Put Your Best Floor Forward: A Buyer’s Guide Inbox

5 Popular Flooring Options

Thinking about giving your floor a facelift? You’ve got several flooring options, including the following:

Hardwood Hardwood is a classic choice that works with any architectural style and can last for more than a century with the right care. Maintenance is a cinch and repairs are simple enough when normal wear occurs or pets leave their mark. That said, keep in mind that wooden floors can be cold and loud if they’re not accessorized with rugs.

Carpet Carpet, whether natural or synthetic, is one of the more versatile flooring options. Wool carpeting is durable and resists moisture and stains better than synthetic fibers like nylon and acrylic. Easy cleaning and natural insulation properties for both sound and temperature are upsides, but carpet can also turn into a mildew nightmare if water damage occurs.

Cork Looking for a more sustainable flooring option? Cork flooring offers a warm look and spongy comfort underfoot, plus the irregular grain hides imperfections. Though it’s easy to install, cork flooring can be damaged by pets’ claws, heavy furniture and sharp items.

Laminate Good quality laminate floors are an economical alternative to hardwood. They resist scratches and discoloration and typically work well in moist environments like bathrooms and kitchens. Unlike true hardwood floors, laminate flooring can’t be sanded and refinished though, and it may offer a lower resale value when it’s time to sell a home.

Tile This versatile flooring option not only lasts a long time and is easy to clean, but it also offers serious design flexibility. Tile’s resistance to scratches, stains and moisture is a major plus, but it doesn’t offer any insulation properties and installation can be difficult.

sandymueller2I look forward to helping you buy and sell your next home!!

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Refresh Your Interior with the Right Paint

paintLooking for a quick way to rejuvenate your living space? Before you go changing layouts or knocking down walls, try giving your interior a fresh coat of paint. This fairly simple task can dramatically alter the look and feel of your home.

Changing interior paint is an easy do-it-yourself project that most can tackle in a weekend or two. Before you get the rollers out and start painting, here are some basics about the interior paint finishes available:

Flat or Matte Hide imperfections with flat paints, which absorb light and make the colors seem darker. The downside? This type of paint is the least stain resistant, so reserve it for low-traffic areas and ceilings.

Eggshell Not as dull as flat paint but less shiny than semi-gloss, this low-sheen option works well in living rooms and bedrooms. Be aware that the shine can accentuate wall imperfections, so it’s best on smooth, well-prepared surfaces.

Satin This easy-to-clean finish is often used on windows, doors and trim. Its soft sheen sets it apart from walls painted in eggshell or flat finishes. Though it is highly durable, satin paint has less protection than shinier options.

Semi-Gloss Designed to stand up to stains, semi-gloss paints are the easiest to clean, making them ideal choices for kitchens and children’s rooms. Semi-gloss sheen also stands up to moisture, so consider this selection when repainting a bathroom.

Low VOC The name says it all. This type of paint contains fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which release toxic gases. Opt for low-VOC paint if you want to go green in your home and deal with less paint fumes.

sandymueller2I look forward to helping you buy and sell your next home!!

The Surprising Color Trends for 2016

THE 2016 COLOR TRENDS ARE …

color-trends

If you like to stay up to date on the latest in home design, you may be interested to hear the color trends predicted for 2016. From Benjamin Moore’s Simply White to Behr’s Ivory Keys, the leading color trend is white, which serves as a neutral backdrop for other dramatic elements.

But before you go out and buy gallons of white, note that this year’s on-trend whites have color and warmth to them. These subtle variations in tone make them the perfect accompaniment to other hot colors highlighted this year, so keep that in mind as you select accent colors.

To update your space using the neutral white trend, take the following steps:

  • Create a blank canvas — Paint an entire room in your favorite warm white. Starting with a neutral background lets other elements in the room stand out and become the focal point. Neutral rooms tend to be minimalist, so scale back on accessories and let the major pieces support your design.
  • Experiment with hues — Try layering with several shades of white. Create a clean, classic look with a white room and an occasional pop of color. The design possibilities using a white color palette are surprisingly endless.
  • Add contrast — Bold accent colors and crisp lines create sharp contrasts against white walls. Consider creating a feature wall with one of the other 2016 trend colors, like Blue Cloud from Olympic Paints or Paradise Found by PPG Porter Paints. You can also add other architectural elements in a dark wood or with geometric patterns.

sandymueller2I look forward to helping you buy and sell your next home!!

Sandy Mueller
Baird & Warner Real Estate

Admit It. It’s Time To Update Your Bedroom

A boring bedroom could lead to other boring pursuits in the room. Or even poor sleeping patterns. Time for a re-do? Excellent. Let’s consider some options.

Get a new headboard

You don’t need a whole new bed to create a luxurious bedroom space. You don’t need to spend a whole bunch of money either. Buy (or make) an upholstered headboard to elevate the elegance factor. The soft touch of the padding brings in a sense of comfort and also won’t give you a concussion when you hit your head on it.

Any color or pattern will do, but remember that the bolder and busier you go, the more you may have to shield your eyes when it’s time to relax. Choose straight lines or curvy ones for your headboard, or go for a patterned option.

Just remember that while it’s easy to swap out sheets, accessories, and other items in the room, getting another new headboard in a year when you tire of the geometric pattern you chose may not be practical.

bedroom1Freshen up your bedding

Still rocking that floral comforter? The good news is, floral patterns are trending again. But this time, they’re large scale (so your busy blanket might be better suited as a picnic blanket. Or a garbage can liner.

Replace it with something neutral for your comforter or duvet cover. That way you can use pillows and other accessories to express your stylish flair, which will extend the life of your bedding since it’s not tied to a trend.

Get a bench

Bookend your bed with a bench that can serve as a place to put on your shoes in the morning or drape a fancy throw. It’s an easy way to up the style quotient in your bedroom.

Benches come in a variety of styles—mix it up with ornate metal legs, Lucite, upholstery, or even reclaimed wood. In need of more storage? Be sure to look for one that has a hinged or lift-off top so you can hide extra linens or pillows inside.

bedroom2Artwork

If your bedroom walls are a showcase for your kids’ class pictures and t-ball games and Halloween costumes, you should know two things:

  • Family photos in the bedroom are bad Feng Shui.
  • They may be killing your sex life.

“Keep only photos of you and your partner in the bedroom,” said Feng Shui expert Salvator Manzi on MSN. “Try pictures of you two on a favorite vacation. Or to spur feelings of warmth, comfort and sensuality, try using nature scenes, flowers or artwork with smooth curves and warm colors.” Also remember that the first thing you see upon entering a room sets the mood, so place these images somewhere attention-grabbing.”

Need some more ideas? Check out Houzz.

Dress up your dresser

Your folded storage seen better days? If it’s not worthy of saving, you can get a unique look by bringing a console, chest, or sideboard instead of a traditional dresser. If your existing dresser has good bones, a can of paint and some sandpaper may be all you need to transform it into something dazzling.


bedroom3Get a leg up on flooring

Flooring in the bedroom is a personal choice; some love soft carpet underfoot. For others, a continuation of the hardwoods that are used in the rest of the home are desirable. If you want to incorporate one of the hottest trends in flooring today, forgo both and use vinyl.

“‘Luxury vinyl’ isn’t a contradiction in terms—it’s the phrase du jour among those who pay close attention to the materials homebuyers are eager to walk on,” said New Home Source.

bedroom4

“It’s the fastest-growing portion of the industry in the past two years,” according to Scott Humphrey, chief executive of the World Floor Covering Association, a trade group based in Anaheim, Calif., who said this flooring category has developed thanks to extraordinary photo technology that mimics wood (or just about any other material) so closely that you have to look twice to see that it’s vinyl,” they added.

Need ideas staging your home for sale? I’d love to share my ideas to help your home look appealing to buyers and sell FAST. Call Sandy Mueller at 847-494-8868.

Sandy Mueller

Sandy Mueller

5 Ways to Use Pinterest to Make Your Life Easier

pinterestStreamline your life with the help of social media! Pinterest is a popular, image-based social media site that allows you to create boards dedicated to your interests and hobbies. It can also be used to plan meals, workouts, home renovations, special events and much more. Here are five ways to use Pinterest to make your life easier.

1. Plan  events.
Whether you’re planning your wedding, your child’s birthday party or a summer barbeque, Pinterest offers a wealth of ideas to help you host a party that your guests
are sure to remember. Create a board for your event and pin games to play, food to serve, festive themes and much more.

2. Plan your family’s meals for the week. Pinterest is a great place to find new recipes as well as new twists on old favorites. Nurture healthy eating by creating a Pinterest board of your meals for the week. Fill it with healthy alternatives to your family’s favorites, as well as snacks, smoothies, salads, etc.

3.  Get design inspiration for a home renovation. In addition to scouring design magazines for design tips and inspiration, head over to Pinterest to find ideas to remodel your kitchen, turn your basement into a man cave or give your home décor a modern twist.  Additionally, Houzz features tons of Ideabooks full of inspiration. Create your own Ideabook and save design photos or bookmark articles to reference at a later date.

4. Find workout tips and inspiration. If you’re looking for a new fitness routine, health tips or just need a bit of motivation to work out, head to the Pins. Pinterest has divided its health and fitness section into several subcategories including yoga, men’s fitness and running that is geared toward the interests of pinners. Plan your workouts for the week and find new mantras to get you moving.

5. Look for a DIY project. Pinterest is the DIY-lover’s dream. Want to refurbish a dresser or cabinet you found at a yard sale, or have the urge to create a chair from a shipping pallet? See how other pinners have painted and improved similar furniture. Additionally, Houzz features articles that include tips to guide you through a DIY project.

Renovations That Pay Off

Remodeling is a great way to bring your home up-to-date, adapt it to your changing family needs and improve its value. If you’re planning on selling, making a few basic home improvements may make your home more attractive to potential buyers.
*Source: U.S. News and World Report, March 7, 2014

5 Renovations That Offer the Biggest Returns*

1. A new front door. (Return on investment: 96.6%) Refresh your entryway, and impress potential buyers with a new front door. If your current front door is in good condition, consider painting or staining it to make it look as good as new.

2. A wooden deck addition. (Return on investment: 87.4%) Improve the indoor/outdoor versatility of your home by adding a wood deck.

3. An attic bedroom. (Return on investment: 84.3%) Bedrooms are a versatile addition to a home. They can serve as a bedroom, a guest room or a home office. An attic bedroom makes use of this often underutilized space and adds value to the home.

4. A new garage door. (Return on investment: 83.7%) If your garage doors are old or dated, replacing them will add value to your home. If they’re still in good shape, paint them to enhance the look of your home.

5. A minor kitchen remodel. (Return on investment: 82.7%) The kitchen is one of the most popular renovations that homeowners tackle. A minor remodel can to update the space and entice potential buyers.

Find Our Your Home’s Market Value – It’s Free

Sandy Mueller

Sandy Mueller

Let me do a comparative market analysis with recent market data to help you estimate your home value today. Call me at 847-494-8868 or email sandy.mueller@bairdwarner.com.

Fixing Floor Noises

fix-squeaky-floorby Jim Borge
Prescion Property Inspection

I prefer to take a more conservative approach when dealing with floor noise. For example, before running nails through a finished hardwood floor, Try correcting the problem from below.

A lot of floor squeaks are the result of the subfloor/nails coming loose over time as the wood dry’s, the floor is walked on, and the humidity levels change thru out the seasons. You may notice less squeaking in the summer when the humidity level is higher, and the wood has expanded, but then becomes more noticeable in fall/winter.

One solution is to have a partner stand on the floor in the subject area while your below, in the basement or crawlspace. Have them step on the floor until the squeak is heard and you can pinpoint the spot from below. A lot of times you can physically see the subfloor movement as it is walked on. Simple wood shims can then be inserted between the floor joist and subfloor where the movement is noticed. Coat the shim with some wood glue and then insert into the gap. Remember, not to push them in too far (or you could cause a high spot in the floor above). Repeat until the movement is eliminated. This solution also works with other floor coverings as well (ceramic tile, carpet, etc.).

If however the floor is still making noise, or you cant access the subfloor from below, then you may need to add some nails from above. Be very conservative with their use, and drive them in at a slight angle, making sure they’re long enough to grab the subfloor. I usually place them in, or near, the grain where the coloring is darker, making them easier to hide. Make sure to use a nail set to drive the head of the nail below the surface slightly, then, fill with wood filler. You can find different colors of wood filler at most home improvement stores – try to match your color as close as possible.

Final note – Whenever your re-flooring, it’s a good idea to spend some extra time, (especially in older homes) and screw the subfloor down to the floor joists while it exposed. Taking the extra step at installation time can prevent squeaks for years to come.

Need a Home Repair Guy? I can help!

Sandy_9316 (1)_editedIf you need home repairs, I have a rolodex full of amazing vendors who will fix it right at a fair price.  Call me today at 847-494-8868 for recommendations you can trust!