4 Stunning Kitchen Trends for 2018

Is updating your kitchen one of your New Year’s resolutions? Trendy countertop and cabinet ideas can be a fun way to update your kitchen while remaining both eye-catching and timeless.

Statement Islands

The island is the centerpiece of your kitchen and frequently used for dinner, homework, or social gatherings.  Change things up from the rest of your cabinets and paint it a different color, or add reclaimed wood for an urban rustic look.

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(Source: interiorzine.com)

Counter top materials

For a clean and sleek look, quartz is a popular choice going into 2018 among homeowners because of its resistance to scrapes and scratches.

Countertop Solutions is a fabricator and installer of solid surface products and a dealer for quartz and granite products. Solid surface are non-porous low-maintenance material used for a variety of surfaces and often mimics the appearance of granite, marble, stone, and other naturally occurring materials.

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(Source: lizmarieblog)

Integrating appliances with clever paneling and built-ins

The minimalism trend carries into the kitchen by integrating appliances with the cabinets. With clever paneling and built-ins, you can keep the bulky refrigerator out of site as it blends in seamlessly.

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(Source: nickels cabinets)

Open shelving and few upper cabinets

Create a comfortable and airy feel in your kitchen by eliminating upper cabinets to allow for open shelves. You can display your best dishware and art on the shelves.

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Choosing a contractor is never a task to be taken lightly, and when it comes to your home or business’ surfaces, we are proud to recommend Countertop Solutions, knowing that you will be in good hands. At Responsible Contractors, we aim to bring you the best in each industry.

To read more about Countertop Solutions and find other contractors we recommend, please visit us at http://www.responsiblecontractors.com.

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Prepare Your Home Before Holiday and Winter Travel

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(Photo credit seattlepi.com)

Imagine coming home after the holiday travel season to expensive damage that happened while you were away. The winter weather and other elements often damage homes that are left unprepared while vacant while the homeowners are traveling. These important proactive projects will help prevent loss and devastation from occurring while you’re away.

Heating and Fireplace

Protect electronics, house plants and pipes (more on that below), by setting the right temperature in your home. Too cold and you can see damage, too warm and you’ll rack up your utility bill. Keep your thermostat set between 50 and 60 degrees to prevent appliances from working too hard. If you are leaving pets at home, along with the proper care you’ll need from a trusted friend to check in on them, make sure you leave your home at a comfortable temperature. You’ll want to keep your home warmer than 60 degrees; for specific information contact your veterinarian.

If you have a traditional wood fireplace, make sure it is completely cooled and cleaned out before you leave. Close the damper to prevent warm indoor air for escaping. If you need your fireplace inspected or repaired, call a fireplace contractor. 

Frozen and Leaking Pipes

Does your bathroom sink have a small trickle? This little leak can add up costs while you’re away. Do a complete inspection of all faucets to ensure you’re covered.

If no one is staying in your home while you’re away, turn off the main valve. Shutting the valve off will help prevent major damage should a pipe burst or faucet leak. Keeping your home at the suggested temperature (50-60 degrees) will help prevent pipes from freezing, and ultimately bursting.

If you haven’t winterized your outdoor pipes yet, make sure to insulate exposed pipes with rubber or fiberglass sleeves. Remove hoses and cover the spigots.

Contact Pac West Plumbing to have any leaks repaired before you leave, and get more information about how they can help solve and prevent future plumbing problems.

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Energy Vampires

Think you’ll save money by just being out of your house for several days? Try again. Computers, coffee pots and lamps are just a few examples of electronics that suck energy even when not in use. Unplug these items while you’re away to actually see cost savings. Just don’t unplug your refrigerator!

Security and Safety

Keep an outdoor light on or invest in a motion-sensor light to help deter someone from breaking into your home. Put your mail and newspapers on hold as to not tip off any criminals that the house is empty. Leave a key with a trusted friend to check in on your home and inspect any possible damage or security breaches.

 

 

 

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Home Tips: Prolong the Life of your Roof with Maintenance

Roof damage and leaks don’t get better with time, just more expensive.

To help prolong the life of your roof it’s important to invest in a professional who can provide frequent and safe roof maintenance and cleaning. A general inspection will determine if you have any missing, lifted or loose shingles, and inspect for mold, cracks or peeling.

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If you roof shows signs of damage, contact Tony’s Roofcare immediately to speak to an expert and receive your commitment-free quote. Signs that may indicate a roof replacement is needed include: missing, cracked or curling shingles, leakage in the attic after heavy rains and even higher than usual energy bills.

The weather has the greatest impact on the quality of your roof. You should clean your gutters twice during the fall and winter and once in the summer. It’s also important to keep heavy snow off your eavesdrops and cleared out of ridge vents. Make any sure branches, leaves and other debris are cleared from the roof. If you choose to do this yourself, make sure it’s during a dry and sunny day and have someone with you to assist.

If your home has a cedar shake roof, you can lengthen the lifespan of the material with either pressure washing or air cleaning along with a chemical preservative. Tile roofs need to be kept clean of debris to keep them from leaking. Debris or moss can cause water to clog any metal flashing and possibly drive under tiles. Contact the experts at Tony’s Roofcare, who can properly provide this maintenance, helping your roof to last for more than 30 years.

Tony’s Roofcare has been serving the South King and Pierce County area since 1997. A family-owned and operated and fully licensed and insured company, Tony’s offers roof repair, cleaning and roof installation.

 

 

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Mac’s Wholesale Flooring Helps You Find the Perfect Fit

One of the easiest ways to update and overhaul the look and feel of your home are new floors. But choosing floors, which can be a part of your home for many years, can be a daunting task. Floors simply are not as simple or cheap to replace like a bad paint color or the wrong couch. Choosing the right color for your home is complicated enough, but add in the variety of material options and it’s easy to see how selecting floors can be a frustrating process.

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Whether you are renovating or are interested in new floors, the experts at Mac’s Wholesale Flooring can help you choose the right flooring to meet your style and needs. Mac’s is a family-owned and operated business specializing in natural flooring products. They have the largest selection of hardwood flooring in Seattle, providing hardwood and other natural flooring products to local building contractors, businesses and homeowners.

For more than 25 years, Mac’s has been the leader in the local hardwood and flooring industry. Their showroom allows you the opportunity to see flooring in person and take samples back home to see how different options will look.

Tip: Before you head to their showroom, evaluate the spaces in your home that you want to update with new flooring. Think about your style, budget and factors that can potentially damage your floors such as pets or sharp furniture. Knowing this information before you walk in will allow you to narrow in on the materials and colors best suited for your home.

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In addition to the traditional hardwood, carpet and linoleum options, Mac’s also offers materials gaining in popularity such as bamboo and cork.

Yes, bamboo is a type of grass but it is a strong natural surface that has many of the same properties of hardwood flooring. Bamboo flooring is pre-finished and engineered with tongue-and-groove joints, just like standard solid wood flooring. Bamboo is grown in controlled forests and takes just three to five years to reach maturity, as compared to most hardwood trees that can take up to 60 years to mature. (source)  Cork is used for more than just popping off a champagne bottle. Cork floors are made from the cork oak tree and has excellent thermal and acoustical qualities. It is beautiful, lightweight and warm to the touch. Cork is a popular option for kitchens and bathrooms because of its comfortable and natural, non-slip surface.  (source)

All products sold at Mac’s Wholesale Flooring are DIY friendly or can be professionally installed. They offer the highest-quality products at the best prices. Find your favorite floor styles and get expert tips at their showroom today.

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Olympic Blinds is Your Full-Service Window Treatment Experts

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When I moved into my new house, I installed a unique door that connects from the kitchen to the back yard. It let in a lot of great natural lighting, but unfortunately, I forgot to consider window treatments. We spent far too many days without blinds on the door, giving all my backyard neighbors perfect access to see what I was cooking for dinner. It wasn’t until that moment that I truly appreciated a good set of blinds – for privacy, safety and energy efficiency.

Olympic Blinds are your local window-covering specialists you can count on for accurate, excellent advice. The Olympic Blinds advantage offers you full-service of design and installation for blinds, shades and window treatments with a unique, mobile service. Bringing the store to you, Olympic Blinds will show you samples and swatches of all window treatments including blinds, fabric and roman shades and plantation shutters. Trust the experts to be your consultants, design experts and professional installers.

Olympic Blinds is a family-owned business, founded by Brian Utley, and has grown into one of the region’s largest and longest-established full-service window treatment companies. Brian has more than 20 years of experience helping thousands of homeowners in South Puget Sound identify and invest in the window covering options that best meet their needs.

Window treatments don’t just add design and privacy features to your home, they can also help you be more energy efficient. Up to 50% of your home’s heating and cooling energy can be lost without proper window treatment materials and installation.

“Thank you for the work you did on my shutters and blinds at the Executive Mansion. The work is outstanding. The Sun Room is exactly what we hoped for: the Roman shades provided warmth to the room and the added color makes it a much more comfortable space for breakfast meetings, lunches and small dinners.” Christine O. Gregoire, former Governor of the State of Washington

“I would like to offer my best wishes and thanks for a great job and it was a pleasure to do business with Olympic Blinds. We had a sunroom added onto to our house and we needed some sunscreens and window tinting done for the heat problem we had. Now the sunroom is a lot more livable than before. We can see through the sunscreens to our backyard and watch the wildlife and new landscaping we just had installed. We will refer Olympic Blinds to all my neighbors and friends.” Yvonne

If you’re looking for an updated look or seeking more privacy, safety and energy efficiency, contact Olympic Blinds today for your complimentary in-home estimate.

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Safety First: Wood and Gas Burning Fireplaces

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It may not be cold enough yet, but it’s time to make sure your fireplace is clean and in proper working order. By scheduling or performing a proper cleaning and inspection (and regardless of the type of fireplace you choose) you will support good air circulation and ventilation in your home.

Chimney Sweep

If you didn’t do this at the end of last burning season, make sure to get your chimney cleaned before you start burning. With a wood fireplace, sweeping the chimney and performing an annual inspection is the most important part of fireplace maintenance. If your chimney becomes coated with soot can it can potentially catch fire. This should be done by a certified professional as improperly cleaning the chimney and inhaling soot and dust can lead to health issues.

After every burn, always clean ash from the fireplace when it reaches the bottom of the grate. Wear a dust mask and gloves for safety.

Watch Your Smoke

Does your chimney produce black smoke? This could be a sign that you’re burning poor quality materials that are producing toxic gases and poor air quality in your home. You should only burn clean, seasoned wood, manufactured logs or non-glossy white paper.

Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Remember: Change your batteries and test that both alarms are working properly.

Gas Fireplaces Need Inspections Too

Many new homes are choosing gas fireplaces over traditional wood. They are virtually maintenance free, easy to turn on and off, reduce the risk of fire danger, while still producing heat and ambiance. However, gas fireplaces should also be inspected once a year despite its easy and clean burning nature.

Check the quality of your logs as faux logs can deteriorate and become less effective. Also check the inside and outside for residue and debris that needs to be cleaned out. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions. You should also carefully inspect the glass doors and frame for any chips or scratches that can become hazardous over time.

If you take proactive steps now, it will help keep your fire running clean and efficiently and keeping you warm all through the cold and rainy season.

All contractors on our site are licensed and bonded.

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3 Must-Dos to Get Your Home Ready for Rain

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The rainy season in the Pacific Northwest is upon us. I know, already? While the temps are mild and the rain hasn’t completely ruined our sunny days yet, now is the best time to perform routine home maintenance to get your home ready for rain.

Gutter Maintenance

Clearing your gutters is a well-known maintenance tip to prevent clogging and ultimately mildew and mud. If your gutters are too heavy, they may also bend or break, rendering them completely ineffective. Gutters are necessary to every home in the PNW, so take the necessary steps now so that you can don’t pay a bigger price – due to damage – later.

Safely climb a latter and simply clean the leaves, dirt or other debris from the gutter. Check the downspout as this area will also clog. For more information on how to care for your gutters, read our detailed instructions here.

If climbing a latter isn’t your thing, or if you’d just prefer a professional ensure your gutters are clean and functioning properly, we can recommend a professional we trust to take care of your home, and prevent the rain from making an entrance. To see a list of contractors we recommend, visit us online at responsiblecontractors.com, or call us for a specific referral.

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Windows

Thoroughly clean your windows by removing dirt and debris from the windowsills and especially in the tracks of sliding doors. Check the caulk and weather stripping for any gaps. Taking care of this now will make your windows more efficient and prevent cold air and rain from sneaking inside.

If you’re in an older home, or maybe you just want a new look, consider replacing windows with new energy efficient and high-quality ones. Contact a window and door expert in your area to get a professional opinion on your window needs.

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Duct Cleaning

Air ducts and registers, motors and fans may become contaminated with particles of dust, pollen or other debris and become a source of indoor air pollution. Duct cleaning contractors offer a variety of services including cleaning, sealing and filter replacement. Some insulated air ducts that get wet may need to be replaced. Duct cleaning should be done by a professional if you suspect or see any visible mold growth. Don’t forget to change air filters regularly and keep up on dusting and vacuuming which will help minimize duct contamination.

Quick Tip: Consider having your duct work sealed if you have an older home. It will increase the efficiency of your heating system and decrease access for the creepy crawlers.

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For more information about home maintenance, visit our website for a list of reliable contractors.

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