Renovating Tips

Renovating Tips


Here are some ideas to keep your budget in line with your dream remodel…

Set aside EXTRA money.  It’s almost impossible to prepare for every surprise.  Once a wall is opened, an old sink is removed, etc. you often find that there are unexpected extras.  Try either choosing finish items below your budget and choose up if you have the extra OR set aside about 20% extra funds in preparation.

Its TRUE! Measure Twice – Cut Once

Make sure EVERYTHING fits before you install…Refrigerators, cabinets, islands, tables, chairs, appliances, etc.

Be Open to a Change in Layout

You might find that a small change will make your kitchen or bathroom easier to navigate with better appeal.  The cost might surprise you.

Classic Lasts

How long would you like to enjoy your remodel?  Remember that the budget you create will need to increase in years to come, so, keep that in mind when adding the cool new gadget or trendy design.  If you are planning to re-sell or don’t have the funds to remodel when the trend has passed, you might be disappointed.

Ask for the ‘little things’

Ask your contractor about any safety add-ons that will make your renovation last longer.

Order Extras of Items that May be Discontinued

Consider ordering extra flooring, backsplashes, fabric, etc. to be prepared for any repairs down the road.

Lastly, HIRE INSURED AND LICENSED CONTRACTORS!  Protect yourself and your project.

Don’t be afraid to ask “what is your license number?” (you can look it up to confirm if its current.

Ask “may I have a certificate of insurance naming me as additional insured?” 201-943-3331 13VH01459100

HMMA Construction Management
HMMA Construction Management

Getting Ready for Spiced Everything

Getting Ready for Spiced Everything

Autumn is the time of year that everything turns spice colored and flavored as well. We love a nice hot pumpkin spice latte…doesn’t everyone?

Well, grab your latte and check out these easy autumn tips for keeping your home pleasant and comfy for the season

This list will be an easy set of tasks that won’t take any heavy duty tools or time. Let’s face it, in 2020 we could use a break with some easy home and office improvement accomplishments.

So, number one: You may be one of the many people with a newly designed work from home (WFH) section of your home. Often it turns out to be the dining room table.

While you can call on your favorite contractor to help you build a whole new office, we promised this was an easy challenge. So, find a closet you can give up and add a nice ‘skinny desk’ that has a cabinet for files and a shelf for your printer. That’s all you need and when work is done-just close the door! Bonus…you can put all the closet items on shelves above the desk.

This still gives you the use of your closet AND a way to ‘leave’ the office behind at the end of the day.

Number two: Speaking of lattes-your kitchen top may be getting a little crowded with all the fancy coffee and tea gadgets you are enjoying this season.

Well, we’re reminding you to think ‘UP’ and keeping the ‘office’ theme in mind-try a desktop drawer organizer to lift all the goodies off the counter.

You can separate coffee, tea, hot chocolate in their own drawer, filters, stirrers, sugar packets, etc. All you need for that awesome well-deserved break or ‘recess’ during your workday.

These desktop organizers are great for keys, mail and other counter-top space stealers.

Number three: Your final tip for today (remember, these are supposed to be easy and tool-free) is to check out your home or office like a visitor would. Bring a pencil and paper – or tablet to write down every thought that hits you as you make your way around. This is not to create large remodeling projects, but, easy-do-in-between tasks like:

  • label and secure dangling wires,
  • check backs of bookcases and entertainment centers for loose nails (if you catch it in time a ‘no-tool’dab of glue to the rescue!)
  • test shades and blinds for needed adjustments
  • look for dark corners that will benefit from a stick up (no tools!) motion detector light
  • where can you add an easy makeover for electrical faceplates and light switches-ok it does require a screwdriver, but we did say no ‘heavy duty’ tools.

Now, wasn’t that easy? You probably didn’t even finish your latte yet.

Happy Autumn and remember to call a professional before you begin a home or office remodeling project. Get price estimates and proof of insurance from every contractor you plan to hire. Be sure to call your town to find out if you need permits for the work you are about to do.

And as always…“Measure twice; cut once.”― Alistair MacLeod

5 Inexpensive Techniques to Keep Your Home Cool for the Summer

5 Inexpensive Techniques to Keep Your Home Cool for the Summer

We all know how hot the summertime can get but there is no cheap way to keep your house cool with the air conditioning running all summer. To keep your wallet happy, here are some techniques to keep your house cool without going over budget.

  1. Fans can be your best friend! Put a fan in each room of the house and on those really hot days have the fans running while your thermostat is set to about 76 degrees. You’ll like the benefit to your electric bill.
  2. The oven adds unnecessary heat to the house so try using a crockpot as an alternative.
  3. Closing the blinds can help keep the cool air in on those super-hot days.
  4. Temporary tints on windows can help reduce heat and still let you see the beautiful outdoors.
  5. Save on appliances that are not in use by unplugging to save any extra costs on your electric bill.

Now that you have some techniques to keep your home cool without breaking the bank; sit back and enjoy the season!

For more information about how to keep your home cool for the summer season be sure to contact: HMMA, Inc. at: 201-943-3331 or see

5 Tips for a Tip-Top Springtime Home You’ll Enjoy All Season

Homeowners are anticipating the spring weather to arrive. Getting ready for spring also includes these 5 tips that will help you ease into the season:

  1. Check your ‘Insides’- make sure to assess your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. By assessing these systems, you can make sure that they are working properly and if filters need to be replaced or cleaned.
  2. Check your ‘Outside’- inspect your windows and doors and if caulking or weather stripping needs attention. Also, check the roof for missing shingles and/or tiles. Gutters need to be cleaned out as well.
  3. Spring cleaning- Windows can get awfully dirty from the horrid winter season. The windows, ceiling fans, and fireplaces should all be cleaned out. To be safe rather than sorry, test out your emergency systems as well (replace smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries and if their useful life is up, the whole unit).
  4. Landscaping- Let’s get that front lawn ready to shine! Garden hoses should be replaced if cracked or old. Take the time to rake away leaves, tree limbs, and debris from the front of your home and the walkway. Think about power washing the concrete, brick walls and your deck to get the cleaning that it so painfully needs.
  5. Front and Backyard Furnishing- if you have outdoor furniture, its time to clean the cushions, canvas, and plastics to get your back or front yard ready for lounging in the warm weather.

Taking proper precautions before the seasons change is extremely important. Your home goes through a lot during the cold weather, so giving it some TLC in time for the warmer seasons is crucial for a well-cared-for home.

For more information about how to improve your home for the winter season be sure to contact: HMMA, Inc. at: 201-943-3331 or see

7 Questions to Ask Your Contractor Before Remodeling

7 Questions to Ask Your Contractor Before Remodeling



  1. Are you reachable? Before you sign an agreement, it is a good idea to call a few times to see how easy or difficult it is to reach your contractor. Get all the contact information you can. Write down the contractor’s cell phone, office telephone, business address, e-mail address, business license or home improvement number, license plate. When you need to reach your contractor, you’ll be glad to have these numbers.
  2. Have you done this before? Ask the contractor to describe similar projects he/she has worked on. You can call references, but, be aware, that it is unlikely that they will give you the names of unhappy clients.  Ask if they have had any complaints and how they handled them.
  3. Who will be here? Ask about who will be supervising the job and how often you will get updates.
  4. How long will it take? How long does the contractor estimate the project will take? Discuss how missed deadlines will be addressed.
  5. How will you get paid? How much money does the contractor require up front? Be sure the agreement states when they will start and what is expected after each payment.
  6. Do you have insurance? A contractor should carry liability insurance to protect against any issues that occur when working on your home, worker’s compensation insurance for his/her workers, and vehicle insurance.
  7. Are you educated regarding Lead Safety? If you live in a house built before 1978, any professionals working on the home are required to have passed a lead paint safety course. In addition to this requirement, properly trained contractors bring useful knowledge to keep your home safe.

Start with these brief questions at a minimum and don’t be afraid to ask more questions.

Once you meet the contractor, you will get an understanding of his/her personality which is very important especially if you are planning a lengthy project.  You don’t need to be best friends, just able to communicate professionally.

While it is typical to ask for 2-3 bids on a project, remember to compare the same timing, level of products and services as well as experience and insurance coverage.

Beware, your best choice may not be the cheapest.  And the best quality isn’t always the most expensive.

For more information or for help remodeling your home or business call HMMA, Inc. in Northern NJ at 201-943-3331.

SummerSummer…the time for vacations and longer days.  For homeowners, the work never seems to end.  For smart homeowners, the right maintenance prevents a larger repair down the road.

Here are some tips to keep your home in tip-top shape this season.

Help your gutters do their job. Remove any winter debris by giving the gutters a quick purge with your leaf blower or garden hose extension. Check for loose or disconnected elbows and tighten when needed.
Service your A/C. Most homeowners can change air filters and vacuum out  floor registers.  Call your contractor if you need additional service.
How’s your siding? Warm and sunny days give an excuse for playing with the hose. Give your siding the once over with soap and water, a brush & the garden hose.
Check the Play and Sitting Areas of your home.  Children will be planning to enjoy the outdoors…so be sure to give your swing sets and lawn furniture the once over with some bleach and soapy water.  Always test an area first.  Also, tighten any loose connections.
Window of Opportunity. GET A SQUEEGEE!  No one likes this job, but, a squeegee makes it a little easier.

Do a walk-thru and make a list of items that need repair or service.  This way, you can work to get a contractor to price a full day of work at a value rate rather than several short trips that will typically cost more.

Contact HMMA at: for a Free Summer Maintenance Walk Thru Checklist.





The Value of Replacing Your Home’s Doors


Installing new exterior entrance or interior doors and trim are great ways to add value to your home.

Replacing doors is actually an affordable way to quickly revitalize the appearance and decor of your home.

In addition to improving the famous ‘curb appeal,’ a new exterior door can also improve energy efficiency.

Real estate agents and remodelers say updated kitchens and baths still bring a significant payoff, especially at resale time.  But, when you are on a budget and in the market for a new look as well as an interest in adding to your home’s value, a new door might be just what the agent ordered.

Don’t stop at the exterior doors! Interior doors and upgraded hardware are affordable additions that add to your home’s décor and buyer’s appeal as well.

For more information about how to improve the value of your home be sure to contact: HMMA, Inc. at: 201-943-3331 or see


Keep Warm this Winter

Keep Warm this Winter

warm home

Keep warm this year!

Of course, the best solution is to have your home professionally insulated.

Until then:

  •  Be sure to close doors to unused rooms and keep the heat where you are.
  • Cover your floors!  Area rugs add a nice color accent and warmth to your rooms.
  • Use decorative door warmers to keep the cold out.  If you don’t have one handy…head out to your local hardware store and buy some pipe foam.  You can cut it in half and slide it under the door OR use two and cover with a pretty fabric wide enough to slide one on each side of the door.
  • Remember to ALWAYS shut off space heaters when you leave the room. Never leave them unattended.

Call HMMA, Inc. at: 201-943-3331 for more tips on keeping your home warm, remodeling, insulation, whole home generators and more.


Change of Season

2000-01-01 00.00.25-1Some thoughts for change of season:
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  Replace the batteries.
Check your clean gutters and downspouts. Make sure all drainage areas are unblocked by leaves and debris. Consider installing gutter guards to make the job a lot easier.
Check the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Use caulk to fill the holes or completely replace the wood.
Now is a good time to check your roof for wear and tear. If the shingles are curling, buckling or crackling, replace them. If you have any leaks or gaps, heavy snow and ice will find its way in. Call in a professional before the weather goes cold.
Bring in hoses indoors…drain and store for spring.
Clean and replace filters in your furnace or heating system.  Don’t forget to oil the furnace. Contact your local utility company who will often check out your system for free.
Check out your snow blower, shovels, scrapers, etc.  Making sure these items are in tip top shape before the first snow will save you time, energy and lot’s of time on line at your local hardware or repair shop.
For more home maintenance tips or for a quote on your upcoming projects.  Call HMMA, Inc., at: 201-943-3331.