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Great Outdoor Projects From Alure Home Improvements

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Springtime is the perfect season to work on outdoor projects with Alure Home Improvements!
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No doubt about it, the weather is definitely right for going outside and spending time getting all those home improvement projects done that you’ve been putting off until the forecast was totally agreeable.

Here on Long Island, winter wasn’t too bad, especially compared to last year, but that doesn’t mean you can skip doing a thorough job this summer making the outside of your house sparkle. We won’t detail all you need to do to whip your lawn into shape, but your friends at Alure Home Improvements are more than willing to help you win the battle for the home front.

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What you want to do first is perform a complete inspection of your house, from top to bottom, and front to back. Don’t forget your garage, too, especially if it’s a stand-alone structure, because all too often homeowners forget about it until it’s in bad need of repairs.

Take a look at your roof and chimney. Long Islanders didn’t have to endure blizzards this year like in past years when they seemed non-stop, but winter weather is notoriously hard on the exteriors, and now is the time to take a closer look. You’ll want to remove all the leaves from the roof valleys, eaves, dormers and skylights, and clean your gutters, too, while you’re at it. And if you discover any nests, be prepared to remove them very carefully when they’re either away or asleep.

If you see any lifted, curled or damaged shingles, it could mean the underlying structure is exposed—and, left untreated, that problem could spell leaks. If you suspect damage to your roof, then go to your attic and check it out from underneath. Keeping a good roof over your head may sound like a cliché, but the stability of your house depends on it.

Look around your chimney and skylights and check the condition of the flashing, which refers to thin, impervious material installed to prevent water penetration and seepage. If you spot any holes or corrosion, you may have to replace the flashing.

Next, inspect your windows and doors for signs of wear and tear. Make sure the weather stripping is in good shape. You may want to seal any openings with caulk, foam, or glazing compound. If a gust of wind loosened a shutter, now is the time to fix it right. While you’re at it, wash the outside of your windows and repair any holes in your screens.

Look around the joints of your house, the places where different kinds of materials meet, such as vinyl siding and cement foundation. You want to prevent insect invasion, water leaks, and hot air or cold air loss. You are on the prowl for holes, loose joints, cracked mortar and fissures. These are not the kinds of openings you want to leave untouched.

If you spot mold or mildew on your siding, decks and trim, you should deal with it before the weather stays hot and humid. On large surfaces you can use a power washer to do the job. But on small areas, like under a windowsill, you may have to do it by hand. Mix a solution of 1 cup bleach, 1 cup white vinegar and a gallon of water. Make sure there’s proportionally much more water than bleach or you risk damaging the vinyl siding or the finish. Be sure to wear gloves when you scrub with a sponge. And don’t splash this solution on your plants and flowerbeds. If you need to repaint your siding or trim, use a mildew-resistant exterior paint.

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Check your decks and patios for any boards that are warped, loose or splintered. Replace them if the condition warrants it. Also, really do a thorough sweep and get rid of all leaves and debris that might have accumulated between the boards. If you don’t, it could turn to rot. You may have to refinish the wood deck if it looks faded or worn.

Take a look at your lawn furniture. You want your guests sitting in those dirty and dusty chairs? If not, then maybe you should hose them down or wash them with a mild detergent. Check your metal furniture for rust or chipped paint. Sometimes just a spray enamel will make them shine for the hot summer months ahead, when your family and friends definitely want to hang out outside.

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Did your driveway, sidewalks or steps get cracked over the winter? You must repair them before they get any larger and pose a hazard. You can get patching material and fillers for asphalt and concrete from your hardware store. If the driveway or walkway has dry-set pavers, take the time to brush some extra sand or stone dust into the joints to keep them in place and prevent weeds from springing up between them.

How is your heating and cooling system? Did you schedule your annual tune-up if you have central air? You can clean or change the air filters and remove dust and debris from around the grills and ducts. Your outdoor window air conditioners need attention, too. Remove the covers and clean the filters–some experts advise doing this every month of the summer.

And remember, if you spot something serious, you can always rely on your friends at Alure Home Improvements for the best advice, no matter what the season is.

Get A Fresh Look For Spring With Alure Home Improvements

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Get A Fresh Look For Spring With Alure Home Improvements!
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Spring is coming into full bloom in the weeks ahead, so naturally your gaze might wander from the flowers in your garden to the exterior and interior of your house. How does it hold up? Are you happy with the look of your place? Maybe now is the time to freshen its indoor and outdoor appearance—especially if you’ve been thinking about it all winter long.

If you plan to sell your home, you can use neutral and traditional colors because they convey a look that is warm and inviting, say realtors. According to Consumer Reports, blue is an effective hue when you want to sell. But forget green or orange. Eccentric colors may turn you on—especially if they dominate your wardrobe—but they’re pretty sure to turn off any potential homebuyers. You want to make a great first impression.

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But why stop there? Why not consider lasting impressions?

Because no matter whether you’re selling or staying, you want your house to have curb appeal for as long as you own it. As home expert Bob Vila advises, you should only pick the hues for your home’s exterior that you’ll love coming home to every day.

Of course, it all depends on your house, whether it gets sunlight or shade, where it faces, and what kind of trees are nearby. Consider its place and its physical elements before you choose your colors.

You want some suggestions? That’s what your friends at Alure Home Improvements are there for. Try off-white. It’s a classic, traditional look, a touch of cream accented with a formal taste of coolness. Of course, if you don’t want off-white, why not just go for white? A white clapboard-like look is a classic with timeless appeal. But you may not want to go too stark so try adding some creamy yellow undertones to the white you pick.

A putty color is a blend of warm taupe and gray hues, colors that blend in with your home’s natural surroundings, especially if your house has a lot of landscaping, that can be quietly inspiring. It’s a great color if you have stone in the foundation or on the walkways. Speaking of taupe, by itself it’s a perfect natural exterior paint because it evokes a classic neutral sentiment. If you want to play it safe, you can’t go wrong with taupe.

Further on the spectrum lies gray. There are plenty of subtle shades to choose from, like driftwood, for example. One popular choice combines Benjamin Moore Copley Gray trimmed with Benjamin Moore Elephant Tusk. Perhaps you’d like to consider deep blue grays because they can convey a nautical, serene emotion. It’s also a good bet if you want to offset it with white trim.

If you want to go in another direction, try yellow. But look before you leap. It’s a color that’s bound to be bold if you’re not careful, so you might want to rein it in with a pale shade. Tone it down and lighten it up, and you’ll get the cheerful hue that will make you smile. Light blue makes a dramatic statement, so you probably want to consider the architectural elements your house may have and highlight them with a reddish-brown trim. This combination can be a real showstopper, if that’s the effect you’re aiming for. Certainly, it will make people stop and take a look. You just want to make sure you’re comfortable with seeing it yourself.

The last thing you want to feel when you enter your house is like you’re walking into a black hole. So, to play it safe, consider whites, grays and tans—shades that endure. You can go trendy with your door if you want to make a difference, perhaps a lemon yellow or a burgundy and olive. But don’t even think about school-bus yellow or fire-engine red, because those colors are more suitable for some kind of flashy commercial enterprise. And if you want to put your house up for sale, think mid-tone blues and monochromatic color schemes that mix different shades and tints for the trim.

But you’re not done until you select the right finish. Experts say that flat and satin finishes are right for siding, because they reduce reflections and hide any material flaws, from age, perhaps. To add some shine to your doors and trim, pick semi-gloss paints for a nice contrast.

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And remember, long before you arrive at the final look you want for you home, be sure to consult with your friends at Alure Home Improvements, because they’ve been making homes look better for years.

Think Spring With Alure Home Improvements’ Guide to Choosing Colors Just Right For You

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It’s spring and it’s natural to want to color your world when outside the flowers are finally blooming, first the daffodils and then the forsythias. All of a sudden you see yellow where before there was nothing but drab, dull shades of muddy brown. You feel the surge and you want to take it back inside.

But then you find yourself getting overwhelmed by all the choices. There are more colors than tints on a rainbow. Before you know it, the weekend is over, and you’re still stuck with the same-old same-old in the rooms you wanted to change. Repainting indoors is easier done while the weather outside is still too rainy for a weekend project. You can open your windows to let out the paint fumes, but you don’t have to worry about your DIY plans being washed out by a sudden thunderstorm.

Here, we’ll encourage you to express yourself but do it reasonably. Remember that the colors you choose to repaint your room or refurnish your décor have to last for more than one season. They’ve got to have a relatively long life span unless you’re able to change your interior design on a whim, like a Hollywood star from the golden age of Technicolor. Smart people in the suburbs don’t have money to burn whenever their tastes change. We recommend you take the time to get it right.

If you want to go bold, consider floral drapes in shades of pink or bring a touch of green into your room with a new picture frame or a painted chiffonier. We encourage you to step back and reflect. What’s the furniture look like? What’s the lighting? What’s the view outside the window? What’s the existing color scheme? You can use sample paint color boards to match what’s already there before you make your picks. All these things should be taken into consideration long before you open the paint can and pick up your brush or dip your roller.

You should be aware that the wrong paint color alters the appearance of someone who enters the room. Most common offenders are green and gray, especially if those are the colors on a bathroom wall behind you when you stand and look at yourself in the mirror. Warmer undertones are more conducive to a good impression. This concept works for a living room or a bedroom, too. Pink, peach and clear blue colors can definitely be flattering.

But remember: You don’t want to apply a color just because it matches your new sofa or your cabinets. You should pay attention to the neutral colors: beige, ivory, taupe, black, gray and white. Decorating with neutrals is never as easy as it looks on the surface because they have subtle undertones. A bad choice can still lead to an interior decorating disaster. Your friends at Alure Home Improvements don’t want that to happen to you. If you have any concerns, please consult us first.

Color experts say that a warm, neutral beige that trends toward taupe can enhance your indoor space while adding a stylistic touch that’s not too overstated. Warm beiges and taupe colors can work with cool color accents like blue but only if they’re free of gray, the experts say. An alternative is a gray beige combo, a pewter hue, which blurs the distinction between warm and cool. It’s a gray color warmed by soft brown undertones. But be forewarned because it can appear darker on the walls than its color swatch might lead you to believe. Diana Hathaway Timmons, a well-known color expert, said, “Its luminous quality makes it suitable for a variety of rooms. It looks its best with crisp white trim and dark woods.”

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Here’s another rule. There is no perfect white paint. That’s why it can be so difficult to choose the right shade. A white can have hints of gray, yellow or even pink. On the other hand, a warm white can be a perfect backdrop for warm colors in most cases, advise the experts. It can also go with cool colors if they’re saturated and not too gray. Improving overall color harmony and warmth is the goal.

What’s the furniture look like? What’s the lighting? What’s the view outside the window? What’s the existing color scheme?

Baby blue used to be very popular but the color trend for blues has apparently been shifting to slightly green and gray undertones. What blues you choose depends on several factors, like the lighting and the other surfaces in your home. You may want a blue that is rich with gray or a blue that is subtle with green. A good neutral blue can look great with dark or medium woods.

Another neutral color that has been drawing raves is an ethereal tan that has just enough warmth to banish the cold from a room but not so much that it heats up the space or clashes with the décor. The advantage of a neutral tan with a hint of beige in it is that it politely recedes into the background and lets your furnishings and décor speak for themselves. It pairs well with most woods and trims, and is compatible with a range of styles from Modern, to Mid-Century or French Provincial. A color called greige is a subtle blend of gray and beige that is neither too warm nor too cool. It’s inviting enough to be welcome in a room with all shades of wood from light to dark, and it is versatile enough to flow gracefully from room to room whether there are deep chocolate browns, black or deep gray with warm undertones as complementary colors. This hybrid also works well with yellow, orange and some other warmer colors.

The point is that you need to recognize the underlying tone that makes your neutral color either warm or cool and then go with it, depending on the feel you’re trying to achieve. But you don’t have to limit neutral colors to the broad surface of your walls. You can use them as accents, backdrops or even build an entire color scheme around them.

When you go for a spring fling, sometimes the less said the better.

And if you have more questions, come to Alure Home Improvements where our colorful characters won’t tell you anything off color.

Some Great Indoor Project Ideas From Alure Home Improvements

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Alure Home Improvements offers some great indoor projects to keep homeowners occupied till Spring!
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With spring less than a month away now is the perfect time to embark on some great end-of-season, indoor projects to beat those lingering winter blues and get your house in shape before the warm weather comes and the flowers burst into bloom—and spending time stuck indoors will be the last thing on your mind.

Obviously you don’t want to undertake something too ambitious when your mobility is limited and it’s still too chilly to go outdoors whenever you want a break. So, you may have to balance what you can do easily over a weekend and what is more time consuming and demanding.

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But that doesn’t mean you might not want to start thinking about undertaking bigger transformative projects when warmer weather arrives. After all, while you’re inside, take an honest look around at your habitat. Is there something bothering you that you have always wanted to change? A new kitchen? Another bedroom? A more inviting living room? A renovated basement for family entertainment? Maybe you can’t put your finger on it, but something just doesn’t seem right. Feel free to consult your friends at Alure Home Improvements to get inspired.

In the meantime, why not consider these:

Are you sick of winter grays? Bring some color into your home before the weather lulls you outside. Go to the paint store and bring home a color palette. Or take a fabric sample with you from a pillow or curtain or bed spread in the room you have in mind. See what the possibilities are as you try different combinations. Now is the time to go bold, because those tones can energize your home! At a minimum, your walls may just need a new coat of paint. If you have neutral colored walls, accents on the trim and molding could complement the bright look you’re after with your new decor. But don’t be too impulsive, because you’re going to be living in that space for a long time to come. You may get pretty sick of those orange walls sooner than you thought! To spark your imagination, you can consult websites, such as Pinterest, or talk to your friends at Alure Home Improvements. Just remember that if you paint indoors, you’re going to want to keep the windows open while the paint dries—and that might not be a good idea when it’s cold and windy outside.

Are your winter heating bills making you blue? There’s a dozen home improvements you can do now to save energy and money—and they’ll also help you cut costs when you turn your air conditioner on—yes, that time will come, too. You can count on it.

So, why not apply caulk around your windows and doors to seal up those cracks and holes? You’re keeping the warm air inside—and keeping out any critters thinking it’s time to come in from the cold. You might also want to seal around the heating ducts in your basement and attic. If you can, add or replace any weather stripping in the windows.

If you have tile or wood floors, put down some area rugs. They’ll create a layer of do-it-yourself insulation, which you’ll appreciate if you’re walking around barefoot.

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Check out your electrical outlets, especially if they’re in the exterior walls of your house. If they’re cold to the touch, they’re letting in outside air. From your hardware store, you can buy outlet covers that you can easily install behind the front plate. You may need to shut the power off in that room to make the switch, but the process is simple and the energy savings are worth it.

If you have an open fireplace, you may want to install glass doors to close it off when it’s not in use. Warm air rises through the chimney—and there goes your money! So make sure you keep the flue shut after the fire has gone out.

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Here’s another simple tip: Insulate your attic door. You can purchase covers that are pretty easy to set up and remove when the weather warms up. If you don’t need access to the attic, then leave them up all year round to cut down on drafts.

If you don’t have storm windows for your home, you can still take steps to cut down on the cold. You can buy simple transparent covers that let you see in and out. Or you can add curtains, especially thick drapes, to seal in the warmth.

If your garage is part of your house, it’s a major source of cold air. If you can insulate the door to the garage, then do so. Maybe you can add a storm door. Or perhaps you can add a layer of plastic on the side of the door that faces the garage, anything to cut down on heat loss. Garage doors themselves are not insulated as a rule, so if you see any cracks or holes around the windows in the door, seal them up with caulk.

And if you don’t have the energy to do those tasks, try something simple when you’re spending time indoors: Clean out your closets and your basements. You may find forgotten treasures. At the least, you don’t need the clutter. More importantly, you’ll create space that will help you improve your life in more ways to come as you get a load off your mind. And, remember: Doing it now will give you more free time when spring comes along!

Alure Home Improvements Teaches How To Properly Clear A Gutter Ice Dam

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Some homeowners may never have heard of an ice dam—especially if they’re from Florida—but as Long Islanders know, it’s an all-too common concern during winters up here, because it can cause serious damage if left unchecked.

An ice dam occurs when a large hump of thick ice forms at the edge of a roof after prolonged freezing temperatures. As the snow and ice on the roof melt and refreeze over time, it can look like a mini-glacier sliding over the gutter armed with rows of icicles.

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The more ice and snow there is, the heavier the load on the roof, the gutters and the downspout. It can damage trim, too. More seriously, it can lead to interior flooding, threatening the upstairs rooms or the attic when melted water seeps through the roof shingles, saturating the insulation and then soaking through the dry wall or plaster ceilings and walls.

If a thaw comes, the ice dam may break free suddenly, pulling off shingles, and the gutter, when it goes over the edge.

As your friends at Alure Home Improvements can tell you, an ice dam can form on any style of roof.

You must attack these dams, but you have to use common sense. It may require standing on a ladder—and that’s no fun in a snowstorm, so it’s not recommended. Be careful up there. Don’t swing at the ice with an axe, because you’re almost certain to leave a hole in your roof. Tap gently with a blunt mallet so the chunks of ice remain small enough so they won’t dislodge the shingles.

Don’t use rock salt on your roof, because that could damage paint and metal when the salty water drains. Instead, use calcium chloride. Some New Englanders recommend kitty litter. Fill a tube of cloth—a leg from an old pair of panty hose is ideal—and lay it across the ice dam. The contents will melt the ice slowly, clearing a path for the snow melt to run off.

You can also try using a snow rake, a broom, or a plastic shovel to sweep away the snow piled above the ice dam. You don’t want to damage your shingles, so be careful. Also, you could set off a mini-avalanche that might bury you in snow, or worse, hit you in the head with ice chunks.

The underlying reason that ice dams form is because the interior ventilation is inadequate. The roof is too warm, causing the snow to melt and build up when it freezes.

Prevention requires forethought, and a good contractor—that’s where Alure Home Improvements can come in.

One method is to seal all the points where warm air leaks from the inside living spaces. Insulate the living space to prevent heat conduction through the ceiling and the walls. Ceiling fans and recessed lights are major culprits.

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Sal Ferro, president and chief executive officer at Alure Home Improvements, recommends replacing old-style recessed lights with sealed “IC” fixtures, because you can cover these new lights with a layer of insulation without creating a fire hazard. Ventilate the space between the insulation and the roof sheathing so any heat that does get out of the living space doesn’t get trapped under the roof. The more insulation you can add to your attic floor, the less heat will escape from the rooms below, and your roof won’t warm up as much. If you spot any cracks in your ceiling or walls, definitely plug them up. If you spot dark stains on the walls or ceilings, it’s a sign of water leakage. You may need to consult a contractor to assess the damage. Alure Home Improvements can help you with that, too.

Alure Home Improvements knows how to get homeowners through every season. Taking major preventive steps to improve your house’s infrastructure could be costly at first, but the money you save on energy costs over time will help pay for them. And there’s an added benefit. Your home will feel more comfortable, too, especially when the winter weather piles up the snow outdoors.

Get Rid Of Those Winter Blahs With Help From Alure Home Improvements

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Being housebound in the winter months naturally compels homeowners to take note of their surroundings and start to wonder: Is this the best there is? Can we do something to improve the looks of this place?

If you find yourself stuck indoors this time of year, you’re not alone. But if you think you can’t do some timely projects without breaking the bank or running out of precious time to make a difference, you’re wrong. You can do a lot if you take a minute to plan ahead.

So, if you need inspiration, just check out the ideas on display at your Alure Home Improvements center.

Here are some ideas for you to consider that run the gamut:

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First, check out your kitchen. You’re probably spending a lot of time there happily over a hot stove, especially if it’s freezing outside. But the recipes we’re talking about here involve doing something for your eyes and your mind, not your taste buds, although good design is a matter of good taste. Thinking big, you might want to contemplate redoing your kitchen. That kind of remodeling project can run from $19,000 on the low-end to more than $100,000 if you’re going top of the line and over the top.

Now you don’t have to consider either extreme if you just want to make some small aesthetic changes that add up to a big difference. To fit your budget, you might just want to replace your drawer or door handles and pulls with matching new ones. Then you might want to repaint your ceiling and walls, because those projects are easy on your piggy bank. Next, see about updating your kitchen lights, especially the ones over your kitchen table, the counters and the stove. Try new cover plates over the electrical outlets, too. Little things can move mountains.

If your budget allows, consider installing a new backsplash for the walls behind the counters and the stove. Ceramic tiles are great for wiping up grease that splatters from cooking. There’s also glazed porcelain tiles and stone mosaics, if you’re so inclined. They can get pricey, so be forewarned. Next up, maybe it’s time to replace the kitchen sink, or at least the plumbing underneath the sink. Now is the time to fix any leaks and get rid of those rusty old drain pipes. Maybe there’s been some mold under the sink that you never knew was there because all that junk was in the way. Get under there and clean it all out on a Saturday afternoon. You’ll be glad you did!

But without a new coat of paint to accompany a new sink, you might not make the big splash you’re anticipating. You may have to think like an interior decorator to get the full effect you’re after. Bring your paint samples home before you dip your brush into an open can of paint. You don’t want to be stuck with the wrong color.

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Sometimes you can change the look of your room just by changing the lighting. And colors change indoors whether the sun is shining or it’s nighttime. Also, the wrong paint color may cast undertones on the surfaces of a room, and that could make your white cabinets seem gray or even shades of green. Experts say that lighter surfaces reflect undertones more readily. So go to the paint store and come back with handfuls of color cards. Then just remember that the time of day matters how the color will play out. The same principle applies to your bedrooms and living rooms, too.

Anything you do to banish those winter grays will make you feel better!

And if you need guidance, don’t forget that your friends at Alure Home Improvements are ready to help!

Alure Home Improvements: Home Remodeling Guaranteed To Inspire

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Alure Home Improvements jazzes up the remodeling world with its Annual Design & Planning Show!
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It’s back and it’s bigger, better and bolder than ever! That’s right—Alure Home Improvement’s 9th Annual Design & Planning Show will open on Jan. 16th, 17th and 18th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at our fabulous showroom at 1999 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow, NY.

Everybody is invited, so bring the family! Admission is free. There will be lots of raffles and tons of prizes, free seminars on a range of inspiring subjects, plus fun and games for kids, too. Did we mention food and refreshments? Yes, there will be plates overflowing with delicious hors d’oeuvres.

If you’re contemplating a remodeling project for your home or you’re wondering about the latest trends in home improvement and interior design, this is the perfect opportunity for you to satisfy your curiosity.

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Like last year, we’ll be offering people a chance to see their home transformed right before their eyes, thanks to our complimentary 15-minute Design Imaging Session. We’ll have sessions conveniently running all weekend. All you need to do is provide a photo of your existing house and our software will do the rest. To fit everybody in, each household is allowed only one session. In order to register, email a front-facing photo of your home to marketing@alure.com with a preferred date and time you’d like your session scheduled. If you can’t email a photo before the show, bring a photo with you and let someone know at check-in that you have a picture for your design-imaging session. Indicate what you’re looking to do with the exterior (siding, roofing, different windows, portico, porch, etc.) and if you have any color preferences or styles in mind. The results could amaze you!

We’ll also offer more than 10 free educational seminars on a fascinating range of home improvement topics and related subjects for today’s homeowner, such as protecting your gutters, preserving your privacy and pairing wines and chocolate!

And that’s not all! If you bring your “honey-do list” to our Handyman Home Services seminar, our experts will offer you some creative ways to save money as you fix your home. Grab your pen and paper and go through every room of your house. Make a list of what you really, really, really want to have done, and see what we suggest. This is one of our most popular seminars because you walk away with answers you can put to use as soon as you get home.

Our seminar called “Basements: The Underground Revolution” will teach you how to transform your wasted space into more suitable living space by using the Owens Corning Basement Finishing System. It’s the quickest, safest and healthiest way to redo your basement. You’ll also learn about the different standards required for below-ground construction.

These two seminars are perennial favorites at our show: “Bathrooms: Making the Dream Bathroom” exposes you to the latest trends in the business—what’s new, what’s hot and what’s not—in the world of bathroom remodeling. We’ll teach you about top-quality cabinetry construction, fabulous design concepts and so much more. There’s more to it than just swapping out sinks and bathtubs. At “Kitchens: What’s Cooking?” you’ll find out how to make your kitchen work for you. We’ll show you what you need to know if you want to redo your kitchen but don’t know where or how to start. It’s more than knocking down walls and expanding. You’ve got to understand the “work triangle,” that special area between the sink, the counter and the stove. Your kitchen is the heart of the home—we want to help you make sure it never skips a beat!

For the kids, they can play under the big tent all three days of the show, where there will be games, snacks, arts and crafts, balloon twisters, skee ball and a video arcade!

Every attendee is automatically entered into our Alure raffle, offering many chances to win some truly great prizes!

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The 9th annual Design & Planning Show, Jan. 16th, Jan. 17th and Jan. 18th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. So, come one and all!

Remember what we always say here: “At Alure Home Improvements, we go to extremes to build your dreams!”

New Year’s Resolutions From Alure Home Improvements To Make Your House A Dream Come True In 2016

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New Year's Resolutions from Alure Home Improvements can make all your home renovation dreams come true in 2016!
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As 2015 comes to end, now is the perfect time to make New Year’s resolutions for your home. And thanks to your friends at Alure Home Improvements, we’ll be sure to help you make those resolutions come true!

Whether it’s a big project like raising the roof, or a small touch-up job such as adding a new coat of paint, we’ve got it covered. Let us suggest some projects to start you thinking in the right direction.

Here’s a suggestion that won’t cost you anything more than your time. Take a good, hard look at everything around you because with the dawn of a new day comes the opportunity to throw what you don’t need away—and to do it without guilt. Begin the New Year with a bang. Don’t cling to the past! Get rid of that clutter and you’ll feel better. You’ll see. From the attic to the closet to the basement to the garage, we’ll help you decide what you can truly live without.

For starters, try taking some daring décor risks with your interior decorating. You’ll want to add some color, some charm, something to liven up the space.

Step one is to approach your living room and remove everything that’s not nailed down. Put these items on your kitchen table where you can sort through it later. Get rid of all the accessories. Move the furniture so you can dust underneath them. You’ll appreciate that fresh scent.

Now you have the chance to reconfigure the space when you replace them. Swap your table lamps, move your bookcases to another wall, if you can. Change the curtains. Rearrange the sofas and couches. Put the TV somewhere else. If you have the energy, repaint the walls and the ceiling, especially if it’s cracked and the paint is peeling. At least, add a plant—the green will do you good.

Before you’re done, look at all that stuff you piled on the kitchen table with a very critical eye. If you don’t know where it came from, toss it in the trash. If it’s dusty or broken, what are you waiting for? Get rid of that stuff. If you need moral support, you’re not alone. There’s a reason that one of the hottest self-help books on the bestseller lists this year is Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Having a well-organized home can improve your mood as well as your physical and mental health.

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To think big, we suggest you consider replacing your front door—or your back door—because this well-used portal wears out fast. If it’s old and cracked, it’s an energy-waster, too, besides making a terrible first impression for your visitors. Maybe this is the year to upgrade your kitchen—we’re experts at Alure Home Improvements, with advice to fit every budget—and satisfaction guaranteed.

If your family has grown, why not turn your attic into a bedroom? The remodeling construction costs aren’t prohibitive, because you’re just gaining space under the same roof. Looking outdoors. What about getting a deck or a patio in 2016? This way you can expand your home’s living space more economically than by adding a new addition. But if you want to go that ambitious route, we’re there to help.

If you want to increase your home’s curb appeal, replace that old garage door. For that matter, why stop there? Consider new siding, whether vinyl or fiber-cement, because it’s low-cost, durable, simple to install, and easy to maintain. There are a host of options just waiting for you to choose from.

For the hottest ideas, here’s what’s trending in 2016, according to top designer Robin Wilson, author of Clean Design: Wellness for Your Lifestyle. Quartz stone countertops are increasingly popular because they’re durable, antibacterial and easily maintainable. Setting up an entry foyer bench lets people remove their shoes and outwear when they just come into your house, which confines dirt and toxins.

Replacing your kitchen sink with an undermount model can reduce the amount of bacteria that’s usually trapped around the lip of your sink. Since the kitchen is recognized as the “heart of the home,” think about opening up that space so family and friends can easily come together for good times and happy meals. And if the kitchen table has become someone’s de-facto office, it’s time to create a better home office space.

Speaking of space, the trouble with buying bulk items from big box stores like BJ’s and Costco is: Where do you put that stuff when you come home? Maybe it’s time to add a pantry off your kitchen where you might also put another refrigerator or freezer for more food storage. If you’re high-tech at work, maybe you want to bring your home into the space age with remote controls that let you manage security, temperature, lights, mechanical window shades and other features from your smart phones when you’re away.

High-end construction folks are installing curbless showers to improve accessibility for those who might be in a wheelchair so they can maneuver themselves right into the stall and use a handheld fixture to take a shower. And, last but not least, these days, many people are exploring all the shades of white—they’re at least 96 tints—to do something subtle for a change when a bright color is too bold to feel right.

Whatever you resolve to do, remember, we’re here to help at Alure Home Improvements. May your house be a dream come true in 2016!

Get In The Holiday Spirit With Helpful Tips From Alure Home Improvements

Alure Home Improvements
Alure Home Improvements spreads the Yuletide cheer with several helpful holiday home improvement tips!
Sponsored Content Brought To You By Alure Home Improvements

At Alure Home Improvements, we welcome the holidays because we like to spend this time of year with our families and loved ones enjoying the good times and reliving the best memories of years gone by. We take special pleasure when our surroundings are just the way we like them.

We all know this is the time to let the holiday spirit take over a home joyously and wonderfully. You can spread good cheer without going broke. There’s a lot of innovative ways to decorate your home that are inexpensive but no less imaginative. Maybe you already have your home decked out the way you like, and all you want to do is sip a nice mug of nutmeg and hear the jingle of sleigh bells to make your December night come true for those on your gift list. We’d like to offer you some food for thought to make this holiday really special because ‘tis the season to bring out the best.

For those without a fireplace, you can create a faux mantel in several ways. A book shelf will suffice if it’s properly decorated—especially with a friendly little elf. If you’re more enterprising, you could make a simple towel rack the place to hang Christmas stockings. You can mount it on the living room wall or somewhere else that’s prominent. For a unique, natural look, get a sturdy dry tree branch about a yard long, a can of white craft paint and another of water-based sealer. Peel off the bark, then brush on a couple of coats of paint, making sure each coat is dry before you add the next one. Finally, wait 24 hours, and then brush on the sealer so the paint will set firmly and won’t crack or chip. You can use 3M Command Hooks on the living room wall to mount it or suspend it from the ceiling with colorful ribbons. It’s perfect for stocking stuffers. To simply create a lovely display, just attach a nice colorful string or ribbon firmly on the wall between two thumbtacks to hold all your holiday cards.

Another colorful, creative idea is to take green felt or even artificial turf and cut out the letters to spell “Joy” or “Noel” so you can display a special greeting on your front door. Why not get a foam wreath from the supermarket and wrap sequin ribbon around it for something sparkly to hang on your front door or your wall? To help your guests get off on the right foot, paint triangle-shaped evergreen trees on your doormat, using durable exterior paint. Oil-based paint is better than water-based or latex paint if the surface has already been painted because it won’t peel, but it is harder to clean up and takes longer to dry.

If your holiday lights go out, there’s a simple check list to consult first that could offer the remedy. If the power outage is larger than just a string of lights, you might want to check the circuit breakers in your electrical panel to see if a breaker was tripped or a fuse blew. Then check your connections carefully. If the string of lights suddenly went dark, it could be a fuse in the light set itself. Within the plug-in are a couple of fuses usually hidden behind a small cover. Unplug all the lights on the tree, slide the cover to expose the fuses, and check them out one by one. If they’re bad, they should be replaced. Sometimes the light bulb itself is the culprit. Maybe the bulb was loose or it just went dark because it was old and worn-out. Trouble-shoot the problem and replace the burned-out bulb. Be sure to keep your tree well watered to prevent a fire hazard. If you enjoy inflatable decorations on your lawn, make sure the electrical connections are secure, the outdoor socket stays dry, and your all-weather extension cord is in good shape, without any holes or cuts or exposed wires. Beware of rodents that might nibble on the line.

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Here are some tips for holiday entertaining and hosting. If you have little kids, don’t set your table with your finest linen table cloth so you won’t have to worry about those unavoidable, inevitable spills ruining something priceless. And if the kids are curious toddlers, don’t leave your irreplaceable family heirloom decorations within reach. You’ll want to treasure them for years to come.

If you’re expecting overnight guests, make sure the guest bed is comfortable and clean, the sheets are fresh, the blankets and quilts are dust-free, and the pillows smell nice. Always make sure you have extra sets of bed and bath towels and linens on hand and ready to go. Set aside some space in the guest room for a luggage rack, a small table, a bench, or even a chair to hold a suitcase, so it’s not resting on the floor.

Remember, the more space you provide, the more welcoming the spirit. So clear the dresser and shelves of unnecessary doodads, knickknacks and tchotchkes. Keep it simple so your guests have room to relax. If the guest room allows, definitely furnish it with an upholstered armchair or a comfortable chair and a side table with a lamp nearby. A good reading light is a thoughtful addition, especially if you can install it over the guest bed. If your guestroom is normally deployed as your home office, then make sure there’s space in the closet for your guests to hang their clothes—and include half a dozen hangers. Add a hook on the wall or behind the closet door that could hold a bathrobe, an overcoat or even a purse and a handbag. An empty bureau drawer or two will go a long way to making your guests feel right at home.

Of course, if you want Santa to help make your remodeling dreams come true—whether it’s a new guest room or a redesigned kitchen—then maybe you should put Alure Home Improvements on your wish list. Of course, we won’t slide down your chimney, but we are a lot closer than the North Pole.

Alure Home Improvements Wins Top Honors At CotY Awards

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Alure Home Improvements earned one “Platinum” and four “Gold” awards for its excellence at the annual National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Contractor of the Year Awards!

Press Patron Alure Home Improvements recently won five top honors at the 2015 Contractor of the Year (CotY) awards gala, held Nov. 20 at Larkfield Manor in East Northport.

The annual event, sponsored by the Long Island chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and currently in its 20th year, recognizes NARI members who have demonstrated outstanding work through their remodeling projects. Titled an “Evening of Excellence,” the reception is held on Long Island each November and nationally each March.

East Meadow, NY-based remodeling company Alure Home Improvements earned one “Platinum” and four “Gold” awards for its excellence in various categories.

Alure Home Improvements won the Platinum award in the Residential Kitchen category, for projects in the $30,000 to $60,000 range, along with Gold awards for Residential Bathroom, $25,000 to $50,000; Residential Kitchen from $60,000 to $100,000; Residential Bathroom for projects between $25,000 and $50,000; and Residential Bathroom projects from $50,000 to $75,000.

Contractors honored included: Christina Piekut, Mike Kelly, Sherry Gossett, Joe Russo, Dave Weber, Mary Lotardo, and Joseph Capobianco. According to Seth Selesnow, marketing director for Alure Home Improvements, “Remodeling is a team sport.”

“The CotY awards recognize NARI members who have demonstrated outstanding work in their remodeling business,” said Barry Goggin, chairman of the awards committee. “Each entry is scored by a panel of judges for design, overcoming difficulties, meeting clients’ needs and use of innovative products and building techniques.”

Alure Home Improvements is a Long island home design and remodeling institution. Founded in 1946, in what began as a paint company, Alure has evolved into a full-scale construction business with a wide range of expertise, from kitchens, baths, and windows to siding, basements, sunrooms and roofs. Alure has been featured on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on Long Island and in the New York metro area, as well as contributing to projects in Baltimore and New Orleans. Alure’s commitment to community, under the direction of President Sal Ferro, has been unwavering, whether donating and delivering food and water in the wake of weather disasters or donating time and resources to the expansive list of recipients for their community service.

Alure Home Improvements is also a premier member of Syosset, NY-based digital design and inbound marketing company Morey Publishing’s Press Patrons program, an innovative advertising, marketing and underwriting relationship exclusive to readers of the award-winning online investigative news and cultural arts organization Long Island Press.