Tag Archives: Home Improvement-The Nuts and Bolts Advice, Tips and News

Portfolio-Budget Kitchen remodel

Updating a kitchen doesn’t have to break your bank.  There are some simple things you can do to give your kitchen a clean and updated appearance.

This was a recent single family home I purchased for renovation and resell.  The lower kitchen cabinets were in horrible condition from what appeared to be water leaks.  The counters were the old style butcher block laminate and the floors were painted concrete.

Continue reading

How to maximize your home value with home improvements

Many areas across our country have been hit hard with declining real estate values.  As a result, more and more people are looking at ways to stay in their current home and ride-out the decline.  As I like to say, learn to “love the home you’re with”.  By completing a few critical home repairs or improvements, homeowners can actually add value to their home by increasing its equity and marketability.  Even better, there are many options that can be done yourself that won’t break your bank.  When you can tackle smaller projects yourself, you save even more money.

Invest wisely:

Invest your time and money into wise improvements.  Before tackling larger projects, consider the resale value of those improvements.  Will you get all or most of your money spent back equally in the increased resale value?   Renovating your home can also improve your quality of life.   Any upgrade should reflect your style, but try to choose colors, building materials and furnishings that will bring you maximum marketability for resale. Even low cost improvements like painting can go a long way.

Consider Functionality

Will the renovation serve a purpose for your family?  Does it fit into your lifestyle?  Will it improve the use of a current space?  Consider the size, location and layout of any addition to ensure it blends well into your current surroundings.

Go Eco-Friendly

Let’s face it, with current tax credits available and all the buzz about carbon footprints and going green, this should be a very important part of your investment decision.  Not only do energy efficient improvements save money on utility costs or take advantage of recycled building materials, they are becoming a hot selling factor in homes which increases your marketability resale value to buyers.  Insulated windows, lighting, solar panels or other energy saving features are among the available options to homeowners.    There are also a variety of building materials that are available in eco-friendly options such as flooring, natural fiber carpets, VOC free paints, recycled material countertops, etc.

Popular Options for Home Improvements:

Fresh Paint Inside and Out: By far, this is the least expensive and easiest way to get a lot of bang for your buck.  Don’t overlook door trims, exterior paint, corners and doors.  Chipped or dirty paint in a desirable color does nothing for resale value, but a fresh coat of paint says “welcome in”.  Go over your home inside and out from a buyer’s perspective and ensure your paint is in its best condition and clean.

Landscaping/Outdoor Amenities: As families are getting back outside to enjoy time together and entertaining, patios and decks are a good option for any property. Decks and patio additions can recoup at least 75% of their cost in extra home value.  Flower beds, brick walkways, fresh mulch and other landscaping add instant curb appeal.  Curb appeal will be the first thing any real estate agent will look at when you go to sell your home.

Kitchen or Bathroom upgrade: These two rooms historically bring the best resale value to homes when updated in current finishes.  You might be surprised that by doing even a budget kitchen makeover, it will go a long way on the value you get in return.

Survey your floors and cabinets to determine if they should be updated.  Consider sanding, staining, or painting dingy looking cabinets.  Replacing old cabinet hardware can add a lot of visual appeal for a low cost.  Old and worn sinks and fixtures should be replaced.

For some budget kitchen makeover ideas:


For some budget bathroom makeover ideas:



Make your next DIY project a successful one

“You Can Do It Too”…Make your next DIY project a successful one

I love starting new projects.  I love learning new things.  Each time, I savor the sense of accomplishment by not only completing the task, but  also knowing that I was successful.  The following are tips to help you get the most out of your next home improvement project too:

1.  Have the right tools and the right materials

Before tackling any project, determine the type of tools needed and the type and amount of all the materials for the project.

2. Research and planning

Research the steps necessary to complete the project from start to finish to ensure you will have the know how.  Plan the project in steps so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

Continue reading

Caution: I have a toolbox and I know how to use it!

What’s inside a basic toolbox that everyone should have?

My ex-husband used to do all of the home improvement projects around the house.  When we divorced, he was kind enough to leave me a basic tool box with some tools.  I look back and laugh because at the time, I couldn’t tell you the difference between a flat head screwdriver or a Philips head and how a wrench was different than pliers.  The whole thing scared me to death!  Its time to conquer your fears if you feel the same way.

Continue reading

Paint Color Dilemma? You can commit!

Got the itch to repaint a room but overwhelmed by the choices?  Here are a few simple pointers about how to get over the hump and COMMIT to the color!

1. It’s your home
Home is where the heart is as they say, its your sanctuary and you are  proud to call it your own.   Its great to have a friend or someone “guide” you in the process, but ultimately, paint color is your decision.  You are the one that has to live with it every day.  If you hire a professional, communicate in advance all of your likes and dislikes and wish list items so that you can be assured that your space will reflect “you” when it’s complete.

Continue reading

Giving new life to a wooden fireplace mantle

Before and After Side by Side comparison

Because of my current love affair with Espresso brown (A Home Depot Behr color) , I decided to see what happened if I painted our all white fireplace mantle with the warm color.

Materials Needed:  Two 2″ paintbrushes, quart of semi-gloss paint in brown tone desired, quart of semi-gloss black paint, painters tape and small paint tray

Step 1) Tape off edges that meet wall and floor covering

Continue reading