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Survey Says Sophistication Wins in Real Estate Curb Appeal

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Homeowners understand there is a correlation between real estate value and landscaping, although the scale is hazy. To help determine the relevant measures, researchers worked with real estate professionals and journalists to report the findings of a comprehensive survey. Spanning seven states, the survey involved a set of 17 photographs of a home with varying degrees of landscaping. Researchers asked the survey volunteers to rank the elements which included various sizes and types of trees and shrubs, flowering plants, and hardscaping. Finally, the researchers and real estate professionals turned the rankings into a scale of perceived monetary value.

Primary elements included in the landscaping were sizes and types of plants, plant groupings, and coordinated hardscaping such as sidewalks and curved flower bed borders. The layouts ranged from simple, single-element plantings to sophisticated and coordinated presentations incorporating size, shape, and color displays. The study used evergreen and deciduous foundation and specimen plantings, specific percentages of annuals and perennials displaying colored foliage or flowers, and colored brick. This range of curated elements revealed a comprehensive ranking of the perceived value of landscaping. Survey volunteers ranked the order of importance as design sophistication first, plant size second, and plant diversity last. Findings offered solid data, and real estate professionals established numeric values for property appraisals. 

The data offered some surprises. In Louisiana, the range in perceived value from least attractive to most attractive landscaping was 5.5 percent. Appraisals in South Carolina put the range at 11.4 percent. Another interesting reveal was that in all seven states, survey takers’ opinions were that simple, minimal plantings detracted from the landscape. Landscaping and the resultant curb appeal plays an important role in real estate valuation, the survey proves. In certain instances, such a subdivision of repetitive home designs or a competitive market, landscaping can tip the scales on a property sale. 

Not included in the survey, yet integral to some properties, are non-permanent structures such as privacy fences, gazebos, and wooden storage sheds. Shed design and construction are of particular importance as the shed is an extension of the home. Because the survey found that sophistication matters, a shed should mirror the home in style and building materials. Siding and roofing materials are primary considerations, but architectural design is also important. Therefore, the homeowner should plan ahead when building or acquiring a storage shed for the estate. 

Homeowners have options when installing these types of non-permanent structures. They can build from scratch, use kits or prefabricated materials, or hire a contractor. Homeowners or contractors can paint or stain wood to match the home’s exterior and keep a uniform look to the estate. Outbuildings and features should also mimic stone or brickwork in sidewalks and retaining walls. Finally, finishing touches such as flower beds and walkways should tie the elements together. 

Curb appeal and property value increase with the addition of elements that add character and charm to the estate. Although installing refined landscaping and custom-designed outbuildings may be substantial expenses, they are also substantial …

Give Your Floors a Make-Over, Here’s How!

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Your floors are among the most noticeable part of your home once a visitor steps in. In fact, it is the first thing that a person notices when visiting a place for the first time. If you have a carpet flooring, it is best to change its style at least every 5 years while for wood or tile floors can be changed every 10 years or until it gets damages.

If you are in the state of FL and you are looking for a flooring company in Stuart, you should start by browsing the internet or by asking some friends for a recommendation. A friend’s recommendation is often the best option because your friend definitely experienced their service and is vouching for the quality of their service. Before hiring a contractor for your floor make-over, you should check some factors first.

The first thing to check is the company’s experience and expertise. You wouldn’t entrust your home’s makeover with an unqualified contractor hence doing a little background check will help. A company that has been in the flooring business surely has the experience and tools needed to make the job a success.

You should also check customer reviews. In Florida, most flooring service providers have a website that you can check. They use it not just to advertise their services but also to show their great reviews. You can also ask for sample work or portfolio for your reference.

Lastly, an experienced flooring company can also offer expert pieces of advice that you can consider as you plan your floor make-over. They can give you options as to the type of floor to use such as tiles, carpet, granites, vinyl or wood. They can also answer basic questions like pros and cons of using each type of flooring.

In addition, a large and experienced flooring company surely has a large inventory. It means that they can offer you more options and designs to choose from.

The thing with flooring companies in FL is that there are a lot of them in this state. If you are looking for a flooring company in Stuart, FL that you can trust, choose a licensed and insured company.…

Preparing for Your Kitchen Remodel

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A kitchen remodel is every homeowner’s dream, but living through it may not be so pleasant. Whether you live alone or have a family of five, remodeling your kitchen creates a lot of inconvenience and obstacles to overcome. Before you begin, it’s important to know what you will encounter and how to get through your remodel with minimal stress.

Cleaning Out Your Existing Cabinets

If you’re planning a new kitchen cabinet design greensburg pa, you will have to clean out your existing cabinets. Since it’s unlikely you will be cooking, pots and pans, cooking utensils, serving dishes, and plates can be stored away in boxes. As you’re cleaning out your cabinets, get rid of any old or unused kitchen items by donating them to a local charity or thrift shop. This will allow for more storage and less clutter in your new cabinets.

Cleaning Out Your Refrigerator

If you’re getting a new refrigerator, you will need to move or get rid of your existing one. Depending on the layout of your home and your needs, you can choose to donate your old refrigerator, sell it, or move it into your garage for extra storage. If you plan to get rid of it, you will have to clean it out and get rid of all existing food items. You can put non-perishable items in a box and some perishable items in a cooler for sandwiches and snacks while your kitchen is out of service.

Setting Up a Temporary Kitchen

To make your remodel a little easier for you and your family, you can set up a temporary kitchen in another room in the house or in the garage. Choose a convenient location for essential items like a coffee pot, toaster, microwave, paper plates and cups, and eating utensils. It’s helpful to choose an area with electrical outlets and access to water and a sink if possible, so you can clean up after meals. Setting up a temporary kitchen will allow you to sit down with your family for meals and relieve some of the stress from your kitchen remodel.…

Popular Pool Chemicals And Their Uses

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Roughly 15 percent of all Americans own a pool, says the United States Census Bureau. Whether you live next to an ocean, lake, stream, or river, at-home pools are the body of water to relax and enjoy yourself in. Unlike natural bodies of water, pools require maintenance to remain free of bacteria, fungi, bugs, leaves, pollen, and everything else that shouldn’t be found in a pool. Here’s a quick breakdown of a few popular pool chemicals and their uses.

Silver and Copper

Copper and silver are both minerals, or basic building blocks of materials found naturally on Earth. Although very little silver and copper is released into pools, they play a role in sanitizing water. In other words, pool water sanitizers kill bacteria and other potentially harmful organisms.

Chlorine

Almost everybody is familiar with chlorine. It’s cheap to purchase and is highly effective. Chlorine can be released into pool water similar to silver and copper – through chlorinators – or chlorine tablets can simply be dropped into bodies of pool water. The abundant mineral also comes in powdered and granular form for rapid diffusion.

Biguanide

Some people don’t react well to chlorine. Some microorganisms aren’t cleared up well enough by chlorine, either. Biguanide is a chemical compound that is made up of carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen. Unlike chlorine, silver, and copper, biguanide is a compound, meaning it’s made up of more than one element. Biguanide serves as an effective chlorine alternative.

Bromine

Bromine is ideal for indoor bodies of water. It doesn’t smell like chlorine, fails to eliminate certain algae as well as chlorine, and degrades rapidly in sunlight. As such, bromine should not be used in outdoor settings or when chlorine would suffice.

Calcium

Calcium is a common mineral that needs to be included in pools that contain plaster. Failing to maintain a level above 200 parts per million (ppm) will result in that plaster being eroded by the water, whereas going above 275 ppm can cause minor issues like staining.

Pools are fun, but not if homeowners fail to maintain them. These six chemicals are some of the most common pool additives and aren’t difficult to understand. The only thing that can make homeowners’ pool-cleaning jobs easier is using an automatic pool cleaners pittsburgh.…

Features that will Make Your Kitchen Uniquely Your Own

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Once you have saved the money up and decided it is finally time to remodel the kitchen, you need to take some time to think about exactly how you can make this room uniquely your own. Pay attention to what you and your family members do while in the kitchen. Customize the space to suit the needs of these activities. You will end up with a kitchen that is totally user-friendly, and everyone will want to spend even more time in there.

The Home Office

Let’s face it. We often use our kitchen as a substitute for a home office. We sit at the kitchen table making out the bills, checking emails, and taking care of other daily tasks. Why not designate a space to this function. Have the cabinets left out under a small section of the kitchen counter. This becomes your desk. Customize the overhead cabinetry in this spot to mimic office storage.

The Home Bar

How many times have you entertained people in your home only to find that everyone gathers in the kitchen. The home bar is left empty in another part of the house, and you are constantly walking back and forth to get everyone’s drinks. Move the bar to the kitchen. Position it at the end of the countertop, and make the features match the kitchen cabinetry.

The TV Room

You don’t normally see a TV incorporated into a kitchen design, but in reality, many of us have one sitting on our countertop. This wastes precious workspace. Why not try something unconventional and incorporate it into the actual kitchen design? When doing kitchen remodeling lake county il contractors can help you make this happen.

Once you customized your kitchen renovation design to suit your own individual needs, you will be glad you did. This room will now function properly for every task you need it to do, and the additional updates will make it a space everyone can enjoy.…

Choosing The Right Agent For Your Property

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Looking for a real estate agent who knows the best way to serve clients? Read these tips as they may be helpful especially if you are new to real estate market. First, in order to choose the right agent, you may have to interview at least three of them. So, have them come over to your house or public place with their list of comparable. Note that, you are not signing an agreement here, so you are free to compare as many agents as possible. There are many questions you should be asking to determine the best out of them all. Ask how long they have been in the real estate business. The ideal case is to have more than four years of experience in sales of properties that are similar to yours. Are they working full time or part time? Because you can’t devote your time or money to those who are doing it as a side gig or hobby. What part of the city have they been doing sales if any? This is an important question because every city has its unique features and market. You want someone familiar with every block in your area. The next question to ask is about the number of houses they have sold in the past. Better yet, ask for addresses of those houses and check them out in your spare time. You want to make sure that the agent has experience with houses resembling yours, even if it comes with an extra-large swimming pool, or you have an additional portable sunroom for sale

If you are selling a Victorian era mansion and the agent has sold only condominium before, continue looking for another agent. Generally speaking, the less time the house was in the market, the better the agent. Again, this decision should be based on the market, population and other factors as well. Ask what a good asking price is for your house. Many agents know where to start, so they are keen to come up with a number that both seller and buyers are likely to agree on. If you think your house has a better chance of attracting multiple bids because of all the upgrades, additions and spacious backyards, say so. Different agents might have different suggestions. 

Last but not least, ask the agent his or her minimum listing term. You may want to sign for sixty or ninety days instead of six months of listing. If the agent insists on six months or more, look elsewhere. First of all, you don’t want to be tied down to one agent for such a long period of time. The agent might not have a reason to work hard for you during the first three- or four-months period. Therefore, be firm with your agreement of ninety days or less. When the chips are down, the agent will agree to your term. You have to interpret in all of these findings the right agent for your house, situation and budget.…

Taking Preventative Measures for Your Home’s Comfort and Safety

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A fireplace can be a valuable asset to have in a home. It provides an alternative source of heat when the electricity and gas are out due to storms. It also lowers the amount of gas and electricity you have to use to keep your home warm.

When you plan on using your fireplace as much as possible this winter, you may want to have it inspected, maintained, and repaired before you light the first fire in it this season. You can hire professionals who are trained in cleaning, brick mason work, and chimney relining for this purpose today.

Cleaning Out and Lining the Chimney

You may not even be aware of what is in the chimney stack before you light a fire in the fireplace. After a long summer of sitting dormant, the chimney might have become home to several dozen bird or squirrel nests. It also may be full of twigs, leaves, and other debris that could all easily catch on fire.

Chances are you do not have a broom handle or shovel that is large or long enough to stick up the chimney’s stack to loosen all of the debris lodged in there. You also do not want to risk lighting a fire in an attempt to burn it all out. The fire could shoot out of the chimney stack and onto the roof. It also could spread across the hearth and into your home.

The contractors you can hire for this job will have the equipment needed to get rid of debris in the chimney. They also can put in a new liner so the fires you light this season will burn cleanly and more efficiently.

Before you light the season’s first fire in the fireplace, you have to make sure it is ready to be used safely. You may not be able to tell what is inside of the chimney on your own. However, you can hire professional contractors for this type of inspection and cleaning job. They will ensure the chimney is clean and safe to use for all of your fires this winter.…

How to Tell Your Dishwasher Needs to Be Replaced

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Dishwashers are an important part of life in a busy household. The problems they experience are relatively few, but a serious one can mean a replacement is necessary. A complete breakdown or dealing with unsanitary results can make you feel frustrated. Below are a few ways you can tell you need to begin shopping around for the perfect replacement dishwasher.

Cycles Begin to Frequently Stick

If you have consistent problems getting cycles to start or change, it’s time to begin shopping for a new appliance. You could be looking at a physical or electronic problem that can prove costly to repair. It’s worth investing in a new unit if you use the dishwasher frequently.

Dishes Fail to Get Clean

If you pre-wash and load the dishes the same way every time and suddenly begin having problems with the dished not coming clean, the jets that spray water might be worn. It’s the perfect time to upgrade to a new unit and enjoy sparkling clean dishes with every load.

The Dishwasher Is Excessively Old and Noisy

An aging dishwasher can begin to make some bizarre sounds. If you begin to find the need to talk louder and louder to drown out the dishwasher, a replacement is in order. You can choose from models that are both water conservative and whisper quiet. No more banging and clanging when the cycles start.

The Appliance Quits Working

If you have tried everything and the appliance refuses to turn on, it might be a dead duck. If you choose the source for dishwashers Massachusetts homeowners trust you can have your old one hauled away at the time of delivery. t’s an uncomplicated way to upgrade the appliances in your kitchen.

Dishwashers, like any other appliance, will age and eventually quit working right. You can find affordable models that won’t break the bank and have it delivered right away.

Updating an Old Bathroom

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If you bought your home several years ago, it is probably time for some updates. The bathroom is definitely a place to start, since it is one of the rooms used the most. There are several ways to bring it up to modern standards without spending a small fortune.

Accessories

Changing out the mirror, wall outlets, lighting fixtures, and other accessories in your bathroom can make a huge difference. Coordinate them so they complement each other. There are many styles that you can choose from today that make re-decorating this room fun. Consider the overall decorating style, and decide what would best fit.

The Tub

Many older homes have a combination tub and shower, or if it is even older, the shower may have been added. If your bathtub is looking really worn, you do not have to spend the money on a new tub. Have it relined instead. This will make it as good as new without the mess of tearing out the old tub. One example of a company that does bathtub relining is Porcelite Enterprises.

Paint the Walls

Paint the bathroom walls a totally different color. Your floor may be tile, and as long as it is in good shape, you might want to leave it. Vintage tile is in now. All it might need is a good cleaning with the right product to remove any dirt that has become ground into the grout lines. Choose a color for the walls that goes well with the tile. You may want to paint part of the walls one color and the other part another.

Change the Vanity

Older homes did not always have a vanity in the bathroom. Some only had a sink. There are many choices when it comes to vanities. Depending on the size of your bathroom, you may want a double one or just a single. If your floor tile is vintage, you may want to shop around for a vintage vanity. Antique dressers are often used for vanities today, and they offer a beautiful and unique look.…

Finding Favorable Furniture

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Getting furniture for your home doesn’t have to break your budget. There are often quality pieces of furniture that you can find at a discount furniture store in Atlanta if you pay close attention to what you’re getting and when you go to the store. When you go to a discount store to look for furniture, you need to have the measurements of the pieces that you need as well as a budget in mind. You also need to know what you’re looking for instead of going into a store and purchasing the first thing that you see on the floor.

Some discount stores will offer a percentage off of the items that you purchase or free delivery if you get multiple items, so consider visiting a store that has a variety of furniture pieces for each room of your home. You should also look into getting furniture when you need a few different pieces at once instead of getting each piece at one time. Wait until the beginning of the week to purchase furniture as many people take the time on the weekend to clear out their homes and take items to discount stores or secondhand stores. Some discount stores have new pieces of furniture that they sell for wholesale prices. Although it’s a long time to wait to shop for furniture, consider going to stores at the end of the year as many stores want to slash prices in order to sell as many items they have before new items are put on the floor. Stores also want to sell as much as they can before the new year begins for tax purposes, passing along the savings to customers. Examine all of the furniture that you’re interested in buying before taking it home, especially if it’s at a discount store that sells furniture that is consigned or that has been purchased wholesale.…

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