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6 Landscaping Ideas to Avoid Like the Plague

by Home Acton News

6 Landscaping Ideas to Avoid Like the Plague


Landscaping can take your home's look to the next level, whether for better or for worse. Make sure that you aren't wasting time, money and maintenance in perpetuating a bad landscape. Make sure you avoid these six visual disasters to ensure that your home has exceptional curb appeal.
Overdoing It
Landscaping should not overwhelm and overshadow your home. Make sure to choose a variety of shrubs and trees that grow to a particular size that fits your home best. This also means you won't have to spend your time pruning and trimming the plants in your yard – or fighting your way out the front door or to your backyard.
Using One Type of Plant

Don't plant too much of the same type of plant. This makes your house look less than ideal, and it also takes away from the beauty of your home because of monotonous landscaping. If you plant one type of tree in your front yard, what will the landscape offer in the winter when the trees stop flowering?
Landscaping Lawn
A big lawn should not suck up all your resources. A grand area of lush grass is a time, nutrient and water glutton. You can reduce the size of your large lawn by implementing landscape beds that feature low-maintenance plants like perennials, shrubs and trees. This will distract from a large plot of grass that has no accent flowers or plants. Your home needs some type of greenery other than grass to frame and accent it to give it a unique and colorful touch.
Overgrown Ivy
Ivy creates a beautiful addition of greenery to your home, but don't let ivy climb your house unless you are prepared to do annual pruning. Ivy vines may look nice, but once they are established, they can cover gutters, windows and more. They can also serve as bridges and access ramps for pests and termites. Never let vines climb a frame house.
Large Trees

Be careful not to plant trees too close to your home; this avoids damage that may be done as the tree grows. You also want to avoid plant species that may overrun your yard or your home's proportions.
Landscaping can add curb appeal and make your home stand apart from others on your street if it's done right. Make sure to avoid these landscaping don'ts to keep your home looking as vivacious as ever and to avoid complications from overgrown plants and trees in your yard.

7 Kitchen Upgrade Ideas That Won't Break the Bank

by Home Action News

7 Kitchen Upgrade Ideas That Won't Break the Bank


The average cost for a full kitchen remodel is around $20,000, and of course, that dollar amount changes with the size of the room and types of materials selected. But not everything has to happen all at once or involve multiple zeros in the cost estimate. Today we are going to examine several kitchen remodel ideas that won't break the bank.
A full overhaul of your kitchen breaks down into these cost categories, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association:

  •     Design fees: 4%.
  •     Installation: 17%.
  •     Appliances and ventilation: 14%.
  •     Cabinetry and hardware: 29%.
  •     Countertops: 10%.
  •     Lighting: 5%.
  •     Flooring: 7%.
  •     Doors and windows: 4%.
  •     Walls and ceilings: 5%.
  •     Faucets and plumbing: 4%.
  •     Other: 1%.

Using this as our baseline, we can maneuver through the remodeling waters safely, and throw your bank account a life preserver.
Begin in the middle. Let's start in the middle of this list with some lighting and flooring options. Keeping with the average cost figure, replacing floors and lights in your kitchen will run approximately $2,400. You can save money by pulling up the floors or removing light fixtures yourself. But do what you feel comfortable with — not all of us are DIY superstars.
Wood floors in kitchens are quite the rage these days. Whether you use actual wood or a woodlike laminate, wood floors can give your kitchen an old-world charm.
LED lighting is an eco-friendly upgrade for kitchen lights. Consider installing them under cabinets for a contemporary feel. They use less energy and reduce your electric bill. Win-win.
Views and portals. Moving on to doors and windows, again keeping with the average cost, you're looking at $800 for replacement. Use this time to upgrade to a new or decorative door, even if it leads to a garage.
Storage revisited. With cabinets tallying 29% of the cost, they are the bulk of the expense. But consider painting or resurfacing as a cost-effective alternative to replacing. Change out pulls and handles to complement your new color scheme and add visual interest.
Walls and ceilings. Ceilings and walls tend to blend in kitchens, but you can make them stand out to change the schematic of your kitchen design. Wallpaper is making a comeback with some vibrant patterns and colors. Look around and see how you could add color or texture through wallpaper or a new paint color.
Go with the flow. Find your inner nerd when it comes to faucet design. A newfangled water flow concept can be heavenly. Plus, most of the new products have water-conserving specifications built into the fixtures. How great is that? Reduce water usage while admiring your new sink accessories.
Mini-model your kitchen for a big difference without the hefty price tag.

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Photo of Frank Taglienti Real Estate
Frank Taglienti
Berkshire Hathaway PenFed REALTORS®
565 Benfield Road, Suite 100
Severna Park MD 21146

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