Articles Tagged "DIY"

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Buy a Home | 6 Posts
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Tuscaloosa, AL | 22 Posts

6 Kitchen Trends for a Timeless Look

Timeless Kitchen

Many refer to the kitchen as the heart and hub of the home. It's the place where meals are created and the primary gathering place for many families. Having a great kitchen can truly make all the difference in a home, which is why kitchen renovations are expensive yet worth the investment.

The quality of your kitchen also significantly impacts your home's value. It can also make your home much more appealing to potential buyers, as future owners won't need to worry about redecorating any time soon. If you're planning an upcoming kitchen renovation, our REALTORS® put together a list of 6 classic trends that will create a timeless look.

  1. Neutral Tones
    For a truly timeless look, you can't go wrong with neutral tones. White, off-white, and grays are good choices for walls, cabinets, countertops, and appliances. If you're planning to sell you home, neutral tones won't be distracting; rather, they'll allow buyers to focus on how they'd like to decorate.
  2. Classic Subway Tiles
    Talk about a trend that's been around for decades - a white subway tile backsplash can truly give your kitchen a classic look. A subway tile backsplash is not only affordable, it's a relatively easy renovation project. Best of all, subway tiles are versatile and can match any kitchen style.
  3. Kitchen Islands
    Kitchen islands really serve as the center of attention for any kitchen. Not only do they serve as a meal prep space, but they also make your kitchen feel cozier and more intimate. Islands come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, so it's important to find one that fits your kitchen and matches your countertops.
  4. Shaker Style Cabinets
    Shaker cabinets have been a staple of the American kitchen for decades, and they aren't going out of style any time soon. Shaker cabinets are simple in design - they consist of a cabinet door with a recessed center panel. Not only do they always look good, but they're also affordable.
  5. Quartz Countertops
    Quartz is one of the most durable materials out there, so quartz countertops are designed to withstand the test of time. However, not all colors and patterns are timeless, so be sure to choose neutral tones that match the rest of your kitchen.
  6. Stainless Steel Appliances
    Stainless steel is not going out of style any time soon. Appliances are expensive, so you don't want them to go out of style or show signs of use shortly after buying them. Stainless steel appliances not only look good, but they're also easy to clean and have a long lifespan. Stainless steel refrigerators, ovens, and microwaves are definitely the way to go.

A timeless kitchen can save you from future renovations and make your home more appealing to potential buyers when listing your home among other Tuscaloosa homes for sale. For more tips on how to create a timeless look for your kitchen, contact us today.


Make Your Home Feel More Spacious with These Tips

Tips for a Spacious Home

Smaller homes can be efficient to heat and cool and easier to clean. They can also feel more cramped than cozy, especially if you're used to the decor and storage techniques better suited to larger homes. But no matter what size home you have, you can make the most of your square footage with careful planning. Buyers looking at Tuscaloosa homes for sale get to see homes of all sizes, but seeing how well you use your space will get everyone thinking big about going small. Make your home feel a little roomier with these tips below. 

  1. Kick Clutter to the Curb
    Removing clutter will go a long way towards helping a space feel larger. Some clutter consists of items you no longer need, but other items may just need better storage. Determine what items you'd like to part with first. Use vacuum-sealed bags for long-term storage of clothing and linens and free up precious closet space. Consider a small outdoor shed for patio furnishings and garden tools. Hide additional storage in plain sight with storage ottomans in the living room or bed frames designed to accommodate drawers. When looking for storage space, look up. Wall-mounted shelves, organizers, and hanging baskets can keep everything you love within reach. 
  2. Sizing Up the Problem 
    If you've moved that enormous sectional from a much larger house, it may be too big for the space you're in now. Your furnishings may need an update to make your home look more spacious. Move through your home in a way that's typical of your usual activity, noting any time you have to dodge to avoid bumping into your furniture. Changing one or two pieces may be enough to make the space feel much larger. 
  3. Let There Be Light
    Light colors help spaces look airy and spacious. A room in floor-to-ceiling white looks much larger than a room in deep earth or jewel tones, but pastels do the trick just as well. Look at flooring options in blonde wood tones or other pale neutrals. A fresh coat of paint can make your home look newer and larger. Soft, cool pastels are on trend for 2020, with options that will suit a wide range of architectural styles. Take advantage of the natural light coming into your home. Sheer pastel curtains or blinds will help you maintain privacy and allow light to come through. Select curtain rods that extend beyond the window frame, so you can throw the curtains back and make the best of every sunbeam. 

Our real estate agents get to see homes of every size, and what we appreciate is homeowners that understand how to show off their home's best advantages. If you have any questions about making the most of what your home has to offer, contact us today. 


Pool Maintenance Tips Every Pool Owner Should Know

Pool Maintenance Tips

On a sweltering summer day, there's no better way to cool off and than going for a relaxing swim.

To ensure your pool is ready for all your summer fun, it's essential to follow a strict maintenance schedule. Our real estate agents know that a well-maintained pool can be a strong selling point with many would-be homeowners. Keep reading to learn a few maintenance tips that every pool owner needs to know. 

  1. Your Pool Needs Just the Right Amount of Water
    Make sure that the water level of your pool is at the point where it hits the center of your pool's skimmer. Otherwise, the skimmer won't be able to remove debris from your pool water properly. A water level that's too high won't allow the skimmer's door to open and close correctly. However, if the water level is too low, you risk running your pump dry and damaging it. 

  2. Pay Attention to All Your Pool's Chemicals (Not Just the Chlorine)
    It's a misconception that your pool's chlorine levels are the only thing you need to tend to. In addition to the chlorine levels, pay attention to the pH and alkalinity levels. The alkalinity of your swimming pool should fall within recommended levels so that it's easier to keep your pH levels within the ideal range. Your pool's pH levels are important because a pool with a suitable pH level needs less chlorine than a pool with levels that are too basic or acidic. Chlorine is most effective at killing germs when your pool's pH is between 7.4 and 7.6. Pool water with too much chlorine can cause skin irritation and itchy, red eyes. 
  1. Check That Your Pool's Systems Remain Free of Debris 
    Debris buildup can quickly decrease the efficiency of your pool's systems. There are numerous areas where debris can accumulate that you need to check regularly. Start by turning off your pool's pump and checking the basket that's located either in front of or beside the pump. This basket is prone to accumulating a lot of leaves, small pieces of trash, and clumps of hair. If your pool has a deck or inline chlorinator, make sure that the tablets are dissolving properly. When the tablets don't dissolve correctly, this can clog the chlorinator. Your skimmer baskets also need regular attention. Since your skimmer is the first line of defense for bugs, vegetation, and other foreign items, you need to see if the basket requires emptying every week or so. Otherwise, the skimmer won't remove as much debris, and it will sink to the bottom of your pool. 
  1. Inspect Your Pool for Cracks and Other Signs of Damage
    A damaged pool can be a drawback when you want to add your home to the inventory of Tuscaloosa homes for sale. Ensure that small problems don't turn into expensive repairs by inspecting your pool for damage. Examine the liner for rips or tears and look for cracks around the exterior of your pool (especially around your deck and tile). Most small cracks can be repaired with caulking and silicone. If they're left unchecked, they can impact the integrity of your pool. It's also possible to patch many rips and tears in your pool liner if the liner is in overall good condition. 

Looking for a home with a pool you can enjoy all summer long? Contact us today to explore your options!


7 Tips to Enhance Your Patio This Summer

Patio Tips

As you search among Tuscaloosa homes for sale to find the perfect home for you, perhaps a patio is high on your list of must-haves. Or perhaps you're considering creating a stunning patio area for your current home.

Inspired to create or upgrade your outdoor space? Here are seven tips to give your patio a boost.

  1. Cleaning up 
    If you already have a patio that needs upgrading, or an area where the patio might work, clean it up and do some calculations. Is your existing patio big enough for your needs, or should you relocate it to a new area? Look at shade and proximity to landscaping and the HVAC unit.

  2. Covering Things up
    Will you be installing a cover? Many types of umbrellas and awnings are available. Installing awnings can be a bit tricky, depending on where your patio will be located. Umbrellas can be more versatile, not needing vertical support, eves, gables, or strong fitting points. 

  3. Flooring Options
    If you already have a concrete floor, but it needs work, is it worth fixing, or should you have a new floor built? It's usually best to hire a pro for this, so you're sure the flooring is graded properly. Consider concrete pavers for flooring material, natural-looking, irregular stone, or understated clay bricks. If you're on a budget, you can put down pea gravel and add an outdoor rug to brighten things up.

  4. Creating the Design Scheme
    Your patio design should tie in with the style and materials of your home. You can echo color schemes with accessories and furniture: for example, bring the color of the house trim into the patio design, in accessories, plants, or furniture. Is your landscape theme abundant roses, glorious perennials, a white garden (big white flowers are lovely at night in subdued lighting), or simply sleek and contemporary? Tie landscaping and exterior design elements into the patio.

  5. What's Cooking?
    If your plans include a gloriously appointed kitchen in your patio, that's great. But if you're on a budget, installing a grill might suffice. Unless your skills are pretty high level, it may be best to hire a pro to do the honors.  

  6. Add Lighting
    You may want to hire a pro to help design your lighting scheme, or else just go with solar options, including walkway and accent lighting, with string lights for patio and trees. Lanterns can add charm and visual interest for special occasions.

  7. Heating and Cooling System
    In Tuscaloosa, summers are long and hot, but you can extend your time outdoors into the spring and fall by adding some heat, be it a gas-powered firepit or if regulations allow an open fire pit. Don't forget to plan for comfortable seating, be it colorful patio furniture, or stone benches with cushions. For hot evenings, how about a patio misting system?

Our team can help you with ideas for your Tuscaloosa home, indoors or out, to make it stand out in the marketplace. Let our real estate agents help you get started! Contact us today. 


6 Apps for Your Next Home Improvement Project

Home Improvement Apps

If you plan to add your home to the list of Tuscaloosa homes for sale, there might be a few projects that will help you prepare your property for sale. Home improvement projects can be overwhelming for many homeowners; not only do you need to figure out exactly what you want or need to do, but you need to procure materials and schedule labor for the job. Here are a few apps that will help you plan, manage, and execute your home improvement projects. 

  1. Wikihow
    Should you decide to tackle your project on your own, Wikihow will give you the knowledge you need to get the job done. This app is filled with thousands of useful how-to guides for projects of varying complexity levels. Many include diagrams and videos to increase your understanding. You can even use the bookmark feature to save guides that you plan to use later.
  2. IFixIt
    IFixIt is a fantastic resource if your project includes a lot of repairs. Find an applicable guide to assist with diagnosing the problem, gathering the necessary parts, and then completing the repairs. It's easy to search for guides by using the name of the item you're fixing or by searching for the device type. You can even use the IFixIt online store to purchase replacement parts. 
  3. iHandy Carpenter
    iHandy Carpenter transforms your smart device into a set of tools. This app makes it possible for you to use your phone as a ruler, bubble level, surface level, plumb bob, and protractor. Most homeowners keep their phones within reach throughout the day; this app ensures you have the tools you need for your project.
  4. TapPainter
    Our real estate agents find that a fresh coat of paint makes a huge difference in the look of your home. TapPainter allows you to take a photo of your room and upload it to the app. The app will then use the room's light and layout to see how various paint colors look in your room. This app offers shades from many of the most popular paint brands, making it easy for you to locate and buy your preferred color. 
  5. Pinterest
    Pinterest is a valuable resource for planning and managing your home improvement project. Create your own project-specific Pinterest board to keep track of all your ideas. You can search on Pinterest for potential projects and ideas, or you may add links that you find on the internet to your project board. The Pinterest app is full of project hacks, decor ideas, and useful tutorials. 
  6. Porch
    Need to bring in a professional for your project? Use Porch to search for insured home improvement pros you can hire for the job. Not sure what kind of pro you need? Schedule a consultation with a Porch representative to help you figure out what kind of professional is right for the job. Professionals are available in every type of home improvement category, including handymen, plumbers, electricians, roofers, and HVAC professionals. 

Want to know what projects will offer the best return for your money? Contact us today for help preparing your home to sell. 


5 Ideas for Decorating Your Home Office

Decorating Home OfficeWhether you work from home occasionally or full-time, you've surely discovered the value of having a dedicated home office. Home offices are becoming so popular that many potential homebuyers may also be looking for dedicated office space in Tuscaloosa homes for sale. Regardless if you plan on selling your home soon or living in it for years to come, there are ways you can enhance your home office that will make you more productive, creative, and emotionally focused as you work. Here are five tips for decorating your home office that our REALTORS® love.

  1. Let Paint Influence Your Psychology
    Colors have a significant impact on our psychology. For example, green can make us feel calm, yellow can inspire creativity, and blue can stimulate productivity. If you choose to have a neutral-colored office space, inject a few colors via décor to give your mind the boost it needs while you're in the space.  

  2. Prioritize Organization Over Distraction
    While it can be effective to place posters or wall art around the room that inspires you, you must also not let it distract you. Stay organized, physically, and mentally, by limiting clutter. Use dedicated storage spaces for your supplies and fill your space with a minimum amount of décor. Keep in mind that although a bookshelf of your favorite works may inspire you, you won't be productive in your work if you take too many reading breaks.

  3. Let Light & Nature Enter the Space
    Adequate lighting is an obvious necessity in a home office, but did you know that natural lighting can also have a profound impact in this space? Natural light can increase productivity, energy, and creativity, as well as reduce eye strain. Face your desk towards the window to maximize these benefits. Other studies also suggest that incorporating greenery in your office, such as a potted plant, can boost your cognitive attention while removing harmful bacteria from the space.

  4. Refresh Your Workspace While Restricting Relaxation
    Unless you're using a guest bedroom or multipurpose room as your workspace, you'll want to make sure that your home office is just that. Unfortunately, it's easy for homeowners to create a comfortable space that becomes a little too comfortable. While you should invest in ergonomic furniture that removes unnecessary strain from your body, you should refrain from putting comfortable furniture like couches in this space. You should also refrain from placing a television or other form of entertainment in your office. Ideally, this space should be inviting enough to help you focus on the task at hand while lacking the creature comforts that make other rooms of your home perfect for lounging after work.

  5. Incorporate Office Equipment
    Any room with a table and a chair can function as a home office, but if you need a serious workspace, you're going to need more than a keyboard and waste bin. Purchase office supplies in a color that complement the room's aesthetic. You can also create décor designs that are attractive yet practical, such as selecting charming furniture pieces for storage or turning a closet into a convenient printing/copying station.

Are you looking for a Tuscaloosa house that has room for a home office? We can help! Contact us today to begin your search.  


Where You Should Put Your Remodeling Dollars?

Remodeling Dollars

Many sellers ask our real estate agents how to make their homes stand out from other Tuscaloosa homes for sale. If you're selling soon, a little remodeling can go a long way. You'll want to concentrate on remodeling projects that buyers want but still offer you a decent boost in resale value. These tips will help you make the most of your remodeling dollar.

  • Go for inexpensive and mid-range projects.
    They can still make a big difference, and you'll get more of your costs back on these. Because some big remodeling projects can be so expensive, you won't make your money back on them in the short term. Those kinds of projects aren't good candidates if you're going to remodel simply to help sell your home.
  • Make the kitchen and bathrooms top priority.
    These are the rooms buyers pay attention to, so making them look at least reasonably updated and inviting is essential. Buyers also know full remodels in these areas can be costly. If buyers see they can at least live with what's there, and they won't need to remodel immediately, that can give you an edge.
  • A surface remodel can be a better option.
    If most of the house is fine, but one area is likely to make buyers run, try a surface remodel. Do some less expensive swaps to save money instead of a full scale remodel project. For example, refinish a bathtub instead of replacing it, opt for vinyl plank instead of wood plank flooring, or paint a vanity and replace the hardware to get an updated look without gutting the entire space.  
  • Spend the money where buyers can see it.
    Paint and flooring take up the most space in a room, so updating here is always worth the money. And updating something major that's still working safely, such as a water heater or furnace, will cost way more and you'll recoup much less.
  • Refresh cabinets instead of replacing them.
    This can easily become a big chunk of the remodeling budget. If the cabinets are structurally sound, there are a few different and less expensive ways to update them. Paint or stain, refacing, swapping a solid door for one with a glass insert, and updating the hardware can change the look for less money.
  • Update hardware and light fixtures throughout the home.
    It may not sound like much, but all those door handles, hinges, drawer pulls, and builder-grade light fixtures throughout your home may be making a bad impression. Because they're everywhere in your home, this little change can make a big difference.
  • Update with buyers' tastes in mind.
    That doesn't necessarily mean everything has to be the latest trend, but it should offer wide appeal. Get rid of anything that is dated or likely to evoke strong dislike among buyers.

Updating your house before you sell is sure to turn the heads of potential buyers. Making good use of your remodeling dollars can help your house sell faster and for the right price. Contact us today to get started.

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