Lancaster PA Remodeling Tips & Tricks

December 30, 2010

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

As the end of the year rapidly approaches, many of us focus on our list of resolutions for the New Year. Often times, personal improvements such as healthier diet and a routine exercise plan are at the top of the list. We recognize that we have neglected ourselves, but what about our homes?

When evaluating your possibilities for home improvement, take a moment to think about creating a more efficient and healthier atmosphere. Jump-start your creativity by considering not only cosmetic changes, but also renovations that would pay off years to come. Remodeling Project Cost vs Value is a very important consideration. However, do not underestimate your family’s value; unless you’re flipping houses, investing in your home to better your family’s situation should always be the driving force. Mainly, it’s important to consider how to increase your home’s efficiency and make your home work better to meet your needs.

Here are ten do-able home resolutions for 2011:

Go GREEN! By updating your furnace, water heater, installing or updating your air conditioning system and updating your appliances with energy efficient options, you’ll save on your monthly bills and add to your homes value. An energy assessment of your home is a smart way to find out if updating your home systems is right for you.

Go Healthy by installing a home air filtration system to eliminate allergens and pollutions in your home air. This can generally be installed within one day in most homes.

Get Organized! Are your closets in need of an overhaul? Do you need additional closets added to your home? We’re experienced in maximizing space and adding closet organizational systems in homes of all sizes. Often times our clients remark they are able to eliminate the costly storage units they have been maintaining when their home storage space is maximized and updated.

Curb Appeal Plus! Just as an energy efficient furnace helps your home to run more smoothly and cost-effectively, a well-designed landscape can save to time and money, while adding to the value of your home. Proper placement of trees and shrubbery can save on the cost to cool your home. Ornamental grasses and other perennial plantings are easy maintenance alternatives to annual flowerbeds. Time-saving, automatic watering system can also be installed to take the worry out of hydrating your plantings and lawn.

Get a Face Lift for your Kitchen and Bath! Remodeling your kitchen and bath are two of the best ways to increase the value of your home. We specialize in remodels for all budgets and can work with you on how to maximize your remodel dollars.

Stop the Draft! Whether it’s the heat or the cold, energy may be seeping out around your windows and doors. Proper installation of fiberglass doors and replacement windows will help keep your home more comfortable and at a noticeable savings.

Protect your Foundation by assuring your gutters and downspouts are carrying moisture away from your home. It’s also important to have a well functioning water evacuation system in your basement to prevent mold, mildew and damage to your home’s foundation.

Add a little Color to your Life! Paint is associated with personal energy levels and may help to add a warm and inviting feel to your home. This is a relatively inexpensive way to update your space and bring a fresh look to your home.

Protect your Investment with a Home Security System. The most effective deterrent against criminal invasion of your home is an electric security system. A wide variety of home security options are available to protect your home and your family.

Create a space to help you carry out your personal New Year’s resolutions. Chances are if you have space within your home designated to assist you with achieving your goals, you are more likely to do so. A home office addition may allow you more time with your family. A new work out area will make it much more likely you’ll find the time to get started with your new exercise routine. Make it happen!

Please give MBC a call [717.371.5136] when it’s time to make your home improvement resolutions a reality. Happy New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Matt & Mike Blank
MBC Building & Remodeling, LLC
(717) 371-5136

September 27, 2010

8 Things to Consider Before Replacing Your Windows

A window replacement project can reduce your home’s energy costs, improve indoor climate & comfort for your family, and enhance your home’s overall appearance. It can even qualify you for Tax Credits up to $1500! But window replacement projects should not be entered into lightly. The choices made must be lived with for several years, so make sure to consider all factors. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing your replacement windows.

Appearance – Even minor changes in window construction can make a significant difference in how your home looks. The type of frame, the color of the frame and the tint of the glazing all affect how the window and home appear.

The appearance of any window will deteriorate with time and exposure to the elements. In some cases, routine and preventive maintenance can restore them to their original appearance. In other cases, the cost of restoration will add up to a significant portion of the cost of replacement windows.

If new windows are being considered and are determined to be the best option for your home, consider having one of the new units installed as a test case to determine how it will affect your home’s appearance.

Energy Efficiency – The promise of improved energy efficiency is one of the most often-cited reasons for we get when replacing windows here in Lancaster County. Increasing the number of glazings, reducing the rate of air infiltration and using a heat-reflective coating will all improve your homes energy performance.

Fit – As windows age, their components wear and deteriorate. Some components shrink and dry out, resulting in gaps that can allow air to infiltrate into your home. The looser the fit, the greater the infiltration, and it doesn’t take much of a gap for air infiltration to become a major problem. Make sure your installer is experienced with older homes and their windows to help ensure it’s done right the first time.

Frame – Frame materials can deteriorate as the result of rot, corrosion, physical damage, weathering and other factors. As they deteriorate, more air and water will enter into your home.

Deterioration of nearly any frame materials beyond surface corrosion will usually require the replacement of the entire window.

Glazing – In homes with large areas of glass, the solar heat gain through the windows can make spaces near the windows difficult to cool, even during the heating season.

Today’s glazings can eliminate as much as 80 percent of the solar heat gain while allowing nearly 90 percent of the sun’s visible light to pass through.

When considering which solar control option is best-suited for your home, consider the overall condition of the windows and the other performance characteristics needed, such as the location of the sun during the day and the times of day you spend most in each room.

Hardware – Window hardware is subject to wear with normal use. If maintenance requirements for your window hardware are increasing as a result of the age, or if the existing hardware is not adequate, then window replacement is recommended.

Operability – One of the most common window issues is difficult or impossible operability. Over time, components swell, warp, and bind. Often, the cost of restoring these units to operable condition can exceed the cost of a replacement window.

Suitability – Finally, no matter how good the windows are, if they do not meet your needs, they will need to be replaced. Homes and homeowners change over time and windows that were once acceptable can easily become unsuitable for your current (and future) needs.

If you are considering replacement windows in Lancaster, PA, feel free to give us a call to discuss your options and any questions you may have.

Thank you!

Mike Blank, CGR CAPS
MBC Building & Remodeling, LLC

(717) 371.5136
Serving Lancaster County, PA’s remodeling needs since 1999.

April 23, 2010

It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green… or Is It?

Here it is viewers, our Green Remodeling & General Green Tips Video part 2! Thanks again to Jason Burkholder & TheLancasterConnection.com for letting us have some fun and get some air time!

Matt Blank
MBCremodeling.com

April 6, 2010

Green Tips Video Blog Series – Episode 1

I teamed up with Jason Burkholder of Weichert Realtors, Engle & Hambright & TheLancasterConnection.com to put together a Green Remodeling & General Green Tips Video Blog Series for Earth Month. This series will hopefully give you some tips on ways to Save Green While Going Green! Hope you enjoy it:

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or give us a call.

Thanks!

Matt Blank
MBCremodeling.com

January 28, 2010

Tax Credits Continue for Homeowners

The Federal Government has announced that it will be continuing to grant tax credit on energy saving devices this year, as long as the devices are installed and working by December 31, 2010. This extended deadline means that a number of people will be installing better insulation, more efficient heat pumps, new windows, and a host of other improvements this year. Now is the perfect time for you to join in these savings.

First off, you don’t want to wait until the last minute. As the deadline approaches, everyone and their brother is going to be installing all kinds of energy saving devices, so towards the end of the year, you should expect to see these devices get more expensive and see longer waits to have them installed. Besides, going green saves you money, and you’ll be getting the tax credit anyway, so why wait? You can start saving now, and have the same tax credits as people who waited, plus all the money you’ll save on utilities in the meantime.

Of course, many people already knew that you could get tax credit for a more efficient water heater, but did you know that you can have your roof redone? That’s right; certain types of roofing reflect more of the sun’s rays away from your home. Come summer, this will save you a great deal of money on your air conditioning, and you can get a 30% tax credit. You can also replace your windows and doors with the same credit. Upgrades to your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are also given the tax credit.

Here’s the one that blew me away: you can get a tax credit on wood stoves. That’s right; the Federal Government is now willing to give you a tax credit on that fireplace that you’ve always wanted. It will have to meet certain thermal efficiency requirements, of course, but talk about home improvement! The provision also includes pellet stoves, which are more compact than wood stoves and just as cozy in the winter. Of course, the fireplace you install will have to be the real kind – there’s no tax credit on having a natural gas burner with fake logs around it.

There are also tax credits available for people who want to go big, people who are serious about saving the planet and saving money. The installation of a fuel cell generator, wind generator, or solar panel qualifies homeowners for tax credit. If you’ve ever been without electricity because of a winter storm, having an on-site winter or solar system will sound like a very good idea.

2010 is the year to go green.

And remember, Going Green also means SAVING Green!

Until next time,

Mike
www.MBCremodeling.com

The Shocking Blue Green Theme Blog at WordPress.com.

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