Monthly Archives: October 2014

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is here! Wether you are going out on the town or staying in for a quiet night, Englund Construction wishes you and your family a happy and SAFE holiday.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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photo cred/source – rd.com

Is the Kitchen the Most Important Room?

It can be argued that the kitchen is indeed the most important room in the home. There’s typically one person in the home (Mom or Dad) who does most of the cooking, whether they love to or not. The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the home, and is the center of the activities of the day.

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Typically the person who does all the cooking is the one concerned with the size and layout of the kitchen. When a family goes looking for a home to purchase or remodel, the cook (aka mom, “household manager”, Fommy, househusband, mr. mom, or stay at home dad) almost always seem to spend a lot of time picking apart the kitchen.  The other person may be more concerned about the garage, deck, or game room (man cave). Overlooking the value of a good kitchen can be a huge mistake.

As we discussed in our Kitchen Triangle post, the layout of a kitchen can be very important. If you’re looking to purchase a new home, or are looking to remodel, pay attention to the layout, space and storage capabilities. If you are considering a kitchen remodel, keep the triangle in mind when laying out the main features.

The kitchen is not the room where you should be overly consumed with trying to save money. When looking at cabinetry, look for quality. (Use our Cabinetry Options in the Kitchen for more ideas/help). Purchase or look for quality, well made appliances as well. Appliances that do the job right and will last a long time are essential to a successful kitchen.

When designing, purchasing, or remodeling your home, make sure you spend extra time on the kitchen. Years of your life will be spent in this space and small changes and preferences can make the world of a difference.

Remodel for the Future

living02When planning for a remodel for a family, thinking about your future is obviously important. No matter what room you are redoing, think about what your needs will be  2-5 years from now.  It all begins with a dream, but the dream may need to more practically thought out for your families future needs.

Sometimes it takes about a year to plan an execute a successful remodel. Planning out where things will really go can change multiple times, and somethings may be useful now but not so much in the future.  Taking the time to correctly place all of your appliances, outlets, electronics and current furniture into the plans can help you down the road.

If your dream remodel includes a spacious new addition, the project may not make sense if you plan to sell your house in a few years, or if a child is moving out in the near future.  Will your plans you draw up today fit your families future? Keep that question in mind when finalizing any major additions.

Learn from other homeowner’s mistakes! Talk with your friends about their recent or past remodels and learn from their mistakes. If your friend added a new bonus room to their home last year ask them today if they’re enjoying and using the space. Every family has different needs, but listening to your friends advice about their experiences may help you make decisions for your project.

Garden Spiders

spiderIt’s October, the “scariest” month of the year and to many, the spider is the scariest animal of them all. People tent to react to spiders, big ones or small ones, with fear.  Many forget the immense size difference between the tiny arachnids and themselves and run for the hills. Others go on a rampage trying to exterminate any trace of spiders on their property.

While spiders IN the home can be a little “freaky”, keeping them around the perimeter or in the gardens can be beneficial. Spiders can eat insects that cause problems for humans, such as mosquitoes and wasps. They are especially helpful in the garden.

Studies show that spiders are the most beneficial insect of all in the garden. They are more efficient controlling pests that birds or other types of insects. Spiders eat aphids, armyworms, leafhoppers, flea-hoppers, leafminers and spider mites. They eat caterpillars, thrips, plant bugs, cucumber beetles, grasshoppers and flies, among many other insects that are harmful to your plants.

If you’re looking to build or maintain a beautiful, lush garden, then keep some of those scary spiders around. The truly deadly spiders are a very rare find, and the chances of you actually being bit by one is very remote. We’re not saying that you should collect spiders everywhere you go for your garden, just don’t get violent at first sight. Try to see the big picture and you’ll be happy you did when your flowers and vegetation start growing like weeds.

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Prep Your Home for the Colder Months

Severe fall and winter conditions can come out of nowhere quickly. It’s important to be prepared for these quick temperature drops and high winds. Your home and your bank account will thank you for it later.

icedamYour home’s biggest threat in cold temperatures is ice. A frozen water pipe can burst and destroy your basement with flooding, while an ice dam in your gutters can cause water seepage in your interior walls (see our dry rot post) and even damage your foundation.

Here are some easy tips anyone can do to prevent any damage to your home in the upcoming months :

  • Clean out your gutters. Clear out any debris to avoid any backups of standing water. Pay attention to your roof as well. If there are any fallen branches clear them away.
  • Disconnect and drain all of your outdoor hoses
  • Repair any suspected roof leaks or weak spots. Snow can be surprisingly heavy and weak spots can cave under the pressure.
  • Protect your pipes. Wrap any “at risk” pipes with insulation. You can also let water drip slowly from faucets to prevent freezing.
  • Purchase a quality home generator and keep it tuned up. Make it easy to get to if you need it, and also easy to hook up to your most needed appliances (refrigerator, freezer, heater)
  • Prepare and restock emergency kits around the home. Keep at least one in your home in a place where everyone knows where it’s at. Place flash lights (with fresh working batteries) in easy areas throughout the house.

The best time to do these is NOW. None of the tips are necessarily hard to do, and can all be done on a Saturday morning. Prepping your home for the winter is important, and skipping it can cost you big time in the future.