Could your House be Making you Fatter?

house in hands - closeup, realtor offers a home

Wouldn’t it be great if you could keep your body fit by simply designing your home properly? While choosing a certain style of counter or a particular color of paint for your walls might not lower your blood pressure or help you fit in your prom dress again, it doesn’t seem too far fetched for there to be a few common threads that are often present in homes of healthy people but absent in homes of less healthy folks. To test this theory, we looked at some stats from (a nationwide resource matching homeowners to contractors in their area) and compared the types of home improvement projects preferred in “healthy” cities to those that are more common in less healthy areas. Here’s what we found!

Projects “Healthy” Cities Prefer
According to Men’s Fitness Magazine, Minneapolis, Albuquerque, and Denver are all pretty high on the healthy city list. So, what projects do homeowners in these areas enter most? Appliance repair is extremely popular in each of these cities, as is hiring a handyman for multiple small tasks. Landscaping and lawn care seem to be a

3 Simple Ways to Transform a Room on a Budget

DP_Weinstein-kids-bedroom-3_s4x3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.616.462know the quickest and most inexpensive way to dramatically change a room’s style is to attack those boring white walls. Sure, you could try painting the room a bold new shade, but the newest design techniques go a step further with drywall, faux painting, and nontraditional wall coverings.

1. Drywall Textures

Once purely functional, drywall techniques are now a designer’s trick. Using drywall techniques to add new architectural or design touches, or simply re-texturing ceilings and walls, can update the overall appearance of a home with a relatively small investment.

Walls and ceilings can be finished in many different ways. Re-texturing or smoothing walls can freshen and modernize older homes or even return the original character to period homes that may have been carelessly remodeled.

Changing up the old-fashioned styles of texture (such as skip & trowel or brushed) can significantly freshen and update a 30-year-old home.

On the other hand, covering those styles of texture with a new layer of hand-troweled joint compound to resemble plaster could restore the charm to a 1900 Victorian. Custom textures and treatments, such as combining textured walls with totally smooth ceilings, can give a home a unique look.

Try the

5 Recession-Resistant Renovations

home-remodeling_23Upgrade Siding
When your siding has seen better days, upgrading it just might be one of the best investments you can make for your home, no matter what the economic climate. Since siding functions as a shield for the materials it covers, the better siding you have, the longer those materials are likely to last. Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report revealed that installing fiber-cement siding generally recovers over 87% of construction costs in added resale value. This makes upgrading from vinyl or aluminum to fiber-cement the best investment nationwide when it comes to recouping your costs!

Bathroom Enhancements
Though often the smallest rooms in the house, your bathroom can have a dramatic impact on your day-to-day life. Bathrooms also pack quite a punch when it comes time to put your property on the market, and remodeling your bathroom can mean the difference between a home that’s sold quickly and one that stays on the market for years.

The average cost of a bathroom remodel over the last quarter was around $10,200. Out of a pool of 3,000 homeowners who found their bathroom contractors through SM, 9 out of 10 were not only

4 Summer Time Treats for You and Your Home

With summer on its way out and fall fast approaching, people all over the country are doing their best to soak in the sun while they still can. If you’re like most of us, there are a few things you can do with your property that will make next summer even more enjoyable. For those in climates where construction can happen nearly all year round, there’s still plenty of time to prepare your home for the next outdoor season; if your fall and winter temperatures are a bit less forgiving, time is quickly running out to treat your property, and yourself, to the best summer has to offer. If you act fast, however, each of these four projects can bring an extra boost to your next summer that will be sweeter than ice cream in July!

Cool Drinks and Warm Nights Are Better With a Deck
Even though the days of sunbathing will soon be replaced by autumn, your property, much like the people who reside there, still have some time to benefit from the current weather. One of the most desirable home improvement projects for those who like to spend as much time outdoors as they can is building a

Plan Ahead for Home Remodels

Negotiating the planning/permitting process and actually starting construction comfortably within the same building season is tough to pull off. Home remodels are big jobs, and many homeowners are simply ill-prepared when they go into a project. This often leads to high job costs or even low-quality work. To protect your investment (and possibly your mental health, too) getting a head start on your home remodeling plans is the answer.

Home Remodeling Plans
The bottom line is easy: Avoid the rush when you can. January is the most popular time of the year for home remodels, so everyone’s time is at a premium. What many consumers don’t understand is the sheer multitude of decisions required for just getting a project “permit-ready,” much less the time it takes for getting construction underway.

Developing a custom floor plan is just the start. Working with a professional designer is usually a real eye-opener for most homeowners, once the full variety of decisions to make and all the options available become apparent. Choosing architectural materials, specific appliances, electrical and plumbing fixtures, cabinetry, fireplaces, windows and skylights, etc. is a time-consuming process. Having an experienced, professional designer to advise you and help you make the best home remodeling

Remodeling: Reclaim Your Unused Space

One of the easiest ways to add more room to your home is to better utilize the space you already have. Remodeling the basement, garage or attic are all cost-effective ways to greatly expand your home’s living space.

Basement Remodeling

Most basements are dark areas where we store seasonal decorations, old toys, and anything else not used on a regular basis. This is the perfect remodeling project to begin reclaiming your space.

First, think about what the basement environment naturally lends itself to. You can save money if you think creatively and turn the negative aspects of the space into positives. For example, a lack of light would be a drawback in many rooms. However, it’s quite useful if you convert the space into a home theater or dark room.

Here are some other basement remodeling ideas:

  • Play area, teen hangout, or music studio: A basement’s isolation creates a sound break for a children’s play area, a teenager’s hangout or a music studio.
  • Exercise room or recreation room: The large space of a basement lends itself to an exercise room with lots of equipment or a recreation room large enough for a pool table and other games.
  • Wine cellar: The cool environment of a basement easily lends

Remodeling: Living Large

Most of us wish that our homes were larger, but the obvious solutions like building an addition or moving to a bigger place are simply not an option in many cases due to budget restraints. There are, however, some excellent small space solutions out there that can either physically increase your living space inexpensively, or at least give an area the appearance of being bigger.

Making Small Spaces Look Bigger
For many people, the most cost-effective remodeling ideas are focused on increasing living space without increasing the size of the home. Sound impossible? It’s not. One way to make small spaces look bigger is to better integrate indoor and outdoor living areas. In many homes, especially those that are a decade old or more, the indoor and outdoor areas are completely cut off from each other, but by blurring the line between inside and outside, you can give the feel of more space without actually having to add on.

Small Room Ideas: Windows and Glass Doors
Architects and designers have understood for years that, when creating physical space is just not practical, the illusion of more space can really go a long way. If you take a 10 ft. x 15 ft.

Seattle Attic Remodeling and Renovation

Seattle attics are the ultimate risk/reward area for Puget Sound homeowners. Left unattended, they frequently cost thousands of dollars in essential home repairs. Fully remodeled Seattle attics, on the other hand, are among those rare home improvement gems that, on average, return more than 100 percent of their cost in property value. Whether you have a serious attic problem, have always wanted a beautiful livable attic, or some combination of both, here are the vital statistics to help prepare you for talking to our reliable Seattle home improvement contractors.

Urgent, Needed Seattle Attic Renovations
While homeowners around the country look at their attics as potential living space, Seattle homeowners often find their attic is home to a mold problem. In fact, in the Pacific Northwest, attics are the most common area for mold to appear. In an area already saturated with moisture and mold problems, Seattleites would do well to keep a close eye on their attic and potential dangers. Poor ventilation, especially in the roof, but also in bathrooms, kitchens, and dryer exhaust are all huge contributing factors. Once any part of your home gets wet and stays wet, there’s a good chance attic mold is beginning to germinate.

Attic mold