Author Archives: Eugene Morales

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How to Plan Your Kitchen Remodel Financing Without Breaking the Bank

A recent Home Depot survey says 32% of American homeowners remodel the kitchen first. And 62% say that the most important factor for that remodel is cost. Find out how to get kitchen remodel financing and stay on budget.

Do you feel like your kitchen could use a refresh? Do you visit your friends or neighbors and find yourself jealous of their home projects? You’re not alone. Home Depot says over half of Americans have tried to one-up their neighbors with a home project.

Nobody wants visitors laughing at the outdated designs of their home. As they walk all over you like they stride across their fancy slate flooring. But even once you’ve scraped up the money to make improvements, how can you keep from being taken advantage of?

Set Your Objectives

Take some time to write down the objectives of your project. Be realistic. Don’t set goals that are too aggressive, like speed to complete or a very low budget. You may find yourself hemorrhaging cash once you give up on that budget or get behind schedule.

Make a Detailed Budget

Don’t just come up with an estimated cost. Establish your exact expense budget. And give yourself a cushion for unexpected expenses. Research the price for everything from the demolition company to the appliance installer.

A realistic renovation budget of 5% of your home’s purchase price is a common rule. If you just have a round number, it’s easy to add some of this and some of that. And you’ll blow your budget before the new cabinets are even built.

Research Kitchen Remodel Financing Options

Most experts will say to start by saving first. And paying with cash or checks has its perks. Some contractors often offer cash discounts. But not everyone has the savings or wants to use their savings to make improvements. You might need to borrow some money. Just remember that now you’re paying for the renovation plus interest.

Use Home Equity

Home equity lines of credit will let you pay for expenses as they come up throughout the project. You extract some cash from the equity for your new kitchen. Even though you now owe more, the idea is that your home will be work more after the renovation. And the interest is usually tax-deductible!

Get a Traditional Bank Loan

If you don’t want to borrow money against your home, consider taking out a traditional bank loan. You can put something up as collateral or opt for an unsecured loan. Don’t hand all of your money from a loan over to a contractor though. Pay in installments. They’ll have more of incentive to finish your job on time.

Apply for a Credit Card

It might make sense to seek out a credit card promotion. If you know that you’ll pay off the loan within the promo period, some cards offer 0% interest APR or cash back rewards.

Store cards often offer some great options for kitchen remodel financing. But don’t go beyond their promo terms or you’ll probably pay a steep price. Often you’ll pay high interest rates all the way back to the purchase date.

Pick Projects That Produce Profits

It’s a good idea to discuss your renovations with a home appraiser. The appraiser can predict what purchases will add value to your property. You want a great-looking kitchen, but you also want to increase the value of your property. It’s not rare to have renovations result in a return of 10% or more.

Start Your Kitchen Remodel

Don’t spend another day wondering what your new kitchen could look like. Be the one who’s making others jealous of your home renovations. And do it without wasting time or bleeding your bank accounts.

Call the Direct Movement Group today to find out how a kitchen remodel can help make your house your dream home. We’ll help with it all, from kitchen remodel financing to picking modern design trends you’ll love.

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Financing Your Designs: How to Start Your Graphic Design Business With Little Money

Graphic design has never been more important. There have never been as many businesses as there are today. There are over 45,000 brands listed on stock exchanges throughout the globe, and that number is climbing daily.

There are also over 1.5 billion websites currently on the Internet. Over 200 million of them are live and operational. Every one of them needs graphic design services, even if they don’t know it.

If you’ve got a passion for great graphic design, this could be a golden era for you and your creativity. If you’ve been considering starting your own graphic design business without a lot of capital, we’re going to show you how.

How To Start A Graphic Design Business

Every business is different. Every business owner’s path to success is going to look a little different due to this fact. Some time-honored business principles will still put you on the path to success, however.

Think of these steps as more of a guidebook than a map, per se. Use them to get your wheels turning, which will help get you thinking like a graphic designer as well as a business owner.

Identify Your Design Style

Before you even begin, you should start by thinking about what it is you have to offer as a graphic designer. There are already a lot of designers and design firms out there. What is it that you’re hoping to offer, to differentiate you from larger and more established graphic designers?

This should encourage you to start thinking of niches to explore. It’ll also help you to visualize your dream clients, which will come in handy when you begin to implement your business for real.

Examine Your Skillset

You should also start by realistically examining your graphic design abilities. Don’t be afraid to be ruthless – your clients will be! Don’t be ashamed if you find yourself coming up short in a few areas, either.

Say, for instance, you’re proficient with Photoshop. That’s a great place to start! If you’re thinking about going into product design, for example, you might need to brush up on your Illustrator abilities as well.

Research The Marketplace

If you’re going to be competitive in the graphic design industry, you’re going to need to know what’s out there. It will also help you refine your design aesthetic and clarify your distinctive vision and voice.

Graphic design requires understanding contemporary tastes and trends, as well. Design is slightly different from fine art in that you’re helping your clients bring their visions to life. That means having your finger on the pulse of current visual trends.

Build Your Portfolio

Even if you’re intent on making your design business your full-time career, it’s going to take a little while until that’s feasible. A general rule of thumb for business owners and entrepreneurs is you should expect to lose money for at least the first year.

Most businesses in any industry take 2 – 3 years to become profitable. This can be even more extreme in the graphic design industry, which is highly competitive.

While you’re working towards your graphic design business becoming a full-time day job, you should work on expanding your portfolio as much as possible. This lets you show future prospective clients what you’re capable of.

You can take a look at our portfolio here, to get an idea of what we’re talking about.

Finding portfolio building opportunities is also a great way to start building a client base. You’ll likely have to give away work for cheap or free, in the beginning, but that’s true for most small business owners.

Construct A Business Plan

By this stage, you should be thinking like a real business person. You’ve done market research. You understand your industry.

You know you’ve got something unique and valuable to share with the world. Now it’s time to construct a plan to make those visions a reality.

Layout a five-year business plan in as much detail as possible. Calculate your monthly operating expenses and make sure you leave room to grow and expand. You might even start giving yourself a salary as part of your monthly expenses, towards the goal of being a full-time business owner.

Even though graphic design is a creative industry, finance is all about the numbers. You’re going to need to understand your bottom line if you’re going to convince anyone to invest in your business.

Find Your Funding

You’re ready to start building your business in earnest. You’ve got the skills you need to succeed. You understand your industry and your unique place in it.

You might even have a clientele, at this point, if you’ve started tapping into your network and have been building your portfolio.

There are more ways for small-business owners to secure funding than any other time in history. Here are a few options you might consider.

Crowdfunding

If you want to keep your business DIY and beholden to no one, you might consider going the crowdfunding route. There are numerous great networks for crowdfunding at this point, like Kickstarter or GoFundMe.

One thing to keep in mind is you might be able to only tap your network for funds once. You run the risk of exhausting your friends, family, and colleagues if you ask for handouts to often.

If you’re going to crowdfund your graphic design business, you’ll want to lay out your campaign ahead of time. Make sure to include regular status updates with as much high-quality media as you can muster. This will help keep people interested in your campaign.

Social media is your friend when it comes to crowdfunding your business. You’ve likely got a widespread network of people wishing you well, at this point. Make the most of it.

Small Business Loans

Entrepreneurship is the heart of American capitalism. Small businesses accounted for 61.8% of net new jobs between 1993 and 2016. Small businesses created 1.9 million net jobs in 2015 alone.

Loan providers have every incentive to help small businesses get started if they believe their investment is secure. By this stage, you should have your business plan together as well as some idea of what’s going to help you be successful in the graphic design field.

At this point, it’s up to you to sell yourself! You should also know a thing or two about business finance before applying for a small business loan.

If you’ve not yet registered as an LLC, your graphic design business is going to depend upon your personal credit. Even if your credit’s not the best, however, there’s no need to fear.

There are even loans for people without great credit. There are even loans available for people who are unemployed! You can read more about that over on this page.

Taking the time to develop your creative skills while also furthering your financial understanding gives you all the tools you need for your graphic design business to be successful. The world needs you now more than ever. Here’s to a bright, bold, colorful new world!

Looking For Design In Florida?

If you’re looking for a top-notch graphic design business in Florida, look no further. Direct Movement Group believes in bringing the most cutting-edge design services of all kinds to the Sunshine State.

If you’re ready to bring your dreams into reality and start building your dream home, hire us today or check out some of our testimonials to see what our clients are saying!

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5 Hot Interior Design Trends to Modernize Your Space in 2019

Looking to renovate or update your space?

Have you scoured the internet for the best interior decor and are now bogged down with too many ideas and don’t know which one to pick?

We’ve got you. We researched the latest interior design trends for 2019.

Read on to find out how to keep up with the decor trend this year.

1. Curves

Soften your interior design with curves. Their flexible properties complement gentle decor that signals a feeling of calmness and safety.

In fact, a scientific study also shows that people consider a room beautiful when decorated with curves rather than straight lines.

Some of the elements that can portray curved edges in your home include:

  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • Rugs
  • Vaulted ceilings
  • Arched doorways
  • Mirrors

You can also go the extra mile and incorporate curved walls in your living space.

2. Statement Ceilings

Homeowners and designers are going bold with their ceilings this year. Pinterest named “statement ceilings” one of the home trends to watch, with more than 310% saves!

The best part is you don’t need to cough up lots of money to achieve this look. Change your conventional white ceilings by slapping on some wallpaper and you’re good to go.

3. Matte Black

Black is the new grey this year. If you take a look at the current interior design trends, you’ll notice a lot of black spaces on display. This edgy new trend brings sophistication into your space.

To incorporate this into your space, paint a statement wall in a rich black shade. Contrast this with a brown rug and ottoman for a luxurious feel. You can also make your doors pop by painting them black with white trimmings.

4. Marble is Back

The current interior design trend is big on marble finishes. When used sparingly, it gives the impression of wealth and glamor. Homemakers are embracing marble for its strong and powerful qualities that last a lifetime.

Consider adding marble countertops to your kitchen. Its smooth and shiny texture will add a homey and inviting effect to your cooking space. A good civil works company will help you incorporate marble on your walls, floors, and even ceiling.

5. Open Spaces

Swapping cabinets for open design shelves continue to be a popular interior design trend in 2019. It’s an effective update that makes a kitchen look larger and brighter.

If you’re big on DIY, you can save a few dollars. But, make sure you take safety precautions when remodeling your interiors. You can also consider using monochromatic color schemes and patterns to add some depth into your space.

Revamp Your Space With The Latest Interior Design Trends

Now that you know the latest interior design trends, why not pick one that suits your taste, and turn it into a reality?

If you need professional remodeling in your home, contact us at Direct Movement Group.

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6 Steps to Remodeling a House Safely

A remodel done well should be an improvement to life, not an end to it. Did you know every year the number of people injured doing construction is on the rise?

Your family needs you safe and well. Learn 6 steps to remodeling a house safely right here.

1. Do Your Research

Sometimes DIY job has been staring at us so long we lose patience and jump right in without researching and without talking to professionals. It’s a great way to screw up the job and potentially get injured.

Before you start any remodeling job, get the right information, and talk to someone with some real experience. That way you’ll know better what you’re getting into. 

2. Make Everything Official

Whether a friend is helping you out or you’re hiring a contractor, it’s important you document everything. Have a clear description of what you want, by when, what it will cost, and who is responsible for what. The clearer the expectations and responsibilities, the less room for conflict down the line.  

3. Electrical Wiring Maps

There are a lot of remodeling injuries that can be easily avoided. One of them is electrocution by cutting into areas with electrical wiring. Check the plans that show where electrical wiring is in your home before you do anything.

4. Never Climb a Ladder Alone

Climbing a ladder feels like a basic activity. We can feel too proud to ask someone to hold it for us. In the past decade, 43% of fatal falls involved a ladder. 

Don’t be nonchalant with construction jobs. Just meet the basic safety requirements to make sure ending the remodeling job doesn’t end you before you end it. If you’ve had a fall injury at work you should get more info from an attorney.

5. Beware of Power Tools

Power tools are like toys for grown-ups. They have such force and speed they’re a great help on the job. They’re also powerful, and they can injure you very quickly and with great force if you don’t know what you’re doing.

6. Permits Are Your Friend

Yes, it’s your house. But that doesn’t mean you can do anything you like with it whenever you want. Many remodeling jobs require a permit.

To avoid legal issues or conflicts with neighbors, cross the T’s and dot the I’s when it comes to securing the right permits. Make sure it’s all in place before you get started.

The Best Way to Avoid Safety Issues

The absolute best way to see a remodeling job done safely is to hire professionals. They know what they’re doing thanks to both professional training and experience. It’s worth paying a little more to get a much better result.

Take the Steps to Remodeling a House Today!

When the remodeling job is done, you want people’s mouths to drop in pleasant surprise, not horror! Make sure the remodeling job is done well and safely to get the response you’re after. Follow our steps to remodeling a house to be on the safe side.

Even better, why not let the professionals do it? At Direct Movement, we have lots of remodeling experience and glowing testimonials. Get in touch with us for a professional remodeling result today!

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Everything You Need to Know About Hiring a Concrete Raising Expert

You want your concrete dense, but not the company. 

When it comes to locating and hiring a concrete raising expert, you will want to know these few things to ensure the job is smooth as that concrete slab of yours. 

Do Your Research

It’s never wise to hire the first concrete leveling company that you meet. You may find that they are as dense as their concrete. 

It is recommended that you reach out to a few companies and talk with them over the phone or meet them in person. 

While you contact them, you can ask them a few questions

  • Are you licensed and insured? 
  • Do you subcontract any of your work? 
  • How long will my repair take? 
  • What type of equipment will you be using?
  • What is the warranty on the repair?

Scope Out Their Experience

You will want a company that has dealt with work that you are looking to have done. 

Whether it’s leveling a basement floor, sidewalk leveling, or contract lifting, you want a company that has done this type of work in the past. 

You do not want a company that specializes in sidewalk leveling to level your basement floor. You need to make sure they are qualified for your job at hand. 

Check Their Insurance

It should not matter what they are doing to your home, but all companies should have insurance. You will want to verify that they have an insurance policy. 

Their insurance not only protects them if one were to get hurt on the job. Their insurance also protects you and your belongings in case of any damages or accidents that occur while the job is in progress. 

Are They Liked Throughout the Community? 

If your friends or family recently had a concrete raising job done, ask them for their recommendations on who to use. They may be able to steer you to a reputable company that you may not have thought of. 

Also, be sure to check out testimonials online for the potential company you will be using. This is a sure-fire way to see if the community likes their work or not.  

Trust Your Gut Instincts with Concrete Raising Companies

Your gut won’t steer you wrong when it comes to picking the best company for your job at hand. 

If you feel a company won’t live up to your expectations or do the job the correct way, don’t choose them. 

What’s Next?

As long as you keep these few minor details in the back of your mind when finding a concrete raising expert, you will be fine. You shouldn’t have any issues. 

If you are still on the fence about who you should pick for your job, why not check out our work here at Direct Movement?

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Time to Sell? 3 Home Remodel Ideas That Can Boost Your Home’s Value

21% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 are planning to buy a home within the next 12 months. This is an increase of 14% from last year, making 2019 the perfect time if you’re considering selling. 

If, like many people, you’re looking for home improvements that add value, keep reading for some top remodel projects that will give you the best return on investment. If you’re not sure where to allocate your budget, consider talking to a professional

Ready? Let’s get started. 

3 Remodel Ideas to Improve Your Home

If you’re not careful, remodeling your home can actually end up costing you more than you’ll get back when you sell it. Sellers are also competing with new home construction, so smart remodeling is often a good idea. 

It’s best to focus on these three areas:

1. Consider Updating Your Kitchen

Kitchens sell homes. You want your kitchen to make it easy for potential buyers to see themselves cooking for their families, hanging out, and eating in and around your kitchen. 

One of the best ways to do this is to replace old, white appliances. These look dated, and these days stainless steel, energy-saving appliances are becoming more and more expected. 

Refacing your cabinets is another cost-effective way to freshen up your kitchen without spending too much. And a brand new sink can make a massive difference if you have an old faucet and sink. 

2. Improve Your Bathroom

Bathrooms are another good place to spend the majority of your budget. Just a few small changes can help sell your house. 

Consider replacing your cabinets, shelves, and vanity. This can often be done for as little as $400 but will make a massive difference to the look and feel of your bathroom. 

Mirrors can add light and make your bathroom look bigger, so consider replacing a small or old mirror with a large, new mirror. And of course, small accessories can definitely add value- that means replacing towel racks, shower heads, and faucets to modernize your room. 

3. Refresh Your Exterior

First impressions count for a lot when you’re selling a home. Buyers may choose not to even look at your home if they’re completely put off by the outside. 

Take a good look at your front door- the literal entrance to your home. Is it old and worn out looking? Does it have ancient bubble glass? If you only have a few hundred bucks, repainting it can be a good option. A complete replacement will cost more but may be necessary depending on what you’re working with. 

Look for any broken shingles, cracks in your patio, walkways, and front stairs, chips, and cracks in the paint, and anything else that makes your property look run-down. The good news, is these types of fixes are usually relatively cheap and easy to do. But they can also be the difference between a buyer checking out your property or walking right on by. 

Don’t forget to mow your lawn and make sure your flowers, trees, and bushes look well-cared for. 

Ready to Add Value to Your Home?

As you can see, the three ideas above can all add value to your home- without breaking the bank. If you would like to learn how we can help you improve your home, get in touch today

 

 

 

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Old House Restoration: 5 Top Tips for Restoring an Older Home

Restoring an old home is a dream come true. But it also brings added complexity and cost than a regular home renovation.

Nobody wants to find themselves in the middle of a restoration money pit. Or blow their whole budget only to find out the restoration wasn’t done to historical accuracy.

Before you jump into an old house restoration project, check out these 5 tips to get it started right.

1. Don’t Bite off More Than You Can Chew

When you find an old house you love, it’s easy to get excited and want to jump in with both feet. But stop to look at the big picture before you do.

Do you have the time and budget to tackle everything the house needs? Are there only a few issues to solve, or a long list of issues? Have you done historic home restoration before?

Knowing the limitations of your budget and experience can save you from buying a money pit later on.

2. Prioritize the Work

When the restoration starts, most people want to jump into the fun parts, like choosing paint colors or period appropriate tiles and cabinets. But in reality, there are likely more important issues to address first.

A leaky roof, HVAC service, and drafty windows are a few problems that need to get taken care of right away.

You want to make sure anything that can cause future damage to the house gets repaired first. It also ensures you don’t blow the budget before these necessary items get fixed.

3. Hire a Knowledgeable Team

Don’t hire just any contractor when restoring an old home. You want to make sure you get someone who is familiar with the period of your house and knows how to restore it correctly.

Do your research. Find a contractor who has the needed experience. Check out references and look at prior completed work.

The same holds true for plumbers, electricians, and craftsman. If you have a home built in 1889, you want people who are proficient with 1889 workmanship.

4. Consider Resale Value

Even if you don’t plan to sell your house right away, you still need to consider the resale value when making decisions during the restoration process. You don’t want to over-invest in a property you’ll never see a return on in the future.

Research what fully restored house sell for in your area. Then set your budget accordingly.

5. Don’t Redo. Restore!

Before you tear out that old window and throw it out – stop! Older homes weren’t built with stock items. And years of shifting and settling has reshaped your house.

Nothing fits a historic home quite like it’s original parts. If you throw out that window, you may have a lot of trouble finding a replacement to fit.

Try to restore as many features of the home as you can. It will save money, headaches, and the character of your old home.

Make Your Old House Restoration Dreams Come True

Don’t let an old house restoration intimidate you. Using these tips will help you get your project off on the right foot. And before you know it, you’ll see the historic house of your dreams come shining through.

Ready to get started on your restoration project? Contact us today! We’d love to put our experience to work for you.