Make Small Spaces Feel Bigger

If your living area is a little too small for your liking, here are some tricks to fake more space:

  • Plants give lushness and depth to any area. Adding plants throughout your home also holds some pretty cool benefits, such as helping to absorb pollutants and keeping the household air clean
  • Using clear glass or acrylic furniture will make any room feel more open
  • Instead of hanging your curtains directly above the window, use floor-to-ceiling curtains to give the illusion of more height. Or, if you can, forego the curtains altogether
  • Mirrors give the illusion of more space and can brighten up a small room
  • Horizontal stripes (rugs, bedsheets, etc) can help make your rooms feel wider
  • Dark colors tend to absorb light, making a room look smaller. Instead, opt for more neutral colors and soft tones to create the illusion of spaciousness
  • Use a step stool beside your bed instead of a bulky night table
  • Use ottomans instead of a coffee table. It will double as extra seating when you need it
  • Use breezy fabrics like linen to increase the sense of airiness in the room

If these tips aren’t enough to make your space feel as large and open as you’d like, call Snell Construction and let’s talk about a renovation or an addition!

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Deck Out Your Deck

Summer time calls for longer days, warmer nights and amazing outdoor parties. If your deck is the hangout spot in the summer, you want to make sure it’s decorated properly for the occasion.

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Comfortability is key. Find comfy outdoor furniture with waterproof fabric so your guests will feel at home. Having plenty of pillows will amp up the coziness and adding an outdoor rug will amp it up even more so…and having a hammock is never a bad idea. Make sure you have a table with plenty of space for people to set down their hamburgers and hot dogs! Warm party lights will perfect the night time ambiance, and adding a little fire pit won’t hurt either.

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Add lots of greenery to enhance your outdoor space. Plant a few flower bushes around the outside perimeter of your deck and add some hanging foliage through out. If your space allows and you feel like you need to, cover the sitting area on your deck with a canvas to create the right amount of airy shade.

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One of our personal favorite ways to take your deck over the top? Outdoor kitchen. Most people consider the kitchen the heart of their home, so why wouldn’t you want to add another one to your deck? Add in a television and a mini fridge and you’ll have no need to go inside!

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Time to have that perfect backyard barbecue!

Tips For Maintaining Your New Home

Regular maintenance schedule: Yard work, window washing, dusting and vacuuming…make a list of weekly chores and stick to it!

Inspect the exterior annually: If for some reason you notice a cracked window or a broken door, you can have a chance to fix it before it gets worse.

Protect entryways: Prevent dirt and mud from being tracked inside. If you don’t have a mudroom, place welcome mats in front of your door and mats for shoes inside.

Change your filters: HVAC & refrigerator filters should be changed on a regular basis. Mark a day on your calendar every couple of months for your filter change.

Train pets: Providing toys and entertainment for your pets helps to ensure that boredom does not set in, resulting in damage to your home. Clean up any accidents that happen right away.

Protect against fire hazards: Replace smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries when you change your clocks forward or back.

Plants that will grow better in your bathroom

Plants can have many different benefits in your home. They purify the air, boost your mood and reduce stress levels. Having plants throughout your home is an awesome idea, and don’t forget about adding a few to your bathroom! This can add a spa-like feel to the space (and who doesn’t want that?) Here are a few plants that will actually grow better in your bathroom.

  • 1.) Orchids – Damp, warm conditions such as your bathroom are a perfect place for orchids to flourish.

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  • 2.) Blushing Bromeliad – This tropical plant is absolutely gorgeous.

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  • 3.) Tillandsia – The tillandsia plant hardly requires any care at all!

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  • 4.) Snake Plant – This plant can grow in nearly any condition and will add make a great addition to any bathroom.

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  • 5.) Heartleaf Philodendron – You can train this plant to vine along a windowsill or shelf. How unique!

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What to expect when expecting a renovation

If you’ve already chosen your general contractor, you have most likely done so based on their years of knowledge and expertise in the industry, so let them do what they do best so you and your family can start this wonderful new journey. Here are some suggestions on what you can expect during your renovation or addition and how you can help make this process go as smoothly as possible.

1.) Decisions, decisions Your contractor will give you the best options and help you make the best decisions. You will be involved in the decision making process since the renovation is all about you and what you want. Working together as a team will make this process as easy as possible.

2.) Dust in the wind During the renovation process, you can expect dust and debris to flutter through the air. The more you protect your belongings (try putting objects in plastic sealed bins or wrapping them in cloth), the less there will be to clean.

3.) Handle with care Anything fragile should be put away and protected. It’s a good idea to remove all pictures from the walls. Even if you’re only renovating your first floor kitchen, you should still remove anything fragile from the walls on the first floor and second floor as well. There will be a lot of shifting and movement, so better safe than sorry. If this is a big concern for you and you really want to ease your worries, see if a friend or family member can hold your fragile belongings until renovations are completed.

4.) Turn up the volume Noise will be a constant, resulting in little peace or quiet for you. If you’re a fan of a quick mid afternoon nap, it’s probably a good idea to head to a friend’s house and utilize their couch.

5.) Landscape wear and tear Lots of foot traffic and construction vehicles may cause damage to your yard. One option is to move plants from your yard and plant them in a nursery until renovations are complete. If you’re an avid gardener and have any questions or concerns, please voice them to your contractor for help and advice.

6.) Change orders There may be new changes that emerge during your renovations that can cause an increase in costs. A good contractor will talk to you about these changes as they arise and document them to avoid unexpected billing in the mail.

7.) Delays Your contractor will give you a rough estimate of how long your project will take, but you should always prepare for hiccups (order delays, weather delays, etc). Your contractor will do anything and everything in their power to complete your project on schedule, but always anticipate that your renovations may take longer than expected.

8.) Focus on the finish line Living without a completed kitchen or bathroom or whatever it may be that you’re renovating can be painful and stressful. The best advice we can give is to focus on the day that this process is all over, the day your dream home becomes your reality, and it’ll make it that much easier to stick it out. Try to take photos before, during and after your renovation so that if you start to feel overwhelmed mid-reno, you can look back at the before pictures and see just how far you’ve come.

9.) Communication is key We welcome any questions or concerns and will address them promptly. Set up regular meetings with your contractor so that you will have every opportunity to ask questions and give suggestions. Take it upon yourself to inspect the work after any major step in the process so that you may voice any issues before the next major step begins. We are here to help. Not only are we building you a new part of your home, we are also building relationships that we hope will last a lifetime.

10.) Expect a party Once the renovation process is complete, expect to plan a party to show everyone your amazing new home. It’ll be a gratifying experience and you will realize that all was worth it.

Keep your home safe while you’re on vacation!

It’s vacation season!

– Ask a friend to check on your home: Ask your neighbor or friend to drive or walk by your home once every day or so and check on your place. If you have pets, give someone a key to keep while you’re gone so they can feed your cat or walk your dog. Be sure to repay them for their help by leaving some irresistible snacks in the cabinet for them to enjoy.

– Keep social media posts private: We know how tempting it is to post lavish beach pictures and make everyone jealous (we all do it), but try to think before doing so. Facebook does let you control who can and can not see your posts to a certain extent, but sometimes your post reach is larger than you think and may possibly reach someone you don’t know. Your best bet is to wait until you’re home safe and sound to post that picture of your margarita in the sand.

– Unplug appliances: Unplug your television, computer, toaster oven and other appliances to protect them from power surges. This will help you save power as well as many appliances still draw energy even when turned off.

– Remove spare key from under your mat: If a criminal is somehow able to figure out that you’ve gone on vacation, it’s likely that they’ll start checking your porch for a spare key, so be sure to remove it before you leave.

– Store valuables securely: Keep valuables out of view from your windows and away from peeping toms. Having a locked safe is a great way to do this. Store all your valuables inside it and keep it hidden under your bed while you’re away.

– Consider a light switch timer: A light switch timer will turn your lights on and off according to a programmed schedule, and if a criminal is keeping an eye on your house, they will assume someone is home flipping the light switch.

– Invest in a home security system: With many different options to choose from, a home security system is an added level of protection. You can even keep an eye on your home right from your phone!

How many floors do you need in your home?

When building a custom home, there are many important choices you will have to make. One of those decisions is how many stories your home needs. Let’s break it down…

A one story home is energy efficient as it may require less energy for heating and cooling. Temperature levels are more even because heat is not rising upstairs. One story homes are also appealing to the elderly because they will not have to worry about getting up and down the stairs. It’s easier to clean and maintain a one story home, and it will also be easier to renovate or expand your home if you decide to do so in the future.

A 1.5 story home usually means that the master bedroom is on the first floor, and all the other bedrooms are located upstairs. This means that you will have space from the kids or from guests that may choose to spend a night or two at your home. The lower floor is also usually larger than the area of the upper floor.

Two story homes are generally labeled as homes with all bedrooms located on the second level. It’s usually easier (and a lot more fun) to design two story homes since you have endless options. If you live in a picturesque area, a two story home gives you plenty of amazing views to take advantage of.

Preparing for the first night in your new home

The first night in your new home can be a stressful and exciting moment. It can be tough to figure out what you need to bring with you and it’s much easier if you have a game plan. The biggest tip we can give you is to pack all your first night essentials into an overnight bag. Some items will include toothbrushes, toothpaste, toiletries, medications, chargers for your electronics, some clothing/pajamas/underwear, and a first aid kit.

If most of your boxes are going to take a couple days to arrive, pack one box to take to your new home along with your overnight bag. Be sure to include snacks, sheets, pillows, water bottles, bath towels, bedding, toilet paper, paper plates, plastic utensils, batteries and a flashlight. If you have kids and/or pets, be sure to pack the essentials for them. Think diapers, wipes, toys, pet food, water dishes, leashes, poop bags/litter box etc. Also be sure to bring a few board games so you can enjoy some quality time together before you get back to the every day hustle and bustle.

Once you arrive at your new home, unpack only what you will need for the first night. Everything else can wait. Then, pop some bubbly and order takeout. Your first night in your new home calls for a celebration.

Moving Out Checklist

Moving out of your home is a stressful event, but organizing and preparing before you get started can take some of the edge off. Here’s a few key points to reference when it’s time for your big move.

  • Go through your home and decide what you’re keeping/getting rid of.
  • Schedule a cleaning day.
  • Do some research and find a reliable moving company.
  • Measure doorways and stairways to make sure all your furniture will fit.
  • Purchase duct tape, bubble wrap, permanent markers and anything else that will help with the packing process.
  • Label boxes to keep an inventory of your belongings.
  • Back up your computer files (better safe than sorry).
  • Request time off of work for moving day.
  • Pack an overnight bag with essential items (daily toiletries, comfortable clothes) so that you won’t need to rush to unpack the second you step foot in your new home.

We know that this is only a short list, but it should help you get your head in the game and get ready for the big day!

What is home equity?

I’m sure you’ve heard that home ownership builds wealth. Have you ever wondered what exactly home equity is and how it can enhance your total assets? Here’s a quick explanation to help you out.

Home equity is the current market value of your home, minus what you owe. When doing out the math, you’re looking for a positive number. Quite simply, home equity is how much you truly own of your home. Your properties equity increases as you make payments against the mortgage balance, and/or as the property value appreciates: when your home gains value because of improvement projects or a healthy real estate market. Building home equity is a long-term proposition, but the end result is so worth it.