philadelphia

Three Ways to Freshen Up the Look of a Room

bright star home renovations near me (4).png

It’s finally springtime and aside from the usual ‘spring cleaning’, you might be looking for other home improvement ideas to keep yourself busy while the weather warms up enough to do the outside projects. Here are three ways to spice up your rooms this spring.

Add a Little Paint

You may be looking for something simple and affordable rather than a big expensive project, so know that a coat of fresh paint (chosen well) never hurt any aesthetic. Take to Pinterest to inspire you with a new color scheme to carry the fresh feel of spring throughout the rest of the year. Maybe you aren’t looking to repaint the entire house, but you know that big wall in the living room that you can never figure out what to do with? Turn it into an accent wall with a color that ‘pops’ or upcycled panels. Trellised rooms are exciting to the eye and can be a great creative project that will occupy some time.

Hang & Rearrange

Redecorating always feels good when you’re in the need for something fresh. If you aren’t emotionally attached to the artwork you have already, consider finding some new pieces to accent the room. A nice mirror or a creative family portrait montage brings a new energy into an otherwise stagnant space. There are thousands of DIY projects to incorporate some crafty art into your home during the season of fresh starts. Sometimes, even the rearranging of the furniture can give you the fresh new look you are craving! Plants can also bring a brand new life to your space.

Add Some Depth to the Walls

If you are feeling adventurous and motivated, wainscotting or paneling might be just the spring project to take on. Wainscoting is not only aesthetically pleasing, it also protects the lower portions of your walls from damage. Adding trim or molding to wainscoting creates an elegant, classy look to an otherwise boring wall. Some people are even taking to decorating their ceilings with different panel designs to add a little extra charm. However, this undertaking doesn’t have to be pricey. A suggestion is to apply a grid of 1x6 drywall panels to a drywalled surface, add a coat of paint to the grid, and then magically, the boards, stiles, and rails create a look like something out of a design magazine.

Whatever it is that calls to you, all three of these are easy enough and have millions of points of inspiration throughout the internet to help get you started on spicing up the rooms in your home before summer projects start. It is time to let go of the old and bring in the new! Reach out to Bright Star Handyman Service for all of your home renovation needs in Philadelphia and South Jersey!

Happy Holidays from Bright Star Handyman Service!

bright star fall renovations (6).png

As the year comes to a close we are immensely grateful for this past year! We’ve helped so many of you create the home of your dreams and we couldn’t be happier about it. You’ve placed your trust in us to redesign your outdoor spaces with new decks for the summer and new gutters when the leaves fall. We’ve had the most fun transforming your houses into family-friendly, pet-loving homes. Our goal is to give you the warmest, fuzziest feelings when you think about being at home over the holidays.

If you want to see some of our projects this year, check out our gallery page to see how some small home renovations can make a big difference! If you are on Facebook, we frequently update our followers on availability and completion of our latest projects. Follow us to stay in the loop for all of our Philadelphia, South Jersey, and Fishtown remodels and renovations.

If you find yourself a little too crowded in your space with friends and family this holiday season, we invite you to reach out to us for a free consultation on how we can help you achieve the home of your dreams. Whether you’re looking for a renovation to bring more entertaining space to the living room, or remodeling to open up your kitchen to optimize your space, we’re happy to help. We can help add green, energy-efficient appliances and updates, remove your carpet and replace with hardwood, or convert your basement into a livable space!

No job is too small for our team! Let us help you achieve your dreams this holiday season.

We wish you a happy holiday!
We wish you a happy holiday!
We wish you a happy holiday!
And a happy new year!

When Is It Time to Replace My Carpet?

About Your Carpet

Typically a carpet can last you from 5-15 years depending on the foot traffic, quality, and padding.  These are all great starting points to determining if you need a carpet replacement. 

Carpet installation is a little more complex than you might think, as there are a few layers that go in before the carpet that you walk on can be installed.  First, there are the tackless strips.  These wood pieces have small pins that stick out to hold your carpeting in place.  If you’ve never seen these, you might have felt them when walking through a doorway of an older home, where the carpet is wearing low.  These strips are nailed into the floor around the edges of the room to hold the carpet in place.  The second layer is typically a layer of foamy material that helps to create a cushion underneath your carpeting.  Placing carpet directly on wood or concrete will not give it that comfortable, squishy feeling that the cushioning offers.  For example, you can usually feel the difference between a floor rug and a carpeted room.  This foam also helps to fill the space between the tackless strips so the full room is flush and level and not elevated around the edges.

So, When Do I Know That I Need to Replace My Carpets?

…When It Smells Funky

Usually the musty smell is the key indicator that it’s time to do something about replacing your carpet.  Sometimes all it needs is a deep cleaning, but if a deep cleaning doesn’t eliminate the smell, you might have to think about a more permanent change.  Many times the cleaning can help with the top layer of carpet, while the spongey bottom layer may be molding or holding more permanent smells.  One of the largest absorbers in a room can be your carpet, so pets, smoke, spills, and similar issues can leave you in need of a replacement.

 

…When It Starts To Clump

Depending on the material of your carpet, some may last longer than others.  For example, polyester carpet won’t last as long as nylon carpeting and will begin to start matting sooner.  Once a polyester carpet begins to mat, there’s not much you can do to salvage it.  One way to keep your carpet lasting longer is to treat it to a deep clean every so often.  

 

…When You Can’t Remove The Stains

Deep cleaning will only take you so far with some stains.  While they can remove the discoloration for most things, sometimes a shampoo just won’t cut it.  Foot traffic and other wear & tear can bring deeper stains to the surface if the padding underneath the carpet is still holding on to it.  Some stain removers can also damage the carpet’s integrity.  If you have multiple deep stains like red wine, it may be your best bet to fully replace the carpet.

 

Options to replace your carpet include wood flooring, tile, slat flooring, laminate, or even concrete depending on your budget and aesthetic choices.  Wood and slat flooring will typically outlast most carpet choices.  If you’re looking for a revamp for your floors, reach out to Bright Star for a consultation on your options!

Are Your Windows Ready for Summer?

Are your electric bills sky high?  Or at least higher than you would like them to be?  There is one major factor to take in to consideration…  How old are your windows?

If you’re one of the lucky ones in a beautiful early 1900’s house, we’re talking to you!  Those single-paned windows might be beautiful and authentic, but they are not going to do anything to protect you or your energy bills from the heat (or the freezing cold for that matter).  With extreme temperature exposure, you could be wasting up to double the amount of energy to heat and cool your home.  Over the course of a year, or a few years, those energy bills will begin to add up.

Do you ever look at the thermostat and feel like it’s lying to you?  As we enter the high heat of summer with the lovely Philadelphia humidity, it can become even more painfully obvious that you may need new windows.  We’ve put together a few tips on how to go about choosing new windows.

 

Frame Material

Wood Frames

This is the classic window frame option and what you’ll find in most older homes that have not ever replaced windows.  This option is a great insulator from the heat of summer, but the porous material could pose issues for a wet climate.  While a well-installed window shouldn’t cause problems for quite some time, the Philly humidity might make it wear faster than others.  The moisture can get trapped in the wood and begin to rot, which can then create larger issues with mold.

Aluminum Frames
Unlike wood window frames, aluminum window frames are great for high rain and humid climates.  Most hurricane-prone areas will have aluminum windows to maintain safety code.  However, aluminum does not make a great insulator and might not be as effective in keeping your home cool or heated.  This is a less expensive frame choice when compared to wood, but won’t save you much for energy efficiency.

Vinyl Frames
These frames are the most cost-effective window frame option and have the best energy efficiency.  Usually, vinyl frames come with insulated glass and are fitted to the glass better than aluminum or wood.  This can reduce the amount of hot or cold air that escapes through the cracks.  The only issue with choosing a vinyl window frame is the color choices are limited, especially when compared to wood, where you can paint it any color.

 

Window Panes

Single Panes
You won’t see these single-glass windows in stores much.  Single pane windows are typically custom built or renovated from old homes to match existing windows in older homes.  When it comes to efficiency and durability, these are the lowest on the list.  The single pane does not offer much for insulation. If it hails, these windows could easily shatter since most of them are already old.  Typically, we do not encourage these as they are expensive and less energy efficient.

Double Panes
Double pane means two layers of glass in the frame.  Air or argon gas is trapped between the two panes, offering an extra layer of insulation from the elements.  This is the most common window replacement option that you will find, as it’s a fair price, energy efficient, and commonly used in newer homes.  You can hardly even tell there are two panes unless you’re looking for it.  

Triple Panes
Just like double pane windows, but with a third glass as well.  The interior of double and triple paned windows are coated with a drying agent that prevent condensation.  The triple panes are the most energy efficient since there are 3 panes of glass and 2 air layers that the heat or cold must penetrate to get to the other side.  

Popular Window Pane Extras

Low-Emissivity Glass
Low-E glass uses a coating that helps prevent heat from seeping in, while still allowing light to flow through.  Have you ever taken a painting off of the wall to expose a darker rectangle than the rest of the wall?  Using this type of coating can help keep the things in your house looking new, like carpets, paintings, furniture, etc.  It also helps to reduce the amount of UV light that enters your home!

Tempered Glass
Many windows are made with tempered glass these days.  Single paned windows will shatter into a thousand pieces, while tempered glass will crumble.  If you’ve ever seen a car window shatter into chunks, the effect of tempered glass windows will be similar.  While the window will still break, you won’t be pulling glass splinters out of your feet for the next few weeks!

If you’re not sure where to start regarding your window replacement or window repair in the Greater Philadelphia Area, reach out to Bright Star Handyman Service for a free consultation!

Thank you, Philadelphia & South Jersey!

From all of us at Bright Star Handyman Service, thank you for your continued business! We are proud to service the Philadelphia and South Jersey regions with everything from paint to carpentry. Wishing all of our clients a very happy Thanksgiving. 

Kitchen Decor Trends For Fall 2017

Kitchen Decor Trends For Fall 2017

Kitchen remodeling trends. Bright Star Handyman Service. Philadelphia's first choice for your handyman needs. 

7 Smart Strategies for Kitchen Remodeling

Homeowners spend more money on kitchen remodeling than on any other home improvement project. And with good reason: Kitchens are the hub of home life and a source of pride.

A significant portion of kitchen remodeling costs may be recovered by the value the project brings to your home. A complete kitchen renovation with a national median cost of $60,000 recovers about 67% of the initial project cost at the home’s resale, according to the “2015 Remodeling Impact Report” from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

The project gets a big thumbs-up from homeowners, too. Those polled in the “Report” gave their new kitchen a Joy Score of 9.8 — a rating based on those who said they were happy or satisfied with their remodeling, with 10 being the highest rating and 1 the lowest.

To maximize your return on investment, follow these seven strategies to keep you on budget and help you make smart choices.

READ MORE

30 Tips for Increasing Your Home's Value

Tip 1: Spend an Hour With a pro

Invite a realtor or interior designer over to check out your home. Many realtors will do this as a courtesy, but you will probably have to pay a consultation fee to a designer. Check with several designers in your area; a standard hourly fee is normally less than $100, and in an hour they can give you lots of ideas for needed improvements. Even small suggested improvements, such as paint colors or furniture placement, can go a long way toward improving the look and feel of your home.

Tip 2: Inspect it

Not every home improvement is cosmetic. Deteriorating roofs, termite infestation or outdated electrical systems — you can't fix it if you don't know it's broken. Hire an inspector to check out the areas of your home that you don't normally see. They may discover hidden problems that could negatively impact your home's value. Small problems (such as a hidden water leak) can become big, expensive problems quickly; the longer you put off repairs, the more expensive those repairs will be.

Tip 3: Paint, Paint, Paint

One of the simplest, most cost-effective improvements of all is paint! Freshly painted rooms look clean and updated — and that spells value. When selecting paint colors, keep in mind that neutrals appeal to the greatest number of people, therefore making your home more desirable. On average, a gallon of paint costs around $25, leaving you plenty of money to buy rollers, painter's tape, drop cloths and brushes. So buy a few gallons and get busy!

READ MORE

 

 

New Backsplash. Bright Star Handyman Service. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

New Backsplash. Bright Star Handyman Service. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Some Handyman Projects You Just Shouldn’t DIY

There are many home projects that you can DIY, but when it comes to handyman work, some things are better left to the pros. Here are a couple home improvement projects you probably want to hire out:

  1. Structural Labor: When it comes to jobs like tearing down walls or removing and installing large appliances, there is a lot going on within the walls, like electrical wires, that you must consider before getting the job done.
  2.  Kitchen & Bath Renovation: Let’s face it, kitchen and bath renovations take a lot of time, resources and money. Take the guesswork out of installation, and have a professional help you with large jobs like kitchen and bathroom remodels.
  3. Carpentry: Woodworking takes skill. Unless you have a lot of woodworking expertise, carpentry projects are best left to handyman service professionals!

Bright Star Handyman Service is dedicated to helping South Jersey & Philadelphia homeowners build, create and renovate their homes. No need for DIY when Bright Star provides a great value and high quality workmanship.

Check out our recent projects here.