Why You May Need to Hire a Contractor

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice

Flooring is an excellent investment for personalizing your home to your specific needs. Plus, there are thousands of flooring options to choose from, each with their own set of benefits and styling features. That being said, there is not one flooring suited for every living situation. Many flooring projects will almost always need some sort of prep work prior to installation. Every situation is different, though, and certain dilemmas need to analyze thoroughly prior to beginning your project. Sometimes, the safest way to assess a job is by investing in a flooring contractor. More significant flooring projects can lead to challenges. However, not every situation demands a contractor to evaluate the project. Here are several instances where you may need to consider getting in touch with a contractor for your home or business:

Remodeling

If you are remodeling your home, you should consider the professional advice of a contractor. For instance, deleting walls can lead to uneven floor layouts. Plus, you can also uncover the issue of uneven floor heights from room to room. By getting in touch with a contractor before the project, you can analyze any potential problems which you may face.

Electrical Work

You should also consider professional advice or a contractor if your flooring involves any electrical work. This electrical work can be from remodeling or just having wires on your subfloor. Electrical work can even be a fire hazard if not properly installed. You can also run into electric questions when considering installing heated flooring. Therefore, some of these electrical concerns should best be evaluated by a contractor.

Leveling Subfloor

An uneven subfloor can also take different levels of expertise to evaluate. Not all self-levelers can work for the same application. It is essential to ensure whatever product is being installed over a self-level floor can bond with the adhesive poured on top. Several other issues can arise as well with self-leveling products; therefore, it is best left to the professionals.

There are many things to consider from transitions to noise, and even sloping, so you may find it best to leave it to the professionals. If you have any flooring questions for us at Century Tile, we would love to assist you with all and any questions you may have. Thanks for reading!

The Walkthrough: Tackling Projects in Your Home

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice

Today’s design assignment is physically walking through your home to assess every project that needs to be done! No, seriously. Too often, we have a list of things floating in our heads, not cognitively thinking about them when we need to but only during the most inconvenient times. For instance, perhaps, a light bulb burnt out in a room you rarely use. You have gone to the store several times but never bought the lightbulb because it is not on your mind. Next time you go into that room, you realize how many opportunities you have accidentally passed to fix this problem. Well, today you are going to take proactive steps for fixing this from happening again, and here is how:

Physically Walkthrough

Start by grabbing a notepad or opening the notes app on your phone. Next, physically walk through your home room by room. Take a moment to assess everything you want to get done. These tasks can range from dead batteries in a remote to a new shelving unit. Pay attention to every detail. Are there problems you face in the room? Perhaps the furniture layout is too chaotic or too minimal for a space. Maybe you have scuffs on a wall that need to be painted or stains in your carpet. Make sure to take note of everything you see in the rooms. You should also conduct this walkthrough around the outside of your property to assess your yard as well.

Make a Price Sheet and a Prioritize List

Once you have determined everything that you want to get done, it is time to prioritize your list. This can be done in several ways. You can do it room by room or try to get prices for everything you need to accomplish. Make a price list and decide what some of the prices and obstacles you may face are.

Execute

Do not just create this list. Decide how you are best going to go about accomplishing it. Some of these tasks may be able to be achieved simply by making some free time. Decide when is the next day available to tackle your list. Perhaps, this may become part of your weekend projects.

The walkthrough will help keep you goal-oriented. Once you have created your list, simply stick to it. Creating the list in and of itself will allow you to really notice what needs to be done in your home.

What are some goals you need to accomplish? Let us know below in the comment section.

Open-Concept Living: What You Need to Know

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice, Tips

Years ago, open-concept floor plans were reserved for homes that were utilizing limited square footage. However, in recent years, open-concept living has become incredibly trendy. While some homeowners still desire separate rooms with their own function, many homeowners are taking a sledgehammer to their walls to create an open floor plan.

Benefits of Open-Concept Living

So what is all the fuss about open floor plans, and why are homeowners set on creating this architectural design? Well, there are many features of open floor plans that you cannot get traditional separate rooms:

  • One feature of an open concept floor plan is that it can transform the smallest spaces. It creates an open and airy feeling, making a space appear bigger. If you desire to bring more light and width a room, tearing down walls may be a solution.
  • Perhaps the most significant feature of open concept living is that it is multifunctional, and it allows for multitasking. For kitchens with open and combined dining and living room areas, you will be able to entertain your guests while preparing a meal. If you have a family, an open concept floor plan allows you to take care of things around the house while being able to keep an eye on the children. In addition, you can use the allotted space for more than one task. For instance, a portion of the living room can also serve as your office area by simply adding in a workstation.

Drawbacks of Open Floor Plans

While the flow, space, and added brightness are significant features of open concept floor plans, there can also be drawbacks to living within such space. Some challenges include:

  • Loss of privacy
  • Lack of wall space which means fewer electrical outlets and unconcealed wires.
  • Designing open-concept floor plans can be challenging.

Should I Opt for a Home with Open Floor Plans?

Whether you are in the market for a new home or you are planning on remodeling your home, you may be considering open concept living. How do can you determine whether this design scheme is for your family? Well, you need to assess your family needs and desires. You will want to take into consideration your lifestyle and see how well the concept will work for your everyday life. Once you do so, you will be able to determine if it is right for you.

Flipping Houses Checklist: Things to Remember

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice

Flipping homes can be extremely lucrative. When looking at the market and deciding what home to buy, you want to find one you can buy for a low price and sell for a high price. Most of these homes will need work done to help get them appraised for a higher value on the market. In order to get your home to sell for the best price, you need to look at other homes in the area. Look at what they have in them that your investment may be lacking, and remember not to personalize this project. You want to tailor it to the market, not you. In order to keep on this path, we created a comprehensive checklist for you to follow. These investments and repairs are the essentials to look at in your home. Keep in mind that going above and beyond may not always lead to a higher selling price. It is best to strategize and know the neighborhood.

Create a Template

Make a list of areas you will need to inspect in the home. There will be areas you can generally look at and get the idea but prepare to hire an inspector. Several areas will be critical to making sure you will not need to invest in fixing:

  • Home’s Foundation
  • Roofing
  • HVAC
  • Exterior
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Appliances
  • Basement
  • Flooring
  • Interior Walls and Ceilings
  • Exterior Siding
  • Countertops

Take note of any odor, molding, or water damage. If you can find out when things were last updated in the home, you can have a better idea of the property’s prior maintenance.

Hire an Inspector

Anything you notice you may need to fix, take note. Your inspector can further scrutinize areas and make sure there are no underlying issues to the home. Avoiding the unexpected can be a gamble but do your due diligence and avoid properties with extensive repairs that you cannot flip at a reasonable buying price. When you get your inspector report, you need to do your homework and see how much you will invest in repairs.

Budget Solutions

This can be where the buyer makes their worst mistakes. If you need to hire a contractor or installer for different areas, calculate this into the price. You want to have a budget set, and determine if your repairs can fit into your budget. Look at what is moving on the market in the area, and tailor the home to that style for it to sell quickly.

After going through your checklist and budgeting, you should be comfortable investing in the property. If anything does not feel right, go with your gut. You need to be extremely wary of projects out of your comfort zone as well. Get multiple quotes and have a good understanding of the market.

How to Capture Real Estate Pictures|Part Two

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice, Tips

To successfully sell your home, you need to stand out against the rest of the houses available. The simplest way to achieve this is by capturing quality pictures of your home. As we explored in Part 1, you need to have the right amount of pictures, stage each room properly, and accentuate your exterior. However, more goes into photography than just your home. Knowing how to take the shots is equally important. Help your home sell quicker by using these quality tips:

Professional Angles

You do not need to be a professional to find the best angles. Your goal is to make each room look as large as possible. You may need to stand in a doorway or closet to capture the entirety of the room. Wide angle lenses are ideal but do not use fisheye. You want the pictures to look as natural as possible. Make sure nothing is too obtrusive to the shot. Take your time and play with the angles. You may need to take several pictures of one room to determine which is the best to help market the room.

Proper Lighting

Open all curtains, make sure that your light fixtures have matching bulbs, and double check all your lights are on in your home. Lighting is a critical element in photography. A properly lit space can look much larger. Do not take photos of your exterior in poor lighting. Pictures outside are best taken an hour after sunrise or hour before sunset–this time is referred to as golden hour.

Editing

Uploading poor quality pictures is one of the worst mistakes you can make. Do not overly edit your photos; however, having proper lighting and contrast is very important. Try to use a camera with at least 5-megapixels. Most camera phones are great than this today. Remember, a well-edited photo can make a world of difference. You do not need to be a photoshop pro. There are free apps available that you can edit your photos straight from your phone.

Using the proper techniques will help you move your home faster on the market. If you are struggling to make progress, you can always hire a professional; however, never underestimate the power quality photos can have on selling your home.

How to Capture Real Estate Pictures|Part One

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice, Tips

Real estate is a competitive market. You need to know how to represent your product best if you want potential homebuyers to make an offer on your home. Knowing how to take professional real estate pictures is essential to selling your home. You want to know what to shoot and how to capture it. Here are the general three rules of thumb to capture the perfect pictures for selling your home:

Not Too Many or Not Enough?

When taking pictures of your home, it is important to find balance. You are trying to spark the interest of the buyer. Not enough pictures can make buyers skeptical of the property, whereas too many images can hurt the potential sale as well. Aim for a dozen photos–include some exterior and interior shots. You are trying to showcase the strongest attributes of the home. Take pictures of areas that make your home unique and can help add to the sale. Remember to ask yourself why you are taking each picture.

Staging

Next, it is essential to make sure you stage your pictures correctly. Your landscaping should be impeccable for the photographs as well as your interior setting. Do not upload photos with messes or personal items in them like your car, family members, or pets. Sounds obvious, but you would be surprised. You may even want to remove bulk furniture from the space. This can be temporary for the photo but allows the area to look bigger. You want your home is welcome to look lived in; however, do it with taste. Remove your toiletries from the restrooms and only have essentials for selling points.

Exterior Tips

Not essential, but you can include some unique exterior shots to help your home on the market. If you live in a nice neighborhood, consider having a drone shot of the property, including some of the surrounding homes. If you have the ability to show one seasonal shot, take advantage of this as well. Homes can look different during the winter and summer months. If your environment does not have dramatic influences on the home’s exterior, you do not need to include this. Remember, you do not want to create a massive album. Three to five exterior shots are plenty.

Having pictures can increase the amount of internet traffic and views. Make sure you take the time to get the best photos to help sell your home. For more tips, be sure to check out Part 2. The more tricks and tips you have in your arsenal can give you the advantage you need to sell your home.

Four Unique Ways to Make Your Staircase Standout

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints and Advice

Many homeowners are not aware of the design opportunity that a staircase provides, and many times, people tend to overlook this architectural element when decorating their homes. From using your favorite color to playing with LED lights, there are numerous ways you can style and add personality to your staircases. If you are interested in learning more, here four unique ways you can make your staircase standout:

A Beautiful Stair Runner

One easy way you can add style to your staircase is to use a stair runner. Go bold by selecting a runner with a vibrant hue or pattern. From animal prints to more textured runners, there is a wide variety on the market to fit your taste. Prints and designs are timeless because they instantly add a fun vibe while hiding any tracked in dirt or debris.

Use a Creative Handrail

A great way to make a statement with the staircase is to add a creative handrail. You can use a handrail made of a different material than you would think to use such as a rope handrail, or you can even bring in a hint of nature by building a handrail made from a branch. The possibilities are endless! Top off the look by adding a well-placed accessory at the bottom of the stairs such as a small table on the side or a woven basket to accent your look.

Illuminate the Pathway

Adding lighting to the stairway can be beneficial for safety reasons, but you can also use lighting to set a particular mood. This can be done by installing LED lights on the side of the steps. Lining the side of the staircase with LED lights will cast a futuristic glow that can also feel luxurious in dark settings.

Rainbow Staircase

Love color? Well, you can express your love of different hues right on your staircase. You can apply linoleum made up of different colors right on the riser so you can see each color from the bottom of the staircase and you can enjoy the look of each color as you go up or down the stairs.

What do you think your favorite staircase look is? We would love to hear your thoughts below in the comment section. Thanks for reading!

The Ultimate Spring Checklist for Homeowners

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice, Outdoor Living

Chicago winters can be harsh on your home; therefore, it is essential to do an annual spring check-up of your house. Inspecting your home can help prevent any further damage to the structure and save homeowners a lot of money. This weekend, we recommend going outside and examining your house using this checklist to assure your home is in excellent condition.

Examine Your Exterior Siding

First, you will want to take a look at your home’s siding or bricks and check from any chipping or crumbling.

Repaint Siding and Trim

If necessary, you may have to repaint your home’s siding or trim. Experts recommend that you do not just “touch up” the area but repaint the entire section. We do this because paint can fade into different colors over time and it will be more noticeable that you just “touched up” the area than it was before you painted it.

Check Your Roof

It is imperative to check your roofing to avoid future leaking. Call an expert or two to come and look at your roof to ensure it is in good condition for the upcoming seasons.

Get a Chimney Inspection

Chimney inspections can help detect cracks or leaks in the structure that may be unseen from the outside. Also, you should have your chimney cleaned annually.

Clear out Your Gutters and Downspouts

A lot of grime and guck can get stuck in your gutters during the winter season. Clean out your gutters annually and make sure they are lined up with your home. There should not be any gaps or dips between them and the roof.

Look at Your Heating and Air Condition Unit

Check and replace your filters and air purifiers.

Inspect Your Attic

Attics should be examined annually to determine if they have proper ventilation. Homeowners should look for any hindrance in the vents and panels. Also, you should take a look at the attic to see if any leaking is coming from your roof.

Inspecting your home annually can be beneficial for you and your family’s health. Also, it can help save you money in the future by being aware of issues ahead of time. If you are concerned about something in your home, call a company to come out and take a look. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Five Ways to Tidy up Your Bedroom

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Bedroom Design, Hints and Advice, Tips

A clean, tidy bedroom makes for a happy homeowner. Along with making your bed each morning, we have created five simple ways you can tidy up your bedroom. Let’s take a look!

Double-Duty

Let your nightstand do some work in your bedroom by using a small dresser as a stand. The dresser creates a brilliant solution for keeping your room tidy and neat. You can store all of your necessities right next to your bed, and you will have easy access. Be sure to purchase a small dresser that will work well as a nightstand. You want to still be able to reach your alarm clock and cell phone on the dresser’s surface. Also, if you are looking for a consistent look, you will want to buy identical dressers for each side of your bed. This will help tie the look together and gives you extra storage.

The Purge

The best way to “tidy up” a space is by going through everything you own. Now, this process may take a couple of days or even weeks. But once you have gone through everything, you will want to sort it into different piles. The general rule of thumb is that if you have not used it in a year, you do not need it. Try and keep this in mind while going through your items that you need to purge. Odds are that you will find a bunch of things that you do not remember owning. Once you have sorted through everything, be sure to donate your gently-used items.

Clear off Countertops

Countertops can be one of the leading causes of clutter. To eliminate clutter and tidy up, remove everything from your countertops. Try and limit yourself to three items per countertop. For example, your television stand may have a television, a remote, and a DVD player. Your nightstand dresser may have a vase of flowers, your alarm clock, and a picture. By limiting yourself, you will feel begin to feel less cluttered.

The Great Divide

Drawer dividers can be an excellent solution for organizing your space. Try adding them inside of your dressers for extra organization and less clutter.

Stick to a Schedule

After you have organized your room, you will want to stick to a cleaning schedule. This will set you and your spouse up for success. Be sure to make your bed each morning so that you come home to a clean room each day. Also, you will want to make a weekly cleaning and laundry schedule to help you stay tidy!

End your cleaning on a fresh note by adding a couple drops of your favorite essential oil into a diffuser. The refreshing scents will help promote a healthy and happy lifestyle and mood.

 

How to Have a Successful Yard Sale

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice, Organization

Spring is right around the corner, and you probably have a long list ready for spring cleaning this year. After you clean your house, you will most likely realize you have a variety of things you do not need. Spring cleaning is an excellent time for us to sort through our belongings and decide what to get rid of this year. Imagine how amazing it will feel to make some extra cash from a yard sale. You can put that extra money towards getting new flooring for your home. To help you have the most successful yard sale, here are some pro-tips:

Start Early

The longer you wait to sort through old items, the longer it will take you. Start early by sorting through your things now; tackle an area every weekend. If you have a garage filled with items, get started early so you will not feel overwhelmed.

Deciding What Stays and What Goes

This can be a complicated process if you are someone who loves to keep everything. If you genuinely want to do a deep clean, think about what you can live without having. If there is something that you have not used in years and probably will not use for years to come, sell it.

    • Pro Tip: getting rid of stuff is easier if you start early. You can tackle one area at a time and not be overwhelmed by all you are getting rid of.
    • Think of it this way: someone else could get a great use out of what you are selling. Why would you want to keep it stored away if it benefits someone else’s life?

Clean, Clean, Clean

Be respectful of people’s time and have items that are well-kept and clean. Make sure to dust off, wash, or wipe down all items before you put them out on display. Most people do not want someone else’s trash, and if you do not prepare the items, it may look that way.

Set a Date and a Time

Setting the time and day can actually be one of the most significant parts. You want to do your yard sale at a time of day that people will be able to see it and day where they will be able to stop. Typically, this is why you see yard sales on the weekend.

Spread The Word

The internet can be a great place to get the word out about your yard sale. You can create a Facebook event and leave your event open to the public. Another great way to spread the word is through flyers. There is nothing like an old fashion flyer to get the job done. Make sure to be descriptive and list some items you will have there. Include your address and a time frame of when people can come.

Price Your Items

Now that the word is out about your yard sale, there are some last minute organizational things. Set a price on your items and try to keep the costs low. Yard Sales are meant for bargain shoppers so try not to sticker shock your customers.

    • You can either label each item with a price tag or create a general price sheet for all of the items.

Clear Signs

Your customers will mostly be driving to your yard sale. Try to make straightforward signs on how to get to the yard sale. Put a sign before each turn and at the development entrance. You can each mark your driveway with balloons to help the shoppers.

Donate

Whatever you do not sell, donate. You already decided you do not need it, why not give it to charity?

Have fun with your yard sale and be proud of yourself, you have gotten rid of a lot of stuff! We wish you the best of luck with your yard sale, and if you need somewhere to spend that extra cash, you know where to find us.