Archadeck of Central South Carolina
Q: What are the most popular decking materials available today?
A: Despite improvements in composite decking materials, more projects are using the best quality pressure-treated yellow pine. Price is often the main factor; composite materials can cost three to five times more than wood. Nevertheless, customers who value low-maintenance decks opt for PVC decking materials that won’t mold or stain, such as Azek brand. Considering the annual cost of protecting wood from weather damage, a composite deck may actually cost less in the long run, and it will last longer.
Top Hat Sweepers
Q: I notice some houses have metal toppers on their chimneys. What are those for and are they important?
A: Just as your house is covered by a roof which protects the structure of your home, your chimney should have a “roof” to protect the integrity of its construction. Although chimney tops serve many purposes, among the most valuable is that they minimize the damage from rainwater. In a masonry chimney over time, water erodes the mortar which holds the bricks in place and that forms the crown of the chimney. Not only does this lead to the breakdown of the structure of the chimney, it can also allow water to leak into the home. To be sure you get a qualified chimney professional you can go to the Chimney Safety Institute of America® website at www.csia.org and type in your zip code.
Chris Metz Interiors
Q: What type of window treatment should I use?
A: Factors to consider are the amount of light desired, privacy, view, window shape, hard treatments or soft treatments and expense. Functional treatments such as Solar shades or Cellular shades are used for privacy or to deflect severe sun that causes fading or glare. Being low profile, they virtually disappear on the window and are great for optimizing a beautiful view. Plantation shutters, blinds and bamboo or woven shades can be decorative and functional. Always consider the view when using these treatments. All window treatments can be embellished with fabric panels and valances in a variety of styles and patterns.
AAAA Flooring America
Q: What are the newest trends in carpet?
A: Manufacturers have worked hard to create the most advanced waterproof backing for carpet. Using innovative technology, a new backing system prevents liquids (including pet urine) from soaking through to cushion or sub-floors, thus producing a longer-lasting, more durable carpet. The carpet and backing are completely recyclable, with numerous fashionable choices that are easy to maintain and are perfect for pets and children. So don’t wait … update!
Q: Can I build my dream home on the lot I already own?
A: Yes. Many people plan their home’s location first and buy a lot to get started. Building a home requires a builder to design to the characteristics of the lot. Lot dimensions, regulatory restrictions, slope and trees all have an impact on construction. However, selecting a builder with experience and capabilities in home design maximizes your opportunity to successfully build a dream home on your lot.
S & G Builder Appliances
Q: What is induction cooking and why is it becoming popular?
A: Induction cooking is the use of electromagnetic energy to directly heat a cooking vessel. This type of cooking has been popular in Europe for years and has recently become popular in the United States due to falling prices and customer awareness. In a nutshell, induction is fast, safe and efficient. The simple task of boiling water is accomplished in half the time of gas or electric cooking methods. The cookware used on the appliance becomes hot but the cooking surface remains cool to the touch, limiting the amount of heat expelled in the kitchen and making the kitchen a bit safer for children. Induction also provides instantaneous energy flow, which takes the guesswork out of maintaining a constant temperature. Induction technology is utilized in ranges and cooktops.
Palmetto Construction & Renovations
Q: What kind of renovation projects do your clients seem to be asking for this spring?
A: Kitchens and master suites are always big in terms of adding value to a home. Right now, one of the most popular additions of space is an outdoor living area. This has really become an extension of the home and often includes outdoor cabinets, granite countertops and even cooking areas with beverage centers. Add a fireplace and you have the perfect spot for entertaining year round.
Ace Glass Company
Q: I can’t get my windows clean and there seems to be a haze between the glass. What should I do?
A: It’s a simple fix. When the seal of a double pane window is broken it causes moisture to get between the glass resulting in the panes having a fogged appearance. Schedule a technician to come give you a free estimate. It’s as easy as installing new double pane glass in your existing frames.
Mid Carolina Chimney Service
Q: Why should I hire a certified chimney sweep?
A: When you hire a sweep who is certified by The Chimney Safety Institute of America®, you can trust that you have hired a professional who has passed rigorous exams in chimney and venting system safety and completed significant technical training as well. The CSIA® is a non-profit, national educational organization. You can check your sweep’s credentials at www.CSIA.org to ensure you hire the right person to care for your home’s chimney and fireplace.
Q: What is a good art choice for outdoor spaces?
A: Adding ceramic sculpture to an outdoor space can create a serene garden oasis. Ceramic art is versatile and can withstand the outdoor elements. Choosing handcrafted pieces by a local artist can only enhance the experience. From birds and mushrooms to totems and fountains, the options are endless. Whether you are blending into the environment or creating a whole new world, the space is guaranteed to bring you joy. Find a special piece and don’t worry about the weather!
Remodeling Services Unlimited, Inc.
Q: How can I keep the costs of my renovation project down?
A: The cost of a renovation varies upon the project. Kitchens and master baths are generally the most expensive rooms to renovate. Staying within the footprint of the house is a good way to keep costs down. Determine what is most important about the room being remodeled. Extensive research of the materials selected for the project and verifying the labor intensity of each task will aid in lowering costs. Staying in constant communication with your contractor will also help.
Outdoor Lighting Perspectives
Q: How do I maintain my landscape lighting system?
A: First, make sure you purchase a quality system. Buying quality fixtures that use non-corrosive materials such as copper and brass will require less maintenance. In addition, having LED is more energy efficient and has a longer burning life if properly maintained. Next, make sure your system is installed properly. Most importantly, every lighting system needs a yearly tune up. Finally, relocate any fixtures due to landscape changes or growth. When regular maintenance is done, your landscape lights will run more efficiently with fewer problems and look fantastic — in the end saving you money.
Q: Is wallpaper trending back?
A: Yes. It is making a comeback in design shows as well as major magazine articles. The popularity in designs are geometrics, textures such as grasscloth, and bright colorful patterns. The industry is now putting a new product called SureStrip on the back of the paper, which allows removal to be a lot easier. It is exciting to see the wallpaper industry coming back to life.