How To Do a Green Home Renovation

If you own your home long enough, you are going to want or need to do renovations at some point. Deciding to “go green” with your renovations by making environmentally friendly changes can offer some benefits both to you as a homeowner and to the environment. Here are some ways you can make your renovation project as green as possible.

Reuse What You Can

Millions of tons of construction debris and other materials from homes and businesses are dumped in landfills every year as a result of renovation projects. Keeping as much of that out of the landfill as possible by reusing it isn’t just green, it can also cut down on your expenses. For example, rather than gutting your kitchen to the studs as part of a renovation, make only needed strategic changes. If your cabinets are in good shape, paint or reface them and reuse them. A fresh coat of paint changes a lot more than you think it would. Keep flooring that is in good shape and matches your new color palette. If you can’t manage to use everything right away, you should store them. Even old boxes that you might think would take up a lot of space can be compacted down with careful stacking and bailing wire. For things you don’t reuse, see if you can donate them to a non-profit rather than disposing of them.

Focus on Energy-Saving Improvements

When you are doing renovations, look to make improvements that will save energy. That could involve installing appliances that use less electricity and water. It also could mean installing energy-saving lighting or making some other energy-saving improvement to your home such as installing solar panels on your roof. If you have problems keeping your home at a consistent temperature, you may want to look at replacing old windows and doors. These culprits can be huge energy leaks, and replacing them can also provide a great face-lift for your home.

Buy Eco-Friendly Furniture

If your renovation project involves a makeover of your living room or bedroom that will include new furniture, you can green up your project by buying eco-friendly furniture. Bamboo is a particularly eco-friendly type of material because absorbs more carbon dioxide than other kinds of trees and plants. Also, as NuEnergy points out, bamboo is technically a grass rather than a tree, so it grows quickly and without much effort. It also helps reduce deforestation, which is always a plus.

Use Recycled Materials

Using recycled materials in your renovation project is one more way to make it green. You can buy furniture or other items made of recycled wood or other materials. You may even be able to find some recycled construction materials. Check local listings and DIY groups regularly for materials that people are getting rid of.

Making your renovation project as green as possible may take a little extra work, but it will be well worth. Not only will you be making positive moves for the environment, but you may also save some money on your project as well.

Why and How You Should Declutter Your Home Before Serious Renovations

A serious home renovation is a big undertaking that has the power to transform your space and your lifestyle. Your new home will become more functional as well as more aesthetically pleasing. But because of how substantial the planned work may be, it is essential to prepare properly ahead of time. One of the best steps that you can take to prepare your home and belongings for the experience of renovating is to declutter.

The Importance of Decluttering

Your contractors generally need to have a clean slate to work with. This means that all furniture, home décor, and other items need to be removed from the work area.

In many cases, you will be able to store items in your garage or in a spare room; however, there may be cases where it is necessary to rent out a storage unit for your furniture and other possessions. If you decide that you do need a storage unit, make sure to get the appropriate type for the items you are storing. Salt Lake Stor-N-Lock explains, “If you plan to store items that are susceptible to fluctuating temperatures, such as family heirlooms, electronics, wood or leather furniture or important paper documents, you will want to search for storage units with climate control.

When you spend time decluttering, you can eliminate the number of items that need to be moved, packed, and stored. You also eliminate the number of items that need to be unpacked after the renovation project is completed. While this saves you time and energy, it also can save money by reducing the size of the storage unit that you need to rent as well as the number of boxes and storage bins that you need to buy.

How to Declutter

To declutter your home, you need to essentially sort through all of your items one by one. Only keep items that you will have a need for after the renovation is completed. For example, you may not need all of your home décor if you plan to redecorate after the work is done.

When you begin the process of decluttering, decide whether each item should be kept, thrown away, donated, or sold. It can be hard to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. Rachel Jones recommends that you “Look carefully at the items in front of you. Pull out just the ones that you know you absolutely want to see them in your new home. These are things that you use regularly or love.” When that’s done, look at what’s left. If the items in front of you don’t seem worth the effort of packing and moving, then it’s time to let them go.

If you plan to keep items, ensure that you pack them smartly and safely. This means packing items together that belong in the same room, and wrapping delicate items in protective bubble wrap or wrapping paper. Place the heaviest items in the bottom of each box or bin, and place the heaviest boxes and bins at the bottom when stacking them. Be sure to clearly label all boxes and bins using detailed descriptions about what the contents are and where they belong. This will come in handy, because there is always a chance that you may need to access some of your stored items before the renovation project has been completed, and because it will make moving your items back inside that much easier.

A serious home renovation essentially requires you to empty the work area of all personal items. You will need to move everything out of this space just as you would if you were moving into a new home. With this in mind, it makes sense to thoroughly declutter before packing up your belongings.

5 Renovation Projects That Will Boost Your Home’s Value

If you own your home long enough, you are likely to do at least one renovation project. While the goal for most homeowners when renovating is to improve the look and utility of their home, a secondary goal is to increase their home’s value. Not all projects have a significant return on investment, and you need to make sure you know what you are doing before you start so you don’t accidentally damage your home. Here are a few projects that will help your home value.

New Doors

It might not seem like much of a project, but replacing doors around your home is a small, inexpensive project that has a lot of bang for the buck. The best door replacement projects are to replace your front entry door or to replace your garage doors. Both projects will boost your home’s value by about as much as you spend on them. This is especially important if your doors don’t hang properly anymore, or if they aren’t very sturdy. Replacing doors adds to the home value because it also adds to your home security.

Landscaping Improvements

Another renovation project that many homeowners never think of is landscaping improvements. Doing things as simple as trimming trees and shrubs and filling in bare spots in your lawn can give you a big boost in home value. You can also add new garden areas or features in your backyard, such as a firepit or decorative seating. As with replacing doors, landscape improvements tend to get you a value increase that’s commensurate with the amount of money you spend.

Minor Kitchen Remodel

Among the most sought-after improvements, people are looking for when buying a home is updated kitchens and bathrooms, and you can add a lot of value to your home by making some minor improvements to your kitchen. You don’t need to go all out and gut it; simple changes can make a big impact. This can include replacing flooring and countertops, refinishing or refacing cabinets and replacing hardware and fixtures. A minor kitchen remodel that’s done right can add back to value 90 percent or more of what you spend.

New Paint Job

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for making your home look newer. Whether you decide to paint the inside or outside of your home, the paint will spruce up any dingy looking areas. For indoor projects, choose colors that match the scheme and layout of the room. Brighter or lighter colors bring more energy in and make the space seem bigger. For larger projects, it may be a good idea to get professional help.

Repair Siding

If your home has siding that is in poor shape, replacing it is absolutely critical. Not only can broken or old siding make your home look run-down, but it can also open up a host of other problems. Siding protects the walls of your home from the elements, so you could end up with some nasty damage you need to fix. Cracked siding can also open up a way for pests to get into your home. Make sure you make this a top priority as soon as you notice any problems.

While home improvements can be a lot of fun when done right, it is important that you figure out what you are doing in advance, even with small projects. There are plenty of programs out there that will help you figure out what you are doing, making your research much easier. Just remember to have fun!

Resources:

How to Replace an Exterior Door

Re-Painting Any Room in Your Home

Rules of Renovation

Kitchen Renovations for About $25,000

Do Floridians Need to Worry About Frozen Pipes?

When you think about issues with frozen pipes, you might think about this being a problem in colder climates. As a Floridian, you might not think that it’s something that you have to worry about during the winter. However, even though the winters in Florida are pretty mild when compared to many places in the United States, this year’s weather extremes may have you thinking twice.

 

What Happens with Frozen Pipes?

When the temperatures drop below freezing, the water inside your pipes can freeze. According to Fletchers, “when water expands inside a pipe, it can have a major impact on your home and yard. The expansion puts great pressure on both metal and plastic pipes, and no matter the strength of the pipe it can break or crack. The last thing any homeowner wants is a flood, so be extra aware of pipes exposed to severe cold or in unheated interior areas including outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool and hot tub supply lines, water sprinkler lines, pipes in basements and pipes in attics and garages.”

 

Should Floridians Worry About Frozen Pipes?

Even though you probably want to prevent the issues that can go along with frozen pipes, you might not think that you need to do anything to protect your pipes if you live in the Sunshine State. However, temperatures can still occasionally drop to near or below freezing in Florida, particularly at night during cold periods like the first weeks of January 2018. Even though this might only happen a couple of nights out of the winter season, this can still provide an opportunity for your pipes to freeze and flood your lower floors. Therefore, it’s not a bad idea to go ahead and protect your pipes now so that you can prevent problems later.

 

How to Protect Pipes from Freezing

If you would like to go ahead and take extra precautions against frozen pipes this winter, you should know that doing so is pretty easy. You can insulate your pipes by wrapping them with pipe wrap insulation or tubular sleeve insulation. You should be able to pick up the materials that you need from a local hardware store or home improvement store and do it yourself over a weekend.

 

What if it’s Too Late

If you’re already experiencing flooding due to frozen pipes or other weather problems, shut off your main line (and breaker, if the water is high enough), remove as much water as you can as fast as you can, and try to protect your walls. If your walls are damaged, you can replace the sheetrock and get a professional to match your paint.

 

As you can see, even if you live in Florida, it’s worth it to think about the possibility of your pipes freezing. Luckily, doing so is easier than you might think, so you should be able to get the job done and protect your pipes quickly and easily.

5 Tips for Re-Painting Any Room in Your Home

There’s nothing like a freshly-painted room. A new color can transform a space, creating just the mood you’re looking for. Sometimes, though, achieving that perfect look can come with a lot of work. Here are some tips to make your job a little more comfortable.

1. Plan to Succeed

Before the paint goes on the walls, there is a lot of prep work involved. It can be tempting to skip this prep work to get done more quickly, but doing so will only give you a result that you won’t be satisfied with. It’s important to calculate how much paint you’ll need for your room, so you won’t have to rush out and buy more in the middle of your project. Also, make sure you have all the materials you need to protect the surfaces you don’t intend to paint, including drop cloths, painter’s tape, and plenty of rags to quickly clean up any inevitable spills.

2. Give Yourself a Little Space

It can be hard enough to reach every single nook and cranny in your home. It’s even harder when you don’t have enough space to fit your body in to provide plenty of leverage. If at all possible, move furniture out of the room to be painted, rather than just moving it to the center of the room. This way, you’re sure to have plenty of space, and can more easily reach those high and low areas on your walls. Not to mention, paint has this uncanny ability to get on surfaces you don’t want it to be on, even when those surfaces are protected. By moving furniture out, you give yourself greater assurance that it won’t end up with paint on it.

3. Get it Done Quickly

Painting a room is hard work, and it can be tempting to take frequent breaks and spread the project out over a week or more. If at all possible, try to avoid spreading out your project to prevent chipping the paint when you’re moving around with furniture in an unfamiliar configuration. Not to mention, if you leave it for too long, dust could become a problem as it attracts to the new paint surface and is then spread when you’re working in the room.

4. Keep it Feeling Good

Paint drying can be affected depending on the temperature of the air in the room in which it was applied. If it’s too cold, the paint won’t dry as quickly, but if it’s too hot and humid, the extra moisture in the air will slow down the drying as well. Therefore, your HVAC system needs to be in great shape before you begin your painting project to ensure the paint dries quickly and evenly. The faster your paint dries, the sooner you can enjoy the final results of your hard work.

5. Finish it Right

If you’ve finished your painting project and gotten everything moved back in, and then you notice a spot you missed or that has gotten chipped since you painted it, don’t be afraid to correct the issue while you’ve still got all your tools handy. The problem might be in a place that no one else is likely to notice, but for you who put in so much work on the project, you’ll see it every time you’re in the room. Give yourself the satisfaction of a job well done by touching up the paint before you put away your tools.

Enjoy!

When everything is finally done, all that’s left to do is sit back and enjoy the spectacular results. The satisfaction of completing a painting project by yourself is tough to beat, at least until your friends and family see your great work and want you to help them out too.

Sources

http://www.provincialheating.ca/

https://www.epa.gov/iaq-schools/heating-ventilation-and-air-conditioning-systems-part-indoor-air-quality-design-tools

http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/skills-and-know-how/painting/painting-prep-the-key-to-success

https://www.webhostingsecretrevealed.net/blog/web-business-ideas/top-ways-start-and-succeed-with-a-diy-projects-blog/

https://welovepainting.com/interior-painting/

 

If you’re planning to repaint your kitchen cabinets, make sure to clean them before getting started.

Paint doesn’t stick to grease. Prep your kitchen cabinets for a beautiful finish and lasting results.

5 Tips & Ideas for Painting Your Child’s Bedroom

5 Tips & Ideas for Painting Your Child’s Bedroom

According to the Sleep Foundation, children need to sleep upwards of 17 hours depending on their age. You can learn more about that and see exactly how much sleep on the chart on the Sleep Foundation’s website.We all know the importance of sleep. Any parent or person who does not have a good night’s sleep knows it can cause tiredness, lack of focus, messing with our hunger cues, and increases the risk of accidents. And when your child is in their formative years when they are developing, sleep plays a crucial role in that process.

Kid’s Health does a nice job of summing up the importance of sleep. During sleep, the brain is hard at work organizing and storing information from the day, and the body is repairing itself. Sleep is an amazing process that is very important, so we should work to make the place our children will spend almost half, if not more, of their day a cool and comfortable place to stay. Plus, we want our children to enjoy time spent awake in their rooms, playing and being read, to a pleasurable one. Thus, we thought we would share some ideas and tips for painting your child’s room so it is one they love being in and will never forget.

Make it Thematic

As adults we probably can think back to our favorite childhood TV shows and super heros. It is likely your child has some of his or her own. Thus, turning your child’s room into something that represents their absolute favorite toy, show, or otherwise is a great way to make it a fun and warm place to sleep and play. Just like the image above, you can go to any length to create a room that rocks. You can paint scenes from a show, add the characters, and go all out, or you can use decals and posters that blend with the color you paint the room. The sky’s the limit.

Use Calming and Favorite Colors

Colors can have an effect on our mood. Red, for example, can convey aggression while blue can convey calm. Since you want your child’s room to be a place of peace, consider using neutral colors or colors that are friendly and calm. In addition, if your child has a favorite color, be sure to include that as well as it will make the room that much more special.

Wallpaper and More

This can be a great way to make a room feel fresh with ease, and it involves the child. You can put up pieces of wallpaper in strategic locations to give it a certain look. Or, if your child likes to draw on wall, you can use wall paper with a border around it. Even more, you can always put up paint that is erasable or a whiteboard for the child to draw on as well, which will make the room truly theirs.

3D Objects

Making a room with things coming out of the wall can make it an exciting place to be. You can add touches like a kite flying or a super hero’s cape coming out of the wall. This can add a wow factor to a room and make it really fun and bring out your child’s imagination.

Involve the Child

This is your child’s room after all, so involve them in the process. Ask them if you have correctly added their favorite things. Have them help you pick out colors and objects. Let them help paint some if they are old enough. Getting the child to buy into the creation process will help them take ownership over the room and make it truly theirs.

Think back to your childhood room and what you loved about it. You probably can think of at least one thing. That is the lasting impact a room has for a child. It is a memory that lasts forever. Plus, it helps them feel safe and sleep well when done right, which is important. To get more ideas or book a consultation to paint a child’s room, give us a call today!

5 Resources to Become a Better House Painter

5 Resources to Become a Better House Painter

Learning how to paint a house takes time and technique. We’ve been at it for over thirty years, so we’ve honed our craft. However, if you are trying to improve your house painting skills for weekend projects or to paint a small portion of your house, you may lose yourself trying to find all the right answers to get the job done perfectly. There are resources out there that can make the painting process simpler for you. We have listed five go-to resources you should take advantage of for your next house painting project.

Color House Paint

Color House Paint has two valuable resources that help you become a better painter. The first tool lets you decide how much paint you need based on the size of the room. You simply fill in some measurements and it’ll calculate how much paint you need. The second tool will help you choose a color. This service does cost $50, and if you are okay with that, it is like having a distant professional do a consultation for you without visiting. You simply send in pictures of the room and other material and they help suggest what colors might work well in that room. This website is a great resource to help you become a better house painter.

DIY Network

We love the DIY Network because they have informative articles and videos about various painting tips and tricks to help you learn to paint better. From painting techniques to finishes, they have informative articles and instructive videos that are easy to understand and follow. Take a look around and see if you can’t take your house painting project and do it yourself.

This Old House

You cannot go wrong with the television show that has been a staple of the do-it-yourself crowd for years. Their website is just as enriching as the show itself. With sections dedicated to specific projects, including painting, you can learn so much about caring for or restoring portions of your house. If you need to repaint a brick fireplace, for example, you can learn more about that on their site. If you want to become a better house painter, this is the source to show you how.

Your Local Paint Store

Don’t overlook your local paint store as a great resource for improving your painting. Your local paint store has trained professionals who work in the industry. Not only can they talk to you about your project, they can also show you the tools needed to get it done right as. Nothing, after all, can replace talking to a human being about something as intricate as painting.

Buzzfeed

If you are wondering what Buzzfeed is, so did we when our children told us about it. Buzzfeed is a very popular website with articles on many topics containing a more visual style. Their articles have more images than words, which makes them easy to browse through and read. It is popular among youth, but the information is very informative, to the point, and engaging. They have paint hacks that can help you become a better painter as well. That is why we love it. It provides a fresh perspective from a creative generation that has much value to offer.

Whether it’s a tool to figure out how much paint you need, a great and established TV show, or a new-aged website, there is no shortage of resources to make you a better house painter. If you need more resources or just want to ask some questions, contact us today!

How to Play it Safe While Painting

How to Play it Safe While Painting

If you have read any of our blogs so far, or just a little about us, you know we love painting. But, we also take it seriously. Painting carries some inherent risks. From potential falls to paint in your eyes, it can cause injuries. As a company, we are all too aware of injuries that are covered under workman’s compensation laws. While accidents happen, there are ways to keep safe while painting and we wanted to share a few important ones that have kept our injuries and accidents to a minimum and allow us to complete jobs in a reasonable amount of time.

Wear Safety Equipment

You may be thinking that painting involves no equipment. You just roll some brushes on a wall then call it a day. This could not be further from the truth. Painting absolutely requires some standard safety equipment. Aside from wearing clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, wear safety goggles to avoid getting paint in your eyes. Wear knee and elbow pads if you will be on leaning or kneeling for extended periods of time. Also, keep your skin covered so you do not come into contact with harmful chemicals. Most importantly, consider a mask to keep from allowing paint and fumes into your lungs.
You can find common safety equipment at your local paint store.

Use the Right Tools

Imagine trying to paint a ceiling using a kitchen chair. You may find yourself wobbling back and forth and eventually falling. Just like you would not use a frying pan without something to hold the hot handle, you should not paint without the right tools. The proper tools vary depending on the task at hand. Items like ladders will help you easily reach places without risking falling or straining muscles. Using a paint brush with an extended handle will help as well. In some cases, automation can help avoid repetitive use injuries. Before you start painting, give us a call or visit your local paint store to get the right tools for the job to avoid injuries.

Read the Instruction Manuals

Paint brushes may not come with a manual to tell you how to use them. But, paint will have instructions and safety warnings as may some of your protective gear and tools we referenced earlier. Take the time to read this information. It could make the difference between getting hurt or not. Below are some things you may read on paint labels or elsewhere, for example.

● Solvents are highly flammable – keep these paints away from all sources of heat, and never expose directly to an open flame.
● Store in cool, well-ventilated areas.
● Keep these products out of reach of pets and children.
● Dispose of rags properly – rags soaked with oil-based materials can ignite spontaneously if not spread out to dry.
● Ensure good ventilation with open windows and doors.
● Wear protective equipment.
● Keep children and pets out of the painted area.
When painting, it is important to read all instructions so you know what you’re dealing with. Mix the wrong chemicals, store something the wrong way, or try to clean something the wrong way can lead to a negative health outcome. Please take the time to read.

Take Your Time

Painting can have a physical toll on your body. We know. When you only do it once in a while, you feel that toll greater than when your body is accustomed to the rigors of the work. Do not rush your paint job. Take your time and lots of breaks to stretch, rest, and rehydrate. Not doing so can lead to cramps, pulled muscles, and even torn body parts such as rotator cuffs. Yes, painting can send you to the hospital if you are not careful. If you feel an unusual ache or pain, please do not just take some pain medication and push through. Stop and rest until you feel better. What you are painting will be there waiting when you get back.

Painting is fun, but also a serious business. Before you paint consider all the safety protocols that will help make it fun, efficient, and not leave you cursing the experience. Call or email us to ask any questions about painting safety you have!

5 Most Asked Questions About Painting Your House

5 Most Asked Questions About Painting Your House

Painting can be an intimidating and overwhelming experience. Just thinking about it makes some people nauseous. In fact, some avoid painting because it can make you sick if you do not follow certain protocol. Among this gem of knowledge are many others that we get asked about time and time again. We want to help clarify the painting process to help you enjoy it more. We love painting, and we want you to love it just as much. In that vein, below are five of the most commonly asked questions about painting and our responses.
How do I Estimate How Much Paint I Will Need?

While there are a number of factors that come into how much paint you will need, a simple mathematical calculation can help you figure this out. Calculate the square footage of the surfaces you want to paint and divide that by the number of square feet that the manufacturer indicates a gallon of your selected paint will cover.

Estimating Example:

If a room is 10 feet by 20 feet with 8-foot ceilings, your square footage is 480 (the circumference times the ceiling height). If you have a number of windows and doors, subtract the square footage of those openings (standard doors are about 21 square feet, standard windows about 15 square feet). For many paints, including primers and stains, a gallon will cover about 400 square feet (the product label will show the coverage). Since two coats are normally recommended for most projects, two gallons would be needed for the 10-by-20-foot room example. (This assumes there are one or two windows.) Remember, it’s always a good idea to have a little leftover paint for future touchups.

Are There Ideal Conditions to Paint the Exterior of My House In?

It is best to paint in temperatures between 60 and 90 degrees. Otherwise, your drying time is going to be vastly different, which can affect the overall quality of the paint job. In addition, if you paint in high winds, your paint may dry too fast. This not only makes your paint more brittle, but debris and dirt can blow into the wet paint and dry with it. If you can paint in direct shade, that is ideal. Be sure to also check the paint manufacturer’s recommendations.

Is It Always Necessary to Paint Two Coats of Paints on Exterior Painting Work?

It depends. If, for example, you are painting siding where the previous paint has been removed, you will want to apply a coat of primer followed by two coats of paint. However, if the surface has already been painted and the paint is still on it, one coat of paint will do. As always, speak to your local paint supplier or painting contractor about the particulars of your situation.

Should I Use Water-Based Latex Paint or Oil-Based Paint?

Like many aspects of painting, this depends on a few factors as well. While both will do an excellent job, water-based paints are easy to use and easy to clean, which is great for do-it-yourselfers. Plus, latex paints usually have great adhesiveness to most surfaces and are more superior and resistant to bleaching and fading over oil-based paints. However, to figure out which paint will be best for your project, you can give us a call or speak with your local paint supplier.

Do I Need to Prime Every Time I Paint My Walls?

No, you don’t always need primers when repainting. If you’re repainting a similar color, for example, you can lightly scuff-sand the walls to remove any gloss and then clean the surface. Once you have completed that, you can simply repaint over the existing latex coating. You may need to paint more than one coat to keep it uniform. It is, however, important to note that switching sheens or drastic color changes may require a primer to minimize the amount of topcoats used. Moreover, a wall containing stains may be harder to cover. To make sure you have complete coverage, consider using a paint and primer in one product.

Boy, you sure do ask some great questions, and we love answering them. To ask your question or have a consultation on us, contact us today.