Monthly Archives: May 2014

Get Out There and Do It! Tips for a Beautifully Organized Garage

organized-garage-3With an abundance of miscellaneous sports equipment, oil spots, and random boxes full of cleaners and tools, it should come as no surprise that the garage has a tendency to morph itself into a dumping ground of sorts.  While it’s certainly not someplace we’d want to show off when friends and family come to visit, it still represents a part of the home which can generate a bit of stress when things get too cluttered.

If you’re tired of the mess and are ready to transform your garage from a black hole into a neat, organized area, then consider breaking down the monstrous task into doable steps that don’t have to be completed all at once.

1.) DEVELOP A PLAN: Depending upon how much of a mess you’re dealing with, it’s probably a good idea to start this project when you have a full weekend to tackle the beginning stages.  Since you might need to drag a few things into the driveway to make room for your work, make a point to pay attention to the weather so you don’t get caught in a downpour.

As you develop your plan, take note of the fact that the hardest work will take place during the first few days—everything after is simply about creating storage and putting things back together.  As you begin to envision the process, spend some time thinking about how you want the finished process to look.  Proper planning creates better results.

2.) SILENCE YOUR INNER PACK RAT:  Since you should be able to donate, sell, or recycle most of what you no longer want or need, carve out areas where you can separate your belongings into what you’ll keep and what you’ll part with.

Once you have settled on your keepers (don’t throw away spare materials for your home such as paint and tile!), categorize them into groups—holiday decorations, tools, gardening supplies, car care, sports equipment, memorabilia, etc.  For everything else, try not to talk yourself out of letting things go.  If you haven’t used it in 12 months and you have no definite plans to use it in the near future, chances are you can live without it!

3.) CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN:  Garages open to the elements and they store your wet, dirty cars.  While a little dirt is part of the deal, keeping on top of your cleaning duties will make a difference upon whether critters decide to take up residence in your long-forgotten boxes.

To start fresh, remove everything from the garage while paying attention to signs of rodents, pests, and water damage.  Vacuum or sweep the corners and general floor area, and if you’re feeling really tidy, use sprinkled powdered detergent to remove any grease stains.  If you choose to mop the entire area, make sure to allow proper drying time before bringing your belongings back in.

4.) DE-CLUTTER:  Transfer items from old cardboard boxes to large, labeled plastic bins, and organize smaller items such as gardening tools into open-top containers.  With this, make a point to keep things separate!  Resist the urge to mix differing subject matter, since finding it later will become a challenge.

5.) CLEAR THE FLOOR:  Once everything is organized, make a plan for where you want things to go.  While storing things on the floor may seem easy, it invites mold and mildew.  To combat this, consider adding tall shelving units and don’t be afraid to use the walls or install ceiling lofts.  Wall hooks and overhead storage can be great when it comes to hanging tools, bikes, sports gear, etc.

Once everything is in its place, evaluate ease of access for your most frequently used items, make sure to get rid of that last pile of miscellaneous junk, and enjoy your new organized space!

Mirko Attolini | CRES Builders Corp. | www.cresbuilders.com | 770-983-4698

Energy Efficiency: How to Know What You Need

As summer rapidly approaches, so too does our anxiety about all of those inflated power bills.  Sure, our heating costs were larger than average this winter; however, if you’ve spent more than a year in Georgia, you understand the toll that consecutive 100 degree days can take on your wallet.

With this, the government is currently offering a lot of great financial incentives for homeowners who are willing to invest in a few home efficiency improvements.  Yes, it may cost you a bit of upfront money, but the payoff in reduced energy bills will make it well worth it in the end—along with the possibility of loans (energy improvement mortgages).

If you’ve been considering investing in items for your house such as solar panels, wind turbines, more efficient windows, or added insulation, then it’s important to determine what energy improvements you actually need.  In short, not all projects will make sense with your particular home and some might not be worth the money.

house-leaks-with-text-780To combat this, most residential efficiency experts recommend a home energy audit as the first step.  While auditors generally charge about $300, it’s possible to find low-cost or free audits through local utilities.  Once they go through your home, they will determine the most cost-effective things that can be done to save energy.  While things like solar panels and turbines sound exciting, mending things such as air leaks can lead to a faster payback.  Keep in mind that many of the improvements that provide the greatest benefit aren’t always readily apparent.  Things like insulation and caulking may not be very sexy, but they tend to make a great deal more sense than full window replacements or photovoltaic systems.

In the end, take some time to sit down and run a few numbers.  When many people think of home energy improvements, they think of windows; however, truth-be-told, it takes a long time to see a return on your investment with larger purchases.  Instead, take note of small things and make changes to them day-by-day.

For the rest, don’t be afraid to do your research and help the process along by hiring someone to thoroughly assess the situation.  A great return on investment is yours for the taking, so reach out and make it a reality!

Mirko Attolini | CRES Builders | www.cresbuilders.com | 770-983-4698

All About Gutters

copper-gutters1When you think of your dream home, you’re probably not spending too much time mulling over its gutters; however, if you want to have a house that’s in good working order, it needs to have a system of gutters that are not only properly installed, but regularly maintained as well.

In essence, the purpose of gutters is to prevent damaging rainwater from wreaking havoc on your home, but it’s important to understand that it can effect more than your siding:

-Causes destabilization of soil around the house

-Creates foundation issues

-General flooding under the house and in the basement

-Leads to erosion of landscaping and turf

-Settling/cracking of patios, driveways, and sidewalks

-Deterioration of exterior doors

-Water staining on brick and stone masonry

Once installed, it’s still important for homeowners to understand that even the best gutters require vigilance and regular cleaning.  Unless they are kept in working order—to include the frequent elimination of soil, leaves, grass, and weeds—you’re likely to experience water damming, leaks that can damage walls and flooring, and general deterioration.

The frequency with which you need to conduct maintenance depends upon the slope your roof and whether there are trees within close proximity to its edges; however, most houses need their gutters to be cleaned AT LEAST twice per year—sometimes more during the fall months.

With that being said, your first concern should be whether or not your home has a properly installed gutter system, which includes seamless gutters that are fastened to the fascias and downspouts that are secured to home’s exterior.  They should not hold standing water or leak, and they should never simply dump water along the foundation of the home.  Additionally, while leave guards may help in blocking some of the leaves and other matter which can create problems, many of them tend to restrict water from entering the gutter, which brings up further issues.

In the end, it’s important to do your homework and understand what you should be looking for in regards to your home.  If you’re hoping to add gutters for the first time or to redo the ones already installed, it’s important to speak with an experienced builder who can help you make the best choice.

You shouldn’t have to worry that a little rain will wind up costing your thousands of dollars in remodels.  If you have questions, please contact us to learn about the options available.

Mirko Attolini | CRES Builders | www.cresbuilders.com | 770-983-4698

Choosing the Perfect Wall Color

 

red-room-color

So, you’ve settled on your remodel layout, but now you need to start thinking about the details—flooring, cabinets, countertops, etc.—that will tie it all together.  If you venture to any home supply store such as Lowes or Home Depot, you’ll notice that the choices are virtually endless.  However, when it comes to these weighty decisions, take solace in knowing that, unlike deciding upon a certain type of flooring or granite for your kitchen, choosing the perfect paint for your walls can be a relatively stress-free process.

First, try pulling a color from an item that will be included in the finished room (i.e. the subtle stripes in your favorite love seat or the flower patterning your accent pillow).  Once you’re able to narrow your choices to two or three colors, buy a quart for each and create a sample board that you can hold against the surfaces in the space.

While it helps to create larger swatches in order to determine whether a sample works or not, if you’re having a difficult time deciding between two colors, set the boards back-to-back so one is covering the other.  Consider the first color before switching to the second.  When going back-and-forth between the boards, you will probably notice that you are drawn to one color more than the other.  Pay attention to this instinct; however, if it doesn’t show up, don’t worry too much.  Remember, it’s just paint.

While many of us feel that we need to make colors match perfectly, when it comes to paint, it’s not always necessary for everything in the room to be so exact.  If you allow at least one of your sample boards to be an imperfect fit, you might just find that it makes complete sense.

In the end, unlike woodwork or molding details, paint is relatively easy to change.  If things don’t feel right within a month, or even a few years, rest assured that it’s never permanent.  So relax, consider your options, and go with what makes you feel the most comfortable.

CRES Builders | Mirko Attolini | 770-983-4698 | www.cresbuilders.com