3 Tips to Decide if You Should DIY or Hire a Professional for Your Next Project

Projects around the house can be time-consuming and expensive, and many people decide to do the work themselves in hopes of saving some money. However, a do it yourself mindset is not always the best route to go, especially if it may end up costing more in the end.

Here are 3 tips to decide if you should DIY or hire a professional for your next project:

Your Skill Level and Knowledge

Laying tile in your new bathroom might seem easy enough, until you realize that you have no idea what you are doing! The same holds true for electrical work, plumbing, and sometimes even painting. The time that it takes you to complete projects that you know nothing about and the extra money that you may spend to replace the items that you did wrong, once or twice, may make the DIY option more expensive and time-consuming. For those scenarios, it is always better to hire a professional and know that everything is going to be done properly and efficiently.

Determine the Cost of Each

There are many instances where you can do a project on your own and save money, but there are a few that may end up costing you more at the end, especially once you have factored in your time. Sometimes the savings that you see from a do it yourself project isn’t worth the headache of what you will need to deal with when doing the work. The best way to find your savings is to add up all the costs that you will see if you do the work yourself and then compare it to the cost of hiring a professional. If the difference is not that much, you may want to hire the professional and sit and relax while they do all the work.

Proper Tools

Having the proper tools is a necessity for any do it yourself project, and you may find your savings dwindling quickly if you need to go out and purchase or rent a tool or two. Not everyone is blessed with a complete tool collection, especially for jobs that include cutting tiles or some other obscure job. Some tools are very expensive and not worth owning if you are only going to use them once. In circumstances like these, we urge you to go the professional route, as you’ll save more money.

Sometimes it is easy to decide whether to do a job yourself or hire a professional, but there are times when the choice may not be as clear. These tips should help you make up your mind, and you can always check with a professional to see what they have to say about a do it yourself option. If they are true professionals, they will give you an honest answer that may not always benefit them. Give us a call when you find yourself at a similar crossroad. We’ll help you make the tough decisions that need to be made.

Excellent Ideas for Building Mother-in-Law Suite Addition


A mother-in-law suite is an excellent option if you have a parent or two that wants or needs to move into your home at some point in time. Instead of just making them stay in a single spare bedroom, you can create a larger space in an area of your home that is as unique as they are.

Here are a few excellent ideas for building a mother-in-law suite addition:


Every basement that we have seen has quite a bit of space, and with a little bit of work, you can create the perfect mother-in-law suite. This new space will offer your parents the privacy that they may still desire, while letting them be close to a lot of the action. You can create a bedroom, sitting area or living room, bathroom, and even a small kitchen in this space. The only downside to putting this suite in the basement is that your parents will need to go up and down the stairs whenever they leave their living quarters.


Converting your garage is another option when you are considering building a mother-in-law suite and you can include many different design options with this choice. By utilizing your garage, you are allowing your parents to stay on the ground level, which alleviates the issue of stairs, and giving them their own entrance. There is a downside to using your garage though, and that is that you will no longer be able to park your car in there.

Interior Space

Converting an interior space might take a little bit of work, especially to get the size suite that you and your parents prefer, but it is quite possible. You can turn this space into a dream mother-in-law suite without doing too many structural changes. The only downside to this type of mother-in-law suite is that your parents may not have the privacy that they want.


Constructing an addition is oftentimes the only way that you can include a mother-in-law suite in your existing space. This addition can either be attached to your house or if you have the space, you can construct a guest house on your property. Obviously, the space that you have available will dictate how large you can make this addition, but the right layout will make any new room feel more spacious than it is.

Mother-in-law suites come in all shapes and sizes, so you should feel free to design the one that will work best for you and your parents. You may feel that a bedroom, bathroom, and small kitchen is sufficient, while others may add a living room, dining area, and even a second bedroom to theirs. Whatever you choose, you will want to make it comfortable for your parents as well as safe.

6 Factors to Take into Consideration for Building Your New Master Suite Addition


Creating a master suite can make all your dreams come true, especially if you have been sharing a tiny bedroom with your children or you are just craving more space than what you currently have. While it is easy to say that you want a new master bedroom, you will want to do a little planning to ensure that you create the space that you have been dreaming about forever.

Here are 6 factors to take into consideration for building your new master suite addition:


Constructing a master suite is not as easy as saying “I’m putting it here”. You will need to consider how it will affect the landscape of your yard and how the layout will affect the rest of your home.

Outdoor Access

The best master suites have direct access to the outdoors, whether it is a patio, garden, or balcony. You can choose French doors, sliding doors, or even pocket doors that open up to this outdoor oasis. This will be the perfect place to sit and relax early in the morning, late in the evening, or anytime you need a break from your busy day.


You will need to carefully consider the number of windows that you incorporate into this space. While a darker room will mean more sleep for you, you are going to want enough natural light for those times that you are awake in this space.

Sitting Area

A master suite can have more than just a bedroom and bathroom, and many people are incorporating a sitting area into this area in recent years. This will give you the perfect place to relax at the end of the day, whether you are watching television, reading a book, or enjoying a conversation with your significant other.


You may or may not need a fireplace in your master suite, depending on where you live, but it can become a major focal point of this space and it instantly changes the ambiance of the room too. You can choose to construct a traditional fireplace, or you can choose a modern gas one.


Every master suite needs a theme, and you will want to carefully choose the one that you want. We say carefully, because you will need to live with your choice. Therefore, if you do not think that you can live with leopard prints for that long, you may want to stay away from that option. We have found that many of our clients either go for a beach or nature inspired theme.

These are a few of the things that you will want to keep in mind when you are constructing your new master suite. We can help you with this entire process and answer the many other questions that you may have, so you end up with the master suite of your dreams.

Pros and Cons of Shower Flooring Materials

As you are renovating your bathroom, you will find that you need to make multiple decisions about the materials that you are using throughout the space. One of those decisions will be about the flooring material that you will be using in your shower. While you may think that there possibly couldn’t be that many options and that they are all the same anyway, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Most of the flooring materials for showers are different and you will need to consider the qualities of each when making your final decision.

Here are the pros and cons of shower flooring materials:


There are many styles of travertine and that is why this natural stone material is such a popular choice for showers. This material is slip resistant and it can last a long time before needing to be replaced. The downsides of travertine are that it can get stained easily and it needs to be sealed regularly.


You may be wondering why anyone would put glass on their shower floor, but this material is practically maintenance free. A little glass cleaner and a cloth is all you will need to keep your shower floor sparkling clean. Unfortunately, shower floors made from glass can be very slippery. This material can also be pricey.


Wooden floors are commonly seen in saunas, but they can be used in showers too. The wooden slats are installed over the base of the shower, so that water can drain properly. The wood will need to be sealed regularly and it can warp and discolor over time. The one major issue with wooden shower floors is that you will not have access to your shower drain, which can be a problem if it gets clogged.


You may love the look of marble, and who wouldn’t with all the beautiful swirls. This material is very versatile and can be used to create numerous size tiles. Marble can stain and scratch easily and it needs to be sealed prior to its first use. This material can be slippery, and it is expensive too.


Porcelain is durable and waterproof, so you will not need to worry about scratching it or ruining it with soap. This material has numerous finishes, which means that you can have a shower that looks like marble, wood, stone, or another one of your favorite materials. The only problem with porcelain is that the grout can be difficult to keep clean. We recommend choosing porcelain tiles that have a textured surface to prevent slipping.

Your contractor can help you choose the shower flooring material that will work best for you and that is within your budget. The decision may be difficult at first, but in the end, you will love the one that you choose.

5 Questions You Should Have Answers to Before You Finalize the Plans for Your Kitchen Remodel

There are so many things that you need to consider when you are planning a kitchen remodel, that it can make your head spin. However, all the planning with be worthwhile when you manage to create the kitchen of your dreams.

Here are 5 questions that you should have answers to before you finalize the plans for your kitchen remodel:

How will you use this space?

Knowing how you will be using your kitchen is very important and you realistically cannot create a plan for remodeling your kitchen without being aware of the answer. The answer to this question will also assist you in figuring out the answers to many other questions that follow during the planning process. A couple sample answers include your children using the space for homework and whether or not you plan on doing a lot of cooking in there. Your answers will determine the direction of your plans.

What items are on your wish list?

Everyone has a wish list of items that they simply must have in their dream kitchen, and you are no exception. You may want a fabulous window seat to sit on while you are cooking, while others may prefer smart appliances, antique furniture, or a beer keg.

What items should I compromise on?

You may have just created a wish list for your remodeled kitchen, but that doesn’t mean that you will get everything on your list. A smaller budget might mean fewer dream items, while smaller spaces might mean reconfiguring the layout and crossing items that won’t fit off your list.

What is the most efficient layout for my space?

It can be difficult to determine the most efficient layout for your remodeled kitchen, which is why we recommend that you hire a professional for this process. A kitchen designer can help you create the different zones in this space to ensure that it flows the way that you need it to.

Where should your lights be located?

You are going to need more than one light inside your kitchen, so that the space works for all your needs. Pendant lights will work well over an island, while under the cabinet lighting is perfect for food prep. Lighting along the floor will help you find your way to the kitchen for a midnight snack and lights inside your cabinets will add ambiance to the space.

You should never begin to plan any remodeling project until you have the answers to many basic questions. Your kitchen remodel is no different and once you answer the necessary questions, you will find that it is quite easy to create a plan for this space.

How to Choose the Best Flooring for Your Kitchen Remodeling Project


Given the kitchen’s role as the heart of the home, design decisions take on a bit more weight than they do in other parts of the home. The floor should not only add to the décor, it should be sturdy enough to handle foot traffic and stains. The diversity of flooring products makes the selection product a challenge, so here are a few good types to think about.

  • Vinyl – this costs less than many other flooring types and is easy to install. The material is sturdy and it can last for years with minimal maintenance. It is comfortable to walk on and offers great noise reduction.
  • Limestone – appealing for its natural, earthy look, limestone is also a budget friendly flooring option. It is mold and bacteria resistant, and easy to clean, but requires frequent resealing. Limestone flooring can match almost any kitchen color scheme.
  • Tile – the main advantage of tile flooring is the vast array of colors, sizes and patterns available. This is another good product for tight budgets, and it is durable so it offers long term value.
  • Wood – when properly treated and maintained, a hardwood floor can last for years in a kitchen. It adds warmth and beauty to the space. Choose harder wood types like ash or oak to get the best value.
  • Laminates – this is a good option for anyone wants the look of wood for less. Modern laminate products are almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Laminates are sturdy, easy to install and low maintenance.

How to Choose

Most people spend a lot of time in their kitchens, so comfort should be one of the main considerations when choosing flooring. You will spend time standing as you prepare meals, so the resilience and softness of the material should play a role. Spills are common in kitchens, so you need to be able to clean these up easily without worrying about stains. It is should be easy to get rid of tracked in dirt to keep the kitchen immaculate. If you are only changing the flooring, the budget might not be a big concern.

For a full kitchen remodel, you have balance your spending on other important features like cabinets and the countertop. Important factors for budgeting for a new floor include the size of the space, and the costs for removal, delivery and installation. Working out these details will tell you how much of your remodeling budget can go to your new floors.

7 Tips for Turning Your Master Suite into an Amazing Retreat


The master bedroom is a special place in most homes, requiring some planning and effort to get just the right look. This is a room for comfort and relaxation, and function is generally not the main consideration. That means the emphasis is on making the right design decisions, such as layout, colors the furniture and even the selection of bedding. The functional aspects such as storage and seating contribute to the comfort of the space. The following features will help you to make the most of your master suite.

  1. This is an attractive design feature that enhances the look of a room but it also provides warmth on cold nights.
  2. Walk-in closet. This increases the value of the home, and eliminates storage problems in the master suite. With enough planning, and if you have enough space, the walk-in closet can also serve as a dressing room.
  3. Large windows. A master bedroom should have plenty of light in the daytime so consider putting in larger windows. With UV shielding you can keep out the heat for a cooler interior and lower energy bills. Floor to ceiling windows can have a dramatic impact on the look of the room
  4. Adding a balcony is a great way to keep you connected to the outdoors. You can have the best of both worlds, whether you choose to relax in the master bedroom or enjoy the fresh air outside.
  5. Update the master bath. If you have an adjoining master bathroom, it deserves some attention as well. Turn it into a mini spa with earthy tones and the right fixtures and amenities. Consider a free standing soaking tub or a Jacuzzi, a walk-in shower with dual showerheads and mood lighting.
  6. Update the lighting. With so many attractive lighting fixtures available, it will be easy to find one that illuminates and adds to the room’s décor. A chandelier can brighten the space while adding a luxurious touch. If the ceiling is not high enough to accommodate this, other good options for the master suite include swooping lights, sconces and pendants.
  7. Add a rug. Having a rug that surrounds the bed gives you a warm place to put your feet when you get up. Look for colors and patterns that will complement the overall décor.

If you are remodeling your master bedroom, you can find ways to incorporate your personal tastes. It is not just about comfort, it also has to do with making the room a reflection of you. If the budget is tight, start with the smallest changes and continue to make improvements over time.

6 Reasons Granite Countertops Top the List for 75% of Homeowners

According to Zillow, approximately 75% of all homeowners will choose granite countertops for their home. Many of them make that choice simply because they believe that granite is an option that everyone will want, while others like all the positive benefits that the material offers. We decided to put together a list of reasons that most homeowners choose granite countertops for when looking to buy a new home.

Here are 6 reasons why granite countertops top the list for 75% of homeowners:

  1. Price: Countertops can be expensive, but there are many quality pieces of granite available at reasonable prices. In fact, you may be able to get a quality piece of granite for less than a high-end piece of laminate countertop.
  2. Scratch Resistant: Granite is a very hard material, so it is very difficult to scratch and nick it. This is a fantastic quality, especially if you have a family who isn’t as careful when setting things down as they should be.
  3. Heat Resistant: Granite is one of the most heat-resistant materials available for countertops. You will no longer have to worry about whether someone is using a trivet when placing a hot pan on your countertop, because it will not blister or melt.
  4. Easy to Maintain: Granite is one of the easiest to maintain countertops available and there is very little that needs to be done to it. You can simply wipe it down with a cloth when it becomes dirty. The only extra maintenance that needs to be completed is when your countertop needs to be resealed. Thankfully, the sealants have improved over the years and most of them will last for ten years before needing to be reapplied.
  5. Stain Resistant: Everyone spills stuff on their counters, but when you have granite countertops, you will not need to panic over any of them. As long as your countertop has been sealed properly, it will stay stain resistant for a long time.
  6. Natural Material: Granite one of the few natural materials that you can purchase for countertops. It is simply taken out of the ground and then cut into slabs to use as kitchen counters. When you use this material, you are reducing the amount of chemicals and additives being used in your home.

Granite Countertops for Your New Kitchen in Phoenix

Granite has been a popular countertop choice for quite some time, and it doesn’t look like that is going to change anytime soon. There may not be as many color options available for granite countertops, but the other benefits seem to outweigh that negative issue. Call us at 480-895-3442 if you’re planning to remodel your kitchen in the near future and would like to schedule a design consultation.

5 Tips for Childproofing Your Kitchen

A new baby brings many exciting things, of which one of them is childproofing. We bet that you can’t believe how many nooks and crannies you have in your home that a baby can get into, that you never knew were there. Hello outlets, extension cords, remote controls, penny jar… The list could go on and on.

Here are 5 tips for childproofing your kitchen:

  1. Electrical Elements: There are so many electrical elements inside your kitchen and they are all waiting for little fingers and little hands to reach out and touch them! You need to be a step ahead at all times and the first step is to utilize outlet covers and appliance locks. After that, you can use the back burners on your stove whenever possible and install an anti-scalding device on your kitchen faucet to keep little hands from getting burned.
  2. Install Corner Guards: The corners of your countertops and tables are sharp and it will only take one bump of your child’s head for them to get seriously injured. Installing foam corner guards on your counters and tables are an easy way to ensure that if your child falls they will not end up in the emergency room.
  3. Cover Your Trash Can: You may think that you are safe with anything that you throw away, but children are curious, and they think nothing of digging through a trash can to see what they can find. To keep temptation away as much as possible, we recommend keeping your trash can covered and even out of sight if possible. Plus, if you know that there are dangerous items in there, like chemicals, remove the bag and take it outside immediately.
  4. Install Cabinet Locks: Cabinet locks are a great solution to keep children out of those cabinets that they shouldn’t be in. Those cabinets are normally the ones that include cleaning supplies or sharp objects.
  5. Safety Gates: A safety gate can be a wonderful option to keep children out of your kitchen while you are cooking dinner, especially if you have a small kitchen. It isn’t always as great as including a child in the entire cooking process, but it can help if you are in a time crunch and need to get dinner on the table very quickly.

Kitchen Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

There are many obvious things that you will need to childproof inside your kitchens, but then there are the not so obvious ones. Those are the ones that you will need to get down on your hands and knees for, so that you can see everything from a child’s viewpoint. And don’t worry, you will miss something, we all do. But, your child will quickly let you know what it is. They always do. Call us at 480-895-3442 if you’re in the greater Phoenix area and would like to schedule a design consultation for your kitchen remodeling project.

5 Tips to Quickly Update Your Kitchen

We know that you cannot live without your kitchen for that long, which is why we want to share some quick ways that you can update it to make it look new and fresh. These changes won’t take a lot of time or money, but they will make your kitchen look like you just did a major renovation.

Here are 5 tips to quickly update your kitchen:

Change your cabinet hardware

Changing your cabinet hardware is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to make a big impact on your kitchen. Going from a knob to a pull or vice versa can completely change the look and feel of this space as can the finish that you choose.

Change your window treatments

The window treatments in your kitchen can affect the entire mood of your kitchen. Heavy drapes can make the space dark, while blinds do not add too much visual appeal. Changing out the window treatments in your kitchen can bring in more light, while also adding texture and privacy. You may even want to consider leaving your windows bare and let the light shine through them to really open up the space.

Change your light fixtures

If you are getting tired with your light fixtures or you simply want something a little different or bolder in your kitchen, you can change out your light fixtures. This is easy to do, and you may find that you will have better lighting after the project is finished.


Adding a new coat of paint is another easy and cheap way to change the look of your kitchen. You can choose a completely new color or just go a shade or two darker or lighter than the one that you have now. If your kitchen is on the smaller side, a bright white or light gray will instantly make it look larger.

Change your faucets

Faucets can get dingy and outdated, and after some time they can make your kitchen feel old and unloved. There are multiple types of faucets available nowadays, and you can choose one from many styles and different finishes. You can even decide to purchase a touchless one, so you don’t have to touch it when you need to turn it on.

Small Changes – Big Impact

These five things will instantly make your kitchen look like you just spent a lot of time renovating it even though you didn’t. We recommend that you begin with these items and then see what else you think needs to be done in your kitchen. You may be surprised when you are finished, because there may not be anything else that needs to be completed.

We’ve been working with Phoenix area homeowners to improve their kitchen for many years. Call us at 480-895-3442 if you’re in the Phoenix area and would like to schedule a consultation with our kitchen designer. We’ll make sure you get the kitchen you want and deserve.