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Concrete Floor Finishes - A New Look!

 

Stunning concrete floors

Stunning concrete floors

As you walk around your home, do you look at the concrete floors you might have in your garage, unfinished basement, or patio and wonder what you could do with them? Do you like what you see or could it use a little something? When we design homes, we talk with clients about flooring and what to do with concrete floors. We’ve done the research and have some perfect solutions with regards to the types of finishes available to use on your concrete floors. From DIY to professional work, the sky’s the limit with concrete flooring and what you can do to make it your own!

If you’ve never considered concrete floors for more than your garage and basement, maybe you should! It would certainly be different and an interesting and bold choice. Concrete floor finishes can be colored or stained almost any color or can have finishes added that appear to look like marble, slate, or tile. Borders can be added or areas embellished with different designs. The benefits might just have you doing some thinking. Concrete floors are durable, tough, and resilient. It is fairly low-maintenance, depending on the chosen finish. Some may require occasional sealing. Concrete floors wipe clean easily and are resistant to most chemical and water spills. Typically used in garages, basements, and patios, people are also installing and finishing them in kitchens, bathrooms, and living areas.

Top Finishes to Ponder

Perfection with Paint:

Are you just looking for a color change? Painting the concrete might be a smart choice. While not too difficult to do yourself, you do need to know how to prepare the surface before you paint and use the right kind of paint-one designed for masonry. Paint can be used on the whole floor or just to provide some decorative touches (or paint games or designs on the floor for your kids-hopscotch or checkers anyone?).

Stupendous Stains:

Concrete stain is a popular choice. It works well on both interior and exterior surfaces and is a fairly easy application. The stain penetrates the surface so the concrete needs to be new or thoroughly cleaned. It won’t hide cracks or imperfections and as beautiful as it looks, it doesn’t provide a great deal of protection to the floor so it should have a sealant applied to prevent the floor from fading.

Types of Stains:

  • Acid-based stains give a bold, stunning look. It has a variegated and mottled look. Acid stains only come in colors like blue-greens, browns, and tans,  which may limit their appeal for you. Acid stains tend not to fade and won’t chip or peel.

  • Water-based stains are a great DIY project as they are easy to apply. Colors are muted but there are many more color options available. 

  • Fast stains are eco-friendly and fast drying. It is flecked and variegated in appearance. This is a perfect choice for polished concrete floors and can be used with both acid or water stains.

Exciting Epoxy:

Searching for shine and extreme durability? Look no further than epoxy.  This shiny surface can have color or aggregates added for color and unique texture. This is a great solution for high-traffic areas, like your garage! It will protect the floor from oil stains, grease, ad tire marks. It is harder to apply, so do your research or hire a professional to do the application. 

Types of Epoxy:

  • Standard epoxy is used in high-traffic indoor areas. The finish is shiny, durable, and one color.

  • Granite epoxy is a unique look, adding texture and durability to your floors. Color chips are added, giving you a wide variety of color and texture. 

  • Quartz Sand epoxy is perfect for garages. It’s smooth, slip-resistant, easy to clean and withstands water and chemical spills.

Colors:

Getting ready to have the concrete poured? Stop and think about color now! Adding a color to the concrete will create the look you want. This is a perfect option if you are planning to stamp the concrete to look like tile, brick, or stone, or if you just want something other than “concrete” color.

Stamp That Concrete:

If you have planned ahead, stamping the concrete, especially for walkways and patios, creates a beautiful finish. The stamp (think leaves, flowers, or geometric designs) is stamped into the concrete as it cures. You’re only limited by your imagination for this type of finish.

Score!

No not your favorite football team, but the concrete! Existing concrete slabs can be turned into “tile” by using a saw to etch the concrete into whatever pattern you desire. You can even stain it after the etching is completed. This is a good option for walkways, driveways, or patios. Would you DIY it?

Seal it Up:

Sealing is always an option if you’re just trying to keep water out and give the floor a glossy surface. With any of the above options, you might want or need to seal your newly designed concrete floors. 

Do we have you thinking differently about concrete now? Watch our Front Porch Friday video, Concrete Floor Finishes, to see this blog in action. Here at RDS, we can design your new home or help you create the remodel of your dreams. Let our designers help you create something new! or

RDS Awarded a 2018 NARI ACE AWARD

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Winning an award is always exciting! Being awarded a NARI ACE Award is one of those exciting moments-because it happened again this year! We couldn’t be more proud of this award here at Residential Designed Solutions; we do what we do because of our clients.

What is the NARI Ace Award?

NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) of central Ohio gives ACE (Achievement in Consumer Excellence) awards yearly. Clients complete a survey online describing the work performed by the company and rating the company’s quality of work, responsiveness/reliability, timeliness/punctuality, and professionalism.

This award is important to us because it is a recognition program based on our clients’ feedback. Being recognized with the NARI Achievement in Consumer Excellence Award helps more consumers be aware of us, provides us with valuable client feedback, and recognizes us for the quality work we do.

We are honored to receive this recognition again this year. We take our craft seriously - designing homes is what we do! Thank you to our clients for their trust in us and for taking the time to recognize our work and their belief in us at RDS.

Project Profile - A Custom Farmhouse

Custom Urban Farmhouse

Custom Urban Farmhouse

This family of 5 wanted to build a new home in a rural setting that would allow them to appreciate their hobbies and interests. 

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In addition to their custom designed farmhouse with a large wrap around porch, outdoor living spaces were designed to incorporate a pool and adjacent greenhouse. 

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A barn will be constructed on the property, leaving plenty of space for their 3 children to run and explore their 5 acres. They were inspired by the urban farmhouse style including industrial, yet classic, finishes inside. 

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The open first floor layout will be perfect for family time as well as entertaining, with large bedrooms upstairs, a master suite balcony, and a unique studio loft over the garage.

First Floor

First Floor

Second Floor

Second Floor

Our designers are ready to help you create your dream home! Designing homes with your vision in mind and watching the excitement it brings you is our inspiration.

Surprise and Inspiration at RDS 2018

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As 2018 comes to an end, we look forward to what 2019 is going to bring. We’ve been reflecting on 2018 here at Residential Designed Solutions, asking the question to our designers and staff, "What has surprised/inspired you this year and how, both professionally and personally?” Our answers are as varied and unique as all of us and we want to share them with you. Ask yourself the same question! You might be surprised by the answer.



Jim Wright

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A new design challenge always brings a little extra adrenaline to the process. With the Evans Farm development coming online this year and providing the opportunity to design a Parade of Homes house, I’m finding that absorbing and working within the very specific architectural guidelines is adding some design excitement! It is always inspiring to be part of the initial design process in a master planned community.

On the personal side, we welcomed our first grandchild in February, a very handsome and inquisitive little boy. He is telling us all about a lot of things, is crawling, and has just discovered that floor registers are removable! We enjoy spending as much time with him as possible, as you can imagine.




Hylas Stemen

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This year at RDS has brought new responsibilities. Some have allowed me to grow in areas that are new; others have allowed me to revisit areas that I thoroughly enjoy. The Front Porch Friday videos have been fun and challenging at the same time. I often prefer the behind the scenes approach and there is nothing behind the scenes about being on camera! Providing clients with color selection assistance for their new projects has given me another avenue to use my creativity. From tiles to granite, to cabinets and paint colors, it’s been a pleasure helping clients see their projects really come together. I am hopeful that both avenues will continue to help RDS grow our business and brand to the public, as well as within the building industry.

Personally, in May of 2017, my 16-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia. After extensive treatments last year, trips to Philadelphia for immunotherapy over the winter, and missing the entire school year, he received a bone marrow transplant in March of this year. He is back to school cancer-free this fall and doing very well. We are enjoying the good days! His experience has taught me the valuable lesson that ‘Every Day is a Gift.’ We continue to pray that his good health remains, and continues to get better.

 

Michelle Bush

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Professionally, I was inspired by our Front Porch Friday series. I have learned a lot from them and even though I was a fan of DIY projects to begin with, after a little research on different topics, I feel even more confident to take on more projects on my own. I also feel as though from learning all of these new things that I am also a little wiser on not taking on some projects that I would have otherwise because now I know what is actually involved.

Personally, I’d say I’m a little surprised at how much life can change in one year. Justin and I had been planning to start a family, but planning and having it actually begin to happen are two different things. It has been a year full of mixed emotions and excitement. I am excited for what the remainder of the year holds for us.

 

Caleb Frost

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On April 2nd, seven months ago, I stepped out of my car and walked into Residential Designed Solutions. I was on the edge of a new beginning personally and professionally and didn’t fully appreciate the challenges and rewards that awaited me. 

One of my favorite childhood pastimes was to sit at the window in my room and daydream about house designs. One day it would be a rugged mountain cabin defying its natural surroundings and the next day a quaint getaway by a peaceful trickling stream. I would then sketch these simple conceptions in my graph paper notebook. As is true of most sketches these were simple representations of space and form, completely devoid of the detail necessary to make such structures stand in the real world. Now this romantic love of childhood was going to be what I would do every day. The stage for my surprise and future inspiration was set.

Working at RDS hasn’t been all a daydream through the windows of imagination. There has been a lot to learn about the practice of architectural drafting. Along the way I have come to appreciate the detail and accuracy that goes into even the simplest construction drawing sets. I’ve been brought face to face with some of my personal weaknesses; acknowledged them and endeavored to use them to become stronger. The journey has encouraged me to continue growing personally and professionally. 

I am blessed to work with the team here at RDS. They work continually to create strategies and procedures that enable us to meet the demands of an ever- changing market. Their commitment to providing a higher quality of service for the amazing people we work with inspires me. There have been many lessons from this that I have taken for myself. To each of my coworkers here at RDS and those of you I get to work with a big thank you. This November I’m thankful to be a member of the RDS team.

 

Dominic Luppino

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Watching my two daughters grow into adulthood, each adjusting to new challenges this year (one starting college, the other beginning a career as a pharmacy technician) has both surprised and inspired me. They have reached far with bravery and enthusiasm and that inspires me in my work and personal life.

 

 




Barb Marquis

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In the past year, I have been inspired professionally by witnessing fair and honest business practices. Whether the account is large or small, the consistency of doing business with honesty and integrity is considered a core value of the company.  

On a personal note, these values are also practiced when interacting with associates of RDS. It is an honor to be a part of the RDS team.

 

All of us here at RDS wish you the best for these last days of 2018. As 2019 approaches, should you be in the need of home renovation plans or a new house plan, our designers would love to surprise and inspire you with our thoughtful and well-designed house plans!

Thanks to Our Clients!

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As we quickly approach the start of the family holiday season, we are reminded of all the wonderful folks we have had an opportunity to work with over this past year. You invite us into your lives to help you with designing a new home for your family or reimagining your existing home to better meet your needs and we consider it an honor to be asked to do so. We thoroughly enjoy working together solving challenges and helping you to realize your dreams.

We wish each of you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving and the happiest of holiday seasons!

Thanks to Our Builders and Industry Friends

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To all our building, remodeling and industry friends that we have had the opportunity to work with over this past year we say thank you! It is always a pleasure and honor for us to be allowed to play a part in your construction projects. We enjoy working with you, as one of your team members, to help your homeowners realize their dreams.

We wish all of you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving and the happiest of holiday seasons!

Jim’s Tip: Marble Floors – What We Need to Know

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Based on pictures shared with us from HOUZZ and PINTEREST by our clients, we are seeing more and more marble in upscale baths. The walls and countertops are not an issue, but the floors provide some challenges for both designer and builder.

The Tile Council of North America, TCNA, requires that any floors with natural stone applied must be designed with a deflection of L/720, twice as stiff as code requires L/360 (“L” is the length of the clear span of the floor joist in inches). The challenge is that we have no idea what your client is going to select when we lay out the structure for the house. If we know ahead of time, stiffening that floor area is simple. After the fact it may become very expensive.

Changing the subfloor or the backer board isn’t going to provide the required rigidity, you’ll have to add additional joists. This may mean removing and replacing HVAC, plumbing and electric to get these joists into place.

The simple solution for designers and engineers is to add a disclaimer to the plans, but that doesn’t help you one little bit. The best choice is for all of us to be aware of the potential problem and attempt to get a determination or at least a direction on floor surface selections from the homeowner before we complete the plans. If homeowners know there will be a lot of extra cost to change the floor later, that may help them make some decisions earlier. 

Let’s work together on solving this one!

I never recommend social media links to anyone but recently I came across Build w/Matt Risinger, a channel on YouTube with a lot of detailed construction information. He’s a custom builder in the Austin, Texas area and he is talking about performance vs. prescriptive codes; contemporary interior trim details, soundproofing tricks, hidden door ideas, etc. All in all, this is a very informative group of videos. His channel publishes new content twice a week so you can watch what interests you.

Below is a link to a short video from Matt on traditional framing vs. high-performance framing techniques. He walks you through two houses while talking about and pointing out the differences.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDsaMFY3OcE   I hope you find it as interesting as I have.

 

Get Your Home Ready for Winter

 

Start getting ready for winter by raking leaves and showing your home some love!

Start getting ready for winter by raking leaves and showing your home some love!

It’s been a stunning fall so far but we know what winter will bring! Not only do we need to get out our winter coats, gloves, warm clothes, and shovels, but we need to get our homes ready for winter, too. At RDS, your home design specialists, we’ve been discussing what we need to do to our homes this fall so that we aren’t caught off guard when cold weather really arrives. 

Download our Winter Ready Checklist here. Use this handy checklist to make sure you’ve done everything you can to have your home ready for winter.

What should you be doing to get your home ready for winter?

Furnace:

One of our first Front Porch Friday videos was all about furnace filters. View it here for everything you need to know about them. It’s important to get your furnace serviced, the filter changed, and tested for any leaks.  A yearly furnace checkup could save you from a really cold night. 

Clean Up:

The leaves are falling and we’re busy raking. (Make sure to mow or mulch some of them into your lawn to give it some much-needed nutrients.) But don’t forget to clean out the gutters once the leaves are down in order to prevent overflowing gutters when it rains or ice build-up when it’s cold. 

To avoid a slippery scenario, keep leaves cleared off walkways, the driveway, and decks.

Is your chimney clean? If it hasn’t been cleaned in a while, especially if it is wood burning, now is the time. Experts suggest having them inspected yearly.

Cover outdoor furniture or move it indoors after cleaning it.

Take soil out of the pots that you keep outside or bring them inside. The soil can freeze, expand, and crack your pots.

Do you need to trim branches from trees and bushes that could be affected by wind, snow, and ice? This is especially important if they are near your home. Wait until they are dormant to trim them so that you don’t hurt the plants. 

A Little Prevention:

Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and check your fire extinguishers (the pressure gauge needle should be in the green area). 

Do your flashlights need new batteries? Be prepared! It’s going to be dark longer so you’ll want plenty of working batteries in case of a power outage. 

Take a hard look at your fireplaces, furnace, and any other types of heaters you use. Is the area around them clear and free of anything flammable?

Reverse the blade flow of your ceiling fans so they run clockwise, creating an updraft and pushing the heated air down into your rooms.

Disconnect outdoor hoses and store them in the basement, shed, or garage. Drain the outdoor faucets and cover them with hose bib covers. Don’t forget to have your lawn irrigation system winterized.

If your roof and shingles are older, have them inspected for cracks, leaks, and damage to flashing seals around chimneys and vent stacks.

 

Winter will be here before we know it, but now you know what to do. So get out those warm, snuggly blankets, find your slippers, and heat up the hot chocolate. And if you’re ready to design a new home or remodel part of your existing home, we’d love to create it for you. 

Another Dose of Inspiration - NARI Home Improvement Tour

Dave Osmond Builders RDS Design

Dave Osmond Builders RDS Design

NARI Home Improvement Tour

The NARI Home Improvement Tour is the 15th and 16th of September, and this year’s show has all the hallmarks of being another amazing show. This one is perfect for those of us that love where we live, love many things about our home, but are looking for some inspiration and changes to our beloved home. Ooh and aah as you view a new great room and covered porch, a whole house remodel, a stunning master suite, a gorgeous kitchen and family room renovation, and more. You’ll definitely find some inspiration here!

Do you want to change the footprint, add a room, renovate a space, or just update your existing rooms with new paint and décor? Then this show is for you! 

When: Saturday, September 15th 10:00am-5:00pm
Sunday, September 16th 12:00pm-5:00pm

Where: Drive to 11 newly remodeled homes on this tour. Homes are located in Delaware, Powell, Dublin, Upper Arlington, Clintonville, and Worthington. See them all or just the ones you are interested in. 

Check out the website for details about each home, tickets, and more! 

https://www.trustnari.org/event/2018-fall-home-improvement-tour/

Our Downloadable Form for the Home Improvement Tour

Since so many of you commented on and used our RDS downloadable Parade form, we’ve created one for you to use for this tour. Jot down what has inspired you, whether it’s the room itself, the colors used, the decor, the flooring, wall treatments, or finishings. 

Our RDS NARI Home Improvement Form Click on the link and use this sheet to keep track of everything that you want to think more about and not forget!

Still Need Inspiration?

Are you still on the search for more ideas? We’ve got them! We pride ourselves on doing the very best for our clients. Check out what we are inspired by and what we’ve designed for our clients. 

Visit our:

·      Website

·      Houzz page

·      Pinterest page

Our designers are here and ready to bring your dreams and inspirations to life. Contact us and we will get the process started, whether it is to redesign one room or create a new home, all while keeping your budget and needs in mind.

Get Your Home Ready to Sell 101

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Is it finally time? Time to sell your home? Of course, if it is, you want it to sell quickly. But that takes a bit of planning on your part. Just listing it with an agent isn’t enough. You need to plan, clean, and maybe do some work to get it ready to sell. Even though we are in a seller’s market, the better you make your home look, the faster and easier it should sell, even increasing your chance of selling above asking price.

At RDS, we meet with people daily that are ready to design and build a new home, while selling their existing home. Often, the conversation turns to how long it will take them to sell their existing home. That is the question, isn’t it? We’ve done the research, scoured the Internet, talked with people, and have come up with a list of projects you can easily tackle yourself and some that you might need a professional to do. Now get busy and ready to get top dollar for your current home. We’d love to design your new one for you!

Let Go and Declutter:

The hardest thing to do is to view your home as a potential buyer, not the one living in the home. Remind yourself that the home isn’t going to be yours much longer and see it with a critical eye. What can you get rid of? What won’t appeal to a potential buyer? 

  • Get rid of clutter. You want the rooms in your home to appear as large as possible. Clear off bookshelves, end tables, countertops, and anyplace you have collectibles, art objects, and things you just haven’t found a place for. 
  • Take down personal photos, especially if you have many of them hanging. Buyers want to see themselves in the home and pictures of your family can be distracting. 
  • Do you have a designated kids’ space or are there toys strewn everywhere? Organize the kids’ space, box up everything you can and remove toys from around the home. 
  • Clear out your closets so that they appear larger. You might want to invest in a simple storage system if your closet doesn’t have adequate shelving. 
  • Now is the time to go through everything. Sell, donate, and throw away what you don’t need or want. It’s easier to get rid of it now instead of moving it and then going through the boxes when you unpack.
  • Your kitchen cabinets need to be organized and clean. People will open up the cabinets to check how much storage is available. If you have them packed, the message is clear that there isn’t enough space! 
  • Box up everything that isn’t necessary for day-to-day living. 

Appearances Matter:

You only get one chance at a first impression (if they’ve actually made it through the front door) and nothing sets the tone like a clean and tidy home. 

  • Your home needs to be as clean as possible. If you can, hire a cleaning company to do a deep cleaning for you. If that isn’t an option, spend a day cleaning baseboards, windows, trim, tops of doors, ceiling fans, light fixtures, window frames and sills, and anything else that may not have been cleaned for a while. Thoroughly dust and sweep everything.
  • Clean the carpets, hardwoods, and tile floors. 
  • If you have pets, make sure the pet smell is gone. That can be an immediate turn off for buyers that don’t have pets themselves. If you aren’t sure if your house has a smell, ask a trusted pet-less neighbor to give your house the smell test!
  • Change out light bulbs in your home to bright white or blue-tinted bulbs, not yellow/soft white ones, especially in darker rooms. This will make the home brighter.
  • Remove heavy, dark drapes or curtains and replace them with sheer curtains or leave the curtains off altogether. This lets loads of natural light in the rooms. 

Make Minor/Major Repairs:

Some repairs might be more than you want to do, and you might already have that worked into the sale of the home, or you aren’t planning on making them. But, making some repairs can go a long way in getting the most money for your home. 

  • All homes settle and develop cracks over time, but you don’t want that to be what potential buyers see. Hire a good handyman and get those ceiling and wall cracks repaired.
  • Repaint if needed, whether it is inside or outside. Cracked or peeling paint or very personal paint colors could turn off a buyer. 
  • Fix any holes in the walls, repair leaky faucets (outside ones, too), check that doors open and close properly and quietly, and windows work.
  • Replace any burned out light bulbs and be sure your electricity is up to code. 
  • If you have good hardwood floors, use them to your advantage. Make sure they are cleaned and refinished. Consider pulling up any old carpeting that might be covering them. Buyers want hardwoods!
  • Speaking of carpeting, replace it if it is worn and beyond cleaning.
  • If you can, get rid of any wallpaper. That is a big turn off for some people; especially if they are looking for a home they can immediately move into without having to make many changes. 
  • Update whatever you can in the kitchen, whether it is appliances, faucets, fixtures, or lighting. 

Create Curb Appeal:

The first impression might be the only one you get. Some buyers can see past what a home looks like in order to see the potential, but most buyers can be turned off and never enter a home if it doesn’t make some kind of a good first impression. 

  • Wash the house! There should be no evidence of mildew or mold on the home. Just power washing to remove dirt and grime will make a big difference. 
  • Clean the gutters out. There should not be any leaves or growing plants visible. Plus, a good inspector will go up on the roof and inspect them, so be sure they are in good working order. 
  • Weeds and unkempt grass are a big deterrent to potential buyers. Keep your lawn mowed and weed free.
  • Paint the house or the trim, or both if necessary. If you can’t afford to have the house painted, just painting the door and shutters will be a quick facelift.
  • Is the front porch/entryway inviting? It should make people want to enter. Use color, a wreath, good lighting, a few potted plants, or a seating area to welcome them.
  • If you are selling your home in the winter, provide photos of the landscaping during the open houses or when buyers come to see the home. That way people can see what the house looks like in the spring and summer. 

Stage It:

  • Move furniture around so that it showcases the room. Remove excess furniture and make sure that the room is easy to walk around. That giant treadmill isn’t going to do you any favors in the bedroom. 
  • If a room is painted a very bold or unique color, consider repainting it to a more neutral color. Most buyers will repaint a home, but if they see they don’t have to do it immediately, you’ve just made it easier to sell. 
  • Add a few live plants and some pops of color with pillows and blankets. Even a new bedspread can add to the allure of the room. 
  • Set the table or only have a centerpiece on it. Keep it looking like a place buyers want to sit with friends and family.
  • Clear off kitchen countertops, but add some color. A bowl of limes or lemons, a bright pot on the stove, or a colorful vase of flowers will do wonders. Put all appliances away to showcase the countertop space. 
  • During showings make sure the beds are made, lights are turned on, pets are put away, curtains are open, windows cleaned, furniture dusted, carpets vacuumed (vacuum lines go a long way) and home feels welcoming and inviting. Your goal is for someone to walk in and realize that the home is loved and cared for!
  • Create an inviting smell by baking cookies before the showing (and leave for potential buyers to eat) or brew a pot of coffee.

Just remember that when you’re getting ready to sell, you have to remove all emotion and attachment that you have to the home. Look at each room critically, as you would if you were buying the home. What can you change, update, or leave as is? The better your home looks, the faster and easier it should sell. And if you’re ready to build a new home, our designers would be honored to design your dream home for you.