Five Ways to Add Luxury to Your Home

Everyone wants to feel like a king or queen in their home. We all want to enjoy as many luxuries in life as possible, and a lot of those luxuries can be found in our homes. Many people think that they cannot afford to have nicer things, or the extras that they want in their homes because they are too expensive. However, there are a lot of ways to create luxury without spending a fortune.

Every home owner can find a way to create the luxuries they want within their price range. There are a lot of new tricks and ideas that people can use to save money but still achieve the same result. Any home owner can try out these ideas to make their home more comfortable for them and any guests they invite in. Here are five ways to add luxury to you home.

Build a home theater

A home theater is something that many people think only celebrities have. A home theater may not be as extravagant at what a celebrity would have, but everyone can create a designated space for movie-watching that will replicate a movie theater experience. Any home owner can go to to get started on creating the perfect home theater for their needs.

Add some crown molding

Crown molding is commonly left out of newly built homes today because it does not add much or any value. However, crown molding can still add a look of luxury and sophistication to a home that few other simple additions can. Crown molding can be inexpensive and easy for anyone to install on their own.

Install a Jacuzzi bathtub

There are few things that are more relaxing that a spa bath at the end of a long, stressful day. Everyone can enjoy this in their own home without paying hundreds of dollars to go to the spa. A Jacuzzi tub can be purchased and installed very inexpensively in almost any home today. They are also very easy to maintain, so it is one of the simplest upgrades home owners can make.

Create a comfortable outdoor space

Being able to enjoy the backyard or front yard of any home is a great luxury that home owners often miss out on. Yes, the cost of installing a deck or porch can be very expensive, but home owners can make other upgrades that will serve the same purposes at a much lower price point. Simply laying down brick along the ground and investing in a good patio set can keep anyone comfortable in their outdoor space.

Replace old light fixtures

Lighting fixtures are one of the items in the home that most closely follows trends. Therefore, they are one of the first items in the home to look old or dated. Home owners can do a lot to update their home just by changing their old lighting fixtures. Home owners can even find an old chandelier at a discount store and spray paint it to look like new. 

How to Choose the Best Layout for Your New Home

Building a new home is probably one of the most exciting things a person will every do in their lifetime. Being able to design a space that is completely centered around one’s likes and needs is one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences. Not every person gets the opportunity to decide exactly how their home will look, so this is an opportunity that everyone should be grateful for.

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a layout for a home. Home owners want to make sure that the space not only look good and is structurally sound, but also that it will be the most functional for them and their family. Committing to the wrong layout could create expensive issues for a home owner in the future. Here are some tips for choosing the best layout for a home.


This is not usually the first thing that people think about when designing a home. However, there needs to be at least one place in the home that promotes productivity so that people living in the home can get work or homework done. This should be a space that gets the best new haven uverse connection to help people complete their online work as fast as possible.


Secondarily, a home needs to be a space that people feel comfortable in. no one wants to be in a home that is too open or too cramped, which of course would be uncomfortable. Home owners need to find that balance in which they are most comfortable. For example, they would not want to put a high vaulted ceiling in the family room where people would want to watch TV.


Every single room in a home will have a specific function. Home owners need to be aware of these functions as they create the layout. Some layouts will work well for some rooms that will not be appropriate for other rooms. For example, a home office could work well with a lot of windows, but a bedroom would not. Home owners need to keep function in mind as they settle on a final room layout.


There are many times when people are rushing out of the house to get to their next event, whatever it may be. Either way, home owners need a layout that will allow them to get the things done each day as quickly as possible so they can move on to their next event. This is an issue many people need to keep in mind when designing rooms like the bathroom or kitchen.


Lastly, home owners of course want their home to look great. Taking time to think about everything else is important, but having a great layout is worthless if it is not visually pleasing to the home owners. Every home owner should think about what will look best to them and add in a few aesthetic items that will make their home beautiful. 

The Most Common Place for Air Leaks in the Home

The Most Common Places for Air Leaks in the Home

This is a few of the most common areas in homes that leak air and how to prevent them before the cold winter weather comes.



The time for winter home prep is now. There are only a few warm fall days left before the cold rush of the winter season sets in. Most people start out with putting the outdoor furniture and grilling set away, but then move inside to make sure that their home is ready to withstand the cold days ahead. Because saving money is always a top priority, most families want to do everything that they can do to ensure that their home is running as efficiently as possible. Part of this is making sure that the home is not wasting any heat.

This is usually a difficult issue to spot out. Many people cannot tell if their home has a leak and even if they do notice a leak, they may not feel it necessary to seal it in order to save money and protect their home. Leaks in a home, however, can become a big issue for two reasons. First, it can cause a family to spend much more on heating their homes all winter long. Second, the leak can take on things like water and other natural elements, which can damage the home and cause much bigger issues in the future.

To avoid these big issues, every family should check their home for leaks regularly to make sure that their home is safe and running as efficiently as possible. Here are a few of the most common places leaks are found in a home and how families can fix them easily before winter arrives.

Loose or cracking floorboards

Floors are common places for leaks and escaping air in the home, especially in old homes. This may seem like an expensive fix that most people will not want to tackle, but fixing a leak in a floor can be very inexpensive. Simply adding a new coat of finish or paint might do the trick for a small leak. Otherwise, families can easily and inexpensively replace old hardwood floors with new engineered hardwood flooring.

Attic entrances

Few people heat their attics during the winter, because they are only used for storage, but most people also want easy access to that storage throughout the year. For these reasons, attic entrances are a common place for leaking air in the home. Easily seal the area around the attic with caulk and replace an old door if necessary to ensure that the space is easy to access while still sealed.

The chimney flue

This part of the home is neglected all summer long, and then recognized again when it is needed in the cold winter months. The chimney flue can be a spot in the home that lets out a lot of the heat that the fireplace is generating instead of putting it back into the home. Families should search around the fireplace for leaks and seal them with caulk. For leaks inside the flue and on the roof, families should consider hiring a professional to have it checked.

Plumping vents

This is an important area to check for two reasons. Plumping vents can let out extra air, but plumping vents can also leak water, both of which can cause big issues for the home. This is another issue that might require a professional for an in-depth inspection. Families can check around the vents and easily visible plumbing to make sure everything is ok and then have a professional check the rest.

Around windows

Windows are a big source for a lot of the lost energy in a home. The areas around windows and even the windows themselves can let out a lot of air and cost a home hundreds of dollars in heating costs if not sealed properly. Families should check this area the most thoroughly of all. Check all seals of the windows, around every lock and lever and every corner to make sure that they are as best sealed as they can be. Seal small leaks with caulk and even cover the windows with weather plastic in the winter to save money.

10-Minute Home Repairs

If the title made you smirk, you’re probably a veteran do-it-yourselfer. You know that most home repairs touted as 10-minute jobs can easily take three times that given Murphy’s Law. The following 10 micro-projects, however, really do take 10 minutes. Waiting for water to boil for your morning cup of tea? You can do any one of these home repairs in the process ... and then reward yourself with the tea!

1. Silence a Rattling Door

If an open window makes a door chatter Morse code, grab medium Philips and slot head screwdrivers, two pairs of pliers and a washcloth. Use a screwdriver to remove the doorknob’s strike plate (the metal square on the jam that reinforces the bolt hole). See the tang, or the lip that curls into the hole? Wrap the strike plate in the cloth (to avoid marring it) and use the pliers to bend the tang a half-centimeter toward the hole’s center. Repeat and bend further until the rattling stops.

2. Strengthen a Weak Kitchen Chair

A dowel connecting two legs pulled out of its socket, inviting wobbling and spinal discomfort? Put a dab of glue on its end, force the dowel into its hole and lash the legs tight with a belt. Use a drill to slowly run a small screw into the leg (at 45 degrees) so it penetrates the freshly glued dowel inside. Voila! You've restored the mortise and tenon integrity on the side stretcher.

3. Re-Stick Peeling Wallpaper

Paste a minor curl down with adhesive, smooth it with a damp sponge and run painter’s tape on the seam. Remove the tape after 24 hours.

4. Bury a Popped Sheetrock Nail

Hammer it deep into the sheetrock with a nail set. Drive in a screw just below it to make sure this doesn’t happen again; give the screw a slight countersink. Apply a dab of spackle and paint.

5. Hide a Wood Scratch

Snag your kid’s huge crayon box and find the one closest to the wood’s hue. Try to color out the gouge; sometimes it works. No cigar? Take the crayon to a hardware store and get a scratch repair pen that’s slightly lighter.

6. Kill a Musty Odor

If your garage or basement reeks, buy a big bag of plain charcoal (not the stuff that lights without fluid), lay it flat in an inconspicuous spot and cut a large square out of the bag. Let it suck up stink. Replace every six months.

7. Lube a Stubborn Lock

Don’t use WD-40; liquid attracts dust. Use graphite powder.

8. Mend a Hose

Pick up a few couplers that’ll fit your garden hose. The next time you slice it with the mower or otherwise spring a leak, grab one for a quick fix.

9. Install a USB Outlet Charger

Or three-prongers if your home is ancient. Yes, your first one will take longer than 10 minutes, but your fourth will be a display of mastery. Shut off your power at the circuit breaker and follow the directions. Tip: You can’t swap out a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) safety outlet (the ones with test and reset buttons) for a USB.

10. Change Your Furnace Filter

I know. Not a fix. Not an upgrade. Boring. I’d probably rather watch the water boil. But as far as incredibly quick, simple household jobs go, you can’t beat its bang for the buck. (With the exception of changing the smoke detector batteries twice a year during daylight savings, like your local news lady tells you.) Change the filter every one to four months, depending on its type. You’ll breathe cleaner air, save energy and prevent expensive furnace problems.

RON GERACI is a writer living in New York. In 2006, he built his own workbench, which doubles as a writing desk. It has six legs and can theoretically support 1,320 pounds, though he’s only personally tested it for about half of that load. From that desk, Ron has penned several books and contributed to many publications includingMen’s Health, and AARP.

For anything beyond what you are comfortable with always call a professional to take care of the job. If you need anything from home repairs, home remodeling and even want to build a new home contact us at

Do I need a home security system for my new home?

If you care about the safety of your family and the security of your valuable belongings, you need a home security system of some kind. But many homeowners don’t even know where to start. We’ve got some great tips to help you make an informed decision on how best to protect your home.

Pinpoint the Disadvantages

Before you even consider investing in a home alarm system, think about whether you need an electronic device or less advanced options. Could simply adding deadbolts to doors, installing quality window locks or even buying a guard dog serve as a solid option? If children are in the picture, don’t forget that they may set the security system alarm off accidentally.

False alarms are a common occurrence, and if their annoyance outweighs their benefits, you might think about other security measures. However, this may be a small price to pay when it comes to the security and safety of your home.

Conduct a Walk-Through

In order to decide on the appropriate security system for your property, it’s important to be aware of the exact areas where an intruder might enter. Knowing these specific points will better direct your choice of a security system, so you can choose a design that fully covers your property.

Consider Wireless vs. Hardwired

While wireless systems are more expensive than traditional models, their installation cost is much less than their hard-wired counterparts because the homeowner can set it up without the assistance of a technician.

Wireless systems have become just as sophisticated as wired ones, and include everything from closed circuit cameras to lighting/temperature detectors. However, many wireless components are battery-operated. You’ll need to pay close attention to their battery levels and keep copious batteries on hand.

If you’re debating whether to go wireless, know that the standard single-family home would be set with a 1-ghz receiver. A more tedious installation might require at least a 2-ghz system to ensure it’s well connected to its sensors. While many wireless security systems are an easy DIY project, a more sophisticated installation on a larger home may require the help of a professional installer.

Motion Sensors Are an Option, Too

It can be helpful to install a motion sensor alarm in your yard for an added level of security (not to be confused with motion-sensor cameras, which are activated by motion). When any movement in a space is picked up, an alarm will sound off. It’s an inexpensive option for increasing the level of security in your home.

Consider Additional Monitoring

Some homeowners feel more comfortable knowing that activity within their home is recorded on video in the case of an emergency. Video surveillance cameras, whether hidden or in full view in the home, may deter potential burglars, and the footage would certainly be useful in building a case with police should there be an incident. There are also third-party home monitoring companies that can patch into your security feed. Contact your local home monitoring provider for more information.

Signage is Key

Regardless of the system you choose, always place clear signage on your property’s exterior to inform intruders that it’s secure. Criminals are likely to bypass your property for a “softer” target if they know you’re protected by home security.

Security systems offer homeowners a peace of mind and should always be chosen based on individual needs. The prices of systems vary, but their offerings are great. It’s just a matter of evaluating your property, the amount you’re willing to invest, and choosing the option that will provide the best security

Plumbing Gadgets of the Future

At the 1933-34 World Fair in Chicago, the “toilet of the future” boasted a “2 1/2 inch passageway, larger than any other one-piece toilet!” That was probably pretty impressive at the time, but the real toilets of the future are self-cleaning, music-playing gadgets complete with heated seats and LED lighting. What are some other plumbing fixtures of the future? Read on for some of the smartest water devices on the market today. Then talk to your local Home Builder to find out if you would enjoy one of these new features in your new home or bathroom remodel.


The time of the programmable shower is now. Smart shower systems are pricy (as are many smart plumbing fixtures), at around $7,000, but their magic is undeniable. Watermark Design’s luxury shower system has a full-color digital touch screen that controls up to four outlets, water temperature, shower lighting and adjusts volume on your chosen audio device. Multiple members of your household can also save their preferred settings.

If you really love listening to music in the shower, but hate how it’s never loud enough, meet the Moxie Showerhead with Bluetooth ($129). This showerhead has a built-in speaker so the music literally comes through your water.


The Japanese know how to do toilets. The Neorest 700H is one of Toto’s many smart toilets, and this one uses electrolyzed water to clean both the toilet and, well, you know. It also has a built-in air purifier, heated seat and warm-air dryer. Oh, and a hands-free automatic flush. But don’t expect to pay less than $4,000 for one.

For a less intense, but still luxurious toilet, the UltraTouch heated seat will efficiently heat your seat up to 25 degrees Fahrenheit above room temperature. At a more reasonable $80, it’s also treated with an antimicrobial agent to resist the growth of bacteria, fungus and mold.


The Dyson Airblade Tap will not only wash your hands, but dry them too! The $1,900 faucet is equipped with a tiny powerful motor designed to dry your hands in about 15 seconds, using HEPA-filtered air.

Since the future is full of LED lights, you can also jazz up your sink experience with the Graff Ametis faucet, which has a light ring that glows red or blue to show you the temperature of the water. Starting at $1,500, the sleek chrome finish just makes it look that much cooler (blue light).


Some Whirlpool dishwashers are now equipped with their new 6th Sense Live technology, which connects to your Wi-Fi network to tell you when electricity consumption is cheapest during the day. It doesn’t require a smart electric meter, and at $949, these machines only cost slightly more than comparable machines. If you press the smart grid button before leaving the house, the dishwasher will automatically run when grid consumption is cheapest.

Your washing machine can also be controlled from a distance now, with LG’s new machines that can communicate with you via text. The “HomeChat” system will tell you what stage of washing your clothes are in, and the machine will give you a shout if you’re home and something goes wrong with the cycle. They’re being tested in Korea right now, and are expected to eventually make it to the states.

LAUREN CASTER is a New York City-based writer with a green thumb who has worked for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. In addition to tending to her massive balcony herb garden, she contributes to Brooklyn Exposed, writing articles about secret gardens and all things Brooklyn. She's also a ghostwriter, assisting business luminaries pen books on theory, strategy and management systems.

The 3 Part Recipe for Perfect Backyard Pool Houses

Most people think kitchens are the most popular remodeling projects, but the hottest trend for 2014 is backyard pool houses.

Imagine adding convenience, relaxation, entertainment and elegance to your own backyard with a pool house, also called a cabana. With lower interest rates, it can be considerably less expensive. The investment is well worth it, as the addition will also increase your property value.

Creating the perfect backyard pool house takes a little planning and requires three important elements: 1) architecture, 2) landscape and decking and 3) furniture and lighting. By keeping these in mind, you'll be able to enjoy a custom built pool house perfect for summer pool parties, family fun and relaxation. 

Part 1: Architecture

For a perfect blend of aesthetics on your property, you can plan to coordinate your pool house with your home. This involves the general style and color that your home possesses. Have you considered a miniature version of the main home for entertainment purposes? With proper planning, you can stylishly connect the two dwellings together with an attractive walkway.

It may be special to recreate that memorable vacation in your own backyard as a special get-away. Select a style that has a romantic tropical flare, complete with outdoor shower for a quick rinse off, and an open and airy floor plan, complete with inviting greenery.

A cottage style pool house can be designed with lattice that has ivy covering it. Imagine a cozy kitchen and eating area, with a country-style layout. The path to the pool can remind you of a traditional English garden. 

Another unique style is a classy cabana with a unique roof and airy feel. Design in sheltered privacy and include sliding glass doors for seasonal use.

Pools require regular maintenance, chemicals, and cleaning equipment, so be sure to include storage space in your pool house. A fireplace can make the transition to cooler evenings more comfortable. Provide a shower room either inside or outdoors. A quick dash from the pool to the bathroom offers convenience. Allow enough room for entertainment that can naturally spill out into the pool deck.

Whether your style is formal, traditional or contemporary, backyard pool houses will allow your family and friends to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities.

Part 2: Landscape and Decking

Your custom built pool house with its own unique decking design can complement an existing pool. Add in a luxury landscape design to complete the backyard aesthetics and your family will enjoy years of peaceful memories to last a lifetime. Wood, brick and stone are just a few of the varied deck and patio designs.

The landscape plan will put the finishing touches to blend the cabana and pool together. You can soften with greenery, design a more open and sunny environment, or plant specifically for more privacy. Low walls and seating can be built right into the decking plan. Keep in mind what will be required for regular decking and landscape maintenance.

Part 3: Furniture and Lighting

Select just the right furniture to make guests feel welcome and comfortable, and plan for winter storage space as required. Furniture can naturally compliment both the pool house and poolside. 

Pool houses are incomplete without efficient lighting. When planning, allow for natural lighting during the day with stylish windows and doors that open toward the pool area. At night, just the right lighting can create a perfect ambiance for pleasant entertainment.

Dalton Built Homes can inspire perfection in custom designed backyard pool houses that will turn your backyard into a paradise.