__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1


2

SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 22, 2019

When it can be smart to hire a painting pro

Few things can revitalize a home more readily than a fresh coat of paint. Thanks in part to the affordability of paint and its ease of application, painting is something that even novice DIYers can typically handle. According to the marketing advice guru Brandon Gaille, it is estimated that residential interior paint only lasts around three years before it needs to be updated. Exterior paint can fade, chip and peel due to various environmental factors. As a result, many homes can likely use a fresh coat of paint in at least one room. As DIY-friendly as painting can be, when attempting to paint the interior or exterior of their homes, homeowners may learn that some painting projects are best left to the professionals. Painting requires skill, patience and a knowledge of how various paints—including finishes for particular applications—will hold up. Novice painters may do more harm than good by dripping paint on expensive carpeting or floors or fail to recognize the nuances that indicate a spot-on painting job. Professional painters have spent hours upon hours learning the ropes of what works and what does not. Painters often understand that painstaking preparatory work is crucial to getting pristine finished results. Walls and ceilings must be

properly repaired and prepared even before a base coat is applied. Professional painters also have an eye for details. And because professional painters make a business out of doing interior and exterior surfaces, they understand which techniques can improve efficiency. That means a professional job can typically be completed much more quickly than a DIY project. Even though some people think they’ll save money by painting their own homes, that’s not necessarily true. Professionals already have all the equipment necessary, unlike novices who may need to make repeated and potentially costly trips to the hardware store for supplies. Plus, if mistakes happen, DIYers have to spend additional time and money fixing them. Safety can be a large motivator for turning painting over to a pro. Navigating exterior areas or tall interior ceilings can be challenging and may require scaffolding or tall ladders DIYers do not have. Risk of falls or other injuries increase with lack of experience. Painting can give a home a facelift, and oftentimes it is smart to turn the work over to professionals to ensure the job is done just right.


SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 22, 2019

What is the water table a n d h o w d o e s i t affect h omes? The groundwater table plays a role in home construction, foundation stability and home comfort. Because the groundwater table is so significant, it behooves homeowners to understand how it works. National Geographic defines a water table as “the boundary between watersaturated ground and unsaturated ground.” Well beneath the ground, at various depths depending on geography, topography and weather conditions, pockets of water called aquifers exist. The water table marks the boundary between that available water and the dry surface. Ground water is impacted by precipitation, irrigation and ground cover. It also may be affected by land use and tides. The water table can f luctuate with the seasons and from year to year because it is affected by climatic variations, as well as how much water may be drawn from underground. The water table where one person lives may be several inches or feet below the surface of the ground and follow the topography of the land. For others, it may be much higher, even coming above the surface of the soil. The water table (as well as local soil conditions and drainage) can impact homes and their foundations. If soil drains efficiently and there is a relatively low water table, it may not be problematic. However, if soil is dense and absorbent and the water table is high, the ground around a home may swell and become saturated. This can exert significant pressure against the foundation walls, states Rytech, a water damage and mold rehabilitation company. In areas where a local water table rises near the surface, water can push against the underside of the foundation in a condition known as “hydrostatic pressure.” This may cause water to infiltrate through the bottom of the foundation—even permeating solid concrete over time. If hydrostatic pressure is severe, it could lift certain portions of the foundation out of the ground, but this is very unlikely. But it could cause shifting of foundation walls and structures like fencing and decks. Even if ground water does not cause foundation cracking or shifting, it could lead to humidity issues, resulting in rust, bacteria and mold. Wood structures in a home may be compromised by a high level of humidity. The home improvement resource Angie’s List says certain steps may need to be taken to protect against damage from a water table and abundant ground water. Basement and foundation waterproofing professionals can help homeowners develop a plan to mitigate water damage. This can include grading changes and the installation of drains and pumps to move water away from the house. Special paints and sealants also can protect the foundation. Ground water can be a hindrance when it affects the home, but homeowners who learn about it can be in a position to confront any ground water issues.

3


4

SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 22, 2019

Some of the most

valuable renos you can make

Midrange deck addition (wood)

10,950

$

Midrange manufactured stone veneer

Each year, Remodeling magazine publishes its “Cost vs. Value” report to give homeowners a greater understanding of how much popular home projects will cost across the nation, as well as which renovations will offer the greatest return on investment. According to their research, these projects improved in value between 2017 and 2018 and can be smart choices for homeowners looking to add popular features to their properties. Below are the popular projects and the average cost of the renovations.

Midrange bathroom addition:

44,717

$

8,221

$

Midrange entry door replacement

Midrange siding replacement:

(steel)

15,072

$

1,471

$

Midrange bathroom remodel:

19,134

$

Upscale window replacement (vinyl)

15,955

$

Upscale garage door replacement

3,470

$

Midrang universal design bathroom

16,393

$

Midrange minor kitchen remodel

21,198

$


2019 looking to be

busiest year thus far

for modular home sales COURTESY OF BROUGHMAN BUILDERS

Mike & Daisy Wight of Broughman Builders. PHOTO CREDIT OF BROUGHMAN BUILDERS.

The 2019 building season is kicking into gear, and Mike and Daisy Wight of Broughman Builders are ready to assist you with your new home experience. Broughman Builders has been constructing homes for over 43 years. With two locations at 6 Acadia Way in Ellsworth and 218 Congress Street in Belfast, their territory has expanded to nearly state wide. Broughman is expanding yet again this summer to the Bangor area to offer clients even more choices in the area. They will be showing off two new models this year at the Home Show, one of which is a hybrid modular home from Maple Leaf Homes out of Fredericton, New Brunswick. This home is 18’ wide and is 68’ long and comes mostly complete right off the production line. The Marlette Vision II will also be showcased, with many new options and features sure to provide design inspiration to new home buyers. Many clients are taking advantage of the popular end-loan product, allowing clients to build with as little as 0–3.5% down on the project. There are many financing options available to the buyer. It’s easier than ever to get into a new home designed especially for you and your family. With their in-house realtor Daisy Wight, Broughman will purchase your favorite piece of land and build the home designed especially for you, taking care of everything from start to finish. Need to sell an existing home? Daisy will assist you with doing it quickly! Modular homes are becoming the home of choice for many reasons: modular homes can cost up to 30% less than a comparable stick-built home; your home is built in a state-of-the-art factory out of the weather; thousands of options to choose from; controlled costs; and as much as a 10-year warranty are a few examples Mike and Daisy invite you to view and enjoy the model homes on display at their two locations for ideas and inspiration. Any one of the expert home consultants are available to answer questions and get you on the path to new home ownership. To view homes remotely, Broughman Builders offers hundreds of floor plans and virtual tours at broughmanbuilders.com. Visit Broughman Builders at the 49th Annual Bangor Home Show on March 29-31 where they will be displaying two new models and providing tablets with virtual tours of their models. On April 13, they will host an open house at both locations from 9-5; all are welcome to attend.

SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 22, 2019

5


6

SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 22, 2019

Emerging trends in

home decks Custom-built decks can expand usable outdoor entertaining spaces. Decks can surround pools and create outdoor patio areas that make it easy to establish multi-tiered living spaces, improving the functionality of outdoor areas. Certain deck trends have emerged as industry experts’ top picks for the upcoming remodeling and renovation season. For those thinking of revamping an existing deck (or even building an entirely new one), these trends are on point.

Established perimeters: “Picture framing” is not a new trend, but it is one that has taken greater hold in recent years. The term refers to aesthetically-appealing designs that conceal the ends of deck boards for a clean finish. Some designs feature contrasting material colors on the ends for even more impact. This helps create refined perimeters for a polished look. Rooftop decking: Urban areas also can benefit from decking to create usable outdoor spaces. In fact, many new condominium and townhouse communities are incorporating roof-top decks into their designs, particularly in communities with water views or other impressive vistas. HGTV experts suggest roof-top decks feature lightcolored materials and fixtures to help keep the area cool even in direct sunlight. Distressed hardwood: Builder and Developer, a management resource for professional homebuilders, says that the trend for using distressed hardwoods at home

has migrated outside. Some decking manufacturers have recently introduced lowmaintenance composite deck boards that mimic the look and feel of distressed, rustic hardwood flooring. This weathered appearance gives the look of age without the upkeep of real aged wood. Wooden walkways: Decking can be the more traditional design people envision with a patio table or outdoor furniture. But it also can consist of wooden walkways or a low-laying patio to accentuate the yard. Mixed materials: Homeowners may be inspired by commercial eateries, breweries and urban markets in their exterior design choices. Decks featuring composite materials and aluminum railings blend sophistication, urban appeal and comfort. Personal touches: Homeowners can customize their decks with personal touches. It’s not unheard of to wrap columns in stone or glass tiles for more impact. And a vast array of decking colors now enables fun interpretations for outdoor areas. Fire pit conversation area: Many decks can incorporate water or fire elements for visual appeal. Gas-fueled fire elements can expand the functionality of decks beyond the warm seasons, or make enjoying them practical on nights when the temperature plummets. Decks are reimagined in many different ways with continually evolving trends.


SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 22, 2019

7


8

SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 22, 2019

COMPANY ......................................................................... BOOTH# AAA Northern New England............................. #152 Aerus Electrolux.............. #407,408, 351, 166, 167 Allenfarm Fence.......................................... #116, 117 Ambit Energy.................................................... #403 American Concrete Industries........................... #316 American Frozen Foods.................................... #406 American Sleep Therapy...........................#338,341 Andersen Windows................. #140, 149, 306, 309 Andy’s Pool Store.............................................. #186 Another Look..................................................... #129 Aquaduct Seamless........................................... #337 GutterSystems & Home Improvement............. #337 Ashes To Ashes Pet Crematory....................... #127 B.W. Hewes & Assoicates................................. #196 Back In Balance Wellness Center.................... #145 Bangor Daily News............................................ #401 Bangor Natural Gas...........................................#228 Bangor Savings Bank......................................... #142 Bath Fitter.......................................................... #313 Better Homes & Gardens.................................. #193 Black Bear Media Blasting................................ #210 Borgil Enterprises................................................#161 Broughman Builders............... #328, outdoor exhibit Can’t Beat My Meat Jerky Company................. B/A Capt. Mowatt’s................................................... #146 Casanova Remodeling........................................ #178 Central Maine Moving & storage...................... #100 Central Maine Stone Works.............................. #168 Coastal Door Company...................................... #410 College Pro Painters.......................................... #219 Collegiate Entrepreneurs................................... #128 Cross Insurance................................................. #304 Dave’s World...................................................... #170 Dead River Company........................................ #305 Designed Living.................................................. #123 Disabled American Veterans............................. #413 Dogwatch Hidden Fence of Greater Bangor....#307A Dorr’s Equipment Co........................................ #335 Dunnett’s........................................................... #323 ERA Dawson Bradford....................................... #215 Fairway Independent Mortgage......................... #186 Flagpole Farm..................................................... #189 Flagstones........................................................... #216 Floor Ever Maine........................................#122, 123 Forever Boards.................................................. #420 Frank Webb’s Bath & Lighting Center............. #318 G. E. Strout Heating.......................................... #197 Gagne & Son...................................................... #318 GC Renovations.................................................. #108

Gene’s Electronics.............................................. #221 Generators of Maine...........................................#118 Gibraltar Pools.................................................... #179 Godin’s General Contractor.............................. #203 Graduate Painting.............................................. #402 Granville Stone & Hearth..................................#329 Greater Bangor Apt. Owners & Managers Association ...................................#427 Green Thumb Lawn Service.............................. #138 Greenscape...............................................#443, 444 Greenway Equipment Sales............................... #319 Grey Goose Gourmet......................................... #412 Hammond Lumber....#154, 155, 311, 312, 314, 317 Harbor Shore Landscaping.........................#112, 113 Hawaiian Moon....................................................#411 Hazelton Woodworks..................................... #336A Hickory Dickory Decks.............................#331, 332 Hill and Shore Woodworks................................ #414 Hill View Mini Barns....................... #ourdoor exhibit Home Depot............................................. #340, 225 Home Energy Answers...................................... #135 Home Heat................................................ #104, 105 Hubbard Promotions..........................................#427 Insource Renewables.......................... outdoor exhibit Insulation of Maine.....................................#183, 184 Jayde Builders.................................................... #139 Just Grass.............................................................#110 Kent Homes.........................................................#161 Kitchen Craft/Lustre Craft............................... #423 Lakonia Greek Products.................................... #188 Lawrence Loro & Sons...................... outdoor exhibit Leaffilter North...................................................#151 Lee Builders....................................................... #218 Legacy Home Improvements............................. #148 LePage & Eaton Countertops........................... #310 Little Giant Ladders........................................... #120 Lowe’s................................................................. #156 Lyman’s Farm Store......................................... #339 MAC HEAT Pumps............................................#327 Maine Accessibility Corp. ................................. #212 Maine Concrete Repair...................................... #163 Maine Construction Group...................................#111 Maine Home Recreation.................................#302B Mainely Water...........................................#200, 201 Marchall’s Magnetic Jewelry............................. #406 Mainely Pest....................................................... #410 MMJ Promotions................................................. #401 Mosquito Squad..................................................#223 Nagy Sales Partners.......................................#302A NaturaLawn of America.....................................#209 Nelson Candies & Fudge............main floor entrance

2019 VENDORS BANGOR HOME SHOW

Nickerson’s Moving & Trucking........................ #421 Noreaster Energy............................................... #160 Norlen’s Water Treatment................................ #130 Northern Lights Eastern Maine Medical Center #400 OdorGone Solutions........................................... #173 Old Tyme Kettle Corn....................................... #419 OMG................................................................... #406 Overhead Door Co. of Bangor.................#137, 303 P.D.Q. Door........................................ #114, 115, 301 Patriot Homes.................................................... #321 Patriot Painters..................................................#427 Pete’s Landscape & Supply.............................. #147 Phillips Lawn & Landscape........................#125, 126 Pine Tree Waste.................................................#141 Portland Glass................................................... #334 Prestige Homes..........................................#197, 198 Quality Home Products..................................... #324 Quirk Insurance.................................................. #172 RainWater Solutions........................................... #194 Real Property Management Acadia..................#207 Renally’s Services............................................. #424 Renewal by Andersen of Greater Maine...#330, 333 Residential Roofers............................................ #107 ReVision Energy................................................. #177 RH Foster Energy............................................. #326 Sam’s Club.......................................................... #195 Sandollar Spa & Pool..................................... #300A Scentsy............................................................... #186 Seacoast Security............................................... #213 Sherwin-Williams................................................ #143 Showcase Homes....................................... #105, 106 Sleep Number Store...................................#181, 182 Smith Builders....................................................#227 Softub.................................................................#325 Solar Emergy Systems & Supply...................... #158 Stillwater Sealcoat ........................................... #429 Sundog Solar...................................................... #147 Superior Fence........................................... #131, 132 TC Hafford Basement Systems....................... #308 Techno Metal Posts of Main..................... #103, 104 The Maine Health Homes Collaborative.......... #405 Timberhaven Log Homes ................................. #102 U.S. Cellular.......................................................#144 United Country Life Stye Properties of Maine... #124 Valley Home Services...............................#417, 418 Wallboard Supply Company............................. #206 West Mobile Home Transport........... outdoor exhibit Williams Roofing................................................#229 WJD Enterprises..................................................#101 Your Space Bangor..............................................#111


SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 22, 2019

9


10

SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 22, 2019

2019 Bangor Home Show

bigger, better, greener F or orga nizer, t he ne x t gener at ion l ooks ef f icien t a nd green BY JOSHUA ARCHER On the cusp of a half-century of shows in the Queen City, the 2019 Bangor Home Show will mark 49 years of attracting thousands of folks from around the state to see the latest trends in home care and innovation. Event organizer and promoter Dean Appleman assured the heart of the show is, and shall remain, kitchen cabinets and countertops, but the future of Maine’s homes looks pretty green. “You’re always going to find the kitchen cabinets and the new counter tops, those are always going to be the glitz and the glamour of the show,” Appleman said. “But we’ve got a new generation out there that’s buying cost effective, energy efficient homes and they’re the new blood at the Home Show. They’re coming in with the strollers and the babies. Maybe they can’t afford to buy the half million dollar home, or perhaps they were given a piece of land and now they’re building for themselves--you see a lot of that in Maine.” The trio of manufactured homes displayed outside last year’s show are “totally different,” according to Appleman. Attendees can also expect a slew of modular home companies (with one featuring a single-wide home); multiple kitchen cabinet and countertop manufacturers who custom-build their products in house; and the opportunity to discover home decor and flooring ideas. Attendees can also tinker with power equipment that’ll help them tackle spring hardscape projects. Appleman said the show never fails to bring in homeowners looking to upgrade or refinish and that the annual event draws over 20,000 locals each year, which makes the show an easy sell to vendors. “Sales are going through the roof,” Appleman said. “Everybody wants to get into this show. My return ratio is over 90 percent. Nine out of 10 companies keep coming back.”

The 2019 Bangor Home Show is scheduled for March 29-31 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. For more information, admission, and hours, visit crossinsurancecenter.com.


SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 22, 2019

Outdoor improvements that boost home value Whether home improvement projects are design to improve the interior or exterior of a house, focusing on renovations that make the most financial sense can benefit homeowners in the long run. The right renovations can be assets if and when homeowners decide to sell their homes. So how does one get started? First and foremost, speak to a local real estate agent who is knowledgeable about trends in the community. While a swimming pool may be something coveted in one area, it may impede sales in another. It also helps to study generalized trends and data from various home improvement industry analysts to guide upcoming projects. The following outdoor projects are just a few renovations that tend to add value.

FIRE PIT: A fire pit is a great place to gather most months of the year. Bob Vila and CBS news report that a fire pit realizes a 78 percent return on investment, or ROI. OUTDOOR KITCHEN:

Many buyers are looking to utilize their yards as an extension of interior living areas. Cooking, dining and even watching TV outdoors is increasingly popular. Outdoor living areas can be custom designed and built. In addition, prefabricated modular units that require a much smaller commitment of time and money are available.ROI.

PATIO: Homeowners who do not already have a patio will find that adding one can increase a home’s value. Patios help a home look neat, add useable space and may help a home to sell quickly.

DECK: Deck can be as valuable as patios. A deck is another outdoor space that can be used for entertaining, dining and more. Remodeling magazine’s 2018 “Cost vs. Value” report indicates that an $11,000 deck can add about $9,000 in resale value to the home, recouping around 82 percent of the project’s costs.

DOOR UPDATE:

11

Improve curb appeal with a new, highend front door and garage doors. If that’s too expensive, a good cleaning and new coat of paint can make an old door look brand new. These easy fixes can improve a home’s look instantly.

NEW LANDSCAPING:

The National Association of Realtors says an outdoor makeover that includes well-thought out landscaping can net 105 percent ROI. Installing a walkway, adding stone planters, mulching, and planting shrubs are ideas to consider.


12

SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 22, 2019

Save time and money with material alternatives

Home renovations are big business. The home renovation resource Home Advisor states that the national average cost of remodeling multiple rooms in a home was $41,784 in 2018. While homeowners cannot change the size of rooms to save money, they can manipulate the materials used to keep expenses down. Many products on the market today are designed to replicate the look of more costly materials without the higher price tags. Userfriendly DIY products also can help corral costs by cutting down on labor expenses.

Resilient flooring Resilient flooring is manufactured to mimic the look of hardwood, tile, stone, and other materials. According to Armstrong Flooring, specialized manufacturing processes and coatings create a product that resists stains, dents, moisture, and scratches. Most resilient products are made up of several layers to create stability and absorb sound. These products tend to be less expensive than the materials they replicate.

Laminate countertops Much like resilient flooring, laminate countertops are inexpensive, low-maintenance and durable alternatives to stone and solid-surface countertops. They come in many different styles that can look like granite or marble. Homeowners also can consider solid surface materials, tile, concrete, and wood block when looking for cost-efficient countertop materials.

Shower kits Bathroom renovations can increase the overall value of a home. But some homeowners do not have the time or money to do a complete bathroom remodel. Replacing an old vanity with a newer one and replacing an outdated tub/shower combination can improve the functionality of a space without breaking the bank. Shower kits and stalls enable homeowners to renovate bathrooms with less hassle than creating a tile- or stone-based shower enclosure. Kit pieces drop in place and may only require minor plumbing work. Certain kits can be installed directly over dated showers for a quick remodel turnaround.

Cabinet refacing Homeowners who want to keep the layout of a kitchen intact but simply update its look can turn to cabinet refacing. The Kitchen Magic renovation company says refacing or resurfacing uses quality wood or laminate veneer to change the color and appearance of the exterior of cabinets without having to remove the existing cabinet frames. New doors, drawers and hardware will complete the transformation at a fraction of the cost of a new cabinet build. Low-cost materials can keep renovation budgets in check and still produce beautiful results.


13

SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 22, 2019

How to establish

a home game setup The majority of modern households are now home to at least one gamer. In a survey of 4,000 American households, the Entertainment Software Association discovered that 64 percent of households own a device they use to play video games, with an average of two gamers in each game-playing home. Gaming is so popular that The NPD Group says total consumer spending on the video game industry in 2017 equaled $36 billion. Avid gamers understand that having a dedicated and well-equipped setup can really improve the gaming experience. Here are some items worth considering for the ultimate gaming area.

Large-sized screen A dedicated television screen will be needed for console gaming. Something at least 60 inches with Ultra High Definition and 4K capabilities is ideal. The high resolution enables crystal clear graphics and vividness. Most televisions now come with several HDMI ports, enabling people to easily connect gaming consoles and other peripherals to them.

Gaming Headphones The right headphones enable clear surround sound and include a retractable directional microphone to participate in social, multiplayer games. Wireless headphones are essential so that wires will not impede the action.

The right keyboard PC gamers largely rely on keyboards and a mouse to control the action. A keyboard with backlighting and textured rubber feet to keep the keyboard securely planted will enable gamers to play in a darkened room.

Console Gamers must decide if they prefer a PC-based system or freestanding consoles such as those sold by Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft.

Ergonomic chair Gaming chairs come in different varieties. Some are like office chairs that can serve double duty at a desk, whether one is working on a school project or blasting through a first-person shooter’s tactical field. Other gaming chairs run the gamut of wired rockers that build sound and motion within, and top it off with comfortable armrests. Above all, gamers should seek chairs with ergonomic features for comfort and to avoid fatigue during long hours of play.

Speakers or soundbar If a gaming room is doubling as a home theater, investing in a quality set of speakers or a soundbar can make sensory immersion even more intense. Soundbars or surround sound speaker systems will give ears a rest from headphones. Soundbars are a compact and often wireless way to improve television sound and are usually less expensive and easier to install than surround sound systems.


14

SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 22, 2019

Small kitchen improvements

that maximize functionality Many homeowners wish for expansive kitchens. Modernized kitchens that include sought after features and showcase the latest trends go a long way to improving the overall value of a home. As desirable as such kitchens may be, some homes simply don’t have enough space for a centerfold-worthy kitchen featuring an island, wine refrigerator and walk-in pantry. However, homeowners with small kitchens can still improve the form and function of their existing spaces.

RECONFIGURE AND REVAMP CABINETRY Homeowners whose kitchens are small often lament their lack of storage. Redesigning the layout of cabinets, and possibly adding some more cabinetry, may take care of certain storage issues. The experts at Merit Kitchens suggest utilizing corner space with LeMans units, lazy susans and other gadgets to make access to these areas easier. Going vertical with wall cabinets that extend to the ceiling also can add more storage, as can roll-in work carts.

WORK WITH THE WALLS Small kitchens require clever usage of vertical space. Vertical storage units, hooks, shelving, and more can move items out of drawers and off of counters. Consider an under-the-cabinet toaster oven and microwave to create more counter space.

USE SCALED-DOWN APPLIANCES Shop with size in mind when looking at new appliances if you have a small kitchen. Compact versions won’t take up as much space as larger alternatives. Homeowners should consider the ultimate function of the kitchen and then think about which appliances will serve them well. Homeowners with small kitchens may not need a large stand mixer or an oversized commercial stove.

ADD SOME GLASS The DIY Network recommends incorporating glass to improve the perception of space in small kitchens. Glass lets you see through the objects, thereby enhancing the feeling of spaciousness or what designers call “negative space.” Glass also can be reflective, visually expanding the space.

EMBRACE HIGH-END MATERIALS It costs less to renovate small spaces than bigger areas, so homeowners may be able to afford high-end materials that really add personality to a kitchen. Flooring, counter materials and quality fixtures can really set small kitchens apart. Small kitchens can be culinary havens with the right improvements to maximize the space.


15

SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 22, 2019

Questions to ask

before embracing DIY Home improvement projects are as popular as ever. In its 2017 True Cost Survey, the home improvement site HomeAdvisor found that, between February 2016 and February 2017, homeowners spent an average of just over $5,000 on home projects. That marked a nearly $1,900 increase from the year prior, indicating that homeowners are increasingly opening their wallets to transform their homes. In addition to spending money to improve their homes, many homeowners are spending their time on projects as well. While DIY projects can provide a sense of fulfillment and personal attachment to one’s home, prospective do-it-yourselfers should ask themselves some questions before picking up their hammers and getting to work.

Do I have any physical limitations?

No matter how much home improvement television shows may simplify projects, prospective DIYers should know that such undertakings are typically very difficult and oftentimes physically demanding. Homeowners with existing health conditions or other physical limitations may not be capable of performing certain tasks or may need to take frequent breaks, which can delay projects.

Do I have the time?

Many home improvement projects require a significant amount of time to complete. Homeowners whose time is already stretched thin with commitments to work and/or family may not be able to complete projects within a reasonable amount of time. That’s fine if working on a part of the home that won’t affect daily life, but can prove stressful or problematic if the project is in a room, such as a kitchen or bathroom, that residents of the home use each day. Novice DIYers should be especially honest with themselves about the time they have available to work on the project, as such homeowners are bound to experience a few time-consuming missteps along the way.

Can I afford it?

While DIY might seem more affordable than hiring a contractor, that’s not necessarily true. Novice DIYers may need to buy or rent tools, costs that can add up. Contractors already have the tools necessary to begin and complete projects, so the

cost savings of DIY might not be as significant as homeowners think. Before going the DIY route, homeowners should solicit estimates from contractors, comparing the estimates to how much a project will cost if homeowners do it themselves.

Can I go it alone?

Many home improvement projects require more than one set of hands, and it’s risky and even foolish for first-time DIYers to assume they can begin a project and see it through to completion entirely on their own. Homeowners whose spouses, partners, friends, or relatives are willing to chip in may think that’s enough. However, the DIY skills of those who volunteer may be a mystery until the project begins. Novice DIYers should enlist the help of a friend or family member with home improvement experience. If no such person is available, it may be wise to hire a contractor instead. Home improvement projects may seem simple on television. But prospective do-ityourselfers must make honest assessments of their skills, time and budgets before taking on a DIY project.


16

SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • March 22, 2019

Is it time to replace old wiring? Old homes can be charming and contain architectural elements not often seen in many modern housing developments. But what older homes may have in design appeal, they may lack in updated features. While cosmetic changes are not necessarily difficult, one area of concern in historic homes—and sometimes even in houses built 40 or 50 years ago—is archaic wiring. Wiring provides power to every room of the home. In today’s electronics-driven society, electricity that works is an essential component of daily life. Over time, wiring can be compromised through simple aging, pest infiltration, weather, or other conditions. Deteriorated wiring can present a shock hazard and also a serious fire hazard, warn the home renovation experts at The Spruce. Furthermore, the home improvement site This Old House advises that the amperage of old wiring may not be able to meet the needs of the devices used in homes, overpowering the circuits. This can cause breaker blowouts and other problems, such as overheated wires that may spark and cause fires from within the wall. Wiring often falls into the “out of sight, out of mind” category. Homeowners may make allowances for inadequate electrical systems such as running extension cords or using

multiplug connectors to increase their wiring capacity. However, they may not be diligently keeping on top of upgrades needed to stay safe. Confirming that a home’s electrical system is safe is a necessary part of home maintenance. For those who haven’t already done so, schedule an inspection with a licensed electrician to go over the home’s wiring. He or she can determine if any areas pose a safety risk and/or do not conform to local code requirements and the National Electrical Code. Failure to meet code can lead to difficulty obtaining permits to make other home renovations, or difficulty selling a home later on. The electrician can also go over improvements that can improve safety and function. Additional outlets, including GFCI outlets in kitchens and bathrooms, may be part of the plan, as well as rewiring a fuse box or circuit panel to allow for better flow of power around the house. Frayed wiring or under-insulated wiring also may need to be replaced. Owners of old homes should recognize possible electrical system dangers that require attention. Plus, considering electrical codes change quite frequently, it is always in a homeowner’s best interest to work with a qualified electrician to keep wiring inspected and up to date.

Profile for Bangor Daily News

2019 Spring Home Improvement  

2019 Spring Home Improvement  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded