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Remodeling Regret: 5 Kitchen Layout Ideas to Avoid

It’s the day you’ve been dreaming of: It’s time to plan your kitchen remodel. Dream big, but make sure you’re not making mistakes that’ll cause you to regret the money you spent and the inconvenience you went through.

What kitchen renovation decisions might you regret? Here are five.

1. Creating a Crowded Kitchen
Your kitchen wish list might be long, but make sure you’re not trying to squeeze too much into the space you have. Installing an island? Make sure it’s surrounded by at least three feet of space on all sides. And make sure you can walk around your dishwasher, even when it’s fully open. If you’re not sure what will push your kitchen over the line from “full” to “stuffed,” the National Kitchen and Bath Association offers detailed measurement guidelines for every imaginable situation, like ensuring 15 inches of landing area around your microwave and refrigerator. The fridge also requires four feet of floor space for the door.

2. Going Overboard with Open Shelving
Yes, it’s popular. And it can look amazing, especially to show off a stunning collection of cookware, and to make your kitchen look unique. But give some serious thought to which shelves should be open. Open shelves for items you use often, such as plates and coffee cups, are a good idea because you use them often so they’ll stay clean. But if you use open shelves to store things you use infrequently, they’ll quickly become dust collectors. You’ll also want to avoid making your lowest cabinets open. They’re harder to clean and tend to fill with dust faster.

3. Getting Overly Luxurious
Major kitchen remodels recoup less than 70% of their value upon sale. (A minor kitchen remodel will receive slightly better returns.) Unless you’re planning on staying in your home for a very long time, and having an über-high-end stove is really important to you, don’t waste your time and money on a splurge. Top-of-the-line appliances and other luxury upgrades just lighten your pocketbook — without adding much value.

4. Forgetting About the Garbage
When “Apartment Therapy” asked its readers for their biggest kitchen design mistakes, there was one unexpectedly common response: forgetting about the trash. There’s little worse — at least in terms of a kitchen remodel — than a gorgeous workspace with no place to discard your garbage. Don’t forget to make room for either a can or compactor in your new kitchen. After all, now’s the time you can design a specific space to hide that ugly plastic box. Whether you stick it under a sink (maybe install a sliding system?) or even custom-cut a hole in your countertop for easy disposal, keep trash in mind when designing a beautiful room.

5. Neglecting to Properly Vent
Cooking dinner for a family of four can release more than a pint of water into the air — and if you’re using a gas range that number doubles (and adds carbon monoxide). Improperly vented, that liquid seeps into your walls, ceiling, and appliances where it can cause problems with mold and mildew. Make sure your ventilation systems are properly installed and lead outdoors, which keeps your kitchen cleaner and helps protect your home’s structural integrity.

The opportunity to reshape your kitchen into the workspace you’ve always dreamt of can be so tempting: Finally, a bigger island with enough room for all your groceries. At last, an upgraded refrigerator. But in your haste to redecorate, don’t forget to think things through — otherwise your fantasy kitchen could turn into your biggest regret.

 

Source: Houselogic.com

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Here’s Why You Should Totally Snoop When House Hunting

Checking out a closet while house hunting

This checklist gives you carte blanche (well, almost) when viewing potential homes.

 

1. Soak in the Bathroom

Homebuyers tend to peer into the bathroom for as long as they’d want a stranger to examine theirs: not long at all. But this isn’t the time to be quick. Josh Myler, a REALTOR® with The Agency in Los Angeles, encourages buyers to take a long, close perusal of the water closet. Flush the toilet to find any backups in the system, and turn on the faucets to check the water pressure. Besides being annoying during showers, low pressure can indicate problems with the plumbing. “Water pressure can really cause headaches down the line if you don’t dig in before you make an offer,” says Myler. But always, always check with your agent first. In some markets, or with some sellers, it’s considered impolite to actually use the toilet. Or, if the owners already have moved, the water may be turned off. And that could be, ummm, awkward.

2. Dig Around in the Closets

OK, don’t actually go through the owner’s stuff, but take a close look to assess how much storage space there is, and decide if it’ll meet your needs. “People don’t like to open closets because they think it’s rude, but if you’re buying the house, it’s one of the biggest investments,” says Myler. “You want to make sure there’s enough room for everything you need.” Before you step foot in a single house, take inventory of your current storage space, and know how much you’d like your next home to have.

3. Poke Around the Attic and Basement

Don’t just stick your head inside and call it good. Give the basement and attic a thorough investigation. If there are belongings piled against the wall, request they be moved before a second viewing. “I get very nervous when I see a packed basement and stuff against the wall,” says Kyle Alfriend, lead agent of The Alfriend Group in Dublin, Ohio. That’s because hidden walls and ceilings can conceal water damage, including peeling or discolored paint, rotting wooden accents, or a white, chalky substance on the wall, which indicates water intrusion. As for the attic, a quick glance should tell you what you need to know. Are there rat droppings? Molding wood? Or is it generally clean, even if dusty? BYO flashlight for an enlightened examination.

4. Meet the Neighbors

Sorry, introverts. There’s no better way to get a read on the neighborhood than by directly asking the actual neighbors. Pop by their home and strike up a chat. It’s a two-fer: Not only might you get valuable information about the area — from the noisy bar on the street behind you to eager babysitters on the block — but paying attention to their attitude speaks volumes about your potential relationship with your maybe-neighbors. Do they seem excited to meet you? Or are they standoffish?
“It’s not what they answer, but how they answer that will be very illuminating,” says Myler.

5. Be an Amateur Investigator

Anything seem fishy? Take your suspicions to city hall. If there are additions, pull the permits or get help from your buyer’s agent. You certainly don’t want to be responsible for tearing out that beautiful porch because the previous owners didn’t comply with the law. Also, check the certificate of occupancy and any easements — especially if you’re hoping to make any major changes. Both are public record. An easement simply gives someone the right to use property they don’t own. Often that other someone is your local government that needs it for public services, such as water. Myler remembers a friend who purchased a home with the goal of building a pool, only to find out an easement for the sewer line cut directly through the middle of the yard. Another common use is a shared driveway, such as when one homeowner has to pass through another homeowner’s property to reach their home.

6. Ask Questions

If your sleuthing finds something concerning, don’t panic. “Many times, there’s stuff that, at first glance, is real scary,” says Alfriend. “Often people will write off a house without digging into it, but there’s usually a perfectly logical, understandable reason, and it’s not a problem.” Say you find a gaping hole in the drywall. It might be a huge red flag — or they might have rambunctious kids they absolutely plan to clean up after. “Boys can wrestle and put a foot through the thing, and it’s 30 minutes before a showing,” Alfriend says. There’s not much the sellers can do at that point. With any problem, your first step is simple: Ask.

Source: Houselogic.com

 

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August Newsletter

Congrats to Daryl H., the winner of our August Facebook drawing! Check out our e-newsletter here and find out how to enter into next month’s drawing.

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Punta Gorda Farmer’s Markets

If you haven’t been to Punta Gorda’s farmer’s markets, stop by on the weekends. There are two – one on Taylor Street on Saturday morning and another at the History Park on Sunday morning. You can’t beat local, fresh food!

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How much do you know about Punta Gorda?

There are so many reasons why Punta Gorda is an amazing place to live! Check this out to see for yourself:
http://www.ci.punta-gorda.fl.us/Home/ShowDocument?id=1092

 

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Isles Yacht Club

Do you want to take part in community activities but are not a boater? Take a look at the Isles Yacht Club! It offers a variety of activities and amenities for boaters and non-boaters alike. Membership offers social opportunities, 4 professionally maintained, lit Har-Tru tennis courts, 7 different card and board games,  a 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center, golf reciprocity, and much more! There is truly something for everyone.

To learn more, check out their website at www.islesyc.com.

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New commercial airliner coming…

Our local Punta Gorda Airport lands a second commercial airliner – Frontier Airlines!

Read more here. 

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Considering a fixer-upper? Check this out to see if your potential home is worth it.

A fixer-upper isn’t necessarily something to eschew. If the right things are wrong with a house, you could not only turn it into your dream home, but also earn serious equity (wealth building!) in the process.

Here’s how to tell if that fixer-upper is a keeper – or if you should keep walking.

1. Evaluate the Price
If it’s a fixer-upper, it should come at a fixer-upper price. Duh, but that’s a reminder NOT to fall in love too quickly with a home that the listing says “just needs a little TLC.” Do your homework first, and if the price is right, then fall in love. Find out what similar homes in the neighborhood sell for and how tricked out they are (with amenities and materials). And that will tell you how much money you can invest in the home before you over-improve for the neighborhood, a mistake you want to avoid if you plan to sell in the future.

2. Start Evaluating What Improvements Are Needed
The best fixer-uppers offer lots of opportunities for “instant equity,” which means if you sold the home tomorrow you’d pretty much get that money back, unlike other projects which you may never get your money back on.
Some can be as simple as painting or landscaping, which you can accomplish with sweat equity. Other tasks, like the kitchen, may require the work of professionals and cash to pay them. It’s those projects you want to carefully evaluate against the home’s price.

3. Which Hire-a-Pro Projects Add Instant Equity?
Based on data gleaned from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ “Remodeling Impact Report” (RIR), if these four projects are on your fixer-upper’s list of must-haves, then you may have found your dream equity-builder:-New roof
-Hardwood floors
-Insulation
-New siding

4. Evaluate Your Ability to Deal with Disruption
Whether you’re a DIY Jedi or content to let the pros handle the remodel, if your patience is shorter than your potential home’s to-do list, a fixer-upper may not be a good choice. Renovating a bathroom alone can take two to three weeks. Add hardwood flooring, a new kitchen, and siding, and you’re looking at a whole summer’s worth of rehab. When considering a fixer-upper, evaluate the limits of your emotional energy as well. Inevitable project pitfalls and delays can be wearing. Only if you have the time, patience, and emotional endurance for a fixer-upper will it be a good fit for you. And only you can determine that.

Read more here.

Source:  Houselogic.com

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July’s Newsletter

Have you seen our latest news? Check out our e-newsletter here.

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Refacing Your Kitchen Cabinets: The Options and Costs

Do your kitchen cabinets need a facelift?  You may think that refacing is “superficial,” but the results and savings are dramatic. Refacing your kitchen cabinets includes covering the exposed frames with a thin veneer of real wood or plastic laminate. Doors and drawer fronts are replaced to match or complement the new veneer. New hinges, knobs, pulls, and molding complete the transformation.

 

What are the Pros and Cons?

Kitchen cabinet refacing pros:

-Costs about half as much as replacing cabinets.
-Takes less time (a week or less!) and money.
-It’s less hassle than tearing out cabinets.
-You can still use your kitchen while refacing.
-It’s a green kitchen remodeling solution because you’re not adding to the landfill.

Kitchen cabinet refacing cons (there aren’t many):
-Refacing won’t fix a bad kitchen design.
-You might be tempted to spend more on exotic veneer and hardware (saving you less).

 

What are Your Refacing Options?

Your choices for the finished look of your cabinets are virtually limitless. Veneers are available in a wide variety of colors, patterns, textures, grains, and more, which you can mix or match to get a relatively low-cost kitchen facelift.

-Rigid thermofoil (RTF) doors, which feature a durable plastic coating over fiberboard, are an affordable alternative to wood or laminate doors.
-Plastic laminates come in hundreds of colors and patterns, are durable and moisture-resistant, and are reasonably priced. You can pick matching or contrasting laminates for your doors and drawer fronts.
-Real wood veneers include many standard species, such as oak, cherry, and maple, and you also can choose from an array of stain colors. Wood veneers are the most expensive option. Wood must be carefully sealed to protect against moisture.
-Further customize and update the look of your cabinets with new kitchen cabinet hardware.

For more details on refacing, click here.

Source: Houselogic.com

 

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