It's spring cleaning time again. I don't know about you, but I haven't even started. Some tasks seem more daunting then they really are. The best thing to do is just start somewhere. Checklists and developing routines makes things more efficient and thus easier. Nothing is more satisfying than completing a project and checking it off a list. https://www.cleanmama.net/https://www.cleanmama.net/ is an awesome resource for cleaning and organization tips. There are a bunch of other checklists and such you can download for free on the website. Here are my top two favorite cleaning checklists-
Ken Kuiper Homes, https://www.facebook.com/kenkuiperhomes/, Kentwood, MI 49512
All-in-One Builders, http://www.allin1builders.com/, 1950 Waldorf NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49544
(616) 299-4171, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you live in Michigan and own a home, then you absolutely need to know about ice dams. Water intrusion is the number one cause of damage to homes and that damage can be very costly. Ice dams are formed when snow melts on your roof, but freezes when it gets to the eaves (the part of a roof that overhangs the walls of a building). If the ice builds up, it can form a ridge that prevents water from draining. If the water cannot drain properly, there is only one place for it to go, and that is down into your house. This can happen to any roof, regardless of age or condition. The problem lies not with the roof itself, but by heat loss through the attic due to a lack of insulation and ventilation.
In 2013, Michigan was pounded with record breaking snow. Snow and ice was building up everywhere. Never experiencing any previous issues, I wasn't aware of the potential problem. At this point, I had already owned my home for 7 years. Walking in the bathroom one winter day, I was horrified to find water streaming down my bathroom wall. I'm pretty handy and work in real estate, so I was embarrassed and angry at myself that I had not recognized the problem before it became a huge issue.
Home Repair Services in Grand Rapids, Michigan is a great resource for homeowners. They offer many different classes to educate homeowners on remodeling and finance. The mission of Home Repair Services is to strengthen vulnerable Kent County homeowners because strong homeowners build strong communities. They believe that home ownership encourages personal responsibility and builds value, dignity, and pride. These are essential components for community vitality.
Home Repair Services offers a variety of support for homeowners including financial counseling, low cost supplies, and numerous DIY classes for home remodeling and maintenance. All of their classes are free to the general public. They have classes on plumbing, electrical, tile, cabinet installation, and dry wall repair. They also have financial classes on money habits, insurance, and foreclosure. See the current schedule at http://www.homerepairservices.org/fix-itschool.
Studies show that summer is the peak season for home break-ins. Why? Because people tend to open the windows and forget to close them when they leave. They forget to lock the front door while working out back in the garden – often leaving purses, wallets, and other valuables out in plain sight. But regardless of the season, you can learn how to boost your home security.
• Kick proof your doors – Most doors, whether solid wood, fiberglass or steel, are resistant to hard blows. The problem is the door jamb area near the lock’s strike plate. You can strengthen these areas on exterior doors by using a one-inch long deadbolt lock and a reinforced metal box strike, which costs about $10. Use three-inch long screws to mount them so they lodge in the framing beyond the door jamb. (And don’t overlook the door that leads into your house from the garage.)
• Choose the right locks – High security locks, which cost up to $175, are worth the price because they resist drilling and picking. Equally important: Carry a pull-apart key chain, so your home key stays with you when your car is being serviced or valet-parked.
• Landscape wisely – Trim tree branches that could provide access to windows, roof or skylights. Remember that tall plants and high fences can provide cover for criminals – and that gravel beds around the perimeter of the house make it easier to hear anyone lurking outside.
When selling a home, you don’t want buyers to step foot in a room and suddenly feel cramped. They will quickly start questioning whether they’ll be able to fit their belongings in there and whether the home is too small.
What can you do to open up some of the tight spaces in your home?
1. Remove furniture. Rooms packed overly full of furniture will not allow buyers to visualize their things in the space. Keep the furniture basics in each room, and then haul away the extras to a storage unit or somewhere else in the home that could use more furniture. Make sure the furniture is fit to the size of the room. For example, that canopy bed may be commanding too much attention in the master bedroom, making the room feel cramped and even blocking the walkway through the room.
2. Declutter. This is an obvious way to make a space feel bigger. It can have one of the biggest impacts to the perception of a room’s size. Have your sellers go through their closets and box up about a third of it. They can take the load to a storage unit or put into bins to store elsewhere in the home. When buyers open up a closet, you want them to see the spaciousness, not it filled top-to-bottom with your sellers’ belongings.
3. Find secret storage spots: Ottomans that can double-up as storage units too can help your sellers clear away clutter in a hurry. These can be useful particularly for sellers with children who need a quick place to throw toys and clothes prior to a showing.
Buying a home can be an expensive endeavor, and many potential buyers choose to shave a couple bucks off the final price by purchasing starter homes or properties that need a few repairs. And while this strategy can be an effective way to save money and, in some cases, personalize the house, knowing which repairs are more pressing can help new homeowners avoid delaying certain issues for too long.
Prioritize wiring and electrical issues
Focusing on correcting bad wiring should be a top priority for any new homeowner according to CNN Money. At best, electrical issues can cause headaches for homeowners when it comes to operating appliances, lights and electronics. But at worst, faulty electrical wiring can lead to fires and electrocution, which may result in fatalities, emotional trauma and financial problems, the news source explains.
Common signs of electrical problems include loose or hot outlets and lights that frequently dim when other appliances are turned on. Individuals who experience these types of issues may want to enlist the services of a professional electrician to investigate and correct the problem. The service may set homeowners back a few hundred dollars and replacing bad wiring can range in the thousands, but sound peace of mind and a safe home can go a long way both mentally and financially.
Follow these 7 strategies to get the most financial gain on your kitchen remodel-
And if done right, a kitchen remodel can recoup much of its cost. Kitchen remodels in the $50,000 to $60,000 range recoup about 69% of the initial project cost when the home is sold.
A minor kitchen remodel of about $18,500 does even better, returning more than 75% of your investment, according to the most recent Cost vs. Value data from Remodeling magazine.
To maximize your return on investment, follow these 7 strategies to keep you on budget and help you make smart choices.
1. Plan, Plan, Plan
Planning your kitchen remodel should take more time than the actual construction. If you plan well, the amount of time you’re inconvenienced by construction mayhem will be minimized. Plus, you’re more likely to stay on budget.
How much time should you spend planning? The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends at least six months. That way, you won’t be tempted to change your mind during construction and create change orders, which will inflate construction costs and hurt your return on investment.
Paint has remodeling power when you use it to emphasize a room’s best features or play down the flaws.
“Paint is a powerful tool that can enhance the architectural character and intent of space,” says Minneapolis architect Petra Schwartze of TEA2 Architects. “As you choose your paint, think about what the experience in the room should be.”
More Schwartze advice:
How to enlarge space with color
Painting walls white, cream, pastels, or cool colors (tinged with blue or green) creates the illusion of more space by reflecting light. Paint trim similar to walls (or use white on trim) to ensure a seamless appearance that visually expands space.
Over the past few weeks, I completely refurbished my deck. I did not rebuild the entire thing, but rather replaced all of the top boards. The frame was still in good shape, but the top boards were cracking and some of them were starting to rot. I would like to share some of the things I learned:
Great info on everything real estate.