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Until the turbulent US economy stops spiraling and starts rebounding, every dollar counts. When it comes to putting your money where your home is, I want to share some ideal ways to get started recouping the most on your investments – both today and in the future.
house-as-system
Your home is a system that’s really just as good as the sum of its parts. Not unlike an auto made up of interacting components, a house also needs to be in sync and tuned up for efficiency. Potential areas of concern comprise costly energy bills, uneven temperatures from room-to-room, drafts, moisture, mold, mildew, poor indoor air quality, ice dams, pest infestations, seemingly uncontrollable humidity levels, and even premature deterioration of building materials. These can all result from a breakdown in the relationship between the house systems: the actual building, heating and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, and you, the occupant.
The process-of-elimination approach may wear on your nerves as you try solution after solution, investing more time, money and energy – with undue stress, without resolution.

Properly diagnosing and fixing the root cause requires a house-as-a-system approach based on building science. This is where it pays to call in a certified professional and/or accredited contracting company; these pros are trained to conduct comprehensive, whole-home assessments to find the real problems, then prescribe and prioritize improvements that make the system as a whole function at its best, turning your home into a finely tuned machine. For improved efficiency, an energy assessment is a must to spot a home’s deficiencies.
house-leaks
Getting More for your Money
Most home-performance retrofit projects will pay for themselves over time in reduced energy consumption and lower utility bills. But, remember, to accelerate that return on investment there are numerous incentive programs, including many funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

  • ENERGY STAR is a national flagship initiative from the Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which offers a comprehensive, whole-house approach to improving energy efficiency and comfort at home while helping to protect the environment. BPI is deeply involved in the ongoing development and deployment of this key program.
  • Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the NC Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Again, there are some requirements for the work to be performed by BPI-credentialed professionals.
  • The Weatherization Assistance Programs enables low-income families to permanently reduce energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. During the last 32 years, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program has provided services to more than 6.2 million low-income families. Many weatherization assistance programs use the services of BPI certified professionals. Check to find out if you qualify.

Armed with this newfound knowledge, make it worth your while – and dollars – to do some investigating to make your home truly high performance in all areas.

For more information contact Advanced Renovations at 704-799-3999 or visit their website at www.advancedrenovations.com.  Advanced Renovations is located at 3914 Miriam Drive, Charlotte, NC 28205.

Writing collaborated by Duane Johns (Advanced Renovations, Inc.) and Ginger Sprinkle @ nine dots branding & marketing company @ 704.998.8797

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Turn on any television lately, and there are a myriad of programs to inspire homeowners. Whether the program is a total home makeover, a celebrity kitchen makeover or an educational program that objectively weighs the pros and cons of surface materials, one product has received more air time than any other—Silestone by Cosentino.
Made from quartz, Silestone has obtained rock star status for good reason, having been featured on over two dozen Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, five recent HGTV Dream Homes, highlighted on the Discovery Channel, selected for the Dream Kitchen Makeover by Rachel Ray and most recently featured on Good Morning America.


This award-winning countertop has garnered the attention of celebrities and design professionals alike, for its durability, beauty and affordability. For HGTV, Silestone, was a proud sponsor of the 2010 Dream Home Giveaway in New Mexico. There they collaborated with the HGTV house planners and designers to incorporate Silestone throughout different areas of the home. This year’s HGTV Dream Home featured stunning handpicked Silestone products for the kitchen countertops, master bath vanities and walls; as well as Eco by Cosentino recycled surfaces for the secondary bathrooms.

Click here to view the entire article or visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to learn more.

For more information, call Stone System of North Carolina at 704-238-1659 or visit them on line at www.stone-systems.com or www.cosentinonorthamerica.com. Silestone quartz is available nationally in over 65 colors and offers a 15-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.

Don’t Miss our Next Educational Seminar on

Planning Your Kitchen or Bath Remodel

This is the perfect place to start if you have been putting off that kitchen or bath remodel.  Our experienced team and the experts at Ferguson will be on hand to answer all of your questions about budgeting, faucets, countertops, cabinetry, tile, appliances, lighting, flooring, design, colors, construction and much more!

Some of the topics we’ll cover:

  • Kitchen and bath design trends
  • Remodeling options to fit all budgets
  • Timeframes for project completions
  • Living through a remodeling project
  • The best process for a predictable remodeling experience

Sat., Jan 15th, 10:00 – 11:30 AM

at

Ferguson Bath, Kitchen, and Lighting Gallery
located in Historic SouthEnd,
2000 South Boulevard

CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST SERVED

Seating is limited!

Call 704-759-3920 or e-mail logan@casecharlotte.com to RSVP

Educate yourself before spending a dime on your kitchen or bath remodel!

To learn more about Case Remodeling, call or visit us online:

704.759.3920

Charlotte.CaseRemodeling.com

You might think that homeowners who go with a custom design for their kitchen cabinets do so primarily for aesthetic reasons.  But in my experience, improved efficiency is the main reason that prompts people to remodel a kitchen  and install new cabinetry. Then, after they discover you don’t have to choose between form and function, that’s when they come to a custom cabinet company.
The notion of “form versus function” is a false dilemma. If you think that buying custom cabinetry means that you’re putting form over function, think again. Custom-designed cabinets actually give you the best opportunity to combine form and function.

Most homeowners know that custom cabinetry is beautiful. Let me illustrate why a custom design offers superior function, as well. L et’s say you want to install a corner cabinet. You can use a Lazy Susan configuration or the newer Magic Corner design that allows shelves to tuck away when the door is closed. If you work with a company that uses standard “box” cabinets from a manufacturer, it has a ripple effect on the entire kitchen. That corner cabinet “box” is a standard size—a size which the “box” cabinets to the left and right must accommodate. And as those cabinets are shifted further away from the corner, they in turn affect how the next cabinets must be configured.

Click here to view the entire article or visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to learn more.

Aaron Dumford is regional manager of Old River Cabinets. Call him at 704-831-6267 or visit 10235 Perimeter Parkway, one block west of I-77 off Harris Boulevard in Charlotte. You can also visit
http://www.oldrivercabinets.com to learn more about their manufacturing facilities and preview their product lines.

Trent Haston

Just because a home is beautiful on the outside, doesn’t mean it’s functional on the inside. Recently, we had the opportunity to help a Myers Park family, with the renovation of their kitchen. Their home was a beautiful Cape Cod, but it needed a comfortable kitchen to match its classic curb appeal.

Confined and outdated, the space was overwhelmed by floor to ceiling cabinets. Set apart from the rest of the home, the cramped kitchen had a single entry from the hall with just enough floor space for a small breakfast table.

The first step to improving the feel of the kitchen came by expanding the space nearly 30 square feet into the backyard. Not only did the design allow for a large center island to be installed, custom windows and a complementing  Dutch door on the new exterior brought natural light and backyard views.

Click here to view the entire article or visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to learn more.

As vice president for Andrew Roby, Trent Haston helps oversee a variety of a custom residential construction projects. To learn more about how Andrew Roby can turn your home into a personalized comfortable space, call them at 704-334-5477, or visit them on the web at http://www.andrewroby.com.

Beth Keim

Tricey and Doug Edwards had a decision to make, to gut or not to gut (their kitchen). That was the question. The kitchen, as we all know, is the heart of the home, the gathering place. We also know it can be the most expensive room to re-do. I explained, to the best of my ability, the pros and cons of a “face lift” vs a “gut job.” A face lift often accomplishes all your needs. You can leave the existing layout and “face” everything else. Cabinets can be painted, appliances switched out, floors changed out or refinished and of course paint, tile and furnishings. In many cases it can be all you need for a new, clean and fresh look for less. Our next consideration was major renovation – moving walls, new cabinets, switching to gas, maybe bumping the room out for additional windows. It’s a hard decision to make because as great as a face lift can be, we all really want the blow out, something totally new.  we all really want the blow out, something totally new.
My only advice is this, if the budget allows and it’s the only major thing left on your home renovation list – go for what you really want.

Click here to view the entire article or visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to learn more.

Beth Keim is the owner of Lucy and Company, a full-service interior design firm
located at 1009 East Boulevard in Charlotte. They can be reached at 704-342-
6655 or at www.lucyandcompany.com.

InStyle Charlotte has recently added an innovative collection of German ceramics to their unique showroom product roster.  Not only are there more colors of mosaic than we ever thought could exist but every tile boasts the ability to reduce homeowner cleaning efforts, decompose bacteria & germs, and act as an odor-eliminator due to a revolutionary surface treatment called Hydrotec. This tremendously functional coating is formed by baking titanium dioxide onto the glaze during manufacturing which acts as a catalyst for a reaction between light, oxygen, and air humidity.  All tiles are suitable for interior as well as exterior applications such as pool coping, patio flooring, or out-door showers. Those of you who adore the monochromatic, European-chic look will be thrilled to see that each mosaic comes in a glossy finish for wall applications and a matte finish for floor applications. Down-size your list of chores but not your personal style.

For more information call InStyle Charlotte @ 704-665-8880

1. The Modern Surface Collection comes handmade from a Texas ceramic studio. This   particular design is called “Washers in Transparent Green”.www.tilecollection.com. Tile Collection, Inc. 704-541-8453.

2. 3-Lt. Pendant – Stem Mount. Highlighted by modern drum shades in cream linen fabric with soft side pleats. Finished in Espresso, this traditionally rooted design is where classic vintage styling meets minimalistic lines. www.progresslighting.com. Unique Lighting Showplace.
704-553-1341.

3. The strong lines and commercially inspired design of every Avado sink and faucet combine to form a collection that beautifully complements an array of décors from Modern to Scandinavian-inspired to Retro 1950’s. Available in chrome and brushed nickel finishes, each Avado kitchen and prep faucet includes premium features such as a dual-function hand-spray option. www.elkayusa.com. Elkay. HD Kitchen and Bath. Huntersville: 704-892-6466, Charlotte: 704-845-5970.

4. Nolte Home Studio offers this more modern and elegant alternative to traditional backsplashes with six impressive motifs- measuring 600 to 1800 mm in width. www.noltehomestudio-usa.com. Nolte Home Studio. 704-542-4640.

5. Experience the only toaster with a viewing window that lets you watch the toasting process in action. Set the toaster to an automatic brown setting, or simply press a button to pop up your toast when it is browned just the way you like. www.williams-sonoma.com.

6. Everything about the cast bronze Katagami Wading Pool® lavatory looks and feels organic, from the wildflower motif to the ever-changing bronze patina. The lavatory’s shallow design highlights texture and ensures nearly limitless faucet options. www.kohler.com. Ferguson Kitchen and Bath. 704-370-2020.

7. Expanding on our ever popular Beau Monde stone mosaic program, we are proud to offer a variety of beautiful patterns in exquisite art glass. Beau Monde Glass is produced by water jet and fabricated with meticulous attention to detail. An incredible, vivid color palette complements the line. www.annsacks.com.

8. Viking Hand mixers are the most powerful mixers available today. At 250 watts it creates whipped cream, beats egg whites and even emulsifies dressing more efficiently than you ever thought possible. www.vikingkitchenware.com.

    Interior designer Cindy Meighan of Designed Interiors in Charlotte recently found the kitchen design project she’d been waiting for. As soon as she walked into the kitchen of Charlotte homeownersSuzann and Steve Yarborough to discuss a major kitchen remodel, she knew the space was perfect for a dramatic granite backsplash.
    Granite countertops are one thing, but creating a granite backsplash is more of a challenge. “You need the veining to flow from the countertop straight up the wall,” says Cindy. “First you determine where the strong points of the granite are; that’s what you want to showcase on the backsplash.”
    With the fabrication and installation so critical on this project, Cindy turned to professionals who would not only meet, but also exceed her expectations.
She went to Tile Collection and collaborated with Joslyn Byrne, one of the in-house
interior designers.

Click here to view the entire article or visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to learn more. 

Visit the Tile Collection showroom at 11200 Carolina Place Parkway. Call us at 704-541-8453 or visit us online at www.tilecollection.com.

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