Beautiful Facade: 4 Simple Ways to Transform Your Home’s Exterior

Beautiful Facade: 4 Simple Ways to Transform Your Home's Exterior

The outside of the home is the first thing that people will see. You want the exterior to be presentable and to be a reflection of your personality and what you enjoy in life. The designs featured could be something simple like a few flowers and a swing on the front porch or an extensive design that includes a pond in the yard with fish or a water fountain.

Roofing Tiles

One of the things that will make a drastic change to the outside of the home is to change the roof tiles. You could add shingles or transform the entire look to a metal roof. A metal roof is becoming a trend with many houses, especially those that are in rural areas. There are different colors that you could use that will blend well with the exterior of the home.

Entry Doors

Another idea is to change all of the entry doors of the home. When you go to a hardware store or even a retail store that sells home improvement items, you’ll see that there are numerous door designs available. Companies like Shank Door offer everything from security doors that are thicker in design to artistic doors that have intrinsic designs and windows. The entry door should be one that is easy to operate by all family members and that matches the colors and other designs of the rest of the home.

Landscaping

From adding a few flowers to installing a large bird bath or fountain in the yard, landscaping can make a world of difference when it comes to the exterior view of the home. You could create a large flower garden with flowers that will grow all year. Another option is to make a pathway from the driveway to the front of the home with lights on the side to make it easier to see where you’re walking at night. Landscaping is a way to show your creativity.

Porches

One of the ways that you can change the exterior of the home is to add a porch. Once the porch is designed, add a few chairs or even an entire patio set. Avoid building a porch that is too large as it can wash out the exterior appearance. However, you could add a slender porch that runs along the front of the home that features railings and a concrete walkway. This is a common design with older homes and farm houses.

Changing the look of the outside of the home is easy if you take the time to plan. A large remodeling project is an option that will drastically update the look of the home, delivering a beautiful appearance that you’ll enjoy.

Guest Post By:

Anica Oaks

Freelance writer and web enthusiast
Read some of my published work on my Google+ page.

How to Turn Your Home into a Wheelchair-Accessible Living Space

How to Turn Your Home into a Wheelchair Accessible Living Space

If you or a loved one uses a wheelchair or any other similar mobility device to get around, then you might benefit from making a few changes to your home. Even minor alterations and upgrades can make a big difference, and your home will be much safer to live in after the renovations. Here are a few steps you can take to make your home wheelchair-accessible on almost any budget.

Start With the Entryways

Installing at least one or two entryway ramps is an absolute necessity if anyone with a disability is living in your home. These ramps will give everyone the ability to exit the home in the event of a fire or another emergency. According to the ADA, the ramp should be at least 36-inches wide between the handrails. Although some people like to make their ramps out of plywood, you may want to consider making yours out of something a tad bit more sturdy—like a ramp made out of redwood 2-by-4’s. This is because some people use electric wheelchairs scooters which are heavier than the push wheelchairs. No matter what material it is made from, however, the top should be covered in a non-slip coating such as rubber.

The Bathroom Checklist

A very large percentage of accidents that take place in the home occur in the bathroom. One of the reasons for this is because most bathrooms are not designed to accommodate those who have mobility, dexterity, or balance issues. Some disabled individuals can make do with handrails near the toilets and baths, but that depends on their strength and age. Those who do not have enough strength to pull themselves up might need to invest in a hoisting device if they want to remain as independent as possible. Sinks that have vanities underneath will most likely need to be modified so that the wheelchair can be brought closer without bumping into the cabinets.

Master Bath Renovationgrab bars in the bathroom

Room Design

The layout of each room depends on what type of mobility device is being used. Those who are using a power scooter have much different clearance requirements than those who are using traditional wheelchairs. Once you finally decide on a particular device, you will then need to tinker with the layout of each room until there is enough space between the furniture to comfortably turn around.

An Ergonomic Kitchen

The kitchen is another area where many people must spend a little extra time and energy in order to make them as accessible as possible. To turn the wheelchair or scooter around, most kitchens must have a clearance of at least four or five feet between all of the cabinets and counters. Lazy Susans are a great investment, and these inexpensive devices will make your pantries and cabinets much more functional. Moving the appliances and switches is a slightly more difficult project that almost always requires assistance from a certified electrician or contractor. Those who like to cook their own food might benefit from installing lower workspaces such as drop leaf shelves.

Stairs

Figuring out a solution for the stairs could be the most difficult part of your renovation. There are many devices on the market that are designed specifically to help disabled users go up and down the stairs, but they can be a major investment. You might want to rearrange the rooms of your home so that whoever is using the wheelchair can sleep, eat, and bathe downstairs. If you have extra money to invest into your home, then you can have a swiveling lift installed alongside the stairway.

Even if you do not plan on carrying out all of these projects immediately, you should still start making at least a few changes as soon as possible. Minor alterations and upgrades such as entrance ramps and safety bars will create an environment that is much more comfortable and ergonomic for those who have any disabilities.

Home Remodeling – from House to Home Sweet Home

Renovating a home is one of the nicest projects in the world – it means you’re financially stable and willing to make your living space more comfortable and enjoyable. However, it can also be quite stressful. Not knowing what you want to achieve or not being sure if your ideas will work can make renovation harder than it should be. It’s important to have a clear vision of what you wish to achieve, while an open and honest communication between clients and contractors is a must. Here are some of the things all good renovations have to include and a few to avoid.

Home Remodeling – from House to Home Sweet Home

Having an Image in Your Head

Knowing your needs and desires is essential for a successful renovation. Since clients already know their homes the best, it’s always good to start with their pitch and listen to their input and feedback. Nevertheless, absolute freedom is sometimes counterproductive – they might want to change too many things or, alternatively, simply not know what they want.

No matter how precise clients’ ideas are, they need to remember that some concepts can’t be achieved. Unless they want to tear down every wall and start from scratch, of course. Therefore, both clients and designers need to be flexible, especially when it comes to the budget. Having a vision is quite all right, but reality is something completely else.

Hiring a Professional or Two

Before starting a home renovation project, every client needs to figure out whether they want to do it alone or hire a professional. Small renovations – laying new kitchen tiles or installing wall-mounted toilets – can be done by basically anyone who can handle a hammer and power tools, but more complexed tasks shouldn’t. Except if you’re a pro.

Some of the people clients need to consult are architects, interior designers and decorators, and all of them offer new and unique insights into the matter. However, no renovation should begin without talking to trustworthy home improvement contractors as they’ll basically be the ones doing all the actual work. Having contractors inspect a client’s home is an essential part of the process and no client should skip this step.

home improvement contractor

Think Fast!

Once clients decide their home needs remodeling, there are a number of decisions to make – who to consult, who to hire, which colors to choose, which materials to buy and what’s the budget? The problem with most clients is that they take too much time to answer these questions and thus delay the work. Hence, it’s best to think about these things beforehand and make firm decisions as soon as possible.

Another problem with clients is that they change their minds too often – from altering the color of the bedroom walls to changing the pattern of the drapes and everything in between. It’s quite understandable to have second thoughts, but too many changes hurt the project and affect the schedule.

Purchasing Wrong/Cheap Material

There are two problems with clients purchasing the material on their own: they don’t know what’s good and also have a tendency to opt for cheaper choices. And that’s one of the worst things they can do – never try to save money on this part of the project! Otherwise, you’ll end up with faulty material that will, consequently, produce faulty results. Therefore, it’s always better to consult contractors when purchasing material or trying to save bigger amounts of money where it’s possible.

The End Result

If they follow these tips and study remodeling do’s and don’ts, clients will definitely be more informed about what they should and shouldn’t do when renovating their home. Ultimately, they’ll be able to do plenty with the space they have and turn an average home into something quite luxurious.

Guest Post By:

Stacey CooperStacey Cooper is an business consultant and a blogger with genuine love for decor, creativity and home improvementShe enjoys spending time in nature with her husband, writing  and learning about other cultures by travelling

3 Reasons Your Bathroom Should Be The First Thing You Remodel

The bathroom is likely the busiest room in the home. Everyone needs to use it at some point whether they are taking a shower or simply getting dressed to begin the day or get ready for bed. This is only one of the reasons as to why the bathroom should be the first area of the home that you remodel.

3 Reasons Your Bathroom Should Be The First Thing You Remodel

Getting A New Look

If your home is like most, then the bathroom doesn’t really get a lot of attention aside from the occasional sweeping, mopping and other cleaning. If the home is older, then the bathroom is likely outdated and needs a makeover. You can remove the toilet to add one that uses less water along with a new shower so that you have a comfortable place to stand while washing. Another idea is to remove the tub and install one that has a jet system so that you can relax after a long day. A sparkling bathroom with new decorations and better lighting often means that you’ll feel more comfortable while being in the room at any time of the day. After the bathroom is remodeled, then it will give you a room that is functional while the rest of the house is being updated.

Calling The Professionals

Whether you’re changing the tile on the floor or changing out the shower to include a sliding door, you want to get professional help, like the professionals at Callier Thompson Kitchen & Bath, if you aren’t sure what you’re doing in the bathroom. When the bathroom is at the top of the list of rooms to be remodeled, then it gives the contractor time to get the other rooms completed without rushing as the bathroom is the smallest room and will usually take the least amount of time. A professional will be able to quickly do any of the plumbing, electricity and flooring that you need to have done so that you can work on ideas for the rest of the home before approaching the contractor with your thoughts.

It Needs To Stay Open

The bathroom is a room that doesn’t need to be out of commission for a long time, so it’s best to knock out the remodeling project as soon as you can. You don’t want to have the room blocked off so that no one can use the toilet or the tub. If there is another bathroom in the home, then it will help, but you want to make sure as many of the updates are done as soon as you can complete them so that no one is inconvenienced.

Your bathroom is likely the smallest space in the home, but it’s the most important. It has the tools for staying clean and making sure proper hygiene is maintained for all ages. When you’re completing remodeling projects, you want to start with this room first as it usually doesn’t take as long, and you want to make sure that everyone is comfortable while taking care of personal matters.

Are you thinking about remodeling your bathroom?  If so, give us a call at 914-576-2572 for a free estimate!

How To Convert a Garage Into a Room While You Can Still Park A Car

There are so many ideas on how to convert your garage into a room while you can still park, assuming you have a two car garage. The question is, what type of room are you aiming to add? Is it a guest room? Or a work space instead? How about a gym or a playroom for the kids? So many reasons to add space, right? Garage conversion actually depends on the size and layout of your garage but if your garage is just like the typical garages out there, then here are a few ideas on how to convert your garage while you can still park your car:

How To Convert a Garage Into a Room While You Can Still Park A Car

Kids Playroom

If ever you decide to convert your garage to a kids’ playroom, then organization would be the best solution. You can organize your garage into zones so you’d know where your stuff is. Since you’ll be taking the other half of your garage for the kids, don’t forget to child proof it. There’s lots of child proof equipment that you can install and don’t forget to insulate the room as well. Make sure not to leave your car idle in the garage to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Personal Gym

Is physical fitness important to you? Do you want a personal gym all year round? You can definitely turn your garage into one! Again, organization is the key especially if you have lots of gym equipment. A horizontal slat wall system can organize your sports gear and you can use utility bins for small items. Hooks can be used for hanging some items like your bike or your hockey bag perhaps. If you have ample ceiling space, you can install overhead racks for some of the items that you need stored. Since this will be your workout space, a cold, concrete floor is not an option. You can install a high quality Floortex Coating. Not only does it look like a professional gym but it keeps you insulated too.

Guest Room

Do you want an extra room for guests or your in-laws perhaps? Half of your garage can be the perfect space for that extra room. Organization is still the key and insulation. Insulation is a must since you’ll be turning this into a room. You don’t want them sleeping in the cold right? There are lots of cheap items that you can buy that still look elegant and posh. You don’t really have to spend much since raising the floor for insulation is already costly enough. You also need to decide if you’d be adding an extra bathroom. If you’re really low on budget and can’t afford to install another one, just make sure that the extra room has access to your house.

Home Office

Let’s say you have a one car garage but you really need a home office to work. One solution is to put your home office at the top of your garage. Yup! By adding another floor up, you can have your home office space. Before you get to work on adding an extra floor, you have to make sure that you have a very good foundation. We don’t want to risk your home office falling on top of your car. Organization is still crucial. Design your home office to be ergonomic and practical. Since adding an additional floor can be quite costly, you can still design your home office without spending too much. You just have to decide what you really need in your home office.

Living Room

Don’t have ample space for a proper living room? Do you want your dining are separated from your living room? You can actually design half of your garage to become your living room. Again, organization and insulation is very crucial in making this happen. You need to raise your concrete floor for insulation so you won’t have a cold living room. Living rooms are supposed to be cozy and inviting so you can design them to be one but you really don’t have to spend much. You have to decide though what theme you’d like in your living room. If you can’t afford to design your living room in one spending then you can start with what you have. Sometimes reupholstering your sofa is all you need rather than spending on a new one. And never forget to let the sunlight in!

There are actually lots of options to add a room in your garage. You have to remember that it’s essential that you fully understand the zoning laws in your area before you begin drawing up your plans. You can find the laws for your area by visiting your city’s website or contacting your city’s building department.

Written by Kristy Jones, the blog author of A Click Away Remotes – Garage Door Opener Remotes Blog.