Category: Work From Home
Ben and Erin Napier of “Home Town” usually renovate single-family homes, but in their latest episode, they’ve turned their keen reno eye toward a good cause.
In “Color Psychology,” Napier’s clients Lisa and Mike Cochran have bought a house in Laurel, MS, for $25,000 in order to turn it into a women’s home. They want this nonprofit to be a welcoming place for women who have run into tough times. It should be comfortable and beautiful, but they also know it needs to function for multiple people (and their kids) at once.
Ben and Erin set out to create the ultimate “roommate house” with a modest all-in budget of $100,000. Read on to find out Erin’s favorite beautiful (but inexpensive) upgrades, and find out if you can use them in your own space.
Use bright colors for a welcoming home
Erin knows that the women who will move into this house have been through a lot, so she wants to create a welcoming, happy ambiance.
One way she does this is by using color to make the common spaces and the exterior give off a joyful energy.
âI did a lot of research in college about color psychology, and certain colors make you feel hungry or happy or sad or sleepy,â Erin explains. âIn a color palette of sky blue, light-coral colors, lemon-meringue yellow, and then lots of neutrals and creams around those colors together give you a feeling of happiness.â
So Erin paints the exterior a beautiful blue, with a playful coral on the front door. Inside, she brightens up the living room with sunny yellow walls set off by creamy white trim.
Watch: Exclusive: HGTV’s Orlando Soria Gives Us a Tour of His Home
When the paint is dry, the house looks like it’s bursting with joy and life. Sometimes, the right colors can make all the difference.
Invest in small updates everyone will appreciate
Just like a fresh coat of paint, new windows are something everyone in the house will enjoy, and a window upgrade doesnât have to cost a lot.
That’s why Ben and Erin decide to upgrade this house by replacing a window upstairs. While this only brings extra light to the attic, it also gives the exterior a more elegant look.
âThat window is beautiful,â Erin says when she sees the new window installed. âThat small change is like changing the world for this house.â This new window proves that sometimes the smallest update can have a huge impact.
Create a designated workspace for everyone
Erin knows that a home should be beautiful as well as functional, which is why she decides to add two custom desks to the living space.
With kids living in the home, she wants to make sure they have space to do their homeworkâbut these convenient desks could also work in a house with roommates.
âWe can make it even more multipurpose,” Erin says when looking at the dual kitchen and dining room. “Weâre going to have kids. I want to think about how we have a really communal sort of dining space where thereâs also maybe desks.â
Ben and Erin find space in the corners of the dining room where one desk could be tucked in on either side of the room, away from the dining table and out of the way of foot traffic.
The desks look lovely and prove that, while there might not be room for a dedicated office in a shared house, there can still be workspaces for everyone.
Use inexpensive and easily-cleaned materials
Ben and Erin next move onto the kitchen, choosing a backsplash that is beautiful, inexpensive, and easy to clean. They use vinyl wallpaper as a clever substitute for tile, giving the room a pop of color that doesnât cost a lot. To protect the wallpaper from messes, Erin covers it with plexiglass so it can be quickly cleaned.
âWe went with this because itâs affordable but itâs really pretty, because we want this to be a lovely, soft first landing for these women and their kids,â Erin says.
Best of all, Erinâs wallpaper is peel-and-stick, so itâs easy to put up and easy to take down. This makes it an especially great choice for any roommates who want to be able to change up the look of their kitchen without spending too much money.
Don’t go too pricey with kitchen features
With a great roommate-friendly backsplash, Erin wants to continue the theme of inexpensive, sharable space with style. So she uses laminate countertops in the kitchen, knowing that this durable material will look greatâand cost just $300. And that frees up funds for the nonprofit to use somewhere else.
âPeople want to be down on laminate,â Erin says, acknowledging how laminate might not be the popular choice. âBut it wouldnât make sense if we had put $2,000 worth of countertops in this house that was all about the budget.â
And the laminate counters look just like marble, giving the new tenants a beautiful kitchen that isnât breaking the bank.
When the house is finally finished, Erin and Ben get to present their clients with a happy home that will be enjoyed by many deserving women for years to come.
The post ‘Home Town’: Ben and Erin Napier’s Top Upgrade To Give a Home Happy Vibes appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
Looking to turn your house into a healthy haven to protect your family from COVID-19? Try these six products to transform your space.
*Cover image sourced from Home Depot.
The post 6 Products You Need to Keep Your Home Germ-free and Sanitized in 2020 appeared first on Homes.com.
As your children grow and change, so should their bedrooms. However, if you were to revamp their rooms with every changing interest, favorite color or boy band, you would not only be spending a lot of time, but also a lot of money. Here are a few things to keep in mind if youâre looking to transition a childâs room as he or she continues to get older.
Start With Change in Mind
Designing a childâs nursery when youâre expecting is a fun and exciting experience. What parents may not plan for, though, are the unforeseen changes that the room might need as the child grows. Create a nursery with neutral wall colors and an open floor plan for playtime. It makes an easier transition that you can work with each changing year.
Consult With Them
When youâre planning to revamp your childrenâs room after a few years, make sure to consult with them. Itâs likely they wonât hold back in letting you know what they want. You can enhance a childâs creativity and production levels if their rooms are filled with things that excite them.
Choose the Right Items
There are certain pieces of furniture and dÃ©cor that can grow with a child. For example, a desk is a piece of furniture that can be added into a room and never seem to lose its importance, whether theyâll be endlessly creating works of art in coloring books or filling out college applications. Other items can include a classic bedframe and a monochromatic comforter.
Work Slowly but Surely
Make sure to try not to overwhelm your child with a lot of changes at once. If youâve decided that it is time to âgrow upâ from the nursery, it may be best to do it little by little. Most parents choose to start with a new bed before gradually continuing to swap out the old with the new.
Remember Teen Tips
During the teen years, make sure to declutter (that garage sale money can go to their college fund), freshen up with a new paint job, and provide grown-up accessories. Allow room for self-expression, but with limits. For instance, you can frame posters instead of using thumb tacks or tape directly on the walls. A bold rug is fine for the time being, especially if it protects the carpet or floor from food spills or shoe marks.
Raising children can be one of the greatest joys in life, so make sure their room reflects that! Take these tips with you over the years and let the DIY project become a fun one you and your child can look back on.
The post How to Transition Your Kids’ Rooms first appeared on Century 21Â®.
With so many people spending more time at home due to COVID-19, having reliable and consistent power is more critical than ever. But with winter about to be in full swingâand serious storms already wreaking havoc on parts of the countryâmany of us are thrust into crisis mode to get the juice back on.
If you haven’t done so already, now’s the time to invest in a generator to restore power to your home quickly. But here’s the deal: This is not a device to learn as you go. You need to know how to run it safelyâbefore you push “start,” and long before the lights go out. Because when you’re in crisis mode, it’s much easier to make dangerous mistakes that damage the generator or, worse, potentially put your family at risk.
Whether you’ve run a generator before or just bought one, here are eight things you should avoid.
1. You neglect regular maintenance
Hopefully, you won’t need to fire up your generator that often. But between the times that you do, you shouldn’t just put it in the corner and forget about it.
“Lack of proper maintenance on generators is the largest problem we see,” says Rusty Wise, owner of Mister Sparky in Cherryville, NC.
To ensure your generator is ready to go, Wise says to check the batteries regularly, and examine and clean the oil and air filter. You should also start it up on a regular basis during the colder months.
“Cranking the generator and putting it under a load is recommended at least once a month to help prevent moisture from accumulating in the windings and other electrical components,” says Wise.
2. You don’t use heavy-duty extension cords
It seems like power failures go hand in hand with severe weatherâand pairing sleet, rain, and snow with the wrong extension cords is a recipe for disaster.
Extension cords range from smaller wire 18-gauge to larger wire 10-gauge, says Wise. Wise recommends at least a 14-gauge outdoor grounded extension cord with GFCI protection for generators.
That’s a general reference, as the extension cord length and the amperage of the load affect how much the extension cord can handle, Wise says. Always consult your manual for specific extension cord requirements.
3. You run the generator from the garage
When a storm knocks out power and you have a generator ready to go, it’s tempting to start it up ASAP to restore power.
But beware: It’s not a good idea to start it up while it’s in the garage, even with the door open.
Generators should be operated outside, in a dry area at least 25 feet away from any open windows or doors with at least 5 feet of clearance on all sides, says Austin Heller, product manager of portable generators at Generac Power Systems.
“Generator exhaust contains carbon monoxide, a deadly poisonous gas invisible to the naked eye,” says Heller. “Only use generators far away from any openings to your home, and install a carbon monoxide detector indoors to make sure you’re alerted when CO is detected.”
4.Â You don’t follow the correct sequence when starting and stopping
Read the owners manual, but generally speaking, Heller says to turn the generator on before plugging in extension cords, then plug any loads into the extension cord.
When powering off, unplug loads from the extension cord. Then unplug the extension cord from the generator before turning the generator off.
“Following these steps will help to protect yourself from electrical shock, but it will also help minimize unnecessary strain or damage to the generator,” says Heller.
5. You have bad gas
We’re not talking about your digestion issues here. If you only started up the generator once and stored it with the remaining gasoline in the tank, it might go bad from sitting, Wise says.
“If you are going to store your generator, make sure to drain all of the gasoline or run it periodically to keep the gas fresh,” Wise says. “There are also gasoline additives that can help to keep the fuel fresh.”
6.Â You add gasoline while the generator is running
Speaking of gas, the generator sucks down gasoline as the hours go by in a power outage, yet you can’t add more gas at the last minute like you do when your car reaches the empty mark.
“Refueling a generator while it’s running or while the engine is hot could be a quick recipe for disaster,” Heller says. “Spilled gasoline could ignite, and create an explosion. Make sure to turn off your engine and let it cool completely before refueling.”
7.Â You run your generator unprotected from the elements
In the rush to get power restored to the house, you might haul out the generator in the pouring rain without setting up an area that will protect the generator from the elements.
Generators can be fired up and run during a snowstorm or rainfall, but they should be operated in a dry area to avoid electrocution or inverter damage, Heller says. Run it on a dry surface under an open, canopylike structure. Or buy a cover made specifically for generators.
8.Â You connect your generator directly to the service panel
Also known as “back feeding,” this connection is extremely hazardous.
“Connecting a portable generator directly to household wiring (electrical service panel) can be deadly to the homeowner, neighbors, or utility workers,” says Heller. “This is an illegal process, and it poses a major risk of electrical fire to the homeowner and any neighbors serviced by the same transformer.”
To get more power to the home safely, hire a licensed electrician to add a manual transfer switch.
“It can be installed to the home’s electrical panel with a manual switch to power everything a homeowner needs backup for,” says Heller. “A certified dealer can assess the home and suggest the correct size generator, while a licensed electrician can safely install the manual transfer switch to code.”
The post 8 Dangerous Mistakes To Avoid When Firing Up Your Generator This Winter appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
You hear the term all the time. After all, itâs an essential concept for apartment investors because it not only reflects the viability of your investment but also its value.
But what really is cash flow? How do you compute it, and more importantly, how can you increase the cash flow of your multifamily property?
Cash flow is simply the money that moves in and out of your business. For apartments, the cash coming in is in the form of rent, and the cash flowing out is in the form of expenditures like property taxes and utilities.
Cash flow â or lack of it — is one of the primary reasons businesses, or real estate investments, fail. Without sufficient cash flow, youâll run out of money. Thatâs why itâs essential that you have sufficient capital to not only purchase an apartment property but also sustain it in the event that cash flow fails to be what you projected â for example, if units turn over more often than you expect or rents decline.
Here are some ways you can improve the cash flow of your apartment investment:
- Increase rents. This is perhaps the fastest and easiest way to improve cash flow. Consider repositioning the property â investing some capital to improve the units and then bumping rents.
- Reduce utility costs. Fix leaky shower heads and faucets, which waste water. Install energy-efficient appliances and lighting fixtures.
- Decrease expenses. Renegotiate your property management contract, or put it out to bid at the end of the term. Use free rental property listing sites rather than paying a broker to rent apartments.
- Encourage residents to stay. Moveouts are expensive, so when tenants renew their leases youâll save time and money on prepping the unit.
- Add additional streams of revenue, such as pet deposits and rent, garage rentals, vending machines or valet trash.
The post The ABCs of Multifamily Cash Flow first appeared on Century 21Â®.