Stained Deck Color Options

Level Up Your Outdoor Game: Expert Tips for Choosing the Right Deck Stain Color

Picture this: a warm summer evening, a glass of lemonade in hand, and the gentle creak of your favorite rocking chair as you relax on your beautifully stained deck. Ah, the joys of outdoor living! But before you can kick back and savor those moments, there’s an important decision to make: choosing the right deck stain color for your outdoor space. As seasoned painting contractors with a passion for enhancing outdoor living, we at Patrick’s Painting & Home Improvement are here to guide you through the process. Let’s dive in!

Understanding Your Outdoor Space

Assessing the Architecture and Surroundings

When it comes to selecting the perfect deck stain color, it’s essential to take cues from your home’s architecture and surroundings. Consider the style of your home—is it traditional, modern, or perhaps a charming cottage nestled in the woods? For example, if you reside in a quaint colonial home surrounded by lush greenery, opting for a classic cedar or mahogany stain can complement the rustic charm of your abode.

Considering Existing Color Palette

Deck Steps
Take a stroll around your outdoor space and observe the colors already present. Are there vibrant flowers in your garden? Rich earth tones in your landscaping? These elements can influence your deck stain color choice. Remember, harmony is key—your deck stain should seamlessly blend with the natural hues of your surroundings.

Identifying Personal Preferences and Style

Your outdoor space is an extension of your home and personality. Do you lean towards timeless elegance or prefer to make a bold statement with color? Think about the mood you want to evoke when relaxing on your deck. For instance, if you’re drawn to serene, coastal vibes, consider shades of soft blue or gray reminiscent of tranquil ocean waters.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Stain Color

Wood Type and Grain Pattern

The type of wood used for your deck can significantly impact the final look of your deck stain color. For example, cedar boasts a natural reddish hue, while pine tends to be lighter in color. Additionally, pay attention to the grain pattern—some woods, like oak, feature pronounced grain that can add depth and character to your deck’s appearance.

Sun Exposure and Climate Considerations

Living in Virginia means experiencing a range of weather conditions, from scorching summers to chilly winters. When selecting a deck stain color, consider how much sunlight your deck receives and the climate in your region. Opt for UV-resistant stains that offer protection against fading and weathering, ensuring your deck maintains its beauty for years to come.

Complementing Your Home’s Exterior

Your deck should harmonize with the exterior of your home, creating a cohesive and inviting outdoor space. Take cues from the colors of your siding, trim, and roof when choosing a deck stain color. For example, if your home features warm, earthy tones, a rich chestnut or coffee-colored stain can enhance its curb appeal.

Creating a Cohesive Outdoor Environment

Your deck doesn’t exist in isolation—it’s part of a larger outdoor environment. Consider how your deck connects with other outdoor features, such as patios, walkways, and landscaping. Aim for a cohesive color scheme that ties everything together, creating a unified and visually appealing outdoor oasis.

Exploring Stain Color Options

Natural Wood Tones

There’s something timeless and inviting about the natural beauty of wood. Opting for a transparent or semi-transparent stain allows the grain and texture of the wood to shine through, enhancing its inherent warmth and character. Behr offers a range of natural wood tone stains, from Golden Cedar to Redwood, that can elevate the look of your deck while providing protection against the elements.

Neutral Tones

Neutral deck stain colors are a popular choice for their versatility and understated elegance. Shades like Chestnut Brown and Slate Gray can complement a variety of architectural styles and color palettes, offering a timeless appeal that never goes out of style. Plus, neutral stains provide a cohesive backdrop for outdoor furniture and decor, allowing your personal style to take center stage.

Bold and Vibrant Hues

For those who crave a pop of color and personality, consider stepping outside the box with bold stain hues. Behr’s collection of solid color stains offers an array of vibrant options, from Pacific Blue to Barn Red, that can infuse your deck with energy and charm. Just be sure to test samples in your outdoor space to ensure the color complements your home and surroundings.

Semi-Transparent vs. Solid Stains

When it comes to deck stain opacity, it’s essential to strike a balance between visibility and protection. Semi-transparent stains allow the natural beauty of the wood to show through while providing moderate UV protection and water resistance. On the other hand, solid stains offer more substantial coverage and protection against weathering, making them ideal for high-traffic areas or decks with significant sun exposure.

Practical Tips for Selecting the Right Stain Color

Testing Samples in Different Lighting Conditions

Colors can appear differently depending on the time of day and lighting conditions. Before committing to a deck stain color, test samples on your deck and observe how they look in various lighting—from bright sunlight to soft evening glow. This will help you make an informed decision and avoid any surprises once the stain is applied.

Consulting with a Professional Contractor

As experienced painting contractors, we understand that choosing the right deck stain color can feel daunting. That’s why we’re here to lend our expertise and guidance every step of the way. Whether you’re unsure about which stain color suits your home or need advice on proper application techniques, we’re committed to helping you achieve the deck of your dreams.

Considering Long-Term Maintenance and Durability

In addition to aesthetics, it’s essential to consider the practical aspects of deck maintenance and durability. Behr’s premium stains are formulated to withstand Virginia’s climate, offering superior protection against UV rays, mold, and moisture. By investing in a high-quality stain and following proper maintenance protocols, you can enjoy a beautiful and long-lasting deck for years to come.

Keeping in Mind the Resale Value of Your Home

While it’s essential to choose a deck stain color that reflects your personal style and preferences, it’s also wise to consider the resale value of your home. Neutral stain colors tend to have broad appeal among potential buyers, making your home more marketable should you decide to sell in the future. Ultimately, striking a balance between personal taste and marketability ensures that your deck investment pays off in the long run.

Applying the Chosen Stain Color

Preparing the Deck Surface for Staining

Before applying deck stain, it’s crucial to properly prepare the deck surface to ensure optimal adhesion and longevity. This includes cleaning the deck thoroughly to remove dirt, mildew, and previous coatings, as well as repairing any cracks or damage. Behr offers a range of premium deck cleaners and conditioners designed to prepare your deck for staining, ensuring professional-quality results.

Applying the Stain Evenly for Optimal Results

When it comes to applying deck stain, technique is key. Use a high-quality brush, roller, or sprayer to ensure even coverage and avoid lap marks or streaks. Work in small sections, applying the stain in the direction of the wood grain and maintaining a wet edge to prevent overlap. Behr’s easy-to-apply stains are formulated for smooth and uniform application, allowing you to achieve professional results with ease.

Proper Drying and Curing Process

After applying the deck stain, allow ample time for drying and curing before enjoying your newly transformed deck. Depending on the weather conditions and type of stain used, this process typically takes 24-48 hours. Avoid walking or placing furniture on the deck during this time to prevent smudges or damage to the finish. Once fully cured, your deck will be ready to withstand the elements and provide years of enjoyment.

Maintenance Tips for Preserving the Stain’s Longevity

To maintain the beauty and durability of your stained deck, it’s essential to implement a regular maintenance routine. This includes periodic cleaning to remove dirt, debris, and mildew, as well as inspecting for any signs of wear or damage. Behr offers a range of deck maintenance products, including cleaners, strippers, and sealers, to help protect and preserve your investment. By staying proactive with maintenance, you can extend the life of your stain and keep your deck looking its best for years to come.


Choosing the right deck stain color for your deck is a decision that requires careful consideration and attention to detail. By understanding your outdoor space, exploring stain color options, and implementing practical tips for selection and application, you can create a dreamy deck that enhances your home’s beauty and invites you to savor the joys of outdoor living. Whether you prefer the timeless elegance of natural wood tones, the versatility of neutral hues, or the bold statement of vibrant colors, Behr’s premium stains offer endless possibilities for transforming your outdoor space into a haven of comfort and style. At Patrick’s Painting & Home Improvement, we’re here to help you every step of the way, from inspiration to installation. Let’s turn your deck dreams into reality!

Bonus: Behr’s Stain Color of the Year

We’re excited to announce that Behr has released their stain color of the year, TUGBOAT. This rich and versatile shade adds depth and sophistication to any outdoor space, making it the perfect choice for your deck transformation. Consider incorporating TUGBOAT into your deck stain color palette for a stylish and on-trend look that will stand the test of time.

Unlocking Education Funds: Flipping Houses for Tuition

Returning to academia as an adult presents unique challenges, chief among them being the financial implications. For those seeking innovative ways to finance this venture, the realm of real estate, particularly flipping houses, emerges as a compelling strategy. By harnessing the potential of property investments, not only can adults secure funding for their education, but they can also craft a sustainable source of income for the future. Read on for some insights from Patrick’s Painting.

Craft a Comprehensive Plan

Venturing into house flipping without a robust plan is akin to sailing without a compass. A meticulously crafted plan, encompassing budget estimates, renovation scopes, and anticipated market trends, provides a guiding light. Incorporating contingencies for unexpected hurdles or market shifts further strengthens this plan. By setting milestones and regularly revisiting this roadmap, investors can adjust their strategies in real-time, ensuring optimal resource allocation. This dynamic planning approach mitigates risks and paves the way for success, both academically and financially.

Inspect Properties Thoroughly

Understanding a house’s foundational and superficial issues is pivotal. FastExpert notes that comprehensive property inspections reveal hidden challenges, be it structural weaknesses or outdated plumbing. With this insight, investors can gauge the scope of renovations, thus avoiding unforeseen expenditures down the line. Additionally, an accurate evaluation can strengthen negotiation positions, potentially leading to reduced acquisition costs. In essence, a rigorous inspection sets the stage for informed decision-making and optimized returns on investment.

Digitize Real Estate Documents

In today’s digital age, streamlined operations are a game-changer. By digitizing all real estate paperwork, investors ensure swift access to pivotal data. You can use optical character recognition (OCR) software to extract text from images easily and to deploy OCR to save documents as PDFs. This digital shift eliminates manual searches through extensive files, promoting efficiency and reducing potential oversights.

With cloud-based solutions, access to these documents becomes possible from any location, facilitating seamless collaboration and decision-making on the go. Additionally, leveraging digital platforms can lead to better organization, categorization, and even automated reminders for crucial deadlines or renewals. Furthermore, secure digital storage safeguards against document loss or damage, offering peace of mind and enhancing operational robustness.

Prioritize Undervalued Properties

The cornerstone of profitable house flipping lies in the acquisition phase. By pinpointing distressed or undervalued properties, investors carve out substantial profit avenues. Beyond auctions and estate sales, networking with local real estate agents can uncover lucrative deals. Familiarizing oneself with regional property trends and being receptive to off-market opportunities can further widen the net of potential investments.

It’s also advantageous to build relationships with property evaluators, ensuring that each acquisition is a calculated decision rooted in real-time market dynamics. These acquisition strategies, when coupled with sound market research, establish a buffer against unplanned renovation costs and market fluctuations, bolstering the venture’s overall profitability.

Elevate the Kitchen

Transforming a kitchen can dramatically elevate a home’s appeal. Beyond aesthetic enhancements, consider updating fixtures or introducing energy-efficient appliances. Integrating smart kitchen technology, such as touchless faucets or programmable cooktops, can further enhance functionality and appeal. Spatial reconfiguration, if feasible, can also optimize the flow and usability of the space.

These additions not only charm potential buyers with modern amenities but also promise long-term savings and sustainability. Furthermore, a well-designed kitchen resonates emotionally, painting a picture of family dinners and festive gatherings, making the property even more enticing.

Tailor Renovations to Attract Potential Buyers

Every house tells a story, and curating this narrative effectively can be the difference between a quick sale and prolonged market listing. Recognizing the predominant buyer demographic for a given neighborhood and tailoring renovations accordingly is paramount. points out that staying updated on current design trends and buyer preferences further refines the property’s appeal.

Additionally, understanding and incorporating eco-friendly or sustainable features can attract a broader audience in today’s environmentally conscious market. For instance, properties in serene locales might beckon retirees, warranting designs that emphasize comfort and accessibility.

Conversely, urban dwellings might be more appealing to millennials, where tech integrations and modern aesthetics take precedence. By weaving a compelling story through design, investors can capture the imagination of potential buyers, ensuring their property stands out in a competitive market.

Add a Touch of Paint

Painting is a highly effective and transformative aspect of home renovations, offering numerous benefits. Firstly, it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to revamp a space, providing a significant visual impact at a relatively low cost compared to other renovation projects. Painting can dramatically alter the appearance and ambiance of a room, enabling homeowners to keep up with current design trends or personalize their space according to their tastes.

Additionally, the right choice of paint can enhance the lighting of a room, making spaces feel more open and inviting. From a practical standpoint, painting serves as a form of protection for surfaces, safeguarding walls from moisture, dust, and wear over time. It can also improve indoor air quality by covering old paint that may contain lead or other harmful substances.

Furthermore, a fresh coat of paint often increases the value and appeal of a home, making it more attractive to potential buyers if the homeowner decides to sell. In essence, painting is a versatile and impactful tool in home renovation, offering aesthetic, practical, and economic advantages.

Collaborate for Success

The journey of house flipping, while rewarding, can be intricate and demanding. Pooling resources and expertise with a trusted partner can significantly lighten this load. Such collaborations not only amplify financial capacities but also introduce diverse perspectives, enriching the overall strategy.

Establishing clear communication channels and setting mutual expectations from the outset can further cement the partnership’s foundation. Additionally, joint ventures may open doors to larger projects or opportunities otherwise unattainable individually. Furthermore, shared responsibilities ensure continuous progress, even when one partner is immersed in academic commitments. In essence, collaboration magnifies strengths and offsets individual limitations.

Balance Your Time by Earning an Online Degree

Pursuing education while delving into real estate necessitates a harmonious balance. Earning an online degree emerges as a viable solution to this challenge. These platforms facilitate asynchronous learning, granting the flexibility to renovate during daylight and study post-sunset. For example, you could consider exploring the aspects of a cybersecurity degree. This degree will educate you on safeguarding a company’s computer and network systems.

Furthermore, online courses often offer the added advantage of integrating diverse global perspectives, enriching discussions and broadening worldviews. Moreover, digital resources, forums, and peer interactions amplify the online learning experience, allowing students to engage deeply without compromising their real estate ventures. The adaptability of such courses ensures that students never feel confined by schedules, granting them the autonomy to prioritize tasks as needed.

Returning to school as an adult, though a commendable pursuit, is fraught with complexities, especially on the financial front. Balancing tuition fees, study materials, and living expenses can seem overwhelming. Yet, with the strategic approach of flipping houses, an avenue often overlooked, these financial hurdles can be transformed into stepping stones towards academic and financial growth. This unique convergence of education and real estate investment empowers adults to not only further their academic aspirations but also build tangible assets. By intertwining the worlds of real estate and education, adults can craft a promising trajectory for their future endeavors, ensuring a dual return on investment – knowledge and capital.

Curtis Fisher

Transform Your Bedroom

Transform Your Bedroom: 10 Steps to Painting Like a Pro

Starting on the journey of painting a room isn’t just a task for those entering the realm of DIY, new homeowners seeking to add their personal touch, or seasoned home improvement enthusiasts refining their craft—it’s an art form. The process is not only painless and budget-friendly but also forgiving, allowing room for adjustments if needed. Yet, before you pick up that paint roller for your first stroke, a well-crafted plan is essential. Drawing from 16 years of expertise, Patrick’s Painting is your companion for transforming your bedroom with a splash of color. Continue reading to discover the key steps, ensuring your room-painting project evolves into a masterpiece of your own creation.

Step 1: Picture Your Perfect Space

Imagine your room’s final look – dream big! Think accent walls, eye-catching shades, and a ceiling that steals the show. Your vision sets the tone for a painting project that turns heads.

Step 2: Choose a Color and Paint Finish

Discovering the right colors and finish is an adventure, not a chore. Warm or cool? Muted or vibrant? Gloss finish or matte finish? Consider your furniture and art. Use cool tech tools to preview colors online, but nothing beats slapping real samples on your walls.
Paint Samples

Delve into the inspiring world of Sherwin-Williams’ color palette. Explore a range of options and consider the psychological impact of colors. For a serene ambiance, explore soothing tones like “Sea Salt.” Alternatively, for a touch of sophistication, venture into deeper hues like “Urban Bronze.” Let your personal style shine through as you select colors that resonate with your vision.

A glossy finish stands out as the most light-reflective among paint options, boasting easy washability. Ideal for enhancing wood trim, cabinets, and doors. Matte and flat finishes absorb light instead of reflecting it, making them well-suited for walls with imperfections. These finishes are particularly effective for bedrooms, uneven walls, or walls with texture.

BONUS: You can book a free virtual color consultation with Sherwin Williams.

Step 3: Prep Your Tools

Time to assemble your painting squad – the tools that turn you into a DIY maestro. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Paint
  • Paint roller
  • Paint roller extension pole
  • Drop cloths
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint tray
  • Sandpaper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Rags
  • Putty knife

Step 4: Know Your Paint Volume

Skip the guesswork. You can use paint calculator from Benjamin Moore to figure out how much paint you really need. The general rule of thumb is one gallon per 400 square feet. Adjust for color changes and textured walls – you’re in control.

Step 5: Set the Stage for Perfection

Paint Tape
Prepare your room like a pro. Clear the decks, protect your furniture with drop cloths, and use painter’s tape strategically. Secure masking paper or rosin paper to the floor and carpet alongside the baseboards to shield them from potential paint splatters and spills. Cover the floor and any furniture in the painting area with a drop cloth. Opt for fabric drop cloths as they provide better traction compared to plastic ones, reducing the risk of slipping.

Fix those wall dings – we’re aiming for flawless!

Pro Tip: Ensure ample lighting while painting, with natural daylight being the optimal choice.

Step 6: Clean or sand all the surfaces then patch

Washing Walls
Before you start painting or patching, give all the walls and trim a good cleaning or sanding. This helps to get rid of dirt and grease, making the paint stick better. Shine a bright light on the wall to spot any issues on the surface.

If there are any nail pops or bumps on the walls, smooth them out. Fill up holes and cracks with spackle or patching compound, and then sand everything down until it’s nice and smooth.

Don’t forget to put on a coat of primer over the patched-up areas before you start painting.
Take off the outlets and switch plates for a thorough wall prep.

Step 7: Mix the Paint

Green Interior Paint
Stir your paint like a wizard. Consistency is key for that perfect color. Got more than one can? Mix them up for a uniform hue.

Pro Tip: Thoroughly stir the paint for at least five minutes.

Step 8: Paint Like a Boss

Before you unleash the color, plan your approach. Begin by working from the top down, starting with the ceilings. If you’re planning to make a statement with a bold focal wall, consider painting the adjacent light-colored walls first. When transitioning from dark to light hues, factor in three coats: a primer, followed by two coats of the new color to ensure a flawless finish.
Spackling a Ceiling

Take it one step at a time, focusing on individual walls. Use a brush for detailed work along the molding and corners, while a roller covers the main expanse of the wall. Opt for long strokes in a W pattern with the roller to ensure thorough coverage and avoid unwanted roller marks. Once the wall is dry to the touch, it’s ready for the second coat.

If you’re tackling the trim, remove painter’s tape and wait for the walls to dry before reapplying it. Start by addressing the trim closest to the ceiling, then move on to door and window frames, finishing with the baseboards. This strategic approach guarantees a polished and professional outcome for your painting project.

Step 9: Let It Breathe

No one likes watching paint dry. Crack open those windows, switch on fans – keep the air flowing for a breezy, speedy dry.

Step 10: Tidy Up Like a Pro

Paint Rollers
You’re almost there! Peel off the painter’s tape and gather up the drop cloths, making sure any spills or splatters are completely dry before you relocate them. For brushes used with latex- and water-based paints, give them a good cleaning with soapy water. If you’ve been working with oil-based paints, you’ll need mineral spirits for proper cleaning. Use a painter’s brush to not only clean but also reshape the bristles. When it comes to reusing roller covers, the curved edge of a 5-in-1 tool is your go-to for removing excess paint under running water.
Your home is your canvas – make it a masterpiece! Happy painting!

If you ever find yourself needing professional guidance or assistance, don’t hesitate to tap into the expertise of Patrick’s Painting & Home Improvement. Transforming your space has never been easier!

Grey Roof Shingles

Built to Last: Exploring Durable Building Materials for Long-Lasting Renovations

Buildings should be built with the future in mind. Whether this is the first building you’ve ever renovated or you want to rework your process and create something completely new, you’re not alone in this pursuit.
These are the top renovations to keep in mind.

1. What Makes Materials More Durable?

More durable materials, like slate or metal, are stable because of how dense they are and how long-lasting they can be. For instance, wood shake shingles can last thirty to fifty years if well maintained, but slate, which is denser and more durable, will last up to a hundred years.
More durable materials were built that way from the get-go and are made even more durable by being maintained properly. You can make almost anything last a long time by treating it correctly.

2. Does Durable Automatically Mean More Expensive?

When looking at materials like synthetic stucco, it’s easy to feel like you’re staring down a hundred different options that are incredibly similar to one another. Although it’s vital that you make the right choice, what that choice is will often be blurred by price, timing, and reviews.
Durable doesn’t mean more expensive.
Instead, look at the timeline the sellers have for how long it will last and at reviews from buyers who have purchased it before. Although many durable materials that are carefully manufactured will be pricey, you might still be able to get a good deal!

3. What Areas of the Home Should You Invest In?

Some portions of your home will require more updates and work than others. Most people focus their attention on their kitchens and bathrooms since these are areas we interact with more than any other.
Go for energy-efficient updates that use less power while still functioning incredibly well.
Beyond the machinery, look at flooring in these areas! Waterproof, strong, and attractive should all be in your mind when hunting for good floor materials.

4. How Does Weather Resistance Factor In?

The weather in your area will make a huge difference in choices like porcelain vs. concrete pavers or what type of building layout you need to lead with. Look at the weather in your area and how it’s shifted over the years.
Are you in a space that deals with a lot of forest fires? Is flooding a high risk in your city? Although the weather has seemed more unpredictable than ever before in recent years, you can still work to protect your property from most natural disasters with a little planning and high-quality materials.

5. Energy Efficiency Takes it Further

Energy efficiency is incredibly important because it helps you save money in the long run, runs your HVAC system less, which makes it last longer, and can give back to the environment you’re in.
Using energy-efficient materials and supplies will make your property last longer and generally not be updated or upgraded nearly as often. Simply remember to maintain these areas of your home.

6. Why Work With Professionals On Every Step

It can be tempting to DIY as much as possible and avoid spending a lot of money, but you can end up hurting yourself in the long run with this. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could install something improperly or possibly buy the wrong product or tool needed for the job.
These repairs and replacements will end up costing you more money, wasting time, products, money, and energy. Working with a professional from the first moment will save you any of that embarrassment and cost.

7. Can These Projects Offer High ROI?

Yes! You can easily create a great return on investment if you know what you’re doing. For instance, updating to a slate roof, which lasts longer, will boost your home’s value instantly. Look into the age of areas of your home, and try to update the older portions first since those will need the most work.
Buyers get scared away by large projects and unfinished properties, so completing these will help your bottom line.

8. Easy Mistakes to Avoid

There are countless mistakes that could bring down a home renovation, but it’s important that you know these three largest ones.
Avoiding budgeting or planning your time schedule ahead of time is a huge mistake that could lead to an unfinished project that wastes endless dollars and hours. Take your time and lay out a thorough plan before you ever start.
Another mistake is jumping in before talking to your HOA. If you have a homeowners’ association, it’s extremely important that you speak with them before completing any projects.
The third mistake is DIY-ing it! You’ll cost yourself more money and time if you try to do things alone without any formal training.

Durable Building Materials Are the Best Choice

The buildings you create should last for many lifetimes beyond you, so it’s vital that you start with the best materials possible. Work with professionals like Patricks Painting to create a building that lasts.

Andrew Wesley

Andrew Wesley is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on painting projects and materials. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia where he enjoys spending time with his wife and working on projects in his spare time. Andrew’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisors, a new construction industry resource launching in Fall 2022.

Essential Steps to Finding a Great Handyman

Many homeowners face the challenge of finding a reliable and knowledgeable handyman to take care of their home improvement projects. Whether you are replacing windows, installing fixtures, or building a deck, it can be difficult to find someone who is up to the job. Fortunately, there are several tips that can help you determine if a handyman is a good fit for your project needs. With an understanding of the important qualities to look for, you can quickly find a qualified professional to complete your task on time and on budget.

Vet Your Candidates

When researching potential handymen, take time to check their background and experience. Find out what kind of projects they specialize in and whether or not they have any certifications or awards that make them stand out from the competition. It’s also important to read reviews from past customers so you can get an idea of their work ethic and customer service.

Get a Written Quote

Before hiring anyone, make sure to get a quote in writing, so there are no surprises once the project begins. This should include a detailed description of all materials needed, as well as labor costs. It’s important to note that some handymen may charge extra for travel time or additional services not listed in the initial quote, so be sure to ask about these fees before signing any contracts.

If you’re looking for someone to paint, pressure wash, or complete home improvement projects in your home, contact Patrick’s Painting and Home Improvement!

Skip the Low-Priced Bidders

When looking for a handyman to perform home repairs, it’s important to do your research and avoid the lowest bidders. Low-priced bids or quotes may seem appealing up front, but there can be hidden costs and risks associated with hiring the cheapest contractor. It’s essential to find a reliable, experienced handyman who offers quality service at a reasonable price.

Agree to a Schedule

Before starting any project, establish a realistic schedule with your chosen handyman so both parties know when tasks need to be completed and when payments should be made accordingly. This helps ensure everything runs smoothly while also allowing both parties enough time for other commitments outside of work hours if necessary.

Inquire About Clean-up Services

When working with a handyman, confirm whether they offer clean-up services after each task is completed, so you don’t have any messes left behind once they leave your property. Many professional handymen offer post-project clean-up services, which can help save time and energy when tackling larger projects such as remodeling bathrooms or kitchens.

Keep Your Files Digitally Organized

By organizing and digitizing your paperwork into PDFs, you can save time, space, and energy. With the help of online tools, you efficiently manage, organize, and store important documents related to the project. If you have a large PDF file that needs to be split into smaller files, a PDF splitter tool can do the job quickly and easily. And if you need a PDF file converter, there’s a tool for that, too! Simply drop in the file and the conversion tool will do the rest.

Put in the Effort to Find the Right Person

Finding a great handyman isn’t easy. It requires research, asking the right questions, and ensuring that they have all the qualifications you need for your job. With a little bit of effort, however, you can find an experienced and reliable handyman who will take care of your repair needs as quickly and as professionally as possible.

Curtis Fisher

Top Renovation Projects

Top Renovation Projects to Pursue First

It can be argued that there is no such thing as a “bad” renovation project. After all, any time you make an improvement to your property, it will pay some sort of dividend, whether it be increased safety, functionality, or resale value.
With that said, there will be some projects that you want to prioritize over others. For example, any type of renovation that will increase energy efficiency, prevent any subsequent issues from arising, or improve the safety of your home should be above more luxury-minded renovations on your checklist. With this in mind, keep reading to discover 5 top renovation projects to pursue first.

Any Projects That Increase R-Value

Increase R-Value

Unless you have been living under a rock, the importance of energy efficiency in all walks of life is one of the issues with which you are undoubtedly most familiar. For homeowners, there are numerous ways that energy efficiency can be improved. Some of the most popular ideas include solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, and smart thermostats.

However, one of the best ways to curb energy consumption in your home is to renovate with R-value in mind. R-value is the measure of a home’s insulative quality, with a higher R-value indicating a more well-insulated (and more energy-efficient) home. Some ways to increase the R-value of your home include installing a continuous insulation system in the walls and roof that eliminates thermal bridges, choosing framing and roofing materials that have high thermal mass, and making sure that there are no leaks in the building envelope that will allow unwanted air transfer.

To this effect, one of the best ways to improve the R-value of your home is through the installation of synthetic stucco. This unique cladding system uses a layered approach to create a true air and watertight exterior that has an R-value significantly higher than traditional stucco siding. In addition, synthetic stucco can be applied using a number of attractive finishes that not only improves the home’s R-value, but enhances curb appeal as well.

Saying Goodbye to Concrete Driveways and Sidewalks

Concrete sidewalks and driveways have been a staple in suburban America for decades. And in all fairness, fresh concrete surfaces do look classy. However, exterior concrete comes up short along a number of lines. First, unsealed concrete can be highly absorbent, leading to cracking and buckling during temperature changes. Furthermore, flowing water readily rolls over concrete, increasing the risk of erosion that will threaten your landscaping and possibly even your foundation.

Therefore, when it comes time for a replacement, many homeowners are choosing to forgo the concrete and choosing gravel and other types of permeable stone landscaping pavers. While these types of surfaces traditionally ran the risk of rutting and clumping, innovative permeable pavers hold gravel and stone in place in the face of hydrostatic and other forms of pressure, ensuring a consistent appearance that maximizes the natural drainage properties of gravel.

Projects That Improve the Quality of Exterior Space

Quality of Exterior Space

Thanks in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, renovation projects that increase the quality of exterior space are at the forefront of homeowners’ minds as they look for creative ways to get some fresh air and enjoy a change of scenery. Some projects that are increasing in popularity include the installation of outdoor kitchens, adding pergolas to patios and decks, and replacing worn deck boards with rot-resistant cedar decking. By completing any of these exterior projects, homeowners not only boost the resale value of their home through the improvement of functional exterior space, but by enhancing curb appeal in the process.

Window Upgrades

Windows are a truly unique aspect of the home in that they function as both an interior and exterior renovation. New windows will not only allow more natural light to pass through into the interior, but they will provide a major boost to curb appeal as well. Thanks to this dual nature, window projects should be at the top of your renovation list.

A full-scale window replacement will involve removing degraded frames and glass and updating to more modern materials. In this regard, aluminum frames are viewed as a superior option thanks to their water resistance and low maintenance fabrication, while innovative smart glass and low-E glass is now helping increase energy efficiency by limiting the type of sun rays that enter the home. All in all, this results in a more solid window-to-wall transition that will optimize the strength of the building envelope.

Flooring Projects

Flooring Projects

Finally, a flooring upgrade is always one of the most important remodeling projects a homeowner can undertake. As the floor is subjected to arguably the most wear and tear of any interior aspect of the house, the difference between an average flooring material and elite flooring material can make a world of difference. Therefore, bypass carpet and low-quality vinyl products in favor of engineered hardwood or polished concrete. While these types of floors may be a bit more expensive to install, they will do much more for resale value than more affordable flooring materials. In addition, they are extremely low maintenance and can be cleaned with nothing more than a broom and wet mop-an important characteristic for time-strapped homeowners in 2022.

Best Renovation Projects to Tackle First

While all types of renovation projects will be valuable in their own respect, there are some that should be given priority over others. For example, projects that improve energy efficiency, safety, and prevent subsequent issues from arising will provide the most bang for their buck. With this in mind, projects that increase insulation R-value, improve exterior functionality, fortify the windows, and improve the floor are some of the most important renovation projects to prioritize.

Andrew Wesley

Andrew Wesley is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise on painting projects and materials. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia where he enjoys spending time with his wife and working on projects in his spare time. Andrew’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisors, a new construction industry resource launching in Fall 2022.

Staging a Home

Tips and Advice for Staging a Home

Staging your home before you sell it is a must in the current market! Not only do staged homes sell faster than their competitors: but staged homes also sell for more money. Unfortunately, many people go into staging a home blind and aren’t sure where to start, which can leave the property feeling like it wasn’t staged at all.

These are the top tips for staging your home and why it matters!

1. Deep Clean

Before you bring any new furniture in or paint any walls: it’s vital that you take the time to deep clean the property. Buyers don’t want to think about the previous owners when they walk into a home; they want to think about their future in that property. Taking the time to get rid of grime, dust, and debris will give you the chance to work with a fresh canvas.

2. Get Rid of Personal Details

Personal details may be lovely to look at for you, but they’re not so lovely for buyers who are trying to picture their lives there. Remove any photos of your family, pets, or life, and get rid of any details that will remind the buyers that they don’t own this home yet.

If you’re staging with your own furniture, now is the time to declutter your property as much as possible. Decluttering will allow spaces to feel larger, cleaner, and more welcoming. Take anything out of closets and storage areas, and move that into your new living area so that these spaces feel larger.

3. Make The Walls Feel Fresh

The best way to make any room feel clean and fresh is to apply a fresh coat of paint! Picking neutral and welcoming colors will allow buyers to feel like they stepped into a brand new home and are the first to walk through it.

Now isn’t the time to sloppily paint and ruin borders or edges. If you’re not capable of a great paint job, consider hiring a professional team to take over for you. They’ll be able to give the home a fresh face in far less time, with far less mess.

4. Replace Tiny Simple Items

Replace Thermostat
Making small updates throughout your home will quickly add up to a fantastic overall property. Changes like adding a sash window, replacing light fixtures, and changing out faucets, can modernize a property and make the entire space feel fresh and new. Make sure that any metallic details you add match the others and that you give the home the chance to shine.

5. Guide Buyers’ Eyes

When buyers are walking through a property, they have a lot of information to take in. They might not notice the craftsman exterior window trim ideas you implemented or the new flooring you installed if you can’t guide them into seeing it. Because of this, it’s vital that you take the time to show them what you want them to see.

Through clever lighting and the placement of furniture, rugs, and accessories, you can create a visual story that will guide buyers through the home. They shouldn’t notice that it was laid out to guide them; it should feel natural. This will make it easier to show off how high the ceilings are or how beautiful the fresh carpet is.

6. Consider Renting Furniture

If your furniture is older, or you don’t have a set that matches well: consider renting your furniture. Staging companies are professionals who know how to make spaces shine and offer low monthly and weekly rates so that you can sell your home as quickly as possible for as much money as possible. Although you may not think it’s worth it: this is one of the best ideas a home seller can have.

7. Add Touches of Luxury

If you’re still completing updates, consider adding a touch of luxury! You can do this by adding radiant floor heating or a touchless kitchen faucet, and watch as buyers marvel as they walk through the space. Although these are small changes, they drag the home into the future and allow it to feel like something that would improve the buyers’ lives.

8. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Beyond Gray.

Make The Walls Feel Fresh
Avoid going for gray! This color has a reputation for being for house flippers and quick fixes in 2022, so try to go for actual colors. Although you may personally really like gray, save that for your own home you may buy. Instead, use details like a white shiplap wall in a room that’s a pale warm green to add visual interest and make a space feel welcoming. Although gray is the most neutral color of all: its reputation is one you don’t want on your property.

Staging the Home You’re Selling is a Must

Updated Kitchen

Whether you’re new to selling homes or you’re just trying to get the most out of this current one: staging your home is vital to making the most you can for it. Consider following some of these tips before you sell!

Andrew Wesley

Andrew is an editor for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.

Wood Staining

Everything to Know About Wood Staining

Sometimes, the most simple home improvement projects can have the greatest transformative effect on a property. Projects such as a garage door replacement, pergola addition, and landscaping can give a rundown property a major facelift in less than a day.

Add wood staining to the list.

Applying sealant and staining areas such as hardwood floors, decks, and wood furniture are straightforward ways to make a worn and weathered home look rich and luxurious.

However, just because wood staining is simple in concept does not mean that it can be taken lightly. It requires extensive planning and preparation, finding the right product, and executing the application correctly.

To help you through the process, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about wood staining.

Stain and Sealant Are Not the Same Things

Stain and Sealant Are Not the Same Things

When researching the best interior wood stain and sealer for your hardwood floors, it can be easy to get confused and lump the two products into one. And while stain and sealer are both products that can protect and enhance the appearance of your wood surfaces, they are not the same thing.

Stains are the better product for enhancing the aesthetics of wood. They include pigmentation, which helps make your wood a specific color. This pigmentation also protects the wood from UV rays. However, stains do not generally provide much protection against water damage.

Sealants ARE designed to resist moisture. They have a higher viscosity than stains and contain waterproof and water repellent properties. But they do not have pigmentation and offer little in the way of UV protection.

Therefore, it is important to use stains and sealers in conjunction. It is generally recommended to stain your hardwood floors first and once the stain has dried, add the sealer to make the floors watertight.

Staining Allows You To Attain a Specific Wood Appearance

Staining Allows You To Attain a Specific Wood Appearance

Arguably the biggest benefit of using wood stain is that it allows you to attain the appearance of a wide variety of woods without the cost or limitations of working with these specific wood types. For example, you can use a stain to achieve an elegant dark finish to stand out on the real estate market without having to shell out the high cost of installing dark wood options such as hickory or walnut. In addition, some lighter woods, such as oak, aren’t very flexible, making it difficult to use them for latticework or herringbone floors. However, you can use a wood that is easier to work with for these purposes and look through the various wood stain colors for outdoor furniture to find a finish that replicates the oak appearance you had in mind for the project.

Not All Woods Stain Equally

Although staining provides endless possibilities for wood, not all wood provides endless possibilities for staining.

Woods with large pores will stain best, as they will more readily absorb the stain to give the finish a more complete, even appearance. Some examples of woods that stain well are oak, cedar, chestnut, hickory, and ashwood.

Tight-grained woods will not stain as easily because there is not much room for the stain to settle, which can result in an unattractive, partially-stained final product. Some tight-grained woods are maple and birch. In addition, some coniferous woods that contain a lot of sap, such as pine, will actively resist stain and create a beady, messy look on the wood’s surface.

Staining Requires Preparation

Staining Requires Preparation

Staining your wood surfaces is not as easy as finding a great product, rolling it on, and calling it a day. You need to be meticulous in your approach and understand that getting the desired result will take some work.

This starts with preparing the surface. You should repair, wash, and sand the area to be stained to guarantee that there are no hazards or problem areas that will require you to stop the project.

It is also important to make sure that the surface is completely dry before starting, as moisture will prevent the wood from absorbing the stain. Check the weather to ensure that there is no rain in the forecast. Also avoid staining on very windy days, as it can cause the stain to evaporate before it sets.

Finally, it is critical to select the right tools. Have a fresh roller and a wide selection of brushes to help you reach corners and guarantee attractive transitions. It is also a great idea to have plastic or cardboard handy to keep the stain from getting on adjacent areas of your home.

Stains and Sealants Can Save You Money in the Long Run

Although it may be a stretch to say that your wood structures will rot and fall apart if left untreated, there is no denying that sealing and staining are great defensive measures against more expensive future repairs. Not only can moisture damage cause localized cupping and buckling that may require you to replace sections of your hardwood floors or deck, but extensive UV exposure will degrade some boards beyond repair. In addition, untreated wood is more likely to have cracks and splinters that are hazardous for homeowners.

The Bottom Line on Wood Staining

Although wood staining is a relatively straightforward way to give your home a facelift, it’s not as simple as grabbing the first bucket of stain you see and thinking you’re good to go. There are myriad factors to consider, such as:

  • Understanding the difference between stains and sealers
  • Deciding on the final appearance you want to achieve
  • Realizing that not all woods were meant to be stained
  • Giving the proper attention to preparation
  • Looking at staining as an investment in your property

However, with the proper planning and perspective, wood staining is a great way to make your worn and weathered wood rich and majestic in a matter of days!

Andrew Wesley

Andrew is an editor for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.

Improving Your Health With a Home Remodel

Your home and your health are connected in ways you may have never imagined. Healthy living is all about developing healthy habits, and each room of your house can either enhance or hinder a daily routine that maximizes benefits to your mind and body. By making smart remodeling decisions, you can create an environment that makes healthy habits easier and more pleasurable.

Cook Healthier With a New Kitchen

Eating healthy without spending a fortune on takeout takes a lot of time and effort. After a long day of work, a kitchen that makes cooking miserable can ruin your motivation to prepare fresh meals. A kitchen renovation gives you the opportunity to implement features that make cooking something to look forward to rather than dread. Well-placed, spacious cabinetry combined with high-tech appliances and expansive countertops can help you cook like a professional.

Use Your Yard for Sports

Whether you love playing basketball or you want to improve your swimming speed and endurance, you can transform your yard into a space where it’s fun to exercise, which is key to improving your physical and mental health. Having your own outdoor exercise area means you never miss an opportunity to do your favorite activities because the park is closed or the recreation center is too busy. A custom design for your front or backyard can accommodate any kind of sport setup you might imagine.

Transform Your Basement into a Home Gym

Regularly going to the gym to work out is a great way to stay healthy and in shape, but the need to travel and mix with unknown people can kill your motivation. Installing gym equipment right in your basement means you have the opportunity to work out whenever you have free time at home. If you want to include carpeting in your basement gym, make sure to include subfloor installation to prevent mold. If you don’t have a basement, consider some other home gym ideas, such as a:

All home renovations take a lot of time and work, but basements can be especially tricky. You must consider many things apart from the gym equipment, such as your local building codes, fasteners, vapor barriers, spacing, and heating and cooling. The last thing you want is a basement gym that’s useless in winter. The optimal way to avoid making mistakes in any of these areas is to hire a professional home renovator.

Find a Contractor the Smart Way

If you choose to hire a reliable contractor, do some research. No matter what type of project you’re planning, choose a contractor with good references, proof of experience, professional licenses, and good communication. For example, if you need to paint your home, you can see from visiting their website that Patrick’s Painting has been in business for 15 years. They’ve painted 2,054 houses, have 3,273 satisfied customers and garner top reviews on Yelp. Having these sorts of stats and information make it more likely you’ll reach out to Patrick’s for a paint job.

Whatever improvements you decide to make, let your contractor know your goals for a healthy home, such as paint without VOCs, cleaner air or improved cooking ability, to help them make transformations that promote healthy habits. By hiring a reliable contractor, you can reduce headaches, shorten project timelines, and get on with an easier healthy lifestyle as soon as possible.

DIY What You Can to Save Money

For quality paint jobs, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and the like, a contractor is a must. However, there are still plenty of changes you can make on your own, keeping your budget in check and making healthy updates. You can swap out furnace filters, replace curtains or drapes with blinds, change light fixtures, install a ceiling fan and even strategically place an air purifier.

From a design perspective, you can make simple changes like adding bold wallpaper to an entry space or bathroom wall. Plus, completely customizable wallpaper allows you to choose whatever design your heart desires. Print on-demand designs put you in the driver’s seat, and are a great way to add a quick refresh.

A home refresh can be a great way to improve the health of your living environment. With careful choices, including the help of great contractors, you can transform your space into a place that promotes your wellbeing.

Curtis Fisher

Trending Renovation Projects

Trending Renovation Projects That Give a Great Return

The most important part of any renovation project is to ensure you get a large enough return to make it worth it. If you can’t gain back the money you’ve invested, it’s a waste that could leave you regretting ever making the change.

The best thing you can do is plan ahead.

These are the top trending renovation projects that will ensure you get a great return and make your money back when you sell or rent out your property.

Minor Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen remodels are a large cliche in the world of home renovation projects: but for a good reason. Buyers want a kitchen that feels clean and unused and doesn’t want to deal with out-of-date appliances or cabinets that leave a lot to be desired.

Although a major kitchen remodel is more dramatic and leaves the chance to make huge changes: you can get a bigger return if you make a minor remodel and take care of targeted items like the cabinets, tiles, or other portions of the kitchen. Of course, it won’t be as large a change as a full remodel, but it will give you a large return.

Landscaping For Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is a part of home renovations that many people forget or leave out entirely. Unfortunately, that means a lot of people don’t get to add the large return that comes from investing in your property’s exterior. Remodeling your landscaping offers a huge return because it doesn’t take a lot of money to do: but it takes a lot of effort.

Through edging, mowing, updating flower beds, trimming shrubs and bushes, and cutting back overgrowth, you may have to invest a couple of weekends to get your home’s exterior exactly how you want it, but the return can be in the tens of thousands depending on your location. This is a worthwhile update everyone should do.

Fresh Paint Inside and Out

Fresh Paint Inside and Out

If you want a room to feel brand new and clean: fresh paint is the way to go. Leaving surfaces looking untouched by time or man, these allow buyers to picture what their future life would be like in this property and gives them the chance to imagine living there far easier. This means to paint on the walls inside, but also on the exterior. From your siding to any wood on your porch and even mailbox, you can make your home feel brand new. Just make sure to take the time to get clean lines and avoid painting anything that shouldn’t be painted. Paint jobs that are poorly done, or rushed, are being called the ‘landlord’s special’ recently and are highly frowned upon.

Color Choices Throughout Property

What color is your home? Did you know that specific colors and combinations can allow people to feel certain ways about them? Sage color houses are viewed as more valuable, more attractive, and more in touch with nature, even if they’re at the center of a city. This goes along with why some people connect red doors to wealth or why others will keep pineapples in decor by their front doors as a sign of welcome. By playing into the color and shape associations people have with homes, you can have a higher chance of selling to someone extremely interested.

Updating Garages

Your garage is a space you might not have considered updating, but it should be an option if you want to make a good return on your investments. Replacing a garage door is the home update that offers the largest return since it offers a return that nearly doubles the price of the garage door. This is a purchase that will be a major plus and should be tied with getting any stains out of the garage floor and repainting or finishing the interior. This may be more expensive than soffit replacement costs, but the return it offers is worth it.

Replacing Windows and Doors

Looking into window replacement inserts can be an awesome way to give your home a new face. Windows and doors are the largest reasons why heating and cooling bills can go so high since poorly installed ones often leak air and allow temperature fluctuations. Take the time to look into new windows and doors that suit your budget and the style of the home.

Creating a Weatherproof Property

The weather has become more unpredictable across the country than ever before. People who want to keep their homes above water are desperate to find ways to avoid flooding and other issues. The most important thing you can do is install landscape drains, which will help move any extra water off of your property. This will help future buyers rest easily, knowing their home is safer from flooding and other issues.

Renovations Can Help Any Property

Renovations can shift how people perceive your property and how much you’re able to sell it for. Take the time to create a property people will want to invest their money into, and you’ll sell it in no time!

Andrew Wesley

Andrew is an editor for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.