Is your basement currently the deep, dark abyss where holiday decorations and outdated furniture get lost? It doesnât have to be! Just because it is the bottom level of the house doesnât mean you canât make it a top priority on your home improvement to-do list. If youâre looking for a little inspiration on what to do with it, we have a few ideas.
For the Sports Lover
Transform your cold, dark digs into a space all sports fan could only dream of. Essentials youâll need for the ultimate basement transformation may include big screen TVâs, a pool table, comfortable recliners, sports memorabilia and your own personal mini fridge. Your space will turn into a game day oasis for friends and family.
For the Athlete
Two words: personal gym. Save yourself time and money on those pesky gym memberships and build your very own dream fitness center. No longer will you have dart for the only open treadmill during primetime hours or worry if the person before you cleaned the machines. By purchasing your favorite pieces of equipment that will last, you can save yourself almost $2,000 each year on fees.
For the Entertainer
Do you find your family constantly hosting for holidays or celebrations? Wow them with an at-home bar, built by you. Stock the shelves with your favorite beverages, snag some awesome bar stools and let the fun begin! Itâs the perfect place to direct everyone for an after dinner cocktail and some conversation. Just remember the rule of thumb, if youâre opting to build your own bar the average bar height is 42 inches to ensure that adults of all sizes can sit comfortably.
For the Artist
Always dreamed of having your own space to freely create masterpieces? Now is the time! Turn up the heat of your once cold and isolated basement with the warm hues of paints, pencils, and clays. Pick up some easels, fill the walls with things that inspire you and voila! Just keep in mind that because youâll be in the basement with little light, choose a bulb with a CRI of 80 to 100 to reveal vibrant, natural hues.
For the Bookworm
You typically only see it on TV, but some homes do have beautiful built-in libraries. Build out shelving all around your basement, fill it with your favorite stories and cozy up on your favorite vintage chair to unwind from life with a good book. Are you making your own shelves? Cherry wood has a rich and warm red color that deepens over time, making it a perfect selection for shelving meant to be seen. Fellow book lovers might envy what youâve done with your basement, and may even want to come browse your selections!
Donât let your basement go unnoticed. Say goodbye to those stored away boxes and bags and hello to your new favorite place in the house. Have another idea? Share it in the comments below for other readers to get inspired by!
The post What to do with Your Basement first appeared on Century 21Â®.
“Fixer Upper” fans will be in a tizzy to hear that Chip and Joanna Gaines have returned to TVâthis time to help friends renovate their first house on the premiere episode of the new Discovery+ show “First-Time Fixer.”
In the premiere episode âSalt Lake City Condo,â Chip and Jo head to Salt Lake City to give old-time pals Brittany Baker and Annie Hawkins tips on their first flip: a $305,000 midcentury condo. Baker and Hawkins have a renovation budget of only $50,000, so they’ll need a lot of help from the Gaineses to get this project done right.
Read on to find out Chip and Joanna’s best tips for these first-time flippers, which might inspire some changes around your own abode, too.
Polished concrete floors are beautifulâand easy on the budget
Baker and Hawkins need to stick to a strict budget, so they’re excited when Chip suggests they rip up the carpet and simply use the concrete floors underneath.
They remove the carpet and repair the cracks in the concrete themselves (which saves a lot of money), then they hire a professional to polish the floors.
“Weâre actually going to save a lot of money doing concrete, because itâs only going to be 2,000 bucks,” Baker says.
Once the floors are finished, the concrete looks amazing, giving the condo a cool industrial look. Who knew you could get that for cheap?
Save as many original features as possible
Chip has another money-saving tip for Baker and Hawkins: Save the bathroom vanity.
“I would keep this,” Chip says when he sees the wood vanity. “This is great quality stuff, y’all. And this is something you could do in a kind of DIY sense and save a little money.â
Hawkins and Baker are willing to fix it up, but don’t end up keeping the vanityâand for a good reason.
“Brittany discovered so much mold that we did not want to salvage it,â Hawkins explains.
They’re forced to spend money on a new vanity, but they find a new piece with similar charm and style.
Watch: This Gorgeous New Farmhouse by Chip and Jo Gaines Is No ‘Fixer Upper’
When the bathroom is finished, Chip and Jo approve of the choice. It proves that while saving an old piece can save money, sometimes it’s simply not worth it.
Call in the professionals for a polished look
With all of Chip’s talk of DIY projects, Baker and Hawkins want to do as much as they can themselves. They even cut their own baseboards and do all the painting. But after some debating, they decide to hire a professional to do the bathroom tile.
“We decided not to tile as first-timers,” Hawkins says. “We felt like it was advanced for what we wanted to do, so the money that we saved from carpet, [we] put it toward tile.â
The modern gray tile they choose fits the condo’s midcentury style and, in the end, Hawkins and Baker are happy they hired someone to make it look so good. And Baker’s learned an important lesson.
“Know your limits,” Baker says. “And maybe next time weâll try tiling.â
Sometimes the right materials cost only a little more
Sometimes the biggest renovation challenge is simply choosing the right materials, a lesson Baker and Hawkins learn when trying to design the kitchen.
The condo was built in 1964, so they want to lean into the midcentury aesthetic by using walnut in the kitchen. Right away, Joanna loves the idea.
“I love walnut,” she says. “If I walk in and see your kitchen with walnut wood, I donât think âoh they did this on the cheap.ââ
Hawkins and Baker know that walnut won’t be too pricy, but it will require taking some money out of the budget elsewhere.
They build a beautiful kitchen out of this medium-tone wood and, in the end, it pays off. These cabinets give the whole condo a midcentury look.
An open walkway can save money
Throughout the renovation, Baker and Hawkins realize they’re really cutting it close with their budgetâand it doesn’t help when they keep finding unexpected costs.
One big expense they weren’t expecting is the door to the den.
“So guess how much a freaking door costs?” Baker asks. “A freaking door costs five to six thousand dollars!â
While they want to create a private den space, they know they can’t afford to put a door there. So they get creative with glass windows and a midcentury-inspired opening. This doorway ends up working even better than a traditional door because it keeps the den open, improving the flow into the living room.
It’s a great solution to the budget issue, and it ends up being one of the more beautiful features of the home.
When Baker and Hawkins are finally finished with the renovation, they know that they’ve gone way over their timeline. While they expected the project to take only nine weeks, it ends up taking four months. Still, they don’t go too far over their budget, spending $56,000 instead of their originally planned $50,000.
In the end, these novice flippers are proud of their workâand so are Chip and Jo!
The post Chip and Joanna Gaines Are Back (With Friends) in ‘First-Time Fixer’ appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
Being a homeowner on a budget is nothing to be ashamed of, if anything, most people prefer to keep their expenses low, especially after recently purchasing a home! But,there are some things you shouldn’t cheap out on, and we’ve got you covered.
The post 5 Things You Should Pay Premium for as a Homeowner or Renter appeared first on Homes.com.
Open houses may be staged to look like a home decor dream, but donât let that distract you from the real reason youâre there: to potentially buy a home. Make sure you can look past the neatly arranged furniture and focus solely on whether the house would be a good fit for you and your family. To help, hereâs a home buyerâs checklist of things you might have missed at first glance.
Windows â Look specifically if they are facing the right direction to let sunlight in, and whether they open to a nice view (versus directly toward another neighborâs window).
Under the Sink Cabinets â Check for possible signs of water damage due to leaky plumbing.
Electrical Outlets â Make sure there are enough outlets for the appliances and other electronics youâll be using. If not, you can decide if thatâs a renovation youâd like to make.
Storage Space â Donât just look to see if thereâs enough closet space, but look for closet placement. Also check that the storage is in a convenient location.
Appliances â If theyâre included in the house, make sure theyâre in good condition. They should be on and working while youâre there.
Under the Rugs â Lift up any rugs to check the condition of the floor underneath.
Floor Level â Check to see if the floors are level. Place a marble or another small, round object on the floor and see if it rolls consistently in one direction.
Attic â If the house has one, make sure itâs well insulated.
Water Spouts â Runoff from the gutters should be pointed away from the house, so take a step outside to see if this is the case.
This list isnât all-inclusive, but itâs a good place to start. Talk to a CENTURY 21 Â® agent to see what else he or she might add.
The post Home Buyer Checklist: What to Look for in an Open House first appeared on Century 21Â®.
The holidays can be a stressful time for many families — why spend more time and energy on the prep when you don’t need to? Holiday shortcuts like hosting a potluck (rather than making dinner all by yourself) and opting for Secret Santa (instead of buying gifts for everyone) can make things a lot easier — and cheaper.
What are your holiday shortcuts? How do they make things easier for you? What old traditions are you skipping altogether?
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This article is from Ashley Jacobs of Wise Bread, an award-winning personal finance and credit card comparison website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:
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Drew and Jonathan Scott of “Property Brothers” know that nearly all of us could use more space (particularly as the pandemic drags on and on). Now that the new year’s first episode of “Celebrity IOU” has arrived, they’ve broken out their top tricks for opening up a small house without breaking the bank.
In the Season 2 episode, “Rainn Wilson’s Surprise,” the Scotts meet the actor Rainn Wilson, of “The Office,” who wants to give his beloved nanny, Leslie, a living-room makeover.
Leslie’s Los Angeles home could definitely use it, given that the space is seriously dated and undeniably cramped. With her kids (and nieces and nephews) often running around the house, Wilson knows that this living space needs to be more kid-friendly, too.
Read on to find out how Drew and Jonathan open up this small living space, which might inspire some upgrades around your own home, too.
Remove kitchen cabinets to open up more space
When Wilson brings Drew and Jonathan to Leslie’s home, one of the first things the brothers notice is the kitchenâs cabinets.
The row of cabinets blocks sightlines to the living space and makes the kitchen feel separated from the rest of the house. Jonathan explains that the style is typical of the era the home was built in, but says itâs not a great feature for those who are making the meals.
âWhoeverâs in there, all of a sudden, it feels like a cave,â Jonathan says.
So, the brothers remove some cabinets and, to make up for the missing cabinet space,Â add smarter storage to the rest of the kitchen (like adding lots of drawers to the island).
In the end, the kitchen is beautiful, functional, and flows with the rest of the living space. Leslie will never miss those cabinets!
Create more storage with built-in benches and hutches
Wilson knows that Leslie and her children could always use more storage.
âOne thing is, thereâs a lot of kids bouncinâ around in here,” Wilson tells the Scott brothers when they first tour the house.
Luckily, the brothers have a solution to help this family organize its stuff: stylish built-ins.
Drew and Jonathan add some built-in benches under the living room window, providing plenty of storage space under the seats. Then, they expand on the built-in dining room hutch, making it twice as big, for holding twice as much.
These two built-in storage solutions are perfect, because they donât take up space, as a bulky piece of furniture would, and they leave the whole room open as a kids’ play space. Itâs a great workaround for this familyâs storage issue.
Brighten beams to make a room seem taller
Jonathan and Drew like the wood beams in Leslie’s living room, but they worry that the dark color makes the room feel more closed in.
âFrom the moment we walked in, we noticed the dark beams and that high, recessed, rough-ridged ceiling. It was sucking the light out of the space,â Drew says.
But the color isn’t the only problem. The brothers notice that this room doesn’t have any ceiling lights, which makes this room even darker.
So Jonathan and Drew paint the beams white and add white shiplap-style ceiling panels.
âNot only do they add brightness,â Jonathan says of the panels, âbut theyâre also going to be dropped down to accommodate new recessed lighting.â
In the end, not only does the new color make the space feel brighter, but the added lights literally light up the room.
Large doors make a small house feel bigger
While Leslieâs living room is laid out well, the space is relatively small. Although the brothers canât add to the square footage of the house, Jonathan has the idea to expand the living space by improving the flow into the back patio.
âWe could do something really cool with these sliders,â Jonathan says of the existing doors. âWe could swap them out for, like, collapsible glass panels. They could flow in and out. It would be great.â
The brothers open up the walls and install large, collapsible window doors from two sides, making both the family room and dining space open onto the backyard.
To complete the effect, they update the patio by adding new flooring and new furniture. In the end, the living space feels twice as big!
Don’t go overboard with too much white
While the Scotts know that itâs important to brighten up a space, they also know that with the walls, ceiling, and kitchen all in white, the space could use some contrast. So they redo the white fireplace with a unique brown finish.
âThis is just made out of marble powder, lime, and sand,â Jonathan says, as he applies a clay mixture to the fireplace face.
Some techniques, he says, come from Italy, and from different regions of Europe, but this one, from Morocco, is called tadelakt.
The light-brown color looks perfect in the space. The finish adds dimension without darkening the area, and the modern fireplace shape is much better suited to children, because thereâs no mantel to climb on or base to trip over.
Best of all, this modern fireplace looks clean and elegant.
âI love that it looks like a five-star hotel,â Drew says of the new finish. âThatâs the kind of feature you want to have.â
When Wilson finally brings Leslie and her family back to the house, she’s amazed by how spacious and elegant her living room looks. Let this serve as a reminder that just a few small changes can make even small spaces feel huge.
The post The Property Brothers’ Best Small-Space Renovations for 2021 appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
The winter season can be a great time to sell your house, but while your competition is reduced, success during this time can still depend on a successful open house. To help make your open house as effective as possible, follow these tips.
Take down your decorations. The holidays are over, but if youâre the type that likes to leave the decorations up for a time, taking them down before your open house is a good idea. Prospective buyers may not celebrate the same holidays as you and you don’t want to alienate them.
Clear the clutter. If you havenât put those holiday gifts away yet, nowâs the time. Prospective buyers should be able to focus on your home instead of the collection of things crowding it. Give them nice open spaces to move about and theyâll be appreciative.
Turn up the heat. Warm and cozy is more than a catch phrase during the winter. Bring the temperature up in your home slightly during your open house to keep your guests comfortable. If they are too cold in your home, they arenât apt to stay long.
Plan for winter apparel. Be it jackets or boots, take extra steps to prepare your entryway for the added material your buyers will bring with them. A designated spot to place these items can make guests feel welcome and keep your home cleaner during the showing and beyond.
The post How to prepare your home for a winter open house first appeared on Century 21Â®.