Most Common Landscaping Mistakes

Backyard Gazebo

Backyard Gazebo

Nothing makes a home look and feel more inviting than beautiful landscaping. In fact, statistics show that homes that have exquisite and welcoming landscaping sell nearly two to one over homes that have no landscaping at all. However, there is one thing that’s even worse than a home with no landscaping. You guessed it … a home with bad landscaping. An appealing lawn is an important component in pulling together the allure and hominess of every house. But, if your home’s landscaping is poorly planned or executed, then it’s negating all the hard work you’ve done on the house itself. Here are tips on some of the biggest landscaping mistakes, how to avoid them, and what to do instead. Continue reading

Exterior Décor Trends for The Unique Home

Light Exterior Paint ColorsThe simplest and least-expensive way to refresh and rejuvenate your home is to repaint it.  There is nothing like a fresh coat of paint to make the house stand out from the others in the neighborhood.  No matter how often you power wash your bright-white trim it still looks a little dingy and cannot stand up to a fresh coat of paint.  If you’re ready to trudge down to the paint store to pick up that same-old, same-old exterior paint color for your repainting job, why not rethink those colors and instead be a little bold and innovative and go for a brand-new house color.  Why not let your home reflect a little of your own personality?  If you’re cautious and just a little timid about this undertaking, why not consult with a house painting contractor in Essex County, New Jersey to see if he has pointers on paint colors to assist you?  Who knows you might even let him take over that big painting project and leave yourself with a little R&R instead! Continue reading

Cool Exterior Colors and Home Cooling Costs

Cool Exterior ColorsEven a cold-weather state can have its share of sweltering Summer days.  The air conditioner must work overtime sometimes during the Dog Days of Summer and the energy bills border on astronomical.  If you want to give your A/C and your wallet a break, it seems the only way to cool off is to jump into a pool, or go to a movie theatre or spend the day at the mall.

Passive cooling

Most people are aware that there are ways to keep the house cooler in the Summer besides just running the air conditioning continually.  The use of blinds on the inside windows helps keep the hot sun from infiltrating the inside of the house through the window panes.  Outside shutters may be closed and even planting large shade trees will help.  The use of light-colored roofing materials instead of dark-colored, or abandoning asphalt shingles in favor of light-colored natural stone, will quickly stop the roof from drawing the heat like a magnet to your rooftop and is beneficial to keeping your house several degrees cooler as well.  After all, you shuck off all your dark-colored duds and reach for those white and tropical colors during the warm-weather days, so your house should follow the same principle.  All the methods for thwarting the heat mentioned above are examples of passive cooling. Continue reading

Exterior Paint Colors for a Victorian Home

Colors for a Victorian HomeWhen you extol the virtues of a Victorian-style home, you must mention the exquisite architecture and sometimes unusual colors that make that style of home so perfect.

Back in the day, when Victorian homes were all the rage, though they were all lined up in a row, they never looked like cookie-cutter images of one another.  Sure, the architecture looked alike sometimes, but the unusual combination of colors is what made the striking difference in the neighborhood.

Anyone can slap some siding on their home and call it done.  It is less maintenance for you and the home looks colorful and tidy, that is, until the siding eventually starts to fade or a sudden hailstorm pits it, necessitating replacement.  Besides, most people have siding – there is nothing extraordinary about it anymore. Continue reading

How to Maintain A Deck

Maintain A Deck

In a cold-weather state there is nothing like that first warm day when you run outside to uncover the deck furniture and the barbecue.  You waited many long months to stretch out on that chaise lounge and contemplate life from your perch on the deck.  (It’s also a great place to survey all the yard work which soon must be done.)

Owning a home comes with its share of joys and miseries.  Some of the miseries include the maintenance on the interior and exterior of the home, not to mention keeping the landscaping, driveways and sidewalks in tip-top shape.  If you have a pool, that’s more maintenance.

Unless you have a faux wood deck, such as the Trex brand (Trex Company, Inc.), you have another annual job – maintaining and preserving your wooden deck.  A Trek maintenance-free deck, constructed of 95% manmade materials, requires just a routine soap-and-water cleanup,  and  obviates the need for this annual painstaking, and often messy chore, but, its somewhat slippery surface, can be dangerous for slip and falls, and there are many homeowners, who are purists who desire only a real wooden deck due to its rustic good looks. Continue reading

Types of Materials for Backyard Decks

Materials for Backyard DecksIf you’ve been considering the addition of a deck to your home, there are plenty of options to choose from.  Not so long ago, all decks were wooden, and, if you had a few able-bodied male family members, friends or neighbors, they all pitched in and took turns at one another’s homes erecting a wooden deck over a long weekend.

Today’s decks have gone far beyond the simple wooden deck of yesteryear.  Below is a description of some of the types of materials that are now used to build backyard decks as well as some of the most-common types of decks.  You might be surprised to find out that some decks are not even attached to the home, but, instead become a featured attraction in the backyard landscaping.  The decks these days are not the simple DIY projects anymore, but instead would involve hiring a contractor experienced in exterior remodeling to get the project done from the blueprints to the finished product.

Peruse the ideas below and think about hiring a top contractor in Bordentown, New Jersey to discuss the tons of options you have for your deck! Continue reading

Modern Deck Design Trends

Modern Deck Design
A deck is a valuable asset in your life.  Not only can a beautifully made deck create a focal point in your backyard and increase the return on investment down the road, but, it will give you a much-needed outlet to increase the value of your leisure time as well.  Decks have come a long way in recent years.  The decks of yesteryear were merely a small wooden platform surrounded by a railing where two webbed chairs, a patio table and a couple of tiki torches sufficed every evening for summertime outdoor living.  These days, decks are much more elaborate, come in a host of materials, as well as designs, and may or may not, even be attached to your home. Continue reading

Convert The Attic Into a 2nd Story

Attic Conversion

Attic Conversion

Most homeowners bemoan the fact that there never seems to be enough storage space in their living quarters.  While the kids are still at home, you often scratch your head and say “where do I put all their stuff?”  First, there is baby or kids’ furniture to store, then it is their toys, hobbies or sports equipment, plus there is always YOUR stuff.  No matter whether it is a large or small family, in order to keep your home neat and tidy, sometimes you need a place to tuck it all away.  Unfortunately, the perfect space for storage is usually the basement or attic.  If you are that rare bird that abides by the rule that for every new item brought into the house, a similar old item must go out the door, then you don’t have worries about controlling your clutter.

If you have a large home, you probably have a large attic as well.  Are you using that attic for off-season storage of clothes or seasonal decorations, or does it go largely unused?  Are you planning to expand your family in the near future, because then that attic space, converted to living quarters, could come in handy.  Have you ever given any thought to creating a loft or some type of second-floor living quarters for your extended family, or, perhaps even for rental purposes? Continue reading

Porch Remodeling Trends

Porch Remodeling

Porch Remodeling

Nothing is nicer than visiting with family and friends in the cozy atmosphere of your own front porch.  Back when you were growing up, you probably remember your folks sitting on the front porch on their webbed, fold-up chairs almost every night in the Summertime right after dinner and dishes were done.  Friends and family often stopped by and a gab session ensued until the fireflies came out.  Somehow that nightly tradition fell by the wayside and people started connecting and catching up first by e-mail, and now through Facebook.  It seems sometimes we have forgotten how to connect face-to-face.

Suddenly the concept of porch sitting is trending as people are reaching out to their neighbors, more than just once a year at the annual block party.

Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to have a porch large enough to accommodate an old-fashioned swing, a few rattan chairs with plumped-up pillows, and a table or two on which to place pitchers of iced tea or lemonade.

Additionally, the style of your home may not be conducive to adding a nice, big porch. Continue reading

Tips for Renovating an Older Home

Renovating an Older Home

Renovating an Older Home

Renovating an older home need not be a challenge.  Older homes, as most people know, were more carefully built and made of better building materials than is true now.  Builders were craftsmen and proud of their trade, while many homes today are prefabricated or built using computer-generated models, as opposed to an architect creating a blueprint on his drawing board.  Whether you are renovating a home you’ve lived in for awhile, or one you’ve just purchased, a mere handful of renovations can create a remarkable change to your home.  Renovating, as opposed to remodeling, is just a minor change in finish or color to the interior or exterior of a structure in order to make it more visually appealing.  Sometimes this is accomplished with a coat or two or paint; even adding landscaping around the property constitutes renovation.

If your renovation plans are simple, you might end up doing them yourself, but, if they are on a grander scale, you might want to consider retaining an exterior remodeling expert in Decatur, Georgia area to consult, plan or design the proposed enhancement to your home. Continue reading