Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Friendlier Look to Your Family Room

As the weather gets colder we find ourselves spending more and more time in various rooms of the house, especially the family room. Thanks to the folks at House Beautiful we can look to these 30+ design inspirations for possible redesigns of the family room. View all ideas here or begin below. 

"Designer Family Rooms"

By: House Beautiful

Blue and White Family Room
This family room is a natural extension of the kitchen, incorporating contrasting and complementary colors. Designed by James Radin.

American Cottage Family Room
Mona Hajj used pale blue and cream throughout the house and designed this ottoman to provide more seating options.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Home Improvement in the Winter

Have you started hibernating with this colder weather yet? Try one of these winter home improvement projects courtesy of msn real estate before curling up next to the fire this weekend. These small adjustments will make a huge impact on your house! Begin article below or read full article here. 

"10 great winter home projects"

By: Leah L. Culler

When it's cold and wet outside, it can be tempting to curl up in front of the fireplace with a good book and a cup of cocoa. But winter is a great time to complete some indoor home projects. Some of these tasks require only a few hours — even minutes — of your time; others will need a much larger investment of time and, in some cases, money.

For most of these projects, we'll give you a rough idea of what special skills, if any, you'll need to complete them, as well as an estimate of the cost and time involved. This is not a how-to, however. You'll want to do your research before you drag out the power tools and try to make "improvements."

Easy and cheap
Let's start with a few quick, simple projects that anyone can do. Yes, even you.
Professional Services

1. Change your furnace filter.

Ideally, you should have completed this task, along with a few other winter prep essentials, before the chilly weather arrived. Filters last about three months when you're using your furnace regularly, so you may need to do this more than once if it's an especially long and brutal winter.

Skills: Any homeowner can do this. You'll just need to note the size and type of filter you're replacing before you go out and buy a new one, and make sure the new one is facing in the same direction as the old.

Cost: You can find furnace filters for as little as $10. High-quality filters will catch dust mites and other allergens and are often worth the extra cost if you're prone to allergies, says David Lupberger, home-improvement expert for ServiceMagic and past president of the Master Builder Group Inc., a design/build remodeling company. (ServiceMagic is an MSN Real Estate partner.)

Time: This task should take just a few minutes once you have purchased a replacement filter.

2. Wash your windows.
Even if you're stuck indoors, that doesn't mean you can't improve your view of the winter wonderland outside. Winter's a great time to wash the inside of your home's windows. You can tackle the other side of the glass when it's bearable to step outdoors.

Skills: All you need is some basic hand/eye coordination, and possibly a decent sense of balance if you'll be cleaning tall windows using a step stool.

Cost: Most homeowners have window-cleaning supplies on hand. Use crumpled newspapers to polish your windows until they shine.

Time: Lupberger estimates you'll spend 15 to 30 minutes for an average window. Break it up into several shorter sessions if you're short on time and/or have lots of windows.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Stay Warm For Less

As winter approaches we must prepare our house to deal with the temperature drop. Thanks to our friends at This Old House there are ways to save money on the heating bill. Read full article here or begin below.

"Keeping Warm for Less"


1. Install a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat allows you to preset temperatures for different times of the day because you don't need to keep your home at 68 degrees around the clock. Although one shouldn't be used with heat pumps, a programmable thermostat is a real money-saver with air-conditioning as well as with heat. Choose a setting on the low end when you're sleeping or are away and go with a higher setting at other times (see table bellow) for savings of between 10 and 20 percent of your bill. Some units can store up to four temperature settings each day — e.g., morning, day, evening, night. All have a manual override switch.

Models from Hunter Fan are typical. The Set & Save 5+2 lets you program one five-day stretch and a two-day period. With the Set & Save 5+1+1, you program one five-day stretch and two other separate days. The Set & Save 7-Day and 7-Day Energy Star models provide the most flexibility, with individual programs for all seven days. The units use AA batteries to maintain the display if the power goes off and to hold settings.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Faster and Easier Fall Leaves Removal

Let's be honest, Fall is a pretty season but provides a lot of work in the yard. If you are looking to spend more time kicking your feet up and watching football and less time raking those leaves we have a few tips to help! Thanks to the folks at Consumer Reports  you will be able to spend more time doing what you enjoy and less cleaning up. Read full article here or begin below. 

"Tip of the day: Make faster work of leaf removal"

Keep the job manageable. 
Don’t tackle an entire season’s worth of leaf cleanup in one day—unless you’re a glutton for a blister-and-ache-inducing marathon. Leaves will drop throughout autumn, so schedule clearing duty a few days during the season. Avoid working in windy weather (see Murphy’s Law above), and dress in layers to help control body temperature and avoid breaking out in a sweat. If the sun is out, apply sunscreen. If you live in an area with lots of ticks and a prolonged frost has not yet occurred, apply an appropriate insect repellent.
Choose the right rake.
 In our testing we found that extrawide rakes (36 inches) require more downward pressure to drag leaves across the lawn. That’s why we recommend a standard-width (24 inches) rake, ideally a model equipped with a soft grip. Before you purchase a rake with an ergonomically curved handle, see how comfortable it is to use by simulating raking in the store. Ergonomic rakes are designed to reduce bending and stooping, but they’re not a good fit for everyone.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Trick or Treat: Seasonal DIY Ideas

We found a great post on Country Living titled, '15 Spooktacular Outdoor Halloween Decorations'. The post offers up a variety of DIY Halloween decoration ideas perfect as we move into the end of the October. You can check out the post here or begin reading below.

"15 Spooktacular Outdoor Halloween Decorations"By: COUNTRY LIVING

Lantern Pumpkins
New York City stylist Marissa Corwin put a cheeky spin on the very word jack-o'-lantern with her three glowing silhouettes of old-school lamps. "They're a bit more sophisticated than your average spooky face—something adults can appreciate, too," she said.
Decorated Tree
Bare-limbed trees provide the perfect ghostly perch for jack-o'-lanterns, candle lanterns, and a flock of faux black crows (don't be surprised if a few real ones alight). Make sure the tree limbs are sturdy enough to support the weight of the items you are hanging and take care not to overdecorate, which can lessen the overall effect. Funkins (styrofoam pumpkins) are an especially good choice for this project, since they're lightweight and won't rot.

Click Here to read the entire post.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fall Cleaning Tips and Tricks

As we move further into October we think of pumpkin carving, hot chocolate, falling leaves and sweatshirts. As each one of you prepare for this weather change it is important prepare your house for the cool down as well.  We found a great series of tips from Better Homes & Gardens titled, "Fall Fix-Ups." These tips were published with the idea of creating a smoother transition moving further into October and eventually the winter. You can check out the tips here or begin reading below.

"Fall Fix-Ups"By Better Homes & Gardens

Clear The Gutters
Falling leaves and evergreen needles can block downspouts and cause rainwater to overflow gutters. Depending on where you live, the coming of winter can mean clogged gutters. This can cause ice dams, which push water under shingles and into your house. Clean gutters after most of the leaves have fallen, and do so by removing the debris with a plastic scoop or with a special curved wand attached to your garden hose. To keep gutters clear for next fall, install mesh or perforated leaf shields. In addition to cleaning gutters, you might need to install insulation in the attic or apply heat tape along the roof edge above the gutters to prevent ice dams.

Caulk The Cracks
Caulk can help keep out dirt, moisture, sound, and radon gas, and it can improve the general appearance of your home. Caulk before painting for a more finished look. Caulk where masonry meets siding, where pipes or wires enter the house, around window and door frames, and at corner joints formed by siding.

Click here to read the entire article

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

28 Quick Summer Fixes

With summer slowly dwindling away it is important you take advantage of the time you have left. Thanks to the folks at This Old House we now have "28 Easy Summer Weekend Projects." Think about conquering these projects when it's still nice out. Click here to read the article or begin below.

"28 Easy Summer Weekend Projects"

What's the use of balmy weather and long summer days if you can't hang out in your yard and have some fun? But if there's nowhere good to sit and nothing fun to do at your house, don't fret. These 28 projects, culled from the TOH archives of great weekend upgrades, will enhance your yard, beautify your exterior, and give everyone in the family something exciting to do. Pick and choose the ones that are right for your home, and soon you'll have the most attractive and entertaining yard on the block.

1. Make a Herb Planter from a wagon
Looking to spice up your container garden? Dig out Junior's rusty old Radio Flyer and turn it into a mobile planter that can go from a sun-steeped corner right to your kitchen door.

2. Build a Tree Bench
This comfy, stay-cool spot has room for the entire family and practically looks like it's a part of the tree itself. Put your bench together, and you'll enjoy lounging on it with a favorite book all summer long.

 Click here to read the entire article

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Be Prepared For Labor Day

Are you having company over this Labor day? We have found a few tips to help to have your yard in tip top shape for friends and family. Thanks to the folks at HGTV for providing this article titled,  "Cleaning Tips for Your Home's Exterior and Yard."  Click here to read the entire article or begin below.

"Cleaning Tips for Your Home's Exterior and Yard."

1.Washing off the dirt and debris
Some pressure washers come with an assortment of color-coded spray tips. Each one has a different spray, from the high-pressure pinpoint spray to a wider, low-pressure spray. Siding can be cleaned with a low-pressure spray tip. Pressure-washing is also useful for removing algae stains from fencing. 

2. Cleaning the deck
Pressure-wash your deck with a tip that produces a spray about the width of a 2x4, with medium pressure. The trick is to keep the spray moving. Don't rest in one spot for too long or it could permanently damage the surface. Then apply a wood preservative to help prevent water damage and discoloration. 

Click here to read the entire article.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Helpful Home Improvement YouTube Channels

We found a great article compiling some of the most handy YouTube channels to follow for DIY and home improvement help thanks to Preview the article below or click here to read full article. 

"5 Handy YouTube Channels for DIY and Home Improvement"
By Amy-Mae Elliott

The easiest way to learn how to do something practical is to first see it done properly by someone else. By breaking it down into easy-to-follow steps, these how-to videos offer an absolute wealth of knowledge that is just a few clicks away.
We've searched YouTube for the very best home improvement instructional video channels where experts and enthusiastic amateurs share their skills for free.
So the next time you have a DIY job to do, whether it's fixing a leaky faucet or a more ambitious project, check out our choice of top five channels where, no doubt, there's a handy video by someone who's been there, done that, and can help you avoid throwing the wrench against the wall in frustration.

Click here to see the rest of article with videos.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Quick Fixes to Common Household Problems

We found a great series of tips on titled, "15 Quick Fixed to Make Around Your House." These tips were published with the idea of creating a quick solution for a problem. With juggling jobs, toting the kids around, and other errands you might not always have time to prep the house like you wanted to for company. With these quick tips you can fix the problem until a later time when you are actually able to take the time to do a complete renovation. You can check out the tips here or begin reading below.

"15 Quick Fixed to Make Around Your House."

Squeaky Floor

For a temporary fix, sprinkle talcum powder over the noisy area and sweep it into the cracks. Be sure to remove any traces of powder if you’re ever going to refinish the floor.
Peeling Wallpaper
With a knife, smear wallpaper paste onto a piece of writing paper. Rub the paper against the underside of the peeling section. Press the wallpaper against the wall. Slide the writing paper out and smooth away bubbles with a clean cloth.
Worn Caning
A little sagging over time is natural but reversible. To tighten caning back up, use a sponge to wet the underside with warm water. Let dry slowly overnight. Repeat if necessary.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Keep Your House Cool This Summer

Air conditioning and keeping your home cool during the summer can be very expensive. Thanks to the the team at MSN we have some cheap ways to keep our houses manageable to live in. Click here to read the article or begin below.

"27 Cheap Ways to Keep Your House Cooler"
By MSN Real Estate 

Sure, go ahead and turn that thermostat up to 80. You'll be sweaty and still shelling out a bundle -- unless you take other steps to make summer heat more bearable and reduce stress on your air conditioner.
Most of these cost little or nothing. Thank the Department of Energy's Energy Savers program, which provides most of these tips (and more) on its own Web site.
Get the most from your air conditioning
•Open windows and use portable or ceiling fans instead of operating your air conditioner. Even mild air movement of 1 mph can make you feel three or four degrees cooler. Make sure your ceiling fan is turned for summer -- you should feel the air blown downward.
•Use a fan with your window air conditioner to spread the cool air through your home.
•Without blocking air flow, shade your outside compressor. Change air filters monthly during the summer.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

22 Little Tips That Will Make a Large Difference

Getting your house to be the "Green" dwelling you would like it to be can seem extremely daunting. The new and expensive appliances, changes to the insulation, and time and effort it takes is enough to make someone think twice about helping out the environment. Instead, the folks over at This Old House have provided some excellent inexpensive tips for creating a more eco-friendly home while saving you lots of time. Such drastic changes aren't as necessary when you can make this small ones that will still have a large impact. Click here to read the article or begin below.

"22 Little Ways to Go Green"

It seems everybody knows you can help the planet—and save yourself some cash—with big changes: adding spray-foam insulation to open walls, say, or installing a tankless water heater. But there are lots of simpler, lower-cost ways to improve your eco-scorecard, too. Here are some low-stress steps to take around the house to reduce your carbon footprint, create a healthier home, and lower your monthly bills to boot.

1. Unplug your power tools. Figure out which cordless tools (like drill/drivers) get the most use, then unplug the chargers on all the rest. Most cordless tools have nickel cadmium (NiCad) batteries, which will hold some charge for up to a year. They lose 15 to 20 percent of their juice each month, but only take a couple of hours to power up again. Newer tools with lithium ion batteries lose just 2 to 5 percent of their charge each month, so they'll be ready to go even if you haven't charged them in ages.

2. Spread sawdust on your floor. Take the superfine shavings captured by your dust collection system, wet them down, then push them around with a stiff broom to sweep your concrete garage or workshop floor. The mix is as good as a power-guzzling shop vac at picking up dust but doesn't swirl it into the air. 

Click here to read the rest of the tips.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Take Your Kitchen Outside

Although summer is in full swing most of us find ourselves stuck inside all day. Why not take advantage of the weather when you get off and cook outside? The team at the DIY Network have provided some great tips of things to think about before building an outdoor kitchen. Click here to read the article or begin below.

"Tips for an Outdoor Kitchen"

Outdoor kitchens have certainly become one of the hottest items in home building in the last few years. You can get the same options from your indoor kitchen and you can put those things in your outdoor kitchen. For example, you can get cabinets, grills, refrigerators, but there's one thing that's totally different — everything has to be waterproofed.
The most basic item for your outdoor kitchen is a barbecue grill — don't forget that what makes it a kitchen is that you have a place to cook. You have a few options when it comes to an outdoor grill, you can get something that is prefab, something semi-custom or something that is customized.
You can get something as extravagant as a drop-in stove that's got six burners and a gas kit. You might hire a kitchen designer for your indoor kitchen, but for a more casual outdoor kitchen you might want to do it yourself.

Click here to read the entire article.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How to Redesign a Room

What do you think of first when redesigning a room? Color, shades, possible furniture, or light fixtures? Instead, you should hold off on the d├ęcor and first focus on the form of the room and its function. Here we have a short clip from Better Homes and Gardens suggesting a better approach of how to attack the redesign of room.

 See how to Arrange a Room here. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Easy Grilling Clean-Up tips

It would be fair to assume that Barbecues were a popular occurrence over the 4th of July holiday weekend. It would also be fair to assume that these Barbeques may not have left your deck looking like it's usual clean self. The folks over at the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) have provided some excellent tips for a post Barbecue clean up. Click here to read the article or begin below.

"Easy Grilling Clean-Up Tips"

Happy National Barbecue Month!

Americans say an easy clean up is one of the most pleasurable parts of grilling food outdoors. In fact, in a recent survey by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) a majority (70 percent) responded that they find "a lot" of pleasure in having few or no pots or pans to clean up when grilling as opposed to indoor cooking.

To ensure that outdoor grilling clean-up is even easier, HPBA offers the following tips:

- BEFORE lighting the grill, apply non-stick spray on the grates. The protective spray cuts down the clean-up time afterwards.

Click here to read the entire article.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Stacked DIY planters for your home

We found a great article on a mini DIY project perfect for the Summer months. Now that Summer is finally here, we thought this article was too fun not too share. The article shows us in detail how to create stacked planters to add more curb appeal to your home. The article is titled, "Stacked DIY planters for your home" and can be found here. Alternatively you can begin reading below:

By Simona Ganea,

We're always trying to make our home as lovely and inviting as possible. Still, most of the time we focus only on the interior. The exterior needs attention as well. Make your entrance more inviting with a set of planters for example. We have a project that you can do by yourself. It's a set of three stacking planters with a friendly message on them. Here's what you'll need for this project: 3 terracotta pots (large, medium and small), 2-3 plastic pots-when turned upside down, a tray for water drainage, some outdoor paint, 2 brushes, painter's tape, a drill and obviously plants/flowers.

Friday, June 21, 2013

New Business Focus: House Doctors franchise offering home improvements in Tri-Cities

Tony Woods, our newest franchisee, was featured in an article in the Kingsport Times-News titled, "New Business Focus: House Doctors franchise offering home improvements in Tri-Cities". The article discusses Tony's recent House Doctors opening. Tony discusses how the market seems prime for remodeling as people have been putting off their projects as the economy recovers. Tony also explains that he focuses on remodeling and repair. You can click here to read the article or begin below.

"New Business Focus: House Doctors franchise offering home improvements in Tri-Cities"
By Hank Hayes

New Business Focus: House Doctors franchise offering home improvements in Tri-Cities

After spending 27 years in the food service industry, Tony Woods has acquired a franchise of a professional handyman service.

Woods has opened a House Doctors, which offers home repair and home improvements in the Tri-Cities area. "We're more of a remodel, fix-up-what-you've-got type of business rather than building something new and starting from the ground," Woods said. "We focus on rebuilding and remodeling existing homes."

Click here to read the entire article.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Do It yourself Home Improvement tips to reincarnate your lifestyle

We've found a great post on titled, "Do it yourself Home Improvement tips to reincarnate your lifestyle". The post discusses how DIY projects allow us to play with our thoughts and that we can build DIY projects around our unique and individual personalities and lifestyles. You can check out the post here or begin below.

"Do It yourself Home Improvement tips to reincarnate your lifestyle"
By Samuel Joyce

Image Credit: Olger Fallas 

Your Lifestyle reflects your personality, ideologies, and your way of living. At times in life it is felt that there is a need for change in your ideologies and thought process. Along with thoughts changes can be implied to reincarnate your lifestyle as well. You can freshen up your home with your changed thoughts with some DIY home improvements. Refreshed and reincarnated home can further to enlighten you with even better ideas in all spheres of life. 

Do-it-yourself projects allow you to play with your thoughts. You can reveal your innovative part in the decor you impart to your home. You can try furniture makeovers, changing the decor of home, wall art, remodeling kitchen and bathroom makeovers and any given thing that strikes your mind first. Ger your hands dirty and get started with few of the tips shared below. Fall in love your space all over again.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How-To Get Your Deck Summer Ready in 10 Easy Steps!

We found a great article on titled, "How-To Get Your Deck Summer Ready in 10 Easy Steps!". The article was published just before Memorial Day Weekend with some great tips on how to spruce up your deck for the festivities and summer months. You can check out the article here or begin reading below.

"How-To Get Your Deck Summer Ready in 10 Easy Steps!"

With Memorial Day just around the corner, there's one important chore on your list that you don't want to forget. Before you put the cushions on your patio furniture and get your grill fired up, make sure you take the time to give your deck a proper cleaning. It no only keeps your deck looking its best, but will also keep you safe from dangerous, slippery slime, help your deck to last longer and reduce maintenance over the long haul.

Note: This is a job for a sunny day. Make sure there's no rain predicted because it can take several hours to dry completely.

deck cleaning tools

  1. Clear The Decks - Make sure you can easily access the entire deck without damaging your outdoor furniture, grill or other accessories. If possible, move everything off of the deck to the yard. If you can't do that, try stacking the furniture to have as little as possible standing on the deck.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

NARI offers tips in honor of Home Improvement month.

We found a great article on titled, "NARI offers tips in honor of Home Improvement month". The article looks at the 10 most important steps to take before a remodeling project begins as suggested by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). Click here to read the article or begin below.

"NARI offers tips in honor of Home Improvement month"
By Clifton Journal

In honor of National Home Improvement Month this May, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) advises homeowners of the 10 most important steps to take before the remodeling project starts.

"The planning and researching phases of a project are the most critical steps in the remodeling process," said NARI National President Art Donnelly, Legacy Builders and Remodelers Corp., based in Mount Sinai, N.Y. "The more knowledgeable and prepared a homeowner is, the more they protect themselves."
What can a homeowner do to prepare for a remodel? NARI provides a top 10 list of steps homeowners should take before breaking ground on their next remodel.

* Research your project. Taking time to research projects on the Internet and will provide a good sense of what is involved such as price, scope of work, return on investment and new product/material options. Also, research property values in your neighborhood to make sure your project is in line with other homes in the area.

Click here to read the entire article

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Deck DIY: Five Tips to Upgrade your Outdoor Living Space for Summer

We have found an interesting article on the titled, "Deck DIY: Five Tips to Upgrade your Outdoor Living Space for Summer". The article offers up some useful tips about upgrading and modernizing your deck, that plays such in important role throughout Summer time. It offers up 5 smart and money efficient hints to help with prepping your deck for the coming Summer. Click here to read the entire article or begin below.

"Deck DIY: Five Tips to Upgrade your Outdoor Living Space for Summer",

Deck DIY: Five tips to upgrade your outdoor living space for summer

From grilling and dining to simply relaxing, your home's deck is frequently the center of family life during warm weather months. That's why there's no better time to give your outdoor living space the upgrade it deserves. Whether you're building a dream deck from scratch - or sprucing up an existing space - here are five tips for do-it-yourselfers who want to start turning their outdoor living aspirations into reality this weekend.

No.1 - Discover your inspiration

Your deck is a natural extension of your home and your style. Think about the type of design elements that will best fit your family's activities and complement both outdoor views and the layout of your yard. Flip through favorite magazines to find photos that jump start your inner designer, go online to experiment with virtual planners that allow you to try out different colors and configurations or use mobile apps to create outdoor living space designs anywhere at any time.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Backyard Living: 7 smart design trends for 2013

We've found a great article on titled, "Backyard Living: 7 smart design trends for 2013". The article provides budget-friendly deck and patio trends to experiment with for the more deck friendly weather arriving with Spring and Summer. You can click here to read the article or begin below.

"Backyard Living: 7 smart design trends for 2013"
By Karl Fendelander

Advice Article Image The snow might not yet be melted where you are, but spring is most definitely in the air. Winter's cabin fever is letting up as surely as the days are getting longer. Time to get your backyard ready for outdoor living -- barbecues, patio parties -- even nightly dining on the deck. After a chilly season of neglect, you deck or patio can benefit from a makeover.

7 budget-friendly deck and patio trends

While many of the more fervent homeowners wax poetic about one day being buried in their backyard, most folks are more concerned about resale value than picking out a favorite tree to fertilize...

Click here to read the entire article

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Housefixer: 5 Spring DIY Tasks

We found a great post on titled, 'Housefixer: 5 Spring DIY Tasks'. The post offers up a few DIY home improvements perfect for the Spring time. The post breaks down various DIY tasks that will re-invigorate your home for the Spring and even prepare you for the upcoming Summer months. You can check out the post here or begin reading below.

"Housefixer: 5 Spring DIY tasks."
By Checkatradeblog

Here are a few home improvements perfect for spring time.
Each one can have a dramatic impact on the appearance or comfort of your home, and the end result will be something you can enjoy for some time.

1. Painting or wallpapering.
There's nothing like a lick of paint or some new wallpaper to freshen up a room's appearance, and the project can easily be completed within a day or two, depending on how much there is to do.

When it comes to painting and wallpapering, the hardest part is actually deciding on a color palette or patter. Neutral tones and soft shades are good choices in small rooms, as they help create a sense of spaciousness. If you want to go big and bold, it might be best to designate a feature wall.

Click Here to read the entire post.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

5 Things you can do to bring Spring into your house

With Spring finally arriving and the weather slowly but surely changing for the better, we found a fantastic article on titled, "5 Things you can do to bring Spring into your house". The article showcases 5 projects for you to embrace the end of Winter and welcome the beginning of Spring. Click here to read the article or begin below.

"5 Things you can do to bring Spring into your house"
By Chaya Kurtz

Spring is on it's way. If you want to get a head start on the season, and push away winter's doldrums, then these five projects have your name on them.

Plants will blossom, leaves will bud, warm days will bring that sweet smell of fresh air and grass back. Streams will fill up with water, and the sounds of birds will reemerge. Even if the weather is still chilly and the trees are still bare where you live, you can make your house feel like spring.

1. Spring Cleaning: Getting rid of winter's dust is hard work, but it really can refresh your house. Whether you do a deep cleaning, or you just give the place a good tidying up, spring cleaning is an excellent way to bid winter goodbye as you welcome in the unfettered days of spring and summer....

 Click here to read the entire article

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Things are looking up!

With the housing market returning the home remodeling industry is starting to show signs of growth. We came across this great article in the Northwest Indiana Times that gives some great insights on what to expect in the coming year. Definitely a must read for anyone in or interested in the industry. Check out the brief below and click here to read the entire article?

Courtesy of Elaine Griffin Design
Most remodeling experts say that upgrading kitchens and baths
provide big returns. According to the last report
from, bathrooms tied with kitchens
for the room most home remodelers plan to improve this year.
At Home: Remodeling — On the right side of the statistics, for once.

Generally speaking, I am not a numbers person. That is, I only like statistics when they support what I want to believe: Weight down, bank account up. If they don’t, I pretty much stick a finger in each ear, squeeze my eyes closed, and make insect noises.

Thus, for the last four years, I have avoided any real estate news. Hearing the data about how house poor we all were just made me want to dive head first down the garbage disposal.

And that is not becoming.

But this week, as I heard promising rumblings about the home remodeling and sales market, I perked up. I cracked open one eye. Pulled my finger out of one ear, and darn if I didn’t find … now hold onto yourselves … good news.

Reports are showing that the housing market is coming ever-so-slowly back from a four-year coma, and it’s bringing the remodeling market along with it.

Builder confidence is the highest it’s been in 6.5 years, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo survey.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love is in the air!

It's that magical day of the year, when hopeless love is everywhere around us. In the Valentine's Day spirit we wanted to share some fantastic home remodeling inspiration with romance in mind. We came across this fantastic article on, that showcases some of the most beautiful homes we've seen to date. Take a look at these beauties and let them conjure up images of what your next remodel could mean for you and that special someone. Click here for the entire article, and Happy Valentines Day!

'I'm With Cupid' — 10 Spaces That Shoot for Romance With the Roman God

What's with Cupid anyway? And how did he (it's a he, right?) become such a prominent symbol of Valentine's Day recognition? Yeah, yeah, Roman god of desire — we get it. Just tighten that sash, would you? Perhaps even more intriguing: The seminude, bow-and-arrow-toting, horn-blowing figure seems to pop up in home decor almost as often as on Hallmark cards in February. Cupids are depicted as wall art, in statues and even in the garden. Sometimes they're large and commanding; sometimes they're subtler. See if you can spot them all here.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Protecting your home before and after a snow storm

We are in the heart of winter and it's crucial that you know how to protect your home from all the weather that comes with this tumultuous season. Snow storms can be particularly dangerous for homeowners causing leaks, blocking vents, freezing pipes, as well as a slew of other issues they cause. We found a fantastic article that discusses various ways you can protect your home from snowstorms before and after they hit. Check out a brief of the article below and click here to read the entire piece!

Protecting Your Home Before & After a Snow Storm
By: Kamala1C's blog
  • Keeping water away from the house is important. Clear out any basement window wells of snow or water to prevent it from seeping through window frames.
  • Create a barrier of packed snow around basement window wells to prevent water from running into them.
  • Shovel snow away from beside the home’s walls if possible to reduce water intrusion.
  • Make sure that water overflowing from eavestroughs and downspouts runs away from the house.
  • Remove snow from doors and windows to prevent water intrusion. Windows facing directly against the snow or wind may be more prone to heavy snow damage.
  • Clear the areas around exhaust pipes and air vents on heaters, furnaces and dryers.
  • Watch out for snow-covered trees close to buildings since branches can break and cause damage to nearby structures.
  • Ensure that all drains and gutters are free from dirt and debris. Make sure to chip away any ice covering drains.
  • Excess snow on roofs that melts quickly can freeze in the eaves and cause ice dams where the melting snow seeps under the shingles. Remove snow using a roof rake or hire a roofing professional. Insulating the attic area to keep it cold can also reduce rapid melting and the risk of ice dams.
  • Make sure to remove snow blocking roof vents.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The booming real estate market in california

As we begin to see a return in the housing market there is no better example of things to come than in California. Currently the real estate market in California is booming, somewhat reflecting what everyone hopes is on the horizon for the real estate market in general. California is presently home to 7 of the top 10 cities for growth, showing positive signs for the economy and the housing market alike. The Huffington Post article below goes into more detail about this phenomenon. Click here to read the entire article.

Sacramento Real Estate Boom Leads Nation In Growth
By: Aaron Sankin

A woman walks towards a home for sale during a viewing for brokers in Leucadia, Calif., in November 2012. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)
According to a report issued this week by, real estate in Northern California is booming -- especially in one housing market that was among the hardest hit of any in the country by the collapse of the housing bubble.

The report, which looked at the year-over-year increases in median home listing prices in housing markets across the United States, found that the Sacramento area had the largest gains of any metro region. This data suggests that sagging housing prices, which have been a drag on the economy in much of California's Central Valley for years, are not only beginning to rebound, but are doing so with surprising strength.

Five of the top 10 cities with the fastest growth are located in Northern California and two more are in the southern portion of the state.


"In Sacramento, you have a desirable area that was hit really hard by the housing bubble, with a lot of foreclosures and a lot of overbuilding," said Alison Schwartz of Move, Inc., the operator of, who noted that the spike in prices in the area is largely a result of how far home values had dropped in the region during the recession.

During much of the 2000s, loose financing led to an oversupply of housing being built in the San Francisco Bay Area's far outlying suburbs in the run-up to the crash. Since then, there's been little new construction; so as demand naturally increases with the gradually improving economy, supply hasn't been able to keep up and prices have jumped.

Additionally, many homeowners in the region still underwater on their mortgages, making it impossible for them to sell and further drying up some of the liquidity that would otherwise be present in the market.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Was 2012 the Year the Housing Market Recovered?

Hey all you Homeowners out there, we know it's very important to have a solid grasp on where the Housing Market is and what that means for you as a Owner. This morning we came across this great article, definitely a must read. The article discusses what happened to the Housing Market in 2012 and the state of the Housing Market as we move into 2013. Click here to read the entire article.

Was 2012 the Year the Housing Market Recovered?
By: Daniel Carroll and Samuel Chapman

On many occasions during the past few years, housing market conditions have been cited as a key factor contributing to the slow recovery. For a typical household, the largest component of wealth is house value. As house prices fell and sales were depressed, household wealth shrank. The decline in house values has been indicted as leading cause of restrained consumption, as households saved from current income to recoup the loss in housing wealth. The decline in house values has also been suggested as partly responsible for stubbornly high unemployment due to “lock-in,” where a household that is underwater on its mortgage limits its job search because it cannot afford to move.

Fortunately, over this past year there have been signs of modest, yet sustained, improvement in the housing market. According to the latest report, sales of single-family units, both of new and existing, have been up year-over-year from January to November. The latest month shows new and existing sales up by 15.3 and 12.4 percent, respectively, compared to their values in November 2011. Since April 2012, monthly sales of existing multifamily units have also been positive relative to the previous year, with the November data turning in a whopping 33 percent increase.

After several years of weakness in the home construction sector, 2012 has also been marked by large increases in home starts. For single-family units, the change each month from its counterpart in 2011 has averaged 23.6 percent; for multifamily units the average is 38.0 percent.

The descent of home prices has leveled off, and prices have begun to move upward again.

During 2011, home price indexes reported negative year-over-year changes each month; however in 2012, these changes have been increasing each month. As of October, house prices were roughly 5 percent greater than the previous year. Price increases are a welcome sign as they point to a steady return of demand and suggest household conditions are improving both in terms of income and credit. The recovery also has a positive implication for general aggregate activity as it increases household net worth, thereby stimulating consumption.

Finally, while the good news discussed above is certainly encouraging, it should be noted that it is unclear at what point we should declare the housing market “fully recovered.” The data on sales, starts, and prices were all well above trend before they began to plummet in 2005. Therefore, the previous peak level is not likely the correct baseline by which to judge recovery. Nevertheless, any recovery must begin with a sustained increase in housing activity, and 2012 has, so far, appeared to deliver just that.

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