Affordable Big Impact Home Winterization Tips

Affordable Big Impact Home Winterization Tips

Although you may prefer to forget, last winter’s subfreezing temperatures may not be an isolated occurrence. Weather experts are already discussing if El Nino and arctic air from a polar vortex will cause colder than normal winter weather throughout the country. Is your home ready to withstand the chill?

Smart homeowners are taking time now to prepare their homes for the harsh weather. Winterizing not only helps maintain comfortable temperatures inside, but also helps lower your energy bill. Fortunately, some of the improvements that have the biggest impact are also easy to do and surprisingly affordable.

1. Seal gaps and cracks

The average midsize U.S. home has a half mile of gaps and cracks according to www.energystar.gov. Cold air infiltrates through those spaces causing your furnace to work overtime. An easy way to combat the problem is to use Great Stuff(TM) Gaps & Cracks to fill openings around electrical outlets, plumbing pipes, doors, dryer vents and more. Sealing your home takes just a few hours whether you do it yourself or work with a contractor. Visit dowgreatstuff.com/winterize to learn more.

2. Reverse fan blades

Your ceiling fans aren’t just valuable during summer – they can help reduce energy costs by circulating warm air that rises to the top of rooms. To ensure your fan is circulating the air correctly, you need to reverse the blades. Most modern ceiling fans have a handy switch that controls the blade direction. During the winter, set the blades to spin clockwise to help warm rooms and set to counterclockwise during summer for cooling breezes.

3. Eliminate drafty windows

Have you ever felt a draft as you walked by your window? Gaps around windows are a major source of heat loss. Seal out those drafts with Great Stuff(TM) Window & Door Insulating Foam Sealant. This specially formulated low-pressure sealant is easy to apply and insulates the window without bending the frame when properly applied. Another great tip is to open the curtains during the daylight hours on south-facing windows so the sun can help heat your home naturally. Close curtains when the sun sets to reduce the chill.

4. Install an adjustable thermostat

An adjustable thermostat is an effective tool for maintaining a comfortably warm home and cutting heating costs. If you have one but don’t have it set, now is the time to learn how. By adjusting the temperature down while you’re sleeping or away, you can save plenty of money. In fact, by turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours, you can save 5 to 15 percent a year on your heating bill, according to energy.gov.

5. Tune up your furnace

If meteorologists’ predictions are correct, your furnace will be working hard this winter. Make sure it is working effectively and efficiently by scheduling a tune-up now. A qualified technician will check the coils and clean and lubricate important mechanical parts. Some utility companies offer free checkups to customers, so be sure to ask about your options. In addition to a tune-up, remember to change your furnace filter once a month during the heating season to maintain proper air flow.

For more great home winterization tips, visit CiprianiRemodelingSolutions.com. One of our award-winning designers would love to have a conversation about conservation. (BPT) 

Editor’s note:
®™ Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow.

5 Easy Steps to Winterize Your Outdoor Living Space

Cipriani Remodeling Solutions shares 5 easy steps to winterize your outdoor living space.

Ahh, the backyard – it’s served you well all summer. But now the seasons are changing and colder weather is on the way. Which means you need to prime your property from the ravages of winter. That’s right, it’s time to winterize!

Since you can finish your indoor winterizing as temperatures get cooler, it makes sense to winterize your outdoor living space first. With that in mind, here is a five-point checklist to help safeguard your home from Jack Frost for another year:

Prep your deck. Your beautiful deck has been a source of outdoor enjoyment all summer long, so now it’s time to protect your beloved structure before winter rears its ugly head again. Of course, the amount of work you have to put into winterizing your deck depends on your decking material. For example, a durable, long-lasting material such as beautiful Western Red Cedar requires the least amount of maintenance. That said, all decks require some upkeep.

So to preserve your deck’s luster, start by cleaning it with a warm soapy solution and a soft bristle brush (never power wash). It’s important that you remove all dirt and debris from both the surface as well as in between the boards during this process because the more ventilation your decking has through the colder months, the better it will look come springtime. Next, inspect the deck for the presence of mold. If present, wash the deck with a mild oxygen bleach solution and leave on the surface for 30 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. Finally, remove anything that might leave marks on the deck’s surface from inconsistent weathering – think outdoor furniture, movable planters, door mats etc. As for finishing your deck with a fresh coat of stain etc., that’s really more of a spring job (i.e. you’re off the hook for another six months).

Inspect your windows. Take a stroll around your home’s exterior and inspect each of your windows to see if any gaps or cracks are present. If you find some, apply caulking to the openings and this will prevent cold air from seeping through these cracks during the winter, which in turn, will cut down on your heating bills!

Protect those planters. These days, most planter boxes are made with Western Red Cedar. That’s because it’s naturally resistant to rot, decay and insects; and therefore, doesn’t require treatment from potentially dangerous chemicals that can leach into your soil and plants. But like all garden beds, Real Cedar planters need protection during the winter months. Start by removing all soil and cleaning the boxes as you did the deck. Then if possible, store your emptied planters in a garage, shed, under the porch etc. If you can’t, then cover them with a water repellent tarp to protect from moisture buildup – but make sure you don’t seal the tarp. As with decks, it’s very important that you allow for proper ventilation.

Trim those trees. As you walk around your house inspecting your windows for cracks and gaps, this is also a good time to take a look at your trees. Look for trees that are old, appear weakened or diseased. In addition to the trees themselves, you should also check for any dead branches, particularly those hanging near or over your home. As snow accumulates over the winter, the weight may be enough to bring a diseased tree or branch down, potentially damaging your home. You can eliminate this risk by removing any dead trees or branches now before the first snow starts to fly.

Guard the grill. If grilling is one of your favorite summertime activities, you don’t have to abandon it just because winter’s coming. A Real Cedar BBQ cover can protect you from the elements, allowing you to grill all year long. And because the cover is made from a naturally resilient wood like cedar, you’ll be BBQing in all kinds of weather for years to come. You can find free plans to build your own BBQ cover in Real Cedar’s outdoor section.

For extensive project plans, maintenance tips & design inspiration, visit Real Cedar.com. Or if you like to “DIY on the Fly”, download the new Real Cedar Mobile Toolkit app for fast and easy building facts. Available for free from Google Play Store and coming soon to iTunes. (BPT)

For more information about winterizing your outdoor space, contact one of our award-winning remodeling consultants at CiprianiRemodelingSolutions.com.

How to Select Roofing Shingles

The 3 C’s of choosing diamonds and shingles: Knowing more means paying less.

Shopping for an engagement ring can be confusing. But knowing the 4 C’s of picking a diamond – Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat – can help consumers get the best gem for their money. Shopping for roof shingles can be confusing, too. But knowing the 3 C’s of buying a new roof – Cut, Color and Coverage – can help consumers choose the best roof for their home and make the entire process easier and less expensive.

1. Cut

Cut refers to the shape of the shingle and can have a huge impact on a roof’s appearance. Depending on the cut, specialty laminated asphalt shingles, like shingle manufacturer TAMKO Building Products’ Heritage Woodgate line, can give the illusion of wood shake shingles. Other options can resemble stone, slate or tile. Shingle cut can also give a modern or vintage look to a home, so it’s important to choose a cut that fits the style of the rest of your house. The shingle cut can also affect the installation speed and the cost of your roof. The shingle application method shown here http://bit.ly/1dORpuC can help speed installation and reduce waste.

2. Color

When you think of shingle color, you probably think brown, gray and black. And while those traditional colors are still very popular, in recent years asphalt shingles have been introduced in a wide variety of colorful hues. Color trends include high-contrast options like Rustic Evergreen and Glacier White, as well as a popular move toward natural colors emulating the vibrant tones found in nature. “People are getting creative with their roofing – it’s not just utilitarian anymore,” says Stephen McNally, vice president of sales and marketing at TAMKO Building Products. “People are seeing it as a palette – one of the first things visitors notice about the house.”

When choosing a color, take into account the exterior color of your home, including siding, shutters, porch and front door. If the lots are close together, also consider the colors of the exteriors and roofs of the homes on either side of yours. Some options include contrasting colors, complementary colors or analogous color schemes.

3. Coverage

It’s important to understand the warranty on your roofing system. Coverage includes which items are under warranty, under what circumstances the roof is warranted and for what amount of time. Most roof warranties don’t guarantee your roof will last 30-50 years, but do provide options if you experience a manufacturing defect during the warranted time frame. Look for a warranty with longer “upfront” coverage, as these typically offer more time during which both materials AND labor to install replacement shingles would be covered (tear off, removal and disposal is typically not covered). Manufacturers’ warranties don’t cover regular wear and tear of your roof and weather damage is also not typically covered by manufacturers, which is where your home insurance comes into play.

Also, many times problems with a roof are the result of improper installation, so make sure to choose a reputable local roofing contractor, preferably a preferred installer who has received training from the company that manufactured the shingles. Also, ask whether your contractor offers a separate warranty for the installation of the product and for what period of time.

Understanding these three C’s of roofing can help you buy a “gem” of a roof and hopefully save time and money. For more tips on choosing the perfect roof for your home, visit www.TAMKO.com. (BPT)

To see more finished roofing projects and for more information about how to select roofing shingles, contact CiprianiRemodleingSolutions.com. One of our award-winning design consultants would be happy to have a roofing conversation with you.

Fall Curb Appeal in 5 Simple Steps

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Soon, all things pumpkin spice will be here, including the home visitors that bring them. In preparation of the door bell ringing, create a little spice of your own with some seasonal curb appeal. You don’t have to limit yourself to pumpkins and hay bales — below are tips and projects for sprucing up your home’s view from the curb this season.

Front door, first impressions

Your front door is one of the first things people notice about your home. Give your door a fresh face with a coat of paint in a bold fall color to draw the eye to this focal point of your home.

Another project is to replace the door entirely. Consider options with decorative glass accents, and stunning sidelights (windows on either side of the door) to add more natural light while maintaining a sense of style and privacy. Plus, as temperatures start to drop, Energy Star -qualified entry doors, like those from Pella, will help maintain your home’s energy efficiency. For entry door inspiration check out Pinterest, your resident showroom or your local home improvement store.

Accessorize with new hardware

Replace your front door hardware for a quick, easy facelift. Choose hardware finishes that compliment light fixtures, mailbox and house numbers for a polished, cohesive look. You’ll be delightfully surprised what a difference new hardware can make in creating an updated look to your home.

Refresh exterior body and trim colors

For a dramatic change, repaint your home’s exterior. It’s bold and can make your home stand out from other homes on the block. Not up for the bold change? To make an impact with a smaller change, add new trim colors. When updating trim, choose color schemes that match your home’s primary exterior color, or complement it with a fresh twist.

Create points of interest with plants

You don’t have to stop enjoying beautiful plants and flowers simply because summer is over. Add pops of color by arranging pots filled with hearty fall flowers like mums, sedum or asters around your front door, or on a porch or deck. Incorporate planters or container gardens of varied sizes, shapes and colors to add visual interest.

Accent with lighting

As summer light fades into shorter, darker days, add exterior accent lighting to the front of your home. Illuminate a walking path with ground-insert solar lights. Or consider solar spotlights to bring out landscaping or to shine on your updated front door. Install matching light fixtures outside your front door, garage door or patio door to provide well-lit entrances that are stylish and inviting to neighbors and guests.

For more curb appeal inspiration, follow Pella on Pinterest and Houzz and visit Cipriani Remodeling Solutions for more ideas on how to transform the look and comfort of your home inside and out.

ADA Compliant Ramps Done Through a Local Partnership

Cipriani Remodeling Solutions is delighted to share news of our ADA Compliant Ramps project.  The following is the press release announcing the news from the Gloucester County Habitat for Humanity.

HFHGloucester County Habitat for Humanity (GCHFH) is proud to announce the partnerships between the Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Cipriani Remodeling Solutions, and The Home Depot to build ADA compliant access ramps throughout Gloucester County.
These exterior entrance ramps will be constructed to assist those having difficulty with their regular stairs. “The idea started when I received a phone call from the county, explaining the need for the ramps throughout the community,” says Tony Isabella, Executive Director of GCHFH.
The county is projecting the need for 15 to 20 ramps a year to be built throughout the community. GCHFH would additionally like to build a few extra ramps for disabled veterans to support our veteran build initiative.
“A few simple ideas, a gathering of people, and community minded individuals is all it takes to create change” said Jay Cipriani, president of Cipriani Remodeling Solutions. “Coming together to make life just a little easier for someone who is in need, is what this partnership is all about” he later added.
The process of building the ramps will begin with the county identifying a home with the need for a ramp. Cipriani, GCHFH, and The Home Depot will then work together to create plans, schedule volunteers, and gather the necessary materials, as each ramp will be different from the next.
Gloucester County Freeholder Jim Jefferson, Liaison to Disability Services said, “The ability to help keep a family together through the act of building an access ramp seems like a simple task, but the cost and coordination can be prohibitive. Gloucester County is proud to join with our community partners to help make ADA ramps a reality for our residents.”
“Giving back is a core value at The Home Depot,” said Corey Lilliston, district manager at The Home Depot. “Team Depot, our associate-led volunteer force, is made up of thousands of Home Depot associates who dedicate their days off to giving back to local communities across the country. We are excited about this opportunity to positively impact the lives of those in our community.”
If you are in need of an access ramp at your home, please contact The Gloucester County Planning Division, Office of Housing & Community Development at 856-307-6664 or the Gloucester County Habitat for Humanity at 856-256-9400.

Contacts:
Tony Isabella, Executive Director
Gloucester County Habitat for Humanity
856-256-9400
Daniel Sulpizio, Board President
Gloucester County Habitat for Humanity
856-256-2500

For more information, please contact Tammy Collins, Marketing Director at Cipriani Remodeling Solutions, 856-853-8398

 

 

Remodelers Provide Five Key Elements to Home Renovation

 

Remodelers Provide Five Key Elements to Home Renovation

1. Customer Service
Knowledgeable home remodelers understand that they are providing a service, not a one-size-fits-all product. Just as every home owner is an individual, each home is also unique. A professional remodeler knows how to create customized solutions for the residents and provide continuing customer support.

2. Business Management and Integrity
Running a business well is part of the responsibilities of a professional remodeler. This includes having systems for the business, writing clear contracts, having insurance, providing warranties, and more. Better business management means better service for home owners because they can rely on the remodeler to perform with integrity.

3. Experience
Do you know what to expect when you take that wall out? A professional remodeler understands the structure of a home and is prepared for surprises behind walls. They’ve developed expertise from performing home remodels, attending trainings, and are familiar with laws and regulation pertaining to home construction.

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4. Longevity
Anyone may be able to purchase a truck and some tools, but only professional remodelers have the skills to remain in business for the long haul. By understanding the practice and business of home remodeling, these professionals can manage changes in the market and return to service your home for years to come. Use the remodelers you can trust to fix problems and keep a home in good health for the long term.

5. Creativity
Home remodeling frequently involves problem solving, such as maximizing existing space, strategically building additions, or navigating limited budgets. Professional remodelers can help home owners manage challenges and meet their needs while staying within the budget. Experience and skills help remodelers propose choices and solutions to satisfy their customers.Bring home the benefits of hiring a professional home remodeler for your renovation. Harness their skills and knowledge to create a more comfortable home.

With more than a million Americans spending approximately $116 billion annually on home improvement, the residential remodeling industry is the largest component of residential construction currently in this nation’s economy. More than ever during the year, the arrival of spring finds homeowners across the country inspired to invest in upgrading and updating their homes.

Cipriani Remodeling Solutions has been providing home renovation to Southern New Jersey residents for nearly 40 years. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, visit www.ciprianiremodelingsolutions.com.   or email us at info@ciprianibuilders.com

Throughout the month of May, the National Association of Home Builders Remodelers observes National Home Remodeling Month to focus attention on the importance of working with qualified professionals during remodels.For more tips on planning a home remodel or hiring a professional remodeler, visit nahb.org/remodel or contact www.blsj.com. The Builders League of South Jersey, 114 Haddontowne Court,Cherry Hill, NJ 08034,Phone: (856) 616-8460

 

 

 

Show Stopper Renovation

2014 BLSJ MAME Award Best Residential Alteration                                                                                                                                         Sewell, NJ

Tammy Collins, CAPS                                                                                                                                                                                           Cipriani Remodeling Solutions

The only way to understand where this gem of an exterior face lift came from is to see the “before” pictures. This house went from “unseen” to “show stopper”. The cars stop daily out front to get a closer look.

Show Stopper Renovation Cipriani Remolding Solutions

Exterior Renovation Before- Sewell, NJ

The clients wanted to inject new personality into their beloved home. New siding and a faux stone material were used as the basis for the color palette and the theme for the home’s new aesthetic.

Show Stopper Exterior Renovation After

Show Stopper Renovation After- Sewell, NJ

The faux stone is so authentic and rich that it’s difficult to tell it’s not real stone. A random flag stone stamped concrete pattern was used on the new round entry stairs, the walkway, and around to home’s new exterior stairs. The use of black wrought iron was incorporated to bring a timeless feel and a touch of pizzazz. The addition of the wrought iron was a deliberate choice by the designer to create a subtle hint of formality. The exterior light fixtures were also chosen in an antiqued bronze with aged glass to compliment the new exterior, making this truly a show stopper renovation.