Simple Solutions to Increasing Your Home’s Value

new-home-for-sale-1405784150fTAWhen it comes to selling your house, you want to be sure to get the best possible price. There are many things that you can change about or add to your house in order to add value to it and, by extension, turn a good profit on it. Here are a few simple changes you can make to your home to make it more appealing on the market.
Kitchen Remodeling
Kitchens are incredibly important, as many homeowners spend a good deal of time in them cooking and even eating meals. They become a hub in the house, so making improvements to them is a good way to increase your house’s value. A new installation or a lick of paint can go a long way.

Bathroom Remodeling and Addition
Having multiple bathrooms is a real benefit for many families, as sharing one space can cause a morning gridlock that can make people late or just make for a bad morning. Fitting a new bathroom will instantly increase the appeal of your house, and remodeling existing bathroom spaces with new, clean appliances will do a world of good, too.

What Should You Avoid?
Although high-end changes may sound appealing, very often they can be off-putting for prospective buyers. Here are a few you should avoid:

High-End Appliances
Replacing everything in your home to suit modern standards can take away from the charm of a house, and quite often overspending on appliances will not see a good return upon selling the house.

Swimming Pools
As attractive as they might sound, pools are quite often a massive turn-off for prospective house buyers due to their overbearing maintenance costs. This one will depend on where you live, as many areas will look for a pool while many more will not.

Invisible Improvements
Of course, it is important to make your home comfortable, but the changes you make to this end will not always benefit you when you are looking to sell your house. Subtle invisible changes to things like plumbing and electricity supplies will not have as big an impact as aesthetic changes such as remodeling.

Best Countertops for Kitchen Renovations


L_Küche_2015The kitchen is considered by many to be the heart and soul of a house, so it stands to reason that it should be well tended and properly suited to purpose using proper countertop materials. Here are a few options you should consider when looking at which material to use for your kitchen counters.
One of the most glamorous and impressive options available these days is marble, which gives your kitchen a distinctly traditional and elegant look. In addition, it is very hard and heat-resistant, making it excellent for bakers. Look out for stains, though, as marble can stain easily even with sealant.
Despite its harsh sounding name, granite is a very aesthetically appealing material. It is extremely hardy and tough and can withstand most spills and knocks. While it is more resistant to stains than marble, it does require regular sealing and its heavy weight can call for specialist units to house it.
The major boon of tile is its relative inexpensiveness. Due to its versatility, it comes in a range of styles and arrangements which can suit your existing kitchen or give you multitudinous options for new designs. The problem with tile is that, by virtue of its tiled design, it is an uneven surface and the gaps can harvest mold. Luckily, its inexpensiveness and ease of replacement can often make up for this.
Quartz is a very special material and a great choice for many. It’s stylish and sleek in a manner similar to gravel and marble, but has the added boon of being resistant to bacteria due to its much finer surface. The only thing to look out for with this material is the price tag.
Solid Surfacing
While it may not be the most aesthetically appealing option on the market, polyester and acrylic surfaces are ideal for those looking for a surface that doesn’t require as much maintenance or attention. With a wide range of styles and colors, this is a material that will fit into your kitchen no matter what, and could save you a lot of time and money compared to other options at the loss of hardness and some polish.

Understanding Float Time Planning for Construction and Renovation Projects

Metric_clockAll the major construction and remodeling jobs use extensive project management to make sure they stay on schedule and on cost. Even if you are a home owner planning on doing a DIY renovation project there are aspects of project management that can help you to do the same. The most important concept to understand is the use of float time planning. It could mean the difference between getting your project done when you expect it to be done and for what you estimated the cost, and paying a whole lot more.

What is float time?
The best way to understand float time is to use an example. Let’s say that in a room there has to be dry wall hung before the painters can come in. The basic schedule is one week for drywall, and then when that week ends you plan another week for the painters. Float time is the time that you add in to accommodate delays. That one week for the drywall installer can become 9 days, and the same for the painter. This way if there is a delay how you have planned the overall finish date for the project doesn’t change. Your drywall person could start two days late and not affect the start date of your painter.

Using float time requires the subcontractors be on board
If you are working with float time planning then you have to make sure that you are scheduling your contractors for the entire float time too. Don’t just add the float to your overall schedule. A contractor will price according to the time it will take to complete the project, so pricing needs to be adjusted for the float too. In many cases the cost does not go up because it also protects the contractor from penalty costs in the contract should they run into a delay.

Making the float work
Projects should have a start and end date. Then you plan out the schedule for each action to get from the start to the finish. The float time is then added above the schedule so you know how much leeway you have with each task. If a task is done on time, you then have to go back and figure out where you can add in your unused float time. This almost guarantees you can stay on schedule with your project.

Does Shopping for Materials Online Really Save on Renovation Costs?

Stockage_de_cimentsTo hear everyone tell it, you can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars getting your renovation materials online. When you think about it, how many people do you actually know have done this? The idea is perfect, but it’s the execution that many people have a problem with. The truth is that shopping online for your renovation materials can save you significant money, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.

The wrong way to shop for materials
There are two mistakes people make when shopping for their renovation materials online. The first is that they ignore how the cost of shipping and delivery may outweigh the discount price they can get. Delivery prices are especially tricky, if you are ordering a pallet of material it has to come off the truck. Many companies will add a charge for a forklift to off load. It can be less expensive to get your bulk pallet material locally. The other common mistake is that people wait until the last minute to order renovations materials such as fixtures. Since you can’t see it when you order it you really don’t know how it will look. If you haven’t left enough time in case there is a return to be done, you could delay your whole project.

The right way to order renovation materials online
Be smart and use the best of both worlds. Shop online for your best prices and then compare the total costs (with shipping) to your local suppliers. That can tell you whether or not you are really getting a deal. For fixtures and smaller items, allow yourself more than enough time to return and replace the item too. You can also find the fixture locally so you can see it in person before ordering it online to make sure you get the discount pricing. One last tip is to bring the local price to the online dealer, or the online price to the local dealer – you never know who is going to offer you a better deal when they know what their competition prices are for the same item.