featured9 - 5 benefits of DIY home improvement projects
Home Improvement

5 benefits of DIY home improvement projects

The task of home improvement can get a bit expensive especially if you have to hire a contractor to take care of the project. This is where being able to do it yourself comes in handy because it enables you bring down some of these costs. This is especially applicable to small tasks that you […]

featured8 - The 5 top qualities of a good contractor

The 5 top qualities of a good contractor

featured7 - 5 home objects you must always remember to clean

5 home objects you must always remember to clean

featured6 - Home Improvement – 3 investments that will increase the value of your home

Home Improvement – 3 investments that will increase the value of your home

featured5 - Your guide on how to solve conflicts with your contractor

Your guide on how to solve conflicts with your contractor

featured9 - 5 benefits of DIY home improvement projects
Home Improvement

5 benefits of DIY home improvement projects

The task of home improvement can get a bit expensive especially if you have to hire a contractor to take care of the project. This is where being able to do it yourself comes in handy because it enables you bring down some of these costs. This is especially applicable to small tasks that you […]

featured8 - The 5 top qualities of a good contractor
Home Improvement

The 5 top qualities of a good contractor

When you have made the decision to embark on a home improvement project and you have realized that its extensive work that will require a contractor, then you must ensure you go for a good one as this is the only way you are guaranteed of a job well done. This is especially important if […]

featured7 - 5 home objects you must always remember to clean
Home Improvement

5 home objects you must always remember to clean

One of the main components of home improvement is cleanliness. Regardless of the amount of money you spend on refurbishing your home, as long as you don’t clean, your home will never be appealing. This is especially important if you intend to show your house to potential home buyers as you wouldn’t want them to […]

featured6 - Home Improvement – 3 investments that will increase the value of your home
Home Improvement

Home Improvement – 3 investments that will increase the value of your home

If you are planning on quickly improving on the resale value of your home, there are 3 investments you can go for that will help you sell your home much faster at the same time guarantee a return on your investment. The idea is to ensure that this home improvement project is done very professionally […]

featured5 - Your guide on how to solve conflicts with your contractor
Home Improvement

Your guide on how to solve conflicts with your contractor

Home improvement is a pressure filled task that is bound to result in one form of conflict or another between a contractor and a home owner. Such conflicts have been known to stall projects resulting in financial losses to both parties. However, it’s important to know that conflict is perfectly normal and should not be […]

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featured9 - 5 benefits of DIY home improvement projects
Home Improvement

5 benefits of DIY home improvement projects

The task of home improvement can get a bit expensive especially if you have to hire a contractor to take care of the project. This is where being able to do it yourself comes in handy because it enables you bring down some of these costs. This is especially applicable to small tasks that you can quickly learn and embark on doing.

We are going to look at 5 benefits of DIY home improvement projects.

DIY reduces your costs

When you do your home improvement project on your own, you not only cut down on your labor costs, you also get to understand the factors that make the product or service costs high hence use this knowledge to bring them down. For instance, many contractors will opt to use high end products yet there is a low end product that actually provides the same service and is cheaper.

DIY is fun and it helps you acquire new skills

One of the most satisfying experiences is standing in the middle of a room you remodeled on your own. This helps you build fond memories of your home as you will always recall how the remodeling process was fun and the fact that you acquired a new skill set that will definitely come in handy down the line.

DIY helps you network

When engaged in a DIY home improvement projects, it will give you an opportunity to network and make new friends as you are engaged in the learning phase both online and offline. Whether you are visiting different hardware shops or participating in different online forums or attending classes, you will get to meet someone new who will add value to your life.

DIY can give you an income generating skill

What can start as a simple home improvement project may end up becoming a huge income generating opportunity for you. As you engage in your home improvement you may acquire a set of skills which someone else may be more than willing to pay well for and this will end up becoming a good source of income for you either as a side hustle or fulltime depending on your preference.

DIY can give you skills you can use post retirement

Many people especially those in white collar jobs retire not having any other skills that they can apply to earn incomes. DIY projects are a good solution for this. Being involved in your own home improvement projects will help you learn and perfect skills that you can apply long after you retire from formal employment.

We trust that these have been really helpful insights.

We would love to hear your own home improvement tips.

featured8 - The 5 top qualities of a good contractor
Home Improvement

The 5 top qualities of a good contractor

When you have made the decision to embark on a home improvement project and you have realized that its extensive work that will require a contractor, then you must ensure you go for a good one as this is the only way you are guaranteed of a job well done. This is especially important if you have never worked with a reputable contractor before.

Here are the top 5 qualities you must look for to determine a good contractor.

1 The contractor’s level of experience

Because the task of home improvement is very extensive and will require a wide range of expertise in construction, it’s important to ensure that the contractor you select for the job is well experienced in the field of construction all the way from designing to basic repairs. An example would be O’Sullivan Installs in Billerica MA. A contractor who understands how to do the job himself/herself is much more likely lead his team in doing a good job. Do your due diligence to verify their level of experience.

2 The contractor’s reputation

A contractor’s reputation will be built by the quality of their work. Reputable contractors will have very many recommendations from previous clients who will have plenty of good to say about their work. On the other hand, questionable contractors will either have bad reviews or no reviews at all. Be sure to ask previous clients they have worked with and also look for online reviews.

3 The contractor’sintegrity

A contractor with integrity is one who respects his/her profession as well as the client. They will not charge rates that are not commensurate to the job being done and they will strive to accomplish all the agreed deliverables within the agreed timelines. In the event they make mistakes, they will always own up to them and provide solutions as quickly as possible. As you are doing your due diligence, be sure to ask former clients about the contractor’s integrity.

4 The contractor must beflexible

Most construction work may be altered by unforeseen circumstances which may require changes in timelines as well as schedules. A good contractor is one who fully understands this and will be willing to adjust. This is where flexibility is key and this will apply to their skills as well as ability to adjust their schedules. A good contractor should be willing to go the extra mile to complete your project whether it involves working weekends, extra hours or evenings.

5 The contractor must be a good listener

During a home improvement project, the voice of the client is supreme. In as much as the contractor is the one with the skills, they must first listen to what the client wants then figure out how to use their skills to meet the client’s requirements. A contractor who is not a good listener may end up missing out a number of instructions and mess up a part of the job. As part of your interviewing process, be sure to test how much of a good listener the contractor is.

We trust that these have been really helpful insights.

We would love to hear your own home improvement tips.

info3 - The 5 top qualities of a good contractor

featured7 - 5 home objects you must always remember to clean
Home Improvement

5 home objects you must always remember to clean

One of the main components of home improvement is cleanliness. Regardless of the amount of money you spend on refurbishing your home, as long as you don’t clean, your home will never be appealing. This is especially important if you intend to show your house to potential home buyers as you wouldn’t want them to get turned off by a filthy home.

Here are 5 objects in your home that you must always remember to clean not only because they have the potential to accumulate harmful bacteria but also because cleanliness is a virtue.

Your kitchen handles

When in the kitchen, we handle so many organic materials from the food to the cooking oils we use. Most of us will end up touching various kitchen handles from the refrigerator door to the cooker handle and even the cabinet handles without washing our hands. The organic materials will then stick to these handles and become a breeding ground for bacteria. It’s therefore important to include kitchen handles in our cleaning routines.

Your toothbrush holder

Considering the fact that you use your toothbrush to clean bacteria from your mouth, it’s a no brainer that your toothbrush holder needs frequent cleaning yet many of us forget. Make it a habit to clean the holder as well as the toothbrushes at least once a week to avoid it forming scum and becoming a breeding ground for bacteria.

Your light switches

The moment we get into the house in the evening, the light switch is probably the first thing we touch with our sweaty or grimy hands every day, and we never remember to clean them when doing general cleaning. This has madethem a breeding ground for bacteria and if you look keenly, you may notice some scum. It’s therefore a good practice to include light switches in our cleaning routines.

Your place mats

We love our place mats because they help protect our wood finishes, glass or ceramic finishes from stains. The interesting thing however is that many people will not remember to clean the place mat. Depending on the type of place mat you are using, you should make it a habit to clean it at least once a week if nothing spilled on it and immediately if something has spilled on it.

Your reusable shopping bags

We all love our reusable shopping bags. After all, it’s the little we can do to play our part in protecting our environment. Most of us however never remember to clean these bags in spite of us using them to carry all sorts of organic food items as well as other material. Our bags have therefore become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. It’s advisable to form the habit of cleaning these bags after use.

We trust that these have been really helpful insights.

We would love to hear your own home improvement tips.

featured6 - Home Improvement – 3 investments that will increase the value of your home
Home Improvement

Home Improvement – 3 investments that will increase the value of your home

If you are planning on quickly improving on the resale value of your home, there are 3 investments you can go for that will help you sell your home much faster at the same time guarantee a return on your investment. The idea is to ensure that this home improvement project is done very professionally in order for it to have the desired effect.

Let’s take a look at 3 investments in home improvement that will help increase the value of your home.

#1 Invest in solar energy

21 - Home Improvement – 3 investments that will increase the value of your home

Solar energy is considered an investment because the installation cost may be high but ultimately it will end up saving a home owner plenty of money on energy bills. You can set up a solar water heater, outdoor lighting that relies on solar power, and many more, your options are not limited. Not only will this cut down on your home utility costs as you wait for a buyer for your home but it will also become a key selling point as you pitch your home to potential buyers. Every buyer who if fully aware about the financial realities of home ownership will appreciate the value of a home that guarantees a reduction in their home maintenance costs and will be willing to pay extra for it.

#2 Invest in a good exterior paint job

22 - Home Improvement – 3 investments that will increase the value of your home

The main feature that makes a house stand out is the type of paint job that has been done on it. Painting is usually one of the first things you do to improve the curb appeal of your home therefore attracting more prospective home buyers. A good paint job helps preserve as well as protect the home’s exterior siding, and does wonders in making it stand out. It’s therefore very important to work with a professional to choose the best colors. A house that looks new and vibrant creates the impression that it has been well maintained and this helps in improving its value in the market.

#3 Prioritize your kitchen remodels

23 - Home Improvement – 3 investments that will increase the value of your home

Research as well as market trends in home ownership have shown that the kitchen is the part of the house you must prioritize when doing home improvement. Modern homes today are emphasizing on large and open kitchens with high-end finishes as the market standard. If you intend to increase the value of your home and make it stand out, then investing in remodeling your kitchen is a no brainer. Do your research on the current designs and engage a reputable contractor to upgrade your kitchen. This will be a worthwhile investment.

We trust that these have been really helpful insights.

We would love to hear your own home improvement tips.

featured5 - Your guide on how to solve conflicts with your contractor
Home Improvement

Your guide on how to solve conflicts with your contractor

Home improvement is a pressure filled task that is bound to result in one form of conflict or another between a contractor and a home owner. Such conflicts have been known to stall projects resulting in financial losses to both parties. However, it’s important to know that conflict is perfectly normal and should not be a reason for stalled projects. You just need to know how to deal with it when it arises.

Here’s your ultimate guide on how to deal with emerging conflicts between you and your contractor.

Clearly define the issue

11 - Your guide on how to solve conflicts with your contractor

The very first step in successfully addressing a conflict is being clear on what the issue is. Most conflicts will unnecessarily escalate simply because both parties have not clearly explained what the issue is. It’s necessary for both parties to lay down the facts before any discussions can commence.

Bring in a third party who must be neutral

14 - Your guide on how to solve conflicts with your contractor

In many occasions, two parties who are in conflict will not be willing to acknowledge their mistakes to each other, and this can be deliberate or indeliberate. It’s therefore necessary to have a third party in the conflict resolution process who is neutral, who’s task it will be to clarify the viewpoints of both parties to create better understanding. In such an environment, both parties are more likely to see their errors and even admit them.

Work only with facts

13 - Your guide on how to solve conflicts with your contractor

One of the main reasons for conflicts degenerating is when parties move away from the facts and focus on their personal views and opinions of each other. It’s important that during the conflict resolution process, both parties stick to the facts and the facts alone. This is the only way the conflict can be resolved amicably.

Learn to listen

12 - Your guide on how to solve conflicts with your contractor

The only way that parties involved in a conflict will be able to resolve it is by listening to each other’s point of view and working towards getting to a middle ground. Turning the discussion into a debate or a shouting contest will only worsen the conflict as opposed to help in resolving it. Listening may even help avoid the conflict altogether.

Try to avoid assigning blame

15 - Your guide on how to solve conflicts with your contractor

As part of the conflict resolution process, you must try to avoid assigning blame. If t has been established that one of the parties is at fault, it’s better to acknowledge the problem and focus on a solution to the problem as opposed to focusing on assigning blame. The party responsible for the problem will be more willing to handle their mess as long as it doesn’t seem as though their back is against the wall.

Review the terms of the contract

16 - Your guide on how to solve conflicts with your contractor

In many occasions, the contract was agreed between the parties involved in the conflict will itself offer a way forward in the event of certain eventualities. It’s therefore necessary to go back to the contract and see what its states. In the event the contract did not foresee such an occurrence then this will be a good opportunity to have it relooked so as to cater for such unforeseen circumstances.

We trust that these have been really helpful insights.

We would love to hear your own home improvement tips.

featured4 - Home Improvement – Things to consider before calling a professional
Home Improvement

Home Improvement – Things to consider before calling a professional

Home improvement can be a daunting task depending on the scope of work that needs to be done, and this will be determined by whether the improvements you want to make are aesthetic or functional. If its minor work you can definitely do it yourself however there are tasks that will require a professional.

Considering that professionals don’t come cheap, you must ensure that you have done your due diligence before bringing in one to help you with your project.

Here are a couple of things you must consider before deciding to spend money on a professional for your home improvement project.

You must know what your long term plan is

It’s important to know whether you intend on settling in this home on a long term basis or whether you’re just flipping it as this will determine the type of home improvements you make and whether it makes financial sense to get a contractor to do the work.

You need to be very self-aware

Home improvement will be messy, this is a fact. Before getting a contractor to embark on the task of remodeling your home, you must establish whether you will be okay with this disruption to your life. You will have a bunch of strangers moving about your home, disrupting your movement and furniture, disrupting your family’s comfort and so on, and therefore this is likely to be a very pressure-filled period. It’s important for you to know whether you and your family will be able to handle this pressure.

You must know the value of your home

Before engaging a contractor to make home improvements, you must first be aware of the current value of your home and how it compares to others in your neighborhood. This will help you in doing the math to determine whether it makes financial sense to bring in a contractor for your home improvement project. If the math is good, go ahead and do it but if it’s not then consider DIY options.

Know the scope of work

It’s very important to know the scope of the home improvement project whether it’s for aesthetic appeal or functional and the extent to which it will be done. If it’s something that a DIY guide can help you accomplish then go ahead and do it yourself however, if it requires a more professional approach then go ahead a get a contractor. Before determining this, you will first need to do a very thorough inspection of your home.

Set a realistic budget

Before engaging a contractor it’s very important to set a realistic budget that, factors in cost benefit analysis. Here the math as well as your long term plans for the home also come into play. The money that you put into your home improvement project must be realistic and match the value of the home. You don’t want to spend money that you won’t be able to recoup.

We trust that these have been really helpful insights.

We would love to hear your own home improvement tips.

featured3 - Top 4 factors that influence home purchase
Home Improvement

Top 4 factors that influence home purchase

Before you embark on the task of home improvement especially if you are doing it for the purpose of improving the resale value of your home, you must be aware of the factors that influence home purchase. This is important because it will help guide you on how to prioritize in terms of the improvements you will make on your home.

Let’s take a look at the top 4 factors that influence home purchase.

#1 The buyer’s lifestyle

Home buyers make purchase decisions based on their lifestyles. For instance there are those who will prefer well-manicured lawns whereas others will prefer urban cityscapes, some will prefer family-friendly suburban areas, a garden and many more. Home owners’ preferences will always vary. It’s therefore important for you to have in mind the kind of buyer you are targeting so that the home improvements you are making can specifically target them. Ideally, target the kind of buyer who’s just like you.

#2 The cost of owning the home

When home owners are considering purchasing a home, it’s never just about what it will cost them in terms of the cash or the monthly mortgage payment they also have to consider the day to day expenses that the home will come with. This could include things likeutilities, repairs, property taxes, lawn maintenance and others. As part of your home improvement activities, you must therefore include cost cutting measures that will demonstrate to the potential home owner that their maintenance costs for the home will be significantly reduced.

#3 The choice of whether to build or buy

Most homeowners who opt to build their own homes do so because they want a home that is customized to their needs and this is difficult to find in the homes market. Those who buy mostly do so because they have managed to find a house that satisfies their requirements. This therefore means that before making any home improvements, it’s important for you to have your ideal buyer in mind so that your home is as close to what they are looking for as possible. As we mentioned earlier, your ideal buyer should be someone who’s just like you.

#4 The realtor the home owner works with

Many home buyers prefer working with realtors to help them identify homes that best suit their needs. Because the buyer doesn’t have time to scout the market, they’ll contract realtors to do this work for them. Before making any home improvements, it’s advisable to visit realtors in your locality and find out whether there are any home buyers available and what they may be looking for in a home, and ensure your home improvements are in line with the buyer’s needs. This will help you sell your home much faster.

We trust that these have been really helpful insights.

We would love to hear your own home improvement tips.

info1 - Top 4 factors that influence home purchase
Image source: smartline.com.au
featured2 1 - Here are 3 simple ways to increase the value of your home
Home Improvement

Here are 3 simple ways to increase the value of your home

When people hear the words home improvement, the always assume it’s a complex and expensive undertaking and therefore will shy away from it. However, this is not the case. There are simple things you can do to improve you home and increase its value

Here are 3 simple ways to increase the value of your home.

#1 Plant trees on your compound

If you are living in a home that has a compound, ensure you plant trees on it. Trees are a long term investment which helps increase the value of your home by improving curb appeal, they provide much needed shade, are good for the environment and will also provide a natural habitat for wildlife which will make your home feel very tranquil.

#2 Landscaping that requires low maintenance

When thinking about low maintenance landscaping, think about the natural habitat of the plants you intend to plant on your compound. It’s advisable to go for plants that are naturally found in your region as this will mean that they are more adaptable to this environment hence will require less maintenance. Part of improving the value of your home is in reducing its maintenance costs and this starts with the landscape.

#3 Install money-saving luxuries

As mentioned above, one of the main ways of increasing the value of your home is by reducing its maintenance costs. This can also be done by installing money-saving luxuries such as a water filtration system for the kitchen, underground water tanks, and solar heaters, and so on. Such installations will help reduce costs for the occupants of the house especially utility bills and this is music to the ears of home buyers.

There you have it, 3 simple, doable and affordable ways to improve the value of your home.

We would love to hear your own home improvement tips.

featured1 - How to make home Improvements on a budget
Home Improvement

How to make home Improvements on a budget

Many people desire to have beautiful homes. It may be because they want a more comfortable living environment or they simply want to make it more valuable for the purpose of selling it. This requires a significant level of investment on home improvement.

However, this task doesn’t have to be costly. Here are 3 tips on how to make your home improvements on a budget.

Start by inspecting your home

2 - How to make home Improvements on a budget

As a rule, you can’t fix something if you have no idea whether it’s broken or not. This is why it’s very necessary to thoroughly inspect your home before you can determine what home improvements you can make on it. You have to prioritize between aesthetics and necessities but ensure never to compromise the latter for the former. The value of your home is greatly determined by the condition it’s in.

Take time and consult a professional

1 - How to make home Improvements on a budget

For just under $100 you can invite a realtor or an interior designer to your home to give it a quick look and offer you suggestions on what needs to be improved. Because they have experience doing this type of work, they will be able to give you the best suggestions that will work within your budget.

You can never go wrong with painting

3 - How to make home Improvements on a budget

When working on a budget, one of the best and most affordable home improvement remedies is painting. This will help give your home a feeling of newness, improve its curb appeal and ultimately improve its value. Just ensure never to paint it to hide defects as this may just be a temporary fix that will haunt you later.

There you have it. Be sure to do these three things and you can be guaranteed of a much improved home with a very small spend.

We would love to hear your own home improvement tips.