Category Archives: General

General home remodeling posts

4 Ways to Cut Down on Stress During a Home Remodel

Maybe you’ve grown just sick enough of that 1970s avocado-green kitchen to update it to something more sleek and modern. Or perhaps it’s as simple as remodeling a bathroom. Whatever the room, home renovations can test even the most patient personality through the sheer chaos and mess that are inevitable.

To get through your renovation, organizing the clutter is key. The following tips should help you stay on top of the disorder.

  • Have files for everything. Paperwork should be kept in one place because it will pile up. Inexpensive file folders that are portable can help you stay structured. Create a file for all receipts, and as you post them to a budget, move them to another file labeled “posted.” Permits and papers from the city or homeowner’s association should be kept together in another folder in order to easily put your fingers on them. Just for fun, make a folder of design ideas and pictures from magazines to keep you inspired.
  • Cover it up. One word: plastic. No, not credit cards. Use it to cover all heavy furniture that must stay in the room. This will prevent dust and debris from getting into the nooks and crannies and keep the finish on the furniture looking shiny.
  • Keep a list. Supplies are going to run low, and no matter how good your memory, things are going to fall through the cracks if you don’t write them down. Hanging an easily accessible clipboard will help you to stay on point about people you need to call, or things you need to do for the next day.
  • Have a place for everything. Whether you’re doing the remodel yourself or contracting it, there is going to be a certain amount of upheaval. One thing that will help reduce your stress level is keeping things you use daily in one place. Create a space such as a table, where all small items are kept The larger items can sit on the floor underneath. Also, every time you are finished with an item, put it back in the appropriate spot.

Easy and cost Effective Fixes

painter-1137334_640There are lots of ways to improve the livability and esthetics of your home without going broke in the process. Try one of these quick fixes if you just can stand your house anymore. These are also great wen you have just purchased a new home that has a few problems. Here are a few suggestions…

 

  1. Give your interior or exterior walls a new coat of paint. This is especially effective if the old paint job is marked up, dirty or just a horrible color.
  2. Reface or repaint your kitchen or bath cabinets. If your cabinet shells are solid but the drawer and cabinet fronts are worn or chipped, consider refacing them. Replacing the cabinet fronts can give you a whole new updated look without the expense of replacing the whole cabinet. Repainting can also bring new life too old, worn looking cabinets.
  3. Install new carpeting or vinyl flooring. Old, worn, and stained carpeting is a real downer. It’s relatively fast, easy and cost effective to replace.
  4. Replacing dated and worn light fixtures is another quick and painless fix.
  5. Adding interesting architectural details like moldings, railings, and built-in bookcases can dramatically change the look and feel of a room.

If you’re not quite ready for a major renovation, think about having one of these alternatives done instead. They will increase your enjoyment of your home while saving your money.

Playing With Color On-line

Paint ColorsAre you thinking about refreshing your living space with a new coat of paint? The color combinations you use can help induce moods. Are you looking for something light and invigorating? Or maybe you’re wanting a subdued calming atmosphere.
Outdoor paint choices can make a welcoming ambiance, a standout statement, or let you literally melt into the background.
Make your desired outcome more certain with these sites that allow you to match and play with color.

Glidden – Room visualizer

Benjamin Moore Personal Color Viewer

Sherwin Williams Visualizer

McCormick Exterior Visualizer

Valspar Virtual Painter

Tacoma Home Rehabilitation Loans

I thought I would pass along the link to this program for anyone who may be interested. It is a loan available to single family home owners where meet certain income guidelines.

Examples of Eligible Repair and Rehabilitation Work

 

  • Roof replacement
  • Exterior and interior painting
  • Window replacement
  • Carpet and flooring replacement
  • Heating and air system replacement
  • Electrical work
  • Sewer repair or installation
  • Termite and pest repair
  • Onsite exterior concrete flat work such as sidewalks, driveways, curbs, gutters, hand rails, or ramps
  • Door and window screen repair or replacement
  • Foundation or structural repairs
  • Fencing and retaining walls

You can find out more at:

City of Tacoma Home Rehabilitation Loan

paying for your dream remodel

Paying for Your Dream Remodel

Time to get down to business. The major questions here are should you borrow money to put in that new deck or remodel that dated kitchen. If so, should you use home equity to do so. There are many options open to you today to help you accomplish your goal.

Banks, Saving & Loans, Mortgage brokers, 0% credit cards, and personal loans to name a few.  Many programs are available to you even if you have little equity or a less then perfect credit record.

The method of payment you choose should be influenced by several different factors. You decision depends on your current funds, ability to repay, interest rates, closing costs, risk tolerance, and the necessity or urgency of the needed work.

Cash

If your home upgrade doesn’t involve urgent repairs such as replacement of water heater, furnace, etc. then consider a saving plan with regular deposits. For less expensive remodel projects, this may be just the ticket. You’ll pay no interest and eliminate the risk inherent in using your home, vehicles or other assets as collateral. You’ll also tend to be more frugal and down to earth in your decisions on materials and scope. This frugality will tend to result in a higher return on your remodeling investment when you sell your home or refinance in the future.

0% Interest Credit Cards

These unsecured credit cards are often offered to those with decent credit. This may be a very viable option for smaller projects less the $10-$15,000 in cost.  Check the amount of time the 0% interest is valid for and insure you will be able to repay the amount within this time. A common 0% interest offer is 12-18 months. Be sure to check the terms. Cards not payed off within the specified time period may charge very high interest and it may be retroactive to the time the card was first used.

Personal Loans

A personal loan is another option for small to mid-sized projects generally less than $40,000. An unsecured personal loan will provide a longer payback time then credit cards and probably a higher loan amount also. Interest rates will tend to be higher then on loans secured against your home and there are no tax benefits as with home mortgage loans. Watch for “fly-by-night” lenders here and make certain you read and understand all terms.

Home Secured Loans

Cash out refinances involve refinancing your home with a brand new mortgage while taking the equity your have built up out to use for your home remodel. There may be high closing costs and watch the interest rate. This can be a great option if interest rates are now lower then your current mortgage.

Getting a second mortgage on your home is another option which gives you fixed amount right now with a set repayment schedule over 15 years or so. Again, watch interest rates and early repayment penalties.

A third option is a home equity line of credit. This operated much like a credit card. You use your line of credit as needed over a period of time and then pay back over another set period of time (10-15 years). Interest rates for this type of loan may vary.

Which should I choose

What you choose is personal with many factors coming into play. Also there are literally hundreds of different terms available at any given time from hundreds of lenders. Offers vary by credit history, geographic location, current financial picture and much more. A mortgage broker may be a good first stop if you want to go the mortgage route. He can find and offer you a lot of options from a lot of lenders at one time and advice you on what is available.

8 Tips for Avoiding Remodel Rage

  1. Get a folder and keep all papers pertaining to your remodel in one place. This will include things like your contract, receipts, building permits, ideas, sketches or plans, etc…
  2. Make sure you remember to cover your furniture that cannot be moved with plastic to protect it from any dust that will surely be generated by the tear down and construction process.
  3. Select the floor covering, countertops, cabinets, light fixtures etc. very early in the process to get more accurate quotes and prevent delays caused by waiting for materials to arrive. Be aware that you may not be able to have everything you want and still stay within budget.
  4. You should set aside at least 10% of your budget for unexpected issues that may arise during a remodel. Your contractor cannot know what problems may lurk behind cabinet, drywall, and flooring. Dry rot, rot, and mold are common problems found in walls and floors. Many times correcting these problems is required in order to continue with construction. Hope for no problems but plan for them anyway. Peace of mind is important during a disruptive remodel.
  5. Plan to keep children and pets out of the work area. The contractor will try to accommodate children and pets but their work will proceed faster and more smoothly if they do not have to. In the end, a construction area is not safe for them.
  6. Remodeling will be disruptive. If it’s a Kitchen you’re remodeling, try to set up a small mini kitchen in another part of the house, maybe with a microware, toaster oven and mini frig. You will need a place to prepare and eat meals. If it’s a bath remodel, make plans to share another bath in the home.
  7. At times, your project will probably require the use of products that cause strong smells like glues, paints, and sealers. You may want to schedule away time to coincide with the use of these products.
  8. Communicate with contractors but make every effort to stay out of their way during work times. It’s best to talk when they first arrive or as they are preparing to leave for the day.