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INSTANT CURB APPEAL FOR UNDER $100

June 25th, 2013

There are dozens of small, inexpensive home improvements that you can do to your house to add instant curb appeal. Adding curb appeal to your house not only makes it easier to sell, but it also gives your house that nice and finished look in which you can take pride in. When deciding on how to add instant curb appeal to your house, make sure your consider what your house currently looks like and what will look best with it. Also, consider how much time you have to put into your home improvement project and what your budget is.

Here are a few DIY home improvement projects that all cost under $100 and will add instant curb appeal to your house.

Paint Your Front Door, Trim, or Shutters on Your House

Most exterior paint will cost you approximately $25 a gallon. To paint your trim, shutters, or front door it on your house, it should not take you more than $100, unless you have a very big house. Painting your home can definitely add some brightness and revive your house while adding curb appeal. Pick a bold color that makes your house stick out, but just make sure that you match it to the rest of the colors on your house. This home improvement project may take several hours depending on how much you choose to paint, so plan for at least a day of painting.

Upgrade Your Mailbox

It doesn’t matter if you have a regular mailbox by the road or if you have a box mounted to your house for mail, adding a new and upgraded mailbox can make your home feel upgraded, which adds curb appeal to it. You can find a new mailbox for your house from anywhere from $10-$100. When you install your mailbox, make sure that you are following the regulations that are set forth in the city that you live in. If you have a simple mailbox mounted on your house, this home improvement project should take less than an hour to complete. If you have a full-size mailbox at the road, plan for at least 2 hours or so to complete the home improvement project.

Install New House Numbers

If your house has old or faded house numbers on it, purchase some new numbers to spruce up the curb appeal of your house. Look for modern house numbers that are made from stainless steel, brass or aluminum. Try to match your new house numbers with the finish that is on your exterior light fixtures to add the best curb appeal. Simple house numbers can start at $2.00 for a number or you can look into customized plaques that can cost $50-$100.

Plant a Tree

Planting a tree is one of the most common ways to add curb appeal to your house. It is a simple home improvement project that can really liven up your house. Before you plant a tree in your yard, make sure you consider how big the tree will get and how it will affect your house. If you have enough space, try planting two trees to frame your house or your entryway into your house. You can find trees to add curb appeal to your house starting at $25. Planting a tree does not take very long and is a short home improvement project.

Replace Exterior Light Fixtures

When buying new exterior light fixtures to add curb appeal to your house, be sure to consider both the style of the light fixtures and the function of them. You want your light fixtures to be able to adequately light up your entryway to your house and make it safer. Also, look for light fixtures that have the same mounting system as the current ones that you have to save yourself some time on this home improvement project. Exterior light fixtures can be found anywhere from $20 and up.

Install Flower Boxes

If your house is lacking curb appeal and color, then try adding some flower boxes to your house. Install the flower boxes in the windows of your house or on the front porch railings. Flower boxes are relatively cheap and will only cost approximately $25. The thing that you have to remember with this home improvement project is that you will also have to pay for the flowers and soil for inside the flower boxes and you will also have to maintain the up-keep of the flowers to actually add curb appeal. If you rather not add flower boxes to your house, then consider buying some container gardens in pots and placing them on your front steps or porch.

By Tiffany Bell

To Read the Full Article, Click Here.

About US Aluminum Services, Corp

Founded in 2004, US Aluminum Services, Corp. is a fully insured and state certified construction company that complies with all Florida Codes for the construction industry. US Aluminum Services offers the best designed, best installed and best backed warranty in the business. All services are executed to the exact specifications of our customers’ request. Our materials are top of the line, made exclusively to US Aluminum Service specifications by the top manufactures in Florida. Their services include: Florida screen rooms, patio and pool enclosuressunrooms, architectural columns, pergolas, seamless gutters, pavers and fences. http://us-aluminum.com/

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How to Choose Contractors

May 23rd, 2013

An addition project involves hundreds of choices, about everything from the overall design approach to the materials you’ll use. But no decision will have as large an impact on the success of the job as the choice of the team you hire to do the job. So don’t make a snap decision. Follow this simple six-step vetting process:

1. Get Recommendations. There are possibly hundreds of contractors in your area who’d love to come and build your addition. But to get your job done right, on time and on budget, you need to be very careful about which one you choose. Talk to friends who’s taste and sensibilities you trust and who’ve recently done similar projects. Talk to tradesmen who’ve done good work for you before. Put together a short list of 3 to 5 contractors with topnotch recommendations.

2. Show Your Project. Invite each of the contractors on your short list to come and look at your project, making sure to drop the name of the person who recommended them. “Just as the homeowner is vetting the contractor, we’re vetting the homeowner and the project,” says Eden Prairie, Minn., design-build contractor Mark Mackmiller. “And a referral from a great customer gets my attention.” Walk through the house—and your ideas—with the contractor, taking notes on his feedback and any other impressions you get about him. If you like what you hear, ask him to bid on the job.

3. Look at Their Other Jobs. Look at the quality and aesthetics of the finished job. And check the ongoing project to see the professionalism of the crew and the cleanliness of the jobsite. Take notes about your impressions, either at the scene or immediately afterward, because things can start to blend together when you’re visiting numerous sites with different contractors.

4. Check Their References. Ask, also, for some references you can speak with. If a contractor produces a long list of names in and nearby your community, that’s a terrific sign because a short list could be a bunch of ringers (like family members and friends—or the few happy customers he’s ever had). Call a random sampling from the list, not the first ones, and ask them some pointed questions, such as if they’d use the contractor again, what his greatest strength is, what his biggest weakness is, if there were any cost or time overruns on the project and so forth.

5. Compare Their Bids. When you see the bids, don’t focus too much on price. Unless you’ve already designed and specified the project in a pretty detailed manner (in other words, you’ve hired an architect and already have the plans), the contractors are all guessing at what your project will entail. A single window can range from $300 to $1,200 for example, depending on the product you choose.  But the bid does offer you a good window into the approach each contractor will take.

6. Go With Your Gut. After throwing out any extremely high or low bids, both of which are typically trouble, set aside the prices they’ve quoted and think about what you’ve learned about each candidate from one-on-one conversations, from looking at their work, from talking to their customers, and from looking at their proposals. By now, you’ve learned a lot about the style, character and diligence of each one, says New York City architect Dennis Wedlick. And it’s those factors that you should consider most in your decision.

By Oliver Marks

To Read the Full Article from HGTV Remodels, Click Here.

About US Aluminum Services, Corp

Founded in 2004, US Aluminum Services, Corp. is a fully insured and state certified construction company that complies with all Florida Codes for the construction industry. US Aluminum Services offers the best designed, best installed and best backed warranty in the business. All services are executed to the exact specifications of our customers’ request. Our materials are top of the line, made exclusively to US Aluminum Service specifications by the top manufactures in Florida. Their services include: Florida screen rooms, patio and pool enclosuressunrooms, architectural columns, pergolas, seamless gutters, pavers and fences. http://us-aluminum.com/

 

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Outdoor Structures: The Backbone of the Landscape

May 2nd, 2013

During the last few years, the backyard living concept has evolved from a deck or patio area to true outdoor living spaces complete with full kitchens, eating, sitting and living areas. And with this rise in the popularity of outdoor living spaces, it’s no surprise that outdoor structures such as gazebos, arbors, trellises, pergolas and the like are also more in demand.

“People aren’t looking for a simple outdoor space anymore. They’re thinking in terms of defining spaces with walls, ceilings and roofs, but only in an open sense to blend with the outdoors,” says Ernie Sears, president and owner of Backyard America of Manassas, Va. Ernie began his business as a building contractor specializing in outdoor structures, but since 1998 has been providing design services and fabricating kits for customers all over the country.

Pergolas have really taken off over the last few years,” says Ernie. “They’ve gone from practically zero percent of our business to the single largest segment.”

Michael Mendelsohn, owner of Mendelsohn Construction in Scottsdale, Ariz., is also seeing his business grow as a result of more outdoor structures. “Every home I’m doing, we’re enlarging the back patio areas — even after the plans are done. People want more multi-use living centers with TVs and full kitchens.”

For Contractors, Not Much Difference Most outdoor structures are some sort of variation or combination of a deck, patio, pergola, arbor, trellis or gazebo, and sometimes they may be of a custom design or even go by different names to reflect their function or region of the country (lanai, ramada, veranda). But they all serve the same basic function: to provide an aesthetically pleasing place to hang light fixtures, fans or A/V equipment, provide shade or a break from the wind, and even as a place to locate cooling misters or infrared heaters.

“These structures are all about expanding use,” says Ernie. “People want to get more useful hours per day and more useful days per year from the outdoor living spaces.”

From a contractor’s standpoint, the same basic principles of design and construction apply as to the main house: use materials and design similar to those of the home to blend the two structures, make sure you follow all codes — especially those regarding setbacks and electrical/gas hookups, and choose materials and build carefully so that the structure will stand up to the elements.

“Where snow load is a concern, most pergolas will have less structure on top to reduce surface area, and where wind load is a concern, make sure you have the structure properly anchored to the ground,” says Ernie. “But those are all things most contractors know anyway.”

RJPoolPergola_web

“These types of jobs tend to go up very quickly, and they impress the neighbors,” he says. “These structures are very visible and can be a way to open the door to larger jobs.”

About US Aluminum Services, Corp

Founded in 2004, US Aluminum Services, Corp. is a fully insured and state certified construction company that complies with all Florida Codes for the construction industry. US Aluminum Services offers the best designed, best installed and best backed warranty in the business. All services are executed to the exact specifications of our customers’ request. Our materials are top of the line, made exclusively to US Aluminum Service specifications by the top manufactures in Florida. Their services include: Florida screen rooms, patio and pool enclosuressunrooms, architectural columns, pergolas, seamless gutters, pavers and fences. http://us-aluminum.com/

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Maximum Value Big Ticket Upgrade Projects: Sunroom

April 19th, 2013

By providing tons of natural sunlight, a sunroom is the perfect addition to your home’s livable square footage.

A room for all seasons, you can enjoy the beauty of nature while still getting the benefits of an indoor living room. Many homeowners find a sunroom to be the perfect area for a comfortable TV room, dining room, kids’ playroom or even a spot for all that workout equipment that’s been stuffed in a closet for years.

CURRENT TRENDS

In years past, a sunroom was considered an enclosed deck space, similar to a screened-in porch. Large windows have taken the place of screens, while quality flooring materials have made indoor/outdoor carpeting a thing of the past.

BIGGEST MISTAKE

Sunrooms might seem like an easy enough DIY project, but they are, in fact, quite the opposite. According to appraisal expert, Leslie Sellers, president of the Appraisal Institute, nothing kills home value more than poor addition construction or window installation.

“It’s important to remember,” says Sellers, “that the risk of taking on a sunroom addition yourself to keep costs down can backfire in the long run if something goes wrong.” The cost to fix any problems that might arise, such as a bad window installation or an unlevel foundation, are great, and will likely double the cost than if you were to have it installed professionally in the first place.

EXPERT TIPS

>> Style, function and design do not have to be sacrificed when trying to stay on a budget. Vinyl is a great option and has become more popular in sunroom construction. Highly insulated, durable and virtually maintenance free, vinyl sunrooms are versatile and can be tailored to your personal home style. Although overall a solid material, it is important to remember that in a large space, vinyl needs to be reinforced to keep its strength throughout the entire frame.

>>If you are looking to upgrade from a basic vinyl construction, consider an aluminum sunroom. Aluminum is a superb conductor of heat, extremely durable, resistant to deterioration, and is available in many different colors to fit with your home. Depending on where you live, it is necessary to keep in mind that without thermal breaks, aluminum frames will cause extreme temperatures, so remember this when planning a budget and future use of your sunroom.

By HGTV Front Door.

To Read the Full Article, Click Here.

About US Aluminum Services, Corp

Founded in 2004, US Aluminum Services, Corp. is a fully insured and state certified construction company that complies with all Florida Codes for the construction industry. US Aluminum Services offers the best designed, best installed and best backed warranty in the business. All services are executed to the exact specifications of our customers’ request. Our materials are top of the line, made exclusively to US Aluminum Service specifications by the top manufactures in Florida. Their services include: Florida screen rooms, patio and pool enclosuressunrooms, architectural columns, pergolas, seamless gutters, pavers and fences. http://us-aluminum.com/

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Starting a Landscaping Project

April 5th, 2013

Good landscaping increases your property’s value as it boosts curb appeal and solves problems ranging from ugly views and lack of privacy to poor drainage and nondescript plantings. By developing a smart, long-term landscape plan, you can transform a drab, dysfunctional yard into a space that enhances and complements your home’s architecture and becomes a place where you love to hang out.

Even if gardening is your secret passion, a professional landscape designer may see solutions you never dreamed of and help you avoid costly mistakes. To smooth the way for such a major undertaking, it helps to assess your property’s strengths and weaknesses, think about the ways you envision using your yard, and understand the steps involved in the landscape design process.

Setting Goals

The reasons for updating your yard range from the practical to the indulgent. Improving curb appeal, privacy and functionality are usually high on the list. You might also have safety issues to address such as a pool fence, firescaping or erosion.

“A detailed understanding of your goals and likes and dislikes are needed from the onset of the design process,” says Risa Edelstein, president of the Ecological Landscaping Association, based in Arlington, Mass.

She emphasizes that developing a master plan is essential. That doesn’t mean planning every detail to the nth degree. A master plan is more about broad strokes, a theme, a look, a feeling you want to evoke. Thinking through the entire landscape design, from hardscapes (man-made solid surfaces) to plants, helps you focus your goals in the beginning and provides a touchstone for decisions down the line so you don’t end up with a mishmash of hardscapes, colors and awkward proportions.

Our Landscaping Planning Guide will show you what to consider when planning a landscaping projectgive you tips for adding curb appealoffer solutions to your outdoor issues and give you the information you need to choose the right products.

Start by figuring out what you like or dislike, what you need versus what you want, by downloading and filling out our Landscaping Priorities Questionnaire. To figure out what you need, fill out ourLandscape Site Analysis Worksheet.

By Laura Fisher Kaiser

To Read the Full Article, Click Here.

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About US Aluminum Services, Corp

Founded in 2004, US Aluminum Services, Corp. is a fully insured and state certified construction company that complies with all Florida Codes for the construction industry. US Aluminum Services offers the best designed, best installed and best backed warranty in the business. All services are executed to the exact specifications of our customers’ request. Our materials are top of the line, made exclusively to US Aluminum Service specifications by the top manufactures in Florida. Their services include: Florida screen rooms, patio and pool enclosuressunrooms, architectural columns, pergolas, seamless gutters, pavers and fences. http://us-aluminum.com/

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Tampa Home & Garden Show | April 19-21

March 14th, 2013

 

All New Tampa Home & Garden Show! It will be held at the Tampa Convention Center from April 19-21, 2013.

Want FREE tickets?
Like our Facebook page and E-mail marketing@us-aluminum.com with your name, mailing address, and number of tickets (up to 6).

See you there!

To view our Facebook page, Click Here.

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About US Aluminum Services, Corp

Founded in 2004, US Aluminum Services, Corp. is a fully insured and state certified construction company that complies with all Florida Codes for the construction industry. US Aluminum Services offers the best designed, best installed and best backed warranty in the business. All services are executed to the exact specifications of our customers’ request. Our materials are top of the line, made exclusively to US Aluminum Service specifications by the top manufactures in Florida. Their services include: Florida screen rooms, patio and pool enclosuressunrooms, architectural columns, pergolas, seamless gutters, pavers and fences. http://us-aluminum.com/

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Central Florida Home + Garden Show | March 22-24

March 12th, 2013

It’s time for the Central Florida Home + Garden Show! It will be held at the Orange County Convention Center from March 22-24.

Want FREE tickets?
Like our Facebook page and E-mail marketing@us-aluminum.com with your name, mailing address, and number of tickets (up to 6).

See you there!

To view our Facebook page, Click Here.

About US Aluminum Services, Corp

Founded in 2004, US Aluminum Services, Corp. is a fully insured and state certified construction company that complies with all Florida Codes for the construction industry. US Aluminum Services offers the best designed, best installed and best backed warranty in the business. All services are executed to the exact specifications of our customers’ request. Our materials are top of the line, made exclusively to US Aluminum Service specifications by the top manufactures in Florida. Their services include: Florida screen rooms, patio and pool enclosuressunrooms, architectural columns, pergolas, seamless gutters, pavers and fences. http://us-aluminum.com/

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US Aluminum Services on Facebook

January 31st, 2013

Like US on Facebook and stay updated!

Tips and Ideas for your backyard!

Home Show dates and tickets!

US Aluminum in the community!

And Much More!

Click here to visit our Facebook page.

 

About US Aluminum Services, Corp

Founded in 2004, US Aluminum Services, Corp. is a fully insured and state certified construction company that complies with all Florida Codes for the construction industry. US Aluminum Services offers the best designed, best installed and best backed warranty in the business. All services are executed to the exact specifications of our customers’ request. Our materials are top of the line, made exclusively to US Aluminum Service specifications by the top manufactures in Florida. Their services include: Florida screen rooms, patio and pool enclosuressunrooms, architectural columns, pergolas, seamless gutters, pavers and fences. http://us-aluminum.com/

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FREE Tickets to the Orlando Home Show October 5-7!

September 20th, 2012

FREE Tickets to the Orlando Home Show October 5-7, 2012, at the Orange County Convention Center!

All you need to do is like our Facebook page and e-mail marketing@us-aluminum.com with your address and number of tickets by October 1 to receive these FREE tickets!

Number of tickets requested will be sent to address provided for FREE!

Click here to go to our US Aluminum Services Facebook.

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Protect Your Investment… Hire Only Licensed Contractors

June 7th, 2012

The rush to hire a contractor may lead you to hire a dishonest individual… or to hire an unlicensed contractor.

While hiring an unlicensed contractor may provide a quick fix in the short term, it could result in many serious and lasting consequences, including further damage to your property.

By hiring a licensed contractor, you will have peace of mind knowing that the project will be done by someone who has taken the time to acquire the appropriate education and the proper workers’ compensation and/or liability insurance and who possesses the necessary experience.

It is extremely important to be cautious when contracting for home improvements and storm repairs. Educate yourself, become an informed consumer, and protect yourself from dishonest persons who will use your misfortune to their advantage.

Choosing a Contractor:

>> Before you hire a contractor, ask to see a
state-issued license.

>> An occupational license does not qualify an
individual to act as a contractor.

>> Ask for references. A legitimate contractor will be happy to provide you with
the names and contact information of recent customers.

>> Get a written estimate from several licensed contractors. Make sure the
estimate includes the work the contractor will do, the materials involved, the
completion date, and total cost.

>> Beware of contractors who claim to be the fastest or the cheapest. Hiring them
could result in poor workmanship, inferior materials or unfinished jobs.

>> Contact your insurance agent first to verify your insurance covers the repairs
before you sign a contract. Know the steps to file a claim. You do not have to
tell the contractor how much your insurance company will pay for repairs, but
if you do, get the contractor’s estimate first.

Some Helpful Tips:

>> Review your contract before you sign it.

>> Contact your insurance company to make sure work performed is covered
under insurance policy.

>> If your contract exceeds $2,500, become familiar with the Florida Construction Lien
Law.

>> Most jobs require permits. Always check with your local building department
regarding permits needed for your project.

To verify a contractor’s license, or to file a complaint against a contractor, call
1.850.487.1395 or go to the Department’s website: www.MyFloridaLicense.com

To view the entire article click here.

About US Aluminum Services, Corp

Founded in 2004, US Aluminum Services, Corp. is a fully insured and state certified construction company that complies with all Florida Codes for the construction industry. US Aluminum Services offers the best designed, best installed and best backed warranty in the business. All services are executed to the exact specifications of our customers’ request. Our materials are top of the line, made exclusively to US Aluminum Service specifications by the top manufactures in Florida. Their services include: Florida screen rooms, patio and pool enclosures, sunrooms, architectural columns, pergolas, seamless gutters, pavers and fences. http://us-aluminum.com/

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