Fixer-Upper Vs. Move-In Ready: Pros & Cons

Move-In Ready Vs. Fixer-UpperWhether you’re renting or looking for your first home, there are always diamonds in the rough. Nonetheless, some eager homeowners can’t wait to get out of their old grungy apartment and demand a comfortable place they can call home.

As such, many are left with the huge dilemma of buying a move-in ready home or a fixer-upper. There are certainly pros and cons of each and the final decision will largely depend on your unique situation.

After seeing both angles, you can feel confident in making the right choice for your dream home!

Should You Move?

Before you decide why type of home to move into, you have to decide ig moving is the right call. In order to make that important (and expensive) decision, you must do your research. Below is a list of the information you need and where to get it.

  • The price you could sell your home for and the cost of a home that you could buy that would meet your needs. You can also ask a local real estate

Patio Steps

patio_00009Patio steps are often the functional quick access point between the house’s tall patio structure and the backyard. Rather than stepping down and risking tripping on the grass from your patio, having accessible steps eliminates the risks and completes the transition from home to nature. They are also useful for access from the backyard to the front.

As a rule, patio steps are wider and broader than standard residential steps. Patio steps should be at least 4′ wide to allow two people to stroll comfortably beside each other and even pause to sit on the steps while they enjoy the surroundings. The accepted minimum riser height for a patio step is 4 inches and not higher than 7 inches.

Some common relationships between the riser and tread for patio stairs are:

  • 4-inch riser = 18-inch tread
  • 5-inch riser = 17-inch tread
  • 6-inch riser = 14-inch tread
  • 7-inch riser = 12-inch tread

Whatever combination you select, keep all stairs risers the same. A difference of just 1/4 inch is readily detectable when walking up stairs and may cause someone to stumble. Additionally,

How To Make Your Home More Pet Friendly

Pet Friendly HomePets require time, attention, and as safe and comfortable of a home as we do. Unfortunately, animals are commonly an afterthought for people who are building, buying and remodeling homes. We must start thinking of pets as important beings and attending to their particular needs, rather than viewing them as possessions, or even disposable.

Taking care of an animal is no easy task. They need shelter, water, shade, daylight, good air circulation, non-irritating surfaces, fully fenced areas and spaces to play. There are many simple DIY tips that’ll turn your home into a pet-friendly environment. All it takes is the knowledge and a desire to want to make your living space better for you and your pet.

Flooring Options

I’m guessing one of the first questions that pops into your head relates to flooring. You have to weigh many aspects including style, comfort and durability, that it becomes difficult to choose a best fit for you and your pet. See below for the best and worst home flooring options for animals.

Best Flooring

DIY Tips For How To Power Wash Siding

It’s not just the inside of a house that gets dirty. Exterior siding can accumulate a lot of dust and grime, even mildew. And because siding is the face we offer the street, even a little dirt shows. Some houses naturally accumulate more dirt than others. If you live along a dusty road or in a new development where lawns are not yet established, you can expect a daily barrage of grit and grime. Textured siding or peeling paint only compounds the problem. When dirt really settles in, the only remedy is a good cleaning with a pressure washer or a scrub brush. We prefer a pressure washer because it’s a lot less work.

While cleaning is the focus here, pressure washers also have long been used in paint prep. Handled correctly, a pressure washer can actually strip away peeling paint. It can also scour the surface chalk from aging paint, making a better bonding surface. Wood siding will need a week to dry, and you’ll still have to do some scraping. Of course, it’s not for every situation, especially when lead-based paints are involved, but it’s often worth considering.

A Word on Pressure Washers

Noisy Pipes

Noisy pipes can be caused by several factors. Let’s start with what is commonly known as water hammer. Water rushing through the pipe and out the faucet moves with speed and force. When you shut off the faucet, the water flow is brought to an abrupt halt. But that energy has to go somewhere. So normally in the wall behind each hot and cold faucet is an air chamber in the pipe. It used to be about 10 inches of pipe soldered vertically. Then when the rushing water was stopped it would push up that vertical pipe where it would hit a cushion of air in the pipe. And that would prevent the water force from causing the pipes to rattle, or hammer. Now there are commercial air cushions that are attached to the pipe in the same place and do the same job.

Hammering can develop because over years the air in that little vertical riser is lost, and thus the cushioning effect is lost. You can often correct this by shutting off the main water, opening all faucets and then draining the whole house from the lowest faucet. When you restore water, air will be again pushed into the

Before & After Photos: A Must-Read Transformation Story

Janis Schwartz was sick of how her outdated kitchen and living room looked and decided to do something about it. It was time for a DIY remodel. She purchased her 1981 brick ranch in 2009. It had little to no updating done to it, but it had a good foundation. Janis started out by deciding what her timeline for the remodel was going to be and chose a five-year plan with completion of a total update (and selling the property) by 2020. Most importantly, she set a firm budget, making it the biggest expense in the house at an estimated $20,000.As you can see in the header image, Janis took what was once a red brick floor-to-ceiling fireplace flanked by dark wood shelving and transformed the room into an absolutely gorgeous and cozy living space. When Janis and her significant other decided on a design for the new kitchen, including gray kitchen cabinets, they boarded and tiled the fireplace so that the living room scheme would flow nicely with the chosen kitchen design. In case you’re wondering, the fireplace above is gas with glass rock. She’s still working on deciding what type of screen or cover to use over the

DIY Tips For How To Build A Sunroom

Open Porches

Open porches are unquestionably a blessing, especially in warm weather. They provide some extra living space in the open air that just can’t be duplicated by decks or patios. They protect you from the sun and rain and if there’s a better place to hang a hammock, it’s hard to imagine. But when the weather turns cold an open porch loses nearly all its appeal. It becomes dormant real estate that doesn’t get much use until things warm up again. In some areas of the country this can take nearly six months, which is a long time for something that cost so much to be out of commission

For die-hard porch enthusiasts, enclosing the space or a screened in porch may not be attractive. But for the rest of us, the tradeoff can be compelling, especially if you have a large porch that would add substantially to the year-round square footage of your house. And, if you enclose the space with large windows, like we did, you can end up with a dramatic sun room that has a special appeal of its own.

Because so much of the structure is already in place, enclosing a porch is a pretty straightforward project.

8 Large Bathroom Designs To Copy

While many of us have to live with a small bathroom due to cost or space, large bathroom designs give us hope to one day enjoy a luxurious bathroom with a full tub, walk-in shower, plenty of counter space, heated floors or even a 60” TV in our very own master bath.

Forget small. We went big and found eight large bathroom designs we can all dream of. While the average cost is certainly higher than a standard bathroom remodeling project, there are certain designs and tips you can steal and use in your smaller or average-sized bathroom.

We have all heard of open concept living rooms and kitchens, but how about an open concept traditional bathroom? That is exactly what they did with this gorgeous bathroom remodel by tearing down a few walls and adding a custom spa tub below a glass ceiling and traditional chandelier. They even went so bold to add an open concept shower with a window above, mosaic tile surround and a rainfall shower head (a must in larger bathrooms). Finally, they added more than enough custom cabinets to store as many towels or clothes as they want.

Large bathroom

Designing Dining Rooms

Dining rooms seem to be the one room in the house that goes in and out of fashion. When I was young, having a separate dining room was something special. Now the open plan dining area seems to be the fashion. I suppose it means that you can move the furniture around with much more ease. It is more difficult to change a dining room into a living room for example.

The dining room basically consists of a dining table and a quantity of chairs. Depending on the space available, a buffet, dresser or some sort of serving table is often included.

So how do you decorate a dining room? Phorm architecture and design of Australia has some beautiful home designs you can gather ideas from to design your dining room.  Some people love to have an area rug under the table to define the dining space, this works well when you have an open plan dining space, others love the in fashion at present elaborate chandelier at the center of the table or others more subtle pendant lighting.

Whatever type of dining room you have we will provide you with ideas on how to decorate

Interior Decorating Home Color Schemes

Color effects everything we do – even more so when working in interior design and decorating.

Color changes our moods, makes us happy or hungry, aggressive or lethargic, so it is vital that you have some color theory knowledge to understand what each color means to help you create and choose successful color schemes for your home, or others.

This includes the meanings of color, the theory behind color and why we see it as we do. The composition and how to coordinate colors together to create stylish schemes.

With a little knowledge, choosing color schemes can be done as easy as 1- 2- 3 and we are here to help educate you.

This website provides all you need and more, free for you to create gorgeous color schemes for any house interior. Home decorating has never been easier. The first thing we want you to do is sign up for your free interior decorating color ecourse. This will guide you through the vast maze of color for interiors. The great advantage is, it is emailed to you and you use this website as your learning resource. Please take a moment and enrol in

Bathroom Ideas – Planning and Design Ideas

This web site is dedicated to providing free interior design bathroom ideas and education.

Find out about bathroom design and decoration, the different design styles of bathrooms and some interior designer critiques on designer bathrooms, this always gets you thinking and helps improve your interior design skills.

This web site is evolving so bookmark us and look out for more exciting ideas and articles to come, don’t forget to sign up for our free interior design tips and a free interior decorating ecourse, it is well worth the time to fill out the forms. Thousands have done it and recommend it, join them to embark on your interior decorating journey.

Bathrooms are no longer the small washroom squeezed into a back corner of the house on the cold side of the home, where you can pivot on one foot and reach everything.The modern bathroom has evolved into a place of design serenity. A place to linger and enjoy the surroundings, a bathroom now accommodates our every need and pampers us with pulsating shower heads and jets, heated towel rails for snuggly warm dry towels, under floor heating, demister mirrors and probably soon espresso machines. No seriously, they are

11 Foolproof Decorating Tips

Professional home stagers know how to play up your house’s strengths, hide its flaws, and make it appealing to just about everyone. We talked to several pros across the country to get their tips for freshening up your home’s interior—without breaking the bank.

1. Set The Tone at The Front Door

If you want your house to make a great first impression, paint the front door a fun, glossy hue. “Red is a lucky color in many cultures,” says Lara Allen-Brett, a New Jersey-based stager. A red door meant “welcome” to weary travelers in early America, and on churches it represents a safe haven. Two other hues gaining favor: orange and yellow, according to San Francisco-based stager Christopher Breining. Both colors are associated with joy and warmth. One thing that should go: an outdated screen door. Get rid of it or replace it with a storm door with full-length glass that you can switch out for a screened panel.

2. Keep Wall Colors Light and Neutral

Stick to colors like beige or gray, especially on the first floor,

Everyone On Pinterest Is Obsessed With Barndominiums

The latest real estate trend is right up our alleys (or dirt paths, if you will): Barndominiums have been popping up all over Pinterest and we’re already obsessed.

These unique homes are exactly what they sound like: metal barns converted into living spaces. Adding a livable area where you wouldn’t expect one is key. According to W.D. Metal Buildings, a company that designs these types of homes in Texas, barndominums tend to be affordable and easy to maintain.

If you’re a Fixer Upper fan, the above photo may look familiar—it’s a space renovated by Chip and Joanna Gaines. On a recent episode, Joanna explained that she had been dreaming of taking on a barndominium for some time. Making over the barn, once home to horses, was a total gut job. The result was a second floor living space and kitchen with bedrooms on the first floor. Talk about character!

Of course, you shouldn’t just take our word for it. Pinterest recently included barndominiums on a list of the top searches for men. Guess that means we shouldn’t worry about our husbands’ reactions when we announce our favorite new alternative living idea. If converting

5 Inexpensive Upgrades That Can Increase Your Home’s Value

Now that you know the mistakes that can decrease your home’s value, it’s time to turn your attention to the things that can actually make your abode worth more money in the long run.

According to Trulia, you don’t have to spend a fortune on upgrades to see the value of your home increase. In fact, some of the most effective changes come in under a thousand bucks.

The real estate site recently shared its list of 10 Upgrades Under $1,000 That Increase Home Values, and while all 10 are worth consideration, these five stand out to us as the easiest to tackle (and the most aesthetically pleasing).

Just don’t try to DIY it all yourself though, you just may end up regretting it

Spiff Up Your Walkway

Or add one, if your home doesn’t already have a path leading to the front door. Walkways make guests and home buyers feel more welcome, and potential buyers are especially attracted to paths that match the style of the home, according to Trulia.

Upgrade The Front Door

Considering it’s constantly exposed to the elements, it might be time to

Kitchen trend: 12 Open cabinet designs that will make you want to remodel

1. Best. Pantry. Ever.

The tragic flaw of this enormous walk-in pantry is… that it isn’t in your kitchen. This amazing blue room can hold enough food to withstand a zombie apocalypse and serve it up in style — with pull-out shelves and a ladder to reach higher storage areas. That’s right, this pantry has a ladder (where the zombies can’t get you).

2. A fresh take on old cabinets

Cost-effective and attractive, simply remove your cabinet doors and paint the inside with an accent color for a fresh look in your kitchen.

3. Go bracketless

Large bracketless white shelves float effortlessly on a white mosaic backsplash for a stark, minimalist feel that contrasts nicely with medium-toned wood cabinets from Ikea.

4. Big and breezy

Blue subway tiles, marble countertops and ample open shelving will make your kitchen feel big and breezy.

5. Chalk it up to creative inspiration

A sliding chalkboard is the way to make expansive open shelving more fun and playful — hey, nobody said your kitchen had to be boring.

6. Farmhouse red

For a look that gets all of the details right, this

Home decor gifts for the country girls

I’m excited to have the opportunity to share something with you that is close to my heart — country at heart, that is! And being country at heart, I obviously love gifts that are all about the country life — especially ones that will add touches of country charm to my home. If you have someone in your life who is also country at heart, this gift guide is for you!

1. Sullivans primitive distressed and crackled jugs

These jugs have a crackled paint finish that gives them a vintage look your country-at-heart person is sure to adore. They are made out of porcelain and measure 4-10 inches in height.

2. Convenience Concepts French country console table

Anyone who is country at heart would love getting this table as a gift. It has lovely lines, a drawer in the table and a bottom shelf, which you don’t see a lot with these tables. This table would also make a great entryway or sofa table. It measures 48 inches wide by 15 inches deep by 25 inches high

  1. Old rustic window barn wood frame

Vintage windows and frames are all the

Top 10 Designer Tips

In our most recent reader survey, we asked what you needed from us to improve your homes. “Decorating ideas!” came in loud and clear. To give you the very best, we approached 10 of America’s hottest designers for their No. 1 tip—hits for your home, and classics all.

  1. Barry Dixon

Embrace infinity . . . expand your horizons
“To make a room feel larger, use a round rug on the floor. The circle represents infinity, and a round rug brings that esoteric idea of ‘no boundaries’ into reality as a visual element. In this client’s dressing room, I used both a round rug and an overscale round tufted ottoman to create a sense of unending space. Besides helping to increase the perception of space, the round ottoman provides a panoramic view of that gorgeous Virginia countryside.”

Dixon shares another horizon-stretching tip: “So often when we decide to do built-ins for our dressing rooms and closets, we just presume they must go floor to ceiling and have conventional doors. A much more interesting look is achieved when you build quasi-furniture for your storage. As built-ins, I designed five large armoires that fall a few inches

Renovating Our House Nearly Ruined Our Relationship

Shortly after Mike and I married, we began house-hunting. Unfortunately, it was the early 2000s, and trying to find an affordable house during the real estate boom of the time was extremely difficult. Our realtor showed us a listing of a two-family house in our price range, located about 30 minutes northwest of where we lived. We were excited to go take a look.

The house was built in 1860 on half an acre, and it had two apartments: a two-bedroom with one bath, and a one-bedroom with one bath. It was located on a quiet road in a woodsy area in a small town with decent schools and low taxes.

The bad news? The house was also filthy. And ugly. And it needed a ton of work.

Inside, we found dingy linoleum floors and ancient carpets. The foundation was cracked. The exterior featured peeling, discolored asbestos shingles and rusty, bent garage doors. My father took one look at the place and said, “don’t buy it.”

Mike felt differently. He thought that the house had tons of potential, and wanted to make an offer. I decided to support my husband’s decision, even though my gut was telling me otherwise. He was so enthusiastic about wanting to buy this house, fix it up, and sell it for a profit

75 Small Upgrades You Should Spoil Your Home With This Year

Your home, like life, is a series of evolutions and special moments. Tackle these mini projects yourself — and sometimes with help! — and you’ll create a space that’s truly your own. Flaunt your “after” pictures on Instagram by tagging #MyHouseBeautiful — we’ll publish our faves this spring!

  1. Restyle your bookcase. Strip off those garish dust jackets, assemble an arsenal of pretty like-colored objets, and paint the back wall of the shelf a calm — or glamazonian — hue to make it all pop
  2. Wrap books in shimmery marbleized paper. Available at craft stores, it makes even the fluffiest beach read look smart. Luxe much?
  3. Good lighting changes everything. This update doesn’t require an electrician: Mount a plug-in sconce to spotlight a painting or your nighttime reading. Illuminating! ($595, Serena & Lily)
  4. Class up cabinets with knobs that wow you. You can swap out the pulls yourself in minutes.
  5. Visual mishmash out, big beauty moment in! Take down all the pictures in a room and rehang them as one statement-making gallery wall.
  6. Upgrade your shower nozzle. It’s not your water pressure, it’s your showerhead. Switch it out for Waterpik’s Torrent PowerSpray. It feels like a downpour. In the Maldives. ($35, Waterpik)
  7. Paint the ceiling. A.k.a. the

10 Timeless home decor trends

Keeping up with the trends in home decor can be tough. So this year, why not opt out of following the latest and greatest, and choose timeless home decor style over fleeting fads? We’ve got 10 home decor trends that will keep your style fresh for years to come.


No matter what year it is, less is always more. The less you have crowding your shelves and tables, the better your home will look — and the less you’ll have to dust! The same goes for the layout of each room. Stick with furniture that’s proportional to the room so the space doesn’t look crowded.

Accent color

Trendy colors change year to year and season to season, but a room always needs a bit of color to really pop. Rather than investing in an orange couch or painting the living room aquamarine, choose accessories such as throw pillows, vases and even art in bold accent shades. These are easy to swap out every season or the next year.

Functional furniture

As chic as that angular chair with a bucket seat looks in the magazine, don’t buy something on which you can’t