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Necessary Tools for the Homeowner

July 11th, 2018 by tisner

tools for the homeowner

While not everyone considers themselves a Weekend Warrior, every homeowner should have certain tools on hand.  A small hammer and duct tape are just the basics every person should own, and while a large toolset isn’t necessary, some items are. Keep this guide in mind the next time you head out to the home center or local hardware store. 

  • Toolbox:  It may seem obvious, but keeping everything in one place will save time when you need an item in a hurry, and keep the box in a dedicated place in your garage or storage closet. 
  • Claw Hammer:  Every home needs a hammer, preferably with a clawed end to remove nails or for prying hard-to-open objects. 
  • Adjustable Wrench:An adjustable wrench takes the place of a wrench set, and, hence the name, can adjust to most average-size bolts. 
  • Screwdriver:  Most people have two standard screwdrivers: flathead and Phillips.  There are screwdrivers that have changeable bits for different sized screws, and they are especially convenient. 
  • Pliers:  Many types of this versatile tool are available, and the basic design is perfect for all sorts of jobs.  You can get specialized styles:  needle-nosed, pliers with wire cutters–the choices are endless.  Get what you think is best for your needs. 
  • Boxcutter/Utility Knife:  A folding or disappearing blade would be best for this tool, especially if you have children. It’s a great tool to have for many uses, such as cutting insulation, trimming shingles, as well as repairing drywall. 
  • 25-foot Tape Measure:  You never know when you’ll need to measure more than a yard-stick’s length, and a 25-foot style is great for measuring rooms, or outdoor projects. 
  • Cordless DrillBrian Kelsey, host of the online video series, Kelsey on the House, says a cordless drill will become your “…most-used tool in your tool kit,”  

Home centers will have an array of pre-filled toolboxes, and if that’s what suits your needs, purchase one of those. But if you know what you want, assemble a custom tool set to use for all your home projects/minor repairs.  Bob Vila provides a list with some extras not listed here, so if you’re a go-getter in the DIY field, see his recommendations for a little more than the basics. 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

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Photo credit: pinterest

Making a Mudroom Anywhere

July 2nd, 2018 by tisner

mudrooms in orlando florida

With Summer here, and the kids out of school, some families are wishing they had a more functional catch-all space for the “stuff” of Summer break.  Not every home has a mudroom, and not every homeowner has the budget to add a mudroom onto their most-used entryway. Here are some ideas to turn any entry space into an organized “mudroom.” 

  • There are some must-haves for a mudroom space:  a place to hang coats and bags, storage for the small stuff, and seating is nice for shoe removal.  You can DIY, hire a carpenter, or repurpose items for your drop off spot. 
  • Toy boxes with a closing lid makes a perfect bench and storage area for removing and storing shoes.  Add family member-specific baskets inside so everyone’s things stay together. 
  • With some inexpensive crates, stained boards and double hangers, you can easily create a pretty space for coats and footwear.  See this simple and functional corner space from A Beautiful Mess for inspiration. 
  • Pick up a sturdy old piano bench at a tag or yard sale, dress it up with paint to match your decor, add cushions, put a couple of storage bins or baskets underneath, and you have instant mudroom.  The seat even lifts to store keys, gloves, or the family’s flip flops! 
  • If there’s a large enough wall space, create a board-and-batten wall, add coat hooks, and you have an almost instant vertical storage area, and it looks great, too!  Learn how to do this inexpensive project from The DIY Mommy. 
  • Mount some inexpensive shelving, add hooks, and you have a place to hang your coats as you come inside, and a shelf for stashing the other stuff.  Add a lower shelf with hooks for the kids’ belongings. 
  • There are many clever ways to remake a closet into a mini mudroom, and even make it pretty! Find inspiration from these ideas at Farmhouse Blooms. 
  • Who said that your mudroom space has to be inside?  If your family goes inside via the garage, just use the above tips to create your mudroom space.  Add plastic storage containers by the door for shoes, boots and other awkward items, and the mess stays out of the house! 

Sometimes we have to re-think our spaces, and carving out an area in our homes for a makeshift mudroom may take some thought, depending on your home’s layout.  Just focus on the area that most of the coming and going is happening, and what your family needs most for a drop-off area.  You’ll soon be a little more organized, and have a cleaner home as a bonus! 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: rafaelmartinez.me

Seven Easy Home Repairs in Orlando, FL

June 11th, 2018 by tisner

seven easy home repairs in orlando florida

Most homeowners are doing what they can to pinch pennies, and when something goes wrong, the thoughts of calling a repair service can send us into a tailspin for fear of a hefty bill.  Some fixes are simple enough that anyone can DIY them with a little knowledge and supplies; here are seven of them: 

  • Toilet bowl leaks can really add up on your water bill.  There are two common things that cause them:  a leaky flapper, or the fill valve needs replacing.   For less than $20, you can replace either of them.  To get started, check out this information from Today’s Homeowner to test where your leak is and go from there.  The internet is chock full of videos and how-to articles for either fix. 
  • Your beautiful just-refinished wood floors are squeaking, and unless you’re using the noise as a burglar alarm, you can get rid of it with talcum powder.  First, make certain that the squeaking isn’t because of a loose board.  If that’s the case, replace the nails or floor staples.  Still squeaking?  Sprinkle talcum powder over the seams, and rub it in with your fingers or a thin plastic card. Walk over the area, and listen for the noise, and apply more powder if necessary. 
  • It’s laundry day, and you’ve just thrown a load into the dryer, and the drum suddenly stops turning.  The drum belt is easy and inexpensive to replace, thanks to this guide and video from Sears, and no appliance repair service needs to be called!  
  • Replacing light bulbs is easy, right?  What happens if you accidentally break the bulb off at the socket?  Go to the pantry, grab a potato, and cut it in half.  After turning the electricity off at the breaker box, carefully push the sliced side of the potato onto the bulb socket, and once it has a grip, unscrew and remove the broken piece from the fixture.   
  • Your cabinets look great, but you’re having a hard time keeping them closed.  For a few dollars each, you can purchase magnet catches, and install them in no time. 
  • Every now and then, something bumps into the drywall hard enough to create a hole.  No need for a drywall expert to come in for this job.  Lowe’s shows us how to patch the hole, and spend much less than the cost of a repair bill. 
  • Doorknobs take a lot of abuse and eventually need replacing, or maybe you just want to upgrade your door hardware.  Buildipedia offers this how-to video for this simple project–no locksmith required! 

Chances are you take great pride in your home, and want a professional to take care of some things for you.  Sometimes, though, a simple job can be taken care of on your own, so grab your toolbelt, and get to work!  Your wallet will thank you! 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Easy Updates Before You Sell in Orlando, FL

April 26th, 2018 by tisner

Updating your home to sell in orlando fl

Once you decide to sell your home, you want it to look its best, and a total remodel may be out of your budget.  Thankfully, there are some quick and affordable updates to add to your home to give it some extra style and character, not to mention the added value! 

  • You can add crown molding to your rooms with little carpentry know-how.  Plaster-covered foam molding is available in many styles, and anyone with a measuring tape, hand saw and some paint can install it.  This Old House has a how-to for this easy update. 
  • Clean up and, if necessary, paint your front entry door.  Add a new light sconce, and get a new welcome mat. 
  • Electrical outlets are usually not something you think about upgrading, but outlets with a built-in USB port are available at home centers, and are impressive to potential home buyers because of the convenience they offer.  Put them near the kitchen counter, and a few in the bedrooms for easy access. 
  • Cleaning the grout in the bathrooms, or even re-grouting can make your floor and tile look shiny-new. 
  • Upgrade your doors’ and cabinets’ hardware for every room if it’s outdated. 
  • Paint rooms a neutral color; grey and beige–even a mix called “greige”–are trendy right now if you don’t want all-white walls. 
  • Add potted flowers or plants to your front entry for a welcome sight–just don’t forget to water them! 
  • Check your crawl space for any falling insulation, and replace it. 
  • Change out any dated light sconces and chandeliers. 
  • A new shower curtain and decorative towels can do wonders for your bathroom. 
  • The right backsplash in the kitchen can really make it stand out and look like new.  There are many DIY options, and the self-stick products on the market now make this task go much faster for the novice. 
  • A chair rail and wainscoting in the dining area adds a nice eye-catching architectural detail. 
  • Most experts advise taking down your window curtains while your home is on the market, but you want some color on the windows.  A cornice box is an easy project to try, and cover them with your (now) old curtain fabric. 

You want your home to make a great impression as soon as a possible new owner walks to the front door.  Small details can make a big impact on their decision, and as the seller, it’s your call on what makes your home sell.  Walk through with your Realtor, and ask for suggestions from them, as they are the expert.  Tackle what projects are within your budget, and hopefully you’ll soon be reaping the rewards! 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: ghostandbread.com

Getting Ready For Outdoor Time in Orlando, FL

April 16th, 2018 by tisner

Getting Outside Ready for Summer Orlando FL

Warmer days are on the way, and when the weather cooperates, home owners are outside preparing their yards, gardens and pools for the coming Summer. But is your patio looking a little sad?  Do you want to utilize your front porch more this season?  Your outdoor spaces only need a little TLC and elbow grease! 

  • Sweep patios to remove loose debris.  Use a pressure washer on concrete, or a long-handled stiff brush and warm water mixed with bleach–a 10:1 mixture is strong enough to clean the area well.   
  • For porches, sweep the flooring, as well as ceilings and posts, and a shower of water from the garden hose should remove the dust and cobwebs.  If something needs more attention, use a soft bristled brush or flat mop dipped in a mixture of warm water and mild dish detergent. 
  • Wood decks may only need a simple sweeping and washing down with a hose and soft scrub brush. If you’re thinking about staining or painting the woodwork, a pressure washer would be the best tool to prep it for its makeover.  
  • Screening should be checked for holes and rips that can be eventually be big problems, and is easy to replace for little cost. 
  • Check for any cracks in cement patios.  Fill them with caulking or even quick-drying concrete.  Many easy and affordable repair kits are in local home stores. If the problem goes deeper than just a crack, call a contractor to come and make sure the problem isn’t structural. 
  • Bricks and pavers can become loose over time, and filling the spaces between them with sand is one way to sturdy them.  According to Neave Masonry, after filling in between the pavers with sand, use a broom to distribute it evenly, wet the pavers, and once it’s settled, add more sand and repeat.  Continue to add sand until the spaces are filled with sand. 
  • Keeping outdoor furniture covered when not in use is great, but it still would be a good idea to give it a good cleaning since you’ll be using it soon.  Today’s Homeowner Danny Lipford has great tips for cleaning your pieces, from wrought iron to plastic. 
  • Get your planters ready for flowers by removing soil from them and clean with a spray from the water hose.  Soak them in a mixture of 9 parts water to one-part household bleach to get rid of any bacteria that could’ve grown in the Winter, and rinse well. 
  • Outdoor pillows can take a beating, so if yours are looking grim, you can purchase new covers more inexpensively than completely replacing the pillows.  If they have been in outdoor storage, wash them, hang them outside to air dry, and add the new covers. 
  • Spruce up the seating area with fragrant plants, an outdoor area rug, hang pretty sheets or shower curtains on tension rods to add some drama, and some DIY lighting–check out these ideas from BuzzFeed.   

Don’t wait until it gets steaming hot or two hours before your cookout guests arrive to get your yard and outdoor seating area in order.  Doing it now will encourage you and yours to spend more time in the outdoors to dine al fresco, relax with a good book, or spend time winding down after a long day at work.

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: Pinterest

Overlooked Spring Cleaning Jobs

April 2nd, 2018 by tisner

Overlooked Spring Cleaning Jobs

Spring cleaning is a time-honored, worldwide tradition of sorts.  For centuries, humans have been opening their windows and doors when the warm weather returns, allowing the long daylight hours inside, and cleaning everything in sight.  Thankfully, we don’t have to wipe through a Winter’s worth of soot-covered furniture and windows, but for many, deep cleaning is a must this time of year.  Some cleaning jobs are obvious, but there may be a few things to add to your list. 

In the Kitchen 

  • Refrigerator coils can gather lots of dust and pet hair, along with spills from the fridge.  Getting the coils cleaned as much as possible can make a difference in how well your refrigerator motor runs.  Check with your appliance’s manufacturer website for the best way to perform this task. 
  • The dishwasher doesn’t get dirty, because it’s a washer, right? While they clean, dishwashers can have greasy build up. With vinegar, baking soda, and a bit of elbow grease, Wikihow shows us how to get the dishwasher itself to help us get it sparkling clean and smelling sweet. 
  • Herbs and spices are often overlooked while cleaning pantry shelves.  McCormickⓇ reports that whole spices last 3-4 years, 2-3 years for ground spices, and herbs have a shorter life of 1-3 years.  Check the freshness date on the container, and if it’s within that time frame, keep it.  If not, throw it away and restock your spice rack. 
  • Don’t neglect the freezer compartment when you’re wiping down the fridge.  A mixture of equal parts of hot water and white vinegar to wipe down the door, seal and inside will take care of the grime, and help with any lingering food odors.  Before you refill the freezer with food, go through it and toss anything that looks freezer burnt. 

The Bathroom 

  • Give your toothbrushes a good clean.  Pour about an inch of antibacterial mouthwash into a cup and soak the bristles in the mouthwash for about five minutes, and rinse. If you use a toothbrush holder, wash it in warm soapy water and allow to air dry before returning the toothbrushes. 
  • Bathroom exhaust fans can collect dust like ceiling fans, and the buildup affects how well it exhausts the humidity warm showers cause.  Danny Lipford of Today’s Homeowner has step-by-step instructions for getting your fan clean and running efficiently. 
  • Many of us don’t think of cleaning hair and makeup brushes.  Remove loose hair from hairbrushes and combs, allow them to soak in warm water with some shampoo mixed in, and use an old toothbrush to scrub hairspray build up and body oils and rinse.  Makeup brushes should be soaked, given a lather, then rinsed in cool water.  Air-dry everything on a hand towel. 

The Rest of the House 

  • Light fixtures get grimy and dusty, so covers should be removed after turning off the circuit breaker and washed in warm soapy water then air dried on a thick towel.   
  • Remove mattresses, vacuuming both sides, and if possible, prop them in the sunlight for a few hours.  The sun’s rays freshen and can kill some germs. When you replace them on the beds, make sure the mattress is flipped and rotated from its original position.   
  • HVAC registers should be vacuumed, using the hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner.   
  • Curtains and blinds collect a lot of dust, but are usually washable, so check the manufacturer’s information before you toss them in the washer or clean them.   
  • Once your deep clean is complete, take care to wash or clean brooms, mop heads and dusters, as this simple move will help your home stay fresher as you do your regular cleaning.

Hopefully, the season of Earth coming back to life will encourage you to get everything in your home spic and span.  Spread it out over a few days or weekends, making lists to stay organized and on task, so the job won’t overwhelm you.  Don’t forget to get the family involved!  Once everything is gleaming, you can enjoy the coming months more, knowing your home is clean, and the job is done for another year. 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: 180066ducts.com

Roof Inspection Tips in Orlando, FL

March 21st, 2018 by tisner

Roof Inspections Orlando FL

Winter can be harsh on a roof, between the cold wind, rain, and snow and ice in some areas.  While on your Spring maintenance check, you should look carefully at your home’s roof, and see how it fared the season, and whether you have a DIY patch job to do, or a major roof repair that needs professional attention.  Keep the following in mind while you’re doing your inspection: 

  • Cracked, curling or buckled shingles are an obvious problem. These should be replaced or repaired as soon as possible to prevent water damage and mold infestation. 
  • Are your shingles dirty? Look in the gutters for tiny bits of the shingle granules.  If you find a lot of them, and not many are left on the shingles themselves, it may be time to re-shingle the roof. 
  • Check around chimneys, vents, skylights, and anything else that is installed on the roof for any cracks or tears in the flashing beneath the shingles that could be allowing water to leak in. 
  • Inspect carefully where tree branches could come in contact with the roof, to make sure they haven’t caused any damage from Winter winds. 
  • Now would be a good time to check the eaves and gutters.  Make sure the wood is in good shape, and that gutters are clean and not loose. 
  • If you think you may have especially bad soft spots in your roof, call a professional to climb up for a more thorough inspection.  

When you’re looking for roof damage, a great place to look is on the underside, and that requires an interior inspection. 

  • Get into the attic and look for dark spots or obvious places where water has run.  Pay close attention if your attic smells musty and look for mold or mildew.  If you see any daylight shining through where it shouldn’t be, you need to check the corresponding area on the roof and get that repaired. 
  • Check every inch of the top floor interior ceiling plaster or drywall for discoloration, crumbling, cracking or bubbling. 
  • Don’t forget closets, cabinets, storage areas, and even wallpaper.  Use a very bright flashlight to help you see these hard-to-see places. 

Roofing materials can vary from asphalt shingles to stamped tin, and each one has a different way to inspect and repair.  Scott Yancey, real estate instructor and host of the television show Flipping Vegas, offers these tips for inspecting all kinds of roofing.  Your roof is the most important aspect of your home’s construction, and maintaining it is important to prevent costly repairs or replacement or expensive interior damage.   

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: regionalroofing.net

Before You Remodel…

January 10th, 2018 by tisner

Depending on whether you are planning to sell your home in the next year or if you are in your forever home, remodeling is a great way to get what you want out of your home, or what buyers want.  There are things to consider before you jump into remodeling. 

  • Decide on a budget, and how you’ll pay for the upgrade.  Consider hiring a financial planner who can help you choose which way is best. 
  • If you decide to do this project yourself, and you’re not in the construction business, plan on taking much longer than a professional.  Be realistic about your skills and hire help if you need it. 
  • Acquiring an architect or designer is a good idea if you’re making major changes.  You don’t want to run into major structural or electrical issues and not know what to do. 
  • Think about how long you want to stay in your home before you invest in big ticket items, like a six-burner range for the kitchen, or expensive hardwood flooring throughout the house.  If your sole plan is to make money from a sale, or if you want and can afford the upgrades, go ahead. But if you’re not going to enjoy those items while you’re living there, consider a simple refurbishing or using what you have if it’s in good working order and won’t look out of place. 
  • When looking for a contractor, price isn’t necessarily the important thing.  Ask for references, check their license numbers, and call the former clients and ask to see the work that was done, either in photos or in person. The research will be worth it in the end.  
  • Once you hire your contractor, start getting your paperwork in order.  The contractor has their own responsibilities, and the homeowner has to take care of other items–check this list from realtor.com to see who is responsible for what. 
  • Planning a timeline with your contractor is especially important, and make sure you leave room for possible unexpected issues. 
  • Sit down with your family and figure out logistics, especially if you’re remodeling the kitchen or one of the bathrooms in your home.  Remodeling can cause a lot of stress, but if everyone knows what to do before it all happens, things can flow better. 
  • As with moving, clean out the room before the renovation, giving away, selling or throwing out what you haven’t used in months.  Wrap and store any items you’re keeping in a spare room. 
  • Before the construction team comes in to begin the project, sit down with your contractor to set location boundaries for the crew and your family, along with other logistics. The crew doesn’t want your children playing around with tools, and you don’t want your good bathroom towels used for grimy hands.  Everyone needs to know what is okay, and what isn’t.   

A home remodel is a big undertaking; watching renovation shows on television can give the idea that everything goes off without a hitch.  It takes planning, communication and good all-around management to make the process go smoothly, even if you hit a few bumps along the way.

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

Photo credit: www.river105.com

How To Make Your Living Spaces Appear Larger!

December 11th, 2017 by tisner

If the furniture in your living space looks like it’s just stuffed in the room, there are ways to make your space seem larger.  Check out these tips to create more space in your home: 

  • Use mirrors to fool the eye, because they reflect light and images. Hang one larger mirror on the main wall, several small ones, (gallery style), or even an oversized mirror leaned against the wall.   
  • Painting walls a light color automatically opens up the space to the eye, because it reflects light.  Going all one color is a great way to make the room appear larger, too. 
  • Get rid of clutter.  The more you have sitting around–mail, books, work, kids’ school things–the fuller your space looks.  Baskets, files or paper organizing gadgets, decorative storage containers, or furniture pieces that double as storage are the best way to hide necessary things.  Get rid of, (in other words, throw away or recycle), junk mail and unnecessary paper as soon as you look at it. 
  • Draw an imaginary diagonal line across your room and place your furniture at an angle.  You even get a bonus storage area behind anything that covers a corner! 
  • Pieces that are the same color as the walls blend in, making the room appear larger. 
  • Either skip window coverings, or use sheer drapery or curtains and blinds that are the same color as your walls.  If you have to use drapes, hang them either at ceiling height, or just inside the window so the framework is visible. 
  • If you want bookshelves, consider a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling unit.  Draw the eyes horizontally and vertically. 
  • Speaking of bookshelves, the less you have on these open spaces, the roomier it looks.  Cramming every collection, book, or “trinket” just fills up the space in a similar way that clutter does. If you must display sentimental pieces, display a few at the time.  Switching them out on occasion will also give new appreciation for them. 
  • Choose sofas and chairs with exposed legs to allow to light to pass through underneath them.  The more light in your room, the better. 
  • On that note, light is your friend.  If you can’t get more natural light into the space, use a few lamps instead of an overhead light, as it draws the eye to look around the room. 
  • Keep patterns small.  Use a punch or two of larger patterns on pillows or throws, but not too many–remember–less is more. 
  • If you need an area rug, don’t settle for a small rug under the coffee table.  Purchase a rug that extends out from the furniture, as it will draw the eye out. 
  • Create a focal point with framed pieces on one wall, especially behind a sofa, and extend the arrangement to the ceiling, and it will make the space appear taller.  It will also add pop and take away from the room’s size.  
  • Drop-leaf tables or dining tables with the extra leaf removed work best in small areas, and if you need more tabletop space for guests or for workspace, simply add the leaf. 

Small spaces can still mean big living–we just have to make a few adjustments to maximize the space and create a few illusions for our minds to think big.  Better Homes and Gardens has multiple ideas for small spaces, from apartments to living areas, as well as those awkward spaces. 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

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Sprucing Up with Paint!

October 18th, 2017 by tisner

If finances are tight, but you’re ready to give your home a new look, paint is the budget-friendly way to go.  Making it a DIY project is even more cost-effective, and with so many options and ways to add color to your walls, you need some guidance so it will look like it was done by a pro. 

Which Paint and What Finish? 

  • Latex paint is best for walls, and oil paint is perfect for wood trim, because it seals stains.  Oil paint takes longer to dry, and has a strong odor, but if you add a tablespoon of vanilla extract per gallon, and open the windows, it helps keep the odor in check.  
  • Flat paint goes on easily, but doesn’t clean easily; glossy paint is great for cleaning, and comes in semi-gloss, and satin, but doesn’t cover wall imperfections. For a nice compromise, an eggshell finish is somewhat flat, but easy to clean. 

Choose Your Color 

  • Choose a color for the room/s you’re updating, and don’t be afraid of using a bold color.  This adds character and some wow factor to your home. Neutrals are great for quick-change decorating, or if you’re thinking of selling soon. 
  • Using pint-can paint samples, apply a 2×2 foot area of each color on the wall you’re planning to paint, allow to dry for 24 hours, and look at them at different times of the day.  You’ll get a more accurate feel for the color in the different lights, and whether you can live with it or not. 
  • Don’t forget the ceiling! You can change the feel of the room’s height by going a shade darker (for a lower ceiling feel), or go a shade lighter or use a lighter color to give the illusion of a higher ceiling. 

Painting Prep 

  • Measure your room for square footage, and make sure you buy enough paint–about one gallon per 400 square feet. 
  • Purchase good painter’s tape, drop cloths, putty, a good putty knife, caulking, and any tools you may need for removing hardware from any doors or walls. 
  • Protect light fixtures, trim, or wall sconces with painter’s tape.  Move furniture and put down drop cloths. Use wall putty or caulking to fill and smooth any holes or other wall damage. 
  • Clean, sand, and dust walls, using a vacuum to make sure all of the dust is off the walls. 
  • Priming the walls is really important if you’re covering a dark color, if there are stains on the walls, or if you’re painting paneling or new sheetrock. Tint the primer with a little of your new wall color before applying. 

Start Painting 

  • Paint mixing isn’t 100% perfect. Professionals mix all of the gallon cans together in a five-gallon bucket for color uniformity.   
  • Paint in corners and close to the ceiling with a good brush before you paint the walls, working your way down to catch drips. This process is called “cutting in.” 
  • Working in an overlapping W-pattern, apply paint until you need to reload the roller.  If you notice paint drying quickly, work in 3-4 foot sections of wall, but a whole wall can be accomplished in the case of a slower drying process. 
  • Smoothing the paint is important and is done by using what paint is left on the roller to paint as close to the ceiling and corners as possible, where you’ve already cut in. This gives a smooth appearance to the finish. 
  • Clean your equipment as soon as painting is done:  latex paint can be washed off with dish detergent and warm water, but oil paint should be cleaned off with paint thinner.  
  • Once the paint is dry, after about 24 hours, move your furniture back in, but hold off hanging anything on the walls for a few days, and don’t wash them until the paint has cured, usually two weeks to thirty days. 

A newly painted room can make your home feel fresh, and make it look as if you’ve redecorated.  If you’re feeling really adventurous, try painting a pattern on your wall.  It may take more time, but the dramatic effect it makes in the room makes the wall a focal point in itself. diy Network has some great tips for a patterned accent wall: http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/skills-and-know-how/painting/how-to-paint-stripes-chevrons-blocks-and-more 

Access Teri’s one-stop Orlando FL home search website.

Teri Isner is the team leader of Orlando Avenue Top Team and has been a Realtor for over 24 years. Teri has distinguished herself as a leader in the Orlando FL real estate market. Teri assists buyers looking for Orlando FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Orlando FL homes for sale.

You deserve professional real estate service! You obtain the best results with Teri Isner plus you benefit from her marketing skills, experience and ability to network with other REALTORS®. Your job gets done pleasantly and efficiently.  You are able to make important decisions easily with fast, accurate information from Teri. The Orlando Avenue Top Team handles the details and follow-up that are important to the success of your transaction.

Get Orlando Daily News delivered to your inbox! Subscribe here!

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Keller Williams At-The-Lakes
1170 Celebration Blvd
Suite 200
Celebration, Fl 34747

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