Tag Archives: Home Improvement

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Home Improvment Project To Lift Those Winter Blues

1. Create walls that wow

Since you’re stuck inside staring at the walls, why not give them a new look. Adding modern trim work, crown molding and a bold coat of paint can completely change the look of a room without the expense of doing a complete renovation

Completely transform  your  kitchen with a new coat of paint“Contrary to what many homeowners might believe, you can have  a painter use paint in your home without opening up every window as long it’s an environmentally friendly and waterborne paint, which has virtually no fumes, “Plus, the dryness of the colder months can actually produce faster results.”

To really add visual interest to your walls, homeowners could go with a new or dramatic paint color or use painter’s tape to create stripes or patterns. hang wallpaper in a bedroom. Or create an accent wall with wallpaper or wains cotting.

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“Wallpaper is making a bit of a comeback thanks to home improvement shows, you can get professionals to do it.

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“Replacing interior doors is an affordable way to give your home an updated look versus an expensive remodel,”

You can order  custom trim and crown molding projects which  for an investment of between $500 and $800 dollars, can make all the difference in the world in bringing some life back into a room. A popular trend right now he said is replacing typical baseboard with ones that are at least five inches wide.

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Natural wood can be stained to match your wood work or stained to match your cabinets.

2. Add a “splash” of personality to your kitchen

For homeowners looking to spice up their kitchen without spending a pretty penny, adding a backsplash is a great solution, not to mention the perfect project for to add beauty and value to your home.

“For several hundred dollars you can completely change the look of your kitchen, as well as customize it to fit your personality. The new glass tile made from recycled glass are a great choise  and can be used as an accent in  a ceramic  backsplash. You might order an accent  area with a design of your choosing like fruit or vegetables  Suppliers have a  variety of designs  that come as a set for your contractor to install.

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Just a few years ago there were few choises in back Splash tile Today,  Suppliers have  hundreds  different styles and sizes, ranging from classic subway tile to natural stone to metal. While adding more functionality to a kitchen, a back-splash can also help accessorize and emphasize countertops, cabinets and appliances.

Your contractor will take the time to prep and lay out a template .to avoid  irregular lines or spaces. He will clean the grout off t completely for a finished look

3. Lighten up your rooms

What better way to brighten and warm your spirits this winter than with new lights, lamps or ceiling fans. Not to mention it’s an easy and affordable way to update the style of any room.

 

New Lighting Concepts & Design in  Keep the environment in mind as you choose your lighting. It with help you to save on you renergy bill with ceiling fans which push heat back down.”Also the best bulbs to use are LED bulbs. They cost more than the flourcent ones but they last a long time. The LED bulb in  our fan over the stove lasted 7 years.

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LED-style lights, which come in contemporary and bold styles, also provide a money-saving option. Installing dimmers in areas like the family room or dining room saves money, while allowing homeowners to customize the ambiance.

In addition to pendant lighting, another style that is growing in popularity Steampunk, which is a cross between vintage and industrial designs. But for a softer more romantic feel, a crystal chandelier is still a timeless choice.

“When it comes to installation and dealing with electrical issues my advice is to hire a professional so you know it’s done right,” Couch said. “Especially with ceiling fans, you want to be sure they aren’t loose or wobbly.”

4. Turn dull doors into classy decor

With home improvement projects, sometimes it’s the things that are used the most that are noticed the least. Like all the doors in your home — in and out of rooms, to closets and utility rooms. But after a closer look, the scratches, cracks, old hinges and outdated style can be hard to miss.

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“Replacing interior doors is an affordable way to give your home an updated look even  if you are doing a more extensive remodel  when spring comes. Choose doors athat will fit  into or enhance  the design you have in mind for the spring. Do you want  a unique or more modern look than what they have. or  traditional or raise panel

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There are a lot of options that many people might not even think about. For example, double doors are a much more functional and attractive alternative to sliding doors and bi-fold doors, while French-style doors can add natural light and architectural detail to a space.

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“It may not be so much the door, but the hardware “Homeowners are choosing update hinges and doorknobs with more modern colors like brushed nickel or aged bronze.” Another  thing you may not have known is copper destroys bacteria . If it is a room that gets constant use like the kichen or bath, hammered copper will not show the wear and tear and you still  have  the advantage of the reduction of  bacteria

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Hire a professional to  replace your doors that it can quickly turn into a bigger job than expected, if you tried to do it yourself  especially when replacing doors in older homes. Doors need t be properly fit  and sealed in the case of an outside door.  Keep in mind that  interior doors  are your best protection from fire. Smoke from even a small fire will  spread throughout the house if the door is not properly fit or  not level.

“Most doors are not going to just fall into place,

The jobs we do involve cutting, trimming and shaping the door to size, and sometimes replacing the molding.  Know  your budget, and have an idea of what you  like.

5. Take your bathroom from drab to fab

There’s no better time than the winter to turn your boring bathroom into a spa retreat. While replacing a faucet, re-grouting tile,  may be done quickly more ambitious jobs like replacing the tub or adding tile floor  require the skill of a professional.While a complete remodel might be a bigger investment, it’s worth considering, said “Many older homes were not built using mold-resistant drywall, so if you’re going to make an investment in upgrading your bathroom, that’s one of the best places to start,” he said. “Knowing what’s going on behind the walls is important before making expensive updates.”

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There is also a lot of plumbing involved with replacing bathtubs, sinks and toilets, which requires an expert to ensure it’s done right. Once the walls are closed up, a small leak can go unnoticed for a long time, resulting in serious damage and possibly a complete remodel.

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“My philosophy is that if you’re going to invest in a project, do it right the first time

If you’re like most people, you’ve been spending a lot of time indoors lately. Unfortunately, there are several more months of winter to get through before we start seeing signs of spring.

Before you throw your hands up in despair, why not break the monotony by working on your house? After all, you’re stuck inside anyway, and you’re probably searching for something to do that doesn’t involve watching endless reruns of Gleewhile eating any carb that will stand still. Plus, some home improvement projects will increase you property value  save money on your utility bills, and potentially prevent larger, more expensive issues from developing.

Here are some easy winter projects you might want to tackle before spring hits.

1. Repaint
You’ve been staring at your neutral colored walls every day for months. Want to brighten your mood? Try repainting! Go with a bright, cheery color to liven things up.

I always repaint in the winter because that’s when I need the most visual stimulation. A new coat of paint can dramatically lift your mood and the mood of the entire room.

 

2. Work on Your Floors
Is your carpet threadbare? Are your hardwood floors freezing your feet?

Putting in carpet is a great winter project because it can increase the comfort of your home dramatically.

Whether you do it yourself or have it installed, remember: the off-gassing from new carpet is tremendous. Make sure you open windows to allow those toxic fumes to escape. You can also ask your carpet retailer to air out the carpet several days before they install it in your home.

If you don’t like carpeting, there are plenty of other home flooring ideas such as tile and laminate that you could also consider.

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3. Look at Your Bathroom
Is your grout gunky with unsightly mildew? Is your sink hopelessly outdated? Are you over the pale green paint you put on the walls three years ago? Replace any chrome  parts that are coroded  like the trim around the drain and the control for the drain. Recaulk and caulk that is discolored. Regrout the tile if needed perhaps choosing a different color. If only the tub and shower area  need to be done you could choose a contrasting color or a variation of the color of the tile  instead of stark white.

 

4. Declutter

When Spring gets here, you’re not going to want to spend your time sifting through those piles of junk in your basement. You’ll want to be outside, enjoying the fresh air.

Winter is a great time to work on getting organized (which is why January is “Get Organized Month”).

So, devote time every week to decluttering in general and organizing what you decide to keep.

Tip: Don’t try to tackle the entire house at once. Do this and you’ll find yourself with a broken spirit, huddled on the couch looking for the remote. Start small, and go slow. Focus on one shelf, or one corner, and work until you’ve got that space looking exactly how you want. This way you’ll be able to see the progress you’re making.

Perhaps your problem is clutter  in the bathroom . I found some gems that you could include to help with that. Include a shelf to put many of those items in place.

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I put combs and picks in the tallest canister, Soaps in the medium canister, the smaller ones I use for bandaids, The other short one I put dental floss, strung flossers, small floss brushes, and partial cleaner tablets. In the other tall canister I keep tubes of toothpaste, denture adhesive anything in a slender tube. In a growing family you may have three different kinds of toothpaste alone.

dbb1e3b9d0302d9885f087849454ebe2This  wall mount caddy can hold m

ore of the things you use every day.

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This shower curtain rod Keeps towels handy to get too when you get out the the shower.

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This keeps the hair dryer and curling iron handy for the busiest time of your day.

2cd369e2142ceccc80e43b61b95c25fe If you have the room include a handy wall mounted cabinet like this.  I would hols a lot keeping it out of sight.

 

In the kitchen you can decutter the drawers one a day until you are done. Some items I found are pictured below.

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Keep these near the stove for salt & Fat

 

This handy caddy will keep you sink area deluttered

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4. Look at Your Bathroom
Is your grout gunky with unsightly mildew? Is your sink hopelessly outdated? Are you over the pale green paint you put on the walls three years ago?

Bathrooms make great winter projects because once they’re done, you can appreciate your handiwork every single day. And, there are plenty of ways to frugally remodel your bathroom.

Updates like replacing a faucet, re-grouting tile, or repainting are relatively easy for the do-it-yourselfer. But if you get more ambitious (like, you want to replace the tile floor or buy a new toilet) you might want to call in professional help. Your sanity will thank you.

 

5. Add Insulation
Okay, so adding insulation doesn’t exactly make your heart pound with excitement. But it will lower your utility bills, and help make your home more comfortable and eco-friendly

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Crawl up into your attic. If you can see the floor joists, then you need more insulation. Since heat rises, you could save quite a bit by adding another layer of insulation up there.

You can also add insulation in your basement and in crawlspaces to prevent heat loss there as well.

Planning

What are your choises

1.Sheep’s wool.

Sheep live in some of world’s harshest environments. Dall sheep, for example, love cold climates, including the frigid temperatures of the Arctic. They live on alpine ridges and steep rocky slopes, and are able to adapt to these extreme conditions because of their wool. In recent years, scientists have taken the insulating properties of sheep’s wool and applied them to home use A 24-inch roll of R-13

Wool lnsulation costs around $60

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2. Cotton

Ever wonder what happens to all the scrap cotton denim that’s left over when designers are making all of those blue jeans? Well some of that material actually gets recycled into insulation For one thing, it can be rolled into batts. Additionally, the R-value of cotton insulation and fiberglass is the same, roughly R-.2 to R-3.7 per inch of thickness  and it does not contain formaldehyde.

 

3.. Aerogel

If there’s a Superman of home insulation, it’s aerogel. It has an R-value of R-10.3 per inch of thickness [source: Meinhold] Today, scientists make aerogel by removing the liquid from silica under high pressure and temperature. What’s left is a material that is very light and more than 90 percent air. Aerogel’s molecular structure makes it difficult for heat to pass through [source: Nusca]. As insulation, aerogel comes in sheets that can easily be tacked on to the studs in a wall. In fact one type of aerogel, ThermaBlok, has a peal and stick backing for easy installation [source: Thermablok]. Aerogel insulation is very expensive, though, and sells for up to $2 a foot [source: Meinhold].

 

4. Rigid Polystyrene

Polystyrene doesn’t sound like a green material. In fact, it’s a form of plastic. Yet, polystyrene is a fabulous insulator with R-values that range from R-3.8 to R-4.4 per inch of thickness, and so it’s considered green because it helps save so much energy [source: U.S. Department of Energy]. Polystyrene insulation comes in rigid foam boards that make it easy to insulate any part of a building, from the roof to the foundation [source: U.S. Department of Energy]. Not only will rigid polystyrene provide your home with good thermal resistance, but it will also add structural integrity to your walls. But you don’t have to go with the rigid foam boards; polystyrene insulation also comes in spray foam. And even though it’s plastic and takes long time to naturally degrade, it can be recycled.

5 . Icynene

Perhaps no home insulation seals your house as completely and as thoroughly as the spray-on foam insulation known as Icynene, which is made from castor oil. When contractors spray the substance onto a wall or ceiling it has the thickness of paint. Once it hits the surface, Icynene expands nearly 100 times it volume. Not only does Icynene stop drafts, it also muffles noise [source: Cabot]. Icynene has an R-value of R-3.6 per inch of thickness, which can reduce a home’s energy bill by 30 to 50 percen

Heat Value

Did you know insulation also has a U-value? U-values gauge how much heat passes through a particular material. The lower a material’s U-value, the better it insulates.  Note R values are given above so you can get the best R  value to balance with what you can afford.

 

 

Final Word

It’s easy to get cabin fever this time of year. We’re all going through it. But planning work on  home projects is a great way to keep yourself active, add value to your home, and beautify and improve your living space. It’s a win-win!

 

 

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Being Comfortable With Your Kitchen Renovation

 

 

From Living room After

From Living room After

Being realistic with your budget is the first rule of renovation. In renovation, budget is key. It will hopefully keep you from making lots of wrong decision and choices before you are well into your renovation. Do research before setting a budget so you will have an idea what contractors, appliances and materials you will need for your kitchen renovation. Once you have all your information for every aspect of the design, then you will be able to work out a workable budget. It is wise too to have a little bit of a cushion for the unexpected. Even the best-planned budgets can get thrown off track if something unexpected pops in during the installation or final renovation stages of your kitchen. It is always good to source at least three quotes from contractors to make sure you’re not paying too much. Never automatically go for the lowest bid because it certainly worth your money to spend a little extra to get quality work.

In reference to your appliances for your kitchen, it’s best to shop around and not buy the first thing you see. Price ranges vary from store to store so take your time. It is definitely worth the time to wait on a sale. Also you can use as a bargaining tool too by buying all the kitchen appliances from one store. Anyway you can safe money is the name of the game in kitchen renovations. Keeping your kitchen renovation on a budget is to be disciplined. When the urge comes “I just have to have that” syndrome, you will have to exercise discipline. Buying things that you had not planned on will send your budget through the roof.

When it comes to kitchen remodeling, there are several things you need to think about even before acquiring the services of a professional contractor, or making appliance selections. More than any other room of the house, the kitchen is the most versatile. It is used to prepare meals, feed the family, store foods, and clean and store service ware and other household items.

The kitchen is also the family gathering place. Everyone undoubtedly migrates to the kitchen because it is the main focus of the home. Therefore, it is important that every kitchen remodeling idea be taken into consideration. Search through home decorating magazines and catch some great ideas on TV. Whether you decide to design the kitchen yourself, work with a kitchen remodeling contractor or home center, formulating a plan will be the first step. In other words, write the vision and make it clear.

The first kitchen remodeling tip is to consider the three basic kitchen functions: storage, food preparation, and clean-up. A well thought out kitchen design will accommodate each of these three functions. The layout of the kitchen design should be defined with convenient layout and ease of movement. The classic “work triangle” should be the basis of the floor plan. The kitchen sink, refrigerator and stove, as the three kitchen features used most often, should be arranged in a triangular pattern. This work triangle saves unnecessary steps when cooking and has proven to be the most convenient layout. The work triangle concept saves unnecessary steps when preparing foods, and proves the most convenient layout design.

From Livingroom Before

From Livingroom Before  Notice How Dark It is,

From doorway to living room Before

From doorway to living room Before

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From Living room After

After From what was the door way toward the folding glass door to the deck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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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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Meet Salem Construction

Meet Salem Construction
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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”