The Daniels Team's Blog
Giving the interior of your home a fresh coat of paint is one of the best ways to revitalize drab-looking rooms and make scuffed walls look new again.
While there are plenty of home improvement, repair, and decorating projects that are best left to the professionals, interior house painting is usually a task that can be successfully tackled by homeowners.
Advanced skills are not a prerequisite for doing a respectable job, but you do need patience, attention to detail, and the right tools. When you don't start out with the right supplies, wall painting can end up being a frustrating and stressful task -- not to mention messy! Here are a few pointers to help make the project go more smoothly.
- Wear the appropriate clothing: If paint gets on your everyday shoes, your new jeans, or even a good watchband, it will basically ruin those articles of clothing. No matter how neat or precise you think you can be with a paintbrush or roller, it's almost impossible to avoid dripping a few drops of paint in the wrong place or even accidentally brushing up against a messy ladder, paint can, or freshly painted surface. By taking the time to change into clothes you don't care about, you'll be saving the aggravation of messing up a favorite pair of pants, shirt, or shoes. Wearing a painter's cap with a brim and disposable vinyl gloves can also minimize the amount of paint that gets on your face, hair, and hands. By making it easier to keep yourself clean, you'll find painting to be a much neater and more satisfying experience.
- Choose the right drop cloths: The temptation for many do-it-yourselfers is to save money and cut costs whenever possible. While this certainly makes sense in principle, there are certain cases in which it pays to spend a few extra dollars to get quality supplies. The perfect example is drop cloths -- an essential item on your painting supplies list. Floors, furniture and appliances can get permanently damaged (cosmetically) if they're not properly covered up while the wall and ceiling paint is being applied. The really cheap drop cloths that you'll often find at hardware stores and other retail outlets are difficult to keep in place and could easily tear, become bunched up, or move a few inches from their intended spot. Those really light-weight, plastic drop cloths don't stand a chance of staying put when breezes from open windows, fans, or doors exert the slightest bit of air pressure on them. The solution is to either purchase canvas or heavy-duty plastic drop cloths. (In a pinch, old bedsheets can often do the job, too!)
- Painter's tape is crucial: One of the most time-consuming, but necessary aspects of room painting is taping the edges of surfaces to be painted (or not to be painted). While not everyone takes the time to do this step correctly, it helps produce a professional-looking job you'll be proud of.
When it comes to finding your dream home, your vision is going to be both unique and personal.
For many people, their idea of a dream home may be a composite of the home they grew up in and other mental snapshots they accumulated over the years.
In some cases, the house of your dreams may bear little or no resemblance to the image you conjured up in your mind. Sometimes, you just instinctively know the right home when you see it -- even if it's not exactly the one you originally envisioned.
A good starting point for launching your home search is to develop a detailed priority list. It should consist of both "must have" characteristics and "wish list" items. Hopefully, you and your spouse (or partner) will be in full agreement on most of the important features of your next home, such as whether you want a ranch house or colonial. Being on the same page in terms of location can also make a big difference in how satisfied you both are with your real estate purchase. As an example: Someone's going to less than thrilled if, let's say, you want a townhouse in the city, while your spouse has their heart set on a Craftsman-style home in the suburbs!
Trends in Home-Buying Preferences
If you're a member of the so-called "millennial" generation, your top priority in a new home would probably be the quality of the neighborhood. That's according to a "Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report" (2015) compiled by the National Association of Realtors. In order of importance, factors influencing home purchasing choices are: the convenience of the home to one's job(s), overall affordability, access to friends and family, and the quality of schools in the district.
Many buyers in that same demographic are also leaning toward homes that are energy efficient, ones that offer "smart home" capabilities, and dwellings that include a space that can be used as a home office. Since nearly 40% of Americans telecommute for their jobs on at least a part-time basis, more and more home buyers are adding that requirement to their priority lists. Surveys have also shown that prospective homeowners in their twenties and thirties are opting for low-maintenance surfaces, such as flooring, counter tops, and backyard decks. Updated interiors are also a strong preference for many in that age group since they don't have the extra money, time, or inclination to get involved in major renovation projects.
Other factors which belong on house-hunting priority lists include square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the size of the yard. If privacy and noise levels are concerns, then key factors to consider would be fencing, trees and hedges, and the amount of space between houses.
While it's not always possible to find a home that includes every single item on your wish list, an experienced real estate agent can help you find what you want and match your requirements with the available listings in your desired neighborhoods.
Putting your house on the market is a lot like preparing to host a holiday party; you want to make the best possible impression on people without having to spend a small fortune in the process!
Assuming your home is not drastically outdated or in disrepair, there are a lot of simple things you can do to make it more appealing to visitors.
For a lot of reasons, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms of the house. The impression your kitchen makes on potential buyers can easily make or break your chances for a quick sale. Although everyone's looking for different features in a home, it will always be to your advantage to spend a little extra time sprucing up your kitchen.
While it may not be practical or affordable to give your kitchen a complete makeover, here are a few simple ideas for enhancing its overall appeal.
Lighting affects perception: As a home seller, one of your primary objectives is to create an environment that's comfortable, attractive, and relaxing. Lighting, both natural and artificial, can play a big role in how people perceive your home. If you're fortunate enough to have sunny weather on days when your house is being shown, it will be easier to present your kitchen and other rooms to their best advantage. By letting in a lot of natural sunlight, colors tend to be more vibrant and your home's mood will be a lot more positive. Turning on electrical lights can also help give your living space a more cheerful feeling.
Cleanliness is crucial: Although the "grunge factor" is something you want to avoid anywhere in your house, prospective buyers will pay special attention to the cleanliness of your kitchen and bathrooms. Thoroughly cleaning counter tops, floors, sinks, and appliances will go a long way toward making a positive impression. If you can use cleansers that have a mild, natural-smelling fragrance -- like citrus, for example -- then you won't risk turning people off with the overpowering smell of harsh chemicals or artificial scents.
Staging your kitchen: A few things you can do to make your kitchen look more inviting and memorable include adding touches like a vase of fresh flowers, a bowl of colorful fruit, and a green plant or two. Removing distracting clutter from counter tops, tables, and desks can also help give your kitchen a more organized, tidy, and spacious appearance.
If your refrigerator door is covered with outdated children's drawings, coupons, photographs, and other miscellaneous memorabilia, it might be worth your time to weed that out a little bit! Not only does it detract from the beauty of your kitchen, but it also makes it impossible to clean the door of your fridge. Another tip to keep in mind is that too many personal items on display make it more difficult for prospects to visualize living in your home -- which is the first step to winning them over as buyers.
Smart home devices enable property owners to automate a wide range of everyday tasks – everything from cleaning each bedroom in a residence to securing a house against burglaries and other threats. Yet not all smart house gadgets are identical. And if a homeowner fails to plan ahead for smart home technology investments, they risk spending money on smart house devices that fail to meet their needs.
Ultimately, there are lots of factors to consider before you purchase a smart house device, and these factors include:
1. Your Residence
Think about how you will use a smart home device in your residence – you will be happy you did. If you consider a smart house device's potential applications, you can determine exactly how you will leverage this gadget in your home.
Oftentimes, it helps to analyze everyday tasks you complete around your home, as well as how a smart house device will help you speed up the process of finishing these tasks. If you spend several hours each week vacuuming your one-floor home, for example, a smart robot vacuum may help you simplify the process of keeping your home dirt- and debris-free. Or, if you frequently need to adjust the thermostat at night, a programmable smart thermostat will help you control your house's temperature like never before.
2. Your Budget
Smart house devices are available across different price points. At the same time, you may have only a finite amount of money to spend on smart home gadgets. If you put together a budget, however, you can minimize the risk of overspending on smart house devices.
Don't forget to shop around for smart home devices, too. Both brick-and-mortar and online stores may offer discounts on smart house gadgets at different times during the year. If you conduct an in-depth search for smart home devices, you may find quality smart house gadgets at budget-friendly prices.
3. The Installation and Implementation Processes
Certain smart home devices require extensive installation and implementation processes. As such, it generally is a good idea to learn as much as possible about these processes relative to any smart home devices you want to buy.
If you believe you can set up and deploy a smart home device on your own, it may be beneficial to consult with a smart house gadget expert before you finalize a purchase. For instance, consulting with a retailer that specializes in smart home devices enables you to learn all about the installation and implementation process associated with a particular smart house gadget. Once you have these insights, you can make an informed decision about whether a smart home device is right for you.
When it comes to evaluating smart home technology, a cautious approach may prove to be best. If you understand different types of smart home devices and how they work, you can find gadgets that complement your individual needs. As a result, you will be better equipped than ever before to make smart home device investments that serve you well for years to come.
For anyone who is intimidated by the idea of working with garden pavers, for those who may think they are tools only for professionals experienced in masonry, be assured that you too can beautify your garden and yard with these smooth finishing touches. Perfect for taming and refining wild, overgrown areas, concrete pavers are easily customizable building blocks for framing or accenting outdoor spaces. And making a permanent commitment or leaving the option to change it up is all up to you--in most cases using grout is optional depending on the purpose and look you’re going for.
Rock Garden Borders
To complement any small trees in your yard, you can dot the area surrounding the base of the tree with smaller plants and flowers, either potted, in the ground or both. Creating freeform borders allows you to build around the existing trees and plants, and curved lines give your yard a flowing atmosphere. Concrete pavers serve this purpose especially well since many styles offer interlocking shapes or flat edges that can be tightly lined up against each other to hold in mulch, natural stones, gravel, or other attractive fillers.
Flat-edged pavers or designs with interlocking shapes offer an easy way to elevate potted plants and keep them out of the dirt, upright, and steady. Set a few pavers together on either side of the front door or at the entrance to your garden and place a potted plant on top. Giving plants some extra height adds interest and spotlights them as welcoming touches.
If you enjoy having a fair amount of lawn space and particularly if you live out in the country, having a beautiful yard to curate usually comes with the price of tracking dirt into your house. Use concrete pavers to form a natural, neutral walkway in the hue and shape of your choice, or arrange several together to create stepping stones to your front door. Both solutions help keep dirt off of shoes on the way in and don’t take up much of your yard.
Border For Your Outdoor Kitchen
For sheds, pet houses, or even outdoor kitchens made of wood, the sides collect dirt and sand, particularly in seasons of stormy weather. Concrete pavers let you easily build a border around these structures to beautifully frame them as well as help protect them from dirt and dust. You can also add a stepping stone pathway to the building that matches its border.
Border For Garden Beds
Evoke the ambiance of an English garden by filling unused garden space with concrete pavers. Line the ground beneath first with weed prevention cloth if your garden is especially prone to weeds; without grout you will likely still get some growth between the stones anyway but, when well maintained, adds to the rustic look.