Articles Tagged "Northport"

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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.

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
15

Tuscaloosa: Outdoor Spots to Keep You Active

It may be chilly outside, but don't let that scare you from staying active. Our real estate agents are excited about the opportunity to get outside and do some exploring in the Tuscaloosa area. We hope to see you out there at one of these great local parks or trails.

  • Tuscaloosa River Walk - 2710 Jack Warner Pkwy, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
    Following the Black Warrior River's southern shoreline, the Tuscaloosa River Walk is one of the most popular spots in the city for a morning run or an evening stroll. A stone's throw from downtown and just minutes from these Tuscaloosa homes for sale, the River Walk is paved and well-lighted, stretching about 4.5 miles from Capitol Park to Manderson Landing. 

  • Van de Graaf Park & Arboretum - 3231 Robert Cardinal Airport Rd, Northport, AL 35476
    Spanning 141 acres in the community of Northport, Van de Graaf Park & Arboretum is an amazing place to surround yourself with nature. The park offers campsites, picnic areas, fishing access, and a kayak launch, all within a few miles of these Northport homes for sale. The park is also home to a picturesque walking path, which includes the historical span of the King Bowstring Bridge, originally built in 1882. 

  • Queen City National Recreation Trail - Queen City Ave, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
    A short but scenic footpath, the Queen City National Recreation Trail spans about one-third of a mile and is popular among joggers, nature lovers, and anyone looking for a breath of fresh air. Located within Queen City Park, the trail is surrounded by towering trees and offers a glimpse at several historic park features built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s. The trail is just across the Jack Warner parkway from the Tuscaloosa River Walk Trail, and a planned pedestrian crossing will connect the two paths once completed.

  • Annette N. Shelby Park - 1614 15th St, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
    Annette N. Shelby Park is always a great place to go for a walk in Tuscaloosa. With towering shade trees, well-manicured lawns, and abundant park benches, it's a lovely outdoor oasis. The loop trail that encircles the park is paved and well-kept, making it perfect for a walk or run. The park also offers public restrooms, a playground, and picnic areas. 

  • Snow Hinton Park Trail - Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
    A wide-open green space with great views of the city, Snow Hinton Park is a great place to get moving and soak up some vitamin D. The park's highlight and most-used feature is the Snow Hinton Park Trail, a mile-long loop that runs around the circumference of the park. The park's picnic area and jungle gym are popular among families, and it's a great place for dog walking. 

  • Hurricane Creek Park - 7005 Old Birmingham Hwy, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
    A splendid natural recreation area just outside Tuscaloosa, Hurricane Creek Park is one of the best spots in the region to immerse yourself in nature. With abundant native plant life, unique geological features, and abundant swimming and fishing access along its namesake creek, Hurricane Creek Park provides endless possibilities. The park offers 5 miles of trails, the most popular of which is the 2-mile Hurricane Park Loop. The landscape has been virtually unchanged for thousands of years, and exploring it is like stepping back in time. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in the Tuscaloosa area, and talk to our team about finding your dream home in Alabama. We're here to help every step of the way!

January
18

Tuscaloosa: Where to Train for Your Next 5K

Whether you're an experienced runner or not, there are many benefits to training for a 5K. Get ready for your big run with these 6 great Tuscaloosa trails.

There are so many benefits to training for a 5K, whether you're an experienced runner or you're aiming to cross the finish line for the first time. Training for a run is a great way to burn calories, stay in shape, and set a goal you will be proud to achieve. As our real estate agents know, many 5K runs also benefit local charities, so your participation can positively impact the community. Get ready for your big run with our guide to 6 great trails to train for your next 5K around Tuscaloosa.

  • Tuscaloosa River Walk – 2710 Jack Warner Pkwy, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
    Tuscaloosa homes for sale
    make it easy to train for your next 5K, thanks to great local trails like the Tuscaloosa River Walk. Running along the banks of the Black Warrior River, this paved trail is always kept in excellent shape, making it a favorite spot for runners. This trail is well-lit so you can train at night, and it is also dog-friendly.
  • Tannehill Ironworks State Park – 12632 Confederate Pkwy, McCalla, AL 35111
    Looking for a scenic place to train near McCalla homes for sale? Head for the historic Tannehill Ironworks State Park to explore the extensive trail system and get in touch with local history. This park covers more than 1,500 acres, with a museum, historic village, and countless trails to explore. Train in the spring with nature abuzz all around you.
  • Van De Graff Park & Arboretum – 3231 Robert Cardinal Airport Rd., Northport, AL 35467
    With 141 acres of natural beauty to explore close to Northport homes for sale, the trails at Van De Graff Park & Arboretum provide the perfect place to train for your next run. If you look forward to running by the water, then this is the place to be. This park is built around three large freshwater ponds covering more than 33 acres on their own.
  • University of Alabama Arboretum – 4801 Arboretum Way, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
    If you love to explore nature while training for your run, then it's hard to top the well-tended trails at the University of Alabama Arboretum. This facility features more than 60 acres of gorgeous natural scenery, with a focus on the native flora and fauna of Alabama. The trails here are extensive so that you can try a new route for each run.
  • Jennings Ferry Park Campground – 1001 Jennings Ferry Rd., Akron, AL 35441
    While primarily known as a great local fishing spot near Akron homes for sale, you'll find that Jennings Ferry Park Campground is also a quiet, peaceful place to train for a run. This park features a trail that winds around the shoreline, where you can go for a run through a tranquil wooded area with local wildlife and beautiful views.
  • Hurricane Creek Park – 7005 Old Birmingham Hwy, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404
    Long a favorite place for naturalists to study where unique ecosystems meet, Hurricane Creek Park also happens to be an excellent place to train for a 5K. This park is dedicated to preserving local ecosystems, so there's very little development: just you, your training goals, and the natural beauty of Alabama.

With warm weather and ample outdoor spaces to explore, there's never a bad time to train for your next 5K around Tuscaloosa. Contact us to buy and sell real estate in the Tuscaloosa, AL area.

December
7

5 Holiday Decorating Tips to Try

Holiday Decorations

If it feels like your holiday decorations never match the images you envision, it's time to try a few new tricks this holiday season. A few simple adjustments will help you maximize your decor's aesthetics so that your home looks its best. Our real estate agents know a well-decorated home will appeal to prospective buyers. Here are some decorating tips to try this season.

  1. Decorate Your Tree in the Correct Order
    When you're decorating your tree, you want to put the decorations on in a certain order, so your tree looks its best. Start by stringing your lights; many people find that it's easier to string lights using a vertical pattern. Begin at the base of your tree and string the lights up to the top of the tree, making sure that you position some of the lights into the interior of the tree so that it has more depth. Continue until all your lights are in place. Next, add any garland or materials that you plan to use in place of garland (such as beads or ribbon). You can hang them horizontally or vertically. Watch your spacing when hanging horizontally; make sure that there's an equal distance between each layer. If you opt to hang your garland or ribbon vertically, consider cutting them into pieces instead of using one long strand. This makes it easier to place them and tuck them into the tree branches. Last, hang your ornaments and add any additional tree accessories, like bows, tinsel, or flower sprigs. 
  1. Don't Forget the Bottom of Your Tree
    Don't let an unattractive tree base detract from your beautiful Christmas tree. Instead, see that you cover it with a piece that complements the rest of your holiday decor. This will also help your home look its best when compared to other Tuscaloosa homes for sale. A tree skirt is a traditional alternative, but it isn't your only option. You can also use a gorgeous table cloth or sheet to cover the base. 
  1. Deck Your Staircase
    Don't let your staircase go to waste; it's the perfect space to add a little holiday cheer. Drape evergreen garland across the banister for a classic look. If you prefer a bolder look, add lights or bows. Or add decorative pieces to the stairs themselves. The stairs are a fantastic spot to house some of your poinsettias or some of your less fragile holiday decor. 
  1. Take Advantage of Your Front Porch
    The front porch is the first space you see and sets the tone for your entire home. A wreath is a must-have, but you can also integrate other items, like a festive doormat, a potted mini Christmas tree, and faux snow. Or, if you have a bench, add some cozy throw pillows to make the space more inviting. 
  1. Add Timers and Smart Plugs to Your Decorations
    Once you've decorated your home, you should be able to sit back and enjoy your hard work. Make it as effortless as possible to turn your tree, lights, and other electric items on by using smart plugs and timers. With a smart plug, you can program your holiday decor to automatically turn it on and off.

Looking for a home with more space to decorate during the holidays? Our team can help. Contact us today!

November
2

National Take a Hike Day: Hiking Trails in Tuscaloosa

Hiking in Tuscaloosa

There are many reasons to love Tuscaloosa homes for sale, but this year, one stands out in particular: The county is dotted with beautiful parks and natural wonders you simply have to see to believe.

National Take a Hike Day is coming up on Tuesday, November 17th, and there are plenty of places in Tuscaloosa where you can do just that. Tuscaloosa boasts many large, well-kept parks in wooded and lakeside environments, many of them pet-friendly. Let's take a closer look at some of the area's most eye-catching hiking spots:

  1. Munny Sokol Park Trail – 5901 Watermelon Road, Northport, AL 35473
    Located on the grounds of Sokol Park, beloved for its dog runs is the Munny Sokol Park Trail. Ideal for trail-runners and bicyclists, it passes through most of Sokol Park and provides easy access to loops and side trails. It is just over 2.2 miles, with gorgeous scenery. The high season falls in May through September. Light traffic makes it a serene experience near Northport homes for sale.
  2. Tuscaloosa Riverwalk – 2710 Jack Warner Parkway, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
    The historic Tuscaloosa Riverwalk is a paved, 4.5-mile trail that winds along the southern bank of the Black Warrior River right in downtown Tuscaloosa. It is divided to allow both hikers and bicyclists to use it safely. On your journey, you'll encounter plenty of benches, gazebos, and trees perfect for a hammock. Street lights line the trail, ensuring it is well-lit in the early evening.
  3. Approach Trail and North Loop – 22550 2nd Ave Northwest, Falkville, AL 35622
    Hurricane Creek Park features 40 acres of forest rich with unique rock formations, waterfalls, and even a picnic pavilion. Although there are many trails to be found, the Approach Trail and North Loop will bring you on a scenic 3.5-mile journey hailed as the centerpiece of the park. Difficulty is moderate with some steep climbs, and leashed pets are welcome. A great spot to visit near Falkville homes for sale!
  4. Lake Nicol Outer Cliff Trail – See Website for Directions, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
    Lake Nicol is a popular wooded park right in Tuscaloosa, well known for its dramatic cliffs. The cliffs are numerous enough for several groups to gather, making them a popular locale for parties or family events. The peaks overlook the relatively small, human-made Lake Nicol. Several different trails are etched through the surroundings, offering mild elevation and taking about an hour to complete a circuit.
  5. Lake Lurleen State Park – 13226 Lake Lurleen Road, Coker, AL 3545
    For hiking near Coker homes for sale, Lake Lurleen State Park may be the crown jewel of Tuscaloosa County, and for a good reason. Trails circumnavigate the lake for a total of more than 23 miles to explore. Long routes are available, but hikers of all skill levels will find something to enjoy. Fall is the ideal season to visit, but Lake Lurleen welcomes visitors and their leashed canine companions all year round.
  6. Moss Rock Preserve – 617 Preserve Way, Hoover, AL 35226
    Looking for hiking around Hoover homes for sale? Showcasing 12 miles of trails that all connect to form a loop, Moss Rock Preserve is set on 349 pristine acres noted for the gentle gurgling of small streams and the many boulders hikers may climb (carefully!) for an unbeatable view. You can complete some trails in as little as two hours or stay all day to see the sights. 

Contact us at Hammer Real Estate to learn more about Tuscaloosa.

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