Columns 101: is that Doric, Ionic or Corinthian?

Take a walk around the neighborhood and you’re likely to notice more than a few different column styles.  Whether they are utilized to provide an extended outdoor space on the main level, an additional room on the second floor or a portico at the entry, columns can add loads of interest and style to the façade of a home. 

It’s not winter yet! Get outside…

Once considered an impossibility in our buggy, Midwestern climate, outdoor spaces are getting a second round of consideration.  Why subject yourself to one more dreaded mosquito when the sofa lies inside waiting to be visited? There are birds! A good breeze (sometimes)!  A bonfire waiting to happen!  And at dusk…stars!  Add an ice cold beverage […]

This just in: It’s time for a new front door!

When your home improvement budget has a limit, deciding where to invest your dollars can be challenging.  A new bathroom?  A kitchen upgrade?  A finished basement?  Lucky for you, a recent research project has made your home improvement budgeting quandry a little easier. Each year, the National Association of Realtors and Remodeling magazine join forces […]

Columns 101: Doric, Ionic, Corinthian or… tapered?

Even a ten minute run-through of architectural history would include a study of the ancient column orders (or styles).  What’s the big deal about columns, you ask?  They are one of the few, enduring architectural elements utilized in every historical period across the globe since they were established in ancient Greece! There is, quite literally, […]

Color of the Year – a follow-up!

Last week’s blog included a drum-roll presentation of our #1 most requested color; Custom!  Despite sticking to the facts, many of you didn’t like the answer.  “Custom isn’t a color!” To satisfy our readers, we tabulated the numbers again but this time limited them to the paint and stain categories we offer within our color […]

New front door? It’s not too late… yet!

If your Fall To Do List, included replacing the front door, it’s not too late… yet!  Mine will be replaced in the upcoming weeks and I’m looking forward to an updated and fully-functioning front door.  One that doesn’t drag on our tile floor and will keep us cozy, and heat efficient, all winter long. To […]

To paint oak or NOT to paint oak… that is the question answered today.

Painted cabinets and millwork is not a new trend.  It gained popularity during the recession because of its very attractive price point.  Plus, there are few things more enjoyable than a clean, bright, spanking-new kitchen in the whitest of whites!  And while trends do come and go, paint is sticking around…at least a little while […]

Manual? What manual, watch my video!

You’ve likely observed that the best way to teach any person born after let’s say…1980, is to set them in front of an instructional video.  Forget about 35-page instruction manuals; watch from your smart phone or your laptop or your iPad and you won’t have to try to figure out what that universal stick person […]


Do you ever notice the occasional, “slow-down and drive-by,” in your neighborhood? Whether it’s a visitor looking for house numbers or a leisurely onlooker, deep down we are all voyeurs. It’s unavoidable. Look at the quantity of home shows and tours from spring through fall if you don’t believe me. We absolutely love to know what the insides of each other’s homes look like.

Outdoor Spaces: Upgrade Your Deck

One of the best trends in home design is the development of the outdoor living space. If your dining room is too small for your extended family or you don’t have a good reading nook in the house, what better way to add value to your home than to create these spaces in your yard. Pulling these spaces together often requires a good deal of planning, a lot of muscle and vision. The big payoff is entertaining and relaxing in your own backyard oasis.

Exterior Columns

Exterior details - columns, mouldings, deck rails, rooflines, eaves, porches - should all include characteristics that mirror the foundational architectural details on your home. From Craftsman to Traditional styles, exterior columns provide architectural character and style to any home. At a glance, many exterior columns may seem similar. However, there are big differences in the design, size, design, and construction of most exterior columns.

Spruce up Your Exterior

As we said last week, it is time to dig out your work gloves and get a start on your outdoor projects. Have you thought about what projects you would like to tackle this summer? What could you do to freshen up the exterior of your home? Let’s look at a few different aspects of your home’s exterior that can had curb appeal and value with a little sprucing up.

Condensation Problems

Coming into this time of year, one of the most frequent issues we all run into is condensation on our windows and/or door lites. Condensation occurs when warm moist air comes in contact with a cooler surface. Not only is this unsettling to a homeowner about the product they purchased, there are also the issues of the mold and mildew that unwanted moisture creates. Along with the obvious health issues associated with mold and mildew, condensation can also lead to rotting wood and other damage if left unchecked.

Storm Doors and Architectural Style

Your front entry unit provides character and sets the style for the inside of your home. If you are considering a storm door, don’t forget to carry this over. After you’ve considered sun exposure and proper ventilation needed for your application, think about the style for system that you want. Storm doors should help to accentuate your front entry unit, not detract from its character.

Spring Care and Maintenance in 10 Easy Steps

Spring is the perfect opportunity for quality home maintenance. Annual care and maintenance will increase not only the longevity and beauty of your home but the value as well. You should perform repairs as the need arises but also try each year to add a little to the home’s attractiveness on the outside. Here are 10 easy repairs and maintenance projects to get you started this Spring.

Advantages of Aluminum Railing

The type of material you choose for your deck will determine how much longevity and maintenance is required. Aluminum railing offers a number of advantages to vinyl, wood, or steel deck railing. The simplicity and durability of an aluminum alloy deck system means lasting performance and value for your home.

Decking Basics

If you are planning on building or remodeling your deck it is important to know the logistics, even if you are going to hire a professional. Arm yourself with information regarding materials, construction, and design so that you are sure to end up with the deck that fits your needs.

Decking In Demand

As summer approaches much of our attention turns to outdoor living, specifically to enjoying the warm weather. A beautiful deck is the perfect upgrade to a home, it adds value and beauty – and is the perfect place to sit back, relax, and enjoy the summer heat.