Find Your Decorating StyleThe vast majority of people who purchase fixer-upper homes do so for financial reasons. This financial reality, however, can present a perplexing challenge when moving into a home that's in need of a little (or a lot) of TLC. Which renovation projects should you focus on first if your budget is tight? And why? Here's what the Be Happy Property Service insiders had to say, along with a few tips on how to get organized as you embark on your fixer-upper face lift.
Before You Start RemodelingFirst things first: It's essential to understand what work should be done for safety reasons and to prevent costly challenges down the road. The best way to do this is to have a professional assess your newly purchased home and use that insight to develop a game plan. Hire an inspector to look for potential issues or hazards with electrical, plumbing, and the roof. It's a good idea to start with the structure and take care of items like electrical, which can be a potential fire hazard, as well as plumbing issues so that you don't end up with major problems or damage in the future. You will not see a great transformation, but it brings peace of mind.
1. Refresh Rooms with PaintOnce you've addressed safety matters, you can turn your attention to aesthetic renovation projects and upgrades. Adding a new coat of paint throughout your home can make a big difference without a big investment. A fresh coat of paint on walls goes a long way, we can feel rejuvenated and visualize a clean slate to start a new chapter. You can paint walls, cabinets, or even your front door for a fresh new look. The best part: a paint project can cost as little as $50, depending on the scope. For an added style boost, consider painting an accent or focal wall, which is generally the wall you first see when entering a room. It might also be the wall where your sofa or your bed is located.
2. Install New FlooringAnother project that can make a tremendous and immediate difference in a fixer-upper is flooring. Not only will new flooring brighten a fixer-upper visually, but tackling this type of change early on can be much easier logistically. Once you've moved in and your furniture and personal belongings fill every room, redoing flooring can be challenging at best.
One additional consideration: the color you select for your flooring or floor stain will also help set the stage for future updates in your home.
3. Upgrade the ExteriorExterior upgrades are also an important consideration for fixer-uppers and can be more affordable than interior changes, which often require costly plumbing, electrical, and other system improvements. The 2020 U.S. Houzz & Home Study found that 21% of renovating homeowners tackled roofing, windows and skylights, and exterior paint projects at a median spend of $8,000, $3,900, and $1,000, respectively.
4. Remodel Your KitchenIt's no secret that kitchens are often among the priciest renovations homeowners embark upon—because who doesn't want a dream kitchen with all of the bells and whistles right? The good news is that a kitchen renovation doesn't have to cost a small fortune. You might want to prioritize your spending on this space given just how big of a role kitchens play in everyday life.
5. Replace WindowsInstalling new windows might not be the cheapest project to tackle initially, but this is an improvement that can pay for itself over the long run by saving you money on utility bills. It is really that simple and logical. Old windows might have air leaks, which can increase your bills.
6. Repair Drywall and CeilingsYet another home improvement project to consider early on for logistical reasons is major drywall or ceiling repairs, including moving walls. Just like flooring, this type of work is best tackled before moving in. Removing popcorn ceiling texture? It's a messy job and much easier to do when you don't have to worry about getting furniture or floors wet and dirty. Whether you choose to start with new flooring, kitchen renovations, updated ceilings, or drywall, look to Be Happy Property Services for all your remodel needs.
Final ConsiderationsBuying a fixer-upper can be a wise way to get into home ownership for the budget savvy. It can be a monumental undertaking and a labor of love, particularly if you intend to stay in the home for the long haul rather than simply flip it in a few years. No matter which group you're in, make sure you thoroughly understand the work that needs to be done, and why, before diving into any project. After all, mistakes can be costly and if your budget is already tight, it's best to spend your money wisely as a new homeowner. Doing this requires being educated about your choices. Be Happy Property Services provides residential and commercial properties in Anchorage and our surrounding areas with dependable, licensed, insured, and bonded services. One call, we do it all! 907-336-7434.
First, focus on any essential projectsRight from the start, you might be tempted to jump right into a kitchen or bathroom remodel. After all, you’re in your kitchen every single day—you know just how much it needs a makeover. Before you invest in this type of remodeling, you should really prioritize spending your money, time, and attention. It might sound boring, but replacing your failing garage door or fixing a leaking roof should come first.
Looking for a quick fix to feel motivated? Here are some great ideas to add instant curb appeal.Most essential home projects have a high ROI, because many of them make it possible for you to sell your home. Major home issues like structural damage or a bad roof should be fixed before listing a home for sale.
If your home’s cooling and heating systems need to be replacedTake care of that project before you invest in other areas of your home. Yes, a seemingly mundane furnace replacement isn’t going to stand out when people tour your home, however, you’ll have a much easier time selling it when they start looking over the finer details. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy a more comfortable and efficient home until then.
Refresh your kitchen and bathroomOnce you’ve completed any essential items, you can move onto the fun stuff: remodeling your kitchen and bathroom. Not surprisingly, these two spaces are typically at the top of most homeowner’s to-do lists. Generally speaking, kitchen and bathroom remodels have a high ROI and can have a major impact on your home’s value. The key to getting the most possible value out of your renovation is setting a scope and staying within your budget. Yes, you can build the kitchen of your dreams by putting an extra ten thousand dollars into the project. But, if you’re not going to get that money back when you sell your home, that might not be the wisest investment. Any successful kitchen remodel involves new cabinets and countertops. Be Happy Property Services is here to assist you in recommending high-quality materials and expert installation: cutting corners on granite, quartz, or cabinetry can lead to a shoddy finish and reduced value. You’ll likely spend up to half of your total budget on these materials, but there are ways to save money. In either room, limit the scope of the project to contain your total overhead. For example, you may not have the budget to replace both the tub and the shower, so just replace the shower and put your remaining money into new floors, a bathroom vanity, and new lighting fixtures. If you’re planning on staying in your home for at least a little while, you can also break the project into phases. Some homeowners remodel most of the kitchen first, and then wait a bit before buying new appliances and putting the finishing touches on the project.
Change your backyard for the betterThe backyard is really a major selling point of so many homes. The right backyard can be an inviting space that connects the home to the beauty of the outdoors—especially in the nicest times of the year. A new deck can add significant value to your home. If your home isn’t built for a deck, instead re-imagine your patio. A built-in grill, a gas-lit fire pit, and a cooking prep area can transform your backyard into the place to be in the summer, while also making your home more attractive and valuable. When it comes to value-boosting home upgrades, the list is nearly limitless. Give us a call for a free estimate. We are more than happy to point you in the right direction, showing you what other local homeowners are doing. With our help, you’ll be able to prioritize what projects you should take on first. Be Happy Property Services provides residential and commercial properties in Anchorage and our surrounding areas with dependable, licensed, insured, and bonded services. One call, we do it all! 907-336-7434.
Freshen Up Your Home with a Spring RenovationIn the winter, we tend to hibernate a bit, dreaming of what the next season holds. It is an excellent time to gather ideas and plan a spring renovation for your home. After all, the spring offers beautiful weather to work on the house and blooming flowers to welcome you home. If you are looking for a spring renovation for 2021, you have come to the right place. Be Happy Property Services can help you with all of your renovation and remodeling needs.
Begin with Curb AppealThere are so many exciting ways to upgrade your curb appeal in the spring. Little tweaks here and there can breathe fresh life into the front of the home. Here are a few thoughts.
- Give the mailbox a new coat of paint.
- Plant a few pieces of flowering landscaping or add potted plants to the front porch.
- Pressure-wash the house, patio, driveway, and sidewalks.
- What about a new front door color and a fresh seasonal wreath?
- Replace lighting at the door and around your garage door for a more contemporary style.
Resurface your DrivewayLet’s face it; our driveways can take a real beating. Don’t underestimate the aesthetic and investment value of a welcoming driveway. Spring is a great time to resurface your driveway or have the entire thing replaced. Why not try something other than the traditional concrete look? You can have pavers installed around the edges or instead of the concrete. Additionally, there are driveway resurfacing techniques today that will have your driveway looking like pavers or stone with significantly less time and money invested.
Add On a RoomThe addition of a new room can be an exciting time. With so many moving to a work-from-home day, we need extra space. Perhaps you have the office but need an outdoor space to capture the fresh air. Is the mother-in-law coming to stay? Perhaps the college student is moving back in? Never fear. In most cases, a new room can be added to the exterior of your home with some creativity.
Open Up an Existing RoomNow that we have come through 2020, are you feeling a bit pent up? You are not alone. But what if you knocked out a wall or two to create a more open plan for your home? If there is a wall between the kitchen and dining room, consider having it removed. Is the kitchen closed off? Maybe you’ll want to open it up to the main living space. The design is up to you.
Freshen Up with a New Interior Paint ColorA great way to welcome spring is with a pop of fresh new color. Whether you paint an entire room, one wall, or just add some fresh new throw pillows as a pop of color, this can be refreshing. Visit your local paint store and gather some paint swatches to hold up around your home and see which one makes you feel like spring has sprung.
Contact a Professional for Your Spring RenovationSimple spring fixes to your home will freshen it up and remind you why you love your home. And if you have a larger budget, consider a more extensive renovation like one of the following.
- Finish out a basement or attic.
- Add on a screen room.
- Change out the old windows for new energy-efficient windows.
- Give the entire home a new paint color and brighten all the trim.
- Replace old appliances for a fresh new look.
- Remodel the whole kitchen.
- Redesign the master bathroom to a spa look.
Some would say that windows and doors are the least important element of every home. We strongly disagree with this statement and mindset among people. In the last couple of years, everyone is paying more attention to the design and the look of the rooms in the house. While the design elements are important, we believe that if you don’t have good windows and doors you don’t have anything.The importance of these two elements can be seen through many factors such as energy and heat savings during winter days and the overall aesthetic. For this reason, it is important to have quality materials and maintenance when needed. One overlooked element is also very important. You do know that your doors and windows are allowing outdoor air in your house, right? For instance, if you are living in a polluted area and use an air purifier all of your efforts can be worthless if you don’t have the right protection from the outside world. At Be Happy Property Services, we can help you install energy efficient doors and windows. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small window or a big door repair, we can help you with everything. We have the experience and the expertise. Contact us here for more.
1. Roof replacementRoofing is extremely hard and dangerous work. Any upfront savings you might get with a DIY roof replacement could easily be eclipsed by the costs of making expensive mistakes or causing dangerous accidents. Aside from having the skills and tools needed to do a decent job, you’ll also need to climb ladders, lift heavy materials and navigate a steeply pitched surface high above the ground all the while braving the elements. Ice. Snow. Wind. A few of the dangers include:
- Severe injury or death: Roofers face among the highest risks of work-related injuries and fatalities of any profession, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — and that’s for trained professionals. In addition to possible slips and falls from significant heights, there’s also risk of burns from hot asphalt (a petroleum-based roofing material) and electric shock from accidentally touching power lines.
- Warranty issues: Manufacturer warranties for roofing materials may cover workmanship for a limited time if the materials are installed by qualified contractors, but they generally don’t cover DIY installation.
- Costly damage: Improper material choice or installation may damage the roof — and if water leaks in, your home’s ceilings, walls, flooring, furnishings and wiring will suffer too.
2. Mold removalEveryone’s cleaned up a bit of mold at some point, and even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gives the green light on DIY mold removal for areas under 10 square feet. But once mold infestation becomes widespread, it might become necessary to open up walls, lift up carpeting or take out fixtures to fully remove it and clean and dry the space thoroughly. A DIY approach in this case means risking:
- Mold exposure: Contact with mold may cause asthmatic reactions, sore throat, skin reactions, allergic reactions, eye and nasal irritation, cough, wheezing, shortness of breath and other lung issues. This is especially a concern if you don’t have access to the proper protective gear. During our COVID-19 pandemic, N95 respirator masks — which offer protection from exposure to mold and other particles — have been largely unavailable for public purchase.
- Harsh chemical exposure: Chemical cleaners commonly used to kill mold are also harmful to lungs, eyes, nasal passages, throats and skin.
- Making the problem worse: Improper removal or sealing may release mold spores into the air. If spores get into HVAC systems, mold will blow throughout the house. DIYers may also miss mold lurking in unexpected places like crawl spaces or flooring, which could lead to further damage.
- Incomplete cleanup: Not properly cleaning up after the job may leave traces of mold behind that will just grow back again. Yikes!
3. Toilet replacementTo install a new toilet, you’ll have to shut off the water; disconnect, drain and remove the old toilet; and seal and connect the new one. That’s a manageable task for someone with basic plumbing knowledge. But if you’re a DIY newbie, it’s trickier. Some risks include:
- Injury: A toilet can weigh about 100 pounds and is awkward to handle. Homeowners may become injured lifting or carrying the toilet.
- Fumes: Sewage gasses are odorous, unhealthy and potentially flammable. Failing to stuff a rag in the exposed drain pipe after the old toilet is removed may expose you to dangerous fumes — especially in poorly ventilated spaces. (And forgetting to remove the rag before seating the new toilet will cause a very disturbing plumbing issue.)
- Toilet damage: Improper installation, over-tightening connections or simply dropping the toilet may cause serious damage.
- Leaks and mold: If the base isn’t sealed properly, water can leak into the floor, damaging and weakening the area while creating just the right conditions for mold and mildew growth. More problems, no thank you!
4. Window replacementReplacing drafty old windows can reduce your utility bills — but only if it’s done correctly. Installing a window is a meticulous process, and any mistakes may leave your home unexpectedly vulnerable to the elements. Other pitfalls include:
- Injury: Windows are heavy and fragile, bringing risk of injuries from broken glass and lifting. Falls from ladders are also a concern, along with harming passersby if a window falls out to the street.
- Poor energy efficiency: Improper fit or sealing can result in drafts, air leaks and higher energy bills.
- Water damage: A poor seal could allow water leaks that damage your home’s wood, drywall and even wiring.
- Home damage: You could accidentally hit a plumbing or electrical line.
- Warranty issues: Installing your own windows improperly may void all or part of the manufacturer’s warranty.Choosing less-expensive materials reduces upfront costs. And if you’re switching to more energy-efficient windows that meet certain specifications and are professionally installed, you might qualify for rebates in some states.This holiday season you have enough to do, so hand over those home improvement tasks, allow your stress to melt away, and let the joy of the holidays ring through your home. Enlist the help of a professional handyman and be assured of a job done safely, quickly and properly. That's where we come in! Be Happy Property Services is licensed, bonded, and insured. One call, we do it all! Call us today for a free estimate.
Taking Care of Home RepairsNo matter what’s going on at your house this holiday season, it will be much more enjoyable for everyone when it feels fresh, clean, and like a welcoming home. Nothing is worse than having to find out halfway through morning showers that the hot water tank has gone out. You might not be able to anticipate an emergency of this magnitude, of course, but there are a lot of little things you can do to make sure you’re as prepared as possible for the holidays. Take the time to look around and make a list of everything that you want to freshen up before the holidays. Consider things like finally repairing that broken trim board, having those vents put back on from the last time the ducts were cleaned, or just cleaning out the clutter from the spare room so people can stay there.
Make Your Honey Do ListNow’s the time to grab those random sticky notes (figuratively and literally) with various to-do’s and centralize them all on a refined honey-do list! That way you can prioritize what needs to be done. Does Your Home Repair List Look Similar?
- New blind installation in the family room
- Repair the cabinet hinges where the plates are stored
- Fix the garbage disposal before hosting Thanksgiving dinner
- Repair the deck so nobody trips and falls
- Install the fan in the spare bedroom
- Fix the leaking faucet in the main bathroom
Is It Time to Initiate Your Remodel Project?Beyond making sure the basics are covered, you might also want to take it to the next level with that remodeling project you’ve been dreaming about. Most of us are spending more time at home, and our spaces may be more than just our homes; work space, classroom, hobby spot, gym, maybe even a YouTube space for the social media maven.
- Does the spare bathroom need a face lift?
- Have you been dreaming of creating that perfect gym in your finished basement?
- How about a functional, yet beautiful, office space to UP your productivity?
Hire a Professional HandymanThis holiday season you have enough to do, so hand over that honey-do-list, let the stress melt away, and let the joy of the holidays ring through your home. Enlist the help of a professional handyman to get your list done quickly and properly. That's where we come in! Be Happy Property Services is licensed, bonded, and insured. One call, we do it all! Call us today for a free estimate.
DIYing is a great way to save money and can be a lot of fun! Do you love that feeling of accomplishment you get when you fix something or put something together? I know I do! However, there are many home repairs that can be challenging and somewhat dangerous. These are the jobs that require trained professionals so that you aren’t putting yourself or your loved ones at risk. Let's take a look at six home remodel projects that you shouldn’t DIY. Let’s get started.
Where do we draw the line, balancing safety and budgeting?
What are our safe options to complete these home remodel projects?
ConcreteWorking with concrete is extremely messy and can be very difficult to do if you don’t have the necessary experience. Everything has to be done precisely to measurement; otherwise you’ll have uneven pathways and stairs that can be a huge tripping hazard. It also requires a lot of heavy equipment and tools so that everything can mix together and set correctly. It’s a lengthy process that you shouldn’t try yourself.
ElectricalWhile you might find it okay to replace a light bulb, that doesn’t mean that you should start messing with the electrics in your home. Not only can you electrocute yourself, but improper wiring is also known to be a leading cause in house fires. Unless you are trained to handle electrics, it’s best to stay away. Contact us today for a free estimate.
Roof RepairsA leaking roof can cause severe damage to your home, but while you might be tempted to fix it yourself, it’s best to leave this job to the professionals. To work from heights appropriately, you need the correct harnesses and equipment; otherwise, you are putting yourself at a fall risk.
Plumbing is a DIY task that can cause some very messy (and costly) problems not done correctly. It’s very complicated, and most of the time, you can’t pinpoint the problem until you have pulled everything out, especially if there is a hidden leak. This is where I first threw in the towel from my Google and YouTube tutorials and called a professional. That being said, there are smaller simple things, for instance, installing a new shower head, fixing faucets or plunging the toilet, that most of us can do well without being a licensed plumber. When you feel overwhelmed, err on the side of safety and call a licensed professional.
Asbestos RemovalThis is definitely one to never do yourself! Asbestos is highly dangerous and can cause cancer and many other diseases. It is vital that you hire a professional who can remove it safely using the correct protective equipment. Contact Be Happy Property Services to complete this. We are licensed, insured and bonded, one call and we can do it all!
Gas AppliancesAs a rule to be safe, you should never install gas appliances yourself because too much can go wrong. A licensed fitter will ensure that everything is hooked up correctly so that there are no leaks or fire risks. It’s better to be safe than sorry. And that’s it! While you might be tempted to try and get things done cheaply, it’s best to call the professionals. After all, how much is peace of mind for you and your family really worth? Don't put your health at risk and gamble with possibly damaging your home. Sometimes it’s best to spend a little money to ensure everything is done correctly. So, forgo the coffee stand, shop smart, and stay safe fellow Alaskans! Read more about when to call in the pros.
One of the joys of being a homeowner is the satisfaction that comes with completing a home renovation or improvement project. However, not every project warrants a quick DIY fix.
The question every homeowner needs to ask is whether to do-it-yourself (DIY) or call in a contractor for professional craftsmanship. Several factors, like money, time, quality of results, and your personal confidence and abilities, impact this decision.
So, should you DIY or use a contractor for your next project?
Here are some things to consider as you weigh your options
Know Your Resources
The general rule of thumb is to tackle projects you feel comfortable with and have the necessary skill set to complete. For example, you can normally paint a room and save money, but installing tile or building a deck might be out of your tool house, so to say. This is where you may choose to seek professional aid.
Of course, you can increase your chances of a positive outcome if you have the right resources. The internet opens up new possibilities for DIY projects, with plenty of how-to videos and more. It’s easy to learn how to craft molding or build a bookshelf.
However, knowing your resources also means knowing what you can’t realistically learn. Some skills cannot be mastered overnight. You can’t risk having an unsafe home or property, so it’s your duty to hire a contractor in these instances.
Manage Your Expectations
A huge factor that impacts whether you go DIY or hire a contractor is your expectations.
Professionals will get you high-quality results that will be long-lasting. A DIYer might be able to accomplish the task, but not to the standard of a professional. You might be able to lay the tile, but it could be uneven.
If you are okay with that, go for it. Otherwise, hire a contractor.
Play it Safe
At the end of the day, you want to feel safe, and you want others to feel safe. If the project has any potential hazards, consider Be Happy Property Services.
Potentially hazardous projects include anything with:
Polybutylene piping (form of plastic piping that was used in residential plumbing systems from 1978 to 1995)
Other hazardous projects can involve structural changes, like taking out walls or fixing the foundation. You do not want to literally “bring the roof down” – so be safe!
If you are swaying between the two routes, consult a professional. Be Happy Property Services offers free quotes. From there, you can weigh the pros and cons to decide
which option works best.
A professional opinion might even shed light on aspects of the project you have not considered yet.
Our team of professionals are licensed, bonded and insured. Look to us to complete those remodel projects you need done – big or small. We also perform commercial maintenance and renovations.
Contact us today to learn more!#behappypropertyservices #winterizinghome #remodelprojects #winterremodel #whentohireapro #shouldIhireapro #homeremodeling
Prepare for the Upcoming Cold Season with our checklist of Winter BasicsOne of the most beneficial home maintenance tasks this month is just double-checking that your home is weatherproofed and ready for what Mother Nature has in store for us. It’s clear that fall is here and while there are still a few sunny days, the rain is settling into the area. With the changing of the seasons, here are a few suggestions to ensure you and your home make the transition well.
Check for groundwater seepage in and around your homeCracks in the foundation or concrete can offer easy entrance to water. Seal any cracks. Whether you’ve found a crack in your caulk, door or window seals, or foundation, now is the time to address it. Fall and winter are prime for bugs, wind, and water to try and infiltrate. Save yourself time, money, and a headache by heading off any potential issues.
Do you worry about frozen pipes with the impending cold snap?If so, get those pipes insulated and ensure that you’re proactively addressing any needs before this winter, such as leaving a slow drip in a faucet to keep water moving through on the coldest of days.
Check your insulationThis is the perfect time to ensure that you have enough insulation to keep your house warm and dry before the frigid temps hit. How do you do that? Do the touch test. The interior ceilings, walls, and floors in your home should feel warm and dry. When drywall and paneling inside a home feels damp or cold, there is not enough insulation. Alternatively, when touching an exterior wall, it should feel cold because the insulation is keeping warm air inside a home.
Stock up on salt or kitty litter to improve the walkability of your sidewalks and front steps
Check your filtersBefore the temperatures drop more, ensure your filter has been replaced so that you’re not pushing dust and dirt around the house. Your heater is likely running almost constantly, so the filter could be full of dust and dirt. If you notice that the filter needs changing, there’s no time like the present.
Clean those guttersIt’s that time of year where dirt and falling leaves (combined with rain) can become an impediment for moving water swiftly away from your house. Don’t let full gutters create an issue at your home. Give them a good cleaning now and then check again in early November to be sure everything is draining properly.
Keep back-up batteries and functioning flashlights in case they’re needed