Fix Uneven Sidewalks

Has your concrete patio sunk or pulled away from your home?  Has your driveway lowered at the base of the garage? Would you like to level a sidewalk?

To remedy these and related challenges  has been daunting and, for me at least, has fostered procrastination.

What have you done to level things up?

I found this this remarkably simple way to raise sunken sidewalks, driveways, patios etc.  Watch this video.

Pretty cool.

 

 

No Place For a Pool? Check This Out.

I have had a pool. It was a lot of fun on those hot days. It looked nice (most of the time). It was another chore – to keep clean and the chemicals balanced.  It took up most of our backyard and, it could only be used for one thing – getting wet.

Check out  this cool pool. I wish these were available back in the day. How cool is this? It’s a pool and decorative patio you can use for more than – just getting wet.

Do you have a pool story? Did you become familiar with “black algae”?  Ever forget to turn the water off?  Did it change from blue to lily-pad green?

Top Return on Remodel Item?

What would you guess to be the top return on home improvement dollars spent?

I have incorrectly stated for years: “a kitchen improvement gives you the highest return of added value for your remodel dollar”.

While it typically adds 80 – 83% of your remodel dollar-to-value, there is an inexpensive improvement which gets an even higher return – almost 100%!  Hint: a contributor to curbside appeal.

Take a look at this article (see the list at the bottom) and you may be as surprised as I was.  I’m assuming the photo above hasn’t helped you figure it out already.  It is still an eyebrow raiser for me.  It’s also motivating because I can redo our front door out of  “pocket change” vs influencing the national debt for a full-on kitchen do over.

BTW: there was a secondary point made in the article which should be self evident: a $75,000 kitchen remodel on a $100,000 house does not make sense.

What have you done before sale which gave you the best return?

Bathroom Floor Ideas, Remodeling

One of the  first, physical experiences you have in the morning and, just before you go to bed: your footsies on the bathroom floor.  Is it cold?  slippery?  woolly (carpet)? Yucky?

Is it time to redo the bathroom?  Start with the flooring.  Here is a good article for the newest, old ideas and options that are reasonably priced.  Once you have decided on the floor color and texture  the rest will easily fall into place.

Next to the cost of a kitchen remodel, a bathroom is the second most expensive. However, like the kitchen, remodeled bathrooms really add to a home’s value – one of the highest returns on your improvement dollars.

Not only will your bathroom look fresh and clean, it will feel great on those adventurous toes in the AM and weary souls at the end of the day.

What do you think?  Do you have a floor you want to share?

Smoke Alarms – Time to Update

I listened to home inspector today as he  inspected a house   I sold in San Jose.  He was talking about the importance of smoke alarms and how most homes only have an “ionization” or a “photoelectric” type detector   but not both.  Up to that comment I had smugly checked off that my home had a smoke alarm and we were set. I realized, however, that I didn’t even know which type I had.  Then the inspector referred to some studies that suggest people can sleep right through the constant    pitch of a smoke alarms going off – almost like getting  used to “white noise” or constant background sounds.

Enter “alarm and voice” devises and variable pitch alarms.  The newest alarms  even talk to you: “Warning, Warning, Fire, Fire“.  Then they put out a variable pitch alarm.  When the inspector mentioned “the other type of alarm: “the CO2 detector” I knew I needed to get updated.  “You know that Carbon Monoxide is called the ‘Silent Killer’, right?.  Well there is an alarm for that too”, he offered.  While I vaguely remember thinking about that in the past I did not install a CO detector in my home.

I found  “National Fire Protection Association”  website to be very helpful.  I quickly realized that my home was not adequately equipped with the most up-to-date smoke detectors nor do I have enough detectors in my two story home.   I’m headed to Lowe’s for all three types of alarms.

How about your home?  I recommend that you go to NFPA’s website