OPEN HOUSE: SUNDAY 2/28/16 3:00 - 5:00
NEW PRICE $244,900 - MOTIVATED SELLERS RELOCATING - SWIM/TENNIS NEIGHBORHOOD
HURRY, HURRY, HURRY! This one won't last long - 3 bed/3 bath, Ranch w/ Full Unfinished Basement, Lake Laurel access for canoeing and fishing. ONLY $279,900 A Great Deal and close to so much, even the Silver Comet Trail!
Open House on Sunday, January 17, 2016 from 2:00 - 4:00, 1506 Walker Ridge Drive, Marietta
4 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath w/ Unfinished Basement, Wooded Lot, Swim/Tennis in West Cobb
Fantastic investment opportunity in Marietta. Original hardwood floors, Newer roof and HVAC, just needs some TLC.
4 Bedroom/2.5 Bath with unfinished basement in West Cobb, Swim/Tennis Community - $255,000
Charming home in Marietta. Great starter home for those looking to move from renters to home owners. Original hardwoods and plenty of space in the back yard.
Choosing the right color for the walls can be a real stressor. It looks good on the sample, but how can you possibly know what the final results will be? Here are a few tips for picking the right color.
1. Paint a sample on the wall. A big sample. Let it dry, sit and look at it. Walk away for a while, then come back and look at it again at different times of the day. The lighting in the room will change the way you perceive the color as the sun shines differently throughout the day.
2. If the color will be painted over a primer, apply the primer to the test area first, then the sample over the primer. Colors will look different on parts of the wall with primer.
3. If it is a kitchen color, make sure and sample the color with the cabinets, flooring, moulding, and counters.
4. If you aren’t sure about the color, go back to the paint store and get more samples. Never be afraid to try other options.
5. Try Pintrest or other online sites for examples of room colors that you like. Designers get paid big bucks to pick out those color schemes. If they are willing to share their ideas, be willing to take them.
6. Decide what you will be doing in that room. What sort of tone are you trying to set in the space. Is it a calm and inviting space like a bedroom? Or more active like the kitchen? Darker colors work best in places like a media room. If you are going for a burst of energy and excitement, choose colors that are complementary. If you aren't sure what colors are complementary, check out a color wheel. Many of these are easily accessible online through a simple internet search.
One feature we wanted to change in the home we are renovating, as mentioned in a previous article, Renovation: A Flipping Dream or Nightmare, is the stippled ceiling. With every buyer I have worked with, they all notice the ceiling texture - in every home. Regardless of type, popcorn or stipple, they always say, “So, we will need to have the ceiling texture removed. We can do that ourselves. It shouldn’t be too bad.”
When purchasing this current house for renovation, our team was divided as to leaving the ceiling as is or removing the texture to the flat surface. Personally, it really doesn’t bother me. However I know from listening to buyers, they don’t want it in their home. Would it keep someone from purchasing a home they really loved…probably not. Would a flat ceiling make your house more marketable and sell faster…probably so.
Since this property was purchased to renovate and re-sell, the vote to remove it was a majority. The ceiling we were working with was stippled or stomped. The process to create a stippled ceiling requires a “mud” mix similar to the joint compound used to seal the sheetrock holes. This mud is painted on with a roller then a mop-like brush is used to stomp the compound onto the ceiling. It was a preferred ceiling texture back in the day because of it’s ability to absorb sound. However, it fell out of favor because the stipples create shadows that darken the room and everyone’s mood along with it.
A popcorn ceiling was an alternative to the stippled ceiling and was popular through the 1980’s. Originally it consisted of asbestos to create the texture, then the mixture was sprayed onto the ceiling. After civilization decided that asbestos was killing us, we kind of stopped using it. The asbestos was changed to a styrofoam material and everything was right in the world. While many homes in the US still proudly display their popcorn, the trend has slowed and many buyers have become popcorn haters too.
The good news for all you DIY’ers out there is that popcorn ceilings are fairly easily removed, if you consider thousands and thousands of upwardly-held scraping motions performed on every ceiling of your home for a hundred hours or so, easy. There are unlimited youtube videos on the web with first time homeowners and professional contractors spraying their squeegee water bottles on the ceiling and then ever so delicately removing the popcorn layer as if they were de-icing a cake. However, finding a how-to video on removing a stippled ceiling is like trying to find a parking space on Black Friday at the mall. Stippled ceilings are by nature a type of plaster, so equate it to removing concrete from your ceiling with a hand scraper. It can be done, but it’s not easy.
The alternative to the scraping method is the sanding method. This is the messiest of the two options, so seal up the room with lots of tape and plastic sheeting. It’s going to get dusty everywhere. Seal up your nose and eyes too. To be honest, let’s not even try this DIY style. This method is best completed by a professional. For our house, we received several bids for removal between $1000 and $2000. While most of the texture was removed, the mark of the stipple still remains in a few places.
If you plan to remove the ceiling texture in your home, it is highly recommended to adjust the cost of your budget and have someone else do it. It could not only save your sanity, but your marriage too. Although hiring a professional ceiling sander saved us emotional stress and trauma, there were still several trash bags of dust clean up that occurred after the completion of the job.
Disclaimer: If you have an asbestos popcorn ceiling keep in mind, asbestos should only be removed by a professional, so now I’ve saved your life too.
Stairs. A utilitarian way to move from one level of a home to another without the use of a “Little House on the Prairie" style ladder. While stairs are a useful tool to gain access to upper and lower floors with ease, current society has deemed the home staircase and railings a focal point and selling feature of the home.
As mentioned in a previous post, "DEMO DAY IS HERE", the stairs in our current renovation project were built with a short wall and flat wooden hand rail near the landing. Immediately upon surveying the home, we found the short wall cumbersome and unattractive. This would be our first construction project in the house. We conducted a brainstorming session and drew some ideas for the new railings on the existing wall.
With a hammer and small saw we removed the structure near the landing and the existing bottom four stairs. For the new design to work, the length of the last four stairs needed to be extended. We created two new risers to replace the older ones and used a template we created to cut out the pieces.
We used a level to ensure the horizontal platform for the run of the stairs would be as level as possible. The wood we used for the stairs themselves was purchased at the local hardware store pre-cut with the curved edge. After measuring, we cut the boards all equal lengths to fit across the risers and drilled holes in the boards for the spindle installation.
Some other pre-cut pieces we purchased were the spindles, hand rail and trim pieces for the new starting newel or landing post. With some good carpentry skills and precise cutting the railings and landing post can be created as a DIY project. Below are some up close photos of the work.
We have some caulking and painting to do, but the main structure is complete. Looking at the before and after pictures below, it is easy to see the impact the new stairs have on the aesthetics and flow of the room.
After the initial demo work was complete, as mentioned in a previous post DEMO DAY IS HERE!, which included removing carpet from the rooms and linoleum flooring, we focused our attention to the kitchen. The existing bar is bulky and we wanted more of an open concept in the kitchen and dining room. We removed the entire section of the bar counter, including cabinets, and the counter doors from the cabinets that are staying. The tile back splash was taken out along with the appliances. Check out the before and after-demo pictures of the kitchen:
While removing the back splash, we damaged the existing drywall in several places. Be prepared that in any demo there will be some repair work that will need to be done to the walls. Drywall is a panel made of a mineral called gypsum compacted between two very thick sheets of paper and is used to create the interior walls and ceilings of a home. The brand name for drywall is Sheetrock, which are interchangeable words in the construction industry. Drywall is preferred over the traditional method of plaster which was the primary method for wall construction until the 1950’s.
For any repair work done with drywall, it is critical to create clean edges to work with. Consider this a very large puzzle that you get to cut out the puzzle pieces that fit into the existing puzzle. It is much easier to cut out a square than a circle, so prepare the wall by cutting away any excess parts of the existing wall that will interfere with the piece you are preparing to place for repair. Using a tape measure, identify the height and width of the repair spot and cut that out of your replacement drywall board with a box cutter. It should cut and break off fairly easily. Where your replacement board lines up with the wall stud, hammer in a drywall nail. You may need some drywall tape to cover the space between the drywall boards as well as some compound mixture to smooth over the tape and nail indentions. After the compound is dry, just sand down any rough spots and no one will ever know the difference (after you paint).
The cabinet doors have all been removed and are awaiting cleaning, sanding and repainting. That will require a trip to our wood working shop and is sure to be an interesting project.
April Holtzclaw is a Real Estate Agent and 30 year resident of Metro Atlanta. When not working, she enjoys camping, traveling with her family and mountain biking with her husband on the trails in the Atlanta area. Her favorite way to finish the day is with an “al fresco” dinner at one of the many great restaurants in town.