Complete Home Remodeling

Initial Steps for Dealing With Floodwater Damage

The longer a water-damaged home is left sitting, the more the damage will increase. The tasks after a hurricane are daunting, but it’s important to start them right away. Over the years I’ve worked on many restoration jobs caused by water damage, and here I’ll tell you the first steps you should take after your home has been damaged by water. Hopefully this will help minimize the damage and make the recovery process as smooth as it can be.

Contact your insurance company. Do not do anything to your home until you have contacted your insurance company. If you need to remove anything right away, make sure you document it with pictures or video. The insurance company should send out a water remediation specialist immediately.

Call the right specialists. Get a water remediation specialist in your home as soon as possible. These specialists remove all the damaged contents and start the process of drying everything out. I recommend bringing in a mold specialist as well once everything is dried out to make sure the remediation process was successful. You want to be sure everything is dry and all the mold has been removed before you start any remodeling. Of course you want to get back into your home as soon as possible, but rushing can lead to future mold problems.

Avoid dealing with mold on your own. For natural disasters the magnitude of Harvey, remediation should be left to a professional. If you have to start the process by yourself, take extreme caution. The more you disturb the mold, the greater the chance it can spread throughout your house and become hazardous to your health.

Turn off the power. Before you do any work, turn off the power to the areas you will be working on.

The Layered Effect: The Beauty of Shingle Cladding

Think of a shingle-clad house and traditional styles probably leap to mind: the weathered gray Cape Cods on the East Coast, the grand Shingle-style homes of the late 19th century or the rich red cedar-skinned homes set among lush forests.

Used to clad clean and simple forms or highlight sections of facades, shingles bring detail and texture to the exterior of a home. Considering shingle cladding for your home? Learn more about it and see some homes where it’s been used to great effect.

What Are Shingles?

Shingles are a roof and wall covering consisting of individual overlapping elements. On walls, they are generally fixed over sheathing or wood battens.

Shingles are laid in courses, or rows, from the bottom to the top of the wall, with each successive course overlapping the joint of the one below. They are typically applied in straight, single courses, but variations on this can be used to create interesting, decorative effects.

Materials

Wood has been the traditional material of choice for shingles. Wood shingles are made from durable woods such as western red cedar, which is resistant to harsh weather and other environmental factors. But shingles can also be made from stone, asphalt, slate, zinc and other materials.

Keys to a Well-Functioning House

The design of a house can have a profound effect on how we feel, but we often attribute this to aesthetics. In fact, it’s about so much more. Good design should enhance our experience of a space, and the way a room looks is almost the icing on the cake.

Get the layout right. The starting point for any kind of change in your home should be the layout and the way the space functions. Spend time looking at how you use and move around your home. Try to establish what is and isn’t working to get a clear picture of what you need to alter. If the space doesn’t work well and you’re finding it difficult to move around or be comfortable, the interior decoration isn’t going to make much of an improvement.

Be practical. A well-designed home is one that makes things easy for you, so it pays to make room for those everyday tasks like laundry. Not all of us have space for a separate utility area, but clever design may enable you to maximize the space you do have.

Use the dead space. Do you have an awkward area you don’t know what to do with? Challenging spaces are often left bare, and bare spaces tend to attract clutter. If an unused corner in your home has become messy, it may take away from the enjoyment of the room.

Think about how you can transform the space, as there are clever ways of putting these awkward areas to good use. In this home, a nook by a door became a gorgeous window seat that’s both functional and cozy.

Data Watch: Renovation Firms Have Backlogs

Home renovation professionals are busy right now. That’s great news for the remodeling industry but means that homeowners need to plan ahead. Homeowners can anticipate wait times averaging 4.3 to 7.4 weeks before a pro can take on their project

research team finds. Design-build firms have the longest backlogs, at an average of 7.4 weeks. General contractors and remodelers are not far behind, with an average seven-week wait time.

“Backlog” refers to the delay or wait time an average firm faces before starting a new midsize project due to its current project commitments.

Busy with kitchens and baths. Nearly half (49%) of general contractors, remodelers and design-build companies on net report an increase in kitchen or bathroom renovations for the first half of 2017, compared with the same period a year ago.

“On net” means that the percentage of firms reporting increases minus the percentage of firms reporting decreases equals 49 percent. For example, if 54 percent of firms report increases and 5 percent of firms report decreases, that means 49 percent report an increase on net.

Data Watch: Optimism Remains High Across Home Renovation Sectors

Renovation professionals continued to feel confident about the market for their services during the second quarter of 2017, according to the latest Renovation Barometer report, released today. The quarterly index tracks optimism among architects, designers, general contractors and remodelers, design-build firms, building and renovation specialty firms, and landscape and outdoor specialty firms.

Confidence scores remain fairly stable relative to the first quarter of 2017. The biggest jump was among landscape and outdoor specialty firms — to be expected, as outdoor projects typically pick up during the spring and summer

Architects and designers feel confident. The barometer reading for architects was 63 during the second quarter, while designers scored 66 — both indicate high confidence in the market. The scores were the same a year ago.

The barometer is an index designed to measure business sentiment. Scores over 50 indicate that there are more firms reporting higher business activity compared with the previous quarter than firms reporting lower activity. The higher the number over 50, the greater the proportion of firms reporting quarterly increases in business activity rather than decreases.

Scores for contractors, remodelers and design-build firms remain steady. General contractors and remodeling firms scored a second-quarter barometer reading of 75, while design-build firms came in at 73. These scores indicate strong optimism among these sectors during the second quarter of this year, and the readings are in line with those for the same period in 2016.

Achieving A Natural Look With Your Bathroom Remodeling Project

THE EVERYTHING-YOU-NEED-TO-KNOW BATHROOM RENOVATION CHECKLIST

Renovating a bathroom can be overwhelming. You have to decide how much you can spend, select the right products, and determine if you’re going to change the layout. And that’s often before you call a contractor. To ensure that your bathroom renovation runs smoothly, here’s a checklist to keep your project on track. Remember: A successful renovation is all about smart timing.

One Month Out:

-Prep for contractor’s arrival. Clear out medicine cabinets and bathroom closets, and set up a temporary grooming space where you can get ready out of sight of contractors.

-Shop for accessories. With most of the hard planning over, have fun shopping for towel bars, towel hooks, a toilet paper holder, and the perfect soap dish. If you have a new color scheme, pick out your new shower curtain or towels.

-Select a paint color. Once the tile is up and the flooring is down, you’ll be able to get a sense of what color to paint the walls. It’s difficult to pick anything before that.

-Check in with your contractor often. Every day, when the contractor arrives, ask what will be done that day and mention any project hiccups and concerns you might have. Keep the lines of communication open. Make sure he knows where to store materials and how to get into the house if you’re not there. Keep pets and children away from the work site.

Final Days:

  • Be flexible. If a project runs a few days over, try not to get frustrated. If that’s the biggest problem you’ve had, you got off easy.
  • Inspect the contractor’s work. Chances are you’ll do this every day, but if anything seems amiss, try to address it before the job is completed.
  • Celebrate. Throw down your new bath mats, unpack your toiletries, and sip a glass of Champagne.

Tub and shower

The first design decision for your new bath is whether you will have a separate tub and shower, a combination tub/shower, or just a walk-in shower. Roughing in the plumbing locations is one of the first construction milestones after the demo of a bathroom. Selecting and ordering plumbing fixtures is a critical first step in keeping your construction schedule on track.

Shower niche

When thinking of your shower space, keep in mind storage for toiletries and if you want a built-in niche. Niches are constructed during the framing stage. Once the drywall goes up, it’s costly to add one.

Flooring

Flooring is a key component in your materials palette and should be considered early on, when you are looking at cabinetry and tile. It’s important to understand the flooring thickness and its relationship to the cabinetry and transitions to flooring in other rooms.

Tile is the most common flooring choice for bathrooms because it holds up so well to moisture. In recent years, we’ve seen a growing trend for faux wood tile on bathroom floors and walls.

Drain

Planning for the shower drain is sometimes an overlooked detail in bathroom planning. This is an important selection to add to your plumbing list and order early.

Sharing with your sweetie is simpler when you’ve made space for these features.

  • Toilet room: Gives this area privacy; best if it’s got a door.
  • Separate shower stall: Lets bathers and shower-takers clean up simultaneously.
  • Dual workstations: Place double sinks 36 inches apart or more, measured drain to drain, so that you’ll have elbow room. Give each sink enough outlets and lighting, as well as mirror, countertop, and storage space.
  • Wide pathways: Traffic lanes 36 to 42 inches wide allow two people to pass each other without having to squeeze by.

Lighting and Electrical Considerations

Actual light fixtures don’t get installed until the very end, but the electrician will need to know how many junction boxes to install, where to install them, how many switches and dimmers (if any). Consider having enough overhead general ambient lighting as well as task lighting in the vanity area. I recommend using LED fixtures or bulbs with a color temperature of 2700k-3000k. You’ll want “soft white” lighting that gives a warmer yellowy color rather than a glaring “daylight” color temperature that gives off a blue light and makes you look sickly.

Think outside the box with lighting in the vanity area. Instead of 1 sconce above you mirror what about a lighted mirror medicine cabinet? Consider sconces that are more at your eye/face level on either side of the mirror, or funky pendant lights.

If you want an electric heated towel bar make sure you know where it’s going and have the model specifications to the electrician can wire properly for it!

What materials are needed for bathroom remodel?

Select your vanity.

Do not delay on selecting your vanity, some are custom made or are not in stock and can take several weeks to receive.  You do not want your finished bathroom to be delayed while you wait for your vanity to arrive from the manufacturer.  Most contractors will not begin work on your project until all the materials have arrived so this is a priority.  If you hired a bathroom remodeling contractor, have him help you with the process of selecting your bathroom vanity.

Select your bathtub and shower glass doors (if applicable).

Bathtubs, like vanities, can have a long delay in shipment depending on where they are coming from and if they are in stock.  There are a variety of different sizes and options for bathtubs including type of material, depth, length, with or without jets, and handles.  Becoming popular are the walk in tubs meant for aging in place.

Select your faucets and trim to be installed.

Selecting your faucets and trim is an essential part of your shopping.  There are “rough” parts to the shower fixtures which will be installed behind the drywall and under the tile floor.  Without those parts, you will be delayed in the middle of your project.  Be aware that the type of shower head options may affect your installation cost and be sure to match your tub and shower trim to your sink faucets; many times they are paired in a “family” of products such as Kohler’s “Memoirs Collection” .

Select the tile for your shower and backsplash.

Tile is just as important as your vanities because its such a large piece of the bathroom.  You will be selecting tile for your shower and backsplash so you will want to consider how well they coordinate with one another.  We tend to guide our clients against “matchy – matchy” with the different products to avoid a “washed” look.  For example, we might suggest not using white tile with white cabinets.

Select your toilet.

When it comes to toilets, the choice may seem simple, however, toilets are getting more and more sophisticated!   There are toilet options that are designed to be green and save water depending on which flush option you choose.   Additionally, there are a variety of style and color options. Manufacturers such as Kohler have families of sink, tub, and toilets which have the same style, making your product selection choices a little easier when you want them to match.

 Select your lighting.

Don’t forget to consider your lighting options…there are so many to choose from.  Not only do you have to decide between canned lights, pendant lights, or light bars – you also need to decide what you want out of your light switches.  For example, do you want to have a dimmer, is it important to have a built in night-light?  Those types of questions will lead you to the light that will fit your family’s lifestyle.

 Last, but not least, select your flooring

Flooring is your last and final piece to your master piece. Ditch the linoleum and select flooring that works with your design.  If you love wood but don’t want the hassle of maintaining a wood floor, there are now porcelain wood tiles that can give you the look of wood flooring.  Travertine flooring along with ceramic tile are also popular choices.

Your bathroom has the potential to look amazing.  The world of design and remodeling have endless capabilities to turn the idea of your space to a wonderful masterpiece. Start getting inspired by looking at local design build contractor’s website or better yet look to see if they have a Houzz profile.   Anything is possible no matter the size of the space.

How To Find A Custom Home Builder Without Losing Your Mind

Avoid Arguments And Learn How To Get With Your Custom Home Builders

On the whole, homeowners would only want the most effective for  his or her homes, not to mention which they expect  high-quality work from builders that they’ve hired. Whether it’s a mew project or you’re intending on remodeling  your house, choosing the best builder plays an important role.

Given that you haven’t found the best contractor yet, here are several important matters that you should remember.

1. Always make sure that you hire someone with extensive experience. No matter the project, whether big or small, you must make  certain you only work together with someone that  you know is the greatest in the area. Do your research, find recommendations and reviews. This way, you’ll find ideal contractors that can meet your demands

2. Don’t forget to request a portfolio or examples of their previous work.

3. When hiring someone, always make sure that you go along with what you wish and clarify everything before signing the agreement and agree to use him along with his team.

The homeowner thinks: You never finished my punch-out, walk-through list.

At closing, the builder and homeowner make a walk-through list of the project, in its entirety, to discuss if anything still needs more work. It’s important to have this in writing and signed by both parties. Be careful not to frustrate your builder, or yourself, by continually adding “one more thing”. Adding things to the list will make it seem like the builder never finishes, which isn’t good for you or your builder. So agree on an initial list. If you come up with more things to consider, create a new, separate list.

The homeowner thinks: Why does adding two more windows to the home cost me more? I’m already paying a lot of money for this house.

While it’s a fact that you are probably paying a lot to get your home, your builder figured his price off the clear specifications made at the beginning of the home building process. If you add to the specifications, you impact his expenses and his profits. If there are adjustments that are needed or you want, there is nothing wrong with that. These changes just need to be clearly communicated and put into writing-to protect both of you.

The homeowner thinks: I’m paying for a quality home and it’s not perfect. I want it done right.

You’re right to expect quality. But it’s not difficult for expectations to turn into things that are impossible to fulfill. Builders are people (and therefore imperfect) and they use imperfect materials. Before signing a contract, the homeowner and the builder should clearly outline their expectations. Although it will take a bit of time, its’ worth it. And if you aren’t sure, your builder can help you determine what is realistic and what isn’t in your home building project. By capturing this on paper you’ll avoid arguments due to expectations.

Often the homeowner thinks:

The tailor-made home contractor isn’t very taking my concerns really. They’re falling on hard of hearing head.
It would be savvy to have got regularly, could be weekly, slated meetings with your builder. This will allow you both to update the particular schedule, talk about any adjustments, voice your considerations, and discuss items this builder may need to order to finish your home. Regular meetings make it possible for you to address concerns without experiencing like you’re nagging the particular builder. Your builder may appreciate the idea because they will not feel like your dog is constantly obtaining to prevent construction.

The builder thinks :

This homeowner is requesting alterations, but I don’t think this individual has sufficient funds to pay for them. The homeowner thinks: The builder didn’t connect changes and charges obviously and in a well-timed manner. Agree in composing about any changes the fact that appear following the contract is signed. It really is also the good idea for the homeowner to pay for changes when they take place and not wait right up until the end of the job. By doing so , right now there will be no financial impresses and it is going to keep the two functions upon good terms.

Typically the property owner thinks:

We talked to be able to the subcontractor and he or she stated he’d handle the particular concern without shifting the builder into it. It tidies the task.

Almost everything must go through this creator on Construction Office manager given that they have the “big picture”. In case you try for you to go around him in attempt to save moment, you are actually more probable to cause misunderstanding together with delays.

Cost changes for add-ons

The initial quote that is given by the builder matches the requirements that were initially given to him/her. Subsequent changes in requirements and add-on features are likely to change the cost mentioned initially. It is understandable that there will be some changes during the course of the project. However, it is important that you effectively communicate the nature of changes to the builder and discuss the associated costs. It is also best to put it in writing.

Measuring out your expectations

It is completely natural to expect your dream home to be flawless. However, it is essential to communicate to your expectations to the builder. This is hands down the most common issue between homeowners and builders, based on our experience as builders in darwin. A lot of things can get lost in communication and the project can end up not meeting your expectations. To avoid these problems, it is best to keep all your builder in-the-know about your desires, and also to have a second opinion on whether or not, what you need is practical and/or desirable.

The homeowner talks to everyone but the builder about the status of the project.

This obviously causes the builder to be disjointed from the project as well as your plan for the home. Talk directly to the builder about all aspects of the project.

The homeowner goes straight to the subcontractor for a task rather than the builder.

This undermines the builder and can cause confusion, potentially making the life of the project longer. All requests should go directly to the builder.

Undermining the builder

This is again a pressing issue that surfaces anytime home builders work with homeowners. As a homeowner, you should voice your issues and concerns directly to the builder. Trust between both parties is important. If you do not trust the skill and expertise of your builder, the project is bound to be unsatisfactory. Interview lots of builders before undertaking your project. Once you find the builder that is the right fit for your project, allow him/her space and flexibility to work. Trying to control the project, taking matters into your own hands and bypassing the builder to approach people above him in the chain not only undermines the builder, but also causes a lot of confusion. All this extends the project delivery timeline.