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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Saturday, September 8, 2012







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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Saturday, September 8, 2012

How to design a bedroom that unleashes your child's creativity Many parents may be surprised to lea r n t hat, accord i ng to Harris research, children begin taking an interest in changing their rooms just after the age of 5, citing more space to hang out and play as the No. 1 wish for the space. The study also found that 71 percent of parents think t he design of a child’s room impacts creativity.

Friends. It’s also important to give children plent y of f loor space in which to play and get creative; this gives them their own personal space in which to spread out and use their imaginations to the fullest.”

In addition to inviting children to put their remodeling and rebuilding skills to the test using toys that encourage construc“We’ve seen how room design tion, Robert and Cortney Nocan unleash a child’s creativity vogratz offer these suggestions in our own family,” said Cortney for creating special rooms: Novogratz from HGTV’s Home • Give kids more space. Leave by Novogratz. as much f loor space open “For example, it’s important to f or pl a y i n g a nd h a n g i n g give children their own workout as possible. Center the space and play space filled with room with a soft rug and inmaterials designed to help exclude easy storage solutions. press their ideas in a productive and inspirational way, like arts The most ef fective storage and crafts supplies and conis easily accessible to kids, struction toys such as LEGO where they can pull it out, play

with their toys and be able to • Personalize with color and colput it back without any help. lections. Embrace bold colors The best storage solutions do and don’t forget to have fun not dominate the room but with it. Add more personalcleverly do the job w ithout ity and originality, and fosta k ing up too much space. ter a child’s pride by displaying his or her collections. Kids need room to build, paint, create and so on but they also Fun solutions for displaying colneed supplies to do that, so try lections include corkboards or to keep storage solutions simple. pin boards to display art; Lucite shelves and boxes to display col• Show children their ideas have lections; and simple cubed shelvvalue by including them in ing units that are cost effective the design decision-making and great for displaying models, process as much as possible, trophies and other things that letting them offer their ideas. kids gravitate toward. Bear in mind that boys and girls • Learn more at http://w w w. are equally interested in hav- or call ing a say in the design of their (800) 838-9647. Source: NAPSI rooms. If you make your children a part of the creation process, they may be more likely to take better care of their environment and their belongings.

Michael Weschler Photography

Fill your child’s playspace with materials that enable them to express their ideas in productive and inspirational ways, such as these fun, Lego-inspired furnishings, above.

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Saturday, September 8, 2012

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Update your furnishings: Don't be afraid of using pattern Many homeowners want to introduce pattern to their rooms but don't know where to start.

have the knack with color, they may shy away from pattern. Ind iv idua ls ca n t r ust t hei r instincts – they’re usually right. For those who have mastered pattern with their wardrobes, it’s time to try out some pattern in home design.

For example, place a largely patterned area rug on the floor. A n ot toma n may feat u re a medium-sized pattern.

Mix things up by alternating t hrow pi l lows in a f lora l or paisley print with subtle stripes. T h e y m a y w on d e r i f t w o However, make sure the texture pat ter n s match or how to Va r y i ng pat ter n si z e add s of t he fabrics match. Gauz y determine scale. It may take a dimension to a room. Not every curtains with heav y chenille little practice, but using pattern pattern should be the same size pillows may clash. is easier than one may think. and variety, otherwise things c a n look too matched a nd When selecting Nothing adds visual interest to staged. Try varying patterns of a room more than pattern and similar colors but experiment patterned items, color. While homeowners may with size.

choose similarly colored items.

This way even if t he fabrics or patterns aren’t exactly the sa me, t hey ’l l look cohesive through color. For a room to feel a bit more upbeat, consider complementary opposite colors.


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If you prefer a more restful atmosphere, try a palette of colors from the same family. Just vary the intensity of the shades. Homeowners who have gained some pattern confidence may want to strike out on their own to create a room that is unique. Those who still need a little help may want to consider taking the

path of designers before them. There are certain patterns and fabrics that have already been established as working together for certain design styles. Here are a few. • American Southwest:Navajo patterns are at the forefront of this design style and can be used on upholstery or pillows.


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Use a smaller-scale stripe on w indow t reat ments. Solidshaded throw pillows in a complementary color to the Navajo pattern will coordinate well.

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Saturday, September 8, 2012

checks, medium stripes on draperies or select crocheted va lences coordinate well. • 18th century: Lavish patterned fabrics in chintz or paisley featuring golds and robin’s egg blue are just some of the options for classic decorating. Indiv idua ls can experiment with patterns to make a room more personalized and less of a neutral blank page. If it proves difficult to come up w it h p at t er n s t h at work together, look at de sig n m a gazines or books for some inspiration. Source: Metro. For more inform a t i on a b ou t select i ng patterned furnishi n g s , v i s it or c a l l Ros s E nd icot t, ma nager at Endicott Home Furnishings LLC, 429 US Route 1 Unit #3, Scarborough or call him at 207883-3264. Read the blog at or condofurniture for even more furnishing ideas.

Complete large projects in stages By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer

the lighting? Write that down. Do you plan to paint the walls and cabinets? Write that down. Do you plan to replace the trim? When a large home improvement Write that down. Do you plan project looms, like adding a deck to add a backsplash? Write that or updating your kitchen or bathdown. Do you plan to change room, it can be overwhelming. out the countertops? Write that As you write out the supply list, down. Keep going until you have you may find yourself thinking every task listed. of all the other things you would rather be doing. If you aren’t care- Now, take that list and determine ful, those thoughts can take over what tasks should occur first. and the project moved to the back Painting, for example, should burner. To avoid this scenario, it probably come before the new may be helpful to look at the proj- trim, lighting, backsplash and ect as a series of stages. countertops. That way, you won't have to worry about spilling paint Say you’re updating your kitchen. on any of the new items. Once If you think about everything you everything is painted, you might have to do from the sanding to the want to tackle the trim – your painting to the lighting, you are walls and cabinets will then be sure to get overwhelmed and put complete. Next up should be the the kibosh on the whole thing. If, countertops. Once they’re in, you however, you take the time to sit can install the backsplash and down and stage out the process, the under-the-cabinet lighting. you are more likely to proceed with it. So, sit down and make a Still feeling overwhelmed? Not list of all the tasks that need to be to worry. Get out your calendar done. Do you plan to change out and schedule each of the tasks,

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back on track again. You don’t want to spend the next five years of your life work ing on your kitchen, or worse, stop work altogether and end up with a halffinished kitchen.

Motivation, of course, is half the battle. If walls getting painted and new lighting going up is not enough to keep you on track, don’t hesitate to try something else. Have some friends over to ooh and ah over what you have completed and cheer you on to the next stages, or treat yourself to a movie or dinner for each task Once you have the tasks sched- you complete. Do whatever is uled, you can start gathering needed to stay motivated. The the supplies and preparing for more progress you make, the the work ahead. It is important more disciplined you will bethat you have everything you come and the closer you will get need to complete each task. Mul- to the kitchen you envisioned. tiple trips to the store will slow progress considerably. It is also Attacking large home improveimportant that you commit to ment projects i n stages ca n the schedule and do your best make quick work of them. Give to stick to it. Veer off too many it a shot. You just might get the times or try to do too much at project done and be free for othonce, and you may never get er pursuits.

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Saturday, September 8, 2012



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giving yourself plenty of time to complete each. Don’t try to paint everything all in one day. It won’t happen. Give yourself a weekend to prep and paint the walls and an extra long weekend to tackle the cabinets. Work on one section of the cabinets at time. Do the lower cabinet bases one day, the upper cabinet bases the next and the cabinet doors the day after that. Wrap everything up on the final day with the installation of the doors and new hardware and whatever touchups may be needed.


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Your home’s exterior: Vinyl siding still a consumer favorite Vinyl siding is trusted by homeowners looking to add aesthetic appeal to their home’s exterior.

infiltrate, leading to a weaker product. Today there are vinyl siding products that have removed the seams, creating a more visually appealing and durable product.

Though vinyl siding may seem to be a cut-and-dry type of product, the vast array of vinyl siding colors and styles has created certain trends among consumers.

Vinyl shake siding

Vinyl components and history Made chief ly from poly vinyl chloride, or PVC, vinyl siding is the most commonly installed exterior cladding for residential construction in the United States and Canada, according to the Vinyl Siding Institute. The history of vinyl siding can be traced to Ohio, where it was introduced to the exterior cladding market in the late 1950s by a private company.

The process of mixing colors The process of mixing colors was done by hand, and the product was very inconsistent. New innovations in siding manufacture during the next few decades helped solidify vinyl siding’s place among cladding materials like shake, wood and aluminum. Vinyl siding comes in several different types. Here are the key variations.

Vinyl shake siding has been designed and colored to look just like real cedar shakes, but without the maintenance, such as powerwashing or staining, associated with a wood product. Vinyl shake siding offers the same benefits of other types of vinyl siding, but tends to look like it is an expensive cladding material.

Solid core vinyl siding Even the best-made vinyl siding had a flaw: it was not rigid and generally didn’t lie flat against the surface of a home. Solid core vinyl siding alleviates that problem by having a solid backing on which the vinyl panels are attached. The core is then attached to the home. These products also boast a higher-than-average insulation rating because the foam core interlocks during insulation. This makes a solid barrier around the home.

Vinyl log siding Log cabins may seem li ke a n adventure. However, being su r rou nded by wood c a n have it s d isadva nt ages, most

Seamless vinyl siding In the past, siding was created in specific lengths, requiring siding panels to overlap at points, often creating an unpleasant pattern. These points provided spots for insects, wind and moisture to

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Saturday, September 8, 2012

Factors in choosing a brick surface for home’s exterior By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer W hen it comes to choosing mater ia l s for you r home’s exterior, it pays to put some thought into it. After all, you will be living with the materials for a very long time. Numerous choices are available, from siding to stucco to stone to brick. There are pros and cons to each, but for some people, nothing but brick will do. It makes for a classic look and is nearly maintenance free. If this is how you feel, read on for some tips for selecting the right brick.

Consider your climate. Do you live in an area that receives a lot of rain? If so, you will need to select moisture-resistant brick. Check the weathering grade of the brick as well. Severe grades will hold up better during freezing and thawing and last longer in general.

Consider your budget. Consider the style of your home. How much can you afford to spend on brick? Brick comes in a wide range of prices depending upon appearance, size and manufacturing method. The smaller the area you have to cover, the more expensive brick you may be able to go for. Don’t forget to account for shipping charges. The farther away the supplier, the more expensive the shipping charges will be. Brick is not something you can change easily, so choose it carefully. Shop around, review all of your options, seek the advice of professionals and take extra care with color.

The brick you select should suit it. While white brick might work well on a modern ranch home, it might not work so well on a classic Georgian. The brick you choose should also complement your home’s features, including t he doors, w i ndow t r i m, shutters, fascia, gutters and any stonework. W hite bricks with white doors, shutters and trim might not create the look you were hoping for.

There are dozens of brick colors available, some more suitable for home styles than others. Choose the right brick color for your home and make sure the morConsider surface area. tar color complements it. While dark mortar may not show dirt, Is the area you intend to brick it is not always the best choice. rather large? If so, you might Again, seek the advice of profeswant to select a larger sized brick sionals for your color choices. that is manufactured locally. When chosen with care, a brick That way, you will save on costs exterior will not only look good and ensure there is enough brick but stand up to the elements for a to go around. long time to come.

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Saturday, September 8, 2012

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Bathroom renovations: You'll know when it's time to update yours Tap into the expertise of local builders “We had a green toilet, a green bat htub w it h gold f i x tures, and green sink to match,” said Patt i Gag ne of t he or ig ina l bat hroom in her circa-1968 home in Lewiston. As if that, in and of itself, was not reason enough to renovate, she added, “Our toilet broke! First, we replaced the toilet with an updated, bone-colored one, and then decided it was t i me to tea r apa r t t he old bat hroom and build one to match the new toilet.” This particular bathroom is the primary bathroom, on the main floor of the home, and so it saw a lot of use by the entire family and visitors alike. W it h pa nel i n g a nd s m a l l brow n, ta n a nd white t i les around the tub and sink, it was ver y da rk a nd ha rd to keep clea n. Gag ne wa nted something that was “lighter, updated, contemporar y and easy to care for.” A lt hough Gag ne’s response to the question: “Did you do the work yourself?” was “A big

By Dan Marois Feature Writer / Photographer

fat NO!” Gagne did the design work hersel f a nd ad m it ted to getting most of her ideas from HGTV. The most difficult moments involved shopping. “I hate shopping,” she said, but knobs, fixtures, and the mou nt a i n of ot her det a i ls needed to be conquered, so Gagne laced up her sneakers and soldiered on. Gagne hired Jim Timberlake, of Timberbuilt, to act as contractor. When the Timberbuilt crew ripped out the old bathroom, down to the studs, they found that the original construction was still in extremely good shape, and that there was no evidence of any mold, mildew, or other deterioration. The original bathroom also had a drop ceiling, “which made the demolition easier,” said Gagne.

Submitted photos

Before and after photos above: Jolly old Santa takes a look in the bathroom mirror pre-renovation. Although Santa’s happy with they way he looks, he’s not so happy about the look of the bathroom with its old green sink and tub. Note the outdated dark panelling on the walls and the drop-ceiling tiles. From dark and outdated (left photo) to light and contemporary (right photo), this homeowner can’t decide what feature of her new bathroom she likes best: the granite top, the tiled floor and walls, the French shower doors, or the toe-kick heater under the vanity. The homeowners decided to go with a freestanding toilet paper holder with a magazine rack base, below.

She selected her f looring at Floor Systems, with the tile installation on the floor and half way up the walls by Paul Sirois. Gagne found her vanity and countertop at Hammond Lumber and the mirror at Lowe’s.

from Redlon & Johnson, and t he l ig ht f i x t u re, a lt houg h it had to be sh ipped f rom over s e a s, w a s s ele c te d at Lighting Concepts.

T he bat h room f i x t u res, including the shower, shower doors, toilet and faucet came

Finishing touches, including “the do-dads on the countertop, the rug that gives the room a nice finished look,



and the trash can were purchased at Kohl’s," according to Gagne, and the window treatment was created by Gamache & Lessard. "From sta r t to f i n ish, i f you count the time that it took my l ig ht i ng f i x t u r e to c ome i n t he project la sted about f ive months," said Gagne.


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Gagne cannot decide if she likes the granite top, the tiled floor and walls, or the French shower doors the best, and she is very excited about having replaced the ugly t radit iona l baseboa rd heater with a “Toe Kick Heater” under the vanity.

As for the green fixtures that she ripped out of the original bathroom, “most of it has been thrown away.” However, if you’re in the market for a not- qu ite -v i nt a ge but delightfully tacky '60s style green sink and tub, stop by Gagne’s 1220 Lisbon Street office.

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W hile it was a dream-cometrue project for Simpson, there were a few cha l lenges. The f looring was uneven due to wea r-a nd-tea r t h roug h t he years and the space was huge – just about 16 by 20 feet.

“The space has a ver y high ceiling and I wanted to add a beam across the room,” said Simpson. “I also wanted to have kitchen cabinets staggered across the room instead of simply straight across.”


“Maybe it’s the matching trash ca n a nd maga zine rack/toilet paper holder [and the] window t reat ment a nd l ig ht f i x t u re,” s he s a id . “I l i k e t he e nt i r e project ... finished!”

“It absolutely does NOT match the rest of my house,” but that’s fine with Gagne. “W hat was impor ta nt was to make it no longer look like the rest of t he house. Now,” she added, “we have a bigger job to take on, but that won’t be for a long, long time!”

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Saturday, September 8, 2012

And while Simpson had an interior decorating background to guide her in designing her kitchen, she believes there are plenty of other resources available for home renovators. “Ask for advice from friends or relatives; people who have done similar projects,” suggested Simpson. “Visit local businesses that offer lighting, cabinets, and custom designs. You can learn a tremendous amount by tapping into their expertise.”



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W h i le her brot her-i n-law Simpson began by draw ing voiced concerns about the pla n s for t he projec t. She beam and staggered cabinets, happens to be a n i nter ior Simpson asked him to trust decorator who works primarily her design and proceed with it. on commercial spaces. Her plan for the kitchen would be her first “W hether the contractor is venture into residential design. a family member or not, you

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Ho w e v e r, w it h b ot h of t he Gagne children away at college and another full bath upstairs, a n d w i t h t h e e x c e p t i on o f a fe w moment s, Ga g ne a nd her husba nd were able to su r v ive t he dest r uc t ion a nd construction of their bathroom with relative ease.

It would take

should always stay true to the vision that you have for your project,” adv ised Si mpson. “Hold you r ow n to you r original design.”

The completed kitchen indeed has the cross beam across the creative vision room and staggered cabinets t hroughout. There’s a 5-byand good Roxa n ne Simpson, a nd her 8-foot kitchen island that has husband, Greg, designed and planning to a sink and electrical power, built their kitchen from f loor T he projec t took over fou r w it h cabi net s u nder neat h. to ceiling in a space where a convert the mont h s t o c om ple t e f r om One se c t ion of t he i sla nd kitchen never existed before. He r br ot h e r-i n-l a w, M a r k st a r t to f i n i sh . “Ma rk w a s a c c om m o d a t e s s t o o l s f or space into a Simpson, is a contractor who w o r k i n g o n t h e k i t c h e n leisurely dining. “We live in a large, old farmhas done lots of work in the b e t w e en ot her c ont r a c t e d modern day house that was part of Greg’s central Maine area and who jobs t hat he had under way,” While the only cost of the projfamily,” said Roxanne Simpagreed to take on the project at said Simpson. “My husband, ect was for materials, Simpson kitchen. son, who lives a stone’s throw Greg, wou ld do most of t he made wise budgeting decisions. the family home. from the Minot Country Store prep work to set things up for “I used laminate countertops Simpson has sound advice for in Minot. Simpson sa id t hat work ing Mark’s time onsite.” which were about half the cost of ot hers underta k ing a home with a contractor is definitely granite,” said Simpson. “Howev- renovation project. “If you want “We decided to create a kitchen a pa rt nership where ideas in a space that was formerly a a re somet i mes negot iated work room that connected to between the two parties. the barn.” THIS TIME “I picture things in scale,” said Simpson, who wasted litt le time in drawing every detail that she wanted incorporated into t he new k itchen. Eventually, she would find use for every bit of space available.

something to be a certain way, then be sure to do it that way unless it is something that you can’t afford,” said Simpson.


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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Saturday, September 8, 2012

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er, when it came to the lighting, I spent a bit more to get exactly what I wanted.”


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Change-up with the perfect coverup By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer

For better coverage, you will need to do some prep work. First up? A light sanding. Get some fine grit sandpaper and sand the edges of the stripes and stencils until smooth. This will help reduce the chance of the lines appearing later.

Your daughter isn’t a little girl anymore. She is growing up fast and deserves a room that ref lects her teen tastes. When your daughter was six, the yellow and white striped walls with daisies stenciled around the top in her bedroom were cute. Now that she is 16, those walls aren’t so cute anymore and need to go. Here are some tips to ensure you get good coverage.

Don’t go overboard on the sanding. You don't want to remove too much of the surface. When you have finished with the sanding and wiped down the walls, apply a good coat of stain-blocking primer.

While your first impulse might be to just slap several coats of hot pink over the stripes, that might not produce the best results. W hile seven layers of high-quality hot pink paint will certainly cover all the white and yellow, you might still be able to detect the lines of the stripes and stencils beneath the paint.

Give the primer ample time to dry before applying the paint. Two to three light coats of paint should be enough; however, with hot pinks and reds, you may need to apply further coats to get the saturation you want.


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Should you paint a wall and still see traces of the stripes and stencils underneath, you have a couple of options. You can apply a skim coat and then sand, prime and paint the walls. If the walls are textured, you can apply a new coat of texture to them. Either way, this will be a time-consuming process. Covering stripes and stencils is not always easy. Hopefully, the sanding and priming will suffice. If not, prepare to roll up your sleeves and put in some elbow grease.

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notably maintenance issues surrounding wood. Vinyl siding manufacturers have created vinyl log products molded directly from real lumber, prov iding a look that mimics real wood, like that used for a log cabin.

Popular trends As vinyl siding continues to be a favorite among homeowners, certain trends emerge each year. While rich-colored siding was a popular trend just last year, homeowners engaging in siding renovation products are now turning more to warm, earthy colors. Expect to see more gold, clay, and warm red shades with trim colors only one or two shades off, for a monochromatic effect.

Renewable materials Another trend involves a continued interest in renewable materials or siding comprised of some post-recycled consumer content. Energy conservation is also on the minds of consumers, and some areas of the country have modified building codes to require continuous insulation of home exteriors to prevent heat and cooling losses more effectively. As a result, more customers may opt for solid core vinyl siding to meet demands for home insulation.

One-of-a-kind look For homeowners who prefer a one-of-a-kind look to their homes, mix-and-match siding trends have developed. Mixing and matching siding styles can create instant curb appeal and an interesting backdrop for outdoor gardens and patios. Source: Metro

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Saturday, September 8, 2012

Wallpaper ideas: Something for everyone By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer

What’s one of the easiest, most inexpensive ways to change a room? Paint, right? While paint will do wonders in transforming a room, it is not the only option available. There’s wainscoting, tile, mirror, stone, brick and any number of other wallcovering options. There is also wallpaper. Wallpaper has made a comeback in recent years, and it’s not nearly as difficult to work with as it once was.

You will find peel-and-stick wallpaper at a number of retailers. If you’re not sold on the idea, the standard peelable and strippable wallpapers are still available and there are many colors, patterns and textures to choose from. Go into any store that carries wallpaper and you will find dozens of colors and patterns from muted florals to big, bold stripes and everything in-between. You will also find numerous textured wallpapers available from burlap to grasscloth. Colorwashing. Dragging. Rag rolling. Sponging. Stippling. You know all about the faux finishes you can create with paint, but did you know you can find wallpaper with those faux finishes?

Gone are the days when you had to spend hours apply ing Forget the work involved in painting a faux finish and shop wallpaper, wetting strip after strip and working hard to get every for wallpaper with the effect you want. Then apply it and get a strip just so the first time around. consistent faux finish around the room in a lot less time. Manufacturers are now producing peel-and-stick wallpaper that can be applied, repositioned and removed in a matter of minutes. That’s right. No more wasted wallpaper because you didn’t get it right the first time around. If the strip is crooked, simply peel it off the wall and try again. No more scrapers or steamers either. When you are ready to change the look of the room, simply peel off the wallpaper and do whatever you want to the damage-free walls. Damage-free walls? Yep, the peel-and-stick wallpaper is not only easy to apply and remove, but it is breathable. You don’t have to use a scraper to remove it and you don’t have to worry about moisture getting trapped behind it and leaving traces of mildew for you to scrub off. Your walls will look the way they did before you applied the wallpaper to them.

Looking for flair? Try metallic wallpaper. The iridescent inks in the paper will add a touch of shimmer and drama to any room. Metallic wallpapers come in various textures and colors from copper and bronze to silver and gold. If you’ve got the budget, you might also want to look into glass-beaded wallpapers. These can be rather expensive, but will create the dramatic effect you’re looking for. Wall murals and decals are another option. These depict various personalities, scenes, themes and more. When it comes to wallpaper, there’s something for everyone. If it’s time to redo a room in your home, don’t overlook the value of wallpaper. Even if you use it just on the wall above your fireplace or on the backside of your bookshelves, it will add interest to the room.

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Saturday, September 8, 2012


Hints for homeowners: Add value to your home When you want to add value to your home, a few easy remodeling tips can help you get the most out of the money you spend on renovations.

Did you know?

• An updated kitchen—Great rooms are becoming more popular, so consider joining the dining room with the kitchen to get added living space in the room that is used most often. This change can improve a home’s appeal entirely.

According to Remodeling magazine’s 2011-2012 “Cost Vs. Value Report,” replacement projects perform better in resale value than other types of remodeling projects. Siding-, window- and door-replacement projects all recoup between 69 and 78 percent of their initial costs.

• Storage space—A stuffy old attic or basement that hasn’t been cleaned out in years is a waste of valuable space. Start by clearing out your storage areas and organizing their contents. • Window shutters—One of the best ways to add value is at the window. The refreshed, fashionable Palm Beach polysatin shutters with the DuraLux finish by Hunter Douglas are virtually indistinguishable from finely painted ones – making these shutters an excellent investment choice for your home.

Replacement projects perhaps recoup so much value because, with the exception of roofing projects, each of the projects examined in the report are priced at less than $19,000. Replacement projects also tend to rely heavily on durable, low-maintenance products, reducing the overall cost of the project while helping owners eventua lly regain more of t heir investment. In addition, replacement projects are known to instantly increase curb appeal, helping homeowners make a strong first impression with prospective buyers. Source: Metro

• Modern bathrooms—Updating simple fixtures, such as a faucet or sink, or adding a bath, will significantly increase value as well as add style. For more information, visit online at or call 800-274-2985. Source: NAPSI

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Saturday, September 8, 2012

Advantages of two-stage heating systems furnaces are designed to change the way British Thermal Units (BTUs) of heat are delivered to the home.

Purchasing a new heating and cool ing system cou ld be i n you r f ut u re. S e le c t i n g t h e right f urnace for your home requ i res u ndersta nd i ng t he va r ious product s ava i lable. A t wo-stage heat i ng system is prefer red by ma ny H VAC contractors and could be the right fit in your renovation.

the space. On mild winter days or chilly autumn days, the first stage may be all that’s needed.

If the home requires additional In a single-stage system, when heating, the furnace will kick the thermostat registers a drop into the second stage, increasin home temperature that re- ing the heating power. Some quires the heat to turn on, the two-stage furnaces not only offurnace will produce one level fer two BTU offerings, but two of heat output until the desired blower speeds as well. One of the Choosing a new furnace and temperature is reached. A sin- advantages to these furnaces heating components can be gle-stage furnace is designed to are that the two-stage system difficult. The business has its heat your home on the coldest eliminates drastic temperature own terminology, and there are days for your climate. In a two- sw i ngs, wh ich a re com mon scores of different equipment stage system, the furnace pro- among single-stage furnaces. This can mean the home is more ma nu fact urers a l l cla iming vides gradual heat production. comfortable over a longer pethat their brand is the best. Buying a new heating system is also In the first stage, which usually riod of time. Another benefit is expensive, making the process operates at around 70 percent that because the system starts more stressful. Not everyone of the system’s heating capac- in the lower stage and may ophas an unlimited budget or the ity, the system will try to warm erate at that stage more so than ability to simply select the topof-the-line model. Therefore, For all the latest news and conversation understanding which features from Western and Central Maine... make one furnace stand out from another can help consumers make the best possible decision. “Like” us on One factor that w ill come up as you browse for furnaces is whet her to choose a sing lestage furnace or a two- or dua l-staged f urnace. There are many advantages to the latter, which makes them a favorite of HVAC contractors. Two-stage


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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Saturday, September 8, 2012

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At the top of the house: Gutter gunk be gone By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer

remove all of the debris that has collected inside the gutter. Toss it into your bucket and continue moving down the length of the Every autumn as the last leaves gutter until all is clear. beg i n to fa l l, t housa nds of homeowners take time out of Depending upon t he nature their busy schedules to clean out of the debris, you may need a the gunk from their gutters. few more tools. If the debris is mostly dried leaves, you may Those long, aluminum troughs be able to use a leaf blower to a long your roof line and t he remove it. If you have a lot of downspouts they connect to are mud, you might need a trowel to essential for keeping rainwater scrape it up. Just be careful that moving away from your house you don’t damage the gutter. a nd prevent i ng a l l sor ts of water-related issues.

doesn’t work, you may need to remove one section of the downspout at a time until you resolve the clog.

Fortunately, cleaning gutters is not hard. All you need are a good pair of gloves, a gutter scoop, a bucket, a ladder and a garden hose. Set up the ladder so that you can see into the gutter running along your roofline.

Once the gutter is clear, you will need to ensure the downspouts are clear. To do this, connect the hose to a spigot, turn on the water and fill the gutter with water. Watch the downspout.

Make sure you set the ladder aga i nst t he house, not t he g utter, as it won’t be strong enough to support the weight. T hen, u si ng you r scoop,

If it is clear, the water should run through it and into your yard. If it is plugged, try running a hanger or a plumbing snake up it to dislodge the clog. If that

Water can pool in the gutters, providing the perfect breeding g rou nds for r ust, mold a nd insects. As the debris builds up, it can cause the gutters to sag, which can allow the water to overf low down onto the house and into the foundation.

Downspouts, too

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Ba sic a l ly a lu m i nu m pipes, downspouts generally do not get as dirty as gutters. All kinds of debris can fall into the troughlike gutters from dead insects to dried-out leaves. It i s i m p o r t a n t t h a t y o u clean them regularly to keep t he cha n nels clea r a nd t he rainwater moving. If you don’t, all sorts of problems can arise.

Over time, t his can damage t he sid i ng, w i ndows a nd foundation. It can also cause roof rot. If left unchecked long

enough, the gutters may rust out and fall, pulling the downspouts away with them. They may not look like much, but gutters and dow nspouts do a lot to keep your home in good condition. Don’t leave the cleaning of them to chance.

Hire a professional Take time out to do it yourself or hire a professional. Inexpensive g ut ter g ua rds a re ava i lable which you can install yourself to reduce the amount of debris that gets into your gutters and minimize cleanings. If budget permits, you might also want to look into having some t y pe of g ut ter g ua rd system i nsta l led, especia l ly i f you l ive i n a home w it h multiple stories. This will keep your g utters clea n a nd your feet on the ground for a long time to come.

If the debris is mostly dried leaves, you may be able to use a leaf blower to remove it.


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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Saturday, September 8, 2012

How to select the right carpeting for your home

store. You can shop around to find a separate installer or even do the work yourself. Carpeting can make a fine addition to your home and make it feel more comfortable and inviting. Remember to take your time when selecting carpeting, as your decision will have Although many people may tout the benefits of hardwood flooring footprints and also vacuum tracks and dirt. Berber, meanwhile, is long-lasting effects. Source: Metro over carpeting, there are plenty of individuals who like to have the more flat and dense, making it highly effective at masking stains soft and luxurious feeling of carpeting underfoot. Selecting the right and tracks. Textured carpets like frieze are cut from fibers of carpeting for a particular room and purpose can be a bit daunting different heights, so they mask stains and are also softer on the feet than berbers. because of the abundance of available colors and materials.

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According to the Carpet and Rug Institute, carpeting is an added safety measure that makes play areas safer, potentially lessening the severity of an injury in the event of a fall. This is why carpeting is often preferred in children’s rooms and play areas. There are other advantages to carpeting as well. It can help insulate rooms both in the summer and winter. It can be easier on feet than a hard floor, and few materials absorb sound better than carpet.

An entry way or a den may be better off carpeted in a dense carpeting, while a bedroom may be fine and luxurious with plush carpeting. Carpeting may come in stain-resistant varieties or lowmaintenance options. These are generally best in homes with pets and children. However, you may be able to save money by opting out of special treatments to resist stains and simply invest in a steam vacuum, instead.

Choosing the right carpeting for a room comes down to identifying Choose color wisely. Choosing a color comes down to preference the kind of foot traffic you expect in your home and which carpet- and how much the room will be used. Although light, neutral colors are often preferred because they work well in just about any room, ing options most suit your needs. Here are some tips to get started. lighter colored carpets will show stains much more easily than Don’t overlook padding. Padding can make the difference in the other carpet colors. Textured, multi-colored carpets are preferable way carpeting feels and how long it lasts. The thickest or most to hide stains and can look just as elegant as solid-colored carpeting. expensive padding isn’t necessarily the best or the best-suited for Much in the way paint colors are chosen, carpeting colors come your home. However, it is wise to pick a pad that matches the type down to personal preference. Drama may be created with bold of carpeting you’re selecting. You may be able to go with a thinner colors that draw the eye to the carpet. However, for those who want pad in low-traffic rooms and under dense carpeting like berber. In the carpet to fade into the background instead of upstaging decor, high-traffic rooms, choose thicker, more durable padding. Padding neutral colors are better. prevents carpet backing and fibers from coming apart over a duration of time, so if you’re spending a lot on the carpet, it pays to Hire a good installer. There are many beautiful carpets available, but unless you choose a reliable installer and store, you may end up invest in a padding that will last the duration of the carpet as well. paying more or receiving subpar service. Poll friends and family Recognize the type of carpeting that best suits your needs. There members for recommendations to help you narrow down options. are many different types of carpeting, and they won’t all be the Then be sure to have stores price out materials separate from perfect match for your home. For example, plush and saxony installation so you can make more accurate comparisons. Also, you carpets are better in low-traffic areas. These carpets may show don’t necessarily need to use an installer provided by the carpet

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Saturday, September 8, 2012

Pet parents may resign themselves to the fact that hardwood floors aren’t practical. But that doesn’t have to be the case. It’s possible to have and maintain hardwood floors and still enable pooches to enjoy rooms with wood floors. Keep dogs’ nails trimmed short so that they do not scratch or scuff wood floors. Dogs that tend to grow long fur between the pads of their feet may need to have that fur trimmed as short as possible. This will help improve the traction the dog will have when walking on the wood floors. If dog bowls are kept on the floor, use a mat that will protect against spills, drips and slobber. Something that will not allow moisture to bleed through onto the floor is ideal, as is a mat that will contain spills. Place runners in high-traffic areas so that the dogs have an easier time of walking from room to room. Clean the bottom of paws when the dog comes inside from the yard so that dirt won’t mar or ruin the floors. Choose distressed-looking floors, so if scratches resulting from dogs’ nails do occur, it will blend in with the flooring and not stick out like a sore thumb. Ask to have a thick layer of clear-coating applied to the f loors to further protect them. Do not encourage doggie horseplay on the wood floors, even if it is humorous watching the pooch slide around and try to get footing. Consider a f loor wax product to improve a dogs’ traction on the floors and reduce their propensity to claw-in to get a good grip. Source: Metro

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Make your cabinets look new By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer Are your cabinets stained or painted? If they are stained, take a good look at the finish. Is it in relatively good condition? If so and you like the color, leave it be and give the cabinets a good cleaning. See a little bit of damage or want to spice things up? Add a glaze on top of the finish. Don’t like the color at all but like the look of stain? Sand them down and apply a different color of varnish. Keep in mind that this last step will involve some work.

replacing them. Many stores carry new cabinet doors for less than you might think. Of course, you will need a certain size of Paint is another option and can door, and if it is not standard do wonders in transforming size, you might have to custom the look of kitchen cabinets. order new doors, which could There are numerous colors and increase the cost. Depending sheens available, and many faux upon your budget, you may even finishing techniques to boot. be able to have the new doors You can turn a tired cabinet into stained or painted at the factory, an instant work of art with just saving you even more time and a few quarts of paint and some money. Once they come in, all specialty brushes. Read up on you’ll have to do is install them. the various techniques, consult some color g uides a nd g ive If your cabinets are rather plain, paint a whirl. you can dress them up w ith trim. Many types are available If the finish on your cabinet from crow n molding for t he doors is in such poor condition cabinet tops to rope molding that new stain or paint won’t for the cabinet door fronts to help, you might want to consider chu n k y ba seboa rds for t he cabinet bases. Shop around and find out what will work best for your situation.

Depending upon what you select, you could install it in a day or so. All you need to do is cut the pieces to size and adhere them to the cabinets with glue or nails. Paint or stain them beforehand, and all you will have to do is fill in any nail holes and paint or stain them to match. Got a special collection of plates, teapots, pitchers or glassware you would really like to showcase? Select a cabinet to put them in, remove the doors and have the inserts replaced with glass. Don’t have anything to display but like the look of glass? Opt for frosted glass in a few of your cabinet doors. Rather not have glass? Consider using chicken wire or remove t he doors completely for a n open shelved look. You can wall-

paper or paint the cabinet interior and shelves to make your collection really pop. Not into the open look? Leave the inserts alone and apply some wallpaper or metallic sheeting to them. Or go ahead and remove the doors and hang up a curtain. Not hing can update k itchen c a bi ne t r y mor e t h a n ne w hardware. There are so many st yles to choose f rom i n a number of f inishes ra ng ing f rom bu r n i she d bron z e to polished chrome to iron black. You can also shop flea markets and antique shops for antique handles and pulls. To create less work, consider purchasing the same size of handles and pulls. That way, you can use the existing holes and won’t have to make new holes and fill in the old ones.

New kitchen cabinetry is not always an option for homeowners. Fortunately, there are many less inexpensive ways to give your old cabinets a fresh look. If your cabinets are rather plain, you can dress them up with trim.

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� Power Max

• Ideal for large areas/heavy snowfalls • Power Max Auger System • Powerful Briggs & Stratton engine • Quick Stick Chute Control


SEPTEMBER 1 - 30, 2012 *Any Room One Price shown above is available on a room size up to 180 sq/ft (12’x15’ room) on qualifying styles. Material only excluding, carpet pad, trim, underlayment and installation. Up to a 5'x8' area rug. Limited styles available. Final sales prices determined by retailer. For details, contact your local HGTV HOME Flooring by Shaw retailer. ©2012 Shaw. HGTV HOME is a trademark of Scripps Networks, LLC used under license to Shaw Industries, Inc.

Carpet I Area Rugs I Hardwood I Laminate I

24-Month Financing AVAILABLE. Subject to credit approval. See store for details.

1334 MINOT AVE., AUBURN • 783-0558

Hours: Mon.,Wed., Fri. 7am-6pm Tues. & Thurs. 7am-5pm Sat. 8am-1pm


Tuesday-Friday 10am - 6pm Monday - Friday 8am - 8pm Saturday 9am - 4pm Sunday & Monday Closed


89 Lisbon St • Lisbon • 207-353-6690

See dealer or ( for Canadian residents) for warranty details.Product availability, pricing & special promotions are subject to dealeroption. 16840


Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fall Home Improvement 2012