Shirley Musto - Musto Global Real Estate


Remodeling your home is something you’ve likely considered for a long time and have carefully planned. However, if you’re not an expert carpenter designer it can be easy to make novice mistakes. Learning by your mistakes is fine, but when those mistakes are an eyesore or cost hundreds of dollars, you’re better off doing your homework in advance.

Whether you’re doing a remodel yourself to save money, or just because you have a do-it-yourself spirit and like new challenges, these tips will spare you many headaches and save you a lot of money along the way.

1. Inaccurate measurements

Unless you’re a carpenter or engineer, odds are you don’t use measuring tools on a daily basis. To ensure that you get the most accurate measurements, draw plans for your remodeling project to ensure that everything will fit in the space that you have. This includes measuring for the spaces you’ll be putting appliances, cabinets, and other items. If you’re installing drawers or doors, ensure that they will be able to open fully.

2. Using the cheapest materials

Sometimes you can find high-quality materials in the bargain bin. But most of the time it’s there for a reason. Working with quality materials will not only usually give you the most aesthetically positive results, but will also likely outlast the cheaper alternatives.

3. Underestimating costs

If you’re planning a remodeling project always be prepared to spend a bit more than your original calculations. There are several unexpected expenses that could arise during the remodeling process, including damaging materials by mistake, buying the wrong materials, having to purchase specialized tools, or needing more than you initially thought.

4. Not taking appropriate safety measures

If you’re a novice remodeler, safety needs to be one of your top priorities. You may be unfamiliar with some of the tools you’re using and likely don’t know some of the common safety hazards on the job. When it comes to electrical work, there are many projects that required a licensed electrician to perform. If you’re up on a ladder, be sure the legs are fully opened and secure. And if you’re on the roof, make sure you’re wearing non-slip boots and not carrying heavy items up and down by yourself.

5. Ignoring design and style

In today’s world of quickly fading trends and online inspiration blogs it’s easy to want your home to be several things that it isn’t. When planning your interiors, try to take into account the architectural style of the house. Similarly, if you’re remodeling one room think about how it will look against the backdrop of the rest of your home. Consistency is a too-often undervalued characteristic of interior design.


Those are five of the most common home remodeling mistakes to avoid if you’re planning a renovation for your home. However, there are many more. So if you take away anything from this article, let it be this: you have to look at your home every day, so be sure to take the time to do your research and plan properly so that your home comes out just the way you want it.


At one time or another, everyone has postponed cutting their grass -- even if it's already overdue for a thorough mowing. Sometimes you have other plans: You're going away for the weekend, it's too hot, or maybe some friends just invited you over for a cold drink. There's no question that priorities often shift and more desirable choices present themselves. However, there are a handful of unexpected problems that could develop if you postpone lawn mowing for more than several additional days. Here are a few potential pitfalls to consider the next time you're thinking about waiting another week or so before tackling that jungle in your yard! Ground-nesting yellow jackets: There are a number of reasons that certain species of bees may decide that the soil in your backyard is a highly desirable place to build a nest, but uncut grass and a lack of human activity may make it even more inviting for them to set up shop. Although some ground-nesting bees are not always aggressive, yellow jackets are an exception. Mowing your lawn on a regular basis will not necessarily prevent bees from nesting in the ground, but short grass, regular human activity, and the noise of lawnmower may be somewhat of a deterrent. Keeping your grass well trimmed and your lawn maintained also makes it easier to spot bee activity in its early stages and take the appropriate action. In some cases, "appropriate action" is calling a professional exterminator and avoiding the infested area completely -- especially if you or anyone in your family is allergic to bee stings. Although your backyard should be a fun and carefree environment, it's a good idea to be observant and cautious when it comes to things like bee infestations. Other unwelcome visitors: If your yard is relatively quiet and undisturbed by lawn mowing and other activity for a few weeks, you may also discover large animal holes and burrows appearing. Not only does this damage your yard and create a tripping hazard, but there are a variety of undesirable animals -- including skunks -- that could be making their home on your property! Wear and tear on your lawnmower: Unless your lawnmower is new, exceptionally well maintained, and designed for rugged conditions, it probably does not do that well in long, thick grass. Forcing an older mower to work harder through heavy grass could cause it to overheat, shut down, or otherwise malfunction. Obvious drawbacks: Allowing your grass to grow beyond a couple inches can visibly detract from the appearance of your property. Even if you're not considering putting your house on the market in the near future, maintaining "curb appeal" will benefit neighbor relations and pride of home ownership. If vacations, physical limitations, or a busy social agenda keep you from mowing your lawn on a bi-weekly (or sometimes more frequent) basis, the solution may lie in using the services of an economical professional landscaping, mowing, or yard maintenance service. While it can be satisfying to have "hands on" involvement in keeping your property in tip top shape, sometimes there are other things you'd rather be doing!

If you intend to list your house, it may be beneficial to perform home upgrades. That way, you can enhance your residence and increase the likelihood of generating plenty of interest in your house as soon as it becomes available.

Oftentimes, a home's roof will deteriorate over time. And if a home seller is not careful, he or she may be forced to repair or replace a house's roof prior to listing a residence. Because failure to update this home's roof may force a home seller to miss out on opportunities to maximize his or her home sale earnings.

For those who need help upgrading a home's roof, there is no need to worry. Many roofing contractors are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these professionals can help you update a home's roof in no time at all.

Differentiating a top-notch roofing contractor from an ordinary roofing contractor, however, sometimes can be difficult. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of hiring the best-available roofing contractor in your city or town to update your house's roof.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you select the ideal roofing contractor.

1. Get Multiple Quotes

There is no shortage of roofing contractors at your disposal. Thus, you should receive quotes from multiple roofing contractors in your area.

Reach out to a variety of local roofing contractors – you'll be glad you did. In most instance, roofing contractors will offer free roof evaluations and estimates. Then, you can use the information provided by various roofing contractors to help you make an informed decision.

2. Ask Plenty of Questions

When it comes to selecting a roofing contractor, there is no such thing as a "bad" question. Therefore, you should ask a roofing contractor lots of questions to ensure you can make the best-possible choice.

Remember, roof repairs or updates may prove to be costly. But if you ask a roofing contractor for full details about a roof project, this professional can provide you with the insights you need to maximize the value of your investment.

3. Request Client Referrals

Generally, a roofing contractor can provide client referrals at a moment's notice. These referrals may prove to be exceedingly valuable, as they can help you understand what it's like to work with a roofing contractor before you make your final decision.

If you need extra help finding the right roofing contractor, you may want to reach out to a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can put you in touch with the top roofing contractors in your city or town, ensuring you can get the home improvement support that you need.

Of course, a real estate agent can provide you with expert guidance throughout the home selling journey too. He or she can help you list your residence, promote it to the right groups of buyers and ensure you can enjoy a quick, profitable home selling experience.

Take the necessary steps to upgrade your home's roof – use the aforementioned tips, and you can hire a terrific roofing contractor before you add your residence to the housing market.


Selling a house should be quick and easy. Yet issues may arise that make it tough to enjoy a fast, profitable house selling experience.

Common problems that come up during the home selling journey include:

1. Lack of Curb Appeal

Dedicate time and resources to bolster your residence's curb appeal – you'll be glad you did. Remember, your residence only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on homebuyers. If your house impresses buyers when they see it for the first time, buyers may continue to pursue your home and submit requests to view your residence in-person.

To improve your house's curb appeal, you should mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform various home exterior upgrades. Take an objective view of your home's exterior to identify any problems that may make buyers shy away from your residence. Then, you can correct these issues.

2. Initial Asking Price Is Too High

If your home's initial asking price fails to account for your house's condition and the current state of the real estate market, you may struggle to sell your residence. In fact, in this scenario, it may be many weeks or months before you receive an offer to purchase your residence.

Before you list your house, you may want to conduct a property appraisal. This enables you to receive a home valuation from a property expert. With this valuation in hand, you can set a competitive initial asking price for your house, thereby increasing the likelihood of a quick home sale.

3. Buyer's Market in Place

In a buyer's market, there may be an abundance of available houses and a shortage of property buyers. Thus, if a home seller is not careful, this individual may struggle to achieve the best-possible results.

Analyze the real estate market closely, and you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one. If you find that homes linger on the real estate market for many weeks or months before they sell, you likely are preparing to enter a buyer's market. As a result, you'll need to go above and beyond the call of duty to differentiate your house from the competition.

When it comes to selling a house in a buyer's market, it may be beneficial to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you craft a plan that ensures you can seamlessly navigate the home selling journey, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions.

A real estate agent first will meet with you and learn about your home selling goals. He or she next will develop a personalized home selling strategy and promote your residence to prospective buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you review this proposal and determine the best course of action.

Take the guesswork out of the home selling journey – collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can get plenty of help as you get ready to sell your residence.


For some people, their bicycle is their main method of transportation. Whether it's commuting to work or getting groceries, a bicycle can be an excellent way to save money, stay in shape, and enjoy the ride to your destination. For those of us who live too far away from work to cycle there, bicycles can still be a fun activity to that also helps you stay in shape. Just like your car, your bicycle requires regular maintenance to keep your rides smooth and safe. Local bike shops will be able to give your bicycle a tune-up or make difficult repairs. However, there are a lot of maintenance tasks that can be done right from home with your average toolkit. In this article, we'll go over basic bike maintenance that you can do in your driveway that will keep your bike in good  working condition.

Safety Check

Before you ride your bike, it's good to perform a basic safety check in your driveway before leaving your home. You'll want to check:
  • tires, to see if they're properly inflated, have enough tread, and don't have any cracks
  • brakes, to see if both the front and rear brakes work properly and that they're touching the rims when pressed
  • chain and shifters, to make sure the chain is lubricated and that the shifters are functioning correctly

Cleaning and lubrication

Cleaning your bicycle regularly isn't just a matter of aesthetics. A clean bike is a safe bike and the process of cleaning helps you discover any potential issues with the bicycle. On a monthly basis, clean the frame and rims of your bike with a cloth. Look for any cracks in the frame, loose bolts or screws on any of the mechanisms. Cleaning and lubricating the chain of your bike will significantly increase its lifespan and will prevent your chain from malfunctioning when you're out on a ride. First, turn your bike upside down so that it is balanced on the sea and handlebars. Wipe off the grime that has built up on the chain with a rag. If necessary, use a degreaser and a small brush to scrub any remaining residue from between the links, then wipe down the chain once more. Apply a drop of chain lubricant to each chain link while you rotate the pedals. While you have the lubricant out, also be sure to apply a small amount to the brake levers an derailleurs (the part that moves the chain onto the different sized sprockets to change gears). Also lubricate the brake cables and gear cables to make sure they can move freely and do not freeze up.

Repairs and replacement

Sometimes, in spite of proper care and maintenance you're going to beed to make some repairs to your bicycle. The most common fixes you'll need to make are changing flat tires and replacing worn brake pads, and chain issues like a skipping link. Depending on your bicycle, you can often find tutorials online that will help you find the tools you need to make these repairs from home. Otherwise, you could always give business to your local bike shop.



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