Enter Your House Without a Key

Posted By on January 30, 2013

keyless entryWe have used keys for hundreds of years to open locks. They do the job but can be lost, stolen or copied. There are times when you want to leave your house without carrying keys. Sometimes you might want to allow someone in your house while you are gone or in an emergency. We all know that leaving a key under the door mat is not very safe. Have you ever left your home and wondered if you remembered to lock the door?

Thanks to modern technology we no longer have to carry a key.  The leading door lock set companies make deadbolts that don’t need keys to open them.  They have a keypad on them where you can enter a code to open the door. Each member of the family can have a separate code and you can receive a notice on your phone when the door is opened and who opened it.  You can have a temporary code for a neighbor or a visitor or an emergency code.  You can even lock or unlock the door with your phone or computer. The lock can be programmed to let someone in only on certain days or hours.

Think of the piece of mind this will give you.  You can receive a text alert when your child come home from school. You can allow a neighbor in while you are on vacation to check on your pets. You can go outside to exercise or visit a neighbor without carry a set of keys with you and locking yourself out is a thing of the past.

These locks can be installed on any entry door and come in many attractive styles.

5 Ways To Make Your Front Door Fabulous

Posted By on July 4, 2012


Doors and windows are the centerpiece of any home and the first thing visitors see when they walk up to knock. Whether you are planning on selling your house or updating your home with a cozy new look, remodeling with a new entrance and replacement windows is a great investment.

Here are 5 ways you can make your front door shine:

Paint the Town

Painting your front door is an easy and inexpensive fix that adds style and charm to any entryway. Sometimes a door just needs a fresh coat of paint to allow it to pop out and look inviting. Or, you can go a step further and paint your front door a bold new color.

Red is an energetic, fun hue that symbolizes love and romance. Stick with rich colors that will compliment the style and siding tone of your house. It’s a good idea to stay away from more non-traditional vibrant colors such as orange, because they may clash with existing color schemes and won’t work well on most homes. The same advice goes for painting windows and sashes. Adding color to a front door lends curb appeal and warmth to your home, and some people even believe it brings good luck.

Experience a Conversion

Converting your front door can save you a ton of money and do wonders for your entryway. When converting a door, you save yourself the trouble of replacing door jambs or having to deal with the hassle of repairing drywall and moldings.

Converting a wood, fiberglass or existing metal door with a wrought iron insert, or adding beveled glass windows, can instantly transform your old door into new. It’s fairly simple to install these products yourself, but using a professional may save you a ton of hassle if something goes wrong.

Replace It

A new front door can change the entire look of your home, which makes it worth the extra expense. A home with a new front door feels refreshed, will sell better and has added curb appeal. Choose a new door that can handle weather elements and protect your family from unwanted outsiders, while still looking great.

A modern door that has style will give an older home a fresh new look. If you are looking to lighten up your home, select a door with glass panels that will allow sunlight in to enhance your living space. A money-saving alternative to traditional wood are  fiberglass doors, which mimic the look of wood and offer greater security.

Change the Hardware

A lot of people never consider changing the hardware of their front door, unless it breaks. Getting new hardware is a fantastic way to dramatically improve your door’s appearance and function. Update knobs and latches to lend a more contemporary feel to your home, or keep accessories simple and timeless to match the neighborhood. Look for hardware that is durable and has strong aesthetic appeal. Making a great first impression is easy when you have clean, shiny hardware.

Add Decorative Side Glass

Another great way to improve your front door is by adding decorative glass replacement windows around the sides of your front door. This option can cost less than half of what it would be for a replacement front door. Decorative side glass allows more light to enter your home. It can also showcase your style and give your home an elegant, yet welcoming look.

Enjoy the atmosphere of a fire pit on your deck

Posted By on April 2, 2012

Decks are a versatile outdoor space are used for many functions.  It is very common to have a gas grill on your deck but how about a fire pit?  Having wood or charcoal fire on a wood or composite deck can be a fire bbq-on-deckdanger and can make a mess out of your deck.

A new product on the market solves this problem.  It is called Deck Stones and they are slate or granite tiles than can be set into your deck.  They create a fireproof  and stain free area on your deck.  Even if you do not want a fire pit on your deck the tiles give your deck a unique look and feel.  Putting them under your grill or furniture is a good way to protect your deck from scratches and stains.   The deck tiles can be put into an existing or new deck without mortar or grout and are maintenance free and allow water to drain.fire-pit0on-deck

New front door styles for 2012

Posted By on March 29, 2012


Mahogany grain door

I have recently previewed the new entry doors for 2012 that the leading manufactures have created.  The big growth area for entry doors is in fiberglass construction.  Homeowners are really starting to understand and want the many advantages of fiberglass doors over wood or metal.  With the demand for fiberglass doors the manufactures are giving us more options and styles to choose from.  The advantage of fiberglass doors is their durability and the stunning looks that are available.

Wood doors have always been the best looking doors and have had the most design options but they can be expensive and require maintenance.  Now fiberglass doors look just like wood doors are more durable and cost less.  The new styles available this year increase the appeal of the doors as they give you more wood grain options and more glass styles.  Fir has always been one of the most popular wood doors and now the fiberglass doors have the look and grain pattern of fir.  Mahogany is also a classic door style and there are new mahogany looking doors available.

The demand for fiberglass front doors has increased the glass design options.  Decorative glass comes in many styles that are


Fir grain door

new and unique.  The new glass styles include a silkscreen look, contemporary design or a modern look with sleek lines.  Privacy glass has new styles that give you a custom look allow light in but give you privacy and security.

With all the styles available it can be a daunting effort to pick the style that is right for you.  With this in mind, the leading manufactures have on their websites design tools.  The tools allow you to pick any of their doors and then pick from their selection of glass and shows you what it will look like in several colors.  You can even import a picture of your house and view your house with the new door in place.

The leading door manufacturer that I recommend are Therma Tru and Masonite.  They both have what seems as an endless variety of doors and  offer a good value.  They will also make doors to fit your custom size opening.  For entry doors in fiberglass or metal I would start my search either one off them.  They are both available all over the country and have great warranties.


Craftsman door


Privacy glasscontemporary glass

Why Home Security Is Essential

Posted By on March 29, 2012

Home security is something that a lot of us take for granted – if we lock our doors and set our alarms, we assume we are perfectly safe. And indeed, many of us do not even take precautions that far, as we all tend to become somewhat complacent in the comfort of our own homes. However, if you have an opportunity to upgrade your home security system, it is important to consider just how much an up-to-date system can benefit you and your family. These days, security systems can do a great deal to keep our homes safe, and it is essential to understand exactly how they do so; here is a brief rundown of the ways in which you can benefit from an up-to-date system and plan for security.

o Protecting Your Family – With an adequate security system that includes a working alarm, motion detectors, and potentially even motion sensors and/or laser trip wires, in addition to firm locks, you can quite literally save yourself and your family from harm. A break-in always seems unlikely, but unfortunately there are criminals out there, and any time someone unwanted comes into your home there is a potentially dangerous situation. This can be fully prevented with a good security system.

o Protecting Your Home – Even while you are away from home, your security system can be at work protecting your property. In some cases, criminals actually observe houses in advance of moving to rob them – which means that someone might notice if you and your family leave town. However, if your security system is armed, your home will still be a very secure environment, meaning that your possessions and property are protected even without you.

o Protection Against Accidents – One aspect of home security that not everybody considers is protection against potentially harmful accidents, such as gas leaks or fires. Full security systems usually come with smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, both of which can alert you in the event of a dangerous situation caused by an accident. Again, fires and gas leaks always seem unlikely, but taking precautions for protection against such events is completely essential in a safe home.

o Protecting Your Sense Of Comfort – Ultimately, the most important aspect of any security system is that it protects your family’s sense of comfort. Whether you simply use a basic alarm, or whether you set up motion sensors, yard signs, video cameras, etc., having something to protect yourself beyond your own vigilance is a great way to turn your house into a very secure and comfortable environment.


Use Blinds to Decorate Your house

Posted By on March 12, 2012

Utah-window-blindsWhen you are looking for ways to bring added layers of design into your home, don’t forget about using the windows for that extra decor opportunity. You are not limited to expensive custom drapery choices. Consider using a decorating tool that has been around for centuries. Blinds are available in a wide variety of materials to that they not only offer an element of texture, but privacy as well.

Depending on the size of the windows and the illusion that you want to create, you will be able to find blinds in the materials, colors and orientation that will help you turn the windows into an important part of your decorating scheme. The choice of vertical or horizontal slats will help to break up a long, boring wall or make the window appear larger.

Fabric, wood or even a less expensive yet still attractive plastic or metal type of blind choices are available to fit any decorating budget and design inspirations. They can be used as the only window treatment, but are attractive when coordinated with curtains and drapes. The slats can be adjusted to filter the damaging rays of the sun to protect your expensive custom drapes, carpeting and furniture from fading.

Before purchasing window  blind be sure to measure the window exactly so that it will cover the window properly when installed. You will need to measure width, height and depth at three spots each to make sure that once they are hung your new window treatments will not be obstructed in any way. Measure each end of the window and along the middle. The measurements may all be different, but make note of the biggest and smallest measurement.

Don’t forget that window treatments should fit into the theme of the exterior of the home as well as the interior design. Don’t risk taking away from the curb appeal because of a poor choice.

How to Baby-Proof Your Child’s Room in Five Easy Steps

Posted By on January 27, 2012

The experience of baby-proofing a room for the first time can be an overwhelming one for new parents. With your child's safety at stake, it is incredibly important to pay attention to details and to change your habits so that you are not likely to undo your work with one ill-placed object. Luckily, by following these five easy steps, you can baby-proof your child's room perfectly.

  1. Choose a soft floor covering, like a fluffy rug or a playroom mat. For your child's bedroom, it is important that everything is soft, since some children go through phases where they try to escape from things, like their cribs. In order to make sure the landing is safe, considering covering the nursery floor with a playroom mat for the first few years of your child's life.
  2. Cover electrical outlets. This one may seem obvious, but it's a step you must stay constantly on top of. Try to get into the habit of always inserting outlet covers immediately after unplugging electric devices early, so that by the time your baby is mobile, the outlets are always covered.
  3. Look out for corners. Babies seem to have a knack for hitting their heads on the corners of tables and other surfaces, so soften them with Styrofoam, or buy corner guards at your local baby store or online. It can be hard to become accustomed to the change in your home's appearance, but it is well worth the safety of your child.
  4. Eliminate small pieces. This one is much easier to achieve in your child's room than in the rest of the house. Since your nursery is only going to include items you need for your baby, a habit of buying no toys with small pieces should keep them out. For the rest of your house, make sure you think before you set something down.
  5. Keep cabinets locked. If your child is getting to the age when he is getting into everything, you should buy child-proof cabinet locks to keep them out. As an extra precaution, keep potentially dangerous items up high.

Think outside of the box with a stair railing design

Posted By on January 6, 2012

Draper-Utah-stair-railWe recently finished the construction of an unusual stair railing.  The homeowner wanted a unique look  and a style to complement his home.  The newel posts are solid douglas fir and distressed for an aged look.  The top and bottom rails and the cross members are 2 x 6 alder that has been distressed as well.  The truly unusual part of the railing is the metal screen placed between the posts.  This allows the railing to meet building codes but it also give the railing a farm yard look.  The stair ends are finished off with wood end caps, risers and a skirt board  mitered to the risers.  As you can tell from the pictures a stair railing can make a dramatic statement to the look and feel of your home.  With all of the options available to you,  your railing can be one of a kind and add value to your home.



The best place to buy building materials.

Posted By on December 3, 2011

I am often asked by homeowners where the best place to buy home improvement material is.  With home improvement big box store within a few miles of most people it is easier than ever to shop for home supplies.  It is convenient to shop in one place for everything and the store hours fit into our busy schedules.  They lure us in with the promise of low prices and for some things they do have low prices.  I have found that some items have competitive prices compared to locally owned suppliers but if you want something unique or a little nicer the cost is much higher than the local stores.  The biggest disadvantages of the big box stores is the lack of knowledgeable advice and limited selection.  Few homeowners are aware of the other places to shop for home improvement materials.

Professional contractors have many places to shop in every community and many of these stores also sell to homeowners.  The stores may not be as close by or have shorter opening hours but the selection of products knowledgeable advice and value cannot be beat.  At local contractor oriented stores you have the benefit of employees with years of experience and a selection of items that will allow you to pick just the right look for your home.

Homeowners are surprised when I tell them that for material like baseboards, casing and other woodwork the local stores are half the price of the big box stores.  Doors come in many styles that are never found at the big stores and are available for the same price as the two common styles found in these stores.  For special orders or custom sizes the locally owned stores are your  best place to shop as they deal with  custom orders every day.

To find the locally owned stores look in the yellow pages, search online or even better call a contractor and ask him where he buys his material.  At the professional stores you will have the selection of home building materials to give your home a unique look and quality material that will give you years of enjoyment.

Enhance the Street Appeal of Your Home with Shutters

Posted By on July 1, 2011

Moveable wood shutter

movable wood shutter

It has been said that windows are the eyes on the face of your home.  Eyes without eyebrows, eyelashes and makeup can look boring.  The same can be said of your windows, without shutters or other details your home does not look its best.  Shutters have been used on homes for hundreds of years for protection and looks.  Exterior shutters can be movable, allowing them to cover your windows in bad weather or fixed in place on the sides of your windows.  As homes have been built faster and cheaper  shutters are one of the details missing on many homes today.

composite board and batten shutter

Board and batten shutter

With shutters there are many design options and come in several types of material.  Traditionally shutters have been made with wood and can be painted to accent your homes color or stained to add richness and warmth.   Wood shutters can be made to fit any sized window and have the largest design possibilities of any shutter material.  The disadvantage of woo shutters is that they will need to be repainted or stained to keep them looking good.  They are very durable and will hold up to the most severe weather.  Vinyl  has been a popular alternative to wood over the last few decades.  They are the most affordable shutters and will not require maintenance.  They come in many colors or can be painted.  They have any styles and sizes available.  The downside  of Vinyl is that it does not match the look of wood and does not hold up as well to strong winds and will fade over time.  A new type of shutters is becoming popular that is made with composites or fiberglass.  They can mimic the look of wood and are durable and do not require maintenance.  The price is more than vinyl and comparable to wood.  Sizes and shapes of composites will be more limited than wood shutters.  For the utmost durability and carefree use you can not beat composite shutters.

raised panel shutter

Raised panel exterior shutter

Whichever shutter you choose for your home it is important that they complement the style of your homes and are in the right proportion to your windows.  They also need to be mounted securely.  Exterior shutters designed and installed properly  will make a dramatic transformation to the street appeal of your home.  They will increase your homes value and is a good way to personalize the exterior of your home.  An experienced carpenter can design and build you custom shutters or install ready made shutters.

Arched top wood shutter

Arched top wood shutter