Bring Your Home Back to Life

Month: August 2022

General Article

Home Renovations – Proper Communication Channels During Construction and The Unexpected

Home Renovations – Proper Communication Channels During Construction and The Unexpected

It is extremely important that you, as the owner, never, ever give any instructions during the construction (or the pricing) process to anyone other than the general contractor or his designated (in writing) representative. Here is why: If a subcontractor or workman advises you that there is a problem and he needs to make some sort of change, etc., to remedy it, you must contact the contractor immediately rather than OK the “fix” with the subcontractor or workman. Otherwise you will likely end up getting a change order (or other form of additional cost bill) later for the work.

The subcontractor and/or workman does not care whether the change will cost more or not. He is most likely being paid hourly.

His boss will be informed at some point (usually much later) that the additional work was done and that the owner OK’d it. Then the contractor will get a bill and then you will get one.

This sort of situation has cost owners lots and lots of money, has caused untold hard feelings and has generated an untold number of law suits. It is surprisingly easy to avoid but takes a degree of self discipline.

Give this serious thought because there is an excellent chance you will be faced with the situation.

The bottom line here is that if a change is needed (even one which should save you money) it is extremely important that you take the time to communicate this explicitly to your contractor in written form. This can be a hand written memo, typed correspondence, email or any similar form of correspondence which will give you a “paper trail” if there is a conflict or misunderstanding later.

It is important that you (or the contractor) describe the work to be done (again, in writing), acknowledge that it is a change and include some estimate of the cost (additive or deductive) which will be involved. At the time this will seem like a major hassle but rest assured the process will end up saving you much bigger hassles later.

Expect the unexpected! It is important that you, as the owner, realize that a renovation to any existing building is likely to contain at least some situations, items, etc., which end up costing the owner money but which nobody could have foreseen. Consequently it is vital that you keep some amount of money set aside for these eventualities. Just like there is no crystal ball which allows us to see the future there is no ‘magic’ amount or percentage of budget that will ensure covering these potential unknowns. Our observations indicate that in most cases something on the order of!0% (minimum) of the budgeted construction cost should be realistic. On significantly older homes and buildings (esp. historic situations) this figure might need to be a good bit higher. The arguments about what should have and should not have been expected or anticipated are unending. However if you define your project carefully in your agreement with the contractor these arguments will be minimized.…


Maximize Space in a Small Bathroom

One of the smallest areas in most homes is the bathroom. This creates a challenge for home owners and renters alike when it comes to storage, aesthetic and functionality of a bathroom. However, there are a variety of ways to make your bathroom appear larger without the high renovation costs or lengthy construction time of an expansion.
Pay attention to colors. It is commonly known that white and lighter colors can make a room appear larger and cleaner. Choose white cabinets, proper lighting fixtures and a calming color palette. You also want your bathroom to be a place of peace and relaxation, and lighter colors tend to create these feeling more than bold or darker ones. Mirrors are great for making a room feel bigger, and the bathroom couldn’t be a better place for a large mirror. Put plenty of lighting above the mirror so it can be as wide, or wider, than the vanity. This will open the space up significantly.
Choose the proper fixtures. The majority of bathrooms feature a shower or a tub and sometimes they are combined in one. Think about which one you really need and if possible remove the other. For example, if you prefer showers and rarely take baths, it makes sense to remove the bathtub to create extra space.
Re-organize everything. If you’re lucky enough to have a built-in closet in your bathroom, re-organize it to get maximum space. If you don’t have a closet, bring in items such as shelves, towel racks and storage units to store all your necessities like towels and bath products. If it’s at all possible, store only what you need in your bathroom- sometimes people end up making their bathroom a medicine cabinet or laundry room as well. Stick to keeping just what you need to shower and get ready for the day in your bathroom. Cleaning out your under the sink cabinets that you haven’t touched in months can also free up some unused space.
Ready to assemble cabinets will maximize the useful space in a bathroom and provide a built in look. These cabinets can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes and will help get you the most bang for your buck.
Keep it simple. Avoid heavily patterned wallpapers or trendy lighting- it will only distract the eye and make your space appear chaotic. Opt for simple colors and decor, remember with a bathroom, less is more.…

Home Contractors

Thinking Outside The Box With Duravit Plumbing Fixtures

Designer plumbing fixtures are hardly new on the scene. Plumbing fixtures that designers use are a totally different beast. Duravit fixtures are being utilized throughout the world in the top spas, hotels, public buildings, and ultra-modern residences. The company boasts of a “tradition of innovation.” Since the company has been around almost 200 years, they’ve earned their longevity, but what about innovation?
When a manufacturer transforms designer plumbing from its humble indoor uses to the outdoors, they are certainly thinking outside the box. Duravit doesn’t believe that spa living should be confined to the inside. Their Blue Moon and Sundeck line of pools and tubs install wherever there is a hot water connection. Suddenly, you’re not just going for a dip in the hot tub, but a luxurious excursion to a garden spa, all without having to leave home. The only limitations of such fixtures are your own or your designer’s imagination. Such innovation alters the concept of the bathroom from the mundane to the magnificent.
Duravit also has changed the idea that bathroom fixtures, accessories, and furniture are separate entities. Anyone who has gone through the bathroom remodeling process knows that plumbing fixtures are chosen from one retailer; then the cabinets–bought from another source–must be matched to the style of the fixtures; and finally the customer either goes back to the original retailer to pick out the accessories, or perhaps, by that time, the whole enterprise seems just too complicated, and the homeowner settles for just about any old product that “kinda matches.”At Duravit, the plumbing is the furniture, and there are accessories to match. Instead of making remodeling or new construction more difficult, the company simplifies the procedure.
Designing a bathroom with Duravit products changes the idea that your own bathroom has to suffer in comparison to the bathrooms at a top hotel. Want a steam shower? They’re available. Want a tub for two? No problem. How about a whirlpool style bath; real wood bathroom furniture; over-sized basins; ultra-modern toilets; or even a kitchen sink? Duravit has them. There’s no need to settle for second best. A company doesn’t last two hundred years by making a product that fails to satisfy its client?�le in both design and function.
So, if you are considering remodeling a bathroom, building a custom home, or a commercial building, and you want a product that not only operates seamlessly, but is beautiful, think Duravit. Their fixtures are being used today in hotels and public buildings throughout Europe, the Middle-East, and Asia. Whether it’s a new concert hall in Iceland, or a hotel in India, designers know a quality product that stands out. The possibilities are unlimited. Don’t worry about thinking outside the box or outside the home, Duravit is on board.…

Basement Renovations

Kitchen Renovation Includes Light Planning

When it comes time for a kitchen makeover, keep in mind that any kitchen renovation should include planning for additional lighting or light restructuring. The modern kitchen has transformed into a multi-functional area where numerous activities, besides preparing meals, have become commonplace.
Many modern kitchens are now used as family gathering areas or as entertainment areas for guests. They often contain corner nooks which are utilized for meals, reading areas or playing cards with friends. Some have built in snack bars that separate another room for added openness in conversation, or stools seated around a kitchen island for chatting while preparing a meal. Adequate lighting should be a top priority in providing for these needs in any plan for a kitchen remodel.
The highest consideration in planning kitchen lighting is in its functionality. Kitchens are generally busy places where a lot of slicing, dicing, shuffling and reaching take place. Having sufficient light to accomplish the task at hand is a necessity. Installation of overhead fluorescent lights is standard kitchen issue. However, there are some other creative ways to light up work areas that may be blocked or positioned farther away from overhead light.
Under cabinet lighting is a popular addition to a modern kitchen, providing a bright illumination to work areas on countertops and around cooking areas. Dome lights or sconces positioned on either side of a sink are other popular uses of lighting fixtures to give that extra splash of brightness to a heavily used area.
Once the main lighting has been planned, consideration should move to areas where other types of light might be needed. Recessed puck lights could be a good option to illuminate a corner nook, or strip lights positioned above a breakfast bar might do the trick for those areas.
Take into consideration also, the blending of natural light with indoor lighting. Throughout the day, various amounts of outdoor light filter into a kitchen area to produce different indoor lighting needs. Placing dimmers on a couple of light sources could assist in maintaining sufficient amounts of light for various tasks during the day. This will also help in conserving energy when full artificial light isn’t needed, say on a cloudy day for instance.
Today, technology supplies a vast array of energy and cost saving lighting products, both in the bulbs themselves and in the housing fixtures. It’s never been easier to adequately provide for all the lighting needs of a kitchen while conserving energy and saving money at the same time. So, the next time kitchen remodeling is on the agenda, sufficiently plan for all its many lighting requirements before getting started.…

General Article

12 Points to Consider When Planning Bathroom Design

12 Points to Consider When Planning Bathroom Design

With some planning you can get a lot more than just “functional” from your Bathroom. You can integrate it into your home and decor and enhance your house value. Here are the pivotal 12 points that you may consider.

Use eye-catching materials and preferably with brighter colors. This will not only give hygienic and clean feel and look but also give a sense of space and welcome.

Shop around for new and fashionable ideas and don’t just replace. New advances in technology have provided the industry with a lot of products that were never imagined a couple of decades ago.

Try to think about new trends in Bathroom functionality like having two sinks or showers so residents can share time in the room.

You can mix and match colors as long as they go and you can mach furniture and towels etc. Such design allows for fast changes in theme with out the need for an overall change.

When it comes to that overall feel in relation to users, you can opt for sleek design in neutrals if you want a masculine feel and try grey, taupe, beiges. For a more common “her and his” bathroom, add more touch of color towards satisfying the feminine aspects.

For a neutral place use whiter bathrooms that never go out of style. Try the new off-white and cream shades for a clean, relaxing atmosphere that goes with anything and is a safe-bet if you’re planning to sell.

Making the best use of space and organization gives the room a symmetrical appearance and a feel of space and airiness. Put in some cabinets for towels and linens if the space allows but take care with colors and designs.

There is so much to look for when it come to lighting but the main aspect about lighting is that it adds that depth and dimension to corners and can make a small bathroom look much bigger. You can play with lighting to create the type of mood and atmosphere that you dream of.

Mix lighting with wall-mounted mirror/s that can add depth and dimension. Take care though that mirrors need a lot attention in cleaning and de-misting. Natural light from windows is as important replace old drafty windows with larger light inviting modern ones that are also energy efficient and allow for that enlarged space feeling. Artificial and candle light and feel provides that look and feel that you may dream of and only believe exist in movies.

Not only modern that is cool, you can go for classic and retro styles if it goes with the overall design and feel of the house but prepare to be adventures and know your history.

If your bathroom size allows and you have that budget and desire then you can include lots of options like Jacuzzi, Spa, soaking tub, or walk-in shower, dressing/grooming area or a Sauna attached.

There are functional points that you have to factor in when it come to designing for special needs people and different ages that you probably need to take advice on.

What ever your priorities, needs and aspirations are you can never finish when you come to deciding the design your main bathroom component the bathroom suite for example due to the vast variety of it. The internet is vast and resourceful and I personally take most of my aspiration from what is available there.…

General Article

Home Remodeling – Use Free Resources Before You Start

Home Remodeling – Use Free Resources Before You Start

Many homeowners enjoy starting new projects that will improve their home. However, lots of home remodeling tasks require the help of someone experienced in this field, so use the resources that surround you before you start.

If you are thinking about home remodeling in order to get the house you have always wanted, there are a few places you can go for help in this endeavor. No matter how talented you are at planning or construction, you will probably need help or inspiration at some point. Find out the best places to go to get assistance with your projects.

Most home remodeling projects require certain materials and tools, many of which you might not have. This means that a trip to the local home improvement store is probably in order. While there, you should ask any questions you have of the sales staff, as many are trained to answer queries from homeowners. If they do not know the answer, they can usually point you in the direction of someone who does, or at least offer a manual with tips for completing your task.

You can also stay at your house and still get your questions answered, simply by doing an Internet search. There are various websites and free e-books that teach the steps for different projects. Some simply offer basic tips for getting started while others go in-depth so that you can start from scratch. Use the Internet as a free resource for completing the home remodeling tasks that you need to do.

One of the most popular ways to learn new things is reading a book. Check out your local bookstore or library to find helpful books on the task you want to complete. Just like Internet sites, you will probably find that some books teach every step for various projects, while others just give a general overview that lets you know whether you should even attempt the project you are considering. Reading a book is a great, inexpensive or even free way to ensure that you know what you are doing before you get started, possibly saving you the money of having to start an unsuccessful task all over.

You are probably excited to start modeling your house the way you want it, but planning a bit before you start is a smart move. Jumping into a project that ends up failing can cost you money, since both your materials and time will be wasted. Plan to succeed by researching as much as possible first, consulting the various free resources that you are surrounded by. Only then can you expect to get he results you want from your home remodeling project.…

General Article

Popularity of Plastic Fence Posts

Popularity of Plastic Fence Posts

Plastic fence posts also known as vinyl or PVC fence posts offer a new way to fence your property that is more durable than wood. Plastic fence posts can handle all kinds of weather, insects, and maintenance whereas wood fence posts can begin to rot after becoming wet repeatedly, termites love to eat wood, and then there is the maintenance that will need to be done all the time due to broken posts or panels.

Plastic posts are truly durable, come in a wide array of colors, and are created in the same dimensions as wood posts. The only complaint seen with plastic posts is the fact that the color can fade and have a bumpy texture after years of wear of tear; however, many improvements have been made by manufacturers to rid their posts of this problem. Today, more and more individuals are turning to posts; therefore, the improvements had to be made in order to keep satisfied customers. In fact wood is no longer considered stylish as the world is going green.

Now, you are more than likely wondering if you should choose plastic fence posts over other materials. Well, let’s look at the advantages of plastic. First, plastic fencing is weather resistant without any type of treatment and you do not have to worry about the posts rotting or rusting as you see with other materials. This may be hard to believe, but posts are inexpensive when you consider the cost of wood or metal fencing that will need more maintenance than plastic. Before you decide on the type of material, you desire for your fence, you will need to also add in how long the plastic fence will last over other materials. Yes, metal will last quite a while, but it will rust, thus more in maintenance costs.

Now, you know that posts are maintenance free and durable, but one other attraction is the new designs and colors that have hit the market over the last couple of years. With plastic fence posts, you can create a beautiful fence to protect your flower garden or you can use this fencing for your cattle ranch. As you can plainly see, posts have come a long way and now can be used for all kinds of fencing needs whether you want a beautiful design or a plain fence to keep the animals on your farm. And since you avoid wood, you are doing the right thing, environmentally.…