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 better, function more efficiently, and bring in a quicker, more lucrative sale in the future. Getting rid of negative features like broken tile, an ugly bathtub, or low water pressure can help dramatically increase the value of a home. 3. Safety Safety should be a homeowner's number-one concern when considering whether or not their bathroom is up to date. Whether it's a wet floor, narrow doorway, or curb-less shower, older bathrooms often have many "invisible" dangers that aren't apparent until it's too late. Updating the bathroom to include modern safety features such as walk-in safety tubs, grab bars, and temperature control valves can grant homeowners with peace of mind to know that family members are secure in a safe, updated bathroom. With a few updates, drab, and out-of-style bathrooms can transform into beautiful feature rooms that are safe, efficient, and luxurious — a great investment for homeowners. [...]

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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: insulation. Though it's not stylish, get insulation film for your windows. This film is inexpensive, and it can keep up to 70% of the heat from leaking out of your windows. Westfield, MA locals may already know that weatherstripping also helps seal the cracks against Jack Frost. In addition, get some draft guards for your doors. These are affordable cushions that slide onto the door's bottom edge, insulating the gap while the door is closed. Now the obvious one: make sure your walls and ceilings are insulated. Most importantly, make sure that your attic's floor is padded with insulation. Heat rises, so containing it to the rooms you occupy goes a long way. In addition, consider getting a programmable thermostat. These automated devices can be set to lower the temperature when you're at work, then raise it shortly before you return. With a few gadgets and some work on the doors and windows, Westfield MA residents can keep the bone-chilling cold out of the house. [...]

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