Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 6/25/2019

Have you looked at your bathtub or shower lately and thought that it was in need of some work? Maybe you want to do something yourself but don’t know how to do it or even if you can. If you want your tub to look clean and fresh, try renewing the caulk.

Replacing the caulking

This remedy can bring new life to many a surface. If your caulking—that is the rubbery material in the edges and corners of surfaces designed to protect wet areas like tubs and sinks—has changed color over time, it is simple to cut it out and replace it. All you will need is a knife to cut out the old caulk, a fresh tube of caulking in the color of your choice, and a caulking gun. Each of these should be relatively inexpensive and readily available at your local home improvement store. If you have no idea how to use one ask an associate and they will be happy to show you. 

Preparation

First things first cut out the old caulk. Removing caulk can be done partially to take care of a small section that needs replacing or the whole length of caulking to maintain uniformity and a clean look. Once the old caulk is gone, you will need to make sure that you clean and dry the surface to prepare it for new caulking. Insert the tube of caulk into the caulk gun and cut off the tip of the tube. 

How to apply

Slowly apply a line to the prepared surfaces and take your finger along the caulk to ensure that it goes into to crevasse and is smooth on the edges. As you do this, it is important to note that you may wipe up edges that go too far out. But, you do not want to tape or in any other way make sharp edges of your caulk line as this will compromise it causing it to peel away or allowing the water to seep underneath it. Make sure that you completely and carefully follow the instructions on the caulk that you got to ensure that it has the proper time to cure. Final setting up usually takes about 24 hours. 

Value-added

Get ready to enjoy knowing that you have a fresh, clean bathtub that will be good for you, or for anyone else down the road. Replacing the caulking in your house is a cost-effective home improvement that will bring great value for the cost to your home and your sanity when you see it.




Categories: Home Improvements   DIY   bath tub  


Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 1/21/2019

Whether prepping your home for sale or just wanting a fresh new look, you don't need to redo the whole house completely. Instead, change out a few critical pieces for something more modern or timeless. Here are a few ways to bring your dated home into the Twenty-first Century.

  • Wall paint: Okay, this one is an easy decision, but, don’t just repaint the same old way. Instead, give each wall a slightly different shade of the same hue to create a dramatic effect. Even neutrals like gray and taupe come in a vast variety of colors. Pick one for your main wall, then one with twenty-five percent white, and then one with fifty percent white for a simple version. In the kitchen, paint above the cabinets a darker shade than the walls to give the appearance of depth and dimension. If you have architectural alcoves or niches, give them the deeper shade. Nothing says so-last-year like chalkboard walls and stencils. Keep the blank slate in the kid’s playroom and update your kitchen with a sophisticated adult color.
  • Ceiling paint: If your ceiling still has the contractor color (the same as the walls), consider changing it up with a bright white. White with a hint of blue reflects light with a more natural sunlight color while white that leans slightly creamy gives the room a warm glow. 
  •  Smooth ceilings: If your home has popcorn ceilings, an immediate update comes with scraping off the texture and smoothing the plaster. Before you begin this project, however, check with a professional to see if your ceiling's surface contains asbestos. If that's the case, you'll need to hire certified asbestos abatement to remove the existing ceiling.
  • Stair railings: Nothing dates a house like an elaborate wood railing with turned spindles or an iron railing with curls and swoops. Swap out the existing one for a simple, yet classic style that spans the decades.
  • White appliances: While moderately expensive, changing out white devices for stainless steel moves your kitchen into the current decade and won't look too out of place with the rest of the kitchen. But, if you're going to upgrade the entire kitchen, go one step further with graphite, blue-gray, or slate units, in high gloss or matte finishes.

If you’re curious about what trends are popular in your neighborhood, visit open houses to see what others are doing, and check with your local realtor.





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 1/14/2019

Baby, it's cold outside—but that doesn't mean you have to put a hold on all your home improvement plans. Colder temperatures, rain, and snow can make you feel like you can't work on your home during winter months and face it it’s just a bit harder to get yourself up and into it when that cozy afghan is calling to you. Don't let the temptation of winter hibernation slow down your momentum when it comes to upgrading your home. If you moved into a new house in the fall or are planning to sell your home in the spring then start with some of these projects that you can accomplish over winter and keep moving toward your home goals.

Paint, paint and more paint.

Brighten up the cold season and your home with a fresh coat of interior colors. It tends to be drier during winter months allowing paint to dry much faster in your home. Don't wait until spring to start painting when humidity from rain will limit what you can do. Start now and liven up your living areas, kitchen, and bathrooms with fresh colors. Remember: during winter you will have less ventilation ability after you paint so visit your local hardware or paint store and work with a professional to select the best low VOC paints for options with lower odors and fumes.

Fixate on fixtures. 

Take this time to select new door knobs, light fixtures, outlet covers and more to give your home a whole new look. Install lever-style door handles for easy entry and exit for children and elderly family members. Replace your off-white outlet and switch covers with a pure white or bronze to match the exciting new paint colors you installed. Brighten up your space with modern ceiling fan and light and try new wall sconces in the hallway. Transform your kitchen with new cabinet and drawer pulls without having to install new cabinetry. 

Floor to ceiling. 

Replace worn or outdated carpet with plush fibers or install hardwood flooring. Construction projects slow in colder seasons, and you can find great deals on flooring materials and installation. Modernize your living room with new, eco-friendly bamboo flooring and make your master bedroom cozy again with new carpeting.

Go the extra mile and set your home off with crown molding, chair railings or even completely transform your living room with full wall moldings. You can accomplish these projects with the help of your local hardware store and see a complete difference in your home. When designing these projects make sure you consider all the rooms of your house, especially if you're preparing to sell, so you maintain continuity of design throughout.

Get rid of the popcorn finishing in your older home and enjoy flush naturally textured ceilings. Remember: before you start scraping the popcorn off your ceiling check to make sure the texture does not contain asbestos. If you own an older house and are concerned about asbestos fibers bring in a licensed professional to help plan the proper disposal of asbestos materials and assist you to refinish your ceiling.

If you're not exactly certain where to start on your winter DIY projects speak with your trusted real estate professional for advice on the best projects to upgrade your home.




Tags: home impovements   diy   winter  
Categories: Home Improvements   Winter   DIY  


Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 1/9/2019

If you’ve spent any time watching home shows over the last few seasons, you’ll have heard the term “shiplap” to describe a wall feature. But what is shiplap, and why is it a coveted wallcovering?

Historic shiplap

By definition, “shiplap” is lumber planking milled with a rabbeted joint along the length of the top and bottom horizontal-edges designed to fit together or "lap" for strength and stability. So, each board rests on the one below it, with a forward overlapping notch. Originally, shiplap’s overlapping design created a weather-tight surface along the grooves. Technically called “rabbeted,” these recesses or grooves milled along the edge of a piece of a plank of wood create the laps. When viewed as a cross-section, a rabbeted joint is two-sided so that the second plank overlapping the first joins both a parallel and a perpendicular face.

So, was it used on ships? The easy answer is “yes” with the caveat that the boards also had pitch or glue to make them completely watertight. In its true architectural form, shiplap is an exterior siding material used to make a building weather-proof. As the wood weather or ages, the original tight joint forms a slight gap, giving aged shiplap its distinctive look.

Modern shiplap

On television and modern interior design applications, however, wood treatments identified as shiplap sometimes originated as wood planking—planks of wood with slight gaps between them used to “sheet” walls for other coverings. In the days before drywall, such sheeting commonly added to the wall's stability in preparation for lath and plaster or wallpaper. These planks may or may not have rabbeted joints, but yet, colloquially designers refer to them as shiplap.

When such original planking comes from a remodel or renovation, its historical and design value includes nail holes and even slight pest damage (provided the worm, carpenter ant, or termite is long gone). The most common look is a white paint mimicking whitewash, but other colors create perfectly acceptable looks as well.

Shiplap versus tongue-and-groove: Unlike shiplap where each plank sets atop the other, tongue and groove joints interlock, making them useful for vertical as well as horizontal applications. Examples of tongue-and-groove include original beadboard and knotty-pine paneling applications as well. These choices offer a similar look and may fit your country or farmhouse-style too. Modern beadboard comes in full four-by-eight sheets making installation simpler than shiplap or tongue-and-groove.

Check out your local DIY retailer for more accessible alternatives to give you that coveted historic look.




Categories: interior design   design tips   DIY  


Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 4/17/2018

Is there anything more classic and charming than an old house? One aspect of older homes that make them so cozy is all the built-in shelves, drawers and other nooks and crannies that make each house one of a kind. While houses that have been more recently built usually lack these features, it doesn’t mean you can’t add them yourself.

Today I have six custom cabinetry ideas for you to create your own charming abode, even if it’s builder-grade.

When creating faux cabinetry the only limit is your imagination. Search home magazines and Pinterest boards for inspiration. Save ideas you love to a gallery on your phone or print out in one document. With inspiration in hand head out to your local home improvement store to find millwork options that match your vision.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Install floor to ceiling bookshelves with a bench tucked in between to create a cozy reading nook. Add molding and other decorative millwork to take this D.I.Y. to a true polished built-in look.

Capitalize on any empty corners by adding corner shelves or a corner cabinet. Adding beadboard before installing the shelves and finishing off with molding. There are also many corner cabinetry options on the market to choose from today. Choose one that fits the height of your room in a color that matches the molding in your home.


For cabinetry with drawers and doors add charm by replacing with reproduction brackets, knobs and pulls. Or if you love the thrill of the hunt check out your local yard sales and flea markets for vintage sets. Sites like Ebay and Etsy are another great way to find matching sets of vintage finds.


Add personality with splashes of bold color. Blues, greens, and yellows are popular hues for a pop of color while maintaining classic old home character. Paint on of your new custom pieces a charming shade to bring a room to life. Alternatively, installing cabinetry with glass front doors allows you to put bright decor on display without committing to one particular color. Add vintage books, glassware, and small paintings to shelves for smaller doses of color.

For a luxurious touch, stained glass windows look stunning in a bathroom and allow for privacy while still allowing light shine through. Adding custom sized stained glass windows to the upper portion of a wide doorway works well in homes with higher ceilings and will have guests in awe.  

When house shopping sometimes we have to make compromises when it comes to our wants to prioritize our needs. But that doesn’t have to mean you can’t have your cake and eat it too. With a little bit of creativity and a few D.I.Y. projects, you can add a dose of old home charm to any house to make a cozy, welcoming home.