Jill Finkelstein - Compass



Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 10/11/2020

Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

Tired of looking at a dated bathroom day after day but dread updating it knowing the average remodeled bathroom will set you back thousands of dollars? Even if you don’t have the budget for a complete makeover, there are several DIY ways you can update your bathroom.

1. Paint Tub & Tile

For many homeowners, the most outdated area of their bathrooms is the tub and shower. The good news is if your tub and tiles are in good shape, you don’t necessarily need to remove them—simply give them a refresh.

  • Thoroughly clean tub and tile.
  • Purchase a prepackaged tub and tile kit—it’ll give you a list of supplies and tools and the right epoxy, along with detailed instructions.
  • Sand down all tub and tile surfaces so you establish a good clean base for adhesion.
  • Use quality paint designed for this type of project.
  • Thoroughly ventilate your working area.
  • Give your tub a good amount of curing time before running a bath.

This project is a little trickier than simply painting walls, but with patience and know-how, you can give your old bathroom a completely brand-new look.

2. Refinish a Dated Vanity

If your bathroom vanity looks like it came straight out of the 1980s, you can easily remedy this by refinishing it.

  • Remove all hardware, drawers and the cabinet door; put them aside to paint separately.
  • Gently sand down the vanity's surface and then clean off any dirt, dust or grime.
  • Using smooth strokes with a brush or roller (you can test to see which looks better), paint the vanity’s surface and let it thoroughly dry.

Once your newly painted drawers and cabinet door are completely dry, reattach your hardware and add on some sparkling new knobs. Voila!

3. Update Your Lighting

Many homeowners find they can easily swap out old fixtures for new ones and see their bathrooms in a whole new light. Or you can get crafty and create your own. Popular styles include:

  • Pendant lights.
  • Mason jar sconces.
  • 3 or 4 bulb bath bar.
  • Lighting can make or break a room. If you're seeking a more modern look, look to change out your fixtures.

    4. Create a Unique Bathmat

    Sometimes it’s the simple touches that add flair to a room. One easy thing you can do is ditch the regular bathmat and create one out of cedar strips. Cedar is great since it’s water-resistant and it gives your bathroom a spa-like vibe. You’ll need a 1x6x10 cedar board, measuring tape, circular saw, table saw, wood glue and teak oil.

  • Cut your board into three pieces with your circular saw for the desired length.
  • Using the remaining wood, cut out three support pieces.
  • Thoroughly sand all pieces and then position them to your liking.
  • Glue pieces in the position you choose and then nail them together.
  • Once you’ve put your cedar bath mat together, allow it time to completely dry before using it.

    Giving your old bathroom a facelift, or even some new bling, can do wonders for its appearance. Identify your pain points, apply an update and see what a difference even the smallest changes can make.





    Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 10/4/2020


     Photo by bidvine via Pixabay

    Some home projects and improvements can't wait - a leaking hot water heater or a water damaged floor need to be replaced right away. Other, planned renovations and upgrades are optional. Consider not only your current needs, but the potential impact of any large planned upgrade on your home's value before you proceed. If you are upgrading your home to sell it soon, the improvements you make should add value to your home and be recouped when you are ready to sell. 

    4 Home Improvements that Add the Most Value to your Home (and 3 That Don't)

    Some upgrades enhance the overall value of your home, while others allow you to improve the look of your home, and recover the majority of your costs when you sell. According to Bankrate.com, the best places to invest your upgrade dollars include: 

    A new garage door: It may not be fancy or a feature you notice, but replacing a sagging, out of date or ailing garage door with a newer, more secure model is a money savvy upgrade. The average garage upgrade costs about $3,600 -- and adds about $3,500 to the selling price of the home, making this a renovation that (almost) pays for itself. 

    Kitchen Update: Bringing a dated or worn kitchen up to current day standards -- a makeover that usually costs about $22,000 for the average home -- can improve the selling price of your home by thousands of dollars. The average kitchen update boosts the value of a home by up to $18,000.

    Enhance your yard with a deck: According to the Balance, adding a deck in your backyard expands your living space and allows you to add value to your home. The average cost of a wood deck is $10,000 -- and that deck adds an average of $9000 to your home's value, making it easy to add space without a huge investment. 

    Replace siding: The curb appeal of your home has a significant impact on your ability to sell it and on the price you receive. According to the Balance, replacing aging siding with a similar quality new version allows you to recover about 75% of your investment. It will also make your home more appealing to buyers. 

    Projects that Don't Add Value to your Home

    You should not take on these projects if you truly want to enjoy the results for a while, as they won't have much of an impact on the selling price or value of your home. Some, like swimming pools, can even scare away buyers that would otherwise be interested in your property. According to the Balance, the worst home upgrades include swimming pools of all types, interior painting (because buyers may prefer different colors) and whole roof replacement (except in emergencies).  

     





    Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 6/7/2020

    Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

    Most everyone would love to gain some extra room, especially those in small homes with limited space options. Here are three home interior DIY projects to help you maximize your space.

    1. Transform a Closet into Workspace

    If you’re lacking the room for a home office, transform one of your closets into a mini-office. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to give yourself a dedicated workspace.

    • Remove the door and hinges.
    • Empty the closet and give it a good wipe down.
    • Disassemble hanging rods.
    • Touch up or repaint the closet’s interior.
    • Add two to three shelves—a deep one to serve as your desktop and additional ones for storage.

    If you prefer a traditional desk and your closet is wide enough, slide one in and eliminate the need for a deep shelf.

    2. Mount Your TV

    Modern styles are all about minimalism and entertainment centers don’t exactly fit this look. Besides, media consoles take up a ton of floor space. An easy way to reclaim this useful space is to mount your TV to the wall or above a fireplace.

    • Choose a mount for your TV—this will be a tilting mount, low-profile mount or full-motion mount.
    • Select a location and determine the best viewing height—be sure you have sufficient outlets and access to cable connections you need.
    • Cut out a piece of TV-sized cardboard or poster board and tape it to the wall to get a “visual” of your TV’s position.
    • Locate a stud and mark it. (If mounting to a fireplace use masonry anchors.)
    • Before you drill, use a level to ensure the wall mount is even.
    • Drill holes, attach your mount and secure it so it doesn’t collapse.
    • Add a cord cover to hide unsightly wiring.

    Media consoles were useful before flat-screen TVs became the norm, but most people today can easily get by with a wall-mount and a shelf to hold cable boxes, media players or game consoles. If you need additional storage, add a small table with cabinet space.

    3. Build Window Seats

    Adding window seats to any room eliminates the need for extra seating on the floor, gives a cozy look and offers additional storage space.

    • Buy two wall cabinets about 30 inches wide by 15 inches high. You can purchase new or, to scale back costs, check secondhand stores, such as Habitat for Humanity’s Restore, for used cabinetry.
    • Use plywood (2x4 or 2x6) to serve as a perimeter base, nailing these pieces of wood into the floor to create a toekick. Be sure your outline’s depth is large enough to hold your cabinets, and leave a little extra room to pull your cabinets away a few inches from the wall beneath the window to save space for your seat.
    • Place cabinets on top of the toekick and clamp the two cabinets together. Be sure your screws are strong enough to hold the units together.
    • Clamp and screw cabinets to the toekick.
    • Place hardwood plywood on top of the cabinets to widen your seating area. (Sand and paint, if necessary.)
    • Add cushions and pillows.

    Tip: Be sure to avoid positioning your seat over an HVAC vent or baseboard because you don’t block out your heat or A/C.

    If you’re working with some tight spaces, you can better utilize it by transforming your existing space.




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 12/15/2019

    Photo by SpeedKingz via Shutterstock

    Living green is the goal of many young homebuyers. Once in their new home, they want to take steps toward improving their homeís efficiency. The first step to improving your homeís energy efficiency is to choose the right house.

    Solar panels and LED light fixtures aside, the most efficient form of housing is an attached home. When your house nestles between the walls of adjoining homes, you share their heating and cooling through ambient temperature exchange. When a home sits above another home, their heat rises in the winter to warm that home. If itís below another home, itís cooled by the temperature set by the neighbor above. When energy efficiency remains a high priority for your home location, choose a condominium, townhome or duplex to improve your heating and cooling properties.

    Improving an Existing Home

    If you own a typical single-family, detached home, youíll find a lot of wasted space being heated and cooled. But address these areas, and youíll see a marked improvement in your energy consumption and costs:

    • Pile on the insulation. Many homes have expansive attics with high roofs above the ceiling joists. The deeper the insulation, the more your winter warmth stays in your home to keep you cozy. But along with adding insulation to your attic, improve its airflow so that summer heat escapes to the outdoors, helping your cooled air circulate.
    • Smarten up the windows. Older homes often have single-paned windows, and even those with double panes leak or have broken seals. Replace windows with thermal dual or triple-paned options to see an immediate improvement to those drafty winters and summers where youíre forced to keep the blinds closed. Along with thermal panes, look for smart windows. Buy windows coated with a substance called vanadium oxide (VO2) that adjusts to the temperature to either reflect or let pass infrared light to keep your home warmer or cooler.
    • Monitor your HVAC with a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats adjust your homeís temperature based on learning when youíre at home and when youíre away. Some can also detect the humidity and adjust the temperature to compensate.
    • Install automatic blinds. Adjustable powered window coverings open and close automatically throughout the day to offset outdoor temperatures.

    Try These Simple Things Today

    While they wonít make a drastic different, you will see an improvement in your energy bills.

    • Change incandescent bulbs for LEDs throughout the home.
    • Turn the thermostat up two or three degrees in the summer and down two or three degrees in the winter.
    • Lower your water heater to 120įF.

    If your goal is to purchase an energy-efficient home, let your real estate agent know. That way, you wonít waste energy looking at ones that donít fit your desire to leave a lighter footprint.




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Jill Finkelstein on 11/24/2019

    When buying an older home, you might wonder how to get more livable space out of that low-ceiling basement. There are two ways to gain height: raise the foundation or lower the floor. Raising the foundation requires lifting the entire home off its current foundation, building a new foundation, and resettling the home. For most homeowners, the sheer number of things that can go wrong with a project of this magnitude makes it an unlikely option. An alternative is bench footing, a method of lowering the floor of the basement that results in a higher ceiling.

    Bench footing is a straightforward technique regarded by contractors to be an optimal approach for supporting your building while providing room for more structural support and depth. With bench footing, professional contractors do not need to dig deep into the homeís foundation. Instead, they can lower the basement floor and add structural support from there.

    How Is It Done?

    The process is straightforward, but donít try to do this one yourself: Hire a professional contractor. Bench Footing costs less than other methods because it doesnít require you to dig underneath the existing footings. Instead, a new floor is dug through the existing basement floor. A new foundation is laid inside the existing one, creating your new basement floor and an additional wall inside your existing basement. It is important to consider that the width of your bench footing is determined by the depth you want to add to your basement.  For every foot in depth that you add, you will need about a foot of width for your bench footing.  The floor space of the basement will decrease in area by the thickness of the new wall. 

    The result is a ledge or ďbenchĒ all the way around the outer wall of the basement. Thatís why they call it Bench Footing. A savvy contractor can make use of the space above the bench by installing cabinets, reading nooks and other built-ins. Others simply inset the entire wall to the new location. 

    Why Choose Bench Footing?

    If you need to increase your usable space but you are unable to add another story or extend your home on any side, making better use of your basement is the most valid option. In addition to being less damaging to your existing home, bench footing is less costly to complete and doesnít change the exterior aesthetic of your home. This is particularly important if your home is in a historic area or has a strict association.

    To get the best results with your bench footing, hire a professional contractor with several years of experience and with many positive reviews. Consult with your real estate agent for recommendations for a local contractor who can help you with your project.







    Jill Finkelstein