Must-Have Features for Your Home Build



Building your home is an amazing opportunity to have everything you ever needed or want. In many cases, major additions and features are more affordable and easier to add during your home’s build, rather than waiting for it to be completed and performing a renovation.


Take a look at some of these must-haves features to add during your homes construction process that will save you both money and frustration long-term.


Built-In Storage


Storage features, such as closets and cabinets, are much easier to add while your home is being built. Even if you don’t feel like you need the storage right now, think about what your needs will be in the future. You might appreciate that you decided to opt for additional storage features and space.


Built-In Technology


Technology is all-around us, and it’s growing at a faster than ever rate. Since it’s going to a part of your modern day life, you may thank yourself for getting ahead of the curve and installing some of those features. From HVAC system, to voice control writing, and a fully Wi-Fi wired home, you may appreciate having some of these elements tucked into your design. Think about technology that will make you and your family’s life easier.


Radiant Heat


While stepping out onto a warm floor in the morning may seem like a luxury you don’t need, radiant heating actually has higher levels of energy efficiency compared to other heating options. Plus it’s pretty cheap to install. However, waiting until after you home is built to install means redoing your entire floor, which could more than double the costs.


Pet Features


Don’t forget about your furry friend! Food stations, doggie doors, kennels, and built-in pet beds can easily be worked into the overall design of your home, rather than perming a renovation when the house is complete.


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How to Prep and Paint Your Home’s Wood Siding



The key to successfully painting your home’s wood siding is preparation. If you existing side is already in good shape, the only thing your preparation might require is a thorough washing. If your existing paint is cracking a peeling, you will need to remove it or sand it down, so that the surface is flat, smooth, and free from peeling outdated paint.


  1. Power Washing


When you start to hose down your siding, you will want to be careful not to force any water between your joints and siding boards. In some situations, you may be able to use a power washer, but this should be accomplished careful as to not erode your wood siding’s surface.


Note that if your siding has mildew, washing alone is not enough to remove the mold from the surface. If you are experiencing moisture or mildew issues, it may want to consider a siding replacement.


  1. Sand the Surface


To ensure that your painting surface is even and smooth, you will want to sand down the edges of any areas that are chipping or scraped. For bigger jobs, a power sander can be used. A 7-inch commercial grade sander is recommended if you are tackling the entire side. This can be found at your local equipment rental company or home improvement center.


When you use a high-powered sander, keep these tips in mind:


  • The sander should always be operating at full speed before you touch the surface.
  • To preent gouging of the wood, always keep the sander moving.
  • Keep the sander at a slight 5 to 10 degree to prevent it from spinning out of control.
  • Begin with a 60-grit sandpaper and follow with a 100-grit to ensure the smoothest surface.
  • When the sanding disc becomes covered with paint, discard and replace.
  • Do not operate in the rain.


  1. Use a Scraper


For any areas that your power sander cannot reach, use a scraper. Two hands should be used to avoid gouging of the wood. If gouges occur, fill them with a exterior vinyl spackle.


  1. Prime and Paint!


Upon completion, you are ready to prime and paint your wood siding? Dust off any remaining sawdust and debris, and caulk visible seams and openings. Bare wood should be primed with a latex primer tinted towards your desired finishing color. Allow the primer to dry completely before you begin painting.



Brightening Dark Rooms with Paint


PaintDark rooms can easily become dull and uninviting. While windows and major changes to the structure of your home might not be an option to brighten up a dark room, you need not worry! There are plenty of things that you can do to make your dark room appear brighter and more appealing for you and your family to spend time in.


If you’ve been dealing with a stubbornly darker room, check out these four tips on brightening a dark room with paint!


Blended Neutrals


Painting your walls with light neutral colors, such as dove grey, warm whites, or light taupe, will help your dreary room appear light, open, and airy. If the ceilings hang a bit lower, it’s a good idea to paint your molding the same color you choose for your walls. In addition to appearing brighter, this will help in elongating the room, making it appear taller.


Bright White Ceilings


As a general rule, your ceilings should always be painted a lighter color than your walls. If you want to make your room appear brighter, you’ll want to choose a clear bright white. In addition to making your room appear naturally lighter, applying bright white paint to your ceilings will help your room feel more spacious and appear taller.


Painting the Woodwork


Although some people tend to lean against painting over woodwork, it is a guaranteed way to lighten your dark room. Applying a fresh coat of white paint to your wood pieces will instantly modernize and lighten a room, contrasting well with your room’s other colors.


Rich Color Accents


Avoid painting your entire room white in an attempt to lighten it. Too many pale colors simply accentuate a room’s shadows. Instead, pair bright whites with richer color contrasts. Warmer colors naturally brighten and bring tones that aren’t being provided through natural sunlight.



Renovate To Sell or Renovate to Stay?

You’ve lived in your home for a while now, you’re still fond of it, but it may no longer be exactly what you want or need at this point in your life.

You may be interested in remodeling, but should you remodel to stay in your home or to move out?

This question involves consideration of your particular needs, emotional attachment to the home, and whether you are wanting a return on your investment.

Whether you’re considering to hunker down for the long-haul, or simply investing in your home for resale, it’s no secret that making renovations to your house raises your home’s value.

Your Changing Needs

The most important thing to consider is your changing needs. You may have recently gotten married, or now have more children and pets in your house. Sometimes minor or major adjustments to your home can give you exactly the change that your home needs to keep up with your evolving lifestyle.

If you feel like your house just needs an uplift, making minor changes to windows, landscape or even your front door can give your home a whole new look and feel. The great thing is, that if you decide to sell later on you can still get a return on your investment. It’s estimated that the majority of home renovation jobs give you between a 60% to 90% return on your investment, if not over 100%! Those are some pretty great odds to make some changes you were looking for anyway.

If you’re not entirely sure that you want to move, consider starting on smaller home improvement projects that you and your family would enjoy. The great news is, if you decide to move, later on, you’re almost guaranteed to get a return on your investment.

Whatever you decide, making small adjustments to your home can improve your quality of life while you live in it, and drastically improve your home’s resale value longer term.

How do I care for my quartz counter tops?

Maintaining your quartz countertop is much more simple than its granite or marble counterparts. Daily cleaning simply involves a soft cloth with warm water. If desired, a mild soap can be used on the surface.
Basic Cleaning
It’s not uncommon to deal with spills on an occasional basis. Unlike granite and marble, quartz countertops are non-porous, meaning that stains and spills are not absorbed into the surface. This means that quartz is highly resistant to stains.

For any types of materials that harden when they dry, they can be gently removed with a plastic scraper and cleaned with a water/vinegar solution. Always use non-abrasive, non-bleach liquid cleaners along with soft cloths or paper towels.
Although quartz is known for its non-porous material and resistance to stains – permanent markers, inks and some chemicals and dyes can cause permanent discoloration. If an accident happens to rinse immediately with water. If the stain persists, Goo Gone or a similar product can be rubbed into the stain. Rinse thoroughly to remove residue.
Things to Avoid
Do not expose your quartz countertop to abrasive, alkaline or acid oxidizers. Avoid harsh and abrasive scrub pads, oil based soaps or other harsh cleaners and strippers.
Although often advertised as heat resistant, do not confuse quartz countertops with being 100% heat proof. In order to maintain the beauty of your countertop, avoid placing hot pans directly on the surface. This can cause cracking and thermal shock; hot pads and trivets are always recommended.
Quartz is considered one of the hardest materials found in nature, and it will not easily chip or scratch. However, cutting boards are recommended to protect the surface and the longevity of your knives.
Seasonal Maintenance
Your quartz countertop does require any special seasonal maintenance like granite and marble. Do not apply topical treatments or sealers to your countertop under any circumstances. The result will be a gloss that appears inconsistent and dull.
Even though quartz is one of the easiest countertops to maintain, steps should be taken to preserve its beauty so it can last a lifetime.

Three Tips to Having a Successful Home Improvement Project

Most of us get scared whenever we hear of a home improvement project. The likely reason to this is that we don’t have the correct information and advice on what we need to do in order to have a successful remodeling project. We both know that home improvement projects involve investing your resources, money, time and energy.

Let’s just say they are complex affairs. However, having a successful remodeling project starts with taking the right steps from the first day you decide it’s time. If we were to point out the essential factors to achieving your remodeling goals, proper planning will come first, then sticking to your remodeling budget. The other factor is finishing your remodeling project on time. Here are some tips on how to successfully run your home improvement project.

Start by Creating a List of Project Priorities

Proper planning starts with knowing and understanding your goals and expectations for the project. That means you should create a list of priorities before making any step towards starting your remodeling project. At this point, you haven’t even engage the contractor. It’s important that your contractor knows your expectations and goals for the project so that he can remain focused no matter what challenge comes up during the remodeling project.

The essence of creating this list is to help you keep everything on course and avoid any costly distractions that may arise. Your priorities will provide a roadmap and guidelines on how you can reach your goal on schedule while sticking to the budget. Once the list is ready, share it with your remodeling contractor.

Consider Setting Aside a Contingency Fund

If you’re undertaking a full-scale remodeling project, you better be ready for any unforeseen issues that may arise. Remember, you’re undertaking a complex process hence the need to have a contingency fund. Come up with a clear budget for your remodeling project and add at least 10 percent. This fund should serve its purpose. It’s supposed to take care of any emergencies. Avoid using it for any other reason. The fund will help you run your project with confidence knowing it will end on time and as planned.

Use a Flexible Schedule

There are always delays when dealing with a home improvement project. That means you should build in a backup plan and some extra days that will help you cope up with any delays. Having a flexible schedule is very key as it helps you to make necessary adjustments based on the circumstances. A rigid schedule or timeline might cause you more frustration as delays arise.

A remodeling project cannot work out as planned if you hire the wrong contractor. Work with a reputable contractor who will deliver high quality work without causing any inconveniences.