When you found your dream home among Tuscaloosa homes for sale, you may have bought it with a plan to launch some major home improvements. Maybe you're an old hand at home improvements, but if you're just starting out, you could probably use some advice from our real estate agents. Follow these suggestions, and we guarantee you will have fewer home improvement snafus, and what's more, you'll love how close your results are to the improvements of your imagination.
Project Manager — or Not?
Now, before you launch into your role as a project manager for your home, it might be wise to take a breath and do a fearless self-assessment. You may want to save money by doing it yourself, and you're excited about undertaking this thrilling project, but are you the type of person who can bring it off successfully? Are you calm under pressure? Do you think and act strategically and confidently? Do you have time to plan, coordinate, and oversee the work? If these questions make you a bit uneasy, you might consider hiring a project manager. There will be a fee, but a bungled (by you) project will cost time and money and you could be looking at major disappointment. A pro can bring off the results you want.
Apps and Plans
Still ready to tackle orchestrating your home improvements? Then let's get you started with apps and software programs. If you've got money to pay an architect, never mind. Otherwise, here goes. An app such as Fiverr can provide you with 3D renderings but they don't come cheap, and they only give 1-2 revisions before they start charging. Try Arcsite or Planner 5d to save money and make your own renderings, with an unlimited number of designs for free.
A Trick for Visualizing Space
Most of us are lacking in the ability to visualize how things will look. Painter's tape and flooring paper can help you figure out the scope of space. For instance, you may want to know how well your projected dimensions for cabinet width will look. Tape it out, and you'll have a good idea.
Buy Samples — Lots of Them! — and Try Them Out
It can be tough to know if you're going to love that tile or flooring once it's in place. It might cost a bit, but it's better to buy a significant sampling of those materials and actually put them in place before you buy a whole shipment of stuff and commission an entire floor or wall. Ditto with paint. Those measly two samples they give you at the store just don't cut it.
Sometimes you can find a dupe for a pricey item. Shop around at big box stores and see if there's something that approximates that expensive thing you just have to have. For instance, installing aluminum-clad windows with thicker grids instead of installing steel windows is one clever dupe. They look similar to steel. There are lots of dupes out there if you spend time looking.
Go Over Where You Want Electrical Outlets
Most contractors will install electrical outlets any old where. If you're particular (and you should be), then you'll be thinking this through thoroughly. You might want some outlets concealed under an overhang or under cabinets. Be sure your contractor knows what you want.
Factor in Contingency Dollars in Your Budget
Things will go wrong. It's wise to factor in at least 10 percent contingency in your budget for unexpected issues, especially if you're in an older home.
Our real estate staff has lots more advice about managing home improvements. Contact us today.
Every year, color experts as well as the top paint companies name which shades and hues will inspire your home decor in the new year. 2022's Colors of the Year range from a vibrant purple to a minty blue-green, and they'll each create a new feel and vibrancy to your home. Our real estate agents share their favorite of the top colors this year, including tips on how to best incorporate them into your home to achieve the look you want.
It's already November, and that means the holidays are approaching fast. Catching up with family and friends in a Tuscaloosa home for sale over home-cooked meals can be one of the most rewarding things you'll do this year, but it also means you may not have as much free time as usual. Before you host guests this holiday season, our real estate agents recommend finishing up the following projects.
Make Sure Appliances Are In Working Order
Your oven becomes quite the workhorse during the holidays. Before roasting turkeys and hams, make sure your oven is in proper working order and is also clean. Food debris can become charred and smokey if left unattended, so it's best to do a deep clean before putting your oven to work. Your dishwasher will also be working overtime, so if you know of any issues, even small ones like a faulty or broken tray, it's a good idea to fix it now. If your dishes aren't hot after a cycle, there could be something wrong. Don't forget your washer and dryer either — these can upend your plans if they act up.
Do A Deep Clean
Some people think you should reserve the deep cleaning for spring, but that's not true! Now's a great time to start cleaning your home for two reasons: you'll be hosting guests, and it will mean less work later. If you deep clean now, you'll only need to do some surface passes during the holidays. A deep clean involves dusting above cabinets, sweeping under the fridge, washing all sheets in the house, and shampooing the carpet if you have access to a carpet cleaner. This can add up to a lot of work, so try involving the entire family.
Complete A Safety Check
This one is simple, but it's perhaps the most important project. Check all smoke detectors to make sure they're working — or change out their batteries now, so you don't have to worry about them for the rest of the year. Also, take a peek at your dryer vent and remove any lingering lint balls. These can become a fire hazard if accumulated or not venting outside properly. Lastly, make sure your fire extinguisher still has pressure. If it doesn't, you can have it recharged, or you can buy a new one. If you don't own a fire extinguisher, now's the time to get one!
Finish Up Any Put Off Projects
Were you planning to put in new drawer pulls but never got around to it? Or how about how you wanted to change out the light fixtures in your kitchen and dining room? If you have projects you meant to get around to but just couldn't find the time, try allocating a weekend day to finish these up. Little things like these are usually cheaper compared to other major projects and can transform a room, especially if you've had the same drawer pulls for years, for example. That way, you can really wow your guests when they arrive.
Decorating is what you wanted to do all along, but you should save this for last. Once your home is clean, and all appliances are in working order, then you can shift your focus to turning your home into a seasonal getaway. Wreaths are fashionable in fall and winter, and string lights can help set the mood. Double-check that you don't have any burnt-out bulbs, and consider switching to LEDs that will last longer and don't get hot.
Need more tips on how you can keep your home in top shape this holiday season? Contact us today.
You want your living room to make a statement as the showpiece of the home. As the name suggests, a living room is also where you invite company, and maybe even where you and the family spend time, so while eye appeal is important, so is comfort.
As you plan the living room of your dreams in the house you discovered from Tuscaloosa homes for sale, bone up on avoiding some of the most common decorating blunders. Our real estate agents have sourced the wisdom of top design experts to help you avoid mistakes and create the perfect living room for your home.
You can make all the right decorating moves by consulting the experts. Need some advice on whom to call? Contact us today.
Storage space is always one of the most important features of any home and usually one of the first things buyers look for when touring a listing. If your home has limited storage space, all hope is not lost. There are many easy things you can do to increase storage, even if your home is short on closets and functional areas. Our real estate agents have seen some very creative storage designs that inspired them to compile this list of clever storage ideas that can truly help you maximize your space.
Most buyers don't want to invest in a home that they may outgrow, which is why ample storage space is often at the top of the wishlist. For more tips on how to make the most of your storage areas, contact us today.
If you're looking at Tuscaloosa homes for sale, you probably can't wait to move in and get settled. While you pack up all your electronics, you might wonder whether you should take steps to protect them. After all, it only takes one lightning strike or downed power line to cause a power surge and damage your devices. This may all seem scary, but the good news is that you can protect all your devices, and it's pretty simple. Our real estate agents recommend the following.
Whole-House Surge Protector
A whole-house surge protector works like a filter, allowing "safe" electrical currents in while blocking irregular voltage. This device is installed at your home's circuit breaker panel, and it protects against internal surges. Major appliances cycling on and off account for 60% to 80% of home power surges. These low-level surges often go unnoticed. However, they can degrade the circuitry of your expensive electrical devices, eventually causing them to burn out.
A professionally installed whole-house surge protector is a bit of an investment. Still, it's well worth the cost if you consider how much you've already invested in your television, kitchen appliances, computers, and anything else that's plugged in 24/7.
External Surge Protector
An external surge protector blocks approximately 80% of external surges. It serves as the first line of defense against huge power spikes that travel through the power grid. This will protect your home from lightning strikes and power station and power line issues. External surge protectors are installed where the utility company's supply meets the main breaker. These require professional installation.
Power Strip Surge Protectors
Most homeowners are already familiar with strip surge protectors. These outlet strips are plugged into your home's outlets and add a layer of separation between the electrical outlet and your expensive electrical devices.
Strip surge protectors are relatively inexpensive, making them a very smart purchase for your home. However, it's important to note that without the first two types of surge protectors in place, strip protectors only offer minimal protection. This is why it's best to protect your home with more robust safety nets.
Additional Ways to Protect Your Home
Installing a surge protection system is an excellent way to protect your home and expensive appliances and electronics. However, for full protection, follow these tips as well:
If you've been thinking of buying or selling a home in Tuscaloosa, we have years of experience and can help you meet your real estate goals. Contact us today to get started.
Our real estate agents often hear that one of the best parts of becoming a homeowner is being able to decorate and display personal items any way you like. Adding all those personal touches to Tuscaloosa homes for sale will make you feel right at home in no time. So you probably can't wait to display those favorite family photos. But where should you even start? Here are a few creative options to inspire you.
Decorating your new home with all your own personal touches can be a lot of fun. We've helped so many families find the right home, and we can help you too. Contact us today to get started.
It's spring again, and you know what that means — spring cleaning! Time to break out those cleaning supplies and get your home as clean and bright as possible. Whether you're selling soon or just moving into one of the beautiful Tuscaloosa homes for sale, spring is the time to get that deep clean your home deserves. Here's your guide to getting it done.
Wipe off of cabinets and appliances. Seal the countertops. Clean the fridge by taking out shelves and drawers and washing them with dish soap and water. Wipe down the inside and the door seals too. Run a cleaning cycle on the dishwasher. Clean the microwave by boiling some water (you can add a little lemon juice or vinegar if you want), the steam makes the cooked on food slide right off.
Dust ceiling fans, shelves, picture frames and light fixtures. Wipe down walls. Use canned air or the dusting attachment on the vacuum to get dust out of the air vents on electronics. Wash or dry clean curtains and drapes. Clean the carpet or area rugs and floor.
Dust ceiling fans, tops of windows, wall-mounted pictures and light fixtures. Wipe down walls. Wash the pillows and comforters. Vacuum the mattress, then remove spots if necessary and spray with disinfectant to freshen. Clean the carpet or rugs and floor.
Since the bathroom needs to be kept pretty clean anyway, deep cleaning here may be minimal. It's a good time to seal any grout or tile. Tackle any mold or mildew and clean the exhaust fan. Clean shelves, windows, baseboards and floors, making sure to get behind the toilet too.
Spring cleaning can be a big job, but also a satisfying one. And once you're done ,you can show your home off to your friends and family or potential buyers and be proud of a job well done.
If your home is lacking storage space, it's time to turn to your attic. The attic is an underutilized storage spot for many homeowners, and our real estate agents know that a space with lots of storage potential appeals to prospective buyers. Here are some guidelines to help you get the most out of your attic storage.
You don't want to spend your time and resources creating an organizational system in your attic, only to have your belongings ruined by a leaky roof or undesirable climate conditions. Check that your roof doesn't have leaks. If it does, items in your attic are highly susceptible. Look for stains on the ceiling and rotting wood that are indicative of a leak.
Next, see that your attic doesn't have high humidity levels or condensation. Any fans that vent through your attic should vent outside, not into your attic. Otherwise, moist air from your bathrooms will accumulate in your attic. Excessive amounts of condensation may mean that your attic requires more insulation to produce a more climate-controlled environment.
It's important to determine how much weight your attic floors and ceiling can safely support. A qualified contractor can help you figure this out. Attics that consist of small boards or joists may have lower-than-desirable weight capacities; it's possible to reinforce attics in a home so you can store heavier items or support the weight of multiple people.
Keep your attic storage area organized with an efficient organizational system. It doesn't need to be fancy; shelving attached to the wall provides a place to display labeled containers. Or, you might add wardrobe bags from your beams to house out-of-season items. Another possibility is to install hanging shelves to house smaller items.
Lightweight plastic totes are another terrific option for housing similar items together. However, avoid stacking these totes on top of each other. This adds a lot of weight to your floors and makes it difficult to spot damage from insects or excessive moisture. Also, opt for transparent bins, and see that you label what's inside of each one. Try to store similar items together.
Buyers interested in Northport homes for sale will appreciate an attic that they can easily access and transport items to. If your attic doesn't have a dedicated staircase, invest in pull-down stairs that are accessible without a stepladder. Stick with stairs that are wide, sturdy, easy to climb, and capable of supporting a reasonable amount of weight. If you struggle to lift heavy boxes into your attic, consider installing a DIY pulley system or sliding box support. There are a few options available that make it much easier to move bulky pieces.
Want a home that gives your family more space for storage? Contact us today to get started!
One of the first things you notice when you enter a room is the flooring. If your floors look old and worn out, it's probably time to replace them. Our real estate agents know that new flooring is also very appealing to potential homebuyers. Two of the most popular alternatives are carpet and hardwood. Here's what you need to know about these top options to decide if they're right for your home.
Hardwood Floor Basics
Hardwood floor consists of boards that are produced from wood. The boards can be crafted entirely from solid wood, or they may consist of a thin hardwood layer that adheres to a layer of plywood (also known as engineered wood flooring).
Advantages of Hardwood Flooring
Aesthetics are one reason that hardwood floors are popular with homeowners. Hardwood floors create a bold look that suits a variety of home styles. With a lifespan of 50 to 100 years or more, hardwood floors are a long-lasting option for your home's flooring needs.
They're also easy to clean, making them a top choice for individuals with allergies. You can quickly sweep or vacuum dirt and dust, and for deeper cleanings, a damp mop with some wood cleaner works wonders.
When it's time to add your home to the list of Tuscaloosa homes for sale, hardwood floors will help you maximize your home's selling price. Potential buyers are often willing to pay more for a home with hardwood floors.
Disadvantages of Hardwood Flooring
One potential drawback of hardwood floors is that they're cold to the touch. While you might appreciate their cooler temperature during the muggy summer months, you may find them less appealing on chilly mornings.
Hardwood floors also have a higher initial cost than carpet. On average, hardwood floors cost an average of $8 per square foot installed. For a home with 2,000 square feet, hardwood floors will cost an average of $16,000.
Carpet consists of a backing material containing loops of fibers (generally produced from synthetic materials). It comes in a number of colors, styles, and thicknesses.
Advantages of Carpet
If you're on a budget, carpet is an affordable way to improve your home. Carpet costs an average of $3 per square foot, including installation. Assuming a home is 2,000 square feet, it will cost approximately $6,000 to install carpet.
Some people also prefer the look and feel of carpet. It lends a cozy appearance to any space, and it's warm when you walk on it. If you're living in a home where noise is an issue, carpet can also help dampen some of the sounds that travel through your home.
Disadvantages of Carpet
A drawback of carpet is that it has a relatively short lifespan; on average, carpet requires replacement every 10 years. If your household has a lot of spills, the carpet may need to be replaced even sooner due to stains.
Many find that it's not as easy to clean carpet. While vacuuming is relatively simple, more intense messes call for the use of a carpet cleaning machine or prompt attention with a scrub brush and cleaning agent. Carpet also provides a lot of hiding spaces for pollen and dust, making it a poor choice for homeowners with allergies.
Ready to upgrade your home? Contact us to get started!