Not all home improvement projects have to be massive undertakings. There are several easy projects that homeowners can do themselves to take their home from drab to fab. Here are a few of our favorites. 1. Beautify the entryway. The entryway makes the home’s first impression on visitors, so make sure it makes a statement. Paint the door and exterior trim, and add a large plant to enhance curb appeal. Update house numbers and lighting fixtures for a fresh new look. 2. Add character to rooms. This can be done by adding crown molding, picture molding, or baseboards to the walls. This is easier than it sounds; most home improvement stores will cut the pieces themselves so that homeowners don’t have to worry about doing much more than the installation. Updating curtains and curtain rods will give a room a whole new look, as well. 3. Give cabinets a facelift. A fresh coat of pa [...]

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Anyone who has owned a cat or dog knows it’s next to impossible to keep floors completely clean and well-kept with furry friends running around the house. But, there are simple steps that homeowners can take to extend the life of their floors. An organic fiber rug can be laid on hardwoods to protect them from cat and dog claws. Materials such as seagrass, mountain grass, and sisal are ideal for this, and they are easy on the animal’s feet. Plus, they look very stylish in the home. Carpet lovers should try wool carpet tiles, which can be replaced one at a time. They can also be pulled up and rinsed under cold water to maintain their new look. Even regular carpet can be an option for homeowners whose pets are well-behaved and always groomed with short nails, but it does require frequent vacuuming. Vinyl is one of the most resilient and durable flooring materials. It is also ex [...]

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The bathroom is the most-visited and most used room in the house — so why should it receive less design attention than the rest? Homeowners who want to invest in an easy update with a big impact should consider these reasons for a bathroom remodel. 1. Comfort Bathrooms have come a long way from the cold, hard-to-clean tubs and purely-functional sinks of past years. Now bathroom appliances are both functional and luxurious, with features like water pressure and temperature control; artful shower doors and curtains; and beautiful floor and wall tiling, as well as stone options. Updating to heated floor tiles means no more chilly toes! 2. Value Remodeling the bathroom has been shown to significantly increase an entire home's value, combining the short-term benefits of the upgrade with long-term benefits from a future sale. Remodeling the bathroom will make the room look be [...]

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When you live up north, that biting winter cold has a tendency to creep right in through your doors and windows. Westfield, MA residents are no strangers to sub-zero temperatures. When the thermometer starts to plummet, there are a few simple things you can do to winterize your house. With a little elbow grease, you can keep the house warmer and save on heating costs. It's a win-win. First off, a few basic cleaning tasks. Make sure your gutters are cleaned out lest snow and ice form dams that clog up your drainage all winter. Next, flush out your water heater. Sediment and other debris can build in the heater during the warm months. Flushing the unit will ensure that it operates at maximum efficiency throughout the winter. On a similar note, replace the filters in your central heating vents — this will also ensure that your system operates efficiently. Next up: insulati [...]

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Many people have a love-hate relationship with cleaning. They love it for the result, but they hate it because they don’t know where to begin with the process. Here are the areas homeowners should focus on most with cleaning. Outside Gutters should be secure, free of leaks, and free from debris. Any soil sloping toward the basement should be evened out to prevent foundation damage, which may be indicated by cracks in the concrete structure. Chimneys should be inspected and cleaned by a professional. Shrubs and trees should be cleared of winter damage. Safety Features All smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should have their batteries tested and changed regularly. Homeowners should make sure all doors and windows open and close properly; ones that don’t could indicate a problem with the home’s foundation. Bedroom Flipping or rotating mattresses will help eliminate dust [...]

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