The Norton Group, Inc.



Posted by The Norton Group, Inc. on 4/7/2013

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  If you’re still living with an outdated bath bar (often called Hollywood lighting), then you can have a fresh, new update for as little as $30.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!!





Posted by The Norton Group, Inc. on 1/13/2013

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 The Norton Group, Inc. on 9/16/2012

Whether it be simply the preference of the homeowner, or an attempt at increasing home value, hardwood flooring is increasing in popularity.  Hardwood floors can add a touch of class to a smaller home, and make larger homes really show off their square footage in a way that carpeting cannot compete with. If you are considering outfitting your home with hardwoods, style and durability will be your two biggest categories to explore, after cost.  Some hardwood options, while stylish, lack the durability of others, and care would need to be taken in order to not wear out your new home addition prematurely.  Below, I'll list some of the more popular varieties of hardwood flooring options. Wide-Plank - Wide-plank flooring is quickly becoming one of the more popular options for people looking to add a touch of class to a room or home, without sacrificing their floor's durability.  This style of flooring gives you a wide variety of wood options and styles to choose from, but woods with complex grains are the preferred way to go.  Wider planks allow the natural beauty of woods like Hickory and Tigerwood a chance to shine. Reclaimed Pine - This eco-friendly option is also a popular favorite.  Perfect for homes that already possess a rustic flare, reclaimed pine flooring can add a touch of historical class to any home.  And because one of the primary sources of reclaimed pine flooring are historical buildings, this is an environmentally-friendly alternative to some of the more extravagant hardwood varieties, like Brazilian hardwoods, or teak.  Reclaimed pine is just one of many varieties of reclaimed wood, so shop around a little.  Almost all reclaimed hardwood options will add a touch of mature class to a home. Eucalyptus and Ebonized Hardwood - These varieties are extremely dark and elegant.  Best paired with contemporary homes. If you are partial to white furniture and decor, this variety will serve to complement your design style immensely. Red Oak - This variety of flooring is gaining a reputation for it's ability to successfully coordinate with any design style, as well as it's durability.  Red Oak is a fantastic choice for homes with children, as the durability of the wood will prevent most scuffs and dents that a high-traffic family would normally dish out on a less-resilient wood variety.  The lighter, warmer colors of the wood also serve to heighten the brightness and color of a room, which may be preferred in houses that don't get a lot of natural light. Brazilian Cherry - This variety is the classic "mosaic hardwood".  The natural variation in color from plank to plank is an eye-catching addition to any home, while the affordability factor is also an appeal.





Posted by The Norton Group, Inc. on 3/4/2012

With the recent growth in telecommuting, home offices are also becoming a necessity rather than a luxury. Home buyers are looking for a place where they can work, a place to pay bills or simply surf the net. Investing in a home office will help you now and may pay off later. Have you always dreamed of a home office? Do you have an office that is overrun with papers? A home office is usually the place where junk finds its home. Getting that room into a place where organization is king can be easier than you think. Implementing an organizational system that has you working in peace with everything at your fingertips is easy if you follow these simple tips. 1. Choose the space. Think of all the things that you'll need to work comfortably in your home office. You want to make sure the space will allow for your desk and chair and anything else you will need in your office. 2. Organize your space. Part of organizing means decluttering. If you have three staplers, six pairs of scissors you will need to get rid of anything extra. Clutter is very distracting and reduces efficiency. Identify a space for all the necessities. You need to identify a place for the printer, file cabinet, reference books and supplies. 3. Schedule the date and time for your office organization. Set aside a specific time and date to plan your space. If you have lots of files and file cabinets, make a decision on how much you want to get done in the initial session. You may need to plan several dates to complete the whole task. 4. Reorganize. Clean and organize your office at the end of each day. It will only take a few minutes and keep you on track to staying organized. Plan on reorganizing your office every three months or so. By planning your home office space and getting it organized you'll enjoy it more. Your work will be better, you'll appreciate being at home, and you'll have the perfect place to work--your home. Now focus on success!





Posted by The Norton Group, Inc. on 2/12/2012

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!