Thursday, February 21, 2013

Inexpensive Ways to Update Your Kitchen

You've probably heard time and time again that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. This is primarily because they are the rooms that are the most expensive to renovate due to their more permanent features such as counter tops, flooring, cabinetry etc. It takes more than a coat of paint to bring a dated kitchen or bathroom into the present.
But, if your kitchen is lack-luster, don't despair; there are a number of things you can do to spruce it up that won't leave your cupboards bare!

I know I said that it takes more than a coat of paint to bring your kitchen out of the past, but painting is not something you can neglect to do either. You spend so much time in the kitchen cooking and cleaning up that you eventually don't even notice the walls anymore. Any other changes you do will only draw attention to the surrounding walls, so make them sparkle again with a new colour or even just a clean coat of the existing colour.

You'd be surprised at how hardware can date a kitchen. Aside from painting, changing your cabinet hardware and drawer pulls is the least expensive change you can make and has quite an impact. Your old cabinets will thank you!

If you can't afford all new cabinets, you can opt to just change the doors, or even stain or paint the existing ones. This will be one of the most drastic changes you can do and it will be well worth the effort. If you choose to paint, be sure to clean your doors thoroughly and apply a good, high quality primer before painting.

It's a big project to update your floors if you already have a hard tile floor, but it doesn't have to be an expensive one. With ceramic as low as $1.25 sq. foot and porcelain for as low as $2.50, there are many options to choose from that won't break the bank. You just need to get past the work of tearing the old tiles out. If you have vinyl sheet or tile on your floor, you've got it a little easier. You can put a new floor right overtop of the one you have. For a stylish, contemporary look, consider laminate flooring. It can be cost effective, much less labour intensive that laying tile and offers a variety of finishes. You can go for the traditional wood look or go for a natural stone look as shown, such as Hampton Bay's Ivory Porcelain (available at Home Depot for approx. $3.25 sq ft.).

Another permanent fixture in the kitchen, counter tops can put the brakes on a money conscious update. But, you don't necessarily have to replace them; if you update your cabinets and hardware, redo your floor and choose the colours and finishes to compliment your counter, you can often leave it as is. If it's absolutely crying out to be changed, you don't have to go over the top with granite or natural stone. There are laminate manufacturers that offer some really convincing granite and stone colour choices. I like them with a gloss finish because it has that authentic polished look. If laminate doesn't quite agree with your budget, then you can be brave and purchase a refinishing kit, such as Beauti-Tone's Counter Top Refinishing Kit (available at Home Hardware for around $200) or Gianni's Granite Paint Refinishing Kit (available on line and at various retailers for under $70). The kit from Giani's is very reasonably priced but does require some artistic ability, so if you choose this option, make sure you use their supplied practice sheet to make sure you get the look you want. But, if done well, this kit is quite a nice one.

Applying all, or even just some of these changes will transform your kitchen enough that it will be one of your home's selling features instead of a drawback.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a floor plan is worth another thousand at least.

With the power of the internet, most consumers research properties on their own, even if they have enlisted the help of an agent. They lead busy lives and want to be able to access as much information as possible before they go and look at a home. Which is why including photographs in listings is so imprtant. What photographs aren't able show, however, is how the home is laid out. A floor plan answers vital questions that buyers have: Is the dining room ideally located near the kitchen? Can we make a nursery close to the master bedroom? It let's them know the flow of the house and how they can layout their furniture. New homes are sold on floor plans and more and more agants are realizing that plans are a critical tool for resale properties as well. 

Here's what buyers are saying about the benefits of having floor plans in listings:

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Ferris Brothers Use an Innovative Approach to Selling Your Home

Remax Jazz Real Estate Team, Andre and Jason Ferris offer a new and innovative approach to selling your home. They know that in order to sell your home for top dollar and in the shortest amount of time, it HAS to show well. They are offering ways to ease that stress of preparing your home for sale and use a strong marketing plan to get it noticed!

See how they can help sell your home!

Friday, September 7, 2012


If you have tired looking, outdated sheet vinyl flooring in your kitchen or bathroom, don't despair. You can make those rooms look fresh, new and contemporary without spending a lot. The resilient floor tiles on the market today are a far cry from those of yesteryear, with their more than fake looking marble patterns that repeated over, and over, and over again. You can get some very convincing tiles and your local big box store. One of my favourites is TrafficMaster Ceramica. It comes in a variety of finishes and even offers a 1' x 2' style, which is pretty sleek when it's all installed. Tip on this one?--offset the tiles or create a pattern with some of them turned at 90 degrees. 
When installing over existing vinyl, you MUST make sure the the floor is LEVEL and CLEAN. That means degrease it with a solvent such as TSP and fill in any gouges or embossed pattern on the old vinyl with an embossing leveler (also available at your local big box store). Once this is done, you can install the new tiles according to the manufacturers instructions and in no time, you'll have a clean, attractive, up to date floor!