Helen Bultmann's Blog
While some home improvement projects are done purely for aesthetic reasons, window replacement projects offer a wide range of benefits.
If your current windows are decades old, they're probably difficult to clean, provide poor insulation, and get stuck every time you try to raise or lower them.
Old wooden window frames also tend to deteriorate over time, which negatively impacts both their appearance and their ability to seal out drafts and outdoor temperatures.
Modern, energy-efficient windows make older models look like they're straight out of the Stone Age! Many windows manufactured today meet strict U.S. government standards for energy efficiency and durability, which can help you save money on your home energy bills. These new features include multiple panes of glass, which provide improved insulation and impact resistance. Instead of using just plain air, many of these advanced windows are insulated with non-toxic gases, such as argon and krypton. (As long as you're not Superman, you'll do just fine!) If you're willing to pay extra, there's also the option of having mini-blinds inserted between the panes of glass.
Reducing Home Energy Costs
According to the EPA, "Replacing old windows with ENERGY STAR certified windows lowers household energy bills by an average of 12 percent nationwide. Lower energy consumption also reduces greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and shrinks a house's carbon footprint."
Energy Star-certified windows also have special coatings that reflect both infrared and ultraviolet light. That not only helps keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter, but it helps stop the sun's rays from fading furniture colors, flooring, and other materials.
Some of the newer windows are available with three or more layers of glass panes, which can help make your home more comfortable and quieter. If external noise is an issue, installing well-insulated windows with multiple panes can reduce that problem significantly.
Although many of the new window products are constructed of wood, they're often covered with vinyl or aluminum to be more weather resistant and durable. Fiberglass is another low-maintenance, durable material that offers good insulation qualities.
Cost Versus Benefits
While a window replacement project can take a big chunk out of your home improvement budget or bank account, it does provide a return on your investment. In addition to the fact that your home energy costs should decrease, installing new, energy-efficient windows will improve your home's marketability in the future. If and when you decide to put your home on the market, the fact that you've installed energy-efficient, easy-to-use window replacements will be a major selling point in the minds of prospective buyers.
As is the case with all home improvement contractors, it's always a good idea to get several estimates and check references, read online reviews, and take a look at Better Business Bureau ratings before choosing someone to handle the project.
When you sell something, you expect to make a profit on the sale. It doesn’t quite always work this way when you sell a home. While you may count the sale of your home as “all profit,” there will be some significant upfront costs that you’ll incur when it comes to selling your home. Planning the sale of your home can help you to manage these expenses and sell your home faster.
The first costs that you will incur when you’re selling a home will usually be of the cosmetic and repair nature. These will include things like painting, small fixes, and
Paint Your Home
Although you may love the bright green living room, another homebuyer may not. It would be worth your investment to stage your home well. An important renovation might include painting the rooms on the inside of your home neutral colors. Refreshing the trim on your windows also helps to make the interior of your home shine. You can paint around the windows for a quick update to the inside of your home. Paint can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $1,000.
If you wash your windows, it could add some value to your home and help it sell faster. When the windows sparkle, they will undoubtedly make a very positive impact on the buyer. Get rid of dust, dirt and grime, especially from the obvious spaces in your home.
The outside of your home is also very important. Do some quick yard maintenance for a better look for the exterior of your home. Rake up the leaves. Trim the bushes. Mow the lawn. Make your home appear as pristine as possible.
Anything that needs to be repaired in the home should be. This will help you out during the inspection period. Things like leaky sinks, cracks in the walls, and holes in the roof are obvious and should be addressed before your home even goes on the market.
Stage Your Home
Take the time to make sure all of your furniture is arranged in a neat manner. The rugs should be streamlined with the chairs and tables. If things look a little cramped in any room, either take a piece of furniture out or move the room around in order to make it appear more spacious.
Keep Your Utilities Running
If you need to move out before you get your home sold, make sure that you leave your utilities on. This way, there’s lights and heat available for potential buyers as they walk through the home to discover if they can see themselves living there.
A new house means a clean slate for redecorating. Which is fun and exciting but can become quickly frustrating if you struggle to match the furniture in front of you to the vision in your head.
If you find that this happens the good news is that you are probably a lot closer to creating a beautiful, well-designed room than you think. It’s usually subtle touches that designers keep up their sleeves that make all the difference for a stylish room.
The first thing to keep in mind is that all furniture should be arranged to fit onto your area rug. If this isn’t the case or you don’t have an area rug, this is a worthy investment when you’re able to do so. If you love you’re existing area rug that is too small you can always layer it over a larger rug. This will add dimension and a designer touch, look at you go.
Keep furniture away from the wall. This also makes the above tip much easier to achieve. That’s right you don’t need to find a rug that will span the entire room. Keeping the furniture in the center of the room makes it feel bigger and more spacious. You’ll never look at your friend’s and family’s rooms the same!
Match the size of the artwork you hang up to the size of the furniture you hang it over. Aim for the frame to be at least ⅔ of the size of what it is over and hang it mid-eye level. If you have a gallery wall design it to be so that it still covers a large enough amount of wall space. And smaller artwork can always be creatively reframed.
Take your family’s traffic patterns and activities into consideration when arranging. Blocking main routes with a piece of furniture is awkward and cumbersome. And designing a room that doesn’t accommodate your family’s lifestyle can create chaos and even discord. Make space for toys, video games and homework stations for example.
Take advantage of different levels of lighting. Combining overhead lighting with table and floor lamps create a well-lit comfortable room. It also allows for more control over the ambiance of the room whether it’s time to wind down at night or you’re having friends over for the game.
Add enough tables to the room. A large coffee table is an anchor to the room and allows for drinks to rest, snacks to be laid out and feet to be kicked up. You also want side tables in reach of all sitting positions, and as a place for those table lamps, we mentioned earlier.
And last but not least the secret detail few homeowners include is greenery. Lots of greenery throughout a room makes it feel pulled-together and “right”. It can be via potted plants, fresh-cut flowers or both! If you don’t have a green-thumb there are lots of low-maintenance plants that can survive the most destitute of conditions. Visit a local greenhouse to get an expert opinion on what will fit your level of experience and the lighting conditions of your room. Hint: it’s a good idea to know which direction your windows are facing i.e. North, NorthWest, West etc.
Window shutters are a very old form of home improvement. Since there have been windows or openings in the walls of houses, shutters have been around. While they don’t serve much of a practical purpose in the present day, they once were very important to homeowners. Early shutters were meant to protect the interior of a home from things like intruders, weather, and animals.
Present day shutters are often used as the finishing touch for a home. Many homes just wouldn’t look complete without them on the outside of the house. So, how do you find the shutters that are right for your home?
The Size And Placement Of The Shutters
You need room on your house for shutters to work on it. You shouldn’t consider putting shutters on your home if the pieces will come too close to the corner or stick out beyond the trim of your home. Your windows also shouldn’t be too close together. The space between windows and shutters should be about half of the width of one shutter. If you don’t have the appropriate space, you shouldn’t put shutters up. Even though you’re not actually using the shutters for practical purposes, you want them to look authentic, as if they could actually be closed. Keep in mind too that a small window may only need one shutter to make it work.
Even though you won’t actually be using the shutters for your home, they should always be hung with the proper hardware. This allows the shutters to be attached appropriately and give the authentic look that’s needed to make them look true to form. If the shutters are hung any other way, they run the risk of looking cheap and fake. Even though you’re not actually going to use the shutters, the right hardware makes them function as they would if you really needed them.
As far as materials go, real wood shutters are unmatched in their authentic look. The problem with real wood shutters is that they can become weathered quickly. If you go with wood shutters, they will require frequent painting and replacement, which can become a tedious task as a homeowner.
Vinyl shutters will last longer but choose them carefully. You still want a high quality shutter even though this material will be able to withstand the weather longer. The better the quality of your shutter, the more genuine they will look on your home.
Typically, the color scheme on the outside of a home includes 2-3 different colors. Your shutters should be the accent color of the home. This means that they should match some other color that’s present on the outside of the house whether it’s your front door or your window trim, the shutters should always be a different color than the siding of a home.
Let's face it – no condo seller wants to deal with a high-pressure negotiation. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of selling your condo so you can avoid stressful negotiations with property buyers.
What does it take to remain calm, cool and collected during a negotiation with a condo buyer? Here are three tips that every condo seller needs to know.
1. Consider the Condo Buyer's Perspective
As an informed condo seller, it is important to consider both sides of a negotiation. By doing so, you can evaluate a condo buyer's perspective and plan your next move accordingly.
For condo sellers, the goal is to get the best price for a property. As such, a condo seller who performs extensive housing market research probably understands the true value of his or her residence.
On the other hand, a condo buyer is likely to conduct real estate market research on his or her own. This property buyer also will assess the current condition of a condo in relation to his or her budget and submit an offer that accounts for these factors.
Ultimately, a condo seller and buyer should try to find common ground. That way, both parties can work together to get the best results out of a negotiation.
2. Review All of Your Options
After a condo seller accepts a buyer's proposal, the next step likely involves a property inspection. At this point, a condo acquisition may move forward, or a condo seller might need to rethink his or her plan.
If a condo inspector discovers myriad problems with a property, a condo buyer may ask the seller to complete repairs or lower the price of the property. Meanwhile, a condo seller will need to review all of his or her options quickly.
Following a condo inspection, it is important to consider the results of the evaluation.
If a condo seller discovers major repairs are required, he or she should consider completing the repairs or lowering the price on a property.
Or, if a condo buyer asks for a major price reduction even though only minimal repairs are needed, a seller should be unafraid to say "No" to the buyer's requests.
It is important for a condo seller to feel comfortable with any decision that is made throughout the property selling cycle. Thus, if a condo seller is uncomfortable with completing property repairs or reducing the price of a residence after a property inspection, he or she should be ready to decline a buyer's demands.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent will handle negotiations between a condo seller and buyer. Therefore, this housing market professional can play a pivotal role in a seller's ability to get the best price for a condo.
Consulting with a real estate agent who possesses condo experience is key. This real estate agent can keep you up to date during negotiations with condo buyers and ensure you are fully satisfied with the final results.
Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can move one step closer to maximizing the value of your condo.