home repair

Bright Star Handyman Awarded Top 25 Painters in Pennsylvania

Bright Star Handyman Service is a proud recipient of HireHaven’s Top 25 Painters in Pennsylvania list. As a full service handyman company servicing South Jersey & the Philadelphia regions, painting is one of the many home services we offer.

Best Flooring for Your Home: Wood, Tile, Vinyl, Bamboo, Laminate, Carpet, & More

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Top 3 Floor Options for Your Home by Room

If you’ve been to Floor & Decor lately (or even Home Depot!), you’ve seen the endless options for flooring these days: laminate, wood, bamboo, tile, engineered wood, a million kinds of carpet. How are we supposed to choose? In an effort to help, we’ve rounded up a list of the best flooring for each room in your home…enjoy!

Kitchen & Dining Room

  • Porcelain tile – A classic look, tile makes it easy to clean up spills and is hard enough to withstand the occasional dropped pan. Larger tiles in your kitchen can make the space look bigger too!

  • Vinyl – Don’t worry, vinyl flooring has changed a lot since it’s creation in 1958. The new vinyl is attractive, durable, and easy to clean.

  • Engineered wood – The possibilities are endless these days! A lighter color laid in a unique design will make your kitchen truly unique.

Living and Family Room 

  • Solid wood – Still THE BEST, most classic look. And it comes in so many flavors! Accessorize with a stylish rug or leave it bare.

  • Engineered Wood – The stuff looks like real wood. Seriously. And it’s a bit more durable than solid wood if you have a high traffic home.

  • Carpet – Sometimes in these rooms, comfort is king! Cozy movie nights are perfect with a plush carpet and popcorn.

Bathroom and Laundry Room

  • Porcelain tile – See the reasons above under ‘Kitchen & Dining Room’. Using smaller tiles lends a polished look, and the design possibilities are endless.

  • Vinyl – Comes in a million colors and really is better these days. You can match your towels, your soap…the world is your oyster.

  • Engineered Wood – This is a recent trend in bathrooms, and we love it! So durable and moisture-resistant.

Bedroom

  • Hardwood – We love hardwood in bedrooms – so classy. Make the flooring pop with a throw rug or a faux cowskin.

  • Tile – Because why not? We’ve seen some amazing tile designs in bedrooms, especially clay tile or travertine.

  • Carpet – Sometimes you just want that softness under your bare pajama feet!

Hopefully this helps you make your big flooring decisions! Stop by and see us today to find the perfect flooring options for your home!

The Best Home Remodel Trends for Bathroom, Kitchen, and Living Room in 2019

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This year will highlight modern, unique, and artisan looks around every room of a remodel or repair project. Embrace dramatic accents, technologic advances, and open everything, like shelves and floorplans. Retro styles make their comeback through colored cabinetry, furniture, and graphic wallpaper, and contemporary designs continue to gain traction through simplicity and class. 

Full-Height Backsplashes

In 2019, backsplashes are the star of show— counter to ceiling tile can create a beautiful focal point in the kitchen or bathroom, conveniently pairing with the increasingly popular modern style of floating cabinets and large windows. The tile itself can lighten up a room with its naturally reflective properties, or draw attention to the wall with a dramatic, patterned tile design. 

Gold, Brass and Copper 

Whether it’s a gold finish, brass feature, or copper accent—stainless steel is out, and rustic metals are in. When planning your home remodel for 2019—think brass kitchen sinks, copper accent tiles, and gold finishing on arms and legs of furniture. But don’t be scared to welcome new metals without saying bye to the old ones. Luckily, mixed metals are “in” this year, so bring on the new accents without feeling the need to ditch all appliances. 

Floral Wallpaper

Find floral designs in the hottest home remodels of the year. In the laundry room, nursery, or living room. Subtle and sleek, or distinctive and unique—whatever your desire, you are bound to find a design that fits your style. Wallpaper used to be the red-headed step child of design, but modern options include hand-drawn and hand-screened printed art that screams “class.” 

Cool Colors: Deep Blues, Greens & Grays

Cooler colors are expected to make a solid appearance in 2019 from walls to furniture to kitchen cabinets. Gray is still the most popular wall color by far, but Navy Blue and Hunter Green are quickly gaining popularity. Color experts presume this is due to the white and bright trend dominating the design scene in previous years. Green, velvet couches and vibrant cabinets are 

Open Floorplans  

It’s no surprise that open floorplans have become progressively common in recent years, a perfect combination of functional and appealing. Clawfoot tubs in the center of bathrooms, kitchens fully opening to outdoor patios, or the classic combination of living and dining rooms allow your home to feel bigger and more inviting. Not to mention the ease in entertaining, cooking and dining; the family chef can chat with guests while preparing food, and parents can watch their kids while cleaning up. 

Minimalism & Simplicity 

Open shelving, simplistic molding, and overall de-cluttering of knick-knacks and furniture. Less is more and what better way to start the year than streamlining your home in function and design. Open shelving provides a minimal vibe and straight-forward accessibility to plates in the kitchen and toiletries in the bathroom. 

Smart Home Innovations

Refrigerators. Coffee Makers. Lighting Fixtures. Door Locks. Heating Systems. All of these have one thing in common: they can be controlled from your smartphone and programmed to your liking. Implement a lighting schedule or set your coffee to be brewed at 7 AM. Smart thermostats can even detect when you are home and when you are away, so your HVAC system adjusts accordingly. Save on utility bills and treat the environment with kindness, the opportunities are endless. 

Hardwood Floors

Wooden material is warm and inviting, hence it’s preferred status as a flooring option. Tiles and vinyl plank flooring that imitate a wooden look are the second most popular selection in 2019. Engineered vinyl plank flooring can be great for young families because the material is waterproof and provides insulation through its cork underlayment. 

White Quartz Countertops 

Move over marble—Quartz is stealing your spotlight! In previous years, white marble was trendy in high-end and luxury homes, but unfortunately, its porous, expensive, and needy when it comes to maintenance. Enter quartz, it’s remarkable cousin that costs less, is easier to clean, and strikingly similar to the lavish and rare, white marble of the past. 

Tall Column Refrigerators 

Column refrigeration provides the option to customize the way you store your food. It has become increasingly difficult for a traditional fridge to accommodate a mid to large sized family, considering frozen pizzas, lasagna pans and wine bottles. Column systems allow you to choose the size of your freezer and refrigerator, exterior elements such as left or right hinged doors, water and ice dispensers, and width of the appliance. Contact a company that specializes in home repair services to get the job done, these systems are built into a wall and can be tricky to install.

Whether your 2019 home goals are big or small, Bright Star Handyman Service can do it all. Professional and skilled individuals will transform any room in your house, or simply touch up the details to create a whole new look. Click here to request a free estimate! 

10 Home Repair Services for Less Than $500

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Are you tired of the same-old, same-old in your home?  There are lots of ways to update a home, but sometimes our wallets won’t allow us to build our perfect home at this very second.  We have some suggestions for home repairs that may get you a few steps closer to living in your perfect space without breaking the bank.  Here are 10 home repair services for less than $500:

Seal the Deal in the Bathroom

Does your bathroom look dirty regardless of how many times you’ve scrubbed the tub & tiles?  One cost-effective way to give your bathroom a new, fresh feel is to replace the grout between the tiles.  Over time, tile grout can start to discolor and chip away regardless of how clean you keep it.  It’s normal wear and tear for a bathroom, but it can make your bathroom feel older than it is.  Sometimes, deteriorating grout can even make the surrounding tiles come loose if water gets behind them.  The caulking around your bathroom fixtures may also need a little help.  Caulk is the sealing around your sink, bathtub, toilet, and bathroom hardware that prevents water leaking into your walls and flooring.  Both grout and caulk can wear down over time and allow leaks, which will cost you more to replace in the long run.  

Upgrade Your Porcelain Throne

If your toilet is constantly breaking the chain or isn’t doing it’s job with water pressure, it may be time to upgrade!  Newer appliances, like toilets, are more energy and resource efficient than ever before.  While making an upgrade like an energy efficient toilet or low-pressure shower head will cost you money up front, you may benefit from lower bills on the backend.  You can be more water-conscious and have a shiny new toilet that can shift the look of the whole room!

Revamp Your Interior Walls

If you’re bored with your plainly painted living room or kitchen walls, you have some options without breaking the bank!  There is one big way to completely change the dimensions of your walls: wainscoting.  While this might sound like an old English term, wainscoting is a wall covering that has become increasingly popular in the last few years.  More specifically, it is vertical, painted wood panels that cover the bottom half of a wall, typically horizontally lined with a wood molding at the top to separate the panels from the drywall.  This is a great way to diversify the look of your walls and potentially cover any minor damage the lower half of your walls may have sustained from your kids or pets!  Price will depend on the size of the room but can be an affordable DIY project or reach out to us for our home repair services!

Shiplap Installation

Many people who are avid watchers of HGTV have seen and heard about shiplap quite frequently in home redesign.  But why?  Shiplap has been commonly known as siding on the exterior of your home, but has recently gained popularity for interior home remodeling.  Shiplap, as opposed to wainscoting, is horizontal wood paneling that lines the walls, with the top panel laying slightly over the panel beneath, like a roof tile but thicker & longer.  Originally used to support proper rain flow down the side of a house, many have turned it into a feature wall within their home!  It’s a beautiful way to bring unique texture into a room.  Cost varies depending on the size of the room, but some shiplap panels can be found for as little as $1 per foot of board!

Line a Room with Crown Molding

Crown molding is the decorative line that runs around the crease where your wall and ceiling meet.  While older homes typically have crown molding, many newer or renovated homes can come a little more bare.  Molding comes in a number of materials, shapes, and sizes and cost can vary depending on which you choose.  A simple crown molding installation can make your living room, dining room, or bedroom look even more elegant without breaking the bank.  It softens the hard corners of the room while adding a classy, finished look.  They can typically be painted any color and come in a variety of shapes.  Some are more standard, while more expensive options like plaster can offer large, intricately detailed custom molds like an early 1900’s Victorian home.  While some people choose to do this themselves, we recommend our home repair services to give you a hand!

It’s All in the Lighting

One cost effective way to make changes to several rooms at once is to update your lighting.  Replacing old light fixtures can not only bring more light in to your home, it can affect the entire feel of the room.  An older light fixture could be dating your home 20 years without you even realizing it!  Not to mention, changing the fixture and converting to LED light bulbs could help reduce the amount of electricity your home uses on an annual basis.  If your overhead light fixture isn’t bright enough, look into investing in a floor lamp to add more light.  Want to see the difference lighting can make in your home before making the purchase?  Take one of your lamps and move it to another spot in the room, and see how the dynamic in the room changes from just this one step!

Paint the Town Red

Painting your kitchen, living room, bathroom, or bedroom can drastically change the feel of the room.  While it takes a little bit more preparation to move and cover your furniture, sometimes a new coat of paint will have your home looking like a brand new place!  If you don’t want to paint your walls, take a look at your cabinets and baseboards and see if they need a new color or coat of paint.  Typically, it’s best to sand down the old paint to get the new coat to go on smoothly and last longer.  One word of caution, sample your paint before you decide to make touch-ups on your walls or trim.  It can be difficult to match paint colors exactly (usually in older homes with discontinued paint colors), so work with someone to make sure your touch-up paint matches exactly, or get ready to repaint everything!  

Picture Perfect Windows

Blinds and curtains are typically under siege in homes with kids and pets, but can also wear down and break on their own over time.  One way to update the look of your home is to install new blinds and curtains.  While cost depending on how many windows you have and how fancy you want your blinds, it can be a great way to make your home look even nicer!  If blinds are out of the question, take a good look at your curtains.  Curtains are great to reduce the hard lines that windows and their frames can create in a room.  Looking for more light?  Blinds and sheers are a great option.  Wanting to limit light in the bedroom, heavier drapes can help cut out excess light.

Save the Stairs

If you have pets, an older home, or a high-traffic area in your home, your floors may be showing you that it’s time to do something.  Installing a floor runner up your stairs or in a hallway is a great way to hide the wear and tear on your floors.  Carpet prices vary but there are several affordable options.  If you choose a full runner for the stairs, be sure to secure it so it does not slide when you walk on it.  There are also individual carpet pieces that use adhesive to stick to each individual stair.  If you think you need to replace the stairs altogether, reach out to us about our home repair services!

Scrub Away

If you’re not sure you’re ready to replace anything in your home yet, maybe a good thorough cleaning will have you loving your same old space!  Some homeowners that are trying to sell can change their minds about their home after deep cleaning and repairing their home.  If you’ve never cleaned your light fixtures or repolished your wood floors, this might be a good place to start!  It could be more time-intensive on your side, but might just be what you’re looking for in a home repair!

Regardless of what you’re looking for in a home beautification, feel free to reach out to us at Bright Star Handyman Service to learn more about our home repair services.  We’re happy to help to create your dream home!

8 Ways to Update Your Home for Less than $500

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Contrary to popular belief, the winter months are an excellent time to commence home improvement projects. They say spring brings new beginners, but winter home improvement projects offer slight advantages over warmer seasons, including shorter completion times and potential discounts. This timeframe, although generally reserved for family, friends and holiday celebration, is an end-of-the-year slowdown for many businesses and contractors. In return, it can be a lucrative time of year to not only secure a great deal, but check off those last-minute items on your to-do list before washing your hands clean of 2018.

The general perception of winter home improvement projects involves a hefty price tag, but the reality is quite the opposite. Whether small projects or moderate upgrades, the following highlights the best winter home improvement ideas that won’t break the bank:

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Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy Turkey Day from Bright Star!  We want to express our love and gratitude for your support over the years!  

We hope your day is filled with great food, family time and love with the ones you love the most.  Count your blessings, love on those around you, and choose to be grateful for all the things around you.

If you’re looking for a great holiday gift for your family?  Give the gift of a home remodel!  We want to support you however we can in your next home renovation.   Winter is the best time to settle in and decide what changes for the upcoming year.  

If you want to make changes next year with a home remodel,  contact us for suggestions on your renovation!  We would love to consult you on your choices to making your home dreams become reality.  Let us know what you’re thinking for 2019, and we’ll do everything we can to bring your dreams to life!  

Have a happy holiday weekend!

Love, 

Bright Star

Why is My House So Cold?

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It’s getting colder outside and it is time to start cranking your home heating system, but why is it still cold in your house?  Just because the windows and doors of your home are closed & the heater is on doesn’t mean your house will stay warm.  The bitter cold of winter can show us where our home is leaking air and raising our gas & electric bills by overusing our heating and cooling systems to compensate. 

If you’re sitting on your couch and you feel a slight breeze of cool air, you might have a draft in your home.  There are several contributors to having a drafty home and, luckily, there are simple ways to locate and fix the air leaks!   When there is a leak in your home, the air inside of the home escapes outside and the outdoor air invades the desired controlled temperature of your home. 

How do you locate the source of the draft?

First, notice what room you’re in when you feel it the most.  Is it a certain part of the room, like when you’re sitting on the couch?  Or is it a general coldness you can feel in multiple rooms?

The most common culprits for air leaks include, but are not limited to, windows, doors, attics, and fireplaces.  Sometimes, even light fixtures and electrical outlets can allow air in, if the insulation is old or lacking.  There are several ways to remedy unwanted airflow in your home.  

Here are some easy ways to fix the draft in your home:

Check the Attic

Heat rises & if there is not enough insulation to keep the heat from leaving the house through the attic, the heated air will rise straight out of your house and let the cold in.  Sometimes holes in the roof at the culprit.  If you’re not sure, hire a contractor to inspect the attic for you.

Shut the Fireplace Damper 

Fires can offer a great source of warmth when they’re in use, but when they’re not blazing, the fireplace becomes a wind tunnel directly in to your living room or bed room.  One easy way to keep the cold out and the heat in, is to close the damper between uses.  Don’t forget to reopen it before next use though, or you’ll end up with a house full of smoke!

Replace the Weather Stripping on Windows & Doors

As our homes age and slightly deteriorate from normal wear and tear, the rubber pieces that help line up our windows and doors can also wear out.  Dried and cracked rubber will not fill the seams of your windows and doors like new, elastic rubber.  When the space between the door and the door frame (or window and window frame) is not fully sealed with the rubber, air will make its way inside and out.  You might be able to tell when to replace the rubber or you can ask a contractor!  Sometimes the windows themselves are the culprit.  Read more about windows here.

If you cannot find the source of your air leak, reach out to us for a free consultation and we’ll be happy to arrange a repair man to your home to help you out if you need!

12 Easy Ways to Winterize Your Home

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Being cold is not cool. Luckily, with our helpful collection of 12 easy projects, you’ll have your home ready for winter long before the snow flies.

1. Caulk Windows and Doors

It can’t be said enough that windows and doors are the two leading culprits for winter heat loss in your home. With these caulking tips, you’ll be able to keep your home warm and ensure a tight seal around interior trim. And as a result, warm air stays in your home. Don’t forget to check your external caulk as well and fix any gaps before the snow flies.

2. Add Insulation

Beefing up the insulation in your home, particularly in basements and attics can keep your home warm. And will promote a more even temperature and eliminate cold spots. Better yet, adding insulation is a cost-effective solution to what can be an expensive problem over time. Follow our guide to insulating your house, and you will have a toasty home before you can say ‘winter.’

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Happy Halloween!

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Happy Halloween to all of our friends and family in South Jersey and Philadelphia! We are grateful for your love and support as we enter the last quarter of the year! If you have been considering a home renovation or remodel, now is the time to reach out to Bright Star Handyman Service for a free consultation regarding your next home improvement project.

If you’re curious about whether or not Bright Star is the right fit for you, check out our ever-growing project gallery or our Facebook reviews from satisfied clients. We love hearing from you and supporting you in your kitchen remodel, bathroom redesign, new deck build, garage or basement renovation, or anything else you can imagine! From installing new windows to adding an extra bedroom, we’re happy to help you!

From all of us at Bright Star, we hope you and your family have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Need Help Organizing?

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There’s nothing like trying to get something done in an unorganized home. It may seem like there are 50,000 projects to do and you have no idea where to start. Sometimes, a major overhaul isn’t necessary, if you can optimize your space in a way that fits you. Here are 5 Ways to Add Storage into Your Home:

Elevate Your Bed

One easy way to create more space in a bedroom is to upgrade to a bed with storage underneath.  With the current trend of functionality in home furniture, there are several styles of bed frame with built-in storage that can include cubbies, drawers, or cabinets.  A simple way to create more space without purchasing a brand new bed frame is to raise the bed.  Many bed frames have a low clearance to the ground, which will not allow for larger storage bins to fit underneath.  There are blocks that can be placed under the feet of the bed to add a small 3-4in lift that allows more space underneath.  Using a bedskirt can also help hide under the bed storage.


Bookshelves & Cubbies

When you compare a small table to a bookshelf, the surface areas to hold things is typically greater for a bookshelf than a table because of the various levels.  If you’re looking for a way to create an organization system for the whole family, get a three-tiered shelf.  The bottom shelf is for the kids, and can include baskets for easy organization, the middle shelf is shared family space, the top shelf is for mom & dad.  To double up the shelf space in one area, a second the tiered shelf can me mounted on the wall with adjustable bracket hanging tracks.

Hanging Wall Hooks and Fixtures

It’s helpful to move storage off of the floor and countertops and on to the wall for an even higher level of organization.  Hanging small baskets in the kitchens and bedrooms can offer a home for keys, mail, pets supplies, and small knick-knacks to provide more countertop space.  Hanging hats and long jewelry on the wall in the bedroom or bathroom will help with organization and get your favorite pieces out in front of you to wear more often than tucked away in a drawer.  

Optimizing Bathroom Space

There are several relatively easy installations that can accommodate an overcrowded bathroom.  Installing an under-the-sink cabinet will offer a tall, hidden space.  If you’re still needing more space, mounting a cabinet or series of shelves over the toilet or towel rack can also increase surface area.  If you have open shelves, small baskets or organizers can help keep the area looking neat and clean.

Over the Door Organizers

Do not underestimate the space and freedom an over-the-door organizer can offer.  Whether you prefer to use a multi-hook hanger or a full-length shoe organizer, you will be surprised how much stuff the back of a door can hold.  This is a great place to store shoes, scarves, jewelry, purses, backpacks, jackets, etc.  


There are hundreds of ways to create an organization system in your home and the cost can vary greatly. While it’s definitely accessible to do most of the organization yourself, if you would like assistance in creating a custom in-home organization system, reach out to Bright Star Handyman Service for a free consultation!



Best Fall Home Remodel Ideas

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It may still be pretty hot, but fall is nearly here. With cooler temperatures come ideas for home remodeling projects. Whether you want to entirely renovate your kitchen or just spruce up a bathroom, here are 10 tips to get you started.

  1. Cabinets: In a bathroom or kitchen, cabinets can be your priciest installation. So don't make a mistake by choosing something that's already dated or by being so trendy you'll regret your choice soon. Shaker style or flat-front cabinets are the most popular choices right now and work in homes that are traditional or transitional. Contemporary cabinets are popular, too, and they're sleek styles that often feel European. For colors, white paint and natural stain are good picks, but grays and blues also make cabinets stand out. 

  2. Flooring: The cost of covering your floor adds up quickly, often because there's so much square footage and nothing really can be left uncovered. But do you want natural stone, wood or porcelain tile? You've got big decisions to make here, because you don't want to make a mistake and have to do it all over again. One big trend in home design involves porcelain tile that looks like wood or marble. Chalk it up to laser jet printing technology that has turned what used to look like cheesy imitations into high-end looks. Porcelain tile is easier to clean and is tough as nails, too.

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5 Ways to Waterproof Your Home!

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Clean & Repair Rain Gutters

As fall approaches, leaves fall and begin to gather on roofs and in gutters.  One of the best ways to prevent water entering your home is to make sure your gutters are offering proper drainage for your home.  Wet leaves left on the roof can cause mold and a number of other damaging issues.  If you have a really tall house or a steeply angled roof, it might be best to hire a professional to help you out!


Repair Cracks in Concrete

Various temperatures create different stresses on a number of elements in your home.  Your concrete, like garage floor, foundation, or even house walls can begin to show signs of wear.  In the summer, the heat forces the stone to slightly expand, while the stone contracts in the colder months.  While it’s normal and expected, over time the fluctuations can be too much for the concrete.  Cracks in your concrete are typically not too hard to repair (unless it’s in the foundation) but are necessary in maintaining the integrity of your home.  If water seeps up from the foundation, it can ruin your floors, walls, and anything else the water may touch.  It’s best to take care of these repairs quickly and they can be as easy as using a caulk gun and doing it yourself!  


Replace or Seal Old Wood

Old window and door frames can be a huge culprit in allowing water into your home.  If you own an older home, the sealant on wood can begin to wear down and expose the material to air and water.  The elements can begin to break down the integrity of the wood, sometimes allowing water into your home.  Sometimes, the fix is as easy as resealing the material, while other times it may take a full removal and re-install process.  Your best bet is to ask a professional to inspect the wood to make sure it won’t cause you future problems.


Update Door and Window Seals

When we say ‘seals’, we don’t mean the wood trim and frame around the windows and doors.  We’re talking about the rubbery material that creates an airtight seal around your windows and door.  As most plastics and rubbers, they will wear down over time.  The rubber can shrink and become stiff, hard, and holy, exposing holes in the seal.  With these holes, water, air, and sometimes little insects can get into your home.  Just like a windshield wiper loses its effectiveness over time, these guys should also be looked at if you’re having leakage around your windows or doors.


Check the Basement

Basements are typically the most common thing to flood in a home.  There are many things that can contribute to basement flooding like cracked concrete, leaky washer & dryer intake, or old basement windows.  Make the effort to check out your basement from time to time to make sure everything is properly sealed to keep everything dry!

Stairwell Rehabilitation

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One of the things I love the most about my job as programming manager for DIYNetwork.com is discovering the things you love about us, but also the things you want to see. And long have I labored on a piping-hot laptop eager to fulfill a common desire among passionate DIYers: staircases!Let's face it, very few of us could add an interior staircase where there isn't one now or heavily remodel an existing one. More approachable DIY staircase projects are utilizing them for additional storage or painting them. A wooden staircase, especially one that has lost its luster, can be painted with powder-room-esque gusto, as Shannon Kaye demonstrates here.

Shannon's project — coupled with your response to it — caused us to dig around for more painted staircase inspiration, like Bryan Patrick Flynn's step-by-step faux runner and seven more colorful examples.

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Fall 2018 Color Trends by Pantone

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It's that time again, Pantone has unveiled its Fashion Colour Trend Report Autumn/Winter 2018 edition ahead of London Fashion Week. The report features the top seasonal colours we can expect to see on the runway, which inspires fashion, home décor and design.

The Autumn/Winter 2018 palette incorporates 12 top colours and a collection of five 'classic' colours. So if you're planning to decorate your home and are in need of some inspiration, take a look at the colours that will shape home décor palettes this year.

But what can you expect? A bold palette of deep and rich autumnal hues complemented by some more surprising shades that expresses originality, ingenuity and creativity.

Whilst mixing and combining unexpected colours can help to create a wonderfully bright and bold space, many of these unique shades can be similarly impactful when used alone.

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Beginning a Basement Conversion

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Remodeling magazine conducted a study that shows that the average basement remodel will offer a 75 cent return on every dollar spent, placing it in the top 10 best investments for home improvement, behind bathroom and kitchen remodels.  This top 10 placement is based on the useable square footage addition, adding an extra bedroom, bathroom, in-home office, or family space.

 

There are several things to consider when looking to finish your basement.

  1. Moisture
    One of the number 1 destroyers of basements is moisture.  There are multiple ways to test for moisture levels and prevent leaks and mold from ruining the hard work you put into your new space.  While a dehumidifier may help alleviate some density, it can sometimes pull moisture through unsealed walls from the surrounding earth.  Alternative ways to reduce water problems include professional HVAC installation, sealing walls, and choosing correct flooring like floating vinyl slat flooring.  A vapor retardant is also recommended between floor slabs and foundation walls to help reduce the amount of water that comes from the outside.  If you plan to install a bathroom in the basement, make sure it is properly equipped with exhaust fans and ventilation that will help reduce steam buildup. 
  2. Lighting
    Most basements have limited options when it comes to natural lighting.  Organizing your space around optimizing the available light will create a warmer space to spend time in.  Optical tricks, like lighter walls and mirrors, will help the space look larger and allow more natural light in.  If you’re unable to harness natural light, there are lots of lighting options that mimic sunlight that could be better fitting alternatives.  Planning the layout to be more open around your light source can also allow more light into the subterranean space.
  3. Soundproofing
    Being on the garden level of a home can be the noisiest place in the house.  While vinyl slat flooring may be the best option for moisture control, it will only help to amplify the sound that is coming from the floors above.  It’s up to you to choose your flooring in respects to soundproofing your basement.  Water & mold resistant carpeting could be your best option if you’re looking to add an extra bedroom, playroom, or movie room, as the carpet absorbs quite a bit of sound.  Other ways to soundproof the basement include adding fiberglass batts behind the drywall to create an extra layer of insulation.  Sound absorption pads and matts can also be added between the first-story floorboards and the basement ceiling.  
  4. Storage
    Take into consideration how much space in your basement is currently used for storage.  If your answer is “none” than this will be less important than the last 3 suggestions.  However, as you grow into your home or your family begins to grow, having designated storage space will benefit your entire family.  There are creative ways to add storage without reducing the useable square footage of your home.  Adding a closet underneath the stairs will offer great storage space without cutting into an open floor plan.  Creating a full closet wall can also minimize the intrusion of storage into an open layout.  This can be created with an extension of added drywall just a few feet from the original basement wall.  Another option includes building a cabinet and cubby system on one of the walls for all of the kitsch things you may have.

 

There are so many other factors that go into a basement remodel, like egress/emergency exit installation, ceiling heights, etc. but these will give you a framework of important things to note when considering finishing your basement.  One other noteworthy point includes examining the stairwell to the basement.  Basement stairs are often not even or have deteriorated over the years due to moisture and most likely need maintenance too.

 

If you’re thinking of adding on to your house, we would love to offer a free consultation for renovating your basement space.  Contact Bright Star Handyman Service for more information today!

Top Renovation Returns by Bankrate

renovations philly handyman

Whether you plan to stay in your house a long time or just a few years, it’s smart to know which home renovations add the most value to your place.

“Remodeling,” a magazine for the construction industry, in its 2018 Cost vs. Value report, compares the average cost of 21 remodeling projects in 149 markets with the value those projects retain at resale in 100 U.S. markets.

Here are the six interior remodeling projects that deliver the highest return.

1. Garage door replacement

  • Average cost: $3,470
  • Average resale value: $3,411
  • Cost recouped: 98.3%

A good-looking garage door tops the list when it comes to returning cash to your pocket, the Cost vs. Value report shows. This project involves removing an existing 16-by-7-foot garage door and replacing it with a new four-section garage door with heavy-duty galvanized steel tracks. This curb-appeal enhancer will get you back almost every dollar you spent on it when you sell your house.

 

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What the 20 Most Popular Home Renovations Are Really Worth in 2018

Photo Credit to  www.bidvine.com

Photo Credit to www.bidvine.com

Planning to remodel your kitchen, add a master suite, or undertake some other pricey home renovation in 2018? Watch out—not all of these home improvements pay off like they did in the past, according to Remodeling magazine's latest Cost vs. Value Report.

For this much-referenced annual report, now in its 31st year, researchers pinpointed the average return on investment of 20 popular home renovations by canvassing contractors nationwide on how much these upgrades cost to complete, then compared that with how much real estate agents estimated these features would boost a home's market price (in other words, their value).

And the news isn't so good for homeowners looking to remodel on a massive scale: The report found that in 2018, Americans should expect to make back only about 56% of the money they spend on renovations. That's down from 64% the previous two years.

 

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Why Home Maintenance Is Important

Owning a home requires a lot more responsibility than renting. If something breaks down, there's no landlord to come and fix the problem; it's in the owner's hands. That means the responsibility of keeping a home clean and maintained is up to the homeowners. Your realtor, mortgage lender and everyone on the Internet has told you how important it is to keep your home maintained, as well as thousands ways to do it. But why is it so important? As a home warranty company, Landmark's main purpose is to help homeowners who have systems and appliances that fail from old age and normal wear and tear. However, in our contract, we stipulate that if a system or appliance has failed because of lack of maintenance, it's not considered "normal wear and tear." You shouldn't just maintain your home because of the benefits of a home warranty though (although that's an excellent reason to do so!). There are a number of other reasons home maintenance is so important.

Home Maintenance Saves you Money

The first reason home maintenance is so important is that it saves you, the homeowner, money. "That can't be right," you're thinking. "I spend so much of my time, money and energy cleaning and maintaining. How does that save me money?"

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Happy Independence Day!

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Bright Star Handyman Service wishes all of you a Happy 4th of July!  Whether you plan to hang out with your friends on your brand new outdoor patio, or check out the local fireworks show, we hope you have the best day off!

While we’re all about the fireworks celebrations, we want to remind you to keep your pets inside as the sun starts to set today.  Each year, many runaway animals end up breaking out of their backyards due to fireworks and end up in shelters on July 5th.  We care about all members of your family and want to make sure your furry friends feel safe, too!

Sometimes it’s easy to feel like we live in a divisive time nationally, we encourage all of you to focus on the things you’re grateful for and what makes us all the same.  We are all Americans and we have our freedoms that our forefathers fought so diligently to protect.  

We’re grateful for all of our amazing clients and the opportunity to help you live your best and most comfortable life!  If you live in the Philadelphia or South Jersey areas and haven’t worked with us yet, please don’t hesitate to reach out about achieving your dream home!

 

Happy 4th of July!

Want To Save On Home Repairs? Hire A Handyman!

A handyman is a skilled worker who can handle a variety of projects. He or she may have received formal education and training or may simply be self-taught. He or she may also be a specialist that has knowledge on other skills. For example, a handyman may be a licensed electrician that has a hobby of woodworking so he also knows about carpentry.

Handymen are not regulated so their competency for similar skills may be different. For example, one handyman may be better than another in terms of plumbing, unlike licensed plumbers who have almost similar capabilities. Some handymen will have a wider skill set than others that could involve plumbing, electrical expertise, carpentry, tiling or painting.


What a Handyman Can and Cannot Do

If the project requires a permit or has to be done according to code or standard, you will need a licensed professional. Not all handymen are licensed on a specific field so you will have to choose contractors. It is also a good idea to give emergency jobs like broken electrical wiring to specialists.

Based on a CostFigure article, the service cost of a handyman is charged at an hourly rate so you will possibly spend more for a job that requires a long time to finish or needs multiple workers than if you opted for a contractor.  For example, a South Jersey handyman price might vary greatly from a Philadelphia handyman price.  One handyman may have better tools than the average household but if the job requires heavy-duty equipment, then it is a good idea to hire contractors.

That said, Bright Star Handyman Service can handle a variety of minor jobs that do not require a lot of manpower or complex equipment. These can involve:

  • plumbing - installing new pipes or repairing leaky faucets

  • caulking - applying fresh caulk to windows, doors, and siding

  • repairing decks and porches - replacing broken boards or applying sealant

  • painting - painting or touching-up small sections

  • gutter maintenance - cleaning gutters and installing guards

  • home exterior repairs - replacing sidings or shingles

  • extra jobs - replacing light fixtures and doorknobs

How Can You Save Money with a Handyman

For multiple simple jobs that require different skills, especially in South Jersey or Philadelphia, Bright Star handyman service will cost less than hiring multiple specialists. For example, replacing a leaky pipe and a broken light switch as well as painting a section of wall can be done cheaper and within the same day by a handyman than when you hire a plumber, an electrician, and a painter. Aside from this, the rate of a handyman is also lower because his overhead costs are a fraction of that of a large company.

Unlike when dealing with a contractor, you will have to supply the materials for a handyman (e.g. paint, pipes), but the effort of buying the materials yourself means that you get the retail value. You can also choose the manufacturer, material and finish, or warranty agreements.

Contractors usually provide the materials for a project and while this saves effort on your part, the price will be a little higher because they put a markup on the materials. You will also be limited to the products that they have in stock.

Sometimes you will have the skills to finish a DIY but you do not have the necessary equipment such as portable power tools.  If you Google “handyman near me” you do not even have to buy tools or devote time and effort, just find your best options and compare pricing. Aside from tools, the experience of a handyman will allow him to do a better job than a DIY, such that there are no wrong installations that can cause potential damage and further costs.

Another aspect of a DIY is the risk of potential injury, especially for elderly clients such as when climbing ladders to clean gutters or replace shingles. A handyman will be comfortable with these jobs and will be safer so potential injuries are minimized. In this case, additional cost due to injury is prevented.

Tasks that are part of the routine maintenance of a house can add up and if the homeowner cannot keep up, further damage may ensure which will cost more to repair. Hiring a handyman will allow you to finish multiple repair work in a single day. Examples of these are loose siding or shingles and peeling paint. These are minor issues and may simply be unsightly but if not addressed, the material underneath may become damaged and will cost more to repair.

Finally, there are unique projects that will cost very high if a professional will take the job. For example, laying holiday lights on a tree and ensuring that it is grounded and safe to operate can be difficult especially for elderly people. Hiring a Bright Star handyman will not be a waste because he can fix the plumbing in the sink after laying the lights. Hiring a licensed electrician will simply be an overkill.

To make the most of hiring a handyman, you should try to create a list of repairs that need to be completed in a single visit.  Also note that some states like California require a license from the State Contractors License Board if the handyman has to work on a bigger job so you have to check if the handyman you are hiring has a license.