Vol 6 No. 42 - July 12, 2006
Cheap fixes to enhance
By Louise Bolger
SUN STAFF WRITER
Welcome back to cheap fixes.
Since everything is relative, "cheap" may not be the
most accurate way to describe a few of these tips. Some of them
cost real money, some of them cost real time, but all of them
are inexpensive relative to a major renovation. The best way
to approach it is to pick and choose whats best for you,
and which cheap fix will enhance your home the most.
Heres one of those not so cheap improvements that can
add a lot of money to the value of your home. There were a lot
of homes and condos built during the past ten to fifteen years
with a den. A den is great space for an office or a childs
playroom or a TV room, but not such good space for another bedroom
or even guest room. Why? no closet. If your den is a
true den without a closet, carving out closet space will qualify
your two bedroom home as a three bedroom. Building a closet
out into the room with framing and sheetrock will give you extensive
floor to ceiling storage and closet space.
This may not be a weekend job and you may need professional
help, but its well worth it.
If youre planning on selling, its a really good
idea to have a licensed electrician check out your system for
non-working outlets, minor code violations and loose wires.
Same thing for the plumbing system, have a professional plumber
check for leaks, loose valves and marginal hot water heaters.
Minor items that are in good working order will give the perception
of a well taken care of home.
There is nothing worse than dirty and worn carpeting, especially
if you have pets. If the carpeting is in fairly good condition,
dont replace it since whoever buys your home may want
something different Have it professionally cleaned and deodorized
by a good contractor. If there are obvious worn spots, strategically
placed area rugs will do wonders.
Staging your home to be shown is very important, and one of
the most important parts is lighting. Harsh ceiling fixtures,
especially florescent, convey a cold hard feel. Warm up the
room with new softer lighting with either a an updated chandelier,
fixture or recessed lighting. Have dimmers installed for better
control. Also, if your ceiling fans look like they belong in
a John Wayne Western, replacing them will not break the bank.
Replacing just the paddles is a real quick fix for even less
Curb appeal is probably the most overused phrase in real estate,
but theres a good reason for that, its important.
Nice green and mowed lawns, colorful flowers, removing dead
shrubs and putting the bikes away goes a long way to giving
a good impression.
First impressions count, and your front door and front porch
is where that first impression is made. Naturally, peeling paint
and soiled furniture and decks have to go. Touch up trim and
power wash everything else.
Dont forget the front door. A new hand and lock set and
whimsical door knocker on a freshly painted door could close
the deal. And if you believe in the power of Feng Shui and want
prosperity to enter your home, paint the front door a red lacquer.
Thats it for cheap fixes, some will work for you some
wont. Enjoy the summer, but dont put off those home
improvement projects too long, I think I saw some Halloween
decorations already in the stores.
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