Posts Tagged ‘Household Tips’

Top Architecture Trends For 2014

Friday, January 24th, 2014

New home construction has seen consistent growth in the last three years and sales of new homes are expected to increase by about 16 percent, or 580,000 homes, in 2014, according to Kiplinger’s Economic Outlooks and as more homes are built, new architecture trends will begin to appear — slowly.

“Building is not an industry where big changes happen really fast,” said Amy Albert, editor of Custom Home Online. ”Things happen over time.”

Still, Albert named five home-design elements she expects to see more often in 2014:

1. Tranquility

More homeowners are seeing their homes as a place to get away from it all and relax, especially in certain rooms — particularly the bathroom. “The spa bathroom is really big as a result of more people traveling to nice hotels,”  Albert said. In 2014, we’re likely to see bathrooms with walk-in showers, roomy bathtubs and tranquil designs become a big trend for homeowners.

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2. Mission Control

In the past the kitchen was often built at the back of the house, attached to the garage, and away from high traffic areas, but that tradition is changing. In 2014 we’ll see the kitchen as a focal point of the house, often placed in the center of an open floor plan, especially as more homeowners start to use their kitchen space as a multitasking room, or as Albert calls it, “mission control.” By having the kitchen centered and open, parents can help children with homework, talk or pay bills — all while making meals.

3. Traditional Design

While “midcentury modern design is thriving” and will continue to do so in 2014, more homeowners are looking at traditional home styles, Albert said. For example, Craftsman homes with large porches, front columns and detailed gables will make a comeback in 2014. Queen Anne-style homes with asymmetrical facades and detailed gables may also see a resurgence. However, attention to detail will be important as homeowners look for exact replicas of the original styles.

Architecture:Passive

4. Passive Homes

More U.S.-based architects are expected to include passive-house elements in their 2014 designs. Originally a European design, a passive house is built to work with the climate. For example, its roof may be pitched to make use of wind power, or it could have large windows installed to attract sunlight that heats the home. A passive-house design can slash energy consumption by up to 90 percent, according to Passive House Institute U.S.

5. Flex Rooms

Between the recession and the growing number of senior citizens in the United States, more households are becoming multigenerational. That change is leading to a developing trend in home building – flex rooms. Typically bedrooms, flex rooms are designed to give more privacy to larger families and usually include a separate space such as a reading area or study off the main bedroom area. These rooms may also be built with a change in mind. “Many flex spaces include a private entrance, which could later become a rental unit,” Albert said

 

Realtor.com


2014 Remodeling Trends

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Home remodeling may have taken a backseat during the recession, but not anymore. According to a 2013 Hanley Wood Survey, remodeling sales were up 10 percent compared to 2012, and 45 percent of remodelers surveyed expected another 10 percent growth in 2014.

Home remodeling is back in again, and with the desire to improve our homesteads come a bunch of new and exciting trends we’ll start seeing next year.

1. Modern Kitchens

According to data compiled by Hanley Wood and Remodeling Magazine, 61 percent of remodelers surveyed expect to complete kitchen remodels in 2014, more than any other room in the house. And, those remodels are expected to follow a new trend.

Not so long ago, remodeled kitchens had a rustic feel with warm paint colors and cabinetry, and wrought iron hardware and lighting. Now, modern is in, with white or gray cabinetry, simple countertops, glossy finishes and minimalist designs.  Appliances are more likely to be blended into the design or hidden away from view entirely to give the kitchen a sleeker appearance.

2. Brass Accents

Brass made a comeback at home-design and remodeling conventions this year and the trend is expected to pick up in 2014. While brass is nothing new, it has gotten a facelift. Highly polished, bright brass hardware and lighting is gone; rustic, dull and hammered brass is in. The new looks will be incorporated into kitchen and bathroom hardware as well as lighting and door hardware throughout the house.

Remodel

3. Updated Bathrooms

In the Hanley Wood survey, bathrooms came in second to the kitchen with 58 percent of remodelers planning to do bathroom remodels in 2014. As far as style, vintage bathrooms with wainscoting and claw-foot tubs won’t be as popular as resort-style bathrooms that feature amenities such as large walk-in showers with multiple shower heads, heated floors or towel racks, and jetted bathtubs. For coloring and style, glass tiles will be a popular feature as well as neutral and cool colors like ash gray, light blue and off-white.

Remodel 2

4. Vibrant Colors

While the kitchen may be getting the modern single-shade treatment next year, designers have a different idea for other rooms. Bright accent colors such as turquoise, yellow and orange that were popular in 2013 have a new twist; in 2014, they’ll be more of a focal point and even more vibrant with colors such as Green Flash, Lemon Zest, Nectarine and Rouge Red, according to Pantone, the international authority on color. Designers will start featuring vibrant accent walls, main paint colors and flooring throughout bedrooms and main living spaces.

5. Sustainable Materials

Going green is nothing new, but sustainability may get easier in 2014 remodels. According to Craig Webb, editor-in-chief of Remodeling Magazine, “Manufacturers and builders are constantly getting greener and greener in the way they source materials and put up homes.”  As a result, “Energy efficiency is becoming an assumption, not an add-on.” Next year, remodels will include more renewable materials such as bamboo, energy-efficient appliances and additional designs that incorporate the local climate

 

Realtor.com


9 Simple DIY Weekend Decorating Projects

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

As you look around your home, you’re probably wishing you had some extra time on your hands to make a few renovations or to handle a few extra redecorating projects. But, you already have the time – it’s called the weekend! In that short 48-hour time span, there’s a lot of work you can get done. Even if you pick one task per weekend, that’s four decorating projects completed a month!

Don’t think it can be done? Well just check out these nine simple weekend decorating projects that can each be started Friday evening and wrapped up before you go to bed Sunday night.

1. Organize and Beautify Your Bookcases

If you have a lot of books, videos and collectibles clambering for space on your bookcases, taking a Saturday afternoon to remove, sort and organize everything will instantly make the room look cleaner and tidier. Sometimes successful redecorating isn’t about changing the way things are but more about cleaning up and organizing what you already have. This is also a good time to de-clutter your bookcase. Tossing out old magazines or storing books you no longer want in the garage can go a long way towards making the most of your bookcase’s capacity.

2. Tile the Kitchen’s Backsplash

If you really want to give your kitchen an updated look but you can’t afford a complete renovation, install ceramic tile to the backsplash for an instant update. It may take some time to get up and running, but once you find your swing, you’ll discover this job moves along at a smooth pace. Both weekend days will be required for this job, and you might have to extend the finishing touches over to next weekend, but you’ll be able to get the bulk of the heavy lifting done in one weekend.

3. Transform the Fireplace

The fireplace is the focus of the room during the cold, winter months but what do you do with it for the other eight months out of the year? Once winter’s chill has left, clean out the fireplace and decorate the hearth with a variety of low-maintenance plants and add a touch of vibrancy to the room. Succulents work nicely because they don’t require a lot of watering or sunlight. Use tiered plant pot holders for a truly beautiful look that will also cover up the unsightly cinder stains on the inside of the fireplace. Or, for a complete re-do, you can even consider painting the fireplace!

4. Install Some Molding

Crown molding makes a room feel and look larger than it really is, and it’s not really that difficult to install, especially when you use specially-made corner pieces that eliminate the need for cutting perfect mitered edges. In fact, once you get the hang of it, you might be able to install it in all of your rooms before the weekend is over. While you’re at it, you can also install chair railing or update your baseboards with a newer, more modern style.

5. Unify Your Picture Frames

Odds are the picture frames that adorn your walls have been purchased over a long period of time, so no two probably look alike. But, if you take them all down and paint the frames all the same color, they will suddenly look as if they all belong together. In addition, this will help give your room the color accent it’s been missing.

6. Update the Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

Forget about the old brushed nickel cabinet knobs. Today, hardware stores have a ton of different varieties to choose from. Pick a style that best reflects your home and replace the knobs in your kitchen for a quick and easy kitchen makeover.

7. Makeover Your Lamp Shades

Adding some fabric, beads or ribbons to your lamp shades will turn them from drab to fab. Choose a color scheme that compliments the room and your friends won’t stop asking you, “Where did you purchase those beautiful lamp shades and how much did they cost?”

8. Redecorate the Bedroom

All you need to redecorate your bedroom is some fresh paint, some new curtains and a new comforter and voila – you have a freshly redecorated bedroom. The bulk of your time will be spent re-painting the bedroom and that won’t take that long at all, so go ahead and start planning your bedroom’s new look.

9. Add Some Fresh Flooring

If you have hard surface floors, add some color and style to the room by incorporating a few area rugs and/or carpet runners. This is an especially good idea come winter time as the carpet will help keep your feet off the cold floor and help insulate the room.

 

Realtor.com


November To-Do List

Monday, November 14th, 2011

The days are getting shorter, but that’s no excuse to let important home projects fall by the wayside. Fall is the perfect time to complete home-related projects. The mild, pleasant temperatures reduce the physical stress of working outdoors, and it is the last chance for many to make needed repairs before inclement weather arrives. Knock these projects off the to-do list this month, and you’ll be able to give thanks knowing your home is ready for whatever lies ahead.

Keep Gutters Clean

The leaves, pine needles and other debris piling up in the gutters have to go. Gutters are highly ineffective when clogged with debris from nearby trees. These obstructions cause gutters to collect and hold water and prevent them from funneling moisture away from the home. Clogged gutters should not be ignored because they can damage fascia boards, cause mold growth and create foundation issues.

Winterize Irrigation Systems

Irrigation systems are in serious danger if not drained properly. Water left in the lines will expand as it freezes and can cause the pipes to burst. To ensure all water is cleared from the pipes, use an air compressor to force water out of the system. This process, known as “blowing out,” should be done by a professional. The amount of pressure needed to blow out the water will vary from one system to the next, and if not done correctly, it can cause considerable damage to the pipes and other components.

Clean The Chimney

Floors aren’t the only things that need to be swept from time to time. Chimneys also need a good cleaning. Over time, a combustible material called creosote can build up inside the chimney. If this catches fire, it can cause major damage to the home and result in serious injuries or even death. Chimneys should be inspected and cleaned by a professional at least once a year to ensure they are free of creosote and are ready for use.

Check The Roof

Roofs will last a long time, but they will not last forever. Eventually, the roof’s shingles will begin to wear, causing them to curl, chip or go missing. All are very bad signs and should be repaired immediately. Damaged roofs can allow rain or melting snow to infiltrate the house, which can cause thousands of dollars of damage. Use binoculars to visually scan the roof from the ground. Also, check the gutters and downspouts for roofing granules. Finding an abundance of granules is a sign the roof will need to be replaced.

Get Snow-Removal Tools Ready

Snow-removal tools will not be doing anyone any good if they are buried in the corner of the garage when the frozen stuff starts to fall. Get ahead of the game, and pull out all snow-related gear so it can be easily accessed and properly inventoried. Salt and sand should be well stocked and stored off the ground in a dry location. Snow blowers should have their oil and spark plugs changed, and the engine should fire up easily and run smoothly. Remember, last year’s mega snow in Hampton Roads started falling Christmas night. So, if you’re short on supplies or any equipment needs repairs, take care of it now.


Four Ways To Go Green When Renovating Your Bathroom

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Green homes are one of the hottest trends in real estate right now. Even a little bit of
eco-friendly renovation can make a big difference in your home’s appeal on the market.
Below are four ways to update your bathroom into an eco-minded retreat that sellers will love:

If you are remodeling or updating your bathroom to sell, you may want to think beyond the look of your bathroom. In short, you may want to also consider the advantages of turning your bathroom into a “green” bathroom. A green bathroom may mean using recycled or repurposed materials, or it may mean installing water-saving fixtures. Either way, a green bathroom is sure to be appreciated by your buyers. Buyers of today are interested in environmentally sensitive building materials and home supplies, so it will always impress your buyers if you not only update your bathroom, but update it in an environmentally friendly manner. Here’s how:

• Low-flow shower heads – The best thing about today’s shower heads is that you don’t need to sacrifice style for water-saving features. In fact, most of today’s best shower heads are the “low-flow” variety, thereby allowing you to install a great new shower head that uses much less water than shower heads of years’ past. Impress your buyers with a shower head that provides a waterfall effect, or multiple massage speeds

• Low-flow faucets – The same water-saving capabilities are afforded to faucets of today, as well. Replace your old faucets with an attractive new faucet that not only looks better, but saves a considerable amount of wasted water as well. Keep in mind, also, that faucets are quite economical, thereby allowing you to install a beautiful faucet that often provides a great facelift for your bathroom.

• Efficient toilets – Many of today’s toilets are of the low-flow variety, yet they also offer a number of flush options to suit your varying needs. For example, some of today’s toilets offer low-flush for liquids and more powerful flushes for solids.

• Recycled tile – If you want to add beauty to your bathroom floor or tub surround, consider some of the many recycled tiles available today. Not only are they environmentally friendly, but they are quite beautiful, as well. Consider recycled glass or recycled ceramic tile, just to name a few.

Realtor.com


Tips for Recycling & Reducing Waste at Home

Monday, February 21st, 2011

recycle

It’s never too late to start recycling and reducing waste at home. Now is the perfect time to learn how to protect the environment as you care for your home. CertainTeed Corporation, a provider of earth-friendly building solutions offers the following tips to help homeowners cut back on waste in their homes while also helping to protect our planet.

  • Let your fingers do the recycling: Phone books are distributed in most communities two times per year. You don’t want to throw them in the trash, but you don’t want them piling up in your closet. To find   location near you to drop-off phone books (and most other materials) visit http://ww.Earth911.com. Recycled phone books are used in roofing materials, insulation materials. grocery bags and paper towels.
  • Find out what trash your community accepts: Call your local recycling center to determine what types of materials they accept, if they do curbside pick-up, and if they provide recycling bins. This is important for everyday recycling, but can also be useful when undertaking home improvement projects involving materials you don’t regularly use.
  • Hazardous products require special care: Paint cans and aerosol cans are recyclable but are considered hazardous waste and need to be separated from other metals. Leave labels on all cans so recyclers know what was in them and can determine how to properly dispose of them. Try to return lid along with empty paint cans. Visit http://www.Earth911.com to find out the rules for proper recycling of these materials in your area.
  • Don’t throw away your batteries: Recycle worn-out rechargeable batteries like those used in cell phone, computers, or power tools. Go to www.rbrc.org to find a drop-off location near you.
  • Almost anything can be recycled: Many people think they can only recycle cans, bottles or newspapers, but you can actually recycle most anything. This includes carpets, towels, rubber, building materials, cardboard boxes, plastic food containers and more. Before you toss something into the trash, think carefully about whether it could be recycled.
  • Wall materials can contain recycled materials: What’s in your walls can also make an environmental impact. Today’s drywall, or gypsum, that makes up your actual walls can contain recycled materials.  Find out what your contractor is putting in your home.
  • Insulation keeps you warm and the earth green: The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates a home owner can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs by sealing and insulating around the home. Installing insulation in your attic is an easy, safe and effective way to make sure your home doesn’t lose heat in the winter, or cool air in the summer. Don’t forget to insulate exposed pipes and faucets in the outer walls, crawl spaces and garage.
  • Make your siding work for you: Look for fiber cement siding that is made from recycled materials. Look for a content of 50 percent recycled materials.
  • From roof to road: If you need to get a new roof, make sure that your contractor is properly disposing of the old shingles. Ask your contractor about programs to make sure your old materials won’t be sitting in a landfill.

25 Ways to Declutter

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Make this your year to get organized! These expert tips will help you shed all that unwanted stuff- as quickly and painlessly as possible-and find the right spots for everything else.

  1. Every three months or so, reserve one Saturday morning for a family clean-out. Se a timer for 30 minutes and have each person find things in his or her own space to donate or throw away. Box up the donations and drop them off right away, then reward yourselves with lunch out.
  2. Avoid zigzag organizing. Scattering your efforts over multiple rooms prevents you from seeing progress. For visible, dramatic results, work one room at a time, one section at a time, completing each area before you move on to the next.
  3. When you-re trying to decide whether to keep something, ask yourself three questions: Do I love it? Do I use it? Could someone else use it?
  4. A system that’s a natural extension of your habits is easier to stick with than one that forces dramatic change. So set up solutions right where clutter collects, such as a labeled pail for each family member’s shoes and other equipment and store in a bookshelf right by the front door.
  5. Give frequently accessed papers (take-out menus, sports schedules, phone directories) a dedicated spot, rather than in a pile on the counter or stuck to the fridge. Three-hole punch all that paper, and store it in a pretty binder with labeled tabs.
  6. Create a repair center for clothes that need mending, toys that need batteries, things that need gluing. That way, unusable items aren’t in general circulation, and you know where to look when you have time to tackle a project.
  7. Relegating a sentimental item you no longer have use for to a box in the closet, basement, or attic does nothing to honor it. Instead, take a photo of the item and put it in a scrapbook or load it on your digital picture frame. Then donate the item. It’s both spaces-saving an respectful.
  8. Each spring and fall, do CPR on your closet: Categorize, Purge, and Rearrange. Carefully consider each item. If it doesn’t make you feel wonderful or look fabulous, its a no. Put it in the “to donate” box, and put that box in your car right away.
  9. A tighter focus for your to-do list clears mental clutter. Include only your three most important tasks, and don’t let less important busywork distract you. If you complete everything on your list, great. If not, at least you’ll know you spent time on the highest-priority tasks.
  10. I spend a few minutes every night before bed restoring order to my purse. I remove all trash, return floating change to my wallet, and replenish tissues and business cards. It makes me feel ready to start the day.
  11. Tackle your junk drawer first. Remove anything you don’t use at least monthly, then sort what’s left into the compartments of a drawer organizer that completely fills the drawer. You won’t have room to stash things that don’t belong there.
  12. Every time you arrive home, clear the car of anything that doesn’t permanently belong in it. Keep a tote or basket in the car for this purpose, and draft your passengers to help-nobody leaves the car empty-handed! Stay vigilant, and it’ll become second nature.
  13. Make clutter-busting a family game. Write tasks on Ping-Pong balls. Each person chooses a ball, completes the task, then chooses another one. After 30 minutes, whoever has the most balls gets a prize – like a no-chores day or control of the remote.
  14. Get creative with storage containers. Try a ceramic egg tray for paper clips and rubber band; a tackle box for craft supplies; a napkin holder for incoming mail; and a garden tote for kids’ art supplies.
  15. Make two coffee dates with a god friend. On the first one, go through her kitchen cabinets to identify and get rid of clutter (lidless plastic containers, mismatched glasses, petrified spatulas, etc…). On the second date do the same in your kitchen.
  16. If you’re having trouble letting go of clutter, whether it’s too many things in your house or too many commitments eating up your time, think about what it requires you to sacrifice. Less stuff means less to organize and less money spent. Fewer activities means less running around and more family time.
  17. “Go clean your room,” can mean lots of things. Give your kid a list of exactly what you expect, and let them check off the tasks as they are done.
  18. Fit a cardboard banker’s box with 13 pocket folders. At the end of the school year,go through your child’s artwork and school papers together to select only as many favorites as will fit in one folder. Memories from an entire school career will fit neatly on a shelf.
  19. Keep a folder labeled “Tax Documents” where you sort your mail. As statements come in, slip them into the folder. When tax time comes, everything you need is in one spot.
  20. Perform daily triage on incoming papers and mail. Set up a desktop file box or wall-mounted file holder, right, with three folders: To Read, To Do, and To File. Sort the keepers into one of the categories, then recycle the rest. Schedule a weekly time to deal with contents of each folder.
  21. Is your linen closet overflowing? Pare down your stock to three towels and washcloths per person, two sets of sheets per bed, plus a set of each for guests. Voila’ a roomier linen closet.
  22. Procrastination breeds clutter. Institute a do-it now policy for a few highly visible everyday tasks – like loading the dishwasher or folding and putting away a load of laundry before starting another.
  23. Designate a separate, labeled bag for each regularly scheduled activity, lesson, or sport on your family calendar. Pack the bags with the necessary gear, and hang them on hooks in a handy spot.
  24. If toys are overrunning your house, quietly tuck a few of them away in a box. If kids ask for a specific item, retrieve it. After a month, donate what’s left in the box.
  25. Attics, basements, and garages tend to harbor lots of items you haven’t seen or used in a while, which also makes them prime candidates for purging. Clear them first so when you tackle your living areas, you’ll have storage space waiting.

Better Homes and Gardens-January 2011 Issue


Get Your Home in Tip-Top Shape

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

A Month by Month Guide to help get those Simple Household Projects Done!

Household

January

  • A fresh start for the New Year. Make a project list that you want to complete by the end of the year and post it where you will see it everyday.
  • Take down all those holiday decorations, pack & label each box to make it easier to locate them, buy a few light reels to keep those Christmas lights organized, and clean out any broken or unwanted items.

February

  • Check your entire house for leaks; sinks, toilets, shower heads, pipes, etc…
  • To check your toilet for leaks, add a few drops of food coloring to the tank at bedtime. If the water in the bowl is discolored then your flapper is leaking. Just replace the mechanism inside. Its an easy and inexpensive fix.
  • Replace any old faucets, shower heads, or faulty pipes. You can save a lot of money and water throughout the year.

March

  • Spring is in the air! Time to get the outside of your home ready for the warm weather.
  • Repair sagging fences, fix window screens, and check your deck for any rotten wood or damage and make repairs as needed.
  • Pressure wash the deck, siding, driveway and your house.
  • Check to see if your mailbox is still in good shape. Replace or repair or just spruce it up.

April

  • Spring cleaning time!
  • Pressure wash the outside of your home if you haven’t already. Check for cracks or damage to the siding or brick and make repairs. It will prevent further damage down the road.
  • While your cleaning, don’t forget the windows-inside & out-, wipe down your ceiling fans, blinds, and HVAC vents too.
  • Schedule a maintenance checkup on your HVAC system.

May

  • Memorial Day, Backyard Bar-b-Que’s and Warm Weather!
  • Before that first Bar-b-Que, give that grill a good cleaning. Remove any rust and grease with a stiff brush.
  • Check out the foundation of your home, look for cracks and signs of termite damage.
  • Check your driveway for any cracks or damage that may have appeared or worsened over the winter.
  • Keep the ants out by sealing cracks and putting out bait traps. Take caution when using traps around children and pets.
  • If you have a pool-it’s time to open it up. Check the pool and pool deck for damage and make sure the pool equipment is running properly.

June

  • It’s half way through the year and where are you on your project list that you made back in January? Do you need to reprioritize some of the items on the list, maybe move the more important ones to the top or add a few new items.

July

  • It’s time to get out the cleaning supplies and get those once a year jobs done.
  • Clean behind the refrigerator & vacuum the coils, clean under the washer & dryer, check the washer hoses for leaks, check your sinks & dishwasher for leaks and clean under the stove.
  • Test all your circuit breakers and label them if they are not already. This will help you know which switch controls what part of the house.

August

  • It’s vacation time. Make sure your home is secure while you are away. Check all windows and doors for secure locks, if you have a security system check to make sure it is working properly and ask a trusted neighbor to look after things and give them your contact information in case of an emergency.
  • Don’t forget to stop newspaper and mail deliveries.
  • If you are going to stay home for your vacation. You can organize your garage and gardening tools. Sell or donate items you no longer use or throw out the ones that are broken. You can also work on the list of projects you created earlier in the year.

September

  • Cooler weather is just around the corner. Check all windows and doors for proper caulking, weather stripping and sweeps. Make sure your attic and crawl spaces are insulated correctly and that loose insulation isn’t blocking vents.
  • Check out your landscaping. Is it overgrown from the summer? Are trees hanging over power lines or your roof? Call a professional to trim trees if necessary.
  • Are plants growing too close to your foundation? This could encourage insect damage, weaken the foundation or create a fire hazard.

October

  • Its time to start getting the house ready for the winter. Clean gutters and downspouts.
  • If your hot water heater is in an unheated garage or utility room you may want to invest in a insulating blanket.
  • Bring in any outside cushions, furniture, and plants.
  • Switch your ceiling fans to reverse to help circulate the warm air.

November

  • Unexpected company may visit this month, but not the kind you will welcome in. Mice and rats will be looking for a warm place to make a nest like your garage or house. Seal holes around pipes & wires with steel wool. Make sure doors close properly and look for any gaps they may try to sneak in.
  • Test all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and replace batteries.
  • Have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned.

December

  • It’s Christmas time! Time to bring out the Christmas decorations and lights and get to work.
  • The first rule of thumb when hanging Christmas lights is to “stay off the roof”. It is dangerous and you could cause damage to the shingles which could cause leaks.
  • Never hammer nails into the roof to secure decorations. There are plenty of other options to secure decorations without causing damage.
  • If you invested in the Christmas light reels that where suggested in January, it will be much easier to work with them. Still check for damaged or broken lights and consider replacing them with LED lights that are more energy efficient.
  • Last but not least, check your project list that you created in January and see if you completed all the items. If not you still have a little time, but you can always put them on next years list.

Kitchen Flooring

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

The kitchen is the heart of a home and one of the most important parts of a kitchen is the flooring. There are more types of flooring than ever to chose from. Here are a few examples:

Tile

tile

  • Tile is one of the easiest surfaces to clean. It is also resistant to stains and bacteria. There are also a wide variety of styles, sizes, and materials to choose from.
  • The hardness of tile is also one of its weakness. If you have joint problems you are not going to want to stand on it for hours cooking.

Wood

Wood flooring

  • Hardwood is great if you want to flow your kitchen floor into a dining room or great room. It gives you a more cohesive look. There is also the choice of prefinished wood. The finish on prefinished wood tends to hold up better than hardwood.
  • Wood can warp around sinks, dishwashers, and freezers where leaks are possible.
  • If hardwood gets flooded, you will most likely will have to replace all of it. That is a big expense.

Cork

Cork Flooring

  • Cork is one of the greenest floors to put down. It is design-oriented, functional, easy to care for, comfortable, and comes in a variety of finishes. It is also easy to install, hypoallergenic, and soft, so its easy on the joints.

Vinyl and Laminate

Vinyl Flooring

  • Vinyl today is very different from the 1960’s. Today’s vinyl is made to look like rock, slate, hardwood and tile. They use techniques to make it look more expensive and feel like it too. It is durable, easy to install, inexpensive, easy to maintain, and gentler on the joints.
  • Laminate is also very different than in the past. Laminate is much more durable than hardwood, it does not absorb stains quite as fast, and it offers many design options. This might be your best choice if you have mess kids or animals.



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