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.


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.