Concrete Driveway Dos and Dont’s

Concrete driveway for the home

Without a doubt, concrete driveways provide a strong impression in the front portion of your home. More often than not, it is the first thing visitors’ notice as they approach the house. If you are looking to upgrade an existing one or planning to put a new one in your home, here are some helpful tips to guide you.

Curb Appeal

A upgrade of concrete driveway can increase the value of a home

The reason homeowners upgrade their driveway is to increase curb appeal thus increases the market value of the home. According to concrete driveway specialist, Staincrete, upgrading an existing concrete driveway can be as simple as placing a saw cutting in a decorative pattern using a masonry skill saw blade and then adding some nice decorative concrete stains. If you feel that your driveway has seen better days, consider giving it a facelift using stamped concrete or some interlocking pavers. It can come as a surprise how your home looks much nicer with just a simple driveway upgrade.

Concrete Driveway Sizing

Have an ample concrete driveway

Check with the local Building and Safety office to determine local codes prior to settling on a design. There are instances, where the local HOA or homeowner’s association seems to have an opinion on this aspect as well. Check also for fire truck access and turn around ability especially for lengthy driveways.

Standard Length

concrete driveway should have ample length and width

According concrete driveway experts, plan the driveway using 18-20 feet of length for each vehicle and allow at least 22-24 feet for full size pick up trucks that feature extended cabs and oversized mini-vans. There should be some walk around room at the bottom of the drive of at least three to five feet.

Standard Width

concrete driveway should have ample width

Design concrete driveways with a minimum of ten feet of width for each car. If there is still space left, use wider spacing for more convenient walk-about space between vehicles. Factor in the space in instances when kids remove their bikes from the garage and make sure there is enough space between cars to avoid denting or scratching.…

Kitchen Remodeling : How To Select Stock Cabinets

Stock cabinets for kitchen remodeling

If you are looking to save money on your kitchen remodeling project, purchasing stock cabinets can definitely do that for you. Here are some helpful tips to guide you on how to go about it with ease.

Why Stock Cabinets?

Stock cabinets are great options for kitchen remodeling

Stock cabinets allow you to save money, you would have otherwise used to pay for a custom cabinet and therefore put that resource somewhere else. Stock cabinets also save you time as you do not have to wait for them to be constructed by your woodworker. While you are in fact saving money using stock cabinets, it does not mean you are giving away some quality as long as you know how to go about it.

Things To Look For During Kitchen Remodeling

Solid Wood and Plywood Cabinets – they provide the best in terms of longevity and they offer crisper details compared to pressed wood.

Walls should be ½ inch in thickness – to provide sturdiness.

Consistency in the finish – cabinets of lesser quality more often than not have irregular finishes and colors from one cabinet to the other.

Full Extension Hardware – this feature allows you to open drawers all the way and also open doors to about 180 degrees in order to make access easier for the user.

Dovetail Joinery – remember that drawer sides and backs that are stapled together is not very durable.

Installation and Cost

Good quality stock cabinets for kitchen remodeling project will cost you around $8k to $10k. Double the price if you want semi-custom ones. Full custom would run you triple the amount.

If this is a bit high for you, the option is to try IKEA kitchen cabinets, which is somewhere, around $2,500. The problem however is the hassle of assembly that will test your skills and patience. If you do not want the trouble of a DIY, then just simply hire a professional like Milano Dezign to install them for you. Expect to pay somewhere between $100-$300 per cabinet to have a professional installation.

Limits of Stock Cabinets

Stock cabinets can be limiting when doing kitchen remodeling

Limited color choices and finish – the most popular options you can get with stock cabinets include: natural wood, cherry, stained maple and classic white.

Only 36 Inches in height – if you prefer to have taller cabinets then you are better off going semi-custom as that can go up to 42 inches.

Lost Storage Space – more often than not, you will find filler strips being used to cover gaps created when the stock sizes are unable to fill the space. Using custom cabinets can be measured to exact specifications so you can utilize all of the available space.…

Choosing the Right Window Blinds For The Home

Window blinds as long as it is appropriately chosen for the room can serve to complement its design and place an element of style. From roller to Roman to Venetian blinds, there are a number of different materials  that Blind Installation & Repair, Inc. can offer in order to achieve the desired effect. Privacy is one of the main reasons why many homeowners install blinds. The great thing about it is you can adjust how much you want people to see. Just enough so that outsiders are not able to peep through. Binds control the amount of light and are perfect for homes with large windows. Blinds are perfect insulators as they can hold heat within while exterior blinds can prevent your home from heating too much.

Right Material For Window Blinds

Blinds as you might already know are available in different styles, colors and materials. As a matter of fact, the material used to manufacture them is one of the primary factors that determine their functionality. There are some materials that are best used for the kitchen while there are others that are best for living spaces.

Roller Blinds

Examples of roller window blinds

If you are looking for something more cost effective then this is a good choice. Roller blinds feature a roll of fabric that can be moved up or down depending on how much light you want to let in to your room. They are quite effective at controlling sunlight and helps in providing insulation during the cold season.

Cellular Blinds

Examples of cellular window blinds

Similar to roller blinds, this type of window blind is also retractable. Cellular blinds are composed of honeycomb shaped cells that extend when they are open and then stack up when closed. You can choose from an array of different patterns and colors that can work best with your existing décor. Also have the freedom to select an opening style, which can either be from the top or from the bottom or if you want both. Have the option to let light in via the top or bottom half of the window while at the same time keeping some level of privacy. Cellular blinds are quite easy to maintain as all you need is a feather duster and a damp cloth to remove dust.

Vertical Blinds

Examples of vertical window blinds

These blinds are very popular for homes with large windows or those with windows that can be challenging to install window treatments such as bay windows. Vertical blinds are also a cost effective means to create privacy in a space. It features vertical slats that can be adjusted to control the amount of light that enters the room. They can be cut down blinds too, as the materials used are wood, fabric and plastic which means there is room to customize depending on window size. Vertical blinds add visual height to a room making it look bigger than it is.

Venetian Window Blinds

Examples of venetian window blinds

Venetian blinds are very popular and run horizontally. Although it can not completely block light, closing the slats can dim the light to allow rest and relaxation without the annoying glare of the sun.

Choosing Window Blinds for Your Home

The functionality of the room is the primary factor to consider when looking for blinds.

Kitchen Blinds

window blinds for kitchen

For the kitchen you will need blinds that block out harsher light if you spend a lot of time there. Also, you need to select easy-to-clean materials like vinyl or engineered wood.

Living Room Blinds

window blinds for living room

The living room is where you relax and entertain guests. A window treatment that gives the space a refined and sophisticated appearance. It is recommended to use wooden blinds particularly darker wood blinds due to their versatility to match almost any kind of décor.…

Guide To Choosing A Residential Plumber You Can Trust

When you found a great residential plumber, keep him for life

Choosing a residential plumber is easy. Choosing a residential plumber you can trust is another thing altogether. You probably have heard a lot of horror stories regarding people’s experiences hiring so-called “skilled professionals” but somehow ended up spending more money than what was required. Many homeowners often choose not to think about the how until they are faced with a plumbing emergency and then just hire who is available immediately without thinking about the consequences.

My Residential Plumber Story

Residential plumber making an assessment

My story began 4 years ago when we bought our first home. Naturally, worrying about the plumbing was the farthest thing in our minds until one sunny day about 3 2 years ago when my 6 year old shouted that there was water already in the hallway. I discovered that our water heater had gotten a leak. After panicking for a couple of seconds I immediately decided to ring the only residential plumber, Ramsey MN I knew, who was in another city about an hour away for some advice. It was a good thing that he was able to refer me to someone local and would get me in touch with him.

Luckily, the problem was solved quite painlessly, the plumber came and fixed the issue right away, with good skill and without burning a hole in my pocket. Once the repairs were done, I took his contact information. Knowing a local residential plumber was, obviously very important and the water heater leak did gave me my first rude awakening about emergency plumbing issue. Unfortunately, the same leak happened two more times and strangely in the same location.

Emergency plumbing issues can be avoided when you have a reliable residential plumberThis time I decided to call an established residential plumbing company located in town. At first, I was quite hesitant to do so as I was worried I would be paying more for their name and bran but not necessarily for the quality of service. However, I also knew I cannot suffer the same experience of having to undergo endless water heater leak repairs. While speaking with them I was able to learn that they had already worked at our home from the previous occupants. The rep was able to give me right away an estimate for what fees would be charged. Right then and there I knew the repair would be documented so if the same problem occurred once more everyone would have specific information as to what was done. I knew the basis where the fees for the repair would come from which gave me relief.

If I have to undergo the same process all over again I will not wait for an emergency in order to familiarize myself with my plumbing options. The best advice I can give you is to plan ahead and do some research before the emergency happens so that if and when it does you will have more confidence on whom to call and trust. Here are some quick pointers:

Ask for References

An experienced and trustworthy residential plumber service should easily be able to provide you with names of recent customers in your part of town.

Ask for Quotes

Get a couple of written quotes or estimates from different plumbers. Insist on documentation so if something goes wrong it is easy to track what went down.

Licensing & Insurance

A reliable residential plumber is a licensed and insured plumber

While it is true that not every state require their plumbers to be licensed, all plumbers should have updated insurance information should there be injuries that happen while on your property.

History

Inquire how long have they been providing services to their customers. Are they established in your area or just starting out? Perhaps you have already seen them around your neighborhood. This means they have a reputation to keep and will work to provide you with excellent service to keep customers happy.…

How To Interview A Custom Home Builder

Building a custom home is a quite daunting task due to the sheer number of decisions you are required to make. However, if you want to save yourself from the stress and later disappointment, it is advisable to hire a good custom home builder. If you have already approved the design plans with your architect and now are trying to choose the right builder, then there are some things you need to consider.

  Construction Contractors

Check their reputation first and foremost. The state Construction Contractors’ Licensing Board can be very helpful to enable you to find out if the contractor in question has been in any lawsuits. You can check their official website for this kind of information.

The reliable detail and decision tracking – The builder in question should have reliable communication routines designed to keep track of all the details discussed and all the decisions made.

Discuss with them the number of meetings you will have and what specific method they are using to keep track. This is necessary to create mutual understanding and prevent expensive miscommunication.

Without reliable tracking, you could be on a rough ride. Accountability documentation – how does the builder track the promised actions? Both your decisions and theirs should be tracked.

This is to ensure that the schedule of the building runs smoothly. This is because delays on your part to provide them with what they need can prove to be costly.

You can easily find good custom home builders online because most of them have their user-friendly websites which provide complete information about them and their services.

They also publish the pictures of the homes built by them earlier so that you get an idea about their skills and expertise.

Things To Keep In Mind Before Starting Custom Home Remodeling

It is necessary to take care of your home just as it takes care of you by providing you refuge from the outside world. It is necessary to make alterations and repairs from time to time and remodeling may also be necessary to enhance your standard of living and to increase the value of the home. Every custom home remodeling project requires pre-planning so that you get the desired results within your budget.

You should first start with all the renovation that is needed in your home and make a list of it. Instead of spending time, money and effort on small improvements, it is advisable to go for large scale remodeling. This will automatically include the smaller details along with, the bigger complex improvement issues.

Another thing you need to consider is whether this is something that you can do yourself or you need to hire professionals. If you are opting for large-scale remodeling, then it is always advisable to hire a remodeling contractor. Doing this will save you time and money and also effort.

Once you have decided this, it is time to prepare a budget. Consult a few contractors and get no-obligation quotes from them. This will give you an idea of how much you need to spend on the project. This should not be too much of a problem though because you easily get home improvement loans nowadays.

If the remodeling project requires physical changes or complicated reworking of plumbing or electrical systems or if you want to add some extra space to your home then you will need a building permit from the authorities.

The Hot New Trends In Home Remodeling

A homeowner may want to take up a remodeling project for different reasons like increasing the value of the home, need to give a makeover to dated designs, or wanting to extend the current home. The best part about home remodeling is that the trends nowadays allow homeowners to make maximum use of the space they have. Smaller, single-purpose rooms are being replaced with larger multi-purpose rooms. The other hot trend is to enhance the lighting in your home and make your home appear more spacious.

Kitchen remodeling is also very popular nowadays. People enjoy updating their kitchens with new countertops, new appliances, backsplashes, new cabinets, enhanced lighting and hardwood floors. This, in turn, adds value to your home. Most families spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and it is worth making it aesthetically appealing and more functional.

Bathroom remodeling is another remodeling trend which many people are adopting. A bathroom can easily become outdated, but simple things like changing the floor installing new cabinets, adding a bathtub or shower, changing the faucets and other things can be done to give your bathroom a completely new look. You can also add items like grab bars, walk-in tubs, lowered countertops or walk-in showers if you wish to stay in your home for a long time.