NEW CONSTRUCTION

HOME CONSTRUCTION

For many people, owning a home is a lifelong dream and at McDonough Construction LLC, we can help turn that dream into a reality that you’ll get to enjoy for many years to come. So if you’re looking to build a home in Lakeland, FL, you can rely on us for excellent service and quality workmanship every step of the way. With an arsenal of advanced equipment and materials, we have the tools and skills to tackle a wide array of home construction projects; and we’ll go out of our way to bring your ideas and wishes to life in a timely, affordable fashion.

YOUR DREAM HOME AWAITS

Our mission is to combine luxury with functionality in the way that makes a house a home, and we’ve brought together a world-class team to realize that goal. Every member of our team is dedicated to constructing the home of your dreams, and we’re ready to work hard so that we not only meet, but exceed your expectations.

Call us today for more information about our home construction services or to schedule an estimate.

HOME CONTRACTOR

If you’ve decided it’s time to make some home improvements, McDonough Construction in Lakeland, FL, is the company to hire. Our skilled craftsmen have the tools and experience to remodel or renovate any area in your home. We can also provide assistance with any projects you’re planning so that you get the results you want.

CHANGE IS GOOD

Making home improvements or renovating a space that needs to be updated can make your home a special place for you. We can make that happen, and we’ll meet or exceed your expectations.

At McDonough Construction, we’re thoroughly committed to completing all projects at a competitive price for our customers in Lakeland, Polk County, and any of the surrounding areas. We take pride in our high level of service, and we want you to be completely satisfied with our work. Get in touch with us so that we can talk about all of your home improvement needs.

MASONRY CONTRACTOR

Specializing in stone and masonry, McDonough Construction LLC has built a reputation for excellence from the ground up. At McDonough Construction LLC, we combine modern construction technology with traditional methods to provide quality masonry work in Lakeland, FL. One of the oldest forms of construction, masonry has been hailed for the elegance and style it lends to a variety of projects, including:

  • Decks
  • Walkways
  • Fireplaces

YOUR SATISFACTION IS OUR OBJECTIVE

At McDonough Construction LLC, we work hard to exceed our customers’ expectations. No matter the scope of the job at hand, we promise to approach it with precision and care. And we pledge to make your upcoming project as cost-effective as possible, all the while giving you the attention to detail our Lakeland, FL customers have come to expect.

Whether you’re interested in having masonry work done to beautify your home, increase its resale value, or both, we can help. For more information or to schedule an estimate and design consultation, call McDonough Construction LLC today.

HOME CONSTRUCTION

For many people, owning a home is a lifelong dream. And at McDonough Construction LLC, we can help turn that dream into a reality that you’ll get to enjoy for many years to come. So if you’re looking to build a home in Lakeland, FL, you can rely on us for excellent service and quality workmanship every step of the way. With an arsenal of advanced equipment and materials, we have the tools and skills to tackle a wide array of home construction projects; and we’ll go out of our way to bring your ideas and wishes to life in a timely, affordable fashion.

YOUR DREAM HOME AWAITS

Our mission is to combine luxury with functionality in the way that makes a house a home, and we’ve brought together a world-class team to realize that goal. Every member of our team is dedicated to constructing the home of your dreams, and we’re ready to work hard so that we not only meet, but exceed your expectations.

Call us today for more information about our home construction services or to schedule an estimate.

HOME CONTRACTOR

If you’ve decided it’s time to make some home improvements, McDonough Construction in Lakeland, FL, is the company to hire. Our skilled craftsmen have the tools and experience to remodel or renovate any area in your home. We can also provide assistance with any projects you’re planning so that you get the results you want.

CHANGE IS GOOD

Making home improvements or renovating a space that needs to be updated can make your home a special place for you. We can make that happen, and we’ll meet or exceed your expectations.

At McDonough Construction, we’re thoroughly committed to completing all projects at a competitive price for our customers in Lakeland, Polk County, and any of the surrounding areas. We take pride in our high level of service, and we want you to be completely satisfied with our work. Get in touch with us so that we can talk about all of your home improvement needs.

MASONRY CONTRACTOR

Specializing in stone and masonry, McDonough Construction LLC has built a reputation for excellence from the ground up. At McDonough Construction LLC, we combine modern construction technology with traditional methods to provide quality masonry work in Lakeland, FL. One of the oldest forms of construction, masonry has been hailed for the elegance and style it lends to a variety of projects, including:

  • Decks
  • Walkways
  • Fireplaces

YOUR SATISFACTION IS OUR OBJECTIVE

At McDonough Construction LLC, we work hard to exceed our customers’ expectations. No matter the scope of the job at hand, we promise to approach it with precision and care. And we pledge to make your upcoming project as cost-effective as possible, all the while giving you the attention to detail our Lakeland, FL customers have come to expect.

Whether you’re interested in having masonry work done to beautify your home, increase its resale value, or both, we can help. For more information or to schedule an estimate and design consultation, call McDonough Construction LLC today.

Recent Projects

5 Genius Landscaping Tricks that Will Pay Off

A home with a gorgeous yard isn’t just easy on the eyes! Well-landscaped homes also sell for more money, but you don’t need to spring for a professional service. These cheap tricks will make your lawn look lush and rake in cash later.  In fact, well-landscaped homes sell for 5.5% to 12.7% more! First impressions mean everything when it comes to selling your home. So if you want to get top dollar you have to make a good first impression and an easy way to do that is by upgrading your curb appeal. Here are 5 tips that will help you get more money when selling your house.

Install Drought-Tolerant Plants

invest in some easy-care, drought-tolerant plants such as coneflowers, lantanas, or yarrows. Their ability to survive in dry conditions and need minimal need for water can be nice selling points to home buyers. Also, many landscaping experts suggest using naturally occurring plants in your area. Plus, this will keep your yard looking nice year-round!

Use Gravel or Granite

Instead of concrete, try a cheaper more natural looking alternative! Pea gravel will run around $30 per cubic yard. Versus concrete will cost $98 per cubic yard.

Buy Plants in Bulk

By choosing 3 varieties of plants for your garden instead of 10, you can buy in bulk and often save money. This will also give your landscaping more unity versus looking like a jungle.

Brighten Up Outdoor Lighting

Many home buyers schedule viewings in the evening since they work during the day. By having your home lit up at night and in the evening it increases the curb appeal of the home.

Hire a Landscaper … for Free

Landscape architects typically charge $70 to $150 an hour. However, many local garden centers provide landscaping consultations for free if you buy plants from them. That way you can get the advice you need from a professional and get flowers and other plants.

5 Tips for a Healthy Home

We often think of our homes as safe places, but they can be rather unhealthy. The Environmental Protection Agency has dubbed poor indoor air quality as one of the top five environmental health risks. From reducing plastic use to opting for hard surfaces for flooring and nontoxic materials, there are a plethora of things you can do right away to start reducing the toxic exposures you are unknowingly subjecting yourself to. Every improvement will make a difference in your health today, in the future, and in the health of our planet.

Don’t Ignore Mold

While you might be able to turn a blind eye to windows that need washing or lawns that need mowing, you don’t want to mess with mold. It is something you probably don’t want to think about, but ignoring it can lead to severe health problems. To keep mold at bay, the key is to reduce moisture in the home.

  • Check for leaky pipes or plumbing that could result in excess moisture, especially in poorly ventilated areas like the basement, attic, garage, and bathroom.
  • Always use an exhaust fan when showing, and leave it on even after you’re done. Investing in a small dehumidifier is another way to keep humidity levels in check.
  • Service your HVAC system. Rather than let dust and debris, a prime source for mold, sit all spring and summer in the filters and vent, clean the system now so it’s ready for next season.

Rid Your Home of Radon

A naturally occurring gas that causes lung cancer, radon can be found indoors and even in drinking water, but because it has no color, odor, or taste, you likely have no idea it’s there. It causes approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year, which is even more than the annual deaths caused by drunk driving. Most of it come from the soil under your home, forming as uranium breaks down and seeping up into your home.

Testing your home for radon is both easy and inexpensive. If high levels are found, radon reduction systems can reduce them.

Catch Carbon Monoxide

While most people know that smoke detectors are a must in any home, too often carbon monoxide detectors are overlooked. Unlike smoke, carbon monoxide has no taste, no color, and is poisonous. What makes carbon monoxide so dangerous is its ability to displace oxygen in the blood, which deprives your heart brain, and other vital organs of the oxygen needed to function properly. Prolonged exposure or large amounts of CO can overtake a person in minutes without warning. So long story short you need a carbon monoxide detector.

No Smoking

Not only is smoking bad for your body but it can have horrific effects on your home. Besides the stench, secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 substances, several of which are known to cause cancer. Just because smokers take their cigarettes out to the garage doesn’t necessarily help. Secondhand smoke has been shown to travel between rooms of a home, and even between apartment units.

Don’t Clean Your Home Sick

While dust and pests can cause problems of their own, the chemicals often used to get rid of them can be even more dangerous. For example, some pesticides can cause serious damage to a person’s nervous system and kidneys and even increase the risk of cancer, while many common household cleaners can release volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which can cause serious health damage as well. The EPA recommends using nonchemical methods of pest control and cleaners without VOCs.

6 Unexpected Money Pits Hiding in Your Home

Normally when people think of “money pits” in their home they typically think of the big issues like foundation issues and new roofs. However, the small money pits that are reoccurring can definitely add up. Here is where these money pits are hiding and what you can do to keep them at bay.

Lightbulbs

If you have regular incandescent light bulbs in your home, they are burning through your heating bill. Only 10% of the energy they consume goes to the light. The rest gives off heat, which results in a higher AC bill. That is why the US government encourages all homeowners to switch to energy-efficient bulbs such as LEDs.

LEDs might be more expensive but they will save you cash over time. According to Energy.gov, if you replace just five of your most frequently used lights with energy-friendly models, you will save $75 a year. In fact, if every household replaced just one incandescent bulb with a LED, Americans would save more than $460 million in annual energy costs.

Air Conditioner

American homeowners spend $11 billion on cooling costs every year, according to the Department of Energy. So once summer rolls around, it is important to make sure to replace the filter to keep your air-conditioning unit in good condition. Don’t forget about the vets outside your AC as well. Your units need free, unconstricted airflow to operate efficiently. Oftentimes shrubs grow around these units, blocking airflow, causing the units to work harder, longer, and using more energy. They will also burn out quicker.

Refrigerator

The refrigerator is a black hole in more ways that one. For starters, it is easy to spend too much money on food to fill it up. Plus, when food gets “lost” in the fridge that becomes, even more, money being thrown away. Nearly everyone has food in the back of the fridge that gets buried and is left to rot. In fact, 40% of all food in America goes to waste and that adds up to around $2000 a year per household. The best solution is to keep perishables or other items you use at eye level to stay on your radar.

Another way your fridge eats up money is the electricity this appliance consumes. A way to reduce that is to simply clean the coils. Those long tubes snaking along the bottom or back of your fridge collect dust over time and hinders how well they cool your food. Keeping a refrigerator well-ventilated and free of dust can knock 6% off its power consumption.

Landline Phone

The proliferation of cellphones has rendered landlines nearly obsolete, though many consumers still like having one for emergencies. At an average of $40 per month it’s a lot of money to dish out on a phone you rarely use. However, if you just can’t bring yourself to ditch the idea of a landline you might want to consider a free internet home phone provider like Ooma.

There is an upfront cost, but it pays for itself in just 2 months. Connect the phone to your high-speed Internet and regular home phone, and pay only applicable taxes. Opting for this free service will save you about $480 annually.

Energy Vampires

Technology and appliances such as TVs, laptops, coffee makers, printers, space heaters, and cable boxes continue to suck energy even when turned off. The solution is to get in the habit of unplugging these electronics when you aren’t using them, and you will save big.

Power strips are easier and less timely alternative, some even come with a remote control for easier use. This will save you 5% on your energy bill. Considering that the average American home electricity costs are $1,300 a year, 5% savings can keep an extra $65 in your pocket.

House Pets

Unfortunately, our furry friends are arguably at the top of the list. People often underestimate the cost of a dog or cat. A dog can eat roughly $80 a month worth of food, nearly a thousand dollars a year. Plus another $1000 at least to cover pet accessories, veterinarian costs, boarding, pet sitting/walking, and grooming. The dog will likely live for about 12-15 years so you are looking at $24,000 in expenditures over the life of the pet. Yes, our pets might be well worth every cent we spend on them, but just know what you are getting into before adopting a new pet.

7 Signs of a Good House to Flip

HGTV has several shows featuring people raking in big bucks flipping houses. It seems like an easy and fun way to make an extra $20,000+. However, it is definitely not as easy and as flashy as it is portrayed on TV. Veteran home flippers often keep a mental checklist to help steer them towards homes that are primed to gush cash with the right upgrades.

Is the Home in a Neighborhood where Homes Sell Fast?

One of the first clues that a house is “flip-worthy” is that it is in an area where homes sell quickly. In the flipping game time is literally money. The longer your house either isn’t done or is sitting on the market means the longer you have to pay the mortgage and maintenance costs. Fast-moving selling markets generally mean overheads won’t last long.

The House Meets the 70% Rule

For a flip to be worth your time, effort, and money, you should between 10%- 30% return on your investment. To determine your potential return, see if the flip meets the 70% rule. Meaning can the house be bought for 70% of what it will be worth once fixed up, minus any needed repairs, closing costs, and real estate agent fees? For example, if you can buy a house for $100,000 and fix it up for $30,000, you will want to sell it for around $200,000 in order for it to be worth it.

The Price Is Right

To get a ballpark figure for how much you can sell a house for once it is fixed up, one safe rule of thumb is to check the median home price for that market. So in the 33813 area code of Lakeland, the median listing price is $260,000 while the median closing price is $203,000. Which means the price per square foot is about $109. The price obviously varies on the number of rooms, upgrades, neighborhood, and a number of other variables.

The Property has More than One Bedroom

Do not buy a one bedroom house to flip, because most home buyers are looking for at least two bedrooms. Anything smaller will minimize the demand at resale. Another flip worthy must is a functional floor plan. Meaning you should not have to go through a bedroom to get to the kitchen.

The Needed Repairs are Mostly Cosmetic

The physical condition of the home should be fair and correctable without draining your bank account. Repairs that should give you pause include foundation and structural issues. Tackling these two problems can destroy a reno budget with overages and stretch the time from of the flip. The home needs to be in good shape, to begin with, unless you are planning a very large gut and addition, which is unlikely in most flips.

Understand What Scares

Most home buyers touring an open house can deal with a lime-colored wall they need to repaint or one appliance that predates the stone age. What many buyers can’t handle, though, are intimidating and pricey projects like replacing an old furnace, putting on a new roof, electrical upgrades, or plumbing issues. Not only do these issues spook homes buyers, they also could make the home hard to finance with lender money. Last but not least, a home shouldn’t have any crazy characteristics like a railroad in the backyard, a very busy road out front, or other problems that can’t be changed.

The Neighborhood Itself Doesn’t Need Flipping

People don’t just live in a house, they live in the surrounding area too. A potential flip should be in a good neighborhood with access to transportation and amenities like parks. Perhaps the biggest indicator of a flip-worthy home is the quality of the schools since a large segment of buyers are looking for good schools.

How to Build a Backyard Bar Shed Perfect for Summer

Outdoor rooms and firepits are all the rage these days and for good reason! Outdoor entertaining is the best and a great way to break in the summer. So one of the many ways to liven up your outdoor living area is to build a backyard bar shed. We break down how you can turn your existing shed into your neighborhoods favorite Friday night hot spot!

Claim an Outbuilding

The first thing you are going to need is a shed. If you already have one in your backyard clean up it up a little bit and make sure you have enough alternative storage space. If you don’t have anywhere else to store your landscaping equipment, it would be a good idea to get another shed.

Plan for Elbow Room

Factor in size, because a really small shed probably won’t be ideal for a bar. Think about how many people you plan to host on a regular basis, as well as your ideal seating. Keep in mind that your local building department might have a size restriction on backyard sheds built without a permit. Around 120 sq ft is usually a safe bet.

Consider the Bar Shed’s Location

If you already have a shed, you might want to relocate it away from a child’s bedroom. Also, it would be a good idea to leave enough room to set up tables and chairs near the bar area. This would create a little outdoor entertaining area perfect for summer nights.

Pick A Bar Theme

Start by considering the basics when designing the interior of your bar shed. Meaning flooring, wall paneling, and paint. then decide on the vibe you’re going for, Tiki, pub, lounge, dive, beach, or sports bar to name a few ideas.

The shelves for wine and liquor, as well as the bar itself, can be purchased or made. You might want to design the bar around a small fridge or cooler tucked under the serving side of your bar to avoid taking up additional square footage in the shed.

Electrical

If your bar dreams contain a mini fridge, icemaker,  and blender for frozen margaritas, you are going to need power. Before you get started, consult an electrician on the resources available in your backyard. Depending on the type of exterior power outlets you already have, you might need to trench in extra power.

7 Home Maintenance Tasks for June

It’s official, school is out and the heat has returned. Summer is here; there is no doubt about it and all you want to do is head north or to the beach to cool off and relax. However, before you lather up in sunscreen, here are 7 home maintenance tasks you should complete this month to ensure your home runs smoothly all summer long.

Check Your AC

There is nothing worse than a broken air conditioner in the middle of Florida Summer. Make sure to test your AC for 30 minutes and make sure it’s cooling properly. To extend the life of your AC, adjust your thermostat by only 2-3 degrees at a time. If anything seems off, call a professional HVAC company. You will spend between $100 and $250 for service, which includes cleaning the condenser and lubricating the fan motor. When the Florida sun and bearing down on your house you will see this as money well spent.

Stop Mold Before It Starts

The Florida drought is no more. June has brought several heavy thunderstorms and soon our drought will officially be over. However, all that heat and moisture can wreak havoc on a home. Luckily, there is an easy trick to keep mold at bay. Lower your thermostat. Some Florida homeowners try to save a little money on cooling by keeping their house at a warmer temperature. The cost saving on the power bill could quickly become eclipsed by the cost of your mold problem.

Also, avoid leaving your AC fan in the “on” position, instead use the “auto” setting. This can cause rapid mold growth. If your fan is running continuously, then any moisture that is condensed on your AC’s evaporator coil, during cooling, doesn’t have a chance to drain off.

Prime the Pool

Test your pool’s pH levels often to keep the chemicals balanced and your pool safe for swimming. Run the pump daily, one hour for every 10 degrees of heat in the water is a good tip so you can avoid a green pool. If you forget and come home to your own personal Florida swamp, drop by your local pool supply company with a sample of your pool water and they will tell you exactly how to get it sparkling blue again!

Exterminate Pests

Warm weather draws out all the creepy-crawlies and all the rain drives them into your house. However, you can give summer bugs the boot by following some of these ideas:

  • Trimming the shrubs or bushes that touch your house
  • Switch mercury vapor outdoor light bulbs with yellow sodium vapor, which are less attractive to insects
  • Weed thick vegetation and pick ripe fruits and veggies as soon as they are ready
  • Keep bird feeders at least 25 feet from your home, because spilled seeds can attract rodents
  • Eliminate all standing water to stop mosquitoes before they hatch

Service Your Sprinklers

By servicing your yard’s irrigation system, it can save you water and money. Doing so can also prevent damage to your landscaping and reduce standing water. Make sure your sprinklers are programmed to follow any local water rationing regulations and program your system to optimal summer use settings to keep the landscaping looking fresh. 

Keep your Fridge Cool

Your refrigerator is most vulnerable in the summer heat. To keep them running smoothly, clean condenser coils and be sure to remove dirt, pet hair, and any  food that is lodged in the compressor. You can make the job easier by using a vacuum and coil brush.

Lawn Mower Tune-Up

Use compressed air or a leaf blower to clear grass, dirt, and debris that have accumulated in your riding lawn mower. Drain old fuel into an approved gasoline can, and follow hazardous waste disposal regulations to get rid of it. Then, change your oil and filter. Let your mower run for a little bit before getting started. If you have a foam air filter, clean it with soap and water, and make sure it’s dry before reinstalling. Finally, change the spark plugs. This is a simple but crucial task that will help the mower start smoother and run more efficiently.

What are the Best Smart Kitchen Appliances?

For those of us wishing for the Jetson way of life, we are almost there! Especially in the kitchen. Soon we will not even have to lift a finger to make dinner, thanks to smart kitchen appliances. However, we are not quite there yet, but the technology of today is still pretty amazing. For example, smart ovens can tell what you are cooking and figure out how long to cook it. Let’s go through all the other amazing way our kitchen’s IQ has gone through the roof.

Smart Refrigerators

Today’s fridges do so much more than keep your food cool. For example, the LG InstaView Door-in-Door Refrigerator ($4,000) and the Samsung FamilyHub 2.0 ($2,900) boast massive touch screens where you can access apps to create grocery lists, order those groceries, check the weather, play music, leave notes for family members, and much more. To make you feel even more futuristic, you can do all this just by talking to your fridge. Also, both of these fridges have an internal camera that takes a picture every time you close the door. That way you can know exactly what it in your fridge when you go to the store.

While both of these fridges are pretty much the same, the Samsung one is a thousand bucks cheaper. However, the InstaView has an amazing feature that Samsung left out. If you knock on the touch screen it turns transparent. So you can see the contents of your fridge without even opening it. Which save money and it is just plain cool.

Smart Oven

Like I mentioned before Smart Ovens can detect what you are cooking and how long to cook it perfectly. So you will never over or under cook a turkey ever again. Probably the most accomplished of the bunch is the June Intelligent Over ($1,495). A camera inside, combined with image recognition software, lets the oven “see” and know what you are cooking.

If you hate being stuck at home, the Samsung Wi-Fi Connected Cooktop ($3,100) allows you to turn on, control, and monitor your range through your smartphone. This means you could leave food in the oven when you leave the house in the morning and program it to start baking just before you leave the office.

However, should you cook from your smartphone? The American safety and certification company UL has voiced some concerns. In one study on smart-enabled home applications, it warns, “indiscriminate or unintended signals could… cause an appliance to operate in a manner that may be hazardous to consumers.”

Thankfully, some smart ovens do have safety functions. Whirlpool’s Smart Front Control Range ($2,000) has one such safety feature: It connects with your Nest thermostat, so it knows whether you’re home or away. At the end of the day, if you are cooking, you shouldn’t  stray too far.

Smart Coffee Makers

The Orenda ($400) lets you determine everything from grinding size to water temperature to brewing style all through its app.  For a more affordable option, Mr. Coffee ($150) has an app that will let you start brewing from your bed.

Smart Scale

If you are an avid baker, but you hate that several measuring cups and spoons wind up dirty the Perfect Bake Pros’ Smart Scale ($50-$100) could change your life. Measuring by weight is more accurate than measuring by volume, and for this extra sensitive scale, you just pour ingredients into a bowl until you hear a ding. The scale’s app also has 500-plus recipes and helps you scale them to make more or less, you can also add your own recipes. 72% of Amazon reviewers give this smart scale a five-star rating!

 

6 Secrets of Kid-Proof Home Decor

With kids running in every direction keeping a house in order is a daily struggle. Especially when your little one is blissfully unaware of the havoc that sticky juice, sidewalk chalk, mud, and so many other things that can wreak your couch, rugs, and your sanity.

However, it turns out you don’t have to cover your entire home in plastic sheets. You can keep the luxe factor in your home even during your kids’ most destructive phases.

Choose Dark, Patterned Rugs

When in doubt go darker. The rationale here is that the darker the rug the less of a mess it will look. Meanign if you go with a lighter rug you will see every stain on it. A nice dark pattern can conceal all manner of sins and makes for easier cleaning.

Embrace Easy-To-Clean Fabrics

The fabric genies making textiles today understand what it means to have children. New weaves such as solution-dyed acrylic are colorsafe and cleanable with bleach water. This doesn’t have to be stiff outdoor fabic, either. Many people love fabrics made by Perennials but another good brand to look for is Crypton. Think kryptonite! It is soft, beautiful, and indestructable! People can literally wipe red wine off of white Crypton fabric without a trace left.

Reconsider Leather

If you have been avoiding leather becasue it is too luxe and your kids will definitly ruin it, fear no more. For an easy-to-clean option, consider leather dining chairs, sofas, or accent seating. Most high quality leathers simply wipe clean.

Upholstered Ottomans

This option will have your home looking enviably chic and keep you from worrying about your coffee table’s dangerous coners. Upholstered ottomans can appear so luxurios and are safe for your kids. If your room is on the larger side, choose a few smaller ottomans and group them in front of your main seating area to mimic the look and feel of a large coffee table.

Rustic Look

Kids are going to scratch the furniture one way or another. If you go for that rustic worn look you are beating them to the punch and all those little scratches they add will never be noticed, since it issupposed to looked scratched.

Take Advantage of Built-Ins

It is nearly impossible to contain all of your kids stuff in their bedrooms, regaurdles ofhow big they are. To control the chaos, consider built-ins, while closed storage at the bottom can hold board games, dolls, and other toys.

5 Reasons You Need a Smart Home

The term “smart home” has been thrown around a lot lately and that is no surprise considering that almost half of Americans have some type of smart home tech in their home. However, most of us have barely scratched the surface of all the smart home gadgets out there. Many of these smart home upgrades can appear useless and it is often hard to figure out where to start. No worries we are here to help!! So let’s take a step back and highlight all the ways smart products can make your home a better place. Plus you get to save money, time, and headaches.

Safer Homes

Our home is our sanctuary and it should be protected as such. Luckily there are a vast amount of smart home devices that can help ensure your home stays safe. One of the more obvious options is to use security camera that detects break-ins. These cameras can also be hooked up to companies that can further assess the danger and send the police, fire, and/ or ambulance. You can also have smart detectors that will pick up on smoke, fire, carbon monoxide, moisture levels, radon, and so much more. Smart locks are another smart home feature, this allows you to lock and unlock your doors with your phone. Plus this can be done from afar, so if someone locks themselves out there is not issue letting them in.

The best part is most smart home products won’t drain your wallet. According to Houzz’s 2016 Smart Home Trends Survey, the majority of smart home security upgrades make up about 76% of all smart home upgrades and they spend $1,500 or less.

Smart Homes Save Money

If you are wanting to slash your energy bills, having a smart home can make that happen. Companies like Nest, Honeywell, and Ecobee are all smart thermostats that perceive how many people are in the room and adjust the temperature accordingly. They also allow you to make adjustments remotely with your phone.

According to a Nest Study, the company’s smart thermostat saved consumers on average 10% to 12% on heating and 15% on cooling. Based on typical energy costs, that translates to an average savings of $131 to $145 a year. Which means this smart device, which costs $250, will pay for itself in about 2 years.

If you are ready to broaden your home’s budget-friendly amenities, consider smart lighting, smart dishwasher or laundry machines. Now, these items are more expensive but they will save you money down the road by conserving heat and water. According to consumer reports, water-efficient laundry machines use about 13 gallons or less for an 8-pound loan, which is half the 26 gallons sucked down by a regular washer.

Smart Homes Save Time & Stress

A lot of people these days don’t want to lift a finger around the house. For instance, rather than needing to stroll across the living room to turn on the stereo, you can just tell a smart speaker, like the Amazon Echo, to play your music for you. Since these speakers also work as personal assistants, you can ask them for the forecast, or how many teaspoons are in a cup in the midst of cooking, or to add toilet paper to your shopping list.

All these little tasks might not seem like much hassle individually, but they add up, and they’re just the beginning. These WiFi enabled smart speakers can also act as smart home hubs, enabling various smart gadgets to speak to one another. For example, your smart alarm clock can wake you up and turn on your smart coffee maker, while your smart fridge can sense you’re out of eggs and add that to the grocery list. It’s no wonder that according to the 2017 Houzz & Home Survey, one-third of Americans who recently purchased a home plan to add some form of automation.

Smart Homes Gadgets Are Easy to Install

Luckily you don’t have to be tech savvy to install most smart home products. They are made to be user-friendly. Many of them offer online instructional videos, and you may not even have to pick up a power tool since many operate wirelessly.

Smart Homes Are Easier to Sell

When you eventually sell your home, smart devices can pay off in a number of ways. According to Consumer Reports, smart home features can boost your home’s resale value by up to 5% that’s $15,000 on a $300,000 home. Research also shows that home appraisers are beging to factor in the value of tech features.

 

 

 

3 Genius Ways to Transform Old Furniture

It is easy to fall into the trap of buying all new furniture from the store. However, there is a cheaper and more creative option out there. Everyone wants that one-of-a-kind furniture piece that sets your home apart from the cookie-cutter houses. So instead of throwing away an old stool, table, or chest of drawers, you can repurpose those pieces to give them new life. Plus this helps keep these items out of the landfill and therefore keeps our Earth happy. With a few tools, some paint, and lots of DIY, you will have a new piece of furniture in no time.

Old Door Turned Headboard

By turning down that custom headboard you are going to save buckets of cash. By getting 2 reclaimed barn doors bracketed to the wall, or even just a few planks, lined up and nailed in can add the rustic charm you were looking for in minutes.

What is the old wood smells weird? You can usually remove the offending odor by placing baking soda sachets or rolled up newspaper on the piece you plan to use for about a week. If the odor still won’t go away, set it out in the Florida sun for a few hours and that should do the trick.

Crib Springs Turned Bulletin Board

Of course, you can’t put you children in an old crib that you picked up from the flea market but you can turn it into a cute bulletin board. An old crib might sell for as little as $30 and can be transformed in under 30 minutes. By using bolt or wire cutters to remove the spring from the bottom of the crib, sand down any sharp bits that stick out, and then attach it to the wall. Clip on permission slips, recipes, and fun photos.

French Door Turned Picture Frame

This project is incredibly easy. All you have to do is find an old french door or hutch door. Add some paint and stick pictures to the inside of the windows. You can normally pick up an old door at a garage sale for around $20.

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