Home Improvement Tips for Home Resale

If you’re looking to improve the appearance of your home for resale, or you just want an updated look for your own enjoyment, there are a few things you must consider before beginning any costly project. Many real-estate brokers agree that just because you put $25,000 worth of improvements into your home doesn’t mean that your house is worth $25,000 more!

Exactly how much of your investment you’ll recoup depends on a number of factors, such as the “big picture” housing market, the value of the homes in your neighborhood, when you plan to sell and the exact nature of the improvement.

Below are some examples of a few improvements that usually pay off – and some that rarely make a difference when it comes time to sell your home.

Painting

If you’re planning to sell your home in a year or two, a fresh coat of a neutral-toned paint could make the sale easier. A professional exterior paint job may also recoup close to 75% of its cost.

Kitchen

With just a few basic improvements, your kitchen can practically pay you back with interest:

  • New paint, wallpaper and flooring are always appreciated
  • Sanding, staining or painting worn-looking cabinets
  • Replacing old cabinet hardware is a low-cost improvement that makes a big difference in appearance.

According to Remodeling magazine, the average spent on major kitchen-remodeling is around $39,000; refinishing an outdated one averaged $15,000. The full kitchen remodeling recouped 80% of its cost, the more moderate remodeling was valued at 87%.

Area Conversions 

Generally speaking, increasing the functional space of your home holds its value longer than remodeling just to make a house look better. It’s also much less expensive than adding an addition to your home. Converting attic space into a bedroom, for example, usually costs around $30,000 and returns about 73% of its cost, according to Remodeling magazine. Turning your basement into extra living space costs, on average, $40,000, with a recoup average of about 69% of your costs.

Extra Bathroom 

You usually can’t go wrong by adding an extra bathroom. At an average cost of $14,200, a new full bath can recoup 81% of its total cost!

Deck

Adding a deck is a very cost-efficient way to add square footage to your house. Decks cost around $6,000 and generally recoup 75% of their value.


New Windows 

Your utility bill savings may make up for the iffy resale value, however, a good set of standard windows should get you around 68% back.


Swimming Pool 

In a word – don’t! Sure, they sound nice, but pools are very expensive to maintain.


Picture-Perfect Gardens 

Another nicety, but who’s going to spend all that time – and money? If the potential buyer is not horticulturally inclined, chances are your floral handiwork won’t add to the offering price.

Basic Is Better 

It may not sound very exciting, but it’s the basic improvements you make to your home that may have the greatest return on its value: a beautiful new bathroom won’t make up for a leaky roof. So if you’re thinking of selling your house in the next year or so, be sure to address any problems the home may have before you, say, install those sunken gardens you’ve always dreamed of.

-Condensed from Dewayne Baskette’s Lengthy Email Newsletter

How to Grill in the Winter Months

How to Grill in the Winter Months

Grilling tips: successfully grill in cooler temps

  • Pre-cook chicken and other meats in the microwave for one minute, stir and then cook another minute. It actually expedites the cooking process while conserving propane and decreasing your time spent outdoors. Make cuts smaller because it decreases cook times as well.
  • Stop Peeking! -Use a timer and lift the lid as little as possible. Opening the lid to check on food extends cooking time as the grill loses heat quickly.
  • Avoid using the side burner because of heat loss during the cooking process. It will take longer to reach the boiling point or to cook your food.
  • Use a grill with a high BTU rating for maximum heat output.
  • Make sure that you have heat resistant gloves and do not use anything flammable near the grill.

Our neighbor once gave me great grilling advice when I lived in Mississippi. I really had no idea how to leverage the grill properly. It’s not a simple process, it takes more prep time than I had originally thought and the grill demands respect.

 

grilling bbq winter

 He gave me two awesome tips, first, “Propane grills can be harder to light in the cold”, he told me. To make it easier, he said: “Don’t turn the handwheel on your propane tank all the way on.” He insisted, “try turning it just a single turn before lighting.” Secondly, he taught me how to season my grill by preheating the grill to about 300°F, turn it off and liberally apply vegetable oil with a brush or spray bottle. Close the grill and allow it to sit for around 20 minutes. Take a warm damp cloth and wipe the cooking surface clean. This process has nothing to do with the seasoning of the food, but it has everything to do with protecting your grates!

Enjoy your grilling time this winter and please be safe!

Old Door Wall Organizer

Wall Organizer- Old-Style

Old eight-panel door made into a wall organizer

Many of us struggle to find ways to make use of space in our homes and many of us don’t attempt to try. If you look around your home to find unused objects that can be re-purposed for an organizer, hundreds of dollars could be saved. If you don’t want to upgrade your home just to get more room then try to maximize what you currently have. This extremely easy creation begs for your attention! It only took me a day to re-purpose this old eight-panel door into a cool useful piece.

Why use older things to re-purpose?

Usually, the materials have cured and have little moisture, making it a perfectly strong and paint-ready. You still can rely on traditional building construction and designs that stand the test of time. Most have solid cores, making them extremely strong and do not have composite materials that look cheap. The interlocking of parts of panel doors not only imparts strength but also allows for movement: seasonal shrinking and swelling with changes in temperature and humidity. It also keeps valuable things out of the landfills.

I used the following tools and materials:

  • Old glass pane wooden door
  • Wood dowels
  • Plant hangers
  • Circular saw
  • Cordless Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Wood glue

I cut off the bottom panel of the door and reattached it to create the shelf. After I trimmed the sides to provide symmetry, I used the excess to hide the existing joinery. I re-positioned the existing hardware to make it easier to use for our backpacks, coats, and handbags. Please watch the video to understand the process.


*Adult ONLY project

*Be EXTREMELY careful with power tools!

How to Make Space with a Lego Table

How to Make Space with a Lego Table


Lego Table: Old Armoire Doors, Things from Amazon and BAM!

My kiddos needed a place to  store all of the components from their Lego sets so I bought various materials on Smile.Amazon.com, found a few unused items, hired my husband and created a Lego table from old armoire doors.

Please watch the video to understand the process of making this custom Lego station.

 

Many time kids just don’t understand where they need to put things when they clean up their spaces. This station helps them understand the need for organization and helps parents set expectations. It’s been a Godsend for our family! Finding additional space in our homes is a must. If you need help choosing materials or constructing the project just ask a family member or friend for advice. In many instances, this DIY method will be less expensive than a manufactured product.

Below are the items that I chose for this Lego table:

  • Armoire doors
  • 2 x Lego panels
  • Storage bins
  • Twine
  • Hinges
  • Adhesive caulk
  • Cordless Drill
  • Oscillating Saw
  • Wood and drywall Screws