Friday, August 28, 2009

Remodel your bathroom for less than $250!

You may be thinking, “Remodel my bathroom for under $250, how can that be possible?" Okay, so it’s not a complete remodel but with a few basic DIY (Do It Yourself) skills and a little bit of money you can give that tired old bathroom a face lift without having to dip into the kid’s college fund. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how a few simple changes can make a huge difference.

Here are 6 simple things you can do give your bathroom a fresh new look. (Links to products are are at the end of this article)

  1. A new coat of paint is one of the easiest but most dramatic ways to change the look of a room. You can find some helpful painting tips here: http://www.acehardware.com/paintingtips/index.jsp

  2. Install a new faucet - for as little at $30 you can buy a new bathroom sink faucet and with some basic tools and skills you can install it yourself. If you don’t know how to install a new faucet you can learn how to do it in Workshop for Women’s “Do You Hear Water” (Plumbing 101)
  3. Replace your toilet seat – a new toilet seat is less than $20 and takes less than 20 minutes to install. This is a simple change that can make a lot of difference. The toilet seat is attached to the bowl with 2 screws.

  4. Replace those old polished brass pulls (handles) with an updated look. If your cabinetry doesn’t have any pulls why not install some? You can buy new cabinet pulls for as little as $1.50 each. If you’re installing new pulls you’ll want to spend a few extra $$ to buy an installation template. This handy little gadget will help you get everything lined up perfectly.

  5. Replace your old towel bar and toilet paper holder and add a towel ring or two. Need some advice on how to get that towel rack to stay in place and not pull out of the wall? Learn all you need to know about hanging things on your walls and ceilings in Workshop for Women’s “My Screws are Loose” class.
  6. A new shower curtain, bath mat and accessories will add the finishing touches.

Links:

Workshop for Women http://www.workshopforwomen.com/

Ace Alameda Station http://www.acealamedastation.com/

Learn to install a faucet - Do You Hear Water? (Plumbing 101)

Learn to hang a towel bar - My Screws are Loose (Hanging Things on Walls & Ceilings)

Ceiling and Wall Paint - Paint and Painting Tips- $50

New toilet seat at Ace Hardware - $ 20

New sink faucet at Ace Hardware - $ 30

New cabinet hardware (drawer pulls & knobs) - $ 30 Installation Guide $10

New towel bar at Ace Hardware - $ 25

New Shower Curtain and Bath Mat and Accessories - $25

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

10 Tips to get the most from your home inspection

As a Certified Home Inspector with Pillar to Post Denver I often run into situations that remind me that the home inspection process has room for improvement. My job as a home inspector is to be the buyer’s advocate during the process and to assist them in making an informed decision about the purchase of a home. The entire process is more effective and efficient when communication is a priority.

With that in mind here are 10 tips for you to consider:
  1. Get several referrals - If you don’t personally know a home inspector ask your Realtor, friends or neighbors for recommendations.
  2. Attend the entire inspection - If at all possible it is in your best interest to be present at the inspection and to accompany the inspector throughout. If you cannot be present have a personal representative, other than your Realtor, attend in your place.
  3. Share information - Before the inspection starts share all the information you have regarding the property. Remember, this is not a contest to see if the inspector notices everything. If you see a problem or have a concern, notify the inspector so that he or she can further investigate the issue.
  4. Understand the limits of your home inspection – A home inspection does not cover building code issues, nor does it offer a guarantee of future performance. Ask if you don’t know the limits of your inspection.
  5. Ask relevant questions - Don’t be afraid to ask the inspector questions about the home before, during and after the inspection. It is important that all of your questions are answered and that any concerns you may have are addressed.
  6. Don’t ask irrelevant questions - The Standards of Practice, and commune sense, do not allow home inspectors to give advice on topics outside of their personal expertise. For example: don’t ask his or her opinion about home values, neighborhood, city, schools or d├ęcor.
  7. Don’t rush your inspection. A thorough inspection of a typical 2000 sq ft home with a basement should take from 3 to 4 hours. Plan your time accordingly.
  8. It’s YOUR report – Home inspectors focus on the major components of a home and won’t necessarily concern themselves with aesthetic issues that do not affect performance. If you want something added to your report regarding aesthetics ask your inspector to have it included in the report. If you don’t ask, it may not be noted.
  9. Review your report carefully – If possible review your report at the completion of the inspection and again when you have more time. Contact your inspector immediately if you have any questions or concerns. This may be your last opportunity to get issues resolved before closing on the house.
  10. Remember inspectors are human and can make mistakes – if you move into your home and find a problem that you think your inspector missed notify them immediately. Give them an opportunity to review the issue and respond to your concerns. Unfortunately, it is not unheard of for sellers to hide defects to prevent them from being discovered in an inspection.

If you have any questions about the home inspection process feel free to contact me at judy.browne@pillartopost.com