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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

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.

    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.

    Traditionally more conservative in our tastes, Charlotte may never be in the same league with the trend-setting markets of New York, Chicago, L.A. and Miami. But some design retailers say things are shaking up in the Queen City, as Charlotte homeowners are
beginning to purchase more modern, contemporary styles for their home furnishings.
    “There has been a major shift in the past few years,” says Tim Cohen, co-manager of Stark Carpets Design Center and Luxury Outlet in Charlotte. “More of our customers than ever before are purchasing modern and contemporary designs. Even when they want a traditional Oriental, their color choices are muted, which is more in line with more
contemporary styling.”
    “Charlotte has embraced the contemporary designs we’ve been seeing in all the shelter magazines for a few years now,” states Tim. “Our city has caught up to some of the most trend-setting markets in the country.”
    Featuring rugs created by today’s high-profile designers, including Sherill Canet, Alexa Hampton, David Hicks, Nina Campbell, Diamond Baratta, and Juan Montoya, Stark has a staggering inventory of beautiful contemporary designs in their showroom. Tim explains that whether woven or tufted, the carpets are all of the highest quality.

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

Visit Stark Carpet Design Center and Outlet at 11415 Ganite Street, Suite A, in Charlotte.  Call 704-588-8842 or visit them online at www.starkcarpet.com to learn more.

 
 
 

 


The Bauhaus movement had a huge impact on art and architecture trends in the first part of the 1900s. Its modern design and functional application paved the way for experimentation in home décor. Nearly a century later, its sustained influence weaves its way into our homes over and over again…

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

As a personal stylist in Charlotte, Catherine Horgan works with clients to create signature looks and a fulfilling wardrobe. Learn how to tap into your personal style at www.ClosetOfStyle.com or call 704-408-0055 to schedule a style session.

We have a big idea!!!

Stone Man Home Creations are targeted to those who want a smaller home, maybe just 1000 square feet.  They want it to be totally unique, eco friendly, highly detailed, and contain strong stone design influences.  Can we help you…?  We would love to find our first customer.

We haven’t built a full stone house yet, but here are some pictures of home additions that we have done: www.stonemanrocks.com.

Stone Man Home Creations is in the planning phase.  I can’t wait to share our first project with you!

Imagine a different way of building the perfect home.  We have been working with stone for a long time, and can see a home built around stone features that are truly unique.

In one, a huge slab of stone forms a table, hearth, and center of the home.  In another, a stone arch forms the structure of the roof.

What man throws away, we recycle into a beautiful natural composite that is superior to natural stone.  If there are two rooms in your home conditions, it has to be the kitchen and bath.

When it comes to the bath, many consumers want to create a spa-like oasis, but the problem can be finding materials for surface areas that can withstand daily abuse, cleaning chemicals and soaps, yet still look luxurious.

Previously, the look and elegance found with marble was either cost prohibitive or not practical for the bath area, but now, a new product from Cosentino aims to bring style and durability to the bath…

Click here to view the entire artilce or visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to learn more about Stone Systems of NC.

For more information, visit stone-systems.com or call Stone Systems of North Carolina at 704-238-1659.

Why would a well-established local business choose to change their name? In the case of Queen City Countertops, a name change was needed to better represent their expanded service offerings. They recently broadened their scope of services from countertops to include complete renovation services, becoming Queen City Kitchen and Bath.

They now offer turn-key kitchen and bath renovations and project management to act as a liaison between the various subcontractors that are involved in a kitchen or bath remodel.

“Because we run the entire project in-house, this ensures on-time delivery and high quality workmanship, alleviating unnecessary homeowner stress,” says Dee Grannan, their in-house kitchen and bath designer.

In business since 2003 and family-run, the attention to detail and personalized service has been a critical component to this businesses success and repeat business…

Click here to view the entire article or visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to learn more about Queen City Kitchen and Bath .

For more information on Queen City Kitchen and Bath, call 704-296-0040 or visit their new showroom at 3015 Chamber Drive, or visit www.queencitykitchenandbath.com

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