Home Improvement Guide 2012

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<p>SpringRemr</p> <p>Home Improvementeling</p> <p>od</p> <p>r o oo tdo d In Ou &amp;</p> <p>2</p> <p>12 0</p> <p>Do-ItYourself Projects</p> <p>La w Ga n &amp; Tip rden s</p> <p>A Special Section to The Lebanon Democrat Mt. Juliet News and The Hartsville Vidette</p> <p>ContentsConstruction Quick Tip ...........................................................................2 Improving home efficiency......................................................................3 Projects that might require building permits ...........................................3 Must have tools ........................................................................................4 Is it time to add a half bath .....................................................................5 Patio clean-up for seasonal entertaining ..................................................5 Fence etiquette .........................................................................................8 Building a deck ........................................................................................9 Plywood vs. MDF ....................................................................................9 Shopping off season for home improvements ......................................10 Making a healthier home .......................................................................11 Spray foam insulation combats mold ....................................................11</p> <p>Building a home includes dreams of a house that might last for centuries -- or at the very least, a soaring return on the investment. So with a choice in materials when building from scratch, take note that the advanced technology starts with concrete walls. The inefficiency of wood framing is yesterdays choice. Builders of homes and commercial buildings now champion the use of pre-assembled, interlocking concrete forms. Each panel consists of two layers of polystyrene, steel reinforced and filled with concrete. With this system, industry leader Nudura points to important energy savings -- as well as significant environmental and human health benefits. Wood walls, for example, are subject to rot and mould irritation over time. The wood frame method is also subject to thermal bridging, where outside cold seeps in to cause uncomfortable cold spots, drafts, and mustiness. On the other hand, the Nudura concrete walls have shown to deliver energy savings of up to 70 percent and deliver a building envelope up to three times more sound resistant, four times more fire re-</p> <p>Construction Quick Tip: Post-modern homes choose walls with concrete</p> <p>sistant, and nine times stronger. Floor and ceiling construction is now advanced too. More information is available online at www.nudura.com.</p> <p>Moen Bradford-White Tradewinds Mansfield Faucets Water Heaters Whirlpools Toilets</p> <p>BURDINE SUPPLY INC.PLUMBING &amp; ELECTRICAL SUPPLIES6966 LEBANON ROAD MT. JULIET, TN 1/4 mile West of 109</p> <p>330 Broadway Hartsville, Tennessee 37074 615-374-2986 www.tcemc.org</p> <p>Phone (615)453-9222 Fax (615)453-9272</p> <p>Owner: Vincent LenningAFFORDABLE</p> <p>MIKE WALLS CONSTRUCTION, INC. 812-14602 Spring Home Improvement 2012</p> <p> Professional General Contractor Designs Apporved By All Homeowners Associations All American Employees</p> <p>Call now for a FREE solar screen with purchase of sun or screen enclosure!!!</p> <p>Show Room @ 4130 Lebanon Rd. Lebanon, TN.palmbeachenclosure.com</p> <p>Call 726-1010</p> <p>We will beat any written estimate by 10%!</p> <p>The top three innovations to improve home efficiencyOur homes are a great measuring stick of how far weve progressed in the past 20 years, especially when it comes to their efficiency in terms of saving us energy and money. Here are the top three innovative technologies that can improve the efficiency of our homes: Home Automation * It wasnt that long ago that an automated home was a focus of science fiction. Today, adding the convenience and control of our indoor climate, lighting, electronic media and home security is increasingly affordable and accessible through home PCs, smart phone and tablet applications. With home monitoring systems, you can track energy and water usage in real time, spot key sources of energy loss and make immediate adjustments. Insulation * If your home is more than 10 years old, theres a good chance it has fiberglass or cellulose insulation behind its walls. While these were once the insulations of choice, there are many holes in these technologies. Since they are difficult to install perfectly and can sag or settle over time, they can leave gaps and seams. Its like leaving a window open 24 hours a day Advances in home automation, insulation and appliances have be- in the freezing come increasingly affordable and accessible to more homeowners, cold. * Expertssaving them energy and money.</p> <p>Projects that might require a building permitAll too many homeowners have experienced the joy of completing a home improvement project only to learn upon completion that the project is not in adherence with local laws. That realization, while heartbreaking, is often the result of a homeowners failure to secure a building permit prior to starting the project. Homeowners who secure a permit before the onset of a project will know what they can and cant do and can rest easy knowing that an approved plan complies with engineering principles and local laws. Another disadvantage to forgoing the permit process is the potential perils such a decision cause when homeowners want to sell their homes. Projects completed without a permit might hurt a homes resale value, and such projects are not often covered by homeowners insurance policies, meaning damage to areas of the home where an illegal project was conducted wont be covered. While homeowners should always check with their local municipality before starting a project, it might help to know the following are a few of the many home improvement projects that typically require a permit before they can go forward. * Above-ground pool * Attached storage shed * Awnings * Carports * Deck installation * Demolition project, interior or exterior * Fireplace addition * Garage conversion * Handicap ramp * Handicap restroom * In-ground pool * Patio enclosure * Patio installation * Partition wall installation * Porch * Retaining walls * Roof change (i.e., flat roof to sloped roof) * Roof replacement * Room addition * Room remodel * Siding * Sliding glass door (if area is increased) * Skylight * Spa or hot tub installation * Windows, new or replacement (if area is increased)</p> <p>remind us that insulation advancements (like those from leading innovator Icynene) have brought us spray foam insulation options that wont settle, sag or leave any gaps. Spray foam acts as an air barrier and can deliver up to 50 percent energy savings over older insulation options, while making our homes healthier, quieter and more comfortable. You can compare insulation options at www.icynene.com. Appliances and HVAC * Appliances and heating/cooling systems are essential in American homes -and not surprisingly, they are constantly undergoing improvements. New energy-efficient refrigerators use less than half the energy of models that are 12 years old and use 75 percent less energy than those produced in the late 1970s (Source: National Resources Defense Council). * If you have a conventional natural-draft furnace made before 1992, it might only operate between 55 to 78 percent efficiency. Upgrading to a new induced-draft condensing furnace can increase efficiency to above 90 percent as a result of more efficient heat exchangers and electronic ignition (Source: Mother Earth News).</p> <p>Save All Season!Save now and all year long with low prices on energy-efficient doors and windows.</p> <p>kes &amp; Hooker Fa Lumber Locally Owned Building Materials and Decorating CenterRoofing</p> <p>Put Your Fears At Rest ... Hire The Best! Licensed Insured Bonded 25Years Experience Local Company TN Craftsmen Windows Doors Sunrooms Replacements Renovations New Construction</p> <p>Shop Locally at FAKES &amp; HOOKER LUMBER COMPANY Lebanon, TN</p> <p>For Quality Materials &amp; Excellent Service</p> <p> Professional Service</p> <p> Respect for your home</p> <p>W &amp; DOOR SYSTEMS WINDO</p> <p>FIVE STAR</p> <p>444-5904</p> <p> SUN Clad Wood Double Hung Vinyl Replacement Windows</p> <p>150 S. Maple Lebanon, TN 37087</p> <p>615-406-6361</p> <p>www.5starwindowsanddoors.com info@5starwindowsanddoors.comSpring Home Improvement 2012 3</p> <p>Must-Have Tools For the Outdoor Handyman (or Woman)Spring has sprung for most areas of the country and the average homeowners honey-do list likely has its share of outdoor landscaping tasks that need to be tackled. The right tools can make easier work of outdoor chores. A report from the Associated Landscape Contractors of America titled Economic Benefits of Landscape states that landscaping can add as much as 14 percent to the resale value of a building and speed its sale by as much as 6 weeks. Homeowners looking to sell their home or just improve its market value will want to consider landscaping a viable investment. A March 2003 article in Smart Money noted that homeowners can expect to earn back 150 percent or more of their landscape investment through the value it brings to a property. Whatever the landscaping project, the right tools will make any task that much easier. There are certain items every homeowner should have in his or her gardening arsenal. * Soil cultivator: A multi-pronged tool that breaks up clods of soil and grass to provide easier planting. * Various garden hoes: Hoes can be used for breaking up soil, weeding, cultivating, aerating, and many other purposes. * Spading fork: Another tool that loosens soil with straight tines that dig through dense soil. * Shovel: A multipurpose shovel can dig through dirt, gravel and the like. * Rake: A steelpronged rake will till soil and spread out mulch and other organic matter in planting beds. A flexible rake is good for collecting leaves and thatch. * Edger: Available as manual or gas powered, an edger gives planting beds and the edges of lawns a clean look. * String trimmer: Weeds can easily be trimmed with a string trimmer that can work around bushes and other hard-to-reach areas. * Gloves: Avoid blisters and insect bites with durable gloves that protect the hands. * Lawn mower: To maintain a healthy lawn it will have to be trimmed to the correct height. A manual or powered lawn mower is the essential landscapers tool. * Collection bags/bins: To properly dispose of organic matter like leaves and branches, it pays to have recyclable or reusable bags on hand for transporting waste. * Hoses: Drip irrigation hoses can deliver water right to plants roots where they need it most. A regular nozzle-powered hose can be used for cleaning and misting plants and surrounding hardscapes. * Compost bin: Black gold is the ideal landscaping supplement. By creating compost from discarded food, a homeowner can generate the prime fertilizer needed to keep plants healthy. * Wheelbarrow: Transporting gravel, rocks, mulch, shrubbery, and many other garden essentials is made easier with the help of a wheelbarrow or a garden cart. * Branch pruner: A durable branch trimmer/pruner can cut through thick or thin branches and keep landscapeLandscaping can add value to a home. The right tools make most jobs easier.</p> <p>items tidy. Pruning also helps promote growth of many flowers and shrubs. * Overhead pruner: Errant branches in hard-to-reach areas can be trimmed with an overhead pruner with an extendable</p> <p>arm. Depending on specific interests, homeowners can stock up on trowels, bulb planters, chain saws and other items that will get jobs done around the exterior of the home.</p> <p>Local News Is Just A Click Away Local News Polls And Much More!www.lebanondemocrat.comwww.mtjulietnews.com www.hartsvillevidette.com4 Spring Home Improvement 2012</p> <p>LOG</p> <p> Opinions</p> <p>TODAY! ON</p> <p>Is it time to add a half-bathroom to your house?When it comes to renovating a home, homeowners expect to spend money. No home renovation or home improvement project is free, but some are less costly than others. The addition of a halfbathroom is a popular project among homeowners, and it wont necessarily break the bank. If converting existing floor space into a half-bathroom, such a renovation can cost as little as a few thousand dollars, making the addition of a powder room one of the few home improvement projects where the value added to the home exceeds the cost of the renovation. Before deciding to add a half-bathroom, it helps to consider some of the pros and cons of the project. Pros * Convenience: A half-bathroom is often added on the homes main floor or in the basement or attic. This makes it more convenient for guests to use the restroom during a dinner party or when coming over to watch the big game in a basement home-theater area. * Problem-free: Half-bathrooms are smaller because they dont have a shower or bathtub. That means common bathroom problems like mold and mildew are not as big a concern as they are for full bathrooms. * More choices: Because mold and mildew arent likely to present a problem in a half-bathroom, homeowners have more options at their disposal when choosing floors and countertops. Cons * Space: As their name implies, half-bathrooms are much smaller than full bathrooms. As a result, they tend to feel cramped. * Value: Though an inexpensive half-bathroom addition might recoup its value and then some at resale, the project wont add as much resale value to a home as a full bathroom addition might. * Loss of storage: If storage around the house is sparse, homeowners might be better off keeping the area designated for the halfbathroom as a storage closet instead of a bathroom. Once the pros and cons have been weighed, homeowners who want to go forward with the project should then check with their local municipality to ensure the codes and requirements wont restrict their project. Size or window restrictions might curtail the project or limit what homeowners can do, which might change their minds on the project altogether. The addition of a half-bathroom often makes practical and financial sense. But before making any addition, homeowners must weight the pros and cons to make the best decision possible.</p> <p>Patio clean-up for seasonal entertainingOutdoor entertaining is a primary component of the warm-weather season. Individuals flock to their backyard patios and decks to barbecue or simply soak up a little sun. Over the course of the fall and winter your patio may have experienced some wear and tear. Or if the patio is several years old, it may need some maintenance to improve its appearance for the new season. Maintenance often depends on the material used. Before starting, figure out what your patio needs and stock up on the supplies. Many patios are poured concrete, and a simple pressure-washing could be all thats needed to revive the look. Pressure washers can be rented or purchased. If there are cracks or chips in the patio, some...</p>