Make My Home Square Blog - HomeSquare

Make My Home Square Blog

Kitchen Design Updates That Don’t Break The Bank

by guest author Shawna Feeley

My favorite space in almost any house is the kitchen.  When it is well-designed, it provides an arena to cook, create, commune and to just hang out.  Kids do their homework and families connect in this functional and well used space. Therefore, it imperative that you love this special room in your home and it makes you happy.  If, this is not the case, here are some kitchen updates that will bring a smile to your face without creating a hole in your wallet.

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Does home remodeling make sense for your family?

home remodeling services from HomeSquare, shown in this consultation with a homeownerAs the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But what if your home simply isn’t working for you anymore?

It’s possible that your family has outgrown a three-bedroom setup, or a step-in bathtub is impractical due to limited mobility. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of an open floor plan, or it’s possible that some major structural elements, such as the roof, windows or doors, are due for a replacement. Your home isn’t “broken,” per se, but it could benefit from a value-boosting pick-me-up.

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How can a rental property maintenance company make a landlord’s life easier?

rental homes can be more profitable for landlords using rental property maintenance servicesProperty owners and managers are all-too-familiar with the summer rush to fix up, prep and rent out the apartments and homes in their purview. Between summer downtime, children moving to new school districts and students starting new academic programs, July and August are two of the busiest months to rent an apartment – and end a lease agreement.

There’s a lot to do in the mad rush to prepare apartments for this quick turnover. Some, like repainting an apartment, are required by law in certain locales at certain intervals. Other minor jobs such as wood rot repair, or small handyman tasks like rehanging closet doors, need to be taken care of before a new tenant moves in, whether the old tenant was at fault or not. In a competitive market, property owners may need to do even more to spruce up or upgrade the entire unit to make it more appealing to renters. No matter the reason, July and August are still the season to tackle the little projects that added up over the lease term.

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Update Your Welcome

by guest author Shawna Feeley

As the adage goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This is something I learned from either a dandruff commercial or my Nana Ruth, (both, I think), but the message is sound.  Take a good look at your front door and see if you are maximizing your ability to wow and welcome your guests.  With new door paint, plants, container gardens, doormats, house numbers, wreaths and door knockers, there are many ways to spruce up your curb appeal.

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HomeSquare’s Summer BBQ Safety Guide

safety important when grilling, as shown in this photo of man charcoal grillingIt’s that time of year again – time to break out the patio furniture and toss some hamburgers and fresh veggies on the grill!

Grilling is an extremely popular pastime, with about 75 percent of households owning at least one charcoal or gas grill. But before igniting the coals or the burners, it’s important to refresh your memory regarding proper cleaning, grill prep and usage so your dinner doesn’t turn into a charred mess – or a painful lesson in fire safety.

Food certainly tastes great cooked over a smoky grill, but working with open fire invites some risk. Grilling causes nearly 9,000 home fires each year, accidents that occur most often during the peak grilling season in July. Grill accidents cause $118 million in property damage every year and send 16,600 people to the emergency room, more than half of those for burns.

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Which type of paint – and painting services – do you need?

painting services offered by HomeSquarePainting a home isn’t as easy as choosing a color.

There are cracks to fill, wood rot to repair and old stucco to smooth before the roller even sees a drop of paint. Without a perfectly-primed surface, your brand-new paint color runs the risk of looking old, raggedy and bumpy before it even sees the lights of day. Not to mention, selecting the wrong finish can highlight any imperfections left behind, resulting in your brand-new paint finish looking tired and worn before your friends, neighbors and guests even get to see it.

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Ask your local handyman these 5 questions before hiring

Questions to ask when hiring local handymanA little drywall patch here, a leaky faucet there — your “honey-do” list is piling up and it’s time to enlist the help of a local handyman who can help you out.

We may know some surefire red flags to avoid when starting the handyman search — high-pressure sales tactics and door-to-door solicitation, for example, are clear signs to run in the other direction. But do you know which questions to ask once your potential new handyman has passed this important “red flag test?” Just a few simple, direct questions should guide your local handyman selection process and help you choose a home maintenance professional who is well-equipped to tackle your “honey-do” list.

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Wallpapering the stairs? Blank canvas alert!

wallpaper on stairway risersBy guest author Shawna Feeley

Wallpapering the stair risers is a great way to add a pop of color and interest to an otherwise predictable space. You can also add paint to the steps, railings or the balusters and Newell post if you want to have some serious fun.  Your staircase is a blank canvas just waiting for a little TLC.  Depending on the paper you chose, you can take your stairs from boring to fun or bland to stylish in just one weekend. Warning: you can lose an afternoon collecting ideas on Pinterest!   Here are a few of my favorites.

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Deck staining, painting, and sealing: oh my!

clean wooden stained deck with attached pergolaThe winter months aren’t kind to your home. Heavy snow, harsh ice, strong winds and bitter temperatures can be particularly rough, cosmetically and structurally.

Of all the parts of your home that are regularly exposed to the elements, your deck is one of the most vulnerable. It’s not just about the deck staining or paint fading over time — cold weather can worsen existing problems, wood rot can crop up if the water protection wears off, and in extreme cases, the beams can warp.

Thankfully, you don’t need to think about old man winter for several months. Spring is here, the sunshine is pouring down, and if you’re anything like us, you’re itching to spend longer hours outside in warm, breezy weather. The deck, of course, is the perfect place to host a party, eat dinner, or just relax and read a favorite book.

But before you head out, it pays to take a closer look at your deck. If it’s not quite ready for its summer debut, read on to find out what your options are for a “facelift” and to learn about other deck repair services you may need during a regular deck check.

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Why do I need gutter cleaning services?

overflowing gutters rain water pouring off roofGutters tend to be out of sight and out of mind – until they stop working how they’re supposed to.

As rain flows down the slope of the roof, it takes leaves, sticks and other debris along with it. This junk and sediment ends up sitting in the gutter – the gallons upon gallons of water flowing off the roof isn’t strong enough to push the mounds of wet leaves through and out of the gutter system. Improper drainage isn’t the only problem, either — backup could become so intrusive that it could cause roof-damaging rot.

Fortunately, regular maintenance and care, starting with a thorough gutter cleaning every spring and fall, can keep your gutters working and your roof in good shape!

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