Update: Hard at Work at Callow Avenue in Baltimore

20151008_111727_resized

20151008_112248_resized

UrbanBuilt’s largest residential contracting project to date at Callow Avenue in Baltimore, MD is coming along nicely! This project is an 8-home full-gut renovation in the heart of Baltimore that we have been working on since late spring of 2015. We recently completed a lot of the framing and insulation at these 8 homes but there is still some construction work to be done before they are complete and ready to be moved into. Here are some of the previous updates that we’ve done on Callow Avenue:

Construction Begins at Callow

Huge Progress Made at Callow

Callow Starting to Come Together

Dedication Ceremony! 

Tuesday’s Tool Box Tips – Ways to make any room appear bigger

spacious-living-room-and-dining-area

Having large rooms in a house isn’t always an option, but there are ways that you can make any room look bigger than it actually is. Here are a few tips to make any area in the home appear roomy and optimize the space available.

  • Let in natural light when possible. This allows for the room to connect with the outside world and gives the room a much more spacious feel. Large windows can make a room look more open and give it an almost limitless like feel.
  • Use mirrors in strategic ways to add depth to a room. Mirrors not only reflect light, which adds onto the previous point, but they also add a ton of depth to a room. Adding mirrors into a room tricks the eye into thinking that there is more space available while also making it look less cluttered.
  • Bright/light paint colors can make a world of difference. Small rooms can be completely transformed by changing the paint into a lighter or brighter color. Lighter colors reflect light better and really optimize the look of a room.
  • Maximize your space by getting rid of unnecessary clutter. The more organized a room is, the more space available for furniture or activities. Using creative storage options can help eliminate the amount of things laying around while also giving the area more open space.
  • Wall-mounted TV’s save space for other furniture. Mounting a TV onto the wall is a smart option that removes the need for a piece of furniture for the TV to sit on. This can allows for more room to have other furniture, or just create more open space for activities.

With these tips, some planning and some reorganizing you can help make a 1,000 square foot apartment look almost double the size without much effort! To see all of UrbanBuilt’s updates make sure to follow us on Facebook and feel free to give us any suggestions of home improvement tips that you want to hear.

UrbanBuilt’s Tool Box Tips – Wooden Deck Maintenance

Wooddeck

Having a deck is like having an outdoor escape where you can free your mind, relax, and enjoy the weather. Even though most decks are built to hold up against heavy loads and bad weather, after a while a wooden deck’s look will start to diminish. Here are a few tips that we have come up with to help your wooden deck stay in the best shape possible.

  • Keep your deck clean! There are multiple ways clean a wooden deck, but the main two are:
    • Power washing – This is a quick and efficient way to clean your deck and get out those tough stains, but if not done properly it could potentially lead to damage of the wood.
    • Wood/Deck cleaner – There are numerous companies that make special cleaning chemicals that are perfect for wooden decks, but this process usually requires a lot more time and effort.
  • Look out for any loose nails. Loose nails can be a danger to those who walk on the deck, but can also greatly damage the deck if not treated. If there are loose nails, remove them and replace them with a longer screw if possible.
  • Stain your deck when it lightens up. This is a great way to improve the look of your wooden deck if the wood is fading from weathering or UV rays. Stain or wood preservatives can be applied with a brush or a roller and require at least 2 days to dry. Make sure that your deck is as clean as possible before staining or painting the wood. It might be a good idea to double coat your deck if the results don’t meet your liking.
  • Use a sealant as protection for the wood: Sealing your deck is like adding a shield to your deck that helps protect it from harmful UV rays and weathering. Some wood stains also act as a sealant for your deck, but a clear sealer should be added to your deck annually if possible to increase the potential life of the wood.

In addition to these tips, make sure that you always look out for any cracked wooden boards, signs of rotting, or any substantial damage to your deck to prevent unnecessary danger. With these tips we hope that you decide to make time to care for your deck so that it can be enjoyed for a lifetime.

Dedication Ceremony with the Mayor of Baltimore at our Callow Avenue project!

CallowCeremony2

 

CallowCeremony

An exciting day for UrbanBuilt and the Reservoir Hill community. A public ceremony was held today to celebrate the Callow Avenue Re-development project in the City of Baltimore. Representatives from the Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, Healthy Neighborhoods, UrbanBuilt, Department of HUD, State department of Housing, local residents from the neighborhood and even Madam Mayor of Baltimore – Stephanie Rawlings Blake – were all present today to express their eagerness for the renovation of the row homes on Callow Avenue. Speakers discussed the project and expressed that this is only the start of the rehabilitation process in this vulnerable neighborhood.  The event was helped bring a feeling of togetherness and community to this blighted neighborhood.

Update: Intricate Multi-level Deck Complete on a Federal Hill Row Home

1

2 3

After a few weeks of construction, we are proud to announce the completion of this beautiful deck for a row home in Federal Hill. This deck is complete with two separate levels, a spacious staircase, and tons of details throughout the project. With the help of the home owner, we are really proud of how the design and layout of this deck turned out. You can definitely expect to see it on our residential deck portfolio sometime in the near future!

Tuesday’s Tool Box Tips – Interior Painting Tips & Secrets

paint

Interior painting is one of the cheapest ways to completely transform the look of any room. Painting may seem very straight forward, but the littlest mistake could erupt into a more expensive and stressful project. Here are a few tips & secrets to help you out on your next interior painting project.

  • Prep the walls you are going to paint. This means that you should spackle any holes or cracks, sand down any imperfections, and wipe down & dust the surfaces before you start painting. Paint won’t cover up these flaws, so it is important to make sure the walls are perfect before you start painting.
  • Mixing cans of paint of the same color will allow for color consistency. Cans of the same color from the same store can sometimes be a shade or two off, so mixing cans of the same color into a large bucket ensures consistency throughout the room.
  • Wrap paint brushes instead of cleaning them when taking short breaks. Cleaning paint brushes that you are going to use again soon is a hassle and can be avoided by wrapping rollers/paint brushes in plastic wrap and placing them in the refrigerator. This is a little known tip that can save you valuable time, but should only be used if you plan to use the brush/roller in the next 3 days or less.
  • Invest in fabric drop cloths instead of plastic. A good cotton drop cloth will last a life time and will save you a lot of stress throughout your painting project. Not only are cotton drop cloths easier to lay down, but they aren’t as slippery and the paint doesn’t stay wet like on a plastic drop cloth.
  • Save time by using an edger instead of painter’s tape. Taking your time and using an edger instead of painter’s tape can save a lot stress and even some money. You only have to buy an edger once!

We recommend using these tips to avoid any unnecessary errors on your next interior painting plan. Be sure to follow our Facebook page to keep up with future Tuesday’s Tool Box Tips and other UrbanBuilt updates.

Tuesday’s Tool Box Tips – Ways to Increase the Value of your Home

mansion

Making home improvements is one of the only controllable ways to increase the selling value of your home. Even minor adjustments can add value to your home and make it more appealing to potential buyers. Here is a list of some home improvements that you can make that can instantly add value to your home.

  • Repaint: This is a simple way to add value and make any room look brand new. Make sure to stick with neutral colors to appeal to most buyers.
  • Bathroom updates: The bathroom creates a lot of value in a home, so making sure that the bathrooms are clean and updated is important. Something as simple as changing the wallpaper or putting in new grout can change the whole look of the bathroom.
  • Clean or replace flooring: Clean floors make a huge impression and may affect the spaciousness of the room. Be sure to deep clean any spots on the carpet or replace flooring when necessary.
  • Kitchen Updates: The kitchen is the biggest value adder but it is also one of the most expensive. Installing new appliances, storage, or materials to a kitchen can influence a buyer into making an immediate decision on a home.
  • Exterior/ Yard work: The outside of the home is the first thing a potential buyer sees. Making sure that the yard is organized is important, but don’t forget to make sure the roof is in good shape and the exterior paint isn’t faded.

Make sure that before you start on any improvements to your home that you plan the expense and potential value for each improvement. It is always wise to talk to a professional before starting on any serious home improvement project. If you have any questions or need some assistance with your home feel free to contact JD Smith, our general manager of home improvements, at JdSmith@urbanbuiltllc.com.

Tuesday’s Tool Box Tips – Power Tool Safety Tips

power-tools

Power tools are a convenient and quick way to fix or finish a home improvement issue around the house, but without the right knowledge they can cause some serious harm. We want to ensure that everyone is safe when working with power tools, so here are a few tips to keep in mind from the experts here at UrbanBuilt:

  • Always unplug your corded power tools when they’re not in use!
  • Wear appropriate clothing – Avoid wearing loose clothing that could get caught in the tools. Clothing that covers as much of your body as possible is also a good idea to add a line of protection.
  • Wear the right gear – Make sure to always wear eye & ear protection when available.
  • Keep a clean work area – This helps avoid any tangling of wires or lose items that could be tossed around.
  • Keep your finger away from triggers or switches when you don’t plan to immediately use the power tool.
  • Store your tools in safe areas away from children
  • Don’t use power tools in the rain or in wet areas – Electrocution is a dangerous possibility if power tools are around water.
  • Inspect your tools often to avoid any unnecessary risk.

We definitely recommend following these tips to ensure that all of your home improvement projects are safe and successful. Make sure to follow us on Facebook and leave a comment on one of our posts with suggestions for future Tool Box Tips!