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Debbie Olson
North Woods Realty, Inc
Phone: 707-218-8055

340 Highway 101 North
Crescent City, CA 95531
Email: northwoodsrealty@gmail.com
BRE# 01126988

Thank you for visiting today. If this is your first visit, take your time and look around. I have plenty of information and resources available to you. If you are a return visitor, thank you. I would love to hear from you and tell you how I can serve all your real estate needs.

Stagetecture - Home Life Solutions

The Homeowners’ Essential Pre-Remodeling Checklist

(This post brought to you by Maxx AC & Heating.)

Remodeling your home is a huge undertaking. You’ve probably been saving for years so you could build your dream kitchen or bathroom. Now that the time is finally here, you’re eager to start knocking down walls and demolishing cabinets. However, before you begin altering your space, use a pre-remodeling checklist to keep your project on track.

Write Down Agreements With Your Contractors

Choosing your contractor is the first essential step in beginning your renovations. Always search only for licensed, insured, and experienced professionals, to make sure they have the necessary skills to perform your job successfully and on time. You also want to make sure they hire their own employees or have good relationships with reliable subcontractors.

With your contractor chosen, it’s time to narrow down the terms of your agreement. The contractor you picked probably gave you an estimate before being chosen, so keep that handy throughout the renovation as proof of what you promised to pay. Make sure your agreement includes detailed information about the work that needs to be completed as well as specific materials and finishes to be used. Communicating clearly will make the entire project easier for everyone by making it less likely mistakes will be made and more likely the work will be completed on time.

Pack Up All Your Non-Essentials

When your renovation begins, your home will officially become a construction zone. Dust and debris will cover practically every surface of the work area as workers rip out walls and remove flooring. That’s why you should make a point to clean out the rooms being renovated as much as possible. Not only will all your belongings be in the way of the workers, but your stuff will also get filthy.

Put all your items into boxes and store them in another part of your home. (It’s also a great time to go through your items and get rid of things you no longer use.)

Make Plans for Using Alternate Spaces in Your Home

With your kitchen or bathroom out of commission until further notice, you’re going to have to make some changes to keep your home functional. Ordering pizza for dinner every night or stopping over at the neighbor’s every time you have to use the bathroom isn’t effective in the long run.

Instead, try to set up replacement rooms in your home. Obviously, if you have an additional bathroom, this isn’t a problem. However, most people don’t have two kitchens in their homes. Make up for this by moving your microwave, coffee maker, toaster, and other small electronic appliances into another room where you can prepare meals. It won’t be a good setup for cooking Thanksgiving dinner, but it should suffice until your job is done.

If you don’t have another bathroom, you’ll have to consider other options, like renting a portable toilet. This type of toilet can be placed in your backyard for your essential needs until your new bathroom is complete.

Have you recently completed a remodel? We’d love to hear your tips. Also, we’d love to see your before and after pictures—click here to send an email.

 

      
 
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Is Your Home Hazardous to Your Health?

(This post is brought to you by Maxx AC & Heating.)

Your home is meant to be a safe haven where you can escape the hazards and discomforts of the outside world. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Many health hazards can linger inside your house, causing everything from recurring headaches to an increased risk of cancer. Watch out for these subtle threats and take action to make your home as healthy as possible.

Noise pollution

This one is so common in our modern world that it’s often overlooked. Any sound over 70 dB can potentially be defined as noise pollution. If you’re exposed to noises of 80 dB or more for a stretch of at least eight hours at a time, these conditions might be hazardous to your health. According to information from Environmental Pollution Centers, noise pollution can cause hypertension, cardiovascular disease, sleep disturbances, and even hearing loss. Exposure to this type of noise can also hinder physical and psychological development in children.

Take action: Wear earplugs around particularly loud noises. Keep your home quiet and, if possible, choose a house that’s well-removed from heavy traffic. Ironically, even when it’s quiet outside you can create your own noise pollution. Be careful when using earphones and keep the volume down.

Light Pollution

Light pollution is excessive or inappropriate use of artificial light. This can occur both inside and outside your house. Exposure to artificial light at night disrupts your body’s natural rhythms. In addition to robbing you of a good night’s sleep, it might even increase your risk for depression, diabetes, obesity, and breast cancer.

Take action: Keep artificial lights to a minimum in your home, especially at night. If you have bright street lights outside your house, use blackout drapes to block the disruption.

Volatile Organic Compounds

Many seemingly harmless products that you bring into your home off-gas potentially hazardous chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Cleaning products and air fresheners meant to make your home more comfortable can contain VOCs that can cause headaches and nausea. They may also cause eye, nose, and throat irritation and even cancer.

Many new products, such as carpeting, composite wood, upholstery, and vinyl flooring, release VOCs after installation.

Take action: Be mindful of what you bring into your home. Use natural cleaning products and look for low-VOC or no-VOC items.

Unseen Mold

Visible mold is an obvious hazard, but mold growth often goes unseen. Peeling paint or discoloration on the walls and ceiling might indicate hidden mold growth. Mold can cause chronic coughs, rashes, and headaches.

Contact a professional if you can’t reach the problem yourself.  You should eliminate mold as quickly as possible. Use an air purifier to capture airborne spores that might linger even after the initial growth is taken care of.

Take action: Be mindful when cooking, showering, and completing other activities that release moisture. Always turn on an exhaust fan that vents to the outside while performing these tasks.

Taking a mindful approach to your home and the potential hazards there will help you identify and eliminate many subtle dangers. With a careful analysis of your space and a smart, proactive plan, you can make sure your home is the healthy retreat you want it to be.

 

      
 
 

How Hiring the Right Contractor Can Save You Money

A Good Contractor Will Save You Money

Trust and proven expertise should be the most important factors when choosing professionals to work in your home– and if you are facing a major remodel project finding the right general contractor can make all the difference.

Taking on a “Fixer Upper”

When my husband and I purchased a house on an acreage, about 50 minutes from Boise, Idaho, we knew there was a reason we got a great price: It needed to be fully renovated before we could call it home.

At the time we were living in Taiwan and preparing to move back to the US the next year. I immediately started doing my homework to figure out how much this was going to cost– and hoping I would manage to find the right people to do everything that needed to be done. One of my first moves was to price out kitchen cabinets and countertops at Ikea. (That’s a chain store you can find all over the world!) I was in the process of trying to get prices on installation when I decided to send Trudy Mallon, with Mallon Homes, a message asking about the average price of a kitchen installation in the Boise real estate market. Her estimate for the entire project was similar to what I had calculated materials alone would cost. We scheduled a meeting to go over the house to discuss our needs and wants during our next trip to the US.

Expertise Makes a Difference

We jumped at the chance to have Tim and Trudy Mallon take a look at our home for two reasons: 1) We’d met them through church years ago and know they are passionate about their work. 2) We’d enjoyed touring their homes during the annual “Parade of Homes” in the Boise area. What we didn’t realize is how quickly an expert could tell us what needed to happen– and what it would cost.

The house came with a 1,200 square foot attached garage– with a wooden floor. Because of the construction method used we weren’t convinced cars could safely drive into the garage. In his first walk through the house, Tim was able to tell us how that space could be turned into a master suite, laundry room, office, and oversized two-car garage with a cement floor.

We immediately saw the value in having a plan to make the house fit our needs (and wants), add value by improving the layout, and avoid having to build a separate garage.

Making Smart Customization Choices

When it was time to pick out interior finishing materials for our home, we took advantage of our builders’ expertise while selecting options that appealed to us. We started by looking at the standard finishes used by the builder and then picked a few special items we wanted to upgrade– and found other areas where we could select a less expensive option so we could stay on budget.

Shopping in December allowed us to get a deal on some materials– like travertine tiles for our master bathroom. We chose a granite our builder was able to get at a steep discount. We also cut costs with some of our lighting choices and splurged on decorative tile for backsplashes.

In the end we spent the same amount we expected originally (when we had intended to do some of the work ourselves) but got a home with nicer finishes than we originally expected.

Do you live in the Boise area or plan to move here soon? If so, be sure to check out the Boise Parade of Homes. And no matter where you live, please comment below let me know where you find your inspiration!

 

      
 
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