43 Insanely Cool Remodeling Ideas For Your Home

We recently stumbled upon a great blog article that we love!  After looking through all of these great remodeling ideas, you’re going to be saying “How did I not think of that?”

Check out some of our favorite ideas below:

TreeHouseBlog

Custom Treehouse

 

Conversation Pit

Sunken Conversation Pit

 

Hidden Passage Way

 

Hidden Storage Nooks

Hidden Storage Nooks

 

Undercabinet Storage

Undercabinet Storage

 

Vacuum Baseboards

Vacuum Baseboards

Check out more crazy-awesome remodeling ideas here. 

Which idea can you see adding to your home?

Guest Blogger: Lifestyle Locks – Keyless Door Locks to Suit Your Lifestyle

Is it possible that safety and security may no longer be the most important factors when choosing door locks? Sure, those aspects are the main reason we have locks in the first place, but with modern technology, electronic locking mechanisms can provide so much more while still offering a secure barrier between the indoors and the outside world.

The latest advancements in home automation make it possible to not even be at your door to unlock it! Moreover, long gone are the days of countless copies of your door keys circulating with house-sitters or hired workers.

My husband and I experienced just such a situation last year when we purchased our first home. Because the house had previously been used as a rental, as soon as we closed, we changed the locks to avoid any potential issues with people who had access to the property before we took possession. That was Lock Change #1.

Due to massive renovations, we had to place a spare key in the backyard so sub-contractors and their workers could access the house on an as-needed basis. This situation was fine for the few weeks, but as soon as we were able to move in, we had to pay to change the locks in each of our doors again. That was Lock Change #2.

Which brings us to the discussion of today: We could have avoided all of those lock changes if we had installed automated door locks the first time. We are not the only types of people who stand to benefit from such a switch. Indeed, if you are a member of the modern world, automated door locks are for you.

If you have kids, being able to give them their own code not only allows them to get into the house when you’re not there, without having to keep track of a key, but it also allows you to monitor their comings and goings. If you have hired help like a cleaning crew or maintenance worker, you can set up a one-time use code that will allow them access to your property only on certain days or during certain times.

And don’t forget those in the real estate business: Having an automated security door lock system makes showing a property or allowing construction workers access to perform updates a cinch. By pre-programming your property permissions, you no longer have to schedule your entire day around getting people in an out of your home. Nor do you have to hide keys around your yard for virtually anyone to stumble upon!

To help you see these possibilities in action, here are two examples of just how much freedom and flexibility you have at your fingertips with automated door locks.

Schlage Camelot Satin Nickel Touchscreen Deadbolt with Alarm

Schlage Camelot Satin Nickel Touchscreen Deadbolt with Alarm

With this keyless door lock from Schlage, you receive ANSI Grade 1 certification, which is the highest level of residential security possible. You also receive the utmost in flexibility. For example, through the Nexia Home Intelligence system, you can lock or unlock your door from anywhere via your smartphone and you can also schedule lock codes to be active only on certain days or specific times.

When you are at home, the built-in alarm senses movement of the door and will notify you with an audible alert. And when you are away, the fingerprint-resistant touchscreen ensures intruders cannot determine which numbers you routinely push.

Although the keyless lock system is available for less than $200, you will need to purchase a separate Wink Hub in order to access the wireless features and control your smart lock via the Wink mobile app.

Kwikset Kevo Single Cylinder Satin Nickel Bluetooth Enabled Deadbolt

Kwikset Kevo Single Cylinder Satin Nickel Bluetooth Enabled Deadbolt

As long as you have your smartphone with you, you can get into your home while it’s protected by this Bluetooth Enabled deadbolt from Kwikset. You simply need to touch the lock to open it and your phone can remain in your pocket or purse – no fumbling for keys required.

You can even send an electronic key to family members, friends, and visitors who have a compatible smartphone with the Kevo Mobile App: The system currently works with iPhone 4S, 5, 5C, or 5S; Android capability is forthcoming.

But for those who prefer an actual key, this deadbolt also works in the traditional sense and features SmartKey re-key technology so that you don’t need to replace the entire system if you simply need a new key.

At just over $200 for this system, we could have re-keyed as many times as we needed during our renovation without starting from scratch each time. In the grand scheme of things, $200 is a reasonable price to pay for a heightened sense of security!

What specific security needs could you address with an automated door lock system?

** M/I Homes of Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton now include a Schlage Keypad Lock enabled by Nexia Home Intelligence in all of their new homes.

***Writing about smart home technology for The Home Depot, Rheney Williams offers her insight on how home automation can help make your life easier and more secure. To find more info on the smart security products that Rheney mentions in this article, visit homedepot.com.

8 Ways to Update the Curb Appeal of Your Home

Let’s face it, the first thing that people notice about your home is the exterior, so why is it that the exterior of our home is sometimes one of the last things we update? You may be busy finishing the basement, updating your appliances, painting the bathroom or whatever else that may be on your list, but there is something to be said for driving up to a home that is very well kept. The home’s exterior should be extremely inviting and give you a hint as to what the interior of your home is going to look like.

Updating the curb appeal of your home can be very easy. Some projects can be little and others much larger, so pick the ones that best fit your home, budget and style! Here are some fun ideas for ways to boast your curb appeal.

  1. Give your front door and garage door a new paint job. Your front door and garage door get a lot of use and can look “tired” or faded quickly. Consider repainting or even using a new, fresh color on the front door.

    Blue Painted Front Door

    Blue Painted Front Door

  2. Add garage door hardware. This is something that is simple, but really adds character to your home! Consider adding carriage door hardware to give it some flair!

    Updated Garage Doors

    Updated Garage Doors

  3. Add a striking door number to your home. You want this to be visible from the road! This update is not only functional, especially for guests trying to find your home, but it adds to the curb appeal of your home as well!

    Customized Address Numbers

    Customized Address Numbers

  4. Make customized planters. Want your initials, name or even your address? There are so many options for having some fun customized planters on your home that will add color to the exterior of your home.

    Customized Planters

    Customized Planters

  5. Cover your air conditioning unit. Let’s be honest – A/C Units are not the prettiest things to look at. Consider building lattice around it, or hiding it with some type of shrubbery (make sure to check with your manufacturer for maintenance tips and also make sure that you can still get to it for maintenance!)

    Lattice Covered Air Conditioner

    Lattice Covered Air Conditioner

  6. Decorate your front door with a wreath for the season. Feel free to buy one, but making a wreath for your home can be a lot of fun!  For the summer time flip flops are fun, and for football season?  Show off your favorite team!  The options are endless!

    Flip Flop Wreath

    Flip Flop Wreath

  7. Change your doormat! This is so quick and easy to do! After the winter months you probably need a new doormat, anyways.

    Sweet Home Floor Mat

    Sweet Home Floor Mat

  8. Replace or repair your window screens. It updates your home but also helps to keep bugs or other critters out of your home when you have the windows open. You definitely don’t want to welcome a mosquito into you home just because of a ripped screen, do you?

Hopefully some of these updates (if not all) sound appealing to you! It’s amazing what a little bit of TLC to the exterior of your home can really do to your curb appeal. You most likely will start a trend in the neighborhood, so be prepared for copy cats!

M/I Homes of Charlotte Hosts “Business After Hours”

It was a memorable afternoon of networking in a gorgeous home.  Actually, make that two gorgeous homes.

M/I Homes of Charlotte was proud to host Business After Hours, a casual event with fun, food and networking sponsored by the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce.  About 50 Chamber members mingled and toured models of M/I’s new Hanley and Preston home plans in the Hawk’s Creek community in Fort Mill, South Carolina.

CHAR_HC_PRESTONPHOTOFORCHAMBERBLOG

“The homes were beautiful,” says Alisha Rosenthal, communications manager for the chamber.  “And just like at any party, guests congregated in the kitchen and living room.”

The model homes provided a relaxed, intimate setting for making business contacts.  Hosting the Chamber event demonstrated how well the two-story Hanley and Preston plans work for entertaining and family living. Attendees enjoyed the chance to win door prizes including a $100 Target Gift Card.  Adding to the festivities were treats from Melanie Rowe Catering including fruit tarts, citrus meringue tarts, chocolate decadence bites, and butter rum melt-aways.

CHAR_HC_HANLEYMODELFORCHAMBEREVENTBLOG

Several potential homebuyers dropped by and got to see the home plans in action.  “At this Business After Hours event, it almost felt like you were at a friend’s house,” says M/I Homes Sales Associate Paul Eagle. “Everyone had a really good time.”

Learn more about Hawk’s Creek here.

M/I Homes Sells Benefit Home in Houston, Texas

Closing for Benefit HomeThirty four years ago the Greater Houston Builders Association Board of Directors created a charitable project to bring vendors, builders, developers and volunteers of the GHBA together for one cause: to find a way to give back to Houston. The overall goal of the program was to build quality homes to be sold at market value for a profit that would then be donated to charity. This program is still going strong today.

This year, M/I Homes of Houston was given the opportunity to build this “benefit home” in the Woodlands – Villages of Creekside Park community. M/I Homes donated the construction and management of the home, while The Woodlands community donated the homesite.

The Steffany II floor plan was selected for this event. This home featured 2,629 square feet of space with 3 bedrooms, a study and an open concept kitchen looking into the family room.

When looking for a new home Jennifer Simmons fell in love with this home, the community and the location.  She adored the open concept kitchen and the large variety of upgrades that were included in this home, as well as the spacious game room, media room and full bathroom upstairs.  The icing on the cake was when she learned that this home also benefited three local charities; the Texas Cancer Center, the Alzheimer’s Association and HomeAid Houston. Jennifer’s decision to purchase this home became an even simpler one.

Jennifer Simmons New Home

This benefit home closed on June 20th, 2014. The program that was created 34 years ago by the GHBA has raised over 9 million dollars for local charities throughout its existence. With the help of generous vendors, hard working volunteers and the Greater Houston Builders Association, M/I Homes was proud to be a part of such an amazing project.

To learn more about this program go to the GHBA website.

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