Fall Renovation Tips to Save You Money

Fall Renovation Tips to Save You Money

Spring gets all of the attention when it comes to home makeovers, but fall might just be the right time for an interior renovation. After all, you’re hunkering down for the year’s coldest months, which means you’ll spend more time indoors than you will in spring. You might as well update your home now so that you can get the most of your days and nights spent cozied up inside.

The following are five examples of fall renovations that will make your space more personal without breaking the bank. By the end of the season, your house will look and feel completely different — and you’ll be ready to take on the rest of the year from inside of your updated nest.

  1. Redo Your Roof

Not all of your fall renovation projects have to do with the inside of your home. Fixing your roof means you can patch any leaks or openings that could increase your home heating costs, cause expensive water damage or give pests an entryway, thus requiring a pricy removal.

When you make the investment in your roof, be sure to choose a durable shingle or other material that will withstand all of the fall and winter weather you expect. Nowadays, these materials stand tough against wind, hail and other weather that might otherwise compromise a weak structure.

  1. Choose High-Quality Materials

As you make the move to renovate your home, you might consider cutting corners and costs by investing in lower-quality materials. This is one of the biggest renovation mistakes you can make because you will end up sacrificing any potential return on investment down the line.

Instead, experts suggest going for the highest-quality materials you can afford in order to ensure your renovation lasts for years to come. This may mean you have to stall on some of your fall renovation plans, but it’s worth the wait to choose timeless, durable materials that will make your home more valuable.

storage

  1. Make the Most of a Space’s Storage Potential

As you shift from summer to fall, you’ll probably be in and out of your home’s storage areas. You’ll pack up your swimsuits, patio furniture and inflatable pool and bring out your Halloween decorations, cable-knit sweaters and cozy throw blankets. In that time, you’ll realize just how nice it is to have ample storage space.

So, when you make plans to renovate, be sure to envision each room’s storage potential. This is especially important in small spaces where every inch of storage comes in handy. Forgetting to include storage space is one of the most common errors in bathroom remodels because they have less square footage and therefore a smaller amount of space to use to house your hygiene products, linens and cleaning supplies.

  1. Avoid Trendy Upgrades

The attraction to trendy design updates can be strong, and for good reason: modern, sleek vibes ooze sophistication and design intellect. However, choosing to give your home an of-the-moment update this fall can mean you’ll be redoing your home sooner than you’d ever considered because it quickly looks and feels outdated.

To avoid falling into this trap, go for a more timeless design scheme. This doesn’t equate to a basic, boring look, though. Instead, choose a neutral palette and pair it with simple, traditional furniture that will look just as good in ten years as it does now. If you’d like to make a space feel trendier without sacrificing your return on investment, update your throw pillows, curtains and other accessories with more of-the-moment patterns and colors. These items can easily be replaced down the line without breaking the bank.

fall renovation tips

  1. Don’t Do Everything at Once

A huge mistake that first-time renovators make is to take on too much work at once. You may go into your renovation with the best of intentions, but your efforts could cost you more money and create more work than you expected. This is especially true if you take on your pre-renovation demolition on your own. Taking everything out right away means you could run out of money or time and have to live in a semi-demolished space for longer than expected.

To avoid this situation, give yourself a timeline that includes staggered demo and renovations. You should always give yourself more time than you think to complete each task, too: many homeowners will fail to factor in any unforeseen circumstances that could make a project more timely or costly, which throws the entire project into chaos. Planning ahead with a reasonable timeline can help you sidestep this situation.

  1. Hire Help If You Need It

Finally, you might think that tackling all of your home renovation tasks on your own will save you money. In some cases, this is true — especially if you’re skilled in home updates and construction. But if you find yourself unable to complete a project properly despite your best efforts, you are much better off hiring a professional to take the lead.

Sure, it will cost you a little more than you had planned, but the quality of construction and implementation of your vision will mean you can enjoy your updated space for years to come. The last thing you want is to invest high-quality materials into a poorly executed project, and a design professional will help you avoid that type of situation.

How will you update your home this fall? Whether you plan to try small aesthetic changes or major renovations, one thing is for sure: you will love spending time in your new spaces as the weather changes and sends you indoors to cozy up until spring.   

Author Bio:

Kacey MyaKacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

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Not Up to Code? How to Get Your Home in Line with Legal Standards

Not Up to Code How to Get Your Home in Line with Legal Standards

You don’t have to update your home to reflect every code change, but if you’re planning major repairs, additions, or remodels the work has to meet the latest codes. If you’re planning to sell the property, it’s also important to satisfy local building codes. Since these codes are intended to improve the safety of the occupants, it’s always a good idea to keep them updated. Here are some ways to make sure your home is in compliance.

Get a Home Inspection

Building codes in the U.S. generally stick to the latest International Residential Codes established by the ICC, or International Code Council. However, they may vary from state to state, and from county to county. It’s a good idea to have a certified home inspector in your area go through the house. They’ll do a visual inspection and provide you a report of anything they find wrong.

Upgrade Electrical System

There are some common requirements that you can check for yourself. For instance, you should have smoke-alarms hard-wired, because battery-powered units are useless if you forget to change the batteries. There should be one alarm in every bedroom, the kitchen, and over stairwells at the least. You should also ensure that you have ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets in the kitchen and bathroom to protect your family against the possibly deadly combination of water and electricity.

Overhaul Plumbing

Bad plumbing is mostly found in older homes that might have lead pipes or fixtures. Replacing these is a priority. Modern updates might include things like a pressure-balance valve in the hot water line that prevents scalding water when, for instance, someone else flushes the toilet. More water-efficient products like low-flow toilets, faucet aerators, and modern appliances help satisfy water conservation needs. Have your home’s water quality checked, and if you have problems with installations, water pressure, slow drains, or leaks, call a licensed plumber for help.

Know the Codes

Check with your local building inspector. They may have quite specific requirements for certain things. For instance, some localities may require double 2x6s as floor joists rather a single one. You will find that there are well-defined requirements for stairs, decks, garages, roofing, sheds, and more. A responsible contractor will ensure code compliance, but if you’re a DIY type of person it’s your own responsibility.

Residential building codes are defined for a good reason. If you fail to follow them, you may be endangering your family, and could be forced to remove or rework non-compliant projects.

5 Things to Know before Converting Your Garage to a Living Space

5 Things to Know before Converting Your Garage to a Living Space

If you have decided to add new living space to your home by converting your garage into an additional living space, you’re in for a treat! This is a popular trend in home renovation. However, before you begin making any changes, make sure you read these five things to be fully prepared for your project.

Budget

Know exactly how much you are able to spend for your transformation project. Keep in mind that unexpected expenses will probably occur, and you should budget for them accordingly. Also, don’t forget to budget the cost of furniture for your new living space! You will be disappointed to learn you don’t have any money left over for these items.

Check Your Cars

Double check to make sure you won’t need your garage to store your cars. If you plan on getting an additional vehicle in the future, you may want to delay your renovation. Also, if you are comfortable keeping your vehicles outside of your garage, you still may want to consider investing in covers for your cars to protect them from the elements.

Know Your Purpose

Make sure you know the exact purpose of your new living space. Are you interested in using it as a place to quietly relax? Do you intend to use it for parties or social gatherings? Will you be using it as an additional bedroom? The choice is up to you. However, knowing exactly what you want to get out of the new living space will give you the focus you need to complete your project successfully, whether that be managing the garage door or adding amenities like air conditioning or more electrical fixtures.

Checking Permits

Remember, transforming your garage into an additional living space is a type of renovation project. This means you may need to obtain permits for some of the work. Double check with your local officials to learn if you will need to get any paperwork done before you begin. If you don’t, you may be forced to pay a fine or undo your entire transformation!

Can It Be Undone?

Keep in mind that the future owners of your home may want to use the garage for more traditional purposes. This means you should consider how easy it will be to undo your renovations. There also may come a time when you need to use the garage for other purposes. Having a plan to transform the garage back into a great storage area for cars and other big items is something you should consider.

Transforming your garage into an additional living space is a great idea. After you have considered the above points, get started on that transformation!

Seasonal Renovation: 4 Home Upgrades Better Done In Summer

home improvement new windows

The impulse to do home upgrades can strike at any time. Some upgrades you can do any time you want. Carpet replacement is not season-dependent. As long as you use low-VOC, water-based acrylic paint, you can do interior painting year round. There are, however, some upgrades that will go off much better in the summer.

Deck Building or Repair

Decks are a functional way to extend your home’s summertime living space. Installing or repairing a deck is a summertime job. Deck installations require holes in the ground for the corner posts. No one wants to dig holes in the frozen soil. Repairs often require you to do some staining and sealing. Stains and sealants almost always need to be applied at temperatures over 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Replace Doors and Windows

New doors or new windows can help shore up your home’s environmental envelope and temperature control. While they can be replaced at any time, in theory, having gaping holes in your walls during the winter isn’t a great play. Summer replacements make temperature control substantially easier and cheaper if you can tolerate some extra heat in the house. Plus, it’s not a crisis if all the finishing touches don’t get finished until the next day. For extra convenience, get a company like Gilkey Windows to come out so the job gets done quicker and easier than doing it yourself.

Refinishing Floors

Much as with deck stains, the varnishes used to refinish floors work best above the 50 degrees mark. Oil-based varnish fumes are potentially toxic, but also flammable. Having a furnace on in the winter to keep temperatures over 50 degrees is a potential fire hazard. While not flammable, water-based varnishes have a substantial odor. You’ll want to be able to throw open the windows to air out the house, which simply isn’t practical or cost-effective in the winter cold.

Concrete Repairs

If you have any damaged concrete at your home, such as a walkway, summer is the only practical time to repair it. Winter isn’t an option because the water in the wet concrete will freeze. This interrupts the chemical curing process that hardens the concrete and leaves you with shoddy concrete. Spring and fall are also problematic because rain exposure is a possibility, which also damages the curing process.

Summer is an excellent time for home upgrades, but it’s especially good for exterior projects and projects involving chemicals or strong odors. Door and window replacement also go more smoothly courtesy of more moderate temperatures. Just remember to consult product instructions or a professional any time you’re in doubt.

How a Few Simple Renovations Can Increase Your Home’s Resale Value

When you are preparing to list your home for sale, you will likely have a long list of things to do. By performing some simple renovations now, you can avoid requests for remedy later. These four home renovations are also likely to get all of your investment back through a higher sales price.

How a Few Simple Renovations Can Increase Your Home's Resale Value

Refinish or Replace Your Counter Tops

One of the most important parts of your home is the kitchen. When prospective buyers enter your home during a showing or open house, they are likely to make a beeline for the kitchen. Refinishing or replacing your counter tops will make a big improvement in how the kitchen looks. Granite is a top-of-the-line material. Some other good choices include concrete and Corian. You might also consider refinishing or replacing the fronts of your cabinets if they are old and worn, dented or dinged. If the cabinets themselves are in good condition, a replacement of the knobs and drawer pulls provides an affordable facelift.

Install a Wood-burning Stove

A wood-burning stove is a delightful addition to the living spaces of your home. If you have a family room, adding a wood-burning stove creates a cozy space that is just right for cool autumn and winter weather. Wood-burning stoves in Woodinville, or in other areas, can also be at home in a four-season room or a den. A wood-burning stove adds value to your home because it gives the new owners an affordable and efficient method of heating. Wood-burning stoves are also safe in case of a power outage. Today’s wood-burning stoves offer ideal levels of safety and efficiency. If you have a log cabin or rustic styled home, it will fit right in with your architecture and decor.

Give the Walls a Fresh Coat of Paint

Giving the interior and exterior walls of your home a fresh coat or two of paint is a quick and affordable way to increase the structure’s resale value. A quality paint job can hide many minor imperfections that would capture the attention of prospective home buyers. Choose a neutral yet attractive color for the outside of your home. Make sure that you conform to any homeowner’s association or historical society rules governing exterior colors for homes in your neighborhood. While many real estate agents recommend going all neutral for interior wall colors when selling a home, you could add a little bit of visual interest by painting the wainscoting or trim in a brighter color. You could also turn to less frequently used neutrals such as buttery yellow for the kitchen or a warm gray for a child’s bedroom.

Replace Worn-out Carpeting with New Floor Coverings

Another way to make a big impact on your home’s resale value is to remove the old, stained, worn-out carpeting and replace it with new floor coverings. If your home has hardwood floors underneath carpeting, arrange for the floors to be professionally finished. Hardwood flooring that is in good condition could add thousands of dollars to your home’s selling price. Consider replacing old carpeting with laminate or engineered wood flooring. Cork and bamboo flooring are environmentally friendly options. Ceramic tile flooring is an ideal solution for front hallways, entryways and guest bathrooms. Many homeowners do enjoy the comfort and warmth of a plush carpet in the bedrooms and family room of the home.

Each of these simple home renovations only takes a few days to complete. You could schedule the renovations for a time that is convenient to you. Be sure to schedule any updates and repairs so they are complete before you want to list your home for sale. Account for potential project delays to give yourself some wiggle room when selling.

Renovation ROI: 4 Home Additions That Are a Tremendous Bang for Your Buck

Basement converted to a gym_White Plains

Many homeowners set aside money every year to reinvest back into their property. Your home will most likely be one of the biggest purchases you ever make, and you want to be sure that every remodeling project you carry out is going to increase its value. Here is a quick look at four popular home additions that often have an excellent return on investment.

Turn Your Attic into a Bedroom

The National Association of Realtors says that an attic conversion has an average ROI of around 61 percent. Adding an extra bedroom is one of the easiest ways to boost the value of your property without actually changing the structure of your home. When you are converting your attic, you should make sure that it is both accessible and comfortable.

Add an Outdoor Living Space

Those who live in a relatively moderate climate might be able to substantially increase the value of their home by adding an outdoor living space. Unlike many indoor renovations, creating an outdoor living space can often be completed by the homeowner. You will only need to call in a professional contractor if you want to install underground gas, water, or electrical lines.

Install a Utility Carport

A utility carport will maximize your outdoor space without breaking the bank. In addition to the covered area, a utility carport from places like Coast to Coast Carports Inc. also includes a small indoor area for storage. These structures can be installed within just a few days, and they are the perfect option for those who have boats, motorcycles, extra cars, or ATVs. You can even run power to the storage area to turn it into a workshop.

Remodel the Basement

While converting a basement into a bedroom can have an excellent ROI, you might also want to think about turning it into a family room, entertainment room, or bar. Many real estate agents and buyers love to see unique additions that will make a home stand out from all other nearby pieces of property. Updating the lighting, adding some neutral carpet, and painting the walls can be carried out in just a few hours, and those upgrades will drastically increase your home’s living space.

Even if you have quite a bit of experience as a DIY enthusiast, most of these major additions should be left to the professionals. Not only will a reputable contractor be insured, but they will also guarantee that your project adheres to all local and state regulations. If those contractors make a mistake, then you won’t have to worry about stiff fines and fees.

A Fixer Upper: 5 Tips for Your First Home Renovation

A Fixer Upper, 5 Tips for Your First Home Renovation

You just bought your first home, and it needs a little work. One thing you should accept from the get-go is that it is going to take some time to complete this project. This does not mean it is impossible to speed up the process, and the following five tips will help you do just that.

Get Permits
One of the most important things to do is to apply for the right permits. You can hire a contractor to help you or go to the county or city office to see what permits you need.

Major Issues
You have deal with the issues that make it hard for you to live in the home. Check if your electrical system needs to be taken care of or check if the plumbing needs to be dealt with. It might even be a good idea to live in your home for a month to see what is absolutely necessary before making cosmetic upgrades.

Damage Repairs
Any damage the house has sustained should be dealt with. This could be flood damage or fire damage, both of which threaten the stability of your home. It would be wise to talk to a professional restoration service such as NiteOwl Restoration, or someone similar that you trust and recognize in your area, because these issues usually cannot be fixed without expert help.

DIY Work
Fixer uppers are bound to have major issues, but they may also be riddled with small ones, which means you can do some things before you start on major issues. Dealing with smaller problems on your own like painting or sprucing up the curb should speed up the process a bit.

Write a List
It might seem silly, but this is also a good time to write up a list of issues you want addressed. Cross out the issues you can deal with on your own, and leave the rest. Be honest with yourself regarding the things you can live with like the tile in your kitchen should you notice it gives your home a vintage touch. Prioritize this list, and tackle each issue slowly because doing too much at once puts you at risk of not finishing anything if money gets tight for some reason.

These are just some tips that could help renovate a fixer upper a little quicker. This does not mean you should expect perfection, but it should move things along smoothly.

3 Factors To Consider Before Your Home Renovation Consultation

3 Factors To Consider Before Your Home Renovation Consultation

Renovating the home is a way to change the appearance of any aspect without completely starting over. There are several reasons as to why you might want to renovate the home, such as increasing the comfort level for family members or adding more space so that children have room to spread out. You can do some of the work on your own to save some money, but there are a few things that you might want to leave to a professional construction company, such as electrical renovations or improvements with plumbing. Before you meet with any contractor or talk about a renovation project, there are some factors that you want to consider.

Work Alone Or Hire Help

One of the first things that you want to do is decide whether you want to do the work on your own or let someone else tackle the task. You can save a lot of money if you do everything yourself, but you have to keep in mind that you might spend more in the long run if you mess something up or don’t get something installed the right way. If you’ve done any kind of the work before that you want to do to the home, then you can probably do the basics or even some of the detailed aspects, but major work should be done by a professional. You also need to think about the budget that you have to work with as this will play a part in exactly what you can do in the home and the details that you can add.

Consulting With Professionals

It might be best to talk to a dedicated construction administration to get a few ideas on what you could do in the home and what might need to wait until you have a bit more to invest. A benefit of working with a consultant is that you’ll have someone on your side who understands the latest concepts, trends and methods of renovating. The consultant can work with other people who are able to work with different aspects of the project, such as electricians and painters, in order to get the job done as quickly as possible. You’ll be working with someone who has experience in the area of construction and will have more info, where you might not know everything in the field. The person will understand all of the building codes and the other standards that you need to abide by in order to renovate.

The Right Timing

Completing a renovation project needs to be done at the right time. If your family can’t be inconvenienced with a bedroom that is being painted or that has new floor being installed or a kitchen that has drywall being replaced or new cabinets being installed, then you might want to wait until everyone is on the same page. A contractor will be able to have the job done in a shorter amount of time because there are more people to work at once, and the people who are working have done the jobs so many times that they know the easiest ways to complete a project. However, it will still involve being out of a room for at least a few hours each day until the renovation is complete. If the bathroom is being renovated, you need to be ready to make sacrifices by using someone else’s bathroom or have a second bathroom ready in the home.

A renovation in the house can be challenging, but it can be one of the most rewarding things as you will have a new look in the home. Think about the reasons why you want to renovate and the budget you have to work with. Take pictures of the home before and after to see the benefits of what you’ve done.

How to Turn Your Home into a Wheelchair-Accessible Living Space

How to Turn Your Home into a Wheelchair Accessible Living Space

If you or a loved one uses a wheelchair or any other similar mobility device to get around, then you might benefit from making a few changes to your home. Even minor alterations and upgrades can make a big difference, and your home will be much safer to live in after the renovations. Here are a few steps you can take to make your home wheelchair-accessible on almost any budget.

Start With the Entryways

Installing at least one or two entryway ramps is an absolute necessity if anyone with a disability is living in your home. These ramps will give everyone the ability to exit the home in the event of a fire or another emergency. According to the ADA, the ramp should be at least 36-inches wide between the handrails. Although some people like to make their ramps out of plywood, you may want to consider making yours out of something a tad bit more sturdy—like a ramp made out of redwood 2-by-4’s. This is because some people use electric wheelchairs scooters which are heavier than the push wheelchairs. No matter what material it is made from, however, the top should be covered in a non-slip coating such as rubber.

The Bathroom Checklist

A very large percentage of accidents that take place in the home occur in the bathroom. One of the reasons for this is because most bathrooms are not designed to accommodate those who have mobility, dexterity, or balance issues. Some disabled individuals can make do with handrails near the toilets and baths, but that depends on their strength and age. Those who do not have enough strength to pull themselves up might need to invest in a hoisting device if they want to remain as independent as possible. Sinks that have vanities underneath will most likely need to be modified so that the wheelchair can be brought closer without bumping into the cabinets.

Master Bath Renovationgrab bars in the bathroom

Room Design

The layout of each room depends on what type of mobility device is being used. Those who are using a power scooter have much different clearance requirements than those who are using traditional wheelchairs. Once you finally decide on a particular device, you will then need to tinker with the layout of each room until there is enough space between the furniture to comfortably turn around.

An Ergonomic Kitchen

The kitchen is another area where many people must spend a little extra time and energy in order to make them as accessible as possible. To turn the wheelchair or scooter around, most kitchens must have a clearance of at least four or five feet between all of the cabinets and counters. Lazy Susans are a great investment, and these inexpensive devices will make your pantries and cabinets much more functional. Moving the appliances and switches is a slightly more difficult project that almost always requires assistance from a certified electrician or contractor. Those who like to cook their own food might benefit from installing lower workspaces such as drop leaf shelves.

Stairs

Figuring out a solution for the stairs could be the most difficult part of your renovation. There are many devices on the market that are designed specifically to help disabled users go up and down the stairs, but they can be a major investment. You might want to rearrange the rooms of your home so that whoever is using the wheelchair can sleep, eat, and bathe downstairs. If you have extra money to invest into your home, then you can have a swiveling lift installed alongside the stairway.

Even if you do not plan on carrying out all of these projects immediately, you should still start making at least a few changes as soon as possible. Minor alterations and upgrades such as entrance ramps and safety bars will create an environment that is much more comfortable and ergonomic for those who have any disabilities.

Renovation Ideation – Tips to Finding Good DIY ideas

Renovation Ideation - Tips to Finding Good DIY ideas

DIY renovation isn’t for everyone. You need to have a creative side and at least a little perfectionist in you. You also need to be able to visualize a project before it begins so you don’t end up disappointed with the results.

Some people are perfectionists with the ability to visualize, and great handymen, but just struggle with ideation. Thinking up good ideas is one of the hardest parts of doing DIY renovations. Here are a few pointers to enlighten your mind with incredible renovations ideas.

Spend an hour on Pinterest

This may seem obvious to a lot of people, but plenty more have never used Pinterest. Males, in particular, have been known to avoid Pinterest, calling it a social media site for women. This may be how it started, but is definitely not where it is now.

When it comes to the creative and DIY sphere, Pinterest is king. You can type in just about any DIY project in the world that you can think of, and see how thousands of other people just like you chose to do the same project. Often they will post instructions, material costs, and other useful bits of information. It is easy to browse as well because you can just scroll through pictures until you see one that you like. Click it and you know exactly how to make it.

Look at homes for sale

It never hurts to look at new homes that are selling on the market. You can use realtor sites like realtor.com, or FSBO sites like Fizber to accomplish this. Just spend an hour going through different homes to get an idea of what kind of look you would like to go for. You can also get an idea of what people that are purchasing homes want if you are looking to sell the home anytime soon.

Use home renovation sites

A lot of companies offer to do home renovations for you. They spend a lot of money making their websites appealing so that they can bring in visitors. As part of that, they will usually have galleries and pictures online that show a lot of their past projects. This creates a perfect opportunity for DIY fanatic because they can go look at all of the ways the home renovation companies are currently renovating homes, mix it with a touch of their own personality, and come out with something that is both trendy, and appeals to their own personal style.

Get more than one head involved

A lot of people don’t enjoy group brainstorming sessions because of the concessions that must often be made. However, it has been proven that better ideas can come out of a group session. Get a few friends together and ideate together. You don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to do, but maybe one of your friends has done a similar project and has some good advice. This can also be helpful if you already have an idea and want to confirm the possibility of doing it. Maybe a friend or neighbor has tried a similar project and has run into problems in the long run with it. This can be particularly true with concrete based projects.

Plan

This last step isn’t part of ideation but it is incredibly important. Before you start the project make sure you have a plan for every part of the project. You know how much it will cost, where to get the materials, how much time it will take, etc. There is nothing worse than realizing halfway through a project that it is going to cost significantly more than you thought.

 

 

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