Smart Home Trends of 2017

Posted by on Nov 28, 2017 in Home Improvements, Home security, Smart Locks | Comments Off on Smart Home Trends of 2017



In 2017, it’s hard to keep up with all of the “smart” devices creeping up into almost every part of our daily lives. We have everything from smart watches and smartphones to smart light bulbs and appliances. While is may seem like a sales gimmick, the truth is that most of these devices are extremely advanced technology designed to make our lives more efficient and convenient.

Let’s take a look at some of the smart home trends that will be making their way into households over the next few years.

Smart Thermostats

While it may seem like an unnecessary luxury to swap out your perfectly working thermostat for one connects to the Internet, these smart devices can actually save you a ton of money in the long run. For starters, smart thermostats can easily be controlled via your tablet or smartphone. This means while you’re away or lying in bed you can easily adjust the temperature. Furthermore, these devices can learn your habits and handle the process automatically, learning what times you adjust temperatures and even know when you are on your way home. This cannot only save you money, but elevate the comfort inside your home at all times of day.

Home Security

Home security has become more and more advanced over the years. Systems now give you the power to monitor your home from your device at any some, some equipped with a live feed. Automation systems can even handle different processes with or without you home. For example, if you decide to take a vacation your home security system can turn lights on and off periodically to make it look like someone’s home, and alert you directly if anyone approaches.

Smart Locks

One of the most exciting home improvements this year in the invention of the smart lock. The smart lock deadbolt can be controlled remotely. Instead of requiring a physical key you can unlock your door with your smartphone or even a fingerprint. Temporary keys can even be provided for family members, house sisters, and service techs that may need access to your home when you’re not around. You can also check on things like when your door was unlocked and by who, making you more aware of what’s going on at your house when you’re not there.



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How to choose a window installation company

Posted by on Oct 20, 2017 in Home Improvements, Window Installation | Comments Off on How to choose a window installation company


Finding the right window installation for you can be difficult, especially if you have never worked with a window company before. To avoid any problems later on, follow these key steps in finding a replacement window contractor that is great for you and your home’s needs.


  1. Research Options Ahead of Time


Research and discover what kind of windows you feel like would be the best for your needs. Many window companies specialize in certain areas. Make yourself familiar with different window options, types and costs before you shop around.


  1. Get Three Itemized Bids


When shopping for the best contractor, make sure to get at least three detailed bids. Good bids should include specific products and materials the contract might use, along with proposed payment terms, start and finish dates.


Beware of companies that request the entire cost of the project up front, even if they offer a discount. A good contract should only request 2o% – 30% to start the job, the rest being paid in installments or upon job completion.


  1. Check for Warranties


Windows sometimes fail or break because of the way that they’re installed. Good window companies always warranty their work. The standard window warranty is typically 10 years and workmanship warranty typically last for 2 years.


Some things to keep in mind:


Match your windows to your climate – Consider the type of windows that your work well with your home structure and climate of your area. Windows can be specialized for hot/cold climate or high/low wind areas, etc.


Price doesn’t indicate great performance – Just because a window is expensive doesn’t mean that it does what you need it to. When in doubt, choose a window that works well for your home’s air and light needs over unnecessary or fancy aesthetics.


Don’t overspend! – Many window companies will try to increase the cost of your windows through upgrades. Focus on features that add increased value to your investment such as more light, optimal airflow or sun screening.


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Four Projects to Drastically Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Posted by on Oct 6, 2017 in Home Improvements | Comments Off on Four Projects to Drastically Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal


So many homeowners focus a ton of time and money on improvements inside their home before putting their home on the market. But it’s actually the outside of your home that potential buyers are going to see first. A façade that just isn’t up to par can turn people off before they even enter your home.


Here are four small improvements you can make to drastically improve your home’s curb appeal and overall value of your home!


Improving Your Front Door


One of the simplest home improvement projects that actually retains 100% of its value is the front door. Replacing your front door, especially with one that is painted boldly with a splash of color, will help your house stay noticed above the rest. A quality front door can also add value in overall energy efficiency, insulation, security, and operational aspects.


Upgrading Your Garage Door


Another simple improvement to your façade that actually makes a surprising amount of difference is replacing and upgrading your garage door. Your garage door takes up a lot of space on the exterior of your home, and will immediately be noticed by visitors and potential buyers. If your garage door happens to be discolored or dented in anyway, a replacement can add a lot of value and appeal to your home.

Painting Your Trim


You don’t need to paint your entire house in an attempt to improve your home’s façade. Sometimes simple things like repainting your trim can give your house the subtle uplift that it needs. This will help make your home appear a lot newer and look attractive from the street.


Replacing Your Gutters and Downspouts


Gutters and downspouts may be the last thing that you think about when considering your home’s curb appeal. However, any issues with your gutter and downspouts will stick out like a sore thumb. If you are experiencing any issues in performance, such as leaking, sagging, or missing gutters, these issues should be addressed right away before showing the house.


You don’t need to spend a fortune to make some considerable upgrades to your home’s curb appeal! These four small home improvement projects will make all the difference that you need towards your home’s façade.


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When you and your spouse can’t agree on décor

Posted by on Sep 23, 2017 in Home Improvements | Comments Off on When you and your spouse can’t agree on décor

paintingThey say that opposites often attract in relationships, but what happens when your sweet counterpart enters the battleground over home renovation conversations? Arguments over décor, colors, and materials can feel downright threatening to your relationship if you don’t know how to handle them.

So how do you get along when it comes to home decor? From gutting the bathroom to painting the kitchen, follow these steps in order to make peace with your significant other and find a design plan that works well for each of you.

  1. Create Inspiration Boards

It might sound cheesy, but inspiration boards work to reflect your vision of the home design project. Collect photographs and samples to represent your ideas. Ask your spouse to do the same. Upon completion, you can compare the two boards. Look for areas that you might overlap and start there your conversations there.

  1. Mix and Match

The most important thing you can do to keep things level is to compromise. Find out areas together that you just can’t live on, and other areas that might not mean as much to you. Who knows? You may come up with a new style that is completely unique to both of you.

  1. Discuss a Budget

About 70% of couples experience tension due to financial issues. When it comes to home renovation, it is no different. If you run into design dilemmas because of budgetary restrictions, push it off to a later date. Talk through the budget of each of your ideas before picking up the paintbrush.

  1. Focus on DIY

Sometimes all a couple needs are to accomplish something together. If you’ve spent some time arguing, find a project that you both are excited about and find some things that you can DIY. Maybe during that time, you’ll come up with some new design ideas together!

  1. Work with a Professional

When all else fails, bring a professional in the mix. They might have some input that neither of you ever considered, or may have a unique way of pairing each one of your tastes together to get the best of both worlds. Stay open-minded to second opinions.


Sharing the Vision

Moving in with someone means making some sacrifices. When it comes to design plans instead of retreating to separate corns, work through your problems with a shared vision in mind? Remember, you both want to complete the project and live in a space that is comfortable for the ones that you know and love. These best results come when you set your differences aside and decide to work together towards a common goal!


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Which is better, laminate or hardwood?

Posted by on Sep 17, 2017 in Home Improvements | Comments Off on Which is better, laminate or hardwood?


For years wood flooring has been viewed as superior to its faux counterpart – laminate. Wood’s natural warmth and beauty bring an ambiance to a home that is welcoming and timeless. Despite wood’s historical preference, the laminate is making its way back into the appeal of both first time and seasoned homeowners alike.


So what is the difference between wood and laminate flooring?




Wood’s tremendous texture and variation have attracted the appeal of homeowners for centuries. No two pieces of wood look exactly the same, which means that your floor is 100% unique to you and your home. But this individuality comes at a price. Not only does wood cost more than laminate, it is much softer and shows heavier wear over time. This means that your floor requires more maintenance and may need to be periodically replaced.




Laminate has traditionally been viewed as second-class, but with advancements in engineering and design, the laminate is looking better and performing better than it did 10 years ago. Laminate is far more affordable than wood and requires very little maintenance. It’s durability and versatility now offer homeowners a wide range of appealing and long-lasting selection. Laminate is not without its downsides though, because of its gridlock installation, it can be much more costly for any necessary repairs.


So which is better?


Before making your flooring decisions, consider this:

  • How much can you afford to spend?
  • What kind of short-term/long-term commitment do you have to your home?
  • Are you investing in your home for resale?
  • How much are you willing to spend on maintenance?

Whether you’re striving to increase the value of your home or searching for a floor that will last a lifetime, both wood and laminate flooring offer a wide variety of options and choice perfect for your home renovation needs.

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What Kind of Toilet Should I Choose?

Posted by on Aug 16, 2017 in Home Improvements | Comments Off on What Kind of Toilet Should I Choose?

ToiletsNo one loves talking about it, but purchasing a toilet for your home is one of most important household decisions you will have to make. We’re talking about a household appliance that each member of your family will use six or seven times a day for the next 30+ years! When searching for your perfect “look” the vast amount of choices and variety will be astounding. There is a multitude of designs, colors, capabilities, heights and even technologies.

Here are some tips and tricks on choosing a toilet that is perfect for you:

# 1 You get what you pay for

Not all toilets are created equally. Just like anything you purchase, there are brands, styles, and capabilities that are better than others. Don’t go with the cheapest option or the most expensive, instead search for a mix of efficiency and value.

# 2 Stray off the beaten path

Popular home centers are a great place to start, but they don’t always have the all of the top-rated toilets on the market. In order to explore the widest selection of makes and models, check out online retailers and bathroom showrooms in your area.

# 3 Size of bathroom and space

Take the time to consider what your bathroom space and home structure can handle, keeping in mind the aesthetics and capacity of your bathroom. Take measurements and if your bathroom is smaller, consider how your swinging bathroom door may affect your decisions on bowl shape and sizes.

# 4 Unique features will cost you!

Fancy flush mechanisms and custom features may have you dreaming, but this could cost you, even more, time and money later on. Many of these one-of-a-kind models are just that, and might not be available years down the road should you require parts or maintenance.

When in doubt?

Talk to a contractor. Take advice from someone that has seen your home bathroom and understands your needs. Identify essential features and consider what part of your wish lists might be negotiable. Keep in mind, you want something that works well and will last for years to come!

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Five ways to Cut Costs When Renovating

Posted by on Jul 13, 2017 in Home Improvements | Comments Off on Five ways to Cut Costs When Renovating

Updating a tired kitchen, bathroom or basement not only adds functionality to your home, but also value. However, renovation budgets can easily run out of control if not properly planned for. The costs of remodeling should not scare you since you can cut the costs without cutting the corners. Having some strategic design decisions and good source of materials, you can save much and make it more fun to live in your home. Here are some tips that will not only help you lower your remodeling expenses, but also ensure a good return on investment even if you’re on a tight budget.

Plan early and have a budget.

Before you hire a contractor, you should have already decided on what you not only want but also what you can afford. This will help you avoid losing focus and perspective when a contractor starts to make suggestions. Moreover, it will help you make a prior decision on where to save and where to spend more.

Consider a little DIY

Although it is a very involving task, it can help you save much more worth of a day’s labor. However, you should leave demolition for a professional if you’ve never attempted it before. This can help prevent disaster during the demolition. You can also do other jobs such as cleaning yourself to help lower the charges.

Don’t move plumbing

You can save labor and material costs if you choose not to move the toilets, shower plumbing and sinks during the renovation. Moving your facilities from the places they are can be timely and expensive. To reduce the costs, you should therefore ensure the facilities remain in the same place even if you upgrade them.

Consider cabinet refacing

You should check out if cabinet refacing can work for your cabinet before you rip them out. If the cabinets are still in a good condition, you should apply veneer or paint them then update the doors. This will help you save thousands that you could have used in replacing the cabinets.

Get substitutes and salvage

Local salvage shops offer alternatives to high-end materials which are of the same quality as you could be in need of at a cheaper price. You should therefore check there since you could get lightly used or recycled fixtures at relatively cheaper prices that can help you save on the renovation expenses.

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