Archive for March, 2010

Remodeling on a Budget

Friday, March 26th, 2010

kitchen remodel

One of the biggest problems with home remodeling projects are budget overruns. Runaway construction costs can cause stress and disrupt family life. Here are some tips to help keep your remodeling budget on track.

  • Start with a clear plan about what you want to accomplish with your remodel.
       
  • Create a budget for your project and decide how you will finance it.
      
  • Add a 10 to 20 percent cushion to your budget for unexpected expenses.
       
  • Keep the lines of communication open with your contractor.
       
  • If you budget requires, be willing to compromise on your choices and to complete some of the work yourself.
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    Modular Homes

    Friday, March 19th, 2010

    Modular Home

    The concept of a modular home is not familiar to everyone. Modular homes are partially constructed in a factory and then fully assembled on the building site. For areas where year-round construction is not possible due to weather conditions, the modular home building process allows construction to take place indoors throughout the year.

    Modular homes do not always resemble mobile homes. Many are built from wood and when assembled onsite are indistinguishable from traditionally constructed home. To learn more about modular factory-built homes, see this YouTube video:

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    Focus on Laundry Room Design

    Friday, March 12th, 2010

    laundry_room1

    For many homeowners, the laundry room is one of the most neglected rooms of the house. Yet when home buyers are touring a home, they’ll be looking long and hard at the laundry room to see if it fits their needs. It pays to invest in laundry room updates, and you may find that you enjoy doing laundry in your updated laundry room.

  • Paint the walls a bright and cheery color. If your basement or utility room doubles as a laundry room, soften unfinished walls with floor to ceiling draperies. Choose an acrylic fabric, which will resist moisture and mildew.
      
  • An area to fold laundry is a great addition to a laundry room. A counter height table makes a perfect folding station. If you have front-loading appliances, build the counter over your washer and dryer.
        
  • Place hooks on the wall or add a portable clothes rack so you can place clothes on hangers as they come out of the dryer.
         
  • Mount an extendable ironing board from the wall or hang it from a door.
        
  • Add storage units for laundry supplies.
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    Eco-Friendly Furniture

    Thursday, March 04th, 2010

     FSC

    Today there are a variety of furniture options eco-friendly furniture options available. Products made from FSC-certified wood are guaranteed to be produced under environmentally responsible conditions. FSC is the Forest Stewardship Council, a non-profit organization that promotes responsible forestry throughout the world. The FSC label is only given to wood products that follow FSC guidelines.

    Another eco-friendly furniture choice is bamboo, which is a sustainable substitute for hardwood. Bamboo grows quickly and can be harvested each year without destroying old-growth forests. Bamboo plants mature in about five years, far less than the decades required by many tree. It has the strength of many hardwoods. Non-toxic adhesives are often used in bamboo furniture construction.

    Recycled and repurposed composite materials are also used in eco-friendly furniture. These composites may be made from salvaged or scrap wood or from other recycled materials. An example of a composite is Kerei board, which is made from reclaimed sorghum straw. When shopping from composite furniture, avoid the presence of formaldehyde. Many people are sensitive to formaldehyde emissions and will suffer a variety of health problems. Read more about eco-friendly furniture at the Sierra Club Green Home website.

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