Moonworks' Home Improvement Blog

When to Listen to Your Contractor

Contractor
Although you are your contractor’s boss, every good boss knows when to lean on the expertise of the employees.

Although homeowners have lots of ideas and opinions when it comes to their homes and renovation projects, there are times when it makes sense to listen to the contractor and follow what he tells you. By listening to your contractor and acknowledging his experience, you can avoid problems and make the process of home renovation easier on yourself.

Permits and Regulations

Unless this is their first job, contractors have experience with what projects will need permits in your area. Furthermore, there may be certain things that need to be done to comply with local, federal and state regulations for some projects. It’s part of a good contractor’s job to be familiar with all of these regulations so that you don’t run into trouble when something . . .

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3 Tips For Choosing a Contractor

Your home is your safe space, and trusting someone to make major changes or repairs to it is a big deal. If something goes wrong with a construction project at your home, it can disrupt your life in a major way by impeding your ability to use and enjoy your home. For that reason, it’s vital that you choose a reputable and reliable contractor for any work that you need done on your home. But how can you know which contractor is best for the job? Take a look at some tips that can help.

Use Your Contacts

Choosing a contractor
You may find the best contractors by calling friends and family.

The first thing that you should do when looking for a contractor is to reach out to people you know to find out if they have anyone to recommend. There’s nothing quite like . . .

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4 Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value

Thinking of selling your home sometime soon or just want to protect your investment? There are many ways to increase your home’s value in today’s market. Some are inexpensive and cosmetic while others provide more functionality and efficiencies in the home. If you’re looking to make some improvements, here are four ways to increase your home’s value.

Increase your home's value
Increase your home’s value through home improvements.

Window Replacement

The top home improvement trend today is all about adding efficiencies to the home. One of the best ways to do this is by replacing those old drafty single-pane windows with new energy-efficient ones. Energy Star claims that adding these types of windows to your home can save you up to $500 per year on energy bills. Did we mention that there are often rebates and tax credits when you do these kinds of upgrades? . . .

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When to Renovate, When to Sell

We all love our home when we first buy it and move in, but things change. Either your life circumstances shift, such as having a larger (or smaller) family or the economy intervenes – good or bad. Sometimes the home that seemed so ideal ten years ago just doesn’t appeal to your tastes anymore. When your house isn’t bringing you the joy that it once did, it’s time to make some tough decisions. Should you sell or renovate to try to re-create the home of your dreams? Here are some things to consider as you weigh your choices.

Renovate

Making the choice to sell or renovate may not be as difficult as you think.

Do the Math – or Not

Actually, the math only matters to some people. To others, it’s all about the sentiment. If you are a number-cruncher, figure . . .

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How Window Replacement Can Change Your Home’s Look

The eyes may be the window to the soul, but your home’s windows have more of a dramatic impact on its look and feel than you may realize. As Rumi so aptly put it, “Moonlight floods the whole sky from horizon to horizon; How much it can fill your room depends on its windows.” Upgrading your home’s windows can transform a dark space into one that is bright and airy, or a complex arrangement in favor of the simplistic and functional. Here are how some of the current trends in window replacement can change your home’s look.

Window replacement
New windows can make the interior of your home brighter while adding beauty inside and out.

Vinyl Windows

If your existing windows are wood or metal, you may wish to consider installing vinyl windows. Vinyl windows now outsell all other types of residential windows in this . . .

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4 Current Trends in Home Renovation

Owners of existing homes choose to remodel for several reasons. Homeowners may want to create a home that uniquely suits their preferences while, at the same time, there is also a desire to improve the functionality and efficiency of the home. Finally, older homes often require upgrades and repairs as original systems age. The good news is that, when this happens, the homeowners have the opportunity to seize new advances in home renovation to make their home even better than before. Here are four of the current trends in home renovation that can allow you to do just that.

Home renovation

Window replacement is a popular home renovation project.

Window Replacement

Window replacement is a popular home renovation project because it not only improves the efficiency of your home but has a dramatic impact on its aesthetics. The advances in window technology over the past . . .

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Home Renovation Timelines: What to Expect

Home renovation
Planning a home renovation is the first step.

Home renovations can be stressful for homeowners. It’s hard to know exactly what to expect and how long a particular renovation might take. This makes planning difficult. Should you be away from home to give your contractor space, or be at home in case you’re needed to make an on-the-spot decision? Will the power and water need to be turned off? Will you need to eat out?

The general rule is that renovations will always take longer and cost more than you think they will, but you can get at least some idea about the timeline by talking with your contractor before the contract is signed. Asking questions about how long the project will take and what to expect will at least give you a starting point. Most contractors will add some extra time to . . .

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What’s New With Mass Save

Mass save
Part of an energy audit may be a thermographic

scan that shows where energy is escaping the house.

Mass Save ® is a program for residents of Massachusetts that offers them opportunities to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient while saving money. The program offers tax rebates and other incentives when residents make specific upgrades and improvements that use less energy. Residents eligible for the program include homeowners, business owners and landlords of either existing homes and businesses or new construction.

Massachusetts residents can enter the Mass Save program by having a free energy audit conducted at the home or business they own. The energy audit, also called an energy review, is a comprehensive evaluation of the way the home or business uses energy, including electricity, gas, oil, and solar power as well as other alternative sources of energy. . . .

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Money-Saving Tips for Your Home

While you’re in the spirit of making New Year’s resolutions, why not resolve to make some renovations or upgrades to your home in 2016? If you’ve been looking for ways to save some money in the new year, the idea of paying for renovations may not sound appealing. But the truth is that you can save money by making some strategic upgrades to your home and property. Take a look at the best money-saving renovations that you can make to your home over the coming year.

Green Up Your Roof

Money-saving renovations
A green roof can save you some green all year.

If you’re due for some roofing repairs or improvements, then this might be a great time to improve your roof by making it more environmentally friendly and energy saving. Green roofing materials, like shingles that contain reflective granules that reflect the sun’s rays, . . .

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8 Ways to Make Your Home Safer

Make your home safer
Smoke detectors need to be tested at least monthly to make sure they are functioning properly.

Home injuries cause as many as 20,000 deaths, 7 million disabling injuries, and 20 million hospital trips in the U.S. each year, according to WedMD. Having a safer home will cut down on costly accidents and prevent injury to your family and guests that come to your house. Here are some projects that can make your home safer.

1. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Most people know to have smoke detectors in their home, but carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can build up in your home from crumbling chimneys or a malfunctioning HVAC system. Be sure to test your detectors regularly to make sure they are working properly.

2. Reinforced Door and Jamb

Home break-ins can happen even with deadbolt locks, if thieves decide . . .

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