Reverse Osmosis Water Filter: Crystal-Clear Tap Water In Your Home

Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

Reverse osmosis sounds like something we learned in science class, but what does a reverse osmosis water filter do?

In a nutshell, it helps homeowners get better-tasting water by removing certain elements. After installing a reverse osmosis system, many folks appreciate the high-quality water that comes out of their taps; the water tends to taste and smell better, and the ice cubes are clear.

“It’s as if you’re drinking bottled water without the bottles,” says Mike Paice, a water specialist with the Sunny Plumber in Las Vegas.

Evian-quality water flowing freely from your kitchen faucet? It sounds like a real money saver, especially if you frequently buy bottled water. Read on to learn if installing an RO water filter in your home is a good decision for you.

What is a reverse osmosis water filter?

Water that runs through an RO system is filtered a number of times: through two different types of liquids and a permeable film that allows through only the water molecules. Therefore, the water that comes out of your faucet will be rid of impurities but still have important minerals.

RO systems are typically installed under the kitchen sink, and the filtered water comes out of a separate faucet. The filtration system can have anywhere from two to five filters, but the number of filters isn’t as important as the integrity of the filters, says Paice.

The two filters you’ll want to look for are carbon and sediment. These filters will remove contaminants such as Giardia, salmonella, E. coli, and Norovirus, and common chemicals, including sodium, chloride, copper, chromium, and lead, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Paice says to make sure the water filter you purchase is certified by the Water Quality Association.

RO water filters last about 10 years.

Reasons to not install a reverse osmosis filter

If your home’s water pressure is below 65 psi (pounds per square inch) or higher than 100 psi, you might have issues with an RO system.

When you put water in a filter system, it reduces the water pressure. If the water pressure is too low, your ice maker won’t get enough water and your showers will be miserable.

But if the pressure is too high, the pipes on the RO system can break and potentially flood your home. This is rare, but it can happen. If you’re seriously considering installing an RO filter, the smartest thing to do is consult a plumber to determine if it will work with your home’s water system.

If you want to test your home’s water pressure yourself, place a pressure gauge on your hose bibb, aka the faucet on your home’s exterior. If water pressure is an issue, you can still get a filter, but you’re more likely to have problems, says Mike Donley, president of Phoenix-based Donley Plumbing and Air Conditioning.

Demineralizing the water can remove beneficial elements such as calcium or fluoride from the water. But cooking with demineralized water is also shown to keep essential elements from food, so it might be wise to speak with your doctor before installing an RO filter.

Maintenance

One of the biggest advantages of an RO system is that you can install it and not bother with it for a while. They’re very low maintenance, and the filters need to be changed only once a year. You can do this yourself or hire a pro. If you go the DIY route, make sure you’re buying the appropriate filter for your system and that you shut the water off before you change the filters. The cost of a visit from a plumber is about $150, says Donley.

Every few years, you’ll have to repressurize the storage tank, which is a job for your plumber.

Installation and cost

The average cost of an RO system, including installation, is $500 to $700, according to Donley.

If you’re having a system installed, you’ll want to clear out the space underneath the sink for the plumber. Installation will take a few hours. Afterward, you’ll have to flush the system out a few times. You also won’t be able to drink from the faucet when the system is being flushed out and the storage tank fills with water. But within a half-day, you should have fresh drinking water.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Cozy Outdoor Living Spaces Top The List Of Recent Landscaping Trends

outdoor landscaping ideas 2018

Rikki Snyder/Houzz

One of the great joys of owning a home is having the space to entertain. That’s why many home shoppers pine over houses with a great backyard, picturing themselves putting in a dining table, a barbecue, and maybe some raised flower beds.

But why stop there? Recent trends show that to many homeowners, “outdoor living” means more than just setting up a GrillMaster; the ideal outdoor space now looks like an extension of your interior. In fact, a new report from Houzz found that 88% of homeowners taking on landscaping projects upgrade outdoor living elements such as furniture and heating features that make spending time outside more comfortable. In February and March, the home remodeling and design website surveyed more than 750 U.S. homeowners using Houzz who are planning, are in the midst of, or recently completed a landscaping project.

“We’ve continued to see homeowners put greater priority on developing a personalized outdoor living environment,” says Matthew Breyer, president and lead designer for Breyer Construction & Landscape. “No longer are we simply ‘building boxes,’ but rather, we’re working as designers to help flesh out how our clients anticipate living in these spaces, and where their priorities are.”

Landscape architect Drew Langston agrees that homeowners are focused on outdoor living. In the past two years, Langston has quadrupled the amount of “landscape master plans” he’s working on at any given time. These include pools, patios, walls, fire pits, and extensive landscaping—and his business is based in chilly Buffalo, NY!

Even in the Northeast, where warm weather isn’t as consistent as in other parts of the country, he says people are still jumping at the chance to improve their backyards.

rustic-porch

Photo by Simmons Estate Homes

Trending features for the ultimate outdoor living area

Homeowners looking to spend more time living and entertaining in their backyards are actually outfitting them with decor pieces we’re used to seeing inside. For 43% of respondents, that means lounge furniture, while 34% bring in dining furniture. Other hot outdoor furnishings include string lights, at 35%; benches, at 27%; ceiling fans, at 15%; and rugs, at 14%—all of which make the space look like a cohesive room.

Heating sources such as fire pits are also popular, with nearly 40% of respondents saying they installed, or are thinking of installing, one. Outdoor heating overall is valuable as it can extend the season for outdoor entertaining.

Of course, tricking out your backyard in 2018 also means bringing in some shiny new devices such as TVs, chosen by 59% of respondents; wireless speakers, at 42%; and wired charging hubs, at 11%. Breyer also mentions that accessories such as fans and LED lighting have taken priority among clients.

“We have been working with a number of customers that have amazing lighting, full outdoor sound systems, and other outdoor amenities, all that work in conjunction with the indoor sound systems,” says Patrick Harders, a contractor in Northern Virginia specializing in outdoor lighting. “These allow people to entertain as if they are in their own private resort.”

Speaking of privacy, it’s also one of the biggest requests from homeowners undergoing a landscaping project.

“Due to the increase in time spent entertaining outdoors, people are realizing just how close the neighbors are. We do more construction with mini pergolas, decorative feature walls, outdoor blinds, and tiered landscaping to address these concerns,” says Breyer. Privacy fences and noise-canceling barriers are also popular choices for folks who don’t want to end the party at 10 p.m.

How much are people spending?

Outdoor renovations can be expensive, but it’s a cost that a majority of homeowners are willing to pay. According to the survey, 56% of homeowners spent more than $10,000 on their outdoor renovations. Almost a third, 32%, reportedly spent less than $5,000.

“In my experience, the average landscape (planting and beds only) is about $3,500 to $5,000, and the average project involving hardscaping (walls, patios, fire pits) as well is about $15,000,” Langston says. “This being said, we execute several jobs a year between $25,000 and $50,000, and usually one to three jobs a year that can be between $80,000 and $100,000. I truly believe an enjoyable landscape is achievable at any budget.”

contemporary-patio

Photo by MTLA- Mark Tessier Landscape Architecture

Why homeowners are shifting their focus outdoors

The biggest reason for starting a landscaping project is to improve elements of the outdoor space that have deteriorated. But once those updates are made, 67% of homeowners said they spend more time outside once they completed a landscaping project, with 62% of those spending their time relaxing and 44% gardening. So when it comes down to it, people just want to have an outdoor place to unwind that’s as comfortable, accommodating, and private as their living or dining room, no matter if they live in Boca Raton, FL, or Buffalo.

“In Western New York we only have a few months of great weather that we can actually be outside,” says Langston. “People want to spend more money to create an amazing space outdoors so they can enjoy the nice weather as much as possible.”

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Remodeling 101: 4 Rock-Solid Reasons To Remodel Your Home In 2018

remodeling in 2018

As 2018 begins, there’s no question the real estate market is, well, a little crazy. Home values are surging, money is relatively cheap, and inventory is tighter than tight.

That’s all downright welcome news for owners who’ve been considering remodeling.

“Remodeling remains a very attractive option to increase your home’s value,” says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com®. And that can be a smart move whether you’re prepping your place for sale, or giving it a refresh for the long haul.

“The big variable here is location,” says Vivas. “If you’re happy with your neighborhood and your place has some value, there’s an advantage over trying to move—because there may not be somewhere else for you to move to in your price range, or you may have to make a bigger cost jump than you would if you were simply remodeling.”

Still wondering whether to grab a sledgehammer and get swinging? Here’s the thing: The longer you wait, the more expensive renovating or remodeling gets. If you’ve been on the fence, this may be the year to get off it. Better yet, rebuild it! Here’s why you should get moving now.

1. You (likely) have more cash
Consumer confidence is high, unemployment is low, and incomes are growing—which means you likely have more money in your pocket. Plus, if you’re a homeowner, chances are good that your home equity has increased along with skyrocketing home prices over the past few years.

So when it comes to spending cash on all those get-to-it-later home projects, you’re probably in good standing.

In fact, the remodeling market is expected to grow 7% this year, saysRobert Dietz, chief economist with the National Association of Home Builders.

“This market should be sustained by the fact that homeowners are remaining in their homes longer,” Dietz says.

2. Interest rates for building loans are low
Interest rates for home equity lines of credit—which offer a flexible way of obtaining funds to pay for things such as home improvements—are still historically low. And even though interest paid on HELOCs is no longer deductible under the new tax reform legislation, experts say the building loans remain a good deal.

“Interest rates are still quite friendly but will likely go up this year—and lenders are competing for loan business,” says Tom Miller, president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, who also owns a remodeling company in the Pacific Northwest.

Simply put: Take advantage of those low rates now before more increases hit.

3. It could be cheaper than buying a new home
If you live in a high-cost metro area and already have a foothold in the real estate market, remodeling your existing place could be cheaper than buying a new one. Maybe a lot cheaper (unless, of course, you were planning on downsizing).

There are a lot of factors to consider, however: How much equity you have in your place, what your current mortgage rate is, and whether major renovations are even feasible. But experts agree that, in many cases, the current seller’s market makes renovating a more palatable option than buying.

“We think remodeling will be a major trend in 2018, because we’ve seen prices grow so much that a lot of potential buyers are being priced out of their own markets,” Vivas says. “And that’s where you see a turn toward giving up on trading up and buying again and considering other options like renovating.”

This is especially true in expensive markets such as New York and California. Plus, these high-cost areas are expected to feel the heaviest burden of the tax reform provisions that limit mortgage interest deductions and eliminate the deduction for state and local property taxes.

“Some of the tax benefits linked with purchasing will be sidelined or diluted,” Dietz says.

4. Costs will go up the longer you wait
The construction industry is facing a major shortage of skilled laborers and rising materials costs, and there’s little indication this trend will reverse anytime in the future. This higher demand translates into higher pay scales for available, qualified workers—and those costs ultimately get passed along to you, the consumer. The situation is expected to get worse over time.

“Labor costs will continue to escalate as remodelers pay up to get and keep construction trades on the jobs,” says Fred Ulreich, chief executive officer of the NARI.

Furthermore, the multibillion-dollar cleanups of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma drove materials prices even higher—and the effects are expected to last into 2018. The NARI predicts materials costs will rise about 5% this year, especially for supplies such as lumber, drywall, and concrete.

What’s more? Labor shortages will not be resolved overnight, Miller says. For the would-be remodeler, that means your costs will likely go up the longer you wait.

“There are no signs that remodeling demand or costs will taper off over the next several years, but will continue to rise,” Miller says. “Holding off on a project—if you can find a reputable remodeler available now— will only cost you more next year.”

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Home Repairs: 5 Common (and Costly) Unexpected Repairs

home repairs

Unexpected repairs can cause financial stress for homeowners.

When crises occur, homeowners can find themselves in a financial pinch, needing to rely on professionals like a general contractor to get the issue fixed quickly. Emergency repairs typically come with hefty price tags, but with proper planning, you can avoid draining your bank account.

1-Experiencing Unexpected Roof Repairs
One of the most important things to maintain is a solid roof over your head, so when that starts to deteriorate, it can quickly descend into a nightmare. Although many roofs are guaranteed for around 30 years, it’s better to take preventive action than wait until a crisis occurs to start thinking about how your house can weather the next storm.

A new roof for an average-sized house—using medium-priced asphalt shingles—can cost at least $5,000 in most parts of the country, assuming that the sheathing is still sound, says Timothy G. Wiedman, a retired professor of management from Doane University in Nebraska. Wiedman—who has bought, maintained, upgraded and sold several homes—says homeowners would be wise to start putting $600 to $700 per year into a roof replacement fund.

2-Handling an Unplanned HVAC Breakdown
When it comes to maintaining your heating system, don’t find yourself left out in the cold.

“This equipment will last 12 to 15 years before it should be replaced,” says Gene Amick with Climate Control Heating near Kansas City, Mo. Depending on size and efficiency, he says replacement costs range from $5,000 to $14,000.

Your best bet would be to find a local heating and cooling contractor who offers a maintenance program.

“This will prolong the life of your existing equipment,” Amick adds. “The proactive approach of being ready for the eventual changing of your equipment will save you money.”

3-Managing Old Window Emergencies
Old, drafty windows are a significant source of heat loss in a home.

“You’re literally throwing money right out the window,” cautions Phil Eby, owner of Eby Exteriors, Inc. in Lancaster, Pa. “Replacement windows are a home improvement necessity you should be saving for.”

In addition, he pointed out energy-efficient windows can be tax deductible, and to save more money, homeowners should look for window manufacturer rebates. In Eby’s area, replacement windows can range anywhere from $4,500 to nearly $9,000.

“It really depends on how many windows need replacing and sizes,” Eby says.

4-Mending Crumbling Driveways
A compromised driveway can be dangerous. Not only can someone fall, but also vehicles can be damaged. A quick fix can cost only a few hundred dollars, but depending on the length, some repairs can easily cost over $1,000, according to Teris Pantazes, CEO of home improvement platform EFynch.

For a complete repaving project, a good place to start is to ask a trusted neighbor for a recommendation. A smooth driveway not only has aesthetic appeal, but could also increase your home’s curb appeal and value should you choose to sell.

5-Understanding Chimney Maintenance
Blocked chimneys are a serious fire hazard, so proper cleaning is a must.

“With each chimney sweep, the professional should also inspect the chimney for cracks, nests or damage,” says Pantazes. “Gas should be every two years; wood every year.”

Typical costs are about $100 per sweep, and a maintenance contract with a reputable chimney sweep company might reduce some of these costs. DIY-ers beware: Leave this job to a professional.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

The 8 Top Upgrades To Personalize Your New Home

Top Upgrades For Home

Before you move into your new house, you may want to make upgrades. These add value to your investment, improve your home’s function and allow you to express your personality. Plus, making upgrades before you move in reduces inconvenience later. Consider the following upgrades to make your new house feel like home.

1- Enhance the Kitchen
Quality kitchen upgrades ensure the room meets your family’s needs, and add value to your home. Consider several changes that improve the quality and function of your kitchen:

  • Get high-end, energy- or water-saving appliances.
  • Lower the bar counter from 42 to 36 inches so it’s more accessible.
  • Install quartz countertops.
  • Add lighting under the counters.
  • Choose matching fixtures and hardware.

Worried about staying on budget while renovating the most expensive room in the house? According to HomeAdvisor’s Kitchen Cost Guide, it costs the average homeowner between $12,500 and $33,500 for a full kitchen remodel.

2- Redo the Flooring
It’s definitely easier and more affordable to upgrade a house’s flooring before you arrange all the furniture. Consider stain-resistant carpeting in high-traffic areas, or install hardwood in connected rooms for a sleek appearance.

3- Update the Bathroom
Spruce up a bathroom already in the house or add an additional bathroom before your move. When renovating a bathroom, consider your current and future needs, such as your family size or entertaining habits. Several possible changes include:

  • Install a double sink.
  • Install a walk-in shower or Jacuzzi tub.
  • Choose decorative shower, floor or wall tile.
  • Customize the lighting or fixtures.
  • Hang extra shelves for storage.

4- Bring in New Cabinetry
Before you unpack all your possessions, install new cabinetry that helps you get and stay organized. The kitchen and bathroom cabinets have a big effect on your home’s function and appearance. Choose cabinet finishes and designs that match your personal style and color scheme. You can hang the old cabinets in the garage or attic to expand your storage space.

5- Update Electrical Wiring
Older houses may have outdated wiring, or you may find that you need additional outlets in certain rooms. Walk through your house, visualize how you will use each room and plan any electrical wiring updates. With help from an electrician, you can add outlets in the living room to accommodate your gaming systems or wire the den ceiling for a new fan.

6- Wire for Internet Service
Improve security and speed in your new home with wired internet throughout the house. It allows you to install and use a variety of electronics, including security cameras, in any room. Full-house wired internet also prevents outside users and hackers from accessing your network and potentially harming your family.

7- Add Lots of Storage
Getting extra storage throughout your house before you move helps you completely unpack and organize your home the way you want. The price of installing a new closet is about $1,800, as found on HomeAdvisor. Choose from a variety of cabinet types, shelving, and overhead storage designs and materials that match your needs and preferences.

8- Transform the Laundry Room
While you probably plan to use your laundry room primarily for laundry, you may wish to transform it into a functioning pantry, drop zone or mud room. Rearrange the washing machine and dryer hookup to make room for pantry storage. Consider adding a bench and hooks for shoes, backpacks and umbrellas, too.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Home Safety: “Protecting Your Family” At Every Stage Of Life

home safety

Home Safety For Your Family

We all want to keep our families as safe as possible, but home safety requirements change as your family grows and evolves. From newborns to pets, a variety of different strategies can ensure your home is as safe and accommodating as possible for your family. Here are some simple tips to help keep your family safe through every stage of life. Getting your home

Getting your home ready for a new baby

Babyproofing a home is largely about protecting them from their own curiosity. Once a baby learns to crawl, anything in reach is fair game to be grabbed, touched, or chewed on.

  1. Install baby gates to keep certain rooms off-limits. This is especially important near stairs.
  2. Fill unused electrical outlets with plastic plugs. Outlets are like magnets for babies.
  3. Store breakable items out of reach.
  4. Keep small items out of reach as well. Small objects that could be put into mouths are a major choking hazard. A good rule of thumb is if it can fit in an empty toilet paper roll, it is small enough for a baby to choke on.

Home safety for toddlers and elementary-age children

Toddler-proofing is a little different from baby proofing in that a toddler is usually more resourceful about getting into things they shouldn’t be. Toddlers will climb, open doors and drawers, and generally get themselves into trouble.

  1. Move anything small or breakable up higher now that your child is walking and climbing. You’d be surprised at what they can reach.
  2. If you have a pool, build a fence around it. You’ll want a barrier at least a few feet high to make it harder for your toddler to climb over.
  3. Secure drawers and cabinets with childproof latches.
  4. Place safety locks on windows and doors to prevent them from being opened.
  5. If you don’t have a home security system, install one for added safety. Choosing a system with the right features, like motion sensors and security cameras, can help you know if your curious toddler runs out the door or it can help you keep tabs on things while the babysitter is over.

Safety during the teenage years

As your child grows into their teens, the focus moves further from physical safety and more towards online safety and general home security. Online safety is extremely important with teenagers in the house.

  1. Set clear boundaries and expectations with your teen regarding potentially dangerous situations. These could involve simple subjects like safe driving or complex topics like drinking and drugs.
  2. Keep alcohol, firearms, and any prescription or over-the-counter drugs locked up in a safe place.
  3. Educate your teen about safe internet usage. This includes avoiding malware, being smart on social media, and using privacy settings.

Pet-proofing your home

Pets make great additions to the family, but they come with their own safety needs. In many ways, pet-proofing is similar to babyproofing. Pet-proofing involves keeping harmful items out of their reach and making sure that they can’t escape the house or yard and run off.

  1. Keep cleaning products, chemicals, and medications in high places or locked where pets can’t stumble upon them.
  2. If your pet likes to chew on (or eat!) household items, make sure that you don’t leave anything lying around. It can be helpful to do a quick walkthrough of your home a couple times a day, such as when you leave and return from work.
  3. If you have a home security system, make sure the motion sensors are capable of detecting and ignoring your pets.
  4. If you have a fenced yard, check it for weaknesses or small gaps that a pet could squeeze through.

Getting your home ready for your parents to move in

As our parents get older, it’s not uncommon for them to move in with us. This can help ensure their safety and prevent the loneliness that often comes with old age. It can also present some unique challenges when it comes to home safety.

Depending on your parent’s age and their physical and mental well-being, you may need to make small home improvements for their convenience or physical safety. In general, you’ll want to try to minimize the potential for falls and make sure that help is always within reach.

  1. Install grab bars in the bathrooms near the toilet and shower. These bars can help support a person as they move in and out of the shower or tub, both making this task easier and helping prevent falls. Make sure they can support the weight of the person who’ll be using them.
  2. Walk through your home and check for objects that might make tripping hazards. Throw rugs, children’s toys, and pet toys can all be dangerous for people lacking the eyesight or reflexes to maneuver around them easily.
  3. Set up a medical alert system. This is a wearable device that essentially functions as a panic button—if a person falls or has a medical emergency, they can push the button to get instant access to help.
  4. Learn which foods are hazardous for senior health. As your parents age, their immune system weakens—making them more susceptible to food poisoning and health risks. Prepare meals at home that won’t threaten the health of your aging parents.

Your family grows and changes as time goes by, and so should your home safety plans. If you want to keep up with each of your family members, continually assess their needs. These tips should give you a great starting point towards building a safer home for your family.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

10 Impressive Home Improvements You Can Make This Weekend

weekend home improvement projects

Want to transform the look and function of your home? It doesn’t need to cost a fortune or even require much time. There are hundreds of home improvements you can make to update your home over a weekend, from upgrading home security to giving your bathroom a much-needed makeover.

Here are 10 impressive home improvement projects you can wrap up this weekend:

1- Add halogen track lighting
Need more task lighting in the kitchen or bathroom? Track lighting is practical and easy to install on your own. Most track lighting systems work on household voltage so you can connect it directly to an existing junction box in your ceiling. It can take as little as one hour to install track lighting with kits that start at around $150.

2- Minor bathroom update
Does your bathroom show its age? Give your bathroom a breath of fresh air with a few easy renovations. A fresh coat of paint can go a long way, especially if you have a vanity that’s in good shape but not your taste. Easy ideas for updating your bathroom include:

  • Paint an old vanity to freshen it up
  • Replace cabinet hardware
  • Replace old fixtures
  • Update the mirror by adding a frame
  • Add wallpaper to one wall as an accent
  • Install a new granite countertop

3- Improve kitchen storage with rollouts
A rollout is an easy upgrade you can make to your kitchen storage and something you will appreciate every day. A rollout maximizes space in your cabinets by allowing you to quickly access items in the back of your cabinets. Make sure you measure your opening and cabinets carefully and order the right size of rollout for a fast, simple installation. Most rollout kits can be mounted to existing shelves with a few screws.

4- Freshen your front door
Your front door is your home’s smile, so make sure it’s looking its best. A fresh coat of bright paint can do wonders for cheering up a gloomy entry while new hardware can give your front door an easy facelift. You can also improve the approach to the entry by adding a border of bricks along the walkway that are set in a trench with sand.

5- Step up your home security
Technology has come a long way. Home security cameras are no longer the ugly gray blocks mounted to your wall that you may envision; instead, a home security system can be aesthetic and understated while incorporating wireless technology to keep an eye on what matters most, even from your smartphone on vacation or while you’re at work. A home security camera at your front door allows you to make sure the kids got home safely, check who is knocking on the door, and monitor activity outside of your home. While some security systems can be installed yourself, professional security system installation is typically cost-effective.

6- Install a backsplash
A backsplash can make a big statement in your kitchen while protecting your walls and making cleanup a bit easier. You don’t need to opt for an expensive and time-consuming tile blacksplash: try easy, DIY options like wallpaper, tin tiles, or peel-and-stick subway tiles.

7- Add a flagstone outdoor patio
Wish you had more outdoor living space? With flagstone, you can build an outdoor patio in a weekend without mortar. Excavate the area to at least six inches for drainage then add a base material like crushed limestone or gravel to keep the patio from shifting. Tamp down the base then add two inches of builder’s sand with a rake. Install some edging and add your flagstones over the sand, keeping the pieces close together for a cohesive look or farther apart if you want to add ground cover. Fill spaces with sand and enjoy!

8- Replace your kitchen faucet
A beautiful faucet can be the centerpiece of your kitchen. You spend a lot of time at your kitchen sink, so why not make it a more enjoyable task with a gorgeous wall-mounted sink, a commercial-style faucet to make a statement, or a touchless faucet to make life cleaner and easier.

9- Create a hidden charging station
Want to declutter your home? Turn a drawer into a simple but effective charging station. Outfit a drawer with a divided drawer organizer and a power strip to serve as a charging dock and organizer. Drill a hole in the back of the drawer for cords and you’re all set.

10- Upgrade your laundry station
Doing the laundry doesn’t need to be an unpleasant chore if you have the right setup. If your laundry room is lacking storage and workspace, a quick trip to a home improvement store and a few hours is all you need to fix the problem. Purchase a stock countertop and caps then assemble do-it-yourself shelving to support it. Hang utility wall cabinets over your counters to store your cleaning supplies and add an adjustable rod for hanging clothes. For better lighting, go with 90-plus CRI fluorescent bulbs and a four-bulb fixture to better see what you’re doing.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

6 “Do It Yourself” Backyard Projects For The Summer

DIY Backyard Projects

Remember backyards? Those things we’ve been ignoring for the past four months? They’re back! They might not be looking as sharp as they did before the snowfalls, but we’ve got some rad DIY backyard projects to bring it back to life.

1. Ground-level trampoline
Backyard Inground Trampoline

Image from Little Green Fingers

Do you live in constant fear of your kids falling off the trampoline? Honestly—parenting fears aside—trampolines might be fun, but they’re pretty ugly structures. Well, with these sunken trampolines, you’ll never have to worry about either of those things. Just dig a hole, place your trampoline, and voila! Click here for instructions.

2. The only thing better than a tree house
Treehouse

Image from Lazysundaycooking.com

Marta Potoczek was looking for a treehouse alternative, something that looked nice but offered a little distance from the main house. Her solution was this adorable garden house, originally for her daughter to play in and now a perfect woman cave. Moral of the story: your treehouse need not be on a tree. How she did it.

3. Tin can lanterns
Tin Can Lanterns

Image from Growcreativeblog.com

This project is both DIY and eco-friendly (because recycling is good). They are easy to make, and will elevate your backyard to the next level. It’s a win-win! Instructions here.

4. How about some outdoor Tic Tac Toe?
Outdoor Tic Tac Toe

Image from Designdininganddiapers.com

I don’t have a backyard, but I’m considering making one of these anyways. Not only is Tic Tac Toe the best (especially when you’re super good at it), but it also scores high in decorative value. With little effort, you’ll come across as cool and tasteful. Supply list and assembling instructions here.

5. Vertical garden
Vertical Garden

Image from 99pallets.com

Since we’ve already installed a sunken trampoline, a play house/woman cave, and have a Tic Tac Toe board lying around, how about we go for space efficiency with this one? A vertical garden can cover any and all walls. It looks good, it smells nice, and you can eat it! That is the best of all the worlds, if you ask me. Here’s how to make your own.

6. Last but not least, I promised a fire pit
Fire Pit

Image from Keepingitsimplecrafts.com

If you can’t roast s’mores in your backyard, is it even a backyard? I’m going to go with no. This DIY project costs only $60 to make, but look how fancy. This fire pit will make the perfect centerpiece for the intense fantasy backyard we just built together. (Also: s’mores.) Here’s how to do it.

An awesome backyard is just one DIY away.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

High-Resale Value Home Projects You Can Tackle In A Weekend

Home Projects With High-Resale Value

Home Projects With High-Resale Value

“There’s no place like home,” as the old saying goes. That’s especially true when it comes to an investment.

You live in and love your home, but there might come a time when you have to leave it. And when that time comes, you’ll want to get as much money as you can for your property so you can move onward — and upward.

In order to increase your abode’s value, you might think you have to put in a ton of time, effort and money, but that’s not entirely true. Instead, you can take on weekend projects over time to spruce the place up so when it’s time to sell, you have a completely updated property that’ll end up selling itself.

Ready to get to work? Roll up your sleeves and start on one of the following five weekend projects.

1. Repaint Your Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to smart investment in your home, the kitchen is one of the best places to start. Buyers expect kitchens to be updated. Stone countertops, stainless appliances and sleek flooring all make a space feel modern. Obviously, these changes require a lot of money and, sometimes, a lot of time. That’s why you can tackle it in bits and start first with your cabinets.

Old wooden cabinets with equally dated hardware — think oak doors with shiny brass handles — don’t require a complete gut job. Instead, spend a weekend repainting them a more neutral hue. Finish the project off with new metallic knobs and pulls to complete the modernized look.

2. Make the Eye Go up With Crown Molding

Most homes have roughly the same ceiling heights, but there’s a little trick to make yours look bigger — crown molding. Yes, that white line at the top of your painted walls will draw eyes upward, making the room appear airier than it may very well be.

The project is easy enough to complete, too. You might not be able to install molding throughout your entire home over a single weekend, but you can certainly tackle the project on a room-by-room basis. Again, start with the spaces likely to draw in the most moolah:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Living spaces
  • Master bedrooms

These tend to be the make-or-break rooms when it comes to a big purchase. Crown molding adds a bit of detail, a feeling of luxury that’ll certainly add to the bottom line.

3. Boost Curb Appeal — and Backyard Bonuses

No one will come in your home unless the first impression is stunning. Another DIY project should be a landscape overhaul of your front yard. It can be something as simple as adding a path of pavers to your front yard or sprucing up your flowerbeds with colorful blooms. All of this will catch the eye of potential buyers — and fatten up the bottom line of the offers they make.

Another easy fix — your garage door. If it’s street-facing, it’s another area for prospective buyers to look at, and it has a great return on investment.

You don’t have to stop with the front of your home. Especially if you live in a climate that permits lots of outdoor activity, you’ll want a backyard to match. Some may require you rent or buy tools for landscaping and other applications, but imagine the payoff with, for example, the beauty of a functioning fire pit in your backyard. Not only will you be able to enjoy it while you’re still living in your home, but potential buyers will easily be able to envision themselves sitting around a fire.

4. Beautify the Bathrooms

Bathrooms have a big effect on buyers. They expect clean, modern updates, just like in the kitchen. Overhauling your powder room is an easy weekend task that might require small swaps, such as a new modern light fixture over the vanity or a new vanity altogether.

Your full bathrooms will require a bit more attention if you want them to be up to snuff. Again, look in the familiar places:

  • Lighting fixtures
  • Cabinets
  • Hardware
  • Countertops
  • Tile

You don’t have to shell out a ton of money to have someone else re-tile a wall or backsplash in your bathroom, either, if you have the patience to demo and tile the space yourself.

5. Out With the Really Old

Some accents once considered fresh and fashionable now give your home a dated appearance. You probably already know what in your home screams 70s, 80s or 90s. Whatever it is should go in due course.

The list of outdated design elements is truly endless, but some of the biggest offenders are old-school wallpaper, the floor-to-ceiling wood paneling that may or not be actual wood, and, of course, popcorn ceilings. By removing these three offenders alone — a popcorn ceiling doesn’t take much effort — your home will snap right back into 2017.

Once people start envisioning themselves living in your home, you won’t have to envision offers pouring in — they’ll start coming thanks to your hard work.

You go, weekend warrior.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com