2012 Spring Home Improvement
Spring Home Improvement ideas and products.
Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Friday, March 9, 2012 When and where to use wallpaper in your home improvement plans By Dan Marois Feature Writer hile the heydays of wallpaper might be a haunting memory of the elaborate floral designs that flourished in your grandmother's living room in the 1960s, there's still an interest today in the options that decorating with wallpaper can provide. T he Wa l lcover i ng A ssociat ion (wallcoverings.org), a nonprofit trade association for the industry, notes that wallcoverings are a great impersonator and can change the visual appearance of a room in many ways. Wallcoverings, like a fine set of clothing, helps you make the most of your room's strong points, while masking its weaker features. Textured wallpaper is particularly good at hiding flaws in sheetrock without the expense. Wallpaper adds warmth to every room. It has a natural third-dimension quality inherent of the chosen design. While wallpaper lost a tremendous amount of its market to painted walls, faux-designed walls, handpainted murals, wallboards, and such, it is now making a wonderful comeback. Current high-end products like screen-printed, handpainted grass clot hs, embossed, a nd heav yduty vinyls seem to be the most W popular with today's homeowners. Wallpaper can act as a background to wall art and can also stand on its own, depending on the overall design desired. Pa inted wa l ls have no dimension and homeowners can end up spending large amounts on wall art to try to make the room look right. With wallpaper, the stronger the pattern, the less wall art is needed. Mike St. Pierre, from Lew iston Paint and Wallpaper in Lewiston, ad m it s t hat fe wer c u stomer s are seeking wallpaper, but there a re st i l l plent y of opt ion s i n construction, color and design. "The majority of papers today are pre-pasted, solid vinyls," said St. Pierre. "They are very versatile and can be used most anywhere." And while it seems to be a daunting task to first-time paper hangers, information found on the Wallcovering Association's website emphasizes that wallcoverings are easy to install especially when you follow the manufacturer's instructions that come with each roll. Homeowners can speak to local reta ilers who w ill be happy to provide helpful hints and tips to make wallpapering easier. In fact, many decorating retailers offer wall covering clinics geared to the first-time hanger. W hen apply ing wa l lpaper it is critical to get the wall prep done correctly. With all the chemical changes that have taken place in the environmental arena, it is a bad choice to try to cut corners with the prep and adhesives. W hen done as specified you will end up with a very beautiful space. Homeowners should have all the proper tools needed for the job. These can include a smoothing brush, seam roller, broad knife, utility knife, putty knife, level, tape measure, wallpaper tray, wallpaper table, scissors, and paste brush or paint roller. All of these items are available at local hardware or home decorating retailers. Some items can even be rented. If you are searching for wallpaper or b order pat ter n s to m atc h something you already have in your home, there are companies that specialize in locating older-style wallpapers. Ask first at a local store, and if they don't carry what you are looking for, chances are, they can steer you in the right direction. While most wallpapering projects can be done by the do-it yourselfer, there are times when you may want to consider hiring a professional. "When the room being prepared involves a lot of areas that require precise cutting or if t here is a difficult match in the pattern, you may want to hire someone," said St. Pierre, explaining that this might be too much to handle for a first time effort. Great Falls RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL ALARM SYSTEMS SECURITY SYSTEMS Since 1984 24 Hour Central Station Monitoring Service 783-7110 � 1-800-540-7110 www.gfss.com � email@example.com FREE ESTIMATES Burglar � Fire � Temperature � Medical Closed Circuit TV � Access Control Systems 10REASONS to Shop Hammond Lumber Company 1. Local, family-owned company. 2. 12 convenient 8 locations across Maine. 3. Modern facilities with one-stop shopping. 4. Knowledgeable employees. 5. Full range of building supplies in stock. 6. Excellent pricing. 7. Operational, hands-on displays. 8. Expansive kitchen and bath showrooms. 9. Source for hard to nd specialty items. 10. Free delivery to your job site.* Auburn � Bangor � Belgrade � Boothbay Harbor � Brunswick Damariscotta � Fairfield � Farmington Greenville � Pemaquid Portland � Skowhegan White Sale Bathtub Man Toll Free 877-708-7400 Bathtub Resurfacing Bathtubs � Sinks � Tile � Fiberglass Chip Repairs � Counter Tops Any Color, Easy to Clean Ask about er Sup vings our 10-year Sa warranty 24- to 36hour turnaround! Toll-free 1-866-HAMMOND *within storewide delivery area. www.thebathtubman.com www.hammondlumber.com 2 SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 9, 2012 The differences between roofing materials roof is the primary defense a home ha s aga i nst t he elements. It provides protection against wind, rain and snow, as well as shields the interior from the blazing heat. A compromised roof cannot do its job properly. There are many different roofing materia ls ava i lable t hese days � each of which carries with it a certain length of usefulness. Most roofs ca n last a ny where from 25 to 40 years, depending on t he mater ia l composit ion. Homeowners may know it's time to replace a roof w it hout even venturing out on the roof. Ceiling leaks or discoloration can indicate it's time to replace a roof. Check for sagging ceiling material on the top f loors of the home if there is no attic. Wet or darkened wood or rusty nails in the attic c ou ld b e sig n s . R a f t er s m a y cha nnel lea ks away from t heir orig ina l source, so it's best to do a t horoug h check a ny t i me wetness or discoloration is evident anywhere in the home. Once the decision to install a new roof is made, homeowners must dec ide bet ween t he d i f ferent roof ing mater ia ls. Resea rch is A necessary to find a roof that will be the right price and meet the homeow ner's needs. Here a re common roofing materials. Asphalt shingles: This is the type of roof most homeow ners f irst think of when envisioning a roofing project. The t hree-tab aspha lt shingle is the most commonly used roofing material. The economic value it offers is why this roof is one of the most popular. However, even though shingles are available in many different colors, homeowners seeking something u n ique may w a nt to selec t a different roofing option. A rchitectura l shingle : Sim i la r to a n aspha lt sh i ng le, t he architectura l shingle is thicker and the layers are staggered to give the roof a more architectural look. These shingles are only slightly more ex pen sive t ha n a spha lt shingles, which still makes them a good value. Wo o d s h a k e s a n d s h i n g l e s : Instead of asphalt, wood makes an ideal roofing material that's also pleasing to the eye. Over time wood will weather to different shades, which can help the home blend in with the environment. Wood shakes can be expensive to install, and will require periodic cleaning to remove mildew or moss, and may need re-oiling for preservation. There are also "fake" wood shingles t h at a r e m a de of c omp o s it e materials that may offer the look of wood without the maintenance. Slate: This hard, stone material is very strong and sheds snow and ice very well, which is why it was often used on homes in the Northeast. The weight of slate, which requires a more substantial roof structure, and the cost make it less popular among today's homeowners. Metal: This material is an ideal choice for industrial applications or on agricultural or country homes where snow is frequent. A metal roof can range from relatively inexpensive galvanized steel to lofty copper that is pricey. A properly installed metal roof could last 50 years, which makes it a good value. Ceramic: Ceramic tile roofs may be among the most expensive due to the craftsmanship and the installation required for these heavy tiles, but their life expectancy is 60 to 80 years. Chances are you'll only On top of things: Shingles are just one of many types of roofing materials available for your consideration. have to do this type of installation once in a lifetime. Many people are drawn to ceramic roofs because of their beauty. T hey a re com mon ly fou nd on Med iter ra nea n-st yle homes in wa r m climates. Most t i les a re w at er pr o ofe d a nd h a rd-f i re d so they won't absorb moisture, also making them safe to use in northern climates. In general, a roofing job is not a do-it-you rsel f u nder t a k i ng. It will require an experienced and l icensed cont ractor. A t r usted roofing contractor can be found by exploring listings on the National Roofing Contractor Association web site at w w w.nrca.net. Verify contractors prior to hire through or ga n i z at ion s l i ke t he Bet ter Business Bureau or on Angie's List. (Metro) Take control of high heating costs today! The price of home heating oil is rising sharply. Again. Do something about it! Upgrade your heating system, weatherize your home, or make other improvements to lower your energy bills. Offset your loan payment with your monthly energy savings! Be more comfortable in your home and take control of soaring heating costs! Visit EfficiencyMaine.com/PACE or call 1-866-2463 to apply today! Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 9, 2012 SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT 3 Going green with a central vacuum system By Stephen R. Klossner Energy&EnvironmentalBuilding Association B u i lders a nd homeow ners alike are embracing central vacuum systems to assure healthier living environments. It's one of t he fastest g row ing trends in the rapidly evolving green bu i ld i ng movement. A lt houg h green building began as an effort to use forestry and water resources more ef f icient ly, its empha sis quickly grew to embrace products and practices that would reduce energy consumption both during and after construction. Today, green building also emphasizes indoor env ironmental quality to produce homes that are healthy places to live. According to Boyce Thompson, editorial director for Builder magazine, the leading publication serving the nation's homebuilders, the green building movement has experienced major growth in spite of a sharp drop in overall building activity. "Within the last half year, we've seen an exponential increase in builder interest in green building. That's no doubt because more and more potential home buyers are asking for healthy, energy-efficient homes. But it's also because builders have seized on green building as a way to differentiate new from existing homes," noted Thompson. The tighter the home is built to conserve energy for heating and cool- ing, the less fresh air gets inside to dilute indoor pollution levels and there are fewer ways for pollutants to be removed. Indoor air quality According to the U.S. Env ironmental Protection Agency (online at w w w.epa.gov), the air inside a typical American home can be five to 100 times more polluted than the air outdoors. Indoor pollutants typically include combustion gasses, organic vapors emitted from solvents, adhesives and building materials and other biologicals such as molds, allergens and dander. A central vacuum system consists of t h ree major components : a power unit that includes the motor, filtration system and a receptacle that collects the dust and allergens capt u red by t he vac uu m ; t he centra l vacuum hose, cleaning tools and an electric power brush for cleaning carpet; and a network of built-in inlet valves and insidethe-wall tubing that connects the hose to the power unit. Because the power unit is typically installed in a garage, basement or utility room, its motor exhausts no a ir t hrough t he liv ing a rea during cleaning. Instead, all of the captured dust and allergens are safely removed. A nd because the power unit is per ma nent ly i nsta l led, it ca n accommodate a motor with up to five times more cleaning power To activate the system, simply plug the lightweight hose into the wall inlet, flip the switch on the hose handle and start cleaning and improving the indoor air quality of your home. than a traditional upright vacuum, a ssu r i ng t hat more du st a nd allergens are collected. For over 115 years, Muralo Paints has engineered innovative products to satisfy the most discriminating customers. Muralo's Breathe SafeTM line is no different. It has a paint & primer in one formula, it is virtually odorless and free of VOC's, while still keeping the high performance properties you've come to expect from a Muralo product! Find us on SELF PRIMING. FIRESIDE STOVE SHOP WOOD � PELLET � GAS STOVES & FURNACES Proven allergy relief For the estimated 42.6 million Americans who suffer from hay fever, asthma or both, removing indoor allergens is critically important to relieve symptoms and reduce the risk of serious health complications. Electrolux Central Vacuum Systems, formerly Beam Industries (w w w.beam.com), had received nu merous a necdota l accou nts f rom customers whose a l lerg y symptoms dramatically improved when they switched from a conventional vacuum to a central vacuum system for cleaning their homes. The green benefits of central vacuum systems extend beyond their indoor air quality contributions. Although a central vacuum system is up to five times more powerful than a portable vacuum, the amount of energy required to run it is almost the same. The largest selling central vacuum power unit, t he Beam Serenit y QS Model 375, operat i ng one hour per week would consume 90.48 kilowatt hours of electricity at a cost of approximately $6.78 annually. That is less than one-half the energy required to run a typical persona l computer or clot hes washer and one-sixth the energy that would be required to operate a refrigerator for an entire year. For all these factors, indoor air quality, efficient energy use and waste reduction, central vacuum systems offer an important step toward a healthier living and a more sustainable env ironment. For more information on central vacuum systems, go to http:// www.beam.com/builder. AND FIREPLACE CENTER Harman Pellet Stove Thru Mon., March 19th With Purchase of a New FREE TON OF PELLETS Odds & Ends Items on Sale! "We're a paint store, not a paint department" 516 Sabattus St., Lewiston 784-1993 www.lewistonpaint.com M-F 7am-5pm � Sat 7:30 am - 1 pm 1220 CENTER ST. � AUBURN Near Lake Auburn on Rte. 4 Serving You Since 1978 784-9249 www.firesidestoveshop.com 1-800-244-9249 TIME MANAGEMENT... $ 30" Timemaster Count on it. � 8.75 ft-lb Gross Torque Briggs & Stratton� OHV 190cc engine � Self-Propel � Blade Stop System � 30" Cutting Width � Cast Aluminum Frame Steel Deck � Mulch, Rear Bag, Side Discharge � Washout Port � Toro� Performance Warranty, 3-Year Full, 3-Year GTS Full 1,299 Get a workout while at your desk with a TREADMILL DESK! � 74"L x 47" W overall dim. � Adjustable Height � Max User Weight 350 lbs. � Residential & Commercial Warranties HOME GYMS � LIFE CYCLES � TREADMILLS CLIMBERS � ROWERS � FREE WEIGHTS � MORE! LifeSpan TR1200DT Spring Tune-Up Time! All Makes & Models 200 Gorham Road, Clark's Pond South Portland (Next to Olive Garden) M-F 9:30-5:30; Sat 10:30-5, Sun 12-4 772-7110 � www.workoutfitness.com Sales & Service for over 50 years www.lapointes.net � Mon.-Fri. 8 to 5 Sat. 8:30 to 12 4 SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 9, 2012 Consider insulated window shades Being aware of your home's carbon footprint ta kes targeted ef fort, but it can also save you money. I ncor por at i ng eco-f r iend ly add it ions into you r home ca n massively reduce energy bills and save on repairs. According to the web site at http:// www.CellularWindowShades.com, up to 24 percent of a fuel bill can escape out of leaky windows. But replacing windows can cost any where from $400 to $800 per window. Depending on the size of your house and the state of your windows, total cost could be anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. One affordable yet environmentally efficient option is insulating window shades. There's some hesitation around insulating shades, but here are a few questions and explanations straight from the expert's mouth. Do we need to replace them, or can we use insulating shades? A: If your windows are no longer f u nc t ion a l, a nd y ou r ener g y bills are off the charts, go with replacement windows. However, if they are simply old and cold, homeow ners m ig ht wa nt to consider high-quality insulating s h ade s w it h side t r ac k s t h at provide a four-sided seal. Shades like these will solve your heat-loss problems immediately. Q: What are the environmental benefits of using insulated shades? A: Residential heating and cooling eat up more fossil fuels than any other sector. A shocking 50 percent slips t hrough poorly insu lated windows. Experts gauge that the equivalent of 450 million barrels of oil could be saved every year if all windows in the U.S. had effective insulating shades. Insulating window shades are more affordable than replacement windows, and they reduce energy costs. Q: Our windows are cold. Q: How do I know if insulated shades are the right option for my home? A: Quality insulated shades are part of a good energy-conservation pla n. A f ter i nsta l l i ng energ yef f icient CFL bu lbs, i nsu lated shades are the next step. Miniblinds can transfer the cold from you r w i ndow i nto t he room, increasing your energ y costs by 10 percent. Insulating shades can reduce that by half. For more information, go to http:// www.cellularwindowshades.com. The shades come in a variety of att ract ive a nd complementa r y colors. (NewsUSA) What is LEED? The term LEED is often bandied about when conversations shift to the environment. A term used when discussing building certification, LEED sta nds for Leadersh ip in Energy and Environmental Design. It is an internationally recognized green building certification system that was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council 12 years ago. The system provides building owners and those who operate businesses with a distinct framework of guidelines that identify practical and measurable green design, construction, operation, and maintenance solutions. In order to be fair, LEED uses a rating system that is developed through a collaboration by LEED c om m it t e e s . C om m it t e e s a r e groups of volunteers who represent a variety of building and construction industry subsets. Some of the t hings t hat LEED w i l l measure through its rating system include energy and atmosphere solutions, water efficiency, sustainable sites selection, sustainable materials/ waste reduction, and indoor environmental quality. Orga ni zat ions t hat a re seek ing LEED certification for a building must earn a minimum number of "points" to reach certification. The ma x imum number of points offered is 110, which includes 10 bonus points. Most buildings are eligible for certification, but it's best to check with the LEED Rating System Checklist and find out the requirements for a particular project. That information is available at http:// www.usgbc.org. (Metro) Maine Woods Premium Pellets Direct from our Warehouse to your home! $ WoodPelletWarehouse 219/Ton Delivered! "Best manufactured wood pellets in the state of Maine" or pick up by appointment for $209/ton "Come Home to a Caldera Spa" Rte 2, 454 River Rd., Mexico, Maine � 207-364-POOL (7665) IFYOU'RE READINGTHIS,WEDELIVERTOYOU! Call (207) 645-3064 or order online at: www.sibwoodpellets.com & PANCAKE BREAKFAST SATURDAY, APRIL 7TH � 9AM-3PM 56TH ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE Carpets � Vinyl � Tile Ceramic � Marble � Tumbled Marble Marble Granite Tops Don't Compromise Get a Cub Cadet LTX 1040 19 HP1 KOHLER� COURAGETM ENGINE Tile 2012 CUB CADET 2010 LAWN TRACTOR Sale Price Only 2 *Shown with optional attachments Providing Services for Custom Baths & Showers 789 Webster Street, Lewiston (In the Industrial Park) $ 1,549 � 42" heavy-duty twin blade cutting deck � 12" turning radius � Welded steel frame www.cubcadet.com Service. Knowledge. Selection. Financing. Delivery 207-784-6964 fax: 784-6965 WATERMAN FARM MACHINERY CO INC. 827 Sabattus Rd. Sabattus, ME (207) 375-6561 1 www.wfm1956.com as rated by engine manufacturer 2 Actual retail prices are set by dealer and may vary. Taxes, freight, setup and handling charges may be additional and may vary. Models subjest to limited availability. Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 9, 2012 SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT 5 Efficiency a useful weapon in battling high energy costs F rom the nation's capital to the statehouse, energy is seemingly on ever yone's mind, particularly in light of soaring oil prices with no end in sight. It's no wonder that homeowners are seeking more ways to lower their energ y bills. According to some estimates, Americans spend 13 to 15 hours a day at home. With more and more electronic tools, gadgets, and components to plug in while at home, compounded w ith the cha llenge of living in a cold state with a large inventory of old homes, lowering utility bills is a priority for many. So where can you start, and what can you do to make your home more energy efficient? According t o E f f ic ie nc y Ma i ne, ple nt y. Efficiency Maine is an independent trust dedicated to promoting the efficient and cost-effective use of energy to save money for Maine residents and businesses, grow t he economy, a nd create jobs. Efficiency Maine's energy-saving programs help Mainers reduce their use of electricity and heating fuels through energ y efficiency improvements and the use of costeffective alternative energy. Efficiency Maine's programs deliver Maine's lowest-cost energ y resource through a combination of technical assistance, cost-sharing, training, education and awareness programs. Here are a number of suggestions from Efficiency Maine you might consider: Join thousands of Mainers who have already made their homes more com for table a nd energ y ef f icient by weat her i zing your home. On average, homeowners who recently weatherized their homes through Efficiency Maine's Home Energy Savings Program are projected to save about 40 percent a year on their energy costs. As a first step in the process of weatherizing your home, be sure to conduct a home energ y audit by using a professiona l energ y adv isor. Energ y audits prov ide a comprehensive pla n t hat allows homeowners to prioritize sug gested energ y ef f icienc y measures for their home. For a list of Eff iciency Maine's Pa r t icipat ing Energ y Adv isors, who are certified by the Building Performance Institute, a nationally recog n i zed cer t if icat ion body, visit w w w.efficiencymaine.com/ at-home/hesp_program/find_an_ energy_advisor. Ne e d help pay i ng for ener g y efficiency improvements? A Maine PACE Loan may be the answer. Upg rade you r heat ing system, weatherize your home, or make other improvements to lower your energy bills. Receive up to $15,000 with 4.99 percent APR financing a nd no closing fees, ma ke low monthly payments, and offset the cost of your loan through your PACE Loan energy savings. Visit www.efficiencymaine.com/PACE for more info. Ma i ner s of ten keep a second refrigerator � often an older model � in the garage or basement to store extra food, cold beverages, or deer meat. Consider getting rid of that secondary refrigerator or freezer. Efficiency Maine will recycle your old refrigerator or freezer, pick up the unit at no cost to you, and send you $50. (It has to be operational, of course, and measure between 10 and 30 cubic feet.) The energy savings could be as much as $250 a year. For more details, and to schedule a pick-up, visit us online at www.efficiencymaine.com. Buy EN ERGY STA R appl ia nces which are energ y eff icient and increasingly comparable in price to other models. Look for displays at more than 200 participating reta i lers statew ide to ta ke advantage of the Efficiency Maine Appliance Rebate Program. Enjoy rebates of $50 for clothes washers, $50 for refrigerators, and $25 for dehumidifiers, and lower your energy bills year after year. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact f luorescent bu lbs, or CFLs, which can give the same amount and qua lit y of light as incandescent bulbs. CFLs use 75 percent less energ y and last up to 10 times longer than standard i nc a ndescent bu lbs. L ook for t he ENERGY STA R label when purchasing lighting fixtures. These f i x t u res meet federa l energ yefficiency and quality guidelines, without a sacrifice in performance. Replace halogen f loor lamps and torchieres w it h compact f luorescent models. Ha logen f loor lamps pose a fire hazard due to the extremely hot temperatures produced by t he hig h-wattage bulbs and cost more to operate. A n ener g y- e f f ic ient c ompa c t f luorescent model produces as much light, runs cooler, and uses only a fraction of the electricity. Use motion detectors outdoors. Lights turn on only when someone is walking near the house. This will save energy and provide security. 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EH The Piper Design your own: Choose a style + size, Design your own: material,acolor&+size, options Choose style upholstery material & color GALAXY GLASS 1-800-339-4721 � 786-0709 6 SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT 799 Main Street, Lewiston Furniture that ts Specializing in furniture Your bodyspaces home for smaller + your Open Mon�Sat 10am�6pm 429 Route 1 | Scarborough, Maine 207-883-3264 We Ship Anywhere Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 9, 2012 The home office trend has fitness in mind More Mattress Less Money...PERIOD! H aving space in the home dedicated for fitness is one t hing. K now ing what to do in that space is another. Having the right fitness equipment and resources at home can turn the best intentions to work up a sweat into a successfully completed workout. The good news is you no longer need to forsake your dining room table for a home gym. Today's fitness equipment is compact � making out-of-sight storage convenient and portable enough to move from room to room, if necessary. PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells: Although they might seem more pricey at first glance, they are less expensive than purchasing multiple dumbbell pairs of varying weights. Because there is only one pair for all the various weights, you keep your fitness space clutter free. Stability ball: Replace the bulky bench you would use for resistance training with a stability ball to work on balance and core strength. Make sure your stabilit y ball is burst resistant and rated for a slow deflate if punctured. For more information, visit ARAContent.com. Set up your home office in the space of a treadmill : E xercise while improving work productivity. The TR1200-DT Treadmill Desk was desig ned a round how you work at home in a small space. It includes a sturdy work surface mea su r i ng 46.5" w ide a nd 31" deep to easily support your laptop, printer, computer display and other electronics devices. The treadmill console is conveniently located in the front of the desk so it doesn't take space away from the working surface. For comfort and convenience, the TR1200DT includes padded arm rests to ensure lasting comfort, and clean cable management with a cable tray tucked under the desk to store your cables. The display panel shows distance travelled, calories burned, time walking on the treadmill desk, and the Intelli-Step feature works like a pedometer and counts steps taken while you're working. The TR1200-DT is designed from the ground up to be a treadmill desk; mecha nica lly t his mea ns optimizing the torque of the motor at low speeds by increasing the pulley ratio bet ween the motor and the front pulley. In return, we reduced the ma x imum wa lk ing speed to 4 MPH. The result is a treadmill that can easily operate for hours at a time at low speeds without overheating or creat ing excessive st ress on t he motor a nd elect ronics. For more i n for m at ion a bout t h i s t readmi l l desig ned to improve your product iv it y, v isit http:// w w w. L i f e Sp a n F it ne s s .c om or http://www.WorkoutFitness.com. Mattresses & Furniture for Less This Week Only FREE deliver y, set-up and removal...see store for details. Complete Futon Packages from $298! DAY BEDS from $198 PLATFORM BEDS from $178 Sofas, loungers, chairs and tables. Best selection anywhere. Over 300 covers to choose from. Dozens of styles to choose from. Wood or metal. Pop-up trundles available. Many styles and nishes available, including solid oak, bookcase, panel and mission headboards, matching chests, dressers, blanket chests, nightstands and armoires, under bed storage, 6 and 12 drawer pedestals. Pull out trundles also available. SHOP LEISURELY � HASSLE FREE � NO PRESSURE Let our expert non-commissioned sales team assist you in selecting the right mattress for your body! All items available in the South Portland store...mattresses and bedrooms only in the Auburn store. 35 Foden Road � South Portland 774-1714 (At Western Ave. across from Fairchild Semiconductor) EASY FINANCING FREE LAYAWAY Auburn Plaza, Center St. � Auburn 784-9634 (Between TJ Max and FlagShip Cinema) Visit us at www.bedderrest.com Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 9, 2012 SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT 7 Spring for new heating system By Deborah Conway Feature Writer / Photographer are pros and cons associated with ever y t y pe of heat-produci ng appliance for your home. "Although many people like to heat with gas because it is clean, convenient and it doesn't need power, a gas stove or fireplace cannot heat a whole house," said Asselin. The Chaissons chose pellet over gas because they found it to be less expensive. The biggest drawback, however, is that, in this instance, the system that feeds the pellets is dependent on electricity. Therefore, when the power goes out the heat goes off. Perhaps the most significant negative aspect of burning wood is the danger of a chimney fire. Accord- L ike the inviting smell of fresh bread just out of the oven, and the comfort of a roasted chicken on a Sunday night with all the fixings and the family gathered a rou nd t he table, t he wa r mt h and comfort of a fire in the hearth welcomes you home. Wit h Ma ine's weat her t u r n ing warmer, we are lately more inclined to toss open the windows to let the spring breezes fill our home than we are to reach for the thermostat, making spring the perfect time to start thinking about creating a warm and welcoming hearth in your own home. T he Fi r e s ide St ov e Shop, i n Auburn, sells, services and installs wood, pellet and gas stoves and f ireplaces, including attractive High Efficiency Zero Clearance Wood Burning Fireplaces which use natural convection as a means of delivering heat from the fireplace to the home. "All fuels are not for everybody," explained Gary Asselin, proprietor of t he Fireside Stove Shop. He added, "There is a big range in both quality and style for wood, pellet and gas stoves." Mike Farnham, of Michael & Son Chimneysmiths in Poland, also services and installs both wood and pellet stoves. He prefers the qu iet of t he wood, a nd ma ny Mainers agree. According to Asselin, there is also a large range of sizing. "The size of the woodstove will determine the square footage that it will heat. A properly sized woodstove and a sufficient amount of firewood can efficiently and economically heat your entire house all winter." Many Mainers make their living by ha r ve st i ng f i re wood . Ph i l Mitchell, of Phil Mitchell Firewood in Poland, has been cutting and hauling firewood for more than 30 years. Seasoned firewood costs about $250 per cord, but it's hard to find this time of year. Although Mitchell still has "green" wood for sale for $200 a cord, his wife, Louise, advises that, "It needs to sit outside in the sunshine for a couple of months before it is used." Some households burn multiple cords of firewood every year. "A 2,000-square-foot home w ill burn three to three-and-a-half tons of pellets per year," said Asselin. "Fireside Stove Shop sells premium hardwood pellets for $259 per ton." Three tons of pellets occupy roughly as much space as a cord of firewood. Linda Chaisson, and her husband Tom, chose to install a pellet stove in their drafty 14-room farmhouse built in 1893 in Poland because, as she explained, they "didn't have a chimney that was appropriate for a woodstove [and a] pellet stove can be vented to any outside wall." Although it does not effectively heat the entire house, "The pellet stove allows us to keep the downstairs warm and cozy." Asselin noted that with a pellet stove the homeowner is able to set the temperature in the room where the stove resides, and the pellet stove w ill maintain t hat temperature. Another advantage is t hat pellet stoves "a re more automated, so it takes less [of the homeowner's] time. You have to fill the pellet reservoir about once every 24 hours," and the automatic feeder does the rest. Also, they have safety features that will shut down the stove in certain situations, including when the stove becomes overheated or when t he pel let reservoir door is left open. There ing to www.csia.org, "The Chimney Safety Institute of America is dedicated to chimney and venting system safety and to the elimination of residential chimney fires, carbon monoxide intrusion and other ... chimney and venting systems hazards." Statistics found at this web site, originally compiled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, state that, "Heating and cooling equipment fires constituted the second largest share of total residential fires" over a threeyear period. Of these, nearly half were caused by "fireplace, chimney Spring for heat page 9 Barbara LaPointe enjoys her morning tea by a gas fireplace. Bosch 18V Cordless $50 Trade-In Special! $50 OFF any Bosch 18V L/I cordless kit and your choice of a Bare 18V Grinder, jigsaw, or Battery ($100 value) via mail-in rebate. Trade in your old DeWalt, Makita, Hitachi or Milwaukee 18V cordless kit and get A $150 VALUE! February 1�March 31, 2012 Buy this DDS181-02 18V L/I Compact Drill/Driver is Get th E! 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Also, depending on how much you burn, and the quality of the wood, he recommends at least one cleaning per year. "Even with good, dry wood," Farnham said, "we recommend having your chimney cleaned after burning about two cords of wood. And if you are burning wood in your stove at a low temperature, that com- pounds the problem as it makes for a buildup of creosote." The average cost for a cleaning (creosote removal) and a thorough inspection of your chimney and stove by a professional chimneysmith is around $125 to $130. A small price to pay compared to the cost of a chimney fire. Farnham also specializes in the installation of stainless steel chimney liners and rain caps. In addition to stoves and fireplaces, the Fireside Stove Shop also stocks everything that you need to customize your hearth, including hearth rugs, ash vacs and buckets, replacement parts for all stoves, steamers, fans, hearthside tool sets, gasket materials, screens and child safety gates. The Chaissons purchased their pellet stove at Buy The Fire in Oxford. According to its web site, http:// w w w.buy thefire.com, they sell, install and service wood and gas burning stoves and a wide variety of tools, parts and accessories for the hearth. When planning your project, consult the experts to determine what option will meet your needs, fit your budget, and safely warm your hearth and home. From left to right: Gas fireplace, gas stove, and wood stove. Best time of year for new heating system Is there a best time to buy a new furnace? In fact, there are two best times to buy any kind of heating or cooling products for your home and that's in the spring and fall months, when the contractors aren't busy. Since spring fever is starting to hit us, heating systems are shut off and contractors are dealing with a lull of demand right now, making it one of the best times to bargain, and save money on the price of a new gas furnace. 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Expires May 31, 2012 $20 OFF Maine's leading provider of stone & concrete products Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 9, 2012 SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT 9 Kitchen renovation ideas you can use in your own home By Deborah Conway Feature Writer / Photographer hen L i sa a nd G eor ge Graves purchased their split level home in Hebron, Maine, "The kitchen was pretty dated, and the animals that had lived with the previous owners had done a number on the cabinets." According to George, "It was ugly to begin with and then Lisa stored catnip in a drawer" ... and their own cat finished the job the other cat had started, making their decision to renovate an easy one. After reaching a consensus as to the layout and coming up w ith a rudimentar y drawing and list of what t hey mig ht u lt imately want to do, Lisa and George went to Sa ndy L aw rence, a k itchen and bath designer at Hammond Lumber Company, in Auburn, for assistance. Lawrence, who has six years of design experience, stated t hat, for t he homeow ner, "The hardest part is getting started; taking the initiative to say `We're going to put ourselves through the annihilation of our kitchen.' " T he nex t step i s helpi ng t he customer decide whet her t hey wa nt nat u ra l wood, a pa i nted finish or thermafoil. Thermafoil, explained Lawrence, is a process that is "kind of like a shrink wrap. It is highly washable and it hides seams, giving the cabinetry a nice clean finish." Upon visiting Hammond's showroom, Lisa's decision took very little time. "She walked up to the white thermafoil model and said, `This is what I want.' " Lisa likes white because it is clean and timeless and, added George, "It lightens it up in here." He also likes it "because it's what my wife wanted." George is a wise man. Hammond Lumber works with 16 different cabinet makers including Kabinart and Dynasty, as well as Just Cabinets, a company that is based in Fryeburg, Maine, giving customers many styles and a large range of prices and quality from which to choose. Overall, Lawrence found "Team Graves," including their 15-yearold daughter Lea h, to be "ver y self-sufficient." They knew what they wanted, and George had the skills to do all of the manual labor himself, making the next step � "creating the plan" � also easy. According to Lawrence, "Customers often come in with drawings. Sometimes they are complete with measurements and other details, and sometimes it's just a sketch on a piece of scrap paper." Lawrence works with the customer to create a kitchen that meets their needs in terms of functionality, that fits their lifestyle, and that satisfies their aesthetic tastes, all while staying within their budget. Lisa and George chose the layout because Lisa liked the way the kitchen f lowed and fit with the rest of the home. "We really didn't alter the original plan." They did, however, add a lot of fun, updated and beautiful options. Ha m mond Lu mber of fers a w ide variet y of f unctiona l and decorative options with its lines of c abi net r y, i nclud i ng ch i na and plate racks, decorative pullout baskets a nd ha rdwa re, t he "Super Susa n" (a ma r velously updated "Lazy Susan"), roll-out i nter ior t rays, sl id i ng d rawers for spaces that otherwise might remain wasted, stylish apothecary drawers, glass cabinet doors with interior cabinet lighting, pantry pull-outs and wine racks, as well as construction details such as dovetail and soft-close drawers and interior solid-wood construction. L i sa a nd G eor ge chose ot her features that made the k itchen uniquely theirs. Some of Lisa's favorites include "the spice rack next to the stove and the wine glass racks," she said. George likes the "range top mounted microwave," and he lobbied hard for the pull-out trash bin. Countertops can take a lot of focus. Options include granite, quartz, laminate or Corian. "Granite has become so affordable that people rarely choose Corian. It is also heat and scratch resistant, and is nearly indestructible," said Lawrence. Lisa chose a black marble countertop with an earthy shade of deep green with flecks of white and silver because, "W hen the lights hit it you can see different colors and variation [and it] looks so much prettier" than the red laminate on which she previously prepared me a l s. T he c ou nter tops a l s o qualify as Lisa's favorite feature. Lisa and George are both proud of the new exposed, interior brick chimney next to the stove, built by George with a new double flu that w ill ultimately accommodate a new wood stove in the basement in addition to the furnace. "It made me appreciate again how handy my husband is," said Lisa. "I The color dilemma By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer Many of us have "been there, done that" � perusing paint chips for days on end, selecting a few colors, apply ing t hem to t he wa lls and hating the results. We don't have the time, money or desire for a redo, so we tell ourselves to live w ith the paint colors for a while to see if they grow on us. Somet imes t hey do. Somet imes they don't, and we go through the process all over again or just learn to live with what's there. How can we ensure we pick the right paint colors the first time around? Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to ensure you pick the right paint colors the first time around. There are some things you can do to improve your odds, however. Study the room long beforehand and determine the purposes you want it to serve. Will it be a place to relax and watch TV, a place to gather with others and eat, or a place to study and work? Read up on t he color wheel to determine what color families will ma ke the best backdrop for the purposes you intend for the room. If you want to use the room primarily as a place to relax, for example, reds and yellows might not be a good choice, as these will evoke energy and passion. A soft brown or blue, on the other hand, might do just the trick. Shop around for paint colors. Go to several stores and select as many paint chips as possible. Bring them home, take them to the room you plan to paint and lay them all out on a table. Look at them at various times of the day and in various lighting conditions. Know what each color will look like at any given time. Toss out the chips you don't like and tape the ones remaining to the wall where you can see them throughout the day. Narrow your choices until you have 10 or less. Then research the paint brands and find out how they stack up against each other. Choose the top ones and make sure the colors of choice come in the type of finish you desire. You might not be able to find that sassy hot pink or fiesta lime green in the eggshell finish you want. Finally, get some paint samples. Many stores now carr y small paint samples that you can purchase for less than the price of a quart. Apply your samples to the wall near each other and check them out at various times of the day under various lighting conditions. Cont inue na rrow ing your color choices until you have the exact pa lette you wa nt. If you're still undecided, consider painting some wallboards in the colors in question. Then set the wallboards along the walls in the room you plan to paint and live with them for a while to see which ones appeal to you most. With any luck, you will soon know what you want and love the results! W think it helped Leah appreciate the hard work and expense that goes into home ownership." W hen a s k e d i f he w ou ld do anything differently if he was going to start the renovation process over again, George was quick to say, "I would rip out the wall behind the stove and open it up to the living room." He would put in a half-wall with food preparation areas on one side and a "two-stage bar" with seating on the other. Given that one end of the kitchen area, occupied by an antique table that the family uses for everyday mea ls, wa s a l ready sepa rated from the busy family room by just a railing and several descending steps, Lisa's preference was to keep that wall so as not to open up the space between the kitchen and the more formal living room and foyer below. Wisely, again, George acquiesced and the wall stayed. According to Lisa, the destruction and construction of their kitchen "was so much less disruptive than it could have been. George managed to keep me cooking meals for all but two days." There were even some funny and enjoyable moments along the way. Lisa recalled, "When everything was in boxes and piled sky-high in t he dining room, Lea h was appalled that we might be `living like hoarders' permanently." George's favorite moment was, "W hen ever y t h i ng was r ipped apart we had a 15th birthday party for Leah and I got the boys to haul the old cabinets out and we threw Planning your renovation smartly You can find ideas for your own kitchen remodeling project by following what others have done, such as Lisa and George Graves, as shown in the two photos above. You can also learn about new products from the experts at a home design center, such as shown in the photos to the right, taken at Hammond Lumber. As you tear apart the wa llpaper, replace the cupboards and strip the f loorboards, experts caution not to reach for that bucket of paint before investigating the innards of your walls. Insulation and infrastructure are significant to the foundation and value of your property, so bringing in a home inspector or appraiser allows you to make corrections early, before you've finalized the renovation plans. Common problems are focused on air leakage and poor insulation issues, experts tell us. The latest research, for example, indicates that traditional fiberglass and cellulose insulation are less reliable than contemporary spray foam insulation. Foams, like those from Icynene, are known to decrease the presence of common airborne irritants, reduce air and water penetration and reduce energy costs. When you sell your home, spray foam insulation stands to give a better return on investment than dated insulation. More information on this topic is available online at http:// www.icynene.com. (Metro) them on the giant burn pile." They burned very well. Asked what is in line for the next project, George said, "Now that I've got the chimney done, I'm going to finish off the basement and make the utility area a separate room." Lisa's project is a little simpler: "George's closet needs shelves." 10 SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 9, 2012 Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 9, 2012 SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT 11 Compare concrete and asphalt driveways M any homes come with a driveway. Whether leading to a garage or not, the driveway is a convenient place to park one or more cars. If a driveway is in need of repair or replacement, owners often choose between asphalt or concrete. There are certain factors that come into play when making a decision. More often than not, cost is a main consideration and frequently the driving force behind any driveway decisions that are made. Until you realize all of the subtleties behind these materials, you may not be able to make an informed decision. to grooves and dents in the surface. Whereas concrete driveways work bet ter i n wa r m cl i mates t ha n cold ones. Salt used on roadways can damage concrete, and coldweat her shrin kage ca n lead to cracks in the concrete. Rate of repair Despite t he cost, some people choose concrete d r iveways be c au se t he y tend to have a longer life with less maintenance required. A concrete driveway can last as long as 50 years. A spha lt d r iveways ca n last around 30 years, but if t hey're not properly ma inta ined, may start deteriorating after just a few years. That's because asphalt is petroleum-based and very elastic. If left to dry out without adequate sealing, the driveway can become brittle and start to wear away. Concrete driveways can be sealed to preserve their quality, but most people associate sealing with aspha lt. This should be done every five years or so to prevent the breakdown of the oils in the asphalt. The first application of sealant should be applied no sooner than eight to 12 months after installation to allow the asphalt to properly cure. Cost According to the Do It Yourself Web site, concrete can cost up to 45 percent more than asphalt to install generally. If the price of crude oil is high, and crude oil is a component of asphalt composit ion, t hen t he aspha lt could be more expensive. The best way to compare prices is to get a few estimates for each material. Depending on climate, both asphalt and concrete can be prone to cracking. In many cases, it is more expensive to mend cracks in a concrete driveway than in one made from asphalt. Asphalt that is ready for sealing will start to take on a grayish hue. Staining A light-colored concrete can be sta i ned f rom f lu id lea k s f rom the a car or leaves. It may take powerwashing to remove the stain adequately. However, stains are much less visible on dark asphalt. But asphalt can do its own type of staining. The oils released from the asphalt can stick to the undersides of shoes and be carried indoors. If you don't remove your shoes upon entering, these oils may eventually discolor vinyl or tile f loors or get imbedded into the carpeting. On the other hand, concrete can be colored or stamped to provide designs and aesthetic appeal. If you desire a higher-end driveway, then concrete may be right for you. Both driveway materials will do what they're supposed to � providing a durable surface on which to park your car. If you're looking for low installation costs, then you may want to choose asphalt. For the utmost in durability, perhaps concrete is best. (Metro) Weather compatibility If you live in a very hot climate, you may want to choose a concrete driveway. Asphalt tends to get soft in the heat, which can contribute Variety What you see is what you get with asphalt. There really are no decorative options � it's merely a simple and practical driveway material. Someone says there's a better way to search for a home in Maine? LOL! 12 SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 9, 2012 Creating a seamless flow By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer In Paint many of today's homes, t he f loor pl a n s a re open, w ith one room flowing into another. Walk into the front door, and you might catch a glimpse of the living room, kitchen a nd dining room. Wit h such a vantage point, many homeowners look to create flow from one room to another. If you are among them, here are some tips. mold i ng a re of t he sa me si ze a nd color where possible. This is especially important with the baseboards. If you can't afford to replace the moldings, rework them with some paint or stain to match. Decor Finally, there is decor. Nothing disrupts flow more than a western theme in one room and a nautical theme in another. Choose one basic style of decor or complementing styles for the rooms you want to create flow in. If your living room feels rather homey, don't break it up w ith a mod kitchen. Keep your cleaned-lined cabinetry and stainless steel appliances, but add homey touches here and there to carry the theme through. Paint is one of the most inexpensive ways to create flow. And no, you do not have to paint every room the same color. For interest, select a palette of complementary colors and pull from it for the various rooms. Use a deep brown in your living room and a lighter brown in your dining room with teal accents t hroughout. Pa int t he wa lls of your light-filled kitchen teal and add touches of brown throughout. Creating flow is all about selecting two to four complementary colors and using them in different ways from room to room. It takes time to create flow in your home. Don't expect it to happen overnight unless you have a brand-new home and the budget to shop for all-new things. Work on it one step at a time, and don't be afraid to mix things up here and there for interest. Call ahead for Your Personal Consultation for your home or office! No Need for Chiseling or Building Up a Floor Base Check Out Our Showroom! Plumbing & Heating Supplies Bath Showroom 1525 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, ME � 783-6927 � 1-800-834-5706 MON-FRI 7:30-5:30 � SAT 8-4 � www.myselco.com Great for Cellars! www.decoratorsnetwork.net Larry Morin 784-1424 INC. Pattern Pattern is another way to connect t he ro om s toget her. A s w it h paint, you do not have to use the sa me patter ns t hroug hout t he rooms. T here shou ld be some similarities among them, however, in particular in color and scale. If you use stripes in your living room, make sure you carry the pattern into the other rooms, even if it's just in a valance or a throw pillow here and there. 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Affiliated 20% on chemicals, solar blankets & heaters Sale Ends April 30th SAVE Spring Savings! Come into our showroom for details. Special pricing on all pools & spas. Moldings Moldings create a line from room to room. Imagine what happens to that line when the baseboards, casings, etc. are of differing sizes a nd color s. To keep t he f low moving from room to room, make sure your baseboa rds, w indow casings, cha ir ra i ls a nd crow n 1975 Lisbon St., Rt. 196 Lewiston Just 2 Miles East of Exit 80 Mon.-Fri., 9-5 Sat., 8-4 783-0858 � 1-800-244-0858 www.abcpool.com Follow & Like us! 55 Holland St., Lewiston 786-9966 Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 9, 2012 SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT 13 Things to know before building a deck S tatistics from the U.S. Census B u r e a u Ho u s i n g S u r v e y indicate t hat homeow ners annually spend billions of dollars improving outdoor living areas. One of the most popular ways to do just that is to add a deck to a home. Decks are beneficial in many ways. Grillmasters love decks because they make the perfect place to set up a grill and a table and cook for family and friends. Those who simply love being outdoors find decks the perfect place to relax and soak up some sun or idle away the evening hours. But homeowners who want to build a deck should know a few things before that process begins. Permits are necessary. Unless the deck is going to be especially small, you will need a permit to build it. Before buy ing any materials or consulting any contractors, make certain you know which permits you need and how to get them. If the proper permits are not secured before t he project beg ins, you might have to tear down the whole project and start all over again. Decks don't have to go on the back of the house. If the back of your house sits in the blazing sun all day, then it's probably best to build t he deck elsewhere, a nd t hat's perfectly all right. So long as the property and permits allow, decks can be built on the side of a home as well, and putting a deck on the side might be more comfortable. Decks don't have to be made of wood. It's easy to assume all decks are made of plain wood. However, decks can be made out of a wide variet y of materials, natural or synthetic. Pressure-treated wood i s perhaps t he most popu la r material for decking because it's not very expensive. But manmade materials that are a mixture of recycled plastic and wood bits or sawdust are also popular because they require no maintenance. But homeow ners should k now t hat manmade materials can get hot in the sun, which will require those enjoying the deck to wear shoes. If you're going to build your own deck, expect to do some serious digging. Local building codes will dictate how deep you will need to dig for the pier footings, which support the deck's weight. Just how deep you'll dig depends on your climate's specific frost line, but it's safe to assume you'll get a workout when digging. The deck can have multiple levels. Though many people associate decks with one level, it's possible to have a multi-level deck if you simply don't have enough room to build a deck that will be big enough to meet all of your needs. A multilevel deck can break up those long flights of stairs while ensuring you will always have somewhere to go to escape the sun on a hot day. Decks are a cost ly investment, and you will want to protect that investment. If you're building a wood deck, keep in mind the sun will beat down on the deck for most of the year. You can protect the deck by painting it. Paint provides sunscreen for the deck, stopping the sun from breaking down the materia l. Once you've f inished painting, apply sealant, whether it's oil- or water-based. Don't forget fasteners. Fasteners will hide the screws for aesthetic appea l. But not a ll woods a nd fasteners are the right fit, as certain woods are only compatible with specific fasteners. Find out which fasteners make the right fit ahead of time. Because fasteners conceal the screws, they also make it possible to go barefoot on the deck. A deck makes a great addition to ma ny homes, but homeow ners should learn as much as possible about decks and what goes into building them before making any decking decisions. 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AOBO20EBU1A51520-00366957 Why would anyone bank anywhere else? 14 SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 9, 2012 Is it time to add a half-bathroom? hen it comes to renovating a home, homeowners expect to spend money. No home renovation or home im- options at t heir disposa l when choosing floors and countertops. Loss of storage: If storage a round t he house is sparse, homeowners might be better off keeping the area designated for the half-bathroom as a storage closet instead of a bathroom. Once the pros and cons have been weighed, homeowners who want to go forward with the project should then check with their local municipality to ensure the codes and requirements won't restrict their project. Size or window restrictions might curtail the project or limit what homeowners can do, which might change their minds on the project altogether. W Cons Space: A s t hei r na me i mpl ie s, ha l fbathrooms are much smaller than full bathrooms. As a result, they tend to feel cramped. provement project is free, but some are less costly than others. The addition of a half-bathroom is a popular project among homeowners, and it won't necessarily break the bank. But before making any addition, homeowners must weigh the pros and cons to make the best decision possible. If converting existing floor space into a half-bathroom, such a renovation can cost as little as a few thousand dollars, making the addition of a powder room one of the few home improvement projects where t he va lue added to the home exceeds the cost of the renovation. Before deciding to add a half-bathroom, it helps to consider some of the pros and cons of the project. Value: T houg h a n i nex pen sive ha l fbathroom addition might recoup its value and then some at resale, t he project won't add as much resale value to a home as a full bathroom addition might. Pros Convenience: A half-bathroom is often added on the home's main floor or in the basement or attic. This makes it more convenient for guests to use the restroom during a dinner party or when coming over to watch the big game in a basement home-theater area. Problem-free: Half-bathrooms are smaller because they don't have a shower or bat htub. That mea ns common bathroom problems like mold and mildew are not as big a concern as they are for full bathrooms. 10' X 12' Kitchen w/Countertop Oak $1,99999 1822 Lisbon Rd. Lewiston � 784-3100 Birch $2,09999 1766 Federal Rd. Livermore � 897-3400 More choices: The addition of a half-bathroom is a project that often makes practical and financial sense for many homeowners. 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THINK SERVICE BEFORE YOU BUY! p 398803 Custom Window Decorators & Furnishings Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 9, 2012 Gasification Wood Boilers SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT 15 Space-saving, economical home improvement project trends D espite continuing economic uncertainty, eight out of 10 consumers think home ownership is still a good investment and an important part of the American dream, according to the Better Homes and Gardens annual Next Home consumer survey. The size of that dream did shrink a bit -- consumers wished for a median square footage of 1,791 square feet, down from 1,846 square feet last year. "There's more attention given towards the aesthetics and function of a space, rather than the amount of space," said Jill Waage, editorial director for Home Con- tent for Better Homes and Gardens. They're not as willing to invest in the bigger, but instead investing in what's better. Affordability and efficiency -- both in space and energy -- ranks topmost." percent) and kitchen remodeling was stable at 25 percent in 2011, compared with 24 percent in 2010. � Style upgrades are more importa nt t ha n ever in consumers' upcoming home improvement plans, followed by storage. For future projects, style upgrades on countertops, flooring, faucets, and fixtures is up to 55 percent in 2011 from 50 percent in 2010. Expanded/improved storage space stayed flat at 39 percent in 2011, the same as in 2010. Among the survey's key findings: � Consumers are taking more time to plan for home improvement projects (39 percent in 2011, compared to 33 percent in 2010) and are shopping around for more deals and bargains before committing to home improvement plans (42 percent in 2011, compared to 40 percent in 2010). � Consumers f ind it more important than ever to get the most value out of ever y dollar (61 percent in 2011, up from 56 percent in 2010), and will spend more time looking for bargains and deals in order to get the most value for their money (up to 54 percent in 2011, from 52 percent in 2010). � Consumers are more willing to get rid of excess "stuff" and not willing to take out a mortgage for more storage space. � Mu lt i-pu r p o s e r o om s a r e a necessit y i n t he home. Consu mer s a ren't i ntere ste d i n "bonu s room s" or "med ia rooms" unless they have a multifunctional purpose. � Baths are outpacing kitchens in terms of remodeling priorities. � Bat h room remodeling stayed constant in 2011 and 2010 (31 Sources: Better Homes and Gardens, www.Realtor.com. L&S WINDOWS Roofing & Siding ANY SIZE VINYL REPLACEMENT WINDOW INSTALLED $189 The L&S Family Call now for a quote on SIDING! Great Colors ~ Great Warranty Fast Installation Need A New Roof? 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Bringing production to Maine has added work to local shops and dropped prices by 37 percent and increased availability of affordable custom options, benefitting several Maine businesses and many future customers. Buying local is also more likely to result in a satisfying outcome with good service. Business owners understand accountability just like consumers do. When it comes to affordability, small business people not only want you to return, they want you to stay strong. If you tap the expertise of local business owners, they are likely to help you get what you need at a price you can afford. For more information, talk to Ross Endicott at 207-883-3264, visit the store at 429 US Route 1 Unit #3, Scarborough, or the website at http:// www.condofurniture.com. � Over 22" swath delivers fast, efficient cleaning � .028 dia. concave nylon bristles minimize windrowing and allow for easy and thorough cleaning � Perfect for all types of surfaces including concrete, lawn and soil. Turns your PAS power source into a commercialgrade grass/sod sweeper. PRO SWEEPTM Other available attachments include edgers, tillers, offer long life � Won't harm trimmers. thatchers, pruners and hedge grass surfaces Madness in March! Save up to $500 on Instock Spas. Celebrating 40 Years of Business . . . . Rt. 196 Lisbon Rd. Lisbon 353-8406 Gift Certificates Available www.MTPools.com � Like Us On www.lapointes.net � M-F 8-5 � Sat 8:30-12 16 SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT Cooks Corner 202 Bath Rd. Brunswick 725-8894 Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 9, 2012 Fence etiquette tips People fortunate enough to own plots of land often choose to fence in their pieces of paradise. t he fence could prove a v isua l obstruction to drivers. If you live in a planned community, or one with a homeowners' association, it is your job to find out the guidelines for any home improvements. The HOA may dictate the style, size and maintenance of the fence or may not allow a fence at all. Once all the details are checked, you may have to apply for a fence permit. This way the construction of the fence and finished product will meet safety standards, and the area in which you live can provide consistent quality control. If the fence is installed by code, there is little chance it will have to be torn down or changed in the near future. Also, doing it by the book means that a neighbor can be unhappy about a fence but not have legal recourse to ask you to remove it. As an added form of courtesy, F is put up carelessly or ends up partially on his property. The best way to prevent this is to apply for a new, professional property survey and have property lines indicated with paint or wood markers. Each tow n or city has different regulations with regard to fencing, so it is important to learn the ropes or hire a contractor who is familiar with the rules. It might be illegal to install fences directly on the property line. The law might require the fence be installed a few inches inward. There also may be rules about how high fences can be in the front of the home, sides and back. Corner lot properties may have added regulations depending on whether it is proper fence etiquette to put the "good" side of the fence facing the neighbors' yards. That means the side of the fence that doesn't show t he suppor t pa nels a nd posts. Remember, it is your fence so you are also responsible for all maintenance of the fence � on all sides. Just because your neighbor also will be benefitting from your fence, doesn't mean he will have to care for it. ences serve many purposes: to designate property boundaries, keep pets or children contained in a safe environment, corral livestock, offer privacy or add aesthetic appeal. Although installing a fence may seem like the right idea for you, going about it the wrong way may lead to problems among neighbors, particularly if you live where the houses are relatively close to one another. Some homeow ners f ind fences become t he f i na l poi nt of contention among disagreeable n e i g h b or s or c r e a t e t e n s i on with a neighbor with whom you previously had a good relationship. Being courteous with fence plans is the way to avoid any animosity along the way. T here a re cer t a i n t h i ngs you must do a nd shou ld do if you plan to erect a fence. Most people find neighbors appreciate being informed of any decisions you are thinking of making to the property that can affect their views or their adjoining property. Before drawing up fence plans with a contractor, ta lk to the neighbors on either side of your home and gauge their receptiveness to a fence. At this point, you may want to consider of fer ing to ma ke t he fencing project a joint deal to save money should the neighbors decide to install a fence as well. Contractors will often discount if t hey have severa l customers doing an installation at the same time. Property owners can save by splitting the costs of the shared wa l ls of t he fence where t heir property lines meet. Explain your case for the fence. Most neighbors are receptive to the idea if they know the reasoning especially if the desire for a fence is not to keep them at bay. It's hard to protest a fence that is a safety precaution for children. If your neighbor a lready has a fence, you must ask whether you can connect your fence panels into t he suppor t post on your shared side. Once you notify your neighbors as a cour tesy, t here are certain steps to take that will prevent any legal disputes down the road. Even the most easy-going neighbor could grow aggravated if the fence Orde Early r and Save ! 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The PVC pieces come in smooth white that are easy to put together in just a few hours to create an accent trellis for over a garage or home entryway. T he t rel l is system adds a rch itect u ra l distinction to any home while resisting rotting, decaying, warping, splintering, mildew grow t h a nd insect infestation. The low-ma intena nce PVC pieces may remain white or can be painted or stained to complement the overall style of the home. For details on trellis kits, visit fypon.com. (Metro) This spring home improvement project may be something you can do yourself. The Fypon PVC Trellis System kit can be customized for installation over your home's entryway. LOWER HOME HEATING COSTS!! Energy Audits � Infrared Imaging � Blown-in Cellulose Insulation BED BUGS? "First we sniff `em out.....Then we snuff `em out!" Heat Treatment K-9 Scent Detection "The Bed Bug Specialists" Licensed & Insured Projects that might require a building permit A ll too many homeow ners have experienced the joy of completing a home improvement project only to learn upon completion that the project is not in adherence with local laws. Projects completed without a permit might hurt a home's resale value, and such projects are not often covered by homeow ner's insurance policies, meaning damage to areas of the home where an illegal project was conducted won't be covered. Homeowners should always check with their local municipality before starting a project. The following are a few of the many home improvement projects that typically require a permit. � Above-ground pool � Attached storage shed � Awnings � Carports � Deck/patio/porch installation � Demolition project � Fireplace addition � Garage conversion � Handicap ramp � Inground pool � Patio enclosure � Partition wall installation � Retaining walls � Roof change � Room addition � Room remodel � Siding � Sliding glass door � Skylight � Spa or hot tub installation � Windows, new or replacement (Metro) Home Energy Techs Contact Rudy 576-0847 www.mainebedbugs.com 795-1100 Protect Your Home and Your Family Tour the house for safety issues and eliminate hazards Use smoke and carbon monoxide detectors; don't forget to check batteries For fire safety, practice escape route and once out, gather in a designated place GOT SAND? Power Broom ON SUPER SALE! 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Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 9, 2012 SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT 19 Beautiful Steps to Improve Your Home! Steps for any look. Handcrafted Maine-Made Steps Since 1957 Call for a FREE On-Site Estimate or Visit Our Showroom Shawnee Steps 20 SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT by American Concrete Industries 1022 Minot Ave., Auburn, ME 04210 784-1388 � shawneesteps.com Advertising Supplement, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 9, 2012