Top 10 Home Staging and Curb Appeal Ideas, Plus Costs

We’ve seen those remodeling shows where homeowners take sledgehammers to walls, and cabinets crash to the floor.

Here are some tips from the other end of the spectrum, small remodeling ideas that are a big help to sellers. They are simple, creative, DIY… but wait! Before you shake your head: you can have someone do them for you, and you don’t have to be a Creative Type.

Small Ideas: Big Difference

These projects are worth doing, but you decide how much you actually do. If you’re a DIY fan, great. If not, you can still choose the right materials. The trick is to know your house well, and you’re the expert there.

Imaginative Goals

One goal in small remodeling is to give the house a fresh, clean look that shows off its best features. Another is to spark the imaginations of potential buyers. You don’t want them to see the house as your home, but to imagine it as their home. 😉

This means following some tried-and-true rules, but also using your own knowledge of the house to its benefit.

The following simple ideas are inexpensive, and top agents agree they have proven appeal to potential buyers.

Helpful (and Maybe Even Fun) Small Remodels

1. Paint Indoors

Neutral colors are the best choice because they let good features show and present a “blank canvas” to the buyers’ imaginations. You know your warm and cool rooms, those with lots of or little sun, so you can choose warm or cool neutrals to balance those spaces.

Paint is especially helpful in updating kitchens and bathrooms, where “new” walls will take the focus off not-so-new interiors that require big remodels.

Cost: Plan to spend a few hundred dollars on quality paint and supplies if you are tackling this job DIY styles. If you plan to hire a handyman, your cost will be anywhere from $500.00 to a couple of thousand dollars depending on the extent of the work — the number of rooms being painted, and whether or not the removal of old wallpaper is required.

ROI: With the right paint colors for the interior walls and a job well-done, your ROI could be well over 100%. A nice facelift for you house and a more attractive, clean and modern look is what you get. If selling your house is the goal, then this is surely an important part of getting your home ready for sale. 😉

2. Paint Outdoors

A freshly painted front door says “Welcome!” with personality. Painting window trim freshens the first impression, but also lets you accent the windows on your home, or not. Having outdoor accent paint complement a flowering tree or your main garden color can be a charming touch.

Cost: To hire a handyman to repaint the exterior trim can cost anywhere from $500.00 to $2,000 depending on the extent of the work.

ROI: Getting your front door and window trim painted and exterior powerwashed not only welcomes buyers, it gets you money back when you sell your house.

3. Rearrange Furniture for better staging

Its placement likely reflects how you live, so rearrange furniture to minimize your presence and let the house’s qualities “speak up.” If you have a fireplace, arrange suggest a cozy evening. Aim seating towards a gorgeous view out a picture window when things are in bloom. Ask buyers to imagine a quiet reading area, or a sunny kitchen spot as a place for breakfast.

Buyers need to be able to picture the use for every single room, and you can create that use in the way you lay out your furniture. If you don’t lay out the furniture in a cohesive way, buyers could think that your floor plan has a bad flow or that it has too much unusable space.

Cost: Free if you do it yourself, or a couple hundred dollars to get a professional advice from an experienced interior designer or home staging company.

ROI: With the right house and proper furniture and lighting arrangement, you can make the whole home sale process easier, shorter, and more enjoyable.

4. Pay Attention to Small Details in the Kitchen

Speaking of kitchens (and bathrooms), buyers focus there, so details count. Choose new cabinet handles and drawer pulls, to give a uniform “look.” Hardware can be “country,” or “industrial,” etc., and can give a new feel to an older room. These small details cost pennies to fix (only $2.00-$5.00 per drawer pull), yet they give your space an instant facelift. Old hardware makes a space look dated, where new hardware makes buyers think it’s newer, and thus worth more, than it actually is.

You can make small scale changes in the kitchen that have a big impact, too. According to Consumer Reports, a kitchen renovation for as low as $300 could make you 3% more on your home sale. Spending that cash on drawer pulls and getting your cabinets/walls repainted will make the biggest impact.

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Top 15 Tiny House Design Ideas and their Costs

Sustainable Home Living Ideas for Minimalism and Comfort Explained in a fun way, plus beautiful examples of Tiny Homes!

When I found out about the tiny house trend, my first thought was “why on earth would anyone want to live in a house the size of a shoebox?”. 😉 As it turns out, this is a superficial way of looking at things. Let me explain the potential reasons why the tiny house movement is so popular.

via FYI, Tiny House Nation

While the average house in the US measures 2,600 sq. ft., a tiny house is no bigger than 100-400 sq. ft. Let’s say you want to buy a typical single family house that costs roughly $290,000. The bank requires a down payment of about $60,000, if you want to save on mortgage insurance (almost all conventional home loans with less than 20% down-payment will require an additional monthly payment in a form of mortgage insurance), so the principal is $230,000. Even at current low interest rates, you are still paying a fortune over the life of a 30-year loan. Does this sound like something you want to do?

According to CBS News, at least one third of an American’s income goes into his house. This is one of the reasons why many people are living paycheck to paycheck. 29.3% of US homeowners have mortgages compared with 68% tiny house owners who don’t. Moreover, 55% of tiny house owners have more savings than the average American who has about $10,000 in savings.

So, the first reason is related to costs and if you extrapolate, people who have more money to attend to their pleasures are happier than those who spend most of their income on what’s needed to have a decent living. Other reasons revolve around environmental concerns and the fact that some people feel more comfortable in a cozy small home. That being said, let’s see 15 tiny house designs that will hopefully make you consider this more efficient way to live.

Toy box house

toybox-tiny-home

Via Toy Box Tiny Home

Based on the idea that a home is place of peace and simplicity, this design combines modern elements with Eco-friendly materials. The white roofing membrane is made of thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) to address the issue of durability commonly encountered with EPDM, and to provide superior energy efficiency. The walls are made of fiberglass and natural cedar, while the base that’s also made of cedar wood makes the outline of this tiny house on wheels. On the other side of the house you will notice a large sliding door made of glass that ensures proper ventilation and allows natural daylight to come inside the structure. The size of the construction is customizable and the base price is $79,000.

Water Woody houseboat

the-water-woody-houseboat

Via Tiny House for Us

The single most important feature of this design is that it runs on both water and land since you can attach it as a trailer to your car anytime you want to go on a road trip. The house is very self-sufficient having solar panels for electricity and a system that collects rainwater for later use. There is also a composting toilet onboard. This house is perfect for anyone who wants to sail and to travel the world by car. The minimum price for this marvel is $125,000.

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How to Tell the Age of Any Home or Building through Architecture

You’re never too far into wandering before a certain desire strikes. Look out at the diverse steel-and-stone crowd of a skyline, and soon enough when becomes a burning question. WHEN was that majestic house or funky tall building built? WHEN did they put THAT there?

And of course, Why follows close behind, morphing, as it will, into complex-er territories. WHY is that building shaped like a bell?, WHY does a roof look so funky? WHERE are the windows? WHAT was life like for tenement workers?

We understand that so much of an adventure’s excitement comes from curiosity, and we want to feed that fire by offering a layman’s Architecture Guide that could apply to nearly every city in America. So read, memorize, print, or take with you the next time you’re on the streets pinning down decades in an effort to paint the town Familiar. At the very least, we hope this reference will enrich your city experience by drawing your eyes to the details that make life — and exploration — so sweet.

Part 1: If These Walls Could Talk

We’ve all heard the phrase, but this time we’re going to put on our Studio Engineer ears to learn what the (exterior) walls really do have to say. Read on to discover how the outside walls of a building can provide clues to its birth-era.

White Brick House Architecture can tell its Age
Manhattan’s white-bricked Imperial House (est. 1959)

White brick — This became very popular in the Post-War 1950’s and is still used in some parts now. So, if a building has white brick, it’s safe to say that either it was repainted, or the building was built after World War II.

via Chicago Treasure Houses

Faux stone — “Knock-knock!” “Who’s- whoa, that rock sounds HOLLOW…” Well, that’s a big origin clue. Because the earliest appearance of faux stone generally occurs around the turn of the 19th century, it’s safe to say that this wall was likely built sometime in the 20th century or later. This type of facade came into practice as other materials, such as steel and concrete, allowed for once-foundational materials to become decorative, in turn providing the aesthetic on a budget.

Cast-iron — Take a refrigerator magnet around town and try this one out. Especially fun in SoHo of New York City — if the magnet sticks to a columned frame, it was likely built between 1840-1880, during the time of mass-produced cast iron.

These frilly molded materials were a cheap extension of the revivalist period in America, providing industrial buildings with high ceilings and large windows that let in lots of light. However, cast iron proved to buckle in the heat without the help of brick encasing, and this short-lived trend gave way to the sturdier age of steel.

Structural Brick — Is the brick on your building structural? How to tell: If the brick pattern has headers (the smaller, side-squares of the brick) showing, it means the brick is sideways, thus the wall is wider, and it was built to create a thicker load-bearing wall. The most popular style in the States is the Common Bond brick pattern, where a row of headers appears every 5-7 stacks.

Look around ANY city and you’ll start to see this pattern everywhere. Structural load-bearing brick walls were much more common before the age of steel reinforcement, which started around 1850 and took a few decades to become the norm in the States. After that, you’ll see more of the shallower Running Bond without headers.

Concrete blocks — If the building is built with cinder blocks, it can’t be older than the 1837 — because that’s when the first concrete block house was built on Staten Island.

Brownstone — This was cheaper than brick and started off as a lower-income solution around the 1800’s, but it became much more popular in the Romantic Movement, when dark/earthy materials were in favor, and reached its peak in 1860. Most New York brownstones were built in the 19th century.

Patterned brick — Reached a peak of popularity in the Victorian Era. So if you’re seeing an intricate brick pattern on the walls, this is a big clue. Flouncy!

Corner Quoins — A quoin is the extra-large brick on the edge of a facade. It’s like the icing corner on a gingerbread house, and if it’s on your building, it often points to the Victorian Era 1860’s-70’s.

Georgian Manor – Extra Large Brick Exterior

Log, Wooden Walls — Possibly Colonial, unless you’re looking at a vacay resort! 😉 Tip: If the wooden structure is minuscule in proportion, please direct to Lincoln Logs.

Who Are Log Cabin People? Summit Daily has the answer!

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