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Keep In Mind When Remodeling

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Don’t Make These Mistakes for your Remodeling Projectsremodeling projects collinsville il

We love remodeling in this country. We’re always in need of new countertops, bathroom vanities, cabinetry, and more. However, while remodeling can be fun and rewarding, many cut corners and end up regretting the time and money they’ve invested. By just avoiding some simple remodeling faux pa’s, you can have a stunning remodel that becomes the envy of all your friends and family. Avoid these blunders to enjoy your renovations for years to come.

Cheaping on the Contractor

Remodeling projects are expensive, and no one blames you for trying to cut costs where you can. But immediately gravitating towards the cheapest option could land you in a poorly remodeled home. Be sure to do your research, ask for references, and get agreements in writing. It may cost a little more for a contractor that knows what they’re doing, but it’ll end up being less than the lifetime of pain and misery living in a home you hate.

Cheaping on the Materials

What’s the point in remodeling your home if the materials being used are of poor quality? You want your remodel to last for years to come, and using discount materials or alternatives to the real thing could cost you more to replace down the road. Might as well get the good stuff.


It’s your remodel, do it how you want. There’s nothing more aggravating than wasting time and energy rebuilding a home into something you hate. Don’t settle for this when you really want that. Make sure you get everything to your liking to ensure your satisfaction!

Skipping the Permits

Some remodeling projects don’t require a permit from your municipality. However, some do. Make sure to check with your town and retain all the proper permits before beginning work. Skipping permits could cause a missed code violation, or it may void an insurance policy should someone get hurt. Be sure you have all necessary documentation!

Rush Remodeling

While determination and motivation are wonderful virtues, you may want to take a little more time when planning a remodel. Rushing things could mean a missed measurement, oversight in costs, or poor construction. Take the time to ensure everything goes as planned!

Simple Projects You Can DIY

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Simple Home Improvement Projects to Tackle This Season!home improvement projects collinsville il

Getting sick of how things look in your home? Many decide to take on home improvement projects to increase their satisfaction with their surroundings. Unfortunately, many times remodeling projects can cost a pretty penny and take up months of your time. However, there are simple projects that can be undertaken to give our home something extra. Consider these options when it comes to remodeling and save you time and money!


This is a great way to revamp the look of your home while saving a little money. Whether you change the color, texture, or pattern; you’re sure to notice the improvement of bright color on your walls.


Another relatively inexpensive way to improve your home is through the use of lighting.  Changing bulbs or lighting fixtures can give any room a whole different feel.

Storage & Organization

One way to improve your surroundings is through the use of storage and organization. Clean up the clutter in your home to allow for more space and a streamlined look to every room.

Baseboards & Mouldings

Restain or replace baseboards to add something different throughout your home.


From door knobs and cabinet handles to light switches and more, change colors and styles for a fresh change on doors, windows, cabinets, etc.

Energy Efficiency

While this won’t pay off in any aesthetic way, improving energy efficiency could help you save for your other home improvements. Contact a heating and cooling professional for details on how to increase your energy efficiency!

Plant Life

Another way to update your home is by adding plant-lift throughout. Whether it’s hanging flower baskets on your front porch or various plants throughout the homes; natural plants brighten up the home!

Move Furniture

Moving furniture could prove to be the best option when it comes to remodeling.  This can open up more space or help divide rooms in the house!

Power Washing

A good power washing for the exterior of your home may be just what you need to get your house sparkling like new.  Power washing proves effective at removing years of built-up grime.

Monday, June 12th, 2017

Home Buyers Beware of Old Home Pitfallshome buyers collinsville il

Buying a new home is one of the most exciting (and frustrating) things one can experience. The prospect of picking out a home that checks off all the boxes on your list can be daunting yet rewarding. Furthermore, many home buyers are drawn to older homes. Whether it’s the style, floor plan,  or just the ambiance of owning an older home, it’s not all cake and watermelon afterward. If you plan on purchasing an older home, take these things into account before signing off, and be sure to get two inspections before making any decisions!

Foundation/Structural Issues

A home with a sinking foundation or structural problems will show cracking and other dangerous signs throughout the house. Likewise, repairs for a sinking foundation can be quite expensive.

Termite/Bug Infestations

Termites can serious affect the structure of any home, and their presence may require costly services and even repairs, depending on the extent of the damage.

Outdated Appliances

Keep appliances in mind when it comes to looking at old homes. Outdated models will have to be replaced at some point, and they may even be dangerous; depending on their age.

Outdated Plumbing

This is another area that could cost thousands to repair. Old homes have old pipes and old systems; make sure you know the age and condition of these systems before entering into a sale.

Doors & Windows

Many times the cycle of hot and cold weather causes cracks, gaps, and holes to open up around windows and doors. Be sure to make a note of these and seal them should you decide to buy; these can be major energy wasters.

Heating & Cooling

You’ll also want to have comfort systems inspected to ensure their functionality. Furthermore, homes with older systems may need to be updated, which could tack on thousands to the cost of owning the home.

Siding & Roofing

With an older home, it’s more likely that these will need to be replaced. Furthermore, many old homes were constructed of materials that are no longer common (i.e. wood siding) and may cost a pretty penny to replace or restore.

Lead Paint

Lead paint is safe when it’s on your walls, but unsafe when it’s been flaked off, or particles are floating around in the air. You’ll want to get rid of interior and exterior lead-based paints, which could get expensive if it covers your entire home.


Mold growth is serious and could point to some problems that home buyers should beware of. Additionally, mold causes health problems and could be difficult and expensive to get rid of if the problem recurs.


The use of asbestos was much more prevalent in older homes and has been tied to some forms of cancer. Replacement isn’t usually expensive or necessarily hard, but you’ll want to make sure it gets taken care of.

Hire the Right Help For Your Home

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Choose a Trusted Contractor for Your Project!

We love our home improvement projects. The ability to take something and make it completely ours is a desire for many home buyers and homeowners. While remodeling can be a fun and exciting time, it can also prove stressful and time-consuming. That’s why it’s important to employ the help of the right contractor when it comes time for remodeling at your home or business. Choosing a quality contractor can save you from some of the more popular remodeling pitfalls. Here are some tips for hiring someone for your next remodeling project!

All Contractors are NOT Create Equal

You’ll want to hire your contractor to fit the job that you need to be done. Depending on your project, you may want to hire a general contractor or a specialty contractor. A general contractor handles all parts of the remodeling job including permits, managing workers, scheduling inspections, and more. Additionally, a specialty contractor comes in handy if you need a very specific job done. Make sure you know what type you need before starting on your project.

Look at References/Work Examples

You won’t just want to take the contractor’s word for it when it comes to your remodeling job. Pick a remodeler with an excellent reputation, easy-to-find examples of their work, and written references that vouch for the quality of the work.

See Proof of Bonding/Insurance

Asking your prospective contractor about their bonding or insurance is never out of bounds. They should have this information readily available. Contractors and Worker’s Comp Insurance protects you, your family, and the people working at your home. Likewise, bonding ensures the repair of sub-par work and other problems.

Provide Guidelines for the Work to be Completed

The agreement with your contractor should be clearly communicated, so both they and their team understand the expectations you have for the finished product. Additionally, let workers know about pets, scheduled cleaning companies, and anything else that may catch them off-guard when they start the job.

Put it in Writing

Be sure to outline your expectations, pay structure, and other important details in the contract you draw up. While it’s important to find a contractor that you trust to uphold their end of the bargain, without it in writing, you may end up fighting a long, hard legal battle if the work isn’t completed to your standards.

Know How you Can Help

Whether it be leaving a spare key so laborers can fill up on water and take a break or making sure the garage is open to ensure them a workspace, know what they need from you so that the job can be finished to your complete satisfaction!

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!

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.


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.

Essentials for your New Basement Design

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Make the newly finished basement the favorite room of your home!finished basement collinsville il

Looking to make your basement into more living space? A finished basement becomes a valuable part of any home. Whether it’s for getting together with friends or getting away from it all, your finished basement should have all the amenities as those enjoyed on the upper levels of your home.  Make sure you add these things into your design to ensure a functional and comfortable finished basement.

Kitchen Area

While some basement remodelers opt for a simple bar and sink for mixing drinks, it can be beneficial to include more culinary ability in the basement. Whether it’s the addition of a microwave and mini-fridge or a full kitchen; you’ll be glad you aren’t running up and down the stairs with drinks and snacks.


The same principle applies to a bathroom. It’s easy, convenient and saves the up and down when it’s time for you to go. Furthermore, it can be a lifesaver to have an extra bathroom available even when you aren’t entertaining downstairs. Family and other visitors may be directed to the bathroom in the basement, which saves you from snooping guests in the upstairs bedrooms!

Storage Space

It can be easy to get caught up in decorating and not save any space for functionality. Saving a little space for storage is still needed in the basement. From holiday decorations to old clothes and more; be sure to include plenty of storage to help ease clutter throughout the house.

Lot’s O’ Lighting

Remember, folks. You’re in a basement. The lighting situation isn’t going to be spectacular even if you do have a window. Be generous with lamps and lighting to ensure a light, joyful place for friends and family to gather.

Workout Space

It shouldn’t just be all about laying around and doing nothing. Be sure to include a way to stay active even if you can’t get outside. Whether it’s saving space for a treadmill, elliptical machine, or just some free weights; the basement is also a great space to get in a quick workout when your outside plans don’t work out!

Tips for Home Improvement Safety

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

Stay Safe with these Home Improvement Tips

As the weather starts to warm, some will take it as an opportunity to kick off Spring remodeling projects. However, instead of hiring a professional contractor, many will decide to attempt the remodel by themselves. While completing the renovation process along may give you some sense of pride, you’ll want to be extra careful to ensure that your home improvement project is completed injury-free. Whether you’re adding a deck or patio outside or you’re redoing your kitchen; take these 5 safety tips into account when planning your next project!

  1. Permits & Preparation

The first step to making your remodeling project safe is acquiring the correct permits and taking all the necessary precautions before starting. Some remodels won’t require a permit to complete. However, you’ll want to check just in case. Furthermore, have a detailed plan of what you plan to accomplish to keep from going off script. This can help cut down on mis-measurements and other careless mistakes. Stick to your plan and get help from a professional if you get in over your head!

  1. Read Instructions

Another important safety tip to remember is to read all instructions. Whether you’re piecing together a prefabricated bookcase or you’re completely redoing your bathroom; read the instructions for everything you plan to use. While you may not find any new information, carefully reading instructions will ensure you’re not missing any safety hazards.

  1. Safety Equipment

Remember the safety equipment. Whether it’s goggles that protect your eyes, gloves for your hands, or steel-toed boots to protect your piggies; don’t skip on safety equipment when it comes to your next remodeling project. The choice to protect yourself first could come in handy when something goes wrong.

  1. Electricity

Unless you’re a licensed electrician, stay away from DIY electric work. While many remodel may require some wiring or rewiring; it’s best to leave this difficult and hazardous job up to the professionals. While an electric shock may be harmless and small, it could also send dangerous levels of electricity through your body; don’t take the chance.

  1. Clean Up Thoroughly

While you may enjoy the work that you’ve done during your latest remodel, you surely won’t enjoy the nail that’s stuck in your foot because you cut corners during the cleanup. Be sure to thoroughly clean debris from the work area before returning to normal usage.

Fireplaces to Keep Things Cozy this Winter

Monday, January 16th, 2017

Fireplaces to warm Heart and Home!fireplaces collinsville il

Looking at fireplaces to heat up your home this winter? A new fireplace can be a great winter remodeling project to add style and keep your come cozy throughout the season. However, it can be a tricky installation depending on local building codes and your specific floor plan. Be sure to consult an expert when you’re thinking about installing a fireplace at your home. Additionally, there are other factors to think about such as fuel source, size, style, and more. Here’s a quick overview of the options available to homeowners.

Wood-Burning Fireplaces

This is the image that most people think of when they want a fireplace installed at their home. It’s traditional, very customizable, and great for gathering around on cold winter evenings. However, this could be the most costly of all the options. Including costs for a contractor, materials, and labor; you’ll be looking at prices as high as $10,000 more. Furthermore, you’ll need extra space for storing wood and extra money for upkeep throughout the year.

Gas-Burning Fireplaces

Another option for fuel source is the gas burning fireplace that uses natural gas. A gas burning unit takes up less space than a wood-burning fireplace, requires less maintenance, and costs less to install. However, it doesn’t quite create the atmosphere or sense of unity asfireplace collinsville il a large wood-burning fireplace.

Electric Fireplaces

If you’re looking to be energy efficient, an electric fireplace might be just what you’re looking for. These units are inexpensive, vent-less, come in floor and wall-mounted models, and provide a stylish accent to any room in your home. However, while they do emit some heat, electric fireplaces are largely for show and won’t provide a lasting heat for a large room in the winter.

Ethanol-Burning Fireplaces

Ethanol-burning fireplaces are the latest addition to the fireplace family. Like the electric fireplace, they are vent-less, but emit more heat than an electric unit. Additionally, they require liquid ethanol fuel, which is relatively inexpensive depending on usage. Ethanol units, available in floor and wall-mounted styles, are a cost-effective addition to any home!

Watch these Warning Signs of Structural Damage

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

Beware of Structural Damage!Structural damage collinsville il

Homeowners out there know that structural damage can be a serious risk in old homes and neighborhoods with mining history. However, you don’t have to sit and wait for your roof to cave in or your floor to give way; you can find a local remodeling expert hat can restore your foundation and help provide a strong, sturdy home for you and your family. Not sure how to check for structural damage? Note these warning signs, and call your local professional if you have any questions; better safe than sorry!

Where did those Cracks in your Wall Come From?

The first warning sign, which should mobilize you to find the root of your structural damage, is cracks in walls and ceilings. This signals that an inappropriate amount of stress is being put on some area of your home; find a professional to fix this before something bad happens.

Got Stubborn Windows and Doors?

Many homes have at least one door that sticks or a window that mysteriously won’t open. If this is a widespread problem in your home; it could be a structural issue that threatens your whole home. Get it checked out. At the very least, you’ll have doors and windows that are easier to open!

See Uneven Spots in your Floor?

If you notice a dip in your floor or it looks like part of your ceiling is taller than another; structural damage is afoot. These things are many times caused by mine subsidence and sink holes; get in touch with a local place that can inspect and repair this damage.

You shouldn’t have Gaps around Doors and Windows!

Doors and windows are installed to fit snug. If you notice small gaps around doors and windows, problems exist that need fixing. This is just a warning sign but could grow into a much larger problem.

Your Fascia and Trim should also be flush to the Structure!

Another place to check is outside of the home. If you’ve got structural damage; fascia, soffit, and gutters may begin to pull away from their fittings. Be sure to note these changes and have your home inspected for structural damage, soon!


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