Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wood Flooring


Flooring is one of the first things the eye sees upon entering a space. People touring a new house will notice furniture, but tastes vary. They will notice wall color, but that only has to go with the style of the room. Flooring is fixed and draws the eye. Here are some great reasons to install hard wood flooring in your home or property.

Resale Value
Not only are wood floors beautiful, but they increase the value of a property and are considered one of the top remodeling projects when preparing a home for sale. Even if a potential buyer dislikes your taste in carpeting, they are likely to enjoy hardwood floors. Use of hard wood flooring throughout a home can raise property value an average of 15-35%. That's a smart investment!

Ease of Maintenance
Routine maintenance is a little more than simple sweeping and vacuuming, always making sure your hardwood floors are protected from moisture and heavy wear which creates scratches. Preventive maintenance includes area rugs and floor protectors on your furniture's feet.

Ecology
Unlike most floor coverings, wood floors come from a natural resource that is sustainable. According to U.S. Forest Service statistics, almost twice as much hardwood timber Is added every year through new growth as is harvested. Additionally, there is more standing hardwood timber today than there was 50 years ago.

Health 
The Environmental Protection Agency has said that indoor air quality is one of our top health threats. Installed in the home or elsewhere, wood floors help contribute to a healthy living environment as hard surface flooring does not trap or harbor dust mites or molds, which creates better air quality, especially for the estimated 35 million Americans who suffer from allergies.

Selection and Variety
Hardwood floors come in many sizes, styles, colors, finishes and species. These many choices can compliment any home or office with style and a beautiful product that last a lifetime.

Benchmark Contracting can help you select a type of wood to fit your budget and install it for you, giving your home an updated look and raising the value of your home as well.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dome Home


Recently featured on Extreme Homes, the Dome Home is a hurricane proof house that features no flat walls, redirecting wind around the home in case of severe weather. The owners built it after their home (in the same location) was destroyed in 2 hurricanes. The house did well in Hurricane Ivan. What do you think of the Dome Home?

See video here.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Universal Design


Remodeling you home for retirement may not be your concern in your 30s or 40s or even your 50s, but the new trend in home design and remodeling is focused on just that - designing your home for your current use with a focus on your future needs. This concept is called universal design.

Kiplinger suggests these simple changes to add 5% to the value of your home:
Substitute door handles for doorknobs. The handle material and design, which can match the d├ęcor of your home, will make it easier to open doors with arthritic hands.
Older folks need more light and are more sensitive to glare. Lights with extra illumination and lighting controls can be incorporated into a kitchen remodel.
European-style showers are sophisticated and don't have a lip, allowing wheelchair access as well as a way to wash plants and even the dog. You don't need to put a grab bar in the shower now -- but why not install the plates during a bathroom remodel so that a grab bar can be quickly attached later? 
Many of today's remodeling projects will be undertaken by middle-aged homeowners who are happy to stay in their home and make everyday living more comfortable. If you're one of them, remember that remodeling your home is as integral to your retirement plan as your asset allocation in your 401(k).