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3 Ways to Fill Your Home with Positivity

There’s no doubt that winter can leave you feeling tired and even lethargic. It must be something about the cold, short days that leave us feeling drained. While sunlight’s energy is in short demand during the winter months, you can still fight the blues by making these additions to your home.

Plants.

According to The Gazette, incorporating greenery into your home can clean the air, lighten your mood and brighten your home. Adding anything from an indoor herb garden to some decorative countertop succulents can improve your mood significantly while giving your home the pop of color it needs.

Himalayan Salt Lamp.

Another mood-boosting home addition is a salt lamp. Popular with Millennials, these lamps made from Himalayan salt, are said to help with air quality and increase energy levels. The verdict is still out with doctors as to whether or not these salt lamps have measurable health benefits, but they do offer a warm orange glow making it a better, and more calming, light source after-dark.

Aromatherapy.

There have been countless studies linking certain scents with mood-boosting qualities. Essential oils can purify your indoor air while providing you with an extra dose of energy when you need it most. Try diffusing peppermint scented essential oil, as it’s been known to enhance your mood. Not into essential oils? Put a bowl of lemons in your kitchen. According to Reader’s Digest, the smell of fruits containing vitamin C can reduce stress and leave a positive impression on others.

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Move-In Ready Home Updates

Is your family expanding? Perhaps you’d like to move closer to your job? Whatever the reason, you’re ready to make a different house a home and Tri-State is here to help you in the process.

According to a report from Zillow, homes that are listed in April or May are more likely to be sold faster and for more money. With spring just around the corner, now is the time to give your house some much-needed updates to make sure you get top dollar for your investment.

Curb Appeal.

Did you know installing a new front door can help increase the curb appeal and value of your home by 4.2 percent?! Start by replacing your old front door with a Therma-Tru door from Tri-State – named a “Best Buy” by Consumers Digest.

Once the weather warms up, stop by your local home improvement store and make some updates to your landscaping. First impressions are key, so really wow potential buyers right off the bat!

Windows.

Do your windows need replacing? Right now, homebuyers are looking for energy efficient homes and one way to accomplish this is by installing energy efficient windows. Newly replaced windows that help reduce energy bills are a huge selling point for potential buyers. At Tri-State Home Improvement, you get a double warranty on windows which means it transfers to the next owner!

Roof.

Before selling your house, your home will go through an inspection and they will undoubtedly look at your roof to make sure it’s in good overall condition. The inspector will want to know when it was last replaced and will take a serious look at the structure to make sure it’s sturdy and doesn’t have any leaks. While this is a more costly home update, it may very well be necessary to attract buyers. Depending on the material, most roofs need to be replaced anywhere between 20 to 50 years. Enlist in the help of a Tri-State professional to determine your roof’s longevity with our free estimate.

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2018 Home Décor Trends

Winter is the perfect time to give the inside of your home a little TLC. Take a look at some of the design trends we’re loving for 2018!

Velvet

Velvet is making its way from the runway to your hallway in 2018. It’s the perfect way to add a little functional luxury to your home. Get your feet wet by adding a nice velvet pillow or blanket to your bedroom. Or, if you’re really feeling adventurous – splurge on an entire sofa! Either way, your home is sure to be the envy of all your friends with the addition of this elegant, yet comfortable fabric.

Millennial Pink

Millennials can’t seem to get enough of this color! It’s in their hair, on their walls, and in their Starbuck’s beverages, so it’s safe to say this color isn’t going anywhere. Add a splash of Millennial Pink to you walls or accent your existing color with a framed print to wake up every morning feeling refreshed!

Jewel Tones

Looking for another way to feel like royalty? Look no further than adding some jewel tones to your home. Whether you’re into traditional or more boho chic décor, jewel tones are the perfect way to warm up any room.

Copper

Say goodbye to the days where the only ounce of copper in your home was a Moscow mule mug! This metal can be seen all over the place, so you shouldn’t have a hard time incorporating it into your home décor. Pots, pans, planters – you name it and it can be found in copper. The best part? You don’t have to spend a fortune to incorporate this trend. There’s plenty of DIY copper crafts you can make to update your home for less.

Indoor Plants

Breathe some life into your home with indoor plants. Over the years, studies have shown that plants help reduce stress levels and make you feel happier. Don’t have a green thumb? There are plenty of low-maintenance succulents to choose from. Or, opt for a faux plant to add a splash or color and a sense of serenity without the upkeep.

good morning coffee = good morning attitude ☕️🍃

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Signs Your Windows Need Replacing

According to data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the average home in the United States is 35 years old, with some of the oldest homes residing in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. While most high-quality windows need replacing after 20 years, different factors could escalate your need for window replacement. Be aware of the signs below in order to accurately assess your current windows to determine whether or not they need replacing.

Do you feel a draft? If there’s a distinct temperature drop when you’re sitting close to your windows, as opposed to the rest of your home, that’s a clear indication that your windows need replacing. Drafty windows could be a result of wear and tear over time, poor installation, seal failure, cracks in your caulk, etc. and your energy bills are likely a lot higher than they should be.

Are you seeing condensation? If you’re experiencing indoor condensation, solutions like turning down a humidifier, turning on a fan, or even moving your plants could remedy the problem.

If the condensation is on your exterior window, products like Rain X (yes, the product you use on your car’s windshield) can help gather the droplets and assist them in the run-off process. The exterior condensation may also be morning dew, in which case letting it run its course is likely the only worthwhile solution.

However, if the condensation is between the window panes, it usually indicates a seal failure and the windows will likely need replacing.

Do you struggle to open or close your windows?  You may be surprised to know that it’s not your muscles preventing you from enjoying some much-needed fresh air, it might just mean your windows need replacing! Windows that are difficult to open or close are likely letting in cool and/or warm air, which negatively impacts your energy bill. If windows aren’t latching completely, you’re essentially lighting a neon “vacant” sign on your home for insects and small critters (such as mice). It can even serve as an easy entry point for home intruders, making it a safety concern for you and your family.

Other warning signs that your windows may need to be replaced include: if they’re hard to clean, if you hear excessive noise inside, and/or if the seal or caulking is visibly damaged.

Choosing the right contractor is just as important as finding the right windows. Proper installation will help prevent air infiltration and costly water damage to your home. If installed incorrectly, your windows may not operate properly. During your free in-home appointment with Tri-State, your window specialist will ask you what you’re looking for in a window or door, show you samples and take necessary measurements.

Call, or click below, to schedule your free quote with a Tri-State Home Improvement professional to find the right type of windows for your home’s needs!

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Winterize Your Garage

When the first nice day of spring or summer arrives, everyone is chomping at the bit to get outside. Whether it’s mowing the lawn, or planting the first seeds for your home garden, the adventures often start in your garage. But why only utilize that space for six months, when you can enjoy it year-round?

Take some time this winter to tidy up your garage space with our helpful tips.

1. Utilize your wall space.

Older homes usually come with smaller garages, so if you’re constantly having a rock-paper-scissors war on what can and can’t stay in the garage, it’s time to utilize your walls for some alternative storage.

Instead of investing in a pricy toolbox, get some pegboard from your local home improvement store and hang it on the walls of your garage to store everything from hammers and screwdrivers, to drills and even cleaning supplies. Not only will this free up space on your garage floor, but you’ll also spend much less time sifting through supplies or trying to remember the last place you put your pliers.

Larger items can find a home on your walls, too. Shovels, rakes, leaf blowers, etc. can reside out-of-tripping territory with the use of a mounted tool rack, with some products holding as many as 20 tools!

2. Inspect winter equipment.

Year after year your snow blower lays dormant from the last snowfall of one season to the first of the next. It’s easy to push it out of sight, out of mind when there’s no snow to be seen, but the last thing you, or your back, needs is a faulty blower during the first blizzard of the season.

When the weather turns cold, it’s a good idea to run tests on your winter tools to make sure there are no kinks. If you find any, it’s better to deal with them then, as opposed to when there’s three feet of snow sitting between you and the rest of the world. A simple search in your internet browser for “snow blower tune up” will turn up tutorials and step-by-step guides for you to follow.

If you don’t consider yourself very handy, take your snow blower to a nearby hardware shop.

3. Upgrade the garage door.

Think about your own behavior for a minute. When you come home from picking the kids up from school, from work, the grocery store, etc. which door are you most likely to enter your house from? For many families, it’s the garage door and if you don’t have a well-sealed garage door, a lot of the cold outside air could be cooling your home.

Not only will replacing your garage door help with energy efficiency, it’s also an investment for your family’s safety. A favorite point-of-entry for many burglars are garage doors, with some being able to gain access to your home, family and valuables within a matter of seconds.

A solution to your energy efficient and safety needs would be investing in a steel garage door. This style of door is long-lasting, durable and insulated with polyurethane, or polystyrene, to keep the cold out and the heat in. Steel garage doors also eliminate the way burglars access your home with traditional roll-up garage doors, which makes it a safe and cost-effective investment for you and your family.

Tri-State Home Improvement is an area specialist when it comes to providing you with a safe, energy-efficient, high-quality garage. Our team of professionals provide you with custom solutions and designs to match your existing home and needs. Call Tri-State today, or click below, to access our free estimate on new garage construction!

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DIY Bird Seed Wreath

DIY Bird Seed Wreath

When the weather turns frigid, all you want to do is stay inside. Instead of binge-watching another episode of the latest trending show on Netflix, get off of the couch and get the family involved in making a suet bird seed wreath to hang and enjoy outside of your Tri-State Home Improvement windows. (Courtesy of DIY Network)

What you’ll need:

  • 10-inch metal bundt pan
  • Pliers
  • Wooden spoon
  • Large pot
  • Cooking spray
  • Wire clothing hanger (remove any cardboard or paper)
  • 3 Two-inch strips of burlap, (~24 in.)
  • 3 Blocks of rendered plain suet (available at local bird feeding store)
  • 9 Cups of bird seed
  • ½ Cup smooth or chunky peanut butter
  • Dried mealworms (optional)
  • Dried fruits and berries (optional)
  • Raffia bow (optional)
  1. Spray bundt pan with cooking spray. Take wire hanger and, with the pliers, make into a circle. Set aside.
  2. Melt the three blocks of suet in your large pot on very low heat, stirring frequently. It’s important that it does not boil!
  3. After the suet is completely melted, add the peanut butter to the pot and mix until melted.
  4. Remove the suet from the stove and slowly stir in the bird seed (and optional mealworms).
  5. (Optional – add berries and dried fruit to the bottom of the bundt pan)
  6. Use a measuring cup to fill bundt pan halfway with suet mixture.
  7. After the bundt pan is half-way filled with suet, add the wire hanger around the center of the pan. Fill the bundt pan with the remaining suet until the pan is full.
  8. Carefully place the full bundt pan in a cold place (like your Tri-State garage!) overnight.
  9. Once the mixture is completely hardened, flip the bundt pan over and gently tap on the pan to remove your wreath.
  10. Braid the burlap together and tie it around your wreath.
  11. Place raffia bow around the burlap and hang your suet wreath from a hook, feeder pole, or tree for your feathered friends to enjoy!

Different Types of Roofing

A new roof is a big purchase. With the numerous types of roofing and shingles, how do you know which one to choose?

Asphalt Shingles3

Take a look at the homes in your neighborhood, and you’ll likely see a majority of their roofs have asphalt shingles. Far and wide, asphalt shingles are the more used type of roofing. They are relatively inexpensive, however, they have a short lifespan relatively. You can expect asphalt shingles to last 20 to 30 years.

4Slate and Tile

If you’ve traveled to the Southwest states, you’ll be familiar with tile shingles. While these shingles last more than 50 years, they are among the most expensive. They are also much heavier than asphalt shingles. Before you get your heart set on the beautiful colonial Spanish style look of these tile shingles, make sure that your home can structurally support their weight.

In comparison to tile shingles, slate tiles are much more popular in the Northeast. Similarly, slate tile is extremely durable with a life span equal to that of tile. Slate shingles are also on the more expensive side. But if your budget won’t work with real slate shingles, check out synthetic slate. Synthetic slate isn’t quite as long-lasting, but it is just as aesthetically pleasing.

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Wood

Wood shingles can be made from any type of wood. Hardwood, such as cedar, shingles have been known to last as long as 50 years! Their earthy, rustic appearance makes them popular because of the aesthetics, however, they do require a bit of maintenance. Generally, wood shingles are more expensive than asphalt tiles.

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At Tri-State Home Improvement, we only use the best quality products so you can be confident that no matter what type of roofing you decide on, your family will be safe and dry no matter the season. Keeping your family safe and comfortable is our top priority. Ready to get started? Contact us today for a free estimate!

Organizing your Garage 101

Is your garage a thing of organized beauty or a dysfunctional mess? If you haven’t had time to organize and clean your garage, now is a great time to get started! Pick a weekend to tackle this project, and then prepare by reading over our list to help you get organized once and for all!

Don’t forget to get help! Round up your family or even hire an expert if need be! Organizing your garage, depending on how big it is, can take quite a long time on your own.

Decide What to Keep, Donate and Throw Away

When was the last time you got out your rollerblades or your tennis racket? If you haven’t touched it in over a year, you probably don’t need it. Take some time to go through everything in your garage and decide what goes, what stays, and what can be given away.

Once you’ve decided what you’re keeping, group like items together so you can start to organize your belongings in a thoughtful way.

Storing Items

Take advantage of walls and ceiling space. Shelving units high above your head and garage door mechanisms can be a great place to store those seasonal items you only use once in a while. Artificial Christmas Trees and yard decorations are great examples. But don’t be afraid to get creative! Do you keep a roll of trash bags in the garage? Try repurposing a towel holder to fit your trash bags.

Does your family have several recycling bins? Create bin hangers that not only free up some floor space, but also make it easier pick up and move them. Click here for specific instructions on these great tips and so much more!

7With a little bit of work, your garage can look like this in no time! Don’t forget to check the siding and look for any leaks in your garage while you’re cleaning. If your garage has windows, be sure you check those as well. If you find any leaks or other problems that need repair, be sure to contact the Tri-State team!

Preparing for School

1It’s August, and that means school is coming! For some this is an exciting time of shopping for new school clothes and supplies, but for some students anticipating a new school year can be stressful. As we say good-bye to the last few days of summer, check out our list of three steps to help your kids get off on the right foot this school year.

 

Create a Routine 

One of the worst parts of going back to school is getting back into the routine, but it doesn’t have to be. A few weeks before school starts, start preparing your family for their new routine by changing bedtimes and wake up times. On the first day of school, your kids (and you) will all be happier if you’re used to getting up and moving at the right time, and have had a good night’s sleep!

Get Organized and Prepared

2Make a list of the items your kids are going to need to be successful this year and then head to the store! Teachers will often send lists with needed supplies, but if not, you can’t go wrong with several notebooks, pens and pencils and other typical school supplies.

Talk it Out

Help your child battle their first day of school butterflies by talking to them and determining what is making them anxious. Do they know where their classroom is? If not, see if you can take them by their school and find their classroom together. Are they nervous about making new friends? Talk to them and give them some tips and tricks for how they can start talking to their classmates. Talking things through can often help relieve any stress or anxiety that your student might be feeling.

 

If you take advantage of these tips, the first day of school is going to be a breeze! For great tips and tricks for getting ready for school to getting organizes and gardening, check out our Pinterest page!

Home Maintenance Tips for Summer

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Being a homeowner takes a lot of work and maintenance! Do you know where to start cleaning your home this summer? Take a look at our list of summer maintenance tips to help you keep your home in the best shape!

Schedule an air conditioning tune up

An air conditioning tune up should be at the top of your list when it comes to summer home maintenance! A seasonal tune up is the best way to avoid HVAC emergencies and to ensure that you’re staying cool all summer long.

Clean your gutters and inspect your roof

No one likes to clean the gutters, but it has to be done. Regular cleaning will help to prevent clogging and leaks. The best way to clean your gutters is to use a small plastic scoop to remove any of the gunky build up and then, using a garden hose, flush out the gutters and downspout. Be mindful and watch for any leaks in your gutters or downspouts and repair them as necessary.

Inspecting your roof as the season changes will help to ensure that there wasn’t any damage done over the course of the last season and to repair any damages you might find. For a complete list on roof maintenance for the summer, click here to read another one of our blogs!

Inspect and repair your windows

To keep your windows working their best and looking their best you need to know the importance of regular maintenance. Not only do well-maintained windows look better, they keep your home more energy efficient, and enhance the security of your home. The natural elements play hardball with your windows and contribute to their wear and tear. Check out this blog for more information on the best way to clean and maintain your windows.

Use your pressure washer!

Get out your pressure washer, or borrow your neighbor’s, and clean the exterior of your home. Keep your siding and exterior walls looking their best with regular cleaning to remove dirt, stains and any mildew. You can also use a pressure washer to clean your deck!

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Homeownership takes a lot of work, but we’re here to help get you started down the right path! Regular maintenance is the best way to prevent any issues down the road. But should you find a roof leak or that you need new windows, give the experts at Tri-State a call! We’re here to help protect you and your family. Contact us today for a free estimate!