Looking to Build or Remodel? Learn How to Hire a Good Contractor Here!

Remodeling or building a new home is stressful. One way that can either alleviate some of that stress or add to it is the contractor you choose. In order to help you alleviate some of the stress we found this article on how to hire a good contractor. We hope it helps!

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From the article:

There are thousands of legitimate, ethical contractors in business around the country. Unfortunately, there are also scam artists looking to cheat you out of your money who pose as legitimate contractors. These “fly-by-night” operators often show up in communities impacted by natural disasters to try to scam distressed home owners into paying for shoddy repairs or work that they will never show up to perform.

Here are some warning signs to look out for:

Doesn’t have license and insurance. All professional contractors should be insured and able to show their certificate proving such insurance. Although all states do not require licensing, contractors in states requiring licenses should have it and be able to provide a copy.
Asks you to sign anything before you’ve hired them. If they want you to sign an “estimate” or “authorization” before you’ve made the decision to hire the contractor, look out. They may be trying to get you to sign what is an actual binding contract.
Doesn’t write contracts. Professionals have clear contracts that outline the job, process, the cost, and helps clarify how problems will be managed. If you don’t have a contract, you are not protected when something goes wrong. Don’t hire anyone who tells you a contract “won’t be necessary.”
Requires cash or payment in full before starting the job. Shady contractors demand cash and then run with the money. Many home owners have been stranded by paying in full up front. A deposit towards materials is common, but only pay it once you have a contract signed by both you and the contractor. It’s also suspect you’re asked to pay cash to a salesperson instead of a check or money order to a company.
Vastly underbids all other contractors. They may have the best price, but that doesn’t guarantee the best work. Such contractors may cut costs on quality, which can end up costing you more when you have to have the substandard work redone.

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Going to be remodeling your home? Checkout this article about learn how to live in a remodel that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: http://www.nahb.org/en/consumers/homeownership/home-maintenance-and-repair/how-to-spot-a-contractor-scam.aspx

Looking to Remodel Your Home This Year? Learn the Top Trends Here!

Remodeling your home can be a lot of fun if you have a clear direction on what you what done. If you aren’t sure what you want though then you’ve come to the right place. We hope this article helps you design your perfect home!

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From the article:

More than 110,000 builders, designers, manufacturers, and media professionals descended on Las Vegas last week for the annual unveiling of innovative products, materials, services, and technologies for the home that is Design & Construction Week.

Consumer Reports sent its usual team of editors, market analysts, and product testers to unearth the most compelling remodeling trends from more than 2,500 exhibitors, spread across 1.2 million square feet of convention space. Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling the one you have, here are five key trends to consider this year.

Low Maintenance Meets High Design
The millennial effect is a factor here. In a recent Consumer Reports survey of 18- to 35-year-olds, low maintenance made the list of most desirable home features. Beauty, however, will always rank supreme with homeowners. That’s driving even more interest to quartz countertops, which come in some stunning designs without all the upkeep of marble, granite, and other natural stones. Two favorites from the show: Caesarstone’s marble-inspired Nobel Grey, above, and Cambria’s Roxwell, with its undulating movement of gray dappled with white, black, and charcoal flecks.

Stainless steel is also getting a low-maintenance makeover from several major brands. KitchenAid’s black stainless steel resists fingerprints better than traditional stainless and it’s a softer, warmer finish. GE’s new graphite finish for its Monogram Professional appliances, pictured at top, is made through physical vapor deposition, or PVD, a process that promises exceptional strength and scratch resistance along with a rich luster we haven’t seen before.

Exterior products are getting less fussy, too. If you’re creating a new exterior living space, check out the Trex Pergola, an outdoor structure made from cellular PVC with structural aluminum cores and stainless steel hardware. The easy-to-assemble pergola is available with a motorized canopy, providing instant sun and rain coverage to any deck or patio space.

Virtual Reality Becomes Practical
Let’s say you’re planning a major kitchen remodel. If you’ve done your homework, or you’re working with an experienced designer, you know to come up with a floor plan that promotes good traffic flow. But until you’re actually standing in the space, it’s impossible to know for sure that it works—and by that time it could be too late. Enter the brave new world of virtual reality, which lets you experience your new kitchen (or any room in the house) before the real work gets underway. Lowe’s Holoroom is the most mainstream example, but many smaller companies are coming out of the woodwork, so to speak, and we expect virtual reality to be a major trend in 2016. Watch this Consumer Reports video for more details.

Clever Ways to Save Water
Drought conditions have eased up in some parts of the country, but the market for water-efficient products remains red hot. One of the most innovative show offerings was the AquaBoy Pro II from Aquarius Brands, an atmospheric water generator that produces up to five gallons of purified water, hot or cold, from the air. One caveat: the machine needs the relative humidity to be at least 30 percent, so it might not be an option in some arid regions during the daytime. The AquaBoy Pro II sells for $1,850, with leasing options.

Smart water heaters are another possible source of savings, since they let consumers track their consumption in real time. The Trutankless TR Series smart water, starting at $1,600, incorporates connected capability in a tankless water heater—an inherently efficient piece of equipment, since it only delivers hot water when you need it (unlike traditional water heaters, which maintain a storage tank full of hot water whether you need it or not). The catch with the Trutankless is that it runs on electricity, which is more expensive than gas in most regions. In addition to tracking water usage, the Wi-Fi heater allows users to remotely set the temperature through their smartphone. Rheem and Rinnai, two other water heater manufacturers, also introduced Wi-Fi-enabled models, including both tank and tankless water heaters that run on gas.

In the laundry category, Electrolux’s new Perfect Steam Washer with LuxCare Wash and SmartBoost, which took home the 2016 KBIS Best in Show award, uses an exclusive technology that premixes the water and detergent in a special chamber before the cycle begins, promising a deep clean in all cycles. The new washer also features a 15-minute Fast Wash Cycle, which saves consumers time. Overall, Electrolux says the new washer will save 40 gallons per week, on average, compared with a leading high-efficiency top load washer. We’ll confirm those claims when we get the machine into our labs for testing.

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Looking for more information on which remodels get you the most bang for your buck? Checkout this article about remodels worth the money that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: http://www.consumerreports.org/appliances/5-top-home-remodeling-trends-for-2016/

Looking for Top Kitchen Decorating Ideas? Find Them Here!

The kitchen is the heart of the home and is a place that most people like to keep updated with the latest trends when possible. In order to help you out we found this article with the top kitchen decorating ideas for the year. We hope it helps you design your dream kitchen!

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From the article:

Get White-on-White Just Right
1481646311-delish-leanne-ford-add-texture
All-white kitchens aren’t going anywhere — see: Everybody’s “For the Home” Pinterest boards and oh, everything Joanna Gaines fixes up — but there’s a key to keeping the room from looking doctor’s-office sterile: “Use different kinds of textures,” Ford says. “Whether it’s subway tile or a wood grain, linen or cotton, different kinds of textures add warmth and make the room feel cozy.”

Get a Concrete Idea
1481646316-delish-leanne-ford-concrete-counters
If marble’s too fussy (or pricey!) for your tastes, try going the other extreme — with concrete. “They’re really taking over,” Ford says. “Concrete’s not so expensive, it’s cool, easy, durable. Honestly, it’s like the evolution of butcher block.”

Make Throwback Thursday Every Day
1481646319-delish-leanne-ford-smeg
Stainless steel appliances have been the star of the kitchen for years now, and while they still look great in industrial homes, Ford’s been loving Smeg’s updated take on retro appliances. Yup, the white fridge is officially back — only with rounded edges and a taller, skinnier appearance. “The iPhone’s brought back white in a big way,” Ford says. “These refrigerators are super glossy, super clean, and cool and modern. They blend in better with white kitchens, too.”

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Looking for more high end kitchen decorating ideas? Checkout this article about kitchen decorating ideas that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: http://www.housebeautiful.com/home-remodeling/interior-designers/g4034/kitchen-design-ideas-trending/

Looking to Organize Your Home This Year? Learn 100 Things to Toss Here!

Having an organized home is easy said than done. In order to help you out we found this article with 100 different things to get rid of in order to declutter. We hope it helps you have a more organized home!

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From the article:

Not only will a big purge make you and your family feel more organized, but it can also be great for the mind. Physical clutter can cause stress and leave you less focused. Plus, with fewer things taking up space in your home, you’ll have more room to display the things that bring you joy. In other words, it’s time to Marie Kondo your home.

Whether you take it slowly over the course of a few weeks or plan to tackle it in one weekend, commit to the decluttering project and aim to keep it up throughout the year. As you know, things easily pile up around the house but the more on top of it you stay, the easier it is to maintain.

Below, see our list of 100 things you can toss or donate right now from your home — the majority of which you probably won’t even miss.

Bedroom closet
– Clothes you don’t wear anymore
– Clothes that don’t fit
– Uncomfortable shoes
– Old formal dresses you’ll never wear again
– Wire hangers
– Socks missing their match
– Gloves missing their match
– Ratty or stained scarves
– Broken purses
– Extra canvas bags (Have enough for groceries and get rid of the rest.)
– Hats you never wear

Kid’s room
– Dried-out markers and art supplies
– Broken crayons
– Broken toys
– Clothes they’ve grown out of
– Toys they don’t play with anymore
– Furniture they’re too big for now
– Extra artwork

Garage
-Broken, rusted or duplicate tools
– Sports equipment that no longer gets used
– Deflated sports balls
– That old refrigerator that doesn’t work anymore
– Things you’re saving for a future garage sale that’s never going to happen
– Old potting soil you no longer need
– Extra paint for a color that’s no longer in your house
– Unfinished DIY projects that will never get completed
– Extra home improvement supplies that you’ll never need
– The picnic basket you haven’t used in years
– Boxes for appliances or gadgets you’re saving just in case
– The folding card table that’s scratched or broken

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Looking for more garage organization ideas? Checkout this article about garage organization ideas that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: http://www.today.com/home/100-things-toss-home-t106544

Curious What the Most Popular Closets Look Like? Find Out Here!

Closets are something that most women think aren’t big enough. If you love to daydream about the closet of your dreams then you’ve come to the right place. We found this article with some of the most popular closets. We hope it helps you design your dream closet!

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From the article:

Shoe bench.

Swans Nest Estate

It’s hard to buckle a Christian Louboutin caged 6-inch stiletto or pull up a thigh-high boot. One needs a seat. And apparently a shoe mirror. And probably an assistant. This is also a good spot for a friend or kiddo to sit while you play fashion show.

A closet annex.

Mirrored Wardrobes with Fretwork

No room for a dream closet or even a small walk-in? Sometimes there just isn’t enough space in the main closet. Why dig around for shoes hidden beneath your hanging pants when you can display them in a built-in in your bedroom?

Top-shelf opportunities.

Clean & Classic

No matter how small your closet, you’ll want to take advantage of height — if you stop at the top rod you may be wasting space.

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Looking for more closet ideas? Checkout this article about closet ideas that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/57643539/list/the-most-popular-closets-of-2015

Looking for Ways to Make Your Home Better This Year? Find Out How Here!

With advances in technology every few years it’s possible to make improvements to your home in ways that were never possible before. In order to help you out we found this article with the 5 different areas to improve in your home. We hope they help!

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If you need Apartment complex dryer vent cleaning services, then Dryer Vents Plus is your #1 choice! Call Jeremy Leake today at 225-612-7752 to schedule your 100% Free, No Obligation Quote!
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From the article:

Check off these five to-dos around the house to ensure the loved ones living under your roof are safe, happy and healthy in the year to come.

Test your home’s indoor air quality
As frightening as it sounds, the air you’re breathing indoors could be more dangerous than the air outdoors.

One way to go about testing is to hire a professional to check for specific allergens or chemicals, like radon, asbestos, or mold and other toxic materials. Pros who specialize in a certain type of testing will take a sample and diagnose any problems fairly quickly. Another option for testing is to check for anything and everything in one swoop. The cost to test for a wider range of pollutants is higher, but you’ll check a lot of potential problems off the list before anything becomes an issue.

Be sure your home is insulated properly
According to Energy.gov, unless your home was specially constructed for energy efficiency, you can probably reduce your energy bills by adding more insulation. Insulation provides resistance to heat flow, and the more heat flow resistance your insulation provides, the lower your heating and cooling costs.

To determine if you could be saving, bring in a qualified home energy auditor to assess your home’s insulation. A whole-house energy assessment, also known as a home energy audit, will identify the location and amount of insulation in your home and pinpoint areas in need of air sealing—sealing those spots will also cut costs in the long run.

Once you’ve determined the condition of your existing insulation, you can find the right contractor to add insulation to your home. Remember: Even if you go for more expensive materials and pay a hefty price up front, you’re almost sure to recoup that money thanks to lower energy bills over time.

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Looking for garage organization ideas? Checkout this article about garage organization ideas that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: http://patch.com/us/across-america/5-new-years-resolutions-your-home

Looking for Home Office Ideas? Take a Look at These!

Home offices are necessary in every home in some capacity or another even if it’s just a place to put bills and files. Regardless of how much space you have available or how much you need you’ve come to the right place. We hope this article helps you best utilize the space you have and need!

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If you need Hammond dryer vent cleaning services, then Dryer Vents Plus is your #1 choice! Call Jeremy Leake today at 225-612-7752 to schedule your 100% Free, No Obligation Quote!
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From the article:

Under the stairs.

Palma Plaza Renovation

This cozy office nook by architect Hugh Jefferson Randolph was created using space stolen from an often wasted spot. As more folks opt to downsize these days, creating an office from an area like this is preferable to adding an entire room dedicated to work.

Making the most of a bump-out or bay.

Baltimore City Townhouse Refresh

These nooks are just the right size to nestle in a desk. This bump-out is part of a living room, and interior designer Jennifer Walters wanted to maintain an open, “non-office-y” feel under the windows. Using a desk with a glass top and polished metal legs keeps the work space from feeling cluttered or clunky. The wireless printer and fax are hidden in baskets.

Roost Interior Design

Family Kitchen

In the kitchen. The kitchen is still a popular spot for keeping the home organized, as well as a place to plan menus and charge personal devices. In this colorful kitchen, walnut shelves in the office corner hold cookbooks and art.

Out in the open.

Australian Modern

If your office is the command center of your home, tucking it in between rooms makes a lot of sense. It’s easy to pop right over and pay a bill, shoot off an email or keep a schedule organized.

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Looking for more home office ideas? Checkout this article about home office ideas that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/57850115/list/the-20-most-popular-home-office-photos-of-2015

Did You Make a New Year’s Resolution to Keep Your House Clean This Year? Find Out How to Keep it Here!

Keeping a clean house is a really nice goal. Sometimes easier to achieve than others for sure. In order to help you out we found this article with easy ways to keep you home clean all year long. We hope it helps!

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If you need Hammond dryer vent cleaning services, then Dryer Vents Plus is your #1 choice! Call Jeremy Leake today at 225-612-7752 to schedule your 100% Free, No Obligation Quote!
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From the article:

When You Walk in the Door . . .
Put everything that comes into your house away immediately. (And, yes, the recycling bin is a viable option for that junk mail.) Keep your on-the-go items—coat, bag, keys, et cetera—in one place. And if you have a second story, always take something that needs to go up every time you walk upstairs.

Your Bedroom, From Morning Till Night
Make your bed every day. No matter what. Do it as soon as you get up, and feel free to ditch your top sheet if that makes life easier. When you get home, immediately hang up items that will be reworn. And keep your closet decluttered. The best way to do this? Give pieces away frequently!

The Dreaded Kitchen
There’s a difference between having a neat house—i.e., everything is straightened—and having a clean house—as in, there aren’t gobs of sticky, anonymous food lingering from days ago. The kitchen, rivaled only by the bathroom, is ground zero for cleanliness. So how best to combat the situation? Make a habit of cleaning as much as possible while you cook, and always do all the dishes after each meal. Clean out (and dry!) your sink at the end of every day. If you have a dishwasher, run it at night and unload the clean dishes before it is time to pop in the next morning’s cereal bowls.

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Looking for ways to clean common things in your home? Checkout this article about home cleaning tips that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: http://www.vogue.com/13518247/how-to-keep-your-house-clean-new-years-resolution/

Did You Know That Your Dryer Can Catch on Fire?

Fires can happen in a myriad of different ways, some of them preventable and some of them are not. We owe it to ourselves as homeowners to do what we can to prevent the ones that we can. One of the ones that can be prevented is the ones caused by clogged dryer vents. We found this article with more information that we hope will help.

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If you need South Louisiana dryer vent cleaning services, then Dryer Vents Plus is your #1 choice! Call Jeremy Leake today at 225-612-7752 to schedule your 100% Free, No Obligation Quote!
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From the article:

In most homes, the clothes dryer has become an indispensable part of family living. And for families with children, laundry often seems never-ending. But, many families don’t know that clothes dryers can be a leading cause of fires in the home approximately 15,000 every year. At UL, we rigorously inspect, certify and test dryers while they are still in the factory to ensure that safety standards are met. Once you bring them home, a little preventative maintenance can keep them in good working order.

What causes fires?
One of the most common causes of dryer fires is lack of maintenance. When lint traps aren’t cleaned as often as they should be, the resulting build-up in the screen or other areas can cause the dryer to perform poorly, operate at elevated temperatures and possibly overheat ??? with dangerous consequences.

What can you do?
An important safeguard your family can take is to ensure that your dryer has rigid or flexible metal venting and ducting materials to help sustain airflow. This will also reduce operating costs and extend the life of the dryer and clothing due to lower drying temperatures.

Additionally:
-Clean the lint trap before and after drying each load of clothes.
-Don’t forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can be trapped.
-The interior of the dryer and venting system should be cleaned periodically by qualified service personnel. If you notice the drying time is longer, clean the vent system thoroughly to ensure proper airflow.
-Replace plastic or vinyl exhaust hoses with rigid or flexible metal venting.

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Looking for more information on dryer fires? Checkout this article about dryer fires that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: https://www.schmidtsecurity.com/dryer-fires-and-how-to-prevent-them/

Curious What the Difference Between Market Price and Market Value in Real Estate? Learn Here!

Selling a home is a big challenge. Knowing how to price a home is a big challenge but there’s more to it then that. If you’ve ever wondered what the difference between market price and market value is then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve found this article just for you. We hope it helps!

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If you need Baton Rouge dryer vent cleaning services, then Dryer Vents Plus is your #1 choice! Call Jeremy Leake today at 225-612-7752 to schedule your 100% Free, No Obligation Quote!
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From the article:

In real estate, many agents suggest that it all comes down to price. Is it true that a property sells just because of price? What about the value component?

Well, we all can agree that there needs to be an exchange of goods in order for a sale to occur. However, the buyer and seller might not rate value equally. When I market a client’s property, I determine a market price without viewing the property and the probability of that property being sold in 30, 60 or 90 days based on comparables and market data. Then I determine a market value once viewing and assessing all the benefits, the condition of the property and external market data.

Let’s examine the differences between market price and market value and how they can influence each other.

Market Price
Market price is what a willing, ready and bank-qualified buyer will pay for a property and what the seller will accept for it. The transaction that takes place determines the market price, which will then influence the market value of future sales. Price is determined by local supply and demand, the property’s condition and what other similar properties have sold for without adding in the value component.

Market Value
Market value is an opinion of what a property would sell for in a competitive market based on the features and benefits of that property (the value), the overall real estate market, supply and demand, and what other similar properties have sold for in the same condition.

The major difference between market value and market price is that the market value, in the eyes of the seller, might be much more than what a buyer will pay for the property or it’s true market price. Value can create demand, which can influence price. But, without the demand function, value alone cannot influence price. As supply increases and demand decreases, price goes down, and value is not influential. As supply decreases and demand increases, the price will rise, and value will influence price. Market value and market price can be equal in a balanced market.

However, buyers and sellers can view value differently. A seller might feel that their in-ground pool is a benefit, but the buyer could see it as a negative and place less value on the property. Or the seller could feel the new roof they put on the house has great value; however, the buyer places no value on this because they expect the property to have a roof in good condition. Or a builder might feel he has superior quality and demand a higher price, but the buyer places less value on quality and more value on the lot, neighborhood and floor plan of the property.

Value is not always about bricks and mortar. Some buyers might pay more for a property based on personal value-added items. For example, Buyer A, who does not drive, values a property higher than Buyer B because the property is next to a bus line. Or the property could be close to a school or close to a doctor’s office for someone who has children or a medical condition.

The question is, “How much is that worth to a buyer?” as there is always a limit to what a buyer will pay and what the property will be appraised for by a bank. Value is truly in the eye of the beholder. Some buyers might see value in the property but might not pay more if there is no demand. In most cases market price will trump market value in a buyer’s market.

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Thinking of buying a home without a realtor? Then checkout this article about buying without a realtor that could be of interest to you.
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Read the entire article here: http://www.inman.com/2015/03/26/the-difference-between-market-price-and-market-value-in-real-estate/?utm_source=feedburner