UPGRADE YOUR FLOORS TO HARDWOOD


Hardwood floors are one of the most popular requests when people are looking to upgrade their home. They can do a lot to open up your space and make it feel cleaner and spacious.

If you are ready to make the switch to hardwood floors, here are a few tips:

Check Under the Carpet

Some people are surprised when they find hardwood floors underneath the carpet. If you have hardwood floors, a lot can be done to make them look good as new.

Picking a Color

Room size, ceiling height, color and texture of walls and furniture should be your primary considerations when choosing a wood floor color. Make sure the colors go together, use samples to hold up to your walls, curtains, and furniture before you decide on a color.

Avoid Dark Colors in Small Spaces

While dark colors can give a formal or even warm mood to a room, you’ll want to avoid them in small rooms. Dark hardwood floors can make a room feel smaller and gloomy.

Get Samples

Just like getting sample paint, it’s important to get floor samples. Lighting, furniture, curtains and wall color can make a big difference when choosing your hardwood floors. Take multiple samples home and look at them in a different light to ensure you’ll like the color, any time of day.

Low Ceilings

If your room has low ceilings, you’ll want to stick to lighter colors (for your floor and your paint color). Lighter colors will open up a room.

FIVE WAYS TO ORGANIZE YOUR NEW HOME


Often, people contact organizers when things have gotten out-of-hand. Organizers can definitely help in those situations, but if you are moving into a new home, you have a unique opportunity to start things off on the right foot BEFORE things get out of hand. Now is the time to really think through the space you are about to move in to and the organizational needs of your family.

Spices Don’t Have to Go On Racks

Falling into organizing ruts is easy. Just because you always had a spice rack, doesn’t mean that’s what works best for you and your family. Spices can go in a drawer, or you can DIY a magnetic spice rack. Traditional spice racks can take up space and often aren’t functional when you need them during cooking.

Likewise, plates can be stored vertically using a vertical plate rack instead of stacking them, mugs can be stored using a rod with hooks instead of using up an entire shelf of a cabinet, and you can turn a nearby closet or storage space into an extra pantry. Before you unpack, walk through your kitchen and envision how that space can be the easiest to use.

Skip the Junk Drawer

Blasphemy! Junk drawers have a way of becoming out of hand quickly. The better solution is to get small storage containers or boxes and to label them on the outside with similar-grouped items. Using closed boxes and or storage containers also makes them easier to stack.

Garage Storage

Did you know that less than 60% of homeowners can fit two cars in their two-car garage? Having garage storage solutions installed when you move-in will make your move-in process go a lot easier. Wall-mounted garage storage is one way to drastically increase your storage space and get to use your entire garage! There are also rack solutions that can be installed higher up on garage walls and peg-board storage solutions for easy-to-use snap-in storage for things like rakes and brooms.

New Home Pro Tip!Do not store leftover paint in the garage! The outside temperature (hot and cold) will ruin it.

The Laundry

Think simple when you think about laundry. You want the space to be functional and comfortable for the entire family to use. A few additions can make a big difference in keeping everything tidy. A small basket to throw in unpaired socks or even a cork board to tack up socks without mates can help you reunite socks later on.

Having a different color laundry basket for each member of the family can help keep things separated easily (and a great way for kids to help you sort!). Shelving above your washer/dryer can be a quick storage solution for everything you need to do your laundry. If room permits, we suggest a folding space – this can be a simple folding table or a sizeable built-in surface – that way clothes can be taken care of all in one spot.

Start Your Donation Bin Now

Find a space in your home – a closet, spare room or temperature controlled garage to keep a bin for clothes to give away and a container for other things you’d like to donate. Making decisions on what to get rid of is a lot easier in the moment rather than when you are facing a giant pile of stuff to sort through. When your kids seem to be over last years Christmas gifts or when your 4-year-old hits a sudden growth spurt, put things in your designated giveaway spot and don’t worry about it till your bin is filled up and you can take it to a donation spot!

Bonus! Hire a Professional!

When you are moving into a new home, you’ve got a unique opportunity to start completely fresh. It can feel daunting to figure out where everything will go, and let’s face it – no one LOVES unpacking. Hiring a pro will save you the stress and the time of unpacking all of those boxes and they will help you with organization solutions from the start!

FIVE INEXPENSIVE WAYS TO TRANSFORM YOUR HOME


Home renovation shows might have you believe that you need a 00,000 budget and a crew of 50 to make big changes. The good news is that you don’t have to gut the entire inside of your home and start over! There are inexpensive ways to completely transform your house into the home you’ve always wanted.

Clean and Organize

A deep clean and organization might not sound like a big deal, but it can completely change your home. Consider hiring a company that can work with your family for two or three visits to get things where you want them to be. If you’re going to start on your own, go room by room and have three baskets: keep, donate and give away. Clear out the clutter and see how your home opens up!

Paint an Accent Wall

If you aren’t ready to commit to an entire room being painted, pick one wall. For living rooms, try the wall behind your main sofa. For bedrooms, the wall behind your bed. For kitchens, the wall behind your stove, and for bathrooms, the side wall or wall behind your sink.

Have the Floors Cleaned

Not ready to tear up the floors to replace them? A professional carpet/floor cleaner can make your floors look (almost) like new!

Enhance Your Curb Appeal

Don’t forget the opening act! A good power-washing can make your home look freshly-painted. Mowing your lawn every week will keep your curb looking tidy. Painting the front door a bright color will add a noticeable touch. Having your windows cleaned professionally will have the outside of your home looking sparkling new!

Paint Kitchen Cabinets and Replace Hardware

If you aren’t ready to remodel your kitchen, start with the cabinets and replace all of the cabinet hardware. This is a chance for you to go bold and pick the colors and accents you’ve been dreaming of. This is also a great way to see the direction you want to go, should you ever do a complete kitchen remodel.

It might not be a reality-home-show transformation, but small changes can make you feel like a star in your home!

10 WAYS TO PREVENT MOLD


Mold in your home can present a whole host of health problems, from sinus issues to more serious ear, nose and throat difficulties. The best solution? Use these tips to prevent mold from developing in the first place!

    1. Mold loves high humidity and moisture, so use dehumidifiers, fans and open windows to reduce the level of moisture in your home.
    2. Fix plumbing leaks as soon as you spot them — or they could become a haven for mold.
    3. Clean fabrics like your carpets, chairs and couches routinely, and keep them dry.
    4. Store items in dry, well-ventilated areas so they don’t cultivate mold.
    5. Mold only needs 24-48 hours of moisture to begin growing — so if it’s too late, throw the infected item out! Don’t attempt to salvage something that’s already sprouting mold.
    6. Bathrooms are some of the biggest culprits for mold because of the humidity and moisture from showers. Hang your towels so they dry quicker, wipe down your shower at the end of each day and choose shower curtains that dry easily.
    7. In addition, be sure to use the exhaust fan in your bathroom to air it out after showering.
    8. Don’t leave wet clothes in the laundry — immediately transfer to the dryer or hang to dry.
    9. If you see condensation collecting on your windows, walls or pipes, dry the wet surface as soon as possible and identify the source.
    10. Clean, disinfect and dry surfaces in your home regularly.

WHY YOU SHOULD GET A CAMERA-SEWER LINE INSPECTION


If your home is more than 15 years old, it’s probably time to schedule a camera sewer line inspection. Ryan Rader, owner of Dick Ray Plumbing, breaks it down so that you can save yourself a lot of money and save your house from a sewer nightmare.

The Kansas City metro has its fair share of older houses. Who should have this kind of inspection done right away?

“Any home built in the 1970s or earlier should have their lines checked right away,” Ryan says. “What they used to do is take clay tubes and stack them together, 4-6 inches wide from the city sewer line to the house.”

He explains that “the problem is that the clay tubes are stacked every 18 inches, and there are gaps. Those gaps cause big problems: tree roots get in the gaps, water, solids and papers get hung up and eventually your sewer line will bust.”

Ryan suggests having a camera line inspection as preventative maintenance. A camera line inspection will alert you to any problems well before they become serious issues. Potential home buyers should add a camera sewer inspection to any home they are seriously considering buying.

“Potential homeowners should know what’s going on with the sewer line of any home older than 15 years old. It’s a very inexpensive solution to potentially finding very expensive problems,” Ryan adds.

We asked Ryan what a camera sewer line inspection entails.

“Our package includes inspection of lines under the home and buried in the yard, areas normal home inspectors often skip,” he explains. “It’s important to know that there’s no such thing as a typical cost for repairing your sewer lines. It can start at a few hundred dollars to snake out a blockage. Or, it could be tens of thousands of dollars to excavate the yard and replace the pipes.”

He tells us that it’s important to remember that “Repair bills depend on the sewer line condition, the problem’s location and the root cause. An inspection is inexpensive, tells you exactly what you’re dealing with and lets you make an informed decision about your home purchase.”

This can be important for homeowners, too. Ryan suggests, “If you haven’t had a camera-sewer line inspection and your home is more than 15 years old, it’s good practice to schedule one to prevent any surprises. If your home was built before 1980 and your sewer line hasn’t been updated, it’s best to schedule as soon as possible.”

Save yourself from expensive repairs. A camera sewer-line inspection should be a part of preventative maintenance for homeowners and potential home buyers.

YOUR BACKYARD CHECKLIST


Summer has officially rolled in, so it’s time to get your backyard party ready! It’s time for making s’mores, catching lightning bugs and grilling. We’ve got your ultimate checklist to guarantee the perfect summer backyard. Check off a few of these, and bring on those backyard barbecues!

Ready to Transform Your Backyard?

    • Mow your grass weekly
    • Clear away any standing water
    • Power-wash your back deck
    • Finally get that shed for all of your outdoor equipment and outdoor toys
    • Add mulch to your flower beds
    • Add lights to footpaths
    • Put in a fire pit
    • Add some outdoor lighting
    • Make sure your irrigation system is working
    • Paint your back patio door
    • Don’t be afraid to add color — chairs, tables, outdoor pillows and throw rugs
    • Clean your gutters
    • Make sure your pool area is safe — install a safety fence and water alarm
    • Install an outdoor audio/visual system

Whether you go all-in and transform your entire backyard space or just schedule a few maintenance check-ups, your backyard can be the perfect spot to make memories with friends and family all summer long!

HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR UPCOMING MOVE!


Closing day is approaching, and you are ready to sign on the dotted line! You’ll have a lot to do in the next few weeks, but most importantly, you’ll need to pack.

Consider Hiring Professionals

Organizing and packing are stressful. Getting a professional team to help can save you a lot of time, frustration and money. When you communicate with a pro, be as detailed as possible or ask for a personal consultation with a pro who will walk through your home and come up with a game plan.

Get Started As Soon As Possible

It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve moved, packing always takes much longer than you think it will. It’s best to start three-to-four weeks before moving day and spend time packing every day. Start with the things you aren’t using first.

Purchase Quality Moving Boxes

New boxes will be easier to pack and seal and will stack easily. They will also work better if you need to store anything away for a while. You can purchase boxes at any storage facility or moving truck rental store.

Label, Label, Label!

Label every box. Include the following on every box:

    • Which side is up
    • Your name (especially if you are hiring movers)
    • The contents of the box
    • Which room the box is going to
    • If the contents are fragile
    • Keep track of boxes with a numbering system (box 1 of total boxes).

Create An Inventory

Make an inventory of what you are moving. Inventories are vital if you need to file an insurance claim for any reason. It also can serve as a checklist to be sure you haven’t left anything behind.

Who Needs To Know You’ve Moved?

Make a list of everyone who needs to know you are moving. Make sure to call your utility company two-to-four weeks before your move to let them know the date you’ll want your utilities shut off. Set up a change of address with the post office (which you can quickly do online). If you have catalogs that you can’t live without you’ll want to be sure to change that with the company – catalogs are not first-class mail, so they don’t get forwarded.

REFRESH YOUR WINDOW TREATMENTS


Spruce up your space by replacing your out-of-date window treatments with the latest trends. By letting more natural light shine in or creating a new focal point for the room, updating your window treatments can completely rejuvenate your home!

JEWEL TONES

Deep, luscious hues in red, purple, blue and green are enjoying their design moment right now.  When you incorporate these colors in your window treatments, you add an automatic air of luxury and sophistication.

NATURAL LIGHT

Allowing more natural light to stream in will make the room seem bigger and warmer. Instead of using opaque window treatments that block natural light from getting in, opt for sheer fabrics to filter light in while still maintaining your privacy.

STAINLESS STEEL

Use a stainless-steel curtain rod to quickly modernize your window treatments. Stainless steel also pairs well with jewel tones and metallics.

BOLD PATTERNS

Your unobtrusive, neutral window treatments? Ditch them! Try curtains with a bold pattern to create a new focal point and refresh the room’s style.

METALLICS

Metallic shades are also a great choice to use in your window treatments. You don’t have to go full metal with this trend — instead, find shimmery fabrics or curtains with metallic threads woven throughout.

BETTER THAN A TIE – WHAT DAD REALLY WANTS FOR FATHER’S DAY!


This Father’s Day, show the dad in your life how much you appreciate them by upgrading something around the home!

You could go with something practical, like finally getting the garage organized, or go big and install that home theater that will make watching the game a whole new experience!

Garage Tune-Up

Did you know nearly half of all homeowners DON’T use their garage? If you are one of those homeowners, maybe it’s time to get the garage cleaned out and organized. You can go the extra mile and transform a garage with epoxy floor coating, garage storage and cabinets, organization systems and overhead storage racks!

Watch the Big Game in Style!

From installing a brand new state-of-the-art sound system to integrating technology to optimize your theater experience, upgrading your home theater is something the entire family will enjoy.

The Perfect Place for Grilling

Grilling might just be the ultimate summer pastime. Is it time to upgrade where you grill? A new deck or outdoor patio can offer all the bells and whistles to take grilling to the next level. Have you considered an outdoor kitchen? What about an outdoor home theater system? Maybe you want to go all out and have a deck built with a slide.

This Father’s Day skip the tie! Instead, go with a home upgrade that will be a gift for years to come.

HOW TO ORGANIZE A PLAYROOM


Keep toys, blocks and games out of your living room by creating a dedicated playroom for your kids. They’ll love having a space just for them, and you’ll enjoy a (somewhat) clutter-free haven!

WHAT DO YOUR KIDS WANT?

Before devising a plan, enlist your kids and ask them what they would want in a playroom. An art station to create masterpieces? Room to build with Lego bricks? The possibilities are endless — so ask your kids to see what they have in mind.

ORGANIZATION IS KEY.

Playrooms can get out of hand fast, so make it easier on your kids to keep the space organized. First, clear everything out and take stock of what your kids have. Then, separate into three piles: keep, donate and trash. Starting off fresh will give you a better idea of how to organize everything.

USE MULTI-SIZED STORAGE.

Toys aren’t one-size-fits-all — so your storage shouldn’t be, either. Open shelves will let you store books, games, blocks and more in one location. Buy multiple sizes of clear bins, baskets and boxes to ensure you can fit everything in the space you have.

DECORATE FLEXIBLY.

Kids make messes — especially when it comes to art projects. So keep your decorations easy to clean. Try a plastic table and chairs or use slipcovers you can easily throw in the laundry on couches and beanbag chairs. For wall decorations, buy twine and clothespins and hang photos, mementos and your kids’ masterpieces.

Need more ideas for your kids’ dream playroom? Check out ourPinterest board for more tips and tricks!