A Call For Questions

One of the functions of our blog is to interact with the public.
We would welcome any questions that you may have concerning any part of the remodeling process.

Here are some “primer” questions that we have for you to get you thinking.

1.      Do you have a remodeling experience that you would like to share? Good or bad.

2.      Are you anticipating a remodeling project and have questions you would like answered before you start?

3.      Specific product questions? If we don’ know, we can certainly point you in the right direction.

4.      Design questions? Are you at an impasse on how to overcome a design conundrum? Let us help!

5.      Just want to bounce some ideas off of someone before you “go public” with them? We are here for you.

Don’t be shy.

Remember, we want this blog to be a resource to help make remodeling more enjoyable and less scary. Also to share ideas and comments.

Check back continually and contribute often.

That’s what it’s all about.

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… Project Log – Dust & Dirt

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

What To Do With All The Old Stuff?

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Used Items Ready To Be Reused or Recycled

We have been talking about remodeling our homes, new Kitchens, Bathrooms, Additions, Basements, etc.

All of this remodeling generates some debris; however, it also generates some materials that are reusable.

Let’s take a look at some of the most obvious items that can be saved and reused.

1.       Lighting Fixtures

These are things that we don’t give a lot of thought to throwing in the trash. Our thinking is usually, “who would want this old thing?” When, in reality, there are plenty of people who not only want these fixtures, but need them as well. Some of your “old fixtures” may actually be the perfect fit for someone else’s décor.

2.       Plumbing Fixtures

“Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” This also applies to the plumbing fixtures that you are replacing in your Bathroom or Kitchen. You are tired of the lime green toilet or the mustard yellow bathtub, but it might be just what someone else is looking for. You would be surprised. Also, think of places that it may be convenient to have that extra sink, the Garage, the Basement, an outdoor herb/potting shed. You may not want it inside your house anymore, but it may still be useful.

3.       Cabinetry

Sometimes we don’t think about saving the cabinetry until it’s too late. So before the carpenters smash the cabinets to fit them into the dumpster or load them into their trailer to sell or give to someone else, take a walk around the house and see if there is a place that needs more storage space or could benefit from an additional wall cabinet or two. Places like the Laundry Room, the Garage, the Basement, the Attic or the shed. Even a walk-in closet could be made more usable with the addition of a cabinet for storing off season stuff.

4.       Countertops

Again, we need to think about what we might gain if we install the old countertops somewhere else in the house. Most tops that are being replaced are made of laminate materials. These materials are very durable and can be used in areas that have a need for easy clean up and maintenance. Garages, Basements, craft rooms, potting sheds. And they don’t need to follow the cabinetry either. Countertops can be modified to fit most any space that you may have. Even older Corian® tops can be modified to fit your needs.

5.       Appliances

The refrigerator, dishwasher, and stove, etc. are probably the easiest things to get rid of. Who doesn’t know of an Aunt, Uncle, niece or cousin who needs an appliance? What about a neighbor, brother or sister or coworker whose refrigerator just when on the fritz? The hardest thing about this is getting help moving the items to their new locations.

With the advent of Craig’s List, Ebay and the like, the playing field has been infinitely expanded. And access to all kinds of persons, with every level of interest and need, makes reusing household items as practical as it has ever been.

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… A Call For Questions

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

Planning Your Basement Space #6: Enjoy Your New Space

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Welcome To Your New         New Basement Plenty of       Your New Basement Dance

Basement                               Space                                  Studio

 

Sitting in your Kitchen, you notice something strange. Things are quiet downstairs.

No more hammers, no power saws, no drills.

None of the workers came up to get their cup of coffee and the plate of cookies has not been touched.That is when it hits you…it’s Monday morning and the painters and carpenters finished up the project on Friday afternoon.  The weeks of construction noise, dirt, dust and inconvenience are over! You get your privacy back again. And now you get to claim the new space as your own.

Hopefully, the project has gone the way that you and the contractor had planned. Even more importantly, the space has turned out better than expected.

After the contractor has handed the project over to you, you should take the time to do the following:

1. Take a walk through the space with your contract in hand, along with any and all additional work orders. Review the finished product in light of the project as proposed. Note any discrepancies or deviations that you need to address with the contractor.    

2. Review any outstanding items that may be contained on a short “punch list.” These are items that are outstanding and need to be completed at a time yet to be determined. You should receive this detailed list in writing, accompanied by a financial commitment and a time frame for completion, as well as who is responsible for the completion of each of the outstanding items.    

3. Visit each space. Whether it is the Game Room, Craft Room, Kitchen, Living Room, Home Theater, etc., to confirm the idea of the environment that you want to create in each space. This will continue the interior design process that was started when you picked the paint colors and the flooring way back during the selection process. Remember, don’t clutter every space with furniture right away.    

4. Move in. Don’t be afraid to use the new space that is what you designed it for!     

5. Throw a grand opening party. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing guests enjoying the environment that you created. 

Let yourself enjoy the new spaces. You endured the inconveniences of the construction, now grant yourself the freedom to spread out and grow into the expanded floor plan that is your new finished Basement.

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time…What To Do With All The Old Stuff?     

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

Planning Your Basement Space #5: Egress, Friend or Foe?

If you live in a fairly new home, this topic may not be an issue in that most new homes have some type of secondary entry way. In older homes, such as we deal with in our area quite frequently, a second entry to the Basement was not an important feature. Most homes, new or old, will have some type of exterior entrance to the Basement, a stairwell, a Bilco door unit, a walk out Basement door, etc. However, depending on what you are using your newly finished Basement for, you may be required to provide more egress than just two exit points.

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Different Types of Egress

Many families, when finishing off their Basement, are looking for a guest room or additional sleeping quarters. If you add a Bedroom to your Basement, this room will be required to have its own source of egress to the outside. This could be a door or a window, but this would be in addition to the main egress points in other parts of the Basement.

Inevitably, when we bring up the subject of egress requirements with our clients, we are asked “how can we get out of complying with the code?” And mostly this question comes up in the discussion of budget. Adding an additional means of egress to a Basement can easily add $5,000 or more to the cost of the project. Here is the answer that we give to the issue of complying with the egress requirements of the code. We try to get our clients to understand that the code is there to address the safety of their family and guests in the case of an emergency, such as a fire. We try to get them to look at the situation from the other side of such an event. Do they want to be able to say that everyone got out safely? Or, heaven forbid, they are lamenting the fact that someone got trapped in the Basement because they chose not to comply with the building codes that were there to enhance the safe use of their new space.

In relation to the scope of the project, the topic of egress in the eyes of a client can be a budget buster. However, as far as egress being “friend or foe”, I can promise you that it will be your friend when it counts the most. In the end, we recommend that you hold the safety of your family and guests in the highest regard and do not skirt the code requirements when it comes to egress. You will not be sorry.

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… Planning Your Basement Space #6: Enjoy Your New Space

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

 

Planning Your Basement Space #4: Developing a Floor Plan

We are now ready to start placing walls into our blank canvas and commence developing the floor plan for the new Basement space.

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Maximize Space on Exterior Wall

The exterior walls can be seen as a given or pre-defined. These are the walls that are covering up the foundation walls. It is best to keep these as far against the outside walls as possible as to maximize the usable floor space. Items that need to be considered are plumbing and water pipes, electrical wiring and the need for access panels.

One of the first interior walls that are generally placed is for the Utility Room. Hiding the utilities is priority. Remember to take into account the code requirements for service space in front of and around the units.

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Stairwell walls; Open or Enclosed?

Next, establish the stairwell. Generally, you will need to decide a few things around the stairwell. One, will it be an enclosed or open staircase. Second, how will the space under the staircase be used? Will it be closet? Will there be shelving there? In any case, remember that most codes require the underside of the staircase to be drywalled.

After these few walls have been placed, stand back and take a look at the remaining space. My recommendation is to refrain from going wall happy. Too many walls (rooms) will restrict the use of the space and make it feel confining. Of course you need to accommodate certain spaces such as powder rooms and bathrooms, bedrooms and other private spaces, however, be careful not to chop up a nice open floor plan.

Kitchens and entertainment areas do not necessarily need interior walls. Playrooms and craft areas may need walls to accommodate closets and storage needs.

Perhaps one of the best investments at this stage would be a roll of masking tape. You can use the masking tape to layout the placement of interior walls and try to get a feel for how the walls will impact the space. Also another tool to help you plan your space is a good professional interior designer. If your builder does not employ or recommend someone, do your homework and find one to help with floor plan layout. If you are doing this project yourself, invest in an hour or two of designer time to bounce your ideas off of. This is the time to make adjustments and perhaps consider some things that you didn’t think of.

Remember, don’t give in to the tendency to chop up the floor plan with walls. Words like open, spacious and usable are music to your ears when describing the finished product.

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… Planning Your Basement Space #5: Egress, Friend or Foe?

Q&A&CQuestions and Answers and Comments are expected and welcomed.

YOUR STORY – Tell us about your remodeling experiences, good or bad. We all have had them and perhaps you can help someone else have a great remodeling experience or avoid the issues that you encountered. Remember…keep it clean and civil or we can’t publish it.

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