Five Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value for Less Than $100

You may think it takes hundreds or even thousands of dollars to make your homes seem like they cost more than they actually do. And though cost may equal value, here are five simple and easy ways to have it feel like a million bucks.


  1. Stick to a theme


A bit of research is key in trying to find the best design and inspiration ideas that bring out the best features of your home. While you can always check magazines or hunt the Internet for stylespirations, knowing your property and what you want to do with it will determine the best furniture to bring in. Coordinated pieces make it look like a professional had a hand in the decorating process. When you put a lot of thought into choosing the different style elements that compose the space, you not only end up with comfort but even luxury as well.


  1. Search for signs of deterioration


Nothing ruins a great wardrobe than holes in your shirt or runs in your stockings. That’s the same way with our homes. No matter how well your carpet matches the drapes, termite-infested walls and floors ruin the entire look, and that’s just one of the problems that a poorly-maintained area can suffer from. Preventing any of these issues from escalating will not only do wonders in terms of aesthetics but it can save you a bucketload of money in repairs.


  1. Create a cost-effective environment


Yes, you may be avoiding hefty costs through planning and prevention but if your home generates (and wastes) great amounts of energy in the process, then you’re still throwing cash away. Contact your local utility company and schedule a free energy audit to see if you are making wise choices in terms of the appliances you use. Opting for “greener” solutions is never the wrong way to go as it is always an advantage to have in every household.


  1. Seek advice from a professional


Just because an interior decorator’s full services could cost a fortune, there’s no reason to shy away from the wealth of knowledge that they have when it comes to maximizing just about any kind of space. Getting your home assessed by the experts will help you see its strengths and weaknesses, and they can even provide you with some great money-saving advice that’s tailor fit to your needs. Look for pro decorators whose standard hourly rate is $100 or less. This worthy investment will save you from having to make any damaging decisions in the future.


  1. Get a new coating


Sometimes, what can really jazz a place up is a good paint job. Nothing says old and unkempt than the peeling paint coming off your walls. Neutrals are a good way to go to make the area seem bigger and brighter. They’re also the easiest color palette to match. And, if you do it yourself, you won’t need to pay anyone for the labor.


Whether you’re preparing for a new place or you want to breathe new life into an old one, these five tips can help you get started without burning a hole in your pocket. They’re quick and easy suggestions that make you think why you haven’t tried any of them yet.

Four Mistakes Every Aspiring DIYer Should Avoid

Everyone has the tendency to get inflicted with Pinterest disease. We see something nice, we take up arms to make it ourselves. Not that there’s anything wrong with that as inspiration is the first step to creation, but getting all excited about it could lead someone to decide to rashly and all too often make a wrong decision. Don’t get caught with one of the most common DIY slipups: getting the wrong materials for the project. Research is 50% the job as the actual physical work and when you don’t get it right, it is bound to rob of money, time and enthusiasm.

  1. Stick to a budget per item


Setting an amount that you’re willing to spend on each item will help curb the monster of compulsion. Sure, there are bound to be better-looking products in a higher price range but if you splurge on one, you’ll eventually end up compromising on the other things. Nothing’s stopping from appreciating the pricier options but, at best, can try to scout around for cheaper alternatives. Don’t think of budgets as mere restrictions. Consider them as a way of keeping you on track.


  1. Sample the goods before raiding the store


Haven’t you ever experienced stocking the cart too high with pieces you eventually regret buying and never even use? Impatience does that to people. Take tile shopping for example. It may feel good in your hand and it may seem nice from all angles, but there’s no guarantee that they look good on your entire floor or match all the other elements of the space. One particular place this happens all the time: sales. You may think you’re getting an item as a steal but unless you’re 100% sure that it works with the room, it just may end up stealing from you.


  1. Get the right tools


If there’s one aspect that you should definitely invest on, it’s the proper tools. Unless you’re a fly-by-night DIYer who’s only testing the waters, then disposal items may work for you. If you’re ready to commit to this, then cheap brushes and rollers just won’t cut it. The products that you use to complete your project will spell the difference between success and failure. You may be busting your ass out just to get everything right but if your tools fail in mid-use, then everything you did up to that point will need some effortful troubleshooting.


  1. Exercise caution when purchasing online


There’s no denying that Internet shopping is so convenient. Not only do you get access to a variety of products that you otherwise won’t find in one store, you don’t need to step out of the house to do it. But be very vigilant. There are endless tales of disappointment told by people who got ripped off online. Unless there’s a good return and refund option, don’t take your chances on that half-priced purchase because you may end up getting just half the quality you were expecting.


This list is pretty straightforward and you may find yourself relating to one or two more than you want to. Oftentimes, these are really nothing more than simple and honest mistakes committed in over enthusiasm. Now that you know better, you can save yourself the time and the trouble and go about your way with your enthusiasm intact.

Five Luxurious Home Improvement Options for $750 and Up

If you have cash to burn, spending it on your home is a wise decision as any. For those of you who are hoping to get some cheap tips in sprucing your place up for less, then you’re at the wrong place. Now, if you think a $1000 investment is a small price to pay for quality and comfort, then read on.


  1. Upgrade your old appliances


While maintaining your 15 year old fridge in good working condition after all these years is laudable, it probably wasn’t designed to be energy efficient given that this innovation didn’t exist years before. Newer models tend to be crafted with the latest technology and features that old appliances simply can’t match up to. It would actually save you more money to patronize products with the Energy Star label that consumes 10-50% less energy than conventional appliances.


  1. Choose the tankless model


If you’re looking to buy a new water heater, better go for the tankless version. While old models tend to store around 50 gallons of hot water that is made readily available to you, it demands loads of energy while it’s operating. Tankless models aren’t like that. They are eco-friendly and cost-effective by way of only heating water when it needs to be used.


  1. Beautify your entrance


How your gates and front doors look create your home’s very first impression. These architectural components should create a certain picture in your guest’s mind of what’s waiting inside the threshold. On the outside, it says a lot about the kind of style you have, so scrimping out on it will only make you look cheap.


  1. Decorate your ceilings


We tend to neglect this one-sixth portion of our homes just because it’s out of reach, but if you take a look at hotels and other luxurious places, you’ll notice that ceilings are as much taken care of as the other areas of the space. They can be both decorative and functional and accent the very theme you’re going for. Beams and moldings can go a long way in making the upper section look more visually appealing.


  1. Get someone to do your landscaping


If splurge is the name of the game, then creating and maintaining an outdoor landscape can spell just that. A well-manicured lawn is one thing but trees, shrubs, and flower beds spell money because they take lots of money to maintain. Garden accessories like fountains and cobblestones not only brighten up your exterior but they are an attraction in their own right.


Luxury shouldn’t just be limited to the price tags on the furniture you buy, it should emanate from every corner of your home (and even out of it).  These five tips help seal the deal and take care of those details that other people can take for granted. Take a look around and see which area can do with a luxurious makeover. You’ll be surprised at just how accurate this list actually is. Enjoy!

Four Basic Tools That Every DIYer Needs

Unless you have laser vision and incredible fist strength, you’re going to need the right tools to get the job done. If you’re after real home improvements and not just making photo frames, then you might want to consider making a worthy investment that any certified DIYer has. Let’s take a look at some tool essentials that you simply cannot pass over.


  1. A pair of safety glasses—or two


Safety first before anything else. One of the most neglected yet at risk parts of our body is your eyes. If you don’t intend on getting dust or chips in them, then protection is required, and I’m not talking about regular glasses. The ideal ones wrap around on the side and are similar to the ones you use at chemistry lab. One thing you need to keep into consideration is how well these goggles fit. Forget the dollar store, get ones that are of good quality and aren’t too snug nor too loose. If you live somewhere with a particularly hot climate, a pair with anti-fog coating will do the trick.


  1. Another hammer


This is one of the most basic tools that any household should have—DIYer or not. But regardless of the hammer you already have on hand, it’s not enough. Do you have the lightweight or heavy-duty one? If it is either, then you need the other. Substituting their uses could jeopardize your project. If you need to put nails into drywall, then you need the smaller hammer. If you’re nailing into studs, then the bigger one is recommended. If buying a heavy-duty one, opt for fiberglass rather than wood because the former doesn’t give off as intense a vibration as the latter.


  1. A cordless drill


Why cordless? So you need to have electric outlets to work on your project. But let’s talk about the drill. Just because it’s cordless doesn’t mean it’s automatically the one. Just as there are many variations of corded drills, there is an equivalent of cordless ones. While corded types have more power, cordless models have a steadier flow of torque. The next thing to look out for is the number of volts the drill has. The recommended amount is no less than 12 volts. If you go for something less powerful, then even drilling nails into studs will stress the motor out.


  1. A good shop vacuum

Dirt and dust littering around your work area are not only disgusting but potentially dangerous as well. Small particles can get into the air and into your lungs or little chunks of wood could get into your eyes.  If you’re thinking about the vacuum you use at home, don’t do it—no matter how powerful it may be. Vacuums intended for residential use can’t handle carpentry or crafting debris and could lead to clogging your motor. Though you may need a high-powered one, remember that size is important, too. Choose something that is light enough for you to comfortably empty on your own.


All these tools may be basic but they are essential and great investments. If you choose those of good quality, you’ll enjoy using these four for years. It’s a different experience when these items are at the ready because they can help you create a safe, efficient, and clean working environment.

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Three Easy Ways to Make Your Homes More Eco-Friendly

Everyone’s pro-environment whether our actions say so or not. We agree with eco-warriors left and right but somehow we have a problem translating those beliefs into actions. And now that no place on Earth is immune to the fits of nature, we suddenly realize how important it is to do our part in making the world cleaner and greener. The best place to start that is within our own homes. Let’s take a look at these three simple ways in creating an eco-friendly dwelling place.


  1. Plant a tree in your yard

Not every home has a patch of land where we can put our green thumbs through the regular and relaxing art of gardening, but that shouldn’t stop us from placing plants in every available corner. While potted greens offer their own benefits, nothing can quite beat the advantage of having a full grown tree. For one, you get a free air detoxifier and, two, you just might have the opportunity to harvest your personally-grown fruits. Trees are an asset to have in today’s unpredictable climate where hot is hotter and wet is wetter. Just having them there cools your surroundings by at least 30% and prevents unwanted flooding, allowing you to save money and avert disaster at the same time.


  1. Repurpose your used water


We’ve all heard about the decline in the global water supply and, at a certain point, experienced this for ourselves. For those of us who have lived with a ready and abundant supply, we never really thought that it could run out until it finally does. Though we’re capable of enjoying easy access now, we can make a good impact on the environment just by recycling what we’ve already used. Having plants actually makes this task easier because repurposed water can be used to hydrate and fertilize them. You don’t need a complicated system to achieve this but it does take discipline to keep water from flowing down the drain without having been maximized to the fullest extent.


  1. Reduce and recycle your trash


Plastic is one of the biggest hazards and contributors to global warming, and before it pollutes the outside, it usually came from inside someone’s home. Unless we change our spending habits and opt for products that generate less non-biodegradable waste, then we’re leading various calamities into our doorstep. We’ve been taught to segregate trash as early as our childhood years but if we don’t stop taking it for granted, its impact on the planet will backfire on all of us eventually. Going back to basics and actually applying the concepts of reducing and recycling to our day to day will not only lessen our carbon footprint but actually create a better and more conducive environment to live in.


If you haven’t started with three eco-friendly, home improvement techniques yet, then you’re not ready to handle the big guns. These three ways are as simple as they can be yet their value gets overlooked time and time again. If we don’t start taking responsibility for our actions, then no matter how good our houses look on the inside, the environment around us will take a greater turn for the worst. Have questions? Check out my contact form.


Home Fence Installation – Increased Property Value

Thinking about installing a fence on your property? It is a great idea to do so. Adding a fence to a home adds security and privacy and will give you a little edge when looking to sell that home. Fence installation for residential or commercial applications can be an awesome way to increase the value of the property before selling the property. It is a good idea to do a little research on local fence companies in your local area.


There are many different types of fencing available to the consumers some better for different applications. Privacy fence are best put up with wood or vinyl applications as you can see directly through a chain link fence. But if you are trying to be cost effective and just keep the dog in the yard, then a chain link fence is a great option for you.


Searching for a fence company to do your job can be a daunting task. But rest assured we can give you a few tips. First check and see if the fence company has online profiles where you can read reviews about the fencing company. If you see a lot of negative reviews and people saying that the job was not done correctly, you should avoid that company. Next you should ask the fence company if they are going to pull a permit. Sometimes companies will try to do the work without a permit and this can cause you a problem when you go to sell your property. Finally ensure that the company is licensed and insured. This is major because they usually guarantee their work.


We are Fort Lauderdale Natives and we recently used Fence Builders Fort Lauderdale to install our fencing. They did a great job and took great care of us. They can be reached at:

Fence Builders Fort Lauderdale

3900 Galt Ocean Drive

Unit #2904

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308

(954) 715-2427

Fort Lauderdale has been our favorite place to live as we have lived in many other regions, and we have no plans to move what so ever! So we will keep bringing you stellar reviews of awesome companies we stumble on in the future!

Life on the Road

Jack Kerouac had a perfect idea although he may have executed it poorly. Life of on the road is no trip (pun intended). There is so much that goes into creating an atmosphere where creativity, freedom, and abundance is truly shared. For the past week, my family and I have been driving along the West Coast in our rented Winnebago. We have seen Big Sur, the Pacific Ocean, coyotes, and hundreds of Douglas Furs. It has been an extraordinary adventure and we couldn’t be more grateful.

My family has been sat in the back of the van watching television on the DVD players, while I have been daydreaming behind the wheel. I notice how quiet the roads can be when you’re truly feeling the asphalt beneath. Besides a few potholes and dead skunks on the side of the road, I have been mesmerized by the simplicity of the road. It doesn’t require anything from you. No doctors notes, no weekly analytic reports, and especially no back talk. It’s rejuvenating.

I remember the days I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. I hid underneath the covers for what seemed like days, just to wake up and shower for another monotonous day behind a computer. I never stopped to listen to the road while I drove my Taurus to work. I hardly recognized anyone else on the road (except for the occasional driver who refuses to use turn signals). This trip has shown me so much and I am amazed.

I’ve been creating road trip games with the kids to keep them occupied away from the TV. We have played multiple rounds of the license plate game, iSpy, and Shuffle. As we make our way further up the coast, I contemplate what’s next. What adventure are we going to embark on in Washington? Are we going to be tourists and see all the coffee shops, or are we going to camp outdoors and visit local bookstores and play in the lakes. Only time will tell.

Until then.

How To Travel…Free!

Our dear friend Robert Clark, CPA in Key West, has helped us tremendously throughout our adventures. Having the proper tools necessary to travel for work has made our trips more enjoyable! Robert keeps track of our expenses and educates us on our tax benefits and rewards.

If you have ever considered traveling as an occupation, but have been too scared to try, here are some tips that we have learned throughout our new lifestyle.

  • Travel lightly. I know this might seem difficult because we want to over prepare and bring all the necessities. My family and I have found that are necessities are thin compared to the luggage we pack every trip. You will find what you need where you go. If not, there’s always DIY!
  • Educate yourself. Figure out the road maps, figure out the hole-in-the-wall restaurants and stores that will enlighten your trip.
  • Bring headphones. There’s nothing worse than having young children or talkative spouses while you want to drive and enjoy the road. Headphones are a clear signal that you need time alone…in your own space.
  • Collect mementos. The trip itself is an intrinsic reward. Collecting roadmaps, magnets, stamps from other states and countries is a great way to begin a collection in your own home.
  • Talk to people. Half the fun of a road trip (or any kind of trip) is to experience the culture including the people. Don’t seclude yourself while on your trip – get to know the locals and enjoy the fresh air!

We continue to learn more as we travel far and wide. If you are financially or fearfully strained, prepare ahead of time. Anyone can travel on a budget, but only few can travel with freedom.

Why Is Air Conditioning So Important?

Like many things in life, people tend not to really value their air conditioning until it’s gone. Luckily, calling up almost any home services company should be enough to fix the problem. Our good friend who owns one of the most influential also transforms into an AC guru by night. From repair to replacement to maintenance to improvements, a qualified air conditioning specialist can not only keep your house cool but keep the air conditioner running at peak performance. And should you decide that your current setup is no longer enough, there’s always the option of upgrading your unit as well.

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Why Plumbing Should Be Your Top Priority

plumbing, deerfield beach
Plumbing Services

Plumbing is an often-overlooked aspect of home maintenance that many people only think about when something breaks, or something new needs to be installed. Plumbing services include this, but also offer regular maintenance in order to make our life easier. Having information regarding your house’s plumbing and all of the options available when it comes to modifying it can make the difference between feeling satisfied with the state of your house’s plumbing and scratching your head when a pipe bursts.

The main rule to follow when thinking about your plumbing is vigilant monitoring and maintenance. You don’t have to constantly watch your plumbing to be sure it works, but periodically calling a plumber to check over your house and do minor repairs is less costly in both time and money than waiting for something to break before you fix it.

While many people wouldn’t automatically consider it as such, your gas lines are also a component of your house’s plumbing. A good service will be able to repair gas lines just as well as any other pipe in your home, and will likely pay more attention to it because of its high importance: it’s likely that most if not all of the heat in your home are provided by natural gas.

In addition to its utility, your gas lines can also be a source of danger if not properly maintained. A gas leak poses a threat to your health by contaminating the air in your house as well as increasing the risk of having a house fire. Thankfully, for the most part, a good plumber and regular inspection can minimize the risk you face of a gas line breaking.