Here are 7 house pick-me-ups that take about as much time as brewing a pot of coffee and fit your schedule whenever you have a few extra minutes. Spruce up your home with these great home makeover tips. Read
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$380,000, 4Bd/2.5Ba Single Family House, 2769 sqft.
Kitchen On The Small Side? 4 Space Saving Designs To Maximize What You’ve Got
So you’ve found the perfect home, but there’s just one problem: the kitchen isn’t as big as you’d like it to be. At first glance, a smaller kitchen might seem like a deal-breaker, especially if you love to cook. With a few space saving design tricks, though, you’ll have all the space you need and then some. It’s all about making the most of what you’ve got. Here’s how you can turn even the smallest kitchen into an efficient cooking and dining space.
Fill Up The Walls: There’s Ample Storage All Around You
Walls are a surprisingly underused surface area in most kitchens. From spice racks to towel racks to magnetic knife boards, walls can offer a wealth of space options. Ditch the bowl fruit painting and throw up some hooks and shelves. Not only will everything you need be within reach, you’ll open up more space in your cabinets and on your counters. For the gadget obsessed, rack storage will give you the chance to show off your nifty kitchen gadgets.
Repurpose Your Corners With Shelving And Other Amenities
In a small kitchen, sufficient counter space can be hard to come by. While knife blocks and spices racks tend to encroach on what little space is available, not all space saving designs are about reclaiming lost space. Sometimes it’s about repurposing forgotten spaces like corners. Most homeowners dismiss the corners of their kitchens, thinking the space is too awkwardly shaped to be of any real use. Take advantage of corners by installing clever storage like a lazy Susan system for under the countertop, built-in shelving for above the counter, or for a really creative update, dedicate the corner to an invaluable feature like the kitchen sink.
Hang Your Pots And Pans
Pots are bulky and often difficult to store without taking up several cabinets. A circular pot rack mounted to the ceiling allows you to take advantage of the height of your kitchen in the open space right above your head. In fact, pot racks can be used to store all kinds of cookware and cooking utensils that are too cumbersome to store in drawers, like ladles and colanders. Placing a rack in the empty space above an island or by the stove can provide excellent storage space and easy accessibility. Ceiling and wall-mounted pot racks often have hooks to hang your cookware from, so make sure you mount yours in a place that doesn’t force visitors to navigate an aerial obstacle course just to make it to the sink.
Invest In A Rolling Tea Trolley
Kitchens with very limited counter space can gain an extra work area as well as storage space with a tea trolley. A mobile work surface means to you can roll it anywhere in your kitchen to do your dicing and slicing, and then store it away when you’re done. Add multiple shelves to the trolley to create even more storage.
There’s no need to be discouraged by a cozy kitchen. Not only can these space saving tricks help you gain extra space, they can also give you the chance to explore new ways to express your personal style. For more advice on homeownership and making the most of your home’s various features, or to find your next home, contact a real estate professional today!
Kitchen Rack Storage
lazy Susan system
You can make the most of your backyard by converting your deck to a screened-in porch, which turns mosquitoes, heat waves, and downpours into non-events. Plus, the thwack of a screen door is still the soundtrack for summer.
Converting won’t be easy — unless you’ve got top-notch handyman skills, you’ll have to hire a pro. And it won’t be cheap — converting a 14-foot-by-14-foot deck into a porch will cost $10,000-$12,000.
But it’s worth the time and money. Screened-in porches add value to your home. Reginald Carter, a Jacksonville, Fla., appraiser, says the return on investment is about 70% if you stay in your home for at least five years after installing the porch.
Screened-in porches also can help you sell your home faster. In Virginia, for instance, about 70% of buyers can’t live without screened-in porches, says Elaine VonCannon, a REALTOR® from Williamsburg, Va.
“It works for everybody who likes to sit outside,” says VonCannon.
Related: Pictures of Screened-In Porches
Can Your Deck Become a Screened-In Porch?
The biggest structural difference between a deck and porch is the weight of the load that rests on its foundation, joists, and beams, says David Berryhill, owner of Archadeck of Chicagoland.
Most decks are relatively lightweight: A 14-foot-by-14-foot deck can rest safely if it’s attached to the house and supported by three concrete piers. A porch, however, is much heavier because it has a roof.
To prepare your current deck for the additional load, you’ll have to:
- Possibly add more posts and foundation piers ($500-$5,000). Check with your local building code authority. In some municipalities, building codes require a solid concrete foundation, which could cost up to $10,000 (and would eliminate most decks from consideration as porches).
- Beef up joists and beams to support the additional roof load.
- Remove railings if you want a floor-to-ceiling screened porch, which gives you an unobstructed view.
- Bug-proof deck floors. To keep tiny critters from climbing into your new porch from below, attach a fine mesh screen or landscape paper to the underside of the floor. Or, replace the current floor with tongue-and-groove boards that fit so tightly bugs can’t climb through.
Pick the Right Roof
The right roof makes the difference between a porch that looks like it was always part of your house, and one that looks like an afterthought with no architectural rhyme or reason. Some tips:
- Select a roof shape that’s compatible with your house’s roofline. A hip roof is strongest, a shed roof the most economical, and a gable roof lets in the most light.
- In some cases, the new roof can be built over the existing one, but you’ll still have to flash the valley and rearrange the gutters and downspouts.
- Use the same roofing material as your main roof.
The Skinny on Screens
Know thyself before you select screening for your porch. Do you have rambunctious pets that make strength a top priority? Is there a beautiful view you don’t want blocked by an obtrusive screen?
Here are some options:
Fiberglass (17 cent/sq. ft.): An inexpensive, lightweight screening in black or charcoal. It’s easy to install but tears easily, too, and has a tendency to stretch and look floppy.
Aluminum (26 cents/sq. ft.): Stronger and more durable than fiberglass, and the least visible. On the downside, aluminum dents easily and can oxidize.
Vinyl-Coated Polyester (60 cents-$1.53 /sq. ft.): Used to make pet screens that are super strong — down, Rex, down — and ones that dissipate heat in hot climates.
Bronze ($1.10/sq. ft.): Strong, doesn’t easily oxidize in salt air along coasts, and develops a patina with age.
Monel (alloy of copper and nickel) and stainless steel ($2.25-$5/sq. ft.): Strong, and tear-, rust-, and corrosion-resistant.
Related: Repair a Torn Screen
Screened-In Porch Tips
- Pre-made screen panels are easier to install and repair than rolls of screening, but you pay the price of $50-$75/running ft.
- When planning your porch project, check local building codes for setback regulations and building specifications.
- Don’t forget to add electrical outlets to your porch for lamps, ceiling fans, and phone chargers.
- Porches block light and can make the inside of your house seem dark. You can cure that by installing a skylight in the room adjacent to the porch.
- Building codes may require that you have a 3-foot-by-3-foot concrete landing outside the egress door to your porch.
Related: What I Learned Building a Screened-In Porch
Pets and Moving: The Best Ways To Settle Your Pet Into Your New Home
Moving can be a stressful and exciting process, and when moving with pets, your furry friend most certainly feels the stress and excitement as well. Pets don’t always respond well to a new environment, so it’s important to do whatever you can to ease your pet into your new house. Settling yourself and your pet into your new home may take time, but you can make it a smoother process by doing some research and planning. Here’s how you can create a stress-free transition for your beloved pooch or kitty.
Where To Put The Pet During The Move
During the actual move itself, it is best for your dog or cat if you can get them away from the action altogether. Ideally, it’s best if a neighbor or family member that your pet is familiar with can take the pet for the day. For long haul moves, some pet owners opt to take their dog or cat to a kennel for a few days to help them avoid the stress of the moving atmosphere. A slow and steady packing of boxes will also indicate a change to your pet, and if done over a longer period of time, can help them prepare for the upcoming change of scenery.
The Interior Introduction: Getting Your Pet Settled
Before the actual move of all the boxes, it might be a good idea to take your pet’s belongings to the new house first. Having some of their familiar items, such as toys, a kennel, and blankets, can help to ease the process of settling into the new home. You may also want to dedicate a room or part of the house as your pet’s sanctuary, where they can feel safe and secure while boxes and pieces of furniture are being moved into the new home. Ensure that you don’t switch your pet’s food too much around the time of the move, as this can exacerbate the effects of the change.
Some pet owners have found it effective to wait until the new house is unpacked and settled before introducing their pets to the home. This way, the pet can becoming acquainted with the new atmosphere without the chaos of movers, piled up boxes, and a stressed-out, scrambled owner! If using this method, you can keep your pet at the kennel of family member’s house until you are settled in.
The Surroundings: Exploring The New Neighborhood
If you have a dog, it is just as important to get him acquainted with the new neighborhood as it is to get him acquainted with the home itself. This is something you can also do well before the move; when preparing for a move, drive your dog over to your new neighborhood and let him explore where his new home will be. This way, when you arrive to introduce your dog to the home itself, he will already be familiar with the area, thereby reducing the stress of the new atmosphere in the house.
Moving is no easy feat, and it’s even more complicated when pets are involved. By following some of these simple steps and planning ahead, you can achieve a move that involves much less stress. Avoid the furry friend blues and introduce your pet to its new home in a gentle way.
Buying new homes for sale can be enjoyable when you work with a REALTOR® like me who has the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process. Call me today at [phone] or email me at .