Upgrading Your Outdoor Living To Luxury

Investing more into a home improvement project will be more rewarding in the long run. The extra investment will in return bring value, beauty and livability. Upgrade your outdoor living keeping in mind these five focal points.

  • An outdoor kitchen is a great improvement to increase your outdoor living space. This space will include your grill and sometimes a pizza oven. Usually a wet bar or sink and counter is supported by your outdoor kitchen. The focal point of your deck may be your outdoor kitchen.
  • A water feature or hot tub can be an additive feature. They were created for relaxation and luxury.  A variety of different sizes and style are available for hot tubs and water features. Research for the best suited for your style and space.
  • A built-in fire pit can be designed for gas or wood burning. The fire pit would become part of your deck/outdoor living design. The appearance of the fire pit can be custom with a built-in version verse a portable or stand alone fire pit.
  • If you have the space to layer your outdoor living, it adds a visual appeal. With multiple levels you can create a cooking area, seating area and an area for your hot tub. An additional deck upwards can be created for ocean or water views.
  • Upgrade your current deck railings to a more durable and luxury material. Railings can be made out of wood, metal or glass. Upgrade to cable railings for versatility and durability.

6 Kitchen Ideas on a Budget

Image credit:  Formica

Image credit: Formica

We have comprised a list of six budget friendly ideas to brighten up your kitchen.

  1. Makeover your kitchen with paint. The walls, cabinets, and floors can all be painted to change the look and feeling of your kitchen.
  2. Reface kitchen cabinet doors. The cabinets can be painted or you can resurface them to give texture or replace with glass.
  3. Update countertops. A low-cost alternative is laminate. Wilsonart and Formica brand laminate can give the same look of granite or marble at a lower cost. It’s available in a wide variety of colors, textures, and patterns. Ceramic tile is another affordable option for countertops, with a range of colors and finishes available. 
  4. Replacing cabinet hardware. A simple change in handles can give it a new look. Some knobs and handles can be very pricy keep in mind your budget.
  5. Replacing cabinets with open shelving. If you like the open look, you can remove your cabinet doors and create an open shelving look.
  6. Refresh the flooring. Replacing your floor all together is one alternative. However, if you have wood floors consider painting or resurfacing. Vinyl tile is another flooring alternative

Tips on the Best Practices to Reduce the Amount of Energy Your Refrigerator Uses

Image Credit:  Whirlpool

Image Credit: Whirlpool

According to EnergyStar these five tips will help to reduce the amount of energy your refrigerator uses:

  1. set the appropriate temperature. keep your refrigerator at 35 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. place your fridge in a cool place. position your refrigerator away from a heat source such as an oven, a dishwasher, or direct sunlight from a window.
  3. allow air circulation behind the fridge. leave a few inches between the wall and the refrigerator, and keep the condenser coils  clean if you ave an older model. read the users manual to learn how to safely clean coils. coil cleaning brushes can be purchased at most hardware stores.
  4. check the door seals. make sure the refrigerator seals around the door are airtight. if not, replace them.
  5. keep the door closed. minimize the amount of time the refrigerator door is open

How to Choose the Perfect Dishwasher for your Home?

Image credit:  Maytag

Image credit: Maytag

Dishwashers have made it so easy to clean your dishes. The new innovations in dishwashers have made them quitter, easier to load, and more energy and water efficient. So, how do you choose the perfect dishwasher for your home? Take into consideration the following tips:

  • How much space do you have? Dishwashers come in a variety of different sizes, full size and compact models. Be sure to choose the proper size depending on the size of your kitchen space. Keep in mind the dishwasher will need to be connected to a water line. 
  • Research. Shopping for appliances requires researching what will fit within your budget, style, household, and user satisfaction. I would suggest start shopping online or visit your local appliance store to gain knowledge about the specifics before you purchase. 
  • More amenity options mean higher cost. The more options available for different washing, rinsing, and soaking cycles, generally the higher the price. It's more complex than your basic model. Also, think about water and electricity consumption. Higher price does not always mean the best product.
  • Other types of dishwashers. Instead of your traditional full size dishwasher, there are also drawer type dishwashers. This allows for washes to be done in a smaller load and in a drawer setting. Drawer dishwasher may be seen in a high end home with usually a full size dishwasher as well. Portable dishwashers are also available on the market. 
Image credit:  Fisher&Paykel

Image credit: Fisher&Paykel

Overall do your homework to work with in your budget and inform yourself on what types of dishwashers are on the market. Don't forget to use these tips to help choose the best dishwasher for your home!