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Friday, December 7, 2018

Welcoming Winter

Baby It's Cold Outside!
Well here is that cooler weather we have been hoping for! It is chilly interspersed with days that are downright frigid! These are the days that it feels so good to light a fire, bake some cookies, and have a cup of hot tea, just get cozy. The winter months here in Georgia are thankfully not too awful, but they do make you want to snuggle up, read a good book, and watch the weather from inside! In the warmer months we are all about making our homes look and feel cooler- we pare down, use more whites in our accessories, and keep the iced tea handy. But now that December is upon us, let's spend a bit of time visually warming up our homes, especially the kitchen, the heart of the home.

First, add a few plants.  You have probably already brought your potted plants in, so make sure the pots are clean and attractive (and bug-free) and group them in the corner, near a window, or on the countertops if you have some to
spare. Or go plant shopping.  Herbs work beautifully in these groupings. Be careful to keep any plants that may be dangerous to animals safely out of their reach--some common ones to avoid are Dieffenbachia, Kalanchoe, and Cyclamen. Also, as the holidays approach, keep those beautiful Amaryllis and Poinsettias away from animals.  Plants lower our stress, improve our concentration, and clean our air, as well as making our environments prettier!

To keep those plants (and you) healthier and happier, be sure you are letting in plenty of natural light. We all know that a 
lack of sunshine can result in a real syndrome for humans--the less sunlight we see in the winter months, the more likely we are to develop Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). In researching this, I learned that the lack of sunshine and Vitamin D can result in the increased risk of heart disease, prostate and breast cancer, and even dementia! So, open up those blinds and drapes, and let the sun shine in! You may also want to look into new window treatments from Hunter Douglas ---many styles are dual purpose:  very sheer when open, dark and insulating when closed. More light during the daytime will make you and your plants healthier, and your home will look much more welcoming, cheerful, and happy.

While you are opening those blinds, be sure the view is beautiful. If it isn't, get out there now and change it-- move those trashcans, plant some pansies, trim those overgrown bushes, now before the weather forbids that kind of outdoor activity.

Decorate the kitchen in a warm and cozy way. Some of the components I love to use are copper pots, old "tea towels" and throw rugs on the floor. Well-worn is even better! My favorite thing in the kitchen, though, is to have a lamp. Glowing in the night, or on a dismal day, it just automatically makes the kitchen warmer and more welcoming. If you can find an old one with some character, and fix it up with a fresh shade, so much the better. I have old fingertip linen towels that my great grandmother monogrammed. I kept them for years in a drawer, "saving" them, and then I thought, "they're not doing anybody any good in a drawer" and so I brought them to the kitchen, and I use them and I love them, and they remind me of my precious "Big Mama" who was all of 4 foot 10 inches! Have an old mixing bowl that belonged to an ancestor? Bring it out and fill it with fruit! Or even your great grandad's old boots? Stand them in the corner- I promise you will think of him every time you see them!

Another effect I love in the kitchen is to make the two chairs we use all the time different than the others. They are upholstered instead of plain wood, and they don't even match! But they are ours, and so comfy!

Wood components are good to use to warm up the look in a kitchen: an old cutting board, pretty salad bowls, or a jug full of wooden utensils can add to this. Lately, we have installed several wood or wood-look walls in kitchens and breakfast rooms. They do a lot to change the whole look of the room. We are carrying a new product especially designed to go on the walls, called Vercade. Come in and see it!

Of course, there is always paint, but painting for the seasons may be a little drastic! But you can try painting one accent wall a new fun color. Or if you have bookshelves in the kitchen, hang some removable wallpaper on the back walls as an accent!

Finally, nothing enhances a kitchen like the wonderful aroma
of something delicious in the oven or on the stove! Pies, cookies, a rich stew, are all inviting and comforting. You don't have to be a great cook to know this, or to make it happen- pick something up that is prepped, and take it from there. YUM!

Speaking of yummy, we had a Chili Cook Off here in the store recently, with 8 entrants! We had so much fun, and gave away some great raffle prizes! If you missed it, well, too bad, maybe next year. In the meantime, we are publishing the Award-Winning Recipe that won First Place in our contest:

Jere's Chili
1 ½ lb. ground chuck
3 (15 oz) cans of tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can of diced tomatoes
1 package of McCormick's Chili Seasoning Mix (Hot)
1 (27 oz) can of Bush's Chili Beans
Salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder to taste

Brown hamburger, drain and add all ingredients. Simmer several hours in a crock pot or on the stove.

Better Safe Than Sorry
I want to talk a little about keeping your home safe as well as cozy this winter. If you are travelling, follow all those tips you've been hearing for years: have someone pick up your mail and newspapers, leave your animals at home and have someone come in to feed and exercise them, leaving on assorted lamps and lights each time they visit. If there's a car in the driveway, ask them to move it from time to time. Be sure that motion activated lights outside are working properly. Notify your security company and your credit card company that you will be travelling.  And lastly, I know it's fun to post great pictures of your trip on social media, but DON'T. At least not until you have returned home. Travel knowing that you, your pets, and your home are safe.

Stay safe, warm, and cozy this winter. If you make chili, or follow any of our decorating ideas, we'd love to see and hear about it.  Post your pics on Facebook or Instagram and tag us so that we can admire your creativity!

How Much Does It Cost?
Shiplap---what is it and how did it become so popular? Simply put, shiplap is wide wood planks installed on the wall horizontally, slightly overlapped, and painted white.  Shiplap became all the rage thanks to HGTV's "Fixer Upper," a home design show hosted by Chip and Joanna Gaines. The Texas-based couple have used it in many of the homes they renovated, and the look caught on from there. Shiplap adds subtle texture to walls without going overboard, giving a clean-but-not-boring backdrop to a room. And this simplicity makes shiplap versatile and able to complement a number of styles:  coastal, shabby chic, farmhouse, modern, and industrial. We do install shiplap for our clients; the cost ranges from around $800 to $1200 per wall.

I Was FLOORED By Enhance
Elsa in Marietta shared this review:  "Had carpet installed by Enhance the week before Thanksgiving. We had almost the whole first floor done and they completed the job in one day. We also bought the carpet from Enhance and we love it plus carpet and installation was a great price. Hardworking crew, careful and respectful especially of our newly painted walls. Would recommend to anyone and will use them again."
Thank you Elsa---enjoy the holidays (and your new carpet!) with your family.  We sincerely appreciate your patronage.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Black Friday What Not To Do

Put your Christmas shopping on hold... until after you read this!

Here we are:  Thanksgiving week. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. The RealReal of Retail. The Superbowl of Shopping.

When and how do you prepare? Is it a family effort? Do you stay up all Thursday night to start ultra early on Friday? Do you all shop together or do you divide and conquer?

We have gathered and curated lots of good advice for this big event. No, we are not going to list the ten best buys this year (electronics) or the most wanted gifts this year (electronics) or the most discounted items this year (electronics) but we will be giving you some solid pointers for getting what you want, and staying safe and comfortable while you do it.

Number One- Do not bring the children shopping! Every site repeated this! There are great reasons- but it all boils down to- you will be distracted and less likely to make your best decisions- So, let Grandpa and the kiddies sleep in, and you and Grammy head out and do the shopping. If you play your cards right, they will have left for the park while you were gone, and now you can have a little nap ☺

Number Two- Take your credit or debit card and only that one card to do your shopping. That way, if there happens to be a credit breach (Remember Target 2013?) then you only have one card to be worried about. Also, if the worst happens, and your purse or wallet is taken, you have greatly reduced your exposure. Carry it in your front pocket- the most unlikely place to get pick pocketed. Best tip yet for ladies: don't even carry a purse. It is more to keep up with and really, how many times do you plan to reapply lipstick?

Number Three- Dress down. Do not make yourself someone's target by wearing your nicest outfit and sporting your favoritediamond ring. Leave those at home. Be comfortable. Remember to wear pants with a front pocket, good shoes for standing all day long, and if you absolutely must carry some things, wear a fanny pack. It's not a fashion show. If you just cannot do without your purse, then carry a carabiner, and clip the purse onto your shopping cart, and keep it zipped.

Number Four- Don't shop Friday at the Outlet stores. So many of them have great prices every day. Spend your time, and your dollars, where you can really have an impact. Outlet stores also frequently carry items that have been manufactured especially for them- not a lesser quality, but probably not the same models or styles you will find in the regular store. To get the absolute best bang for your buck, shop the really premium stores that normally don't have anything on sale and don't offer discounts. We're talking Prada, Louis Vuitton, Rolex. If you're ever going to get a deal on these items, today's the day. And get there early for the best selection.

Number Five- Make a list and check it twice. Ads will be everywhere- newspaper, television, online, so there is no excuse to fly blind. Make some decisions about what you are going to buy, and how much you are going to pay for it, before you ever leave home. Do comparison shopping, using model numbers if possible. Have a backup item for everyone, in case
what you wanted is sold out when you get there. And people, do not fight over items! It is just not worth it, and it sucks the fun out of the season to get involved in something like that. Like my mama says: "If you can't get that door to open, it isn't the right door for you!" Surely to goodness you can find another one somewhere else, and it will probably be a better one at that! Don't waste your time asking about price matching on Black Friday. Almost all retailers suspend their price matching policy that day. Clark Howard has a brilliant idea- buy discounted giftcards before you go shopping, and then use the giftcard to make your discounted purchase- double bonus! Check out a site called and others for great deals on giftcards.

So, we said we're not going to tell you what to buy, and we're not, but we will tell you some categories that are traditionally good to buy on Black Friday, and some that are not:

Do NOT buy phones, laptops, fitness equipment, or important jewelry. These are not a bargain for Christmas.  Also, stay away from appliances and holiday décor. Buy all these after the holiday, or at another time of the year, for the best prices.

Some categories where you probably WILL find great savings are Smart Home gear and Smart wearables, last year'
s models of gaming systems, sneakers, and designer handbags. You should typically be able to find 40 percent off clothing and accessories. If you're shopping online, that would equate to 30 percent off and free shipping, or you may find deals that offer a giftcard incentive, so be a little flexible.

Do be aware of return policies- a 30 day return policy will mean that buying on Black Friday will make return of a gift opened on Christmas impossible. Read the fine print! Save all your receipts, and be sure to check your credit card activity, too. Unfortunately, this fun and happy time of year is also the time that thieves and crooks are the most prosperous.

At the beginning and the end of your glorious day of shopping and saving, be careful in the parking lot. Be especially cautiousof distracted drivers looking for the best spot. Do find a well-lit area, where there are others parking. Lock your car! Store anything and everything in the trunk, especially shopping bags full of goodies! Walk out with other people, check under your car from a distance, and have your key in your hand when you leave the store. You've heard these all for years, and they are still good advice!

Now get out there, you shopping warrior, and have fun!

Holiday Hours
We will be closed Thursday, November 22, for Thanksgiving Day.  We will be open our normal business hours on Friday, 9 until 6.

Black Friday Bonus
Buy One In Stock Area Rug
Get The Second Rug Free!

Nothing changes and updates a room as quickly and easily as a new area rug.  And we have some beautiful rugs in stock.  Present this newsletter on Black Friday 2018 and save hundreds on new rugs for your home!  (Second rug must be of equal or lesser value)

Design Tip
December decorating can be more than red and green.  Here are a few color combinations you may not have considered:

Brown and green. If you love a traditional, classic take, add brown accents to your green decor. The earthy color brings an elegant look to seasonal decorations, blending especially well with wood and beige tones.

Navy and silver. Navy is practically a neutral and goes well with anything, including Christmas decorations. Mix it with a bit of silver sparkle and white accents for a clean, refreshing look.

Purple and red. Purple has long been known as the color of royalty, so bring a regal touch to your holiday decor by mixing it with red. The dark purple makes the red stand out and is an especially great option in a room full of wood.

I Was FLOORED By Enhance
George in Woodstock writes "We had a great experience----great customer service. Enhance was efficient and fast. They did a beautiful job. They installed hardwood throughout our first floor. I found out about the company through a friend's recommendation. I would rate Enhance as an A+."

We really appreciate you for writing such a nice review and for coming in and getting the FlexiFelt products to protect your new wood floors.  They work really well, don't they?

How Much Does It Cost?
The entire main level of George's home (Family Room, Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, Breakfast Room, Hall, Foyer, Utility Room, and Powder Room) was almost 1100 square feet.  We installed one of our best-selling wide plank hickory engineered wood floors for approximately $8400.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

I Gotta Be Me!

Individuality. That is the word for the coming seasons, for describing what is "IN".
In fashion, in home decor, in retail sales, and in lifestyles in general, the trend is to "Do yo' thing, honey" in the words of Aretha. We have by and large become a nation of non-conformists. We are encouraged to follow our own star, be true to ourselves, to honor what we are.
Thus, it follows that our homes will be a reflection of what we are. Conservative, colorful, playful, or serene, the environment we create to live in is certainly representative of our personality. And this is more and more encouraged in present times. There was a time when we were all much more homogeneous: we decorated alike, we dressed alike, we ate alike. But there is so much more diversity now, and we have learned so much from others' way of living, of dressing, of cooking, so it just naturally follows that we would branch out, try new things, experiment with new colors, new foods, new textures. And our lives have been enriched. Where would we be without pizza, tacos, or French fries?
The current "flow" (because it is so much more than a trend) is to be an individual. We encourage this when you come into our showroom. How boring would it be (and how unnecessary would we be?) if everyone came in and wanted the exact same floors, the exact same bathroom design, or the exact same kitchen remodel? How much fun it is to help a customer plan a new design in their bathroom, picking tiles and designs, and making it all work together! And helping you focus on what you like and don't like! Sometimes it is our job to simply find the physical interpretation of what you see in your mind. Sometimes it is our job to fine tune the whole picture. And sometimes it is our job to pull you back from the brink of unreality, because no, a bathroom that is 60 square feet can simply not have more than 6 different tile patterns, a two-person shower, a tub, a sauna, and a 10-foot vanity, and all for $5,000!
Bold colors, tribal and ethnic patterns, and hand crafted, artisan goods are IN. Live plants are IN. Comfort is definitely IN. (New fashion lines are being referred to as Easy wear!) We are seeing lots of big patterns in tile, and in carpets and rugs. Statement walls and ceilings are a coming thing- paint them or wallpaper them or floor them- why live with boring white on a big percentage of the surfaces that surround you? Go BIG! Here in the south we have painted porch ceilings blue forever, so blue ceilings are nothing new for us. How about purple? Or patterned? You know, it's only paint! If you don't love it, it can be repainted!

And speaking of going big- wide planks are still gaining in popularity. People are loving matte finishes on their wood floors too, and learning that they need less maintenance than glossy floors. We have several big beautiful wood floors that we just love! The new Tuscany Collection from Palmetto Road, the Hand Crafted line from Somerset, and the new Fabrica woods are all just gorgeous- come in and see them!
The RevWood Plus floors are simply unbelievable! 
Waterproof Laminates, and you would swear they are wood! You must see them- they are selling like crazy, because they solve all the big problems- dogs, kids, messy husbands...
For those of you who still love sheet vinyl (count me in) we have a new line by BeauFlor called BlackTex that is stunning! The visuals are very different than any sheet vinyl you have ever seen- really amazing! I am hoping for a resurgence of sheet vinyl-easiest to care for surface ever. And about as moisture resistant as a floor can possibly be.

Regardless of what you love, we are here to help you find and achieve it. Come by today and challenge us!

For Ideas and Inspiration
We find most of our clients are very visual---it is so much easier to describe what we like with picture than with words. The internet offers a lot of tools to help with this, and Enhance Floors & More participates in many. We post pictures of recent installations on our Facebook page and on Instagram. You can get lots of inspiration on Houzz ; be sure to bring your tablet with you so you can show us your Ideabooks, so we can see what you love. And for those of you that use Pinterest, there are lots of great pictures posted on our boards that are sure to inspire you. Or you can simply google "gray carpet in living room" for images that will help you visualize how a product will look in a large area. And don't forget about Room Visualizers---many products on our website offer the option to "see in my room." You first select a specific product, style and color, then upload a picture of YOUR room, and magically, you can view the product you like in your room. Be sure to take advantage of these helpful tools that will make your decision making much easier!

I Was FLOORED By Enhance
Teresa in Sandy Springs writes:

"They installed laminate flooring for me. It was a positive experience. The thing that I liked better about them than some other places is before the floor, the process of how the folks in the showroom would help me, they listened to what I wanted to do. I have pets, I really wanted wood. They steered me in the direction with my big dogs and let me take samples home and try them out, so I liked that. That was my favorite part. And the floors turned out beautiful!"

Thank you, Teresa. We really try to consult with you so that you select the right product for your lifestyle. Let us know when you are ready to do the bedrooms.

How Much Does It Cost?
Laminates have been mentioned in this newsletter a couple of times already.  A few years ago, the experts were predicting their demise. As Mark Twain said quite a few years ago, "the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."  Good quality laminate is still quite popular. To many people, the depth, texture, and realism of laminates is better visually than luxury vinyl (today's hot flooring category) and laminate is more scratch resistant than wood and vinyl.  And it is very affordable, too. We recently installed a master bedroom and guest bedroom plus closets (406 square feet) in a higher end laminate for $2500. This included removal of the existing carpet and pad, furniture moving, new shoemold and transition pieces.  Laminates are a "floating" installation, so you should always expect some floor prep/leveling to be needed, but we are experts at it and do what is needed to give you a quality installation.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Don't Fall Behind This Fall

Image result for fall front door
This year autumn has been rather elusive, hasn't it?  Record setting highs in September, mild mornings and warm evenings, no fall color yet.....but that's all changing! Cooler temperatures and shorter daylight hours have arrived, and now our thoughts turn to things like bonfires, sweaters, and cuddly blankets.  And the holidays. First Halloween (next week!!!) Then Thanksgiving.  After that Christmas and New Year's.  The whirlwind begins!

If you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends this year, advanced planning is a must. Don't let a long Thanksgiving to-do list overwhelm you at the last minute; here are some things to do this week to keep your to-do list under control.

Look for sales at the grocery store and stock up on staple items like paper products and decorations. Purchase some inexpensive toys for the kids in your family (there are some great buys at the dollar store!) to help calm the commotion on Thanksgiving Day.

Assess all your cooking and serving equipment. Do you have enough serving spoons, bowls, pot holders, trivets, etc.? Buy or borrow what you'll need on Thanksgiving Day.

Related imageCreate your menu, make a master grocery list and print it out. Keep in mind the amount of cooking surfaces that you have and cooking times when planning your menu. Plan a few dishes that can be made ahead of time. If any of your guests are bringing food, double check or assign food dishes during the next step.

Create your guest list for Thanksgiving dinner. Check with your invitees to find out if they are bringing guests with them and what food (if any) that everyone is bringing.

Survey your home for any needed minor repairs.

If you'll be having overnight guests during Thanksgiving, inspect your guest room and other guest accommodations to make sure you have enough pillows, blankets, etc.

Clean your house from top to bottom. Wash the serving platters, china and polish the silver. Buy a few live holiday plants and give your houseplants a little TLC.

If you plan to have any food catered or prepared elsewhere for pick-up, place your orders this week.
Pull out and inspect all linens and guest towels that will be in use on Thanksgiving. Launder, press or dry clean if needed.

Prepare any food that can be frozen.

Sharpen all knives. Purge the refrigerator. Place a new bag in the vacuum cleaner and charge the battery on the hand vacuum. Keep your home de-cluttered.

Stock up the beverages you'll be serving and select the music you'll be playing.

Purchase inexpensive plastic food containers for leftover food or for your guests to take food home in.  These are just a few things you can be doing now to get a jump on the busy holiday season.

We Need Your Help
Last year, thanks to your votes, we won Atlanta's Best Place to Shop for Flooring. It's time to vote again and we would really appreciate your vote so that don't relinquish our "crown"!
Here's the link and the quick way to vote for us.  You can vote in as many categories as you wish.
Click here to vote.  We are under Design and Décor and are category #32 Best Flooring Store/Company.  Type in Enhance Floors and More, then go to the end and submit.

You do not need to give any personal information and you can vote every 24 hours until October 31.  

Thank you for taking a quick moment out of your busy day to vote for us!

Design Tip
Swap out your spring/summer rugs (indoors and outdoors) for a patterned rug in darker fall colors-oranges, reds, browns, and purples. It will instantly make the room feel richer and bold.

How Much Does It Cost?
We just warmed up a basement with new carpet, just in time for the family to visit for the holidays.  This client in Alpharetta has a large basement with a great room and bedroom and installed a very plush Lexmark carpet throughout.  The cost was $4200 for 947 square feet of new carpet and padding. It's now an inviting and comfortable space!
I Was FLOORED By Enhance
We just completed some tile work for Maria in Atlanta, and she posted this review on Facebook:  "Enhance Floors is the most outstanding company EVER! Professional, detail oriented, outstanding. My only complaint is I wish I had more flooring projects! I have had two projects that Enhance Floor has done and wish I had more."

Thank you, Maria! We appreciate the opportunity to complete all of your flooring projects.  Enjoy your beautiful home!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Let's start with the good.  You are invited to our fun and fabulous Fall Open House!  It's Tuesday October 16 from 4 til7 pm. Enjoy chili with all the fixings (you can help judge the chili cook-off!), seasonal beverages, see all the great new flooring options and meet with our Vendor Reps to learn more. 

Plus, if you bring 5 items for our Must Ministries Donation Bin you get to spin the wheel to win a great prize, like a restaurant gift card or an area rug. Our events are always lots of fun. Please put this on your calendar and plan on joining us.

Now the bad.  Tariffs. Your first thought is probably no big deal, they don't really affect you.  Wrong. On Monday, September 24, 10 percent tariffs were assessed on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.  Items include networkrouters, computer components, pork and other agricultural goods, a variety of fish including tilapia and some shellfish, many processed foods, chemicals, plastics, leather, wood and wood products, paper, textiles including raw wool and cotton, certain electrical equipment and appliances including refrigerators, vacuum cleaners and air conditioners, parts for autos, trucks and agricultural equipment, building blocks and bricks, even dog leashes, collars, muzzles and harnesses.  And flooring. Hundreds and hundreds of flooring products are made in and imported from China: luxury vinyl, hardwood floors (primarily engineered), ceramic tile, and laminates. The price increase has been pretty much instantaneous.
Now for the ugly.  The tariffs will go up another 15% the first of the year, making the tariff a total of 25%.  That is a lot of money. Here's an example of how the pricing has changed and will change:

COREtec Plus HD was previously $5.20 per square foot for the product.  It is now $5.75. (Our price for basic installation of $2.00 per square foot is unchanged.)  As of the first of the year it will be $6.55. That's a big increase!

We won't make this a political debate.  Even economists disagree on the long-term impact of tariffs.  Good, bad, we don't know. We just know that it has happened. So---if you want new floors, and the product you want is imported from China, it is more expensive today than it was two weeks ago. And if you don't make your purchase by the end of the year, it will be even more expensive.

You can also make it a point to buy only made in the USA items.  The pricing will be much more stable on domestically produced products.  Ask your Enhance Design Consultant to show you our Made in the USA products as you research new flooring options for your home.

Let's end on a good---the vast majority of carpet is domestically produced and is not impacted by the tariffs.  When you purchase new carpet, not only is it made in the USA, it is almost certainly made in Georgia!  Fun fact:  Dalton is considered the Carpet Capital of the World.

Design Tip
There are so many ways to decorate your home in a tasteful and festive way for fall. Pumpkins, gourds, fall foliage, and pine cones are a handful of popular themes that can serve asinspiration. You can mix all of these elements together across your mantle or you can stagger them artfully down your front steps. You can make a fall wreath out of miniature pumpkins. Use all cream for a more modern look or brightly colored orange for more Halloween-centric curb appeal. Or maybe a garland made out of oversize pine cones that incorporates fresh magnolia or greenery secured with florist wire. When decorating for fall, it is best to get the most bang for your buck and pick one look that will carry you through the tailgateHalloween, and Thanksgiving seasons. There's no need to be too holiday specific.

I Was FLOORED By Enhance
Here's what Camille in Roswell tells us about her recent installation: "Enhance Floors was professional and on time, and they did excellent work. It was a really great job. They did what they said they were going to do when they said they would do it, and they cleaned up afterward. We have pets, and there were no issues with keeping doors closed. They were just very reliable and kept everything suited for us. They are clearly an A+. I'd use them again in a heartbeat."

Thanks, Camille, for taking the time to write a review.  We hope you are enjoying your new laminate floors.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Tips To Get Top Dollar

Bathrooms pretty much follow along the guidelines ofkitchens:  refresh, upgrade, or renovate. Bathroom remodels can range anywhere from around $5,000 for a simple update, up to $45,000 to $50,000 for a truly splendid spa bath with lots of special touches. Again, we strongly recommend keeping it reasonable with a few updates if your goal is to sell. Re-tiling the shower, painting or replacing the vanity, new lighting, and maybe a new frameless glass door would make a big difference.
So. This summer you watched houses in your neighborhood go on the market and wondered if it was time to do the same. Some sold as if they were under priced by thousands, and some just sat all summer. What makes one house sell while another doesn't? Well, sometimes it's just the luck of the draw. Sometimes it's the first impression. Sometimes, it is indeed, the price.

But sometimes, there are things that you can do to make your house for sale look better and get you a better price than the other houses for sale in your area. Here is some industry information on what to do, what NOT to do, and how 
much to spend if you do it:

~~Paint in neutral colors
~~Install new flooring
~~Update bathrooms
~~Improve landscaping
~~Remodel the kitchen

A kitchen remodel may seem daunting, but you may not necessarily need to gut the whole thing and start from scratch. If the kitchen is basically in good shape, and just a little dated, you may be able to do a minor remodel, or a "refresh". This may include painting your cabinets, new hardware and plumbing fixtures, new flooring, new backsplash, and/or new countertops. Doing most of these could cost around $10,000 to $15,000.

A more significant remodel may include the previously mentioned items and new lighting, as well as updating some or all of your appliances, and would probably drive your cost up to $15,000 or $25,000, depending on some of your choices of materials. With this level of upgrade, you would not be changing the footprint of the room or installing new cabinets.

A complete renovation would include new cabinetry, new lighting, new floors, new countertops, new backsplash, new EVERYTHING, and may involve a change of footprint. Depending again on materials chosen, this type of major remodel could run as high as $75,000 to $100,000, but usually finishes up closer to the $50,000---$70,000 mark.  Unless your kitchen is just in really awful condition, we would never recommend a complete renovation in order to sell your home. Experts say that spending this amount of money nets a smaller return on investment. So, we would encourage and advise you to just refresh your kitchen to make it more attractive to potential buyers, and let them live with it and decide what big changes they want to make.

Painting in a neutral color seems like a no-brainer, but if you have ever watched HGTV, you know that people will put some crazy colors on their walls! It seems like it is mostly in children's bedrooms, and it is understandable, but when you are putting the house on the market, Junior may need to live with a nice greige for a while.  When choosing a wall color, just choose a cream, light beige, or grey that works with your floors.

When your floors need replacing in order for the house to look its' best and bring you the best return, look at what other homes in your area have. If it is a neighborhood where most have wood floors, then by all means, install wood floors. Make them a medium brown, not shiny, and 3 ¼ to 5 inches wide. Don't choose what you love.  Choose what will sell!

This is something we struggle with occasionally-- customers come in to make a purchase to update the home so that it can be put on the market, and they inevitably want to pick what they like. We try to keep them focused on the point that, bluntly, it doesn't matter what they like, but that their choices need to be totally generic, and appeal to the most people.

We guide our customers to choose a less expensive carpet to put the house on the market unless the house is a million-dollar stunner. Again, chances are the new owners will want to customize the home and make it their own, so why spend more than necessary on carpet that will probably not be in place very long?

There are a few DON'TS that we need to mention here-- several of them reiterate points we have already made:
~~Don't over personalize when you are making improvements.

~~Don't over improve-- don't spend $75,000 on a Chef's kitchen for a $300,000 house. You will never recoup the investment.

~~Don't install a pool or an outdoor kitchen.

~~Don't forget to ask the contractors you interview the following:
Are you licensed? Can you provide a current Certificate ofInsurance? OK with you checking reviews and ratings with the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Google, etc.? Can you provide references that you can speak with, not just quotes on a sheet of paper?

The answer to all of these should be YES! IF the answer to any of these is "No", that is a red flag-- keep looking for another contractor. And if he can start immediately, that is usually a bad sign. Business is booming, and good people have plenty of work. If someone is not busy, you need to wonder why--

So, you want to put your house on the market?  You have a lot to do! Let's get started!

Design Tip
Here are some popular neutral paint color choices for you to consider:
--Sherwin Williams
Accessible Beige
Aloof Gray
Barcelona Beige
Canvas Tan
Essential Gray
Kilim Beige
Passive Gray
Popular Gray
Repose Gray
Requisite Gray
Sedate Gray
Silver Strand

--Benjamin Moore
Bennington Gray
Grant Beige
Lenox Tan
Manchester Tan
Stone House

How Much Does It Cost?
From Home, the cost to paint an average size room (10 x 12) ranges from $380-$790, not including ceilings, trim or cost of the paint. DIY, this can cost between $200-$300.

I Was Floored by Enhance
Suzanne in Marietta is getting her house ready to sell, and we just replaced her carpeting.  Here's what she says about the experience: "I love my new carpet -- had the WHOLE house done at once! The people at Enhance did their best to expedite my installation because I had company coming. I experienced good customer service from beginning to end, and the installation crew rocked it!"
Thank you, Suzanne, we hope you get your house sold quickly for top dollar!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Should You Have Carpet If You Have Allergies?

Many people believe that if you have allergies you should get rid of all of your carpet.  It actually depends on what you are allergic to. Some of the most common things people are allergic to are airborne (carried through the air) including:~~Dust mites are microscopic insects that live all around us and feed on the millions of dead skin cells that fall off our bodies every day. They're the main allergic component of house dust. Dust mites are present year-round in most parts of the United States and live in bedding, upholstery, and carpets.

~~Pollen is a major cause of allergies (a pollen allergy is often called hay fever). Trees, weeds, and grasses release these tiny particles into the air to fertilize other plants. Pollen allergies are seasonal, and the type of pollen someone is allergic to determines when symptoms happen. 

~~Molds are fungi that thrive both indoors and outside in warm, moist environments. Outdoors, molds can be found in poor drainage areas, such as in piles of rotting leaves or compost piles. Indoors, molds thrive in dark, poorly ventilated places such as bathrooms and damp basements. Molds tend to be seasonal, but some can grow year-round, especially those indoors.

~~Pet allergens are caused by pet dander (tiny flakes of shed skin) and animal saliva. When pets lick themselves, the salivagets on their fur or feathers. As the saliva dries, protein particles become airborne and work their way into fabrics in the home. Pet urine also can cause allergies in the same way when it gets on airborne fur or skin, or when a pet pees in a spot that isn't cleaned.
Most carpet sold today is made from harmless materials like polyester and nylon, the same stuff clothes and bags are made from. These synthetic blends are constructed out of lab-developed fibers that repel allergens, in part because they are nonorganic and offer an inhospitable climate. For example, mold has nothing to eat and particulate (pollen, dander, etc.) can be easily vacuumed.  Wool should be avoided because allergens and mold can thrive in it. Regardless of material, avoid shag -- the shorter the strands, the fewer places the particles can go. Also choose carpet with tightly woven strands for the same reason.

But no matter which carpet type you choose, dust, pollen and other allergy-aggravators are still in there, so get rid of them. Vacuum regularly and have your carpets professionally cleaned (hot water extraction) on a regular basis.  Invest in a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, which traps allergens; some vacuums are even equipped with them.

Allergens sink into the carpet and out of the air, but even with frequent vacuuming, they're still down there. Hard floor coverings offer no haven for allergens -- they just sit on the surface. They're easier to clean than carpets -- a simple sweep and vacuum quickly gets rid of allergens.  If you opt out of carpet, however, note that hard surfaces require more frequent cleaning. If not maintained, the result will be a dusty, sneezy environment that is inferior to the allergen-trapping properties of a carpet-covered room.

In short, if you want to sweep/vacuum more frequently, a solid surface may be better. But, if you aren't able to maintain the flooring almost daily, carpet may actually serve you better.
But maybe you have chemical allergies.  There are carpets that are low/no VOC. First, you need to know exactly what chemical(s) you are allergic to.  It is usually the latex that is used in carpet construction that a client is allergic to. Air.o by Mohawk has no VOCs and is latex free.  SmartStrand Forever Clean carpets are made with Dupont Sorona which is OEKO-TEX® certified free from harmful substances. The SmartStrand fiber is also made in part with plant-based materials.  A wool carpet with a woven (axminster) backing is also extremely low in VOCs, as there is no secondary backing and wool is a proven air purifier. A synthetic fiber pad or a rubber waffled pad is usually your best choice for carpet cushion when VOCs are a concern.

Most clients need assistance choosing the best product for their situation.  Enhance Floors & More Design Consultants are trained in the questions to ask to guide you to the right product for your home.  Come see us today!

Design Tip-Transitioning Into Fall
It is still late August, and we just enjoyed a brief moment of cooler weather, and it was wonderful! The kids are all back in school, so our thoughts are turning to making some changes in our homes: putting away all the swim paraphernalia, finding your fire bowl, and making the house generally feel a little more "Fallish."

Image result for fall decor dried hydrangeaThere are several small steps you can take that won't scream autumn, but will start to welcome the season. Start bybringing some natural elements inside-- dried hydrangeas if you have those in the yard, interesting small branches and berries, acorns if you can find some (or were smart enough to snag a few last year and put them away).
Use some of those same items to put together a fall wreath for the front door or a tabletop bouquet. Create a display of acorns, pine cones, pretty leaves, and maybe small pumpkins. You can definitely find artificial ones at the crafts store if there are none in your yard or market.

Next, add a few layering pieces in the house-- a cozy throw on the sofa or over the foot of the bed. Other ways to bring in texture and warmer colors are with linens, pillows, dish towels, and place mats. Little touches in the main rooms of your home can add up to a big "feel" in the whole house! Be sure to also include a small number of metallic accents and deep, saturated color touches.

The last and most all-encompassing element to add is something that evokes the smells of Autumn. Candles, candle warmers, pot pourri, or wall plug-ins-- make them spicy and fruity. Think cinnamon, apples, that fall leaf smell. Not too floral or minty. And just a hint of a scent, not too much. But remember, it's still too early to buy that turkey!

Labor Day is a celebration of the American worker---a tribute to the contributions and achievements of our workforce.  We will be open Saturday, September 1 from 10 until 5. We will then be closed Sunday and Monday.  Enjoy your well deserved holiday!

You Don't Have To Lift A Finger
I listen to a radio commercial most mornings as I drive into work that brags about when this shop-at-home flooring dealer  installs your new floor, you don't have to lift a finger.  That sounds wonderful, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it's not entirely accurate. Per their website: All you have to do is move your nick-nacks.  What does that really involve?

You will need to move small items (decorative items, lamps, plants, TVs, DVD players, and fragile, irreplaceable and/or sentimental items) out of the area being done.  Please clear out closet floors. Strip beds.  Hallways that have hanging or breakable items should be cleared.  Remove any pictures andwall decorations in the area being done, as well as in adjacent areas and rooms beneath the room being covered.  Remove light globes or fluorescent tubes in the areas below the rooms
we are working in.  (Much of our work requires hammering and these items may be jarred and break from the vibration.) If you have a grandfather clock, pool table, piano, organ, or aquarium that requires special handling, please make arrangements to have them moved before the installers arrive. Wall units and entertainment units should be emptied and separated if they are bolted together.  We do not move computers, televisions, stereo systems, and similar items. If the china cabinet or hutch is to be moved, please remove all dishes, crystal, etc.  

Flooring installers are prepared to move furniture, not empty out a bookcase filled with books or unload your china cabinet so that the new flooring can be installed.  Yes, there is prep work that you will need to do prior to your installation. We will tell you what you need to do to get ready, and not surprise you the day of installation by telling you what you must hurridly do before we can get started.  

I Was Floored by Enhance
Stephanie in Roswell writes:
"We used Enhance Floors nine years ago to put hardwood floors in our home. Most recently, they did granite countertops and a backsplash for us. They were on time and cleaned up, and I would say they are excellent."
Thank you, Stephanie.  We are very grateful for our repeat clients.  Enjoy your "new" kitchen!

How Much Does It Cost?
We recently installed a new quartz countertop in a smallish Marietta kitchen with a simple subway tile backsplash for a little less than $4400 for both.  We installed new luxury vinyl floors in the kitchen last year, and the cabinets still looked great---the new countertop and backsplash truly made our clients kitchen look brand new!