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Monday, December 30, 2013

Don & Elisabeth
Design Consultants:
Wanda, Mallory, Robin & Jim

Installation Department:
Debra, Don & Robin

Best of Atlanta 2013
We are thrilled to tell you that Enhance Floors and More was named a Best of 2013 winner on, a leading source for local business information and consumer reviews. Over 5 million local businesses competed across a wide range of categories including home, auto, health and professional services. Winners were determined based on thousands of votes from consumers in Atlanta. We received the top honor!
Thank you for your support.  We could not have done it without your votes!
2014 Design Trends
Hopefully you will find a few minutes during the holidays for some much needed resting and relaxing.  And if you are like us, you will take advantage of this down time to start thinking about some home decorating projects for next year.  Here are some design trends to look for in 2014:
~~~The bold and the beautiful: while designers may disagree on what constitutes some trends in 2014, on one subject they all agree:  Bright colors are most certainly “in.”  Expect to see bold shades of pink, blue, green, and red used as the big burst of color in the room.
 ~~~Still back to nature:  while stone, metal, and wood will still be popular, expect a more relaxed feel and rounded designs with earth shades and raw metal finishes. 
~~~Show your personality:  whether it’s bold use of color or accessories, don’t be afraid to express your personality.  Jeweled colors, gilded frames, and layered textiles will be methods of self-expression in 2014.
~~~Rub a dub dub, no one in a tub:  showers are becoming more popular than tubs.  Larger showers with benches, multi-head showers, and overhead rain showers are trending.  If clients are looking for that tub experience in 2014, it’s likely they will look for a free standing tub as a structural element, which takes up much less space in the room than the old tiled-in tub deck.
~~~Bland is bad:  look for geometric and floral patterns in soft 
accessories such as drapes, throw rugs and cushions. And you no longer have to play it safe sticking with solid color floor coverings. Patterned carpets are a stylish way to give your home a fresh, modern look.
~~~We’re all in this together:  more multigenerational features will be incorporated homes to help better accommodate more people living under one roof, such as aging parents and boomerang kids. For example, features like wall mounted sinks for wheelchairs, walk-in bathtubs, and motion sensing faucets are expected to grow in demand.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Easy Holiday Survival Tips

This is a crazy busy time of year.  Here are a few of our favorite ideas and tips to help you stay calm and enjoy the holidays:
~~Keep a couple of packages of frozen cookie dough on hand to pop in the oven when you have unexpected guests.
 ~~Yummmm, we all love the smells of the holidays.  Keep a simmer pot going with cloves, nutmeg, and other spices to give your home a fragrant holiday smell.
~~For quick and easy decorating purchase a holiday rug.  These are the perfect size for your foyer, kitchen or in front of the tree or fireplace.  We have a nice selection of styles for $49.
~~Set aside a single place to collect receipts throughout the season for returning or exchanging items. Update your budget list as you make purchases so you do not overspend.
~~Once school is out, the kids will be bored.  Create an inexpensive family tradition---purchase a ready-made wreath of greens and then gather items to decorate it. Use pine cones, ribbons, crystals, feathers, beaded garland or homemade paper snowflakes.
~~Use lots of candles. Nothing makes a room feel warmer and more inviting than candlelight.  Plus if unexpected company arrives, it is not as easy to see the dust in a dimly lit room!
~~Have pets?  Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their crate or in a separate room away from the hubbub.
~~Looking to stuff your pet's stockings? Choose gifts that are safe.  Dogs have been known to
tear their toys apart and swallow the pieces. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible. Long, stringy things are a feline's dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that's too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or an interactive cat dancer—and tons of play sessions together.
~~Feeling cozy is as mental as it is physical. Add a touch of nostalgia to create coziness. ‘Tis the season for sentimentality. Put out some Santa pieces or other family “heirlooms” on a buffet, and keep treats, sweets and cookies out so that the casual nibbler can enjoy themselves. Make a pot of hot cocoa to welcome your family into the kitchen.

Watch The Progress
We are almost finished with a big kitchen makeover and also have two bathroom updates in progress.  (Yes, Don is very busy overseeing these projects!)   We are posting pictures of our progress on Enhance Floors & Mores Facebook page.  Please check them out and let us know what you think about the results. 

Fashion: What's Hot
If you are shopping for clothing for gifts this holiday season, and have no idea what’s to buy, here’s a quick list of the “in” looks:
~~Punk looks
~~Checks, plaids, and tartans
~~Emerald green, grey, and blue shades
~~Winter white
~~Beanies and knit caps
~~Prints---bright colored and animal

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Before You Go Out Of Town

Many of us will be going away for the holidays.  Here are some tips to make your home more burglar proof:
~~Put your newspaper and mail on hold
~~Put your lights on a timer Also leave the light over the stove on all the time, as the kitchen is one room that tends to have lights on the most.
~~Leave a stereo on a talk radio station
~~Drapes There is some debate about leaving drapes open or closed. Some maintain that by closing them you indicate that you are not at home. Others feel that by leaving them open in order to look like you are at home you invite look-ins by potential burglars. Still others recommend a combination, leaving some open (that look into rooms where there is little of value) while closing others (those that look into what should be occupied rooms.) A nice compromise is to leave upstairs curtains open while first floor drapes shut. Whatever your decision remove expensive and inviting items from view from outside the window.
~~Park your car in the drive way This is another debated tactic. Some highly recommend it to make it look like someone is home. Others maintain that a car that doesn't move is a tip off. Still others recommend offering your neighbor a place to park.
~~Padlock all gates Make your backyard inaccessible. Padlocking your gates when you are at home can be inconvenient, but the advantages of doing it while you are on vacation are great. It not only makes getting into the 
backyard more difficult (not impossible mind you, just difficult), but it seriously hinders getting out while carrying items like stereos and computers. This difficulty level serves as a strong deterrent.
~~Let a neighbor know where you are going and leave a contact number and a key
~~Make sure all doors and windows are locked before you leave.  Make sure the alarm system is armed As obvious as this may sound, quite often in the rush to get out the door this can be overlooked. 
Best Black Friday Deals
Black Friday is almost here.  In fact, many stores have already begun offering their Black Friday deals.  Clark Howard tells us that some of the best deals will be on:
 ~~LCD HD televisions
~~iPads:  Minis, Air
~~iPhone 5C
~~Beats by Dr. Dre headphones
~~Cuisinart cookware sets 
     and other kitchenware
~~Keurig single serve coffee brewers
~~video games, DVDs, movies
~~laptops and computers
Best Of Atlanta
We just got a notice that we are a finalist for "Best of Atlanta 2013" Wow! But we need more votes to win. Please, if you have not voted for us yet, please vote now. You can win an iPad. Here's the link and thank you!!
Clearance Rugs
To make room for our Christmas rugs we have marked down many of our area rugs.  A new rug is a quick and easy update for your room, and at these clearance prices very affordable, too.  We have rugs as low as $29.  Hurry in for the best selection.
Comfy Chairs
Are you shopping for new chairs for your kitchen or dining room?  Experts do not recommend shopping online because this is an item that you need to comfort test before buying.  How many times have you sat down at a friend's island or raised bar, only to fidget and readjust your seat because you can't get comfortable?  It's hard to concentrate on good food and conversation when you can't get comfortable!  Bar stools come in several heights, so make sure they are right for your counter height.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

To Steam or Not to Steam

Lately there are a lot of television commercials for steam mops, and these products are displayed prominently in every big box store you go into.  They say steam mops can be used "safely" on hardwood, laminate, and tile floors, but we thought we would dig a little deeper and see what the flooring manufacturers said.  Here are a few of the answers we found:

Mirage: Steam cleaners are not recommended for use on Mirage floors. Mirage floors are created by installing a number of individually sealed boards. Moisture from the cleaning machine could potentially get between the boards and damage the floor.   

Mohawk Flooring: Do not use hardwood floor-cleaning or buffing machines or steam cleaner.   

QuickStep Laminate: Never steam clean your laminate floor.

Armstrong/Bruce Hardwood & Laminate Flooring: NEVER CLEAN WITH STEAM CLEANERS. This may permanently damage the floor.

National Wood Floor Association (NWFA): Using steam or excessive water may damage a wood floor.   

National Laminate Flooring Association (NLFA): Does not endorse the use of Steam Cleaning machines on Laminate flooring.   

World Floor Covering Association (WFCA): We cannot find a manufacturer of either laminate flooring or hardwood flooring that will recommend the use of Steam Cleaning equipment on their floors. To clean and maintain your hardwood or laminate flooring, sweeping and/or using a vacuum cleaner (without the beater bar used for vacuuming carpet) should be sufficient. Occasionally clean with a mop (micro-fiber or terrycloth hooded for laminate floors) slightly moistened with a cleaning product recommended by the flooring manufacturer.   
Some manufactures even state that the use of a steam mop voids the product warranty. Steam can be very dangerous not only to the product but also to the adhesives, grout, and setting materials.  You have to always remember these companies want to sell their product.  Unless they guarantee that it won't harm your surfaces and will replace your floor if it is ruined you really can't trust them! 

Is Painting In Your Plans?
Painting is one of the least expensive updates for your home---truly a do-it-yourself project for most of us.  Here are a few color ideas from House Beautiful to consider:
Benjamin Moore Grant Beige HC-83
"My standby is Grant Beige. It's like a favorite pair of worn khakis. It works with modern spaces and traditional ones.  If you want to keep your palette clean with whites, creams, and accents of black, it becomes very architectural, or you can warm it up with soft reds, blues, and greens."  

Behr Tropical Tide 520D-5
"Blue has been a top mover and now greens are edging ahead, and this color is the bridge between them - a beautiful turquoise blue that makes you feel as if you're in a warm, sunny place. It's like an instant getaway."

Benjamin Moore Sea Haze 2137-50
"Gray has been so popular, and now we're seeing complex grays with an undertone of color. This one has a hint of green. We've gone through a cleansing of the palette-people want quieter surroundings with just a pop of color, and gray works very well with yellow, which is also trending."

Pittsburgh Paints Turning Oakleaf ATC-38  "The color we see trending in all markets, from automotive to textiles, is a pale, luminous yellow. Soft, but with real presence and an optimistic, enlightened vibe. It's a feel-good color."

Classic French Gray SW 007
"We're beiged out, and that's driving the gray palette, which is going mainstream now. Gray is elegant, sophisticated, and it works so beautifully with natural materials like wood and linen."

In My Pajamas
Another quick and easy refresh for your home is a new area rug.  If there is not enough time (or money!) before the holidays to replace your worn and stained carpet or to refinish your hardwood floors, get a room sized rug.  There are thousands to choose from; you will certainly find one perfect for your décor and budget.  And the great thing is you can shop for your new rug from the comfort of your home, even in your pajamas. Here's a quick link to Shaw Living Area Rugs to get you started:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thanksgiving Is Fast Approaching

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 deals on toys 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.
--Create your menu, make a master grocery listand 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.

What's New At Enhance

Recent arrivals in the Design Center include these great new looks:

~~Armstrong laminate Architectural Remnants.  These great looking styles duplicate expensive reclaimed hardwood floors. Some of our favorites are Sawmill Oak, Textured Timbers, and Milk Paint.
~~Tonal carpets from Mohawk.  Not everyone likes strongly flecked carpets; these new selections feature a blend of closely related color tones and shades for a subtle look that is not bland or boring.

 ~~New hardwood floor styles from Palmetto Road and CFS.  Choose from unique looks like French bleeds, "tiger" strand woven bamboo, and handscraped birch.  And the best part of these new products are the prices--- these are great values!
~~Lexmark has just introduced two new striated "loop-cut-loop" styles.  We think these subtle patterns are going to be the next big thing in patterned carpets.
~~A backsplash is an easy update to have completed before the holidays.  Be sure to take a look at the new porcelain tile Charbonneau by Mohawk.  It comes in a 4" x 8" subway tile with a natural stone visual.  You will love the old world Tuscan styling of this beautiful tile. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

You Don't Have To Spend A Lot Of Money

It seems that many of our recent newsletters have been about expensive projects, like bathroom remodels and pricey updates to you home.  Not every project has to cost a lot of money; there are many things you can do around your house that are well within even the smallest budget.  For example, you can for:

Less than $100
~~update the paint in a room (or multiple rooms)
~~new bathroom accessories, like a new shower curtain and plush towels
~~new window treatments: inexpensive sheers, drapes, valances
~~reupholster your dining room chairs (this is an easy do-it-yourself project)
~~enjoy the outdoors with a new chiminea or patio fire pit
~~splurge on new small kitchen appliances like a coffeemaker, toaster oven, or electric skillet.  Today's models take up less space and do much more than older models
~~new artwork or wall mirror
~~update your décor with a new tablecloth and runner, placemats if you use them
~~new bedspread and shams (and don't we all need new pillows!)
 ~~rent a pressure washer and make the exterior of your house and your deck look brand new

Less than $500
~~new gas logs for your fireplace
~~purchase a room-sized area rug.  If your carpet is worn out and stained, a new rug is much less money than new carpet
~~if you have boring recessed lights in your dining and living rooms, consider replacing one of the room's lights with an eye-catching chandelier. Home stores offer a wide range of inexpensive, but nice-looking, ceiling fixtures these days
~~for a few hundred dollars, you can replace the kitchen faucet set, add new cabinet door handles and update old lighting fixtures with brighter, more energy-efficient ones
~~upgrading to a new toilet in a bathroom is a valuable addition for not a lot of money.  Some municipalities even give you a rebate for replacing an old toilet with a new water saving model
~~update your closets with new rods and shelves

Less than $1000
~~a new front door
~~new stone backsplash in your kitchen
~~replace an appliance or two
~~a comfortable new sofa or recliner for the family room
~~recarpet your staircase.  Patterned carpets are great for a staircase---the print hides stains and wear, and is a wow factor in your highly visible stairwell

Less than $1500
~~replacing your garage door boosts curb appeal and improves a significant portion of the front of your home for little money
~~new wrought iron balusters for your staircase
~~sleep better with a new mattress set
~~new carpet and pad for the family room

Less than $2500
~~if you have a small kitchen, new granite or quartz countertops
~~replace the carpet on your staircase with real hardwood stair treads and risers
~~new carpet and padding for your bedrooms
~~new hardwood floor for your family room or kitchen

National Karastan Month
If new carpet is on your list of "things to get done before the holidays" you will be happy to know it is National Karastan Month.   All Karastan carpets are eligible for 24 Month Zero Interest Financing plus you will receive a rebate up to $1000 on your purchase.  Come in today and see our large selection of Karastan carpets and live beautifully!

Word to the Wise
We just got a call from a panicked appliance repair company.  Their technician had moved the refrigerator in a client's home and had scratched the hardwood floors.  And of course there is no easy (cheap) solution to this type of damage.  Please...... when it is necessary to move your refrigerator (or anything else really heavy) first place protective floor mats (bed sheets will also work) over your hardwood floors along the path you'll be using.  Then lay quarter-inch plywood over the protective floor mats.  Place the refrigerator onto an appliance dolly.  Strap the appliance to the dolly and roll the refrigerator over the protective mats and plywood sheets.  These extra steps will definitely save you an expensive repair or the replacement of your hardwood floors!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dreaming Of A New Bathroom?

Are you considering a bathroom update?  Maybe you are tired of the dated look and fixtures that were popular when your home was built years and years ago, or you want to make your bathroom more functional and practical, or you want a spa-like retreat where you can relax and unwind.  Sometimes our clients remodel because they have a leak, and walls need to be torn out for the repair, so why not upgrade the bath at the same time.  Or maybe you are putting your house on the market soon, and you know that updated bathrooms have one of the highest returns on investment (93%) when the house sells.

Regardless of your situation, many of us want a new bathroom, but we don't know where to start.  We have compiled a list of the most common questions our clients have about bathroom remodels to assist you in planning the bathroom you've been waiting for.  Hope this helps!

1.What are some of the bathroom design trends?
  • Large tile.  We rarely see the traditional 4" x 4" bathroom tiles used anymore.  Look for tiles at least 12 x 12 or 13 x 13.  Rectangular shapes (for example 12 x 24) are being used on the walls, sometimes installed vertically, sometimes horizontally.  Texture and shade variation is also very much on trend.
  • For color, neutrals are the top color schemes used in bathrooms: whites, off-whites, beiges and bones. Grays and then browns are next in popularity. Sepia tones (reddish brown) and golds are also popular.
  • Large, walk-in showers are very desirable. They can have a rainfall showerhead that is mounted into the ceiling over the center of the shower. They may also include multiple body jets spaced along each side wall.
  • Spa-themed bathrooms with whirlpool or soaking tubs. Some issues to consider when choosing a whirlpool tub for your spa bathroom include how many jets you want, what space the tub needs to fit into, and that these types of bathtubs are about five to ten times more expensive than a traditional tub. If you have room, it's nice to put the whirlpool in a small, recessed alcove or on a raised platform to separate it from the rest of the bathroom.
  • Larger vanities with double sinks.  A standard double vanity is sixty inches long; we are seeing more clients make space for a seventy-two inch vanity.   If you're willing to spend a little extra for custom work, you can have any length (and shape) that you want.
  • If you have to share your retreat, you may want a toilet that is separated by a half-wall, or even its own tiny room.
  • Today's lighting options include chandeliers instead of standard overhead light fixtures, wall sconces, can lights installed in the ceiling with dimmer switches, and an overhead light source in the shower.
  • Plenty of cabinet space and shelving.
  • Plumbing fixtures that are practical as well as beautiful. Brushed stainless steel and nickel fixtures blend in with almost any type of decorating, and are subdued enough to avoid drawing attention.
2. How do I know what I want my bathroom to look like?
This is either the fun or the agonizing part of the process.  We recommend websites like Pinterest and Houzz where you can see literally thousands of pictures of bathrooms.  You can create boards and idea books of the bathrooms that you like.  Vendor websites, new subdivision model homes, and manufacturer showrooms (Ferguson, PDI, etc.) are also great sources for ideas.  We are here to assist you every step of the way, however, most of the design decisions are truly personal preference.  And remember a picture is worth a thousand words----if we can see it, we can help you find it!
Click below to see our favorite designs!
       3.What types of tiles can I use in my bathroom remodel?

Ceramic and porcelain tiles are the most popular type of bathroom tile. Most are economical, durable and come in an enormous variety of colors and styles.  There are many choices of   floor tile, coordinating or contrasting wall tile, and borders and mosaics.Natural stone (travertine, marble, etc.) is also a popular choice (but expensive!)  as a bathroom tile. While marble has always been a favorite for creating a distinctive vanity top, many home owners are now using stone tiles on their bathroom floors and walls, creating a sumptuous home spa look in the bathroom.  Be aware that natural stone requires special maintenance products and periodic sealing.
4.How long will the job take?

Bathroom remodels can take as little as one week and as long as three weeks.  The complexity of the tear out, installation details and size of the bathroom are all things that effect the range of time you can expect your bathroom makeover to take.  

5.Will I be able to use my bathroom during the remodel?

No, the bathroom should be considered off limits for the entire time of the installation.

6.I want to have my tub removed and have a bigger shower.  What do you think about that?

This is definitely a trend we are seeing.  Some people feel that a shower is easier and safer to get into and out of as we age.  Bathroom designers and realtors tend to agree that removing the bathtub is acceptable as long as there is at least one tub remaining in the home.  A prospective home buyer usually wants a bathtub somewhere in the house. 

7.What is the process?

An Enhance Design Consultant will meet with you in the showroom to discuss the scope of your project.   We will assist you in our Design Center with tile selection and will schedule appointments for you to visit our vendor partners for fixture and hardware selection.  Next an Estimator will come to your home and your quotation will be prepared.  Once all the details are finalized you are well on the way to making your dream bathroom a reality!

8.What is a frameless shower door?

A frameless shower enclosure is made up of 3/8" to 1/2" tempered and polished safety glass. This glass has greater strength and does not require heavy metal framing around it. Expect to pay $1,300--$2,000 for your frameless glass door.

9.What is the cost of a shower niche and bench?

Shower benches range from about $325-400.  A shower niche can range from $150-200.

10. I want my shower to have a flat entrance.  Is that possible?

Yes.  It is called a curbless shower.  A curbless shower is one that has a consistently level entrance, with no lip or change in elevation from the outside to the inside. There are some installation details that must be taken into consideration for a curbless shower that will add to the cost of your project.

11. How much does a bathroom remodel cost?

        In 2012 a major bathroom remodel cost an average of $26,052.  An industry             average price   per square foot for a professionally done bathroom remodel                 ranges $175 to $225 per square foot on the low end and over $600 per square           foot for a luxury bathroom. For a 5 x 8 bathroom (40 square feet) that is a
        range of $7,000 to $24,000. 

Why such a big range?  Because there are many components to a bathroom remodel, and each item has a wide range in quality and price.   For example, a toilet can cost $100 or over $5,000, tub prices range between $125 to over $10,000, and even something "simple" like shower heads vary from $5 to $10,000. 

12. How much is the shower here in your showroom?

The shower in our Design Center as you see it is approximately $3500 to $4000 installed.  This includes the porcelain tile, decorative border, "river rock" shower floor, shower niche, backer board, new pan and liner, and the required waterproofing.  (This design does not feature a glass door.)

13 . What do I need to purchase?

Normally our clients provide the fixtures (toilet, tub) and hardware (showerheads, faucets, and drains), mirrors, medicine cabinets, towel bars, and toilet paper holders.  Other items that you may choose to provide are the vanity, sinks, and storage cabinets or shelves.   We can provide the countertop and sinks if not included with your vanity.  Enhance provides the installation labor, as well plumbing, electrical, shower doors, and painting.  This list is not totally encompassing, but should give you a good idea of what else you will need to shop for.  (Note:  we cannot begin the demolition of your bathroom until all of the materials that you are providing are on the job site.)

14.What can I expect different items to cost?

The NKBA breaks down bathroom remodeling costs like this:
·  Installation: 20%
·  Cabinetry and hardware: 16%
·  Fixtures: 15%
·  Faucets and plumbing: 14%
·  Flooring: 9%
·  Countertops: 7%
·  Walls and ceilings: 5%
·  Lighting and ventilation: 5%
·  Design fees: 4%
·  Doors and windows: 4%
·  Other: 1%

These figures are guidelines, not rules, and each project is different. Using these percentages and a bathroom remodel budget of $20,000 you will spend by category:
Installation (labor) $4000
Cabinetry and hardware $3200
Fixtures $3000
Faucets and plumbing $2800
Flooring $1800
Countertops $1400
Lighting and ventilation $1000
Walls and ceilings $1000
All other $1800

Also set aside a minimum of 10% of the budget as a contingency fund (in case of unforeseen structural problems, for example.)