Az Business Leaders 2019

Steve Shinn leads Tri-Lite Builders & Homework Remodels’ talented team of designers and remodeling experts in Phoenix, and it’s neighboring cities to the east. He is also a leader in the Greater Phoenix chapterof the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. The local NARI chapter is dedicated to education and ethics in the business of remodeling. Its members are some of the highest quality professionals in Arizona.

Tips for Pairing Cabinets and Countertops

Are you aware of what needs to match in your kitchen or what you need to do to get those things to match so that you have a space that you love and is visually appealing?

Most people have no clue what we are talking about when we ask that question and we are sure that you are sitting here shaking your head in wonder as well.

Well, we are going to talk about two of the items in your kitchen that definitely need to match to make the entire space look beautiful. Those items are the cabinets and countertops and if you are not careful when you are choosing each one, you could end up with a kitchen that looks like it was thrown together with no thought at all.

Here are a few tips for pairing cabinets and countertops:

Staying Traditional

We love it when someone stays traditional because it is a timeless trend that is always going to be around. These types of kitchens normally utilize darker colored woods for the cabinets like mahogany, oak, walnut, and cherry. The cabinets would also have more intricate details including molding. When it comes to the countertops in these kitchens, you will be happy to know that wood, granite, and a patterned engineered stone will look wonderful with the above cabinets.

Going for Modern and Minimalistic

Modern and minimalistic kitchens are less fancy than traditional kitchens, so there is going to be more straight lines and less details. The cabinets could be stained with a lighter color, painted, or have a laminate applied to them. Countertops in this type of kitchen are always subtle and the edges will always blend in with the cabinets.

Stick with Transitional

There are so many people that like some of the features of traditional kitchens but prefer a few from modern kitchens as well. If you are one of them, then you are going to want to go transitional in your kitchen space. It is easy to combine both traditional and modern styles in a kitchen, as long as you have a clear plan and design in place before you begin the process.

There is never a right or wrong way to design a kitchen, but you will need to make sure that you are creating a space that is cohesive. The countertops and cabinets that you choose for your kitchen need to be carefully considered so that you do not make a choice that you will dislike in a year or two.

Design a Stylish Powder Room for Your Guests


We love having guests over to our home, but we hated it before we had a fabulous powder room for them to use. Our powder room used to be blah, so I would say that it was a closet and allow guests to use our master bathroom. However, that became a hassle as well, because we would need to hide everything in there before people came over. And, if people came over unexpectantly, we were always unprepared.

The answer was finally creating a stylish powder room for our guests and you can do it too!

Here are 3 things to do when designing a stylish powder room for your guests:

Go Big and Go Bold

Powder rooms are never massive spaces, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t utilize bold colors and bright designs. So, choose that bold paint color or that large patterned wallpaper and embrace the fact that your powder room will look larger than it really is. You can even add a large mirror over the vanity to reflect the lighting in the room, as that will make the room look bigger as well.

Think About Your Guests

You might use your powder room once in a while, but it is your guests that you will need to make sure are comfortable in this space. We encourage you to make sure that there is always plenty of hand towels, soap, tissues, toilet paper, lotion, and other little extras in this space. Your guests will love your thoughtfulness and the fact that they never need to ask you for something while they are in there.

Install Plenty of Lighting

There are usually never any windows in powder rooms, which means that you need to make sure that you install plenty of lighting in that room. Too little lighting will make the space look small and cramped and no one will be able to see what they are doing while they are in there. Plus, excellent lighting will make it easier for you to keep this space clean in between guests.

It is easy to create and design a stylish powder room that you and your guests will love. In fact, you may like it so much, that you may decide that you need to use it every once in a while yourself.

Find Your Inspiration and Focus on the Details of Bathroom Remodeling

Congratulations on finally taking the time to remodel your bathroom! This is such a fun space to design and plan, although it will take a lot of work to get it to become the room of your dreams. We recommend beginning by determining what inspires you and how you want to utilize this space to its fullest potential. Once you have that figured out, the real fun begins with all the little details.

Here are 5 tips that will help you as you are getting inspired and focusing on the details of your bathroom remodel:

Splurge on Your Shower or Bathtub

The item that is within the middle of every bathroom remodel is the shower and/or the bathtub. Therefore, these features should have your complete attention and the budget that they deserve. We recommend at least replacing the fixtures during your bathroom remodel, but a tub or shower replacement can really make the room look luxurious and elegant.

Determine the Dimensions of Standard Bathrooms

You may have grand plans for your bathroom remodel, but without the knowledge of the dimensions of standard bathrooms you may end up a little deflated. You should know that toilets require between thirty and thirty-six inches of space, while standard bathtubs normally measure sixty inches in length and thirty inches in width. A sink only needs thirty inches, but that is one with a very tiny countertop. Once you know these measurements, you will be able to plan your bathroom design better with the space that you have.

Find Inspiration Everywhere You Look!

Inspiration for your bathroom remodel can come from anywhere, but you can start by researching remodeling blogs, magazines, and showrooms. However, do not be surprised if the color that you choose comes from the ocean or your décor comes from items that you found on recent travels.

Plan and then Plan Some More

You can never plan enough for your bathroom remodel, which is why we suggest continuing the planning process until every detail is figured out and you are ready to start the work. This can take a long time, but you won’t have as many surprises or issues popping up during the remodeling process.

Keep Even the Smallest Details in Mind

It is easy to forget about those small details like towel rods, rugs, and even the outlet covers when you are working on a remodel. Make sure that these items and many more are included within your plan, so you do not run out of time or money before everything is completed.

These five tips will ensure that you have a successful bathroom remodel, even though it is going to take a little longer than you want it to. A professional will be able to assist you with all the planning, designing, and work, so that you end up with the bathroom of your dreams!

6 Bathroom Remodeling Tips that Will Help Keep Your Project on Track

We know that you want to increase the value of your home, while also creating a bathroom that you want to spend time in every day of the week. We also know that you want to do all this without tearing your hair out and spending a small fortune!

We can help you with all that as we make sure that you end up with a remodeled bathroom that you love in a short amount of time and still have money left over.
Here are 6 bathroom remodeling tips that will help keep your project on track:

Don’t Make Changes

As you go along with your bathroom remodel, it is going to be so easy to change your mind on certain things that you planned. However, we caution against this, as all those changes can add time and money to your project.

Plan for the Unexpected

Something always goes wrong during construction projects, which is why we always urge people to plan for the unexpected. We do recommend that homeowners like yourself find the blueprints for their home, so that they know where the plumbing and electrical wires are located. A little exploratory work can also show potential issues before the work begins, so budgets can be adjusted accordingly. However, we do still recommend that you keep at least ten percent of your budget set aside for any issues that do pop up. That will save you time and the hassle from needing to make crucial decisions quickly that can affect the outcome of the work.

Get Prepared

A bathroom remodel is major construction and it is going to take time! That means that it could be days or weeks before you can use this room in your house again. If this is your only bathroom, you will want to make other arrangements for the duration of the project.

Choose the Proper Products and Materials

You may have fallen in love with those marble countertops and wooden floors but are they the best materials for your bathroom? After all, marble can get stained and damaged easily and wooden floors can get damaged from a lot of water. We know that you only want to do this remodel once, so make sure that you choose the materials that will last forever.

Double Check Dimensions

We know what it is like to walk into a showroom and spot the bathtub of our dreams! But, we also know what it is like to show up at a house with that same bathtub and have it not fit in the space! Please doublecheck your dimensions before ordering anything or you may be delayed with returns and new purchases.

Spend Money Wisely

We understand wanting to save money, but sometimes the best ways to save is by spending a little more in the beginning. By purchasing quality materials that are a little pricier, you may find that you can save hundreds or thousands of dollars on repairs or replacements in the future.

These six tips will help keep you and your bathroom remodeling project on track, so that you end up with a completely remodeled room and all your hair still in place. You will still run into problems, as this is construction! But, you will be able to handle them better since you know what you are dealing with.

6 Bathroom Remodeling Mistakes You Can Avoid with Proper Planning

Bathroom remodeling can be expensive, which is why we want to make sure that you know what you shouldn’t do as you are going through the entire process. After all, why do the work more than once or spend more money than you need to during your quest for a magnificent bathroom!

Here are 6 bathroom remodeling mistakes you can avoid with proper planning:

  1. Not Having a Detailed Plan before You Begin: A bathroom remodel cannot be accomplished unless you have a very detailed plan ready to use, because you may end up tearing out things that you shouldn’t or keeping things in place that really need to go.
  2. Moving Fixtures: One of the worst things that you can do during a bathroom remodel is move the fixtures around, because it increases the amount of money that you will need to spend to do the entire project. We recommend that you consider whether it is worth a few thousand extra dollars to have your toilet or shower in a new location.
  3. Not Considering the Function of the Space: So many homeowners are focused on how beautiful their bathroom will look afterwards that they completely forget that it needs to be functional as well. We recommend not making this mistake and instead thinking about how you will use the space and how you can make it work best for you and your family.
  4. Hiring the Person with the Lowest Quote: It always seems like a good idea to hire the person who gives you the lowest quote, because at least you will be saving some cash. However, that low quote may come with subpar materials or subpar work. All the money you saved is not going to look so good when you need to spend that plus more to have the work completed again so that your bathroom looks nice.
  5. Not Setting Aside Part of Your Budget: We try to make sure that all the homeowners we work with set aside at least ten percent of their budget for all those unexpected situations. After all, you never know if there is mold behind the walls, a leaky pipe, or other damage that will need to be taken care of before the rest of your bathroom can be renovated. If you do not set this money aside, you may find that you will need to cut back in other areas to stay within budget.
  6. Not Choosing the Right Materials: Bathrooms get wet, which means that there is a lot of moisture in the air, and the materials that you choose should be able to survive all that water. While you may think that a wood floor will be fine in your bathroom, because your family will just be careful to not get it wet, we both know that that will never happen. We recommend that you choose materials that will last for the long haul, so that you will not be redoing your bathroom again in a couple of years.

It takes a lot of time and money to complete a bathroom renovation, which is why we don’t want to see you make the same mistakes as many other homeowners have. If you keep these six things in mind, your bathroom renovation should finish on time and on budget with very few issues coming up in the process.

5 Bathroom Flooring Trends You Don’t Want to Miss in 2018 or 2019

There is nothing worse than completing a bathroom remodel and then having everything that you chose, go out of style the following year! It can be enough to make you scream, especially since it is not cheap to replace anything in a bathroom or most of the other rooms in your house. Thankfully, there are a few flooring trends popular today that will last for many years in the future.

Here are the 5 bathroom flooring trends you don’t want to miss in 2018 or 2019:

  1. Tile That Looks Like Wood: Every homeowner we know would love to put wood on the floor in their bathroom, but since it can warp and get destroyed from all the moisture, they don’t. However, there is a solution to this issue that everyone will love! Tiles that look exactly like wood are now available and you can purchase your favorite from numerous styles and colors.
  2. Black and White Stenciled Tiles: Vintage floors never seem to go out of style, which is why you are going to love the new black and white stenciled tiles. These tiles will create visual appeal in your bathroom and you can choose the style and design that you like the most out of the numerous options that are available.
  3. Neutral Colors: Neutral flooring will never go out of style in bathrooms, which is why many people want to install it in theirs. The best neutral colors for you to choose from are the lighter ones, as it will make your bathroom appear larger than it is.
  4. Geometric or Linear Shapes: Shapes and patterns on bathroom floors are the newest trend and if you do it the right way, you will have a floor that you will love for years. Linear patterns seem to be the favorite, but chevron and herringbone patterns are often used too. Choosing these shapes and patterns in a light neutral or gray color will keep this style alive in your bathroom for quite some time.
  5. Radiant Heated Floors: Those middle of the night or early morning trips to the bathroom will be much better once you have installed radiant heated floors. Instead of walking across cold floors in your bare feet, or searching for your slippers first, you can walk across warm floors all day and all night. These floors can be installed underneath any flooring material, which makes it the perfect addition in any bathroom.

We know that you may be scared to attempt to include any of these flooring options into your renovated bathroom, because trends change with the flip of a switch. However, these flooring options will not be going anywhere for a long time, so you are safe if you decide that you love one of them enough to install.

5 Tips to Increase the Size of Your Bedroom

You may think that you have the smallest bedroom in the country, but before you lay claim to that idea, think of all those tiny miniscule apartments that people live in in New York City… Yep, their entire apartment may be smaller than your tiny bedroom! Now that we have put everything into perspective, let’s talk about how we can increase the size of your bedroom to make it look and feel larger than it is.

Here are 5 tips to increase the size of your bedroom:

Remove Anything that Shouldn’t Be There

We all have items in our bedrooms that shouldn’t be in there, and one of the easiest ways to make a room larger is to remove all those things and put them somewhere else. No one really needs three small tables in their room or stacks upon stacks of books waiting to be read. Remove a table or two and take all but a couple of those books to another room until you are ready to read them at night. Remove all the old mail and to do lists that have been piling up and take your children’s toys out of there while you are at it.

Add Storage

Notice how we are telling you to add storage after we tell you to remove everything that you didn’t need? If we put this tip before the decluttering step, you would feel obligated to keep everything in your room and continue to find a space for it. By decluttering first, you can now add in the storage for the items that you actually need and want in this space. This will help keep things from wandering back into your bedroom too.

Organize and then Organize Some More

Organization is key to keeping bedrooms and other rooms looking bigger. Everything in your bedroom should have a home and that is where it should be located at all times. The minute that you find that you cannot put something away, you will need to begin to reorganize everything to find a way to get it all to fit or start purging once again.

Paint Your Bedroom a Light Color

Painting a light color on the walls of your bedroom will make it look much larger than it really is, because the light will reflect off the paint.

Don’t Clutter the Walls

As you are adding storage options and determining where you want things to be in your bedroom, we caution you to try to keep as many things off your walls as possible. Walls that are crammed with photos, art work, and shelving will make your room appear smaller once again.

You may need to be a little creative to get your bedroom looking and feeling larger than it really is, but it is possible to do. Try to look at your room as an open canvas, like you have never seen it before, and find a way to turn it into the oasis that you have always dreamed of.

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.

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