Archive for the ‘ Home Improvement ’ Category

5 Small Home Improvement Projects with Big Returns

The very mention of ‘home renovation’ can cause anxiety in homeowners, particularly those who have already gone through the process. Extensive remodeling projects can be expensive, disruptive, and time-consuming, but that does not necessarily apply to every project. There are a number of upgrades that can dramatically improve the look and feel of your home without breaking the bank or creating total chaos in your life. If you are trying to sell your home, you will find that inexpensive improvements can yield big returns. Here are five enhancements that fall relatively low on the hassle scale:

1. Hardwood Flooring Installation

Installing hardwood flooring should, in most cases, be left to a contractor, as it requires special equipment and expertise. On the other hand, glue-down hardwood floors are less costly, especially if your home is on a concrete slab. The installation of nailed hardwood floors over concrete requires that a layer of plywood or other suitable wood medium be applied first so that the new product can be attached with nails. However, glue-down flooring eliminates this step because an adhesive is used for the attachment process. It is generally a faster installation as well. For instance, a 400 square foot room floored with 3-inch flooring can usually be completed in 1 to 2 days.

If you already have hardwood floors that are worn, you might want to consider refinishing. Again, this is a job for the well-skilled craftsman, but it will dramatically improve the look of the room and require much less time than a complete replacement. In fact, approximately 86% of homebuyers in 2011 chose a home with hardwood floors, so this renovation is a worthy investment if you plan to sell your home somewhere down the road.

2. Kitchen and Bath Hardware

One of the simplest upgrades that can be performed is the installation of new hardware such as towel racks, cabinet handles, toilet paper dispensers, and other wall-mounted hardware. Several aesthetically pleasing designs are available for a range of prices. If you are handy, this is a true do-it-yourself project.

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Posted by: Guest Contributor on October 4th, 2012 under Guest Bloggers, Home Improvement


8 Inventive Ways to Repurpose Old Furniture

If you’re anything like me, decorating is too fun to ever commit to one thing for too long. So how do you keep up with changing trends and fun new projects without spending a fortune? Repurposing furniture is a great way to keep things new without breaking the bank or creating a pile of unwanted junk.

With the explosion of decorating shows, blogs and Pinterest boards, I find myself drooling over a new project every week (okay, every day). Here are some of my favorite furniture re-dos:

Love to hit the flea market for cool furniture but then realize you don’t actually need seven different coffee tables? With a little lumberjack ingenuity and a fresh coat of paint, you can create a totally unique and visually interesting built-in bookshelf! The more styles you mixed-and-match, the better!

If you haven’t yet seen one of these adorable furniture-turned-play-kitchen redos that are taking the Internet by storm, you probably live under a rock. This is a great way to create a personalized play kitchen that is sure to hold a lot more sentimental value (and last a lot longer) than the store-bought plastic variety.
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Posted by: Guest Contributor on September 10th, 2012 under Home Improvement


8 New Home Security and Home Automation Gadgets

Home security and automation gadgets include products that are designed to make your life easier or safer. Anything from mobile light switches to video surveillance equipment can fall under the umbrella of related technology. Many products are geared towards the novice and can be expanded upon as you learn more about the technology and use the gadgets more often. Generally speaking, these devices are relatively simple to set-up, and there is a wide-range of products available at varying price levels, making it possible for anyone to improve their quality of life.

Whether you are interested in increasing the security of the place you live, or simply want to enjoy the luxury of controlling many functions in your home with the switch of button, the constantly evolving home security and home automation industry has something for you.

1. SmartLinc INSTEON Wire-In Starter Kit
Starter kits are an ideal way to dabble with home automation for lights and appliances if you have never used any before. The SmartLinc INSTEON Wire-In Starter Kit features an easy-to-use system that includes a controller, an on-and-off switch and two dimmer switches.

2. Driveway Patrol – Wireless Alert
Gone are the days when your neighbor regularly popped over to your house for small talk. In the fast-paced world of today, people enjoy their privacy, and aren’t as keen on unexpected visitors arriving at their homes. When it does happen though, you be prepared if you have the Driveway Patrol – Wireless Alert. This gadget will notify you when someone steps onto your property.

3. Night Owl LION-4500 Four-Channel Video Surveilance System
The Night Owl LION-4500 Four-Channel Video Surveilance System equips you with the ability to monitor the activities of your home remotely. Take a peek at your house when your away to make sure all is well, with this system. The video footage is fed through the Internet, so you are able to check in from your office computer, Smartphone or anywhere with a connection to the Web.

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Posted by: Guest Contributor on July 23rd, 2012 under Guest Bloggers, Home Improvement, Technology


Can Home Security Systems Increase The Value of Your Home?

Your home’s market value is determined by many factors, including size, layout, location, age, and more. Your home’s amenities – which includes things like a home security system – can have an impact on its market value, too. How much a home security system directly impacts the value of your home can vary greatly, and is influenced by (and influences) many of those other factors.

While a home security system may not directly affect the market value of your home, it certainly increases your home’s intrinsic value. It makes your house a safer place to live because it acts as a deterrent to home invasion. It protects your valuables from loss. Depending on your insurance company and the type of system you’ve got, it could even save you a few bucks on your home insurance each month.

Here are some of the particular factors about your home security system that might impact its value, the value of your home, and your overall safety and security:

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Posted by: HG Blog Admin on November 16th, 2011 under Home Improvement


HomeGain 2011 Home Improvement National Survey Results announced today that it has released the results of its nationwide home improvement and home staging  Home Sale Maximizer™ survey. Past findings from the survey have been a guide for thousands of home sellers in preparing their homes for sale.

HomeGain recently surveyed nearly 600 real estate agents nationwide to determine the top 10 low cost*, do-it-yourself  home improvements for people getting their home ready to sell.

The top five nationwide home improvements that Realtors recommend to home sellers, based on average cost and return on investment (ROI) to sellers, are:

  1. Cleaning and de-cluttering ($290 cost / $1,990 price increase / 586% ROI / 99% recommended)
  2. Lightening and brightening ($375 cost / $1,550 price increase / 313% ROI / 97% recommended)
  3. Home staging ($550 cost / $2,194 price increase / 299% ROI / 80% recommended)
  4. Landscaping ($540 cost / $1,932 price increase / 258% ROI / 93% recommended)
  5. Repair Electrical or Plumbing ($535 cost / $1,505 price increase / 181% ROI / 92% recommended)

Costs are averages and rounded up.

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Posted by: Louis Cammarosano on January 18th, 2011 under Home Improvement, Home Improvement Surveys, Home Staging, HomeGain, HomeGain Surveys, Polls


How to Increase Your Home Value … On a Budget

Written by Marcy Tate

Learning about how to increase your home’s value on a budget isn’t rocket science. However, if you aren’t aware of some of the basic tips and insider tricks, then you can make costly home improvements that won’t add up to value-added improvements.

istock_000010528981xsmallThe expression, “don’t judge a book by its cover” definitely doesn’t apply to houses. First impressions are extremely important; driving up to a home with an old, broken-down car in the driveway or out-of-control shrubbery can easily turn potential buyers away.

The rule of thumb for increasing your home’s value is to spend money on things a buyer can see.

For example, unless you are planning on living in your home for more than a decade, don’t install a new tankless water heater. This type of upgrade will take several years to see a return on and cost several thousands of dollars to install. Instead, focus on items such as a new garage door, landscaping or a new stainless steel kitchen sink.

Avoid the common mistake of over-improving. Consider what is the norm in your neighborhood. Do you live in a high-end neighborhood? Are home seekers looking for high-end appliances in homes in your area? Don’t bother installing fancy features in your home if it’s not what’s going on in the house next door. It won’t help increase the value enough to make it worth it.

Fix up the Exterior First, Then the Interior

Curb appeal matters and fixing up the exterior will instantly increase your curb appeal and your home’s value.

1. Clear up Clutter – Unnecessary objects around your yard should be removed. A downed gutter or downspout, old bikes, recycling bins and trash cans should all be arranged nicely in your back yard.

2. Landscaping – Spend time pruning your hedges, trees and shrubs. Low-maintenance landscaping can add real value. Lay down some mulch, plant a few native plants or hang some flower baskets on your porch. These budgeted landscaping ideas will save you money now and add value when you sell. Continue reading this post


Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on March 13th, 2010 under Guest Bloggers, Home Improvement


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