Monthly Archives: September 2012

Home Improvement Tips

Before selecting a remodeling contractor, you should carefully plan your project from start to finish. For example, if your project involves a room addition, determine exactly what your needs are, how the room is to be used, and what you want the completed job to look like. It is a good idea to coordinate your color schemes and draw a simple floor plan using miniature tables and chairs to lay out the room arrangement. Be specific in explaining to the contractor what you want, and be sure to approve any architectural plans that are involved in the remodeling job before the contractor begins the work. Hiring a Contractor It is extremely important to compare costs before making a financial commitment toward any home improvement project….

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Don’t Get Burned by Furnace Fraud

Fall is the ideal time of year to have your furnace serviced – before the busy winter season starts. All too often, however, unsuspecting homeowners are duped into buying a new home furnace or authorizing expensive, but unneeded, repairs to their existing heating system by contractors who use scare tactics. The Better Business Bureau reports that while most furnace companies are reputable, competent and fair; others may falsely tell you that your furnace needs to be repaired or replaced when in reality it does not. These con artists may try to frighten you with warnings that your system is leaking dangerous gases that could explode or poison those inside the house. The most important first step is to not panic. Before you authorize any work,…

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Creating Space

As a result of the downturn in today’s real estate market, many homeowners who planned to upgrade to larger homes are opting to stay put and renovate their existing homes instead. Consequently, homeowners and contractors are becoming increasingly more creative in order to find areas of existing homes that are seldom used and convert them into more useful living space. In fact, the blueprints for a new home office, mudroom or larger kitchen may already exist within the walls of your home without having to invest in a costly addition. Below are some examples of unique renovations that will not only maximize the living space and functionality of your home but it’s resale value as well. Kitchen: For most families, the kitchen is the most…

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Ideas to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient this Winter

After winter has arrived, you know what’s coming next – higher energy bills. To get through the cold, dark months of the year, you flip on the lights and turn up the heat, both of which can send energy usage skyrocketing. It’s natural to want to cut those costs – the good news is, it’s easy to do. Making your home more energy efficient has a triple pay-off: your bills can decrease, you’re making a smaller environmental impact and you’ll be keeping your family warm and toasty. To make sure that your home is as efficient as possible, follow these four tips. Insulate When the temperature drops, we often grab a blanket to help stay warm. Adding insulation to your home is like wrapping it…

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Garage Organization

This blog post is the first in a regular feature about the different services offered by our valued network of area contractors. To get the best price and attention, always contact The Homeowner’s Helper before seeking quotes. We often have multiple contractors for each service, so we strongly recommend you obtain at least two quotes (three or more quotes for larger projects) before proceeding with the project. Today we are featuring a question-and-answer with Jon Ross, the owner of Closet Concepts, which has locations in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis. What are some simple/easy ways to get a garage organized in the winter in preparation for the spring/summer yard work season? Our garage shelving with doors, doors and baskets can store any of your garden tools,…

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Tips & Tricks in Selecting the Right Contractor for Your Home Projects

First, when searching for the “right” contractor, you should be looking for three qualities. The contractor should be trustworthy, value and service oriented. I know this may sound rather obvious, but the more challenging issue is how do you best go about this assessment? By following the recommendations presented in this brochure, you can significantly improve your chances in finding the right contractor and the successful completion of your home project, no matter how big or small. Before presenting the “Do’s” in the contractor selection process, it is important to first mention what NOT to do. DO NOT: rely solely on the recommendation from one or two people you know. This does not ensure that the contractor performs at a consistent high level and does not ensure…

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Four Simple Steps to Help Homeowners Ease into Spring Projects

Now, while winter is still around, is the best time for homeowners  to get a jump start on planning and prepping for their spring and summer home and garden projects; so when the weather really does warm up, it takes little effort to get the projects underway. In addition to fine-tuning home improvement and gardening plans, it is also a good idea to make certain the required tools are in tip-top shape, so the projects are not delayed. Here are some ways to prepare for the spring and summer seasons with just a few simple steps: Plans – Sketch out those garden plans, and pick the plants that can be purchased or grown from seed. Plans don’t need to be drawn to scale, but they’ll…

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Interior Design Trends: Easy Seasonal Changes Refresh and Revive Your Home

Spring’s new growth and warm sunshine provide inspiration for renewal in our lives. It’s a time to pack away the sweaters and boots for lighter layers and brimmed hats. Homeowners should embrace this same mindset – one where you pack away the heavy textures and colors of winter in favor of breezy fabrics and fun decor that inspire a fresh feeling in your house. Break out of the winter gloom by making some simple changes to your home with bright, fresh decor. Here are the top trends in interior decorating that capture the optimistic feeling of springtime, without having to spend a lot of time or money. 1. Color your world happy To uplift your mood and give your home a new personality, color should…

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The Homeowner’s Helper to Offer Tips on How to Select a Home Contractor

The Homeowner’s Helper had a booth at the recent Fort Wayne Home and Garden Show, and owner Tony Messuri had the opportunity to talk with hundreds of area homeowners about the service and its pre-screened, pre-qualified network of contractors. Messuri will be a featured speaker at the April 25 meeting of the Northwest Lima Woods Neighborhood Association, where he will share tips on selecting a home contractor. He also will be leading several seminars during the upcoming Home Improvement Expo May 11-12, where he will address the important topic of how to find and select home improvement contractors for most any home project.

Pointers for Prepping the Deck and Backyard for Summer Fun

Warm weather is here to stay, which means people everywhere are spending more time outdoors. If the sunshine, gentle breeze and chirping birds are calling your family outside to enjoy some fresh air, it’s time to get your outdoor space ready for fun activities. With some smart home improvements, you can easily prep your patio and deck for a full season of enjoyment. 1: Tricks for properly cleaning patio furniture Today’s patio furniture can be as comfortable and stylish as indoor options, and similarly, it needs to be periodically cleaned. Resin, resin wicker or metal furniture can typically be cleaned with mild soap, water and a sponge or nonabrasive brush. Metal pieces can be polished with a light coat of car wax to bring back…

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