Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 2/14/2021


 Photo by RawPixel via Pixabay

It may be tempting to call an expert (and sometimes, you can't avoid doing so) to fix something or to enhance the decor of your home, but some projects are surprisingly easy to do. Tackling DIY projects at home has never been easier, thanks to the availability of tools and products designed just for homeowners. You won't have to pay contractor's rates -- and can have a custom look you'll love -- when you try one or more of these projects. 

Upgrade your Shower: Get an immediate boost to your shower when you swap out the old shower head for something new. Removing the old head and adding a fancy new one -- whether you want something adjustable or a spa-worthy rain shower. You won't need many tools and can remove the old head, clean things up, then add the new one in about an hour. You'll love the satisfaction that comes from doing this yourself, and be able to buy a more expensive shower head without blowing your budget, too. 

Paint a Room: Leave the cathedral ceilings and complicated spaces to a pro, but if you just need a quick color change in a bedroom, you can generally DIY it for about a quarter of the cost of hiring someone to do it. Expect to spend several hours over the course of the weekend and invest the savings into quality equipment and paint you'll never have to touch up or worry about. 

Prepare the Garden: Shoveling out a 10x10 space sounds less than appealing to most of us, but you can rent a tiller from a local home improvement store and DIY this space in under an hour. You'll be able to focus instead on the planning and planting -- not the grueling digging -- when you take this approach. If you can push a lawnmower, you can use a tiller to prepare any area for planting in a hurry. 

Assemble Furniture: You can hire someone to do it, or pay a fee for the store to assemble things, but if you have some spare time and a few tools, most items can go together very swiftly. Use the time to binge watch a new program and DIY the assembly. You'll save money and get the satisfaction that comes from knowing you can do things yourself. 

Powerwash: There are many powerwasher brands on the market today that offer a lot of cleaning for a small price. A contractor could charge you hundreds of dollars each time you need the service, or you can spend about a hundred one time and get a unit of your own. These smaller, more compact models still pack plenty of punch and can be used for decks, porches, patios and on your home itself with ease. 

Simple projects like these build your skills and your inventory of supplies and tools. If you have a project in mind that can be safely done, it is worth exploring your DIY options -- you could end up leanring something new and creating a finished look you'll love. 

 




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 3/24/2019

The exterior of your home tells all the story about your aesthetic taste and interior design. Make it a place anyone would love to walk into whether you are selling or not. It is your haven, and it deserves treatment as one. So, don't wait until you are listing your home to make it a paradise worth living. Try these five easy and affordable ideas, and you will be glad you did.

5 Easy Ways to Give Your Curb a Lift

  • Front Door Makeover. Of course, your front door is a good start. It is the focal point of your home as such deserve more of your attention. Even if visitors miss the mailbox, which is unlikely, they will notice your front door. Why? Because that is the doorway into your home. Therefore, it is crucial to pay attention first to your door when it comes to improving your curb appeal. A little makeover like painting the door with a fresh coat is an excellent way to go. Be sure to employ attractive colors. Remember it is the way into your paradise.
  • Bring Florida to Your Walkway. Visitors go through that walkway before arriving at your door. Your sidewalk also happens to be one of the first things neighbors and passersby see as they pass by your home. An excellent way to make a memorable initial impression is to bring Florida to your home by planting flowers along your walkway. Make it enticing. Enliven your paradise!
  • Gift Your Mailbox a New Look. Homeowners quickly forget their mailbox contribute a part to their curb appeal. The small box seats there all year with little or no attention. In a bid to improve your curb appeal, try gifting your mailbox a new look by painting it with a fresh coat or making a beautiful garden around it.
  • Add Colors to Your Home Number. Each home has a unique set of numbers known as a home number. It is one of the first things a visitor or passerby see as they look at your home. Make them colorful by painting them with inviting colors that complement your home.
  • Hand a Window Box. This trendy curb appeal idea helps you to gift your home a sophisticated feel without having to put out a lot of cash. Simply hang it up there and paint to match. Simple, easy and effective!

You don't particularly need to put out a lot of cash or hire a pro to give your exterior a life. You can always complete the job with these easy and affordable ideas. Don't sweat it!




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 3/17/2019

There's nothing more soothing than going back to relax in a beautiful space at the end of the day. Bedrooms have been known to look neutral. If you're willing to step out of that thinking and give your room a new look, here are some DIY bedroom makeover ideas you should try.

Use complimentary patterns

From your bedspreads to your pillowcases, and even the wall decor; playing with lovely patterns can bring out the beauty of your bedroom. More importantly, stick to one or two colors and merely work around their different shades and tones. For example, your walls could have splashes of sky blue, bedspreads with captivating cerulean stripes, and your lamp with a darker blue shade. However, you can use a refreshing combination of other colors too. Printed pillows with light colored bedding comes out beautifully. 

Have a rolling cart by the bedside

Instead of a fixed shelf with a lamp, alarm clock, and a couple of other items scattered around, a rolling cart with different shelves can give your room a different look. On the shelves, you can neatly place the things you'll often need to have handy. Of course, your alarm clock and lamp should be at the top.

Hang wall decor

Framed photographs, artworks, and murals can turn your 'ordinary' bedroom into that relaxation space of your dreams without costing you much. Depending on your taste, decorations can be hung stylishly above your bed as a headboard or even behind your dresser.

Install nightstand lamps

It is doubtful that anyone will find it pleasant and tranquil to relax in a room with piercingly bright light fixtures. Your walls should have a reflective tone, so use nightstand lamps for dim light.

Go green

Your room is no garden or lawn, but a few potted plants can be useful. Spider plants, for instance, help to filter the room’s air and generate more oxygen. This means you don't have to run out of breath. Fresh flowers will also add natural fragrances to aid your relaxation.Change your drapesYour windows don't need to have a boring view. Fresh curtains with colorful details can do the trick.

Rearrange your furniture

Personalizing your bedroom comes with making particular decisions to determine what's comfortable for you and how to get it done. There are tons of standard room arrangements out there with strict dos and don'ts. But nothing stops you from pulling your bed closer to the window or wherever else you want it. You're the pro here.

Keep these ideas in mind when shopping for a new home. Not every property will be staged to your liking, so ask your real estate agent to help you see the potential of the space.




Tags: bedroom   diy   Decor  
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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 8/19/2018

Doing a home improvement or renovation is a great way to add value to your home while learning something new. If you decide to DIY, you can enlist the help of your family and learn together.

But, when you’re taking on a task you’ve never done before, there’s a lot that can go wrong. You might go over budget, or the project might take significantly longer than expected. Sometimes we start jobs that we don’t have the expertise (or permits) to finish and have to call in a professional sinking more time and money into what was supposed to be an inexpensive renovation.

To help you avoid some of these common pitfalls, we’ve provided these tips for running a successful home improvement project so you can focus on your renovation and not on the headaches that come with it.

1. Know when to call the experts

Undertaking a do-it-yourself project can be fun and rewarding. However, some tasks are better left to the professionals. Plumbing and electrical mistakes, in particular, can be dangerous and costly if you get it wrong. You don’t want to disregard the safety of you, your family, and your belongings just to save money on hiring a professional.

2. Call the best expert for the job

Call multiple professionals for a quote before accepting an offer.

If you received what seems a very low quote for a job, make sure to call other experts in the industry to see how much they would charge for the job. Getting an unusually low offer could be a sign that the contractor will rush the project or use cheap materials.

Alternatively, if you receive a quote that seems too high, the contractor may have a busy schedule or might not really want the job, so they’ve offered you a price they don’t expect you to take.

Regardless of who you choose, see if you can find reviews and testimonials to make sure you’ve selected a contractor who is professional and has good customer feedback.

3. Aim high with your budget

When homeowners take on a renovation, they tend to underestimate the costs. To avoid being shocked by going over budget, estimate what you think the total costs would be and then at another twenty percent. That twenty percent could account for damaged building materials, mistakes, or last-minute changes and customizations--all are frequent on DIY projects.

4. Don’t work without a design or blueprint

Even for simple home improvement projects, it’s best to start out with a plan. Having detailed measurements and drawings to refer to will help you avoid costly mistakes. We’ve all felt the temptation to “eyeball it” when working on a project--taking the extra few minutes to measure and refer to your plan will save you time in the long run.

5. Relax and focus on the results

Home improvement projects can be a source of frustration for many families. If you aren’t an expert, it’s easy to get angry when things aren’t going as you planned. If you find yourself frequently hitting a wall-literally or figuratively--step back from the project and refocus on the end goal, improving your home for years to come.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 2/12/2017

We all want a more energy efficient home. And while we know an energy efficient home is an eco-friendly one our favorite benefit is that it also helps save on utility bills each year. Below are some ways you can perform a home energy audit yourself to hunt out the places your home needs to have repaired to prevent energy leaks: Manual Tests Start by locating any air leaks. Areas where two different building materials meet are especially susceptible. These places include along baseboards and floors or where walls meet the ceiling. If there are any obvious cracks or gaps you have an energy leak. Windows, doors, plumbing, switches, and outlets are all guilty suspects as well and should be tested for drafts. For less obvious leaks dampening your hand and passing it over areas that are likely offenders will help you find drafts. If there is a draft the passing air will make your hand feel cool as it passes by. Another test to try is to start by closing any vents in the room and then light some incense. Watch closely if the smoke moves or billows around in areas you suspect are a culprit to any energy leaks. If the smoke wavers there is a leak. Check for leaks around windows and doors by closing them on a paper bill. If it is easy to pull out the bill you have a leak. This test is also a great way to check the seal of your fridge doors for any leaks. Tech Tests Buy a home energy monitor to determine which appliances are your biggest energy hogs. Consider upgrading old appliances to more energy efficient ones, keeping them unplugged when not in use or getting rid of the appliance altogether if it isn’t essential. Devices that have a standby are energy consumers even when “off” as they are never truly off. If it has an indicator light, charger, AC adapter or digital clock than it is using up power when plugged in. Plugging these devices into a power strip will allow you to easily flip them to off and disconnect all power to them when not in use. Investing in a handheld infrared thermal leak detector to detect any leaks in walls in places like outlets, cable wire holes or around windows, doors and attic hatches. If you find a significant difference in temperature as you pass the detector over a likely culprit you have an air leak on your hands. Whether you opt for the cheap ways to audit your home or invest in a little bit of tech to hunt out those energy leaks taking the time to test your home is well worth the effort. Finding where you home is losing energy and repairing them will save you money in the long run and turn your home will become a more eco-friendly one to boot!




Tags: ecofriendly   energy saving   diy  
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