Supplement to Mountaineer Newspapers
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Tips for finding a home services provider Homeowners who are good with their hands can tackle many minor home improvements on their own. However, more complicated projects often require the services of professional contractors to ensure the renovations are done right, completed on time and within budget. Choosing a home services provider requires careful consideration on the part of homeowners. The wrong contractor can cost homeowners time and money, so homeowners must exercise due diligence when vetting contractors before going forward with a home improvement project. Types of contractors The Federal Trade
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Commission notes that the scope of a project may necessitate hiring various types of contractors. The more complex a project is, the more likely it is that homeowners will need to hire contractors who specialize in certain areas. Understanding the differences between contractors can help homeowners make informed decisions. • General contractor: General contractors manage home improvement projects. This includes hiring subcontractors and supervising their work. General contractors also secure building permits and schedule inspections. • Specialty contractors: Specialty contractors focus on specific areas of a project. For example, homeowners who are remodeling their kitchens may need new cabinets installed by a contractor who specializes in cabinets and cabinet installation. That contractor is a specialty contractor. • Designer or design/ build contractor: The FTC notes that these contractors both design and build projects. • Architects: Architects design homes as well as any additions or major renovations to homes. Architects are often necessary when projects involve structural changes to existing homes. Hiring a home services provider
Once homeowners determine which type of contractor they need, they can they begin researching local professionals. • Speak with neighbors, family and friends. N e ig h b o r s, f a m ily members and friends who have worked with contractors in the past are great resources. Seek recommendations from people you trust, even asking to see completed projects if possible. • Utilize the internet. Websites such as HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List are free of charge and can be great resources when homeowners are looking for contractors. Each site includes reviews of contractors from past customers and contact information for local contractors. • Confirm qualifications. The FTC advises homeowners to confirm contractors’ licensing and qualifications before hiring anyone. Some areas may not require licensing, but many do. Homeowners can contact their local building department or consumer protection agency to determine the licensing requirements for their area. Hiring a home services provider is a complicated process that can be made easier by homeowners who do their research and take the decision seriously.
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Three home projects that offer a great return on investment (S tateP oin t) The warmer months present an excellent opportunity to get outdoors and spruce up your home’s exterior. But if you have limited time and resources, it’s important to prioritize the focus of your efforts. For guidance, consider Remodeling Magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value Report, which shows that not all remodeling projects are equal. Here are three renovation ideas that will give your property not only a facelift, but offer a great return on investment to boot. Garage Door National data from the 2018 Cost vs. Value Report shows that the project that delivers the highest return on investment is a new upscale garage door. This is a good choice for those looking for better noise control, greater security, curb appeal and convenience. Newer offerings relying on smart home technology can synch with your mobile device to offer conveniences like voice control and notifications when you’ve left the garage door open. Manufactured Stone Veneer In the number two slot for sound renovation investments, according to the same report, is manufactured stone veneer, which is a great way to add visual interest to your home exterior (or an interior room, for that matter). Be sure to select products that mimic the
texture and color of natural stone, such as the choices from ProVia, which are molded and cast to look like stone harvested from various U.S. geographic regions and are offered in a variety of style and color palettes. The manufacturer offers resources that help make it easy to select and install the best choice for your home or get the look you’ve always wanted. Their visualizer tool, found at ProVia.com, allows you to upload a photo of your home to see how the stone will look on your exterior. Entry Door Replacement Your home’s entry door is one of the first things prospective home buyers will notice, so it’s no surprise that upgrading yours could be a wise investment. The Cost vs. Value report named a new steel door as the third highest cost recouped. However, steel or fiberglass are both good choices for materials when it comes to functionality, durability, energy efficiency, security and versatility in style. For more home renovation ideas and resources, visit ProVia. com. When giving your home a facelift, make it count. Consider those upgrades and renovations that don’t just look good, but also are proven to increase the resale value of your home.
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Benefits to open concept floor plans The way a home is designed can say a lot of things about it. In fact, many real estate professionals and contractors can determine when a home was built based on the design of its interior. For example, homes with sunken living rooms were likely built sometime in the 1960s and 1970s. Open concept living rooms are one trend that might one day make people nostalgic for the early 21st century. Many of today’s home buyers want homes with open concept floor plans, which can give homes a more spacious feel, perhaps even creating the illusion that a home is bigger than it really is. Home buyers who have never before enjoyed open concept floor plans can consider these benefits to these wildly popular layouts. Entertainment Many people who live in homes with open concept floor plans cite their convenience when entertaining as one of their biggest assets. In an open concept home, guests don’t have to be corralled into a single room in the home. Instead, hosts and their guests can roam freely from room to room because there are no walls dividing common areas. This can make gatherings feel less cramped than in homes with more traditional floor plans.
Safety The safety of open concept floor plans may be most applicable to parents of young children. Open concept floor plans allow parents to keep an eye on their children while cooking dinner, working from home or tending to other chores around the house. Since there are no walls to divide rooms in open concept homes, parents don’t have to wonder what their curious kids are up to because they can see them at all times. Flexibility Open concept floor plans give homeowners more flexibility. For example, homes with more traditional floor plans may have designated spaces for dining areas. These spaces don’t leave much room to work with and may not be valued by homeowners who don’t often host dinners at home. As a result, such rooms may just be wasted square footage. With an open concept floor plan, homeowners have the flexibility to make dining areas as big or small as they see fit and can even adjust the rooms on the fly on those occasions when people are coming over. Open concept floor plans continue to be popular among home buyers and might prove to be the most lasting home design trend of the early 21st century.
Appeal to house hunters with smart home upgrades (StatePoint) From smart thermostats to remotely controlled showers, connected homes are all the rage for today’s homeowners and those looking to make a purchase, providing easy opportunities to boost your profit when you sell. Over half of Millennials (57 percent) believe that smart home technology is a good investment in their home, according to a recent survey by Better Homes and Gardens. Upgrading to include connected items can make your home more appealing to this “next generation” of homebuyers in particular. If you’re looking to sell, here are some of the latest and greatest smart home upgrades to have on your radar. Climate Control Your thermostat is responsible for half your energy bill — more than appliances and electronics — so make sure to choose one wisely. Consider installing a smart thermostat, which learns your temperature preferences, and can save energy by turning heating and cooling on and off, based on the weather outside, your home’s energy profile and more. Potential homebuyers will love the energy savings, as well as the ability to control the thermostat from anywhere with their devices. A Hands-Free Faucet Imagine the convenience of having a kitchen faucet turn water on or off, without a touch. Faucets with hands-free technology, such as Moen’s MotionSense Wave single-sensor models, allow users to easily activate the faucet with the wave of a hand. Great for when your hands are too full or messy to turn on the faucet, the technology also minimizes the spread of dirt and germs, since there’s no need to touch the faucet to start the flow of water. It’s just the type of smart upgrade to attract house hunters of all
ages — and easy on the wallet, with options available for under $300. Bright Lighting Smart lighting dimmer and sensor systems allow you to turn lights on and off remotely with a smartphone, and can be customized to perform certain actions, such as slowly growing brighter as you wake up or turning off automatically when you leave your home – providing added convenience and customization for prospective buyers. These systems are especially useful when you’re traveling– allowing you to turn your lights on and off remotely, so your home doesn’t look empty while you’re away. Picture showing potential buyers how they can control all of the lights in the home with one device, or turn off the lights after they’re snuggled up in bed — and get ready for the offers to roll in. A Digital Shower An updated bathroom is a huge selling point for potential buyers. If you’re planning a renovation, enhancing your space with a digital shower can make a big difference for your family now and for future homebuyers. To provide the ultimate in personalization, select a system such as U by Moen, the first Wi-Fi/cloud-based digital shower on the market, which allows users to precisely set shower temperature and flow with an in-shower digital controller, or from the smartphone app. Plus, it can be voice activated with products like Amazon Alexa, for a connected home experience. By swapping just one or two items — like your thermostat or a builder-grade kitchen faucet — you can achieve a sleeker, smarter home. And while the return on investment varies for each product, they’re all sure to appeal to tech-loving homebuyers whenever you choose to sell.
Colorful design ideas for refreshing your home this season (StatePoint) If you are looking to elegantly redesign the spaces in your home, consider taking your cues from the latest trends in the luxury market. Neutral color palettes and soft, soothing shades, such as gray, taupe and cream are on the rise among today’s luxury homes and adding touches of color will help personalize these spaces “Neutral color schemes are versatile, sophisticated and best of all, easy to live with,” says James Thomas, senior product designer for residential lighting manufacturer Progress Lighting. But design experts point out that adding carefully selected accessories and home accents in bolder colors can be a pleasing way to customize the spaces in your home. “Color selection is one of the first ways I create visual interest in any neutral space,” says Tracey Amadio of Porch Daydreamer Design Blog, who lists sapphire, turquoise, dusty pink and lavender as popular color choices this spring. To add a splash of color to your neutral settings, try these design ideas. • Refresh home accessories: Home accents, such as throw pillows, blankets and rugs, are items that can be quickly updated and therefore more trend-centric. These items are guaranteed to add a pop of color to the room. Additionally, Tracey says more
and more designers are choosing rich hues over white for accent furniture, kitchen islands and bathroom cabinets. • Update an accent wall with wallpaper: Wallpaper is making a comeback in a big way. There are lots of fun patterns and colors to explore. Incorporate textured wallpaper to a powder room or smaller living area to add color and dimension. • Incorporate mixed metals: Mixed metals are also emerging as a way to bring dimension and interest to a home’s color palette. This look can be achieved through mixing fixtures with different — but complementary — finishes. “Many of our new lighting offerings showcase dual finishes or mixed metal accents that really punch up the look of a fixture, which would be an eye-catching addition to a neutral color scheme,” says Thomas. “We’ve had really good visual success with antique bronze and brass combinations. Also, some of our newer designs feature a combination of antique nickel and brushed nickel, to offer visual interest with a pairing of matte and shiny finishes.” Searching for more design inspiration? Visit progresslighting.com to view images, collections and project ideas for every budget, style and space.
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Basement remodeling tips
A basement remodeling project can add valuable and usable space to a home. For many years, homeowners overlooked the potential of a basement remodel, perhaps thinking it would not be a smart return on investment. But that’s no longer the case. The latest “Cost vs. Value” report from Remodeling magazine says the average basement remodel can cost around $61,000 with a 70.3 percent recoup rate. In addition, HGTV says architects and contractors indicate the cost of redoing a basement is roughly one-third to one-half less than the price of putting an addition on a home. Before remodeling a basement, homeowners should think about how they want to use the space. Homeowners also must focus on some potential obstacles in a basement that will need to be addressed so that the area can be as functional as possible. Basements can be chilly and damp. That means moisture issues and heating and cooling needs must be addressed prior to any construction. Homeowners may have to consider the installation of a dehumidifier and run venting through the basement to allow for proper climate control. If a basement takes on water, either through the walls or a concrete slab, a professional waterproofing company can come in and fix these issues so they will not damage drywall and flooring afterwards. The presence of insects and pests also must be addressed. Exterminators can help homeowners figure out which insects are in their basements and how to make the space less hospitable to these unwelcome guests so that the room will become comfortable for human
occupants. Space is often at a premium in basements, which may contain HVAC units, water heaters, filtration devices, ductwork, pipes, and the other appliances. Qualified contractors can suggest solutions for cordoning off appliances and camouflaging pipes and wires so they won’t detract from the finished product. However, building access panels into the design will make it easier to service or repair features as necessary. Homeowners also may want to wrap pipes before drywall is installed to quiet noisy drainage pipes. Uneven basement flooring will need to be smoothed out and flattened before carpeting or tile can be laid down. A selfleveling underlayment can be applied to fill in gullies, while larger crack and holes will need to be patched. Once the structure of the basement is addressed, then the design work can begin. Many professionals advise against drop ceilings, which can take away from ceiling height and look cheap. Basements can be dark, so the addition of plenty of lighting can help brighten the room. Small basement windows can be replaced with larger ones to add more light as well. Homeowners can mimic built-ins and architectural details from elsewhere in the home so the basement is aesthetically cohesive and doesn’t seem like an addition. Bookcases and shelving can add valuable storage space as well. Decorate the basement with bright, neutral colors so they make the space feel more inviting. With some effort and financial investment, basements can be as beautiful and functional as other rooms in a home.
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Innovative new looks for your kitchen renovation
(StatePoint) Renovating your kitchen? Think about making updates that will add beauty and functionality to one of the most important rooms in the house. Here are a few innovative new looks and ideas to consider including in your plans. Add Geometry Geometric tile designs can create a bold modernized look in your kitchen, whether you’re adding a backsplash or redoing the flooring. Get creative by adding a mosaic design as trim around the perimeter or as a central point of focus. Create Your Focal Point Enhance any kitchen with an impressive new range that combines the functionality and green energy features of a modern appliance with the charm of old-world design. If you want an opportunity to tailor this look to your own specifications, consider those from ILVE. Known for their handcrafted Italian appliances, they have added even more ways to customize their ranges with a new, traditionally inspired solid door option for the ILVE Majestic Collection. Completely windowless, this model features a decorative countrystyle handrail on the
oven door(s) and is available in a range of sizes and colors, from neutral tones like gloss black and matte graphite, to custom statement colors like ultramarine blue or ruby red. Three trims — brass, bronze and chrome — give homeowners even more options when creating a look for the kitchen that is truly their own. For more information, visit ilveappliances.com. Get Cozy Create a lounge in your kitchen with some furniture that lets you kick back and relax. A nook that contains a loveseat or couch, along with a small bookshelf and side table, may become your new favorite place to look through cookbooks or read a few pages of a novel while you’re waiting for the dough to rise. If possible, create this area in a sunlit corner of the kitchen that’s convenient to where the main cooking action takes place, so that those giving the chef a little company will have a comfortable place to sit and chat with their host. Innovative new looks for your kitchen can transform the space into one that’s more functional and beautiful.
M & R Builders LLC Room Additions • Garages Bathrooms • Kitchens Randy Myers WV050589 122 Newcome Ave, Grafton
Vinyl siding maintenance tips (StatePoint) The type of siding you have on your home can affect how you spend your weekends, as some options require more maintenance and upkeep than others. “While stucco, wood siding, fiber cement siding and engineered wood all require regular painting and caulking to look their best, today’s vinyl siding needs only periodic cleaning with mild soap and water from a garden hose to achieve
the same result,” says Kevin Mickle, product manager at ProVia, a manufacturer of siding and other exterior building products. • To clean vinyl siding, use a soft cloth or ordinary long-handled, soft bristle brush. For textured surfaces, use only a soft bristle brush to keep the grooves in the texture stain-free. For best results, start at the bottom of the house and work your way up, taking care to rinse the
cleaning solution completely before it dries. During this process, cover any brick facing so it’s not affected by the runoff. To remove mold and mildew, use a solution of 30 percent vinegar and 70 percent water. • Before using a power washer, read the washer’s instructions carefully, as well as the recommendations of the siding manufacturer. Some manufacturers advise against the use
of pressure washers on their products or have limitations on the amount of pressure and the cleaners that can be used. • Ensure your cleaner of choice won’t harm your siding. Spot check a small area first. Never use cleaners containing organic solvents, undiluted chlorine bleach, liquid grease remover, nail polish remover or furniture polish.
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Make the most of your home improvement dollars
Home improvement projects provide homeowners with a chance to put their own stamp on their homes. In addition, many such projects make homes safer and, in some instances, more eco-friendly. The opportunity to make a home more comfortable, safer and/ or more eco-friendly entices many homeowners to open their wallets. In fact, the Home Improvement Research Institute estimates that the home improvement products market will grow by more than 5 percent in
2018. Homeowners might experience some sticker shock when researching home improvement projects or receiving estimates from contractors. But there are ways for budget-conscious homeowners to transform their homes and still make the most of their home improvement dollars. • Do your homework. Each year, Remodeling magazine publishes its “Cost vs. Value Report,” a comprehensive study of 21 popular remodeling projects in 149 United States
markets. The report notes the value each project retains at resale in 100 markets across the country. Homeowners who want to get the strongest return on investment can access the “Cost vs. Value Report” (www.remodeling.how.net) to see which home improvement projects are best suited for them. • Do some of the labor yourself. Homeowners willing to swing a hammer also can stretch their home improvement dollars. For example, the home improvement resource
This Old House® notes that homeowners willing to do their own demolition before the contractors arrive can save substantial amounts of money. A professional contractor may charge $1,000 to demo a 200-squarefoot deck, but This Old House estimates that homeowners who demo their own decks may spend only $450 (for the dumpster rental and parking permit). • Hire a consultant. The DIY movement is incredibly popular, no doubt thanks to television channels such as
HGTV and the DIY Network. Homeowners with DIY experience may be able to complete projects on their own with little consultation from professional contractors. Some contractors may not offer consulting services, however. The consultation route, which typically requires paying licensed contractors hourly fees to offer guidance, should only be considered by homeowners with legitimate DIY skills, for whom this option can be a great way to save money.
• Schedule renovations during homeowner-friendly times of year. Summer and fall tend to be contractors’ busy seasons, and homeowners will likely pay more for projects during this time of year. If possible, delay starting projects until right after the new year, when contractors aren’t so busy and might be more flexible with pricing. Budget-conscious homeowners can employ various strategies to make the most of their home improvement dollars without sacrificing quality.
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King’s Electric will meet all your residential or commercial needs King’s Electric is a successful family owned business. King’s Electric is owned by Gene and Tammy King and has been in business since 2001. They currently employ four certified electricians - Dale Tenney, Davis Wheeler and Matthew Carpenter. King’s Electric performs a variety of electrical work, both residential and commercial. Gene King and his staff can provide new electrical services and service upgrades, change out breaker boxes, remodels, new construction, etc. They are also a Kohler Generator dealer. They have experience in installing whole house generators to keep you in power when ev-
eryone else is out. Tammy King helps out with the business also. She is responsible for secretarial duties such as payroll, billing, paperwork, answering the phone, scheduling, ordering parts, etc. Gene and Tammy take pride in what they do and they work together to help keep their business successful. King’s Electric serves Lewis County and North Central West Virginia region. For more information or if you need an electrician, please contact King’s Electric at 304-838-3779 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Not Pictured: Jason Frey.