Articles Tagged "Home Renovations"

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Buy a Home | 2 Posts
Home Improvement | 12 Posts
Homeowners | 2 Posts
Sell a House | 4 Posts
Tuscaloosa, AL | 18 Posts
March
7

How To Organize Major Home Improvement Projects

The key to successful renovations and home improvement projects is organization. Here's how you can stay on top of your home upgrades.

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.

Buy Dupes

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.

February
21

How To Change Up Your Flooring In 2022

Changing up your flooring is a big commitment that can change the feel of your home. Here's how you can choose what's best for your home.

Nothing perks up a home like great flooring. Whether it's in the bathroom, kitchen, living room, or bedroom, the right flooring pulls the rest of your decorating or renovation efforts together and makes your home into a showpiece.

If you're ready for new flooring in the home you chose among Tuscaloosa homes for sale, you may find all the many choices to be bewildering. Let's take a look at some types of flooring you might be considering.

Hardwood

Hardwood remains the most popular choice among most homeowners, with nearly half of those surveyed in a recent poll by the flooring company 50Floor choosing hardwood as the top material for their floors. It's not hard to guess why. Hardwood, which encompasses such species as oak, map, hickory, and walnut, is beautiful, durable, and warm. It holds up to heavy use and can be maintained by removing and replacing damaged boards. It's also easy to coordinate with various color schemes and themes. It fits well with a wide range of accessories and decor. Hardwood's versatility is easily demonstrated by the various colors, textures, and designs available.

There are a few drawbacks. Being a natural material, hardwood can be subject to staining, warping, and scuffing. Hardwood also requires maintenance for a long life.

Hardwood is recommended for living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and hallways.

Engineered wood flooring is an alternative way to get the look of hardwood but with more versatility and less maintenance. Engineered wood consists of two layers, one a thin veneer of wood, and underneath, a thicker layer of high-density fiberboard or plywood.

Laminate

Coming in way behind hardwood as a second popular choice is laminate (at about 17 percent in the 50Floor survey).

Laminate, which is more durable than engineered wood, has a photo layer that looks like wood (or possibly stone or tile). Beneath the veneer there is a layer of rigid fiberboard. On top is a transparent plasticate layer that defends against wear and fading. Laminates are known for their durability and ability to take some punishment. It's a great choice for those with kids and dogs. It's also much less expensive than hardwood.

The disadvantage is that, although resistant to humidity and moisture, it is not waterproof. Further, you might not like the slippery, plastic-y feel of it. It also can't be repaired when chipped.

Vinyl Plank/Vinyl Tile

Made of  PVC, vinyl plank has several layers, with the design layer mimicking wood, metal, or stone. It's easily installed: you can glue it down, click-lock it as "floating flooring" or loose lay it, relying on friction and weight. Some types can be applied as peel-and-stick. Vinyl plant is inexpensive, comfortable to the feet, and can look like whatever material you like, plus it's waterproof. You can use it anywhere in the house.

The downside is it gives off VOCs (volatile organic compounds). The less expensive products also may look suspiciously not like wood, stone, or whatever.

There's also vinyl sheet flooring, inexpensive and highly recommended for bathrooms and laundry rooms because it's waterproof. It's made from PVC, so mind the VOCs.

Tile

Types of tile flooring include stone, ceramic, porcelain, and cement. Porcelain and ceramic can be glazed or unglazed. One great new option in the tile world is wood-look tile, which mimics wood grain. Use it in bathrooms, kitchens, or laundry rooms with no fears. Tile is easy to clean, lasts forever, and looks beautiful. But tile can also crack or chip and may stain.

Our real estate agents have great tips for your Tuscaloosa home renovation. Contact us today.

January
31

Transform Your Home With The Colors Of The Year

If you need some new hues in your life, look no further than the 2022 Colors Of The Year!  Here are the top picks the color pros think you should explore this year.

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.

  • Laurel Leaf by Better Homes & Gardens
    Better Homes & Gardens has chosen Laurel Leaf, a dusty green inspired by eucalyptus leaves. Because the pandemic motivated many of us to go hiking or just to spend more time in our backyards, Laurel Leaf aims to bring some of the outdoors inside. It pairs well with creamy whites, beiges, light to medium wood tones, and leafy house plants. Try using it as a backdrop in a dining room, where it adds sophistication, or in a bedroom, where it brings a touch of relaxation.

  • Very Peri by PANTONE
    Instead of pulling from its vast catalog of colors to choose for its 2020 color of the year, PANTONE has created an entirely new color — Veri Peri — for the first time in decades. Veri Peri is a blue with a violet-red undertone, resulting in a joyful and dynamic color. Use it in your home to paint an accent wall or add color with throw pillows. You can even refresh your home office or living room by pairing it with green tones. This color also pairs well with many other colors including white, grey, blue, terra-cotta, mauve, and beige.

  • Breezeway by Behr
    Breezeway is Behr's 2022 Color of the Year, a misty, refreshing shade of blue-green. Although it's reminiscent of the ocean, it also works well in contemporary and vintage-inspired decor. If you're looking for a new look in your kitchen, Breezeway can be combined with bright white and black accents to create a clean look. It also can be used to create a soothing, relaxing feel when you pair it with soft cream, warm taupe, or wood tones.

  • Art and Craft by Dunn-Edwards
    Art and Craft, Dunn-Edwards' 2022 Color of the Year, is a warm, earthy shade of brown that adds a touch of luxuriousness to your design. As a versatile color, it works well as a foundation that ties other hues together. Use it in living and dining areas as well as bedrooms to create an inviting feel. When it's combined with light neutrals, Art and Craft looks brighter, and when it's alongside jewel tones, it brings sophistication to your decor.

  • Aleutian by HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams
    Aleutian, the 2022 Color of the Year from HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams, is a shade of pale indigo that brings out feelings of comfort and relaxation. With its warm undertone, the Aleutian has a restful feeling that makes it appropriate throughout the home. It serves as the foundation for Softened Refuge, a larger color collection with ten complementary hues. Since Aleutian pairs nicely with any of the colors in the collection, you'll have no trouble finding complementary shades.

To see Tuscaloosa homes for sale, contact us today! Our highly trained real estate professionals can help you every step of the way when buying or selling a home.

May
17

Reimagine Your Outdoor Space With These Projects

Does your outdoor space need a little refresh? We have tips for making it fresh and functional again.

Does your outdoor space need a little refresh? Once the weather is warmer, everyone wants to spend more time outside, and Tuscaloosa homes for sale have all kinds of outdoor spaces available to help you do exactly that. Whether you're planning on selling soon or just want to add a personal touch to your new home, these projects will get your outdoor space ready to wow visitors.

  • Stain or paint your deck. This project will not only improve the appearance of your yard, but it will help protect your deck from the weather too. If there are any repairs to be made, do those first. Then thoroughly clean with a deck cleaner to get rid of dirt, mold, and mildew. Stain or paint and finish the job with a sealer.
  • Clean the outside of your home. Get rid of any debris from the roof and gutters, pressure wash the outside of your home, and clean the outside of the windows.
  • Update your entry area. Painting your front door is a good way to add some color and will help protect your door. But you can also change out door handles, knockers, or hinges. Or you might want to update the doorbell and light fixtures.
  • Update your address display. There are lots of options for creativity with this one. You can update the numbers with some that look more modern or to ones that better match the style of your house. Or you could paint the numbers or background a different color as long as it's still easily readable from the street. You can use wood, brick, stone, or almost any material that will withstand outdoor use. Or you could add accent lighting to improve visibility.
  • Paint or update your mailbox. This is another project that offers lots of possibilities for personal expression. A fresh coat of paint can cover small rust spots and help add some color to your yard. You can paint or decorate the post. Or, if you really need an update, a smart mailbox can help protect your mail and packages from theft.
  • Add potted plants or flowers. This is a quick and easy project. It adds instant color and curb appeal and works even in smaller spaces. You can group a few together or pick out a few unique pots for more visual interest.
  • Bring the inside out. Just because you have an outdoor space doesn't mean it has to have a traditional outdoor use. If you want to make the area a true extension of your living space, some outdoor furniture is a must. Sofas and chairs with cushions are popular for larger spaces, but you could even do a bistro set for a small space. Add some decor accents, a patterned outdoor rug and pillows, and outdoor curtains or blinds for privacy.
  • Build a fire pit. Evening events around a crackling fire pit are a fun way to enjoy your outdoor space. There are all kinds of directions out there, so you can have something that's the right size and shape for your yard and looks stylish too. If you plan on using it for cooking more than just roasting some marshmallows, you may want to add some grates.

A few outdoor projects that add personalization and functionality to your outdoor space will impress your guests and provide hours of enjoyment for your family and friends. Our real estate agents can help you find a home with that outdoor space you've been looking for. Contact us today to get started.

March
1

How to Make The Most of Your Attic Storage

Your attic can be a great place for storage. Follow these tips to do attic storage right.

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. 

Confirm That Your Attic is a Safe Spot

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. 

Research the Weight Capacity of Your Floors and Ceilings

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. 

Make the Space Efficient

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.

Revamp Your Attic's Stairs

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!

February
1

Carpet vs. Hardwood: Your Guide to Flooring

Is hardwood better than carpet? It depends, which is why we're giving you our tips to help you decide on the best flooring for your home.

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 Basics

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!

November
16

5 Home Upgrades You Can Make Even on a Budget

Home Upgrades on Budget

If you're looking to upgrade your home, you'll want to look into projects that can be done on a budget. That way, for a minimal investment, you'll make a big impact that will improve the look or function of your home. Especially, if you are getting ready to list! 

Our real estate agents suggest the following 5 upgrades you can make even on a budget:

  1. Give your kitchen cabinets a makeover
    Your kitchen cabinets make a big impact on the room's overall appearance, and if they're too dark or scuffed, they can make your kitchen look dark and dingy. Replacing them can be expensive, but cleaning and painting your cabinets can give them a whole new appearance. This project can be completed in just a weekend. You'll need a cleaner, sandpaper, paint, a paintbrush, and some effort, but the results will be striking. And while you're at it, swap out your cabinet handles for a further style boost.

  2. Add some curb appeal
    The front of your house sets the tone for your entire home since it's the first thing you'll see as you come and go. Give your home's curb appeal a boost by painting the door, either to refresh what you already have or to add a bolder pop of color. Replacing the door's hardware, adding some containers of plants as well as hanging baskets, and creating a cozy seating area can further upgrade your curb appeal. If you'd like to take it a step further, you can also replace your porch's outdoor lighting fixtures.

  3. Use paint to renew old flooring
    Flooring can set the tone for an entire room, but if it's not in your budget to replace it, you might be able to paint it. Old vinyl or laminate flooring can be painted by applying flooring enamel and topping it with an acrylic sealer. Checkerboard or other geometric designs are popular choices for this type of project and can transform outdated flooring into a stylish asset.

  4. Add crown molding
    Crown molding creates a transition between the top of the wall and the ceiling and adds a finished, polished look to your home. You can buy crown molding at home improvement stores in lengths of up to 16 feet and easily install it yourself. This one upgrade can help take your home's interior from basic to interesting.

  5. Install a programmable thermostat
    Programmable thermostats are quite inexpensive, and they make your home more comfortable and energy-efficient. Installing one will let you program your heating or air conditioning to be turned on and off according to your set schedule so you can wake up or come home to a comfortable house. You'll also save energy since you can set the thermostat to run less when no one's home and then boost or lower the temperature shortly before you arrive back home.

Contact us at Hamner Real Estate to learn more about Tuscaloosa homes for sale and the upgrades that you can make for a minimal investment. Our experienced real estate agents would love to help!

October
19

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.

June
1

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. 

May
18

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. 

April
6

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.  

March
16

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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