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Any home update project is a big task. While the end result is often a  beautiful new space in your home that you can enjoy like it is brand new, the journey there can be time consuming and costly. If you are updating a commonly used room like your kitchen, then a big project can also completely interrupt your life. Living without a functioning kitchen while you complete your desired upgrades can be a pain, but the end result is going to be worth it. Many homeowners say that upgrading their kitchen was like moving into a whole new home again. For people that are busy with life and do not want to deal with the added hassle of having contractors in their home every day, there is a solution. There are many smaller Do it Yourself projects that you can do on your own time. It will spare you the cost of hiring a contractor, and it will be less of an interruption to your daily life (when done slowly.)

We love DIY home projects, so we have compiled a list of the easiest kitchen updates that you can do on your own time:

  1. Update your home lighting. The easiest way to guess when a home was built is to look at the lighting fixtures. Standard fixtures from the 90’s will often be track lighting or big fluorescent bulbs with an old cheap fixture covering them. For an in-depth update, you can completely remove your old lighting (especially if it is track lighting) and add a more modern lighting system in its place. Or if you are looking for something a little easier you can visit your lighting hardware distributer and select some unique and modern fixtures to place over your existing lighting. If you go the easier route, then you will not even need to have an electrician pay you a visit.
  2. Make an update to your kitchen cabinets. If you step back and take a look at your kitchen as a whole, you will see that the majority of the space in your kitchen is taken up by the cabinets and cupboards. By trading those out for some new ones, you are making a change that will affect the majority of the room. For a big project, you can completely replace the old cabinets with new ones. This also will allow you to create more storage space in your kitchen as many homes were built with cabinets that do not stretch all the way to the ceiling. You can also create custom storage areas for items that typically take up more space, like a drawer that holds all of your cooking lids. If you want an easier project then you can give the room a facelift by replacing just the front of the cabinets with new doors or with new hardware. Or if you want something that is even easier, you can just remove the doors and paint them or stain them a different color and rehang them.

If you are in the process of seeking out companies for a new garage for your home, congratulations! A custom garage is a great way to increase the value of your home and also make the time that you spend in your home more enjoyable. The garage is a big deal, and so is the act of demolishing it and putting up a new garage in its place. You want to make sure that whatever company you decide to hire to take on this task is going to be up to the challenge. Below are the biggest red flags to avoid when you are seeking out a contractor to take on your custom garage build job.

  1. Work with a company that does not ask for payment in full up front. While it is not out of the ordinary for a company to establish a payment plan or to ask for a deposit up front before they start their work, a custom garage contractor should never ask for a full payment up front. If you decide to do this, you have no guarantee that the work you get will be up to your standards.
  2. No written estimate. Any estimate that is done on your property should be put down in writing so that you can reference it when you decide who you are going to book to build your garage. If you do not request and receive an estimate, then you should not be surprised when your prices magically change when you get your final bill.
  3. Speaking of estimates, you should only work with companies that do them. They should physically come to your property so that they can see the work space and make recommendations on what size and type of custom garage will go best in the available area. If you call a company for an estimate and they only offer one to you over the phone, you should be very wary of hiring them to build your garage.
  4. Door to Door sales people should also be avoided. These types of sales pitches often include the phrases “for a limited time”… any company that is not willing to stand behind their prices should not be trusted. Also, any company that tried to pressure you into make a decision right that second is not a good idea. Adding a new custom garage to your home is a  big decision, and you want to work with a company that understands that and does not try to bully you into making a decision.
  5. You should also try to avoid the doomsday sales pitch. If someone comes to your house and claims that your detached garage is on its last leg and it is about to collapse in to your home if you do not replace it right away, you should first be on your guard about this person, and second, definitely have your garage inspected by someone else – someone that you trust.

Building a new garage on your home should be an exciting experience! Make sure that you hire someone that you will not regret.

If you are looking for a great company to help you through the process of selecting and installing new windows or siding, then 1st Choice Window and Siding is exactly the right company for you. They have the ability to see you through the entire process as they provide the custom quotes, measurements, product purchasing and even the installation all in one company. Here are just a few of the many reason that you will enjoy working with them:

20 years experience – 1st choice windows and siding is a locally owned and operated company. Not only do the owners make their homes in the surrounding communities, but they were born and raised in the area. They have been serving the Denver area for their windows and siding needs since 1995, and they are intimately familiar with the unique needs that Denver homeowners

Quality products – Whether you are shopping for replacement windows or new siding for your home, you can be assured that any product that you are shopping through 1st choice window and siding is going to be of the highest quality. Some of the providers that they offer product from include ThermaTru, ProVia, Simonton, Pella, Alside, Milgard, Diamon Kote, LP SmartSide, Prodigy, Andersen, Weather Shield, and JamesHardie.

Good value – Other windows and siding providers are more interested in pushing their high cost products onto their customers regardless of that person’s budget and what their needs are for their home, but 1st choice windows and siding their primary focus is to find the right product that will suit your tastes and your needs. All of their products are quality products from well known brands and they also offer a variety of energy efficient, low maintenance vinyl windows and fiberglass window replacements.

They are committed to quality craftsmanship and fit. That means that each and every home that they visit is treated like a custom installation project. They take the time necessary to make sure each window is perfectly installed and is given the attention that it needs to make sure that it will last many years to come. Every joint with be snug and secure and every corner will be perfectly square.

Free in home consultation – When you work with 1st Choice Windows and Siding, you will find that every consolation is free and in conducted inside your home. This is because even the most modern home is going to have its own little quirks that could potentially effect a new wind or siding installation. Thy want to be able to be there in person so that they can personally see your home and take detailed measurements of all of the areas that they will be working with. This also allows them to provide you a customized service quote that is astonishingly accurate. You will be less likely to see surprises pop up on your final bill due to unseen issues, because they will have been there in personal already to anticipate them. They also provide multiple financing options so you can be sure that you will be able to afford your new windows and siding.

Out of the many terrible diseases and illnesses that people suffer from today, cancer is undoubtedly  one of the worst. There are so many different kinds of cancer that people can succumb to, and while scientists and doctors have been able to pinpoint some of the factors that leave people vulnerable to cancer, there is still a lot that we do not know about how to prevent and treat cancer, or why two people will be exposed to the exact same elements and only one will get sick while the other stays healthy.  Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and many people that have never picked up a cigarette in their lives have found themselves faced with fighting off this disease. One reason is that many people do not realize that they may be exposing themselves to cancer causing agents every day in their own homes.

Radon gas is a radioactive gas that leads to elevated risks of lung cancer when it is inhaled, and most people have no idea that they are inhaling it on a daily basis! Most people do not even realize that they have the ability to lower their risk of developing lung cancer through some easy and affordable systems that will reduce the radon presence in their homes. Here is what we know about radon and how to remove it: Radon is a by product that is released when uranium decays in the ground. No you may hear the word uranium and thinks that this could not possibly apply to you because you do not live in a uranium field, but did you know that uranium is found in small amounts in most types of rocks and soil? In fact, if you look at an area that is about 1 square mile of surface soil, and dig down only 6 inches into that dirt, you will find about 1 gram of radium present. That does not seem like very much, but remember that this is a cancer causing radioactive substance, and the concentrations of it will vary from place to place and will also chance over time (just as the amount of uranium that is in the process of decay will change over time.)

Radon gas is released from the soil and in undeveloped areas is simply released into the atmosphere, but in areas where there is urban development, the gas is likely to push its way into your home through cracks or gaps in the walls or floors, or even in the space that exist in the openings of service pipes that connect your home to the water supply and sewer systems. Radon mitigation is the only way to remove the radon from your home and reduce the amount of the harmful gas that you are breathing in. To get more information on how to test and treat high levels of radon, contact SWAT Environmental at http://swatradonutah.com to make an appointment for radon testing today.

When you have an aging or sick loved one, it can be hard to deal with the realities of getting them from one day to the next. You may be on top of all of their immediate needs, but what about when it is time to get them from home to their doctor for an appointment? Or what about when a graduation or wedding comes up that is really important to them, but you have no way of getting them and their medical equipment to the event. In those situations, a transportation management service is the best solution for you.

This type of medical transportation is known as NEMT, or non emergency medical translation. It is a type of transit service that offers all of the same amenities of a Houston Paramedic, but in the private sector. These services typically do not work directly for a hospital or emergency room. Instead, they can be contracted out or hired to help transport people that need to get somewhere but do not have transportation available to them for one reason or another. The reasons that a person may need to use the service of a medial transportation system can vary. They might be in a wheelchair and unable to drive themselves to a doctor’s appointment. They may have some other medical issue that prevents them from being in charge of their own transportation or from using public transportation. Perhaps the option of taking city transit such as the train or bus are not feasible options because the of extent of their medical issues.

Another situation where a transportation service could be needed is in the case of a special event. Perhaps a sick or aging relative would like to attend a wedding or school graduation, but their current medical condition makes that very challenging. A transportation service can help with that as well. There are certain medical transpiration services, such as Windsor EMS, that can take care of getting someone from their home to their event and back again and can help monitor their medical condition for any issues in the process of transportation.

Many professional medical transportation services have the ability to function as an emergency service as well. If the patient is under a contract of care, then they can arrive in an emergency situation and transport the patient to the hospital instead of having to wait for an ambulance to be called. These services can be very beneficial to families. The best part is that they do not have to be booked weeks or moths in advance in order to be taken advantage of. When a contract of care is signed by both parties, when someone is in need of non emergency tranportaion they can simply pick up the phone and schedule an appointment for a pick up and drop off. In many ways it is similar to booking a cab in advance, but this cab is equipped with knowledgeable personal that can assist with any medical issues that may arise.

When you are looking for replacement windows for your home, one of the most common concerns is finding windows that are energy efficient. Energy efficient windows can save a homeowner money on their energy bills and can also make their home a more comfortable place to be.

One of the biggest priorities of modern homeowners is the ability to both save money and reduce their carbon footprint. With the right kind of windows in your home, you can do both at the same time. Windows are not all created the same and some of them are naturally going to be better at keeping your home insulated. The more that a closed window can block or stop the transfer of hot or cold air from coming into your home from outside, the more energy efficient your home is going to be. You want to look for windows that will save you money because you are not leaking all of your cold air to the outside of your home and therefore you do not have to run your air conditioner twice as often to make up for this temperature escape.  So how do you find widows that are going to be the best for you and your home at preventing loss of temperature from the inside of your home? The easiest way if going to be that you should look for windows that are Energy Star certified (more on that later) but you can also read the fine print for the windows that you are considering to make a determination. Look at things like the number of panes that a window has (the more panes, the harder it is to lose energy through the windows), the type of coating that is used to cover the glass and how many times that coating is applied as well as how the panes are filled. There are types of gasses the are usually used to fill the panes in a window that can help your home retain its energy, so be sure to check what kind your replacement windows will have. Even the type of security lock that comes with a window can effect how well it retains energy through the kind of seal that is created when the window is closed and locked.

Is the window certified by EnergyStar? If you feel overwhelmed when it comes to researching all of the different parts that are involved when it comes to manufacturing a quality window, then you can skip all of that and simply focus on windows that are Energy Star certified. Energy Star labels carry a lot of weight because it is a program that was established in combination with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy. Any appliance, window, or other creation that is certified as Energy Star means that it has met a specific set of requirements that allows it to be considered energy efficient. This can make it a lot easier for homeowners to find windows that align with their values, but the Energy Star label can also increase the price of a particular set of windows.

If you are looking for ways to make your home a little more unique, then consider adding a custom garage on to your house. Adding a custom built garage to your home is a great way to make your home stand out or personalize it. It can also increase the value of your home.

You might think that a garage is a garage and that there is not a whole lot of room to be artistic when it comes to replacing them, but there are quite a few different styles of garages out there that can complement the architecture of your home.  You can select different types of structures (attached or detached), colors, materials and styles in order to create a garage that will go well with your home while at the same time adding a little something extra to your property. Let’s take a closer look at all of the different options that are available to you with your custom garage.

First of all, you can choose what type of garage you want to add to your home and whether you want it to be an attached or detached garage. If you already have a garage on your home that you are wanting to replace, you do not have to let your existing garage dictate what type you replace it with. If you would prefer to have a detached garage and your existing one is attached to your home, then your custom garage builders can perform the necessary demolition in order to remove the old one completely so that it looks like it was never there to begin with.

The second decision you have to make about your custom garage is what kind of materials it will be made out of. Since this is a custom build, you are not stuck with a garage that has the same boring siding that your home already has, you can let your imagination take over here! Garages are available is a wide range of materials, including wood, steel, aluminum, vinyl or some kind of composite materials. Each material will have its own style and price range, but your garage builders can help you make a decision by going over the various options and costs with you. Your materials will also dictate some of the style of your garage, as a wood garage will have a different feel to it then a steel one. If you take a look at your home and decide what kind of style it has, that can help you determine what sort of style you should stick to for your custom garage as well.

Your final decision will be to settle on the colors that you want your garage to be. Many homeowners will stick with the same colors that they have chosen for their home so that they can be sure that the two buildings will match. Others opt for a contrasting color that still coordinates. For example they make the primary color of their garage the same color that the trim is on their home.

Homes are bound to have electrical issues now and then, but some of them are easy to fix on your own while others require the knowledge of a professional and licensed residential electrician. They can likely spot and fix an issue before you even have a chance to start researching how to fix it, and they are going to do it in a safe and effective manner. Here are the most common situations when you should stop everything and contact your electrician.

If there is a power outage – Homes are structured so that it is very hard for the entire home to lose power due to a power outage. Often if your whole home goes dark then you are looking at an issue that is bigger than just your home. Likely a power outage is affecting your whole neighborhood and is already being worked on by city electricians. However, if you notice that only part of your home is losing power, or there are no other homes in your area that seem to be effected, then you have an issue that you should contact your electrician about.

There is flooding in your home – Your walls are ripe with wiring that you are not able to see, so if you ever have a situation where you have water in your home, then you should always call an electrician right away. They can help turn off the powers in areas of the home that have been affected by the flooding, and they can also work up a free estimate for you on what the repairs will be.

You see exposed wires – Any exposed wires are always an issue. Most wires are surrounded by a protective coating that keeps you from shocking yourself when you touch them, or they are tucked up into a fuse casing that protects you in a similar fashion. Exposed wires mean that the coating has worn off, or perhaps a wire was pulled from the wall where it should not have been. In these cases, call your electrical contractor immediately and do not touch the wires. Keep all children and pets away and if possible, turn off the power going to that area from the fuse box.

You notice old smells or sights around your fuse box – Any time anything sounds, smells, or looks unusual you should stay away and call in a professional.  This includes smoke or steam, sparks, or fire as well as wires that look like they are melting or fusing together. One homeowner described her fuse box that was melting down like “burnt marshmallows.” Any burning smells at all are a bad thing. Not only are they bad but they can be very dangerous. All it would take for a home to catch fire is an electrical short going through the home at the right time. Always always call your trusted electrician if you notice anything unusual.  Do not stop and inspect the wires yourself, do not try to fix them, simply call and leave your home until they arrive.

One of the many tasks that homeowners are faced with when they purchase their own home is making sure that they are keeping up on all of their own inspections of the varies functions of their home. Areas like the roofing, the furnace, air conditioning, and gutter system are all systems that need occasional repair and maintenance that are new to a homeowner. As a renter, you often do not have the responsibility of checking up on these areas and maintaining them like you do when it is your own home, so sometimes when a new homeowner moves into their home, they are not sure exactly how they should go about caring for the various parts of their home. Adequate care and maintenance of areas like your roofing means that the life of your roof will extend longer and you will not be forced to take on the larger task of a roof replacement as soon as you might have without

The best way to make sure that you do not incur the additional work and expense of a full roof replacement is to perform your own inspection of your roof at least once a year to look for any potential areas that are in need of repair. A roof inspection can be a simple as taking a flashlight with you up into your attic area to look for leaks, but if you have the proper tools with you it can also be much more extensive.

The first step to a roof inspection starts on the inside of your home and is as easy walking around your home and looking up. The ceilings of a home can be an easy place to ignore, especially if you live in a home with vaulted ceilings. Take some time to simply observe your ceilings, particularly right where the ceiling meets the wall. You are looking for areas that are discolored or places where the drywall is puckering or bubbling. All of these things are signs of water damage. If you have water damage on the inside of your home, then you likely have a much larger issue up on your roof and will need to have a professional out to perform the necessary roof repairs.

The next step is to get up into your attic area. All homes have them, but each of them is unique in their shape or size. Either way, take your flashlight and try to get all the way up into the attic. You are looking for any signs of dampness or water in the attic, which should never be present. Turn off all of the lights and check to see if sunlight is making its way into the attic. If sunlight can get in, then water can too.

Use a tall and sturdy ladder to climb up on the outside of your roof. You are looking for gutters that are full and cluttered or filled with sand and grit from the shingles, as well as torn, loose or missing roof shingles.

When you are ready to create your own personal home theater space, or perhaps you are looking to update the technology in your home and create more home automation features, then you are ready to call AV Connect. AV Connect has been working to create a superior customer service experience for all of their clients, whether they are looking to create a high quality home automation system that helps you save money, or perhaps a modern and unique home theater set up.  Whatever your dreams are for your home, AV Connect can help you to achieve them. Here are just a few of the many benefits that you will experience with you use AV Connect.

You will find that working with AV Connect is frustration free. You will not have to deal with the ongoing hassle of trying to get a hold of someone to help you that only has limited hours of operation. AV Connect makes an effort to always be available when you call, email or send them a text message. They will make sure that someone is on call to assist and answer your questions.

They understand that customer service is the most important aspect of doing business. That is why they have made it their mission to guarantee that each and every person that does business with them experiences a lever of quality, service, and expertise that they will not be able to get anywhere else.

They are professionals that are experienced with home theater installations as well as their products.  Each person that comes into your home to complete an installation is fully licensed and insured, as well as certified for the work that they are doing in your home. They never consider a job done until you are fully satisfied.

Each person and their wants are different, which is why AV Connect has thrown out the idea of preset packages. After all, no two people are the same in their home or their budget or the priorities for what they want in their home. That is why AV Connect will take the time to speak with you and more importantly, to listen. They will listen to what you really want in your home theater system or home automation system, and they will work with you to build up that package within your specified budget. They will never try to give you the hard sell or try to sell you products that are not within your budget range. When it comes to home theaters, there is no such thing as one size fits all, but there is a perfect home theater for each person. They will help you find that perfect system.

AV Connect is up to date on all of the latest products and technology. If you are looking to turn your home into a modern smart home through home automation, then they can walk you through all of the available and newest products that will help you to have more control over your home and for it to be more energy efficient.

If you are a business owner looking for some amazing photos of your products to be used in advertising and marketing, then you will want to make sure that you carefully select your product photographer. At least 70% of consumers when asked have reported back that a high quality image is important to them when they are looking to make a purchase, especially if they are online at the time.  Each commercial photographer is going to have their own set of strengths that they can bring to the table, so it is vital that you choose the right photographer for your product. Food and beverage photographer Yechiel Orgel, a still life photographer in New York, focuses his work on three specific areas: e commerce, creative images, and lifestyle images.  He believes that in order for his photos to be successful, first he must ensure that he and the product owner are on the same page. Before he even starts to thing about setting up a shoot for a product, he first makes sure that he completely understands the product and the client’s goals for how they want to market it. Once he has a firm grasp on what the client is looking for, then he can typically set up and complete his shoot in a day.  To understand his process more, lets take a closer look at the three areas that he focuses his product photography on:

  • Product photos for e commerce. E commerce is everywhere. It is quite simply the most popular medium for making sales today, so a good business should always make sure that they have their toes in the world of e commerce. Whether it is a large site like Amazon or a small business store that is hosted on Etsy, it is important to the success of that business that they invest in good quality product photos. Orgel recommends shooting most photos that are going to be used in an e commerce format against a plain white background. This will ensure that the photos are clean and crisp and that the viewer’s eye is drawn to the detail of the product, instead of some minor detail in the background.
  • Product photos for creative images – creative product photos are shots that can be used in e commerce, but they likely have another intended use as well. These photos might be intended for magazine displays for example. With these types of shoots, it is a good idea to try to incorporate something of interest, maybe bright colors or accessories, in order to tell a story about the product.
  • Product photos for lifestyle images – this is when you see the product in a way that demonstrates how easily it would fit into your own life. Instead of showing a simple butcher knife, perhaps it is shown against a rich wood cutting board and brightly colored chopped up vegetables. There are more props that help make it look more like an object that would nicely fit into the customers’ lives.