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A List Of Poor Habits Homeowners Need To Break

by Nancy Heim-berg

If you are a homeowner in Omaha, NE, today’s blog post is a must-read. It doesn’t take very long to form habits, which can be a good thing when it comes to eating healthy and staying consistent with your trips to the gym. However, with the good can come the bad, and poor habits can start to sneak in as well. And when it comes to owning a home, poor habits can equal a large price tag and consistent frustration. Continue reading below for a few things to pay close attention to and bad habits to break as a homeowner.

  • Be mindful if you are running a dishwasher that is half full as it can waste water. Instead of setting it off with only a few cups and dishes, wait until there are more kitchen items to include. And if you can’t wait, try washing and drying the few items you need by hand. 
  • We all know that long, steamy showers can be refreshing and relaxing after a long day. But did you know they can also lead to mold and mildew buildup? Yikes! Try being more cautious the next time you rinse off as it also can waste water and ultimately increase your water bill. If you can’t help yourself and need a long hot shower to wash your day off, be sure to always run the exhaust fan and scrub your shower grout every few months. 
  • Using too much mulch can end up suffocating your plants and trees, which in turn can cause rot and invasive insects to start popping up – a problem no homeowner wants on their hands! Be sure to loosely pack the mulch as this will allow water to properly filter through. 
  • It is easy to be a sucker for a good bargain but buying cheap when it comes to household items doesn’t always save you money, as you may find yourself having to replace items more frequently. This is especially true when it comes to household appliances.
  • As a homeowner, you may think that each corner of your home has the potential to store something – anything really – and before you know it clutter starts to accumulate everywhere you turn. It can be easy to justify keeping items you may think you will need down the road, but all that does is add to the ever-expanding piles. If you haven’t used an item in six months to a year, it may be time to let it go. 

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If you are thinking of installing a fence around your yard, or replacing an existing fence, then you are in the right place. Today we are going to be talking about the pros and cons surrounding this topic, and hopefully at the end you will have a better feel if this decision is right for you and your family. Whether it be wood, vinyl or wrought iron, a fence is a major part of the functionality and aesthetic of your property and can be a large and expensive project to take on. But there are also many perks that come with installing one in your yard, which we know to be true as there are many beautiful fenced properties around Omaha, NE. Let’s dive right in! 

Pros to fencing your yard:

-One upside to fencing your yard is privacy, as it will reduce any outside disturbances to you and your family. Additionally, it will limit the amount of noise transfer from your home to your neighbors during outdoor parties or while making memories in the backyard.

-On that same note, if you live near a busy street you can try installing an eight-foot-high solid fence to reduce the noise from the area. If using the right product, you can potentially reduce noise by up to five percent depending on the elevation, height of the fence and noise frequencies. 

-Having a fence around your property is a great way to not only keep people and unwanted wandering critters out, but also keep your kids and pets in. Win-win! 

-From a design standpoint, a fence that is well built and constructed can definitely add to your home’s curb appeal and overall aesthetic. A well-known example of this would be a white picket fence, as it is able to add a charming look to the home and define property boundaries at the same time. 

Cons to fencing your yard: 

-The most obvious con to building a fence in your yard is cost. Whether you are thinking of fencing your whole property, or just part, it will not be a cheap project. As you could image, the price can vary depending on things such as labor, materials, length, etc., but to give you an idea a wooden privacy fence averages about $17 to $23 per linear foot. You can do the math on that!

-Second, if you are thinking of fencing your yard you have to take into account the maintenance of the fence itself, as they can begin deteriorating over time. This is especially true with wood fences which can begin to warp and rot over time. To avoid this, make sure to pencil in the occasional sealing, cleaning, staining and/or painting on your to-do list!

Hacks To Help Save Space In Your Garage

by Nancy Heim-berg

The garage. For many families, this space is utilized for much more than just parking your vehicles and leaving your wet, muddy shoes to dry. It is a place to store holiday décor, gardening tools, lawn chairs, sporting equipment, boxes of old memories and so much more! And while you may have good intentions on keeping this precious storage space nice and organized, it very easy for the garage to look like a tornado blasted through in the middle of the night. If you found yourself smirking and nodding in agreement to the last sentence, we have a blog post today that you may be interested in. Below we have a few hacks that will help keep your garage organized, and in turn allow you to make the most of out the space. Enjoy! 

Garage Shelving: Our first garage hack for you is garage shelving, which also happens to be one of the simplest ways to store and organize a large number of your belongings. In addition, we are also happy to report that shelving systems are relatively easy to assemble and can be found in most home improvement stores throughout the country. 

Peg Boards: Next, if you are looking to store items such as bicycles or other heavy items, peg boards are the way to go! You will first want to install the peg board on the wall of your garage, then install racks in which you will be able to hang your items from. Simple as that! 

Storage Bins: Our third garage hack are storage bins. Storage bins are great because they really allow you to be flexible in how you use them to secure and store your items. Local home improvement stores or big box stores usually sell them (so they are easy to find), and you can use different sizes depending on your storage and stacking needs. 

Ceiling Storage: The last hack we have for you is ceiling storage. For those of you who are looking to utilize most of your garage space for your cars, you may find yourself pressed for storage space – and that is where your ceiling comes in handy! These racks can hold a number of items and are mounted from the ceiling of your garage. While ceiling storage may be a little tricky to install, and you may seek professional installation, you will be happy to find your garage space looking neat and organized at all times! 

On A Budget? Use These Tips To Help Get Your Home Ready To Sell

by Nancy Heim-berg

If you are in the market to sell your home, chances are you did a once-over to see what rooms need revamping, which walls need a refresh and how you are going to stage your home to appeal to potential buyers. And after all that, we bet your blood pressure may have spiked after seeing just how much it can cost to get your home in tip top shape and ready to sell. But fear not as we have listed a few tips and tricks below to help you make your home look expensive, without breaking the bank! 

-The first trick we have for you is paint. Incorporating sophisticated paint colors is a great and inexpensive way to transform any room and give it the high-end look and feel you are going for. You can also use paint to renovate old furniture pieces, as well as use chalk and metallic paint to add a little fun and creativity to old spaces. 

-Staying on the topic of paint, another trick is to use color on your front door! By painting the front door of your home a hue that compliments the homes interior, the door acts as an anchor to the color scheme while also adding style to the entry of your house. A win-win in our book!

-The next thing we are going to talk about are rugs, as they are a cost-effective item that adds style and warmth to any room in your home. If you want to go for a more custom feel, try layering different color and patterned rugs underneath furniture.

-Another great way to make your home look more elegant is by incorporating crown moldings, wainscoting and other types of custom trim work throughout certain rooms in your home.  These additions are typically not terribly expensive and won’t break your renovation budget. 

-While your television may be a focal point of your everyday life, it can tend to take away from the interior design of your home. You may want to consider camouflaging the television by hiding it inside a piece of furniture or cabinet while you have visitors looking at your home. 

-There is such a thing as ‘too much’ when it comes to interior design. Rooms that appear cluttered are usually a turn off to potential buyers and can cheapen the look of the home. Be sure to remove knick-knacks, books and pillows that you feel take away from the space. 

-Now you may be asking yourself if there are certain items that are worth splurging a little on, and our answer is yes! Items such as high-end wallpaper for prominent walls or a luxurious leather chair are great focal pieces that can be worth the investment.

How To Jazz Up Your Front Porch For Spring In Omaha, NE

by Nancy Heim-berg

With Spring in full swing, there is no better time to start sprucing up your front porch to create a warm and welcoming entrance for family, friends and guests. And while some people may push this to the bottom of their to-do list as it may seem like a daunting task, we have simplified the process and broken it down to a few simple steps. You will be pleased to find how big of a difference these steps can make in the overall appearance of the exterior of your home. Keep reading below if you want to give your front porch a little Spring makeover! 

-The first step is to ensure you are starting with a clean slate. When the weather permits, take an afternoon to do a deep clean of your front porch. Sweep the floor, dust off those pesky cobwebs and give your furniture and accessories a once over to make sure they are still in good condition after a harsh winter. 

-Consider adding some greenery to your front porch. Flower boxes, plant beds and container gardens are all items that will not only boost your curb appeal, but also make the entrance of your home feel warm and inviting. 

-Don’t be afraid of color! A fresh coat of paint on shutters, trim, doors and railings is a great (and inexpensive) way to update your front porch area. Also, a bold front door is a great statement, and a wonderful way to incorporate a splash of color to the front of your home. 

-It’s all in the details. A great trick to adding a modernized feel to your front porch is to incorporate matching fixtures and details such as porch lighting and house numbers. You will be shocked how big of a difference this can make!

-It never hurts to add some new touches to your front porch such as porch railing, walkways and gutters. 

-Last but not least, furniture! One way to make your porch feel homey and inviting is to update your outdoor furniture and accessories such as couches, chairs, end tables, rugs and pillows.

Tips On How To Stage Your Home On A Budget

by Nancy Heim-berg

If you are thinking of selling your home, from time to time you may catch yourself making mental notes of areas that need repair, carpets that need cleaning and clutter that needs to be sorted and donated/thrown out. Many home owners may not realize the extent of work that needs to be done on their home before it is ready to be put on the market and shown to potential buyers. If you are wondering where to start in the home staging process, and want to do it without breaking the bank, then today’s blog post is for you. There are a few golden rules for you to keep in mind as you prepare and stage your home for potential buyers, and we have listed them below for you to check out. Let’s jump right in!

The first rule we are going to talk about is de-personalizing your home. What do we mean by that? Well, remember the large, framed family photo from three summers ago at Lake Tahoe that you have hanging in the living room? While it may bring you great joy as beautiful memories flood back to you when you look at it, it may not be as appealing to potential buyers who are looking at your home. You want your home to essentially be a blank canvas for buyers to picture themselves settling into. You want them to look at your kitchen and picture their Sunday dinners, your master bedroom as a cozy oasis for them to escape to and your family room as a central hub for gatherings. It will be hard for them to do that if all they see are reminders of how you have made the house yours and all the wonderful time you have spent there. So, with that being said, it is important to remove personal items that you have around your home when staging to sell. 

The next tip we have for you is to de-clutter the space. There is no better way for potential home buyers to picture a blank canvas than for them to see clean and neat spaces. You may even want to think about renting a storage unit if there are items that you think do not add to the space, but that you aren’t quite ready to part with yet. This can include items such as bulky furniture, artwork, kids toys, holiday decorations and clothing that makes your closet look too packed, thus making it appear smaller. De-cluttering will maximize the space in your home, ensuring that potential buyers see the real and full potential of the house. Our next tip is arguably the simplest, and that is to clean/sanitize your home. No one likes a dirty home and you only have one chance to make a first impression on buyers. Whether you hire on a company or choose to grab the rubber gloves and tackle the cleaning yourself, it will be the best time/money you could spend when it comes to staging your home to sell. 

Our last tip for you is to neutralize your home. It is no secret that color can make or break how people view a particular space. And while you may think that bright pink accent wall does wonders for the aesthetic of the home, potential buyers may think otherwise. All they will see is money, time and potential frustration on a home improvement project. One of the most inexpensive ways to change the look and feel of a home is to paint, and we can assure you that updating the space with calming and neutral colors will make a world of difference for buyers. We hope these tips and tricks will help you when it comes to staging your home to sell, and take off some of the stress and guess work on where to start! 

It’s that time of year when people trade their light, fall jackets for an insulted, warm coat, and their fashion forward strappy sandals for knee high boots. It also means that when outside temperatures drop, homeowners can expect their monthly electric bill to rise. It happens each year, yet many people are still shocked when they see that first heating bill come their way. So instead of breaking out the extra blankets and sleeping with seven layers on, we have a few tips and tricks below that will help to keep your home warm and comfortable, without breaking your wallet with extreme heating bills every month!

The first tip we have for you may come as a surprise to many people as it involves your ceiling fan. Many people associate their ceiling fan with keeping cool in the warmer summer months, but many fan models can also be adjusted to spin clockwise to help keep you warm in the winter. How does this work you ask? With the blades spinning clockwise, the fan will actually drive the warm air that rose up to the ceiling back down to keep the temperature of the room warmer.  Next, you want to be sure to seal any ducts and/or cracks in windows and doors as that can account for much of the heat loss that can occur within your home. Fun fact – you can also save up to ten percent on your monthly heating costs just by caulking leaky windows and doors or installing weather-stripping throughout your house.

Our third tip is to make sure that you are keeping your chimney closed when it is not in use. You may also consider investing in a chimney balloon, which is an inflatable device inserted into the chimney to help keep the warm air in and the cold air out. Lastly, you want to always make sure that you are changing your air filters, as dirty filters can actually restrict airflow which in turns increases the energy use in your home. And did you know that just by changing your furnace or heating unit filter every three months can actually save you from four to six percent on your heating costs yearly!? If that isn’t a motivator to get those filters changed I don’t know what is!  

Don’t skimp on your fall maintenance!

by Nancy Heim-berg

We won’t lie, there was a time when we thought fall was never going to come. But sure enough, it is finally here! And with the change of season brings cooler weather, shorter days and a reminder to check in on your home for any fall maintenance that needs to be completed. Not sure exactly what to look for? Well, not to worry because below we have listed a few fall maintenance suggestions for you to look into.

Starting with the exterior, you should check around the outside of your home for inexpensive maintenance projects that can be tackled quickly. Things such as cleaning the gutters, caulking, checking the roof for missing or loose shingles and trimming greenery to prevent damage are all things to keep an eye out for. While these may seem like small, tedious tasks, it is always best to fix the small issues before they turn into larger, most costly projects for you and your family.

You also want to be sure to keep an eye on your irrigation system and follow the manufacturer’s instruction, as to protect the functionality and integrity of the sprinkler system. Additionally, it is also important to realize that seasonal rainfall will hydrate the foliage around your home, and you may want to set (or reset) your system accordingly. Lastly, the colder weather can also bring with it little critters that are looking for refuge in the warmth of your home, particularly in the attic or basement. To prevent this, be sure to cover large holes in the walls of your home with hardware cloth, use caulking for smaller holes and be sure to always check on your attic’s insulation for damage from these pesky critters.

Weekend DIY Projects To Increase Home Value

by Nancy Heim-berg

It may not be on your mind now, but there will probably come a day when you will think about selling your home - whether it be for a new neighborhood, a new job or simply a change of scenery. And when that day comes you may wish that you started some renovations sooner in order to give your home a little face lift and more appeal to potential buyers. Now we know what you are thinking, that all renovations and updates will cost you a fortune and a lot of time. But that is just simply not true! There are many DIY projects that you can do over the span of a weekend that are sure to give your home a little TLC and won’t break the bank. If this sounds interesting to you, then keep reading below!

One weekend project you can tackle are your bathrooms. It is no secret that buyers look at kitchens and bathrooms closely, and want modern updates and finishes. This can be easily accomplished with small swaps such as cabinets, tiles, hardware, countertops and light fixtures. Head to your local hardware store and find little updates that are sure to spruce up your bathroom in just a few hours! Next, you may want to think about repainting the cabinets in your kitchen. Seeing as how many families spend a lot of time in the kitchen, buyers want to see that it has been well maintained over the years. By simply repainting your old wooden cabinets and adding on some shiny new hardware fixtures you can give your kitchen an instant face lift and make the room more appealing.

Do you want to make your ceilings look higher and rooms feel slightly larger? If so, then we have two words for you: crown molding. Crown molding helps to draw the eyes up, which in turn makes the ceiling feel higher than they really are and also adds a little design touch to the room. This project is perfect for living rooms, master bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens. Lastly, you want to make a good first impression with potential buyers. Knowing this, what is the first thing they see when they pull up to your home? That’s right, your front yard. Incorporating flattering landscaping to the front of your home will give it the curb appeal it needs to draw in potential buyers and give them a positive impression before they even step foot inside your home.

When you think about all the ways you can increase your property value, have you ever thought about just how important landscaping is in the equation? If not, you are not alone. Many homeowners overlook the fact that landscaping is one of the quickest, easiest and most important ways in which you can increase the value of your property. In fact, a beautiful and well thought out landscape design has the potential to increase your home value by five to eleven percent (and possibly more!). We are pretty sure we have your attention now! Below we have listed a few tips and tricks to help get you started on your landscaping journey, and help make it your homes greatest and most valuable asset.

The first thing you want to do is to come up with a design while always keeping a strategy in mind. So with this, balance is key. You do not want to have just grass without accent landscaping around, but at the same time you do not want to have clutter and too many high-maintenance plants around your yard. You should try to incorporate a healthy mixture of perennials and shrubs, and have a unformed look that also has enough diversity to keep things interesting and eye catching. On that same note, you always want to make sure to match your landscaping to the style of your home. For example, if you have an old-fashioned Victorian home, arguably the worst thing you can do is to incorporate a Japanese garden. In this case, you are better off featuring a country or cottage-style landscape that will blend and enhance the features of your home.

Another tip when looking to increase your property value through landscape is to plant trees. Now we understand this may seem like a simple action, but the truth is that, well, people love and are drawn to trees! Many see them as a stress reliever and think they are closer to nature having them on their property. They also provide shade and can help to keep homes cooler by blocking direct sunlight into the home. Lastly, edging your lawn can also help to increase your property value. Edging garden beds, driveways and sidewalks demonstrates to potential buyers that the property has been property kept up, and therefore easily assumed that the inside of the home has probably been well maintained as well. It also helps to give the yard an easy-to-maintain and manicured look – which is always a bonus for buyers!

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