Should You Add Solar Power To Your Home?

The solar industry – predicted to becoming the dominant source of energy for Americans during the 2020’s – is growing at an incredible rate. It’s currently a $17 billion industry but is on track to reach $34 Billion by 2025!

This of course screams great news for homeowners (and their wallets!) as well as our lovely planet of course.

In this post we’ll be discussing the many benefits of installing solar panels for your home.

However, for those who have already taken the plunge, and are already experiencing many of these benefits, here are their top reasons for having taken the plunge.

  1. Save money on utility bills
  2. Help the environment
  3. Get solar investment tax credit
  4. Would be better for my own/family’s health

These reasons are all true, and we’ll be discussing some of them below…

Solar Power Reduces Your Energy Bills:

It’s true. For example, in California, new homes are now required to have solar panels, the state estimates this rule will help homeowners save around $19,000 over a 30-year period or just over $600 dollars, year on year. This number can go up to $30,000+ depending on which state you’re in and various other factors.

 

Solar Panels Significantly Boosts The Value Of Your Home

If you ever want to sell your home, having solar panels will be a shrewd investment.

According to a recent solar research by Zillow, after controlling for local market dynamics and the time of year the home was sold – they found solar panels can potentially increase the home’s value by 4.1% more than comparable homes with no solar panels. This translates to about $9,274 of additional income for the median-valued home in the U.S!

The benefits don’t stop there however, according to Zillow’s research, the value added by solar panels can go as high as 9.9% in some states – which can translate up to $32,281 of added value!

However, according to other independent research, the percentage of value added by solar panels can vary widely, ranging anywhere between 4% to as high as 20%

The bottom line is clear though, having solar power significantly increases the value of your home!

AND how about this for an icing on the cake, homes with solar panels have been proven to sell faster than those without!

 

It’s Worth the Cost!

There are plenty of government incentives that make solar panels affordable for homeowners throughout the country. A federal tax credit for solar projects has been in place since 2005 and is available to homeowners in some form in 2021 for residential projects. There are Federal and State Tax Incentives at 26% in 2020 and 22% in 2021.

On top of this, many states offer tax rebates for people with solar panels in their homes which in effect subsidize a large portion of the cost to go solar. Since there is currently a goldrush of opportunity for those early(ish) adopters, many people are trying to take advantage of these programmes before government start reducing the incentives since more people will be signing on!

It’s Better For The Environment:

Carbon emissions are sky rocketing. The earth needs our help to eliminate the carbon footprint we make. Solar panels generate a much cleaner source of energy, which no longer damages the planet compared to fossil fuels. This goes a long way to helping our planet and can be our own little way to give back to the earth that has given us all so much. Having solar in your home allows can allow you to feel great about doing your part to save the environment and to leave a better world for your children!

 

Emergency Preparedness

We have seen many disasters around the world where countries and cities are without power for days and sometimes even months. By going solar, you’ll always have a way to have power for your home even when those around you do not!

 

It Grants You True Freedom:

As a homeowner, the biggest benefit is that you OWN your property, no one can kick you out or charge you anything. But the same cannot be said about the power you use.

You’re dependant energy companies to power everything you do in your home, since after all, what’s a home without power?

Since you can now own your very own power source, you no longer have to be dependent on the grid. So, why would you keep renting power forever? Owning your own power saves you a ton of money as illustrated below.

Over the course of your lifetime, renting your power means you’ll pay astronomically more when compared to the amount you’ll pay if you owned it. Owning your power means you’ll save so much more money over the long-term.

 

I hope by now we’ve convinced you that the future is solar, especially in America. Should you want to learn more about solar or how it can be integrated into your home, do not hesitate to give us a call! We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

 

Why Cransten?

We Make It Easy For You

For many customers, solar is a new and first-time thing. This can be a daunting process that can be complicated and time consuming. This is why for our customers; it is such a relief to have us take care of everything for them.

Here at Cransten, we pride ourselves in helping our customers make this transition super easy and smooth. We’ve helped hundreds of homeowners make a smooth transition to solar panels so we can definitely help you too.

Most companies in our industry will help you save on energy bills, which is great, but here at Cransten we go a step further, not only do we help you save, we also help you get rid of your energy bills all together so you can experience true freedom.

Just like we do for all of our customers, we will create a personalised and easy plan to save you money. Making sure our friendly experts guide you along the complicated path to ensure everything goes easily and smoothly.

 

We Use Premium Quality Only:

Only the highest quality products will do, all this to make sure you will have a great solar power production for years to come.

We know that quality delivers satisfied customers and as such, we only install systems we would be proud to install for our own family members. We are so confident about this, so all of our installations come with a 25-year product and a 10-year craftsmanship warrantee. All this means is, your investment will be secure by working with Cransten.

 

Whole Home Solution

Most companies have cookie cutter solutions for their customers. We customise each proposal to look at the entire home. There are many ways aside from solar that we can really help you to reduce your energy energy bills. We look at all the solutions possible and give recommendations based on what makes the most sense for each customer.

 

Excellent Financing Options Available

We have the best financing partners in the industry to help our customers have the best options at the lowest costs for solar. Our customers can purchase solar panels quickly, cheaply and with $0 out of pocket!

If you have questions, call us so we can set up a consultation to see how solar can work for your home!

Let us know if you have any questions. Feel free to check out our solar page for info too.

 

Thank you,

Cransten’s Best Practices for Maintaining Your Home

Cransten’s Best Practices for Maintaining Your Home

Maintaining your home is critical because not only does it feel great to have a clean, well-functioning home, it can save you thousands of dollars in bills in the long run. Because, as we all know, little problems become big problems if they’re not dealt with.

Additionally, should you decide to sell your home in the future, it will be well worth the effort of maintaining your home when you rack in those checks!

Besides, it’s fun to get the whole family to chip in, especially during these times. It’s a rewarding and bonding experience for the whole family.

An experience which is made easier (& better) if you know exactly what to do, and how to do it.

Our goal within this article, to make everything clear on how to keep your home at its pristine standard throughout the year.

So, get your pens at the ready, this is going to be comprehensive.

 

There is a lot of confusion on how much we ought to spend on our homes to make sure it’s always looking pristine clean.

A useful formula we’ve found is to simply put aside 2-4% of your home value each year. Then spend that on your most pressing projects as they arise.

That means if your home is valued at $300K, 2-4% of 300K is $6,000 to $12,000 – this is how much you should put aside each year. This works out to $500 – $1000 each month.

On the upside, it unlikely you’ll spend all of this each month, so, at the end of the year, you can use it to upgrade your home or just use it as an excellent saving tool!

Monthly Items:

  1. Inspect your fire extinguisher(s). 

We’ll assume at this point that you have one (many don’t!) This inspection is super easy, simply make sure access to it is easy & follow the extinguisher instructions for regular maintenance, which usually simply means checking the pressure gauge.

 

  1. Clean range-hood filters.

Your range-hood has an important job within your kitchen as it’s designed to remove odours, gas and excess steam that come with preparing a meal. Regular cleaning will ensure it continues doing this job at a high standard throughout the years.

 

  1. Unclog all your pipes

Do this every month or so. Grab yourself some sink & drain gel and pour it in all of your drainage pipes – bath tubs, sinks etc. They are all connected so one blockage can cause all the others to slow down. 

 

  1. Inspect smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

This takes less than two minutes and it can save your life! For most smoke detectors, you want to press and hold on the test button. You should hear a piercing sound. Hear a soft or faint sound, this means it is time to replace the batteries.

Seasonal Repairs:

Each season brings with it a whole new set of opportunities and challenges, understanding how these affect your home allows you to plan accordingly and take full advantage. Luckily, we’ve done this for you!

Spring:

Check the exterior drainage. 

Does rain water flow away from your house? If puddles stay around you home for more than 24 hours you have a problem. Don’t fret though, if water stays, or moves toward your foundation, there’s a few things you can do.

First, check your gutters. It could be a loose connection or a bad spout; or they may just be dirty and needing cleaning.

Second, you can create a gradient using some dirt; this has works very well and you can do it yourself.

Third, for pavement, you can have professionals come out and raise it, so it drains away from your home.

 

Clean out your gutters. 

They will have accumulated leaves from the fall and grime/sediment from the winter snows and a lot of rain too. They will be desperate for a cleaning. These can be done quite easily, you can even get an automatic gutter cleaner.

 

Inspect the exterior of your home. 

Make sure there isn’t any paint chipping, any siding damaged from winter or any holes in your bricks. Take a look all around your house and make repairs as necessary. Many forget this one but be sure to check your foundation for any cracks. A good silicone or caulk can fix a lot of these problems.

 

Repair/replace damaged window screens.

The last thing you want is bugs making their way in because you missed a hole in a window screen. And yes, while duct tape is a great fix, don’t leave it for long. It just looks bad. The jury has decided on this one.

 

Air conditioning preparation for summer.

Consider having it serviced. This one really depends on your individual home, and even which part of the country you live in. Some simply use window air units, others a big rooftop swamp cooler. Great thing about these is that they’re fairly easy to maintain if you know what you’re doing. This is also one of the services we provide should you ever prefer to have one of our professionals do it.

Central air is however more complicated, and we highly recommend you hire a professional for this. This will actually save you money and headaches down the road.

 

Clear dead plants/shrubs from the house.

I bet you weren’t expecting a gardening tip too!

Here it is anyway! If you didn’t trim trees or shrubs in the fall, do so now. Plants can weasel their way into cracks and holes on the exterior of your home, causing damage and shortened longevity. Nip that in the bud (pun intended) before it’s an issue. If you have decorative vines on the exterior, pay close attention.

Check trees for interference with electric lines. Have them professionally trimmed if necessary.

 

Inspect roofing

This is critical to notice the early signs for damage, leaks, etc. So they can get repaired as needed before it’s too late and you have to fork out 5 figures to get it fixed! We can help you deal with these issues, sooner or later, that one is up to you.

Summer

The sun is out to be enjoyed; this makes it a great time to take care of the exterior of your home.

Check grout

Mainly in bathrooms, kitchen, etc and repair as needed. This will prolong the life of your tiled surfaces and just looks better. Again, the jury has decided.

 

Clean and repair deck/patio as needed.

Generally, all that is needed is a good washing. A deck may also need re-staining. Be sure to check for any loose boards or posts and any of our professionals will be more than happy to repair as needed.

 

 Inspect plumbing for leaks

Clean out the aerators on faucets. Check for any small leaks around your faucets and toilets. If your water pressure out of your faucet is poor, the aerator is the likely culprit and it’s a quick fix for any of our professionals.

 

Get rid of the insect problem

Summer is when they come out, your home is their playground. You probably won’t have to look too hard to find this problem. Ants, spiders, moths, etc. are all common, and are fairly easy to take care of. Keep cobwebs clear, make sure all doors are tightly closed, etc.

 

Clean out your window wells of debris. 

Having a basement is synonymous with having window wells. All kinds of things can get down in there from leaves, to trash, to animals. Clean them out!

 

Clean dryer vent, and other exhaust vents to exterior of home.

Check that the exhaust is coming out while the dryer is running. It should smell of fresh laundry. If there isn’t much exhaust, there are likely to be blockages, check for these as well as you can. You may need the help of a professional with this one.

 

Clean the garage. 

Make this your summer ritual. Keeping it clean and tidy will extend its life.

Fall

Fall is the in-between season. You’re finishing up your summer home maintenance tasks as well as getting your home ready for winter. I don’t need to tell you what cold, snow, and rain can do a home, so you don’t want to your winter preparation lightly.

 

Flush hot water heater and remove sediment

This prolongs both the life of your heater and helps with efficiency as well, thus saving you some money.

 

Winterize air conditioning systems. 

Remove and store your window units. If you have central air, cover the outside unit with a tarp or plastic sheeting and secure with some cords.

Prepare heating system for winter. 

Check for any leaks in windows or doors; these can cost an arm and a leg. Not sure about you, but I’d like to keep mine! Make sure the heating vents are open and unblocked from furniture. Get your furnaces serviced/inspected at least every other year, preferably annually. Don’t forget about fireplaces if you have them.

Turn off and flush outdoor water faucets. 

Also, flush hoses and store them. Be sure to winterize your sprinkler systems as well.

Get chimney cleaned.

The jury is still out on whether this should be done in the spring or fall. Either way, just make sure it’s done once per year.

Test sump pump.

The last thing you want is to need your sump pump and only to find out it’s not working.

Check driveway/pavement for cracks.

Make sure to have re-sealed all of these before winter. Why? When water freezes, it expands in the cracks, causing more damage and costing you more money.

Purchase winter gear. 

It’s always good to have your sidewalk salt, good shovels, etc. ready for winter.

Winter

At last, it’s here! Winter is the time to go around the interior of your home and check for any little things you may have overlooked, or perhaps noticed and said, “I’ll get to that later.” Winter is that later.

If you have any interior honey-do projects, whether it be painting, building shelves, etc., now is a great time to tackle those as well. After all, who wants to be outside during this time?

 

Check and clear ice dams and icicles

De-icing cables that sit at the front of the roof is a great idea. Don’t let those icicles grow, ignore what the kids may want you to. They’re not only a danger to people standing beneath them, but they’re surprisingly heavy and can cause damage to your home. They also can cause water damage to your foundation when they melt!

 

Test your electricity to the extent that you can.

Always, always be extra careful when working with electricity. You can do a couple of things on your own, though. Check that all outlets work; if they don’t, you can get the help of any of our professionals.

 

Tighten everything

Make sure handles, knobs, racks, etc. are as tight as necessary to keep all that lovely warmth inside! Go through the house and inspect anything that could have a loose screw. If anything doesn’t work, replace!

 

Check for caulking

Mainly around showers and bathtubs; and repair as needed. Also be sure to remove showerheads and clean the sediment. This prolongs its life and helps with water pressure as well.

 

Deep clean and inspect the basement. 

Basements are notoriously overlooked, especially if they’re primarily just storage areas. Give them some much needed love. Make sure all the mould is cleared and ideally, it should be to a standard that you’d be happy to have your very special guest sleep there for the night.

 

 

 

 

Every 6 months

Or each time there is a time change, be sure to swap out smoke detector batteries as well as any carbon monoxide alarms.  Also check your water heater’s pressure relief valve and make sure its functioning as it should. This will prevent mineral and corrosion build-up, improve heater efficiency and will safeguards against leaks. All making sure you get to keep your arm and leg!

 

We hope you enjoyed this one, if you need any help implementing any of these strategies, don’t hesitate to contact us! We will be more than happy to help!

Counter-Intuitive Hack to Reduce Overhead Maintenance Cost

reduce overhead maintenance building cost

Residential contractors are better at property maintenance than property maintenance and in-house specialists are. Sound counterintuitive? That’s because it’s not. Let me explain.

 

Perhaps a couple analogies will demonstrate my point. Many sprinters practice with a parachute attached to their back; the reason they do this is because it makes running much more difficult and challenging. In turn, what happens when they remove the parachute is that running without one becomes very easy. They can now run much faster and with better results.

 

Let’s take another quick analogy. It’s been found that high school students who perform homework under supervision are much more likely to complete their work with more attention, care and accuracy. This is in opposition to students who are given freedom to work on homework as they please, who find it easy to slack and underperform. Hopefully my point is becoming clear at this point, but if not, allow me to explain in plain words.

handyman remodeling

Residential contractors typically perform their work with a homeowner attached to their back supervising their every move because the owners are naturally invested in their home and want to ensure the best results. Therefore, much like the sprinter and the student, the residential contractor is under pressure to over perform and deliver the best results. Property and in-house maintenance workers usually work unsupervised and with little verification of their work, since this is how they’re used to working, there’s naturally a larger percentage of property maintenance workers that slack and underperform on their work, putting no real care or attention into it. Rushed work, putting bandaids on a pig and taking short cuts quickly becomes their norm because they have no real motivation to do more than ‘just enough’.

 

This careless work ethic creates a less than ideal work culture that no one wants in their facility. Now back to our analogy, if we compare this to a residential contractor who gets their ‘parachute’ or ‘teacher’ (the homeowner) removed from their shoulders, they are in a position to perform at a very high level due to their pre-established work ethic. Just because their parachute or teacher or in this case the homeowner is taken away, this doesn’t mean that years of attentive work & and the pride that goes into it are taken away as well. The work ethic hammered into the workers (no pun intended) over the years reflects in their property maintenance work just as it does in residential. They are more likely than a property maintenance worker to perform careful, attentive high quality work due to the basic human nature principle called habit. That is why you should hire a residential contractor to do your property maintenance work.

 

Another argument for hiring residential contractors for property maintenance is a purely financial one. If at your facility you have ever hired property maintenance workers or an in house maintenance crew, you already know that they usually come with a high overhead fixed cost. This means that you pay them for when they are working and when they are watching TV at home in their long johns.The truth is, your facility won’t always need maintenance. So why pay for all the times that it doesn’t? Would it not make more sense to pay for every time you required service and eliminate the extra money being wasted all the other time? Of course it would. However, this would only make sense if the total cost of all services by the residential contractor in any given month would significantly fall under that of their property maintenance or in-house counterpart. This won’t always be the case. With Cransten Handyman and Remodeling, however, it will.

 

In conclusion, residential contractors are more detail oriented than property maintenance and in-house workers because they are more subject to scrutiny and a facility can typically save money and enhance maintenance quality if they hire residential contractors on a need basis. And the best residential contractor with fairest prices and highest quality work is Cransten handyman and remodeling. So because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, hire us to maintain your facility, & save yourself some money and a headache.

Cransten Handyman and Remodeling

(800) 618 7015

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How to estimate the yearly maintenance cost of your home

What is the most expensive recurring cost of buying a home? Maintaining it. You may think that your home buying expenses are finalized at close, but the cost of maintenance is one that many homeowners plan & budget for (or fail to do so) well in advance. Maintenance can include anything from repairing drywall and caulking to repairing gutters and roofs. Because you can never really predict what will go wrong during the year, it is best to set aside a certain amount of money each year dedicated for emergency repairs and regular maintenance. Naturally, the question you might find yourself wondering is: how much? This article will give you a few methods to determine how much money you need for maintenance each year based on your specific home.

Before getting into the specific methods, let’s make some disclaimers. While these methods or rules are good general measures, they do not take into account the specific nature of your home and the climate it resides in. Some things to keep in mind are the age, weather & location of your home.

The age of your home is a big determiner in how much maintenance it will require. If your home was built within 5-10 years, chances are it won’t need very much maintenance. However, for homes that are 10-30 years old they will exponentially need more repairs until eventually major ones like roof replacement will need to take place.

Weather is another big factor that can influence the amount of maintenance a home requires. Homes in areas with more extreme weather conditions such as freezing temperatures, heavy snow & rainfall, high winds, termites or ice storms will generally require more care and upkeep than those in mild conditions due to increased wear and tear.

Lastly, the location of your home can have a major impact on the maintenance level necessary. Homes located on the bottom of a hill that can be exposed to rainfall collecting or homes in floodplains for example can require higher than average amounts of maintenance.

Now that those disclaimers are out of the way, the first rule I’d like to present to you is called the 1% rule. This rule states that one way to estimate the yearly maintenance cost of your home is to set aside one percent of your total home value. For example, if your home is worth

$200,000 you ought to set aside $2,000 for maintenance.

Another handy rule to estimate maintenance costs is the square foot rule. The square foot rule states that you should set aside a dollar for each square foot of your home. So if you have a 2000 square foot home, then you need $2000 for maintenance. This rule makes a little more sense as it is directly correlated with the size of your home so may be a little more accurate.

So which rule should you use to estimate your home maintenance costs? A clever way to do so would be to use both rules then take the average cost from both of them. This would ensure that you’re somewhere in the middle and take both rules into consideration. So if your home is worth $300,000 and it is 2,000 square feet big then you take the average of both maintenance cost estimates which is $2500 (3000+2000/2). Next, add 10% just to account for the external factors mentioned in the beginning of the article (weather, location, etc) 2500+250 = $2750.

For high quality home maintenance at fair prices contact Cransten Handyman and Remodeling & we’ll be happy to be your go to home/life saver.

Cransten Handyman and Remodeling

(800) 618 7015

hello@cransten.com

https://cransten.com

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10 Home Projects for the New Year

A new year has passed and a new one is about to begin. Many of us are planning to make changes in our home in accordance with the latest trends. The new year provides a fresh start and a great activity for this time of year is home remodeling. Here are some of the best home projects that can be added to your list:

  1. Develop your Bedroom

Your bedroom is your sanctuary. This is where you relax after a long day’s activities. It is important to develop it and keep your bedroom up to date given the big role it plays in your daily life.

  1. Renovate the Living Room

This is where the family gathers and spends the most time. Renovating the living room is a good idea for the New Year as a way of celebrating it and welcoming new changes.

  1.  Improve the Bathroom

One of the most commonly used and a needed section in one’s home is the bathroom. It is important to keep it clean at all times. Improving some parts in the bathroom like the mirror, flooring, ceiling, and even the tubs would help to make your bathroom look neat and refreshing.

  1. Refresh your Balcony

Making changes on your balcony like adding more flowers & customized designs would give it a fresh new look. Having new decor in your balcony could help you relax & alleviate your stress levels.


bathroom remodel, kitchen remodel, construction, tiling, flooring, handyman, remodeling, contractor, painting, maintenance

  1.  Update Lightning

Lighting is one of the most essential elements in the decoration of a home. As time progresses, available lighting styles are growing. Today’s lighting has been optimized to its best features, with smart lights being introduced worldwide. Your ability to control your home’s lighting from your smartphone is certainly beneficial and updating your lighting can bring a new energy to your home.

  1. Flooring –

We can’t talk about renovation without mentioning flooring. New flooring can totally change your home & must be considered if you’re looking for that new updated feel. Having new floors for the New Year would entirely change your home atmosphere and give you that updated vibe you’ve been longing for.

  1. Redesign walls and ceilings

If you want a different ambiance at your home, whether a more fancy or cozy one, redesigning the walls and ceilings can help you achieve your desired effect.

  1. Repaint the Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets help organize your space and repainting them would give your kitchen a fresh new look. This is one of the best changes you could make this New Year.


bathroom remodel, kitchen remodel, construction, tiling, flooring, handyman, remodeling, contractor, painting, maintenance

9. Make a Coat Rack

It’s time to do a new thing for the New Year. It is inevitable that your old coat rack is damaged due to overuse and has reached its limit. Having a new coat rack this New Year is one more way to symbolize a new beginning

        10. DIY Furniture Project

Do you want new furniture? Are you on a tight budget? Then making your own furniture is the perfect solution for you. Not only is designing your own furniture fun, it is also a surefire way to give your home a more personal, cozy feel. Impressing friends & family is a bonus!

When it comes to New Year home projects, these are our top 10 recommendations. Making changes and improvements has become a tradition every new year and what better place to improve than your home base? Be sure to try these amazing home projects and fulfill the old adage: new year, renovated home!

 

bathroom remodel, kitchen remodel, construction, tiling, flooring, handyman, remodeling, contractor, painting, maintenance

Popular Flooring Options

The right flooring can have a direct impact on a room. Below, you will find a list of different flooring options including their benefits and maintenance requirements in order to help make your choice

1. Glass tiles

This renewable source is quickly becoming a wonderful option for floors as well as bathroom and kitchen walls.  Glass has similar benefits of other eco-friendly materials. It is non-absorptive and won’t allow mildew or mold to grow in damp environments.  Glass is easy to maintain and won’t stain. It comes in a limitless array of colors, patterns and finishes suitable for most design schemes. Unlike ceramic tiles, glass will reflect light rather than absorb it, adding that additional layer of light some rooms need.

2. Linoleum

In the past, vinyl was the top choice for flooring in many homes. It is cheap and long lasting. The next trend was ceramic tile because of its ability to deal with wear and tear at a relatively cheap cost. However, the choices available in the market today are varied and can suit families with different budgets. Linoleum is a great eco-friendly, long lasting choice that is easy to maintain and holds color very well


3. Hardwood

Hardwood floors combine beauty and durability. Hardwood flooring might be on the expensive side but is very long lasting and appealing. Many types of hardwoods are available and come at different price tags. If properly cared for, a hardwood floor could last up to 50 years or more.

4. Carpet

This has long been a favorite go-to material for most homes. It is soft to walk on, comfortable to sit on and comes in a range of colors and patterns.  Unfortunately, carpet has typically been made using volatile organic compounds or toxins that are harmful to the environment and to our health.  However, there are eco-friendly options.  Consider carpets made of wool.  Wool is a natural resource spun into a thread that can be dyed any color imaginable, and then be woven to create a carpet.  It is one of the first materials to be used as a floor covering, is very durable and can last centuries. In some families, wool rugs have been passed down from generation to generation, making them family heirlooms. Other natural materials used to make carpets or rugs are sisal, jute and cotton.

5. Cork

is relatively new to the flooring world. It is usually seen on walls or in your favorite bottle of wine, but it is a great material for floors.  Cork is harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree commonly found in the forests of the Mediterranean. The trees are not cut down to harvest the bark, which will grow back every three years, making it an ideal renewable source.  It has anti-microbial properties that reduce allergens in the home, is fire retardant, easy to maintain and acts as a natural insect repellent as well. Cork, like wood can be finished in a variety of paints and stains to suit any color scheme or design style. Its durability allows for use in any part of the house. Cork floors, depending on the quality, can last between 10-30 years.


Tiling Characteristics

People want items that can adorn their homes, things that can improve a specific format and décor. Things that are simple to care for and stand the test of time. Ceramic tile has been around for many years, and with cutting-edge innovation, producers have made cutting-edge changes in its utility that were not available a decade ago. If you have no experience with ceramic tile in your home, you may be astounded at the vast array of colors, sizes, shapes and surfaces that are at present accessible.

1. Textural Finishes –

Add variety, shade, and surface décor to any region of the washroom by consolidating finished field tile. Surfaces can seem inconspicuous or articulated depending upon the material utilized and the shading desired. Some of the most popular finishes are raked, 3D & polished. Raked tile sounds just like its name implies, it has an appearance that could leave you thinking somebody pulled a rake over the surface and left lines over it. 3D dimensional tiles comes in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and styles which can be consolidated into unlimited mixes for a unique space. Polished tile is ideal for a clean simple look but is certainly not the only option for your home any longer.

3. Color –

Varying colors can add spice and character to your floors. Nowadays tiles are available in pretty much any color imaginable. Select a color that matches your walls and ceilings and your floors will be looking clean and classy.

4. Qualities –

Durable, Easy Care, Environmentally friendly, Beautiful and versatile, Scratch resistant, Fire resistant and Water resistant. These are the qualities that are needed for good tile. Some tiling has non-repeating patterns. However, that doesn’t mean that they are totally random. Some of the most fascinating tiling has an element of randomness mixed in with a basic regular pattern.

5. Size and layout –

Using the same tile on the floor and walls will make the space look more tenacious. Large module tiles make a small room look larger. A floor covered with square tiles and a floor covered with hexagonal tiles both have regular, symmetric, repeating patterns, but they are clearly different.

6. Blending to surrounding –

Tilings naturally fall into two classes. Some have repeating patterns, and some don’t. Use tiles that blend into the style of the house and personal style. Take into account the design style of the house and work with not against it.

7. Natural Wonders-

If you want to have a surrounding that looks natural, then you would benefit from making your flooring surrounded by natural things like; wood-like tiles.
8. Make it Simple- Some people prefer having tiling that is not extravagant. Having tiling with plain colors will definitely apply in this situation. Picking plain colors like black, white, gray or beige is an example of making your tiles not just simple but classy.

Design Tips for a Kitchen Remodel

Design Tips for a Kitchen Remodel

 

There are many reasons people want to remodel their kitchen. Sometimes people want to boost the resale value of their home. Some people may have been in a home for a while and just want an updated look and feel. Some people can’t afford a new home, so upgrading their current home is the best option.

 

Have you ever wondered why family and friends tend to flock together in the kitchen? In many ways, the kitchen is the heart of the place we call home. We all need food and water to survive and the kitchen is where meals are prepared, families can interact, and food and drinks are prepared. If kitchens are designed right, they can be an amazing place of bonding and building memories for the family. It’s also a main place of entertainment. So, if you are to spend money as a home owner, the kitchen is probably one of the most important areas, right?

 

Assuming you want a functional kitchen that stays on top of current trends, here are 10 tips that can help you out as a home owner:

  1. Design Broad Walkways- A functional and comfortably designed walkway is essential. We don’t want to move or hang out in a limited space. The kitchen is the heart of the house where much is going on. We need to design enough room to move and get around. Paths in a kitchen should be at least 36 inches wide. When re-designing a kitchen, properly arranging counter space, kitchen islands, and seating areas is essential.
  2. Direct Traffic- For kid-friendly kitchen designs, you should keep the cooktop out of highly trafficked areas. You should also try to eliminate areas where kids can get caught on handles and cause spills while running through. Also, make sure the refrigerator and freezer are easily accsible to passerbys and to those working in the kitchen areas.
  3. Microwave’s Appropriate Elevation and Placement- If you have a microwave oven in your kitchen, proper placement can help greatly. Typically microwave opens are placed adult eye level to avoid from little kids being able to play with them and causing problems with them. However, if kids are old and mature enough where this is not a problem, a current trend is to place a microwave a little lower to allow more stove cooking and cabinet space. If you have an over-the range microwave, you will often have less area to cook, but may be required to place it here depending on total kitchen space.
  4. Plan Landing Areas- Arranging and spreading out the kitchen workspace requires thought on how both the function and movement should stream inside and through the kitchen space. When planning your kitchen permit at least 15 inches of ledge on each side to allow enough room for other items such as dishes, pots, pans, etc.
  5. Arrange Your Kitchen To Have Conversations- One of the best parts about a kitchen is the ability to hang out and chat. You need to make sure there is a proper area planned for others to sit and chat or help out within the kitchen area.
  6. Design Your Kitchen for Familiiarity- One of the things that helps cooks is an abililty to remember where items are. Also, to be able to have regularly needed items within arms reach of your cooking area. Place a rack next to or behind the range to keep cooking oils, utensils, and flavors convenient. Place S-hooks near your range hood or hang in cabinets near the stove to help make regularly used pots, pans, and cooking utensils easily accessible.
  7. Get rid of knife blocks- Knife blocks don’t belong on your kitchen counter. IF you can find good area for that block inside of a pantry or put all of your knives in an organized drawer, you will be surpised at how much area this frees up for your kitchen.
  8. Countertop and Backsplash Selection- The countertop and backsplash you select really set the tone of your kitchen. Do you want granite with subway tiles, or some other look at feel? Look around, get ideas, and consult with a pro that can help you obtain the look and feel you want.
  9. Functional and Beautiful Cabinets- Cabinets really need to be not only beautiful but functional as well. They can look great, but if not properly designed can cause a lot of issues for your kitchen. Custom build cabinets can really help obtain the look and feel you want. Make sure the cabninets go along with the look and feel of the rest of the area with counter tops and backsplashes.
  10. Great Sink and Appliances- One of the fastest and easiest ways to upgrad your kitchen is to get new appliances and a new sink. And updated fridge, stove, oven, and snink really make a kitchen feel new and envigorates any avid cook to go to town in their new kitchen.
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10 Ways to Properly Maintain a Commercial Building

10 Ways to Properly Maintain a Commercial Building

   Proper Property Maintenance is an important if you own or manage a commercial building. The correct property maintenance helps preserve market value and the essence of the building. Have you ever seen a poorly maintained commercial building? Does it look like a property you would want to work, invest, or live in? If you fail to maintain a property, it may not only affect its physical capacity, but it may also affect the occupant’s desire to be there, and your return on investment.

There are many maintenance tasks that commercial buildings need to sustain and thrive. You can’t cut corners and you need to be focused on the long-term benefit of a building when putting together an effective maintenance plan. Below, you can see 10 ways to properly maintain a commercial building:

  1. Immediately Repair and Renovate Property Damage-

A small, damaged area in your building can cause various problems. Tenants nor clients will not feel at ease inside of a building that has issues. Customers will likely not want patron your business. Tenants may look at ways of breaking their lease. Proper, prompt responses are crucial when experiencing damage to your property.

 

  1. Regularly Check for Property Leaks-

The best time to fix a leak or damaged property is as soon as it starts. If you and everyone who works with you is trained to look for such problems, you can effectively nip a lot of major issues in the butt before they become big.

 

  1. Properly Maintain the Interior of the Building-

Standardized paint colors, standardized trim, and look of the building are important to maintain a good look and feel. If you have drywall repairs and patch work to be done, make sure to do them quick as to not let the building feel old and beat up.

 

  1. Take Care of the Exterior of the Building-

The exterior of the building is important to attract people outside to want to come into your building. It set’s the tone and the feeling for everyone as they walk in and helps to show that you do care about the building itself. Fresh coats of paint and making sure that there are no weeds or trash around are crucial.

 

  1. Frequently Check the Energy Efficiency of your Building-

Small things such as checking on insulation ratings, making sure you don’t have energy bills that are excessive to similar buildings in your market and making sure you seal up windows and doors that have air leaks are very helpful. Smart thermostat and automated lighting systems are also very helpful to maintain energy efficiency.

 

  1. Accurately Maintain and Fix Wall and Floor Problems-

It’s easy to think that a small crack or issue is just that. However, those small cracks can cause big issues, especially if water and other substances get in there. Also, small cracks can become big ones. If you can properly diagnose these cracks, seal them up, and fix them proactively, it can save you a lot of headache down the road.

 

  1. Upgrade Your Property-

The old adage, a dollar saved is a dollar earned doesn’t necessarily hold true in the property maintenance world. You need to make sure that you invest money into keeping your property looking good and staying up with the times. If you don’t you will run the risk of being a “bottom of the barrel” type of property that unfortunately will have negative financial consequences in almost any industry you operate in.

 

  1. Update and Replace Electrical Wiring

Safety is the key here. Having old, faulty wiring is very dangerous. Make sure if you ever find an electrical issue that you have professionals find, address, and fix it. One of the main causes of fires is old, faulty wiring in a building.

 

  1. Systematically Work Out and Maintain Plumbing Issues

Proper maintenance helps prevent expensive repairs when it comes to plumbing. Regularly checking systems and making sure to fix reported issues are crucial. If your building has older plumbing, you may want to consider replacing it bit by bit as you remodel your building.

 

  1. Keep Up with The Styles and Looks that Are Current

If your goal is to attract clients, renters, tenants, or employees, you will want to make sure your building keeps up with looks and styles that are current. If your building has older styles, it is immediately repelling potential clients, renters, partners, and many more. Make sure you put your people and business first by making sure your building is hip and current.