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Archives for May 7, 2014

Hosner Carpet offers advice on investing tax refunds in home improvements

Millions of North American’s receiving a tax refund this year will be faced with the question “How should I spend the money?”

While some may choose to splurge on a vacation or a fun purchase, a smart option for the extra money is to invest in home improvements.

According to a recent report by USA Today, the average refund could be more than $3,000 which could make a bit difference in your home.

By investing tax refund dollars into home improvements – whether it’s new lighting, new hardware, new flooring or new landscaping – the extra income can provide a little excitement, while also increasing a home’s value for resale.

Carpet One Floor Home encourages customers to invest in creating a beautiful home. They also stress the importance of making smart decisions when you’re are working on any home project.

“We know the importance of being proud of your home. A home should reflect your personality and lifestyle,” said Mary Lucius Hosner of Hosner Carpet One Floor Home. “But, you also want to ensure that your investment will offer you a high return on the value of your home.”

Carpet One Floor Home’s suggestions for the best ways to invest your tax refund in your home are:

• Find the right light. Give a room a bright, fresh new look with updated lighting fixtures. In the bathroom, choose a light that fits both sides of the mirror evenly for a balanced spread of light, rather than a fixture that lights vanity mirrors from above and creates unflattering shadows. Different levels of light can be created by choosing from ceiling lights, lamps and task lighting.

• Choose quality flooring for a solid foundation. Installing new flooring can give a dramatic change to a room. It’s also a great investment in your home. With new products like luxury vinyl tile, engineered stone, and super-soft carpet, there are many options that provide quality, performance and style. Checking the warranty available for a floor provides a good idea of the durability of a product. Carpet One Floor Home provides an easy to understand warranty system to help customers make smart decision.

• Plant an investment and watch it grow. Landscaping isn’t just about good looks–it can increase a home’s value, make it sell more quickly, and even reduce energy bills. Invest in flowering trees and perennials that will give you the gift of color year after year. Fountains, yard art, or attractive benches are also great new additions for outdoor spaces. .

• Build in organization. Maximize both the horizontal and vertical space in a room by adding a built-in shelving unit. Consider a built-in bookshelf on either side of a doorway or along a blank wall to create a wrap-around cozy reading nook.

• Focus on the Outdoors. A beautiful deck can be a natural extension of interior flooring and extend the living space of your home. The design possibilities are endless when it comes to creating this functional yet visually appealing space. Deck designs can range from a simple horizontal surface bordered by railings, to a more detailed design with built-in planters, barbecue station, trellises and even a recessed spa.

• Give your stairs a step up. Constant foot traffic on stairs can wreck havoc on carpets, leaving them dull and dingy. For entrance stairways that see a constant flow of feet, a new carpet runner can do wonders for the overall look and make for a more inviting welcome area. When choosing new carpet runner for stairs, darker colors as well as patterns will help mask dust and dirt. Generally shorter pile carpets show less wear and tear over time. Look for carpets with superior warranties, like Relax, it’s…Lees carpets. Consider adding stair rods on the landings of each step, which add a classic accent while keeping the runner secure.

• Cook up a new look. Update your kitchen with a new look. Kitchen trends are looking a little softer in 2014. Warmer metals like brass and copper are being used in the place of stainless steel. And with that, warmer, natural flooring is the perfect compliment. A beautiful hardwood floor can make your kitchen feel cozier. For a natural stone look there is a new product available called engineered stone. Vero Stone, available at Carpet One Floor Home, provides unbelievably realistic stone looks while providing added durability and a softer, warmer feel underfoot.

For more ideas on creating a beautiful home download their free digital home décor magazine.

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200 show up to offer ideas for Tampa park

— Some want more play areas for children and picnic areas for adults. Some want better landscaping and an area to launch kayaks. Others want to make sure safety is a priority.

All want a say in what the redone Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park will look like.

About 200 people attended a public information meeting Tuesday evening as city officials prepare to tackle the outdated park, which is off the Hillsborough River and near West Tampa, Tampa Heights and downtown.

“This park will change; it needs to change,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

The city has hired Civitas, a Denver-based planning and design firm that will propose a new concept for the park by September. Tuesday evening’s meeting is part of the process for conceiving and refining that concept.

John Bowden, who was one of around 200 people in attendance, said he’d like to see park features for children and picnic areas to eat. He’s happy to see improvements planned because the park, which was built in 1977, needs work, he said.

“It needs renovation and life brought to it,” said Bowden, 64, who grew up in West Tampa and still owns property in the area. “You bring life to it, you bring life to the community.”

Ricky Peterika said the park’s location is perfect to connect with several nearby communities and to distinguish itself from the existing downtown Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and the Water Works Park scheduled to open this summer just north of downtown. He’d like to see Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park complement the other two parks by offering something the other parks don’t have.

“It’s an opportunity to capture what they can’t provide,” said Peterika, who lives in Tampa Heights. “This could be an opportunity for a park that strikes a balance between people and the environment.”

He proposed removing the sea wall and creating a naturalized river’s edge where people could launch their kayaks, paddle boards and canoes.

“Make it feel like you aren’t in the city anymore for five seconds,” said Peterika, 31.

Mark Johnson, president of Civitas, said some of his company’s employees talked to people in the community before Tuesday night’s meeting and learned that some people didn’t know the property was a park. They thought it was an extension to Tampa Prep or the University of Tampa.

“We thought that was very revealing,” Johnson said.

Civitas has not started to design the park, Johnson said.

Three more meetings with the community are planned: June 10 will be the first round of ideas for the park; Aug. 12th will be a draft plan, and a more final plan will be presented on Sept. 9. All meetings are scheduled to be held at Blake High School.

(813) 259-7659

Twitter: @jpatinoTBO

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Angie’s List: Easy Landscaping

As the weather warms, you might wonder what type of landscaping additions or upgrades fit your budget. 
Angie’s List asked highly rated landscapers about the most popular projects they offer in various price ranges.


Whether it’s cleaning up the yard and adding some pretty flowers or going all out with a total redesign, a well-cared for lawn can add up to 14 percent of your home’s value. Your landscaping project doesn’t have to be big or cost an arm and a leg to add value.

Angie’s List, the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews, asked highly rated landscapers about projects for every budget.

What can you get for $50? At this price range you might be looking at more DIY-type projects, such as buying and spreading your own bags of mulch. But there are a few tasks you can hire a pro to tackle.
A flat of seasonal spring flowers, such as begonias, planted and mulched by a highly rated landscaper.
Programming a sprinkler’s timer and an operational once-over.
One application of fly repellent for an average-sized lawn.

What can you get for $500?
A 3-D rendition of a new landscape design.
Several applications of a fertilization and weed control program.
Lawn mowed and trimmed and edged weekly for four months, for the average half-acre lot.

What can you get for $5,000?
A wide variety of finished projects such as patios and retaining walls.
Revamping a home’s front foundation landscape. This involves removing most, if not all, of the debris and plants already in the beds.
Complete irrigation system in both the front and back yards.

Before you dig too deeply into hiring a landscaping contractor, take time to do two things:
1. Be clear about what you want to achieve. If you only want yard work, check out companies that specialize in residential lawn services. If you want design or installation services, you’ll need a full service landscaper.
2. Gather your ideas. Offer as much detail about your preferences as possible. For inspiration, print, copy or tear out images from landscaping websites, magazines and books.

When shopping around to get the most landscaping bang for your buck, always verify a company’s insurance and applicable licensing information. What they’re selling may sound like a bargain, but you might end up with a raw deal if they’re not following the rules.

Here are 5 questions to ask prospective landscapers.
1. Can I see your plan? A drawing is the best way to be sure you can envision what a landscaper proposes. Ask each bidder to provide a design sketch. They may charge a fee if you want to keep it, but they should at least be able to let you see it. In addition, ask for photos of projects they’ve done that are similar to what you want.
2. What’s your process? Ask about basic work practices and what materials and equipment would be used. For example, would they dig your patio out by hand or use machinery?
3. What’s your experience? Does the contractor have the experience, manpower and skill to handle your project? How long has the company been in business? Find out what kind of training the contractor and his or her staff have undergone. Do they belong to local, state or national landscaping associations?
4. What’s your guarantee? Reputable landscaping contractors should be willing to guarantee their work for at least two years, preferably five. Ask about separate warranties for plants.
5. How well do you communicate? Ask each bidder for the best way to communicate so you’re likely to get a timely response.

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Tips on container gardening focus of Master Gardeners’ Hands in Dirt session

Container gardening

Container gardening

Beautiful flowers, herbs and vegetables can all be grown in container gardens. They take up less space and are easier to manage.

Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 12:00 am

Tips on container gardening focus of Master Gardeners’ Hands in Dirt session

From Staff Reports


Need some guidance and tips on container gardening?

If so, attend the next Hands in the Dirt class entitled Garden in a Pot, offered by the Blount County Master Gardeners. It will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Broadway United Methodist Church, located in downtown Maryville. Master Gardener Lisa Phipps will offer ideas, tips and techniques for raising gardens in containers. You can plant herbs, flowers, tomatoes, kale and foliage plants, all in containers, plus a whole lot more.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014 12:00 am.

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Lisa Phipps,

Master Gardeners

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GARDENING TIPS: Chemical-Free Weed & Dandelion Control

Posted on: 10:43 am, May 6, 2014, by

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U of M Students Design, Install Rain Garden

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