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Establishing a budget is a key step in every home improvement project, no matter how small. Defining the scope of the job in terms of cold, hard, cash ensures that what you're getting, and what you're comfortable paying for, are in agreement. But what should you do when the contractor you've tasked with remodeling the kitchen asks for your budget? After all, the more you're comfortable spending, the more they'll spend, so maybe it's a good idea to keep that information private before you hear the quote.The answer is almost always "tell them," but it's dependent on a couple factors. First, it assumes that you've done your due diligence in evaluating the company you've invited into your home. ...
on 07/17/2014 - 12:50 pm
By Jim Boland, Precision Overhead Garage Door ServiceYour garage door—which can weigh 150 pounds or more—is usually the largest and heaviest moving item in your home. Lifting it unassisted would be a strenuous task for most people, not to mention the strain it would put on your garage door opener.That’s where the springs come in.Torsion springs—those coils of steel you have probably seen mounted above your door opening—are the muscles of your garage door. The torsion springs are attached to a shaft that turns and draws up two cables that are attached to the bottom corners of the door. As the door is lifted, the tightly wound springs rotate along the shaft and t ...
on 05/02/2014 - 03:25 pm
No kitchen remodel is complete without the right cabinets. Old oak cabinets look out of place in a kitchen with new granite countertops and state of the art appliances. You could replace the cabinets, but that gets expensive fast. And it probably means that sacrifices will need to be made somewhere else to keep the project on budget.Instead, consider refinishing kitchen cabinets to give them a brand new look and a more modern color. Plus, the whole refinishing process can be completed within a day.If there's still a little wiggle room in the budget, focus on the hardware. Bold handles, hinges, and pulls that match the design of the rest of the kitchen will accentuate the newly refinished cab ...
on 05/02/2014 - 03:11 pm
Local brokerage owner Matt Lasher talks candidly about the tough questions you should ask your Realtor. Here are the four biggies:
How do you get paid? And why?
Many potential sellers just assume that the Realtor will take a percentage of the home's value once the sale has been made, but is this the model that makes the most sense? Matt points out that this suggests the Realtor functions primarily as a salesperson that must go out and "sell." The problem with this, Matt argues, is that no matter how smooth the salesman, it's going to be hard to convince a family to spend their life savings on buying and moving into a home they don't absolutely love. Matt says it best, "I can't ...
on 05/02/2014 - 02:49 pm
Fortunately, there's a lot more to Cleveland than snow and bad sports memories. We asked 14 local business owners and employees why they choose to work in Northeast Ohio.And "the people" topped their lists.
Our own Chelsey Alltop covered the 2014 Cleveland Choice Awards presented by the HBA of Greater Cleveland last weekend at the Cleveland Convention Center.Watch her red carpet interviews with the nominees and winners.
on 05/02/2014 - 12:15 pm
Category: Décor & Lighting
By Barb Lewis, Wolff Bros. SupplyA light switch is just a switch, right? As it turns out, not really. Technology is changing a home's smallest details—including switches, controls and dimmers—to make daily life more efficient, functional, and beautiful. However, these new technologies can cause a flood of problems when paired with old lighting controls and wiring.Starting this year, old school incandescent 40-watt and 60-watt bulbs are being phased out in the U.S. once current inventories are depleted, what will be left on stores’ shelves will include halogen incandescent, compact fluorescent (CFL), and LED light bulbs.The physics of new bulbs is much different than that of ...
on 05/02/2014 - 11:37 am
Category: Home Technology
By Bryan Rutkosky , owner of BERS HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical & Energy Auditing Different brands and types of furnaces make their own, unique noises, but some sounds serve as universal warnings that problems may be brewing. Knowing what to listen for could be the very thing that prevents costly repairs and time spent bearing subzero temperatures without a working heater.Anytime your furnace starts making a rattling, buzzing or popping sound, something could be wrong. Before a part breaks, it usually starts making noise. If you just ignore it, a part that could have been salvaged may break beyond repair, at which point you’ll spend more money to fix the problem.BuzzIf your furnace m ...
on 05/02/2014 - 10:09 am
Categories: Building & Remodeling, Décor & Lighting, Energy Savings, Garage/Basement/Storage, Home Exteriors, Home Technology, Kitchen & Bath, Lawn & Garden, Windows & Doors
We asked some of Cleveland's top home improvement professionals, "What's the number one question you should always ask a contractor?" Here's what they said:
1. How long have you been in business?
2. Are your products energy efficient?
3. How do you communicate during the job?
4 What about clean-up during and after the job?
5 Do you have reviews from other customers?
6 Would you explain your warranty in detail?
7. Who manufactures your products?
And for the rest of the list, we'll leave it to the pros to tell you: