Categories
Interior Design

Summer’s 5 Hottest Decor Trends Will Have You Staying at Home in Style

KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

OK, we’ll admit that summer 2020 has been a bit of a buzzkill so far: Between derailed travel plans and being forced to spend more time stuck inside (for the fourth month in a row, and counting), it’s not exactly the new decade we all dreamed of.

But we’re glass-half-full kind of people. And the silver lining of all this time at home means more time to decorate and transform our space into an oasis we’re almost glad to be cooped up in.

Ready to ditch the quarantine clutter and rid your home of those stale spring looks? We consulted with designers from coast to coast about the hottest home decor that’s trending right now. These five looks are sure to transform your space into one of those lush, tropical locales you’ll be missing this season, and make long days at a home feel a little sweeter.

1. Curved sofas

Photo by Tara Bussema

Nothing speaks to kicking back and relaxing quite like one of these oversize, curved couches.

“A curved couch is a symbol of comfort,” says Colin Haentjens, interior designer for The Knobs Company. “Without 90-degree corners, the only sharp parts of the couch are removed. And the shape is reminiscent of a bean-shaped swimming pool—so you can imagine diving right in to beat the heat.”https://www.realtor.com/myhome/homewidget

Snag your very own curved couch with this Ayva curved love seat from Wayfair.

2. Raw materials

Photo by IL Decor 

Finished furniture is out this season, and being replaced by something much more rustic and natural-looking.

“The use of raw materials isn’t new, but its resurgence this summer speaks to a desire to incorporate natural textures and materials into the home,” says design blogger Jaime Huffman of the Charleston Blonde. “Raw materials, like furniture made from live-edge wood, are a way to have one-of-a-kind items in your space, and they take on a timeless quality that will suit any design style.”

Shop the perfect live-edge piece for your home by browsing this collection on Etsy.

3. Floral wallpaper

Photo by Office of Architecture 

Flowers aren’t just blooming in the garden this year, as more and more designers flock toward the floral wallpaper trend.

“From large and abstract to intricate and botanical—every kind of flower imaginable is showing up on walls,” says Huffman. “Done right, floral wallpaper can transform your space into one of color and creativity, and works great in small spaces like bathrooms or as an accent wall in a larger space.”

Breathe new life into your interiors this season with this collection of floral and botanical wallpaper from Joss & Main.

4. Canopy beds

Photo by Chango & Co. 

Canopy beds aren’t just for exotic rentals—they’ll also give an instant (and modern) boost to your current bedroom style.

“Canopy beds transform a bed into a private, tranquil space for rest, and create quite the atmosphere you want in a master bedroom,” says Huffman. “Especially for the summer season, more modern, simple-style canopy beds recall the look of a poolside cabana, turning the bedroom into a true oasis.”

Plus, there are a wide variety of canopy styles; you can choose from a more traditional, romantic four-poster look, or opt for something more modern and linear to fit your own individual taste.

Upgrade your bedroom with some much-needed cabana vibes by shopping this Moyers Profile canopy bed from Wayfair.

5. Island carts

Photo by Houzz 

While you might not be jet-setting to any islands this summer, that doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade your own island—that is, the one in your kitchen. While many kitchen designs include a stationary island, we love the added flexibility of these trending island carts.

“An island instantly transforms a kitchen, adding functionality, storage, and counter space,” says Huffman. “Add wheels, and the opportunities expand!”

An island on wheels adds extra value in a small kitchen space, so you can move it to where it’s needed most, she adds.

“After so many months spent inside, many people are looking for ways to refresh their space,” Huffman says. “And an island on wheels makes a huge impact without having to put in the planning and construction necessary for a stationary island.”

Find your perfect island cart on Overstock.

Posted by Larissa Runkle on realtor.com

Categories
Interior Design Uncategorized

Power on! Statement lighting

The textured metallic bowl of the Rodan from Crate and Barrel, glows from within its antique gold interior. crateandbarrel.com

It can be tricky business selecting the right light fixture for a room. Thousands of options make the process overwhelming. A plethora of styles and sizes in various metals, fabrics, bulb counts and glass—tinted, etched, frosted or clear—make you second guess yourself, sometimes even after the purchase has been made.

Is the one from the big box store good enough, or should you splurge on the special order creation that caught your eye?

While many of us would lean toward playing it safe, it appears that those who have the courage to power things up and make a statement with lighting are setting the stage for a show-stopping look. Like a great piece of art, a standout fixture can really draw the eye and set off a space.

We’ve collected some striking entries from past issues of Housetrends, as well as some of our favorite manufacturers. We hope they’ll help you narrow down the field when you are selecting your own finishing touch. And if you are hankering for even more choices, go to housetrends.com and search: statement lighting.

The Bubble fixture from PLC Lighting can be customized by adding or removing bubbles to fit the desired length. plclighting.com

This Urchin fixture by Varaluz is inspired by the simple, geometric-shape of sea urchins with their telltale barbs. varaluz.com

A three-light pendant with hand-applied gold and silver layered leaf finish and graceful glass beads surround a classic frame in the Chanelle. progress.lightingnewyork.com

This Larmes pendant features row upon row of clear oversized teardrops, mounted on an extended polished chrome base. et2lightinglights.com

This Laurelhurst light features a streamlined metal cage for a classic yet updated industrial-inspired design. rejuvenation.com

This Big Bang suspension lamp by Foscarini is an explosion of criss-crossing forms which create an architecture of surfaces, lights and shadows. foscarini.com

Vertigo, by Corbett Lighting, is an intertwining collage of circular handcrafted rings fused together to create a contemporary look. corbettlighting.hvlgroup.com

Custom designed chandeliers add a perfectly Tudor touch to this Columbus kitchen. bernard-electric.com

Stacked wood veneer strips form a billowy, cloud-like structure in Link from LZF Lamps. lzf-lamps.com

The Shayla collection by Kichler features cut crystals suspended on a polished chain bringing subtle sparkle to a space. kichler.com

This spectacular Glistening Landscape chandelier, from John-Richard, was inspired by Japanese white Wisteria. johnrichard.com

 

Posted by Karen Bradner on housetrends

Categories
Interior Design Uncategorized

5 Ways to Create “Cottage-Style” Vibes in Your Home

Cottage 1

Nothing is quite as relaxing as time spent in a cozy summer cottage. Spending a few weeks at such a lovely getaway will always leave you feeling renewed and refreshed.

Wouldn’t it be great to enjoy that feeling every day?

You can! Here’s some inspiration to help you get started.

1. Create the perfect entrance

Source: Pinterest

What could be more inviting than a beautiful glass door behind an intricately designed screen door that begs to be opened?

The windows allow sunlight to stream in, lighting up your interior space with a warm glow. If you prefer, privacy curtains can be used, which also helps you regulate your home’s interior temperature.

The warm wood floor, combined with the wooden door, screen door, and detailed molding, each painted a lovely shade of white adds a touch of elegance to this entrance.

2. Don’t forget the porch

If you’re fortunate enough to have a porch, then creating the perfect cottage feel to your space isn’t difficult at all.

Source: Pinterest

Add a variety of plants that can be grown in pots and do well in shade. Put them in pots that are a mix of different sizes and colors to add to the eclectic cottage vibes you’re trying to create.

And of course, don’t forget the seating.

One or more rockers, or if you have space, a swing will turn your porch into the best place in the house (where everyone will want to hang out).

Source: Pinterest

3. Add a stone or gravel path

Add a gravel or stone path leading to your home. Create a storybook feel by adding a mix of different types of flowers and plants, placing them along each side of the pathway.

Source: Chatelaine

Depending on the space available, consider adding a bench, birdbath(s) and lawn ornaments (e.g. a gazing ball) to create a space to relax and enjoy nature.

4. Change up the family space

Source: HGTV

Cottage style will make you smile and feel at home the minute you see it.

To create a cottage feel in your living room add slipcovers to your couch and/or chairs.

Slipcovers do much more than protect your furniture. They are warm and relaxing…just like your favorite big, fuzzy slippers or stretchy sweatpants. Choose durable materials such as burlap, wool, or linen for long-lasting use. Go with neutral colors in natural materials to create a room that just feels “livable”.

Add a few pillows and you’ll create a place that will leave you feeling refreshed.

5. Redo your “me” space

Source: IdealHome

Imagine how relaxing it would feel to wake up in such a bright and cheery bedroom!

The beautiful flower-lined walls, matching comforter, and sweet yellow throw combine to create a casual look that begs to be enjoyed.

Wallpaper – yes, even in floral design – is making a big comeback. But it’s not your grandmother’s wallpaper…new technologies have improved the process, from installation to durability (and yes, even removal).

Finally, one of the best things about the cottage style is that there’s no single way to create the look. The only “standard” – if you could call it that – is to create a home that welcomes all who enter.

Posted on Zen of Zada on Managing the Home

Categories
Outdoor Spaces Uncategorized

7 Ways to Enjoy the Outdoors at Home

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Even if you can’t go to the beach, bar or cafe, you can experience going out while staying (very) close to home.

In this current moment when many of us are staying home, one of the best remedies to help alleviate some of the stress is to head outside and get some fresh air — preferably at least six feet or more away from your neighbor. If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor space, whether you have a sprawling backyard or a smidgen of a patio, make the most of it with these seven ideas for improving your outdoor area.

Curate an outdoor lounge space

Had to cancel a beach vacation you planned for spring break or summer? Set up an outdoor lounge space on your patio or in the yard to give your outdoor space a tropical feel. You can either scour the internet for lounge chairs, chaise lounges, hammocks and outdoor sectionals, or create your own, like a one-of-a-kind outdoor lounge bed. All you need to complete this project is a platform bed frame, a futon mattress and outdoor fabric to cover it. (If you’re not handy with the sewing machine, this would be a simple task for a local upholsterer to tackle.) Plop some outdoor pillows on top for added comfort and style.

To complete your lounge, add in some side tables, a few candles and maybe a glass of wine to create that all-inclusive atmosphere.

Out 1

DIY outdoor movie theater

The movie theaters may be off limits for now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t re-create the experience in your own private outdoor space. Though you’ve likely seen elaborate backyard movie theater setups, it doesn’t have to be complicated: All you need is a white sheet that can be tautly mounted on a flat surface (a shed or siding on your apartment patio will do just fine), a projector and your phone to play movies, TV shows or whatever else you’re binging these days.

Don’t have access to a projector? It’s surprisingly simple to make one out of a shoe box, some cardboard and a magnifying glass. Round up your favorite patio chairs or arrange your outdoor cushions, make some popcorn and enjoy your movie with the background noise of the crickets chirping.

Create an outdoor bar

It may be a while before you can go back to your favorite dive bar or swanky cocktail lounge, so why not create your own for your outdoor space? You can, of course, buy a bar online, or you can repurpose an old table or desk — or even get crafty with some cinder blocks, concrete glue and a few 1 x 6 boards to create your very own. Gather your Bluetooth speaker, your favorite cocktail ingredients and a few glasses to get the ambiance of your favorite bar right at home. Here are a few ideas for inspiration, including bars you can squeeze into the smallest of outdoor spaces.

Beautify a barn or shed

A barn or a shed is a utilitarian structure, but that doesn’t mean it has to be an eyesore. Spruce it up by painting it a bold color, attaching some shutters, adding some flower boxes, installing a stone path or even stringing up some lights to zhuzh up that forgotten space in the backyard.

Out 2

DIY fire pit

Just because many of the state parks or campsites are closed doesn’t mean you have to miss out on everyone’s favorite camping activity: the campfire. You can easily create a DIY fire pit for your backyard in seven steps, which only requires a few supplies you can pick up curbside at your local home improvement store. Not a big DIYer? You can always buy a prefab fire bowl that’s just as effective at creating that warm, cozy campfire glow.

Make an al fresco dining destination

We’re all getting a little tired of eating in our kitchens (or, maybe in front of our televisions) night after night. Mix it up a little by making an al fresco dining destination in your backyard or patio. In addition to an outdoor dining table and chairs, lay down an outdoor rug and string up a strand of lights or craft yourself an outdoor chandelier to transform your evening meals.

Out 3

Create a meditation zone

Missing your yoga studio? You can still do a restorative practice and a shavasana at home — and make it even better by creating a meditation zone in your backyard. Plant a garden with calming scents like lavender or jasmine, create a stepping stone path to your meditation spot or even build yourself a standing tent or cabana with curtains that blow in the warm, calming breeze.

 

Posted by Jamie Birdwell-Branson on Zillow

Categories
Cleaning Uncategorized

Spring Cleaning 101: Make It Fast, Easy and Effective

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Because you want to enjoy your space now without added fuss.

Spring is the perfect time to open up the windows in your house and clean every surface inch, but there’s no reason to spend more time on this task than necessary.

Use these tips to quickly get your home spic and span.

Have a plan

When it comes to spring cleaning, the best approach is an organized approach. “I recommend having a plan, which includes an outline of the areas you plan to clean, a schedule with time slotted to do that work (for you and any family members), as well as a list of products, tools and even cleaning techniques or tips pertaining to those areas,” says Melissa Maker, blogger and host of the popular YouTube show “Clean My Space.”

Choose the right supplies

When you’re making your spring cleaning plan, take inventory of what supplies you need to gather to begin cleaning. Once you figure out what you need, be sure to choose the most effective and powerful cleaning supplies so that the product is doing most of the work — not you.

Clean room by room

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you are going from room to room to complete various tasks. Choose to target one room at a time so you can see the results of your productivity quickly and not get discouraged.

Work smarter, not harder

Don’t scrub any more than necessary. Simple steps like soaking pots and pans before you scrub them, waiting for cleaning products to sit before you wipe down surfaces, and using the self-cleaning setting on your oven can save you tons of time.

Clean your cleaning supplies

Did you know your cleaning supplies, such as sponges or microfiber cloths, are most likely the dirtiest items in your home? It goes without saying that you can’t effectively clean your home with dirty supplies. So be sure to disinfect sponges or other cleaning supplies in a mixture of one part bleach and nine parts water for 30 seconds.

Don’t forget the …

There are several items in our homes that we often forget to clean on a regular basis. Among forgotten items, Maker recommends cleaning behind the oven, bathroom exhaust fans, refrigerator coils and window coverings.

Focus on the MIAs

Spring cleaning can be a huge undertaking (especially depending on the size of your home), so Maker suggests focusing on the MIAs, or the Most Important Areas. When deciding which area to choose, think about the most visible ones, like the living room or home office.

Get rid of the clutter

You can never truly have a clean and tidy home if you are buried in your own stuff. When cleaning out your things, remember the 80/20 rule: Only 20 percent of the items we own are truly important — so 80 percent of our belongings are just getting in the way.

Figure out ways to be more efficient in the future

While you are cleaning and organizing your home, take note of all the clutter that you most often find. For example, if you are finding that most of your clutter is paper, figure out the best ways to go paperless throughout the year.

Posted by Jamie Birdwell-Branson on Zillow

Categories
Selling

20 Tips for Preparing Your House for Sale [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

  • When listing your house for sale your top goal will be to get the home sold for the best price possible!
  • There are many small projects that you can do to ensure this happens!
  • Your real estate agent will have a list of specific suggestions for getting your house ready for market and is a great resource for finding local contractors who can help!

Posted by The KCM Crew

Categories
home maintenance Uncategorized

10 Tips on Keeping Your Home Smelling Fresh

Have you ever walked in your home and something was just out of whack?  A stench takes your breath away when you walk into a room. You know what we are talking about … your home just stinks! Keeping your home smelling fresh can be simple with a few tips.

Flowers

Open Your Windows

That’s right, start by opening your windows to let the fresh air in. A good cleaning out of the house with fresh air is the perfect step to removing odors.

Add Fresh Flowers

If you do not have allergies and do have a few extra dollars, practice what some European countries practice. Get yourself some fresh flowers. Fresh flowers can brighten up a room but they also make a room smell so beautiful. Choose your favorite scented flower and keep in your favorite room. Lilacs and roses are great flowers that have vibrant scents.

Change Your Air Filters

Fresh air starts with the air flowing through your ventilation system. To have clean air and to keep your home healthy, remember to regularly change your air filters. Depending on the type of air filters you have, you will change them every 2 – 6 months. We recommend changing them at least four times in the year.

Add Scented Fragrances

Adding candles or plug ins or some other scented item to your home can step up and remove the stink from your abode. There are so many scented items to make your home smell good. Try using oils and reeds. Even natural fragrances like gently simmering herbs and cinnamon on stovetop with some water can make a home smell homey.

Clean Your Trash Cans

We quickly throw out trash and use bags to store it, thinking that these bags can protect the cans they cover. But our cans carry odors from our coffee grounds, left over foods, boxes and containers from yogurt and milk. These items carry odors that stay with the trash cans. Take the time and wash out the trash cans regularly, and practice using baking soda in your bags to limit the odors.

Run a Cleaning Solution in Your Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposals naturally crush food to allow the flow of water in your sinks. But food creates odors. And therefore, your sinks can smell like a trash can. Using a disposal cleaner that you buy in the store is simple to run in your garbage disposal. Also using some white vinegar or ¼ of a whole lemon to clean the disposal is a good thing. To sharpen the disposal blades, add a few ice cubes to the disposal and run the disposal.

Clean your Washer

Fine smelling clothes can smell good on our bodies and in our closets. But foul, musty, and mildew scents can exist if you have a washing machine that has not been cleaned. Simply running some vinegar in a washing cycle without any clothes can clean any odors from the washer that can cause mildew like scents.

Run a solution through Your Dishwasher

Dishwashers are another area of the homes that have lingering odors from caked on food and dirty dishes. You can buy specific dishwasher cleaners from your store and run per the directions. Or like with the washing machine, use vinegar in the dishwasher to run a full empty cycle. Once you have run the cycle, you will have a fresh clean smelling dishwasher ready to take on any grime.

Clean Your Microwave

Like dishwashers, microwaves can carry ongoing smells from food. Food can also splatter on the walls of the microwave. So time to wipe down the inside of the microwave. Using a bowl of 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar, place it in the microwave. Turn the microwave on high for 4 – 6 minutes. Remove the bowl and wipe down the inside of the oven. Now a fresh smelling microwave.

Give your Pets a Bath

We love our pets and they are family. But our pets have fur and dander and pets do not take showers and baths regularly like we do. They go outside in the rain and sun to play in the grass. All fun things for our pets, but our pets then come in our homes and our homes can smell like a wet dog. Giving our pets baths regularly and brushing their fur will help keep our homes fresh and clean.

 

Posted on HomeZada

Categories
Curb Appeal

Homes Under $200K With Great Curb Appeal

Stylish, affordable, and well-kept. These homes may tempt you to write a down-payment check before even stepping inside!

Whether you seek a craftsman home or your taste is more contemporary, these homes have the style you want at a price you’ll love.

Curb appeal might not be at the tiptop of your home-buying wish list, but maybe it should be. Attractive landscaping and a welcoming exterior can draw in buyers like you — but also increase your resale value when you’re ready to move on. The good news is that great curb appeal is available at every price point. We’ve found homes for sale under $200K across the country, from Pittsburgh, PA, to Sahuarita, AZ. And they all have plenty of presence at an affordable price.

Cute and vintage: $142,900, 2715 N. 68th St., Milwaukee, WI 53210

Boutiques, eclectic coffee shops, restaurants, and yoga studios occupy West North Avenue, a short walk from this adorable ranch home. The sweet two-bedroom, one-bathroom home has a gorgeous front yard. Visitors will be drawn in by the manicured boxwoods that line the sidewalk, archway, and climbing vine. Inside, hardwood floors, French doors, and crown molding add to the home’s cottagelike feel. But the most notable feature is in the backyard. There, you’ll find a private, fenced lawn with a patio that’s made for spring entertaining.

Desert beauty: $163,900, 116 W. Camino Rancho Vecino, Sahuarita, AZ 85629

Sahuarita has it all: great restaurants, an easy commute to Tucson, AZ, mountain views, and tons of golf courses. This home adds to the town’s charm. A stucco exterior complements the desert landscaping. The low-maintenance front yard adds a bit of Zen, with a few pops of color from flowering plants. No mowing needed! The neutral color scheme continues inside, making the 1,780-square-foot floor plan feel bigger. The three-bedroom home includes a large master suite and new appliances in the laundry room.

Peaceful and parklike: $174,900, 142 Jacks Run Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15214

It’s only a short drive from I-279, which brings you right to the center of Pittsburgh. But this charming three-bedroom brick home feels as if it’s tucked in the woods. The home has a tidy landscape on a parklike lot that exudes country comfort, and it’s close to five gorgeous parks. But don’t overlook the home’s remodeled interior, with crown molding and a designer-inspired paint scheme. The neighborhood offers public transportation within walking distance and easy access to Pittsburgh’s hospitals, shopping, and schools.

Big style, small price: $191,345, 1910 Macondray Drive, Humble, TX 77396

It may have a modest name, but Humble has a lot going on. There’s plenty of shopping and restaurants, and it’s close to Houston, TX, and George Bush Intercontinental Airport. In the peaceful Woodland Pines subdivision, this four-bedroom home’s contemporary exterior and landscaped front lawn make a great first impression. The neat grounds underscore the home’s well-cared-for appeal, and with plants in pots and in the shade, there’s no intimidation factor. The backyard offers plenty of recreation space, with a large covered patio. And the neighborhood pool and playground are steps away.

Desert deluxe: $199,000, 138 E. Juniper St., Mesa, AZ 85201

This upgraded home in Arizona’s third-largest city is big on personality. But it’s not just the fabulous palm tree in the front yard that will pull you in. Low-maintenance landscaping, lined with river rocks, makes a charming (and easy-to-care-for) front yard. And the home’s color scheme, drawing inspiration from its desert surroundings, sets off those always-sunny skies. Interior updates include fresh paint, new kitchen countertops and appliances, and new flooring. Mesa’s relaxed, suburban feel pairs well with its year-round festivals, plentiful parks and green space, and thriving cultural district. This three-bedroom home puts you right in the middle of it all.

Southern stunner: $199,900, 3608 High Battery Bluff NW, Acworth, GA 30101

Filled with historic buildings and surrounded by gorgeous natural features, Acworth is the kind of town where visitors flock for weekends. Walking trails, Lake Allatoona, and Lake Acworth are close by. This home in the town’s quaint Charleston Park neighborhood lets you take full advantage. The craftsman-style home’s front door — complete with transom window — hints at the charm and comfort within. A welcoming front porch and colorful landscaping beckon from the sidewalk, and the home’s color scheme is a soothing backdrop to all that greenery. The interior boasts a spacious living room, three bedrooms, and three bathrooms.

Blond brick charmer: $200,000, 11422 Sky Way St., Cypress, TX 77429

Right in the middle of suburban Cypress, this four-bedroom home sits on a quiet cul-de-sac. The two-story home has fresh exterior paint, a new front door, and a large, flat lot with refreshing shade trees. With blond brick, a fresh coat of paint, and well-manicured shrubs, this charmer is ready for buyers. Thoughtful updates continue inside, with a granite backsplash, a huge master suite, new flooring, and new appliances. Best of all, the restaurants, nightlife, and shopping on Jones Road are nearby.

Posted by Brie Dyas on Trulia

 

Categories
Renovation

7 Terrifying Things That Can Happen During Home Renovations

Firmafotografen/iStock

A home renovation isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a good contractor who can take care of the heavy lifting. But even that doesn’t mean you won’t be exposed to your fair share of disasters—including some that can be scary, some that can be traumatic, and some that can even be harmful to your health.

You can’t avoid every terrifying possibility, but you can do your very best to minimize the risk. And that starts with knowing what terrors could be lurking behind that ordinary-looking brick wall or innocuous, if hideous, popcorn ceiling. We’ve got your back, friends!

Here are seven frightening and dangerous things to watch out for when you’re renovating or remodeling.

1. Flooding and electrical issues

Smart DIYers call 811—the service line that informs you where underground utility lines can be found—a few days before they dig. The helpful operator on the other end of the line will notify utility companies to send you indications of any water, gas, or electrical lines.

But maybe you forgot. Or maybe you hit a smaller water pipe in your wall, which the water company won’t know about.

“Mistakenly hitting a water pipe can have consequences much more serious than just getting your shirt wet,” says Dan Barr, a property restoration expert with 1-800 Water Damage.

Say you pop out for a bite after drilling a hole in the wall between your laundry and living rooms, not realizing you just punctured a pipe. When you return, everything is flooded. Including a puddle around your drill—that’s still plugged in. Yikes!

If you hit a line and find electric tools or appliances submerged, Barr recommends locating your home’s main electrical panel and turning off the power before you start wading through the water.

“It could be charged and extremely dangerous,” he says.

2. Creepy creatures

True story: My fiancé was unscrewing a can light in the living room of our brand-new house—and a handful of wasps smacked him in the face. Fortunately, they were dead.

But what if they weren’t?

“You can have really dangerous creatures fall or crawl on you,” says Texas designer Pablo Solomon. Dead wasps are just the beginning. Depending on where you live, shuffling around your attic or inching through your crawl space might bring you into contact with brown recluse or black widow spiders, scorpions, centipedes, or snakes.

While there’s no sure-fire way to avoid creepy-crawlies, full-coverage clothing will protect your skin from bites. As for the years of nightmares—you’re on your own.

3. Mold invasion

Skipping steps during a renovation is sure to cause you major problems down the line. And one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of a home renovation is proper ventilation.

“Most bathrooms have so little ventilation that they unintentionally become labs to grow mold and mildew,” says David Schneider, an interior designer in Chesterfield, MO, who focuses on sustainable, green remodeling.

So any time you remodel a kitchen or bathroom, make sure you’re installing enough fans—strong ones—to suck out all the moisture-ridden air. Most experts recommend one 100 cfm (cubic feet per minute) fan per appliance.

Plus, a whirring fan can cover up any unpleasant sounds. This is known as “value added”!

4. Release of asbestos and lead

You’re probably already aware of your home’s lead or asbestos risk. Unless you had a particularly unscrupulous seller, you should’ve signed a lead paint disclosure when buying any home built before 1978. And the second you Googled “popcorn ceiling,” you probably spotted the word “asbestos.”

But still, maybe that’s not top of mind when you’re in a hurry to yank out your ugly old cabinetry or rip up that garish old tile to start fresh—and you end up unleashing unknown amounts of those toxic materials.

“Inhaling or swallowing even small amounts of lead or asbestos is extremely dangerous,” Barr says. “Any time you remove walls or ceilings or do major work on floors, you run the risk of encountering both.”

Wear a mask during small renovation projects to help protect you. For bigger jobs, such as taking down a wall, contact an indoor environmental expert who can take samples. If asbestos or lead are present, plan to hire a professional for demolition.

5. Foundation damage

Have you ever used a drill to mount a pot rack or a flat-screen TV and found that your hands are a bit … wobbly afterward? Your walls feel the same thing—and the jiggling can cause major problems.

Constant shaking and hammering from power tools can create new fissures and other problems inside your walls. You might spot water leaks or even cracked Sheetrock, Solomon says. If possible, peek inside your walls after you drill for any new problems and repair them immediately.

6. Damage to your hearing

Construction is loud. You might think it’s tolerable, since it’s temporary. But if you’re, say, remodeling an entire kitchen, your ears will be under siege day after day for what could be a protracted period—and that could incur long-term damage.

“The noise of saws, hammers, power tools, and other construction machinery can wreck your ears,” says Bryan Pollard, president of Hyperacusis Research, a Hearing Health partner. “Noise damage is cumulative and presents with a delayed reaction. And the longer someone is exposed, the higher the risk.”

So maybe your ears feel fine the next day. But will they be fine a week later? A year later?Or 10 years later? Pollard warns of tinnitus—that annoying ringing in your ears—or hyperacusis, sound sensitivity, and noise-induced pain. Maybe those bulky protective headsets don’t look so dumb after all.

7. Exposure to high-VOC materials

Wearing a face mask can help keep you from inhaling fumes when painting, but their damage lasts long after the color is applied. Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are chemical-emitting gases found in a number of renovation materials, including many paints, carpeting, or upholstering. You know that funny smell your carpet gave off for a few weeks after installation? That’s probably VOCs.

Many VOCs are known carcinogens, and they can cause headaches, allergic reactions, or asthma.

You can purchase low-VOC paint and carpeting to reduce your risk. Keep windows and doors open to ventilate your home and reduce the VOC danger.

 

Posted by Jamie Weibe on realtor.com

Categories
Buying

Do You Know the Real Cost of Renting vs. Buying? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

  • Historically, the choice between renting or buying a home has been a close decision.
  • Looking at the percentage of income needed to rent a median-priced home today (30%), vs. the percentage needed to buy a median-priced home (15%), the choice becomes obvious.
  • Every market is different. Before you renew your lease again, find out if you could use your housing costs to own a home of your own!

 

Posted by The KCM Crew