Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 7/12/2019

This is the age-old interior design question that keeps coming back. Moreover, the answer will never be to simply declare one superior to the other. The question needs to be dissected from several angles; where is the house situated, how long do you intend the flooring to last? How much are you ready to spend on maintenance of the floor? There is also the little matter of personal taste. 

Solid wood flooring is better when…

  • You want that eye-catching natural look to go with a rustic or modern theme.
  • You want an economical choice but still want a decent, homely look.
  • You live in an area with colder temperatures for most of the year. Hardwood floors are better at retaining heat than porcelain or ceramic tiles. Over and above you and your family's feet, you should consider your pets, which spend more time on the floor than you. 
  • You need a floor that is easier on the foot. In addition to losing heat quicker, porcelain tiles are harder on the soles of your feet, and on your back by extension.
  • You don't mind the noise of feet slamming onto floorboards. 

Ceramic/porcelain tiles are better when…

  • You are a resident of California or any other locality where it's mostly hot all the time. Such flooring is cooler to step on.
  • You want a floor that is easy to keep clean and maintain. Solid wood floors, especially if not well finished, can be tricky to clean. They may also be affected by changes in temperature and develop problems when exposed to moisture. Not to mention the fact that such floors are more easily disfigured by scratching or spills. This may require you to refinish your floor several times. 
  •  You want more variety to choose from. Much as you can have solid wood flooring in a variety of widths and stains, you will get far greater variety when shopping for tiles. You can even get ceramic tiles that are textured to look like wood flooring.
  • You have people with allergy issues living with you. Wood flooring tends to retain dust and other allergens, whereas ceramic, and porcelain tiles don't.
  • You don't mind the hardness and attendant discomfort of tiled floors when you stand on them for long.

Speak to a professional contractor about the advantages and disadvantages of both kinds of flooring before you make up your mind.





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 6/17/2019

One of the most essential places in the home is the kitchen. It must be hygienic as much as possible. Apart from being neat, it should also be family friendly.  All the members of the family should find the kitchen attractive.  

A kitchen can be a lonely place regarded as the woman's office.  However, it can be made attractive by designing a family-friendly kitchen where everyone in the family is willing to join in the cooking and also spend a lovely time together.

Are you looking for ways to bring your husband and children to the kitchen, consider these few tips: 

Install textured flooring. 

Choosing tiles with texture will help you prevent slips and fall if you are the type that does a lot of heavy cooking.  Rather than cleaning your kitchen floor, you can invest in textured flooring.  

Get rid of sharp corners. 

Sharp corners may prevent natural movement when there are more than two people in the kitchen.  So, it is essential that you remove anything that will introduce sharp bends in the kitchen.  From your countertops to cabinets, make sure there are no sharp bends in your kitchen.  

Create a working space. 

Provided you have plenty of room in your kitchen, consider having a large kitchen island. By so doing, you will have peace of mind when your children are with you in the kitchen.  The Island will provide a space for the children to play without coming in contact with any of the kitchen appliances that might harm them.

Bring a counter into the kitchen.

Also, a shelf shielded by a glass backsplash allows your family member to keep you company in the kitchen without interfering or taking much space.

Keep utensils and pots away from the children.

Restless toddlers may get into the kitchen searching everywhere for something to play with, so it is essential you keep pots and utensils away from their reach.  You can place them on the shelves over the counter. Consider getting a blackboard to keep tabs on the schedules of other members of the family. An excellent way to turn your kitchen to a favorite place to visit is by getting a blackboard that notes down the plan of everyone in the family.

Place your TV close to the kitchen. 

Installing a TV near your kitchen is an excellent way to keep your teenagers close to you while cooking because they are always watching TV or surfing the net in their room. 

Have you got plans on bringing your family to the kitchen? Follow the ideas given above one after the other and watch your kitchen turn into a family hub. 





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 5/21/2019

When looking for a contractor online to work on a project for you, you might end up getting discouraged and afraid to hire one. There are too many stories about homeowners having terrible experiences of theft, delayed jobs, or poorly done work that required another repair.

These experiences happen everywhere but it doesn’t make all contractors bad, there are still great and trustworthy contractors out there. But how can you determine if someone is a good contractor or a swindler out for your money? Below is a list of what you should do to ensure you do not only have the best guy for the job but also that you have someone who seems trustworthy. 

Do Your Research

There are various options available to get a contractor; you can use an internet search or contact local building association in your area to ask for recommendations. You can also contact your insurance company for help and take advantage of the goodwill the contracting company enjoys.

Ask For Referrals

Asking friends and family members for references for a contractor whose services they used reduces your chance of getting duped. Looking at jobs that a contractor completed in the past for relatives or friends gives you an idea on what to expect in terms of work from the contractor. 

Interview A Couple

If you have gotten a few choices, to determine the best man for the job, interview a few. During the interview process ask relevant questions, negotiate prices with each and be sure to read body language. 

Ask Questions

During the interview or after but before signing the contract, make sure you satisfy all issues that need answers. It makes it easier to accomplish when you have a list of questions drafted before the interview session. Ask questions like:

- What is their association membership?

- How long have they been in business?

- Ask for referrals of recent jobs

- How long would they need to execute your project?

- What would the payment style be?

All these questions and more should be on your list. Do not feel like you are asking too much because it’s your money, and you need to be sure about getting value for the money spent.

Ask To See An Itemized Bid

Asking to see an itemized proposal from all the contractors you interviewed allows you compare prices, items required and to determine your best guy for the job. The bid also gives you a clear idea of how much would be needed to execute the project. The itemized proposal should include information on:

- Labor cost.

- Material cost.

- Work permit fee.

- And other miscellaneous expenses.

On seeing the bid, if the amount is more than what you budgeted for, you can easily adjust the scope of the plan to fit your budget.

Working with the steps detailed in this article would serve as a guide for you when next you need the service of a contractor.





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 5/17/2019

Buying a home without of permit for remodeling comes with a lot of risks. Searching for a home to buy can be an exciting undertaking, but there are numbers of factors to consider before purchasing a house. You should find out if the house has a permit for remodeling and if the home you are about to buy has had improvements, you need to know whether those improvements were permitted. 

Most times, homeowners end up with unpermitted renovations to save time and money. Your county building inspector has to ensure that all homes comply with the existing laws that pertain to home remodeling. They also have the authority to enforce the rules. What happens if you are buying a house without a remodeling permit? Here are some risks involved: 

You will not be aware of renovations 

One of the dangers of buying a property without a remodeling permit is that the buyer will not know about the past improvements that have been done. There are disparities in state laws when it comes to the amount of information a seller must disclose to the buyer. It is always better if a seller can still provide a buyer with all the necessary documentation. 

The Buyer will be responsible for fixing the problem 

If the code enforcement department in your locality discovers that you the buyer is working on remodeling without a permit, you are regarded as the current occupant of the home and will be responsible for the payments of penalties and licenses. This applies even if the occupant has just purchased the house and knew nothing about it. To fix the issue, you might be required to make minor changes or tear down some parts and rebuild. You might also be ordered to remove all the unpermitted remodeling. 

You may be asked to pay back taxes 

Owing some taxes is another risk associated with buying a house without renovation permit. If the taxing authority in your locality discover that remodeling took place without permission, the present occupant may be liable for paying back taxes due to the increased value of the home. Apart from paying back taxes, it could also attract penalties and interests which would cost you more than you initially planned for.

If the remodeling work is done without a permit, it may not be covered by your insurance. 

In most cases, unpermitted remodeling is not covered by insurance. Therefore, if anything happens to any unpermitted addition in the home, the claim will be denied by your insurance company which could set you back thousands of dollars in the future.

Make sure to speak with your real estate agent to confirm that you have all the necessary rights to remodel your new home to your taste without penalties.