7 New Year’s Resolutions For Your Home

As 2019 is right around the corner, now is the perfect time to reflect upon the goals that you have made for the new year. While most people make resolutions for personal care including exercise and eating healthier, it is also important to think about how you will care for your home and ways to keep it in top shape all year long. To support this spirit of new beginnings, here are seven suggestions for resolutions that you can make for maintaining and caring for your home.

#1 Declutter

One way to start the new year off right is by decluttering and getting rid of unwanted or unused items around the home. To declutter, take your time and go through each room and closet within your home. Get rid of piles of magazines, old mail, clothes that have not been worn in the past year, and even gifts that you’ve never got around to using. Such items can be donated to a local charity or you can even have a yard sale when it warms up in the spring. Decluttering will help you keep your home tidy and organized all year long.

#2 Energy Efficient Upgrades

To conserve energy at home while also protecting the environment, consider upgrading to energy efficient windows and appliances. Windows and appliances that feature the Energy Star logo are a great way to cut down on your energy bills by as much as $400 per year. Such cost savings may even help you meet other long-term goals that you may have had for this year. The upfront costs of upgrades involves so much more than the actual ticket price of the item. Instead, consider energy efficiency as a long-term investment. This investment will contribute to sustainable living and it will cut down on fossil fuel emissions, thereby helping you do your part to save the planet.

#3 A Fresh Coat of Interior Paint

Give your home a fresh, new look by updating your interiors in a new paint color. By adding new colors to your walls, you can instantly transform your home, making it feel more inviting and personalized. Fortunately, you do not have to be a designer to choose an amazing paint color for the rooms of your home. Instead, choose colors that put a smile on your face, such as a favorite hue that you’ve always had in mind. New colors for your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room or home office are a great way to improve your home and boost your productivity.

#4 Invest in Smart Home Technology

You do not have to be tech savvy to upgrade to a smart home today. As smart technology continues to evolve, homeowners have so many options to choose from when incorporating new technology into their homes. From smart thermostats, to televisions, to home security systems, and even refrigerators, there are so many gadgets that can improve your home and make daily living so much easier. Resolve to invest in smart technology and increase your home’s value today.

#5 Lingering Home Improvements

Also take care of those lingering home improvements that you have been meaning to do since last year. From power washing the home, to fixing a leaky roof, to addressing drafty windows, home improvement projects are a great way to protect your home. It does not matter if you will take a DIY approach or if you will enlist the help of professionals, your home deserves a little TLC all year long.

#6 Focus on Curb Appeal

Your home’s New Year resolutions are not just limited to the inside of the home. Do not forget about improving curb appeal this year as well. Create a wow factor by taking care of your home’s exterior. Treat your lawn to fertilizer, plant beautiful flowers, or even paint your shutters and front door with an amazing pop of color. You can even spruce up your front porch with décor such as rocking chairs and pretty throw pillows. By focusing on your curb appeal you will surely maintain the value of your home and impress your neighbors.

#7 Update Furnishings & Accessories

Lastly, give your home a new look by updating your furniture and accessories. From curtains, to throw pillows, to rugs, and other accents you can change the look and feel of your home in an instant. For example, choose updated modern furniture, new accessories, or themed décor for an entirely new look. By committing to redecorating, you will have made a resolution that will surely put a smile on your face for months to come.

Expand your New Year resolutions list and include goals for your home as well. People spend most of their time at home, so why shouldn’t home New Year resolutions be at the top of your list? From small upgrades to interior makeovers, there are so many ways in which you can make and keep resolutions for your home in 2019.

Original Source: https://t2conline.com/7-new-years-resolutions-for-your-home-2/

Original Date: Dec. 2 2018

Choosing a Contractor for Your Next Home Improvement Project

This is the article to read if you are looking for some great advice on your next home improvement project!  Not only will we discuss tips on choosing a contractor we will throw in some advice on keeping you both communicating throughout.

Be able to articulate exactly what you want:

Being able to articulate your expectations is the most important aspects of any renovation.  Before meeting with a contractor, it is crucial that you know exactly what you want.  Spend time considering your end goals for the project at hand.  Consider how this project flows into future renovations.  Take time to layout a visual representation of what you expect the renovation should look like, the different amenities you desire, your needs vs your wants, etc.  If you can’t explain your goals into specifics, then a contractor won’t be able to translate this into a design.

Take time when interviewing contractors:

It is important to have a clear understand of what you are getting when you hire a contractor.   You should get at least three bids before choosing a contractor, upwards of six is even better as it gives you a clearer picture of what you can expect.  It also allows you to compare services: a six grand from one contractor may get you half of what another contractor is offering.  This will give you a clear perspective on material costs as well as the rates between contractors.  Make sure that all bids are measured equally.  Not all contracts include materials and labor.  When choosing a contractor make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

Complete background checks before signing a contract:

No matter who recommends the contractor, even if they used them in the past, it is important to do some basic background checks on the contractors’ credentials.  Not only should you know the company’s full name and address it is important to have copies of both the company’s liability & workers compensation policy’s along with a current state license.  Verify that they are up to date.  This is also the time to investigate complaints and legal actions that are pending or have been previously resolved.

Look into a contractor’s past work:

Not all contractors are created equally there are those that specialize and those that perform more general labor.  When hiring a large company, such as Kearns Brothers, you get both however this is not the case in all situations.  Before you hire an individual contractor, you must understand what they can and cannot do.

Take time to meet up with past clients to see the work they perform.  This is especially important in bigger renovations such as additions, complete kitchen renovations, and large scaled exterior home improvements.  Look at the similarity between each project, the quality of the materials that were used, and overall craftsmanship.  Also investigate how satisfied current and past clients are with the work that is done.  Other qualities to look for in their overall professionalism is the timeliness of returned phone calls, if they keep appointments and are, they on time, do they drive company vehicles and wear uniforms?

There are lots of little ways to make sure you get the renovation experience you are looking for.  It is important to understand that home improvement projects don’t happen overnight, and neither will hiring the perfect contractor.  Take time and have patience; due diligence will make the renovation run smoother than you ever thought possible.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.

Chimney Questions Answered by The Experts at Kearns Brothers

Chimney care is often overlooked when it comes to maintaining elements in and around the home.   As professional chimney repair specialists there are a few questions that are often asked of us.  Below we will answer the most common questions, concerns, and problems associated with chimneys.

The number one question asked of the Kearns Brother chimney specialists is,

“How can I tell if my chimney is safe to use?”

This is one of those questions that is difficult to answer without actually seeing the chimney. Upon inspection it is common for inspectors to skirt away from the term “safe”.  Instead, a chimney is inspected and if nothing is found a more common phrase to address the chimney’s use is to say that there are no visibly apparent issues that can be noted.  If there is any question to the stability of a chimney, we will call in a certified chimney sweep.  F.I.R.E. certified inspectors are experts and are the most qualified to make a judgment of a chimney’s safety.

How can I tell if my chimney needs to be cleaned or swept?”

Fireplaces: Take a bright flashlight and look up and down the chimney.  Most often the top of the chimney will be cleaner than the bottom for a number of reasons. If you notice a buildup of soot of more than a ¼ inch it is time for it to be swept.

Woodstoves: If your home has a woodstove and you actively use it, you should plan on hiring a professional chimney sweep each year.  If you keep up on cleaning your woodstove there should never be a dangerous level of creosote buildup.  

Gas/Oil Flues: With a gas or oil flue you will need to pull the pipe out of the bottom.  If the system has been operating efficiently, as it should be, there won’t be a lot to see.  The main thing to check for is that the passage is open.  To be safe it is a good idea to pass a brush through the passage.

How can I tell if my chimney is on fire?”

You would think this is evident right?  Chimney fires are scary and can occur with little to know advance notice.  It is important to keep your chimney clean to avoid fires within the chimney.  It can be hard to tell if a chimney is on fire from the inside of your home.  Many people don’t really know their chimney is on fire until a neighbor comes over and knocks on your door to let you know that flames are shooting out your chimney.  When your chimney is on fire it can sound or feel like a freight train flying through your space, sometimes however the sound may not accompany it.  Here are a few signs your chimney is on fire:

  • Are flames shooting out the top of your chimney?
  • Do you see mountainous billows of black smoke coming from the chimney?
  • Can you hear a sound coming from the chimney, similar to a train?

“Is my chimney flue open?”

One of the biggest issue’s homeowners have is making sure their flue is open.  The flue is the passage that moves the smoke out of the home.  If the flue is shut the smoke will fill the room and won’t allow the smoke to flow out.  To check and see if your flue is open you will want to get on your hands and knees to see if the flap within the chimney stack is open or shut.  There is usually a handle on the outside of the pipe that operates the flap.  Have someone help you by moving the handle back and forth until you can see the difference between it being open and closed.

“Could my chimney be blocked?”

A visible check of the chimney will tell you if there is a blockage.  If you have a wood or oil fireplace that is blocked smoke, or a smell of oil fumes will fill up the home, this is a good indicator your chimney is blocked.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.

 

Before Any Home Renovations These 8 Things Are Important

Home improvement projects can easily be derailed by the smallest of mistakes.  Ordering the wrong material, an unprofessional contractor, or unrealistic budget, can take a plan and turn it upside down.  As a homeowner it is up to you to be prepared for your renovation.  Here are a few things to consider before taking on another renovation whether you hire a professional contractor such as Kearns Brothers or attempt to DIY.

Understand What You Like

If you have been considering renovations to your home for awhile now you probably have created a number of Pinterest boards for each room in your house.  You most likely have some ideas of exactly what you want your renovated space however, it is important to plan whether your renovation is cosmetic only or if you will be changing the structure of the home.  Structural changes will take a number of specialty contractors working together to ensure the plumbing, electrical, and structure of the home functions properly with the newly renovated space.

Budgeting

The phrase “dream house” wasn’t invented because it exists in real life.  Obviously when renovating, the goal is to create your dream space however in the real world this needs to be accomplished within a manageable budget.  Before you become to invested in any one concept or material take time to check out the costs of materials at your local home improvement center and average labor costs in your area.

Myth vs Reality

Sometimes what we want just can’t happen because it is not feasible in our home.  It may seem like adding a bathroom to your upstairs master bedroom should be simple however, sometimes it because unrealistic because of the budget needed to configure plumbing where it is needed.  Before committing to a project of any magnitude it is crucial to meet with an architect and contractor for insight.  You may decide the idea needs to be scraped or reinvented.

Hire a Professional Contractor or DIY

For all but the simplest renovations hiring a professional contractor is the best option in home improvement.  I can’t express in numbers the amount of times I am called into clean up a mess from a renovation that a homeowner began but just can’t finish.  Before you begin a renovation, consider the amount of free time you have to complete the project at hand.  Not many homeowners have the time for renovations on top of their full-time jobs and general commitments. Enlisting the help of a contractor not only saves you time but often money as well.

Colors and Materials

Another element of renovation that is often forgotten is how different colors and materials that are used with look in the space especially as the light changes.  Place samples of the colors and materials you are looking at using throughout the space you are renovating and walk through the area a few times a day for a couple of days to see if you really love them as much as you think you do.  Oak cabinets may look simply unbelievable in the aisle of the home improvement store but when in your space, light, and surrounded by the colors you desire, oak might just not look like you desired.

Thoroughly Check Out Your Vet

We aren’t just talking about online reviews and testimonials, do research into:

  • Licensing
  • Insurance
  • Workers’ Comp
  • Bond Certification
  • Lien History

After meeting with several contractors, going over their credentials and your project, you should have a pretty good feel for what working like with each contractor.

Detailed Contract

Everyone, contractors and homeowners, are all elated at the start of a new home improvement project.  However, it is crucial to be prepared.  Contracts with any outside professionals, including home improvement contractors, need to be airtight, detailed, and specific to your project.  They should include:

  • A Schedule for Payments
  • Penalties for Missed Milestones (for both contractor and homeowner)
  • Details on All Work to Be Done

Having a detailed layout of what is expected, in writing can save both contractors and homeowners from hassles and headaches down the line.

Timing

If you think of terms that are synonymous with home improvement timeliness is not one of them.  Remodeling is often notorious for requiring more time than what was budgeted.  It could be weather, delays, order issues, subcontractor issues, and more.  The most important aspect is to plan accordingly.  Don’t plan a major family dinner party for the day after you expect your kitchen renovation to be completed.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.

2019 Kitchen and Bathroom Trends That Will Stand the Test of Time

It is not likely that you will renovate the kitchen and bathrooms in your home more than once.   Remodeling these spaces takes quite an effort from both the homeowner and contractor.  It’s true that the heavy lifting all comes down to who you hire however behind the scenes you are the one that is executing the rhythm of the entire project.  It is crucial that you, as the homeowner, knows what elements are crucial to have in your new kitchen and bathroom spaces.  This will not only make it enjoyable for you to use as you live there but also more desirable to buyers when it’s time to sell.

There are a number of elements in home improvement that are used to create kitchen and bathroom spaces that are not only luxurious but also functional.  Below are some of the trends we expect to see really take hold in 2019.

No More White… Color! Color! Color!

White kitchens are a thing of the past.  Not only are white kitchens difficult to keep clean, they are visually quite boring.  Fans of bright, bold, vivid colors will be thrilled to bring it to their kitchen and bathroom spaces.  Stark white, boring beige, and neutrals are being replace with brave, daring colors.  Some considerations to help bring this trend to life include:

  • Colored appliances, especially large stoves
  • Painted cabinets
  • Matte black over gray
  • Pops of colors found in shower doors and enclosures

Technology Throughout

The addition of technology is a trend that continues to grow throughout the world of home improvement.  If you don’t take technology into consideration when envisioning your new kitchen or bathroom space, then your renovation will fall short.  Adding technology into kitchens and bathroom spaces can be simple including:

  • Appliances enabled with Wi-Fi – Think ordering your groceries from your refrigerator! Think soap dispenser that can reorder soap when they run out! Think switching music choices in the shower!
  • Integrating Alexa
  • Programmable lighting
  • Smart appliances and gadgets

Unusual and Unique

There aren’t a lot of ways to really explain this concept in kitchen and bathroom remodeling other than to remind homeowners to texture and elements that make people want to know more.  Materials you would not expect used in unique ways including:

  • Industrial metal shelving
  • Big sinks with intricate metallic detailing
  • The use of large, geometric shapes
  • Shapely faucets

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.

Is Your Home Under-Insulated?

Does your home have enough insulation?  More often than not, Michigan homeowners find their homes do not have the optimal amount of insulation.  9 out of 10 homeowners will have to add additional insulation to their homes if they want to be considered to be “well insulated”.  This occurs because the minimum amount of installation required by code for a home to be inhabitable is less than what is considered to be proper.

Why though would a builder add more insulation if they are not required to?  The more insulation the less profit.  However, as a homeowner we know that not having enough insulation produces higher energy bills.  In order to increase comfort and decrease energy bills it is crucial that professional insulation experts evaluate your home and add insulation in areas that it is needed.

Signs Your House Is Under-Insulated

Different Temperatures Throughout the House

If your home is one even temperature throughout you more than likely have enough insulation in your home.  If different temperatures are felt however, you most likely do not have enough insulation.  An example of this can be felt in a kitchen that is always freezing cold with bedrooms that are steaming.  If this is the case in your home, it is best to have a professional insulation contractor out to evaluate the situation.

Increased Energy Bills

Compare your energy bills over the last couple of years.  If you start to see a gradual increase in energy usage there is a chance that the blown-in insulation within your walls and attic have settled and have become less effective.  When this occurs, there is a chance that your home is not as well insulated as you had hoped for.   Homeowners may not notice a shift in the temperatures throughout their home however an increase in energy bills overtime sure is noticeable.  If heat is escaping through your homes roof and walls, it is time to either replace or add in additional insulation.

Cold Walls, Floors, and Ceilings

Your home should feel warm and dry to the touch.  Check your ceiling, interior walls, and floor, do they feel damp and cold or warm and dry?  If it is cold and wet, then you most likely do not have enough insulation throughout your home.  Exterior walls however, should feel cold as the insulation is keeping your home comfortable by keeping warm air inside.

Chilly Drafts

Homeowners have come to expect that during the winter months they have a few drafts here and there this however, doesn’t have to be the case.  Cold air coming from window frames and doorways can easily be avoided with the addition of extra insulation and the addition of spray foam insulation where needed.  Getting rid of small drafts can help prevent drafts and save on energy bills.

Insulation Contractors at Kearns Brothers incorporated are experts in blown-in cellulose.  We only recommend additional insulation in homes that need it to aid in the comfort level, energy efficiency, and to decrease energy bills.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.

 

Home Renovation Preparation

DIY home improvements always have the chance to go terribly wrong because most of us are not professional contractors and therefore really have no idea what they are doing.  In this installment we are going to prepare the average homeowner for what they can expect during the home renovation process.  Whether you hire a professional contractor or attempt renovations around your home there are a few things you will need to do to prepare.

Preparing for Your Homes Renovations

Budget

It is crucial to have a realistic budget when it comes to any home improvement project.  Take time to research the average cost of the budget you are interested in.  Once you know about how much you will need you can start to allocate funds accordingly.

Larger home renovation projects require you to have a substantial amount of money on hand.  If your remodel is not something you wish to cover with cash out of pocket, you can look into a home equity loan or line of credit.  The benefit of borrowing against your home’s equity is that often the interest that you are paying on the loan can be deducted off of your taxes each year, up to $750,000 dollars.  Other options for funding a renovation include a reverse mortgage and contractor financing.

Scope

The scope of your project is another element to consider.  It is necessary to take into consideration your budget and what you want to see completed during your renovation.  Are you considering a complete overhaul of your 1980’s kitchen and hoping to create an open concept where it opens into the living area?  Or are you thinking that a fresh look could be achieved with some freshly painted cabinets with updated hardware?

Your budget needs to be comparative with the tasks that you want to accomplish.  It is important that you work with your contractor to make sure that between the materials and labor your budget is large enough to cover your renovation while having a reserve just in case some aspect of the project doesn’t go exactly as planned.

Materials

Sometimes the materials that you choose are simply out of necessity and exactly what you need to accomplish within a limited budget.  For years you may have dreamed of installing granite throughout your home but as the time approaches the realization of just how much more the cost of the renovation will be with granite vs engineered quartz hits.  You suddenly realize that engineered quartz is quite elegant and helps you get more out of your limited budget.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.

 

Kearns Brothers Receives GAF’s Prestigious 2018 President’s Club Award

 

Kearns Brothers, Inc., of Dearborn, Michigan, has received the most prestigious contractor award GAF offers: The GAF President’s Club Award. This highly coveted award recognizes Kearns Brothers as one of the “elite of the elite” residential roofing contractors in the United States.

GAF is North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, and only GAF Master Elite® Contractors can compete for its residential President’s Club Award. To qualify for this award, a residential roofing contractor must meet specific criteria in at least one out of three different pathways:

Performance pathway – where contractors focus on giving their property owners the best possible service, quality, and protection
Reliability pathway – where the contractor has a long history of offering their customers the best quality and protection
Service pathway – where contractors consistently offer their customers the best protection available in the marketplace.

Kearns Brothers has been a GAF Master Elite® Contractor since 1999. To become a Master Elite® Contractor—a status that less than 2% of roofing contractors nationwide are able to achieve—a candidate must demonstrate proper licensing, maintain insurance (in states that require it), have a proven reputation, and show commitment to ongoing professional training.

We value our certified contractors for raising the industry standard year after year by installing the best roofing products and systems. Our President’s Club award recognizes only those contractors who have distinguished themselves by the highest standards of excellence, customer satisfaction, and dependability, says Jim Slauson, GAF’s VP of Certified Program & Services.

The folks at Kearns Brothers are concerned with the safety and security of the customers and their homes. “That’s not a platitude for us; it’s genuine,” according to sales and marketing manager Gary Kearns. “It’s important to all of us, from the people in the office to the crews on the roofs. Sometimes, customers find this hard to believe, because it’s not the norm in our industry.”

A full-service home-improvement company, Kearns Brothers gives that same careful attention to each job it does. “Whether the job is siding, windows, masonry, a kitchen, a bath, or a roof, we know it’s a lead to our next job—either with that same client or as a referral,” explains Kearns. “That level of service is important to us, which is why we have our own in-house customer-service department, as well as five or six crews. This combination of factors allows us to respond quickly to customer needs and to do smaller jobs at great price points.”

Experience and longevity distinguish the company’s crews from those of its competitors. “We have the best, most experienced people installing the best roof—we use only the GAF Weather Stopper Roofing System,” says Kearns. “We have tremendous respect for our crews and the work they do. The reality is that a crew spends far more time at the customer’s home than the salesperson does. Their professionalism ‘transcends’ to a respect for the homeowners and their property. So we put a lot of energy into our crews because, in the end, this GAF award is theirs; they’re the ones who earned it for this company.”

As the past chairman of the Dearborn area Chamber of Commerce, Kearns understands the importance of community involvement. He adds, “In 2014, we raised more than $3,700 for a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project. We also pledged, over the following five years, $5,000 to Cesar Chavez Elementary School in Detroit, in honor of an Army soldier from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. This is close to our hearts, because my brother Connor is actually part of that unit in Italy.”

Moving forward, the company is committed to strengthening the legacy of Kearns Brothers and growing the business, including its newest showroom location in Plymouth, Michigan. “It serves our client base better,” says Kearns, “by making it easier for them do business with us; they don’t have to drive so far.”

With younger family members coming on board to join in this family-based enterprise, the future looks bright for Kearns Brothers, and the commitment to customers will remain a priority. “The continuity of the business is strong,” concludes Kearns. “When you combine our marketing strategy with all the services we provide—well, we view it as honor, when we can talk to people about making improvements in their homes. It’s an opportunity for us to create a customer for life.”

About Kearns Brothers:

A family-owned-and-operated company, Kearns Brothers has been providing exceptional customer service since 1986. Its award-winning professional crews install roofing, siding, windows, gutters, kitchens, and baths and provide masonry services throughout southeast Michigan.

Kearns Brothers, Inc.
2000 N. Telegraph Rd
Dearborn, MI 48128
Toll-free (888) 355-6700
http://www.kearnsbrothers.com

About GAF:

Founded in 1886, GAF is the leading roofing and waterproofing manufacturer in North America. As a member of the Standard Industries family of companies, GAF is part of the largest roofing and waterproofing business in the world. The company’s products include a comprehensive portfolio of roofing and waterproofing solutions for residential and commercial properties as well as for civil engineering applications. The full GAF portfolio of solutions is supported by an extensive national network of factory-certified contractors. GAF continues to be the leader in quality and offers comprehensive warranty protection on its products and systems. The company’s success is driven by a commitment to empowering its people to deliver advanced quality and purposeful innovation. For more information about GAF, visit http://www.gaf.com

Is It Time to Replace the Windows in Your Home?

Our homes can’t tell us when something is wrong or not working in the manner that we need it to.  It does however give us a number of signs when something isn’t running exactly as it should be.  This is especially true when it comes to our home’s windows.  The windows on our home can last upwards of 20+ years when high-quality windows are purchased are well-maintained.  It is important that homeowners pay attention to their homes and know what to look for when it comes to replacing the windows of their homes.

Are the windows damaged, warped, or broken?

Sometimes windows need to be repaired instead of replaced.  Minor problems like replacing broken hardware, adding new weather-stripping, or fresh caulking are some of the simpler repairs that can be done on windows. Replacing a window that has a broken sash, has become damaged, or warped may be the better option.  The window may still be in “working” order but really need to be replaced.  Windows that have a draft, fog up, stick, or won’t stay open are telling you they need to be replaced.

Are you ready to lower your energy bills?

Properly installed windows lower your monthly utility bills year-round.  Drafty windows can increase your energy bills upwards of twenty five percent.  Replacing the windows in the home with more energy-efficient windows can reduce your heating and cooling bills.  It can also be a huge selling point down the road when you are considering putting your house up for sale.

Can your home’s curb appeal use an update?

The windows and doors of your homes are one of its most noticeable characteristics.  If they appear old and damaged the overall look and feel of your home will seem outdated.  Look at the color on the window frames and screens, are they faded, do the screens have holes in them? Curb appeal is everything when it comes to your home and your homes windows are a huge part of the overall look of your home.

The type of windows that you choose can also change the total appeal of your home.  Some homeowners choose to go from fixed sash windows to new ones that open.  Another option is to increase the size of the windows to increase the amount of natural light that comes into the home.  Daylight increases the productivity, adds coziness, and creates a warmth within your home.

As a full-service home improvement contractor servicing all Southeast Michigan, Kearns Brothers, Inc. offers clients a wide range of services to meet their construction needs including: roofing, siding, window, masonry, chimneys, gutters, and insulation services.  More information can be found at www.kearnsbrothers.com.

Home Improvement: Is it time to replace your entry door? What to know

Some considerations

Mother Nature and Uncle Sam both are having their say in the remodeling business these days, starting — but not finishing — with the 2018 Cost vs. Value report.

This year’s version finds a slight decline, to 56.8 percent in 2017 from 57.9 percent in 2016, in the average payback for 20 common professional remodeling projects in 100 major markets. That’s mainly because the cost of doing those projects went up for all 20, while values rose for only about two-thirds of them.

Expect those trends to continue into 2018. The 3 percent to 5 percent gains in cost that we report here were calculated before fall hurricanes and fires began fueling what one building products distributor calls “a freight train of extraordinary demand”— demand certain to keep elevating the prices for many building materials.

Expect, as well, an even greater shortage of skilled workers in disaster-struck markets as those workers struggle to fix up their own homes and employers feel pressure to respond with pay hikes.

StatePoint Media and Staff Report

Remodeling Magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value Report found that curb appeal projects generated overall higher returns on investment than interior remodels.
Furthermore, the real estate professionals surveyed for the report gave the highest scores to projects that replaced existing features, like the front door.

Is it time to replace your home’s entry door? If your foyer is drafty, the answer is yes. Particularly with winter around the corner. Not only will a new door boost exterior appeal, it will prepare interiors for a temperature dip, making your home more comfortable, while saving you money on utility bills.

The No. 2 best value project for mid-range home improvements and No. 3 overall is installation of a new steel entry door, for which you will recoup 91.3 percent of the cost, according to the report.Adding a grand entrance fiberglass door also scored well with a 67.6 percent return on investment.

So, what should you be looking for in a door?

A tailored fit. Nothing feels quite as good as well-tailored clothing created specifically to your size, shape and style preference. Off-the-rack clothing just doesn’t fit everyone’s measurements. Similarly, off-the-rack doors fall short of expectations in the same way.
The materials and workmanship that go into custom-made doors are of exceptional quality and durability, and far exceed what is available as ready-made. Unlike consumer-grade doors, which are cut down to fit your need, professional-class doors are built to your exact measurements for a more secure and energy efficient door.

Energy efficiency. Look for ENERGY STAR certified doors, which have been independently tested and certified to meet strict energy-efficiency standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
While a new door does come with a price tag, it’s important to keep in mind that the right choice can help you lower your utility bills and ultimately present a return on your investment.
You know you have purchased an energy-efficient door if it has the ENERGY STAR label.

ENERGY STAR qualified doors and windows meet strict energy-efficiency standards. Replacing old doors & windows with ENERGY STAR products can lower household energy bills by 7-15 percent.

Quality materials. While wood doors offer a beautiful classic look, they require regular maintenance and lack the endurance, security and energy efficiency of fiberglass or steel. Consider opting for quality materials that will last a long time but not force you to sacrifice the look you want.
For example, the low-maintenance fiberglass options offered by door system manufacturer such as ProVia include collections that provide the classic look of real woodgrain, but are engineered to be highly energy efficient. The steel collection provides durability and energy efficiency, whether you opt for a woodgrain texture or a smooth steel look, and is a good choice if security is your top priority.

The right style. When selecting a style and color, take into consideration the current architectural elements of your home. Use online tools that allow you to upload an image of your home’s exterior and play with various combinations to determine the right fit. Keep in mind that an entry door can either be a place to maintain the overall mood of your home’s exterior or a way to add a pop of color.

This fall, set yourself up for a comfortable winter. Upgrade your entry door for substantial energy savings and a more secure home.

Original Source: https://www.salisburypost.com/2018/09/30/home-improvement-is-it-time-to-replace-your-entry-door-what-to-know/

Original Author: Staff Report

Published: Sept 30 2018