Ann Marie Martin


Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 3/2/2020


 Photo by Solomon Rodgers via Pixabay

When you've been in the same home for a while, it is common to get an itch to switch things up a little bit. For many homeowners, this means renovating the kitchen. Renovation is a great way to not only add a little bit of style but also increase the value of the home at the same time. There are a few great ideas to think about when it comes to kitchen renovations.

Add a Backsplash

One of the most popular kitchen renovations is to install a backsplash. This is a great way to upgrade and personalize the food prep area. Furthermore, a backsplash is easy to clean, functional and durable. There are plenty of ideas that people can use to make their kitchen backsplash unique. Consider neutral stone tile with colored or patterned pieces randomly interspersed, a pressed metal design or colorful glass tiles.

Open Up The Area

Consider opening up additional space in and around your kitchen. This can be accomplished with the removal of upper cabinets, introducing a window or skylight or, for a larger-scale project, removing walls to connect with other rooms. If you can't change the floorplan of your room, swapping in glass-front cabinets or open shelving for your upper cabinets can create more visual space.

Add Flair to the Counters

Counters are a common target for kitchen renovations. Styles change and, over the years, you may find the need for additional space. One solution is to add a kitchen island. This adds both storage space and workspace for your kitchen. Don't be afraid to go with unique countertop materials like concrete or wood.

Upgrade the Appliances

Finally, consider upgrading appliances to incorporate new technology and conveniences. Newer appliances not only come with new features like convertible compartments and touch screens but are also more energy-efficient than older models. This means you might also be able to save additional money over time with this investment.





Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 1/27/2020

Home renovations are generally thought of as a good thing. You can update your home for your own comfort. New amenities will make your life easier. Your home can expand in size. Whatever you are planning to do in your home is bound to have a positive affect. One thing to be aware of when youíre gearing up for the process of any type of home renovation is that of your home insurance. You want to protect yourself and your home as your go through the stages of home renovations. Below, youíll find some tips to help you complete renovations you desire in your home without having surprise insurance bills. 


Check That Your Contractor Has Insurance Coverage


Before you sign a contract with any contractor be sure that they have sufficient insurance coverage. In particular you want to be sure that they have workersĎ compensation coverage and liability insurance. Donít be afraid to ask the contractor for the necessary certificates and confirmation of insurance coverage before you even sign the contract. Itís your right as a consumer to know that your contractor is covered properly.


Beware Of Subcontractors As Well


Just because your general contractor is covered doesnít mean that all subcontractors that are hired have the correct insurance. Electricians, plumbers, and other specialty contractors will need their own insurance on the job. The same rules apply as when youíre hiring any other contractor. Check with the general contractor to understand if their policy will cover all workers that are hired, or if these individuals need to carry their own insurance policies. Check with your home insurance company to see what your home insurance does and doesnít cover during a renovation period on your home. The more knowledge that you have going into the process, the better it is for you. 


For Your Homeownerís Insurance Policy


Once the renovations are complete, youíll need to reassess the policy coverage amounts that you have for your home insurance policy. The renovations that you have completed will undoubtedly increase the value of your home causing you to need to increase the replacement value of your home on your insurance policy. Donít forget to include everything from new appliances to furniture that has been replaced in the renovation. This will help you to avoid any gaps in coverage. This way, youíll know that your home will be fully covered. With the right insurance coverage youíll know that your home is can be rebuilt to the same specifications in the event of a complete loss. You always want this peace of mind as a homeowner.      






Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 12/2/2019

One of the most used rooms in the house is the bathroom. You do spend a lot of time in there. You want your bathroom to be an oasis of sorts. Making changes and renovations to your bathroom will not only make you happy but make potential buyers for your home happy as well. Below, youíll find some trends to keep your bathroom stylish and a place that everyone wants to spend (at least some) time in. 


Beware Of Design Trends


Thereís a lot of trendy designs that just arenít timeless. They donít look very good in a bathroom after the initial install and tend to give the bathroom a drab feeling after awhile. Whether itís a crazy color scheme or something bland that lacks texture, you need to think about the longevity of a look before you go after it in your bathroom. Some trends to look out for:


  • Too much white
  • Too little in the bathroom
  • Funky color schemes
  • Gigantic bathtubs
  • Certain kinds of tile and finishes
  • Hardware accents

Really, the bathroom needs to be about balance. There are trends that come and go. Some people are more receptive to certain designs than others. This is because their needs are suited. Take the his and her sink as an example. Many designers are shying away from this trend. For your routines and needs, this could be exactly what your bathroom needs. No hotlist can tell you whatís best for you.


Storage Is A Necessity


If you do only one thing in your bathroom, make sure that you have enough storage. Thereís quite a bit that needs to go in the bathroom like toilet paper, towels, cleaners, medicines, as well as bath products like soap and shampoo. 


Add Pops Of Color


If your bathroom has all white tile and you donít have the time or the resources to actually change the tile, you should try and add pops of color where you can. Itís simple to do this with towels, floral rugs, curtains, and even bath accessories. You can really vary the color in the room and make it special. This is one renovation that doesnít cost much to do but can make a big difference.       

 

Remember What Sells


More neutral colors tend to sell better no matter what room of the house weíre talking about. Itís fine to mix neutral colors with pops of something bolder, but donít go overboard. Remember that when someone goes to buy your home, they want to make it their own as well. They probably canít achieve that with a lime green bathroom.





Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 8/27/2018

When selling your home, you want to be able to get the largest return for your investment. And buyers are looking for their next place to call home. They are looking for a place that they can see themselves living and creating a future. And oftentimes, itís very difficult for buyers to look beyond the cosmetics of a home, especially when viewing online. Therefore, if large investments are not in the cards for you or wonít bring a significant ROI, small home improvements are the way to go. These small improvements can take your home from blah to wow!

Letís take a look at some of the best small home improvements that will certainly provide you with a return.  

1. Fresh coat of paint: A fresh coat of paint can make the world of a difference in a home. It can instantly brighten up a space and make the home look and feel neweróan instant plus for any seller and buyer. But be sure to choose more neutral colors as not everyone will be a fan of bold colors.

2. Adding architectural touches: Architectural features like crown molding and a chair rail can add an elegant upgrade to any home. They can be fairly inexpensive and would only take a weekend to put up.

3. Update front door: Your front door is a large part of your curb appeal. And a homeís curb appeal can leave a substantial impression on buyers. You can go the inexpensive route and add a pop of color that compliments your homeís exterior and landscaping or purchase a new door if a coat of paint wonít do the trick.

4. Add a backsplash: Backsplashes donít have to break the bank to catch a buyerís eye. And there are so many options from subway tile to mosaic to antique tin.

5. New hardware: Updating the hardware in your kitchen and bathroom can make the world of a difference. Adding modern hardware to cabinet doors will add a refreshing, simple update.

6. Update fixtures: Replacing old, worn down bathroom and kitchen fixtures is a very simple home improvement. Although not the cheapest of these options, they will definitely make a big difference in those rooms.Think of a home built in the 90s that has brass fixtures. The home looks very outdated and therefore worth less in the eyes of a buyer. If you update these fixtures to pewter or brushed nickel, you are instantly bringing the spaces into the 21st century and catching the appeal of buyers.

The amount of time, effort, and money that you want to put back into your home is a decision that you alone can make. It may seem silly to put more money into the home you are trying to sell, but itís quite the opposite. Be smart about your updates and improvements. Try to think like a buyer and make updates that the majority will like and want.





Posted by Ann Marie Martin on 1/18/2016

The cost of heating can really take a toll on us over the colder fall and winter months. Having a programmable thermostat can help in cutting heating costs and still staying warm. But just having one isn't enough - you need to know how to use it to its full potential! Programmable thermostats have the ability to be programmed so that you can have multiple temperature settings through out the day. The benefit of this, is not having to think about turning down the heat before you leave for work, or cranking it up when you get home. Instead, you get heating at the exact temperature you want, when you want. So what temperatures should you set it to exactly? While you are home and awake, setting it to 68 degrees is a pretty standard temperature. While you are away from home, or sleeping, reducing it to 58 degrees should be tolerable. Of course, reducing the temperature even more than that while you are out of the house is possible, just don't make it too low and freeze your water pipes. Reducing your thermometer by 10-15 degrees for 8 hours (like while you are at work) you can save 5-15% off your heating bill. So the benefits can really pay off for reducing your heat while you are at work. For example: if you pay $200 a month in heating, reducing the heat by 15 degrees during the day will save $10-$30 a month which can add up to $60-$180 for the year if you use the heat for 6 months. Finding ways to cut costs is important to everyone during tough economic times. Every penny counts. So add this money saving tip to your list and you could start racking up the savings.