Category Archives: Home Improvement

What is LVT/LVP? You will want to know!

If you are building or remodeling a home, there is a chance that you may have come across these abbreviated letters. But many of my clients just starting the process get a blank look when I say “Have you considered LVT?”

LVT stands for Luxury Vinyl Tile. When I mention the word vinyl I sometimes see a horrified look on my client’s faces with flash backs to the large linoleum rolls of flooring from the 60s. That is NOT what I am talking about. 

Many times LVT is used as a catch all for all vinyl flooring but there is a difference based on style.

Luxury Vinyl (LV) comes in many styles and colors. It comes in long planks (LVPLuxury Vinyl Planks) of different widths for the appearance of real wood. It also comes in 12″x24″ rectangles for the appearance of ceramic tiles (LVT). These rectangles can be grouted for an even more realistic tile look. You can even find luxury vinyl that looks likes stone.

 

 

 

Luxury Vinyl continues to improve and many times I have to get down to feel the flooring to determine if it is ceramic tile, hardward, or Luxury Vinyl. Of course real hardwood and real tile will add more value to your home but many times these products are not the best choices.

Vinyl plank flooring is the perfect flooring solution for busy households, basements, bathrooms, and even kitchens. It has the natural, stunning look of wood, without the risk of water damage because it is waterproof! I installed LVP in my laundry room and I LOVE IT!

 

 

It not only looks like rustic wood, my wash machine could flood and the flooring could sit in water for days and not be harmed.

 

 

AND is is super easy maintenance in a room that is high traffic for St Bernards. 🙂   

 

 

Please do your homework. Some vinyl sheets or planks are only water resistant….not waterproof. Many of the peel and stick variety you find in the big box stores are only water resistant.

A FABULOUS article about Luxury Vinyl from one of the best flooring experts in the Country is The Flooring Girl’s Blog Post. Check it out!

I installed LVT in my guest bath. I chose not to grout it as I didn’t want the maintenance of scrubbing and keeping grout clean. The best thing about LVT is the low maintenance so why complicate it?

 

 

 

LV is made in layers with it’s primary component being PVC vinyl. This makes it makes stable and flexible. Luxury wood vinyl planks also, unlike hardwood, have an extremely hard, durable wear layer. Created under great heat and pressure, the many layers of luxury vinyl tile make it extremely durable and stable. Luxury vinyl tile is extremely durable and stable, with little to no upkeep.

Vinyl flooring typically lasts anywhere from 10 to 20 years, and thus isn’t considered quite as durable as linoleum. But who wouldn’t replace their flooring after 10-20 years anyway? The styles will be totally different.

So if you are remodeling, building or updating your home for selliing, it is worth your time to discuss LVT/LVP with your flooring specialist to see if it is right for you.

 

Outdoor Fireplace Tables are Hot! Hot! Hot!

 

Yes, that pun was intended.       Outdoor gas fireplace tables are all the rage and you see them everywhere.

It started out that you saw them on the patios of upscale restaurants. Then you saw them on the patios of most restaurants. Now you are seeing them on many residential patios.

They have become so popular that furniture stores are selling them adding competition for the fireplace stores. I think they have become so popular because they are an added extension to your outdoor living space.   For a lot of us our outdoor summer season is short and we want to be outside as much as possible. With the gas fireplace table, your outside season just got longer!

The wood burning fire pits are nice don’t get me wrong. They smell SO good! But they can be a pain. You need to have them on a  surface that won’t burn or scorch, you have to buy or cut the firewood and then you need to make sure the fire is completely out before you walk away and leave it.

A gas fireplace is a quick turn of a switch and you have instant beautiful flames and when you are ready for bed you turn the switch off.

They come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and price ranges.

I have to admit I got one a couple months ago. I really wasn’t sure if I would use it that much, especially in the heat of the summer, but I can honestly say it is my favorite area on my patio. Even on sunny warm summer evenings I have it on low for ambiance. When the cool nights move in this fall I will crank it up and I may even bundle up and sit around it on a nice winter day.

 

 

If you are drawn to the fire tables at restaurants and are thinking you have a spot to enjoy one, I wouldn’t hesitate if I were you!

Sit back and enjoy. I am….I am sitting on that chair right in front of you typing this blog post!

 

A Couple Quick Tips when Selling Your Home in the Summer

There are a couple things I see in the summer when doing Home Staging Consultations that many times need to be addressed and are super easy to correct.

1. Cobwebs

   For most of us, we go in and out of our homes through the garage door, very rarely using the front door or even taking a look at it. In the summer months a cobweb can appear in a matter of hours. Sometimes it seems like minutes.

Every day when I water the flowers on my front steps I see cobwebs in the corners of the house and around the door. I spray them off and the next day they are there again. If I don’t get out there for a couple days it looks like I have an abandoned house! There are cobwebs everywhere and they stick like glue. Even the jet force on my hose won’t  get them off and I need to bring out the broom.    

So please, when your home is for sale check your front door every day and wipe down any cobwebs. The is nothing more unattractive to a buyer than seeing these unsightly things and sometimes with spiders dangling from them to boot. It sets the tone that “if they can’t even take care of a few cobwebs did they take care of the larger things like the furnace and air conditioner?”

If you have a back patio area you may need to do the same thing there.

2. Flowers

Lately I have had a few homeowners not have a single flower by their front door, deck or patio. Their reasoning was “I’m moving so I don’t want to waste money on flowers.” I think this is a wrong mindset.

   The flowers not only add color for the buyer when they are at your home, they add color for the exterior photographs online which is the first time the buyer ever sees your home.

Flowers add a sense of beauty and calm and it sets an emotion for the buyer to see the full potential of your outside space. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on them, but a few pots in key areas will be well worth it. Plus you can take the pots of flowers with you to your new house to enjoy so it’s not a sunk cost. 

 

If you are selling your home, walk around the exterior of your home with a very critical eye. Sometimes it is difficult to see our own homes so bring in a friend who will be honest or a professionally trained Home Stager.