Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 6/9/2013

Kitchens are often the hub of the home and when it comes time to put your home on the market it is often said that kitchens and baths sell homes. A kitchen remodel can be expensive and time consuming. There are things you can do to give your kitchen a new look without spending a lot of money or time. Here are some inexpensive tips to get your kitchen in tip top shape in no time. -Upgrade your appliances Updating or upgrading your appliances will give your kitchen a fresh new look. You can start by ordering new doors or face panels from the manufacturer. If new appliances are in order you can find great deals at at discount stores. Many stores have scratch and dent appliances that may only have a small imperfection on the back of the appliance or in a place where no one would see it. This is a great way to save lots of money for more expensive appliances. -Pretty it up with paint New paint makes everything look clean and bright again. Choose a semigloss latex paint, which is easier to clean and holds up better in kitchens. Don't forget to paint the trim too. Clean and wash all the walls and trim before painting. This will ensure the paint adheres to the surfaces properly. -Get organized Even if you have the newest cabinets and appliances a messy kitchen is never attractive. Keep clutter at bay with drawer organizer for utensils, pot racks and pull out trays for cabinets. If you need more room in your kitchen, utilize empty walls. Add open shelves with some neatly placed bowls for a great decorative and storage alternative -Use the right lighting Replace flood lights with a brighter and cleaner looking halogen bulbs. Install under cabinet lighting for a new look. Use decorative lights over the kitchen table or island to set the mood. Older chandeliers can get an easy upgrade by placing small shades over the bulbs. -Refurbish the cabinets If your cabinets need a new look consider either refinishing them or giving them a lot of elbow grease. Cabinets easily build up with grease and dust. Use a cleaner with orange oil to get rid of the grime. Test a spot first before cleaning the whole kitchen. If the cabinets are worn, consider refinishing or repainting the doors and frames. Adding new drawer pulls, hinges and handles can also make a big impact. -Fix the floor An affordable way to have a do it yourself new floor is to install vinyl tiles. Vinyl flooring is easy to clean and durable. At less than $2 per square foot, you can put a vinyl floor in just about any kitchen for $500. Don't be afraid to spend a little money to achieve big results. Most minor kitchen renovations will recoup at least 83% of the cost and may even add value to your home.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 10/14/2012

It is great to have a room renovation every once in a while but painting and changing the look of a room can be costly and time consuming. Here are three quick and simple ways to change the look of your room without busting the budget.

  1. Window Treatments are one of the quickest, simplest and most affordable ways to change the whole look and feel of a room. If you prefer to take the focus away from the windows, choose neutral colors, and a simple style. If you would like to create a dramatic look and emphasize the view, choose more color or a bolder style in the window treatments. A layered look with sheers or a top treatment will also do the trick.
  2. Lighting can definitely add color. A simple solution would be to add colored bulbs to some of your light fixtures. Incandescent lighting can also add more warmth, and accent lighting can highlight an area of the room. Transform a room’s mood with dimmers, uplights, and sheer textile lampshades. Wall sconces, floor lamps and even candles can also change the look of a room.
  3. Artwork can change the look without busting the budget. Artwork can be from a local gallery, children’s drawings or just what you already have hanging around the house. Choose pieces that showcase intense colors but also work well with the existing pieces in your room. Try moving your current artwork around. Photos, vases, and other collectibles can give new life to a room. Group them in sets of three or five for an instant eye-catching display.
The possibilities are endless. You can infuse a lot of color into any room without once having to pry open a paint can or spend a fortune. Have fun!  





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/20/2012

Unlike most other investments, your home can actually make money for you. Using energy efficiency tax credits, making shrewd decisions about home improvement projects, and taking advantage of the work shortage in the building industry can all put cash in your pocket. As ranked by Remodeling magazine, here are some top money-making remodels:

1. Installing a new entry door (steel)
New entry door (steel)
Job cost: $1,218
Value added: $1,243
Cost recouped: 102%
2. Garage door replacement
Garage door replacement
Job cost: $1,291
Value added: $1,083
Cost recouped: 84%
3. Minor kitchen remodel
Minor kitchen remodel
Job cost: $21,695
Value added: $15,790
Cost recouped: 73%
4. Deck addition (wood)
Deck addition (wood)
Job cost: $10,973
Value added: $7,986
Cost recouped: 73%
5. New siding (vinyl)
New siding (vinyl)
Job cost: $11,357
Value added: $8,223
Cost recouped: 72%





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 4/15/2012

After numerous years of living in your home, you will soon become bored of the same decorations and furnishings, or at least stop appreciating them. This in turn can create a dull environment to live in, which is the last thing you want in your home. By following these tips in how to spruce up your house, you can ensure that your home always looks vibrant and welcoming. Sprucing up your home does not have to cost a lot of money, as you will find that there are many bargains available when it comes to finding decorative items. In fact, one way to get these bargains is by shopping online, as many reputable home decoration stores have great offers available. The first thing to keep in mind as you begin creating that new look in your home is that you should always work towards a theme. In fact, this is one of the most important tips in how to spruce up your house, because without the right type of theme, you will find that your decorations can look very noisy to the eye. The best way to begin sprucing up your home is by focusing on one room at a time, and as you finish that room, you can then gradually move onto the next room. By taking this approach, you will be able to focus on that theme, and you will also not feel overwhelmed in the process. Lastly, keep in mind that it is necessary to get the input of your family, because this will ensure that everyone is happy with the overall new look of your home.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 4/8/2012

Bathrooms are one of the most costly rooms to remodel–generally second only to kitchens.  These costs are often incurred in labor charges on items that go beyond the typical do-it-yourselfer’s skills.  If you find yourself in the position of needing a bathroom update, but without the funds for a full remodel, here’s some quick, budget-friendly updates that will give your bathroom a brand new look. Here are some great tips from Addicted2Decorating on how to get your bathroom in tip top shape. Painting is absolutely the cheapest way to transform any room.  For around $25, you can have a brand new look.  And because they’re smaller than other rooms, bathrooms are often a great place to experiment with interesting new wall treatments.  Do you like stripes?  Try them in your bathroom! Most people overlook the importance of lighting in almost every room of their home.  If you’re still living with an outdated bath bar (often called Hollywood lighting), then you can have a fresh, new update for as little as $30. Again, paint is the cheapest way to update.  Are your wood cabinets looking tired from years and years of use?  Give them a fresh coat of paint, and they’ll look new!  I recommend a good cleaning, followed by a light sanding, then priming.  Top with a coat or two of an oil-based paint, and you’ve got a brand new look.  And the cost?  About $70. Hardware is the “jewelry” of your cabinets.  Not having hardware on your cabinets is like putting on a great outfit, but forgetting to accessorize.  Hardware is also a great place to be creative and unique.  You can expect to pay anywhere from $3 to $15 (or more) for each knob or pull.  But it’s well worth it! Sometimes a new, fresh look is as easy as replacing your worn-out, faded towels with some soft, fluffy new towels.  And as popular as spa-inspired interiors are these days, it’s difficult to go wrong with white!  White also gives your space a fresh, clean look.  You can expect to pay from $5 to $30 per towel, depending on the quality. When most of us think of purchasing a rug for our bathroom, we generally head to the bathroom department of the local home store.  But why not try something with a little more style?  Instead of a regular bath mat, try introducing a small area rug into your bathroom.  Instant color and style!  And because the rug is generally smaller than one you’d need for a living room, it’s possible to find one for $50 to $100. I’m really surprised at how many people still use toilet seat covers in their bathrooms.  Toilet seat covers are not only outdated, but they’re incredibly unsanitary.  Remove it and reveal your sparkly clean toilet.  And the cost?  Free!  Simply remove…..AND TOSS! These are just as bad as the toilet seat covers.  Actually, they’re worse, considering that these catch more….ummmm…stuff, since it’s on the floor.  Eewwww!  Again, just lift, and TOSS!  And again….it’s FREE!! If you have a plain, plate-glass, builder’s basic mirror, give it a frame!  Simply purchase some moulding from your local home improvement store, cut to fit, paint, and adhere it to your mirror.  Fill in the corners with a bit of wood filler, sand, and touch-up the paint.  If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making a frame yourself, you can always remove the mirror completely, and replace it with a purchased, framed mirror.  Either way, the impact will be tremendous.  This can easily be achieved for $50 to $100. If you have a bathroom that requires a shower curtain, this is NOT the place to make a simply utilitarian choice.  Visually, shower curtains consume a large area of the bathroom, and this is the perfect place to add color and style to your bathroom.  So now’s the time to get rid of your plain, plastic shower curtain, and find one that defines your style!!