ABC Blog

Financing Home Improvements: Making Changes Without Breaking the Bank

Making improvements to your home is a great way to boost its overall value while creating a more comfortable, livable space. For many Austin homeowners, remodeling also provides a great way to control energy costs and cut down on utility bills. Unfortunately, many homeowners feel overwhelmed by the costs associated with a remodeling project. If you’re considering remodels or upgrades but don’t know if you can afford them, take some time to explore your financing and savings options.

Exploring Financing Options for Home Improvements

It’s no secret that many home remodeling projects carry hefty price tags. Whether you want to put in a new air conditioning system or need to have a bathtub replaced, you’ll likely need to work with a professional who can complete the work on your behalf. While you will have to pay for the services of a professional, it’s important to remember that you do have great financing … Read Full Post »

Interior Paint Finishes: Do They Matter?

If you’re planning on painting the walls inside your home, you’ve probably put a lot of thought into choosing the perfect paint color. Although the color is important, you should also take your time in choosing a paint finish. The finish that you choose will have a major impact on the final result, so consider the best uses for different paint finishes to make your home look exactly the way you want.

Flat

Flat paint is one of the more common choices for interior painting. It has a matte finish, so it doesn’t have any shine to it at all. Flat paint is great for walls that have a lot of imperfections, but it can be almost impossible to clean and isn’t suggested for high-traffic areas or households with children.

Eggshell

As one of the best options for many homes, an eggshell finish has a slight sheen to it but isn’t as glossy as … Read Full Post »

When Should Your DIY Warrior Surrender?

If you love doing your own work around the house, you might not like the idea of hiring a professional handyman to help you with an upcoming project. To save money and keep yourself safe, however, it’s important to ask yourself these essential questions before tackling a big job on your own.

Do You Have the Necessary Skills?

If you don’t have the necessary skills to complete a job well, you might be unhappy with the results, and you could have to spend a lot more money and time redoing the job or hiring a professional to redo it for you.

Does the Project Require Costly Equipment?

Although it’s certainly possible to save a lot of money by doing some of your own work, this isn’t always the case. If an upcoming project requires costly tools and equipment that you don’t have, you’re probably better off hiring a pro instead of spending hundreds or … Read Full Post »

Take That Remodeling Job Outside in Time for Spring

Living in the gorgeous city of Austin can present many wonderful opportunities for exciting backyard parties, family nights, events and more. Why not indulge in your very own backyard? After all, nothing can be more spontaneous and refreshing than being outside, close to the nature and its beautiful elements.

Making practical additions to the exterior of your home and adding just a few backyard touches can both work wonders for the aesthetic appeal and real estate value of your property. When it comes to creating the perfect outdoor sanctuary, the sky is the limit.

A Screened Deck Can Be a Welcoming Idea

Imagine spending lazy afternoons reading on your gorgeous deck while your children are playing their favorite board games. Rain or shine, you’ll be able to enjoy your home and garden without ever being confined indoors. Having a deck, complete with an outdoor mini-kitchen, can be ideal for entertaining family and friends. … Read Full Post »

Is a New Home Addition Worth the Cost?

home addition

The real estate sector is back in business, and MSN reports that property values are increasing at long-term rates once again. Now is the perfect time to upgrade your home with a brand new addition and increase its square footage.

What Does an Addition Require?

Once you flesh out the details with an architect or designer, you’ll want to secure a permit for the new construction. Permit rules vary by city, but your general contractor will help you file the necessary paperwork.

Please note that construction prices vary by company, so the cost of your addition may be higher or lower than the national average. Using a sample 150 square foot addition in Austin, a basic room without plumbing will run about $100 a square foot or a total of $15,000, but you might have to pay closer to $20,000 depending on the windows, doors, and flooring material you choose.

A bathroom addition requires … Read Full Post »

Tackling Plumbing Fixtures During Bathroom Remodeling

Many Austin homeowners will remodel their bathrooms this year. While there is a wealth of information on the Internet about DIY projects, it is important to remember that not all resources offer good information. Homeowners should limit themselves to cosmetic projects and avoid major plumbing tasks. When it comes to actual plumbing procedures, it is important to contact a professional plumber. There are several good reasons for this.

Some Plumbing Projects May Require Permits

In nearly every city, there are special codes for plumbing projects. For example, Austin has special requirements for water heater placement and toilet water consumption. Violations of local plumbing codes may make it very difficult for homeowners to resell their properties in the future. Most homeowners will be required to hire a professional to fix the problem, which will cost even more money. In some cases, violations may result in fines if they cause damage to city property … Read Full Post »

Tackling Plumbing Fixtures During Bathroom Remodeling

Many Austin homeowners will remodel their bathrooms this year. While there is a wealth of information on the Internet about DIY projects, it is important to remember that not all resources offer good information. Homeowners should limit themselves to cosmetic projects and avoid major plumbing tasks. When it comes to actual plumbing procedures, it is important to contact a professional plumber. There are several good reasons for this.

Some Plumbing Projects May Require Permits

In nearly every city, there are special codes for plumbing projects. For example, Austin has special requirements for water heater placement and toilet water consumption. Violations of local plumbing codes may make it very difficult for homeowners to resell their properties in the future. Most homeowners will be required to hire a professional to fix the problem, which will cost even more money. In some cases, violations may result in fines if they cause damage to city property … Read Full Post »

Kitchen Coordinates: How to Match the Countertops with the Walls

When homeowners want to remodel their kitchens, they must find colors that coordinate with existing counter tops. For those who plan to buy new counter tops as part of the project, different materials must be considered. These are two important issues that must be settled before finalizing any remodeling plans.

Choosing a Type of Counter Top

For homeowners who plan to replace their existing counter tops, there are a wide variety of options to consider. Many people today choose granite for its luxurious and timeless look. There are several different patterns of granite to fit any style. The only disadvantage about granite is that slabs can crack if they are dropped or not installed properly. When a professional completes the job, homeowners can expect a satisfactory result. Laminate is a popular choice for people who want an inexpensive or temporary option. Some homeowners prefer tile or natural stone, and there are several … Read Full Post »

Enhancing Your Home with a Natural Gas Fireplace

There is something about curling up next to a fireplace that induces instant relaxation. However, why should you limit your leisure time to the cold winter months? With a gas fireplace, you can enjoy the cozy ambiance of a real fireplace during any season. A gas fireplace can be installed during a home remodel and does not require your home to have any special equipment. Because a gas fireplace is self-contained, it can be installed in virtually any room of the house.

Gas fireplaces are fire-safe boxes that contain a gas burner and imitation logs. They can be turned on and off by flipping a switch. Gas fireplaces don’t burn wood, so they don’t result in a mound of ashes. Although the logs don’t need to be replaced, a gas tank must be connected to the fireplace for it to operate. Gas fireplaces are more eco-friendly than their wood-burning counterparts because … Read Full Post »

Did You Know? Paint Color Can Help Reduce Stress!

Do you spend most of your day feeling stressed out? Have traditional stress relief techniques failed you? Changing the paint colors throughout your home with the help of Austin home improvement specialists at ABC Home & Commercial Services may be the solution to your stress problem!

Creative Latitude details the correlation between colors and mood in the article “Emotional Reactions to Color.” Some of the connections between paint color choices and the moods of people living in a household that are commonly observed are listed below.

• Blue is known to help people relax and cause a general feeling of serenity. People who often feel overwhelmed by stressful situations are advised to use paint colors in various shades of blue to reduce stress.

• Red commands attention and can evoke feelings of aggression. Red paint tones are only to be used in high-energy rooms like dining areas or kitchens. Avoid using reds in … Read Full Post »