As a professional painting contractor I have learned being in the color business that we cycle back and forth between warm brown tones and cool gray tones about every ten years. Currently in the south we are in the middle of the gray trend. Many homeowners are moving to gray/green, gray/blue, warmer brownish grays and, for that battleship look, gray/blue. It is important to keep in mind that, no matter what the trends are, when painting outside you are always bound by the fixed elements -- roof shingles, stone cladding, brick veneer and mortar color. Do not fight these set in place colors or you will have a difficult time selecting a complimentary palette.
On the exteriors of the home we are seeing more requests for very dark colors on eaves, cornices, door and window casings, decorative columns, and moldings. Bold moves from white to dark brown or even black are becoming more common but customers need to be aware of some challenges when considering darker colors. Dark colors will enhance imperfections in wood trim and panelings. If the builder did not install clear materials, wood knots, checks, and chips will be more apparent to the eye. All paints eventually fade and flake over time darker paint flaking and peeling is more noticeable. Lastly, most dark colors will require several coats, and in some cases tinted primers, to produce a uniform appearance. If your home is located in a community with a HOA, you want to check if the colors you select meet HOA approval before painting your home. So whether you choose to go with today's trendy colors or elect to stay with traditional earth tones, it is important to work closely with an experienced painting professional who can educate you on products, proper preparation, maintenance, and assist you with color selections.
Author: Scott Specker of Five Star Painting
Hardwood floors need an occasional touch-up to retain their beauty. Except in cases of severe damage, these floors can be sanded and refinished rather than replaced, not just once but multiple times over the years. The process removes a thin layer of wood containing polyurethane and stain, ridding the wood of scratches, marks, and discoloration. The newly exposed wood can then be re-stained and restored to its original luster. Sanding and refinishing can also be done on hardwood floors in otherwise good condition simply to change the color.
Protect the beauty and durability of your hardwood flooring by hiring a professional who knows the right tools, techniques, and materials for each job. As with any home improvement project, select the contractor carefully. Skill and professionalism can vary considerably, so get referrals and ask questions that may help you judge a person’s capability. For instance, does the contractor use dust containment equipment, which results in a significantly cleaner work-site? Will the contractor sand the floor more than once, as is recommended, using varying grids of paper each time? Does the contractor seem qualified to properly operate the heavy sanding equipment without damaging the wood? Also find out if the contractor uses branded stains and polyurethanes such as Bona or Dura Seal.
You can sand prefinished engineered wood flooring if the wood has a thick enough wear layer. A better alternative may be to clean, buff, and re-coat the wood. Traditional hardwood floors can also be re-coated to remove surface marks, although this process will not remove deep scratches or allow you to change the wood’s color. However, re-coating the wood every five years or so extends the time between re-sands.
A properly maintained hardwood floor will help ensure the value of your flooring investment.
Author: Dean Howell, president, MODA Floors & Interiors
MODA Floors & Interiors is a flooring and window coverings resource with showrooms in the West Midtown Design District and at Town Brookhaven.
Here are some helpful tips for Deck safety Month - Inspect Your Deck for the following:
1. First check all main support posts that are below grade. If the posts are metal you may want to check for rust marks or holes in the metal, if they are wood check for wood rot or water damage.
2. Check for “Erosion” around or under the concrete footings which support posts. In some case you may not see the concrete footing because if may be covered by soil. Remove the soil from around the base of the post to prevent rot and or water damage.
3. Please check for loose or shaky stair or deck railings. These, if loose, need to be rebuilt or secured properly to prevent falls. Insure that all railing components such as balusters and caps are properly spaced and secured to meet with today's code requirements.
4. Shifting or sinking of your deck. If you notice that your deck is leaning to one side or that one end is lower than another you may have a serious structural problems - call a deck building professional or structural engineer right away.
5. Deflection or uplift - sometimes tree roots too close to your deck may compromise footings and lift or shift the footing creating serious structural issues.
6. Decking conditions - if the you have deck boards cupping, curling, checking or splitting; it may be time to give your deck a face-lift - please consult with professional deck builder. He or she may provide insight and knowledge on decking solutions that best fit your deck needs.
7 . Stairs and landings - make sure the rise and run of your steps are consist and meet with today's code requirements. Consult with a professional deck builder to ensure all stair connections are properly performed.
8. Deck to house connections - inspect the ledger board connection to the home and insure that your deck is properly bolted or supported as per today's code requirements. Many deck failures occur because of improper connections and supports. Check for any usual movement, spaces between deck and house or joist slippage.
9. Framing - deck bands and joists, please inspect under the deck and look for cracked or split joists, joist separations from band, sagging beams, or leaning support posts. Please consult with professional deck builder and have any defects corrected to keep your deck safe.
10. Finishes - if your deck is wood, check for mold and mildew and have your deck professionally cleaned and retreated. Deck maintenance is important to extending the life of your deck materials and also repainting and re-staining your deck keeps it as an attractive extension of your home.
These tips supplied by Frank Polugruto of Decks and More.