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Seminars, Current Trends, and Tips & Tricks From Our Exhibitors!

FAQ - Service Fee's And Budgeting - B Squared Design Studio

3D Modeling For Interior Design - Creative Interiors

FAQ - What About Construction Drawings? - B Squared Design Studio

What’s Not Included In A Standard Homeowners Policy - Mt. Pleasant Agency

How to Select Window Shades and Blinds - Creative Interiors

How To Save Money On Homeowners Insurance - Mt. Pleasant Agency

How To Use Decorative Tile - Creative Interiors

Interior Remodeling Ideas - HBACM

If you feel your home is looking outdated but you want to stay where you are, working with a local contractor to update your space is a good option. Your contractor or designer can help you envision a new space that is more functional and updated.

The Home Builders Association of Central Michigan has a large membership of contractors who can help you reconfigure spaces or add to your home. If you have old kitchen cabinets with a boxy kitchen layout or a seventies-looking basement, consider the added value to your home once you complete your renovations.

Here are some ideas to make your home more functional with updated looks.

To get ideas, visit websites like or and pick up some decorating magazines. The Pinterest website is a great place to capture and organize photos of rooms you like.

If you have many rooms that need updating, focus on high-use rooms first like the kitchen and bathroom areas, especially if you need to take out walls or add them onto your home. Generally, suggests an investment of 6-10% of your home’s value as a good place to start with a remodeling budget for a kitchen. In addition, these renovations have traditionally increased a homes’ value helping you recoup your investment when you sell.

Kitchen renovations can often be the most complicated renovation due to the many choices involved in selecting cabinets, floor plans, counters, and flooring. A contractor with extensive kitchen remodeling experience can assist you in these selections and help you avoid issues by providing general project oversight. It’s a good idea to use a contractor who can provide design illustrations and even 3D models of what your renovation will look like. While doing it yourself may seem less expensive than using a general contractor, you might find it overwhelming to coordinate all the details needed with so many different vendors such as the flooring installer, electrician, plumber, appliance installers, countertop installer, and others. Usually, the general contractor includes pricing from most of these vendors in the master quote and he/she will handle the scheduling of these installers so the project moves more quickly.

Other renovations to consider to give a room a new look include adding bookshelves or built-ins, adding or renovating an outdated fireplace, replacing some interior doors with glass French doors, or replacing outdated paneling with drywall. Replacing flooring with either wood or laminate that looks like wood is another great way to update your living areas.

Basements are a great area to expand and update to add living and recreational space to your home. Consider the use of the area first – will it be just for the kids or adults too? Many contractors are asked to add wet bars, beverage refrigerators, and media centers to basement areas.

Whatever your renovation project, the key is sound planning so you end up with what you envision.

Kitchen Remodeling Trends - HBACM

The kitchen area is often the focal point of a home and has taken on a new look and function. Homeowners today want larger kitchen areas that connect to comfortable sitting rooms where everyone in the family can congregate. When planning your next renovation, keep in mind that investing in the right design and materials can increase the value of your home.

Here are some trends to keep in mind if you are considering a kitchen remodel.

· To get an open floor plan, see if walls can be removed to open up the kitchen space. Add living spaces and flat-screen TVs to the area.

· Think about including a large island with seating in the kitchen. Islands can be designed with legs and shelving to make them look more like furniture.

· Mix up the colors of your cabinets. White or grey cabinets mixed with dark wood or painted cabinets are very stylish and can add a lot of eye appeal to the space.

· Look for versatile storage options such as large drawers to hold pots and pans. Build in the microwave on an island instead of placing it over the stove. Other options are built-in utensil trays, wine bottle and wine glass racks, and vertical pull-out cabinets for spices and small jars.

· Pendant lighting over an eating area adds warmth and a nice design feature.

Research new materials for backsplashes and countertops. Backsplashes made from smaller-staggered tiles are very trendy and they come in a variety of materials including glass, ceramic tile, and metal. While granite or quartz countertops are still popular, composite materials offer more color choices and can be more durable with less maintenance.

Bring your ideas to your kitchen designer to help integrate your style into your kitchen makeover.

Considerations For Updating The Exterior Of Your Home - HBACM

Updating your home’s exterior is a sure way to keep your home looking updated while adding curb appeal as well. Options today include repainting the exterior, replacing or adding siding, changing window accents, adding stone or brick façades, or changing the front door. Some homeowners also change their front entrance by updating a porch and changing columns that support a roof or portico.

With all the materials on the market today, it can be tricky to select new siding or façades for your home’s exterior. While choices range from vinyl and fiber cement to wood, stone, and stucco, vinyl siding is still the most popular choice according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual report on single-family homes. Vinyl siding also provides added energy-saving benefits and increased protection against the forces of nature.

When selecting siding materials keep in mind several key factors: durability, aesthetics, our local climate, energy efficiency, and your budget. Since siding can last from 20-40 years, with many manufacturers offering lifetime warranties, you will want to select your siding brand carefully.

As you review siding colors or other facing materials, try not to be too trendy since color preferences change over time. Grey, off-white, and soft blue tones are common choices at present. You can pair your siding color with accent colors for trim in deeper shades or contrasting colors. Adding façade materials to part of your home’s exterior using brick, stone or wood will give the home real eye-appeal as well.

Pricing can also vary widely for siding and facing materials. Since labor can be as much as 60% of the cost of any installation, it makes sense to go for more durable options that may be a little pricier.

Another way to update your home is to change out your front door, windows, or window details like shutters and finials. There are many choices of window accents to place over or around windows. Front doors usually come in steel, wood, or fiberglass. Within each category, there are many choices of styles and colors. Besides aesthetics, it’s important to evaluate how much weather a door may receive annually. Check out the durability of the material and the quality of the weather stripping system to make sure the door will keep air and water out.

As you research contractors to complete your exterior updating, you will want to check their references and experience, as well as verify their insurance coverage. For larger jobs, it is usually a good idea to withhold a portion of the fee until the contractor completes the work to your satisfaction. The estimate should include a detailed list of labor costs and materials including brand names.

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