Monthly Archives: January 2017

Common Chimney Problems

Having a working fireplace is a wonderful and cozy luxury to have on a cold winter day. When the weather gets colder, many people are preparing their fireplace for use. However, if you’re intending on utilizing your older chimney, it’s important to inspect it before use, as a damaged chimney can cause problems for the house overall.

Many people don’t know where to start when looking at their chimneys, or some even discover problems upon use. By understanding these five common chimney problems, you can quickly find a solution to resolve any issues and go back to relaxing by the fire.


Chimney Maintenance Is Important

On the list of priorities for your home, chimney maintenance may not make it to the top. However, if you’re eager to use your fireplace every year, you should consider an annual chimney inspection as part of your winter home maintenance checklist. Without proper care, your chimney can actually become a fire hazard to the home. If not cleaned and maintained, it can cause a fire or even water damage in time. By inspecting your chimney and taking action when something doesn’t look quite right, you can continue to safely enjoy your fireplace.


1. Buildup In The Chimney

After many uses, your chimney will have soot buildup known as creosote. It’s important to keep an eye on the buildup in your chimney as Creosote is combustible and can be the cause of chimney fires in homes. If you shine a flashlight into your chimney, you can identify creosote by its black and brown crusty appearance. Creosote comes in different degrees of severity, first degree being the easiest to remove and third degree is highly combustible and has the appearance of tar.

To eliminate this dangerous material from your chimney, it’s best to contact a chimney pro who can ensure it is cleaned properly. The average cost for chimney cleaning is $200. If you intend on using your fireplace regularly, it’s a good idea to clean your chimney at least once a year. Additionally, burning hardwoods can help you keep your chimney clean.


2. Chimney Blockage

Outside of the natural buildup from burning wood, there may be an occasion where you have some sort of blockage. Unlike creosote, chimney blockage like a bird’s nest or tree debris easily seen be seen. You’ll need to inspect your chimney flue to see if it is blocked before beginning to use, because these items can easily cause chimney fires as well. If you see that it’s a nest of some sort or living animal, you may want to contact a pro who can help safely remove the critter.

To prevent outside chimney blockage in the future, invest in a chimney cap. It will protect your chimney from unwanted guests and debris. You can find a chimney cap at your local hardware store ranging from $50 to $100 depending on the size and style you choose.


3. Brickwork Problems

If you live in an older home, brickwork problems can often be seen. You may see cracks or missing bricks in your chimney. This can be a danger to the structure of the chimney itself, leading to large cracks that can permanently damage it, leaving it unusable. If you notice any signs of wear on your chimney, it’s important to contact a masonry pro as soon as possible to preserve its condition and update it to match with local codes.

Incredible Rooms That Belong In Your Dream

At some point in your life, you find yourself imagining what your dream home would look like and brainstorm ideas about how to personalize each room. It’s hard to snap back to reality after you map the details out in your head, but visualizing what could be is fun for many of us.

Your dream home definitely needs to have rooms that are impressive and out of the ordinary. I’m here to let your mind run wild for a few minutes, as I show and describe eight incredible rooms that belong in your dream home. Remember, never stop dreaming!


1. Kitchen

Building your dream home requires a financial investment and professional expertise. Constructing your dream kitchen comes with its pros and cons. You’ll need to set a budget, hire a contractor and pick out your materials.

I selected this kitchen for your dream home because of the gorgeous hardwood floors, lavish pendant light fixtures and numerous windows that draw in natural light. Are you considering remodeling your kitchen? If so, see our kitchen renovation cost estimator to make a plan before you begin your project.


2. Bathroom

It’s not a dream home without an extravagant bathroom to relax in after a long day. According to costs reported by ImproveNet members, the average bathroom remodel costed approximately $8,400 in 2016, with most homeowners spending between $6,000 and $9,000. Given that I’m showing you incredible rooms that belong in your dream home, your budget will need to be expanded in this particular instance.

A dream bathroom requires a thoughtful transformation with personal touches and lavish enhancements. This luxury bath has a round Jacuzzi tub installed under a charming chandelier, which I think is the perfect touch. The gorgeous tub is surrounded by more storage room than most of us have ever seen in our lifetime.


3. Bedroom

Your dream bedroom should be big, bright and beautiful. The more lighting options you have the better, so you can set the right mood. While hardwood floors are becoming more popular to install in the bedroom, carpet is a comfortable and appealing choice too.

A dream bedroom needs to have the right aesthetic appeal. This means applying paint color, hanging curtains, purchasing cozy bedding and using décor that brings the room to life.

How To Make Your Bathroom Smell Great

At the end of the day, where do you go to unwind? A spa-like bathroom can be the remedy for a stressful day. Your bathroom is beautiful, so it should smell beautiful too! Mold, mildew and waste can make this a daily challenge. With use and over time, these smells seem to grow stronger.

Majority of unpleasant bathroom scents grow stronger with time. So it’s important to take care of them as soon as you recognize it. Never fear, there are solutions to create a great smelling bathroom. Eliminate odors and freshen up with these bathroom tips.


Clean It Up

Bathrooms tend to have a lot going on that can easily cause a mess. If you don’t have one already, create a cleaning routine for the bathroom. Clean the shower, bathtub, sink, toilet and floors thoroughly. Using a daily shower spray can help.

Fabrics in the bathroom like towels and shower curtains tend to hold the moisture and can create a musty smell. Be sure to wash these regularly to keep the bathroom smelling fresh.

Once a year, it’s a good idea to get a professional cleaning. This is a great way to scrub all the corners and small areas you may not be able to clean on your own. The average cost to hire a maid service is $157, with most homeowners spending between $122 and $167.


Use Your Bathroom Fan

Mold and mildew can be the biggest culprit of unpleasant smells in the bathroom. This is due to the sitting moisture within the room from showers and baths. That’s why all bathrooms must have a bathroom fan. This helps the moisture escape the room and reduce the musty smell. It also helps protect your bathroom from water damage over time. While newer homes already have bathroom fans installed, you may find many older homes without. The good news is that you can get a bathroom fan installed for an average cost of $344.


Scented Candles

For instant relief from unpleasant bathroom smells, a scented candle can go a long way. If you have company coming over or just want to create a pleasant bathroom environment, a candle can give you the scent and look you desire. While there are many scents out there, some brands offer odor eliminating effects that can help take care of any bad smells in the moment and after the candle has been blown out.

As always, practice appropriate fire safety techniques whenever you burn a candle. Never burn a candle near anything flammable, such as curtains or towels. Always blow out the candle before leaving your home and keep away from small children.

Garage Door Trends

Your garage door is a huge factor in curb appeal. The style and color can either add style to your home’s exterior or be a complete eyesore. If you feel like your garage door has become the latter, this may be the year you make the investment and update your garage door.

However, there are many small updates that can improve your garage door without a full replacement. New technologies and innovations have made it easier to move and in and out of your garage. Keep an eye out for these garage door trends in 2017.

Compared to last year, we’re seeing many trends continue, specifically using bold colors to create a vibrant garage. Given the color trends of 2017 are bold and deep, this will fit right in with your hot home décor this year. Innovation in garage doors has allowed for new trends in smart home technology to reach the garage as well as using your garage door to create a more functional and livable space. If you’re ready to update your garage, 2017 is the year to do it!


Garage Door Prices

An old, outdated garage can speak volumes about the condition of your home. Though often, garage doors are made to last, the styles can change fast. If you’re considering selling your house this year or looking for better curb appeal, investing in a new garage door may be worth it. The average cost to install a garage door is $964, depending on the style you choose.


Glass Garage Doors

This year, contemporary and modern will be a trendy look you’ll want to incorporate in your home’s exterior. If you’re planning to update your look, look no further than a frosted glass garage door. This style is especially beneficial if you tend to work in your garage. Glass garage doors come in a variety of options with other materials like wood and steel. If you’re going for the contemporary look, be sure to find styles with plenty of straight lines in natural finishes.


Wood Garage Doors

Wood garage doors are making a comeback after gaining in popularity the past few years. They are now the hot home exterior item to have. But, in a new way. Many have been integrated with glass options to continue with the modern garage door look that’s trendy this year.

However, the classic wood garage door look is still hot, especially those in the carriage style. The average cost of a wood garage door is between $1,235 and $2,756.

Window Trends for Your Home

Windows are an essential element in any room. Sure, they are a great utility for natural light, but have you considered how they can easily change the look of a space? With so many shapes and sizes available, you can easily match your style.

With 2017 approaching, now is the time to consider what changes you can make to your windows to give your room a stylish look. Updating your windows could mean a small DIY upgrade or a new installation. To help, here’s a few window trends you’ll be seeing in 2017.

Last year, we reported that high and functional windows were hot. Many of these trends will carry over to 2017, such as sustainable windows. This is a trend that will carry on for years to come, as many homeowner see the valuable ROI.

Changing out your curtains and drapes is an easy way to update your look for the new year. Window treatments started to make a comeback last year and we’re seeing bright and bold colors at the forefront, as well as including the small details to make a big impact on your window décor.

Overall, you’ll see that 2016 gave a great foundation for the new trends of 2017 to build on. Get ready to make a statement with your windows this year!


Energy-Saving Windows

Creating a sustainable home has been the movement in home design for the last few years. In 2017, the focus is on upgrading your windows for energy-saving benefits. If you have old windows that easily let air out, consider upgrading this year. According to the EPA, switching to Energy Star certified windows can help save up to 12% in energy bills.

Energy-efficient windows come in many different shapes and sizes. When searching for windows, look for the Energy Star Efficiency label right for your climate. The cost to replace windows is between $150 and $2,500 per window, depending on how large of a window there is to replace and any other work that needs to be done.


Vinyl Windows

This year, vinyl windows will take center stage as an affordable and convenient option for homeowners. It’s been growing in popularity in previous years, with homeowners turning to vinyl as a sustainable upgrade for windows in their home. With so many colors available, it’s easy to find an option to fit your home. It’s a good choice if you plan on installing a larger window this year as it can help costs and still look great in a room.

Additionally, vinyl windows have plenty of energy-saving benefits that can keep heating and cooling costs down during the year, making it a great long-term investment. The average cost to install vinyl windows is between $150 and $2,000 depending on the style and size.