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Home Office Design for Maximum Work-Life Balance

With more Americans working at home, a convenient home office is a must-have consideration for new builds as well as renovations.

Some 3.7 million employees already work from home, and one Stanford University researcher found many benefits including greater productivity and fewer distractions.

Whether you’re including a home office with a new construction or adding onto an existing structure, here are some helpful hints for a successful project. Read more »

How to Use Shiplap in Your New Build or Remodel

Is shiplap in or out this year? This may be the great home design debate of 2019.

Some caution that the white-hot farmhouse craze, with its heavy reliance on shiplap, may be cooling off as homeowners look for fresher fads to latch onto. Others contend that farmhouse design isn’t going away — it’s just getting a little more refined

Keep reading for some of the advantages of shiplap, as well as ideas for incorporating it into your next new build or remodel.  Read more »

Should Homeowners Remodel, Move or Build a House?

Man and woman dreaming about their new house.

Is it better to remodel or move? Or perhaps it’s time to build a new house?

Contractors frequently hear questions like these. 

A Harris Poll found that 76% of U.S. homeowners plan to complete home improvements in 2019, an increase from 2018. Big-ticket residential remodeling activity increased 4.1% in the first quarter of 2019 from the same period a year ago.  Read more »

2019 Patio and Decking Design Guide

wooden terrace with wicker garden furniture and lots of greenery

After long weekdays filled with traffic jams and tight deadlines, more and more people are seeking the comfort of a relaxing getaway, right outside their own back door.

A well-designed patio or deck is the perfect retreat for delving into a good book, entertaining family and friends, or enjoying a breathtaking sunset before turning in for the night. Homeowners also want a smoother transition from indoors to out, with patios and decks functioning as “outdoor rooms” that reflect the look and feel of the home’s interior. Read more »

Choosing the Best Windows for Your Next New Build or Remodel

Windows offer so much more than just a great view. They’re essential for maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures, reducing noise pollution and lowering energy bills.

With such a wide variety of options available, it’s easy to find quality new construction or replacement windows to fit almost every budget, whether for a new build or to update an existing home for maximum curb appeal.

Here are five factors to look at when selecting the best windows for your next project.

#1: Window Glass

Homeowners increasingly want larger windows with abundant, unobstructed views of the world outside, or as one builder puts it, “more glass and less frame.”

Three alternatives include single-pane, double-pane and triple-pane windows.

  • Single-pane: Mostly found in older buildings and in mild to warm climates, single-pane windows are considered outdated for most projects.
  • Double-pane: A sealed space between two panes includes an inert gas for better insulation against both hot and cold temperatures.
  • Triple-pane: Sealed with gases including argon or krypton, triple-pane windows offer superior insulation for homes in extreme cold climates.

Double- and triple-pane windows provide excellent sound insulation, which is a big advantage in urban neighborhoods.

#2: Window Materials

When choosing window frame materials, considerations include durability, insulating properties and maintenance requirements.

  • Wood: Frequently used in remodels, wood helps to retain the classic look of an older house, but may require more maintenance than other options.
  • Aluminum or vinyl: These attractive and budget-friendly materials are popular for new construction. They insulate well and typically require less maintenance than wood.
  • Fiberglass: Stronger than vinyl, fiberglass performs well in areas prone to weather-related damage. Although somewhat expensive, fiberglass offers excellent insulation for attractive energy savings.

#3: Energy Efficient Windows

Eco-friendly windows offer many benefits including durability, comfort and lower utility costs.

Here are some numbers to know when gauging the energy efficiency of windows.

  • U-Factor: This tells you how well the window conducts heat. Values range from about 0.25 to 1.25, and the lower the better.
  • Solar heat gain coefficient: Expressed in values between 0 and 1, a lower number means that the window is better at blocking unwanted solar heat.
  • Visible transmittance: The higher the number, the more natural light comes in, with values ranging from 0 to 1. This enables less reliance on artificial lighting during daylight hours.

#4: Window Styles

Current design trends include big, modern windows that let in lots of natural light, a nice mix of complementary shapes and dark colored frames.

Other options work well depending on the overall look and feel of the home.

  • Double-hung: One of the most common designs in America, double-hung windows slide up and down, and some models tilt for easy cleaning.
  • Casement: These windows pivot on hinges and open like doors, providing excellent ventilation.
  • Sliding: As the name implies, these low-maintenance windows open much like a sliding glass door and offer an excellent view of the scenery outside.
  • Bay: Ideal for dining and seating areas, bay windows let in lots of light and make almost any room feel more spacious.

#5: Window Installation

Selecting the best materials and designs available means nothing if the windows are not installed correctly. In fact, poor installation may even void the warranty.

If you’re trying to find the right windows for an upcoming project, reach out to us at Mid-City Lumber. We offer a wide selection of quality windows from the industry’s most reputable manufacturers, and our friendly experts will help you choose the best option for your job.

Home Design Trends: Update Your Gray with a Pop of Bold

What colors are attracting today’s homeowners for new builds and remodeling projects?

The choice of color plays a major role in meeting client expectations and guides the selection of countertop materials, fabrics and of course paint colors for walls, doors, window frames and more. Read more »

On a Budget? How to Save Money on Your Kitchen Remodel

It is no secret that kitchen remodels make for higher home resale values, engaging spaces and happy chefs. But while kitchen remodels offer a larger return on investment than most other remodels, the costs can be overwhelming. Even minor kitchen remodels can sneak over your budget limit if you aren’t careful. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to do a kitchen remodel on a budget without sacrificing style. Read more »

Checklist For Hiring A Contractor: What To Know

The overwhelming process of hiring a good contractor can be made easier with a little preparation. Knowledge is power and your best chance at a great result. Whether your project is a home renovation or a brand new build, knowing what you want, what you can spend and researching several contractors can help you find the best fit for your next project. Read more »