Monthly Archives: August 2020

4 Ways To Add Usable House Space

There are many reasons why someone would seek to add more usable space to their property. A growing family, a desire to entertain large groups or people or the addition of a home office are all good reasons to figure out how to get more out of a current dwelling.

1. Rooftop Deck

Anyone with a flat roof has probably been up there a few times to make sure it is in good condition or just to admire the view. If the roof is easy to access or the renovations to make it easy to access are not a problem, then consider adding a rooftop deck systems to create a private outdoor space that can be used to sit and relax or entertain friends. Talk to an experienced contractor to ensure the roof can handle the extra weight and that all local codes are met.

2. Finish Basement

Unfinished basements are normally not very appealing, as they tend to be somewhat cold and damp all year long. Check the basement for leaks and examine the foundation to spot any areas that could be future problems before beginning. Install insulation and reroute ducts as needed to provide heating and cooling to areas as needed. Once the basics have been completed and the room is guaranteed to be comfortable to stay in for long periods of time, be creative and add whatever rooms are needed. An additional kitchen, playroom, office or family room are all great options depending on the household’s needs.

3. Convert Garage

An attached garage has a lot of great potential when it comes to converting it to something else. As long as it is properly insulated, it can be just like any other room of the house when finished. A remodeled garage can serve as a laundry room, home office, craft room or bedroom.

4. Remodel Attic

Attics are often overlooked areas of a home that can offer up livable space. If there are stairs leading up to the attic, or the addition of stairs can be done without any issues, then an attic can be converted to a bedroom, master suite or mother-in-law apartment.

When it comes to figuring out how to get more space out of an existing home, there are many possibilities. Be creative and learn to look at an unused area critically to determine if it can become more useful. Then, be willing to put in a little work to get it right and enjoy the new and improved part of the home.

4 Tips for Renovating a Historic Home

With rising housing prices and the recently renewed push to small-town life, many homebuyers are searching out historic homes in need of repair. They can often be bought for an attractive price, and the craftsmanship and details are second to none. However, buying a historic home is a major commitment of time, resources and effort. These tips will help you navigate the renovation process without losing your sanity. 

1. Pay Attention to the Architectural Style

Each architectural style has elements that set it apart from others. Play those features up when you do renovations, even if you aren’t fully adhering to historic materials. Removable window muntins can give the appearance of a historically accurate number of glass panes without compromising modern comfort and efficiency. 

2. Use Appropriate Materials

Whenever possible, you should try to find the right materials for your home. Architectural salvage yards are great places to check for detailed pieces, framing and fixtures. The people who work or volunteer at them are also one of your most valuable assets for information and other resources. 

3. Lean Into the Home’s Past

Before you start any projects, take time to learn a little about your home’s past. Find out family names and how long each one stayed in the house. Did anything significant happen on the property? If so, including it can add meaning to any renovations you eventually complete. 

4. Plan for the Unexpected

No matter how well you plan for renovations, something unexpected will come up. It’s par for the course in historic homes. It may be as simple as finding a hidden time capsule inside a wall or chimney or as devastating as finding out that all of the home’s plumbing will need to be replaced. Over time, you’ll learn to anticipate potential problems and adapt as they arise. 

There are so many rewards to renovating a historic home. The finished project offers an affordable, unique and meaningful housing choice for many homebuyers. 

How to Organize a Your Garage in a Weekend

Every household is full of things that don’t necessarily need to be saved, but since there is space in the garage, then why not? With this approach to junk, the garage can get clutter pretty quickly, leaving you no room to work on projects or even park your vehicle. Whether you are trying to find a new spot for cleaning supplies or you are looking to put away your beach chairs, the task of cleaning out the garage can seem daunting. Here’s some help for getting it done in a weekend.

Gather the Right Supplies

Before you start going through everything, take a few minutes to get the supplies you will need to work uninterrupted. Buy some heavy-duty contractor trash bags, some storage totes, and some energy drinks. Have tape, boxes, shop vac or broom, and a lengthy playlist of all your favorites. Part of your cleaning will entail organizing and getting rid of anything that is broken, worn out, hardly used, or a duplicate. You may also want to invest in some metal shelving with heavy duty wheels to add extra storage.

Work Through the Basic Clutter

You can probably take a generic look around and find a lot of clutter hanging around the garage. A basic cleaning, looking for trash, half-empty bottles or leftover project pieces, can make a quick dent in what seems to be a large task. If possible, sweep up or vacuum dirt and debris to give yourself a cleaner workspace. Things that don’t fit or that have been laying around for years are prime candidates for either the recycling box that will be taken to a thrift store or a garbage bag.

Form Cleanup Zones

After removing the first layer of clutter, dig deeper into the spaces of the garage. Many people find it helpful to put everything out in the driveway. Seeing everything at once can help you sort items more quickly into zones or piles. As you work the items into the proper zones, such as sporting equipment, tools, or seasonal items, this is where you get into the nitty-gritty decisions of keep, donate, or trash. Once all the items are into zones, you will organize one zone before moving on to the rest.

After everything has been sorted, begin the task of putting it back into the garage. Keep zoned items together, making used of storage totes, shelves, boxes, and vertical wall space to hang and store items. With this method, you will see your garage floor by the end of the weekend.

5 Reasons to Hire a Plumber

Plumbing is a key part of people’s homes and businesses that they often don’t think about until something goes wrong. In fact, plumbing is an essential part of everyday life, and it’s important to make sure everything is working properly to avoid catastrophes you don’t want to deal with. Hiring a plumber can sometimes make things a lot easier and decrease stress, but that might not be a good enough reason to call one. Here’s five reasons to consider contacting a plumber when a problem comes up.

  1. Avoid Major Messes

Water is a powerful element, and it can cause a big mess when it becomes pressurized after a block. Letting the blockage go until it’s too late could mean renovating rooms in the house that become ruined by water. A plumber can check for pipes that are decayed, deteriorating or broken to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. They can also look for problems after a water accident like mold, property damage and health hazards.

  1. Keep Water Clean

Compromised pipes can infect the water running through them. This can present serious health problems when water is unsafe to drink. Simply having pipes that are old and inefficient can contaminate water and negatively affect those in the house who drink it.

  1. Save Money

Water is clearly an essential for every household, but you can still find ways to conserve it and keep from paying a lot of money for it. Unfortunately, something as small and simple as a leak in a faucet can cause an immense spike in your water bill. Believe it or not, a dripping faucet can lose hundreds of gallons per year. Getting the leak fixed immediately is the best way to save water and money. You may be able to fix the leak on your own, but if it continues, call a plumber (like Fox Valley Plumbing) for help and useful advice.

  1. Avoid Dirty Jobs

There’s no question that plumbing can involve some things you simply don’t want to deal with. Calling a plumber to come handle it can fix the problem without getting your hands dirty.

  1. Protect Your Property

Your property has a lot of value, and bad pipes or poor plumbing can tank its worth. Keeping up on regular maintenance and checking for problems occasionally can keep your property value exactly where you want it. If you think there may be a concern you can’t identify, call a plumber to put your mind at ease.

3 Ways To Create Art for Your Home

If you’re looking for ways to add art to your home, it can be difficult to find a piece that fits your budget and design needs. Some people struggle with choosing art that they identify with and that sets the right tone or feeling for a room. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can use your creativity to add art to your home. A quick google search of “DIY art” will display enough results to find something that fits your interests and abilities. Here are three ways to get you started on creating art for your home.

1. Textiles

Textile art isn’t new but it has certainly gained more attention in recent years. Many people are looking for ways to display items that have special meaning to them such as baby blankets, t-shirts of loved ones who have passed away, quilts and scarves. Textile framing Minneapolis MN makes it easy to transform your beloved fabric into a piece of art that will be admired, treasured and preserved for many years.

2. Autographs

If you have an event that requires guests to sign their name, why not consider turning signatures into a work of art? A couple might consider providing a wedding picture with a blank mat for guests to sign on their special day. Even if you don’t have an upcoming special event, you can collect signatures of guests on a blank canvas as they visit your home. After enough time, you’ll have a unique picture to hang on your wall.

3. Spray Paint

If you feel like trying your hand with paint but want something more modern, consider spray paint art. This technique combines putting paint directly onto a canvas and then spraying it with a water bottle. The water will cause the paint to spread and dilute, creating a truly exceptional work of art.

There are numerous ways to create art for your home. If you’re looking for unique works of art, consider trying one or more of these methods.

3 Things That Will Help You Sell Your Home Fast

The housing market is undergoing a time of change and buyers are looking to take advantage of record-low interest rates. That provides an opportunity to get the most money for your home, even if you are looking to sell it quickly. Whether you are looking to downsize or move to a less congested area, taking a few simple steps can help you sell your home quickly so you can move ahead with those plans.

1. Declutter Every Space

Clutter is a big turnoff for potential home buyers. Take steps to clear out any extra stuff. Look into closets, under the bed and in the attic and basement. If you haven’t used something in a year or more, it can probably be safely tossed out or donated to a charity. However, some things have sentimental value or are only for special occasions. For those items, consider renting a 5×5 storage unit Petaluma. This way you can safely store your possessions without them cluttering up your house. As an added bonus, you will also get a head start on the moving process.

2. Touch Up Landscaping

First impressions are crucial to a quick home sale. Take the time to spruce up your landscaping, especially around the front entry. Trim trees and shrubs so they are neat and attractive. Add mulch and a few bright flowers to garden beds for a colorful contrast to the lawn.

3. Update the Kitchen

Minor kitchen updates can have a big impact and often produce the best ROI for home sellers. Swap out the cabinet and drawer pulls with new hardware, refresh the plumbing fixtures and add under cabinet lighting to refresh the space and make it feel current.

Selling your home and all the prep work that goes into getting it listed can be stressful. Working to maximize its impact on buyers and create a great first impression will help you get through the process quickly and with minimal costs.

How To Take Care of a Septic Tank

Access to a municipal sewage system is not always practical. For example, you may live in a rural area far from your neighbors, let alone the nearest town. Where access to the sewer system is not available, homes are instead equipped with septic tanks, which are sort of like onsite sewage treatment facilities for the properties in question.

If you have a septic tank, it is not something that you can take for granted. You may have a catastrophic failure on your hands if you fail to take the necessary steps to maintain your septic system on a regular basis.

1. Monitor What Goes Into the Tank

Anything that goes down a drain in your home, including toilets, sinks, and garbage disposals, ends up in the septic tank. Limit the use of your garbage disposal or discontinue it altogether. Avoid pouring solvents and oil-based paints down the sink. When a pipe gets clogged, use a drain snake to clear it rather than a chemical drain cleaner. Don’t flush anything down the toilet other than bathroom tissue and human waste. Fix any leaks so that the tank is not burdened with excess water.

2. Inspect and Pump Frequently

Even if you are careful not to send anything into your septic take that doesn’t belong there, it will eventually fill up. The system can also break down for many reasons that may or may not be your fault. You should have a professional inspect mechanical components once a year to make sure they are in good working order. Septic tank pumping Omaha TX can take place less frequently, but no longer than three to five years.

3. Protect Your Drainfield

A critical component of the entire system, the drainfield removes contaminants as liquid emerges from the septic tank. You can protect it from taking on excess water by keeping rainwater drainage systems away from it and from incursions by roots by planting trees at a safe distance. Under no circumstances should you ever drive or park your car on your drainfield.

4 Tips for a More Organized Life

There are several studies that show how having organization skills leads to less stress and anxiety, better time management skills, and a happier day to day life. Below are four quick tips to decluttering your home.


You may be surprised to learn that some people enjoy organizing others’ lives as a profession. For larger messes or untidy spaces, consider hiring organization assistance Clinton IL to help you with a variety of tasks, such as downsizing, hauling items away, or designing new spaces (like an office, attic, or playroom.) The professionals will require you to pay a fee for their services, but the opportunity to redesign part of your home or office without too much work on your part will save you time and stress.


One of the easiest ways to organize a room in your house is to purchase furniture specifically designed for the task. Cube shelves, corner desks with extra storage, and magazine boxes are a few ways you can rearrange clutter into a neater space. There are also a variety of interior design websites and blogs to give you inspiration for organized decorating.


If you haven’t used something, worn something, or watched or played something in over a year, chances are you don’t really want it or need it any longer. Instead of reorganizing these things or moving them into a storage space, donate them to people in need.


Thanks to the Internet and its many resale apps, you can sell items you no longer use if they are in reasonably good condition. Instead of flipping and fixing houses, you can sell clothing, decorative items, or unused appliances. It is also a great way to earn extra money. 

With some assistance, you can turn your home or office into the neatly organized space it should be.

The Latest Trends in Multifamily Housing

If you are shopping for a new home, particularly in a large city, there is a good chance that multifamily housing or apartments are your best bet. Fortunately, architectural trends are keeping up with the demand for these dwellings. There are new trends for everything from leasing to new smart home technologies, like those in the Manayunk apartment buildings.

The Latest Amenities

Many luxury complexes offer smart home amenities, wi-fi, Icafes and increased intelligent home technologies. Even the older buildings are installing Nest and Ring tech to make even the most tech-minded happy with their connectivity.

Tenants are also demanding better outfitted common areas and social events. Some luxury apartments are complete with an onsite concierge to alleviate the demands of city living.

Green Leasing

Many of the latest buildings are green friendly. Some of the most modern ones are being called the most energy-efficient apartments ever. Tenants are even being asked to sign green leases that stipulate that they use sustainable living practices while they rent.

Life-Work Balance at Home

The life-work balance is becoming more critical as more people work from home or at least bring their work to their apartments. Complexes are now making this more comfortable by providing in-home offices as well as community-based luxuries. Some of these luxuries include clubhouses, cooking and life classes, open outdoor spaces and gardens.

Affordable Luxury

Previously, luxury apartments were only for the very wealthy. Many of the newer designs and designers offer more luxurious living at a lower price by making their unites smaller but pack full of features. By expanding common areas, social spaces and outdoor amenities, they offer luxury features without the luxury price.

These trends are expected to continue as more people move from large suburban living into more compact socially conscious apartment living. Multifamily complexes are expanding their features to keep up.

Real Estate Success Strategies

Prior to pursuing real estate prospecting, set yourself up for success. For example, set goals and a business plan, develop a detailed schedule, track your results and gain knowledge.

Set Goals and Develop a Plan

Your goals should be reasonable and based on data. Don’t set unreachable goals.

Your short-term goals should focus on your work, such as the number of contacts you want to make in a week. Your long-term goals should be about your results. For example, you may want to receive a specific commission rate or earn a specific amount of money. Evaluate both your short- and long-term goals each year and make adjustments.

Schedule Your Time

Stick to your plan. Results require productive activity, so schedule tasks. Pursue significant interactions and dedicate the time you need to achieve your goals.

Place your leads on lists of priority and motivation, and if leads have gone cold or are dead ends, take them off your list. You are tightly scheduled, so avoid procrastination. Follow-up delays may cause you to lose a client to another agent. Use multiple contact methods.

You may call your prospects multiple times, but be respectful and polite, asking for their permission to call again. Seek to give your clients what they need and solve their problems. Be honest and caring and listen to your clients.

Track Your Efforts

In your calendar, write down your accomplishments and how you achieved them. If something didn’t work, write it down. Take the time to develop a list of strategies that work the best for you. Learn something from every “yes” and “no.”

Adopt a Positive Attitude

You cannot make your prospects pick up the phone, so don’t get discouraged. Remind yourself that you provide a valuable service and help others through your work. Weekly events and sharing valuable information boost engagement and communication.

Gain Knowledge

Learn about real estate law and the neighborhoods and markets you serve. Consider learning new skills and strategies, such as accounting and negotiation, that will improve your business and may transfer to other areas of your life.