Remodeling – What is worth it?

A couple of recent articles sparked a thought – Remodeling – what is it worth spending money on for your home?

This article from says that the top five on your list should be:

  1. A new steel entry door
  2. Add a wood deck
  3. Build a bedroom in your attic
  4. Replace your garage door
  5. Update your kitchen

Another article asked, if you were gifted money for a remodel, would you spend it on making your home more energy efficient or on making a room look more current – like a bathroom or kitchen.

One of the things that we have been doing lately is replacing windows on homes that were older or possibly the seals of the windows have broken.  This can help in two ways:

  1. You can help the energy efficiency of your home because the technology of the window has improved in the past 25 years.
  2. You can update the look of your home by adding new interior trim around the newly installed windows.

Another project that could help with the energy efficiency and the appearance of your home is to replace the exterior siding with a more current product.  While we were at it we changed the front door and installed custom built shutters.  Take a look at this recent transformation –



Board and Batten




If you need assistance trying to determine what remodeling costs would it be worth for your home or the best avenue to follow, please give us a call.

Winter Begins – are you prepared?

Winter begins – December 21st – are you prepared in your home?

Here is an article from Kiplinger that shared the 12 items that you should do to prepare your home for winter.  In case you didn’t do them, you can review them now.


These are the points that you can do at any time:

Check your furnace/AC – if you call when there isn’t an extreme temperature drop, you can probably avoid the “OMG, my furnace went out and it is -15 degrees outside” charge.  One thing that you should be doing monthly is changing your filters, especially if you are using the thin fiberglass filters.

Flip your ceiling fan direction – according to the energy star, fans are for the comfort of people, not the air movement.  We use our ceiling fans all year long to help circulate the air, especially in the rooms with volume ceilings.  We also leave the blowers on our furnace on all the time to help the air circulate between the basement and the upper floors. View this YouTube video to check on the direction your fan blades should be going right now!

Caulk around windows/doors – If you can hold a candle in front of your window and the flame extinguishes, you might have a leaky window.  Apply some caulk around any gaps. Read more here.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Three season option

This home in a 55+ community had a wonderful covered patio area.  But summer bugs and wind and rain could make the patio, while very inviting, not very usable.

We enclosed the area with window units and two doors to make the area usable in all but the coldest weather.

Before Picture – lovely covered patio.

Patio Before






After picture – enclosed space, protected from wind, rain and snow.

Patio After








Just add a small space heater, close down the panels and voila! You have a space to read and entertain that is bug-free, and comfortable 90% of the year.

Patio from inside





Do you have a space that could be easily enclosed so that you could use the space throughout the year?  Let us know if we can help.

Carpeted Bathroom floors had to go!

This homeowner took very good care of their home, but after 25 years some changes are due.Blue carpet, blue sink, tub & shower had to go!

The home is a modern design with tall angled ceilings.  By adding soffits, we were able to add character and make the room feel less open without losing all of the ceiling height.

The most interesting feature we found was the toilet sitting out in the open, just inside the door to the bathroom.  We were able to use all of the existing plumbing in the remodel, enclosed the toilet in its own compartment and gave the homeowners moreUpdate after 25 years storage space with updated features and looks.

We gutted the bathroom, replaced the original shower with a toilet compartment, added a linen cabinet, replaced the over-sized blue bathtub with a smaller jetted tub and a large walk-in shower with multiple shower heads and a seat.  Of course, the carpet was replaced with a field tile.  We added more cabinetry and you can see that we used one color for the base and another for the upper accent cabinet.  All of the trim was painted to match the upper cabinet.

Because of the soffit over the sink area and enclosing the shower with a ceiling, the room doesn’t feel soooo tall and expansive.

The homeowners love their rain shower head, and the kids don’t want to use their own bathroom, even though it was recently remodeled as well!

To see more pictures, visit the album on our Facebook page, and give us a “like” if you haven’t already!

Let us know if we can help you update your outdated kitchen or bath!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Decks can wear out

If not properly treated and sealed decks can wear out.

We demolished this deck and replaced it with new boards and design as well.  Since it was a duplex, both neighbors agreed to completing a similar design.  We used cedar for the material. A bit more expensive than treated, but the product seems to be more durable.  It still requires care annually.See the before and after pics.

DSCF2247 DSCF2253








The neighbors had problems with birds nesting underneath the deck. CD’s spinning on strings, screening, and windchimes did nothing to dissuade the birds from finding a new home, but the new screens and doors did the trick. DSCF2258 IMG_3796







We gave them matching deck sizes that gave them more square footage than they originally had on their upper decks. If they wanted to coffee clatch from their own decks, they wouldn’t have to worry about falling over the edge to speak to each other.

IMG_3722 IMG_4379






With a great walk-out space and no neighbors currently, this is a great way for everyone to enjoy their outdoors time! IMG_4384 IMG_4382

Going up instead of out

This family needed to expand their living space.  They lived in an established city neighborhood.  There was no room to go out because of lot restrictions, but they could go up.

We removed the roof and added the shell of the second story while the family lived in the first floor.  Take a look at the before and after and some of the rooms once completed.

Deck – composite or not

A recent article by Gene and Katie Hamilton from Do It Yourself or Not? prompted this opinion.

First off, composite decking materials are supposed to be “maintenance free”.  Nothing is ever maintenance free, but composite deck material is very close.  Power wash it a couple times a year to remove dirt and residue and it will look wonderful for many years.

Material cost over treated or cedar is to be expected at the high end of the spectrum, but the lack of annual maintenance material cost is well worth the initial expense.

In the DIYORNOT article the authors indicated that you could purchase Trex decking for a 300 square foot

English: This is a picture of New-Tech brand w...
Plastic composite, a type of engineered wood. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ground level deck and fasteners for $2600, install it yourself and save 29% in labor charges over the $3651 contractor charge. We think the material cost is low compared to a smaller project we have just recently completed.

Several questions you have to ask yourself:

  1. Do you have the right tools?
  2. Do you have the extra time?
  3. Will you pass inspection? (oh – did you get a permit?)
  4. Will you order materials properly? (have enough without ordering too much extra)
  5. Will your sanity be in check when you are complete?

Do it yourself projects are really great if you have skills, patience and understanding.  Sometimes it is best to hire a professional to save you stress and anxiety, and in the long run, often, money.

Enhanced by Zemanta