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Replacing your garage door is one of the best value investments you can make to your home.
Buying a new garage door is a once- or twice-in-a-lifetime project for most homeowners. If the time has come to replace yours, either as part of a remodel or because the old one has outlived its useful life, you are likely in unfamiliar territory. In this article, we’ll help you understand the many aspects of buying a garage door so you can choose the perfect one for your home with confidence.
Replacing your garage door is one of the best value investments you can make to your home. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, which estimates the return on investment of remodeling projects, the benefit of replacing your garage door is second only to replacing your front door. When it comes to increasing curb appeal, newer, more attractive doors are clearly a winner. Here are the six most important factors to consider for your new garage door.
Garage doors don’t have to be an expensive investment. Prices start at less than $500 for a single car garage door and under $100 for a simple garage door opener. From there, they go up based on size, material, insulation levels and decorative elements, plus the horsepower and features of your garage door opener. A standard two-car garage door with an automatic opener and professional installation will typically run somewhere between $1,500 and $2,000.
Before you begin your quest for a new garage door, measure your garage’s opening. You should do this even though a professional will be installing the door for you, because size will be the best guide for determining how much your door will cost and what style and materials are going to work best for you. Here is a handy guide for measuring your door.
The next step is to determine the right material for you. The material you choose affects the look, longevity and maintenance requirements of your door. The four main types of material are steel, aluminum, wood and composite wood.
Steel is the most popular material, as it has the widest range of options in color, insulation and price. Modern steel doors can be embossed with wood grain patterns to give you the look of wood without the maintenance. They can also be painted to match the exterior of your home. Steel is also a very durable option, as it doesn’t warp or crack. Most doors are hot-dipped galvanized steel with the primer baked on, meaning it won’t rust or require frequent repainting. The biggest drawback to steel, however, is that it can dent—and when it does, it’s not a simple repair. To mitigate this, consider a lower gauge steel door. The lower the gauge number, the thicker the steel, and the less susceptible it is to denting. Top-quality steel doors usually are at least 24 gauge.
Aluminum is a good choice if you want a more modern-looking door. An aluminum frame paired with frosted or clear glass or acrylic panels creates a striking aesthetic. It is also rust-resistant and extremely lightweight. Aluminum, however, is even more susceptible to dents than steel.
Wood offers a truly signature look and is hard to beat for superior curb appeal. Although they come with a higher price tag and higher maintenance requirements, they can be easily painted or stained to achieve the exact look you want. Wood doors are less susceptible to accidental damage and can be more easily repaired. Additionally, when properly cared for, they offer expectation durability.
Composite Wood is an excellent alternative to real wood because it is durable and low-maintenance. These doors often have a steel interior and a faux wood composite overlay to achieve the benefits of steel with the look of wood.
Once you’ve decided on your size and material, you can determine whether you want to buy a ready-made door or if you’ll need to have one configured to fit your specific needs. Many retailers offer online tools that you can use to put together the ideal garage door.
Should you insulate your garage door? Yes! If the garage is attached to the house, insulation is an added layer of defense against wasted energy. This is especially important if you have a room above your garage.
When you are shopping for a door, you may see the following insulation options:
- Single layer doors –no added insulation
- Double layer doors –polystyrene insulation
- Triple layer doors –polystyrene or polyurethane insulation. Polyurethane is a liquid that expands and hardens, offering a higher insulation value than polystyrene, which is cut to fit the door panel.
All insulation has an “R-value.” The higher the R-value, the better the insulation. As well as improving energy efficiency, insulation also helps reduce noise, improve security (as it makes the door stronger) and increase durability.
While the material you choose will largely dictate your style, there are other additional features to consider, including windows, hardware and paneling, all of which can increase the elegance of your garage door. A popular style right now is the carriage door (pictured above). Additionally, window designs that incorporate wrought iron, arches or grills can transform the look of an ordinary garage door and help your home stand out from the crowd.
6. Garage Door Openers
Once you’ve got the perfect garage door, you need a garage door opener. The first choice to make is the way your opener will be operated: either by chain, screw or belt drive.
- Belt drives use a rubber belt to open and lower the door along the rails. There is no metal on metal contact, resulting in a quieter, smoother operation that requires no ongoing maintenance.
- Screw drives use a threaded steel rod to raise and lower the garage door, which needs to be lubricated regularly.
- Chain drives work by attaching a chain to a metal trolley. It is the most economical option, but the metal-on-metal interactions result in a nosier operation then the other choices.
The second choice is the horsepower of the motor. The higher the horsepower, the more weight the opener can handle. The standards are ¼, ½ and 1. Some newer models offer 1 ¼. You will need to check the weight of your new door in order to determine the minimum horsepower you’ll need. A higher horsepower motor is generally more durable, as there is less strain on the motor during use.
In addition to the above, all door openers should have a manual emergency release and sensors that prevent the door from shutting if something is in the way. Optional extra features to consider include vacation settings that allow you to disable the opener while you are away, battery backup that can open the door when the power is out, and wireless keypads that allow you to open the door from the outside without a remote control.
A relatively new feature is the addition of “smart home” capabilities to garage door openers, courtesy of a Wi-Fi connection. These garage door openers can be operated via a smartphone app, which lets you know if your garage door is open or closed and allows you to open and close it remotely. It can also integrate with other smart home devices you own, so your house can do useful things such as turn on your lights when you open your garage door.
Now that you’re armed with all the information you need to choose your new garage door, selecting the right one will be an easy and straightforward decision, one which will have a positive impact on your home’s appearance, safety and value.
All of those investors who have purchased properties know that they will have to fix things up from time to time. But how do you prioritize which projects will give you the biggest bang for your buck?
I came across this interesting article by Jens Schoell and – while I certainly don’t agree with everything he suggests – there are some ideas to consider when scoping out your investment property projects.
Rehab Projects to Consider for Your Rental Property
If you own rental properties, then you know how important it is to earn as much revenue from them as possible. There are a few ways to do this. You could buy more properties, or somehow find ways to put more people in the same space, but one of the best ways to increase income from investment rental properties is to make improvements to the space that make them more attractive. Of course, they can’t be overly expensive or it will take too long for you to earn your money back, but a wise renovation will greatly increase your rental income for the long run. Here are a few rehab projects that make homes more attractive, without breaking the bank.
If you currently have tenants, they won’t appreciate it if you leave a bunch of new furniture in their space, but if you’re searching for renters, offering to include furniture in the deal can greatly improve the potential renter’s impression of the place. You don’t have to get fancy furniture, by any means, but it is important to find furnishings that are comfortable and reasonably attractive.
The walls are one of the most visible parts of a property. Consider repainting the inside walls if it has been a while and the paint is starting to peel. It’s also a good idea if the current colors are dark or dull, because that gives the place a tired, sad look, or if they are a wild or inappropriate color, such as pink or bright green. Painting, especially if it’s the right color, can make the place feel more alive, and will definitely attract new renters, and you can also offer to repaint for current renters if you’d like.
Appliances will certainly cost you more than new paint, but it will be very much appreciated by renters, whether they are new or current. Because appliances such as the dishwasher, laundry machines, and even stove and oven are such a big part of our lives, they affect us more than we realize. If the stove is rusty, or the dishwasher is stained, or the washing machine only works half of the time, it makes us feel dirty, or like our life is a mess. People don’t want to feel this way, and a rental that instead makes people feel like everything is just going right is sure to bring in more money.
Don’t tell your renters, but this one is really more for you than for them. By harnessing the sun’s energy instead of using the power out of the lines, you’ll save a considerable amount of money every year. Every situation is different, so do the math for yourself, but many solar panels pay for themselves in less than two years, and the technology is improving rapidly. Once you’ve had the panels installed and have started benefiting from the savings, you can also tell your renters that the property that they live in is environmentally friendly. Although it may not bring the masses rushing for your door, it’s sure to at least turn a couple of heads, and just might end up being the thing that seals the deal.
New light fixtures
Light fixtures tend to get especially dirty due to dust and bugs, so clean them often if you can, if not, replace them when necessary. This will keep your property well-lit and clean feeling, which will make your current and potential renters feeling happy.
Looking for more ideas for rehab projects that will make your rental property more attractive? Contact us at Center Street Lending, http://www.centerstreetlending.com We’ve been doing this for a while and just might have the perfect answer for you.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jens_Schoell/2278730
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9392264
Clutter. It affects every age, and its’ lasting effects can be debilitating, especiallyto Seniors aging in place. If you notice any of these characteristics about yourSenior loved ones, or their homes, clutter could start creeping up on them.
1. piles of unopened mail and unpaid bills
2. difficulty walking safely through a home
3. frustration trying toorganize
4. difficulty managing activities of daily living
5. expired food in the cupboards and fridge
6. jammed closets and drawers
7. compulsive shopping
8. difficulty deciding whether to discard items
10. a health concern such as a stroke or dementia
How do you, a loved one, spot a Senior’s clutter creep? Where do you look? What are the effects? Here are some probable places to look, along with their unfortunate effects:
Kitchen: Cabinets filled with pots, pans and dishes, often unused and more often, unreachable. A senior can fall trying to reach them. A freezer and fridge filled with expired and old food can cause food poisoning or malnutrition for the Senior. Bills on the counter and kitchen table can result in unpaid bills.
Bathroom: Expired medications, old makeup and toiletries, resulting in missed medication and accidental overdosing, and possible skin infections and irritations from expired products. Cluttered shelves create the probability of the inability to locate necessities. We’ve seen bathtubs holding papers and clothing, compromising hygiene.
Bedroom: Piles of papers and magazines on and under beds are a fire hazard. Piles of shoes, clothing and toiletries create confusion, anxiety and insomnia.
Stairways: Magazines, newspapers, shoes and debris on the steps are a tripping hazard.
Basements: that have become a catch-all for everything become a home for rodents, mold and mildew.
Understanding why Seniors hold on to ‘stuff’ is important to determine so that you are able to successfully support them in decluttering and making their home safe.
The Sense Of Loyalty: Older adults who’ve received gifts from family and friends may may be reluctant to part with them. Encourage your loved one to give unused gifts back to the giver or grandchildren, or donate them.
The Need To Conserve: Seniors are the original green people. Appeal to a senior’s desire to help others. “You went through the Great Depression, now it’s time for you to let go and help someone else.” Counter a senior’s inclination to conserve by appealing to their desire to give back.
The Sentimental Attachment: The beloved dress represents the history and memories of the event; it’s not the dress itself. Save only a small piece of the dress to quilt or display in a shadow box. Scrapbooking and converting photos to DVDs are other ways to save treasured keepsakes.
The Fatigue: A home with a lifetime of memories can easily become too much for an older adult to handle. Help seniors manage clutter by establishing online bill paying. Also, get your senior off junk mail lists, which can put them at risk for identity theft, and buy them a shredder.
The Change In Health: Seniors who have suffered a brain trauma or stroke, who are wheelchair bound or who are experiencing dementia may no longer be able to manage household duties, which could contribute to clutter. If you see a health change, encourage your senior to visit his or her doctor and consider a professional organizer and caregiver to help your loved one.
The Fear: Seniors often fear what will happen if they give up their stuff, like the older adult who saved six decades of income tax statements. Use logic and information to help seniors understand that it’s okay to let go.
The Dream of the Future: Those clothes in the closet don’t fit anymore, but your loved one is sure that someday she’ll lose enough weight to get into them. Ask seniors to fill a box with clothing they don’t wear much and make a list of the items in the box. Agree that if they have not gone back to the box in six monthsto wear the item, they will donate that to charity.
The Love of Shopping: Today’s seniors have more money than any other previous generation of older adults and they love to shop. Clutter can become so bad seniors can’t find things and they repurchase items they already have, contributing to the clutter cycle. Try to convince seniors to cut back and to say “no” to free stuff.
The Loneliness: Stuff can become a misplaced companion. Loneliness may also lead to depression, which makes it difficult for seniors to get organized.
Getting rid of ‘stuff’ is a two-step process: sorting and deciding, and then disposing. But convincing can be a challenge. If your loved one doesn’t want to let go, here’s a strategy that might speak to them. Clutter is often all aboutcontrol, but so is being the one to decide where stuff goes. Remind your loved ones that if they don’t decide where something goes, someone else will. ~ Kim and Sandra
For homeowners looking to give their home a statement update, new flooring can be a great way to make a big impact and add value. Gone are the days where wood or carpet was your only option for this major upgrade, however. It seems that every year, a plethora of new options appear on the market and turn the traditional choices into a much harder decision. From tile that looks like wood to carpet that looks like tile, we’ve rounded up some of the newest in flooring options for your home.
For an eco-friendly update, bamboo can be a great real-wood alternative to hardwood. Because bamboo grows quite quickly, it is a renewable resource which can add a more modern, streamlined look to your home. And without the hefty price tag that accompanies hardwood, your wallet will feel good as well.
Image Source: Morguefile/jackiebabe
No longer relegated to the wine cellar, cork, another eco-friendly choice, makes a durable, quiet, and comfortable flooring option that comes in a variety of shades and colors. Easy to install, cork makes a great DIY project and can be found in rolls, planks, or tiles.
Before you think 80s eyesore, porcelain is making a real comeback with earthy designs and modern forms like tile planks that simulate wood. This makes porcelain a perfect choice for damp areas of the home, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
Image Source: Morguefile/melgil123
While wall to wall vinyl is still an economical and practical use, vinyl tile can be a quick update that can even be placed over some current surfaces. Several brands of vinyl tile can even be grouted to add a sophisticated look for a fraction of the price.
Polished and decorative concrete floors are quickly making their way out of the industrial and into the mainstream for flooring and even countertops. Decorative concrete can be polished to a high sheen which can mimic natural stone and provide a luxe addition to any space.
Image Source: Flickr/Mr Thinktank
A good standby, laminate has come a long way in recent years, allowing for easier installation and more durable surfaces. Able to replicate virtually any natural flooring surface, including hand-scraped wood and bamboo, laminate is a quick and easy replacement for areas where time and/or money are a concern.
7. Reclaimed Wood
Even modern homes are dipping into the past for their hardwood it seems, and reclaimed wood fits the need perfectly. Salvaged floors from older homes or barns are reused or recreated into earthy flooring that harkens back to a time of intense craftsmanship and happily shows its age with knots, scratches, and color variations.
8. Carpet Tile
The perfect choice for rooms that get a lot of use, such as rec rooms or play areas, carpet tiles allows you to create a look that is as individual as you, with possibilities that are virtually endless. Durable to the core, carpet tiles can easily be removed and replaced one at a time, so spills and damage are no longer a mammoth concern.
Image Source: Flickr/atravellingmom
With all of the options today, every homeowner can create the space of their dreams, with a little bit of imagination. Adding value to a home is a critical component of upgrades, so ensure your new look will suit the rest of the home before you decide and have a great time choosing the next floor in your home!
Boomers are starting to recognize that their adult kids are living a more transient life in cities and living their lives free from possessions. Millennials even store theirphotographs and memories digitally. Their mantra may be “less is better”. All of the dust bunny covered boxes, assorted files and tubs of accumulated photos, trophies, collections of childhood art and graded school work unopened for years in Boomers attics and basements are no longer filled with stuff worthy enough for the next generation to keep. Perhaps one or two items may be special to them, but not a houseful. Ouch.
their Beanie Baby collections, Grandpa’s stamp collection or any hand-me-down furniture and the cut crystal from Grandma’s house. Can this really be true? Apparently it is. It’s time to face the fact that your kids may not want what we have stored for them.
- Ask, don’t assume: Do not fall into the lazy trap of thinking you will hang onto your stuff for the kids. Ask them what they want and get rid of the rest.
- Believe them: When your kids tell you they don’t want whatever it is you are foisting on them, honour that. Believing otherwise is really a delay tactic that allows you to postpone giving up stuff. So what if they look backin 20 years and regret not keeping Dad’s blue recliner? Let them live with the consequences of their decisions. Isn’t that a parent’s job?
- Your kids want to create their own lives: Just like you did. They also want their own style, not yours. Plus, many already have a household oftheir own stuff!
- Accept that stuff has a lifespan: When your kids rebuff your stuff, remember, your ___________ (fill in the blank) has served its useful life – for you. If it’s still useful, sell or donate it to someone who wants it.
- Times have changed: Many Millennials eschew fussy formal furnishings, china and crystal and prefer to live smaller and lighter. Respect their lifestyle choice.
- They are practical: Most adult children will take furnishings they like if they can see it working for them. Maybe your china, but not because it’s meaningful, but perhaps they may happen to like it. Fair enough. If your daughter loves your bedroom set, which was yours as a girl, and was your parents’ when they got married, it’s great when that works out! Just don’t force it.
- Don’t guilt them: Please do not say things like: “When I’m gone, I want you to have my 12-foot mahogany dining room table and eight chairs.” The line between bestow and burden is blurry. They don’t need your furniture to hold you in their heart. Give them the gift of freedom.
Wind turbine construction nearing completion
CLARINGTON — After years of debate, the wind turbines in Orono have been constructed and the blades are expected to be turning before the end of April.
Using furniture to stage a room can help turn a space that is plain into a place that is sold.
Whether a room is too big or too small, the right furniture style and arrangement can make all the difference. Rearranging and replacing can bring new life and highlight a home’s architectural features, overall flow and downplay its weaknesses. The following are some common problems we run into when staging both occupied and vacant homes along with some simple solutions and photo examples for creating a space that will appeal to buyers.
Problem: Room feels off balance with too much focus on the empty center space.
Solution: Float chairs and sofas away from walls and reposition into cozy conversational groups. Use a rug with a neutral background color that blends with furniture to create a more cohesive feel. Be sure to allow for an obvious walkway.
Problem: Too much furniture, accessories and artwork makes a room feel cluttered and boxed-in.
Solution: Open up and simplify the room by moving unnecessary pieces and repurposing from room to room.
Problem: Not enough furniture to give purpose to a room.
Solution: A room needs an identity. A few key pieces of appropriate furniture, an area rug to unify and simple modern accents will do the trick. For example, a spacious empty closet or hallway landing area can become an extra office nook by adding a desk, chair and some functional accessories.
Problem: Furniture is outdated and/or in poor condition.
Solution: Replace dated and worn furniture with modern style rentals (as our client did in photo above). Or select best pieces and hide imperfections by using a slipcover, draping a throw or accenting with colorful pillows.
Problem: Focal point is hidden or doesn’t exist.
Solution: Create a focal point by arranging furniture to showcase a window with a view, a well-staged bookcase or an uncluttered fireplace mantel with a special mirror or colorful artwork.
For more examples of interior decorating and home staging, visitwww.pjstagingdecorating.com.
When it comes time to move, should you sell your home yourself or with a registered real estate professional? Selling a home takes significant time and effort, not to mention expertise. Our Deputy Registrar explains the benefits of working with a registered real estate professional.