Latest Trends in Home Improvement

People all over the world want to stay in beautiful homes. Some want to improve their homes on a budget while others aim for expensive home improvement projects. This explains why the cost of home improvements has almost doubled in the last decade, reaching $280 billion in 2005 alone.

But times are changing and a recent survey of general contractors, painters, floor installers and interior designers in nine states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Texas, Virginia and Washington) can give us a clear idea of the latest home improvement trends.

Owing to the recent recession. homeowners appear to be investing in less expensive projects like routine replacements, system upgrades and mid-range rather than upscale improvements. These smaller jobs are better for homeowners since they usually provide a greater return of investment.

Tile floors are popular choices of homeowners from Seattle to Virginia. A close second is laminate flooring that is similar to wood. There seems to be a gradual movement toward natural materials that originate from sustainable resources that are affordable, recyclable and easy to maintain.

Large family rooms and sunrooms are more popular than ever, since more entertaining is done at home. Likewise, a lot of people prefer a gym, master suites, hearth-room kitchens, screened porches and elegant bathrooms in their homes. Since home building materials like wood are getting expensive every day, the majority are turning to cheaper and durable alternatives to improve their homes. These are just some of the trends that you’ll find in many homes today.

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Four Great Tips for Your Home Improvement Project

You probably have tons of ideas swimming around in your head about how to improve the look of your house, but what’s the best way to go about the remodeling or redecoration project? You may believe you have the best advice available just by watching shows on HGTV, but how aware are you about what a remodel entails? You’ve been told myth after myth about it, so which ideas do you throw out and which do you believe? Here are four great pieces of advice to ground you while you move forward with your next big project.

Ask for Help

Unfortunately, many homeowners take on huge remodeling projects and suffer the stress and financial strain that comes from classic cases of “Do It Yourself Syndrome.” We know: you think you can do it yourself. What’s worse is you think you can do the entire thing yourself! However, it’s important to take a step back and consider your own capabilities. Maybe you are gifted and talented at doing the siding yourself, but you truly don’t know how to hang a door. Know when to ask for help when you hit a wall, whether literally or figuratively.

Don’t Follow Fads

You don’t have to follow the latest home improvement trends and, in fact, you should take new fads with a grain of salt. Please don’t feel you have to use mixed materials to “look industrial” or “rugged” or “shabby chic.” Instead, go with your personal preferences and what will work for your family’s needs. Trends come and go, and many phase out in remarkably short amounts of time. But committing to one with a home remodel can affect your home’s resale value at a later date. Avoid major trends and instead stick to classic, traditional looks that have timeless appeal in order to ensure that your home appears beautiful no matter how many years pass.

Stick to Functional Fixtures

Although new innovations often come side by side with major trends, many of them add functionality to the structures in your home and are great choices when you want to improve your home’s fixtures. For example, the new models of curb-less showers are convenient and beautiful. Electric sockets that take USB ports called are another item today’s household can make use of for a family’s electronics. Innovations like these add convenience to any home.

Don’t Forget Curb Appeal

You may have heard it said that interior home improvements are the most important. After all, you’ll be spending the majority of your time inside your house using the fixtures and features you’ve purchased. However, don’t underestimate the importance of curb appeal. Consider your roofing, siding, gutters, decks, and awnings, as these are items that can make a big difference if the purpose of your remodel is to sell your property later.

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Top Home Remodeling Trends to Watch Out for This Year

Whether you are into do-it-yourself home remodeling or depend on a trusted homebuilder for the modifications that you need to do around the house, you can benefit from knowing about these home improvement trends.

Making home smarter

Some remodeling projects are undertaken in order to accommodate and integrate smart systems. These systems are designed to make living more convenient by increasing home automation. Usually, smart systems involve technological applications that improve the security of entrances and exits. Home automation also includes automatic lights and sprinkler control, and state-of the-art technology to control entertainment systems.

Home remodeling for accessibility

Today, one of the motivations behind many home improvement projects is to promote accessibility in the property to accommodate the needs of aging occupants. Older persons may develop conditions that limit their ability to move around independently. Some acquire illnesses that affect their mental faculties. Home remodeling is often necessary to remove obstacles that increase the risk for falls. Another basic need is to open up the space in order to facilitate mobility from one area of the home to another.

Designs that conserve resources

Meanwhile, some homeowners are planning home improvement activities for the purpose of lowering energy costs and conserving water resources. Many renovation projects this year are being conducted in order to install solar power systems, replace wasteful set-ups with water-wise lawn installations, and replace old bulbs with LED lights.

LED lighting is a popular choice these days because of the wide range of applications that they fit into. There are many different types of LED lighting options these days. Aside from standard LED bulbs, there are also lighting strips and ropes, making LED lighting a versatile and flexible choice. LED lights incur very low costs, and homeowners that are conscious of their carbon footprint are happy to have this kind of option available to them.

Recycling

For home improvement plans that need to work around a limited budget, the trend is to recycle. For example, a kitchen-remodeling job can be planned and executed such that it becomes a facelift instead of a total overhaul. If the area is outdated, then a creative redo of certain aspects can make it more current without the need for expensive reconstruction or the addition of costly furniture and appliances. Instead of replacing the floor, the old floor can be cleaned thoroughly and given a new finish. Another budget friendly option is to add low-cost lighting instead of knocking down a wall to add new windows, which is more costly because of the material and labor requirements.

In the spirit of recycling, the value of existing furniture and appliances must be re-evaluated. Determine whether they have a place in the planned set-up instead of throwing them away just because they are part of the old environment. Brand new items can be quite expensive. Costs can be markedly lowered if second hand items are procured instead. For homeowners working on a tight budget, it is highly recommended that they also consider looking for options at salvage shops and sales events for stuff that fits their remodeling plans.

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Spring Home Improvement Trends – Catch Up With Laminate Flooring

If you’re looking to give your home a new look this spring then Laminate flooring could be the right choice for you.

Laminate floors not only look great, but are easy to clean and simple to install.

The durability means it can be fitted in a room which has heavy foot traffic.

Manufacturers of laminate flooring, such as Pergo and Quick-Step, are so confident in its quality that many offer a lifetime warranty on the product. The warranty also covers against staining, fading, and water damage-attachment of special sealants to the floorboard surface acts as a shield against scuffing, scratches, and spills from food and drinks.

Pergo flooring offers consumers a cost effective alternative to real wood flooring and is much easier to install. There are also many videos on how to install Pergo Laminate flooring online. Tile and plank products made by Pergo come with a SmartLock Click-System. This system allows homeowners to fit the floorboard all over their property when previously they may have had to hire professional to do the same job. Before you install the floor time needs to be taken to consider what type of finish you want.

There are now many styles of Pergo floor on the market, including non-wood finishes such as slate, stone and graphite.

If it’s the wooden floor look that you’re after, think about which type of wood you would like installed. Beech, pine, cherry, oak, ash and maple are just some of the choices available. There is such a large range of styles to choose from, for example there are 40 different types of Pergo laminate flooring and then there is the vinyl range.

The massive range of choice means that flooring can be selected to complement any interior. Natural looking finishes give a traditional look, whilst distressed flooring suits more contemporary styled homes.

Before you lay the floor, a sub-floor needs to be purchased and underlay foam will give you a smooth even surface on which to lay your floor. It will also help ensure it is flat and comfortable to walk on as well as reducing the noise made when walking across the floor.

The actual flooring is made of unique composite layers of fibreboard and other materials which have been compressed together under heat. The core of Pergo flooring is constructed with a thick, water-resistant material, whilst the bottom layer of the floor is polymer which helps give the flooring its stability.

Cleaning a laminate or vinyl floor is as easy as fitting. Make sure you have an effective doormat in place to absorb all the abrasive grains of sand which could damage the surface of your flooring. To dry clean the floor, use a microfiber mop or alternatively use a vacuum cleaner to keep the floor looking its best. A damp mop can be used when necessary as the flooring is waterproof.

If by chance your floor does get marked by stains or rubber markings, to remove use a specific laminate floor cleaner and a clean mop, towel or scratch free white pad. Address all marks as soon as you see them.

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