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Office Building Design Trends For 2020

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Gone are the days of stuffy office building, filled with grim cubicles and dull colors. Employees and bosses everywhere are beginning to expect more from the space where they spend forty plus hours a week. Nowadays, inviting, comfortable environments that promote collaboration and relaxed attitudes are the norm. 

Be ahead of the curve by knowing the design trends of today. Impress your clients by getting a handle on the hottest trends for 2020. Below are six design trends that experts expect to dominate the market in the new year.  

Large Windows

Large windows have long been a dream for luxurious homes, but now offices are demanding them too. Large windows allow for natural sunlight, and natural sunlight leads to happier employees. Research shows that sunlight contributes to better moods and lowers depression rates. 

Additionally, natural light means lower energy costs. Since companies are always aware of the bottom line, large windows are an investment that pays off, in the long run, thanks to energy savings and employee satisfaction ratings. As we know, satisfied employees lead to more productive work, which means more profits. 

Electronic Privacy Glass

Companies are beginning to embrace high-tech design elements, too. Not only are switchable glass partitions neat to look at, they also provide an array of benefits. Switchable glass walls allow for a room to be open and inviting during normal business functions, with the ability to be private when necessary. 

In traditional glass walls, companies have to use blinds or curtains to achieve the same level of privacy available with switchable glass. That’s not only costly, it’s ugly, and requires that the company regularly buys new window coverings. Switchable glass can also cut energy costs by reducing glare and air conditioning costs. 

Architectural Louvers

On the outside of the building, more and more companies are looking at incorporating louvers. Louver systems block debris and rain from entering the building while simultaneously allowing the flow of air. They resist rain damage and reduce outside noise pollution. 

There are several different louver systems, each with their own benefits and styles, but ultimately, louvers keep buildings protected from the outside environment, which is something most companies want. 

Reclaimed Wood

Remember how we mentioned that people are looking for more relaxed and comfortable workspaces? What says cozy better than wood. Wood provides a rustic aesthetic, and it’s also cost-effective. There are numerous ways to incorporate wood into design, including wood ceiling beams, wood-paneled walls, decorative wood structures, and wood tabletops. 

A huge design trend lies in the use of reclaimed wood. It’s more cost-effective and eco-conscious than traditional wood. Reclaimed wood is making waves all over the interior design space, and we expect that it will do the same in commercial office buildings, too. 

Nature-Inspired Design

There’s no doubt about it; nature is calming. That’s why a growing number of businesses are seeking to incorporate more natural elements into their office space. From plants to living walls to waterfalls and koi ponds, there’s no shortage of ways to incorporate nature into your clients’ designs. 

Living walls, (also called green walls or vertical gardens), are probably the most prominent emerging trend. They’re vertical walls that are covered in greenery, with a soil and an integrated water system. Aside from the aesthetic benefit, greens walls are purported to boost moods, improve air quality, and increase energy levels. 

Collaborative Spaces

Cubicles and quiet workspaces are a thing of the past. The buzzword now is “collaboration.” Companies are looking for more open areas that promote conversation and the free flow of ideas. Tall ceilings and wide-open architecture are a sure way to spark freedom of ideas.

Additionally, create several conversation places for employees to work and talk, and provide a variety of seating options and workspaces.  Add areas with couches, more secluded nooks, or areas with collaborative desks.

Design to promote flow and eliminate clutter, because a clunky design can stifle creativity. Just remember that more businesses encourage collaboration and flexible environments, so be on top of this trend by designing with these things in mind. 

Know the Office Design Trends of 2020

These are just a few of the design trends sweeping offices across the country. Dig in and research what today’s employees and employers want. People spend half their lives working, and more businesses are working towards making those hours more pleasant through thoughtful, forward-thinking design. 

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How to Protect Your Yard from Moisture and Water Damage

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Home maintenance, both inside and out, is an essential part of being a homeowner. While work on the inside can be a lot to maintain, few people think enough about the outside of their home, and the effect that too much water can have on their yard, their grass, and their home’s foundation. While gardens, landscaping, and lawn maintenance are important to a lot of people, it’s not just about design and creating something beautiful for your neighbors to fawn over. You must protect your yard from potential water damage, too.

But how do you get started? It’s not like you can stop the rain. Thankfully, there are several steps and actions you can take to protect your yard.  

Here are a few options for every homeowner to protect their yard from water damage and excess moisture. 

Look into Drainage Systems 

The first thing to look into when thinking about moisture control is a lawn drainage system. While you might think drainage systems are limited to manufactural warehouses, they can also help control water in your yard. Lawn drains are systems buried beneath the ground that catch rainwater and send it somewhere else.

Typically, there’s a metal or plastic basin or grate to catch the water and then pipes to take the collected water to a designated spot. Usually, these pipes lead to the street or the city’s storm drain. There are several types of drainage systems. There’s a French drain, an outdoor slot drain, and more. No matter which drainage system you choose, incorporating one into your lawn will undoubtedly keep your yard free of excess water build-up. 

Check Out Permeable Pavement 

So, permeable paving systems are a really nifty invention. Essentially, permeable pavers are made to replace concrete, asphalt, or other alternatives for your porch, driveway, or street. These pavers are designed to collect and drain water, just like the ground does. They’re porous, so when it rains, these pavers soak up the moisture and drain into the ground. 

What this does is it eliminates standing puddles that form on less porous materials. They prevent flooding, reduce runoff, and contribute to overall stormwater management. Also, they come in many different designs, so you’re sure to find a system that fits your aesthetic preferences.  

Protect Your Concrete 

Most people have concrete somewhere around their home. Whether it’s the driveway or a porch, concrete is a common material. Concrete is pretty absorbent, and too much water can damage the structural integrity of concrete. Also, concrete is prone to freezing and thawing during wet and cold winter months, which is not only dangerous; it’s harmful to the concrete. 

If you have concrete in your yard, be sure to use a concrete sealant. Doing so will not only prevent water damage, but it prevents sun damage, oil staining, and damage from general wear and tear. 

Re-Think Your Garden

Anyone who owns a garden knows that they require a lot of water to stay looking good. If you already have a garden, consider turning it into a rain garden. Rain gardens are like a regular garden, except they use a special kind of soil that absorbs water and filters pollutants. Generally, rain gardens also have plants that absorb large amounts of water, too. 

If you don’t want to switch your traditional garden to a rain garden, consider adding a drainage system to the garden you already have so that excess water doesn’t become an issue.  

Stop Moisture Build Up in Your Lawn

Water damage is not only costly; it can dramatically decrease the curb appeal and property value of your home. While you can try to prevent it by avoiding overwatering, you can’t stop rain. If you live in a particularly wet area, you can’t ignore the threat of moisture damage. 

Additionally, if you live in an urban, highly-populated area, standing water goes from just being a nuisance to being potentially toxic. Urban water runoff is known to collect and attract pollutants. Standing water also attracts dangerous and annoying pests, like mosquitos. 

Save yourself the future headache, time, and cost by utilizing some of the above techniques. Hire an expert if you need to but know that the internet is full of DIY resources to get you started. These techniques will ensure that your yard, grass, and foundation are protected, while simultaneously limiting your exposure to the dangerous pollutants in standing water.

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Bathroom Remodeling Ideas to Increase Your Property Value

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So, you’ve decided to approach remodeling as a way to increase the property value of your home. That’s the first step, and an excellent choice for any homeowner who wants to see a little return on their investment. The next step in that process is choosing which parts of your home to remodel and finding ideas that fit your budget, timeline, and aesthetic.

If you do a quick search to look for ideas, you’ll find thousands of options, ranging from modest costs to millionaire budgets. You’ll probably want to narrow those options down a little, and the best way to that is to figure out where you’d like to start. Research shows that bathroom remodels are a surefire way to increase the value of your property.

Below, we’ll talk about five great ideas for remodeling your bathroom, while shooting up your property value at the same time.

#1 Did Someone Say Walk-in Showers?

An updated or renovated shower can change the look of your bathroom entirely. Sure, you can always go with a fancy jet tub or the classic clawfoot tub for that vintage look, but if you’re looking for a direction, there’s nothing that can tick up the curb appeal of your bathroom as much as an updated walk-in shower. From waterfall showerheads and multi-directional water streams to heated floors and glass doors, a new walk-in shower can become a statement piece in your newly remodeled bathroom. 

The materials you use are crucial, like polished chrome fixtures and durable glass, but the shower walls may be the most essential choice you’ll have to make. A dingy tile wall can make even the most enthusiastic buyer turn away. 

If you go with a solid surface corner shower, on the other hand, you can cost-effectively transform your bathroom. These showers are made with materials generally associated with kitchen countertops. However, you can use this material on shower walls with great results. They’re nonporous, can be cleaned and refinished with ease, and look fantastic.

#2 A Bathroom Counter that Shines

Speaking of counters, your bathroom counter is another part of the bathroom that can affect your property value. Just like with shower walls, the materials you use are probably the most important decision you’ll have to make when considering this particular remodel. 

Solid-surface countertops, which are designed to look like stone, have a high-end, beautiful look while remaining nonporous and easy to clean. A porcelain tiled counter is both cheaper and can be more durable than granite alternatives. Or you can go with quartz bathroom counters, which are designed to look like limestone or marble but are more durable. They’re also nonporous so they won’t absorb moisture and they’re easier to clean.  

#3 Pull Up Those Old Tiles

Some bathrooms have floors that are three decades old, stained and chipped, and that kind of damage or degradation can negatively affect your property value. There are plenty of options for remodeling your floors that can be both cost-effective and look great.

Stained concrete floors, for instance, are an ideal option. A lot of the time, you can pull up those old tiles, and there will be a perfect concrete floor sitting right underneath it. A little polish and staining and your bathroom floors will look luxurious and expensive. Of course, concrete can be a little cold when stepping out of the shower, but that’s nothing a small bathroom rug can’t fix.

#4 A Fresh Coat of Paint

This may go without saying, but a fresh coat of paint can do wonders for any bathroom. It isn’t a complicated process, either, though it can be tricky. Choosing the right color scheme, the appropriate tools, and the best quality paints are paramount. When in doubt, go with neutrals. 

Plus, the best thing about this option is that it’s very cost-effective, and you can do it yourself. 

#5 When in Doubt, Go Green

Energy efficiency and water conservation are so crucial in our society, and if you remodel your bathroom with that in mind, it can skyrocket the value of your home. Water-efficient toilets, showers, and sinks are perfect options for updating your bathroom and increasing the value of your property. These options not only decrease the amount of water you’re using; it can also lower your water bill. Any prospective buyer is going to see this as a great benefit and added value.  

Remodeling is the Key to Increasing Property Value

The options don’t stop there. There are so many ways to increase the value of your property by remodeling, and it is one of the best ways to guarantee a return on your investment. Your bathroom is the perfect place to start because it’s an integral part of your home.

You can’t just wait for the housing market to swing your way. Relying on the ebb’s and flows of the market can be a waiting game nightmare. Instead of letting time determine the value of your home, fix it up. Change it. Spend a little on remodeling and renovation, and you’ll thank yourself later.

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Key Steps to Take After Your Home Incurs Severe Storm Damage

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Storms will come and go many times in a year, and most times they are nothing more than just an annoyance and a bump in the day. But not every storm will be minor, with some being so strong that they result in severe damage to your home. Surveying the damage after the storm can be stressful and upsetting, as your home is something you work hard to maintain and something you take great pride in. 

So what are the key steps you should take to perform the repairs and ensure it’s safe and sound once again? Here is a simple guide that you can follow.

When In Doubt, Get Out

First things first, if the damage appears substantial enough that the very integrity of your home seems to be at stake, you need to leave and stay somewhere else until a professional can survey the scene. You don’t want to be staying in the home while it’s at risk of the roof crashing down or walls giving way. 

Obviously, this is an extreme case of damage, and hopefully, it never gets to this point. It’s just better to play things extremely cautious in these circumstances.

Contact Your Insurance Representative

It's also important that you contact your insurance representative as quickly as possible following the storm. You will likely need to follow a formal claim if the damage is greater than your deductible payment would be. Insurance will then need to follow their own steps in the process, so the faster you get the ball rolling, the faster the repairs can begin.

Contact a Professional Contractor

The next step in the process is to find someone qualified and experienced that can repair the damage. Because there are so many different types of damage that can occur after a storm, it's wise to be specific in the services you are after. 

Let's say, for example, your roof and siding is what took the brunt of the damage. Then you'd be after a contractor with experience in siding and roof repairs, such advantage-construction.com. Not only are experienced contractors well-versed in severe storm damage repairs, but they are experienced in working with insurance claims so you know they will understand all the necessary steps required.

Ensure All Is Secure for Future Storms

After the repairs have been made to your home, it’s also wise to use a critical eye and inspect the exterior of your home and the property itself. Look for potential safety and integrity risks that could potentially cause an issue in the next storm. This could be things like loose or damaged shutters, overgrown tree limbs near the house or even branches that look like they are dead could potentially come down in a wind storm.

Each of these tips will help you to work through the repair process as you remedy the damage that was done after a severe storm hit.

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Tips To Pull Off A Successful Remodel of Your Home

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It is not uncommon to have a home renovation project go awry. There are many things that one must take into consideration and factor in. Cost, time, subcontractors, ideas, and an insight into what it is that you actually want are all things to be considered. You want the best people working for you, at the best price, getting the job done fast. It's probably not going to be that easy, but if you are organized and have a plan, you can get this project done in no time.

In this article, we will outline a few tips that you want to take into consideration to make the whole renovation project pull off as smoothly as possible. These tips range from hiring the best team possible to installing the best sliding shutters. We have you covered. This is going to be a valuable article full of information to make this whole process as easy as possible.

Tips To Pull Off A Successful Remodel of Your Home

  1. Plan Ahead

Whatever your new home decor design may be, it is important to plan ahead. Time is our most precious asset in life. Check out the most trending home decor designs here.

Planning ahead, in regards to knowing precisely what you want, how long you estimate the project will take, creating the right team, and having a clear vision of the end result, is going to make this whole process much more manageable.

  1. Remember the Big Picture

Vision. You need to have a vision. One of the most significant issues is the delay with the home renovation due to not finishing. Most people cannot complete renovation because they are always changing their vision. Know what it is that you want. Have that vision so that it can become a reality.

  1. Find Good Help

Good help is so hard to find. And this is in almost all niches and areas of business. Before you hire a team, make sure you do a bit of research on them before paying them money.

The last thing you want to do is hire a team that is less than standard. Not only is money wasted, but time, your time, cannot be gained back.

  1. Visit a Job Site

To follow up briefly with our previous entry, one of the best ways to find good help is to visit job sites to see how the workers perform their tasks. Consider this your scouting process.

  1. Be a Good Boss

No one likes working for a toxic boss. It makes the job a nightmare and makes being around the person a bad experience. If you are hiring people to work for you, be cordial and kind. By building a relationship with these people, they may very well be willing to work for you again. It always pays to be a kind human being.

  1. Insist on a Detailed Contract

The contract is very important and more the reason why you need to be cordial and professional. Be open and as transparent as you can. Do not beat around the bush with what you want and how much you are willing to pay for it.

Negotiation is what this is all about. You want to offer them good work, but you also want to have as much done as you can. This is a business. There is no shame in trying to make this a win-win for everyone.

  1. Know What You’re Getting Into

Understand that this is not going to be an overnight project. This may take some time. Know exactly what you are getting yourself into when you decide to hire people to work on this project.

  1. Pack Away Your Valuables

This may be a no-brainer, but pack your valuable items someplace safe and away from the renovation area. Be cordial, of course, but still use some common sense. You don't want to leave anything of value out where others might be tempted to take.

  1. Communicate Effectively

Know what you want and be able to articulate that idea so that the team you have hired can pull it off effectively.

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The loving household: Flowers that can help your home

Nowadays, we're used to reading all sorts of hacks on how to bring positive energy to your home – but a recent infographic we have seen has brought another spin on the topic.

Kremp Florists have put together an infographic which dips into the true meaning of flowers. Their work has taken a look at fifty flowers from around the world – and concluded with the following:

From the perspective of a home, this is something that we found particularly interesting for a couple of reasons.

The first relates to history. After all, the page suggests that during the Roman era, lilies were stuffed into pillows and represents love. Now, as we all know, this is highly unlikely to happen as this is a flower that is more likely to be used in funerals. (click for larger version; scroll down to keep reading)

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The second reason relates to some of the meanings behind the flowers themselves. This is something that can be more tied into the home, and just how we can use another method to bring some “better feelings” into our environment.

Take the orchid for example. While the name isn’t particularly “homely” (it actually means testicle in Greek), some of its initial meanings are. Unsurprisingly, “fertility” is one meaning, but two others come in the form of elegance and luxury. As such, for anyone looking to build either of the two into their home, the orchid is a good option.

Then, there are more vibrant options. Take the Camellia as another example. According to the infographic, the history behind this flower doesn’t actually resemble much in relation to the home. However, the meanings do, with passion, balance, beauty and youth all said to be related. It means that any homeowner looking to add a degree of the above into their home, could very well look to this flower.

Sometimes, it’s about some of the more “common” flowers as well. Take the Daffodil – a flower that we are all used to (probably though our gardens). The history of this flower actually links very closely to its meaning. In Greek mythology, it was said that Narcissus was so obsessed with his own reflection in a pool of water that he drowned. The result? A daffodil grew from his body, and is now said to resemble rebirth and new beginnings. Suffice to say, in a lot of households, these are quite relevant subjects.

The list could go on - and some of the meanings aren't always going to be positive. If we quickly turn to the Snapdragon as an example, this is actually related to deception. Clearly, this is one meaning that we aren't going to want to associate with our home.

As such, at least from our perspective, the infographic invoked a few new reactions. Particularly with feng shui and other energies becoming very mainstream nowadays, tapping into the use of flowers to promote better energy in the home feels like something that is going to become more common over the next few years.

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