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Replacement Windows & Contemporary Design

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in Home Design, Home Styling | Comments Off on Replacement Windows & Contemporary Design

Have you been considering making an upgrade to the windows in your home? If you live in a home with contemporary styling and modern architecture, you’re likely thinking about how you can best accentuate this type of design. Here are some recent trends for maintaining modern aesthetics when upgrading the windows in your home.

When looking for replacement windows, keep these design considerations in mind:

Keep It Simple

Many modern homes have windows that are clean and simple in appearance, lacking superfluous accoutrements. Windows often will have smaller frames, maximizing the viewing area while minimizing the size and appearance of the surrounding frame. Design that is minimal generally gets rid of all decorations that do not serve a specific function.

Clear Lines of Sight

Modern frames are generally thin, with a narrow and “flat” appearance. They’re often installed in pairs side by side, without anything between them. Window panes usually lack bars, grilles, and other decorations, keeping the appearance simplistic and providing a larger viewing area from inside than older styles of windows. This also allows more light to flow in from outside.

Hardware With A Point

Contemporary styles are generally clean, utilitarian, and angular in appearance. Seeing a pattern here? Clean, sharp, geometric shapes and lines are all part of modern styling, and this applies to the hardware on your windows, too. Hardware should lack busy designs or patters, and be squared off into simple geometric shapes. This provides for a sophisticated, minimal look. For an even more minimal appearance, hardware can be mounted flush along the frame to give even more of a streamlined look.

Modern Casement Windows

Modern Methods Of Operation

Many windows with contemporary designs open and close on hinges located on the sides or top of the frame, rather than sliding up and down like older windows. Not only does this maintain a clean and straightforward aesthetic, but it makes the windows very easy to use and maximizes ventilation. Windows in this style often come in the casement or awning variety, but may also come as picture windows that do not open.

Modern Materials

Modern window frames should be made from modern materials. The best contemporarily designed window frames are made from composite materials like Fibrex – which combines the great looks of wood with the durability, energy efficiency, and lack of maintenance of vinyl.

 Monochromatic Colors

Modern window frames won’t often come in classic finishes or wood grains. Keeping with the modern aesthetic, they typically come in colors like white, grey, or black. To keep a streamlined look, hardware will often be the same exact color or something complimentary like chrome or silver. This presents an overall look that is clean, sleek, and modern.

Looking for contemporary replacement windows? Ask for referrals from friends, and conduct a local search online. Just fire up your favorite web browser, visit Google, and search for the service in your area. For example, if you live in Charlotte, North Carolina, you’d type in “window replacement charlotte nc” to see local replacement window companies. Make sure to diligently research your investment, view at least a couple companies’ websites, and check out user reviews to ensure you’re making an informed decision!

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Get Your Home Ready For Winter

Posted by on Nov 8, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Get Your Home Ready For Winter

Winter is coming… Is your home ready for cold weather? Here’s a quick checklist of things you can do to make sure you and your family stay warm this winter.

  1. Make Sure Windows and Doors are Sealing Properly – This can often be overlooked, as we don’t necessarily think about the seals on our doors and windows all that often, but drafts can be a huge contributor to heat loss in your home. Make sure your doors and windows shut tightly and have a good seal around the edges to maintain comfortable temperatures in your home this winter.
  2. Have Your HVAC System Serviced – Most people don’t think about their HVAC system all that often, but it’s critical to have yours serviced before it starts getting cold out. You don’t want your heat pump to die in the middle of a snow storm when it’ll take days to get repairs. Call your local HVAC company and ask about getting a maintenance check to make sure everything is working as it should before it’s too late.
  3. When Temps Drop, Leave A Drip – If temperatures in your area are dropping below 20 degrees, it’s a good idea to leave a couple faucets in your home dripping overnight to keep the pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes can be a huge hassle to deal with, and in many cases can cause excessive water damage to your home.
  4. Bring in Plants – If you’re a plant lover, you probably already know you need to do this. Be sure to bring in any plants that you want to keep alive through the winter before the first frost hits.
  5. Winterize Boats – If you’re the seafaring type, make sure to winterize your boats if you’re not planning on taking them out during the colder months. This will ensure that your boat stays in great condition for when you plan to take it out again in the spring!
  6. Locate Your Snow Gear – If you’ve got a snowblower or snow shovels, make sure they’re accessible for the first snowfall of the year. You don’t want to have to trudge out to the shed and go looking for stuff when it’s freezing out. Keep them in the garage or nearby for the winter, and then put them back into the shed in spring.
  7. Make Sure You Have Firewood (or Gas) – Nothing is better than curling up by a warm fire when it’s freezing out. Unfortunately, fires require a little bit of planning beforehand. If you have gas logs then this isn’t as much of a concern. You’ll want to make sure your gas is filled up before any big snowstorms, but other than that you should be fine. If you have a wood stove, make sure you have plenty of firewood on hand so you aren’t caught with nothing in the middle of a snowstorm.

If you follow these steps, you’ll be comfortable and warm all winter long. Not to mention you’ll save some time and money by taking care of these things ahead of time, and your family will thank you when temperatures in your home are consistent and toasty.

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What’s Your Emergency Plan?

Posted by on Oct 19, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What’s Your Emergency Plan?

It’s essential for all homeowners to plan for various types of emergencies. You and your family should discuss emergency plans for fires, floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes. That way when disaster strikes, you are prepared to deal with it quickly.

There are a couple of different ways you can prepare for emergencies, namely getting things together to evacuate your home quickly, and putting systems in place to keep your home safe in the event of an emergency. We’ll discuss both briefly in this article.

Preparing to Evacuate

Some natural disasters require evacuation. It’s as simple as that. Obviously, we’d all rather stay put in times of emergency, but for large weather events like hurricanes or flooding, it may not be feasible to stay put. You could be putting yourself at serious risk if you choose not to follow evacuation orders from the state, local, or federal government.

Many people put together what’s called a “bug-out bag” with various essentials ready to go in the event of an emergency. These bags should include:

  • Some amount of cash
  • Flashlight or glow sticks
  • A change of clothes
  • A space blanket
  • Bottles of water
  • A phone charger (battery powered if possible)
  • A knife
  • A list of important phone numbers in case your phone dies
  • First Aid Kit
  • A lighter
  • Sleeping bag
  • Copies of Medical records and birth certificates for everyone in the family
  • Map of your area

You may want to add or remove various items from the kit, but this is a basic list that should function for most evacuation situations. Generally, it is expected that you will be able to get to shelter fairly quickly. If it seems that you will not be able to get to shelter quickly you may want to bring additional supplies, especially food.

Luckily, this kind of emergency is rare. For most emergencies, you’ll be able to stay in the comfort of your home, but you might want to take some extra precautions.

Readying Your Home for an Emergency

There are many different things you can do ready your home for a natural disaster. Preparedness, in part, comes down to research, so it’s a good idea to find out how often your area experiences natural disasters to determine how much you need to prepare.

Here are some ways you can prep your home for a disaster:

  • Install a Whole House Generator: This one seems obvious, but many people don’t think to have a generator put in until after an emergency. Call your local generator installation company, like H.O. Feild Electric Co, and see what deals they’re offering on whole house generators. These will automatically turn on in the event of a power outage and keep your family safe and comfortable until the power comes back.
  • Keep Sandbags On Hand: Sandbags are a cheap and effective way to keep flooding at bay. Keep enough sandbags around to be able to firmly cover the bottoms of any doors that are at ground level and susceptible to flooding. This will help to keep floodwaters at bay in many situations.
  • Keep a Stock of Non-Perishables: Keeping your pantry stocked with enough canned goods to make it through an emergency is always a good idea. If your power goes out and you don’t have a generator, you want to make sure you have enough food to keep you and your family fed for at least several days. If you can find non-perishable food that doesn’t require cooking that’s always a plus, though a small camp stove can be useful for heating up canned soups and similar food items.
  • Keep Flashlights and Extra Batteries Around: Always have a stash of emergency supplies that includes battery powered flashlights and lanterns.
  • Make Window Covers: If you have plenty of storage space and live in an area that’s prone to high winds, you can easily create window covers out of 2x4s and particle board that you can cut to fit in your window spaces. Then you can pop them in whenever a hurricane or high winds are forecasted to protect your windows through the storm.

There are a multitude of things you can do to prepare your house for various weather emergencies or other disasters. Some of your preparation will depend on where you live and what kind of natural disasters are common in your area. Obviously, preparation for a hurricane is totally different than prep for a tornado. So take the time to research what you need to be prepared for in your area, and make the necessary arrangements to make sure your family and your home stay safe during emergencies and disasters.

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Dealing with Pet Stains in Your Home

Posted by on Sep 13, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dealing with Pet Stains in Your Home

Pets are wonderful, but no matter how good they are, all pets have their little accidents now and then.  When those accidents happen on your carpet or hardwood floors, they can cause lasting damage if not dealt with properly.

Pet urine, if left to sit, can not only stain your carpets or hardwood floors, but will also seep into your padding and subfloor. In addition, the odor left behind will encourage your pet (or pets as the case may be) to resoil the same area in a continued effort to maintain it as “their territory” which can lead to serious and lasting damage to your flooring.

Simple and Effective Home Remedies

Vinegar and Baking Soda – Who knew that this standard elementary school science experiment could help lift pet stains out of your carpet? The trick to this one is the bubbles created by the chemical reaction, which penetrate into the fibers of your carpet and break up stains and odor molecules. All you have to do is pour enough vinegar on the stain to soak it, and then add a helping of baking soda on top. You should hear it bubbling up and starting to dissolve the stain. Let it sit overnight for the best effects, we usually put something over the spot so baking soda doesn’t get tracked all over the house. Once it’s been left to sit for a day or so, wipe up any any excess that you can get with a paper towel and vacuum up the rest. Your carpet should look good as new!

Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda – This works basically the same way as vinegar and baking soda. Pour enough hydrogen peroxide on the stain to completely soak it and then sprinkle deodorizing baking soda on top and let it sit. After it has absorbed most of the stain, wipe up the excess and vacuum up whatever is left after that. Easy peasy!

Citrus Enzyme Cleaner – This one is a little bit different, and takes some time to prepare. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 7 tbsps brown sugar
  • 5 cups of lemon and orange peels
  • 1 liter of water
  • A bottle to hold it all

Mix the ingredients together and give it a good shake. Loosen the cap a little bit to release pressure so the bottle won’t explode while it sits. The solution takes about 3 months to become fully incorporated, but when it’s finished it works just like the other solutions. Spray onto the affected area and let it sit for a little while. Blot it up with paper towels until dry. The enzymes in the citrus peels work to break down urine crystals, destroying stains and odors.

What If Those Don’t Work?

If you find that none of the home remedies are working on your pet-related stains, it might be time to pull out the big guns. Home remedies are most effective on fresh spots, but what happens when you don’t find a problem spot until well after it has happened. Chances are your animals have been using the same spot for a while, and the stain is crusty and ground in at this point.

To take care of more advanced stains, we recommend using a professional carpet cleaning service, such as Palmetto Chem-Dry, to remove the stains as well as the odor. Trained professionals have the know-how to peel up a part of your carpet and check the padding and subfloor for further staining, odor, or in serious cases, mold and rot. They have specialized equipment and cleaning solutions that are specifically designed to break down odor-causing urine crystals and remove them from your carpet, padding, and subfloor.  In serious cases, this may be the only way to fully remove odors and staining related to pet accidents.

Pet accidents in the house are certainly a nuisance, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. With these homemade remedies you should be able to deal with the majority of pet stains, and if those don’t work you can always fall back on calling a professional. When dealing with pet stains on oriental rugs or specialty area rugs, you should always default to calling a professional, as home remedies can sometimes make dyes run or fade, forever damaging your expensive specialty rugs.

I hope these tips have been helpful, and I wish you the best of luck dealing with your next pet stain!

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Kitchen Refinishing – Cabinets, Sinks, & More!

Posted by on Aug 23, 2017 in Home Design, Home Styling, Kitchen Design | Comments Off on Kitchen Refinishing – Cabinets, Sinks, & More!

Kitchen Refinishing – Cabinets, Sinks, & More!

Deciding on whether or not to fully renovate your home’s kitchen can be a grueling decision. When you have to factor in your budget, the materials you want to use, and the final look and design you want to achieve, it can become a major process that is an extreme hassle. In many cases, a complete kitchen renovation is not the appropriate choice for a new look, and it could be better achieved with a simple refinishing process. Many families are unaware of the option for a wood renewal or refinish to get a new, revitalized kitchen, but it is a significantly cheaper, and just as high-quality, experience.

When you are looking to flip a home, or just want to breathe some life into an older-styled room, a full wood refinishing process can be just the thing you’re looking for. Affordable for many, and a significantly cheaper alternative to traditional renovations and overhauls, a refinishing experience makes an older home look brand new. The process is simple, and depending on who you choose to complete the refinish, can be completed in the same day, with no waiting on cabinets to dry.

N-Hance Augusta Aiken Cabinets

There are many options and companies that specialize in fast, high-quality wood refinishing, such as N-Hance of Augusta/Aiken. My family down south used them for their entire set of kitchen cabinets, and the work came out absolutely amazing. There was no difference between the quick refinishing process that N-Hance used and a traditional renovation process. The cabinets looked great!

Wood refinishing can encompass many different options that you may be looking for, such as changing the colors of your cabinets, bring more gloss and shine to your cabinets, or fixing and repairing cracked or worn cabinets.

One of the biggest things you can do to revitalize your kitchen area and improve the overall aesthetics and design is a cabinet color shift. This either darkens or lightens the color of your cabinets, which can be the perfect compliment to a granite counter top or similarly-colored kitchen appliances.

Whatever option you decide to pursue, it’s extremely important that you take the time to thoroughly research the company you choose for your kitchen makeover. Whether you want to go with a traditional, more expensive kitchen renovation, or use a more affordable alternative such as a wood refinishing process, this tip stays the same. Do your research, and look at previous customers’ reviews on how the company handled their experience from start to finish.

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