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Monthly Archives: November 2018

Ever Lasting Materials

Consider Old School Masonry

If you’re building an addition to your property, such as a guest house, pool house or even a garage, you should consider implementing masonry. This is an old school method that has proven for centuries its ability to withstand the test of time. Masonry involves the use of brick or stone siding. This gives the structure a more solid state, which means a higher chance of it surviving strong storms and other adversities like fires and floods. It’s a good idea to consider masonry when you hire general contractors for the construction of a new home.

Don’t Overlook Tile

Tile has and likely always will be a part of modern home designs. Home owners that are having home remodeling done oftentimes implement tile into their décor. Tile can be made from concrete, clay and a host of other materials. The most durable options would be engineered quartz or ceramic. These options are long-lasting and easy on the pocket. You’ll just need to maintain the grout, which can become stained and dirty over time.

Hardwood Materials Are Still In

There are various areas of the home where remodeling contractors can install hardwood. You can choose to have it installed as flooring or you can use it for your kitchen cabinets. When it comes to longevity, hardwood really gives you a run for your money. You can save money by purchasing reclaimed or recycled wood. Or you can go with eco-friendly options, such as bamboo. Expect to pay more to have the reclaimed wood polished and refinished to look amazing. There are remodeling contractors that can perform this work for you.

Install a Metallic Roof

Traditionally, homes are built with roofs made of wood, vinyl and other types of materials. You would normally find metal roofs installed on commercial properties, but this concept is becoming a thing of the past. More and more homeowners are choosing metal roofing materials for their property. Why? For one, they are known to last for a very long time. There are countless old barns and structures with metal roofs that have survived for over a century. In the past, homeowners avoided them like the plague because they were known for being noisy during rain and didn’t have much insulation. Of course, with modern technology, metal roofs have improved tenfold with sufficient insulation and no noise. Plus, you can find more appealing options.

Go with Copper Gutters

The gutters are one of the most overlooked areas of the home. Keeping these in tip top condition is essential, since they’re needed to keep your home property from sustaining damage during rain. It’s responsible for sending away excess water, so your roof doesn’t have leaks. If you’re going to update the gutters on your home, consider going with those made from copper. The reason these are a better option is because it is more durable compared to other materials, such as wood, aluminum and vinyl. They may not look that appealing, but when it comes to functionality, they’re top of the line.

Renovate Your Basement

Make a focal point

Often, most basements don’t have a focal point, especially those basements that are long and narrow. So, what you need to do is create a central point, such as a fireplace, as this will help you define the space in addition to keep the space cozy and warm.

Pay attention to the windows

Generally, basement windows are not given the importance that they deserve. Most homeowners waste a lot of light. The primary living space should be placed near the windows to get the most out of the natural light.

Look for alternatives

If you have the wall-to-wall carpeting, you should look for an alternative. People tend to make use of wall-to-wall carpeting for the floor of the basement as it’s warm and comfy. So, what you should do is ask your installer about the subfloor materials for waterproofing and insulation.

Typically, under-floor heating works great to heat up the basements. You can also lay some vinyls on the heated floors.

Use the space

The free space below the stairs should also be used. Often, this space is wasted. You can use this space to make the area look great. For instance, you can turn the area into a wet bar, built-in storage or a kitchenette.

Condense bulkheads

You can condense electrical, plumbing and structural beams into just one bulkhead. You can consider certain areas, such as TV area and the seating area. Moreover, if you can use a certain area, go for it. However, you may want to paint the bulkheads as well, but make sure the color is the same as the ceiling color.

Choose modular furniture

Before you buy furniture, make sure you measure the turning radius, height and width of the stairs. After all, you don’t want to end up with a section that you can’t fit anywhere.

Consider laundry rooms

If you really need your laundry room in your basement, make sure you save some space by turning it into a pass-through galley area that features a pocket door.

Layer lighting

If your ceiling lights are not too high, you can add to the lighting with the help of recessed lights. Aside from this, you can also make use of the under-cabinet lights in the laundry and kitchenettes area. For mood lighting, you can install a couple of decorative fixtures.

Bathroom Flooring Options

Porcelain

When it comes to tiles for your bathroom, you should put porcelain at the top of your list. Made from clay that is fired and shaped at extremely high temperatures, porcelain is perfect for bathrooms. The material possesses hard exterior that resists water, bacteria, odors, and staining. Porcelain is also a great choice for your bathroom flooring as it is considered impervious to moisture. You will find porcelain tiles in a variety of shapes, including square, hexagonal and octagonal forms – this is a huge advantage if you want your remodeling contractors to personalize your bathroom and give it a unique look.

Natural Stone

If you want a stylish bathroom, consider natural stone tiles for the flooring. They offer a timeless look and feel, and if you maintain them properly, they can last a lifetime. Choose from various options like marble, limestone, and travertine. Each of these naturally occurring stones has its own unique tones, patterns, and textures, giving you a range of options to choose from. An experienced bathroom remodeling contractor will offer varied suggestions regarding which choice is best for the new construction in your home.

Vinyl

This is another popular choice for bathroom tiles and slabs as vinyl is both inexpensive and water resistant, making it highly practical. Vinyl is available in a wide range of colors and styles, so you can mix and match to create a unique look based on your personality and taste. Additionally, vinyl has a softer feel than other flooring materials imparting a comfortable feel to user’s feet.

Cork

One of the options that remodeling contractors recommend for bathroom flooring is cork. As it is made from the bark of a tree, cork is preferred choice among eco-conscious people. It is resistant to water as well as mold and mildew – characteristics that make it perfect for any bathroom. To keep water from seeping between gaps, you should choose unfinished cork and get the floor finished on-site.

Bamboo

This is another option made from a highly sustainable resource, making it eco-friendly. Bamboo is also an affordable option for bathroom flooring as it costs as little as half the price of hardwood floors. Engineered bamboo is the smartest choice for your bathroom because the planks are ideal for wet environments, easy to install, and extremely durable. When you choose bamboo, you can replace damaged pieces easily, which is another major advantage of using this material for bathroom flooring.

Wood/Laminate

This is a fantastic option that has been used since time immemorial by homeowners across the globe. Hardwood floors are fabulous as they create a classic and warm look in your bathroom. Engineered wood is made of a combination of real wood veneer and plywood and is more humidity resistant than solid wood. If you want wooden flooring for your bathroom, you will find many prefinished options that are water resistant and able to withstand heavy foot traffic.

Home Renovation Mistakes

One realtor told me, “Homeowners should reconsider a new wallpaper project. Wallpaper looks just great for about three months and then it’s dated. I hear prospective buyers say, ‘Uh, we will have to tear off that paper,’ almost every time they see flower wallpaper on a walkthrough. It’s a negative.”

Another item is when a homeowner knocks out a wall to expand a master bedroom by eliminating the bedroom next to it. “Sure, the master is glorious and wonderful, but now on resale you have a two-bedroom home instead of a three-bedroom home. Believe me, this will bring the home value down, even if you have three baths,” said the realtor.

Another contractor said, “Converting a two-car garage into a family room is one renovation project that we get that will cost more to do than you think, and on resale doesn’t add much. If the new room is in a garage without any windows, most code inspectors will not allow you to use it as a bedroom either. And folks do like garages.”

The one mistake that I saw a lot when I was a home inspector was homeowners deciding to do the renovation work themselves. I am not saying that qualified folks shouldn’t jump in and do some or all of the work, but make sure you are really qualified. Sometimes people don’t know what they don’t know. DIY renovations can be pretty obvious and disinviting to home buyers.

One example was a bathroom in a home where the homeowner had installed all the fixtures himself. The wrong plumbing traps, fittings, and couplings were used, the hot water line was going to the toilet (they did not notice it), and three faucets had slow leaks. The buyers liked the home but balked at a $1500 estimate to fix everything to meet code in that “upscale” bath.

“I’ve seen people spend a lot of money for a very swanky and upscale kitchen. While they really liked it themselves, when they went to sell they only got about 20% of that cost back. The reason was that the home just wasn’t on that price point or in an area with other homes that would have that kind of upgrade. So tell your readers to do a thorough analysis before they decide to spend a lot of money on the kitchen, unless they are going to stay in the home.”

The lesson here is this: research and planning are critical if you want to renovate. Find out what the return on investment is (the internet, contractors, and realtors can help) before you start, and get at least three proposals before you begin.