Thursday, August 6, 2009

Get the Edge

If you are planning to sell your house in today’s market it is even more important to have a pre-listing inspection on your home by a professional home inspector. This can give you the edge you need over other houses on the market. For more information see my earlier post (The Tale of Two Houses). In addition to a pre-listing inspection you want your home looking its best. It is also important to invest your money on improvements that will give you the most value for resale. Kitchens and bathrooms are two of the most high-traffic rooms in our homes. Here are some tips on how to make these hard-working rooms look their absolute best and refreshed without breaking the bank.

Quick and Easy Fix-ups That Won’t Break the Bank


· “SPLASH OF COLOR”: Painting is one of the most versatile decorating tools and adding a new color to the walls will do a lot to lighten and brighten. Yellows and reds can make your kitchen seem warm and cozy, while blues can create an atmosphere of cool sophistication. Lighter colors will make the room seem bigger while textures can add contrast and interest. But don't stop there! Repainting the cabinets can completely transform your look. An inexpensive way to freshen up dark cabinets is with a new coat of paint.

· “ADD SOME SPARKLE”: A new trend in painting is called "glazing," which you can do over a painted door. Take a can of glaze and have tint added. Use a brush to apply sparingly to achieve a streaked, antique look!

· “CONSIDER A FACELIFT”: Replacing dated hinges, handles and knobs with new, stylish hardware is an easy way to make cabinets more attractive. Just changing your cabinet knobs can add a touch of whimsy, a vintage look or a contemporary feel.

· “THROW ON A TILE”: Changing a countertop is a dramatic part of creating a new look. Ceramic tile is also a great do-it-yourself way to update worn-out counters. Peel-and-stick mirror tiles are available at most building stores, for an instant backsplash brightener. Ceramic subway tiles are yet another trendy look that's surprisingly easy to do, especially if you can adjust the design to avoid having to cut them.


· “A SHOWER YOU DESERVE”: Tiled showers can be cold and dark once the curtain is drawn. Warm up the space with a combination light fixture/heat lamp. A lot of showers already have a light fixture, so this can be an easy change out. Change the showerhead or simply add an attachment to your shower wall for the ultimate spa experience! There are many options that offer multiple body sprays and massaging jets.

· “NO MORE CHILLY FEET”: Changing the ceramic floor tile is a common update, but ceramic tile floors can get chilly. To prevent cold feet add a radiant heating system before you install the tile. These ultra-thin electric heating systems are easily installed in cement under ceramic tile and stone floors.

· “TAP INTO NEW DESIGN”: Putting in a new faucet can give your bathroom sink a whole new look. Many new faucet styles are specially designed for do-it-yourself installation, using just basic tools, and there is a variety of styles to choose from that cost less than $100.

The above suggestions may require professional assistance to ensure proper installation.