Krystal Rogers-Nelson, Apr 21 2017 – Housecall
Krystal Rogers-Nelson, Apr 21 2017 – Housecall
If you’re into renovation projects, then updating and revamping your home can be a lot of fun. But before you get too excited about knocking down walls and setting up a custom movie room, you might want to consider resale value. Flashy renovations don’t always yield the best returns, so you’ll need to take care when picking projects.
To make things easier for you, here are four remodels to avoid and four to invest in.
An indoor basketball court, wine cellar, sauna, or even a movie theater won’t often recoup the high building costs. Luxury add-on rooms are hard to pitch to buyers unless you’re living in an upscale housing market—the average homebuyer won’t be willing to pay for them. Further, rooms that depend heavily on wired electronics, like home theaters, are hard to keep current because TVs and speakers are constantly advancing.
The average cost to build a pool is $39,084, a hefty price tag that is seldom recovered once the home is sold. It’s widely accepted throughout the industry that a homeowner will lose money by adding a swimming pool. Homebuyers don’t want to deal with the maintenance cost of a pool (which can cost as much as $2,000 a year), the added insurance premiums, and—if they have young kids—the safety issues.
Though gold-plated crown molding or mosaic-tile backsplashes may feature prominently in your ideal vision for your home, they often turn out to be the average homebuyer’s worst nightmare. Passing fads or niche trends rarely stick around long, so if you miss the brief window when your remodeling choices are in, you’ll end up paying for it later.
Changes Contrary to Area Standards
If you aren’t watching the trends common to your area, you could end up losing a lot of money. A home that totals $600,000 after all the renovations won’t sell in a neighborhood where homes are netting half that price. Likewise, knocking down the walls of extra bedrooms for an open layout won’t be appealing in a family-oriented neighborhood.
You don’t want to go cheap on a standard front door. At roughly $1,000, steel doors are comparatively affordable, durable, low maintenance and burglar resistant. As an added bonus, the National Association of Realtors reports that steel door upgrades show the highest return on investment of any home remodel, at over 100 percent of the cost.
As the price of solar panels continues to drop, the energy payback on installing them is becoming greater and greater. The average rooftop solar system is now paid off in 7.5 years. After that, panels are a big money-saving asset. A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory notes that homebuyers “consistently have been willing to pay more for a property” with solar panels—a premium of around $4 per installed watt, on average.
The exterior of your house is the first thing potential homebuyers see when they come to your home, and you want to make the best first impression. This is part of the reason redoing your siding is so profitable. New siding recoups around 80 percent of the initial cost, according to the National Association of Realtors®, thanks largely to the increased curb appeal and improved energy efficiency it provides.
Access to broadband speeds is considered an essential utility for today’s connected homebuyer. Research shows that faster internet speeds increase your home value by as much as 3 percent. Homeowners can prepare their homes for higher broadband connectivity by working with area providers to install requisite equipment and wiring. Building out wall ports and cable-hiding baseboards is a good move to attract buyers, too.
Even if you’re not considering selling your home just yet, keep potential selling benefits in mind. Intrepid homeowners know that the best remodels will increase both quality of life and listing price, so take care to invest in projects that will net the biggest returns.
Brooke Nally – Housecall Feb 23, 2017
Building a new home or planning a major renovation is a big undertaking. Between coordinating everything with the builders and having your space turned inside out, you may have forgotten about one of your landscape’s most valuable assets: existing trees. Construction vehicles and machinery can easily damage them, and that’s why trees should be protected. An injured tree can become prone to disease or experience other health problems that lead to its demise. Learn the steps to protect your trees during construction, so they’ll stay healthy and beautiful for years to come.
1. Identify mature trees that are vulnerable to construction. This includes trees that are near the renovation area and ones within the path of construction vehicles. It’s wise to plan a route through the property in consultation with your builder. This puts everyone on the same page and lets your lead contractor know that the trees are important to you and that you want them preserved. A specific route for vehicle access also helps plan a coordinated construction site.
Your builder or lead contractor will be responsible for staging this route as part of the construction process. Speak up early about the need to protect mature trees on your property. In sites with limited access or tight spaces, there are technologies and methods that can limit disturbance around protected trees.
Cynthia Karegeannes, Architect
2. Review local ordinances designed to protect trees during construction. Some municipalities have strict requirements for the type of fence and identifying signage that can be used. Others have no regulations, leaving it up to the homeowner to protect existing trees.
Also note if there are trees that must be protected in your property’s adjacent public right of way. A local ordinance often will protect street trees and trees within public easements. Know the locations of mature trees that may fall under your purview and know what regulations apply to them.
Shown: The orange plastic netting fence clearly marks a “do not disturb” zone around a mature tree.
3. Understand that trees can be harmed in a variety of ways but that injury is avoidable with proper planning.
There are three main tree components to protect:
Shown: A temporary chain-link fence provides a visual and physical barrier to limit disturbance around trees.
Falon Land Studio LLC
4. Make a clear barrier. This prevents heavy trucks and big machinery from driving close to the tree. A fence should clearly mark that it is protecting a tree so that the fence and the tree don’t get disturbed during construction. A general rule of thumb for correct placement of a tree protection fence or barrier is 1 foot away from the trunk for every inch of trunk diameter. For example, a tree with an 8-inch diameter — measured at chest height — would need a protection fence that circles around the tree with at least an 8-foot radius. The center of the circle is the trunk.
Shown: A required chain-link fence with clear signage safeguards a young oak tree planted in a public right of way between the sidewalk and street.
Griffin & Crane General Contractors, Inc.
You should consult a professional if you need help with preserving and protecting mature trees. A certified arborist or a landscape architect can assist with surveying tree health, measuring trunk sizes and creating a tree protection plan for your trees during construction. A professional consultant is especially helpful if you have an expansive property, a mix of many tree species or a large number of mature trees. With the right planning, your trees will make it through the construction and continue to thrive.
Falon Mihalic – Houzz contributor January 22, 2016
Krykorka drew up the interior design to give the clients a better sense of what it would look like in their space, and even did a 2-by-2-foot mock-up on a plywood board.
She used standard 3-by-6-inch tiles in white and chose dark grout to emphasize the lines.
You could pick a lighter grout, which leads to a more subtle pattern, as with this backsplash done in 3-by-6-inch gray tiles.
The straight herringbone design takes longer to install than a simple subway tile pattern, so it can be a pricier option, says Melissa Couture-Peterson, a designer with Designs of the Interior.
Pattern with color. Architect Michael Howells used two color groups of handmade 3-by-6-inch subways to create a straight herringbone pattern on this bathroom floor. No two tiles are alike, which leads to the illusion that more than one hue is in play.
He wanted a Western vibe and liked that this was a nice break from the regular subway layout.
Coursing. Color and an alternative layout blend to create a subtle textile-like design called coursing, says Daniel Ewald of etA Architecture. Subway tiles are offset and alternate in color to look like a basket or textile weave.
This is a moderately more complicated pattern, with three colors of 2-by-8-inch tiles. The design does require careful alignment and installation, Ewald says. Homeowners should make sure the installers are comfortable with it, and they should expect to pay more for the work.
This kitchen backsplash also features a coursing pattern with three colors, but it’s done on the horizontal.
It’s important to understand how any pattern will look in your space, says Kali Robledo, social media manager for Fireclay Tile.
She suggests getting samples from your tile supplier and putting them in the space. Homeowners should also do a mock-up on a large sheet of paper, sketching out a scaled version of the pattern, or use a designer who can provide a digital rendering.
Vertical layout. This is a simple take on the traditional subway layout, just rotated vertically.
The homeowner’s initials are H.H., and you can see this pattern is a comment on that, Howells says.
Howells coordinated the grout color with the countertops so that the color threads up through the tiles.
When the grout contrasts with the glaze — especially in terms of light and dark — the individual tiles are much more identifiable and the size and pattern pop.
This kitchen backsplash from Mercury Mosaics & Tile features 3-by-8-inch subways in two finishes and set vertically. The random pattern and the stacked layout turn the classic into a modern statement.
Grout is an easy means of offering a pop of color without the big commitment of colored tile, Martin says.
Here, green grout was used to illustrate the traditional subway layout and continue the wall color.
Mirrored finishes. Manufacturers have emerged with new, interesting materials for subway tiles, like these mirrored tiles with an antiqued finish used in a powder room.
Designer Jacqueline Fortier wanted an elegant Ann Sacks tile that felt antique to honor the 120-year-old home. She likes the drama it adds to the wall and the fact that it’s not an in-your-face-mirror you would normally see over a vanity.
She mixed two finishes, gold and silver, to give the feel of a naturally aged mirror.
It comes at a price, though, she adds. The mirrored tiles cost about $87 a square foot, a big jump from the usual cost of subway tile, which you can pick up at a home supply store for as little as a dollar a tile.
It’s also worth noting that this is a wall tile, not meant for shower enclosures or flooring, Fortier says.
Firescaping incorporates the design of the landscape and property surrounding a home to lessen its susceptibility to fire. This can be achieved through a well-thought-out landscape design plan that specifies less combustible plants, incorporates fire-resistant materials and follows the advice and guidelines determined by fire-safe organizations.
In this article I’ve identified several landscape design strategies as well as some of the guidelines I’ve gathered from various professionals and fire-safe organizations in California. These methods will help keep your property and home safe without having to sacrifice having a beautiful and thriving landscape. For specific guidelines in your area, please refer to your state, county or local fire safety organizations.
Planning Your Landscape
Protect your home and property by incorporating fire safety guidelines and “buffer zones,” called defensible spaces, during the landscape design planning stages and beyond. These guidelines usually include the use and proper placement of fire-resistant plants and trees and other fire-resistant materials that you can incorporate into the landscape areas surrounding your home. Creating defensible spaces is also critical for safe access by firefighters.
Graphic from Cal Fire
Create and maintain defensible space. This infographic shows the recommended defensible space surrounding a home in California. Two zones make up the guidelines for the 100 feet of defensible space, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).
Zone 1: The home defense zone is within 30 feet of the house. Within this zone you want to remove all dead or dry vegetation, as well as any dead or dying plants, and keep tree branches at least 10 feet from your chimney and other trees. Relocate wood piles into Zone 2.
Zone 2: The reduced fuel zone is 30 to 100 feet from the home, or to the property line. Within this zone make sure you cut or mow annual grass down to a maximum height of 4 inches. Create horizontal spacing between shrubs that are two to six times the shrub’s height, depending on the ground’s slope. Space trees 10 to 30 feet apart, depending on the ground’s slope. Remove all tree branches less than 6 feet from the ground. If shrubs are growing underneath a tree, allow clearance space of at least three times the shrub’s height to the tree’s lowest branch.
These guidelines were created for some regions in California. Check with your local fire jurisdiction to determine the guidelines and laws in your area.
Other landscape design features that can slow down or stop a spreading fire:
Create a fire-safe zone around wood decking. Although decking products not treated with fire retardant are combustible, some decking is not highly combustible on its own, according to Cal Fire. Typically, other fuel sources, such as plant debris or other combustible materials stored under or on top of the deck, as well as combustible vegetation surrounding it, contribute to deck fires. Keep this in mind during fire season, and maintain your decks to keep them free of easily-ignited materials such as leaves and needles that accumulate between the deck boards, along the home’s siding and below the deck.
If you have your heart set on a new wood deck, look for wood that is treated with a fire retardant or other fire-resistant building material. Hardwoods from South America, such as ipe and cumaru, have high fire resistance (and many are sustainably farmed). A fully enclosed deck will offer added protection by eliminating a heat trap below it.
Another good tactic is to isolate the deck from fire by adding noncombustible materials, such as stone, concrete or gravel, along the front sides and below the deck to create a fire barrier.
Check your local resources for the recommended fire-resistant plants and trees in your region.
Gardens by Gabriel, Inc.
Add succulents. By now, most people are aware of the drought-tolerant and easy-care benefits of succulent plants. Besides these favorable attributes, succulents are also extremely fire-resistant. Succulents and cactuses store water in their leaves, stems and roots, making them some of the top fire-resistant plant choices. Many succulents require frost-free regions to live, but there are also species that survive in low temperatures. Check with your local nurseries for succulent varieties that thrive in your region.
In a recent conversation with author and succulent, expert Debra Lee Baldwin, she shared a story recounting how a grouping of succulents had shielded a vulnerable corner of a Southern California home during a devastating wildfire a few years ago. The homeowner says that the flames came within 6 feet of her home and then stopped.
She attributed the fire’s halt to the succulent Aloe arborescens, ironically called torch aloe, shown here. This aloe can reach 4 to 8 feet tall and wide and grows in USDA zones 9 to 11. Baldwin further explained that the fleshy leaves of succulents may cook in the fire, but they don’t burst into flames or spread the fire, thanks to their juicy water-holding attributes.
You can see the eucalyptus trees shredding bark and the debris scattered beneath — deadly fuel for a fire, left. Juniper is shown, right, with un-maintained tall dry grass — two unwanted fire fuel companions.
Avoid highly flammable plants. Shrubs and trees that contain resins or oils in their stems, leaves or needles are highly flammable. Some of the offenders include juniper shrubs and eucalyptus, pine, spruce and fir trees.
Tasmanian blue gum eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) is one of the most flammable trees and is capable of releasing a flammable gas that sends out fireballs during a fire.
Juniper shrubs (Juniperus spp.) also contain flammable, volatile oils and accumulate dry leaves and needles, and they burn fast in a fire.
Check with local fire-safe resources for the fire-prone plants and trees to avoid using in your region.
Maintaining Your Landscape
Other Fire-Wise Maintenance Practices
Gearing up for tile floors? Don’t hammer away just yet. It’s important to plan for every little detail, including what you’re going to do with your baseboards and whether the tile you selected is suitable for children and pets. Make sure you answer these six questions before you get started on your tile installation.
Martha Angus, Inc.
1. Are you keeping your baseboards?
Yes: Consider whether or not you want to remove your baseboards before installing your tile. Most, if not all, flooring types require a small gap between the edge of the floor and the wall to allow room for movement. If you don’t remove your baseboards, that gap must be covered with quarter round (a convex molding whose cross section is a quarterof a circle), which will affect the trim’s aesthetics.
No: You won’t need any quarter round if you install new baseboards after your tile has been installed. This ensures a clean aesthetic and is the preferred method of many professionals.
David Edrington, Architect
2. Do you have foundation problems?
Yes: Think twice before you install tile. If your foundation is shifting, your tile will too. This can lead to cracks and breaks that cost money to repair and aren’t a pleasant sight. Softer, more flexible floors like vinyl or laminate will handle foundation movement better than a hard surface like tile. You won’t have to reinvest in new floors years down the road.
No: You’re in the clear. You shouldn’t have any issues with tile breaking or cracking, at least none that are due to foundation problems.
3. Are you installing tile on a second floor or in a home with a pier-and-beam construction?
Yes: Tile requires a waterproof subfloor when it’s installed on top of wood surfaces. Why? When wood gets wet, it swells. If it swells and has tile installed directly on top of its surface, your tile will break or crack. You’ll need to install cement board to ensure that this doesn’t happen. If you’re tiling a large area, installation costs can add up quickly, especially if you’re paying a pro.
No: You probably won’t need a subfloor. Added expenses to your tile installation will include grout, thinset, baseboards, quarter round and so on.
Oak Hill Architects
4. Are you planning to paint?
Yes: This one’s up for debate. On the one hand, you may want to roll out the new flooring before you paint. Some pros say it’s a lot easier when you don’t have to worry about splattering paint all over new floors. On the other hand, it’s possible that your walls will have a few nicks after the flooring is installed, and they’ll definitely get a little dirty. Some pros prefer to paint over any blemishes that happen during installation.
No: Keep in mind that things get dusty when you demolish old floors. You may want to have a plan for touch-ups should something happen to your walls.
5. Are you planning to refinish your staircase with your new flooring?
Yes: The most important thing about tiling a staircase is figuring out how you’re going to finish the edges of your steps. Tile rarely, if ever, has a matching stairnose piece available, so that leaves bullnose (a piece of tile with a small rounded edge), an unfinished edge or a metal finishing piece such as Schluterstrip as your main options.
Metal finishing pieces can add an industrial, rustic or modern feel to your home depending on the finish, but they can stand out and may feel too commercial. Bullnose and unfinished edges will blend better with the rest of your tile. Unfinished edges can be sharp, however. Bullnose is a more traditional way to finish tile edges; some homeowners will want something more modern for their household.
No: You’re not necessarily off the hook yet. Keep an eye out for step-downs into mudrooms or living rooms. You’ll still need to decide how you want to finish these edges.
LDa Architecture & Interiors
If you’re set on tile but want something more elegant for your staircase, there are a couple of options. One is to find a wood or vinyl that coordinates with your tile. These flooring types often have matching stair treads and stairnose pieces, which will give your staircase a more polished look.
You can also carpet your staircase. Although it won’t have the durability of tile, vinyl and hardwood, it’s softer on your feet and can be more affordable depending on the style you select.
Lucy Interior Design
6. Do you have kids or pets?
Yes: Take a look at color-body and through-body porcelain tile. Although they’re slightly different (through-body porcelain is unglazed, while color-body has a glaze), each ensures a little extra scratch resistance by having a color or glaze that runs throughout the tile’s body. In other words, if it scratches, you’re not going to see a noticeable mark. These tiles are well-equipped to survive foot and paw prints.
No: Whether your tile is color-body or through-body is less important. You’re in good hands with a porcelain or ceramic tile. Both are hard surfaces that offer better scratch resistance than hardwood and laminate floors.
Sam Ferris – Houzz contributor September 10, 2016
With the American house growing — by some 50 percent over the last four decades — and lot sizes shrinking (by 13 percent over the comparable period), something has had to give. According to CityLab.com, that would be the lawn. It's 26 percent smaller than it used to be.
CityLab reports a variety of reasons for the receding green. First and foremost, predictably, Americans faced with a choice of a bigger house or a bigger lawn will choose the bigger house. Writer Andrew McGill also points to "a mix of drought-conscious environmentalism and shift in social mores" putting pressure on the space.
"Americans are voluntarily buying houses with smaller yards," McGill says. Reasons he considered but found not to pan out in his research included an increase in attached homes, but he found 90 percent of new homes sold in 2015 were detached, and regional availability of cramped lots, but most new houses are being built where there's plenty of room, across the South and the Great Plains.
The shrinking lawn becomes an "economic compromise," McGill explains, taking the size hit so buyers can have larger houses by making the difference up with lower land costs for smaller lots.
DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | WEDNESDAY, JULY 20, 2016
Article Submitted by Fixr.com
Pools can take a lot of maintenance and work to keep them at their best. And sometimes that work can get beyond a home owner, causing them to shut down their pool for a period of time. If this has happened to youo, or maybe you’ve bought a new home with an old pool that needs some help, these five steps will make it swimming ready in no time at all.
Step 1: Fix Any Leaks
Leaks can be a serious problem for pools, and unfortunately they can also spring up in nearly any type. Leaks not only waste water, they can also do serious damage to your yard by seeping too much chlorinated water into the surrounding area. Leaks also have a way of spreading if they aren’t taken care of in a timely fashion, which means that detecting and patching leaks as soon as possible will help ensure that your pool stays in great shape.
Cost: The average cost of repairing small leaks in a pool is around $300. However, if the leaks or damages are severe, the entire pool lining may need to be patched or replaced, which can cost up to $5,000.
Step 2: Mold Remediation
Unfortunately for many pools, if they are left without chlorine and other treatment for too long, they can begin to grow things like algae and mold. While things like algae are harmless and easily removed, mold can mean a serious problem that needs to be addressed. If you’ve taken the time to clean your pool, and you’ve discovered mold growing there, you will need to have mold remediation done before filling up your pool again.
Cost: The average cost of mold remediation is around $500 for a 10×10 area.
Step 3: Replace Old Equipment
Your pool probably has a lot of equipment to maintain that helps keep it in good working order. Things like filters and pumps will help clean your pool and remove things like sediment and particles that can bog it down. This equipment needs to be stored and maintained properly when the pool isn’t in use, however. If this isn’t the case in your pool, you may need to replace the old equipment to get your pool up and running again.
Costs: The cost of a new pool pump is around $800 for a variable speed, but you can find single speeds for as low as $120. The cost of a filter ranges from $150 for a cartridge filter to $700 for one that uses diatomaceous earth.
Step 4: Install a Pool Heater
While most people enjoy their pool to cool off in, there are definitely times when the water can be a bit too chilly to want to enter. In this case, a pool heater can have a big impact on the enjoyment of the water for everyone. Heaters help maintain the temperature of the water; combined with solar covers to prevent the pool temperature from dropping overnight. You could potentially extend your swimming time by months each year.
Cost: The average cost of a pool heater ranges from $1,800 to $2,400 for a gas or electric heater that has been professionally installed. Solar heaters installed DIY can save you the most, running about $300 to $800.
Step 5: Put Up a Fence
Fences are one of the most important parts of the pool. Not only do they keep your kids and pets safe from the water, but they can prevent neighborhood accidents from happening as well. If your pool doesn’t have a fence, or the fence it does have is in disrepair, it’s time to install a new one to maximize the safety and fun of your pool.
Cost: The average cost of a swimming pool fence including gate is around $1,120.
Get Your Pool Summer Ready!
Once you’ve taken care of these five steps, all that’s left to do is to fill your pool, shock it with chlorine, and jump on in. You can get your pool ready for summer in just a few days, no matter what its original condition is.
REALTOR® Magazine July 18,2016
There’s a lot to love about Craftsman homes. Make your Craftsman-style home look its best with these tips for choosing paint colors, windows, doors, landscaping and more.
This traditional style looks to nature for design cues, highlights quality workmanship and emphasizes the front porch.
Nature-inspired color palette. Craftsman style is deeply influenced by nature, so turn to rich, natural hues for the exterior color palette. Soft olive green, earthy browns and cream (rather than stark white) allow the home to settle into its surroundings. Shingles are the most common exterior finish by far among Craftsman homes, and these can always be left natural with a clear finish if you do not wish to paint them. With so many architectural details, it is common to use at least two or three different complementary shades on the exterior to highlight the craftsmanship.
Don’t forget to test! The warm, earthy hues of the Craftsman palette can look wonderful when they work, but some colors (especially greens) can be tricky to get right. Be sure to test any color you are considering using so you can actually see it in situ, not only on a tiny paint chip. If you are feeling unsure about picking colors, consider hiring a color consultant to help with the process.
Siding color: Colonial Revival Green, Sherwin-Williams; column color: Rockwood Red,Sherwin-Williams; trim color: Navajo White, Sherwin-Williams
Moore Architects, PC
Go more modern (with caution). If you’re not a huge fan of the earth tone look, you can go with a more modern gray or “greige,” as shown here. Just keep it a little bit muddy to pay homage to your home’s Craftsman roots, and choose an off-white rather than pure white for trim.
Shingle and stucco color: Downing Earth, Sherwin-Williams; trim color: Downing Sand 2822, Sherwin-Williams
A comfortable porch. Play up a deep porch with a few carefully chosen pieces — a Craftsman-style bench or pair of rockers and a cluster of potted plants will do the trick. If your home’s original tapered or double columns have been covered over or removed by a past owner’s renovations, consider working with an architect to renew the porch to its former glory.
Moore Architects, PC
Multipane windows and doors. Typically, Craftsman homes have double-hung windows with either a four-over-one or six-over-one pattern, while doors nearly always have panes of glass in the upper portion of the door.
When to replace your door. If your home’s door is original, but in not-so-good shape, you may be able to revive it with a good sanding and a fresh stain, plus new Craftsman-style hardware. If, however, your home’s original door was long ago replaced with a modern version, a new solid-wood Craftsman-style front door can be a worthy investment, since this is really the centerpiece of your home’s facade.
Patrick LePelch Architecture
Charm with lighting. Options abound for Craftsman-style exterior light fixtures — one of the most popular is a lantern-style with multiple panes, like the one shown here. These lanterns echo the multipaned windows and doors of the typical Craftsman home, making for a put-together, intentionally designed look.
Patrick LePelch Architecture
Quality craftsmanship. If you are adding any details to the exterior or landscape of your Craftsman-style home, it pays to seek out the highest quality craftsmanship you can — after all, it’s not called Craftsman style for nothing! Beautiful details on a fence or garden gate, like the one shown here, will echo the architecture of your home and enhance the view from the street.
Todd Soli Architects
The Craftsman garage. While some original American Craftsman homes were built before garages were common, if your home has a garage it will look its best if the overall style matches the rest of the house. This double garage features lovely wood garage doors with glass panes, a trellis to add architectural interest and Craftsman-style house numbers.
Naturalistic landscaping. Think of paths that curve and wind, natural steppingstones and native plantings. The best landscaping around a Craftsman home helps the house feel a part of the landscape and neighborhood around it, and it generally stays within a natural, earthy color palette as well.
Natural elements connect indoors and out. Increase the connection between landscape and home by repeating natural elements from the architecture (such as stone and wood) in the landscape.
Shingle color: Renwick Olive, Sherwin-Williams; trim color: Accessible Beige, Sherwin-Williams; lighting: Hubbardton Forge
Add warmth with copper, bronze and handmade details.Craftsman homes look their best when surrounded by warm-toned metals (like copper and bronze), natural ceramics and wood. Keep this in mind when selecting exterior details, and everything will look as if it’s meant to be together, from the planters to the rain gutters.
Laura Gaskill – Houzz.com July 11, 2016
Lizzie Post is the great-great-granddaughter of etiquette author Emily Post and president of The Emily Post Institute. Needless to say she’s seen her fair share of dilemmas when it comes to etiquette around the home.
To kick off a new series, here she dives into how to appropriately let a contractor know when you won’t be accepting his or her bid — a situation where silence is not golden.
Ventana Construction LLC
It’s common practice to get three bids from contractors for a remodel, and to interview multiple interior designers and architects. What’s the best way to notify a home professional that you’re declining a bid? Do you even have to say anything?
It’s not just considerate, but it’s also incredibly important to notify the pros who have submitted bids to you that you have chosen to go with someone else.
Although it’s not fun to have to call and tell people that you aren’t going to hire them, it’s the respectful thing to do considering the time they’ve invested in assessing your project gratis.
Not only does it give them a chance to find out what was unappealing about the bid — maybe it’s something they could change, or maybe it’s just helpful feedback to hear — but it’s also important because you don’t want them to hold a spot for you, thinking that this job may actually happen.
Ventana Construction LLC
You need to let them know so that they can move on to accepting other business. What you say, of course, will vary based on your reasons for not choosing them. If you’re nervous about rejecting someone, practice some simple sample language.
For example, if the person was great, but you simply had a better bid: “Jeff, thank you so much for submitting your bid. Hank and I truly appreciated your thoughts and ideas. We’ve decided to go with a different contractor for the job, but I’d be happy to recommend you to friends who are looking to remodel.”
If the plan was good, but the quote was too high: “Kate, thank you so much for submitting your bid. Cali and I appreciated your ideas, but another bid fit better with our budget. Thank you again for your time.”
The most basic: “Thank you for your time and thought. We have decided to go with another contractor.”
In all cases, using a friendly tone and thanking the person for time and effort spent are key to ending on a positive note.
Lizzie Post – Houzz Contributor May 3, 2016