Bathroom Remodel Update

master_jacuzziWell the summer has come to an end and as you know, my brother-in-law came down to our house to help me renovate our bathrooms. You check the post I did about that here. I am happy to say that we accomplished everything we wanted to, including the expansion of the powder room to include a shower stall on the lower level. We even managed to do one extra project which was adding a small bathroom to the basement so people wouldn’t have to go upstairs just to use the bathroom. We plan on turning that side of the basement in to a full blown entertainment room eventually, so the convenience of having a small bathroom down there will be great once the basement renovation is complete.

Keep in mind that we accomplished all of this after discovering that we had water damage behind the old shower stall. Because of the possibility of dangerous mold we did wind up hiring the people at to clean up the damage before we could complete the remodel of the bathroom.

At this point, my brother-in-law has decided to call Cleveland his permanent home so I helped him move in to an apartment not too far from the city. I hired a moving company and got a moving kit from here so that he didn’t have to throw everything in to a big pile in the back of his pickup truck or use up all of my garbage bags. I paid for it all as a final thank you for helping me get the renovations done this summer and hopefully it will butter him up for when I ask him to help with the next set of renovations that I want to accomplish before the year ends. He will have a job of course but I don’t mind working on my projects on the weekends if he doesn’t.

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Saving Big on Your Remodel Project

wine_rackEveryone likes to save money and that’s mostly why I do home improvement projects myself instead of hiring contractors. I mean why else would I put myself through all the late weekend nights cursing because something doesn’t fit right or endure the pain and frustration of installing something only to find out the manufacturer forgot to include a very important piece with an item? It’s all about saving the almighty buck.

Saving money is always good but if you are doing a big job like fixing your foundation make sure you buy the best quality piers you can get. ( makes great piers for a great price.)

The good news is that I always make it to the end of a home improvement project with the house being improved and my wallet feeling happy. My do it yourself attitude has even inspired my wife to save some money by doing some decorating herself and looking for deals on things. Just the other day she decided to replace all the blinds on the first floor of our house. That can be quite expensive, but my little bargain hunter actually found Big savings on faux wood blinds instead of spending a small fortune on real wooden blinds and I have to say, not only did she get a great deal on them, they look just as good as the real thing.

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My Motto: Go Big or Go Home

vacation_constructionA few years back we bought a vacation home that needed a little “tender loving care” as they say in the real estate business. That’s another way to say, “You’re going to spend too much time working on this house to make it worthwhile in the end”. In hindsight I guess it wasn’t as bad as I am making it out but I learned a great lesson. Leave the fixer uppers as an investment model and not the way to get the ultimate vacation home. Our family has been visiting Lake Tahoe since my children were little so it seemed like a logical step to move forward on buying a home at Lake Tahoe that we could call our own. All it needed was a little “tender loving care” as the real estate agent told us. Until the day we signed the papers on our own Lake Tahoe home we would always use vacation rentals in Lake Tahoe.

Ah those were the good old days. Back when we could pay a one time fee to rent a home that was in perfect working order and simply relax and enjoy our vacation. Those days are gone for us. Now I spend my vacations at Lake Tahoe ripping down walls and laying down ceramic tiles. The relaxing factor isn’t quite the same as it used to be. It might seem that there might be a light at the end of the tunnel when I get the major work done that someday maybe someday I can actually sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor but I am not so optimistic about that happening. Because of the fact that we don’t live less than 6 hours away from Lake Tahoe, I cannot hop over to the vacation home and do the maintenance items that need to be done to keep the house in working condition.

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The Benefits of Using a Builder

New-Home-ConstructionThere are many benefits to using a builder but is it worth using a builder instead of just using a general contractor to get your new home built? When using a builder like Sunshine Coast Builders you will see that you get the whole solution from home design, home plans right on through to a general contractor and even interior design for those finishing touches.

When you hire a general contractor to build your new house, you need to supply the home plans and hopefully they have good standing relationships with all the contractors needed to keep the build on schedule. When you hire a builder, they have a set of plans that they are familiar with and ongoing relationships with the contractors that they use for all the homes they build. Builders are more of a complete package when it comes to home building.

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Moving? You Have Options

Real-Estate-AgentThese days you have more options when it comes to moving than your parents did. Looking for a new home or apartment? Well the internet allows you to sit in your pajamas while taking virtual tours of possible choices. Don’t like calling every prospective landlord or property manager to play 20 questions? The internet allows you to narrow your search results so that you are only looking at the ones that meet your needs or that fall in to your specific search criteria. That feature alone saves you hours and hours of work. Maybe you aren’t old enough to remember how we used to look for an apartment.

Before all these great apartment and realty sites, you would have to gather all the local publications that would list houses for sale and apartments for rent, scour through them and circle all the ones that seemed to fit your criteria based on the little information each listing displayed and finally call each listing up one by one and have your questions answered to determine if they did indeed match your criteria. Then you would spend every Saturday and Sunday for the next few weeks going to appointments or open houses to see if you could find your new place to live. It was a very time consuming process that wasn’t fun. These days you can find what you’re looking for in one day using the internet. You can even find All Bills Paid Apartments online these days.

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Don’t Try This at Home

Tool BeltI consider myself somewhat of a handyman, a fixer upper of sorts. This weekend I learned the limits of my do it yourself prowess. In the end I had to call San Antonio AC Repair to come and replace the Air Conditioner that I tried to fix myself. So by trying to save myself probably $250, I wound up spending a weekend of frustration in 90 degree heat and $2000 that I didn’t have to spend.

It all started when the A/C started making a noise that didn’t sound good and within a few days it stopped working all together. My wife told me to call and have someone come and look at it but I told her not to worry, that I would fix it myself the next day. The weekend was coming and we were due for a heat wave but that didn’t matter to me. I was going to pull out my tools and find out the problem and get it taken care of, or so I thought. Now I’m no dummy when it comes to electrical or mechanical objects but I definitely had no experience fixing an air conditioner, other than recharging the one in my truck. Well the house A/C is quite different from the one in my vehicle, even if they work on the same principle. I now know that charging my vehicle’s A/C does not give me the insight to fix the unit that sits outside my house. The unit that keeps my family from being cranky when the temperature is 95 degrees outside.

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How to get Renovations as Part of a Lease

office_renovationsI have worked in commercial real estate for over 20 years and I am about to show you how to get renovations done to an office space that you are considering for lease and how you can get it done for very little cost to your company if any cost at all. Like any business that follows economic principles, this works best when demand is low and supply is high. That situation is exactly what we are trying to find but if that isn’t the situation you find yourself in, don’t fret because you still may be able to get the renovations done cheaply, funded by the leaser and have the costs rolled in to the rental agreement.

The first tip is to find an area that is in the current economic state that benefits you the most. At the time of this writing, it shouldn’t be too hard to find areas that have lower than normal occupancy rates which equates to more leverage when negotiating a deal to lease office space. I recently helped a friend who needed a Commercial property to let Johannesburg because of this exact situation. Occupancy rates were historically low so office complex owners were willing to negotiate more than usual. The thing to keep in mind is that it’s much easier to convince a building owner to make renovations as part of a deal, rather than to lower the price because building renovations are something that improve the value of the property, which will increase how much they can charge for rent in better times, so they will always be more likely to make concessions on renovations before making concessions on monthly rents.

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Adventures in Bathroom Remodeling

toilet-problemRecently we did a full bathroom remodel in our house. When I say we, I really mean I did the bathroom remodel. There were two major setbacks that we had to deal with and when I say we, I really mean we, because we only have one full bathroom in our house so everyone was affected by these two major setbacks. The first setback is that I am a perfectionist. Generally speaking that isn’t such a bad trait to have when doing some sort of work. I mean it’s good to want things to be perfect right? Well the reason being a perfectionist is not so good in this situation is that I am not a contractor, in fact I am not that handy in general. So when someone like me is doing something as major as a full bathroom remodel, and I’m trying to be a perfectionist about it, the job takes way longer than it should take and because this was our only full bathroom, my family was left without a working bathroom and toilet for a lot longer than I had anticipated.

The other major setback that we faced was that I am not a contractor, so everything takes me longer to do than someone who already has the skill set. I know what you’re thinking; those two setbacks are the same. Yes it’s true but really the first setback is that I’m a perfectionist so let me have my pity party. I guess you could say the second setback was that our house only has one bathroom and therefore should not be remodeled without fast contractors who know what they’re doing and without some sort of plan B for showers and potty visits (That’s what my kids call them).

Not being handy with tools isn’t usually a big deal, I mean if I was remodeling our bedroom then we would just have to live with an unfinished bedroom longer than my wife would like to but when you only have one bathroom in which to do your business then you’re bound to run in to some messy situations if you can’t do the job fast and well. I figured we could go a weekend without showers and it would only take me a few hours to replace the toilet. What I didn’t factor in was the fact that the toilet couldn’t be installed until the flooring was done. That wound up taking me 3 days to complete and there was no way my wife was going to go without a toilet for three days so I had to come up with a plan to fix that little oversight.

Let’s just say that my wife wasn’t amused when I had a porta-potty delivered on our front lawn. She told me that there was no way in hell that her and the kids were going to use a toilet on our front lawn and she didn’t think it was funny when I suggested we move it to the backyard. So I had to come up with another solution. I needed something portable that could be placed inside our house but wouldn’t be a big odor problem at least until I could get the floor done and get the new toilet installed. A few hours later I found the solution to my problem. I found a portable toilet that could sit in the bathroom and actually had a flushing tank that would remove the waste in to a separate container that could easily be removed and disposed of. Where did I dispose of the waste you ask? The porta-potty sitting on our front lawn of course.

Bathroom Renovation Case Study

bathroom-remodel-ideasA theme well designed bathroom can help develop ways to better use the space , determine the right colors for the room and help finalize the layout of the bathroom. If you are looking for options that can help you remodel your bathroom, there are many things to consider. Vanity cabinets provide storage space to avoid a bath become cluttered. What are the features that can make your bathroom feel really modern? Regardless if you replace a bathroom faucet or build a bathroom from the bottom up, it’s way too easy to overspend. In the end you will enjoy your new bathroom and you will have good ideas about how to remodel the bathroom before you even begin.

A bathroom is probably the most important piece of a house, especially when it comes to resale value of a home. One was a company of home remodeling who called me to offer to do a free estimate. Homeowners who want to renovate their homes need room floor plans small bathroom that will allow them to create bathrooms that will refresh the entire household. If you plan to renovate part of your home, then a good option is to get remodeling your bathroom. Watch online and in home improvement magazines to get an overall idea of the different themes available. We have no extra money for home remodeling very often so make it count by researching ahead of time.

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