ChooseLifestyle.com Indianapolis Real Estate Blog

Choosing the right paint brush

Painting is the quickest way to give a room a fresh new look. It is also quite possibly the easiest do-it-yourself project. Most people will spend hours poring over colors, finally choosing the paint, and then just throwing the cheapest paint brushes or rollers in the cart on their way out of the paint section.

This is a big mistake. The results you get from a high-quality paint brush will always be much better than with the "whatever's on sale" brush or rollers.

A quality paint brush holds more paint, gives you more control and provides a smoother finish. It also covers more with fewer brush strokes, which saves you time.

Here's what you need to consider when buying paint brushes.

Balance

You want paint brushes that have balance. It should feel comfortable in your hand and be easy to control.

Bristle density

Paint is held in the space between the bristles, so the more bristles a brush has, the more paint it will hold. A cheaper paint brush won't hold much paint and smears the paint rather than flowing the paint onto the surface.

Bristle flagging

Take a look at a good brush and you'll notice that the bristles have split ends. This is called flagging and helps to provide finer and smoother application.

Bristle type

The type of paint you're using determines what bristle you should choose. Use hog hair or China bristle for oil-based paints. However, you can't use hog hair when using water-based paints because the bristles absorb water. Some synthetic brushes use a combination of polyester and nylon – polyester provides stiffness and nylon is soft for a smooth application.

Ferrule

The ferrule holds the bristles against the handle and are commonly metal. A high-quality brush will have either a stainless steel or other rust-proof ferrule....

Where to Insulate in a Home

Where to Insulate in a Home

Looking for ways to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter? Well, consider home insulation it will not only reduce your heating and cooling cost but it will make your home more comfortable all together.  Know where and how to insulate your home by clicking on the link before:

Click here to read the full artilcle.

...

Protect Your Home from Radon

If you have recently bought or sold a house, you have probably heard of radon. This invisible, odorless and tasteless gas comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, and it rises through the ground and into the air. The air dissipates it enough that it is not harmful. But it also can seep into your home through cracks or holes in the foundation, where it becomes trapped and can become concentrated to unhealthy levels. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, responsible for more than 20,000 deaths a year.

Luckily, testing for excessive amounts of radon and alleviating the problem in your home is a simple process. You can purchase low-cost “do it yourself” tests or hire a qualified tester. If levels in your home are found to be high, a radon mitigation system can be installed, which is simply a vent pipe system and fan that pulls radon from beneath the house and vents it outside.

Radon levels can vary tremendously from home to home, and even in the same home from season to season. The EPA estimates that 1 in 15 homes have undetected high levels of radon. So if your home hasn’t been tested, it is probably a good idea to do so and make sure you are protected from this dangerous gas. Visit the EPA’s website athttp://www.epa.gov/radon for a variety of publications and resources about radon.

Fact: Radon is heavy and collects in low areas. If you spend a lot of time in your basement, the EPA recommends you test your home for radon.

...

How are real estate agents paid?

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, you’ll probably work with a real estate professional during the transaction. If you’re a seller, the REALTOR® that you work with will offer expert advice about the community and competition, provide marketing and advertising, and handle schedules for all the transactions that must occur. For buyers, the agent will help them identify properties that fit their needs, handle negotiations and also help with the paperwork and scheduling.

For all that they do, agents are paid by commission, rather than on an hourly rate. The commission they receive is based on the sale price and only after the completion of the sale. If they do not sell the home, or if they are unable to locate a home for a buyer, they aren’t paid.

How much is the commission?

The typical commission is about 6 percent of the sale price, and it is usually split between the buyer’s agent and the listing agent. The commission percentage that the seller agrees to pay is negotiable.

Who pays the commission?

The fee for the transaction is subtracted from the proceeds of the sale. It’s important to note that the fee comes out of the cost of the house and is not tacked on in addition to the sale price.

...

Common painting mistakes and how to avoid them

Painting any room in your home is a great way to give it a fresh look. Not only is it cost-effective, it’s fairly easy and can be accomplished in a weekend. Although it can be easy, there are some common mistakes that do-it-yourselfers make that can make all the hard work look less than exemplary. The good news is that these mistakes can be remedied.

Buying cheap brushes

Cheaper brushes and rollers tend to leave their mark on your wall with bristles or roller lint. Spend a few extra bucks and get the good ones.

...

Two Tickets to Legacy Journey Live

Contest

Register to win: Two Tickets to Legacy Journey Live

It's your LifeStyle... You Choose, We Listen & Open Doors! Take a few minutes to register to win this great prize! and COME BACK often for a chance to WIN! Each season we will be offering another chance for you to register for our free drawing and increase your chances of winning one of our great prizes compliments of LifeStyle Realty Group!

This season we’re giving away a two tickets to:

The Legacy Journey

Apr. 24, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
Traders Point Christian Church
6590 S Indianapolis Rd
Whitestown, IN 46075

Winner will be selected Monday, April 21, 2014 by 5 PM and the winner must be able to pick the tickets up from our office located at: 3905 Vincennes Road, Suite 303, Indianapolis, IN 46268.

Register to win below. In the "Questions / Comments" field in the form below, please enter "Two Tickets to Legacy Journey Live".

By registering for this free drawing, you are opting in to our free e-newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time.

...

Special Offers around Town

Special Offers for Clients & Friends

...

WHAT THE DATES ON FOOD PACKAGING MEAN

Candles have been around for thousands of years. Until electricity, they were merely a source of light. Today, they are more used as a decorative accent. True, they do add a soft glow and wonderful light to your home. Scented candles go one step further and add practically any smell under the sun.

If you burn candles in your home with any regularity, chances are that you’ve spilled melted wax on the carpet more than once. Thankfully, you can remove melted wax from carpet in just a matter of minutes.

The good news is that you can attack the stain immediately and remove the wax from the carpet. The better news is that if one of your party guests neglected to tell you about the spilled wax, you can still remove it all and leave no trace.

One warning: If you’ve spilled wax onto an Oriental rug that is an antique, silk, or part silk, contact a professional to remove the stain. They are more delicate and generally more expensive.

  1. If wax is still soft, put some ice in a plastic bag and place over the spot to harden the wax. If it’s set, gently scrape the hardened wax with a butter knife to remove as much as you can.
  2. Use a vacuum to remove the small pieces of wax that you have scraped off.
  3. Preheat iron to lowest setting.
  4. You can use a white kitchen towel or brown paper bag as a blotter to absorb the wax. WARNING: Be sure there is no printing on the paper bag. When heated, the ink will be transferred to your carpet, which is much more difficult to remove.
  5. Gently press the warm iron over the waxy area until it melts and adheres to the blotter. You should keep the iron moving in a circular motion to prevent it from scorching the carpet fibers.
  6. When the wax has been absorbed, lift the blotter from the carpet....

BUILDING A RAISED FLOWER OR VEGETABLE GARDEN

Whether you want to put in a flower garden or plant some vegetables, if you have poor soil quality or live in an arid climate, building a raised garden may be your only viable option. Even if you live in a perfect climate and have always had a garden, constructing a raised garden affords you some advantages over a standard on-the-ground garden.

The only requirements are that you want to make sure that it’s level, that you have a place with plenty of sunshine, and that you’re able to give the plant’s roots enough room to grow, which is generally about six inches. If you want to grow vegetables and you’re using lumber, make sure that it’s not treated wood.

The advantages of a raised garden

Easier on the body

Since it’s higher, there’s less wear and tear on your knees and back.

Smaller area

Gives you more control and more plant productivity per square foot.

Fewer pests

Not necessarily insects, but a raised garden eliminates damage caused by rabbits, moles and gophers.

Less expensive to maintain

You’ll use less water and less pesticides because your growing area is concentrated.

Fewer weeds

Since it’s elevated, you’re less likely to see weeds, especially if you put down a weed barrier.

Better water retention

In areas that have sandy soil, it’s difficult to ensure that your plants are getting enough water.

...

How to paint a ceiling like a pro

Painting a room is perhaps the easiest and least expensive do-it-yourself project that can have a BIG impact on your home. However, many homeowners find painting the ceiling somewhat intimidating. In order to complete a room, painting the ceiling is part of the project.

Yes, compared to the walls, painting a ceiling does require some special equipment – a stepladder and an extension pole. It is somewhat more physically demanding than painting the wall. However, just like painting the walls, putting a little extra time and effort into prep time pays big dividends in overall time, effort, cleanup and the end result. Here are some tips to help you finish the job just like the pros.

Remove as much of the furniture as you can.

Not only does it make moving in the space easier, it limits damage that can be caused to furniture. Make sure to cover the furniture you don’t remove with drop cloths.

Tape up

If you are painting the entire room, the ceiling is where you should start. And you may avoid taping. If you are painting the ceiling only, use painter’s tape where the walls meet the ceiling and around any molding on the ceiling’s edges.

Prime time

It may seem like an added step, but adding a coat of primer provides a stain barrier and can make it possible to finish the ceiling with only one coat of paint.

Cutting corners

Starting in one corner, with a 2″ trim brush, paint a three foot cut-line along one wall, then the adjoining wall. While the cut-line is still wet, start painting the ceiling with the roller. Just like painting a wall, painting while the cut-line is still wet will...

Using accent colors in surprising places

Brightening your home can be accomplished quickly, easily and cheaply. There’s no need, however, to limit yourself to using color only on walls when there are so many other opportunities in your home to use an accent color.

If you’re looking around and see a neutral-hued home, try adding color in these unique places.

Bookshelves

Whether you have built-in or freestanding bookcases, painting the inside of it adds color to a room in an unexpected way while becoming an attractive backdrop for whatever you put on the shelves.

Storage units

Just because your storage cabinets are practical doesn’t mean they have to get lost in the background. Choose a bright, bold color to truly make a statement.

Collections

Try placing several small pieces of pottery together to add color to any neutral-colored room. Grouping pieces is both art and science. Too much looks like clutter; too few and it looks like an accident.

Painted furniture

From bright to subdued, solid or patterned, and finishes ranging from antique to distressed, painting wooden furniture can give an old piece new life while adding color to any room. You’re really only limited to your imagination.

Interior doors

You may give a lot of consideration to the color of your exterior doors, but not give your interior doors much of a thought at all. Painting an interior door with a bold color packs a punch, especially for a hallway or rooms bathed in neutral tones. You may choose to paint the woodwork around windows and along floorboards to match the door or keep them white, which allows the door to do all the talking.

Dining chairs

If your dining room is filled with neutral tones, adding brightly colored chairs...

HOME HAZARDS AND HOW TO GET RID OF THEM

Although there are many things around the house that many homeowners concentrate on, which are highly visible, there are things that they can’t see that pose a higher risk. Here are six problems that pose a danger to you, your family and your home that you’ll want to avoid and swiftly remedy if they show up at your home.

Asbestos

Asbestos was used in electrical insulation and in building insulation and is typically uncovered in the basements and attics of homes built before the 1970’s. It has been linked to serious health problems, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. If you uncover asbestos that you can’t avoid or if you are unsure if your house contains asbestos, find a certified asbestos consultant in your area and request a home evaluation.

Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. In high concentrations, it is toxic to humans and animals. Detectors are available at home improvement and hardware stores. Carbon monoxide detectors should be placed on each level of your home, including the basement.

Lead

One of the most dangerous substances to children in homes built before 1980 is lead paint. You can buy lead test kits at home improvement and hardware stores. If you find that your home has lead paint, hire a certified professional to remove and dispose of it.

Mold

One of the hazards most often faced by homeowners is mold, which is caused by excessive moisture build-up due to flooding, leaky roofs and indoor plumbing issues. Mold is often undetectable and can cause allergic reactions and long-term health problems. Minor mold can be eradicated with soap and water or bleach-to-water solution composed...

Preparing your Home to Sell

Home Staging RESA Infographic

...

Choosing New Cabinets? Here's what you should know before you buy

General contractors, home builders, and more ∨

Browse bedroom ideas, from loft beds to luxury comforters, and dream in style.
As you revamp your house, browse photos for inspiration on everything from fireplace mantels to crown molding and wainscoting.
...

Talking dirty: Places in our homes that we need to clean more often

It’s easy to think of toilets, sinks, countertops and floors when you’re thinking about cleaning the house. But the surfaces of some areas in your home are breeding grounds for all kinds of germs, bacteria and mold.

Here are some areas of your home that you may not clean regularly, but need to start.

Bedding

Dust mites collect over time in mattresses; so many, in fact, that the weight of your mattress can double in 10 years. Exposure to dust mites can cause allergic reactions, sinus pain and even asthma attacks. Experts recommend using dust mite-proof casings on pillows and mattresses.

Blinds

Window blinds are great places for dust to collect, which can lead to allergy attacks. Make sure to dust every two weeks with a lamb’s wool or microfiber duster.

Comforter

Most people forget to wash the comforter on their bed. It should be laundered once a month to remove germs and allergens.

Computer area

It’s said that a messy desktop is a sign of genius. Not really. It can be a sign of bacteria, germs and maybe mold, especially if you eat at your desk. Keep disinfecting wipes around so you can clean your desk and electronic wipes to keep equipment clean.

Lights

Bugs inevitably find their way to lamps and end up dying in the fixtures of floor lamps and overhead lights. Make sure to de-bug when you dust.

Remote control

Think about who handles the remote control, how often and when. Remotes should be wiped down with electronics wipes several times a week.

Refrigerator coil

The coils are located in the back or behind the base grille...

New Commercial Listing

Click here for complete details on this listing.

...

Tips to Save Energy and Add Value

When it comes to energy efficiency, look for smart features and expertise to help you save energy and money and add value to your home.

1. Begin with a Right-Sized Home.

If the home you buy is simply too large for you or your family’s needs or plans, you stand a good chance of wasting energy through excessive heating and cooling costs. If it’s too small, you’ll feel cramped and uncomfortable. It’s a big investment, so seek balance and buy it “right” from the outset. 

2. Purchase Energy Star Appliances Such as Your TV, Dishwasher, Washer and Dryer, and Microwave.

And especially the refrigerator, as it alone contributes about 10 percent of the energy use in a home. Also, unplug electronics not in use or turn off power strips to avoid phantom charges. 

3. Install Efficient Lighting Such as Compact Flourescent (CLF) or LED Bulbs in Every Fixture.

Lighting accounts for about 6 percent of an energy bill each year.

4. Get an Energy Audit and Have Tests Performed to Identify Ways of Improving Your Efficiency.

You can always upgrade your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as well as your thermal envelope, which includes insulation, windows, and doors  and the seals or weather stripping around them. Visit energy.gov/energytips for more tips.

...