What Renovations Give the Highest Value?


Even though sellers are at an advantage in the current real estate market, it’s still wise for homeowners to do everything they can to increase the value of their homes. Whether you are just trying to make your home a happier place to live or seriously considering selling, many easy renovations will significantly increase the value of your home. This week, we’re outlining the easiest upgrades to produce the highest return on investment. 

Minor Kitchen Upgrades 

Minor kitchen upgrades can refresh the look of a home without costing too much. For example, installing granite countertops and cabinets could completely transform the look and feel of your kitchen. Updating appliances with modern technology will also make a huge difference. 

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are among the most favored renovations and a sought-after feature by homebuyers. Fronting the money to install new floors will bring your home into the 21st century while significantly increasing its value. 

Fresh Paint

Painting is one of the most transformative renovations a homeowner can do without breaking the bank. Light-colored neutrals and earth tones are the most widely appealing color schemes. If you’re looking to get a home sold, definitely get rid of any bold colored paint jobs, such as a child’s old room. A new paint job can do wonders for areas that need brightening up.

Improved Lighting 

Brightening up a home can make it feel cozier and inviting. While you don’t need to go out and buy some fancy chandeliers, investing in some new lighting fixtures that match the style of your home will increase its value. Better lighting is also a great way to make a room look and feel bigger. 


Before you go out and spend too much money on trying to make your home as modern and valuable as possible, it’s essential to educate yourself on which renovations truly make a difference. Curious about increasing the value of your home? Contact us today! 

The Best Commercial Security Systems In 2022

A reliable security system is essential to the success of any business. Whether preventing break-ins, floods, or fires, having eyes on your business while you aren’t around is vital. The best commercial security systems combine affordability and advanced features not used for residential systems. This week, we’re highlighting the best commercial security systems to invest in for 2022. 


ADT is a top-rated choice for residential security systems, but many business owners don’t realize the value of their commercial security systems. ADT is a top contender due to its custom plans and easy integration with other security systems. Additional benefits of using ADT include:

  • Remote surveillance through a mobile app.
  • Professional installation and surveillance.
  • Top-rated customer support for small businesses.


Frontpoint offers both pre-assembled DIY security bundles as well as custom security plans. Their DIY packages are easy to install and high-end. Frontpoint is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an uncomplicated system without sacrificing quality.


Simplisafe is one of the most affordable security systems on the market. Their hardware includes a sleek design that makes devices hard to spot. If you’re a small business looking for protection on a budget, consider SimpliSafe. Their plans cover the basic necessities such as environmental monitors, cameras, and locks. The system is also accessible by an intuitive mobile app that allows users to control the system from anywhere.


Vivint security systems are the ultimate solution when it comes to customization. Their products offer seamless integration into existing security equipment and are monitored professionally 24/7. In addition, Vivint allows businesses of all types to find the system that works best for them based on the size of the space. Consultations with a Vivint team member also help to prioritize potential vulnerabilities of a business’s security. 


Do you have questions about securing your commercial building? Contact us today!

Energy Efficient Windows

These days, homeowners want to minimize heating and cooling costs, and choosing energy-efficient windows is a crucial step. There are many things to look for when selecting a window to ensure it will save as much money on heating and cooling costs as possible. This week, we’ve outlined a few things to consider when you opt to install energy-efficient windows.

Energy Star Label

Energy Star is the trusted, government-backed symbol for energy efficiency. The goal of energy star is to help us all save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices. This label is definitely one of the first things you want to look for when you think about updating your windows.


The location and placement of windows are also pretty crucial for energy efficiency. While completely changing the location of a window is a significant renovation, it may be worth it in the long run to save costs on heating and cooling.

Glass Type

The type of glass in windows also affects how well your home is insulated. Dual and triple-pane glass insulates two and three times more than regular single pane glass. Keep in mind that tempered and laminated glass options will also be effective in maximizing your energy efficiency. You can also select a low emissivity glass coating that helps reflect winter cold and summer hear while blocking UV rays. 


A wooden window frame is one of the most popular options, as wood frames are less prone to transferring heat and cold. However, if you don’t want wooden frames, several other options will help make your home more energy-efficient. For example, vinyl framing is very affordable and can offer excellent insulation. A framing option that provides the best of both worlds is a wood-clad design, which provides a low-maintenance exterior of your choosing and a temperature-transfer-resistant wood interior. 


Regardless of your choice of window, make sure you are picking an option that ensures you won’t need to worry about another replacement five years from now. Have questions about window replacement or starting a new renovation project? Contact us today!

Benefits of Adding a Breakfast Nook


Breakfast nooks are a fun use of space in any kitchen and have remained extremely popular since their peak in the 1930s. A practical breakfast nook can refresh a kitchen and create an intimate space for family time or entertaining while saving big on space. Often, breakfast nooks get a bad rap for being too cramped. This week, we’ve outlined a few benefits of adding a breakfast nook to your kitchen. 

Comfortable and Versatile 

Breakfast nooks are much more comfortable than a traditional kitchen table. Small and self-contained, they make every meal feel a little more intimate. Adding a breakfast nook will bring a more casual feeling to your home. Whether you’re enjoying a family dinner, doing work, or having a drink with a friend, a breakfast nook certainly doesn’t have to be limited to its name. 

They Add Charm & Style to a Home 

Usually, breakfast nooks are conveniently placed closed to bay windows or other natural light sources. Natural light has the power to make any space seem inviting, and this is especially true for breakfast nooks. Breakfast nooks are great for adding charm to your home and making the area a little more quaint. If you already have specific design elements in your home, a breakfast nook can be designed to match the pre-existing decor style of your home. Breakfast nooks can be created to reflect modern, minimalist, or traditional looks. 

Great for Entertaining 

Another benefit of installing a breakfast nook is its ability to serve as a space for entertaining. The different elements of design you choose to incorporate will allow you to create a place that feels open and intimate at the same time. It’s not always necessary to have a formal dining room to entertain guests, and many people make the mistake of writing off breakfast nooks for entertaining because they are “too cramped.” When you work with the right designer, it will 

be easy to create a space that feels as open and inviting as any other entertainment area in your home. 


The kitchen, for many, is the focal point of a home. Adding a breakfast nook can make the space all that more useful. In addition, a breakfast nook provides a great space to entertain without sacrificing comfort or capability. Are you considering taking on a kitchen remodeling project? Contact us today!

Kitchen Remodel Myths Debunked

Kitchen remodeling can be a daunting task, and common myths about the renovation process can make planning and execution even harder. However, spending time renovating your kitchen can refresh the feel of your entire home. This week, we’re debunking a few of the most common myths about remodeling a kitchen.

Myth #1: Kitchen Remodeling is a DIY Job

Unless you have experience as a contractor yourself, doing a kitchen renovation on your own will be complicated and messy. While many people think a kitchen renovation is pretty straightforward, they are likely not prepared to DIY when managing electric work or staying in accordance with codes. Many things can go wrong without a team of professionals who know what they’re doing, so avoid trying to DIY a major kitchen renovation.

Myth #2: Interior Designer = Kitchen Designer

An interior designer is concerned with the aesthetic of the space as a whole, while a kitchen designer’s primary focus is the usability and functionality of the kitchen space. While kitchen designers incorporate interior design elements, that’s not their main focus. If you’re looking to completely reimagine your kitchen space while prioritizing its functionality, look into finding a kitchen designer who can also appreciate interior design. 

Myth #3: The Kitchen Triangle

The kitchen triangle is a layout that organizes a kitchen’s three primary workspaces (the sink, refrigerator, and stove) into a triangle to optimize efficiency when cooking. While the triangle is a practical layout for appliances, it may not be the best choice for your specific project. As the number of appliances we use in our daily life increases, many designers have begun to stray from the traditional triangle design and opt for different work zones. Some kitchen work zones include separate cooking, cleaning, serving, and eating areas. 

Myth #4: Kitchen Islands are a Must

Kitchen islands have skyrocketed in popularity in the last decade, but they might not work for every space. Including an island in your new kitchen can often take up extra space and provide less storage than cabinets. When deciding if a kitchen island is right for you, consider the amount of prep space you’ll need for cooking and how much clutter you can deal with. 


Getting started with renovations can be overwhelming. Have questions about remodeling? Our team is here to help. Contact us today!

4 Things You Can Do With an Old Garden Shed

Do you find yourself strapped for space in your home? Do you want to find a better use for your old garden shed that doesn’t get much use? Many people opt to transform their sheds into extensions of their homes to accommodate jobs and hobbies. This week, we’re talking about all of the potential spaces you can create from your old garden shed. 

A Peaceful Office Space

Are you working from home but feeling constantly distracted? Transform your old shed into a peaceful workspace. You can make sure to incorporate lots of natural light, office essentials, and personal touches to create a dynamic space where you can maximize productivity. 

A Functional Workshop

Have an interest in recreational shop work or side hustle in Carpentry? Create a workspace that incorporates plenty of electrical outlets, storage for power tools, and shelving for materials. 

A Fun Playroom

Want to provide a fun space for your kids to play without dealing with the constant hassle of picking up toys and games from all over the house? Outsource playtime to an area designated for all things fun. 

A Functional Home Gym

Want to focus on fitness but don’t have the space for a traditional home gym? Make 2022 the year you prioritize health by utilizing your old shed as a home gym. It could be as simple as a few yoga mats or as involved as a treadmill and weight machines. 


There are various ways you can transform your old garden shed into a great space. Have questions about new renovation projects? Contact us today!

4 Easy Ways to Make Your Construction Project Eco-Friendly

The construction industry has been known to negatively impact the environment with different types of pollution. For example, construction can often cause improper waste disposal, air pollution, paper waste, and an overall increased carbon footprint. However, there are ways to reduce the environmental impact of construction projects, and this week we’ve outlined four ways to make your construction project more environmentally friendly. 

Buy Sustainable Materials

If you’re looking to approach your construction project through a more eco-friendly lens, begin by using sustainable building materials. For example, instead of using concrete, which is notorious for releasing tons of greenhouse gases, explore the idea of using a concrete alternative. In recent years, engineers have identified alternatives to concrete, such as timbercrete, ferrock, rammed earth, or recycled plastic. 

Prioritize Natural Light & Energy 

A more obvious way to scale back on energy use is to simply use less of it. For example, you can save energy during your actual project by having work done early in the day when there is more natural light and by opening doors and windows to cool the space down rather than relying on your air conditioning system. In terms of planning, you can incorporate energy-efficient windows, solar panels, and more natural light into the design of your new project to maximize sustainability.

Reuse & Recycle Any Waste Generated

Garbage, unused materials, and old rubble are massive byproducts of construction. Many contractors will dispose of this material at a designated landfill site. Instead, you could reuse or recycle material such as plastics, wood, glass, masonry, and lumber for future projects, which will benefit the environment while saving you money. As the world finds sustainable alternatives, there are increased recycling options for construction-related materials. 

Go Digital

Digitizing constructions plans is a small yet effective step to help the environment. By eliminating paper waste and using computer software to draw up plans, budgets, and invoices for projects, you reduce the risk of losing important documents and subtly help reduce deforestation. 


Construction projects have historically been a significant contributor to pollution, but there are simple ways to help reduce waste and become more eco-friendly. Have questions about how to make your next project more eco-friendly? Contact us today!

Basement Renovation Tips

Basement renovation is a great home improvement project. Not only does it increase the value of your home, but it provides your family with more space for living and storage. As with any renovation, the most crucial stage is planning. This week, we’ve outlined some simple tips to help you get started. 

Envision How You Want to Use the Space

The first thing you need to consider when you start planning is how you want to utilize the extra space. For example, you may be looking to create a home gym, game room, or guest bedroom. What kind of space you’re looking to create will affect the rest of the planning and cost of the renovation. 

Draft a Detailed Floor Plan

Create a floor plan and use it to figure out how your finished basement will fit together. Once your plan is in place, check the foundation walls and floor for excess moisture. Any cracks will need to be repaired, and professional assistance may be required at this stage. Be sure to examine the structure for supporting posts, low ceilings, and floors below the sewer line. These can pose challenges, and you might want to consult a contractor for a thorough inspection.

Consider your electrical and plumbing needs.

Always make sure you hire a certified electrician for any electrical work and consult a building inspector on any required permits or considerations. Now’s a good time to decide what type of insulation you’ll be using, whether it be spray foam or sheets. Again, make sure to consult a professional to ensure you get the proper insulation for your needs.

Choosing Drywall

Next, choose your drywall. Moisture-resistant drywall is an excellent option as basement areas are prone to moisture. You also need to decide what kind of flooring you’d like and repair any cracks in your subfloor before installing anything new. You might also want to consider waterproofing your concrete. 

Calculate Costs & Budget Accordingly

Start by considering all the prices for installations and additions such as vents, windows, drywall, floors, and lights. Save your decorating and furniture expenses for last. The final step is deciding what you can do yourself and what requires the contractor’s expertise.

The Horton Group is always here to help with the trickier parts of any project, so don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions about building!

The Most Popular Paint Colors for 2022

An aspect of any home remodel that is often overlooked is repainting. Every year, top paint brands release their 2022 picks for paint color of the year. This year has a focus on soft, earthy tones inspired by nature. Here are a few of the top paint picks for 2022. 

Behr: Sea-Glass Breezeway 

A relaxed and uplifting sea glass green expresses peace and tranquility for forwarding movement.

Sherwin-Williams: Evergreen Fog 

Evergreen Fog SW 9130 is a versatile and calming hue, a chameleon color of gorgeous green-meets-gray, with just a bit of blue.  It’s a simple but sophisticated wash of beautiful, organic color for spaces that crave a subtle yet stunning statement shade.

Benjamin Moore: October Mist

Evoking the silver-green stem of a flower, October Mist creates a canvas for other colors -and your imagination – to blossom.

HGTV Home: Aleutian

Create space for refuge with this perfectly balanced washed indigo that sets a restful tone. Because it’s grounded in warm and cool tones, it brings relaxation to any room.

Valspar: Blanched Thyme

A cool, organic green that works beautifully with warmer wood tones for a natural and balanced look.

Farrow and Ball: Breakfast Room Green

The most cheerful of all F&B’s greens that remain lively in both bright sunlight or softer candlelight


We’re here to help with all kinds of home renovations. Have questions about new repainting projects? Contact us today!

Should You Move or Renovate?

Trying to decide between moving and remodeling is not an easy task. Both options come with their fair share of financial stressors and headaches. This week, we’ve outlined some questions to ask yourself when making this big decision. 

What Do I Need in Terms of Space?

Renovating can only do so much to accommodate a growing family. Consider your need for more space when deciding between moving and adding a house. Will the additions you have in mind add value to your home? How long will you need to accommodate a growing family? If you’re just starting a family, you’re looking at a long-term need for extra space, and moving may be a better investment. Consider talking to both a contractor and a real estate agent to calculate the costs of each option.

How Will Your Commute Change?

Choosing to relocate may affect your commute, for the better or worse. A shorter commute will add more time in the day for exercise, family time, and fun and will generally increase your quality of life. Be very wary of relocating to a home that could significantly increase the time you spend getting to and from work each day. Is your current home close to work and ideal for your schedule? That could signify that you should stay where you are and renovate. 

What Can You Afford?

You should sit down with an accountant and determine which option makes the most financial sense. For example, moving is a clear choice if you’re looking to downsize. However, if you have the stability to put money into your house and increase its value, renovating is makes a lot of sense. 

Are the Local Schools Good?

Another aspect of location is your proximity to schools. If your children are in an excellent school system where they are safe, happy, and challenged, it may be best to renovate your current home. Unfortunately, a good school system is not always easy to come by. If your current neighborhood is dangerous and lacks access to a good school system, you should consider moving to a location with better educational opportunities for your children. 

How Hard Will it be to Leave Your Current Home?

There is always a level of emotional attachment to a home. 

If you live in a family home passed down through generations or even your first home, you may find it difficult to move. Renovating is a great way to keep the home you love while adjusting to your current needs. If you find yourself tired of your existing home and constantly browsing Zillow, it may be a sign that you’re ready to move on.


Choosing whether to move or remodel is a complicated decision that requires a lot of thought. Weighing out all of your options and seeking the opinion of professionals will make it easier. Consider talking to both a contractor and a real estate agent to calculate the costs of each option. Have questions about remodeling? Contact us today!

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