7 Quick Tips to Improve Your Kitchen’s Look

Large Kitchen Interior with Island, Sink, White Cabinets, Pendant Lights, and Hardwood Floors in New Luxury Home

Your kitchen is used every single day; it is the heart of your home and also a major selling point. Completely remodeling your kitchen is a great way to keep it up to date but also expensive. If you do not have the budget right now, here are a few cheap changes that can transform the look of your kitchen.

  1. Remove, recycle and refresh. If the doors on your cabinets are old and ugly, take them off and create an open shelving option for your kitchen. This is a great opportunity to update the hardware on your drawers and cabinets. What is worn down in the kitchen can usually be painted or refinished to give it a modern look.
  2. Add more storage. Either declutter your space or add more storage. These options include adding hanging racks, open shelves and cabinet organizers to store the essentials.
  3. Change out lighting. Depending on the age of your kitchen, you will most likely have pendant lighting or fluorescent overhead fixtures. To bring your kitchen into the modern age, consider replacing some of those fixtures with recessed alternatives or LED lighting. Even just replacing the bulbs is cheaper, easy to install and saves energy.
  4. Upgrade your faucet. Do you have an old-fashioned faucet? Is it time for a change? Instead of replacing the entire sink, just changing the faucet can give the kitchen a whole new look. Think about energy-efficient alternatives like low-flow faucets to save you money on your water bill, or adjustable, restaurant-style varieties for the chef in the family.
  5. Hide your counters. Old countertops can suffer through the years. If you have worn countertops but don’t have the budget to replace them. Find creature ways to hide their blemishes. Add decorative cutting boards, hide them under appliances or apply a fresh coat of paint.
  6. Paint your cabinets. Painting or refinishing your cabinets is another inexpensive way to change the look of your space. It is less expensive than buying new ones and at the same time it refreshes the appearance of your entire kitchen. Don’t paint them any weird colors though, and avoid bright hues.
  7. Add a backsplash. Backsplashes can be customized based on the color scheme of your kitchen. It is as easy as buying tiles at a local home improvement store and using caulk and grout to install them in the design or style you want.

All of these are simple, inexpensive changes you can make to your space to give it a much needed makeover.

Top Updates for Traditional Homes

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The historical feel of traditional homes has been capturing the hearts of many residents for years. There is something spectacular about being in a space that has the original fixtures and flooring from earlier centuries. While the sophistication of a traditional home is hard to pass up, it can present obstacles, such as updating it to fit your modern lifestyle. If you are thinking about modernizing your traditional home, we have some ideas for you.

Use a clean, natural palette

One of the things often not found in a traditional home is a light, airy, atmosphere. Historically, classically designed homes featured dark flooring, banisters and heavy fixtures or appliances. One simple way to brighten up a room while maintaining the traditional feel is a fresh coat of paint, white paint to be exact. A nice bright color palette allows the room to feel more light and bright. This is welcoming for both residents of the home and guests alike. It can brighten the overall feel of the house and even your mood as the warm weather months approach.

Opt for natural light

Whatever natural light options you have in your home, it’s time to utilize them. Pull the blinds back and let the light shine into your different rooms in the home. if you have has small windows or lacks natural light, consider adding more or larger windows or installing skylights. If you have the space and budget, you can add a sunroom where natural light pours in from all sides. The natural light will improve your mood and save you money on your energy bills. You will have less need for electric lights, which is particularly important if your home is ill-equipped for installing new fixtures.

Add contrast

Unexpected contrasts are a great way to modernized traditional spaces. Try mixing metals in the kitchen and bathrooms. Choose a polished nickel faucet and pair it with chrome drawer pulls for a contemporary vibe. In the kitchen, opt for a copper faucet and sink, but go with iron or dark metal for cabinet and drawer hardware. You can also add contrast by mixing matte and glossy materials. Black and white is always a solid contrast color choice as well. Contrasting materials, metals and colors will help bring a contemporary style without altering its classic construction.

Preparing your home for the Spring Market

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Are you looking to sell your home this spring? If so, it is time to start preparing. To maximize your sale price, stand out from the competition and sell quickly, your home needs to go on the market in tip-top condition. Here are some tips to help you get your home ready.

Inspect

It may seem counterintuitive to spend money on a property inspection, but you need to know about your home’s condition. If there are issues – big or small – you need to address, it is better to be proactive and fix the problems as soon as possible before your home goes on the market. Whether you fix them or ask for a lower asking price as a result of them, it will help you sell your home faster in the long run.

Stash

Start thinking of your home from the buyer’s prospective rather than the sellers. Put away big furniture and personal items. Store items that you won’t be using until you move into your new home. In the kitchen, make space in the cabinets for items you will need to use daily, but will want to put away for showings. This will help save you time when it comes time to move into the new home because you will have a jump start on packing.

Improve

It is common for sellers to make cosmetic improvements before they list. Some suggestions would be having the grout cleaned in the kitchen, fresh paint to anywhere that needs it, getting the carpets cleaned or refinishing hardwood floors. These are in expensive changes that will make a difference for those looking at your home.

Research

Today’s buyers have been researching the markets for months. In our world today, most information can be found with a simple internet search. If there are outstanding issues with your property, a buyer will find it. Verify that property records reflect your home accurately and prepare to fix any discrepancy. Make sure your title report is clean because banks won’t lend if there are any outstanding issues. Doing this will keep you one step ahead of the buyer.

The sale of your home is likely one of your biggest financial transactions. Now is the time to start checking items off your to do list, spring is quickly approaching. This is an important but exciting time!

6 Steps to Creating a New Home

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Building new or renovating an existing structure is an exciting time for everyone. It is all about finding what you want, how you want to live and where you want to be. As you go through the process, it takes time and research to figure out exactly what you want. Let’s take a look at the six initial steps you will want to take when creating a new home.

  1. Set Goals: Creating a new home is all about setting goals and taking the steps to achieve those goals. You’ll want to have answers to questions like: what do you want to achieve, where do you want cost to be, what will this cost, can it really be achieved, does plan A make sense and what’s plan B?
  2. Establish a budget: While you have to keep your budget in mind when setting goals, the budget is such a huge aspect of building or renovating a home that it is its own task. When making your budget, of course you’ll begin with what you can afford and how the cost of your house fits in with the overall plan for your future. Details will include everything that will go into the project: the cost of land, local fees and taxes, design and engineering fees, construction of the home and the furnishing and decorations that go inside. A spreadsheet program such as Excel is a good tool to use, so you can continue to update and modify it as you go.
  3. Finding where you want to build: There is a laundry list of questions that go into this, anywhere from where you want to be, how you want to live, how close it to work is, school districts, weather; everything plays a factor in determining this location.
  4. Assemble a team: An architect and a builder (if not one and the same) are going to be your most important team members. These people will act as your guide, therapist, advocate and counselor throughout the journey and creating the perfect home for you and your loved ones. P&D Builders are a great resource to help you from start to finish of building your dream home.
  5. Plan, plan, plan: When taking on such a large project it is crucial to plan. Things will go differently than you might have imagined but that is okay. You will be faced with a million decisions during this time, so be careful not to sweat the small stuff and all of your hard work will pay off in the end.
  6. Enjoy your new home: You have put in the time and spent your hard earned money to create your new home, so enjoy it as much as possible. It is time to make memories with your loved ones in your new space.

P&D would love to be there every step of the way to help you build the home of your dreams. Contact us today to get started!

Home Building and Renovation Trends for 2016

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Is building or remodeling a home on your to do list for 2016? Here is a look into the home construction and renovation trends for 2016:

Natural selection: People are stepping away from the super-dark, hand scraped floors. Consider engineered woods with a lighter, more natural finish. Experts believe that white, gray and washed-wood finishes are making a comeback. Think about bleached, limed or fumed woods with matte finishes or sealed-only floors. Engineered products aren’t necessarily cheaper, but you can achieve a more exotic look this way. Stone floors are also showing up in more unexpected places, like master bedrooms.

Clean lines, more open spaces: Experts believe that new construction is going more contemporary. Even those who choose to stick with more traditional exteriors are going with modern, open concepts on the inside. That means fewer hallways and tiny rooms that aren’t being used. Open floor plans mean more usable space; these usually include kitchens that open to the den and possibly dining areas. Homeowners are better understanding that 100% of the space in their home should be completely usable.

Formal reformed: There has been a lot of talk about how the formal living room and dining rooms have been eradicated from the new home, but that is simply not true. These rooms still exist, they just function differently. Many people are choosing to make these rooms multi-functional, they are using them are libraries, offices or even places to entertain. The designated dining room still exists; it is just more open and casual therefore making it more livable.

Go Green: Just like every other trend for the New Year, the home building industry is going green. Energy saving appliances can help you save money and use less energy in your home. P&D Builders can even take it a step further by offering an energy efficient home which makes your home more comfortable and reduces your utility bills.

2016 is going to be a great year, if you are interested in speaking with P&D Builders about building your dream home contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you.

Prepping your Home for Fall and Winter

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The fall season is so beautiful here in Ohio! The trees are turning beautiful shades of red and orange, the air is crisp and the smell of pumpkin is just about everywhere you turn! This time of year also means that the cold winter is just around the corner which means that it is time to start prepping your home. Here is a fall checklist you can follow over the next couple weekends (while the temps are still manageable) to help get your home cozy and ready for the winter.

  • Prep your landscape– The roots in the grass keep growing until the ground gets down to about 40 degrees so it is important to keep it nourished. It is recommended that you apply a high-phosphorus (12-25-12) mix to encourage healthy roots. Come spring time, your grass will be green and vibrant. This is also a great time to trim trees and shrubs.
  • Install outdoor lighting– As the winter months approach the sunset becomes earlier and earlier. It is important that the lighting around your home or garage is adequate should you need to take the trash out late when there is little to no light around. This ensures safety for you and your holiday guests as well.
  •  Freeze-proof exterior faucets– The faucet to your outdoor watering hose is the one faucet that is most susceptible to extremely cold weather. Replace your outdoor hose faucet with a freeze-proof faucet to avoid any freezing of pipes.
  • Weather-proof windows and doors– a door’s weather seals can rip, compress, bend or even wear out over time, leaving small gaps for cold air to come in. Replace any broken or ripped seals, caulk around the windows where there are small gaps. You do not want the heat escaping your home this can become very costly in terms of energy expenses.
  • Have your HVAC systems inspected– Before the cold weather gets here and you find yourself cranking up the heat, make sure to have your furnace inspected. Without this yearly cleaning and inspection, the system can wears itself out quickly, pump deadly carbon monoxide into your home or simply stop working. Also make sure to change your furnace filter. You will see a huge difference in the air quality and it will run more efficiently.
  • Clean your gutters– As the leaves begin to fall you will find a leaf build up in your gutters and it is important to remove any leaves, nests, and other debris that may have accumulated over the year. If your gutters are clogged and rain turns to ice it can begin to weigh heavy on your gutters causing them to fail. If it snows the water will have no where to flow once it melts. Hire a professional or clean them yourself before it gets too cold.
  • Repair any damaged walk areas– It can become very dangerous if your sidewalks and walkways around your home are broken or uneven, especially when the snow and ice come. Make sure to repair any walkways to ensure safety for your family and holiday guests.

When your home is prepped for the colder months, it can be a lot less of a hassle going into the brutal winter months. This will ensure a peace of mind knowing you have prepared your home for any mishaps that winter can throw your way.

Tips for Moving into Your New Home

new home Moving into your new home is a very rewarding feeling but it can also come with some stress in the beginning when getting settled in.  We want to help make this process a little less stressful for you so that you may be able to enjoy this happy moment. Here are some things you can do before your big move that will help make the transition less stressful for you and your family.

Update Your New Address Before Moving

When you move into a new home you want to make sure that everyone who needs your new address has it. The easiest way to do this is to fill out a change of address form at your local post office. This will ensure that your mail will begin to get delivered to your new home as soon as possible. You will also want to make sure that you update your drivers license, voters registration, insurance, bank information and credit cards to reflect your new address. To further eliminate any stress, have all of your utilities transferred to your new address or set up new accounts if needed. If  you have any subscriptions to magazines or newspapers don’t forget about these too! The post office does forward these types of things but only for a limited amount of time.

Keep Important Documents Somewhere Safe

You know that new big screen TV you just bought or the washing machine you just had to replace? Those probably came with important warranty information and it is crucial that you keep these in a safe place. Remember it all just looks like paper when it is in a big pile and you would hate to throw something important like that away. A good idea is to get some kind of safe deposit box or safe that you can put all of these documents in so that they will not get mixed up with yesterday’s junk mail. Maybe you are moving across the U.S for work and the moving expenses are tax deductible; you do not want to lose your receipts. Make sure to keep these in a safe place as well.

Add Some Security

If your new home is not already equipped with a security system, you may want to consider setting one up. A new home is a new environment and knowing you are protected will give you peace of mind. If you are not moving into a newly built home it is also wise to change your locks so that your key is not the same as the previous owner’s key.

Do a Final Walk Through 

Here at P&D Builders this is a standard practice right before you get your keys. Doing a walk through will ensure that all the necessary repairs and updates were made before taking complete ownership of the home. You can find out more about our White Glove Guarantee here.

Get to Know Your Home 

A new home is a new surrounding, new walls, new floors and usually a whole new setup. That is why you need to take some time and get to know  your new home. P&D makes sure that you know where every outlet is, every light switch and circuit breaker by giving you a thorough walk through of  your home and answering all of your questions for you. Think of it as a ‘New Home Orientation’. It is important that you get all of your warranty information and operating manuals on the new appliances/features of the home. Also this is an important time to create an emergency plan for your and your family in case of a fire or other emergency. Since this is a new home for your kids too, make sure that they are familiarized with everything as well.

Home Owners Association (HOA)

Regardless of how you feel about homeowners associations, if you live in one you will want to make sure you are familiar with the HOA rules. Each community has different rules and regulations. Find out what you can or cannot do if you do live in a homeowners association. This is also a great time to find out what the trash and recycling collection times are and other important “need-to-knows” and events in the community.

Get to Know Your Neighborhood

When you move into your new home you are likely to have neighbors as you are probably living in a community (unless you are moving to a rural location). Don’t wait for your neighbors to come to you, reach out and meet them. It is also good to get to know your neighbors as this can add a sense of security to the community and your home. They can help watch your home when you are away, you can arrange play dates with their kids and most likely end up becoming great friends with one another. Embrace your new community and you will find that it can be a very welcoming experience for you and your family. Once you become more acquainted collect addresses and phone numbers from your neighbors in case of emergencies. Also if you have pets, find out where the veterinarian and pet hospital are located. The more you know about your neighborhood, the more assimilated you will feel.

Once you are all settled in, you have met the neighbors, and have become acquainted with your new home, you will feel much more at ease. This is the point in which  you break out all the necessary items to plan your housewarming party and invite everyone over for a celebration!

 

 

What You Need to Know Before Building a Pool

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There is something about the warm summer days that make most people crave a trip to the pool. Maybe it is to simply cool off from the hot and humid Ohio summer days or just to hang out poolside with friends. Often times if you do not live in a condo or apartment complex you do not have a pool that you can go to free of charge therefore many opt to building their own pools for the convenience and luxury. If you are thinking of building a pool at your home there are a few considerations you should make before you begin the process.

#1 Create a Wishlist & Set a Budget

Research is so important when it comes to investing in something big like a swimming pool because it is permanent! With technology changing all the time it is best to see what new features, techniques, and other innovations are out there, especially if you want the best there is to offer. After you figure out that aspect of it, gather pictures of what you want it to look like, where you might want it to be built in your backyard, and what kind of ambiance you want to create around the pool. Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration! By creating your wish list and vision board it will be easier to explain to the builder exactly what you want. Don’t forget about setting a budget during this period before any commitments are made and contracts drawn up.

#2 Research the Types of Pools

Since you are likely putting a large chunk of money towards this investment it is important to know about the different types of in-ground pools available. Some pools are made of concrete, others are made of fiberglass, and some are even vinyl. Then you have to look into the coping, cleaning systems, filtering systems, and the artistic finishing touches that are available. With so many variations it is important to understand the pros and cons of each type so you and the builder are speaking the same language.

#3 Find A Credible Pool Builder

Again, we cannot stress the importance of research. Read reviews, talk to your neighbors who have a pool and see who they went with or recommend. You can find more in-depth reviews from the Better Business Bureau  It is best to find a pool builder who is seasoned in swimming pool construction. A good pool builder will offer samples of his work, provide references, and answer all of your questions. You will be working with this person for several months so make sure you choose someone you will be comfortable with.

#4 Consider the Weather in Your Area

Weather can dictate certain pool building decisions. People who live in colder climate areas should consider enclosures to prolong the amount of time they can use the pool. If you live in a wetter environment an enclosure would also be beneficial. A pool heater might be necessary if you live in a cooler environment. Also investing in a nice solar pool cover keeps the leaves and debris out while warming the pool with the solar energy. If you are looking to save on energy costs the enclosures, pool covers, pumps, and lighting timers can all pay for themselves in a short amount of time. If you live in Ohio you know we have bitter cold temperatures in the winter so completely shutting your pool down for the winter is the most efficient.

#5 How Will You Use Your Pool?

Is the pool going to be for your kids? For entertaining? Are you building it to add value to your home? Or is it being to built as a relaxing oasis for you and your spouse? Answering these questions will help you determine what kind of pool you should build and what features to add. If you are building for your kids, a pool slide or a shallow area would be perfect. If you are building it as more of a resort-like feel for you and your spouse, think of an infinity pool or using more high-end glass tile finishing. If you are using it for entertaining and want it to be very visually appealing, consider more expensive coping and maybe a built-in water feature. If you have a clear purpose you will be the builder’s best friend.

#6 Getting Permits and Insurance

Of course, we can’t go without saying this one! Even though your pool builder will be able to help you with this part, it is important to know the rules and regulations yourself. Some areas require perimeter fences of a certain height, some require locking fences and some require a fence only around the pool itself. Know what the requirements are in your area. It is important to inquire about restrictions, noise policies, and property tax concerns too! And don’t forget about the insurance. Contact your home owners insurance carrier and find out what differences it will make to your policy. It is always better to be informed instead of being surprised!

Building a pool can add a tremendous value to your home and create lasting memories both inside and outside! Make sure that all of the bases are covered and that you have done the research before beginning the process and beyond everything else always make sure to yell “canon ball’ before jumping in!

 

How to Choose the Right Moving Company

moving company You have built your dream home and the move-in date is quickly approaching. Now it is time to pack up your current home, gather your stuff out of storage, and prepare to move into your new home. For many people moving can be a bit of a headache and that is why many end up hiring a moving company to do it for them. It is very important to do your research when searching for a reputable moving company to hire. Your belongings are very important and you want to make sure they are treated with the utmost care and respect. Here are a few things to consider when you are searching for a moving company.

Are they Licensed? 

This is one of the first, and most important, things to verify when searching for a moving company. You want to look into the company’s legal status. Most companies say they are licensed and insured but it is important that you do the research yourself for verification.

In-State moves: Many states have implemented rules and regulations to monitor moving companies at a local level. The Department of Transportation or the Public Utilities Commission are the authorities responsible for the oversight of these companies. If you are looking for more information it is best to contact them for more details or questions.

Out-of-State moves: If you are moving out of state and want more information or details on a moving company, check with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This agency grants permits to all moving companies engaged in interstate transportaion of household goods. They regulate the safety, economic and legal compliance audits to protect consumers. This data is available as a public record and you can check to see if the mover you choose is licensed and insured.

Are they Reputable? 

Now that you have done your research into their validity, look at their reputation. This does not mean choose a company with the best ad campaigns or the catchiest slogans. Read reviews, get input from others who have used the company. Moving can be stressful so it is likely that you will get honest opinions from those who have used the company in the past. If they took care of them during that stressful time and made it a little easier, most likely you will get some honest feedback.  Another thing to notice is how the company responded to the reviews and feedback online. Was their presence made known both on their website and their social media accounts? Did it seem that they genuinely cared for their company reputation if they did receive a negative feedback? This is likely to show how much they care for their customers and their business.

 Do They Bring an Added Value? 

By now you have narrowed down your search. You have found a reputable, trustworthy company to hire, but don’t stop there. You want to ask them questions about how they go about disassembling furniture and electronics, the types of equipment they use for large or unique furniture? What types of packing materials do they use to keep your valuables safe from damage? Do they offer any other added benefits such as a cleaning service after the move is over? Do they offer storage (if needed)? These are all great things to consider because you might discover you need additional services as your moving day approaches.

The Red Flags

We cannot give you this list without advising you on what “Red Flags” to watch out for. If you are searching a moving company and they do not have a listed physical address, scratch them off of your list. If they do not give you a written estimate when doing a walk-through of your home also scratch them off of your list. Other things to watch out for are requiring a large deposit down before a move, estimating an extremely high or low price for the move, not giving you the FMCSA booklet “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move”, or asking you to sign blank or incomplete documents.

We know that this process is both exciting and sometimes stressful so we hope that you can use this as a guide when choosing a moving company to help you on your big moving day. If you would like more information on some moving companies in the area that we recommend contact P&D Builders.