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7 Smart Spring Home Improvement Projects to Fall in Love with Your Home Again

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Exterior Remodeling, Glass Block, Home Organization, Home Organization & Storage, Windows

7 smart spring home improvement projects to fall in love with your home again | Innovate Building Solutions

Are you like me and H-A-T-E winter? “Old-Man-Winter” is finally behind us. Spring temperatures are here. I can smell the Lilac and Korean spice bushes outside my home. Everything is just perfect …. except the abuse winter inflicts on our houses.

Now that I’m getting outside raking dead leaves away, getting mulch spread and putting in the screen windows it’s doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or a rocket scientist’s husband or wife!) to see your home has gotten a bit (OK maybe more than a bit) tattered and torn from the cold winter season. A front door or window may have rotten wood. Your siding can be showing its age with the paint coming off the boards. Your basement windows might look like they can practically fall out if you blew on them. And the garage – can you saw DISASTER. It’s tough to even get to the rake without stumbling over bikes and excess junk all around the garage floor!

Now that you’re out of your winter hibernation season what can (and should) be done to resurrect the outside of your home? In this article, we’re going to go on a “tour” of 7 smart projects you can tackle this spring to help you fall in love with your home again (and protect it the next time winter comes back again sorry to remind of you of this). We’ll start in the front of the house, go around the sides and finally look at some cool projects for the backyard. At the end of the article let me know project would make the most sense for your home.

Designing a Mud Room and Entryway to Embrace the Outdoors

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in doors, Exterior Remodeling

How to design a mud room or entryway to embrace the outdoors

A house is not a home unless you can embrace all of its surroundings – inside and out.

This is certainly a statement Bridget O’Callahan of University Heights Ohio could agree with. You see Bridget loves her outdoor space! There is nothing quite like the sounds of the birds chirping, the smells of the garden and relaxing activities like and hanging with your husband Tim in the hot tub which can provide a comforting respite from the hectic world. But when your “outdoor home” is literally walled-off from the outside – enjoying it is a bit problematic.

The Challenge – the wall

A number of years ago a room was added on to the back porch of the O’Callahans house by previous owners. This room only had one window on the west side of the home for Bridget to see her beautiful outdoor gardens.

An existing double hung window to be replaced in University Heights for a Sliding Glass Door

There was no door to make it easy to go outside to entertain, relax or enjoy gardening. As Bridget said to me, “The garden is my thing.  I just love the flowers. I thought it would be so nice to be able to see and enjoy them completely without being separated by a wall.”

A daytime view of an extensive garden in University heights ohio

The Project – a new mud room and entryway

The primary goal of this remodeling project was to open up the back and embrace the outside area of their University Heights home. The O’Callahans decided to work with the design and construction team of Cleveland Design and Remodeling to create a mud room and entryway which now brings in the light, sounds, and smells of the outside and provides easy access to the backyard. Read on to take a closer look at the evolution and re-purposing of the O’Callahans office into a relaxing (and multi-purpose) mud room and entryway.

Exterior Door Remodeling Continues as Big Trend in 2015

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in doors, Exterior Remodeling, News

Homeowners are always on the hunt for home improvement and remodeling projects that increase property value while remaining low-cost. The list for consideration often includes bathroom remodeling, kitchen remodeling or entire home additions; however, many homeowners fail to realize the value in a simple and cost-effective exterior project such as replacing an older door with an exterior steel entry door.

MBS ext steel door

Exterior Steel Doors Picture

According to a recent article by MarketWatch.com, small, exterior home improvement projects are dubbed, by realtors, as the best value in 2015. The article highlights specific products that will yield the highest return on investment, and the project listed as number one is steel entry door replacement.

Stylish and Practical Exterior Doors and Windows add Curb Appeal

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in doors, Exterior Remodeling, Windows

Looking for a unique and stylish entry way or exterior window? Exterior products are more than just a door or just a window; these products add personality and curb appeal to your home.  An artistically designed door not only allows visitors to come in but it invites them in.

green steel entry door

Doors

Doors can be customized with an array of options including decorative glass and caming patterns, inspirations art glass, colored thresholds, distinctive hardware and deadbolts, multiple paint and stain options, transom windows and much more!

20 Works of Art – Kansas City Urban Renewal Homes with Purpose, Passion and Practicality

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Exterior Remodeling, Glass Flooring

Urban renewal custom home in Kansas City MissouriRenewing a part of a cities’ core is not for the meek at heart. Urban renewal requires a clear sense of purpose, a passion to see what can be, and a healthy dose of practicality. When Randy Kietzman (an architect) and Jane Kietzman (a custom home builder) in Kansas City Missouri had a vision to build a home in Beacon Hill with great views of the city (but an area which didn’t have the best reputation as a place to live) they started on a difficult challenge which would eventually yield inspirational results.

Learn below how Randy and Jane have used purpose, passion and practicality to help  re-energize the Beacon Hill area and make progress toward their vision of a completed subdivision which will at completion have 20 homes or as Randy says, “20 Works of Art.”

 

Using Color: What Does Your Front Door Say about You?

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in doors, Exterior Remodeling

white steel entry

Did you know that the ways we use color in our lives and homes can offer others a peek into our personalities? Think about some of your favorite brands and products. What kinds of colors are used to entice you to make a purchase? What feelings do you associate with these colors and products? Believe it or not, there is a science behind the way we use color in our lives and often, our favorite colors tell a story about who we are. In the story of your home, what does your front door say about you?

Glass block garage windows – protect your valuables and your family

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Exterior Remodeling, Glass Block

glass block garage windows

I was recently saddened when a friend announced on Facebook his home was broken into…..and he actually blamed it on Facebook! The reality is in this new era of social media many people know where you are ….and many people know where you are not (in this case my friend was posting to Facebook when he was not home)!

 

While owners often take steps to make the home more secure – many forget about the garage as an easy point of entry for intruders. Old wood, metal and vinyl windows are easy to break out and offer minimal security. A strong option to secure this space (and your valuable tools, cars, equipment and side entry to your home) is to consider glass block garage windows.  In the article below learn about the products and all-important fabrication options for a glass block window in a garage.

Steel Door Replacement Named as Remodeling Project with Highest ROI

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in doors, Exterior Remodeling

steel entry doorIs your current home in need of several updates this fall, but you aren’t sure where to spend your money? According to a nationwide report published earlier this year by Remodeling Magazine, steel entry door replacement offers the highest return on investment out of more than 30 common projects, returning an average of 97 percent of the cost in added resale value.

While remodeling is an important part of keeping a home looking fresh and well-maintained, all projects are not created equally when it comes to ROI. Based on the Cost vs. Value report findings, front entry door replacement, kitchen remodeling, a wood deck addition and garage door replacement are the most cost-effective projects for adding to the overall value to your home.

Garage Windows with Glass Blocks – An Excellent Product for an Area Growing in Importance

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Exterior Remodeling, Glass Block

Garage windows using glass blocks being mortared for high security and increased privacy

Garage windows using glass blocks being mortared for high security and increased privacy

You may be asking – why should anyone care about the windows being used in a garage and why would glass block windows make sense in this space? Well in case you haven’t noticed garages are becoming a “hot” area of a home. Check out some of these facts:

 

  • According to the U.S. Census 1.3 million garages per year are being converted into living space.

 

  • From the National Association of Home Builders in 1950 58% of new homes had no garage – today 91% of new homes have a garage and 83% have a 2 car garage or more.

 

  • 17% of new homes in the United States have a 3 car garage.

 

So – what is prompting this increased interest in garages and what does that have to do with glass block windows? The reality is homeowners are looking for cost effective spaces that can be used as “flex” areas (i.e. for more than one use). In addition to parking cars people are now using garages for hobby and craft areas, workshops, children’s play rooms, ping pong and pool tables, poker rooms and exercise rooms. With this increased interest (and money) being put into garages there is a need for better windows– that is where garage glass block windows come into place.

 

Learn below the benefits and options of these windows vs. the old single pane windows that are generally installed when the garage was built.

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