Spring Home Improvement 2021

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Spri�� 2021


A Special Section of the Bangor Daily News • March 26, 2021


Spring Home Improvement & Landscaping • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 26, 2021

Spring Home Improvement & Landscaping • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 26, 2021

Create a Backyard Oasis Visions of summer dancing in your head? Plan the perfect oasis right in your own backyard BY SARAH COTTRELL ADOBE STOCK © BERNARDBODO

As spring and summer inch closer during this pandemic, many Mainers are planning yet another set of warm months at home. But after a long winter, who wants to stay inside? The good news is that now is a great time to make some outdoor home improvements to help turn your backyard into a sanctuary of relaxation and fun. We’ve rounded up some of the hottest trends to help you live your best backyard life this year, despite a global pandemic. Whether you’ve got unlimited funds or a frugal budget in mind, we’ve got you covered so that you can plan and create a private space where you can escape and enjoy the beauty of being outside. The home renovation experts over at Houzz Magazine recently surveyed 128,000 American homeowners and found that one of the most popular spaces to invest money in was outdoor spaces. In 2018 and 2019, the average homeowner spent around $4,000 on everything from lighting and outdoor furniture to gardens and pools. Turning your backyard into an oasis doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take up all your spare time. But by investing a little of your hard-earned money (and elbow grease!), you can turn your backyard into a relaxing Shangri La.

Fire It Up

Summer nights in Maine are already special, but when you add a lovely fire pit to the mix, it can feel downright enchanting. There is something so primal about fire, which makes fire pits such a fun element to add to your backyard. You can easily choose a fire pit that will allow for cooking s’mores and sharing drinks or simply as a warm glow of comfort to sit around and swap ghost stories. Here are three options to add a splash of magic to your summer nights.

Simple Option: Small Portable Fire Pit ($50 and up) If space is an issue, a small portable fire pit might be just the ticket. With an eye-catching price range that can get as low as $50, you can find a gas or wood fire pit that can fit even the smallest yards. Grab a few chairs, a cool beverage and relax by the fire while gazing at the stars.

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Spring Home Improvement & Landscaping • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 26, 2021

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Moderate Upgrade: Stone Fire Pit ($300 to $1500) If you’re looking for a great weekend project, a stone fire pit might be perfect. With just a few materials: cement, fire bricks, stone caps and some old-fashioned work, you can get your DIY vibes on and build an incredible fire pit.

Big Budget: Gas Fire Pit ($500 and up) There are fire pits, and then there are fire pits. If you’re looking to upgrade and make a statement, consider investing in a gas fire pit. They can run as high as $5,000 and come with matching patio furniture or as low as $500 on their own.

Moderate: Above Ground Pool ($5,000 on average) An above-ground pool can be a substantial investment to make, so it’s essential to research styles and maintenance before committing to purchase and installation. For families with kids, an above-ground pool can make summer feel like an endless tropical vacation.

Big Budget: In-Ground Pool ($28,000 - $55,000) If you’ve got the space and the budget, an in-ground pool can turn your backyard into everyone’s favorite place to hang out. With so many styles, sizes and options available, you can custom design a pool that can fit your decor and personality.

Backyard Lighting

Chill in the Shade, Pergola Style

Light can directly affect mood, which is why investing in lighting can be key to transforming your backyard into a personal home getaway. With just a little bit of planning, you can turn your backyard into your favorite nighttime hang-out with beautifully lit pathways that offer a poetic glow around you as you look up at the magnificent Maine night sky. The best part? Adding lighting to your backyard is one of the least expensive ways to upgrade your outside space.

Pergolas are a classic way to create a shady space in a sunny yard. Some pergolas have a full roof, giving you a respite from drizzling rain and bright sun. Others have an open roof style that you can use to grow flowering vines providing natural and aromatic shade. These structures can give your backyard an immediate upgrade and are so fun and easy to design with; play with gardening elements, outdoor lighting and even a small fire pit, and you’ve just created a fabulous place to escape to this summer.

Simple: String Lights ($10 and up)

Simple: DIY Pergola ($500 to $3,000)

String lights have come a long way in the last few years. Edison bulbs are popular, and for as little as $10, you can get a string of lights. Create a loop of lights around a table and chairs, and you have romantic outdoor dining.

If you have some essential tools and knowledge about building, you can use a free online design to build a pergola. You can also purchase building kits, which might set you back about $2,000 depending on where you get it.

Moderate: Solar Lights ($10 and up)

Moderate: Prebuilt Pergolas ($1,000 and up)

If string lights aren’t your taste, consider trying solar lights. They are inexpensive and come in a wide variety of styles. With some planning, you can create well-lit pathways in your backyard, creating lovely mood lighting during the evening.

There are so many options for purchasing a prebuilt pergola from metal and wood to open or closed roofs that you don’t have to sacrifice style because of cost.

Big Budget: Rope Lights ($100 - $200 per rope)

Big Budget: Custom Built ($2,000 - $6,000)

Rope lights are not expensive individually, and you can get them as low as $100 for 150 feet of length. But if you want to line the perimeter of a large space like pathways and gardens, the price can add up. The result is a sophisticated and beautifully lit area with clean, glowing lines.

If you want your pergola to match your home, or if you have specific design elements in mind that are not available in prebuilt styles, then a custom pergola is perfect for you.

Water Oasis If swimming is definitely on your agenda, but visiting a crowded beach is not, then investing in a pool might be an excellent idea. Not all swimming pools need to be expensive, and some are downright creatively chic, fun and cheap. We’ve found three trending ways to add some splish and splash to your backyard and make you the envy of the neighborhood.

Simple: Galvanized Stock Tank ($300 - $600) This pool idea might be one of the most fun trends in the last few years; a large galvanized stock tank like what you might see on a farm. They are shiny, silver and perfectly round. Place some potted plants around the sides, a couple of lawn chairs, and a table for poolside drinks, and you’ve got a fabulous summer pool.

Spring Home Improvement & Landscaping • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 26, 2021






Spring Home Improvement & Landscaping • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 26, 2021

3 techniques to keep mosquitoes out of your backyard oasis COURTESY OF METRO CREATIVE

The value of a retreat-like backyard has never been more apparent. It’s no surprise people have looked for a respite from the harsh realities of living during a deadly pandemic, and many turned their attention to their own backyards to provide such an escape. The online home remodeling platform Houzz reported a 58 percent annual increase in project leads for home professionals in June 2020. Contractors who specialize in outdoor spaces saw the biggest increase in demand. A revamped outdoor space can provide the perfect retreat for homeowners who want to get away from it all. But one winged, unwelcome guest can quickly transform an oasis into an uninviting space. Mosquitoes make their presence felt in many areas each summer. These pesky, often hungry insects can carry disease, and their bites can be painful and itchy. Homeowners can try these three techniques to keep mosquitoes out of their backyards.

1. Remove standing water. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, who don’t even need a lot of water to successfully breed. A daily walk around the property may uncover kids’ toys, empty flower pots or other small receptacles that can collect water. Even clogged gutters can lead

to the accumulation of a small amount of water, and that can be enough for mosquitoes to breed. Remove these potential breeding grounds when you find them, and do so each day, as mosquitoes mature from eggs to nymphs in roughly four days.

2. Mow regularly. Mowing the lawn so the grass never gets too high is another way to make a backyard less hospitable to mosquitoes. Mosquitoes seek tall grass to protect them from the elements, including wind and hot summer sun. Mowing enough so grass never gets too high in summer can make backyards less inviting to mosquitoes.

3. Plant with mosquitoes in mind. The home remodeling experts at HGTV note that plants can be part of homeowners’ strategy to repel mosquitoes. Various plants have mosquito-repellant qualities. For example, bee balm releases a fragrance as it grows, and mosquitoes don’t like that fragrance. Homeowners can speak with a local lawn and garden professional for recommendations about plants that can thrive in their region and repel mosquitoes at the same time. Mosquitoes can make it hard to enjoy a backyard oasis. But various strategies can help homeowners keep these unwanted guests out of their backyards.

Spring Home Improvement & Landscaping • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 26, 2021



Decor ideas to give homes a fresh look this spring COURTESY OF METRO CREATIVE

the impression that they have stepped back in time. A simple, mural-style floral wallpaper on the walls surrounding a table in a breakfast nook can bring nature inside.

Spring is a season of rejuvenation, and that spirit of renewal can take hold inside a home. Warm weather and longer hours of daylight make spring a perfect time to imagine a home’s interior design in a new light. The following are a handful of decor ideas that may inspire homeowners to give their homes an entirely new look this spring.

· Pastel colors: Nothing embodies the spring quite like pastel colors. If colorful, bright flowers dot the garden in the backyard, homeowners can bring those uplifting pastels inside by painting an accent wall or even adding some brightly colored accent furniture to rooms that could use a lift.

· Wallpaper: Wallpaper fell out of favor years ago, but new styles that aren’t so heavily patterned can make for wonderful additions to any room. Large-scale prints can give a room a whole new feel without giving homeowners or their guests

· Declutter: Clutter is often conquered during spring cleaning sessions, but homeowners who want to create more freeflowing interior spaces can downsize their furniture and/or look for multipurpose features that make it hard for clutter to

take over a room. Create more open space in entertaining areas by mounting the television and getting rid of a bulky entertainment center. Create even more space by replacing rarely used end tables with a storage ottoman where books and magazines can be stored to give a room a fresh, clean look. · Accent features: Sometimes the smallest changes to an interior space make the biggest impression. Replace dated accents like vases and table lamps with newer items that reflect the latest styles and trends. Such adjustments won’t break the bank, and they can give rooms a whole new feel. Spring is a great time to reconsider home interiors. This spring homeowners can embrace various strategies, both big and small, to give their homes a whole new feel.


Spring Home Improvement & Landscaping • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 26, 2021 ADOBE STOCK © DIT26978

Laundry room renovations you’ll love


Does it seem like your hamper is always full and the washing machine is running constantly? You may not be imagining it. The average household washes 50 pounds of laundry a week and 6,000 articles of clothing every year. Families with children at home are doing laundry most often, and those with pets may find there is ample laundry to wash as well. With so much laundry being generated, homeowners may want to consider paying extra attention to the space in the house where their clothing is being cleansed. Laundry room renovations may not top homeowners’ priority lists, but it may be time to give these rooms another look.

Assess your equipment

If your appliances are aging, a laundry room renovation can start with an investment in new appliances. New models have large capacity loads, tend to be energy-efficient and could have innovative features that help fit with your laundry lifestyle. Purchasing frontloading models also can free up design space, as you can install a counter directly above the units, saving room for other items like drying racks.

Figure out your room needs

A laundry room need not be limited to laundry only. Many homeowners make large laundry rooms catch-all spaces that can serve as utility or mud rooms, pantry overflows,

or off-season storage areas. Consider the functions you want the room to serve and include those ideas in your designs.

Add some natural light

If possible, include a window in your laundry room. Natural light can help make the room more enjoyable. It also can help you identify stains on clothes that need to be addressed and make it easier to fold matching items like socks.

Think about a utility sink

Many washing machines drain out directly to waste pipes in the floor or wall, but you also can opt to have them empty into a utility sink. This sink also provides a convenient place to handwash items, clean tools or paintbrushes, or store items that perhaps you do not want to bring into a bathroom or kitchen sink.

Include some flair

This utilitarian space need not be boring or bereft of design elements. Mirror your home’s style in the laundry room, and include wall hangings, plants, accent items, and even task lighting. Play up certain features with a bold floor tile or brightly colored walls. Updating laundry rooms can be a great way to make doing laundry more enjoyable and efficient.

Spring Home Improvement & Landscaping • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 26, 2021


1010 Stillwater, Bangor ME AnchorDesignMaine.com



Spring Home Improvement & Landscaping • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 26, 2021

Heat Pumps are leading Maine to Home Energy Efficiency


During the past year, Mainers have stayed home more than ever before, and with it came the need to heat and cool homes more efficiently and affordably. Home heating oil consumption in Maine is higher than any other state in the nation per capita, and with many working and spending more time at home during the day energy consumption is on the rise. In an effort to combat the state’s reliance on fossil fuels, Governor Mills signed the bill, “An Act To Transform Maine’s Heat Pump Market To Advance Economic Security and Climate Objectives” last June. In turn, a goal was set to increase the use of high-efficiency heat pumps in the state to 100,000 by 2025. The quasi-state agency Efficiency Maine reports that high-performance heat pumps save users an average of 40% and as high as 70% for baseboard electric users when using a heat pump. “High-performance heat pumps are an affordable, efficient and accessible heating and cooling appliance that is an important component of reducing carbon emissions,” said Andy Meyer, Efficiency Maine’s Senior Program Manager.

Heating & Cooling Capabilities

There is still a large misconception that heat pumps only heat. The best way to explain how a heat pump works is looking at it like a heat mover. It is the best of both needs in one device.

In Winter: Ductless heat pumps pull the heat from outside air and move it indoors. Moving already existing heat instead of creating it allows heat pumps to be so energy efficient, saving homeowners money on energy costs. In Summer: The opposite is true. Heat pumps pull the heat from inside your house and push it outside. For a long time, heat pumps were used for cooling in warm climates. Heat pumps are now able to provide efficient heating in cold climates even at outdoor temperatures as low as -15°F.

Double Rebate Opportunities

As part of the effort to increase heat pump use across the state, Mainers can currently receive up to $1,500 in new heat pump installations through Efficiency Maine for qualifying units when the installation meets certain criteria. This is double the amount of the rebate opportunities typically offered. Rebates are available until funds of the program have been depleted. “This year especially, we were looking for ways to save money on our home heating and cooling expenses,” explained Tena Sturgeon of Holden. “Our heat pump has been a great addition to our home.” Maine residents are encouraged to take advantage of the program by setting up a quote with an Efficiency Maine Qualified Partner such as Dave’s World. If you are interested in learning more about heat pump rebates visit efficiencymaine.com.

Spring Home Improvement & Landscaping • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 26, 2021

How to design a fitness room at home





People exercise for many different reasons. Exercise can improve one’s appearance, reduce the risk for illness, alleviate stress or anxiety, and even help pass some time. Exercise is often a social activity, but in the wake of social distancing guidelines issue in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, many people have found themselves looking for ways to exercise at home. Building a home fitness room has never been a more timely project, and such a project can continue to provide rewards even when life returns to some semblance of normalcy.



Here’s how to successfully stock a home gym: · Find a dedicated space. A home gym will be limited by the amount of space that can be devoted to workouts. Possible fitness room locations include a spare bedroom, a garage, a basement, or an enclosed patio. Measure the space so you can pick and choose equipment that will fit. Leave some floor space empty for movement exercises or mat activities. · Keep the space bright. Darkness can sap energy levels, so invest in mirrors and adequate overhead lighting to make the space inviting. Natural light can make the exercise area more enjoyable. · Consider the flooring. New flooring can protect against damage and make an area more conductive to working out. Rubber mats can offset echoes and reduce the noise of running on a treadmill or setting down heavy weights. · Use space-saving equipment. A home gym space will likely not be as expansive as the space inside a traditional fitness center. Thankfully, many activities do not require a lot of space or equipment. Classic exercises like squats, lunges, push ups, and sit ups require little gear but still produce results. Figure out which equipment you like the most and invest in two or three key pieces. Dumbells of various weights, a medicine ball and a yoga mat can be all you need to create a versatile, effective workout. A TRX system and a door-mounted pull-up bar also are great space-saving options. · Have a TV hookup. A home gym may benefit from a smart TV that you can use to stream workout videos or catch up on the latest news while running the treadmill or using the stationary bike. A home gym is beneficial year-round, and can be especially valuable when social distancing guidelines are put in place.



Spring Home Improvement & Landscaping • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 26, 2021

What does it take to create something beautiful? COURTESY OF PERRY’S HOME FURNISHING & DESIGN

At Perry’s Home Furnishing & Design, we know having a home you LOVE will support and nurture you and your family every day. Creating it is a process of putting together the things that truly make you happy. We’ll patiently guide you through it, exploring and discovering together along the way... like a good friend helping you design your home. Our 3D Rendering Design Services let you see your new room as it comes to life and before committing to the change. We LOVE this process and know you’ll LOVE it too! 1. Simply reach out to us to set up your appointment — call, message or email us. 2. We’ll get together in person or virtually (Zoom meetings, emails, phone calls, text messages, FaceTime, etc.). We’ll gather information, photos, room measurements, your ideas and inspirations. We’ll pinpoint the things you LOVE and what works together in your room and in your style. 3. Once your design is prepared, we’ll schedule a 3D Rendering Presentation (in person or virtually) and you’ll see how your new room looks and feels. You’ll see and touch fabrics and finishes and when it comes to furniture you may see it and sit in it to confirm what feels best. We’ll layer in lighting, rugs, pillows, decorative accessories and other finishing touches that

will let you LOVE your room even more and make adjustments so it all makes sense for you. 4. When we deliver and install your room — all that’s left is for you to LOVE it and enjoy the transformation! Our roots run deep in the community our family calls home. We’re located in the original barn on the early 1800’s family homestead surrounded by stone walls, flowers, fruit trees and horse pastures. Doug and Dotty Perry cut the ribbon in front of Perry’s Furniture and Appliance 43 years ago. Kim, their daughter, took over and we became Perry’s Home Furnishings & Design. We’ve just created a new Design Studio that’s sure to elevate your experience. And you’ll come to know our shop as an evolving “inspiration destination” for your home and life. We’re always doing something unique and blurring the boundaries between a traditional home furnishings retailer and an interior design business. It’s like no other experience you’ve had in shopping for your home. We feel fortunate to do what we LOVE every day. We’re inspired by conversations we have with you and gather wisdom from the stories that bring us together. There’s a lot of joy in helping people navigate the process of creating homes they LOVE, whether it’s one small addition at a time, a room refresh, or an entire home. The excitement and delight is always a sign we’ve done our job well. Let us help you turn your dreams into decisions that create your safe haven and comfortable retreat... a home you’ll LOVE for many years to come. Be inspired, right here in Midcoast Maine! (Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest @perryshome, email kimberlyperry@phfd.co)

Spring Home Improvement & Landscaping • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 26, 2021



How home design trends are evolving


Outdoor living:

Between playgrounds closing and parks becoming overcrowded, many of us are turning COVID-19 has brought changes to everything, and to our balconies, patios and backyards for fresh air and nature. This means we’re going to be investing more in our outdoor spaces, with functional kitchens, soothing water home design is no exception. Experts are expecting to features, cozy firepits, and high-quality outdoor furniture to create a much-needed escape. see lasting impacts on everything from the materials Healthier spaces: Thanks to spending more time indoors and reprioritizing our health, we’ll turn to design to help ensure our homes are safe and healthy for our families. We’ll see a we use to the rooms we prioritize. Check out these rise in products like water filtration systems as well as materials that improve indoor air quality. and other noteworthy trends:

Houses over apartments:

Home office space:

Many people who live in condos or apartments do so to be closer to the action - work, entertainment and shops - and never planned on spending much time at home. But the pandemic has changed that, and more people are going to want a home that offers plenty of room and outdoor space in case they need to self-isolate again.

Business experts are suggesting many companies will see that working from home is not only possible but offers tangible benefits, like saving money on office space rent. With working from home on the rise, creating a home office space that inspires productivity will be a major project many of us tackle. Luxury home office furniture that feels chic and blends into your décor as well as ergonomic chairs and desks will see a major boost.


Custom and quality:

A hard lesson we’ve learned is that things and services we thought we could count on aren’t necessarily a sure thing, so items that increase self-reliance will become very popular. Expect to see more homes with sources of energy like solar panels, sources of heat like fireplaces and stoves, and even urban and indoor gardens that allow you to grow your own produce.

With the hit to the economy, people are going to be buying less, but what they do buy will be better quality, while at the same time making an effort to support American businesses. When it comes to design, trends will shift to locally made furniture, custombuilt homes and pieces and materials that stand the test of time.


Spring Home Improvement & Landscaping • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 26, 2021

Get the best mortgage financing deal



Few people are able to walk into a home, like what they see and then pay for a house in cash. In the vast majority of home purchases, mortgages make the dream of home ownership a reality. Getting a mortgage requires research and some preparation on the part of borrowers if they hope to get the friendliest terms possible. Homes are substantial, decades-long investments, so it’s smart to shop around to find the best rates and lenders available. These tips can make the process of applying and getting a mortgage go smoothly, and may even help borrowers save some money.

· Learn your credit score. Your credit score will be a factor in determining just how much bargaining power you have for lower interest rates on mortgage loans. The higher the credit score, the better. Well before shopping for a mortgage, manage your debt, paying it off if possible, and fix any black marks or mistakes on your credit report. ADOBE STOCK © JEN KOATA MAN


· Investigate various lenders. The Federal Trade Commission says to get information from various sources, whether they are commercial banks, mortgage companies, credit unions, or thrift institutions. Each is likely to quote different rates and prices, and the amount they’re willing to lend you may vary as well. Investigating various lenders can help you rest easy knowing you got the best rate for you. Lenders may charge additional fees that can drive up the overall costs associated with getting a mortgage. Compare these fees as well so you can be sure you get the best deal. · Learn about rates. Become informed of the rate trends in your area. Lower rates translate into significant savings amounts per month and over the life of the loan. Rates may be fixed, though some are adjustable-rate mortgages (also called a variable or floating rate). Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and a financial consultant can discuss what might be in your best interest. · Discuss points with your financial advisor and lender. Some lenders allow you to pay points in advance, which will lower the interest rate. Get points quoted in dollar amounts so they’ll be easier to compare. If you’re unfamiliar with points, discuss the concept with your financial advisor. The vast majority of homeowners secured a mortgage to purchase their homes. Learning about the mortgage process can help new buyers navigate these sometimes tricky financial waters.

Spring Home Improvement & Landscaping • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 26, 2021

Come check out our fully stocked retail store! 2717 Route 2 | Hermon, ME 04401 Phone: 207-848-5576 • Fax: 866-271-7195 www.aquaticdevpools.com



Spring Home Improvement & Landscaping • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 26, 2021

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