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Alternative Decking Materials

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Think about Alternative Decking Materials for your Home!outdoor living space collinsville il

With spring and summer come barbecues, pool parties, and other reasons to enjoy our backyards. For many, the crux of summer fun is the deck. Whether your back doors open to a pool, garden, or just a quiet oasis to escape from the hot summer sun, our decks provide a serene spot to pass the time as the days get longer. The functionality of decking makes it a top priority to many remodelers. However, it’s a serious investment; don’t rush the decision without all your facts, Here are some thing about as you start your research:

Decking Dimensions

How big will your outdoor living space be? How big does it need to be? Do you plan on entertaining or retiring here in solitude at the end of a long day? These are all things that need to be answered when you decide how large your deck needs to be. This will affect building costs, maintenance costs, and the cost to replace or repair. Additionally, some decks may affect the value of your home; ask a real estate professional about how this may affect you. Think long and hard about including space for tables, chairs, a grill, and other outdoor accessories that suit you.

Decking Materials

After you’ve decided what type and size of deck you need, it’s time to talk materials. The three main materials used in deck construction include wood, composite materials, and metal. Be sure to think about where you live, weather conditions, maintenance cost, and more when making this choice.

  • Wood – Pressure-treated lumber is sturdy, durable, relatively inexpensive, and highly customizable. However, it requires maintenance throughout its lifespan which could cost you big, depending on different factors
  • Composite – Materials like Trex is on the higher end of the cost spectrum when it comes to decking materials. Boards can range from smooth to wood-grain style that visitors won’t notice isn’t real. While not as customizable as wood, composite decking can b virtually maintenance-free.
  • Metal – While this is the least popular of the decking materials (being more used in commercial decking), it is an option to think about. Possibly the most expensive material, metal decking offers a durable material that is long lasting and low-maintenance.

Decking Contractors

One of the most important parts of this process is who you find to build your deck. Be sure to trust an experienced professional that can offer plenty of references. Or, you can contact the friendly folks at 4 Aces, and let them find someone for you. They’ll take your project requirements into account and connect you to a licensed contractor with the skills and experience to complete the job right!


Hidden Costs of Homeownership

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Plan your Budget to include Common Home Maintenance Projects!roofing collinsville il

The prospect of homeownership is exciting for those that are lucky enough to achieve. A painstaking process; people save money for down payments, upgrades, and more and the whole process can take as long as it needs to (weeks, months, even years). However, the real cost of owning a home doesn’t just include your down payment and final purchase price; it also includes any home maintenance projects you have to undertake while you’re the owner. Some studies suggest saving at least $1 for every sq. foot of home you purchase. There are other models and rules of thumb, but the point is that you’ll hardly be done paying for your home after the last mortgage check gets sent. Look out for these home maintenance projects and save your money, accordingly!

Roofing

Depending on who owned your home before you or how long you’ve owned your house, a roofing replacement may be in order. Roofs should last anywhere between 15 and 30 years depending on materials. Additionally, repairs and maintenance is needed to ensure your roof the longest lifespan.

Siding

Like roofing, siding can last for about the same amount of time depending on the material you choose to use. However, siding may be susceptible to storm damage and other elements that require periodic maintenance throughout its lifespan.

Windowswindows collinsville il

Whether you’ve noticed drafty spots by your windows or a stray baseball traveled into your living room, it’s safe to say you’ll probably have to replace a window (or windows) at some point during your home ownership.

Doors

Doors are all over our homes. Front doors, garage doors, bathroom doors, closet doors, etc. While typically, interior doors last the entire lifespan of the home, exterior doors and garage doors require maintenance to keep them in good shape. These may be expensive to repair or replace.

Comfort Systems

Most likely, you’ll need to repair heating and cooling systems at some point during homeownership. While these are fairly resilient and reliable systems, you may be replacing them in an older home. At the very least, maintenance is recommended for max energy efficiency and system reliability.

Appliances

Unfortunately, the major appliances in your home are not made to last forever.  Whether it’s your oven, dishwasher, etc., you’ll probably have to replace something at some point. Additionally, broken appliance costs usually pop up at the most inopportune moments; leaving, even more, a reason to save some room in the budget.

Flooringflooring collinsville il

Whether you’re not a fan of the shag carpet from the last owner or a plumbing break has ruined your floors, these may be an expensive repair if you have to redo the entire home. While it depends on what material you choose, it still won’t be a cheap fix if your floors need to go!

Plumbing

The plumbing will go awry at some point. Whether it’s a water heater that produces cold water or a plumbing clog that brings the whole home grinding to a halt, regular maintenance and repairs of these systems should be expected.

General Remodeling

Do you plan on buying the perfect home of your dreams and never wanting to change a thing? Sounds ridiculous, right? Leave room in that budget for any remodeling you want to do now or in the future!

Waterproofing/ Foundation Repair

Many homes have issues with waterproofing during times of heavy rainfall. Additionally, homes in low-lying areas are especially susceptible to problems with flooding. Foundation repairs, sump pump installations, and more might be needed to ensure your home stays dry!

With all the things that could go wrong, how do you know who to call? Well, you don’t need to. The friendly professionals at 4 Aces know a contractor for all your home maintenance projects. Let them find one for you, today!


Use these Structures to Complete your Landscape Design

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Lawn and Garden Structures to Boost Curb Appeal!

Looking forward to spending time outdoors while the weather is nice? Why not use lawn and garden structures to make your front or backyard even more appealing to friends and family? From barbecues to pool parties and just hanging out, these backyard structures can provide refuge from the sun, add tranquility, and more. Check out this list to get you thinking about making lawn and garden structures a part of your landscaping!

Pergolapergola

This could be the just what you need to complete your perfect backyard. Pergolas are highly customizable and can be attached to the home or unattached. Let vines grow for a natural look or cover with canvas for an effective shield from the hot summer sun.

Fountain

This will provide a spectacle for all that are fortunate enough to hang out in your backyard. A fountain gives your yard an elegant look while attracting birds to your porch, patio, etc. Have one custom-built or buy one pre-made; there’s a range of options for al budgets.

Gazebopond collinsville il

Available in many materials, styles, and finishes, gazebos are perfect shades and promote thought and reflection. Place in the garden for a central view of all that you’ve grown or next to the pool to store towels, extra suits, and more while still providing the shade you need.

Pond

However, a pond may be more your speed. Have a pond installed to promote peace and tranquility in the garden. Add fish, water plants, and more for additional flare with your pond.

Waterfallwaterfalls collinsville il

Another water feature, the sound running water will have a relaxing and calming effect on you, your family, and your visitors. Available in various styles and heights, waterfalls can be custom built or manufactured and transported to you.

Just as important as the structure you choose, is the company you choose to install it. Trust the friendly professionals at 4Aces to find you a landscaping contractor that completes a wide variety of projects. They’ll get you in touch with a licensed professional that will get the job done right!


Prep your Home for your Next Trip

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Check these items off your list before your Vacation!

Ready for a vacation? As temperatures warm, it’s a goal of many to get out of town and see something new. Whether you travel with family or friends, it’s nice to immerse yourself in a new culture while enjoying some much-needed rest and relaxation. However, while it’s exciting to think about traveling, there are some things to take care of at home before you go. Be sure to check these things at your house before leaving to ensure a stress-free vacation and happy return home!

Lights

This goes without saying; turn the lights off. This wastes energy that you’ll have to pay for later, not to mention any bulbs that you’ll have to replace when you come back. Smart travelers use light timers to make it look like someone is home and protect against burglars.

Windows

Make sure all windows are shut too, and blinds are closed. While you may want plenty of sunlight for your plants, open windows waste energy and allow thieves to see unimpeded inside your home.

Small Appliances

Your coffee maker, microwave, toaster, etc.; unplug all of them. You won’t be using them, you don’t need them on, and this is an energy waste that you’ll regret later.

Large Appliances

Make sure larger appliances are taken care of as well. I recommend cleaning perishables out of the fridge to make sure you aren’t coming home to a rotten-smelling kitchen. Additionally, the water heater can be turned off or put on “vacation mode” to ensure you don’t waste water and energy on your trip.

Plumbing

In fact, it might be a good idea to shut off your water main for the duration of your trip. If you have a house-sitter, leave it on for them. If you’re just leaving your home, this will protect against leaks and breaks while you’re gone.

A/C & Heating

Depending on the season, set the temperature in your home to ensure the comfort systems aren’t running the entire time you’re gone. This is another great waste of money and energy that you don’t need.

Lawn Care

An unkempt lawn can be a sign to a burglar that you’re not home. Be sure to have this taken care if you’ll be gone for an extended period. Local lawn companies or even a neighborhood kid should suffice to keep a well-manicured yard.

Make Necessary Arrangements

Other things you’ll want to take care of before skipping town include suspending mail service, finding a pet sitter, and much more.


Space Saving Tips for your Home

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Save Space with these Storage Tips

With the warm temperatures of springtime, many take this opportunity to start and complete home improvement projects. While it may be popular to redo your kitchen or bath or add a swimming pool or extra bedroom, it may be even more rewarding to upgrade your home’s storage and reduce cluttered messes that form all around the house. Schedule a little time for organization and check out these tips to get started on your storage remodel…

Underneath Storage

While typically it’s not good practice to shove extra clothes, shoes, and more under the bed, this space can be useful for storing closet overflow. Bins or drawers organized and carefully pushed underneath hide that unsightly mass pushing its way out of your closet while and helps keep your space clean and uncluttered.

Hanging Storage

Whether you make use of shelves, hooks, hanging rods, or other organization tools, hanging things helps keep them off of the ground and prevents clutter from piling up. For instance, a hanging shoe rack for the door opens up more space in your closet while organizing your shoes at the same time.

Vacuum-Packed Storage

Some may be able to cut down on clutter with simple storage tips. However, some will need more drastic measures. Some turn to vacuum packing to help save space. Storing old clothes or out of season clothes can open up space in your closet or storage area and reduce cluttered masses throughout the home!

Organized Storage

Furthermore, some may have the space to clean up the clutter, but don’t know how to use it. Organizing spaces like closets, pantries, and more helps find extra space that can be all the different when it comes to keeping a tidy home.

Storage Remodeling

You may be doing everything you can to reduce clutter, but clutter keeps finding you. In this case, it may be best to get in touch with a local remodeling professional and add a bigger closet, increased storage space, and other helpful home improvements!


Fine Fencing Options for Spring Remodeling

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Your Starter Guide for Spring Fencing Remodels!fencing collinsville il

With warm weather becoming an everyday occurrence, it’s time for people all over to fire up their spring remodeling projects. Fencing is on the top of the list for many to ensure privacy, protection, and many other reasons. However, with so many types of fencing available, how do you pick one? Whether you want a traditional look or something more modern, each material comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Start your research with this brief review of fence options!

Wood

Wood is still a popular choice for homeowners looking to add a fence to their homes. The materials are sturdy, relatively affordable and come in a variety of styles, stains, and heights. However, wood fences do require more maintenance than a more resilient material.

Composite

This material simulates the look and texture of wood but retains more resiliency. While this material may cost you more to buy and install, it requires far less maintenance than wood.

Vinyl

Vinyl is becoming a fast favorite for homeowners everywhere. Virtually maintenance free and available in a wide variety of styles and colors, the cost is easy to swallow with such a long-lasting product.

Wrought-Iron

Homeowners that want an elegant look turn to wrought-iron. While the cost per square foot runs between $25 and $30, this low-maintenance material should last a lifetime.

Chain-Link

This might be the most versatile of materials. Available in a number of heights, the modest price and lack of maintenance make this the perfect option for everyone from homeowners to businesses to baseball fields.

The most important thing when choosing your fencing is hiring the right people for the job. Make sure you find a local professional you can trust to ensure you’re getting top-quality craftsmanship and sound advice. You may even want to call 4 Aces; they find the perfect contractor for any home improvement projects!


Keep you Home Value Intact!

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Renovations that Hold Home Values Steady

Homeowner’s all over seek to increase their home values for the day they decide to resell. However, many take little caution when it comes to these improvements; opting for big, showy renovations instead of practical and valuable remodels. Whether that day is fast approaching or still off in the distance, there are some things that homeowners should take note of when planning a home improvement to increase home values. Here are 5 places you could choose to improve your home, and how it could affect you!

Sidingsiding collinsville il

Siding is one renovation that does help increase the value of a home. Home siding needs to be replaced after a certain period of time due to rot, discoloration, and many other signs of aging. If your siding is nearing the end of its lifespan, you’ll want to replace it before putting it on the market. Siding in poor condition is a bad sign for potential home buyers and won’t net you any more cash. Additionally, new siding can help energy-efficiency for you and the future owners.

Roofing

A new roof won’t necessarily increase the value of your home, but it can certainly decrease it. Generally speaking, prospective home buyers assume that faulty roofing is taken care of before putting a house on the market; as this is a major red flag for anyone buying a home. While you may not add value, you won’t lose any and won’t scare buyers off because of a leaking roof.

Windowsroofing collinsville il

New windows have the potential to add some value to homes, depending on what you install. Adding additional windows lets in extra lighting, which adds value and decreases the need for electric lighting. Furthermore, new insulated windows help regulate the temperature
and could cut down costs on energy for future owners.

Kitchens & Bathrooms

While adding value to
your home may end up being a game of trying not to lost value, majorly upgrading a kitchen or bathroom is something that home buyers tend to pay more for. However, this comes with a disclaimer. Kitchen and bathroom renovations that indulge too many personal tastes may end up scaring buyers away. Of course, you want to make the kitchen your own, but make sure someone else can see themselves cooking in it!

Applianceswindows collinsville il

Lastly, appliances are another place that home values can drop. Outdated, inefficient, eyesore appliances turn many buyers back, due to the extra cost of replacing them. If you’re serious about moving your home, replace old appliances that you’re not proud of. Likewise, make sure new appliances don’t adhere to much to personal tastes; over-the-top colors and unnecessarily expensive appliances could work in the opposite direction.

In conclusion, there’s no formula to follow for increasing the value of your home. Keeping up with routine maintenance is a big part of it while improving upon small or dysfunctional spaces can help increase the home value, but only if you’re truly making smart and practical home improvements.


Hire a Professional for an Extra Clean this Spring!

Monday, March 27th, 2017

Get your Spring Cleaning done by the Pros!spring cleaning collinsville il

With the weather warming up and days getting longer, it’s time for many to start spring cleaning projects to shake off the dust and cobwebs from the long winter. While some may use this time to vacuum a little longer or make sure they dust every surface they can find, it may be best to hire a professional for some parts of your home. Take these areas into account when you’re getting started on your spring cleaning project this year.

Carpets & Flooring

While you may keep up with regular vacuuming throughout the year, the wet and nasty weather of winter often brings in road salt, mud, and other substances that are not good for your floors. Professionals know just what to use to get out all stains and substances!

Upholstery & Furniture

Also, chairs, couches, end tables, and more get a heightened level of use during the cold months. Upholstery cleaning lifts out oil, dirt, and body soil that collects throughout the winter. Likewise, other furniture collects dust that makes homes look sloppy and can cause allergy issues.

Exterior Surfaces

Spring Cleaning doesn’t just have to be about the inside of the home. Also, use this time to have exterior spaces cleaned thoroughly. Find you local power washing professionals to ensure grime, mud, and more comes off siding, decking, bricks, concrete, and any outdoor surfaces at your home!

Duct Cleaning

Another job fit for a professional is the cleaning of ducts and air vents. Excess dust and particles cause comfort systems to work harder and can cause respiratory issues inside the home. Have a professional out to clean your system to ensure clean air flows free throughout your home!

Cluttered Areas

Extremely cluttered areas are an excellent target for spring cleaners. Basements, garages, closets are all candidates to be sorted and organized by professionals. Some companies send out a truck to collect anything you don’t need, while others send professionals that help organize and get rid of extreme clutter!


Make your Home Weather Resistant

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Keep the Elements out with these Home Weatherproofing Tipshome weatherproofing collinsville il

Spring time brings us one of the prettiest seasons of the year. However, home weatherproofing becomes paramount during this season due to the unpredictability of Midwestern weather. Whether it be snow, wind, extreme cold, or something else; the weather fluctuations have the ability to wreak havoc on your home; especially if it’s not weatherproofed correctly. While it may be hard to protect against some things, here are some easy steps you can take to make your home more resistant to the elements this year!

Temperature Resistance

You’ll want your home to be able to handle a hot or cold day. By sealing up spaces around doors, windows, and electrical outlets, you cut down on the amount of comfortable air you’re letting escape your home. Use weather stripping and draft guards on doors and windows to ensure that your comfortable air isn’t being replaced with the less-than-desirable conditions outside. Also, be sure to add insulation where you’re lacking in the basement or attic.

Wind

There isn’t much you can do to become more resistant to wind. The big problem here is with tornadoes and other strong winds produced by sever spring storms. By creating a continuous load, you can stream line your home and make it more resistant to high winds. However, this may not be enough to stop a tornado from ruining your day. It’s also a good idea to think about a safe room to ensure safety during even the nastiest of squalls!

Rain

We think of rain as harmless when we have a roof to hide under. But, if your roof isn’t doing its job, you might end up getting all wet this spring. Be sure to look for holes and weak spots in your roof, and call a professional for repairs. Furthermore, adjust your gutters to ensure water doesn’t collect on your roof or around your foundation to avoid structural damage and costly repairs.

Insects/Pests

While this isn’t necessarily weather that needs to be kept out, insects and pests may find a way into your home as a result of harsh conditions outside. Easy-to-use prevention products are available at your nearest hardware or garden store and can stop roaches, mice, and other pests from breaching your borders. However, these products won’t do much for an all-out infestation; call a professional if your problem is out of control!


Monday, March 13th, 2017

Smart Home Suggestions for true Home Improvement!smart home collinsville il

While some may be afraid of the term “smart home,” it shouldn’t be nearly that frightening. It doesn’t mean your home will rise up against you, or conspire to control your daily life. Making your home smart means making it in tune with your daily life and make things easier. While home technology is wide-ranging and ever-evolving, here are a few of our favorite technological advancements we suggest you make to your home during your next home improvement!

LED Lighting

Many may not think of this as being much of a technological advancement, anymore. LED lighting has been on the scene for years, but it is just starting to gain popularity in home building. LED lights use less energy and last longer; making them a no-brainer to include in your remodeling project.

Tankless Water Heaters

A smart home may also feature a tankless water heater. By instantly heating only the water you need, these innovations cut down on wasted energy and water. Additionally, they eliminate the need for a huge tank; units are easily attached to the wall.

Smart Home Accessories

There is an endless amount of smart accessories on the market today. Apps that pair with everything from your oven to your security system, wireless controls for the home entertainment system and pool, and other capabilities make the hassles of daily living non-existent.

Solar Power

While still not as cost effective, solar power has become increasingly utilized in residential construction. Solar panels that can be placed on the roof make it more cost-effective to power everything in your home and helps save on energy bills. However, you’ll pay a pretty penny for installation.

Scratch-Resistant Materials

While these are far from futuristic, scratch-resistant materials such as laminate, vinyl, and others save your surfaces from scratches, stains, and more. These especially come in handy for remodelers that have to keep kids in mind.



 

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