How the Guilford Community is Stepping Up

Communities all over the country are stepping up during this time of need. 

Recently, Byron Lazine and Nicole White of One + Company Real Estate, spoke with Brian McGlone, the Economic Development Manager for the town of Guilford. They discussed some of the incredible ways residents and businesses of Guilford are offering their assistance. 

Read on for highlights of the discussion, or listen to the full conversation here

Bio-Med Devices and 4Catalyzer

Bio-Med Devices and 4Catalyzer, both located in Guilford, are contributing to the medical field. Bio-Med Devices makes ventilators and is currently ramping up production to meet the needs of the industry. Jonathan Rothberg of 4Catalyzer is working on a home test kit for coronavirus. 

Women & Family Life Center

Women & Family Life Center, in collaboration with the Guilford Foundation and the Branford Foundation, have an assistance program available. If you are in need of assistance, you can fill out an application for a $500 grant. If you would like to add to the fund, donations are being accepted here.

Guilford Public Schools

Guilford Public Schools began distance learning, one week earlier than anticipated. Students who need a Chromebook can get one on loan from the school. 

What can we do to help support our small, local businesses during this time as residents?

Brian McGlone, along with others from the town of Guilford, is encouraging people to continue to support local establishments by ordering food for curbside pickup or delivery, getting gift cards, and online shopping.

As we head into unknown territories, Brian reminds us of the positive things happening in the shoreline town. 

“I see it with the town. Banding together, trying to help one another, encouraging people that we will get through this. We’re still on unchartered waters and some ideas might come up that might not be as successful. If people just remain patient, remain positive and optimistic, and practice kindness, we’ll all get through this,” he said. 

 

Shoreline Community Restaurants

Here is a list of local establishments offering curbside takeout and/or delivery options.

It is as important as ever that we keep our communities strong and thriving during this time.

Thank you Shoreline Chamber – CT and members of our social community for helping to curate this list! We’ll keep adding to it as we get more information.

Branford

Curbside Pick Up and Delivery

Coal & Daisies (203) 208-1263

Coffee Con Cannella (203) 208-4106

Donovan’s Reef (203) 488-5573

Eli’s on the Hill  (203) 488-2700

Home Restaurant  (203) 483-5896

Jalapeno Heaven  (203) 481-6759

La Cuisine Cafe & Market  (203) 488-7779

Marco Pizzeria  (203) 483-1544

Parthenon Diner  (203) 481-0333

The Stand  (203) 433-4728

Shoreline Cafe  (203) 488-2600

Willoughby’s Coffee & Tea  (203) 481-1700

Curbside Pick Up

Branford Breakfast Connections  (203) 483-4597

Branford Food Pantry (203) 481-3663

Branford Townhouse Family Restaurant (203) 481-0550

Cafe Fiore  (203) 208-4690

Common Grounds  (203) 488-2326

G Café  (203) 208-0930

Gourmet Wok  (203) 481-7988

Il Forno Restaurant (203) 488-0573

LaLuna Ristorante  (203) 483-9995

Lenny’s Indian Head  (203) 488-1500

Love Bakery & Cafe  (203) 208-2353

Pacileo’s Apizza  (203) 481-5930

Pasta Cosi  (203) 483-9397

Rossitto’s Ristorante (860) 977-3087

Rosso Vino Wine & Bistro (203) 315-0005

U.S.S. Chowder Pot III (203) 481-2356

 

Guilford

Curbside Pick Up and Delivery

Amarone’s (203) 533-7377

Carpanzano’s Pizzeria (203) 453-7040

Cilantro Coffee Roasters (203) 458-2555

Panera Bread (203) 204-0097

Quattro’s Restaurant (203) 453-6575

Rocco’s Off Wooster Pizza (203) 533-5032

The Marketplace (203) 453-4849

The Maritime Grille (203) 453-0774

Curbside Pick Up

Anthony’s of Guilford (203) 533-4259

Bishops Orchards  (203) 453-2338

Chapter One Food and Drink  (203) 533-7988

Forte’s Gourmet Market (203) 453-4910

KC’s Restaurant and Pub (203) 453-0771

Mr. J’s Asian Bistro (203) 453-3355

Naples Restaurant and Pizza  (203) 453-4759

Pasta Avest & Pizzeria  (203) 453-8779

South Lane Bistro  (203) 533-5845

The Guilford Mooring  (203) 458-2921

Vietnoms Café  (203) 689-5299

 

North Branford

Curbside Pick Up and Delivery

Anthony John’s Pizzeria (203) 484-0433

Belle Foods and Pizza (203) 208-0078

Chat N Chew  (203) 208-0097

Giovanni’s Pizzeria & Ristorante  (203) 484-4535

JCakes  (203) 488-2800

Joey Cal’s Deli & Catering  (203) 208-1038

La Cucina Catering  (203) 484-0463

Nataz Restaurant  (203) 315-0180

Curbside Pick Up

Doody’s Restaurant  (203) 484-0588

Milani Italian Pastry & Bakery (203) 484-5017

Northford Country Grill  (203) 484-4899

Rose Orchards  (203) 488-7996

Supreme Seafood  (203) 484-2721

New Haven

Soul de Cuba Café  (203) 498-2822 

 

Comment below if you see a local establishment missing from this list 🙏

Kitchen Design: Forbes’ Top Trends in 2020

As the heart of the home and one of the most popular rooms to remodel, kitchens are always a main focus in residential construction. 

At the start of the new decade, Forbes gathered predictions from seven industry professionals to share the top kitchen trends for 2020. Here’s what they had to say:

Floor Plan and Layout

An open floor plan has been a desired layout for many years, and this is one trend that isn’t going away. However, experts are noticing a trend toward semi-open spaces. Jean Brownhill, founder and CEO at Sweeten, said semi-open spaces use “decorative architectural elements like archways to define ‘zones’ without closing off the room entirely.”

Kitchen Storage

With the number of cooking appliances, tools, and utensils, storage is essential in the kitchen. Here are a few trends in kitchen storage this year:

  • Drawers with customized storage options. 
  • Hidden storage is a key trend. Michele Alfano, principal at Michele Alfano Design, said, “Kitchen cabinetry is acting more like furniture with flat panels and integrated hardware. Our appliances are starting to be hidden and not visible in our kitchens.”
  • Floating shelves and glass-front cabinets open up the kitchen.
  • Soft close drawers and cabinets. 

Appliances

Convection and induction cooking are becoming more popular options with homeowners. In addition, most appliances are becoming “smart.” With advances in technology, appliances can do more than ever before. For those more interested in the finish of appliances, the experts agree that stainless steel will remain popular. 

Countertops

Quartz and porcelain are moving in, and granite is moving out.

“Porcelain slabs are proving to be more durable than granite and maintenance-free,” said Alfano.

In addition to countertops, these materials are being used for bar tops, island overhangs, and backsplashes. 

Flooring

Porcelain is also making its way to the floor in kitchens, in the form of large, sleek tiles. People are becoming more playful with the design and texture of the flooring. Alfano said,

“We will see more surprising textures, unique shapes, and richer veining.”

Sinks and Faucets

Smart faucet sensors will continue to appear in kitchens, allowing people to turn the water on and off with the wave of a hand. Black and brushed brass fixtures are trending with pro-style chef sinks in the kitchen. 

 

Kitchens are not only a place to prepare meals, but a room filled with social interaction, memories, and of course, good food. To make the most of a kitchen remodel, make sure the design reflects your style and way of life.

Most Wanted Features in a Laundry Room

Laundry may not be your favorite chore, but laundry rooms are among the most wanted features in a home, according to the National Association of Home Builders study What Home Buyers Really Want (2019).

More homeowners are moving their laundry rooms out of the basement and into the main living areas of the home. Not only is this more convenient – no more trips down to the basement – but a well-thought-out laundry room provides room for storage and organization. Keep reading for tips on making your laundry room functional and beautiful – no matter the size. 

Mud and Laundry Room Combo

If you are fortunate enough to have a mudroom, you may as well make the most of it! Add a sink for quick rinses, nooks for coats and shoes, and an area for folding, ironing, and hanging clothes. 

Make the Most of a Closet

If you don’t have an entire room that you can dedicate to laundry, don’t worry. Converting a closet is an option that can help you stay organized while keeping the machines out of sight. Stack the washer and dryer, and utilize the rest of the space for storage.

Use All Accessible Space

Use the space you have wisely. Wall space, cabinets, and shelves can be utilized for organization. Create distinct areas for storing cleaning supplies, folding station, drying, laundry baskets, and sorting clothes. 

Hang Dry

Space to hang dry delicate items or freshly ironed garments should not be overlooked. Instead of a bulky drying rack that takes up floor space, install a couple of towel holders, closet poles, or a wall-mounted drying rack. 

Play with Design

The laundry room is the perfect place to play with design. Bold colors, wallpaper, or a textured accent can liven up the laundry room. Since laundry rooms are typically small spaces, you can get creative with your design. 

What does your dream laundry room look like? 

 

What is a HERS Index?

There are plenty of ways to make your home more energy-efficient. As homeowners, you know that with every scheduled maintenance and every home purchase, there are ways to save energy, money, and have a more sustainable household. 

With all of the options available, it can be overwhelming to sort through what will help your home run more efficiently, and what isn’t necessary. That is where the HERS Index can help.

What is the HERS Index?

The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is the nationally recognized system to assess a home’s energy performance. 

HERS scores are designed to calculate the energy efficiency of new or remodeled homes. If you are in the market to buy a brand new home, the HERS score will give you an idea of the energy costs for the house.

How do you find out the HERS Index Score?

A certified HERS Rater can determine the HERS Index Score of your home. They will complete an onsite energy rating of the home, and then compare the data to a reference home. The reference home is an analysis tool designed to resemble the actual house in size, shape, style, environment, and climate. 

What does the score mean?

The HERS Index ranges from 0 to 150, with 0 being a home that produces or conserves as much energy as it uses. While a score of 0 is unlikely, the lower the score, the more energy-efficient the home.

The standard new home typically has a rating of 100, while the typical resale home has a score of 130. Using these scores as reference points, you can get an idea of how efficient your home is. 

How can I improve my home’s HERS Index Score?

The greatest energy expenses in a house are for heating and cooling. Whether you are remodeling your entire home or just looking for a way to save on energy costs, you can get a programmable thermostat, upgrade your HVAC system, or simply get an annual tune-up to make sure it is working properly. 

Other energy-saving tips include: sealing all air leaks, add insulation, upgrade to ENERGY STAR appliances, and consider installing solar panels

A HERS index rating can help you determine what type of fixes will be most beneficial for your home. 

 

Upgrades that Pay Off

You love the size and location of your home, but some work needs to be completed for you to remain happy while living there. 

If you are going to spend money on renovations, it’s important to factor in how much value the projects will add to your home. 

Whether you plan to sell in the near future, a few years down the road, or haven’t thought of selling at all, continue reading to learn what interior projects are most likely to add value to the home for resale. 

INTERIOR RENOVATION PROJECTS

REALTOR rank of projects’ appeal to buyers (highest to lowest)

REALTOR rank of projects’ likely value to the home for resale (highest to lowest)

Complete Kitchen Renovation

Complete Kitchen Renovation

Kitchen Upgrade

Kitchen Upgrade

HVAC Replacement

HVAC Replacement

New Wood Flooring

New Master Suite / Owners’ Suite

Bathroom Renovation

Bathroom Renovation

Hardwood Flooring Refinish

Basement Conversion to Living Area

New Master Suite / Owners’ Suite

Add New Bathroom

Add New Bathroom

New Wood Flooring

Basement Conversion to Living Area

Hardwood Flooring Refinish

Attic Conversion to Living Area

Attic Conversion to Living Area

Insulation Upgrade

Insulation Upgrade

Closet Renovation

Closet Renovation

* From the 2019 Remodeling Impact Report

 

Kitchens and Bathrooms 

Kitchens top the list of remodeling projects, according to the 2019 Remodeling Impact Report by the National Association of Realtors. “Complete Kitchen Renovation” is the top remodeling project to complete if you want to appeal to buyers and add value to the resale, according to Realtors surveyed. 

We know that while a complete renovation in the kitchen is what homeowners dream about, it is also a costly project. With a kitchen upgrade ranking number two on both lists, you can choose to stay within budget by keeping some aspects of the kitchen and upgrading others. 

“Bathroom Renovation” and “Add a New Bathroom” are also remodeling projects that add value. If you have just one bathroom, consider where you can add another. For an outdated bathroom, determine what upgrades are needed to make it feel more luxurious or relaxing. 

 

Comfort and Sustainability

Aesthetics aren’t everything. Buyers are also interested in comfort and sustainability, which has a lot to do with the mechanics of the home. An HVAC Replacement or Insulation Upgrade can make a significant difference for buyers. These changes can help to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient, which adds value to the property.

 

Which home renovation project would you like to tackle in 2020?

 

Fiberglass vs. Spray Foam Insulation

Insulation may be hidden behind the walls, but it plays a big role in keeping you comfortable all year long. 

The job of insulation is to keep the house warm during the winter and cool during summer. With heating and cooling accounting for about half of the energy used in the home, proper insulation can cut back on energy usage and save homeowners money. 

Keep reading for a comparison between two types of insulation: fiberglass and spray foam. 

Fiberglass

Fiberglass insulation is the more traditional form of insulation. This type of insulation comes in pre-cut rolls or blown-in loose fill. It works to regulate air temperature by trapping air inside tiny glass fibers, slowing the transfer of heat. 

Pros of Fiberglass

Fiberglass insulation is inexpensive to install when compared to other types of insulation. It comes in pre-made R-Values, and it maintains performance levels for an extended period of time. Fiberglass is also easy to install.

Cons of Fiberglass

Though commonly used and easy to install, fiberglass is not as effective as spray foam at maintaining comfortable temperatures. Fiberglass cannot fit into every crevice, which can allow for air leaks. This is especially true in colder regions.

Spray Foam

Spray foam insulation is newer than fiberglass and is becoming more popular in homes. Spray foam is installed by spraying a polyurethane foam into walls and ceilings. The foam expands to create an airtight seal. Spray foam can be used as the primary method of insulation or as a supplement to existing insulation.

Pros of Spray Foam

Since spray foam creates an airtight seal, it protects against pests, rodents, and mold, in addition to its insulating properties. It is more energy-efficient than fiberglass, sealing off any crevices so air cannot leak in. It also has a longer lifespan, because it does not break down or sag over time.

Cons of Spray Foam

Spray foam is more expensive than fiberglass. In addition, spray foam should be applied by a professional, which increases the cost even more. The installation process can be messy, so make sure you work with a professional who has experience with spray foam.

If you are ready for new insulation, speak with your contractor to determine what type is the best option for your home. 

 

Solar Roof Panels vs. Solar Shingles

As solar roof technology becomes more advanced, homeowners have more options when making the switch to solar energy. 

Solar roofs are enticing because they harness the sun’s solar energy to generate electricity for the home, potentially saving money and energy. While solar panels have become a common sight in neighborhoods across the country, solar shingles are also becoming more mainstream. 

What is the better option for your home? Below, we compare solar panels and shingles to help with the decision. 

Solar Roof Panels

Solar panels are large panels that are installed on top of the shingles on the roof. Several panels are installed on the roof, generating electricity that can be used by the household. 

Pros of Solar Roof Panels

  • Solar panels maximize electricity production. 
  • Solar panels can be angled to gather sunlight. Some types of panels can swivel and adjust throughout the day.
  • Solar panels can be placed on your property, as well as the roof.  
  • You can have the panels removed and bring them with you to a new house.

Cons of Solar Roof Panels

  • Panels appear bulky. 
  • The installation of solar panels involves many steps and requires electrical inspections.

Solar Shingles

Solar shingles are a more recent technology than solar panels and are designed to look to typical roof shingles. Solar shingles have two functions: to protect the roof and to generate electricity. 

Pros of Solar Shingles

  • Solar singles are more aesthetically appealing, blending in with other shingles of the roof. 
  • Solar shingles can double as shingles, so if replacing the entire roof, it can be cost-effective.
  • Solar shingles are easier to install than panels. 

Cons of Solar Shingles

  • Solar shingles are less energy efficient than solar panels.
  • The roof needs a particular slope with ample sunlight exposure.
  • The lifespan of solar shingles is less than panels. 
  • Removing solar shingles is not an option because they serve as the roof shingles.

Solar energy can save money and energy over time. When making the switch to solar energy, always consult a professional to determine what your options are. 

What is MEP Engineering?

When building, people are often amazed at the floorplan, visual aspects of the structure, and the timeline.

The behind-the-scenes (or in our case the behind-the-walls) elements don’t garner much attention. Yet the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems keep people comfortable. 

What are MEP Systems?

MEP stands for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing. Let’s break down each system here:

  • Mechanical. Mechanical systems include heating and cooling systems, allowing people to stay comfortable inside, no matter the temperature outside.
  • Electrical. Electrical systems keep us connected. We all know how inconvenient it is when the electricity goes out. Electrical systems keep the lights on and other systems running.
  • Plumbing. Plumbing systems provide clean water for drinking, bathing, and cleaning while removing wastewater. 

 

What is MEP Engineering?

MEP Engineering is the design and construction of the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems in a building or residence. MEP engineers, or consulting firms, are often used when large buildings are being constructed. They design, estimate costs, and build MEP systems so that the interior spaces are ideal for comfort at home or work.

Benefits of MEP Engineering

It may seem pretty straightforward to install heating, cooling, lighting, and plumbing in a building. When done poorly, it can result in uncomfortable conditions: too hot or too cold, poor lighting, noisy HVAC systems, and inefficient use of energy. 

When strategically designed, MEP engineering can:

  • Lower costs
  • Improve lighting
  • Improve heating and cooling
  • Solve water or plumbing issues
  • Conserve water
  • Conserve energy
  • Automate building systems
  • Improve concentration and mood in the workplace
  • Increase comfort

While MEP Engineering may not be necessary for a single-family home, thoughtful planning and design in offices and multi-unit residences is essential. 

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