Category: home improvement

Tips to Increase Your Home’s Value

Increasing your homes value is easier than you think. With these tips and tricks, your home will be worth more in no time!daves house

Plan Your Remodel

Have a plan. Whether it’s new construction or an older home, impulse decisions are never a good idea. Start slowly. It’s a work in progress, not a race. Make a list of the things you want to change and categorize them according to cost. Once you’ve done that, narrow it down to the “must haves” and the “wants,” keeping your budget in mind as well as what ones will add actually value to your home. The rest you can work when you have some spare cash.

Take On One Room At A Time

Whether it’s a simple coat of paint or gutting an entire room, taking on one room at makes things attainable and get’s things done! This way the rest of the house still functions instead of living in complete disorder.

Small Improvements Can Really Pay Off

Homeowners are usually torn between making decorative changes or upgrades. I say do a little of both. Make two lists. One for upgrades and the other for decor. Pick some from each list, the ones that fit your budget and go with them. Add something from alternating lists say every other month. Whether it’s new hardware, a new faucet, new window treatments or a new lamp, over time you will see an increase in your enjoyment of the home and in it’s value!

Clean Your House

Everyone loves a clean house. People can tell a lot about you by how you keep your home. Take one room at a time. Organize and throw out anything that you don’t want/need anymore. By cleaning your house one room at a time you accomplish many things. First, you are able to spot and stay on top of any maintenance issues. Second, you don’t allow dirt and clutter to build up over time. Third and most important, a clean home is healthier and better for your family!

Curb Appeal

Take a walk around the neighborhood. Take note of all of the things you admire about your neighbors homes. Things that make them feel warm and welcoming. When you get back, stand in the road and look at your house. Does it have any of those qualities you liked? If not, change it. Paint the door, add a flower bed, some new light fixtures maybe? Whatever you saw around the neighborhood that you liked. Whatever you do to improve your home’s curb appeal will increase the value of your home.

The Kitchen

Paint the walls a different color. Sounds simple but it makes a world of difference. Maybe paint the cabinets instead or try a different finish on them. If that’s too much try swapping out the hardware. Maybe add a tile back splash* or redo your counter tops.* Add stainless steel appliances or an island. The possibilities are endless.

*For ideas on faux finishes on counter tops and for tile back splash ideas, see some of our previous blogs for step by step videos

Bathroom

As we’ve already covered, keep it clean. The bathroom is the first place to get grime and mold so stay on top of it. Nothing looks worse than that! Try adding a new vanity. The big hardware stores carry box sets now. They come with the vanity, sink and matching mirror. They have several different choices and they are all very reasonable in price. Add an upgraded faucet and it will look like you spent a fortune. You could use the same faux granite technique we discussed earlier on your old vanity. Changing out lighting make a huge difference. If you want to really pamper yourself, install heated towel holders and a toilet seat. Now that’s living!

Pay Down Your Principle 

Before we go there is one more thing to increase value on your home and that is pay down the principle. You don’t have to go crazy but a little extra here and there can make a huge difference in the end. Also look into refinancing. When and if the market changes, so will the rates. Take advantage of lower rates but be careful of the fine print. You don’t want to get into something that could be worse in the long run

Well that’s it for now. Whether you plan to sell or retire in your home, these tips will help you get the most enjoyment and investment out of your home!

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Hardwood Repairs

We’ve all experienced it. Whether it’s on a wood floor or furniture, scratches happen! While some of them can be more serious and need professional help, the minor ones you can do yourself. Here’s how…

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Wax Sticks

These are often found in floor care kits. If not it can be purchased at a local hardware store and applied with a Q-Tip.  Make sure not to over apply as you may see it in the right lighting.

Stain Pens

These can be found at most stores. Find the closest color and apply either with the pen itself or again with a Q-Tip or even a smaller paint brush.

Floor repair kits

For larger scratches, they sell a product made of plastic thermo polymers. These can be melted down (melting gun included in kit) and patched into the floor. They come in several shade and can even be mixed to get a shade closest to your own

Redo the floor

There are some example where patching just isn’t an option. Whether its pet stains, different finishes or just a larger damaged area, sanding is going to have to take place. You can try to re stain a darker color but some damages like pet stains will still show through. You can try it yourself but this is where you might want to call a professional. Redoing a hardwood floor is always more work than it seems.

Worst comes to worse, throw a rug over it!

I know it sounds like an easy way out but sometimes easiest and cheapest IS the way to go. Last week I had a new refrigerator delivered. As they were sliding it into place, they made significant damage right in the middle of my kitchen floor. While I work out the details of how and who is going to fix this problem, I decided to throw a rug over it for now and you know what? It’s not so bad. It at least makes it tolerable until I can get it fixed and no one else knows its there. As they say, “Out of sight, out of mind.”

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Counter Top Transformation

Last week we showed you how to tile a back splash. But if you have a counter top that you’re unhappy with, why even bother? So this week we are showing you how to transform your counter tops on a budget. Everyone loves the look of granite but not everyone loves the price. Here is a great alternative to update the look of your counter tops and transform your kitchen. It’s pretty simple and the results are amazing!

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STOP ICE DAMS IN THEIR TRACKS

Ice Dam Prevention

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In New England, we are very familiar with the problems and costly repairs ice dams can create. Newhouse and Sun has partnered with Bylin, a manufacturer that provides a product that eliminates ice dams. Our ice melt products melt away snow and ice from critical areas of the roof stopping the formation of ice dams.

We have many satisfied customers that didn’t have to worry about ice dams during the 2010-2011 winter since the heated panels were installed.

UNDERSTANDING ROOF ICE PROBLEMS

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Ice dams and icicles occur as a result of: Snow buildup on the roof Heat loss from the building Through insulation Through chimneys Through roof vents Winter temperature fluctuations – freeze/thaw cycles Solar heating during winter days with below freezing nights As roof snow accumulation increases, ice dam and icicle formation likewise increase. Subsequent water ponding can lead to roof leaks, internal building damage and possible mold issues. Falling icicles can create lower roof damage, deck damage and people safety issues.

Ask us how to keep your driveway and walkways free from ice and snow!

CHECK OUT SOME BEFORE & AFTER PICS OF OUR RIM SYSTEMS

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Painting 101

Painting can sometimes be a lot of work and very time consuming. You don’t want to waste your time and money just to find out you did it wrong. So many times I see people cut corners and then when they see the finished product, they regret it! Whether it’s a small bedroom or an entire house, make sure you have the proper tools, material and planning. You want your home to look it’s best.

Here is an excellent video with step by step instructions on how to get the best painted surface possible! So grab your roller and let’s go. I know you can do it!

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Small Home Improvements That Make A Big Difference

Times are tough but that’s no reason for your home not to look it’s best. There are several small home improvements that can make a big difference and make your home look like you invested big money. Here are just a few….

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DOORS

This is an easy DIY project that can can improve your home’s curb appeal, energy efficiency and security. Try painting it a bright color to really draw the eye! Add a wreath or decoration to cozy it up.

LIGHTS

There are so many ways to add light to your home. Lighted stepping stone or solar lights along walkways. What about a spotlight on something or a rope light under your eves? Even a new lamp post at the end of your driveway could add a lot of curb appeal. Lights on a home always draw the eye.

STAIRCASE

Try adding a new railing or remove the runner to expose wood. You can update your balusters for little money and add finials to make an even more grand statement. If those don’t work for you. try painting the risers. Maybe a bold color or paint you favorite quotes or words. Make it your own.

FIREPLACE

Painting your fireplace is the easiest. There are a variety of paints that have stone/brick textures. Also try painting the mantle. Don’t have a mantle. No worries. Create one. Check out second hand shops for materials or even Habitat for Humanity! You can add a mantle, some tiles and a fireplace screen with some candles behind it an no one will ever know it’s not real!

KITCHEN

A complete overhaul can cost more than I care to tell you but there are some small things that you can do to make it look like you went all out. Try changing the wall color. Change the faucets or cabinet hardware. Lighting under the cabinets. If your cabinetry is old, you can give it a face lift with some paint. There are many techniques out there that can give you the illusion of new, upgraded cabinets. They other thing you can do is your floor. Just doing that makes a world of difference. Depending on how much you want to spend, there are a variety of materials to accomplish this too.

BATHROOM

Home improvement stores now carry these vanity in a box things that come with everything from sink to faucet. Some even include mirrors! As with anything, they range in cost. If that’s too much, try just replacing the faucet and maybe painting the vanity. Paint the walls. Add a newer toilet. At the very least, replace the shower head with a nice one. That way you at least get the feel of a brand new bathroom!

ATTIC/BASEMENT

Try making these spaces more user friendly by making them into bonus rooms. You can go as far as you want with these. Maybe just add a little insulation and some furniture for the kids to hang out or add walls and carpet and make a retreat for yourself. Go all out. At least if you can’t afford the house of your dreams, you have someplace to escape and pretend you can!

CLOSETS

Organization is the key. They sell a variety of units to organize your closets, most with the “do it yourself-er” in mind.  They have units to hang or ones that sit on the floor. The possibilities are endless. Of course you could always add hardware, hampers, drawers, baskets and other accessories. Have you been to the Container Store? If you haven’t. be forewarned! When all else fails, hire an organizer. Just keeping it that way may be enough work.

So there you have it. Some little ways to spruce up your house on a variety of budgets. Don’t forget, home remodeling can be stressful so have fun with it. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Good luck!

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Solar Energy

Right now we are offering a Summer special. We are giving a $300 referral fee for each new contract that’s signed for the installation of a solar panel system. Do you know anyone who could benefit from this? Refer them and this could be yours! Hurry though, it’s ending soon!

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The rest of the world is going solar & now you can too!

Do you like the idea of saving money and the planet at the same time? If you’re a homeowner, then you owe it to yourself to consider going solar. Not only will you save a bundle on your energy bill, you will add resale value to your home and be saving the environment. What are you waiting for?

Some of the great benefits of installing solar now

  • Free Installation.
  • All maintenance included at no additional cost for the life of your contract. That includes any necessary repairs or replacements.
  • Locked-in low rates that can be significantly less than what you pay now for your electricity.
  • No paperwork: We will take care of all permitting and arrangements with your utility company.
  • Increases value to your home
  • Fully transferable

~It’s the smartest energy choice under the sun~

Call today (978)-657-7274

FYI: We also offer solar hot water panels as well. ( as shown below ) Solar water heaters can be a cost effective way to generate hot water for your home. They can be used in any climate, and the fuel they use — sunshine — is free. 

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The Rest of The World is Going Solar & Now You Can Too!

viridianDo you like the idea of saving money and the planet at the same time? If you’re a homeowner, then you owe it to yourself to consider going solar. Not only will you save a bundle on your energy bill, you will add resale value to your home and be saving the environment. What are you waiting for?

Some of the great benefits of installing solar now

  • Free Installation.
  • All maintenance included at no additional cost for the life of your contract. That includes any necessary repairs or replacements.
  • Locked-in low rates that can be significantly less than what you pay now for your electricity.
  • No paperwork: We will take care of all permitting and arrangements with your utility company.
  • Increases value to your home
  • Fully transferable

~It’s the smartest energy choice under the sun~

We also offer solar hot water panels as well. Solar water heaters can be a cost effective way to generate hot water for your home. They can be used in any climate, and the fuel they use — sunshine — is free. 

solar5fixed

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Ceramic and Porcelain and Stone ~ OH MY!

Which Tile Should You Choose?

Picking out tile can be a lot of work. With so many colors, textures and designs, it can be stressful too. Below is a short video that describes the different types of tiles and where they are best used. I’ve also included ten tips that can help you with choosing the right one for you. You can do this!

1, Remember a light color tiles make a smaller room feel bigger.

2, Be creative. Don’t be afraid of color and designs.

3, Don’t settle. Consider tile an investment and don’t compromise.

4, Plan ahead. Always purchase 5-10% more than you think you’ll need for mistakes and breakages.

5, Choose a tile grout color that compliments your tiles to help blend in grout lines.

6, If your wall or floor will require a lot of tile cuts (i.e. around fixtures/fittings), choose smaller tiles to give a better flow.

7, Try breaking up your wall tiles with a nice border.

8, Check the suitability. Make sure your tile is rated for where you plan to use it. ( ex. high traffic, outdoors etc..)

9, Make sure you always seal and treat the tiles.

10, Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The people at your local hardware stores are always willing to show off their knowledge!

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How to Paint Interiors

There is nothing like a fresh coat of paint to give your home a fresh new look. Whether it’s just to brighten things up or go with a completely different look, paint is the easiest and cheapest way to achieve it. But how do you do it? Whether you are a seasoned painter or a first timer, you will find these tips from BEHR helpful. Good luck!