5 Signs Your Home is Outdated

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5 Signs Your Home is Outdated – Sometimes features in a home can take a while to be “outdated” while others are considered trendy and can become outdated pretty quickly. Here is a list of features that can make your home seem outdated…

Popcorn Ceilings – This is a feature that was standard in new homes quite a few years ago. Today, it is considered an outdated feature. Did you know this is something that can be fixed pretty easily? Whether you want to update your ceilings yourself or hire a handyman to help out, do some research to see if this is something that makes send you, your home and your renovation agenda.

Heavy Features – By this I mean wall to wall dark wood walls or heavy/dark built-ins that make the room look smaller and well, outdated! You know what I’m talking about too! Before you spend time ripping out this feature in your home, take a step back and determine whether it just needs a fresh coat of lighter paint or a few minor modifications. This might be the time to bring in a home stager to help you make that decision.

Cheap Doors – Updated your doors to 6-panel or just a more sturdy, updated door can also give your entire home a facelift. Whether you keep that door a wood stained color or if you paint it white, think of the entire look and feel of the home.

Hardware – As you make adjustments to your home, don’t forget about door knobs, cabinet handles, faucets and drawer knobs. These can also make your home look outdated and by swapping them out for a few new options you can really transform your home.

Walls – Do you still have wall paper from 1982? Maybe the paint color is from the 90’s? What’s nice is that paint is easy to replace through the years so you don’t have to worry about this being an enormous expense to change up. Take a look at your walls and see if added a pop of color or toning it down to a neutral will update your home.

There are still ways to add your décor flavor to your home while still choosing options that will help in the resale of your home. Take a look at this list and take a look at your home. What updates will you be making this year?

How To Revive Your Lawn For Warmer Weather

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How To Revive Your Lawn For Warmer Weather – A long, cold winter can have some negative effects on your lawn, so it’s important to pay extra attention to your landscape this spring. With warm weather here, trees are starting to bud, and your lawn is finally free of the layers of snow it’s been under for the last few months. Check out these tips on how to revive your lawn for the warmer weather this year.

  • Rake and Remove: Haul out the old wheelbarrow to collect accumulated winter debris. Rake up old leaves that have gathered in damp piles around your yard, and remove tiny twigs that have fallen from trees over the winter. This quick sweep of the yard will result in an instant upgrade.
  • Brown Grass = Bad Grass: Once night temperatures reach 35 degrees and up, your winter lawn will slowly start turning green again. However, you may notice brown patches here and there, spoiling the look of your once pretty yard. Give the brown grass a little tug, and if it pulls out easily, that patch has got to go. Trim the surrounding areas of the unhealthy spot and yank up all the dead grass. These areas can be easily re-seeded to grow healthy new patches of green.
  • Scatter Seeds: Visit your local hardware or gardening shop to purchase new grass seeds to plant as soon as the ground thaws. Water the seeds daily to keep the soil damp, and use a high phosphorous fertilizer to encourage nourishing growth. Make sure to let the grass grow at least 3 inches before you mow it as mowing too soon can traumatize its progression.
  • Maintain your Mower: Take the time to give your lawnmower some routine maintenance. Dull blades can result in uneven grass that can lead to discoloration and unwelcome pathogens. Additionally, a change in spark plug and air filters can restore your mower’s efficiency.
  • Air it out: After particularly difficult winters, lawns can become compacted and constricted cutting off necessary nutrients. For a lawn’s ecosystem to remain healthy, the soil needs to be loose so that air and water can enter and escape. Luckily homeowners can buy or rent aerators from hardware or lawn care stores to ventilate and freshen soil.

Winter may have taken quite a toll on your lawn this year, but a little bit of thoughtful attention will help get your lawn back to all of it’s former glory. Start with these tips and for even more ways to revive your lawn this spring, click here or here.

10 Spring Plants and Flowers For Your Garden

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10 Spring Plants and Flowers For Your Garden

Liven up your flower boxes this Spring with 10 of these beautiful early blooming flowers found on Better Homes and Gardens website.

Pansy

Pansies prove to be the perfect spring flower because they love the shade, and you can relish in the variety in bloom color for months to come.

Growing conditions: Sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 10 inches tall and 12 inches wide

Snowdrop Anemone

Snowdrop Anemone will flourish even in a slightly shaded spring garden. The plant may even put on a second bloom once the cooler temperatures of the fall season come.

Growing conditions: Full sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 6 inches tall and 12 inches wide

Redbud

Beginning in march, this tree will bring your garden or yard a wild display of pink beginning in March and lasting throughout the summer season.

Growing conditions: Sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 30 feet tall and wide

Lilac

This cottage-garden favorite’s sweet spring fragrance will fill your garden with unprecedented beauty, as it comes in all shapes and sizes. Also, the lilac usually blooms on old wood, so you might want to hold off on pruning until after the flowering is finished.

Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 20 feet tall and wide

‘Acoma’ Iris

This flower comes in all colors, making them a perfect colorful addition to your springtime.

Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 34 inches tall and 12 inches wide

Grape Hyacinth

This flower resembles bundles of grapes and make one of the most beautiful and best flowers to add to your garden.

Growing conditions: Full sun or part shade and well-drained soil

Size: To 8 inches tall and 6 inches wide

‘Harmony’ Iris

Dwarf wild iris pops with deep, wild purple or blue is a welcome contrast to many of spring’s pastel flowers.

Growing conditions: Full sun and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 6 inches tall and wide

Daffodil

This spring flower has a range of shapes and sizes, and honestly, what is spring without Daffodils?

Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 1 foot tall and wide

Tulip

The Tulip brings about native cheerfulness and beauty, making itself fit in any garden setting.

Growing conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide

Puschkinia

Inside the blooms of snowdrift are striped flowers that offer surprising color variation. Make your garden one of a kind with these beauties.

Growing conditions: Sun or part shade and moist, well-drained soil

Size: To 8 inches tall and 6 inches wide

Were these flower tips from the Better Homes and Gardens website helpful? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Ways a Home Improvement Contractor Can Help You

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5 Ways a Home Improvement Contractor Can Help You

If you’re gearing up for a home improvement project, you’ve probably considered getting a home improvement contractor.  While it may seen expensive or unnecessary, hiring a contractor can benefit you in both the short and long runs.  Check out these reasons why hiring a home improvement contractor can help you.

Cheaper in the Long Run

Would you rather get something right the first time?  Hiring a contractor can help you do just that.  It will lessen the margin of error since a professional will be on the job.  This could save you some money, time, and even embarrassment.  Why finish a project on your own only to find you did something wrong? Do the smart thing.  Hire a contractor to get it right.

Higher Quality

Not all do-it-yourself jobs turn out poorly completed, but consider that doing renovations is these contractors’ jobs.  That being said, you can expect a level of planning and labor higher than you can produce.  Think about it.  Do you know the proper materials?  Do you know how to design what you are imagining?  Consider higher quality work; consider a contractor.

What if Something Goes Wrong?

What do you do if you get stuck halfway through your project?  Will you know how to fix problems that arise?  If you do, great.  But keep in mind that contractors not only plan projects out in their entirety, but also can adjust mid-project should an issue occur.  A contractor can finish your project and even avoid getting stuck altogether.

Contractors are Insured

This is their job.  Should something go wrong on the site, they are insured.  What if you get injured in the process of doing your own renovations?  This could pose a potential threat to your safety, your finances, or your job security.  Your insurance may not cover that kind of accident.  Check your policy but remember that contractors have that all taken care of.

Time and Physical Labor

You may want to take this project on yourself, but do you have the time to do so?  Are you able to lift heavily materials for long periods of time?  It may be tough to pencil a renovation into your schedule.  Consider this; contractors have the time and the physical ability to do what you need.  Again, this is their job.  Hiring one could mean a lot less stress on you, your family, and your wellbeing.

Home renovations are a big undertaking.  Getting a home improvement contractor will help you get on the right track, complete your project, and ensure that it doesn’t need to be redone.  It’s a solid investment and can save you a lot in the long run.

3 Tips for Painting Your Home In The Winter

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3 Tips for Painting Your Home In The Winter – Planning home improvement projects such as painting when it’s cold out is easy – you don’t want to go outside, so you might as well be productive, right? Wintertime is a convenient time of year to do interior work, but there are plenty of obstacles that can impair your progress.  Below are our top tips for painting your house in the winter. Check them out for a stress-free painting job.

Top 3 Tips for Cold Weather Painting

  • Start early to decrease additional heating costs. In order to get rid of the paint fumes you’ll need to open the windows, which creates a loss of heat. This means you’ll need to increase your heat, which adds up. Starting your project earlier in the season before the coldest weather hits can limit these extra costs.
  • Use cold weather to your advantage. Cooler weather allows paint to dry faster, plus the lack of humidity helps paint dry properly. You’ll also be able to finish sooner, as you won’t have to stop when the sun goes down like with exterior painting.
  • Boost your home and mood with color. Many people experience low moods or depression during the wintertime, and one way to help with that is to add a splash of color to your home. Painting an accent wall or a lighter, brighter color on the walls can boost your home, and can also update your home’s interior.

Are you planning on starting a painting project this winter? What do you think of these tips? Tell us by leaving a comment below.

 

Budgeting Tips For Renovating Your Bathroom

Budgeting Tips For Renovating Your Bathroom

Budgeting Tips For Renovating Your Bathroom- Renovating any room in your house can be an expensive task no matter what you’re doing. Of course you want to spruce it up and give it a new vibe, but at what cost? Renovating your bathroom on a tight budget can be a difficult task; however, with the right resources and priorities, it can be done right. Here are five budgeting tips to help you with costs while renovating your bathroom.

Ask a professional- To some homeowners, hiring a professional to assist with the renovation of your bathroom seems like a huge expense. In some cases it can be, but it’s worth it. They will be able to act as a consultant and resource when it comes to getting your dream renovation completed on a budget.

Cut labor fees- Whether you’re a DIY’er or not, chip in some elbow grease to save on the cost of labor. If you’re cutting down the number of people working on your bathroom renovation by helping out, you could save yourself hundreds of dollars.

Don’t move plumbing- If you can help it, don’t move your plumbing around. A lot of your budget can be eaten up by extra labor and materials needed if you’re trying to move things around, so if you can avoid it you should.

Small changes go a long way- Some of the most noticeable changes in a renovated bathroom is the hardware. Updating the faucets, shower head and drawer pulls is an small and inexpensive change that could make a world of difference when it comes to the look of your bathroom.

Ventilation- Believe it or not, this is something that is often overlooked when people remodel their bathroom. Ventilation is key in making sure your bathroom stays free of mold and mildew, which could be a very large expense somewhere down the line.

Remodeling a bathroom in your home can be fun – and necessary – but it can also be expensive. Do your part to cut down on costs and you will be more satisfied in the long run. To learn more about budgeting tips for renovating your bathroom, visit here.

DIY: 5 Ways to Modernize Your Kitchen

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DIY: 5 Ways to Modernize Your Kitchen– The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. It is where the family comes together to cook, eat and make new memories. If you are looking to sell your home remember that your kitchen is the first room potential buyers will be looking for. Need a new look for this special room? Follow these next few tips on how to get a new, modern look!

  1. Update Your Countertops– Need a quick and sure fire way to give your kitchen a whole new look? Update the counters! This is a main focal point of your kitchen and any update will give the room an improved feel. Try a dark, granite countertop for a modern look. Not in your budget? Go with a traditional, dark look and you will get the same effect.
  2. Update Your Appliances– Updating your appliances has the potential to change the feel of your entire kitchen. Large appliance upgrades such as stove tops and refrigerators can add up, so if you are looking to just freshen up the room, try updating your microwave, toaster or coffee maker. If you are fully committed to updating your kitchen, update your refrigerator, range, and dishwasher to either a stainless steel or shiny black. This will be sure to give your new kitchen a sleek, modern feel.
  3. Update Your Paint Job- A new wall color is essential in giving your kitchen a new look and feel. If you are going for the modern look, try painting your walls in a cool grey color. For a bold look, choose a dark slate grey. For a lighter, less committing look, try a light stone grey. Either shade will give your kitchen a modern feel. If you are not interested in the whole modern thing, try brightening the room with a warm, bright pop of color. This can be done with paint or with new hand towels and kitchenware.
  4. Update Your Flooring– Commit to your new kitchen and update that old floor! With so many new choices of flooring and tiling this can be a very exciting new update. New flooring can range from colorful linoleum to concrete. A concrete floor will totally give your kitchen a modern feel. Try a dark hardwood for the same effect. There are so many options to choose from. Check out your nearest home improvement store to get started!
  5. Update Your Lighting– This factor is often overlooked and can really make or break a room. Beautify your new kitchen with a unique and interesting new light fixture. Ever thought about adding a scone or mini chandelier? Well, if that’s not your style, how about adding some under cabinet lighting for a sleek and modern look? Try installing dimming lights to have more control over the amount of light during different times of the day. Any of these updates are sure to impress your guests!

Your kitchen is the gathering place of your home. Whether you are looking to sell your home or just update your living space, consider these tips in your next project. Let us know in the comments below if these tips worked for you!