White Washed: Pure, Simple, Clean Design

Posted by Paige Thomas ~ June 10, 2008

I'm someone who loves color. Especially in home design. Using all types of color, everywhere, all the time, has always been my preference.

When I was younger my mom went through a phase where she painted all of the rooms in our home bone white. I couldn't stand it, and I developed a phobia of white wall color that I still haven't outgrown. I swore that when I grew up and had my own home, none of my walls would be white.

But, I may have been too rash with my ban on white. Designers and home remodelers are now using white for wall color, carpet, countertops and other home features to create a clean, fresh, modern look that can be heightened with the right small addition of color.

According to the New York Times, not only is white an interesting design choice, if you're considering future marketability of your home, white may also be the smartest choice you can make. Using color for design is a highly personal matter, and if you use unique color choices in your home for hard to replace items such as countertops, cabinetry and tiles, you may have a hard time selling your home to potential buyers who will have to deal with replacing areas they find less than attractive.

So, maybe white isn't so bad afterall...

White In Real Life

A small kitchen looks brighter and more airy with all white elements leading into a living area. Add a bowl of your weekly produce, a red toaster, or colorful dish towels as a way to break up the white, and create a flash of color.

Photo Credit: The New York Times

A black and white photograph adds a truly modern touch to this sleek bathroom.

Photo Credit: The New York Times

A white bedroom is relaxing and clean with a few dashes of color added with throw pillows and easily changeable wall prints.

Photo Credit: Inhabit

Hot Tub Installation: Smart Summer Investment

Posted by Paige Thomas ~ June 9, 2008

Looking for a way to spice up your backyard landscape this summer? One of our favorite ideas is to install a brand new hot tub. You can enjoy a hot tub all year long, but during the nicer summer months you may appreciate it the most.

A hot tub can provide a new social center for you and your friends, or even for your kids and theirs. And, it's not just a great social addition to your backyard, a hot tub also has a number of health benefits that come along with regular use.

Here are some great reasons for installing a hot tub that you might not have thought about:

  1. A hot tub offers the ability to unwind and relax, reducing stress that can cause health problems. Soaking in a hot tub is the perfect solution for counteracting stress.
  2. Adding a hot tub can add value to your home, and grab the attention of potential home buyers.
  3. A hot tub could help you sleep better. Some studies have shown that by immersing yourself in hot water for 15 minutes before bedtime, your body temperature rises and enhances your ability to fall asleep faster.
  4. A hot tub is a versatile landscape design option. It's a great feature for entertaining friends or having a party. Yet it can also be perfect for simply having a quiet night at home with the family.
  5. Relaxing in a hot tub can help relieve aching muscles and overall stiffness in the body.
  6. You can customize your hot tub for your special needs: try adding a refrigerator, or a TV with surround sound. Whatever you think you might want, it's probably possible to include it in your hot tub design.

Green Living on the Internet

Posted by Paige Thomas ~ June 6, 2008

Living in the middle of one of the greenest, lushest, and most environmentally friendly parts of the country, the Pacific Northwest, it's hard not to constantly think about how my actions impact the environment. But I'm not the only one, there are a host of bloggers covering environmental issues online, and more specifically about being a green homeowner.

Looking for what other homeowners are doing to make their home better for the environment? Or maybe you want some help getting your own green remodeling project started? Here are some of our favorite green blogs that may inspire you:

BobVila's On the Level Green Building Blog Bob Vila is arguably the most trusted man in the home remodeling industry, and his green building blog is just as informative and helpful as any homeowner could hope for.

Get With Green If you're working a remodel, or are thinking about it, this site will help you figure out your greenest options, and where to find them. Full of useful ideas you may never have thought about (tubal skylights to save electricity and light hallways and rooms) and practical information (where to order carpet made of recycled materials), this blog will help you through the green remodeling process.

Green Building and Remodeling This site is simple, straight forward, and full of interesting articles on industry trend-spotting, and ideas for homeowners to incorporate into their home.

TreeHugger While this blog covers a wide range of topics other than green building, it is one of the top environmental blogs out there. A quick search of green building, or green remodeling should return a number of entries that you may find helpful.

Brevard Green Homes Run by a green minded real estate agent, this blog is another great resource for homeowners on topics ranging from tax credits, green materials and other eco news.

To show our support for homeowners who want to green their home, ReliableRemodeler.com is proud to announce that we have recently added Solar Panel Installation as one of our newest offered services! Check out some of our Green Building Resources for more information.

We hope to keep bringing homeowners more green building options, and we'll be sure to keep covering green building topics here in the future.

Having a Kitchen Crisis?

Posted by Mary Sweigert ~ June 6, 2008

Kitchens, kitchens, kitchens...

Photo Credit: ReliableRemodeler.com

Can't live with the olive green retro countertops, can't live without your meal preparation space. The age old struggle over style and function continues in the most important room in the house.

A good friend of mine is struggling through a kitchen remodel, and like many others in this circumstance, he's found himself battling 1960s era cabinet mouldings and some of the strangest color patterns that could only have come from the age of free love and Woodstock. And time, as you might imagine, has not been kind to these eye bleeding kitchen trends. If only they could have aged as well as Keith Richards.

What to do?!?

The problem is that many of us can't live without our kitchens. We don't want to be stuck surviving on peanut butter and jelly eaten around the ironing board while the kitchen is gutted to an unrecognizable shell of its former self.

There is a solution to get around this problem if you're willing to take the process in stages. Set out a game plan to tackle one project at a time, so only your cabinets, or your countertops will be out of commission at any given time. Granted, your total kitchen remodel timeline will lengthen with this approach, but if having a livable kitchen for the duration of the remodel is a priority, this might be much more reasonable for you and your family.

Be Good To Your Bathroom

Posted by Mary Sweigert ~ June 6, 2008

WHOA. We really like this:

Photo Credit: BornRich

and this:

Photo Credi: Alsons.com

Its like a car wash...but for your body! And maybe, just about the best recipie for relaxation we can think of.

Its time to make your bathroom the place to be- think about it. How much time do we spend in there everyday? Showering, soaking, preparing ourselves for the day, relaxing- its easily the most used room in the house, and yet so often it gets neglected and ends up serving a purely utilitarian existence. Dosen't your bathroom deserve more?

You don't have to invest in a custom spa body shower to reap the benefits of a bathroom remodel. If something a little more modest is budget freindlier, take a litte time to imagine how some new fixtures and cabinet veneers might brighten up your mornings getting ready to carpe diem.

Green with Yard Envy

Posted by Mary Sweigert ~ June 6, 2008

Maybe it's just the fact that I don't have a yard, but this time of year fills me with a serious case of Yard Envy. The options for creating something unique to reflect your landscaping vision are virtually endless.

I could channel a coastal feel with sea grass, stone and recycled hurricane lanterns, or maybe a tropical paradise with imported palms and new guinea impatients - the plants, the rock, the fire pits and chimineas, the decking material...the options are incredible and inspiring:

Could this be your new backyard?

People are starting to turn their outdoor spaces into so much more than yards and its exciting to see them becoming the spaces for entertaining, relaxing, cooking, and counting stars.

Landscaping can be a stressful burden for a lot of homeowners I realize, but I still can't help coveting the lovely yards I see around, and harboring some envy at all the opportunity they have to exercise their passions and take their yards wherever they please.

Photo Credit: Paradise Costa Rica

I realize too what I like about so many of these 'yards' is the rising lack of grass. Less grass is great for a lot of reasons but it also means less water, which means more environmentally friendly! There are so many turf free routes to take with your outdoor space, check it out:


If you want to enjoy your yard more, and have less yard work to do on the grass, these ideas seem like the way to go, especially if you're looking to reduce your eco-footprint at the same time.

If I Had an Extra $80 Every Month

Posted by Mary Sweigert ~ June 6, 2008

(Stats show that in 2003, the average American's electricity bill added up to $81.42. http://www.grist.org/news/counter/2006/03/03/costs/

What would you do if you had that back? I might save up for a nice camera, a new bike... I'd wager you could come up with more than a few things you could throw that money towards.

Who hasn't imagined not having utility bills to pay every month? Even if the answer is no (unlikely) you could at least imagine if those bills were lower. What if those bills went away entirely? What if, instead of owing money to the electric company, they owed YOU money? What a concept, huh? That's exactly what people who've invested in solar panels can expect to experience.

Over the years, we've seen our electricity costs rise and the pinch is becoming more and more apparent as our resources strain to meet current demands. Even if your concerns are less environmental and more economic, solar panels make more than enough sense to take a look at.

In some cases you can still receive tax credits for the panels. Then you can sit back and relax knowing your electricity bill will be dwindling away into nothingness, while you save up for a new set of golf clubs or some scuba lessons.

So, what would you do with it?

Photo Credit: ScubaMarcos.com

Alternatives to Paint: Modern Wallpaper Options

Posted by Paige Thomas ~ June 6, 2008

People often give me quizzical looks when I tell them about one of my all time favorite design options: wallpaper.

Don't roll your eyes! This isn't your grandmother's stuffy, floral wallpaper. We're talking great design, great colors, and a whole lot of style. Wallpaper has become an artistic statement, with designers, artists, and printmakers getting into the game making wonderful pieces for homeowners to choose from.


Posted by Myryah Shea ~ May 22, 2008

This is an example of a WordPress page, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many pages like this one or sub-pages as you like and manage all of your content inside of WordPress.


{Remodeling Ideas}

{Ask the Contractor}

  • Is this home worth it?

    I am looking at buying a cheap house that needs some major upgrades, including raising the ceiling. I would like to make it a cathedral ceiling. The roof looks like it is sagging and would need to be redone anyway. Is it worth buying a house under 100,000 if it needs these big remodels? Any ideas of what I could expect to pay? Thanks.


  • Is it possible my I-joist is damaged?

    My home had I-joists supporting the plywood floor. I had the plywood replaced, and when the contractors were pulling it up, I noticed they were ripping off a top layer of the joists. I asked them to stop and called the foreman over to evaluate. He says it did not damage the integrity of the I-beam, but I don't know if I can trust his word on that. What do you think?


  • Can I safely move a support post?

    I bought a house with an unfinished basement and there's a support post right in the middle of the I-beam. To properly frame out the room, is it possible to move it three feet off center and not have it cause any issues structurally? It's a two-story home.


  • Whose job is it to measure for a kitchen remodel?

    The design plan of my new kitchen cabinets said the end of the cabinets would terminate with inches of wall space showing. When the cabinets were installed there was a whole foot of wall space. When I questioned my contractor, he said it's not his job to measure - it's my job. Is this true?


  • How can I remove a column from my basement?

    I have a structural beam in my basement that has a 15 foot span with a lally column at seven feet. The beam is three 2x8s pocketed into the foundation on both sides. There are no walls or beams above this beam. How can I remove it?


  • What are the best boards to use for building a deck?

    I want to build a 16" x 16" deck. What size boards should I use?


  • What's the best way to move a washer and dryer?

    If I wanted to relocate my washer and dryer to a newly constructed out building to save a little room in my house, how would I handle the drainage? Also, if I created a rain garden next to the out building, can I drain it into the rain garden?

  • How do I reattach wires going from the thermostat to the fireplace?

    I have a continental gas fireplace, and the wires from the thermostat to the fireplace have come disconnected at the fireplace. There are four wires: yellow, red, green, and black. There are three vertical terminal posts labeled from top to bottom TP TH, TP, and TH. Can you tell me which wires go where? Thanks.