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Should I DIY?

How to determine if it’s best to renovate on your own

Make the Most of Movie Night

Variables to consider when choosing a media room

Trending Upward

Renovation trends that figure to be popular in the year ahead

A publication of the

APRIL 2021 • SPRING HOME • PAGE


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4 Techniques to revitalize a lawn after a long winter 5 Safety first when power washing your home this spring 6 Variables to consider when choosing a media room 7 8 9 10

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Exploring different backyard structures Learn the right ways to clean lawn and patio furniture How to add shade to a deck or patio Renovation trends that figure to be popular in the year ahead The benefits of working with an interior designer

12 Should I DIY? 13 What to know before installing built-ins 14 How to choose the right lighting inside your home

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Honest,

Communicative

K

and Giving

by Amy Sharp

im and Hoang recently gutted and Teri recommended against remodeled their kitchen. Kim replacing our back door. says, “We shopped around a bit She advised that the for contractors. We had already structure and weatherYour received several quotes when we saw a proofing were still good. story about Teri Gilberg (better known as Instead, she suggested the Re-Modelista) in UpClose magazine. We we just replace the glass Specialist invited Teri to bid on the project. Her price panel. It gave us a new look was inline with some of the other quotes, and and was less expensive we chose Teri because communication with her than a new door. When her is really smooth and quick.” crew went to widen the pantry, “I had spent a long time thinking about this remodel, they discovered it contained a and I had gathered photos of what I liked,” continues Kim. “I structural wall. Teri’s foreman Tony really wanted quartz countertops in two colors, one color for the island helped with maintaining the structural part and another for the back wall. The cabinets, floors, and lighting of it, and the new pantry worked out well. would all be replaced. The original kitchen had a two-level, angled We really appreciated how everyone was island. It was hard to sit and communicate at it. I wanted to very honest and communicative.” change the footprint, and make it a rectangular, counter-height “We love our new kitchen,” says Kim. island. Widening the pantry and replacing the front and back “It’s a very open, light and welcoming doors were also part of the project.” environment...a whole new space for us. The time Kim spent planning the remodel made Teri’s Our family that has visited loves it too. We work go quickly. Her crew built and painted the new kitchen do recommend Teri to others!” cabinets. To select her two colors of quartz and new flooring, Teri recommended that Kim visit local Prosource. Kim says, “Our Re-Modelista: original wood flooring was discontinued, so we needed the new Your Home Renovation Specialist flooring to work with the existing floor. We found exactly what we Specializes in Kitchen and Bath Remodels needed at ProSource.” “She Gets the Job Done!” 832-535-2501 • cell: 832-731-3191 “Throughout the process, Teri and her crew were very giving. www.theremodelista.com

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Kitchen Bath


Did you know? L Techniques to revitalize a P lawn after a long winter

eaves that fall from trees can be a marvel to behold. But leaves can stain exterior surfaces when they eventually settle on vehicles, concrete driveways, patios, and other surfaces, become wet and/or are not cleaned away in a timely fashion. Leaf stains are caused by tannins in the leaves. The pigments can be absorbed by porous materials like concrete and leave stains behind. While these stains may wash away over time, homeowners may prefer a faster way to get rid of unsightly stains. To remove moderate leaf stains, mix oxygen bleach with hot water and apply to stains using a scrub brush. Dark stains may require a tougher cleanser, such as one that contains trisodium phosphate. Some homeowners find success using a pressure washer to clean away leaf stains, while others rely on commercial leaf-stain removers.

ristine, snow-covered landscapes can be wonders to behold. While that blanket of white is idyllic, a lawn’s delicate blades may be paying a hefty price beneath the cold, heavy piles of snow.

Snow plows push salt and sand up on the grass while subterranean animals like mice and moles dig burrows beneath piles of snow as they try to find food and stay warm. Such conditions are not favorable for thriving landscapes. When the spring thaw arrives, lawns may be in dire need of some TLC. The following techniques can mitigate winter-related lawn damage.

Remove any debris from the lawn after snow thaws to see what you’re working with.

• Clear out debris. Remove any scattered leaves, branches and other debris that has been strewn across the property due to storms or snow-laden trees. This will give you a clean canvas to work on.

• Dry out snow mold. The Family Handyman says snow mold is a cold-season fungus that causes gray-colored circles or patches on the lawn where there has been snow. To alleviate snow mold, rake the lawn to loosen matted grass and facilitate the drying-out process. • De-thatch the lawn. Heavy snow can compress the grass and cause some of it to die off. De-thatching helps to remove dead grass blades and separate any matting. This enables water, nutrients and air to reach the lawn’s roots more effectively. Thinning out old organic matter

also helps encourage new growth. • Aerate the soil. Coupled with dethatching, aeration involves loosening the soil or poking holes to allow nutrients to move freely to the roots. • Kill weeds before they spread. Weeds may be the first to start growing when the weather begins to warm. Address them promptly by manually pulling them or applying an herbicide. • Overseed the lawn. Chances are there are some bare spots that have formed over the winter. Overseeding can help to fill in the lawn. Make sure that frosts are largely a thing of the past and soil temperature is around 50 F to 60 F before seeding. Water daily until grass fills in. • Apply nutrients. Fertilizer and compost can restore nutrients to the lawn that may have been used up over winter. A soil test at a nearby horticultural center can tell you which nutrients are needed, according to the Chemistry Cachet, a guide to using chemistry secrets for healthy living, beauty, cleaning, and gardening. Lawns can be restored to their pre-winter glory after some sweat equity and about five to six weeks of consistent sunshine and warm weather.

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Safety first when power washing your home this spring

S

pring cleaning is a great way for homeowners to clear their homes of clutter. As people spend extra time indoors in winter, items can quickly pile up around the house. Spring is a great time to clean up such clutter, but interior spaces are not the only areas of a home that can benefit from some extra attention once the weather warms up. Harsh winters can take a toll on home exteriors. Dirt and grime can build up on exterior home surfaces over the course of the winter, affecting the appearance of the siding of a home as well as outdoor entertaining areas. Power washing is a great way to give a home a fresh, clean look in spring. But there’s more to power than simply renting the right equipment and getting to work. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that there are many risks associated with using power washers. For instance, the CDC says strong spray from power washers can cause serious wounds that initially seem minor. However, such wounds can lead to infection or disability if left untreated. In addition, if manufacturer safety instructions are not followed, electric shock can occur due to improper use. Homeowners who are intending to power wash their own homes this spring should first determine if they’re physically capable of doing so. Power washers can be difficult for some people to control, so it’s imperative that homeowners honestly assess their physical abilities before renting a unit. The CDC urges homeowners who determine they can safely handle power washers to take these additional safety steps to make sure the process of cleaning their home exteriors goes smoothly. • Never point a pressure washer at yourself or others. • Do not attempt to push or move objects with spray from the washer. If anything is in your way, turn the power washer off and then move the obstruction. • Never use a gasoline powered washer in an enclosed space, which can increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

• Always test the ground fault circuit interrupter (circuit breaker or outlet) before using a pressure washer. • Always plug a properly grounded pressure washer into a properly grounded receptacle. • If an extension cord must be used, keep the pressure washer’s power cord connection out of and away from any standing water, and use a heavy duty extension cord with components rated for use in wet locations. Keep both the power cord and extension cord connections as far away as possible from the item being washed and away from any water runoff. While power washing, periodically take note of the location of the extension cord connections to ensure they are not in a puddle. • Wear rubber-soled shoes that provide some insulation when using the pressure washer. • Never cut or splice the pressure washer’s power cord or extension cords. • Never remove the grounding prong from the pressure washer’s power cord plug or the extension cord. • Pause the project if a circuit breaker is tripped. Always have a qualified electrician check the pressure washer for electrical problems after it has tripped a circuit breaker. • Never allow children to operate a pressure washer. Keep children at a safe distance when an adult is using a pressure washer. Power washing can give a home a whole new look after a winter’s worth of dirt and grime builds up on the home’s exterior. Safety must remain the utmost priority when operating a power washer on your own.

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Variables to consider when choosing a media room

T

he term “home theater” once made homeowners who love movies and sports dream of the day when they could dedicate a large area in their home to watching the big game or their favorite films. Such rooms are now widely referred to as “media rooms.” Though the terminology may have changed, media rooms are not all that different from home theaters. Before choosing an area of their home as their designated media room, homeowners must consider a host of variables to ensure they get as much out of the room as possible.

• Location and shape: Of course the location of the room is of the utmost importance. Media rooms tend to be more social settings than traditional home theaters, which were often designed to be isolated from the rest of the home so noise and natural light did not adversely affect the film-watching experience. Homeowners may not want their media rooms to be in high traffic areas of their homes, but they needn’t be completely secluded, either. The renovation experts at the DIY Network note that the shape of a room should be considered before designating it as the media room. In general, square rooms are not ideal, as such rooms can produce harmonic distortions. A rectangular room likely won’t produce such distortions, especially when homeowners place their screens and primary speakers on short walls. It’s important that homeowners do not downplay the importance of sound, as media rooms, unlike traditional home theaters, may be used for listening to music just as much as they are for watching films or sports. Viewers may not recognize dis-

tortions when watching something, but homeowners may notice these abnormalities when listening to music. • Windows: Media rooms are multi-purpose rooms, so homeowners don’t need to remove rooms with windows from consideration. But the experts at the DIY Network note that windows are hard surfaces that can reflect sound and distort audio, and the light that gets in through windows can produce reflections on the viewing surface. Each of those factors can adversely affect your listening and viewing experience. A room with windows can still make for a good media room, but you may want to invest in some blackout curtains to mitigate some of the disadvantages of having windows in the room. • Wall colors: The colors of the walls in the room is another variable homeowners will have to consider. Homeowners won’t want to host guests for the big game in rooms with darkened walls, as that can create a dreary atmosphere and potentially make people tired. But especially bright colors will reflect light and adversely affect the viewing experience. Neutral colors should not affect the colors on the screen, making them the ideal color choice for media room walls. Media rooms are high on many homeowners’ renovation lists. Considering a host of variables prior to designating an area for a media room can ensure the finished product is as enjoyable as possible.

Did you know?

S

ocial distancing recommendations issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic compelled people to spend more time at home than ever before. As the pandemic wore on, people looked for ways to enjoy activities in their backyards so they would not become overwhelmed by cabin fever. Home theater projectors afford homeowners the chance to bring the magic of family movie nights outdoors.

The tech experts at Digital Trends® note that modern projectors are a great way to enjoy a true cinematic experience at home, even if your “theater” is under the stars in the backyard. Some projectors are designed to remain outdoors so long as homeowners take the steps necessary to protect the devices from the weather. In fact, projectors are small and so easily moved that homeowners can take them inside at the end of each movie to ensure they’re not damaged by the elements. In such instances, only the screen and the audio components, like speakers, will require protection from the elements. But even interior projectors can be taken outdoors when homeowners decide to watch a movie outdoors. Projectors can even be used to watch television outdoors, making them options worth considering for sports fans who may be restricted from seeing their favorite teams in person this season. Watching television on a projector without a cable box may require a little extra effort and a few more accessories than streaming a movie outdoors, and homeowners would be wise to consult a home entertainment professional to ensure their setup is good to go before inviting anyone over to watch the big game under the stars.

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Exploring different backyard structures

D

esigning an ideal backyard space requires forethought and an eye for style. Knowing which features to include in a yard often boils down to what homeowners want to achieve in the space. Will it be a relaxing oasis or a central entertaining focal point? People often look to various structures to add height and visual interest to outdoor spaces. Homeowners will likely come across structures like arbors, gazebos, pergolas, and even trellises as they wade through the variety of features they can incorporate into backyard plans. Each of these structures can add appeal, but they also can offer shelter from the sun and privacy when enjoying the yard. There are significant differences between each structure, so here’s an in-depth look at what sets them apart. • Arbor: An arbor is one of the more simple garden structures. It is usually a frame that is arched or square-cornered. Most homeowners use it as an entryway to a garden or even the front of the home. Those with green thumbs may cover the arbor with climbing and trailing plants. The Spruce says arbors date back to early Egyptian and Roman gardens and were used throughout Europe by the late 16th century. • Pergola: The words arbor and pergola are often used interchangeably, but to suggest the two structures are the same would not be accurate. Pergola comes from the Italian word “pergula,” which means “projection.” Pergolas were once projected from exterior walls and supported on one side by pillars or columns. Today, arbors are usually freestanding units with two or four posts. Pergolas may be connected on one side to a home or another structure. Some are freestanding units supported by four posts. Pergolas tend to be larger and offer more privacy and shade than arbors. • Gazebo: Gazebos are more defined garden buildings, states the contractor referral site Network. Gazebos are freestanding units that can be built in various shapes. Some are octagonal, others are square. Like a pergola, a gazebo is supported by columns and may have low railings or built-in benches. Gazebos also may have a more solid roof than arbors or pergolas, providing sun and other weather protection. The roof may have added architectural appeal, like a cupola. • Trellis: A trellis is a simple, geometrically-shaped structure that provides a surface for climbing plants. A trellis also may support fruit-bearing trees. Trellis work may be used in conjunction with an arbor or pergola, or be installed on fencing. Incorporating structures into backyard designs can provide functionality and appeal.

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Learn the right ways to clean lawn and patio furniture O nce the days begin to grow a little bit longer and the numbers on the thermometer creep a tad higher, outdoor entertaining season is right around the corner. Homeowners may be anxious to once again return to the comforts of their backyards. However, their patio furniture may not be ready for lounging just yet.

Some simple cleaning strategies make it easy to brighten outdoor furniture made of metal, glass, wood, and plastic. Before homeowners know it, their backyards will be ready for outdoor entertaining season.

soda with 1 gallon of warm water, according to the experts at Better Homes & Gardens. Regular dishwashing detergent also can be mixed with water, as it has a mild bleaching agent. This cleanser can be used on plastic resin furniture or metal furniture, which are popular patio furniture materials.

Patio fabrics

Storing outdoor furniture during the colder months of the year is a great way to protect items from the elements. This may involve careful shrink-wrapping and keeping items outdoors, or by moving furniture indoors to a shed or garage. Cleaning the furniture one last time before storing it also can be handy.

Check the cleaning instructions of outdoor fabrics, as there might be specific instructions on the tags. In some cases, fabric may be removed and washed in a washing machine on a gentle setting. A solution of dish soap and warm water also is a gentle way to clean outdoor fabrics. Once items are clean, HGTV advises applying a water-repellent fabric protector to minimize staining and maintenance.

Remove stuck-on debris

Strip or sand

Proper storage

Inspect furniture and be prepared to remove any stuck-on debris, such as bird droppings, sticky food residue or even cobwebs and insect nests. Be sure to use a cleaning tool that is safe for the material you are cleaning. Test an inconspicuous area of the furniture first to ensure your tools don’t damage the furniture. For example, many scrub brushes can scratch glass or aluminum.

Make a thorough cleanser

Clean stains off of furniture with a versatile cleanser. A mild cleaner can be made by mixing 1⁄2 cup baking

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Wood furniture may need specialized care. If stains cannot be removed with a mild cleanser, then hard woods like teak can be surface-sanded to restore items’ original look. Pressure washers can often do more harm than good to patio furniture, so it’s best to look for an alternative way to clean them. Usually a bit of elbow grease and a cleanser is all that’s needed. Give the cleaning product time to work. Wipe down and dry the furniture thoroughly to prevent the growth of mildew.


How to add shade to a deck or patio

H

omeowners eagerly await the arrival of the warm weather so they can cast off the remnants of cabin fever and bask in the sunshine. However, as summer nears its dog days, the same sun homeowners once coveted can contribute to uncomfortable conditions in outdoor entertaining spaces.

Meteorologists at WHAS11 in Kentucky took to their neighborhoods in July 2020 to test just how hot surfaces can get in the sun during peak daytime temperatures. Concrete sitting in the sun almost all day reached a temperature of 134.7 F, while the same concrete in the shade clocked in at just under 80 F. When air temperatures are around 90 F, unshaded concrete and asphalt can be 125 F and 140 F, respectively. While wood decking may not be as hot as asphalt and concrete, it still can get steamy underfoot. Homeowners who want to be able to

enjoy their outdoor spaces in an array of temperatures can think about investing in shade solutions. Sun-blocking ideas like awnings, shade trees and large umbrellas can help people enjoy their yards all day long. • Canopy: A patio canopy is typically a freestanding unit that can be installed over a patio or a deck. Some people prefer to bolt it down so it will not be knocked over in windy conditions. The fabric on the canopy can be removed during the offseason, helping to improve its longevity. • Awning: Awnings may be stationary or retractable. Many are installed directly onto a home and can cast shade on specific areas of outdoor entertaining spaces. • Shade sail: Similar to an awning but a bit less structurally rigid, shade sails are large pieces of triangular fabric installed over areas of a patio, pool or landscape, according to The Family Handyman. Shade sails are

light and airy and can be customized. • Trees: A natural way to increase shade in a yard is to plant more shade trees. If sun glare is an issue all year long, and it’s not just the heat of the sun that is troublesome, think about planting evergreen trees. Deciduous cousins will drop their leaves in fall and only be effective during the warm weather. • Patio umbrellas: Many umbrellas start at around $25. Umbrellas can be paired with patio tables, while stationary cantilever umbrellas sit

APRIL 2021 • SPRING HOME • PAGE

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out of the way on their own heavyduty stands. A cantilever umbrella tends to provide more shade than patio table umbrellas. • Curtains: Homeowners can block sunlight outdoors the way they do inside, offers MSN. Hang curtains from the sides of canopies or between posts on a deck to provide shade and cozy spaces. Shade is in high demand when the sun is hot. Options abound for making outdoor areas more comfortable.


H

Renovation trends that figure to be popular in the year ahead

ome renovation trends are ever-changing. Renovations that might have been de rigueur 20 years ago may seem dated now. Recognizing the potentially popular trends of tomorrow is a great way for homeowners to give their homes a fresh new look and put themselves in position to capitalize on popular trends when they put their homes on the market. That’s especially so after 2020, a year when millions of people spent more time at home than ever before. All that time working from home and relaxing at home gave millions of homeowners ideas about what they like about their homes and what they hope to change. The following are some renovation trends that various experts suspect could emerge in 2021.

Eco-friendly living

Climate change, and how to combat it, was a hot button issue during the 2020 presidential election in the United States. So it should

come as no surprise that urdesignmag.com, a web magazine that showcases creative trends in design, architecture, art, technology, and fashion, predicts that eco-friendly living solutions figure to be hot commodities in 2021. Eco-friendly appliances, furniture and designs can help to conserve energy and reduce waste, which environmentalists and government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency note are two critical components in the fight against climate change.

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Large windows

Large windows can provide stunning views of the outdoors and allow ample natural light into a home. It may not be a coincidence if large windows prove to be a hot trend in 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic that dominated much of 2020 forced many people to spend considerably more time at home. Darker homes without much natural light can adversely affect mood, especially when people are spending more time at home. HGTV predicts that homeowners will seek ways to bring more natural light into their homes in 2021, and large windows naturally brighten homes while making rooms appear bigger, helping people feel less cramped. That’s an especially beneficial characteristic when spending more time indoors at home.

Minimalism

The anticipated popularity of minimalism in 2021 may also be

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connected to the pandemic. As professionals were forced to work from home and many families spent more time together inside their homes then ever before, they may have recognized a need to cut back on clutter, including extra furniture. A minimalist approach is both simple and clean, which can make homes feel less claustrophobic.

Multi-functional spaces

Homeowners asked a lot of their homes in 2020, as rooms were transformed into multi-functional spaces seemingly overnight. HGTV notes that spending more time at home showed homeowners that it may not make sense to dedicate entire rooms of a home to a single purpose. Renovations that can help homeowners transform rooms into multi-functional spaces figure to be hot commodities in the years ahead.


H

The benefits of working with an interior designer

ome is where the heart is, and it’s also where homeowners express their style. Though interior design may come naturally to some homeowners, many more can benefit from a little help defining their style and translating that style into a beautiful home. In such instances, interior designers can be the most valuable investments homeowners make in their homes. Homeowners may hear “interior designer” and immediately hear the sound of cash registers ringing in their heads. However, many interior designers offer various services, including hourly consultations, that can make them costeffective, especially for homeowners who are still trying to define their style and decide just how they want their homes to look. That’s just one of the many benefits of working with interior design professionals.

• Interior designers can save homeowners money. Much like it’s best for homeowners with no DIY experience to hire professional contractors when renovating their homes, paying an interior designer when you have little experience with design can help you avoid potentially costly mistakes. Interior designers are skilled at transforming homeowners’ visions into finished products, and that’s a valuable skill homeowners don’t necessarily have. Trial and error when designing a home’s interior can be costly, even if you’re not knocking down any walls or swinging any hammers. For example, after renovating on their own, homeowners may find they need to replace a new couch or dining table that they realize contradicts their design scheme. Interior designers can help homeowners avoid such costly mistakes and get it right the first time.

• Interior designers can help you coordinate your style. Each and every component of a home’s interior says something about its owner. Whether it’s their choice of lighting fixtures, furniture or even appliances, homeowners make a statement any time they choose a design component for their homes. Interior designers can help homeowners coordinate their styles so each room seamlessly transitions to the next one. An ultra-modern living room may stick out like a sore thumb in a home that’s predominantly rustic, and interior designers can help homeowners avoid such mistakes.

• Interior designers recognize what’s trending. Interior designers tend to be up-to-date on the latest trends. That can be incredibly valuable, especially for homeowners who are anticipating putting their homes on the market in the near future. In such instances, designers can help homeowners invest in updates or renovations that will appeal to today’s buyers, increasing the likelihood that their homes will sell more quickly, and potentially for more money. • Interior designers are well-connected. Interior designers often col-

laborate with contractors. Those professional relationships can help homeowners avoid the headaches of finding the right professionals to work with when renovating their homes. Many a homeowner has benefitted from working with interior designers. Such partnerships can help homeowners transform their residences into the home of their dreams.

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Should I

DIY?

3 questions

to determine if it’s best to renovate on your own

A

do-it-yourself mentality has taken hold in millions of households across the globe. Popular television channels like HGTV and DIY Network as well as accessible home improvement content on apps like YouTube has inspired many homeowners to tackle renovation projects around their homes. Taking such initiative is admirable, though it also can prove costly if homeowners end up biting off more than they can chew.

Home improvement videos and television shows have a tendency to oversimplify renovation projects, potentially giving homeowners a false sense of confidence in their DIY abilities. A concerted effort on the part of homeowners to determine if it’s best to renovate on their own or hire a professional should always be the first step of any renovation project. No two homeowners are the same, but the following three questions can help homeowners determine if DIY is their best option.

1. Can I afford to DIY?

Professional home improvement projects are costly for a variety of reasons. Materials can be costly, but so are the tools and labor necessary to do the job right. Homeowners may not have the tools necessary to complete complicated projects. Specialty tools can be expensive to purchase or even rent, and the cost of acquiring such tools should be included in any DIY project cost estimates. Labor also factors heavily into professional projects, and for good reason. Talented contractors have unique skills that have been developed and perfected over many years. Those skills can ensure projects are completed quickly and correctly. Labor may seem costly, but such costs may ultimately prove to be a bargain compared to the cost of fixing DIY mistakes. Projects that are minor in scope and don’t require the use of potentially costly specialty tools may be better suited for weekend warriors than more complicated renovations.

Did you know?

T

hough new flooring and ceiling tiles might not offer the wow factor of a remodeled kitchen, a 2019 study from researchers at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University found that replacing floors and ceilings was the most popular home improvement project in the United States in 2017, the most recent year for which data was available at the time of the study. More than five million homeowners replaced carpeting, flooring, paneling, or ceiling tiles in their homes in 2017. The popularity of such projects may have something to do with the relatively low cost associated with them, as the experts at BobVila.com note that overhauling surfaces underfoot and overhead costs an average of $3,283. That places floor and ceiling tile replacement projects among the least expensive home improvement projects homeowners can undertake, even though such renovations can immediately and dramatically transform the look of a room.

2. Do I have the time?

Homeowners must determine how much time they have to complete a project before deciding to do it themselves. No one wants to spend months staring at an unfinished renovation project. Homeowners who are already pressed for time may not be able to complete projects in a timely fashion, which can make homes less comfortable and even less safe.

3. Can I pull this off?

DIY projects can instill homeowners with a sense of pride in their homes, but it’s imperative that homeowners considering the DIY option conduct an honest assessment of their skills. A lack of renovation experience does not necessarily mean a homeowner cannot successfully complete a DIY project. But in such instances, it may be best to start with small, straightforward projects and then gradually move up to bigger, more complicated projects as skills are fine tuned. And homeowners who have never been at their best with a hammer in hand should not be ashamed to leave the work to the professionals. Television shows and online tutorials can make renovations appear easier than they actually are. Homeowners considering DIY renovations can ask themselves a handful of questions to determine if they’re ready for the challenge of renovating their homes on their own.

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A

What to know before installing built-ins

fter purchasing a new home, buyers often want to put their own fingerprint on the property. Homeowners anticipate the day when their homes are transformed into spaces that reflect their style and not the preferences of previous owners. When deciding how to renovate interior spaces, homeowners will make some relatively temporary changes, but they also may consider some permanent adjustments. Built-ins fall into the category of permanent adjustments, and while realty professionals note that built-ins tend to provide a good return on investment, homeowners can learn more about built-ins before deciding if they want to install them in their homes.

What are built-ins?

Realtor.com defines built-ins as any feature that is built into the interior of a home. The term “built-ins” may immediately conjure up images of bookshelves, but built-ins also include benches and entertainment centers.

Why install built-ins?

Built-ins can be both utilitarian and aesthetically appealing. Built-ins are functional because they provide storage space that homeowners may otherwise find hard to create. Built-ins are embedded in walls that may otherwise be useful only to hang artwork. This can provide much-needed storage space in homes with limited square footage. Professionally installed built-ins also can transform rooms, making them appear more organized. Customized built-ins also can give homes their own unique character, though it’s important to note that prospective buyers may or may not appreciate that uniqueness.

Are there disadvantages to built-ins?

The permanence of built-ins may not appeal to some buyers. If buyers don’t like built-ins at all or are not fond of the look of customized built-ins, that may be

enough to convince them to walk away from a property. However, Realtor.com notes that functional built-ins, like built-in bench seats with storage capacity, appeal to modern buyers and their preference for as much storage space as possible.

Permanent built-ins also can be costly. The home remodeling resource Fixr. com notes that built-in entertainment center installations can cost between $8,000 and $9,500. Built-in seating and bookshelves are not as costly, but such projects still cost more than simply buying premade furniture. Some buyers also may see built-ins as limiting what they can do with a space. That can be a major disadvantage as more professionals work from home and seek multi-functional spaces in their homes. Built-ins can dramatically change the look of a room and provide some muchneeded storage space. But it’s imperative that homeowners give ample thought to built-ins before deciding to install them in their homes.

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APRIL 2021 • SPRING HOME • PAGE13


How to choose the right lighting inside your home?

L

ighting in a home serves both practical and aesthetic purposes. It’s easy to maneuver around a well-lit home, reducing the risk of slips and falls, and the right lighting can help homeowners create their desired ambiance, which typically changes depending on which room you’re in. When choosing lighting for their homes, homeowners must walk a fine line between appearance and functionality. A fixture in the foyer that instantly impresses visitors likely won’t prove as awe-inspiring if it’s installed in the living room. When choosing lighting for a home, some general rules about what works in each room can help homeowners make the most informed decision.

Kitchen Kitchens are often the busiest room in a home, so lighting here

can be especially important. A kitchen often benefits, both practically and aesthetically, from different types of lighting. For example, pendant lighting above kitchen islands can make meal preparation easier and safer, but such lighting likely won’t work in breakfast nooks and informal dining areas in the kitchen. Recessed lighting works best in such areas. In kitchens with no island, undercabinet lighting can be used to illuminate countertops and simplify meal preparation.

Formal dining room Many people enjoy the look of chandeliers in formal dining rooms, and such fixtures can be installed directly above the dinner table. The interior design experts at Better Homes & Gardens advise hanging chandeliers roughly 33 inches above the table in

dining rooms with eight-foot ceilings, adding three inches for each additional foot above eight feet. Darkened dining areas may be ideal in restaurants, but homeowners may want to split the difference at home and choose dimmable chandeliers for their dining rooms. This allows homeowners to dim the lights for romantic dinners but turn them up for family gatherings with lots of people around the table.

Living room Adaptability also is important in the living room, where homeowners may host anything from movie nights to book clubs to parties for the big game. It can be a tall order to accommodate such a wide range of activities, and many homeowners come down to deciding between recessed lighting and track lighting. If the living room

APRIL 2021 • SPRING HOME • PAGE

14

currently has neither style, homeowners should recognize that it will cost considerably less to install track lighting than recessed lighting. Better Homes & Gardens notes that flexible track lighting provides ambient, task or accent lighting, and track lights can even be moved to change lighting schemes at any time, making them a budget-friendly option for homeowners whose living rooms are multi-purpose spaces. Recessed lighting also works well in living rooms, especially ones with low ceilings. That’s because recessed lighting is installed into the ceiling, meaning it does not take up any visual space in the room. That can help living rooms feel bigger.

Bedroom The home improvement experts at BobVila.com note that bedroom


lighting should provide enough light when getting dressed, but also be able to be toned down as residents prepare for their bedtime routines. Both portable and installed lighting can be used in bedrooms to serve these various functions. Recessed fixtures that dim can ensure there’s ample light to get dressed in the morning, but they also can be dimmed at night as residents try to get ready to sleep. Portable nightstand lights can make it easier for couples sharing a bedroom, allowing one person to stay up and read while the other goes to sleep. Homeowners have many options and many needs when choosing lighting for their homes. A professional consultation with a lighting expert or interior decorator can help homeowners find lights that provide both practical and aesthetic appeal.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

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7 Months Old Parents: Charlie & Brittany Toman Grandparents: Jeff & Sheri Hajovsky Bernadette & Charles Toman

Birth to 2 Years

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Mother’s Day barbecue

4 Years Old

Parents: Amanda & Austin Bryant Grandparents: Garrett & Diana Engelhardt

The Wallis Knights of Columbus Council will hold its annual Mother’s Day barbecue chicken and sausage drive-thru at the Wallis Columbus Club Hall, 703 Columbus Road, from 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 13, until sold out. No sides will be sold. For more information, call 979-478-7268.

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18 Months Old

Parents: Danny & Chelsea Wardlow Grandparents: Pat Bruns, Tom & Devoni Wardlow, Shirley Corbett

Birth to 2 Years

2nd e Plac

Wyatt Horak 4 Years Old

Parents: Kevin & Kelli Horak Grandparents: Pat Horak & Corrine Schumann

Daniel 3Ornelas: to 4 Years Me and my mom were best friends. She was really sweet, she was a wonderful cook. We loved to spend time in the kitchen together. Before she passed, the one thing was to www.lonestarbraces.com learn all her cooking $500 methods. She OFF said, Invisalign for Moms! ‘I can’t be there to cook it for you, but I want to make sure you know how to cook n nn it.’ That was awesome for her to teach me. Kamrin Sosa — George Junior High eighth-grader: She teaches me to have conn nn fidence and be comfortFort Bend County Commissioner Vincent able with who I am. She Morales: Mom is 81, not as active anymore, influences by teaching but Mom was always very outgoing, loving me things about life to all her family, always and showing me how willing to do whatever it to handle situations. took to make my broth— Situations with my er and I happy. She friends, with boys, with always put family first. my sister a lot. One of Whether it was when my favorite memories my grandmother got up of her is when we were in age, when there was running late for school a need to take care of one day. We have tile floors and she had on the grandkids, she alheels. She slid across the floor and she hit ways put family first. her head on the wall.

Needville Boy Scout Troop 129 will hold its 2018 annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Saturday from 5-8 p.m. at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church Family Life Center. To-go plates or dine in and enjoy all you can eat for $8.

Offer expires Jan 31, 2019.

Public dance

The Happy Cousins Dance Club will hold its monthly public dance from 8-11:30 p.m. Saturday at the American

Legion Hall on SH 36 South in Rosenberg. Texas Legacy Czech Band will provide the dancing music. For more information, call 281-232-3531.

Report on new San Felipe museum

A program presented by staff from the San Felipe de Austin State Historical Site will report on the newly opened state of the art museum at the park near Sealy. The $12 million facility is a joint product of the Texas Historical Commission and private partners. The Fort Bend County Historical Commission is hosting the program at its quarterly meeting on Tuesday, May 15 at 3 p.m. NOTE: Location of this meeting is the main meeting room of the George Memorial Library, 1001 Golfview in Richmond. The event is free and open to the public.

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Lexi Lew Cook

14 Months Old Parents: Cody & Sara Cook Grandparents: Diana Cook, John Towler, Janie Towler

Birth to 2 Years

Thank you to our advertisers for making our beautiful baby contest a winner

3 to 4 Years Sunday , May 13 is Mother’s Day. Herald Reporter Diana Nguyen asked our readers to share their fondest memories of their moms. Here’s what they had to say:

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ROSENBERG-RICHMOND, TEXaS

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VOLUME 126, NUMBER 114

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Sunday,

$ 1.25

Fallen WW II pilot honored for service

8

WE ARE

wreckage, Taylor in tow. Their position had been reported before hitting the water and after a difficult It was Nov. 11, 1942 and most of the several-hour rescue involving a Sikorcountry was remembering the 24th anni- ski S-39 amphibian aircraft and a patrol versary of the end of The Great War. boat, both Koym and Taylor were pulled On that same day pilots in the from the sea. Civil Air Patrol — a civilian However, both men auxiliary of the U.S. Army succumbed to hypoAir Corps formed in thermia, making 1941 to provide civilian them the sixth and air support through seventh Civil Air border and coastal Patrol pilots to patrols — took to lose their lives the skies to protect while on duty. shipping channels. A special reTwo men, 1st Lt. union Alfred Hermann Koym was Koym, who was laid to rest in from Rosenberg, and Yoakum beneath 1st Lt. James C. Taythe Civil Air Patrol lor, who was from Baton emblem on Nov. 18, Rouge, Louisiana, were 1942. among those Civil Air At the recent 86th Patrol pilots fulfilling A bronze replica of the Gold Medal Koym family retheir duties. — awarded to World War II members union held in East The two were flying of the Civil Air Patrol — was present- Bernard, Koym was their scheduled patrol ed to the Koym family at a recent re- posthumously honover the Gulf off the ored for his service union to honor Alfred H. Koym. Louisiana coast when with a certificate unexpectedly their airand bronze replica craft lost its engine and crashed into the of the Gold Medal, which are awarded to water. The impact injured Taylor, and World War II members of the Civil Air Koym not only removed him from the Patrol. sinking plane and inflated their life jackets, he was able to swim away from the SEE KOYM, PAGE 3A

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The Fort Bend Retired Educators 11:30 a.m. Associationwill hold its last meeting of The scholarship winners will be anthe 2017-18 program year on Wednes- nounced after the luncheon. The menu day, beginning at 11 a.m. in the St. includes chicken-wild rice casserole, John’s United Church of Christ parish a sweet pepper and tomato salad on hall, 1513 West Avenue in Rosenberg. fresh greens, hot rolls, brownie topped The retired teachers luncheon will with ice cream, and tea and coffee for begin at 11:15 a.m. with the induction $15. Email hphaynesgmail.com for resof new officers and lunch served at ervations.

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Around the Bend

HERaLD PHOTO By DIANA NGUYEN

Dana Sheridan presents a Lamar Consolidated ISD SEPAC Appreciation Award to Williams Elementary School kindergarten teacher Hailey Voz.

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thesis during the spring 2018 semesrs Old ter. Her thesis was titled “You are My nn 4 Yea World: A Phenomenological Analysis Schuma in &Understanding of the rine of Parenthood Kev & Cor a Child is Diagnosed with a Terents: Whenak Hor Illness.” Patminal

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Fulshear High School junior Sydney Billings will be the first person to graduate from the high school.

See page 5A

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Fulshear High School is full of firsts. The school’s juniors were the first to earn their class rings early this year. Students had the opportunity to order their letter jackets last year. Nothing beats the first student to graduate.

And Sydney Billings is doing just that. Fulshear High School opened its doors to freshmen and sophomores in

9

ognition of your hard work and dedication to your Special Education students.” George Ranch High School Assistant “Every child deserves a champion; an Principal Christopher G. Cuellar nomiadult who will never give up on them, who nated Masters, a life skills teacher who understands the power of connection and was also named the district’s Special Edinsists they become the best they can pos- ucation Teacher of the Month. sibly be.” — Rita Pierson, educator fea“She represents so much more than tured on TED Talks. that title for our campus and she certainThroughout the years of serving in La- ly represents the best of teachers for more mar Consolidated ISD as a teacher, prin- than one month of the year,” said Cuellar. cipal or paraprofessional, Tara Masters, “Tara represents true sacrifice and Hailey Volz, Debbie Isom and Toni Scott servant leadership for her students and championed the students in their lives. colleagues. One of the most giving people And it didn’t go unnoticed. I know on our campus, day in and day out, Masters, Volz, Isom and Scott each re- she goes above and beyond for her kidceived an LCISD Special Education Par- dos.” ents Advisory Committee Appreciation SEE LCISD, PAGE 8A Award at the last SEPAC meeting, “in recdnguyen@fbherald.com

agleason@fbherald.com

“It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.” — Erma Bombeck, American humorist (1927-1996)

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2016. The first graduating class is set to walk the stage in 2019. But the 16-year-old junior is graduating early. “I think it’s pretty cool to know I’m literally the only person graduating,” Sydney said. “I love being able to say I’m one of the first people to graduate from my high school.” Sydney transferred from Foster High School in 2016.

SEE BILLINGS, PAGE 3A

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St. John’s UCC Women’s Guild to meet Wednesday

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Sarah Webster of Richmond was one of 16 University of Dallas psychology majors to recently present a senior

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I thought this was clever word play: “Why did the cows return to the marijuana field?” “It was the pot calling the cattle back!”

rs Old ant 4 Yea tin Bry elhardt & Aus na Eng Y 2019 anda s: Am rett & Dia FEBRUAR Parent Gar arents: Grandp

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CONT

BY MARQUITA GRIFFIN

S Fulshear Living e FORT BEND eca n GrovWEST P d oo Greatw ant in Bry Benjam

13, 201

mgriffin@fbherald.com

n nn Jesse Mata: My mom [Olivia Mata] would always say, ‘It doesn’t matter how poor we are, that doesn’t mean you cannot be clean.’ She always made sure that when we went out to school, church, any outing, we were clean. She would make sure our hair was combed. you know in the farm, you’re dirty. But she would always tell us, ‘There’s no excuse to not be clean.’ She would also say, ‘always respect the elders. Whether you’re black, brown, white.’ In those days, that’s all that lived here. We grew up as a close-knit family. It was always her thing, be clean and respect your elders.

Fort Bend Journal

May

Rosenberg community leader died while defending homeland

SECOND

lication

Mayor Groff reflects present & shares on past, discusses vision for future

in a unique

CHILDREN'S SERIES

A publication

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Valentine’s Day Luncheon supports autism awareness

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281-342-4474 WWW.FBHERALD.COM FACEBOOK.COM/FORTBENDHERALD APRIL 2021 • SPRING HOME • PAGE15

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