Home improvement projects - make your home a better living place

Upgrade your home with a variety of home improvement projects When you think of home improvement, what comes to your mind are projects designed to improve its looks. That may be true in its own fashion. Another important aspect however is increasing your home functionality. There are many options to do this, depending on your requirements and type of building you live in. Usually first thing that you consider improving is comfort. It doesn’t necessarily mean though that you have to replace furniture or buy new TV set. Think more along the lines of improving thermal comfort for example. You can simply do this by siding installation or upgrading heating and air conditioning systems. Another type of home improvement project is energy saving. It’s not necessary to think big and invest in renewable energy sources (unless you want to). Even “small” changes like installing better insulation or replacing windows and lighting make a difference. Another important aspects of home improvement are those dedicated to safety and preparedness. Here belong all types of alarms and monitoring systems to keep you safe from fire and burglary. Keep in mind though that aforementioned list of improvement projects isn’t comprehensive and there are many more upgrades you can do to your home.

Think about your exterior and get new siding installation

siding installation on a house front The easiest way to improve thermal comfort of your house and provide protection for its external walls is by putting siding on them. There are many options available on the market and you aren’t condemned to vinyl if you really don’t want to. Actually vinyl’s inconsistent quality and tendency to warping and fading became something of an urban legend. At the very beginning, that is around its introduction in 1950’s that was perfectly true. But during seventy years of being in use, technology of vinyl siding manufacturing was greatly improved. Now you have product with unbeatable price, that is reasonably durable and comes in multitude of styles and colors. Ok, but you don’t want vinyl no matter what its advantages are. In such an instance siding contractors in Aurora can provide you with wood, aluminum, LP SmartSide or James Hardie siding. Wood siding definitely boosts the looks of your house, giving it that gorgeous rustic feel. But wood has more advantages than that. It’s natural insulating properties will help you keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter. It’s naturally resistant (to some degree) to UV rays, moisture and decay but requires some care. If you strive for an option that requires less maintenance, aluminum siding will do the trick. And it’s long lasting and recyclable. Another interesting option is James Hardie siding. However pricier than other types of siding, it’s extremely durable and comes in almost endless array of styles and colors. With proper installation by experienced siding contractors it can last decades. On top of that it’s almost everything proof, being it storms, fire, rot or insects. Last but least comes LP SmartSide siding. Similarly to James Hardie siding is very durable. Its uniqueness though lays in the ability to mimic real wood. And it comes in variety of colors as well. That said you should look for experienced siding contractors Naperville & Aurora, IL. They will provide you not only with high quality materials and professional siding installation but sound advice as well. They will help you with choosing option that suits best to your needs and budget available.

Look around through new window

opened window in Chicago house with porch view Windows, like any other part of your home, are subject to natural process of wearing down. At some point or another thought of replacing them will dawn on you, usually when they start looking less than appealing. But windows replacement has something more to it than aesthetics only. Believe it or not, new windows mean substantially lower heating bills. When you hire window replacement companies Chicago IL, you will inevitably learn that not all of the windows are created equal. They are made from wide range of materials and are designed in different styles. While considering choice of materials you have to think of two main parts of the window – frame and glazing. Frames are most typically made of wood, uPVC, aluminum, composites, steel and fiberglass. Each of the product has its own benefits and drawbacks. In terms of looks wood is the most desirable material. It’s as well quite low maintenance and has very good thermal resistance. That and an average cost of window replacement bode well for your wallet. Unfortunately however wood doesn’t belong to extremely durable materials comparing to other available options. What you definitely don’t want your window frames made of when increased heat resistance is your goal, is definitely steal. Its good conducive qualities make it quite poor choice to keep home warm and cozy and it’s quite pricy. If you prefer heat resistance over traditional look, uPVC will fit the bill. On top of keeping warmth inside your house, uPVC windows are very low maintenance, very durable and reasonably priced on top of that. Right choice of glazing and filling can add up to the thermal comfort as well. Check with window companies in Chicago, whether they offer windows with low-emissivity coated panes, which helps to avoid heat losses by radiation. Last but not least - filling. Yep, you read that right, filling. What is in-between glass panes makes a difference for your heating bills. But what supposed be there except of air? Ah, there are two energy efficient options to choose from – nothing (like in “vacuum”) or precious gas (argon or krypton). Both are less thermal conducive than the air. Discuss the most appropriate option with experienced window replacement contractor, like for example New Edge Window Replacement. Professional window installation will allow you to enjoy improved esthetics of your house (as important as thermal comfort to all of us homeowners  ) on top of saving on heating bills.

Relax on your porch or deck after long day

hardwood front porch in Chicago house Relaxing in front of your house after heavy day’s work is wonderful. Unfortunately chairs set directly on a lawn aren’t always the most viable solution, especially when the weather is less than perfect. You know about an option of adding porch or deck to your house but actually you don’t know what is the difference between the two. Both are outside and provide additional living space, that’s common denomination. The difference is – porch is covered. It can be substantially smaller than a deck, just big enough to pause before stepping into the house proper. But there are big porches built as well, the size, which after enclosing with screens and/or windows functions as true additional room. But how are you going to distinguish which would suit better to your needs, huh? Best way to do this is by finding experienced local porch contractor, like Porch Deck Builders Chicago to discuss your needs. When it comes to porches you can choose from several different styles. The most popular is front porch as it gives the building that homey, welcoming look on top of the opportunity to rest or simply hide from unpleasant weather conditions. Similar in size but added to back side of the house (as the name indicates) is a back porch. If larger porch is needed you may consider having built wraparound porch. On top of substantial amount of additional space it beautifully complements Victorian and farm style buildings. For enjoying outdoors without some of its inconveniences like bugs, screened porch will do the trick. Consider adding a deck for even more space than the porch. Comparing to porch deck is pretty straightforward regarding its construction. It’s elevated platform, usually without a roofing, that can be organized by different additions – built in sitting places, safety railings, fire pit, pergola, lighting etc. Keep in mind though that no matter whether you choose porch or deck and what style it is, for the best result it’s important to find professional porch builders in Chicago, Porch Deck Builders Chicago being ones of the most experienced.

Secure your home with camera installation

security camera installed on the building You cannot foresee each and every unexpected, bad event. Even if you can, there is no saying that you would be able to prevent it. But it doesn’t necessarily mean, you have to stay vigilant and ready for every possible occurrence or give up and wait resigned for the unknown. One of the solutions that may help to improve your house security is security camera installation. CCTV has got some bad rap recently due to loss of privacy concerns. On the other hand presence of security cameras are affective at deterring burglary. And if a break in did happen (of course I wouldn’t wish something like that upon anybody) CCTV may prove invaluable at finding an offender. Ok, you probably won’t use that feature of security camera very often if at all. But it definitely will help you retain peace of mind when you leave your house for longer periods, like holidays for example. On top of that, security cameras may be employed as a part of alarm monitoring package, that may include fire or flood detection. So, upon considering pros and cons you decide on installing cameras around your house. There is wide range of appliances available on the market and determining which ones will suit you best it’s a daunting task. That’s when you want to hire company specializing in security camera installation in Chicago. They will find out which characteristics of security cameras – motion detection, movement, night vision, resolution and cost of course – are most important in your particular situation. They do the whole installation as well so you don’t have to bother with it and explain how to operate the system. Last but not least, if something breaks down in the camera, you may rest assured that someone will come to fix it.

Be prepared for unexpected occurrences

There are some measures you can take as a homeowner to avoid or minimize bad events. The saying “better safe than sorry” is all nice and well but there are situations however that you cannot neither foresee not prevent. For such an occasions you probably purchased home insurance that should cover all of the necessary expenses if s*t happened, but… No matter what is the kind of damage to your house, whether it’s fire, roof leak, bursting pipes, hail or wind damage, there is a risk that your insurance company will take completely different look on the costs of repairs. In worst cases homeowner claim may be underpaid, delayed or even denied. The best way to avoid such a situation is finding an insurance adjuster in Chicago. The task of insurance adjuster is reviewing homeowner claim to verify it and determine appropriate amount of money for settlement. Suppose a homeowner makes a claim due to hail damage. Chicago insurance adjuster would interview the owner and witnesses. Then he or she inspects the property to determine how extensive is the damage and how much would it cost to repair. After that the claim adjuster submits documentation regarding incident to the insurer and makes recommendation for the appropriate amount of the claim. Pretty straightforward , huh? So, why bother with hiring someone, when you are perfectly capable of doing it yourself. There are two aspects of it. When the disaster happens and your home takes serious damage, you concentrate on more immediate issues like salvaging your assets and securing property from further damage. As filing insurance claims requires from the homeowner some promptness, at times it may prove next to impossible to do all of the aforementioned tasks by yourself. And it definitely adds up to the already existing stress. Another advantage of hiring professional Chicago insurance adjuster is, that he or she is, well, a professional. That means knowing applicable policy regulations, being well versed in damage evaluation and, last but not least, knowing how to fill out all of the necessary documents properly. The last one is often underestimated. But the details overlooked while filling out claim documents may mean the difference between receiving appropriate amount of money form insurance and being denied it. So, hiring claims adjuster is definitely money well spent. You will retain peace of mind and have enough time and money to carry out all of the necessary repairs and renovations.