Monthly Archives: March 2017

Floors Perfect for Homes with Pets

boys with dog on carpet choosing right pet-friendly floorFrom their great personality to their crazy antics, our pets have a way of working into our hearts. Inevitably that means, as a valued member of our family, our furry friends also work their way into our homes and across our floors.  When it’s time to replace those floors, it makes cents to keep our dog and cat friends in mind when you choose your next floor—your next pet-friendly floor.

Luxury Vinyl

Pros: Pet paws, high traffic, accidents, soda…this floor can take whatever your home (and your family) dishes out.  These floors are very hard to scratch and stain resistant so they can take running dogs and cats, long claws, and any accidents that might happen.  Pet hair can easily be removed, and they are incredibly easy to clean.  Luxury vinyl is available in a tile or wood look, can be installed with or without grout, and can be a do-it-your-self project (depending on the product).

Cons: Luxury vinyl can be very hard so you’ll need to add rugs for the comfort of your pets.  Scratches can be also hard to fix, so make sure you tell your associate you have pets when you purchase the floor.  The cost of luxury vinyl can be intimidating, but you can often get discounts for volume purchases.

Tile

Pros: Porcelain tile is water, odor and mildew resistant, making them ideal for homes with pets.  As far as looks, tiles come in a huge variety of colors and styles.  Tile can be installed as a do-it-yourself project, and is extremely affordable.  It’s also easy to keep clean.

Cons: When the temperature drops, tile floors can feel cold under your bare feet.  To keep your feet warm, consider having radiant floor heating installed under the tile.  Radiant floor heating can run off of your hydronic heating or can be installed as an electrical mat.  Because tile floors are so hard, it can be hard for pets with joint issues because it’s harder for them to get traction when they run through the room.

Hardwood

Pros: Hardwood floors are durable and can be refinished when needed.  Wood floors look great and are easy to clean up any fur or debris that your pet tracks in.  There are a ton of colors and styles, so you can choose the color and width of the floors that you want installed in your home.

Cons: Wood floors are one of the most expensive flooring options, and are prone to scratching.  Hardwoods also can be damaged by water from your pets’ paws, water bowls, or accidents.  Keep a rag close at hand so you can dry up easily.  If you choose hardwood, put a wood-friendly mat under the food and water bowls.  Wood floors are not a good match for basements because they can be damaged by moisture that seeps through the walls and floor (find out what floors are best for basements or just ask us via email or when you come in).

Laminate

Pros: Laminate flooring is as tough as nails (maybe tougher), which means it can handle all the running, playing, and crazy that comes with high-energy pets.  With a broom or a damp mop, this flooring is easy-to-clean and easy to remove all the fur that tends to pile up.  Laminate floors come in a variety of colors and styles, making them a beautiful addition to any room.  These floors are also very affordable and can be a fairly easy do-it-yourself project so they can be a low-cost upgrade to any home.

Cons: Laminate floors can be damaged by water spills—especially when not wiped up right away.  These floors are also very hard, which can be tough on pets with joint issues because they can’t get traction.  Laminate floors are very loud and tend to echo, especially when pets are running through the room.

Cork

Pros: Cork is antimicrobial, beautiful, and a green product.  It is mildew-resistant and soft to the feet, making it comfortable for pets to relax on.  Cork can be stained to the color you choose.

Cons: Cork is prone to damage from scratching, which can be a problem in a high traffic household (or a many-paw household).  While cork is easy to keep clean, it does need periodic maintenance over the life of the floor.  Cork can also be damaged by water, which makes it a problem in areas where your pets come in from outside or around their water bowl.

5 DIY Home Décor Projects You Can Get Done in a Weekend

bathroom with tile around tub and on floorThis title isn’t a Freudian slip; you can start and finish home décor projects from Friday to Sunday (or Monday if you’ve got a vacation day to burn).  Wipe all those half-finished, there’s-still-a-hole-in-my-wall pictures from your mind.  With a little bit of research, some professional advice from the local experts, and the right materials, you can use a weekend to transform any room of your home.

Backsplash

remodeled kitchen that adds valueA backsplash can be the finishing touch that adds a touch of ‘wow’ to your kitchen.  Make sure you measure the area correctly and do your homework before you even think of applying the tile adhesive.  Once you have the step-by-step directions memorized, visit your local home décor store to pick out the right tile for your kitchen and to get the professional advice you need to get the job completed by Monday.

Bathroom facelift

tile floor in bathroom with white vanity and tile showerIf you’re tired of that worn-out bathroom surround or that outdated ugly tile (insert color here), give your bathroom a facelift with new bathroom tile.  Depending on the scope of your project and size of your bathroom, you may need to allocate more time to get from start to finish.  Obviously, installing tile around a half bath is going to go faster than tiling around a huge, luxurious shower.

New laminate or wood floor

Floating floors are fairly easy to install before you don’t need to worry about nails.  Three of the most popular floating floors are laminate, engineered wood, and luxury vinyl planks.  All three are incredibly durable and easy to install if you have the correct tools and information.

cherry colored laminate floor in kitchenYou can also get a good deal on these floors if you buy in bulk or watch for deals.  Before you install the floors, make sure you do your share of prep work before you start installing.  In addition to ripping up your old floors, you need to remove all staples, level, and get your sub-floor ready for the new, fantastic looking floating floor.

Tile floor

A new tile floor can give your new entryway, laundry room, kitchen, bathroom, or mud room a whole new look—and can handle all the water that typically gets spilled or tracked into these rooms.  As an added bonus, tile can be installed over radiant floor heating, which makes your new tile floors a welcome warm addition under your feet.  As with all do-it-yourself projects, do your homework (especially if radiant floor heating is involved) and make sure you ask how much maintenance your tile and grout require over the life of your new tile floor.

Outside tile projects

front steps with porcelain tileAdding tile to your patio or front step is a project that you can dream about all winter long until you have a warm weekend to tackle and complete this terrific addition to your outdoor space (and to dream of the great times you’ll have once it’s warm).  Make sure you prep the space completely before you get started and you mention to your salesman that you are buying tile that is going outside.  Choose a weekend that is warm enough for installation and curing, and plan a fun get together to show off your DIY tile installation once it’s done.

5 Home Projects that Increase Your Home Value

kitchen and dining room with island, table, and laminate floorsIt’s the most wonderful time of the year—not Christmas—tax return time.  If you’re sifting through ideas of ways to spend your tax return, look around you (literally!) for worthy investments of your money and time.  Some home projects can give you a return on your hard-earned dollars in the way of home value.  To make sure you’re spending your tax return dollars on home updates that give you a significant return, use this guide to select your next home remodeling project that makes cents.

Hardwood floors

Hardwood floors are near the top for many home buyers; that demand is part of the reason that new hardwood floors can increase your home value.  Traditional hardwoods or engineered hardwoods are the two most common choices.  There are other advantages to installing hardwood floors too: they’re durable, can be refinished as needed, and come in a variety of styles perfect for any home (come see!).

Bathroom face lift

bathroom with tile floor that can handle waterA new vanity, tiled shower, white toilet (no colored toilets!), and a new floor can do wonders for the look of your bathroom AND for the value of your home. We’ve seen statistics that have put the return on investment in the 80% range, a favorable return for your tax return.  Even a small investment of time and funds into a half bathroom (or adding a half bathroom) can increase the value of your home.

Kitchen remodel

Bathrooms and kitchens sell houses, which is why an updated kitchen is a solid investment of your tax return.  To get the most for your dollar, research your area to make sure you don’t overspend on your kitchen remodel.  While you would love to have a gourmet kitchen with all the bells and whistles, from an investment perspective, you won’t get the most of your dollars if you invest too much for your area.  New cabinets (or refaced is the cabinet boxes are still sound), new back splash, counters, and a new floor (or whatever combination of these items are needed) can get you a return on your tax return investment.

Finished basement

carpet in basement that can handle basement moistureAdding finished square footage to your home is always going to lead to a higher resale and home value.  Finishing all or even part of your basement into a family room, media room, or bedroom (or all of the above) can give you more space when you need it.  Drywall, new floors (options for basement flooring here), and finishing touches (i.e. shelves, curtains and blinds, etc.) give you more functional room and an increase in your home value.

New deck/patio

Outdoor space is a priority for all us; after all, an outdoor grill out is one of our favorite pass times.  That’s why building a new deck or sprucing up your patio with a fresh look (more outdoor ideas here) can boost the value of your home.