Monthly Archives: June 2016

How to Avoid Decorating Mistakes

One of the things that makes decorating so much fun is the huge amount of resources that we can go to to learn more about how to make a beautiful room. We can readbooks and magazines, watchTV shows, read onlinearticles, and visit decorating showhouses to find all sorts of wonderful advice on things to do to get a beautifully decorated room.

But even with so much advice and inspiration on what to do, it can still be hard to learn what not to do or what mistakes you can avoid even before you even start a decorating project.

So to help fill in a few of those gaps, here is our list of the 20 easiest decorating mistakes to make and the best things not to do in order to get around them.

1. Don’t Let Someone Make Choices for You
Your home is your personal space. Don’t let someone else tell you what you should do. If you need help, ask for suggestions.

But when the time comes to make decisions, they should be yours. It’s your home and you should feel comfortable with the choices.

2. Don’t Paint First
You can buy paint in every color under the sun. In fact, you can have paint mixed in any imaginable color you might want. Choose fabric, carpet, and upholstery first.

3. Don’t Choose Paint From a Paint Chip
A small chip of a paint sample might look great in the fluorescent light in the paint store. But a whole wall of it might be overpowering. When you’ve decided on a color, purchase a quart of the color and paint a small section to see how the color looks in the room with natural light. If you don’t want to mess up the walls, paint a piece of cardboard and tape it on the walls in the room where you plan to use the color.

Engenering tips easy for your home

We have had numerous instances where clients and/or realtors have asked us whether a house that we are inspecting conforms with codes. Home buyers sometimes confuse our inspections with code compliance inspections.

Pre-purchase engineering inspections of houses or buildings are not code compliance inspections. Such an inspection is considered to be well beyond the scope of a building inspection as defined by the professional standards that govern home inspections. By law, the local building department inspector (Code Enforcement Officer) has almost the final say in interpreting and applying codes. Although we can sometimes comment on the applicable codes, the final determination must be the local CEO.

More importantly, it is critical to understand that existing homes will rarely conform to modern building codes and standards. This is because building codes are revised on a regular basis. As a result, today’s code would be different than the code that was in place when an existing home was constructed. The code at the time that the work (construction, repair, or improvement) was performed is the code that applies. There is also no requirement that existing homes conform to today’s codes and standards. Certainly, any renovation or repair work that is performed on an existing home must be performed in a manner that conforms to today’s standards. We offer the three examples below:

Modern electrical codes dictate that electrical outlets in “potentially wet locations” be protected by ground fault interrupter protection. These locations would include some kitchen outlets, bath outlets, exterior outlets, pool equipment, etc. However, if a house was built in the 1950s it may not have ground fault protection for a bathroom outlet. There is no requirement that ground fault protection be installed. If this same bathroom were to be renovated the electrician who is performing the work would be obligated to install ground fault protection at the time of renovation. Today’s codes apply to the new work that is currently being performed.

Another example would be entry doors that separate a house from an attached garage. Modern codes for new work dictate that the door leading from the house to the garage must be a fire-rated door (usually metal) with a metal jamb. Also, a self-closing hinge is required for the door. This would prevent the door from being left open. The purpose of this code is to help prevent a fire from easily spreading from the garage to the interior of the house. If an existing house built in the 1940s has an attached garage, and the door leading to the garage is not a fire-rated door the homeowner is not be required to replace the door. However, if they chose to replace the door, their obligation would be to utilize a door that conforms to current codes.

A third example would be that of automatic garage door openers. For a number of years new automatic garage door openers have been required to have redundant safety reverse features. This means that the door will reverse if it meets an obstruction or hits an object during the downward motion. Also, new openers must have an electronic eye safety reverse. This makes the door reverse if the electric eye (or safety beam) is crossed when the door is in the downward motion. Of course, there are many old openers still in use that would not conform to these standards. There is not a requirement that these openers be replaced. The requirement would apply to openers that are currently manufactured and installed.

Choosing the right exterior color tips

Choosing the right exterior color can make a huge difference when you paint your house for resale. The paint store brochures show different combinations of exterior paint colors. But keep in mind those color combinations actually include three colors, not just two. The additional color will add definition to the architectural details and your house will have a more finished look.

How you paint your home makes a big difference in its saleability. An appropriate color for the area and house will translate into prospective buyers wanting to see the inside. Make a mistake with the outside and you’ll turn off prospects.

In picking exterior colors consider the other homes on your street and in your neighborhood. If the house is on a wooded lot or has extensive landscaping, than earth tones would be appropriate. The color choice should take into consideration the stone or brickwork on the house and the roof color. Additionally, the home style can help dictate a direction. Colonial homes look good with white or beige, while ranch homes could be more appealing using muted shades. A muted shade – generally a color that required two words to describe like “cream yellow” vs. yellow.

If you want to appeal to the widest buyer audience then go conservative with the exterior color. Here are some exterior painting tips to avoid.

  1. Don’t paint your house black, dark green, purple or other dark color. These colors make your house looks small, gloomy and limits prospect appeal. Buyers respond better to a lighter color palette.
  2. Don’t paint your house a bright color like sky blue or hot pink. Unless it’s the norm for the area don’t think about this option.
  3. Don’t over paint the trim, a couple accent colors in appropriate places complements the architecture. Adding too many colors or painting in patterns are negatives.
  4. Don’t be creative with color choices, dark brown with yellow and pink trim is not special or unique; it just means your house will sell for less and be on the market longer.

Painting a house is expensive but a great way to improve its value and help it sell quicker – if it’s done right.

Home’s Curb Appeal Tips

unduhan-29Curb appeal is something everyone should work on but is of particular importance to those wishing to sell their home. As soon as a new listing comes up, perspective buyers are going to drive by to decide which if they’re interested in seeing more. These handy tips can make your house outshine all the others on the real estate market.

    1. Be certain your house can be clearly seen from every direction of the yard. If there are bushes or trees blocking windows trim them back.
    1. Have your curtains/blinds all uniform in color from the outside.
    1. Wash your windows.
    1. Power wash the exterior of your home and all decks and sidewalks.
    1. Schedule your driveway to be sealed as soon as weather permits. If you have a stone driveway, put down a new fresh layer of stone.
    1. Paint your front door.
    1. Add new mulch and edge your yard.
    1. Repair all cracked and chipping paint on the exterior of your house. A buyer may look past this defect, but a mortgage appraiser may insist that the deteriorating paint be repaired or they will not give your buyer a mortgage.
    1. Clean the gutters.
    1. Rake your yard to remove all dead leaves and debris
    1. Cut back all the dead brown remains from last season’s perennials.
    1. If you have a front porch highlight it with a pair of chairs to sit on.
    1. Display an American flag. All other decorative flags should be avoided.
    1. Remove lawn ornaments.
    1. Replace your mailbox if it is not in mint condition.
    1. Make sure your house number is large and clearly visible.
    1. Park in your garage and shut the door. Your home will appear bigger.
    1. Buy a simple new front door mat.
    1. As long as it is safe, add new light bulbs with a brighter wattage to your porch lights.
  1. Keep in mind that your yard is the first thing a potential buyer will see. The care and maintenance you invest here will give a favorable impression for the level of maintenance in the rest of your home. A good rule of thumb: keep your yard as clean as if it was another room in your house.