Loving Your Home
Are you spending more time at home these days and suddenly seeing your home with fresh eyes for the first time? Sometimes, we get too busy to notice the little things that have become outdated, the repairs that need doing, or the projects that are yet unfinished. With new social distancing orders in the community and many people working from home, it’s possible you’re getting a look at your home base in a whole new light.
You may also find you have more time on your hands with reduced hours spent commuting to and from your workplace, and now may be the perfect time to see to some home improvements and projects you’ve been putting off. This can give you something enjoyable to focus on and also make those long hours spent at home more blissful as you turn your house into the ideal home you’ve always dreamed of.
Here are some tips and expert resources to help you make it happen!
Plan Your Project
Before you dive into your project, it’s best to make a plan and prioritize the things you want to accomplish. The order you approach separate tasks can be important, especially if the tasks affect one another. It’s also possible that beginning a new project will uncover certain other things that need some attention. One great step to take at the outset of a new home improvement project is a pre-renovation inspection to help you pinpoint any issues that may be hidden in your home so you can address them during your project. Randy King with King’s Home Inspections told us more about the pre-renovation inspection process.
“Having your home inspected before a renovation project is recommended in order to avoid unexpected repairs or costly surprises during your project,” he said. “A pre-renovation inspection is really directed by the homeowner’s specific requests and needs for the particular project. The best inspectors treat your house as a whole connected system, and they understand the impact the separate parts have on the rest of the home. A good inspector can give you insight into the inner workings of your home and the health and durability of your structure, plumbing and electrical systems, roof and attic, etc. Having this perspective before you tear down a wall or put up new wallpaper in an area that may need some work done can save you a lot of time and money down the road.”
Once you have information from a pre-renovation inspection report, you will be ready to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty doing the real grunt work of your project.
Revitalize Your Interior
Chances are, your home renovation aspirations include a do-over of some space in the interior of your home. Because the kitchen is such a bustling hub of activity for so many homes, it makes sense that many home renovation projects begin in the kitchen.
Lori Wellman with Lincoln Cabinet explained how they help people transform a kitchen into a vibrant new space.
“When it comes to kitchen remodels, the sky’s the limit, and it doesn’t have to be expensive if you’re on a budget,” Lori said. “If your budget allows for new countertops, that is a great way to change the look of the space. Adding backsplash tile or replacing a dated backsplash in the kitchen is a simple project that can really change the look of your space for not much money.”
“The best thing a homeowner can do is establish what their budget range is and then look at the space and make the changes that will give them the most ‘bang for their buck’ with the budget they have in place,” Lori added. “For instance, if you can afford getting new countertops, sink, and faucet, do that first then you can do a tile backsplash when more funds become available. However, if their kitchen really doesn’t fit their needs or the cabinetry is not good shape, owners would be better off waiting until they can afford to do a full update to the space as most countertops are difficult to reinstall and are hard to use in a new plan layout. Of course, if you want completely new cabinets and mid- to high-quality offerings, we certainly have these options too. As I said, the sky’s the limit!”
Lincoln Cabinet is a full-service design and remodeling company known for their kitchen and bathroom design, but they are also experienced in full house remodeling. Lori told us a little more about the design experience and how they really take it to the next level for their customers.
“We believe it is especially important to converse with our clients about potential designs they may not have considered that could improve their homes,” she said. “Often the client’s reaction is, ‘Oh, I never thought about that!’ Presenting other options and preplanning for future projects leads to people having the best space possible when we’re finished. We also utilize 3D software to help our clients visualize remodeling projects during the planning and decision-making phases.”
If you are interested in updating your current space, don’t hesitate to give Lincoln Cabinet a call.
Beyond having help with design planning, if you undertake a remodel project and need help with electrical work, Oak Electric can help. Matt Collins shared more with us.
“Our team has a meticulous level of attention to detail, and our residential clients love that their projects are completed correctly the first time,” he told us. “Our master electrician will work closely with you to understand the needs of your remodel, wiring, exterior lighting, or other home projects. We can help with under-cabinet lights in your kitchen, can-light installation, basement finishes—or anything else you need! If you’re working from home and find your Wi-Fi isn’t up to par, we can also hardwire access points throughout your home to get you up to speed.”
Oak Electric takes pride in doing each job with care and precision—including practicing increased safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic—and including customers in the process so they have all their questions answered.
Another company that offers great attention to detail when helping their customers undergo a new project is EMO Flooring. If you’re looking to change up the flooring in your home, EMO Flooring has the options and expertise you need to do your project the right way. Office Manager Jacque Lee shared some thoughts on the best flooring options for different areas of the home, starting with the kitchen.
“Really any type of hard flooring can be used in a kitchen, depending your preference,” she said. “Engineered hardwood is a popular choice these days as a classic and durable option because style options are continually evolving to the degree that pretty much anything you can dream up is available. There are many different color and finishing options. The hardest part is choosing. For carpets, there are also a wide variety of excellent choices in endless styles and colors. We recommend you keep carpet in the bedrooms and not in high-traffic areas where the carpet will easily wear and fade. If you’re looking to put new flooring in a bathroom, mud room, or laundry area, we recommend tile. Tile is waterproof and easy to clean. There are a lot more patterned tiles now matching various decorating styles and historical-period styles…really anything you want!”
For those who do wish to have carpet in a high-traffic area such as a living room, Jacque recommends using an area rug to both protect the carpet and add an element of design and color.
“You can showcase dramatic area rugs that are so breathtaking in color and design, they’re like works of art,” she said. “Rugs can change the feel of a space in minutes, so you can do a room makeover on your lunch hour. Rugs look great layered over carpet or adding warmth and color to hardwood, laminate, vinyl, and tile. EMO Flooring has a great selection of area rugs, and we offer design-selection advice for those looking to add that extra element of cohesion to a project.”
Another great way to spruce up a room is to add a beautiful piece of accent furniture. Barnwood & Leather has a stunning collection of high-quality furniture crafted with the greatest skill and finest materials. We spoke to Owner Brenda Clark to learn more.
“We carry a beautiful barnwood line made from 100% reclaimed wood, hand-crafted one at a time, that includes dining room pieces, living room accent tables, stand-alone bars, pub tables and stools, and office and bedroom furniture,” she said. “In addition, we can custom-design barnwood cabinets, and we also carry leather and upholstery furniture with the capability of designing custom-made pieces. Recently, we began working with local Nebraska artists and craftsmen who have their unique pieces for sale in our store, including table and wall art made from textured steel and copper, wood-carved accessory items, rustic furniture, and Nebraska photography.”
Whatever you choose from Barnwood & Leather’s collection, you can’t go wrong! Your interior will instantly be upgraded by the addition of any of their classic pieces.
Maximize Your Efficiency
One home improvement project you may have been putting off for a while is equipping your home with automated systems. Smart home technology products such as smart thermostats; sprinkler system controls; smart outlets; window, door, and flood sensors; and more can greatly increase the energy efficiency of your home, and you’ll likely have a lot of fun planning and carrying out the project!
If you need a hand from someone who knows smart home technology inside and out, Addison Collingsworth with Simply Smart Homes is the man to talk to.
“A more high-tech home is now within the reach of any homeowner on any budget,” Addison said. “Better security, higher efficiency, and entertainment features like wireless audio and creative lighting brings convenience and simplicity to a person’s life at home. With automatic 911 dialing in the event of a fall, a garage door that opens if CO2 build-up is detected, and various alarms and devices to prevent a potential break-in, our easy-to-use smart home features enhance the experience at home and help keep you safe. I can also help people improve their Wi-Fi so they don’t have wireless dead spots in their homes and their streaming will work better.”
The services offered at Simply Smart Homes range over a variety of functions and purposes. Products such as Simply Smart Homes’ window, door, and flood sensors can help you monitor if windows and doors are closed or your basement or any other room is flooding and also control lights when motion is present, listen for sounds when you are away from home, and provide many other features. These devices can be adapted to your specific needs and ensure your home is protected. Other Smart home technology products they offer to homeowners in Lincoln include cameras, smart locks, garage door controllers, smoke alarms, video doorbells, thermostats, lighting and fans, entertainment systems, smart speakers, smart outlets, and sprinkler system controls. A project aided by Simply Smart Homes can upgrade your home from the 20th to the 21st Century in a short period of time, saving you energy and money.
Perfect Your Exterior
If the inside of your home is a peaceful sanctuary but you still feel it’s time for some home improvements, perhaps some updates to the exterior of your house are in order to add that special feeling we all look for in a home.
For those who want a contemporary look for the exterior of their home, Knotwood Central offers an exciting new product that boasts a long list of desirable qualities and uses. Shane Ligon, owner and operator of Knotwood Central, told us more about this product and the many ways it can enhance your home.
“Knotwood is a state-of-the-art product that genuinely looks like wood, but it’s not wood, it’s aluminum,” he said. “A lot of people are surprised that it isn’t really wood because it has such a beautiful, natural look to it. And that’s just the beginning of what makes it a great product. Knotwood is truly the new look of modern architecture. It really makes things pop.”
Knotwood’s impressive list of beneficial qualities include being eco-friendly, non-porous, non-warping, scratch resistant, corrosion resistant, stain resistant, lightweight, non-combustible, insect proof, freeze resistant, slip resistant, UV resistant, 100% recyclable, color stable, heat dissipating, care free, and covered by a 15-year warranty.
“Knotwood is lighter, stronger, and straighter than real wood, and it comes in 30+ wood colors and 50+ custom colors,” Shane explained. “In other words, Knotwood is pretty incredible! All you have to do is glance at our gallery online to see how beautiful and versatile this product is. While it can certainly be used for siding on a home, it doesn’t have to end there. The combinations and creative functions of this product are as extensive as the imagination of the homeowner undertaking the project.”
If you’re looking for a more classic exterior look that can easily add an element of charm to your home, an addition of brick siding can be paired with your current siding for a dynamic yet traditional look—and you don’t even have to give up the beautiful paint color you currently have on your siding! Yankee Hill Brick has been historically providing brick for nearly 140 years. They offer a selection of time-tested brick styles from different periods and places in history. Their unique blends of clay and state-of-the-art, high temperature firing kiln allow manufacturing of the highest quality clay brick products in the industry. Their face brick is offered in over 50 varieties ranging from antique and highly-textured to smooth and classic and coming in colors from charcoal to burgundy to deep red to sandy beige and everything in between. Just a few of the many distinctive styles of face brick include the following:
- Standard face brick, notable for its smooth, sharp look.
- Tumble face brick, notable for a rugged look without sharp corners.
- Antique face brick, notable for a stone-like texture.
- Iron spot face brick, notable for a subtle, consistent texture of spots and marks.
- Whatever your style or color preference for brick siding, Yankee Hill Brick is sure to have a perfect fit to complete the look of your home.
If you want to transform your exterior by adding on a deck, pergola, or some other outdoor feature, Decks Unlimited has the products, expertise, and team to help you with your project. We talked with Owner Dan Waters to learn more about what sets them apart in their industry.
“As Lincoln’s premier deck builder, we use only the highest quality products on the market,” Dan said. “We would not put our name behind anything less than the best. We use #1 grade pressure-treated ground contact YellaWood® lumber for our substructure because it gives us the correct strength ratings for necessary board spans while ensuring the board has less imperfections such as knots, bark, wane, cups, and bows that typically come with #2 lumber purchased from a lumber retailer. It’s important to make sure you’re using quality products so your new backyard space will be around for years of enjoyment, not years of maintenance.”
YellaWood® is a high-quality pine that has been pressure-treated with Micronized Copper Azole Preservative (MCA) to protect against rot, fungal decay, and termites. The MCA offers a lighter and more natural color and is certified environmentally friendly. In addition to YellaWood, Decks Unlimited uses industry-leading products such as TimberTech AZEK™ composites and Westbury® aluminum railing. Decks Unlimited is 100% dedicated to using the highest quality products, best methods of installation, and training knowledgeable carpenters. They take pride in every deck they build no matter how big or small, and they truly believe that no job is finished until the customer is fully satisfied.
Beautify Your Grounds
One of the most enjoyable aspects of home at this time of year with the weather getting more pleasant by the day is being able to relax under the shade of a tree in your own backyard or smell the rose bushes under your kitchen window. Don’t have any trees or rose bushes and think this deserves your attention as you make your home improvements? Luxury Landscape is the perfect partner for your landscaping adventures, as they will work with you as much or as little as you like and give you all the attention and advice you need. We talked to Jackie Lienemann to learn more.
“We love helping others achieve their dream of building their perfect outdoor oasis,” Jackie said. “Most landscapers will only offer a full and complete installation, but what if you just need some advice, direction, and a little help? Luxury Landscape offers the DIY folks out there a way to fulfill their own dreams without costing them an arm and a leg.”
For someone who wants to improve their landscaping but is looking more for a little help than someone to do it for them, Luxury Landscape is the ideal company to work with. They bring the joy to your backyard and teach you how to grow and craft a little joy of your own. However, If you do want someone to take on the project and offer you the full experience from design to completion, Luxury Landscape offers this as well.
“We really strive to provide our customers with the perfect balance of all the help they need while also allowing them to take ownership of their yard and landscaping projects,” Jackie added. “Once the project is finished, we also offer maintenance packages to keep your grounds looking fresh and lovely. Whatever you need, we can do it!”
For ideas on how to plan a landscaping project, we talked to Tom Scharfen with Eagle Nursery.
“If you really want a beautiful landscape design, you need to consider a combination of hardscapes and softscapes,” Tom said. “Softscapes include the health of your lawn, the shrubs, trees, and flowers you plant—any live horticultural elements of your landscape. The hardscape includes arbors and pergolas, retaining walls, walking paths, rock designs, firepits, paving, etc. The most beautiful landscape designs balance these elements and tie them together with a harmonious color scheme. People driving by your home may not realize the coordinated nature of your landscape, but they will know it makes them want to slow their speed and roll down the window and take it all in. Effective landscape design can be breathtaking.”
Eagle Nursery offers residential and commercial landscaping design and installation, landscape maintenance, hardscapes, landscape lighting, tree spading services, and snow removal. As an added bonus, they proudly utilize Nebraska-grown and Nebraska-hardy trees, shrubs, and perennials to enhance yards and landscapes throughout the Lincoln area and keep the ecosystem vibrant and healthy.
One important aspect of landscape and lawn maintenance that is important to consider in regards to the health of both your lawn and the environment is having a good sprinkler system in place. We spoke to Jeremy Hunt with Hunt Irrigation to learn more about this.
“Installing and maintaining a good sprinkler system will help you save water and money as well as help you avoid leaks and resulting damages. All this is, of course, good for the environment as well,” he said. “Modern sprinkler systems use sophisticated moisture sensors, water gauges, and timers to ensure only the amount of water your lawn needs is delivered. These irrigation systems are designed to not waste water, but to save water when compared to the imprecise process of manual watering.”
Jeremy explained that good sprinklers help maintain the health of your lawn and plants by neither overwatering or underwatering: “There really is a perfect balance in the amount of water your yard and plants need. Installing and maintaining a good sprinkler system makes striking this balance effortless and automatic. Hunt Irrigation takes the guesswork out of the whole process so you can be confident your system will function optimally. We work with you every step of the way, and you can always call us with questions if you think your system may need adjusting, particularly as weather patterns shift throughout the year.”
If your yard is beautifully landscaped and receiving the proper amount of moisture, your greatest task becomes caring for and maintaining your lawn. Because they know how much work this can be, Ray’s Lawn and Home Care provides their customers with a comprehensive treatment plan to ensure their lawns get the treatment they need all year round as the seasons change. The treatment plan begins in the spring with applying fertilizer and pre-emergent followed by insecticide and herbicide in the summer and continued treatments of fertilizer and herbicide throughout the year. The process results in lush, green, healthy lawns and plants.
For anyone looking for excellent service in mowing, trimming, weeding, and other aspects of keeping up their grounds, TDK Lawn Care offers services guided by a five-point system of care for creating a healthy, green lawn. We talked to president of TDK Lawn Care, Lee Schumacher, to learn more.
“Our five steps for a healthy lawn work every time,” he said. “We apply them to every lawn we care for as though it were our own. These five steps include:
- Watering at the correct times, with the correct amount of water for your grass type. (Blue grass requires ¼” every other day. Tall fine fescue requires 1” per week).
- Varying the heights of the mower for the variety of climates here in Nebraska. (During the warmest months, the mower height should be between 3” – 3 3/4”).
- Aerating your lawn once to twice per year. (Aerating is usually done in the fall and spring when the grass is growing rapidly and repairs itself easily. TDK also recommends at this time that you overseed with a turf tall fescue).
- Overseeding with drought and fungus resistant seed. Tall fescue works well for this. This is usually done in the spring or mid to late September.
- Having the correct fertilizing schedule, which usually includes a six-step program for an average lawn and uses pre-emergent, weed, and grub control along with a winterizer.”
When you choose to work with TDK Lawn Care, you can be confident your grounds are receiving the care and attention they need so your property will stay healthy and green and enhance the beauty of your home.
Enjoy Your Home
Whatever home improvement projects you pursue, the most important thing is that, in the end, you enjoy the result and find that home is a place you want to be. Your improvement projects should enhance your space in some way so your home suits you and functions the way you need it to. Perhaps, as you’re sitting in your beautiful backyard enjoying the completion of your recent home projects, the mosquitoes will remind you that there is always one more thing that needs your attention to make your space perfectly enjoyable. Let Mosquito Shield, a company under the umbrella of Heroes Management Services, provide you with some relief.
“From mosquito to tick control, Mosquito Shield will be your best friend in the warmer months,” said Owner Taylor Olberding. “Our team professionally applies a blend comprised primarily of all-natural oils to mask, kill, and repel mosquitoes and ticks. Our season long guarantee makes sure you can enjoy being outside all season long or your money back.”
With the help of Mosquito Shield’s services, you can rest in your beautiful backyard and take in the scene of your lovely home before you without the annoyance of pesky mosquitoes to spoil your mood! Instead you can end the day with a smile, knowing your hard work has paid off.
If you want to enhance your home space this spring and engage in a worthwhile home-improvement project, remember to seek out the very best services in Lincoln and look to professionals who can help you make your home the sanctuary you deserve.