Richard Wojcik’s Funeral Chapel

Upon the death of a loved one, emotions are hard to process and paperwork can be overwhelming. In addition to providing burial and memorial services, funeral homes are a great resource for survivors. Whether or not a family chooses cremation or burial, open casket or family only, funeral homes have a plethora of resources prepared for grieving friends and family. The family of Richard Wojcik has built a funeral chapel service that provides immaculate service to family members and friends after a loved one passes away.

Many small, but important, details are traditionally completed following the death of a loved one; family members are often times too distraught and tired to concentrate, and other family members unaware of unsure as to the order of events. Sometimes it feels like there is no right decision. This is where the funeral home of Richard Wojcik steps in and provides supportive guidance and directive assistance. Some things the funeral home provides: obituary writings, service scheduling and bulletins, remembrance cards, catered meals, cremation or burial choices and timelines, liner and casket choices, transportation of the deceased and family, floral arrangements, and donation memorial accounts.

Choosing a funeral home is a very personal choice often made by the first of kin. Families may select, or not select, their funeral home based on prior experiences. Some towns home a popular funeral location. Grave site choice may be based on recommendations from the funeral home, one’s home church, or sometimes plots are purchased based on where other family members are buried. It is important to note that some directors have dealt with more child deaths than others, and are capable better cater to the needs of the family. Richard Wojcik offers services to families of deceased children, recognizing that they have passed “out of order,” so to speak and that parents especially are often too fatigued to make important decisions quickly. In these cases selecting chapels that understand the requirements of grieving parents and family, can make a horrific situation a little easier in the days following the death.

Embalming is an additional service offered by funeral homes in an attempt to preserve a body when buried. In all but a few select situations, embalming is not required by law in the United States or Canada. However, it should be noted that some funeral home arrangements are made easier with embalming, such as an open casket. Embalming includes fixating the mouth in a closed, central position and generally provides makeup and hair as included or additional services.

Richard Wojcik uses his knowledge from over 30 years experience to provide the best care and personalization he can in his funeral home, from start to finish. He and his family are aware that times funeral homes are called are not under the best of circumstances and people are not always able to comprehend details to properly make decisions. This is where his staff, who are not pressured for sales commissions, step in to help families embrace some of their hardest days.

The Simplest Tasks To-Do when Renovating Your House

When embarking on a campaign of home renovation, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work that there is to be done. Fear no more, however, as we have drawn up an itinerary of the most straightforward tasks that will make a massive difference in the quality of your property.

Our first suggestion is to replace old flooring with sprayers. Although it seems intimidating, swapping out any old and dilapidated flooring materials for new ones will noticeably improve the appearance of your house and can be done yourself for a surprisingly small amount of money. For a more up-market aesthetic, look to replace worn-out carpeting with wooden flooring or even tiles or flagstones. Much can be had cheaply from hardware superstores by seeking out discontinued products or ones being sold on clearance. Reclamation yards are also a great source of affordable, good quality materials, though can prove to be seasonal in terms of the size of their inventory.

The second trick is to look to maximize the amount of light inside your house. Not only will this make it easier to see and save on power bills, but it will also energize the interior of your home. The most obvious way to do this is by adding windows, but simply painting your rooms in lighter colors (optimally in white or off-white) will make rooms dramatically brighter. Contrast this with an accent wall in a more garish color, and you will see your rooms given a whole new lease of life.

Refinishing existing surfaces is also a good way to spice things up. Old hardwood floors can be brought back to a lustrous sheen without the use of a belt sander by simply recoating them, not only is this a much simpler process, but it can be accomplished for a much lower price. In older houses, consider repainting window casements and other plain, exposed areas of wall with sand and fibers mixed into the paint. This will lend much-need texture to the finished surface, and can be built up as needed, lending a rustic and lived-in feel to potentially sterile rooms such the kitchen, bathroom or entranceway.

Additionally, if looking to sell the property, you should also put a good amount of thought into making sure your house’s interior is plain enough to allow for ease of cosmetic makeovers. This is not to say that it should be bland and characterless, but buyers should be able to envisage their own future in the house and should be able to easily tailor its interior to their needs.

A great idea for starting your renovation is to add a patio or decking to your garden. Not only is this a relatively straightforward task, but it will drastically improve both the appearance and usability of your house. Much like flooring, decking materials can be found for shockingly low prices on clearance or in discontinued ranges. Buying in an off-season (i.e. midwinter) will reduce prices even further.

How to make your money go further when renovating

Renovating a home on a tight budget is no easy feat. As such, we have compiled some ways to improve drastically improve the appearance and monetary value of your home without breaking the bank.

Our first piece of advice is to hire independent contractors for smaller-scale projects instead of larger companies. The individual tradesmen will generally have lower fees that large companies due to their smaller overheads and operating costs. Another major positive of hiring independent contractors is that you will be able to find reviews of their individual performance and standard of work online, ensuring that the person working on your home will be the best you can find. Additionally, they will be directly accountable to you for the quality of service delivered, instead of potentially directing your complaints to an indifferent customer service department.

measure-twice-cut-onceOur second tip is to do any simple work yourself. The fitting of cabinets or trimmings and painting of rooms are fairly straightforward tasks and can be accomplished by any able-bodied adult. However, it is very important to adequately prepare by creating detailed plans and double-checking your work before proceeding (“measure twice, cut once!”). It is also crucial to be sure to use the proper tools and safety gear to prevent having to take time out of a project to correct poor handiwork or recover from a preventable injury.

Consider adding a parking space or driveway to your front garden if your house does not already have one, or even adding a gas furnace. This will lend extra value to the property and can be done in a short amount of time by using relatively cheap materials such as paving slabs and/or gravel in order to fit well within your budget. Although many people consider tarmac may be a more attractive option, with oil prices steadily rising, you may find it to be substantially more expensive.

A fourth method to make your money stretch further is to re-purpose your garage into a workshop, gym or recreational room instead of using it purely for storage. This is a relatively cheap option, as most of the costs will be in furnishings (i.e. workbenches, mats and carpeting, game tables, a safe etc) and most of the necessary items can be found second hand either online or in your local thrift shops.

Our final and perhaps most powerful tip is to clean up your garden. Kill any ants, repair bald patches on the lawn and consider adding flower beds with characterful but cheap and low-maintenance plants such as lavender, which possesses a nice aroma, color and which is virtually indestructible owing to its resistance to both arid and cold climates. Maidengrass is another favorite, as it fills a good amount of space and is extremely hardy, much like Spirea a fairly undemanding shrub that produces a good amount of blossom. Another pick is Heather, which will provide year-round color and is very resistant to frost. Finally, if you can commit to bi-annual pruning, Ivy can be added to cover any unsightly walls.

Biggest Pitfalls when Constructing/Remodeling a Home

Building or renovating a home is a large task with many factors to oversee. Because of this, it is easy to stumble into a situation or overlook a certain element of the project that will lead to major problems down the road. Luckily, we have prepared some tips on how to avoid the most common (and serious) mistakes that are made when setting out to create a dream home.

reviewing plansFirstly, make sure that plans are set in stone and clearly visualized before work commences to avoid changes later down the line. Although this sounds like a common sense step, it will also pay dividends to hire an experienced project manager or a home builder Winnipeg to double check each aspect of the work that needs to be done. As they say, ‘measure twice, cut once’. By making sure that everybody is on the same page before work begins, you will avoid potentially wasting a substantial sum of money down the road to correct any errors.

A second mistake that people often make is to add features that are massively out of keeping with the existing structure or neighborhood. Try to avoid mixing disparate architectural styles; an adobe roof, for example, would look very out of place on the garage of a suburban house in New England. As well as potentially aggravating the neighbors, this will only make it harder to sell the house due to the polarizing effect that this will have on buyers.

Don’t DIY major features such as plumbing and wiring. Hire professionals unless you yourself have the relevant skillset. A professional tradesman may seem like an unnecessary expense at present, but that pales in comparison to the costs of damage you could cause. They will also have a wealth of experience to draw on and will be able to avoid many issues that, although maybe not immediately apparent in your plans, could cause major headaches down the line.

Skimping on materials is another major mistake that many people are all too happy to make. Although the potential savings are attractive, using low-quality building materials will cause problems down the line. From being potentially unsafe to just looking shoddy, the cons massively outweigh the pros when it comes to using bargain-basement supplies on your home. A far better idea is to ask your contractors for advice and recommendations on which materials to purchase. Most likely, they will offer to sell you the materials themselves. Although this may at first glance seem like profiteering, bear in mind that when buying from contractors, they will most likely be able to get stuff from wholesalers at a reduced rate. This means that even with their markup added, they will offering a competitive rate.

Perhaps the most tragic error that people commonly make is using the wrong finishes. Even with the best building materials, the value and appearance of a quality house can be betrayed by using cheap paints, paneling and countertops etc. Although these things may seem relatively minor compared to the massive undertaking the actual building work, it is vital to remember that these will be the most immediate indicators of quality that a buyer will see when viewing the house.

Advice For First-Time Renovators

For most of us, buying a home to renovate can be a daunting task. Below is a simple guide to help first-time renovators navigate their way to securing their dream home.

The first step on the path of renovation is to identify a suitable property to invest our time and effort into. In the internet era, it is easy to become so overwhelmed with choices when searching for houses that gems will lie forgotten and potential disasters will waste our time. To prevent this, we must draw up a list of standards that our ideal dwelling will meet. Whether you are buying for investment purposes or to actually live in the house, your list will most likely contain the following criteria:

surveyor1) Is the property itself structurally sound, with low risk of future problems? To make sure of this, we recommend having a chartered surveyor or architect look at the property in detail. Due to the expense of this action (expect a fee of $500 – $2000, dependent on property size), it is typically left until you have narrowed your search down to a specific house. It is also worth speaking with your potential neighbors to find out if the area has any history of flooding or other problems that an estate agent or current owner may neglect to mention.

2) Is it within a reasonable proximity to local schools and businesses? Whether you are looking to eventually sell the property on or are simply planning to settle in for the long haul, this will be one of the major factors that determines the desirability of the home. A house can be turned into a veritable paradise, but if you are facing a commute of over an hour to simply drop your kids off at school or to get to work, you could feel that you are not getting your money’s worth. Details of school transport arrangements and catchment areas can typically be found on the local county’s website, whilst areas with a thriving economy can be identified by simply punching their postal code into a few internet job boards and tallying the number of professional opportunities available.

3) Is the building overshadowed by adjacent properties? Whilst it may seem like a common sense measure, it is crucial to make sure that the home you are buying is not of a substantially lesser quality or size than the other properties in the neighborhood. Not only can this prevent you from securing a sale, but it can also be indicative of a potential ‘money pit’ that will take an inordinate amount of resources to bring up to par.

4) Is the property located in a low-crime area? This is vital consideration. Due to the ease with which data on criminal activity is available (with real estate sites such as Zillow going as far to provide heat-maps for many areas), it is almost impossible to disguise the fact that a house is located in a bad neighborhood.

5) Will future developments in the area affect the property’s value or desirability? Nobody wants to have their idyllic country getaway abruptly spoiled by the construction of a brand new subdivision in their backyard. As such, be sure to check local zoning laws and planning applications prior to making a purchase.

The Best Way To Add Value To A Property

When renovating a property, one of the main objectives is to add a substantial amount of value to the building. There are many ways to accomplish this – some more ambitious than others – but we have gone ahead and compiled a summary of some of the most effective ways to add to your home’s market value.

loft-conversionA loft conversion can be one of the best ways to add an extra room to a house. By adding floors, windows, a flight of stairs and wiring for lights and outlets, a homeowner can readily turn their loft into a bedroom or even a lounge. Costs can be as low as $20,000 for a simple living area, however a bathroom will obviously run closer to $50,000 due to the costs of installing proper plumbing. Whilst a loft conversion will obviously provide a great degree of utility to any prospective homeowner, it should be noted that this is a major undertaking and a significant investment that will take time to complete.

A simpler way to boost the asking price of your home is by investing in a kitchen refit. The kitchen is the focal point of the home, and one that makes good use of the available space and is built with high-quality materials will be a major draw for potential buyers. A sub-par kitchen, however, will drive away customers by virtue of being cramped and cheaply constructed. If you have an especially small kitchen, it is worth taking into consideration the possibility of going as far as to remove dividing walls to create a combined kitchen and dining area.

The cheapest way to add value to your home is to get outline planning permission (also known as ‘zoning permission’, dependent on your location in the USA) for an extension to the building. This alone will act to increase the price, as it makes the property desirable for builders or more ambitious property flippers who want confirmation that the local council will not act to thwart their plans for renovation. The good thing about outline planning permission is that very few specific details of the planned development are required, aside from the general dimensions and location. This means that the associated costs and hassle (i.e. hiring an architect/contractor to go over the details) are passed on to the eventual buyer.

Speaking of extensions, it is best practice to follow the mantra of ‘extend as much as possible without being excessive’. This makes sense for two reasons. Firstly, although there will be a high base cost of materials and labor, extra room in a house always adds value so the ROI for the extension will only increase as more space is added. Secondly, an extension that disproportionately intrudes into the garden will turn away a fair number of buyers, so exercise common sense when drawing up your designs. An excessively large extension might also draw the ire of your neighbors or Homeowners Association, so it can be best to tread carefully depending on your local planning laws.