6 Trends That Increase The Value of Your Home

Contributed by Susan Mackey

Let’s start with the good news: The real estate market in Connecticut is heating up. Home values bottomed out in 2012 and 2013, but they’ve been climbing since. If you’re looking to increase the value of your home, and if you make a few improvements, you’re more likely to see some return on the investment. Here are six trends that increase the value of your Connecticut home.

Shut the Front Door

Your front door is what makes the first impression on a potential buyer, whether they show up at an open house or they are just driving by. You likely still have the front door that was on the house when you moved in, so a new front door is a cost-efficient update that will increase the value. You can spend anywhere from $150 to thousands of dollars on a new door. Before you spend the cash, make sure the door complements the rest of the house and that it’s similar to doors on homes in your price range. You may also consider painting your existing door. If so, black is trending right now and can increase the price of your home by as much as $6,000.


Don’t Let Your Window Panes Hurt

Old, drafty windows will decrease your home’s value right away. To a buyer, all they see is work that needs to be done or high energy bills. Don’t give prospective buyers a good reason to lowball you. If your windows are original to the house, you should consider replacement windows. New windows — although they can get pricey — can match that new front door for a completely updated look.

The Envy of the Neighborhood

Even if you don’t win “Lawn of the Month” prizes, the time to keep your yard in tip-top shape is when your home is on the market. Take a hard look at your lawn. Is it brown? Untrimmed? Full of weeds? Or is the grass struggling to grow? Don’t put off hiring mowing, weeding and fertilizing. You can hire a professional, or pick up some weed and feed at a local gardening store. Make sure you prune the trees and shrubs. You won’t regret it at closing.

Light It Up

Combine wellness trends with home improvement trends and you’ve got circadian rhythm lighting. The idea is to limit the impact of artificial lighting on the people who live in the home. It combines warmer lights (no more ghastly white LED bulbs!) with home automation to more closely match the lighting found in nature. If that sounds like too much of a project, consider changing all your interior light bulbs to a warmer, natural light color. Brighter light makes people feel more positive, so improving the light inside your home can help leave buyers with a good impression.

Clean Up the Kitchen

Your bathrooms and your kitchen can make or break an offer on your home. You don’t have to go crazy updating your kitchen to bring in a sale. You can spend just a few hundred dollars repainting the walls to a more buyer-friendly color. Update the hardware on the kitchen cabinets to give the space an updated feel. Or you can spend thousands on quartz or marble countertops and new stainless steel appliances.

Smart Technology

Buyers want to see high tech upgrades, such as remote control thermostats and doorbell video cameras. You probably won’t get a big return on investment if you go overboard by installing an expensive audio-visual system for the house. But high tech upgrades that save money or time, or those that increase security, add interest to your home. A Ring or Nest doorbell camera costs just a few hundred dollars. A programmable thermostat you can control from your phone isn’t expensive either.

You don’t have to go overboard to increase your home’s value in the current upward trend in real estate in Connecticut. Bigger improvements are always a selling point, but they’re not always going to bring in bigger offers. Think about what would make you fall in love with a home, and what would make you increase your offer. Let common sense — and your bank account — be your guide.

Susan Mackey is an interior designer and home stager as well as a freelance writer who focuses on the latest home fashion trends. She loves taking older homes and turning them into the envy of the neighborhood.

The perfect Exterior Renovations for Your Home

If you are looking to remodel the exterior of your home, Peter L. Brown is the roofing, window and siding expert in the Hartford, CT area. You can have a beautiful, custom-made  piece for your house within a short period of time. You can increase the curb appeal of your home, without spending a lot of money.

Windows and Doors

A great material for windows and Doors would be vinyl siding because it is durable and easy to maintain. Other materials for windows like wood need to be repainted, are hard to maintain and often are exposed to mold and pests that can make the wood rot. Like wood, vinyl siding is just as energy efficient. You can likely save a lot of money on your energy bills within a few years with vinyl siding. Homeowners who use vinyl windows and doors find that they truly last a lifetime. They resist scratching, damage, mold and dirt – which will show up on wood.


If you are looking for an alternative to moldy and dirty roofs, then Atlas Roof shingles with Scotchgard Protector. They prevent streaking from algae and discoloration. If you want a strong roof, visiting a professional roofer for yearly inspections will help you to protect your investment for years to come. The dimensional shingles used at Peter L. Brow come in 13 different colors and are much more attractive looking than asphalt shingles. For superior resistance to weathering, try Atlas Roof Shingles today.


If you need to upgrade your siding to a newer, more secure material – then vinyl siding is the choice for you. It is very low maintenance, and only requires a light cleaning with soap and water annually. Many types of siding show where the siding ends, which creates an ‘overlapping’ effect. With Peter L. Brown vinyl siding, it is seamless and you will just have a smooth finish.

So if you are interested in upgrading your exterior to reliable materials, contact Peter L. Brown today. For reasonably priced materials that will have a long life, try any of our vinyl siding materials. In the past 30 years, the vinyl siding industry has boomed and has shown to be a reliable material and easier to manage material over the years.


The Siding, Roofing and Window Professionals of Hartford, CT

If you are looking for roofing services in the Hartford County area, Peter L. Brown is the right contractor for you. With years of experience as a siding, roofing and window company, we can provide you with the best technological advances in the industry. As a home improvement company that homeowners can trust, we know that we will be able to help you create the home of your dreams.

Mastic Vinyl Siding is the Perfect Choice for Homeowners

Here at Peter L. Brown, we are the leader for seamless vinyl siding in Hartford CT, to make your home have a dramatic change and curb appeal. The low-maintenance application will help you to achieve the desired look in little to no time. The affordable mastic vinyl siding has been trusted by homeowners and contractors alike for over 70 years. Mastic comes custom made in many different colors that compliment vinyl windows.

Roof Designs that Prevent Streaking and Algae

pexels-photo-280221For our roof designs, we like to use Atlas Roof Shingles with Scotchgard Protector which prevents streaking, damage or discoloration for residential roofing in Hartford, CT. Many roofs in high humidity areas, including Connecticut, have problems with algae growth. But, the Atlas Roof shingles prevent algae from forming with a material inside called copper granules. You do not need to power wash or chemically clean your roof, as these shingles prevent streaks and algae growth. You can expect your roof to look just as good ten years down the road from being installed.

Replacement Doors that Are More than Just an Entryway

If it has been a while since you have replaced something on your home, why not replace your door? First impressions with homes are very important, especially if you are looking to sell in a few years. A new door not only adds curb appeal, but also will help to lower energy bills. With our Provia Entry Doors, you secure your home, lower energy bills, and improve interior comfort with its Energy Star Certification. Choose from different woods, styles and colors to add character to your home to set your home apart from others for years to come. Contact Peter L. Brown today to improve your home with exterior solutions that improve the reliability and beauty of your space.

Designing Your Home in the Fall

Peter L. Brown specializes in everything to do with remodeling the exterior of your home. From siding and window replacement in Granby to roofing and insulation, you can upgrade the exterior of your home to make it an everlasting experience. With knowledgeable staff and excellent craftsmanship, you can have your dream home within your time frame.

Peter L. Brown began doing aluminum siding in the 1960’s working out of a tiny office. Over the years, our business has grown to become the siding, window, and roofing specialists that the residents of Hartford county can count on. Much of our business comes from word-of-mouth referrals and repeat customers. Since customers appreciate hard work and dedication to the job, our phone keeps on ringing.

Roofing is one of the industries that we specialize in. We sell Atlas Roof shingles, which protect from moisture and mold growth. Your shingles will not fade in color or streak like a lot of roof shingles do in a humid area like Connecticut. Since roofs can be ‘out of sight out of mind’, many people don’t seek roof repair until there are major repairs that are needed to be done. This means that you may end up paying more money along with risking internal damage to your home from roof leaks to mold growth. Getting annual roof checks is beneficial and will save you money in the long run.

pexels-photo-276551For Window replacement in Hartford, CT, we use mastic vinyl replacement windows, which are not only low maintenance and energy efficient but also give major curb appeal. The stylish and smooth finish to the windows pairs with the different colors and styles of your home.  Our vinyl windows also pair perfectly with our Mastic vinyl siding. You can match  Mastic vinyl colors for the windows and siding – which come in rich, deep colors to give any home have more curb appeal. You can also pair your windows with new sliding doors in Hartford, CT. For colors that pop and made to last for years – why would you shop for windows anywhere else?

We also specialize in gutter installation and repair. Gutters are often one of the last features of a home that people will repair. This is because people often do not check their gutters, and underestimate what can happen if a gutter is not functioning properly. Gutters that are not working efficiently can cause water to leak into the walls of your home, causing rot and mold growth. To prevent gutters from getting clogged, you can install a gutter protection system like the Berger Seamless Gutter or Klean Gutter Systems offered here at Peter L. Brown.

Finally, our vinyl siding selection gives customers many options to style their home. Our vinyl siding colors come in 35 different choices. You can use different colors for the trim and accent – making endless color combinations. The siding does not require extra paint applications and has a truly authentic appearance with more durability than wood siding. For shingle options, we have many to choose from including half-round, hand split shake, perfection shingle triple and perfection shingle double. We have different shapes and colors all of which will give your home character. Whether you want the curved shape half round to give your home a true ‘dollhouse’ feel, or hand split shakes to add a rustic look – there are infinite options create. Contact us today to get started on designing your new home!

Why Should You Insulate Your Home?

Why Should I Insulate?
Insulation is crucial for a home because it saves energy and money. If you did not have insulation, your furnace would over heat your house, and you would overspend on heating and air conditioning. Besides your attic feeling like a desert, you are also adding an increased expense by as much as 30 percent. To provide adequate heat, you would need a large and expensive heating and cooling device. Without proper insulation, warm and cool air are not properly flowing throughout the house. This in turn will leave some rooms will be much hotter than others.


How Much Insulation Do I Need?
Insulation usually goes around the living area,  where you spend your most time. It forms a barrier between the living area and the elements and temperatures from the exterior. Insulation creates a barrier around the living space that reduces the amount of heat exerted from the furnace, and saves you energy costs.

The amount of insulation varies among a few factors:

  • The Location of Your Home – Different areas of the U.S. have different climates, which require different insulation R-values. States in the North need higher R-values, whereas states in the South need lower R-values.
  • The Age of Your Home – The older the age of your home, the more attention it will need with insulation. If your home is older than 10 years old, you will need more insulation. The insulation wears down over time, making it less effective than the day you installed it. Fiberglass and mineral wool insulation are ideal because they are types of insulation that resist wear.


Insulating Roof and Walls

Most of the heat or cold is lost or gained through roofs or open walls. Air conditioning and heating costs will be reduced to about 40 percent by insulating these areas. Think less pollution and large savings! Insulation is then paid for itself due to money saved from less energy consumption which covers the cost of the insulation.

But insulation is just one step to saving on energy costs. Windows, doors, and walls all can affect energy efficiency and heat gain or loss. Any air gaps (even minuscule) can mean that you are losing heat without even knowing it. By making sure all of these areas in your home are completely covered from outside elements, you can save a lot of money in energy savings. To make an appointment to set up insulation for your home, contact us today!

Replacement Windows

Windows last a long time, but in extreme weather conditions they are often damaged. Cracks can often result from extreme cold weather, and if not fixed right away, can create a lot of damage. High winds and projectile objects from storms can break windows, since glass is fragile. Tree branches can break branches can snap if they are covered in heavy snow, and crash into your windows. Be sure to trim your trees to get rid of dead or weakened branches.

Windows can become damaged from many elements, including mold and water damage. With the upcoming fall and winter, the weather changes quickly and becomes very cold. During these cold months, mold is capable of growing the most. Windows are often the top places that mold grows. Moisture around the windows allows for mold growth and water damage, that can damage the window frame. To prevent water and mold damage, you can caulk your windows. If you were not able to caulk in the fall, it is not too late by the winter to do it.p_0012

Windows that already survived water and mold damage should be replaced using our
window replacement services. Window panes can also be affected from the cold weather. If your window is half in the shade and half in the sun, the window can get a thermal stress crack. This crack will happen when the two different temperatures make the window both expand and contract. When this happens, the glass must be replaced.  

In extreme weather, homeowners should be aware of the risks that weather can pose on a house. Windows can crack and shatter, which is dangerous and costly. Preventing window damage is the safest way to keep a window from having to be fully replaced. But if you need window replacement, it will not only change your home’s curb appeal, but will also provide safety through the seasons with extreme weather. To make an appointment for a free estimate, contact us here!

Repairs to do for the Fall

Fall is the perfect time to start a new house project before facing roadblocks in the winter. If you are in need of any Roof Repair. Starting any projects before winter and the holidays is the ideal time for any project. Waiting until the winter to get a project done can be postponed by snow and bitter cold temperatures. Winter is the best time for staying inside and enjoying home improvement projects completed in the fall, so why not get your early start now?


  1. Roof Repair – The number one project recommended before the start of winter and the frigid cold is repairing roofs. You may not know about cracks or leaks in your roof until winter, when snow starts falling into your house. The best time to evaluate your roof now before the job expense multiplies. Summer is not an ideal time to do roofs, because the hottest part of the house is the roof – and excessive heat may extend the time frame of a project.
  2. Window Replacement – Window repair and replacement is another project to avoid doing in the winter at all costs. During the fall, you may feel drafts of cool air leaking through your windows. First, if there is a crack in the window, your energy bill will skyrocket in the winter. Next, the weather elements in the winter – including snow, sleet, hail and freezing rain can cause a lot of damage is you have a crack in your window. Repair in the winter is possible, but this would mean a temporary wall would have to be built to protect the interior. On the outside of the window, you may need a small frame to protect from the weather elements trying to enter inside the house. Contact us for a window evaluation this fall to avoid the frigid weather in the winter!

These repairs and maintenance will keep your home in peak condition throughout the winter. Let us service your house so it will not only last throughout the fall, but for many years to come!