Category Archives: Home improvement

Questions You Should Ask Your Contractor.

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Your contractor will be the person in charge of your home renovation project. He or she will tell all of the other workers what to do. Needless to say, your decision regarding which contractor to hire is a big one. You need to know the right questions to ask the contractors you are considering for the job. Getting the right info will help you to make a decision that you will not end up regretting at some point in the future. Here are the crucial questions that you should pose to all prospective contractors.

1. Do you have a current contractor’s license?

You should always avoid doing business with any contractors that are unlicensed. Some people disregard this detail and hire an unlicensed contractor because they are offered a very low quote. The homeowner thinks that he or she is getting a great deal. What the homeowner does not realize is that there is probably a very good reason why the contractor does not have a valid license. The money that the homeowner is saving by hiring a cheap contractor will be lost when a different contractor needs to be hired to repair the mistakes of the unlicensed one. A contractor with a license has passed all of the tests that are required by that particular state. This means that the contractor is very knowledgeable and less likely to make an expensive mistake. Always ask to see the contractor’s license.

2. Can you provide examples of your previous work?

Ideally, you should always make a point to closely examine the previous work of any contractor who is in the running for your job. Seeing their work with your own eyes will give you a good sense of the level of skill that the contractor has. You must then ask yourself if you want this person to be in charge of the attic renovation in your home. Do not hire a contractor who is unwilling to show you his or her previous work.

3. How long will the project take?

You need to get a good sense of what the length of the project will be. You do not want to get yourself into a situation where you have no idea when the contractor will complete the work that needs to be done.

4. What materials will be needed?

It is important for you to know about the required materials because you might be able to save yourself some money. You would be wise to call the various construction supply companies in your area. You might be able to find the materials you need at a far lower price than the contractor would have charged you for them.

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Do You Need A Garage Remodeling Contractor

The first room that most people think of when they are considering remodeling their home is usually the kitchen or the bathroom. The garage doesn’t usually come to mind immediately. In fact, it may even be the last place that people chose to remodel in their home. This shouldn’t be the case. There are actually a lot of different benefits than can come with remodeling a home.

Every homeowner uses their garage for different reasons. It is a multi-function room that can be used for just about whatever purpose a person needs. It is obviously most commonly used for car storage, or really just storage of any kind. Some people have turned their garages into workshops of some kind too. There is no limit to what you can do with a garage. If you are considering a remodel in your home you should consider including your garage in that process. Here are some great reasons why.

1. Value – This is the most obvious reasons to remodel any part of your home. Many renovations can pay for themselves or even create a profit with the increased value that they have versus the cost of doing the remodel. Garage remodels typically have a pretty good return on investment

2. Hang out spot – As your family gets bigger and takes up more space you are going to want somewhere that you can hang out. An air conditioned garage is perfect for that. Run the central air or install a wall unit in your garage to keep it cool. You can also get a card table or a fridge.

3. It’s not expensive – Because the garage is so bare bones to being with, it isn’t very expensive to add to it or change it. The materials that are used in the garage usually aren’t as expensive either. It can be a fairly low-cost way to add value to your quality of life.

4. More space – Maybe your kid got a new car? Maybe you and your spouse want to keep both of your cars in the garage. Increasing your garage to be a 2-car garage will add a great deal of value to your home and make it much more desirable if you decide to sell it.

Don’t look past your garage when you are considering remodeling, There is a lot of value in that room. You may not see it yet. That’s because you haven’t remodeled it! Contact a garage remodeling contractor near you for more information.

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Simple Carpet Preparation Tips for Homeowners

Modern carpet is an investment and should be treated as such. Extending the lifetime and preserving the quality of the materials is actually easier than you might imagine. Of course, it takes more than regular vacuuming. Annual professional carpet cleaning is an essential element of this care, but it’s important to prepare your home and family for this day-long event. So just how do you do that? The following tips should get you started.

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Clear the Carpet

Most people think simple decluttering is enough for carpet cleaning day. While moving magazine racks, end tables, and kid or pet toys is helpful, it’s nowhere near enough. Professional carpet cleaners are licensed and bonded to clean the carpet or other items agreed upon prior to the appointment. But they are not licensed to move your furniture. Everything from sectional sofas to the family computer must be carted off the carpet. So, love your great-aunt Milly’s antique buffet with 200 years worth of family wedding china? Then you better move it out of the way and package the contents or cover them appropriately to avoid chemical coating or potential breakage.

Protect and Pin

Steam and chemicals pose a potential threat to expensive draperies and wall coatings – especially considering the high temperatures used by carpet cleaning professionals. Flowing curtains that pool on the floor can be beautiful decorative elements, but they need to be pinned at least six inches off the floor for the workers to do their job. Light plastic sheeting or even painters tape work to avoid cord smudges on walls. And for furniture that cannot be moved – such as formal sofas or beds with specialty skirts, be sure to lift and pin the skirts up to avoid unnecessary damage or destruction. Don’t forget to pre-vacuum. According to the Carpet and Rug Institute http://www.carpet-rug.org/, the entire house should be vacuumed at least two days per week. Running the vacuum over the cleared area will help extend the life and look of your investment.

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Plan and Prepare for Family and Four-Legged Friends

Many types of household pets roam freely through their homes on typical days. But strangers tend to create stress and emotional hardships on the animals. Loud noises and unusual activity are bound to scare even the most territorial animal. Therefore, pets should be kept in crates, taken to a friend’s or kennel, or moved to another part of the house for the day. Due to truck-mounted systems, your front or access door may remain open for most of the cleaning time, so animals may attempt a quick escape. Human family members, on the other hand, are usually far too curious. This can lead to potential injury or re-soiling the carpet before it completely dries. Your newly cleaned carpet may need up to 12 consecutive hours of traffic-free post-care, so prepare accordingly. And ask your service about walking booties in the event foot traffic is inevitable.

Prepare the Outside of Your Home

This one often goes overlooked, but it’s an important step. Trucks and heavy equipment may be used to renew your carpet. Making sure there’s ample parking available helps expedite the service and shows the house owner means business. Hot water extractions will need to be performed, so spigot use is a must. Make sure you know where the closest outdoor spigots are and that they’re in working order.

Your Macomb, MI carpet cleaning day does not need to be a stressful event. Simply follow the above suggestions to ensure your appointment is a smooth success. The pros are ready and able to answer any questions to ensure satisfaction. After all, carpet completes a home. Why trust its care to just anyone?

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5 Tips To Prepare Your Home For Spring

prepare your home

 

Spring is on the way and one thing you want to make sure you do is get your home ready. Winters end means thawing and rain that could cause some huge problems to your home, yard and your belongings.

1. Clean out your gutters. This will prevent rain water from getting close to the house and eventually coming into your basement. You should also make sure your downspouts are clear and lead a good distance away from your home.

2. Walk around your yard and inspect the trees and other plants to make sure they will not come falling down on your home in a storm or high winds. You can’t prevent all trees from falling but you can trim them back to keep damage minimal.

3. Clean the inside of your home to get rid of dust. When spring comes we open up windows and air in our homes starts moving again. If you have not dusted in a while and have been neglecting your vacuuming you should get that done since the built up dust can aggravate your allergies.

4 Change your furnace filter, when it’s time to start using the air conditioning you will be glade you did. Air conditioning units use the same filter as your furnace and having a clean filter makes that wonderful electric bill much less.

5. Start working on that garden. Once the ground thaws a little and the rain comes, the ground is much easier to move around. Start getting that veggie garden ready, not only will you have good healthy food, but a home garden can save you a lot of cash.

 

Comment: How do you get your home spring ready?

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5 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Home in 2016

 

 

5 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Home in 2016

It’s a new year and with a new year comes a need to change, not just ourselves but our homes as well. We start organizing and cleaning and making ourselves feel better because we are getting rid of the clutter. It’s a great thing, but sometimes you need to do more then just organize, you need a refresh of your home, but you don’t want to do a whole remodel.

Here are 10 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Home in 2016

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1.  Paint Your way to a new look. Alabaster is the color of 2016. It’s a great simple white that really can update a space. If your not into white use one of Sherwin Williams Color Forecast colors of 2016 to update your home. Paint does not cost a lot and choose a color you love to give your home a cheap uplift.

2. Upgrade your faucets with something new. A new kitchen or bathroom faucet can really change the look and feel of a room. It also can help with your water bill depending on how old your current faucets are.

3. Replace curtains and blinds. Eventually these things become dirty, dingy and broken. Replacing them brings a fresh feeling to every room in your home. If you can’t replace your curtains at least make sure to wash them. Also putting them in different rooms can create a fresh look as well.

mainmenudecor24. Buy all new throw pillows. Your sofa, loveseat or chair may be comfortable, but does it still create that amazing feeling of style or is it now old and boring. Bring life back into it by adding some amazing throw pillows to create a new style and give your space a fresh look. There are so many different options you are sure to find one that will work for your home.

5. Replace all light bulbs with LED lights, not only are you going to save a ton of money in the long run, but LED lights are a great selling point for any home as well. Switching to these lights are a great way to move into 2016 with a feeling of empowerment over your finances. Yes, your home can give you that feeling again!

These are just a few easy ways to upgrade your home in 2016. How have you improved your home for 2016?

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5 Ways to Perk Up Your Home for The New Year

5 Ways to Perk Up Your Home for The New Year

The new year is here and now that we are into it a bit more you may find that your doing things just as you were last year. Nothing has changed and you are feeling less excited about the new year and thinking nothing will ever change. Well, you still have some time to make a few changes to your home that will help you feel refreshed and maybe help your metal state so you can ramp up those other new years resolutions!

1. Organize

This is probably the most important tip I have for you.. Not only does organizing help you to feel less frustrated as you can find things easier, but in general having an organized state in your home can keep you calm and focused.

If you don’t already have one buy a filing cabinet so that you can organize all of your important papers. This will also make tax time easier if you have a lot of tax paperwork. For the really important documents make sure you have a fireproof safe. This way if there is a problem and you have a fire your really important documents like birth certificates are safe.

If organizing your whole home seems like a daunting task, pick one or two rooms/closets to work on. Maybe your utility room is a mess or your kitchen has become overrun with bowls, cups and gadgets that need a place to go. Figure out the three most unorganized places in your home and get to those first.

2. Get Rid of It

While your organizing you want to also make sure to get rid of things you just don’t need, use or want anymore. Separate them into three different piles. Keep, Donate and Toss. Donating your items is a great way to get a good tax write off for next year. Do you know someone who could use something you have, give them a call before you donate it and see if they want it.

Black Flower Wall Tattoo

3. Paint

A great way to perk up your home for the new year is to paint it. Now maybe you don’t have time to paint the whole house, but pick one or two rooms that you use the most and paint them! Most people pick unused rooms to paint, because it’s easier, but it doesn’t help you to feel refreshed and new. You want to concentrate on the rooms you use, not the guest room you only use once a year.

You also don’t have to paint the whole room, if your paint still looks good then you may be able to just paint an accent wall or a border to change up the rooms look.

Add a wall tattoo for some added fun and color. They are easy to use and can change up the look of a room in just a few minutes!

4. Clean

This kind of goes along with organizing, but you also want to start thinking about how clean your home is. Clean the windows, dust and clean your TV and computer screens. If you spend a lot of time watching TV or on the computer you can actually cause stress to your eyes if your screens are not clean.

5. Host a home décor exchange party

This is one that many people I know have had success with. They get together every few months and have a party with home décor items they no longer want. (They also do this with kids toy’s)  Just get some friends together and find some items you no longer wish to decorate with! All you do then is swap it or as they do there is a raffle for the item. (They don’t charge for it) All you do is add your name to a cup that is in front of the item, the person drawn wins that item. You can only be drawn once per item you brought with you. So if you bring three items you can win 3 items.

Do you have any tips to perk up your home for the new year? Share them with us!

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How To Find The Ideal Kitchen Remodeling Company

Once you’ve decided that it’s time to update and optimize the appearance of your kitchen, it is important that you gain access to excellent remodeling services. To ensure that you can expedite and optimize your attempt to find the ideal kitchen remodeling company, utilize the following search strategies:

1. Search Online.

One great way to accelerate the process of finding the perfect remodeling company is to take your search online. By doing a quick, relevant keyword search, you can go straight to the company’s website and learn all about the products and services they offer. An example of a good search phrase would be "Locate Kitchen Remodeling Company In Miami, Florida." After hitting your enter key, you’ll be redirected to the SERPs. From there, it will be your responsibility to click a hyperlink and start researching the data found on the company’s website. Pay close attention to things like how long the company has been in operation and whether they offer value-adding perks such as a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

In addition to visiting the websites of companies that offer kitchen remodeling services, be sure to try an Internet directory. Online companies like www.web.com will provide you with information regarding remodeling contractors in your area. Visit their website right now to get your free estimate.

2. Request A Complimentary Consultation.

In addition to searching online for the ideal kitchen remodeling company, make sure that you request a complimentary consultation. The consultation affords you the opportunity to see how the company’s representatives interface with you. This is the time in which you’ll be able to determine whether you like the company culture, can maintain good rapport with its contractors, and feel satisfied with their level of customer service.

3. Get Data On The Remodeling Company’s Reputation.

Even if you complete the consultation and find that you are happy with the company’s culture and mode of interaction with you, it’s important to get a broader perspective. Specifically, you need to get a basic understanding of whether the remodeling company has a good reputation with the general public. You can accomplish this objective in several ways, such as by checking their rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You should also read the feedback provided by customers who have used the company’s services.

Don’t Delay-Optimize Your Kitchen Today

If you’re ready to get your kitchen in great shape, it’s time to attain professional remodeling services. Make sure that you attain the best services available by implementing the simple search techniques listed here for you!

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Common Problems With The Air Unit

Summer is a season that brings hot weather and the need for running the air conditioner in most homes. It’s best to have the system checked before the hot weather arrives so that you know if there is anything wrong. Even if the system works properly, there could still be emergencies that arise that make the system not operate as it should. There are air conditioning contractors Clearwater FL offers that can come to the home to see why the unit isn’t working as it should and to get your home cool as soon as possible. There are a few common emergencies that you might see with your unit.

One of the things that you might experience that could pose a serious problem for the rest of the home is faulty wiring. If there is a short in the wiring, then it could spark a fire, which could then lead to the rest of the home. The wiring could trip a circuit breaker, which is one of the first signs that there is something wrong with the wires in the system. Low refrigerant is another common problem that is seen in units. This is an easy fix as all that needs to be done is to have more refrigerant added to the system. If you notice that the unit continues to use refrigerant, then there could be a leak in the system that needs to be repaired.

If you notice that the unit comes on but there is no air flowing through the home, then the fan could be out. If the fan doesn’t work, then the cool air from the system won’t get through the home. This can cause the system to stay on longer as the thermostat isn’t registering that the temperature is dropping. If the system stays on longer than it should, it could lead to an increase in the electric bill and a system that could go out from being overworked. A lack of power is something that is often seen in older units. You usually won’t see a power decrease in the overall system if it’s new or if it’s been recently updated.

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Why New Windows Can Save You Money

windowWe all know that when it comes to fixing up your home, the fun is when you can change up all of the pretty things, like furniture and paint, but sometimes you have to spend some money on other things that are not as pretty to keep your home safe, secure and lower your monthly cost. That is where great windows come into play and searching for local windows like columbus windows can help you not only get your cost down, but help you to support local businesses. That in turn can help your home gain equity.

New windows not only look better, but they help with many different things.

Help insulate your home

You can get windows custom made for your climate. If you live in mild areas a double pain will work well for you. If you live in very hot or very cold areas, you may want to look into a triple pain. Wood frame windows are better then aluminum windows when it comes to insulation. If you really want to decrease your monthly payments look at wood windows.

Can Increase the Equity in your home.

New windows are a huge selling point for homes and when your looking at increasing the equity you want to look at the things that will make your home sell for more, new windows do that very well. Making sure that your windows work well with the style of your home is a great way to increase the interest in your home if your looking to sell in a couple of years. Yes this means you do get to have a bit of fun picking out the style of window you will have. There are so many cool options! You can get casement windows, double hung windows or picture windows. You can also choose pain designs to increase the stylish look of your windows.

I hope this short post has really made you think a bit more about the windows in your home. They are very important for the safety and equity of your home and can be a lot of fun shopping for!

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Geothermal Energy, What is it and how do you use it?

Geothermal energy is a very earth friendly form of energy that can help the environment and save you money. Geothermal energy can be used for heating and electricity and hot water if installed correctly and for that purpose. Most people use Geothermal for heating and cooling more than for electricity use. The system is a simple system of pipes that lay underground and use the heat of the earth to provide warmth to the water contained in them. The water then goes though pipes that are in your home and heat the home. Using hydraulic or water system in your home instead of a forced air system that relies on warm air to heat your home can make a better indoor environment as the air does not dry out, though you can set up the geothermal to work with an existing forced air system.

Geothermal Pros and Cons

Geothermal Can ruin your yard temporarily

Geothermal has a limitless supply

Geothermal is great for the environment and your wallet

Systems may not work well in all areas of the country

 

Installing a geothermal loop is easy but can take some time and will destroy your yard. If you’re building your home and adding this in it is much easier then adding it to an existing home. The first step in installing a geothermal system is to find out how deep your frost level is as the piping needs to go into the ground where the earth will be warm. This is also important because the depth will affect the cost of the project.

 

Geothermal

The second step is deciding what type of system you would like to use. There are four types of systems when it comes to geothermal systems.

There is a closed loop system and a open loop system a slinky loop system and a pond loop system. Open loop systems are simple systems that draws ground water from an aquifer though one well, the water then passes though the heat pump’s heat exchanger, then is discharged to the same well though another pipe that is a good distance from the first pipe. This installation is good if you have a source of ground water to draw from.

The closed system has a pipe that is continuous. The length of the loop pipe varies depending on the temperature of the ground, the thermal conductivity, soil moisture and system design. There are two ways to install this type of pipe; horizontal or vertical. Horizontal pipes are better for small installations and are less expensive then vertical pipes. Horizontal pipes are better for commercial use or schools because of the lack of land around these types of buildings.

Slinky loop systems are pipes that overlap each other and are used to help keep more heat in the pipes. This is also helpful to use in small spaces. Pond loop systems are exactly the same as closed loop systems, but they use the heat from the bottom of ponds or streams to heat the water. They are usually installed at the bottom of the river bed or pond.

Codes and other Regulations

When installing a geothermal system you may be subject to different regulations depending on the type of system and the area you live in. Some examples of these regulations are:

  • Well construction code
  • Discharges to ground water
  • Discharges of surface water
  • Water use reporting
  • Underground ejection control.

If you are considering using a closed loop system you will also need to get a permit as boreholes may extend hundreds of feet in depth and could penetrate drinking water aquifers. Sealing the area between the vertical loop piping and borehole from the bottom up to the ground with a low permeability grout, as recommended by the manufacture and is also consistent with the state well code, is advised.

Design

Geothermal systems are usually installed and designed by an HVAC professional who has studied geothermal design. The process of geothermal design differs depending on the building to be constructed, the size shape and heating and cooling needs of the building effect the design of the system. A small system would be designed for a home, while a large system can be designed for a school or office building.

Really Geothermal is a great way to cool or heat your home. It’s very environmentally friendly and great for your wallet too. There have been many advancements in geothermal over the years and it’s really evolved into a great option for any home or business owner.

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Why you should use Bamboo Flooring

Have you ever wondered why you should use bamboo flooring instead of other flooring. This great infographic I designed should help you figure out some of the great points of bamboo flooring.

bamboo vs hardwood

 

Embed this infographic

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Improve the Health of Your Home Now

improve your home

There are many ways to improve the health of your home, you can install a Radon system  or maybe you want to use better paints and other materials to keep your home healthy for your family. That is why I have decided to share with you a few really great ideas for improving your home without building a new one. Something I’m sure most of you can not afford

 

  • The first is to invest in materials that are good for you and the environment, materials like bamboo, stone and glass help to keep your home clean and chemical free. Bamboo also is a very fast growing plant and can replenish itself quicker then other woods.

 

  • Use zero VOC paint, this helps to keep the air in your home cleaner and you and your family safe from chemical contaminates. These now come in so many amazing colors that you won’t feel like you are stuck in your design decisions.

 

  • Install a radon system that helps keep you safe from radon that can cause lung cancer and respiratory illness . If someone in your family has either of these, you may want to really check into a radon system. It may be a great investment for you and your family.

 

  • Use non-chemical cleaners. I am a huge fan of the Eco-Smart brand. I was asked to review for them a few years ago, and really love the product, now it is what my mom and I use for everything including pest removal and cleaning.

 

  • Use LED light bulbs in your home. I have been saying this for years and now the prices on these wonderful bulbs are dropping. I picked one up the other day for just $5! They give a great light, save you more on your electric then florescent and incandescent bulbs. They also do not have the hazardous materials of fluorescents.

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Take Care of Your Roof Now!

birmingham-roofing-contractor61.png It’s summer and now is the time to start really looking at the outside of your home and deciding what needs to be fixed before winter. Do you need new windows, siding or do you really just need a new roof. There are many reasons to look into a new roof for your home.

    • You have cracked or missing shingles, this could cause damage from water, ice and other elements that could cause serious damage to your home.
    • Prevent the growth of mold. If you get on your roof and you see mold, you will want to consider looking at replacing your roof as mold could cause damage to other parts of your home and affect your health.
    • Your roof is just old! If your roof is about 20 years old or more, you need to replace it. It may look okay from the ground, but it’s wearing down and you need to get it replaced before it causes other problems.

Now what if you don’t see any of the above problems, how do you keep them from happening. Well you take care of your roof by doing the following.

        Keep it clean, brush it off and have is washed occasionally. Clear leaves and branches from you roof twice a year, once in fall and once in spring. Waiting and doing it in the spring causes more of a build up in your room and gutters causing other issues.

    If your still unsure of your roof you will want to hire professional roofers to come and take a look at your roof. They know best and will tell you what needs to be done. You can do a simple search on Google (example: search Birmingham roofers if you live near Birmingham, you can also search Birmingham roofers reviews) Don’t feel comfortable searching online, ask friends and neighbors for suggestions on who to call.

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    Restoring History: Five Keys to Renovating Your Historic Home

    Restoring History, Five Keys to Renovating Your Historic Home

    It’s often said that they just don’t make things like they used to. This is apparent in homes where elegant wood trim has given way to thin molding and the ornate finishing touches have been abandoned in favor of quick finishes that don’t require an artist’s touch. If you’ve been drawn to a historic home because you want that old-world craftsmanship and attention to detail, then you may have to put some extra work into the home to make up for the ravages of age and neglect. Before you start working on a historic home, here are a few tips you should keep in mind.

    Get a Full Inspection

    Before you start working on the home, it’s important to know exactly what you’re dealing with. Projects like this have a way of snowballing because you find one problem after another. You may start out upgrading the electrical panel only to discover that the wiring throughout the home needs to be replaced. With a full inspection, you can learn about these problems ahead of time and make smart changes. Rather than addressing something one challenge at a time, it may prove more cost-effective to do a larger renovation and take care of everything at once.

    Remodeling and Restoration are Two Different Things

    When you remodel something, you are essentially changing it to make it better in some way. When a home is restored, you will take steps to make it like it once was. However, you can combine the methods to create the home of your dreams. Electrical and plumbing systems should be remodeled to bring them up to current standards. However, you may want the wood trim and other decorative elements restored to bring historic feel of the home to life.

    Watch the Red Tape

    The idea of owning a home on the National Register of Historic Places may appeal to you, but have you considered what’s really involved with this? If this is the case, you’ll be limited on what renovations you can do. You may have people driving by just to look at your home. This can be more than you bargained for, so find exactly what’s involved in living in such a home.

    Know Your Personal Limits

    You may have a talented hand when it comes to stripping and refinishing the gorgeous wood trim, but the electrical system and plumbing should be left to professionals. Other projects, like removing wallpaper and making other decorative changes, are ideally suited to homeowners and can help you save money.

    Be Patient

    Restoring a historic home is going to take time. You’ll want to pace yourself to protect your sanity and your wallet. Start with the most pressing matters first, such as replacing a rotting roof, and then do a few projects each year to gradually restore the home.

    Your efforts will be worth the hard work, and professionals are available to help. With people who know their way around historic homes working with you, the process won’t seem so overwhelming.

    About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here. This article was cowritten by the brick and concrete experts at D&G Cement Co. Visit us here to learn more about bringing your historic home back to life.

    Image Source: Oracio

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    Build a Better Home and Future

    This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Durisol Build for  photo durisol-build_zps1954ebef.jpg. All opinions are 100% mine.

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    Durisol Insulated Concrete Forms

    I'm sure you have seen the above as you have been driving around. It may not be this exact building, but commerical buildings are being built this way already, now you can also think about doing this for your home.

    One reasion I love Foundations Go Together Quickly With Dursiol ICF Wall Forming Systems. photo insulated-concrete-forms_zps3a9758ab.jpg products is not only are they environmentally safe, but they are made of recycled waste wood, meaning the making of them is using up a product that would normally be wasted and thrown out. Also It can be molded into any shape, that means you can do rounded rooms if you would like! How cool would that be?

    Foundations Go Together Quickly With Dursiol ICF Wall Forming Systems. photo insulated-concrete-forms_zps3a9758ab.jpg

    As you can see above they are well contructed. Another benifit of using this type of building product is that it is fireproof up to 1100 degrees. When I was in school this was a new thing for homes, but more and more people are seeing that they can really benifit from this type of contruction. As not only can it save you money when you build, but because it's so well insulated you can save alot of money on your heating and cooling bills!

    How does this actually work?

    Well you build this up just like you would a lego wall. Rebar and an aditional horizontal support is added into the mix for streangth and then concreate is poured between the spaces of the bricks. This makes an extreamly strong wall that is insulated and ready for drywall! It's really that simple!

    Would this be something you could consider for your home?

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    Five Home Updates That are Worth The Money

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    The following is a guest post:

    When deciding to invest in your current home, you should consider a number of different factors, including how long you intend to keep it, the likelihood of recovering your investment and the price that homes sell for in your neighborhood. Some home investments are recognized as being helpful to resale value and are usually worth the money in the long run.

    Five Home Updates That are Worth The Money

    New Roof

    If the roof of your home is twenty years old or older, you may be thinking about getting a new roof. This expense can be worth it in the long run in resale value. Many homebuyers must scrimp and save to make their first purchase, and the prospect of a big expense like a new roof can scare them off from considering your property. A new roof reassures them that they will not have to worry it for many years to come. A new roof is also a sign that you have cared for the home and that other systems are probably equally maintained.

    Bathroom Remodel

    Remodeling bathrooms can often be a good investment in your home for a variety of reasons. New buyers are always concerned about the condition of bathrooms in older homes and the expense of updating fixtures, plumbing and other items. A remodeled bathroom will increase the value of the home and reassure attract potential buyers.

    Kitchen Update

    Even today, the kitchen is the heart of the home. When looking at homes to buy, women always inspect the kitchen carefully to determine how functional it is. Updated appliances, convenient counterspace, easy-to-clean flooring and good lighting all factor into their ability to picture themselves preparing meals for the family. When you spend money to update your kitchen, you increase the desirability of the property as a whole.

    Building An Addition

    Many people build onto their current homes in order to avoid the costs of moving to a larger living space. If the project is done well, this action can immediately add to the value of the home and garner a higher resale price for the extra bedroom, family room or home office.

    Home Security System

    Installing a home security system can help to make your home more desirable for potential buyers. A home security system expert said, “home security systems are now more affordable then ever. You can customize a plan and asystem that will work with your budget and your needs.” Having one is becoming a standard feature in many neighborhoods and can help persuade potential buyers to consider your property.

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    Five Tips for Making Your Home More Habitable

    Five Tips for Making Your Home More Habitable

    The following is a guest post:

    Home is where the heart is. It’s also where you hang your hat, your coat and a million other items. Creating a home environment that is warm, welcoming and comfortable takes a bit of elbow grease. Follow these basic tips to help you make your home into a cozy place that makes you smile each time you enter it.

    A Place for Everything

    Many busy families complain of the constant clutter filling up the house. It’s easy to start feeling like it’s a full time job keeping up with daily loads of clutter. Establishing a place for everything helps tame the clutter. Show your kids exactly where to hang their backpacks, put your purse in the same place every day and place your car keys in a spot near the door. Enlist the whole family to help put things in their places instead of letting the clutter have a life of its own.

    Keep It Up

    Maintaining your home takes a little work each day so it doesn’t become a big, looming job waiting for you every weekend. Take as little as 15 minutes a day to tackle household chores. Pick one room for each day of the week, or assign family members to a space. Set a timer, crank the tunes and go wild in your space for 15 minutes. This will ensure you do a little bit each day to keep your home habitable, but you won’t feel overwhelmed by it.

    Add Your Style

    Adding a bit of you to your home reminds you of the things you love. Maybe it’s a particular color that always makes you smile, a print you fell in love with or a painting you couldn’t live without. Add a touch of your unique style throughout your home to make it feel like your sanctuary.

    Designate Your Spaces

    Clear boundaries within your home ensure it stays relatively clean and tidy. If you have kids, for example, make sure all food items are kept in the kitchen. Vow to keep coats, hats, boots and shoes within a specified entry area to avoid things getting strewn about the house. Tame your laundry with designated baskets throughout the house and a laundry station near the washer and dryer. It’s easy to spot items that don’t belong in the designated spaces, making clean-up a breeze for you and your family.

    Maintain a Positive Atmosphere

    A reliable security company like Vivint in San Francisco, CA, can help you create a habitable home with a safe and positive atmosphere by putting your family first. Treat your home like a sanctuary for love, communication and peace. Establish and maintain positive attitudes by treating family members with love and respect. The rest will fall into place.

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    Six Cost-Effective Ways You Can Update Your Home

    6 Cost-Effective Ways To Update Home

    Home is where the heart is, but the heart gains a new sense of vigor when the home looks fresh and clean again. Sometimes it seems that when money is tight, there is nothing you can do to improve the aesthetics of your living situation, but that is not the case! Whether you’re trying to increase the value of your house in order to sell it, or you simply want to freshen up your atmosphere, there are dozens of inexpensive ways to spruce up your home. Try these few cost-effective ways you can update your home:

    Entryway

    The first thing you see when you walk by or enter a house is the entryway, as it is appropriately named, and there are many things you can do to enhance its look. Repainting or refinishing your front door offers a nice first impression right away, and a fancy door handle replacing the old simple doorknob implies elegance. Adjusting the outdoor lighting and adding a healthy variety of plants to either side of the doorway will please more than just your vision as you walk into the house – it will make you feel comfortable and at-home.

    Kitchen

    We often don’t do as many updates in the kitchen, but the family actually spends more time in the kitchen than you might think. Spice up your family dinners with fresh cabinets and matching appliances. Rather than replacing the entire cabinets themselves, simply replace the doors and drawers, or even just the handles, to create an updated look. A new faucet will be nice and shiny as well as functional. Also try specialized cleaning products that will take stains off your faucet and handles to improve the appearance without spending too much money.

    Paint

    The paint job in your house may be the way it shows its wear and tear the most. Scuff marks on the walls and spots of spackle from repairs take away from the cohesiveness of your home. A fresh paint job is a very simple way to restore brightness to your house.

    Carpeting

    If your neutral colored carpet is in good condition, a nice cleaning can make a big difference. If your carpet was neutral colored but is now decorated with splotches of unattractive colors thanks to spills, you can cover them up with inexpensive area rugs. It may seem counter-intuitive, but if you’re trying to sell your house and your wall-to-wall carpet is in rough shape, don’t replace it – let the new owners choose what to bring in instead.

    Lighting

    When you’re trying to change the appearance of your house, lighting is an incredible tool, suggests professionals who specialize in residential electrical services in Houston. Spotlights can direct people’s attention to conversational pieces or fixtures that you have on display, and accent lighting can really set the right mood. If you want to do something about your ceiling fan and light but you’re on a tight budget, simply repaint or replace the blades of the fan. You can also add versatility to any room by having having professionals install a dimmer switch in a few rooms. Changing the lighting can also save you on utilities.

    Headboard

    You can tell a lot about a person by their bedroom, so express yourself with a beautiful and creative headboard. Decorative pillows are one thing, but a customized headboard that gives insight to your personality is a creative way to add your own personal touch to your room. You can make a headboard out of most anything, so your options are limitless!

    If the thought of your aging home makes your heart grow weary, don’t stress. These are just some of the ways that you can reinvigorate your home and family.

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    Use the Web to Find A Good Contractor

    general-contractor

    If your like many people I know, when it comes to home improvement you can’t always go to your friends and family for home improvement needs like finding a good contractor. Not because you don’t trust them, but because they just don’t do much home improvement. So your stuck finding someone on your own, or are you.

    The best place to go when looking for a contractor is the internet. Lets say you are in Scottsdale and your looking for a contractor. When you type in good reliable contractor Scottsdale you may find a whole list of contractors for the Scottsdale area, but if you were to look up reviews on contractors in Scottsdale, you will find real reviews from people who have used these contractors. Read though everything and make sure you find one that works for you.

    Having a good contractor can really make a difference in your home improvement project. A poor contractor can leave you with so many problems and possibly some major fines as well.

    Kitchen

    What to look for when looking online for a contractor:

    1. Mostly good reviews: You can’t make everyone happy, but if a contractor has mostly good reviews and they don’t sound paid for or made up, this may be a contractor to put on the list.
    2. The website shows an address and phone number that match up to the area they serve. Sometimes this is not the case and it’s still a great contractor, but most of the time someone who doesn’t show an address or has a way out there phone number may be hiding something.
    3. They provide their license numbers. This is something every good contractor does as you can make sure before even contacting them that they really have a valid contractors license. Also make sure that it’s the type you need. Contractors can be licensed for Residential, commercial or both.

    I hope these tips will help you out with your next home improvement project.

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    A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections: What is a Home Inspection?

    Home Inspection - Magnifying Glass

    In simple terms, a home inspection is a visual examination of the structural, electrical system and other components of a home. Used to identify unsafe and malfunctioning items, home inspections alert homeowners to any possible problem areas. Home inspectors are required to provide written descriptions of any issues found, and may recommend a course of action.

    A home inspector’s report will contain a professional recounting of the home’s condition including the state of its heating and air condition systems, plumbing, electrical systems, walls, roof, floors, doors and foundation. Some inspectors, like ones from A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections will offer additional services, including radon and mold testing.

    What a home inspector doesn’t do is predict the future. For instance, if an air conditioning system is in working order, the inspector will report it as so. However, a quality inspector will make note of the unit’s age, and may advise the buyer to replace it soon.

    It’s also not an appraisal. Far too often, buyers expect home inspectors to place a price tag on a home’s worth. This is not what home inspectors do, nor will they provide buyers with any advice regarding whether or not they should purchase the home. Home inspections are also not code inspectors. They judge the safety of a home, and while they may make recommendations, it is not their job to pass or fail a home.

    bg-homeInspection2

    Today’s buyers are encouraged to demand that a home inspection be conducted before they close. By doing so, they are provided with a clearer picture of how much money they’ll have to invest in repairs. Some buyers go so far as to insert a clause in their purchasing agreement allowing them to back out should the corrective action be cost prohibitive. However, in most cases the owner is usually willing to negotiate a fair resolution.

    The benefits of home inspections are many. For one, they dissuade buyers from making impulsive, emotionally driven decisions based on their own high level examination. Secondly, because home inspectors are required to provide detailed descriptions of their findings, the buyer will not only be alerted to any issues, they’ll also be notified as to the severity of the problem.

    One of the main problems with the home inspection industry is that most home inspectors do not possess the necessary credentials and experience to do a good job. In fact, the average inspector is not insured or licensed. To make matters worse, general contractors often try to double as home inspectors. What home buyers fail to realize is that just because someone is good as constructing homes doesn’t mean they’re qualified to inspect them. To ensure a proper home inspection, buyers should consider hiring a professional from A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections.

    The buyer is more than welcome to accompany the home inspector. This allows the inspector to explain any problems as they are found, and enables the buyer to ask relevant questions. The home inspectors at A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections encourage buyers to join them, and are more than willing to teach them everything they want to know about their new home.

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