Best Craftsman Miter Saw – Buyer’s Guide for 2019

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Craftsman tools have been a powerhouse for the last 90 years due to their wide product line and dependability. Their miter saws also fulfill these promises to consumers. Craftsman was sold to a new company in 2017, making changes to their product line and providing new miter saw offerings. Some of these older models are still available today alongside Craftsman’s new line.

To help you navigate their products, we have chosen the best Craftsman miter saws available on the market and where to find all the accessories to make your sawing experience seamless. Are you looking for the best miter saw overall? If so, check out The Best Miter Saw – Complete Buyers Guide & Reviews.

Quick Look at Our Top Picks:

Image Product Price
Craftsman 10″ Single Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw (21237)
  • $278.01
Craftsman 7-1/4” Single Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw (CMCS714M1)
  • $289.00
DOIT 15-Amp 10-Inch Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw with Laser Guide
  • $99.99

Last update on 2019-09-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Craftsman Miter Saws

The first saw we recommend is part of the old Craftsman line, and you won’t find it on their website. We believe it’s a great quality saw that you can still find through other online retailers. Our other two recommendations are part of the new product line, which can be found on their website, in big box stores, and on other online marketplaces.

Craftsman 10″ Single Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw (21237)

Last update on 2019-09-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This saw works for almost everyone, and that’s why we like it. Whether you are planning on using this around your home or on a job site, its versatility and cutting power make it a great choice for a variety of jobs. Professionals may get the most out of it as you can take it from job to job and perform many types of cuts. At a reasonable price point, this saw satisfies the needs of anyone who needs a sliding compound miter saw.

What We Like

  • Lightweight (31.8 lbs.) and portable for easy use from job site to job site
  • Capable of clean cuts on both soft and hard wood
  • Quiet saw compared to most in its class

What We Don’t

  • Laser location makes it almost impossible to see the line in sunlight
  • Dust sprays everywhere due to poor dust collection
  • Plastic carrying handle has been known to break

DOIT 15-Amp 10-Inch Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw with Laser Guide

Last update on 2019-09-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

One of the newer Craftsman offerings, you can find this saw online or at many big box stores and local hardware stores. This small and compact saw is our recommendation for DIY projects, such as framing, molding, and furniture building.

It comes at an affordable price for small projects and those who don’t use their saw frequently. While it may be less expensive and for smaller jobs, its accuracy and performance do not suffer. You will find that this saw delivers on quality and precision.

What We Like

  • This is a folding miter saw, great for flat and small storage
  • Lightweight design (28 lbs.) makes portability optimal
  • Electric brake stops your cuts for quickness and efficiency
  • Laser guide improves efficiency in cutting accuracy

What We Don’t

  • Poor dust collection like most miter saws
  • Plastic saw base could use improvements in security and stability
  • Angle gauges are stickers rather than metal plates with potential to rub or scratch off

Craftsman 7-1/4” Single Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw (CMCS714M1)

Last update on 2019-09-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Don’t be fooled by the small blade size, this saw packs a punch for its size. At an affordable price point, this saw is best for those who work on smaller projects. It is a great addition to your home power tool collection for its power, accuracy, and easy storage.

Hardwood flooring, baseboards, trim, and 2-dimensional lumber are just a few of the materials this saw can cut with no problem. With a quiet motor and smooth cutting, we are impressed by the high performance with a smaller blade compared to the competition. We recommend this saw for all your DIY projects!

What We Like

  • Incredibly lightweight (21.8 lbs.) design with carrying handles makes it very easy to transport and store
  • Battery-operated machine allows for working in powerless locations
  • Battery lasts up to two hours without recharging and can recharge in 60 minutes or less
  • LED light aids in accuracy and visibility of cut line

What We Don’t

  • Poor dust collection gets dust caught in sliding rails and can limit saw movement
  • Unit only comes with one battery, making a full charge necessary when remote
What Should You Know About Craftsman Miter Saw Stands and Parts?

Once you found your miter saw, you’ll need something to put it on. If you do not have a work table with lots of space for long or large pieces of wood, it may be difficult to use your saw effectively. Using a miter saw stand can solve these problems. With an ability to set up in any space, you’ll have enough room and can conveniently move it to your desired work location. Are you interested in buying the best miter saw stand? If so check out The Best Miter Saw Stand.

Craftsman miter saw stands pair well with your saw for sturdy and easy use. They offer lightweight stands with universal brackets for almost any saw and more advanced models with outlet connectors, wheels for transport, and increased stability. Make sure you look for a stand that can support the weight of your saw and is easy to transport.

Finding Craftsman miter saw parts doesn’t have to be difficult either. When things break down after extended use or accidents happen, we want to know that our saw can be repaired with the correct parts. With the change in ownership from Sears to Stanley Black and Decker, you might be on a chase for your model’s part.

If you need new Craftsman saw parts, you can contact them directly. You can also find a variety through online marketplaces. Check for correct dimensions for parts that are not made by Craftsman to ensure proper fit. craftsman miter saw

How Should You Navigate a Craftsman Miter Saw Manual?

For many things we buy, we take one look at the manual and throw it away. For a miter saw, it is important that you take the time to acquaint yourself with the tool for safety and proper use.

Miter saws usually require minimal set up, but need to have all parts attached and often need to have the alignment adjusted. Using your manual, it will guide you through these steps. Craftsman miter saw manuals are easy to follow with clear descriptions and photos. Consumers regard them as generally helpful and easy to use.

They are also helpful to refer back to after initial set up when changes need to be made or problems arise with your saw.

Final Recommendation

Last update on 2019-09-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

While it may not be part of the new product line, our favorite Craftsman miter saw is the 10″ Single Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw (21237). Its versatility and usefulness for beginners, homeowners, and professionals had us sold. You will be able to complete a wide range of jobs and complete many types of cuts with this easy to use and affordable saw! Are you looking for the best Ryobi or DeWalt miter saw? If so, check out The Best DeWalt Table Saw, DWS709 vs DWS779: Head to Head with Two of DeWalt’s Best Miter Saws, and the Best Ryobi Miter Saw 2019: Which One Should You Buy?

The post Best Craftsman Miter Saw – Buyer’s Guide for 2019 appeared first on The Saw Guy – Saw Reviews and DIY Projects.

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What Are the Best Types of Wood for Hardwood Flooring? | Embrace Home Loans

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Back in the 1980’s, a whole new generation of homeowners experienced the thrill and beauty of solid hardwood floors as they stripped away the orange and green wall-to-wall shag carpeting which had been so popular in the 1970’s. Hardwood floors are resilient and long-lasting. They don’t peel or crack and best of all — unlike that old shag — they don’t get moldy. Real hardwood floors are easy to refinish and restore and are sure to add value to any home.

Hardwood flooring is typically 3/4″ thick, with each plank a single solid piece. Hardwoods can contract and expand depending upon the climate and the plank width. Hardwoods are generally more expensive than engineered flooring and require the addition of a sub-floor, as well as several coats of protective finish. The most popular hardwoods are those that are readily available.

Choosing hardwood flooring

Aside from plank width, color, and grain, when it comes to choosing a type of hardwood flooring the most important thing to consider is strength and durability.

Hardwoods like oak and maple derive from deciduous trees, while softwoods come from conifers. Softwoods like pine, poplar, walnut, and spruce are better used for furniture and cabinetry. You may also choose form tropical hardwoods such as mahogany, teak, and rosewood. These hardwoods are are not native to North America and can be considerably more expensive as a result.

Top 10 hardwoods, according to the American Hardwood Information Center

Hardwood re-engineered

Unlike solid hardwood floors which are milled from a single piece of timber, engineered wood flooring planks are made up of two layers — the lamella, or top surface, over a supporting core layer. The core can be made of a “wood ply” which uses multiple thin plies of wood glued together, “finger core” made of small pieces of milled timber that run perpendicular to the top layer, or fiberboard.

Engineered floors maintain stability by running each layer at a 90 degree angle to the layer above. A true engineered hardwood floor uses sawn wood for its surface layer, not veneer. No wood composite or plastic is used in the manufacturing process. Engineered hardwood can be installed over concrete and doesn’t generally require a separate sub-floor.

Engineered flooring gives you more choices

When shopping for an engineered floor you’ll find many wood veneers options, from standard oak to exotic Brazilian cherry. Oak, maple, walnut, and mahogany are all considered traditional, whereas beach and pine are lighter and more suitable for a contemporary space. You’ll have a variety of choices when it comes to plank width as well — wide or narrow, edging, beveled or square, as well as the type of installation system. Perhaps the best known of these is “tongue-and-groove.” Each plank having one side and one end grooved so that they fit tightly with adjoining planks.

Unlike tongue-and-groove which must be glued down, a number of manufacturers have developed patented “click” systems of installation. While similar to tongue-and-groove, instead of fitting directly into the groove, the board must be angled or “tapped” in to make the curved or barbed tongue fit into the adjoining modified groove. Other floor connection systems are available that allow for the incorporation of other materials including metal and rubber. Parquet style floors use a glue down method. Small pieces of wood are affixed to glue applied directly to the concrete surface and then tamped down with a rubber mallet.

Engineered wood flooring has made it possible for a generation of DIY homeowners to upgrade their homes. A word of caution, though — the top layer of your engineered hardwood floor is much thinner than a solid hardwood floor and should not be sanded often. A true solid hardwood floor will last for generations. Engineered hardwood flooring? It remains to be seen.

The Bottom Line

Whether you choose real hardwood or engineered flooring, there is wide range of high quality products available that will enhance both the beauty and value of your home.

This content was originally published here.

Eldorado Stone’s Sue Nadolski on Outdoor Living at IBS

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The International Builder’s Show (IBS) recently concluded in Orlando, Florida. The annual trade show drew in a crowd of 80,000 for talks on the innovative products and ideas leading the industry forward today. Eldorado Stone employees attended the event and enjoyed three days of educational sessions and exciting manufacturer/supplier conversations.

Sue Nadolski, our director of business development for the Outdoor Living division, was a panelist during the Outdoor Living: From Novelty to Necessity session along with two other industry veterans. Here’s a recap of what she shared during the panel discussion:

On meeting customer expectations.

The overall use of a space throughout the year tends to remain the same regardless of climate. Homeowners adapt their spaces based on local climates to maximize the time they can spend outdoors. We tell our team not to be afraid of taking things outside, because many indoor items transition well to an outdoor setting. Designers must ask clients the right questions to help them expand their kitchen spaces seamlessly to the outdoors. Every detail, from the lighting to the textiles used, matters. 

How do you walk clients through the thought process?

We listen to their stories and dreams to make educated recommendations. For example, many of our clients have children. We help them think about the flow of the space. Would you want a bunch of grass-stained 8-year-olds traipsing through the home to grab a juice box, or would an outdoor refrigerator make more sense?

What are some key trends you’re seeing beyond outdoor kitchens?

We’ve noticed the use of fire features outside the barbecue space. From installing a new outdoor fireplace to clustering smaller elements together for an intimate conversation space, designers and clients are getting creative about where and how they use the outdoor space. The fireplaces and smaller features weren’t common in the industry 10 years ago. In the same way our industry evolved in thinking about basements and great room design, we’re now moving into outdoor living spaces.

What are some needs and concerns for establishing an outdoor space?

In many ways, outdoor spaces are like new home constructions. Designers and clients must take lighting, plumbing, and other infrastructure elements into consideration. Often, people invest a lot of money in the space, so we strive to build it out properly.

On the future of outdoor spaces in the next five years.

The outdoor design frontier is expanding beyond residential spaces to large living environments in universities, apartments, and condos. Students want to spend time outside, and schools are taking advantage of new options to bridge the gap between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Commercially, hospitals, government buildings, and parks are bringing more activities outside (similar to the restaurant trend of rooftop bars). In general, people want to be outdoors, and the key question we must answer in the next few years is, “How can we take other types of products outdoors and enjoy them there?”


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Amon Carter Museum of American Art Reopens With New Exhibits

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It’s light, it’s bright and on September 14, a refreshed Amon Carter Museum of American Art will reopen to the public after a year-long renovation.

“For the last year, the museum has been engaged in what we would refer to as a transformative experience for the Amon Carter,” Andrew J. Walker, the museum’s Executive Director, said. “The public spaces of the Amon Carter over the last year have been completely reimagined.”

The reimagining of Fort Worth museum began in October 2018 with an upgrade and expansion of its photography vaults. The visible changes to the public areas come after a three-month closure. Hardwood flooring, LED lighting mimicking daylight while preserving delicate artwork, new sightlines and a new gallery layout showcase the museum’s newly reinstalled collection of American art. The museum’s front entrance now features a ramp system, increasing accessibility to the main campus.

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The museum’s curators have used the renovation as an opportunity to re-evaluate the collection and create galleries offering fresh perspective on American creativity. Thematically focused galleries include American Roots, Opulence and the Everyday, America as Landscape, Legacy Galleries: Remington and Russell, Modern America, Make It New and Works on Paper.

The Works on Paper gallery will highlight the nearly 10,000 works on paper in the museum’s collection. The gallery currently features “Seeing in Detail: Scott and Stuart Gentling’s Birds of Texas,” an exhibition featuring 23 original watercolors of native Texas birds by the Gentling brothers. The museum also announced the establishment of the Gentling Study Center. The center will support the acquisition, research and conservation of the Fort Worth artists’ works.

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The first major touring exhibition in the newly renovated space is “Gordon Parks: The New Tide, Early Work 1940 – 1950.” Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington and in collaboration with The Gordon Parks Foundation, the exhibition, on view through December 29, chronicles Park’s formative years. “When the show starts, he is a fledgling self-taught photographer,” John Rohrbach, Senior Curator of Photographs, said.

The exhibition explores Parks’ evolution as a photographer through 150 photographs as well as magazines, newspapers, pamphlets and books. From working as a portrait and fashion photographer in Saint Paul and Minneapolis to becoming the first African American staff photographer at Life magazine, Parks used his art to lift the story and the contributions of the African American community.

“This is a story about not only achievement, not only a story of roots, but a story of community. We all work with others; we rely on the gifts of others to us to find our own way. And what Parks did was take those connections and strive to better himself and do something more, not only for himself but also for the African American community,” Rohrbach said.

The renovation expanded and improved the museum’s special exhibition space. Walls that do not quite reach to the ceiling are module units that can be reconfigured to meet the program’s needs. “It allows us to host more ambitious special exhibitions and it also allows us to host more than one rotating show at the same time,” Brett Abbott, Director of Collections and Exhibitions, said.

The exhibition to most benefit from this expansion is “Set in Motion: Camille Utterback and Art That Moves,” now on view through December 8. “This is a show that wasn’t possible before this renovation,” Kristen Gaylord, Assistant Curator of Photographs, said. Before the renovation the video space was not large enough to house Utterback’s digital work, “Untitled 5.”

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“Untitled 5” is an interactive work with visitors stepping into a rectangle illuminated on the floor. The visitor’s movements through the rectangle is tracked by a camera overhead, run through an algorithm and then translated into markings on a digital painting. Visitors can watch how their movements push against the artists’ brush strokes. The piece constantly changes as visitors walk, skip, twirl and wave through the space. “Camille Utterback really believes technology is a tool that can be used in many different ways and her way of using it is to try to emphasize our physical experience,” Gaylord said.

This interactive piece is paired with art by women who also experiment with the idea of bodily movement and motion in their work.

The museum commissioned Justin Favela, a Mexican-and Guatemalan-American artist, to create a large-scale work to fill the first-floor gallery connecting the museum’s original 1961 building to the 2001 extension. Maggie Adler, the museum’s Curator of Paintings and Sculpture, introduced the space to the artist known for reinterpreting historical artworks employing materials used to make piñatas.

“When Maggie approached me and said, ‘Alright, this is the space. What do you want to do with it?’ I just said, ‘I want to cover the entire thing in paper. I don’t want any negative space,'” Favela said. Thanks to a new paper supplier, this creation will be Favela’s most colorful work yet, using 43 different colors of tissue paper.

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Favela started looking at the museum’s collection for inspiration six months ago. This immersive work called “Puente Nuevo” is inspired by color lithographs depicting scenes of rural and urban Mexico by Casimiro Castro, a 19th century Mexican printer. “I’m really excited to pay homage to a Mexican artist that is part of this collection that maybe wasn’t looked at in many years,” Favela said.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Amon Carter Museum of American Art’s Reopening Celebration.

Photo Credit: Amon Cater Museum of American Art
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An Agent’s Guide to Home Styles, Architecture, and Design

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Home Styles guide for real estate agentsWant to know a secret? As a real estate agent you’re not really selling relationships or trust or negotiation skills. Nope. You’re selling houses, plain and simple. There’s no way around it.

That means if you want to become a hyper local expert, you’d better know the different home styles in your region, state, and farm area. After all, wouldn’t you rather ask your client if they liked the Queen Anne with herringbone floors and Palladian windows they saw yesterday instead of “the old red house with the cool floors?”

Thought so.

If you’re even a little unsure about the common home styles you’re going to be selling in your farm area, check out our cheat sheet of common home styles, window styles, door styles, and flooring styles below.

Cheat Sheet for Common American Home Styles

Although Europeans love to joke about how new and boring American architecture is, in reality we have dozens of influential styles of homes. Since you’re a real estate expert, you should be able to identify each style listed below. If you can’t, read the style and description below then come back to this article in a few days and quiz yourself.

Here are the most common home styles in the United States to get you started:

Craftsman Style Homes

Period: 1900-1930
Commonly found in: California, Seattle, Oregon

With design elements from the British arts and crafts movement of the late 19th century, craftsman style homes became extremely popular in the early 20th century. The characteristic elements of a craftsman style home include a low slung roof, large front porches with a staircase leading up to it, large squared off columns that were usually exposed or decorated with stones or brick, and minimal decorative elements.


An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate Agents

photo via: Warburg

Period: 1840s-1890s
Commonly found in: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Boston

Built from the eponymous stone quarried in Connecticut, brownstones were a very popular style of townhouse in many East Coast cities like New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Boston. When first pulled from the ground, brownstone is actually pink, but settles into a rich dark brown over time.

Many brick townhouses are mistaken for brownstones because of the way they’re painted, but true brownstones were always made from actual brownstone which was a preferred building material because of its softness and ease of working with.


An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsPeriod: 1820s-present
Commonly found in: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington D.C., Baltimore

A rowhouse is a single family home that shares a roofline and one or more walls with a group of other homes on a single block. Frequently built at the same time by the same developer, rowhomes were a very popular style of housing in 19th century American cities due to the cost savings of building multiple homes at once on one plot of land.

While rowhomes generally share many of the same features including window styles and placement, front stoops, and yards, some rowhouses were built with eclectic styles of homes grouped together. When building homes, workers built doorways connecting each rowhome together so they could easily walk from one home to the next to finish construction. These doorways were then sealed when the homes were sold to buyers.

Cape Cod Style Homes

Cape Cod style homePeriod: 1740s-present
Commonly found in: East Coast, Midwest

Cape Cod style homes were very common with early American settlers due to their relative ease of construction and simplicity. They generally feature a single pitched steep roof, front door in center with rows of windows on either side. Shingle or clapboard siding, sparse and minimal decorative elements. Dormer windows were common additions to Cape Cod homes.

Ranch Style Homes

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsPeriod: 1920s-present
Commonly found in: West Coast, Everywhere

Ranch style homes were the modernist answer to affordable family living. With only one story and low slung roofs, ranch homes allowed for open-plan layouts and a more laid back, less formal style of living that became popular in the early 20th century modernist movement.

A hallmark of American suburbia, ranch homes became so popular that by the 1950s nine out of 10 new homes built were California ranch homes. Ranging from luxurious and sprawling midcentury modern homes to the most basic starter home, ranch houses were truly versatile and built for American families from every walk of life.

Split Level Homes

split level home stylePeriod: 1950s-present
Commonly found in: West Coast, Everywhere

Split level homes are multi-floor houses with short flights of stairs connecting each level. On the East Coast, split levels almost always have an entryway that opens on to two flights of stairs, one going up to the second level, and another heading down to the first or ground floor. The top floors of a split level home tend to have full height ceilings while lower levels might have lower ceilings.

Midcentury Modern Homes

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate Agents

photo via: Halstead

Period: 1940s-1960s
Commonly found in: New Canaan Connecticut, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York

Inspired by high modernist European architects like Le Corbusier and Ludwig Meis van der Rohe, the midcentury modern movement in American houses began in the 1940s and became extremely popular. Common features include minimalist design with no ornamentation, single story construction, large picture windows, flat roofs, and an attempt to blend the natural surroundings into the design of the home. Interiors usually had open layouts with few walls separating the space which allowed rooms to blend into one another.

Bungalow Homes

bungalow home stylePeriod: 1940s-1960s
Commonly found in: California, Oregon, Everywhere

Often borrowing elements from craftsman design, bungalows are relatively small, single story homes. They often have small front porches and double pitched roofs often with small dormer windows.

Want a fun talking point for your clients when you’re showing a bungalow? Tell them that the style and term originated in the word “bengala” which referred to homes built in the style of the Bengal region of India.

Greek Revival Style Homes

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsPeriod: 1820s-present
Commonly found in: Southeast, Middle Atlantic Region

Often called America’s first unique architectural style, Greek Revival homes were inspired by elements of ancient Greek architecture. These frequently include large columns in at the entryway or along the entire front of the home, symmetrical double hung windows, and large front doors with sidelights. Ornamentation is generally very restrained and almost minimal.

Also called the national style, Greek revival homes were very popular in the South, especially for mansions and plantation homes.

Postmodern Style Homes

postmodern home stylePeriod: 1980s-present
Commonly found in: California, Everywhere

The postmodernist movement was a philosophical and artistic movement in the 1980s that questioned traditional modernist ideals and employed irony and pastiche in home design.

Postmodern homes might borrow elements from Spanish, Midcentury modern, or even Victorian elements into one house.

Storybook Style Homes

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate Agents

Photo via: Douglas Elliman

Period: 1920s-present
Commonly found in: California, Everywhere

Storybook homes are houses that take design cues from medieval European homes that were popularized by fairy tales and castles. Often incorporating stone and shingled roofs, you can usually tell if you’re looking at a storybook home if it wouldn’t look out of place in a Disney cartoon about knights and princesses.

We recently wrote an article featuring seven excellent examples of storybook homes here.

Contemporary or Ultramodern Style Homes

ultramodern home style

photo: the Agency LA

Period: 1990s-present
Commonly found in: Everywhere

Contemporary homes are homes that follow up-to-the-minute architecture and design trends. That means that a contemporary home built in 1990 will look significantly different from one built in 2017 like the example above.

Some common elements of contemporary or ultramodern homes include walls of glass, open concept layouts, high ceilings, kitchen islands, formal and informal living rooms—and large open kitchens.

Spanish Style Homes

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsPeriod: 1920s-present
Commonly found in: California, Southwest

Inspired by the architecture of Spain, Spanish styled homes generally have low slung roofs, terracotta roof tiles, and white plaster walls. The interiors frequently have tile floors, and arched entryways and windows are common.

Tudor Style Homes

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsPeriod: 1850s-1970s
Commonly found in: East Coast, Midwest

Tudor homes generally have high sloped roofs with multiple pitches, brick or stone construction of facades, chimneys, and the trademark faux exposed timbers set in white stone or stucco. Tudor homes saw a resurgence in popularity in the 1920s, and entire neighborhoods like Forest Hills in Queens are almost entirely Tudor houses.

Victorian Style Homes

Victoria home stylePeriod: 1850s-1920s
Commonly found in: East Coast, Midwest, San Francisco

Based on the Victorian design movement in England, Victorian homes in the United States featured ornate decoration on the outside of the home including steep gabled roofs, bay windows, rounded turrets, and dormer windows.

Colonial Style Homes

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsPeriod: 1700s-1780s
Commonly found in: Northeast, Southeast

Colonial houses are characterized by gently sloped roofs, an entrance door in the middle of the home, with two windows flanking the entrance door. Colonials can also have dormers, sunrooms, or other smaller additions to the sides of the home. They are frequently found in the northeast and southeast, and have been a popular style that is still built to this day.

Federal Style Homes

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate Agents

photo: Wikipedia

Period: 1780s-1800s
Commonly found in: Northeast, Southeast

When colonial style homes fell out of favor in the 1780s, federal style homes took their place. Federal style homes are very similar to colonials, except they tend to have more ornamentation, decorative or even round windows, columns, and dual chimneys.

Queen Anne Style Homes

Period: 1880s-1920s
Commonly found in: Northeast, Southeast, California

Queen Anne style homes are a type of Victorian home that is even more ornate than a typical, earlier era Victorian. Queen Annes tend to have features like large rounded turrets, steeped roofs with many pitches, stained glass, finials, ornate shingles, and enclosed rounded porches.

Common Window Styles of American Homes

Now that you’ve got a good grasp of some of the more common house styles in the United States, let’s check out some common window styles.

Dormer Windows

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsA dormer is a small structure with a roof that extends out on the roof of Colonial, Cape Cod, Victorian, or Federal style homes. They generally have double hung windows and were often designed to allow light into lofts or even attic spaces.

Bay Windows

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsBay windows are large, segmented windows that extend out from the wall of a house. Bay Windows generally have three angled window panels, and can sometimes have a built in seating area as in the picture above, or add slightly more floor space to a room.

Bow Windows

Bow windows are very similar to bay windows except instead of having three panels, they often have five or more panels which creates a more curved look. To remember the difference, try and associate a bow window with a bow and arrow and a bay window with three bays.

Double-Hung Windows

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsDouble hung windows are rectangular windows with two panes of glass (called sashes), each of which can be raised or lowered to open either the top or bottom of the window. Multiple double hung windows can be installed in one large opening in order to create one larger window. The picture above shows three double hung windows installed into one opening.

Single-Hung Windows

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsSingle-hung windows are identical to double-hung windows except for the fact that only one window sash slides up and down. In most cases, the movable sash will be the lower one.

Casement Windows

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsUnlike double hung windows which open and close vertically, casement windows are hinged on one side to open horizontally into a room.

Palladian Windows

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsPalladian windows are made up of one long rectangular panel with a rounded top flanked by two shorter rectangular windows with flat tops.


An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsSidelights are long, thin, rectangular window panels traditionally installed on both sides of entry doors. In more modern homes, there may be only one sidelight, and instead of paned glass, it will be one large section of glass.

Arched Windows

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsArched windows are rectangular windows with a rounded top. One arched window makes up the center window for a Palladian window.

Picture Windows

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate Agents

Photo: The Agency LA

Picture windows are large, rectangular windows that are longer horizontally than vertically. Picture windows are made up of one large piece of glass without any separate panes. Picture windows let in lots of sunlight and great views, but generally do not open. The picture above shows a picture window with a casement window section that opens.

Paned Windows

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsPaned windows are windows that are broken up into smaller square sections by wooden frames. They are designed this way because breaking one pane of glass means you only have to replace that single small pane instead of the whole window. Since glass is much cheaper these days and construction costs higher, many modern windows have faux wooden frames to separate a sheet glass window into panes. The picture above shows a paned casement window.

Common Door Styles of American Homes

While getting familiar with windows is helpful, doors are arguably more important for many homeowners, and something any weekend warrior can handle replacing. That means knowing some basic door styles can only help you as an agent. Here are the most common exterior and interior door styles in America.

French Doors

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsFrench doors, sometimes referred to as dual doors, are sets of two doors that are hinged from the right and left to open in the middle. French doors usually feature paned glass, and were traditionally used indoors to separate common rooms without sacrificing light. Sometimes, French doors are used to open onto a deck, patio, or back garden, but are rarely used as entry doors.

Pocket Doors

A common feature in turn of the century brownstones and mansions, pocket doors are similar to French doors except, they slide on tracks instead of opening on hinges. Each of the two doors in a set of packet doors slides into the wall. This gives the homeowner the choice between totally closing off rooms for privacy, or keeping them totally open without any visible doors at all.

Barn Doors

Popularized on Pinterest and many home renovation shows, barn doors are generally repurposed sliding front doors from barns. While some barn doors have windows, many do not and only feature minimal panels, or even just planks. They are almost always made out of repurposed vintage barn wood, or new wood that has been weathered to look like vintage barn wood. Like pocket doors, barn doors allow homeowners to put furniture very close to them without worrying about the space required to open the door.

Panel Doors

Very common for interior and exterior doors, panel doors are doors with either decorative or structural panels on both sides of the door. While there are many different patterns and sizes of panels for panel doors, most interior doors have only two or three panels. Panel doors are very common in any pre 1950s house style.

Flush Doors

Flush doors on the other hand are most often found in midcentury or contemporary homes. Unlike panel doors, they have one solid plane of wood on either side of the door. They can either be one solid piece of wood, or made with wood veneers on either side of hollow constructed frame.

Dutch Doors

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsDutch doors are almost always found in vintage homes and rarely found in homes built after the 1960s. They have one unique feature that sets them apart from other entry doors. There are two hinged sections of the door rather than just one and each section can be opened or locked independently. Dutch doors are great for pet owners who want a breeze but don’t want their pets to escape.

Interior Design Elements of American Homes

Now that you’ve talked your way inside, it’s time to learn about some of the trickier interior design elements that are common in American homes. While most of these elements will be found in historic homes, you will find them in newer homes as well.

Crown Molding

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsCrown molding is the decorative trim at the corner where the top of the wall meets the ceiling. Found in many historic homes, crown molding was originally made from plaster with molds and returned to the wall. Today, crown molding and other decorative elements traditionally made from plaster are made from wood, MDF (Medium-density fiberboard), or PVC (polyvinyl chloride). The benefits of using wood or synthetic materials is that they are much easier to work with and require fewer skills to install.

Chair Rails

Chair rails are a type of molding that is attached to the wall at chair height in dining rooms or eat in kitchens. The idea was to protect delicate plaster from being constantly bumped into by people pulling out chairs and hitting the wall. Chair rails are frequently installed along with wainscoting, decorative panels installed below the chair rails in order to protect the plaster wall.


An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsFormerly used as a type of exterior siding in cold climates, shiplap is now a trendy feature for country chic homes. What makes shiplap unique from ordinary boards nailed to the wall is that shiplap boards interlock together creating a tight and weatherproof seal that made shiplap ideal for colder climates before the advent of modern weatherproof siding.

Picture Frame Molding

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsAnother decorative wall element common in turn of the century homes, picture frame molding is any molding used to create rectangular shapes that are reminiscent of picture frames on walls that already have crown and baseboard molding.

Baseboard Molding

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsBaseboard molding is molding that is installed on the bottom of the wall where it meets the floor. Baseboard molding can be decorative, or serve to protect delicate plaster from kicks, moving furniture, or anything else that might hit the lower part of the wall.


An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsWainscoting is a decorative element often installed below chair rails that features large, rectangular panels made out of painted wood or plaster.

Ceiling Medallion

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsOften used to accent a chandelier or lighting fixture, ceiling medallions are either painted wood, MDF, PVC, or plaster decorative elements that are installed on the ceiling. They can be purely decorative or used to hide wiring or support systems for chandeliers.

Types of Wood Flooring Common in American Homes

What’s beneath your client’s feet is also a very important interior design element to know about. After all, replacing doors is easy, windows more challenging, but replacing floors can be extremely expensive and will change the look of any home since flooring is usually at least one quarter of the visible space in any home. Here are a few common styles of wood and tile floors.


An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsParquet, French for “a small compartment,” is a style of wood floor that uses small pieces of wood cut into shapes that fit together to make larger patterns. The classic parquet is the interlocking squares version seen above. Herringbone and chevron are also common patterns used in parquet flooring.


An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate Agents

Without a doubt one of the most eye catching wood floor styles you’ll see as an agent, herringbone floors are made with small strips of wood installed in an interlocking “V” pattern on the floor. Herringbone floors have been used as a decorative element in homes since the 1500s, and continue to be a popular, if expensive, option for wood flooring today.


An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsChevron floors are a variation on herringbone parquet floors with a simpler, easier to install pattern that does not interlock. Instead, small strips of flooring are simply cut at matching angles and installed on the floor.


An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsInlays are purely decorative parquets that are often used to make border decorations or central medallions on high end wood floors. Due to the cost and expertise involved in installation, inlays are very rarely used today except in very high end homes. They are however somewhat common in turn of the century homes.


An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsLaminate flooring, also known by the earlier trademark “Pergo,” is a modern flooring product that uses layers of synthetic materials that have a wood grain pattern applied to them. They provide the look of hardwood floors, but for a fraction of the cost. Laminate flooring is also easier to install and maintain than hardwood flooring.


An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsHardwood flooring is made of thin or wide strips of actual hardwood like oak, walnut, hickory, maple, or cherry. These wooden strips generally also have a tongue and groove construction which allows them to be locked together for a tighter more water resistant seal. Note that the different varieties of hardwood species can be stained pretty much any color. Grain pattern is the best way to differentiate between species of wood used for flooring.


An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsCork flooring is a flooring product made from the bark of the cork oak tree. The bark is processed into sheets, and used as a flooring alternative to hardwood. Cork flooring is thought to be more environmentally friendly than hardwoods as the bark of cork trees can be harvested again and again.

Strip Flooring

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate Agents

Strip flooring is made up of thin strips of wood, generally cut from less attractive areas of the tree including limbs and the upper portion of the trunk. If used in larger pieces, imperfections such as knots would be visible making the floor less uniform. Strip flooring can be made either from solid wood, or more commonly, thin strips of hardwood glued to other cheaper species of wood to save cost.

Wide Plank Flooring

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsWide plank flooring on the other hand is flooring made up from large sections of the trunk of the tree. Imperfections such as knots are sometimes included in wide plank flooring. Since large sections of grain are visible and wide planks can only be cut from the most expensive parts of a tree, wide plank flooring is the most expensive hardwood flooring material there is. That said, wide planks are more common in 18th century homes as wood was less expensive.

Common Tile Flooring in American Homes

Natural Slate Tile

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsOne of the most attractive and surprisingly affordable types of floor tile in American homes is natural slate, which is made up of large, sometimes rough sections of slate stone. Since slate stone can have natural imperfections, it provides a warm, natural look that is difficult to duplicate with synthetic materials. Slate tile is commonly found in entryways, basements, kitchens, and living rooms.

Terracotta Tile

An Architecture Cheat Sheet for Real Estate AgentsMore common in the Southwest, terracotta tile is a ceramic tile with a warm, reddish brown color that is also commonly used for roofing on Spanish style homes. Terracotta tile is commonly found in kitchens.

Over to You

What did you think of our list of common styles of homes, windows, doors, and flooring in the United States? Anything we missed? Have something you think we need to add to the article? Let us know in the comments!

The post An Agent’s Guide to Home Styles, Architecture, and Design appeared first on The Close.

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129 Union Street, Uniontown, PA 15401 | Uniontown Real Estate

Hardwood Flooring

Property Description

You’ll love to sit out front or in back of this big beauty in Uniontown! Covered front and back porches, fenced backyard, garage and pool are just a few features of this family and pet friendly home! Three bedrooms and the large 3rd floor is finished to turn into your 4th bedroom or as this family did, a game room! Hardwood flooring throughout, Gas Fireplace in the living room, New roof in 2017, new furnace and AC 2016, New electrical box 2015! There is a nice butlers pantry off the kitchen, which comes with full kitchen appliance package including a double convection oven, dishwasher and refrigerator. Downstairs is a nice drylocked basement with half bath, doors walk up to the back yard, this is a great set up for the pool with the half bath so close! Nice level easy care backyard which is fenced, an older garage is 2-car, has electric. Home Warranty Available, this one is not to be missed!

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Boho and Minimalism Top Our List of 2019 Outdoor Living Trends

outdoor living

It’s easier than ever to create an outdoor oasis that’s an extension of your home, and this summer’s biggest trend is creating a backyard space that is as comfortable as your indoor one. Design styles like bright and bold boho and Scandinavian minimalism are heading outside, according to our 2019 Outdoor Living Trends Report.

“The lines have been blurred between what’s indoor-only and what you can use outside, which means it’s never been easier to create an outdoor space that’s cohesive with your indoor design,” says Kerrie Kelly, design expert and founder of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab.

Here’s her rundown of this year’s five hottest outdoor trends:

1. Mixed materials

This summer, design elements that were once considered indoor use only – brass, rope, textured upholstery and webbing – are combining in new, unexpected ways for outdoor spaces. Chandeliers, soft rugs and cozy floor cushions are now popular for outside, and new fabric options now include outdoor-safe velvets, leathers and nubby chenilles.

2. Minimalism to the max

Scandinavian minimalist design is now showing up in outdoor furnishings. Lounge chairs, love seats and bistro tables are trending this summer in lightweight, powder-coated aluminum. Finish the look with neutrals like black, white and gray, or mix-and-match with a natural material like teak.

3. Some like it hot

This summer it’s all about elevated outdoor spaces that feel as stylish, comfortable and functional as interiors – with all the amenities. Fire features and outdoor kitchens continue to be extremely popular, providing a sense of “indoor cozy.” Beyond adding ambiance, Zillow research found home listings mentioning outdoor kitchens and outdoor fireplaces sold for significantly more than expected.

4. Pops of color

Splashes of bold color are brightening up neutral upholstered furnishings. This summer’s top color trend of citrus-bright oranges, reds, yellows and pinks are lively and vibrant outside. Think about adding a touch of Living Coral, Pantone’s Color of the Year, or play with newly trending emerald green in your accessories.

5. Go green outside

Eco-conscious landscaping, outdoor furnishings and fixtures have gained traction this year. Living walls make a design statement and reduce your carbon footprint, and solar-powered LED accent lights provide upgraded illumination without complex wiring or tricky installation. When it comes time to sell, listings mentioning outdoor lighting were associated with homes selling for 19% more than expected.

Outdoor trends to leave behind in 2019

Matching patio sets

With more options than ever, there’s no need to rely on matching patio sets for a pulled-together look. Instead, curated, eclectic outdoor spaces continue to rise in popularity. Own a patio set? Add mix-and-match, multi-patterned outdoor pillows, a textured ottoman and a vintage rattan side table for a unique look.

Rustic farmhouse

Weathered barnwood dining tables and industrial metal chairs are getting a 2019 makeover with a sleeker combination of teak and aluminum. Take your existing farm table and give it an upgrade with a set of bright, cheery mesh aluminum dining chairs.

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This Glass Room With a View Is the Star of a New Film | Good Sh*t | OZY

Glass Rooms

It’s the moment we had all been waiting for. Descending the curved, marble staircase to the main floor below and into the light-filled space, the group collectively lets out a breath no one realized we were holding. Almost a century after its conception, the so-called “glass room” — nicknamed for its massive floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the vast grounds and the skyline of the Brno, the Czech Republic’s second city — is just as mesmerizing on this tour as it must have been in its heyday in the 1930s.

Seeing inside the UNESCO-listed Villa Tugendhat, a stunning chrome-and-concrete modernist masterpiece, it’s no wonder that it inspired British author Simon Mawer’s 2009 novel The Glass Room (shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize) with its illuminated, sensual interior and dark, harrowing past. And now the 1930s villa, which has managed to survive some of the worst of the 20th century, is “starring” in a film adaptation of the book.

The main living area showcases floor-to-ceiling windows.

But whether you visit the Villa Tugendhat because of the upcoming film by award-winning Czech director Julius Sevcik, or you’re a fan of functionalist architecture or modern history, you’ll be rewarded with a glimpse into a beautiful building resurrected.

The restored main living area in the Villa Tugendhat is encased in light and greenery.

The Villa Tugendhat — commissioned with a limitless budget for German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to play with, and built between 1928-1930 — reflects the tumultuous waves of history that washed over the Czech lands in the past century. The Glass Room offers a fictionalized retelling of its story, following the lives of the Landauer family (stand-ins for the original owners Fritz and Grete Tugendhat) as they build their dream home and hold illustrious parties, only to face the impending nightmare of World War II. But the villa is more than just a backdrop — even after the family flees Czechoslovakia, the tale follows its takeover first by the Nazis, and then by the Communists.

Source Copyright David Zidlicky

Talking about the role the villa plays in the story of The Glass Room, Sevcik says he thought a lot about the influence buildings have over the lives and relationships within them. Nazi architecture, he says, emanates megalomania and oppression, but “when you enter a modernist villa you get the sense you are part of nature, a feeling of intimacy, light and freedom.”

Dutch actor Carice van Houten (Melisandre in Game of Thrones), who plays Hana in The Glass Room, was immediately drawn to the film because the house has such a central role. “Its glass room [is] a metaphor for transparency, both in history as in emotion,” she says. “In the villa, there is nowhere to hide.” The film, which also stars Swedish actor Hanna Alstrom, Danish actor Claes Bang and Czech actor Karel Roden, opens this month.

The interiors were ransacked by the Nazis, who built a bonfire of the bookshelves and ripped out the Makassar ebony wall from the dining area. (It has since been replaced.)

Reopened in 2012 after an extensive and sensitive renovation, the Villa Tugendhat offers guided walkthrough tours. Stepping inside what was groundbreaking functionalism design at the time, all eyes are immediately drawn to the sweeping views over the grounds. The windows let the changing seasons set the mood of the room, which has movable partitions to allow for various configurations — from an intimate soiree to concert hall (the acoustics are amazing). Décor is minimal: This was Mies’s credo as he believed the “noble” materials should speak for themselves.

A still from the movie The Glass Room, as the family plays in the garden.

Nearly everything in the villa today is a replica — the interiors were ransacked by the Nazis, who built a bonfire of the bookshelves and ripped out the Makassar ebony wall from the dining area. (The original made it back to the villa in the 1980s.) Each room features black-and-white photographs of what the villa originally looked like as a family home; these were used for painstaking reference during the renovation. One stunning feature that survived: the amber-colored onyx wall, made from a single Moroccan slab, which remained hidden behind a false wall until the 1970s. Exposed in all its glory now, a sunny day can send whorls of rose-tinted light through the stone.

It’s details such as this that give touring the Villa Tugendhat an almost cinematic feel and make the 90 minutes practically fly by. And the tours are popular, often selling out months in advance. In the introduction to The Glass Room, Mawer recounts being turned away himself in the 1990s for showing up without a ticket. Nowadays, though, they can be easily booked online or at the information desk next door to the villa.

The Glass Room opens in theaters on March 14.

Go There: Villa Tugendhat

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1206 Sewickley Heights Dr, Aleppo, PA 15143 | Aleppo Real Estate

Hardwood Flooring

Property Description

Amazing townhouse with 2 master suites, 1 being on the main floor. All 3 bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms and large closets. This home is move in ready, updated and in excellent condition. Hardwood flooring throughout. Large entryway, living room with custom shutters and built-ins, large eat-in kitchen with a desk/work station, kitchen opens into large vaulted family room with a wood burning fireplace. Family room has custom built-ins and access to the deck with an automatic awning. The 1st floor master has access to the deck. Another master bedroom is on the second floor and has a large closet. The 3rd bedroom has a bathroom and large closet. There is a bonus space upstairs as well with built-in storage. This unit is a must see! Use of pool and tennis courts.

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Red Wing historic private homes offer rare inside looks | RiverTowns

Hardwood Flooring

The tour, which runs 1-4 p.m., is part of the Goodhue County Historical Society’s 150th anniversary celebration. Chairing the event is Lois Wipperling.

The sites, which can be visited in any order, are:

1121 East Ave., home of Charles and Lisbeth Butler;

818 W. Third St., the Candlelight Inn Victorian Bed & Breakfast, operated by David and Eve Baer;

1105 W. Fourth St., the Moondance Inn B&B, operated by Mike Waulk and Chris Brown Mahoney;

1166 Oak St., the Goodhue County History Center, formerly part of Red Wing’s early medical campus.

The houses all represent people who were instrumental in Red Wing’s early years and development, according to the historical society’s executive director, Robin Wipperling.

Tudor Revival

The Butler home is a Tudor Revival house built in 1938 by and for Dr. Brusegard. The Butlers purchased it from the Brusegard family in 1991 and bought additional land from a neighbor to expand the backyard.

Elements of the Tudor Revival style include graceful arches at the front entrance and some interior spaces along with a street-facing brick fireplace. Hardwood flooring is featured throughout the house.

Some interior remodeling has been done over the years, according to the Butlers. One of the downstairs bedrooms – there were four bedrooms originally – was eliminated to expand the living room. It appears that the house has been extended in both the back to enlarge the kitchen and in the front to create a room.

A highlight of the Butler home tour will be a visit to the large back yard, which Lisbeth Butler, an avid gardener, has filled with flowers and foliage. In the lower level visitors will get a look at interesting items the couple has collected while traveling.

She will be on hand during the tour to talk about the house and gardens.

Classical Revival

The Candlelight Inn dates to 1877, when it was built for Horace S. Rich, who was instrumental in establishing the clay industry in Red Wing. “Like a fine piece of pottery,” the Baers wrote in their blog, “the Candlelight was artfully crafted with supreme attention to detail.”

According to records for the West Residential Historic District, the three-story house is Italianate with a Classical Revival style porch added in the early 1900s. Original features include stained-glass windows, intricate butternut woodwork, and Quezal light fixtures.

The Baers moved to Red Wing in July 2018 and purchased the house, fulfilling a longtime dream. The elegant home, which had become a bed and breakfast inn in 1989, is filled with period antiques and modern amenities.

Tiffany and Steuben

The Moondance Inn, which has been operated by Waulk and Mahoney since 1999, was built in 1874 by Dr. A.B. Hawley. It has some 6,000 square feet of space on three floors plus a finished basement, plus a 1,200-square-foot carriage house that includes an owners’ apartment and a garage.

Spacious, with high ceilings and a sweeping walnut staircase, the house has exceptional woodwork, hardwood floors, the original gilded, stenciled ceiling and chandeliers with Tiffany and Steuben signed globes.

There are five bedrooms, a lobby with fireplace, an elevator, a third-floor space for retreats and meetings, an enormous pillared porch, and seasonal gardens that enable the Moondance to host both indoor and outdoor weddings.

The fourth site on the tour is the Goodhue County History Center, where special activities are planned for the afternoon. Staff will take people who have home tour tickets on behind-scenes tours of areas of the museum that are not open to the public.

Visitors also will have an opportunity to view “Celebrating the Society: 150 Years at GCHS.” The sesquicentennial exhibit spotlights 150 artifacts and images from the society’s collection that explore the stories of some of the county’s most interesting people, places and events.

Cookies and punch will be served at the museum. Anyone interested in opening their home for next year’s tour should leave contact information with staff.

Tickets to the home tour are $15. They can be purchased at the history center, online at, or by calling 651-388-6024. Tickets also will be available at the homes on the day of the tour only. Officials noted that the home tours are not designed to accommodate small children.

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Top 2019 Outdoor Living Trends | Trex

outdoor living

The heart of the home is shifting outside where the hottest trends and newest products do not simply feature the look of the indoors – but the functionality as well. Advances in all-weather materials and furnishings have made it possible for the outdoors to act as a seamless extension of the home. As these comforts have become the norm, homeowners are seeking other ways to extend their time outdoors and the usefulness of their exterior spaces. Here are the products and trends that will be influencing the look, feel and function of outdoor living spaces this year.

Sustainable Solutions

There is growing interest in eco-friendly alternatives to wood products, which contribute to deforestation and leave a heavy carbon footprint. Composite decking, such as Trex, is made from recycled materials, outperforms wood and has fewer harmful environmental impacts.

Comfy Cozy

Among the hottest design influences is “hygge” (pronounced hoo-gah) – the Scandinavian term for a feeling of coziness. This year, outdoor spaces will beckon homeowners to relax with hygge-inspired accents, from plush cushions and throws to warming features.

Minimal Maintenance

No one wants hours of annual deck upkeep! Unlike wood, composites resist fading, staining, scratching and mold – and won’t rot, warp or splinter. No sanding, staining or painting is required. Plus, care and cleaning is simple – spills wash off with soap and water.

Railing Redefined

While railing matched to the decking remains popular, more homeowners are installing complementary designs afforded by new railing materials in modern, metal finishes, as well as sleek, minimalist designs inspired by commercial architecture, such as Trex Signature® Railing.

Cooking with Class

Outdoor kitchens are finally living up to their name with well-appointed and fully-integrated cooking stations. Expect this trend to result in increasingly functional outdoor kitchens complete with cooking islands, smokers, pizza ovens and refrigerators.

Integrated Storage

Another must-have is outdoor cabinetry that blends interior style with durability to withstand the elements, similar to the Trex® Outdoor Kitchens™ collection. Expect to see more color-coordinated drawers and pull-out trash bins for a completely finished look.

Year-round Enjoyment

 Thanks to innovative products and design approaches, homeowners everywhere are transforming their outdoor spaces into multi-seasonal extensions of their homes. For example, deck drainage systems like Trex® RainEscape® create usable space underneath an elevated deck.

Illuminated Spaces

Outdoor lighting is another “bright” idea in high demand. Look for increased use of LED lights integrated into decks and railings to enhance the ambiance and safety of an outdoor space, and extend the time spent enjoying it.

Decidedly DIY

More homeowners are feeling confident about building their own outdoor living spaces. Lighter weight deck boards, such as Trex Enhance®, as well as innovative, easy-to-install railing panels, have made DIYing a dream deck easier than ever.

High-tech Decks

Home automation is huge, so it’s only natural that the tech trend should migrate outdoors. From controlled lighting and weatherproof speakers to outdoor LED televisions, homeowners are now able to bring entire entertainment systems outdoors.

This content was originally published here.

Using Windows and Doors to Blend Indoor and Outdoor Living Spaces

outdoor living

I’m an outdoorsy guy. I always have been and always will be. So when I was designing my house it was really important for me to create a strong indoor/outdoor connection.  I knew from the beginning that a lot of large windows would be a key factor in the design.

Throughout the house we made sure to include large windows everywhere we could. The bedrooms all have multiple windows, and in most cases, they’re floor-to-ceiling. In the great room, which is two stories high, we were able to accommodate three sets of French doors, plus large windows above each in order to get the maximum amount of natural light possible. Those were easy decisions.

But the pool area was a bit different. Living in Canada means that outdoor pools are only good for a few months of the year, so when designing my new home I decided to include an indoor pool. We had some space available at the back of the house, and given how much we love to swim together as a family, it was an easy decision. But it always feels like there’s something a little unnatural about swimming indoors, and I decided that if I was going to have an indoor pool, it needed to feel like an outdoor pool as much as possible.

I thought about mimicking the French doors in the great room, and I considered sliding glass doors, but somehow neither one felt quite right in the space.

We had already used Pollard windows throughout the rest of
the house, and they had given us some great advice, so we went to them and
asked what they recommended.

Their recommendation, and what we ultimately went with, was a multi-panel, folding door system. When closed they look like floor-to-ceiling windows, but when open, they completely retract, leaving a wide, open space. In the summer we can open them up and basically be outside, while in the winter we can keep them closed but still enjoy all the natural light.

What do you think – did we make the right decision? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

The post Using Windows and Doors to Blend Indoor and Outdoor Living Spaces appeared first on Scott McGillivray.

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Take Your Outdoor Living to the Next Level with Outdoor Kitchens by the Pool in Ottawa

outdoor living

  Add an outdoor kitchen to your pool patio and create a functional, dreamy area that will take your summer outdoor gatherings to the next level. A skilled Unilock Authorized Contractor( using Unilock pavers and wall units will be able to turn your Ottawa, Ontario backyard into a vibrant oasis. From fun and functional outdoor …

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4775 Robert Dr, Bethel Park, PA 15102 | Bethel Park Real Estate

Hardwood Flooring

Property Description

YOU WILL LOVE THIS MOVE IN READY RANCH HOME. Large living room with wall to wall carpeting and window treatments. Eat in Kitchen leads out onto a new rear deck. Exposed Hardwood flooring in two of the bedrooms. The insulated vinyl windows are newer with crosshatch muntins in some rooms. Trane furnace and A/C installed in 2009 still under parts warranty. New Roof in 2012 with shingle warranty. Newer hot water heater. New garage door and quiet opener. Updated bath in 2010 with walk in shower. This home is very clean throughout. The basement is spacious and features a shower and hookups for laundry with potential for an additional bath. Situated on a street with minimal traffic. Surrounding lawn comprises .43 acres.

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8420 David Drive, South Fayette, PA 15017 | South Fayette Real Estate

Hardwood Flooring

Property Description

MOVE RIGHT IN!!! CUL-DE-SAC street!! Spacious home with a great open floor plan!!! Two-story entry* Hardwood flooring* Deep crown molding* Dining room with tray ceiling* Cook’s CENTER ISLAND kitchen with CHERRY cabinetry, GRANITE counter tops, STAINLESS appliances, MORNING ROOM* Generous family room with STONE FIREPLACE* LUXURY owner’s suite offers TWO large walk-in closets, sitting room and private bath with his/her sinks, tile shower, tub* The ULTIMATE GAMEROOM features a stone WET BAR, BILLAIRD area, THEATER area, FITNESS area and FULL BATH* Rear yard PRIVACY with plenty of yard for pets and play* FIRST FLR LAUNDRY* Dual zone HVAC* Wtr Htr ’15* Walk-in attic access* Super-convenient location, minutes to I79, quick trip to Southpointe and downtown!

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Outdoor Living for Millennials – MicroD | Online Solutions for the Home Furnishings Industry

outdoor living

Outdoor Living for Millennials

With millennials making up the most of the country’s purchasing power, it should be no surprise that they’re taking over our backyards too. Millennials love to be outdoors. Whether it’s a  hangout site, hiking spot, or beach trip. But outdoors doesn’t always mean outside of your home. With outdoor and patio furniture becoming the hottest buys this summer, millennials could probably teach us a thing or two about outdoor living.

Most millennials aren’t looking to buy and own homes. They prefer to live in small comfortable apartments or townhouses. But with little space, comes big imagination. And a big imagination goes a long way in the home furnishings industry.

Because millennials are an eco-conscious bunch, they’re looking to see what they can do to be environmentally responsible. You can recall things like indoor plants or solar lights. Millennials long to live in homes that are flexible, personalized, with open floor plans and outdoor living spaces. In fact, 59% of millennial home buyers say the outdoor living space is the number one must-have.

Which finally brings us to their style and approach when it comes to outdoor living for millennials. In fact, outdoor living MicroD is going to take you through some fun facts about the different types of outdoor styles millennials just can’t seem to ignore.

Fire Pit Central

First up, fire pits. Furniture Today lets us know that millennials want to buy fire pits more than any other outdoor furniture. A good 26% are interested in upgrading their outdoor living space with a fire pit. The outdoor fire pit caters to the socially active lifestyle millennials favor. Can’t have a cool summer night out by the fire without any fire! Not to mention you can use all year-round. It’s the fun of being outdoors, but still be at home.

Everyday Modern

Six out of ten millennials prefer modern styles. And more than half have to touch, sit on, and “test out” outdoor furniture before making a purchase. This is mainly because durability and product quality are the two main factors millennials look for when buying outdoor furniture. Millennials plan to keep their outdoor furniture in good condition between two to four years. Thus, the quality is a major factor for them. Just make sure you don’t flash any brightly-colored outdoor sectionals. Muted colors are preferred over bright ones according to 57% of millennials.

Glamorous Camping

Camping isn’t what it used to be now that millennials have put a twist on it. Their obsession and love for the outdoors seem to have a limit. But leave it to millennials to do it in style. They’re not going to let a little harsh weather ruin their glamorous ways. They prefer a finer surrounding. Things like sitting in camp chairs with drink holders, and sleeping in tents with LED lighting.

Open Space Fever

Remember when we mentioned open floor plans? Well, according to Hearth and Home, 85% of millennials believe outdoor rooms, with areas for both cooking and relaxing, are “very important”. Over half plan to decorate their outdoor living space as they would an indoor dining or living room. And 77% want to make their outdoor areas feel like an indoor room. This explains the constant craze over lofts and studio apartments!

Providing millennials with furniture for the outdoors shouldn’t be a challenge at all. Especially if they want to make their patio a living area and their living area more outdoorsy. If it was possible to live outdoors permanently, they probably would (given a few adjustments)!

This content was originally published here.