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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Sunday, September 11, 2011


Mirror, mirror on the wall

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By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer

Most people familiar with interior design know the value of mirrors.

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When placed right, they can make a room appear larger and lighter than it really is. A mirror placed across from a window in a small, narrow room, for example, can open it up. Mirrors can be used in other ways to play up the features of a room.





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The size and shape of mirrors might dictate their use. An assortment of round mirrors in various sizes on a wall might make for quite an impressive display, whereas a series of long, narrow mirrors on a wall might elongate it. W hen turned hor i zonta l ly, t hose sa me long, narrow mirrors might make the wall appear wider.

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Desig ners employ a l l k i nds of t e c h n i q u e s w i t h m i r r or s . Sometimes, t hey angle mirrors tow a rd each to brea k up t he ref lection and allow for a unique mosaic affect. Other times, they arrange them in a specific order for a comforting repetitious effect.

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Mirrors can be used to disguise f laws a nd hig h lig ht objects as well. Dresser top scratched? No problem. Have a piece of mirror cut to fit it, and voila, you’ve got a great place to store all of those crystal per f ume bott les. The mirrored top w i l l ref lect l ig ht onto t he crystal, creating a dazzling effect. Bookshelves seem a little drab? Not with mirrored backs. Hang or glue some mirrors to the backs of your bookshelves for depth and whatever you have tucked inside will come alive. Mirrors do not have to be new or in perfect condition to create an interesting effect. Distressed mirrors work great in many design styles from Old World to country cottage, while convex mirrors can add interest to more modern rooms. Mirrors can do wonders for any decor. Just ma ke sure you use them appropriately. Remember, mirrors reflect, so be careful of their placement. Don’t hang one across from something you’d rather people not notice, like the litter box or coat closet. Watch out for glare as well. While a mirror placed across from your picture window might bounce back a lot of light, it might also create glare on the TV screen.

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Most homes have at least one mirror. Don’t hang a mirror across from something you would rather people not notice, like the litter box or coat closet.



Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hidden technology features in your home T

h roug hout most home s, t he r e a r e a nu m b e r of technological features built into products you probably use daily that could make lives easier ... if only you knew they existed. For e x a m p l e , s m a r t k i t c h e n appl ia nces let you con nect to the Internet to download recipes and create a grocer y list that’s accessible from a mobile device while shopping. Many newer model microwaves even have a message center for family reminders. Furthermore, with 75 percent of cable customers now enjoy ing d ig ita l ser v ices, t he home entertainment room may be wall to wall with innovation. Many customers can now use a smartphone or laptop to set the DV R from any where. Once t he app (often free) is downloaded, it’s

simply a matter of entering in the show title and clicking “record.” Digital cable customers can also rent the hottest new movies with a push of the remote button. Mov ies On Dema nd prov ides instant access to top hits, most available the same day as the DVD and Blu-Ray releases and often weeks before they’re on Netflix. Great f licks being offered these d ay s on Mov ie s O n D em a nd i nclude t he “Sou rce Code” sta rring Ja ke Gyl len haa l, “The Lincoln Law yer” w ith Matthew McConaughey and Marisa Tomei, “Arthur” with Russell Brand and “Limit less” sta rring Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper. W hen you’re ready to enjoy a little family fun, you can watch Johnny Depp as he entertains in “Rango.” To make it a double family feature,

add t he i nspi rat iona l stor y of “The Perfect Game.” Go to w w w. to see the latest titles and trailers. If that still doesn’t satisfy your inner geek, there are new iPad, Xoom and other tablet apps that provide instant in-home access to a friendly, searchable program guide. Wit h one tap on a Mov ies On Demand poster image, you can have the film rolling on the big screen in the living room. Plus, a growing nu mber of st ud ios a nd cable networks have created apps that add social and interactive dimensions to the TV viewing experience. It ta kes on ly a few minutes to d iscover t he conven ience a nd fun of technolog y features that may already be available in your home and on your mobile device. – Courtesy of NAPSI.

New app shows how to lighten up Picture this: your home bathed i n nat u r a l, a l l-enc ompa s si ng daylight, courtesy of skylights. Now you can picture it with the help of a new interactive app for personal devices including iPhones, iPads, iPods and Androids. Just go to and enter “planner” to download the free app. Then you just snap photos of your rooms and click through the app to see how different skylights

make a dramatic difference. You can locate nearby installers, get product infor mat ion a nd even e-mail your pictures. Among the places to consider insta lling a skylight are: • T he bat hroom : Accord i ng to American Standard, homeowners say t he No. 1 opt ion for t he ultimate dream bathroom would be a skylight.

• A c h i l d ’s r o o m : S t u d e n t s perform significantly better in environments that are lit with natural light. • A n o l d e r p e r s o n ’s r o o m : Resea rchers McFa rla nd a nd Fisher repor t t hat to accommodate the aging eye, the amount of light required doubles every 13 years after age 20.

By deploying your most basic techie skills, you may be able to enhance your life and take advantage of fun and useful features you may not even know are available to you at home. A growing number of studios and cable networks have created apps that add social and interactive dimensions to the TV viewing experience.

• T he kitchen: This crucial space should be as comfortable and f u nc t iona l a s possible, w it h natural light and ventilation being the key elements. The company offers ENERGY-STAR qualified No-Leak Skylights with many energy-saving features. For gov er n ment i n for m at ion on window and skylight energ y efficiency, visit w w w.energystar. gov. For sk yl ig ht select ion or i nsta l lat ion i n for mat ion, v isit – Courtesy of NAPSI.

An interactive app demonstrates the practical effects of having a skylight in interior rooms.

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

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Buying imports versus buying ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ By Ross Endicott Endicott Home Furnishings

You bought a cheeseburger from China?

“It was cheaper,” you say, “plus, money’s tight.” If you’d thought about it carefully, however, you might have spent a litt le more money after deciding what you rea l ly ca re about, a nd got ten something that is not only better for you, but a better choice for yourself (and the countr y, which is also pretty important).

B et t er fo o d g i v e s y ou r b o d y more of what it needs (stuff your body can easily break down and digest) and less of what it doesn’t (pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, preser vatives). Better furniture of fer s bet ter opt ion s ( bet ter, more susta i nably ha r vested raw mater ia l s, more rec ycled a nd repur posed inputs, timely t u r n-a rou nd, si z e a nd f i n i sh options you can’t get from massproduction offshore). It also offers less unpleasant results (products a re bet ter con st r uc ted, made from safer materials, made in safe work i ng cond it ions by people earning a living wage, last longer, come in finishes that are easy to f i x w ith good qua lit y touch up materials, and backed up by people here in this country that are very proud of their work and interested in your satisfaction).

orders trick le in) a nd comes to you in weeks, not months.

By buy i ng food f rom loca l producers, you are more likely to get freshly made products instead of somet h i ng made mont hs e a r l i e r, w h i c h h a s t r a v e l l e d halfway around the world; better furniture is built one piece at a t ime, to order, not pu lled f rom pieces that were made months or years ago, collecting dust as the

If you think you can’t find good quality American furniture for a good and reasonable price, you’re either not serious about supporting American manufacturing, or you’re just not looking hard enough.

W hy, t hen, buy your f urniture from a country on the other side of the planet, made by people who are not accountable to your safety or value? Most people don’t pause to t hink about how t hings a re made, but if they did, the decision would be much clearer – you buy something cheap and risk having to replace it soon, perhaps while exposing yourself to chemicals and unknown elements, or you spend a little more for a choice that will have longer lasting benefits, made from better “ingredients” whose provenance is no mystery. Seen from a w ider perspective, cheaper often adds up to be more expensive both to your wallet and the planet. For f un, look at how food a nd furniture are similar in a few ways:

Buying food or furniture locally m e a n s m or e of y ou r m on e y rema ins in t he loca l economy, keeping capable people employed i n t r ade s v it a l to a he a lt hy, functioning society. L es s tox ic c ompou nd s i n t he production of food or of furniture ma ke for product s you ca n enjoy w it h a clea r conscience, knowing that your dollars are not supporting industr y that harms the environment. Buy ing f rom a n impor ter w it h headquarters overseas buys you l it t le ac c ou nt a bi l it y a nd fe w opt ions when somet h i ng goes wrong. Replacements are usually cheaper than repairs, leading to more waste in our environment.

You may be surprised to find more A merica n made products t ha n ever, as domestic furniture makers find new ways to bring quality and affordability to retailers. Retailers themselves are in a tough situation t hese days, as t hei r ident it ies become tied to their inventory and service quality.

P r ice a nd ser v ice ex ist i n a n inverse relationship; usually better furniture is a bit more expensive, but the folks selling it know plenty about it to explain what makes that difference worth paying for. From how the furniture is displayed, you can usually get a sense whether: 1. O f f e r i n g b e t t e r q u a l i t y , A mer ic a n-made produc t s i s an important business focus, because the store can best deliver what a customer needs using local suppliers. 2. T h e o w n e r s /m a n a g e r s a r e t r y i ng to ba la nce of fer i ngs of dome s t ic a nd i m p or t e d merchandise, perhaps hoping to mask the lower import quality by associating it with products made in t he USA. (This t y pe of store can only benef it t he consumer prov ided t he sa les staff is forthright, explaining why similar looking items are priced very differently.) 3. D  iscounts rule, and service is illusory (there’s not much of a future in the race to the bottom – such store s a re not sel l i ng furniture, but taking your money in exchange for something that appears to be furniture for a little while, then starts looking distinctly like landfill far too soon, ma k i ng you w ish you had your $299 back). Warranty and return policy information usually confirm that this kind of

operation is price focused, not quality focused. These days there are many opinions about how to fix our economy, with all but the most cutthroat profiteers agreeing on one point: we need to support our factories and workers here in this country. Buying American has never been more important than it is now, and will be for years to come. If you put thought into what you really need and shop for it as seriously as you do a new cell phone or car, you will not likely settle for inferior products, features, or warranties. Even w it h low ex pectat ions of quality, you rarely get your money’s worth when you buy inexpensive furniture. More often than not, you do get good value, extended service offerings, accountability, prideful construction, safe and repairable furniture when you shop mindfully and buy American. Being willing to pay a little more for better quality American goods may even result in the unimaginable: you might get more than what you expected. For mor e i n for m at ion a b out American-made furnishings, call Ross Endicott at 883-3264or visit Endicott Home Furnishings at 429 US Route 1 Unit #3.

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

Heating your home: Get warm and cozy with a fireplace You love the look and feel of fireplaces, but you’ve never had the privilege of owning a home with one.

By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer W hen shopping for a fireplace, you must determine first where it will go and what you want from it. Fortunately for you, there are several models now on the market that can be installed easily. If you’re looking for a fireplace that puts out heat, you must find one that fits the size of the room. Too small of one won’t put out enough heat, while too big of one will overheat the room. There are two type of gas fireplaces that can be installed easily: directvent a nd no-vent. Di rect-vent fireplaces are self-contained and require no foundation. They are vented out of the nearest sidewall. Vent-free f ireplaces require no venting and put out a huge amount of heat, making them more suitable for large spaces. They also produce a lot of moisture. Both require a source of natural gas or propane. If you would prefer not to bother with a fuel source, you may look at electric fireplaces. These do not burn, but they do provide the illusion of crackling flames. Some models a lso come w it h space heaters to help heat the room. If these options do not appeal to you and you prefer a traditional f i replace, you may check i nto having one installed. This will be easier if you are adding on to your home, of course. Either way, it will cost you, and you will have to determine whether you want a gas or a wood fireplace. Gas burns cleaner. Wood, however, is more authentic and produces a sweet scent and a crackling sound. Ma ny A mer ic a n home ow ner s think their chimneys only need to be cleaned and inspected if they burn wood in their fireplaces or wood stoves. But almost all heating appliances, whether they burn gas,

oil, wood or coal, rely on the chimney to safely carry toxic gases produced by the heating system of the house. A carbon monoxide detector can wa rn homeow ners of potentia l poisoning after the deadly gas has already entered the living area, but an annual chimney check can help prevent carbon monox ide from entering the home in the first place.

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

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Bring your home entertainment system up to speed


he next time your family sits down to watch a DVD, consider the new generation of Blu-ray Disc players that are dramatically upping the ante of the home entertainment experience.

pict u re a nd sou nd. It’s qu ite si mply t he best pict u re w it h terrific sound. • You ca n even st rea m photos and videos from other cameras a nd w i reless dev ices a rou nd the house. Some newer models feature integ rated Sk y pe a nd v oic e c a l l i ng. A nd ju st l i ke smartphones, these players allow the user access to an app store.

P r ices have never been more a f fordable, w it h some models st a r t i ng at less t ha n $10 0 to ex perience t he highest-qua lit y pict u re a nd sou nd ex per ience outside of a movie theater. But it’s the versatility and sheer power of the new generation of Blu-ray players that are turning homes into motion picture havens. Consider the following: • B lu-ray players w ill play your existing DVDs, so you can enjoy exploring the wonders of Blu-ray while also enjoying the discs you already own. • B lu-ray players a re bu i lt for wireless streaming and Internet capabilities. In a matter of clicks, you can catch the newest viral sensation on YouTube, check out

Today’s affordable entertainment technology can turn your TV into a high-quality home theater experience. Netf lix and Hulu Plus, listen to Pandora and more. • Blu-ray turns your HDTV into the most that it can be and lets you enjoy true 1080p picture quality. • T he s e a l l-i nc lu si v e fe at u r e s turn home viewing into a truly

• W it h Home 3-D becom i ng a reality, the Blu-ray player is the dev ice of choice to enjoy t he “magic” of today’s films on an HDTV system.

i nterac t ive ex per ience. W it h t hese players, it’s a ci nch to quick ly dow nload t he likes of additional bonus material and new movie trailers.

With such exciting films as “Pirates of t he Ca ribbea n: On Stra nger Tides,” “Fast Five,” “The Hangover Part II” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” coming to Blu-ray, a Blu-ray system can be an excellent way to capture that high-quality, theaterlike feeling at home.

• Blu-ray Discs can hold about six times more data than a regular DVD, making them capable of the most impressive high definition

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You r c enter cha n nel spe a ker should be the first speaker you place in your home theater room. Bec au se you r center cha n nel speaker’s job is to anchor dialogue and other on-screen sounds to the screen, its position depends upon where you put your TV. • P l a c e y o u r c e n t e r c h a n n e l directly above or below your TV — centered, if possible. • I f it’s atop your TV, make sure the speaker’s front edge is precisely aligned with the front edge of your TV screen. This reduces distortion caused by sound ref lecting and diffracting off the TV’s cabinet. • If possible, the height of the center channel speaker’s tweeter should be close to the height of your front spea kers’ t weeters — idea l ly, within about 24” or less. • You r center cha n nel spea ker shou ld be precisely t he sa me d ista nce f rom you r l isten i ng position as your front left and right speakers.

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Your front speakers pull double duty: along with handling movie soundtracks, they’re responsible for reproducing all of the sound when you listen to stereo music. This makes their position relative to your listening position especially important. You r home t heater’s su r rou nd speakers are meant to envelop you in a cloud of atmospheric sound and special effects, so you feel like you’re actually in the middle of your movie, TV show, or video game. It’s important to note that surround spea ker placement is one area where positioning may va r y w idely. A n approach t hat works well for a friend or neighbor may not even be possible for you, given the shape and layout of your home theater room. Feel free to experiment — what matters most is how it sounds to you. A powered subwoofer delivers crucial impact in a home theater system, but is one of t he least demanding speakers to position. Since low bass frequencies are omnidirectional, you can usually place your subwoofer just about any where in your home theater room with good results. For more information, visit

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

Your privacy: Multiple fencing options can give yout that By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer


ou have lived in your home for quite some t ime now, and for the most part, you enjoy it. It is warm and cozy with enough space for ever yone and ever ything. You like the yard as well; there is one little problem with it, however. There is no fence so there is no privacy. You could build a fence or have one installed. Either way, you will need to select the right material for the job. Fences come in all types of materials. Some of the more common ones include: • B amboo. This durable material makes a great choice for the ecoconscious. It can be grown in just six months, is extremely tough and requires no maintenance. • C o m p o s i t e . T h i s s t r o n g mater ia l look s l i ke wood, but holds up even better. It comes i n a w ide ra nge of colors a nd requires no maintenance. • M et a l . T h i s m at er i a l of fer s ma ny opt ions f rom i nt r icate ornamental iron fences to simple cha i n l i n k fences. It is ver y durable but requires extra care to prevent corrosion. • S tone. This attractive material is very durable but can be labor intensive. The stone can be dry stacked or set in mortar; mortar will take longer but will make for a stronger fence.

• V inyl. This material is also very durable and requires very little maintenance. The selection of colors is limited, however, and generally the higher the quality of the vinyl, the more the fence will cost. • W ood. T h i s m ater i a l m a ke s an excellent choice for a fence be c au se of it s du r abi l it y. I f treated, most types of wood will last an average of seven to 10 years beyond their normal life expectancy. Like meta l, wood fences require some maintenance to keep them in good condition. In addition to a material, you will have to select a fence design. If privacy is your ma in objective, you might want a privacy fence. Check loca l ordina nces f irst to find out what regulations are in place on fencing.

fences have boards spaced farther apart. While privacy may be your main objective in your backyard, you might want something a little different in your front yard. You might want a farm fence or a classic cottage picket-style fence. You might want a wider slat fence or a purely decorative fence for visual appeal. Along with design, you will want to select a style of fence. This can range from gothic to flat and should suit your persona l preferences as well as the style of your home. You may li ke t he got hic st yle, but it might not work with your contemporary house. W hen selecting a fence, do your homework and learn everything you can. You will be investing a lot of time and money in the project, so you want to do it right.

Trad it iona l pr ivac y fences a re six feet high with four-inch wide boards spaced less than an eighth of a n inch apa r t. Semi-privacy

When selecting a fence, do your homework and learn everything you can about fences prior to making your purchase.

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

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Selecting the right roofing involves aesthetics, cost and more


het her building a new home or remodel i ng , select ing t he r ig ht roof i ng i nvolves more t ha n aesthetics and cost. Factors such as building codes, climate and how long you intend to stay in t he home ca n a f fect decisions about material, weather-impact resista nce, wa rra nt y a nd sola r ref lective capabilit y. The good news is there are now more roofing shingle options than ever before and curb appeal doesn’t have to take a backseat to functionality. Here’s a look at a few: • Strip shingles—the original, the most basic and most lightweight of roof ing shingles-a re single layered and generally designed to look like slate. Inexpensive and with a f lat appearance on the roof line, strip shingles used

to be the most popular shingle. Today, with significant advances i n tech nolog y a nd consu mer sophistication, strip shingles are primarily used by contractors building economy-priced homes or are purchased by homeowners for small repairs on homes that already have strip-shingle roofs. • D i m e n s i o n a l s h i n g l e s , o r architectural laminated shingles, are now the predominant roofing s h i ng le s i n s t a l le d i n Nor t h America. Manufactured as dual or multilayered, a dimensional shingle provides a thicker and richer appearance, with various shades and mixtures of colors and tones. A big plus for homeowners concer ned about color, t hese shingles can be closely matched to complement exterior siding, trim and doors.


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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

Save time and money on your next kitchen remodel Home remodeling projects can be daunting, especially in the kitchen. Most home remodeling veterans w i l l ag ree t hat t he big gest f r ust rat ions du r i ng a k itchen renovation are t he unexpected delays. Thankfully, there are things you can do to defray this time lost by choosing products that are made to work together seamlessly, like cabinets and countertops.

Advice for a smooth kitchen makeover One home improvement expert, Danny Lipford, has had his fair share of remodeling headaches a nd s e t b a c k s . He s h a r e s h i s remodeling experiences and tips for seamless renovations as the host of “Tod ay ’s Home ow ner w it h Da n ny L ipford.” L ipford wants to educate homeowners on challenges they will face during t heir remodel, while prov iding them with tips and practical ideas for their next project. “No matter how extensive your research and planning are before you beg i n you r remodel i ng projec t s, you ne ed to ex pe c t d e l a y s ,” e x p l a i n s L i p f o r d . “ T h a t ’s w h y, f or m y bi g g e s t project yet, I chose to go with a cabinet/countertop partnership t hat helped ma ke t he k itchen renovation run smoothly and avoid those delays.” Lipford’s latest project was a top to bottom renovation of an old Tudor-style home in Mobile, Ala., which he calls The Kuppersmith Project. T h is project was documented in a 13-part series on “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford.” Through this project,

Danny Lipford photo

Your kitchen can show off your good taste with less fuss and expense if you get cabinets and countertops that are made to go together, remodeling experts say. Lipford showed viewers realistic approaches to remodeling. O ne pr a c t ic a l a ppr o a c h w a s the partnership between Merillat cabinetr y and DeNova cou nter tops. T h is pa r t nersh ip integrates the design, selection and installation of cabinets and countertops, making the process of remodel i ng a k itchen much more seamless. “Even though the Kuppersmith house was a huge undertaking, Merillat and DeNova’s integration made for quick and easy installation and was perfect for the project,” said Lipford. “In fact, we were able to utilize this partnership all over the house, including the bathrooms, dining room and living room, to help simplify the remodel while making

each room beautiful and functional,” proving that partnerships can save time in a seamless manner. The integration of cabinets and countertops in a remodeling or new con st r uc t ion projec t ha s many benefits. • O ne point of contact. Selecting the cabinetry and the countertops together helps ensure optimal color and style matching. • F lawless templating. DeNova’s s t a t e - o f-t h e - a r t t e m p l a t i n g pr o c e s s u s e s pr e c i s e , l a s e r

technology to accurately measure countertop surfaces, replacing traditional paper, cardboard or ply wood templating. The new process allows the cabinets and cou nter tops to f it f law lessly together and can significantly reduce the installation cycle time and ensures just the right fit. • E fficient scheduling. Scheduling of the installation is easier because in most cases t he cabinet r y, countertops and sinks are delivered to the job site simultaneously, and one crew handles the installation.

So not only do you save time, but money, too. T he Mer i l lat a nd DeNova integration is just one way to avoid delay s w it h you r remodel i ng project. For information about the Merillat and DeNova integration a nd to lea r n more about t he Mer i l lat f u nc t iona l c abi net r y solut ions, v isit w w w.Mer i l lat. com. If you want to learn more about DeNova counter tops for your next kitchen remodel, visit w w w. D e No v a S u r f a c e s .c om . – Courtesy of NAPSI.


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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011




Gel stains: The good and the bad By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer You’re not much of a woodworker, but you found a little table at a yard sale that would look good w ith a little work. You cleaned it up, fixed the drawer and now you’ve sanded it down. The table is made of various types of woods, none of which are in good condition. That, along with the fact that you don’t have a lot of practice with staining, has made you lean toward using a gel stain. Gel stains work well for blending dif ferent woods a nd matching existing colors, though you may have to use a couple of colors to get the shade you want. They’re a snap to apply, too, particularly for beginners, and allow for more control over the color. They do not work well on figured woods, as they won’t give you the clarity you are looking for.

Before applying a gel stain, you will need to make sure you have prepped the table well. The old finish must be stripped completely and the table sanded and wiped down. Any trace of old finish or sawdust could mar the results. You’ll also want to make sure you’ve taken care of any defects in the wood, as the stain will seep into them quickly and be difficult to wipe away. Gel stains require little in the way of equipment, just a soft, clean rag (an old T-shirt will do) and a pair of gloves. Make sure you read the instructions on the back of the can before you begin and apply the stain as recommended. Usually all you will need to do is apply some stain to the wood and w ipe it of f a f ter a few minutes. The extensiveness of your wiping will determine the evenness and depth of the color. If your table has some crevices, you’ll want to

use a light touch with the stain. As with defects, the stain will sink into crevices fast and be difficult to get out. After you have finished applying t he gel stain and given it time to dr y, you will want to apply a polyurethane topcoat to protect t he c olor. G el st a i n s do not penetrate wood like other stains and require sealing to ensure the color lasts. Gel stains are easy to work with, but they do have some drawbacks. Study your table and make sure gel stain will work for it. If you have any concerns, speak to a professional at your local hardware store. They should be able to advise you on the type of stain that would suit your table best and its application. Here’s a recap of the top tips: • U se several colors of stains to blend different woods. • Do not use on figured woods.

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

Simple steps to keep things looking up around the house Painting the ceiling is a great way to complete a room and give it a polished look. By using the ceiling as a fifth wall, you can add a splash of color to ma ke sma ll rooms seem larger and cavernous ones cozier and give a fresh, clean appearance to ever y room. Moreover, painting the ceiling can be easier than some homeowners might think. Here are a few hints to help from the experts at Behr Paints:

Picking the perfect ceiling paint color Most people paint their ceiling white or off-white because these shades reflect light and coordinate well with other colors. Ceilings, however, can be one of the best places to use a fun splash of color.

6. C ont i nue work i ng i n 3' x 3' sections across the width of the ceiling. To blend the sections for a u n i for m f i n ish, l ig ht ly pass the roller over the newly painted area.

1. P our thoroughly mi xed paint into a bucket and dip a quality 2" to 2½" wide nylon/polyester brush into it. When using more than a gallon of paint, combine t he conta i ners for bet ter uniformity of color. This is called “boxing.”

With a unique formulation and viscosity, the paint dries to touch in 30 minutes and can be recoated in one hour. Since it’s designed to be spatter and drip resistant, it’s easier to apply with smooth consistency and delivers thick and even coverage.

7. R epeat the process of painting and blending the sections until the project is complete.

What you’ll need to paint a ceiling

The paint offers excellent stainblock ing act ion aga inst water, ink, rust, nicotine, wood or tannin bleed and mildew stains.

One thing that can make painting ceilings quicker and easier is a new addition to Behr’s paint and primer in one line: Behr Premium Plus Ultra Stain-Blocking Ceiling Pa i nt. W hen d r y, it for m s a n extra protective shell that resists moi st u re, st a i n s a nd m i lde w and has a f lat sheen to minimize

It’s great for both uncoated and properly prepa red, prev iously pa inted inter ior sur faces such as drywall, acoustical tile, cured masonry, plaster, wallboard and other ceiling surfaces.

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4. Starting in a 3' x 3' section at a corner of your project area, roll t he paint onto t he ceiling in a “W” formation. For an even application, begin 3" to 4" away from the cut-in section. 5. Work the roller back and forth across the section until the “W” is completely filled in. Roll over the cut-in area, too. Reload the roller when necessary to maintain a wet edge.

Where to find ceiling paint It’s ava i lable in a l l The Home Depot stores. You can find more at, including how-to information, design inspiration and 8-oz. paint samples. Fans can go to a nd w w w.f ac eb o ok .c om / behrpaint. And, the ColorSmart b y B e h r Mobi le a ppl ic at ion, available as a free download for the iPhone, helps do-it-yourselfers

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2. W ith your brush, paint (cut in) along the perimeter of the ceiling surface. To avoid drips, tap off t he excess pa int aga inst t he inside wall of the bucket. 3. F rom t he bucket, pour pa int into a pa int t ray a nd work a roller into the tray until it’s fully loaded. Use a ¼" to ½" roller cover for light texture and a ½" to 1" cover for heav y texture. For large areas, use a 5-gallon bucket and bucket grid.

To transform the look and feel of a room, the paint can be tinted to a wide range of light colors or left pure white for a more traditional look. In addition, colors can be custom matched using Behr’s advanced computer matching system.

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High ceilings can benefit from a lightly tinted color to make rooms that might appear too large and expansive feel more human and cozy. Painting low ceilings with semi-gloss pa int, on t he ot her hand, will make them seem higher. Crown molding in a darker color can draw the eye upwards.

How to paint a ceiling

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

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Downsizing: Less can be more By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer My, how time has flown. Seems like only yesterday you were packing up for the big move to your house. Now your children are all grown, some with children of their own, and the house you have cherished for so long seems big and empty. The time has come for you to downsize. Dow nsi zi ng t y pica l ly i nvolves moving to a smaller home, which creates a number of posit ives. Depending upon how much you still owe on your current house, you may make enough of a profit to put down a substantial down payment on a smaller house or buy it outright. Either way, you will have more cash in your pocket for other things.

With less square footage, you will have lower utility bills and make fewer purchases, allowing you to save even more money. You will also have less to care for, easing stress and freeing up time. With downsizing also come some negatives, of course. You may not have t he room for out-of-tow n guests, much less your possessions. Chances are ever ything in your home right now will not fit in your new home. If you own a lot you’re partial to, getting rid of some of it may not be easy. Ask your family and friends to help. They might even be w illing to take some items off your hands. Wou ld n’t you rat her see you r daughter using your mother’s china now than making her wait until after your death? The same goes

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for your phonograph. It would look lovely in your friend’s parlor, and they’re even willing to pay you what it’s worth. W h e n s or t i n g t h r ou g h y ou r possessions, start in the rooms you use the least to avoid having to walk through an obstacle course for days on end. Move from large pieces to small and color-code everything according to whether you want to keep it, give it to a family member or friend, donate it to charity or sell it. With heirlooms you’re handing down, write down any significant details or memories associated with them for future owners. With heirlooms you’re selling, bring in an expert to assess them and re c om mend t he be st met hod of sa le. Si f t i ng t h roug h you r possessions will take time. Don’t rush t he process, or you could end up making decisions you regret. Go through everything, old cards, letters, papers and more, and keep what’s important to you. If you’re holding onto items for your grown kids, don’t. Let t hem k now what you have and find out what they want you to do with it. Do not take it to your

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Downsizing typically involves moving to a smaller home, which creates a number of positives. But less room may create a negative effect, too.

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to retrieve the items they want or donate them to charity. Paring down won’t be easy, but it can be done. Be firm in what you want to keep and bequeath items only when ready. Don’t succumb to the pressure of friends and family. It’s your memories, so do with them as you wish. Just don’t go overboard, or you’ll end up feeling like a can of sardines in your new home. Remember, you’re downsizing to free up time and money and reduce stress. The more stuff you have, the less likely that is to happen., an organization that helps seniors face ageing issues, offers these suggestions. Many older adults prefer to stay at home as they age. It has the advantage of being a familiar place and you know your neighbors and the communit y. There is a wide range of home care services that can help you maintain your independence w it hin t he comfort of your own home, from inhome help to day care. Staying at home may be a good option if you have a close network of nea rby fa m i ly, f r iends, a nd n e i g h b or s ; i f t r a n s p or t a t ion is ea si ly accessible, i nclud i ng a lter nate t ra nspor tat ion to driving; if your neighborhood is safe; if your home can be modified to ref lect your changing needs; and if home and yard maintenance is not overwhelming.

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

What it takes to paint like a pro By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer

It’s been years since you painted your living room, and it’s starting to show. W hat was once a rich, crea my of f-white has now turned into a smudged, butter y yellow. You brought in a painter last time, but that’s not within your budget this time. You’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and tackle the walls yourself. Here are some tips to ensure you do as good of a job as the professional you hired last time.

to buy samples of the colors that appeal to you and test them on the wall. Paint large patches and look at them at various points throughout the day. Live with the shades for a while to determine the right color for you. Once you have a color in mind, you will need to choose the type and sheen of paint. Paint comes in two types: latex and oil-based. Latex is easy to work with and clean up, but not as durable as oil-based paint. Paint comes in many sheens. The glossier the sheen, the easier the paint will be to clean. If you have a lot of defects in the walls, you may want a duller finish to hide them.

Move everything out

Prep the surface

Now is not the time to get lazy and tr y to paint the room w ith everything still in it. Even if you have the space to move everything to the center of the room, you will still have to work around it and run the risk of something getting splattered. Box up everything you can and move it to another room.

It’s not enough to tape everything off and toss some paint onto the wall. Paint will not stick to dirt, nor will it fill in holes and gouges. For good coverage, repair all defects and clean the walls. Then apply a primer. This will serve as a base and allow for fewer coats and more even coverage.

Cover up


Remov ing pa int splatters from f loors and baseboards is never easy, so save yourself the trouble and use drop cloths and painter’s tape. Cover the floors, baseboards, trim and anything else you don’t plan to paint. Tape the edges of the baseboards to the drop cloths on the floor for complete protection.

Painting is a job that requires preparation and the right equipment. O f t e nt i m e s hom e o w ne r s a r e

unsure about whether they need to use primer before painting or if just paint will do the trick. Although there are no firm rules, there are certain cases where one or the other will be adequate. Consider a room where the walls have been heavily stained, either by moisture infiltration, rust or another factor. Deep-set stains may bleed through regular paint, t herefore a pr i mer shou ld be applied to help block and lock-in the stain. When a room had previously been painted in a very dark color, like red or purple, a primer can help cover the color quickly without the need for multiple applications of regular paint. There also are specialized primers that can be used in rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms that often contain a lot of moisture.

T here i s not h i ng wor se t ha n sc u f f i ng up a good pa i nt job because you got inpatient a nd moved in f urniture before t he walls were dry. When you finish the last coat, step away and give the paint plenty of time to dry. Leave it overnight, or longer if needed, and then move the furniture back in. Be careful as you bring each piece in and give the paint a few days to cure before hanging up any artwork on the walls. Good paint jobs take work. Be prepared to put in the time and you will be pleased with the results.


Make a list of everything you will need and start gathering it. Check the quality of supplies and throw out any that have seen better days, in particular brushes and rollers. Good pa i nt jobs requ i re good brushes and rollers.

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If you plan to use the same paint as last t i me, you shou ld have few problems. If you plan to use somet hing else, you w i l l need to do your homework. There are hundreds of paint colors available, and for the best results, you need

Anyone can slap some paint onto a wall, but for it to look good, you have to take your time and do the job right. Work on one wall at a time and move from top to bottom, making large M’s and filling them in with horizontal strokes. Get an experienced friend to help. They can do the cutting in while you do the rolling, or vice versa. The job will go faster with another set

Let the paint dry



Gather the right supplies

Choose the right paint

Paint well

of hands and someone to talk to. Apply as many coats as needed for good, even coverage.

These primers inhibit the growth of mold and mildew on painted sur faces. Pr imers a lso may be used on materials, such as metal or plastic, to help the colored paint stick to the surface of the item. If a room is only to be painted white or tinted slightly with color, then a primer alone can be used. Certain primers seal porous wall surfaces so t hey do not absorb pa i nt,


If you aren’t good at cutting in, consider buying some of the new products available for making the task easier, like edging and corner brushes. Finally, make sure you have a sturdy ladder for those hardto-reach places. Don’t try working from a pile of crates. You could fall and hurt yourself and make a big mess in the process.

requiring more coats for coverage. Rooms that are being painted that are already white and free of stains or other surface abnormalities may be painted sufficiently with just a coat of regular paint. If skipping primer, look for a high-quality, t h ick pa i nt t hat boa st s good coverage in one or two coats.



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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011


The challenge: Update your kitchen for under $100 By Dan Marois Feature Writer

It’s not always necessary to spend thousands of dollars on kitchen updates. These brilliant suggestions for updating the kitchen for under $100 may surprise you. Lew iston native, JoAn Gregoire Chartier, has quick and easy tips that add f lair and increase the efficiency in the kitchen. “My favor ite k itchen t ip w a s def i n itely i nsta l l i ng si mple shelving in my pantry. It nearly doubled t he storage space and allowed for better organization,” said Chartier, who also put the shelving on the backside of the door to make it usable space. Another tip was an adjustable wire rack in the dish cupboards which uses the formerly unusable space above dishes. Total cost of shelving ... about $30.

“The other thing I could not do without is my pot rack taken from a women’s clothing store,” said Weeks. “It was hung on the ceiling to hang dresses and my husband took it out of their dumpster after finishing a job for them.” After wash i ng it up, Week s hu ng it vertically on their kitchen wall and added a few S hooks, these being the most expensive part of the redo. “Because the kitchen is small, it frees up my cupboards,” said Weeks. Kate Nadeau, of Auburn, suggests scou r i ng t he “dol la r d iscou nt stores” in the area for creative kitchen upgrades. “You never know what you are going to find, anything from interesting wall hangings to various utensils that can be used as kitchen decorations,” said Nadeau. Her kitchen features numerous drink coasters that serve as wall hangings as well as short lengths of t w ine t hat when used w it h clothespins provide an easy way to post photographs.

Cha r t ier is a lso plea sed w it h the 52” ceiling fan with lighting installed in her kitchen. “Under $100 and we were able to turn the air conditioning down a couple of degrees,” said Chartier.

He at her Ke ene, of R ay mond, finds that the addition of a single a pp l i a n c e c a n br i g ht e n a nd modernize a kitchen. “I bought a Keurig (coffee maker),” boasted Keene, thrilled with the concept of an appliance that makes freshly brewed, single-cup coffee.

Berlin, New Hampshire resident, Tim Dion, plastered his cupboards with cup hooks that cost less than $5. “It freed up about 60 percent of my shelving space,” admitted Dion.

L i nd a C a re w, of Ph ippsbu r g , suggests the art of stenciling to personalize a kitchen decor. “For less than $30, I stenciled a design that I liked.”

Painting cabinets seems to be a quick fix for some kitchens. Jill Gray, of Farmington, painted her kitchen cabinets a warm taupe that certainly updated the look and feel of the room.

Gems from ‘This Old House’

Marie Parsons Shaginaw claims that a quick update for a smaller kitchen was a coat of off-white paint on kitchen cabinets along with new brass knobs and hinges. “From ‘camp’ to ‘elegant’ for an investment of $89,” bragged the New Hampshire northern woods native. Kathleen Weeks, of South Paris, bel ieves t hat rec ycl i ng item s and getting creative can have its rewards. “I went to a yard sale, boug ht a n old T V sta nd t hat’s 24 x 48 inches. I took the top off, stripped and stained it, and added a cheap butcher block top,” said Weeks, whose husband added a chunk of marble to the top of the stand. “Voila! A kitchen island that I could not do without.” Weeks said that the entire cost was $50 and the drawer of the TV stand holds all the lids to her cookware.

Slide ‘n Stack Sliding Baskets T hese ba sket s a re idea l for ba se cabinet organization. Store everything from cereal to cleaning supplies. The stacking baskets provide additional storage in compact spaces. The baskets are quick and easy to install.

Under Shelf Basket The Under Shelf Basket creates a new storage space for your kitchen or bathroom. It slides on to fit most standard shelves. The slide-in, slideout design makes for easy access to items stored in the basket. It is durable and easy to clean.

Wrap ‘n Bag Organizers Organize plastic wrap, aluminum foil and wax paper with the Wrap ‘n Bag Organizer. It holds up to 4 standard size rolls. Its extra large size is perfect to be installed in base cabinets and under countertops.

To round out the list of kitchen upgrades, here are a few gems from, the home renovation site based on the popular television series. Update your current refrigerator with a faux stainless-steel painted finish. One quart of Thomas Liquid Stainless Steel Base Coat, about $56. Top stock kitchen cabinets with crow n molding for t he look of custom casework. Thirty-two feet of crown to trim out the average kitchen will run about $80. Brighten countertops instant ly with battery-powered LED undercabinet lighting. Four adhesivebacked Bell & Howell Mini Power Pods will run about $20. Place a soap dispenser beside the kitchen faucet to keep that Palmolive bottle out of sight. W hitehaus’s Beluga Soap/Lotion Dispenser in polished nickel, about $90.


Expanding Helper Shelves Take control of the vertical storage space in your home. The Rubbermaid Expa nding Helper Shelf is perfect for kitchen cabinets, pantries, craft closets, bathroom cabinets and more. Add one to a shelf in your home to stack items ta k ing advantage of vertica l space that is often lost. The Expanding Helper Shelves expand to fit the full shelf width and are available in two different sizes. The above items can be purchased at stores that carry Rubbermaid products.

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

From start to finish: Working with an interior decorator By Dan Marois Feature Writer


ost homeowners would never t hin k about i nsta l l i ng plu mbi ng w it hout hav i ng a ver y sk i l led plu mber do t he work . Ot her s would never consider doing a wall papering job without the skills of an experienced wallpaper hanger. In short, we turn to experts to help us in areas where we don’t have the skills and expertise to get the job done. One overlooked a rea for home i mprovement pla n n i ng is t he use of an interior decorator. By securing the skills of someone who

Working with an interior decorator is clearly a partnership between the consumer and design professional. k nows colors, textures, spacia l planning, various products, and design basics, you may be able to get your dream renovation project completed efficiently, on time and within budget. “It’s important to keep in mind that an experienced interior designer will provide valuable professional guidance to establish a budget and develop a work plan for a space to be functional and aesthetically pleasing,” said Patricia Fortunato, a n i nter ior decorator w it h Fortunato Inc, which has offices in Old Orchard Beach, Maine and Holly wood, Florida. “They also prevent the client from making costly mistakes.” Ly n ne Ma x f ield-Cole is a f u l l service interior/exterior designer who established Decorating Plus in Auburn in 1984. She’s served homes all over the state of Maine and her work has been featured in Better Homes and Garden, Down East, and Traditional Home magazines. “The role of an interior decorator is to faci l it ate t he process of altering the client’s home,” said Maxfield-Cole. “I see my role as the following ... I suggest concepts a nd products a nd educate my client on the features and benefits of these items. Then, it is up to the client to make a decision [about the project].”

Ma x f ield- C ole not e s t h at a n interior decorator is trained to remain neutral to all the decisionmaking that needs to take place. She stresses that when working in homes where there are different personalities to consider, it takes an experienced individual to aid the client in decision making. W hen the client has decided on a plan, Ma x field-Cole sees that the correct product/concepts are moved into place. The interior decorator’s work might vary from simply acting as a sounding board for you r ideas to u nder ta k i ng more involved work, like buying paint and fabric, scheduling an installation and even supervising the job. A quick look at www.thisoldhouse. com shows basica l ly t hree fee structures for the work done by a decorating professional: free, f lat fee, and hourly. Each one is perfectly acceptable as long as the consumer knows the arrangement up front. A decorator who offers free services is usually a manufacturer’s rep w ho pu s he s c er t a i n l i ne s of products. While this might limit your selection options, it works for many consumers who don’t want to pay out-of-pocket fees for decorator services. A f lat-fee decorator charges one fee for the entire project. While this may be attractive to some, be careful to know that the decorator might steer you toward products that are marked up price-wise or which might pay a commission to the decorator. The third option is an independent decorator who cha rges by t he hou r. You’l l u sua l ly pay f rom $ 30 to $75 per hour depending on t he level of ser v ice. But t he p er-hou r a r r a n gement e a s i l y lets you control t he a mount of consultation services. Ma x f ield-Cole has some recommendations for a successful venture. Have a reasonable budget in mind – it may take working with an interior decorator to provide this initial budget, but know that the most difficult part of any project is an unrealistic budget. Be understanding of the sometimes long lead times to acquire goods. W it h so ma ny products bei ng manufactured outside of the U.S., lead times must be noted and can delay a project. Do not sta r t t he project u nt i l t he most sig nif ica nt items a re

Whether you are starting a decorating project from scratch or using a mix of old and new furnishings, working with an interior decorator may help you stick to a budget and achieve the fabulous look you are seeking. received and in good order. A disr upted home ca n be a ver y stressf ul one when wa iting for backorders to arrive. And where can homeowners secure the best return on investment in their home improvement projects? “With our aging public, universally designed homes are a must,” said Ma x f ield-Cole, noting t hat t he concept has been around for years, but is finally gaining recognition in the Northeast. “Homes need to be accessible especia lly w ith bathrooms and kitchens being barrier-free,” said Ma x f ield- Cole, ref le c t i ng t he concept of universal design homes, accessible to all people with and without disabilities.

Submitted photo

An interior decorator can help create your vision for home improvement projects or room redesigns, such as this room completed by Patricia Fortunato of Fortunato Inc.

“Keepi ng you r home wel lma i nt a i ne d w i l l i mprove t he la r gest i nvest ment t hat most families make ... their home.”

Useful information The American Society of Interior D e c o r a t o r s (w w w. a s i d .o r g ) sug ge st s put t i ng toget her a n idea folder or scrapbook of your li kes a nd disli kes, w ishes a nd dreams as a great way to consult with a designer. Look for pictures of rooms or st yles t hat appea l to you, swatches of fabric, paint color ca rds, f urniture cata logs or brochures, etc. These will stir your imagination and help t he designer better understand your preferences and tastes. Include

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

Submitted photo

An interior decorator can add creativity and design to your home renovation projects, such as the work shown above by interior decorator Lynne Maxfield-Cole. i n f or m at ion a nd pic t u r e s of applia nces, plumbing f i xtures, lighting fixtures, cabinet and door

hardware, and f looring materials as well, if these will be elements in your project.


Dress up your home with an interior door remodel


ith minimum remodeling s a v v y a nd a mo de s t budget, it’s possible to change some items in the home to be more in tune with personal style.

Hollow core doors are t y pica lly more affordable than solid wood doors. If cost is a factor, select a m on g t he v a r iou s s t y le s i n hollow designs.

A lt hou g h m a ny home ow ner s gravitate toward new paint colors or furnishings to revamp the look of different rooms in the home, replacing tired-looking doors is another affordable option.

Sw itching out a door ca n be a challenging endeavor and is often easiest as a two-person job. Some people simply use the old door as a template for the new door. Remember, not all doors are the same size (width and height) as the existing door opening. Therefore, some cutting and fitting will be necessary.

The switching out of doors can be a high-impact project for little cost. Think about the room in the house where the door(s) add little appeal. Perhaps a bathroom door has been marred with holes from a former towel rack. A bedroom with simple, f lat doors may lack pa nache. Some doors have been warped by moisture or have been damaged. These eyesores can be replaced. A trip to the hardware or home improvement store ca n y ield a number of options in new doors.

Here are some steps to follow. 1. Measure the width and height of the old door. Many doors are a standard width of 13/8 inches, t houg h older door s may be different in width. 2. D oor s a re sold a s pre-hu ng do or s or do or bl a n k s . P r e hung ones are surrounded by a



jamb. When using these doors, mea su re accord i ng ly t a k i ng the jamb under consideration. Blanks are simply the door with no holes for hinges or locksets already included. 3. R emove the old door by taking out the hinge pins, starting from the bottom and working up. You may need a screwdriver and a ha mmer to tap out stubborn pins. Keep the pins in a safe spot. 4. L ay t he old door on top of t he new door a nd t race t he dimensions for cutting. Be sure to line up the lockset edge so things will line up. There should be 1/8 inch clea ra nce on t he sides of the door and 5/8 inch clearance on the bottom. 5. U  se a circular saw to cut the door accurately. If only a little needs to be removed from the door, consider using a ha nd pla ne instead. If you need to remove more than 1 inch, take half off the bottom and top of the door so it will be even. 6. P lace the old door back on top of the new. Mark the location of the hinge mortices (the recessed area and holes where the hinges will fit) with a utility knife and straight edge. 7. L  ig ht ly ch isel out t he h i nge mortices so t hat t hey are t he r ig ht t h ick ness to house t he hinge hardware. Test the hinge in the mortice. 8. Test t he door’s f it w it h in t he opening to ensure all cuts are accurate. Pla ne a reas if t here is any thing that is off or if the door rubs.

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9. Mark and drill the space for the lockset and doorknob. Test the fit.

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Hanging a new door can add significant aesthetic appeal with minimal investment. A trip to the hardware or home improvement store can yield a number of options in new doors. 10. A t t a c h t he ne w do or a nd interlace the hinges. Have a helper put in the hinge pins.

12. E  njoy the new door knowing that you completed this project with minimal investment.

11. P ut in the knob and be sure the entire set up works correctly.


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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

Easy and economical solution for those postponed remodeling plans


y ou c a n n ot w a i t a n y lon ge r t o m a k e s om e much needed cha nges in your home, you are not alone. A mer ica ns a re once aga in getting ready to begin the home improvement process. This pentup energ y of ten beg i ns i n t he kitchen, a room that gets a lot of wear and tear but a lso seems to go out of fash ion more qu ick ly these days. This time around, you will be more cautious like many consumers are with their choices and costs ... and yet you want to make observable changes. The most obvious change is insta lling a new countertop. R e m e m b e r t h a t c ou nt e r t op s represent 30 percent of the color in any kitchen. Create new excitement by simply replacing your tired, scratched or stained counter surface with one made from the latest generation of premium laminate. The latest additions to the popular Wi lsona r t HD High Def init ion design series ref lect new interest in natural, classic and tumbled marble, limestone and travertine. The good news is this fashionable look i s av a i lable w it hout t he high cost of stone or the constant maintenance those stones require. T he se l ig hter, le s s pat ter ne d laminate designs are perfect for today’s hectic lifestyle. In fact, the new cost-efficient countertop can be installed within a few hours and without disrupting family life. They also give an existing kitchen the promise of a whole new look that’s universally appealing. That equals a big change for small change. A l l of t hese new desig n s a re available in a new surface effect of a lower matte-gloss sheen that seems almost glazed. The “Glaze” texture is actua lly a layering of matte features over a glaze of semi-gloss. This creates a timeworn result that is less ref lective and more restrained. It’s a perfect balance for t he sophisticated dra mat ic materials that are part of today’s kitchen: stainless steel, chrome, copper, and even glass. Wilsonart patterns benefit from A EON En ha nced Per for ma nce tech nolog y. A EON br i ngs fou r t i me s t he sc u f f a nd sc r atchresista nce of convent iona l laminate, as well as five times the wear resistance to the surface. Unlike granite, t he surfaces of t hese new la m inates a re nonporous and never need to be sealed. Here are some other remodeling

ideas that will have high impact without high expense: • Replace your old refrigerator with an energy-efficient model. Look in the big box stores for floor models or even those with a little dent on the side, which will never be seen. • R ef resh you r cabinets w it h a coat of paint, and change all the cabinet hardware in the process. This makes everything look new. • S wap out your old ceiling light fixture and install under cabinet lighting as well. A little light can make a dramatic difference. • C h a nge y ou r si n k or si n k s. Consider a new Wilsonart HD sin k when adding a la minate counter top. These sin ks were desig ned to be mounted to a laminate surface. Still puzzled by the process or need more help choosing the right color or pattern for your countertop? Visit w w for many good answers. In a small kitchen, consider what areas are most important for the functionality of the space. Usually, at the top of the list is more storage space. There are countless storage options on the market today. These include built in features such as pull-out shelves, slide-out drawers

and tilt-out bins. A mix of deep and shallow drawers in the right spots can add space. The deep cabinets can include additional shelves, pullouts or lazy Susans. Having enough storage space to clear off the counters and reduce clutter is key to making a kitchen appear larger. For more tips and ideas for your own kitchen, visit

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

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Pellet burning has a number of substantial advantages over the burning of fossil fuels. One major advantage is fuel costs. Wood pellet energy costs 40 percent less than oil, 60 percent less than propane, a nd 5 0 p er c ent le s s t h a n electricit y. A t y pica l Maine home t h at c on s u me s 9 6 0 gallons of oil annually could expect to save over $1,200 per year by switching to a wood pellet boiler. Pel let heat i ng systems a re env ironmentally friendly. They ut i l i z e a rene w able f uel a nd provide a low-net-CO2 solution, because the CO2 emitted during combustion of the pellets comes from CO2 absorbed by the tree during its growth. With high efficiency burners other emissions such as NOx and volatile or ga n ic c ompou nd s a re ver y low, making this one of the most non-pol lut ing heat ing opt ions available. When burning pellets, you are not burning fossil fuels which release long-sequestered carbon into the atmosphere as CO2, a greenhouse gas. Since pellets are consumed closer to t hei r produc t ion site t ha n fossil fuels less greenhouse gas is generated in their transportation. All bulk delivered pellets in Maine are produced in Maine and made

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Photo, top left: Heutz Premium Pellet Systems is proud to offer both fullyautomated and partially-automated home burner and boiler equipment for your new construction, or as a replacement for your existing home oil burner system. These burner/boiler systems are all UL approved appliances from leading pellet equipment manufacturers. Our technicians are all factory trained and state licensed to work on this equipment. Photo, above right: Heutz Premium Pellet Systems offers pellet storage options to fit your space and needs. Many storage sizes and configurations are available. Enjoy the convenience of having your wood pellet fuel delivered in bulk right to your home. You will not have to carry another 40 pound bag of pellets, or dispose of the plastic bags with a bulk storage bin.

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

Follow the three ‘P’s of home improvement Every home project begins with an idea and ends with the culmination of the job. In between, there are t h ree ma in components of a n improvement project t hat ca n mea n t he d i f ference bet ween success and frustration: Planning, permits and protection.

Planning The initial stage of a renovation is the planning stage. Planning is when a homeowner works through t he concept of t he project and determines what is necessary to complete the task. Many people find it helpful to write out plans and draw up the concept on paper. This doesn’t require expensive architectural software. A simple piece of graph paper plotted with measurements and a sketch is often sufficient for small projects. If the job will be expansive and require an architect or engineer, he or she will often provide a technical drawing.

I n m a ny c a s e s, home ow ner s will need to visit the municipal building in their respective towns and apply for a permit. The permit may not immediately be issued. Of tent imes, t here is a wa it ing period during which the project’s legality and safety is examined. Once the project is approved, the applicant will be able to file for the actual permit(s). Work shou ld not beg in unt il a permit is received, and then the permit generally has to be placed in plain sight, such as in a window of t he building. Depending on bui lding codes, inspect ions of the work may need to take place after all of the project is completed or during certain phases. If an

inspection takes place afterward, the inspector will be looking for key code issues to deter m i ne whether the work was completed s uc c e s s f u l l y. I f a c ont r a c t or was used, he or she may have to be present at the time of the inspection.

safety. There are a number of things that can be on hand to make a work environment safer. These include:

Fi re ex t i ng u isher : A f i re extinguisher should be nearby in the event of a mishap.

Eye protection: This is especially i mpor ta nt when work ing w it h flying debris, cutting items, mixing caustic chemicals, etc.

First aid kit: An abrasion or cut may occur, requiring prompt care.

Should a home be put on the market, all permits may need to be on file or in the homeowners’ possession in order for a certificate of occupancy to be issued to the new buyer. Failure to have permits can hold up the process or result in fines.

Respirator or face mask: Cover the nose or mouth when there is dust or debris in the air that can enter the lungs. When working with toxic fumes, such as when using spray paints or chemical lubricants, a respirator can offer clean air.

Protection Homeow ners about to beg in a project also need to emphasize

Boots: Proper footwear ensures protection should an item fall on the foot or when walking where nails or other sharp items are located.

Gloves: When the hands need to be protected or extra traction on surfaces is required, gloves can be a necessity. Headphones: Safety headphones can protect the ears against loud, consistent noises f rom power equipment and tools. Locks: A locked cabinet can store tools, paints, chemicals, and other improvement supplies so that young children or pets won’t have access.


I f t he pr oj e c t f o c u s e s m or e on decorat i ng t ha n bu i ld i ng , some f i nd it helpf u l to create a desig n boa rd. Th is is where f a br ic s w at c he s , p a i nt c olor sa mples, pictures of f ur nit ure and accessories, and any other c omponent s of t he room a re put together. Another part of the pla nning stage is establishing a budget a nd determining t he project’s financing. It can be helpful to make a list of all income and expenses and find out how much funding is left over for a project. W hen getting estimates on the work, whether it will be done by a contractor or a DIY project, the homeowner should then make a list of approximate costs (rounding up) and then compare it against the available funds.

Permits Many projects, especially those involving building, demolition, elect rica l work, or mold remediation, require permits issued by the town, province or city in which the work will be taking place. T he pu r pos e of per m it s a nd subsequent inspections is often quest ioned by homeow ners looking to circumvent the system. However, building permits a re required to ensure public safety, hea lth and welfare as t hey are affected by building construction, structural strength, zoning, and code requirements. In essence, bu i ld i ng per m its a re how t he government regulates safety and protects both current and future residents of the property.

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011



Air-tight insulation delivers big returns for homeowners Energy-efficiency is now more important than ever when selling a home. Purchasers are able to rate one residence against another, so if you want top dollar for your house some day, it’s worth investing along these lines with upgrades and renovations. “If adding rooms or finishing the basement, for exa mple, ta ke a look at the most energy efficient materials and methods,” says Todd Blyth at Nudura, a company that has spearheaded an advanced version of the insulated concrete form, as well as do-it-yourself materials. “The newest renovation method, ca l led Nudu ra Insu lat ion Technolog y, is ideal to insulate fou nd at ion w a l l s, i n ner a nd outer walls, plus flat, or cathedral ceilings. For bot h interior a nd exterior walls, you use a shiplap system of expanded polystyrene (EPS), which allows large 4 X 8 foot sheets of this foam to be installed without any gaps for air leakage. It’s easy to cut, easy to install, and the performance value is up to R-14,” said Blyth. “Drywall can then be attached directly to the embedded f a s t en i n g s t r ip a l low i n g t he electrical wiring to be easily run.”

Occupant comfort Residential enjoyment is also topof-mind in our choice of renovation fixtures, features and materials.

Superior insulation will reduce home heating costs and it will also prevent excessive noise, drafts, and unexpected cold spots from room to room. Superior insulation w ill reduce home heating costs and it will also prevent excessive noise, drafts, and unexpected cold spots from room to room. In response to energ y c on s er v at ion, env i r on ment a l

r e s p on sibi l it y a nd c on s u mer demand, construction practises have advanced signif icant ly in North America over the past few years. W hen renovating, adding rooms, or finishing the basement

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

Is do-it-yourself a recipe for saving money? Ma ny homeow ners or renters w re st le w it h t he que st ion of whether to tackle a project as a do-it-you rsel f vent u re to save some money or simply leave it to a professional. Each situation is unique, but there are certain factors that must be considered re ga rd le s s of a home ow ner ’s particular situation. On the surface, a DIY task can seem a very good way to save some money. After all, a large percentage, sometimes as much as 50 percent, of the cost of hiring a contractor goes toward labor. For a DIY job with no such costs, the final financial tally can be substantially less. Although labor can be expensive, that cost is often justified. People who hire carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and the like are paying for the workers’ experience. They’re also paying with the expectation that the job will be done correctly. With jobs that require a building permit or must be done to specific code, the contractor often puts his reputation on the line and will be held accountable if the work doesn’t meet requirements. That isn’t to say a n unt ra ined individual can’t tackle a specific job around the house. There are some guidelines that may make such projects go more smoothly and, as a result, more affordable. • Read up and learn as much as you can about the particular work to be done. It’s easier to make mistakes if you do not know where to start. • Talk to others who have also done the work. They may have some tips or advice that can save you time and money. You may also want to ask if they can help and show you the ropes. • B e sure to obtain all necessar y p er m it s b efor e st a r t i ng a ny work. Don’t risk a fine for doing work without permits or having work inspected. • W hen applying for permits, find out if there is a list of code-specific requirements that you can follow – a cheat-sheet of sorts. It may list rated materials required and any techniques. See if you can speak to an inspector who will be visiting your property later on to find out what he or she looks for specifically. • You must feel confident with the endeavor. If you are unsure about anything, you may risk injury or make a significant mistake and be forced to hire someone to clean up your mess.

• C onsider reputable sources for information. While it’s easy to go online and scour message boards for pointers on certain tasks, not all of the information is accurate. Trust only content from sources that are licensed or backed by certification in a certain area. These t hings being sa id, t here are a number of DIY projects that regular people can try. Starting off small and building up as skills are developed are good ways to begin. For example: • T ile a small kitchen backsplash before tackling an entire bathroom shower enclosure or floor. • B uild an outdoor potting stand before attempting furniture or cabinetry work in a main room of the house. • C ha nge out a cei l i ng fa n or lighting fixture before re-running electrical lines through the home. • Succeed in repairing a leaky drain pipe before ta k ing on a more advanced plumbing issue. • Learn how to use a paintbrush. Use regular painting techniques before experimenting with a trendy faux finish or plaster application. There are many different things indiv idua ls ca n do t hemselves that stretch beyond routine home maintenance. From manicures to

Installing a new deck may be a project best left to the professionals because of the skill level required. Although labor can be expensive, that cost is often justified. People who hire carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and the like are paying for the workers’ experience. They’re also paying with the expectation that the job will be done correctly. pool upkeep, the potential to save money when budgets are tight can be a powerful motivator.

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011


New siding can improve a home’s curb appeal In today’s economy, many Americans are choosing to live in their homes longer.

roof shingles and enhance your landscaping through the use of pavers, wall systems and perennial plants and shrubs.

A s a resu lt, a g row i ng nu mber of A mer ic a n home ow ner s a re investing in home improvements they can enjoy themselves. One of the best home improvements A mer ica n homeow ners ca n m a k e i s r e pl a c i n g t i r e d, old, faded sid i ng. Accord i ng to t he National Association of Realtors, replacing your siding of fers a n 80 percent payback or return on your investment.

Get referrals. Ask your neighbors, coworkers and friends for the names of remodelers they would recommend and who specialize in replacing siding. Interview several remodelers and get detailed estimates before committing to a remodeler. Visit homes. Replacing siding isn’t like replacing an appliance. You may only do this once or twice in your lifetime. To make sure you get exactly what you want, make sure to visit homes that have recently been resided by your contractor or remodeler. This will help you compare how different types of house siding actually look on a home.

Siding also is a critical link to the well-being of your home. Siding is the first layer of defense against the elements, protecting the walls and interior of your home from moisture, heat and cold. From wood clapboard and brick used widely to side homes decades ago to today’s innovative materials, such as patented Ultrex pultruded fiberglass used in APEX siding and trim, siding materials have evolved to deliver higher performance, more cost efficiency and enhanced aesthetics. With so many choices available to homeowners today, it’s important for homeowners to do their homework when shopping for home siding.

One reason that new siding is such a solid home improvement investment is it instantly enhances the curb appeal of your home. Do your homework. Not all siding options are created equal. There’s a huge difference between lower cost vinyl siding products and highperformance fiberglass siding. Lower priced options often come with tradeoffs, such as a higher risk of damage in a severe storm from

hail or wind, faster color fading, or lots of maintenance (repainting, caulking, etc.). Premium siding products may cost more initially, but may be far less expensive and hassle-free over the course of homeownership.

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Ta ke your siding g reen. W hen replacing your siding, use siding m a t e r i a l t h a t i s m a de f r om sustainable materials, such as sand, which will reduce the use of harmful chemicals and paints needed to manufacture and maintain it. Select your colors. Choosing a color for your new siding may be the most difficult decision you’ll have to make. The good news is that today’s top-of-the-line siding offers a wide variety of bold colors from which to select. In contrast to traditional wood and fiber cement siding that requires painting and cau l k ing ever y few yea rs, new pultruded fiberglass siding offers an acrylic finish that is thicker and more durable than paint, and it resists chipping and fading. This allows homeowners to enjoy the satisfaction of their new siding with virtually zero maintenance. Bet ter moist u re ma nagement. The number one thing you should expect of your new siding is it should protect your home from the elements, especially moisture. Un for t u nately, some t y pes of sid i ng, such a s f iber cement, wood and stucco, are more prone to moisture because they trap or absorb moisture behind the siding material. Instead, look to a siding that is inherently resistant to water. Then, look to how t hat sid ing will manage moisture – behind the siding, when it’s up against the wall of your home. A siding system that provides a continuous, natural drainage plane (moisture d ra i ns ha r m lessly away), a nd allows air to circulate to provide natura l evaporat ion is cr it ica l to decreasing trapped moisture, which creates rot and mold.

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

The garage: Control the clutter, install a garage door opener As consumers spend more time at home, t he ga r age i s bei ng rediscovered and transformed into more than just a place to park the car or an overflow storage area. It’s a versatile workspace that can house the entire family’s hobbies and favorite things-from tools and sports gear to toys and gardening equ ipment. A l l t hese items converging in one place can add up to one big mess. Ac c ord i ng to a s u r v e y f r om t h e Na t ion a l A s s o c i a t ion of Professional Organizers, 50 percent of homeowners say the garage is the most disorganized place in their house. The wide range of storage needs and ever-changing daily activities make the garage a complicated space to keep organized. To help ta ke back t he ga rage, Closet Ma id has developed eight main Garage Zones. This systematic, eff icient met hod of organizing tack les clutter from the ground up and provides a great low-cost space reclamation to add a sense of order to the home. Put your garage to work by utilizing every valuable and reachable inch of space with heavy-duty shelving or a freestanding storage or work center. For example, ClosetMaid of fer s do-it-you r sel f i n st a l led products, such as Di mensions Cabi net s, wh ich ca n house frequently used items including auto fluids and tools. Strategically place mowers and that larger-than-life trash can along the wall for maximum effectiveness. H o o k s , h a n g- u p s a n d o t h e r accessories keep equipment and supplies off the ground but always close at hand, so there’s no wasting time looking for what you need. The upper shelving is excellent for storing seasonal and infrequently used items such as the Christmas tree, holiday decorations, plant fertilizer and boxes of “extra” parts. Go-to tools should be within arm’s reach on a waist-level shelf or in a drawer, while activity items should have a separate but accessible space in the garage. When space in the garage is tight, keep boxes, motor oil and other items tucked away from view. These occasional items can be pulled out when needed, leaving plenty of open space for possessions like large toys (e.g., a motorcycle) or sports equipment. For more unique home solutions, visit or call 800-874-0008. – Courtesy of NAPSI.

If you’re planning to install garage door opener yourself as a means of cutting costs and learning a few things about your largest moving appliance, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind. First, and most importantly, your garage door should be optimally functional upon its initial installation. Aside from finding a high-quality garage door opener, the best way to ensure this is to clean and oil the hinges and internal gears of the garage door opener’s engine to ensure that they can flow smoothly through their full range of motion. This will also help to keep noise levels down.


It’s also important to make sure that your garage door is adjusted pr op er l y. W h i le of f-t he -s hel f garage door openers are usually wel l-ca librated, problems w it h new devices can come about due to overcoiled or undercoiled springs.

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If, as it turns out, your garage door is poorly adjusted, t hen forget about trying to install garage door opener as a DIY project and visit a professional who can do it for you. Due to the large quantity of kinetic energ y stored in torsion springs, adjusting the spring system yourself cou ld be a ha za rdous undertaking, potentially causing accidents or injury. Second, make sure that you read the manual carefully. It is never wise, or cost effective, to jump in headfirst and only realize you’re out your depth once you’ve already disassembled a device you don’t k now how to put back together again. If you’re more of a visual, hands-on ty pe person, then it’s probably adv isable to v iew t he video that came with your garage door opener. Some people may decide that they would prefer to install garage door opener themselves before they’ve even bought one. If you happen to be such a thrifty thinker, then you’ll probably benef it f rom read i ng nu merous rev iews of d i f ferent ga rage door openers a nd t heir relative level of difficulty when it comes to amateur installation. Some heav y dut y ga rage door openers come with a label stating that they must, must be installed by a professional. You’ll probably want to steer clear of such potentially da ngerous dev ices a nd go for something with a simpler design.

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

1022 Minot Ave., Auburn, ME 04210 784-1388 • 1-800-638-9000 FALL HOME IMPROVEMENT 23

Easy improvements give homes a dramatic facelift Home improvement projects don’t need to be difficult, and with the right tools and attitude, they can be exciting as you watch your house transform. Before the cold weather gets here, look at your home to-do list and get going. Here are some easy ideas you can get started on today.

Outdoors: siding, deck and doors make a house stand out. P a i nt i n g t h e h om e e x t e r ior, sheds, fences or decks can be a challenging task. However, doing a good job now will make your entire home look great for years to come.

To ensure a good result, begin by remov ing dirt a nd ot her items such as leaves from the surface to be painted. Look for areas where paint is chipped or bubbled and remove with a wire brush or wideblade putty knife. Using an electric sander can also be helpful. When painting, use tools that are made speci f ic a l ly to help ea se a nd

expedite the process. The Wagner Power Painters featuring EZ Tilt helps tackle a variety of projects like painting a house, shed or fence and produces quality results. T he pa i nt sprayer appl ies a professiona l g rade pa i nt application. Any way you look at exterior painting, you can’t beat the coverage, speed and finish you get by spraying. W hile you already have all your painting supplies out, grab a brush and update small details like the front door and trim. On a beautiful sunny day, painting your house can be a joy. Throw a painting party and invite your friends over to help out. After the project is done, eat a nice dinner together to show your appreciation. Now for the rest of the year you have a beautiful house to enjoy, inside and out.

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Indoors: look at walls, ceilings and furniture. The first step is to take a look at the inside of your home and analyze which rooms need a facelift. Look at the walls for chipped or dirty paint and the ceiling for stains. Painting is an easy and cheap way to brighten your house fast.

Live a Colorful Life

There’s never been a better time to remodel your home and at Norway Savings, we have the right payment to fit your budget. For example:

W hen choosing paint colors, it’s best to look at the furniture and other pieces in the home and try to coordinate appropriately. When in doubt, light colors work best and always brighten a room. If you are feeling daring, think about trying one of the deep and beautiful colors that are popular right now in the color palettes at ma ny pa int compa nies. Fill in

holes and nicks with putty. Sand a nd pr i me t hose a reas before painting. Priming helps ensure a professional looking paint job that lasts longer so it is worth your time. After walls have been primed, it’s time to apply paint. Rollers are the preferred tool for many people because they apply an even coat and hold a lot of paint. If you are painting the ceiling, you will need a roller with an extended handle to reach the high areas and help relieve arm tension. One roller that really saves you time when painting is Wagner’s TurboRoll battery powered roller. The TurboRoll holds paint in the handle and easily reaches 8-foot ceilings. One fill of the tube can paint an area 10 feet by 7 feet in size. It also has “Power Trigger” technology that allows the user to supply paint directly to the roller by squeezing a trigger so that they don’t have to make repeated trips to the paint tray to load up with paint. After the paint has dried, looking at the floors is the next step. Hard f looring needs to get washed and carpets should be cleaned. Renting a carpet cleaner from your local hardware store is very economical and provides a deep clean. Get the whole family to help out and make cleaning a f un activ it y you a ll participate in. A qu ick clea n a nd perhaps reorganization of furniture, and you just gave your home an easy facelift for little cost and not a lot of time. Now for the rest of the year you have a beautiful house to enjoy, inside and out. FMI, visit

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* The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will be set on the first day of each month at the Prime Rate published in the Wall Street Journal on the last business day of the previous month. The current APR in this example would be 4% as of 3.8.11. There is a 10 year draw, 15 year repayment requirement. Maximum 85% combined loan to value ratio (CLTVR). Lower CLTVR available for loan amounts above $417,000. Maximum rate 16% APR and the minimum rate would be 4% APR. Minimum line amount is $5,000. Advertised example: $25,000 line would have a minimum interest only payment of $83.33 a month. $50 fee for each fixed-rate LOCk request. Customer is responsible for appraisal fee. Appraisals range from $200 to $650 (excludes unique property appraisals). Offer applies to owner-occupied primary residences. Homeowners insurance required. Offer may be withdrawn without notice. APR assumes a credit score of 725 or better and offer is subject to change or withdrawal without notice. Other programs with other terms are available.

Before the cold weather gets here, look at your home to-do list and get going.


Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

Customize your home to fit your lifestyle Homeow ners who opt to stay in their homes rather than buy new ones or those who need to reallocate space to accommodate an extended family can create a “new” living environment tailored to their tastes and needs with some well-planned changes. Check out the following Woodcraft tips and tools to help you.

Envision a new look Give you r ent ra nce a f resh appearance by installing a new front door or painting the existing door. Update your home’s interior with crown molding, chair rails and trim that ref lect your tastes and give your living space a unique a rch itect u ra l look . Br i ng new life to your kitchen by replacing countertops and installing new cabinet hardware – or buying or building new cabinets.

Explore space management Look for creative ways to make m a x i mu m u s e of spac e. Us e shelving and modular storage units in closets, bathrooms and garages, a nd i ncor porate bookca ses or decorative shelving – built-in or free-standing – for more storage and a custom look in other rooms. If space is really cramped, consider removing a wall to create a larger, multiuse area or, if you live in a year-round warm climate, build an enclosed porch or deck to gain more living space.

Listen to an expert Vetera n remodeling contractor Danny Lipford, host of Today’s Home ow ner (t e le v i s ion ) a nd Homefront w ith Danny Lipford (radio), offers the following advice: “If you are a beginner DIYer, start with modest projects, and then move on to more ambitious tasks once you have the confidence and a little more experience. Also, do your research to choose the right tools for the job; it will minimize the frustrations.” Several userf r iend ly tools w i l l ma ke t hese projects easier. • T he Rockwell BladeRunner is a portable, multipurpose precision cutter that utilizes any T-Shank jigsaw blades. The variable speed motor control and simple blade c h a n g i n g me c h a n i s m a l low you to cut wood, metal, plastic, aluminum and ceramic tile. The 18-lb. tool can be operated on any benchtop surface or mounted to the wall (bracket included).

• For quick and easy joinery, choose the Kreg Jig K4 Master System that includes what you need to create strong pocket-hole joints w ith only a saw and drill.

Sander, powered by a brushless DC motor that delivers controlled variable speeds from 4,000 to 10,000 RPMs for an ideal finish in a variety of applications.

• T he new Rock wel l 3R i l l 12V L it h iu m-Ion Cord less Dr i l l – a t h ree-i n-one cord less tool that functions as a drill driver, screwdriver or impact driver – is another handy helper.

• T i t e b o n d M o l d i n g G l u e i s specially formulated for finish trim and carpentr y, including crown molding, baseboards, and window casings.

• K reg Crown-Pro Mitersaw Guide gives trim carpenters and DIY enthusiasts alike a fast and easy w ay to add beaut i f u l c row n molding to any room. The CrownPro works w ith molding up to 51/2” wide and is easy to use for inside and outside corners. • Tackle nearly any sanding task with a 5” or 6” lightweight (2 lbs.) Mi rka Ceros Ra ndom-Orbita l

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

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Safe and sound at home ... in seven days Accord i ng to t he Home Sa fet y Council, less t ha n one-t hird of homeow ner s ma ke a ny sa fet y improvements. Luckily, updating your home sa fet y doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Instead of viewing it as one big project, break it up into several smaller projects. Within seven days your home will be safe, sound and secure.

Day 1: Bathrooms Despite the small size, there are ma ny opportunities for sa fet y updates. To start, locate medicines and dangerous chemicals, like nail polish remover or mouthwash, and place them together in a locked cabinet. Next, set your hot water heater below 120 degrees. More than 3,800 scalding injuries happen every year, and the simple task of setting your hot water heater at a lower temperature will help eliminate possible harm. Finally, install grab bars to help prevent falls.

Day 2: Kitchen W it h t he s h a r p obj e c t s a nd potentially hot and wet surfaces, there are many danger zones in the kitchen. Start your safety update by ensuring hazardous items are out of reach. This includes: knives, scissors, cleaning supplies, plastic

Moen Home Care offers a variety of Designer Grab Bars, including three Grab Bars with Accessories. These “disguised” safety devises, combine a grab bar with three bath essentials – a paper holder, towel bar and shower shelf. bags and any cords from small appliances. Next, if you have young children, install childproof latches on all cupboards, oven doors and stove handles. Finally, keep a fire extinguisher within arms’ reach of your oven for any unfortunate cooking incidents.

Day 3: Hallways/stairs The stairway/hallway ranked third as the most hazardous area of the

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home, according to a home Safety Council study. To prevent against falls, ensure there is bright lighting near stairs and remove or secure any tripping hazards, such as throw rugs, from the area. Nex t, be su re work i ng smoke detectors are in the hallways on each f loor – a nd cha nge t heir batteries at least every six months. Finally, prov ide secure railings on both sides of the stairs – that


i ncludes sta i rs lead i ng to t he second level, basement and for garage and entry doors.

Day 4: Electrical/heating W it h f i res a nd bu r ns ma k i ng up 37 percent of home injuries, it’s important to pay attention to your elect rica l a nd heat ing systems. To start, place safet y plugs in a l l elect r ica l out lets. Next, create barriers around any hot surfaces, such as baseboards,


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radiators and fireplaces, to keep small hands from being burned – while also ensuring that there is a clear distance from other objects (curtains, furniture) that could catch fire. Finally, be sure that all electrical outlets near water sources feature ground fault circuits to help prevent electrocution.

Day 5: Bedrooms The soft bed, blankets and pillows make the bedroom seem safe, but there’s still room for improvement. If you’re in an older home, be sure that the walls have a safe, non-lead paint. Next, look for any dangling cords from blinds and pin them up to remove strangulation hazards. Finally, window guards are also available to prevent accidental falls from open windows.

Day 6: Family room To fully enjoy the many electronics i n you r fa m i ly room – ma ke sure they’re safe. Place all large equipment on a wall and make the wires and cords inaccessible. Next, secure any shelves or bookcases (that may look like ladders to kids) to the wall to avoid tipping hazards. Finally, if you have toddlers, be sure to add corner pads to any furniture with sharp corners.

Day 7: Rest and enjoy Now you can sit back and breathe a sigh of relief that your home is safe and sound for your family! For more information on Moen Home Care safety products, visit w w For more tips on how to add safety features to your home, visit www.

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

Awesome bathroom upgrades for less than $200 A beaut i f u l bat h room ca n be upl i f t i n g on m a ny le v e l s : it improves your home’s resale value and provides you with a welcoming environment in one of the mostused rooms of your house. If your bathroom has become the room in the house you least want to visit, it may be time to consider some costeffective upgrades.

to a main light source costs little but allows you to lower lighting in the bathroom when you’re in the mood for rela xation. And a st rong, overhead l ig ht sou rce prov ides practical illumination for putting on make-up or shaving for example. It’s easy to find costeffective lighting options at your local home improvement store.

A mid-range bathroom remodel ca n cost, on average, a rou nd $16,000 (and return 64 percent of that cost at the time of resale), according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2011 “Cost. vs. Value Report.” You don’t have to spend thousands, however, to give your bathroom a fresh look.

Little things mean a lot You can also make several small changes in a bath that will have a big impact, from swapping out cabinet hardware to replacing an existing straight shower rod with a curved one. Other small but mighty steps include:

Work those walls Paint is still the cheapest, easiest way to freshen a room’s look and that’s true even in the bathroom. W hile painting a bath can be a bit more complicated than other rooms because of obstructions like mirrors, showers, tubs and the commode, it’s still a project well within the abilities of most do-it-yourselfers. Good paint can be had for as little as $25, and most bathrooms will only need a gallon or two. Once you’ve repainted, consider adding a wallpaper mural. You’ve probably always thought adding wallpaper in a bath was risky, given the room’s usual humidit y. But modern wallpaper options, like Sma r tSt ick by Mura lsYourWay. com can easily hold up to bathroom conditions. A patented adhesive

• Replacing dated faucets. • I nstalling a new showerhead or hand-held showerhead. • Swapping the old toilet seat for a new one.

While painting a bath can be a bit more complicated than other rooms because of obstructions like mirrors, showers, tubs and the commode, it’s still a project well within the abilities of most do-it-yourselfers. a l lows you to easi ly place t he material on nearly any surface – walls, windows, that architectural niche above your bathtub – pull it down, reposition it, and even move the moisture resistant mural to a different wall. You can even customize with your own wall photo by using your own original photography. Submit your

photo through the website and the company creates a custom mural using your artwork.

Lighten up Lighting is another low-cost way to renovate a bathroom. If your bat h room spor t s a ut i l ita r ia n overhead fixture, or a dressingroom-st yle light ba r above t he

mirror, you can create a whole new look for the room by replacing those lights with one – or more – contemporar y styles. Because ou r bat h room s ser ve se ver a l f u nc t ion s bat h r o om l ig ht i ng should be flexible too. Design pros often place more than one light source in bathrooms, even if the room is relatively small.Adding a couple of wall sconces in addition

• R eplacing accessor y hardware like towel bars and robe hooks with newer, matching ones. • C hoosi ng coord i nat i ng bat h accessories such as a cup and toothbrush holder. • Adding new towels and bath mats. Fortunately, value doesn’t have to come at a h ig h cost, when you make simple, cost-effective improvements. – Courtesy of ARAContent.

Great Falls SECURITY SYSTEMS Since 1984


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HARMAN P38 PELLET STOVE $1,999 Limited to Supply In Stock Now

Pellet Stoves Starting at $1,599 Pellets In Stock by Maine Choice & Lauzon

•Wood Stoves •Gas Stoves & Fireplaces •Pellet Fireplace Inserts •Pellet Boilers/Furnaces

TYLER CONCRETE Commercial & Residential Foundation Retaining Walls Slabs Flatwork/Stencil Snow Plowing


• Septic • Landscaping • Driveways • Foundations • Complete Site Work

FREE Estimates • Insured

Earl Tyler • Bethel, ME 824-0671 • 557-3785

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011


FREE 4' x 6' area rug with any HGTV HOME Flooring by Shaw purchase*

September 1 - September 30 30

Win A Floor A Day at



Area Rugs

I Hardwood I

Laminate |

89 Lisbon St., Lisbon

353-6690 HGTV® HOME Flooring by Shaw is all about making your flooring “HGTV fabulous”. Celebrate with us this month and get a FREE HGTV HOME Flooring by Shaw area rug with your purchase – but only if you purchase this month.* So what are you waiting for?


5” Northern Maple $3.99 sf – Compared @ $6.99 sf 5” Handscraped Hickory 4” Yellow Birch $4.49 sf $4.29 sf (long lengths) Compare @$6.99sf Compare @ $5.99 sf


Ceramic & Stone look $1.99 sf with attached pad Compare @ $5.29 sf 12 mm High gloss wood 12 mm Handscraped look $2.69 sf wood look $2.99 sf Compare @ $4.99 sf Compare @$4.99 sf

3½” American Walnut

$3.99 sf – Compare @ $9.99 sf (BEST VALUE)

2¼” Northern Red Oak $3.69 sf Compare @ $4.99 sf


PORCELAIN TILE .69¢ sf 16” X 16” Compare @ $2.99 sf

BERBER CARPET .87¢ sf 12’ $ 15’ Width Compare @ $1.11 sf

Both our businesses are Maine-based, family owned, and fully staffed with qualified flooring professionals. Stop by soon and we are happy to match you with the right flooring options! 28 FALL HOME IMPROVEMENT

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fall Home Improvement 2011  
Fall Home Improvement 2011  

Exciting new ideas for home improvement projects.