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Three Essential Considerations Before You Buy a Fixer Upper

Three Essential Considerations Before You Buy a Fixer Upper

With housing prices through the roof these days, it’s not easy to get a foothold on the property ladder. Many enterprising young buyers are grabbing what they can afford and putting the work in themselves.

Whether your goal is to create your dream home or flip your property for a profit, renovating a fixer-upper isn’t as easy as you might hope. Before you put in an offer on a house that needs some love, be sure to consider these important factors that could determine the success of your renovation project

Photo by LoboStudio Hamburg on Unsplash

Are You a Happy Camper?

When you first lay eyes on your fixer-upper, you may be blown away by its potential. Before you buy, it’s worth asking yourself how long you’d be prepared to live in this house without the planned renovations taking place. If you’re buying a property that needs help, you may not have the ready cash to mend and upgrade everything right away. If you’re planning to do the work in your spare time, you’re unlikely to rival a builder for speed, no matter how excellent your DIY skills are. Some projects will be more urgent than others. While you may be able to live with those outdated bathroom tiles, you might want to call the roofing company right away to deal with that leak above your bed. If you’re not prepared to rough-it indefinitely, it makes sense to have a clear work plan and budget laid out before you sign that dotted line. 

Your Skills

When you imagine saving loads of cash by picking up a fixer-upper on the cheap, remember that the labour required to do the work is going to cost you one way or another. If you have enviable DIY skills and experience, you may be able to get the bulk of the work done on your own, but remember: time is money. Is affixing skirting boards the best use of your time, or are you losing income by devoting hours to this project? Likewise, the cost of hiring professionals should be incorporated into your overall budget. If you buy a fixer-upper without factoring in labour costs, you may end up shelling out more than you would have to buy a house that has already been renovated to a high standard. 

Photo by Nikolay Draganov from Pexels

Location (Location, Location)

That old adage still holds true: while you stand to make a good profit on a fixer-upper in an up-and-coming neighbourhood, sinking money into a renovation project in the wrong location could be throwing good money after bad. You can renovate until you’re blue in the face—install crystal chandeliers and a basketball hoop—but you can’t move your house any closer to the school you’d like your child to attend, or any further from the noisy train station. It’s really easy to get swept up in enthusiasm when a house ticks most of your boxes except for the area it’s in. If you’re infatuated with a fixer-upper of your dreams in the wrong sort of place, go home and take a cold shower and tell yourself: no. Another gem in a perfect location will come along. 

Whether this is your first home or you’re buying to let, give some thought to these important considerations before you invest your money, time and DIY magic in a fixer-upper. 

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From Run-Down To Ravishing: How To Make Your Renovation Project A Success

From Run-Down To Ravishing: How To Make Your Renovation Project A Success

There are some incredible old properties on the market but sadly, some of them have seen better days, but this doesn’t mean that they no longer serve a purpose. A growing number of adventurous investors and creative buyers are looking for a project. When you’re buying a house, it’s not always pristine showhomes that catch your eye. With a renovation project, there’s potential to create the home of your dreams. If you’re hoping to turn a run-down wreck into a ravishing retreat, here are some tips:

Photo by Nolan Issac on Unsplash

Plan carefully

Renovation work is often time-consuming, and it requires careful planning. Before you buy a house, you’ll need to know how much the build will cost, how much value you could add, and whether it’s viable to do what you want to do. It’s wise to consult with planning officers, architects, and building firms. It’s not enough to have a vision and a rough budget in mind. You need proper plans in place to make sure that you’re making the right decision. Investing in older properties can be incredibly lucrative, but it can also end up draining your resources. It’s essential that you select 

Don’t shirk on expert help

It may seem relatively straightforward to come up with design ideas, especially if you’re blessed with creative talents. However, there’s an awful lot of work that goes into rebuilding and restoring a house. You’ll need to make sure that your plans satisfy building regulations, and seek planning permission for any structural changes you want to make, or extensions you wish to add. Calling in expert help may be costly, but it could save you significant sums in the long-run. If you get it wrong, you’ll end up paying experienced professionals to sort out a mess, which could have been prevented in the first place. You can help out with the odd job on-site, but you need people with the relevant expertise on board. Roofing jobs, for example, may look simple enough. But there’s a lot of skill that goes into fixing loose tiles, fitting a polycarbonate sheet or tending to leaks. Other jobs you might want to call the professionals out for include clearing a blocked drain, other plumbing work and electrical jobs.

Some people sail through the process of restoring an old house without any major hiccups, but it’s always a good idea to make contingency plans. You may encounter problems that have implications for the timeframe and budget. If you’ve set aside some money, and you have somewhere to stay while work is underway, this will save you stress and hassle if you do hit 

Be original

If you’re renovating a house, seize the opportunity to inject your style and personality, and be original. It can be tough to see past the decor and style in a brand new home. But with a project, you have free reign to celebrate your taste and design your ideal home. Look online and flick through some magazines for inspiration and ideas.

If you’ve bought an old home in need of some TLC, there’s probably a lot of work to do. This is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. Plan ahead, work with experts, and always have contingency plans in place, just in case. Once you’ve got the major jobs sorted, start thinking about the interior, and be original with your ideas. This is your chance to create the home of your dreams!

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

Let In The Light: How To Make Your Home Feel Lighter

If there’s one thing that a lot of homes fail to offer, it’s lots of light. While a home can still be wonderfully cosy and welcoming without lots of natural light streaming into it, it doesn’t always create the best atmosphere, as natural light helps to make a home feel larger and somewhat fresher too.

 

Of course, often when it comes to purchasing a home, we can’t be too picky and have to compromise on certain aspects of the property, as it’s almost impossible to get every feature that you want in place, such as lots of outdoor space, fireplaces in every room, and lots of light.

 

However, just because you have compromised on a house that is slightly darker, that doesn’t mean that it has to stay feeling darker, as there are plenty of ways that you can let more light into your new home. Wondering what steps you need to take to do this? Below is a guide to everything that you need to know!

 

Photo link: Pixabay

 

Keep the colours light and neutral

 

Often, a house looks darker than it is because of the choice of wall colour, flooring design, or the furniture that is in place. If you want to make your home look lighter, it’s about making simple yet effective changes, such as painting the walls in lighter tones, such as cream or white. You could also swap dark flooring for a lighter alternative and perhaps you could be smart about the furniture colours that you choose – light-toned woods, greys, cream, and sand can all help to lighten the look of a room, whereas darker tones like navy, black and red can make a space feel darker.

 

Invest in new light sources

 

If you have the funds to afford it, then perhaps you could consider investing in some new light sources. You could easily replace your old windows with vinyl windows in larger sizes, to help allow more light into your home – this could be something that it’s worth considering. Or, better yet, how about adding French doors to your living room or kitchen, to let even more light into your home?

 

Use mirrors in a smart way

 

When it comes to creating a lighter space, mirrors are a key tool. All you need to do is strategically place mirrors facing windows so that they reflect the natural light from outside back into the room. If you can invest in a selection of mirrors for each room in the house, you can create a home that is much lighter than it currently appears. Mirrors can’t work miracles but they can help to introduce a good amount of extra light into a room if positioned properly.

 

No one wants to live in a dark home because although these kinds of places can feel cosy, they can also lack that open feel that lighter homes tend to have. If you want to make your home look and feel lighter than it currently is, the hacks and ideas above should help you to be able to do that.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

Augmented Reality’s Impact On Home Design

Augmented Reality’s Impact On Home Design

Augmented reality has had a pretty interesting journey into mainstream culture over the past 18 months. Consider, for instance, that in the summer of 2016 you probably didn’t even quite know what it was!

Now, if you pay close attention to tech circles, you may have learned how to distinguish it. Basically, you can sum it up like this: virtual reality transports you completely into an animated environment, whereas augmented reality makes it appear as if animations exist in your actual environment. Oddly, I find “Wizard’s Chess” from Harry Potter to be a good way to think about it. VR Wizard’s Chess would mean entering a live game board like the characters did in the first film – walking on a chess board, taking part in the game, with pieces and players all around you. AR Wizard’s Chess would simply mean pointing your device at a table such that, looking through it, you would see a chessboard with live, animated figures.

That’s a distinction many of us didn’t quite have straight as VR was emerging in 2015 and 2016. Then everything changed just about overnight, with the release of Pokémon GO. It was the first widely released, mainstream augmented reality game that used nothing more than a phone to work, and it suddenly challenged us to wonder about how this tech could differ from VR. In the immediate aftermath of the game’s release publications as big as The Guardian asked, where does augmented reality go next?

As it turns out, the answer was: all over the place! It took some time, but a little more than a year after Pokémon GO came out, Apple and Google unveiled programs that made it easier for developers to make AR games. That led to puzzles, cartoonish shooting games, board and strategy games, and more on augmented reality. There are likely more of these games on the way, as well as games in other genres. Slots, for instance, are a category to watch; casinos have made 3D games that are in essence the same as video slots but with 3D elements practically built for AR. We should also keep an eye on successful VR titles that could be adapted for mobile devices the same way popular console games are, fitted for AR rather than VR. The possibilities are endless.

As stated though, the journey for AR has been interesting, and one of the most unexpected things about it has been how quickly it branched out beyond gaming. It may always be the games that generate the headlines and draw the most attention to this tech phenomenon. But there are plenty of experiences already available through AR that have little or nothing to do with entertainment. Interestingly enough, many of them instead deal with home design.

IKEA led the way in an increasingly deep connection between AR and home design, with the basic idea being that you can simulate your furniture and interior design through apps. Through the IKEA app and several others, you can use a phone or tablet to do everything from measuring space to visualizing a piece of furniture or a decoration in space. You simply hold up your device, look through it, and see that new couch in the corner, or a new lighting fixture on the ceiling, etc.

This may sound like a gimmick, but think about the convenience it affords you in designing your home or redecorating a room. Theoretically, there’s no more need for a tape measure, or for shuffling old furniture around to gain perspective on your dimensions. There’s no more need to bring furniture home and put it in place just to see if it works. AR can do all of this for you, such that when you’re ready to make a purchase or change up the room’s organization, you’re confident in your choice.

It’s been an unexpected result of a journey that started mostly with innovations in gaming. But AR is now an invaluable tool for home design and organization.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

Pimp Up My Couch: 8 Brilliant Ideas To Make Your Living Room Stand Out

Pimp Up My Couch: 8 Brilliant Ideas To Make Your Living Room Stand Out

Even old houses that are normally full of charm and personality hit that low point sometimes when the homeowner doesn’t identify with the house anymore. It can happen for many reasons, but, in essence, it means that your own home interior is boring to you. It doesn’t excite you anymore; worst, it doesn’t look like you anymore. This calls for the intervention of a MacGyver of home décor, who can bless the house with a renewal wind. You need to make your house more homely, and this starts by styling up your living room. Your living room is where you will be receiving your guests and relaxing on your spare time. It’s a welcoming room that reflects your interests and your tastes. It probably sounds like an overwhelming project but don’t worry: There are plenty of sources of inspiration around that will suit all personalities.

#1 Stylish And Fit For A King Or A Queen

Living rooms in old houses often come with an elegant fireplace from a previous period. When they have been well maintained, those fireplaces are not only extremely attractive but also add a certain touch of ancient grandeur to the room. They remind of a time where kings and emperors still ruled their realms, and where wealth was displayed in gold. If you have one of those fireplaces, you can use it as the heart of your décor by taking the room into a distant past. Revive the kings and queens of the past with a playful use of gold paints, and extravagant furniture in black, silver and rich red and blue colors. If you are feeling up for it, you can even add a beautiful display of leaves and cherubs to call the richness of the Renaissance back to life. However, do not attempt this style if your living room doesn’t have large windows that let plenty of natural light in, as it will make everything appear dark and crowded.

living-room-victorian-historic-vintage-40504Photo

#2 Natural Textures For Nature Lovers

Many homeowners will keep a potted plant on the window ledge, some will keep more than one. If you are the type of homeowner who has an entire wall covered in green leaves and who keeps notes on when to prune each plant, it is a pity not to exploit your love for nature in your living room. Plants are a gift from Mother Nature and they can be just as good for your health as they are decorative. The best way to make the most of your little garden in the house is to combine the colorful flowers and leaves with neutral furniture and decoration. Using natural wood, osier willow carpet and seats, and white wash paint will place the emphasis on the natural life in the room: Your plants. This is a very relaxing environment, in which you will soon find yourself enjoying so much the peace of your surroundings that you might even decide to switch off the tv to clear out your mind!

9459180427_65222bdb13_zA green view by Flickr

#3 Modern And Playful Open Space

The main problem that young homeowners have with changing their living room style is the fear that the room might look old and too grown-up for their liking. A leather sofa and picture frames on the wall start looking too much like the house of their own parents and it’s the last thing they want to find in their style. Thankfully, there are modern approaches to living rooms that combine high-tech gadgets and playful furniture set, such as high quality bean bags to lounge comfortably on while you’re watching the latest episodes of your favorite show on a tablet. If you like modern décors, you will find great inspiration in checking the official office of leading tech companies such as Airbnb or Google for example. They mix shapes and colors in an open space to create a feeling of fun and exchange that brings a lot of positivity. Your living room may not be the headquarters of Google, but there’s nothing stopping you from pinching a few smart styling ideas from them!

5239952176_0d54bef5b5_zOne of Google offices

#4 A Bold Explosion Of Patterns

They are people who prefer to wear gray and black suits to work, and they are the exuberant individuals who love colors and shapes and are more likely to buy a fantastic orange or green suit to illuminate the workplace. If you are one for the colorful approach, it would be too sad to sit down in a neutral living room that says nothing about you. Take a bold step and let your inner creativity inspire your décor. It is an art to mix elegantly a spotted rug with a tartan sofa, but nothing is impossible for the careful creator who can identify patterns of colors that will build a harmonious and bold marriage of styles in the room. When you pick your patterns and colors, make sure though that the living room is big enough to welcome this lively décor. If the room is too small, it will feel crowded and aggressive instead of bringing the touch of originality that you are looking for. Also, it is highly recommended to build a palette of colors to choose from at the start, as this is a reference you can use to pick the right material and furniture. This will avoid any spontaneous purchase that might ruin the room.

#5 A Giant Persian Rug

Leave the flying carpet to Aladdin, a Persian rug is the closest you will ever get to traveling from the comfort of your house. Persian rugs are real works of art, and, instead of using them as the finishing touch in a large room, they can be the heart of the décor. You will find rugs in shades of burgundy, blue, and white for the most common patterns. Often, by selecting a few touches of color in the living room, such as cushions, or the frames on a wall, you can place the emphasis on the rug while spreading its main color across the room. Persian rugs are very elegant and extremely high-quality material Consequently, the acquisition of such a rug implies that it can be seen without being covered by the furniture which could damage its surface.

6715373883_273809bcb3_zPicture source

#6 Velour And Dark Walls

This style is not for everybody as this is a reminder of the rich materials used by merchants at the time of Shakespeare. A velour covered couch gives a welcoming feeling of warmth and wealth, but requires a lot of care so be careful if you have young children or exuberant pets! The play around the warmth shades of velour, such as red, maroon, or even bottle green needs to be toned down with plain cushion and curtains. Ideally, painting the walls in a faux finish style in dark natural colors will bring your couch to stand out more. This beautiful and elegant style is best used in roomy living room with plenty of natural light. In small house, a dark living room will immediately look like you are trying to launch a gothic trend and will be claustrophobic for guests.

#7 A Leather Sofa And Nothing Else

A leather sofa is a long-term investment, so if you have a big living room, you can make the most of it by finding a very large high quality leather sofa. Although colors are not important in the choice, as the sofa will define the style of the décor, it is best to keep to standard leather shades for couches such as brown, black and cream. It is important in this style to put the accent on the sofa by playing it down on the walls with a natural color, and by using the boldest and wildest cushions that you can find. The rest of the furniture will have to remain neutral, in natural wood for example, so that all eyes can be on the sofa. This décor works fine in smaller rooms too and is a good reminder of what the living room is for: For sitting and being together.

#8 The Elemental Living Room

Whether you like hiking in the mountains or swimming in the waves, an elemental décor sets the focus on the natural elements that you love. This style is generally for craft enthusiasts who love to bring to their surroundings the creative universe they have in mind. You will generally find pieces of decoration or furniture made with recuperated shells, or forest wood for example, as a way of bringing into the home your favorite natural landscape. You can also ask a qualified carpenter to help you with the creation of your dream stump table for instance, if DIY is out of your range. What is key to remember with this style is that the rest of the décor needs to serve to set the scene. So, if you are a sailor at heart, shades of gray, blue and white will bring a piece of furniture made out of a boat carcass to life. You get the picture so get your planning cap on and let the fun begin!

15810445425_1becd938c8_zThe perfect elemental table

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

Time For A Change: How To Make Your Home Look & Feel Like A New Place 

Time For A Change: How To Make Your Home Look & Feel Like A New Place

After a while of living in the same place, it’s normal to start to get itchy feet. The problem is that sometimes when you feel like it’s time for a change and fancy moving to somewhere new, it isn’t always a possibility.

Whether it’s money or something else that’s holding you back, don’t let it get you down. Just because you can’t move, that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck living in the same boring place. No matter how long you’ve lived in your current home for – be it three years or 30 years – you can make it feel like new again.

The way that you choose to go about doing this is up to you. There are plenty of options, it’s just a case of deciding what would work best for your property. It’s not just about making big, noticeable changes. If you’re going to transform your home into a space that feels new again, you need to take your personal tastes into account. It’s also important to ensure that whatever you’re planning to do to your home is practical.

Change up the layout

pexels-photo-77931Photo source

A simple way to make your home feel like somewhere new is to change up the layout. The chances are that you’ve got so used to where everything is that you could walk around your home blindfolded. To make life a little more interesting, consider swapping the rooms about a bit. This could just be a case of swapping the furniture and updating the décor or it could mean renovating each room completely. Depending, of course, on the time that you have and the size of your budget. As well as which rooms, you want to swap with each other. Whatever you do, before you make any drastic changes, make sure to think them through.

Update the décor

This might seem pretty basic but you would be surprised by how much difference updating the décor of a space can make to the look and feel of it. Imagine revamping your entire home and the impact that would make. Especially if you were to opt for décor that was vastly different to the décor that you previously had. If your home was bright and bold before, opt for décor that’s neutral, and vice versa. This will make the biggest impact. If you’re stuck for ideas for making your home’s décor unique, it may be a good idea to seek the help of an experienced interior designer. Or, if an interior designer isn’t within your price range, Pinterest could be a good resource to use.

Get new furniture bedroom-1078890_960_720

Image from Pixabay

Believe it or not, swapping your furniture for new, more modern pieces can help to give your home a fresh look and feel. Whether you opt to swap all of your furniture for updated pieces or just a few items, it doesn’t matter. What you want to do is find a way to give each area of your home a fresh look and feel. If you’re not able to afford to replace your furniture right now, upcycling could be something that’s worth considering. Any old pieces of furniture – from kitchen tables to sofas, can be upcycled and made to look fantastic. Admittedly, it will take a little time to upcycle various pieces, but the end result will make it more than worth the time and effort. To make upcycling a little easier to get the hang of, take a look at some online tutorials – YouTube has a fantastic selection on offer.

Add an extension

If the main reason you fancied moving was because you lack space, consider increasing the size of your property with an extension. Of course, to be able to do this you will need to have savings to dip into and will also need to get adequate planning permission. However, if you need to make your home larger, having an extension added could be ideal. By adding an extension onto your home, you can significantly change the look and feel of the property. This is especially true if you opt to change up the layout of your home – something that can make a big difference to how your home looks and feels. If, for one reason or another, you’re not able to add an extension onto your home, look at the alternatives. Do you have a basement or attic that you could convert? Basement and attic conversions can be a great way to add the extra space that you need, and so, are definitely worth considering.

Update the exterior joel_palmer_house_front_left_p2294

Picture link

When it comes to making your home look and feel like new again, a lot of people make the mistake of skipping the exterior. However, if you want to transform your home and create a place that you love, the entire property needs to be overhauled, not just the inside. This means updating any exterior paintwork, to give your property a new look and feel. It also means updating your home’s siding, if you have any place. You can learn more by visiting sites like http://advancedstl.com/siding/. Like with any part of doing up your home, inspiration is a must. Roofing should also be taken into account – perhaps it could be time to invest in a new, smarter looking roof?

Landscape your yard

Last but not least, when it comes to updating your home to make it look and feel like somewhere new, landscaping is a must. Just like homes can be remodeled, so can gardens. Think of your outside space as a blank canvas that you can transform into whatever you like. It’s just a case of getting creative and taking the time to think about the best ways to do that. Plant flowers, add areas of patio or decking, invest in a water feature – the options are limitless. To learn more about this, visit sites like http://www.countryliving.com/gardening. If you’re not a keen gardener but still want a beautiful outside space to enjoy, hire a professional to help you. It might cost you, but at least you know that your garden is being well taken care of.

Just because you’re not able to move to somewhere new right now, that doesn’t mean that you have to live in a home that is dull and boring. Believe it or not, with a few decor changes and renovations, you can transform your home into what feels like somewhere wonderfully new.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.