Window Trends


HGTV boasts trends in window treatments:

Hot Colors in Latest Fabrics – jewel tones of deep reds to subtle blues offer sophisticated luxury and also amethyst and turquoise are popular mixed with soft metallics such as platinum or brushed nickel.

Natural Sheers – simple panels of sheer fabrics will add warmth to the room but still let light. Popular in all colors, not just white or cream. Linen blends with more contemporary patterns work nicely as well.

Ornamental Trim – beads, buttons, shells, etc on Roman shades complete the look for a personalized treatment.

Eco – Friendly – bamboo, matchstick blinds and natural woven shades layered with simple sheer linen panels create an elegant yet earthy sophistication in any space.

Layering – sheer shades over blackout shades is trendy and very efficient. Layering panels and sheers is always fun.

Creative Patterns – Large geometric patterns create a dramatic look and focal point.

Metals – stainless steel and other metallic curtain rods through simple eyelets at the top of panels create a simple unadorned look.

Dark Neutral – charcoal and slate are the new neutrals and blend beautifully with the metallic trends.

Outdoor Curtains – use them to create a relaxing indoor feel on a porch with outdoor-proof or easy-to-wash fabrics.

Build to Decorate

We hope this information provides fun decorating tips for your home. If you are considering renovating, adding an addition or updating a room in your home, leave it to the expertise of a reputable home contractor. Call Jeff’s Carpentry for a free estimate.

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How is the air quality in your home?

zzWe all know that there are pollutants outdoors. But have you thought about the air in your home?

We may fail to recognize that our homes may have poor air quality and can cause us to get sick. Indoor pollutants can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches and make you feel like you are coming down with a cold. Poor air quality can have long term effects on our health.

Follow these tips to make sure that the air in your home isn’t making you sick.

Use an exhaust fan that vents to the outdoors.

Exhaust fans need to vent to the outdoors. If an exhaust fan vents into an enclosed space like an attic this can lead to mold issues which can spread throughout the home and cause asthma, cold symptoms and breathing problems. After you bathe or shower, give your exhaust fan time to pull the moisture from the bathroom and to remove the water droplets completely from the exhaust fan vent duct.

Steam clean upholstery and carpets.

Fabrics, carpets and padding is a breeding ground for allergens. Professional cleaning uses hot water extraction to remove all the dust, dirt and allergenic particles like pet dander that bury deep in the carpet. Dirt can be abrasive and walking on dirty carpet can make the fibers wear out more quickly. Steam cleaning gives you healthier air and it can prolong the life of carpets.

Clean the air ducts in your home.

Air ducts are the lungs of your home. Whatever is in the air (pollen, dander, dust, etc.) collects on the sides of your ducts and is recirculated into your home every time you turn on the air conditioning or heat. If there is a persistent odor in your home or you start sneezing every time the heat comes on, air duct cleaning could be a must for your home.

Replace air filters in your furnace.

The recommendations of your heating and cooling unit should be followed for replacing filters. Some units use washable filters that can be reused and cleaned every couple months and others require replaceable filters. Removing airborne particles is a very easy yet extremely effective way to keep the air you breathe free of pollutants.

De-Clutter rooms.

Try to minimize stuffed animals and nick-nacks in bedrooms. Allergens and dust will build up in these cozy places and can cause coughing and asthma like symptoms.

Manalapan, New Jersey’s leading home contractor, Jeff’s Carpentry, cares about you and your family. Enjoy the summer months creating memories in your home and yard. Free estimates for home improvement projects are always available. Contact Jeff’s Carpentry for all your residential and commercial improvements.

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What Does Your Home Say About You?

exteriorIt was recently noted by Houzz that the exterior of your home should be a direct reflection of you and what you like. Here is what they had to say:

“If you’re looking to enhance your curb appeal, nothing packs a bigger punch than revamping your architectural design. Since it’s the first thing visitors see, it makes or breaks your home’s first impression — it can easily become the neighborhood star or the neighborhood dud. The exterior often reflects the overall style of the house and the family that lives there, so it sets the pace for the rest of your space. In the end, whether you have stone, wood, brick, steel or vinyl siding, make sure your materials, paint colors and overall design represent what you like and who you are.

When you get ready to remake your exterior, it’s important to consider all the components. If you’re starting from scratch, you must first decide what architectural designs you prefer. There are several different options to choose from — including Victorian, Mediterranean, Craftsman and Midcentury Modern — so do your research and determine which one reflects you and is reasonable given your space or current home. Once that’s decided, it’s time to consider the materials and color. Your overall style will help determine this, but your personal taste and resell ability should also be factors. Finally, add some finishing touches for a personalized, lived-in look.”

Once you decide on a look, the overall style and your budget will determine the materials needed – siding, stone, brick, wood, etc. Neutral colors may work best unless the choice is Victorian or in a beach neighborhood. You may want to add a color contrast with your front door or garage doors. House numbers are a great way to add personality – you can try a unique font or brighter colors for a different look. Mailboxes, doormats and lighting also help enhance your house’s character.

Make your home exterior a reflection of you and your family. Let us help you make this a reality! Call us for a free estimate.

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All On Deck!

deck awning 9aSpring is here and we find ourselves wanting to be outdoors. Get “all on deck” this month in planning a new deck for your home or making the most of your current deck.

After a long winter, we are ready to spend time outdoors and enjoy the fresh air! In the spring and summer months (part of the fall season as well), a deck becomes another “room” at your home where you and your family may spend the majority of leisure time – dining, relaxing, hosting get-togethers, surfing the web, reading, etc.

Your home deck can be the place where so many memories are made. Here are some facts that will get you thinking about a new installation, upgrade and maintenance. What better time than early spring to get things started so that you and your family can get the most out of the time spent on your home deck this year!


  • A deck is a good investment — returning about 80% of its original cost according to Remodeling magazine’s annual “Cost vs. Value Report.”
  • Adding a retractable awning to a deck is an affordable and hugely enjoyable investment! Keep the sun and wet weather at bay to extend the hours and comfort of your deck. An awning can reduce the temperature on your deck by about 20 degrees and it protects you from the sun’s UV Rays.

  • Upgrade

  • A composite deck with PVC railings is beautiful!
  • The original foundation may be used if found to be in good condition. Replacing the wood boards and railings with composite and PVC will transform your deck and the maintenance is easy peasy!
  • Composite boards eliminate the need for staining and sealing and they are cool to the touch. No more splinters on bare feet to worry about!
  • Maintenance

    It’s a good idea to establish a routine of upkeep that will protect your deck and prevent expensive repairs. Check out this seasonal deck maintenance calendar:

    Late Spring

  • Wash your deck with an appropriate cleanser. For wood decks, use a standard deck cleaner and follow its directions. For composite decks, use a cleaner specifically formulated for composite material. Some commercial degreaser and detergents are safe to use for grease and oil stains. For Vinyl (cellular PVC) decking, you’ll only need to use warm water and a mild soap to remove mold, mildew and dirt.
  • Apply fresh sealer to your wood deck at least every 2 years.
  • Fall

  • Inspect your deck for popped nails, cracks and rot. Individual boards can be replaced if the problem is isolated.
  • Trim back bushes and shrubs around your deck.
  • Are You Looking for a Contractor?

    With over 30 years of hands-on experience, Jeff DeNicola is a leading contractor in Manalapan, NJ and has provided hundreds of satisfied clients with quality work at affordable prices. Craftsmanship and individual attention given to each client is unparalleled.

    Jeff DeNicola welcomes the opportunity for you to choose Jeff’s Carpentry for all of your home improvement needs. Call for a FREE estimate. Don’t wait, call (732) 851-5575!

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    Time To Sell?

    Home For Sale Real Estate Sign in Front of Beautiful New House.As spring approaches, the real estate market should see activity across the country. If you are considering listing your home, there are a handful of improvement projects that can make your home much more appealing and can attract a higher sale price yet you won’t have to dip too far into your pocket.

    Many buyers want long-term homes where they can raise children and retire in so they are looking for beauty and function. Keep these items in mind when you stage your home:

    1. Give the front door a new look – The front door sets the tone for your home’s curb appeal and security and it signals how well you maintain everything else. Buyers will be walking into your home via the front door, so be sure to give them a good first impression. If your door is in good shape, you might just need to give it a refreshing new coat of paint or new hardware. But if it’s seen some wear and tear over the years, consider replacing it with a steel door – one that will show buyers your home is safe.

    2. Update the most-used entryway - While the front door needs curb appeal, the garage door is traditionally the most-used door in the home. Old wooden garage doors will start to sag and the paint will peel, giving your home a run-down look. Replacing this door with an insulated steel door will not only improve the exterior look of your home, but also keep the garage space warmer. Finishing off the garage can also be a big draw for buyers, but you probably won’t be able to recoup as much of the expense as you would by replacing only the garage door.

    3. Add additional living space - You might not think about adding a deck as the same thing as adding an extra room to the house, but if you’re selling your home during the warmer months, that’s how buyers will see it. They’ll be able to picture themselves enjoying breakfast and picnic dinners outside, or curling up on a lounge chair with a good book on a summer afternoon. To make your deck a good selling feature, consider using a composite material for low maintenance. This means your buyers can easily move into your house and can enjoy the space without the annual chore of staining. estimates that homeowners can recoup 87 percent of the investment of adding a deck when they sell.

    4. Create a bathroom retreat - As the smallest room in the house, the bathroom tends to cost the least to remodel. If you have a guest or master bath that can use a little help to transform into a relaxing oasis, take the opportunity to replace the flooring, add cushy rugs, paint the walls and replace the accessories with more modern styles. Faucets, showerheads, the mirror and even the toilet can all be upgraded with water-saving and stylish designs. Buyers will take note of a maintenance-free bath, making your home one they’ll remember as move-in ready.

    5. Turn the backyard into a private paradise - Buyers will be visualizing themselves in your backyard when touring your home. They’re looking to see how quiet and secure the space is. Consider adding a beautiful wooden fence to enhance the privacy. It will make the home attractive to families with children and pets and for couples who aren’t interested in having a conversation with the neighbors every time they go outside. To make your fence an attractive selling feature of the home, consider using low maintenance options. You can match it to the deck coloring for a beautiful accent look that connects the colors in your backyard.

    Call A Professional Contractor For A Job Well Done

    Whether you decide to act on these improvements to list your home or to simply enjoy for yourself, calling a professional contractor to do the work for you will most likely save you time and money. Jeff DeNicola of Jeff’s Carpentry has over 30 years of hands-on experience. He has provided hundreds of satisfied clients with quality work at affordable prices. Craftsmanship and individual attention given to each client is unparalleled. Call him at (732) 851-5575 for a free estimate!

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    Protect Your Home From Old Man Winter

    ice damsTemperatures have dipped considerably in the northeast and across the country. Most homeowners address window and door drafts to keep homes warm and utility bills reasonable. Some may even have a supply of salt or sand to keep walkways and driveways safe from ice. But, there seems to be something that way too many homeowners fail to address that can wreak havoc. Old man winter can do major damage to our homes starting at the roof.

    Ice Dams

    In an effort to protect your home, be aware of “ice dams” and how to prevent them. Ice dams occur when snow gathers on your roof and then starts to melt at the top due to the heating inside your home. The snow slides down your roof until the point where your roof is 32 degrees or under and then refreezes. This creates a barrier of ice that traps water on the top of your roof. That water can find its way between shingles and seams in your roof, creating cracks that allow water to seep into your home.

    Gutters on the roof can exacerbate the problem because they aren’t as affected by your home’s heat. Leaves and debris that have collected in the gutters can trap ice, so it’s important to clean them before winter.

    To prevent ice dams, rake the roof after major snowstorms that leave more than six inches. You can purchase a roof rake and do it yourself or pay a company to remove the snow/ice for you.

    Attics that aren’t properly insulated release a lot of heat so to get at the root of the problem, homeowners should make sure that their attic is properly insulated and ventilated.

    Another option is to install deicing cables on your roof, which are essentially heated wires that melt the snow.


    Go a step further and protect your garage from old man winter. Not all garages are finished with drywall and insulation, which means the temperature can drop below freezing. If you use the garage as a laundry room, storage or work space, you’ll want to keep it warm. The best way to prevent your garage from freezing is to finish it with insulation and drywall.

    Protect your Investment

    Keep warm, be safe and protect your investment. Call on Jeff’s Carpentry for all your home improvement and maintenance needs. Call us at (732) 851-5575 for expert services that will keep your home well maintained and well built.

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    Must-Know’s Before A Bathroom Renovation

    bathroomTackling a bathroom renovation can improve your everyday life. The question is “How dramatic should the renovation be?” This list of 5 considerations by Tim Laehn is worthy reading for homeowners considering a bathroom renovation.

    1. Start a wish list. Evaluate your existing bathroom — what you like and what you want to change. List features you’ve always wanted. Group them according to must-haves and nice-to-haves, and number them by importance. Tour model homes and showrooms and scan magazines and websites to gather inspiration.

    2. Establish a budget. Whether you want to gut your bathroom and start from scratch or just make cosmetic changes, it’s important to know how much you want to spend before you start. Also set money aside for the unexpected, such as water or mold problems.

    3. Call an expert. Even if you’re planning a small-scale makeover or tackling some of the remodel yourself, consult a professional. Pros know what your budget can buy and they provide solid advice on how to save and where to splurge. They can also help you avoid costly mistakes. Be sure to call in experts for plumbing and wiring and always get more than one estimate for a job.

    4. Get the biggest bang for your buck. Whatever the size of your bath, keep in mind that the more walls containing plumbing pipes, the higher the price tag. Working within a room’s existing footprint might not offer the ideal design solution but it almost always saves money. Moving the toilet or the drain for the shower or tub can be expensive. However, if electrical or plumbing systems are outdated, it can be cheaper in the long run to gut the room and start from scratch. “The most important thing is to have high-quality installers,” says Linda Welch, a certified master kitchen and bath designer from Monroe, Michigan. Welch recommends spending more on installation than on products. Also, invest in items that can’t be changed easily, such as flooring, the tub, and shower and don’t overlook practical features such as good lighting and storage.

    5. Make smart choices. Design with resale in mind if you’re planning to stay in your home five years or fewer, says Kathie Maughan Francis, principal and founder of Maughan Design, Inc. in Portland, Oregon. “And if you’re planning to stay more than seven years, design your room for yourself, because the look will be considered dated by the time you put the home on the market,” she says.

    Make The Call

    Jeff’s Carpentry is your trusted expert to help you plan a bathroom renovation that suits your design and budget needs. Call for a free estimate and put your mind at ease and your project to work. Make your new bathroom a change that you can enjoy and afford!

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    Loose the Draft with New Windows

    3Have you noticed that home heating and cooling bills are skyrocketing? Is there an unsightly fogging between the panes of the glass? It may be time to finally replace the windows in your home.

    Your old single-pane windows are not energy-efficient, making your furnace and air conditioner work harder. New windows with high-performance insulating glass technology will help eliminate drafts and will help keep the glass from conducting heat or cold — making your home more comfortable and energy efficient year-round.

    Reduce heating and cooling costs by replacing your windows and doors with Low-E (Low-Emissivity) insulating, double- or triple-pane glass. Additionally, Low-E glass coatings reflect the sun’s UV rays away from your home to help protect your furniture, drapes and carpets from fade damage. For maximum energy savings, purchase ENERGY STAR® qualified products.

    Most new windows with sealed insulated glass come with a 20 year warranty against fogging. The clear glass of a new window will give your home a refreshed and clean look once again.

    Today’s replacement wood, fiberglass and vinyl windows open and close almost effortlessly. And, they’re designed to make cleaning the exterior glass from inside your house easy and they require little maintenance. Plus you won’t have to worry about hunting down replacement parts.

    New windows and doors will dramatically improve the beauty of your home — inside and out.

    Call Your Contractor

    The experts of Jeff’s Carpentry can install windows, repair windows, weatherize windows or replace windows. We can resize windows, change window moldings, replace blind systems or even redo window treatments. Dormer windows, palladium windows or bay windows — we service all types of windows.

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    Add Warmth This Fall

    iStock_000002567238XSmallCooler days and nights bring us to spending more time indoors and enjoying our inside spaces again. As we are looking to add warmth to our homes, these three options can be used in almost any home. Consider cozying up your space with these “warm” ideas:

    Wall Charm

    Exposed walls, brick walls and natural stone walls combined with soft home decorating fabrics look especially attractive and stylish in homes. The warmth and comfort of a terracotta brick can complement even modern furnishings and artwork and result in a gorgeous room!

    Symbolizing strength and stability, brick walls have a universal appeal for both men and women. When brick or stone isn’t an option, look to creating a statement wall with decorative glass, contrasting paint, wallpaper or resin art panels. A statement wall can lift your room to a whole new level while adding warmth and charm to the space.

    Fireplace Possibilities

    When you think of snuggling up on a winter night, what comes to mind? A fireplace! Gas fueled models make it possible to add a fireplace to almost any room and space. As Bob Villa explains, since no actual combustion occurs in gas fireplaces, zero-clearance installation is possible, which, according to Monessen Hearth Systems, means that “these fireplaces can be installed in direct contact with combustible walls and floors. Their inner and outer shell construction allows for maximum heat insulation.”

    As long as you have a natural gas connection or propane availability, you can install a gas fireplace almost anywhere in your home — under a window, in either an outside or inside wall, at wainscot or floor level, in a corner or even in the center of a room. Shielded by tempered or ceramic glass, gas fireplaces can be exposed on three sides (a peninsula of glassed-in warmth) or four sides (a virtual see-through island).

    Heated Floors
    Installing radiant heating, also known as underfloor heating, is an energy-efficient way to keep warm throughout the cold months. Invented by the engineering-savvy ancient Romans who had slaves fanning wood-burning fires under elevated marble floors, radiant floor heating is an under the floor heating system that conducts heat through the floor surface, rather than through the air as in conventional forced-air heating systems.

    The two most common types of radiant floor heating systems are electric (heat via electric wires) and hydronic (heat via hot water tubes), both of which are buried underneath the floor.

    Electric radiant floor heating systems are easier and more affordable to install but more expensive to operate, making them ideal for heating small areas.

    Hydronic systems are less expensive to operate, so they work well for large floor areas and even entire houses. The caveat is that they come with higher initial costs because they’re more complicated to install and require heated water from a boiler or a water heater.

    Call Your Local Professional Contractor
    Contact Jeff’s Carpentry for your home and business renovations this fall. We are happy to discuss these and other ideas and provide a free estimate.

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    Renovations on Historical Homes

    iStock_000002889308SmallWhat constitutes a historic home?

    A home is deemed historic or “architecturally significant” by the National Register of Historic Places—or by the local historic board—if it exemplifies a signature architectural style, captures the essence of a given time period, or is associated with famous people from the past.

    Also included in this category are homes located in neighborhoods designated as historic districts.


    In keeping with the home’s true nature and original construction, there are restrictions on renovations that homeowners must follow. Special permits need to be attained and because of the special requirements, there are usually extra costs involved.

    Here are some of the typical restrictions and extra costs:

    Additions- Rarely are homeowners permitted to add footage to historic homes, including extra stories.

    Windows, shutters and roofs- Since house exteriors such as windows, shutters and roofs embody the original architecture or design style, they are to be preserved and can only be replaced in kind.

    Paint- “Painted ladies” are Victorian and Edwardian houses painted in three or more colors that embellish or enhance their architectural details. Painted Ladies are known for their vibrant colors and intricate detailing. Some preservationists use the term polychrome for the style.

    Taxes- Although you may qualify for tax benefits for investing in a home or in a district where preservation and restoration are priorities, tax levies for merely living in a historic neighborhood may be higher than other neighborhoods.

    Utility bills- Before you seal the deal, study the previous year’s energy bills. It may cost you significantly more to heat and cool an older home than a new one.

    Review the Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings imposed by local and state laws on owners of historic structures. Some remodeling and expansion plans may not be able to fulfilled on historic homes.


    The beauty and charm of historic homes is very appealing. The architecture and design of the home and the neighborhood is distinct and very valuable. In addition, there can be tax credits and lower interest loans for preserving and restoring historic buildings.

    Contact A Professional Contractor

    A professional contractor, like Jeff DeNicola of Jeff’s Carpentry, with experience in dealing with historical and other architectural style buildings will provide advice and guidance on projects for your home or office. Attention to detail is important when improving and restoring your home or office. Call today!

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