You know you may have waited too long to paint the exterior of your home when the paint on wood and stucco surfaces not only fades from sun exposure, but also becomes chalky as paint fails with age.
During the preparation phase of this house, we found a lot of wood damage behind the gutters. The carpenter and painters worked diligently on restoring the exterior; transforming it to looking like new again while updating the color.
Materials used on this home were Sherwin Williams Duration paint for the wood surfaces and Luxon High Build paint for the stucco. With the combination of these paints the homeowner should not have to worry about painting again for 10-12 years. (You can save money by painting about every ten years rather than waiting till extensive wood damage occurs.)
AFTER – darker green inside the opening helps the artwork to stand out without clashing.
Before – solid light beige, very boring.
AFTER – Accent walls in faux painting techniques differentiate rooms without interrupting flow.
Ceilings can also create intrigue with accent painting to highlight unique aspects.
We all look for that special something that can help our homes “pop” in a special way: taking it from drab to interesting. Painting accent walls can help make this happen when it’s done right. You can take an all-white living room or all that neutral beige to new heights. However, making this happen isn’t quite as simple as slapping a coat of paint on one randomly chosen wall or ceiling.
1. Find the ‘natural focal point’: Before you start make sure you’ve selected the right statement-making accent wall. Figure out where the natural focal point in the room is so you can make it more dramatic by painting the wall in a different color.
2. Take accent wall inspiration from your room: from your inspiration piece, choose the color that stands out to you the most. Integrating how you’re painting your accent wall into the room’s color scheme will make it feel like one cohesive space, preventing the sometimes-jarring effect of accent walls.
3. Select a muted tone when painting accent walls: You don’t want to go too bold when painting these walls. Nowadays muted tones are more desirable.
4. Choose the right accent wall: Sometimes it’s a challenge picking a wall when there isn’t an obvious focus. Some suggestions: In an oblong room, the best wall to accentuate is the farthest short (in width) wall.
Generally, the perfect accent wall should also have no windows or doors and be no more than one story tall
5. Don’t get too matchy-matchy: Sure, you want your wall to work with your color scheme—but avoid matching too well
Need help in ideas and choosing walls/colors? Give RPD a call and we’ll assist you in the decision-making process.
Bathroom updates are one of the most rewarding changes you can do in your home. I especially enjoy when a customer says, “let’s gut the whole thing and start fresh.” Of course, you can add a new beautiful look simply by changing out the countertops, mirror, and lighting.
One of the most requested items on the “To-Do-List” for a bathroom is a tub/shower conversion to a full shower with new tile (stone, ceramic, subway, etc.), adding a soap/shampoo niche, and new modern hardware. Seamless glass around adds to the elegance of the new shower. My favorite is developing patterns with the tile to build the “show case” experience.
Recently, we adapted a master bath to accommodate wheelchair accessibility. We added 36-inch pocket doors, increased the floor space in both the bathroom and toilet room, and created a walk-in/roll-in shower unit. Needless to say, the homeowners were thrilled not only with the added open space but for the updated look to their bathroom.
Call us or email so we give you a free estimate for a bathroom remodel or any other project you have.
Shower AFTER – Shower widened and updated with new tiles and fixtures. Completely roll or walk-in ready.
Small Shower before and gutted to prepare for update
Tub – Entry AFTER – Wide entry and roomy area for a wheelchair to have plenty of access and room to move around.
Tub BEFORE – stuck in a cramped corner.
Vanity AFTER – Updated countertops, fixtures and freshly painted.
Vanity Before – Outdated and needing help. Here we see part of the vanity already removed.
It’s inevitable, exterior painted surfaces will either have to be repaired and/or repainted, depending on the age, construction, and frequency of homeowner maintenance. Typically, new construction homes need to be painted sooner than one might think. 6-7 years is the usual rule due to poor materials used during the construction phase. However, most individuals appear to wait too long between paint cycles creating opportunities for wood rot and water damage.
A good way to inspect your home is to examine it with a pair of binoculars or telephoto lens. Here are some tips on what to look for when determining whether your home needs painting/repairs:
Signs of fading and discoloration of the painted surfaces.
Wood damage determined by rippling effect on exterior surfaces or actual damage. The wood becomes spongy.
Opening of caulk lines at joints and trim work.
For stucco surfaces be aware of hairline or larger cracks. This allows water in and makes stucco surface look splotchy, especially noticeable after it rains.
Remember the longer you wait and allow damage to set in the more expensive it will be to repair it. It’s better to have the painting done as soon as you notice the first signs of fading and discoloration, that way you avoid expensive repairs.
We put together a video showcasing repairs we made to a house that waited too long and required extensive wood replacements. In the end, we made it look beautiful as well as optimally protected with expertly applied quality products.
Some of these suggestions have been based on personal unfortunate experiences others from reminders from professionals and what we’ve seen at homes around the San Antonio area:
1) Change out the A/C filter at least every two months so that units are not stressed and will last longer.
2) Put bleach down the A/C overflow lines in the attic to prevent clogging and water damage. (If you’re not doing this you may be calling us for ceiling and other water damage repairs.)
3) Keep soil around foundations moist with a soaker hose to help prevent movement and cracks.
4) If you water longer and deeper once a week your grass will fare better. But remember to keep track of watering guidelines through your local water company. Make sure you know the day(s) and timeframe that you’re allowed to water.
5) Fire ants and other bugs will be more tempted to enter your home during a dry time. Monitor the exterior of your home especially around brick weep holes. A long-lasting spray will be necessary at points of entry to your home to minimize an insect invasion.
As the weather is warming up your air conditioner will be working harder. Do you know how often you should change your air filters?
How often to change your air filters can depend on several factors:
* the type of air filter you are using * the overall air quality of your home * pets, pets, pets.. * occupancy of the home, and * the level of air pollution and construction around the home
For your standard 1″-3″ air filters, the manufacturers basically tell you to change them every 30-60 days, which is actually a great rule of thumb. But general rules aren’t always for everybody. If you suffer from light to moderate allergies, you could upgrade the air filter or change them even more often. Or, if you’re in a more remote area, less occupied home (like a vacation home) and there are fewer cars around, annually may be quite sufficient. Why do pets matter so much? They have a tendency to shed, which can clog your air filter quick and with great success. Of course the air filter is just doing its job by capturing pet hair and dander, but extremely dirty filters can cause extremely weak HVAC performance. Here’s the points summarized:
Vacation home or single occupant w/o pets or allergies: 6-12 months
“Average” suburban home w/o pets: every 90 days
Add a dog or cat: every 60 days
Add more than one pet or have allergies: 30-45 days
Don’t forget to remind yourself to change the filters! You can easily mark the date on your calendar or set a reminder on your phone calendar to ensure that this is not forgotten. There are also air conditioning / heating companies in the local area that can send you an email reminder.
It is also important to have your system serviced by a licensed AC contractor at the beginning of each cooling and heating season. It is a good idea to install an inline HEPA filter. These filters remove 99.9% of air borne particles. This means that they remove not just dust but also pollen, VOCs and other harmful pollutants that exist in all homes. Also, HEPA filters typically only need to be cleaned twice a year and should be a part of your regular service agreement. A little bit of home maintenance will help you stay cool all summer long.