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  • Deck and Patio Maintenance Do’s and Don’ts

    Patio Deck Maintenance Dos and Dont'sYour deck and patio need regular cleaning and maintenance to stay comfortable and safe. Here are a few tips to keep your deck or patio looking as good as new, as well as a few time-consuming mistakes you should avoid.


    Deep clean once a year

    Use deck cleaners to kill any mold or bacteria on your deck or patio. Then brush any dirty spots and use a regular garden hose with an attachment to clean any mildew covered areas.

    cover nearby shrubbery before you begin

    The chemicals in cleaners and sealers can harm or kill any plants nearby when they are being applied to your deck or patio. Use a tarp or plastic sheet before you start and keep it loose to allow air flow.

    Fix damages right away

    Wood expands and contracts as it ages allowing nails to come loose. Small problems tend to become big problems over time, so try to fix anything you see right away.

    Continue to clean routinely

    Sweep away any debris regularly. Trapped leaves and dirt will cause mold that can rot the wood away.

    Sand your deck before sealing

    Only sand your deck if you plan on staining the wood again before you start the sealing process. If the wood is already stained do not sand your deck, instead just use a pressure washer. Sanding stained or sealed wood will only remove the stain and make things worse.

    Related: Increase Your Property Value with these Simple Home Improvement Projects


    Go overboard with cleaning

    If you are pressure washing your deck you will need to be careful not to damage the wood. Keep the nozzle moving at all times while the trigger is pulled. The same goes for scrubbing, do not over-do it and never use wire brushes for tough spots.

    Use chlorine bleach

    Chlorine bleach can alter the color of your deck or patio. Oxygen bleach is an all-purpose alternative that won’t wash out colors or harm plants, but it still  should not be used on redwood.

    Use paint as a sealant

    Paint may look nice when it first goes on but before long it will start to look distressed.  Painted decks will create needed maintenance while stain simply fades over time and can be fixed with a new coat.

    Assume that pressure-treated wood is maintenance-free

    Even though pressure-treated wood is resistant to rot and insects it still needs to be cleaned and sealed.

    Related:  Top 10 Home Remodeling Don’ts


    Here at Slamans Construction and Remodeling, we can help add value to any aspect of your home. Give us a call today to find out more (630) 723-6152!

    Located in Aurora, IL and serving Naperville, Wheaton, Oswego, Geneva and the western suburbs with custom patio and deck construction.


  • Increase Your Property Value with these Simple Home Improvement Projects

    Is your home feeling a bit out of touch? Whether you’re planning to sell your home soon or years down the road, it’s important to keep your home up to date each year. Making regular updates will not only increase your property value, but you and your family will benefit by enjoying these home improvement projects as well.

    Even if you’re planning on staying in your home for a long time, it’s important to know which home improvement projects add value to your home.

    Revamp your kitchen!Naperville kitchen remodel

    Kitchens look best when they are fresh, clean and neat. Cracked tiles and sagging or stained counters are unappealing to you, your guests or potential home-buyers. If you’re selling your home, a potential homebuyer doesn’t want to move in and replace the kitchen right away.

    Related: 7 Tips for Planning your Kitchen Remodel

    They want to move in and feel at home immediately. An updated kitchen or bathroom is more important to the value of your home than any other room.

    You don’t need to go overboard, but replace or refresh anything that’s starting to look tired, dated or worn out. A kitchen should create a great first impression and will also improve your home’s overall appeal and value.

    Give your house some street appeal

    A relatively simple project, updating the landscape is a great way to improve your home’s appearance as well as the time you spend outside. A few basic improvements might include pulling weeds, planting a couple flower beds in your front or backyard and pruning trees or bushes.

    Updating your landscape will increase the overall curb appeal of your home. Work to make your landscaping look tidy and clean. When landscaping, it’s important to eliminate anything that looks messy from the street. And maybe sprucing up the outside means adding a new deck, pergola, or a gazebo, we at Slamans can help with that!

    Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

    A sloppy paint job can actually reduce the value of your home, so don’t take shortcuts. Prepare the surfaces properly, use multiple coats of paint if necessary and be careful to paint neatly.

    Everyone’s taste differs, so the more you personalize your color choices, the less your palette might appeal to the average home buyer. If you’re planning to sell your home soon, consider painting with more neutral colors. However, if you won’t be selling your home, personalize and choose the colors that work best for you.

    Don’t forget about window and door frames. If you paint the rest of your home but don’t refresh these, it could spoil the overall effect. Plus, depending on the color you choose, you might need to update them anyway.

    Related: Top 10 Home Remodeling Don’ts

    Add a Sunroom or Patio

    Extending your living space with a patio or sunroom is a great addition to any home. These spaces allow you and your family to enjoy the outdoors and can also extend y our living space. Deciding between a patio or sunroom depends both on your finances and how you plan to use the space.

    When making these updates, make sure to use quality materials that match the overall look of your home. If the patio looks like an afterthought, it won’t add value. Research materials and pricing, get samples when possible, and carefully consider how your new patio or sunroom will look in relation to the rest of the house. While a patio helps you enjoy time outside, adding a sunroom will allow you to enjoy the outdoors more comfortably throughout three or four seasons of the year.

    Here at Slamans Construction and Remodeling, we can help add value to any aspect of your home. Give us a call today to find out more (630) 723-6152!

  • Basement Remodeling: How much does it cost and how to save money?

    On average, finishing a basement will set you back $68,490. You may be thinking, “HOLY COW! There’s no way I can afford that!”, but let me put it this way for you: according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value calculations, you’ll recoup an average of 70.4% of your costs when you sell, doesn’t seem overwhelming now, does it?

    There are five big factors that affect the cost of a basement remodel.

    1. How big is your basement? The finished square feet of your basement affects almost every cost related to basement finishing from framing to drywall. It’s probably the biggest factor in determining the cost of a basement.
    2. Cost of labor will vary depending on the location that you live. For example New York, is almost double the price of a remodel that takes place in Tennessee. You can always elect to do it yourself.
    3. Want an extra bathroom? An extra bathroom can help your family function just a little bit smoother. Add about 5k to your cost for a regular full bathroom. Add extra for the luxurious amenities.
    4. Have an extra exit? Is there another way out besides the stairs? If not you’ll have to build one and that means expensive guys with backhoes digging up your yard and breaking up part of your basement wall.
    5. Getting rid of the cement floor? Flooring options can add a grand or two depending on what you get.

    How to save on the cost of a basement remodel.

    • You do the painting – Grab your painting clothes, and get busy. Doing your own painting is not only cost saving, but you can also get the whole family involved.
    • Do your own trim-work – Installing your own trim or molding could save you about $500 toward the cost of your basement.
    • Be your own general contractor – You can save thousands just by doing most of the work yourself, and bribing the family for free labor won’t hurt either.
    • Remodel in the winter – There are so many benefits for completing this remodeling project in the winter, especially if you’re not doing the work. From good prices and contractor scheduling, winter is a great time for completing your basement.

    Need an extra hand in finishing? Contact us today!


    Images: source – sourcesource


  • Paint chips - remodeling your home in winter Winter: The Perfect Time for Remodeling

    Always have that remodeling project on the back-burner, waiting for the perfect time that never comes?

    Projects that are perfect for those snowy and cold winter months are basement remodels, kitchen updates, new lighting, and painting. Well winter is that time to get them done and here’s five reasons why!

    Convenient Project Scheduling

    Contractors are less busy in the winter months, and interior projects are a lot easier for them to schedule. Exterior projects are limited in the winter freeing up time for more projects that include painting, flooring, lighting and plumbing.

    Paint chips - remodeling your home in winter

    Contractor Availability

    During the winter, contractors have more time to work with you one on one to prefect your project. Therefore, it’s a great time to refine those last-minute details and get your project underway.

    Call today for your free estimate.

    Avoid Manufacturer Spring Price Increases

    This is the best time to find what you need for your project. Many manufactures and businesses have close-out prices and special offers to help reduce inventory, to make way for the new spring inventory. Typically, you will see an increase in prices for lumber products, and the new window/cabinet lines.

    Permit Approvals

    Fun fact, government agencies are usually less busy in winter, which makes it a lot easier and quicker for contractors to obtain the necessary permits for your remodeling projects.

    Vacation Time

    If your planning your winter getaway to the nice warm beach, it might be the perfect time to plan your remodeling project. Planning your project to get done while away on vacation, allows you to avoid any disruption from daily activities.



  • Contractor Tips: Top 10 Home Remodeling Don’ts

    Whether you work with a general contractor or act as one on your own project, getting a glimpse into the mind of a contractor can give you a new perspective into remodeling projects around your home.

    I’ve learned a lot working as a contractor, and some of those lessons can help homeowners too. What you do is just as important as what you don’t do, and sometimes a homeowner’s instinct can negatively affect a home renovation project.

    How do you know if you’re helping or hurting your project? Read on to find out and to see what can help simplify your home remodel.