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Odds are you haven't cleaned your carpets in a long time. Here's how you should do it.

Cleaning the carpets isn't our favorite thing to do. But did you know keeping the carpet clean can actually extend its life?

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The key to successful renovations and home improvement projects is organization. Here's how you can stay on top of your home upgrades.

When you found your dream home among Tuscaloosa homes for sale, you may have bought it with a plan to launch some major home improvements. Maybe you're an old hand at home improvements, but if you're just starting out, you could probably use some advice from our real estate agents. Follow these suggestions, and we guarantee you will have fewer home improvement snafus, and what's more, you'll love how close your results are to the improvements of your imagination.

Project Manager — or Not?

Now, before you launch into your role as a project manager for your home, it might be wise to take a breath and do a fearless self-assessment. You may want to save money by doing it yourself, and you're excited about undertaking this thrilling project, but are you the type of person who can bring it off successfully? Are you calm under pressure? Do you think and act strategically and confidently? Do you have time to plan, coordinate, and oversee the work? If these questions make you a bit uneasy, you might consider hiring a project manager. There will be a fee, but a bungled (by you) project will cost time and money and you could be looking at major disappointment. A pro can bring off the results you want.

Apps and Plans

Still ready to tackle orchestrating your home improvements? Then let's get you started with apps and software programs. If you've got money to pay an architect, never mind. Otherwise, here goes. An app such as Fiverr can provide you with 3D renderings but they don't come cheap, and they only give 1-2 revisions before they start charging. Try Arcsite or Planner 5d to save money and make your own renderings, with an unlimited number of designs for free.

A Trick for Visualizing Space

Most of us are lacking in the ability to visualize how things will look. Painter's tape and flooring paper can help you figure out the scope of space. For instance, you may want to know how well your projected dimensions for cabinet width will look. Tape it out, and you'll have a good idea.

Buy Samples — Lots of Them! — and Try Them Out

It can be tough to know if you're going to love that tile or flooring once it's in place. It might cost a bit, but it's better to buy a significant sampling of those materials and actually put them in place before you buy a whole shipment of stuff and commission an entire floor or wall. Ditto with paint. Those measly two samples they give you at the store just don't cut it.

Buy Dupes

Sometimes you can find a dupe for a pricey item. Shop around at big box stores and see if there's something that approximates that expensive thing you just have to have. For instance, installing aluminum-clad windows with thicker grids instead of installing steel windows is one clever dupe. They look similar to steel. There are lots of dupes out there if you spend time looking.

Go Over Where You Want Electrical Outlets

Most contractors will install electrical outlets any old where. If you're particular (and you should be), then you'll be thinking this through thoroughly. You might want some outlets concealed under an overhang or under cabinets. Be sure your contractor knows what you want.

Factor in Contingency Dollars in Your Budget

Things will go wrong. It's wise to factor in at least 10 percent contingency in your budget for unexpected issues, especially if you're in an older home.

Our real estate staff has lots more advice about managing home improvements. Contact us today.


If you need some new hues in your life, look no further than the 2022 Colors Of The Year!  Here are the top picks the color pros think you should explore this year.

Every year, color experts as well as the top paint companies name which shades and hues will inspire your home decor in the new year. 2022's Colors of the Year range from a vibrant purple to a minty blue-green, and they'll each create a new feel and vibrancy to your home. Our real estate agents share their favorite of the top colors this year, including tips on how to best incorporate them into your home to achieve the look you want.

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The holidays are a time to connect and celebrate with your family, so take some time beforehand to finish up these projects.

It's already November, and that means the holidays are approaching fast. Catching up with family and friends in a Tuscaloosa home for sale over home-cooked meals can be one of the most rewarding things you'll do this year, but it also means you may not have as much free time as usual. Before you host guests this holiday season, our real estate agents recommend finishing up the following projects.

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Not all design trends are worth the fuss. Here are some living room trends that you should ignore.

You want your living room to make a statement as the showpiece of the home. As the name suggests, a living room is also where you invite company, and maybe even where you and the family spend time, so while eye appeal is important, so is comfort.

As you plan the living room of your dreams in the house you discovered from Tuscaloosa homes for sale, bone up on avoiding some of the most common decorating blunders. Our real estate agents have sourced the wisdom of top design experts to help you avoid mistakes and create the perfect living room for your home.

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Storage space is usually hard to come by. That's why we put together some tips to help you maximize your home storage.

Storage space is always one of the most important features of any home and usually one of the first things buyers look for when touring a listing. If your home has limited storage space, all hope is not lost. There are many easy things you can do to increase storage, even if your home is short on closets and functional areas. Our real estate agents have seen some very creative storage designs that inspired them to compile this list of clever storage ideas that can truly help you maximize your space.

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When it comes to your home's electrical system, you don't want to cheap out. Here's what you can do to have robust surge protection.

If you're looking at Tuscaloosa homes for sale, you probably can't wait to move in and get settled. While you pack up all your electronics, you might wonder whether you should take steps to protect them. After all, it only takes one lightning strike or downed power line to cause a power surge and damage your devices. This may all seem scary, but the good news is that you can protect all your devices, and it's pretty simple. Our real estate agents recommend the following.

Whole-House Surge Protector

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Your family photos deserve special attention. Here's how you can make them shine in your home.

Our real estate agents often hear that one of the best parts of becoming a homeowner is being able to decorate and display personal items any way you like. Adding all those personal touches to Tuscaloosa homes for sale will make you feel right at home in no time. So you probably can't wait to display those favorite family photos. But where should you even start? Here are a few creative options to inspire you.

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If you don't have the space outside, bring the garden indoors! Here are tips for starting an indoor herb garden.

Typically, herbs are outdoor plants, but there are many you can grow indoors under the right conditions. If you're a cook and love creating special dishes for family and friends, consider bringing your herb garden into your home where you can have fresh, savory herbs at your fingertips.

Buyers looking for Tuscaloosa homes for sale often ask our real estate agents to show them homes with certain features. In addition to well-equipped kitchens and big back yards, large windows with great natural light rank high on the bucket list. What better way to start an indoor herb garden?

Choosing the Best Indoor Herbs

Although some herbs should remain outdoors, there are many that will flourish indoors, even in indirect sunlight and limited space. Leafy herbs are easy to grow quickly indoors, so they're great for cooking family meals. You can start your herb garden with these flavorful favorites:

  1. Basil – Basil adds a distinct flavor to Italian dishes like lasagna, spaghetti, and pizza. This herb prefers bright light and heat, so place it in a southern or western window. It only grows for about 3 weeks, so use it before the stems become woody.
  2. Chives – With an aromatic smell and a slight onion flavor, chives add a kick to salads, soups, chicken casseroles, fresh fish, and egg dishes. Chives grow best in bright light, and they quickly re-sprout if you leave at least 2" of growth on plants after cutting.
  3. Cilantro – Cilantro leaves play a starring role in Mexican and Asian cuisine. Cilantro is an easy herb to grow because it self-sows freely. Seeds of the plant can be dried and used as a different seasoning called coriander. When chopped, leaves can be frozen in a freezer bag for later use.
  4. Lemon Balm – This herb gives a wonderful flavor to roasted chicken, pesto sauce, hot tea, and after-dinner cocktails. You can freeze leaves in ice cubes to use in water and iced tea. In the Middle Ages, this citrus-scented herb was used for reducing stress and improving sleep.
  5. Mint – Mint comes in various flavors, including apple, orange, peppermint, and chocolate. It's a flavorful herb for salads, sweet and savory dishes, desserts, and tea. You can even use mint in natural beauty recipes to promote relaxation.

Providing Good Light for Growth

Indoor herb gardens are a wonderful addition to any home, but you must make sure you have good light for healthy growth. You have two options: (1) windows with good natural light or (2) artificial grow lights.

Natural Light

If your home has a lot of south-facing windows, you will get the brightest light and the maximum hours of sunlight throughout each day, even during the winter months. Basil, cilantro, oregano, and thyme will flourish in south-facing windows with lots of sunlight. If you have mostly east-and-west-facing windows, you will get cooler temperatures and only morning or afternoon sun. Chives, chervil, mint, and parsley will grow well with less light and cooler temperatures.

Grow Lights

If your home doesn't have good natural light, most herbs grow very well under full-spectrum grow lights. You can purchase grow lights in various styles, sizes, and prices from most home improvement stores, garden centers, and online retailers. Most lights come with timers, so you can set lights to stay on for 12 to 16 hours each day. Make sure your herb gardens get at least 4 to 6 hours of daily light.

If you're intrigued by an indoor herb garden, contact us for available Tuscaloosa homes that offer just the right features to get started.


Does your outdoor space need a little refresh? We have tips for making it fresh and functional again.

Does your outdoor space need a little refresh? Once the weather is warmer, everyone wants to spend more time outside, and Tuscaloosa homes for sale have all kinds of outdoor spaces available to help you do exactly that. Whether you're planning on selling soon or just want to add a personal touch to your new home, these projects will get your outdoor space ready to wow visitors.

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