Tom Lee ABR CRS GRI LTG SRES's Blog
The presence of natural light inside of your living space can have a tremendous impact on how you feel in your home. If you're interested in introducing more daylight into your space consider installing a skylight or light tube.
What are skylights?
A traditional skylight is a window set into the roof of your home. They bring light into the room from above. Many skylights are fixed but others open up to allow fresh air and ventilation. Higher-end options may include options like preinstalled blinds, tinted glass, power openers, and screens. Because they are installed from the roof, skylights are a great solution for bringing natural light into a finished attic space or a central stairway that might not have walls that connect with the exterior of the house.
What is a light tube?
Sometimes, you can’t install a traditional skylight. When your home has a large attic, the skylight must recess through the attic to the room to let the light shine into the room. Since this doesn’t always work, an alternative is to install a light tube. These are shafts that pass from a domed glass in the roof into a room below the attic. The tube may have mirrors that reflect daylight down into the room even if the exit is not directly overhead. An advantage of a light-tube style skylight is that the exit location does not have to be directly above the room at all. It may even exit from a sidewall.
The tube bends or reflects the light, so there are diverse architectural applications. You might install one in a shower, to light up a dark niche or even in a closet. Light tubes typically include LED lights, so they are useful both day and night.
If the light tube or skylight is installed correctly, it retains and enhances the home's energy efficiency, and complements the home's design features. If you're planning to install a skylight in a home you intend to sell, discuss the advantages with your local real estate professional to determine the return on your investment.
Having your own home fitness center provides a convenient place to work out. You don’t have to worry about fitting in exercise during gym hours or having to wait your turn to use the treadmill or rowing machine. With your own gym, you can work out whenever you want and use your fitness equipment as needed. The following tips can help you design an upscale fitness center that allows you to exercise in the comfort of your own home.
The first decision to make is where to put your fitness center, which depends in part on the layout of your home. You can put your home gym in your basement or a back area of your home if you prefer having it in an out-of-the-way place where your workouts won’t disturb family members. If your home is surrounded by nature, consider putting your home fitness center in an upper part of your home that provides inspiring views while you work out.
The flooring in your home gym should provide shock absorbency and durability for safe workouts. Rubber tiles or rolls are highly shock-absorbent and durable, making them a common choice for home fitness centers. Foam tiles and soft PVC tiles are more comfortable to stand and move around on, but they do not offer as much shock absorbency to protect you from injuries if you do high-impact exercises.
Choosing equipment for your home gym depends on the kinds of exercises you like to do. You can include larger pieces of equipment, such as rowing machines, treadmills, elliptical machines and exercise bikes. Other types of equipment to consider include a weight bench and weights, a yoga mat, a balance ball and resistance bands. Keep in mind that there are many brands of luxury home fitness equipment available.
Adding a state-of-the-art sound system to your fitness center can provide you with an easy way to listen to music that helps you stay motivated during your workouts. For lighting, consider using a mixture of natural lighting from windows or skylights and artificial lighting, such as recessed lights or light fixtures with ceiling fans to improve air circulation in your home gym.
Your home fitness center doesn’t only have to include traditional gym equipment. If you enjoy swimming as a form of exercise, consider adding an indoor pool to your gym. You can include an indoor pool that’s specially designed for doing laps and add features to it, such as a heating system for comfort or underwater LED lighting for swimming at night without having to put overhead lights on.
A transitional bathroom is a popular design trend that is a cross between modern and traditional. What are the key features of a transitional bathroom?
A combination of two styles: A transitional bathroom can have different meanings to different people. Usually, it is a mixture of a recent era with the current era. It boasts of clean lines, with a warm and comfortable design.
Easy to access: A transitional bathroom also refers to a design that gives homeowners safety and accessibility. Grab bars installed near the bathtub or shower are installed as much for style as they are for safety. Handheld shower sprays and bench seats are common additions as well as mirrors and other fixtures placed low for use from a seating position or a wheelchair.
Safe but stylish: A transitional bathroom is visually appealing and can make you feel safe and comfortable regardless of your physical ability or age. The grabs bars in a transitional bathroom are decorative and at the same time can prevent a fall. A built-in bench within a shower stall can serve as a seat if you are unable to stand due to injury or a foot prop for shaving your legs. Also, the handheld showers will come handy if you wish to bathe seated, wash your pet, or clean the shower.
Sleek design: The sheer beauty of a transitional bathroom is one reason it is so popular. They offer luxurious space where you can relax and unwind without the expense or inconvenience of leaving your home.
Storage and workspace: The vanity and cabinets in transitional bathrooms are distinctive. They are free-standing or built-in, with recessed panels and several drawers. The transitional bathroom incorporates painted wood with decorative hardware.
Countertops and sinks: In a transitional bathroom, the countertop, sinks, and faucet tend to be granite, marble, quartz, or quartzite. A transitional bathroom uses the newest faucet design trend like motion and touch-control. Popular finishes for transitional bathrooms include matte, polished, and satin.
Colors and flooring: Flooring options for transitional bathrooms might be stone tile, ceramic, porcelain, luxury vinyl, marble, or wood. On colors, transitional bathrooms have a light and soft feel: whites, grays, beiges, blues, and silvers are the most common color choices.
If you looking to incorporate transitional style into your bathroom, contact your local interior designer for more ideas and cost estimates. If you’re looking to sell, ask your realtor if upgrading to a transitional bath is a potential selling point.
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.