Category Archives: Staging

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Carpenter? Designer? DIY? Look No Further Than Your iPhone!

The iPhone has changed how we look at our everyday world. There was once a time where you needed to go to the home improvement store to buy a level when hanging pictures or shelves in your home, or consult an expert in the paint department to devise what colour you think would match your favourite pillow. Now, you can look no further than your iPhone!
With the vast amount of apps available, you can be sure that whether you’re a carpenter, designer, or just a person who loves a little DIY, you’ll be able to find the right app to help you get the job done.
These apps can help you choose paint colours based on a flower that you love in your backyard, develop a floor plan for re-designing a room, and even calculate the amount of drywall you will need for a job. There’s even an app to help schedule and remind you when things need regular maintenance around the house, such as maintenance on your lawn mower and changing your furnace filter! Here are 11 great apps to get you started.

Color Capture by Benjamin Moore & Co (FREE – 2 star rating) lets people snap a picture of a colour inspiration and instantly find its match from Benjamin Moore’s more than 3,300 paint colours. You can save your pictures and their coordinating colours to your Favorites, browse through Benjamin Moore’s inspirational color cards, and even locate your nearest Benjamin Moore retailer.

Dream Home & Dream Home HD by Apalon ($0.99 – 3 star rating) are irreplaceable apps if you’re craving for changes in your house, don’t mind adding new colors into your interior design and you are not afraid of experiments with your living space. Both iPhone and iPad versions showcase various styles in the interior design through high-resolution photos. If you are looking for a traditional or unusual design for your bedroom or want to add some modern decor elements into your living room or any other room in your house, then Dream Home is here to inspire you and push your creativity beyond limits.

Drywall Calculator by Jeremy Breaux ($0.99 – 3 star rating) is a handy app that assists you in easily figuring out square footage of a room. Whether you want to calculate just the walls, ceiling or a slope (triangle,) or any combination of the above. After you input your dimensions, total square footage is figured and displayed, along with the number of 4′ x 8′  (8′ is the default, you can change to any length) drywall sheets you will need.

Eden Garden Designer by Herbaceous Software Inc. ($1.99 – 3 1/2 star rating)  lets you create and share beautiful virtual gardens. Start with one of the included gardens, ready for planting, or create your own through your iPhone’s camera or photo library with a picture of your own garden if you want to ‘design before you dig.’ Then choose a plant from the color, height, planting zone and climate categories in the Plant Library.  Once you have chosen your plant, simply tap on the garden where you want it to grow and watch your plant come to life in vivid, photorealistic colours. If you are just beginning or are a real green thumb, Eden Garden Designer lets you design beautiful gardens without having to learn expensive and complicated garden design software.  Eden is designed to be a delightful and useful tool for gardeners of all abilities and interests.

Handy Man DIY by Wowzer Software ($1.99 – 3 1/2 star rating) is a feature packed home improvement planner disigned to assist you in renovating your home by providing the information you need to complete a new project. Need to find out how much paint, flooring or trim you need? Enter in your room measurements and let Handy Man DIY to the math. Handy Man DIY also takes the guesswork out of shopping with prebuilt material lists for common household projects, or you can build your own. It also allows you to enter price information to estimate project cost.

Home Improvement Calcs by Double Dog Studios ($1.99 – 4 star rating) has over 115 do-it-yourself and home improvement calculations and unit conversions. Not just calculators but the ability save and open saved calculations and add calculators to a favorites list.  You can also email calculator inputs and results so you can easily share your calculations.  Search functionality enables you to quickly find the calculator you want. Current calculators include: Concrete & Bricks, Electrical, Framing, Heating & A/C, Interiors, Lumber & Materials, Miscellaneous, Yard, Area, Volume & Angle, Conversions, & Linear Measurement.

Home Maintenance by POJO Software Inc. ($4.99 – not yet rated) is an application that tracks the upkeep of your biggest investment—your home.   Home Maintenance alerts you to items in your home that need repair or inspection according to a schedule set by you.  Choose from the application’s predefined list of suggested items and how to care for them or create your own.  Maintain a service history for all items along with details of the repairman, cost and date last serviced.  Home Maintenance will automatically update your next service schedule and visually warn you when items are due for servicing.  You will never need to wonder when it was that you last replaced the shingles on the roof and you will know exactly how to prolong the life of your water heater so it doesn’t end up leaking all over your basement floor. This app is your one-stop shop for all your home’s maintenance needs.

iHandy Carpenter by iHandy Inc. ($1.99 – 4 star rating) is an app that is like having a ruler, protractor, bubble leveler, plumb bob, and surface leveler all in the palm of your hand. Whether you are hanging a picture and need the leveler, or you are mitering the corners of crown molding, this app is for you!

inchCALC by River Studio ($1.99 – 3 star rating) is an entry level construction calculator for people who work with the FEET – INCH – FRACTION dimensions used on common rulers and tape measures. inchCALC takes inputs directly in the same FEET – INCH – FRACTION units as tape measures & rulers, does the calculations, and displays the answers in the same units. Also available is inchCALC+ ($4.99 – 4 star rating) which is the PRO level version, and contains more features than inchCALC.

MagicPlan by Sensopia (FREE – 4 star rating) measures your rooms and draws your floor plan just by taking pictures. You can then get your floor plan in PDF, JPG and DXF format or publish an interactive floor plan on the web. With MagicPlan, everyone can create a floor plan in only a few minues.

Mark on Call – Home Design Interior Space Planning Tool by M.O.C. Interior Designer, LLC. ($1.99 – 3 1/2 star rating) is an easy-to-use app that makes designing and space planning your room easy. It’s like having a personal product showroom with an on-call interior designer right at your fingertips. You can plan, preview and carry out your design visions while staying organized and within budget.

Staging a Kitchen that ‘Wows’ Buyers!

If you haven’t heard of “staging”, it’s a fairly straightforward concept. It simply involves cleaning, organizing and decorating your home in such a way as to make it look its best for potential buyers.

One of the most difficult rooms to stage is the kitchen because it’s one of the most used. It’s not like you can set it up to look nice for tours and then never go in it! Yet, an effectively staged kitchen can help sell your home because it’s the room that buyers often scrutinize and remember most.

Here are some basic kitchen staging tips:
• Be relentless when decluttering your kitchen. Stow or get rid of any unnecessary items.
• Clear the countertops. Leave no more than two appliances in view. This will give the impression that there’s lots of surface space available.
• Make sure the sink shines. If regular cleaners don’t work, there are a number of specialty products available for cleaning sinks of all kinds, including stainless steel.
• Consider making upgrades. This could be as simple as replacing cabinetry hardware to as involved as installing a new countertop. Your decision to make upgrades depends on the age and condition of your kitchen. Talk to your REALTOR®. It may be worth the investment.
• Paint and stain. One of the most affordable improvements you can make to the kitchen is painting. A new coat of stain or other finish can make older, worn cabinets look like new.
• Fresh flowers in a vase brighten up any room, especially the kitchen.
• Make it double-duty. Not enough space for a kitchen table? If there’s room, put in a small table with a couple of stools. Buyers like to see that there’s at least the option to eat-in.

Take the personality out of your home. . . when selling!

Does your home have a lot of personality?  There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, you may have pictures on the fireplace mantle showcasing happy family memories over the years… or trophies and other awards in the kids’ bedrooms that represent achievements that make you proud… or a fridge door covered with notes, a calendar and other items that make it a de facto family bulletin board! These are all things that help make a house truly a place to call “home.” But when it comes time to sell, all that personality can work against you. When buyers view your property, they want to visualize themselves living there, not you and your family.

Have you ever noticed how model homes are often furnished and decorated? All the rooms look beautiful and enticing. They draw you in. Why? Because, although all the rooms in the model home look great, they’re also impersonal. There’s no uncomfortable sense that you’re in a stranger’s home. So you can easily see yourself living there. And that’s exactly what you should strive for when preparing your house for sale. You can’t get rid of every personal item. That would be impractical. But there’s a lot you can do to ‘depersonalize’ your home.
For example, you can:
• Take down family pictures
• Clear items from the fridge door
• Store trophies in a box
• Remove personal knick knacks and similar items
• Keep only general titles on a bookshelf and store the rest.

The more easily buyers can see themselves living in your home, the more likely they are to become interested in it and make an offer.