It’s easy to get stressed out just hearing the word “renovation.” You’re instantly thinking of having your home life disrupted by construction debris, cluttered rooms, and loud noises.
But you don’t have to spend a ton of money and brace yourself for months of inconvenience to upgrade your home. Here are a few projects that you can knock out in a single day, and they’ll greatly improve the look and enjoyment of your home.
Paint or replace an exterior door: If you know the correct dimensions and specifications for a replacement door, replacing an exterior door is a quick and easy job. That’s even more true if you’re repainting it. Preparation and a few coats of paint will only take a few hours.
Plant some low-maintenance trees: Young evergreen trees are relatively simple to plant, and after some heavy watering in the first few weeks, they’re very easy to maintain. They’ll add some color and texture to your landscaping, instantly improving curb appeal.
New light fixtures: Whether they’re on the interior or exterior of your home, something as subtle as light textures can have a dramatic effect. Swapping out traditional fixtures for something modern or industrial can completely transform a room.
New hardware: Drawer pulls and door knobs are easy to change out, and like light fixtures, they have a big impact. You’d be amazed how your kitchen or bathroom could look with new hardware.
Smaller rooms can be difficult to decorate, because if you don’t know a few important tricks, the space can end up feeling a little claustrophobic. Here’s how you can keep a room feeling airy and spacious, even if it’s just a studio apartment or an attic.
Breathing room Your first inclination might be to arrange all your furniture flush against the walls. Though this may add a little extra room to move through the room, it’ll make everything feel more crowded and congested. Instead, try arranging items at an angle, or pull them six inches away from the wall.
Mirrors and strategic colors Dark paint will make the room feel smaller. Instead, opt for whites, light grays, and other light colors. A well-placed mirror will also expand the room’s appearance—think of the times you’ve been in a restaurant and a mirror made the space look twice as large.
Multi-purpose items Look for storage everywhere—you can keep books and DVDs inside an ottoman, or store blankets in a bench or hollow coffee table. If you don’t have room for a dining table, you can invest in a coffee table with a pop-up section.
Raise your window treatments It’s common to hang your curtain rods just a few inches above your windows, but to make the ceilings appear taller, you can hang them just a few inches below the ceiling. It can have a dramatic effect.
Swap out the sofa The sofa is likely the biggest, most unwieldy item in your living room. What if you swapped it out for a settee or a pair of comfortable chairs? You won’t lose much in functional seating, but you’ll gain some precious space and room for foot traffic.
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Take advantage of this AMAZING opportunity to own one of the largest floor plans in the community! This Sienna home sits on a corner lot with no neighbors behind it! Built in 2019, this pristine home offers high ceilings, an open floor plan, tons of natural light, a Chef kitchen with Stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and a large island that opens to the living room.
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Brought to you by Val J. Aranda Direct: (210) 378-5987 (call/text) A Wonderful Life Real Estate Group eXp Realty in San Antonio
Homes both old and new face a determined foe: the elements. One of the only defenses against moisture, wind, and heat is the siding your house is clad in. You can think of it a bit like house armor. So, when it comes time to choose your home’s main line of defense, what will it be? The cheapest option you can possibly come up with, or a well-considered siding that is both durable and attractive? It’s time to look at your siding options.
Siding Choices for 2021
Although you can side your house in an amazing array of materials, from metal barn siding to asphalt shingles, there are definitely options that are far more effective and attractive than others. Siding options haven’t changed a lot this year, but there’s plenty to be said for the materials that are widely available today. Common siding choices include:
Vinyl. Although vinyl is final, it’s not always the most durable material out there. There are a range of grades of vinyl siding, and which you choose matters. Look for a heavier option, with a longer warranty, if you want to ensure your siding will be around a while. Higher end vinyl siding comes in a wide range of patterns, too, including imitation shakes and fish scales (rounded shingles), plus it can be oriented either vertically or horizontally, depending on your home’s style and your personal preference. On the other hand, while vinyl may be the most versatile material for the money currently on the market, if you live in an area where high winds are a problem, it may be difficult to keep vinyl siding attached.
Fiber cement. Made from a combination of cement and wood fibers, fiber cement siding is durable and long-lasting. Unlike its predecessor, modern fiber cement no longer contains asbestos, but does still retain the same unrelenting strength. It’s a heavy duty siding, however, so expect to pay more for installation. You’ll also likely be needing to repaint it occasionally. Fiber cement costs more than vinyl siding in general, but has a useful lifespan of 50 years or more, so if you plan to stay in your home and are looking for an alternative to stone or brick, it might be the answer.
Wood. Good old-fashioned wood siding has been a popular choice for generations, but modern homes have steered away from it for a variety of reasons. Because wood siding requires a lot of maintenance, many homeowners simply don’t have the time to reseal or repaint it often enough to maintain the original look, and over time this lack of care can lead to insect infestations. Wood siding is great for some applications, but it’s only as good as the care you give it. If you’re prepared to go the long haul on your home, or just want a small accent, wood might be a great option. The cost will vary considerably depending on the thickness, style, and species of wood you choose.
Composite. Composite, also known as engineered wood, is a compromise for homeowners who want a wood look, but don’t want all the upkeep of real wood. It’s still going to need more care than other types of siding, but you can still expect to get 20 or 30 years of use from it. Unlike real wood, which can be sanded and refinished if you get lax in maintenance or simply want to give it a different finish, composite siding is kind of a set-it-and-forget-it option. It will be the color or stain you chose initially unless you remove it all and start again.
Brick or Stone. Brick and stone go hand in hand when it comes to siding choices. Both are sturdy materials that require an expert mason to install properly, so if you’re considering a DIY siding job, these may not be the right option. Considerable skill goes into properly creating a stone or brick siding, and without the proper prep work, your siding can simply slip off your house. It’s not a pretty picture. On the flip side, stone and brick are pretty much forever, requiring only minimal tuckpointing for maintenance. So, as long as you don’t decide to paint brick or stone, you’ve got siding you can trust for a lifetime.
Siding Your Home in 2021
Choosing the siding that’s best for your home’s needs, your favorite aesthetic, and your budget can be challenging, but a professional siding installer can help you navigate the many options. Just look in HomeKeepr for a recommendation for siding installers and brick masons in your area, they’ll be happy to answer your questions and narrow your options. https://home.homekeepr.com
Shopping for a house can leave you exhausted and spiritually broken, especially when that dream home is proving tricky to find in your price range. Even though you’ll eventually find the right one, you may also find yourself cutting it close on cash if you didn’t properly prepare financially. So it’s time for your pre-purchase cha-ching check.
What It Costs to Close
For sellers, closing is a fairly simple process, and most of the time they walk away with a check in hand. But for buyers, closing can be one of the largest expenses of their lives. You know it’s going to be pricey, but it’s a much easier pill to swallow if you’re totally ready for everything that’s going to go into that transaction. And there’s a lot more to paying for your new home than just coming up with the down payment. If you’re like most borrowers, to cover additional expenses on the big day, you can expect to add an additional three to six percent on top of that big chunk you’ve saved.
Those costs include, but aren’t limited to:
Real estate-related expenses. Your lender should have already disclosed the fees they collect in order to actually do the work of creating your home loan, but there are other fees related to your loan that may or may not have been covered. These include potential lender requirements like appraisals and home inspections, as well as any repairs you’ve chosen to pay for at closing.
Loan-related fees. If you haven’t talked to a lender yet, you may be surprised at some of the fees that are charged to take your loan from a little dream to a big investment in your future. An application fee is generally required to begin the process, as it covers the costs of things like your credit report and the initial loan processing. Other fees include prepaid interest (interest that accumulates between closing day and the day of your first payment), loan origination fees, discount points, and mortgage broker fees. These can really add up!
Prepaid escrow expenses. Because items like your taxes and homeowner’s insurance are generally paid out of an escrow account, you’ll have to put some money into it at the get-go to kick things off. The actual initial deposits will depend on where you live, but count on at least two months, if not a full year, of each being collected to establish that account. If you have mortgage insurance, the same would also apply.
Title-related fees. Although it would be wonderful to live in a world where you could trust that a seller was absolutely, without question, capable of guaranteeing you could buy and own their home without complications, that world doesn’t really exist. But that’s why title searches and title insurance do. These different fees pay to ensure that you will be able to buy a house without anyone else having a legal claim to it later, which would complicate your ownership considerably. Before a bank will loan you money, they want to know that a home has a clear title. Title searches track all the people who have owned the property before, and title insurance protects against any problems that might have accumulated on the title over time.
It’s been a long year, and it’s ok if you’re tired of staring at those kitchen cabinets you’ve frankly hated for years. 2021 is a year about promise and change, and you can start the process in your very own home. There are lots of ways to give your cabinets a new look, whether you prefer something more classic or super contemporary. There’s an option for every budget, and most of the time you won’t even need to replace your cabinets or counters, unless you just really want to.
Remake Those Cabinets to Create Your Dream Kitchen
When it comes to giving your cabinets new life, you have options. Some are pretty simple and don’t require a lot of effort; some are quite challenging and may generate a great deal of mess and confusion. They’re all valid options, though, depending on just how much time you’re willing to put into the project.
You’ll have the most flexibility if you’re working with wooden cabinets, whether or not they’ve been painted previously. Laminated cabinets (also sometimes called MDF) are a bit of a different beast, and are very difficult to change once they’ve been installed. Here are a few things you should consider, depending on your cabinets:
Swapping Hardware. Sometimes, the thing making your cabinets feel old and dated is the hardware. It might sound like a small thing, but heavy cabinet hardware from the 1970s has a whole different feel than more streamlined contemporary hardware. If you’re on a small budget, or you can’t have your kitchen torn apart for an extended period, investing in new hardware could give you a whole new look.
Repainting. This is generally only a trick to try on cabinets that are made of wood, but if you use specially designed paints and primers, you can often make paint stick to laminated or metal cabinets. Choose a paint that’s self-leveling and dries hard, like a latex-based enamel cabinet paint, along with a bonding primer, for the very best results.
You’ll need to take the doors down, sand the existing finish just enough to rough it up, and allow for plenty of dry time, but because these paints are tintable, the sky is really the limit. It goes on just like other high grade paint, so mix and match colors, paint two-tone designs on your existing cabinetry, or freehand it with fancy designs for a look you really love.
Restaining. This will only work with wood cabinets, but you can really change the look of a room simply by restaining your existing cabinets. It’s possible to strip old paint off of painted cabinets, but be warned: it will be a lot of work and mess, so do it outside as much as you can.
Once you have all the old stain or paint sanded off, apply your new stain per package directions. Today’s stains come in a lot more than traditional “wood” colors; many can create simulated whitewash or aged wood, or add a thin tint of color that will still allow the wood grain to show through.
If redoing your cabinet doors seems like it may be more mess than you’re prepared to deal with, or you want to change the actual design of your cabinet doors, another viable option would be to order all new cabinet doors. You may still need to paint or stain the cabinet bases to match, but a whole new design is a lot easier to achieve with new doors, and replacing those doors is a lot simpler than replacing all your cabinets.
Need a Little Help Deciding?
Not quite sure what you want to do with your cabinets? It’s ok, we’ve all been there. Just look in HomeKeepr for a recommendation for a cabinet maker, interior designer, or general contractor with kitchen experience. These experts know how to make your dreams come to life, no matter how specific they might be. https://home.homekeepr.com
As one of the integral furniture pieces you will be purchasing for your home, selecting the right couch for you is incredibly important. Below are five aspects to consider when looking for the lounger of your dreams.
Size. The first thing to consider is how much seating you need. If you have a large family (or planning to grow yours) or have plans to host friends for movie nights or the big game, you should look at larger sectionals. If you live alone or don’t have children, you can opt for something a little smaller.
Shape. To determine the couch shape, you’ll need to examine the size of your living room and determine how you want the area divided. If you want your couch to be the focal point and fill most of the room, an L-shape is a great option, but if you are interested in incorporating more chairs or recliners then a 3-seater sofa might get the job done.
Color. If you have children or pets, will be hosting gatherings where people may eat or drink in your living room, or you just love a good movie and snack night, you may want to choose a darker couch.
Fabric. Similar to choosing a color for your couch, selecting a fabric comes down to who will be using your couch and how. Cotton, linen, and chenille are usually better suited for a slightly-used couch while fabric like leather, microfiber, and polyester is easy to clean and durable.
Filling. Foam is a commonly used cushion material and generally offers more support and lasts longer with little maintenance, while feather- or down-filled cushions provide that soft, sinking comfort, but require more maintenance.