The Professional Choice

A companion overview to the popular "Ask Mr. Handyman" radio program airing on Christian Talk Radio, KCRO 660AM Saturdays @ 9:30AM.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Selling Your Home This Summer?

Or are you planning to sell your home in the next few years?

The 2013 selling season is approaching; Start planning now to get the best offer on your home.

Let’s face it: It hasn’t been a seller’s market the past few years. For those looking to sell their homes, they’ll need to pull out all the stops, and it starts with simple home improvements.  Here are a few tips to help you get a handle on it.

1.    Patching unsightly nail holes, loose tape seams and chipped corners is an easy way to make walls look fresh and new. 

2.    Painting the walls a warm or neutral color will appeal to the widest audience of buyers. A fresh coat of paint will make the house look and smell clean and new.

3.    Replace dinged, scratched and chipped baseboards and trim. They stand out to the increasingly picky consumer.

4.    If you have carpet or vinyl in a typical wet area like entryway or bathroom replace it with tile.  Tile doesn’t hold dirt like carpet, is cool in the summer and is impervious should the kids or pets track water and dirt in. Tile floors that are lighter in color with a darker grout are most popular right now. It’s a great upgrade that will pay off at the sale.

5.    Different lighting options can influence the mood of any room.  A few new light fixtures throughout the house would be an inexpensive upgrade.   

6.    Updating kitchens and bathrooms pay off in the long run but not in the short term.  If they need upgraded to compete with other homes in your price range, do it.  Before making major renovations, keep in mind that minor upgrades can go a long way. An easy and inexpensive way to breathe new life into a bathroom or kitchen is to replace old light fixtures, faucets and hardware with modern alternatives. A thorough cleaning, re-grouting and new caulking will help a tub or shower look fresh and clean.

7.    Improve the curb appeal. The outside of your home can make a strong first impression, and a well-maintained yard with eye-catching plants and landscaping adds elegance. Consider power washing the siding and deck, while adding a fresh coat of paint to entry doors and trim.

8.    The number one thing home owners can do to ensure their home sells quickly is to keep up on the maintenance. Buyers do not want to purchase a home and spend money to accomplish numerous years’ worth of neglected maintenance.  Caulking around windows and doors, rotted siding and trim, cracked sidewalks and driveways all point to missed maintenance.


If you do not have the time or experience to accomplish the upgrades or to keep up on the maintenance please call Mr. Handyman at 402-502-5212.  We have the professionals that can take care of everything on your to-do-list.

Kitchen Remodel in Your Thoughts?

The new year brings with it a new to-do list for your home. Is a kitchen remodel on it for 2013? If so, then ask yourself the following questions when putting together your plan.

#1.    What is my goal?
Do you want to completely replace the cabinets, countertops and flooring, or do you simply want to give it a surface makeover? The difference between these two goals will be thousands of dollars.

If you plan to completely remodel the kitchen, make a list of everything you want to do. Do you plan to replace cabinets and countertops? Is a new floor in the plan? Will new appliances go where the older ones sit now or elsewhere in the room? Do you want to add windows or doors, install new lighting, knock-down walls?

If you simply desire a surface makeover, then refinishing cabinets instead of replacing them, and updating hardware, will get the job done in that area. A new countertop and sink can be added to the refinished cabinets.  New appliances can still be on the want list, but you will need to keep them where the current connections exist. The cost of moving water and gas lines can add thousands to the cost of the project.

#2    What is my budget?
There are two ways of putting together a budget for a kitchen remodel. You can either take your list of wants and go window/internet-shopping for ideas, then add up the costs, only making compromises once you see the expense of your desires.

Or you can set a fixed dollar amount and shop only within your means. Frankly, this option proves the best way to not overspend on a kitchen remodel, as you won’t even see the super-expensive appliances, granite or custom cabinets, and be tempted to go above and beyond what you can realistically afford.

With either approach, you should always keep resale value in mind. In the right market location, you can recoup up to 90 percent of the cost of a kitchen remodel during resale. You also should consider resale when making your design choices. If you plan to move in the next five years or so, you might want to stick with finishes and floors that suit a wider homebuyer base, as opposed to creating a quirky kitchen only your family will love. Potential homebuyers will factor in their own kitchen remodeling costs when making an offer on a house that does not meet their own tastes.

Consider all of these factors before speaking with a contractor or professional handyman about the project.  They will need to know your projected budget and desires before they can give you an idea of the costs.  Remember, now is the time to get exactly what you want in your kitchen so stretching your budget now will pay in your overall satisfaction through the years.
Most people focus strictly on their tastes and wants when thinking of changes to the kitchen.  Putting a dollar figure as a budget will help shape the overall method to acheiving that goal without breaking the bank.
Mr. Handyman does more than small jobs around your home.  Each year we complete many bathroom and kitchen remodels for our satisfied customers.  Please consider Mr. Handyman for your larger projects too.  Mr. Handyman can be reached at 402-502-5212.