3 Simple Home Improvements For Under $100

It seems everyone is applying for loans so that they can make improvements to their home. Some individuals will burn through thousands of dollars to improve the look if their home. Major improvements such as new flooring or a deck can require a significant amount of money. However, you don’t have to go to those measures to make improvements to your home. There are three key areas of your home that can make the most difference in the appearance of your home – the entrance, kitchen and bathroom. Just doing one of the ideas listed below can make a huge difference in your home. But why not do all three when it can be done for less than $100?

Entrance

The old saying that, “First impressions are usually the last”, can easily apply to the way people react when they enter your home. Has your welcome mat lost its welcome appeal? It’s time to spice up your entrance so what you hear are “oohs” and “ahhs” when people cross your threshold. If you have a spacious porch, a potted plant in a metal planter can create a pleasant atmosphere. Contemporary planters are about $10.

If you’re really adventurous, a coat of brightly-colored paint on your front door can create a splash. If you take on this challenge, it’s a good idea to make sure that the paint complements your home. For example, if your home is mostly red brick, a red door would make a dynamic look. A gallon of interior/exterior gloss enamel in red or any other bright color will set you back no more than $30-40.

Kitchen

When you look in your kitchen, what catches your eye first? Probably all those nifty cabinets that discreetly tuck away your dishes, right? After a number of years you might crave a different look. For starters, you might want to give them a good cleaning. This one step alone can make a difference. You would be surprised the amount of dust and grease that can accumulate on cabinets. Depending on the material that your cabinets are made of, simply removing the cabinets from their hinges and wiping them down with the damp cloth is sufficient. There are chemicals on the market, but you need to make sure that the chemicals are made for your cabinet material.

Once your cabinets are shining again, you can then add or replace knobs. Knobs range from simple unfinished versions that cost as little as $.50 to decorative insert pulls that costs around $3. With the average kitchen containing about 12 cabinets, your cost won’t go over $36.

Bathroom

Guest bathrooms are usually confined to a small space. Why not give this room a lift? You undoubtedly have a nice set of guest towels and matching accessories. These items are not necessarily cheap so unless you want to go over your $100 spending limit, you can leave those items as they are. What you can add are wallpaper trim, artwork, and color. There are numerous styles of wallpaper trim that you can choose a new look for your bathroom. You can go as conservative and as creative as you want. To complement the wallpaper trim, you can add artwork. You don’t have to go out and purchase expensive artwork. You can use your imagination to come up with some ideas. For example, a few seashells, colorful fabric, and an empty picture frame are all you need to become your own favorite artist.

If you have any leftover paint from your door, you can use this to paint a wall in your bathroom, as long as the color doesn’t clash with the other elements of your bathroom.

 

Want to make an even bigger impact with that entrance? Find out just how attractive and affordable a Lifestyle Lifetime Door System can be, and how ordering right now can save you money on the best hardware in the industry, CLICK HERE to book an appointment with our design experts today!

Ajax Door Installation

Here we have another fantastic front entry door system installed in Ajax. What a transformation

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To find out just how attractive and affordable a Lifestyle Lifetime Door System can be, and how ordering right now can save you money on the best hardware in the industry, CLICK HERE to book an appointment with our design experts today!

Drafty House? Six Home Energy Saving Tips

Want to put more money in your pocket? You can save up to 10% or more on your energy bill by eliminating as many the air leaks in your home as possible. During the summer warm air leaks into your home and during the winter leaks out of your home, wasting a good portion of your energy dollars. One of the fastest and highest payback dollar-saving jobs you can do around the house is to caulk, seal, and weather-strip all seams, cracks, and openings to the outside air.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Check your home for air tightness. On a windy day, hold a lit incense stick next to locations of potential air paths to the outside, like windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, and ceiling fixtures. If the smoke blows horizontally, you have found an air leak that can use weatherstripping, sealing, or caulking.

2. Caulk and seal gaps where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring penetrate through exterior walls, floors and ceilings.

3. Install rubber gaskets in back of exterior wall outlets and switch plates.

4. Dirty, grimy spots on your insulation can indicate holes where air leaks into and out of your house. Look underneath the insulation batting for holes and gaps and seal them by stapling sheets of plastic over the holes, then caulk the edges of the plastic.

5. In winter, when the fireplace is not being used, keep the flue damper closed tightly. Chimneys are created to allow smoky air to escape, so unless the flue is closed, warm air escapes, and with it, your heating budget.

6. Installing storm windows over single-pane windows or replacing them with double-pane windows is a major savings not to be overlooked. Windows can make up 10% to 25% of your heating bill. Adding storm windows can cut the heat loss in half.

While all of these tips will help you save money, nothing beats the energy efficiency of new windows. For a free window inspection, along with our suggestions on cost-saving options to help you reduce those drafts, give us a call at 1-800-465-0593. We’ll be glad to stop by and let you know how your windows are doing, what you need to do to get them sealed up before winter, and how we can save you money over the long term with our high-efficiency custom window systems.

Windows and Doors in Brampton

Here’s a beautiful matching window and entry door installation in Brampton. We’re especially proud of the classic, clean look and the great detailing on these custom windows and door. See for yourself:

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To talk to one of our experienced design and installation experts, and to take advantage of our limited-time seasonal offers, be sure to CONTACT US today. We’ll be happy to come see you and help you get the installation that’s right for you.

Fall Garden Planning – Garden plans for next spring and ordering by mail

It’s September. The kids are starting back to school and I feel the onset of fall. I’m getting that garden planning itch again! It happens 2-3 times a year… This time, it’s time to start ordering bulbs and perennials for fall planting. I’m always planning how my garden will look better next season and I suppose most of you do the same. Fall is the perfect time to plant for established growth next spring!

Take a good look at your garden now and think about areas you need to fill in. Do you need late season color, early spring blooms? Are there bare spots or places where plants like poppies or tulips go dormant and you need a filler to keep your garden alive with color? I find the best time for next years planning is in the fall when bloom time and plant combinations are fresh in my mind.

You may be disappointed with a plant combination you chose last season. Fall is the perfect time to rearrange. Get rid of overgrown plants and revive areas with new color or foliage combinations. Think about areas in your bulb or perennial garden you want to develop. What size, shape and bloom color do you need? Plant them this fall and watch your pans come to fruition come spring.

Shrubs and trees do take years to mature and fill their place. You can get a jump start by planting them this fall. When spring arrives they’ll be much more hardy and will require less babying.

Fall is the perfect time to mail order bulbs, perennials, shrubs, hedges and trees. We’re winding down the season and if you’re anything like me you’re just not ready to quit quite yet. Sure there’s clean up to be done, but I find more planting helps to finish those mundane cxhores. As I clean out I plant new!

Ordering online or by mail

Ordering plants online can be a bit scary. How are the plants shipped? Will they be good quality? Will they arrive at the right time and will I be prepared to plant them then?

Fear not! I’ve ordered in fall for years and have had tremendous results!

Plant Quality and Guarantees

Nurseries do differ in what and how they ship so make sure you do some research, but almost all reputable mail order nurseries do guarantee their plants to grow or your money back. I’ve never had trouble collecting on that promise and I have used it a time or two for certain plants. I also admit, a bit grudgingly as a then new gardener, that I should never have ordered those specific plants for my climate. Nevertheless the nursery did stand behind its guarantee.

How Plants Are Shipped

Some plants will be shipped bare root, others as potted plants. This depends on the plant variety and I’ve actually found preference to bare root plants. They do look dead when they arrive (they are actually dormant), but I assure you that unless they have visible signs of disease like rot they’ll thrive come spring.

*Note – If you do get any plants that look like the crown has rotted either ship them back immediately or just phone the nursery and they’ll ship out new ones.

When to Plant

While you never know exactly when your plants will arrive, they are shipped to you at the proper planting time for your gardening zone. If plants arrive and it’s not convenient to plant immediately just make sure you follow the directions included in your shipment for keeping your plants viable until you can plant them. If you’ve planned ahead you will know where they go and it’ll take you little time to get them in the ground. A Saturday afternoon will usually give you ample time to get this done.

Keep in mind these companies have been in business for years and years and have shipped bare root and potted plants for eons. They do know what they’re doing and most of them do it very well. They’d be out of business if they couldn’t fulfill your planting requirements.

Gardening Budgets and Selection

You can’t beat the cost and selection of ordering by mail! Most mail order companies offer plant varieties you’ll never find anywhere else. The selections seem endless and I’ve been amazed what I can grow in New Mexico. Take advantage of fall specials and free shipping and you get a double bang for your buck. For about half of what I spend on a trip to the garden center on a single spring garden binge, I can have more variety and many more plants shipped to me at home.

Get on the Mailing Lists

Make sure you’re on the mailing list for the following nurseries at least! You’ll get a catalogue several times a year. Take it into the garden with you,look around and plan accordingly. Then hop online and place an order or order by mail, but use the online resources for their help with plant combinations and companion planting. They offer great suggestions you may not have thought of before. Remember – pictures will help any gardener no matter how experienced.