Enjoy The Outdoors!

As winter starts to slowly fade, we find ourselves wanting to enjoy the outdoors more. In fact, we enjoy the outdoors so much that many homeowners are finding ways to bring it indoors! Many homeowners are creating spaces that have the feel and beauty of the outdoors, but incorporate the indoor luxuries of electronics, fireplaces, cooking appliances, furniture, etc.

Whether it’s a four-season room, three-season room , enclosed porch, sunroom or patio, your space can become an inviting and relaxing gathering spot or at-home getaway with a few simple design tricks.

The options can be endless for a homeowner looking to add more living space. A four season sunroom is considered to be a habitable, year round living space. It is heated and/or cooled, insulated, and includes appropriate electrical outlets. Foundation requirements are generally more stringent for a four season room than a three season room. Today’s versions are rooms featuring cathedral ceilings, skylights, energy-efficient windows, tile flooring, heat, and air conditioning.

A three season room can be enclosed on an existing deck or porch or you can start with a completely new structure. Windows and screens will keep out pests and debris while providing protection from the weather. An unobstructed view of your landscape and the natural beauty of the outdoors will be all yours to enjoy. Typically, a 3 season room is not connected to the HVAC system of a home but adding a ceiling fan will maintain the air flow within the space and create a comfortable temperature.

Enclosing an entrance porch or back porch can create wonderful spaces for outdoor living and entertaining. A front porch furnished with comfortable cushioned chairs is the most inviting place for a beverage on a spring, summer, or fall day. An enclosed back porch can host outdoor meals for family and friends. The design possibilities are endless and can be unique to the homeowner’s preferences.

Enjoy the seasons longer. Get started right away so you can enjoy your bright, airy, relaxing room on warm summer afternoons or entertain friends on chilly October evenings.

Jeff’s Carpentry

As winter starts to slowly fade, we find ourselves wanting to enjoy the outdoors more. In fact, we enjoy the outdoors so much that many homeowners are finding ways to bring it indoors! Many homeowners are creating spaces that have the feel and beauty of the outdoors, but incorporate the indoor luxuries of electronics, fireplaces, cooking appliances, furniture, etc.

Whether it’s a four-season room, three-season room , enclosed porch, sunroom or patio, your space can become an inviting and relaxing gathering spot or at-home getaway with a few simple design tricks.

The options can be endless for a homeowner looking to add more living space. A four season sunroom is considered to be a habitable, year round living space. It is heated and/or cooled, insulated, and includes appropriate electrical outlets. Foundation requirements are generally more stringent for a four season room than a three season room. Today’s versions are rooms featuring cathedral ceilings, skylights, energy-efficient windows, tile flooring, heat, and air conditioning.

A three season room can be enclosed on an existing deck or porch or you can start with a completely new structure. Windows and screens will keep out pests and debris while providing protection from the weather. An unobstructed view of your landscape and the natural beauty of the outdoors will be all yours to enjoy. Typically, a 3 season room is not connected to the HVAC system of a home but adding a ceiling fan will maintain the air flow within the space and create a comfortable temperature.

Enclosing an entrance porch or back porch can create wonderful spaces for outdoor living and entertaining. A front porch furnished with comfortable cushioned chairs is the most inviting place for a beverage on a spring, summer, or fall day. An enclosed back porch can host outdoor meals for family and friends. The design possibilities are endless and can be unique to the homeowner’s preferences.

Enjoy the seasons longer. Get started right away so you can enjoy your bright, airy, relaxing room on warm summer afternoons or entertain friends on chilly October evenings.

Jeff’s Carpentry

Jeff’s Carpentry provides design build expertise and individual attention to clients. Our personalized approach and guidance, partnered with unmatched craftsmanship sets us apart from other companies. Jeff’s Carpentry specializes in additions, renovations and remodeling along with interior and exterior home improvements. Call (732) 851-5575 for a free estimate!

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Beware of Pipe Bursts

In frigid temperatures, there is the risk of water pipes bursting. This occurs because when water freezes, it expands. That’s why a can of soda explodes if it’s put into a freezer to chill quickly and forgotten. When water freezes in a pipe, it expands the same way. If it expands enough, the pipe bursts, water escapes and serious damage results.

Why Pipes Burst

Surprisingly, ice forming in a pipe does not typically cause a break where the ice blockage occurs. It’s not the radial expansion of ice against the wall of the pipe that causes the break. Rather, following a complete ice blockage in a pipe, continued freezing and expansion inside the pipe causes water pressure to increase downstream — between the ice blockage and a closed faucet at the end. It’s this increase in water pressure that leads to pipe failure. Usually the pipe bursts where little or no ice has formed.

Generally, houses in northern climates are built with the water pipes located on the inside of the building insulation, which protects the pipes from subfreezing weather. However, extremely cold weather and holes in the building that allow a flow of cold air to come into contact with pipes can lead to freezing and bursting.

Pipes in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are all vulnerable to freezing, especially if there are cracks or openings that allow cold outside air to flow across the pipes.

Holes in an outside wall where television, cable or telephone lines enter can provide access for cold air to reach pipes. The size of pipes and their composition (e.g., copper or PVC) have some bearing on how fast ice forms, but they are relatively minor factors in pipe bursting compared with the absence of heat, pipe insulation and exposure to a flow of subfreezing air.

Field tests of residential water systems subjected to winter temperatures demonstrated that for un-insulated pipes installed in an unconditioned attic, the onset of freezing occurred when the outside temperature fell to 20°F or below.

Mitigating the Problem

Ideally, it is best not to expose water pipes to subfreezing temperatures, by placing them only in heated spaces and keeping them out of attics, crawl spaces and vulnerable outside walls. In new construction, proper placement can be designed into the building.

Letting the Water Run

Water freezes when heat in the water is transferred to subfreezing air. The best way to keep water in pipes from freezing is to slow or stop this transfer of heat. Letting a faucet drip during extreme cold weather can prevent a pipe from bursting. It’s not that a small flow of water prevents freezing; this helps, but water can freeze even with a slow flow.

Rather, opening a faucet will provide relief from the excessive pressure that builds between the faucet and the ice blockage when freezing occurs. If there is no excessive water pressure, there is no burst pipe, even if the water inside the pipe freezes.

A dripping faucet wastes some water, so only pipes vulnerable to freezing (ones that run through an unheated or unprotected space) should be left with the water flowing. The drip can be very slight. Even the slowest drip at normal pressure will provide pressure relief when needed.

Call Us

We help homeowners with home renovations and home projects of all sizes. Call Jeff’s Carpentry at (732) 851-5575 for all your projects and we will set up a consultation and provide a free estimate.


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Kitchen Renovations


Where do most families spend the majority of their time at home? It is guaranteed that almost everyone will respond, “the kitchen!” Our kitchens have become more than just a place to have meals. It is a gathering place even during formal dinner parties. Our beautifully decorated dining rooms can be found empty. Where do our guests congregate? Again, “the kitchen!”

The kitchen is the room in the house that carries so much weight and emotion when a buyer is considering choices. There are several items that are important to homeowners and should be considered when updating your kitchen.

Islands: Research shows that 48% of home buyers are willing to pay more for a home that has a kitchen with an island- about $1370 more. Okay, that may not seem like a lot of money, but an island ranks high on the list of top 10 things that buyers would spend more on a home for.

Kitchen islands are most important to people ages 35 to 54, with 24% of them indicating that it is a “very important” characteristic. Just 19% of people under 35 and 13% over 55 considered this feature important. Kitchen islands often come in handy for those who are raising a family. It provides additional room to put out food for the family and allows the kitchen to become more organized and can double as a work station for homework and office work.

Granite Countertops: Research shows that 55% of buyers will also spend more for granite countertops. Among homeowners between the ages of 35 and 54, 24% viewed granite countertops as “very important,” compared to 18% of people under 35 and 18% of people over 55. Although just one in every five prospective home buyers said granite countertops were very important, 55% of those who bought a home without such a countertop said they would pay extra for it.

Hardwood floors: Some 25% of buyers under the age of 35, and 28% of those between 35 and 54, considered hardwood floors “very important” when looking for a home. Only 17% of people ages 55 and up felt the same way. But for younger people looking to have many guests at the house and for people with children, hardwood floors are desirable because they are easier to clean than carpets.

Jeff’s Carpentry

Contact Jeff’s Carpentry at (732) 851-5575 for all your kitchen renovation needs. Jeff’s Carpentry has over 30 years experience and has provided hundreds of satisfied clients with quality work at affordable prices. Craftsmanship and individual attention given to each client is unparalleled.

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Remove Snow From Your Roof

As we start 2014, there is snow in the forecast. Living in the northeast brings snowstorms and usually icing during the winter months. We clean our sidewalks and roads to avoid the dangers of each storm. But less conspicuous, are the dangers of snow and ice buildup on our house roof and gutters. Fortunately, damage to our homes can be prevented with some maintenance. Start this winter season with good information about snow and ice on your roof and prevent any costly damage.


What is an ice dam?

An ice dam can form when water from melting snow re-freezes at the edge of your roofline. Without roof snow removal, the ice dam may grow large enough to prevent water from draining off the roof. The water can then back up underneath the roof shingles and make its way inside your home. An ice dam has the potential to cause serious damage to both your roof and the inside of your home. It is important to take steps to help protect your home from the risks associated with ice dams.

Snow Removal

Remove snow from your roof after every storm. Use a roof rake to clear the first three to four feet of snow from your roof immediately after each winter storm to prevent ice dams from forming. While the amount of snow and ice that your roof can handle may vary depending on a number of factors such as the roof type, age and condition of the structure, a good rule of thumb is if there is more than a foot of heavy, wet snow and ice on your roof, you should try to have it removed.

Clear downspouts. An easy way to help snow and ice drain off your roof is to make sure the area around your downspouts is clear. This will make it possible for your gutters to drain when snow does melt. It will also help prevent flooding when the snow and ice melts.

Longer-Term Prevention

Ultimately, the best prevention for ice dams is to eliminate the conditions that make it possible for them to form in the first place. Insulate your attic. Make sure your attic is well insulated to help prevent the melting-and-freezing cycle that causes ice dams to form. Check and seal places where warm air could leak from your house to the attic, including vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic hatches and light fixtures.

Install a water-repellant membrane. When replacing a roof, make sure to install a water membrane underneath the shingles. This acts as an extra barrier that helps prevent water from seeping inside the building.

Contact Jeff’s Carpentry

Jeff DeNicola has over 30 years experience with home improvement projects including kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, molding & trim, window installation, door installation, deck installation, painting, commercial installations of acoustal ceilings, metal studs and sheetrock, as well as handyman type services where “no job is too small.”

Call (732) 851-5575 for your home and office improvements. Check out our Facebook for updates.


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Bathroom Trends

A bathroom remodeling can substantially update your home and increase its value. Not to mention, give you and your family the luxury of current fixtures and the most appealing trends.

Keep in mind that your design choices of today may have to live with you 5, 10, maybe 20 years from now. Choose trends carefully so that your remodel doesn’t look dated in just a short couple of years. Classic design can speak volumes to new homeowners and can keep their value.

Bathroom Remodeling Trends

It is fun to shop the newest trends and see which may fit into your bathroom remodeling plan. The top ten best remodeling trends are below; see which trends interest you!

  • Glass tile is very trendy and can be used in all sizes and colors.
  • Subway tile with its crisp white color is classic and trendy! The white backdrop can complement bold colors and can be used with a vintage style sink or vanity.
  • Bold colors can add drama to a space, whether a large bathroom or small powder room. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
  • Multi-head showers are a new luxury. The multi-head shower is being used in good size showers so that water can mist you from all angles.
  • In – floor heating feels good on cold mornings. The radiant heat adds comfort but can also be practical since it may be more cost effective in some cases.
  • Framed mirrors and furniture style pieces are still very trendy. This adds the warmth of home in a cost effective way.
  • Steam showers are very popular. Your bathroom can become the spa getaway that you dream of.
  • A glamorous lighting fixture such as a chandelier over a tub adds elegance to large and small spaces.
  • Technology in the bathroom is a trendy must. Plan for the devices that you can’t live without and can make the bathroom more fun. Television, speakers, etc. are common in new bathrooms.
  • A fireplace or open flame fire fixture adds a romantic warmth and can set the stage for your dream bathroom.
  • Bathroom Remodeling For You

    Contact Jeff’s Carpentry at (732) 851-5575 for a bathroom renovation that can make your dreams come true. We will provide a free estimate and go over options that are right for you.


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    Home Improvements To Invest In

    As reported by US News, the housing market is seeing increases and homeowners are investing in renovations again. Some home improvements have better resale value than others, just like some cars have better resale value than others. Here are some of the best home improvements:

    Kitchen. People spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so upgrades in that area are both visible and valuable. It’s not just aesthetics. A kitchen has many working parts, like a refrigerator with a water and ice dispenser, a built-in microwave and a double oven. But it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing deal. If your counter top is scratched and stained, but the cabinets are still in good shape, just replace the counter top, and maybe add new cabinet hardware. And new appliances by themselves add both utility and sparkle to your kitchen. Rule of thumb: Expect to recoup about three quarters of the cost of a kitchen remodel when you resell your house.

    Bathroom. People like big, expansive bathrooms, so any fix-up that adds space – a vaulted ceiling, a skylight or stealing space out of an adjacent closet – is likely to pay off. Big, bright mirrors, modern lighting and extra cabinets are also desirable features. But don’t get carried away on plumbing fixtures and expensive tile. You can spend a lot of money on fancy faucets and special shower heads, and that money will go right down the drain.

    Outside the house. Landscaping is the first thing any visitor, or potential buyer, sees at your house, and this type of first impression matters. You don’t have to hire an expensive landscape architect. Just spruce up the lawn, clip back the bushes and add a few strategically placed shrubs. Decks, patios and screened-in porches are all highly desirable add-ons that are not that expensive in the overall scheme of things. Rule of thumb: You recoup almost 100 percent of the first thousand dollars you spend on landscaping, but close to zero on anything after that.

    Roofs and windows. No one will want to buy your house if the roof leaks or if plants are sprouting from your gutters. New windows can be expensive, but they bring in natural light to your home and often save money on heating and air conditioning bills. Rule of thumb: Look to recoup 30 to 40 percent of the cost in utility bills, and 60 to 70 percent at resale.

    Cosmetics. Don’t underestimate the value of a simple paint job. It’s relatively inexpensive, especially if you do it yourself. Ditto with cleaning and de-cluttering, as well as a few new lighting fixtures. All of these improvements return at least as much money as you put into them.

    What NOT to do: Install a swimming pool. Unless you live in a high-end development in Florida or Arizona, home buyers think they’re more trouble than they’re worth. Super luxury upgrades are nice, but nobody wants to pay for them. Garage conversions will give you more living space, but what do you do with the car? Better idea: Finish your basement (but only if it’s dry) or your attic (but only if it has standard-height ceilings).

    Consult With An Expert

    It is wise to consult with an expert like Jeff DeNicola of Jeff’s Carpentry about your ideas and your future plans if in fact you look to sell your home in the near future. Planning a home renovation with Jeff’s Carpentry will put you at ease to know that you will receive quality craftsmanship that you can enjoy while living at your home and the update will bring added value to your home during resale.


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    Popular Renovations and Tips

    We’re always looking for ways to make our homes more attractive, current, and comfortable. Although according to a recent survey, it seems Americans are keen on fixing up certain areas of their homes more than others.

    The National Association of Home Builders released its 2012 Remodeling Market Index, in which they surveyed a panel of approximately 2,000 professional remodelers across the country on which home renovation projects were most popular by their customers.

    Most homeowners use professional contractors, but some do-it-yourselfers can use some tips!

    Bathroom remodeling, at a staggering 78 percent, was the most requested home renovation. Oftentimes homeowners will tear out their tub and shower only to realize they don’t have the expertise to replace the studs, plumbing, backer board, and more that are behind all that tile! Also ventilation should be a concern when planning a bathroom.

    69 percent of all jobs requested were for kitchen remodeling, making this the second most popular job. Think function and not always “what is in.” Chandeliers might make a statement but typically don’t provide enough light for a room.

    Here’s a not-so-surprising result: 44 percent of renovation jobs were for window/door replacement. This project is requires accuracy and the experience of a professional. It is worth the investment of having an experienced contractor complete the installation for you.

    Mother Nature causing property damage repairs make up 36 percent of remodeling jobs. Be sure that the materials used are of quality.

    Coming in at number five is entire house remodeling jobs. This was surprising! It’s such a large undertaking, yet a whopping 35 percent of jobs encompassed the whole home.

    Americans love the idea of a finished basement- 27 percent of renovation jobs were geared toward remodeling basements. Plan in advance for electronics to avoid unsightly wiring. Be sure not to cover up key access points such as water shut off valves, electrical panels, and other access points.

    Another job recommended not doing yourself is roofing which came in at number nine with 24 percent of jobs dedicated to this task.

    Lastly, the tenth most popular remodeling job is…installing siding! 23 percent of jobs included this work.

    We have it covered!

    Jeff’s Carpentry is skilled to help with all your renovation needs. Feel free to call us at (732) 851-5575 for any project or task needed for your home or office!

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    Soffit and Fascia


    It seems that the majority of homeowners seem to neglect the importance of soffit and fascia on their home. In fact, many homes are in need of soffit repair or replacement. So, what is the soffit and fascia?

    The main role of soffit and fascia is to give a smooth appearance to the roof and give protection as well. Proper installation of soffit and fascia is very important to the functionality of the roof.



    Soffit

  • Basically it is used in the part beneath the eaves on the exterior of a house to close the space beneath the eave.
  • The soffit extends from the side of the structure to the edge of the eave.
  • Soffit is designed to be installed from the exterior wall to the fascia board.

  • Fascia

  • It is used to create a barrier between the edge of the roof and the outside.
  • Fascia is important to a properly constructed roof and is typically installed beneath the roof line and behind the gutters.
  • Fascia is installed around the entire structure and is attached to the uncovered ends of rafters or to the top of exterior walls.

  • Installation and Replacement


    Proper installation and care is highly encouraged to fully maximize the purpose of soffit and fascia for roofs. Older homes have wooden soffit and fascia and should be checked for wear and signs of needing replacement. There are low-maintenance soffit and fascia made of PVC and aluminum. Many homeowners are replacing the wooden with low maintenance products. These can be re-touched over time.


    Jeff’s Carpentry


    Jeff’s Carpentry has been proudly serving residents of Monmouth, Mercer, Middlesex counties and beyond. Call us at (732) 851-5575 for a free consultation and get the honest expert advise of our team.



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    Color of Choice

    Paint and color can transform a space. There is a process that we go through when deciding to choose a color for a foyer, kitchen, family room, bathroom, bedroom, office, or the exterior of a home. Color affects our mood and color can make a room look brighter or darker or larger or more intimate.

    Sometimes the decision process of choosing colors can be agonizing since the end result is something that we look at and live with every day of our lives. We look at the exterior color everyday as we drive up to our homes. We want our kitchens to feel inviting and our bedrooms relaxing. We need to feel focused and alert in our office. Color plays such a big part of how we feel when we are in a space. Color should be harmonious to the room’s activity.

    It is a good idea to take a picture of the room for exploring new possibilities. Keep in mind the furniture, artwork, flooring etc. that will stay in the room and look to complement those things. You may be looking to stay in the same hue that the walls are currently painted and just want new paint to refresh the space or you may want to totally transform the room. In either case, the new paint color will bounce off the flooring, window treatments, and furniture to create a room personality.

    A leading paint supplier shows their most searched paint colors as beiges, tans, whites, pale yellows, light greys, and a pale greenish blue. These top searched colors really haven’t changed much over the years. It may prove that we really don’t need to agonize over colors after all. The basic neutral shades are probably the most warm and versatile and pick up natural light very well. Only if you are looking to make a bold statement of sorts that you need to devote real time to a painting project color.

    As your professional, we will help you with this process and give you insights to reasons why you may or may not want to go with possible choices. We advise that you don’t have angst over choosing between two shades that are very similar. Instead, look at the shades in daylight and in low lighting. See which is more appealing in different lighting.

    Jeff’s Carpentry is here to help you with all your painting needs. Call us at (732) 851-5575 to set up a free estimate. We are the best at what we do and can make your painting project a success! Transform your room and transform your life!


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    Roof is Key to Curb Appeal for Buying and Selling a Home

    Whether you are buying or selling a home, a good roof can help you and a bad roof can hurt you. Most people think the biggest draw for home buyers is a great kitchen, but this is not true. A great kitchen can be icing on the cake, but basics such as the foundation and roof need to be sound.

    According to HGTV.com, “Basic maintenance, such as roof and exterior painting, are more important than an awesome kitchen.” One aesthetic problem that can weaken the integrity of shingles over time is algae growth. Algae growth often shows up as dark stains or discoloration, as in the picture on the left. A new roof can instantly freshen up the curb appeal of this house.

    If you are going to make some improvements to put your home on the market, have the roof inspected by a professional like Jeff’s Carpentry. If the roof needs repairs or replacement, either invest the money up front or be prepared to deduct it from your price at closing time. Any savvy buyer will have the house inspected and this can often turn up roof problems that the seller was oblivious to.

    As a home buyer, ask if there are any problems that need to be addressed. If you enter negotiations on a house, make sure you have enough time to have a thorough inspection and get written estimates if any repairs are recommended. Without a good inspection before purchasing a home, you can be left footing the bill for a new roof or haggling with insurance companies to cover something the seller should have already taken care of. It may be time consuming, but it will pay off in the end to have professionals like Jeff’s Carpentry inspect major components such as the foundation and the roof.

    At Jeff’s Carpentry we work hard to accommodate both buyers and sellers with any roofing needs. Many sellers pay for the roof and leave the option for the buyer to add upgrades. Call (732) 851-5575 for a free roofing estimate.


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