Tuesday, October 31, 2017

5 Easy Home Improvement Projects & Upgrades For the Winter

Signs of fall and winter are finally showing themselves, and many people are getting ready to spend a long winter indoors.  Some may enjoy the idea of being indoors, but for many they can become stir crazy and bored. This article from Money Crashers has some great tips on projects that you can work on, even throughout the winter months! 
Here are some easy winter projects you might want to tackle before spring hits:
1. Repaint
You’ve been staring at your neutral colored walls every day for months. Want to brighten your mood? Try repainting! Go with a bright, cheery color to liven things up.
Make sure you crack open the windows to let in fresh air while you’re painting. Or, consider going with an eco-friendly, low-VOC paint so you don’t have to worry about breathing in toxic fumes.
2. Work on Your Floors
Is your carpet threadbare? Are your hardwood floors freezing your feet?
Putting in carpet is a great winter project because it can increase the comfort of your home dramatically.

Whether you do it yourself or have it installed, remember: the off-gassing from new carpet is tremendous. Make sure you open windows to allow those toxic fumes to escape. You can also ask your carpet retailer to air out the carpet several days before they install it in your home.
If you don’t like carpeting, there are plenty of other home flooring ideas such as tile and laminate that you could also consider.
3. Declutter
When Spring gets here, you’re not going to want to spend your time sifting through those piles of junk in your basement. You’ll want to be outside, enjoying the fresh air.
Winter is a great time to work on getting organized (which is why January is “Get Organized Month”). So, devote time every week to decluttering in general and organizing what you decide to keep.

Tip: Don’t try to tackle the entire house at once. Do this and you’ll find yourself with a broken spirit, huddled on the couch looking for the remote. Start small, and go slow. Focus on one shelf, or one corner, and work until you’ve got that space looking exactly how you want. This way you’ll be able to see the progress you’re making.
4. Look at Your Bathroom
Is your grout gunky with unsightly mildew? Is your sink hopelessly outdated? Are you over the pale green paint you put on the walls three years ago?
Updates like replacing a faucet, re-grouting tile, or repainting are relatively easy for the do-it-yourselfer. But if you get more ambitious (like, you want to replace the tile floor or buy a new toilet) you might want to call in professional help. Your sanity will thank you.
5. Add Insulation
Okay, so adding insulation doesn’t exactly make your heart pound with excitement. But it will lower your utility bills, and help make your home more comfortable and eco-friendly.
Crawl up into your attic. If you can see the floor joists, then you need more insulation. Since heat rises, you could save quite a bit by adding another layer of insulation up there.
You can also add insulation in your basement and in crawlspaces to prevent heat loss there as well.

Final Word

It’s easy to get cabin fever this time of year. We’re all going through it. But working on home projects is a great way to keep yourself active, add value to your home, and beautify or improve your living space. It’s a win-win!

Hygge or Langom: Which trend do you prefer?

If you've wondered what hyggee is, you're not the only one.  Many of us have heard of this new concept but are left wondering what exactly it means.  Today we're sharing an article from Vogue that explains what hyggee is and how it differs from the concept of lagom.  


Has the concept of hygge recently entered your consciousness? You’re not alone. Hygge, or the Danish idea of “coziness,” can be found in anything from a roaring fire to a perfect pair of lumpy socks, and it has long been a vital aspect of the Scandinavian culture. And 2016 was the year in which it moved west. Hygge became a full-blown phenomenon in England, and to a lesser extent, in the U.S. 


But lagom, the Swedish concept of “not too much, not too little,” may dominate 2017 instead. Lagom translates to “enough, sufficient, adequate, just right.” Unlike hygge, which aims to capture a feeling, lagom is an ethos of moderation. A Swedish friend explains the concept with one clever, everyday example: milk. In Sweden, 1.5 percent fat mellanmjölk is beloved—it’s not a super-lean skim, but also not a fatty whole. Or consider the ever-popular Scandinavian design—practical and functional but never overly adorned.

So before you go all in on cashmere throws and tea cozies in the name of hygge, consider adjusting your larger living philosophy instead. As appealing as it is to curl up in your one-piece pajamas these days, given the current state of the world, the more apt course of action may be to live a frugal yet fruitful existence. If nothing else, it’s a great way to start the New Year fresh.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Top 3 Tips to Find the Best Contractor

Planning for a new home remodel can be stressful enough, but add on top of that the stress of searching for a trustworthy contractor and some homeowners become so overwhelmed that they don't even know where to begin.  Today we're going to share with you an article by Zillow, with the Top 3 Tips for finding the best contractor for the job.


Personal Referrals
Homeowners should talk to family, friends, and co-workers about reliable companies. It's a great way to get a personal testimonial from a trusted source. Also, keep an eye out for neighbors' projects that seem to be going well. 
Advantages of personal referrals:
  • Referring friend or family member may have already shopped around to find the best offer in the area
  • Their opinion of the contractor's service is trustworthy
  • Homeowners can view the quality of the work
Disadvantages of personal referrals:
  • Homeowners may not need same type of work done on their house
  • Friend or family member may be able to afford a higher budget
  • Friend or family member may have a different style of house or be in a different neighborhood


Phone Books/Directories

Homeowners can use a local directory to look up a contractor. Yellow pages and white pages have anything from a basic listing, which has the company name and phone number, to a full-page advertisement, which lists the company's details and full range of services.
Advantages of phone book:
  • Homeowners can choose from companies at their own pace.
  • Homeowners are able to call as many companies as they would like.
  • Homeowners can review company details in advance to determine how close they are, possibly how big the company is, and what services are offered.
Disadvantages of phone book:
  • Homeowners have to call each company individually, describe their requirements, and answer the same questions.
  • Homeowners tend to only call one or two companies. Receiving fewer bids on a project could mean the homeowner will end up paying a higher price.
  • No direct referrals from trusted friends or family members to rely upon.

Online Referrals

For online referrerals, check with professional organizations such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, which has its own certification process for contractors. Zillow also offers a free professional directory where you can find the pro you need, where you live.


There are also host of online companies that provide contractor referral services. Homeowners can post their project on these Web sites and let a set number of contractors contact them. It's usually a free service for the homeowner.  One excellent site to find local contractors, though be sure to look into references and liabilities, is Craigslist - this is one of many.
Advantages of online referral services:
  • Homeowners will receive multiple bids, which allows them to get the best rate on the work.
  • Homeowners only have to post their project requirements once and answer questions one time, which saves time.
  • Homeowners may be able to find additional online resources, such as financing and informational articles.
Disadvantages of online referral services:
  • The Web site may not be a trusted resource. (Check if any complaints have been filed to the Better Business Bureau.)
  • The online referral service may not have a contractor, in their network, close to the homeowner.
  • No direct referrals from trusted friends or family members to rely upon.

Contact Christi at 805.682.2226 for more information.  We look forward to speaking with you soon! 

Our Remodeling Team is Ready for Your Next Project

It’s still Fall but a great time to think about those project lists you’ve had all year and want to get done before the New Year.

Send us your list, and we'll check it twice!



It may be a few months till the end of the year, but our Projects General Construction Elves have been busy working on home remodels all summer and we're ready and waiting to work on your next home project.  Pick out which room you'd like to change, or maybe you have more than one, and we'll work with you to create your dream home.  




Contact Christi at 805.682.2226 for more information.  We look forward to speaking with you soon! 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Our Favorite Bathroom Upgrades: Part 2


Looking for ideas on how to refresh or remodel your bathroom? Find the inspiration you need to get started by reading about our favorite bathroom upgrades.  If you're planning a bathroom remodel, you may want to consider adding a few of these fabulous features. From radiant-heat flooring to a frameless glass shower, these upgrades will require a small investment but you'll reap restful and stylish rewards.

1. Refresh a Vanity
A new espresso colored vanity and some shiny silver drawer pulls turn what used to be a basic vanity into a standout. The monogram wall decor and bright flowers turn this into a homey sanctuary for any homeowner. 

 
2. Upgrade the Countertops
This elegant vanity top with gorgeous mosaic tile accent provides the entire bathroom with a bright and clean look.  Easy and inexpensive, this is such a great way to upgrade your bathroom.

3. Set the Tone with Paint
If you’re unsure about committing to new bath colors, first form a neutral backdrop with paint and tile. Then rely on colorful accessories and painted furniture to create a look that’s easy to update!  White walls and neutral decor balance the more colorful vanity to create a colorful but still classic look.

We hope that this has provided you with some food for thought on your upcoming bathroom remodel.  If you have any questions or are interested in working with Projects General Construction, please call us at 805.682.2226.

Our Favorite Bathroom Upgrades: Part 1


Looking for ideas on how to refresh or remodel your bathroom? Find the inspiration you need to get started by reading about our favorite bathroom upgrades.  If you're planning a bathroom remodel, you may want to consider adding a few of these fabulous features. From radiant-heat flooring to a frameless glass shower, these upgrades will require a small investment but you'll reap restful and stylish rewards.

We will be sharing our top bathroom upgrade ideas in a 2 part series, so be sure to stay tuned for Part 2! Here are the first 3 upgrades we are loving right now:

1.Beautiful Tile Accents
Taking tile beyond the floor is an affordable bathroom upgrade. Add glamour and a bit of sparkle by installing a backsplash of glass mosaic tile above your vanity, or take your bathroom over the top and tile an entire wall or walls. Use colored tiles to create an accent wall without getting out a paintbrush.



2. Radiant-Heat Flooring

Treat yourself to warmth underfoot with a radiant-heat system installed below your bathroom floor. Such a system is especially welcome beneath typically cold materials such as ceramic tile and stone. Add a layer of style and comfort with a gorgeous, soft area rug to greet your feet when you step out of the tub or shower.



3. Frameless Glass Showers
A glass shower door lends a luxurious look to any bathroom, but the reason for installing one might not be all about looks. This shower lacks a ledge or lip to step over to enter the shower, making it a great choice for aging family members.

We hope that this has provided you with some food for thought on your upcoming bathroom remodel.  If you have any questions or are interested in working with Projects General Construction, please call us at 805.682.2226.