Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 11/7/2019

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Image by StudioDin from Shutterstock

Homeowners wishing to sell their home for top dollar might consider a kitchen remodel to increase its value and efficiency. Aside from the kitchen being the heart of the home, it also has several surfaces you can quickly upgrade that affect the entire space. The tips below give you a guide to which areas in your kitchen give you the best return for your investment.

Cabinets and Hardware

Cabinetry is often the primary component that determines the style of your kitchen. Replacing or refreshing your cabinets is one way to improve the look and feel of your kitchen. If the current cabinetry is in decent shape, refinishing or repainting the faces might achieve the look of new without the expense of a complete replacement. If you choose to tackle this project yourself, take the time to remove the doors, and hardware before you begin. For best results, closely follow notes for sanding and drying time for the paint or stain you’ve selected. Top off your cabinetry with updated hardware.

Paint or Wall Finish

A fresh coat of paint gives the house a clean, updated look. If you decide to paint your kitchen walls, create a neutral but inviting kitchen space. Colors trends are often regional, so let your realtor in on your plans and follow their lead for the best options. 

Another trend for kitchen walls is adding a backsplash. While its purpose is to protect the kitchen wall from water damage, the backsplash has become a modern kitchen focal point. Choose neutral materials that complement the counter and cabinet surfaces and show the kitchen in the best light.

Countertops and Fixtures

Of all the surfaces that add value to your kitchen space, countertops are most desirable. Materials like natural granite and marble give you a good return on your investment. For people who want a countertop that can resist scratches and stains and requires little or no maintenance, quartz serves perfectly.

Replacing tired or scratched faucets with new, updated versions not only enhances the look of your kitchen, but it also improves functionality. Consider a high-profile faucet with a pull-out sprayer and single-handle operation in a style that matches your kitchen’s aesthetic.

Light Fixtures

Lighting has a powerful effect on a room. It brightens your kitchen up, making it appear more inviting. Use lighting to create a vintage style kitchen with chandeliers and or give a modern twist with recessed lighting or pendants. Under-cabinet or task lighting gives a soft glow and makes meal prep easier.

Flooring

An overwhelming variety of flooring options exist for your kitchen; from vinyl and tile to laminate and hardwood. For stylish kitchen flooring design, choose a product that enhances the other elements in the room. A cohesive look is more important than spending all your money in one place.

There are many areas in your kitchen where you can make simple changes to add value to your home. Determine your budget and consult with your realtor on the best options for the greatest return on your investment.




Categories: Home Improvements  


Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 10/23/2019

Image by Petter Rudwall from Unsplash

Older windows can end up costing you more on your heating and cooling bills. These windows can be drafty in winter and let in too much heat during summer. According to the Department of Energy, windows can account for up to 30 percent of energy usage in homes due to heat loss and gain. Replacing older windows with newer ones can help you save considerably on your energy usage. Use these tips to help you choose energy-efficient windows for your home.

Look for Labels

No matter what kind of windows you’re thinking about getting in terms of the frame type or glass type, look for Energy Star and National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) labels. Windows that meet the requirements for energy efficiency have the Energy Star label. NFRC labels provide you with an easy way to compare different aspects of a window’s performance.

Know Your U-Factor

U-factors on windows let you know how effective they are at stopping heat from escaping your home. Lower U-factors mean that windows do a better job of trapping heat in your home, which results in lower energy bills during winter. The U-factor that works best for your home depends on the climate you’re in. For example, you should look for a lower U-factor if you live in a colder climate. This helps ensure that heated air stays inside your home.

Learn About Solar Heat Gain Coefficient

Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) tells you how effective windows are at stopping heat gain from outside. A lower number means that windows are better at preventing hot outdoor air from getting inside, which is what you want during summer. If you live in a hotter climate, you should look for a lower SHGC number to help you save on the costs of cooling your home.

Consider Low-e Coatings

Low-e or low-emissivity coatings help prevent indoor heat from escaping your home, resulting in reduced energy usage and lower heating bills. This insulated glazing can lower energy loss from heat transfer by up to 50 percent, according to the Department of Energy. While windows with this coating tend to cost more, you’ll save in the long run with reduced energy bills.

Reduce Air Leakage

The type of window you choose can affect how much air is able to leak out. Lower air leakage rates help reduce your energy usage. Certain types of windows, such as awnings, hinged windows and casement windows, tend to have lower air leakage rates. Sliding windows, single-hung windows and double-hung windows typically have higher air leakage rates.





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 10/4/2019


 

Photo by Harry Strauss via Pixabay

Whether it’s one room in your home that’s a little too small for your needs, or you’re living in a more cozy space than you’d prefer, sometimes you just want your space to feel larger than it is. This is particularly true if you are getting ready to list a home for sale, as homes that feel large are likely to sell more quickly than homes that feel cramped. If you’re craving more space, careful placement of your decor and furnishings will help open up the space and make it feel larger than life.

Raise the Curtains

One strategy to make your home seem larger is to raise the curtains. Rather than hanging them at the top of the window, hang them near the ceiling and allow them to drape from floor to ceiling. This will make the ceiling look taller, and that will make the room feel larger.

Add Light

Dark spaces feel small and confined, while well-lit spaces feel large. If the room has dark areas, add some lighting to brighten them up. This can add a feeling of space to an otherwise dark area.

Make Your Decorations Bigger

Clutter is the enemy when you’re trying to make your space feel larger, but not all clutter is simply because you’re bad at putting things away. Sometimes clutter comes from too many decorations. A few large items, rather than a lot of small ones, can make the space feel larger. If you are adding vases, candles, and similar tabletop decor, limit yourself to just a few. Create small arrangements on nightstands or coffee tables that will draw the eye into the room, and leave other areas open.

Similarly, instead of making a wall that has many small pieces of art on it, display one larger item. Give yourself the freedom to leave some walls blank, as this will actually make the space feel larger.

Strategically Place Mirrors to Reflect Light

Mirrors are quite helpful in opening up a space, but they need to be placed well. If you place mirrors so they bounce light from windows or in a space that makes the room feel like it has more square footage, they can make a big difference in how tight or open the space feels.

Choose Raised Furniture

Finally, when shopping for furniture, choose options that sit off the ground. The openness underneath actually gives the impression of more space in the room. While this is just an illusion, it has a big visual impact.

Whether you’re wanting to enjoy your home more fully or prepping it to sell, making it feel larger will help. With these strategies, you can add the feeling of more square footage to your space, even without tackling a remodel.

 





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

Upgrading the look and feel of your home doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. You can actually carry out a lot of home improvement plans on your home even when you are on a budget. Check this list below for the top 7 home improvement ideas you can execute. As an added benefit, they may come in handy if you decide to sell your house and you are looking to get more value from it.

  1. Add a fresh coat of paint to your front door and rooms. Repainting any place always has that feel of newness that it brings with it. You can make even the ugliest of walls come alive by adding a new coat of paint. Little wonder repainting is the most carried out home improvement hack.
  2. Install new wallpaper. Removable wallpapers are another fancy way of making your rooms look new. If you have a great eye for matching colors and patterns, you might consider buying yourself nicely designed wallpaper that matches the rest of your decorations. You could even decide to get a piece of wall art that matches your wallpaper.
  3. Change the lighting. The ambiance light fixtures give to a house can do a great deal of changing the way a home feels. One new chandelier can definitely increase the quality of lighting in a room and make it fancier.
  4. Work on your kitchen cabinets. You can either decide to add more storage in your kitchen by taking advantage of the extra spaces you have between walls or choose to upgrade your current cabinets by replacing the handles and giving them a new coat of paint.
  5. Take your rugs and carpets to professional cleaners. While regular vacuuming just takes care of dirt, dust and pet fur, taking your carpets to professional drycleaners will get rid of long-standing stains, mold, and other allergens, and give your carpets a fresh look on the outside. 
  6. Replace old fittings. Go out on a limb and replace old and worn outdoors and door handles, electrical wall sockets, showerheads, and faucets. You would be surprised at how much better your home will look.
  7. Plant some vegetation in the exterior. An assortment of potted plants and garden-variety vegetation around your walkway won’t cost you a lot but will help to make your home look warm and inviting. Ask your neighborhood horticulturist for suggestions on plants and vegetation that don’t require lots of maintenance.

Ask your real estate agent for the best upgrades to improve the value of your home.





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 8/30/2019

When you settle in your home and time passes, you may not notice your surroundings in detail anymore like you did when you first purchased your house. Alternatively, you may think to yourself, "This place could use an update or some pizzazz." There are many things that help reinvent a space or even the entire house on your own. The best part about these ideas is you can complete each of the following on a budget and over your timeline. That way, you can do your research and wait for sales to get the items to add that bit of glamour or elegance. 

Details Win the Day

Beautiful tiles in the kitchen will grab the spotlight when you walk into the space. A backsplash with a punch of fun color or an elegant finish that adds glamour is a simple change that is visually creative. The trim work is not an exciting thing to shop for but, can create a rich luxury feeling throughout a home. Your handrails and railing can look like every other home or, you can invest in upgrading to get a wow factor. Consider metal spindles instead of plain wood ones. Mixing together dark wood with metals or light woods can enhance a stairway. Updating the window blinds to the type without drawstrings and a remote for easy adjustment is a bonus.

The Little Extras that Bring the WOW!

Beautiful lighting that reflects your style can enhance whatever room it illuminates. Try a small chandelier in the half bath. Or a sleek modern designed light fixture in the family eating area above the kitchen table. Remember you can easily update outside lighting too. Outdoor lighting located near your garage door is part of the curb appeal and first expressions of your property. A unique item to include in an upgrade is a standalone ice maker that makes the small easy-to-crunch bits of ice. If you drink or collect wine, an inset wine rack near the kitchen complete with back-lighting can add drama. In the bathrooms, you can install a towel warmer to keep you warm after your shower or bath. Installing a shower head system with many different options such as rainfall, waterfall, or body jets can feel like a four-star hotel experience. Let your imagination run and make your favorite place to hang out your home.

Contact your local agent for the open houses in your area to visit this week to gather upgrade ideas.