Home Staging and Curb Appeal

     One of the first steps to preparing a home for sale is staging. This process serves several purposes:
1: To attract buyers
2: To bring out the features in your house
3: Prepare you for moving on to your new home
     It is understandable that after living in your home you may not realize all that you have accumulated and it is only natural to personalize a home to your tastes. However, when you are preparing to put your home up on the market it is important to remember that by putting your house on the market you are now selling a product.
     The outside of the house is the first thing people see and in some cases is all they will ever see. If the exterior is not well maintained people are inclined to believe that the inside is going to be in similar condition.
     Make sure to remove any items from the exterior of your home that you are not intending to sell with the house. This may include:

Personalized paving stones
Lawn d├ęcor
Childrens Toys
Vehicles not in use
ATV’s and boats
Wind chimes

    By removing these items it will help give your home a less cluttered appearance and allow for buyers to see your house and not your things. Now that you have less to maneuver around make sure that any plants and hedges are trimmed. It is also very important to remove dead plants, weeds and if needed any wasp/bee nests.
     You don’t want your buyers focusing how much work they are going to have to do when they move in, instead try to clear the slate so they can imagine living there. For this reason making sure your house looks move in ready on the outside will help to increase interest.
      Looking at your house from the roof down pay attention to details if your roof has moss on it make sure that it is cleaned and removed. Gutters should be cleared of any debris; one good rain and clogged gutters might just manage to soak your potential buyers and wash away offers in one fell swoop.
     Siding and paint can make a world of difference on how a house is viewed as well. Neutral colors are best as most people are drawn to warm and inviting colors. Bold and vibrant colors may mean considerably less interest due to the personalization of the colors used.  Paint can also update an older style home to appeal to a broader market. In some cases you may be able to power wash the exterior to remove built up dust and dirt and help to increase the clean appearance of the house. Washing the windows and cleaning screens will also help to increase the amount of natural light in the house as well as improving the appearance outside.
     Also take note and repair any calking that is missing or weather worn. Repair any loose boards or railings on decks and patios to minimize any hazards for buyers and yourself when you prepare to move.
     Always keep in mind your goal is making your house a clean slate for your buyer to fill with the new life they will have there.

     - by Michele Renatta

Avoiding Chemical Dangers During a Home Renovation

If someone is looking to update his or her home, the best way to do it is through a home renovation.  Almost all homes can look better with a home renovation.  Older homes can be modernized if people take the time to renovate them.  Renovating a home does not come without many expenses.  These expenses are not limited to monetary expenses, but these expenses include dedication to the project, hard work, and the planning for the project.  Furthermore, the renovation also comes with health hazards because a person can be exposed to many dangerous chemicals during the process.  The following are some chemicals that one can be exposed to and ways to reduce the risk of getting ill if exposed to these chemicals.

A lot of people would not consider dust to be a dangerous chemical, but during a home renovation, it becomes dangerous.  Dust can cause many respiratory problems because the dust can become trapped in someone’s lungs.  If dust becomes trapped in a person’s lungs, the person can have an asthma attack.  In order to prevent illness from dust, a person should have proper ventilation during the renovation and wear masks and goggles.

Mold can cause permanent damage to a person’s home, but it can also cause serious health problems to that person.  Research has shown that mold can cause someone to have serious health problems, which includes neurological damage because of the exposure.  If mold is present, the best way to avoid becoming ill is to contact a professional to remove the mold.  The professional can remove the mold, and he or she can also determine if the mold has caused any structural damage to the home.

Although dust and mold may cause problems, asbestos is the most dangerous chemical someone may be exposed to during a home renovation.  Asbestos was used quite often during the last century because it provided unique insulation abilities.  However, asbestos exposure can lead to many health problems.  One of these health problems is mesothelioma, which is a cancer known to be caused by asbestos exposure. In order to avoid becoming ill from asbestos exposure, a person should have the home inspected by a professional prior to the renovation.  Therefore, the renovator will know if he or she needs to do additional work to remove asbestos before the renovation begins.

- by Brian Tuner

The Value Of A Remodel

Popular Remodel Costs And Potential Payback:
All remodel jobs have a payback in the functionality they provide the owner. The owner must also consider facts like what the cost would be to replace what you have if you purchased another property.
Here are some samples of costs and returns that we have experienced:
  • Bedroom / Bath Addition -
    cost $130,000, resale value $90,000
  • Kitchen Expansion, Addition
    cost $80,000, resale value 50% to 80%
and more -------

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Car Storage - Garage Addition

  • Need more garage parking - but don't have the room to add on more garage? The solution may be installing a modular car lift.
  • The size and capacity of a lift depends on the type of vehicles - being garaged. One project we designed and built was for a car collector. He found the increasing expense of renting storage was a positive factor in the decision to go to the expense of a lift. The remodel to accommodate the lift and vehicles was already being taken care of in a structural rebuild we were already designing. All that needed to be added was some more height to the garage rebuild.
  • The cost factor - is certainly something to be factored in with a project like this. Sometimes, if you are doing a new building project, this would be something to design for, even if you would not put the lift in right away.
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Custom Design & Plans

We do custom design as well as construction and permit plans
for new homes as well as remodels and additions.

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Egress Windows in Basements

Rules And Considerations For Egress Windows in Remodeled Basements:

  • Pictured above is the minimal window size and construction for a basement egress window.
  • International Residential Code (IRC) requires egress windows in all bedrooms. In basements, new or remodeled, this requirements are very specific and may have added requirements by the local building jurisdiction. The larger the metropolitan area the more likely the local building jurisdiction may have specific additional requirements concerning egress code implementation.
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Positive Seal Decks

New Vinyl Sealing Systems:
The new systems for waterproofing decks, said to have been taken from the boating industry, utilizes pvc sheet membrane material positively sealed down to the deck substrate. Rules and techniques have been developed for how the membrane is connected at the building and at the deck leading edges. This ensures the basic rule of these systems - always a positive waterproof seal.
The material are designed for looks and texture, strength, stability in all weather conditions and slip resistance.
The sheet vinyl system has been used for over 35 years and the two major manufacturers of these products come from Canada. Obviously if the products can withstand the harsh climates found in many areas of Canada for such an extended period of time, then it has to be a viable product.
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Echo House: A Breathtaking Interior Design

Take a look at this design - very new age and beautifully crafted: Link to: Echo House: A Breathtaking Interior Design

Addition Design & Build

Rules And Considerations For Additions:

  • Define what it is you actually need (for example an extra bedroom for a child). Do not get into what elements fit where and how the elements will look. Initially just define what is needed and the fit and look will happen as the footprint is developed.
  • Do not break the traffic flow of the house. Try to enhance it, if possible.
  • Simpler construction will cost less. If you have the realestate to build out, do that instead of building up. Building overhead is more labor intesive, structurally more demanding and is much more intrusive to the houshold (unless no one is living in the home).
  • One of the most complex parts of an addition can be designing the roofline. To make the addition look like it has always been there and is intregal to the building is a goal that can be easy or very difficult.
  • Building a 2 story addition can have the added problem of looking like a tower tacked on to a one-story structure. There are special design considerations to mitigate this problem.

Cantilever Roof

How To Overbuild A Roof That Is Too Old To Carry A New Load.
On a recent project, we added a large master bedroom and bath addition to a 1940's Beaverton bungalow.
As in many additions, the roof presented the particular problem of not making the addition look like a tack on. The solution was a raised roof over the entire structure including the new addition. In order to not to have to remove all the existing roof, because it would not carry the new roof load a cantilever truss was designed, allowing no load to be put on the existing roof structure. The existing roof, as so many of the time period, used 2x4 members, which would never carry even the existing load under todays codes.

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