I’m not gonna lie….

….using power tools makes me feel like a bad @$$.

This past week and I got my fill of using them.

First, I helped the Mister finish up the deck.

We’d worked out quite the system. He’d put in the first row of screws to make sure everything was square or level, and I’d come along later to put in the extra ones.

Saturday, after the storms blew through, we put up our corrugated metal ceiling on the covered patio.



I’m totally jealous of the outdoor living space for this home!

Here’s how it looked before the work began. Not a space I’d want to spend any time in.

The Mister had to cut some of the pieces so they’d go around the support posts. It made pretty sparks. 🙂 And, for the record, he doesn’t let me us that power tool. 🙁

Before we started he had this genius idea to put a brace up to rest the panels on as we slid them into place. I couldn’t get a picture of that in action because there were only two of us. But, in the one below you can see the piece of wood he used. This made it so much easier!





Here’s a closeup of the metal.

Once we finish this covered porch and get the landscaping finished I’ll post new pictures.

I also got to use the reciprocating saw to try to remove some flooring from the laundry room. That wasn’t a fun job, it was much harder than using the little cordless drill.

Gotta run, time to ice my shoulder.



Reinstalling trim after painting it can be confusing

Here’s some tips on how to reduce the stress of it all!

We got our carpet and it looks fabulous!!! I mean, it goes well with the colors on the walls and the house is starting to look like a home and you can lay down on the floor if you want and you’re not going to get up and be all dirty. And, going without shoes is a must! So cozy.

It’s awesome, until you look at the trim.

Yeah, it looks old and dated and gross. I thought the original dark wood trim would look charming. Nope, I was wrong, again.



And to reenforce how wrong I was, our awesome realtor Jill Collins (you may remember her from this post: 5 Tips for Buying a Home)  took one look into the first bedroom and said, “you’re going to paint the trim, right?”

I was like: Uhhhh.

She was like: Right?

I was like: But the carpet.

She was like: Right?

I was like: But…….yes, of course we’re going to paint the trim.

She was like: Great. 🙂

So, we thought about taping the carpet but that’s just crazy. It’s expensive. It’s risky. It’s time consuming.



The Mister said he’d take the trim off the walls and we could paint it that way. Which was fantastic because it literally took three coats each!

But then the nightmares started. We’d take it off and then not be able to figure out where the pieces went.

But alas, we devised a plan.

As he took each piece off the wall he left it laying on the floor. Then he carefully marked each piece with: which room it came out of, a number starting from the left and going clockwise, and which side of the room it was on.

This made it so much easier to remember where each piece went when it was time to put it back on.

Now our rooms look fantastic! I can’t wait to share the before and after pictures!



Bless this home

When our church moved out of its storefront location into a free-standing building our pastor invited us to come in and write blessings, Bible verses and prayers on the floor before the tile was installed.

I remember kneeling near what would become a modest indoor waterfall and writing a prayer for some of my dearest family and friends who didn’t yet know Jesus. They didn’t know that he was sent to earth to cover our sins, the sins that keep us from heaven. They’d hear of him sure, but they didn’t trust him. They thought you could get to heaven by doing good works and being a “good person.”

At least two of them have come to trust Jesus, I’m still praying for the others.



I loved the idea of blessing a place. When the Mister remodeled our sunroom at the home we live in, I wrote blessings on the floor for us and anyone who enters our home. That sunroom is easily our favorite room in the house and it’s were visitors gravitate to and relax in. Many have told me how peaceful it is in there.

I knew I wanted to do the same thing at the investment property. Beyond the drama we’ve discovered that went on in this house , I wanted to really bless the new owners, and all who step foot in there.

So, as people stopped by to check it out, or to lend a hand, I asked them share their favorite verse or write a blessing or prayer.

We saw at least one contractor read a verse. Here are the ones we’ve gathered so far.

My prayer for all who enter.
A friend’s verse, the one we saw a contractor read.
This verse is close to my friend’s heart. It was one of the first he learned when he started trusting in jesus.
Probably the most popular verse in the Bible. It pretty much sums it up! This is in a child’s room.
And so is this one. Another awesome verse to lean into.




sometimes people think christians are stuffy and can’t have fun. I thought this Was perfect For the kitchen.
A pryaer for the master bedroom.
Another prayer for the master bedroom. And for me too!

 

I hope this post has blessed you in some way today. If it has, please share it.

Now it’s your turn. What blessing, verse or prayer would you share?



It’s all about the relationship

When our friends Curt and Erin offered to help, we told them “no.” After all, while we hope that this house makes an incredible new home for a family, the bottom line is we hope to make some money on it. We couldn’t dare take help from friends when we’re in it for the profit. We wouldn’t want to jeopardize that relationship.

“I’m confused,” she said. “We could spend an enjoyable evening or afternoon visiting with you while we work on the house.”

They showed up with pizza and gloves and set to work.



And it clicked. It wasn’t necessarily about the task at hand. It was all about relationship.

Relationship is why our friends Matt and Deb helped us install the floor in the home we live in. And it’s why we helped them with the floor in their old home. It’s why we made umpteen trips to Goodwill when they downsized and handed them the keys to our truck.

Relationship is why Curt tore out the tile in the bathroom for us. It’s why Todd and Matt painted all of those edges. They know I don’t do edges!

 

Relationship is why Lori picked up the wallpaper steamer and helped peel some for a little while. And it’s why we painted Lori’s bedroom three years ago.

Relationship is why Jen and Erin worked on that fireplace. And I still don’t know if I’m going to like this whitewashed looked. But, we’re only one coat in so we’ll see.

Relationship is why Crystal came out and took pictures, then asked her architect friend if we could tear out that wall.

It’s not about the money at all.

If you decide to take on a daunting task and you’re friends offer to help, say yes.  You may find more blessings than elbow grease.



Landscape tips to get the most out of selling your home

Editor’s note: We’re excited to have expert guest writer for this post!

By Joe Turpin, Fralich’s Landscape

For most homeowners, selling a home requires touching up the paint and minor cosmetic work inside the house.  What most homeowners don’t think about however is that the first thing any potential homebuyer sees is the exterior entrance to the house.

Here are some tips to help make your curb appeal, more appealing.

Clean-up

The easiest way to tidy up your curb appeal and maximize your dollars is by cleaning up the existing landscape.

Tidy up all plant material by pruning and cutting out any dead branches.

Power-wash decks and walks (just be careful that you don’t strip paint or gouge hardscape surfaces).

Putting down pre-emergent in early spring will help control weeds. Pre-emergent stops weeds from germinating.  Note: DO NOT USE IT if you’re trying to re-seed your lawn.

Remove any dead or overgrown plants. These will make the property look like it has been neglected.



Mulch, mulch, mulch. Fresh mulch has the same effect as new paint. It will liven and clean up your landscape beds.

Make sure you look up while cleaning, messy gutters and chipping paint can ruin the cleanest of landscapes.

Remove Yard Art

Keep your landscape as simple as possible.  Try to remove any yard decorations and novelties.  Buyers tend to go off of their first impression, what may be cute or chic to you may make your landscape look cluttered.

Draw the eye to the entry way

Having had several years in design, the first thing I think about when working on a front yard landscape is the direction of movement your eye takes to the front door.   Subconsciously, when the eye is drawn to the front door, the house seems more inviting.

The easiest method to achieve this is by using the plants from tall to short and repetitive plantings or hedges to move the eye to the door.  You can also use landscape lighting to highlight the front door at night. Yes, potential buyers will drive by your home at night. (See Landscape Lighting Below).

Add color and interest

Adding decorative pots with colorful annuals can really make an impact in the front yard without breaking the bank.  Be sure to give yourself enough time to allow plants to grow before listing.  Add a slow release fertilizer to the soil to increase plant size and remember to water regularly.

Lawn Maintenance

Make sure you keep the lawn mowed and somewhat weed free.  An unkempt lawn will give the appearance of a poorly maintained home.  The easiest method to remove weeds is to use a hose attachment pre-mixed lawn spray.  Most big box stores carry this and it is fairly simple to use.  Expect the weeds to start to disappear after a week.

If your yard is mostly weeds, be ready to grow grass.  Start by killing the weeds first.  You will want to wait at least a week to let the residual weed killer to wear off.



If you are near a rental store, a slice seeder is the best method to reseed your yard.  The slice seeder will put grooves into the yard and drop the seed.  This will keep you from needing to use straw.  Apply a turf starting fertilizer to push the new growth.

Pro-tip:  Most landscape companies use a mixture of bluegrass and rye grass.  Bluegrass takes 2 weeks to germinate so the rye grass is mixed in to establish a lawn faster until the bluegrass takes over.

Landscape Lighting

Adding exterior lighting to the landscape will give a sense of a security to your for potential buyers.  You can also use the lights to highlight the front door and draw buyers to the door at night.  Be sure to use low voltage lighting or led rather than bright fixtures.  The ultimate goal is to highlight the landscape not showcase it like a billboard.

Use landscape lights to highlight areas of interest such as ornamental trees, line pathways for visibility at night and add security by lighting dark areas around windows and back yard access.



Joseph R. Turpin is a student of Landscape Architecture with 10 years of design experience, 15 years of landscape experience and is a current designer for Fralich’s Landscape of Greenfield, Indiana.

Aaron Fralich is the owner of Fralich’s Landscape with 10 years experience in the landscape industry with a background in Agriculture

Connect with Fralich’s Landscape: www.fralichlandscape.com,  317-477-0405, www.facebook.com/fralichs

Connect with 317MulchIt: www.317mulchit.com, 317-685-2448, www.facebook.com/317mulchit

 

Picture Credits:  all pictures are free to use from the Pixabay website or stock photos from Fralich’s Landscape.




What classic 80s song is perfect for remodeling a home?

You gotta have great tunes when doing home improvement!  Everybody knows, hard work, like remodeling your home is just no fun without music.

So, what 80s rocker is perfect for playing when you go into demo mode?

I’ll give you a hint, he’s a Hoosier native. Give up? Watch this!

You get extra points if you can tell me what song opens and interrupts this video.

Comment below for a gold star.

 




9 Tips for removing wallpaper

I’m going to say it. I hate wallpaper. It’s too permanent for my tastes. It’s hard to put on, it’s hard to take off. It dates a house after just a few years. The flipper house has two whole rooms of wallpaper. The dining room and family room. And the people who put it up were very good at it! Here’s my tips for removing wallpaper.

1 Buy a scoring tool. This tool is used to put tiny cuts into the paper so when you apply the water, steam, or chemical to the outside it can get between the paper and the wall to loosen the paper. We’ve had the red one, made by Zinsser, for about a dozen years. And it still works great! Now, we haven’t used it every year but we’ve used it about half a dozen times and it’s still cutting like new.

The orange one, made by WP Chomp, we bought for this job. It lasted about three swirls around. It was junk. We returned it. Spend the extra 12 cents and go with the Zinsser.

2 Buy a scraper. Previously I used a putty knife because I’m so cheap. This week the Mister went behind my back and bought a scraper. And boy am I glad he did. It had a more ergonomic handle than my old putty knife and my hands were very thankful.

3 Rent a steamer. I thought we could get by without one, remember, I’m a cheap skate. But I’m so glad we got our hands on one. It made our work go so much faster! To save on the time we had it, we used it just to get the outside layer off. Sunbelt Rentals is my go-to rental place. They have everything there! And the experts there are super knowledgeable! Be careful with the steamer, follow all the directions carefully. It gets very HOT. I know, Mr. Obvious. 

4 Skip the chemicals and make your own remover solution. I mix hot water and cheap fabric softner together and put it in a spray bottle. I’ve seen some posts that use vinegar. Spray an area, wait about 4-5 minutes, then spray the next area and scrap the first area. Repeat. The recipe I use varies. Usually it’s 1:1 fabric softner and water. As I start to run out of softner the ratio shifts and it still works.



5 Use a drop cloth. Live and learn, you can see we didn’t. We left the tack strips in because we plan to install carpet in this room. It made a huge mess, and this picture was taken after I swept up!

6 Protect your trim. If you don’t cover it, be sure to wipe it down as you work. The water or chemicals can ruin it.

7 Protect yourself. One of my besties was over helping me and she took one look at the walls and said, “you have to wear rubber gloves.” Our walls are heavily tobacco stained. She sited a recent case of a man who was restoring a bar and ended up in the hospital with nicotine poisoning. She’s a doc so it wasn’t some fake news story she read somewhere. It was legit.

8 Speaking of besties. Ask your friends for help. It’s always more fun working with a team than alone. And believe it or not, pealing wallpaper can be somewhat soothing.




9 Gotta have the tunes playing. The old CD player filled the rooms with Michael Martin Murphey’s Cowboy Songs; Mary Mary’s The Sound; Don Henley’s Building the Perfect Beast; and a mix tape featuring old school Newsboys our son made for me. I ventured away from memory lane for a bit to treat my ears to some new AA Sound of the Saints. That’s an incredible record! Their title track features images from their trip to Haiti. It just touches my heart so much. I love and miss our Haitian family.  Perhaps I’ll more about that another time.

What tip did I leave out? I’d love to hear from you!