Latest News

A successful bathroom Remodel

Why and How to Undergo a Successful Bathroom Remodel

If you’re looking to upgrade your home and ensure the upgrades to your home see a return on your investment, you should start with the kitchen or bathrooms.

Potential purchasers like to see two things:

  1. The house has good bones.
  2. The bathrooms and kitchen have been updated.

Why do buyers like recently remodeled bathrooms and kitchen? It’s actually pretty simple: Besides the bedroom (which typically just needs a coat of paint), the bathrooms and kitchen are the areas where people spend the most of their time. Even if you don’t intend to move soon, you will get the most out of improvements to those spaces.

Kitchen remodels can be expensive and can take a while to plan. However, a bathroom remodel is not only doable in a short amount of time, but it’s also easier to budget for.

Budgeting

Without a budget set from the beginning, you may find yourself with an awesome tub or new floor, but you are no longer able to finish the rest of the project. Start by setting your price limit. Then, make a plan of what needs to be done to the bathroom you are remodeling.

For many, the remodel could be a complete gutting of the bathroom, replacing plumbing, and putting in new walls and floors. For others, it could mean keeping the existing plumbing and only replacing fixtures, furnishings, flooring, and shower walls. Once you have an idea of what budget you have to work with and what you want to do, you can get to work on the plan.

Luxury vs. Economical

You have your list of what you need to replace and what you need to get — now it’s time to price it out. When remodeling, keep in mind that there are big differences between luxury and economical projects; for example, you can get an off-the-shelf shower door for as little as $300 or you can drop about $3,000 for a luxury shower door. Laminate countertops are affordable and readily available, but you may choose to spend extra on granite, quartzite, or marble countertops for the looks and the value they add if you choose to sell. Toilets, meanwhile, can range in price from a couple hundred to the thousands depending on the color, tank, height, shape, efficiency, lighting, and heating options you choose.

Getting all luxury items in your bathroom would likely break the bank. So, choose economical items on things you’re not so passionate about. Get one or two luxury items if you feel inspired, if you see the item as an investment in your home, and if you have the means to purchase it.

Return on Investment

As you remodel and make design decisions, always keep in mind that money well spent in a remodel depends on whether it can increase the value of your home and, in the event of a sale, whether you will see the return on your investment. You should make it a priority to replace or repair all items that would come up during an inspection. While updated electrical, plumbing, and subflooring may not be aesthetically pleasing, they do add value to your home.

Some things that will attract future buyers are tile floors and nice countertops. However, you likely will find that an extravagant toilet and fancy shower head won’t see much of a return.

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

For some of your remodeling projects, you can save on the labor by doing the work yourself. Some DIY projects you can attempt are:

  • Demolition
  • Installing a vanity
  • Installing a toilet
  • Painting
  • Installing a faucet

You should hire a professional when dealing with any of the following:

  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Tile
  • Structural changes

A bathroom remodel can be a wonderful investment to your home if you remember to budget, plan, and choose your materials wisely. With careful planning, you can create an affordable bathroom you love that meets your style and improves the value of your home. By mixing DIY and professional work, luxury, and economical products, and keeping your budget and goal in mind, you will surely see a future return on your investment.

Photo Credit: Burst

Spring Is the Prime Time to Improve Your Lawn and Garden

Spring is one of the most critical times of the year when your lawn needs some extra well-timed care so you can be sure to enjoy it all spring and summer long. These beginning-of-the-season maintenance tips will help you make the most of the planting season while getting your lawn and garden ready for the months when you can finally enjoy being outdoors.

Lower Your Mower

It’s important to keep your lawn the right height. Grass that’s too long is prone to fungi and can invite a variety of unwelcome creatures to live there, from bugs to bunnies. To get your grass ready for the warm season, lower your blade a setting, or set the blade to the lowest recommended height setting for your lawn type.

Get Rid of Fallen Leaves

If you have a lot of trees in your yard, cleaning up any leaves that may have piled up in your yard in the fall and winter should be at the top of your spring cleaning checklist. Beyond making your lawn look tidy, raking is critical in preventing and repairing dead patches. Fallen leaves block light and trap moisture underground, so the sooner you clear them, the less likely you’ll have lawn damage. Not crazy about raking? Run your mower over the leaves with the bag attachment on. Remember, these shredded leaves are perfect for making compost for your garden beds.
 

Feed Your Lawn

Fertilizer delivers nutrients to the root systems of all of your plants, making them healthy and less susceptible to damage, weeds, and lawn pests. If you’re not crazy about using chemicals in your yard, opt for a natural version instead — you can even make your own with kitchen scraps.

Let Your Lawn Breathe

Aeration is key to a healthy lawn. Over time, your lawn becomes too compact. Excessive organic debris and thick root systems block out oxygen, water, and nutrients. While there are several ways to aerate your lawn, experts agree core aeration has the most benefits. Core aerators work by removing a core of grass and soil from the lawn to loosen surrounding soil. You can rent one for $50 to $80 a day at tool rental centers. If your lawn is too big of a project for you alone, a pro might be your best option.

Cure a Patchy Lawn

If your lawn looks like a patchwork quilt, spring is a great time to take action to make it lush. After you’ve aerated, select a climate-appropriate seed type that is best for your soil and shade condition. For small patches, throw the seed as if you were feeding birds. For larger areas, use a broadcast or drop spreader. Cover seeded areas with soil or straw to protect it.

Spring Garden Clean-Up

As important as maintaining your lawn is trimming back trees and pruning your shrubs, as you likely didn’t give them a lot of attention when the weather was chilly. Not everything in your garden needs to (or should be) pruned in the spring, however. Here is an ideal schedule for pruning the different species of plants in your yard:

  • Ornamental grasses – early spring
  • Broadleaf evergreen (boxwood and yew) – early spring
  • Spring-flowering shrubs – early summer
  • Deciduous trees and evergreens – winter

If you have a lot of clippings, recycle them by adding them to your leaf compost pile so they can be used as a natural fertilizer. If your garden has fallen fruits or vegetables, you’ll want to clear them out before the pests move in. Finally, add a fresh layer of mulch to flower beds to help them retain water.

While you’re taking a hard look at the exterior of your home, it’s a good idea to pay some attention to your home security system. For example, make sure that security cameras are unobstructed by tree limbs and change any bulbs in your lighting. Doing so will help keep the worry and anxiety under control when you head off for vacation.

It might seem like a lot of work, but it’s worth the effort to maintain your home and keep it looking incredible. When you’re finished, you’ll be ready to sit back, enjoy some campfires, and reap the rewards of your extra efforts. ff