4 New Year’s Resolutions for your Home

Exercise, drink more water, read more books. These are all common (and great) new year’s resolutions. But don’t just think about how you want to change yourself, but consider goals and visions for your home, too. If you feel good about your home, you’ll feel better about yourself. Take a few options from us.

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Get organized and declutter

This is the least expensive and quickest way to feel better about your home right away. The perfectly timed “Tidying Up” on Netflix has inspired me to deep clean drawers and closets. Taking the time to sort through old clothes, books, baby toys, and junk that’s just taking up space. I start by going room by room, drawer by drawer, cabinet by cabinet. It’s time-consuming, but with the right podcast and music, I can power through. Whatever your method of decluttering or organizing, the work is worth it and you’ll enjoy your home even more.

Remodeling your kitchen or bathroom to add more storage solutions can help make staying organized easier with the right set of cabinets or drawers. Large bottom drawers instead of cabinets are easy solutions to create more space and better function.

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Go clean and green

I continue to ponder how to save money and help save the planet at the same time. Solar panels are a great investment if you’re looking to take a big step toward energy independence. But there are plenty of other ways we can resolve to keep energy costs down and reduce our carbon footprint.

My parents instilled in me from an early age to always turn off the lights when you leave the room and don’t leave a TV on if you’re not watching it. But when the lights do need to be on, there are eco-friend LED bulbs that last longer and use less power. The beginning of the year is the perfect time to inspect and replace any necessary bulbs (while we’re up there give them a good dusting).

A few rooms in my house feel drafty and don’t warm up or cool down as quickly as others. There is a slight breeze coming in through some windows and it’s time we finally get an expert to help us find the right windows for energy conservation. It’s not a good long-term strategy to keep a space heater in the other bedroom room upstairs.

Do maintenance

The beginning of the year is a great time to look at maintenance projects that often go by the wayside, so if you commit to doing this every January, at least you’ve got it down once a year. So start by replacing air filters, ensure all heating and cooling is working properly and do the deep cleaning projects (you know, sort the garage, empty the gutters, shampoo the carpets). Knock it out now and you’re on your way to a successful year.

Budget and plan for one big project

I have a lot of dreams for my house. A bigger backyard patio with a stone fireplace and built-in speakers. A tree in my front yard. A bonus room professionally designed with a purpose for my family instead of a place where we throw junk and shut the door. If you’re like me and have big dreams but not always the time or budget for all, pick one that serves the best purpose for your home currently. If you are considering moving within the next two years, perhaps spending money and time decorating the bonus room isn’t the best choice. A gorgeous, functional patio will give a lot of benefits and add value to the home when it comes time to sell.

These are just four ideas of things you can around your home to make it work better for you. We all want to relax and feel comfortable in our home so let’s commit together to fix what’s bothering us and plan for exciting new additions and features.

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Create Your One-of-a-kind Home and Living Spaces with RCW Construction

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RCW Construction is a full-service company designing and building homes across the Puget Sound. Based out of Gig Harbor, they operate under the belief that everyone deserves a custom living space unique to one’s own style and individual must-haves. Don’t settle for a cookie-cutter style when you can work with imaginative designers, trained craftsmen, and expert project managers to create the right home for you.

A home built for you

RCW Construction designs and builds custom homes from the ground up. Not every buyer can find a pre-built home suited for them and a custom home gives the buyer the opportunity to ensure they can choose their own design, features, and must-haves without having to compromise on an already existing home. If you’re tired of looking for the perfect fit, don’t settle for just any home. Consider a one-of-a-kind home catered to you.

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Is it time for a home renovation?

Whether you are a new homeowner or 10 years in, take some time to reflect on your space and the purpose it serves you and your family. Does your kitchen need an overhaul to catch up with your growing family? Is your bathroom outdated and cramped? Using your existing home, RCW Construction puts you in good hands with their expert designers and builders.

When you choose RCW Construction you can feel confident that your remodel will meet your style demands with advanced building techniques, the highest quality materials, on time, within budget and in compliance with all local building codes.

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Kitchens and bathrooms are the most popular rooms to makeover as they yield high returns on the value of your home. But have you considered designing that extra room into something purposeful and spectacular?

For something fun and unique, RCW Construction designers and craftsmen can you help you build the “man cave” you’ve always wanted to add to your home. This is a popular idea to transform an extra room or a basement or attic into a distinct and comfortable space unique to your needs and style. Ideas to create this one-of-a-kind space include a high-quality wet bar, media corner, and recliners. RCW Construction can add audio-visual component sand arrangements to help you maximize the enjoyment in this space.

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“My new home is better than I had ever hoped for. I can’t say how fortunate I feel to have had Chris as my builder. He was very professional, caring and sensitive. I can’t say how much I appreciated the patience and understanding that Chris showed throughout the whole process.” Larry, Gig Harbor

RCW Construction is committed to helping you build, customize or remodel the perfect home for you and your family.  With more than 25 years of experience, RCW Construction offers professionalism and craftsmanship from beginning to completion.

Contact their friendly customer reps for a consultation and quote.

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Get cooking in your mini kitchen remodel with Lakewood Countertops

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HGTV.com reports that a minor kitchen model gives an average return at resale of 98.5 percent. A minor remodel is typically defined as cosmetic changes like freshly painted cabinets, new countertops, and upgraded appliances.

If you are considering a minor upgrade to your kitchen, Lakewood Countertops can help you choose the best product for your space and install it with the highest quality. Formerly known as Countertop Solutions, Lakewood Countertops is committed to delivering the same high-quality service and products to all valued customers. Lakewood Countertops is a member of the Master Builders Association of Pierce County and the Remodeling Council.

We want to thank you and workmen for the wonderful countertop installation. All who have seen the countertops seem to have the same comment “it’s done so neatly.”  Not only are we pleased with our Corian color selection, we also must commend your workman on their efficiency and neatness.  They worked like a “well-oiled machine.” The hot plates were a nice surprise. Thank you again and we will certainly recommend your company to all who see our countertops.” F and D, Gig Harbor

The experts at Lakewood Countertops can you help select from virtually endless possibilities in style and finish choices for cabinets. This isn’t just selecting white, brown or black cabinets – you can choose from the cabinet interior, drawer system, sheen level, and wood finishes. With customization options, your kitchen will not be a cookie cutter style. You can also add custom storage options such as unique cut-outs to display your fine wine or building in bottom drawers instead of cabinets for a more ergonomic and safe option.

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Bring your open mind to Lakewood Countertop’s showrooms in Lakewood or Tacoma and see for yourself what the kitchen of your dreams can look like. You can look at and touch the materials you envision for your kitchen remodel before they’re installed, giving you peace of mind that you’re making the best choices for your home, style preference and unique needs.

 

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5 Reasons You Need to Call an Electrician at The Repair Works

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Other than sitting in the dark, there are several good reasons to call an electrician. Sometimes our electrical work may be trying to tell us something’s not right before we experience a blackout or dangerous sparks and fire. A few good reminders can help you keep your property safe and address any electrical issues before it becomes hazardous and more expensive.

  1. When you turn your hair dryer on does it dim the bathroom light? Does a running vacuum flicker the table lamp? If your lights flicker and wane, your appliances could be drawing a lot of current and indication of an electrical problem good enough to call for an electrician.
  2. If your living room has television, cable modem, video console, speaker system wires running under rugs, over walls, on top of mantles, it’s a good time to call an electrician who can safely and neatly organize (hide) your wires and potentially build new outlets where you could use them.
  3. Bad electrical work can be seen and also felt. If your outlets or switches feel warm to the touch or if a switch or outlet gives you an unexpected and startling shock, there could be too much demand on the circuit. This is a complicated and dangerous job for someone without electrical training. Time to call an electrician.
  4. If your home is more than 25 years old and the electrical system hasn’t been upgraded, now is the time to call an electrician for a professional and thorough review of your wiring, current demands, and potential hazards. If your home is old, it’s not likely to be adequate for the demands of our modern technological needs.
  5. Speaking of modern technology, do your outlets support all your needs? Quality power strips can help when you need to plug more than two appliances into an outlet, but an overload of sloppy plugins built like a Tetris game can be extremely hazardous. Your first job is to ensure you’re not overloading an outlet, but if you don’t know what else to do to meet your demands, an electrician can help you solve this puzzle.

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About The Repair Works

Owned and operated by John Fisher, The Repair Works has been serving electrical customers of the Puget Sound for more than 33 years. The company offers a full scope of electrical services for residential, commercial and industrial clients including installation, maintenance, and repair.

They own all their own equipment including lifts, trucks, and vans which allows them instant mobility to any urgent electrical need. They strive to exceed customer’s expectations and delivery of high-quality service on time. Satisfied customers across the Puget Sound range from residential homes to commercial buildings.

“Great electrician. Dependable. They have saved our company a lot of money.” Bill, Tacoma WA

Advanced Specialty Electrical Work

The Repair Works offers specialty services for commercial and industrial clients like underground fault location and vacuum excavation. Locating underground electrical faults is necessary for repairing or replacing electric cables and can be done using minimally invasive, damage-free vacuum excavation.  Vacuum excavation uses kinetic energy in a high-velocity air stream to penetrate, expand and break up soil. This process allows the electrician to quickly, safely and economically excavate areas inaccessible to conventional digging equipment such as areas with pressure gas lines and pipelines.

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The professionals at The Repair Works go beyond commercial and residential buildings and are experts at street lights and parking lot lights. If you are a business owner or property manager, don’t let your building hide in poor illumination, contact a professional to help you light up your street and parking lot for visibility and customer and employee safety.

For an estimate or urgent help, visit The Repair Works’ profile on their Responsible Contractors’ webpage.

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Easy ways to build a green home with Assisted Custom Construction

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Building a custom home has many advantages like choosing a design that reflects your style and preference. Building a home also allows you to have more control over materials and other decisions that help to make your home more environmentally friendly.  Take some of these ideas with you to your planning meeting with Assisted Custom Construction to get started on your new, custom green home. Or, if you’re not building a new home, these are things all current homeowners can add through installation, renovation or remodeling.

  1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Recycled materials such as glass, aluminum, tile, lumber, and plastic can be used in home building. You can also salvage vintage items like windows and doors that not only save you money but will add a one-of-a-kind style to your home. Reclaimed wood is also very trendy and can help you achieve multiple styles from farmhouse chic to elegant rustic.

  1. Use Sustainable Materials

Choosing to buy new can be green if you opt for sustainable materials. Think of bamboo and cork, which some of the best eco-friendly building materials the plant has to offer. Bamboo is sturdy and has a very high self-generation rate (it can grow up to three feet in 24 hours) and is an excellent choice for flooring and cabinetry. Cork does not absorb water or rot and it is very flexible and resilient.

  1. Rainwater Harvesting Systems and Tankless Water Heaters

Harvesting rainwater in the Pacific Northwest just makes sense. During the rainy season, we can conserve water to use later in the dryer summer months. No this isn’t for cooking for drinking, but for water that doesn’t need to be purified like lawn irrigation or the home’s sewer system. The City of Seattle website offers more information about this valuable resource and how to install it into your home.

  1. Install High-Efficiency HVAC System, Doors and Windows

Since you’re starting fresh with a new home, when you’re choosing your appliances and doors and windows, look for Energy Star products that will help keep your heating and air conditioner bills down. When thinking of door and window placement, talk to your builder about the best solutions for optimal light while not allowing the inside of the home to become too warm from the sun.

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Assisted Custom Construction provides customers with the opportunity to take an active role in building or remodeling the home.  They help design and build a new house, provide construction consulting or just assists while you take charge of the home building process.

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Clean Up Indoor Air and Mold Issues with Solutions from AdvantaClean of the South Sound

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Mold inspections, testing, and removal aren’t processes that we think about on a daily basis. After all, major water leaks and flooding are rare. But we definitely think about mold inspections when buying or selling a home, or on the rare occasion, our home suffers from severe flooding.

Mold issues can creep up on us even with the smallest leaks or unknown water damage. Repairs could be as small as slight damage from the roof or basement, to larger more expensive remediation that requires removing spores via an air scrubbing machine, digging into insulation or cutting up walls. The best way to keep your mold problem from getting more expensive is stopping it immediately and being aware of the signs that could lead to a mold problem.

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As a responsible homeowner, or even as a renter, there are many simple ways to routinely monitor potential opportunities for mold growth. Because we live in the Pacific Northwest and are always dealing with rain, it’s critical that we continuously monitor for water leaks, water stains or any other water activity within the home. Any moisture left behind can promote mold growth.

Annual roof, gutter, and basement inspections are the first line of defense to water leaking. Maintaining proper ventilation and relative humidity below 55 percent will help prevent mold growth in the walls. General cleaning of the home such as keeping areas free of clutter to promote proper air circulation is also an easy DIY maintenance job.

You can identify mold growth in your home by the sight of patchy mold, the presence of uncommon water, or for some, the smell of musty odors. If someone in your home has been experiencing unusual health or allergy symptoms, an inspection may help identify a moldy culprit. In 2004, the Institute of Medicine found significant evidence to link indoor mold exposure with upper respiratory tract symptoms such as a cough and wheezing in otherwise healthy people.

The most likely source of mold damage comes from sources that aren’t as visible without a professional inspection such as attics and crawl spaces or near plumbing and walls that seep moisture from the ground. Some homes have experienced moisture in the walls from improper installation or damage to a dryer vent. Of course, mold can be visible too, beginning as a small patch of black or green on the wall. If you suspect mold, you should immediately contact a mold expert for proper testing.

For proper and safe mold inspections and removal, contact AdvantaClean of the South Sound. Locally owned and operated by Jared Toppenberg, the company’s experience, training, and resources ensure quality commitment to testing, treating and restoring your property affected by mold growth.

AdvantaClean of the South Sound holds certifications through MICRO as a Certified Mold Contractors and Certified Mold Inspectors.

If you suspect water or moisture damage to your home or if you need a proper inspection before buying or selling a home, contact AdvantaClean of the South Sound.

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5 Tips for Aging in Place and Building a Life-long Home with Moore Renovations

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As our family gets older, we are often thinking about the best solution for our home lifestyle. Aging in place is a wonderful option for families who wish to remain in their own homes without the stress and continual work of modifying and updating the home. As defined by Architectural Digest, “aging in place” is strongly linked to greater health and happiness outcomes for seniors when it is a viable option for those who can afford home health aides or nearby family members who can provide care.

Moore Renovations, based out of Normandy Park, Wash., specializes in incorporating universal design principles for couples that are becoming empty nesters and looking at their home as the place where they will settle into during retirement. With more than 15 years’ experience, owners Kim and Dana Moore design projects for the new home builder, those in need of quick repairs, or remodels to meet specific needs. They’re committed to evolving with the latest trends and strive to continually stay up-to-date on material, equipment and color trends for all clients.

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Moore Renovations can help you find the best style and design concepts for aging in place. The Aging in Place Guide released by the New York City’s Department for the Aging recommends several options that make a home aging-friendly. These suggestions include mechanisms that assist a person when mobility is impaired and designs that will never age a home’s value.

  1. Door levers and doorknobs that are easy to open, not a knob that requires the wrist to turn. You’ll want to make sure all doors have no step, allowing for the smooth entry and exit in a wheelchair or for someone balance impaired.
  2. Simple technology is also a great concept to consider for aging parents; consider door locks, lighting, and thermostats that can be easily controlled with a smartphone or tablet.
  3. For flooring choose soft and smooth surfaces that are kinder on joints and won’t pose a trip hazard like cork, rubber or linoleum. Padded carpet can be difficult for wheelchairs and pose a tripping hazard. Specific design details can also help a person with impaired vision, so avoid strong patterns or shiny surfaces that may interfere with depth perception.
  4. In the kitchen, adding an island on wheels can help provide clearance for a walker or wheelchair, and a fold-down surface at one end allows the homeowner to sit to prepare meals. Limit the number of high cabinets, and never build one over a stove which is a major hazard for someone with limited mobility or impaired balance. An excellent alternative to traditional cabinets is built-in kitchen drawers which are much easier to reach and organize.
  5. An adjustable-height showerhead with a handheld wand can help bring independence to the bathroom. When updating a bathroom for an elderly home, choose a no-threshold or walk-in shower that has room for seating. Grab bars are also essential during the shower installation.

Contact Moore Renovations to help you create an aging-friendly home.

 

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