Which Home Improvements Pay Off?

Basic maintenance, such as the roof and exterior painting, are frequently more important than an awesome kitchen.

In the first year my husband and I lived in our house, we spent almost $20,000 on home improvements. When we set that money aside at the beginning of the year, we dreamed about granite counters and steam showers; what we ended up with was a new furnace, new gutters, a drainage system to keep the basement dry, new landscaping and lots of new paint. At the end of that year as I wiped down my tacky Formica countertops and bathed in my 1950s seafoam green tub, I wondered if we had spent that money wisely. If we had put our house up for sale, would potential buyers have really cared about the dry basement and reliable furnace?

After talking to a slew of realtors, contractors and architects, the consensus was yes. "If the roof is leaking, buyers won't get beyond that," says Ron Phipps with Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. "I don't care how awesome the kitchen is."

According to Remodeling Magazine (http://www.remodeling.hw.net/) you're less likely to recoup your investment in a major kitchen or bathroom remodel than you are to get back what you spend on basic home maintenance such as new siding. Siding replacement recouped 92.8 percent of its cost, according to the study. The only home improvement likely to return more at resale was a minor (roughly $15,000) kitchen remodel, which returned 92.9 percent. Replacing roofs and windows were also high on the list, returning 80 percent or more at resale.

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Prepare Your Home For the Holidays with These Five Tips

As much as the holidays bring friends and family together, a cheerful time of can often turn stressful when planning for the holidays. Consider these easy DIY tips so your home is ready for the winter holidays. 

1. Refresh Your Guest Bedroom

There's no better way to start fresh than new bedding. Quick updates, even a new throw pillow, can quickly transform a space and make it perfect for your guests. 

2. Reimagine Your Entryway

A new rug, paint or decorations can quickly transform your entryway space, making it the perfect first impression for your guests.  

3. Decorate Your Bathrooms

Consider updating your bathroom faucet or adding some holiday-themed decor to the bathroom space. Small fixtures and hardware are easy to switch out and give a fresh new look to your home.

4. Prepare Meals & Freeze Them For Later

There's nothing wrong with cooking ahead of the holidays so that you have some extra family and friend time when the winter holidays come around. Consider cooking sides so that you have less to do when hosting guests. 

Save some time this holiday season with Bright Star Handyman. When it comes to bigger updates around the house, we are here to help. Bright Star Handyman will do everything from painting and refinishing cabinets to woodwork, carpentry and installing new backsplash. Bright Star has the expertise to get the job done quickly and efficiently so that you have more family time! Happy holidays! 

Thank you, Philadelphia & South Jersey!

From all of us at Bright Star Handyman Service, thank you for your continued business! We are proud to service the Philadelphia and South Jersey regions with everything from paint to carpentry. Wishing all of our clients a very happy Thanksgiving. 

Bathroom heating options

If you live in a home that has a hard time heating certain rooms in your house, you are not alone. In fact, this is quite a common problem especially if you live in a large home with only one furnace, or you live in an old historical home that does not offer the modern heating systems often found in newer homes. There are many ways to heat your home and a bathroom is one of the easiest rooms to warm up. This article will provide some heating options to consider for your chilly bathroom.

Things to consider when choosing your bathroom heating option

When choosing which type of bathroom heater to install you have to consider the size and shape of your bathroom. While there are many options which are ideal when space is at a premium, not all bathroom heaters are suitable for use in smaller spaces without causing inconvenience. If you have a large bathroom you should consider how effective the heater will be across the entire space. For smaller bathrooms  you should look the option which takes up the least space.

You also need to consider the usage of the bathroom. For instance, a busy family bathroom, which is used daily, will require a more permanent heating solution than that of a guest bathroom in a second home, for example. If you have young children you need to judge how safe the heating solution will be when curious young ones are around. If you’re remodeling a bathroom or building a new one, style is also an important factor, so choosing a heater which matches the interior style is vital.

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Before & After Cornice & Windows!

Before and after of the cornice and windows. Bright Star Handyman scraped all the loose paint off the cornice and painted it using Benjamin Moore HC-169. For the windows, Bright Star removed the existing capping that was old and outdating then sealed any gaps to help with the homes energy efficiency. Only after everything was properly sealed did we install the new aluminum capping!

Bright Star Handyman services the entire Philadelphia area. Give us a call today! 

Before & After!

Before & After!

Kitchen Decor Trends For Fall 2017

Kitchen Decor Trends For Fall 2017

Kitchen remodeling trends. Bright Star Handyman Service. Philadelphia's first choice for your handyman needs. 

Stunning Before & After Kitchen Remodel by Bright Star | Philadelphia

Bright Star Handyman is the best handyman service in Philadelphia, providing everything from kitchen and bath remodeling to carpentry. This quaint little kitchen got a total update with some paint and new white, subway tile backsplash.

BEFORE & AFTER

Importance of carpentry: Learn to Appoint the Best Contractor

Carpentry is more of an art. The beautiful way of carving furniture has been in existence since the Stone Age when science and technology weren’t even born yet human being with their innovations carved out beautiful sculptures with hand. Carpentry nowadays has entered into the machine world where carpenters use machines to design and build an item. It’s a term associated more with wooden items, furniture and decors. Having the best designed furniture at your home can brighten up the mood of the room every time you enter. It’s therefore very important to have a well experienced and efficient carpenter to design and build your furniture.

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7 Smart Strategies for Kitchen Remodeling

Homeowners spend more money on kitchen remodeling than on any other home improvement project. And with good reason: Kitchens are the hub of home life and a source of pride.

A significant portion of kitchen remodeling costs may be recovered by the value the project brings to your home. A complete kitchen renovation with a national median cost of $60,000 recovers about 67% of the initial project cost at the home’s resale, according to the “2015 Remodeling Impact Report” from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

The project gets a big thumbs-up from homeowners, too. Those polled in the “Report” gave their new kitchen a Joy Score of 9.8 — a rating based on those who said they were happy or satisfied with their remodeling, with 10 being the highest rating and 1 the lowest.

To maximize your return on investment, follow these seven strategies to keep you on budget and help you make smart choices.

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30 Tips for Increasing Your Home's Value

Tip 1: Spend an Hour With a pro

Invite a realtor or interior designer over to check out your home. Many realtors will do this as a courtesy, but you will probably have to pay a consultation fee to a designer. Check with several designers in your area; a standard hourly fee is normally less than $100, and in an hour they can give you lots of ideas for needed improvements. Even small suggested improvements, such as paint colors or furniture placement, can go a long way toward improving the look and feel of your home.

Tip 2: Inspect it

Not every home improvement is cosmetic. Deteriorating roofs, termite infestation or outdated electrical systems — you can't fix it if you don't know it's broken. Hire an inspector to check out the areas of your home that you don't normally see. They may discover hidden problems that could negatively impact your home's value. Small problems (such as a hidden water leak) can become big, expensive problems quickly; the longer you put off repairs, the more expensive those repairs will be.

Tip 3: Paint, Paint, Paint

One of the simplest, most cost-effective improvements of all is paint! Freshly painted rooms look clean and updated — and that spells value. When selecting paint colors, keep in mind that neutrals appeal to the greatest number of people, therefore making your home more desirable. On average, a gallon of paint costs around $25, leaving you plenty of money to buy rollers, painter's tape, drop cloths and brushes. So buy a few gallons and get busy!

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New Backsplash. Bright Star Handyman Service. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

New Backsplash. Bright Star Handyman Service. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

The Ultimate Hire-a-Handyman Checklist

Finding a good Handyman is like finding a good mechanic. There’s a certain comfort in knowing there’s a trusted person you can call when something goes wrong. A good Handyman can fix plumbing and electrical, build small additions, demo walls, paint, tile, and more. There are lots of handymen out there. Use this checklist to make sure you hire the right one.

Before You Call:

  1. Walk through your home and list any small repairs needed (e.g., dripping faucets, loose cabinet doors, faulty light switches, etc.).
  2. Get organized. Keep your list of needed repairs near the phone so you can give the handyman a sense of the scope of the job before he comes to your home.
  3. Make a list of any other items of concern, including any issues you think might worsen over time.
  4. Decide whether you want to do all of the repairs on your list at once or complete them in phases. If you want to do them in phases, prioritize what needs to be done first.

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Choosing an Outdoor Kitchen Design Worthy of Your Summer BBQ’s

There are certain sectors of the home that hold unprecedented potential for entertaining.

A billiards basement, the dining room, a large, open kitchen… It seems like that’s it, and then you step outdoors. For much of the year, a backyard is mostly defined by its taxing upkeep.  It can be hard to remember the glory days of summer, until spring arrives, and you find yourself spending more time outdoors.

With the right additions to your home, anyone can create an outdoor kitchen perfect for warm weather entertaining.  From affordable alterations, to entire upgrades, here are some outdoor kitchen designs for those summer BBQ’s.

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Lighting Tips for Every Room

Living Rooms / Family Rooms

The concept of layering light is particularly important in the living/family room, an area of the house where people tend to gather for long stretches of time and engage in an array of activities, including conversation, watching TV, reading, playing board games and using a laptop. "In rooms where people spend a lot of time, I like to get away from recessed downlights, and instead use lights that bounce off the ceiling for ambient illumination," says lighting designer Markus Earley, of earleylight, in Providence, R.I. "Bouncing light off the ceiling creates a sense of brightness in the room, and avoids the shadows or downward direction of recessed lights."

Earley also favors bouncing light off the ceiling because it suits the human tendency to visually perceive vertical planes—looking up—versus looking at our feet.

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