How to Easily Make Your Home a Healthier Space

With stress levels at an all-time high for most people, and overly busy lives, there’s a need to make your home a healthy retreat from the world. If your home could use a makeover, it’s time to revamp your home to become a more valuable and energizing space. Kruper Flooring & Design shares the following tips.


Lose the Carpet

Unfortunately, carpet is a fairly unhealthy material to have in your home. It gathers allergens, dust, dirt and can easily stain. To reduce allergies and for a cleaner look that’s easier to maintain, consider hardwood flooring. It adds a touch of elegance, and will last for years to come. Connect with Kruper Flooring & Design today for a consultation and an estimate. 

Update Your Backyard

Make your backyard more inviting and comfortable. Remove any dead trees, bushes, and branches. Add colorful flowers to the garden area and natural bird feeders. Place a patio table outdoors with comfortable chairs. If you like entertaining, add outdoor lighting and a firepit.

Revive Your Home’s Interior

Paint is an affordable way to give your living space a significant facelift. For a bright, modern look, choose bright white paint. Or you can go for a warmer and more classic look with beige or cream color schemes. Consider shades that promote wellness, such as green, blue, or yellow. If you want something unique, try customizable wallpaper in a style that befits your aesthetic.. Modern wallpaper is easy to install, and compared to painting is pretty much mess-free. Best of all, many wallpapers can be repositioned or removed without a lot of trouble. 

Decorate with Nature’s Beauty

Install a few accent walls in your home decorated with interesting pieces of nature. You can use orchids, succulents, or a cactus. Greenery is an excellent way to add comfort to your surroundings, as well as style.

Choose low-maintenance plants and flowers that are easy to care for — you don’t need the extra stress of keeping your floral arrangements healthy.

Hire a Chimney Sweep

Your fireplace is an excellent way to keep your home warm and cozy in the winter. Use it as often as you want if it’s clean, working, and safe. Hire a chimney sweep annually to clean out your flue and inspect it for structural issues. They can also give you tips on how to reduce soot accumulation.

Declutter Your Living Area

Too much stuff can make a room feel cluttered and chaotic. When you store too many of your belongings in one place, it can cause stress and anxiety.

Don’t skip paper clutter. Go through your papers, and put them into a file system if they’re important documents. Place other items in a recycling bin or shredder, or throw them away if they don’t contain sensitive information.

Make your Home Energy Efficient

Installing LED lights is a great way to reduce your energy use, saving you money in the long run. They also emit less heat than incandescent bulbs, so they’re a safer option too. Also, replace any of your old light switches and outlets with new energy-saving devices.

Consider hiring a professional if you’re not comfortable doing these renovations yourself. An electrician can keep your home safe and help you find the best deals on energy-efficient equipment.

Improving your home’s energy efficiency is an excellent way to boost its sales value. Take before and after photos to show potential buyers the updates. Also, don’t toss the receipts. These may help you offset capital gains taxes.

Turn Your House Into a Sanctuary

With a few changes, such as updating your lighting, remodeling your outdoor space, decluttering, and cleaning out your chimney, your home can be the healthy retreat you and your family need. 

Image via Pexels

8 Ways to Get your Home Cozy for Fall

8 Ways to Get your Home Cozy for Fall

Fall is here and with it comes chilly mornings, warm afternoons and cold nights! It’s time to make some changes in your home for the colder weather ahead!

1.Have your furnace inspected by an HVAC technician.

A $100 inspection now could help identify problems that may cost a lot more if they aren’t fixed. It is great to identify problems before it is fully winter time too, the wait times for a qualified company to come check your unit increase significantly the longer you wait! Also stock up on furnace filters and plan to change once per month, set a reminder on your phone to help you remember to switch! A clean filter helps your unit runs effectively and minimizes dust particles in the air.

2. Check for drafts!

Feel for drafts around the edges of windows and doors. Using a lighted candle (carefully) near windows or doors can help you identify a draft. If the candle flame flickers, there is most likely a draft! Having windows replaced is ideal but heavier or insulated drapery can help keep down chilly air flowing into the room.

3. Test your home safety devices

Test the batteries on your home safety devices such as your fire and Carbon monoxide detectors. Checking these devices at least once per month is recommended for the safety of your family.

4. Change Up Your Linens

Beds may need thicker blankets or quilts once the nights turn cold. Wash lighter summer blankets and store away for next year. Now is also an ideal time to wash all your mattress pads, duvets, and comforters before remaking the beds. Change out throw blankets on couches as well, swapping a lighter cotton blanket for heavy knitted, quilted, or fleece throws for added warmth when relaxing on the couch.

5. Clean!

More time inside means clutter and dust will be more noticeable to you and your family. Give each room of your house a thorough dusting and vacuuming for a fresh start to the season. Clean your kitchen counters thoroughly to get ready for holiday baking and cooking.

6. Steam Clean Your Carpets!

A warm October afternoon is usually the perfect temperature for drying carpets fast! Use your own, rent a machine, or hire a company to come in and steam clean the carpets in your home. Steam cleaning carpets can remove deep down dirt, dust, and allergens while also removing stains from spills or pets. Carpet cleaning companies can get busy closer to the holidays as people prepare their homes for guests so try to schedule this sooner rather than later.

7. Get a programmable thermostat

These popular devices allow you to set the temperature of your home. A consistent temperature is ideal for maintaining hardwood floors, since changes in temperature and humidity can cause fluctuations in floor boards or separation between them.

8. Lay Down Floor Mats

Nothing dispels a cozy feeling faster than soggy messes! Keep a floor mat on the inside and outside of every entrance point to reduce the cold, damp outdoors being dragged inside. Having a shoes-off policy in your home is also great for preventing a build-up of grime on your floors!

Take the Initiative on Fall Home and Yard Jobs

Take the Initiative on Fall Home and Yard Jobs

In order to make sure your home and yard are beautiful and functioning all year round, you must always first take initiative. It goes without saying that all areas of the home desire look and maintenance every-so-often to make sure things don’t get too chaotic. While the summer is in its waning stages, that certainly doesn’t mean your proactivity needs to waver.

Of all seasons, the fall is one of the greatest time to jump out ahead in your yard and home tasks. The temperature is inviting enough, and it’s also perfect time to peruse the inside of the home. Once winter arrives, things can get really brutal and all it takes is one unprepared mistake. So, this fall, try taking things into your own hands early and often.

Home

Heating: There are plenty of options that can help keep your home warm as well as keep money in your pocket this winter. It is critical you take care of your main player, your heating system. The fall is the prime time of the year to check the air filters and clean all the vents blowing into the home. Try turning your system on for at least fifteen minutes prior to the start of winter. Should you notice any loud noises or odd smells, that may be a strong sign your system will need the eye of a professional.

Alarms: When dealing with the topic of heating, also remember your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the home. It is estimated that over two-billion US dollars are lost every year to preventable home fires. Take a walk around your home and make sure your detectors are in good working order. If yours beeps sporadically or flashes a red light, it may need a new battery.   

Flooring: The fall may also bring a need to make a few remodeling changes inside the home, especially as it pertains to your floor. Floor remodeling is a genius way to give the inside of your living space a comfortable and attractive appeal. Though many perceive it to be a large task, replacing or putting in new flooring options is an attainable task. First, start by deciding what area will be remodeled and what style you will look for in that area. Wood flooring can be timeless option that looks specifically classic during the winter. Also, the addition of a chic floor rug can really be the piece that ties a room together.

Yard

Branches: Any overhanging/overgrown tree branches are a definite liability for any homeowner they are found on. Cutting any excess branches can be an easy DIY project for any homeowner. Make sure any and all branches that extend over into other yards or, more importantly, over rooftops are safely removed and disposed of. This will help prevent any costly roof repairs in the future as well as dangerous accidents that may occur.

Raking Leaves: Forlorn and possibly forgotten, this is the task not many volunteers for when the time comes. However, it is largely essential. There is a direct connection between doing a quick fall leave clean-up, and the health and vitality of a lawn (including gardens and plant beds.) During the winter, mounds of leaves suffocate the grass below by not allowing water or sunlight to reach down. In addition, leaves can keep water stagnate for long periods of time resulting in mold. That mold can easily transfer into the soil below and cause a complete mold to spread.

The last thing you want as a homeowner is an unplanned venture into the cold of your yard or home to work on something that could’ve been completed in advance. Be sure to keep safety in mind when handling any DIY project around the house. If you take these tips into consideration this fall, those hardships will be less likely to befall you.

 

 

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

 

Pet-Friendly Flooring Options

Pet-Friendly Flooring Options

Homeowners who have pets in their homes face more problems regarding the home’s flooring than homeowners who don’t have pets in their homes. Pets compound your home’s flooring issues because there is a higher risk of damage to the surface from pet claws and toenails. There is also the occasional problem with pet urine or solid waste, and since all pets shed, you may have additional difficulties getting rid of dander.

These problems limit the options you have for flooring the home; some types of flooring don’t work well in a house with pets. For instance, a lot of pet owners and their pets love carpets. But the fact that carpeting is easily stained and prone to getting ripped-up by pet toenails, claws, or teeth make it an unrealistic choice. The same applies to regular hardwood flooring; they are easily scratched and will require frequent refinishing.

For homes with furry, feathered, or scaly residents, the flooring has to be moisture resistant, stain-resistant, and hardy enough to withstand the assault of toenails and claws. For your safety and that of your pets, the flooring should also be slip-resistant. The challenge with most flooring that meets these criteria is they don’t look pretty. The dilemma you have to solve as a pet owner is to find the flooring that pets will not damage but is aesthetically pleasing.

What are the options you have?

The best flooring options for homes with pets

Bamboo
Bamboo is easily the most pet-friendly flooring option due to its beauty and durability. Bamboo is harder than hardwood – twice as hard as oak – and therefore highly resistant to scratching. As a result of the resins used in its manufacture, it resists stains and moisture. However, its hardness means it does not absorb sounds well. Also, not all bamboo is hard enough to make a good choice for pet-friendly flooring. Strand-woven bamboo is best, and it should have a high hardness rating on the Janka test.

Cork
Cork is another natural flooring option that is an outstanding choice for homes with pets. It looks like hardwood but doesn’t have the same problems as hardwood. Cork offers a soft, warm surface that is comfortable underfoot, and its sound-absorbing qualities make it perfect for homes with big, rambunctious dogs. Cork is microbial; it will inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. The major shortcoming of cork is it is not entirely scratchproof. Seal the cork and trim pet toenails to protect it.

Decorated sealed concrete
Concrete flooring has come a long way from the bland surfaces used in factories. Today, different types of decorated concrete work very well inside the home. Concrete can be polished, stained, or textured for a range of visual effects. It is moisture and stain-resistant. The main issue you will face with concrete is discomfort; it is hard and cold, though you can effortlessly solve this by placing throw rugs and area carpets on the flooring. Some polished concrete is also slippery.

Ceramic tiles
Ceramic tile is a popular choice for pet-friendly flooring due to the material’s high resistance to scratching. Part of the allure of tile flooring is that they come in various designs and can appear like hardwood or stone. To make sure the flooring is stain-resistant, go for glazed ceramics. Unglazed ceramic tiles will absorb stains unless you seal them. You will face the same issues that you have with concrete floors; they are hard and cold.

Natural stone
Natural stone is a great option that will add value to your home, says Schambs Management. But apply caution when choosing natural stone flooring because not all natural stone flooring are pet-friendly. Highly polished surfaces like marble and granite are not scratch-resistant. Slate and limestone are better options because of their rougher surfaces. However, to make them pet-friendly, they need to be sealed to make them stain-resistant. Natural stone also presents the same problems as ceramic tile flooring and decorated concrete.

Sheet vinyl and vinyl tile
These older types of vinyl have stain-resisting qualities, and moisture will not penetrate them. They can mimic the look of other types of flooring; hardwood and natural stone. But vinyl is thin and can scratch with time. Additionally, it does not do much to improve the home’s value, it is low maintenance, and very affordable. That means you can easily replace it every few years. Vinyl flooring is best in rooms other than living, dining, and family rooms.

Luxury vinyl
Luxury vinyl is an upgrade on standard vinyl, both in appearance and performance. You can make it look virtually indistinguishable from hardwood, natural stone, and ceramic tiles. It comes in planks that are thicker and more durable than standard vinyl. That makes it more resistant to scratching. Most luxury vinyl floorings are water-resistant and slightly soundproof. They offer a comfortable surface for pets to walk or rest. Luxury vinyl is budget-friendly flooring for homes with pets, provided it is a quality product and installed appropriately.

3 Easy And Inexpensive Ways to Weather-Proof Your Home

Baby, it’s cold outside! But that doesn’t mean it has to be cold inside your home. December is in full swing, and temperatures have been chillier than normal for much of the month. As the mercury dips, heating bills rise. Here are some easy ways to make sure your house is as heat-efficient as it can be.

Change Your Furnace Filters – Replacing your furnace’s filter is an inexpensive way to improve your furnace’s performance. A dirty filter makes your HVAC system work harder and less efficiently, which uses more energy and leads to higher bills. It’s recommended that you change the filters in your home furnace every two months or so during winter.

Install Outlet Gaskets – What’s an “outlet gasket”? It’s simply insulation for your electrical outlet. It may seem hard to believe that insulating outlets will make much difference in your home’s energy efficiency, but it will. On a chilly and windy day place your hand on an outlet located on an outdoor wall of your home. If it is uninsulated you will feel cold air passing through. Now, think of how many outlets your home has. Those are all sources of cold air. For only a few dollars and a little bit of time, you can keep that cold air outside. Simply unscrew the outlet’s face, install the gasket, and replace the face. It’s as easy as that.

Reverse The Direction of Ceiling Fans – This last tip is probably the easiest and is free to do! Most ceiling fans have a switch that can change the direction the fan rotates. In the summer your fans should be moving in a counter-clockwise direction. According to energystar.gov “in the winter, reverse the motor and operate the ceiling fan at low speed in the clockwise direction. This produces a gentle updraft, which forces warm air near the ceiling down into the occupied space.” The resulting warmth should let you set your thermostat a few degrees lower in winter, which will save you money.

So, take these easy steps to winterize your house. If your house needs updating in the New Year, take the easy step of talking to our designers here at KFD. We are here to help.

 

Flooring Fun Facts

It’s holiday time, and all of us here at Kruper Flooring Design wanted to share some fun with our followers. So for this week’s blog, we gathered 10 little-known facts from around the web about our favorite topic…flooring!

  1. Red carpets have symbolized a pathway for important people for over 2000 years. It originated in Greece.
  2. But the phrase “roll out the red carpet” is thought to come from cruise ships in the early 1900s. They used red carpets to welcome their first-class guests.
  3. The Magic Carpet in Disney’s Alladin is actually a rug.
  4. The vacuum cleaner was invented in 1901.
  5. Which was almost 60 years after the street sweeper was invented.
  6. Some people think vinyl and linoleum are the same thing, but they’re not. Vinyl is synthetic, while linoleum is made of natural materials.
  7. Here’s one for the yuck file, if you don’t vacuum your floor for a year it can retain several pounds of dirt.
  8. The Boston Celtic’s famous parquet floor at the Boston Garden was cut into pieces and sold in 1999 after the team moved into the Fleet Center.
  9. But some of the pieces from the old floor were incorporated into the Fleet Center’s floor.
  10. The oldest carpet that still exists today is thought to be 2,000 years old. Called the Pazyryk carpet, it was found in a Scythian tomb in Siberia in the 1940′s

Your flooring may not be 2,000 years old, but if it has seen better days, give us a call and we’ll help you pick out something new.