elocal.com

Home Restoration

home improvement

What are the worst home improvement products?

Eighty years ago, most people would have no problem grabbing a truck full of asbestos and throwing it up as insulation in their home. Nowadays, hearing a home has even a trace of asbestos will send potential buyers running for the hills. While that’s an extreme case, it does illustrate that not all home improvement products are created equal, or equally safe. When you hit the hardware store, you want to make sure that your purchases are easy to use, safe, and functional. In a world where you could easily purchase 30 variations of a light bulb, choosing the best—and …

home restoration

Q & A with Repair and Restoration Specialist Bill Begal

Hurricane Isaac left much of Louisiana a sopping wet mess. As businesses and homeowners return to their properties to find flooded basements and storage rooms, all they want is to clean up as fast as possible. Recovering from a massive tropical storm is a time- and labor-intensive process. Removing water, finding lost belongings and repairing damaged structures are the most obvious tasks, but that’s just the beginning. Getting professional help is the best way for homeowners to get back on their feet, but when all of your neighbors need the same help, finding resources is difficult. In these times of …

energy efficient cash

How can homeowners save on energy-efficient upgrades?

Last year, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, $258 million in rebates were doled out to consumers who purchased Energy Star rated appliances. As a federally funded program, these rebates are no longer available. However, financial incentives are still available all across the country. State, county and city initiatives are encouraging citizens–with rebates, cash-back programs and steep discounts–to reduce their energy usage by upgrading to more efficient appliances. For consumers who are already thinking about making the green switch, these offers only sweeten the deal. Types of Equipment By far, the most common items for which rebates …

design

What happens when designers and homeowners disagree?

Designers design, clients pay. Such a black and white viewpoint might help more design projects get completed, but it wouldn’t come close to honoring the work of a good interior designer, nor would it respect the wishes of hard-working clients. Design is rooted in collaboration and the sharing of ideas to create unique spaces that homeowners love to live in and designers love to show off. Expecting that process to always go smoothly is naïve. Designers and clients should have different ideas, that’s what makes the process fun and creative. The key is to avoid letting an exchange of ideas …

managing projects

Managing Home Improvement Projects

To celebrate the last day of National Home Remodeling month, we’re shedding some light on hiring home improvement teams. We want to help homeowners get a clear picture of their options when it comes to managing more complicated home remodels, designs and renovations. If your next big project involves more than one professional, you may want to consider hiring someone to manage your team. When it comes to team management, you have three basic options: a general contractor, a construction manager or a DIY approach, acting as your own team manager. Construction Manager A construction manager can come in many …

project pride

Fueling Success with Pride and Passion

The eLocal Home Expert Network is an elite group of the nation’s top home improvement professionals. Their outstanding reputation was the inspiration for this week’s blog and our request for stories and pictures of the jobs they were most proud of. After a great response, we’re proud to showcase a few examples. The slideshow below highlights what our professionals are capable of. Each picture represents big challenges, creative solutions and an unwavering enthusiasm for home improvement. Below, check out a video from Dawn Ohnstad, Coldwell Banker Burnet, Wayzata MN which was produced when she ran into a particularly challenging listing …

historic home

The Pros and Cons of Older Homes

One of the most important decisions that prospective homeowners need to make is whether to buy new or pre-owned. Just like used cars, older homes can represent a better value for homebuyers when small repair needs and outdated designs help drive down overall cost. Older homes may also have unique benefits, including superior build quality and distinctive style. The question is, what can you do to ensure that an old home still represents a good value? Inspection Our experts unanimously agreed that a thorough inspection is a necessity when considering an older home purchase. When getting an inspection, look for …

save energy

4 Reasons to Smarten Up Your Home

This time we’re not talking about making it look better—although we think that’s also a great goal to pursue. We’re talking about adopting smart technology for the home. The use of new home technologies is sometimes greeted with doubt, but when the benefits are this useful for individuals as well as the environment, we think everyone should get an run-down of the topic.

house facelift

10 Reasons to Give Your Home a Facelift

The inside of your home isn’t the only part that needs some TLC. Since we live indoors, we often get caught up in the excitement of remodeling the inside of our homes, neglecting the exterior. However, the outside of our homes is the first impression people get. Whether you are looking to impress guests or new buyers, paying attention to curb appeal is important. Not convinced? Here are 10 reasons to reconsider.

outdoor living

How to Create the Ultimate Outdoor Living Space

For our eleventh Blog-Off, we asked our experts how homeowners can create the ultimate outdoor living space. From furnishing and materials to environmental concerns and cost, our experts gave us the insider secrets for creating the best outdoor living space on the block. Need inspiration? Our design experts created visual renderings exclusively for eLocal readers. Let the backyard festivities begin… Aesthetic Considerations Add Stone: Incorporating stone (such as through a bench, fountain, or walkway) into your outdoor space is both architecturally interesting and durable. Keep the Design Consistent: Make sure the area complements your home’s design. Some homeowners consider their …