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Bathroom Remodel

Home Improvement Tips New Real Estate Investors Can Use to Maximize Returns on Rental Properties

As the foreclosure crisis continues to draw millions of previous homeowners into rentals across the country, investors and land lords, particularly those in the rapidly growing sector of single family homes, are finding themselves in the perfect storm of relatively low home prices and rising rental rates. Furthermore, the ability to attract high quality renters, such as previous homeowners and their families, allows investors a higher chance of placing the leasing agreement in good hands. But in order to increase your chances for a higher return-on-investment, here are a few ideas to give that leading edge and renter’s appeal. The idea behind these ideas is to provide your property with affordable, highly durable and low maintenance renovations that will add value, beauty and functionality to your investment.
Everybody knows that a first impression can go a real long way, and so can landscaping, a little pressure cleaning and/or a fresh coat of exterior paint. Keeping the property’s first impression should boost your demand for a minimal to moderate investment. Landscaping does not and should not be elaborate, and more importantly, should remain extremely easy to maintain for any potential renters. In some parts of the country people are even turning to organic green dyes that are sprayed over lawns to bring the lush green look back to their property. And as crazy as this might sound, for many years, lawn painting has commonly been used for athletic fields and golf courses. Pressure cleaning the driveways and roofs of the property will also assist in maintaining the aesthetics of the home, as will a fresh coat of paint on a driveway or the exterior of the home if it is needed.
In the interior, the two main areas to focus on will be the kitchen and bathroom spaces, particularly in the kitchen. Whether a property is being sold or rented, the kitchen is always front and center for any decision, and it is this central living space that can be the deal maker or breaker. Making sure that the cabinetry is in working order and free from things such as water damage and unsightly doors is important. If any or all of these areas are in need of repair, affordable kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanity options are readily available and reasonably priced. Ready-to-assemble cabinets, also known as RTA cabinets or knock downs, many times offer investors a highly durable, all wood construction solution that will cost significantly less than many name brand cabinet manufacturers, while providing an overall better product. Intimate areas such as toilets, showers and bath tubs should also be almost immaculate, and free of mold and water stains. In all, a renter is more likely to focus their attention on these critical areas, with again, the kitchen being an important selling point for any renter or buyer. A fresh coat of affordable high gloss interior paint throughout the entire home and clean flooring is a must for any rental property.
It is important that new real estate investors always remember that they will not be living in this home themselves, and ensuring that the upgrades you commit to are aligned with your property’s investment. Maintaining an affordable budget that will allow you to achieve profitability in as little time as possible should be job one.

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Kitchen Remodel

Home Improvement Ideas: Recreational Room

Doing home improvement on your recreational room is the perfect answer in a slow economy. You can improve your home and have many fun things to do as a family in your home instead of leaving it and spending more money.
Home improvement ideas include having a professional install carpeting, wood floors or laminate wood floors to your recreational room. To choose which type of flooring to put in your recreational room ask yourself these questions:
If I am to put carpeting in my recreational room, will it last? Will there be a lot of children using the recreational room? If there will be a lot of children using the recreational room you may want to opt for wood flooring or laminate flooring. You want everyone to have a relaxed and fun time in the recreational room, not stressed and nervous about spilling on the carpeting.
If I buy wood flooring will my dog’s nails scratch the flooring? Will there be a hot tub in my recreational room that will get water on the floor? If you have a dog or multiple dogs you may want to opt for laminate wood flooring. These days laminate wood flooring is very strong and you can even purchase laminate wood flooring with grooves between the “wood” to make it look even more natural.
If you live alone or as a couple you may choose wood flooring or carpeting in your recreational room as most adults are more careful with regards to stains and scratching the floor. Remember the choice is yours with the flooring you choose. We are giving you thought out suggestions when you choose to improve your home.
Before you hire someone to install the flooring, make sure you add a fresh coat of paint to each room you will be improving. The professional that you hire can also help you choose which type of flooring is best for your home and living situation.
If you have a large rec room with a few rooms off of it, you may choose to make the largest room your main room. Many folks like to have this room as their media center. The media center will have a large screen TV, comfortable chairs and/or couch with cup holders. You may choose to add a bar to your recreational room. You can put in a little freezer to keep the ice cold as well as beverages. If you are going to stock your bar with liquor please remember to lock it up.
You may also add a game system such as the Wii, PlayStation 3, etc. to add to more fun.
A pool table and/or air hockey table, vintage games such as Pac Man and foosball are nice additions to entertain you and your family as well.
In one of the rooms off of the recreational room, you may have the floor installer add carpeting or another type of flooring. Use this room to put all of your workout machines in. This can be your quiet workout room. You may want to add the home improvement of having built in speakers in this room so you can listen to music to get you working out even harder. Another home improvement idea is to add mirrors to this room so you can watch yourself workout and your body improve.
The other room off of the recreational room can be the room you design for relaxation. You may put in wood flooring, safe tile with ridges on it so no one slips or laminate wood flooring. Beforehand, hire a professional painter to paint the room a comfortable cool color that makes you feel relaxed. Now add a hot tub to the room that fits you, your spouse and/or the size of your family. Add candles and make sure you have a built in speaker or two in this room so you can listen to soft music while you de-stress.
Other home improvement ideas include making sure the windows in your recreational room are keeping heat in and the cold air out and vice versa in the summertime. If not, it is time to replace your windows so you can save money on your heating and air conditioning bills. New windows will also improve the look of your home.
There are many home improvement ideas you can hire a professional to accomplish so you can create the recreational room you and your family desire.

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Home Improvement Contractors

How To Choose The Right Home Improvement Contractor

Home renovation is a $300 billion industry in the US. There is such a vast number of home improvement contractors operating in the market that it becomes difficult to choose the right contractor for your residential improvement or remodeling needs. If you want to save yourself from a terrible experience of hiring an inefficient service company or contractor, follow a few simple steps to get the best people on-board to work on one of your most prized assets.
Steps To Choosing a Home Improvement Contractor
Here are a few steps that you should take before finding a reliable home improvement contractor.
1. Make A List Of Improvements: Your first step should be the creation of a thorough list of every improvement that you wish to make in your home. Make sure you include all the areas and be sure how you want everything to appear after it is all finished.
2. Research: This is one of the most important steps in deciding the right improvement contractor. Online researching is highly recommended, since it allows you to save a lot of time, money and energy. Look for an improvement and renovation service provider with accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or other such licensing boards.
3. Word-Of-Mouth: Ask for references from people who have used the services of the home improvement industry and are happy with the results. You can also ask for references of former clients from the companies during your research. The customer references will help you get an idea of the type of work done by each company.
4. Take Free Estimates: Contact different home improvement contractors who provide all the facilities required to renovate, reconstruct, or improve your residence. Request the companies for a free estimate and full price quote.
5. Contractor Insurance: Check if the contractor has proof of some kind of insurance in. Insurance helps you in case of an accident or a problem. Most reputable contractors provide insurance provisions to their customers to avoid any unforeseen expenses.
6. Compare Candidates: After consulting potential home improvement contractors, narrow down your options and decide whom you want to work with. Keeping in mind their availability, the price quoted and client testimonials, you can pin point the best professional service provider.

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Remodeling

Home Improvement Ideas for Flooring

How do you find the right flooring when you have so much to choose from? And where do you go, and who to select for the job? Selecting the flooring is probably the easy part as you have many samples and types and materials to choose from, but how do you decide what is best, and at the best price? Your style and your budget will quickly separate the chaff from the wheat and determine what you can afford.
Determining the right flooring for the best price
• Think about the room or area where you’ll be installing the flooring. What does it look like, how much is it used, and what kind of traffic flow does it have? Maintenance and performance concerns should also be factored in. Is the room cold? Does it need carpeting or under-floor heating?
• Set a price range and evaluate the design and performance features of each option. Factor in the installation costs if you’re not planning to do this yourself. This is in addition to the square-foot cost of the new flooring itself.
• If you’re not doing this yourself, hire a reputable contractor. Ask for references, and speak to people who’ve used him before. If he can’t produce references, be warned. He is probably a fly-by-night laborer, and you won’t see him again.
• If he is a reputable contractor, don’t pay money up front. You will pay him at the end of the job, when the work has been done to your satisfaction.
• Explore other options. Modern, styling products like laminate and resilient vinyl flooring offer durable, affordable and easy-to-maintain surfaces that will hold up through years of wear. Flooring should blend in with the style of your home whether it’s Victorian, country, traditional, contemporary, or eclectic. Take into account the size of the room. For instance, tiny tiles will be too busy in a large room, while a large-scale design will overwhelm a smaller space. The latest advances in resilient and laminate flooring offer fashionable colors and textures combined with durability, comfort, function, easy maintenance and affordability.
• When choosing flooring, determine how it will stand up to factors like direct sunlight, water spills, furniture scrapes, tracked-in dirt, cleaning detergents, and foot traffic. Bear in mind that natural materials such as hardwood or ceramic tiles are more fragile than many other options. For instance, it makes sense to install laminate flooring in high-traffic areas even though you love hardwood.
• Keep in mind the work involved when installing different types of flooring; tile floors and hardwood being the most difficult to install and probably requiring a professional installer.
• Resilient laminate flooring can be easily installed. Because of its layered construction, these types of flooring will not expand or contract, but lie flat and stay flat by floating in place, eliminating the need for glue or nails – unlike traditional flooring. Flooring systems that don’t require glue also help the environment.
• Check out warranties for the different kind of flooring. Some products have a ten to fifteen year warranty, while others offer lifetime warranties; the choice is yours.