5 SIMPLE WAYS TO UP YOUR HOME’S CURB APPEAL

Quality workmanship

Updating the exterior of your home can have a major impact on your quality of life and the value of your home. Along with painting or installing new siding on your home’s exterior, doing a bit of landscaping and masonry work can take the look and function of your outdoor spaces to a whole new level. The best part is that while some of this work really does require the skill of a professional, many weekend warriors can achieve quality workmanship themselves. There are many small changes that can make a big difference. For five ideas of how to improve your home, keep reading.
1) Step It Up Most homes have at least one set of steps on the exterior. Most are masonry steps, i.e. made of any combination of bricks, stones, and concrete, and are a major feature in the front of your house. Masonry steps can be installed by one of the 140,000 skilled workers specializing in the installation of bricks and concrete. If the design is simple enough or you have a bit of experience, they can also be installed by yourself. Just remember that masonry steps, just like all steps, must be safe and if you have doubts about your skills, it is best to just find a mason.
2) Concrete Castle Concrete is one of the most versatile materials to use in your outdoor space. In addition to using it for masonry steps, you can also use it for driveways or other paved features. It also is a great long term investment. If you have an asphalt driveway that is around 20 years old, it will likely need to be completely replaced. A concrete driveway, however, can last you closer to 25 with fewer upkeep requirements. You will do a lot of living on your concrete, so make sure that you invest in quality materials.

3) Grow a Green Thumb Adding a little bit of greenery to your home’s exterior can completely change the look. Just updating masonry and more flowers can take your home from looking a bit worn down to looking new, vibrant, and full of life and movement.

4) Good Fences Make Good Neighbors Investing in a good fence can do wonders for how often you use your outdoor spaces. About 80-90% of new fences are stockade or privacy fences, which allow you, your family, and your pets to enjoy your privacy and create a getaway that will not be interrupted by your neighbor’s BBQ.

5) Get Some Curb Appeal Curb appeal matters! A survey by the National Association of Realtors found that 71% of home buyers care about the curb appeal of a home when they look at it. Updating the exterior of your home will help to poise you to have the best chance of selling your home for the price you want when you are ready to move.

Curb on PaverThis picture is actually one that Curb Appeal Concrete Landscaping Borders did just a few days ago.  This application keeps your sidewalks free and clear of mulch that spills out on your sidewalk during heavy rains.

If you are interested in Concrete Landscaping Borders, and you live in the Central Florida area, please give us a call today for your FREE estimate!  We’d love to help you design your plans.

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4 Ways Green Roofs Help Manage Stormwater

 Green roofs have a number of environmental benefits. In addition to improving air quality, conserving energy and reducing the urban heat island effect, green roofs benefit water quality by absorbing water during small storms and slowing stormwater runoff from large storms. A green roof of any size can be implemented in the home landscape as part of a sustainable stormwater landscape design.

The Only Renovation Tool that you’ll need

Creating a Renovation Budget that Works

When renovating your home, the most important component is to know your budget. Developing a realistic budget will help keep your project on track. We spoke with Nick Malfara, President of Design-Spec Building Group Ltd., a company that specializes in residential renovations and custom home building in the GTA, for his advice on developing a sound budget.

Conduct a needs analysis

When homeowners’ lifestyle or needs change, they either need to move into a space that will accommodate said changes, or change their existing home. Malfara says it is more cost-effective to add space than to move due to land transfer taxes and other costly expenses. In such a case, Malfara will have a conversation with his clients in the initial phase of a project to determine what the reason is for the renovation. “Does the homeowner want a new kitchen or a bigger house?” he says, referring to the conversation as a needs analysis. “A needs analysis should outline both the square footage space requirements and specific needs homeowners require,” says Malfara. If you have three children and you would like each to have their own room, include this in your needs list. Do you need to have a home office space, or a soundproofed space for children to practice music in? It’s these kinds of needs – or wants – that will drive the home renovation project, he says. Your needs analysis will be used to determine the type and calibre of materials that will be required and the amount of work involved in the project.

Prioritize

Look at your needs analysis and prioritize your needs. Those priorities will depend on your intentions with the home. If you’re planning to leave the home in a couple of years, you may want to prioritize renovations that will add value to your property immediately. Design-Spec Building Group will be able to tell you what renovations will increase resale value and which ones to avoid. If you’re in your forever home, you will likely prioritize those elements that make the home easier to live in for your family regardless of impact on resale.

Find cost savings in materials

Once a needs analysis is performed, have your contractor price out the work, including finished materials. If there’s a disparity between the desired budget and the quoted cost, homeowners can either increase the budget, or pare back on the caliber of finished materials used. “Instead of using a White Carrera marble floor, for example, they can use a porcelain tile that replicates the look of a Carrera marble but it saves 20 to 30 percent,” says Malfara.

Don’t discount hidden costs

While your budget should include HST, the cost of appliances and light fixtures, you will also need to build in a contingency. Malfara recommends a contingency of 10 to 15 percent. “[This accounts] for changes the homeowner makes on design or material selections or site conditions that need to be addressed and generally involve some cost,” says Malfara. Older homes should budget for the higher end of this contingency, as problems such as knob and tube wiring, mould or cracks in plumbing pipes can be uncovered during the renovation and will need to be resolved.general-contractors1Thinking about a home renovation but don’t know where to start when it comes to ideas and budget? Take a look at Design-Spec Building Group’s profile on our website. Browse through the picture gallery and read customer reviews. They’ll be able to answer all your burning renovation questions!

More in Home Renovation

Harmony 5

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A Guide To Landscaping Around Your Home

Your home is looking good! You have repainted the inside of your house. You have redecorated the inside with new furniture. And, you have put in new lighting so your home is nice and bright. However, the inside of your home is only half the battle. You also need to look and work at the outside of your home.

Other than painting the outside of your house, there are a number of other ways homeowners can improve the look, and just as important, the value of your home. One of the easiest ways to improve your home is through the use of landscaping around the house. Landscaping the areas surrounding the house can make your home look nicer and improve the look of your neighborhood. These are factors that can help improve the value of the house.

Homeowners have many different ways to help landscape their homes. Many can be accomplished by yourself at minimal expense. Landscaping can take different forms such as planting flowers, trees, bushes and maintaining a healthy looking lawn. There are also other methods of improving your home including having a nice looking deck or patio, improving your outdoor lighting and even having a water feature in your yard. Another important part of landscaping is keeping pests away from your lawn, trees and gardens.

All of these methods of landscaping can help improve the look of your home and raise the home’s value. To learn more about landscaping around your home, please take a peek at the following resources. We hope that you learn how to properly landscape and also work on your own around the house. Also, please feel free to share this information with others looking for information on landscaping.

Harmony 5

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When should you leave it to the professionals?

To find out what you can do around your own home, TheJournal.ie spoke to expert Gerry Fallon.

WHILE THE IDEA of taking on a bit of DIY sounds like a good idea, knowing where to get started can be a bit bewildering.

While some people will call in a plumber or electrician at the first sign of trouble, others will stubbornly persevere on their own.

To find out a bit more about what you should be attempting, and what should be left to professional, TheJournal.ie spoke to Gerry Fallon from Expert Hardware to find out more.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but DIY is for middle aged men who like spending time in sheds. How does someone not in this demographic get involved? 

The first thing to do would be to look around the home and see the sort of jobs that you can do. Whether it be small or big, if it is a big job people might tend to sort of tear into it – which they shouldn’t really do.

gif john candy drilling

The second thing to do is to make sure that you have the right tools for the job. You can gradually build up a very comprehensive tool box over a period of time, which will probably then do for 99% of the jobs around the house.

Tradesmen can be pretty expensive. Do you think people can be a bit hasty to call out reinforcements? 

I do, people often rush to hire plumbers and electricians. Plumbers probably more so. A lot of plumbing jobs can be done at home. They are quite simple, but people are afraid to tackle them. A call out for a plumber can range from €100 to €120 – and that is just for a call out.

So is there anything that people definitely shouldn’t do at home? 

Anything electrical. Wiring a plug isn’t a problem, but if you are tampering with the system itself, the workings of the electricals in the house, I would certainly leave to the experts.

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Wiring around the home should probably be left to the professionals.

Source: Shutterstock/Halfpoint

So besides avoiding electrocution, DIY sounds pretty easy. Would fitting a kitchen would be easy enough as long as you followed the instructions? 

It is possible, but you’d want to be very, very keen at DIY to attempt that. There are so many trades involved in it. The majority of people could find themselves quite handy at painting, but they might not be so good at plumbing or carpentery. Everybody sort of excels at different aspects of DIY.

Going back to tools, how much could a person expect to pay out? 

Depends on how professional you want to be. You can get a very good range of toolboxes with a basic range of tools that would do around 80% to 90% of jobs in the house for less than €50.

We had a toolbox about two years ago and it was around the fifty to sixty mark. You will get cheaper ones – but if you’re going to the bother than it it better to really get quality tools.

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€50 is about enough for a decent tool box

Source: Austin and Zak

And what sorts of things do the have-a-go handy men and women of Ireland get wrong? 

I think they get into jobs before they realise how big they are. It is like taking a sledgehammer to a job that a hammer will do. You just have to stand back and look at it and know that you can do it before taking it on.

There is nothing worse than starting a job and then having to get in a professional to finish it off.

What are a few examples of the things that people can do around the home themselves? 

Fixing a leaky tap. It’s not a big job but again it is quite daunting. People are afraid of water leaking around the house. It is a very, very simiple job to do. There is so many videos online that do help people do these things.

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Fixing a leaking tap isn’t too hard

Source: Shutterstock/SpeedKingz

Insulating an attic. It sounds like a very big job, but it is very simple. All you are doing is rolling out insulation to cover the whole area.

Fixing a faulty lock. Calling out a locksmith, and again you’re paying call out charges, where changing a lock is a very, very simple process.

To get down to it, how dangerous is DIY? 

Getting back to what I said – anything electrical is dangerous. People sometimes might also try and go up the side of a two storey house on a ladder. They might be cleaning a gutter or doing some painting. If you are not used to it, it can be very, very dangerous. Working from height can be dangerous.

You have to realise really your capabilities. Start small, work your way up, if you’re a first time DIYer.

Any clever things people can do now we’re getting into the summer? 

Things like cleaning a deck, that is something that people are starting to do now. To clean it down and paint it up again for the summer.

Gerry Fallon’s top tips for getting started in DIY

  • Start small and identify jobs around the home that need to be done.
  • Hire in a professional to deal with the majority of electrical jobs.
  • Expect to get a decent tool box for around €50.
  • Jobs like fixing a tap, insulating an attic or fixing a faulty lock do not require a professional.
  • Avoid rushing into big jobs, as this can lead to having to call out a professional at a later stage.

Borders around your landscaping:

Lawn Flower Curbing

Borderline Curb Machine_NEW

Trying to shovel concrete into a form is hard.  Don’t let anyone make you think it’s easy!  Curb Appeal Concrete Landscaping Borders has the equipment that flows along your design, with a continuous concrete border that won’t move, rot or break (within reason).  Contact us today for your free estimate within Central Florida!  In business since 1997.

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Backyard Landscaping Ideas on a Budget

by Diana Smith
Home is where your heart is, they say. Well, wherever that is, there is no harm in having it gorgeously organized and decorated so that you can enjoy all the wonderful time spent there with your friends and family. Naturally, the problem of doing any redecorating or upgrading, whether it’s for the interior or the exterior of your home, is the limited budget. But, good news is this doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about your space – you can make it look absolutely stunning, without breaking the bank. It all comes down to a lot of creativity, good planning and proper organizing.

So, let’s get down to it. Go through this advice we’ve singled out for you and get an idea of how to make your backyard look super exciting yet remain functional at all times!

Photo credit: creativecommons.org

1. Start with the yard itself

Usually, when we go out in a yard, we are distracted by the patio, lights, outdoor decorations and similar aspects and rarely do we actually pay attention to the foundation that keeps the whole yard together – pavers, plants, the grass and clutter.

The best way to start fixing up your yard is to first remove the clutter that’s been visually blocking your yard and move onto bigger reparations. Old materials you once used, bikes, piles of random throwaways… all these need to find their place either in a dumpster or your yard shed.

Once you’ve cleared out the clutter, move onto fixing the grass and plants. Reseed all yellow parts of the grass to give your yard a fresh, green and appealing look. As for plants, opt for potted plants you may want to put down the paved yard path. You can even make a little garden as a part of the yard where you can plant the flowers for a colorful and natural feel. Taking care of flowers does take time, but it’s worth it.

After the basis of the yard has been fixed, it’s time to move onto bigger things.

Photo credit: creativecommons.org

2. Yard furniture

A choice of many is patio furniture. It’s easy to maintain and easy to repair. If you can’t invest in a new furniture set, repairing your old one is your best choice. Strip down the old paint and repaint the furniture in a new, unexpected color – green, dark blue, turquoise … are the best options. They are easy on the eye and fit in wonderfully with all the outdoor greens. You can even turn this redecorating into a family activity, where the whole family is involved – kids can do the painting and choose the colors while the adults will do all the heavy work. You’ll have fun and make great memories!

Decorate your seating area with some unusual colored and patterned pillows to give your yard that oomph it deserves!

Photo credit: creativecommons.org

3. Light it up

Any space looks far more charming when properly lighted. Regardless of the size of your yard, it can cost a lot of money to get light installations all over the yard. You’ll probably be able to afford a couple, but the whole place will look much better with cohesive lightning. Great news here is that you can buy Christmas lights and hang them around your yard – you will light the whole space up while at the same time making it look absolutely romantic. You can opt for white lights or the colored ones and set a truly wonderful atmosphere!

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4. Protect the yard

All the rainy days are the worst for open yard compositions. In order for you not to have to run inside at times there are a few drops of rain, get a proper protection for your gorgeous yard setting. Shade sails are probably the best options for any open yard. They are decorative, practical and affordable! You can have shade sails installed by professionals or you can do it yourself. Also, they are usually available at stores selling yard elements. However, lately, getting shade sails online is a preferable option of many customers as there are many more options there than in stores. When choosing the sails, opt for a color that will remind you of the summer or some happy time. Pair them up with the rest of the yard decorations to give your yard space cohesion.

As you can see, fixing up your yard is not that hard a thing to do. With the advice we’ve given you, we hope you’ll turn your current yard into a wonderful space for you and your loved ones!

This is Joan from Curb Appeal Concrete Landscaping Borders writing now.  I just want to show you a couple of more ideas.

Block Style Rocks Grass

Concrete curbing helps separate the grass from the mulch – or in this case, from the rock!  Contact us today for your FREE estimate within Central Florida.  We’re happy to help you come up with ideas that are unique to YOUR home!

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Easy Ways to Start Planning Your Yard Now

A new homeowner asks about the best way to use the winter months to get started on planning their garden.

I am a first-time homeowner and I really want to start transforming my yard. What’s the best way to plan my summer garden now?

Congratulations on your new home! It’s fun to be in a new space, but it can also be overwhelming. Although I’m sure most of us would love to simply hire a landscape architect and turn our backyards into a dream space, that plan doesn’t always fit within our budget. And to be honest, most homeowners find that investing in their yard, and working on it slowly over time, is a great way to get your hands dirty and learn your space.

Master gardeners and home experts are always thinking of their garden, even when it’s covered in snow. Winter can be the best time of year to get prepared “behind the scenes” and do some planning. I know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed with your yard and it’s not always easy to know where to begin. Unlike our interiors, change in the yard can be slow, and it can be frustrating planting flowers or shrubs only to have them wilt or die. But on the other hand, working in the yard can be theraputic and mistakes can be easily turned into successes. Let’s walk through some great winter ideas for planning your new yard.

Get inspired online

There are so many great resources for your yard online. You can browse throughlandscape projects, scrapbook your favorite ideas, and search for professionals that you might want to hire (like lawn care specialists, irrigation specialists, or tree specialists). If you’re interested in specialty plants like roses or vegetables, researching what types of plants thrive in your plant zone is key. Research before you buy, make some lists and get your plans in place.

Do some hands-on research

Winter and spring are prime months for local flower and garden shows (read our tips here for getting the most out of visiting a show). These are perfect places for getting inspired by unique garden designs, asking questions from the vendors, finding out about new products or perhaps purchasing unique bulbs and plants. If you have specific issues or questions about your yard, take a few photos and bring them with you. The vendors exhibiting at these shows can give you some great free advice and this is the perfect opportunity to actually schedule an on-site visit from a pro. Additionally, your local garden show might feature lectures and classes from master gardeners or garden club experts – what a great opportunity to gain insight and get inspired!

Which areas of the yard to work in first

Even if your yard is small, it might be easiest to plan out and work in zones. It might simply be a matter of dividing your yard into back, front or side or you might be more specific like “yard near the back stairs” or “area next to front door.” You might not be able to afford redoing your whole yard – many homeowners work on their yards for decades. Long ago an expert advised me to simply start with the areas closest to the house, like the areas right in front of your windows. These are the areas you tend to notice all the time. Once you’ve planned out those regions, start moving outward to the areas you use or look at the most.

Keep a record of what you’re planting

Once you’ve purchased plants or seeds and started planting them, hold on to any information that came with that plant. Some gardeners keep a garden journal, really a place to keep track of what was planted where. You’ll also want to refer to these info cards for watering details, pruning suggestions or fertilization. Here’s an article about how to start a garden journal.

Get your tools prepped

When the weather is not great for visiting a nursery or working in the yard, make sure your tools are cleaned and ready to go. Winter is a great time to oil wooden handles, sharpen edges, clean and organize your tools, or perhaps invest in a few new tools. Good quality garden tools should last years and taking good care of them will only make your work in the garden easier.

Be water conscious

In addition to being aware of your landscape budget this season, be aware of your planned water expenditure as well. New plants tend to need more water than established plants, and certain species (like grass lawns) need lots of water to survive the summer. Even if you live in a wet climate, it’s smart to group plants together based on their water needs, this will help you save money and time when watering. You can also invest in a drip irrigation system or install a sprinkler system. Whatever you plan for your garden,consider these water saving tips for your yard.

Another great way to be water conscious is to start with healthy soil. Adding compost to your soil before planting will mean that your plants get the nutrients they need. Mulch helps retain water and can keep weeds at bay. If you don’t compost already, starting your own pile is really easy. Read all about composting here.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m putting some of her ideas into action this spring!  Call us if we can help you design your plan!

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Is your landscaping terrible? Read this advice

Published Carson Arthur – February 26, 2015
landscaping design

So how do you choose what is right for your home?

I compare a property to a 3-course meal. The front yard is the appetizer. It sets the stage for the dinner and hopefully leaves your guests anticipating more. The house is definitely the meat and potatoes. It is the substance of the meal. Finally the backyard, which like the dessert course, finishes of the space.

Whether you’re having guests over for dinner or trying to impress potential buyers, people naturally start forming an opinion of your home from the moment they see it. That said, you only get one chance to make a first impression. For years, we were told that first impressions were made at the front door or at the front hallway. This is definitely not the case. Your front yard and landscaping is the very first thing people see when they come to your home and when it comes to home value, is definitely a smart investment.

How much of an investment should you make?

A first impression can increase your home’s perceived value by up to 7% according to a 2013 Century 21 study. That translates to $21,000 on the average Canadian home. This is a really important number. Basically, you now have a guideline of how much to spend on renovating the front yard.  If you stay under 7% of your home’s value when landscaping the front, experts say that you’ll probably get your entire investment back when it’s time to sell. Here’s where you should be spending your money:

  • A new front door – it’s the only one that has a higher return than cost (Remodeling Magazine, 2015).
  • Front walk ways
  • Well-designed driveways
  • Stone veneers – these top the list of must-haves for the best first impressions.

Before you start building landscaping into your budget, take a look at this video gallery for inspiration:

 

I love to drive through neighbourhoods and look at the landscaping and the houses. Some homeowners put a lot of detail into their front yards with shrubs, flowers, trees and even seating areas. You can tell they care for their spaces and it’s not a big leap to assume the inside of the house looks like the outside. I measure the success of a good front yard by how much I want to see the rest of the property. Other homeowners go with the standard foundation plants, an evergreen and a large lawn. While there’s nothing wrong with this default designs, there’s also nothing inspiring about these yards either. Potential buyers will even admit to driving past a home that has poor curb appeal!

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that the landscaping will sell a home. All of the components on your property need to be working together if you want to get maximum dollars…and who doesn’t want to make the most on their home when its time to sell?

landscapeanddesign

Who’s ready to think about landscaping and design? It’s never too early. We have a list of landscaping contractors who will help get your landscaping plans in order before the spring weather arrives.

Proudly brought to you by Curb Appeal Concrete Landscaping Borders, where our estimates are FREE within Central Florida.  Call today for details.

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Pressure Washing 101

Understand the basics of using a pressure washer on your property.

If you live in an area prone to moss or even mold, you’ve probably tried your hand at different methods of removal, including pressure washing. Although beautiful to look at, and beneficial to the environment, moss can pose a serious threat to sidewalks, roofs and driveways. It can be extremely slippery when wet and over time, can do damage to shingles and concrete. Depending upon your regional climate, you might find that removing moss from your home or property needs to be done as often as once or twice a year.

What is a pressure washer?

One of the most effective ways to remove stubborn materials like moss, bird poop or gum is using a pressure (or power) washing machine. A pressure washer pushes water out with a powerful surge of water, which acts like an abrasive. When it comes to removing moss there are chemical based cleaners, or good old fashioned scraping, but removing moss from aggregate concrete or other materials might actually be done more effectively with a pressure washer. You can purchase gas-powered or electric pressure washing machines at a store like Lowe’s, or you can rent a machine or hire a pressure washing professional. The type of machine you choose might be determined by your budget or the scope of your project. If you are regularly keeping up with moss removal, or have a small property, you might only require a light-powered machine. If you have several hours of work, stubborn moss issues, or are planning on sharing a machine between neighbors, it might be a smart idea to invest in a high-quality machine.

DIY vs. hiring a pro

Like other regular maintenance tasks, whether or not you hire a professional or do this yourself will depend on the amount of time you want to invest in doing this task as well as how much you want to invest in the equipment. Some homeowners choose to do their own pressure washing because it gives them the control to perform this task whenever they want and wherever they want. Pressure washing isn’t a highly skilled task however, it can be physically challenging. Others may choose to hire a pro because they don’t care to invest the time or money, or may not be physically able to do this task. When considering hiring a pro, you’ll want to take a general measurement of the areas to be pressure washed, as well as a general idea of the scope of the project. You might only need your driveway done or you might need a large property pressure washed.

What not to pressure wash

The force of the water can be strong enough to remove paint from exterior siding, splinter fences, remove shingles from a roof or ruin your landscaping. If it’s your first time pressure washing, you’ll want to be very cautious with any material other than stone or concrete. Some outdoor furniture can withstand pressure washing, but others could become damaged. If you aren’t sure, you can test a very small area, but use caution. It’s generally not recommended to pressure wash roofs (except for metal roofs), wood or painted surfaces.

Safety risks when pressure washing

Because water is being forced at a very high level of pressure, it’s a good idea to wear protective eye ware to prevent small rocks or pebbles from bouncing up into your face. It’s a very wet job so wearing good rain gear and boots is a good idea. If you are using a gas powered machine, use caution when operating and be aware of the carbon monoxide being produced. Some people prefer to wear protective ear plugs as well as prolonged exposure to loud noises can damage your hearing. Always read the operating manual to ensure that you are using the right type of gasoline and oil as well as properly maintaining the machine.

We were just called to help a homeowner on a local property.  With a few tricks of the trade; here are a couple of before and after shots!  Their Homeowner Association tried to write them up.

Gulf Sturgeon Before

Gulf Sturgeon After

After one call to Curb Appeal, Concrete Landscaping Borders.., no more issues!  Call us today for your free estimate!

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Places to Consider for Extra Electrical Outlets in Your New Build

This was my biggest regret when we built our home – we needed more outlets!  Please, keep reading!

Although people who opt to build their home instead of buy one already on the market work closely with an experienced builder, contractors, and designers, sometimes some details get overlooked. It’s not until long after they’ve already moved in that they realize they should have made themselves part of the discussion when it came to certain things, including places to access electrical power in the home. To avoid having to use extension cords and power bars, take the time to think through where you’d like to be able to easily access electricity in your new home. Here are some places to consider:

Kitchen

The National Electric Code, as modified by local government, prescribes the minimum number and general location of electrical outlets in your new home. That doesn’t mean you can’t add as many plugs as your electric service box will allow. The kitchen, home to small and large electric appliances, is a good place to start the process. Plan outlets on all sides of your island to allow for mixers, beaters, and other small electrics. Take a long look at your layout and put higher amperage plugs wherever you think you might move your refrigerator and microwave in the future. Place outlets underneath cabinets to provide soft LED lighting that costs virtually nothing to leave on all night.

Beautiful Kitchen

Living Room

It seems like everyone has at least one device that needs charging these days, so plan on putting ample electric outlets in all four corners, along with more outlets in the center of each wall. If you are hanging a flat screen TV on the wall, place a plug directly behind it to hide the cords. Consider in-floor plugs in the center of the room in case you want to have a display coffee table to show off mementos. If decorating for Christmas is a big thing in your family, consider where the tree will go and put a plug on a switch in a handy location. Take advantage of all the conveniences you can when planning your new home.

Living Room With Stone Fireplace

Family/Game Room/Bar

You’ll want plugs in multiple locations for charging stations, but also consider putting plugs toward the  in preparation for any lighted bar signs. If you have a bar, make sure there are plugs in the backsplash to run the blender as well as outlets underneath the bar for a small refrigerator and icemaker. Have a fireplace? Put some extra outlets on either side of the mantel in case you want to plug in a lighted sculpture or clock.

Lower Level Basement New Construction

Baths

Your electrician will know to use only GFI rated plugs around water, but think about the location. Have him install the plugs near where all the appliances are used. Stretching cords across a sink is not only dangerous, it’s inconvenient.

Bedrooms

First figure out where your bed is going, then place plugs behind where the night stands will be, about two feet above the baseboard to hide the cords. Plan ahead and place these plugs on a 3-way switch, with one switch inside the door to turn the lights on, and two more on either side of the headboard where you and your partner can easily switch the lights on and off without ever leaving the comfort of your covers. Don’t forget about your walk-in closet or dressing room. Think about where you want your vanity and put an outlet there.

Master Bedroom In New Construction Home

Garage

The garage is one of the places that usually gets left out when planning electrical outlets. Along with an outlet in the center of the ceiling for the garage door opener, put multiple outlets along the wall where you plan on having a workbench. Keep outlets away from the hot water heater, but otherwise place them every 6 feet or so around the base of the garage to make using air compressors, shop vacuums, and other electric tools easier.

Outdoors

Keeping with the Christmas theme, plan outlets underneath your eaves so you can take full advantage of all your holiday decorations. Connect the plugs to a switch so it’s easy to turn the lights on and off, or better yet ~ connect them to a dawn to dusk sensor. You’ll also need GFI outlets closer to the ground all around your new home to allow for the use of tools and landscaping equipment. If you plan on having an outdoor kitchen at your new home, take advantage of this opportunity to run the outlets at bar height. Outdoor fountains, lighting, and pergolas also require outlets. A little planning now goes a long way to saving money later.

Home Office

Nothing is more inconvenient that having to crawl under a desk to plug and unplug computers, modems, routers, and printers. Have plugs installed slightly above desk height to make this task much easier. If you plan on mounting a small TV on the wall, this is also the time to put an outlet in the appropriate location.

Plan for the Future

Make sure your electrician provides an electric service box that has at least half a dozen empty locations for future expansion. While you’re in the planning stage for your new home, also have the electrician run empty conduit into the attic from the service box. This will make connecting future outlets a much easier process. While it’s nice to believe you’ll think of everything before you start construction, there’s always something that slips through the cracks!

Proudly brought to you by Scott and Joan Bailey, Curb Appeal, Concrete Landscaping Borders! We help the “outside” of your house – no outlets needed!

407-957-9208

407-957-9208

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