Why a wood deck is one of the best investments a homeowner can make

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Why a wood deck is one of the best investments a homeowner can make

wood deck

As the seasons turn, more homeowners look for projects that not only make their homes more livable, but also offer great return on investment. With demand high across the country for outdoor spaces that bring the comforts of the indoors outside, there’s no surprise that decks are one of the top remodeling projects for 2014.

In fact, a residential wood deck addition has a recouped cost of 87.4 percent, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2014 Cost vs. Value Report, the second highest ROI midrange project only behind an entry door replacement. That means adding a deck to your property will increase your livable space so you can enjoy the outdoors more, and you can rest easy knowing you’re boosting the value of your home investment.

If you think you’d like to add a wood deck to your home, you might wonder about the different material options. “Although composite and PVC decking have gained popularity in recent years, pressure-treated wood decking still carries the lion’s share of the market because it’s inexpensive, easy to work with and can be found at any lumberyard,” says Chris Fox, product manager at Universal Forest Products, a leading supplier of lumber and decking materials.

Today’s pressure-treated lumber comes with advancements that weren’t available to homeowners just a few years ago. For example, with more homeowners seeking eco-friendly building materials, wood suppliers are exploring environmentally preferred treatment methods. For example, ProWood’s micronized copper azole (MCA) treated lumber decking is eco-friendly, cost effective and easy to install.

MCA is a method for treating the wood (typically pine) using an EPA-registered waterborne wood preservative system to protect against termite attack and rot. MCA-treated lumber provides a light, natural look, unlike other pressurized wood treatments that result in the greenish hue with which most people are familiar.

You can leave MCA treated lumber in its natural state for a more organic appearance in your outdoor spaces, or you can choose ProWood Dura Color decking that is color-infused with pigment driven deep into the wood fibers. This process creates beautiful treated wood grain that will stand up to the elements for many years, with no need for staining.

“People like the natural look of redwood and cedar, but they don’t want the drawbacks that come with them, such as the high price and the fact that they quickly fade to gray,” says Fox. “ProWood Dura Color lumber not only looks like natural cedar or redwood, but the color lasts much longer and is backed by a two-year color assurance warranty”

When researching treated wood materials for outdoor home improvement projects, such as a deck addition, Fox suggests discussing the project with the local lumber dealer and to be sure to understand and check the end tag for:

1. The description of use (above ground or ground contact)
2. Warranty statement
3. The quality standards it meets
4. Third-party quality inspection (which assures product has passed retention and penetration tests).

Research proves a wood deck is a sound investment, and now with new eco-friendly decking materials, homeowners have more options than ever when it comes to improving their home’s exterior spaces.

Ready to add a deck addition to your home?  Contact us for a free estimate!

Turn a Small Space into the Best Kitchen

Tips To Transform Your Small Kitchen

kitchen designHave you been planning to transform your small space into the best kitchen there is but don’t have an inkling where to begin?

A small space does not have to hinder you from creating an eye-catching and impressive kitchen. With just a bit of ingenuity and a whole lot of creativity thrown in, you can easily turn a small space into an area that is both functional and fun.

Transform a small space into an aesthetically-pleasing and functional kitchen by taking the following tips in mind.

  1. Make use of illusion. Make your kitchen look longer by installing floor tiles diagonally.
  2. Install more counters. Since storage is of vital importance, make sure to place adequate counters to make room for more appliances and work space.
  3. Make use of the centre area of your kitchen.  Place an island in the middle (that should be convenient from any area in the kitchen) to supply additional storage space.kitchen remodel with island
  4. Provide the entire area with adequate light. Painting your kitchen with dark colours might make it look compact, however with light beams coming in, it will definitely appear bigger than it seems. Keep window treatments to minimal to make room for sunlight.
  5. Use downsized and compact appliances. Many appliance suppliers provide more space-saving appliances to help small kitchen designs easier to implement.  They provide 24 inch deep refrigerators rather than 30 inch deep ones. Also, it is advisable to place your microwave underneath the cabinet to save more counter space.
  6. Use proper lighting. Most kitchens appear too compact and small because they are often filled with inappropriate lighting. Create an illusion of space by putting fluorescent lights under the cabinets and pendant lights on the ceiling to expand the entire space visually and make it appear more pleasing.
  7. Ditch the solid cabinet doors. And replace it with glass ones instead. Glass fronts help lighten the appearance of cabinetry. They allow the eyes to see right through the back thereby making your kitchen appear more spacious.
  8. Make use of a pullout cabinet. Pull out cabinets come as double purpose storage. They can be drawn towards the centre if you need to use them and put them away afterwards when not in use to save more space.
  9. Get rid of the mess. Avoid cluttering the counters, cabinets and shelves. They make your kitchen appear compact. Display only a few necessity and standout items and remove the rest.
  10. Direct the eye upwards. Pick patterns and colours that make the gazes go towards the ceiling. Create vertical lines on the wall and ceiling boards to create an illusion of greater height.

Small spaces might come as a design challenge. But with a few tricks up your sleeve, you’ll definitely know how to make an impeccably efficient, functional and eye-catching kitchen.

Author bio of Isabelle Clibborn

Isabelle Clibborn works for Authority Specialists as a content writer for over three years. She has a penchant for writing about SEO, social media and blogging.

When not busy typing on her computer, she’s probably playing her favourite instrument – the piano. She likes sharing advice and experiences she’s learned when she was still working at a psychiatric facility. Being a wife and a mother of two beautiful daughters, she always spends quality time with her family every time the weekend rolls around. She currently resides in the beautiful city of Melbourne. Get in touch with her at IsabelleClibborn@authorityspecialists.com.

Isabelle Clibborn for Able Doors – Able Door Services is the trusted name when it comes to domestic and commercial roller shutters. They’ve  just about seen it all from designing smart access points for new facilities to replacing outdated commercial roller doors or automated car-park systems.

Ready to update your kitchen?  Call Bruzzese Home Improvements and ask about our current special offer for kitchen renovations!



fiber insulation

Why invest in insulation during a renovation?

Spray Foam Insulation or Traditional Insulation?

fiber insulation

Photo courtesy of Cellulose Insulation Manufacturers Association.

When it comes to enhancing the value and comfort of a home, most homeowners will opt to address the cosmetic features of a home when completing a renovation project. Yet, it’s often the things that homeowners don’t consider that can have the biggest impact on the value of a home.

Across the country, the cost of heating and cooling a home has sharply increased. The price of gas, oil and electricity has driven up the cost of living for many homeowners. With this in mind, more homeowners are seeking budget-friendly solutions that provide not only consistent performance over the long-term, but also help keep costs down.

Before beginning a home improvement project, homeowners should consider the whole building envelope rather than just the cosmetic features such as chrome fixtures or granite countertops. High-efficiency windows are an excellent investment for any home to help drive down excessive energy waste and high utility costs. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests that traditional windows contribute as much as 10 percent of the total air escaping from a typical home, while improperly sealed doors can contribute 11 percent.

home improvement new windows

Investing in an effective insulation solution also can make a significant impact on reducing utility costs. Building experts suggest that homeowners completing a home improvement project should be as involved as possible in determining the best insulation type for their home. This means that homeowners should actively research the types of materials available and how well they perform over the long term. While building code requirements and standards were much more lax in the past, recent amendments to the building code mandates that homes must meet certain criteria for insulation levels, heating management and carbon emissions.

One insulation solution that can meet and exceed the newest building code requirements is spray foam insulation. As a modern insulation solution, the benefits of spray foam insulation can have a significant and positive impact on a home. Available in a variety of densities, spray foam insulation combats against air leakage and works well in all types of homes across the country, regardless of climate.

Traditional insulation materials are overly permeable allowing moisture and fluctuations in temperature to pass through the home’s envelope easily. Yet, spray foam insulation both air seals and insulates to keep allergens and irritants at bay and eliminates air leakage to keep the conditioned air inside without the HVAC system working overtime to compensate.

Spray foam insulation performs for the life of the property, ensuring that homeowners can enjoy comfortable indoor temperatures year-round without overrunning their heating and cooling equipment. Insulation experts note that quality spray foam insulation can noticeably reduce heating and cooling costs, in some cases by up to 50 percent.

Contact Bruzzese Home Improvements for all your home renovation and home remodeling projects in Westchester, New York!

Useful tips when preparing your home for a dog

adopt a petWelcoming a new dog into your home doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In fact, with a little research and the right know-how, you will be able to prepare your home for your dog in next to no time. This article explores how to prepare your home for your new dog, with tips on the steps you and your family can take to welcome the pet into your property.

1. Clean your home

Cleaning your home thoroughly is imperative if you are introducing any pet into your home, but especially important if you are bringing home a new puppy. As young dogs will often want to chew everything, make sure that the floors of your home are clean and tidy, and free from dust, grime and any other small items which could cause your animal to choke. You may also want to secure electrical wires to prevent a serious injury, as well as moving any valuable possessions to another room where your dog won’t be able to access.

2. Secure rooms that you don’t want your dog to visit

If there are rooms in your home where you’d prefer your dog to stay away from, install baby gates that will open and close easily. You will be able to secure these tightly preventing your dog from accessing certain rooms of the home. Your dog will still be able to see you through the gates, so these items are far less intimidating than other ways to prevent access.

3. Talk to your family about your new pet

It is important to talk to every member of your family about your new pet and how their lives could change significantly once the new dog has come home. If you have young children, it will be a good idea to sit them down and discuss what it entails to look after and care for a dog. You may want to sit down as a family and comprise a budget for the new pet. Write down things such as the cost of dog food, potential veterinary bills, and the cost of toys and accessories. You may also want to come up with a routine for walking the dog; perhaps members of the family can take it in turns to walk the dog depending on the time of day.

4. Move furniture and make space for your new dog

Clearing out a cupboard to make way for dog food and accessories is a good idea if you are welcoming a new dog into your home. You will need to prepare healthy meals for your dog everyday so it’s important to have all the food in one place for easy access. Let members of your family know about the “designated cupboard”.

5. Keep the home free from clutter at all times

There are certain things you may not be able to do once you have welcomed your new puppy into your home. These changes are only small, but you may have to adapt the way you do things to ensure the safety of your pet. You should no longer leave bags or containers on the floor as dogs – especially puppies – will get into the items. This can be extremely dangerous for your dog, so make sure you are aware of what you are leaving around the house and where.

6. Try and relax the dog

One the day that your new puppy is due to come home, you may want to make things as relaxing as possible for your new pet. Try and make the journey home as calming as possible. Your new dog may be nervous about meeting all of you for the first time, especially a new puppy. Try and make your puppy go to the toilet before it gets into the car.

7. Prepare your dog’s sleeping area in the home

A well-prepared sleeping area for your dog can really make it feel at home. Think about a comfortable dog bed with cushions, toys and accessories. The dog bed will need to be positioned in a part of the house that will provide easy access for the animal. There are a number of factors to consider if you are purchasing a dog bed for the first time. The product should be the right size, and should allow you to wash the bed frequently and easily (perhaps with a removable and washable cover).

Author bio:

Andrea Hudson is a passionate blogger and a great animal lover. She loves writing articles about home remodeling and how to improve your home space when getting a new pet . In her free time she enjoys taking long walks with her two small dogs.

If you’re considering getting a new pet for your home in Westchester County, NY, please visit the SPCA of Westchester.  They have an amazing amount of animals waiting for their forever home :)

Build a better bath on a budget

Budget Friendly Bathroom Remodeling Tips

Do you cringe every time you step into your bathroom? If so, it may be time to remodel. Bathroom remodels are the most popular remodeling project, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders. But remodeling doesn’t have to be a budget buster. You can simply improve what you already have to get the spa-like retreat you’re seeking. Here are a few tips to get you started on your redesign.

Decorative details

wall artTo get a custom look without the price tag, start bargain shopping online or at a local antique shop. Look for one-of-a-kind finds like a beautifully framed mirror. A mirror adds the illusion of space and changes the look of a bathroom – whether you’re going for a traditional, transitional or modern feel. If you find a piece that doesn’t perfectly fit, add a coat of paint to match the rest of your space.

Artwork adds a sophisticated touch and the best part is it doesn’t have to cost a lot. There are several websites where you can print artwork in a variety of styles and then frame it yourself. Accessories can also make a big difference; a new shower curtain, towels (in beautiful patterns), candles and window treatments go a long way. Pull together the look of the space by adding knobs and pulls to your vanity matching the finish of the faucet. You can also include other accessories like towel bars and robe hooks for organization and an updated look.

Fancy fixtures

Easily bring beauty to any bath by upgrading your fixtures. Start by swapping the sink faucet. Available exclusively at The Home Depot, the new Darcy bathroom faucet collection from Moen blends clean lines and soft modern styling. Featuring a beautiful swan-like spout to bring a relaxed feel to the bath, Darcy is available in on-trend finishes like Chrome and Moen’s Spot Resist Brushed Nickel, which resists fingerprints and water spots to help maintain the brilliance of the faucet for a fresh appearance. You can also extend the modern look of Darcy into the bath with tub and shower fixtures including a five-function showerhead – allowing each user to have a customized showering experience.

Pretty with paint

Paint is your friend when you’re on a budget – it makes the greatest impact for the least amount of money. When updating a bath, choose a satin finish for a washable surfaceinterior painting remodel and look for humidity-resistant paints to avoid streaks and mildew. The color you choose will set the tone – lighter colors are best for small spaces to give a spacious, bright feeling; while darker colors provide a more modern look. Do you have a small space but want to use darker tones? Paint one wall dark and make it the focal point behind the vanity or against the tub.

Don’t be afraid of using color. Remember: paint can easily be changed if you don’t like it down the road. You can also add splashes of color with wallpaper borders, bath rugs and soap dishes.

Contain clutter

Getting rid of clutter and organizing will make your bathroom a more relaxing area. Dedicate space for storage. Bath accessories, such as towel bars and robe hooks will keep items off the floor.  Wall shelves are also an excellent solution and there are a variety of options – from smaller, decorative shelves that can hold perfume and toiletries – to larger hotel shelves that provide the perfect storage location for towels. To prevent under-the-sink clutter, a rolling cart can provide each family member with their own tray to store bathroom goods, and it can be moved out of the way when guests arrive.

Redecorating is all about shopping smart and finding space-changing details when you’re on a budget. These easy, inexpensive tips will hopefully inspire you to get started.

Does your bathroom need updating? Contact us for a free in home estimate! We’ve been remodeling bathrooms in Westchester, NY since 1957!