Earning Trust

For many people, their first impression of someone is their most lasting impression.  The same holds true for homeowners searching for the right remodeling company.

A big factor in choosing a remodeler is the homeowner’s comfort with the first person they meet from the company, whether it’s the owner or a sales person. Hitting it off from the start is important, and the homeowner’s gut feelings play a role in their ultimate decision of choosing a remodeler.

That “gut” feeling is typically shaped in the very first meeting.  Professional remodelers understand this, and they make sure to act in ways that earn their clients’ trust.

When choosing your remodeler, ask yourself the following questions.

Does the remodeler…

  1. Look Professional? Someone driving an old pickup truck and wearing ripped jeans and a dirty tee shirt may be a skilled craftsman, but their appearance raises questions. Although a collared shirt and a clean vehicle don’t guarantee a great choice, they’re the first sign of a professional who runs a legitimate business and pays attention to detail.
  1. Follow the rules? You want to know that whoever does your project will do it right. That includes knowing they will follow relevant laws and regulations. Sample contracts, as well as proof of the necessary licensing and insurance, are signs of a diligent company that doesn’t cut corners.
  1. Have compassion? A remodeling project can be an emotional roller coaster or an enjoyable ride. The best remodelers help people understand the ups and downs that may occur during the project. They will have policies on how the crew will interact with you and your family, as well as how they will treat your home.
  1. Have set schedules? When you know what will happen and when during the project, you will suffer a lot less anxiety. You want a remodeler who clearly communicates the schedule, which includes the overall project schedule, the approximate timetable for each major phase, and the typical start and end time of each work day.
  1. Keep you constantly informed? On a long-term project like an addition or major kitchen remodel, a professional remodeler knows that the homeowner will feel more secure, and the job will go more smoothly, if there’s a regular forum for questions and concerns. Weekly meetings with the Project Manager can alleviate anxiety and put the homeowner’s mind at ease.
  1. Have solid references? Any reputable company will provide past client references. In some cases, those clients may be willing to show you their completed project! That’s a sign that they really like the work that was done, and trust the remodeler.

Making changes to your home can be exciting and stressful.  But when you choose a remodeling company who can reduce uncertainty and develop trust, the road to the finished project can be an enjoyable one which leads to a fantastic finish.

 

Create Your Perfect Basement

Underground, cold, concrete, storage space… although these may be words used to describe your current basement, the lowest floor of your home probably has loads of potential. If you’re dreaming of some extra space, finishing your basement might make it the most popular room in the house—for a lot less cash than adding on.

When planning your basement finishing, consider your space. If you have a large basement, you can probably divide the space into separate rooms. If the basement is small, that might not be ideal. Keep in mind that most potential buyers will prefer an open concept design to small, choppy rooms.

Give some thought to finishes. Do you want carpeting or wood floors? Track lighting or recessed lights? What about decorative touches like crown molding?  Sometimes picking out the finishing touches can be the most fun and it will personalize the room to your liking.

While deciding what to have done, consider where in the basement you should be putting designated areas…

  • The main socializing area should be in a spot that gets the best natural light.

  • If you are adding a bedroom in the basement, you need an egress window, so it should be located at the perimeter of the room.
  • A TV area can be in a darker area, to reduce glare and create a home-theater feel.

 

Once you have a plan for the layout, you can look forward to the many benefits of a finished basement.

  • Increases livable space – Finishing your basements creates a lot more livable space. Transform unused space into an extra living room, a guest room, a home theater or playroom for the kids.
  • Extra Bathroom – Whether you turn your basement into a play area for kids or a place for guests to sleep, a bathroom can make things run more smoothly. Kids won’t be constantly going up and down the stairs and your guests will feel more comfortable with their own bathroom.
  • Increases resale value – Finishing your basement can significantly increase the resale value of your home. This is particularly true if many other homes in your neighborhood have unfinished basements.
  • Creates a private space – A finished basement can be a getaway from the noise and chaos of the rest of the house. Create a quiet, comfortable space for watching TV, or create an exercise space right in your own home.

 

 

If you’ve been thinking about finishing your basement, call one of our experienced consultants to get started!

Book Your Island Get-A-Way

Geib, Ron & Merle Lee Kitchen (7)These days, kitchen islands are as common as the kitchen sink.  In addition to being a focal point, they also increase functionality and efficiency.

 

They offer extra storage, seating, and more work space. What type of island is best suited for you and your kitchen?

 

 

L-Shaped

Pros: L-shaped islands tend to be large with lots of storage. The amount of counter space prevents an overcrowded work space, which allows for more than one cook in the kitchen.  You won’t have an issue finding room for bar-style seating.Gleim (2)

 

Cons:  L-shaped islands can chop up your kitchen design, which can hamper efficiency during meal prep. The shape doesn’t always maximize storage space since corners tend to decrease accessibility.

 

 

 

U-Shaped

Pros:  U-shaped islands are highly functional. They provide extra storage space, more workspace, enough room for seating, and they can house more than one appliance if they’re big enough. You may not have to leave your island when you’re prepping food.

Cons:  They can be bulky and can close off your kitchen from the rest of your home. The double corners will limit accessible storage space unless they incorporate a Lazy Susan or swing-out door.

 

GalleyHoover, Kitchen (4)

Pros:   Galley islands provide a space with flow and efficiency with their sleek design. They maximize storage space because there aren’t any corners or curves. Appliances and stored items are always accessible. The design also supports guest seating.

Cons:  Sometimes they’re too small to comfortably fit an appliance, which can create problems with your layout.

 

 

Curved

Pros: Curved islands add an interesting aesthetic to kitchens. There’s more than enough room for meal prep, and they can incorporate expansive seating areas that leave enough room for guests to comfortably eat and socialize.  _DSC5627_ web

 

Cons:  Your counter is spread out and curved, which can limit the way you cook.   Storage space can be wasted unless your cabinets are customized to include creative options.

 

 

Rolling

Pros: Rolling islands are versatile, and a blessing for smaller kitchens that lack prep space.  They can function as a worktop or a spare surface for your ingredients.

Cons:  They can be a hassle to roll out during meals or to store, and bigger designs may be hard to move. They offer little to no storage.

Furniture-Style

Pros:  It can be custom-built, an antique or store-bought — a furniture piece adds character to your kitchen with its detail and decorative design.  They usually aren’t bulky and fit nicely in your kitchen.

Cons: Furniture pieces weren’t built with kitchen storage in mind, so you may not fit all of your cookware comfortably.  There’s also the issue of durability with daily use in a kitchen.

Fill out the form on the right of the page to schedule your FREE consultation.

Below Your Feet

When you walk into a kitchen, what catches your eye?  Cabinets?  Counter tops?  What about the floor?

Bunte - General picture

If you’re considering updating your kitchen, the kitchen flooring you select is a major decision.  You want your kitchen floor to be low maintenance and one that can stand up to a wide range of spills like water, food and even dropped dishes.

 

 

 

 

Bamboo

If you like eco-friendly products, bamboo is a great kitchen flooring material.  Bamboo is one of the strongest of the natural materials on the market.

Ross-Cali bamboo

The Positive: Durable, beautifully grained, eco-friendly.
The Drawbacks: Some bamboo flooring can dent easily.

Laminate

Laminate flooring is an affordable and durable kitchen flooring idea. The top layer can withstand most abuse, and if you add padding beneath, you have a soft, ergonomic floor.

Dodszuweitz, Kitchen, Various small projects

The Positive: Durable, cost effective, wide variety of options.
The Drawbacks:  May be slippery, noisy, cannot refinish.

Stone

Because of the variations in pattern and color, stone gives your kitchen flooring a unique, earthy look.  Stone flooring is naturally cool, which is perfect in hotter zones.

The Positive: Hard, durable surface, easy to clean.
The Drawbacks: Certain stones may stain, requires routine sealing, some fragile stones like slate may chip easily.

Tile 
Tile is a great, low-maintenance solution for a kitchen. It’s easy to clean, durable and has a reflective quality that expands the appearance of space in a kitchen.

Hagar - ceramic tile

The Positive: Durable, moisture resistant, easy to maintain, available in a large assortment of styles, shapes and colors.
The Drawbacks: Grout lines may be difficult to keep clean, dropped items like glassware and dishes will likely shatter.

Vinyl

Vinyl is affordable, comes in a variety of textures and styles and is one of the most water-resistant kitchen flooring options.

Hoover - Vinyl

The Positive:  Water resistant, certain styles look just like wood.
The Drawbacks:  requires a flawless subfloor to install on, can gouge easily.

Wood
Wood has a high-end, warm look that’s unique according to grain and age. But wood in the kitchen requires special protection from excess moisture.

Buckwalter - oak

The Positive: Adds resale value, attractive, durable, can be refinished.
The Drawbacks: Can be noisy, needs periodic refinishing, may dent or scratch easily.

Whatever the material you decide to use, we can help.  Call us for a free consultation with one of our professionals.

From Storage Space to Living Space: Attic Conversions

If you’re looking to expand your living area, look up.  An attic conversion can give you a master bedroom, a private office, or TV room.  But before you determine if converting your attic is right for you, or even doable, there may be obstacles. _DSC0088

Building Codes

Because local codes vary, a building inspector can provide a list of codes and required inspections for your new attic conversion.  Inspectors will take into consideration ceiling codes, joist codes, if rafters can support drywall, lighting, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC system components.  They also examine egress codes.   Regular bedroom egress codes typically require at least two exits — a doorway and usually a window. An attic bedroom requires both a window and a staircase to the level beneath.

Support Systems

The structural framing under your roof will determine if you can add an attic room.  Rafters, internal beams extending from the peak of the roof to its eaves, provide a center open space that you can easily remodel.  Trusses, W-shaped framing that supports the roof, make it harder to achieve room you want.  You might have to cut through, shore up, and alter the very structures that are holding your roof up.  If you have trusses, you’ll be better off looking for other areas in your house to expand.

Extending Systems to Your Attic Conversion

Electrical: You will need to determine if your electric panel has room for additional breakers and can handle the increased load of an attic conversion.

Plumbing:   If you are planning a master suite with a bathroom, it’s a good idea to locate the new bathroom close to the main stack. This reduces the length of pipe you’ll run between sink-shower-toilet drains and the stack, which will cut costs.

HVAC:   Will your forced air blower move enough air to both heat and cool your attic conversion? If it doesn’t, electric baseboard heating and a window air conditioner may suffice. This is information that the electrician will need to know to determine the total electrical requirements.

Gaining Access

An attic conversion requires a standard staircase to meet code.  Adding a staircase will take up space in a room below the attic, so consider converting a closet. You may be able to regain that storage space by using space under the new staircase.

Insulation

How does a space that reaches sweltering heat in the summer and freezing temperatures in the winter transform to your new living space? Insulation!!!  The cost of insulating will also need to be figured into your attic conversion.

If you can overcome these obstacles, attic conversions hold tremendous appeal for homeowners seeking more living space under their own roof.

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