Melissa Kaspern's Blog
If you have a bath or shower that required caulking, chances are that caulk has seen better days. It's soft, so abrasive cleaners wear away at it. This may cause gaps or ragged holes that trap residue. And even if it's all in one piece, mildew and grime will likely stain it over time.
But beyond the cosmetics, if your caulk is old and porous, it could be letting water behind the tub or shower. This leads to warping of the outer liner and even severe water damage that could go unnoticed for years. The wall or floor could be rotting beneath the surface as we speak.
So if your caulk doesn't look its best, or it's been five or more years since you replaced it, the time is now to remove that old caulk and lay down new.
What you'll need
For this project, you need:
Step one: soften the caulk
If you try to remove caulk without softening it first, it will not come off cleanly. You'll end up doing a lot of extra work. So before you begin, open a window or make sure the room is well-ventilated. Put on your gloves. And then follow the product's instructions for application. It will vary.
Step two: slice the caulk & remove
Carefully use your utility knife to cut the caulk. On a good day, the caulk will come off clean at this point. But even with caulk softener, you may have places where it does not. This is especially true if someone tried to re-caulk in the past without completely removing the old stuff.
If this happens, you'll need some needle nose pliers and a little patience to pull off the stubborn pieces. Now, rake the remained caulk away with a putty knife.
Step three: clean the surface & prepare it
Clean the edges, removing any mildew or scum with your ammonia-free tub cleaning solution. Then go over the area with a 1/3-cup to one-gallon bleach solution. Use a paintbrush to work the solution into the crevices. Rinse and then dry the surface thoroughly with your rag.
And, in case you're wondering, ammonia and chlorine don't mix and could be deadly. So please check those labels.
Step four: apply the caulk & let it dry
Here's the easy part. Use the caulk gun to create an even stream of caulk where you removed the old caulk. Wait at least 24 hours before running water into the tub or shower.
And that's it. Doesn't your shower look great? For more quick projects you can do yourself to spruce up your home, follow our blog.
When it comes to home improvement, renovations, upgrades and expansions, seek the assistance of a professional. Why do you need a pro? Unless you built your home yourself, you might not understand all the factors that combine to engineer a house such as the electrical needs to support the load and the cubic footage the HVAC must handle. Get one of these wrong, and your home becomes less efficient. In the end, that can end up costing you more than hiring the pro in the first place.
Here are some areas a professional touch improves the project exponentially.
Adding a Room
When creating an addition to your home, there’s more to it than building out the footprint and then connecting it. To pass code inspections, your addition needs to tie into all the systems in your home, including plumbing, electrical and HVAC. You want a contractor to oversee the addition, even if you complete some of the work. If the inspector doesn’t approve it, it’s on the contractor to fix it. On top of that, you want the addition to tie into the existing architecture. How often have you passed over a home for sale because of an ugly or obtrusive addition? For most people, the eye seeks symmetry and balance. Just because you have the space to add it doesn’t mean the addition adds value. Employ a designer or architect to draw out your proposed addition and suggest adjustments to help it blend in with the existing home. This includes remaining true to the existing roof slopes even if it costs more to build. When you go to sell, a properly incorporated extension adds value and improves salability over an expedient but less artistic change.
Installing a Pool
While adding a pool doesn’t always increase a home’s resale value, a poorly installed pool detracts from it. If the buyer believes they’ll have to tear out the pool to replace it, or fill it up to hide it, the prospect might scare them out of making an offer. When you install a pool, hot tub, pergola, outdoor kitchen or other exterior entertainment feature, visual appeal is everything. Even a buyer that didn’t think they wanted a pool might fall in love with a professionally installed pool nestled among the landscaping that offers the perfect outdoor entertainment venue.
Attaching a Garage
Many older homes have no garage or a detached garage that makes them less attractive to some buyers. That makes adding an attached garage an ideal improvement. But just like adding a room, when you attach any structure to the exterior, it needs to keep the same aesthetic as the original building. Throwing up a garage, covered patio or carport needs to follow the same design rules as adding a bedroom or family room. Hire a professional to design the add-on and engineer the roofline to match.
When you put your home up for sale, hire a professional as well. Your real estate professional knows the local market and will professionally market your home. For a consultation, reach out today.
With more people working from home today than ever before, many are looking to add a home office to their house. Some may think that they don't have enough space to make this happen; however, folks don't need an entire room to add a home office. There are a few great tips and tricks that can turn almost any space into a comfortable, functional home office.
Turn a Laundry Room into a Home Office
One of the first places that should be looked at is the laundry room. With careful planning, along with some ingenuity, homeowners can take their laundry room and turn it into a functional home office. Clever carpentry can place a pull-out cabinet in the room along with a few heavy-duty drawer glides. By folding these key items into existing wall space, a seemingly small laundry room can turn into a beautiful home office.
Looking at an Existing Bedroom
Another place that people can look for a home office is in their guest bedroom. This doesn’t mean that they need to take over the entire guest bedroom as their office space; however, the closet might offer some intriguing opportunities. Removing the door from the closet can add a significant amount of workable space. After all, some might not need a door in their closet at all. Then, think about using the closet rod to hang shelves and other useful items. Suddenly, with so much usable hanging space, the closet no longer seems nearly as crowded.
Put the Alcove to Use
Another great place to look for a home office is at an alcove. There are a lot of home structures that have quite a bit of awkward, recessed space. These nooks are great places to repurpose as a usable workspace for both adults and kids. This is a great location for kids to do their homework in addition to adults using this space to get their own work done. It might even be a good idea to add a double desk to increase the working space. A double desk will also create more room for storage and displays.
Fixing up your bathroom can add considerable value to your home, which is important to keep in mind if you plan on selling in the near future. If you would rather avoid having to make major changes to your bathroom, there are several minor remodeling projects to consider instead. The following remodeling projects are simple ones that won’t take up a lot of your time or budget.
Replace Handles & Knobs
It might not seem like much, but replacing bathroom hardware can give this part of your home an updated look. If your cabinets and doors have older handles and doorknobs that are dull or worn, consider putting in new ones. Shiny new hardware in your bathroom, such as brass or chrome, can improve your bathroom’s appearance without requiring a lot of hard work.
Get a New Mirror
An even simpler remodeling project is getting a brand-new mirror for your bathroom. Replacing your current mirror with one that’s more decorative or has a more modern or contemporary style can spruce up your bathroom. You can also explore the latest trends for mirror styles, such as full-length mirrors, art deco mirrors or upscale mirrors for a touch of elegance.
Install a New Light Fixture
Older light fixtures can give your bathroom a dated appearance. Installing new light fixtures can give your bathroom a stylish look and add more illumination in certain areas. Consider adding under-cabinet lighting, ambient lighting or a back-lit mirror. Other options to look into include a layered lighting setup and elegant, decorative light fixtures.
Replacing the cabinets in your bathroom can turn into a costly and time-consuming project. As an alternative, consider giving your current bathroom cabinets a new look by refinishing or painting them. Just make sure that the new finish or tone you choose still goes with your surrounding bathroom counters and other decor.
Another simple yet practical change to make to your bathroom is adding storage. This might involve building a cabinet below an open sink, or adding open shelves to your bathroom. Having extra storage space comes in handy for keeping towels, washcloths and other bathroom items close by.
Install a New Floor
If your bathroom floor is worn or if it’s an outdated style, consider installing a new one. This might be an easy project depending on how big your bathroom is and the type of material you choose for your new floor, such as laminate or vinyl flooring.
Home improvement is something we all strive for, but many of us never really follow through with completing that goal. With the hectic lives that we live, it’s hard to find time to make those important upgrades to your home. However, home improvement doesn’t always have to be hard and time-consuming.
Add Some Fresh Paint
You won’t believe the kind of impact a fresh paint job can have. In fact, new paint could be just what your home needs to really come to life. And better yet, painting a room is relatively easy and inexpensive. It can have a huge effect on the look and feel of any room in your home, so be sure to be strategic as you’re choosing colors. Adding color to your walls can give your home the “pop” you’ve been looking for. And better yet, depending on how much paint you purchase, this home improvement tactic can cost you less than $200.
Install a Stair Runner
Wooden stairs can add a nice touch to any home, but they can be very slippery and dangerous. If your kids — and even your pets — are constantly slipping on your stairs, then you may be weighing the options when it comes to installing some grip. While you could always add carpet, this can be extremely expensive and the installation process can be time-consuming (then you’ll have to deal with stains and vacuuming). One easy and cost-effective method is to add a stair runner. These come in many different shapes, styles and sizes, and these can really add a nice touch. Instead of spending over $2,000 on carpet for your stairs, you can purchase a stair runner that should cost you under $300.
Upgrade Your Dishwasher
Are you and your family using too much water? Looking for ways to save? While those 20-minute showers could be a factor, the water use issue could be due to your dishwasher—or lack thereof. To the surprise of many, dishwashers can waste hundreds of gallons of water each year. And if you’re washing by hand, that can also waste a great deal of water. By upgrading this appliance to a new Energy Star-rated dishwasher, you save more than $30 per year on energy and nearly 500 gallons of water. If you want to complete this home upgrade, it’s very easy to do yourself. Just head on over to the nearest home improvement store, purchase a dishwasher, then follow a few simple steps to install it in no time.