Home Improvement Tips for April 2020

April offers the opportunity to return to outdoor living since cold weather is on the way out of town. Prep your space for spring and summer by maintaining the home exterior and beautifying the lawn and garden. Once you do that, turn your attention indoors, especially in the basement to protect against possible spring flooding!  But, most importantly, be sure to take the time to appreciate the season.

  1. Check the Sump Pump

    Heavy rains cause soil to become saturated with water, and that water can leak into your home through window wells or a vulnerable foundation, causing flooding in your basement. A sump pump should be able to mitigate the problem, but only if it’s in good working condition. Now is the time to check yours to make sure that it’s in good working condition.  First, check the sump pump pit for debris and remove anything that doesn’t belong. Then, fill the sump pump with water to test the float and ensure that it starts and stops properly.  Be sure to take a minute to clean the impeller, the small filter on the sump pump as it is possibly the most vital part of the sump pump.  If it was to become clogged, it could cause the sump pump to stop working when you need it the most.
  2. Unclog the Downspouts

    Everyone knows that it’s vital to clean gutters in spring and fall, but all too often homeowners neglect clogged downspouts, which can cause problems when torrential rains hit. After clearing your gutters of leaves and debris, run an auger or hose into the downspouts to clear away blockages. Then, consider installing a leaf strainer over the downspout to prevent future buildup.

  3. Dry Out the Basement
    Basements are extremely vulnerable to leaks and excess moisture due to being below the grade.  That’s why it’s a good idea to run a dehumidifier in the basement, especially if you—or your off-season storage—spend a lot of time down there. The excess moisture can lead to mold growth, warped wood or paper, rust, and peeling paint. A dehumidifier allows you to control the indoor humidity level, and take extra water out of the air.

These are just a few of the tips and tricks you can do to bring exceptional value out of your house for the upcoming season. When the weather finally turns, your house will be miles ahead because you went out and did these top three projects.

The Top Three Home Improvement Projects for Spring 2020

Spring is here, and now is the best time to do some home projects to make your house ready for the coming seasonal changes. Here are three projects you can do to bring more value to your home this spring!

  1. Gut the Gutters

    Before spring showers inundate your house, you’ll want to clear your gutters of all the pine needles, twigs, leaves, and other organic material that accumulated over the long winter months. Give the gutters a thorough cleaning, and while you’re up there, consider installing gutter guards, which are screens or foam inserts that prevent debris from piling up in the first place. That way when the rain comes it will easily be diverted from your roof, and you won’t have to worry about repairing leaks!
  2. Pest Prevention

    By April, you’ll be ready for warmer temperatures—but so will all of the critters that are ready to hatch and find their way into your house. Do a little work up front to prevent pests like termites, ants, and silverfish from making themselves at home. Check for cracks in your siding, examine your roof for rotting or broken shingles, and seal things up tight so that unwanted creatures can’t get in.

  3. Power Wash
    After a hard winter and a wet, windy spring, your home may start to show signs of algae or dirt buildup on the siding, giving it a sloppy, rundown appearance. May is a good month for washing the exterior of your house, as you’ll have plenty of dry, sunny days that are perfect for the task. Just be sure to use the proper pressure so you don’t damage the siding. 

These are just a few of the tips and tricks you can do to bring exceptional value out of your house for the upcoming season. When the weather finally turns, your house will be miles ahead because you went out and did these top three projects.

Three Great Winter Home Improvement Tips

When temperatures drop, there’s nothing cozier than curling up inside with hot cocoa. Plus, between the holidays and winter sports, who has the energy or desire to do any home improvement tasks?  Well, give it a second though as the winter month turn out to be a great time to do certain home improvement projects.  Plus, if you’re looking to do a spring or summer home sale then it’s never too early to get started with home sale prep and repairs.

Another reason to consider having a contractor work on your home improvement needs during the winter: according to HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Survey for Q3 2019, 91% of agents believe builders and contractors are busiest in spring and summer, while less than 8% say these professionals are busiest in the winter. Plus, 67% of top agents say that building materials and labor for home renovations are the cheapest between October and March. All of this adds up to doing certain projects during the “offseason” because they genuinely cost less.

Having said that, it’s always best to know some of the best ways to work on your home with a contractor in the winter.  Below are the top three winter home improvement tasks you can have a contractor do for you:

  1. Seal Up Cracks Around the House

    First, you could work with a contractor to help seal up cracks around the house.  Think of your outer-walls, your windows, doors or vents as an envelope, and this envelope constantly has air seeping in through cracks and failures.  Sealing leaks can help keep energy costs lower, and keep air out.  Sealing leaks alone around windows and doors, through the foundation, and in the attic can reduce this airflow by about 25%.  In addition, with a shift in paradigm going towards having a home with green features, this is a no brainer addition that anyone should consider.
  2. Insulate Your Attic and House

    Second, in connection with the sealing cracks, you could work on insulating your attics, ducts and foundation.  It’s a proven fact that if you live in a cold, winter environment and you don’t have an insulated attic you are almost guaranteed to lose air and heat.  The U.S. Department of Energy recommends air sealing any areas of your home that might need it first before tackling insulation.  But, in doing this, you will make sure that you will have a very warm and welcoming home during the long, cold, winter months.

  3. Replace Your Windows with New Ones

    Finally, you could replace your windows in winter.  Are you sensing a theme for this post?  We are looking to make sure that you save as much money as possible with your heating and energy bills, and replacing your windows is one of the best ways to do that.  Replacing old, faulty windows that have air leaks with newer, energy-saving windows you could see the difference year over year in your energy bills.understand and navigate. We take pride in helping our customers see their basement remodeling projects come to life, and we look forward to always serving our customers by being the best. We separate ourselves from everyone else because every inch matters, and respect is valued!

As with all construction projects, finding the best contractor to help you with these is key. Be sure to give Inch By Inch Construction a call, and see how we can help you create heat in your home this winter.

Garage Remodeling Tips

Did you know that you could turn your garage into a new looking room with just a few steps? By working with a knowledgable contractor, you can transform your drafty, dingy, spider-infested into a bright, and comfortable, space. Read below to see some steps on you can accomplish that!

Most rough-framed garages aren’t ready for drywall, so one of the first things you’d want to consider is to add blocking and framing. Many garages may be missing necessary studs at the corners and attachment points for the ceiling drywall, and to go into a garage project without them would be disastrous. The most common areas that are in need of additional framing are inside corners where walls meet, and where the walls meet the ceiling. In addition, you could consider adding the following framing or structural elements:

  • Add blocking between studs for attaching shelving.
  • Nail blocking between ceiling trusses for hanging lights, cord reels or bicycle hooks.
  • Cut a hole and frame an opening for a through-the-wall air-conditioning unit.
  • Add windows or skylights.

A next step is to do a complete electrical rerouting. Your current set up may not be ideal for what you’d like to accomplish in the garage in the future. Most unfinished garages have the bare minimum of outlets and lights, so you’ll want to add a few. It may be necessary to drill holes through studs to help in the process of rerouting wires. Your contractor needs to make sure that the holes need to be directly in the center of the stud. This is also a good time to add outlets, lights and even another 20-amp circuit for power tools.

We’ve mentioned this in other blog posts, but be sure to call the local building inspections department to get a permit before you add or change wiring, and have the wiring inspected before you cover it with drywall or insulation.

Weather stripping your doors and windows has a tremendously positive effect on the garage remodeling project. It helps keep pesky bugs out of your new space! But more importantly, if doors and windows are leaky letting in uncomfortable drafts it can increase heating (or cooling) costs. Be sure to check your garage service door to see if it has good weather stripping and a threshold that seals tightly to the bottom of the door. If the service door is missing a threshold and weather stripping, it could be more efficient for you to replace the door entirely with a new, weather-tight version.

One of the final steps you’d want to do is install drywalling. Drywall is the easiest and most economical covering for your garage ceiling. Once the drywall is in place, you’ll have a brand-new space in which to do work! And whether or not you use it for DIY projects or not is up to you, because you now have a space in which you CAN do those things.

As always, Inch By Inch Construction is here to help you with your garage remodeling project. We help take the hassle off of you, and make your garage remodeling project simple and easy. Call to get your free quote today!

The Top Four 2019 Kitchen Remodeling Trends

Do you remember long ago when the kitchen was a hidden fixture in the home, often relegated to the back of the house, far from sight?  It was usually a place to make the meals and wash the dirty dishes.  Zoom forward to 2019 and the kitchen has changed drastically.  Kitchens are often the focal point of the home, the gathering place where everyone comes to start the day or meet after a long one.  The kitchen is often the very center of a home.

To say that kitchens have changed over the decades would be a major understatement.  And planning for your kitchen remodel needs to be a high priority.  The landscape of social dynamics have played a major role in the rise of the modern kitchen, with a much greater focus on the open concept kitchen.  We’ve done some of our own research and here are four of the top kitchen remodeling trends for 2019.

  1. Streamlined Styles – Kitchen designs are becoming more streamlined in their overall aesthetic, designs and alternative materials.  Simplicity and streamlining your kitchen remodel are stress-free environments, which is something everyone wants to come home to every day after work.  Simplicity starts with modern, clean lines.  And when we say streamlined, we are not talking about boring.  Material choice with texture can really help everything pop.  Interesting textures like floor tiles in a natural stone, or a backsplash with sculpted tiles add an extra flare.  At the end of the day, a streamlined style for your kitchen remodel makes everything stress-free for you, and enticing for the whole family to enjoy.
  2. Smart Kitchens – Technology is everywhere, and that also means it’s in the kitchen, and it’s more than just fancy gadgets and gizmos.  Technology can be integrated into almost every facet of your kitchen-from the faucets, to the refrigerator, or even in the lighting.  Even for older kitchens, easy add-ons in the tech realm are motion sensor equipment like the kitchen faucets, which can sense the presence of hands.  You can even purchase and install equipment to allow control of the lights to be performed on your smartphones or tablets.  Whatever need you have, a smart kitchen could help you out long-term.
  3. Storage Cabinetry – We’ve all experienced a lack of quality storage space in our cabinets in the kitchen, which is why this trend is on the rise.  Kitchen cabinets are being installed to fit the needs of the homeowners more and more, and not because of tradition.  One of the main foundations of a functional and streamline kitchen (see: point #1) is the kitchen storage in the cabinets.  Whether it’s appliance “garages” to house small appliances, or roll-out trays and caddies for pots and pans, upgrading your kitchen cabinet storage options will help set your kitchen apart from everyone else’s.
  4. Backsplashes – Backsplashes can be a fun part of the kitchen, and any welcome addition to a remodeling project.  Homeowners are moving to larger slabs of tiles, or tiles with various forms and textures.  Adding a pop of color is a trendy option, and it allows more creativity in your kitchen remodeling.  Plus, with upper cabinets out of the way for a more streamlined kitchen, homeowners can put more colorful backsplash to help set their kitchen apart.  Whatever direction you decide, backsplashes can help make you kitchen the highlight of your home.

Kitchens are vastly becoming the centralized location of a home, and it’s in a homeowner’s best interest to create a welcoming environment.  The steps above are ways that you can start to do that.  And we here at Inch by Inch Construction want to help you every step of the way to make your kitchen remodeling dreams a reality.

As always, Inch By Inch Construction is here to help you with your kitchen remodeling project. We help take the hassle off of you, and make your kitchen remodeling project simple and easy. Call to get your free quote today!

The Symmetry of Doors

One definition of symmetry is a “correct or pleasing proportion of the parts of a thing.” We love symmetry because it is pleasing and we absolutely love working on creating symmetry within our customer’s homes. We had the opportunity recently to totally transform a customer’s home by changing the location of their entry-way door, adding a window, and adding a porch! And we’ve got to say, this might have been one of the most fun projects we’ve every done.

Porch Install

When we began working on this project, we knew it would be a challenging one. But because we never back away from challenges, we pressed on head first. We removed the original door and built in the wall for a new window. The window is placed at the exact position as the original window on the other side of the building, thus creating symmetry! We loved installing that window, and if that was all we did we would have been happy. But, there was more to come!

Porch Board Installing

We continued with the project by putting in the porch. The homeowners wanted more area and space around their house to be covered, in addition to adding the symmetry with the doors, and we were happy to help them create their porch. The porch added to the symmetry of the house, and we were extremely excited to be able to put it all together.

Finished Porch and Door

When we finally finished the installation of the porch and replacement of the door, we stood back and admired what was accomplished. This is by far one of our favorite projects to date. By taking something already established, and building on it to create something fresh and new is a spectacular blessing for us. The porch is a nice touch that will allow the homeowners a comfortable place to sit and admire the beauty of their surroundings.

Helping a homeowner realize their dream is one of the things that motivates us to deliver the best quality possible. We are committed to helping you achieve your dreams however we can. We always look forward to new partnerships, new ideas, and new dreams.

As always, Inch By Inch Construction is here to help you with your door and porch projects. We help take the hassle off of you, and make your door or porch projects simple and easy. Call to get your free quote today!