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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 8, 2013

Project: Create a home office this spring By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer Home of f ices set up i n a spa re room ma ke g reat workspaces. You can get a lot done from paying bills to filing paper work to conduc t i ng online research. Add a sofa and a TV, and you also have a great space to relax. Unfortunately, not everyone has a spare room for a home office. If you don’t, do not despair. You can still create a home office in a much smaller space in your home. A lmost a ny under-utilized space in your home will work for a home office. Here are some of the more common spaces homeowners have set up home office.

Attics or Basements Take a look at your attic or ba sement . See a ny plac e you cou ld set up a home office? If it is not finished and has issues w ith water, temperature f luctuation and more, your attic or basement might not be a suitable place for a home office, especially one w it h a computer a nd other electronics. If it doesn’t

have any issues, your attic or basement might be ideal. Just choose the best part, perhaps under a window, move in some furniture, set up some screens and make it a private space to work.

Closets Take a look at the closets in your home. Spot one you could do without? Convert it to a home office. Clean it out and either set up a desk inside it or build one. Attach some 2x4s to the sides of the closet walls, set some shelves on top, and you’re ready to go. You can use the lowest shelf as a desk surface and the ones above for books and other office items. You can remove the closet doors or leave them be. That way, you can shut away your office and your mess whenever you wish.

Corners Take a look around your home. See a neglected corner? Turn it into a home office with a desk, chair, file cabinet and whatever else you have space for. You can set up a home office in the corner of almost


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Take a look at your entryway. Could it serve the dual purpose of welcoming guests and doing paperwork? Move over that hall tree, slide in a desk, and you’ve got a place to work, a place for someone to sit and a place for guests to hang their coats.

Ta ke a look at you r sta i r landing. Wouldn’t it make a great home office? Depending upon how large the space is, you might be able to have an easy chair for reading.

Hallways Take a look at the hallways in your home. Have one that is rather wide or extra long? Tuck a home office into it. All you need is a bit of space for a small desk and chair. If there is a nook in your hallway, you might be able to build a desk into it.

Home of f ices do not have to be large. You can set one up a lmost a ny where in your home. Look for underutilized spaces, like nooks and crannies, then make the best use of the space to create the home office you’ve always wa nted but never had t he room for.

Ross Endicott, manager at Endicott Home Furnishings, shared this photo of a recent furniture project completed for a customer looking to make the most of their home office space. For more information or inspired furniture for smaller spaces, visit the store at 429 U.S. Route 1 in Scarborough, email ross@condofurniture, call 207-883-3264 or visit

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 8, 2013


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THIS OLD HOUSE JUST GOT A LOT MORE EFFICIENT When a home is 110 years old, you get used to a little upkeep and some drafty winter days. But when Alice and David Anderman decided to make a whole-house energy upgrade, that’s when the work really started to pay off. With a Home Energy Loan from Efficiency Maine, the Andermans were able to make their home more comfortable while anticipating savings of more than 40% on their energy costs. For a limited time, get up to $600 toward the cost of air sealing to help eliminate drafts. Learn how by calling 1-866-376-2463 or by visiting



Du rable a nd aest het ica l ly appea l i ng , met a l roof i ng i s a not her opt ion t h at's popu la r i n a reas t hey get heavy snowfall because snow does not bu i ld up on t he metal like it might on other materials. The price of metal roofing varies significantly, so homeowners considering a metal roof should do some comparison shopping beforemaking a decision. Slate tiles are another roofing material, but one that's very labor-intensive to install and, as a result, costly as well. But slate tiles are very durable, in some cases lasting as long as half a century or more, so homeowners who install slate tile can rest easy knowing the roof they install now will likely be the last roof they ever pay for.

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 8, 2013

Various materials can be used to pave a driveway By Metro Creative When renovating a home, many homeowners look to increase the home's curb appeal. "Curb appeal" is a term used to describe how the home's exterior appears to buyers the moment they pull up to the curb. A home that impresses prospective buyers before they even go inside is said to have a strong curb appeal, and that curb appeal can add significant value to a home. Homeowners looking to improve the curb appeal of their home can do so in a variety of ways. One often overlooked yet effective way to make a home's exterior more appealing is to revamp the driveway. Driveways may not be high on a homeowner's renovation totem pole, but a cracked or unsightly driveway can give prospective buyers the impression that a home has not been properly taken care of. When addressing a driveway, homeowners have a host of pav ing materia ls at their disposal.

among homeowners. Asphalt is also easy to install and requires little maintenance, t wo additiona l benef its to homeow ners who don't have much time to install or look after their driveway. Asphalt is made from a combination of concrete, gravel and tar, and though it's easy and affordable to install, asphalt, as any kid can tell you, can get awfully hot under the summer sun. Asphalt can also crack rather easily, so homeowners must weigh its immediate affordability against the likelihood that perhaps it will need to be replaced sooner than other materials.

Brick Brick is among the more expensive paving mater ia ls, as br ick is a labor-intensive m ater i a l to i n st a l l . But br ic k a l low s homeowners to create distinctive patterns that can add quite a bit to a home's curb appeal. Once installed, brick driveways don't require much maintenance, though cracked bricks will need to be replaced.



Asphalt is an affordable paving material, which likely plays a role in its popularity

Cobblestone can be ver y pleasing to the eye, but that aesthetic appeal won't come

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cheap. Among the more expensive paving materials, cobblestone can also be a handful to maintain, as weeds can penetrate the cobblestones rather easily. Loose or missing stones can be unsightly and will need to be replaced. Many homeow ners who love the look of cobblestone choose to use it along walkways or on their patios, as these areas won't require as much materials, saving both money and the time it takes to maintain the cobblestones.

Concrete Concrete is perhaps the ideal paving material for the homeowner who wants to express his or her individuality. That's because concrete driveways can be laid in a variety of colors and designs, adding a touch of personality in a place many homeowners likely thought such expression was impossible. Though affordable, concrete can fall victim to the elements, as extremely cold temperatures can cause the concrete to shift and ultimately crack. Concrete pavers can remedy t his problem, though that will add to the overall cost of the project.

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Gravel A gravel driveway can give a home a historical look that few of today's homes can boast. Gravel is an affordable material that requires little maintenance, though weeds can grow through gravel and must be removed to maintain the driveway's appeal. Washout is a concern for some who want a gravel driveway, but edging the driveway with a material like timber or bluestone can prevent the gravel from washing away should heavy rains fall.

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 8, 2013 • M-F 8-5 • Sat 8:30-12



Step up the transformation By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer A long w ith entrances and exits, stairways are some of the most heavily trafficked areas of the home. You and your family probably go up and down the stairs a dozen times a day, and if there is carpeting underfoot, that can lead to a lot of wear and tear.

Fortunately, there are many options for dealing with a carpeted stairway that has seen better days.

deeper cleaning, you might want to rent a steam cleaner or hire a ca r pet clea ning service.

Study the carpeting on your stairs. What kind of condition is it in? Is it just soiled and st a i ne d ? Gi ve it a good cleaning. Fill up a bucket with warm water, grab a bottle of carpet cleaner and a scrub brush, and get busy. For a

For carpet beyond cleaning, replacement might be your best bet. This can be costly, but if you live in an area with cold weather or with young children or seniors prone to falls, it is worth considering. Tr a mpi ng up a nd dow n hard, cold steps is never fun, and falls down hard steps can lead to serious injur y. Bring warmth, comfort and cushioning to your sta irs with new carpet. You can opt for wa ll-to-wa ll carpeting

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or a runner, though with a runner, you may have to have the stairs refinished. While nice, carpeted stairs c a n be d i f f ic u lt to keep clean. A long w it h reg ular vacuuming, you may have to do a deeper cleaning from time to time. If you’re not one for hauling the vacuum cleaner or steam cleaner up and down the stairs, consider some a lter nat ives. Ma ny home ow ner s t he s e d ay s are replacing the carpet on their stairs with hardwood. A lt houg h ex pensive to install, hardwood is durable and easy to clean. Laminate


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The sky is the limit when it comes to transforming your stairs. is a more affordable option, and like hardwood, it is easy to clean. Just sweep and dust with a wet-dry mop. If hardwood and laminate are not your style, paint is another option. Paint is very affordable and offers endless possibilities. You can open up t he space by pa int ing t he sta irs white. You ca n brighten up the space with bolder paint color choices and freehand designs. You can add some whimsy to the space with stenciled or tiled stairs. Just paint the stairs whatever color you want and

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 8, 2013

Creating a backyard spa retreat NAPSI — Soaking away the stresses of the day can have many mental and physical benefits. To help, here are some tips for enjoying your backyard spa and keeping maintenance simple: • Make your spa a place of refuge and peace. Twinkling candles around the perimeter can set the mood for romance or quiet solitude. Use sturdy pillars, container candles, votives or flameless LED candles. Or string strands of twinkle lights along the fencing and watch the light dance on the water’s surface. • Use your digital player or computer to fill the area with your favorite music. • Surround the spa with pots of fragrant flowers, such as lavender, phlox and roses. • For a soft, soothing spa environment, try a bromine-free, chlorine-free sanitizer. • Have a stack of warm towels nearby to make leaving the spa a little easier. • Hang decorative pegs for robes and use a wood deck box to hold towels and keep slippers dry. • Test water regularly and use an EPA-registered sanitizer to protect bathers. • Proper water circulation is important. Run the circulation system every day. • Clean the filter every four to six weeks. • To preserve surfaces and prevent dirt buildup, use cleaners that are designed to work specifically with spa water chemistry. • Regular draining and refilling is also an important part of spa maintenance. How often you drain and refill your spa depends on how often you use it. You can learn more at and 800-932-5943.


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Offers valid until April 30, 2013. 1Financing subject to approved installment credit with John Deere Financial; some restrictions apply, so see your dealer for complete details and other financing options. 2$1,000 off 1023E only ($500 off with purchase of two implements, $500 retail bonus). 3 MSRP of 1023E Tractor. Loader and implement sold separately. Taxes and delivery not included. 4Manufacturer’s estimate of power (ISO) per 97/68/ED. John Deere’s green and yellow color scheme, the leaping deer symbol and JOHN DEERE are trademarks of Deere & Company. A0B010ECU1A55060-00388174

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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 8, 2013

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Local experts on how to get the kitchen you want AUBURN — If you’re like most people, you don’t build or remodel a kitchen every day. So, chances are you’re not completely sure where to start. What should you think about? How do you pick a designer? How do you pick an installer? How much should you spend? Kitchen projects generate many questions. “It can be a little intimidating for people who haven’t done it before,” said Mike Pond of the Kitchen and Bath and Flooring Center at Hammond Lumber Company’s store in Auburn. “But once they find a designer they like working with, it can come together fast and actually be a lot of fun.” Pond has been designing kitchens for more than 15 years, while Byron Peters and Jessica Rice, who work alongside him have over 30 years of combined experience in flooring and kitchen sales. As a first step, Pond urges prospective customers to think about how they will be using their kitchen.

Call Toll Free 1-877-455-3212 Check out before & after photos at 8


“It really helps to know how the customer uses a kitchen, how they move around in it,” he said. “Do they have a routine, and do they like to put things in specific places? How often do they have to chase down to the cellar to get stuff? And how much do they actually cook in the kitchen?”

Hammond Lumber kitchen display Pond encourages prospective customers to look at pictures of kitchens in magazines, newspapers and online. And it can help to do rough sketches of their ideas. Another re c om mende d step before ma k i ng a n appointment with a designer is to measure doors, windows and walls, as well as the distance from f loor to ceiling. It’s also very helpf u l if t he customer has g iven some thought to budget.

Kitchen page 19 ‰

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 8, 2013

Quality windows, coverings key to energy savings By Deborah Carroll Feature Writer / Photographer With so many options available when it comes to the windows in your home, from window treatments to the windows themselves, the opportunity to add your own personal touch while increasing efficiency has never been so simultaneously fun and functional as it is now. In the past, according to Amy Bilodeau of Gamache & Lessard Custom Decorators, “Old-fashioned window quilts, which ran on tracks and effectively buttoned up a window, were popular in the 80s.” Although the window quilt is seeing a small resurgence, they tend to be big and bulky and the most popular trend these days is using materials and designs that have simple and clean lines, rather than a heavier look. “Other than a window quilt, the best shade [for both efficiency and style] is a double honeycomb or cellular shade," said Bilodeau. “Cellular shades are most popular by far and help all around in both winter and summer.” They provide shade from the sun’s harmful rays and keep the cold and heat in or out, depending on the season. Cellular shades are available in a large array of colors and patterns, and a customer can even print a graphic on them. They can be corded, cordless (push up) and motorized, and even available as a cellular in a vertical sliding version for a slider door. “There are so many choices,” said Bilodeau, who can assist with design as well as installation and service after the installation.

Scott Richard of Hammon Lumber Customize your double-cell shade Get a hands-on understanding of the window choices available to you by demonstrates the features of a with a design of your choosing. visiting local showrooms such as the one at Galaxy Glass. double-hung window. According to Therrien, the R5 rating has only been around for about two years. “To get to the R5 rating you need two coats of Low E – a film – and krypton gas.”

Although an R5 rating is clearly the way to go, at least until 2014, said Therrien, when new standards may make most of the windows on the market today obsolete. A price-

Adding a little tint, explained Richard, “helps keep the heat in during the winter months. When you're running the AC, the tint keeps the cold air in during the summer months. It also reflects the sun's rays in the summer."

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Although a double-cell shade is very effective, single cells offer more in patterns and in most cases offer enough insulation for most homes. And, according to Bilodeau, triple-cell shades are available, but are not as popular; a double will do an excellent job.

Windows page 19 ‰

An appointment with one of our showroom consultants gets you EASY ACCESS to a "World of Choices", Ideas and Advantages.

“A lot of heat gets lost through the glass, even in air tight homes. The use of an insulating shade," she said, “makes a huge difference.” Even with an effective insulating shade, however, it is important that the windows behind the shade also work to keep out the cold of winter and the heat of summer. According to Bill Therrien of Galaxy Glass, back in the early 80s during the window quilt’s heyday, triple-pane glass was in vogue. "The triple pane got phased out because the balance systems weren’t strong enough to hold the w indows up, sometimes causing w indows to come crashing down," he said.

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"The goal is to get the R value up. R3 is a dual pain glass,” explained Scott Richard of Hammond Lumber Company. R5 is usually a triple-glazed window, making it more efficient, but also considerably more expensive.

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“Windows have to meet certain specifications,” said Therrien.


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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 8, 2013

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Local project: Fixing up an old farmhouse By Deborah Carroll Feature Writer / Photographer An old house is always a work in progress, according to David Bell, of Auburn, and the older the house, the longer the progress. The Auburn farmhouse where Bell has lived since 1983 dates back to the 1700s. Members of the Bell family have lived in the farmhouse since the 1930s, when Bell’s aunt Lena and uncle Vick purchased the home and raised nine children there. Bell began running the family business in the '80s when he "bought the farm," he said with a laugh. Before he had any children, and well before Jennifer Zanca came to live at the farm, Bell lived primarily on the first f loor of the home, closing off the second floor in order to conserve heat. However, when a hurricane hit central and coastal Maine in the mid 1980s, the house sustained a significant amount of water damage. Hardest hit was the upstairs where the walls and ceilings became saturated and stained. “I pulled everything down, leaving the beams exposed,” Bell said, but it would be a long time before he began the process of remodeling. Bell’s f irst remodeling project began in earnest during the early 1990s when he tore apart the kitchen. As with the upstairs, when he began tearing apart the kitchen he found the heavy rough-hewn beams that stretched from wall to wall, forming the bones of the old house. He found that the walls had been filled with gray wool, most likely from sheep, and with cellulose, a pellet like substance, both of which ser ved as insulation. The original builders had used sawdust as insulation throughout the house as well, and all of the above insulation had settled to the bottom of the walls, leaving little or no insulation in many areas. T he renovat ions cont i nued up to a nd through the birth of Bell's children and past 2003, when Zanca moved in. Since then, renovations have been ongoing. “It’s really messy,” said Zanca. “When we tear apart walls, we have to use respirators to avoid breathing in the fine, ancient plaster dust." Upon removing the plaster, which had been mixed with horsehair to give it substance, they found that the plaster had been slathered over hand-split wooden planks. According to Bell, “The wood was rough

The bench in the mud room hides a passage to the basement workshop.

Passage to the basement workshop was conveniently located inside a bench in the mudroom as part of the farmhouse renovation project. and held the insulation, and the plaster had oozed through it to make the finished wall.” This technique was used throughout the farmhouse. It is said that in Europe and New England, shoes were intentionally concealed in the walls of homes as they were built, particularly near fireplaces, doors and windows, as a lucky charm or talisman intended to ward off evil. Although Bell did not find any old shoes in his Maine farmhouse, he did find an old postcard and antique wooden spindles that may have once held wool or thread. In another old house that she worked on, Zanca found a set of salt-and-pepper shakers in a wall. Whether those items were lost and somehow ended up in the wall, or placed there intentionally is one of the many mysteries of old farmhouses. A f ter tea r i ng out t he old k itchen, Bel l insulated the new kitchen and reshingled the roof at the same time, installing two skylights and a ceiling fan, and leaving the beams exposed. In the next few months, Bell and Zanca will install the granite countertops and replace the old Jenn-air with a Bosch gas oven and stove. Future plans include an island in the center of the kitchen to be used as a food


The unfinished exposed celing and beams add a rustic look to the new family room. preparation area and gathering space for family and friends. Though the old, stainlesssteel, single-bay sink will be replaced, they will keep the large bay window behind it that looks out over the back yard toward the pond.

hooks that are used to hold jackets and other items that are necessary for life on the farm.

Although the rest of the home is a patchwork of different wood flooring, including antique wide pine and narrow oak, Bell and Zanca chose to install a laminate in the kitchen and mudroom because it is easier to keep clean. The mudroom, which also doubles as a laundr y room, has new, w ide pine wainscoting with decorative wrought iron

“We used to carry the skis through the kitchen and then down the basement stairs to get them to the workroom,” explained Zanca, which created a mess along the way, as well as

With a number of avid skiers in the Zanca-Bell clan, necessity has bred invention.


page 12 ‰

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 8, 2013

Local experts reveal trends in patio designs, products By Dan Marois Feature Writer

Cousins, noting that Shawnee Steps usually doesn’t build decks, but they do offer a step landing that is 10' wide and 6.5' deep.

10,800 psi and if you dropped it, there might be a small chip. Our products are on the cutting edge of technology.”

Trends in pat io desig n a nd accessories change from year to year. So what will be the “hot”patio project item in 2013?

Products are becoming more innovative and durable, which is great for customers.

While Shawnee Steps provides installation of their products, Petro’s Hardware and Gagne & Son Masonry provide customers with a list of experienced contractors to choose from to complete projects.

“Recently, people were looking for fire pits; everyone wanted one," said George Allen, manager at Gagne & Son Concrete Products in Auburn. “Now the hot seller is building outdoor kitchens.”

“A reg u la r conc rete br ick m ig ht have (compressive strength) 3000 psi and if you dropped it, the brick would shatter,” explained Petrocelli. “Our hardscaping products have a

“Bring a sketch of what you would like to do,” said Allen. “We’ll give you ideas.” “Sometimes a do-it-yourself homeow ner is work ing on a project and ca lls us on a Sat u rday mor n i ng ,” sa id Pet rocel l i. “Sometime they call us three times in a day. We are always ready to assist.”

Allen pointed to a display under construction in his product showroom. It has a shiny gas grill surround by two masonry pillars that will serve as counter tops. Next to the cooking area is a bar and the entire area is surrounded by a decorative wall. “W it h a pergola, [a n enclosed wooden structure overhead] it makes a nice covered area for cooking, dining and entertaining,” said Allen. “We are going to be known for our affordable outdoor kitchens.” John Petrocelli, owner of Petro’s Hardware in Auburn, has noticed a trend toward using larger slabs in projects. “In past years, we saw our biggest sales in smaller pavers, 5" X 4", 5" X 6", 5" X 7",” said Petrocelli, “now our best selling items are larger – 13" X6-1/2", 13" x 13", and 13" x 19-1/2". It really narrows down to a matter of taste.”

Dan Marois photo

A popular trend in patio design is to include an outdoor kitchen.

Allen said that many customers think that the bigger pavers will make the job easier.

Dan Marois photo

George Allen, manager at Gagne & Son Masonry in Auburn.

“The truth is that the preparation still needs to be done correctly no matter how small or large the paver,” said Allen. “Preparation is everything. Digging the earth properly and putting in the correct base of gravel makes all the difference.” Petrocelli said that customers have more choice than ever w ith pavers of various designs and textures. He advises homeowners to give careful consideration to the choices they make.

Dan Marois photo

Include a firepit in your patio design.

“We work with materials that you are never goi ng to touch aga i n,” sa id Pet rocel l i. “W hile wooden patios and decks require maintenance, maybe painting ever y few years, hardscaping is there for a long time and can’t be easily changed.” Terr y Cousins, a sales representative for Shawnee Steps with a location in Auburn, said that customers are concerned with price, durability and appearance for their home improvement products. “Sa les person nel c a n show c ustomers different options with different designs,” said

Pine Knoll Landscape, Lisbon, photo

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 8, 2013

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Farmhouse from page 10

a p ot ent i a l l y d a nger ou s situation. Bell designed a bench in the mudroom with a seat that lifts as if to reveal a storage area. This bench, however, opens to reveal a passageway to the basement workshop where the family tunes and stores ski equipment. Skis are fed through the passageway and deposited on a shelf adjacent to the primar y work area. When tuned and ready, the sk i equipment can be fed through the hole and bench

to be carried directly outside. Ot her completed projects i nclude t h re e be d room s upstairs, all w ith exposed bea ms, pol ished wood f loors, i nterest i ng a ng les a nd comfortable lighting, as well as a new bathroom w ith a corner shower and a triangular Jacuzzi in the opposite corner. The f loors a nd ha lf way up t he wa lls are tiled and finished with a decorative local-stone mosaic border.

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The next room that Zanca and Bell will tackle, and which has already been ripped down to the studs and beams, is what will become the new family room. A mason has been hired and has begun creating a br ick hea r t h for a new woodstove. Given t hat t he wood for t he Napoleon wood stove in the basement is brought in through a bulkhead and store d i n t he ba sement, a lmost direct ly below t he new hea r t h, Za nca’s pla n is to install a type of “dumb waiter” to lift the wood from the basement to the first floor, saving the mess that is always associated with use of a wood stove. T hey pla n to keep the wood ceiling exposed, sealing it with a clear finish, refinish the oak flooring and, possibly, install wainscoting t h roug hout t he L-shaped room. Later, the old family room will be transformed into the dining room, a new hallway w ill be created and a new bathroom installed on the first floor. After that, they say, “We’ll work on the barn.” And after that, who knows?

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Overcoming common bathroom addition challenges (BPT) - Adding a bathroom to your home rema i ns one of t he most popu la r a nd rewarding home improvements you can make. In fact, when you sell your home, you can expect to recoup more than 50 percent of the cost of a bathroom addition, according to Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value Report. Creating a new bathroom where none currently exists can, however, be among the more challenging home improvements you can make. Fortunately, with careful planning and the help of innovative plumbing fixtures, it is possible to add a bathroom to virtually any home. Here are some common challenges and how you can address them to achieve the bathroom addition of your dreams:

Finding space Where to put another bathroom is a burning question, whether your home is 1,800 square feet or 3,800. Of course, the question is more challenging for smaller or older homes, but options do exist. Many people find space in a basement, and with finishing a basement among the most popular types of renovation, adding a bath to this space makes a great deal

of sense. If your home is built on a slab, other options might include taking some space away from a garage, or adding a powder room beneath stairs.

Breaking through concrete Adding a bathroom in a basement, garage area or in a home that sits on a slab traditionally requires cutting into concrete. Yet there are many pitfalls to consider with this traditional approach. First, cutting into a concrete pad is a costly endeavor and inevitably weakens its structural integrity. The process creates dust and noise, and the contractor can't be sure what he will encounter; the slab may be thicker or thinner than anticipated, cracks can develop and a host of other problems may occur. These challenges can be solved with above-f loor plumbing, and several options exist.

Plumbing Plumbing a bathroom addition is, arguably, the biggest challenge of this type of home improvement. Whether you're building in the basement, beneath a first-floor stairway or in an existing space within the house, finding

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If your home is built on a slab, other options might include taking some space away from a garage, or adding a powder room beneath stairs. room for pipes can involve opening walls or cutting into concrete - traditional approaches that can be inconvenient and costly. Macerating toilet systems, such as Saniflo's Sa n ibest, ca n be a n a f fordable, t i mesaving and convenient alternative. W hile you may be familiar with the concept of "upflushing" toilets that use a pump to move waste, macerating technolog y goes one better, incorporating a grinding feature that reduces solid waste before pumping out, which eliminates clogging. In addition to managing liquid and solid waste, this upflush

Many people find space in a basement, and with finishing a basement among the most popular types of renovation, adding a bath to this space makes a great deal of sense. technology easily accommodates waste water from a bathroom sink and a shower or bathtub in one convenient system. The company also offers high-efficiency toilets that use 20 percent less water than standard models - so it has less of an impact on the environment and your water bill. To learn more, visit www.


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2013's hottest home trends and easy upgrades (BPT) - The top home decor trends for 2013 are already emerging, and homeowners seeking a fresh look will find a lot to love. Not only can these looks be accomplished in minimal time - they're budget friendly and easy enough for DIYers to finish in a weekend or less. Giving your home an updated feel doesn't require a fullscale renovation. Instead, focus on simple updates for the most frequently used rooms in your house. When you're ready to get started on your home's new look, let these trends of the year be your design guide.

In the kitchen Kitchens need to be functional, but in this hub of the home style is just as important. Upholding practicality while adding visual interest is a top trend this season. Twotoned upper and lower cabinet colors are rapidly growing in popularity as a way to let homeowners customize their kitchen spaces and express their personalities. • Maple is the style frontrunner when it comes to wooden cabinets, but painted cabinets in white, black and gray tones are also on the rise. Whether you opt to replace your cabinet fronts or paint them, your efforts will give you impressive - and fast - results. • On the functionality front, innovative hands-free faucets simplif y cooking and cleaning tasks while requiring minimal effort to install. • Open shelving is seeing a boost in popularity. Both glass-fronted cabinets and simple open shelves capture this trend, allowing you to put your style on display while creating a sleek, updated look.

In the bath A luxurious-feeling bath doesn't need to make big demands on your wallet. By making a few on-trend updates, you'll give your room designer appeal guaranteed to make an impression. • Updating the vanity, often the focal point in a bathroom, prov ides immediate results. Customizable modular options like those from the allen + roth Windelton line let you create a storage-savv y vanity that fits virtually any bathroom while also adding functional drawer and countertop space. • Tiling prov ides t he perfect solution to add extra personality to your bath. Right now, trends offer two different but equally chic directions - large-scale tile and small-scale mosaics. Tiles with wood-like appearances are also gaining popularity; they create a warm, inviting look, but offer the wet-space practicality of tile. If it's your first time tiling, home improvement experts at stores like Lowe's can provide guidance to get startedwith your tile flooring.

Throughout the home When it comes to low-effort, big-impact changes, it's hard to beat a fresh coat of paint. For walls that feel drab, boring or outdated, new paint makes a color statement and draws attention to architectural details. Follow these paint tips to make an instant, dramatic impression: • Alter the dimensions of a space by painting ceilings a slightly lighter color than the walls. • Create patterns and shapes using painter's tape. Stripes, chevrons and ombre effects are perfectly on-trend.

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• Highlight architectural details by painting interior doors and trim in a colorful hue instead of traditional white. In one weekend or less, these simple changes will make your home feel like an entirely new space. So when the seasonal urge to renovate sets in, don't resist - reinvigorate your home with these ideas. Find more decorating trends and inspiration at

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Planning a child's room to last By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer


our toddler is growing up quickly, and before you know it, they will be in grade school and done with that race-car or princess bed. Here are some tips for transforming their room into one they can live in for a long time. It may be ha rd to imag ine now, but eventually that little one dragging toys from one end of the house to another will be a teenager, and that teenager won’t like the sweet striped wallpaper you selected for their bedroom. Better to get rid of that wallpaper and make choices now that will work for toddlers to teens. W hile wa llpaper is nice, changing it out as your child grows can be a hassle.


Paint is a better choice, especially for the younger years when messy hands are not uncommon. Removing dabs of chocolate pudding from a painted wall is far easier than it is from a wallpapered wall. Trade the wallpaper for paint, and to reduce color changes over the years, choose a somewhat neutral shade that your child can live with for a long time, such as a mossy green, pewter gray or golden caramel. Think neutral for all other aspects of the room, in particular the f looring and lighting. Forget the rose-colored carpeting and the pink and purple ceiling fan. Opt for beige carpeting and a black, white or wooden ceiling fan instead. You can bring color and character into the room with fabrics and accessories that can easily be changed out.

window coverings and linens. White or wooden blinds will grow with your child, as will solid-colored sheets and bedding. Your child may have a favorite cartoon character or color, and you can honor that in the valances, pillows, throws and duvet covers. Keep the sheets and bed ruffle khaki and pump up the color with a camouf lagethemed duvet color and dark green pillows and window valances.

Get rid of the race-car or princess bed and any other furniture that won’t stand the test of time. Look for sturdy, multifunctional pieces that will appeal to your child now and later. Bunk beds are great for young kids who like to have sleepovers and can be separated later for older kids. The same goes for that modular cube storage unit. You can stack the cubes one way when your child is young and another way Continue the neutral backdrop with the when they are older. As for furniture color, neutral is the best choice, be careful with white furniture, as it doesn’t always appeal

to teen girls. Accessories can easily be changed out, so rely on them to add color and character to your child’s room. Do keep in mind, however, how often kids’ tastes change, so don’t spend a fortune on the accessories for your child’s room. Shop for items at flea markets, yard sales and clearance sales. Choose inexpensive posters, prints and calendar pages you can frame rather than custom-framed artwork. Hang a bulletin boa rd for ha nd iwork a nd add some wallpaper stickups to furniture and walls for pops of color. Decorating your child’s room for the long haul is not hard. It just takes some thought of today and tomorrow. Good luck, and don’t forget to get the input of your most important critic, your child. It is their room after all. Give them a say in how it looks, and you may not have to badger them as much later to keep their room clean!

from page 13

Water supply E n s u r i n g a n a de q u a t e supply of w ater - bot h hot and cold - is another common challenge homeowners must consider when adding a bathroom. Before moving forward with their home improvement plans, homeowners should a s s e s s t he c a pac it y of t hei r water heaters a nd the condition of existing plumbing within the home. Is your water heater up to the task of ser ving an addit iona l bat hroom? If you're adding a powder room, it will require less hot water than a full bath where people will need lots of hot water for showers. Finally, ask your plumber to inspect ex isting pipes i n t he home. A re t he y in good condit ion? Wi l l they w ithstand the added demands of a new bathroom? Will they work well with the new piping that will be present in the new bathroom?

There's no a rg uing t hat adding a bat hroom improves both your home's va lue a nd your fa mi ly's u s e a nd enjoy ment of the space. By addressing

some common challenges in the planning stages of your home improvement, you can ensure your new bathroom is efficient, userfriendly and cost-effective.

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5 spring home improvements projects you can tackle (BPT) - Improved value, curb appeal and livability are the benchmarks for any smart home i mprovement . But some upgrades you do for the sheer joy of it. The best home improvements deliver all those smart qualities and speak to your heart at the same time. With spring home improvement season approaching, here are five home improvements that you can do for the love of spring - and the love of your biggest investment:

Add/replace a skylight Abundant natural light and fresh air are among the joys of spring, and replacing an old, energy-inefficient skylight, or adding one where none existed before, is a great way to welcome su n l ig ht a nd spr i ng breezes i nto you r home. Sun light's posit ive ef fe c t on mood i s wel ldocu mented, a nd add i ng a fresh-air skylight, which comes with a screen, offers other health benefits as well.

Opt for an energy saving solar powered fresh-air skylight a nd y ou c a n e nj o y t h e benefits of passive ventilation to reduce humidity and stale air in your home along with more natural light.

among home buyers. In fact, adding a wooden deck can recoup more than 77 percent of the deck's cost when you sell your home, according to Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value Report.

From a practical standpoint, installing an Energ y Starqualified skylight like those made by V ELU X A mer ica can help you control heating, cooling and lighting costs in your home. Replacing an older, less efficient skylight with a new solar-powered, f resh-a ir sk ylig ht, w it h a rain sensor, can also ensure your home stays protected from spring showers. You ca n a lso choose sola r powered bl i nds for even more energy efficiency, and bot h a re elig ible for a 30 percent federal ta x credit. To learn more about energyefficient skylights, visit www. or energystar. gov.

If you don't already have a deck, adding one - whether wood or composite - not only enhances your home value, it will be a great place to celebrate the arrival of spring. If you already have a de c k , c on sider v a lue enhancing upgrades like new balusters, lighted post caps, built-in seat ing a nd even planters.

Add/improve a deck The trend toward outdoor l iv i ng spac es cont i nues, with decks being one of the most sought-after amenities

Install a kitchen backsplash Spr i n g br i n g s a br i g ht , colorful feel to the world and you can easily incorporate t hat sent i ment i nto you r k itchen by adding a backsplash. A project easily w it hin t he capabilities of m o s t d o - i t-y o u r s e l f e r s , back spla shes a re bot h functional and decorative. Gra nite, cera mic or glass tile protects the wall behind

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the range or cook top from splatters of food or grease while brightening valuable workspace and ser v ing as a visual focal point for the room. Great kitchens sell homes, and the room is one of the most-u sed i n a ny home. Upg r ad i ng you r k itchen is a l most a lway s a good invest ment, one t hat improves resale value and you r enjoy ment of you r home.

Upgrade bathroom floors Bat h room renovat ions a r e a l s o p opu l a r a nd a minor bat hroom remodel ca n retur n more t ha n 65 percent of the cost at the time of resale, according to the Cost vs. Value Report. While replacing countertops and f i xtures are common remodeling task s in a bathroom, don't overlook the biggest surface in the room the floor. Ma ny moder n bu i lders i nsta l l v i nyl f loors i n bathrooms because they are durable and cheap. Switching out this common material for stone or ceramic tile is a great way to brighten the room and give your bath a whole new look.

Opt for an energy saving solar powered fresh-air skylight and you can enjoy the benefits of passive ventilation to reduce humidity and stale air in your home along with more natural light.

Improve your entryway Your front door and entryway a re t he f i r st i mpre s sion visitors have of your home's decor. A welcoming entr y invites guests in and gives you a mood boost every time you walk through it. This year, celebrate spring by replacing a n old worn wooden door with a sturdy, decorative steel door - an

Abundant natural light and fresh air are among the joys of spring, and replacing an old, energyinefficient skylight, or adding one where none existed before, is a great way to welcome sunlight and spring breezes into your home. improvement that recoups nearly 85 percent of its cost when you sel l, accord ing to Remodeling Maga zine. To really celebrate spring, add a screen door. You'll be able to let in fresh air and spring breezes while keeping insects out. Plus, a screen door is essential Americana, creat ing a welcom ing openness that epitomizes the joy of spring.

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Popular remodeling trends for spring home improvement projects

"You can save time, money and stress by planning ahead," said Kathy Kraf ka Harkema, Pel la Windows a nd Doors ex per t . "Se ek out ex per t adv ice, resea rch produc t options and schedule home remodel i ng project s now, while you have the time to plan it and get on the schedule of contractors." A well-planned remodeling project can: 1. Add curb appeal to your home 2. Increase your home's energy efficiency and help reduce energy costs 3. I mpr ov e y ou r home's comfort and style 4. Reduce annual ma i ntena nce t i me a nd expenses Jumpstart your spring projects with inspiration from these 2013 remodeling trends:

Energy-saving updates From low-volat i le orga nic compound (VOC) paints and adhesives to more energ yef f icient w indows a nd furnaces, spring projects can help improve air quality and increase your comfort. Look for ENERGY STAR-qualified products that help lower your home's energy consumption, and in turn, your utility bills.

Better bathrooms Fo r m a n y h o m e o w n e r s , s ou g ht-a f t e r r e mo de l i n g projects for 2013 will include kitchen upgrades, bathroom remodels and master bedroom suite renovations. Bat hroom remodeling options can include heated

bathroom f looring, custom tile and stonework, custom v a n i t y a n d c a b i n e t r y, beautiful bathtubs, showers a nd f i x t u res, low-prof i le linea r shower d ra ins a nd big windows to let in more natural sunlight. "To d a y 's b a t h r o om a nd bedroom remodeling projects often incorporate rela x i ng tech nolog y a nd products," Kraf ka Harkema said. "With energy-efficient replacement windows from Pella, you can create warm natural light-filled spaces while also maintaining your privacy and comfort." E nerg y-ef f ic ient Pel la Desig ner Series wood w indows a nd patio doors bring in the sunshine, and provide privacy with optional between-the-glass window f a s h i o n s . B e t w e e n -t h e glass blinds and shades also help reduce certain indoor a i rbor ne a l ler gen s f rom accu mu lat ing, improv i ng indoor air quality. Cordless w indow fashions a lso are safer for homes with children and pets.

Jumpstart your spring projects with inspiration from these 2013 remodeling trends.

Hot kitchens Yahoo! Homes says 2013 kitchen remodeling trends focus on practical, durable and do-ityourself (DI Y ) projects like refac i ng k itchen c abi net s, a d d i n g q u a r t z c om p o s i t e countertops, hardwood-looking engineered f loors, deep bowl k itchen sin ks, commercia lstyle or built-in appliances and mi x ing colors and tones on cabinets.

Spring home improvement projects will help you update add comfort and save more of your hard-earned paycheck.

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Create new purposes for old doors By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer


ld doors. They seem to be every whereĂƒâ€˜antique stores, flea markets, yard sales, in the old home you just inherited. The older the door, the more likely it is constructed from solid wood. Solid wood doors are hard to find these days and cost a bundle. Beyond using them as an entrance, what do you do with old doors? You repurpose them into almost anything imaginable! Old doors ma ke g reat headboa rds. Just remove t he hardware, paint or stain the exterior if desired, turn the door on its side, hang it behind your bed, and voila, you’ve got a great headboard. Door doesn’t quite fit? No problem. Cut it down and trim it out for a more finished look. Old doors make great screens. Find three somewhat equal in size, remove the hardware, paint or refinish them if desired, attach them together with hinges, and your folding screen is complete. Need a larger screen? Add another door or two. Want to make the screen more practical? Add a panel of chalkboard paint and a panel of corkboard for a

bulletin board. You can also create a message center out of one door. Just paint a panel with chalkboard paint, attach a whiteboard in another panel and a corkboard in another, and you’ve got a large, message center at your service. You can either hang the door on the wall, stand it against the wall or attach some feet to it for a freestanding message center. Old doors make great desks. Take a door, remove the hardware, paint or refinish it if desired, add four legs, trim it out and you’ve got a great desk. Use the doorknob hole for a cup or cord holder. Door has panes of glass? No problem. Slide some photos or postcards onto the glass panes for decoration and lay a large piece of glass on top of the door to create a solid surface for working. You can also turn an old door into an instant table using the same process. Just cut the door down to the size you need, paint or refinish it if desired, add some legs and trim, and you’ve got a great side table, sofa Old doors make great headboards. table and more. Want a dining table? Use two doors side by side. Old doors make great additions to gardens as well, either as screens, shutters or potting benches. To turn an old door into

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a potting bench, turn it on its side and add some legs, or make it freestanding with feet and use it as a backdrop to a real potting bench. There are dozens of new uses for old doors. Head to your local hardware store or garden center for ideas. Consult some home magazines and the Internet for further ideas. Get creative and design your own project. Then post it online and share it with others!


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ď ‚ď ˜ď€˛ď€śď€śď€° Bring home America’s top-selling sub-compact tractor of the decade – Kubota’s BX Series – during Kubota’s Great Expectations Sales Event. Offer ends March 31, 2013.

8 Convenient Locations Now oering our own line of Maine made products with . . .


68 years of knowledge & experience etched in stone

- Lifetime Warranty - Traditional & Vintage Finishes - 2 - 5pc Patterns - Mix & Match Shape, Color, & Size

Rt. 2, East Dixfield Hours: Mon-Fri 8-5, Sat 8-12 • 645-4934 or 1-800-287-4934 • email: BELGRADE | AUBURN | WESTBROOK | SACO | KITTERY | NAPLES | TOPSHAM | HOLDEN | 1-800-339-3313 |



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No Need for Chiseling or Building Up a Floor Base

Plumbing and Heating Supplies.....Check out our

Showroom !

1525 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, ME 04240 783-6927 • 1-800-834-5706 MON-FRI 7:30-5:30 • SAT 8-4 •

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 8, 2013

Kitchen from page 8

“It c a n r e a l l y g i v e t h e customer and the designer a big head start,” Pond said, “if they know how much they have to work with. We can show them which cabinets and fixtures give them the best bang for their buck, and a lso save t hem money by pointing out the difference between features that might look nice but aren’t really necessary and the features they will actually use.” An efficient kitchen design center t hat k nows how to move a project a long w ill encou rage prospect ive customers to set up appointments before visiting t h e c e nt e r t o e n s u r e a designer w ill be available to guide them through the process and determine what decisions st i l l have to be made before actually making 3D drawings. Pond sa id t he in it ia l appointment usually takes about an hour, and a designer will ask about the size and layout of t he c u stomer’s space, and how they would use their new kitchen, then

Customers looking for custom-designed vertical sliders as well as double-cell shades should talk to Amy at Gamach & Lessard in Auburn.

Windows from page 9 conscious market still creates the trends and determines what is most popular.

Jessica Rice of Hammond Lumber show them cabinet displays and features that seem to be the best match. “If they like our ideas and like work ing w it h us,” he said, “we’ll set up a second appointment to actually work on specif ic designs. Once we’ve agreed on a plan, we’ll go to the home and measure the space ourselves before ordering the cabinets.” If t he customer does not a lready have a n insta l ler l i ned up, Ha m mond ca n provide the names of three or more c ont r ac tor s t he

company has worked with. Once the customer chooses a n insta l ler a nd is ready, Ha m mond w i l l del iver the cabinets and fi xtures, and then the designer will follow the project through to completion, including setting up countertop templates and installation. For more i n for mat ion or to spea k w it h a k itchen designer, call 800-439-2826 or 784-4009 or v isit w w w. ha m mond lu for the location of a store near you.

According to Richard, “Many people choose the R3-rated windows.” Energy ratings aside, double-hung windows are probably the most popular style sold at Hammond Lumber Company, followed by aw nings and single hungs, where t he top window is fixed, noted Richard. As with window coverings, there are so many window options now, said Philippe Laurendeau at Hammond Lumber, that “service after the sale is [also] important.” A lt houg h qua l it y w i ndow s a nd w i ndow coverings are certainly key in many homes, energy loss occurs in other areas of the home or structure as well. “Every home has its issues,” said Paul Nadeau of Efficiency Maine. Nadeau recommends a top-

Deborah Carroll photo

Customers shopping for windows appreciate the vinyl clad option on the exterior side of windows. to-bottom assessment by an energy advisor. “A lot of heat escapes from a home and an energy assessor gives the homeowner a report which serves as a map of what needs to be done," said Nadeau. The assessment may or may not include the need to replace windows. According to Nadeau, “An energy assessment is the best place to start ... it’s absolutely the way to go.”

Do you feel like a "square" when looking for a loan that fits YOUR needs? Perhaps you're just talking to the wrong lender. Franklin Savings Bank lenders look at the whole picture. Large parcels, unique homes or other hardto-appraise properties that don't qualify for conventional financing may well fit into our flexible in-house financing program. Give us a call and let's see which one of our new purchase programs work best for you.

Spa Sale Madness in March!

All Instock Spas on Sale!! Rt. 196 Lisbon Rd. Lisbon 353-8406

Gift Certificates Available • Like Us On

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 8, 2013

Cooks Corner 202 Bath Rd. Brunswick 725-8894

Why would anyone bank anywhere else?


Beautiful Steps

to Improve Your Home!

Steps for any look.

Handcrafted Maine-Made Steps Since 1957 Call for a FREE On-Site Estimate or Visit Our Showroom

Shawnee Steps

by American Concrete Industries

1022 Minot Ave., Auburn, ME 04210 784-1388 • 20 SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, March 8, 2013

Home Improvement