A look at some early remodeling trends in 2018


It’s February, which means we are more than a month into 2018. Where has all the time gone?

While it is still early in the year, some remodeling trends have started to emerge, according to this article, and the good news is that they can recoup most of their investment.

First up are bathroom additions. The most cost-effective solutions require using existing plumbing, but for those adventurers out there hoping to add a bathroom to a unique space, above-ground plumbing features can make that possible, the article says. Now, not everyone is cool with a macerating toilet or drain pumps, but to each their own. A bathroom addition usually recoups about 60 percent of its cost.

Next up is the curb appeal. More costly options include replacing windows and improving the landscaping, but there’s one option you might not think about that replaces 98 percent of its cost — the garage door! Replacing a garage door is a surefire investment because of its utility.

Last up are smart home upgrades. It is no surprise that more people are exploring smart home upgrades since everything can be done through your phone nowadays. In addition to home security systems, upgrades include smart lighting, smart door locks, smart thermostats, and smart smoke detectors. Smart home upgrades add convenience and serious cool factor come resale time.

For more information on the cost vs. value of many different remodeling projects, check out this article. 

Viva Las Vegas!

I love Vegas and will use any excuse to write about it. Here’s an article about Harrah’s hotel and casino’s $140 million remodel of the Valley Tower and its 1,622 rooms.

The aesthetic is sleek and modern with a barn-style bathroom door, rain shower, free-standing closets that blend into the wall decor, backlit vanities with docking stations to charge devices, and minimalistic furniture to give the rooms a larger feel.

I find a lot of my personal inspiration from hotels, so check out the slideshow so you can too.

Have a great week!

Making the case for hardwood floors


Congratulations! You have survived the holidays. Well most of them. Of course, there is one more to go, but New Year’s Eve feels like a one-off compared to the hustle and bustle of Christmas.

If you’ve taken our advice and used the holidays to take mental notes about what you’d like to improve in your home, then well done. If not, it’s not too late. Either way, we’re going to throw one more thing at you to think about: flooring.

We happened across an article extolling the virtues of hardwood flooring, and it certainly got us thinking about them more at length.

First, they offer great value. Most hardwood floors recoup 70%-80% of their value, according to the article. Getting their money’s worth is often the most important factor to consumers.

Second, they have universal appeal. If you plan on selling in the future, hardwood floors are in demand, according to the real estate pros in the article. One person in the article called them a “bling feature.”

Finally, they last a long time. With proper care, hardwood floors offer the longest life span versus other flooring materials, the article says. And that threshold for proper care is pretty minimal.

Now, we won’t deny that hardwood floors are pricey. The article estimates average cost of $5 to $10 per square foot and more for installation.

So, if the pros don’t outweigh the price tag, faux hardwood could be the way to go for you. They offer many of the same benefits at a lower price scale.

If these walls could talk

If you aren’t in love with our hardwood floors talk, then here’s a remodeling story that might tug at your heart strings.

A man’s love letter from 1944 was found in the walls of a Greenfield, Mass., home during a recent remodel. Local police uploaded a photo of the letter, written by a man only identified as Walter, in the hopes of figuring out the backstory and the post went viral.

Unfortunately, the intended recipient had already passed away, but her family was able to get the letter.

Have a great week and we’ll see you next year!

Best practices for your next kitchen remodel


As the old adage goes, home is where the heart is. While that may be true, the heart of any home is in the kitchen.

Because of its versatility, traffic-heavy nature, and good return on investment, the kitchen is a popular remodeling job. And like any remodeling job, people want to feel good about every dollar they spend.

NerdWallet has a great article on the best ways to save money on your kitchen remodel.

The article is a great read, offering tips on planning, breaking down costs, and drawing statistics from places like Remodeling Magazine and the National Kitchen and Bath Association, but it is the affordability advice that caught our eye.

First, the article suggests, keep the same layout. Keeping electric wiring and plumping in the existing areas saves a lot of time and money versus the demolition and labor costs of relocating.

Second, think simple, the article says. Avoiding custom cabinets and fancy add-ons reduces a lot of costs. Instead, opt for stock models and reap the savings. Unless you plan to live in the home forever, a lot of the bells and whistles won’t resonate with buyers at resale.

The last tip in the article, doing a little bit of the job yourself, comes with a big caveat. You should only proceed with taking out the old cabinets, some small scale demo, or picking up supplies if your remodeler gives the green light. Most remodelers will factor those costs into their pricing, but it doesn’t hurt to iron out the details.

If you are unsure about pursuing a kitchen remodel, take a look at this article about the eight questions you should ask yourself before you get started.

If you are convinced you are ready to remodel, then give us a call!

Have a great week.

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