Articles Tagged "Home Improvement"

Hamner Real Estate Blog Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.




rss logo RSS Feed
Buy a Home | 5 Posts
Home Improvement | 17 Posts
Homeowners | 4 Posts
Sell a House | 6 Posts
Tuscaloosa, AL | 26 Posts
Uncategorized | 1 Posts
July
26

Home improvement shouldn't have to break the bank. Here are summer fixes that will save you money in the long run.

Whether you're saving to buy a home among Tuscaloosa homes for sale, or you've already acquired one and are looking for a few ways to cut expenses after the big outlay of buying a home — you can save money with some relatively painless hacks, and give yourself a bit of a financial boost.

Our real estate agents are very knowledgeable about the various fixes their clients have used to cut costs, so here are a few of them.

Click Here to Read More...

June
21

Don't ruin your curb appeal with bad landscaping. Here are simple ways you can avoid the most common mistakes.

It's easy to make landscaping mistakes; just ask professional gardeners who have learned the hard way and, over time, have profited from the knowledge their mistakes have provided them. Similarly, as you have begun a big landscaping redo in that home you bought from Tuscaloosa homes for sale, we can point out a few of the major mistakes to avoid.

Our real estate agents get a lot of feedback from homeowners on mistakes made indoors and outdoors, so read on and learn what not to do.

Landscaping Snafus: Avoid These at All Costs

  1. Don't plant invasives.
    Certain plants are just bad news in the landscape. What does it take to make it to the "Do Not Plant" list for Tuscaloosa? Just about anything that's considered invasive is a big no. For instance, bamboo is inclined to take off and take over in our warm, wet climate. Privet and honeysuckle are also verboten, as are Cherokee, MacCartney, and Multiflora roses.

  2. Don't plant trees and bushes that are the wrong size.
    When planning a major redo of your landscape, it's a good idea to rough it all out on graph paper or even in computer software designed for the purpose. Planting trees? Plan for how they will grow and throw shade on any other plantings. (Plants need sun!) Also, think how they will affect your roofline.

    The same goes for bushes. Plant more compact, easier-to-care-for forms in the back, and perennials and annuals in front.

  3. Resist the temptation to just stick any plant in the ground (just because it was on sale at the big box store).
    Plan how plantings will look. Plan your color combinations. Some landscapers recommend contrasting hot and cold colors (say, fiery orange or bright yellow with blues and purples). Likewise, think about textures and hues of green and gray. Again, sketching and in this case, coloring, can help give you a sense of how it will look.

  4. Take it easy with the gravel.
    Granted, gravel isn't as popular in the Southeast as it is in the Southwest due to the fact we usually have abundant rainfall, but if you decide to go for a bit of xeriscaping, know that gravel can be a pain. First, it's really hot and can throw off heat that may scorch tender plants. Further, gravel is usually applied with a layer of weed barrier — which works fine the first year or so, but then accumulates dirt that becomes a growing medium for weed seed.

  5. Take it easy with the mulch.
    Yes, mulch is great for keeping moisture in the ground, so the plant thrives — but only when you refrain from mounding it around the trunks of trees and bushes. Leave a few inches of space around the plant, or you could damage it.

  6. Don't forget to water trees and bushes.
    Even in Tuscaloosa, we can have dry times — particularly in the winter. While you may remember to water perennials and annuals, don't forget to water trees and shrubs at least every six weeks in times of low rainfall.

  7. Deadhead perennials, annuals and blooming shrubs.
    Nipping off spent blooms before they turn to seed will prevent the plant's energy from going to making seed. That way, you'll have more prolific blooms.

  8. Cut back on fertilizing in the hot summer months.
    Over-fertilizing can not only burn your plants but may cause too much late-season growth. That, in turn, can leave the plants vulnerable to winter weather.

We're always happy to advise you on how renovating your home, inside or outside, will add value to your property. Contact us today.

March
7

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.

February
21

Changing up your flooring is a big commitment that can change the feel of your home. Here's how you can choose what's best for your home.

Nothing perks up a home like great flooring. Whether it's in the bathroom, kitchen, living room, or bedroom, the right flooring pulls the rest of your decorating or renovation efforts together and makes your home into a showpiece.

Click Here to Read More...

January
31

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.

Click Here to Read More...

November
1

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.

Click Here to Read More...

October
4

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.

Click Here to Read More...

September
20

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.

Click Here to Read More...

August
18

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

Click Here to Read More...

July
19

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.

Click Here to Read More...

June
21

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.

May
17

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.

Click Here to Read More...

April
19

Spring cleaning is here, and we have some pro tips for making the process easy and effective.

It's spring again, and you know what that means — spring cleaning! Time to break out those cleaning supplies and get your home as clean and bright as possible. Whether you're selling soon or just moving into one of the beautiful Tuscaloosa homes for sale, spring is the time to get that deep clean your home deserves. Here's your guide to getting it done.

Click Here to Read More...

March
1

Your attic can be a great place for storage. Follow these tips to do attic storage right.

If your home is lacking storage space, it's time to turn to your attic. The attic is an underutilized storage spot for many homeowners, and our real estate agents know that a space with lots of storage potential appeals to prospective buyers. Here are some guidelines to help you get the most out of your attic storage. 

Confirm That Your Attic is a Safe Spot

You don't want to spend your time and resources creating an organizational system in your attic, only to have your belongings ruined by a leaky roof or undesirable climate conditions. Check that your roof doesn't have leaks. If it does, items in your attic are highly susceptible. Look for stains on the ceiling and rotting wood that are indicative of a leak. 

Click Here to Read More...

February
1

Is hardwood better than carpet? It depends, which is why we're giving you our tips to help you decide on the best flooring for your home.

One of the first things you notice when you enter a room is the flooring. If your floors look old and worn out, it's probably time to replace them. Our real estate agents know that new flooring is also very appealing to potential homebuyers. Two of the most popular alternatives are carpet and hardwood. Here's what you need to know about these top options to decide if they're right for your home. 

Hardwood Floor Basics

Hardwood floor consists of boards that are produced from wood. The boards can be crafted entirely from solid wood, or they may consist of a thin hardwood layer that adheres to a layer of plywood (also known as engineered wood flooring).

Click Here to Read More...

January
4

Colors of the Year

As we finally turn the page on a tough year, it's time to set our sights on the future. If 2021's color of the year choices are any indication, the future is certainly looking bright.

One of our favorite parts about this time of year is reading all of the interior design predictions for the New Year, and our real estate agents have been busy doing just that. In fact, we were so inspired by new colors in these Tuscaloosa homes for sale, we pulled together a list of the most popular 2021 colors of the year to help guide your home decor choices.

Click Here to Read More...

November
16

Home Upgrades on Budget

If you're looking to upgrade your home, you'll want to look into projects that can be done on a budget. That way, for a minimal investment, you'll make a big impact that will improve the look or function of your home. Especially, if you are getting ready to list! 

Our real estate agents suggest the following 5 upgrades you can make even on a budget:

Click Here to Read More...

October
19

Timeless Kitchen

Many refer to the kitchen as the heart and hub of the home. It's the place where meals are created and the primary gathering place for many families. Having a great kitchen can truly make all the difference in a home, which is why kitchen renovations are expensive yet worth the investment.

The quality of your kitchen also significantly impacts your home's value. It can also make your home much more appealing to potential buyers, as future owners won't need to worry about redecorating any time soon. If you're planning an upcoming kitchen renovation, our REALTORS® put together a list of 6 classic trends that will create a timeless look.

Click Here to Read More...

August
17

Tips for a Spacious Home

Smaller homes can be efficient to heat and cool and easier to clean. They can also feel more cramped than cozy, especially if you're used to the decor and storage techniques better suited to larger homes. But no matter what size home you have, you can make the most of your square footage with careful planning. Buyers looking at Tuscaloosa homes for sale get to see homes of all sizes, but seeing how well you use your space will get everyone thinking big about going small. Make your home feel a little roomier with these tips below. 

Click Here to Read More...

July
20

Pool Maintenance Tips

On a sweltering summer day, there's no better way to cool off and than going for a relaxing swim.

To ensure your pool is ready for all your summer fun, it's essential to follow a strict maintenance schedule. Our real estate agents know that a well-maintained pool can be a strong selling point with many would-be homeowners. Keep reading to learn a few maintenance tips that every pool owner needs to know. 

  1. Your Pool Needs Just the Right Amount of Water
    Make sure that the water level of your pool is at the point where it hits the center of your pool's skimmer. Otherwise, the skimmer won't be able to remove debris from your pool water properly. A water level that's too high won't allow the skimmer's door to open and close correctly. However, if the water level is too low, you risk running your pump dry and damaging it. 

  2. Click Here to Read More...

June
1

Patio Tips

As you search among Tuscaloosa homes for sale to find the perfect home for you, perhaps a patio is high on your list of must-haves. Or perhaps you're considering creating a stunning patio area for your current home.

Click Here to Read More...

May
18

Home Improvement Apps

If you plan to add your home to the list of Tuscaloosa homes for sale, there might be a few projects that will help you prepare your property for sale. Home improvement projects can be overwhelming for many homeowners; not only do you need to figure out exactly what you want or need to do, but you need to procure materials and schedule labor for the job. Here are a few apps that will help you plan, manage, and execute your home improvement projects. 

  1. Wikihow
    Should you decide to tackle your project on your own, Wikihow will give you the knowledge you need to get the job done. This app is filled with thousands of useful how-to guides for projects of varying complexity levels. Many include diagrams and videos to increase your understanding. You can even use the bookmark feature to save guides that you plan to use later.
  2. IFixIt
    IFixIt is a fantastic resource if your project includes a lot of repairs. Find an applicable guide to assist with diagnosing the problem, gathering the necessary parts, and then completing the repairs. It's easy to search for guides by using the name of the item you're fixing or by searching for the device type. You can even use the IFixIt online store to purchase replacement parts. 
  3. iHandy Carpenter
    iHandy Carpenter transforms your smart device into a set of tools. This app makes it possible for you to use your phone as a ruler, bubble level, surface level, plumb bob, and protractor. Most homeowners keep their phones within reach throughout the day; this app ensures you have the tools you need for your project.
  4. TapPainter
    Our real estate agents find that a fresh coat of paint makes a huge difference in the look of your home. TapPainter allows you to take a photo of your room and upload it to the app. The app will then use the room's light and layout to see how various paint colors look in your room. This app offers shades from many of the most popular paint brands, making it easy for you to locate and buy your preferred color. 
  5. Pinterest
    Pinterest is a valuable resource for planning and managing your home improvement project. Create your own project-specific Pinterest board to keep track of all your ideas. You can search on Pinterest for potential projects and ideas, or you may add links that you find on the internet to your project board. The Pinterest app is full of project hacks, decor ideas, and useful tutorials. 
  6. Porch
    Need to bring in a professional for your project? Use Porch to search for insured home improvement pros you can hire for the job. Not sure what kind of pro you need? Schedule a consultation with a Porch representative to help you figure out what kind of professional is right for the job. Professionals are available in every type of home improvement category, including handymen, plumbers, electricians, roofers, and HVAC professionals. 

Want to know what projects will offer the best return for your money? Contact us today for help preparing your home to sell. 

April
6

Decorating Home OfficeWhether you work from home occasionally or full-time, you've surely discovered the value of having a dedicated home office. Home offices are becoming so popular that many potential homebuyers may also be looking for dedicated office space in Tuscaloosa homes for sale. Regardless if you plan on selling your home soon or living in it for years to come, there are ways you can enhance your home office that will make you more productive, creative, and emotionally focused as you work. Here are five tips for decorating your home office that our REALTORS® love.

  1. Let Paint Influence Your Psychology
    Colors have a significant impact on our psychology. For example, green can make us feel calm, yellow can inspire creativity, and blue can stimulate productivity. If you choose to have a neutral-colored office space, inject a few colors via décor to give your mind the boost it needs while you're in the space.  

    Click Here to Read More...

March
16

Remodeling Dollars

Many sellers ask our real estate agents how to make their homes stand out from other Tuscaloosa homes for sale. If you're selling soon, a little remodeling can go a long way. You'll want to concentrate on remodeling projects that buyers want but still offer you a decent boost in resale value. These tips will help you make the most of your remodeling dollar.

  • Go for inexpensive and mid-range projects.
    They can still make a big difference, and you'll get more of your costs back on these. Because some big remodeling projects can be so expensive, you won't make your money back on them in the short term. Those kinds of projects aren't good candidates if you're going to remodel simply to help sell your home.
  • Make the kitchen and bathrooms top priority.
    These are the rooms buyers pay attention to, so making them look at least reasonably updated and inviting is essential. Buyers also know full remodels in these areas can be costly. If buyers see they can at least live with what's there, and they won't need to remodel immediately, that can give you an edge.
  • A surface remodel can be a better option.
    If most of the house is fine, but one area is likely to make buyers run, try a surface remodel. Do some less expensive swaps to save money instead of a full scale remodel project. For example, refinish a bathtub instead of replacing it, opt for vinyl plank instead of wood plank flooring, or paint a vanity and replace the hardware to get an updated look without gutting the entire space.  
  • Spend the money where buyers can see it.
    Paint and flooring take up the most space in a room, so updating here is always worth the money. And updating something major that's still working safely, such as a water heater or furnace, will cost way more and you'll recoup much less.
  • Refresh cabinets instead of replacing them.
    This can easily become a big chunk of the remodeling budget. If the cabinets are structurally sound, there are a few different and less expensive ways to update them. Paint or stain, refacing, swapping a solid door for one with a glass insert, and updating the hardware can change the look for less money.
  • Update hardware and light fixtures throughout the home.
    It may not sound like much, but all those door handles, hinges, drawer pulls, and builder-grade light fixtures throughout your home may be making a bad impression. Because they're everywhere in your home, this little change can make a big difference.
  • Update with buyers' tastes in mind.
    That doesn't necessarily mean everything has to be the latest trend, but it should offer wide appeal. Get rid of anything that is dated or likely to evoke strong dislike among buyers.

Updating your house before you sell is sure to turn the heads of potential buyers. Making good use of your remodeling dollars can help your house sell faster and for the right price. Contact us today to get started.

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder