Durable Renovation Projects to Reduce Maintenance

Durable Renovation Projects to Reduce Maintenance

Taking care of your home is more than simply cleaning or repairing items that fail over time. There is regular maintenance on all types of aspects of your home to ensure its value stays as high as possible. That’s where low-maintenance renovation ideas can help. With these premier ideas to renovate the home while reducing the maintenance you have on your side, you can easily update your residence with confidence.

Maintenance doesn’t have to take hours or days out of your schedule. Check out these ideas below and see how you can update the look of the home while keeping maintenance at a minimum.

Refinish Concrete Floors

Concrete
One way you can update the home you have while reducing your maintenance is by considering epoxy-painted concrete floors. These floors are a durable way to update your garage area or any concrete flooring you have. They look nice and reduce the amount of maintenance and repairs that are due over time. The application is simple and easy to do whenever you have a clean concrete surface to start with.

This type of floor is capable of standing up against chemicals, gasoline, and other liquids you might be dealing with in your garage. You’ll love that your floor looks great no matter what, with little upkeep from you.

Consider Stone Panels

New Siding
A way to update the outside of your home without having to keep up with paint is to consider installing manufactured stone panels. These panels are a great way to keep your home looking great without having to maintain them too much. They offer a variety of styles, colors, and pattern options to help you create the look and feel you want. These durable panels look like rock has been painstakingly installed while it is a simple panel that fixes to the home. These are very low-maintenance and provide a beautiful upgrade rather than simple paint changes or siding.

New Mailbox

New Mailbox
Your mailbox is a part of your home. You may not even realize that it needs maintenance until it does. That can be frustrating as mail will not be delivered if there is an issue with the box. Safeguard your items by considering the installation of a new construction mailbox to help you reduce how much maintenance is required. You can choose from a variety of designs that are durable enough to withstand any type of climate issues thrown their way. A new construction mailbox can be for a variety of homes, all in one safe, convenient location. Whether it’s for a new community or simply wanting to update the mailing options for your community, these are a great way to go.

Painting

Another great renovation product that can help with the maintenance of the home is to consider a new paint job. Working with painters can help you to get a new, fresh paint job in no time. This renovation product can help with maintaining your lumber down the road. With a new paint job, the old is scraped away, cracks are filled, and then it is primed and painted. By taking time to work with professional painters sooner than later, you can help reduce carpentry maintenance down the road.

Upgrade The Siding

The outside of your home is one part that can look worn down over time if not properly maintained. Dealing with paint chips or fading can be frustrating. Consider updating your home with steel board and batten siding. This type of siding is highly durable, low-maintenance, and a beautiful update to any home. It has a high impact rating to help reduce damage during storms. It also has a high fire rating to help reduce damage with possible fires as well. The siding also comes in a variety of styles, designs, and color choices to fit any décor you may want.

These simple items cost a little upfront to provide massive returns down the road. With these low-maintenance updates, you can enjoy your home without having to always do some type of repair or upkeep. That leaves time to do all the other projects you have on your to-do list. Consider these options the next time you want to upgrade your home.

Andrew Wesley

Andrew Wesley is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on painting projects and materials. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia where he enjoys spending time with his wife and working on projects in his spare time. Andrew’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisors, a new construction industry resource launching in Fall 2022.

Staging a Home

Tips and Advice for Staging a Home

Staging your home before you sell it is a must in the current market! Not only do staged homes sell faster than their competitors: but staged homes also sell for more money. Unfortunately, many people go into staging a home blind and aren’t sure where to start, which can leave the property feeling like it wasn’t staged at all.

These are the top tips for staging your home and why it matters!

1. Deep Clean

Before you bring any new furniture in or paint any walls: it’s vital that you take the time to deep clean the property. Buyers don’t want to think about the previous owners when they walk into a home; they want to think about their future in that property. Taking the time to get rid of grime, dust, and debris will give you the chance to work with a fresh canvas.

2. Get Rid of Personal Details

Personal details may be lovely to look at for you, but they’re not so lovely for buyers who are trying to picture their lives there. Remove any photos of your family, pets, or life, and get rid of any details that will remind the buyers that they don’t own this home yet.

If you’re staging with your own furniture, now is the time to declutter your property as much as possible. Decluttering will allow spaces to feel larger, cleaner, and more welcoming. Take anything out of closets and storage areas, and move that into your new living area so that these spaces feel larger.

3. Make The Walls Feel Fresh

The best way to make any room feel clean and fresh is to apply a fresh coat of paint! Picking neutral and welcoming colors will allow buyers to feel like they stepped into a brand new home and are the first to walk through it.

Now isn’t the time to sloppily paint and ruin borders or edges. If you’re not capable of a great paint job, consider hiring a professional team to take over for you. They’ll be able to give the home a fresh face in far less time, with far less mess.

4. Replace Tiny Simple Items

Replace Thermostat
Making small updates throughout your home will quickly add up to a fantastic overall property. Changes like adding a sash window, replacing light fixtures, and changing out faucets, can modernize a property and make the entire space feel fresh and new. Make sure that any metallic details you add match the others and that you give the home the chance to shine.

5. Guide Buyers’ Eyes

When buyers are walking through a property, they have a lot of information to take in. They might not notice the craftsman exterior window trim ideas you implemented or the new flooring you installed if you can’t guide them into seeing it. Because of this, it’s vital that you take the time to show them what you want them to see.

Through clever lighting and the placement of furniture, rugs, and accessories, you can create a visual story that will guide buyers through the home. They shouldn’t notice that it was laid out to guide them; it should feel natural. This will make it easier to show off how high the ceilings are or how beautiful the fresh carpet is.

6. Consider Renting Furniture

If your furniture is older, or you don’t have a set that matches well: consider renting your furniture. Staging companies are professionals who know how to make spaces shine and offer low monthly and weekly rates so that you can sell your home as quickly as possible for as much money as possible. Although you may not think it’s worth it: this is one of the best ideas a home seller can have.

7. Add Touches of Luxury

If you’re still completing updates, consider adding a touch of luxury! You can do this by adding radiant floor heating or a touchless kitchen faucet, and watch as buyers marvel as they walk through the space. Although these are small changes, they drag the home into the future and allow it to feel like something that would improve the buyers’ lives.

8. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Beyond Gray.

Make The Walls Feel Fresh
Avoid going for gray! This color has a reputation for being for house flippers and quick fixes in 2022, so try to go for actual colors. Although you may personally really like gray, save that for your own home you may buy. Instead, use details like a white shiplap wall in a room that’s a pale warm green to add visual interest and make a space feel welcoming. Although gray is the most neutral color of all: its reputation is one you don’t want on your property.

Staging the Home You’re Selling is a Must

Updated Kitchen

Whether you’re new to selling homes or you’re just trying to get the most out of this current one: staging your home is vital to making the most you can for it. Consider following some of these tips before you sell!

Andrew Wesley

Andrew is an editor for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.

Wood Staining

Everything to Know About Wood Staining

Sometimes, the most simple home improvement projects can have the greatest transformative effect on a property. Projects such as a garage door replacement, pergola addition, and landscaping can give a rundown property a major facelift in less than a day.

Add wood staining to the list.

Applying sealant and staining areas such as hardwood floors, decks, and wood furniture are straightforward ways to make a worn and weathered home look rich and luxurious.

However, just because wood staining is simple in concept does not mean that it can be taken lightly. It requires extensive planning and preparation, finding the right product, and executing the application correctly.

To help you through the process, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about wood staining.

Stain and Sealant Are Not the Same Things

Stain and Sealant Are Not the Same Things

When researching the best interior wood stain and sealer for your hardwood floors, it can be easy to get confused and lump the two products into one. And while stain and sealer are both products that can protect and enhance the appearance of your wood surfaces, they are not the same thing.

Stains are the better product for enhancing the aesthetics of wood. They include pigmentation, which helps make your wood a specific color. This pigmentation also protects the wood from UV rays. However, stains do not generally provide much protection against water damage.

Sealants ARE designed to resist moisture. They have a higher viscosity than stains and contain waterproof and water repellent properties. But they do not have pigmentation and offer little in the way of UV protection.

Therefore, it is important to use stains and sealers in conjunction. It is generally recommended to stain your hardwood floors first and once the stain has dried, add the sealer to make the floors watertight.

Staining Allows You To Attain a Specific Wood Appearance

Staining Allows You To Attain a Specific Wood Appearance

Arguably the biggest benefit of using wood stain is that it allows you to attain the appearance of a wide variety of woods without the cost or limitations of working with these specific wood types. For example, you can use a stain to achieve an elegant dark finish to stand out on the real estate market without having to shell out the high cost of installing dark wood options such as hickory or walnut. In addition, some lighter woods, such as oak, aren’t very flexible, making it difficult to use them for latticework or herringbone floors. However, you can use a wood that is easier to work with for these purposes and look through the various wood stain colors for outdoor furniture to find a finish that replicates the oak appearance you had in mind for the project.

Not All Woods Stain Equally

Although staining provides endless possibilities for wood, not all wood provides endless possibilities for staining.

Woods with large pores will stain best, as they will more readily absorb the stain to give the finish a more complete, even appearance. Some examples of woods that stain well are oak, cedar, chestnut, hickory, and ashwood.

Tight-grained woods will not stain as easily because there is not much room for the stain to settle, which can result in an unattractive, partially-stained final product. Some tight-grained woods are maple and birch. In addition, some coniferous woods that contain a lot of sap, such as pine, will actively resist stain and create a beady, messy look on the wood’s surface.

Staining Requires Preparation

Staining Requires Preparation

Staining your wood surfaces is not as easy as finding a great product, rolling it on, and calling it a day. You need to be meticulous in your approach and understand that getting the desired result will take some work.

This starts with preparing the surface. You should repair, wash, and sand the area to be stained to guarantee that there are no hazards or problem areas that will require you to stop the project.

It is also important to make sure that the surface is completely dry before starting, as moisture will prevent the wood from absorbing the stain. Check the weather to ensure that there is no rain in the forecast. Also avoid staining on very windy days, as it can cause the stain to evaporate before it sets.

Finally, it is critical to select the right tools. Have a fresh roller and a wide selection of brushes to help you reach corners and guarantee attractive transitions. It is also a great idea to have plastic or cardboard handy to keep the stain from getting on adjacent areas of your home.

Stains and Sealants Can Save You Money in the Long Run

Although it may be a stretch to say that your wood structures will rot and fall apart if left untreated, there is no denying that sealing and staining are great defensive measures against more expensive future repairs. Not only can moisture damage cause localized cupping and buckling that may require you to replace sections of your hardwood floors or deck, but extensive UV exposure will degrade some boards beyond repair. In addition, untreated wood is more likely to have cracks and splinters that are hazardous for homeowners.

The Bottom Line on Wood Staining

Although wood staining is a relatively straightforward way to give your home a facelift, it’s not as simple as grabbing the first bucket of stain you see and thinking you’re good to go. There are myriad factors to consider, such as:

  • Understanding the difference between stains and sealers
  • Deciding on the final appearance you want to achieve
  • Realizing that not all woods were meant to be stained
  • Giving the proper attention to preparation
  • Looking at staining as an investment in your property

However, with the proper planning and perspective, wood staining is a great way to make your worn and weathered wood rich and majestic in a matter of days!

Andrew Wesley

Andrew is an editor for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.

Improving Your Health With a Home Remodel

Your home and your health are connected in ways you may have never imagined. Healthy living is all about developing healthy habits, and each room of your house can either enhance or hinder a daily routine that maximizes benefits to your mind and body. By making smart remodeling decisions, you can create an environment that makes healthy habits easier and more pleasurable.

Cook Healthier With a New Kitchen

Eating healthy without spending a fortune on takeout takes a lot of time and effort. After a long day of work, a kitchen that makes cooking miserable can ruin your motivation to prepare fresh meals. A kitchen renovation gives you the opportunity to implement features that make cooking something to look forward to rather than dread. Well-placed, spacious cabinetry combined with high-tech appliances and expansive countertops can help you cook like a professional.

Use Your Yard for Sports

Whether you love playing basketball or you want to improve your swimming speed and endurance, you can transform your yard into a space where it’s fun to exercise, which is key to improving your physical and mental health. Having your own outdoor exercise area means you never miss an opportunity to do your favorite activities because the park is closed or the recreation center is too busy. A custom design for your front or backyard can accommodate any kind of sport setup you might imagine.

Transform Your Basement into a Home Gym

Regularly going to the gym to work out is a great way to stay healthy and in shape, but the need to travel and mix with unknown people can kill your motivation. Installing gym equipment right in your basement means you have the opportunity to work out whenever you have free time at home. If you want to include carpeting in your basement gym, make sure to include subfloor installation to prevent mold. If you don’t have a basement, consider some other home gym ideas, such as a:

All home renovations take a lot of time and work, but basements can be especially tricky. You must consider many things apart from the gym equipment, such as your local building codes, fasteners, vapor barriers, spacing, and heating and cooling. The last thing you want is a basement gym that’s useless in winter. The optimal way to avoid making mistakes in any of these areas is to hire a professional home renovator.

Find a Contractor the Smart Way

If you choose to hire a reliable contractor, do some research. No matter what type of project you’re planning, choose a contractor with good references, proof of experience, professional licenses, and good communication. For example, if you need to paint your home, you can see from visiting their website that Patrick’s Painting has been in business for 15 years. They’ve painted 2,054 houses, have 3,273 satisfied customers and garner top reviews on Yelp. Having these sorts of stats and information make it more likely you’ll reach out to Patrick’s for a paint job.

Whatever improvements you decide to make, let your contractor know your goals for a healthy home, such as paint without VOCs, cleaner air or improved cooking ability, to help them make transformations that promote healthy habits. By hiring a reliable contractor, you can reduce headaches, shorten project timelines, and get on with an easier healthy lifestyle as soon as possible.

DIY What You Can to Save Money

For quality paint jobs, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and the like, a contractor is a must. However, there are still plenty of changes you can make on your own, keeping your budget in check and making healthy updates. You can swap out furnace filters, replace curtains or drapes with blinds, change light fixtures, install a ceiling fan and even strategically place an air purifier.

From a design perspective, you can make simple changes like adding bold wallpaper to an entry space or bathroom wall. Plus, completely customizable wallpaper allows you to choose whatever design your heart desires. Print on-demand designs put you in the driver’s seat, and are a great way to add a quick refresh.

A home refresh can be a great way to improve the health of your living environment. With careful choices, including the help of great contractors, you can transform your space into a place that promotes your wellbeing.

Curtis Fisher

tradesbright.org

Trending Renovation Projects

Trending Renovation Projects That Give a Great Return

The most important part of any renovation project is to ensure you get a large enough return to make it worth it. If you can’t gain back the money you’ve invested, it’s a waste that could leave you regretting ever making the change.

The best thing you can do is plan ahead.

These are the top trending renovation projects that will ensure you get a great return and make your money back when you sell or rent out your property.

Minor Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen remodels are a large cliche in the world of home renovation projects: but for a good reason. Buyers want a kitchen that feels clean and unused and doesn’t want to deal with out-of-date appliances or cabinets that leave a lot to be desired.

Although a major kitchen remodel is more dramatic and leaves the chance to make huge changes: you can get a bigger return if you make a minor remodel and take care of targeted items like the cabinets, tiles, or other portions of the kitchen. Of course, it won’t be as large a change as a full remodel, but it will give you a large return.

Landscaping For Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is a part of home renovations that many people forget or leave out entirely. Unfortunately, that means a lot of people don’t get to add the large return that comes from investing in your property’s exterior. Remodeling your landscaping offers a huge return because it doesn’t take a lot of money to do: but it takes a lot of effort.

Through edging, mowing, updating flower beds, trimming shrubs and bushes, and cutting back overgrowth, you may have to invest a couple of weekends to get your home’s exterior exactly how you want it, but the return can be in the tens of thousands depending on your location. This is a worthwhile update everyone should do.

Fresh Paint Inside and Out

Fresh Paint Inside and Out

If you want a room to feel brand new and clean: fresh paint is the way to go. Leaving surfaces looking untouched by time or man, these allow buyers to picture what their future life would be like in this property and gives them the chance to imagine living there far easier. This means to paint on the walls inside, but also on the exterior. From your siding to any wood on your porch and even mailbox, you can make your home feel brand new. Just make sure to take the time to get clean lines and avoid painting anything that shouldn’t be painted. Paint jobs that are poorly done, or rushed, are being called the ‘landlord’s special’ recently and are highly frowned upon.

Color Choices Throughout Property

What color is your home? Did you know that specific colors and combinations can allow people to feel certain ways about them? Sage color houses are viewed as more valuable, more attractive, and more in touch with nature, even if they’re at the center of a city. This goes along with why some people connect red doors to wealth or why others will keep pineapples in decor by their front doors as a sign of welcome. By playing into the color and shape associations people have with homes, you can have a higher chance of selling to someone extremely interested.

Updating Garages

Your garage is a space you might not have considered updating, but it should be an option if you want to make a good return on your investments. Replacing a garage door is the home update that offers the largest return since it offers a return that nearly doubles the price of the garage door. This is a purchase that will be a major plus and should be tied with getting any stains out of the garage floor and repainting or finishing the interior. This may be more expensive than soffit replacement costs, but the return it offers is worth it.

Replacing Windows and Doors

Looking into window replacement inserts can be an awesome way to give your home a new face. Windows and doors are the largest reasons why heating and cooling bills can go so high since poorly installed ones often leak air and allow temperature fluctuations. Take the time to look into new windows and doors that suit your budget and the style of the home.

Creating a Weatherproof Property

The weather has become more unpredictable across the country than ever before. People who want to keep their homes above water are desperate to find ways to avoid flooding and other issues. The most important thing you can do is install landscape drains, which will help move any extra water off of your property. This will help future buyers rest easily, knowing their home is safer from flooding and other issues.

Renovations Can Help Any Property

Renovations can shift how people perceive your property and how much you’re able to sell it for. Take the time to create a property people will want to invest their money into, and you’ll sell it in no time!

Andrew Wesley

Andrew is an editor for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.

Top Home Updates That Pay Off

Are you looking to make improvements to your home but don’t quite know where to begin? Home updates can make a profound difference in the appearance and value of your home if done right. However, if you choose the wrong updates, you do not only waste your money, you make your home harder to sell, warns Lonnie Bush.

Given the array of renovations, you can do to a house, choosing the right one can be challenging. For easy choice, we have whittled the long list of possible home updates to just a few. Read through our list of most valuable home updates to find the ones that appeal to you the most.

1. Repaint your home’s exterior and interior

Repainting your home is the most basic home upgrade you can do, yet it is one of the most impactful improvements you can make. Wall paint creates the general ambiance of the home. It determines how bright rooms are and how spacious they feel. But you do have to choose the right colors for the interior and exterior spaces. The best colors will help your home sell faster and for more money.

2. Improve your landscaping

Landscaping is one home update that increases in value with time. Unlike other updates, you won’t need to periodically redo your landscaping because it has gone out of style. Mature trees and established gardens make a home more valuable. However, you have to be careful not to plant trees with invasive roots which will endanger your home. The landscaping should also be diverse and low-maintenance. When you combine good landscaping with trendy exterior paint colors, you give your home the chance to make the perfect first impression.

3. Replace your garage door

The garage door is another essential element of your home’s curb appeal. Replacing a garage door improves the home’s overall façade because garage doors are highly visible. Beyond that, this is more of a functional update than an aesthetic improvement. A garage door will cost around $3,700 to replace. But when you sell the home, you will recoup as much as 95% of that cost. This upgrade pays for itself and makes it easier to sell the house. It is a practical update, and buyers will be happy about it.

4. Add a new deck

A deck is a versatile space you can adapt to various uses. Adding one expands the square footage of the house and improves the appearance of your outdoor areas. A deck creates a zone that lets you transition seamlessly from the inside of your home to the outside. You can add outdoor furniture and a canopy to make it comfortable on hot summer days. Building your deck with wood instead of composite will bring you better returns. When updating a wood deck, expect to spend around $14,360. You will recoup up to 72% of that cost when you sell.

5. Install a steel door in your entryway

The front entryway to your home should be attention-grabbing. This area gives visitors their first taste of what to expect inside the house. Since the front door is the centerpiece of your entryway, the area’s design should highlight and complement the front door. Replacing your front door with a steel version will cost roughly $2,000. But when you sell the home, you will get back 70% of your costs. For your front doors, choose bold colors that match the home’s exterior.

6. Update the kitchen

Kitchen updates have a direct impact on the resale value of a home. That is because this is the room with the most influence on buyer’s decisions. Kitchens are valuable because they serve as a social hub of the home and a showpiece for the rest of the house. There are numerous possible updates to do in the kitchen. These include; upgrading appliances, replacing sinks, countertops & faucets, installing new cabinets or a kitchen island. Most times, it is not possible or even advisable to do a complete overhaul of the kitchen. The cost of updating the kitchen depends on the updates you do, but the ROI from most updates is around 77%.

7. Modify the bathroom

The bathroom is another room that greatly influences buyers’ desire to buy a home. It also affects how much they offer for it. The number of bathrooms in the house and the presence of a tub are valuable considerations for buyers. However, even if a home has only one bathroom and no bathtubs, buyers want a combination of features that make the space inviting and relaxing. Just like the kitchen, it is hard to estimate how much a bathroom upgrade will cost; it depends on the specific features you choose. But you should expect to recover 57%-64% of your costs when you sell.

8. Add stone veneer

Replacing the vinyl siding on the street-facing side of your home with a manufactured stone veneer will make it even more appealing. Unlike vinyl, this material will not crack, split or warp, and it will also not dent or fade like aluminum. Manufactured stone veneer will retain its appearance because it is resistant to fire, rot, and insect attack. This upgrade costs around $9,400 and will add around 96% of that amount to your home.

Resources to Help You Sell Your Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Home sellers have quickly had to come up with solutions to the obstacles posed by COVID-19. Even though we can all see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, showing homes to prospective buyers in person can still be risky, so sellers and agents alike are wise to continue to adjust their tactics.

If your home is currently on the market in Alexandria, you may be wondering how you can give potential buyers a look inside while taking the right precautions. These resources from Patrick’s Painting & Home Improvement will help you prepare your home for marketing photos, boost your virtual presence with advertising techniques, and effectively clean your home if you do allow buyers to visit for a showing.

Preparing Your Home

Getting your home prepped for your online listing, virtual tours, and in-person showings is worth the effort. By making it look its best, you’ll make your home stand out among the competition and draw in more potential buyers.

Improve Your Virtual Presence

Sellers are relying on online listings more than ever. Make yours stand out with these helpful resources.

Host Safe Showings

Virtual tours, whether live or pre-recorded, are great options for showcasing your home if you’re not ready to host people in person. If you do invite others into your home for an open house or private showing, be sure to make safety a priority.

Cleaning After Showings

Even if you use strict safety protocols for in-person tours, it’s a good idea to clean after your visitors leave. Don’t forget to wash your hands!

This is a difficult time to sell your home, and you may not be able to find a buyer as quickly as you would have liked. But plenty of people are still on the lookout for a new property, and you can either go the extra mile to hold safe open houses or go digital and give virtual tours. If you think outside the box, you’ll still be able to connect with the right buyers!

Whether you want to paint your home or make other improvements to make it stand out to buyers, Patrick’s Painting and Home Improvement is here to help! Contact us for your free quote by completing
this form
or calling (703) 253-9268.

Curtis Fisher

tradesbright.org

Convenience and Aesthetic Appeal: Preparing Your Home as a Vacation Rental

Renting out your house as a vacation property isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re not comfortable with the idea of turning your home over to people who’ll use it as a convenience while they’re having a good time on vacation. To be sure, it can take a little getting used to, but if you live near an area that has a lot to offer people looking for a fun get-away, you can generate a healthy secondary income without a lot of hard work. However, be aware that you’ll be competing with area hotels and B&Bs when it comes to comfort. Here are a few essential points to consider if you’re serious about prepping your home as a vacation rental.

For exterior and interior painting, pressure washing, staining, and home improvement projects, reach out to the pros at Patrick’s Painting. To set up an in-home consultation, call 703.253.9268.

Starting Your Rental Business

Your first rental property is a business – and you’ve got to treat it that way. First, you need to create a legal business entity such as an LLC that will “own” your asset (the rental property). With your business entity established, you can officially apply for your business bank account. This account will help you – and your accountant – separate your business and personal finances. Lastly, you’ll need some investment funding in that business account for purchasing your first property! Your dream is closer than you might think.

A Deep Cleaning

If you intend to compete with full-time hospitality businesses, you’ll have to maintain a high level of cleanliness and convenience. Some renters hire professional cleaning services while others prefer to handle it themselves — though it’s important to make room in your budget for this. Whichever you choose, make sure the job is done as thoroughly as possible because discriminating guests who are spending their hard-earned money on you will certainly notice if any corners have been cut. Be vigilant: As the owner, it can be easy to overlook little details that a guest would not miss. All carpeting should be shampooed and free of stains and stale odors. Make sure there’s no grime or mold showing in the bathroom, and take the time and effort to clean under appliances in the kitchen. The fridge should also be well-scrubbed with no lingering smells.

Of course, keeping your vacation rental properly maintained might prove troublesome if you live a good distance away from it. If taking care of the property between guests is simply too much of a logistical hassle, or you simply want to hire someone to take care of this process for you, look into working closely with a vacation rental company. Bringing in a rental company can take the stress out of maintaining your home, as the company will make sure the home is ready for each guest before arrival. Some rental companies will even equip the property with digital locks and use fraud-prevention strategies during the booking process, so you can rest assured that your home is well taken care of.

Appealing Upgrades

You’ll want your vacation rental to be in an appealing location, but there’s more to attracting visitors than being in a desirable locale. The house itself should also appeal to guests, which means you may need to make some upgrades. Gas fireplaces are popular features for guests who enjoy relaxing in comfort, as are jet tubs, which can be added easily and inexpensively by upgrading an existing standard bathtub. Hiring Patrick’s Painting to add a fresh coat of paint on your home’s interior or exterior can also add to its appeal. You should also consider leaving a few good books and board games in the home for guests to enjoy.

Home Security

Your guests should always expect to feel safe and secure. A rental home with plenty of security features will help put them at ease, so include motion-activated security cameras that can be accessed by smartphone, a valuable feature if you need to keep an eye on things from a distant location. A video doorbell not only lets you monitor comings and goings but gives you the opportunity to communicate with would-be intruders and keeps your investment secure. A home security system with external monitoring is regarded as the best means for ensuring protection.

Convenience

Depending on the number of guests you’re expecting, it may be necessary to move pieces of furniture and other items out of the way. If you lack on-site storage, consider using an affordable rental space temporarily. Remember, you’re trying to give each guest a memorable experience that leaves them considering you for a return trip. That means making them feel at home and well provided for so they don’t waste time running around picking up necessary items.

Your rental home should have a fully equipped first aid kit with numbers for nearby physicians and hospitals clearly posted. Safety should always be your primary concern, so be sure you’ve provided a functional fire extinguisher, fire detectors (with fresh batteries), and potholders in the kitchen. You never know what your guests’ staple beverages might be, so keep a coffee maker and teapot on hand so they can brew whatever they please.

Provide To-Do List Recommendations

You know your area well; your guests can use that knowledge to make the most of their time. Brainstorm a list of top attractions, activities, and restaurants that are a bit different and offer a diverse range of ideas. One guest may plan on spending plenty of time enjoying the sun and surf, so provide a list of the best beaches. Another guest might like to do lots of shopping while on vacation, so make sure they know where the best shopping can be found.

Maximizing your vacation rental home’s marketability depends on paying close attention to details. Your guests should feel cozy and safe staying in a house that offers aesthetic appeal as well as simple conveniences. It should be the kind of place you would want to vacation in.

Curtis Fisher

tradesbright.org

What to Consider When Buying a Fixer-Upper as Your First Home

A fixer-upper is a house that needs significant work in order to become an enjoyable place to live. This can involve extensive renovations or simple updates that make a home more modern. What most fixer-uppers have in common is that they’re more affordable upfront, which makes them a good option for first-time homeowners and property investors. If you’re thinking about buying a fixer-upper as your first property, learn what you should know about the process below.

Finding a Fixer-Upper

When you start your search for a home, you’ll come across fixer-uppers on the same websites that you would use to find any home for sale. Evaluating pictures and the description in each listing is one of the best ways to determine if a home is considered a fixer-upper. You’ll likely see homes that need cosmetic changes, such as fresh paint or new flooring. Your search results may also reveal homes that have serious problems, such as water damage or a bad roof.

Keep in mind that some repairs may look daunting but are actually easy to fix if you want to invest the effort. But at the same time, repairs that seem straightforward may actually involve more work than you want to take on.

Because most homebuyers aren’t experts at assessing the true condition of a home, you’ll want to hire an inspector. A home inspection report will help you determine just how extensive the repairs would actually be on a home.

Financing Your Purchase

Most experts say it’s a good idea to get preapproved for a mortgage before you get too serious with your search. Having preapproval shows sellers that you are able to follow through if you agree to purchase a home. It also ensures that you can make a realistic offer based on your financial situation.

When applying for preapproval, it helps to know there are many federally-backed loan options geared toward first-time homeowners. However, you can also choose conventional financing, which is offered by private lenders. Conventional loans are often more flexible than other types of financing backed by the government, and you can get a fixed-rate or an adjustable-rate. In any case, you’ll still want to compare interest rates and terms to choose the best type of financing for your situation.

Making an Offer

Most sellers know when their home needs improvement, and they will price it accordingly. With that in mind, the first thing about a fixer-upper that catches your eye might be the asking price. However, according to House Logic, it’s a good idea to price out the cost of renovations before making an offer. Doing the math will help you craft a competitive offer that still allows you to cover the cost of repairs.

As with any home purchase, you will also need to consider whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market when making your offer. Knowing how many days the house has been on the market can help your offer stand out as well.

Starting Your Renovations

A lot of DIY jobs are completely doable if you’re handy. For example, if you have the right power tools, you can do minor jobs such as changing out fixtures or patching holes in drywall.

However, other projects are better left to the pros. For example, it’s deceptively difficult to repair flooring, fix dry rot, or work on carpentry in your home. Painting a room might also seem easy, but it’s hard to do a perfect job yourself. Hiring professional painters can make your home look it’s absolute best.

Once the work is complete, you’ll also need to decide whether to stay in the home yourself or treat it as an investment property. You can earn income by flipping a house and immediately reselling it, but you can also choose to rent out a property for passive income.

Buying a fixer-upper has a lot of benefits, but you’ll also want to weigh all of the costs involved before diving in. Fixing up an outdated or rundown house can be a rewarding experience whether you turn the place into your home or choose to use the property as an investment.

Curtis Fisher

tradesbright.org

How to clean a paintbrush wikihow

How to Clean a Paintbrush – wikiHow

Patrick has partnered with wikiHow.com to co-author articles on some commonly asked painting questions.