The Best Home Improvement Blogs From 2017 | Advice For Home Remodeling

Kyle Hiscock

Kyle Hiscock | Greater Rochester NY Real Estate | Pittsford NY Realtor at RE/MAX Realty Group

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Top Home Improvement Blogs From 2017

The Best Home Improvement Blog Articles From 2017 - Advice For Home Remodeling

The Best Home Improvement Blog Articles From 2017 – Advice For Home Remodeling

Are you looking for some informative home improvement blogs?

If so, you’ve come to the right place!

Over the past several weeks we’ve been highlighting some of the best real estate articles from 2017.  The “best of” series is a 5 part roundup of the top real estate related blogs from 2017.

The first week we highlighted the very best home buying blogs from this year.  There were a total of 20 incredible articles geared to help home buyers.  The second week of the 5 part series, we showcased the top home selling blog articles from 2017.  And finally, published last week was the best mortgage blog articles from the year.

This week in the 4th part of this 5 part series, we’re highlighting the best home improvement blogs from 2017.

Below are recaps of some incredible articles geared towards home improvement and remodeling.  If you’re a homeowner and you’re thinking about improving your home, you need to check out these fantastic articles!

Home Maintenance Tasks & Checklists For All Seasons

One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make is not maintaining their home.  A home is like a car, it needs routine maintenance otherwise it can deteriorate quickly, which can ultimately end up reducing the value!

Each and every season there are certain maintenance tasks that should be completed.  For example, during the winter homeowners should put away their outdoor furniture in order to preserve it’s condition.

Here on Rochester’s Real Estate Blog, we’ve published guides for home maintenance for each season!  It’s critical that certain jobs are being completed throughout the year so that your home stays in good shape.

The spring home maintenance checklist was written by Nathan Garrett.  In the article Nathan provides 16 very important tasks that homeowners should complete during the springtime!  A few of the tasks that Nathan discusses include sealing your driveway, replacing batteries in your smoke detectors, and preparing your lawn equipment.

The summer home maintenance guide provides 10 tasks that all homeowners should consider completing during the summertime.  Maintenance tasks such as checking the grading around your home, cleaning your outdoor grill and BBQ, and washing the exterior of your windows are a few of the tasks you’ll find in this guide.

In the fall home maintenance checklist, again, you’ll find 10 very important tasks you should be completing around your home.  A few of the most important home maintenance tasks to complete during the fall include tuning up your furnace, inspecting your roof, and raking your leaves.

Last but not least, preparing your home for the winter is critical.  Depending on the location of your home, you may have more tasks to complete before winter.  For example, if you live in a cold and snowy climate, you’ll need to prepare your snow removal equipment and also take extra steps to help reduce the chances of ice damming.  In the winter home maintenance article, you’ll find some important tips for winterizing a home!

Smart Renovations To Maximize Your Homes Value

When it comes time to renovate and remodel your home it is important to do smart renovations.  Very few renovations or improvements will pay you back dollar for dollar on resale.

As Kevin Vitali points outs you need to always think about resale when improving your home.  How many times have agents do we meet with sellers who just finished some major improvements on their home and have to give them the bad news….

…. you can’t recoup all the money you spent on your renovations Mr ad Mrs Seller!!

Kevin points out first try to realistically decide how long you will be in your house.  If this is truly your forever home and you will be there for the next 30 years, then knock yourself out.

But rarely is that the case.  On average people move every seven years.  You don’t always know what the future will hold as well.

Think if the improvement or renovation you are about to do makes sense.  Is it what is typical for your neighborhood? And price range?

To get maximum return on the sale of your home you do want to keep in in good repair and up to date.  But moderation is the key.   Don’t go overboard on finishes, cabinets, appliances or over improve for your neighborhood.

One last suggestions is contact your local REALTOR to discuss your plan to improve and see how that impacts the value of your home.  It may make sense to move to a better neighborhood rather than improve the home you are already in.

The Best Home Improvement and Remodeling Blog Articles - 2017 Edition

The Best Home Improvement and Remodeling Blog Articles – 2017 Edition

Tips For Removing A Popcorn Ceiling

Working as real estate agents we are often asked are opinions on various topics surrounding home improvement. Buyers and sellers usually ask these questions for one reason – they want to know the money they are investing is a wise move. Sometimes the question being asked is about adding an addition to the property and other times the question relates to improving an existing condition.

One of my favorite examples of making a sound home improvement decision was Bill Gassett’s article on how to remove a popcorn ceiling. Most people hate the look of popcorn ceilings. In fact, it can really downgrade the look of a home. Popcorn ceilings were really popular in the 70’s but this ceiling type went out of style very quickly. Quite often these types of ceilings were installed in modular construction. They are cheaper to install and unfortunately look that way too compared to today’s modern plastered ceilings.

Bill was smart to provide this helpful information on popcorn ceiling removal as many people will search for it online. Providing beneficial information like this could potentially help Bill land some business in the future. People remember those who provide really helpful home improvement/real estate information. Bill did a great job as  he not only provided a written explanation on the removal but also provided a video that is easy to understand.

If you are considering getting rid of some popcorn ceilings in your home, make sure you check out Bill’s tips.

Virtual Remodeling & Decorating

As homeowners think about making renovations or home improvements, whether they plan to sell in the near future or whether they plan to stay put, the planning is the most important part. Realtors® will always encourage their clients to keep resale in mind while they renovate and decorate. Planning a project that helps a home retain or even increase in value takes a lot of work. It used to take lot of leg-work.

In this article Virtual Remodeling and Decorating, Chris and Karen Highland, central Maryland real estate agents, share 16 helpful apps and online tools to help in the planning process.

Rather than getting in your car and to check out every option in fixtures, paint, flooring, and appliances, it’s now possible to save on the travel time and gas, and do most, if not all of the research virtually. Virtual remodeling and redecorating is easy from the comfort of your own easy chair. You can view a large number of decorating options by working with the free design software offered on many home-store web sites, as well as other cloud-based tools and apps.

Most of the big box stores have user-friendly design websites where you can plan every aspect of a space and get a good idea of how each choice will look in your house. You can design from scratch or decorate a room you already have. The same goes for virtual landscaping.

There are also many useful apps that allow you to match paint colors, measure walls, and actually “see” how a color or a piece of furniture will look in the room. Karen’s favorite app is called Like That Decor. When you see a piece of furniture you like, take a picture on your phone, and the app will instantly match you with similar pieces available to purchase. It makes shopping super easy. Her favorite site for ideas is Pinterest. Check out the embedded Pinterest boards for lots of design inspiration.

Low Cost Home Improvements

I reached out to Anita Clark, a real estate agent in Kathleen GA who has been serving the residential real estate needs of consumers in middle GA for the past decade, to get her opinion on potential low cost home improvements sellers can make to give their home a better opportunity to be seen and sold. Here are Anita’s thoughts on the subject.

Thanks so much for reaching out, Kyle. Having moved several times myself over the years, I have a good idea how to help sellers not only maximize their return but save themselves a lot of money a they go through the home improvement process. It does not matter whether they hire a professional or do-it-themselves, these are tried and true methods that work. for instance, one of the easiest ways to generate buyer interest is to add a fresh coat of paint to rooms in the home. Any room that looks dated or has outlandish paint colors is a good candidate for a new coat of light and neutral paint (gray, beige, and even white are popular choices).

Other low cost options include reglazing tiles to give a worn out bathroom an updated look and feel, removing popcorn ceilings (anyone like this stuff?), improving lighting in key rooms (like the kitchen), and even something as simple as removing window treatments can turn a drab space into a fab one in no time. The quicker buyers can see themselves living in the home, the better opportunity you have to sell them the house!

Still other considerations include painting the front door or even the kitchen cabinets to make the most important room in the home feel fresh and inviting. Another smart move is to replace dirty and/or soiled carpets. They collect odors and unsightly stains will turn consumers off fast. If after making these updates you have a little extra coin to spend, refinishing hardwood flooring or updating kitchen appliances are projects that are worth considering.

It is often said if you give buyers a reason to fall in love with your home, they will. Making these changes to your property gives you every opportunity to not only impress them but get them to sign on the dotted line too.

2017's Best Home Improvement and Remodeling Blog Articles

2017’s Best Home Improvement and Remodeling Blog Articles

Installing Smart Technology to Help Sell Your Home

In this blog, Debbie Drummond explores smart home technology. She explains how it can help sellers have an edge in the market. New paint and flooring may enhance your home’s appearance. Smart technology gives an edge to your home that others may not have. It can even attract more buyers who want to view your home.

A home with technological features creates the perception of quality in the home. It gives the impression that the owners take pride in keeping their home current.

Which technology should you invest in? A good security system can be a deterrent to criminals. It may even get a discount on homeowners insurance.

Home security can be enhanced with programmable light bulbs. Setting them to turn on and off at normal times will create the appearance that someone is home. Programmable thermostats will keep your home comfortable and cut energy costs. Today’s garage door openers can even be controlled from the phone.

Smart home technology appeals to buyers, especially the millennials. Many of the smart home technologies were first utilized in expensive, luxury homes. Advances have made technology affordable for even modest homes.

Can you add too much technology? As long as the systems are functional and easy to operate, this shouldn’t be a concern. Make sure you keep owners manuals for the systems you put in place. Be prepared to show the new owner how things work when you turn the home over to them. Leave them a list of the passwords that control the smart home features. It will make it easier for them to switch the passwords to ones they will remember.

Should You “DIY” Your Home Repairs?

In order to save money many homeowners take the do it yourself route (DIY) when making repairs in and around the home. Many homeowners have the skills to work on simple and complex DIY projects around the home. Even advanced projects like HVAC repair and maintenance, window replacement, carpentry work, electrical work can be done if the homeowner has the right skills.

Homeowners without the right skills should not attempt to take on advanced DIY projects no matter how easy the YouTube video or blog article makes it seem. Complicated systems like HVAC, plumbing, electrical and more if done incorrectly can cause quite a bit of damage to the home that will cost more to repair than it would have cost to hire a professional to do in the first place.

On the other end of the scale are the homeowners who are unaware at how easy some of the DIY projects are. Debbie Gartner of writing for Greater Cincinnati Real Estate Agent Paul Sian’s explains how homeowners can save themselves a lot of money by taking on some easy DIY home projects.

Not only will these projects save homeowners money it will ensure the home looks presentable, will maintain the value of a home and can prevent future problems from creeping up and costing more money to fix.

Debbie covers homeowner DIY projects such as protecting your hardwood floors, grout sealing, HVAC filter changes, carpet cleaning, refrigerator maintenance and more.

For instance making sure your refrigerator coils are clean means your refrigerator is able to operate more efficiently use less power over its lifetime. Dirty dusty refrigerator coils could lead to early failure, which could mean expensive repair or replacement costs sooner rather than later.

Protecting your hardwood floors from rough traffic and using the right cleaning product means your floors will last longer and cost less to refinish when the time comes. There are a lot more easy DIY tips in the article so be sure to check it out!

Home Remodeling: Top 5 Upgrades That Give Your Home the Most Value

Maria Mastrolonardo has written an article about the top 5 upgrades that will give your home the most value. Maria shares tips and advice on which areas of your home that will benefit the most from remodeling.

Maria explains about the value of your home and how a homebuyer will pay top dollar for a home that is remodeled.  Maria also reminds you that although these 5 upgrades can boost your home’s value.

Keep in mind not to over-improve. Know your home’s maximum value for your neighborhood (your real estate agent can help) and stay within that range when making your home improvements. Don’t make the mistake of adding top of the line, high end materials that can cause you to over-improve.

Guide To Understanding Cracks In A Foundation

It’s often the case that homeowners focus their budget on home improvements, finishes and fixtures that they can both see and enjoy on a daily basis.  We were shocked to discover that in a 2012 study, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) , estimated that one in four U.S. homes have cracks in the foundation, and by 2017 most likely this number has increased.

How could this possibly be?  It’s as simple as this, dirt moves with erosion, natural soil movement, and earthquakes.  As real estate agents we often notice hairline to larger cracks in tile, exterior stucco, and interior walls.

Often homeowners do a good job of filling and refinishing prior to listing for sale so the evidence is not always apparent.  Soil and foundation stability is especially cause for concern with homes built into a hillside, cliff, or on a bluff leaving the property open to potential serious structural issues.

Joy Bender provides an ultimate guide to ground movement and foundations.  Learn about the causes of soils movement, the signs, and what to do if you spot an issue.  A watchful eye today can make a huge difference in the long run.

Hardwood Flooring Trends For 2018

Hardwood flooring can make a big difference in the value of your home, and homes with hardwood tend to sell faster and at a higher value.

In this article, Debbie Gartner, “The Flooring Girl,” shares the stain color trends, finishes and styles of wood that buyers are looking for.  She also shares what’s out of style.

In this excellent article not only does it discuss the hardwood flooring trends for 2018, but other useful information and links to useful information.  I promise that both buyers and sellers will find this info helpful.

Previous Years “Best Of” Publications

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About the authors: The above article “The Best Home Improvement Blogs From 2017 | Advice For Home Remodeling” was written by Kyle Hiscock of the Hiscock Sold Team at RE/MAX Realty Group.  With over 35 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.

We service the following Greater Rochester NY areas: Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Fairport, Brighton, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Brockport, Mendon, Henrietta, Perinton, Churchville, Scottsville, East Rochester, Rush, Honeoye Falls, Chili, and Victor NY.

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