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Tips for Your Basement Remodel

8/8/2022

Tips for Your Basement Remodel

Aug 07, 2022

Having a finished basement is a great addition for just about any house. It can give you a place to relax, a play area for your children, or even additional bedroom space if you need it. Some people even use basement areas to create fully furnished workshops, craft rooms, and other furnished DIY areas so they’ll have comfortable places for hobbies and keep DIY clutter out of the main house areas. The possibilities of a finished basement are limited only by your imagination.

With that said, finishing or remodeling a basement area can be a big undertaking. There are ways to keep it from becoming overwhelming, though, as well as things that you can do to avoid potential problems down the line. While the specifics of your basement project will depend on where you live and how you’re designing your basement, here are some tips that should help you to remodel your basement space into something closer to your liking.

Plan for the Basics First

There are a few things that you’re going to want to tackle before you get too far into planning your basement remodel. Some issues such as stuffy air, moisture problems, and poor lighting often plague basements and cause finished basement areas to be underutilized compared to the rest of the house. You’re going to want to make sure that any foundation cracks or other leaks are taken care of, that the basement has good ventilation and air purification as needed, and that there’s sufficient lighting for your needs.

Heating and cooling issues are another thing you’re going to want to plan for early on. Finished basements can become stuffy or drafty if you don’t have proper HVAC extensions or other heating and cooling options in place, and pipes running through the basement ceiling can make a huge mess if they freeze and burst during especially cold winters. Proper insulation, good seals around windows and doors, and some way to keep temperature-regulated air flowing can go a long way toward avoiding these issues.

Make the Room Your Own

Before you really dive into a major remodeling project, take the time to figure out exactly what the space is going to be used for. Once you have this in mind it will help a lot with other design decisions. Having a purpose in place can help you choose wall and ceiling colors, aid in determining storage needs, and even help you choose the sort of flooring or furniture that you want in your finished basement area.

As you plan out your basement and what you want to use it for, your needs can also make it easier to tell whether you’ll need a single large room or if you’ll want to partition the basement space into multiple smaller rooms. Having a plan in place will go a long way toward making sure that all of your needs are covered and that your new space will actually meet your needs.

Bring in Some Help

While there are a number of jobs that you can DIY in a basement remodel, there are still some areas that are best left to the professionals. This is especially important if your basement needs new lighting installed, new plumbing, or an extension to your HVAC system to ensure that you have adequate ventilation in your new basement area. While it may be tempting to try and do some of these things yourself, that can set you up for a lot of problems down the road.

Fortunately, HomeKeepr is here to help. Our app can connect you with plumbers, electricians, HVAC pros, and other professionals to make sure that everything is done correctly and up to code. Whether you just need some lights installed or full room partitions, we’ve got you covered. Best of all, creating a HomeKeepr account is free. Sign up today and get that much closer to being done with the basement of your dreams.

Preserving the Charm of Historical Homes

7/18/2022

Preserving the Charm of Historical Homes

Jul 18, 2022

When you’re looking for a house, or even making decisions about the one you already own, there’s a lot to be said for leaving things be. Sure, there are some horrific things that history gave us that should be forgotten forever, but there are also historical features that are not only charming and quirky, but sought-after by buyers. These days, getting a house ready for sale doesn’t mean having to get rid of everything that makes that house interesting.

Preserving a Home’s Character and History

It’s not unusual to need to do some kind of updates to a home. No matter how cool the mid-century modern bathroom is in your MCM ranch, or how original the kitchen in your Victorian, sometimes change is inevitable. For example, you might need to make these spaces more accessible, or update the plumbing or electrical, requiring extensive changes.

But you can still update and preserve a home at the same time by making careful choices that make sense with the home’s history. Choosing replacement materials that are close to what would be accurate for that bathroom that needs a walk-in shower, or refitting a new kitchen with extensive nods to its period, are common ways to handle these situations. It can help complete the illusion by repurposing as many of the original elements as possible, which also keeps more trash out of the landfill. One notable exception to the rule is if your materials are considered hazardous, like flooring made with asbestos (consult with a remediator on how to legally and safely remove it in your state).

Do Buyers Want Pink Bathrooms?

Yes! Although HGTV would have you believe that the entire world wants homes that are black, white, and gray, the truth is a lot different than that. After touring homes that have been completely “grayed out,” having that cool retro bathroom or deeply detailed wooden trim is actually a point in your favor with many buyers. Your house can stand apart from the crowd, simply by being itself. There’s no amount of sterilization that can make an old house a new one, but you can sterilize the heart and history out of a home very quickly and easily by trying to turn your home into something that it isn’t.

Buyers do pick up on that in homes that have been way overdone. They never quite feel right. When people walk into a house expecting to see wooden floors or chrome plating because it reminds them so much of their grandmother’s house, and what they get is a generic house that looks like 10 others that are currently under construction, it’s a big letdown.

Preservation Also Saves Money

Not only does preserving as many of the cool features of your home as possible keep more construction waste out of landfills and help your home stand out from the crowd, it also keeps more money in your pocket. Things like Formica counters and tile floors never really go out of style, nor do good quality lighting, brick, hardwood flooring, wooden doors, or hundreds of other sturdy materials that you find in older homes.

Everyone who tours your home will have something to say about every material in it, no matter what you choose, so you might as well do yourself a favor and keep all the things that make your house your home. It’ll save you money and draw in new buyers who are looking for something beyond the boring gray of today’s real estate market.

Who Can You Call for Help?

When it comes to a historical rehabilitation, there are plenty of people who can be called in to help get the ball rolling. From general contractors who help preserve historic homes, to electricians who specifically focus on older structures, and even window installers who can upgrade the efficiency of your home without changing the look of it, there’s an army of people to consult.

And, lucky for you, you can find them all in the HomeKeepr community! When you ask for recommendations, make sure you specify that you’d like an older home specialist who can help bring back your home’s period shine without sacrificing too much of it to the aesthetic of the hour. Call or text Maura for any questions 757-418-2139; or email at Maura@MauraBainHomes.com

What Is a SEER Rating?

7/14/2022

What Is a SEER Rating?

Jul 14, 2022

With the cost of heating and cooling a home throughout the year, homeowners want to have the most efficient HVAC units in their home that they can afford. Asking for recommendations for a specific unit can bring about a wide range of different answers, though. Those who are in the market for a new HVAC unit need a way to tell just how efficient different units are beyond all of the hype. That’s where SEER ratings come in.

An HVAC unit’s SEER rating should be one of the most important factors you consider when trying to decide on a model. Unfortunately, if you don’t really know what a SEER rating is or how it’s used, the rating can be kind of confusing. To help, here’s a basic rundown of what SEER ratings are, how they’re used, and where you can turn to get more information.

SEER Ratings Explained

First things first: SEER stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio” and is one of the details provided on those big yellow “EnergyGuide” stickers that you’ll see on things like air conditioners, heaters, and HVAC units. It’s a ratio that compares the output of the unit over the course of an average season divided by the average energy used during that same season. This provides you with an idea of how cost-effective using the unit will be since the ratio sums up how much energy it will take to keep your home comfortable for an entire season.

It’s important to keep in mind that the rating represents the unit’s maximum potential efficiency; your actual experience may be (and likely will be) at least somewhat less than that potential based on weather conditions and other factors such as routine maintenance. Even with that in mind, the SEER rating provides a starting point for comparing different options and finding the best solution for your home.

 

Using a SEER Rating

When it comes to SEER ratings, you want to find HVAC units that have high numbers. This means that a relatively small amount of energy was used to create the output that the unit achieved, which translates to a significant reduction in cost for you. If you’re upgrading from a unit that is maybe 10 to 15 years old, there’s a good chance that you could save as much as 20 to 40 percent on your energy bill due to the higher efficiency of modern units. Using the SEER rating as a guide and comparing new units to the SEER rating of your current one will help you to maximize that savings.

Similarly, SEER ratings can be used to compare models from different manufacturers to find the one that provides the best bang for your buck. A unit that’s more expensive up front may still save you money in the long run if it has a notably higher SEER rating than cheaper models. While there’s obviously limits to how much your budget can spare, using the SEER rating as a comparison point can help you to find the most efficient option from among multiple models that otherwise seem very similar.

Choosing the Right HVAC Unit

If you still aren’t sure exactly which HVAC unit you need, don’t be afraid to talk to a professional. Get in touch with pros that specialize in HVAC sales and installation, as they’ll not only know how to find the most efficient unit within your budget, but will also help you take factors such as your region, the local climate, and the size of your home into consideration. Best of all, they’ll be able to deliver and install the unit for you to make sure that everything is done correctly.

HomeKeepr can help you find the HVAC pros you need for the job. Our app can match you with these and other pros in your area, and best of all creating an account is free. If you’re ready to take control of your home’s temperatures throughout the year without breaking the bank, sign up for your free HomeKeepr account today.

Help Buyers Feel at Home (In Your Home)

7/5/2022

Help Buyers Feel at Home (In Your Home)

Jul 04, 2022

Of course your house is awesome – it’s your house! But the things that you really love about your home’s decor can sometimes slow down progress when you’re trying to sell your place. Just because you’re all in on the “Halloween all year long” aesthetic doesn’t mean that potential buyers will be able to see past that when viewing your home.

What a Home Buyer Sees

Although we all like to imagine that we only look at the house itself and never, ever let ourselves be influenced by anything that’s easy to change about a home (or things that don’t even go with the home), the truth is often very different. Many homebuyers, especially those who are in the market for the first time, need to be able to picture themselves living in your house.

For some homes, that’s easy enough, but others that are owned by people who live an abundant or exuberant life can be a real challenge to homebuyers. They can forget they’re shopping for a home and get overwhelmed by the decor or intense level of personalization going on inside. Of course, you bought your house in part so you could make it your own, but now it’s time to let someone else take her for a test drive.

Obviously a lot of things can’t be turned into blank slates, especially if you have children or pets who have items that are specifically theirs and used often. Short of sending them to stay with the grandparents until you’ve got a contract secured, just keeping their areas tidy and focusing on the things you can soften will have to be enough.

 

Decluttering Is Important, but So Is Depersonalizing

There’s a difference between stripping a house of all its charm and simply depersonalizing it a bit. If you’ve got an original pink bathroom in a 1950s ranch-style home, by all means, let that brilliant bit of historical architecture shine. But, if your home is covered in photos of your family, your dog, and your intensely personal artwork, you may want to tone those selections down a notch.

When a homebuyer walks into a home that’s so deeply personalized, it can make them feel a little bit like they’re violating your privacy, even though you invited them in by listing your house. When someone feels like they’ve trespassed, they’re going to try to get out as quickly as possible, which does not help a buyer see themselves living in that house.

 

Consider Color Choices

Many buyers realize that they can and will almost certainly repaint your home to their liking, so for most sellers, repainting isn’t really a high priority, nor should it be. However, for some sellers, it definitely merits consideration. The homes that may need to consider a paint job are those that offer significant challenges to the potential buyer, or that have paint that works against the space. For example, if your house is full of dark colors that make the space seem a lot smaller than it is, it’s going to turn buyers away. Not only will they have trouble seeing themselves in the space that they perceive erroneously to be very dark and tight, those who realize it’s a visual trick may still be put off by the large amount of work that’s ahead of them.

As a rule of thumb, if you’ve chosen a color that will need several coats of primer before lighter paint will cover it, you’ll probably need to repaint. You can even go with a similar color that’s much, much lighter, if you really feel like the color works well for your house. Most buyers won’t care, as long as it’s something that they can easily imagine themselves repainting in a weekend to meet their own needs.

Need Help Making Your Home More Welcoming?

Look no further. Let me know if you need help and I will get you the best recommendations for home professionals in your area who can help you repaint, reorganize, and even re-envision your home, it’s always free!  Go to www.MauraBainHomes.com or direct message me on my facebook page My Facebook Page

More Ways to Stormproof Your Home

6/9/2022

More Ways to Stormproof Your Home

Maura Callan Bain

BHHS Towne Realty

Jun 09, 2022

Maura Callan Bain

As spring turns to summer, one thing that unfortunately comes along with that change is summer storms. For some people this means frequent downpours or heavy rains. For others it means lightning or the possibility of severe weather. Even for those who don’t live in areas that commonly experience tornadoes or other severe weather, there is still a possibility of damage from things like flooding and high winds. Whether storms are a common occurrence where you live or only infrequent, keeping your home safe during bad weather should still be a concern.

You’ve likely already seen suggestions for how to stormproof your home and stay safe during inclement weather. To make sure that you’ve covered all the bases, here are a few additional ways to stormproof your home that you might not have thought of.

Stormproofing Your Property

There are a few changes that you can make to your property that may significantly reduce the likelihood of storm-related damage to your home. One big thing that you can do is inspect any trees on your property before storm season, and again in the fall to make sure that there aren’t any dead or damaged limbs that could break under pressure. Getting these removed will not only make your trees look better, but will also help protect against home damage or injury from falling limbs.

If your home is on a downward slope or located in a low area, you might also consider installing French drains to reroute water away from your foundation. This can be very effective in preventing damage from flooded basements and garages, as the drains will keep a lot of that water from actually reaching your home. Depending on how the French drains are set up and where they drain to, this can move a significant amount of water away from your home during a storm.

Upgrading Your Defenses

If you’re considering home improvements, there are a few options you might consider. If thunderstorms are common where you live during the summer, installing a lightning rod or other lighting protection components can be a good idea. You also might want to get transient voltage surge suppressors to plug high-value electronics such as computers and televisions into as well, since these help to limit voltage to 1.5 times the normal voltage range. While this is still higher voltage than these devices are used to, they are much more likely to survive without damage compared to the significant amount of voltage they might experience during a lightning strike surge.

Other improvements you can make to better protect you during a storm include installing new windows and a new roof. Advances in window and roof materials make them much more durable than they were even a decade ago, and if your windows and roof have been in place for a long time, then they might already be experiencing some wear and tear. Not only will replacing them before the weather gets bad help to prevent leaks and other storm-related problems, but in the event of a big storm, you may even have an installation warranty on your side.

Review Your Policies

One last thing that you might want to do is look over your homeowner’s insurance and any other insurance policies you have for your property to see exactly what is and isn’t covered regarding storm damage. Flood damage commonly isn’t covered by standard policies, and depending on where you live there may be other storm-related exclusions as well. You definitely don’t want to wind up surprised at your coverage level if you have to make a storm-related claim.

Any other question? Feel free to reach out to me for help.  

Installing a Pool? Tell Your Insurance!

6/2/2022

Installing a Pool? Tell Your Insurance!

Maura Callan Bain

BHHS Towne Realty

Jun 02, 2022

Maura Callan Bain

Swimming pools can be a lot of fun. They give you a way to cool off during the summer, have fun with friends and family, and even get some low-impact exercise that feels more like play than work. Unfortunately, they can also be a hazard if you aren’t careful around them. As a result, your homeowner’s insurance company is going to want to know about that pool, since it creates a new point of liability.

If your home already had a pool when you bought it, your insurance company would have wanted to know about it when you first took out the policy. If you’re installing a new pool, you’re still going to have to tell them, and they’ll adjust your rate accordingly. Let’s take a look at pools and insurance to give you a better idea of how your insurance company sees your new pool and what you can do to keep those rates in check.

How Do Insurance Companies See Swimming Pools?

Swimming pools are classified as an “attractive nuisance” by insurance companies, meaning that they are potentially dangerous and have an appeal that could attract children and others to them. The attractive nature of a swimming pool creates a liability on your part, leaving you responsible for any injuries or other incidents that occur in relation to the pool. The large amount of water that they hold as well as work-heavy components such as filter pumps also subject pools to a lot of wear and tear, and failure to properly maintain a pool can actually cause insurance companies to deny claims that occurred because of a lack of regular maintenance.

It’s worth noting that insurance companies view above-ground pools differently than they do in-ground pools. Above-ground pools are considered personal property and usually classified as an “external structure”, while in-ground pools are generally viewed as a feature of the property. This can affect not only how your liability is calculated but also how your policy covers repairs for any damage that occurs to your pool.

When to Tell Your Insurance Company

For the most part, you aren’t required to tell your insurance company when you start to install a swimming pool. Instead, you’re required to inform them once the swimming pool is complete and before it’s put into service. This means that you don’t necessarily have to let your insurance company know as soon as you contact a pool installer, but you do have to let them know once installation is wrapping up and before you actually start using the pool.

The reason for this is that many pool installers have to schedule installations in advance, and in some cases may run into delays or other setbacks that cause them to reschedule. Depending on when you contract your installation, you could schedule it weeks or even months in advance of the pool actually being ready. It can be a good idea to let your insurance company know that you’re looking to install a pool in the future, but they won’t adjust your policy until the pool is in place and ready to start being used.

Safe Pool Installation

Reducing liability is an important part of pool ownership. This includes things like installing a fence around the pool, setting up monitors or alarms to let you know if anyone is around the pool without permission, and installing non-slip walkways or putting other safety measures into place around the pool’s perimeter. In some areas these are required by law, but they are still a good idea even if they aren’t legally required.

HomeKeepr can help you to find installers to set you up with the pool of your dreams, as well as the pool safety measures that will keep your friends and family safe. You can even look for insurance providers if you’re in the market for a new homeowner’s policy that will provide you with pool coverage. Creating an account is free, so sign up today to make your dreams of your own pool a reality.

Do Plants Help Sell a Home?

5/23/2022

Do Plants Help Sell a Home?

Maura Callan Bain

BHHS Towne Realty

May 23, 2022

Maura Callan Bain

When you’re looking to sell your house, there are a lot of little things that you can do to increase the likelihood that some prospective buyer is going to make an offer. Many of the tips you’ll find to improve your home’s appeal focus on things inside the house, ranging from paint colors to furniture and a variety of other little tweaks. There is something else that you can do to improve the appeal of your home that’s often overlooked, though: add some plants.

A lot of people don’t put much thought into the plants around their home when prepping for a sale, and this can be a big missed opportunity. From fixing up your lawn and garden to adding splashes of greenery indoors, there are several ways that you can leverage plants to help sell your home when the time comes. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Increase Your Curb Appeal

While interior staging is important, it’s easy to forget that the outside of your home is the first impression that potential buyers are going to get. There are obviously a few external things that you can do, such as slapping a fresh coat of paint on the door and cleaning up the windows a bit. However, one of the biggest boosts to your home’s curb appeal comes in the form of improving your lawn and external plants.

As soon as you start considering selling your home, it’s time to treat brown spots or thin areas on your lawn so that everything is lush and green. Cleaning up flower beds, adding decorative plants on the porch or along the walkway, and otherwise sprucing up the look of the outside will go a long way toward capturing the attention of potential buyers. Just like a shabby exterior can dampen buyer enthusiasm, a well-manicured lawn and decorative flowers or trees can get buyers excited before they even step inside.

Bringing in a Touch of Nature

Exterior landscaping isn’t the only way that plants can help you sell your home. Potted plants, vases with fresh flowers, and even small decorative potted trees or other tall plants can add both color and a sense of freshness to your home that are hard to replicate. It’s the same reason that a lot of grocery stores have fresh flowers near the entrance to the store; when people see plants and flowers, their brains immediately focus on the idea of freshness and life. In stores, this makes people assume that the produce is all fresh, and in your home, it helps potential buyers to picture themselves living in the house.

If you choose flowers or other plants with pleasant scents, bringing them in can add to the overall freshness of the air without the need for artificial air fresheners or incense. This can let your plants serve double duty, improving the quality of the air while also adding a splash of color and life to your home. Just make sure to avoid plants that produce a lot of pollen or else you may have some cleanup to take care of before potential buyers come for a tour.

Call Some Help if Needed

It’s possible that you won’t really be able to take care of everything you want to do all on your own. Perhaps you have trees on your property that need trimmed or have to have dead limbs removed. Maybe you want to revitalize a flower garden but don’t really have the time. It’s even possible that you’d love to add some floral touches to your home, but aren’t really sure what would go best with your house. It’s okay, we’ve got you covered.

Just call, text or email!

Fix Your Yard’s Drainage Now

1/31/2022

Fix Your Yard’s Drainage Now

Maura Bain

Jan 31, 2022

Drainage problems can be a major issue for homeowners. Not only does poor drainage cause standing water in your yard, but it can also lead to leaks and foundation problems with your house depending on where the water collects. As if that wasn’t bad enough, landscaping and lawn upkeep become a lot harder when your yard doesn’t drain well. Is there anything that can be done for these problems?

Fortunately, yes. There are actually a few different ways to treat drainage issues in your yard, and this is a great time to undertake a project to correct them. By taking action now, you can avoid problems that might arise from heavy spring rains. The exact solution to your drainage issues will depend on the cause of your problem, so here are a few different options to consider.

Grading Issues

One common cause of problems with drainage is inconsistent grading in your yard. This can cause problems if your home is at the bottom of a big slope across your yard, but it can also be an issue if the grading is inconsistent and as a result has one or more low spots in the yard. Water flows along the soil wherever the grade leads, so this can cause it to collect around your home or in low areas which can then become swampy and overgrown.

Regrading your yard can be done either with specialized tools that scrape soil from higher areas into lower ones, or by bringing in additional soil to completely change the grade. Each method has its advantages, with redistribution being favored when there are both high and low areas in your yard, and the addition of new soil being best when you need to change an otherwise mostly good grade. Once the regrading is finished you can seed the graded area and have grass growing by the time spring arrives.

Soil Penetration

Another big problem with drainage comes when water simply can’t penetrate down into the soil in time to be absorbed. This is especially problematic because you end up with way too much water in the areas where water collects but the soil in other areas might not get enough. Sometimes this is because the soil has too much clay in its composition so it’s difficult for water to penetrate, and sometimes it’s a result of other issues such as thick thatch. In some cases, it’s even just a matter of the soil being too compacted by traffic and time. Regardless of the cause, though, there are solutions.

Clay-heavy soil is the most work-intensive to correct, but the solution is also pretty simple. You simply need to break up the clay and add soil or sand into the mix to make it easier to drain. Sometimes this is as easy as adding a few holes in the clay-heavy area and mixing it together, especially if the clay is in a relatively small area. In some instances, though, you may need to do some tilling or other heavy mixing to break up larger clay beds.

Other issues can be fixed by using a dethatcher on your lawn to break up the thatch buildup or running tools over the ground that punch small holes to break up overly compacted topsoil. Dethatching and aerating the soil like this are often done together, as the loosening of soil is good for the growing grass as well even if it wasn’t excessively compacted.

Fix Your Drainage Problems

Correcting drainage issues can be a big job, but your yard and your home’s foundation will thank you. If you’re in need of a landscaping pro to get the job done, HomeKeepr can help with that. Creating a HomeKeepr account is free, and once you’re a member you can connect with a wide range of pros in your area to help with this and other tasks around the house. Sign up today and let’s get those drainage issues solved!

Getting Ready for a Bathroom Remodel?

1/30/2022

Getting Ready for a Bathroom Remodel?

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Maura Bain

Jan 20, 2022

When it comes to redoing the various rooms in your home, the bathroom is often overlooked. Some homeowners won’t even touch the bathroom unless a leak or some other problem makes it necessary. This is a really poor way to look at it, however, especially given how much time we spend in the bathroom, between bathing, getting ready to face the day, and a few other things. Your bathroom is just as deserving of attention as any other room in your home.

Of course, the why doesn’t really matter; whether you’re remodeling your bathroom because you want to change its look or you’re doing it because you’re already making repairs, the time to start is almost here. The question is, how do you get ready to remodel your bathroom? Here are some things that you should keep in mind before the remodel actually starts.

Prepping for the Remodel

The first thing that you need to do is get the bathroom ready for the remodel. This means getting all of your stuff out, and that may end up being a lot more than you expect. Set aside all the things that you use daily, then start packing up less-common items and organizing them by category. This way all your makeup, your hair care products, your bathing products, and everything else that you use in the bathroom will all be kept together so that you can put everything back up more easily when the remodel is done.

This is also the time when you should make plans for what you’re going to do while the bathroom is inaccessible. If you have another bathroom in the house then you can obviously use it, but if you don’t, then you might have to talk with a neighbor about using their bathroom, or even rent a portable toilet until the remodel is finished. Not all bathroom remodels will make the room completely inaccessible, of course, but it’s good to keep in mind just in case your plans will take the bathroom offline for a day or two.

 

A Clear Remodel Plan

Once you’ve packed everything up and done any contingency planning that you require, double check your remodel plan to make sure it’s all in order before the work starts. This includes choosing paint colors, showerheads and fixtures, countertops, and anything else that might be needed for the remodel. The last thing you want is to have to spend even more time halfway through because you realized that no one had decided whether to replace the bathroom wallpaper or not.

This is also when you should decide if you want any construction changes or bathroom additions so that they can be planned for accordingly. This can include anything from new cabinets or additional closet shelving to built-in shower nooks or other accents that will be built directly into the walls. These items generally aren’t that big of a deal if you plan for them in advance, but deciding that you want to make big changes to your bathroom closet halfway through the job can be a major inconvenience.

Remodeling Your Bathroom

Depending on the specific plans you have for your remodel, there’s a good chance that you’re going to need some help. Maybe you’ll require a plumber to implement your plans, or need to get a contractor involved because you want to make major changes to the interior. You might even need an electrician to help change up the lighting in your bathroom and make sure that all of the wiring is safe for a more humid environment. No matter who you need, HomeKeepr is here to help.

You can connect with contractors, plumbers, and other pros through the HomeKeepr app to find just the talent that you need to make your remodel come off without a hitch. Best of all, creating a HomeKeepr account is free. Sign up today and get that remodel underway.

Is This the Year You’ll Add a Home Gym?

1/27/2022

Is This the Year You’ll Add a Home Gym?

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Maura Bain

Jan 27, 2022

Winter and early spring are typically great times for construction projects around the house. Not only do materials tend to be a bit cheaper due to reduced overall demand, but some labor costs may be reduced as well. Because of this, some homeowners tend to start looking for add-on projects or major remodels to undertake so that they can take advantage of lower prices and faster project starts.

One popular home project in recent years is adding a home gym, often converting a largely unused basement or garage space into an area for a wide range of workouts. It’s possible that you’ve considered adding a home gym yourself, either as a room conversion or in an exterior building or add-on. Let’s look at this project a little more closely to determine whether this is the year you should let those home gym dreams come true.

Home Gym Basics

When you think of a home gym, you might think of some big elaborate space with big, bulky equipment and mirrors hanging everywhere. Sounds intimidating, right? Not only is something like that probably more than you need, but having such an over-the-top gym area in your home could actually make it harder to sell since it’s such a specialized room. This is why most home gyms are generally much simpler affairs, and really only require a few things to make them truly functional.

The basic things that you’ll need for your home gym are floor space (obviously), good ventilation, some storage areas, and access to electricity. In a pinch, you can even make do with a small shed or room corner that has some storage totes and some foam padding on the floor. Even when you go for a full-room conversion, these basics will generally remain the same.

 

Designing the Gym

If you want to convert a room into a home gym, start with adding some impact-absorbing foam panels or something similar on the floor where you’ll be doing a lot of your workouts. Plan out where you’re going to place treadmills or any other equipment that you’ll need to plug in and see if there are outlets nearby; if not, you’ll need to bring in an electrician to add some. You’ll also need an area to store exercise equipment, either in cabinets or totes, and possibly a laundry basket for dirty towels to keep the sweat contained. For ventilation, you’ll either want the room to connect to your heat and air system or to have fans and windows that you can leverage to circulate the air around.

If you want something smaller, take these same basics and scale them down. Instead of plotting a full-room floor plan, arrange your storage solutions along the walls leading into a corner. A small TV in the corner can also help you to access exercise videos and other content to help you with your workouts. A standing fan can help with ventilation, and so long as you make use of your storage you should be largely good to go. Even with minimal changes to the house, it should still be an effective workout area.

Building Your Home Gym

A home gym project can be as big or as small as you need it to be. Even if your plans are relatively minor, though, you may still need to make a few changes to your environment or bring in a decorator to help you arrange things in a small space. Give me a call or text and I can help you find the pro that you need for your home gym design no matter how big or small the project is.

 

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