How to Ensure a Smooth Project

In our continuing blog series, “Choosing the Right Home Remodeling Professional for your Renovation Project”, we tackle how to ensure a smooth project. Knowing these guidelines will help you navigate your renovation project and give you confidence in your contractor!

Good Communication

It is essential that you have an excellent flow of communication with your contractor. Do they return calls promptly? Do they listen intently to your likes and dislikes? Do they take notes? Can you reach them when needed? This will be even more important once your project begins.

Right Fit

You’ll most likely be spending a good bit of time with your contractor, so it is important that you feel comfortable with them. You should also have a good sense as to whether the same holds true regarding the members of their staff. Like any good relationship, a strong rapport and close communication with your contractor will help any job go more smoothly.

Scheduling

The scheduling of your project is something that should be discussed upfront. A responsible and reputable contractor will do their best to keep you informed both in the initial stages and as your project progresses.

A Clear, Well Written Proposal/Contract

Getting it in writing is essential! Nothing is worse than a disagreement because the terms weren’t written down. Frequently, one person remembers something differently. Every part of the job from the general conditions and demolition to the final trim and clean up should be clearly described. General terms like “install windows and doors” are too vague and should be clearly spelled out indicating exactly what window, what door, including make, model, size, features, location, color, style, etc. A detailed contract should include:

  • A visual representation such as a blueprint, floor plan, drawings, sketches, that clearly shows what work is being done and where.
  • The timetable in which the project is expected to be completed, including approximate start and end dates.
  • The price, along with payment terms and schedule.
  • Detailed specifications for all products and materials.
  • A list of work and/or things not included.
  • Insurance information.
  • Permit information (e.g., whether it’s required and who will get it)
  • Procedure for handling change orders.
  • Notice of your right under the FTC’s rule to cancel the contract within three business days if it was signed in a place other than the contractor’s place of business.

Details, Details, and More Details

There are several things that should be discussed prior to starting your project. What time will work start and end each day? Where will materials be stored? What special circumstances need to be taken into consideration? Discussing details like these upfront saves a lot of aggravation and eliminates misunderstandings.

Flexibility

Remodeling can be disruptive to your normal lifestyle. Remember to be as flexible as possible.

Change Orders

Changes are inevitable when it comes to home remodeling. There are often changes made to the design, the materials, and the scope of work once work begins.

It’s a good idea to set aside an additional 10% or more beyond the contract amount to cover these changes.

The bottom line is: Almost all changes will affect the budget and the schedule. Make sure all changes are in writing and are kept current to avoid any surprises in the end.

Written Lien Waivers

Often your remodeling professional will work with other tradesmen or subcontractors who specialize in certain aspects of your project. It is your contractor’s responsibility to make sure these people, as well as material suppliers, are paid for services and materials related to your project.

Make sure your contractor is willing to provide you with a written lien waiver at the end of your project in trade for the final payment. This is a document that proves that you have paid for the project in full, thereby eliminating the chances of the contractor’s subcontractors or suppliers placing a lien on your property due to not being paid by your contractor for the work performed on your home.

Establishing good communication and walking through each of these topics with your contractor will ensure a smooth project!

FREE CONSUMER AWARENESS GUIDE

Learn more about how to choose the right home remodeling professional with our consumer awareness guide.  Our guide, “10 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor” will help you know what to look for when finding the right contractor so that you can be completely satisfied with your remodeling project.  This booklet was written so that you will be empowered to make the best decision for your home improvement and remodel. You can have the experience you desire for your home improvement project with the right contractor for you by requesting this free e-Book here.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

Begin your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or emailing steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss remodeling your home, kitchen, or bathroom.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultations. Our award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to help you love your home again!

Twenty-one Questions You should Ask to Choose the Right Contractor

Our recent blogs have focused on topics that will help you choose the right home remodeling professional for your renovation project.  We’ve covered misconceptions, project costs beyond labor, and what to look for when hiring your contractor.  In this blog, we give you the essential questions to ask so that you can confidently navigate choosing the right contractor for your remodeling project.

Choose the Right Contractor

Any reputable remodeling contractor should be able to answer all the following questions positively.  If they cannot, it would be wise to continue your search!

  1. Are you properly licensed on both the state and city level?
  2. Do you require all change orders to be in writing to eliminate any misunderstandings and unexpected cost overruns?
  3. Do you carry general liability insurance?
  4. Do you carry worker’s compensation insurance?
  5. Will you provide me with a written lien waiver at the end of the job?
  6. Are you a member of NARI or NAHB? Do you subscribe to their Code of Ethics?
  7. Are you certified as a CR, GCP, CKBR, CGR, or UDCP?
  8. Are you a member of the local Better Business Bureau?
  9. Will you pull any necessary permits?
  10. Do you offer a written warranty on all workmanship?
  11. Who will oversee my job? May I meet this person or persons?
  12. Have you been a party in any construction litigation?
  13. Will you provide me with references?
  14. What percentage of your business is repeat, or referral-based?
  15. How many projects like mine have you completed in the last year or two?
  16. How do you plan to reduce dust and protect the rest of my home from the effects of other work? (Good contractors erect dust barriers and use drop cloths and other protective material to protect your home.)
  17. How is daily and general clean-up handled?
  18. Will you provide means of communication that is checked daily for any questions or concerns you may have thought of after working hours?
  19. Will you provide me with a written contract that clearly spells out exactly what you will do, what your price includes and does not include, and specifies a guaranteed price, payment schedule, and completion date?
  20. Will a professional designer and/or architect design my job? (For projects that warrant this level of service.)
  21. Do you provide realistic renderings, sketches, and perspectives to allow me to clearly visualize my project early in the planning stages? (Again, for projects that warrant this level of service.)

We hope knowing what to ask will help you choose the right contractor who is a professional in remodeling and renovation projects.

FREE CONSUMER AWARENESS GUIDE

Learn more about how to choose the right home remodeling professional with our consumer awareness guide.  Our guide, “10 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor” will help you know what to look for when finding the right contractor so that you can be completely satisfied with your remodeling project.  This booklet was written so that you will be empowered to make the best decision for your home improvement and remodel. You can have the experience you desire for your home improvement project with the right contractor for you by requesting this free e-Book here.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

Begin your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or emailing steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss remodeling your home, kitchen, or bathroom.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultations. Our award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to help you love your home again!

 

9 Things to Look for in a Contractor

In this blog, we continue our series of how to choose the right home remodeling professional for your remodeling project, by tackling 9 things to look for in a contractor.  Knowing this information will help you feel more confident as you research the best remodeling contractor for your project.

  1. Accessibility

Your contractor must be easy to reach by phone and email and never make you feel like you are imposing on them by contacting him or her.

  1. Promptness

Does your contractor keep appointments? A contractor’s day can be busy; if they are running behind, they should have the courtesy to call to let you know. Little things count.

  1. Trustworthiness

Honesty and trust are of the utmost importance in any situation, especially when the person has total access to your home. Make sure you feel a high level of trust with your contractor and trust your instinct if you don’t. Not only are you trusting them to be in your home and around your family, but you’re also trusting them with, in many cases, a sizable amount of your money!

  1. Membership in NARI or NAHB

NARI stands for the National Association of the Remodeling Industry; NAHB stands for the National Association of Home Builders. To become a member, the contractor’s background and references are investigated. It’s always a good idea to hire a NARI or NAHB contractor. Membership reflects a contractor’s commitment to professionalism.

  1. Certifications

Both organizations offer industry certification and designations such as Certified Graduate Remodeler™ (CGR), Certified Remodeler™ (CR), Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler™ (CKBR) and Green Certified Professional™ (GCP) and Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP). If a contractor has one or more of these designations, chances are high that you’re dealing with a very reputable professional that is committed to their career as a professional remodeling contractor.

Furthermore, to earn one of these designations a contractor must demonstrate certain levels of skill and knowledge in addition to successfully completing numerous courses on various topics related to the industry.

  1. Ability to design your project

Unless your project is simple, you will want to work with a contractor that will start with a design phase complete with a feasibility study to develop both the remodel and a budget that will work for you. Design/Build contractors will work with you to develop space planning and floor plans. They will lead you through the multitude of choices that must be made. Most importantly they will work with you to balance the choices with the ultimate budget for your project. This planning stage prior to moving forward with your remodel will ensure that all the details have been addressed and that the possibility of unexpected extra expenses will be minimized.

  1. Knowledge of Green Remodeling Technology

In today’s world of high energy prices and limited resources, it is critical that your contractor is up to date regarding incorporating eco-friendly green techniques and features into every project. The common misconception is that green remodeling will cost more. The reality is that extremes in anything will cost more, and a well-balanced plan will respect your budget.

A contractor that is focused on the green aspects of remodeling will be more conscious of not wasting materials, recycling the used appliances, fixtures, and reusable building materials. This will save money and give you a tax deduction for donating used materials to charitable organizations. By viewing your home as a system rather than an accumulation of parts, your contractor will commonly incorporate many choices and techniques into every project that will improve your home’s performance and not necessarily cost more than uneducated choices.

  1. High Percentage of Referrals or Repeat Clients

When a significant amount of a contractor’s business is derived from repeat or referred business, it is an indication that their clients are pleased and that they have an outstanding reputation. If your contractor has a long list of happy clients and has an outstanding reputation for doing quality work, chances are high that you will be satisfied as well.

  1. Will Your Home Be Protected?

Simply put, remodeling can be very dusty and dirty. If not adequately controlled, dust will get everywhere, especially if there is a lot of sanding or demolition. Make sure your contractor has plans to take the appropriate measures to control dust and protect your floor finishes.

FREE CONSUMER AWARENESS GUIDE

Learn more about how to choose the right home remodeling professional with our consumer awareness guide.  Our guide, “10 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor” will help you know what to look for when finding the right contractor so that you can be completely satisfied with your remodeling project.  This booklet was written so that you will be empowered to make the best decision for your home improvement and remodel. You can have the experience you desire for your home improvement project with the right contractor for you by requesting this free e-Book here.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

Begin your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or emailing steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss remodeling your home, kitchen, or bathroom.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultations. Our award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to help you love your home again!

Avoid Three Common Misconceptions When Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

Your home is one of your most valuable assets. Selecting the right contractor will be the single most important factor in determining whether you will be completely satisfied with the outcome of your remodeling project. Every contractor brings a different level of knowledge, commitment, and dedication to the table.  In this blog, we share how to avoid three common misconceptions when hiring a remodeling contractor. The more you can become intimately aware of the “ins and outs” of how the remodeling business works, acquire the necessary knowledge and tools, you will be empowered to find the right contractor for your project.

Avoid These Three Common Misconceptions

Misconception #1 – You should always get three bids

Not necessarily. This tactic is probably responsible for more dissatisfaction within the remodeling industry than any other single factor.

Why?

If your objective is to get a quality job at a fair price, simply comparing it to another estimate is often very misleading. There aren’t any standard prices or standard specifications for remodeling projects. Each quote or estimate you receive reflects what’s included in the actual job that a contractor is planning on completing for you. Asking contractors to price involved projects with preliminary information and then trying to scrutinize the details of the resulting bid will only lead to misjudgments. Every contractor will get better pricing on some things than others. Seeing an item on a proposal that looks high does not mean that everything on the form is overpriced. Seeing lower prices may mean that the contractor will run out of money prior to finishing your project or that the quality of your project will suffer.

Misconception #2 – Going with a low price saves you money!

Think about this for a minute. If you have solicited several bids and go with the contractor that has the lowest bid, you’ve just awarded your job to the guy that just figured out the CHEAPEST way to get your project done!

Is this what you really want?

One of the most common signs of trouble ahead is someone offering to do work for a low price. Like the age-old sayings go: “You get what you pay for!” and “You can’t get something for nothing!” Be extremely careful in choosing your contractor based upon the lowest price. But you may be thinking: “Well, if all things are equal, going with the lowest price is smart buying! Isn’t it?”

Absolutely, 100% yes! But things are almost NEVER, EVER equal in the remodeling business!

Even if you have the most complete set of professional drawings and a twenty-five-page written set of specifications describing every little detail, things can still be vastly different from one contractor to the next.

What is true, though, is the more detail the better. They are critical to helping establish expectations.

The bottom line: NEVER use price alone as the determining factor. Low-priced bids should be cautiously reviewed as it could indicate that the contractor may have left something out in his bid which could lead him to cut corners or have to divide his time working two remodeling projects at the same time so that he can remain afloat while finishing your project.

Many other things should be taken into consideration as well. Whenever you encounter a low-price offer, some questions should immediately come to mind. Questions like:

“Why is the price so low?” “What’s missing here?” and “Has the contractor figured enough into the cost to provide me with the level of service I expect?”

On the other hand, if you have found a contractor that you really feel good about, but their price is more than you can afford or you simply do not want to invest as much as has been quoted, just explain this to the contractor. A professional contractor will welcome the opportunity to help you redesign your project or make whatever changes are necessary in order to better fit your budget. If you are open to scaling back the project, re-examining your priorities, or making other changes, this approach can be very helpful.

Misconception #3 – If the Better Business Bureau doesn’t have any complaints against the contractor, they are probably a safe bet.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is always a good place to start when investigating, but it should not be the stopping point. Even if a contractor doesn’t have any BBB complaints, it does not necessarily mean that you’re working with a reputable professional. We encourage you to investigate the company further.

The BBB is not a governing agency and it does not keep a record of every contractor in town. Many contractors can operate for years doing poor work without ever being reported. Likewise, there may be several very reputable contractors that the BBB has no record of at all.

The best way to utilize the BBB is to check with them to see if the contractor you may be considering has had any complaints against them. If they do, you should consider it an indication that this contractor may not be a good choice. If there are no complaints against the contractor you are investigating, this may indicate a good reputation, however, we strongly encourage you to do research beyond the BBB.

FREE CONSUMER AWARENESS GUIDE

We’ve created a consumer awareness guide, “10 Things You Must Know Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor” to help you know what to look for when finding the right contractor so that you can be completely satisfied with your remodeling project.  This booklet was written so that you will be empowered to make the best decision for your home improvement and remodel. You can have the experience you desire for your home improvement project with the right contractor for you by requesting this free e-Book here.

5 REASONS TO CONSIDER A CURBLESS SHOWER

Bathrooms are one of the biggest motivators for homeowners to plan a remodel.  While there are many reasons, often it is because they want their bathroom to feel like an oasis. A curbless shower can help create that oasis feel, but we want to share 5 reasons to consider a curbless shower from a different perspective.

HERE ARE 5 REASONS TO CONSIDER A CURBLESS SHOWER

They are space savers:  Curbless showers save space in your bathroom!  Whether they are designed for big or small spaces, we can create your curbless shower to fit your unique area. A curbless shower also has no high curb which creates seamless flooring that gives your bathroom a bigger feel.

They are practical: Do you have children? Think of the flexibility of showering children who have just come in from messy outdoor play and you can shower more than one child at a time in these showers as well! The curbless shower also grows with you, allowing you to age in place.  With no curb, the shower is already outfitted to accommodate mobility aids meeting needs as you grow older making it safer for you.

They are easy to maintain: Whether you have bi-pass doors or no doors on your curbless shower, your shower area can be easier to clean by having a handheld showerhead.  Using a handheld showerhead, you can spray down the walls at any time when they need cleaning. If you choose to go with an open curbless shower, you have no doors to consider. There are no hinges or door seals to wear out which is an added feature to easy maintenance. And when it comes to cleaning the floor, it can be done as you are cleaning the rest of the floor in your bathroom!

Designer look that adds a high-end value: Curbless showers give any bathroom a designer look that will add a high-end value to your home. You can show your personal style and create a beautiful focal point for your bathroom by choosing different colors, shapes, and textures in your tile work. When designing your shower, there is also a wide range of flexibility in adding benches, shelves, and heated floors to make it uniquely yours.  We can help you design the perfect curbless shower for your space.

Easy Entry and Exit:  Stepping over a bathtub or a curb in a shower can become a fall risk for both young children whose coordination and balance is not yet fully developed and for those beginning to age.  Any time there is water involved, the floor can be slippery, and the step can be too high for anyone with mobility issues.  A curbless shower offers a safer entry and exit where you simply walk in and walk out.  If a wheelchair or walker is needed, there is no barrier.

Consider a Curbless Shower for Your Bathroom Remodel

Curbless showers provide accessibility, practicality, and easy maintenance as well as flexibility in design. They can extend the longevity of your home as it allows you to transition as you age in place.

Tri-Lite Builders is an award-winning home remodeler that can help you figure out the details and design for your bathroom so that you can fit a curbless shower into your space perfectly.  Call us at (480) 895-3442 for a free consultation to discuss your remodel!

View our portfolio of remodeling projects here!

How the Design/Build Concept Works

Renovating your home starts with your dreams and vision for your living space. Most likely, you’ve been envisioning your remodel for a long time and are ready to get started but are unsure of what that is all going to look like.  In this blog, we help you understand how the design/build concept works, our proven process, and what to expect along the way.

HOW THE DESIGN/BUILD CONCEPT WORKS

We have developed a proven process we go through with all our clients that spans from the initial design consultation through construction and then on to completion.
We start by asking several questions to get to know you and your style.  We listen carefully so we can weave our knowledge and creativity with your hopes and dreams to enhance your home.  Our principal objective is to guide you through every aspect of the remodel: from room layout/space plan to the most important detail of your remodel.
Each design phase has similar elements that we craft uniquely to you and the variables involved in your design concept. Your project may include creating hand-drawn renderings or computer-generated 3D views of your new kitchen, bathroom, or floorplan. Each rendering or 3-D view is drawn so that you can preview the feel of your new kitchen or bathroom before construction starts. Throughout project development, our professional designer is there to lead you through each step.

INITIAL CONSULTATION

The initial consultation usually occurs with a phone call where we will discuss your remodeling project.  We answer the questions you have about our process, construction, project management.  Then, we ask several questions, to get to know a little about you, your home and what you envision for your remodel.
Next, we schedule a no-obligation consultation safely in-home or virtually if preferred.  During this consultation we:
  • Explore your space
  • Define the initial Scope of Work
  • Learn more about your lifestyle and preferences
  • Answer the design questions you have
  • Discuss comparable budget ranges from similar projects
If you find we are a good fit: personality, design concept, and estimated budget, we begin our design and pre-construction phase.

DESIGN PHASE

The Design Phase will take our preliminary concepts and budget to the finished design and fixed budget with all selections made. This includes collaborating on all the details which include:
  • Floor plan options
  • Appliance Selection
  • Cabinet styles and color choices
  • Countertop material and slab selection
  • Tile selections including decorative accents for backsplashes, floors, or showers
  • Plumbing features including styles, finishes, and locations
  • Electrical features, lighting fixtures, and their placement
  • Coordinate color choices for all features and walls
Our goal is to create the space(s) that you will be proud of and your family and friends will enjoy.  At Design Phase completion, the plan is in place: every product is specified, each trade partner is on board, the drawings are ready, and the budget is set and approved by you.  Time to execute the plan.

BUILD PHASE

The Plan – our specification documents that itemize all product selections, the scope of the remodel work to complete, drawings of the particulars, and budget amounts – become part of the Construction Contract.  These documents encompass “The Plan” and serve as the guide for our production team.  They work together with our professional designer during the Design Phase to ensure that all construction requirements are met.
Throughout the Build Phase, our Project Manager is there to execute the details of the plan.  The Project Manager is your day-to-day hands-on leader of your remodel and point of contact. As with all the phases of your remodel, communication and collaboration continue until the project is complete.
For high-end home design, build, and remodeling that reflects your vision, our NARI Certified Designers will work hand in hand with you to create a space that not only adds value to your home but brings you joy! Call us at (480) 895-3442 if you would like to discuss your remodeling project with our award-winning designers and builders.
You can view our portfolio here.

5 Things That Your Luxurious Bathroom Needs

This year has been difficult, filled with stresses that we did not see coming. However, it has also provided opportunities as we hunker down with our families and friends within our space. You have possibly taken more time looking at your home and have begun dreaming about what you would change if you remodeled.  Bathrooms are always at the top of that list!  Bathrooms are an underutilized space that can be made to serve you better. Maybe we have spent too much time in spas, but we believe that everyone needs to have those luxurious spaces inside their own home.

Here are 5 things that your luxurious bathroom needs:

  1. Heated Floors

Heated floors are fabulous because you will never need to walk on a cold bathroom floor in the middle of the night again! The biggest benefit of floor-heating systems is their ability to uniformly heat a room and floor. Stepping out of the shower or the bathtub with heated floors makes all the difference!

  1. Dimmer Switches

We know that taking a long hot bath is something that you love to do, but do you really want the bright lights on when you are soaking in your tub? We recommend installing dimmer switches on your lights so that you can lower the brightness of the lights and turn the room into a calming oasis.

  1. Heated Toilet Seat

There are many new toilets on the market and the best ones have heated seats. Imagine going into the bathroom in the middle of the night and not freezing as you sit down. This can be a new reality for you and your family if you install a toilet with a heated seat.

  1. Handheld Showerhead

Rainshower showerheads are fabulous, but you may want to install a handheld showerhead as well. This will give you more water flowing over you as you are showering, and the handheld will make it easier to rinse off.

  1. Humidistat Fan

Moisture can build up quickly in your bathroom and we can almost guarantee that there have been times when you have forgotten to turn on the fan before you stepped into the shower. A humidistat fan will go on automatically as soon as the humidity or moisture in the room reaches a certain level. This fan will ensure that you will not have moisture or mold issues inside your luxurious bathroom space.

It can be easy to turn your bathroom into a luxurious space and it may not mean a complete renovation either. Call us to talk and learn about all your options for turning your bathroom into a room of luxury.

Our lead designer and professional craftsmen at Homework Remodels have years of experience helping homeowners design and build award-winning custom bathrooms. During the COVID pandemic, we offer free virtual and safe in-home consultations.  When we work on your remodeling project, we take all the necessary precautions to keep you and our craftsmen safe. Give us a call at (480) 895-3442 to discuss your upcoming bathroom remodeling project.  We will do the homework for you and help you love your home again!

You can find some of our remodeled bathrooms here!

Splurge on These 4 Items for your Kitchen Remodel

Amid a lot of change and additional hardship that this year has brought, there is nothing like moving forward and creating positive transformation like the remodel project you have wanted to do since, well, forever!  So that kitchen remodel you have been thinking about, let’s do it! While you are in the planning stage, there are certain items, we suggest, you should splurge on.  Splurging on these 4 items for your kitchen remodel can improve the time you spend in your kitchen plus add even more value to your new space.

Splurge on these 4 items for your kitchen remodel:

Interior Storage Solutions for Kitchen Cabinets

Interior storage solutions for kitchen cabinets do not have to cost a fortune. They will, however, make it easier to organize and use your kitchen.  Storage items you should splurge on when it comes to your new cabinets include roll-out trays, trash and recycle bins, pullout pantries, and vertical storage.  A Lazy-Susan is a great addition to any kitchen’s corner cabinet, as it will make it easier for you to access items inside that cabinet. There are also several items on the market a homeowner can install that assist in the optimum function of your kitchen.

Quartz or Granite Countertops

Countertops can be made from many different materials, but your best option is quartz or granite. Both are durable and easy to keep clean.  Quartz is virtually non-porous, as it is a man-made material of ground-up stone particles and resin. Granite is porous, but this is not necessarily a bad characteristic, as our fabricator applies a sealer to protect it from absorbing liquids.  Many people look for quartz or granite in homes they are considering purchasing. Quartz or Granite countertops will help you recoup your money if you decide to sell in the future.

Floor

Your kitchen floor will see a lot of traffic, so you will want to splurge on a material that will last. Stained concrete, porcelain tiles, or luxury vinyl planks will add a luxurious look and feel to your remodeled kitchen and are worth the additional cost.  Stained concrete, potentially the most expensive option, has a modern look and is easy to maintain.  Porcelain tiles are manufactured to look like most flooring materials from stone, wood, and concrete to mosaics.  The ones we suggest are called color body porcelain, as the body of the tile is similar in color to the face. If the tile happens to chip, the color you see looks similar to the face of the tile and helps conceal the chip.  Luxury vinyl planks are a vinyl material attached to a click type structure for a floating installation method.  This newer product has added benefit with water resistance, backing for sound, and weight transfer absorption as well as coming in a multitude of product renderings from wood to stone tiles.

Beverage cooler

And last, but not least, if you are like a lot of homeowners these days, then you may want to consider installing a beverage cooler in your new kitchen. This cooler will free up space in your refrigerator which almost everyone needs!  If you store these items in another space in your home, you will no longer need to leave your kitchen to grab a drink. These coolers can hold soda, juice boxes, wine, beer, and more which is perfect for when you are entertaining.

Splurging on some items in your new kitchen will be well worth it. However, you will want to choose wisely what you are spending your money on because it is not necessary to spend thousands of dollars on every single part of your new space. There are certain items that you can spend a lot less money on and still get the results that you want. We can help you with that!

Our professional Lead Designer and Craftsmen here at Homework Remodels have years of experience helping homeowners design and build award-winning custom kitchens. Our work has been featured in a variety of magazines both in print and online and won NARI awards. Please give us a call at (480) 895-3442 to discuss your upcoming kitchen remodeling project.

Check out all our remodels for ideas and look for your next kitchen remodel here.

Actions to Avoid in the Care of Your Hardwood Floors

Most will agree that a well-maintained wood floor is a thing of beauty. If you take the time to learn all the things you need to do for your floor, shouldn’t you also know what you should try to avoid? Hardwood floor care is more than just cleaning and occasionally refinishing. A lot of it involves knowing how these surfaces can be easily damaged. Following is a list of actions to avoid in the care of your hardwood floors and how to protect the beauty of hardwood floors in your home.

Actions to Avoid in the Care of Your Hardwood Floor

Dragging heavy furniture.

Furniture can leave scratches and gouges in floors as you move them. Get some help lifting heavy pieces, or use felt pads. Sweep thoroughly before you move heavy furniture. Dirt that gets trapped under the furniture can leave scratches in your hardwood flooring.

Waiting too long to refinish

If your hardwood floor is beginning to look stale and the finish has worn off, it is time for a refinish. Putting this off will make the work harder and force you to spend more money restoring the surface or replacing the boards. Timely refinishing is especially important for high traffic areas.

Using chemicals

Cleaning a wood floor is easier than most people think. You do not need strong cleaners to do a good job. In fact, many cleaning products can damage the surface of hardwood floors. Purchase products made specifically for wood floors.

Steam cleaning

Steam mops are more suited to use on tiles. Aside from the moisture which is not good for wood floors, the heat from steam mops can cause the top layer of the wood to deteriorate over time. On that note, avoid using too much water when mopping up your floors.

Pet management

Dogs and cats can do a lot of damage to this type of floor in a relatively short time. Keep their nails or claws trimmed to protect the wood.

Welcome mat

Anything that gets tracked on your floors is slowly wearing away the surface. Make sure that you use a welcome mat to keep this to a minimum.

Tacking down rugs

Trying to keep rugs from shifting can be frustrating but tacking them is not always the best answer. When you have to move the rug, some of the adhesives may be left behind. You can also strip off some of the finish as well.

High heeled shoes

Your amazing stilettos might look great, but they are not so great for wood surfaces. They can leave impressions and marks on the wood. This can be even worse if the heel is damaged.

We regularly partner with homeowners to repair or replace hardwood floors during the remodeling process.  We have a historic home in the Willo where we will be replacing the 100-year-old hardwood floors during their remodel. Since these homeowners appreciate real hardwoods, we will be installing a new hardwood floor.  We will proceed that with a good termite treatment to keep them safe from that damage.

Preventing any type of damage to your hardwood floors will actually make maintenance much easier. You cannot possibly protect your floors from everything, but you can help that beauty to last longer by taking several precautions and preliminary measures. Call us at (480) 895-3442 if you are interested in installing hardwood flooring or restoring your existing hardwood floor; we can help!  Our premier, award-winning remodeling company serves those in Phoenix or the surrounding area.

Examples of some of our hardwood floors:

 

See all our award-winning designs in our portfolio here!

Using Reclaimed Wood in Home Remodels

Using reclaimed wood in home remodels has been an on-trend design element for a few years now. It is an idea that appeals to a lot of people for reasons that extend beyond being solely conscious about the environment. One major benefit is the warmth it adds, as well as texture and character to the look of your home. It can instantly add an aged patina to a brand-new kitchen.

Reclaimed wood has a natural warmth to it that will add balance to an Industrial or Modern-style home.  Each piece of wood is unique with its’ inherent qualities and the natural weathering of the boards. Sliding barn doors, accent walls clad in wood, and ceiling beams are especially popular and it looks as though they will remain so for quite a while. Interior designers are seeing an increase in the number of clients requesting the addition of reclaimed wood into their new remodel. Here are a few things you should know about using reclaimed wood to make your newly remodeled space even more visually interesting.

Old but Not Unusable

The idea of using wood from an old building or shipping crate might lead to some worry about rot or insect damage. Reclaimed wood should always be thoroughly examined for those issues prior to use.  Not all reclaimed wood is equal in its properties.  Old-growth timber generally is denser than new wood harvested from younger trees. Therefore, it would be much better suited for a humid part of the home.  Teak, considered the most rot-resistant wood, is highly resistant to weather and moisture. Along with old-growth cypress, teak is an exceptional wood for use in the damp areas, such as a master bath.

Reclaimed wood may need refinishing and will require some amount of routine maintenance, but it can be well worth the extra effort and expense. One additional perk, by using reclaimed instead of new wood, you will not subject yourself and your family to the potentially dangerous off-gassing from a VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) which is found in new wood.

Other Notable Points

Even your own home can be a source of used wood if you are removing old cabinets or shelves. A big reason for the appeal of reclaimed wood is the fascinating details it contains. Odd knots, nail holes, and even the imperfections contribute to the character of the pieces. You may be lucky enough to find a rare species of reclaimed wood no longer being harvested. You will usually find reclaimed wood in different lengths and widths, but this is also considered a visual bonus.

Using reclaimed wood does come with a few challenges. Usually, it is best to have a professional deal with this material, even if you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer since many of the pieces are incredibly old, some more than a hundred years. Many pieces of old wood may contain nails or screws that must be removed before refinishing.

Using Reclaimed Wood

You can use reclaimed wood in any part of a home remodeling project that requires this material. Think about an interesting, one-of-a-kind table made from a vintage door. Sturdy and attractive shelves and cabinets can be constructed, as well. Repurposing wood to make your floors will significantly raise your costs, especially here in the southwest, where we have no 150-year-old barns to salvage!

If you have your heart set on the look of reclaimed wood floors, you have two options. You may want to consider using new wood, stain it to achieve the same look, and save yourself some money. The second option would be to use a porcelain plank tile flooring that resembles barn wood. Tile is more durable and less expensive. An accent wall of reclaimed wood would not be as expensive as doing all the flooring and would add a lot of visual interest and a sense of history to your home.

Where to Use Reclaimed Wood

In the kitchen, we would caution you to be careful with where you place wood in relation to wet areas. Using wood for a small butcher block counter is one thing, but having all your counters constructed of wood will be a maintenance challenge. These countertops would have to be refinished every few years, especially near the sink area. Spills would need to be wiped up immediately. This is definitely not a countertop material for everyone!

Some of our clients have asked about using reclaimed wood as their backsplash material. Again, we would caution you about the extra upkeep. It can be done; however, you would need to have the backsplash sealed multiple times with a lacquer type sealant. In a sleek industrial style kitchen, for instance, as a nice contrast, you may want to add open shelving made from reclaimed wood. Pairing reclaimed wood with other salvaged items like a vintage sink also adds drama and interest to your new space.

How about the Living Areas: Great Room, Bedroom, or Entry?

The Great Room is an excellent place to add an accent wall of reclaimed wood.  If you have a fireplace, a reclaimed wood mantle adds warmth and texture to the room. The master bedroom is a great place to add an accent wall of reclaimed wood, you may not even need to use a headboard.  In addition, an entry or a dining room is also a perfect place to add an accent wall of barn wood.

One other thing to be aware of when working with wood, it will swell and contract depending on the ambient temperature and the amount of humidity in the air. It is important to use a flexible silicone caulking for installation purposes.

 

Let Us Help You Love Your Home Again

As a home remodeler in the Greater Phoenix Area, we will help you do the homework to make the best decisions regarding your remodel.  If using reclaimed wood, we will make sure it goes in the right areas and make is visually stunning! Ready? Call us at (480)895-3442 to schedule your free 60-minute in-home or virtual consultation to get started! Our award-winning design team and craftsmen are ready to make your vision for your dream remodel a reality.

Check out our portfolio here!

 

 

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