Hurricane Construction Preparation

With a powerful hurricane possibly heading in the direction of the Tampa Bay area, it is important to stay informed and to get prepared. It is easy to prepare your home for a hurricane, board up the windows, throw the lawn furnishing in your swimming pool and call it a day, right? But how do you prepare if your house or areas of your home is under construction?

Totally Under Construction

If you have a house that is completely under construction and is not livable, your contractor should know the procedures to ensure the construction site is safe and secure. Such as shutting off electrical, plumbing, and gas, cleaning any construction debris, and taking down all permits and signage until after the storm. Your contractor should have a severe weather plan in place and do not hesitate to ask questions to confirm your home is secure.

Partially Under Construction

Some home improvement projects do not require leaving home, it may be a slight inconvenience, but nothing you can’t handle. And then, a hurricane is on the way, it may not be a direct hit, but you’ll still have to take major precautions. It all depends what stage of  renovation you are in. For safe measure, board the windows of the construction space if not all windows in the house, turn off water, electric and gas to the area if possible, and clean the construction area of harmful debris. A renovation is always going to take a toll on everyday life, but adding a potentially devastating storm creates more stress in a less than homey space. The best advice is to secure the area and make sure you are safe or evacuate the area.

Home Upgrades

While under construction a few upgrades you can add to ensure your home will endure the next hurricane, are hurricane proof shutters, doors, and windows. Most often these extra safe upgrades will cost significantly more than your typical windows and doors, but in terms of a long-term investment, they are worth it.

Preparing your Kitchen for Sale

It’s a great time to sell your home. Housing prices are high and there is low inventory. But prospective buyers are looking for much more than a fresh coat of paint in a home. Prospective buyers are searching for a home where some of the home improvement work is already done for them such as the kitchen.

To receive top dollar and many interested buyers make sure the kitchen is updated. The kitchen is the most expensive part of the house to renovate and that is why it’s the most desirable move-in ready room. The modern home buyer has changed from DIY after the buy to wanting an on trend ready kitchen. There are four factors home buyers look for in a kitchen before putting in an offer. 

One: Cabinet Quality

The quality of the cabinetry will always succeed the number of cabinets any day of the week. A lower quality cabinet will always look as such, especially in the hardware. Invest in high quality hinges because that is the first sign of a low-grade cabinet.

Two: Symmetry

The human eye is naturally programmed to respond well to symmetry and repetition, so having a simple kitchen will yield a better return. Keep door and drawer proportion sizes the same, for example, large drawers are more appealing than a bunch of smaller drawers.

Three: Light and Bright

Whether it is your personal style or not, white is the most universal cabinetry color. It is clean, bright, airy and most importantly, it allows the potential buyer to envision themselves in the space. Keep the kitchen open and bright, if a contrast is necessary, install a contrasting back splash or counter top.

Four: Open Layout

An open floor plan is an aspect of a home that every new buyer is looking for. If there is space available to add an island, do it! An island is one of the most desirable aspects of a kitchen and will provide a great return. Remember that buyers like open multipurpose spaces where they can visualize themselves having a gathering.

While the rest of your home can be updated with fresh paint and maybe new flooring, the kitchen is the one room in a house that gives a potential buyer the feeling of home. Keep the space a light and inviting space while keeping in mind small details and great quality.

The Best Trending Bathroom Vanities

The one room in the house that can stand to have some creativity is the bathroom! It’s the kind of room that can have a wild wallpaper and totally work because it just does. Another aspect of any bathroom that can be more on the unique side is the bath room vanity. Trending bathroom vanities range from long one of a kind stunners to small compact understaters and everything in between.

Floating like a Genie

It’s no genie, these vanities are floating and are ideal for lovers of sleek and contemporary design. A great feature to add is a water fall counter top flowing down the edges and on to the floor for a high-end look.

Farm House Vibes

It’s not a secret that the farm house look is huge right now, (thanks Joanna Gaines). This type of rustic look embodies beautiful wood grains and the versatility to make the stain light and airy or deep and dark.

To the Wall

Wall hung vanities are the perfect solution for small spaces. These little guys can practically be hung anywhere (with plumbing of course). They are very versatile with size and style ranging from a long, modern look to small, rustic beauties.

Simply White Vanity 

This one may not seem as exotic, but having a simple white vanity allows for unique and colorful tile and other statement pieces such as in lighting.

Custom Colorful

On the other end of the spectrum, installing a custom colored bathroom vanity will certainly spice things up. We suggest if you are going with a statement vanity, pair it with neutrals. The neutrals can still be fun and interesting by playing with different shapes of tile.

Furniture Conversion

This one is a garage sale wander’s dream! Re-purposing old furniture to recreate into a bathroom vanity is a great way to have a one of a kind piece that no one else has! Even something as easy as recreating a low dresser will make for great bathroom storage.

These trends are very popular at this point in 2017 and most will likely continue as bathroom trends in 2018. You can never go wrong with mixing unique trends with timeless staples to create a long lasting and personalized look.


Photos from Houzz

Make Your Outdoor Kitchen Sizzle

Summer is heating up! Well, let’s be honest, it’s summer in Florida and it’s been sizzling since March. The lack of cool weather allows for more summer-like nights by the pool and eating meals outside. If you have an outdoor kitchen, is it summer time ready? When was the last time you spiced up your outdoor space? Being able to enjoy the outdoors practically all year round means a little more updating from time to time. Giving your outdoor kitchen some new features will give your summer time space new life.

Add a Bar with Stools

The cook does not want to cook alone. If you have the space to add a bar to the front of the grill, do so with reclaimed wood and add some stools so even the grill master can join in the fun.

Cover the Cooking area

In Florida, we get the scattered thunderstorm quite often, so installing a cover over the cooking area will aid in the unpredictable weather patterns of our sunshine state.

Full Size the Fridge

If you cook and entertain outside on a regular basis adding a full-size refrigerator/ freezer will pay for itself in no time with the amount of use it will receive. Chill down the drinks and free up space in your indoor refrigerator.

Play with Bold Colors!

The grill is not the only area that receives some spice. Add color to your outdoor space by adding striking seating, fun outdoor friendly art, and colorful pillows. Bright red is always a favorite for outdoors!

The Garden is Always Greener

If you are into cooking with local ingredients, what is more local than growing your own herbs and vegetables? Around your outdoor cooking area, planting a garden will both improve your back-yard oasis and perhaps your cooking!

Create a New Vibe

Not feeling the feeling in your outdoor kitchen? Mix it up! If you are finding that a more modern feel is what you’re liking than start by slowly adding more sleek touches with furniture and accessories.

Incorporating some of these changes into your outdoor space will have you falling in love with your outdoor kitchen and back yard again.


Light Bulb! Hire a Licensed Professional!

There are a lot of house projects that can be done by “doing it yourself” such as laying tile, painting or installing hardware. But there are some aspects of a job that should always be left to the professionals and electricity is definitely one of those projects. It is a very high risk household task to undertake if not a trained professional.

But when looking for an electrician, how do you know what to look for to get a professional and quality electrician?  The owner of Consolidated Electric, located in Palm Harbor, Bledi Voja, shares his insight on the characteristics of a quality licensed electrical contractor

1. A contractor is licensed.

Licensed contractors have gained experience and knowledge through the proper training and legal processes. They put in the time to obtain the appropriate licenses and permits from authorized government offices, after passing the licencor test. To apply for becoming an Electrical Contractor a minimum of 8 years or 16,000 hrs. of work is required.

2. Offers insurance.

They will offer liability insurance to protect you, your family, and your home. Liability insurance is protection from personal and bodily injury and property damage that could occur during your renovation. For instance, if a visitor is injured upon entering the construction site, the insurance protection will cover any medical fees that may be incurred.

3. Ensures that all requirements by the city and federal government are met.

Licensed contractors have been trained to understand and meet all requirements set by the city council and federal government. They will schedule inspections to make sure your home meets every single quality requirement and passes all safety examinations. They can become very important when the time comes to sell your home. If you have had any major renovations completed, a potential buyer may ask if the required permits were pulled for the project.

4. Ensures that every step of the home repair or renovation is followed systematically.

This sounds like a given, but not all contractors follow the steps necessary to complete a project safely and on time. Licensed contractors, however, follow a specific, systematic approach to their projects. They carefully plan out the process before starting work; they will prioritize open communication with the homeowner from day one until the day the project is completed. A licensed contractor will also ensure that there is a signed legal contract between the two of you: a form of security that only licensed contractors can offer.

5. Will ensure the project is completed, even when problems or obstacles arise.

They will take responsibility if something goes wrong; ignoring or running away from mistakes can result in the loss of their license. Trust licensed contractors, to stay with you until your home renovation project is completed and you are satisfied!

On your next house project, remember these 5 tips when deciding whether or not to hire a professional for any project and you will feel at ease knowing that your contractor will be completing your job the right way.