Spring Gardening is almost here!

Photo by Marion BrennerAre you finally seeing grass?  As I surveyed our yard this sunny (finally!!) morning, you can tell the winter definitely took it’s toll.  Lots to clean up this year, but seeing this post from “This Old House” gives me hope the work will be worth it.

Absolutely love the idea of combining an edible garden along with my other favorite plantings.    Scroll through the photos in this well done article for great ideas and enjoy the thought of warm summers in your beautiful gardens…

Jen McMorran, Realtor * 508-930-5259 * jen.mcmorran@verizon.net
Kensington Real Estate Brokerage * www.jenmcmorran.realtor

A Sliding Barn Door… Love it!

I definitely love décor that tells a story. And even more than décor, any of my buyers will tell you I love Homes that tell a story! It is so satisfying to see before and after pictures of houses I have sold to see how each buyer puts their own personal stamp on their interior and exterior spaces. A plain, forgettable, house soon becomes a memorable comfortable “Home”.

Photo: Ryan Benyi

This is one project I have always wanted to try in my house. A sliding barn door offers function and style plus does not take up space in your room. No need to rip open walls for pocket doors or framing openings for standard doors. And think of all of the possibilities for the door itself… casual, rustic, painted, metal. Or, heck you could do a chalkboard, huge dry erase board, calendar on one side and always have access to it since door won’t be opening and closing in standard fashion.

Check out this “how to” at ThisOldHouse.com to find out
how these could be created and installed in your home!

Jen McMorran Jen McMorran, Realtor
jen.mcmorran@verizon.net
508-930-5259
First Time Home Buyers
Existing Home Sales
New Construction
Antique Homes

Kensington Real Estate Brokerage – Servicing clients from Boston to Providence! North Attleboro, Attleboro, Plainville, Wrentham, Mansfield, Norton, Foxboro, Sharon, Seekonk, Cumberland, North Smithfield, Providence, Lincoln

Kitchen Remodel Step 1 – Read this!!

Great article on planning your Kitchen Remodel 

by Josh Garskof from This Old House Magazine.

MAlternative kitchen countertop surfacesake sure to take a quick read through it all as he highlights important considerations and gets you thinking about the entire kitchen remodel process!  Jot down some important notes then start to plan out your kitchen makeover.  And definitely have your notes handy when you meet with a designer or contractor.

showing the cost allocation of the remodel
If you have ever been through a remodel or new construction, you know pretty much anything is possible for a price.  How many times did you hear  “we can do that”  without the contractor/designer/sales person telling you how much it will ultimately cost?  Too many people go way over budget when they fall in love with a concept and then just can’t let go of it even though it turns out to be far out of their financial means (Very few make up that cost later in the project so don’t try to convince yourself of that unless you have really figured it out on paper!)

There are 33 pages to click through… click them all!  So many good ideas on budgets, how to phase your projects, what can be done with blind corners, ways to save money on cabinets, comparing drawers verses roll-out shelves, cook tops, ranges, refrigerators, dishwasher styles, faucets, sinks, countertops, flooring, and more.  Trust me… not only will you be armed with more information but you will also come up with more questions to ask.

Because I am all about value, saving money, and planning, see below for a taste of what is included in the full article at This Old House Magazine… 1)What features are worth splurging on and 2)How to phase your project if you can’t afford to do it all right now.

What kitchen splurges make the most cents?

Worth the Splurge
a remodeled farmhouse kitchen1) Second sink: Place it outside of the main cooking and cleanup zone so that a second chef can prep food, wash hands for dinner, or bartend during parties.
2) Paneled cabinet ends: These decorative panels, which are essentially oversize doors fixed to any exposed sides of cabinets, give your kitchen a custom-built, furniture-like look.
3) Full-extension, soft-close drawer glides: Installed under or on the sides of a drawer, they allow it to pull completely out of the cabinet so that you can reach everything inside. Plus, they eliminate slamming.

Remodeled and updated kitchenNot Worth the Splurge
1) Glazed, distressed, and crackled finishes: These can increase cabinet costs by as much as 30 percent and can start to look dated as trends change.
2) Pot filler: It does make filling the pasta pot easier, but it doesn’t help with the far worse task of carting boiling water to the sink when your fettuccine is done.
3) Wine fridge: Do you really need 18 bottles of Pinot within arms reach and kept at precisely 55 degrees?

Do it in phases. Don’t compromise.

Illustration of kitchen layoutWhere to invest NOW:
Layout: This is the time to open the floor plan, add the island, and rearrange the flow.
Infrastructure: Get the framing, subfloor, windows, plumbing, and electrical right or all those new finishes and appliances won’t perform as expected.
Cabinets: Go for quality construction, premium glides and hinges, and as many cabinets as you can afford.
Countertops: Conventional wisdom may say to phase-in upscale countertops, but demoing the old and installing new can damage your cabinets and plumbing.

What you can wait for LATER:
New appliances: Unless you’re changing their size or configuration, your old range and fridge will work just fine until you get your next tax return.
Pricey light fixtures: Throw in cheap placeholders while you’ve got the electrician on hand. You can easily replace lights yourself once the wiring’s complete.
Splurge-worthy faucet: You can get a decent one for less than $75 that’ll tide you over for months or even years. Just make sure the drill-outs in your countertop match the configuration of your future faucet.
Backsplash: Paint the walls above your counter with a scrubbable semigloss to protect them while you save up for that glass mosaic. Holding off also gives new cabinets time to settle, thus preventing grout and caulk problems at the seam where the backsplash meets the counter.

Don’t forget to check out all of the other information in This Old House Magazine – relevant for homes and homeowners of all ages!!

Jen McMorran Jen McMorran, Realtor
jen.mcmorran@verizon.net
508-930-5259
First Time Home Buyers
Existing Home Sales
New Construction
Antique Homes

Kensington Real Estate Brokerage – Servicing clients from Boston to Providence! North Attleboro, Attleboro, Plainville, Wrentham, Mansfield, Norton, Foxboro, Sharon, Seekonk, Cumberland, North Smithfield, Providence, Lincoln

Happy Fall! (Happy Projects!)

Old Post Road, North Attleboro Need any help compiling your Fall To-Do list?
This Old House suggests the following six projects  to think about now …
well before your holiday guests start arriving!!

vacuuming vent register and grill for better heat circulation, fall easy upgrades for upkeep1. Drain and Store Hoses garden hose dripping and wound up in grass, fall easy upgrades for upkeep
2. Light your Pathways
3. Move Cold-Sensitive Items Inside
4. Dust Heating Vents
5. Upgrade Your Thermostat
6. Extend Downspouts

Cool mornings, warm afternoons, and then back to cool evenings could only mean one thing – fall is here! We have really had some beautiful days in North Attleboro these past couple of weeks. The weather has been perfect for apple picking, checking out the fall foliage, enjoying the kids’ practices and games, hiking the endless trails of New England, and even getting in some beach trips (especially now that it is after Labor Day you can take your canine friends to many of them).

BUT… With only 14 more weekends until January (yikes!), we really should also be taking advantage of these nice fall days to prepare for the harsher weather to come. I know we have our standard Fall To-Do list … closing the pool, cleaning & putting away pool furniture, clearing out gardens and mulching, raking leaves, picking up chestnuts, finishing up exterior painting projects.  This Old House is always great for adding a few more projects to our list 🙂

Jen McMorran Jen McMorran, Realtor
jen.mcmorran@verizon.net
508-930-5259
First Time Home Buyers
Existing Home Sales
New Construction
Antique Homes

Kensington Real Estate Brokerage – Servicing clients from Boston to Providence! North Attleboro, Attleboro, Plainville, Wrentham, Mansfield, Norton, Foxboro, Sharon, Seekonk, Cumberland, North Smithfield, Providence, Lincoln