Cheap fixes to boost the value of your home

Looking for ways to spruce up your home without putting yourself in the poorhouse? Whether you’re getting ready to sell your home or want to spiff it up inexpensively for your own enjoyment, we’ve got 10 good strategies for you to consider.

The actual cost and payback for each project can vary, depending on both your home’s condition and overall real estate market values in your region of the country.

1. Make your kitchen really cook. The kitchen is still considered the heart of the home. Potential home buyers make a beeline for this room when they first view a home for sale, so make sure your kitchen looks clean and reasonably updated.

2. Give appliances a facelift. If your kitchen appliances don’t match, order new doors or face panels for them.

3. Buff up the bath. Next to the kitchen, bathrooms are often the most important rooms to update.

4. Step up your storage. Old houses, particularly, are notorious for their lack of closet space. If you have cramped storage areas, Realtor Moe Viessi of Miami suggests adding do-it-yourself wire and laminate closet systems to bedrooms, pantries and entry closets. Firms like ClosetMaid allow you to measure and redesign your closets online. You can also get design details and parts for these systems at many large home-improvement stores. Most closets can be updated in a weekend or less.

5. Add a room in a week or less. “If you have a three-bedroom house with a den, the only reason the den can’t be considered a bedroom may be because it doesn’t have a closet,” says Persley. “If you add a closet to that room, you’ve now got a four-bedroom house. That adds a lot of value.”

 

Kitchen Renovations

Renovating your kitchen will add ease to your lifestyle and value to your home. Here are the 10 most important things to consider when you’re updating your kitchen.

1 Use quality materials.
Top-quality drawer slides and hinges mean cabinet doors will stay closed and drawers won’t stick. Stay away from drawers that are stapled together or made of particleboard. For cabinet interiors, wood veneer is more durable than melamine, laminate, MDF or particleboard.

2 Determine cabinet heights.
If you have eight-foot ceilings, choose cabinets that go to the ceiling. They offer more storage, enabling you to use extra wall space for artwork or open shelves. If your ceilings are higher than eight feet, leave 15 to 18 inches above the cabinets.

3 Decide whether to paint or stain.
Though stained-wood cabinetry is forgiving, most finishes date quickly and aren’t easily altered. Brush-painted cabinets can lend a unique personality.

4 Select an elegant countertop.
White Carrara marble (honed or acid washed and sealed) and stained wood add elegance and warmth. We also like honed Kirkstone slate, soapstone and Wiarton limestone, and plastic laminate with a wood edge for a sophisticated look.

5 Install an island that works.
Beware of placing a bulky cube in the middle of the room. We like islands that have an open, airy look. Ideally, an island should be unencumbered by appliances, but if you want it to house a dishwasher-sink combo or a cooktop, try to maintain the light look of a leggy harvest table.

6 Don’t overdo the details.
Design accents such as pediments over stoves and plaster mouldings on cabinet fronts can represent decorative excess. Remember that the style of your kitchen should be compatible with the rest of your home.

Easy projects to renew your kitchen

Need a creative, quick save to rescue your faded kitchen but have limited time and not a lot of money?

These are projects any do-it-yourselfer can accomplish on a barebones budget and still end up with a dynamite result. Some of these projects can even pull together a rented apartment kitchen without sending your landlord through the roof.
Get started in the morning and be finished in time for dinner guests!
1. Think Paint. The first and primary hint: Paint works miracles on everything. If it holds still, paint itneatly, inside and out. Don’t think colors; think shine and texture. Old wood tone cabinets spray-painted very glossy white or hand painted with oil-base in creamy white provides yards of look for very little cash.
Then repaint the walls with latex satin enamel in soft sheen or no sheen. Use a color to contrast with your “new cabinets.” Feeling adventurous? Paint pulls and hinges, too. If you have poor cabinetry, this technique can really pull it together.
2. New Pulls. When renovating cabinetry, new pulls add punch. In a small kitchen, put money into pulls and hardware. Expensive pulls can make the worst cabinets sing. Consider vintage pulls.
3. Remove. Less is more! Look at the cabinets and consider which doors could be removed to expose the shelving. Open shelving helps a kitchen look bigger. Display your favorite dishes, baskets and what-have-you for a new, updated look. Paint the inside of the cabinets the same as the outside or an opposite, bright color for snap and speed.
Fancy kitchen Hardware

4. Replace. Replace solid cupboard doors with glass fronts. The glass can be clear or frosted or you can get vintage doors and master them to fit. Showcase dishes, glassware, silver, anything displayable. You can also line the inside glass with sheer fabric. And if youve removed some doors to create open shelves, the glass fronts add to the look beautifully.

5. Lighting. Track lights brighten up any kitchen. Wire suspension lights can make the space look contemporary and new. Paper lanterns add life and freshness. All three types of lighting put light where you need it, create space or raise the ceiling. If you have a very small kitchen, make a box or rectangle of lights with extra small halogen bulbs.

 

 

Secrets that slash your kitchen bill 40% or more!

Anything that involves moving plumbing, gas, or electrical will jack up your budget and timeline. This often works hand-in-hand with the concept of retaining the kitchen's footprint--but not always.

Most kitchens come in one of several pre-determined shapes; few kitchen designers ever do anything different, mainly because these shapes work so well. Whether the one-wall kitchen layout , corridor or galley, L-shape, U-shape, or so on, your existing kitchen layout probably works better than you may think. The problem may be more in the arrangement of your services within that shape than the shape itself.

 

Anything that involves moving plumbing, gas, or electrical will jack up your budget and timeline. This often works hand-in-hand with the concept of retaining the kitchen’s footprint–but not always. You can retain the footprint, but still end up moving appliances all over the place. One interesting thing you will find, though, is that you can still move some appliances without moving their hook-up. For example, a dishwasher can usually be moved to the other side of a sink, because the washer’s hook-ups actually come from that central point under the sink. Left or right? Doesn’t really matter.

Anything that involves moving plumbing, gas, or electrical will jack up your budget and timeline. This often works hand-in-hand with the concept of retaining the kitchen's footprint--but not always.

Anything that involves moving plumbing, gas, or electrical will jack up your budget and timeline. This often works hand-in-hand with the concept of retaining the kitchen’s footprint–but not always.

In relation to this, former Korean comfort women claim the South Korean government trained them and worked with pimps to run a sex trade through the 1960s and 1970s for U.S. troops, encouraged women to work as prostitutes and violated their human rights. The suit was lodged with the Seoul Central District Court and Reuters has seen the document laying out the accusations against the government and a demand for 10 million won ($9,800) in compensation per plaintiff.  The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family declined to comment on the lawsuit. The U.S. military in South Korea said it was aware of reports of the lawsuit.

Image from: bhg.com

What’s your kitchen style?

Cool or casual? Sleek or sedate? Your kitchen style not only says a lot about you, but sets the tone as family and friends gather around the hub of the home.

Here’s a look at three popular kitchen styles:

Cool or casual? Sleek or sedate? Your kitchen style not only says a lot about you, but sets the tone as family and friends gather around the hub of the home.

Cool or casual? Sleek or sedate? Your kitchen style not only says a lot about you, but sets the tone as family and friends gather around the hub of the home.

Contemporary

The contemporary kitchen is uncluttered and unadorned. It appeals to people who like clean and sleek. Appliances are disguised as cabinets so the kitchen does not look “kitchen-y.” Cabinets are flat-front wooden, steel or lacquered. Countertops are square-edged, often metal or underlighted glass. Light fixtures are works of art. Accessories are minimal.

Traditional

If you tell a designer you want a traditional kitchen, she will steer you toward cabinetry reminiscent of 18th- and 19th-century furniture. Lighting is more functional than artsy, and accessories are decidedly not funky. Countertops are neutral, while backsplashes may be tumbled stone. Flooring is made of tried-and-true woods and patterns. Trimwork features flutes, columns, beadboard or, at the high end, a coffered ceiling. Blue Danube china feels right at home. Traditional can be Old World formal with cherry cabinetry or farmhouse informal with painted-white cabinets and rustic additions such as wooden countertops, scraped wooden flooring and farm sinks.

Transitional

The transitional kitchen suits you if you like Arts and Crafts-style cabinetry with little ornamentation. Woods are painted or in natural tones. Think traditional with spice, such as a backsplash with funky tiles, an island with colorful cabinetry or a light fixture with humor. The backdrop is conservative enough to carry it into the next decade, but the kitchen has enough pluck to qualify it for a magazine spread. For the remodeler, this kitchen is updated but doesn’t scream “new addition.”

Crossovers

Some materials cross style lines, depending on their applications. The concrete countertop with an ogee edge fits a traditional kitchen, while square-edged concrete suits a contemporary one. Aqua subway tiles in a classic running-bond pattern help turn a traditional kitchen into a transitional one, while the same tiles in the stacked-bond pattern say contemporary.

Design trends also cross style definitions, said the designers. More homeowners are eliminating upper cabinets in favor of windows, shelves or artwork. More are “foodies,” who require features such as built-in spice cabinets or televisions to watch cooking shows. Islands have replaced peninsulas and are more often bar height. Their stools welcome visitors as though they are part of the neighborhood pub or martini bar, depending on their style.

Demographics matter

Buyers’ demographics affect kitchen designs, said Zielinski. Busy families want their kitchens to be command centers, regardless of the style. Single women want simple kitchens where they can have quick meals and check their iPads, said Zielinski. Most single men have other priorities, according to a recent study by Rent.com. Only 4 percent surveyed require spacious kitchens, compared with 45 percent who want single women as neighbors.

Image from: designremix.com