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Green And Healthy Floor Refinishing

As many homeowners prioritize natural beauty and ease of maintenance in their living spaces, hardwood floors have become a popular flooring option. And for many consumers, that means refinishing existing wood floors that need a little help to regain their original luster.

If you’re considering sprucing up your floors, you may want to pay close attention to the environmental impact of your plans. It’s important to factor in the processes and products that will optimize your family’s health and wellness instead of exposing them to potentially harmful chemicals.

Happily, today’s new hardwood floor refinishing systems and products offer better options for a safe and efficient process. Here are five steps you can take to ensure your floor project ends with a gloriously lustrous, durable, beautiful floor that won’t adversely affect the inhabitants of your home.

floors

(1) Choose A Credible Contractor.

Shop around for a professional who understands how to work with the specific floors you’ve installed without introducing toxicity into your home environment. The best alternative may be a Bona Certified Craftsman® who’s been trained on how to revive, recoat and refinish wood floors of all kinds without using potentially harmful chemicals.

(2) Make A Joint Plan.

Instead of simply handing the entire project over to your contractor, work with him or her to create a refinishing plan that specifies how, when and where the work will take place and what kinds of products will be used. One way to make that easier is by using Bona’s Floor Visualizer, a new online tool that can help you visualize how different flooring choices will look in various rooms of your home.

(3) Go Dustless.

Insist that your contractor use a certified dust containment system that will eliminate virtually all floating dust particles from the floor sanding process. OSHA advises that airborne wood dust is carcinogenic, which can lead to respiratory issues or even cancer.

(4) Opt For A Waterborne Finish.

While some contractors offer less expensive options such as acid-cured varnishes, conversion varnishes, or “Swedish” finishes, those varieties contain high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can adversely affect your home’s air quality. The formaldehyde in acid-cured finishes can agitate respiratory illnesses and/or cause nausea, dizziness, headaches and irritation of the eyes, nose, or throat. Another problem? Those harsh finishes can keep emitting problematic chemicals for up to 90 days as it cures.

In comparison, water-based finishes are lower in VOCs, emit minimal odor, dry much quicker, and are overall safer and more convenient for people, pets, and plants. Further, they’re durable, beautiful, and clear-drying on all kinds of hardwood floors.

(5) Know Best Practices For Maintenance.

Once your waterborne finish is cured, you can best maintain your new gorgeous wood floors by avoiding the use of vacuums, steam cleaners, vinegar-and-water solutions, oil soaps, paste waxes, furniture polishes, and other harsh cleaning products formulated for other surfaces. Instead, look for cleaning solutions like Bona’s Hardwood Floor Cleaning solutions that are developed for wood floors, are biodegradable, use plant-derived ingredients, and are Safer Choice certified.

With today’s technology, there’s no reason to settle for hardwood floor renovation techniques that are harmful to the environment and your home. Choose wisely when it comes to the health of your family. For more information on safe and environmentally sound care of your hardwood floors, visit US.Bona.com. (BPT)

6 Tips to Choosing Kitchen Lighting

Are you thinking about upgrading your kitchen this year? Does the thought seem daunting? Here are some ways to put the spotlight on your kitchen’s design that will enhance its features and style.

Your kitchen lighting has a big impact on both the functionality and the overall feel of the room. Whether you’re going for a vintage farmhouse feel or an ultra-modern design, here are six tips for choosing kitchen lighting to create the effect you want.

updating kitchen lighting

1. Consider Your Existing Kitchen Layout

The specific layout and design of your kitchen affect the type of lighting you need. Tall ceilings and dark walls or cabinets may require more light than compact kitchens with light-colored decor. White countertops reflect light, so you can use lower-wattage bulbs while still maintaining a bright, airy feel. A series of pendant lights make a kitchen island or peninsula stand out, and a walk-in pantry needs bright lights that let you see items in the back.

2. Think In Layers

Different areas of your kitchen need different types of lighting. Layering can help you balance efficient illumination and eye-catching style. Start with the overall ambient room lighting, then add task lighting at strategic points throughout the kitchen. Accent lighting and decorative fixtures, such as track lighting and recessed lights, provide visual depth to your kitchen. Under-cabinet lighting brightens your food preparation area, and cabinet lighting focuses attention on decorative pieces displayed behind a glass cabinet door.

3. Use The Right Bulbs

Bulb colors range from cool white to yellowish, and the color you choose defines the mood of your kitchen. Soft white bulbs give your kitchen a warm look and bring out orange or red tones, making them ideal for ambient kitchen lighting. Cool white bulbs and daylight bulbs produce crisp, bright illumination, making them good for task lights near your stove, sink, or food preparation area. Energy-efficient LED or fluorescent bulbs are a modern alternative to incandescent lights.

4. Work With Natural Lighting

When you’re considering where to place lights in your kitchen, don’t forget about the natural light that comes in from your kitchen windows. Simple lighting near your windows that matches the warmth of natural light can help you maintain a consistent look from day to night, while strategically placed curtains can prevent natural light from washing out dramatic decorative lighting across the room.

5. Give Your Kitchen Some Personality

Lighting isn’t just about functional illumination. It also shows off your design personality. Colorful metal shades on pendant lights can add a whimsical look to your kitchen, while dramatic monorail lighting systems work well with a modern design theme. For a vintage kitchen, Edison light bulbs in cage-style shades enhance the retro feel of your food preparation area.

6. Go High-Tech For Convenience

Consider taking advantage of modern technology that makes kitchen lighting more useful, efficient and convenient. Dimmable lights are a simple way to control ambient light levels with just the touch of a switch. Motion-sensing lights that shut off once you leave the area help conserve energy and ensure that specific areas light up exactly when you need extra illumination. Light timers handle the shift from day to night without any extra effort on your part, and lighting that is integrated into a smart home system can be programmed to your preferences.

A friend recently renovated their kitchen from a rustic home in the mountains look to a contemporary home in the mountains look and even though it was a huge change, after completion, they were so glad that they did it. They said they went from a Mountain Home to a Home in the Mountains with just a few changes, the kitchen being their biggest change.

3 Tips To Boost Your Home Design With Energy-Efficient LED Bulbs

3 Tips To Boost Your Home Design With Energy-Efficient LED Bulbs

If you dream about transforming your home on a budget, chances are you’ve considered new paint, area rugs, or window treatments. While these updates can refresh rooms without breaking the bank, there’s a crucial and often overlooked design element that can truly transform a room – lighting.

The good news is, improving lighting doesn’t necessarily require all new fixtures. Simply swapping from standard to LED lightbulbs can upgrade the ambience of your home with stylish features and energy-saving benefits that can have a dramatic impact on your energy bill – and the look and feel of your overall space.

Lighting can alter the appearance of paint, furnishings, and decor, becoming even more important as seasons change. As the days get shorter and darker, brighten up your home with an elevated, energy-efficient home basic: LED lightbulbs.

Here are a few bright ideas to revamp rooms using the power of the humble lightbulb:

1. Go LED For Cost Savings

Select LED bulbs reduce household energy costs over the course of their lifetime. An EcoSmart lightbulb saves $0.55-$2.65 on average per bulb over its 25,000-hour lifetime. New LED lightbulbs offer the latest innovation in lighting technology and are available in a wide assortment of wattage outputs, colors, base options, and shapes.

2. Consider Function

LEDs are directional light sources, enabling them to cast light and use energy more efficiently. When choosing your ideal lightbulb style, consider the room’s purpose. A kitchen needs to be bright to aid food preparation, but your bedroom should be a restful, cozy oasis. For a living room, you may want to switch from a game-and-puzzle center with focused lighting to a darkened home theater for movie night.

* Kitchens need light to perform cooking tasks, as well as for entertaining. EcoSmart LED recessed and track lighting (BR) offer strong overhead illumination in enclosed fixtures.

* Bathrooms need effective lighting, plus decorative style. Globe-shaped LED lightbulbs emit light in every direction, making them ideal for mirror and pendant lights.

* Dining areas are a great place to show off decorative fixtures with candle bulbs. New, improved decorative bulbs feature a thinner, longer filament design – with options like fine bendy or horizontal – that combine authentic styles and 360-degree light output with low glare for high-quality lighting that doesn’t sacrifice style.

* Bedrooms or living areas where ambience is paramount offer endless creative possibilities. Vintage is a look that never truly goes out of style and EcoSmart “Edison” bulbs give a more “true vintage look,” along with the benefits of LED technology. EcoSmart offers a dimmable option for these bulbs too, so you can choose exactly how much light you want.

* Outdoor living spaces benefit from security lighting. Turn any fixture into a state-of-the-art security fixture with features like motion sensors, high output, and dusk-to-dawn. Look for lightbulbs compatible with floodlights, security, and landscape lighting (PAR).

3. Choose “Color Temperature” To Change The Mood

Today’s LED bulbs offer a wide variety of color temperatures, empowering you to make the room feel warmer and cozier, or cooler and crisper.

Contrary to what you may think, the hotter the light source (measured in Kelvins), the cooler the “color temperature,” so lights with temperatures at 5,000 or more Kelvins look brighter, crisper and more bluish. However, light temperatures around 2,500-3,000 Kelvins emit an amber, yellowish or orange tinge which makes rooms feel warmer and cozier.

“Like choosing paint in cool or warm colors, picking the right color temperature for lighting can really transform a space,” said Sarah Fishburne, Director of Trend and Design for The Home Depot. “You can emphasize warm tones like yellows, reds and oranges using ‘warm’ colored lighting, or you can make a room feel lighter, brighter, and airier by choosing ‘cool’ temperature lighting.”

Experiment with different bulbs and settings to see what works best with your room. For the ultimate color selection, try an EcoSmart lightbulb with 5 CCT (Correlated Color Temperature) that lets you customize the color of light using an integrated switch. Bulbs equipped with DuoBright technology empower you to adjust the color temperature and brightness with your existing dimmer switch to meet your preferences at any time – emitting 5,000 Kelvins (Daylight) at full brightness and slowly transitioning to 2,000 Kelvins (Sunset Glow) when dimmed.

Change Your Lightbulbs, Change The World

The other good news about swapping out lightbulbs? You’re helping the environment, too. On average, an enhanced EcoSmart LED bulb uses 85% less energy than a traditional incandescent lightbulb.

Learn more about EcoSmart lightbulbs available exclusively in-store at The Home Depot or online at HomeDepot.

When we find good articles that can help around the home, we like to share them with our clients. We hope you enjoyed this article on LED bulbs.

Three Areas Of Your Business

Three Areas Of Your Business

By Dirk Ziller, Real Estate Champions

Any successful businessperson, over a span of years, has embraced the focus to build three areas of their business simultaneously. These three areas are the growth areas, working “in” the business, and working “on” the business.

real estate

Growth is the engine that drives sales growth. It’s the part of the business that brings in the revenue of the business. The more time invested in growth daily, weekly, monthly, the greater the resulting income. The vast majority of Agents spend too little time in growth. Growth is the DIPA activity that I have talked about throughout my writings. Growth is the critical part of the business, without growth, a business will fail.

I know a lot of agents who are highly skilled at growth, but poorly skilled in administration and business planning, who earn large amounts of money. I know very few Champion Agents who are not highly skilled at growth. You can have huge deficiencies in administration and even customer service (I don’t recommend it) but still, win the income game through growth. You can’t be deficient in growth and win. Growth is the engine that powers the train; you must first pay attention to growth. Your prospecting should comprise 65% of the time you invest in growth daily. If you don’t prospect, the other growth areas won’t happen.

“In” The Business

Working “in” the business is the administration or production supporting activities. These need to be done, but not at the expense of growth. The “in” area focuses on you being an employee working in your business doing functions any employee would do. Our goal through the segment of working “in” our business is producing results for our delighted clients. We are trying to turn clients into evangelists so they generate referrals. Their transition to that level of customer satisfaction comes from working “in” the business. If you create good systems, processes, checklists, and have highly trained staff you can reduce the time you invest in this area.

“On” The Business

This segment is the segment most Agents neglect until they want to retire and find out they have nothing to sell. In Michael Gerber’s book, The E-myth, he talks about the myth of an entrepreneur. He describes that most entrepreneurs have really bought a well-paying job and don’t really own a business. Realtors® clearly fit into that category of entrepreneur. We also clearly fit into buying a well-paying job.

When we work “on” our business, it really shapes our long-term success and growth from just running faster on the treadmill of our business and life. Your long-term financial wealth is contained in the working “on” your business segment. Your ability to earn a profit and increase the profit is key. Remember, sales is a margins game. The more time we invest to plan, read, strategize, evaluate, and implement new ideas, tactics, and strategies, the more we evaluate the market, our time, our numbers, and return investment, the more ownership we gain. Becoming the owner of your real estate business only happens through diligent working “on” your business. Instead of being a highly compensated employee who pays the bills, why not become the one who orchestrates the growth of the company? Be the one who has something to sell when you want to transition or retire.

Working on your business is critical to helping you move to the next level of production, or to decrease time worked without reducing income or finding where to cut expenses by 10%. Working on your business will help you create economies of scale in administration and new ways to produce growth and income in your business. You need one hour per day of working “on” the business. For every minute you plan, you will save ten minutes in implementation.

What do you think your business would look like in 90-days, or even 6-months if you were to implement the below daily routine?

Growth: 3-hours

Administration: 1 to 2-hours

Business: 1-hour

By following the review patterns or pausing at the end of a day, week, month, quarter, six months, and year, you automatically increase the “on” time in your business. Another technique would be to schedule a block of additional planning and execution time at the end of each week. Most of our clients have ninety minutes of planning time each week where they work to improve their business. If you work to employ these techniques, you will transform the results of your business in a few short months.

 

6 Outdated Trends To Avoid When Decorating

6 Outdated Trends To Avoid When Decorating

It’s a New Year! We hope 2022 is the best year ever for you and your family.

home trends

When decorating, it can be a challenge to decide whether to follow trends or pick a more classic style. In recent years, there have been many trends that have been fun to try but have come to wear out their welcome.

Forced Minimalism

To some, being nominalistic has been seen as a form of status or glamour, but as time passes this comes to be seen for the blank space that it is. If you have a space like this, it can be updated by adding patterns and texture, as well as color. The upside of this trend is that updating it is an easy fix, and you can go in whatever direction you want.

Industrial Kitchens

While spaces like foyers and living spaces have been underdone in recent trends, kitchens have been the victims of overkill. Large stainless steel appliances that stick out and attempt to make your home kitchen look like it is part of a restaurant detract from the fact that it is indeed part of your home. While things like ovens, refrigerators, and dishwashers continue to be must-haves, current trends aim to conceal these in cupboards or with faces that are more streamlined into your decor.

Colored Accent Walls

Not too long ago, an accent wall seemed to be the thing to do to bring character to a room, and if you are absolutely in love with the eggplant-colored wall in your dining room, by all means, keep it. If you’re tired of it, however, other options are out there.

If you still want something to add a little quirkiness to just one wall, consider different texture options instead.

Color Pops

“Pop of color” has been the phrase of the day for many decorators for some time, but many think it is time to expand on the idea and truly embrace bright colors and patterns. Instead of having a couple of throw pillows to brighten a space, choose colorful artwork, curtains, or rugs that will be inviting to the family as well as guests.

Being Overly Basic

For some, the trend is to both follow and avoid trends at the same time. The Mid Century Modern trend reflects this because it includes a lot of clean lines and neutral colors. While having a sofa that reflects this style can look great, don’t be afraid to mix things up with different shapes, colors, and textures that truly project your style.

The Use of Rose Gold

Rose gold is pretty, but it is far from the only home decor metal out there. Mixing different metal tones can bring a sense of texture to a home and add pizzazz without creating overkill.

Whatever you decide on decorating your home, it is important to remember that it is your home, and above all else, you and your family need to be comfortable in it. Trends come and go, and paying attention to them can provide a lot of guidance, but at the end of the day, it is important to remember what feels best to you.

Are you planning to update your home in 2022? There are a lot of different ideas that could bring your home up to the look you will love. Enjoy!

3 Emerging Design Trends for Todays Lifestyle

3 Emerging Design Trends for Todays Lifestyle

Events from the past year have all of us reconsidering what we want and need out of our homes. From work and play to wellness, our homes have become the epicenter of, well, everything – leading to an emergence of design trends focused on adapting to a new normal. The design experts at Wilsonart, a world-leading provider of engineered surfaces, have identified three new lifestyle trends that are affecting lasting design changes.

  1. Back to Nature

It’s no secret that nature has the power to inspire, invigorate, restore and refresh. Research has shown that interacting with nature can offer mental health benefits, including decreasing stress and relieving anxiety. Likewise, incorporating elements of nature into the home has been proven to improve happiness and well-being.

Whether as a room’s canvas or a pop of color on an accent wall, paint is an easy and affordable way to bring nature’s beauty into the home with colors that evoke a sense of calm and serenity. “Dark blue hues reminiscent of water and the sky are trending, along with lush greens that infuse spaces with the fresh essence of grass and foliage,” says designer Gwen Petter. “Earthy neutrals, such as tans and beiges, are also in high demand for their ability to ground us and surround us with soothing natural tones.”

Beyond color, 40% of people report that they want a connection to nature, particularly in their kitchens, according to a survey by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). Homeowners are choosing nature-inspired materials for focal areas like countertops, cabinets and islands. Wilsonart® Home offers beautiful, on-trend options for virtually every surface in the home with performance features and price points to suit any lifestyle and budget. The expertly curated collection includes environmentally sustainable materials such as high-pressure laminates and performance veneers that deliver the authentic looks of exotic woods, stone-inspired solid surface options, and non-porous engineered quartz.

  1. “Resi-mercial” and Rustic

Fueled by the drastic decline in domestic and international travel during the pandemic, homeowner interest in replicating the sophisticated style and comforts of an upscale hotel or luxury resort in their home has continued to grow. From plush towels and perfectly plump pillows to spa-worthy bathrooms and chef-quality kitchens, commercially inspired designs are increasingly crossing over into the residential arena.

Carrara marble continues to be one of the most sought-after surfaces to achieve this clean, sophisticated, “resi-mercial” look, but not everyone desires the cost and maintenance that comes with the natural stone. The Wilsonart® Solid Surface Crafted Collection combines nature’s beauty with cutting-edge design innovation to deliver the look of authentic marble in an ultra-durable acrylic solid surface. This series of movement designs capture the beauty and drama of marble typically only seen in natural materials like quartz and stone with virtually limitless design applications for the kitchen, bath, and beyond.

Scandi Noir is another “resi-mercial” design approach that is gaining traction, particularly in kitchens. This style features looser rules and is characterized by the use of dark cabinets combined with dark countertops or contrasting dark and light surfaces. “Kitchen cabinets are still predominantly white, but more homeowners are adding a pop of color with contrasting island cabinets. In fact, searches for black and navy kitchens are up significantly,” notes Petter.

  1. Sustainable Style

As our lives become increasingly home-centric, our homes need to perform on a level they may never have before, and this includes incorporating materials that work as hard as we do. “Today’s homeowners are seeking surfaces that will live up to the rigors of everyday life,” explains Petter. “There also is growing interest in sustainable alternatives to natural products, which can contribute to deforestation and degraded air quality from sourcing and mining operations. Human-made composite materials offer appealing options that often outperform natural materials, delivering greater durability, less ongoing maintenance, and fewer harmful environmental impacts.”

Alternative materials like laminate, solid surface, and quartz mimic the best of Mother Nature without impacting the environment, offering appealing options for eco-conscious consumers. Many of these engineered surfaces are UL GREENGUARD Gold Certified to meet low chemical emissions limits for better air quality. Additionally, many laminate products are made with a combination of fibers from FSC-certified, fast-growing, sustainably managed woods and post-consumer recycled content (PCRC). For more information and inspiration, visit Wilsonart.com. (BPT)

Hot Trends in Renovations

Hot Trends in Renovations

Thank you for taking a minute to read this article about Hot Trends in Renovation. When great information is found, we like sharing it with our wonderful agents. Please enjoy.

Hot Trends in Renovation
By Denise Lones, The Lones Group

This week I am on-site at one of my properties. I’ve just finished a renovation here, and I have to share something very important: the building industry, home design industry, renovation/remodel industry—they’re all changing! And it is dramatic.

That’s why I have scheduled an online workshop covering the hottest trends later this summer to go over some of those changes. I’m going to go over architectural trends, color and paint trends, cabinet trends, and more.

home renovation

Just to give you a preview of this new kitchen, one of the biggest trends in kitchens is adding shelves. You may notice that the cabinets are not white, but linen, which is one of the hottest color trends right now especially when combined with a pop of black in the handle. Another major trend we’re seeing are these clean rectangular glass tiles.

“But Denise, why should I care about trends? They’re just going to change anyway,” I can hear you say.

You should care because your clients are going to ask you questions about this. Whether they are thinking about renovating before a sale, after a sale, or just touching up their home for listing photos, they trust your opinion and they want to know what’s really going on. Personal style aside, it’s always good to keep tabs on what is currently popular, because that can affect your clients’ bottom line.

Another subject I cover in the class is how to save money. Your clients will be eager to hear how to do a renovation on a shoestring budget. Fixer-uppers are also going to be more financially attractive. Your clients want to know what is a good idea and what is a money-sink.

We are also going to be taking a look at all the new products coming on the market. Specifically new counter-top products and flooring products. If I had to take two things to a desert island for a renovation, give me a few gallons of paint and some new flooring. The way flooring is engineered today is mind-boggling. You can save money and make impactful transformations that wouldn’t be possible unless you knew it was available.

We’ve just gone through a very modern-minimalist phase, and now we’re swinging back to a modern-traditional phase. That means warmer colors, richer textures, and more color and textures. My goal is to help you navigate this shift, even if it isn’t your personal style.

Now, I’m a black-and-white kind of gal. I love high-contrast black and white, but on this remodel, I chose linen (not pure white) because that’s what people want. Knowing little things like that can save you money, make you money, and give you the edge.

Thank you for reading this and please remember us if you or someone you know needs a home inspection.

3 Ways Credit Plays Into Mortgage Refinancing

3 Ways Credit Plays In to Mortgage Refinancing

We found this article very informative and wanted to share it with you. Many people refinance their mortgage within the first 5-years and this information can help make the process go more smoothly.

If you’re thinking about refinancing your mortgage, there’s often a lot to consider. For instance, your decision to refinance may rely on current interest rates or your personal financial situation.

Your credit score also plays a role in the mortgage refinancing process. While it can certainly factor into your ability to refinance, the relationship between your mortgage and your credit score can be complicated. However, it doesn’t need to be.

What to Know About Credit Scores and Refinancing

Credit requirements can vary depending on the terms of your loan. But at the same time, many programs share similar traits. Here are a few you’ll want to know:

The Score You Need Can Depend On the Type of Loan You Have

According to NerdWallet, if you’re refinancing a VA or conventional loan, you’ll typically need a score between 620 and 720 to qualify. And if you have an FHA loan, you need a score between at least 500 and 580 to qualify.

Fortunately, lenders understand that life happens and are willing to work through different options if your credit score recently dropped below the requirements. For instance, there are different streamline financing options for VA loans, FHA loans and USDA loans that don’t require credit checks or score benchmarks.

A lot of people also choose to get home loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two of the largest home loan lenders in the country. Both typically require a minimum credit score of 620 to get approved.

Good Credit Isn’t the Only Thing You Need to Qualify

When you’re looking to refinance, having an excellent credit score can be beneficial. However, your score doesn’t automatically make you eligible. Lenders will look at a number of other things before they approve refinancing, such as your:

* Debt-to-income ratio (DTI): The amount of debt you have compared to how much money you make.

* Loan-to-value ratio (LTV): Allows lenders to assess the lending risk before approving a mortgage or a mortgage refinance. Loans that have a higher LTV are typically considered to be a higher risk.

If your lender says you have a high LTV ratio, that doesn’t automatically disqualify you. There are government-sponsored programs from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that are available for borrowers who have LTV ratios that are 97.01% or higher.

Refinancing Can Drop Your Score Temporarily

Like any changes to your installment accounts, refinancing your mortgage can lower your score. However, you don’t need to worry about this as much if your credit is already in good standing.

There are a couple of reasons why your score may drop. One is that lenders take what’s called a “hard inquiry,” or a detailed look, at your credit score. Such hard inquiries can cause your score to drop by a few points. The second is that the fact of refinancing itself can reduce your credit score. The third is a possible increase in your utilization ratio, which is calculated by comparing the amount you owe versus your total credit limit.

Start the Refinancing Process on the Right Foot

There’s a lot involved in the refinancing process. But when you know where your credit score is at before you begin, it can help you create a better plan for action.

With VantageScore’s latest scoring model, you can get an accurate and detailed picture of your credit scores so you can make the best refinancing decision for you. (BPT)

If you’re thinking about refinancing your mortgage, here’s some good information to help you along the way.

Carpet Helps You Create a Healthy, Stylish, Comfortable Home

Carpet Helps You Create a Healthy, Stylish, Comfortable Home

Being at home more often has inspired many people to make changes in their favorite spaces that focus on health and comfort. You might be surprised to learn that carpeting a room supports both these goals, plus offers near-endless style possibilities.

Carpet is a popular flooring option, accounting for 48% of the total U.S. flooring market, according to the Carpet and Rug Institute. Adding carpet or refreshing the carpet you already have in your home has many benefits, from helping you breathe easier to keeping loved ones safe. Here are the top reasons people are opting for carpet:

Health and Indoor Air Quality

Carpets can help support a healthy home, even for people with asthma and allergies. The updated asthma management guidelines from the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute do not include recommendations to remove carpet as a way to treat asthma and allergies.

“Scientific research shows that carpet does not negatively impact allergies or asthma. In fact, carpet can improve your home’s air quality by trapping allergens, keeping them out of the breathing zone, and making them easy to vacuum,” said Dr. Michael Halwig, allergy specialist on the clinical faculty of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. “All too often patients have been advised to remove carpeting in the home to deal with environmental allergies. This is often expensive and impractical for many families. Current knowledge shows that the use of vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters and other environmental control measures are much more effective in reducing allergens in the home.”

Many people are installing additional carpets in their homes to help improve air quality. Fortunately, the vast majority of carpet sold in the U.S. is certified through CRI’s Green Label Plus program, a third-party certification that demonstrates products are among the lowest emission emitting carpet, adhesive, and cushion products on the market.

Safety and Noise Reduction

With people spending more time at home, indoor noise pollution is becoming a big problem. Carpet and carpet pads help absorb excessive sounds to soften noises within a room while serving as a sound barrier between floors. This is especially important in rooms with large TVs, sound systems, or speakerphones, as well as in hallways and on stairs to soften foot traffic. Whether you’re working, studying, or relaxing, carpet reduces noise so you can focus.

Carpet is also a safe choice, particularly in multigenerational homes. In addition to added comfort in cushioning footsteps, carpet can help reduce slips and falls that may occur more easily on hard surface flooring. Carpet is safe for the whole family, but especially for toddlers and older individuals who are more prone to falls. If a fall does happen, carpet can help minimize injury.

Fashion and Functionality

Carpet can serve as a neutral foundation, in popular tones of gray, cream, or beige, or it can be a focal point featuring vibrant colors and bold patterns. With thousands of carpet styles, colors, textures, and designs, you can select an option that suits your personal taste and complements your home’s aesthetic.

Beyond beauty, carpet provides a great place to sit and is comfortable underfoot. Because carpet provides thermal insulation, it helps maintain a room’s optimum temperature; for example, in cooler months it retains warm air for longer. It feels good and looks good, helping create an inviting feeling in any room.

“With two toddlers, a dog, and two cats, carpet was a must-have throughout our home. Carpet provides comfort, warmth, and style – and we also love that it improves indoor air quality,” said Chelsee Hood, mother, and blogger. “Many families are choosing to install carpet for these reasons and more, making it a great feature in the modern home.”

Five Secrets to Building the Best Media Room

Five Secrets to Building the Best Media Room

A very popular amenity that’s found in many homes, newly built or existing – and one that’s on many homeowners’ wish lists – is a Home Theater or Media Room. Keep on reading to see some sure-fire media room ideas that you can incorporate into your home, whether small or large, ordinary or amazing.

Media Room Build

 

What fun to have your very own media room to invite your family and friends to watch your favorite movies and shows. A media room or home theater is becoming more popular in new homes and is even a replacement for the “rec rooms” of the past. And why not? With online movie streaming and downloading favorites more convenient, this added space in any home is a bonus. Whether you devote one entire space to a media room or incorporate media features into a multipurpose room, here are 5-secrets to building a “5-star” media room.

Secret 1: Plan, Plan, Plan! There are many variables that are associated with creating a media room so planning ahead is the first secret to getting just what you want. Create a “floor plan” and diagram your dream room onto paper. Refer to catalogs and magazines for inspiration. Consider the size of the space, the style of the room, audio/video equipment, and most important…your budget. Decide if you can allocate this space just for a media room or if it will be used for other family activities.

Secret 2: Select The Right Lighting: Getting the room lit just right is important. Since you won’t be watching movies all of the time, and if you opt to use the room for other activities, consider installing lights with dimmer switches. Whether you use recessed lighting, lamps, or overhead installations, the dimmer switch will be convenient and effective.

Secret 3: Design The Acoustics: Seeing and hearing is believing! A major aspect of any movie experience is the sound so pay particular attention to the acoustics of your media room. Installing carpet, opposed to tile or hardwood will improve the sound. Surround sound speakers that are placed in all areas of the room offer a movie theater experience that will make a huge difference in your space. Remote controls will add convenience. Headphones are part of our everyday culture, so installing jacks by each seat could be an option, especially if the room isn’t soundproof. Consider working with a professional who is trained in acoustic design.

Secret 4: Keep Decor Welcoming: If you can dedicate a room exclusively for a media room, make the focal point of the screen and keep other accessories to a minimum. But since most of us have to create our media room to share with other family activities, keep the room warm and welcoming with furniture arrangement and screen placement. Set the largest sofa facing the screen. Place the chairs out so they face each other but can be moved to different areas of the room. Store chairs in closets for additional seating. The television screen can be installed inside a cabinet so the doors can open and close as needed or a projector can be installed to the ceiling, away from view. Flat-screen televisions are now becoming part of a room’s design, so you may decide not to conceal them at all.

Secret 5: Upgrade In The Future: Audio and visual equipment change frequently so consider designing your room to incorporate future upgrades. For example, design and install lighting, movie screens, televisions, and audio equipment in an easy-to-access way so they can be removed, replaced, or even repaired without damaging the structure of the room.

Good information like this is something we want to share with our clients. If you enjoyed this article as we did, please be sure to share it with your family and friends so they too can enjoy it. And, if you need a home inspection or know of someone who does, be sure to give us a call. We’re always available for you.

 

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