Find the Right Home Improvement Contractors

Home sellers will want to do everything they can to accelerate the sales process. And in many cases, home improvements may be necessary, which means you’ll likely need to find a dependable contractor to help you enhance the quality of your residence.

Although finding a qualified, affordable home improvement contractor may seem impossible at first, there are many ways to ensure that you’re able to employ the best contractor for any upcoming home improvement project.

Here are three tips that you can use to ensure that you’re able to find a great home improvement contractor:

1. Conduct a Phone Interview.

For some home repairs, you may be forced to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars. As such, you’ll want to work with a top-notch home improvement contractor who will complete the necessary work to the best of his or her abilities.

Typically, you’ll want to conduct a phone interview before you hire a home improvement contractor. By doing so, you can ensure that both you and a home improvement professional are on the same page and can work together to transform any home repair project into a successful one.

Asking about a home improvement contractor’s expertise and experience is essential during a phone interview. Plus, you should ask for professional references and be prepared to answer a contractor’s questions about your home improvement project.

2. Meet Face to Face.

If a home improvement professional proves that he or she may be a viable candidate to complete your home improvement project, you should host a face-to-face meeting.

A face-to-face meeting enables a contractor to explain exactly how he or she will approach your home repair project. It also may allow a contractor to get an up-close look at your residence and ensure that he or she is capable of finishing the project on schedule and budget.

Furthermore, a face-to-face meeting may help you become more comfortable with a home improvement contractor. This meeting will allow you to get answers to any concerns or questions and ensure that you’re able to find a great professional to help you complete your home repair project.

3. Finalize a Contract.

A home improvement project represents a major endeavor, so you’ll want to put the terms of your agreement with a contractor into a written agreement.

The agreement should include details about every step of the project, including the products and materials that a home improvement professional will use, proof of liability insurance and a payment schedule. Also, you should not sign this agreement unless you feel comfortable with all of its terms.

A clear agreement is paramount for both you and a home improvement contractor. And after you finalize this agreement, your contractor will be able to start working to repair your home and bolstering its quality immediately.

Use the aforementioned tips to take the guesswork out of finding a reliable contractor to complete a home improvement project. By doing so, you’ll be able to hire a great contractor who will help you improve your chances of maximizing the value of your residence.

Open house on 8/28/2016 at 15 Whitney Dr Peabody, MA 01960


Date: 08/28/2016 Time: 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM  
For Directions: feel free to contact me.  
For more information: click here for the full details  

First Showings at the Open House this Sunday 8/28/16 from 11am-2pm. Located in a neighborhood of well kept homes, just a few minutes from Rte 1 and 95/128~a commuters dream! This well maintained home has newer roof, siding and windows~great curb appeal! Inside there are hardwood floors on most of the first floor and all ceramic tile in the basement in excellent condition. Some updating is needed, but well worth the effort! Efficient Gas Heat, Gas Stove and Central AC. The family room on the lower level is large and bright, excellent for entertaining, opens up to a room that has a sound system, a complete wet bar, fridge and stove~lower level has in-law potential.The extra room on the lower level is perfect for an office, spare bedroom, den or workout room~leads into the reduced size garage which is used for storage space. Very private and expansive back deck~large side yard, big enough for a pool or playset,outdoor lawn sprinkler system.~Offers are due by 6pm Tuesday.

Video Tour – Single-Family Home – Peabody, MA 01960 Real Estate – For Sale

First Showings at the Open House this Sunday 8/28/16 from 11am-2pm. Located in a neighborhood of well kept homes, just a few minutes from Rte 1 and 95/128~a commuters dream! This well maintained home has newer roof, siding and windows~great curb appeal! Inside there are hardwood floors on most of the first floor and all ceramic tile in the basement in excellent condition. Some updating is needed, but well worth the effort! Efficient Gas Heat, Gas Stove and Central AC. The family room on the lower level is large and bright, excellent for entertaining, opens up to a room that has a sound system, a complete wet bar, fridge and stove~lower level has in-law potential.The extra room on the lower level is perfect for an office, spare bedroom, den or workout room~leads into the reduced size garage which is used for storage space. Very private and expansive back deck~large side yard, big enough for a pool or playset,outdoor lawn sprinkler system.~Offers are due by 6pm Tuesday.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts

Single-Family – 15 Whitney Dr Peabody, MA 01960 is now new to the market!

First Showings at the Open House this Sunday 8/28/16 from 11am-2pm. Located in a neighborhood of well kept homes, just a few minutes from Rte 1 and 95/128~a commuters dream! This well maintained home has newer roof, siding and windows~great curb appeal! Inside there are hardwood floors on most of the first floor and all ceramic tile in the basement in excellent condition. Some updating is needed, but well worth the effort! Efficient Gas Heat, Gas Stove and Central AC. The family room on the lower level is large and bright, excellent for entertaining, opens up to a room that has a sound system, a complete wet bar, fridge and stove~lower level has in-law potential.The extra room on the lower level is perfect for an office, spare bedroom, den or workout room~leads into the reduced size garage which is used for storage space. Very private and expansive back deck~large side yard, big enough for a pool or playset,outdoor lawn sprinkler system.~Offers are due by 6pm Tuesday.

This is a Split Entry style home and features 9 total rooms, 1 full bath, 1 half bath, 4 bedrooms, 0.16 Acres, and is currently available for $375,000.

For complete details click here.

Paint Perfect

Painting is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to change the look of your home. Getting started and knowing what to do is usually the hardest part but the following tips these tips will help to make your painting projects easier. These instructions and suggestions can save you time and effort while helping you end up with a better-looking paint job.

PREPARE THE SURFACE

Clean the surface to be painted.

Fill in any cracks or holes with putty before starting the painting job.

Caulk all joints, cracks and seams in the surface before painting.

Check around the window panes for loose or missing putty. Replace the putty in these areas before starting the painting job.

Use drop cloths to cover floors, furniture, etc.

PAINTING POINTERS

Thoroughly mix the paint.

Pour off, into another container, any thin portion of the paint that is floating on top.

Use a paddle to stir the paste settled in the bottom of the can.

Pouring the paint back and forth from one container to another will help thoroughly mix the paint.

Line your roller tray with a plastic tray liner or aluminum foil it will save you a lot of clean up time in the end.

Always use the flat side of the brush when you’re painting corners.

CLEANING UP

Cleaning the brushes carefully after each painting job is done and
then wrapping and storing them for future use. Fold wax paper around the brush and seal it with a rubber band.

Clean rollers in the same basic way as paintbrushes. Take time to clean them thoroughly.

Wash latex paints out of a brush with clear warm water.

Following the quick and simple tips will have you with a whole new look and a clean and easy paint job.

Home Energy Saving Innovations

Reducing your home’s energy consumption not only saves money, but it also increases the value of your home.

Installation of a metal roof with a remotely controlled mechanical venting space, solar powered fans to induce attic ventilation, and a properly sized roof overhang that shades exterior walls from hot summer sun can substantially reduce peak of summer air-conditioning requirements by keeping the roof, attic and walls cool with little energy drain. Working with your architect and landscape professional, you can incorporate existing natural features such as embankments, established trees, and boulders presently in place to serve as erosion control, provide shade and serve as a windbreak.

To promote energy conservation, the home should be orientated on its site to take advantage or bring abundant sunlight into the home’s interior reduce lighting requirements and to take advantage of prevailing breezes. Skylights, windows, light shelves and light monitors are used to bring daylight into dark interior spaces while outdoors the exterior is fitted with shading devices such as green screens, sunshades, canopies, and trees to block hot summer sun.

The use of dual glaze windows reduces heat loss during the cold days of winter and reduces heat gain during the dog days of summer.

Installing a lighter colored roof saves money by lowering rooftop temperatures of up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, thus providing an HVAC annual energy use reduction by up to 15 percent. Known in the construction industry as “cool roofs” light-colored roofs reflect twice the amount of sunlight, as does a traditional dark-colored roof, keeping home rooftops substantially cooler.

Competitively priced Insulfoam HD Composite Roof Insulation is another strong competitor in the green roof insulation market. Offering strong R-values, sustainable qualities such as no formaldehyde or HCDC, and 100 percent recyclability and available in various densities, Insulfoam HD Composite Roof Insulation is a popular construction material suitable for new construction or refits.

Another popular roofing option for green building is Radiant Barrier OSB Roof Sheathing, designed to reflect up to 97 percent of the sun’s radiant heat and to prevent it being from being absorbed into the attic of the home; potentially lowering energy consumption. Although the summer heat is certainly an issue, the winters are cold, and the warm of the sun is valued. This type of roof is most popular in regions where the sun is fierce year-around.

Many green home building contractors employ alternative energy sources to cut back on utility bills through the use of natural power. There are innovative systems designed to directly generate electricity, usually through wind power or solar power. Geothermal and solar hot water systems can also be used to heat or pre-heat water for use in showers, sinks, laundry, or even to supplement heating and cooling.

Another new advance in technology incorporates passive solar collection with attractive ceramic solar collecting roof tiles. The tiles are installed the same way as conventional roofing tiles but provide a home with supplemental free electricity.

Incorporating passive solar design features capture the sun’s energy to keep the home interior warm and toasty while reducing energy costs. Thick interior concrete walls and floors crafted of plaster, brick or concrete soak up the sun’s heat during the day and release it at night when the sun goes down. Employing passive solar helps to stabilize temperature fluctuation and make room, or the entire house, more comfortable.

A Beginner’s Guide to Composting

If you keep a garden but find yourself throwing away leftover food, you’re probably missing out on the opportunity to reclaim the nutrients of that food through composting. When you compost, you’re essentially speeding up nature’s process of breaking down organic matter into fertile soil. The compost can then be used to nourish the soil of your garden or lawn. Today you’ll learn how to make a compost bin, mix the compost, and then spread it into your lawn and garden so you can make the most of the extra waste you have at home.

Making a compost bin

There are endless ways to make a compost bin. In fact, a bin isn’t even necessary to make good compost, and some people choose to just keep a pile that they turn throughout the year. Making a bin has many advantages, however: it keeps the compost pile warm and moist (two essential elements that speed up decomposition), it keeps pests out of your compost, and it keeps your neighbors happy who might not want to smell decomposing food when they go outside.

Compost bins are commonly made from wood, chicken wire or plastic. Some towns even subsidize compost bins to encourage people to compost rather than throwing their compostable waste in the trash. Old wooden pallets are a great product to build compost bins from.

Adding compost to your bin

People who are new to composting often worry about what can be composted. Once you get started, though, you’ll soon realize that almost any organic matter will break down in a compost bin. Beginners often stick to vegetables, coffee grounds, grains, and materials from your yard.

Greens and Browns

Compostable materials are often broken down into greens (nitrogen-based materials) and browns (carbon-based materials). Your compost bin doesn’t need a perfect balance to be effective, but using some of each type of organic matter will produce the best results.

Too much brown matter in your bin will be hard to decompose. Too much green matter will make the compost slimy. Here are some examples of great carbon and nitrogenous materials to put in your bin:

Brown:

  • dry leaves
  • straw
  • newspaper
  • sawdust
  • wood chips

Green:

  • fruits and vegetables
  • weeds from the yard
  • fresh grass clippings
  • flowers
  • coffee grounds

Maintaining the compost pile

To create a good environment for decomposition you’ll need three things: heat, moisture, and air. This makes compost bins relatively low-maintenance, but here are some tips to speed up the decomposition process:

Heat

In the spring and summer, nature will provide this for you, but having an enclosed bin that receives plenty of sunlight will help you out.

Moisture

The bacteria that are doing the composting in your bin require water to live. But too much water will make your bin a slimy mess. Shoot for moist, not wet.

Air

A compost bin needs to be aerated to blend the ingredients together. You don’t need to turn it often; once every two to three weeks is fine.

 

Now that you know all you need to about making great compost for the lawn and garden, it’s just a matter of mixing it in and reaping the rewards. Mix compost into garden soil and lawns early in the spring and in the fall after harvest to keep the soil healthy year-round.

How to Take Better Real Estate Photos

With the rise of home-buying apps for mobile phones, and websites, home sellers are taking it upon themselves to add their own photos of their homes. These websites make it easy for anyone to upload pictures, no matter what the quality. However, photos that are put on these websites that showcase your home make a huge difference in the appeal to buyers. The first thing a prospective home buyer will look at on a home profile will be the price, the second will be the pictures. Because it is such a determining factor, here are some things to think about when taking these photos.

Lighting

The right lighting makes a huge difference to any real estate photo. People often make the mistake of using flash inside to try and make the rooms look brighter. However, using natural light and taking pictures at the right time of day makes a world of difference. If you use a tripod to stabilize your camera, and use long exposure, you won’t even need to put the lights on in the room to get a great shot. While you may think that a sunny day would be the best type of day to use natural light, a cloudy day actually works best. For shooting the exterior of your house, early morning, or later in the day would be the best time for good lighting.

Staging

Even though you may love how your living room is set up with the couch in the middle of the room, to buyers it is hard to see the space that they will be working with. Staging your rooms to create more space will bring buyers attention to the space, not your furniture. Keeping the staging simple will allow them to visualize what their own belongings will look in that space. On that note, make sure your house is tidied up before taking some snaps.

Creativity

With the rise in popularity of drones for taking pictures and videos, it might be worth it to invest in one for that extra pop of creativity in your home’s profile. With the drone, you can really give the buyer a perspective of how big your house is, the yard, and the surrounding neighborhood.

If you still can’t seem to take the right pictures, consider hiring a real estate photographer to make your home look more appealing. Either way, whether you are taking the photos yourself, or hire a professional, keep the quality of your real estate photos in mind when building your home profile. It will make all the difference!