6 Things Professional Burglars Don’t Want You to Know

Even though a burglary occurs every 20 seconds in the U.S., you can still protect yourself without installing top-dollar security features.

Home burglary generally has a pattern; criminals are looking for an easy target they can rob fast.  Learn from the pros. Here are six tips from career burglars you can use to defend your home and prevent break-ins.


  1.   Nighttime Burglaries Aren’t the Best Time

Burglars like to break in to homes during daytime hours—the last thing criminals want is to encounter someone at home. Weekdays are ideal for thieves, since weekend schedules are too unpredictable. Between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. are the most popular times because there’s a high chance people will be away at work or school.


  1. They Know When You’re Not Home—Thanks to Social Media

While it’s tempting to post about your vacation to your social media feed, wait to share those trip photos and exotic location check-ins until you’re back home. Criminals scout public social media accounts like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Foursquare to find victims.

Locating someone’s home address using basic information from their social media profile is surprisingly easy. In one survey of convicted burglars, more than 10 percent say they used social media to determine who was out of town. The same survey found one burglar stole over $250,000 in electronics and jewelry from 33 women he saw in public—he used GPS data embedded in photos they posted online to find their homes.

Even if all your accounts are private, that old friend from high school or new neighbor down the street could be a potential criminal. Never post what times you’re not home or how long you’ll be out.


  1. They Don’t Like Your Security Practices

Burglars want nothing to do with alarm systems (whether they’re from the best home security companies or not). Homes without a security system are almost 300 percent more likely to be targeted for a break-in.  If you do install an alarm system, make sure you guard it with a strong code. Don’t use your house number or birthday, and clean any dirt or grease off your keypad so a burglar won’t guess your code based off the numbers you’ve hit the most. Unlocked windows, unused deadbolts, poorly lit homes, and residences without security systems are prime targets for burglars, so make sure you are using the security features you already have.

Also, tricks that make it look like you’re home really work, professional burglars reveal. Burglars run from properties that look like people are inside. Motion sensor lights, bright flood lights, and timed lights are inexpensive security features for a home’s exterior that scare criminals away. TVs or radios left on, as well as cars parked in the driveway, make burglars nervous that someone is home.


  1. Great Targets Advertise Their Weapon Supply

If you’re a proud gun owner, that won’t scare away burglars—it entices them. A gun is stolen roughly every two minutes in the U.S., so homeowners should be sure to always lock up their guns. NRA bumper stickers on a car, or Smith & Wesson signs on a house, advertises that there are lots of guns to steal.


  1. Shrubs and Architecture Make Great Hiding Spots

Tall bushes are favorites of burglars since they offer an obstructed view from the street and an easy way to hide from neighbors. Keep shrubs and large landscaping features trimmed. If you want big plants by your windows, choose something thorny that will detract a burglar, like roses or cacti.

Think twice about large architecture features, too, like fences, half walls, and big fountains. Thieves are searching for crimes of opportunity, and such decor elements give a burglar more time to hide and plot their method of entry. The best defense is a clear view of your front porch.


  1. Valuables in the Open Help Them Decide on a Target

Keep your expensive items out of sight. You’re making it too easy for a burglar by advertising the type of valuables they can steal. Don’t leave a new MacBook in front of your first-floor kitchen window, iPads on your living room ottoman, or even a nice car in a garage window with a clear sight line to the street. Key hooks—especially with labels for each key—need to be concealed out of view from windows, too.

“A burglar appreciates such kindness, but you will find it expensive when you have to replace all the locks after a break-in,” says Mike Fraser, former professional burglar and host of the BBC show Beat the Burglar.

Fraser also advises to leave large family calendars out of view. You’re inviting a break-in by detailing when you’ll be away, Fraser says. This advice goes for any ID documents, too. Mail or other personal information left in plain view is a gold mine for a criminal looking to easily steal your details for identity theft.

Using these tips can help you protect your home from break-ins. Also, be sure to research crime rates and trends in your neighborhood and state.

Krystal Rogers-Nelson,  Apr 21 2017 –  Housecall


Posted on May 8, 2017 at 4:21 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Home TIPS

Home Renovations That Can Hurt (and Help) Property Value

green shuttersIf 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.


Remodels to Avoid

Luxury Rooms
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.

Swimming Pool
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.

Gaudy Accents
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.


Remodels that Pay

Steel Doors
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.

Solar Panels
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.

New Siding
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.

Broadband Access
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

Posted on March 15, 2017 at 9:12 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Home TIPS, Sellers

How to Protect Your Trees When You’re Remodeling or Building

Will your home be undergoing construction this winter? Be sure to safeguard your landscape’s valuable trees

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.

Contemporary Landscape by Kara Mosher

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.

Traditional Exterior by Cynthia Karegeannes, Registered Architect

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.

Tree Protection Fence

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:

  • Roots: The roots can be damaged by soil compaction, a change in grade, trenching or other activity that cuts away significant portions of the roots. Know your tree’s critical root zone, an imaginary circle drawn on the ground in line with where the tree’s branches extend, based on the diameter of the trunk, and place your protective fence to surround it.
  • Trunk and bark: Mechanical damage can occur if a vehicle or machinery impacts the trunk and strips away bark. This creates a wound that invites disease. At a minimum, protect the trunk by wrapping it with burlap or boards.
  • Branches: Low branches can catch on vehicles and machinery too. This presents the same problem as the trunk getting hit: It creates a rough break in the branch, leaving the tree open to disease. Cut back any low branches that are in the path of construction vehicles.

Shown: A temporary chain-link fence provides a visual and physical barrier to limit disturbance around trees.


by Falon Land Studio LLC

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.

Mediterranean Exterior by Giffin & Crane General Contractors, Inc.

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


Posted on November 21, 2016 at 11:24 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Home TIPS

New Looks With Classic Subway Styles

Six 6 Eye-popping Takes on This Traditional Tile

We’ve seen subway tiles hung in herringbone and chevron patterns, stacked with straight grout lines and in fetching colors. But wait, there’s more. How about a tetris-like layout or a coursing pattern that mimics a textile weave? Those are just some of the emerging ways of working with the classic shape. Subway tiles are easy to find and versatile, which makes them a go-to choice, architect Zuzanna Krykorka says. Here are a few of the interesting ways to use them.
Posted on October 19, 2016 at 5:18 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Home TIPS

Fire-Wise Landscapes Keep Your Home and Property Beautiful and Safe

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.

Eileen Kelly, Houzz contributor   October 7, 2016
Posted on October 9, 2016 at 5:16 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Home TIPS

6 Questions to Answer Before You Install Tile Flooring


Considering these things BEFORE tackling your floors can get you a better result:


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.

Modern Hall by Martha Angus Inc.

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.


Traditional Exterior by David Edrington, Architect

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.


Midcentury Entry by Ikaria Living

Ikaria Living

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.


Traditional Dining Room by Oak Hill Architects

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.


Modern Staircase by BANUCHASTUDIO

Banucha Studio

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.

Victorian Entry by LDa Architecture & Interiors

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.

Victorian Hall by Herbeau - Winckelmans Tiles - Line Art Vanities

Herbeau-Winckelmans Tiles

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.


Transitional Kids by Lucy Interior Design

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


Posted on September 12, 2016 at 6:54 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Home TIPS

Honey, I Shrunk the Lawn!

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. 

tiny lawnCityLab 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.



Posted on July 25, 2016 at 3:53 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Home TIPS

Restore Your Pool in Just 5 Steps



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.

Helpful Hints

  • If you aren’t sure if your pool is leaking or not, be sure to hire a company that specializes in leak detection to find out.
  • DIY patch kits are available for small leaks at around $25. You can use them to patch the pool yourself if the problem isn’t extensive.


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.

Helpful Hints

  • Most mold companies will do a free evaluation. So if you find some stains that aren’t coming out, and you aren’t sure if they are mold, you can have them checked for free.
  • Blue/green algae, while unsightly, can be removed with some bleach and a scrub brush. Try this first if you find stains on the sides of your pool to help get it clean.


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.

Helpful Hints

  • Look for solar-powered pumps and filters that don’t require frequent changing to keep your monthly expenses down after the new equipment has been installed.
  • Size both of these items to your pool; it’s just as important not to purchase something too big as it is to purchase something that isn’t too small.


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.

Helpful Hints

  • Invest in a solar cover to pair with your heater to keep your energy costs down and increase the temperature even more.
  • Invest in a heater that uses the same fuel as the rest of your home – gas, propane, or electric – to make running it easier and more efficient, or use a solar heater for the lowest expense.


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.

Helpful Hints

  • Make sure your fence is high enough, and that it’s dig proof to prevent kids or pets from getting in.
  • Install a childproof latch on the gate to keep unsupervised kids out of the area.


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


Posted on July 19, 2016 at 7:12 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Home TIPS

Nail Your Curb Appeal: Craftsman Style


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.

Craftsman Exterior by FGY Architects

FGY Architects

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.

Craftsman Exterior by Allen Construction

Allen Construction

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


Craftsman Exterior by Moore Architects, PC

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


Craftsman Exterior by Remington Architecture

Remington Architecture

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.


Craftsman Exterior by Moore Architects, PC

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.


Traditional Entry by FGY Architects

FGY Architects

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.


Craftsman Exterior by Patrick LePelch Architecture

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.


Craftsman Landscape by Patrick LePelch Architecture

 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.


Craftsman Garage by Todd Soli Architects

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.


Craftsman  by Lauren Fulcher

Lauren Fulcher​ 

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.

Craftsman Exterior by ACM Design

ACM Design​ 

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


Rustic Exterior by Camber Construction

Camber Construction

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


Posted on July 18, 2016 at 9:52 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Home TIPS

The Polite House: On Breaking Up With Contractors


Emily Post’s great-great-granddaughter gives us advice on no-shoes policies and how to graciously decline a contractor’s bid


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. 


by Ventana Construction LLC

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.


by Ventana Construction LLC

 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



Posted on July 13, 2016 at 9:53 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Home TIPS