How to Build an Apartment Complex That’s Sure to Attract More Renters

Whether you are looking to build a new apartment complex, or renovate your current apartment complex, here are a few tips that are sure to attract more renters!

  1. Wood Flooring

Flooring is extremely important. After all, it’s one of the foundational aspects of an apartment. That being said, it’s been proven that most renters prefer wood flooring, or flooring that is similar to wood. This is for a few reasons. Obviously, wood floors have a stylistic design appeal. In addition to the material’s attractive nature, wood flooring is easier to take care of and clean.

  1. Washers and Dryers

It may seem trivial, but research has proven that renters will pass on an otherwise perfect apartment because it doesn’t have an in-unit washer and dryer. When you think about it, having to lug your laundry up and down multiple floors is a hassle. That being said, make sure each of your apartments have a washer and dryer unit.

  1. Modern Technology

While some people value traditional Victorian style apartment complexes that have that certain historic charm, most renters are looking for an apartment complex that has modern technology. This means that your apartment complex should have stylish energy efficient appliances, smart controls, and great cell and wifi reception. If you really want to step it up a notch, install charging outlets that have USB ports. Many apartment complexes don’t have minor renovations like this, yet many renters would be willing to a bit more for apartment assets like this.

  1. Pet Friendly

Most renters have pets. So if you really want to attract renters, consider making your apartment complex pet friendly. This means renters should be allowed to bring standard pets. You should also have some pet amenities, like a dog park.

  1. Fitness Center

Lastly, majority of renters want an apartment complex that has a free fitness center. If you don’t have a lot of space, don’t worry! You can easily create a small fitness center by adding a few different machines to a small designated space. If you do have a lot of space, you should build a comprehensive gym, as well as a classroom to hold fitness classes, like yoga.

interior design

So, You Want to be an Interior Designer? Read This First!

Do you often redecorate your home as a passion project? Do you receive compliments on your home’s style? If so, you might want to consider becoming an interior designer! While a career in interior design is alluring and exciting, there are a few things you should know before jumping the gun and altering your career.

1.) Design Should Be Your Passion

Obviously, you shouldn’t go into a career in interior design if you’re not passionate about interior design. After all, your career should involve something you love, and if you’re not passionate about interior design, it will show through your work.

In addition to being passionate about interior design, you should also have a knack for it. While being passionate about this career choice is important, it’s not enough to become successful. You’ll need training, experience, and a designer’s eye for that.

2.) Decorators and Designers are Different

Although a lot of people use the phrases “interior decorators” and “interior designers” interchangeably, they are different. Basically, the only difference between the two professions is education. All it takes to become an interior decorator is to have a sense of style, passion, and initiative. Anyone could suddenly wake up and decide they want to become interior decorator. All they would have to do is establish a business plan and begin marketing their services to potential clients.

On the other hand, an accredited education is required to become an interior designer. If you want to switch careers immediately, you could always work as interior decorator as your take designer courses.

3.) It Isn’t a Walk in the Park

Some people think all interior designers do is consult with clients and go shopping for fabrics, furniture, and decorations. While consulting with clients and shopping for products is a large part of the job, an interior designer also has to do a bunch of challenging, and even mundane, tasks.

4.) Unexpected Salary

All interior designers are millionaires, right? Unfortunately, no. While there is a good sum of rich interior designers, the median salary for a new interior designer is slightly above $40,000. An interior designer’s salary is influenced by many things, such as the company they work for, the location of that company, and education.

Typically, financially successful interior designers work in a high-end firm in a major city and have the necessary education to understand the ins and outs of structural design and architecture.

5.) The Importance of a Portfolio

Regardless of how good your communication skills are, potential clients are going to want to see proof that you have talent. The best way to show potential clients your talent and experience is by giving them your portfolio. Your portfolio should showcase an array of projects, which ultimately showcase your talent and versatility.

When you are a new interior designer, it’s hard to show a potential client a comprehensive portfolio. Instead of worrying about quantity, focus on quality. And if you really don’t have any designs and projects to show them, consider giving them a discount.

It’s important to keep in mind that everyone works their way up. Although you won’t become a successful interior designer overnight, success is always possible. All you have to do is work hard and stay motivated.

How to Prevent Bathroom Water Damage

We use our bathrooms every day, multiple times a day. Because we use them so frequently, it can be easy for water damage to occur since a lot of moisture is making its way in and out of your plumbing system through pipes and drains.

Knowing what to look for and how to address any problems early on can save you a lot of headache and money in the long run.

Here are a few suggestions for inspecting your bathroom for potential excess moisture damage. We recommend performing these inspections once every three months in order to prevent problems before they occur. It only takes a few minutes!

Check the bathtub and shower for the following:

  • Cracked tiles
  • Missing grout
  • Cracked caulking at joints where the bathtub or floor meet the walls.
  • Clogged pipes and drains
  • Lingering moisture
  • Discolorations and soft spots

Any of the above could indicate an internal leak, and you’ll want to get it repaired right away to prevent further structural damage to your bathroom and home.

Look for the following signs of invisible plumbing problems:

  • Moisture and stains on your bathroom floor or walls
  • Moisture and stains in adjoining rooms

Internal plumbing problems are more difficult to detect since your pipes are hidden behind walls. That’s why it’s important to check for signs of moisture leaks on the surfaces of your home.

Inspect sinks and cabinets for the following:

  • Drips in the trap
  • Cracked or loose sink seals
  • Slow-draining sinks

It’s easy to overlook these areas, but it’s equally important since they are regularly exposed to moisture. Inspect the area below the sink as well as the countertop above it for any problems, and contact an emergency plumber if you see anything suspicious that may be indicative of future issues.

Check the toilet for the following:

  • Leaks around the seat, under the water tank, in the hose, as well as in the rim and tank seals
  • Moisture on the floor around the base
  • A slow flush or clog

The toilet junction is especially vulnerable to water damage, so be sure to check for problems regularly and call a plumber if you’re even the least bit concerned.

Take the above measures on a consistent basis, and you’ll be far less likely to experience damage that could cost you thousands of dollars if not addressed right away! Should you experience unfortunate damage beyond repair, call a water restoration specialist. Or if you’re handy, you could attempt the repairs yourself…

window treatments

Tips to Save on Home Remodeling Costs

From television to magazines to your neighbors, refurnishing homes is popular as individuals make up for the increasing costs of buying a residence by offering their old areas a makeover. The difficulty is this approach can be really costly when all the possibilities are thought about – redesigning a space can involve furniture changes, paint, cutting, re-flooring, as well as several other alternatives besides.

Just how is the trend-conscious house owner to fit an improvement job into a budget plan so that you do not have to take out a 2nd mortgage? There is no right answer, and also your option will depend on the job that you are undertaking.

The absolute best means to save on your renovation costs is to discover ways to redesign rooms on your own. Don’t work with an indoor decorator, as well as don’t be in a position where you have to hire a professional, either. There are a lot of self-help sets out there, and most redesigning projects, from reupholstering your furniture to offering your whole living space a make over, are easy enough to do on your own. Also some jobs that seem extremely challenging, such as adding wood flooring to your area, are really not that tough to do. You merely have to be willing to invest the time to do it correctly – time spent that will certainly save you a fortune when it comes to specialist fees.

When you begin your task, take stock on exactly what the properties of the space you wish to renovate are. Make the most of the space, additions, and also the furniture that you have offered. Then start to plan your upgrades taking the advantages the room needs to supply right into account.

Renovating a space could be as basic as including a couple of items of textile as well as fabric. An eating area need not have an entirely new collection of furniture placed in order to look contemporary and also brand-new. Any mix of window treatments will offer your area a fresh appearance, so you may want to consider a combination of drapes, blinds, and valences.

An additional fabric alternative to spruce up the location is the use of dining chair slip covers. If you have an older set of eating chairs that need to have an upgraded look, however you cannot pay for a brand-new collection, think about acquiring or making a collection of covers on your own.

kitchen remodel

Should You Remodel Your Home Before Selling It?

You’re trying to sell your house and want to make the highest amount possible. How can you ensure that you maximize your return on your investment? Sometimes all it takes is a good home staging. Other times, you may need to remodel certain areas to appeal to current buyers, especially if you have an older home. If you’re wondering whether to take on a remodeling project, here are some things to consider.

#1. Will you recoup your costs? Upgrades can be a great thing if they actually increase the resale value of a home. But remodeling for the sake of making your home appear more appealing to buyers will profit you nothing if you don’t actually make back your remodeling costs. Be sure that whatever project you decide to undertake will increase the value of your home enough to at least break even on your remodeling investment. Of course it’s best if you don’t just break even, but make a little money in the process.

#2. Every buyer is different. Just because you add new stainless or concrete countertops to your kitchen and upgrade your bathroom vanities with new marble sinks and waterfall faucets, that doesn’t mean it will appeal to everyone. Every buyer has different tastes. What if yours is more interested in granite countertops or would prefer a modest bathroom upgrade with a tile shower or backsplash? If you’re going to remodel certain rooms in you house, consider upgrades that are likely to appeal to the widest selection of buyers. Look at what’s popular and trending right now and likely to stand the test of time for future homeowners as well. Your home is your investment now, but that investment will transfer into new hands, and buyers are likely considering that before making a purchase decision.

#3. Invest in necessary repairs over minor cosmetic defects. If you know your roof is 20+ years old, you may want to look into getting a new one. Or if your house is covered in 80s wallpaper, you may want to invest in an updated paint job. Completely remodeling for the sake of hiding minor cosmetic issues that your buyers can likely fix (and will want to do so on their own to get the look they want) will end up being costly to you in the long run, especially if you ignore major, necessary upgrades in the process. Think about issues that the buyers’ home inspector will likely notice, and get those issues fixed first.

#4. Consider hiring a professional home staging company. As mentioned before, sometimes all you may need is a really good staging. Sure, you might have laminate countertops and most of your showings are starting to reveal that buyers want granite. Does that mean you should go and spend $4000 on new kitchen countertops? Not necessarily. Consider hiring a home stager to take a look at your house and provide their professional opinion on how to downplay the laminate and highlight the more positive features of your home.

#5. Vintage could be good. If you have an older home, you may want to think twice before replacing your vintage floors or appliances with upgraded, modern ones. A lot of people are starting to enjoy a more vintage look, and those items could even increase your home’s resale value as they approach “antique” age.

#6. All it takes is one. One buyer is all you need to sell your house. While it might seem attractive to end up in a bidding war, you really only need one person who is genuinely interested and qualified to pull off a successful closing. If your home has been sitting on the market for quite some time, consult with your realtor to determine if a remodel might help you. It may be that your home is not selling because there is a major problem. Or it could just be that you haven’t found the “right” buyer yet. In either case, patience is key.


How to Avoid a Residential Electrical Fire

As you include new equipment in your residence, the power supply could come to be inadequate. If you have indicators like merges or circuit breakers tripping, or lights lowering, it’s time to carefully take a look at your scenario prior to subsequent equipment failures, fires, or other troubles developing.

Insufficient electrical output is mostly due to increasing the variety of devices that take in electrical power in your home, such as heat and air conditioning devices, frost-free refrigerators, clothing dryers, water heaters, ovens, dish washers, and also various other effective electric motor-driven devices.

5 Sources of Inadequate Power in Your Home

1. Limited Circuit Box Capacity

In either instance it’s time to make a circuit map to decipher needs and also compare it with the capacity of the main panel to provide. If you discover the power need is much less than the capacity and also there is no area for more breakers, a sub-panel may be the response. Conversely, if the total need is greater than the main panel capacity to supply, then you will certainly require a qualified electrical contractor to install a brand-new primary panel.

When the overall demand from complete electrical devices is greater than what the panel has the ability to provide, the major circuit box will likely fall short. Excess need suggests that the panel rating is less than needed or the panel might be limiting capability because it has no area left for more circuit breakers.

2. Overloaded Circuits

To prevent the threat of fire, do not surpass the risk-free amperage of the circuit. Blown merges or tripped breakers suggest an overloaded circuit. Because they fall short, do not replace breakers with ones of higher amperage. Rather, run a brand-new circuit from the main panel that is within the supply capacity.

If the demand on the circuits are greater compared to the amperage rating of the circuit managing it, another usage for the circuit map should be assessed. It is necessary to keep in mind peak demands of devices that could draw even more power on start as well as develop an increase in power that trips the breaker.

A power rise that does not trip the breaker is suggested by lights lowering when a home appliance activates. Devices that produce surges should have their own separate circuit created to endure the rise.

3. Insufficient Number of Electrical Outlets

The most apparent indicator that more electrical outlets are required is when you begin to use multi-outlet extension cords on a long-term or regular basis. Most low-cost extension cords are not created to lug the hefty amperage required of permanent wiring. Excess lots might create overheating and also fire.

Computer system workstations can call for outlets for even more compared to two gadgets from a solitary double receptacle wall surface circuit. The ideal option is to supply the called-for electrical outlets on separate circuit(s) created to go beyond the demand. The less pricey power bars as well as extension cables run risks of device damages or fires if the circuit is overwhelmed.

A general rule of thumb is to contend the very least one outlet for each 12 feet of wall surface, ground fault interrupted electrical outlets in restrooms, as well as outside wall surfaces, one outlet for each and every counter top in the kitchen, or as required by neighborhood codes.

4. Inadequate Feeder Lines

Older houses may have initial two-wire feed lines from the power company’s nearest energy post delivering 110-115 volts. Certainly these lines will not power 240 volt devices; neither is the amperage most likely able to power greater than a couple of newer devices each time.

The electrician must replace both the cable systems with a 3 cord system at their very own expense. Considering that you may have to pay an electrical contractor to install a new service panel, use your circuit map as well as any type of growth to establish future need, then measure the new panel capacity appropriately.

5. Overtaxed Transformer

In older high-density areas, electrical power demands have increased gradually over the years. In many cases, the transformer serving the location might not have actually been increased to meet the expansion. The power supply may be required to scale up according to requirements.

More Tips

Demand Side Management (DSM) refers to activities taken on the client’s side of the meter to alter the amount or timing of power usage. Energy DSM programs provide a selection of actions that could reduce power intake as well as consumer power expenses. Electrical power DSM methods have the dream of making best use of end-use effectiveness to delay the construction or stay clear of brand-new generating plants.

Four great tips on reducing house maintenance costs

Knowing what you want to do with your home is the easiest thing, but the real problem comes in how much money you can spend on renovating and maintaining your house.

Here are four simple hacks to reducing the overall cost of renovations and maintenance.

1.    Come up with an estimate.

More often than not, dream renovations cost more than what people can afford. For larger revamping, it could cost you the amount of constructing a new home. An estimate will allow you to see what you can accomplish with the money you have. Getting a contractor, for a bathroom remodel, for example, will help you come up with reasonable estimates based on the materials you want and the design to follow.

2.    Set Your Budget

Do you have the money? You can throw in all the renovations you want, but if you don’t have the money to back them up, you won’t be able to finish what you started. If you plan on getting a loan, setting your budget will show you how much you need to save from your income to pay for your renovations. Stay true to your payment plan, or else you’ll find yourself under some nasty debt.

3.    Get quotes from contractors.

Before you decide on a contractor for your renovations, make sure you test the waters first because you’ll never know if you can get a better deal from other contractual workers. Remember, this is about making the most out of your money, so even if you have a contractor friend, make sure to ask quotes from two others to see who has the best price for their expertise.

With your design, they’re practically quoting the same thing, so you’ll be able to see which of them can recreate your home with the best price and quality of work.

In choosing the best contractor, look into their recent work through their portfolios, check for reviews from their previous clients (or even call them) and check references you may find online or in public records.

4.    Find the middle ground between your dream design and financial plan.

Compromise is always the word for renovations. When it comes to your financial plan, you can’t spend too much, or else you’ll endanger your future funds, so it’s either you get more money to complete your design or compromise and alter your plan to fit your budget. It’s never an easy thing to do, but staying true to your budget will give you more financial security especially when revamping your home.

How to remodel your entire house on a budget?

There’s no doubt that renovations cost a lot of money, but the right strategy can save you thousands of dollars.

Sadly, this also goes for the opposite. If you use the wrong strategy, you’re bound to waste your hard-earned savings.

Here are a few tips to revamp your home while bringing the bang to your buck.

Do NOT buy the materials yourself.

Believe me. Everything sold at retail is expensive. It’s necessary business. When the goods reach the customer, this means they came from the manufacturers to the suppliers, distributors and then to the stores causing an increase in price. You can get the best discounts from contractors, interior designers, and firms with connections to suppliers. With enough research and help from the experts, you can get trade discounts for the materials you need to complete your renovations.

Should You Hire an Architect or Interior Designer?

If it’s in your budget, then go ahead. An architect or interior designer will be able to draw up your designs and hook you up with a builder to get your renovations done. This works best if you have a friend or relative capable of giving you huge discounts. However, if you don’t know anyone or if you’re on a tight budget, you can hire a draftsperson to envision your design. This will leave you with more work to do if you’re willing to do the renovations yourself, but it will save you more money.

DON’T touch the electrical wiring and plumbing of your home.

Unless you’re an electrician or plumber, it’s best to leave these to the experts. Work around the wiring and the plumbing when conducting renovations because you’d want to avoid damages and potential health hazards. When revamping a kitchen or bathroom, keep the essential installations where they should be because they are connected to a larger water supply. If you want to alter these in any way to follow your design, get a contractor to study the blueprints of your home to avoid any complications arising from your renovations.