Tag Archives: home maintenance

Kitchen Sink Style Guide

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Besides your refrigerator, your kitchen sink gets more use than any other appliances in your kitchen.  Don’t fall into the trap of choosing a sink based solely on style because there are so many other features to consider.  Don’t be overwhelmed with choices; we’ve simplified the features of common sink styles to help you find your perfect match.

Undermount Sink-As the name implies, this type of sink attaches to a countertop’s underside.  A perk of this type of sink is that it’s easy to clean because it sits flush with your countertops.  A potential downside of undermount sinks is that they cannot be used with laminate or tile countertops because they cannot support the sink’s weight.  Undermount sinks are also more expensive to install than drop-in sinks.

Drop-in Sink-This style can also be referred to as self-rimming sinks.  Drop-in sinks are installed in a cut-out within a countertop and the edges are sealed off to prevent leaking and mold formation.  They are appealing because they are easy to install and replace without disturbing your countertop.  Because they’re typically single-piece, molded designs, there is minimal chance of leaking.  Generally speaking, they are the most cost effective option.  Due to the lip around the sink, a drawback to this style is that you can’t easily wipe food debris into the sink.

Farmhouse Sink-Primary characteristics of a farmhouse sink are an exposed front and a rectangular shape.  They are sought after because of their vintage charm.  Unlike other types of sinks that blend into your kitchen’s layout, farmhouse sinks can become a focal point in the room.  By design, farmhouse sinks are installed further forward than other styles.  The advantage to this is that less leaning is required when washing dishes, though because of the depth can lead to more splashing.  Farmhouse sinks are an investment because they are heavy and installation can be tedious.  Most require a specific type of base cabinet.

Corner Sink-This style of sink works well in small kitchen where every inch of space needs to be maximized.  It allows for long, uninterrupted stretches of countertops, which can be beneficial in a tiny kitchen.   On the flip side, corners in kitchens often have minimal natural light which can be irritating when you’re using your sink.  Additionally, corner sinks are often smaller than other types and may not be able to house larger pots and pans.   

Bar Sink- Like corner sinks, bar sinks are an excellent choice for a kitchen where counter space is at a premium.  However, they are unable to accommodate a large volume of dishes.  Bar sinks are usually less than 20 inches wide and work great for food prep or as a supplemental sink by a patio or in a bar.   

 

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at http://lindusconstruction.com.Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.  

Now Through the End of January, Receive a Free Home Performance Test with a Window or Insulation Estimate.

 

Homeowner New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Commit To

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According to a New York Times article, one in three people making a New Year’s Resolution ill break it by the end of January.  That’s pretty pathetic, though understandable, statistic.  After all, change is tough and we often, in a fit of optimism,, and champagne bubbles, bite off more than we can chew on New Year’s Eve with spontaneous commitments to do better without a game plan.  In the spirit of improvements that you can follow through on, offer the following ideas:

Purge Clutter: Chances are you’ve acquired clutter because over the years you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff that you refused to part with because it might come in use “someday”.  We applaud your resourcefulness!  However, it’s a great idea to donate, sell or discard anything in your home that hasn’t been used in the last couple of years that is not an heirloom item.  To make this less overwhelming, pick one day per month and select a single room to focus on.  By the time 2016 hits, your entire home is clutter free!

Save Energy: Cringe less when you open your utility bill by making simple lifestyle changes.  Pledge to turn off the lights when you leave a room.  Utilize the programming abilities of your thermostat and put your television on a sleep timer when you go to bed for the night.  An even better option is getting a home performance test to identify where heat is escaping your home. Even if it’s outside of your budget to do every recommended improvement, you’ll be on the right track by at least knowing what needs to be done and what you need to invest to make this happen.

Check Your Home’s Exterior: As the age old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Once in the spring and once in the fall, take a look at your home’s exterior.  Are there any cracks in the siding that could pose a long-term problem?  Do you see any shingle granules coming off your roof?  Are any shingles curling?  If you don’t want to get on top of your roof, stand on the ground with a pair of binoculars and focus in on your roof.  What about your gutters?  Are they free of debris?  Set yourself a calendar reminder so that this task does not get overlooked.  If you identify areas of concern, connect with an industry professional who can analyze the severity of the situation.

Make a List: It’s hard to improve your home without a strategic approach.  Get organized with a spreadsheet of every room in your home (don’t forget the exterior too!) and ways you’d like to improve it.  Give yourself deadlines in order to stay accountable.  Know you want to make changes but not sure what they would look like?  Websites like Houzz & Pinterest allow you to collect your ideas and put them in a central place to look at closer when the time for the improvement arrives.

 

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at http://lindusconstruction.com.Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.  

Now Through the End of December, Receive a Free Home Performance Test with a Window or Insulation Estimate.

 

Prefab Homes vs Traditional Homes

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What’s the Difference?

Unlike a traditional home that is built on your plot of land, a prefab home is built in a factory and transported to the homeowner’s lot in sections.  Do not confuse a prefab home with a trailer.  A
prefab home is placed on a foundation, meaning it can have a basement and a trailer cannot.

Codes

Because prefab homes can be built in one state and sold by a dealer in another, they are regulated by national codes.  When you build a home, you are subject to local ordinances. What does this mean for you?  Local codes take into account things like the need for additional protection for things like tornados and heavy snows.

Speed

Most people think that a traditional home will take longer to build than a pre-fab home.  However, a prefab home is not necessarily finished at a quicker rate because of long factory lead times.  Completion of either type of home is dependent upon a number of factors with the biggest being your builder.  One advantage to a prefab home is that it is built indoors, making its timeline less affected by the weather than a traditional home.  If you’re deciding between a prefab builder and a traditional contractor, be sure to get a definitive answer on the timeline between the start date and move in date.

Design

Prefab homes are built in a factory and come in template designs with the ability for you to select options such as cabinets, flooring and countertops from the company’s catalog.  An advantage to
working with a builder is that your home can come with more customized options especially when it comes to layout and homes with multiple levels.

Placement

If you’re looking at placing your prefab home on a lot that is controlled by a homeowner’s association or developer, you need to check to see whether they have rules against it.  While a HOA may have rules about colors or styles of roofing, siding, gutters, etc. you will likely have fewer hoops to jump through with a conventional home as opposed to a prefab home.

Pricing

One of the largest reasons that a consumer chooses a prefab home over a traditional one is belief that a prefab home costs less money.  The prefab industry is continuously coming out with new innovations which benefit consumers who wish to inject their personal taste into their homes.  Prefab homes come with a different set of expenses that traditional homes don’t have such as delivery, overhead and crane fees.  Because each circumstance is different, we encourage you to get estimates from both traditional contractors and pre-fab companies to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.  Ask questions if you don’t understand something in the estimate and be sure to ask whether the bid includes everything or if they project additional expenses.

Sustainability

Being cognizant of your carbon footprint, especially on a project this large, is the socially and environmentally responsible thing to do.  While a number of companies, both traditional and
prefab, claim to be environmentally friendly, it’s important to do some homework.  Is the company you’re working with using high quality insulation, windows, roofing and siding?  Spending a little extra upfront can often save you in the future with a longer shelf life and reduced energy costs.  Consider that area companies will use less fuel than those traveling from greater distances and the fuel used to transport something as significant as a home.  Do your homework and select an option that makes the most sense for your situation.

Insurability

It’s short-sighted not to consider the cost of insuring your new home when deciding whether to go with traditional or prefab.  As a general rule, prefab homes have higher insurance premiums.  The reasoning is that prefab homes are likelier to suffer damage from storms, fire and frozen pipes.  As mentioned above, prefab homes are subject to national building codes which are less stringent than local ones.

Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate today. Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects.

houzz

Getting Stuck on Stucco-What You Need to Know

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There are lots of factors that contribute to your home’s curb appeal and one of the most noticeable components is your home’s siding.  One of the more unique ways to side your home is with stucco.  Here’s a crash course on the benefits & drawbacks of using this product on your home’s exterior.

What it is: Stucco is a combination of cement, sand and lime that can be applied to the home’s exterior instead of traditional siding.

Advantages:

Fire Resistant: Stucco is recognized for its fire resistance, something that may result in lowered homeowner’s insurance premiums.

Insulation: Stucco is an effective insulator, helping to keep your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter, something that will keep your energy bills in check.

Versatility: You have endless choices when it comes to color and pattern.

Longevity: Stucco is renowned for its permanence and when carefully cared for, it can last for years to come.

Disadvantages:

Staining: When compared with other types of siding, stucco is more apt to show water & soil stains.

Installation: The installation of stucco is a strenuous process and the labor portion of the bill will be significant; this is not something that a weekend warrior should attempt.

Vulnerable to Water Damage: In order to keep stucco in the best possible condition, it should be kept moisture free.  It’s crucial that gutters and downspouts are properly placed in order to
ensure that water is diverted away from the home.  Windows & doors must be sealed tightly so that water cannot penetrate the stucco.

Cracking: Just as concrete does, stucco expands and contracts, leading to cracking.  This can be repaired but at an expense to the homeowner.

Lindus Construction is a full service construction and remodeling company boasting LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation & decking just to name a few. Give us a call at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out at www.lindusconstruction.com to set up a free no-obligation estimate. Tune into 830 WCCO every Saturday from 9a-10am with Denny Long & Andy Lindus for our Home Improvement Show!

 

 

 

Formaldehyde & Your Home

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Those of us old enough to remember Marcia Brady writing a letter to Davy Jones which ultimately leads to her going to prom with him are also likely to remember when wood paneling was fashionable home decor.  There’s more than one reason this trend has fallen by the wayside.  In addition to being outdated, wood paneling also contains formaldehyde which can pose a threat to the air quality in your home.  Just because the 1970’s are over doesn’t mean that the threat of formaldehyde in your home is a non issue.  Here’s what you need to know to minimize the risk to your family.

What is Formaldehyde? Formaldehyde is used in countless products for the purpose of acting as a bonding agent.  It can also be created as other chemicals break down.  It is considered a volatile organic compound (VOC).  These types of compounds become a gas at room temperature and can release unhealthy chemicals into the air which are then inhaled by those around it. The more formaldehyde that is emitted into the air, the more of a health risk it poses.

What Type of Products is Formaldehyde Found In?

  • Particle board
  • Plywood
  • Builder grade furniture and cabinets
  • Varnish
  • Paint
  • Wallpaper
  • Permanent press bedding

What are the Side Effects of Formaldehyde Exposure?

The side effects of formaldehyde exposure vary widely by the amount and duration of exposure.  Severity of symptoms also varies person to person.  Symptoms include watery eyes, runny nose and
burning sensations in the throat, eyes and nose.  Because these symptoms imitate those of the common cold and flu, it can be difficult to identify them as symptoms of formaldehyde exposure.  Higher
concentrations of exposure can lead to nausea, headaches, coughing & wheezing, rashes and chest tightness.  While there are no scientific studies proving formaldehyde causes cancer in humans, it has been demonstrated that high levels of formaldehyde exposure causes cancer in lab rats.

How Can I Reduce my Formaldehyde Exposure at Home?

While it would be nearly impossible to create a home environment free of formaldehyde, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the exposure.

  • Opt for real wood in cabinets and flooring, as opposed to builder grade materials.
  • Regularly maintain your chimney & wood stove so that smoke is directed outdoors as much as possible.
  • Opt for low or non VOC paints when possible
  • Forego wallpaper
  • Opt for cotton, instead of permanent press sheets which contain formaldehyde

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Contact us during the month of November for a free estimate and enjoy no payments or interest on LeafGuard Gutters and GAF Asphalt Roofing.  Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus. 

Psychology & Scents at Home

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You are 100 times more likely to remember something that you smell over something you see, hear or touch.  That’s probably part of the reason why the American candle industry is able to generate over $2.3 billion in sales annually.  The smells you choose to bring into your home can have an effect on your psyche and every scent brings something a little different to the table.  Here’s what you need to know about your favorite scents.

Vanilla-While the adjective “vanilla” placed in front of any word typically invokes a sense of blandness; the scent of vanilla has a different meaning.  Studies have shown that vanilla invokes feelings of relaxation and can assist in helping you fall asleep.  It is known to increase one’s appetite and can even boost memory.

Lemon-The smell of lemon can improve concentration, attentiveness and alleviate stress.  It promotes feelings of energy.  Being surrounded by the smell of lemon can also alleviate feelings of depression and nervous tension.

Apple- The scent of apple has been linked with the lessening of headache symptoms.  Because headaches are often manifestation of stress, being surrounded by an apple scent can assist in squelching the emotions of anxiety and stress.

Peppermint- If the Energizer Bunny had a scent, it’d be peppermint.  It has a subtle way of increasing one’s motivation and alertness.  Peppermint is a great scent to surround yourself with when you are overexerted and running low on stamina.

Cinnamon- The fragrance of cinnamon can be used to melt away stress and tension.  It can also assist in increasing mental focus, which allows for deeper creativity.  Folklore also suggests cinnamon brings prosperity and great achievements.

Lavender- Remember the scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy, the Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow fall asleep in a field of poppies right outside of Emerald City?  If you’re having issues sleeping, lavender will have the same effect.  Like the smell of apple, lavender fragrance can assist in alleviating headache symptoms.

Coconut- Tropical scents like coconut instantly transform your home into a relaxing oasis with this fragrance.  Coconut is synonymous with comfort, protection and stress relief.

Patchouli-Much like scotch, patchouli is an acquired taste.  However, this earthy/musty aroma does have its benefits.  They include: appetite suppression, stress relief, anxiety tamer and sedative properties.

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at http://lindusconstruction.com.Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.  

Now Through the End of December, Receive a Free Home Performance Test with a Window or Insulation Estimate.

 

8 Tricks to Less Painless Painting

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A guy by the name of Bill Gates was credited with the following quote: “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”  Pretty brilliant stuff when you think about it.   While painting will never be anyone’s favorite household chore, there are plenty of tricks to make the project less painful.  Here are our top picks!

Minimize Dripping: Cut a slit in a sour cream or cottage cheese container top and slide it onto a paintbrush handle.  This will allow you to catch drips that would otherwise end up in areas you don’t want them.

Pie Tin Trick: It’s super rare to not have paint dripping down the side of the can, which in turn, can end up creating a mess on your floor.  Dodge this hassle by placing a disposable pie tin underneath the paint can to act as a paint catching coaster.

Eliminate Odors: Amazon.com has over 200 million items for sale.  Of these items, none include paint scented candles.  Shocker, right?  That’s because paint reeks!  Make your paint project less smelly by mixing in a few drops of vanilla extract right into the paint.  This, however, does not mean that you should skip running fans and opening windows to ventilate your home.

Paint Tray Perfection: If you’ve ever tried to clean a paint tray so that it can be reused, you know what a pain it is.  It’s a race against the clock to get the tray cleaned before the paint dries and if you miss any of the paint and reuse the tray, you can end up unintentionally mixing colors.  Avoid all of this by lining your paint tray with aluminum foil which can be peeled off and discarded at the end of the project.

Petroleum Jelly to the Rescue: Painter’s tape works great for blocking off areas that you don’t want painted.  However, sometimes there are very small areas that painter’s tape simply isn’t practical.  Forego painters tape and apply petroleum jelly to the area.  Because of its consistency, paint won’t stick.

Ditch the Drop Cloth: Drop cloths made of canvas gets a little pricey.  Take the cheap route and opt for a shower curtain liner from your area dollar store.

Spray Painting Studio: It’s no secret that spray paint rarely only covers the object it’s intended for.  Skip the discolored grass, walls and siding by placing the object you need spray painted into a cardboard box.  Any excess paint will hit the inside of the box, which can be discarded after your project is complete.

Laundry Detergent Trick: One of the biggest pains with reopening and closing paint cans is the splatter that almost always ensues.  Bypass this by using a funnel.   Pour your paint into an empty, washed out, laundry detergent container.

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at http://lindusconstruction.com.Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.  

Now Through the End of December, Receive a Free Home Performance Test with a Window or Insulation Estimate.

Generic Home Improvement Products to Avoid

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If you’ve ever taken the cheap route on garbage bags or diapers, the mess you ended up with probably led you to not repeat that purchase decision.  While generic brands can save your household significant money over the course of a year, there are plenty of times when shelling extra for a national brand pays off in the long run.  Here’s our list of generic home improvement products that will leave you disappointed.

Deck Stain: If you invite your friends over for a “deck staining party” they’re likely to find something else better to do…like clipping their mother-in-law’s toenails.  There’s definitely a reason that composite decking is gaining popularity with homeowners, even though it’s more expensive.  Keep the duration between deck staining to a maximum with a quality, reliable brand.  (We highly recommend Penofin® which is made of Brazilian Rosewood Oils.  It is 100% sustainable, petroleum free oil finish with no heavy metal compounds or odors.)

Paint: If you browse the paint aisle at your local hardware store, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with the options at a wide array of price points.  Want to know a secret?  The cheaper brands cost less because they are thinned down with water.  The result is a paint that takes more coats to cover and chips and fades sooner than better brands.  Unless you’ve got an infinite amount of spare time…don’t!

Carpet: Not all carpet is created equally!  Skimping on quality can leave you with carpet that has ripples, sheds when you vacuum it, stains easily and wears down in high traffic areas.  Because a major expense associated with carpeting is actually installing it, it’s best to go with a reputable brand, from a reliable manufacturer, so that you don’t end up swapping out your carpet sooner than you’d like to because it’s become an eye sore.

Gutters: Cheaply made gutters are susceptible to clogs which can cause water to spill over your gutter and pool on the ground below. This can result in damage to your shrubs; lead to surface erosion; and seep into your foundation causing cracks and basement flooding.  Water can also spill behind the gutter causing damage to the wood or your soffit and fascia.  If you have add-on toppers, helmets or hoods that are attached to your roof and hang over your gutters, they are usually held in place by screws and nails fastened into your roof. Putting holes in your roof can cause leaks and may void your roof warranties.  (Shameless plug-opt for LeafGuard Gutters, the only one-piece, seamless system to earn the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. They keep leaves and debris out of your gutters preventing water damage from clogs and you will never have to get on a ladder again. They come with a LIFETIME guarantee, unlike any other gutter system on the market.)

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.

Hidden Dangers at Home

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Since 1985, there’s been a group awarding a prize known as the “Darwin Awards.”  The term award is deceiving because the point of an award is to recognize an achievement.  The Darwin Awards are a little bit different because they are awarded to people that caused serious self-inflicted injury or death through stupidity.  A Californian named James Elliot took first prize in 2013.  When his .38 caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, he peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.  Common sense should have told Mr. Elliot that his tactic would have ended poorly.  Thankfully, most of us have this trait.  However, not every danger is as black and white as the above example.  There are some hazards in your home, for example, that you may not even be aware of.  Allow us to identify them for you.

Mercury: The most common places mercury can be found in the home are compact fluorescent light bulbs, circular thermostats and thermometers.  It’s important to note that mercury containing objects do not pose a threat until they are broken and the mercury escapes.  Inhalation of the vapors emitted by mercury can cause shortness of breath, memory loss, high blood pressure and kidney damage.  Cleanup is best left to professionals because mopping or sweeping mercury up can actually cause the spill to spread.

Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is used in countless products for the purpose of acting as a bonding agent.  It can also be created as other chemicals break down.  The more formaldehyde that is emitted into the air, the more of a health risk it poses.  Side effects of exposure can include: nausea, headaches, coughing & wheezing, rashes and chest tightness.  Minimize your exposure by choosing real wood furniture and cabinets over builder grade materials, skipping wallpaper and maintaining your chimney so that smoke is directed outdoors. 

Flame Retardants: Flame retardants are often found in carpeting, electronics and furniture.  The purpose of these chemicals is to slow the burn process of these items during a house fire.  The downside to these chemicals is that they have been linked to fertility issues and cancer.  In order to minimize your exposure select furniture that is naturally less flammable such as leather, wool and cotton.

Furnace: As furnaces age, they risk developing cracks in the heat exchanger.  This leads to the possibility of carbon monoxide leaking into your home without being noticed.  Symptoms to be mindful of are incessant headaches, nausea, disorientation and burning of the eyes and nose.  Regularly maintain your furnace and keep a carbon monoxide detector close to it so that you are alerted immediately if this is occurring in your home.

Lindus Construction / Midwest LeafGuard are a full service contractor specializing in LeafGuard Gutters, GAF Asphalt Roofing, SeasonGuard Windows/Siding/Insulation, Metal Roofing, Decking, New Construction & Home Remodeling. Call us at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com. Tune into WCCO 830 every Saturday at 9am for our Home Improvement Show with Denny Long & Andy Lindus.

 

Must Have Items for Your First Home

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We’ve all heard the catchphrase “fake it till you make it.”  Many of us outfitted our first apartments with hand-me-downs and treasures from the free section of the classifieds.  Once a home of your own becomes a reality, it’s time to outfit it with items that reflect your personal taste and style.  Here’s our list of accessories that we consider a must for your first house.

Dining Room Table: There was a time when a TV tray or coffee table sufficed, but now that you’ve got a home of your own, that doesn’t cut the mustard any longer.  Soon family and
friends will be volunteering you host playoff parties and holiday dinners.  When it comes to tables, bigger isn’t always better.  Be sure to select one that allows guests to comfortably move in and out of their chairs without bumping into the walls.

Light Fixtures That Make a Statement: Lighting sets the mood of your home.  Too much is an eyesore (not to mention highlights an imperfections in a room) and too little makes a room less functional.  Opt for a few unique fixtures that can be placed throughout your home and act as a conversation piece.  You don’t have to break the bank though.  There are lots of affordable, attractive options, both in stores and online.

Clog-Free Gutters: Gutters?  Not nearly as much fun as a hot tub or surround sound, but skip them and your basement can become flooded with water during heavy rainfall.  And that weekend you broke your back landscaping?  It will be all for when the water rushing off your roof has nowhere to go except straight down.  Back to the point about breaking your back, if you have gutters that clog and you’re forced to climb a ladder to manually clean them, breaking your back, leg, (you get the idea) can be a real possibility.

Matching Items: Whether it is towels, wine glasses, plates or coffee cups, make sure you have sets that match and that you’re proud to have your guests use.

Artwork: We’re not saying it’s got to be a Monet or a Picasso.  What we are saying is that the neon beer signs and Metallica posters need to come down and some sort of framed artwork, canvas or decorative mirror needs to go up.  Websites such as Etsy (though don’t login unless you’ve got a couple hours to spare…) and local galleries and student exhibitions can be a great way to pick out beautiful art that’s reasonably priced.

A Living Room set not Previously Owned by Anyone Else in Your Family: Antique furniture aside, a new living room deserves comfortable furniture that mimics your personal taste and works with your lifestyle.  Quality furniture can last a long time when properly cared for.  Score deals by shopping around Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Labor Day and Christmas.

 NOW THROUGH THE END OF JUNE, SAVE 75% OFF LABOR ON LEAFGUARD GUTTERS, GAF ASPHALT ROOFING,  SEASONGUARD WINDOWS & SIDING & LP SMARTSIDE.  CALL US AT 800.873.1451 FOR A FREE, NO-OBLIGATION ESTIMATE.