Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger - RE/MAX Executive Realty



Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 1/6/2016

When spending big money on remodeling and upgrading your home, getting the most return for your investment is key. Spending $20,000 on an upgrade that isn't going to add value to your home may please you in the moment, but not when your trying to sell and get that money back. There are areas that are worth the investment and some that are not. The basic ares of your home are important to focus on. Things like your roof, furnace, and siding are all big investments that bring a big return. Potential buyers don't want to buy a home that they will need to sink thousands of more dollars into right away. Having a leaky roof will only deter people from making an offer. But being able to show that these essential areas are recently upgraded will give buyers the peace of mind that big maintenance costs won't hit them abruptly. The 2 rooms in the house that are always heavy hitters as far as return on investment is the kitchen and the bathroom. Making sure to upgrade these rooms to be both functional and beautiful is important. No one wants to buy a house that has a beautiful kitchen that doesn't have enough counter space, or the traffic flow doesn't work. Homeowners often find they get at least 100% return on investment in these 2 rooms. Other things to consider are the curb appeal of your home, and adding space. Both are considered to be high in the list of things to remodel. Curb appeal is important because it's going to not only draw buyers in, but also give a sense of a well maintained home. If you yard is in shambles, your home probably is too. In regards to adding space, every 1,000 square feet adds about 30% to the value of your home, so additions can be well worth it. Homeowners are always looking for homes with extra rooms for things like hobbies or exercise equipment. The only thing to be aware of is you don't want to expand your home so much that the value supersedes those in your neighborhood, so keep the additions reined in. Upgrading your home can not only make it a place for you enjoy even more, but also add significant value to it. But what you choose to spend the money on is key. Investing money in the wrong places will only leave you with wondering if you should have made a different choice.




Categories: Home Improvements  


Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 12/23/2015

If you are looking to increase the living space in your home, the answer might just be right under your feet. Remodeling your basement has the potential of uniquely transforming the look of your home. Although this has a unique set of challenges, with proper planning, it can be achieved. Here are some tips on how to remodel your basement into a functional living space. Make a Family Room The basement is a great place for casual social activities, a perfect spot where the entire family can get together and relax with a board game or a big screen television. Make it inviting and alluring, just like any other room in the home. Some new furniture, a great sound system and excellent lightening would be a great way to start. Include a Bath and Bedroom Adding a bedroom and a bath makes the basement an ideal suite for guests. The dimensions should be determined by who will use it. For a double bed, you will need a minimum of 125 square feet, for twin beds, 150 square feet will serve your needs. When adding a bedroom, be certain there is an emergency exit that leads directly outside.  A professional will need to be consulted in regards to adding a bathroom as specific regulations will apply. Add a Kitchen With a mini kitchen in the basement, entertainment gets easier. This would require access to hot and cold water, electrical outlets, exhaust vents, a small dish washer, under counter refrigerator and anything else that would allow for more comfortable living. Design a Safe and Attractive Staircase In most homes, there is a staircase leading to the basement. When remodeling, take the opportunity to improve the look of this entryway to your new living space. If it is not properly positioned, consider moving it to a better location. Consult with a designer or an architect for guidance on redesigning your stairway. Add Windows Adding windows is great for basements, but this task is better left to the professionals. If this is properly done, it will improve the ventilation, add light, and make it very comfortable. Adding windows may require digging a window well. A retaining wall made of masonry, limestone blocks, or treated landscape timbers should be added to the well. If properly done, it could also serve as an emergency exit. Finish the Walls. The walls of the foundation are usually made of poured concrete and reinforcement materials. Cover the walls with materials of your choice. Plywood, paneling or any material that would make the area more inviting.  For example, covering the walls in the living area with sheets of maple-veneer would add an arts and crafts feel to the room. There are many options and trained professionals that can help you achieve the look you want. Finish The Ceilings Basically, there are three options available to you when remodeling the basement ceilings, leave the pipes and duct work exposed, conceal it with a dry panel or hide everything with a suspended or drop ceiling. Choose Comfortable Flooring In most cases, basement floors are made of concrete, unless plywood sub-flooring has been installed. Concrete works with most floor finish choices like tile, carpet, vinyl and paint. For below grade installation, solid wood flooring is not recommended as it shrinks and expands causing gaps.   However, engineered wood flooring is recommended as it shrinks less.  





Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 10/21/2015

Updating your home can be costly. So any home improvement that you can do yourself will help save money. An easy update that doesn't cost too much and that you can do yourself is replacing your moulding. Whether you have basic trim, or common colonial style, there are a variety of new looks you can give to your home. To start, you'll need these tools:

  • a miter box or miter saw, for those angle cuts
  • a coping saw, for thin cuts so moulding meets flush to each other
  • finishing nails
  • a hammer, or finish nail gun
  • a nail set to sink nails below the wood surface
  • a tape measure
When making cuts, where the pieces of wood join together will determine what type of cut to make. Mitering allows for to pieces to join, like around the window. Splicing is used for long walls where one piece of wood is not enough. The moulding joins together by creating 2 45 degree angle cuts, cut opposite, creating a scarf joint, which is less noticeable. Coping is used on inside corners, where only 1 piece of wood is cut at a 45 degree angle and butts up against the other piece of wood. Your moulding doesn't have to be just the style bought at the store. Layers varies types of trim can add a more elaborate and dramatic touch. Home improvement stores will often have free booklets that give you ideas. Just remember to choose a style that matches your home. Something too dramatic in a home that is modest may look out of place. And don't forget there is more to moulding than your baseboard and window casing. Chair rails and crown moulding can really transform a room. There are a variety of decorative trims to choose from to add your own personal touch. Moulding tends to be around $1.00 a foot so depending on your room size, whether you layer trims, and if you add on elements such as chair rails, you could redo a room for a couple of hundred dollars. And make a big impact at the same time.





Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 6/10/2015

Going green has been a term that has been floating around for some time the past few years.  As fears of global warming and overall global awareness have increased rapidly, the ideas soon follow.  It's an interesting and empowering idea, reduce your global footprint and preserve the earth.  The best part is that in some cases, you can save money even with little to no investment. If you are looking to install something like solar panels on your house, there is a federal program for both a business or a person that provides an investment tax credit of 30%.  Depending on the state there are state funded programs that are similar and even programs.  The state programs are similar to the electric car incentives in that they are slowly disappearing, which makes now a good time to make a decision.  Energystar.gov has more information on the specifics. As mentioned that is only one path, there have been companies that claim to decrease your electric bills.  This is achieved through leasing.  A low monthly fee to lease the solar panels and a reduction on your total monthly bill - at least that is the idea.  There are many  knowledgeable professionals in the New England and surrounding areas, who may be able to assist you further.  For example SolarCity provides exactly what was described above.  Keep in mind the results will vary depending on where you live and even the seasons.  A free consultation never hurt anyone though, you could spend less and go green in the process.





Posted by Sandi Boucini & Michelle Granger on 4/29/2015

Owning a home gives a huge sense of self fulfillment and accomplishment, however, it welcomes you to a new world of expenditures. Every home at some point needs one form of repair or an other. Be it major or minor, when hiring someone else to perform the repair, you are sure to spend money. On the flip side, if you know how to perform some of these repairs yourself,  hiring an expert is certainly not necessary and some cash can be saved. In light of the above, here are some home repairs you can do with ease without the services of a professional. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to begin working. Doors: Doors perform basic functions and are everywhere in the home. They add class and style. In some cases, weather elements can affect doors causing them to swell or shrink. If they expand, they will not close flush with the door frame.  This would require the use of a carpenter’s hand plane to reduce the thickness of the wood. Before doing this, please consider the fact that doors may return to normal when the season is over. To do this, make sure the door is firmly held in a position that would allow for the easy removal of excessive wood. Another door issue is how their hinges squeak when they begin oxidizing. Simply applying lubricant to the hinge, will take care of this. Application of Caulking: This is the water proof barrier between the shower, sink, bath tub and the surfaces that surround them. It acts as a sealant to prevent moisture damage. Over time, this may require replacement. The surface and old caulking needs to be cleaned and prepared before the new application.  Old residue can be scraped off with a razor blade or dissolved with solvent.  Clean the surface with paint thinner to ensure it is completely dried. Apply caulking sufficiently to ensure it covers the widest gaps in your project. Leaking Faucet: Fixing a leaky faucet is a common house hold repair. As insignificant as  it may seem, when you add up all the water drops leaked over the weeks, it is enormous. Do you want to fix a leaking faucet without the intervention of a professional? It is an easy process. Here are the steps.

  • Shut off the main water supply and unscrew the faucet handle.
  • With pliers, unscrew the packing nuts and the screws that hold the washers in place.
  • Examine the washer, if it is deteriorated extensively, you should replace it. Some washers are rare so you may need to look a little harder.
  • When you find the ideal washer, replace it and reverse the steps above to install the new one.
You will be amazed on how much you will save by engaging in home repairs. Apart from it being fun, you will learn a lot.  The internet provides a wealth of do-it-yourself videos for the novice handyman.