One of the very first steps in shopping for new flooring is deciding what TYPE of product you should be considering. Not the style or the color. Not the texture or finish. Not even what price range. The very basic starting point----do you want soft carpet for your family room? Or super durable porcelain tile? Or shiny elegant hardwood floors?
Sometimes knowing the price of different flooring options makes the choice easier. And there is certainly a wide range of prices based on the type of floor you select. As an example, let's assume you have a 400 square feet family room that is currently carpeted, and that you are on a wooden subfloor (i.e., over a basement or crawl space.) If you were to choose a medium-priced product, your typical professionally installed price for each type of flooring is approximately:
Luxury Vinyl Plank $3000
Hardwoods 3/4" $4000
The type of flooring makes a difference on your budget, doesn't it? Of course, there are many other things to consider, for instance, the average person replaces their carpet every nine years. So, if you are in your home for twenty years, you will replace your carpet at least once, maybe twice. But you will almost certainly have the same wood floor for twenty years. Over time, the higher priced options tend to pay for themselves because of the longevity of the product. However, this doesn't necessarily make you feel better when you write that initial check to pay for it!
Up Up and Away
While on the subject of prices: if you are planning on adding new hardwood flooring to your home this fall, you need to be aware that we already have notices of price increases from many manufacturers effective over the next 30 days. Demand is up, and materials are in limited supply. These increases are averaging around 6% or more.
Maybe you don't want to have your new floors installed until after the kids are back in school. No worries, you can purchase now to lock in your price and Enhance Floors will warehouse your product until you are ready for installation in August or September.
July Best Buys
We are all about saving you money. Here's a quick list of what you need to be stocking up on in July:
~~Clothing--Look for 4th of July sales and 50% off specials at your favorite stores. If you're willing to stock up on some heavier denim and khaki for fall, jeans will sometimes be available for as little as $10. Even summer clothes will see good discounts. July is the midway point for the retail season, so stores are already starting to clear out the inventory for fall.
~~Outdoor Gear-- Bikes, biking gear and apparel will be on sale, plus you'll see good deals on camping and fishing equipment.
~~House Paint-- Too hot to work outside? That's exactly why stores will be discounting house paint, as it just sits on their shelves while homeowners wait for cooler weather. That means if you plan ahead, you can save. And don't worry about the paint spoiling-- it can last for ten years unopened, so it will definitely be fine this fall.
~~Computer Games-- For a title from the last year or two, you can probably hope for a discount between 20% and 50% off. Meanwhile, older hits can reliably be expected to drop to 75% off or more at some point during any major sale, and a few titles have dipped to as low as 95% off.
~~Christmas in July-- Marking the halfway point to the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, stores have increasingly tried to bring a bit of the holiday to summer. Watch for this type of sale, plus the ever-popular Black Friday sale at your favorite retailers for big savings on a wide variety of products.
And 2 things to avoid:
~~ Laptops-- With some college students headed to campus in just a few weeks, it's true that back-to-school sales heat up this month. However, data shows that laptop deals are much better in August-- prices consistently drop as much as 25% further.
~~Grills-- Sorry, but it's not a good time to buy a grill! You probably want to buy one for the 4th of July, but so does everyone else, which is why stores will offer minor discounts at best. Wait one more month for prices that will be 40% less than at the beginning of summer.
When You Just Can't Deal With It Anymore
We all do it. We open that closet in the hall or junk drawer and can't believe how much stuff is crammed in there. TODAY is the day we are going to get organized!
Here are a few ideas to help you tame that closet or "catch all" room in the basement. These tips are sure to help you detect and use overlooked corners and surfaces, especially for hard-to-store items.
The over-the-door shoe caddy
The inside of doors - the surface you see when you're inside the room - are blank slates for storing small unbreakable items. An uncannily useful piece of gear is the inexpensive over-the-door shoe caddy, which is a hanging panel of small pockets.
While it's smart to avoid heavy and breakable items on a moving surface like a door, these caddies can corral a multitude of small things in nearly every room.
In the bathroom: Store cotton swabs, specialty combs, cotton balls, specialty towels, facecloths, unopened toiletries such as toothbrushes and razors.
In the hobby or craft room: Store interfacing, patterns, rolls of binding, skeins of yarn, bags of floss, packets of needles and small quilting templates and tools.
On the back of a pantry door: Store rags, clean towels, plastic grocery bags, specialty cleaning cloths like silver polishing cloths, new sponges, rolled-up placemats, folded cloth napkins,
On the back of a laundry or utility room door: Store folded clean microfiber floor-mopping pads; feather dusters, dust cloths, mini-blind cleaners, boxes of dryer sheets; specialty ironing supplies such as press cloths.
On the back of a coat closet door: Store gloves, mittens, earmuffs, small scarves, and winter socks.
More space in the kitchen
Kitchen gear can overwhelm counters and drawers. Move some of the clutter out of sight to simplify work surfaces.
Install a wall-mounted paper towel holder inside the sink cabinet and use it for rolls of trash bags.
Create note-boards inside kitchen cabinets by sticking on magnetic strips to hold pens and clips for grocery lists and freezer inventories.
To free up the junk drawer for more kitchen gear, attach magnetic strips to the insides of several cabinet doors and use small clips and bins to hold keys, markers, tape, and other useful items.
Use rollout shelves under the sink to store cleaning supplies.
Mount small bars on the exposed sides of cabinets and hang tools from the bars.
Hang it up
A rod and a hook: This simple combination can transform closets, garage and basement space. For the bars, use tension rods (as for curtains or shower curtain); inexpensive towel bars; or storage rods supported with hooks.
For the hooks, use S hooks from the hardware store; shower curtain rings; or clips.
Things to hang from utility hooks on garage or basement walls: Wreaths, umbrellas, brooms, mops, rakes, loops of holiday lights.
Things to hang from S hooks or shower curtain rings in clothes closets: Daily lingerie, tank tops, bathing suits, belts, scarves, lightweight purses and totes.
Things to hang from S hooks in the laundry room: Lingerie (by straps), hose, yoga wear - all items that should air-dry.
Book it with custom shelves
Books and decorative items add warmth and style to rooms but can quickly overwhelm. Here are three ways to merge in more shelf space for functionality and fun.
Build in bookshelves overhead: Run a single shelf around the perimeter of a room, eight to 10 inches below the ceiling. Make sure it is sturdy enough to hold books. Make sure that only unbreakable, light things are above doors, just in case an item falls when a door slams.
Triangular shelves set in corners of hallways and entryways can hold an astonishing number of things: keys, mail, lists, sunglasses, gloves, hats.
Install a shelf above the bathroom door, inside the bathroom, to hold towels.
Toys are only fun when you play with them, which is why they are always underfoot. Use these techniques for quick pick-up.Use large plastic picnic tablecloths (from the dollar store) as play mats. Kids can scatter Legos, blocks or puzzles across the mats; when it's time to clean up, pick up the corners of the tablecloth, folding the little pieces inside, and drop the whole thing in a plastic bin.
Store library and borrowed books in book bags that belong on the coat closet door knob; it will be easier to remember them when it's time to return them.
Lay old open-wire CD racks on their sides to organize children's picture books.
Craft creative storage
Craft and creative inventories need to be clean, easy to find and ready to use when inspiration strikes. These tactics open the way for crafting success.
Stack spools of ribbon on an inexpensive freestanding paper towel holder.
If you need to store fabric in bins where it's hard to see and access, create a quick-reference swatch notebook. Staple a swatch of each fabric to pages of the notebook and jot down how much of each fabric you have. Take this with you when you shop - so you can buy complementary fabric or yarn and won't buy more of what you already own.
Hang a tension rod in your craft closet and use S hooks or shower curtain rings to store clear ziplock bags of fragile supplies, such as bead making wire and beads, templates and patterns, and specialty rulers.
Pick up a wine rack at a thrift or dollar store. Nestle found and repurposed containers into the rack and use them to sort and store buttons, beads, notions, markers, stickers, tools and other crafting and sewing supplies and tools.
Hanging a flag or two for the 4th? Here are a few rules of proper flag etiquette:
Custom says you display the flag from sunrise to sunset. Alternatively, you can illuminate the flag and leave it up all night, but it should be taken down in inclement weather.When hanging an American flag from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union (rectangle with the stars) of the flag should be at the peak of the staff.When the flag is displayed rather than flown from a staff, it should be displayed flat, and the union should be uppermost and to the observer's left.
Bunting of the blue, white and red should be used, never the flag. There are rules of etiquette for displaying bunting, like the blue stripe should be on top.
The flag should never touch anything below it, like the ground or floor indoors