Category Archives: Outdoors

Outdoor Rooms Extend Your Livable Space

CRES Builders Outdoor PavilionFamilies are welcoming the warmer spring weather where the focus of the family moves from inside to outside.

Creating an outdoor room allows room for entertaining, play, dining alfresco and taking advantage of the longer daytime hours that spring and summer bring.

As more people are opting to have staycations, they are investing in outdoor spaces and creating areas for play, entertainment, cooking, relaxing and reading.Outdoor rooms are extensions of your indoor spaces and can increase your home’s value.

Before you begin designing your space, ask yourself what you want the space to be. A retreat? Kids play space? An entertaining deck? Be sure to create a design layout for your space and incorporate a traffic plan to ensure there is room for visitors to walk around the space.

Here are a fifteen outdoor room ideas from HGTV in the article “Outdoor Rooms Add Livable Space.”

Consider adding a paver patio, deck, outdoor living room, patio in the garden, or outdoor pavilion or gazebo to enhance and create your own backyard oasis. Contact CRES Builders for a free quote and let us help you plan your special outdoor space.

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DIY Projects to Get Your Home Ready for Winter

Home maintenance is obviously important, which is why I frequently promote the idea of creating a monthly checklist of tasks that should be completed throughout the year.  However, while it’s tempting to bask in what little is left of the summer sun, it’s important to take advantage of the lower humidity levels and cooler temperatures before winter really sets in.

CREATE A MUDROOM

If your home is missing a special place where the kids can stash their muddy shoes and hang wet coats, fall is a great time to create one.  While some homes comes equipped with mud rooms off the garage, making them user-friendly may still require a bit of work.  To get started, consider adding a large standalone piece of furniture with a bench seat, along with organizational items such as shelves, cubbies, and hooks.

If space is limited or you simply don’t have an actual mud room, you may want to place a console table in the hallway with baskets underneath for things like footwear, hats, and bags, while also adding a coat rack for those discarded layers.

TACKLE YOUR GARAGE

No, spring cleaning is not just for spring.  When it comes to your garage, chances are good that it’s not nearly as organized or tidy as you would like it to be.  If we look to the statistics which state that approximately 70% of homeowners don’t actually park their vehicles in the garage, it’s easy to assume that most people are dealing with an abundance of unneeded clutter.

Consider setting aside some time this weekend to go through the things you haven’t used in two years and get rid of them.  If something has been outgrown, is irreparable, or has expired, it’s time for it to go.

GRAB THE PAINT BRUSH

Don’t just think about painting—do it!  If you’ve been going through color swatches for months, yet have found yourself putting off the actual act of adding a new coat of paint to your walls, now is the time to get started.

Since painting requires good ventilation, fall is the optimal season to do it because the temperatures will allow for open windows and low humidity levels will help everything dry faster.

BRIGHTEN UP THOSE WINDOWS

You’ve probably noticed that the days are getting shorter, which will only get worse when we turn the clocks back in November.  In an effort to allow as much natural light into your home as possible, make a point to give your windows a thorough washing.  Feel free to use a commercial cleaner or utilize a solution of vinegar and water to get professional-looking results.

GIVE YOUR PATIO FURNITURE A BREAK

In an effort to make your patio gear last longer, it’s always good to give it a solid rubdown to remove any leftover pollen, grime, and bugs, and consider packing some items away for the winter.  For furniture cushions, the goal is to reduce the chances that you’ll allow mold and mildew to occur, so make sure everything is completely dry before covering it or placing it in storage.

If you have any home maintenance questions or would like to inquire about our home building and remodeling services, please contact me.

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

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How to Landscape on a Budget

Whether you’ve recently bought a new home or are looking to spruce up your current property, landscaping can make a big difference. Still, it’s no secret that making your yard look beautiful can cost a pretty penny, but it truly doesn’t have to be something that breaks the bank.

With continuous warm weather right around the corner, it’s the perfect time break some ground. However, if you’re on a serious budget, start by taking stock of how much money you have to spend and make a few decisions about what you’d like to use it for.

Set Your Boundaries.  To start, sit down and list your goals. Are you looking to make some changes to your whole property, or just the front or back yard? Have you accounted for the amount of regular maintenance it will take once the installation is complete? Are you going for something that’s purely aesthetic or functional? Once you can answer these types of logistical questions, you’ll be in a better position to solidify your budget and, should you find yourself getting a bit too carried away, prioritize your spending if need be.

Do You Really Need to Start From Scratch?  If your main goal is to avoid overspending, then your best bet is to make simple improvements to your current landscaping. Start by taking stock of your yard and examine which parts you like and which areas may need a bit of TLC. If you can accomplish a lot by simply cleaning up messy flowerbeds or trimming your existing shrubs, there’s really no need to spend an abundance of money on new plants. If you’re unsure, simply set up a consultation with a professional who can offer some advice and provide you with an estimate. If anything, you’ll at least gain a better idea of how far your money will take you.

Get More Bang for Your Buck.  If you decide that your yard needs a few more plants, be smart and opt for low-maintenance items such as colorful knockout roses or perennials that can be started from bulbs or clippings. With this, if you know of any friends who have hostas or irises in their yard, you’ll really save yourself a good bit of money if you can get them to give you a few clippings. Make sure you think twice about planting any annuals because they generally require yearly replacement, which can turn into a large expense.

Not Everything Has to Go In at Once.  If things are really tight, think of landscaping your yard like slowly furnishing a room—you don’t have to buy everything all at once. Big ticket items such as trees can be costly, so take your time and consider buying younger plants instead of mature plants in larger pots.

In the end, don’t be afraid to get creative and let your senses do a lot of the talking. If you love the look of cherry blossoms in the spring or the smell of lavender outside your window, make those things a priority and adjust the rest of your budget accordingly. A beautifully landscaped yard should make you happy before all else, so make sure it’s something you really want to spend time in.

If you’re feeling stuck and need a bit of advice, please do not hesitate to contact me—I’d love to be of service.

Mirko Attolini | CRES Builers Corp. | www.CresBuilders.com | 770-983-4698