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Thanksgiving, Kitchens & Entertaining

Thanksgiving has changed a lot over the years, along with major lifestyle changes. Our homes are changing too, although it’s not always clear if our houses are enabling lifestyle changes or reacting to broader changes in the world around us. People aren’t moving as much, and many more are working from home at least a few days a week.

As most people are focused on traveling plans (we’re not travel agents) and/or cooking (we’re not chefs) for the Thanksgiving feast, we thought it would be fun to use this holiday as a dry run to make sure you’re prepared for the... 

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Kitchen Updates for Entertaining

kitchen-black-white-600

Most of us look forward to the year end holidays, when we spend more time visiting with friends and family. It’s also a time when many homeowners look at their homes and wonder if they should update their flooring, light fixtures or give their kitchen a totally new look. That’s because kitchens truly have become the heart of the home, not just for family time but also for entertaining at home.

There are many ways to give your kitchen a fresh new look. You might save up for a complete kitchen remodel, or you can make smaller changes incrementally... 

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How Much Should a Kitchen Remodel Cost?

kitchen remodel budgets need to be planned in advance

The time has come to remodel your kitchen. You’ve paged through the magazines and paid a visit or two to the home center, but do you really know what to expect? When it comes to kitchen remodeling, costs add up fast. If this is your first kitchen remodel, be prepared for a little sticker shock.

We’ve gathered cost estimates to help you create a realistic plan for your kitchen. With this information, you can bring the big picture into focus, but it’s best to work with your builder/remodeler to finalize your kitchen layout & estimated pricing for the features you want.

Remodeling Kitchen... 

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Spring Exterior Maintenance Projects

In some parts of the country, spring is making an appearance. If it hasn’t shown up in your town, it will soon. That means it is time to decide what home maintenance projects you want to tackle this year. Without a doubt, there will be more projects then there will be time or budget, so you will need to prioritize.

Safety is priority one. For the most effective safety inspection try and see your house as a visitor arriving for the first time. Is your house number easy to find during different lighting? Is the path from parking spots to the... 

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Types of Contractor Estimates

there are different types of contractor estimates

There are different types of contractor estimates. Understanding how the different estimates work can make the dialog between homeowners and contractors more comfortable. Everyone has heard contractor horror stories, and there isn’t a contractor out there who doesn’t have a homeowner horror story or two … although a professional will never bad mouth a previous client to a potential client.  

The key to a successful relationship with your contractor is communication. It is crucial to establish a relationship so you feel comfortable asking questions as the project progresses.

As a homeowner you must have a good understanding of the work you are... 

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Organize The Attic Now, 4 Tips to Get Started

Organize your attic with shelves built from regular lumber

It’s time to organize the attic, and what better way to get some exercise on a cold winter day. An organized attic can save you time when searching for things, and also save you money as too often we’ll buy a duplicate of what we own because we can’t find it.  So why not take time to organize things now and save yourself headaches later. 

Start Organizing The Attic Today

There’s no better time to start than right now. Start by sorting through the stored items and make three piles, keep, toss and donate. Keep the important items, but, if you can’t... 

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Take Care When Digging a Hole

digging a hole is fun & work when it's for home repairs

You’re ready to plant some new shrubs in your backyard when a neighbor walks over and asks if you’ve checked to see where the utility lines are? You don’t know what he’s talking about – it’s your yard, and you assume you can do anything you want there but you’re wrong.

Digging that hole is not as simple as digging sand at the beach. You may own your property and control what happens above ground but utility companies have buried pipes and lines underneath your land. The lines are already there and you don’t want to damage them as you might end... 

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Alternative Energy for Tomorrow, Today?

geothermal, an alternative energy resource for heating & cooling homes

There are a few houses being built across the US that are “off grid” where they produce all of the energy they need for electricity, heating, cooling and hot water. These passive houses combine super insulation building techniques with one or more alternative energy technologies.

This article provides an overview of these emerging energy sources, the ones covered by the 2013 Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency, to motivate more homeowners to invest in energy sources that are considered renewable, meaning they are continually replenished – water, wind, the sun, the earth (geothermal) and biomass energy from energy crops like... 

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Home Warranties Provide Buyer Security

a home warranty reduces the risk of serious problems needing repairs

Home warranties make a a home more attractive to prospective buyers because they’re protected from major repairs during their first year of ownership when they’re getting familiar with their new home. Sellers will often pay for a home warranty to make their home more attractive and many homeowners maintain their warranty year-after-year to avoid worrying about replacing major home systems or appliance when required.

There are different types of home warranties depending on whether you’re buying an existing or new home. You’ll should read the fine print for any home warranty to understand what’s covered and the rules you must follow to... 

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Estimates: How Honest or Simply Sales?

estimates consider the time used to buy supplies

Remodeling and home repair estimates are a lot like store price tags on clothes. For those who only want to buy things on sale, you tend to pick the lowest price. With clothing, you may forget about the seam that splits open on the first washing or turtleneck sweaters where the elasticity doesn’t last through one season … or like me, you might recognize the problem and change where you shop for clothing.

So let me share some real stories from my experience running my businesses, as you might have one or two stories while we have lots of stories from working... 

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