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Warren DIY Triumphs vs. Regrets

Warren DIY Triumphs vs. Regrets

If you’re a Warren homeowner with a lively mind and personal tool belt, you will probably be tempted to take on some Warren DIY projects during your life with your home. Some of these projects face a bright future and a glorious grand reveal to your friends and family. Others are doomed to shame and frustration.

Internalize our list of Warren DIY triumphs and regrets to make sure that all the projects you choose are bound for success:


  1. Replacing a light fixture

Light fixtures may seem like a small detail of a room, but they cast a huge influence on the room’s mood. Happily, changing out a light fixture is a very do-able project. If you’re especially creative, you might even be able to design your own fixture!

  1. Replacing cabinet hardware

Again, cabinet hardware may seem insignificant, but sometimes the little details of a home lend the most charm. Swapping out dated or generic hardware for a more stylish counterpart is the work of an hour. If you want extra personality, paint your own cabinet knobs or drawer pulls.

  1. Painting a room

Color is a known mood-regulator. With a fresh coat of paint, you can give a room a totally new vibe. You can even make a space appear larger, by painting in bright, neutral colors, or create faux architectural elements, like faux crown molding that is actually just an inch or two of white above your regular molding.

  1. Replacing kitchen appliances

Nothing beats shiny, matching appliances to give your kitchen a polished look. Plus, new kitchen appliances can open up the life of your kitchen, enabling your meringues to rise to unprecedented peaks and your turkeys to retain maximum juiciness. New appliances are more energy efficient, too.

  1. Plumbing fixtures

The home improvement industry is constantly churning out new faucets and showerheads. Not only will the latest design make your home look stylish, it is probably also friendlier to your health and the health of the environment. Try installing a filter in your showerhead to avoid dousing yourself in daily contamination.


  1. Adding or expanding a room

This is probably the costliest remodeling project you can take on. Unexpected issues are almost guaranteed to pop up. And while you might get some use out of the new space, additions are known to be among the worst projects for recouping your investment.

  1. Installing new carpet

First of all, carpet is long out of style. It traps dirt and allergens, and it just doesn’t look good. Second of all, an amateur installing carpet is guaranteed to leave unsightly bubbles. This job is complicated and requires special equipment. Please, leave it to the pros.

  1. Installing hardwood floors

Hardwood floors don’t have all the same strikes against them as carpet. They’re clean, stylish, and they can definitely add value to your home. However, a poorly installed hardwood floor is as bad as carpet, and installation isn’t easy. Amateurs almost always leave bubbles, gaps between boards, or uneven edges. A new set of hardwood floors isn’t cheap, so don’t mangle them by trying to self-install! Trust this project to an expert.

The Warren DIY spirit is always admirable, but the results of your efforts, however heroic, sometimes fall short of admirable. Pour your energy into manageable products and revel in your successes. But for tough jobs, avoid disgrace. Call in a pro.

5 Budget Tricks for Martinsville Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels

5 Budget Tricks for Martinsville Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels

You’ve read that, in today’s market, Martinsville kitchen and bathroom upgrades give homeowners the biggest return on the money they invest. And let’s be honest, you’ve gotten pretty tired of that mustard yellow tile in your bathroom too. Now would be a great time to take on a remodeling project, and if you budget wisely, now is also a do-able time to take on a remodeling project!

Use these 5 tricks to get the most bang for your buck when you remodel your Martinsville kitchen or bathroom:

  1. Begin with a home inspection.
Unexpected expenses are a given when you take on a remodeling project, but don’t let these expenses get out of hand. Have a home inspector look over your room and your plans before you begin a project. A good inspector can alert you to weak floor beams, leaky water heaters, or electrical limitations that could devastate your budget if you don’t anticipate the ahead of time.
  1. Outline your budget.

Saying to yourself, “I’d like to spend $2,000” does not qualify as making a budget. Instead, sit down with a sheet of paper or an open spreadsheet and allot money to each cost of your project. Know how much you will spend on structural remodeling, appliances, tile, paint, labor, etc.

Just as important as outlining your budget is being realistic about your budget. Don’t allot $100 to a new Jacuzzi tub, and if you can’t allot more to a new Jacuzzi tub, don’t buy one. Unless you are upfront and honest about your finances, your budget is worthless.

  1. Find out whether or not you need a permit.

Major renovations sometimes require home permits before they can be take on. If you renovate without a permit, your Martinsville home’s value could suffer, thereby undoing all the money you’ve invested in upgrades.

  1. Be careful with the “while we’re at it” mentality.

Most consumers have an instinct to “bundle” big investments. You’re already sinking $20,000 into kitchen renovations, so you might as well take a look at that dining room too. You’ve just shelled out $500 on a stainless steel oven; wouldn’t it be a good idea to get the dishwasher to match?

Be careful how far you follow this “while we’re at it” mentality. It can easily break your budget!

  1. Think beyond the sticker price.

Prices aren’t as they appear, especially during a renovation project. Keep hidden costs in mind, including taxes, warranties, transportation, and installation.

Your Martinsville kitchen or bathroom renovation doesn’t have to break the bank. A focused, carefully budgeted renovation can have as big an impact on your Martinsville home’s value as a lavish splurge. Use our tricks to get the most out of your renovations, while taking the least out of your wallet.

5 Improvements that Maximize Somerville Home Value

5 Improvements that Maximize Somerville Home Value

There’s never a bad time to consider improving your Somerville home value. Whether you anticipate selling your Somerville home soon or you are simply interested in managing your Somerville home value, the way a responsible investor might manage his stock portfolio, now is a great time to make targeted improvements that increase your Somerville home value. And there’s more good news: home improvements don’t have to break the bank. In fact, many of the improvements that yield the best return are relatively inexpensive.

Make these five improvements to maximize your Somerville home value:

  1. Make your curb appeal the total package.

First impressions are worth a fortune, and that’s doubly true in the real estate world. If your home doesn’t draw the gaze of prospective buyers, its chances of selling plummet.

Grooming your Somerville home’s curb appeal can make sure you get the attention of the real estate market. Keep your lawn well mown, flower boxes fresh, and hedges trimmed. Put a fresh coat of paint on your door and shutters. (These are great places for a pop of color!) Pressure wash your siding to get rid of stains or mildew. Put away toys and set out a few, well-preserved pieces of lawn furniture.

  1. Polish your bathroom.

Studies have shown that your bathroom is one of the top two rooms for returning the money you invest in improvements. Don’t miss out on improvements here!

Replace any outdated features: a foggy mirror, a toilet with a crooked seat, or a showerhead that appears to be growing barnacles. If you can, spring for new tile. Liquidation shops can offer you contemporary tiles at a low-cost. If you decide not to replace your tile, re-doing the grout can give a faux-fresh look.

Stage your bathroom with candles and a de-cluttered medicine cabinet to complete the look of serene hygiene.
  1. Turn your kitchen into a feast for the eyes.

Wondering about the other half of “the top two rooms for returning the money you invest in improvements?” That would be the kitchen.

Many families report that they spend as much time together in their kitchen as their living room, so it’s no wonder that a welcoming kitchen can hook a buyer. Go for a bright kitchen bright, contemporary, and neutral look. Make sure your appliances match. For a big impact, consider upgrading your cabinets (or, if you’re pinching pennies, just the cabinet doors) and countertops.

  1. Let there be light.

Light is the secret weapon of professional home stager’s. A well-lit room will always appeal to buyers more than its dim counterpart.

When you show your Somerville home to buyers, open curtains and blinds to let as much natural light into your home as possible. Replace your lightbulbs with high watt bulbs or bulbs that mimic daylight. Put a fresh coat of a light paint on the walls. Scour all traces of the dark and dreary away!

  1. Take your layout back to the drawing board.

Open, spacious rooms give homes a luxury feel. If you have to suck in a deep breath to squeeze between any pieces of furniture in your home, it’s time to take your layout back to the drawing board.

Aim for having a few quality pieces of furniture that meet all your needs rather than an abundance of small pieces that can only serve one or two jobs. Make sure that the function of every corner of your home is clearly defined. Place your books near your favorite reading nook. Replace that extra bed in your home office with a futon.

For most Somerville homeowners, a home is not just a home. It’s also their largest investment of wealth. Make sure you are managing your investment wisely. Take advantage of the opportunity to make profitable changes. When you focus on savvy home improvements, you will get to enjoy the new look and the new value.

The 7 Best and Worst Home Renovations You Can Make

The 7 Best and Worst Home Renovations You Can Make

Investing in home renovations is one of the best ways you can bond with your home—and increase its value! If you have a little extra cash on your hands, you should definitely consider renovations.

But when you’re considering, consider carefully. Some renovations are much more profitable than others.

Check out this list of renovation project recoups to help you choose the right project!

  1. Attic insulation … 117% recoup

Dated insulation is sure to show up on a home inspection when you put your home on the market. On the other hand, if you’ve recently overhauled your attic with top-quality insulation (efficient, green, and under an active warranty), you can tout this as a selling feature.

  1. Stone veneer … 91.5% recoup

Buyers love a conversation-starting feature. Stone veneer adds style and intrigue to your home, making it stand out in your buyer’s memory.

  1. Steel entry door … 91% recoup

Your front door sets the tone of your home before visitors even step over the threshold. A steel entry door proclaims that your home is highly secure—and in touch with the latest trends.

  1. Garage door … 90% recoup

Garage doors don’t just secure your belongings, they provide your car access to the garage space. Without a functional door, your car is stuck outside and your garage is practically worthless. If your garage door has seen better days, upgrade. Go for a door with a button that you can use, while inside your car, to open the door. It’s a modern convenience that pays off big time.

  1. Deck … 57.7% recoup

If you’re the acknowledged barbecue master in your neighborhood, you will definitely be tempted to build yourself the ultimate stage for your craft. However, decks don’t rank on the top of most buyer’s “must have” lists. If you’re seeking more than glory, you might want to invest money elsewhere.

  1. Master suite addition … 57.2% recoup

It’s easy to sink thousands of dollars into creating your dream retreat from the world, or the suite that you know your in-laws will drool over, but not everyone will share your taste—or your desire to pamper your in-laws.

  1. Additional bathroom … 56.2% recoup

You might not enjoy knocking elbows with your husband as you are trying to get ready for work each morning, but when it comes to house-hunting, bathroom space is one of the first things that most buyers are willing to compromise on. That extra bathroom won’t score you big points. And bathroom remodels don’t do much better, recouping only 57% of the money you invest.

Home renovations can be exciting and stressful. Make sure that your excitement doesn’t end in a letdown and your stress pays off by choosing a project that will pay for itself. Of course, if an un-financially profitable project would pay for itself in personal enjoyment, you can swing for that, too! A good renovation is about more than return. It’s about homeowner satisfaction.

The Buyer’s Guide to Bernardsville Kitchen Appliances

The Buyer’s Guide to Bernardsville Kitchen Appliances

Nothing brings a Bernardsville kitchen up to date faster than a shiny new set of matching appliances. Excitement is high when you stroll into a kitchen appliance shop and browse through rows of stainless steel and chrome. But that excitement can sink as you try to compare the pros and cons of each appliance. If you don’t have some foreknowledge of kitchen appliance jargon, excitement can quickly give way to frustration!

Use our Bernardsville kitchen appliance guide to prepare yourself for happy shopping:

The Fridge/Freezer

The first decision you’ll need to make about your refrigerator is the size that you will need to accommodate your family’s groceries. Sizes are usually given in cubic feet, which can be hard to visualize if you’re shopping online. As a general rule of thumb, a fridge with 19 to 22 cubic feet can suit a family of four. Scale up if you have a larger family.

After you’ve determined the right size for your fridge, you’ll need to think about the layout of your fridge.

Top-freezer models are probably the most popular style. They offer plenty of space for a relatively small kitchen, but if you have a large family or a big appetite, you might find your freezer gets crammed.

Bottom-drawer freezers are often favored by healthy eaters. Frozen food is placed out of reach, which encourages you to pick out fresh food when you get the munchies. However, if frozen food is a staple of your diet, you might find that you get annoyed with bending over and digging for your meals.

Side-by-side fridges are great for a narrow space.

French door models have a luxurious look. They also tend to be taller and wider than other freezers.

A built in fridge and freezer can fit into your cabinets like a puzzle piece.

Finally, don’t overlook the key features each fridge has to offer. Look for temperature-controlled meat and produce bins, humidity monitoring for freshness, and easy-to-arrange shelves. On luxury models, you might find storage shelves inside the fridge door and a filtered water dispenser outside the door.

The Dishwasher

There was a time when dishwashers seemed like fodder for Hollywood mansions, but today, they have become part of almost every Bernardsville household. They are also quieter and more effective than they once were.

Begin your dishwasher hunt by choosing the right style for you. If you’re economizing on space, you’ll probably want a single drawer unit with a fold-down door. If you’ve got room (and cash) to play with, you can upgrade to a double-drawer unit with pull-out doors. These allow you to run two cycles simultaneously, so you can wash your delicate glassware and that pot you burned spaghetti sauce in under different conditions.

As far as extra features, you might want to consider investing in flexible loading. Flexible loading helps you get as much dishes into each wash cycle as possible.  Look for adjustable racks and flexible bars that accommodate odd-shaped cookware. An energy star rating and a visible time display are also perks!

The Stove/Oven

Stoves/ovens are probably the most versatile of all Bernardsville kitchen appliances. That’s because they get the most versatile use of any appliance. Some people use the same eye on their range to boil a package of Ramen Noodles every night. Other people regularly have pots simmering and boiling on each eye, and a cake rising in the oven.

If you’re a casual cook, a combined oven and stovetop in a standard cabinet size will probably suit you best, in terms of budget and utility. Of course, a variety of aesthetics are available, from spray painted metal to gorgeous stainless steel.

If you’re a hobby-chef with a penchant for elaborate meals, you would probably be delighted with an in-counter stovetop and a wall oven.

You should also consider the fuel source for your stove/oven. Gas burners are renowned for cooking food evenly, when electric burners are outperform them in terms of fast cooking. Induction stovetops are a luxury feature that combine even heating and quick cooking. And as far as your oven is considered, convection ovens are the standard for even heating. If you enjoy baking, a convection oven will produce the tastiest and most symmetrical cakes.

6 Pro Tips to Give Your Bedminster Home the Look of Luxury

6 Pro Tips to Give Your Bedminster Home the Look of Luxury

Here’s a little insider secret from the home décor world: the most luxurious homes are not always the most expensive homes. Luxurious homes are just homes that are well-loved by their owners. Below are 6 pro tips to cultivate a look of luxury in your Bedminster home. Remember, the trick is to care about every detail of your Bedminster home, not to throw money around on huge renovations or single, statement pieces.

  1. Declutter

Clutter lurks in the cabinets, closets, and corners of almost every Bedminster home. The difference between an average home and a home that is worthy of a magazine page is how much clutter the owner allows to build up before they attack.

If you begin to notice shoes piling up at your door, mail spilling over your coffee table, or even your children’s trophies taking over the mantle, it’s time to take action. If an object is unsightly, don’t leave it out in plain sight. Period.

  1. Deep clean

Grunge is disgusting, and it has no place in a luxury home—or any home, for that matter.

Scour your Bedminster home for thick dust, grimy windows, crunchy carpet, or any similar offender. Eliminate them all from your home, even if it means renting heavy-duty equipment like a pressure washer, a steam cleaner, or a deep carpet cleaner.

  1. Let in more light

Light makes a room feel welcoming. The more light you have in your Bedminster home, the merrier you, your family, and your guests will be.

Replace any lightbulbs that have gone dead in your house, and swap dim fixtures for brighter ones. Keep your curtains and blinds open until you have to go to bed at night. If you have a little money to play with you might even install a dimmer switch to introduce mood lighting to your gatherings, or install a skylight above your favorite hangout.

  1. Upgrade your hardware

Luxury and personality stand out in the details of a Bedminster home. Don’t settle for dated or generic doorknobs, curtain rods, drawer pulls, etc. Instead set your home apart with the latest finishes—or even completely unique hardware, purchased at an art shop.

  1. Repaint

Paint is the universal cure for a room that doesn’t look right.

Is the room too small? A bright neutral will seem to open it up. Have the walls suffered some wear and tear? Slap on a fresh coat of paint, and no one need ever know. Are you bored with the mood of the room? Try a new color. Are you afraid your cherished built-in bookshelves fade into the background? Paint the wall behind them, and they will pop out in all their glory.

  1. Create vignettes

Sometimes redecorating is as easy as moving objects that you already have around.

Professional home designers use “vignettes” to add visual interest to a gap in their décor. A vignette is a grouping of items based around a theme: a favorite color, favorite era, a family trip. In creating vignettes, you’ll be surprised with the treasures you discover, like a gorgeous plantation style tea tree that has been hiding under your kitchen sink or a fantastic piece of driftwood your son picked up on the beach.

Re-arrange your vignette several times to make sure the colors and height work well together. Then, display it on a shelf or table.

Don’t be intimidated when you see a gorgeous home on a magazine page. With a little TLC, you can get the same look for your Bedminster home. Luxury is all about attention to detail!

8 Small Additions that Have a BIG Impact on Bernards Twp Home Value

8 Small Additions that Have a BIG Impact on Bernards Twp Home Value

You don’t have to turn your wallet inside out to boost your Bernards Twp home value before you put it on the market. Savvy sellers invest in a few, targeted updates, then tuck away a nice profit when their home sells fast and for a premium price.

Here are 8 additions (all under $1,000) that will pay your money back, and then some!

  1. Water filtration system

Environmental concerns have been rising to the forefront of public consciousness for decades. Offer homebuyer’s protection from contamination and pollution by installing a water filtration system throughout your Bernards Twp home. As a bonus, your home will get points for “going green” by reducing the amount of bottled water homeowners consume.

  1. Programmable thermostat

Today is the tech age, and as the constant stream of new technology releases has shown, consumers love the latest gadget. Trick your Bernards Twp home out with a programmable thermostat, one that allows the homeowner to customize a temperature profile for their days. Even better, opt for a wifi enabled thermostat, which can be controlled via smart phone. Not only will your home look cutting edge, it will also offer buyers the opportunity to save money by reducing the costs of heating and cooling.

  1. Upgraded outlets and switches

Homebuyers are impressed by attention to detail, so zoom in on the details of your home that, with a little effort, could “wow” a buyer. All your outlets should be functional and have contemporary finishes. Make sure that you have a good number of three-prong outlets as well as two-prong outlets. Switch out tan faces for white faces with beveled edges. If you want to go big, install a dimmer switch that controls the lighting in your main rooms. Make sure you show this feature off to buyers! It may seem like a small luxury, but buyers are wild for little luxuries.

  1. New toilet

There are few bigger turn-offs than a stained toilet, or a mustard yellow ceramic toilet, in an open house. Exorcise your Bernards Twp home of these fiends and replace them with toilets of angelic, sparkling white. Water-efficient toilets are a plus!

  1. Freshly glazed bathtub

Use your shower curtain to set up a grand reveal instead of using it as a desperate hiding place. A freshly glazed bathtub will delight buyers, while a bathtub with stains or chinks in the finish will wrinkle their noses. Call in a professional or tackle re-glazing as a DIY project. Just be sure to re-glaze your bathtub a few days before buyers visit; the glaze will take some time to set.

  1. Contemporary tile

Browse through home décor labs or interior design blogs, and you will find quickly discover that tile is all the rage. Tile your bathroom floor or create a beautiful kitchen backsplash. Not only will the new tile job make your home appear more modern, it will look cleaner and fresher too.

  1. Window treatments

Eyes are the windows to the soul, and windows are the eyes of your home. Show them off with top-quality window treatments. Replace old, aluminum blinds with wooden blinds or plantation shutters. Take down heavy curtains and put up light, neutral drapes.

  1. Quality front door

Welcome buyers into your home with a high-end front door. Glass windows and a door handle, rather than a knob, give buyers a luxury feel before they even step over the threshold. If you don’t want to replace your door, try a fresh coat of paint in an eye-catching color.

Make sure you get the most bang for your buck by focusing your pre-sale home improvements on areas that are proven investment returners. Your buyers will be happier with the impression your home makes, and you will be pleased with the price you pocket from your Bernards Twp home value. It’s a win-win!

3 Things You Need to Know Before Remodeling in Branchburg

3 Things You Need to Know Before Remodeling in Branchburg

You’ve probably visited a friend’s home during a remodeling project before: you’ve seen the workmen’s footprints in the carpet, the wall that unexpectedly need to be ripped down, and the new gray hair streaking through your friend’s ponytail. But you’ve also seen the gloriously finished product—and you’ve decided to take on a remodeling project of your own.

Here are 3 things you need to know, before you start, in order to minimize stress and maximize ‘oos’ and ‘ahs’:

  1. You might need a permit.

All towns have different rules about building permits, but if you’re planning on tearing down walls or altering your electricity or plumbing, it’s a safe bet that you will need to get a permit for your project.

Getting a permit will take some time and research, but don’t skip out on this step. If you remodel without a permit, the changes will be discovered next time you have your home inspected. Your home’s value will suffer as a consequence.

  1. You might not recoup the money you invest.

All too often, homeowners take on remodeling projects as a form of expanding their investment portfolio. They think that, because they are putting money into their home, it’s value must go up proportionately.

Unfortunately, many remodeling projects don’t pay for themselves. Unless your personal taste and needs translate to a large portion of the real estate market, the changes you make won’t increase the demand for your home. Therefore, your home’s value won’t go up.

The good news is that any remodeling project which you undertake to enhance your enjoyment of your home will pay off in joy, even if it isn’t financially profitable. When you start a project, focus on “is the kitchen of my dreams worth $20,000 to me?” not “is the kitchen of my dreams going to increase my home’s value by $20,000?”

  1. You can save money by hiring a professional.

Many times, homeowners shy away from hiring a professional because they think the cost of labor will break their budget.

The truth is that a professional team like Five Star Home Remodeling can often help you save money, as well as ensuring that you get good results. Professionals know where to get good quality materials at a reduced price. They have their own equipment, so you won’t have to shell out for rentals. And they help you avoid costly mistakes.

If you are looking for a professional team to work with, call Five Star Home Remodeling today and see how we can help you create exactly what you are looking for.

Remodeling your Branchburg home is an exciting project, but don’t rush into it blindly! Being prepared to remodel means you will stay within your budget and get results that you will be pleased with for years to come. Being unprepared to remodel may result in exhausted funds, broken spirits, and even damage to your home. Reach out to Five Star Remodeling today and let us help.

2 Cheap and Easy DIY Projects to Revitalize Your Basking Ridge Kitchen or Bathroom

2 Cheap and Easy DIY Projects to Revitalize Your Basking Ridge Kitchen or Bathroom

Experts report that kitchen and bathroom upgrades allow Basking Ridge homeowners to recoup more of the money they invest than upgrades in any other part of the house. However, you don’t need an expert to help you make those upgrades!

Put your DIY skills to the test with these 2 cheap and easy projects:

  1. Color your cabinets

Besides your walls and floors, the cabinets in your Basking Ridge kitchen and bathroom probably cover the most surface area. By recoloring your cabinets, you can work an overnight transformation in your space. And it won’t cost you more than a few buckets of paint and a free weekend.

Begin this project by removing all the drawer pulls and doorknobs from your cabinets. If your cabinets have exposed hinges, you’ll want to cover those with tape. Nothing ruins a crisp new finish like paint splattered where it doesn’t belong!

Once all your hardware is out of the splash zone, continue by cleaning your cabinets. Kitchen and bathroom cabinets can build up a lot of grime, so make sure you are doing a thorough job and rubbing your rag around all the edges and grooves. Wash once with warm, soapy water, then rinse with clear water. Allow the cabinets to dry.

Now comes the hard part. You’ve got to remove the old finish from your cabinets so the new one will stick. Start scuffing your cabinets with 120- or 140-grit sandpaper. Once the varnish is mostly gone, give your muscles a break while you apply a thin coat of primer. Allow the primer to dry completely.

Return to the attack, this time sanding lightly with a 400-grit sandpaper. Once you’re satisfied that the surface is smooth and dust-free, you can get to the fun part!

As an alternative to sanding, if your cabinets are high gloss, and you don’t think you can sand them down, try using chalk paint instead of water based paint. Chalk paint adheres to any surface, and it can be mixed in all the same colors as water-based paint.

Begin painting, making sure that you always paint in the same direction, parallel to the grain of the wood. Apply several coats of paint, allowing time for each coat to dry completely before painting again.

  1. Replace the sink

A dated sink can be a major drain on your Basking Ridge kitchen or bathroom aesthetics. Fortunately, the cost of a new sink is just that: the cost of a new sink. Unlike other features of your kitchen and bathroom, you won’t have to pay for expert guidance or labor to install a new sink.

First thing’s first: use the valves under the sink to shut off the water supply. Now that you’re safe from being sprayed in the face, disconnect the supply lines from the faucet, using an adjustable wrench.

Undo the left rod, remove the nuts from under the faucet, and unscrew the slip nut on the trap. Position a bucket under your pipes, in case any excess water pours out. Then, unscrew the drain flange from the tailpiece.

The manufacturer of your sink should have supplied directions for installing the new faucet through the mounting holes in the sink. Follow these. Then, reconnect the drain by screwing the drain nut all the way down on the drain body, and pushing the gasket over it.

Squirt a little silicone under the flange, and position the drain body on the bottom of the sink, making sure that the pivot hole is facing the back. Screw the flange on from the top. Tighten the nut and gasket underneath.

Install the drain rod by unscrewing the pivot nut on the drain body and inserting the horizontal rod through the hole in the stopper; replace the nut. Push the horizontal rod down, and secure the lift rod to the strap with the screw.

Finally, reconnect the supply lines to the faucet. Turn the sink on, and watch the pipes for leaks. Once you’re sure your work is watertight, celebrate!

Solar Power and Somerset County Homes

Solar Power and Somerset County Homes

In the minds of many Somerset County homeowners, solar panels still belong to the far-out future. If you’re one of them, it’s time to re-train your mind. From 2013 to 2014, the use and availability of solar power in the US rose by 30%. Some states in the west already rely on solar power for 5% of their energy needs. Read below to learn why Somerset County homes should be considering adopting the use of solar power.

Why should you join the movement?


Solar panels can reduce your electricity bills. An average 4kW solar system can reduce a home’s electricity bill by half. Expansive solar systems in high-efficiency Somerset County homes’ can even generate an excess of electricity, which can then be sold back to the grid for profit.

Solar panels can also increase Somerset County homes’ value. In states where solar panels are common, an average 4kW system can add more than $18,000 to the price a home sells for.

And they reduce your impact on the environment. Over 20 years, an average system can offset tons, literal tons, of carbon dioxide emissions.

But someone told me…

There are plenty of myths circulating about solar panels. Most of them are false!

“Average people can’t afford solar panels.” Not so. The average cost to cover a roof in solar panels is less than the average cost of a car, around $29,000. Leasing your solar panels is also an option, if you don’t have the capital or confidence to buy a system. Plus, when you cover your roof in solar panels, you can claim a hefty 30-percent rebate on your taxes!

“They only work if the sun is shining.” Wrong again. Solar panels run off of UV light, which is able to penetrate a cloudy sky. Just look at Germany, one of the leading nations in solar power use and production – their skies are often overcast.

“They are impossible to maintain.” Strike three! All you have to do is make sure your panels are clean and free from debris. The general recommendation is to hose them off once a year and, of course, remove any tree limbs or large debris if it falls on the panels.

Ready to go solar?

The first step is to make sure that your roof is suitable for solar panels. Unfortunately, not all roofs can support panels (but there are other options out there, like ground solar panels or solar shingles).

Answer these questions about your roof to see if it is a good candidate for solar panels: what are my roof’s measurements? What are the electrical and building codes in my Somerset County area? Does my neighborhood or the state of New Jersey have any rules about solar panels? Do I want to be connected to the grid?

For answers to these questions and more, call Five Star Home Remodeling today to see how we can help you with all of your solar panel questions and needs.

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