Archive for Home Improvements

Home Additions

Southern Maryland Home additions: Up or out?

Homeowners in Southern MD need to consider whether to build up or out when they add on to homes.

new additon charles countyHomeowners hoping to expand their homes are faced with a number of choices. One of the first they will have to make is which direction to take their expansion. Homeowners can choose to expand horizontally, increasing the footprint of their homes, or vertically.

Professionals urge prospective remodelers to consider the pros and cons to each expansion option, including which direction to build.

One of the first considerations is land space. Building horizontally will cut into yard space that you may have already earmarked for a pool, shed or another feature. Proximity to neighbors and the dimensions of your property will also help to determine if expanding horizontally is a good idea.

Building codes and neighborhood requirements also must be considered before making any renovations. Some municipalities may have rules in place that govern renovations. Add-ons may not be allowed to exceed certain height limits, nor may structures be built within a certain number of feet of property lines.

Homeowners who choose to build upward will have to contend with work crews and other staff being in their homes. Raising the roof may require vacating the premises at a certain point. Also, extensive renovation work will be needed on the lower level of the home, whether it’s to shore up the structure, clean up after the renovation or repair ceilings, drywall and other components where levels meet.

It may seem easier to expand outward, but this requires laying additional foundation for the new building structure. Bringing in digging equipment and masons can be costly. When you build vertically, such foundation work may not be necessary if your home is structurally sound and can bear the weight of the addition.

Building out typically involves the least disruption to your life and the existing space. Homeowners should keep in mind that any renovation will require permits or variances. In addition, if the project increases the value of the home, home insurance costs and property taxes may rise. Only after all considerations have been weighed should a project begin.

Home Improvements Consumer Tips

Kick off home improvement season in Southern MD with easy maintenance projects

(MS) – By Scott McGillivray

attic insulation services in Southern mdAs the days get longer and the weather improves, this is the time to make sure that our homes or rental properties are well maintained. Here are a few do-it-yourself projects to keep your home in tip-top shape:

· Top up your attic insulation. Many older homes have inadequate levels of insulation in the attic that wouldn’t meet today’s building code. Topping it up will help reduce energy consumption and keep your house cooler in the summer months. A great product for this task is Roxul ComfortBatt insulation. It’s easy to install, cuts simply with a serrated blade or bread knife and protects against fire, moisture and mold. Aim for a depth of 16 inches or an R-value of 50. Insulating properly could also provide added benefits, such as improving the longevity of your air conditioner by reducing stress on the unit as temperatures rise.

· Inspect your roof and make minor repairs. Winter in Southern Maryland can be especially hard on a roof. Look for ice, hail or water damage. Replace any cracked or missing shingles and clear any debris.

· Clean your gutters. It’s not glamorous work, but your home’s gutters play an essential role in moving water away from your home and preventing damage. Consider installing gutter guards to ensure your gutters remain functional and free from debris.

· Inspect windows and doors and re-caulk where necessary. Because a proper seal is essential in both heating and cooling seasons, this job should be performed twice a year to protect against drafts and moisture, and to keep insects out. Worn weatherstripping should also be replaced.

Other simple jobs include fixing leaky faucets, repairing and resealing decks, inspecting the foundation and scheduling a checkup for your HVAC system. The key is being honest about what you can handle and, when in doubt, call in the pros.

Scott McGillivray is the award-winning TV host of the hit series Income Property, a full-time real estate investor, contractor, author, and educator. Follow him on Twitter @smcgillivray.

For all your home improvement repairs in Southern Maryland call Boston Construction.

Successful Basement Remodeling

How to ensure a successful basement remodel

Soundproof your Southern MD home

Southern Maryland residents continue to fuel remodeling spending, driven by upward growth in real estate prices and the rising cost to trade up to a larger home. Basement renovations are expected to be a hot trend, as buyers look to maximize available living space rather than move, and as young buyers look to offset the cost of homeownership with potential income suites.

While finishing a basement can be a great alternative to moving — especially if you love your neighborhood – there are some challenges homeowners must be aware of when tackling below-grade living spaces. Choosing the right products is vital to the comfort, safety and function of your new living area. Look for products that help to maximize energy efficiency and protect against moisture, fire and noise.

Here are the top points to consider to ensure a successful basement renovation.

Waterproof it. Check the interior foundation and floors to make sure there are no existing moisture issues, water damage or mold problems. Address any primary moisture issues before finishing the space. Examine grading to ensure water runs away from your foundation.

Insulation is key. Insulation plays a critical role in making your basement feel comfortable, while keeping it safe and dry. For the best results, install a rigid board insulation, like Roxul ComfortBoard IS, against the concrete foundation before you stud the wall. The board is mechanically fastened or adhered to the concrete foundation wall, which prevents thermal bridging through the studs, providing better thermal performance. Finish with a moisture-resistant and dimensionally stable insulation between the studs, like R14 Comfortbatt, to protect against common basement issues such as mold, mildew and rot.

Choose a functional design. Draw out plans, carefully taking into consideration any low ceilings or small windows. Try to incorporate structural features, such as attractive wood beams, into your design. Keep the space as open as possible. Select lighting that provides a bright, airy feel.

Don’t forget to soundproof it. Soundproofing is the ultimate solution to maximize your basement’s quiet and privacy. Whether your newfound space will function as a home theatre, music room, home office or playroom, it will benefit from quality acoustic insulation, like Roxul Safe ‘n’ Sound. Not only is it highly effective, but it’s also easy to install.

Consider fire safety. Since many basements are now being renovated as income suites, fire protection is also a vital consideration. Whenever possible, select building materials with a high fire-resistance rating and look for products that will not off-gas or contribute to toxic smoke in the event of a fire. Include additional exits in your renovation plan and educate yourself on your local fire code.

Before you start your renovation, be sure to check with your municipality to secure the right permits and to ensure that you’re complying with local bylaws and building codes. Finishing a basement can be a smart renovation, if done properly, adding to a home’s value, increasing its function and providing greater enjoyment or income potential.

Home Improvement Company Southern Maryland

Home improvement company in Southern Maryland can help you…Make the Home You Have the Home of Your Dreams

home-improvement-company-southern-maryland

Boston Construction in Southern Maryland offers a complete line of home remodeling services, inside and out, so you can enjoy all the beauty and convenience of a like-new house while maintaining all the features you love about your current home.

ACT NOW TO BE IN TIME FOR SPRING!

Roofing

Windows

Doors

Siding

Gutters

Porches

Kitchens

Bathrooms

Additions

Add-a-Levels & So Much More

A GREAT IDEA FOR A SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECT in Southern Maryland:

Add or upgrade outdoor living spaces. Outdoor living spaces also can set a property apart from others on the market. A recent study from the National Association of Realtors found that buyers would not hesitate to pay asking price for homes with outdoor living spaces. When adding or upgrading outdoor living spaces, try to depersonalize the spaces as much as possible, as buyers want to picture themselves, and not the sellers, enjoying these areas. Include some comfortable furniture, adequate lighting and a dining area in your outdoor living space as well.

Call Boston Construction if you are looking for  home  improvement company in Southern Maryland that offers expert craftsmanship with reliable service.

4 simple ways to winterize your home

4 simple ways to winterize your home in Southern Maryland

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Trimming hanging branches and removing debris from their yards is one simple way homeowners can prepare their properties for winter.

As winter approaches, homeowners know they must do certain things to ready their homes for the coming months. Wrapping up the grill and closing the pool are no-brainers, but homeowners also must prioritize winterizing their homes to ensure homes withstand the winter.

Winterizing tasks range from small to big, but each can protect a home and its inhabitants and some can even save homeowners a substantial amount of money. The following are four simple ways to winterize your home.

1. Plug leaks

Leaky windows and doorways can cost homeowners money year-round, allowing cold air to escape on hot summer afternoons and letting cold air in on brisk winter nights. When such leaks aren’t fixed, homeowners are more liable to turn up their air conditioners or heaters, unnecessarily padding their energy bills along the way. Before winter arrives, check areas around windows and door frames for leaks, as well as any additional openings, such as chimneys, that may allow cold air in. Use caulk or weather strips to plug these leaks, and enjoy your warmer home and lower energy bills as winter weather gets colder and colder.

2. Inspect your chimney

If your home has a chimney, chances are you have not used it since last winter. During that time, the chimney has likely accumulated some dirt and grime, and may even have served as home to some uninvited critters. As the season for fireside chats approaches, have your chimney serviced by a professional so it’s ready for use and you are not greeted by some unwanted guests upon lighting your first fire.

3. Clear the yard

Autumn days, particularly late autumn days, can be gusty, and strong winds can cause branches to fall off trees. Branches big and small can cause damage to cars, siding and roofs, and smaller branches can get clogged in gutters, potentially causing gutters to back up and leading to leaky roofs that damage a home’s interior. Take a walk around your property at least once per week during the fall, clearing any fallen limbs and trimming branches that appear one strong gust away from falling off of trees. Remove any branches that are hanging over your home and driveway so they don’t pose a threat to your house or vehicles.

4. Turn off outdoor water supplies

When temperatures get especially low, pipes with water still in them can freeze and burst, potentially leading to significant water damage. When you no longer need to water the lawn and when temperatures get too cold to wash your car in the driveway, be sure to shut off the water supply to outdoor spigots and sprinkler systems. Once you do that, drain them so no water is sitting in the pipes when temperatures dip.

There are many ways to winterize a home, and homeowners should take every precaution necessary to ensure their homes are safe and warm as the cold weather season approaches.

For all your home improvement needs Call Boston Construction 301-848-0025

Get the 411 on flooring

Get the 411 on flooring in Southern MD

Custom Wood Banister

Custom Wood Floors & Banister

Hardwood flooring is a popular and traditional choice for homeowners replacing their existing floors.

Choosing the right flooring for a home is no small task. Flooring is expensive, so homeowners want to make the best decision possible so their choice of flooring is not one they regret and ultimately replace in the years to come.

When choosing flooring for their homes, many homeowners are overwhelmed by the options at their disposal. Each type of flooring can look great in its own way, which is why homeowners may struggle to find the right fit for their homes. Educating yourself about flooring is a great way to make the process of choosing your next floor much less overwhelming and more enjoyable. The following are some of the more popular flooring options you will no doubt encounter as your search for a flawless floor begins.

Hardwood

Nearly everyone is familiar with hardwood floors, which are durable, warm and a favorite of homeowners aiming for a traditional look. Homes with open floor plans often benefit from hardwood flooring, as it creates the feeling of continuity that homeowners hope to achieve with open floor plans. Various species, including oak, maple and cherry, of hardwood flooring are available, and they typically vary in price, with more exotic imported options carrying hefty price tags. More traditional hardwood flooring is less expensive, and solid wood flooring can be refinished several times to increase its lifespan.

Engineered wood

Engineered wood is less susceptible to temperature changes and humidity than solid wood, and some new varieties of engineered wood include substrates made from recycled wood fiber and stone dust, which may appeal to eco-friendly homeowners. Men and women who want to install their own floors may prefer engineered wood, which is now available in self-locking parquet or plank squares that can be installed without using glue or nails.

Bamboo

Bamboo is another flooring alternative that’s popular among eco-conscious homeowners, as it comes from plants that regenerate quickly and is therefore considered a sustainable material. Bamboo flooring is made of strands of bamboo that are glued together, forming engineered planks or solid strips. Bamboo flooring is strong and able to resist the negative effects of fluctuating humidity, which include swelling and contraction. Many people prefer the fresh, bright feel of bamboo flooring.

Laminate

Laminate flooring is among the less expensive flooring materials to buy and install. Homeowners who purchase laminate flooring have an array of options to choose from, and floating laminate flooring systems can be installed over existing floors without glue or nails. Some feel laminate flooring is indistinguishable from real wood, but the plastic coating that makes up the top layer of laminate flooring is often a giveaway that the floors are laminate and not real wood. Similar in construction to engineered wood, laminate flooring differs because its top layer is a photographic imprint on the face of each board, whereas engineered wood is made up of real hardwood veneer attached to several layers of plywood.

Cork

Cork is another sustainable flooring material that’s a favorite among homeowners looking to make their homes more eco-friendly. The appearance of cork floors is unlike many flooring materials, as it is speckled thanks to unusual grain patterns of the trees from which it is harvested. Cork flooring is popular in kitchens and bathrooms because cork tiles have a naturally nonslip surface that makes areas of a home where floors get wet safer. Cork flooring may need to be resealed every few years to guard against stains and potential moisture issues.

Flooring choices vary greatly, and it’s easy for homeowners to become overwhelmed by all of the options at their disposal. But taking time to understand each of those options can make the process of choosing a floor that much more fun.

If your home needs new flooring call Boston Construction Serving Southern MD, Calvert County, Charles County and St. Mary’s County,

How To Sound Proof Your Southern MD Home

Sound proofing your Southern Maryland home!

Soundproof your Southern MD home

Soundproof your Southern MD home

What’s the first step in sound proofing your home in Southern Maryland? Finding which rooms have the least amount of sound resistance.

To do this, make sure everyone is out of the house, unplug all electronics and close all doors and windows. Take a quick walk through your house and pause for a few moments in each room to evaluate which ones are the noisiest. Now consider if you’re installing a media room or teenage recreational room where volumes will be blasting on TV’s and stereos.

With this information, you should have a good idea of where you need to soundproof and create barriers against noise. Here are some tips to help you achieve the optimal result of peace and quiet:

· Plant trees and hedges along the exterior of your home, perhaps along a fence. Not only do trees and hedges help with the environment and provide a good amount of privacy, they also slow down the travel of noise from the neighborhood into your home.

· Insulate your walls and ceilings. Better insulation in your interiors and exteriors won’t just drive away excess noise, it will also reduce your heating and cooling bills during the hot and cold months. For the best sound proofing and easy installation quality, a professional-grade product by ROXUL called Safe’n’Sound is very popular.

· Seal up all cracks and holes around windows and doors, and add double glazed windows to your current glass panes.

Once you’ve selected the best soundproofing method, implement it and enjoy the bliss of silence throughout your home. TF154138

Family Home Additions

Boston Construction has experience with family home additions in Southern Maryland.

Boston Construction is a favorite Southern Maryland choice when you need a custom addition.  These photos were taken recently as we began construction for this custom family addition for the Morris Family. The addtion will feature a 20′ x 20′ Great Room, a new bathroom, storage room and a special area for the family pet. First we removed the oridginal wooden deck to make room for the new mansory foundation. After the proper elevations are obtained for the footings and crawl space we obtained the approved inspection and will be pouring the concrete footings Monday morning. The masonry foundation will be constructed on Tuesday.

custom additions southern Maryland copy

custom additions southern Maryland copy

 

A Remodeling Budget in Southern MD And The Importance Of Setting One

Why A Remodeling Budget Really Matters

New Home in St. Mary's County MD, Home Improvements, and Remodeling

New Home in St. Mary’s County MD.

When remodeling your home in Southern Maryland, you are essentially taking the core of your family’s nest, and giving it a major surgery. It can be a stressful, expensive, yet extremely rewarding experience. Planning ahead can make a huge difference in how hard the process is on your family.

Getting quotes from contractors, making spreadsheets, and setting caps on your spending before even starting the remodel are all good ideas to keep you and your family as stress free and comfortable as possible. Once walls start being demolished, and contractors come into your living area, you will be thankful that you spent the time to carefully plan your budget, and have one less thing to worry about.

Another reason to plan a budget, is so that you can get the best possible service, and pay the least possible price for it. Taking the time to compare prices and talk with competitors will give you a great perspective on what you want, what you need, and how to get it without being oversold.

You need to have a sort of “boundary line” with your funds. Spending money on something that’s mostly cosmetic and excessive can causes serious problems and may even completely stall the process of you building your new home. A budget is one of the most indispensable tools in your remodel tool arsenal, and like any tool, in the right hands it can work wonders.

Where To Start

Step one can safely be found in simply deciding how much you can afford to, and also how much you are willing to spend your home remodeling. One thing to keep in mind, is how long you plan to stay in your current home. If you plan on moving within the next five years, a remodel could be merely considered an improvement on real estate. Build your budget plan around how much you can are confident you can make back when selling the home.

However, if you plan on staying longer than five, ten years, a more expensive remodel should be  considered, within the realm what can feasibly make your family the most comfortably. In the early stages of planning, priority need to be set, and later on, stuck with. This involves having the foresight to expect the unexpected.

Are you going to stay in the home during the remodel? In some cases, this will not be remotely possible and hotel, food, and entertainment costs are going to be something to add to your list. If staying in the home is feasible, what rooms will be effected? You’ll need somewhere to stay while the house is being built – account for that or find a friend to bunk with in the area. Family works great too, especially if you’re on good terms with them. Also consider how the specific parts of the home under remodeling are effecting your life.

Once you have decided on how much can spend, the next step is to break down the costs. Like any task, it’s best to be realized and completed in bite-sized chunks. Getting something done isn’t about taking action on a monumental amount of work in one go, it’s about managing pieces of it and prioritizing. Downloading a budget worksheet is a good first step in figuring out how much goes where and there are many online that are free and available for anyone to use.

Besides for the planned costs, it is also recommended to set aside at least 20 percent of your budget to fall back on (25 precent if you can). Life is full of unplanned events and you’ll most likely encounter them when undertaking a massive project like building your perfect home. Remodels are stressful enough, and expenses that pop out of no where can escalate the tension through the roof. As a rule of thumb, always expect the unexpected, and be prepared for hidden costs.

On the other hand, just the same way that the little things can save you money, they can also add up. In fact, this is one of the hidden costs that most commonly eats into a budget. When vying for a small extra or something that might not be that vital to the big picture, stop and think if it is really necessary. Go back, look at the number you originally wrote down, and try to remember all of the reasons you picked that number in the first place.

It is incredibly easy to a blow a carefully laid budget plan with little add ons and extras, which in one reason why making a spreadsheet can be very useful. Check the spreadsheet regularly, and update with information daily. This will make it much easier to see a problem starting to happen, and give you the ability to nip it. If you’re in a bind with applications that can provide the ability to create, edit and export spreadsheets, there are a ton. Microsoft Office, Google Docs, Libre Office and more exist (Google Docs is completely free!). They are compatible with most file types too, making money management a seamless breeze.

Overall, with a positive attitude and the right mindset, you can create a good budget and stay within it. There’s tons of great information on the web, so don’t hesitate in digging for some of it.

Boston Construction located in Mechanicsville can help you create a budget or work within one that you’ve already created. Call today for a free estimate on your next home improvement project.

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