Colorado Real Estate News

Important Steps and Considerations Before Listing Your Home

Listing your home is a monumental moment in your family’s life and should be navigated with great care to avoid unnecessary stress and last-minute delays within the listing and selling process. Here, we outline 9 important steps and considerations for your family to make before listing your home.

Home repairs
From stained ceilings to broken windows or even cracks in your floorboards, it’s time to fix these nagging issues and get ahead of the game. Not only will repairing these damages increase the value of your home, but it will also ensure no delays in the potential sale following the necessary visit from a home inspector.

Declutter, declutter … and declutter some more
It is imperative that your home looks livable to potential buyers. Decluttering can be difficult since there are so many core memories tucked away in those books, toys, photographs, decor and documents but remember getting started is the hardest part. If you are unable to throw away or shred some items, it may work for your family to get storage tubs to at least get clutter out of the way.

Clean!
Although this may sound obvious, roll up your sleeves and get to cleaning. By cleaning, we don’t mean your average sweeping or dusting; we are talking about those little-used closets and other nooks and crannies that are usually overlooked. We recommend starting from the top down from ceiling light fixtures to floor vents and leaving no corner untouched. Oh, and don’t forget how much of a difference clean windows can make to the appearance of your home!

Simple and neutral decor
During your decluttering and cleaning phases, try to ponder what, if any, flashy or attention-drawing decor you can remove from your home. Although this decor may sit close to your heart, it is best to leave your home as simple and neutral as possible to allow the buyer to imagine their own potential dream home.

Curb appeal
Without fail, the outside of your home makes the initial impression. For someone to be interested in the interior of your home, they must first be impressed with the exterior. With the addition of a neatly-kept yard and a pleasing garden, you will be sure to woo many prospective buyers.

Upgrades
Another consideration to make is upgrades throughout your home. Whether it be fencing, hardware, tech, lighting, appliances or even paint, sometimes seemingly unimportant upgrades can significantly increase the value of the potential sale.

Bathrooms
For some people, the bathroom can be a make-it or break-it aspect of the home. Putting extra care and cleanliness into the bathrooms can not only elevate the value of the sale but also become a selling point when touring potential buyers.

Refine top selling points
Refining and understanding the selling points or value proposition of your home, whether it be the location, the property or the house itself, and making that value abundantly clear through the listing process will help ensure a successful sale from both parties’ perspectives.

Market considerations
Last but certainly not least, it is crucial to take in external considerations such as your local real estate market. This will allow you to gauge how long it may take to sell and choose a price point for your home that gets you the best possible return on your investment.

Colorado Real Estate News

Best Smart Home Technology to Include in your Home 2022

Smart home automation allows you to add a personal touch to your home and provides homeowners with comfort, security, convenience and energy efficiency. In the rapidly advancing technological environment we live in, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the multitude of products available. Here, we lay out home automation companies worth your attention in 2022.

To impress your guests
Josh.ai is one system that has been turning heads in the marketplace. This home automation system allows you to speak naturally, giving intricate commands rather than the outdated, robot-like commands we give to our iPhones. Since privacy is a concern for most, Josh.ai has ensured that the system will not eavesdrop on your conversation unless prompted by the user. If you are one for innovation, luxury, uniqueness and personalization, this system may be perfect for you.

Safety and Security
For homeowners primarily concerned with home security, Simplisafe is a great option. Simplisafe offers live professional alerts, live-video verification, and a sleek, difficult-to-notice design built to protect your home even if the wifi or power goes out. This system allows you to monitor each aspect of your home, whether it is the temperature or video cameras so if either you work at the office, are out of town, or just getting groceries, you are always able to have a second pair of eyes on your residence.

Energy Efficient
For the “Thermostat Dads” or energy savers, the Nest Learning Thermostat is one of the newest and most innovative smart home thermostats. The elegantly-designed system intelligently automates your home’s heating and cooling schedule customized to your residence. This personalized system creates energy efficiency, saves money and allows you to never worry about constantly changing the temperature again.

Whether you are one for personalization, home security or energy efficiency a smart home
automation system may be a budgetary consideration for 2022.

Colorado Real Estate News

6 Home Renovations that Add Value

Home-Renovations

When it comes to making changes to your home, not all renovations are created equal. If you’re like most Americans, your home is probably your biggest investment, so it’s important to focus on renovations that add value to that investment, first and foremost. Of course, you need to make upgrades that are pleasing to you as the homeowner, but if you have any intention of selling your house in the future, you’ll also want to focus on improvements that provide the most value, too.

Before you go knocking down walls and installing subway tiles, it’s important to know which renovations will give you the most return on your investment. Here are six renovations to consider that add value to your home.

1. Landscape and curb appeal.

There’s nothing like a first impression, especially when it comes time to sell your home. You only get one chance to impress a buyer when they see your home for the first time, so it’s worth making sure that impression is a good one. According to a remodeling.net research study comparing the cost of renovations with the return you get on the investment, replacing your garage door yields the highest ROI, followed by adding stone veneer to the exterior and replacing your front door. Landscaping is also an important area to focus on, where simple things like refreshing the mulch, trimming back overgrown shrubs and planting colorful, seasonal flowers can be great curb appeal enhancers.

2. Kitchen.

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and creating an updated, modern kitchen will add more than just value to your home, it will also increase your enjoyment while you’re living in it. When it comes time to sell, the kitchen is the focal point of most listing showings, and many home buyers will be more forgiving of other outdated areas as long as the kitchen is upgraded. Consider replacing appliances with new, more energy-efficient models, refacing or painting your cabinets, replacing hardware, installing new countertops and new flooring, and adding a new sink and faucet.

3. Bathrooms.

Next to the kitchen, bathrooms are another space that make a huge impact not only in your enjoyment of your home, but also its resale value. Opting for a walk-in shower, and replacing and updating the vanity, mirror and fixtures will go a long way to improve the look and feel of the bathroom.

4. Outdoor Space.

Especially in a place like Colorado where we get plenty of sunshine all year-round (even in the winter!), adding a deck for outdoor entertaining is a great investment for your home. According to the remodeling.net research study, adding a deck will increase the value of your home enough to nearly cover the cost of installing it. Adding features like a fire pit will also increase the value, as it allows you to make the most out of the space in all seasons.

5. A fresh coat of paint.

Painting the interior of your home is one of the least expensive updates you can do that will make a huge impact on the look and feel of your home. Lighten up dark, cramped rooms with a light, bright tone that will make the space feel fresh, clean, and more spacious. If you’re selling the home, opt for neutral color choices that would be appealing to a variety of people, such as creams, grays and pastels.

6. Flooring.

In addition to light, bright walls, flooring also makes a huge difference in how your house comes across to guests and buyers. Many buyers gravitate to hardwood floors over tile or carpet, especially in common areas like the kitchen and living room.

Ultimately, there are endless projects that can be done around the home to increase its function, livability and value. The important part of any renovation, however, is taking the time to plan and budget accordingly, and focus on things that will not only make a positive impact in how you enjoy the home, but also protect your investment.

Colorado Real Estate News

7 Maintenance Skills all Homeowners Should Know

maintenance skillsOnce you make the leap into homeownership there are no landlords or building superintendents to rely on for help. While we wish homeownership came with an instruction manual, it’s likely you will have to learn through hands on experience. We can’t possibly know how to do everything when it comes to home maintenance skills, but it’s helpful to know how to do minor repairs around your home. Here are a few basic home maintenance skills every homeowner should master.

Changing Your HVAC Filter

It’s important to schedule a maintenance checkup for your HVAC system every spring and fall. But in the meantime, filters need to be checked once a month. When they’re dirty, change them. Dirty filters shorten the lifespan of your system. Fortunately, it’s easy to do. First, check your owner’s manual for the right part number in order to buy a new filter. Then turn off your HVAC system while you work, remove the old filter, and slide the new one in place.

Resetting the Circuit Breaker

If your house was built after 1960, your electrical panel is likely filled with circuit breakers, which supply power to appliances and lighting in every room. When a circuit becomes overloaded, the designated breaker trips, shutting off juice to that area. When this happens, you’ll need to reset the breaker. Just open the panel cover and look for the breaker that’s sitting in the off position; then push it to on. If you can’t find the errant breaker, you’ll have to turn each breaker off, then on again.

Repairing Drywall

No wall stays perfect forever. Nails pop, and furniture or broom handles cause dents, making your once-flawless walls look all banged up. Learning how to repair drywall can save a homeowner time and potentially a fair amount of money. Luckily, it’s easy to repair drywall yourself; all you need is some putty and a spackling knife!

Cleaning the Gutters

When gutters get clogged, water can be trapped on the board behind the gutter and even be forced under your roof shingles, causing damage. So clean them twice a year in spring and fall. Start near a downspout by removing large debris, and then use a hose to flush a stream of water through the downspout to clear out fine grit. If your downspout is blocked, it may need to be removed and cleaned out; if it leads to an underground pipe that’s blocked, that pipe can usually be cleaned out with a handheld snake.

Turning Off the Water Supply

If you ever come home to a flooded floor, you need to be able to shut off the water to the whole house ASAP, especially if the source of the water leak is unclear. That’s why every homeowner should know where their main shutoff valve is. Look near the perimeter of the house at ground level nearest your water meter. The shutoff valve might be in a basement, crawlspace, closet or garage. In an emergency, you can also shut off your water from the outside water meter, but the valve might require special tools to turn.

Dealing with a Flooded Basement

If you come home to standing water in your basement, time is of the essence. You have 48 hours to get the water out and get it dry. After two days, mold will start to grow, and once that starts you have to rip everything out. Call your insurance agent right away and take pictures; then get to work pumping out the water and removing all furniture to be dried off. Important: make sure the power is off if there’s standing water! As long as the water is below boot level, you can safely shut off the power from a basement panel if you wear rubber boots and gloves and use a wooden stick or hammer handle to trip the main power switch.

Unclogging a Drain

Harsh, pricey chemicals shouldn’t be your first option when a sink drain gets clogged — better to keep a small plunger and a drain snake on hand to work out the problem mechanically. After you’ve removed the primary clog, clean out smelly gunk by putting a cup of baking soda in the drain followed by four cups of boiling water; then end with a cup of vinegar. The vigorous chemical reaction will jar any remaining debris loose and leave the drain smelling fresh.

Colorado Real Estate News

5 Exterior Upgrades to Add Value to Your Home

Outdoor UpgradesExterior upgrades not only enhance the look of your property but can also offer recreational benefits. Not every renovation produces a return on investment. And some upgrades can even make your home less attractive to buyers. So, when considering upgrades to your home, it’s important to choose the ones that will add value to your property. These five upgrades are a few of the best ways to upgrade the exterior of your home while also getting the highest return on your investment.

Replace the Garage Door

You may think your current garage doors are good enough. But upgrading them will not only boost your curb appeal, it will also add some major value to your home. While replacing your garage door can get a bit pricey, you are likely to recoup almost 98% of what you spent. When prospective buyers pull up, your home will already be making a great impression. As an added perk, a new garage door can help bolster your home security.

Replace the Front Door

An impressive entryway sets the tone for the rest of the house. So, while you’re making cosmetic changes to the front of your house, consider upgrading your front door. Replace your drab door with something that draws your guests in and adds character. A new door can also help keep energy costs down and ensure safety. Swapping out your door can cost upwards of $2,000, but chances are you will make around 75% of that back.

Build an Outdoor Fire Pit

Outdoor fire pits are ranked third as the most popular outdoor living feature. While you might not be able to enjoy them year-round, they consistently poll well in surveys with buyers and homeowners. They are an addition that will make any backyard desirable. Not only will you create delightful memories, but you will also realize a 67% return on your investment. Fire pits can be very inexpensive. A simple transportable pit can start around a couple hundred dollars. While installing a fire pit starts around $1,500 and increases exponentially from there depending on design.

Refresh Your Landscape

Having luscious landscaping exponentially increases the chance of selling your home. This is because buyers perceive homes with landscaped yards, gardens with flowering plants, and trees to have higher value compared to homes with just a front lawn. Refreshing your landscaping can add up to 10% on your home’s value and instantly upgrade your curb appeal.

A simple upgrade you can do is adding flowering shrubs to your garden or along a pathway. Opt for native or drought-tolerant plants that are fairly low maintenance. Adding trees near windows will bring your home shade and keep things a little cooler in the summer. Installing a flagstone pathway or incorporating a few large stone planters can further enhance the outdoor appeal.

Add an Outdoor Living Space

An outdoor living space is another project that expands your home and enhances your outside living area while also increasing the value of your home. During the summer, your front porch and backyard become the place to be when entertaining friends and family. Keep our outdoor living spaces inviting with well-kept lawn furniture, fresh cushions in bright colors, and clean landscaping. You may even consider installing an outdoor kitchen. While this may not be on many home buyer’s must-have list, it could be the feature that seals the deal.

Colorado Real Estate News

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

New Year's Resolutions for Your HomeYou may have never thought about setting New Year’s resolutions for your home before. Every year we set goals to quit smoking, lose weight, or save money. But what goals do you set for your home? A lot of the time it feels like the things we want to accomplish around the house just never get finished. This New Year, set some goals for your home that you will actually accomplish. Following are five resolutions to put on your list!

Get Organized

Clearing your house of clutter is probably one of the easiest, least expensive, and most satisfying ways to hit the reset button on your home. Between holidays, hand-me-downs, birthdays, and therapeutic shopping sprees, we all acquire so much throughout the year. If you aren’t periodically throwing out the unused, the broken, or the forgotten, you’ll wind up with a mountain of stuff collecting dust. All of that clutter also contributes to your home looking dated and dirty.

In the new year, resolve to periodically go room by room clearing out anything you don’t use, wear, or absolutely love and donate it to charity. From here on out choose to be picky about the things that you bring into your home. Fill your home with things that bring you joy and positive energy. Once all of your things are streamlined, you’ll be able to breathe a bit easier in your own home.

Step Up Your Security Measures

Your home might be well-kept and beautiful, but is it secure? There are a few things that every home owner should do to ensure they’re home is safe and sound.

Add An Alarm System

Locking your windows and doors should always be your first line of defense. After that, adding an alarm system is a great second. Burglars hate any type of noise, so it might be just the thing you need to scare them off. You can buy inexpensive wireless alarms at almost any home center. They don’t provide the same type of quality as you would get with professionally installed monitored systems. Depending on where you live and the other security measures you already have in place – you may want to splurge on an alarm system.

Reinforce Your Strike Plates

Reinforcing your doors weakest point, the jamb, with a heavy-duty strike plate and extra long nails will give it the added strength needed to withstand a burglar trying to kick your door in. If your door jamb has been installed within the last 10 years then it is probably already reinforced. If not, you’ll need to buy strike plate reinforcing hardware from your local home center.

Install Motion Detectors

Another simple step you can take is adding motion detector lighting to the front and back area of your home. Motion detector are a proven crime deterrent. Standard hard-wired models can cost as little as $15. If running a power supply seems too difficult, you can also purchase ones that run on solar power if you are willing to pay a bit more.

Cut Your Bills and Carbon Footprint

When people think of going green, they often think it’s going to take installing solar panels or driving an electric car to make a difference. But that isn’t so! All it takes is a little common sense. These simple tips will help you curtail your energy usage in the new year.

  • Take your mom’s age old advice and turn off the lights when you leave the house.
  • Set your thermostat to turn off when you’re not home, and to turn on right before you wake up and arrive home.
  • Install LED bulbs and low-flow shower heads and toilets. Even try taking shorter/cooler showers to conserve water!
  • Turn off your power strips and set your home computer to revert to sleep mode when not in use. Unplug your electronics while their not in use. Phantom energy can add as much as 10% to your energy bill each month.
  • Wait for the washing machine to be completely full before running a cycle, then wash your clothes with cold water. Try drying some of your clothes on a clothesline.
  • Give composting a try, your garden will appreciate it! And plant drought-tolerant native plants – they usually need minimal watering.

Create A Cleaning Schedule

Let’s face it, life is busy and sometimes we just don’t have the time or the will to get around to cleaning. If the idea of creating a cleaning schedule sounds overwhelming, just remember that in the end, it will help to relieve more stress than it causes. Because knowing that you have a manageable plan to tackle your cleaning makes the idea of cleaning the whole house a lot less overwhelming in the long run.

Create A Master Task List

Before you can create a schedule of when to clean, you need a list of things that need to be cleaned. Your master task list is going to be completely unique to you and your home. The list for one person living in a one bedroom apartment is going to look a lot different than the list for a family living in a 3-bedroom house. The easiest way to break everything down is to separate tasks by room – living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, etc. From there you can determine how frequently each task needs to be done. Doing the dishes and making your bed are things that you will likely be doing every day. Where as dusting, laundry, and vacuuming only need to be handled once a week. Other things, like deep cleaning your carpets or cleaning your oven really only need to be taken care of once a year.

Ultimately you will need to pick the best plan of action that best fits your lifestyle and cleaning style. Are you the type of person who cleans a little bit each day? Or do you prefer to dedicate one day a week to cleaning the entire house? There is no right way to keep your household tidy. But if you pick a plan and stick to it, suddenly that big, daunting mess in front of you will feel a lot more manageable. And you will keep your home feeling tidy and clean all year long.

Set A Budget

Creating a yearly budget for home improvement and maintenance will help prevent overspending and encourages you to set aside money for major replacements. How old is your roof? What about your furnace or water heater? Do you need to replace any major appliances in the near future? Sit down and make a list of anything that will eventually need to be repaired or replaced. And determine how much you will need to budget for it. Even if your roof won’t need to be replaced for another 15 years, setting a small budget now can help to avoid any expensive surprises.

The US Census Bureau says that average annual maintenance and home improvements expenditures run about $3,300 per household. While leading lending institutions place average yearly maintenance costs at 1% to 3% of your home’s initial price.

Colorado Real Estate News

Choosing A Remodel Contractor

Remodel ContractorSo you’re finally ready to start making some updates to your home, but you don’t have the time or perhaps the skills to take on a home improvement project yourself. In that case, hiring a remodel contractor is the best plan of action. But how can you tell if someone is good at a job you don’t know how to do? It’s up to you to do your homework, find a skilled professional, and hire the best person for the job.

Ask For Referrals

Word-of-mouth is hands down the best way to find a qualified remodel contractor to tackle the job. So start by asking your homeowners friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations on who they’ve had good experiences with. Also ask, what made it a positive experience and how the contractor handled problems and whether or not they would use them again. Other options can be using social media to ask your friends for recommendations or checking out online reviews. You can also check in with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry to find a list of members in your area. You’ll want to create a list of about 10 – 15 local contractors with the right expertise. Throughout the process you will eliminate the majority of these, so it’s better to start with more than what you’ll need.

Look Into Each Remodel Contractor’s Portfolio

After you’ve received referrals, you’ll want to start doing some preliminary investigating. Search each candidate online, look at their website and social media presence, and do phone interviews. First, make sure that they hold all the required licenses and certifications to complete the job safely. Then, ask to see a portfolio of projects they’ve worked on in the last year.  Do you take projects of your size? Can they provide a list of previous clients? How many other projects would they have going on at the same time? Questions like these will reveal their availability, reliability, and can give you an idea of how smooth the work will go. You’ll want to choose a contractor who specializes in the type of remodel you need.

Check References

After doing your background check you should have narrowed your search down to the top five or six contenders. Which means it’s time to start checking their references. This is a common practice so any reputable remodel contractor will be prepared to provide references. Anyone who is unwilling or unable to do so should be eliminated from your list of potential contractors. A typical list of references includes at least 5 references with the name, address, and telephone number of east customer. It also helps if the dates of each job are provided so you can see time gaps between references. During your phone call, you’ll want to keep detailed notes. Here are some good questions to start with:

  • Did they stay on schedule?
  • How has the work held up?
  • Was the cost reasonable and clear?
  • Was the job site kept neat?
  • Were problems addressed promptly?

Get Bids For The Job

At this point you have eliminated anyone who does sub-par work and you should have only a few names left on your list. The next step is to price the job with the remaining remodel contractors on your list. After a thorough consultation, each contractor should present you with a bid that includes a brief proposal and an estimated cost. This should include things like timeline for the project, materials the recommend, and total cost.

Remember, it isn’t always best to go with the lowest price. Sometimes the materials or amount of work will differ from one contractor to the next. Think about your overall goals for your renovation when you are choosing which proposal is best for you. Be cautious of any contractor who tries to pressure you into a bid. You do not have to sign a bid right away, and should take a few days to review your options.

 

Colorado Real Estate News

7 Tips To Winterize Your Home

Winterize Your HomeColorado has recently experienced its fist few dustings of snow. But before the hard-hitting storms blow in, make sure you hunker down and winterize your home. Winterizing will ensure your home is energy efficient and able to keep your family nice and toasty for the coming cold months. Doing these small chores around the house will do wonders to help prevent damage to your home from snow and ice. Not to mention, how much your wallet will appreciate you!

Winterize Your Home

Reverse Ceilings Fans

Ceiling fans are everyone’s favorite summer budget saver, but most people don’t know that you can also use them in the winter to keep your house warm. Every ceiling fan comes equipped with a switch that allows your to reverse the direction. Changing the rotation to spin clockwise will force warm air down to recirculate throughout your home. Just remember to switch it back once the weather starts to warm up!

Replace Filters

Changing your furnace filters regularly is one of the most inexpensive ways to lower your electric bill during the winter. A new filter usually runs about $10. A dirty filter impedes air flow, reduces efficiency, and could even cause a fire in extreme cases. Replacing your filters will also do wonders for the longevity of your furnace. You might also consider replacing your disposable filters with reusable electrostatic or electronic ones. Simply wash them once a month and they’re good to go.

Draft Guards

Drafts in your home can contribute anywhere from 5% to 30% of energy waste in your home. Using a draft guard is a simple and cheap way to prevent that warm air from slipping out and the cold air from sneaking in. Buy one from the store or easily create one yourself for even cheaper. A rolled-up towel under the door will also work just as well to keep your home nice and cozy.

Window Insulation Kit

For around $20 – $30 you can pick up a window insulation kit at your local hardware or discount store. While it may not be the most fashionable tip, installed window tape should be near invisible when properly installed. It will provide a buffer from drafts while also helping to keep up to 70% of heat from leaking out of your windows.

Trim Nearby Trees

Colorado snow can often be wet and heavy. If you have any trees near your roof, windows, or driveway it would be a mistake not to trim them back. A large, low hanging branch covered in snow and ice can quickly turn into a phone call to your insurance company once it comes crashing through your ceiling or denting the hood of your car.

Wrap Your Pipes

Wrapping your pipes with insulation is a wonderful idea for so many reasons! First of all, it can help your prevent your pipes from freezing during cold winter nights. It can also help reduce heat loss while raising water temperature delivered through your pipes – allowing your to reduce the heat on your water heater. This will help lower your gas bill and make your pipes more efficient.

Put On A Cozy Sweater & Socks

There is nothing more cost effective (and comfy!) than bundling up during the winter months. Throw on an over-sized sweater; slip into a pair of long, fuzzy socks; and cuddle with up your favorite blanket to keep the cold away. Your energy bill will thank you!

 

Colorado Real Estate News

Create A Sanctuary Space At Home

Why Create A Sanctuary Space?

Having a space to call your own can help you hold on to a bit of sanity at the end, or beginning, of a hectic day. It can help you maintain perspective and allows time and space to respond to situations in a manner which aligns with your life goals. You can escape the stimulation of being social and have more energy and resources to focus on you.

Sanctuary Space

Declutter

The first step to clearing your home of stagnant energy is to get rid of the clutter. Maybe you’ve put it off for too long or collected more clutter than you realized. Initially, this step may be the hardest but in the end, it will be well worth the work!

Do you have clothes you haven’t worn in years, papers/documents you’ve been saving for “just in case”, art you don’t like but feel guilty throwing out. Recycle, re-gift, or donate it all! Get rid of that built-up stress and be on the way to creating a sanctuary space.

Create A Corner Of Calm

Although our homes are an escape from the world, we rarely have a space in them to call our own. While your home is place of freedom and togetherness, everyone needs an area removed from the commotion in which they can think.

Designate an entire room, unused bedroom, a shed in your backyard, or even an actual corner as yours. The idea is to create a psychological space between your sanctuary space and the rest of the house. A place where you can draw, write, play music, knit, meditate, do yoga or simply unwind.

Define The Space

Not only will you want to define the space in your mind, but also physically. Think about what your sanctuary means to you. What activities will you be doing? How do you want it to make you feel? After you’ve come up with those answers, you can start creating!

Colors

The color scheme you choose to decorate with will have a large impact on defining your space. Colors are often associated with people’s emotions and have been shown to influence a person’s mental and physical state.

Shades of purple are often associated with wisdom, spirituality, and imagination. If you want your sanctuary space to be a place of creativity use purple. Blues and greens can evoke calm, serene, and tranquil feelings to help create a more peaceful environment. If you want to go with something more stimulating and energetic, incorporate hues of red, orange or yellow.

Sanctuary Space | Colors

Lighting

Lighting is essential to setting the mood in your sanctuary space. Light can affect our productivity, concentration, and decision making skills. Spending too much time in harsh artificial lights can cause us to become anxious and uneasy. In some cases, it can even trigger depression. Natural light, on the other hand, can be just as illuminating, is refreshing, and enhances productivity. Dimming the lights as the evening progresses will slowly allow your body to unwind.

Sanctuary Space | Natural Light

Bring The Outdoors Inside

A few well-placed house plants can not only brighten up your space, but can also help create a relaxing ambiance while purifying the air. Spending time is nature has also been shown to reduce levels of stress. So try adding some greenery to your sanctuary space for a little dose of Zen.

Try placing an Aloe Plant on a desk or windowsill. The Aloe Plant has healing properties for burns or cuts, but can also help purify the air from harmful cleaning chemicals. If you’re looking for something low maintenance that can easily fit into a corner, a Snake Plant is the way to go. They don’t need much light or water to survive and turn carbon dioxide into oxygen at night, rather than during the day like most plants. Red-edged Dracaena is wonderful if you want to add a bit of beauty and vibrancy to your space. It’s also wonderful for removing toxins.

Sanctuary Space | House Plants

Comfort

There should be an element of familiarity in your sanctuary, therefore decorate it with the things that you truly love. Hang up your favorite piece of art work, display photos of your loved ones, or indulge your sweet tooth while you’re there. Maybe you’d rather sit on a floor covered in throw pillows instead of a chair. The point is to create a space that you look forward to being in every day. But remember to keep it simple, you don’t want to wind up with a sanctuary space that feels cluttered.

Sanctuary Space | Comfort

 

Colorado Real Estate News

5 Places to Insulate that You Probably Haven’t

No one likes to see dollars flying out through poorly insulated windows or giant gaps under exterior doors, so it’s likely you’ve put some thought and effort into making sure your home is well-insulated. However, there are a few extra places you may have missed. Here we’ll look at five oft-forgotten spots around your home to consider insulating.

Electrical Outlets

There are probably close to 50 of these scattered around your house, and each one could be secretly siphoning heat out of your home. The Family Handyman says that a mere 1/8-inch gap around six boxes is equivalent to cutting a 4-inch hole in your ceiling.

Fixing this is easy, if a little fiddly and time-consuming. Just unscrew the outlet cover and seal the gaps around the electrical box. Depending on how large the gap is, you can either use a small amount of fire-proof acrylic latex caulk or foam sealant. Then place a foam gasket cover over the outlet and replace the cover.

Insulation

Attic Door

The attic is one of the top culprits for heat loss, accounting for up to 25 percent of it. Your attic may be well-insulated in general, but what about that door you use to get up there?

There are a few different ways to insulate the attic door or hatch, depending on the type. First make sure to weather strip the door itself as you would with any exterior door. Insulate standard hatch doors with rigid foam board, using multiple layers to get between four and eight inches of total insulation. If you have a pull-down ladder attached to the door, you can purchase a pre-made attic stair cover or build your own.

Insulation

Recessed Can Lights

Older recessed lights that protrude into an attic may not be properly insulated, effectively leaving a hole in your ceiling. The best solution is to replace the light fixture with a newer one that is designed to be airtight (ICAT rated). They can be sealed with caulk too, however because of the heat these throw off it needs to be done properly or you could create a fire hazard, so it’s best to consult with a professional before doing any caulking.

Image 3

Utility Holes

Walk around the exterior of your house and look for any holes where pipes, gas lines, electrical cables etc. feed into your home. Seal the gaps with expanding foam or caulk. Do the same thing in the attic. Lift up the insulation and look for electrical junction boxes and pipes, then seal and re-cover with insulation when dry.

Insulation

Garage Door

If your garage door isn’t insulated and your garage is contiguous to your home, then you’ll definitely want to add some insulation. Does your garage double as a workshop, workout space or studio? Insulating it will make it a more comfortable place. This is another simple project. You can pick up an inexpensive garage door insulation kits from your local hardware store, or fashion your own using sheets of foil faced foam board cut to size.

Making sure your home is thoroughly insulated will help prevent heat loss in the winter months and cool air escaping in the summer, resulting in a more comfortable home and lower energy bills.

Image 5

Jennifer Tuohy has 15 years’ experience in newspapers, magazines, marketing and online content. She writes on a variety of subjects, but her passion lies with technology, sustainability and the intersection of the two. She contributes to numerous websites, edits two local newspapers and is working on renovating her dream home. Jennifer also writes for the Home Depot, which carries a wide selection of insulation options.