Ellen McLaughlin - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 3/29/2020

Image by Cristina Mantovani from Pixabay

Whether you’re moving into a new home or getting yours ready for the market, remodeling your kitchen can help boost your home’s value. You don’t have to invest in major remodeling projects to spruce up your kitchen. The following minor remodeling options are cost-effective ones that can give your kitchen a brand new look.

Refinishing Cupboards & Cabinets

If you have older cabinets and cupboards that look dated or flawed, refinishing them can improve the way they look. If the cabinets are in good repair, a fresh coat of paint or stain can give your kitchen a new appearance without a large price tag. Consider refinishing with a modern neutral tone or select a color that complements the surrounding elements like countertops or floors. 

New Faucet

If you’re looking for a simple way to boost your kitchen’s appearance, consider replacing an older faucet with a shiny new one. Installing a new faucet doesn’t take long, and it can help your kitchen look more up-to-date. Keep in mind that there are many spout styles and shapes to choose from, as well as a wide range of finishes, including brushed chrome and antique brass. For a cohesive look, consider updating cabinet knobs and drawer pulls to match the finish of your new faucet.

New Countertops

Adding new countertops can have a major impact on the overall appearance of your kitchen. Countertops made of affordable materials like vinyl laminate, formica, ceramic tile, or similar material can help keep replacement costs down. However, if you’re able to invest more in your project, natural stone, such as marble or quartz provide more durability and elegance. 

Energy-Efficient Appliances

If your kitchen has older appliances, consider switching to more energy-efficient models. This is an easy way to improve your kitchen’s appearance while also lowering your energy costs. Whether you go with stainless steel models for a sleek look or black or white ones for a more contemporary style, having these new appliances installed can instantly give your kitchen a fresh new look.  

New Lighting 

Adding task lighting or under-counter lights can provide much-needed illumination in prep areas while generating ambiance. You may also consider replacing older light fixtures with more modern or contemporary ones to give your kitchen a more updated look. Seek out vintage or otherwise unique hanging fixtures to add something unexpected your room.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 1/19/2020

When buying an older home, you might wonder how to get more livable space out of that low-ceiling basement. There are two ways to gain height: raise the foundation or lower the floor. Raising the foundation requires lifting the entire home off its current foundation, building a new foundation, and resettling the home. For most homeowners, the sheer number of things that can go wrong with a project of this magnitude makes it an unlikely option. An alternative is bench footing, a method of lowering the floor of the basement that results in a higher ceiling.

Bench footing is a straightforward technique regarded by contractors to be an optimal approach for supporting your building while providing room for more structural support and depth. With bench footing, professional contractors do not need to dig deep into the home’s foundation. Instead, they can lower the basement floor and add structural support from there.

How Is It Done?

The process is straightforward, but don’t try to do this one yourself: Hire a professional contractor. Bench Footing costs less than other methods because it doesn’t require you to dig underneath the existing footings. Instead, a new floor is dug through the existing basement floor. A new foundation is laid inside the existing one, creating your new basement floor and an additional wall inside your existing basement. It is important to consider that the width of your bench footing is determined by the depth you want to add to your basement.  For every foot in depth that you add, you will need about a foot of width for your bench footing.  The floor space of the basement will decrease in area by the thickness of the new wall. 

The result is a ledge or “bench” all the way around the outer wall of the basement. That’s why they call it Bench Footing. A savvy contractor can make use of the space above the bench by installing cabinets, reading nooks and other built-ins. Others simply inset the entire wall to the new location. 

Why Choose Bench Footing?

If you need to increase your usable space but you are unable to add another story or extend your home on any side, making better use of your basement is the most valid option. In addition to being less damaging to your existing home, bench footing is less costly to complete and doesn’t change the exterior aesthetic of your home. This is particularly important if your home is in a historic area or has a strict association.

To get the best results with your bench footing, hire a professional contractor with several years of experience and with many positive reviews. Consult with your real estate agent for recommendations for a local contractor who can help you with your project.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 8/11/2019

If you intend to list your residence in the near future, you may want to complete various property renovations. In fact, there are many reasons to perform home renovations before you add your house to the real estate market, and these reasons include:

1. You can revamp the look and feel of your home.

If your home has a drab interior or exterior, now may be the perfect time to update your residence. That way, you can reinvent your house and make it an attractive choice for homebuyers.

As you look for ways to renovate your house, it may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection too. A house inspection typically is requested by a homebuyer after a seller accepts an offer to purchase. However, performing an inspection before you list your residence may help you establish home renovation priorities.

During a home inspection, a property expert will assess a residence both inside and out. A homeowner then will receive an inspection report that provides insights into a house's strengths and weaknesses. And with this report in hand, a homeowner can allocate time and resources to prioritize home renovations and find ways to upgrade his or her residence before listing it.

2. You can increase the likelihood of a quick house sale.

A house that boasts outstanding curb appeal is likely to make a positive first impression on buyers. Thus, this home may be more likely than others to stir up lots of interest among buyers, which may lead to a quick house sale.

If you want to speed up the house selling process, you should perform home renovations. Because the sooner you update your residence, the sooner you may be able to accept a competitive offer to purchase your home.

3. You can boost your house's value.

Home renovations may help you bolster the value of your home. These renovations also can help you differentiate your residence from other available houses – something that is exceedingly important in a fierce real estate market.

When it comes to renovating your home, it may be helpful to work with a real estate agent. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you may be better equipped than ever before to plan ahead for home renovation projects.

A real estate agent may be able to put you in touch with the best home renovation experts in your city or town. For example, if you want to improve your home's interior, a real estate agent can offer interior decorator recommendations. Or, if you need to perform roof repairs, a real estate agent can help you find the top local roofing companies.

Before you list your home, complete home renovations – you'll be glad you did. If you perform myriad house renovations, you could help your residence stand out in a crowded real estate market. Best of all, home renovations could make it easy for you to enjoy a fast, profitable home selling experience.