Deck Renovation With a Unique Twist

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Whether you’re building a new deck or just enhancing an existing structure, you don’t have to look far to find ways to improve the appearance and safety of your deck. The value of a home can be increased substantially with a well-designed deck that is an extension of the house. Decks that are architecturally similar to the house design are less intrusive and appear as natural extensions of the inside of the home.

If you’re looking for a way to spruce up an existing structure, or if you’re considering a new or additional structure, think about the railings you plan to use. Railings can make a significant difference in how your deck looks and how safe it is for those who enjoy the outdoor “room”.  Rather than a typical plan with balusters and rails, think about something that represents your personality and that mirrors the architecture of your home.

Railings no longer have to be square. Wooden rails and balusters can have a unique design and shape to add to your deck’s pleasing appearance. Consider railings that have decorative balusters with carvings or turned posts. Lattice is always available in various shapes and sizes in wood and it can offer a vintage touch to your design. Include it between posts as a decorative addition and added safety.

What  home improvement project hasn’t considered vinyl for its durability and low maintenance features? Vinyl comes in a variety of shapes and colors and it can be used on decks to add color and character. Although vinyl may be a consideration, it is not an environmentally friendly solution so keep that in mind as you make choices.

For a deck that is raised high off the ground or if you have young children or pets, you may even consider tempered glass or acrylic for installation on your deck between the railings and posts. There are many types of safety glass and it is ideal if you have a deck that is built high off the ground with a view. It allows you to enjoy the beauty of the environment while including a safety feature where needed.

Metal is another option to consider for decorative purposes. Simply using metal for a sculptural effect can add more character. Soldering metal designs together and attaching them to deck railings or posts can add a charming effect. Metals can include materials such as copper and wrought iron. Many types of railings and ornamental designs are available in wrought iron for easy installation. Carry the theme throughout the deck by including metal fixtures, statues, or other amenities.

For a nautical effect, consider using roping between posts and railings. You can even find heavy roping in various colors. You can also consider multi-colored canvas or other outdoor fabrics to dress up a drab railing by attaching it to the railing. Since fabric can become faded and worn with time, it can be easily replaced with new, bright colors when you’re ready.

Don’t always think square and traditional when it comes to railings and balusters for your deck. Look around at the many options available and create your own personal style by using various shapes, sizes, and materials. Decorate your railings in a way that complements the décor of your home and bring some of your decorating style outside too.

You’ll find that your deck is functional and fun when you make it uniquely you!

A New Bilco Door For Your Basement

Spruce up your curb appeal with a new Bilco Door.  The other reasons to do this are :

  • Home Security
  • Preventing cellar floods during severe weather
  • Easier access to your basement

The prices start at $1500.00 Price may vary according to the condition of the concrete and stairway into the basement and whether or not you want a new door for the entrance into the basement proper.

Salem Construction 109When completed you will be secure for years to come

Home Maintenance To Be Done While The Sun Shines



With the start of summer (Bing: When?) and warmer weather, you can focus most of your maintenance chores outdoors. First, however, attend to a couple of jobs that will help you stay comfortable and safe inside the house.



Switch ceiling fan blades Switch ceiling fans to push cool air down, where you’ll most enjoy it. Observe the fan while it’s running: In summer, you want the leading edge of the blades (the part that goes around first) higher than the trailing edge (the part that rotates last). Locate the fan’s switch on its outside body. When set correctly for summer, you can stand beneath it and feel the breeze. This should allow you to adjust your thermostat higher (or set the air conditioning lower), saving fuel while enjoying the cooling effect of the moving air.


Clean dryer vents  Although you probably know to remove lint from your clothes dryer’s lint filter after each use (to prevent fires),


You may not have heard that maintenance also includes cleaning the hose that pipes warm, moist air from the dryer to the outdoors.


Use a long-handled brush, found in hardware stores (or search online for “dryer vent brush”). Also, clean the recess beneath the filter with a lint-trap brush. Make sure to purchase a brush that fits your dryer’s particular lint-trap type. Read the dryer’s manual for directions. Check vent hoses to ensure they fit tightly to each other, to the dryer and to the outside of the house. Pull out the dryer and vacuum accumulated lint under and around it.



Air conditioning tune up  The number one priority for your summer home maintenance checklist is to have your air conditioning (AC) unit tuned up. As important as getting your car tuned, your AC needs to be tuned to inspect and prevent unwanted emergencies. The tune up is used to inspect refrigerant levels, which is important for your AC to keep running cool and keep your summer electric bills low, as well as to ensure your fan is functioning well, your coils are thoroughly cleaned and there are no potential fire hazards with faulty wiring.

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Homeowner tip: You can keep your AC bill running smoothly by changing out your air filters often. Experts advise changing them once a month when using your unit on a daily basis. 


Roof check  Your roof should be inspected annually to ensure that you don’t have any problems. Whether you have just ended your rainy season or are about to begin it, checking your roof regularly will assist in finding a small problem before it becomes a large, leaky one. Contingent on the type of roof, you may also want to clean your roof to avoid any permanent water damage.  Homeowner tip: If your home has gables for example a Victorian be sure to clean the valleys where the gables or dormers come into the main roof.

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Clean gutters  Cleaning gutters regularly will help prevent clogging and unnecessary leaks. It is recommended that gutters are cleaned twice a year: once at late fall/early winter, after all of the leaves have fallen and prior to the first snow-fall, and once at late spring/early summer after flowers, seeds and blossoms are done blowing off.

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Window check  Ensure that the hot summer heat stays outside by checking and maintaining your home’s windows. One of the key items in window maintenance is routinely checking the sealants. Ensure that both inside and out are secured, and caulk any open areas in between. Also, check weather-stripping for any faults and replace it immediately if there is an issue. Taking care of windows will keep your home looking and feeling good.  Keep in mind that keeping the sealants in great condition on  windows and doors will prevent  water damage to  walls and floors and window trim inside the house.  Homeowner tip: Use a small paintbrush or toothbrush when cleaning windows to get to hard-to-reach areas.

Cauking Summer Home Maintenance


Pressure wash the exterior  An important element of maintaining your home’s exterior is to routinely clean it, and the easiest way to do so is to pressure wash the walls. Do it to remove dirt, stains and mildew, especially prior to painting. Before you wash, just ensure that you cover plants, electrical outlets, windows and doors to avoid any Do It Yourself  mishaps.  Homeowner tip: For a step-by-step guide on how to pressure wash your home, check out this MSN Real Estate video.

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Pool maintenance  Depending on where you live, it’s probably been a good six months since your pool has been used for swimming. Get it ready for summer by cleaning it up, leveling the water, ensuring that your pumps are working and balancing your chemicals. Start at least a week prior to swim season to ensure that the water and your new bathing suit are safe from chemical harm.  Homeowner tip: Look into an energy-efficient pool pump to help keep your electric bill down during the summer months.

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If you do not have the time or are unable to do the work contact us  to schedule an appointment for an estimate .  Call : 203-723-5328

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10 Steps On How To Choose A Home Improvement Contractor

  1. Check with friends who have done similar work to the job that you are contemplating. See how satisfied they were with the contractor.
  2. Before you even start calling the contractors, check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)in your area. See if there are any unresolved complaints with a given contractor. Choose one that has no record of complaints, or one where the complaint was resolved to the consumer’s satisfaction. Be aware that a new contractor or one that changed his legal name to dodge complaints may not have any record of complaints with the BBB, so it is important to follow all of these steps.
  3. Call Salem Construction that will pass the BBB test and get bids. Be sure to give the job details the same way with each contractor so you won’t be comparing “apples and oranges”. Get a list of references, that is recently completed jobs the contractor has done that are similar to yours.
  4. Select the best bid. The best bid is not always the lowest, as the quality of materials may differ. Examine the proposals carefully.  We have done a lot of work for customers who chose the wrong contractor at additional cost to the home owners. We do it right the first time.
  5. Call the references given by the contractor you picked. See how satisfied the customers were with the job. If there were complaints about the job,  We will be happy to give you  a list of references.
  6. Verify that the contractor you choose is licensed. Salem Construction HIC0603579
  7. Read the contract carefully. Make sure that the contractor has liability insurance and that his employees are covered by workman’s compensation. Ask questions about anything you don’t understand, and don’t be shy about asking for changes to the contract. You are the customer.
  • Make sure the contract lists specifics of your job. List brand names of supplies, type and quantity of items to be installed, etc. Will your contractor do the painting after something is installed or subcontract with somebody else, or leave you to secure the the painting? Many homeowners prefer to choose the color of paint and do it themselves. In that case the contract will state ready for paint. If the job  included new walls this includes the primer applied by Salem Construction.
  • Include cleanup and debris removal in the contract. Salem Construction  always includes this in the contract clearly to be seen in the contract.
  • Note any follow-up or guarantees the contract provides.

8.Obtain a liability of insurance certificate . The insurance companies give these out on a regular basis. Do not be timid to ask for it. It is the only sure proof of insurance no matter what is written on the truck!

9.Make sure that the contractor obtains any necessary building permits. If he

will be digging, make sure he checks underground utilities.

10.Once you are satisfied with the contract, sign it and give the contractor his deposit by check. If you decide to give a cash deposit, be sure to get a receipt We always leave a copy of the signed contract with a reciet.

Courtesy of Salem Construction


Renovating Your Bathroom

Renovating Your Bathroom

Renovating a bathroom is a great way to spruce up and increase the resale value of your home. Now the job can be made easy with renovated bathroom pictures to help spark a few ideas and provide you with inspiration in your remodeling project. The bathroom is the most used room in the house, receiving daily visits from family members as well as guests and visitors. Because the room receives a lot of traffic, it is important to keep your bathroom looking beautiful and clean year round. Worn out fixtures, water damaged cabinets, and drab flooring for bathrooms look dirty and old, decreasing the room’s appearance to you and your guests. This article discusses the use of bathroom pictures in your remodeling project to help you redesign the area and create a beautiful space for your home. Although the bathroom is a simpler remodeling project than other rooms of the house, determining the right style and design for this room can be difficult. The bathroom is such a versatile room in the home and can stand alone in style or be designed to match the rest of the home.

Looking at pictures is one of the best ways to get ideas for decorating a bathroom because you can view ever type of style from modern to Victorian, with a variety of different color combinations, tiling, and fixture options. Looking at images of remodeled bathrooms will help you to create the best design for the area, however, another useful tool is design software. Do it yourself home planning software is used by both architects and DIY homeowners alike, to aid in renovation and remodeling projects. Free bathroom design software helps you by constructing digital blueprints and floor plans to help you determine the best layout for the room. In addition, advanced programs will allow you to decorate the room with fixtures, vanities, tiling, and paint and then view your bathroom designs with pictures or a virtual tour to get a general idea of what the finished product will look like.The best way to determine the type of style you want is to view our photo gallery 2012 with images of modern, contemporary, Victorian, or country styled rooms that can help spark an idea for your bathroom renovation.










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Is Your Family Outgrowing Your Home Consider An Add Level

A common problem among homeowners is when their family hits a growth spurt. Out of nowhere your current house quickly shrinks before your eyes. Bedrooms become cramped, square footage is eaten up, and privacy becomes impossible.  The first instinct is to shop for a new home, but when the size of your family booms, so does your spending. So, financially, a new house may be out of the question, making room for only one solution: expansion. Though ground level additions are easiest, neighboring homes may butt up against one another, allowing for minimal development. But limitations can sometimes create interesting resolutions, and many times the only option is building up with a second-story remodel (often referred to as a “pop the top” or ‘Add level “. remodel). Before you begin though, here are some crucial steps to going vertical with your home.

Steps to a Second-Story Remodel
Since this is a large renovation, it’s vital to build it step-by-step. It’s important to determine its initial size: do you want a full bath, a bedroom, or more.

Home Before

Home Before

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Then the first step is to ask for permission. Visit your local zoning office and see if you’re allowed to build an additional story. Have in mind an estimate of the total height since most codes hinge upon the vertical length of a structure (from the grade to the top of the roof). Next, visit the recorder’s office to see if your particular subdivision allows for a two-level addition: a lot of developers put restrictions on this renovation and it will usually be on the deed.

The Second Step: Crunch Time
If a second-story remodel is permitted, the next step is contacting trained professionals, Call Salem Construction and  tell Shawn what you want to accomplish.

Shawn is experienced in all aspects of building and can help you accomplish what you need in keeping with the original style of your home. When the job is complete it will appear to have been always there.  If you choose a feature that would not be in keeping he will help you by making suggestions that will fit. You will still have amble choices to fulfill your dream.


First, if they’re quality professionals, they should be honest about what they can and cannot do for you.
Second, if you give them a rough idea of what you want, they should be able to give you an estimate in terms of cost per square foot (remember, you’ll also be paying for blueprints and any design challenges, so mentally add 25% to the estimate).
Third, before hiring, crunch the numbers. During a Add Level remodel, it’s essential to know what you’re getting into, so the big question remains: can you afford it?

If the second-story remodel costs $120,000, contact the bank and see if you can afford a loan of this size? And if you can, ask yourself: Is this going to put you in such debt that it may be better to just get a newer, bigger house?


Summer Projects You May Be Considering







You may be considering outdoor projects to bring your entertaining outdoors. Let us jog your imagination.

Start now to plan for a cook out t to remember.

Perhaps a new patio with paving stones. Measure the area to get the footage you want.  Go online and see what choices are available and work out a style you like and caculate what it will cost.

Remamber your contractor will also need stone sand and stone dust for proper lognlasting installation.

Salem Construction 360

Perhaps you would like new walkways to have your guest stroll through your gardens or a pergola to create a shady dining area

Other ideas are adding a portico over your front door. or a small stone or brick pad for your grill and all the things you will need at hand for the next cook out.

Other ideas are complete outdoor kitchens or outdoor seating area protected from sun and insects.

The key is to plan. and be specific atout cost , and choices of materials It will be a pleasure becoming specific to help your dream materialize.

As always you must find a have a contractor like Salem Construction who is fully insured and lisenced and insured We also have extremely satified customers who come back again and again. When they here frieds are planning a home improvent project they say you should call Salem Construction. Shawn is a contractor you can trust to do a great job

Meet Salem Construction

Meet Salem Construction








Shawn Kelly established Salem Construction  in 1999. Shawn is a Master Carpenter who learned the trade from his father who worked at the New Haven Ship Yards until they closed. He has applied what he learned to every aspect of construction. He has the ability to build a house from start to finish.
Shawn  is responsible by keeping up with city codes including all changes as they occur.
 He keeps up with new building materials and the way they are used.  
He has also studied green construction and kept up on new products that are made from recycled materials.
Some of his specialties are Restoration
Remodeling Kitchens and Baths
Floors and Tile
Custom Mantles
Walk ways
Porticos and pergolas
siding & windows
Outdoor Kitchens
Patios And Decks Salem Construction is Fully Licensed And Insured
Excerpt ” Increase the value of your home with someone who cares”