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How to Add Value to Your Old House

Technology and the needs of homebuyers have largely changed since older houses were first constructed. Homeowners living in these older houses will want to take steps to help increase the value of the property. These types of renovations will make it easier to sell the house while also making the space more functional. There are three ways to directly increase the value of an older home.

Create Floor Space and Living Space

Homebuyers today are trending towards houses with large and open floor plans that contain the most living space possible. Some older homes have tightly partitioned layouts containing narrow hallways and small rooms.

Creating an open layout can be as simple as eliminating unnecessary walls that have no structural importance. Removing doors helps as well. More living space can be created by renovating a garage, attic or basement. Converting these into guestrooms or dens will add value to the house.

Replace Old Plumbing and Fixtures

Older houses tend to have inefficient plumbing systems and outdated fixtures. A large amount of value can be added by replacing the plumbing with a modern system that uses all new materials. Experienced professionals can come into a house and replace the system so that it functions more reliably and efficiently.

Homeowners will also want to replace outdated fixtures since they are the most visible part of the plumbing system. Installing new faucets and showerheads will create a more impressive home.

Update the Kitchen

The kitchen is a focal point in the home. Homebuyers have been favoring houses with large modern kitchens that are easy to use for many years now.

An updated kitchen can add significant value to an older house. A modern kitchen needs new appliances, attractive countertops and enough space to cook and entertain. Another feature that will increase value is stored in the kitchen.

More than just some overhead cabinets are necessary. Storage under a central island and storage in a special walk-in pantry are both very attractive options for homebuyers today.

Homeowners will want to make changes like updating the kitchen and replacing the plumbing to improve the health and safety of the house in addition to increasing value.

Very old plumbing lines could be negatively affecting water quality or taste. Outdated kitchen connections could have leaks. Modernizing an old house will make the space more comfortable and easier to maintain.

Boost Your Curb Appeal

First of all, make sure your house has excellent curb appeal. The front of your house is the first thing people see, and it can set the tone for the entire tour. Make sure the lawn and bushes are trimmed, the flowers are blooming and the paint is bright and cheerful, not dingy and chipping. Rent a pressure washer to remove dirt and grime and purchase new mulch. You will have a house people cannot wait to tour in no time!

Clean Your House Thoroughly

Secondly, make sure you clean your house thoroughly. Mop the floors, wash the windows inside and out and launder the drapes. Dust both high and low and wipe down the walls and baseboards. Don’t forget to inspect under beds and in closets.

Potential buyers should never find any dirty dishes, dirty laundry, or food left out. Be sure to banish lingering smells by opening the windows, burning candles, or spraying a nice smelling room spray. Your house should look and smell showroom ready.

Remove Any Clutter

While family photos and knickknacks are great for when you are living in your home, they tend to distract potential buyers, who should be looking at your house’s great features instead. If you have any collections, only leave out a few of your favorite items—not the entire collection.

Put away kids’ toys and out-of-season clothes. You may even want to pack up what you can and store it elsewhere since you will be moving soon. This does not mean you need to remove everything, however. A vase of flowers or a set table is a nice homey touch potential buyers will appreciate.

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Modernize Things Like Window Treatments and Fixtures

Whenever you can update fixtures and window treatments. Dated brass fixtures can be replaced or painted for a more modern look. Kitchen drawer pulls can be replaced as an inexpensive and easy way to update a kitchen.

SunburstShutters.com window treatments can be used to brighten up your windows. While these may seem like little details, they can make a huge difference in the look of a home. Give potential buyers a clean, clutter-free, and updated home they can fall in love with and your house will fly off the market in no time!

7 Ways To Make Your Porch Look Great

If you have a lovely porch you will spend a lot more time outside. Some people don’t realize this and they wonder why they never use their porch. If you’re interested in finally turning your one into something to be proud of, we can look at a few ways you can do it.

Just remember that summer is nearly upon us, so it would be beneficial to make any changes as soon as possible. You don’t want to wait until next summer to enjoy your porch.

Make sure your seats are cushioned

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Because a porch is outside people automatically assume they can’t have comfortable seating as it’s somehow wrong. If you are putting seats in the middle of your garden any rain will wreck a cushioned seat, but your porch is undercover so don’t forget that.

How long do you spend sitting down when you’re not comfortable? If you want to spend more time chilling outside you can replace your old seats, or if that is too expensive just throw soft cushions over the old ones.

Go for bold

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If you want the furniture on your porch to stand out you should definitely choose some bold colors. If you can pick up cheap secondhand wicker furniture it’s possible to paint it any color you like. Try to paint the floor in a lighter shade and the deep colors will look even better. You can even go one step further and paint the ceiling too.

Have separate zones

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Hopefully, you have a large porch because it will allow you to break it up into different zones. You will probably want to have two main sections. One will be for sitting around and chilling out, whereas the other will be for eating your meals. Lay a different rug in each section and it will help to separate them.

Grow a green screen

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You might want some privacy, but if you put up a screen it won’t look great. It’s completely different if you use a green screen. It will require you to plant some little trees, large shrubs, or bamboo plants in the place you want to cover up. Now instead of staring into a horrible screen, you will be able to see nothing but green.

All-weather artwork

I’d tell you to hang some artwork on the porch, but make sure you don’t use anything too expensive because the weather might get to it. You will need to buy some all-weather artwork that is cheap and cheerful. You can just walk into a large store and pick out a few nice things that would look good on the outside wall.

Light the place up

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When you’re sitting outside at night you don’t want to go inside because it’s too dark to see anything. You will need to make sure the porch has adequate lighting. Choose lights that fit in with the overall theme of your porch. Don’t forget you can put them in different positions and they don’t just have to hang from the ceiling.

Create a water feature

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If you don’t have a water feature inside your garden you can put one on your porch. The reason they are so good is that listening to running water is very relaxing. That is the only reason you sit out on the porch in the first place. Make sure the water doesn’t spill over onto the wooden floor because it will eventually cause damage.

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Some of the things on the list will take you a few hours to sort out. Do you have any cushions you can take outside to throw on your porch chairs? Let us know if you have any other suggestions we’ve not covered.

Tips for Financing Your Home Remodel

Ready for a new kitchen? Or maybe you’re just tired of that ugly archway blocking your morning light. Whatever your reasons for a home remodel, here are five tips for making changes without squeezing your checkbook too badly in the process.

Secure a Loan

Personal loans are a rocky business, but millions manage it every year, and you can as well. The trick is to start the paperwork far in advance of your anticipated renovation date. This gives you time to talk to your bank, improve your credit score, compare and contrast loan terms, et cetera. If you plan ahead, you’re much less likely to find yourself stuck with an expensive contractor pressured into making costly mistakes.

Make Small Changes First

Try re-arranging the furniture or re-painting the room to see if that fixes your itch for a remodel before you start knocking out walls. Uncluttering can make also a big difference: Sometimes just moving all those boxes into self-storage such as those with www.thestoragecenter.com can free up floor space and give you room to breathe. Never underestimate the power of simple changes to completely transform the atmosphere of your home.

Take Shortcuts for Non-Essentials

There are some things, like plumbing, where corners should never be cut in order to preserve the integrity of your property. But you’ll also find plenty of areas where it’s okay to “cheat” if you know what you’re doing. For example, instead of using real stainless steel for your kitchen fixtures, just cover their surfaces with chrome contact paper. It will offer the same look for less than half the price.

Do It Yourself

If this is your first remodel, it might be tempting to leave the heavy lifting to professional contractors and construction workers. You can save a bundle, however, if you cut out the middlemen and figure things out for yourself. For example, instead of having your couch professionally reupholstered, take the weekend and turn it into a fun project with your family. Instead of calling someone to re-tile your bathroom, grab a toolbox and start grouting with your own two hands.

Know Your Options

Never remodel anything without assessing all the choices at your disposal. “Should I go with granite or stone countertops?” should be followed by “What are the upfront material costs versus their long-term benefits?” and then “What company offers the cheapest delivery?” Every decision comes with layers, and it’s important to consider them all if you want to finance your home remodeling without breaking the bank.

5 Upgrades That Help You Save Money at Home

When seeking to upgrade your home, increasing comfort, enjoyment and utility are probably among your top reasons for the motivation. Another thing you should consider, however, is making upgrades that save you money. Too many of us are caught up with the old ways of doing things and often forget that our house can figuratively be hemorrhaging money at the seams. Here are five upgrades that will return some of the money you put into them.

New Low-E Windows

There are a number of reasons to get new windows: they’re broken; they don’t open and close properly; they look outdated. But another good reason to replace your windows is energy savings. Old windows often don’t fit their frames properly, leaving gaps through which air can escape. Newer windows also have low-E glass and are double- or triple-paned, which make them more energy efficient. New windows can easily save you more than $100 a year on your heating and cooling costs.

New Heating and Cooling System

Speaking of heating and cooling, if your furnace and central air are from the last century, it may be time to upgrade. Though these units usually cost thousands of dollars, you can save thousands on your heating and cooling costs over their lifespans because they operate much more efficiently. Call a professional, like those at Nebraska Heating & Air, to come and take a look at your current unit.

Programmable Thermostat

You may not need to replace your furnace and A/C, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve their efficiency. One way to do that is to install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat allows you to set temperatures for different times of the day, which can help you better manage your heating and cooling.

A programmable thermostat that is controllable by a smartphone or computer allows you to make adjustments when you aren’t home, allowing you to change settings to account for weather changes while you aren’t home.

New Appliances

Replacing old appliances can save you a ton of money. A new refrigerator, dishwasher, washer or dryer will work much more efficiently than older models, which will save you money on your electric costs. Depending on your electric rates, a new refrigerator alone could save you $100 or more a year on electricity costs, for example.

Install Fluorescent Light Bulbs

A smaller upgrade to your home that will save you a lot of money is replacing old bulbs with compact fluorescent ones. These bulbs usually pay for themselves in less than a year and over their life can save you up to $80 each on energy costs.

Next time you consider upgrades to your home, think about how the money you spend can save you money in the long run. Your wallet will be sure to thank you in the long run.

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