Stone Countertops Honed

Granite and marble countertops have become the classic choice for the kitchen and bathrooms. For an updated, fresh twist on stone countertops, select a honed finish. Granite Since there are so many color options with granite countertops, only the most popular or better looking colors are available in a honed finish. A highly popular granite…

Granite and marble countertops have become the classic choice for the kitchen and bathrooms. For an updated, fresh twist on stone countertops, select a honed finish.

Granite
Since there are so many color options with granite countertops, only the most popular or better looking colors are available in a honed finish. A highly popular granite color for the last two decades has been black. It is available in a wide range of options from the solid-looking Absolute Black granite to the glitzy variety Black Galaxy with gold flecks. Other more exotic black granite options are the large veined Eclipse that looks like zebra stripes or even Magma Extra with its swirling contrast of black and gold. Any of these stones take on a whole new look with a honed finish. Highly polished Absolute Black, for example, has a modern appearance when installed in a sleek kitchen with stainless steel appliances and maple cabinetry. The same Absolute Black granite with a honed finish in the same kitchen gives the space a more organic or natural feel. By simply using a countertop stone with a honed finish the entire space will feel more casual and comfortable. Countertops have a large impact on any space, whether it's in the kitchen, bathroom, or media room.

Travertine
Travertine and limestone countertops are more commonly available with a honed finish instead of a polished finish since it is a more popular selection. These stones are often the countertop of choice for bathroom vanities and utility rooms since they naturally appear more casual than granite or marble. However, a honed marble can have the same relaxed feeling as travertine when done in the right color. There are fewer color options with travertine and limestone than with granite or marble. The color range is light neutrals including beige, tan, and gray, but the pattern in the stone can range much more. Travertine is a type of limestone, which is found in the earth with natural pits or holes that can vary from dime to greater than fist sizes. When the stone is quarried and cut into slabs, these pits are filled to make a suitable countertop. These fills vary greatly in size and shape that determines the overall style of the stone. The large fills have a more rustic appearance, especially with a honed finish.

Soapstone
Soapstone and slate are almost exclusively available in honed finishes. Another popular finish with these stones is a tile texture called leathed or flamed. These textures have the same eggshell sheen as a flat honed finish, making them suitable for casual and nature-inspired spaces. Soapstone is typically a solid charcoal or gray with little movement or patterning. Although this stone is solid, it has a great deal of character with a honed finish. Slate has more movement and color variation, but has a similar feel as soapstone. These stones are softer to the touch than other natural stone countertops and have an ease about them that very compliments other natural materials like wood and metal. Honed natural stone countertops have a softer and more casual feel in today's homes than the classic polished surfaces.

Improving Your Home Comfortability

Home improvement projects can assist you in increasing the price of your home as well as in making it more comfortable for you to live. The type of project that you do may have an impact in both of these areas, provided you choose wisely. Here are a few suggestions for home improvement projects that…

Home improvement projects can assist you in increasing the price of your home as well as in making it more comfortable for you to live. The type of project that you do may have an impact in both of these areas, provided you choose wisely. Here are a few suggestions for home improvement projects that can assist you in being more comfortable in the home where you live and in being proud of the home that you maintain. These projects can range from large to small, depending upon the size of your home and how much of the home you want to change.

One easy change to your home that can always be beneficial is to add a little bit of color. Most new homes are going to be painted white or sometimes off-white, both inside and outside. There may be a little bit more variation to the outside color but generally speaking, it will be colored in such a way that it fits in well with the rest of the homes. Do not be afraid to stand out, however, by adding a splash of color to the outside of the home. That can really help to make the home more appealing and it can add to its value. Just make sure that you check with any homeowner's association before making a large change such as this.

Have you considered doing a home window replacement project? This is something that can not only make the home more valuable, it can make it more comfortable. After all, much of the heat and air-conditioning that escapes from the home ends up escaping through the windows or the doors. By doing a window replacement project, you can help to keep out any drafts and can even the temperature through the home. Of course, those benefits are going to be available in other areas of the country as well.

If you have a reasonable budget for the project, why not change up some of your larger items in your home to be more energy-efficient? These changes can occur in the kitchen, such as changing the stove or refrigerator, it can be incorporated with the hot water heater, your washer and dryer and even your heat pump. Although it is going to be a considerable outlay of money to make those changes, it can have a lasting impact on the amount of money that you spend on a month-to-month basis. Do not overlook the long-term benefits of making such a change.

One other thing that you will want to consider when making any of these changes is any tax benefits that may be available. This is something that is often overlooked, although amount of money that you can get in the return can add up very quickly. Look to your local regulations as to how much you are able to count on your taxes and make sure that it is legitimate. In that way, you will be able to enjoy the rebates that are available without worrying about the tax man.

A Guide to Preparing Your House for Sale – A Contractor’s Perspective

We have seen many homeowners agonize over the tall task of preparing their house for sale. Of course, the objective is to get the highest price in the shortest amount of time. There are an abundance of guides detailing what to do first … items such as cleaning windows, planting flowers and baking cookies. But,…

We have seen many homeowners agonize over the tall task of preparing their house for sale. Of course, the objective is to get the highest price in the shortest amount of time. There are an abundance of guides detailing what to do first … items such as cleaning windows, planting flowers and baking cookies. But, what if the property still looks tired, ragged around the edges or just simply neglected. What can you do? More importantly, what will it cost to get the property competitive in what is clearly a buyer's market? This guide is designed to help you decide what to do and what your budget will permit.

First and foremost, be critical and objective. Candidly we have heard many people say “the buyer will just fix it up their way anyway”. That is not going to work in this market. Buyers have their choice of a wide variety of homes in your neighborhood and in your price level. The one that offers the least resistance is the one that is going to be purchased first. Just because you like the faded red shutters does not mean the next buyer to look will like them. Your favorite colors of ryegrass and periwinkle are not likely to be their favorite color. The old foil wallpaper from the 70's is not going to excite even the most ardent retro fan. Changes must be made!

Where do we start? Let's deal with the inside first.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt all wallpaper must go! It is out of date and out of style. No buyer wants that fixer upper at the price you're asking. Every realtor we ever met suggests that this is true. Believe it! How much is this going to cost? As with everything it depends. How many layers of paper are on the wall? Is there paint in between layers? Be honest with the contractor when he comes to give you an estimate. It results in a significant difference in time and cost. Was the paper professionally installed? Were the walls covered with sizing before the paper was hung? If so, you have an easier task at hand.

Back to the cost … a contractor will request that you agree to a “time and materials” transaction to protect himself. If you can not answer the number of layers question. If the walls were sized and have just one layer of paper you are probably going to spend $ 350 to $ 450 per room. This should also cover the spackle and wall repair that may result from scrapping the paper and paste residue off the walls.

Now we come to painting. Most realtors will tell you to use a neutral non-controversial color. Light tans and off-whites will serve that purpose quite well. The one precaution to consider when selecting a color is to be sure to provide sufficient contrast to the trim. This is especially true if you have crown moldings, chair rails or shadow boxes. They are designed to be architecturally appealing therefore, let them stand out. As to the proper finish, once again, try to be objective. If you have a number of imperfections in the walls or ceilings an eggshell finish will exaggerate them. Flat or matte finish will mask those imperfections to a large degree. Save the eggshell finish for your bathroom and kitchen. Eggshell reflects light and there before makes the rooms look lighter and brighter. You can figure on spending about $ 300 to $ 500 per room to paint.

The variables involved include the amount of wall repair and the number of coats to be applied. Light tan or cream colors will not cover medium to dark colors in one coat. Any color or finish change will require two coats. Forget the primer and paint in the same can … it's a marketing ploy. You still will need two coats.

Take a hard look at your kitchen. It may very well need upgrading. Dark cabinetry absorbs light and makes for a smaller, darker room. That is not what sells today. There are options available to you. Cabinets can be painted. Hardware can be replaced. Of course if you do decide to paint the cabinets the “wood look” will be compromised. Painting cabinets is a four part process. First they must be de-greased. You will be amazed at how much grease accumulates on cabinets even across the room from the stove. Once prepared then they must be primed, then two finish coats should be applied. Be sure to match the appliances when selecting a color. The anticipated cost will be determined by the number of doors, drawers and side panels. Count them and figure about $ 50 each. The small ones will offset the large to get a fair number. For example 24 doors, drawer fronts and side panels will likely cost $ 1200. This does not include the ceiling, walls or other trim.

Another alternative to provide a completely new look to your kitchen is cabinet refacing. This involves replacing those doors, drawer fronts, side panels and the areas surrounding the doors and drawers. While certainly more expensive than painting this option offers a brand new kitchen entirely. The cost depends upon the style of door selected, the stain and finish and most importantly the type of wood that you select. Refacing is probably going to be in the range of $ 5000 to $ 7000.

A new counter top will create a new modern looking kitchen with a high cost of recovery at sale. The cost of granite countertops has dropped dramatically as many more vendors are offering this product. This should be shopped since it's certainly become very competitive.

The next item to discuss is the bathroom. Much of the same principals apply to baths as kitchens. Light, bright colors and an eggshell finish. Replacing that dated vanity is always a great idea. A new vanity with sinks and faucets can cost between $ 250 and $ 400 installed, once again, depending on the style selected. If mildew exists, an exhaust fan is appropriate. They can be vented right up to the ridge vent or out to the eaves if vented into the attic. The cost for this is about $ 150 plus the cost of the fan. New grouting on the tile is also always a good idea.

The remaining rooms deserve a hard look at the floors. If carpets are stretched, stained or just worn and out of date then several options are available. There are several reasonably priced mid-grade carpet alternatives. With a good pad and all the old carpet replaced a new carpet can be installed for around $ 400 for a 12×16 ft. room. Hardwood floors are also a major plus when offering a house for sale. Again, there are some quite reasonable options available. Bamboo is the wood currently in style. That same 12×16 room can be installed at an approximate cost of $ 1500. If you already have hardwood and need refinishing that can be done for $ 2 to $ 2.50 per square foot. $ 400 +/- would do that same sized room.

In the next article we'll look at the outside.

5 Reasons Vinyl Siding Is Better Than Wood Siding

Both vinyl and wood siding may have their pros and cons, but here are 5 reasons why vinyl siding is a good choice when renovating your home: 1. Cost Efficient The average cost for wood siding is about 2.5 times more than that of siding. There are some premium types of vinyl house siding that…

Both vinyl and wood siding may have their pros and cons, but here are 5 reasons why vinyl siding is a good choice when renovating your home:

1. Cost Efficient

The average cost for wood siding is about 2.5 times more than that of siding. There are some premium types of vinyl house siding that cost just as much as cedar panels, but generally, installing siding onto your home saves you a ton of money. And the bigger the house, the bigger the savings.

2. Quick Installation

Vinyl takes a lot less time to install compared to wood siding, which factors into why it is more cost effective.

How your vinyl house siding is installed is just as important as the quality of the siding you choose. Vinyl expands and contracts as the temperature changes. It can not be nailed on too tightly, or your siding will buckle in the heat; but if it is too loose, the panels will rattle in the wind. It's important to choose a contractor that is experienced in vinyl installations.

3. No Painting

One of the most common reasons homeowners prefer vinyl siding is that it requires no painting. Over time, painted wood siding peels and chips when exposed to harsh outdoor elements. Repaining every year or so is a costly and time consuming hassle that many people wish to avoid.

4. Easy to Clean

The smooth surface of vinyl makes for easy removal of dirt, mold, and mildew. The Vinyl Siding Association recommends mixing up a solution of various household cleaning products. Simply brush on the solution, working bottom to top, then wash the soap off gently with a hose.

Vinyl Siding Cleaning Solution:

  • 1/3 cup laundry detergent
  • 2/3 cup powdered household cleaner
  • 1 quart liquid laundry bleach
  • 1 gallon of water

Note: Many homeowners elect to use a power-washer to clean their siding, but this method should be approached with caution. The force of the washer may drive water behind the panels.

5. Available in Insulated Varieties

Insulated vinyl siding makes homes more energy efficient by reducing heating and cooling bills. Other advantages to insulated vinyl house siding include drastically increased durability and a more natural wood-like appearance.

Wood siding may be nice, but when it comes to low maintenance and cost efficiency, vinyl can not be beat. If you're renovating your home, consider the many advantages of installing vinyl siding.

5 Home Renovation Projects That Can Add Value To Your Home

The recent economic slump may have changed how most people spend their money, but it did not stop them from renovating their homes. A lot of homeowners remodel their homes in order to feel more comfortable in their abode or to increase the value of their properties. This makes investing on a home remodeling project…

The recent economic slump may have changed how most people spend their money, but it did not stop them from renovating their homes. A lot of homeowners remodel their homes in order to feel more comfortable in their abode or to increase the value of their properties. This makes investing on a home remodeling project a smart thing to do. When the real estate market turns around, you can get your investment back or sell your house to get a better one. Here are some remodeling ideas that can add value to your home.

1. Remodeling the kitchen

The kitchen is considered to be the heart of a home. Thus, any updates or improvement in the kitchen will pay off. According to real estate specialists, you can expect a 60% to 120% return of investment on a kitchen renovation project. You just need to make sure that you do not go overboard. Never remodel your kitchen in a way that it will look more extravagant than the rest of the rooms in your house. A simple repainting job and replacing old appliances with new and energy-efficient models are likely to impress a lot of potential buyers.

2. Adding another bathroom

If you only have one bathroom in your house, adding another one will bring back your investment pretty well. When looking for a room to be your extra bathroom, you can use any underutilized spaces such as closets, areas under the stairs or spare rooms.

You need to have at least 18 square ft for a half-bath and a minimum of 30 square ft for a full-bath with a stand up shower. If you are thinking of having a bathtub installed in your new bathroom you need to prepare at least 35 square ft of space.

3. More space and light

A dark and cramped house is not likely to attract many potential buyers. If you have small rooms in your house that blocks natural light, you may want to knock down some walls and open up your floor plan. An open floor plan many involve combining the dining room, living room and the kitchen into one big space which is very suitable for a casual lifestyle. This will give a small house a light and airy feel and the illusion of having a larger living area. It is also good for families with children because it allows parents to keep an eye on their kids while preparing for dinner. If you do not want to tear down walls, you can widen doorways by 6 to 12 inches.

4. Home office

Since more and more people work from home, a home office is now a necessity rather than a luxury. Make sure that you have enough space in order for you to work comfortably and enough cabinets to store your supplies and paperwork. Telephone lines and data ports will also give your house an added value.

5. Boost curve appeal

When it comes to real estate, first impressions doker. If your house does not look attractive from the outside, then do not expect potential buyers to make it inside. Consider repainting if the exterior paint of your house is already faded. Choose paint colors and exterior decorations that match the general style of your house. Add an attractive front and back yard landscape if possible. You can also add a deck or a patio to boost the value of your property.

Five Expert Tips for Small Bathroom Design

Granted, it is easier to renovate a large bathroom, but there are still activities that you can undertake to renovate a bathroom even if space constraints are an issue. So keep reading on and find out how you can turn your small bathroom into a masterpiece. Floor Tiles: Large tiles can make the already small…

Granted, it is easier to renovate a large bathroom, but there are still activities that you can undertake to renovate a bathroom even if space constraints are an issue. So keep reading on and find out how you can turn your small bathroom into a masterpiece.

Floor Tiles:

Large tiles can make the already small bathroom feel even more claustrophobic. To overcome this, you need to make use of smaller tiles. This creates the illusion of space while still maintaining the fundamental purpose or reason of using tiles.

Color:

Bright colors create the illusion of space, therefore use light colors in a small bathroom. Also use lighter color on the ceilings to enhance the illusion even more. This will not necessarily require the purchase of a new paint color as you can simply save some of the left over wall paint and add some white paint to make it lighter. This lighter version can then be used on the ceiling. You can also take this effect even further by ensuing that you have light colored towels and floor mats.

Tub / Shower:

Bath tubs, though very luxurious take up valuable space and may not be ideal for small spaces, think about replacing the bathtub with a shower placed strategically, in the corner sometimes. Be sure to also use a transparent shower curtain or partitioning material. This serves its functional purpose while ensuring that the area is not cut off visually thereby again creating the illusion of space.

Door:

Conventional doors take up way too much space and require a pretty substantial area to allow for the swing. They also may require one to open and close the door in order to maneuver around the bathroom. Consider using sliding or pocket doors instead. These eliminate the hassle of the swing area while still partitioning the bathroom thereby locking in humidity. Ensure that the sliding doors selected slide open and close easily and without creating excess acoustic disturbance.

Pedestal Sink:

These are a great way to conserve space in a small bathroom setup, the slender mounting leaves space underneath for shelves, a dustbin or any other sort of item that you may require. Their visual design also provides the illusion of space due to the fact that they are tall and slender. In order to save money one may try to acquire from a used fixture store. You can also make your own using unique materials so giving it that all important personal touch.

As has been shown clearly, a small bathroom is no excuse to avoid renovation. There are endless possibilities to be explored and you are only limited by your own imagination when it comes to combinations required to renovate your small bathroom.

What Do General Contractors Do?

Whether you are considering residential or commercial renovations, you may be feeling somewhat daunted by the task. Indeed, before completing a renovation project you need to ensure that every aspect of the job is addressed as major structural changes are also likely to impact the electrical, heating, plumbing, and the general inner workings of the…

Whether you are considering residential or commercial renovations, you may be feeling somewhat daunted by the task. Indeed, before completing a renovation project you need to ensure that every aspect of the job is addressed as major structural changes are also likely to impact the electrical, heating, plumbing, and the general inner workings of the building. Unless you are a building whiz, you are not going to be doing this work alone. You will need to source and vet potential sub-contractors, and for many home or business owners the question often becomas “when will I have the time to manage this renovation?” This is where a general contractor can help turn your dream home or office into a reality.

So, what do general contractors do? Simply put, one of your projects or building project from start to finish. She or he will work with you from the early planning stages to help you form a renovation or building project that meets your needs and your budget. They will make sure you get all the necessary permits from local officials so you know that your project is fully legitimate. Attaining the required permits will also help to ensure that the entire build proceeds safely and effectively.

Next, a general contractor will be responsible for hiring all the subcontractors you need for a successful building project. As a manager of your project, your general contractor will not only be responsible for hiring these subcontractors but he or she will organize all aspects of the subcontractors' work as well. In short, he or she hires, pays, and schedules subcontractor work. As your relationship between subcontractors, they act as the expert overseeing all building work so you can feel confident that a superior job is done. Moreover, because general contractors and subcontractors often work together, you know the professionals doing work on your home or office have a strong history of excellent craftsmanship. In other words, subcontractors want to impress general contractors in order to get more future work, so they are less likely to produce shoddy work.

Ultimately, home and business owners often lack the expertise to properly coordinate renovations or building projects, whereas general contractors are specialists. They know which trades will be needed during the building process and they have established contacts with demolition experts, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and any other professional who might be involved in your build. Still, before you choose a general contractor always do your homework. Ideally, you want to hire a contractor who has a breadth of experience in building trades, but who also has a proven track record of managing successful builds that are similar to the project you have in mind.

Signs You Need a Bathroom Renovation

Despite being the smallest room in a home, we actually spend a fair amount of our time in the bathroom. In addition, it is a room that we often share with guests to our homes. As such, the bathroom is a place that should be clean and comfortable, which is why (next to the kitchen)…

Despite being the smallest room in a home, we actually spend a fair amount of our time in the bathroom. In addition, it is a room that we often share with guests to our homes. As such, the bathroom is a place that should be clean and comfortable, which is why (next to the kitchen) the bathroom is the most renovated room in the house. But what are some signs that you need a bathroom renovation?

Personal Satisfaction

If your first reaction when you enter the bathroom is “yuck,” you probably need a bathroom renovation. The bathroom is easily the room in your home most susceptible to mold, mildew, and other signs of water damage. As our bathrooms age, fixtures become more drab looking and mildew stains between tiles become more prevalent. You may see a hundred things you want to change in your bathroom, or they may be only one issue. Either way, your bathroom should make you feel relaxed, not stressed or disgusted.

Condition

The condition of your bathroom is probably one of the main factors that will motivate you to renovate. Loose floor tiles, mold, cracking grout and other problems may not only be unattractive, but they may also suggest basic safety issues. Not long ago I was visiting a friend and a leaky tub had caused such severe water damage that the floor was completely unstable. If you are aware of any major structural problems with the condition of your bathroom, it's time to renovate.

Selling your Home

When you decide to sell your home, you want to be sure that every room looks its best. Bathroom renovations can be expensive, but you can also make some simple upgrades that drastically impact the market price of your home. Still, even if your renovations do little to increase the value of your home, they will surely make your home more sellable. An outdated or poorly designed bathroom may be just enough to put off potential buyers – especially if they are on the market for a ready-to-move-in home.

Design

Do you have a garden tub and light fixtures that seem to be sourced directly from the 1970s? An outdated bathroom design is not the end of the world, but a refreshing new look can breathe life into your home. Even a quick paint job can make the difference between passé and contemporary design. However, new fixtures and flooring will obviously make the most drastic impact on your family and guests.

Personal Needs

Finally, if your bathroom can not address your family's needs, you should consider a renovation. For example, in some older homes bathrooms may not have a shower; and while baths are certainly relaxing, showers tend to take less time and are more suitable for larger families. On the other hand, if you have small children you may want a larger bathtub to facilitate bath time. Either way, if you find your bathroom can not accommodate the needs of your family, you might want to consider a bathroom renovation.

How To Be Ready For Home Remodeling Nightmares

If you're one of those careful parents or home owners, there's a good chance that you've already prepared a list of phone numbers which can come in handy for emergency situations. But, if you do not happen to have one or have not prepared one yet, I will share something with you. Why wait for…

If you're one of those careful parents or home owners, there's a good chance that you've already prepared a list of phone numbers which can come in handy for emergency situations. But, if you do not happen to have one or have not prepared one yet, I will share something with you. Why wait for an emergency to happen before making a list?

If the nature of the emergency calls for the needs of the police department, ambulance, or even the fire department, most people would more likely call 911 for these types of emergency situations. The number is short and is very easy to memorize, but what happens if you have a home remodeling emergency? Who should you call?

What should you do and who should you call, if for instance, if you have leaking water pipes in the middle of the night due to a recent renovation or remodeling. If these kinds of emergencies have not occurred to you yet, chances are you have not thought of these ideas and how these things could happen yet. Now's the perfect time to prepare yourself before something bad happens.

With today's technology, the usual first thing to do if you want to learn about something that you're not familiar with is too look and do a research on the internet. Browse the phones and checking previous junk mails from local plumbers or repair services can actually help. After gathering up enough numbers and contacts, it's then time to give them a call and ask for their professional opinions and information on how to deal with these types of situations, before it happens. This will prevent you from panicking should an emergency result from a home remodeling nightmare.

As much as possible, make sure that their services are available 24 hours a day. If not, try to find out if they can recommend someone who offers such services. After you've already collected a list of important contacts for possible remodeling nightmares or mishaps, make sure to put those numbers in one place where it is highly accessible for everyone, and make sure they are clearly written. Rewrite them in a uniformed manner if possible.

Nobody wants to run around the house to look for those telephone numbers when they are badly needed, and this is basically the main reason why such important numbers or information should be on place one particularly accessible location in one's home. For some, it is also advisable to place the same grouped information in several parts of the house to provide better access to the numbers regardless of where you are in the house.

This way, you can also avoid having the numbers burned, stained, or wet, should leaks happen near the place where you stored all the important numbers and information. Basically following the concept of reserves or plan B's.

Preparation is really everything when it comes to avoiding remodeling nightmares. And the best time to start preparing is now. Not later, not next week, not even in a while, but now.

Handyman Services – Benefits of Hiring a Professional Handyman

If you want the job done right and you are not a do-it-yourself kind of person the best thing to do is to hire a professional handyman service. Google the words handyman service in your area and immediately, you will have tons of services to choose from right at your fingertips. Chances are also that…

If you want the job done right and you are not a do-it-yourself kind of person the best thing to do is to hire a professional handyman service. Google the words handyman service in your area and immediately, you will have tons of services to choose from right at your fingertips. Chances are also that someone in your immediate circle has used one of these services in the past and can recommend someone.

There are a number of reasons why you could benefit from a professional handyman service. Most people classifying themselves as handymen, have a particular skill set required to perform the job that you need done. Some handymen may offer a variety of core competency skills in the areas of plumbing, electrical, or HVAC.

Whereas, others are skilled in performing simpler household chores that requires some muscles or knowledge on how to best tackle the job.

Most professional handyman can get the job done faster especially if it is something that they have done numerous times. The money that you would save doing the job yourself might be better spending hiring someone when you consider the amount of time wasted on the project due to your lack of knowledge and expertise. Most handymen know of others whom they can recommend for a project that they are not comfortable undertaking. Having access to this pool of people to call on when you have a project to get done is a very valuable resources especially when it is something that requires immediate attention.

The most important things to consider when hiring a handyman service is whether or not you have the time, money or know-how to do the job. Time is a limited commodity especially in today's society. A lot of projects around the house goes untouched because there is just not enough time in the day to do everything.

Perhaps you can change a light bulb, but if you are unsure of why you are smelling burnt wire whenever you flip the switch on, unless you are an experienced electrician, this is one of the times when you call in someone with the expertise to investigate what is going on. Finally, consider how much you are willing to spend to get the job done right. Sure it is cheaper to do it yourself, but if you does not know

what you are doing it could cost you more in the long run. If the project is complicated make sure you have a guarantee on the work performed. A professional and reputable handyman should be willing to return and redo the project if there is a problem with the workmanship.

Like anything else, it is important that you perform your due diligence when contracting out a project to a handyman service. You do not want someone taking on a project that will cost you more in the long run due to lack of experience. If possible, ask for references and take the time to physically look at a project that your handyman has previously completed. Shop around also. You would be surprised at how the range in price for a project can differ among various handyman services.

Handyman Contractor – Finding an Expert Contractor for Home Handyman Jobs

Let us say your pilot light on the gas heater will not stay lit, your key is stuck in the lock when you try to turn the dead bolt lock on your door, you need to install some mini-blinds in two windows in an upstairs bedroom , and you want to build a small tool…

Let us say your pilot light on the gas heater will not stay lit, your key is stuck in the lock when you try to turn the dead bolt lock on your door, you need to install some mini-blinds in two windows in an upstairs bedroom , and you want to build a small tool shed in the backyard. If you do not see yourself working on these tasks, you need a handyman contractor.

Let us take these one at a time.

A handyman is a generalist. They are usually relying on prior experience in home construction or as a home or property owner. They are not experts. But do you need an expert? If your problem is a gas appliance, you need an expert. Where did you buy your heater? What brand is it? Is the heater under warranty? Start with the service desk where you bought the heater or with an appliance store that sells your brand of heater. They may have a service department that includes heating experts, or they may recommend a local expert. If they do not have any recommendations, go to the Internet or telephone directory to look up companies that repair, install and maintain gas appliances. Your local gas company can also suggest local contractors for repairing gas appliances.

The point is that you need to find someone with expertise who is either working in their own business where they have expertise, or who is employed by a business for their expertise. You want to do business with a business because of the built in accountability that is common practice.

You can expect that they will give you an estimate for what it will cost and provide a written guarantee. They will respond professionally when you ask for proof that their workers are licensed, bonded and the company has liability insurance.

They will usually send you a bill when the work is complete if it is a routine house call, or ask you for a 50% deposit on the contracted work that is pricier than a house call.

The contract, which you and their financial representative both sign will have detailed descriptions of the work provided including a time frame, materials to be used, and drawings detailing the final product.

Returning to the smaller maintenance jobs, do you need an expert to repair your lock and install your mini-blinds? In all honesty, there are handy local men and women who can perform the work.

You can ask friends if they know someone who works for them that they would recommend.

You can look on the Internet in classified lists. But if doing business with a business is important to you, then look for handyman businesses that include a professional approach to defying the work, the legal responsibilities, and the price. You will receive a contract.

The small shed is something that a handyman can do, although they might want a helper. A handyman contractor can help you select the shed, decide if you want to build it from scratch using a stock blueprint, or get a kit that includes all the materials and assembly instructions. A handyman contractor should be able to show you photos of other sheds they have built, and give you contact information of former customers who you can ask for their recommendation.

A handyman contractor should be able to get any permits you might need for the plumbing or electrical installation. A handyman contractor will be able to suggest a good plumber and electrician for the job.

Home Repair Services – Professional Handyman Services Company

People just love their homes and are usually pretty content until something goes wrong. Then it is decision time. Is this a small home repair that you can do yourself, or is this something that requires a professional? Most of the time the small home repairs such as clogged drains, flap on toilet or missing…

People just love their homes and are usually pretty content until something goes wrong. Then it is decision time. Is this a small home repair that you can do yourself, or is this something that requires a professional?

Most of the time the small home repairs such as clogged drains, flap on toilet or missing screws are things that can be taken care of easily and it is not given another thought.

But when it comes to something significant like a leaking toilet, hole in the ceiling or a broken garage door, a professional handyman is needed.

How does one go about getting a good home repair service?

The oldest and probably best way is “word of mouth.” If your neighbor has had success with a service, chances are good that you will too. It is great to have a first hand recommendation rather than taking your chances in the yellow pages.

However, some research can and should be performed.

There are places that you can look online where people have recommended a particular service. Many of them have a comment section where you can read about a certain home repair and see if the person was satisfied with the work. Also, you can investigate online what is needed for your situation. There is usually an estimated time given so you know what you are in for. Cost is sometimes listed as well, although this would just be a ballpark figure as each case is different.

Speaking of cost, it is a good idea to get a couple of bids if your home repair project is a big one. The wisdom is usually to get three bids. And do not needarily go with the lowest. Sometimes the middle one is the one to go with.

The benefits of hiring a service are that the work is usually guaranteed. Most home repair services are more than happy to earn your business and over deliver to make you happy. If that means coming back to fix something, they will do that. Home repair contractors want you to be the next “word of mouth” customer for them and that means a happy customer.

Many times a home repair service will have more than one person working for them. This can come in handy if your repair is complicated. It is the situation of two brains being better than one when thinking about your repair.

Not only do you want your service to be friendly, timely and accurate when completing your home repair, you want the handyman to have some common courtesies.

These would be things like removing their shoes when entering the house.

They need to put down drop cloths when making a mess.

Cleaning up after themselves with their vacum or yours is necessary.

Some repair professionals have paper booties that they put over their shoes each time they enter the house. This brings them from having to remove their shoes every time and it keeps your house clean! All of these acts lead to a more positive experience for home repair.

Sometimes people are so caught up in looking at what the home repair professionals do, that they do not think of common courtesies that they themselves may offer.

For example, you should ask the repair people if they would like a soda or some water. Tell them what bathroom they are to use. Try to make their time away comfortable as well. There are people who think that they should not use the bathroom all day!

That is unreasonable.

Home Improvements to Build Equity

As a home owner, one of your primary concerns should be building equity on your home. Equity is the value of the property minus the obligations against it, usually your mortgage. So in order to increase this value you can do two things: pay the mortgage capital or perform home improvements to build equity. Increase…

As a home owner, one of your primary concerns should be building equity on your home. Equity is the value of the property minus the obligations against it, usually your mortgage. So in order to increase this value you can do two things: pay the mortgage capital or perform home improvements to build equity. Increase equity is one of the easiest paths to wealth and economic independence, as a home is for many the largest and most stable investment they will ever own.

Most home improvements will add value to the home and as such build some equity, but some offer a higher return on investment than others. For example, remodeling your kitchen will often increase the value of your home much more than if you install a swimming pool, as potential buyers value more things that need than nice to have items. When considering home improvements to build equity, you need to achieve the right balance between the money you spend and the increase in value and desirability achieved.

Among the most popular home improvements to build equity, remodeling your kitchen and bathroom is probably the number one, particularly if the property is not recently built. In order to get the most value for your money, inexpensive improvements that make your kitchen look more beautiful and modern are often better. Low maintenance and long lasting items, such as granite countertops, can offer good value since the initial investment provided they are on par with the average value of the property and properties in the neighborhood. For example, without your property is a luxury home or on a very good and upcoming neighborhood, fitting the most expensive granite slab countertops may be a cost you will never be able to recover, but choosing more affordable natural or engineering stone can be a good option.

Another type of home improvements to build equity that have become very popular are those that make your home more energy efficient. From double or triple glazed windows to eco-friendly appliances or even improving the loft's insulation, making your home more green will not only save you money in your energy bills but will help you achieve a higher price if you decide to sell. In some cases, you can also enjoy tax credits for work that makes your home more energy-efficient, increasing the ROI of this kind of home improvements. You may also want to look into increasing the usable surface of your home at the same time, by fitting the loft as an extra room while installing the new insulation.

Quartz: It’s Not Just for Watches

One of the toughest materials on the planet, quartz countertops offers homeowners an alternative that is both reliable and beautiful. Available in natural and engineered, these countertops can add beauty to a room, while offering durability unmatched by natural stone or laminates. It is easy to see why quartz is growing in popularity. Its unique…

One of the toughest materials on the planet, quartz countertops offers homeowners an alternative that is both reliable and beautiful. Available in natural and engineered, these countertops can add beauty to a room, while offering durability unmatched by natural stone or laminates. It is easy to see why quartz is growing in popularity. Its unique attributes makes it a reliable, yet beautiful substance to add to any home.

Why Quartz?

The counter space is one of the most abused and misused areas of the house. Subjected to spills and mishaps, counters can chip and lose luster through the years, leaving a less than beautiful reminder of the abuse they suffer.

Quartz countertops offer an alternative to the more difficult to manage laminate countertops. Its high permanence allows homeowners to maintain a beautiful atmosphere without the hassle of untimely replacement.

Scratch Resistance

These countertops are made to last. The unique hardiness of the quartz makes it naturally scratch resistant. Quartz has a hardness of seven out of ten on the Mohs Hardness Scale. There are only three substrates that are naturally harder (diamond, sapphire and topaz), which means homeowners can expect a durable, reliable and tough countertop. The sturdy exterior can take a beating and still maintain its natural beauty.

Easy maintenance

These countertops offer both durability and easy maintenance. The non-porous material makes clean up a breeze. It is resistance to most stains and spills, and will maintain its natural luster for many years without the need for sealants or waxing. Upon installation, the countertop is ready for use and does not need costly sealants, unlike laminates, granite, or concrete, which all require being sealed and resealed to prevent stains.

Anti-microbial properties

With porous materials, such as stone, bacteria, mold and mildew growth can be a huge concern, but quartz eliminates these worries. Porous substances allow for food and fluid spills to be absorbed. This trapped food and fluid provides a perfect environment for bacterial and mildew growth. With quartz, most spills and splatters are not absorbed and can be cleaned away quite easily, eliminating the risk of bacterial growth.

Choices

Homeowners have choices when it comes to these countertops. They can choose between natural stone and engineered. Engineered quartz allows for colors that could not be obtained in stone, giving homeowners more choices and options to perfectly coordinate their countertops with their décor in their bathrooms and kitchen.

How Can Awnings Be Helpful To You?

When we think of making our homes more trendy and attractive, we usually forget about the awnings. Installing awnings for home improvement is an excellent plan because they are advantageous to us in several ways. Your homes could easily get modified by putting on this simple and cheap item. The awnings not only increase the…

When we think of making our homes more trendy and attractive, we usually forget about the awnings. Installing awnings for home improvement is an excellent plan because they are advantageous to us in several ways. Your homes could easily get modified by putting on this simple and cheap item. The awnings not only increase the external beauty of your house, but also give protection to your household goods.

If you would like to make your house more beautiful, you should use awnings to add more spice. Try to set these awnings on your windows and you will find that they bring style and color to your residence. They will also make your house appear far more sophisticated as well as multi-dimensional. Soon you will realize that by adding even a couple of awnings to your residence you will be able to change the overall style and design of your house.

Apart from these, awnings of your house also provide a lot of safety. With awnings for home, your windows are going to be covered from the direct rays of the sun. It will bring down the internal temperature of your house and keep your rooms cool even in the hot summer days. This will also help you to save your power consumption because your air cooling usage will decrease. As a result it will get you to spend less on your electricity bill.

During the rainy season, it is going to give protection to various parts of your home from getting drenched with water. Due to the awnings, the rain water is going to roll off from the awning, and will go straight to the ground. This will be a further security measure for those people who have little children playing around the house because without the awnings there will be a risk for them to fall down as your floor will become soaked with rain water. This can as well stop the doorsteps of your house from getting flooded with water.

Awnings for home can be used in various techniques. However, you do not need them all the time. There are lots of awning patterns which you can withdraw. People who use such kind of awnings, can easily spin them upwards or even fold them any time when they do not require them. Awnings are something which have lots of benefits for a householder and are generally found in very reasonable prices.