap out the existing hardware, including the hinges and knobs, to add a modern look. Replacing wooden doors with glass doors will open up your home, giving it an airy feel.


Photo: Elmueble

4. Fresh Coat of Paint

Wall color is one of those things that homeowners change on a whim. If your home is full of colored accent walls, textured paint, or even wallpaper, now is a good time to settle on a color that can be used throughout. Using the same color throughout the home is a simple and quick way to make the space feel bigger.

Neutral colors are in these days, including grays, beiges, and even lighter shades of blue and sage greens. With a fresh coat of paint you can hide discoloration, mold damage, scuff marks, and other common flaws.


Photo: Elmueble

5. The Exterior

While the interior of your home may look top notch, many homeowners forget about the exterior. You can only make one first impression and if you want to make a good one, the outside of your home has to be well-kept. Your home’s landscaping should look maintained. No one likes to see overgrown shrubs, dead patches of grass, and dying flower beds. Improve your curb side appeal by giving your home’s landscaping a boost.

Instead of paying thousands for a landscaping makeover, tackle some simple projects such as:

  • Cutting and edging the grass
  • Pulling weeds
  • Trimming shrubs and hedges
  • Laying a fresh layer of mulch

If your home has a porch, place a few potted plants along with a cute porch chair for a homey and comfortable outdoor living area. The more you improve the outside of your home, the more appealing it will be to you and potential buyers in the future.


Photo: Elmueble

Conclusion

Giving your home an updated look doesn’t have to be costly or time consuming. Keep these 5 quick and easy home updates in mind if you want to give your home a fresh look. What’s even better is that not only will your home look new, you’ll be increasing its value!

Boost A/C Efficiency With 5 Easy Steps

Get the most out of your AC system with these 5 easy steps that can make a huge difference and save you money in the long run!


Photo: A-List Builders Inc.

As the mercury rises, many homeowners look for ways to keep their homes cool and comfortable. If you’re like these homeowners, you probably have a pretty good AC system. However, there are some things you can do to boost your energy efficiency and performance. After all, the right combination of design and techniques can help you keep costs down while enhancing the look and comfort of your beautiful home.

One: Install a Whole House Fan

You don’t need to worry about replacing your carefully chosen lighting fixtures or the unwanted look of a floor fan. Modern whole house fans are installed in your attic where they run quietly while the air is cool, drawing in fresh, cool air and pulling that air smoothly through your home. These fans are more powerful than ceiling fans but typically use only a small amount of energy. These fans can reduce your home cooling costs and improve your efforts at conserving energy and reducing your carbon footprint.


Photo: Gardner Fox Associates, Inc.

Two: Use Fans Where You Want

If you’re not opposed to placing some fans around the home, you’ll be pleased to know there are many attractive options on the market. Boost the efficiency of your AC unit with well-placed ceiling fans and floor fans to create cool spaces for your family and guests to relax at the end of the day.

Three: Maintain Your A/C Unit

During use, your A/C filter becomes clogged with pollutants and dirt. This lowers the output of your air conditioner and decreases its ability to keep your home cool. Regular cleaning solves this problem. The filter inside the unit is thin and lightweight, so it’s probably best to hire a professional to handle this chore. After working on the fan, the technician will probably give some focus to cleaning the coil. Regular professional maintenance is a great way to boost your energy efficiency and performance.


Photo: Griffin & Crane General Contractors, Inc.

Four: Upgrade Your A/C System

If you have an older system, you may be surprised by how much better newer units can be. Choose a reliable brand and replace your older air conditioner with a new unit. Review SEER ratings to be sure you’re getting the right energy efficient machine. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is a measurement of how much cooling is achieved for each unit of energy used.

Five: Plan Landscaping to Cool Your Home

Careful placement of trees, vines, and shrubs can reduce the amount of sunlight hitting the windows and walls of your home. As trees get taller, they’ll also provide shade for the roof. Work closely with your landscape architect to determine the best trees and plants for your property. Proper placement of landscaping fixtures can also provide shade for your air conditioning unit, so it doesn’t have to work quite so hard to keep the home cool. Just be sure there’s plenty of ventilation and that branches and other debris don’t get into the air intakes and filters.

The right fans, regular maintenance, modern A/C units, and planned landscaping can go a long way toward keeping your home cool when it’s hot outside. Take these steps to increase the efficiency of your A/C system and boost its performance.


Photo: Via Houzz

6 Easy Woodworking DIY Projects to Decorate Your Home

Transform your home with these easy woodworking projects you can do yourself!

Decorating your home forces you to consider your budget, aesthetics and the taste of others in the home. Unique and antique furniture add an eclectic feel to a home, but your home isn’t a display. Your space should represent who you are. Make something special to add to your decor. Natural wood adds warmth to your home. Before you get started, take appropriate safety precautions. Take off dangling jewelry, wear loose clothing and always remove screws and nails from repurposed wood.

 

 

Truly build-it-yourself with these six easy woodworking DIY projects.

Reclaimed Serving Tray

Do you have a sentimental piece of furniture or another piece of wood? Is it flat and long enough to reclaim as a serving tray? For example, you could use old barn wood from a door to construct a reclaimed serving tray. Cut one or two pieces of wood down to lap size. Add two vertical strips on either end and screw on decorative handles. Wood glue assists in a pinch.

Shoe Organizer

Build a simple shoe storage rack for under $20 — it moves shoes off the floor and shortens your cleaning list. This storage rack is simple, but it can handle the most heavy-duty winter and industrial work boots to pointy pumps. Gather the essential wood materials and tools beforehand, such as a cordless drill, 4-in-1 screwdriver, screws, dowels, level and wood glue. As you cut and drill, imagine each pair of shoes as ten inches wide, which will give your shoes just enough space to breathe.

Wooden Sofa Sleeve and Cup Holder

You spend time crafting the perfect cup of tea or coffee, and you want to sit down and enjoy a book. The problem is bending over to reach your cup. Solve the problem by making a wooden sofa sleeve with a cup holder. The project calls for a Kreg Jig to make pocket holes, but wood glue proves is savvy. Soon, you’ll enjoy your cup of coffee right alongside a good read with no need to shift out of your comfortable position.

Cookbook Stand

Don’t fret over turning cookbook pages any longer with this simple cookbook stand. The stand can also accommodate a tablet if you prefer that as your modern cookbook library.

You can use reclaimed wood for this project to make it eco-friendly and budget-friendly, but you will need to get acquainted with a miter saw and orbital sander — aside from that, the tools are easy to use and include screws, clamps and drills.

Technology Charging Station

Tired of staring at a cluttered drawer? Empty it out into a box. Convert your clutter drawer into a technology charging station, which will also help you organize your cords and devices. Don’t go searching for lost tech again. Install a multi-outlet electric strip at or near the back of your drawer, and insert variously cut pieces of wood into the drawer. The wooden pieces should have small holes drilled into them for the cords, and your local hardware store can even cut the wood down for you. Make sure you know your measurements in advance.

Desktop Media Box

Keep your media technology out in the open and organized by building a desktop media box. It’s an elegantly simple home for your remotes and cords. All it takes is three pieces of wood, a sanding block, clamps, wood glue and a beautiful finish. Don’t forget to measure your stand and television as well as your remotes. The width of your box must be sufficient enough to hide these objects. Try these six easy woodworking DIY projects to add simplicity, warmth and personality to your home. You don’t have rely on impersonal items from big box stores — your own two hands offer the perfect personal touch.

Just Built a House? How Often Should Pest Control Be Done?

Find out how often you should be checking your house for pests!


Photo: Milieu Landscaping

It is a fantastic feeling when you finally finish building your home. You’ve complied with all the regulations, dotted all the ‘I’s’ and passed the final inspection. You’re ready to live in your house and make it a home!

But, your work is not completely done! There are pieces of maintenance that need to be completed on a regular basis if you want your house to stay looking and feeling good. Having just built your home you might think that pests will not be an issue. While you hopefully won’t have any at the start; there is always the risk that they will arrive. After all your new home may look very appealing to them too! Pests are known to cause millions of dollars worth of damage every year; keeping them away from your home should be a priority. But the question is how often should you have pest control done?


Photo: Historical Concepts

There are several things you should do:

Book An Inspection

You need to select a reputable and professional firm in your vicinity. To do this it is advisable to speak to family and friends. You can also check social media and even compare prices after talking to the firms. Try googling something like “termite treatment near me” to find a reputable company that is in your neighbourhood. Once you have selected a firm they will be the one you use for inspections and if you ever have a pest issue.

You need to book a pest control inspection as soon as you finish your home. The reason for this is that they will be able to evaluate any weak points in your new property; allowing you to correct them before the pests move in. They will also be able to advise you regarding the most common pests in your area and what symptoms to look out for.


Photo: Historical Concepts

Decide The Regularity

It is a good idea to book in your next appointment straight away so that you don’t need to remember and it doesn’t get postponed. You have two choices:

  1. The Annual Plan

This is a yearly visit to check for pests and to advise regarding any potential access points on your property. For most new builds this should be sufficient. However, you may also wish to consider the second option.


Photo: Milieu Landscaping

  1. The Bi-Annual Plan

This is the same visit as option one but you have two per year. You can usually get a discounted rate if you book these in advance. Two visits may seem extreme but if termites move in just after your annual visit they can do a lot of damage in one year. This is the better option if you are in an area known to suffer from termites or other invasive pests. It is also a good option if you have ever had an issue with pests; it is much easier to defend against them than to get rid of them and repair the damage. Of course, if you ever see signs of a pest problem you should contact your chosen firm immediately to get the problem sorted quickly.

What Are the Most Common Water Damage Risks in My Home?

Being a homeowner is pretty self-explanatory, but in reality, there’s much more you need to take into consideration and things you need to do inside and outside the home to make sure everything is working and in good shape.


Photo: Via Pinterest

The first thing you need to think about is a basic protection and safety. Natural disasters like earthquakes, storms or floods are something you think would never happen to you. Being on alert and preparing your home for such a misfortunate event may sound like paranoia, but on the contrary, it is a necessary precaution and a smart move.

If you don’t think this is too important, there is the monetary element to this story. The damage caused by the water can be very difficult and expensive, and don’t think for a second it could be a fun DIY project. Large-scale water damage requires the skills of an expert restoration company.

The math is really simple here; it is better to be proactive than reactive. In other words, it is better to invest more resources into protection and safety then have much bigger expenses later on in possible water damage repairs.

The text you are about to read will focus more on potential water damage in your home and how to prevent it, so here are some useful tips:

Check your air conditioner

This is something you would probably easily overlook because your air conditioner seems to be working just right. Regular air conditioner maintenance, once or twice a year depending on how often you use it is necessary to ensure that it is working properly.

As mentioned above, the AC unit might be working just fine, but for example, moisture might be building up inside the machine which could leak later on and damage floors, walls or create a nice breeding ground for mold.


Photo: 1st Dibs

A potential dishwasher leak

The dishwasher is another item in your home that can cause a serious problem if not tended to properly. Your dishwasher might leak directly on your floors if it is not sealed correctly or if the latch is broken or even if you used a wrong detergent. You need to act quickly and make sure all leaks are immediately fixed. Whether you need to repair or replace your dishwasher is open to question depending on the damage.

Leaking washing machine

Yet another check you need to perform to make sure nothing bad will happen when you expect it the least. This consists of checking if all the fittings are tightly secured. You also need to be sure that there are no leaks beneath the machine, big or small. If your washing machine is giving you constant headaches and keeps u you up at night worried, you should definitely consider replacing it.

Leaking pipes

This is probably the most common example of how water can damage your home. One day you discover that you have frozen water pipe or a loose pipe in your kitchen or bathroom which created a pool of water, and damaged all of your home’s decorating. This is the one and the only alarm you would need at that point because a visible leak in one place means that there probably are leaks in other areas of the house as well. You should call a plumber immediately to take care of the damage and to prevent further destruction.


Photo: Home Polish

Choked drains

This problem is annoying but you feel like you can postpone it every time you enter bathroom or kitchen. However, as with other problems with water in your home, you need to deal with this as soon as possible to avoid another domino effect.

The clogged drains are not only irritating and prevent you from using the toilet or the kitchen sink, but they also might cause other issues like water backing up into the bathroom floor, shower or sinks.

Another danger is sewer water backup. The water from the sewer is filled with bacteria and raw sewage and you really don’t want that to spring inside your home.

Each and every one of these situations where water backs up might cause an overflow later on and damage the floors, walls and other surfaces. If you notice that you are experiencing clogs more often than you should then the best way to deal with that situation is to seek help from a professional.