Phones, tablets, iPods, radio control helicopters, GoPro cameras (okay you get the idea)… It seems like just about all the electronic devices out there these days are charged via a USB. So why not install USB wall plugs in your home? They look like a normal outlet, except that they have USB ports. These USB plugs could be installed to replace any existing outlet in your home where you charge your gadgets, eliminating your USB power adapters, and freeing up your standard outlets.
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One thing I’ve learned as a foster parent is that kids love attention. A recent customer had me add a feature to their basement family room to give their kids some of that attention… a corner stage.
Would you like custom built-ins without the custom built-in price tag? Frame them! Ealier this year I finished a basement for some customers who wanted some built-in bookshelves with a toy chest, and a TV area with shelves and component cubbies. It took a little more work and material with the framing, sheetrock, trim and painting stages of the project, but saved them money over going with custom built-in cabinets.
Scheduling is a key component of managing any construction project. I recently completed a partial basement finish with a large family room, kid’s study, and some storage closets, in just 3 weeks. Here’s how I scheduled the work so that it could be finished in just 16 work days:
Good lighting in a home can make it easier to function within an area, improve the appearance of a space, and even have positive psychological effects on the people who live there. Updating or upgrading the decorative lighting in your home to fit your style can also make a big impact on the design and feel of the space. I recently installed a new chandelier in an entryway that I think sets a beautiful tone for the home the minute you step through the front door.
We bought a front load washer and dryer 5 years ago when we built our home. Instead of paying the $600 for washer & dryer pedestals (which are nice for raising the height of the washer and dryer as well as providing storage), I built a raised platform in our laundry room out of left-over building materials I already had. Raising front load washers and dryers makes doing laundry more ergonomic, with less bending over. I recently built a raised laundry platform in another home that improved upon my origional design by adding tile, cubbies for laundry bins below and additional built-in storage shelving.
Can lights provide good ambient lighting for general purpose use and basic task lighting needs. Most people like can lights because they illuminate a room in an inconspicuous way. They recess into the ceiling, and for the most part blend into their surroundings. Recently in a basement home office, I converted can lights into decorative accent lights using a can of spray paint.
When we built our home five years ago, we had the electrician install switched eave plugs. These are handy because they provide a convenient place to plug in your Christmas lights and you can turn them on and off from a switch inside your home. Five years later, we still haven’t invested in some nice eave lights, but we did run an extension cord from one of our switched eave plugs out to some Christmas lights we hung on the pine tree in our front yard. (It is a TANNENBAUM semi-dwarf mugo pine after all). The only problem was we kept forgetting to turn the lights on at sunset, and a few times we forgot to turn them off before going to bed, wasting money on electricity. Enter the solution to our problem… (drum roll)… a PROGRAMMABLE TIMER!