Category Archives: Home Improvement

HUD Program Allows for Home Repairs at Zero Interest

Owning a home can be an expensive process. While mortgage payments, real estate taxes, and insurance costs are high, many people also struggle with having to make improvements and necessary repairs. While paying for these repairs has been difficult for many people, a recent news article (http://www.myrecordjournal.com/news/southington/southingtonnews/9729762-154/home-improvement-loan-program-could-be-extended-in-southington.html) has pointed out that there is a loan program available that could be used to make housing repairs and improvements. However, this loan program is expiring soon so homeowners are encouraged to apply soon.

The US Housing and Urban Development has introduced a program that allows for homeowners to make certain repairs to their home through a zero-interest loan. The repairs that are available for this loan program including life-safety repairs that is necessary to live in the home safely. These can include reaping a roof, windows, HVAC system, and other necessary repairs. The amount of the repairs will vary from one project to the next, but do average around $20,000.

While the program is designed to help people that cannot obtain financing otherwise or have the cash to make the repairs, there are some requirements to qualify. Those that would like to get the loan have to have an income that is under $45,000 for a single person or under $65,000 if you are a family of four. Furthermore, those that want to get the loan will have to have at least a ten percent equity in their homes and be current on all of their federal and state taxes and housing-related payments. .

Lowe’s Planning To Lay Off 2,400 Workers

A Lowe’s retailer in Mooresville recently announced that the company will be laying off workers in the country. There are Lowe’s stores located in Mexico and Canada. However, the layoffs will only affect people who are living in theUnited States. The spokesperson stated that vice presidents, customer support representatives and distribution center workers will be among the people who are laid off from the store.

Dave Faherty is an employee who recently found out that he will be getting laid off soon. He stated that the news was shocking. Dave’s manager was also laid off. He stated that he will miss his manager and the people he worked with. Additionally, he also said that he formed friendships with the people he worked with.

While many people will be negatively-impacted by this layoff, the store plans on making some positive changes in the future. Lowe’s is planning on opening 15 to 20 more stores in the United States. This will create over 4,000 jobs.

Bob Hull who is the current CEO of Lowe’s, will be retiring soon. Marshall Croom will be taking Hull’s place. He has worked for Lowe’s for almost two decades.

Lowe’s sent a letter to the employees saying that the layoffs were necessary in order to prepare for the future changes. They are hoping that the changes will help improve customer service experience.

Home Improvement and Real Estate TV Shows Turn Scandalous

American television viewers love reality television shows, particularly those that deal with real estate and home improvement. When personal drama and scandalous situations are present in these shows, viewers tend to become even more interested.

Christina and Tarek El Moussa are the most photogenic couple of reality home improvement shows; their hit show Flip or Flop is one of the most popular on the HGTV cable network. In late 2016, rumors about the couple’s impending separation shocked viewers who believed everything was fine between these two reality stars. In January 2017, however, gossip website Wonderwall revealed that Christina endured abuse from Tarek for far too long.

It so happens that Flip or Flop is not the only HGTV show to encounter personal drama in recent years. Jonathan Scott from Property Brothers was allegedly involved in barroom brawl in 2016.

Joanna and Chip Gaines, stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, were in the tabloid spotlight when a viral news site reported that they attend a church that condemns gay marriage. Nicole Curtis, the cute host of Rehab Addict, has been accused of not paying home improvement contractors on time.

The stars of another HGTV show were forced to file for bankruptcy after losing an expensive court case. Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri, hosts of America’s Most Desperate Kitchens, went bankrupt in 2015 after being found liable for a poor kitchen renovation project that ended up costing them nearly a million dollars.

Finally, a realtor featured in Million Dollar Listing faced allegations of altering photos of listed New York properties in 2013.

Minimalism: The Most Interesting Home Improvement Trend of 2017

A series of lifestyle articles published in 2016 about life in Japan are influencing Americans to decorate their homes with less. Getting rid of clutter and learning to live with minimal furniture and personal items is a Japanese trend that is being adopted not only by cash-strapped members of the Millennial Generation but also by middle class families. The idea is to maximize living spaces and making lives easier and more meaningful.

The current trend of Japanese minimalism has some roots in Zen Buddhism; however, the real inspiration can be found in the technological austerity and style of the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple. The white iPhones, iPads and MacBooks feature clean lines and a simplicity that can be easily emulated in homes by removing most of the furniture and excess decorations.

The basic home improvement strategy of minimalism for a bedroom would be a fresh coat of white paint, a hardwood or laminate floor, a single painting on the wall, a bed, and a small nightstand. Instead of dressers, minimalists maximize closet space.

Smart home automation can also be incorporated into the minimalism trend with a single Amazon Echo or Google Home device to control all appliances. Alternately, homeowners can program their smartphones to function as single remote controls.

Lighting also plays an important role in minimalism. Simple and stylish ceiling lamps are enough in this regard. One floor lamp can be added to the living room. Families who are used to eating in restaurants can also cut down on the amount of kitchen appliances they own.

Home Improvement Ideas to Make Your Home Look Beautiful

People are constantly looking for ways to beautify their homes, and these days, there are some simple fixes that make a big difference. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a remodel, and you can start with small ideas and build from there.

Here are some simple yet effective ways to spruce up the decor in your home.

Teak Wood Furniture

Bringing teak wood furniture into your home makes any room look like a luxurious resort. The wood is taken from the teak tree after 80 years, and the wood retains oil which makes it look sleek and refined.

Door Remodeling

Give your doors a makeover and change the way the entire space looks. You can give your front door a fresh coat of paint and add a silver or gold door knocker for instant sophistication. If you’re making over the doors to your bedroom or living room, add wallpaper to the borders of the door in a metallic color to make this part of the home stand out.

Shelf Upgrade

Making your shelves especially eye-catching makes your den or home office look much more inviting. Attach wood to the walls in whatever arrangement or shape you like. Instead of traditional straight shelves, you can even use rustic wood pieces and sand or smooth them on top so you can place your favorite books or decor on them. Paint the shelves in your favorite colors so they’ll provide a nice contrast to the walls, and you’ve given your room a small but significant makeover.

These are just a few of the weekend projects you can take on to make your home a little cozier and to show off your personal decor style.

Home Improvement Trends for 2017

Smart home automation, wine cellars and breakfast nooks are among the hottest trends in residential home improvement this year.

Now that the Trump administration is settling in the White House, American homeowners are waiting for the formal announcement of an economic stimulus plan before they list their properties on the market. That announcement is expected to take place within the first 100 days of the new administration; once it is made official, home sellers can expect heavy demand and a market that will favor them. In the meantime, homeowners should start thinking about making their home more attractive with the following improvements:

Smart Homes

At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, smart home automation took center stage with the debut of Google Home and the improvement of Amazon Alexa, two voice-activated digital assistants that are ready to control smart home devices. Sellers can make small investments on devices such as smart locks and light bulbs to show prospective buyers how they can be controlled with the Amazon Echo or Google Home speakers. Smart home devices can also be controlled with smartphones or tablets.

Wine Cellars and Minibars

According to a survey by real estate information site Redfin, built-in-bars and wine cellars or chillers can boost the value of a home by as much as 7.5 percent.

Breakfast Nooks

The morning meal is replacing the traditional American family dinner. Homes that have views of lakes, mountains or green areas can be considerably improved with comfortable breakfast nooks to highlight the natural vistas.

Easy Steps for a Calming Bedroom

Any season of the year is a good time to update the look of you bedroom, but you do not have to spend a lot of money doing it. Yes, you may be asleep the majority of the time that you are in the room, but a serene, comfortable setting can set the tone for a good night’s sleep and a calm start to the a day. There are numerous, inexpensive things you can do that will refresh your bedroom.

Soothing symmetry
A balanced look helps to create the feel of stability. Make sure the furniture is distributed throughout the area so there is not a feel that one side is heavier than any other is. Also, do not have the heaviest furniture near the door. This can give the room an intimidating look. You may want to consider a completely new rearrangement, taking the philosophy of feng shui into consideration. Pictures and lighting at even levels throughout the room will also give the room symmetry and balance.

Natural and neutral
Browns, greys are natural, soothing colors. Incorporating them into the bedroom décor helps to give the room an earthy, comforting feel. There are so many shades available that everyone can find an appealing mix. Furthermore, a can of paint, a new set of sheets or a neutral-colored bed cover is affordable for just about any budget.

You can sleep peacefully and wake up refreshed with some minor changes to your bedroom décor.