5 Most Popular Ways to Finance Your Home Improvement Project

5 Most Popular Ways to Finance Your Home Improvement Project

Are you planning a home improvement project? If you are like most of us, when you find out how much it is going to cost, you’ll certainly get sticker shock! According to Lifehacker.com, the average cost of a kitchen remodel is over $50,000, and the average cost of a bathroom remodel is over $16,000. So, how are you going to pay for it?

Fortunately, there are some ways that you can finance your home improvement project whether you need a few hundred or several thousand dollars. Here are five of the most popular:

0% Credit Card

If you have a small home improvement project, such as one under $15,000, consider using a 0% credit card. When you do this, you usually have 12 to 18 months to pay it off before interest kicks in. So, it’s very important that you pay it off before you have to pay interest. This is usually a more affordable option since you don’t have to pay any extra.

Refinance Your Mortgage

If you have a larger home improvement project to plan for, you should consider refinancing your mortgage. With this scenario, you are replacing your current mortgage with a new one, and while doing that, you are also taking out a home equity loan. Since you usually have 30 years, or sometimes more, to pay off the loan, this is an attractive option.

Apply for a Personal Loan

If you don’t qualify for a refinancing, or you don’t want to do it, you can also consider a personal loan. The drawback to these is that they usually have higher rates than refinancing and you don’t have 30 years to pay them off. However, you don’t have to pay on the loan for decades, and you get your loan quite quickly.

Government Loans

You also might consider getting a government loan. These loans are available through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. There are some qualifications that you might have to meet depending on the type of loan you are looking for, but it is probably worth it to check these out. There are also government incentives that you should look into, too, such as getting cash back when you install solar panels.

Use Cash

Do you absolutely have to do your home improvement project this year? If not, you might want to consider waiting 12 to 18 months and use that time to save cash. This is, by far, the cheapest option since you won’t have to pay interest, and it keeps you out of debt. If you can manage to save $500 a month for 18 months in a savings account with interest, you would have close to $10,000 at the end of that time.

As you can see, there are several ways to finance your next home improvement project. The next step is to figure out which option is right for you based on your personal needs and preferences.

Why Is Home Decor So Important?

Why Is Home Decor So Important

Home decor is much more than making your living space look good. The home decor that you choose also helps to improve the functionality of your home. Additionally, it affects your comfort level. It can also affect the mood and even the feelings of those in the home. Why is home decor so important and how can you improve it? Keep reading to find out:

The Importance of Home Decor

As mentioned, home decor is more important than most people realize. Think about how you feel in a room with warm, inviting colors that is filled with comfortable furniture, pillows, and flowers. Now, think about how you feel in a room that is void of color. One that doesn’t have any decor at all, like a doctor’s office exam room. Very different feelings, right? This is what makes home decor so important. So, how do you create the ideal environment?

First, Choose a Theme

The first thing to do is to choose a theme for your home decor. There are many styles out there, so start looking at decorating books or websites. You certainly want to live in a home that you like the look of. So stick to what you like and start from there.

Create a Vision

Do you have a vision of what you want in your home? Try to put that vision onto paper or a computer screen. When you can see your vision physically, it really helps to put things into perspective. It also helps any interior designer know exactly what you are looking for. Additionally, you can also see how functional your vision can be when it’s implemented.

Think of Color

With a layout in place, you next should consider color. Whether you realize it or not, colors have an effect on our psychology, and some colors affect us more than others. For instance, if you want to create a sense of calm in a room, you should consider shades of blue. If you want to feel more energized in a room, you should consider shades of red or purple.

Lighting is Important, Too

Finally, don’t underestimate the effect that lighting has on home decor. Lighting is part of home decor, of course, but it also affects how the other aspects of your home decor function. Lighting can affect how colors look and can change the mood of a room. Brighter rooms, when paired with the right colors, help us to feel more cheerful. Rooms that are dim might make us feel sad or depressed.

So, as you can see, home decor is much more than simply creating a certain look. Don’t forget to take this into consideration before remodeling your home.

What Are The Best Home Renovations For Seniors?

What Are The Best Home Renovations For Seniors

Many seniors have the desire to remain at home for as long as possible as they age. Fortunately, thanks to home renovations, this is a reality for many who might otherwise have to enter assisted living or a nursing home. Additionally, renovating a current home is usually much cheaper than moving into assisted living. So, what are the best home renovations for seniors? Keep reading to find out:

Doorway Widening

Many seniors rely on wheelchairs, canes, or other mobility devices, such as walkers. However, when using these, they might need wider doorways. Experts recommend widening the doors in the home to a minimum of 32 inches wide. This helps to accommodate any mobility device.

Replace Slippery Floors

If you are a senior, or you care about a senior, take a look at the floors in the home. Are they slippery? Materials such as wood or stone/tile can get slippery, especially when wet. So, it’s recommended that seniors install flooring material that is less slippery, such as vinyl, carpet, or laminate. Also look for uneven floors, which might create a fall hazard.

Install Easier to Grip Knobs

It’s also a good idea to install easier to grip knobs in a senior home. Many seniors have issues with their hands, such as arthritis, and they might not be able to grip as well as they used to. Replace small drawer knobs and pulls with larger ones. Replace door knobs with levers. Those are often easier to grip than traditional door knobs.

Put Grab Bars in the Bathroom

The bathroom can be very dangerous for an elderly person. They might fall or be unable to get out of the bathtub. Installing grab bars around the bathtub, in the shower, and even near the toilet is a good way to help seniors who have trouble with mobility. Speaking of the toilet, it can also help to install a raised seat or even a taller bowl.

Create a Ramp or Install a Motorized Stair Climber

Stairs in a home can be a real challenge for the elderly. So, consider installing ramps or motorized stair climbers. A ramp is necessary for those who are wheelchair bound, and they are easier for many people to walk up as an alternative to stairs. A motorized stair climber is an investment, but it is an excellent way to give a senior with mobility issues more freedom in their own home.

These are some of the best home renovations for seniors. To learn more, speak to an elder care professional in your area.

How To Save Money With New Window Replacement

How To Save Money With New Window Replacement

Window replacement is an investment for any homeowner. The average cost of a window replacement is about $15,000. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t save some money in the process. There are several ways that you can make your window replacement quite affordable. Here’s how to save money with new window replacement:

Look to Your Energy Savings

Yes, it is possible to save a lot of money in energy savings after a window replacement. Actually, this is why most people choose to replace the windows in their home. Most households can save anywhere from 10% to 25% on their heating or air conditioning bills. This is, of course, after putting in replacement windows. Over time, that really adds up.

Consider the Window Type

Another thing that can help you to save money when replacing the windows is the type of window. Fixed windows, those that you cannot open, are less expensive than operable windows. These are the windows that open. Though fixed windows are more affordable, you should make sure to add a couple of operable windows into the home, too. This way, you also get a breeze coming through.

Think About the Resale Value

If you are considering selling your home, you can save money with a window replacement by thinking about resale value. Potential buyers really like the idea of buying a home with new windows. They are willing to pay for those windows, too. Keep in mind that you can’t simply choose the cheapest replacement windows out there and expect to get a great return on your investment. Instead, remember that you have to install windows that are high quality to get the investment back.

Take Window Size Into Account

Installing fewer large windows into the home is often cheaper than installing more smaller windows. Surprising, right? So, if you are planning on a wall of windows, such as in a sunroom, choose panes that are large instead of small. This way, you can see a more attractive price point.

Skip the Mullions

You should also skip the fancy mullions when buying windows if you want to save money. As you might know, mullions are the bars between panes of glass in windows. However, mullions are manufactured, and the manufacturing process costs money. So, that cost is passed along to the consumer. Thus, you can save money by choosing windows without mullions.

These are only a few of the ways that you can save money when you get a new window replacement. To learn more about how to save money with new window replacement, talk to your local window installation company.

 

How To Decorate Your Home With Plants

How To Decorate Your Home With Plants

One of the most beautiful, affordable, and easy ways to enhance the look of your home is to add houseplants. But, you might be surprised to learn that placing plants randomly around a room won’t look good at all. Instead, here are some tips on how to decorate your home with plants that will make it look fantastic:

Liven Up Corners

Most of us don’t have a lot of trouble sprucing up the interior area of a room. But we often forget about the deep, dark corners. You can bring a lot of life to those corners with a correctly placed plant. One of the most important things to remember when placing a plant in the corner is to think about the container. Since this placement brings the eye directly to the corner, make sure the container is as gorgeous as the plant.

Complement the Kitchen

Another great way to use plants in the home is in the kitchen. The kitchen is the perfect place to grow an herb garden. There are many containers on the market to consider for herbs, and you can even find a lot of DIY container gardens online. Remember, not only do herb gardens bring plants into the home, you can use them as you cook. Nothing tastes better than recipes created with ingredients that were grown by you.

Group Similar Plants

Also, consider grouping plants that have similarities. These don’t necessarily have to be plants with similar looks, though. They can have other similarities like needing similar amounts of light or similar water requirements. When you group plants, you can create dramatic looks in a number of ways. One way is to group different plants in one large container. Another thing to try is grouping different types of plants from one species.

Show Off Succulents

Finally, if you don’t have a lot of room, or you don’t want to spend a lot of time on taking care of your plants, show off your succulents. These plants are small, easy to care for, and help to bring pops of color to your home. Succulents are certainly eye-catching. You can play with this by matching your chosen succulents with dynamic containers. It’s easy to find succulent containers online, or, of course, you can make your own.

These are only a few of the ways that you can enhance the look of your home with houseplants. Now that you know how to decorate your home with plants, get started, today.

The Best Way To Start Your Home Improvement Project

The Best Way To Start Your Home Improvement Project

All of us have dreams of improving our homes, but many miss a very important step once they actually want to get started.  The best way to start your home improvement project is to come up with a good plan.

It is a mistake to simply jump into a home improvement project without truly knowing what you are going to do and what your options are.

Instead, you need to have a sort of roadmap to help you along the way. Only then can you find true success with your next home improvement project.

Here are some tips to help you get your home improvement project underway.

Draw it Out

home improvement sketchOne of the best things to do before starting a home improvement project is to draw out your vision.

Even if you aren’t a great artist, seeing your ideas on paper can certainly help to make them a reality. This also helps you to notice things that you might not think about otherwise.

For instance, if you plan on putting in a new bathroom, do you really have room for a full shower or should you consider a shower stall? When it’s on paper, you can see things easier.

Start Saving

It doesn’t matter what type of home improvement project you are working on, it is likely going to cost more than you think it will.

So, it’s important that you start saving your money or make plans to apply for a loan. You also want to set a budget for yourself.

Get a Couple of Quotes and Consider Costs

With a budget in hand, start contacting a couple of contractors to find out what type of price you are looking at to get what you want. Most contractors offer free quotes, so this shouldn’t cost anything.

home improvement project quote contractorIf the quotes are higher than what you were expecting, you might have to consider expanding your budget, taking some elements away, or switching to other ideas.

For instance, if you have your heart set on granite in the kitchen, which is usually more expensive than other countertop materials, brown or gray granite is usually a lot cheaper than exotic colors, like blue.

Get a Permit

In some communities, and for some projects, you might need to get a permit before you can start your home improvement project. Usually, adding elements to your home, such as a patio, deck, or another room, requires a building permit.

Plan for Problems

home improvement plan for problemsThough the hope, of course, is that every project goes smoothly, this doesn’t always happen. So, you also should plan for potential problems before your project starts.

Realize that the project might take longer than it should, parts or materials might not be available, or an accident could occur. You should also consider updating your homeowner’s insurance, as your home will be more valuable after adding this improvement.

As you can see, jumping right into a project like this is not in your best interest. Instead, use these tips to plan ahead,