6 Simple Upgrades That Will Double The Value Of Your Home

The American housing market is finally picking up some steam. There are many new buyers entering the market.

If you plan on selling your home in the near future, you are probably wondering: Which upgrades will deliver the biggest ROI? What will sell my house above the asking price? How can I sell my home quickly?

Luckily, you don’t have to add a whole new wing to your house to boost its value. A few small upgrades here and there can double the value of your home. Here are some of the best improvements you can make to add significant value to your property:

Energy-Efficient Windows

Your old, single-paned windows can cause a variety of issues. They may look nice, but their charm comes at a cost. They are extremely inefficient insulators, which translates to a higher-cost for air conditioning in the summer and higher heating costs during the winter.

On top of allowing heat to easily pass through, old windows don’t do a good job of muffling sound. If you live in a high traffic area, or have a barking dog in your yard, this can be an issue. Homeowners are usually used to this, so they don’t mind, but potential buyers will certainly notice it.

The best thing to do would be to swap your old windows with ones that have an Energy Star rating. New windows can add significant value to your home, yet they are an affordable and cost-efficient upgrade.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can reduce heat loss through windows by up to 50% just by installing storm windows. If you want to see what type of windows will work best for your climate and geography, check out this Efficient Windows Collective’s rundown.

Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen is the heart of every home, so it’s no news that a kitchen upgrade can double the value of your property. But, you don’t have to go crazy for it to work. You don’t need a commercial-grade gas stove or a $3,000 vent to impress potential buyers.

Most homeowners appreciate the simpler pleasures: contemporary cabinet finishes, decent quality appliances, and, naturally, a good layout. Just a minor kitchen remodel can recoup 81.1% of the initial cost, according to this 2018 Cost vs Value Report.

So, instead of splurging all of your savings on a new kitchen, you can update the cabin faces, put in an energy-efficient fridge, and replace the faucet and sink. But, if you are really adamant about doing a major kitchen remodel, make sure to consider the local market, home value, and your budget.

Steam Shower

Easy upgrades such as updated hardware or a new toilet can add value to your home, but why not go a step further? The average home buyer is in search of a bathroom that evokes an indulging experience.

The bathroom has become an experiential space; we don’t see it just as a utilitarian corner of a house anymore. The best way to tap into this new trend is to install a steam shower. A house that has a steam shower can sell for up to 30.7 % above the expected price, according to Zillow.

Refinish or Install Hardwood Floors

A durable and beautiful hardwood floor will stand up to heavy abuse and foot traffic for decades, while adding rich tones to the décor and improving the looks of the interior. Hardwood floors are popular among homebuyers because they are durable, gorgeous, and easy to clean.

But, if you already have a hardwood floor, it is a good idea to spruce it up a bit before you put your house up for sale. Refinished hardwood floors can recoup 100% of their cost, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Add a Patio or Deck

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and worldwide lockdowns, staycations are becoming increasingly popular. Outdoor living areas are already a big perk, and they will become even more desirable.

One of the best and most unique ways to make your yard more inviting is to add a patio or deck to it. The average national cost of a yard patio is around $54,100. As seen in the 2018 Cost vs Value Report, you can recoup 82.8% of the cost after a deck addition.

Fancy railings, built-in seatings, new deck paint, pendant lights, or spotlights can really go far. Outdoor heaters are generally inexpensive and they can really cozy up your patio.

Spare Room

When pairing homebuyers with the right home, the number of bedrooms is key. A bit of extra room is always appreciated, especially among families. According to Zillow’s 2018 consumer housing trend reports, 63% of homebuyers are interested in having a guest or spare room.

Remodeled basements can be very attractive to potential buyers. To add a magical extra room to your home, you can convert an under-loved or unused area of your home into an attractive living space.

If you already have enough bedrooms in your home, you can style an extra room as a cozy home theater, crafting area, or a game room. The more versatile your home is, the more appealing it will be to potential buyers.

Kevin has gone through an extensive home renovation with his son, which he has both

thoroughly enjoyed, and dreaded every morning. He is now the proud owner of half his dream house (the other half has been waiting for spring). You can read more of Kevin’s work on PlainHelp.

Your New Lawn Mower: A Buyer’s Guide

No matter the size of your garden, keeping your lawn in tip-top condition is no mean feat ‒ it can be a time-consuming and tiring task! With so many models to choose from, finding a mower that really makes the cut for your garden can seem like quite a challenge. But never fear, this helpful guide is here to help you make this all-important investment.

Whether you’re the proud new owner of your first patch of grass or a seasoned gardener, read on to find out which mower could make light work of your lawn.

Cylinder, rotary and hover lawn mowers

Before you even begin to consider the size and power of a lawn mower, you should first decide on a cutting system that would work best for you and your patch.

If you’re planning to cut your lawn regularly, you may want to consider buying a cylinder lawn mower. The grass is cut with sharp blades in the mower’s rotating cylinder, leaving a neat, even finish. Bear in mind that this system doesn’t work well with grass that is long or damp.

Rotary lawn mowers are typically larger machines, and they cope well with medium to long grass. These mowers have high-speed blades that rotate and slice the grass on impact. A rotary mower usually has a roller at the rear, and it’s this that gives that perfectly striped finish.

Hover lawn mowers tend to be a much cheaper option. They also have a rotary cutting system but don’t usually have wheels. For this reason, hover mowers are very lightweight and easy to use. However, you might find the finish a little less tidy.

Mowers by lawn size

The next step in choosing a new lawn mower is deciding which size and power would be best suited to your garden.

Small lawns only require a walk-behind mower ‒ a machine that you push along in front of you. Electric lawn mowers are the best option for small gardens, as they are cheap, lightweight and easy to use. To eliminate the risk of mowing through the cable, opt for a cordless electric lawn mower, although you should bear in mind that these machines have a limited running time before they need to be recharged.

If you have a bigger garden, remember that a cord might not reach to the outer edges, and a small battery-powered machine might not give you enough operating time. Instead, you might want to consider buying a petrol lawn mower. Although these machines are much heavier, and need to be serviced regularly, they are much more powerful and can adequately care for a larger lawn.

Ride-on lawn mowers are an excellent choice for medium to large gardens. Not only do they make quick work of larger grassed areas, but they are also a much more convenient and comfortable choice. After all, pushing a heavy mower across a large lawn isn’t too friendly on the muscles, especially when it needs to be done multiple times a month.

“For an eco-friendly approach to tackling large lawns, you can opt for the best electric riding lawnmower. These machines cover a lot of ground quickly, and they aren’t as noisy as their gas-guzzling counterparts.


Grass disposal


When choosing your new lawn mower, you should also consider how you will dispose of the resulting grass cuttings. Many lawn mowers have a collection bag or box which catches the cut grass for disposal. Remember, If you have a large garden, you might find yourself having to stop and empty the bag on multiple occasions. If you can’t organise a home collection for your garden waste, or you do not have a compost bin, then a good option for you could be a mulching lawn mower. This type of mower cuts the grass into small pieces, and then distributes it across the lawn.

Investing in the right lawn mower is a surefire way of ensuring your patch is a cut above the rest, and with the help of this guide, you’ll know the main models and key features to look out for!”

Food Preservation Help

1. Cheese

Save cheese from drying out and getting moldy, by making your own brine. Into two cups of water dissolve two teaspoons of kosher salt. Stir until the salt dissolves.

Make sure the cheese is completely covered by the brine. If the cheese is already quite salty, you can submerge it in plain water. Store in a closed container in the fridge.

2. Store Garlic

Like those vampires it is reported to scare off, garlic hates light and moisture. To avoid moldy garlic, store it in a dry dark place at room temperature. A great way to do this is to place it in a paper bag punched with holes to keep air circulating. You can also store garlic in the cupboard on a wire-mesh basket. You can safely store garlic like this for up to 6 months.

3. Keep Onions Fresh

Onions can be harvested and stored over the winter. They need to be kept dry and aerated. First, you need to cure them. Spread the onions out in a single layer in a warm airy spot. Once they are dry, trim the roots with scissors. Store dried onions in mesh bags. An easy and inexpensive way to do this is to place them in a clean pair of pantyhose and hang them handy for use.

4. Leftover Tomato Paste

If you have any leftover tomato paste, place it on a baking sheet. Depending on how much you use per meal, you can make a different number of portions. Then roll each portion as a candy, put all your “candies” in a Ziploc bag, and put it in the freezer. You will be able to use it for up to 5 months.

5. Bug-Free Dry Goods

Did you know that a bay leaf will deter insects from making your flour supply their home? Beetles, weevils, moths, cockroaches, ants, and flies do not like the smell of bay leaves. Place dried bay leaves in the containers of your dry goods. It works for flour, rice, and pasta. You can also tape fresh or dried bay leaves inside your cupboards and shelves.

6. Freeze Everything That Can Be Frozen

Fruits, vegetables, and fresh herbs can all be frozen and used in the offseason.

Whether you have your own garden or you are buying more of these when in season, freezing them is an excellent way to save money and have fresh foods in the offseason. To freeze fresh herbs, chop and create green ice cubes. These can be popped into soups, stews, and sauces.

7. Wilted Herbs

Place your wilted herbs on a baking tray in the oven for a few minutes. Once they are done, place the herbs in a sealed jar and use them each time you need them.

8. Fresh for longer

Ginger, green onions, and radishes will keep longer and will stay fresh if stored in a sealed container, filled with water.

9. Keep your fruits fresh

Add 3 parts water to 1-part vinegar. Wash your berries in this mixture, dry them and then refrigerate. Strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries will last longer and won’t go moldy.

10. Fresh bread for longer

Put a celery stick inside your bag of bread. Your bread won’t get moldy for more than one week.

11. Milk

Put a pinch of table salt in your milk jug and store it in the freezer. The salt will stop your milk from getting spoiled.

12. Bananas

By wrapping the stems of your bananas in a plastic wrap, they will brown much more slowly.

13. Green salad

Store your green salad in a kitchen towel. Put it in a closed container and store it in the freezer. The towel will absorb moisture and your salad will stay fresh for longer.

14. Smart Saucer

You can make a nutritious sauce for pasta with your blender or food processor. Freeze it and it’s ready when you need it. This is a great way to preserve extra tomatoes in season.

15. Try Your Hand at Dehydrating

Here’s another great idea! New dehydrators have several shelves. So, you can dehydrate several foods at once – as long as they have the same dehydration time. The secret’s in the preparation and knowing how long to dehydrate. Most foods can be dehydrated.

16. Get Creative with Appliances

Want to try drying before you purchase a dehydrator? Try these ideas: Use your oven as a dehydrator. Preheat the oven to 145 degrees. Fruits and veggies will turn out crisp and tasty. Dehydrate meat to make jerky at 150 degrees. Use parchment paper for fruit leather recipes.

Try six to eight hours or increase the temperature and dry a shorter time. Make use of your toaster oven as a dehydrator. Set your toaster oven to as low as it will go. Leave the door slightly ajar. Check often.

17. Use the Old Sun Dry Method

Sun-drying has been around for generations. It is time-consuming but easy and cost-effective. Set food in trays on parchment paper in the sun. This drying process can take several days. Cover with mesh to keep insects and flies away.

Summer Backyard Home Improvements

Home improvements are always fun tasks. Even though they take some of your time and money, you always know that you’re putting these resources to good use. The particularly fun activities are the ones that include improving your backyard. If you already like spending time in your backyard, but you want to make it even more enjoyable, there are a lot of things that you can do to achieve that. Namely, there is a long list of summer backyard improvements that will make your backyard look and feel much better.

Add a patio

A patio or a deck is always a good idea, especially if you plan on spending a lot of time in your backyard. Besides bringing the special appeal to your home, the patio also helps you extend the living area. If you live in s small house that usually feels cramped, the patio is the thing you need. The patio also makes a great space for the outdoor furniture and it makes your home seem larger.

With a brand new patio, you’ll create a space for endless entertainment during the whole summer. You’ll have a space for family get-togethers and both kids and adults will adore it. Finally, the best thing about a patio is that it requires zero maintenance. Besides occasional sweeping, you won’t have a lot to do when it comes to maintaining your patio.

Build an outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchens have been very popular over the recent years. They are the real game-changers and they make your backyard more enjoyable and luxurious. Even though an outdoor kitchen is a huge investment, it does pay off. If you like spending time outside with your friends and family, an outdoor kitchen will do a lot to make these gatherings even more interesting.

When building an outdoor kitchen, you should pay special attention to space. Since the kitchen will take up a lot of space, you should think well where and how you would build it. You should also consider the architectural style of your home. If you want the kitchen to fit in, you should build it in such a way that it looks well with the rest of the exterior.

Work on the lighting

One of the things that can transform any space in no time is the lighting. Lighting, besides being a rapid way to bring a change, is also an inexpensive way to do so. Since hot summer nights suggest that you are going to spend more and more time outside, you’ll want to have the backyard properly illuminated. With some decorative outdoor lighting, you can make a serious change.

You don’t have to host gatherings during the day only. If you choose to do it by night too, you’ll be amazed once you see what difference in the atmosphere the lighting can make. Having experts help you with the lighting is an even better idea. For instance, professional electrical services are irreplaceable when it comes to switching to LED lighting. Once you step up your lighting game, you’ll add a new touch of style to your backyard.

Install a pool

The pool is by far one of the best things you can invest in. Besides being a ton of fun, the pool is also a sign of class and style. Even though the pool requires high maintenance, it still is a great investment. If you can’t bear the hot summer days, a brand new pool might be very helpful.

The heat in the summer can become unbearable and having a chance to escape from it is priceless. That is why the pool is such an amazing investment. Having a pool means having an opportunity to relax, exercise, or just have fun. Besides all that, the pool increases the value of your home.

Hang a hammock

If you’re looking for a simpler and quicker change in your backyard, you can just hang a hammock. It’ll cost nothing and you’ll get a perfect spot for relaxing, reading a book, or napping in your backyard.

All you need for this to happen are a couple of trees. However, even you don’t have those, you shouldn’t despair. You can purchase a tree with a base, that will be the perfect setup for the hammock.

Plant trees

Finally, the easiest way to improve your backyard is to plant some trees. Trees and shrubs will make your backyard seem more natural, graceful, and harmonious.

To avoid overwhelming the yard, you should be careful about the amount of the trees and shrubbery you’re about to plant. You can choose your favourite trees and strategically place them all over the yard. Even though that’ll be a simple change, it’ll still be very important and it’ll shed new light on your backyard.

Conclusion

Making small improvements around the house helps you bring value to your home and make your home a more enjoyable space for you and your family. With these changes, you’ll treat your backyard as well and make the best possible space for the summer.

Unfold Your Style And Blaze Ahead With Custom Look For Your Home

An optimistic person pursues new adventures and passions regularly. Each personality type has a different kind of influence on decorating their home in an ideal way. The custom style creates a story of your life. Amidst the busy lanes, workplaces, and malls, you can come home where the focus is only on you and your loved ones.

A classic decor style with subtle colors, warm tones, coupled with beautiful figurines and frames, is a perfect example. For a calm personality, light shades of beige, and sky-blue colored walls will be the best. Enthusiast personalities can be best suited with bright colors, depicting a high-spirited and joyous way of life.

From Where Do I Grab the Ideas?

Few examples of where you will find several ideas that can aid you in adding a marvelous look to your home are;

  • A home and garden television program
  • Home design in a magazine spread
  • Online pictures of an interior designer
  • A layout selling furniture and home decor items
  • Seminar display rooms
  • Expositions related to home improvement
  • Open house models
  • Book cafes, and libraries to understand their way of decorating newsstands, and books for the book reader

Always look for ideas everywhere you go. Keep the ideas in your mind and pull out each one as you get the resources for decorating your home. Several different sources combined will present you with a custom look that aids in re-creating your home.

A custom look indeed needs time, effort, and ideas. Moreover, it needs a creative perspective and a high level of imagination. Enjoy while you take part in decorating your home, and your home will turn out into a brand-new blazing frontier of joy and happiness.

Mirrors and Art

If you have a bit of artistic ability in yourself, you can flaunt it to create an incredible eye-catching masterpiece. Installing a mirror in your bedroom, and painting the surrounding wall with sweet captions and words is very soothing for the eye. Also, an antique sofa set with custom covers, paired with a lovely ornate mirror and a quote on the background, is a beautiful idea.

Nautical Decor for People Who Love the Sea

Nautical decor has become a trend. The varying colors of the sky, and the bright sun giving tan lines, with the sand and seawater on your feet, is a breath-taking experience. Those who have experienced this are in love with the beaches. You can create masterpieces with sea treasures, such as sand, shells, corals, driftwood, and many others. These items are free, and making a home decor unit out of these will offer you a priceless reminiscing memory every time you see the decor.

You can add different types of curtains, fabrics, sofa sheets, and cotton canvas to add a variety to your home. Also, you can get these items custom-made with a wide range of options available online at a nominalprice that will offer a dazzling look to your home.