We invite remodelers to create a guest blog about a recently completed project that Design Build Pros will publish on our website and then promote throughout our vast social media network. This is a very good opportunity for remodeling companies. Since DBP are project designers and not contractors, any appropriate lead inquires from a specific blog for remodeling work will be referred back to that remodeling company. Continue reading →
A remodel can, at the very least, be stressful. At its worst it can be a complete nightmare but there’s good news, it does not have to be! Having open communication with your contractor from the very start will eliminate many of the headaches that make a remodel so uncomfortable. To help ease the pain we have devised a list of the top things you need to review with your contractor before construction begins.
Start and End Times: No one likes being woken up by a jack hammer. So, agreeing on when to start and when to end construction each day is key to managing your stress level. Knowing when workers will be coming and going will eliminate surprises and let you schedule your own routine. This way your schedule and that of your construction team don’t have to overlap.
Children and Pets: If you’re worrying all day about Fido getting out or your kids playing in the construction zone after school you’re most likely not going to be winning employee of the month. Make sure to review special instructions regarding your kids and pets with your crew. Barriers can be set and gates can be kept closed. Keeping your loved ones safe is just as important to your crew. They ideally need to focus on your project, not whether or not a child or pet is going to run off with their expensive tools.
Project Access: It’s important to know how your construction crew will gain access to the work site. Will you always be home to let them in and out or do they need a key? You don’t want them wasting time waiting for you to return from an errand just to let them inside. Should they use the side, front or back door? Agreeing on these points will help keep your project on schedule and construction mess contained.
Parking: Parking is different in every neighborhood. Some areas require permits, have street cleaning days, or other restrictions on parking. Make sure your contractor is aware of all of these. It is also important to agree in advance on what to do if a parking ticket is issued to a member of your crew. Parking is not something you want to be dealing with on a regular basis so get this out of the way in order to focus on more important things.
Toilet Facilities: Everyone has to go, but no one wants muddy boot prints in their guest powder room. Agree on this upfront, if the crew will need to rent a porta-john they need to know before they roll up for demo day.
Utilities: It is the nature of construction, your utilities will be switched on and off, sometimes multiple times a day. A good contractor will give you notice if a utility will be down for more than a single work day but, just in case, make sure to go over this with them. If there are any important electronics that will need to be reset, such as a fish tank or alarm system make sure your crew knows.
Preparing for Construction: This encompasses many things that are regularly forgotten such as: packing up the work site, preparing the yard, and laying dust and floor protection. To make sure things go smoothly right out of the gate, agree with your contractor about what you will be packing up and what you expect them to move for you. It is also important to let them know what parts of your landscaping and interior need to be protected.
Billing and Payments: Cash flow is an important cog in the remodeling machine. Make sure you and your contract agree on a billing and payment schedule up front.
Change Orders: Unforeseen things pop up, new idea’s arise and some fixtures just don’t look as good in person. Regardless of the reason, Change Orders are a natural part of large remodels. Discuss how they will be handled at the start so you are not surprised when the first one comes along.
On Going Communication: Make sure you know who to go to during construction. Will it be the Foreman, sales person or lead carpenter? Talking to one person throughout the course of construction will keep the line of communication clear and make the process simpler for everyone involved.
Are Remodelers Taking a Fresh Look at Vinyl Siding?
Recently, Tess Wittler wrote an article for Professional Remodeler Magazine examining the decline of vinyl siding. According to the article, “Vinyl siding has lost traction in the exterior cladding market every year since 2007. While vinyl siding is still the top choice across the U.S. and Canada, its market share fell from 39 percent in 2003 to 27 percent by 2013.”
While vinyl siding is the first thing to pops into your head when considering an exterior remodel, the fast emerging option is Hardi-Plank cement fiber. Including installation, vinyl siding is approximately $100 less per square foot.
So how do Neil Parsons and the Design Build Pros accommodate the desire to move away from vinyl, but still be cognizant of the budget?
Recently, formaldehyde and Lumber Liquidators have made headlines, after an airing of CBS’ 60 Minutes. This post will look at both sides of the case. If you are interested in reading more about formaldehyde, a post can be found here.
The claim from the 60 Minutes investigations was damning. Lumber Liquidators, a major flooring retailer, was using products that contained an unsafe level of formaldehyde; which is a carcinogen. Unsurprisingly, Lumber Liquidator’s stock went into a free fall. If the testing wasn’t enough, 60 Minutes pushed the envelope even further. On the 60 Minutes special, they aired hidden camera footage from Chinese flooring factories in which workers admitted to falsifying formaldehyde levels in Lumber Liquidators’ products.
As one would expect, Lumber Liquidators came firing back. Their CEO, Rob Lynch insists that the whole thing is being overblown by short sellers on Wall Street. Lynch also took issues with the testing done to the products; stating that what is done in testing does not at all simulate the day to day exposure a person would get to the formaldehyde.
To demonstrate their confidence, and hopefully repair their image, Lumber Liquidators is willing to pay for their own safety testing for those who want it.
There are two more things to consider. First, Lumber Liquidators has been involved in an ongoing class action lawsuit for this issue prior to the 60 Minutes investigator. Secondly, California safety officials have stated that proper ventilation is probably enough
When you own a home, you may find that in the summer, it can be pretty difficult to keep things cool. Many people depend on using an air conditioning unit to keep things comfortable but air conditioners can be big and bulky and can look rather unsightly in your home. They also require ducts placed in your window or through a wall and that can be even worse, but fortunately there is a better way to cool your home with an air conditioner and it won’t look ugly. There are ductless mini-split air conditioners available, and while they are a bit pricey, they are worth every penny.
Over the past six months, Design Build Pros has seen first hand a very strong home renovation market throughout New Jersey and the United States. Even more exciting than that, every indication points to our industry continuing to grow throughout 2015 and beyond.
In New Jersey and through our national remodeling network, we are seeing that homeowners are committing to projects that are both larger in scope and discretionary in nature.
Design Build Pros of Red Bank, NJ Receives Best Of Houzz 2015 Award
Over 25 Million Monthly Unique Users Rated Top-Rated Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in the United States and Around the World
Red Bank, NJ,January 19, 2015 – Design Build Pros of Red Bank has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” for Customer Satisfaction by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The project design firm was chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals. Continue reading →
Many people cannot live without their garbage disposal machine, since it helps keep their kitchen sink smelling fresh, and helps reduce the chances of harmful bacteria that can cause diseases from entering the kitchen. However, what many people do not know is how a garbage disposal works.
On October 22, the Design Build Pros traveled to Baltimore to attend the Remodeling Show, the nation’s largest residential construction trade show.
Whether it’s in Baltimore, Chicago, or elsewhere, we always make the pilgrimage to the show to spend a few days meeting new friends and catching up with old ones. The show is also a fantastic opportunity to learn about new developments in the remodeling industry and pick up some tips to help us improve our business.
Plus, a few days away from the office and the day-to-day is always reflective and energizing.
Design Build Prosis excited to announce our new office location in Red Bank, New Jersey. After several years operating from our Toms River office, we want to be in a location more central to our core client base. In addition to being an upgraded office space, the new location will allow us to serve our clients in a more timely and efficient manner, which is one of our core values.