How to Pimp Out Your Grown-Up Toolbox

How to Pimp Out Your Grown-Up Toolbox


Don’t you think it’s about time you learned the difference between a flathead and a phillips?  Did we mention how much easier it is to hang a picture when you’ve got a level?


What to look for: A small torpedo level can handle most household projects (like hanging a picture or mounting a shelf); look for a magnetized model that’s easy to read. Got visions of more serious jobs, like laying a new floor? Opt for a 2- to 4-foot one.

Why you’ll (learn) to love it: You’ll spend less time eyeballing and more listening to your partner making jokes about being “well hung.” Do you need any better reasons?

Get more tips for your toolbox at

This is a good article to get you started on updating your current toolbox.  No home owner should be without a fully equipped tool box with a few high quality tools!

Bathroom Remodel Pictures

Sexy Bathroom Remodel Pictures: The Mandate Was Simple…

Sexy Bathroom Remodel Pictures: The Mandate Was Simple...
Copyright Jason Ball

” My request to industry home remodeling pros: “Got a sexy bathroom remodel picture you want to share with the world?” Their answer: “You want sexy? I’ve got sexy.”

There is nothing worse than a bathroom remodel that looks like it could be found in a gas station–a condition far more prevalent than you might think. Bathroom remodels are meant to be lush and luxe. So, for your perusal, we offer bathroom remodel pictures meant to be ogled over. Portland, OR interior designer Jason Ball kicks things off…”  Click here to see more of these amazing bathroom remodel pictures!

By , Guide

Creativity blooms in this season’s floral decor

Daring creativity blooms in this season's floral decorA little black dress, a great pair of jeans and a leather jacket – some styles never go out of fashion. Some elements of home decor share that same sense of timelessness, and none more so than a simple floral theme.

“Flowers are always fashionable, stylish and on-trend,” says Dani Nichols, a trend-watcher for home decor website “Whether you’re looking for just the right touch of elegance and life for patterned upholstery or modern floral murals to make an accent wall pop, flowers are always appropriate.”

Nichols points to hot trends in floral decor this spring and summer:

Floral walls 

“Flowers have always inspired paint makers to create colors that pay homage to both the boldness and the delicacy of floral inspirations,” Nichols says. This year, paint manufacturers are offering a diverse palette of floral-inspired colors, from dusty roses and iris blues, buttercup yellow and daisy white, to frothy lilac and popping peony.

Floral wallpaper and floral murals are also great ways to incorporate flowers into a room’s decor. A subtle pattern of small, delicate flowers can create a gentle, peaceful feeling in a room. Or, go bold with an accent mural that depicts a single, showy bloom. You can find a plethora of floral options online at websites like


One of the most enjoyable ways to decorate with florals – cut flowers – is also one of the most fleeting. Few beautiful things are as short-lived as cut flowers. This season, look for cut flower designs to trend toward sustainability, as everyone looks for ways to get more enjoyment from their flowers for longer.

While adding the packet of plant food will help keep a florist’s bouquet alive as long as possible, there’s more everyone can do to make their displays more eco-friendly. Look for more florists to use biodegradable packing products, compost their leftovers and choose seasonal blooms that don’t require long-distance shipping.

Daring pairings 

When you think of floral design, you probably envision bright, rich hues paired with background neutrals. This year, however, florals are going daring, mixing in metallic accents, and deep, saturated purples and blues that almost appear black. A touch of silver or gold matched with pure white creates an upscale, classic effect. A dash of bronze or copper married with vibrant yellows or blues is an unexpected and delightful decorating twist.

And while bright or light colors are as intrinsic to floral decor as the background greenery, dark blooms impart an almost mystical aura, whether the hue is natural or dyed. You’ll see these daring pairings pop up everywhere from throw pillows to centerpieces, this year.

Nichols also predicts designers will continue to experiment with combinations of floral patterns. “Long gone is the conventional wisdom that if you had one bold floral pattern in a room, you couldn’t do more,” she says. “It’s perfectly alright to experiment with one floral pattern on the drapes and a complementary – or even competing – one on accent pillows.”

“Few decorating themes afford the timelessness and flexibility of florals,” Nichols adds.

Adding or upgrading a deck can transform your backyard into an oasis

Adding or upgrading a deck can transform your backyard into an oasisA home is a place of comfort and relaxation. Many homeowners are now taking to the outdoors and making this space an extension of the dream home they’ve always wanted.

One way to transform a house into a dream home is by utilizing the outdoor space with the addition of a new deck or improvements to an existing deck. A deck creates the perfect backyard oasis to escape the stresses of a busy lifestyle, to enjoy the outdoors, grill out, have a party or simply relax. With a deck, a couple can celebrate with friends, children can play outside and parents can retire in comfort.

Many alternative decking choices are available for homeowners seeking high-quality materials with low-maintenance features. Choosing to go with alternative decking materials helps homeowners save money and have more time to spend outdoors enjoying time together. While composite products will need occasional cleaning, they don’t need the sanding, staining, sealing or painting that wood decks require.

There are many choices for deck designs, materials and colors that can make choosing a dream deck a little overwhelming. But deck design tools like those found at TimberTech can help ease the deck design process without having to leave the house.

For example, TimberTech’s product selector can help homeowners determine which alternative decking material works best for their lifestyle. Families with children, pets or even special needs equipment like wheelchairs will be interested in the products offered by TimberTech that can easily withstand high traffic volumes without showing scratches or wear. These products will maintain their good looks and durability in the years to come with minimum cleaning and maintenance.

Online design tools help homeowners envision the perfect colors that match the house and find environmentally friendly decking and railing products. Some homeowners are interested in a clean appearance by using hidden fasteners or railing systems with no exposed hardware, while others pursue a more economical approach to picking the perfect decking. Railing systems provide additional safety and style while lighting options help homeowners illuminate their space for extended time on the deck once the sun has set.

The beauty of composite decking – in addition to the multitude of color and material options – is that it’s fully customizable to whatever style or look is wanted for the deck. Homeowners can opt for a deck and railing design all in one color to perfectly blend in with the house, or can go the contrasting route to make the deck a unique design feature to beautify the backyard.

Decks can be both practical and stylish, which is why many homeowners looking to enhance the look and the value of their home and increase their living space consider replanking an existing wooden deck or adding a new deck. Composite decking products provide many different style options and allow homeowners to enjoy their deck without annual sanding, staining, sealing or painting. To get started on planning a new deck or upgrading your current deck, visit

Give grass a fresh start this spring

Give grass a fresh start this springGrass is an extraordinary plant, the unsung hero of backyards everywhere. With proper care and feeding, grass can help clean the air, cool the ground, reduce erosion and provide one of the softest outdoor play surfaces. With all of these amazing benefits, it pays to start the spring season off right by giving grass a boost.

Moderate temperatures and increased precipitation in spring are perfect for repairing, seeding and feeding grass. Well-nourished grass withstands harsh conditions better, and provides a lush, durable place to play while squeezing out unwanted weeds by blocking access to sunlight. Follow these tips to take your grass from tired to terrific.

Fill in bare or thin spots with grass seed to encourage a thick lawn, helping prevent weeds from invading your lawn by blocking access to sunlight. Use a high-quality seed appropriate for your region, like Scotts EZ Seed to fill in thin spots and thicken the lawn. To repair larger areas, use Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed with WaterSmart coating.

Grass needs nutrients to grow strong, deep roots that can endure harsh conditions and grow in thick to help block access to sunlight for weeds. If the lawn does not need reseeding, use a high-quality lawn food like Scotts Turf Builder. This lawn food can be used in any season on any grass type, and delivers balanced nutrients for strong, thick grass. Use a starter fertilizer when planting new grass to promote root growth and seedling development.

When seeding or feeding, use Scotts DLX EdgeGuard Broadcast Spreader for larger areas to direct lawn food only where desired – on the lawn and off hard surfaces – and out of storm sewers. This spreader combines the accuracy of a drop spreader with the speed of a rotary spreader.

Set your mower at the highest setting and leave grass clippings on the lawn. Mow frequently to avoid removing more than one third of the grass height, and do so when grass is dry to avoid damp clumps that could smother grass. Leaving clippings on the lawn recycles nutrients stored in the clippings keeping the soil cooler, encouraging deeper root growth and enriching the soil with organic material.

Keep these simple mowing tips in mind every time you head out to trim the grass: Mow your grass at the highest setting, keep grass clippings on the lawn and water only when needed.

Grass that is fed and kept at a taller height develops deep roots which are better able to conserve water and withstand periods of heat and drought. Rely on rainfall as the primary source of water. During periods of drought, the lawn can go without water for an extended time. Even though the lawn may look brown and wilted, it will recuperate after the rain returns. If you do choose to irrigate the lawn, water less frequently for a longer period of time rather than short frequent waterings.

These tips for a great lawn will provide a foundation for a fun-filled summer in your own backyard. For more information on seeding and feeding this spring, visit

Hyper Smash

Want to sell your home fast?

Tips for helping your home stand out in a buyers’ market

Want to sell your home fast? Tips for helping your home stand out in a buyers' market If you have decided to sell your home, the last thing you want is for it to sit on the market for a long time. Taking some home improvement steps before listing can make your house more attractive to potential buyers and put you in a better position to sell quickly.
So what do you need to do to ensure that listing your house floods your real estate agent’s office with showing requests?

1. Spiff up the entranceway 
Every interested buyer will enter through your front door. Have you looked at your entranceway with a critical eye lately? Consider replacing old or sagging screens. If your front door is dirty or scratched, clean it up or add a fresh coat of paint. Sweep away dirt and grime and set out a new entrance mat. Oil any squeaky hinges. If you have plants or shrubbery leading up to your home, make sure that they are trimmed appropriately. A manicured landscape leading up to a welcoming front door will portray the positive experience of living there. An ugly or dirty entranceway can turn away buyers before they enter your house, meaning even if your home has the most amazing interiors, their minds may already be made up.

2. Create an outdoor oasis by detailing your deck 
Today’s buyer isn’t just interested in the inside of a home, but the outdoor space as well. Taking your deck or patio from drab to fab may only require adding a couple of stylistic extras. Start by adding beautiful deck and fence post caps like Deckorators VersaCaps to create a polished, upscale look for your outdoor space. These one-size-fits-all caps have nested inserts that are compatible with wood, composite and vinyl posts, and come in a variety of colors. Next, add unique decorative fascia corners that stylishly adorn deck skirting and cover unsightly corner joints. These new decorative fascia corners come in two designs and install quickly with screws.

3. Add outdoor extras for safety and style 
Additions that are both beautiful and useful get noticed by potential buyers. Railings can add style to your deck, porch, patio or stairs, plus they add a safety element to your home. Deckorators CXT Railing is the perfect choice because you get to choose from a variety of rail and baluster combos that emulate the look of real painted wood and are ultra low-maintenance for long-term durability and strength. Another addition to consider is LED lighting that makes a home stand out at dusk and provides just the right amount of light so outdoor space can safely be enjoyed any time of day.

4. Add modern colors to interior walls 
Cracked paint or dated wall colors are sure to turn off buyers. For a small price, you can purchase plaster and several cans of paint to refresh dated looking rooms for a clean, modern feel. Not sure what paint colors are on-trend? Visit your local paint or hardware store for insight. Remember, it’s best to avoid anything too bold, so even if you love fire truck red, pick a shade a little more demure so you attract the most potential buyers.

5. Reduce clutter for clean, minimalist rooms
If you’ve ever visited a house that’s been staged, you know that it helps buyers envision what they might do with the room. To follow this example, you’ll want to make sure that you eliminate all clutter, clean up drawers and closets, stow away extra items like pillows and blankets, and reduce the amount of personal photography you display. Remember, you want buyers to visualize themselves in your home, not see your last family portrait and feel out of place.

Always keep in mind that you want to paint a picture for buyers of the wonderful life they can have if they purchase your home. If they have a good first impression and can envision their family enjoying each room in the house, they are going to want to submit a bid fast.

Housebound in America

House Bound in America, Remodel Your House to get the Home You Want“Staying put it is far closer to the American tradition of the family home as being part of what a family is.”

There are over 80 million single-family homes in America, and it’s estimated that 18 million of these are “under water,” where the mortgage is larger than the value of the house. Millions of families feel trapped, living a life sentence of domestic frustration in homes that do not work for them but unable to move to solve the problems they confront on a daily basis.  Please click here to continue reading…

Article courtesy of Staying Put, Remodel Your House to Get the Home you want 

Winterize Your Home

Winterize your homeThere are quite a few ways to make your home more energy efficient thus saving on your home heating bills. I will start with some of the simplest and least expensive ones.

1. Check your doors for drafts – If any light can be seen around the perimeter of your door(s) you know that air is getting in – Install Weather stripping found at any local hardware store.

2. Check all receptacles and add insulation mats under the receptacle plate.

3. Check your attic for proper insulation. Peek under the floor boards to see if you have any, and if you do check to see if it was installed properly. Remember on all insulation whether it be foil backed or paper backed the side with the backing should always be facing the heated area. So in your attic that means the fiberglass should be facing up and the backing down towards the house.

Make sure that you choose the right insulation for your job, If the floor joist are2″x6″ you need R-19, If they are 2″x8″ You need R-25, 2″x10″ – R-30, 2″x12″ – R-38.
If your going to insulate the bays in between your rafters make sure you use Styrofoam insulation baffles to allow free flow of air between the insulation and the roof to extend the life of your roof.

4. Check your windows- If they are the old single pane type of windows you may want to upgrade to the more modern insulated double paned glass windows, and even better yet add Low E and Argon gas for a much more energy efficient window, and you may also qualify for a Energy Star Tax Rebate If they extend the Rebate into 2012.

5. The Highest ticket item on this list is your boiler. They make high efficiency gas boilers now that can save you as much as 40% on your heating bills. You may also qualify for a rebate from the government and Con Edison for a Rebate if you install one of these high efficiency boilers. Call con Edison and ask for details, they will also come out and do an inspection of your house to see where you can save on your energy bill.

Give us a call so we can help make your home more energy efficient!  914-576-2572


A Sunroom Addition Lets You Bring the Outdoors In

Sunroom-DesignsThere’s little doubt that we love our homes, but there are times when virtually everyone feels a bit boxed in. Perhaps we’ve outgrown our home, or maybe it just feels a bit dark and claustrophobic.

For whatever reason, there are times when it would just feel good to bring extra light and airiness to our homes. Although the popularity of sunrooms has waxed and waned over the years, most people think of a sunroom as an aluminum structure that lets all of the heat out in the winter and turns into an oven in the summer.

New Materials for Better Sunrooms
Well, times have changed, and so have the materials used to build sunrooms. These days, homeowners are increasingly choosing sunrooms that use vinyl-wood composite for the framing and high-quality windows from the floor to the ceiling. The result? Well, there aren’t any unsightly screws or fasteners on the walls or around the windows; instead, lovely trim and moldings provide the finishing touches. Plus, the energy efficiency is unbeatable.

A typical aluminum-framed sunroom is between 10 percent below EPA requirements for habitable structures. In contrast, a special wood-composite sunroom average 25 percent better than EPA codes. This means that, for example, if you live in a state like Texas, your sunroom is usable year-round and won’t cause your energy bills to soar. Plus, the cost of building a sunroom out of these new materials is about that of an aluminum sunroom—and decidedly less than an all-out remodel.

Conservatories: A Step Beyond
If you think you’d enjoy the comfort and relaxation of a sunroom, conservatories put your home into a class all by itself. Sometimes called a solarium, a conservatory often becomes the most used room in a home. Mahogany conservatories are gorgeous, and typically are available in a variety of roof styles, including Windsor, Georgian, and Victorian.

Dressing Up Your Patio

Many homeowners have nice patios but simply don’t use them. Often, it’s just too darned hot to have the sun beating down on you. If that’s the case, then it’s easy to dress up your patio with a patio enclosure, a patio cover, or an arbor. Enclosing or covering your patio gives you that much more living space and enables you to truly enjoy your backyard.

Finding the Right Company

Whether you want a sunroom, a solarium, or a patio enclosure, it’s important to find a company you can rely on. Make sure that all materials and labor are backed by a 100 percent lifetime transferable warranty, which will be attractive to buyers if you ever sell your home.

Moreover, the company you choose should provide you with a buyer’s guide, a contractor’s evaluation sheet, and design options before you buy. The best companies even offer a 3D architectural rendering so that you will know what your room will look like. 
 Contact us today so we can talk about how we can transform YOUR home with a beautiful sunroom, solarium or patio enclosure addition!

A sunroom or conservatory is a wonderful way to breathe new life into your home. So let the sun shine in!

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