*Outside Home Improvements
A bit of landscaping gives your home and garden a transformational look that is fresh and welcoming. The good thing is that the landscaping is not a regular thing; it is done once after every few years and thus the need to ensure that it is done to give the best results. For this, you need to look at the bigger picture of the available space you are to work with and then consider the various factor to take into account about what you will and will not change. The most common factors include the existing and new structures and building, geographic of your location, size of available spaces, topography, and natural elements such as water, rocks, and plants.
Armed with this information, you can use it to come up with a plan of bringing about the look you desire that may require major or simple landscaping changes. Yes, even minor changes can give stunning results. In light to that, here are some top home and garden improvement ideas worth considering.
1. Focal Point
How about a focal point for your home and garden? A water feature or the gazebo can be positioned in a manner that makes it stand out. But then again, you can also opt to work with other things that may act as the focal point of your home and garden. It could be an elaborately done wooden deck or a small garden with an array of different colored and sized flowers and shrubs. It could even be something as simple as doing some changes to the exterior wall of your house. The goal is find something at will be at the core of the improvements, that will guide every other thing that you will do when making the changes.
2. Water features
Adding a water feature to your front lawn of backyard can give your home a new look. The features come in different sizes and designs and give different effects; moreover, they are minimal installation limitations. You can install a foyer, fountain, or pond and add some bit of tropical plants around it to help it birth a new dimension to the available space. Consider working with a feature that has moving water since the water will generate a soothing sound when flowing. Remember to add a garden watering system to keep everything fresh and alive. This guy can help you choose an appropriate irrigation system.
3. Install A Gazebo
Gazebos come in an array of designs that often determine their intended use based on personal preference. For instance, an enclosed gazebo commonly has a door and window; it looks like a small house. This type of gazebo is best suited for the outdoor living spaces. It can be the perfect get away place or play den for the kids.
Then again, the intended use of the gazebo will determine the shape and size. For instance, a gazebo meant to be an entertainment center should be large and done in either an oval or a rectangular shape. It can also include a grill for those cookout parties, and the ample space is ideal for setting a couple of tables for everyone to feel cozy irrespective of the kind of weather. This guy builds awesome timbers decks, patios and gazebos.
4. Flowers, Shrubs, Trees
It is called a garden for a reason, in that it is a parcel of soil that has different plants growing. You need to figure out which plants do well in your location based on the weather, soil type, and other factors. Also, consider how different plants perform with the seasonal changes to ensure your garden never looks drably, and this is necessary when planting new flowers and shrubs. As for trees, an essential thing to consider is how long they take to mature, their foliage and canopy type, and maturity size as well as how their roots spread.
5. Create Movement
A garden is a place of tranquility, a piece of nature in your backyard where you go to relax. Therefore, the landscaping changes should not dent the tranquility. Every new element should create a visual movement that has a soothing feel. From the plants to water features, topography changes and other elements; they collectively should create a serene sense of movement. The hardest aspects of achieving this is mostly when working with plants. For these, you should consider working with plants that have soft arching foliage such as plants with broad leaves, long leaves, or airy seed-heads that sway in the slightest of winds.
6. Add Flair To The Patio
As you work on the garden also consider giving that patio that stretches out to the backyard some touch ups. For instance, you can work on the borders of the patio adding planters to accentuate the boundary between it and the outdoor grounds. They can be ferns, grasses, lush bushy plants, or lilies, anything that you may not have in your outdoor garden. Place the planters strategically around the edges and work with different sizes done in differently shaped pots done in earthy tones. Try to arrange your plants in decorative clusters.
Patios and decks are brilliant entertaining areas especially for the summer months and can be enclosed with outdoor blinds for those colder months too.
7. Changing The Topography
A sloping gradient may give the backyard a different feel, but it often governs how the landscaping should be done. Such a topography works best if you intend to install a gazebo, which you can erect that bottom of the slope. You can make the gradient less tedious by curving in steps, placing stone slabs in the steps and planting some grasses, ferns, and short flowers along the steps. Sometimes, you can consider changing the topography by bringing in some rock and new soil to fade off the sloping gradient and achieve a flat look.
8. A Pulsating Edging
Edging is a quintessential element of landscaping, a detailing that gives the garden a dynamic look. For instance, placing a swath of rocks on or along the paths between the lawn, the flowers and plants create a feeling of a flowing river. Now that create something magic especially if the paths lead to a water feature with flowing water. You can work with different materials such as bricks, stone slabs, or even pebbles for the paths and work it suitable plants that complement the pathways to create the desired effects.
Even as you make all these improvements, keep in mind that gardening should be a pastime that is necessary for maintaining that special magic woven into the new look of your home and garden. Cut, trim, prune, and water your plants and they will keep doing what they know best and that is making your home and garden a serene place.
*Inside Home Improvements
When it comes to the real-estate markets that are still slow, more people have made the decision that they are not ready to sell their homes and would prefer to wait until there is an improvement in the real-estate market. With this decision to wait it out homeowners should use this time wisely by planning a few home-improvement projects that will definitely increase the value of their current home when the time is right to put the home onto the market.
Below are a few ideas to consider:
Remodeling The Kitchen
For many people the kitchen is considered to be the heart of any home and due to this belief, any type of update to this particular room can pay off. According to a few experts, home owners can expect to recoup anything between 60 to 120% of their initial investment for their kitchen remodel, provided they avoid going overboard. It is not advisable to make a kitchen a fancier room than the remainder of the home or even the neighborhood.
When deciding on a budget on what one would like to spend on remodeling their kitchens, the prices can vary significantly from about $5,000 all the way up to $75,000. However, for those working on tight budgets the best way to achieve the most out of the money they spend would be to consider colors. A fresh coat of paint in a modern color can instantly add an updated look to a kitchen.
When it comes to paint in the kitchen a great choice would be low-VOC paint which assists in making this area more eco-friendly. It can also assist in avoiding people living in the home breathing in chemicals such as benzene that are known to off-gas from fresh, regular paint.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Another great home improvement idea for those who have the money would definitely be replacing all old-appliances in the home, including dishwashers, ovens, washing machines, dryers and air conditioning units. with the latest energy-efficient models. Appliances that are Energy Star-Rated are not only a better choice for the surrounding environment, but they also help to save on utility bills as they use up far less energy. In addition, buyers today are always on the look-out for methods they can save money when looking to buy a home.
Energy efficiency can also be achieved with the right kind of carpeting. In addition, carpet has wonderful acoustic qualities.
If a home has just one bathroom, homeowners stand to recoup just about their entire investment by deciding to add in another one. Property experts estimate that one can recoup around 80 to 130% of the money spent on this addition when it comes time to selling the home.
However, when it comes to finding the space for an extra bathroom, one should consider underutilized spaces or a room that is not in use. Other spaces could also include the area under a staircase or even a closet. To ensure that the space chosen will be adequate for a bathroom, a half-bath would require a minimum of 18 sq feet, a full bath that includes the stand-up shower requires 30 sq feet and for those in search of installing a bathtub, the room required would be a minimum of 35 sq feet.
Similar to any project, costs related to a bathroom addition will depend on the accessories and addition types that the homeowner is interested in using. Ways to save money on this particular home improvement idea would be to visit places such as Home Depot of Lowe’s where they often reduce their prices drastically on toilets and sinks that were previously floor models. Another popular place to find great deals on fixtures, toilets, tubs and doors would be Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
When it comes to adding in more space or square footage to a home in the form of a brand new room is usually very expensive. However, reinventing an existing space can be a way to save on a lot of cash. This can include converting an attic or a basement into a guest bedroom. In most cases homeowners could even consider a small apartment over or even in their garage that can later be used as a rental income. Before deciding to demolish the rafters or walls, it is always wise to consider ways that potential buyers or the homeowner can make use of a space. This can include:
•Rooms that are versatile often hold a greater appeal when it comes to different potential buyers
•Basements often work well as a games room or a second living-room. This space can also be used for a tenant or a aging relative
•Attic spaces are the ideal spot for either a craft or games room, particularly when they have a high ceiling. Making this an extra bedroom for a child is also a great way to perk the interest of potential buyers
There are a variety of options when it comes to home improvement ideas and projects that will definitely add value to home. However, it is important to consider that the home improvements today are not likely to pay off when they previously did in 2004 when housing markets had peaked. Today it is wiser to concentrate efforts on smaller and more affordable projects.
If you have a tiled roof that has seen better days, a roof restoration can make it look like new again for a relatively low cost.
Roller blinds can bring relief from the early morning sun in bedrooms and kitchens.
Security screens on windows and doors don’t have to be ugly these days and are a great idea for the security conscious.