Sandton Real Estate

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Building Contractors

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FixSmart – *Recommended Serving Sandton area Tel: 011 – 463 5165
Email: service@fixsmart.co.za
Website: www.fixsmart.co.za
Bathobantsho Construction Sandton 011 – 467 0031
Js Building Construction Sandton 011 – 743 1134
Magic 3 CC Morningside 086 – 125 4264
Prefab Design Services Sandton 011 – 705 1200
Mcmg Building Construction Bramley 011 – 887 2133
Esolezwe Construction
FixSmart
Sandton
Serving Sandton area
082 – 997 7490
011 – 463 5165

 

Articles on Home Design, Building and Renovation

 

Tips on how to choose a house plan

 

Choose a Plan That Suits Your Land

Choose a plan that fits the characteristics of your land. It can be very expensive to haul in dirt or grade a lot to make it suitable for a plan. It’s better to make the house fit the land, rather than trying to make the land fit the house. Also the size and shape of your lot affects the type of home you can build on the lot.

Be Open minded

It’s important to be open-minded when looking at houses. By doing this, you’ll learn things you never realized. Over time, your ‘ideal’ home will evolve and change. If you are like most people, you will probably buy a home that is different from what you thought you wanted. Don’t quickly discard houses. You will have a better understanding of what you want by taking a close look at many houses.

Exteriors Are Easy to Change

Some people will only look at a house if they like its appearance. However, usually the house’s exterior can easily be changed. The changes to an exterior can be so dramatic that you won’t realize you are looking at the same house. To change the exterior, you can use different windows, modify roof lines, and change exterior details. Don’t judge a home by its appearance. It’s the inside that really counts. After all, you’ll spend 90% of your time on the inside of your home.

Hidden Potential

You might discard the right home because you don’t see its hidden potential. For example, say you don’t like living rooms and you avoid houses that have living rooms. However, a living room could serve another purpose. It could become a den, a nursery, or an additional bedroom. It could also be an excellent dining room. Changing the location of a doorway or adding a wall may convert a room into something you would really love. Sometimes all you need to do is rename a room. When looking at houses, look for the hidden potential.

Perfect Homes Don’t Exist

Some people spend years searching for the perfect home. However, they never find it because their perfect home is a fantasy. It doesn’t really exist. Be realistic when shopping for a home. Ask yourself what features you must have and what features you want to have. When you find a house that meets your requirements, it may not have all of your wants. However, if you hold on to your dream of a perfect home you might pass up the right house and regret it later.

Blueprints Can Be Changed

Almost everyone who buys stock blueprints makes changes to them. Try to find something close to what you want and make changes to suit your needs. Common changes include doing a mirror reversal of the plan, moving walls, changing the location of the garage door (to make the garage a side garage or a front garage), and changing the size of the garage (such as lengthening a 2-car garage into a 3-car garage). Also you can usually add features to a home. For example most home plans can have a fireplace added. We also offer a modification service and can modify any of our house plans.

Budget

Two of the main things that affect a house’s price are its size and features. Some people look for a large house with many features. Because of this, they are unable to find a home they can afford.

It is possible to have a comfortable home with many features. Designers can make a house feel larger than it actually is. They accomplish this with efficient use of space, open floor plans, high ceilings, and good traffic flow. Effective window placement and sunlight can also make a house feel larger. It’s not the size of a house that matters. What’s more important is how comfortable your home feels. Perhaps you should consider houses that are smaller than what you think you want. By doing this you may find a comfortable home with the features you want.

Square Footage Size of a Plan

If you use a stock plan, you will probably make changes to the floor plan. Changes to a plan often increase or decrease the size of the house. Because of this, you should also look at plans that are smaller and larger than what you think you want. After changes are made, the plan may be close to the size you desire. Also the size of the home is not as important as the functionality. A large poorly designed home may actually feel smaller than a smaller home which is designed well. Consider looking at plans that are up to 500 square feet smaller and 300 square feet larger than what you think you want. Usually it is easier to increase the size of a plan than it is to reduce the size of a plan.

The Value of Stock Plans

When you buy a stock plan you receive a custom home design for a fraction of what it would normally cost to design a home. The prices are reasonable because the cost of stock plans is shared by many people. Also it usually costs less to start with a stock plan and make modifications rather than try to design a home from scratch. The value of a plan comes from the hundreds of hours a skilled designer spends creating the plan.

Five areas of your home that can improve it’s resale value

There are several things that a homeowner can do to improve the resale value of their home before placing it on the market. Upgrading or refinishing these five critical areas, as well as a few general good practices, can dramatically increase your home’s resale value.

1) The Exterior
The first thing a potential home buyer will see is the exterior of the home. This presents a great opportunity to make an excellent first impression. An inviting yard will immediately make the home more desirable.

Get rid of any trash or debris in the yard and keep the lawn mowed and edged. A well kept lawn is a must. Trim the hedges and pull the weeds. Mulch the flower beds, and if you don’t have flowers consider investing in some.

2) The Kitchen
The kitchen is the first place that a potential buyer will look. For many cultures life revolves around the kitchen, and many women still consider the kitchen as one of the most important factors when deciding on one house over another.

If the kitchen is small or dark give the cabinets a touch up with a light finish. A bright finish on your cabinets makes the kitchen appear more open and brighter.

The focal point of the kitchen is the kitchen sink. Particularly if you have an older sink, with a single or shallow basin, replacing the sink is a must. Invest in a double basin, deep sink. Undermount kitchen sinks add style to the kitchen, they are sleek and bold.  Stainless steel kitchen sinks have a modern look and are very practical.

Both can be found at retailers that offer discount kitchen sinks, saving you money on the project. Installing these sinks will give your kitchen a modern and gorgeous, yet practical feel.

Finally, in the kitchen redo the countertops by purchasing a small three inch roller and applying two coats of catalyzed epoxy. If the counters appear worn this will make them look like new and give them the appearance of a textured surface.

3) Interior Walls
Sometimes cleaning the walls simply isn’t enough. A fresh painting is always a good idea and will make your walls look like new. To get started patch up any dents or holes no matter how small. Caulk all cracks and run a small bead of caulk on top of the base boards. Damp finger wipe the bead to get a smooth finish.

Two coats of paint will always look the best, no matter the quality of the paint. The first coat is a primer, allow it to dry and lightly sand the walls with a 220 grit sandpaper. Use a damp cloth to pick up all the sanding dust. Then apply the second coat. For the best, professional results use two coats of semi-gloss latex paint.

Wood trim and cornicing will also give the home a modern, classy look. Ceiling trim and armchair railing will compliment the newly painted walls.

4) Floors
Clean the carpets so that they look like new. If you cannot achieve the desired results consider hiring a professional to do them. Perfectly clean, like new carpets will make a huge difference when showing the home.

Hardwood flooring is back in style. If you have carpet and it is worn and beyond cleaning, cut a small piece from a closet corner. If the floor is in good condition you could pull the carpet and refinish the floors. This could very well also save you money.

5) Outlets and Switches
Replace old outlets and switches. New, modern switches can typically be replaced easily and inexpensively using existing wiring. If you are going to do the electrical work yourself remember to shut off the power first.

New switches and outlets add elegance to the home, and make the electrical wiring appear newer than it really is.

Improving these five areas of the home will give you the most bang for your buck, improving the resale value of your home. Additionally, remember to keep the home clutter free, it will make the home appear more spacious. Give the windows a good cleaning so that they appear flawless. Put in higher wattage light bulbs so that your potential buyer can see how great everything looks.

If your home is in a hot and humid climate install ceiling fans. These can be very inexpensive and help improve the homes energy efficiency, increasing it’s perceived value.

Finally, consider having a professional floor plan company come in and reassess your homes square footage. This can cost a  bit, but often the home will be assessed higher than what is on record. Since homes sell for a lot per square foot this service can easily pay for itself.

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