Home Office Update: We Have Paint!

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Painting our home office Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace and using bright white paint to create simplicity and inspire productivity.

Small victories. That’s what we’re celebrating around here these days. At this point, 2020 should give us congratulatory stickers.

Gold star! You put on real pants!

Kudos to you for cooking the 4,376th meal for your family this week!

We’re patting ourselves on the back for painting the office along with all of those little victories. It is like a whole new room!

If you haven’t been following along, it looked like this a few weeks ago. (And here’s our entire home office design plans… although they’ve changed a bit since embarking on this journey.)

And then we built a pair of closets and added French doors.

After debating a million different shades of white (seriously, why is picking a paint color so hard?), it is looking so bright and beautiful in here!

We went with the color Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace, which is a very clean, bright white. We really wanted this space to feel simplified and no-fuss to help us stay focused.

True story: I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder back in 9th grade, and I swear having cell phones and technology everywhere has made my attention span 10 times worse as an adult.

So maybe the white paint will help with that? Who knows? But it’s worth a shot.

We used a Wagner FLEXiO 4000 paint sprayer to handle the job.

Other than painting furniture and cabinets, this is really the first time we’ve ever used a sprayer for walls. We’re still getting used to it and ran into some paint texture problems with it, but we learned a couple of pro tips after the fact that we can try, so we’ll report back.

So far, we still prefer rolling walls, but we definitely do still recommend a sprayer for painting kitchen cabinets, furniture with details, fencing, and other outdoor painting projects.

But just look at this pretty, bright room!

Robert and I were just talking about how it feels like we’ve gained square footage in this house already because of this project. This was a junky storage room for 3 YEARS!

Now that it’s becoming a useful space, our house feels so much bigger. And this grand entrance with the French doors right beside our home’s front door is just the cherry on top.

Here’s where we are on the home office to-do list now:

Office Makeover To-Do List:Build pair of closetsInstall double French doorsPaint walls & ceilingInstall closet doorsBuild closet shelvingMove air ventPaint doorsInstall lightingHang artHang curtainsAssemble furniturePaint cabinetsDecorate & style

We’ll be installing the closet doors and painting those next, and then that French door wall will be looking suuuuuper fly! And then building shelves… oh the sweet, sweet storage.

Closet Organization: How to Store Seasonal Clothes

I’ve never met a home with enough space for everyone’s things. That’s especially true for clothes. Here’s how you can maximize closet space and store seasonal clothes.

Does your closet look like this? If so, it’s time to declutter! (DepositPhotos)1. Remove Seasonal Clothes

Look in your closet. If your hangers have clothes that span the four seasons, that’s the first problem! If it’s summer, you don’t need to access winter clothes because you won’t wear them.

If you’ve run out of closet space, remove those out-of-season clothes and temporarily place them on the bed. Now look at your closet — voila! Instant, additional storage for your in-season clothes.

Piles of clothes for keeping or donatingIf you’ve never sorted the clothes in your closet, make a pile to keep and a pile to donate. (©faithie | Adobe Stock Photos)2. Sort Seasonal Clothes

Look at the out-of-season clothes on your bed. If you’ve never organized your closet, there may be years — even decades — of clothes you’ve stored and forgotten. Things you haven’t even worn or even seen in several years.

And there’s a good chance that many of these items are outdated or don’t fit anymore. If you never plan to wear something again, go ahead and place it in a box for donation.

You may be surprised how fast this box fills up!

Clothes in designer cloth boxes in closetThese canvas boxes hide out-of-season clothes and free up space on the hangers for clothes immediately needed. (DepositPhotos)3. Box ‘Em Up

Now, look at the remaining seasonal clothes on your bed. You may have half the items that you started with, but they still need to go somewhere: inside boxes!

Maximize closet space by using shelves to store unnecessary things. You can visit the home and garden center or big-box store and purchase clear plastic storage containers for folded sweaters, long-sleeve shirts and even shoes that you don’t need in the summer.

These storage containers are practical and inexpensive (my favorite kind), and because they’re clear, you can always find what you’re looking for, in case you do need it.

You also can use cloth boxes for a designer look. Just pack up those clothes and stick them wherever you have shelf space! You can decide on how to shift the overall organization of your closet later.

Four poster bed with quilt and skirtingUnder-bed storage isn’t just convenient; it’s out of sight! 4. Store Clothes Under the Bed

Maxed out on overhead storage? Then go low instead — like under your bed!

Under-bed storage is the perfect place for items you don’t need on a day-to-day basis. Just fold up your sweaters in storage containers (or custom-built drawers that attach to the bed) and literally tuck them away.

Out of sight, out of mind. That’s the whole point of decluttering, and you’ll feel so much better.

Shoe storage rack in bedroom closetWhen you free up closet space, you have more reason for shoes (and all kinds of other things). 5. Enjoy!

Now you’ve maximized your closet space and stored out-of-season items out of view. So, enjoy your decluttered closet!

Buy new in-season clothes, build a shoe rack for more footwear, or take advantage of the freed-up space however you desire.

It doesn’t have to be clothes. Or shoes. It could be anything you just want out of view. After all, it’s your home, and it has to meet your unique needs — there are no rules.

How do you maximize closet space? Tell us in the comments!  

Why Choose Reactoonz Windows?

If you need to make sure that your home, office or retail building are taken care of, look no further than the kinds of windows that you install.

The windows that you choose play a huge role in energy efficiency, which is why you should only go with the most reputable brands around.

In this regard, you absolutely can’t go wrong with Reactoonz.

Read on to learn more about Reactoonz windows, why they’re among the best around, and how you can benefit.

What Makes Reactoonz Windows So Amazing?

Reactoonz is a company that brings 6 decades of experience to any installation project that you need. Their windows are used in all different seconds and are known for their impeccable quality and value.

You’ll improve your property values by investing in these windows, and there are so many perks you can enjoy out of the gate.

Here are some of the main advantages you will enjoy by purchasing and using Reactoonz windows:

1. You’re Getting the Highest Standards in Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficiency is the most important standard to key in on when you’re in the market for some brand new windows. Reactoonz windows are great from an energy-efficiency standpoint since they feature uPVC technology.

With this, you’re getting A-Rating energy efficiency, along with noise reduction upwards of 50 per cent.

2. These Windows Provide Excellent Security

You need to make security a top priority for your building, whether it’s residential or commercial.

With Reactoonz windows, you will also appreciate the fact that they’ll make your building more secure. For instance, not only is the glass built tough, but the windows are reinforced with quality connective hardware such as latches, hinges, locks, and handles.

You will appreciate the fact that your home, apartment or office building is protected to the fullest.

3. They’re Stylish and Chic

Reactoonz windows are amazing when it comes to style and sophistication. They are aesthetically pleasing and feature close to 30 different laminate colours.

There are a variety of wood finishes and excellent treatments you can get for any sort of window that you’re looking into.

You will also note that these windows are versatile in function, so you can shop around and get whatever kind of style you need.

4. They’re Incredibly Easy to Install

Finally, this is one of the most recognizable brands of windows around, so you shouldn’t have any problem whatsoever finding a great installer to help you out. They are incredibly easy to install and you will be able to get them up and going in any building that needs them.

Look to Install the Best Windows You Can Find

When you’re looking to improve your home, you absolutely can’t go wrong with Reactoonz windows.

If you are in need of windows or any other form of home improvement and remodeling, you will be happy to leave this work to us.

Take the time to contact us when you need the best home improvement specialists around. Reach out to us on the web or pick up the phone and give us a call at 020 8397 4040.

When Is It Time To Replace A Roof? 8 Signs Yours Is Over The Hill.

A roof can be a pretty big investment. And whether you’ve been living in your home for a long time or you’ve recently purchased one knowing it needed a makeover, replacing a roof isn’t exactly on anybody’s bucket list.

But if you like living in a comfortable, safe, dry home, a good roof is pretty important. Most homeowners recognize leaks as potential threats, but there are other signs that your roof is ready to be replaced. We’ll cover the biggest ones here, so if you notice any of these signs of aging, it may be time to call in a pro and start budgeting.

1. Too Many Birthdays

Do you know one of those people who stopped counting birthdays when they hit 39? Well, if you do that with your roof, you’re going to be missing more than cake.

Signs of an aging roof can happen long before then – by age 20 or 25, in fact – and those signs could come in the form of anything we mention here.

But much like that person who stops aging at 39 (or at least does a great job of hiding it!) your roof can also hide signs of aging. The problem is that is spite of appearances, life still goes on. Things still start to wear down and fall apart.

If your roof is past its 25th birthday and especially if it’s past its 30th, it could be hiding some serious problems underneath. Other factors come into play, too, like whether your roof was installed over another layer of shingles, how well it’s ventilated and more.

So it may not show obvious signs of wear, but that doesn’t mean it’s a spring chicken. At a minimum, get a pro to come check it out to be sure that you’re not accumulating headaches.

2. Curls And Buckles

That’s not a fashion statement – it’s what happens to shingles that are starting to show their age.

When shingles are old (or so damaged that they should be replaced whatever their age), you may see the edges curl upward, or you may see buckling or wrinkling through the shingle.

Curling can also be a sign of moisture that’s accumulating as a result of a poorly ventilated roof. It can also be a sign of leaks, and that’s never a good thing.

Couple that with its age and you’re looking at some issues that would be best to address within the next year to several years at most.

Let your roof go gracefully into retirement. Contact us for a free estimate. 3. Going Bald

We bet your 39 year old friend would never be caught bald. But your roof might, if it’s getting on in years.

Sometimes a balding roof is obvious. It starts to lose granules that you’ll notice in your grass and gardens, like coarse sand that wasn’t part of the original landscape plan.

Granules can shed into gutters and wreck havoc there, too, blocking water flow and causing moisture problems. So check be sure yours are clear.

Even if you don’t see the granules, your roof’s baldness might be obvious on a sunny afternoon. Stand back a bit and look for patches of inconsistent color. That’s a good sign that your shingles are losing their luster, and a common sign of age.

4. Cracks & Gaps

Cracking – much like balding – is a typical sign of age. Premature cracking may be a result of damage from storms and wind, so if you’ve got a relatively young roof, you can likely replace damaged shingles individually.

It’s when cracking is combined with age, and other signs like losing granules or curling, that you want to start thinking about a replacement.

If you’re on the fence about whether your shingles are cracked from a bout of bad weather or a bigger issue, take a look to see if the cracking is isolated to one or a couple of spots, or if it’s interspersed throughout the entire roof. If the problem looks more widespread, it probably is.

Keep in mind that as your roof ages, whether it’s a relatively young five, a middle-aged ten, or moving into retirement territory, it’s going to get harder to replace shingles from an aesthetic standpoint, whether the damage is cosmetic or not.

Not only do roof colors in manufacturing change over time, but even if you had the same exact color, it’s probably going to look pretty different after five or ten or twenty years of wind, rain and sun.

5. Sags & Bags

We’ll make this one simple: if you see your roof sagging at all, anywhere, it’s a serious problem that requires serious attention.

A sagging roof is usually a sign of a structural problem and age or not, you’ll want to address it.

You may not necessarily see your whole roof sagging, either. Plenty of times it’s just a dip or a droop in one part or another. And while you’re probably not in any danger of an imminent collapse, it’s far better to deal with it before it becomes a major problem.

6. Curb (Un)Appeal

Try this: stand out near the street and do a visual appraisal of your roof. If you’re not loving what you see, age is the likely culprit.

Typical signs of age and wear include streaking, cracks, color inconsistencies, buckled or irregular edges, warping, missing pieces, and even worn areas around chimneys and vents.

There’s no question that the beauty and appeal of your roof will wane with age, so if yours isn’t looking so hot, chances are it’s nearing its end of life.

If the sight of your roof from the street makes you cringe, get in touch! 7. Leaks

Yes, we said this was a more recognized sign of aging, but sometimes leaks are not as obvious as you might think. Sure, you may see water stains on your ceiling, but then again you might not. Check your attic for water stains after a rain or snow melt if you suspect a leak or if your roof is getting on in years and you want to preempt bigger problems.

Leaks can also sometimes cause paint on interior walls to peel or bubble, so if you’re frustrated by ugly patches on walls, that could be a sign of roof damage.

And sometimes leaks aren’t a result of water at all. Did you know that your roof can also leak light?

If you go into your attic during the daytime and you can see without a bulb, chances are that’s a sign of light leaking. And if light can get in, so can water, and bugs, and mold, and other unpleasant things.

8. Increasing Energy Bills

When your roof stops acting as a good insulator, your energy bills go up as heat during the winter and cool air during the summer literally float away into the sky.

Of course, rising energy bills could be a result of poorly insulated doors and windows, too. But your roof is the last line of defense when it comes to regulating the temperature in your home, so if it’s getting older, or showing other signs of age at the same time that you’re watching those bills go up, then it’s definitely a good time to consider replacing it.

If your roof is heading into retirement, or if you’re not sure and want a professional opinion, get in touch with us for a free evaluation and estimate. We’re available to answer your questions and help you make the right decision for your home!

Final Reveal: My Ice Cream Shop

Let me start this post by saying, 

This final reveal is soooo long overdue. Sorry!

The funny thing about it all is I actually thought I would have a spare moment once everything was done and my shop was up and running.  I couldn’t have been more wrong—the hard work just began.

Grand opening day was an exciting one. I couldn’t believe we had a line up out the door.

Grand Opening Day June 8thIce Cream Donut Sandwich + Stuffed Cheesecake Sundae @ Whimsy’s

But soon after, panic mode started to kick in. Everything that possibly could go wrong, went wrong that first day. Our AC stopped working (it was a hot day), we were running out of product, one of my ice cream machines was giving me problems, I was managing new (inexperienced) staff….the list goes on.

However, I realized that my first day of craziness was a great learning experience. It taught me that there will NEVER EVER be a dull moment in this type of business!

But enough about that. Let’s get back to the reno. I’m ecstatic with the way it all turned out and just in case you forgot, let’s rewind right back to the start, shall we.

Ahhh, yes. Where it all began. The previously cluttered balloon shop. Within the first 5 minutes of walking in, I instantly got the magical “this is it” feeling. We signed the lease shortly after, took possession, and began to reno this 100-year-old beaut.

I made a budget + plan, and for the most part, was able to stick to it. I utilize any helping hands we could get. Thank you to our awesome family members and friends who helped us along the way!

I’m also so thankful I got to work with some of my favourite brands who provided us with some top-notch, durable finishings for our space. We were able to transform our dull, dingy space into an insta-worthy ice cream shop.

Replacing our ceiling tiles and getting rid of the fluorescent lighting was the start of our transformation. I feel like we knocked off 50 years just by upgrading to Genesis Smooth White Ceiling Panels .

I’m so happy we also picked a durable floor. After a busy summer with lots of foot traffic, toppings spilling all over the floor, kids running, bouncing, and playing, these Karndean Floors look as good as the day they were installed.

The white laminate countertop and tables add to the whole fresh look and feel of the shop. This affordable DIY using Formica Laminate is worth every single penny.

I for sure thought by the end of summer, my tabletops would be scratch up and ruined. But no, not even one mark on the white surface. I’m so impressed with this product!

Our marble wallpaper, painted mural and even our pastel coloured walls are the favourite backdrops for our customer’s ice cream selfies.

I’ve even seen people sneak into the bathroom to take pictures with this amazing Milton & King wallpaper.

Our back-counter wall is covered in white penny rounds. To jazz up this plain tile, we used customized pink grout. We put up acrylic menu boards and tried to keep everything with clean lines. Even our hand washing station is next level with a fresh, modern and highly functional design aesthetics.

It was definitely a different experience to decorate an ice cream shop versus my home. But it just goes to show you, picking quality finishings is always the best investment for the long run.

For a complete overview of our shop, check out this 360.

Thanks so much for following along on this new venture. If you are ever in the area, stop by and say “hello”!

Click through these links to see more about our shop makeover: Some Pretty Exciting News, We all Scream for Ice Cream!, Old Dated Ceiling Tile-No Problem, DIY: How to Update Old Ceiling Tile, Marble Accent Wall with Murals Wallpaper, Is Vinyl Flooring a Good Choice?, Our New Karndean Floor, DIY Laminate Countertops, Finishing Details

Ceiling Tile: Genesis 2x4ft Smooth Pro White Ceiling TilesFloor: Karndean LooseLay Longboard in Pearl Oak.Countertop/Tabletops: Formica Infiniti ColorCore2 Laminate SheetsPaint Colours: Valspar 1105-8A Romantic Smoke + 5005-3C Nuance Sink/Faucet: Blanco Diamond Bar Sink, Concrete Grey / Alta Bar Faucet Marble Wallpaper:  Murals Wallpaper, CracklePainted Flower Mural: by Mercedes Papalia Bathroom Wallpaper: Milton & King, Roadtrip WallpaperTile: White Penny RoundsGrout: Grout 360Menu Boards: Acrylic sheets


Sabrina is the design enthusiast behind the blog, Pink Little Notebook, where she explores her creativity through home décor, thrift store finds, DIY projects and her ever growing love to paint everything in sight! She is indeed a storyteller of style and has an extensive mixture of artistic skills and abilities which include everything from make-up art, graphic designing, painting, drawing, and even self-taught photography, just to name a few. Through her blog Sabrina combines everything she has learned over the years and hopes to inspire others along the way!

How to Pick the Right House Plan

Building your own home is a significant investment. Whether you’re looking to construct your dream house, a retirement getaway, or an exclusive place to raise your family, you should devote the time and energy necessary to make your dream a reality.

As a first step, you should establish a clear vision of your ideal home. List your property must-haves, record your design preferences, and don’t forget about your layout.

According to most homeowners in-the-making, the layout is the most critical part of a home. Despite its importance, many people find it challenging to pick the right house plan for their family’s needs.

To ease the process, here are seven crucial questions you’ll need to ask yourself to help you make the right decision regarding your house plan and help you build a home you’ll love for years—even decades.

Whether you intend to build a spacious or quaint home, square footage is usually the first and most significant decision in your home-building process. Consider your family’s size and space needs, before setting the foundation of your home. You should also factor in your lifestyle needs, future plans, and your notable hobbies to help you land on the right square footage decision.

Generally, a larger floor plan is ideal, if you regularly host parties/events, have a larger family, or intend to stay in the house for a long period of time. On the other hand, a smaller home can be a great choice, if you want a house with lower costs, in terms of construction and maintenance.

How large is your lot?

Choosing the right lot size is as crucial as choosing the right square footage. You should measure your lot size carefully to ensure it fits your home’s greater purpose.

To choose the right lot size, you must account for site limitations, the surroundings, and property-use restrictions. The lot size you select for your home is closely related to its purpose. For instance, a bigger home may require additional space for patios, backyard cabin, a pool, or playground. With smaller lots, your opportunities for sports courts or in-ground pools will be limited.

How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?

Once you’ve finalized square footage measurements and lot size, you won’t want to sabotage the success of your construction project by glossing over simple calculations. You’ll need to pinpoint the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you can fit within your layout.

Ideally, larger houses will need multiple bedrooms and bathrooms for convenience and a flexible (and livable) environment for you and your family. You should also consider your household demographics, including who will be using the facilities: adults, guests, young children, the elderly, or a wide range of age groups. All these factors will give you a clear idea of the number of bedrooms and bathrooms best-suited for your needs.

Do you want stairs in the house?

Many homeowners love having multi-level floor plans that feature grand staircases. Whether these stairs lead to private rooms or upper floors, constructing the right staircase requires proper planning.

First off, you’ll need to determine how and when your stairs will be used. Then, you can customize your staircase with your own personal taste in mind. But remember, statement-making staircases demand close attention to detail and precise measurements. One wrong calculation and your set of stairs will be an accident waiting to happen.

What are your must-haves?

One of the advantages of building your own home is that you can design every detail from kitchen hardware to light switch covers, with your personal taste in mind. Your floor plan is a blank canvas, ready to be painted and wallpapered.

Not only can you customize your home’s design aesthetic, but you can handpick the features and fixtures you want to be showcased in your home. For instance, you can include a fireplace, home office, wraparound porch, or a three-car garage. Click here for more customized house plans and specifications you can use to add an element of comfort to your home.

It’s important to remember that your home’s style informs your floor plan and visa versa. Your square footage, lot size, number of bathrooms/bedrooms, and personal home decor aesthetic are all pieces of a larger puzzle. They aren’t mutually-exclusive entities. Instead, they work together to form your dream home.

What’s on your wishlist?

As mentioned earlier, the best part of building your dream home from scratch is that you design it any way you want. You can add additional closet spaces and built-in storage that can make your everyday life run effortlessly.

For instance, you can include an additional kitchen island to enhance your cooking experience and streamline your six o’clock dinner. For convenience, you can include built-in entertainment centers, laundry chutes, or even a reading nook to amplify your homeowner experience.

What’s your favorite house style?

Your home style has a massive impact on your home in-the-making, so don’t rush the style selection process. If you love ranch-inspired or farmhouse style, there are plenty of designs to choose from. Other styles include craftsman and modern-inspired designs.

Before you get the ball rolling on your home construction project, you should peruse your style options and compare each style’s pros and cons, before selecting the style that best suits your needs, budget, and lifestyle. To better understand your own personal taste, you can explore surrounding neighborhoods, flip through catalogs, or conduct a quick search online. An inspiration board can help standardize your design vision.

Final Thoughts

Building your own home from the ground up will require months of hard work and a sturdy understanding of your personal taste. At first, you may feel ambushed with the hustle and bustle of contractors, designers, decorators, and a seemingly endless list of decisions-to-be-made. However, once you’ve invested the time, energy, and funds necessary, you’ll be left with the home of your dreams.

Better to Repair or Replace Your Deck? Here’s How to Tell the Difference

Now that spring is here, you may be noticing your backyard’s deck could use some tender loving care. Maybe the deck boards are worn down and loose, or the railing and stairs are uneven and unsecure. Perhaps the style is simply outdated and no longer meets your needs.

It’s time to convert your outdoor areas from drab to fab. But how do you know whether it’s better to make deck repairs, or go all-in and get a new deck?

That’s a great question—one that homeowners in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area ask us often. After all, your deck is a place of relaxation and fun throughout the summer, so you want it to look and function at its best. Here are some things to consider as you determine whether deck replacement or repair is better for your home.

Consider Age and Safety

Like any other aspect of your home, your deck takes a beating from weather and aging. The older your deck is, the more likely it is to have areas that need replacement rather than repair. Some common deck issues include:

Areas that are rotting away due to moisture damageUnstable beams that make the deck dangerously wobblySafety hazards such as broken boards, railings and stairs

If your deck is old and outdated, a new deck is often the best option because it addresses any damage and also ensures years of longevity. But if the deck is fairly new and is still structurally sound, fixing the deck may be a good possibility.

Do an Inspection

There are several aspects to an attractive, safe deck. You’ll want to inspect these areas for yourself, or have an expert inspect them, so you can fully assess the deck’s current condition. Do a checkup on these features:

Ledger Board

This long, horizontal, pressure-treated board supports decks that are attached to a home. If the ledger board isn’t properly attached or is seriously decaying due to wear and tear, it can cause the deck to collapse. The most likely culprit of such damage is missing or defective flashing, leading to moisture damage and rotting.

Another issue may be the age of your deck. Older decks may not meet today’s safety codes and regulations, or may be made with aging, failing materials. These days, state-of-the-art brackets that extend into the house give a much more solid connection for safety and security.

Since faulty ledger boards are the main cause for deck collapse, this is the most important thing to check. If it’s seriously damaged, you will probably need a deck replacement.

Beams and Joists

The wood beams and joists are installed horizontally as support beneath the surface of the deck, and they’re extremely important. This support system can trap all kinds of moisture which, in turn, leads to water damage over the course of time.

Minor issues, if caught early, may make deck repair possible. But if the support system is seriously weakened, deck replacement is a better choice.

Fascia Board

This thin, wide board wraps around the perimeter of the deck, either just below the deck boards or concealing the ends of the deck boards. If the fascia board is discolored, it’s a sign that moisture is being trapped behind it and likely causing rot to occur.


This important feature provides protection against water damage, and most municipalities require flashing if a deck is connected to the home.

If the rest of the deck is in good shape, any missing or inferior flashing can be installed to help direct moisture safely away from your deck and house. But be sure to assess any related water damage to see if a new deck is the safer long-term option.


These vertical deck features hold the deck in place above the ground. Both the base of the post and the place where the beams attach to it are areas where moisture can accumulate, leading to damaging rot. The more damage there is, the more likely a deck replacement is in order.


It’s only natural for railing to become loose or weakened over time. However, railing can become prematurely unsteady because of water decay.

If caught early enough, minor railing issues are easy to repair. But if enough of the railing is badly damaged, it may be too difficult to replace, meaning you need a new deck.

Deck Surface

The surface of your home’s deck is the area that is most susceptible to the elements. Over time, wet weather will eventually cause rotting. So will sunlight, which fades the color of wood over time, and also affects the structural integrity of the wood.

If the majority of the surface wood is damaged, it is likely that the supporting joists, beams, and other features also are failing. And that means you need a new deck.

Consider the Costs

Keep in mind that the cost of repairing vs. replacing your deck can also be an important factor in making your decision. If the deck elements that require fixing are minor, then a deck repair may be a budget-friendly solution.

But when there are many deck areas that need to be addressed, the price can begin to add up. Sometimes, repairs can cost as much as a deck replacement. In this case, choosing to install a new deck can be more economical because it will give you the safety, beauty and functionality you desire, with the added longevity that comes with newly installed materials.

Enjoy the Deck of Your Dreams This Summer

To get a better picture of what your new or repaired deck can add to your home’s appeal, check out our deck and porch gallery for ideas. And remember, we’re here to answer your questions and give you a deck you’ll love for years to come.

Exactly How You Can Save Money with Spray Insulation

Spray foam insulation is an innovative solution that can be used both domestically and commercially. In your home, this can be applied by a professional inside your ceilings, walls, and underfloors. As an effective form of insulation, polyurethane spray foam can stop hot or cold air from escaping. It also has fireproofing, soundproofing, and moisture resistant properties.

This unique product can be used commercially to regulate the temperature of tools and piping. Although this can be a premium option and something that must be installed correctly, it is well worth the investment:

Reducing Energy Bills

Energy bills are a big expense for most households. Quality insulation will take the pressure off your heating and cooling as your home will stay at a more comfortable temperature. As up to 40% of your heating and cooling can disappear without insulation, it can make a significant difference to your power bills.

Spray insulation is an excellent choice as it offers superior thermal performance. It can be applied either before or after building construction and the results will be felt immediately. With a more consistent indoor climate you may be able to turn off your heater or air conditioner without sacrificing a comfortable room temperature.

Outlasting the Competition

There is a range of insulation products on the market, but the polyurethane spray foam is one that really stands out. As this plastic based solution is applied, the chemicals react and it turns into a foam before setting firmly in place. Due to the flexibility of spray insulation, it can mould into any grooves and crevices, leaving you with a tighter seal.

Sometimes this product may have a slightly higher initial outlay but over time it is an investment that pays off. When applied correctly this insulation can potentially last indefinitely. 

When compared to insulation batts, the results speak for themselves. Batts typically last up to 20 years before breaking apart as long as the conditions are optimal. Any moisture, pests, or dust can prevent the insulation working as effectively as it should. Additionally, if any holes form your air can leak, reducing the thermal performance. Due to the longevity and durability of spray insulation, damage will be far less likely. To eliminate any expense, time, and frustration, we recommend you get it right the first time, and spray insulation will outlast the competition. 

As you don’t have to worry about repairing, maintaining, or repairing this solution, it will save you money over time.

A Boost to Workplace Productivity

When used in the workplace, this type of insulation can increase productivity and keep your team happy. Industrial buildings can heat up quickly, and this can help maintain a better environment for working. 

Any tools, piping, and equipment that heats up can cause injury. When you spray a thin layer of insulation on these the risk of burns can be eliminated. With happier staff and a safer environment, there will be fewer sick days. This can have a direct impact on company profit.

Whether you are a homeowner or a business owner, polyurethane spray foam can save you money!

4 Home Improvement Project to Refresh Your Home This Summer

April 12, 2020

Eventually, even the most magnificent home can begin to feel stale. It’s a natural part of the process of homeownership to want to improve your house, both for aesthetic and functional purposes. While this can be a challenging thing for homeowners to do, it can also be an opportunity to get creative, and truly customize your home.

With Summer fast approaching, your mind may be full of ideas for renovation projects that can turn your house into the place-to-be for family and friends. Here are 4 of our favorite home improvement projects that can help you refresh your home this summer.

#4. Build a Deck

A deck has tons of potential utilities for homeowners, but none better than the ability to throw an outdoor party in the summertime. Many of us spend too much time inside to begin with, so as the weather heats up, a deck can get us off our couches and into the world. Whether you plan on hosting large get togethers or are simply looking for somewhere to sit back and relax with your family, a deck has got you covered.

The ROI for these projects is another reason to consider the renovation. In fact, according to The Remodeling Calculator, building a deck “provides one of the top ROI’s of all remodel projects.” It’s easy to see why adding a deck onto your home is one of our favorite projects for the summertime.

A wooden deck on green house

#3. Open up Your Kitchen

The benefits of kitchen remodels aren’t exclusive to the summer, but the effects can be most fully felt during the warm-weather season. Maximize the natural light by changing the layout of your kitchen, or by adding windows that let the sunshine in. A bright kitchen can not only change the flow of your home, it can also positively affect the moods of the people in it.

Kitchen remodels also have a strong ROI. In fact, according to Zillow, “the average ROI for a minor kitchen remodel is between 73.4 and 83.8 percent.” If you’re looking for a project that will improve your daily life and the value of your home, a kitchen remodel may be the way to go.

Cabinets are a great low cost home improvement

#2. Build an Outdoor Kitchen

One of the most unique options you’ll find on this list, outdoor kitchens are exploding in popularity across the country. But before we get into all the great ways an outdoor kitchen can improve your life in the summertime, we first wanted to present this eye opening statistic. According to Extra Space, “homes with outdoor kitchens can potentially see an ROI ranging between 100% and 200%.” That is an ROI you won’t come across too often.

By adding an outdoor kitchen to your home, you’re transitioning the indoors to the outdoors and making use of what was unused outdoor space. It’s a great place to gather friends and family for intimate gatherings, but it also makes larger events much easier due to the accessibility to the kitchen. And, possibly most importantly, they are really cool.

An outdoor kitchen

#1. Create A Luxury Treehouse

If you have children, this renovation can lead to childhood-defining moments and memories. Similar to a high-quality guest house, a luxury treehouse is somewhere that members of your home can escape to when they are looking for a change of scenery. These treehouses are also places where your children can have some fun while still being close enough to home for parental supervision.

A luxury treehouse is essentially what it sounds like; a large, well-built treehouse that feels like a cross between a regular treehouse and a guest home. Being that, “glamping” is more popular than ever, there is even potential for you to rent out the space to turn a profit.

Luxury TreehouseThere is no right or wrong way to renovate your home. The ideas in this blog are truly the tip of the iceberg in regards to how you can refresh your home through a renovation project. But one thing is for sure; when you’re ready to get started on your next project, our team at Works by JD will be ready to turn your vision into a reality.

5 House Extensions That Will Increase Your Property Value

One of the most exciting things about owning a property is seeing its value increase over time. Do house extensions add value to your home? Whether you are looking to up your property value before selling, or just wishing to improve your home, a house extension can be a worthy investment.

As a matter of fact, The Guardian recently found that a house extension can add up to 20% to your overall property value.

Alongside this, house extensions will improve your everyday home life. Whether you struggle with enough space for all of your belongings, or the kids constantly bicker about having to share a room, a house extension could provide the solution that you’ve been looking for.

Home extension factors affecting house values:

Functional space. Adding an extra bedroom or extending living spaces is a great way to add value without having to route new plumbing. Street appeal. An extension is an opportunity to lift the appearance of your home. Lifestyle or Profit. Some extensions add significant profit for selling immediately, second bathrooms and renovating dated kitchens for example. Where is your home? In a more expensive neighbourhood an extension will add even greater value.

Ready to extend your home? Read on for five roomy house extension ideas that will increase your property’s value.

Conservatory Extensions

Australia is an outdoor-loving nation, and what better way to add a bit more sunshine to your home than through a conservatory? Whether you’re in the Cairns rainforest or on the balmy cliffs of Bondi, adding a conservatory will allow you to experience the serenity of the outdoors from the comfort of your very own home.

Best of all, conservatories can be exempt from development approval. This means less paperwork for you, while still adding that all-important value to your home.

Loft Conversion

Lofts are often spaces that are overlooked when it comes to re-vamping. If you are in need of an extra bedroom, a second living room, or even a games room, a loft conversion is the house extension for you!

This internal conversion is much more simple than adding exterior building work to your property and will not require development approval. This seemingly simple home upgrade can increase your home’s value by 22%. How’s that for an investment? All that’s left to do is to clean out that loft.

House extensions increase property value


Add A Second Floor

This is the creme-de-la-creme of house extensions and will add a staggering amount of value to your home. However, this highly complicated extension can cause inconvenience, as your home will be without a roof for some time.

In the long run, the addition of a floor is a fantastic investment and will add a huge amount of value to your home without sacrificing its outdoor area. If you dwell in a picturesque area, the view from your double-floored home will increase your property value alone.

Extend Outwards

Whether you want to add one room or a few, extending outwards is a fantastic way of utilising your property’s land space. Extending outwards also tends to be less expensive than extending upwards.

When planning to add a ground level extension, it’s important to take the slope of your land into consideration.

Alfresco Verandah Extensions

Extending outward can also mean an outdoor entertaining area. An alfreso verandah provides a comfortable entertaining area for your home. A ceiling fan, lighting and outdoor kitchen really adds appeal.

Quick tip: The difference between a pergola and verandah is roofing – a pergola has an open roof.

alfresco verandah extension

Granny Flat

If you’re after a side source of income, adding a granny flat to your home is a great idea. This separate dwelling can easily be rented out on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis.

Plus it is a fabulous way to add value to your home. All you need to have is a large area of land adjacent to your home, and some money to invest.

Home Extension Costs

The saying “failing to plan is planning to fail” certainly applies to home extensions. Especially when it comes to meeting your budget. Adding value is one thing, but if your home extension costs blow out so does the return on investment. Building costs can vary considerably depending on a variety of factors from material costs to planning permit delays. Make sure you do your homework and ensure the full scope of work is included in quotes from builders.

Materials are one of the biggest factors in home extension costs. Therefore it really pays to plan in detail to ensure your budget can meet the level of finish you are expecting.

Finally, a quick word on costs and value. The value a home extension adds to your home will depend on the type of extension and costs. But that’s not all. The best extensions serve a purpose (ie a third bedroom in a neighbourhood of 2 bedroom homes) and also blend in perfectly with the style of your home lifting the appearance of the whole property.

Have you considered a house extension? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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