Friday, December 27, 2013

Splurge on Your Next Home Remodel

splurge on your next home remodel

Sometimes you just want to add something to your home because it makes you feel good. Not all remodeling has to be practical or necessary but should provide some added value. Here are a few suggestions for luxury or upgraded splurges that will make your life better and maybe interest future buyers.
  1. A Whole-House or Central Vacuum System. This is a vacuum system built-into the home with ports in each room. You would plug about a 25-ft hose into these ports with attachments to vacuum. Collection bins for these systems are usually located in a garage or basement. Benefit to homeowner: No need to drag a vacuum from room to room or up and down the stairs. Also, a central vacuum system has more power than a portable one and they suction the pickup away from the immediate user which might be great for people with allergies. High tech versions even roll the hose up into the wall. Make sure to have one port for every 500 sq. ft. Cost: around $1500 to $2500 to retrofit your home. Add another $500 for retractable hosing.
  2. A Steam Shower. This is a specially built sealed shower which has a steam generator that turns your shower into a convenient steam room. You can buy a prefab fiberglass unit or build it from scratch. Benefit to homeowner: This luxury is a bit more expensive but health benefits are great. Using steam rooms opens your sinuses, relaxes and soothes your muscles and cleans out your pores. To install a steam shower is a major project which includes wiring, vapor-proofing, door installation and maybe even two exhaust fans. Having a sloped ceiling inside the steam shower will help with condensation run off. Cost: fiberglass units $1000 to $5000. A built-in framed unit plus generator around $7000 to $10000.
  3. A Towel Warming Drawer. This is a heated, stainless steel drawer unit that inserts into your bathroom cabinetry and uses a regular outlet to warm your towels. Benefits to homeowner: do we even have to say how nice it is to wrap up in a warm towel after you take a bath or shower? However, your towels will take some time to heat up, so plan ahead. Cost: around $1700 to $3500.
  4. Heated Bathroom Floors. These are thin electric radiant mats that install under tile and are controlled by a thermostat. Benefit to homeowner: No more cold bathroom floors. Some systems have timers that you can set to auto warm the floor just before you get up in the morning. Heated floors can help curb mold growth in humid areas. Cost: around $16 sq. ft. for installation and material. Does not include the cost of tile for GFCI circuit.

So these are just a few suggestions of some personal splurges you can do to your home that will benefit you in health and well-being and remember what you might like a potential future buyer might also like.

Today I bring you a lovely picture of Falls Park from a different angle. We are on the lower side of the falls with the walk over bridge over head. You can see the banks near the river are well used here. And the water reaches it calm stage as it flows through the park.

falls park greenville sc

If you need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Organize those leftovers!

Doing some Holiday entertaining this year? Are your leftovers taking up all your space? Then this post is for you. Below are some handy tips for getting your fridge organized and efficient and keeping everything tasting good.

1.   Tip 1: Front and Center. Give priority items your prime fridge space. Things you need to be eaten like leftovers or healthy snacks, keep them front and center in the middle rack of your fridge at eye level. Store large food items in several containers and don't be afraid to adjust your shelves to accommodate your items.

2.       Tip 2: Not all things need to be chilled. It's good to know that ketchup, jam, vinegar, mayonnaise and butter don't have to be refrigerated. They can be put in your pantry if your fridge space is tight. Also, fresh eggs from your backyard chickens or your local farmer don't need to be refrigerated. Only store bought eggs which go through a power-washing that strips the protective coating on the eggshell. Bet you didn't know that! Item that you shouldn't put in the fridge are: tomatoes (which get mushy faster), onions (they will soften faster), honey (makes it thick), and potatoes (the cold turns their starches into sugar).

3.       Tip 3: Against the flow. Refrigerators today are designed with organization in mind already. Your condiments go on the door, veggies  in the crispers and gallon size containers in the center racks. But you don't have to do it like that. If you eat lunch at home a lot consider creating a lunch bin which you can pull out and have all your fixings right there. Or if you have kids make a healthy snack bin with all their favorites. Even a breakfast bin if you eat cream cheese and bagels.
4.       Tip 4: Like the song says it "Hip to be Square." Refrigerators work better when they are fuller but not crammed full of stuff. Use square or rectangular shaped containers for leftovers or food storage since they stack quickly and easily and will fit in the corners.

Another lovely picture of downtown Greenville, SC. Take a stroll along the river walk. Watch the water run over the falls. Or cross over the walk way to the entertainment center.

riverwalk in downtown greenville sc

If you need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Friday, December 13, 2013

December Happenings in Greenville, SC

Hello Blogosphere!

Thought I would put together this list of December events happening in Greenville in case you were in the Christmas frame of mind and needed an outlet.
If you know of a December event that isn't listed here please add it to the comments below. Here's wishing you and yours a very merry holiday season!

If you need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Homeowner 101: Home Maintenance Causes and Cures

home maintenance 101
This week we will be wrapping up our series on home maintenance possible causes and cures, here are the last four common problems you can encounter as a home owner.

9.       Tap water taste weird

a.       Possible cause: Water taste will vary with the mineral content of you tap water. If you are experiencing a more metallic taste, then your pipes could be leaching iron or copper into the water. A high chlorine taste could be from your water company stubbing their toe with the disinfectant, but if your chlorine level is correct it might be a reaction between the chlorine and some organic material in your plumbing system.

b.      Cure:  To help diagnose what's happening, pick up a water test kit for around $10 at your local home improvement store. These kits test chlorine levels, pH, alkalinity, nitrate/nitrites, bacteria, lead, pesticides, copper, iron, and hardness. Based on the results you will know if you should call your water company or a professional to treat your well. Under-the-counter water filter systems are also available with top-quality filters. They remove heavy metals, bacteria and other impurities and improves the taste of the water.  Cost is about $150 to $200 for the system with replacement filters being anywhere from $20 to $50 and up.

10.   Milk sour?.

a.       Possible causes: Today's hyper-pasteurized milk and dairy products don't sour easily. If you are experiencing unusually fast food spoiling, check your fridge temperature. It may be set too high. Usually the factory setting on the appliance is the perfect temp.

b.      Cure: Buy an inexpensive fridge thermometer. You want the temperature on each shelf to be below 40 degrees. If you current fridge won't do this, then it's time for a new energy star-rate appliance. New refrigerators are a bit expensive but you will save in energy costs and in food costs with less spoiling plus you may qualify for energy rebates. Look for rebates in your state.

11.   Floors that give or bow

a.       Possible causes: If you have wooden floors and things on your tables and shelves shake or rattle as you walk by or it gives under your weight, you might have an issue with your floor joists.

b.      Cure: Consult a structural engineer or a reputable experienced contractor. The solution may be to add more joists or another layer of subflooring or even a support post. Initial evaluation by a structural engineer will be around $500.

12.   Strange drafts or breezes

a.       Possible cause:  Ground floor rooms appear drafty means air may be seeping in along your foundation or through windows and doors that are not properly sealed. Making things worse would be a drafty attic which pulls rising warm air out through gaps and draws in cooler air via the ground floor cracks.

b.      Cure:  Do a top to bottom inspection and seal all your gaps. A trip to your local home improvement store to pick up weather stripping and caulking will go a long way. Spray foam is also available just pick the right expansion for your job.

Being a home owner is always full of regular maintenance issues. Don't let these turn into surprises. Hoped this series gave you some pointers. Let me know below your tips and/or problems you have run into with your home.

Another photo from around Greenville. Imagine passing some time here on this wonderful bench with a good book swinging with the wind. With all our wonderful parks, why would you want to be any where else?

If you need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.