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How to Choose the Right Kitchen Cabinets

by Gail Brumfield

Cabinets can completely make or break the overall look and design of your kitchen. Kitchen cabinets can set the entire tone and style of the room and dramatically transform the way you use your kitchen. When it comes to choosing kitchen cabinets, there are a lot of factors to consider. You have to set a budget, choose a style, and make sure all your specific storage needs are taken into account. This guide to choosing the right kitchen cabinets will help break down the process into smaller steps and help you think through all the important questions without getting overwhelmed or stressed.

Kitchen Cabinet Storage

While choosing your kitchen cabinets’ color and style is probably the most fun part of the process for most people, don’t forget that cabinets are ultimately a practical part of your kitchen. When designing your new cabinets, you need to think about how you use your kitchen. Do you have a lot of large appliances that need to be stored away but still accessible? Do you need your pots, pans, and cooking utensils to be stored by the stove? Do you want your garbage and recycling to be hidden away in a cabinet? How many drawers will you need? Do you need any special features? How many base cabinets versus how many hanging cabinets? Homes in Chesterfield come in all shapes and sizes, but even if you have a kitchen that’s on the smaller side, there are a lot of tricks of the trade that can be employed to create more space. If you think carefully about how to maximize your storage and how to use your cabinets to make your kitchen easy to navigate, you’ll be able to transform your kitchen and your cooking experience with your new cabinets.

kitchen cabinets in Richmond

Styles of Cabinets 

Now comes the fun part. Kitchen cabinets come in all kinds of styles and colors, which gives you a fun opportunity to express your personal style and spruce up your kitchen. First, decide if you want your cabinets to blend with the general look of your kitchen or stand out as an accent. If you have a more traditional Chesterfield home, you could go with something classic and elegant to match the overall style or choose more modern, contemporary cabinets to add some contrast. Now you can get into the details. Do you want framed or frameless cabinets? Do you like a raised arch, recessed square, simple slab style, or something else? Do you want the wood to show through or do you want painted cabinets? What kind of wood do you like? Are you drawn to neutrals or brighter colors? Thinking through all these options will help you narrow down your style so that you’re not overwhelmed with options when it comes time to buy.

Hardware Options

Once you have a general style nailed down, you can get into the nitty-gritty and choose your hardware. It might seem like a small thing, but your kitchen cabinets’ hardware can have a significant effect on the overall look of your cabinets and your entire kitchen. Do you like sleek, minimal hardware or something more ornate? Do you want your hardware to match the style of your cabinets or stand out in contrast? The good news is that if you end up changing your mind about the hardware, it’s relatively easy to replace. You also want to make sure that the hidden hardware – like the drawer slides and mounting brackets – are durable and high quality so that everything works great and lasts a long time. There are so many ways to create a kitchen that transforms your Chesterfield home simply by changing your kitchen cabinets. Use all these questions to create something that’s uniquely you and brings more organization and joy into your everyday life.

 

Why Choose A Heat Pump For Your Home

by Gail Brumfield

Why Choose a Heat Pump for Your Home

If you’re trying to decide whether you should go with central air conditioning or a heat pump for your home, there are a lot of factors to consider. Which will save you the most money? What about energy efficiency? Should you take the climate into consideration? It can be easy to get overwhelmed, but this simple guide will help you choose what’s best for you and your home.

Do You Really Save Money with a Heat Pump?

There’s no simple answer to this question. It all depends on what kind of climate you live in, what kind of home you have, and more. It’s possible that the initial cost of installation will be higher for a heat pump versus central air conditioning, but if you have to also install a furnace with your central AC, a heat pump will likely be cheaper. Additionally, if your home needs a lot of retrofitting or renovations to accommodate central AC, a heat pump will definitely be the more affordable option, as it requires little to no retrofitting to be installed. Even if your home doesn’t have adequate ductwork, you can simply go with a ductless heat pump to avoid costly retrofitting. If you’re still not sure if a heat pump is right for you, ask your local HVAC service in Richmond for advice, and they’ll help you make an informed decision.

Maintenance & Repairs

One advantage to the heat pump is that it’s a single piece of equipment that both heats and cools your home. When your home needs to be heated, a heat pump will transfer heat from the outside air to the inside of your home. Even on cold days, there’s a lot of heat energy in the air that your heat pump can capture with and release indoors. When your home needs to be cooled, your heat pump will remove heat from inside your home and release it outside. Because it’s just one piece of equipment versus two separate heating and cooling systems, you’ll likely save money on maintenance and repairs over time. If you have an HVAC service in Richmond that you already use, they can likely service your heat pump just as well as your furnace or central AC.

heat pump graphic

Energy Efficiency

Heat pumps generally have a much lower daily operating cost than a furnace and central air conditioning system. Heat pumps use electricity instead of natural gas to run, and the cost of electricity is typically lower than the cost of natural gas, though the difference depends on where you live. Heat pumps are far more energy efficient for homes in moderate climates, but if you live in a place where it regularly dips below freezing – and stays there for days or weeks on end – your heat pump will have to work extremely hard to keep your home warm, and you may see diminishing returns on the energy efficiency. Some people who live in cold climates still use a heat pump but supplement it with a furnace on the coldest days.

 

Tax Credits & Incentives

Another way a heat pump can save you money is through tax credits. While it depends on what state and locality you live in, many places in the U.S. offer significant tax credits to people who take steps to make their homes more energy efficient, and that includes switching to a heat pump. Do some research and find out what tax credits, rebates, and other incentives you could qualify for if you install a heat pump. It could defray the initial installation cost and make the entire project well worth your while.

Get Your Home Ready for Summer

by Gail Brumfield

Get Your Home Ready for Summer with Outdoor Lighting

Summer nights and evenings are some of the most magical times of the year. You can sit outside and enjoy the warm breeze while surrounded by nature, your family, and your friends. It feels like a carefree time that’s meant for relaxing, so why not get your home completely ready for the warm weather before it begins so that you don’t waste your summer on home improvement projects? Here are three ways to use outdoor lighting to get your home ready for the summer and improve your entire outdoor space.

Deck Lighting

Your deck is the perfect place to grill out with your family or relax with a glass of wine and some good friends. When summer rolls around, you’re probably not going to want to spend all day in the blistering sun, so you’re going to find yourself yearning to spend the most time out on your deck during the summer evenings and nights. Investing in deck lighting installation will completely transform your deck and turn it into your favorite summer relaxation spot. If you work with a professional lighting installation company, they’ll be able to help you design deck lighting that’s customized for your needs and highlights your deck’s best features. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives offers premium deck lighting, and they will make sure you love how your deck looks at night.

Outdoor Deck Lighting

Pool Lighting

If you’re lucky enough to have a pool at home, it’s crucial that you hire a lighting service to install pool lighting – both for aesthetic value and for safety. Going on a night swim during the summer can be refreshing, relaxing, and fun, but the last thing you want is anyone falling or hurting themselves by the pool due to inadequate lighting. An expert lighting company will know exactly how to light your pool so that it’s safe and looks beautiful.

Outdoor Pool Lighting

Outdoor Lighting

Since you’re already working with a lighting installation company to get your deck and pool ready for summer, why not go ahead and add some outdoor lighting to the rest of your property? An expert lighting service can install outdoor lighting that will highlight your home’s façade, make your pathways safer, and enhance the look of your landscaping and plant life. It’s one of the best ways to increase your home’s curb appeal and make it a safer place.

Many homeowners overlook the importance of outdoor lighting. It can completely transform and enhance the exterior of your home so that it looks even more beautiful at night than it does during the day. Outdoor lighting can make it exponentially safer to walk from your car to your front door while carrying an armful of grocery bags, and it can even transform your deck or patio into a place where you can’t wait to host a gathering or an outdoor dinner party. When you work with a reputable, professional outdoor lighting service, you can trust that their team of experts will do everything they can to transform your home into a safer, more beautiful place using outdoor lighting.

Outdoor Lighting

 

All pictures were taken from Outdoor Lighting Perspectives

Why Interlock Kits are Better than Transfer Switches

by Gail Brumfield

Anyone who has ever been stuck in a power outage knows how inconvenient and downright scary they can be, especially when the outage lasts for an extended period of time. Knowing that you have a high-quality generator standing by to restore power to your home during an outage can help you rest easy knowing that you and your family will be able to stay safe and secure even when the power goes out.

One of the most important things you should ask yourself when updating or replacing your generators is whether you should go with a transfer switch or an interlock kit. If you’re buying your first generator, you might not even know what these are or how to make an informed decision.

Interlock Kits Are Safer

An interlock kit is a device that’s installed on the front cover of a home’s breaker panel and allows for safe backfeeding through a portable generator during a power outage. Backfeeding refers to when the flow of energy is going in the reverse direction of its normal flow.

Interlock kits are an easier way to connect your generator to your electrical panel while generator breakers eliminate illegal or unsafe generator backfeeding that could lead to your generator failing or even electrocutions of anyone working to restore power to the electrical grid. The last thing any of us would want in a power outage is to be responsible for harming someone trying to fix the problem.

A transfer switch is an electrical switch that exchanges the load between two sources. Some transfer switches are manual, and others are automatic. Manual transfer switches are turned on when the operator throws the switch by hand, and automatic transfer switches are triggered when they sense that one of the electrical sources has either gained or lost power.

They Operate More Circuits than Transfer Switches

When you use an interlock kit, all of your panel’s circuits can be energized up to the load capacity of the generator. With a transfer switch, only a few circuits can be operated at once. Transfer switches also need an entirely separate panel in order to operate, while interlock kits can be installed directly on your home’s breaker panel, so you don’t have to have another piece of bulky equipment in your home.

Interlock kits eliminate the need for extension cords to power your appliances, which eliminates the risk of extension cord failures or even fires. Interlock kits are safer, more effective, more reliable, easier to use, and easier to install. When it comes time to replace or update your generator, going with an interlock kit rather than a transfer switch is a no-brainer.

How to Increase the Value of Your Home

by Gail Brumfield

Neka Granite Countertops in Kitchen

Are you preparing to sell your home anytime in the near future? If you are, it’s essential that you make a detailed plan for how you’re going to increase the resell value of your home so that you can get the absolute best price. Here are a few simple ways to have a hugely positive impact on the value of your home without spending tens of thousands of dollars on renovations.

  1. Focus on the Curb Appeal

The first things potential buyers see is the view of your home from the street. If your home looks drab, shabby, or un-cared for on the outside, people are going to go in with a negative first impression and won’t be as open to seeing all the great things about your home. Making your home looks gorgeous from the outside will put people in the right frame of mind to consider your home as a serious possibility. Start by painting your windows and front door. Choose a unique color for your front door that accents your home, and consider painting your windows a neutral grey, white, or even black to make them look new and elegant. Spend some time adding flowers, bushes, and other plant life to your yard, and keep the grass nicely trimmed while you’re showing your home. If you’re not much of a gardener, going with potted plants is a great alternative. Invest in a good power washing that will make everything look clean and brand new and consider adding some landscape lighting to accentuate your home’s façade. These small touches will have a hugely positive effect on your home’s curb appeal.

  1. Update Your Kitchen with Granite Countertops

Buyers have listed a modern, updated kitchen as one of their top must-haves for over a decade, and a beautiful kitchen has been shown to be especially important to millennial home buyers. By investing in granite countertops, you’ll be able to completely transform your kitchen without remodeling the entire room. Granite is extremely durable and resistant to stains, burns, and scratches. It’s a natural stone, which means that every single cut of granite is different, and you’ll end up with something unique to your home. You can go bold with red, green, or pink granite or choose something classic and neutral like white, grey, black, or tan granite. Granite countertops will make your kitchen look modern, luxurious, and high-end in a way that home buyers will love.

  1. Change Up the Paint

You might be surprised how much a fresh coat of paint can transform your entire home. Whether you use a painting contractor or do it yourself,  refreshing the paint in your home is one of the most cost-effective ways to make it more attractive to potential buyers. If you’re not sure what colors to choose, you can bring in a color or design expert to help you choose the right thing for your home. Buyers of all kinds tend to like a neutral color scheme that includes a lot of white and ivory, but if you think color would enhance your home, don’t be afraid to add a pop of color here and there. Or, you can compromise and go from something light and airy like a sky blue or light sage green. That way, you still get your color without overwhelming the space.

  1. Think about Energy Efficiency

Today’s home buyers are more concerned with energy efficiency than ever before. By adding some enhanced insulation, double or triple paned windows, LED lighting, or energy star appliances, you can make your home exponentially more attractive to modern buyers. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even look into adding a solar panel or two to your home’s roof. That will set your home apart and could attract buyers that otherwise wouldn’t necessarily be looking seriously at your home.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until Spring to Get Your Carpets Cleaned

by Gail Brumfield

We all know the importance of spring cleaning, but what about winter cleaning? Most people spend far more time indoors during winter than any other season, which means that the pollutants trapped inside our homes will have the most drastic effects on our health during this time. Getting your carpets cleaned by a professional is about so much more than just aesthetics. Carpet cleaning is a vital part of maintaining a clean, healthy home, and that’s more important than ever in the winter months.

Your carpets are always silently working to filter contaminants out of the air in your home. Carpets trap things like bacteria, allergens, dust, and dirt inside their fibers and prevent them from being inhaled by you and your family. After a few months, your carpets will become saturated with dirt and dust, and they won’t be able to clean your home’s air anymore until they’re deeply cleaned.

Getting your carpets cleaned by a professional is the only way to ensure that your carpets are free from contaminants and ready to get back to work keeping your home’s air clean and healthy. Since you most likely won’t leave your windows and doors open during the winter like you would in other seasons, it’s even more important that the air in your home gets cleaned and decontaminated by your carpets because the flow of fresh outdoor air will be stifled.

Winter also brings the holiday season along with it, and you may be planning to have friends and family coming to your home to enjoy holiday festivities. Whenever you have guests over, it’s natural to want your home to look its best. Professional carpet cleaning services will not only remove contaminants from your carpets, but they’ll leave them looking bright and new again. You’d be surprised at how freshly cleaned carpets can dramatically transform your entire home.

You may notice that your carpets get dingy and dirty faster during the winter months. This is most likely because of a combination of snowmelt and road ice being tracked into your home. The moisture from tracked-in snowmelt makes dirt, dust, and grime stick to your carpets more readily, making the surface of your carpets look dull and dirty. Road and sidewalk salt can get so deeply embedded into your carpets that if left untreated, they can cause permanent damage to your carpets.

Five Star Chem Dry

Getting your carpets professionally cleaned during the winter is crucial to your home’s health and the longevity of your carpets. Since winter tends to be a slower time for many carpet cleaning companies, you’ll probably be able to get an appointment right away at a time that’s convenient for you.

Five Star Chem-Dry offers carpets cleaning services that work better and clean deeper than typical steam cleaning services. Five Star Chem-Dry uses a carpet cleaning method called Hot Carbonating Extraction (HCE) that’s unique to Chem-Dry. HCE was designed to clean for your health and leave you with beautiful looking carpets. The carbonation used in HCE lifts dirt, dust, allergens, and bacteria from deep within the fibers of your carpet to the surface where powerful extraction equipment easily whisks it all away.

HCE is a low water method that uses 80% less water than typical steam cleaning, so your carpets will dry in just two hours instead of multiple days. And, because winter is typically the driest season of the year, your carpets will be able to dry even faster if you get them cleaned during the winter months. Five Star Chem-Dry will leave you will beautiful carpets and a cleaner, healthier home for the holiday season.

3 Carpet Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

by Gail Brumfield

Carpet cleaning is an extremely important part of maintaining a clean, healthy home. Carpets trap a ton of dirt, dust, allergens, and bacteria inside their fibers, and if they’re not cleaned regularly, they’ll start showing signs of wear far sooner than they should. By getting your carpets cleaned, you can extend their life for years. However, when it comes to carpet cleaning, a lot of people will make the wrong decisions or try to cut corners. If you avoid these three common carpet cleaning mistakes, you’ll be sure to end up with clean, beautiful carpets and an overall healthier home.

Choosing the Wrong Company

It’s crucial that you do your research and choose a reputable carpet cleaning company. There are so many carpet cleaning services out there that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and simply choose the first carpet cleaning company you find. But, by doing your research and reading customer reviews, you can eliminate a ton of companies that would have left you with poorly cleaned carpets and a huge bill. Carpet cleaning companies like Simple Steam have years of experience in the industry and a whole slew of satisfied customers to vouch for them. By choosing a company like Simple Steam, you can feel confident you’re making a smart carpet cleaning choice.

Trying to Do It Yourself

You may be thinking, why would I hire a professional carpet cleaning service when I can just take an afternoon and get the job done myself? It’s true that there are a lot of do-it-yourself carpet cleaning machines for rent out there, but they don’t work nearly as well as professional equipment. Heavy duty carpet cleaning equipment is vastly more expensive and more difficult to use than the at-home variety, but that’s because it’s so much more powerful. Professional carpet cleaning equipment will penetrate deeper into the layers of your carpet and remove exponentially more dirt, dust, and bacteria from your carpets. Carpet cleaning services will also likely use powerful extraction equipment to get rid of the excess water left behind. In fact, Simple Steam’s technology is able to extract 90% of the water leftover from cleaning, so your carpets will dry in just a couple of hours. If you clean your carpets yourself, you could be waiting days for them to dry.

Putting Off Carpet Cleaning Until Spring

You should be getting your carpets cleaned more than once a year, and if they’re looking dirty, you should never wait for spring cleaning to kick into gear before getting them cleaned. In fact, winter can be one of the best times of year to get your carpets cleaned. Carpet cleaning services are generally less busy in the winter months, so you’ll be able to get an appointment right away. Plus, the air is so dry in winter that your carpets will dry faster than any other time of year. We also tend to spend so much more time inside during the wintertime that having a clean, healthy home is more important than ever.

4 Tips for Preparing Your Home for Winter

by Gail Brumfield

Winter Leaves

The days are shorter, the leaves are falling, the weather is colder, and your ideal Saturday night plans have suddenly become curling up by the fire with a mug of tea and a good book. Winter is right around the corner, and that means it’s time to prepare your home for the cold weather, so you’re not surprised by problems when all you want to do is relax at home.

  1. Check for Cold Air Leaks and Install Weather Stripping

Start by checking your doors and windows for any cracks that may be letting in cold air. One way to test this is by holding a lit candle up to the door or window frame and seeing if it flickers at any point around the edge. If it does, that means cold air is making its way into your house, and you’ll need to invest in some good weather stripping to seal any cracks. You should also consider attaching door sweeps to your doors. Door sweeps are flexible pieces of rubber or plastic that are held to the bottom of your door with a strip of aluminum and prevent cold air from coming inside.

  1. Get Your Heating System Checked by a Professional Heating Company Robertson Electrical Heating Repairs

There’s nothing worse than having your heating system break during winter. Most people wait to call in a professional heating company until their system breaks down completely, and by that point, you’ll be last in line for service during the busiest time of the year for heating companies. The best thing to do to prevent this frustrating situation is to call in a professional heating company before the weather gets cold so they can check your system and perform any necessary maintenance. A heating company like Robertson Electric can perform a quick routine check that could save you a ton of money and inconvenience down the road. They’ll perform any and all necessary maintenance, so you can go into winter confident that you’ll be able to stay warm all season.

  1. Check & Clean Out Your Gutters

Clogged or malfunctioning gutters might not seem like a big deal, but they can cause a huge amount of property damaged if left unchecked. Clogged gutters attract pests and can cause water to back up and damage your roofing, siding, and more. Get your gutters cleaned by a professional – or do it yourself if you can do so safely – before winter sets in. Check that your downspouts are properly fastened and extend away from your house by at least five feet. This will help prevent flooding and water damage to your home due to snow melt.

  1. Prep Your Fireplace 

If you’re lucky enough to have a working fireplace in your home, it’s crucial that you get it regularly checked, cleaned, and maintained to ensure proper functionality and safety. It’s best to do so before it gets cold, so you’re not tempted to use your fireplace without knowing if it’s safe. Have a professional inspect and clean your chimney and check that your flue is working. It’s also a good idea to make sure all the smoke detectors in your home are working properly in case of emergency.

Stairs In A Day

by Gail Brumfield

Stair Remodeling on a Budget

When you come home at the end of a long day, you want everything in your home to look and feel beautiful and inviting. Stairs have a surprisingly significant effect on the overall look of your home. Carpeted stairs are still extremely common in homes that were built in the past several decades, but recently, they have quickly fallen from popularity. Carpeted stairs and stairs with damage or excessive wear can make your entire home look outdated and drab. If you’re looking to replace your stairs on a tight budget, NuStairs from Handyman Matters of Richmond is the perfect option for you.

Handyman Matters of Richmond offers a range of expert handyman services and can complete an entire stair remodeling project in just one day. That means minimal inconvenience for you and your family and a home that looks dramatically transformed in a single day. They’re able to accomplish this because of the amazing innovation of NuStairs. NuStairs are American-made, expertly crafted stairs that can fit right over your previously carpeted stairs. Whether you’re remodeling your stairs, restoring damaged stairs, finishing a basement, or building a brand-new staircase, Handyman Matters of Richmond can take care of everything from start to finish.

remodeled stairs

Instead of ripping out your stairs and building new ones from scratch – a project which could take weeks and a big chunk of change to complete – Handyman Matters of Richmond will leave you with a perfectly installed, beautiful hardwood staircase in just one day. NuStairs come in a range of different finishes, so you’ll be guaranteed to find something that matches your home’s existing décor. And, since they can be installed over your existing stairs, you can feel good about choosing a greener option and keeping waste out of your local landfill.

Handyman Matters of Richmond is proud to employ true craftsmen who take pride in completing every job to the highest standard. Their passion is to help improve their customers’ daily lives by giving them more beautiful, functional homes at a great price. For stair remodeling on a budget, there’s no better option than NuStairs from Handyman Matters of Richmond. Their handyman services take the hassle out of home repairs, improvements, and remodeling, and leave you with gorgeous new stairs in just one day.

5 Benefits of Window Tint

by Gail Brumfield

It’s no secret that window tint makes any vehicle look a little more stylish and high-end, but what you might not know is that window tint also comes with a range of other benefits that can affect your wallet, your safety, and even your health.

Safety

Window tint that’s properly applied by a professional window tinting company can actually keep you safer in the event of an accident. When glass shatters during a car crash, the glass shards become airborne and can cause serious injury to anyone who’s in the car. Window tint holds glass together even when broken and prevents glass shards from becoming airborne.

Tinted windows can also help prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Accidents are caused by blinding glare from the sun and oncoming headlights every day. Window tint significantly reduces that glare, so you’ll be able to maintain full visibility at all times while you’re on the road. In addition to these benefits, window tint is also a surprisingly effective theft deterrent. People looking to steal from cars or homes will likely check out their target before committing the crime to make sure it’s worth the risk. If they see valuables like cash, laptops, or cell phone in plain sight, they’re more likely to go through with the theft. If they can’t see if there are valuables in the car, they will probably move on to another target that offers a guaranteed payday.

Health

Window tint is specifically designed to block UV rays. UV rays are what causes sunburns and ultimately skin cancer. If you’re someone who commutes to work or spends a lot of time in the car, window tint is a must. With un-tinted windows, you can easily get sunburned even if you keep your windows rolled up at all times, and each sunburn increases your chances of getting skin cancer. Window tint will greatly reduce the amount of UV rays your skin is absorbing and keep you safe from the harmful rays of the sun.

Savings

Investing in window tint will actually end up saving you money in the long run. Window tint on your home, office, or vehicle’s windows can reduce the heat entering through your windows by over 60%. That means that you won’t need to blast the AC as often or for as long during the hot summer months. This will save on energy costs and gas mileage, and it means that you won’t have to replace your AC unit or AC system as often.

If all these benefits have convinced you to look for a window tinting company, consider checking out Solar Concepts. Solar Concepts provides the highest quality window tinting services available. They offer all kinds of window treatment and window sun solutions for residential and commercial clients as well as for all sorts of vehicles. Their years of experience in the industry give them the knowledge and expertise to perform each and every job to the highest industry standard.