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Upping Your Curb Appeal

150 150 Nisha Muire

The first impression anyone has of your home is what they see when they pull up in front of your door. Whether you have a one-bedroom studio townhouse or a palatial estate set on several acres of land, your home’s curb appeal will be what people take away from your property. How your home presents itself will also go a long way when it comes to selling it. Many homebuyers want to be wowed when they view a property and a house’s curb appeal plays a significant role in that all-important first impression. Here we will look at a few of the ways to better your home’s curb appeal inexpensively and with little effort.

Cut that Grass!
As silly as it sounds just tidying up your lawn and flower beds will have a huge impact on how your home looks to others. If your cat disappears in your lawn, your shrubs are turning into trees and you can’t distinguish the flowers from the weeds in your flower beds, it’s time to roll-up your sleeves and give everything a good trim and a good weeding. Nothing improves the look of a home like properly mown grass, a weeded garden and well-trimmed shrubs.

Clean and Paint
If the exterior of your home is filthy with grime and dust then buying or borrowing a powerwasher and giving the facade a once-over will brighten things up considerably. Also be sure to wash your windows as nothing screams “shack” more than dirty window panes. Just be sure to use the proper settings to that you don’t damage your siding, bricks and/or stone work.

Think Creatively
An easy way to change the look and appeal of your home is to change the exterior fixtures such as lighting, railings or trim. If you have a garage door that has seen better days but can’t afford to replace it, then consider giving it a coat of paint – you can do the same for front doors and railings. Swapping out old lighting fixtures for new ones is also an inexpensive fix while adding more exterior lighting might cost more but will definitely increase the wow-factor of your home. Adding planters with colourful annuals is a quick fix during the summer while potted evergreens are a good choice for the cold months.

Bigger Budget Projects
If you have a bit of a budget to work with, then you could consider having your home professionally landscaped. Change the look of tired pavers by swapping them out for new stone bricks, repave cracked and peeling driveways and consider creating visual interest with low-maintenance mixed gardens. Changing old windows and doors and maybe even refacing the house are all bigger budget projects that will drastically alter and improve the look of your home.

In the end, it isn’t necessary to spend big buck on improving the look of your home unless you want to. You can find some fun before and after pictures over here of improved homes: //bit.ly/1H1wYZ5.

Wood, Ceramics, Porcelain and More – Finding your Floor

150 150 Nisha Muire

Finding the perfect flooring for your home can be a fun project. There are just so many choices and styles from which to choose that it is possible to find the perfect flooring for your needs and tastes. Depending on your budget and the rooms that need new flooring, there is an option that will suit you perfectly. Here we will look at some the options available.

Hardwood floors were the basic flooring commonly found in most homes. Today it is considered a luxury finish that must be requested. Wood floors give rooms a warm, rich look and feel. However, despite their recent cachet and increased cost, if you want wood flooring, there are a number of options from engineered varieties to the solid kind. Engineered hardwood is less expensive than pure hardwood and is easier to install but cannot be refinished as many times. True hardwoods last long as they can be refinished several times before needing to be replaced. Given their potential for getting scratched, wood flooring is best in low-traffic areas. Currently, the trend is to install wood in kitchens, although if you opt for this, then you have to be sure to coat it in a very strong barrier to prevent it from getting damaged from any water/moisture. You can read more about wood flooring over here //bit.ly/1IY5CTG.

Bamboo is a low-cost and highly sustainable form of hardwood that is a very good option if you want the warmth of wood but also want a smaller footprint. It is excellent in any room and highly versatile. You can read about bamboo flooring over here //bit.ly/1cgj9Yq.

Cork flooring is soft underfoot and a natural product with a low environmental impact. It can be used in virtually any room of your home. Cork is highly resilient and “springs back” into shape, which makes it ideal in high traffic areas of your home – although it also means that heavy furniture can leave small indentations if left in one spot for a long time.

Vinyl and Linoleum
Many people tend to blur the lines between vinyl and linoleum flooring. While they might be considered the same thing, they are definitely not. From the Armstrong Flooring website:

“Linoleum is made from natural components like linseed oil, tree resin, wood and cork flours, limestone, and pigments. It even comes with a jute backing. Its ingredients provide it with that unique scent…

Vinyl is manufactured using vinyl, felt, fiberglass and dyes.”

The one thing they both have in common is that they are both very resistant, long-lasting and inexpensive.

If you want to read more about their difference and similarities, you can do so over here //bit.ly/1AvR2Qr.

Tiles are extremely versatile and come in so many varieties that choosing can be difficult. From ceramics to porcelaines to granite and marble, all options are terrific choices and provide tough, attractive surfaces for your high traffic and high moisture areas. Some homes even have tiles in principal rooms – although in colder climates heating tiles can be difficult. There’s a good look at tiles over here //bit.ly/1F8oR5I.

Laminate flooring has the look and beauty of hardwoods without the cost and maintenance. The easy-to-install, rugged cousin of hardwood flooring is perfect for high traffic areas and for households with young children and pets.

Carpeting is still a popular choice for many people given its comfort level and the softness and beauty it gives to a room. However, it does require a high degree of maintenance to keep it clean and dust-free. HGTV takes a good look at the pros and cons of carpeting over here //bit.ly/1KkHLuS.

Your home’s flooring will have to last a long time and withstand a fair amount of abuse, so making the right decision for your family’s needs is crucial to ensuring enjoyment and satisfaction for years to come.