2020: A GOOD YEAR FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT

house exterior for blog about a good year for home improvementThe year 2020 is destined to go down as one of the most peculiar years in history. A significant change that a large percentage of the population countrywide shared was spending more time at home. During quarantine, many tried to make the most of these challenging times by getting some projects done around the house, making it a good year for home improvement. All year long, we offered some tips on trends and common questions for residential projects. Let’s review some of the highlights we offered to assist you in the robust year of home improvements.

ECO-FRIENDLY BUILDING TRENDS

Consumers, architects, builders and manufacturers are all looking to incorporate more earth-friendly products and practices into their homes and projects.

As just one example, flooring brands are producing engineered wood products, which use less wood and include adhesives and pressing in their manufacturing process. Laminated strand lumber (LSL), oriented strand board (OSB) and laminated veneer lumber (LVL) are some of the choices available.

CLASSIC BLUE IS COLOR OF THE YEAR

Every year, many industries look forward to Pantone’s trendsetting choice of Color of the Year. Classic Blue was the pick for 2020. Pantone described the color as “instilling calm, confidence and connection.”

Benjamin Moore, one of our trusted brands, offers a variety of classic blue shades you can use for your projects, including Bedford Blue, Adriatic Sea and Hidden Sapphire. Because of blue’s classic timelessness, these colors are sure to endure. Try one for your next project. Click here for a sneak peek of the 2021 color palettes.

HOW TO CHOOSE: HAND TOOLS VS. POWER TOOLS

We’re often asked by customers which projects demand which tools. To help, we provided this handy chart for consideration. As always, we’re here to answer any questions about your particular project, so ask away.

PROTECT WHAT’S OVERHEAD

We also took a look at roofing, and considerations to keep in mind when considering a new one. For those of you with a solid roof already overhead, we offered some tips to help it endure western Mass weather:

  • Keep damage from spreading by addressing problems like a torn or missing shingle.
  • Remove moss and algae with regular washing.
  • Trim overhead trees and limbs away from your roof.
  • Remove blockages like leaves from roofs and gutters.

We also tackled the issue of roof venting, an important factor in your roof’s lifespan. We invite you to take a look at this blog for details about the choices you have in ventilation, including gable venting, ridge venting and intake (or soffit) venting.

BOOST YOUR CURB APPEAL

Your home’s exterior plays a big part in impressing guests, neighbors and potential buyers. Projects that boost curb appeal include a fresh coat of paint, new vinyl siding or adding small touches like chairs, flowers or new address numbers.

Focusing on the front door can also help. A new, welcoming color could make your house pop. Try a new material like wood, steel or fiberglass for added home value and better energy efficiency.

Consider working on an often-overlooked element of curb appeal: your garage door.

Beyond a fresh coat of paint, you could upgrade to a new door from popular styles such as traditional (offered in a variety of wood species for an economical choice). Contemporary materials like steel allow for a maintenance-free option in a variety of styles such as carriage house with doors that swing or slide as well as numerous conventional styles.

PAINT OR STAIN

We summarized some of the differences between these two choices to highlight which projects would benefit the best from paint or stain. As a quick summary:

  • Paint is better for non-wood surfaces such as drywall or fiberboard. It provides opaquer coverage and is available in bolder colors and more finish choices. Paints can chip or flake but typically last longer than stains.
  • Stain works only on wood, allows the beauty of the surface grain to show through and comes in subtler shades. Stain typically needs reapplications more often, but when considering all supplies required, usually comes out about 15% less expensive than paint.

We also outlined some steps the pros take when tackling a painting project. These include:

  • Using plastic tray liners or foil for easier clean-up and reuse of the trays.
  • Starting with primer to reduce the number of needed coats of paint.
  • Starting painting with the edges, then rolling in “W” shapes to eliminate roller mark lines when the paint dries.

UPDATING YOUR KITCHEN OR BATH

You don’t have to go into debt to get a nicer kitchen or bath. Instead of a complete renovation, consider a facelift. Suggested projects include updating the faucet, drawers or doors (including hardware), choosing new colors for cabinets or vanities, or adding new molding. Small fixes can make big impacts.

Like everyone, we’re hoping for a less challenging 2021. But no matter the year, we’re here to help you make the most of your home improvement projects. Reach out with any questions about our products or services, and we’ll help you get started.