Getting Ready for Garage Renovation and Reorganization

Among many advantages of living in a house, as opposed to living in apartments, is the option of having a garage. This space is always useful and welcomed and it does not matter whether you are using it for parking your car – which is the main point of having a garage – or as tool storage, shed, or place to put aside things you do not need around the house.

However, this last usage makes most modern garages overwhelmed and cluttered, which is why it is useful to renovate and reorganize them from time to time. When it comes to performing this task, there are a couple of useful tips you might want to know in order to make your work more productive and successful, so here are some things that could assist you.

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Step One: The Basics

Assuming that your garage is a mess, just like everyone else’s is, there is no easy way to tackle it thinking it will go easy and smooth. If you want to do a good job, put everything in order and make it right, you have to bring everything out of the garage first.

If you want to have a clear perspective of what you actually have in there, and what space-saving methods you can use, you have to clear the space before you actually start. This will allow you to access all parts of the garage and later figure out what should stay in it and what should go so you do not end up in a mess again.

Step Two: Fixing

Once your garage is vacated and clear, you can inspect the door, the windows and the floor. Maybe some of it needs work done and you were not able to notice that with all the things lying around. Sweep and clear all around, and fix everything that is loose and unsafe. Additionally, if your concrete floor looks shabby and needs scouring, this is the time to intervene. In the end, you can even paint the inside walls for a completely fresh look.

Step Three: Back in Again

After you have installed cabinets and closets you need for all your bigger stuff, it is time for the hard decisions: do you really need seven screwdrivers or will three suffice, and how many pairs of rubber gloves are enough for your gardening activities?

Posing these questions is supposed to make you separate the things you really need from those that are just creating mess, and will ultimately bring you more free space. And while you are doing this, you can start putting things back into the garage and arranging them according to a certain system – sporting equipment, gardening tools, car-related items, camping equipment, etc. – all at the same place.

Step Four: Reorganization

All your cabinets and closets will store the space-consuming things, but what about the small ones, like tools and children’s things? A great tactic you can employ is using vertical space which will allow you to place more things on the walls than you used to before. Mount holders and heavy-duty hooks on the walls to store your brooms, shovels, rakes, etc.

Also, you can try mounting some shelves onto ceiling and keeping light things – automotive tools, extension cords, spare bicycle parts, and so on – out of reach. These DIY projects can be done easily and inexpensively.

Step Five: Repurposing and Enjoyment

Your garage does not have to be used just as a place to keep your car safe, but for so many other things. Creative people tend to work on their hobbies there, car enthusiasts use it to fix their ride, adventurers store their hiking / mountaineering / diving equipment there, people who work with wood turn it into a workshop or a shed, etc.

The purpose of a good garage renovation is to end up with less stuff and more room for the things that are left – and, additionally, more free space for other activities. The suggested steps are certainly not the only ones, so everyone should renovate and reorganize their garages according to their own preferences, budget and needs.

Many cheap and creative solutions are available, from magnetic tool holders to jars for storing screws and nails, so this project can certainly be enjoyable and exciting.


**Neil Adams is an Australia based homeowner and DIY enthusiast. His interests are in the fields of furniture making, car maintenance, home remodeling and improvement,  environmentally friendly projects, etc. When not in his home office he loves adventuring around Australia and beyond.

3 Cincinnati Suburbs for New Construction Homes

Opting for a new construction home has many benefits, not limited to customized interiors, new plumbing and electric, energy-efficiency and technological advancements. Another lesser obvious upside to choosing a new construction home is flexibility of location. Many new construction communities lie just outside of major cities across the U.S. – allowing for relaxation and privacy without comprising convenience.

In the Cincinnati area, M/I Homes builds and sells new construction homes in fourteen different neighborhoods, creating an array of options for homebuyers looking for a move-in ready or customized home-buying experiences. If you’re considering buying a home near Cincinnati, look at Hamilton, Deerfield and Mason, three northern Cincy suburbs great for homebuyers who prefer proximity to downtown without the stress of high-rise living.



Home to one of Miami University’s regional campuses, the city of Hamilton is part of the Cincinnati metropolitan area and encompasses over 60,000 residents. The new construction community of Rivercrest within Hamilton offers 132 acres of freshly-built residences. Rivercrest overlooks the Little Miami River, creating an environment so serene it’s hard to believe the Queen City is only 30 miles away. Prices for new construction properties in Rivercrest range from $335,995 to $473,674 with sizes large enough to accommodate big families – some over 5,400 square feet. Comparatively, buyers searching for homes in Hamilton, both new and previously owned, face a median list price of $159,900 with a median sale price of $135,925. Although the median list price for homes in Hamilton are less than new construction Rivercrest homes, home values in Hamilton (including Rivercrest) increased 4.2 percent in the last year. Rivercrest buyers can expect their home values to rise another 2.4 percent in 2015, congruent to the surrounding local market. With more money down, new construction buyers in Rivercrest are likely to face large returns – and a more satisfying, comfortable home in the meantime.

Deerfield Township

New construction homes in Roberts Park range from $402,990 to $627,032 and vary from around 2,500 to almost 6,000 square feet per single-family property. And, with the purchase of a new property in this community, you also are granted social member status at the Four Bridges Country Club, which includes gym, clubhouse, tennis courts, kiddie pools and golf course amenities. The median home value in Deerfield as a whole is $129,200, which represents a 5.2 percent increase in the past year. Zillow economists expect all Deerfield homes to rise in value another 2.7 percent in the coming year. Although new construction homes in Deerfield are more expensive than their counterparts in greater Hamilton, the local market is strong enough to provide substantial returns in the future. Families are especially drawn to Deerfield Township and Roberts Park due to it being located in the Mason City School District, one of Ohio’s best.


Mason was rated the 7th best place to live in the nation by Money Magazine, which could be why it’s the most expensive suburb on this list. Like Deerfield Township, Mason residents benefit from the Mason City School District. Generally, homes in Mason are valued at a median price of $228,500, representing a 2.5 percent increase since last year. Much like the other cities in the Cincinnati metro region, home values are expected to rise another 2.3 percent in 2015. The median list price is much higher than the median value, hovering around $330,000. Although prices in Mason seem out of reach, Alverta offers moderately-priced homes between $351,495 and $481,896. And, Alverta supplies residents with an 8-acre community park, ponds and gardens to enjoy the warm Cincy summers.

Although list prices, for the most part, are higher for new construction homes than the median prices of their respective locales, new construction offers many upsides. From customizing your home to perfectly fit your family to evading costly maintenance for dated plumbing and electric, new homes in Cincinnati are hard to beat.

** Jennifer Riner writes about rentals, home improvement and design for Zillow.

M/I Homes of Dallas Hosts Heels and Hills Run

Heels and Hills Run

We had a great time with Dallas Athletes Racing on Sunday, April 26th, as our Dallas / Fort Worth division sponsored the Heels and Hills Run!  This run benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through Team and Training, a local Dallas non-profit organization.  Our Dallas division said “it was a privilege to welcome participants of the 4K and 8K run to the finish line, and present them with metals affirming their hard work!” The race was held at the beautiful Bear Creek Trail in Keller on Sunday and had over 700 runners participate. All of the money raised goes towards finding cures for blood cancers like leukemia — the No. 1 disease killer of children — lymphoma and myeloma.  It was our honor to take a part of that great event.


M/I Homes is excited to become part of the Keller community later this year, with lots backing up to the Bear Creek Trail itself.  This lifestyle community will provide easy access to the trails from the beautiful Showcase Collection by M/I Homes.  Keller is a vibrant community that has held on to that southern, country charm despite being engulfed in the vast growth of DFW, and these homes will emulate those values to the furthest degree.  This community will be coming soon to our website, so make sure to come back and see us in the next few weeks!

Here’s to a great event, and we look forward to teaming up with Dallas Athletes Racing again later this year, as we sponsor the Monster Bash Run, benefitting Keller ISD.

Selecting a Countertop: Pros and Cons of 6 Popular Styles

With almost all of my clients, the toughest part of designing a kitchen is choosing the countertop. As manufacturing technology grows, so do the number of choices—each with its own set of pros and cons.

The decision really comes down to how you live and work in your own kitchen. Let’s cut to the chase with our top six countertop choices—in order of my own preference.

Quartz: Also called engineered or manufactured stone, this is the surface I install in the most homes—and the reasons are simple. It’s available in so many patterns and colors, is very simple to clean, and is more resistant to heat, scratches and stains than almost any other surface. It requires no sealing or treating over time. Best of all, my clients are always surprised that it’s no more expensive than granite.

Photo Credit: Kerrie Kelly Design Studio

Photo Credit: Kerrie Kelly Design Studio

Dekton: This is the new super surface brought to you by modern technology. Its ultra-compact surface means it’s non-porous, and extremely resistant to heat and drastic changes in temperature—not to mention scratches, chips and stains. For durability, you can’t do better. Colors and patterns are catching up with other options on the market. You will pay a bit more per square foot, but you will not regret it.

Dekton Countertop

Natural Stone: Though this category includes marble, lime and soapstone, we’re really talking about granite here. Its natural beauty is simply undeniable, which makes it the other big favorite among my clients. As it has proven in nature since the beginning of time, it’s very durable and heat resistant. Because it’s porous, it just needs to be sealed when it’s installed (and will need some resealing over the years), but the effort there adds real stain resistance to the list of its benefits—not to mention real value to the home that will never go out of style.

Stainless: I often envy the simplicity of stainless steel when we install it. So clean and simple, its industrial-grade durability is completely antibacterial, and stain and heat resistant. Even scratches really blend in over time. Surprisingly, installation takes this one to the higher end of the cost scale, but it’s also very flexible in terms of design. It brings a cool edge to a more traditional kitchen and can even soften the edge of an ultra contemporary style.

Stainless Countertop

Wood: Wood is pretty straightforward in terms of pros and cons. It’s very budget friendly, and most of my clients who choose it do so knowing that its imperfections only add to its beauty, over time. Scratches and burns can even become part of the charm. However, if you treat it with oil a few times a year, it’s a very durable and practical choice, too. Remember, it’s available in many grains and stains, and you don’t necessarily need butcher block thickness to get the same great look.

Laminate: Laminate countertops can’t be beat if budget is the primary factor. Available in a wide array of colors and patterns, you can go with bold, bright, primary colors or choose a finish that replicates stone and wood. It’s made with a sheet of resin laid over particle board and is resistant, though not impervious to heat, stains and scratches. It is easy to clean and easy to repair.

What’s on your wish list for that new kitchen countertop?

** Kerrie Kelly is a guest blogger from The Home Depot.  Kerrie Kelly draws from her experience of consistently designing amazing kitchens to provide tips for The Home Depot and Kerrie Kelly Design Labs, to help you make the right kitchen choices.  To view a big selection of countertops that Kerrie talks about in this article, visit The Home Depot.

M/I Homes of Dallas Hosts Lakeside Living Open House

With nothing to hide, our Dallas / Fort Worth division showed off 6 amazing homes that are near completion this past weekend. Many builders choose to save their open houses until their homes are completely finished, and poised for their public appearance debut. However at M/I Homes we see a certain charm that comes from allowing guests to take a gander into the construction process, as thousands of pieces of the new home are pieced together to create your “home sweet home.”

We enjoyed seeing our guests walk through this incredibly tight knit community, giving a glimpse of what lakeside living can be at El Mirador at Mira Lagos. With homesites that back up to the core of engineering land preserves, homeowners have an exclusive proximity to Joe Pool Lake that is not found elsewhere in the Mira Lagos development. Everyone was able to get a chance to see what lakeside living is truly all about!

Those in attendance of this great event got to indulge in free tacos from So Cal Tacos after they completed the tour of homes (we definitely didn’t want to spill on the new floors!). It was a great event and a fantastic opportunity for M/I Homes to share with residents of Dallas Fort Worth area who we are, and what we are all about!


@mihomes via twitter

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