In almost every kitchen remodel, “more outlets” is a part of a homeowner’s needs list. Going a step further, we look to provide efficient outlets whenever possible. When designing an island, you can have a 2-tier (sometimes referred to as a waterfall) or a 1-tier island design. In a 2 tier design, the main cooking/prep area is 36″, while the seating area is 42″. This island allows the placement of outlets along the small wall between the two counter tops.
Power Grommet installation is simple!
However, there are a growing number of people who desire a single tier space, to allow more surface area for avid bakers, for serving space for entertaining, or to lower the seating height for children or if a pot rack is installed over the island. The problem we had in the past, was there was not a good solution for island outlets. Mounting them on the side of the island meant that you had to drape a cord over the edge of the counter. This could potentially lead to a disaster if the cord is accidentally pulled by a child, a pet, or even an adult as they walk by. (more…)
In a recent interview, Neil Parsons, owner of Design Build Pros, was asked the following questions about basic home improvement projects that may be achieved for less than $1,000.
Q: For homeowners looking to make home improvement upgrades, but only have a $1,000 budget, which areas of the home should they focus on? Why?
A: First, I believe that all homeowners should have a list of projects that need to be done. As we all have learned, anything committed in writing is more likely to get done. The list should be broken in two categories: things that need to be done and things than you want to have done. For example, you need to address a leaking faucet or pipe but, you want to change a kitchen countertop. I always suggest completing the needs before the wants for many reasons. One reason is goal setting. People will want to get through the needs as quick as possible to be able to start on the wants.
Q: What type of updates can you do in the kitchen for $1,000 or less? (more…)
The Jersey Shore (“The Beach” to locals) has undergone an evolution in its identity. Since 2009, the polarizing TV show associated with it has given the coastal communities a caricature of their personas. The shore has became one of those places that “is not like it used to be.” I believe that in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy, the people of New Jersey will want to recapture the memories of a person’s youth, or to create new ones for their family; creating an environment for local businesses to thrive.
Everyone in and around New Jersey has memories from the beach; whether it was where you grew up, where you spent your summers, or where you just took day trips to, it has been a part of your life and your family. What I have learned from this storm is that those memories are precious, and the only things that supersede them are the new memories you can form for your family, for your children, and one day, their children. Most people I have spoken to agree with me. There is a desire to ensure that every memory is kept intact, and that new ones are made. There is a feeling of Jersey Shoreism in this post-Sandy time, much like the Patriotism following 9/11. People want to be a part of the shore, the rebuilding, the new memories. (more…)
Franca and Jason discuss remodeling in the Design Build Pros booth
Home shows are a fantastic venue for homeowners to see items for their home, get ideas, and meet the people and contractors that provide home improvement products and services. In today’s virtual world many lose sight of the fact that we do business with people and not websites. A personal touch may not be important when purchasing copy paper or an automobile part, but a home renovation or modification affects much more than the sticks and bricks of the structure. Whether the project takes one day or one month or more, the procedure affects the whole family (including pets) and will have a lasting impact. (more…)
When the Design Build Pros initially discuss a design and build remodeling project with a homeowner the planned scope begins with three broad categories.
Got to have it
Really want it
Would like to consider it
Typically, the homeowners have done some of their own research prior to the initial consultation. This research may be from the internet, magazines, home and garden TV, or visiting other homes. Usually homeowners have their own initial “got to have it” and “really want it” list ready. As part of a Design Build Pros consultation, homeowners are shown other completed projects that have characteristics and similarities to what they are trying to achieve. Many of the items incorporated are pointed out and explained how they were a part of the project’s development process. These various items help fill the “would like to consider it” list. (more…)
INFORMATION FROM THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE REMODELING INDUSTRY (NARI.ORG)
Did you know that the air inside your home is, on average, two to five times more polluted than the air outside? Because we spend the majority of our time indoors, homeowners are quickly realizing the importance of keeping their indoor air as clean as possible.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are one important contributing factor to poor indoor air quality. VOCs are emitted as gases from many everyday items, including paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, furnishings, building materials and cleaning materials.
VOCs can have a detrimental effect on your health. In the short-term, they can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches; loss of coordination and nausea. Over the long term, VOCs have been attributed to damaging the liver, kidney and central nervous system. Some are also known to cause cancer. The compounds have a particularly damaging effect on people with asthma or other breathing issues.
Thankfully, there are ways you can reduce your exposure to VOCs:
• Buy products that are labeled no- or low-VOC, including paint and cleaners.
• Increase ventilation when using products that emit VOCs.
• Use household products according to manufacturer’s directions.
• Throw away unused or little-used containers safely and only purchase the amounts you need. VOCs can “leak” out of closed containers you have stored on shelves and in cabinets.
There are also home maintenance activities you can do to help lower the concentrations of indoor air pollutants in your home:
Open your windows. Most home heating and cooling systems, including forced air heating systems, do not mechanically bring fresh air into the house. Opening windows and doors, operating window or attic fans, when the weather permits, or running a window air conditioner with the vent control open increases the amount of fresh air coming into the home.
Install fans. Bathroom and kitchen fans that exhaust outdoors remove contaminants directly from the room where the fan is located and also increase the outdoor air ventilation rate. Consider installing a mechanical ventilation system, which introduces fresh air using ducts and fans, instead of relying on holes or cracks in the walls and windows.
Add an air cleaner. There are many types and sizes of air cleaners on the market, ranging from inexpensive portable models to sophisticated whole-house systems. Some air cleaners are highly effective at particle removal, while others, including most tabletop models, are much less so. Air cleaners are generally not designed to remove gaseous pollutants.
From the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI):
Winterize Your Home on Any Budget
Soon the weather will be frightful and Jack Frost will be nipping at your nose. Old man winter is just around the corner, and securing your home against those cold blasts should be at the top of the “honey do” list. Thankfully, there are ways to ensure that your family stays comfortable and warm without busting your budget. We’ve rounded up tips to winterize your biggest investment at three price points.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates you can save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10°–15° for eight hours. You can do this automatically without sacrificing comfort by installing an automatic setback or programmable thermostat. Do it while you’re at work during the day or under the covers and night and you might not even feel it. If you annual heating and cooling bill is $1,000, moving the thermostat down will save you around $100 a year. (more…)
In the aftermath of destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, the Design Build Pros can help you with repairs, remodels, rebuilds, and new home construction. We have project designers and estimators on staff plus we offer full design build and architectural services.
There is money and assistance available for the basics plus more as you can see in this article. The grants are through FEMA. The SBA is offering direct loans up to $200,000 for additional work requested. these loans have interest rates as low as 1.7% and repayment terms up to 30 years.
Although there are many people and companies available to help homeowners begin to repair or rebuild their damaged homes, there are unfortunately as many, if not more, out there looking to take advantage of homeowners in need. Before you hire someone to work on your home, be sure to check their credentials first, even though you may be tempted to hire the first person that knocks on your door.
The first thing you should do is document all your damage using still pictures and video. It is best to have the most accurate depiction of the damage, so taking detailed notes will help as well. Next, contact your insurance company or broker. Understand what your policy covers, what your deductible is, and what the next steps towards repair should be.
“Remodeling” is a very general and broad term. It can describe the replacement of a few windows to a room addition or whole-house renovation. Presently, the Design Build Pros have one project in progress that is less than $20,000 and another one that is over $1,000,000. There are many decisions that need to be considered up front by a homeowner before the remodeling work can begin. Among them is whether to tackle the entire wish list of projects as one large undertaking or divide and address smaller components one at a time.
Doing a larger home improvement projects in stages is often referred to as phased remodeling. The advantages to having the remodeling done in phases include a smaller financial outlay, the home is typically more livable during smaller construction, and the ability to see the big plan unfold and make new or different decisions between phases. Disadvantages include added overall expense, longer total time under construction, and possible re-working of already completed areas. (more…)