3 Chic Colors to Incorporate in Your Home This Season

color blog

Spring is a time of year when the desire to redecorate strikes some individuals, couples and families full-force. There also seems to be a strong movement toward particular colors. Today, those colors include seafoam, tangerine and icy strawberry. This means many people will be choosing these hues to transform rooms into chic, modern areas.

Seafoam, tangerine and icy strawberry shades convey a sense of warmth and bright appeal, and they match the feel of springtime. They are also bold — just like spring, there’s nothing subtle about them, although they can be used minimally to add a slight pop rather than a bold swath of color.

How to Try These Colors in Your Home

What happens if your budget isn’t as big as your redecorating dreams? Not to worry. There are several ways to frugally use seafoam, tangerine, icy strawberry or any other hue into your living spaces and transform your look!  Try some of these ideas:

  • Purchase or make new throw pillows. One of the fastest and cheapest ways to change the appearance of a living room or family room is to switch out the pillows. If you don’t want to purchase new ones, you can buy fabric and make pillow covers to use with your current pillows.
  • Swap out your window treatments. Draperies, curtains and other window accessories are great ways to add some color to your room. Find the ones that will make your Harrisburg home windows stand out, and warm up your room for spring.
  • Add a large painting to your wall. It doesn’t take a Picasso to turn a plain canvas into a work of art. Try creating a painting for your wall in your chosen color. You could even make small canvas blocks, and hang them on the wall to add a pattern.
  • Add an area rug in the shade you prefer. Area rugs cannot compete with the price of wall-to-wall carpet, yet they add a tremendous sense of warmth and visual appeal to any room.
  • Try “color blocking” your shelves with like-colored items. If you like the seafoam color, purchase a few attractive items or frames in those colors. Then, arrange the colorful items on bookshelves or on tabletops to create little “color blocks” around your home.
  • Hang scarves on the wall as murals. You can often find inexpensive, gorgeous pashmina style scarves, especially at the end of the winter season. Use them as mural hangings or drape them over the backs of chairs.

No matter what you do, personalize your home and get it ready for spring with some unique, transformative decorating decisions. Your house will be full of warmth and color, and your wallet won’t take a hit in the process.

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How to Choose the Perfect Window Style

custom

You’ve decided that it’s time to get replacement windows, but you’re having trouble deciding which type will best suit your home. Instead of worrying about the possibilities, take a look at the more popular styles, as well as their pros and cons.

What Are Double Hung Windows?

If you’re wondering why people choose double hung windows, it’s because they are the most popular type of window that’s available on the American market. One window “sits” on top of the other window, and they slide open from the bottom or sometimes the top.

Pros: Double hung windows are available in numerous sizes and colors. This adds to their versatility. They are also simple to clean, tilting in and out. Plus, if you have a window air conditioning unit, they make installation simpler.

Cons: This type of window may not provide the aesthetic look that you want for your house. Additionally, the airflow could be limited depending on the number of windows in the room.

What Are Casement Windows?

Casement windows include a crank to open them fully. Because both sides of the casement windows can be opened, your entire window can be used as a source of room ventilation.

Pros: Obviously, if you’re looking for a window that provides maximum airflow throughout your space, casement windows will afford you this opportunity. Plus, the hardware is tough to spot, so it won’t interfere with the appearance of the windows externally or internally.

Cons: If you have window air conditioning units, casement windows aren’t for you. Larger varieties of this type of window may be tough to crank open and close.

What Are Bay Windows?

Bay windows have multiple sections of windows and open out from the side of the house. Depending upon their size, they can add significant square footage to a room. They’re known as one of the most intrinsically attractive types of windows because of their architectural design.

Pros: There are a few major benefits to bow windows. If you want to allow sunlight into a room, and your home has been built in such a way that bay windows are a possibility, you’ll love the results. Because they open, you’ll also get tons of fresh air. You’ll even get more storage space to display items in your room, thanks to the deep bay window sill.

Cons: Not all structures can accommodate the inclusion of bay windows. You may have to make major changes to your home to add one, and this can be costly.

Visualize Your New Windows

If you’re having difficulty envisioning how windows will look in your home, try the Renewal by Andersen visualizer tool that allows you to upload your photos and see which windows are right for your needs. Then, give us a call and we’ll set up a consultation. Remember: There’s a perfect window for any situation!

How to Extend Seasonal Décor With Holiday Staples

decor

While it can be great fun to decorate your home for every holiday, it takes time, effort and money to pay for all that décor. The good news is that if you choose a few staple decorative pieces for your home, you can ride out several holidays without having to perform an HGTV-worthy makeover every few weeks.

From January until December, here are some of the most convenient items that will make your residence look like it was decorated for the season with the help of a professional.

January-February

This is the time of year when we have multiple interesting celebrations, including the Chinese New Year, the SuperBowl and Valentine’s Day. Red hues are strongly associated with the Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day, so why not add some red cozy blankets, pillows and even throw-rugs to your common living space? Stay away from ornamentation that’s too time-sensitive, including hearts and dragons, that you’ll have to take down a week later.

March-April

This is springtime, and green is in the air with St. Patrick’s Day and Easter. Bright colors will spruce up the interior of your home at this point in time, and they’ll coordinate with what’s going on in the changing landscape outside your front or back door. Since you’re already engaged in spring cleaning, change your window treatments to brighter colors. You can also switch up the pictures on your walls to make your living areas look brand new.

May-July

It’s all about red, white and blue from May until July thanks to Memorial Day, Flag Day and Independence Day. While you might not want to go full-force with these colors, it’s great to pick white and either red or blue. For instance, a white and blue theme in your main rooms will create a fresh, summery, nautical ambiance.

August-October

Back to school is in the air, and that means autumn isn’t far behind! Think of all those muted, earthy shades that will help you dress up your home for the season. For instance, you may want to take down your spring/summer window treatments and replace them with fabrics of rust, auburn, pumpkin, caramel or chocolate. Change any throw rugs and sofa pillows accordingly.

November-December

These are the biggest holidays of the year, but you don’t have to spend a fortune to make your home look like a twinkling palace! Simply focus on adding neutral gold, white and silver items throughout your rooms. A blanket here and candles there are inexpensive ways to decorate for the end of the year. Plus, they’ll go along nicely with any other decorations you typically showcase, like a Christmas tree or a Menorah.

Seasons may come and go, but you don’t have to stress about how to make your house look wonderful. Eliminate the frenzy of constant decorating by grouping holidays together. The impression you make on your guests will be stellar, and only you will know that you didn’t have to break a sweat!

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How to Tell If You Need to Replace Your Windows

window

Have your utility bills been skyrocketing for no discernible reason? Are you noticing drafts in rooms that seem to be worsening each year? Are there small cracks or nicks in your windowpanes? These are all strong indicators that it’s time to consider calling a Mechanicsburg window replacement company.

Ignoring windows that aren’t performing up to par is only an option for a short amount of time. Eventually, those windows will start to become problematic and cost you money over the long haul. If you’re asking yourself “When do I need to replace my windows?”, why not start by considering these signals:

  • Your furnace has to work harder to heat the house. Most likely, the issue isn’t your furnace if you’ve kept it well-maintained. If your furnace is struggling to keep your home at a constant temperature, you probably have leaks somewhere in your living spaces. Older windows are often the culprits, so by replacing them, you’ll be protecting the life of your furnace as well as spending less each season to heat and cool your residence.
  • You feel a noticeable drop in temperature when you walk by your windows. If you have older models of windows, they’re probably not well-equipped to lock the warmth into your room. Instead, they’re slowly sucking the hotter air into the outdoors. Therefore, when you walk or sit by the window, you feel a chill. Newer windows constructed using high-tech materials won’t perform that way.
  • Your windows don’t seem to fit snugly into the walls. Older homes are known to settle, and during all the settling, the windows may begin to shift slightly. Eventually, they aren’t fitting as tightly as they once did. This can cause great stress on the windows themselves, causing cracks to appear in the glass. An improper fit can also be a source of heat leakage.
  • Your windows have a wavy appearance. Has the glass in your windows begun to buckle or take on a wavy look? This is a sign that they were made using antiquated methods. While they may seem pretty from an aesthetic standpoint, they aren’t recommended for homeowners who are serious about protecting their residences and saving money. If you want to keep older window panes for their historic beauty, you can always hang them on the interior walls in lieu of photos or mirrors as centerpieces.
  • Your windows cannot be cleaned. Are you unable to clean your windows to a shine? Newer windows will bring back the luster to all your windows from the inside and the outside. Plus, many replacement window options have ultraviolet protection to keep your carpets and furniture from prematurely fading.

If you’ve decided that you’ve had it with your current windows, discover the benefits new windows can provide!

Get a Jump on Spring Cleaning!

spring cleaning

The thermometer might be hovering around the freezing mark, but it won’t be that way forever. Warmer weather will soon wash through the midstate, and that means one thing: annual spring cleaning!

Instead of waiting until the calendar officially says that winter is done for the season, why not get a jump on all the washing, dusting, repairing and scrubbing? That way, when the first warm breezes beckon you to go outside, you won’t be stuck indoors with a bucket and mop.

What can you do to spring clean when the wind is blowing a cold gale? Plenty! Here are some ideas:

  • Focus on scrubbing hardwood or laminate floors, as well as deep-cleaning your carpets. During the winter, your family has tracked in tons of dirt, grime, salt and debris. All that gunk will make itself at home until you scrub it away. Not only will tackling the flooring throughout your house make the environment much healthier thanks to all the allergens you’ll be removing, but it will also make every room smell better.
  • Start to make headway with your dirtiest windows. As the preferred Harrisburg replacement window company, we often hear homeowners lamenting about how tough it is to get their windows shiny. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that type of hardship. Our windows make cleaning simple — and you never have to leave your house to get the job done. We even have a short video to show how to clean Andersen windows quickly.
  • Put some elbow grease into your grimiest appliances. When was the last time you cleaned the oven? What about removing everything from the refrigerator and giving it a sponge bath? When the snow is falling outside, it’s the perfect opportunity to take your appliances from drab-looking to fantastic. This can even help the appliances run more efficiently and last longer than they otherwise might.
  • Spend time organizing your closets. Did the closets turn into catch-alls for tons of clothing, unwanted items and stuff you couldn’t put anywhere else? Remove everything from each closet and figure out what you want to keep, what you want to donate and what you want to toss. If you haven’t worn an outfit for more than a year – or it no longer fits you – it’s probably something you’ll never wear again.
  • Arrange your bookshelves. A neat bookshelf can make any room look tidier. If you have bookshelves overflowing with ancient tomes, or cluttered with trinkets and photographs, spend an afternoon re-arranging your beloved items. The shelves will look like they have been attractively designed by a pro, and your living space will seem less chaotic.

Springtime isn’t the only time you can pick up a mop or broom. Start spring cleaning today and reap the benefits when the flowers start to bloom!

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Home Buying Tips for 2015: New Year, New Home

moving

Is it time for a new zip code? Do you want to set down permanent roots? Are you tired of renting?

If you’re thinking of making moves to move in 2015, there’s a lot at stake. Buying a home will be one of the biggest financial decisions you will ever make. Before you sign on the dotted line, we’ll tell you what to consider when buying your first home.

What to Look for

We’ve all watched enough HGTV to know that the most important thing to look for in a home is location. Paint can be updated, appliances can be purchased, walls can be knocked down, but you can’t change your school district or your township.

Pick three ideal neighborhoods to narrow your home search. Sure, you might be able to get a bigger home 20 minutes away — but take factors like your child’s school, your commute and area amenities into account when weighing your decision.

You should also consider whether or not the home has enough space for your current and future needs. The basement doesn’t have to be finished now, but make sure it has one if a man cave is something you’d like in the future. If you’re not done growing your family, buy a place with an additional bedroom or space to put one in.

When to Run

Many websites that highlight home buying tips neglect to mention the things you should look out for when buying a home. Knowing what to consider when buying a home and when to walk away can save you time and money down the line.

Here are a few red flags to avoid:

  • Old drafty windows
  • Worn-out roof
  • Termite damage
  • Cracked foundation
  • Empty swimming pools
  • Knob-and-tube wiring

However, if the asking price is right and you’ve got room in your budget for big renovations, it might be worth it.

When to Buy

Real estate experts say the best time to sell a home is during the summer. Because children aren’t in school and the weather is more conducive to families hauling their possessions to a new place, you’re more likely to get multiple offers on your home and sell it for the price you want.

Budget-conscious buyers should consider making moves now — during the winter months. Sellers going through the hassle to move and list during the frigid temperatures are likely motivated and more willing to make a deal. Since most folks wait to look until the summer, you’ll also have fewer competing offers.

That said, don’t buy just because you can score a bargain. Wait for the right home to come along to follow these home buying tips. You’ll be happy you did when you’re making memories inside it for years to come!

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Out With the Old, In With the Organization

bookcase

Are you playing hostess this year? In the weeks leading up to the holidays, you clean every surface and dust every corner to make your family and friends feel comfortable in your home.

Dinners are eaten, glasses are clinked and presents are opened in a whirlwind few days of Christmas cheer. When guests leave, however, you might feel overwhelmed with the mess and piles of gifts.

To start 2015 off with a clean slate, try these tried-and-true tips for cleaning and de-cluttering your home after the holidays.

Trim Your Possessions

If you received just as much as you gave this holiday season, it might be time to take stock of your possessions. Clean out your closet, and sell or donate your old sweaters and accessories. This will help you make room for the new items you found under the tree.

Did Mom get you those stainless steel pots and pans you had your eye on? There’s no reason to hold onto your old set. If you’re strapped for time, many donation sites have free pick-ups of clothing and household items.

Put Away Decorations

One of the easiest ways to clean your home after the holidays is to put away your seasonal decorations. While it’s a tad depressing to say goodbye to your ornaments for another year, you’ll be thankful you got your tree out on the curb before the needles start to fall.

And don’t forget to multitask. While you’re taking the garland off the stairs, dust between the spindles. When you take the wreath above the fireplace down, sweep up any ashes Santa might have left behind.

Get Clever With Containers

Now is also a good time to look through your home’s storage solutions. Think about what isn’t working and where you find consistent messy piles. If your closet is overflowing with crumpled scarves, consider purchasing an inexpensive scarf hanger.

Are there books on every flat surface in your living room? Display them in a bookcase. You can also invest in baskets, bins and hooks to de-clutter your home’s pantry, cabinets and drawers.

Store Some More

When cleaning your home after the holidays, you might find yourself with a number of items to put in storage. If you’re running out of space in all the usual places, consider some unconventional storage solutions. You can easily store large totes in your garage eaves and on exposed beams with the addition of a few two-by-fours. Rolling, shallow totes are also perfect for under beds to store holiday wrapping paper and decorations.

Think outside the box and you’ll have no problem freshening up your home once all the guests have left, and de-cluttering your space for the new year.

 

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Four Tips for Cutting Utility Spending

faucet

‘Twas just the season for breaking your budget! From hostess gifts to stocking stuffers to holiday hams, it’s easy to get caught up in Christmas cheer and stretch your budget a bit too thin. If you’re dreading your credit card looming credit card payments, you might be looking for places to save money in the new year.

One easy way to trim some fat in your monthly budget is to lower your home heating and water costs. Wondering how to cut utility spending? Here are four tips to help get you started.

1. Don’t Take Baths

We’re not saying to ignore basic hygiene completely, but you should be smart about it. Depending on the size of your tub, it can take up to 70 gallons of water to fill it. Aim for short showers instead to cut utility spending. Set a kitchen timer for five minutes, and make it a race against the clock for kids. You can also turn off the water while washing your hair. WaterUseItWisely.com estimates you’ll save 150 gallons a month by doing so!

2. Turn off the Tap

Years ago, “Sesame Street” had a great cartoon with a little boy brushing his teeth and washing his hands. As the water in the bathroom ran, a nearby pond quickly drained. Right before his home dried up, Frank the Fish called to intervene and Carl learned a valuable lesson: Don’t waste water.

WaterUseItWisely.com also found that turning off the water while you brush saves an average of four gallons of water a minute. For a family of four, that’s 200 gallons week you could be saving. Don’t waste water and you’ll cut your utility spending!

3. Install Energy-Efficient Windows

Harrisburg replacement windows require an up-front investment, but you’ll be happy you made the switch. Not only will you add value to your home and make it look better, but your utility bills will dramatically decrease all year round.

Renewal by Andersen® Low-E4® glass is up to 56 percent more energy-efficient in the summer and 45 percent more efficient in the winter than traditional dual-pane glass. That means you’ll see an average savings of 25 percent on your energy bills after installing replacement windows for your Harrisburg home!

4. Lower the Thermostat

Sure, central heat is convenient but cranking the thermostat to a consistent 72 degrees is just not practical. Energy.gov recommends setting your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter when you’re awake. Turn the thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees while you’re asleep or at work, and you may save up to 15 percent a year on your heating bill. How’s that for cutting your utility spending?

We hope these tips help you start your 2015 budget off on the right foot!

 

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Five Renovations for Your Home in 2015

flooring

As 2015 ramps up, it’s time to start thinking about the year ahead. And while it might be the year that you finally lose those extra 20 pounds, it can definitely be the year you improve your home, too. Here are five easy home renovations you should tackle in the new year.

1. Replace Your Windows

Let’s face it, your home’s old, drafty windows don’t just look awful — they’re costing you money. If you panic every month when the electric bill comes, it might be time to stop by our Harrisburg showroom.

Renewal by Andersen’s High-Performance™ Low-E4® Glass keeps your heated air in and cold air out in the winter. Customers see an average 25 percent savings on their utility bills after installing our Harrisburg replacement windows.

2. Update Your Flooring

With normal wear and traffic, carpet lasts anywhere from eight to ten years. If you find it’s time to replace it, decide if carpet still makes sense for your space. High-traffic areas might be easier to clean if you install tile or wood.

Updating your flooring can be an easy home renovation that you tackle over a weekend. And if you’re worried a room won’t feel cozy with hardwoods, remember that you can always purchase low-pile area rugs that can easily be cleaned.

3. Hit the Deck

If your wood deck is more than 20 years old, it’s time to replace it. Wood decks can start to break down after two decades and become a safety hazard. When choosing materials for your replacement deck, you’ll have to consider many factors including cost, upkeep and the size of your project. Enlist the help of a professional to help you decide!

4. Paint Your Place

If your home’s walls are still builder-grade white, do yourself a favor and buy a few gallons of paint. Painting is another one of those easy home renovations you can tackle yourself.

Intimidated by color? Don’t be! Choose neutral shades to warm up your space and add a hint of personality to your rooms. Or, be bold and choose a bright hue for an accent wall that complements your furniture or other accent pieces.

5. Curb Your Enthusiasm

Just because you’re not planning on moving anytime soon doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give the front of your home a little TLC. How much work you do is up to you!

If you’re looking for easy home renovations, start small by painting the front door, adding a new welcome mat, installing some window boxes or large planters, and power-washing the siding. Hire a professional if you can spring for new siding, updated brickwork or fancy pavers for your driveway.

When you try one of these five renovations, your home will look like new for 2015!

 

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Recovering From the Holidays – How to Get Your Home Back in Order

holiday decor

The holidays have finally come and gone, and now you’re left with one item on your to-do list: Get the house back in order. Though this seems easier said than done, a little pre-planning will help you get through the holiday clean-up process like a champ.

Here are our top five ways to quickly take back your home, inside and out:

  1. Carefully box all your holiday breakables. No one wants to open a box of decorations next year only to find shattered Christmas balls, broken antique bells and destroyed baubles. Put these items away first. You may even want to invest in plastic containers just for the items that are most breakable.
  2. Check all the holiday lights and then coil them carefully for storage. Who wants to open up a box filled with knotted holiday lights next year? Coil them around a tube and they’ll be less likely to tangle. Before you put them away, make sure they still work. There’s no use holding on to holiday lights that have met their end.
  3. Take down your artificial Christmas tree OR take out your natural Christmas tree. You don’t want to be the only person on your block who still has his or her tree on Valentine’s Day. Say goodbye to this year’s tree and either put it into storage, or put it out for the garbage collector. Many municipalities will pick up real Christmas trees on specific days only — contact yours to find out how best to dispose of your greenery.
  4. Clean your windows and doors. Any place that’s been decorated should be scrubbed down to remove any adhesives, mildew, cobwebs, pine needles and other items. This includes your Harrisburg home windows. If you have Harrisburg replacement windows that open from the inside for easy cleaning, you won’t have to spend much time performing this task.
  5. Consider having your rugs cleaned. If you had many guests in your home during the holidays, it may be a good idea to get the carpets professionally cleaned. You could also consider renting a rug cleaner and do this yourself. Either way, all the grime that’s been tracked in for the past month-and-a-half will be removed from your house, lessening the chance of allergic reactions, dust, mold spores and other unwanted items getting into your home’s air.

Though it might seem bittersweet to remove everything that reminds you of your wonderful holiday season, remind yourself that it won’t be too long until the next holiday season is here. Until then, enjoy the newness of a beautiful, spotless home and the wide-open possibilities of a new year.

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