Remodeling tips

building remodel

Getting the Best from your Contractor

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When you’re investing in a remodeling project, you want things to go as smoothly as possible. The relationship between you and your design and construction team is the cornerstone for a successful project. Here are some of our favorite tips for getting the best from your contractor.

  1. Pick a point person – There are many conversations and decisions as part of a remodeling project. Keep things simple and clear for your family and your contractor by designating a point person to work directly with your contractor.
  2. Communicate early and often – From a signed contract to an agreed upon timeline and budget, it’s important to communicate early and often. If you have questions, ask. If you have concerns, please tell your contractor earlier. It’s much easier to address concerns about the tile before it’s installed. And your contractor should be happy to engage in a discussion about your questions so you get the home of your dreams.
  3. Plan for ‘alone time’ – Depending on the size of your remodeling project, it is likely that your contractor will need to be in your home when you are not. Whether you decide to give your contractor a key or access with a garage code, make sure you’re clear about your preferences so that your contractor can work efficiently. But do only what you’re comfortable with.
  4. Keep your kids and pets in the safe zone – Remodeling projects can be messy but they can also be dangerous to kids and pets. Safety is important for all involved, so please keep your kids and pets out of the construction zone for everyone’s peace of mind.


dust control

Dust & Dust Control: Why During Your Remodel is as Important as After

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When you are looking to hire a remodeler, you’re usually drawn in by the before-and-after pictures and by the potential of your new space. While those photos are attractive and grab your attention, BEWARE — they don’t tell the whole story. What happens in the time between those before-and-after photos is just as important as the end result.

Your livability is our top concern during a remodeling project. We take pride in limiting the biggest threat to livability during a remodeling project: Dust

That’s why when you’re ready to hire a remodeler, make sure to discuss the during, specifically how the remodeler will take care of you while your house is being remodeled. Most homeowners want to stay in their homes during demolition and construction.We understand this, and that is why we discuss a livability plan with our clients before we start a project. This plan helps homeowners understand the timeline, logistics, dust control and safety precautions associated with the project.

That’s why we invest in the newest dust control technology to incorporate into our dust control plan and best practices. By using the groundbreaking BuildClean Dust Control System, we will capture and remove up to 90 percent of airborne dust that accumulates during your remodeling project.

Why is dust control important?

Because remodeling projects can stir up jobsite dust that can include dirt and debris, organic matter, drywall, cement, silica and sawdust. With the BuildClean Dust Control System, we collect dust at the point of generation and while it is still airborne, which is the most effective way to capture and virtually eliminate all types of worksite dust. You are not just investing in a job well done, you also would like to maintain a great home life during the project as well. To provide you and your family with the best remodeling experience, from start to finish, we use BuildClean every time.

If you want to know more about the ‘during’ our home owners experience when they remodel with us, drop us a note.

greenery pantone color of the year 2017

Greenery 2017 Pantone Color of the Year

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The turning of the year signals a time for new beginnings. A time to start again whether it’s revitalizing health, reconnecting with family or rejuvenating your physical environment. We always enjoy seeing what color Pantone picks as the color of the year. For 2017, the color is Greenery and was picked because it is “a life-affirming shade” and “is also emblematic of the pursuit of personal passions and vitality.”

Greenery Pantone Color + Complementary Palettes

To read more about the color of the year, check out the full article on the pantone website. If part of your 2017 plan is an updated kitchen, refreshed master suite or perhaps finishing the basement, you should check out the greenery’s complementary color palettes on the pantone site as well. There are some great options like the subdued Forest Floor complements which would be great in a kitchen or the ocean inspired Fathomless palette that would set apart any bathroom redesign.

Picking A Color Palette For Your Redesign Project

Speaking of color palettes, here are five of our favorite tips when picking a color palette for your home. If you’re inspired by Greenery but it’s just not quite right, consider these ideas:

  1. Choose your colors from the largest pattern in the space. Maybe it’s your couch or a beautiful painting. If you love it, pick your colors from that pattern leaning heavily on the neutrals in the patter for your wall color.
  2. Use the color wheel. For a calming effect, pick colors next to each other on the color wheel – much like the Fathomless collection shown on the the Pantone site.
  3. Go gray. Is beige boring? Try gray as your neutral. It can look warm or cool and pairs well with calm pastels or colors as bright as hot pink.
  4. Dress your home like you dress yourself. Chances are you’ll love your home if it reminds you of your favorite fashion statements. If you like classic combinations like black and white, rely on those basics for your home. Or if you’re more into eclectic layers, consider spicing up your space with Moroccan pillows or Indian textiles.
  5. Make a monochromatic statement. Especially in small spaces like a bathroom or reading nook, pick a favorite color to pop against white floors and walls. If bright yellow makes you smile, consider bright cabinets with beautiful white marble counters and floors.

We’d be happy to talk with you about your remodeling needs and picking a stunning color palette that is perfect for your personality and home

new year resolution remodel

New Year Remodeling Resolutions

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Do you already have your resolutions for 2017? Maybe lose some weight or spend more time with family and friends? Well, let us offer some new year remodeling resolutions for your home that may also help you achieve your personal goals.

Invest in things you love

Spend some time decluttering. Before you put away your holiday decorations, take a little time to clean out the magazines that have accumulated on the catch-all and the already-worked-puzzles from the closets. Once you have some space, both physically and mentally, assess your spaces and make sure the things you love have a place of honor. If you have spaces left over, consider investing in a few special items like a family photo wall or a vintage rocking chair.

Overhaul the room that gets the most use

We often hear things like,”It doesn’t matter how comfortable our couches are, people just like to hang out in our kitchen.” If that’s the case in your house, consider remodeling your most used room (or rooms) with inviting gathering spaces, warm materials and custom features. As you begin to think about how you’d like to transform the space, use a site like Houzz or Pinterest to save ideas and begin to consider the budget you’d like to stick to. These things will give your design remodel team a good starting place for your project.

Overhaul the room that gets the least use

We also hear from our clients that they have a room in the house that doesn’t really get used. Whether a family whose children have outgrown the traditional playroom or empty-nesters who are ready for a formal living room update, maybe it’s time to remodel a little used room into a new social hub for the home.  Play rooms become offices. Walls between living rooms and kitchens come down. Basements get built out. The possibilities are endless when it comes to transforming a room into a useful, family-friendly space.

holiday lighting on mantel

Remodeling Tips for Holiday Lighting

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As the holiday season draws near, you may be dreaming of a new kitchen, bath or basement. While we don’t recommend starting any major renovations right before the holidays, we do recommend thinking about the holidays when you’re planning your remodeling project. Here are a few remodeling holiday lighting tips to make your future holidays brighter (and easier):

  1. Place an outlet in your mantel – a beautifully lit mantel adds warmth and style to any holiday. When refacing a fireplace, add an outlet to the top of your mantel and you’ll be able to easily plug in a strand of lights, a wreath or other decoration without needing to find a creative way to hide the cord.
  2. Place outlets in the floor – by adding outlets in the floor beneath the couch and side tables, not only are you setting yourself up for easy year-round lighting, but you’ve got options for additional holiday lighting including a floor plug for a Christmas tree.
  3. Don’t forget the outside – if you’re considering an exterior remodel make sure you add weather-proof outdoor outlets in areas of the house where you would like easy access for lighting. Also an exterior remodel is a great time to consider adding light clips or structures to cleanly hold your outdoor holiday lights.

But since you’re not likely to start a large remodel right before the holidays, here are a few ideas to freshen up your home until you’re ready to remodel:

  • Brush the dust off of outdoor light fixtures, the front walk, eves and doorways. Hang a fresh wreath on the door for a pop of color and that beautiful evergreen smell.
  • Get the squeaks out by lubricating door hinges and garage doors.
  • Make sure your home has that extra sparkle with new light bulbs inside and out, wipe down mirrors (because people like to look at themselves after all) and smile because sometimes that’s all someone needs to see to make their day.
diy remodel tools

Home Remodel DIY or Hire A Pro?

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Is a DIY remodel the best for your needs?

With the growth of YouTube and the home improvement channels, many people consider taking on a home remodeling project themselves. And for some projects, that may be a great idea. But for anyone who has made 6 trips to their hardware store on a Saturday trying to finish a project, a DIY remodel may not be the right answer.

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry recently published a quiz to help home owners determine if their project is a DIY project or should be left to the pros. Here are a few of the questions. See what you think:
1. Do you enjoy physical work?
2. Are you persistent and patient (and not tempted to throw a hammer if something goes wrong)?
3. Will you actually finish the project once you start?
4. Do you have the tools AND skill needed for the job?
5. Can you produce the quality of work that you want for your home?
6. Do you have the time to finish the project (multiply your estimate by 3 unless you’re a skilled professional who has experience with your specific project)?
7. Can you do the job by yourself or will you need help from someone else (hanging drywall, for example, is a difficult job for one)
8. Are you familiar with your local building codes and permit requirements?
9. Is it safe for you to do the project – some jobs can be fatal if done incorrectly, take electrical work for example?

If you answered yes to the majority of these questions, then DIY might be the perfect approach for you. If not, consider establishing a relationship with a reputable remodeling professional who understands your design aesthetic and will happily provide a contract for the services they will provide.

If you’re considering a home remodel, we’d love to talk with you.

Love where you live!

Kitchen remodeling projects

Tips for Successful Remodeling Projects

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Good advice. Great project.

Better Homes & Gardens published a great article on 15 tips for a successful remodeling projects. You can read the whole list at BHG, but we wanted to highlight the three tips that jumped out to us:

Tip 1: Plan Ahead – By making your product selections early in the process, you’ll have a good idea of the project schedule and an even better idea of your project budget. Some products have a substantial lead times, so making these decisions early on will prevent project delays. You’ll be happier about that and so will your professional remodeler.

Tip 2: Insist on a Detailed Contract – The clearer the contract, the clearer everyone’s vision is for the project. Make sure your contract has the right property address, start date, anticipated end date as well as what is included and what is not. If you’re working with a professional remodeler who is not willing to write down the agreement, find another remodeler or you may find yourself fighting more battles than deciding what type of granite to use in the kitchen.

Tip 3: Communicate Effectively – Remodeling projects are a beautiful balance of creative design and technical project execution. With so many moving parts, your professional remodeler has a lot to keep track of but what they want in the end is a happy home owner with an amazing new space. If you’re unhappy with something, communicate it with your project supervisor or the company so they can address it. There will inevitably be a bump or two in the road, but proactively addressing it together with your remodeling team will help you get the remodel you’ve dreamed about.

If you’re considering a whole house remodel or thinking about updating a specific room, we’d love to talk with you.

Love where you live!