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6 Materials To Avoid When Remodeling The Kitchen

(Published on - 8/12/2018 7:49:59 PM)

About to remodel that old kitchen? Unless you’re cool with treating the hardest working room in your house like a museum exhibit, resist the temptation to buy the cheapest or shiniest materials available and go for durable options that can stand up to regular abuse.

Trust us: Although it may be tough to leave that raised, tempered glass bar top (ooo!) in the showroom, repairing its first (and second, and third) chip will get old. Very fast.

Picking the right materials is easy if you do your homework. “There are amazing products out there,” says Jeffrey Holloway, a certified kitchen designer and owner of Holloway Home Improvement Center in Marmora, N.J.

“You’re looking at price point, sanitation, how easy it is to clean the product, its durability and maintenance.”

Keeping those all-important features in mind, here are some materials to avoid during your next kitchen project.

#1 Plastic Laminate Counters

First off, there’s plenty of great laminate out there. It’s the entry-level,plastic laminate to stay away from, Holloway says.

These are the ones that look thin and dull, as opposed to richly textured. They scratch easily, and if the product underneath the laminate gets wet (say, from steam rising from your dishwasher), it can delaminate the countertop, which means the edges will chip pretty easily.

Also, one misplaced hot pan on the plastic will result in a melted disaster zone you’ll remember forever.

But if you’re watching your budget, plastic laminate at the next level up is a good choice. “It’s got good color consistency, and there are a lot of retro and trendy patterns available,” says Dani Polidor, an interior designer and owner of Suite Artistry, and a REALTOR® in Pittsford, N.Y.

New laminate counter technology offers scratch resistance, textured surfaces, and patterns that mimic real wood and stone. “There are even self-repairing nano-technologies embedded in some laminates,” says Polidor, “and others have antimicrobial properties.”

For an average 10-by-20-foot kitchen, the next-level-up laminate will cost about $3,000, Polidor estimates, and those super cool technology options add another $200 to $300. For durability and longer life, the investment is well worth it.

#2 Inexpensive Sheet Vinyl Flooring

You spend all day stepping on your floor, so quality really matters. At the lower price point, about $2.50 per square foot, the cheapest sheet vinyl floorings tend to be thin.

“If your vinyl floor is glued down and the underlayment gets delaminated, say, by water seeping from your dishwasher or refrigerator, you’ll get bubbles in your floor,” Holloway warns.

Compare that with luxury vinyl tile (LVT) that costs about $5 per square foot.

It’s still usually glued down, but it’s a little more forgiving than its less classy cousin — and it can come in tiles, which you can grout so they mimic the look of higher-end stone, Polidor says.

#3 Some Laminated Cabinet Fronts

Holloway suggests staying away from lower-end thermofoil cabinet fronts. What is thermofoil? Contrary to its name, there’s no foil or any metal-type material in it. It’s actually vinyl, which is heated and molded around fiberboard. If the cabinet is white and the price is waaaaay affordable compared with other cabinets, think twice. Cheaper thermofoil has three critical issues:

1. It’s not heat resistant. If near a dishwasher or oven, it could delaminate.

2. It can warp and yellow with age, revealing its cheapness.

3. The “wood” underneath the thermofoil is also poor quality and won’t hold up over time.

But just like with plastic laminate, science has made great strides, and now there are a host of new cabinets that are remaking thermofoil’s reputation. “New European laminates have become all the rage for the clean-lined, flat-panel look,” Polidor says. “It’s budget-friendly and can look like wood or high gloss. It’s not your grandmother’s thermofoil.”

And it doesn’t come at grandma’s prices, either. But still, the new thermofoil is much more affordable than custom cabinets, and still satisfies with its rich look and durability.

#4 High-Gloss Lacquered Cabinets

A nice shine can be eye-catching. And spendy. About 20 layers of lacquer go on a cabinet for the high-gloss look. Ding it or scratch it, and it’s costly to repair.

“It’s a multi-step process for repairing them,” Polidor says. A better option for the same look is high-end thermofoil (see? We said there were good thermofoil options!).

Thermofoil has a finish that’s fused to the cabinet and baked on for a more durable exterior. And it’s way more budget-friendly, too. High-gloss can be in the thousands of dollars, whereas thermofoil can be in the hundreds or dollars.

#5 Flat Paint

Flat paint has that sophisticated, velvety, rich look we all love.

But keep it in the bedroom.

It’s not KF (kitchen-friendly). Flat paint, also known as matte paint, has durability issues. It’s unstable. Try to wipe off one splatter of chili sauce, and you’ve ruined the paint job.

About the only place to use flat paint in your kitchen is on the ceiling (unless, of course, you have a reputation for blender or pressure-cooker accidents that reach to the ceiling, then we suggest takeout).

Instead, you want to use high-gloss or semi-gloss paint on your walls. They can stand up to multiple scrubbings before breaking down.

#6 Trendy Backsplash Materials

Tastes change. So avoid super trendy colors and materials when it comes to permanently adhering something to your kitchen walls. Backsplashes come in glass, metal, iridescent, and high-relief decor tiles, which are undoubtedly fun and tempting. They can also be expensive, ranging from $5 to $220 a square foot, and difficult to install. And after all that work and expense, if (er … when) your tastes change in a few years, it’ll be mighty tough to justify a re-do.

Stick with a classic subway tile at $2 to $3 square foot. Or, even more budget friendly, choose an integrated backsplash that matches your countertop material. “If you want pops of color, do it with accessories,” Polidor suggests.

Realty Executives Midwest
1310 Plainfield Rd. Ste 2 | Darien, IL 60561
Office: 630-969-8880
E-Mail: experts@realtyexecutives.com


Sell Your Home: Step by Step

(Published on - 8/5/2018 7:49:21 PM)

Realty Executives Midwest
1310 Plainfield Rd. Ste 2 | Darien, IL 60561
Office: 630-969-8880
E-Mail: experts@realtyexecutives.com


4 Tips to becoming a Happy Homeowner

(Published on - 7/22/2018 7:36:28 PM)

Realty Executives Midwest
1310 Plainfield Rd. Ste 2 | Darien, IL 60561
Office: 630-969-8880
E-Mail: experts@realtyexecutives.com


11 Reasons Why Your Home Isn’t Selling

(Published on - 7/15/2018 7:25:34 PM)

When you first put your house on the market, you might be hopeful for a quick sale—especially if you've put a lot of money into improving the house over the years and if the neighborhood is one that has historically attracted a lot of buyers. While you shouldn't panic if the house doesn't sell the moment you list it, you should begin to worry if the months start flying by without any real offers. If this is the case, here are 11 reasons why your house may not be selling.

  1. You overvalued your property. If your house is overpriced, it's simply not going to sell. Compare your property to similar properties that recently sold within your area to get a better idea of its true value. An experienced real estate agent can give you an accurate value of your home. Additionally, don't make the mistake of tacking on the cost of any renovations you made. You can't just assume that the cost of a renovation translates to added value.
  1. Your listing is poor. If the listing of your home includes a poorly written description without any images, a lot of buyers are going to skip over it. Make sure you and your REALTOR® put an effort into creating a listing that attracts the attention of buyers. Make sure to add high quality photographs of both the interior and exterior of your home. Don't forget to highlight unique features as well.
  1. You're always present at showings. Let your agent handle your showings. Buyers don't want to have the seller lurking over their shoulder during showings, especially during an open house. This puts unwanted pressure on the buyer, which will make them uncomfortable and likely chase them away.
  1. You're too attached. If you refuse to negotiate even a penny off your price, then there's a good chance that you've become too attached to your home. If a part of you doesn't want to sell it, or you think your house is the best house in the world, odds are you're going to have a lot of difficulties coming to an agreement with a potential buyer.
  1. You haven't had your home professionally cleaned. A dirty house is going to leave a bad impression on buyers. Make sure you have a professional clean your carpeting and windows before you begin showing your house.
  1. You haven't staged your home. If you've already moved out, then don't show an empty house. This makes it difficult for buyers to imagine living in it. Stage your house with furniture and decor to give buyers a better idea of how big every room is and how it can be used. You want the buyer to feel at home when they are taking the tour.
  1. You kept up all of your personal décor. Buyers are going to feel uncomfortable touring your house if you keep all of your family portraits up. Take down your personal décor so that buyers can have an easier time imagining themselves living there.
  1. Your home improvements are too personalized. You might think that the comic book mural you painted for your child's room is absolutely incredible, but that doesn't mean potential buyers will agree. If your home improvements are too personalized, it can scare off buyers who don't want to pay for features they don't want.
  1. Your home is too cluttered. Even if your home is clean, clutter can still be an issue. For example, maybe you simply have too much furniture in one of your rooms. This can make the house feel smaller than it is.
  1. Your home is in need of too many repairs. The more repairs that are needed, the less likely a buyer will want your house. Many buyers simply don't want to deal with the cost or effort of doing repair work, even if it's just a bunch of small repairs, such as tightening a handrail or replacing a broken tile.
  1. You chose the wrong real agent. In my opinion, choosing the right real estate is simply the most important decision you make in selling your home.  A good REALTOR® makes all the difference in selling your home within a reasonable time.

All these things can be fixed once you realize your mistake; however, the longer your property stays on the market, the less likely it will sell at listing price. One of the best ways to avoid making these common mistakes is by working with a professional real estate agent.

Realty Executives Midwest
1310 Plainfield Rd. Ste 2 | Darien, IL 60561
Office: 630-969-8880
E-Mail: experts@realtyexecutives.com


How To Give Your Home A “Smart” Financial Stress Test

(Published on - 7/8/2018 5:11:21 PM)

Do you ever feel like your money is literally flying out the window? Parents have ribbed their kids about turning off the lights and closing the door for as long as there have been homes, but there’s quite a bit of truth behind one of the most common household pet peeves. Wasted utilities can be a monetary black hole in the budget of any family, and in many cases, the ways we’re wasteful aren’t always immediately obvious.

Thankfully, today’s smart home technology can enable every family to do some smart snooping for inefficient habits, and set up intelligent scheduling to keep a home comfortable while minimizing costs. Here’s some helpful advice to consider:

Keep an Eye on Your HVAC

Nothing can wreck an electric bill quite like an unusually warm summer or a brutally cold winter. No matter how you adjust your thermostat, it’s hard to find the right balance between a comfortable home and an affordable one.

Installing a smart thermostat can be a huge help to manage the cost of running the heat or air conditioner. Wi-Fi thermostats are affordable, simple to install, and they provide homeowners with valuable data and powerful tools to manage their home’s heating and cooling from anywhere.

If you’re facing colder weather, these thermostat systems can help you take an in-depth look at your heat pump’s runtime history to find the exact outdoor temperatures where expensive auxiliary heating kicks in. Some products even feature self-adjusting temperature settings that can cool down or heat up your home an hour or two before extreme weather rolls in, sparing your units from running in less than optimal conditions. Additionally, with remote access, it’s easy to lower the temperature or turn off the system if no one is home.

A few smart tweaks to your home’s heating and cooling settings can help you to better manage your electric bill.

Read Your Home’s Diary with a Smart Home Hub

A smart home hub is a great tool for a variety of reasons; it ties all of your smart home gadgets together in one interface, enables some really fun features through automation, and can even let you control your home with your voice. If you’re looking into your home’s financial efficiency, you’ll also find that their detailed daily logs can be a huge help in tracking down energy hogs and bad habits such as leaving lights or having an open window when the AC is blasting.

When you look over daily usage logs, keep an eye out for data on door/window sensors and smart lighting. Door and window sensors can clue you into who might leave doors open when they head off to school, or what windows have been left open at night. Your lighting system can give you a history on which lamps are left running for hours on end, and which fixtures are still active when the family is gone for the day.

Smart home hubs can be set up as part of a whole home security system through a security company or even your local internet service provider. The capabilities to manage your smart home devices remotely offer the ease and convenience to have better control on your home.  Keeping a finger on the pulse of your home can help you better optimize your daily habits and routines for more financial savings.

Check Your Mobile Connectivity

This applies to those who do not have an unlimited mobile plan. If your mobile connectivity is limited, make sure your device automatically connects to your home Wi-Fi whenever you are home. Also, make sure your device is streaming on your home Wi-Fi, especially if you are just within the perimeter, as your device may hop onto the wireless network which will eat into your limited plan.

Live Smarter on a Schedule

Once you get acquainted with your smart gadgets, take some time to set up schedules for different aspects of your home, which can save you some money.

Is your family typically gone during the middle of the day? Have your thermostat automatically  adjust the temperature (or turn off your HVAC) and your lights automatically shut off. Do you like to fall asleep with the lights on? Set up your bedrooms to dim automatically after bedtime. Have some forgetful roommates? Set your smart home app up to receive notifications when doors and windows are left open for more than 15 minutes or at unusual hours.

All it takes to save some money is a combination of the right gadgets and the right home automation. Having a smart home at your fingertips  offers conveniences and it’ll help you have a healthier bank account every month if you take some time to set things up .

This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The point of view and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Realty Executives International.

This post was written by Eric Murrell. Eric is a software developer and technology contributor to?XFINITY?Home.?He enjoys sharing?tips on how people can benefit from incorporating smart home automation and security in their homes on his blog?At Home in the Future.??

Realty Executives Midwest
1310 Plainfield Rd. Ste 2 | Darien, IL 60561
Office: 630-969-8880
E-Mail: experts@realtyexecutives.com


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