Avoid These Bathroom Remodel Mistakes

A bathroom renovation can be an expensive project. Whether you’re updating the entire space or just replacing a few outdated features, there are many common mistakes that homeowners make during the remodel process. When you know what to expect,  you’ll be able to plan ahead for common headaches and minimize stress during your bathroom remodel. Here are a few of the most common issues homeowners run into during a bathroom remodel.

Letting Water Out of the Shower

Showers that spray or leak water can be incredibly frustrating. The last thing you want to deal with in your finished bathroom is a soaked floor after every shower. That’s why it’s important to pay attention when you’re installing shower tiles. Make sure the tile is slightly sloped towards the drain so that all of the water from the shower is directed to the right place. Accounting for this common mistake could save you money in the future by preventing deterioration and water damage. 

Not Incorporating Enough Storage Space 

Another aspect of bathroom design that many people don’t consider is adequate storage space. While many like to include more space between fixtures, it’s important for your design not to be too minimalistic. Make sure you have enough space to store personal items, paper products, and linens. Make sure to be practical and include plenty of cabinets, closet space, and built-in nooks for storage. 

Failing to Plan Out the Details

Before you start the demolition process, it’s critical to map out a thorough replacement plan. The smallest of decisions, such as paint color or shower tile, shouldn’t be saved for the last minute. These details could end up having a huge influence on the aesthetics of your new bathroom. Planning out every detail meticulously will also make for a much quicker timeline. 

Cutting Corners On Plumbing 

Many big box stores and discount outlets offer cheap plumbing kits. While the initial reduced price may seem attractive, you should educate yourself on how opting for a cheap kit could cost you in the future. Oftentimes, plumbing fixtures from big box stores are made with low-quality plastic parts rather than metal. Most experienced plumbers will often refuse to install cheap plastic hardware. Specify plumbing for your project through a professional plumbing supply company.

Installing an Exterior Window in the Wrong Spot

While it should go without saying, you need to be careful when choosing the placement of a bathroom window (especially on the ground floor). There are builders that will recommend using a fan with an outside window as a backup method of ventilation, but make sure you are accounting for the view in and out of the bathroom. Keep in mind that bushes do wonders for privacy in the warmer months, but won’t be much help in concealing bathroom windows during the winter. 

Conclusion

Thinking about renovating a bathroom but don’t know where to start? We’d be happy to help, contact us today!

Install A His & Hers Walk-In Closet

Everyone knows how frustrating it can be to battle over space in a shared closet, walk-in or not. It’s difficult to make the most of a cramped, dark closet that doesn’t have enough space for all of your clothing, accessories, and miscellaneous items. If you are prepared to renovate, consider transforming your small master bedroom closet into a modern-day his and hers styled closet. Maximize every inch of your closet with these helpful tips. 

Divide Space

The first thing you should do when you start designing your walk-in closet is to distinguish clear sides of the closet. Be realistic when dividing up space, if one person has more clothes, shoes, or accessories that need space should be reflected in the design of the closet. Once you have your dimensions, your builder will be able to tailor your space to your exact needs. 

Utilize shelving and baskets

Storage tools will be your best friend when it comes to organizing your his & hers closet. They’re a great way to organize jewelry racks, ties, hats, socks, and any other small item that doesn’t necessarily need to be hung up or take up an entire drawer. For maximum organization, you can even label baskets and shelves.

Make The Most Of Empty Space

Adjusting the hanging space in a closet to fit your clothes will do wonders for making the most of the space. Most closets are designed with one single rod and shelf at the top, which leaves large gaps of unused storage below your clothes and often a large unused block above the upper shelf. You can double your storage by including double hanging sections that feature an upper and lower rod in the same vertical section. 

Don’t Forget The Little Things

When designing your closet, small additions can make a world of difference. Use a wardrobe rod to stage your outfits for the next day or incorporate a jewelry rack to organize your favorite pieces. 

Conclusion

A His & Hers closet can make a world of difference in the organization of your home. If you have questions about updating your closet, contact us today!

Advantages Of Living On A Corner Lot

When buying a home, the location is a key consideration in the decision-making process. While factors like the neighborhood or proximity to schools and downtown areas are a common topic of conversation, the lot placement is also an important aspect to consider when shopping for a home. In recent years, plenty of drawbacks of living on a corner property have become apparent to buyers, but many people overlook the feeling of openness and light that a corner property brings to the table. We’ve outlined some of the benefits of living on a corner property to consider in your home buying process.

More Parking

In busy urban areas, extra parking is a huge advantage of owning a corner property. There are many more parking spaces available when your property is surrounded by twice the amount of street space than a traditional lot. This hidden benefit is especially useful if you plan on entertaining large groups of people in your home.

Great Lighting

Corner homes in densely settled areas are distinguished due to the amount of sunlight they get through extra windows. While most homeowners look to maximize any bit of sunlight they get, inhabitants of corner lots have ample light to utilize when decorating the interior of their homes.

Reduced Costs

Corner lots tend to be noisy, especially ones on busy roads. The benefit of the possible increased noise pollution is that you may find a house that’s perfect for you AND affordable. Corner lots on busy roads tend to be priced lower than surrounding homes, so if you can deal with a little noise you’ll likely save a considerable amount of money. 

There’s also a significant chance that you’ll save money on insurance rates when it comes to a corner property. If you live in an urban area, your city may use your corner as a place to put safety features such as fire hydrants. The proximity of safety features may decrease your home insurance.

Extra Space

In general, corner lots are larger in yard size and home size. For a similar price to surrounding homes, you’ll get a more spacious house as well as room outdoors to utilize for gardening, a pool, or entertaining. If you’re looking for an investment property, consider landscaping the yard to perfection and adding fun outdoor features to increase the home value.

Conclusion

When you consider all the benefits of a corner home, it may mean more to you than noisy traffic and extra yard work in the spring. Recently, corner properties have started to become more sought after by homebuyers. If you’re wondering about the potential projects for your home on a corner lot, reach out to us today!

Should You Include a Skylight in Your Home?

If you’re looking for more natural sunlight in a living room, to heat up a bedroom, or have better ventilation in your home, you’ve probably thought about installing a skylight. You might not be sure if a skylight is the right investment for you. We’ve created this guide of benefits and drawbacks to take into consideration when deciding whether or not a skylight is a good fit for your home.

Pros of Skylights

Improved Ventilation For Your Space

Skylight windows can be opened to let in fresh air, which aids with cross ventilation. Especially in stuffy rooms, skylights can cool down the space and freshen up the air without the costs of other ventilation methods, such as air conditioning

Saving on Energy Costs

Skylights can be useful in both the heating and cooling of your space. They can warm up areas of your home that are cold and stuffy due to inadequate lighting as well as provide heat during the daytime. Energy costs can pile up quickly, so a skylight is a great alternative. Just make sure the skylight you choose to install features laminated glass and is leakproof!

Aesthetic Changes Increase Home Value

Skylights are a popular and sought-after cosmetic enhancement. They can add value to your home if you ever decide to put it on the market, as they provide a natural light that creates a beautiful ambiance.

Make a Room Feel Bigger

Skylights often have the potential to make a room feel more spacious. They also allow for beautiful views of the night sky.

Cons of Skylights

Improper Placement

The placement of a skylight is crucial to its effectiveness in the aforementioned benefits above. Make sure to consult a professional about the placement of your skylight

Too Much Light

Sometimes, the placement of the skylight brings in too much light or heat during the day. Proper consultation could help fix this potential problem, making sure you install a skylight in an area that will fit your needs without letting a space get too hot or cold.

Cleaning Issues

Skylights can be difficult and sometimes downright unsafe to clean. From the inside, you’ll likely have to use a ladder to clean. From the outside, you’re likely to have leaves and branches fall on the skylight from time to time, and getting on the roof to brush them off can be a pain.

Conclusion

There are several compelling arguments for and against skylights. Here at the Horton Group, we’re here to assist you with considerations to make when deciding to install a skylight as well as proper installation techniques.

Install a Spiral Staircase

Many homes can benefit from installing a spiral staircase. They’re a versatile design option that can work well in homes with open floor plans as well as ones without extra space to spare. Installing a spiral staircase can add a simple yet sophisticated element to any home. We’ve outlined a couple of reasons that you should consider investing in a spiral staircase.

Seamless Installation

Spiral staircases are a lot more affordable than one might think. Some people even choose to order the materials in a kit to install them by themselves! They are easier to assemble than regular stairs and often much cheaper.

Add Value to Your Home

Spiral staircases are very attractive to architects and homebuyers alike. While they are relatively inexpensive to install, they are one of the most desired elements that boost the value of a home.

Save Space

Spiral staircases can be put in where other types of staircases may not fit, such as cottages or apartments. Even when it’s not a top priority to save space when selecting a staircase, they can make the largest of rooms feel even more spacious.

Versatile

Spiral staircases are known to compliment almost every interior. The material and color used in the construction of spiral staircases can vary greatly while still preserving the aesthetic of your space. Wood, glass, and iron are all elements that you can feature in your spiral staircase.

Conclusion:

Spiral staircases have stood the test of time and have continually stayed popular in a variety of different home styles. If you’re looking for a customizable and aesthetically pleasing update to your home, a spiral staircase might be the perfect option for you. Want to start a project with us? Get to know some of our skilled professionals and give us a call at 203-624-6873.

The Benefits of Recessed Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important things to consider when renovating or updating a home. Apart from improving the way a home looks and feels, the right lighting can increase the value of a property. While chandeliers,  wall mount fixtures, and track lights are all right for certain spaces in your home, recessed lighting is the right choice for anyone looking to brighten up a space without installing a fixture that extends into a room and changes elements of its decor. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of adding recessed lighting to your home.

Increase the Value of Your Home

Recent data from the most popular U.S. home trends suggests that homes with recessed lighting receive around 1,110 views per listing on real estate websites, which is higher than any other top 10 home trend. It’s also been reported that on average, homes with recessed lighting are more likely to sell above list price.

Illusion of Space

Recessed lights naturally make a room feel bigger because there is less physical space being taken up with light cans being set into the ceiling. Different types of trim can also cast more light around the room, especially when spaced further away from the wall and other fixtures.

Highlight Aspects of Your home

When installing recessed lighting, you’re able to highlight specific designs or aesthetics of your home. Use a recessed light to shed light on an art piece, unique structural feature, or special collection. Recessed light can also act as a spotlight in a home office or kitchen.

Safety

The casing of a recessed light keeps it safe and out of reach of children and pets, as opposed to hanging light fixtures.

Versatility

Recessed lighting has many options that you can choose from to customize your lighting setup. A few things you can consider when customizing your recessed lighting:

  • Fixture sizes:  based on the height of the ceiling & size of the area you want to light.
  • Light Bulb Type: control temperature, cost, lifespan, and intensity of light. 
  • Trim styles: an eyeball trim can help with wall-wash lighting, while a flat trim is ideal for a minimalist finish.

Conclusion:

Recessed lighting allows you to upgrade your home in a way that’s both stylish and discreet. The Horton Group has been serving the Northeastern United States for over 20 years, and we’d love to help you, too. Want to start a project with us? Get to know some of our skilled professionals and give us a call at 203-624-6873.

Increase Your Home Security

While burglary rates have steadily declined over the last decade, a burglar still strikes every 25.7 seconds in the United States. In order to avoid becoming an easy target for break-ins and feel safer in your home, consider the following home security tips.

Common Sense

Most break-ins that occur are crimes of opportunity, where burglars are able to walk right through the front door. While always locking doors is easy enough, also be sure to secure mail slots, use deadbolts as reinforcement, and avoid doors that have glass near the handle. Be sure to always change your locks when moving to a new place.

Security Systems

A security system isn’t a guarantee to keep burglars out, but it does make the task riskier. Security systems can serve as a deterrent as well as proof of a crime after the fact.

Outdoor Lighting

Anyone looking to break into a home will want to avoid being in the spotlight. Using motion-activated lights around the perimeter of your home will likely deter criminals in the initial casing of the property or even when they’re attempting a break-in.

Secure Valubles

Technology, cash, and jewelry are the main things burglars look for. Make sure to keep valuables in a safe or out of plain sight.

Plan for Vacation

Another way to ensure your home’s security is to avoid advertising when you’ll be away from your home for long stretches of time. If you know your neighbors well, ask them to keep an eye on your place. Have your mail held at the post office and save posting on social media about your trip until you get home.

Conclusion:

increase your home security

Securing your home doesn’t always have to be costly or time-consuming. By using a few of these tips you can feel safer and know that your home is unlikely to become a target for burglary.

Turning A Spare Bedroom Into Something Useful

Do you have a spare room that is not suitable for a bedroom? You’d be amazed by the endless possibilities that could come from transforming a bonus room. Turn it into something useful! Here are a few ideas to start with.

Storage Room

Typically, homeowners who decide to downsize their homes own more furniture, clothes, etc. Whether they are of a sentimental nature or being saved for a future use, it is hard to completely purge yourself of a whole house full of goods. Storage units became a viable option for people in this predicament, but those tack on an additional monthly fee. Transforming your spare room into a storage room to house all your overflow can be a solution to help keep costs down.

Using bins, baskets, and shelves you can manage to organize all your possessions in a thoughtful way and you will likely find yourself able to keep minimizing when the stuff is more present in your day to day. 

Private Office

If you value your moments of silence or getting away from all of the activity that runs throughout the house, then remodel your bonus room into a private reading room or office. Give yourself a secluded area with sensitive lighting and soundproof walls to keep you undisturbed and focused. 

Install a private library and invest in office furniture like a corner desk or a few modular seats to make the room more comfortable and accommodating.

Game or Sports Room

If you have children, giving them room to run free is always a good idea. As we all know, kids can be messy. Giving them a play or game room can keep that mess away and unseen. You’d be surprised how many kids value having space to play that doesn’t require much clean-up afterward. 

If a few arcade games or a big flat screen tv to watch sports is more your speed, then a sports room could be of service. Adding a dry bar and a lazy boy recliner to the center of it all would make it the perfect private sports arena. 

Fitness Room

Not interested in paying for a gym membership? Then invest in the necessary equipment and turn your bonus room into an at-home fitness center! Work up a sweat and get pumped up from the comfort of your home instead of having to share the equipment in a public setting.

A huge plus to installing a gym in your home is never having to wait your turn or constantly having to change the settings/add weights to your equipment. Many people avoid going to the gym because of intimidation or packed capacities. Working out from home is safe and much more relaxing. 

Vanity Room or Walk-In Closet

A vanity room or “glam room” is a pivot we are seeing as a new trend in homes in 2021. Using appropriate lighting and mirrors, you can easily set up a place to pamper and maintain self care. Vanity rooms can be remodeled any way but typically carry over a more classic and chic look. 

Move your clothes in, start hanging up shelves, and give yourself a grand walk-in closet. This is typically useful for those who choose not to part with their favorite clothing items or married couples who need the extra space. Turning your bonus room into a walk-in closet could be an excellent opportunity for an ROI and can accommodate more than one person. 

At-home Theater

Depending on the size of the room, one of our favorite ideas is an at-home theater. Add surround sound, a projector with screen, and the seating arrangements of your choice! 

This allows for flexibility in your own showtimes, as well as a place to gather with friends and family. The nature of a space like this would provide a more intimate and cozy atmosphere for your next movie night.

Do you have an idea of what to do with a spare room? Drop us a comment and share it with us!

Prep Your Yard for Winter

Prepping your yard for the winter is encouraged regardless of your kind of climate. In the fall, it’s known that the lawn responds better to treatments. Grass typically grows more robust thanks to nutrients being fed and stored in the winter. Think of this like hibernation. When the woodland creatures stock up on food, it’s to help them last through the colder season as it becomes more challenging for them to survive. These tactics are going to help you better take care of your lawn.

Pack Up Last Summer

Worse than seeing those back-to-school commercials is putting away patio furniture. Saying goodbye to summer is always a hard thing to do, but packing it up can maximize safety protocols. Outdoor furniture, regardless of it being able to handle environmental conditions, should be washed down and tucked away in a garage, shed, or any kind of storage unit. Lawn chairs and tables can rust over time; putting them away pushes back buying a new set and saving you more money for the following summer break. 

Winterize

Fall fertilizing, also known as winterizing, is necessary to help your garden and yard work maintain their beauty throughout the wintertime. Almost like packing leftovers in the freezer, winterizing helps the grass remain fresh and vibrant when spring comes and melts away the snow. Use the appropriate fall fertilizer to avoid any new growth damage in the grass depending on your typical climate weather and the time mark for when seasons change.  

Pave The Way

Get it done! Repair pavements such as the driveway, walkway, and that crack in the front step you’ve meant to take care of all year. When the snow starts to fall, any damage that is not catered to can worsen over time. Unsafe conditions can lead to damage repairs, which means more money on home maintenance.

Trimming

Trimming your branches is highly advised before winter reaches. The icy snow can be hefty on the brittle branches, causing them to snap at any moment. They also carry very sharp icicles, which can be dangerous when loved ones play in the backyard creating snow angels. Best to cut them down now before any unlikely harm comes knocking at your door.

Protect The Plant Babies

Preparing your yard for the winter might seem like a chore. If you are someone who cares deeply for their garden and array of plants, you won’t be so happy when those critters come nibbling on them for a snack. Tree guards or other forms of plant screenings could help best when up against nature’s animals. But in the long run, when the ice and snow start melting away, left behind is the same untouched, beautiful, plush grass you’ve maintained the rest of the three seasons.

Protect Your Home From Flooding

An unexpected flood can be devastating and damaging to your home. Hurricane Ida has shown us how under-prepared Connecticut truly is. To better protect yourself and your home, here’s our advice on how to keep safe in case of a flood emergency.

Flood Insurance

Repairing your home after a flood can cost up to $25,000 for just an inch of water. A few houses were reported to have water up to your knees after the last hurricane. It is essential to be prepared with flood insurance, especially in a high flood-risk area. Not that flood damage isn’t already included in a regular home insurance plan, but flood insurance should be purchased separately. Only some insurance companies, by name, can better protect you from the destruction caused by a flood.

Invest in a Sump Pump, Flood Sensors, and an Automatic Shut-Off Valve

Invest in protective measures to minimize the damage. A sump pump will pump water out of the basement. Flood sensors will alert you immediately to any water where it shouldn’t be or a cracked pipe, allowing you to respond quickly. An automatic shut-off valve will shut off the main water supply when activated.

Build a Barrier Around Your House

If permitted by your local building codes, consider a floodwall or levee around your home. A temporary solution that can be a tremendous last-minute line of defense is piling a wall of sandbags, 1-foot tall, around your home.

Keep Important Items Safe

If living in a flood-risk area, elevate expensive appliances like your water heater, washer/dryer, and electrical panel off the ground. This includes any electrical appliances that can short circuit in the basement, such as a laundry unit or a second kitchen. You should also keep all your private documents like your passport or birth certificate in a waterproof lockbox on a shelf higher up.

Be Prepared

Be better prepared the next time a hurricane comes flying in. Work out a flood plan beforehand, so you know what you need to do and what essential items are to be fully stocked in case of an emergency. Your emergency kit should include first-aid, medicine, flashlights, and batteries, and sometimes non-perishables.

Conclusion

Some people may not know that they live in flood-risk areas, so you should always make suitable investments to protect your home. Have more questions or need expert assistance building these safeguards into your home?

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