Tag Archives: home renovation

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.

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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:

http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/21/6-quick-and-easy-tips-for-a-budget-kitchen-makeover/

For some budget bathroom makeover ideas:

http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/27/portfolio-bathroom-remodel/

http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/28/portfolio-bathroom-remodel-2/


A Home Remodel Series (Part 5-Retile a Shower)

At last, today is moving day for my friend!  Her mini-home remodel is complete and the construction dust is gone.    My friend went from vanilla everything to “wow” by making subtle changes with color and a few finishes.  Concluding our home remodel series we started last week, her master bath shower and tub, like the rest of her home,  were white on white.

To see where we started and what we’ve done, click here:

http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/27/a-home-remodel-series-part-1-before-demo/

For such a large and bright space, it lacked a lot of personality.  With some paint and new tile, see the room take on a new life below.

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A Tween Girls Bedroom Design

A Tween Girl’s Bedroom-Easy and inexpensive decorating ideas

I am blessed with a very quick witted and enjoyable tween daughter.  With a college student moving on and another teen son taking over a bigger room, my daughter has an opportunity to also move to a bigger bedroom within our home which will leave behind her current room.   Her current bedroom (above) is already decorated in a style that most TEEN girls would die for, so it pains me to disassemble it.

It may seem odd to give up her current room’s modern and trendy appeal, but there is a valid story and a certain amount of guilt behind it.  When we first moved into our home, I painted her room the pink it is now.  Florals, gingham check were the visions of “little girl” I once had for my daughter.  Turning 7, she wanted something a little more hip and definitely anything BUT pink!

Not having the heart to repaint so quickly or do away with some decor pieces already in her space, I regrettably convinced her to “compromise”.  So with a new comforter set and pillows priced at less than $200, along a few intentional decor pieces purchased on sale at Hobby Lobby for under $100 and a little creativity, we had a complete budget room makeover for less than $300.

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Bathroom remodel inspiration

A Girl Can Do It!!!

One project truly does lead to another when you are able to start small and gain confidence in yourself along the way.  My friend and neighbor, Marian Takushi,  recently completed one bathroom remodel when she decided to take on another.

Check out her before and after for a little inspiration:

Before

What the project included:

Existing counter top and cabinets were replaced with standard order black cabinets (available in a variety of finishes and sizes from Lowes and Home Depot and these are very reasonably priced from around $200-500); granite top was done at a steal from scrap pieces for around $350.

Existing builders grade mirror was removed to reveal about 3 layers of wall paper. Ordinarily, this could have been a nightmare.  But instead of removal, Marian repeated the stucco finish on her wall by troweling stucco patch in the same stroke pattern as the rest of her bathroom and painted over it.  New framed mirror is now in place.

Smartly, she re-used the existing light fixtures but repainted with  Krylon’s hammered metal finish paint to give them a new look.

And this is a neat idea….instead of replacing her medicine cabinet which would have cost $200, she found a picture frame for around $20, placed hinges on it and mounted it to the existing recessed medicine cabinet box.  Now she has a framed art medicine cabinet.  Very cute and practical.

Now Marian has a chic and updated bath that took less than a week to finish!  You can do it too!

A Home Remodel Series (Part 3-How to replace a kitchen sink and faucet)

Day 3 has everyone hopping at my friend’s house!  With white cabinets and dark granite, she decided to switch from a stainless sink and faucet to a nice white Kohler sink with a Delta oil rubbed bronze faucet.  I love the contrast the new sink provides.  I think she’ll be very happy with the finished project.

Continuing with our series on quick and easy home improvement projects, lets move into the kitchen:

http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/27/a-home-remodel-series-part-1-before-demo/

Advice:  This type of project requires a little more advanced plumbing know how since it may involve some modification of the underside drain plumbing if a new sink’s drains don’t match up exactly to the old ones.  However, this is not a complex job that takes many hours, so if you do decide to hire a plumber, allow 3-4 hours at the most in their estimate; the parts should also be relatively inexpensive since they are standard PVC pieces that they are reassembling.  A little time and money can be saved though if you do the removal yourself following the steps below!

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A Home Remodel Series- Part 2 (replacing bathroom faucets)

Continuing the progress at my friend’s home remodel  http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/27/a-home-remodel-series-part-1-before-demo/ , they had 5 bathroom faucets to replace.  With new faucets running as inexpensive as $40 and up, this is an affordable update to make to your space style-wise.

First and most importantly,  make sure that your new faucet needs the same number of holes as your old faucet.  In other words, some sink faucets only need one hole in your counter tops whereas some others need 3 or 4.  Sometimes it might just be easier to take the old faucet with you to your local store to ensure a match.

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Portfolio Bathroom Remodel 2

Another portfolio for bathroom makeover ideas!  This bathroom was a late 80′s vanilla room with oak cabinets, tulip track lighting, marbled vanity and tub with white tile and beige carpet. See how it goes from “ho-hum” to “wow”
Some of the projects completed like tile and faucet replacement will take a little more know-how, but in time, will be talking about all of this on this site.

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A Home Remodel Series (Part 1-Before Demo)

One of my friends recently purchased a beautiful new home and has decided to complete certain improvements before moving day.  Basically, with ivory walls and beige carpet along with white tiles in all baths, the home is a virtual blank canvas for aspiring do-it-yourself’ers!!  My friend has generously agreed to let me take photos of the work before, during and after in order to follow the progress; at the same time, I will provide step-by-step advice on how to complete some of the work so that you may choose to do the same in your own home!  Some of the projects have a varying level of difficulty that you may opt to hire profession help for.

Stay tuned!!!

The blank canvas awaits:

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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.

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