Upgrading and Updating Your Home 12

Connell Lloyd with Wood Windows

Wood Windows is a 37-year old Boise-owned and -operated company with a focus on high quality and service. Connell Lloyd bought the company five years ago and understands the importance of keeping contractors who know their products in and out on the payroll. Name-brand windows, such as Andersen Windows, are what adds value to the home because people associate name brands with high quality. Vinyl windows are now a dated technology, and many people are choosing a premium product such as metal-clad wood products for both the look and durability. Windows are not something homeowners want to replace frequently, so Lloyd suggests maintaining them by using an ammonia-free cleaner and washing during the cooler part of the day, either early morning or evening. He also advises always hand-washing windows rather than using a hose.

Seneca Hull with Franz Witte Landscaping

Seneca Hull is the president of Franz Witte Landscaping and the daughter of Franz Witte who began the company 46 years ago. She helped to establish the nursery side of the business, which is now an expansive 20 acres of all things green and blooming. Landscaping is key to improving the curb appeal of your home, and sometimes it may be as simple as adding some colorful pottery with small plants on either side of the doorstep to give it an inviting feel. Hull suggests planting things that bloom early, such as forsythia, or well into fall, such as rose of Sharon. These help keep the colors bright and fresh in your yard. Outdoor kitchens, fire pits or raised vegetable garden beds have become very popular as homeowners extend their living space outdoors and seek to enjoy Boise’s cool summer nights.

Suzie Hall with Cornerstone Design

Suzie Hall has 25 years of experience in the home design field and is an expert at Cornerstone Design. She thinks about home design like making a cake—you have to think about the details while being able to envision the big picture. Cornerstone Design helps clients to dream, and they can assist in anything from space planning all the way to furnishings, window treatments or color palettes. For homeowners embarking on the initial stage of design, it is important to decide if the purpose of the design is for resale. If preparing a house for resale, stick to universally appealing styles of countertops, tile and cabinetry, but feel free to go bold with elements that are easy to change, like paint color. To keep up with the trends, cool tones paired with brushed brass and gold hardware are in, as well as all different types of home automation systems that help keep a home running efficiently, even from a cell phone.

Woody Elliott with 208 Real Estate

Woody Elliot works with the Silvercreek Realty 208 Houses Team and is a first-time homebuyer and military residential specialist. He knows firsthand Boise and Meridian are especially hot markets right now, and with so few homes available, it is a seller’s market. Buyers are entering from California and Washington, so as housing becomes a premium, prices will go up too. Now is the time to buy, and Elliot suggests sitting down with a lender even if you don’t think you are ready to buy. A lender can offer loan options or suggest how to get on track to buy that dream home in the future. For those selling their homes, take care of the simple things that buyers might notice when walking through, like fixing holes in the walls, cleaning the carpets or applying a fresh coat of paint.

Casey Dillabaugh with Dillabaugh’s Flooring

Casey Dillabaugh’s father started Dillabaugh’s Flooring in 1982, and they now have four locations offering a variety of services around the Treasure Valley. They offer just about everything from carpet to tile to hardwood and work with new construction, commercial buildings and home floor replacement. Dillabaugh thinks about flooring in two ways: one is floor covering and one is actual flooring. Vinyl and low-cost carpeting are floor coverings. These may be temporary fixes, and something a homeowner might use if not concerned with the lifespan of the product. For longer-term use, products like tile and hardwood add value to the home and are more of a permanent solution. Though many homeowners are seeking hardwood floors, the new technologies such as COREtec products offer a high-quality look and feel but provide easier maintenance for today’s busy families.

Michael Snow with Strite design + remodel

Michael Snow is a designer with an architecture background and helps clients to envision possibilities while adhering to their needs. Strite design + remodel has been in business for 42 years and understands the functionality and design of a home must keep up with our ever-changing lifestyles. The kitchen is now a more social place, opening up to the living room or family room and more homeowners are seeking to connect their kitchen to the backyard seamlessly, whether for summer barbecues or just to keep an eye on the kids. A modern kitchen may include deeper countertops to provide more prep space while still having room for all those gadgets, as well as more drawers in the base cabinets. Snow suggests including natural light as much as possible. Having a wall of windows may be tricky when cabinet space is already slim, but consider installing a skylight to take advantage of light throughout the day.

Joe Levitch Levco with Levco Builders

Joe Levitch is the president and remodeling contractor for Levco, where he takes the time to meet with each client and evaluate every project. They specialize in older homes, especially in the North End, and are experts in working with complicated remodel projects. Many of these homes were built before building codes, so often getting the home up to code is a tough job. Reconfiguring homes to fit today’s lifestyle may mean moving walls, taking them down, shifting a bathroom into a bedroom or adding a master suite. It is important to consider what it is that is frustrating about your home, then letting the professionals come up with solutions. Making a home fit for the modern family may include adding an island in the kitchen where everyone can gather, switching out big soaker tubs for a large walk-in shower or just updating paint colors to a more contemporary color palette.

Danny Johnson with Ogata Construction

Danny Johnson is proud to say Ogata Construction is still primarily a family run company. Started by his father-in-law in 1981, they stay busy doing a bit of everything from custom homes to kitchens and baths to large-scale home remodels. When buying a home, the first things you notice are the bathrooms and the kitchen. These are the big ticket items when remodeling a home, and buyers may be leery of a purchase when they can’t see past a dated or dysfunctional kitchen. Johnson notes the majority of families are looking for those open floor plan kitchens. Twenty years ago, the kitchen wasn’t the hub of activity as it is today. Now, the kitchen is where your party guests congregate, where the kids choose to do their homework and where the flurry of mornings occur.