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We’ve all received advice on how we could make things better in our home. Sometimes it’s advice on how to clean, and sometimes it’s advice on things much bigger such as renovations. Unfortunately, it’s not all good advice. Here are five pieces of advice that you should NEVER listen to!

  1. Your granite (or marble or limestone) countertops are virtually indestructible. WRONG! They are strong, but not indestructible. Marble is especially fragile and very porous making it susceptible to liquids sinking into their surfaces. (Think red wine or purple Kool-Aid on your countertops…forever.) You must be quick to clean those spills to keep the liquids from forever changing that beautiful countertop you love so much. Additionally, all rocks will break if hit hard enough. Be careful with heavy objects landing near edges on any of your countertops to avoid chips and scratches. Also, be aware of acidic liquids and foods which can stain or cause etching, or dullness, on your stone countertops.
  2. Clean your garbage disposal with lemons. Wrong again! While it does make your garbage disposal smell clean, the acid from the lemons can corrode the metal parts of your disposal. If you’ve been told that coffee grounds are the next best thing, think again. They may be great at getting the gunk off the blades without causing corrosion, but they can accumulate in your pipes causing them to clog. The best cleaner you can use is the age-old cleaner many of us know – baking soda. Your bank account, and your septic tank if you have one, will thank you!
  3. A trendy kitchen remodel will increase the value of my home. Be careful here! How many of us remember the avocado green and mustard yellow kitchen appliances from the 50’s? Exactly. Trends are just that…trends. They will eventually go out of style. The easiest way to have a trendy remodel without breaking the bank is to use trendy paint colors. Then select the timeless updates like shaker cabinets, subway tile, and wood floors which, by the way, have never gone out of style.
  4. Paint hides everything. No, it doesn’t. If there are any dings in the drywall, any signs of mold, or any termite damage, you’ll need to fix the problem before painting over it. Otherwise, it’s like using gum to plug a hole in a dam. The problem will still be there and could get worse if not addressed.
  5. Wallpaper works anywhere. No, wallpaper does not work anywhere. Wallpaper is one of those trends that has come and gone and come back again. When used in the right space, it can give a room the perfect touch. However, be careful where you put the wallpaper. If used in the wrong room, it may be prone to fading or condensation. Also, try to pick a style you think you’ll love for years to come. Because once you’ve put in the work to get your wallpaper in the perfect spot, you won’t be looking forward to removing it and replacing it anytime soon.

If you have a septic system, it’s important to watch for signs of trouble. Here are some hints for troubleshooting some of the issues that may arise with your system.

• When water backs up in a sink or tub or toilet, there might simply be a blockage in the pipe. A single clogged drain isn’t anything to panic about. This can be easily taken care of with a plunger or small amount of drain cleaner. However, if all your sinks, tubs, or showers are draining slowly, you may have a damaged pipe, or your septic tank may be clogged.• If you have standing water in your yard and it hasn’t rained for a while, your drain field may not be functioning properly. There could be a crushed or clogged pipe causing water to back up...

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Wastewater treatment is essential to protecting our fresh water sources, and statistics from the US Environmental Protection Agency show that more than 20% of households in the US depend on septic systems to treat their wastewater. Septic systems that are properly maintained can provide excellent wastewater treatment which is not only cost effective but will also help preserve water resources.

A typical septic system consists of a septic tank, which breaks down organic matter and separates solids from the wastewater, and a drain field, which properly disposes of the liquid matter either into the soil or through sand filtration. Here are some important things to remember to care for your septic system:

• Do not park or drive over your ...

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When you invest money into the stock market or mutual funds, your goal is to make a return on your investment. This same concept should also be used for home improvement projects. Whether you’re looking to update your home strictly for your enjoyment or trying to prepare it to sell, make sure to choose the updates that will add value to your home and not simply cost you more money with nothing in return.

The most common home improvement projects with the highest return are ones that visually change the look of your home. A fresh coat of paint both inside and outside can really give your home an updated look without a big hit to your bank account. Additionally, spending money on landscaping almost always provides a large return on yo...

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A home is typically one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. As most people consider this large purchase, the same question always seems to come to mind: Do we build, or do we buy? There really is no wrong answer, but it’s important buyers understand some of the pros and cons of each before deciding which path is the right one for them.The greatest advantages to buying an existing home are convenience and cost. With an existing home, you can find something move-in ready in a relatively short period of time. Of course, you will have the process of viewing homes and trying to find one that includes enough of the items on your wish list, but a realtor can help you streamline this process to make it much more convenient f...

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Pantone’s Color of the Year selection has been influencing decorating styles for many years. In fact, many manufacturers and fashion buyers wait for this announcement each year to begin their purchasing for the next year. Just this week, Pantone released the Color of the Year for 2019, 16-1546 Living Coral. It’s described as “an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.” It’s a vibrant color yet still has a warm and comfortable feel. Pantone expressed their desire to choose a color that is found in natural surroundings while also symbolizing both optimism and joy.

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How do you decorate with the color of the year?

1. Use it as an accent wall. You can place a large piece of art or furniture against the wall to really accent the wall color. When mixed with the right balance of whites and complementary colors, you can get a beautiful harmonized look. Your accent wall doesn’t have to be a solid color, either. Get creative with a design or fun wallpaper pattern in a bathroom.

2. If an accent wall is too bold of a statement, use this color on a piece of furniture or as chic window treatments in a guest room perhaps. Color your built-in cabinets for a large impact in a small room.

3. One of the easiest ways to use the color of the year is to use it in accessories such as art, candles, pillows, etc. You can add a stylish touch to any room with a pop of color here and there.

The color selection does not stop there. Pantone offers different palettes to coordinate other colors with their color of the year.

Behr also released their 2019 color of the year, Blueprint S470-5, which is a beautiful, soothing color that would be great to complement with Pantone’s Living Coral.

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It’s that time of year again when the air is a little crisper and you wake to frost on the ground. We have officially had our first freeze, but never fear Texans! Our weather never stays the same for too long. We’ll be looking for a slight increase in temperatures during the day which can give us the time we need to focus on caring for our outdoor plants before it gets too cold again.

You may be aware that you should cover your in-ground plants with sheets or heavyweight row cover to protect them from a freeze. What you may not know is that the cover isn’t what is keeping your plants warm. It’s really the heat coming from the ground that is being held in by the cover. You’ll want to make sure to cover your pl...

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We absolutely love stained concrete floors. They are such a stylish choice for indoor floors, and there are so many choices from colors and textures to finishes and decorative overlays giving you the opportunity to have a floor like no other! The best part is they are durable and incredibly easy to clean. Here are a few things you need to know about caring for stained concrete to keep your floors looking amazing for a very long time.

Most often, you just need to use a dry dust mop even a damp mop to get rid of any dirt or grime on your floors. This is the least abrasive thing you can do. Those of you with children or pets, however, know that there are just things that sometimes not even a damp mop can tackle. For those harder to cle...

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“There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” – Jane Austen

“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” – George A Moore

“He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Home is where one starts from.” – T.S. Eliot

There are a million quotes about home. In fact, do a google search on home quotes and one of the first links you’ll find is one with 1,692 quotes about home. It’s one of the main components of the American Dream, and it is much more than just walls and a roof. Home is a feeling…it’s emotional, and it has a way of providing a sense ...

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White Bluff 4One of the great things we get to do while working with a variety of clients, is building for different lifestyles. When they come to us at Showcase Builders, we sit down and specifically ask them what they would like in their new custom-built home if they have not engaged an architect at this point.

Knowing their intentions and helping them manifest a lifestyle of their dreams makes our dedicated team smile. It is our great privilege to add many special features for homeowners. In fact, consider this custom home that was among those in the Hill Country Builders Association 2014 Parade of Homes.

For this hilltop home we added a car collector’s dream garage and shop with several bays and a beautiful garage floor coating. Among oth...

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