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Courtesy of, Bjorn Rygg, Pillar to Post

Posted by Roberto Sarjoo
 

During the process of buying or selling a home, homeowners often learn about recommended or required repairs and upgrades. This can happen as a result of the home inspection as well as your expert knowledge of your market and comparable homes. Of course, the first thing homeowners want to know is, “How much will that cost?”

Pillar To Post is pleased to offer our popular Residential Construction and Remodeling Estimates cost guide, which provides estimated cost ranges for repair and/or replacement of the major systems and components in a home. It also includes general guidelines for the life expectancies of those systems. This information can help you make informed decisions when considering home repairs or improvements, and is valued by buyers and sellers alike. Below is just a sampling of our list of estimated costs for hundreds of repairs/upgrades.

Floors

Hardwood Floor Refinish
 
$3-$6 / sq ft
Carpet – Clean
 
$125 / room
Ceramic Tile
 
$6-$11 / sq ft

Kitchen

Renovation
 
$7,500+
Kitchen Counter – Laminate
 
$45 / lin ft
Kitchen Counter – Marble
 
$80 / lin ft

Security System

Alarm System
 
$2,500
Alarm Monitoring
 
$35 / month

Deck

Pressure Treated
 
$15-$30 /sq ft
Custom Designed & Built
 
$55-$80 / sq ft

Windows

Skylight
 
$800 and up
Casement – Replace
 
$50 / sq ft

These estimates reflect the average basic costs for supplies and installation of building materials in United States and Canada. Costs may vary depending on regions, upgrades, complexity, and disposal fees.

For complimentary copies of our Construction and Remodeling Estimates cost guide, please contact your local Pillar To Post office, or download from www.pillartopost.com/costguide.



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From, Bjorn Rygg, Pillar to Post

You may not want to admit it, but the days are getting shorter, the temperature is dropping, and winter is on its way. No matter what the season means to you whether that’s embracing the snow, avoiding the outdoors altogether, or taking off for a sunny destination - winter-proofing your home should be at the top of your list.

Roof: Before it’s covered in snow be sure to have it checked for any damaged shingles, replacing them if necessary. Also have your gutters cleared to ensure drainage will flow smoothly when the snow melts.

Furnace: It’s no secret your furnace will be of paramount importance as temperatures continue to drop, so prevent a breakdown by making sure its service and maintenance is up to date.

Windows: Double check that all windows are tightly sealed and water isn’t collecting in the sills. Ensuring windows with multiple sliding panels are in the closed position is important to avoid drafts.

Doors: Similar to windows, it’s important to check door frames are securely sealed without any cracks. Consider sealing or insulating mail slots or doggy doors.

Floors: Check for gaps between exposed floorboards, especially in any unfinished rooms in the house. If you have central heating, it’s important to ensure ducts connected to floor vents are well insulated.

Everything else: When setting your home up for seasonal success, it makes sense to take a look at your current insurance policy as well. Winter often means extreme weather that can result in damage to your property.

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From, Bjorn Rygg, Pillar to Post

While not every room in your home needs to follow a theme, you may find yourself designing a bedroom around a child's favorite Disney character, sports team or activity, or playing up your own hobby or even trying to recreate the serenity of a vacation spot in your own bedroom. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you decorate. 

  • Make sure you don't go overboard with your theme while forgetting about the practicality of your room. If you can't sit/lie/relax on it, it's about as practical as stiletto heels on the beach. In other words, you don't want a bedroom that shows well but doesn't invite comfort and relaxation.
  • Remember that a themed bedroom doesn't mean running out and buying every known accessory relevant to your vision. Your theme can be jumpstarted as easily and inexpensively as choosing the right shade of paint for the walls. Sports fans looking to create a shrine to their team should know there is paint designed to match team colors perfectly, allowing them to instantly surround themselves with logo-matched paint to complement the team accessories they plan to display.
  • Looking to create a dreamy bedroom space? You'll want to choose calming colors for the walls and bedding. You may think white is right, but again, keep practicality in mind: spills happen, dirt comes out of nowhere, and before you know it your calming oasis turns into just another stress-inducing imposition. White can work in some situations, but keep your lifestyle in mind before you commit.
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From, Bjorn Rygg, Pillar to Post

As much as homeowners enjoy the shelter and comfort of their home, mice, rats, and other rodents do, too. Not only do rodents make a mess, they can carry and spread diseases, contaminate food, and cause property damage.

The first step in keeping rodents out of the home is prevention. Rodents commonly enter homes, garages, sheds and other structures through small cracks and openings. Even a dime-sized hole is large enough for a mouse to get through. Common entry areas include behind stoves and refrigerators, around where water pipes enter the home, attics and crawlspaces, basements, and laundry drains. Outside the home, look for openings around windows and doors, gutters, and places where wiring, plumbing, and gas lines enter the home. Small holes can be stuffed with steel wool, which rodents cannot chew through, and caulked into place. Larger holes may require patching with metal, hardware cloth, or lath screen.

Removing food sources is another key to prevention. Pantry foods should be stored in metal or heavy plastic containers with tight fitting covers. Food-soiled cookware and dishes should be washed and kitchen surfaces cleaned soon after use, and pet food should not be left out overnight. If food waste is kept inside, it should be stored in a metal container until it can be disposed of outside in a rodent-proof trash can. If homeowners enjoy feeding wild birds, feeders should be located away from the house as spilled bird food is a real treat for rodents. There are bird seed mixes available that have been treated with hot pepper - unappealing to rodents and other mammals but birds are unaffected by it.

If rodents are present, it is extremely important that they be removed properly prior to sealing holes and gaps. Snap traps are the most effective method of catching rodents; follow the manufacturer's instruction for best results. It can take several days for rats to respond to a baited trap. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, snap traps are preferable to live or "humane" trapping, which can cause stressed rodents to urinate and increase possible exposure to disease. Once a rodent is trapped and killed, it should be wrapped in newspaper and disposed of in the trash. Any rodent - dead or alive - should not be handled with bare hands; use disposable rubber or vinyl gloves. Rodents are carriers of Hantavirus and other viruses and bacteria that can cause serious, even deadly, diseases in humans. A person can become exposed to Hantavirus while sweeping or cleaning up rodent droppings as particles become airborne and are inhaled. In addition, fleas, mites, or ticks may be present on the rodent, providing an additional carrier for the spread of disease.

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From, Bjorn Rygg, Pillar to Post

Here are a few ideas to help create a clean, healthy and sweet smelling bathroom.

1. Spray the tub with white vinegar. Fill a spray bottle and mist all bathroom surfaces. The acetic acid stops mold from growing and kills lingering odors.

 

2. Natural mildew eliminator. Combine 2 tsp. tea tree oil and 2 cups water in spray bottle. Shake and spray on mold and mildew. This solution should destroy on contact with no need to rinse away.

3. Ditch hidden sources. Toss out rarely used bottles of shampoo - breeding grounds for mold.

4. De-gunk the grout. Dip an old toothbrush in dish soap and use to scrub away mold between tile.

5. Clean shower curtains. Rub curtain with juice from one lemon. Lemon’s natural disinfectant stops mildew growth and eliminates odors.

6. Keep mold away. Apply small amount of car wax to clean shower walls and tiles to prevent mold from growing.


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From, Bjorn Rygg, Pillar to Post

1. Choose the weapon. Choose the weapon. Microfiber cloths and Wool dusters attract and hold dust, no dusting spray or furniture polish needed.

2. Clean the screen. Wipe TV and computer screens with fabric softener sheets to reduce dust-attracting static cling.

3. Two-in-one. Apply furniture polish with one side of an old oven mitt and use the other side to buff.

4. Squirt dirt. Squeeze an empty squirt bottle to blow dust out of picture frames corners and other tight spots.

5. Clean cracks. Dip a clean cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and run it through tight crevices, like between the buttons on your phone or remote control.

6. Stop drips. Hang an umbrella upside-down from your ceiling fan or chandelier before you clean it. You will catch dust before it hits the floor.

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From, Bjorn Rygg, Pillar to Post

Roof leaks are one of the leading causes of preventable property damage. A leaking roof can be disruptive and costly, and can eventually cause mold, damage to interior finishes, and even structural damage.

While it's true that older roofs or those in disrepair are at greater risk for leaks, one of the most common causes of roof failure is poor workmanship during installation. This is not always readily apparent because it often takes a few years for a poor installation to manifest itself as a leak. Using a licensed, qualified roofing contractor for any installations or repairs is always recommended.

Let's take a look at some of the factors that affect how a roof handles water and what they can mean when it comes to water leaks.

Pitched/sloped roofs: Pitched or sloped roofs are designed to shed water from one shingle to the next down to the roof edge, where the gutters and downspouts will carry the water away. Many people are surprised to learn that sloped roofs are not actually waterproof but instead rely on gravity and engineering to quickly move water off of the home.

Flat roofs: The most common type of flat roof is the built-up, or tar-and-gravel, roof. Flat roofs are designed to be waterproof and use a membrane such as roofing felt or specially-engineered foam to seal the surface. These roofs will have just enough slope to conduct water to a drain, which will funnel water down and off the roof surface. It's critical to keep drains on flat roof clear of debris so water won't back up and damage the integrity of the roof.

What causes leaks? Most roof leaks can be traced to poorly installed or worn flashing. Flashing usually consists of pieces of metal that cover gaps between the roofing material and items that penetrate through the roof such as chimneys, skylights, dormers, and roof/wall intersections. Wind and rain in just the wrong combination can cause a pitched roof to leak by compromising its water-shedding capabilities. In cold climates, ice can cause a perfectly good roof surface to leak. Ice can block the flow of water to the edge of the roof or to the drain. The water can then back up under the shingles and leak into the house.

Water leaks can have interior causes as well. Condensation in the attic due to leaking household air, or heating and/or air conditioning ducts can cause damage to the roof decking and structural framing. In severe cases it can cause water to drip back into the house. This can lead to mold and even structural damage if not corrected.

Proper installation and maintenance of roofs are key to preventing problems down the road. Homeowners should monitor their roof and attic, and contact a qualified roofing contractor at the first sign of any problems.

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From, Bjorn Rygg, Pillar to Post

Pet odors, smelly shoes, burned food in the kitchen - no need to run out and buy air freshener. There are plenty of deodorizers you already have around the house that can do the job - naturally!

1. Deodorize a dirty disposal with orange peels. Next time you eat an orange, just drop the peel down the sink and turn on the disposal. Citrus rinds contain fragrant essential oils and potent antiseptic and astringent properties that kill odor-causing germs.

2. Send pet odors packing with baking soda. Technically, it is sodium bicarbonate that absorbs odors from both surfaces and air. Simply sprinkle a little on rugs, couches, pet beds and other spots favored by your pooch or feline. Let sit for several hours or overnight, so it can work magic. Remove the powder with a vacuum and all that remains is fresh scent.

3. Say so long to smoke smells. Cigarette odors are tough but white vinegar is tougher! Pour vinegar in a few soup bowls and set around the smoke-scented room - the next day, the smoky stench should be gone. Also smart: Moisten an old towel with vinegar and wave through the room.

4. Zap microwave odors Did you heat your popcorn a little too long, and now the burning smell will not go away? Here is a sweet-smelling solution: Combine 1 tsp. vanilla extract with two cups water in a microwave-safe bowl, then heat on high for five minutes. Vanilla extract is a natural deodorizer that will take away the scorched stench - and replace it with the delicious aroma of just-baked goods.

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From, Bjorn Rygg, Pillar to Post

Molds are organisms which are neither plant nor animal. They are part of the fungi kingdom.

Unlike plants, molds do not get their energy from the sun through photosynthesis. In fact, the sun’s ultraviolet light inhibits mold growth.

Molds also digest or “eat” the material they are growing on. The role of mold is to break down decaying organic matter such as dead plants, leaves or dead animals.

Types of Health Symptoms from Mold
There are three main types of symptoms mold can cause:
Allergic and irritant symptoms, toxic symptoms or even infections.

Mold Removal Products
There are several products you can use to kill and remove mold. Some of the most effective mold removal products include: Bleach, Borax, Vinegar, Ammonia, Hydrogen peroxide, Detergent, Baking soda, Tea tree oil, or Grapefruit seed extract.

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Source: Bjorn Rygg, Pillar to Post

For Sale (Almost)
Homeowners make a lot of memories in their houses, and there's no doubt it's emotional for them to say goodbye to their well-loved kitchens and family rooms when they put their homes on the market. Unfortunately, potential buyers will not be charmed by that "lived-in look." As a realtor, you know that they will only see details that need TLC...ASAP.

Here are a few simple DIY projects that you can pass on to your clients. These little fixes will rejuvenate some common trouble areas and make homes more appealing to fussy buyers...something your clients definitely can get behind!

1) Busted tiles are not classy.
Oops. Did an anvil drop on that tile countertop? Tile holds up almost indefinitely to all kinds of wear-but sadly, as you may have seen in your years on the job, tile cracks if something heavy is dropped on it.

What your clients can do
It's relatively simple to replace broken tile: remove the grout, mask the surrounding tiles with tape, loosen the tile, chisel out the pieces, set the new tile, fill the perimeter with new grout and allow the grout to dry. Goodbye, shabby tile.

2) Scratches and dings and gouges, oh my!
We know your client's brother-in-law didn't mean to run into the built-in bookshelves drawer with the recliner. While a droll family memory, there's no value-add for the prospective home buyer, so it's probably best the seller get rid of any and all visible scratches, dings and gouges.

What your clients can do
Minor scratches can be wiped clean with mineral oil, lightly sanded with fine grade sandpaper and sealed with polyurethane. Scratches that penetrate the finish can be filled with a like-colored furniture repair stick. The product consists of wax and putty, and is easy to apply. Follow with a coat of polyurethane.

Not quite a gouge, but deeper than a scratch? Use wood putty in a matching color. Gouges also can be treated with wood putty. Make the repair, let it dry and apply the polyurethane.

3) Counter intelligence?
Bags of groceries, stubborn food stains and the occasional misfire with a kitchen knife are all to blame for clients' laminate or Corian counter surfaces looking scuffed and sad. Fortunately, there are simple solutions that won't leave home sellers with an empty wallet.

What your clients can do
Laminate is a repair-friendly surface: a color-matched repair pen or paste will camouflage most scratches. Be careful not to overfill, and gently sand the excess when dry. The remnants of past meals can be removed using a paste made from baking soda and water. Leave the paste for a few hours and wipe away. No need to rub or scrub.

Minor scratches on Corian can be treated by using a mild abrasive liquid cleaner on a damp sponge, rubbing over the scratch in small, overlapping circular motions, and rinsing with clean water. Encourage clients to wipe the surface completely dry, and repeat if the blemish is still visible. Deeper scratches should be treated following the manufacturer's instructions.

That was easy, wasn't it? With a little elbow grease and a modest investment of time and money, your clients can bring the sexy back to worn surfaces.

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Source, Bjorn Rygg, Pillar to Post

During the process of buying or selling a home, you often learn about recommended or required repairs and upgrades. This can happen as a result of the home inspection as well as your expert knowledge of your market and comparable homes. Of course, the first thing homeowners want to know is, "How much will that cost?"

Pillar to Post is pleased to offer our Residential Construction and Remodeling Estimates cost guide, which provides estimated cost ranges for repair and/or replacement of the major systems and components in a home. It also includes general guidelines for the life expectancies of those systems. This information can help you make informed decisions when they're considering home repairs or improvements, and is especially valued by homeowners before their property is listed. Below is just a sampling of our list of estimated costs for hundreds of repairs/upgrades.


Floors

  

Hardwood Floor Refinish

$2-$5 / sq. ft

Carpet-clean

$100 / room

Ceramic Tile

$5-$10 / sq. ft


Kitchen

  

Renovation

$7,500 +

Counter-laminate

$40 / lin. ft

Kitchen counter-marble

$75 / lin. ft


Security System

  

Alarm System

$2,500

Alarm Monitoring

$30 / month


Deck

  

Pressure Treated

$15-$25 /sq. ft

Custom Designed & Built

$50-$75 / sq. ft.


Windows

  

Skylight

$750 and up

Thermal Glass (existing frame)

$30 / sq. ft.


These estimates reflect the average basic costs for supplies and installation of building materials in United States and Canada. Costs may vary depending on regions, upgrades, complexity, and disposal fees.

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From, Bjorn Rygg, Pillar to Post

The Fireplace

  • Never burn gift wrappings, boxes, cartons, or other types of packing. They burn far too rapidly.
  • Always use a screen in front of the fireplace to protect against flying sparks.
  • Never use gasoline or any other flammable liquids to start a fire.
  • Use only seasoned and dried wood.
  • Never leave the fire unattended or smouldering.
  • Clean the ashes regularly. Place the ashes in a metal container and store outside.

Electrical Outlets

  • There is often a tendency to overload outlets during the holiday season. This is unsafe.
  • Inspect all cords before using. Look for loose connections or frayed or exposed wire.
  • Insert plugs fully into outlets. Poor contact may cause overheating or shock.
  • To avoid possible overheating, do not coil or bunch an extension cord or run it under carpets or rugs.

The Kitchen
Grease and fat fires are a leading cause of home fires, so be extra careful when doing this kind of cooking. Here’s what to do if grease in a pot or pan catches fire:

  • Smother the flames by covering with a lid.
  • Turn off the heat immediately.
  • Use baking soda (flour can be explosive) on shallow grease fires.
  • Never turn on the overhead fan, as this could spread the fire.
  • Never throw water on a grease fire.

Last but not least …
make sure your smoke detectors work!

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RE/MAX Treeland Realty
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