Determining the Proper LED Color Temperature By Room

LED lights have become increasingly popular in recent years. Those who are environmentally conscious like how efficient they are — using, on average, just $1.83 a year to power, as opposed to incandescent bulbs that cost about $10.95 a year to power. Others simply like their astounding 10-15 year lifespan. LEDs are becoming the obvious choice in new home construction and retrofits in remodeling. Still, one of the past misconceptions about LEDs has been that they give off harsh, sterile light. Innovations in LED technology have increased the brightnesses and “color temperatures” of LEDs for commercial or residential use. In this piece, we’re going to talk about selecting the ideal LED color temperature for each room in your home.

LED Color Temperatures for High Productivity Areas

There are spaces in your home where you need to remain productive, focused, and have an eye for detail. Places like the kitchen, a home office, and the bathroom are places where work or personal maintenance is performed. In the kitchen, being able to properly determine the freshness of ingredients and observe how items are cooking is crucial. In a home office, you want to avoid the distractions of home life and remain focused on the task at hand. In the bathroom, you want to make sure that your makeup is absolutely perfect or that you did not miss any spots shaving.  In these high-performance areas, home builders and lighting experts usually recommend a colder LED color temperature and increased brightness level. The recommended LED color rating for areas of productivity in the house is usually about 3,000-5,000 Kelvin with a brightness of about 3,000-6,000 lumens.

Relaxation LED Color Temperature Areas

On the flip side of the LED color temperature scale, there are areas in your home where relaxation is the goal. The living room is going to be the most multi-functional room in the house with activities ranging from entertaining, reading, or watching movies with the family. Though often connected to your kitchen, your dining room should have a completely different feel from it — relaxing, calm, and pleasant. When it comes to your bedroom, relaxation and sleep are the room’s primary purposes. Many health professionals recommend removing sources of harsh light from bedrooms and even limiting screen time in the bedroom to promote rest. In these relaxing places, lighting experts recommend a softer light having an LED color temperature of about 2,000-3,000 Kelvin and LED brightness of about 2,000-4,000 lumens.

If you’re looking to build a new home with details, such as LED lighting, to your exact specifications, look no further than home professionals Perry Hood Properties. Our team of property experts can help you craft a home you’ll love spending time in for decades, if not generations, to come. Building your dream home has never been this simple.

Which Are Better: Quartz or Granite Countertops?

Whether you’re designing a new home from the bottom up or you’re remodeling an existing kitchen, you’re going to be forced with the difficult decision of picking what materials you want in your kitchen. These materials should be affordable, stylish, and capable of taking a beating. In this piece, we’re going to look at some of the pros and cons of granite countertops versus quartz countertops.

What Are Granite Countertops?

Even if you couldn’t point out granite countertops from other materials in a countertop materials lineup, you probably already know that granite countertops are all the rage right now. These countertops are made from cut granite: a 100% natural stone that brings a glimmering sophistication to any kitchen. Granite started out as an expensive luxury imported from Italy. With increased demand came an increased supply of more variants of granite from places like Brazil and India. The manufacturing process has become much more mechanized in recent years, making granite more affordable than ever before.

What Are Quartz Countertops?

Unless you’ve been staying on top of kitchen materials trends, you’re probably unaware of just how popular quartz is becoming — giving granite a run for its money. Unlike granite, quartz countertops are not completely natural slabs of stone in your house. Quartz in countertop form is a manufactured material — usually about 95% actual quartz and 5% a bonding agent such as a polymer resin or some other material. Different types of quartz may be used in making a single product. Styles vary from single colors to whatever you can dream up.

Which Countertop Looks Better?

If you’re going after granite or quartz, you’re likely also wanting something that looks great — or else you would have just gone with stainless steel commercial-grade kitchen counters. Being that granite is completely natural, the pros and cons of granite are that no two pieces of granite are identical. This can be great if you’re looking for a unique look in your kitchen, but a negative if you’re looking to replicate an exact look you saw elsewhere. Quartz, on the other hand, is extremely customizable in appearance. Choose from most colors, design patterns, and more.

Which Countertop is More Durable?

While you wouldn’t imagine that a natural stone would require much maintenance, granite countertops actually do. Most granite countertops have a seal that helps keep the stone from absorbing liquids or being overly worn and stained by kitchen elements. However, this seal has maintenance requirements of its own that should be taken into consideration when buying a granite countertop. Quartz countertops, on the other hand, don’t require much maintenance aside from being cleaned. Because they are a solid surface (meaning there isn’t a surface layer to the countertop — the entire material is the surface), they don’t require surface resealing. With that being said, because granite is a completely natural stone, it tends to hold up better to excessive heat than quartz countertops in the long run.

Which Countertop is More Affordable?

According to Home Advisor, the cost of installed granite or quartz countertops are fairly similar. The main costs associated with granite is the quarrying process as well as the shipping and shaping of the material. Quartz is a mined stone as well, but because it is engineered into its final form, shipping isn’t as nearly as an ordeal. Overall, depending on the style and size of the kitchen, granite or quartz countertops can run homeowners anywhere from $1,000-$5,000 installed.

If you’re in the process of dreaming up your ideal home, your friends at Perry Hood Properties can definitely help. See our wide variety of home designs for custom builds or existing homes with the only thing missing being you and your happy family.

10 Interior Design Trends for 2019

Even though we’re only a month into 2019, there are a variety of new interior design trends picking up steam. For design inspiration that is in step with the latest fashions, we’ve put together 10 design trends already seen making an appearance in 2019.

1. Brass Hardware and Accents
brass accent door knocker

Replacing stainless steel’s futuristic tech feel, brass is finding it’s way into may bathrooms and kitchens for a timeless look that seems to just get better with age.

2. Rich Color Combinations
rich color decor

If the past has been sleek and safe, 2019 is bringing in the bold with a variety of rich colors. One of the nice things about this is that furniture with neutral tones pop in front of these bolder backdrops.

3. Bucket/Trough Sinks

trough sink

Bowl sinks started as a look that was unique but is quickly become dated and impractical. The replacement for these sinks is here in the form of timeless bucket sinks. Also known as trough sinks, these utilitarian sinks bring a classic historically dignified look to any new home.

4. Copper Hardware and Home Accents

copper cup accent

Teaming up with brass, copper accents are now replacing the coldness of stainless steel with ageless warmth.

5. Velvet Furnishings and Accents

velvet chairs

What used to be seen as tacky and impractical is making a comeback as funky and fun. Keep an eye out for a variety of velvet furnishings and accent pieces in 2019.

6. Natural Accents

natural elements in decor

What is one sure fire way to show that you’re not living in the future? By designing rooms like what you think the future should look like. To combat this faux futuristic look, natural accent pieces and plant life are making their way back into colder spaces. Look for flowers to start popping up where cold steel once was.

7. Vintage Lighting Fixtures

vintage lighting fixtures decor

A lot of vintage-era lighting fixtures leave us thinking “what were the designers thinking?” This used to be puzzling but has become a conversation starter. Keep an eye out for funkier lighting styles in the near future.

8. Matte Finished Furniture and Accents
As the shiny futuristic aesthetic begins to fade, softer matte finishes are beginning to take their place. Expect to see many more matte finishes on tables, chairs, walls, and accents.

9. Rich Red
The earlier part of the century played it safe when it came to colors. 20 years later, we’re craving color. Vibrant reds are being brought in to make bland furniture stand out.

10. Geometric Patterned Designs

geometric patterns

In the vein of not playing it safe anymore, 2019 design will see a resurgence of bold geometric patterns. From tiling to wallpaper to furniture accents, shapes will be catching eyes right and left to tie elements together.

Whether you’re after the latest interior design elements for a new home or you’re wanting to stay with classic styles, the home builders at Perry Hood Properties can make your dreams a reality. Come see your diverse options today.

The Rise In The Popularity of Granite Countertops

If you’ve watched ten minutes of any home remodel show on cable television, there’s a good chance you’ve probably witnessed the popularity of granite counter-tops. There’s a good chance you either already have granite countertops in your home or you wish you had them. But why has granite exploded in popularity in the last 15-20 years?

Back When Granite Countertops Were Rare

There’s little chance of seeing a granite countertop in a home that hasn’t been remodeled since the 1990s. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that granite countertops truly came on the scene. Even then, only the most opulent homes could afford the luxurious granite countertops. It was seen as a tremendously expensive add-on for kitchen remodels. The reason why it was once so expensive and is now nearly affordable stems from two changing variables — availability and workability. When granite countertops first came on the scene, they mostly imported from Italy and manually cut. Between finding the granite, mining it, shipping it, and cutting it, granite remained a luxury afforded to few.

What Made Granite More Available

As demand for new housing grew leading up to the Housing Bubble of 2008, so too did the demand for granite countertops. Those buying existing houses during this period were also remodeling the houses they would buy, often opting for granite. At this point, you’re probably wondering how granite suddenly became so much more available. The two obstacles to attaining granite suddenly changed — source and ease of preparation. Whereas granite used to be sourced almost exclusively from Italy, the majority of granite found in American homes these days is either from Brazil or India — places that show no shortage of granite. The required preparation for the granite also simplified with advances in computerized cutting machines. It wasn’t long before granite could be easily mined, shipped, and cut at competitive rates.

The Future of Granite

As of the publish date of this piece, granite is still king of the countertop world. With its strength, allure, and consistent availability, it’s not hard to see why. While there are currently no signs of the allure of granite fading anytime soon, there are a few up-and-coming competitors. Quartz, for example, has been shown to require much less maintenance than granite and is becoming more competitive in price. Marble is also starting to make a comeback from its past popularity. You can learn more about these countertop materials and more with help from the property experts at Perry Hood Properties.

Building a Home vs Buying an Existing Home

For most individuals, buying a home will be the largest single investment they make. The majority of home buyers have already begun to design their ideal home in their minds even before officially shopping around. Preferences range from floor plans and house style to what side of a particular town or city they would like to call home. Most families shopping for a new home also weigh the option of buying an existing home or building an entirely new home. In this piece, we’re going to weigh some of the pros and cons of buying an existing house versus building an entirely new home.

Purchasing an Existing House

As a person or family establishes what kind of budget they have to work with based on what style of mortgage they choose (fixed vs adjustable rate or 30-year or 15-year), they can begin to weigh their options. Most people who will lean in the direction of purchasing an existing home will do so for two reasons — convenience and price. Matters of convenience can range from being able to immediately have the keys to an existing house as well as being able to choose more specifically what established neighborhood in which to live. The convenience of price means savings for a home that may be older or may require additional maintenance. Some of the negative aspects of buying an existing house range from a lack of customization to maintenance issues that come with an older and possible improperly maintained property. Still, choosing a house with its own history and character can be a major selling factor for many looking for a new place to put down roots. 

Building a New Home

Many shopping for a new home may ask, “Why would I build a new house with there are literally thousands of existing homes to choose from?” This is a good question. It’s true that new home construction is most likely to occur in a new neighborhood and the house itself may lack some of the history that some home shoppers seek. Also, due to their age, existing homes may be somewhat less costly than new home builds. On the other hand, a new home build allows the homeowner to design a home precisely to their own specifications. Floor plans, room dimensions, and even individual fixtures are completely up to the buyer when it comes to new home construction. For those who desire to live in historic neighborhoods, there are frequently ways to build on open lots when coordinating with the local homeowner’s association or a historical society. The process of building a new home has also been greatly simplified by using subcontractors who can manage every stage of the building process.

Whether you’d like to buy an existing new home or custom-build the home of your dreams, your friends at Perry Hood Properties can be of assistance.

Fixed-Rate Vs Adjustable-Rate Mortgages: The Pros & Cons

As owning a home begins to look much more appealing than continuing to rent, you will have a lot of decisions you’ll need to make, one of the most significant will be concerning your mortgage — a 15-year vs 30-year and fixed-rate mortgages vs adjustable-rate mortgages. In this piece, we’re going to look at some of the positive and negative aspects of adjustable-rate and fixed-rate mortgages.

What is an adjustable-rate mortgage?

Every home mortgage is a loan from a lender towards buying a house. The interest rate on a mortgage is the extra amount of money you pay in order to make offering the mortgage loan lucrative for lenders. An adjustable-rate mortgage is a home loan in which the interest rate is allowed to fluctuate depending on market conditions. Some of the positive aspects of these types of mortgages are that a dip in interest rates can mean some savings for the mortgage payer. However, the opposite is also true, as the lender would then be allowed to increase interest rates. Adjustable-rate mortgages can be great deals for those taking out home mortgages when interest rates are looking steady and low. Because of their allowance for fluctuation, adjustable-rate mortgages can sometimes have lower setup costs but can be a little bit of a gamble for borrowers.

What is a fixed-rate mortgage?

On the flip side, a fixed-rate mortgage is a loan on the price of a house with a monthly interest rate that is locked in place for the duration of the loan. One of the biggest advantages of a fixed-rate mortgage is the predictability of knowing precisely what a house payment will cost every month for potentially decades to come. Because of this, even if the interest rate is a little bit higher or the plan requires higher setup fees, many borrowers are willing to pay the difference for the convenience of being able to properly plan out their finances to the dollar. One of the downsides of a fixed-rate mortgage is not being able to take advantage of lowering interest rates without refinancing — a process that can be somewhat expensive.

Whichever style of mortgage you decide upon, the property professionals at Perry Hood Properties can help you find the perfect home for your family.

The Pros & Cons of a 15-Year-Fixed Mortgage

For those wanting to enter the ranks of home ownership, getting a mortgage is probably your first step. While most realty and mortgage websites will guide you in the direction of a 30-year-fixed mortgage, for those who would like to speed up the process of gaining equity in their homes, a 15-year-fixed mortgage is an available option. In this piece, we’re going to look at the pros and cons of a 15-year-fixed mortgage.

Because we’d all like to get the bad news out of the way, we’re going to start with the cons of going with a 15-year-fixed mortgage.

Cons of a 15-Year-Fixed Mortgage

Higher Monthly Mortgage Payments
Obviously, if you’re cutting the time it takes to buy a home in half, the money has to come from somewhere. This increase in your mortgage may mean you can’t save or spend nearly as much as you normally would in the meantime.

You Can’t “Afford” As Much House
Most people, even without doing the exact math, could give you a rough idea of the amount of house they could afford based on their income. Those same people will likely be sadly surprised to find that a 15-month-fixed mortgage provides much less wiggle room in their budget as well as much less house.  

Tax Disadvantages
Because you’re paying off your house twice as fast with less interest, you may end up missing out on as many mortgage interest tax deduction dollars.

Now that the bad taste of the medicine is out of the way, let’s look at the advantages of a 15-year-fixed mortgage.

Pros of a 15-Year-Fixed Mortgage

Lower Interest Rates
As lenders aren’t as nearly as susceptible to risks on a 15-year-fixed mortgage, this usually makes interest rates lower. Lower interest rates over the course of your mortgage plan means that you’ll actually pay less in the long run.

You’ll Build Up Equity Faster
As you pay a higher mortgage payment every month, you’re on your way to bonafide home ownership that much faster. While these higher mortgage payments may be harder to weather for those 15 years, at the end of it, you’ll own your home outright and will be able to quickly grow your savings.

The ultimate decision on which type of mortgage to go with depends on many different factors. Whichever decision you go with, know that the home building process is one less thing to worry about with help from your friends at Perry Hood Properties.

4 Ways To Maximize Space In Smaller Homes

Whether you live in a smaller home out of choice or necessity, making the most of every square foot is the key to making the space livable. In this piece, we’re going to look at some clever techniques for making even the smallest spaces as functional as possible.

1. Downsizing Material Goodskeep or sell itemsWhile we like having “stuff,” there are only so many items crucial to our happiness. Living in a smaller home or apartment makes minimizing the number of items we have a necessity. Start downsizing your belongings by getting rid of duplicate and single-purpose items. Fortunately, we live in an age when selling these items has never been easier. Using Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist for local transactions, remembering to always practice safety by making transactions in a mutual space — never giving out your address or location.

“But how do I begin to tackle downsizing?”

  • Don’t tackle your entire house in one go. Go from space to space.
  • Don’t think “will I use this?” but rather “when was the last time I used this?”
  • Ask yourself “do I like this item?” or “does this item bring me joy?”

Some find the act of downsizing stressful, but the end result is often quite liberating. For additional questions to ask yourself when deciding what to keep, Apartment Therapy has offered up their 5 questions to ask yourself when deciding to keep or purge

2. Go Vertical With Storagehigh shelf reachingMany homes have walls that stretch higher than we can humanly reach. Why not put this space to good use? By creating storage in the form of floating shelves or cabinets in higher places, you can free up a lot of living space. A good rule of thumb is to store items according to the frequency of use. Store frequently items where they can be easily accessed with lesser-used items stored in higher places. You may need to get out a step-stool to retrieve these items, but this also helps keep clutter out of eye-level. Out of sight, out of mind.

3. Use Double-Usage Furnitureunder bed storageFurniture can quickly clutter a smaller home and lead to usable space. Maximize the usefulness of every cubic foot in your home by using furniture that serves multiple purposes. Look for nightstands with lower shelves, desks with large storage drawers, and bookshelves that can be used as room dividers. If you’re in the market for a bed frame, look for frames with large storage solutions underneath either in the form of drawers, shelves, or space for items. Consider a comfortable sleeper-sofa in guest rooms or even in living rooms in houses where guest room options aren’t available. Give your furniture multiple jobs.

4. Only Use Furniture That Fits

blue mid-century couchOversized furniture can have a luxurious appeal in larger homes but quickly fills up smaller homes. When shopping for sofas, consider appealing sleek mid-century styles that don’t fill up rooms with extra unused fluff. Massive dining room tables may give off the vibe of elegant dining, but if you’re not actually using that amount of table space for dining on a regular basis, go with a smaller option. Smaller dining tables also mean less space for clutter to accumulate.

If you can only declutter and organize your small space so much, perhaps it is time to consider upgrading to a larger home. Let the home building experts at Perry Hood Properties help you build your next dream home.

4 Tips On Getting To Know New Neighbors

Purchasing a home is a huge financial investment, but let us not forget that you’re also joining a new community — albeit a neighborhood community. Though you may be fortunate enough to live in a neighborhood where new neighbors are lined up to greet you with a basket of cookies, many people’s busy lives have made reaching out to new neighbors an afterthought. Still, you’re laying roots here, so wouldn’t you like to know the people living among you? After all, there are few things more awkward than sharing an awkward nod with your neighbor of many years because you never took the time to learn each other’s names. In this piece, we’re going to look at some ideas on how to become better acquainted with your new neighbors.

1. Scope out your neighborhood with leisurely walks.

If you have a dog to walk or you’re an avid jogger, you may have already surveyed your neighborhood on foot. Even if that’s the case, concentrating on your dog or noise-canceling headphones may keep you in your comfortable bubble. In order to get to know your neighborhood better, make an effort to take the occasional walk without the headphones or the dog. Acclimate yourself with the sights and sounds of the neighborhood. Some of the best times may be in the morning when you may appear less threatening. The morning is also a good time as you may catch some neighbors while they’re getting their paper, moving trash bins, or going to work. The evening around dusk may also be a good time to take a walk. If your neighborhoods don’t seem too rushed, feel free to introduce yourself, making sure to say that you’re new to the neighborhood.

2. Strike up a conversation with commonalities.

Meeting new people can be nerve-racking. Fortunately, when it comes to meeting new neighbors, you already have the advantage of having something in common — you both live in the same neighborhood. Feel free to ask them what brought them to the neighborhood, what they think of the area, and what they do for leisure nearby. You can extend the commonalities by asking them about any concerns they may have, how they handle their trash and recycling, asking about family and pets, and if there are any parks nearby. There’s a good chance that you have quite a bit in common just by way of living in the same neighborhood. You may even already have several mutual friends!

3. Continue the conversation by looking for uncommon commonalities.

While meeting new neighbors can be fun, you will eventually need to find more to talk about than just the neighborhood itself. While talking about what you have in common, keep an ear out for what some refer to as “uncommon commonalities.” Uncommon commonalities are unique things you may have in common on which you can build a relationship. If they have they attended a college out of state and you know someone who attended that college or you did so yourself, you’ll have that unique thing in common. Being in marching band in school, being a diehard Seinfeld fan, or any other nugget you can expand will help you forge a unique relationship with a new neighbor.

4. Maintain the relationship with regular communication.

By this point, asking your new neighbor for their contact information shouldn’t be too awkward if for no other reason than that you’re neighbors. However, don’t just stow their contact information in your mobile device and never use it. Use it to invite them and their family over occasionally for backyard cookouts, touch base on a new neighbor you’ve seen move into the neighborhood or any other relevant occurrence. Also, actually speak to them when you see them out and about — more than just the awkward nod acknowledging their existence. Make sure to gauge their comfort level with your communication and respect their privacy while remaining a warm and friendly neighbor.

6 Valuable-Enhancing Renovations For Your Home

Just perusing through houses in your price range, even if you’re a complete novice to home buying, you’ll soon develop a checklist of home attributes that make a home appealing to you. These would-like-to-haves of a home are not only preferences but their absence can be a deal-breaker for potential buyers. In this piece, we’re going to look at a few zones in your home that you may consider renovating if you’d like to increase your house’s value

1. Bathroom

While it may have something to do with it being a place where you’re at your most vulnerable or possibly where quality is most evident, but the condition of a bathroom is incredibly important to potential buyers. Many homebuyers are always looking to upgrade their bathroom experience from one home to the next and may even want to feel pampered, making the need for bathroom facilities to be of a higher caliber than you’d expect. Don’t feel like you’re throwing your money away on bathroom renovations as you’re almost guaranteed to recoup nearly all of the necessary expenses.

2. Garage Door

More than just a device meant to close off the front of your garage, your garage door is also frequently one of the most prominent determiners of a house’s curb appeal. Not only will a new garage door make your home look great from the street, but the smooth operation of a recently-installed garage door can add a certain freshness to any home tour. This often overlooked renovation also happens to be one of the most affordable, considering its impact, usually ranging between $2,000-$4,000. According to one study, homeowners recouped as much as 98% of the price of the garage door replacement.

3. Kitchen Remodel (Even a Minor One)

While an extensive kitchen remodel can nearly break the bank, a minor renovation to your existing kitchen’s aesthetic is not only manageable but can add great appeal to your home. You don’t always have to install granite counters or completely install new cabinets as existing countertops can be resurfaced and kitchen cabinets can receive new life with new doors, paints, or stains. If your home is on the upper range ($500,000 in value or more), it is recommended to splurge on kitchen renovations in order to keep it competitive in the housing market, but even the most basic detail enhancements can make an average home feel slightly above average

4. Home Exteriors

Even if the inside of a home is incredible, the first impression of a home is often set by the home’s exterior. In order to make your money go further when it comes to attempting to sell your home, one place to definitely not overlook is your home’s siding and paint. Replacing the siding on a home or giving your home a new paint job is a fairly inexpensive way to breathe new life into what may feel like a dated residence. Some other exterior aesthetics to consider are a few landscaping features to make the outside of the home stand out. Landscaping requires a bit more maintenance but helps give the impression that homeowners are attentive to the house. Overall, you want to aim for a welcoming feeling to your home for prospective buyers instead of waiting to them impress on the inside.

5. Patio or Deck Renovations

Home buyers want to picture themselves living their lives in your home which is why helping them see the potential of the outdoor spaces is a must. Either renovating existing patios or even building new deck or patio structures can be a major selling feature for those who love to spend time outside. Renovating outdoor living spaces also helps any home feel larger as it provides another location for leisure on the property. Whether you want to build a firepit from pavers or overhaul an existing deck, this is money well spent when it comes to enhancing livable space on your property.

6. Replacing Windows

If your windows are dated, they not only look too hot to buyers, but they’re also grossly energy inefficient. Because most people are not incredibly selective when it comes to the brand or model of windows they want to use in a home, this allows you to make a renovation that will appeal to most every home buyer. Even if you’re not selling your home, the money you’ll save in energy bills will nearly pay for your window replacement. It’s best to stick to the following saying for window replacement: when in doubt, change it out.