Top Three Exterior Home Remodeling Projects Under $5000!

Replacing Your Front Door.

A warm and beautiful front door is appealing to the eyes and also to a home-renovator. This type of project is known to bring an average of a 100% return. For about $1200 you can get a great quality steel front door, giving your home curb appeal and increase its value without breaking the bank! Be sure to hire an experienced door installer for best results.

Replacing Your Garage Door.

What’s the first thing you see when you drive down your street? If your garage door faces the front of the street and has dents or is just plain, old and ugly then it’s probably a good idea to replace it. Believe it or not for around $1300 – $1500 dollars you can get a new garage door installed! Save money by utilizing the existing garage door motor and be sure to hire an experienced garage door installer.

A Fresh Coat of Paint On Your House.

Whether the exterior of your home is stucco, siding, or painted brick the color and uniformity of the overall property makes a huge first impression. This is a great time to think about repairing any cracks or holes and cleaning out any attached gutters as well. Always power wash old exteriors and use a good quality primer. You can save money by painting yourself or by touching up any necessary problem spots with the existing house color.

For best results an experienced painter could be contracted. You can paint yourself and save hundreds of dollars or hire a painter to get the job done. Either way, the average cost with labor for exterior painting of a 2000 square foot space is anywhere around $2100 to $3500 dollars. If you just need paint touch-ups, you can paint yourself for under $100 (depending on project size).

Project Recommendations.

I always recommend customers to use the best building materials they can afford. Staying on budget is equally important in order to complete the job and aids you in being financially responsible in your remodeling or new construction project. Remember to set daily goals and work with a reasonable time frame.

How I Helped A Customer Save Hundreds On Painting.

A customer once consulted us for a painting project on their home. They were trying to freshen up their house so that they could get it rented. In some areas of the home, the bottom three feet of the interior walls had been scuffed and looked messy. When I found out the owners wanted to re-paint their whole house the same color, I advised them to just touch up the areas that needed to be repainted. The owners were worried that they would not be able to find the same exact color, since they had no idea what paint name, or finish was used.

My Solution.

I helped them cut out a small square of their existing painted wall, and carefully peeled it out leaving the drywall intact. I then re-textured and primed just that spot, so it could blend in seamlessly again once it was re-painted. We took the cut out piece to Sherwin Williams, and had them color match it using their computer. We were also able to get a matched finish.

Happy Customers.

The result ended in two happy homeowners who were able to save money by painting only the necessary areas as opposed to the entire house! This process can be used to save money on both interior and exterior painting. For exteriors, you may have to remove a small piece of siding and take it in to get color matched. For best results, please use an experienced contractor.

Lavinia Fontana – An Artist From the Mannerist School of Art

Italian Mannerist painter Lavinia Fontana was born in 1552 in Bologna. Her father Prospero Fontana (1512-97) was a fresco artist of the School of Bologna, who even trained her initially on the youthful Mannerism. Later, Lavinia progressed towards Carracciesque style, which dealt with quasi-Venetian coloring. Italian Renaissance artist Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625) highly influenced her work.

‘Monkey Child’ (1575) is her earliest known painting. Her second painting ‘Christ with the Symbols of the Passion’ (1576) is still at the El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas, USA. Lavinia was known among the affluent for her ability to integrate the intricate work of fabrics, rich gold jewels, and textures into her rich images. She was famous for the attention she paid on the details like the poses and the use of delicate palette. She was exceptionally good at painting large-scale mythological and biblical figures, including female and male nudes. Unfortunately a few of her competent art works such as ‘Queen of Sheba visiting Solomon’ (1598-1600) and ‘Venus; the Virgin Lifting a Veil from the Sleeping Infant Christ’ have mistakenly been attributed to the Italian Baroque artist Guido Reni (1575-1642).

At the age of 25 Lavinia met painter Giano Paolo Zappi at her father’s workshop and got married to him in 1577. They formed a very successful partnership that facilitated a successful life for them. While Zappi assisted Lavinia with her art and cared for their eleven children, Lavinia concentrated on her paintings and providing for the family. At twenty-seven, a Dominican scholar and church historian Pietro Ciaconio (1526-81) commissioned her self-portraits. ‘Self-Portrait Seated at Her Desk’ (1579) was the product. Fontana has more than 135 refined oil paintings to her credit. She is considered as one of the most successful female artists before the 1700s. ‘Portrait of a Noblewoman’ (1580), ‘Portrait of the Gozzadini Family’ (1584), ‘Allegory of Music’ are a few examples of her excellence in creating female forms on canvas.

By the age of thirty, Lavinia Fontana had gained ample fame in her devotional genre of art. ‘The Holy Family’ (1575), ‘Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalen’ (1581), and ‘The Dead Christ with Symbols of the Passion’ (1581), are few of her highly appreciated creations in the style. While she created ‘St. Francis of Paola Blessing a Child’ (1590) for the Church of Santa Maria della Morte in Bologne, her ‘The Holy Family with the Sleeping Christ Child’ adorns the Escorial Palace in Madrid, Spain. In 1603, Lavinia and her family moved to Rome upon Pope Clement VIII’s (1536-1605) invitation. There she executed her famous 20-feet altarpiece ‘The Stoning of St. Stephen Martyr’ for the Papal Palace, Vatican. In 1611, sculptor Felice Antonio Cassoni (1559-1634) honored her contribution to the field of Arts. She was also nominated into the Accademia di San Luca of Rome. On August 11, 1614, at the age of 62 Lavinia Fontana died.

Interior Design Idea – Why Not Go Modern?

With the dawn of mankind appeared the emergence of art. Through the millennia, we’ve found ourselves with baroque and Grecian styles, Victorian and impressionist. Modern Style, the style of pattern and lines, is a minimalist technique – and it is still very common to this day.

The Modern Style came to be in the end of the 1800s. Being surprisingly shaped by the Bauhaus style of Germany, modern is marked by smooth lines, appealing shapes, and imaginative textures not usually appropriate for artwork or furniture. Materials you wouldn’t expect to be satisfactory for a bed, for instance, will find their way into the Modern Style and be congenial. The mixture of the old and new, fabricated and elemental, differentiate Modern from many of the styles we witness today.

In interior design, for instance, modern furniture will be crafted from stuff such as chromium, steel, plastics, and concrete – therefore lending a nuance of authority to the modern age.

The furniture of Modern Style is nothing short of ingenious. Space constraints brought the requirement for furniture to be modularized, and that’s definitely what Modern did. In a time when pre-fabricated houses were impending in the future, Modern brought clearness, exquisiteness, and swagger to design that otherwise could have been everyday and mainstream.

Even though modern style paraphernalia can be easily mass-manufactured, when they’re put together accurately you can’t tell the difference. The justification for this is Modern is made for mass production – it’s made to be made by a producer and put together by the buyer. Therefore, Modern is a very tangible art – an art that even the customer has a hand in making.

Oftentimes in Modern Style objects, you’ll find they’re made of one or two pieces of material. These pieces, when fitted together properly, will be a chair. The same chair, when you look at its outline, will look like a wine glass. Much Modern Style objects and art work have the same duality – and serve to enlighten the artistry and discernment.

After the end of World War II the Modern Style became less ubiquitous, but it yet has its niche. The nineteen sixties and seventies gave way to the urban-chic penthouses of the eighties, and the ascent of Modern came again. Entire magazines provide to the Modern niche, and along with it there are a multitude of collectors looking for early chairs, sofas, and other collectibles.

Modern Style is not bereft of life; in fact, with the new collectors it is more popular now than it has been in 20 years. With the advent of modern antiquing shows on television, a new age group is falling in love with the minimalist style and the lines, shapes, and textures that differentiate the style from the others. From New York and Tokyo Apartments to provincial abodes in southern Texas, you’ll encounter Modern alive and kicking in its new-found popular culture atmosphere.

Meet The Working Cowboy, Western Artist of the Salute to the Texas Rangers Ranger Code Bruce Greene

Bruce Greene is a Western painter who has ridden trails and experienced the cowboy life he portrays in the very narrative images he creates. The artist is a native Texan who has reached the pinnacle of his profession through hard work and an extraordinary talent for painting the story of one of our country’s most revered icons, the American cowboy. His scenes of contemporary cowboys going about their daily work are admired and collected across America.

Several years ago, Bruce began making annual trips to join in the spring work on the legendary JA Ranch in the Palo Duro Canyon of north Texas. As Greene describes his trip, “I go up there and stay on the chuck wagon with the JA hands and the neighbors that have come to help. We ride a lot of miles in rough country. It can be cold, hot, windy, and wet. As a matter of fact, it can be all of these in one day. A fella’ could get lost in some of the mesquite or cedar thickets. Of course, we work a few cows on our place and help out a neighbor now and then, but the JA trip has been a real inspiration for me each year. I am absolutely sure that this experience has greatly affected my artwork. It seems necessary, to me, in order to depict the contemporary cowboy with accuracy and feeling. My good friend, Red Steagall, calls it ‘getting the dust in your nose.’ For me, that dust makes the difference.”

One of Greene’s most enjoyable, recent projects was creating a painting for the Texas Rangers Association Foundation commemorating and honoring the history and high standards of the Texas Rangers. The painting, titled “The Ranger Code,” was purchased by members of the Foundation’s board and is in the permanent collection of outstanding Ranger art at the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco.

Greene was elected to membership in the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America in 1993 and served as its President in 2003.

The artist and his family live on a small ranch in the historical community of Norse, near Clifton, Texas. Greene’s studio sets on the edge of a hill behind his home. From this vantage point, large north windows offer a continuous view of the Texas Hill Country, a few Hereford cows, and the occasional whitetail deer. “It is a wonderful blessing to be able to make a living for my family doing what I love in this beautiful place,” says Greene.

Greene’s works are represented by several well known galleries in the Southwest. He has presented his art in annual shows and exhibition such as the Cowboy Artists of America Exhibition, the Prix de West Show at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, and the Autry Museum of Western Heritage Sale, just to name a few, and other prestigious venues.