Homes of Distinction Realty



Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 6/14/2015

After numerous years of living in your home, you will soon become bored of the same decorations and furnishings, or at least stop appreciating them. This in turn can create a dull environment to live in, which is the last thing you want in your home. By following these tips in how to spruce up your house, you can ensure that your home always looks vibrant and welcoming. Sprucing up your home does not have to cost a lot of money, as you will find that there are many bargains available when it comes to finding decorative items. In fact, one way to get these bargains is by shopping online, as many reputable home decoration stores have great offers available. The first thing to keep in mind as you begin creating that new look in your home is that you should always work towards a theme. In fact, this is one of the most important tips in how to spruce up your house, because without the right type of theme, you will find that your decorations can look very noisy to the eye. The best way to begin sprucing up your home is by focusing on one room at a time, and as you finish that room, you can then gradually move onto the next room. By taking this approach, you will be able to focus on that theme, and you will also not feel overwhelmed in the process. Lastly, keep in mind that it is necessary to get the input of your family, because this will ensure that everyone is happy with the overall new look of your home.





Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 5/24/2015

If you are looking to increase the living space in your home, the answer might just be right under your feet. Remodeling your basement has the potential of uniquely transforming the look of your home. Although this has a unique set of challenges, with proper planning, it can be achieved. Here are some tips on how to remodel your basement into a functional living space. Make a Family Room The basement is a great place for casual social activities, a perfect spot where the entire family can get together and relax with a board game or a big screen television. Make it inviting and alluring, just like any other room in the home. Some new furniture, a great sound system and excellent lightening would be a great way to start. Include a Bath and Bedroom Adding a bedroom and a bath makes the basement an ideal suite for guests. The dimensions should be determined by who will use it. For a double bed, you will need a minimum of 125 square feet, for twin beds, 150 square feet will serve your needs. When adding a bedroom, be certain there is an emergency exit that leads directly outside.  A professional will need to be consulted in regards to adding a bathroom as specific regulations will apply. Add a Kitchen With a mini kitchen in the basement, entertainment gets easier. This would require access to hot and cold water, electrical outlets, exhaust vents, a small dish washer, under counter refrigerator and anything else that would allow for more comfortable living. Design a Safe and Attractive Staircase In most homes, there is a staircase leading to the basement. When remodeling, take the opportunity to improve the look of this entryway to your new living space. If it is not properly positioned, consider moving it to a better location. Consult with a designer or an architect for guidance on redesigning your stairway. Add Windows Adding windows is great for basements, but this task is better left to the professionals. If this is properly done, it will improve the ventilation, add light, and make it very comfortable. Adding windows may require digging a window well. A retaining wall made of masonry, limestone blocks, or treated landscape timbers should be added to the well. If properly done, it could also serve as an emergency exit. Finish the Walls. The walls of the foundation are usually made of poured concrete and reinforcement materials. Cover the walls with materials of your choice. Plywood, paneling or any material that would make the area more inviting.  For example, covering the walls in the living area with sheets of maple-veneer would add an arts and crafts feel to the room. There are many options and trained professionals that can help you achieve the look you want. Finish The Ceilings Basically, there are three options available to you when remodeling the basement ceilings, leave the pipes and duct work exposed, conceal it with a dry panel or hide everything with a suspended or drop ceiling. Choose Comfortable Flooring In most cases, basement floors are made of concrete, unless plywood sub-flooring has been installed. Concrete works with most floor finish choices like tile, carpet, vinyl and paint. For below grade installation, solid wood flooring is not recommended as it shrinks and expands causing gaps.   However, engineered wood flooring is recommended as it shrinks less.  





Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 2/24/2013

When spending big money on remodeling and upgrading your home, getting the most return for your investment is key. Spending $20,000 on an upgrade that isn't going to add value to your home may please you in the moment, but not when your trying to sell and get that money back. There are areas that are worth the investment and some that are not. The basic ares of your home are important to focus on. Things like your roof, furnace, and siding are all big investments that bring a big return. Potential buyers don't want to buy a home that they will need to sink thousands of more dollars into right away. Having a leaky roof will only deter people from making an offer. But being able to show that these essential areas are recently upgraded will give buyers the peace of mind that big maintenance costs won't hit them abruptly. The 2 rooms in the house that are always heavy hitters as far as return on investment is the kitchen and the bathroom. Making sure to upgrade these rooms to be both functional and beautiful is important. No one wants to buy a house that has a beautiful kitchen that doesn't have enough counter space, or the traffic flow doesn't work. Homeowners often find they get at least 100% return on investment in these 2 rooms. Other things to consider are the curb appeal of your home, and adding space. Both are considered to be high in the list of things to remodel. Curb appeal is important because it's going to not only draw buyers in, but also give a sense of a well maintained home. If you yard is in shambles, your home probably is too. In regards to adding space, every 1,000 square feet adds about 30% to the value of your home, so additions can be well worth it. Homeowners are always looking for homes with extra rooms for things like hobbies or exercise equipment. The only thing to be aware of is you don't want to expand your home so much that the value supersedes those in your neighborhood, so keep the additions reined in. Upgrading your home can not only make it a place for you enjoy even more, but also add significant value to it. But what you choose to spend the money on is key. Investing money in the wrong places will only leave you with wondering if you should have made a different choice.




Categories: Home Improvements  


Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 7/29/2012

What will boost your home's value? You want to add a sunroom but will that bring in the biggest bang for your buck? How about a new bathroom? It's a common question that many homeowners ask. What will we get back when we sell? This can be a hard question to answer but luckily Bankrate.com and Remodeling Magazine has come up with a list of the worst home fixes for the money. Here are the six improvements that ranked dead last nationally when it comes to getting those renovation dollars back at resale. 1. A Home Office-The standard home office renovation is this year's biggest loser in the resale value sweepstakes. Nationally, homeowners spent an average of $28,888 and can expect to recoup about 45.8 percent at resale, according to the report. If you want to enjoy a home office opt for something that is easily converted back into a bedroom or den. 2. Backup Generators-This only usually brings about negative thoughts like does this home loose power often? On average, when homeowners have a heavy-duty backup power generator installed, they spend about $14,718, according to the report. The average amount of the price recovered at resale time: 48.5 percent. 3. A Sunroom-While the thought is sitting and enjoying a sunroom may sound lovely to you but the addition of a sunroom is often more than you can recoup. The national average for a sunroom addition is $75,224, according to the report. Homeowners can expect to recoup about 48.6 percent when they sell. 4. A Master Suite-It is the price tag of this addition that can also leave sellers in the red. For a super-deluxe master suite addition -- which adds square footage and uses only top-dollar materials -- the average cost is about $232,062, according to the report. Sellers can expect to recover about 52.7 percent at resale. 5. An Extra Bathroom-Wait kitchens and bathrooms sells houses or that’s what people say. Bathroom additions are very expensive. For a moderately outfitted addition with synthetic stone or plastic laminate surfaces, plan on the cost about $21,695, according to the Remodeling report. Go upscale, with finishes like premium marble or fine tile, and you can easily spend in the neighborhood of $40,710. You can plan on a return of about 53 cents on the dollar. Look for less-expensive way to get the same results. Try reconfiguring your existing space to add a bathroom for less. 6. A Dream Garage-The price tag for a top-of-the-line detached two-car with all the trimmings is about $90,053, according to the report. This is a garage that is completely top-of-the-line. You can expect to recover about 53.6 percent of that when you sell. Instead go for function over form and stick the basic garage if you plan on a garage project.  





Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 5/27/2012

Bathrooms are one of the most costly rooms to remodel–generally second only to kitchens.  These costs are often incurred in labor charges on items that go beyond the typical do-it-yourselfer’s skills.  If you find yourself in the position of needing a bathroom update, but without the funds for a full remodel, here’s some quick, budget-friendly updates that will give your bathroom a brand new look. Here are some great tips from Addicted2Decorating on how to get your bathroom in tip top shape. Painting is absolutely the cheapest way to transform any room.  For around $25, you can have a brand new look.  And because they’re smaller than other rooms, bathrooms are often a great place to experiment with interesting new wall treatments.  Do you like stripes?  Try them in your bathroom! Most people overlook the importance of lighting in almost every room of their home.  If you’re still living with an outdated bath bar (often called Hollywood lighting), then you can have a fresh, new update for as little as $30. Again, paint is the cheapest way to update.  Are your wood cabinets looking tired from years and years of use?  Give them a fresh coat of paint, and they’ll look new!  I recommend a good cleaning, followed by a light sanding, then priming.  Top with a coat or two of an oil-based paint, and you’ve got a brand new look.  And the cost?  About $70. Hardware is the “jewelry” of your cabinets.  Not having hardware on your cabinets is like putting on a great outfit, but forgetting to accessorize.  Hardware is also a great place to be creative and unique.  You can expect to pay anywhere from $3 to $15 (or more) for each knob or pull.  But it’s well worth it! Sometimes a new, fresh look is as easy as replacing your worn-out, faded towels with some soft, fluffy new towels.  And as popular as spa-inspired interiors are these days, it’s difficult to go wrong with white!  White also gives your space a fresh, clean look.  You can expect to pay from $5 to $30 per towel, depending on the quality. When most of us think of purchasing a rug for our bathroom, we generally head to the bathroom department of the local home store.  But why not try something with a little more style?  Instead of a regular bath mat, try introducing a small area rug into your bathroom.  Instant color and style!  And because the rug is generally smaller than one you’d need for a living room, it’s possible to find one for $50 to $100. I’m really surprised at how many people still use toilet seat covers in their bathrooms.  Toilet seat covers are not only outdated, but they’re incredibly unsanitary.  Remove it and reveal your sparkly clean toilet.  And the cost?  Free!  Simply remove…..AND TOSS! These are just as bad as the toilet seat covers.  Actually, they’re worse, considering that these catch more….ummmm…stuff, since it’s on the floor.  Eewwww!  Again, just lift, and TOSS!  And again….it’s FREE!! If you have a plain, plate-glass, builder’s basic mirror, give it a frame!  Simply purchase some moulding from your local home improvement store, cut to fit, paint, and adhere it to your mirror.  Fill in the corners with a bit of wood filler, sand, and touch-up the paint.  If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making a frame yourself, you can always remove the mirror completely, and replace it with a purchased, framed mirror.  Either way, the impact will be tremendous.  This can easily be achieved for $50 to $100. If you have a bathroom that requires a shower curtain, this is NOT the place to make a simply utilitarian choice.  Visually, shower curtains consume a large area of the bathroom, and this is the perfect place to add color and style to your bathroom.  So now’s the time to get rid of your plain, plastic shower curtain, and find one that defines your style!!