Is your dream house more fantasy than reality?
You’re not alone – recent research shows that 75% of owners want to change something about their homes, but aren’t sure where to start. How do you find a home improvement company you know you can trust? You want to ensure that any specialist you hire, whether you’re moving, renovating a kitchen, adding a pool or redesigning from top to bottom, has knowledge, vision, creativity and a stellar reputation.
No matter your personal goals, WestCoast Media wants to help you achieve your dream home. We have found the top local home improvement specialists with the right qualifications, skill and references to put you at ease and give you the home you’ve always wanted. We are proud to present our Top Home Experts, all whose experience, dedication and unparalleled craftsmanship can help you achieve your home improvement goals.
Ask the Experts… German Tree Care
How can I tell if my tree is “sick,” and when should I have it removed?
It’s often difficult for a casual observer to determine if a tree is sick, dead or dying before it’s too late. Something as innocuous as a slight drought (and we are in a massive one right now!) may weaken a tree’s defenses and make it more susceptible to pests or disease. Some pests even know the smell of a sick tree from miles away. A dead tree can be an extreme safety hazard; it can topple over at any time and injure a house, car, or even a person.
Generally speaking though, the color and shape of foliage is the best place to look for indications of tree stress. If you’re not sure if the foliage on your tree looks healthy, compare it to other trees of the same species in your neighborhood. Other signs to look for are broken roots, excessive shedding, or evidence of fungus. Keep an eye on your trees, and if you see anything out of the ordinary, you should contact a tree service professional sooner rather than later.
Why should I hire a professional to take care of my lawn and yard needs?
Your lawn is the first thing people see when entering your home and your backyard is what your friends and family will get to experience on many occasions, so you want to make sure that a professional is there to take care of all of the details, so you can focus on the rest. An experienced professional will not only know about efficient tree care but will also be extremely knowledgeable about types of grass, lawn problems and solutions, how to control the weeds, and other things your yard may need to stay as beautiful and safe as you always pictured it to be.
What’s the difference between trimming and pruning, and why is it important to do so to my trees?
Trimming and pruning are excellent features of landscaping services. Tree trimming is fundamentally applied to shrubs and hedges. Pruning is meant for trees and shrubs. Both tree services are performed at different times using different equipment to make your garden aesthetic and healthy. Tree pruning is an important service performed in order to protect your trees or shrubs and trimming is performed to ensure perfect growth of the shrub or hedge. German Tree Service is an expert in both of these functions and is committed not only to your household’s safety, but to your vision as well.
German Tree Service can offer even more advice about your tree and lawn care, as well as provide superior service! Find out more at www.facebook.com/germanstreecare/.
Ask the Experts… Fireplace Door Guy
What is the safest and most effective way to heat our home using our fireplace?
It is a fact that wood burning fireplaces have a negative impact on human health and the environment. Using an environmentally friendly and safe solution to keep your home heated without burning wood, like Gas Logs, can prevent many types of illnesses, increased air pollution, and protect from one of the main causes of fire-related accidents in households. Gas logs, besides being a safe option to heat up your home, need no tending and require very minimal cleanup. Plus, with modern ceramic gas logs, there is no need for you to sacrifice the coziness wood logs adds to your home’s aesthetics, as they look and burn a lot more realistic than older versions.
A gas log set will provide you with all the good things of a wood burning fireplace without the hassle and possible danger that comes after burning wood. Although nothing can replicate the smell of a wood burning fireplace, the safety that gas logs offer can make up for all the romanticism around wood.
We are thinking about investing in an outdoor built-in fireplace; is it worth it?
Whether it is a wood or gas fireplace, outdoor fireplaces have many benefits that you and your family can enjoy for a lifetime.
Outdoor fireplaces are an excellent option to entertain guests at gatherings. Whether you sit around the fireplace to keep good conversations going or you roast marshmallows in it, they offer a great ambiance in adding charm and comfort to your parties. You’ll want to make sure you keep everyone safe by adding an outside door or free standing screen. An outdoor fireplace will also provide an excellent source of heat and make it possible to enjoy outside gatherings all year round.
An outdoor fireplace also creates a very romantic setting. So if you’re looking for a great place to spend time with your loved one, have dinner, or create the right spot for great and long conversations, an outdoor fireplace is an excellent option.
This addition will add value to your home, not to mention the memories you’ll create will be priceless.
What can you tell me about fire glass?
If you want a fireplace that requires very little maintenance and adds style to your home at the same time, you should seriously consider fire glass.
First of all it’s safe for your health. Burning wood in a fireplace can be hazardous and could give you and your family several health problems. The smoke emitted can affect the lungs and the heart, and can cause all kinds of respiratory problems. Burning wood is not only hazardous for your health, but for the planet too! Fire glass doesn’t produce ashes and doesn’t spit out sparks. Toss in the trash your fireplace cleaning kit and forget about the hassle of cleaning your fireplace after being used by using fire glass now! You will find it to be a Low-cost Investment as fire glass can be used many times without having to buy or replace it. Fire glass can be used as many times as you wish in your gas chimney without melting or discoloring. The tempered glass will keep your fireplace lit for as long as you desire and will last a lifetime.
No other material in the market is as easy to maintain as fire glass. If you ever see your fire glass is getting dusty just scoop it out of the fireplace and wash it with dish detergent and rinse it with water. With fire glass you have many options to choose from. You can decide what colors will go with your home decor, as well as the size and shape.
Most people find fire glass a perfect solution when they want to add a modern touch to their home. Fire glass will beautify and add a luxurious touch to your home. The vibrant colors of the glass will blend in perfectly with your home decor making it look stunning an impressing guests!
At The Fireplace Door Guy, they can help with customized fireplace doors, gas log sets, fire glass and more. Check them out at www.fireplacedoorguy.com
Ask the Experts… Jeanette & Sherry Young
My husband and I want to move into a bigger house to accommodate our growing family. What should be our first steps? Do we list and then look, or look and then list?
Start by interviewing a professional experienced real estate agent to find out about the price you’re likely to get for your home. Then, meet with a mortgage officer to find out the loan size you’ll qualify for and determine what home price you can afford. Then discuss with your agent the homes you could get in your target neighborhood for your price. If you don’t find anything suitable, maybe selling now isn’t the best option for you. But if you find houses that would meet your needs, you can put your house up for sale knowing that you’re likely to find something to buy. Having your house sold first puts you in a much better position to negotiate. One option for those who want to sell first but don’t want to move into temporary housing while they look for a new home is to rent their old house back from the buyers for a few months. Not all buyers will accept such a deal, but investors and buyers who aren’t in a hurry to move in might be willing, especially for a financial incentive or to be the ones whose offer is chosen among multiple offers for your home.
I want to list my home for sale. What can I do to make my home more appealing to potential buyers? Of course we want to get top dollar.
No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach your house. First things first, tidy up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers.
Your house needs to be ready to show at all times. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust in the corners. Constantly cleaning up may be a little inconvenient, but it will help get your house sold.
Also consider the benefits of remodeling an out of date kitchen. It may cost you a few thousand dollars to replace countertops, but a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use a neutral-color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style.
One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. Get rid of a third of your stuff and put it in storage. Arrange your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space. Get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls. Clean the curtains or go buy some inexpensive new ones. Replace door handles, cabinet hardware, make sure closet doors are on track, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout.
Make sure you hire a professional real estate agent who is experienced in your area. You want someone who knows what properties are in your target market and knows the comps in your neighborhood. Find an agent who has a plan to get your house sold.
We want to buy a house, but don’t have an agent yet. What should we look for in an agent?
Finding the right agent comes down to personality, chemistry and experience. You want an agent you can talk to honestly, and openly. It’s important to be upfront from the start about how you like to work and what you expect from them. Express any concerns and questions you may have. In most cases, you’ll be spending time with your agent during the home selling and buying process, so choose wisely. Picking the wrong agent can add to the stress, frustration and uncertainty of buying or selling your home. On the other hand, choosing the right agent can make the process significantly easier and more successful.
Ask the Experts… Inland Cabinets
There are so many choices of cabinet colors, countertops, backsplashes and floorings, I don’t even know where to begin on our kitchen remodel! What should I do?
Kitchen remodels require a lot of difficult decision-making, as well as careful planning to ensure that each choice complements the others. Many experts disagree on what is the most important, but really, it all comes down to you. Do you want your countertop to be the focal point? What about your cabinets? Decide what’s most aesthetically important to you, and then begin there.
You should also consider how your kitchen will fit your lifestyle. Will you be using it mostly for cooking or entertaining? What are your likes and dislikes? Establishing what your kitchen can do for you is the first step to creating something stylish and functional. A licensed contractor with a great reputation should be able to give you a good idea of what materials pair well with others, so be sure to seek their advice.
Of course, it’s essential to have an idea of what your kitchen will look like upon completion. At www.inlandcabinets.com, we offer a “kitchen visualizer” that allows you to test the different cabinet, countertop, floor tile and backsplash options, which should help aid you in your final selections.
How can my bathroom remodel enhance my home value?
Transforming an old or dated bathroom can not only add value to your home, it can give your house that much needed finishing touch. Should you decide to ever sell, a remodeled bathroom will definitely bring up the property value. If you think about it, you and your guests spend a huge portion of time in your bathroom, and a new look will complete your house, making it a home. Bathroom remodeling is one of the wisest decisions you can make. If you are considering this step, Inland Cabinets encourages you to think about what you truly want in your bathroom as far as style, function, and purpose. Keep in mind that just like the kitchen remodeling option of “kitchen visualizer”, we also offer “bathroom visualizer”. Inland Cabinets is fully committed to taking any remodel job to the next level where your opinion is crucial and our service will demonstrate true dedication to the home make-over of your dreams.
What are the current trends in kitchen design?
The latest kitchen trends are all about convenience-meets-multifunctionality. Kitchens that feature earth-friendly products that are also high-tech, colorful, as well as designed for fresh, healthy food prep are hot on the market. Since a kitchen is where the magic begins in entertainment and wholesome cooking, you not only want customization, but convenience as well.
Want more tips from the Inland Cabinets experts? Head over to www.inlandcabinets.com.