Home Improvement Projects That Can Hurt Your Property Value

Young woman holding hammer, looking through hole in wall, smiling

Are you considering converting your home’s garage into a man cave? Before you permanently ditch parking and storage space in exchange for a testosterone-friendly getaway, you may want to consider this: your garage man cave project could hurt your home’s value and make it harder to sell.

Turning your garage into a living space is one of four home improvement projects highlighted by MarketWatch that could end up sucking the value out of your home.

Homeowners need to think carefully before they get rid of their garage and turn it into a man cave, family room or extra bedroom, because it could make their home less attractive to many people, New York real estate agent Brendon DeSimone, author of the book “Next Generation Real Estate,” told MarketWatch.

A recent survey by real estate investment and operating firm Crescent Communities found that 74 percent of homebuyers said having a garage is extremely or very important. If you still want to proceed with your garage project, consider leaving the garage doors on the outside so if you do sell your

How To: Get the Hamptons Look

How To: Get the Hamptons Look

Looking for a coastal style that combines the best of casual and formal living? Then you can’t go past the Hamptons look, says Shaynna Blaze.

One of the most recognisable and interpreted coastal styles can be found in the Hamptons – the summer beachside escape outside New York. While it’s known as the playground of the rich and famous, you don’t need a big budget to inject some of its distinctive style into your own home.

The style is an eclectic mix, moving easily from casual to formal, with its roots in Victorian and Colonial architecture and eras. Recreate the look with a balance of traditional and contemporary design with some rustic touches or luxury details.

A few key elements define this style, which can easily be adapted for the modern interior.

Timber paneling

The style is synonymous with light and bright spaces, white timber and panelled walls, natural colours and finishes and wide stained-oak timber flooring, often with a sun-bleached look. Or choose a dark timber, black or charcoal finish for a more elegant look. Decorative panelling in the ceiling, walls and cabinetry adds to the nostalgic and more formal feel of the Hamptons style.



10 Cheap, Effective Ways to Pest-Proof Your Home

pest control worker spraying...

Americans are having a problem keeping critters outdoors where they belong, as evidenced by the growing field of exterminators: Pest control employment is expected to grow by 20 percent through 2022 according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

But exterminators should be your last resort. If you take steps to create a hostile environment for bugs and other pests, you won’t need to spend big bucks on the bug man.

1. Seal and repair openings. Check your basement for cracks and gaps, especially where pipes exit through the wall. Go outside and look for openings around exterior outlets, laundry vents and utility meters: These areas are likely to have invitingly large cracks for bugs. Check weather stripping on doors and windows and repair holes in screens. (I’ve used these screen repair adhesive patches for a quick fix.) Also make an effort to keep your garage door shut.

2. Give your pets a dining space. I left my dog’s pet food in a bowl on the floor once. Big mistake. Bits of food he knocked out of his dish ended up across the room (I must have

How to Find Out if You Can Move Yourself

Moving is an expensive business, and you want to do whatever you can to save on the costs involved. DIY moving is the choice many pick to this end. While it may be a popular option, however, it doesn’t work for everyone who tries it. Before you decide whether a DIY move is right for you, here’s what you need to consider.

How far will you be moving?

Distance is a crucial deciding factor when you consider going DIY, because driving a moving van usually comes with unacceptable risks. Handling a large vehicle without practice or experience is usually dangerous. The fact that most self-drive moving van companies fail to adequately maintain their fleets only makes things worse.

If you’re moving to another location in your city, or to a town no more than a couple of hours away, moving yourself could be doable. If you’re moving farther away, though, the risk rises sharply. Moves such as parking overnight in a motel parking lot and backing out of restroom stops opens you up to a great deal of risk when you need to handle a large van.

How much do you have to move?

Why Restoration Projects Should Be Left to the Professionals

When a fire or a burst pipe causes major damage, the loss can feel bad enough. It can feel even worse having to spend money getting things back the way they were. While home insurance policies are likely to pay for such damage, sometimes, they don’t. In other cases, homeowners simply don’t have such insurance.

It is doubtless a challenge to pay for professionally completed restoration projects. Nevertheless,  there are compelling reasons why restoration should always be left to trained experts. DIY is rarely the right approach.

Water damage

While not many would imagine that they could successfully clean up after a water damage incident, there are some who try. There is a thriving equipment rental industry for such DIY projects in most cities. There are a number of problems involved.

To begin, it’s important to get started on damage control within minutes of an incident. Every hour that goes by can result in lasting damage to wood, and cause rusting of metal construction components. It can take too much time to read up on the correct methods to follow, find equipment to rent, and get started.

In many cases, DIY attempts can be

Why You Must Use a Residential Roofing Company for Your Home

It is advisable to ensure that you have your roof checked every three years. Periodic maintenance of your roof is crucial if you are to avoid costly repairs. You can’t wait until the roof can no longer serve its purpose, for you to take action. There are a number of reasons why you should use a residential roofing contractor.

You may want to hire a local roofing contractor that is not too far away from your home. They should be easily accessible from where you live. You can ask for street addresses to find out how far away they are from you. Here are some of the benefits of hiring this type of company.

Understands Your Local Area

Roof installations must take into account the weather and climatic conditions of the local area. Some areas are very humid, while others experience heavy snow. Areas with heavy snow may require extra protection from ice dams. Roofs in humid areas need good ventilation.

A residential roofing contractor is trained and skilled in fixing these problems. He also has the experience to quickly identify roofing problems associated with your local area. You need this roofing contractor because

Leaving Drain Repair to Professional Drain Technicians

In many people’s minds, drain cleaning is about as unskilled a plumbing job as they come. If there’s something stuck down there, it’s easy to believe that it needs to be either dissolved with chemicals, or be forced out with a drain snake. They never suspect that things could go seriously wrong with a move as simple as pouring industrial-strength drain cleaner down their drains. All that can happen, they believe, is that they end up saving on the cost of a plumber’s visit.

Here’s what can go wrong with drain cleaner

Most drain cleaners are far too powerful for the job that they are intended for. Certainly, they will dissolve anything clogging up your drain; they will also dissolve the pipes that make up your drain, however. With a few uses, your drain pipes will corrode so thoroughly, they will fall apart. DIY drain repair is that risky.

Using improvised drain snakes

Since you’re not a professional plumber, you probably don’t have a drain snake. Many DIY enthusiasts know of a great way to improvise, however — get a few wire hangers, straighten out the wire, tie it all together end-to-end, and

Why Do We Need Rent Deposits?

Anyone who’s ever gone through the process of renting an apartment knows that rent deposits are basically no-brainers when it comes to what to expect. However, do you really know what these deposits are all about? Yes, naturally, it is easy to deduce from the name of these deposits that they are reserved for worst-case scenarios (security deposits, damage deposits), but what exactly is this money for? Are all deposits the same? Are you ever going to see this money again? Well, read on and you’ll find out!

Security Deposits

A fixed amounts of money, reserved for your landlord or management company, these deposits are used to cover any potential damage that might occur on property which still is rightfully theirs. Over the course of you staying in the property in question, your landlord is forbidden from spending this amount of money by law. The law of most states requires for security deposits to be held in special accounts, up to the date you move out, after your landlord checks the property for damage. No damage means that your money is returned to you in full amount – as a matter of fact, this is

Columbus Furnace Installers Available

It is always crucial to have a phone number of any heating and air service since any emergency may happen all day. If you are living around Columbus, OH area, you must be lucky since there is company air service which provides certified technicians to repair any of your heating and air problem. Company air service is confident that it can give comfort that every family deserves. Your comfort is their first priority when you work with their team. Thus, you should not be worry to have any unpleasant service or unfriendly welcome for their team. They are certainly well mannered as professional.

One of the services provided by company air service is furnace repair service. They offers Columbus furnace installers to help any homeowner to install their furnace or repair their furnace when it is broken. They provide fast repair performance for your furnace since they use today’s furnace system which is more technical and efficient than other in the past. Company air service is certainly trusted furnace service in Ohio since it offers experienced and skillful technicians to work with your problem as quickly as possible. Another best thing you can get from

Water Softeners

expert, unbiased water softeners report will help you choose the right size water softener, understand salt-free and dual-tank softeners, and more.

Hard water is simply water that is rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium carbonate, and manganese. If you find that soap and shampoo don’t lather well, dishes are spotted, the bathtub has a ring, laundry is dingy, and the coffee maker has scale deposits, your home probably has a hard water problem.

Though these minerals are natural and not typically hazardous to health, they can create deposits in your plumbing, water heater, and other water-using appliances, and make washing dishes, clothing, skin, and hair more challenging.

Hard water is a familiar reality for millions of Americans. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 85 percent of American homes have problems with hard water.

Solving Hard Water Problems

Hard water comes from aquifers and other underground sources that collect dissolved minerals from rock—particularly calcium, magnesium carbonate, and manganese. These minerals give water undesirable characteristics that collectively are dubbed “hardness.” The severity of hardness is measured by grains (of mineral) per gallon (GPG) or, in some cases, by parts per million of mineral (PPM). One GPG equals 17.1 PPM.

Technically, any water that contains more than 1

Steal These 6 Organization Strategies from Desperate New Yorkers

1. Cut It Out

You don’t have to organize the things you don’t have.

“I’ve reached my saturation point with stuff, so I developed a new formula,” says Matt Austin, an artist and designer living in a 700-square-foot railroad flat in Bushwick, Brooklyn. First, if he hasn’t worn something in two years, it goes. Then, if anything new comes into his life, something else has to go out. “Ideally, two things,” he says.
In addition to ruthlessly pruning your belongings, keeping an eye on how much to buy in the first place makes an even bigger difference. Adopt a capsule wardrobe — a minimal collection of clothes that mix, match, and layer for multiple uses. It frees up closet space considerably. Ask yourself a few questions before hitting the “Add to Cart” button on Amazon. Does it really make sense to order that quesadilla maker when you can already make quesadillas in your microwave, on your stovetop, and in your oven?

2.  Think Vertically

Walls can do a lot more than hold the ceiling up.

“People look at space in terms of square footage instead of cubic footage,” says Ann Sullivan, owner of New York City-based Organizing People for Life. “Lie on the floor and look up.” Sullivan suggests

Sweet dreams! 8 bedroom decorating tips for a better night’s sleep

What’s the one room of the house where you want the decor to be a snoozefest? The bedroom.

Without a restful space, getting a good night’s sleep is nearly impossible and you need that sleep to be your best. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2015 Sleep in America poll, released Tuesday to kick off National Sleep Week, good sleep is key to good health.

By decorating your bedroom to optimize a hearty slumber, you’ll be making sleep a priority, and people who do that have better sleep quality, according to the poll. To help you out, we asked a sleep expert and an interior designer for their tips on how to create a heavenly haven for slumber. Ready, set, dream!

  1. Surround yourself with relaxing colors

Fire-engine red or electric blue may be your favorite color, but keep them out of the bedroom.

“Colors in a bedroom should envelope you to create a warm and cozy cocoon,” says interior designer Courtney Lake, principal of Monogram Decor in San Francisco. “I prefer soft and muted colors in bedrooms with grey tones. Think the warm colors you see during sunset if you are looking for color inspiration.”

  1. Add calming aromas

Incorporating fragrant plants, scented candles or

Home Safety Tips for Seniors

Due to the growing popularity of in-home care for seniors, it’s important to make sure you and your loved one are aware of the potential dangers present in the home for seniors living alone and prepare accordingly. You can help prevent falls and accidents by making changes to unsafe areas in the home with these tips.

General Home Safety

The following home safety tips can help keep you and your loved ones safe:

  • Consider a medical alert or a buddy system.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher and smoke detector on every floor.
  • Never smoke when alone or in bed.
  • Always get up slowly after sitting or lying down. Take your time, and make sure you have your balance.
  • Wear proper fitting shoes with low heels.
  • Use a correctly measured walking aid.
  • Remove or tack down all scatter rugs.
  • Remove electrical or telephone cords from traffic areas.
  • Avoid using slippery wax on floors.
  • Wipe up spills promptly.
  • Avoid standing on ladders or chairs.
  • Have sturdy rails for all stairs inside and outside the house, or, if necessary, purchase a stairlift.
  • Use only non-glare 100 watt or greater incandescent bulbs (or the fluorescent equivalents.)
  • Make sure that all stair cases have good lighting with switches at top and bottom.
  • Make sure that staircase steps should have a non-slip surface.

Bathroom Safety

  • Leave

Living Room Wall Decoration Tips and Tricks

When it comes to living room decoration most homes tend to have boring, bare walls that make them appear as nothing more than a boring collection of boxes people inhabit. Well it really doesn’t need to be that way, as you can create something unique and beautiful with only a marginal amount of work required to pull it off. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to completely rely upon the vision of others, instead of creating something unique you can work with on your own. Ask yourself one simple question: Does this work? If the answer to your question is not to your satisfaction, then you will need to change the results of your living room decoration efforts into something more reliable and pleasant. You can do your decorations as you see fit, but we will point out a few ideas you can use if they are to your liking:

Before undertaking any major actions, you need to prepare your walls with a thorough cleaning. Dusting is essential. Pay extra attention to the areas around the sinks, stoves and basically everywhere splashes occur. Wall cleaning will help you achieve polished and finished look when you decorate.

You may use

10 Decorating Tips For Older Homes

Interior design isn’t just about creating a home that looks new and current. It can also be about preserving the past and respecting the character of an older home. If you’re lucky enough to have a house with some time-earned character or an apartment with a certain quirky charm, consider these tips for addressing the issues that need a touch-up while bringing out the best of your home’s past, present and future.

How to Incorporate Additions to Old Homes

  1. Paint the walls, ceiling and trim one color to hide imperfections. Often some of the first features that make you fall in love with an older home are beautiful molding, trim and door details built during a different era, when finishing touches carried a certain polish and personality. A simple coat of paint, then, is your first step to preserving and highlighting these details. I typically paint the walls, trim and ceiling one color, but with a slightly higher gloss on the trim to subtly call attention to it. With this palette in place, a bold shade like dark gray on the doors makes them architectural standouts.


  1. If your trimwork is in good shape, paint it a neutral contrasting shade. If

Tips for Choosing Home Care Aides

The first step to finding the right kind of home care agency is determining what level of care is needed. There are two main categories of in-home care services: skilled care, which provides for medical needs, and custodial care. Custodial care may include environmental assistance-help with housekeeping, shopping, meal preparation and the like-or personal care, such as bathing, dressing, and feeding. Some agencies only provide one type of care; others may include both types. Different types of home care companies may work together to provide an integrated system of services for a care recipient

Types of Home Care Organizations

  • Home health agencies
  • Hospices
  • Homemaker and home care aide (HCA) agencies
  • Staffing and private-duty agencies

Top Questions to Ask Home Care Agencies

Once you have determined the type of home care services your loved one needs and have a list of appropriate agencies, it’s a good idea to interview and evaluate the agencies to compare them. Use the following checklist to help you choose the right home care agency for your loved one.


  • Does the home care provider supply literature explaining its services, eligibility requirements, fees, and funding sources? Many agencies furnish care recipients with a detailed “Patient Bill of Rights” that outlines the rights and responsibilities of the

10 Tips for Picking Paint Colors

Why do we find one place appealing and are uneasy in another? Why are we attracted to one product over another? Color—whether architectural or in products—accounts for 60 percent of our response to an object or a place.

The “buzz” about color is usually called “color psychology.” But the effects of color are subtle and significant; physical and psychological. Color use is not something that results in a definitive equation between “color and our moods,” as is a currently popular expression. Wherever we go we respond to color, but the importance of color is often underestimated. Color use is important to us personally in our homes and in the places where we work.

HGTV’s Top Color Picks

Check out our favorite “color of the month” ideas from the past few years

Start Small

If you’re not sure where to begin with color, experiment in a powder room or bathroom, a small hall or area between rooms, or an accent wall. If you’re doing your own painting, pick an area that’s quick to do so you can see your results sooner, and be happy with it or change it. Look at the process as an adventure.

To get started, select a favorite color drawn from artwork, a rug,

8 Tips For Managing Your Own Decorating Project

If you love interior design and want to tackle a decorating project on your own, goodness knows there are resources available to help you do everything under the sun. But somehow, despite our best intentions DIY home decorating projects often get waylaid — sometimes for months or even years at a time. Stay on track with these nine tips, covering everything from budgeting to shopping.

1. List specific, measurable goals for your project. One of the first things an interior decorator does is define the parameters of the project. When doing your own decorating, it’s easy to justify skipping this step — but nailing down your goals now is essential to a successful project.

Answer these questions before you begin:

    • Which room or rooms will I be decorating?
    • When do I want to have this project completed? What’s my timeline?
Recommended by Forbes
  • What is my budget?
  • How do I want this room to look, feel and function when the project is done?
  • Are there any specific issues I want to address in this space?
  • Who will be making the decorating decisions: just me, or will I be collaborating with a partner or housemate?
  • Might I actually need a pro to help?

Written goals

10 Tips for decorating a small living room

It’s a fact that  in many of today’s new home builds, either your living room or family room will be a smaller  room.  There are many things that can be done to help visually enlarge smaller spaces. There are ways to use darker colours and larger scale furniture in smaller spaces, but their successful use takes a trained eye.  If you want to decorate a small room  with confidence the following ideas are easily applied.

1.  Choose light  furniture with simple lines There’s only one thing I would change in this room. With everything else  so light , I find the darker wood of the table somewhat harsh.  Something lighter would be more cohesive
Choose furniture first and look for pieces that are light in colour and have legs. Lighter colours occupy less visual weight and legs provide an unobstructed view of the floor, allowing the space to appear more open.  Coffee and end tables in metal and glass also allow the eye to move through the pieces consuming little visual space while dark wood furniture has the opposite effect.  The cow hide ottoman above works because it is overall light and has great legs. It also serves to connect the

Tips for Decorating on a Budget

Decorating with Color

Decorating with color reveals quite a bit about a person. Right now, you’re probably wearing your favorite hue — taupe, lavender, pink? Studies have shown that color, in every aspect of our lives, affects us emotionally and physically.

Orange, for instance, stimulates the appetite. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself feeling hungrier in a kitchen or a restaurant that’s painted the color of your morning juice. People tend to be more “up” in red rooms, more subdued in those that are blue. Hospital rooms are often painted a pale, serene green, a shade of well-being.

With color you can manipulate the proportions and mood of a room, making it seem smaller or larger, loftier or more intimate. On the whole, rooms washed with an abundance of natural light are best painted either white or a pale color; darker rooms are more attractive in a rich, warm color. No light in the kitchen? Buttery yellow walls can bring in the sun. Have an upstairs hall that’s too long and too narrow? An end wall painted a warm marigold color will dispel that gloomy corridor feeling forever. Tones of sand and blue-gray together are like a day at the shore. Dazzling

Top 10 Tips for Creating a Scandinavian Interior

Here at Freshome we know that our readers love Scandinavian design. Renowned for their simplicity, utility, and beauty, Scandinavian homes have a pure, pared backed style that is centred around warm functionality, clean lines, flawless craftsmanship and understated elegance. The use of light is considered to be extremely important, and many Scandinavian homes  are characterized by the use of earthy muted tones, honest materials and minimal ornamentation.

Whilst we have featured countless Scandinavian interiors, we wanted to put together a guide to help you recreate the Scandi style in your own home. To do this we consulted the award-winning architectural interior designer Staffan Tollgard of  Staffan Tollgard Design Group, which has bases in both London, UK and in the Algarve in Portugal. The group has won a number of prestigious design awards and Staffan has been selected by Conde Nast’s House & Garden magazine as one of the top 100 leading interior designers.

In addition, Staffan was recently commissioned to create the main installation at the Scandinavia Show in London, where he created three Scandinavian rooms that encapsulated the best of Scandinavian design. Staffan created one room from the Gustavian period, one capturing the retro feel of the 50s and 60s, and the one showing design from the last