Home Improvement

Just The Facts Home

rss logo RSS Feed
Allen TX | 9 Posts
Buying a House | 38 Posts
Coming Soon! | 9 Posts
Coppell, TX | 2 Posts
Covid | 1 Posts
Covid-19 Update | 2 Posts
Dallas TX | 68 Posts
DFW | 42 Posts
DFW Real Estate | 58 Posts
Economy | 55 Posts
Exurb Counties | 2 Posts
Financial News | 2 Posts
Forth Worth TX | 7 Posts
Frisco TX | 9 Posts
Home Appraisals | 1 Posts
Home Improvement | 11 Posts
Home Prices | 7 Posts
Home Sales | 4 Posts
Home Showings | 1 Posts
Homebuyers | 1 Posts
Homeowner Tips | 8 Posts
Homeownership | 13 Posts
Housing Starts | 5 Posts
How Is The Market? | 112 Posts
iBuyers | 1 Posts
In The News | 8 Posts
Inflation | 1 Posts
Irving TX | 2 Posts
Las Colinas TX | 1 Posts
Local Events | 1 Posts
Mortgage Rates | 1 Posts
Moving Tips | 4 Posts
New Build | 1 Posts
Plano, TX | 6 Posts
Relocation | 1 Posts
Renting | 1 Posts
School News | 5 Posts
Selling a House | 15 Posts
Taxes | 4 Posts
Technology | 1 Posts
The Economy | 6 Posts
World News | 1 Posts
Zillow | 1 Posts
Dallas | Fort Worth | Jobs | Home Sales | Coppell | Carrollton | Flower Mound | Real Estate | Plano | Frisco | Relocation | Moving | New Construction | New Building | Home Prices | Home Prices | New Contruction | Growth | Forclosure | dallas | fort worth | search for homes | Schools | Taxes | Dallas-Ft Worth | Growth | Trophy Club | Active Adult | 55+ Retirement Communities | Frisco | Roanoke | Byron Nelson | New Construction | Jobs | Texas | Charities | Schools | Little Elm | Little Elm | Frisco | DART | Commuter Rail | Public Transportation | Argyle | Lantana | New Construction | Fort Worth | RE/MAX | Real Estate | RE/MAX | Real Estate | Southlake | RE/MAX | Sales | Agents | Coppell | Flower Mound | Carrollton | Plano | Frisco | Irving | Relocation | Dallas | remax dfw | Dallas-Fort Worth | Housing | Real Estate | Economy | buying a house | buying a home | home buying tips | RE/MAX DFW Associates | Colleyville | Grapevine | Charitable Events | Charitable Contributions | Selling a house | Las Colinas | Valley Ranch | DFW neighborhoods | Keller | Arlington TX | Bedford TX | Euless TX | Hurst TX | Keller TX | Southlake TX | Selling a Home | Home Selling Tips | area information | community information | things to do | Denton TX | home staging | homeowner tips | home safety tips | First-time Home Buyer | RE/MAX DFW Associates | purchase offer | Buying a condo | Local Attractions | Local Venues | First-time Buyers | Millennial Buyers | Baby Boomers | Retirees | Retirement Community | Kitchen Remodel | Increase Home Value | Holidays | Mortgage tips | Local businesses | St. Patrick's Day | Parades | Financing a home | Choose an agent | For sellers | Painting tips | Home improvement | Mother's Day | Concerts | Downsizing | Homeownership | Outdoors | Parks | Outdoor activities | Family fun | Homebuying tips | For buyers | Restaurants | Dining | Frisco, TX | Plano, TX | Addison TX | Allen TX | Anna TX | Aubrey TX | Celina TX | Corinth TX | Farmers Branch TX | Garland TX | Grand Prairie TX | Gunter TX | Highland Village TX | Justin TX | Lewisville TX | McKinney TX | Melissa TX | Mesquite TX | Murphy TX | Prosper TX | Richardson TX | Rockwall TX | Rowlett TX | Sachse TX | The Colony TX | Wylie TX | Historic District | summer | curb appeal | landscaping | garden | The Market | Zillow | Renting | DFW Metroplex | Interest Rates | Covid | Pandemic | Omicron | Homeschool | Christian Schools | IBuyers | Investors | Showings | Listings | Homebuilding | inflation | Homebuilding Permits | Home Showings | Appraisals | Exurbs | Suburbs | kitchen

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.




August
15

Air Purifier

Want to remove pesky odors from your home and improve the quality of your indoor air? Our real estate agents suggest buying an air purifier.

An air purifier removes pathogens from your air, like pet dander, dust, and other allergens, that can affect your health. If you also work from home and spend a lot of time in your home office, an air purifier ensures that you have clean, healthy air in your workspace, helping you feel your best and boosting your productivity. 

Click Here to Read More...

April
18

Baking Updates

Do you love baking but wish your kitchen was more functional for your culinary needs? Or, do you want to create a space that makes it easier for you to bake your favorite dishes?

By making a few simple changes to your kitchen, you can improve the functionality and efficiency of your kitchen. Our real estate agents know that many of these projects will make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

Click Here to Read More...

May
10

Home Office Tips

Whether you're permanently working from home or just want a space where you can create in peace, it's important to set up an inviting home office that you look forward to working in. Our real estate agents also find that a home with a home office is more appealing to potential buyers. You don't have to undergo a complete renovation to update your home office; instead, check out these simple ways to give your home office a boost. 

Click Here to Read More...

April
12

Spring Cleaning Spots

If you're a homeowner, you know that spring cleaning is essential to a clutter-free home. When winter cold fades away, and spring sunshine appears, it's time to roll up your sleeves and tackle some of those indoor and outdoor chores around the house. Our real estate agents know that buyers pay attention to small details that reflect an organized, well-maintained home. Tackle every spot in your home, even the ones that are commonly overlooked, with these helpful tips. 

Kitchen Appliances

Click Here to Read More...

March
15

Home Improvement DFW

Renovating or updating your home is an exciting prospect. Whether you plan on living there a while longer or are fixing it up to sell soon, doing much-needed updates can be satisfying. Before you get too carried away, though, here are a few words of caution from our real estate agents.

Click Here to Read More...

February
8

Home Storage SolutionsNo matter how big a house is, we seem never to have enough storage space. The problem might be you just haven't unlocked the secrets of a good storage strategy.

If you're considering homes among Dallas homes for sale or Fort Worth homes for sale, and you're wondering if the storage will be sufficient, just keep these tips in mind for how you might expand the storage space in your new home.

  1. Over-the-doorway shelving. 
    Bet you didn't know you had all that potential storage space right over the doorway. Install open-air shelves over the doorway in bedrooms, bathrooms, and above double doors. Depending on the type of room where the shelves are installed, you can place plants, decorative dishes, and pottery, or treasured mementos.

  2. Under-the-bed storage bins.
    Don't let that space under your bed go to the dust bunnies. Acquire long, flat storage bins and stow things such as holiday gift bags, tissue, and wrapping paper; or even off-season clothing. 

  3. Hooks for measuring spoons and cups.
    Don't you get fed up looking for measuring spoons and smaller-size measuring cups in your drawer full of miscellanea? Now you can put your hand right on them by installing hooks inside your kitchen cabinet doors and hanging them within easy reach.

  4. Drawer organizers.
    Utilize these to help organize your kitchen. Drawer organizers work well if you put some time into planning what you need to access before you buy the organizers. Make sure you measure your drawers as well! 

  5. Storage bins for cabinets.
    Same as for drawer organizers: think about what you want to place in storage bins before you buy them. For instance, maybe you have some spices you'd like to have right at hand, so you acquire a bin for the pantry where you can place them in rough alphabetical order. Storage bins in cabinets should work well for all the smaller items in the kitchen, such as packets of gravy or dressing mixes, a box of bouillon cubes, a baggie full of orphaned tea bags, sweetener packets, whatever. Obviously, storage bins for your bedroom closets will be larger so they can hold your shoes; maybe in your office, a storage bin would be useful for rounding up all those power cords and chargers you can't seem to throw away.

  6. Excess stuff.
    You know you need to get rid of stuff you never use, but it's hard. We suggest once a year going through your possessions and doing a fearless assessment of what you're likely to need or can let go of without regrets. Some of it can go in the trash or the recycling bin; the rest, such as clothing or furniture in good repair, can go to charity. 

  7. Outdoor storage shed.
    This is one of the best solutions for relieving indoor crowding. Try to arrange stored items with a top to bottom plan by stacking seldom-used items on the bottom, and stuff you might need in smaller containers near the top. Think about what you'll want to get at (holiday decorations for instance) and place them so you can access them as needed. 

All these small changes will add up and provide you and your family more space so you can live more comfortably in your home.

Need more tips? Our real estate agents can help. Contact us today.

June
28

We see lots of kitchen trends at HouseLogic, so we know it's easy to get swept along with what's in vogue, only to get bummed out by your faddish design choices a few years later. Thank you -- and damn you -- Pinterest.

But chances are you're only going to remodel your current kitchen once. After all, a complete kitchen renovation has a national median cost of $60,000, according to the "Remodeling Impact Report" from the National Association of REALTORS®. With that much on the line, you want to make all the right moves. If you do, you could recover about 62% of your investment if you sell.

So we're here to future-proof you from angst by naming the seven definitive kitchen features that will retain their beauty, marketability, and value — all while giving you lasting enjoyment.

#1: White is the Dominant Color

Bottom line: White is the most marketable color. You'll always find it atop the National Kitchen and Bath Association's annual survey of most popular kitchen colors. It simply doesn't go out of style.

  • Throughout history, it's been associated with happiness, purity (think Snow White), and new beginnings.
  • It's a bright color that reflects light and makes even small kitchens feel larger.
  • It's a neatnik's dream — dirt has no place to hide.

Even better, it's uber-tolerant of both your budget and taste: A standard color for any manufacturer, you'll find white cabinets, tile, counters, faucets, sinks, and appliances at any price point.

And with a white backdrop, you can be as conservative or expressive as you want. After all, it's about your enjoyment, not just dollars and cents. For example:

  • Add your personal touch with colored glass knobs and pulls.
  • Show off antique Fiesta ware on open shelves or in upper cabinets with glass fronts.
  • Paint walls the color du jour — even off-white!

Heck, with a white palette, you can change your mind about paint color on a whim. Those all-white basics will make any hue you choose look fresh and contemporary.

#2: Hardwood for Flooring

It's been our foot fetish for years. That's especially true ever since hardwood flooring was mass-produced during the Industrial Revolution, making beautiful flooring readily available at a reasonable cost.

Today, more than half of home buyers who purchased a home without hardwood floors say they would have paid an extra $2,080 for them, according to the "Home Features Survey" from the National Association of REALTORS®. And among buyers of any age, upwards of 80% say hardwood floors are "somewhat" or "very important."

"It's the one feature men and women agree on," says Debe Robinson, NKBA treasurer and owner of Kitchen Expressions Inc. in Sheffield, Ala., who's also worked in the flooring industry. 

Why? The love of wood is in our genes. Our nesting instincts know that hardwood has warmth, personality, and makes our homes cozy and inviting. That's why this clever chameleon pairs well with any kitchen style — from casual cottage and sleek contemporary to the most chi-chi Park Avenue traditional. 

More reasons why wood flooring is the goof-proof option:

Perfect for open floor plans. It flows beautifully from the kitchen into adjoining rooms.

It's tough. Hardwoods such as oak, ash, and maple will shrug off your kitchen's high-traffic punishment for years. Solid hardwood flooring can be refinished 10 to 12 times during it's typical 100-year lifespan.

It's eco-friendly. Hardwood is considered a green building material when it's certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and comes from sustainably managed forests.

RelatedThe Best Choices for Kitchen Flooring

#3: Shaker Style for Cabinets

Thank heaven for the Shakers. While they were busy reducing life to its essentials, they made cabinets with clean, simple lines that will forever be in style. 

Shaker cabinets are an enduring legacy of American style and, like wood flooring, have the knack for looking good in any setting. Their simple frame-and-panel design helps reduce the amount of busyness in a kitchen, making it a soothing, friendly place to be.

"In a kitchen with a timeless look, you want the cabinets to be part of the backdrop," says Alan Zielinski, a former president of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. "You don't want to be overpowered. You're looking for plain, simple, clean lines."

Those plain, simple, clean lines are a perfect fit for transitional style — a beautiful combo of traditional and contemporary styles. In fact, the National Kitchen and Bath Association says that after creeping up on traditional for years, transitional is now the most popular kitchen style.

As our families grow more diverse, transitional style will only get more popular. It lets us personalize and blend cultural influences — Latin, Asian, Mideastern — into our homes; it's the perfect balance of old and new, just like Shaker-style cabinets.

RelatedHow to Choose Kitchen Cabinets for the Best Value

#4: Carrara Marble for Countertops

 

Carrara marble is a timeless classic that's been used in homes for thousands of years. (Michelangelo's "David" was carved from Carrara.) It'll look as good in the next millennium as it does now.

Here's why:

  • Carrara's lacy graining and subtle white colors look terrific in a white kitchen (or any kitchen, for that matter).
  • It has a whiteness you won't find in other natural stones.
  • It's readily available, making it less expensive than other high-end choices, such as quartz.
  • It'll last for generations.

If you Google it, you'll find a lot of debate about it (and marble in general) because it stains easily. But if you want something truly timeless, Carrara is the answer. And with today's sealants, the problem of staining is almost moot if you reseal once or twice a year.

RelatedHow to Get the Look of Marble Without the Cost

Still not sold? Or don't have the budget? Laminate countertops are relatively inexpensive and can be upgraded to stone when you do have the budget.

#5: Subway Tile for the Backsplash

 

Subway tile goes back to the early 1900s, when it was used to line New York's first subway tunnels. Classic subway tiles are white, 3-inch-by-6-inch rectangles — a look that became popular in American kitchens and baths, and has stuck around ever since. Now it's an iconic part of the American design vernacular, destined never to go out of style. 

In the kitchen, ceramic tile excels as a backsplash, where it guards against moisture, is a snap to clean, lasts forever, and always looks classy. 

Sure, a backsplash can be an opportunity for a blast of color and pattern, but neutrals will always be current and blend with any look. Plus, a subway tile backsplash and a marble countertop make a dashing couple that will stand the test of time.

To make it even more enduring, keep it achromatic and camouflage dirt with gray or beige grout.

#6: Ergonomic Design

Adaptability and universal design features mean easy living at any age. A recent survey on kitchens from the American Institute of Architects points to the growing popularity of smart ergonomic design, a sign that kitchen adaptability will stay in vogue. 

Smart ergonomics simply mean convenience — for young or old, party people or homebodies — a key factor when remodeling a kitchen that will function well, retain its value, and always feel right.

No matter you or your buyer's current or future needs, everyone wins with these approaches:

Create different countertop heights. Standard height is 36 inches, but you can raise or lower sections of cabinets by altering the height of the base. Add color-match shim strips to the bases of countertops that don't include sinks or appliances. You (or a new owner) can easily remove them or add to them to adjust the height.

Swap a standard range for a wall oven and a cooktop. Ranges have fixed heights. There's no getting around the fact you have to bend to access the oven. But a wall oven conveniently installs about waist-high.

Add pull-out shelves to base cabinets. Lower cabinets with doors mean having to twist like a pretzel to see what's inside. Pull-out shelves put everything at your fingertips.

Keep wide clearances. Kitchens attract people, and with open floor plans, you're apt to have folks hunting for snacks, helping you cook, or just hanging out while you prep meals. Keep traffic flowing with a minimum of 42 inches between counters and islands.

Related: 5 Kitchen Layout Ideas to Avoid

#7: Smart Storage

Today's families store about 47% of their kitchen stuff outside the kitchen — in laundry rooms, basements, even sheds — according to data released at the 2013 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show.

We blame it on the fact that kitchens have evolved from a tucked-away place at the back of the house into a multiple-chef, multi-tasking space that's the hub of family life. Plus, our love of open kitchens and stocking up at warehouse stores means less wall space and more stuff, kitchen design expert Robinson says.

The solution: smart storage. Cabinet manufacturers have you covered with nearly unlimited storage options -- shelves and compartments that unfold, turn, extend, and slide.

But it's not just about having storage, it's about designing it smartly. Follow these guidelines to make your storage timeless:

Create a primary storage zone. This is an area 30 to 60 inches high and within two feet on either side of your body. Store your most-used items here -- your favorite work knives, measuring cups, salt and pepper for cooking, your trusty pots and pans. With one easy motion, you can grab what you use all the time.

Plan for the unknown. A truly timeless kitchen anticipates and adapts to future needs, such as:

  • A space that can easily convert to an office, wine storage, or a closet.
  • Lower cabinet spaces that can accommodate a wine cooler, under-counter refrigerator, a second dishwasher, or new must-have kitchen appliances on the horizon. (Remember when microwaves didn't exist?)
  • An open space that fits a freestanding desk or favorite antique that can personalize the kitchen — no matter who owns the home.

-Houselogic - June 2020

June
15

Easy Kitchen Remodel - RE/MAX DFW Associates

Kitchens pose a unique challenge when you're looking to update your home. They have to be highly functional workspaces and feel inviting. Completely renovating a kitchen would involve removing built-in cabinets and moving major appliances—an expensive and disruptive endeavor. But you can give your kitchen a whole new look on a modest budget. The Dallas homes for sale that we show can serve as inspiration, but you should also consider the following ideas. 

  • Shed New Light on the Subject
    Changing your lighting can make a world of difference in the look and feel of your kitchen. A fixture with a ceiling fan can cool things off in the summer. Under-cabinet lighting can make it easier for you to work if your counter space is mostly under wall cabinets. If you have a flush-mounted ceiling light, changing the fixture may be as simple as unscrewing the old and attaching the new.

    Click Here to Read More...

May
17

A DIY painting job doesn't have to equal crooked lines, besmirched floors, and ceramic sinks speckled with robin's egg blue.

Use these easy painting hacks, to make the process faster and less messy — and ensure a fresh, modern look for your home.

#1 Soak Brushes in Fabric Softener to Keep Brushes Soft

Every DIY painter has been privy to the horrors of a day-old brush with stiff bristles that makes round two nearly impossible. Try this painting hack instead:

To keep paint brushes soft:

                            1. Rinse thoroughly (no soap).
                            2. Mix half a cup of fabric softener with a gallon of warm water
                            3. Swish brushes in the mixture for 10 seconds or so.
                            4. Lay them flat or hang them on a peg for overnight storage.

"That way, the bristles won't develop a bend and will retain their usefulness for your next painting adventure," says Artem Filikov, vice president of marketing and product development for home improvement website HomeYou.

Also, there's no need to rinse before using. The softener actually helps distribute paint more smoothly.Sweet!

#2 Use Plastic Wrap to Prevent Mishaps

When painting around a large, awkward item you want to keep clean, like a toilet or a standalone sink, use this painting trick from the pros: surround it with plastic wrap to keep drips from destroying its finish.

For an extra tight wrap, choose a wrap with an adhesive backing — your hardware store will even carry special painter's plastic wrap, if you really want to go all out — which will help it stick to the surface and prevent the odd drop from inching its way in. Once you've finished the job, just unwrap for a paint-free finish.

#3 Use Vanilla and Lemon Extracts to Reduce Paint Odor

Paint's intense odor can get really old really fast. Overpower it with a little bit of vanilla.

Although there are vanilla-scented products specifically designed to use with paint, you can get the same effect with what's in your kitchen cabinet.

For darker paints, add a couple drops of vanilla extract (artificial is fine) per gallon to reduce the nasty smell and keep your room smelling sweet for weeks to come.

Because you don't want the tint of vanilla to ruin the color of your paint, swap it with lemon extract for light-colored paints.

#4 Repurpose Old T-Shirts as Rags to Reduce Waste

Painting's a messy job, but using roll after roll of paper towels is neither efficient nor environmentally-friendly.

And while you could pick up a mega-pack of plain cotton towels to keep paint from splattering, why not use something you can find stuffed at the back of a drawer?

Run petroleum jelly along the seals of your doors and windows to prevent them from sticking.

Geoff Sharp
Professional painter

Geoff Sharp, the owner of Sharper Impressions Painting Co., recommends cutting up old T-shirts to use as rags, saving money and resources (not to mention a trip to Goodwill).

"If paint runs down your roller or brush, it gets really messy, really quick," he says. "Always have a rag in your pocket so you and your brush or roller stay clean."

#5 Keep Q-tips Handy for Mistakes

Oh no! A drop of Naples Sunset just splashed on your white window frame. You've only got a few minutes to clean up the mess before your mistake is sealed for eternity.

That's where Q-tips come in handy. Just stash some in your pocket for these types of emergencies.

Here's another use for that pile of cotton swabs tucked in your jeans pocket: Use them to touch up imperfections on newly-painted walls without dirtying an entire paintbrush.

#6 Put Petroleum Jelly on Small Spots You Don't Want Painted

A little bit of Vaseline can go a long way toward keeping your paint job clean.

Using a Q-tip (another reason to keep them handy), go over all the bits and pieces you don't want painted, like screws or hinges. With the petroleum jelly applied, even an accidental slip won't leave you heartbroken.

#7 Use a Hair Dryer on Painter's Tape for Easy Removal

Painter's tape is supposed to make your paint job easier and stress-free.

But when strips of perfect paint peel off along with the adhesive — or you just can't get the darn tape to come off at all — you might feel like you wasted your effort.

To help stubborn painter's tape get a move on, turn a hair dryer (low heat only) toward your handiwork.

Holding it about three inches from the wall will help soften the adhesive and ensure an even line, making removal a stress-free affair — and ensuring you keep that dreamy, crisp paint line.

-HouseLogic

June
13

When you own your home, things are going to break and, unless you want to spend your money on visits from a neighborhood handyman, you're going to need to fix them yourself. Luckily, you don't need an arsenal of tools to handle most home maintenance fixes. These five tools will cover most of your basic projects.

  1. Cordless drill. A cordless drill is a must-have for installing cabinets, drawer pulls, hinges, picture frames, shelves and hooks, and more. Whether it's for do-it-yourself projects or repairs, you'll use your cordless drill just about every month.
  2. Drain cleaners. Shower and bathroom sink drains are susceptible to clogs because of the daily buildup of hair and whisker clippings. You can use chemical clog removers like Drano, but they're expensive and the lingering chemical scent is unpleasant. Instead, buy some plastic drain cleaners that can reach into the drain to pull out the clog of hair and gunk. You can purchase them on Amazon or at a local hardware store for a low price.
  3. Shop-vac. No matter how careful you are, spills and accidents will happen and there are some tasks that just can't be handled with paper towels or a standard vacuum, like pet messes or broken glass.
  4. Loppers. Even the minimum amount of care for your landscaping will require some loppers to remove damaged branches, vines, thick weeds, and any other unruly plants in your yard.
  5. Flashlight. You're going to want something a little more powerful than your iPhone flashlight when you're in the crawlspace!

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder