Remodeling: Making Your House Into The Dream Home You Have Always Wanted

The current economy continues to struggle and nothing has been hit quite as hard as the housing market. Certainly it is sad to watch people lose their homes because of mortgage problems. There isn’t anyone out there who has not been touched somehow by this downturn.

Although not nearly as tragic as someone losing their home, there are many people who have been forced to put their plans on hold. Many homeowners who thought they would be able to sell their current home and upgrade to a larger one are rethinking that plan. P are now looking to staying put and making their current home a better place for the time being.

And maybe that is not a bad thing. People have been re-evaluating priorities. The home they are in may have potential to be so much more with only a slight modification. There are a number of ways a homeowner can change the living space. Remodeling interior spaces can make rooms better and room additions can make a huge difference in how the home functions for the residents.

For example, a too small bedroom can be ‘bumped out’ with minimal structural changes. Bump outs can be anything, from a fireplace to a window with a window seat.

Enlarging the master bedroom to include a walk-in closet or a new dining room for your kitchen. The possibilities are limitless. Aside from adding more space, it is a great way to make a flat wall more interesting.

Another popular way to expand living space is to add an enclosed porch or sun-room. These add a lot to the personality of a house and can be simply screened in or left open.

Porches are great for entertaining friends and family when the weather is nice and are a great way to provide a connection between the house and yard. A smaller porch addition can be a mud room or entryway to stop dirt and clutter from getting into the main part of the house.

Adding that second bathroom your family needs is often at the top of a homeowner’s priority list. Either by adding on to your home or rearranging interior walls, you can make the chaos of getting everyone ready for work and school much simpler.

If your home is on a lot too small to consider ground level additions or bump outs, there is always reaching for the sky. A second story addition is an option provided your community’s land use code allows for this change and the structural integrity of the house will allow for another floor.

You don’t have to cover the entire house with the upper level; partial additions using towers are another option.

So if your dream of a bigger house is on hold, maybe you can make the home you have come closer to that dream by using bump outs or room additions. With sound planning advice from an architect you can have the extra space you crave.… READ MORE ...

Tips For Spring Bulb Planting

Make the most of your spring bulb display by using some of these planting tips.

Make your bulbs look like they just popped up by planting them in random clusters instead of in orderly rows. As a rule of thumb, plant larger bulbs, such as tulips or daffodils in groups of five to 15 bulbs. Smaller bulbs, such grape hyacinth or crocus stand out best in groups of 15 to 25.

Plan your color combination’s to make the most of your display. Combine two-tone colored tulips with solid colored varieties. For instance, ‘Palace Purple” coralbells look striking up against the burgundy ‘Uncle Tom” tulip. Pair up white daffodils (also referred to as the orchid narcissus), with pink or rose colored ‘Christmas Marvel’ tulips.

Don’t ignore shady areas of the garden. Brighten them up with paperwhite narcissus combined with ‘Spring Green’ tulips. Intermingle some low growing vinca among your bulbs. Or, use a combination of pastel colored tulips with small forget-me-nots.

Plant a background border using white bleeding hearts and plant red and white tulips in the foreground.

Create a spring container or basket filled with pink glory-of-the-snow mixed with pansies. If you used a basket, line it first with plastic inserted with drainage holes. Take a large pot and fill with tulips, pansies and toadflax in varying shades of pink and white. Use the same color combination in other areas of the garden to create a flow.

When you combine your colors, use different types of tulips with similar colors. That way you maintain the same theme throughout varying blooming times.

Hostas make great fillers among spring bulbs. For a colorful display, use purple ‘Barcelona’ tulips combined with ‘Spring Green’ tulips, yellow daffodils, purple hyacinths, and allium.

Create a flow of color using two-tone pink and white tulips combined with solid purple varieties. When planting against rock or solid colored border, limit your color scheme to two or three colors so as not to take away from your background.

You’ve heard of wildflower meadows, now try planting a bulb meadow. Simply intersperse spring and summer flowering bulbs in amongst your wildflowers and watch them bloom year after year.

Plant a window box with bright daffodils and small pansies in coordinating shades. Change it up for the seasons to have a continuous floral display. Fill a number of terracotta pots with brightly colored spring bulbs and group at varying heights for a striking presentation.

Give darker blooms added punch by planting them in front of a light background.

There are no hard fast deer and rabbit resistant bulbs, but these varieties seem to attract them the least: daffodils, crown imperial, siberian squill, allium, fritillaria, grape hyacinth, bluebells, dog-tooth violet, checkered lily, glory-of-the-snow, winter aconite, and snowdrop.

For a lawn display, plant crocuses throughout your yard and watch the the pretty colored blooms poke through the snow in early spring. Once the blooms are finished and the leaves die off, simply mow when you cut your lawn.… READ MORE ...