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Tice Exteriors Blog

Tice Exteriors has many years of experience helping the residents of our community improve their homes. During this time, we have learned a thing or two about the process that is involved in finding the right solution for each of our customers. In our blog, we post information and tips to help you educate yourself on our products and services. Please contact us if you have questions!

How to Choose the Right Window Style for Your Home

Posted on October 30, 2015.

Getting replacement windows in Kearney MO is a quick way to make living in your house more comfortable and enjoyable. A big window lets in a lot of sunlight, making the interior look and feel warmer. It also makes the room seem more spacious. A window made out of fiberglass or vinyl protects your family from cold weather, while still letting in as much sunlight as possible. Like this, windows can serve a practical purpose. Here are some window styles for your consideration.

Double Hung Window

This is one of the most popular types of windows in the nation. Both sashes easily lift and open fully. They tilt inward, making cleaning easier. It is a great option if you are looking to accommodate screens or air conditioners.

Bay Window

Three windows are mulled at 30 or 45 degree angles that extend outward from the house, thereby forming a bay in a room.They let in plenty of sunlight and also have the effect of expanding your living area. Often, a window seat is placed below the windows for seating and storage.

Casement Window

The swings open a full 90 degrees, much like standard doors, when the crank handle at the base is turned. These windows are designed for maximum ventilation.

Picture Window or Geometric Windows

These windows are fixed and are not meant to be opened or closed. Decorative stained glass windows fall into this category and can create a dazzling effect. Sometimes, picture windows are also used to keep prying eyes out of the house.

Garden Window

These windows extend outwards from the house, providing a brightly sunlit area. They are often installed above a kitchen sink. Plants showcased here can be seen from the outside and grow healthily, thanks to the greenhouse-like environment.

Each window style has its advantages and disadvantages. Consider them carefully before you make your decision on getting replacement windows in Kearney MO.

 

Get Tax Benefits By Improving Your Home!

Posted on October 15, 2015.

Did you know that certain home improvement projects provide tax benefits? Yes, it’s true – you can enjoy tax credits by upgrading your home in specific ways. This gives an added incentive to get going on all those little upgrades you’ve been dying to make. Your Kearney, MO home improvement ideas are more reasonable than you previously thought.

One of the best-known home improvement-related tax credits is the residential energy efficiency property tax credit. We all know the planet’s got some problems with climate change (or at least we hope that everybody understands this), and the government is eager to get people to make as many small reductions in their energy usage as possible. So if you’re interested in purchasing new energy-efficient windows, the government is in your corner. You’ll enjoy a tax credit as well as a reduction in your monthly energy bill. Some other ideas for making your home environmentally friendly include installing equipment for harnessing renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, wind turbines and solar-powered water heaters.

Certain Kearney, MO home improvement projects can qualify for tax credits if they are deemed medically necessary. If you or a member of your household is either a senior citizen or has a disability, you may be constantly thinking of ways to make your home much simpler to live in. You might be considering lowering the cabinets, making the doors and hallways wider, adding handrails to staircases and many other things that might help aging or disabled residents avoid accidents. As long as the additions are not purely for aesthetic purposes, you can enjoy tax benefits for this work.

Other things that you might be envisioning for your Kearney, MO home improvement might provide tax benefits when you get ready to sell your house. Any work you do to raise your home’s value will bring down the amount of taxes you’ll need to pay on the profit you reap from selling your home.

 

How to Get the Most Out of Your Remodeling

Posted on September 30, 2015.

Remodeling your home is one of the most expensive decisions that you can make. With the right plan and help, you can update your space and even make a profit on your investment when it comes time to sell. When you are looking to get the most out of your remodeling in Kearney, MO projects, it is a good idea to start with your kitchen and bathrooms first. This is because these rooms are more frequently used by more members of the household, as well as the fact that they are the most expensive to get done.

Kitchen

Tackling your kitchen for remodeling in Kearney, MO can be the most daunting of all of your home improvement projects. This is because it is usually a large room with many different elements. When you are thinking of redoing your kitchen, it is a good idea to get the advice and help of a professional company to make and execute your plan. After that, it is a matter of deciding what needs to be done and doing it. If you start your plan by taking inventory of everything that is broken or that does not work fluidly, then you can also get a better bang for your buck. For instance, your counter top might be outdated and in need of replacing, but that does not mean that you have to replace your cabinets as well.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms can be tricky to remodel because if you decide to change the footprint of the room you are looking at more costs than if you are just upgrading everything where it already is. To get the most out of your bathrooms, you will want to make sure that everything functions as well as it looks, without forgetting necessary storage. Working with an experienced professional will help you bring your bathrooms up to your standards.

A big part of the decision of remodeling in Kearney, MO is what you want to change and why. If you are looking to spruce up your home to sell, then you will want to make sure to work with your contractors on a design which will entice buyers to want to stay. If you want to fix up your home to live more comfortably in, then customizing it to your needs can give you the most enjoyment for your budget.

Enhance Your Home’s Exterior with a New Deck

Posted on September 18, 2015.

When it comes to your exterior, there are many things you can do to add beauty, functionality and curb appeal. One of these options is adding a deck to your home. There are several benefits that come with this, and having a deck build is a hassle-free project. It is a great way to bring your exterior to life and add some extra space while you’re at it. A good, quality company who does Kansas City exteriors will be able to ensure your deck project is done right and that you are satisfied with the end result.

What a Deck Adds to Your Home

A deck is a wonderful addition. It is an excellent way to enhance curb appeal and to improve your home’s value as well. If you ever decide to sell your home, your deck will make it worth more. A deck can add character to an average exterior. With many different styles, you can add the beauty you want. You can also add exceptional functionality. Customize your deck with built-in lighting or multiple levels to add a new ambiance. Another great aspect of having a deck installed is that you will have additional living space that you can use for entertainment, patio furniture, extra storage space and other things as well. Since building a deck is an outside project, it is an extremely stress-free way of adding more living space to your home without all the disruptions. An experienced Kansas City exteriors company will provide you with the quality you are looking for.

Choosing an Exceptional Professional

When it comes to your deck project, an established and reputable professional will work with you to design and provide the deck of your dreams. They will make your exterior space charming and beautiful. Your new deck will truly be the highlight of your home. An excellent Kansas City exteriors company will additionally make sure the building process runs smoothly to give you the ultimate convenience.

Keep the Weather Out With Replacement Windows in Kearney, MO

Posted on August 31, 2015.

Windows are a part of a residence that many people tend to take for granted. At the risk of a terrible pun, you quite literally look right through them. As such, most do not notice that their windows are in need of replacing until the problem begins to affect the rest of the home. For people living in places subject to frequent inclement weather, the consequences can be disastrous. If you are living with these concerns in the Show-Me State, it is time to consider investing in replacement windows in Kearney, MO.

There are many signs you can search for that can indicate the need for new windows. Check the immediate surrounding area of the location in question. Are they letting in too much air in the summer or leaking in water during the winter? Is the window difficult or downright impossible to open? This is not only annoying, as it can also pose an incredibly serious threat in the event of a fire. Having windows that close and lock properly is also crucial to the energy efficiency of you home. In the American Midwest, where maintaining a consistent temperature inside the house is of tremendous importance, replacement windows in Kearny, MO can be a godsend. If something is not quite in place, outside elements can still sneak inside even when you think your house is locked up tight. More visually obvious issues such as rotting call for immediate attention.

It is good to know precisely what part of the window requires replacement, since some parts experience wear and tear differently than others. If the frame is in good condition with a square opening and no water damage, you might only need to replace the sash. If there are signs of damage, a sash and frame replacement is in order. In that case, consult with the company doing the job to ensure you get the best frame material possible for you environment.

When it comes to replacement windows in Kearney, MO, no detail is too small to overlook.

Leave Your Construction Projects to Kearney Remodelers

Posted on August 18, 2015.

As a homeowner, you are likely keenly aware of the importance of maintenance and keeping your home updated in order to protect and grow your investment. However, no matter how good your intentions, you may find that your busy life keeps getting in the way of completing those pesky maintenance or remodeling projects on your to-do list. This is where Kearney remodelers can step in and use their expertise to get the job done quickly and done right. Whether you’re in the market for a new roof, windows, siding, decking or an interior remodel of your kitchen or bathroom, they can handle it all.

Things to Consider When Hiring a Contractor

Once you have made the decision to let someone else shoulder the burden of your construction projects, here are some important questions you’ll want to ask before making a choice:

1. Are you licensed and insured?

2. How long have you been in business?

3. Do you have expertise in the specific type of work I need done?

4. Do you offer a guarantee on your work? How long?

5. Can you provide references and a portfolio of your work?

6. Will you obtain the necessary permits for the work?

7. Will you supervise the work on an ongoing basis?

8. Will you clean up and remove materials at the end of the job?

9. Is the price quoted only an estimate or a fixed price?

10. What is the start date and end date for the project?

Will It Disrupt Your Life?

Also, to make your life easier during the remodel or renovation, think about whether you will need to make alternative living arrangements during the project’s completion. For instance:

• Will there be interruptions to any critical services (e.g. gas, electricity)?

• Will you need to kennel your pets?

• Will work continue on the weekends and interfere with quiet family time? .

By interviewing several contractors and asking the right questions, you will be able to select the best one of the Kearney remodelers to complete your project for you, allowing you to spend your down time with your family.

Bathroom Remodeling in Kearney and Beyond

Posted on July 31, 2015.

Bathroom Remodeling

Bathrooms are becoming one of the biggest selling points in homes. From new home construction to bathroom remodeling, Kearney residents are seeing trends emerging that take this small space in the home from a room with a sole function to an oasis.

High tech gadgets are being seen in the bathroom more than ever before. Homes of today now feature built-in televisions and audio systems, hands free faucets and flushing, and state-of-the-art mood lighting… all within the bathroom space. Whether you are looking to place your house on the market, or would like to add a little indulgence for yourself, a bathroom remodel is a great place enhance value and comfort.

Efficiency

Energy efficiency, space saving solutions, and low emission products are all the rage in other areas of the home, so it stands to reason that these trends would emerge in bathroom spaces as well. Low flow toilets, for instance, operate with much less water than their traditional counterparts. In fact, the demand for these fixtures has become so strong that the government recently added a label to denote the passing of certain quality checks through the WaterSense program. This program is similar to the Energy Star label that is placed on kitchen appliances and has given manufacturers a strong incentive build products that are able to operate with less water yet in a more productive manner.

Smart Storage

Bathroom vanities are no longer held captive solely to the design of cabinets and drawers. An entire system of smart storage options has recently emerged, giving homeowners the ability to store their things out of sight, yet within easy reach. If you are currently researching options for bathroom remodeling in Kearney, make sure that you look at all of the new options for storage. Soft close drawers and revolving cabinets, for example, make the storage of bulkier products easy, while vertical storage solutions can outfit a small space for full functionality.

One of the best ways to start on your journey is by gathering inspiration. Clip or pin bathroom remodel schemes that appeal to you, then work with an experienced designer to ascertain the best way to get certain features while remaining in budget. You spend a lot of time in your bathroom, so make it appeal to you in both function and beauty!

Transform Your Dream Into Reality With Kitchen Remodeling in Kearney, Missouri

Posted on July 18, 2015.

The kitchen is the staple of your home. It’s the perfect beginning and end to each day – where you turn for a warm and comforting cup of coffee, where you discover and indulge in new recipe creations, and where you share stories of longs days with your loved ones. The kitchen fills the role of both the providing and uniting room in your home. And even your pets eat here! Therefore, you want your kitchen’s personality to reflect your values and be a place where you can relax solo or socialize with all of the people who also call the kitchen home. Kitchen remodeling in Kearney, Missouri allows you to do just that.

The most important aspect you want to consider during a kitchen remodel is that the room maintains its functionality in your home. Although it will become a beautiful place, it will remain a dependable one – the best combination you could ask for when taking on a project of renovation. The first step of your remodel will involve a decision-making conversation with skilled professional contractors. And, while you will definitely be the prime decision-maker in the process, your ideas will be enhanced by the knowledge and expertise of your remodeling company, who will share their insight on the latest products, materials, and trends with you. This way, kitchen remodeling in Kearney, Missouri will transform your kitchen into a product of your values and style influenced by experienced professionals.

On top of expertise, your contracting company will come prepared with a meticulous eye, so you can expect quality craftsmanship at an affordable price. Select companies will even allow you to explore your options with a cost-free and commitment-free appointment, so there is no pressure to makeover your kitchen if you change your mind. Because your kitchen is so important to you and your household, this is not a remodel that you want to rush, and the right company will respect that. With a group of insightful, knowledgeable, and respectful professionals assisting you in your kitchen remodeling in Kearney, Missouri, your options are endless and your dream kitchen is just around the corner.

Trendy Ways to Remodel Your Bathroom

Posted on June 30, 2015.

Remodeling any aspect of your home is a major endeavor, but kitchen remodeling can be particularly challenging. A kitchen done properly can be a major asset and feature for your home. It is worthwhile to do a little extra planning so you can to have a smooth process and a successful finished product.

Think Through Your Kitchen Needs

Before you begin your search for images of your dream kitchen, take a few moments to consider how you use the space as it is currently arranged and what you would benefit from changing. Is the general layout of the kitchen counters and placement of the appliances working? If not, sketch out a few ideas for how the footprint could be improved in your kitchen remodeling. Do a few measurements to determine how much additional space you may have to work if you were to extend a countertop here or add an island there. Make sure to factor in wiggle room space and ensure there will be a good flow for traffic in and about the kitchen.

Make a Plan and Hire Help

When you have thought through some of the goals you would like to accomplish with kitchen remodeling, you are ready to formulate a scope of work and decide on your initial budget for the project. A scope of work is a detailed plan that outlines the extent of the demolition, building, and finishing required for your new kitchen. Then, hire the professionals you will need to help you with the contracts, designs, and construction for the remodeling job from beginning to completion. These professionals will help you with the floor plans and details like cabinet sizes. In addition, you will need to select fixtures and finishes and create a list. Here are some details for you to consider:

• Cabinet materials

• Countertops

• Appliances

• Sink and faucets

• Light fixtures

• Back splash

• Flooring

It can be tempting to jump straight to selecting finishes and features, but if you start by planning a truly functional layout for your kitchen, you will find your remodeled kitchen will be much more useful in the long run.

Trendy Ways to Remodel Your Bathroom

Posted on June 12, 2015.

One of the most popular rooms in your house is probably the one that you use every morning, every night, and usually several times a day. There are very few rooms that are as necessary and functional as your bathroom. However, that doesn’t mean that it has to be bland. Bathroom remodeling is the perfect solution to create a more trendy space.

One remodeling trend for the toilet is to have it out of sight as much as possible. This doesn’t mean that you have to build a stall or additional wall, but instead consider tucking it behind a half-wall, decorative screen, or even fogged glass. This may help you to enjoy increased privacy when using the commode. Another popular idea is to save money by installing a new cost-efficient toilet. Duel-flush toilets offer a lighter and heavier flush options.

If you are looking to redo your flooring, you should consider radiant heating for your tile floor. Low-energy heat maps allow you to warm the ground so that your bare feet stay comfortable. This is an ideal solution for the cold feet you sometimes experience after you step out of the shower or when you walk around shoeless during the colder months.

Bathroom remodeling can also consist of changing your sink, shower, or tub to accommodate your personal style. Vessel sinks are the sinks that sit on top of the counter, and they are an excellent way to create a focal point for the room. Trendy showers are also transforming the typical stall into a more spacious area with added features like nooks or a bench. The preference for a traditional corner jetted tub seems to be changing to a smaller, deeper tub that is pushed against a wall for maximum utilization of the space.

Another common trend is to indulge in beautiful lighting. You could install backlighting around a mirror or place a gorgeous chandelier as your central light fixture. If you often find yourself tripping in the bathroom when it’s dark, you may want to consider installing lighting underneath your cabinets. Installing dimmers may also help you achieve a more relaxing atmosphere.

Top 3 Kitchen Renovation Tips

Posted on April 28, 2015.

Renovating your kitchen is something that will not only add ease and convenience to your life but also increase the value of your home at the same time. From countertops, cabinets to electrical appliances, there is so much to update, replace and repair for a kitchen that looks modern and stylish. Here are a few tips for those who are planning to renovate their kitchen soon:

Position of the appliances: Make sure that the sink, the cook top and the fridge form a perfect triangle and there is enough walking space between the three. The straight line distance between the three should be anything between 12 to 23 feet. Position them in such a way that the sink lies in between the other two appliances.

Clutter free design: Avoid placing the refrigerator and the microwave close to one another. Make sure that there is enough space on both sides of both the appliances to ensure safety. The secret to a happy kitchen is incorporating a barrier free design to ensure ease-of-use for one and all.

Cabinets and storage: In place of the conventional cabinets install pull out drawers and trays. They are convenient, spacious and consume less kitchen space than the former. If you want to install the traditional cabinets, make sure they reach up to the ceiling to get additional storage space.

Tice Exteriors is a leading home renovation company offering kitchen remodeling in Kearney, MO, bathroom remodeling and deck designing services. The company also offers installation of roofs, windows and sidings at excellent prices.

4 Smart Tips for a Home Improvement

Posted on Jan 12, 2015.

Your home is calling for an immediate remodel and you cannot find out a way to spruce up your house without actually breaking your bank. Here are some great house remodeling tips that will help you give your house the desired attention without spending a fortune.

Upgrade the Kitchen: The kitchen is the heart of the house. Make sure your kitchen looks clean and updated by giving it a facelift. You can give a makeover to your kitchen by replacing the faucet, painting the walls, replacing the cabinets as well as adding new lighting fixtures.

Improve the Front Entry: Reinvent the front entry of your house by updating the doors, adding new lights in the walkways and driveways. Wood grain doors in the main entry of the house are gaining more popularity and so does a substantial looking handle and lock set.

Lighting: Enhance the look of your house by replacing the dull and boring lights in the living area with a beautiful chandelier. For the rest of the rooms you can consider replacing the existing blades of the ceiling fan with more modern and aesthetic ones.

Remodel the Bathroom: Buff up your bathroom with a new and updated look. For this you can consider replacing the flooring with vinyl tiles or installing a new pedestal sink. What you can also do is change the ventilation and lighting and updating the vanity.

Tice Exteriors is a leading home remodeling company in Kansas City, MO. The company specializes in windows, sidings and roofing in Kearney and neighboring areas. Apart from these it also offers bathroom and kitchen remodeling and deck designing services.

Checking Up On Your Roof

Posted on May 27, 2014.

home renovation kearney MO

Unless there is a major storm that results in serious damage, or you notice some leaks coming through your ceiling, it is easy to forget about your home’s roof. Your roof falls under the “out of sight, out of mind” category of home maintenance, so it often goes without the periodic checkups that it deserves. Without checking your roof on a regular basis, you could have a problem that goes unnoticed for an extended period of time, resulting in a major disaster that could end up costing much more than fixing the problem earlier on. For example, a roof failing due to a problem that went unnoticed could lead to damage to the interior of your house, as well as further damage to the roof itself.

Note: If you are of able body, then grab a ladder, otherwise find someone to check your roof for you, and never attempt to inspect your roof by yourself. Always have another person with you as a safety precaution.

Typically, the first place to check on your roof is from within your house. Study the ceilings in every one of your rooms for signs of leaking. You’ll see darker areas of the ceiling in a concentrated area where a leak has occurred. If you see a leak, then you know for sure you have a problem with your roof. Either way, you should continue up into your attic to check for additional leaks, as well as visible holes in your roof or flaws in the framing. If you notice that parts of your roof look saggy or wobbly, then you have a problem on your hands. It’s also a good idea to see if you can detect sunlight coming into your attic from the roof, as that could mean there is a gap in your roofing or perhaps a roof vent, pipe, or chimney is not properly sealed off with metal flashing.

The next place to inspect is on the roof, itself. First, scan for areas that might be sagging or uneven. This could be an indicator that there is an issue with your roof’s structure and is a major red flag. I would not recommend walking on your roof any further if you see something like this, and immediately call a professional to come and look at it. Next, take a look at your gutters. Make sure they are clean and clear of any debris and will route water away from your house to where it needs to go. Also, make sure your gutters are tightly in place. As stated before, double check all of your roof’s fixtures for metal flashing, as that can easily lead to a leak. Of course, you want to make sure the entire area of your roof, with all its nooks and crannies, is completely clear of any sort of debris.

The final step in checking your roof is taking a close look at the shingles. Shingles can be an easy indicator of your roof’s condition. For example, if you notice that some of the shingles are curling or have darker areas on them, you could be due for a new roof.

Giving Your Home Curb Appeal

Posted on May 9, 2014.

home renovation kearney MO

One of the most important factors of a house is its curb appeal. Just ask any real estate agent and they’ll tell you the same thing. Curb appeal greatly affects the value of your house and is especially important if you plan on selling it in the near future. So just what is curb appeal? Curb appeal is the wow-factor of your house. When people are driving down your street, you want them to slow down a little as they pass your house to soak in the glory. “What gives a house great curb appeal?” you may ask, well there are a number of things:

Awesome Exterior

Whether your house has brick, vinyl, or any other type of siding, you want it to be in tip-top shape. Siding with splotches of black rotting wood or faded paint look terrible and greatly decrease your house’s curb appeal. Not only does shoddy siding look awful, but it also can lead to energy leaks that cost you a great deal of money during the summer and winter months. Do plenty of research on what type of siding works best for you and get a contractor or three to come out and give you their opinion and a quote on fixing your exterior.

Once you’re sure that your siding is in good shape, you’ll want to have a good coat of paint put on it. Before you decide on your own, or have your tacky Aunt Beatrice tell you what color to paint it, make sure you talk to a few realtors to find out what colors and styles of paint are currently appropriate and desirable for your neighborhood. Just because you love the color turquoise does not mean painting your house that color will give it great curb appeal; it might actually make your house look much less appealing.

Windows

Windows are where it’s at when it comes to curb appeal. Make sure all of your windows are kept very clean and are in good shape. A broken window is a HUGE no-no when trying to build your house’s curb appeal. People love houses that have giant, beautiful windows, but if your house doesn’t have these you can work around it with custom shutters or by accenting them with your garden. Having your curtains or blinds drawn in your front living areas will make your house look nicer; just make sure everything inside your house that can be seen through the windows in the evening is in good order.

Once again, I highly recommend working with a contractor that really knows windows when replacing them. A window is a very important component of your exterior both cosmetically and functionally. Make sure all of your windows not only look great, but are also functional (open and close completely). A window that doesn’t open can be dangerous during a fire and one that doesn’t lock can be a security breach!

Garden

Now gardening is not something that we’re all good at. I have what my wife calls a “brown thumb,” meaning everything I touch that is of a botanical nature is bound to die within a few days. If this is the case, enlist some help. That being said, gardening is something that most people love to do, as it is a relaxing outdoor activity. If you don’t have any sort of plant life in your yard, your curb appeal is probably just as dead as the tomato plants I tried to plant in my backyard last week. There is a plethora of gardening blogs, both organic and conventional, that will let you know what to plant in your area during this time of year.

If you need ideas of what kind of garden looks good in your area, just drive around your neighborhood and take notice of the gardens that jump out to you. Take note of what people are doing with their gardens and how they bring out the best in the person’s house. Many people grow vegetables in their front yard, making their gardens not only cosmetically appealing, but useful, too.

Your Front Porch

How many times have you driven by a house and seen a porch that looks so cool that you wished you had one just like it to hang out on? Even if you don’t spend much time on your front porch, you should make it look like a place that you would want to. If you have the room, get interesting decorations and seating for your front porch. Seasonal decorations for your front door that don’t look too tacky are a must. Rocking chairs or porch swings, etc. always make a front porch seem more like a place one would want to spend time; and part of the whole idea of curb appeal is making your house look like a place that one would want to spend time, is it not?

Other Tips

Okay, so you’ve got the awesome siding/exterior, paint job, windows, garden, and porch going, what next? Well, here are some other things you need to keep in mind when looking to boost your curb appeal:

· No trash or clutter ANYWHERE in your yard… Ever! – instant curb appeal killer.

· Keep all fences painted and in good order. – no gaps or missing posts allowed.

· Pick up animal poop! – gross.

· No broken down vehicles in yard or driveway – you’re not Jeff Foxworthy.

· Mow/rake your lawn – You’d think this would be a no-brainer, but…

· Political signs – This might be controversial, but save it for the voting booth.

· Your cars affect your curb appeal - even if your car is older, wash it if it’s going to be parked in your driveway.

· Your mailbox affects your curb appeal – whether on your porch or at the front of your yard.

I’m sure there are countless other things I could write about curb appeal, but this should at least give you some ideas on where to start. Now go get your house looking great!

Finding The Right Glass Door For Your Patio

Posted on April 19, 2014.

Prioritizing Your Home Renovation

Posted on April 8, 2014.

home renovation kearney MO

Your house’s condition can be in one of many states of disrepair. It might be dilapidated and falling apart, or it might be brand new and sparkling. Most people’s houses are somewhere in the middle, livable but with some needed love and attention. Often times a house’s problems are in the eyes of its inhabitants, such as an annoying bathroom layout or a kitchen counter with an unappealing color. Regardless of what needs to be fixed in or on your house, you can easily feel overwhelmed when trying to figure out how to prioritize repairs and renovations for it. Well, hopefully these pointers will help out.

Obviously, the safety of your family is going to take priority over everything else on your list of things to fix. If you have wires dangling out of your walls or a ceiling fan that is hanging by a thread, you would probably be wise to address these issues before you throw a new coat of paint onto your garage. When making a list of things to fix, you should always put a star next to the items that could harm your family, or damage yours or your neighbor’s property (such as a dangling tree limb). Leaky pipes are another problem that should take priority over more luxurious renovations, as they can lead to a slew of other problems, such as mold and water damage. If you have a broken window, you should probably put that near the top of your list as they leak energy and could compromise the security of your house.

Now that we have the more obvious urgent renovations out of the way, let’s look at some of the more difficult decisions that you need to make when figuring out what to work on first. Taking the next step in prioritizing your renovations requires you to know whether or not you plan on staying in your house for the long term, or if you’re going to sell it in the near future (five years, or less). If you are planning on selling your house in the near-future, you want to make renovations that will make it more appealing to the current housing market. I always recommend finding a realtor you trust (perhaps the one that sold you the house) to discuss what the current housing trends are. Perhaps everyone is looking for kitchens with a particular type of countertop or a certain color of exterior paint is more disirable than others; regardless of what the trends are, you need to know about them before you start making renovations. Another great way to figure out which renovations you should make when preparing to sell your house is looking up what the estimated return on investment is for each type of project. Also, remember that curb appeal has a great impact on your house’s market value, so plan on doing some painting and landscaping.

If you are planning on staying in your house for the long-haul, deciding which remodels to give priority to can be a little more difficult. Once you have the safety/practical renovations out of the way, really think about which aspects of your house you feel would have the greatest positive impact on your life by improving. Given that this is not always obvious, there are a number of things you can consider when deciding which renovations to take on first. Are there any rooms of your house that cause you discomfort? Do your closet doors drive you bonkers every time you are getting ready for work? Is the back burner on your stove broken, and does it throw you off every time you try to make dinner? It is the daily annoyances like these that you should concentrate on fixing first, as your life will immediately start improving when they are fixed. Improving your life is the entire point of renovating a house you plan on inhabiting for the long term, so focus on what will actually improve your life!

Once you’ve taken care of the minor (or major) annoyances in your house, figure out the grand scheme of what you want your house to be like when all of your renovations are finished. Really sit down and think about it. Write down your ideas and go over them with your partner; renovation is expensive, especially if you don’t know what you want when you go into it. It’s also important to develop a phasing plan when prioritizing your renovations, as you don’t want every room of your house torn up at the same time. For example, if you tear up both of your bathrooms at the same time, you might have to resort to the use of a bucket or a neighbor’s bathroom, and that, my friend, is no way to live. Another way to prioritize your renovations is by looking at the budget for each project. Many people knock out all of their smaller renovation projects first, before deciding whether or not they can afford to take on a major one. For example, you probably want to fix up the existing rooms in your home before you start adding on an expensive expansion. Speaking of budget, I always recommend allocating an extra 15-20% above what you are quoted for your renovations to pay for any unforeseen surprises that might arise during the renovation, such as an unknown termite colony living inside the walls or bad wiring.

Once you have prioritized your renovations, prepare for life while they are happening. Go into the renovation process understanding that your life will feel messy or cluttered while the renovations are taking place, as parts of your house may be torn up and unusable. If you go into the process knowing that your life might be a little bit more uncomfortable than it usually is, you will be less stressed out while it is happening. Also, just keep in mind how much better your life will be once the renovations are completed!

How To Keep Pests Out Of Your Attic

Posted on March 15, 2014.

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Given that an attic is an enclosed, safe, and often warm area; our furry friends find them to be a very inviting place to spend some time. As much as some of us would like to accommodate these creatures with a comfortable living, the fact is that their presence is not good for your home or your family. They can leave droppings everywhere, pa If you have been lying in bed and hearing thumps, bumps, and scratches above your head, there’s a good chance that you have a special guest living in your attic.rticles of which you might end up breathing or eating, and chew through important wires causing expensive electrical damage and even creating a fire hazard.

The most common way people discover they have pests in their attic is by hearing them. Whether it is a squeaking noise made by smaller rodents, or loud thumps made by possums or raccoons, these noises are most commonly observed at night when pests are most active. If you have an alert dog, you will notice his behavior to be erratic or agitated when the pests are moving around. I actually learned this first hand, as one of my dogs would become very upset and pace around my bathroom barking at the ceiling in the middle of the night; when I got up to investigate, I observed faint scratching and thumping above my shower.

One method of discovering that you have unwanted houseguests is by finding their droppings. If you enter your attic and observe droppings, it is very important that you take care of your pest problem immediately, as these droppings can harbor dangerous diseases, many of which can be spread throughout your house’s ventilation system. One such disease is Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), which can cause a lot of very nasty symptoms and is contracted just by inhaling particles from infected droppings. Health issues aside, having poop lying around any part of your house is just plain gross and unsanitary, so the problem should be addressed immediately. Also, be sure to clean up any sort of droppings in the proper manner to prevent the spread of germs.

Another way to determine if you have pests is by finding holes in any sort of screens that are between your exterior and attic. Raccoons and squirrels will jimmy their way into your screens by prying them open or gnawing at them to gain access into your attic. Here is an excellent video on how to repair damaged screens to prevent them from regaining entry to your attic. Thoroughly check all of your siding and where your exterior meets your ceiling for any holes and use caulk, steel, and wire mesh as demonstrated in this video to seal them. Some rodents can gain access to your house through holes that are as small as a quarter, so be sure to be thorough while checking your siding and roof. After you have sealed the holes in your exterior, you need to find a good means to remove the pests from your attic.

When it comes to removing the pests, there are many approaches. If you decide you want to be lethal, which I do not recommend for bigger rodents, you can use poisons and larger snap traps. The reasons I do not recommend these methods for bigger rodents is that if you cannot reach the corpse of the dead animal, it will start to stink. Also, poisons run the risk of hurting your pets and possibly your family if accidentally ingested. For nonlethal removal of pests, use small baited cages and check them on a daily basis. Some local municipal animal control centers will rent these out to you for free, and even come pick up the cages for you if you catch anything. Mothballs can be used to deter larger rodents from your attic, as can fox urine (gross!). The most important thing about using live-catch methods is that you check the traps daily, so you don’t end up torturing an animal by starving or dehydrating it. Once your pests have been removed, periodically check the areas that you have sealed off and look for droppings or other evidence that they have returned. If they have, double check for more holes, or to make sure the seals you have put in place are still intact.

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