Fresh Home Upgrades for Spring

After a long winter cooped up indoors (assuming you have been in the colder climates), spring is the perfect time to start re-imagining your home and making upgrades that create a fresh, welcoming vibe. If you are in sunny, South Florida or other warm climates, these are still some fun ideas to jump start Spring.

These project ideas—some big, some small—can help breathe new life into your home so that you’re ready to enjoy your favorite rooms to the fullest.

Air it out. Months of closed windows and doors can make any room feel dusty and stale. As soon as temperatures allow (or even in our warmer weather states), throw open the windows and skylights to let the fresh air chase away the remnants of winter. It’s also the perfect time to launder window treatments and clean area rugs. If you’re considering an update to the overall décor, changing out these textiles is an easy and affordable way to create a new look. Sleek white shades are very popular for a clean look right now.

Paint to perfection. Over time, once cheerful walls can grow dull. Create a livelier ambiance with a fresh coat of paint, either in the same shade or something completely new. If you’re not sure exactly where to start, tackle the project room by room. To choose the right hue, select a favorite item in the room, such as an heirloom throw blanket or a piece of wall art, and consider color shades that complement the item. Some of the colors I am seeing are Aqua, Orange, Lavender, and even my favorite PINK! Of course, shades of grey are always a good neutral.

Make what’s old new again. Sometimes a fresh perspective is as simple as rearranging a room to better fit your needs. Over time, furnishings can become almost an afterthought because they’ve been in place so long. Try moving things around to create new conversation groupings or to highlight a piece that has been tucked away in the shadows.

Get earth smart. With all of the new growth and hues of green that abound during spring, it’s natural to be more mindful of the environment. Earth-friendly upgrades like switching out inefficient lighting or installing low-flow toilets and shower heads can make a sizable difference.

7 Signs Your Contractor May Be Shady

Building a home or renovating your existing pad is no simple task. From budgeting to design and choosing the right contractor, there’s a myriad of details you’ll need to juggle. But when it comes to choosing the right contractor for the job, it’s important to be mindful that not every contractor is reputable. Hopefully, you have a great contractor, or your real estate agent can refer you to their team of experts (this who they rely on for client home repairs or perhaps even fixing their own homes).

If you are going it alone, here are seven ways you can spot a shady contractor . . .

  • They pressure you. Whether they’re pushy with contracts or a specific material, if they’re using pressure to sway you, there is something wrong.
  • They only accept cash. This is a huge red flag. Reputable contractors will take checks and potentially even credit cards for their payments.
  • They want it all up front. I don’t know of any reputable contractor who requires 100% of the money upfront. A typical payment plan is 25% to start for small jobs and 10 to 33% for large jobs. If they demand full payment up front, be wary: they may never finish the job.
  • They have no references. No matter what, never hire a contractor without verifying at least three separate references and verify the work in person.
  • They suggest a lender. If the contractor suggests that you borrow money from a lender the contractor knows, you could be the target of a home improvement loan scam.
  • The contractor fails to listen. A contractor should want to meet your specific needs. If they seem unable or unwilling to listen to your wants, if they talk over you or in any way seem disrespectful, they may be un-reputable at worst, or at best, difficult to work with.
  • No right of rescission. A solid contractor will let you know that you have the right to cancel your contract within three days of signing; this “right of rescission” is required by law and allows you to change your mind without penalty if the contract was provided at a place other than the contractor’s place of business or an appropriate trade premise.

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