Quick Tips for Kitchen Redecorating on a Budget

Tips for updating your kitchen

Here are a couple of great tips for updating your kitchen on a budget:

CHANGE THE LIGHTING
One of the most common problems with older kitchens is harsh or insufficient lighting. Luckily, this is also one of the easiest problems to solve! While it may seem like a daunting task to switch out a hanging light fixture, there are plenty of online guides that will take you through the process. Many homeowners are surprised to find that it’s easy to do. Light fixtures can be very affordable. Most local home improvement stores carry a nice selection of modern fixtures in inexpensive to moderate price ranges, so chances are good that you’ll find something you love.

SWITCH OUT HARDWARE
Another quick fix that will have your kitchen looking great is a hardware upgrade. We’re talking about the hinges, handles and knobs on the faces of your cabinets. For $15 to $30, you can buy all new hardware and install it yourself in an afternoon. Brushed copper or brass is very popular right now, but the most important thing is that you pick something that complements the color of your cabinetry and works with the style of your kitchen.

REPLACE THE FAUCET
With a wrench and some silicone caulk, you can have your new faucet installed and running in half an hour. High-arching, single-handle faucets are most popular, as these styles have technical advantages over their flat, double-handle counterparts. High-arching faucets give you more room to maneuver dishes and pots and single-handle faucets allow more control over water temperature. These are a little more expensive, but a great faucet should cost you around $150 – a small price to pay for serious utility. Bonus points if you pick out a faucet that is functional and unique.

UPDATE THE COUNTERS
Unfortunately, replacing your counters is a big job that requires a real investment. If you’ve just moved in, and are strapped for cash, you may wish to wait until your finances are a little bit more stable. In the meantime, you can still have good looking counters with a little bit of ingenuity.

One option is to cover your counters with a butchers block. If you look around, you can even find butchers block wood that is cut specifically to the size of your counters. Simply rest the block on top and voila – beautiful wood counters. Remember to invest in mineral oil for proper maintenance.

The other option is to paint your counters. This is a little trickier than painting a wall, but easier than you might think. “The Kitchn” blog has a great step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

Once you’re finished, take a look around. We’re betting that you won’t even recognize the kitchen that was there when you moved in.

Not into DIY? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services for specialists to help with your kitchen updates.

Your Winter Home-Maintenance Check List

Caulking WindowWinter is just a few months away. Now is the time for homeowners to take the time to perform one last check of their homes before cold weather really sets in for the next few months. Doing so can help to keep everyone in the house safe and warm, while also saving money and averting potential issues.

Pipes
Perhaps the biggest financial risk homes face during the winter are burst pipes. When that happens, water can spill into the walls and cause a lot of damage long before a problem is even detected. It’s always wise for homeowners to assess where they stand with their water pipes.

Pipes that run along the outside of a home or along the ceiling in the basement and are uninsulated could be at risk. Wrapping them in an economic, specialized material or even towels can help protect them even if a home’s heating system stops working. Wrap your pipes and keep your home at 65 degrees or more. Also, know where your home’s water shutoff is located, so you can quickly shut off your water in an emergency.

Other Insulation
When insulating pipes, it’s also important to make sure you aren’t losing heat through uninsulated attics or other spaces. Since heat rises, you may lose a lot more heated air through ceilings. When attics are properly insulated along floors, they not only help to save on heat, but also prevent potential ice dams from forming undetected on the roof because a warmer roof can lead to snow melting under its surface.

Up on the Roof
When thinking about the roof, it’s a good idea to make sure all tiles or shingles are in good shape; and all gutters are cleared of fallen leaves and other debris that can lead to backups and more potential ice dams. A quick trip up a ladder might be all it takes to identify problem areas before they become major issues.

Inspect Your Home’s Exterior
Inspect the exterior of your home and look for any cracks and holes along the edges of window frames and doorways. Fissures can be filled or covered with caulk, which will help keep the heated air inside this winter. While any individual crack or hole is going to be small, some experts estimate that the collective area of all of them across an entire house can amount to the size of an open window.

Need Help?
If you are not comfortable climbing onto the roof or doing other home-related activity, reach out to Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can make recommendations of vetted vendors to you.

8 Popular Home-Staging Trends

home stage tips when selling

Thinking of selling your home? Read about some current decor trends for staging your home:

(1) OUTDOOR SPACES 
Do you have an attractive “outdoor room” that needs to be highlighted? Show off how this space can be used for entertaining purposes. Set out a few dishes to set the table for an outdoor meal or barbecue. Add a hammock with a book and a comfy blanket.

Look at some of our outdoor rooms on Pinterest here. Go here for porch ideas.

(2) KITCHENS: BRIGHT AND WHITE 
A new trend for kitchens is white and bright. If you are not willing to paint your cabinets, perhaps consider showing off spare, white accessories that will make your kitchen seem brighter.

(3) GOLD/BRASS 
Gold and brass are back in style! Think framed mirrors and brass bar carts. Use these types of accents sparingly. Get some inspiration here.

(4) NAVY BLUE 
Navy blue is an easy color to work with and is popular. This is a strong, neutral hue to use as an accent wall. Navy blue looks great with yellow, tan and chartreuse.

(5) BLACK 
Black elements can be found in lighting, framing or a statement piece of furniture. It’s good to use as a focal point. See ideas using black here.

(6) DINING ROOM – NO MATCHY MATCHY
Is your dining room an empty space? Do not worry about staging this room with a full suite of matching furniture. People are using unique pieces in their dining rooms. Chairs do not have to match the table. The side board can be an old dresser. Get some ideas here.

(7) HOME OFFICES 
Home offices are coveted rooms. If you have a home office, be sure to showcase it. If not, think about converting a rarely used corner of a spare bedroom into a mini office. Many people have used their dining room tables staged as desks when selling their homes.

(8) NATURAL ELEMENTS 
Live, indoor plants, macrame and Scandinavian-style furniture are current design trends that reflect natural elements. Plants add energy to rooms and a neutral look is calming and appealing to home buyers. (Think IKEA designs.)

Need help staging your home to sell? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can put your in touch with professional stagers who can provide consultations or temporary use of furniture.

 

Sibcy Cline Home Services: Finding Reliable Contractors for Your Needs


If you’re selling your home, there’s a good chance that you have some repairs or improvement to make in the process—and the same goes for buyers. You may have just purchased your dream home, but that flowered wallpaper is NOT part of the dream. Even if you’ve been in your home for a while and have no intention to move, this pandemic has you looking around and wishing a few things were just a little different.  

The “home remodeling bug” seems to have been contagious. During 2020, Sibcy Cline Home Services saw an increase in homeowners who desired to make repairs and improvements. We had 3900 new customers in 2020 who were able to work with our Home Services Coordinators to get the help they needed from local vendors and see their projects and/or move to a new home to completion.  

Are you seeing some projects you’d like to complete in your home? Getting the help you need is easy with our home services department. We’ll match your project to one of our 200 local vendor partners—all of whom meet our standards of service. You’re assured prompt and reliable service for your home repair or home improvement project, and our services to match with you up with a reputable vendor near you are FREE.  

While we have services for just about any type of project you may have, we’ve compiled a list of the home services that were the most popular during 2020 and created the graphic below. The graphic excludes our #1 service, which is home inspections. During 2020, we provided 1446 home inspections for buyers around the region.  

By enlisting the help of our coordinators, homeowners were able to fix plumbing and water issues, repair electrical problems, fix roofs, paint, clean, and of course, hire movers to move them into or out of their homes. And don’t forget the best part: our coordinators’ services are FREE to anyone in the local market.

For more information on how Sibcy Cline can make your next project go smoothly, watch our video here. To speak to one of our Home Services coordinators, visit the Home Services contact page to fill out the form and someone will reach out to you right away!  

Pantone Colors of the Year 2021 – How to Use Them in Your Home!

pantone color of the year 2021

Thinking of adding some color to your home this year? If you want to be on top of the newest trends, Pantone suggests Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow for 2021.

Why these two colors?
Per Pantone, gray is the color of strength and fortitude. Yellow is a color for aspiration and hope. Yellow also denotes positivity and warmth. Read more about these colors here.

Using these colors in your home
If you are inspired to add gray and yellow to your home’s decor, here are some ideas:

1. Accessories
Using gray and/or yellow accents with pillows, blankets, curtains or art are simples ways to splash these colors without having to invest in expensive items such as furniture. Another idea would be to use gray-colored pottery. Remember – use yellow sparsely since it is such a strong color.

2. Kitchen
If you have considered painting your kitchen cabinets, Ultimate Gray might be the perfect color. This gray pairs well with other colors. You could use accents of yellow with kitchen accessories.

3. Bathroom Accents
Ultimate Gray looks nice as a bathroom wall color or as a backsplash or floor tile.

4. Front Door
Consider Illuminating Yelllow as the color for your front door. Yellow will stand out especially against gray siding and roofing materials. Use a white trim for the highest contrast.

5. Bedroom
Gray on the walls creates a neutral, calm setting for a bedroom. If you want to add yellow, consider a rug or pillows.

Are you making updates to your home? What colors are you using this year?

If you need assistance with any of your home’s updates, connect with Sibcy Cline Home Services. They have many vetted, local vendors providing all kinds of services for the home!





How to Winterize Your Home

Winter is right around the corner and it’s time to get your home ready for those upcoming cold months. Here are some tips to winterize your home:

Caulk, Use Window Film and Weather Stripping
Use caulk to fill in gaps in windows, doors and siding. You can purchase plastic film kits to insulate windows. Weatherstripping will also help in keeping  windows insulated. Use threshold strips to keep air leaks at bay at the bottom of doors. Here is more information on how to caulk and weatherstrip windows.

Heating System
Change the filter for the heating system often. Dirty filters restrict airflow. It is also a good idea to schedule a maintenance check up for the heater. The heating professional will clean, tune up and inspect the system.

Thermostat
If you do not already own one, a programmable thermostat is a great way to easily set temperatures for when you are home or are out. You can customize the settings so the heat is not running full force when you do not need it.

Chimney Check
The chimney can be the largest source of energy loss. A chimney balloon can prevent drafts and costs around $50. Be sure to close the damper when the fireplace is not being used.

Animal nests or buildup in your fireplace can be a hazard. An annual inspection before building a fire is a very good idea. Having a chimney sweep clean the chimney will alleviate having debris that could cause a fire.

Ceiling fanCeiling Fans in Reverse
In winter the rotation of the fan blades should be clockwise to push hot air towards the floor.

Doors
If there are large gaps at the bottom of exterior doors, use a rolled-up towel or throw rug to close these gaps. Or you can use a draft snake – you can make one if you’re into DIY!

Gutters
Gutters need to be cleaned out to avoid icicles from forming and water damage from occurring.

Pipes
Wrap or insulate exposed pipes in any unheated areas in the home. Pre-slit pipe foam is available at most hardware stores.

Let the Sunshine In
During the day, open up curtains and blinds of south-facing windows to allow the sun in. Close them up when it is dark outside to keep the heat in.

Air Conditioning Unit
Remove any outdoor window-unit air conditioners during the colder months. For central air units, remove all debris such as leaves and bushes. You can also cover the unit with a piece of wood large enough to cover the top.

Roof
Check to see if there are any shingles that need to be repaired or replaced. Roof vents should also be checked for holes or cracks. Leaves and other debris should be removed from gutters.

Unused Rooms?
Close off rooms and vents in rooms that are not used.

Outdoor Spigots
Turn off exterior water spigots. You can also cover spigots to avoid freezing water.

Storm Doors and Windows
If you have storm doors and windows – install them. A storm door can increase energy efficiency by 45%.

Lawn and Patio Furniture
If space is available, it is best to stow patio furniture especially if it is made of wood. Aluminum furniture is more durable and can be left outside.

Vacant Home?
Learn more about winterizing a vacant home here.

Home Energy Audit
Finally, consider a free energy assessment that is available from Duke Energy. You may find more ways to winterize and save money!

Need help with your winterization? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services.

Home Features that Buyers Want

laundry room

With more time spent at home this year, you have probably heard the whirl and roar of power tools in action throughout your neighborhood. Google reports that “home-improvement” searches have increased by almost 50 percent during 2020. Thinking of making improvements to your home? Spend your money wisely. It is always a good idea to consider re-sale value with home projects. Read below what features home buyers desire the most:

Laundry Rooms
A separate laundry room tops the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) list of wanted features. If you lack a first-floor space for a laundry room, the lower level (or basement) is the place for this room. Many times all of the utility lines are already in place in the basement. And, if there is unfinished space, there will be no costs to demolish. A basement laundry room will probably start around $1,000. If you plan on installing the washer and dryer on an upper floor, the costs start around $10,000.

Efficient Windows and Appliances
Energy-Star rated windows and appliances are what home buyers want to keep utility costs down. Efficient windows can lower costs by 12 percent. Appliances can save owners even more. For example, an efficient washing machine can save $45 a year. If you replace your windows or appliances now you will personally benefit from these savings!

Patio or Deck (Outdoor Spaces)
Creating more living space outdoors is a must when luring potential home buyers. Everything from a large patio, fire pit to an outdoor kitchen – buyers will be drawn to these details at your home. (Deck construction has risen by 275% in the U.S. in 2020)

Ceiling Fans
Per NAHB, 85% of home buyers desire ceiling fans. These devices help lower cooling costs during warmer months. Fans are recommended for ceilings at least eight-feet tall and work best when hung 10–12 inches from the ceiling.

Garage Storage
Maintain the clutter in your garage. By adding storage units and shelves you will make your home even more inviting to buyers. Think about adding racks to store bicycles, rakes and shovels. You will revel in how organized you are! (And so will buyers when it’s time to sell.)

Outside Lighting
Exterior lighting is what adds ambiance to your home. Think spotlights, walkway lights and pendant lighting. It will be a joy to come home in the evening and your neighbors will admire the lighting, too!

Walk-In Pantry
A large pantry allows you to store canned goods and other essentials near kitchen food-prep areas. Pantries should be located in a cool and dry area. The most common size for a pantry is 5’x5′.

Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors are easy to maintain and are more durable than carpet. They create a clean look for your home and are a very desirable item by home buyers.

Master Bedroom Walk-In Closet
A walk-in closet ranks among the top five features for home buyers. Older homes usually have the most challenges with this type of closet space. If your home does not have a large closet, think about either adding a closet to the room, reconfigure an existing closet or convert a spare bedroom into closet space.

Eat-in Kitchen
Eat-in style kitchens are desired by those who want to gather together for breakfast or an evening meal. To create space for a table and chairs, you may need to knock out a wall. If that is not an option, consider adding bar stools at a kitchen island.

Double Kitchen Sink
Buyers want a sink divided for washing and food prep! This is a relatively easy project to accomplish.

Updated Kitchen and Baths
If you are going to update a few things in your home consider your kitchen and bathrooms. The kitchen is now considered to be the “hang out” room. Make it as large and open as possible. And, remember, home buyers still want stainless-steel appliances. Updated bathrooms will definitely draw the attention of potential buyers. Need some inspiration? Go here and look at some awesome kitchens and baths. On a a budget? Read about these budget-friendly updates for these rooms.

Home Office
More people are now working from their homes. Having a flexible space like a home office will be appealing when it comes time to sell. If there is no room in your home for a formal office, consider creating a hide-away office that is part of a spare bedroom or located in a closet.

Need help with your home project? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can put you in touch with an experienced local, vetted vendor!














Ideas for a Warmer Bathroom This Winter

towel warmer

Cold tiles on the bathroom floor make winter mornings feel even colder. From simple inexpensive changes and additions to more luxurious options, here are a few ideas to warm up the tiles and get winter mornings off to a better start.

  1. Use Your Windows
    Heating a room can be as simple as letting the sun in through your windows. If they’re situated on the right side of the house, the natural light that comes through during the day can warm up the room. Also, check the windows for any cracks or spaces. Warm air often escapes through these gaps and fissures, while cooler air is allowed in. Even worse, these cracks often go unnoticed. Taking care of them can go a long way toward ensuring your other heating systems are more efficient.
  2. Add a Cozy Rug
    Traditional bath mats are practical, but the quickest and perhaps least expensive way to avoid the cold tile floor is to add a cozy rug to your bathroom. You can pick one of these up from your local home accessory or bed and bath store. Remember to think ‘outside the bathroom’ and instead of choosing the typical shag bath rug, choose an area rug that adds design or additional color to your space. Your bathroom will instantly look like it’s had a face lift, and when you step into your bathroom on a cold winter morning, your feet will thank you.
  3.  Add a Towel Warmer
    Get your towels toasty with a heated towel warmer. Inexpensive, stand-alone models can be purchased on Amazon or at local home stores. If wall space permits, heated towel bars can be permanently installed. Heated towels are the perfect way to wrap up when you step out of the shower or tub.
  4. Add a Heat Lamp
    A heat lamp is an efficient way to keep the bathroom warm for quick periods of time. If you’re going to be spending some time in front of the mirror, for example, a heat lamp can keep you warm while you’re washing up, doing your hair or putting on makeup.
  5. Consider Adding Radiant Floor Heating
    One of the most luxurious things you can do to make your bathroom toasty in chilly weather is invest in radiant-heat flooring. Hot-water radiant floors cost more to install than other heating systems – between $6 and $15 per square foot – but there is little comparison when it comes to the comfort they bring. To install this heating system, your best bet is to hire a heat contractor, since you will be hard-pressed to find all the required components in one place.

By using one or more of these ideas, your bathroom will be both comfortable and warm all winter long.

Need help with your bathroom’s improvements? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can put you in touch with local service professionals.

Seven Home Improvement Ideas to Help Sell Your Home

If you are considering making improvements to your home, think towards the future with changes that will appeal to buyers. Projects to focus on are the kitchen, bathrooms, floors and paint. Here are seven improvement ideas to consider:

One – Lighting
Make rooms light and bright. Add lighting under cabinets in your kitchen to make the room look more inviting. Consider recessed lighting.

Two – Kitchen
If you are not up to a large renovation, one improvement to consider is replacing older appliances such as the dishwasher and refrigerator. If the cabinets are not appealing, consider sanding and painting them.

Three – Closets
Buyers want walk-in closets. If you cannot make your closet larger be sure to make it look as spacious as possible when selling.

Four – Bathroom
Recaulk the tub. (Use caulk-be-gone to get rid of the old caulk. Fill the bathtub with water after you have caulked to stretch it while it dries.) If you have old wallpaper in the bathroom, remove it and paint the walls. Old shower doors should be removed or replaced.

Five – Paint
Fresh paint makes a big difference in rooms. Use neutral colors if you plan to sell. Paint the trim with high-gloss white paint.

Six – Moldings
Details, like moldings, add charm and character to rooms.

Seven – Floors
Hardwood floors are very popular with costs ranging from $3-$8 per square foot. (Add another $3 per square foot for professional installation.) If you have carpet, have it professionally cleaned.

Need help with your improvements? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can put you in touch with vetted, professional home-service vendors.

Seven Tips to Keep your Kitchen Sanitary

Being sanitary is on everyone’s mind with the risks of COVID-19. Your kitchen is a great place to start when it comes to being clean. Here are seven tips on how to be clean and sanitary in your kitchen:

1– FAUCETS
Touchless faucets function without having to turn a knob is definitely the way to go. These type of devices allow you to wave your hands under the nozzle to start water flow. Motion-sensitive, touchless faucets come in a variety of styles.

2–GARBAGE BINS
Consider an enclosed garbage bin to be sanitary. Many people opt for a pull-out cabinet with the garbage bin hidden inside. This will lessen the amount of germs roaming in your kitchen. (If your kitchen space does not have room for this type of storage, use a step-on container that allows you to open it without using your hands.)

3–SANITARY MATERIALS FOR YOUR KITCHEN
If you are updating your kitchen, think about using materials that are easy to clean. Stainless-steel appliances will not stain from food or drink spills. They are also easy to clean since they are a smooth surface. A tiled backsplash is easy to clean and maintain. Granite and quartz counters are also quite easy to clean. Most household cleaners are safe to use. Marble counters require soap and water for cleaning followed an alcohol-based disinfectant. A wood counter is more of a challenge. Use a hydrogen-peroxide based cleaner to kill germs without damaging the wood. Leave the solution on the wood and then wipe with a damp cloth and use a dry cloth to dry.

4–SPONGES
If you use sponges, keep many on hand and sanitize or replace them often. Wet sponges (or towels) are magnets for germs. (Place sponges in a microwave for 2.5 minutes to decontaminate.)

5–CUTTING BOARDS
Keep separate cutting boards for meat and others for fruit and vegetables. This will eliminate cross-contamination of germs. Sanitize often. Store separately.

6–DISINFECT SURFACES
Counters, islands, floors, sinks, stove, microwave, refrigerator, drawer pulls – these are many places for germs to lurk in a kitchen. Have a consistent cleaning routine to kill germs. Using a wet paper towel on a surface is good for cleaning only – it is not the same as sanitizing to get rid of germs. Once your countertop is sanitized, dry it with a clean cloth or paper towel.

7–USE THE DISHWASHER
The dishwasher is a great appliance to use to clean and sanitize utensils, cups, plates and other items. If you do not have a dishwasher, you will need to use soapy water and a sanitizing solution.

Need help in installing a new feature in your kitchen? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can connect you to many professional, vetted service vendors.