Avoid Remodeling Problems – Top 5 Tips

Thinking about remodeling your home? So are millions of other Americans. However, the economy is forcing homeowners to re-evaluate their role in the remodeling. Over half of homeowners with plans to remodel are attempting to complete the work themselves. Sure, there are easy ways to fix-up your house such as decorating and painting. But be careful when it comes to more skilled projects like installing appliances or tiling floors, as mistakes can become costly, not to mention a huge nuisance.

Consumer Reports conducted a survey of 6,000 readers, asking them about their biggest remodeling problems, what their blunders cost them and ways to avoid getting into a similar situation again.

1). THINK BEFORE YOU ACT – Rushing into things can be one of the costliest mistakes homeowners make. If you find that something has gone wrong during your project, fixing the problem can be an expensive hassle. Do your research first.

2). STUFF HAPPENS – Even careful planning cannot prevent the unexpected from happening. A variety of setbacks can occur during a remodeling project, from uncovering structural problems to hidden water damage. Be prepared and anticipate the unanticipated.

3). DON’T BE CHEAP! – Yes, we all love a bargain and many of us pride ourselves for “shopping around.” But always going for the lowest-priced contractor or trying to save on inexpensive materials may end up being an expensive faux pas. Sometimes you can find great contractors at affordable prices, and the cheaper materials may be the best for the job, but make sure you are aware of what you are signing up for. It’s better to spend a little more and be confident in the end-result.

4). GET THAT PAPER – Paperwork. It is so imperative for contractors to furnish valid licenses, insurance, workers compensation. Permits to allow the contractor to do the job(s) should also be obtained. Lien wavers are essential as they help homeowners to avoid any unpaid vendors or suppliers from contacting them for payment. Make a checklist of all the paperwork you need before the project begins.

5). SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF – Instead of joining the bathroom-and-kitchen-remodeling bandwagon, focus on the less glamorous details like lighting, air-conditioning filters, and shelving. They may seem unimportant, but all the small stuff adds up to a beautiful home. Perhaps start off with minor projects that you can tackle before moving on to larger projects.

Space Efficient Remodeling Ideas For Your Bathroom

A focal point when it comes to added home value, remodeling a bathroom is truly a project of great benefits. Especially with New York big city living, the only possible time that you can de-stress everyday is in this area. This makes it all the more important for homeowners to try and add more luxury and appeal through improvements. The generally small Manhattan bathrooms pose a set of new challenges and this article lays out ideas that answer to the space issue.

The design to implement when remodeling your small Manhattan bathroom should be that to create a look and feel of a more spacious area. This can be achieved through literally creating more space or just an illusion that the room is bigger than it originally is. Here are several ways by which this goal can be achieved:

* Maximize the use of light. To bring in more light into the bathroom, add skylights or opt for larger windows. A glass block window is a great addition that brings more privacy and helps avoid the need to put on blinds and shades. With lighting fixtures, you can choose to add wall sconces, ceiling lights and multi-light fixtures especially over mirrors and other task-designated areas.

* Making the wall visible at all angles is another way to make the room appear larger. This makes frameless glass enclosures with clear glass doors, instead of frosted ones, more ideal.

* To make the ceiling seem higher, create vertical line accents which can be done with vertical stripes or creative positioning of lighting fixtures. This can also be accomplished by drawing attention to the top of the wall through paint or wallpaper border or decorative molding.

* Maximize the use of space by carefully choosing fixtures and features to add to your Manhattan bathroom remodeling project. You can start by replacing the bath tub with a large shower, but if tubs are your thing, then opt for smaller deep-soaking models. For sinks and toilets, wall-hung products functions as efficiently but takes up less space. Shop for multi-purpose products like mirrored medicine cabinets that can be set into the wall to appear plainly as just a mirror. For your bathroom cabinetry, choose designs that are recessed and wall-mounted.

* Less is more. This is the reason why an empty room would seem much larger than when it is already furnished. Clutter is a major factor that makes any room seems cramped. To avoid this, make use of innovative storage products. To be able to store more in the bathroom cabinets, add on organizers.

* Other than lighting, colors play a great role in creating space in your small Manhattan bathroom remodeling project. Soft and pale colors for walls and flooring make up for an illusion of more space. To add a peaceful ambiance, choose light cool colors. Grout colors that are of the same or closely resembles the color of the tiles would avoid disrupting the continuity in vision thus adding space. For accents, bright colors would greatly complement the small bathroom remodeling design.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages to Buying Or Renting a Home?

Here is what we know; whether you decide to purchase or continue to rent a home; you must have a place to live. It seems a rather obvious statement to make, but is a bit more complicated than a mere proclamation. There are many factors involved in making this decision – some that are well-disguised. Let’s take a more in-depth look at these dynamics.

Renting: In most scenarios, a renter has signed a lease agreement that does not exceed a one-year term. At the end of that year, the renter and landlord must sign a new rental agreement where cost of rent and amenities can be discussed and negotiated. The renter has a decision at that time whether or not they choose to continue to live in that dwelling.

Buying: The contract you signed as a purchaser is with a mortgage company or home-loan maker. This contract is an agreement that you have borrowed a certain amount of money and will pay that money back within a certain amount of time at an established monthly payment amount. This contract is good for the lifetime of the loan, but nonetheless you are building equity in a piece of real property.

Renting: You may have certain amenities included with your rental agreement that make living there more enjoyable. For instance, perhaps your landlord takes care of the lawn and property maintenance or possibly you have access to a swimming pool or clubhouse that otherwise you would not have the ability to use.

Buying: Although it is more likely than not that you will be responsible for the care and maintenance of your own lawn and the equipment that goes with it, what is missed out upon when renting is the ability to change the scenery. You may wish to plant a tree or shrubs, which on rented property becomes the property of the landlord. Landscaping is a rewarding activity for a lot of property owners and something that may be frowned upon in a rental situation.

Renting: You may be living in a place where utilities are included in the monthly rent. This can be particularly good if you do not have the necessary fees to cover deposit costs, which are commonplace among gas and electric companies. But there are two factors to consider if this is part of your decision-making process. First, with the utilities included in monthly rent, you are missing an opportunity to further build your credit. Lastly, if there are problems with your electricity or gas lines, you may have to call the landlord first before calling the utility company as only the person whose name is on the account can discuss anything about the service at your location.

Buying: When you are purchasing your home, the utilities will be in your name thus cutting out the middleman should you need to have repairs made. Also, another aspect of owning a home in relation to the utilities is the issue of trust. You know when it was paid and exactly what your costs are.

Indeed, purchasing a home can be a daunting procedure, especially if it is your first time. You should be looking deeply into whether you have job stability where you are employed and whether or not you could make the monthly mortgage payments if you should lose that employment. According to Bryan O’Neal, a Chicago accountant, “you should have enough money in savings to afford, at the very least, six months of mortgage payments and ideally you should even have twelve.”

O’Neal says, “Having a savings account in place to cover closing costs, broker’s fees, the cost of hiring a property inspector, which is required by most lending institutions, and the cost of having the property surveyed is very important when planning to purchase a home…these things can sometimes put off the buying process for quite a long time if not thought of realistically.”

There are other issues that must be considered such as having the money to afford the actual move from one dwelling to the other, the need to purchase lawn care equipment, cleaning fees for your new home as well as the rented space you will be leaving, remodelling costs of your new home, furnishings, and security deposits on utilities.

It is best to have a plan in progress while making one of the biggest decisions of your life. Make a detailed and realistic record of what it takes to purchase a home. Speak with an accountant, friends, and family members for their input and above all else do not make a hasty, unplanned, and uninformed decision.