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Guess What I Heard?

Written on December 15, 2012 by Monica D. Higgins

I recently heard a radio commercial that put a smile on my face…US Bank promoting cash-out refinances to fund home remodeling…something I haven’t heard in 4 years!

To me this signals the beginning of the growth of the remodeling market.  Here’s to creating the home of your dreams…and access to the funds to make it happen!




Monica D. Higgins Named an eHow Home Improvement Expert

Written on November 13, 2012 by Monica D. Higgins

“Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become.”

— James Allen 

I am pleased to announce that I have been named an eHow Home Improvement Expert!

My role as a “Home Improvement Ambassador” furthers my mission of helping homeowners gain the confidence they need to take control of their remodeling projects so they can get them done right, on time and on budget.  By speaking “construction” in a way homeowners can understand through blogging, articles and videos I will be able to help them gain the confidence they need to start and complete their remodeling projects.

Of all of the people you know – who will be the next to remodel?  Please do me a favor…invite them to visit my eHow blog page (  If they find my blogs helpful, tell them to ‘Like’ them on Facebook or tweet about them.  Articles and videos are forthcoming.

I Was a House Guest at Blueprint Furniture

Written on August 19, 2012 by Monica D. Higgins

Blueprint welcomed a special visitor last month…me!  I filmed several web clips on modern furniture, lighting, and décor showcasing their beloved products.  The series contains 20 + topics from “mixing dining sets” to “large wall décor ideas”.  Blueprint, voted LA’s best, has been the city’s most valuable resource for home + office furniture for over 2 decades – providing high quality, good design at competitive, affordable pricing.

This new video series takes me into the world of interior design and redecorating.  Diverse ideas help remodeling homeowners through tough decisions from furnishing their remodeled home to staging a finished project to show on the market.  Check out these videos of me at Blueprint Furniture on and let me know what you think.

Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standard

Written on July 11, 2012 by Monica D. Higgins

Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings were established in 1978 in response to a legislative mandate to reduce California’s energy consumption. These standards can be found in Title 24, Part 6 of the California Code of Regulations. Projects that apply for a building permit on or after January 1, 2010 must comply with the 2008 Standards that went into effect then.

Title 24 is an energy efficiency standard that requires a series of energy calculations to demonstrate compliance with the standards. Changes to theses standards are made to account for improvements in conservation strategies and technologies, as well as improvements in analyzing building energy performance.

The simplest way to comply with this standard is to show that your home meets each minimum or maximum level prescribed for each of these areas:

  • Building Envelope [aka Insulation and Fenestration (i.e. windows and doors)]
  • Mechanical System
  • Indoor Lighting
  • Outdoor Lighting
  • Water Heating

Compliance with these standards reduces energy costs, increases reliability and availability of electricity, improves building occupant comfort, and reduces impacts to the environment.

Don’t Let Remodeling Ruin Your Love Life!

Written on March 25, 2012 by Monica D. Higgins

One of the pitfalls of remodeling is the stress that spills over into the relationship.  A certain percentage of remodels end relationships because, let’s face it, living through a remodel is stressful.  So, it is not surprising that stress is going to affect those involved with the remodel.  Hence, communication is key. Each person involved with the remodel should talk about how they are going to handle their remodel before starting the planning process. A few key starter questions to ask are:

  • Does everyone involved with the remodel share the same vision?
  • Will you stay in your home during construction?
  • Are you willing to be inconvenienced (i.e. no hot water, no kitchen, etc.) for an extended period of time?

Answering these questions separately before comparing notes is ideal. While you may be shocked by how different your visions and expectations are for the final product, that’s great because the first roadblock to a successful project has been uncovered. Also, the least expensive time to iron out differences is before retaining the services of architects, 3-D modeling experts or a contractor.  Asking these and other project related questions will help you come to a consensus on the “must-haves,” the  “nice-to-haves” and the “I-can-live-without-that” elements. Most importantly, you will avoid the tug of war around trying to build one project from two (or more) mentally incompatible images, a process that can result in high cost overruns and fractured relationships.  So, instead of rushing to get to the finish line, take the extra time to clarify your visions and chart a clear course of action.


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