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    Category: Kitchen remodels

    Tips On Finding The Finest Contractor Every Single Time – Flux Magazine - April 20, 2020 by admin

    words Al Woods

    Although there is no shortage of contractors on the market, finding a reliable one can be very difficult. This is true regardless of your situation and the type of job you hope to get done. Naturally, when you are looking to make an upgrade to your home or property, you will want the service to offer superlative quality that is out of this world. However, you will need to keep an eye on your budget, all while making sure that the contractor is working on a schedule.

    The importance of these many dimensions and considerations are obvious, seeing as good quality service can help you avoid future issues, as well as add value to your property. Moreover, finishing the job as scheduled will help you focus on your other responsibilities without any impediments or nuisances.

    That said, here are a few tips that should help you find the finest contractor every single time.

    Many people make the mistake of asking the wrong people and searching in the wrong places. It is crucial that you always use credible sources when you are looking for reliable contractors. A fruitful method will include asking your friends and family about their experiences with reliable contractors. However, seeing as you could be in an area that is absolutely unfamiliar to you, using credible online sources like Angies List can be extremely helpful. Typically, credible sources will have verified their user reviews, which means they guarantee that the user has worked with any one of the contractors you show interest in.

    Seeing as many of the reviews can lack depth and hardly touch the surface of any worries or concerns you might have, make sure to ask for references. This will also help you narrow down your choices. Typically, you will need to make a few phone calls, which include calling clients, previous homeowners, employees, and subcontractors. Doing so will help create a more vivid picture of what you can expect. However, for that to happen, you will need to ask questions about how the contractor handles changes to the contract if they pay everyone on time, and how they behave towards the job site.

    Part of ensuring a contractors reliability includes confirming their license. This is integral to the process, as an unlicensed contractor can hardly ever be considered as reputable or reliable. Usually, a certified contractor will make sure it is known. However, if it is not proudly exhibited on any of their webpages, ads or brochures, then make sure to ask. This should be done for all types of contractors, even if it includes a seemingly small plumbing job. A certified plumber will be able to professionally tend to your problem, and you can visit this URL to learn more about the quality workmanship certified plumbers provide. Their certification allows them to skillfully work with the type of job, which can include clogged drains, water heater installation, electronic leak detection and many more. Also, a certification or license can usually vouch for the promises they make, which may include getting the job done right the first time and working 24 hours a day.

    It is key to the success of this process that you never sign with a contractor or make any formal agreements before asking them for an estimate or formal bid. An estimate will allow you to compare the costs with your budget. However, more importantly, it will give you an idea about their strong suit and what is not. For instance, they may excel in kitchen remodels but may not be as great at home additions. Furthermore, you will be able to discuss, according to the estimate, what types of materials you want to use, and also adjust the details involved.

    In addition to all these considerations, you will need to make sure you do your homework. However, you will need to be thorough and include many aspects of your research. Start with a thorough background check, which can say a lot about a contractor. In order to do so effectively, purposefully look for any hidden skeletons, which might include legal issues. Also, ask about the preferred subcontractors your chosen contractor likes using. Make sure they are equally proficient at their jobs. And finally, ask about insurance and permits involved in the remodeling or upgrading project they will be working on.

    All in all, finding the finest contractor is not at all hard. Simply by following these minor, yet effective, tips, you will narrow your search down to the contractor the best suits your needs. However, you will need to be smart about your payment schedule, seeing as some people can start slacking after receiving the whole payment. So, make sure to leave out just enough money to act as an incentive for persistence.

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    Tips On Finding The Finest Contractor Every Single Time - Flux Magazine

    Renovating The Home? Hire a trusted team For The remodeling project – Press Release – Digital Journal - April 15, 2020 by admin

    09 April, 2020 - CA - Curtis Construction services have earned the reputation of being one of the most reliable home remodeling firms in the US. It offers services, such as additions, remodels, and renovations at economical prices to clients all over the country.

    The staff at Curtis are experts in their field with a wealth of experience in remodeling and have completed various projects successfully. Each staff member works in coordination with others efficiently to get the most optimum results. Their method of working involves utilizing the best processes and systems available for maximum productivity.

    They treat their clients as business partners and work together with them through all stages to help them realize their dreams. They discuss in detail their preferences, make relevant suggestions, guide them, but leave the final decisions to their clients.

    Curtis Construction services also sees to it that their clients do not have to stretch their budgets for getting their dream home. They give customized solutions as per their specific needs. They have effective solutions for all the clients' requirements, whether it is for bathroom renovation, kitchen remodeling, or terrace remodeling.

    For kitchen remodeling, they use their experience of ten years in the field to create the best designs for their clients which is easy to maintain and user-friendly. Similarly, they work together with the clients to provide them with stunning designs for their bathrooms. For colouring interiors and exteriors, their painting experts help customers to choose the best colours and textures for creating the right moods. They provide excellent cost-effective solutions for roofing also.

    The staff at CCS is consistent in their dedication to customers. Starting the project to the end, and even after its completion, they are always cooperative and supportive. CCS ensures that the design of the customers' home is unique and uses the most innovative and creative ideas for the purpose. They are very professional and are willing to go the extra mile for the satisfaction of the customers. All projects are completed well in time to avoid inconveniences to the clients.

    Curtis Construction services's sincere dedication towards their work and desire to please the customers no matter what has made them one of the most reliable remodeling firms in Los Angeles and the other regions. Their projects start with an initial consultation, following which a design is created after considering the inputs of the client. Then, an estimate is provided based on the financial capacity of the customer. If it is okayed, the project is started and completed to the full satisfaction of the client so that he can enjoy the benefits of the result.

    About the Company

    Curtis Construction Services has been around for the last 29 years. The firm offers home remodeling and painting jobs along with offering foundation and new construction jobs at affordable rates.

    Media ContactCompany Name: Curtis Construction ServicesContact Person: Media RelationsEmail: Send EmailPhone: (888) 496-9090State: CaliforniaCountry: United StatesWebsite:

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    Renovating The Home? Hire a trusted team For The remodeling project - Press Release - Digital Journal

    Kitchen and bathroom renovation costs: 2020 update – AZ Big Media - March 13, 2020 by admin

    Every homeowner dreams of having a modern kitchen and bathroom counters, floors, and fixtures. Unless you build your home in the past few years, you might be thinking of changing a few aspects of your home. When you think of renovation, the first question should be, how much does a renovation cost?

    Remodeling a bathroom or kitchen, irrespective of the renovation costs for the bathroom or kitchen will enhance its safety, aesthetics, and comfort. You will also increase your homes resale value after a remodel.

    The National Kitchen and Bath Association estimated that the average bathroom remodels cost in 2016 was $11,364. About 20 percent of the average cost went to labor. Since then, the costs have gone up with the average now standing at around $15,500.

    The costs are dictated by the size of the kitchen and the scope of the remodel. In most cases, a third of bathroom remodeling projects cost more than $30,000, a third cost between $10,000 and $30,000 while a third cost $10,000 or less.

    Home Advisor estimates that a 100-square foot kitchen or bathroom remodel will cost between $15,000 and $30,000 depending on the materials and the professionals you hire. You can bring down bathroom remodel costs if you go one step at a time. You will pay about $130 for a square foot.

    If you are on a budget, you can start by installing new lighting, new ventilation, then install a vanity, and granite countertops later. This way, you will not shoulder the up-to-30,000 cost all at once. However, if you plan to have large projects such as replacing tiles and tubs, you need to have the contractor do it all at once.

    Even when you need to cut costs, you need to consider quality over quantity especially when you factor in the amount of traffic your bathroom gets. It will not make any financial sense if you buy a cheap toilet that starts leaking the moment your bathroom remodel is complete.

    To save money and remodel a bathroom with $15,000, shop when your local hardware has offers on materials. You can also shop online during black Fridays.

    You can spend $10,000 to remodel a bathroom if you choose low-end materials and forego hiring a designer and instead work with the contractor alone. The cost can also go up to $90,000 if you buy high-end materials and hire all the professionals needed for a successful remodel project including a designer, architect, and contractor. Click to learn more about how to save on costs during a remodeling project.

    You need to be ready for inconveniences during a bathroom remodel. Just like you have to have additional cash for renovation basement costs, ensure you have up to 15 percent more money above the estimates for bathroom renovation.

    During a bathroom remodel project, here are a few things to keep in mind:

    Because the renovation cost per square foot varies from one contractor to the next, ensure you compare costs from different contractors. However, cost should not be the only factor consider the quality of their work, attention to detail, and responsiveness.

    Remodeling a kitchen will cost more than remodeling a bathroom. On average, Home Advisor estimates that a bathroom remodels project will cost about $24,965 or about $150 per square foot. As a homeowner, you need to have between $13,000 and $37,000 for a kitchen remodel. The costs are determined by the size of your bathroom, the quality of the materials you choose, and the design you settle on.

    Small projects that cost $10,000 or less involve painting surfaces, refacing cabinets, replacing a sink, and installing a tile backsplash. a project that costs $30,000 or more will involve installing custom cabinets, granite counters, high-end appliances, and hardwood floors.

    A kitchen is one of the most used rooms in a home. As such, remodeling your kitchen will see the value of your home increase significantly. Remodeling a kitchen can be an expensive affair which also means the project can be expensive.

    The National Kitchen and Bath Association estimates that the renovation costs for the kitchen are outlined as follows:

    You can look at the cost breakdown above and estimate what your project will cost. However, there are exceptions to these estimates. If, for instance, you will demolish a wall, you might spend more remodeling the wall and other parts around the wall. Talk to your contractor for cost estimates if your project needs more than the estimates above.

    You will pay more to remodel your bathroom or kitchen in Los Angeles than you would in New Jersey. Contractors and other professionals charge more in L.A and other major cities than they do in smaller cities and towns.

    Besides the location, the materials you choose will have an impact on the overall cost of the renovation. For renovation basement costs, for instance, choosing the contractor with the highest bid and going for high-end materials will see the project cost skyrocket. Lastly, the size of your kitchen or bathroom and the scope of your project will determine how much you spend.

    How much does a renovation cost for a bathroom or kitchen remodel? In general, the cost will depend on your neighborhood, the quality of materials you choose, the size of your kitchen or bathroom, and the scope of your project.

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    Kitchen and bathroom renovation costs: 2020 update - AZ Big Media

    Customer is king when it comes to custom-made remodels – South Charlotte Weekly - March 13, 2020 by admin

    An important part of remodeling a home is making sure it represents the people living in it.

    From the pictures hanging on the walls to the number of shelves in a cabinet, every little detail matters.

    While many firms offer pre-made cabinets and home furnishings that are able to be installed in a home, some companies in the Charlotte region allow homeowners to customize their spaces.

    One example of this is MUSE Residential, a Concord-based general contractor and interior design company specializing in kitchen and bathroom remodels. Instead of hiring an interior designer separately, MUSE has its own design team.

    MUSE office manager Alyssa Staley said the company works with clients from start to finish to give them dream remodels.

    From conception to execution, we do all of it, as opposed to people who have to hire an interior designer separately to design their space before it gets built, Staley said. We take it from where the customer doesnt have any idea what to do yet.

    Staley said when clients contact MUSE, their general contractor will meet them on-site for their consultation, where they discuss budget, feasibility and figure out if they are a good fit for the project. If it is a good fit, MUSE moves into the design phase in which the designers will put together a potential layout and select finishes, such as countertops and cabinetry. Once the client feels satisfied with the design, MUSE will begin building.

    Gus Cabinets and More also allows custom-made features in homes. The Stanfield-based company specializes in creating custom cabinets for bathrooms, kitchens and vanities.

    Eri Solorio said when clients work with Gus Cabinets and More, they have a big say in the final design.

    We really believe in working one-on-one with the client, Solorio said. A custom-made house meets specifically with the needs and wants that the client has, so if the client wants something special made, we can make it.

    Clients can choose the exact color of their cabinets and countertops, decide whether to add a pullout trash can or a spice drawer and so much more.

    Solorio said Gus Cabinets and More will give potential clients a free quote for their services after a consultation. Then, a blueprint is made and drawings are given to the customer. At the end of the design process, they go into production. Once they start building, Solorio said it usually takes about two to three weeks to finish.

    If a customer is not satisfied with the end result, Solorio said it can be redone. However, it is best to come to the company with a concrete idea of what they want.

    Her best advice to clients for figuring out exactly what they are looking for is to draw inspiration from social media.

    Nowadays, Pinterest and Instagram are the best to look at for inspiration, Solorio said. Everybodys into Instagram kitchens, so we have a Facebook and an Instagram account they can look at and they show us what they want.

    Solorio advised homeowners working with any company to communicate effectively via email. She said once something is in writing, it is much easier to make a record of it than if it was said in a phone call.

    Because there are a few companies like this in Charlotte, MUSEs Alyssa Staley recommends homeowners do their homework before deciding who to hire. She said it is best to make sure they are accredited by a licensing board, have good reviews and are verified by multiple sources.

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    Customer is king when it comes to custom-made remodels - South Charlotte Weekly

    Hollywood history hits the market in Lake Tahoe – Sierra Sun - March 13, 2020 by admin

    HOMEWOOD Fleur du Lac Estates set the stage for some of the most memorable scenes in the Award-winning film Godfather II. Now, the private, on-site residence of the enclaves property developer is on the market for $5.5 million, a news release states.

    In 1935, industrialist Henry Kaiser the father of modern shipbuilding constructed Fleur du Lac, a 15-acre lakefront on Lake Tahoes west shore. A crew of 300 men worked eight-hour shifts around the clock, successfully fulfilling Kaisers ambitious goal of completing the estate in just 30 days.

    Kaiser desired a venue to celebrate the completion of his Hoover Dam project with family and friends in a locale he adored, Lake Tahoe, and where he could also keep his beloved boats. Lavish parties took place with his contemporaries, who he would entertain in his personal yacht club with decadent meals followed by races across the lake in extravagant, V12 watercraft.

    Within the completed Fleur du Lac a moniker meaning Flower of the Lake and named for Kaisers favorite hydroplane were 17 residences, servants quarters, small cottages, as well as his yacht club and boat house, both of which are still in use to this day.

    Rare is the opportunity to reside on any movie site, especially one that provided the backdrop to many scenes in Francis Ford Coppolas globally acclaimed The Godfather II including the first communion celebration Michael threw for his son, as well as Fredos death.

    After Kaiser sold the property in the 1960s, and the movie was filmed in the 70s, it was revived in the 80s with remodels to many existing structures plus the construction of 22 new, lakefront chateaus.

    Kaisers original yacht club still remains, a longstanding reminder of Americas rich industrial heritage and a shared space for homeowners to host private events, relax or impress friends and family while gazing at sweeping vistas of Lake Tahoe and the harbor.

    This gated sanctuary has been restored, creating an exclusive, world-class resort community comprised of just 22 luxurious, private residences. Surrounding, protecting, and offering privacy to the residences, is a native stone wall.

    Each home features access to an abundance of amenities including a private boat slip for vessels up to 30 feet long, Henry Kaisers historic yacht club and boathouse, a private beach, heated swimming pool, year-round outdoor spa, two tennis courts, exercise facilities, the Kaiser Suite, along with on-site management and guest services.

    The lifestyle offered within Fleur du Lac is unparalleled at Lake Tahoe. Nowhere else on the Lake can you own within such an exquisite property, with a private marina, the facilities and amenities, and the level of service and care provided by the association and staff. This is concierge living at its finest, says Katherina Haug, listing agent with Sierra Sothebys International Realty.

    Residence 20 is now available furnished for $5.5 million. Its grandeur shines upon entering the foyer, beyond which are the primary living and entertainment spaces surrounding a towering stone hearth, with extraordinary, sweeping views of Lake Tahoe plus the alpine peaks and pines beyond.

    A cozy media room/library with a fireplace of its own offers seclusion, while a stocked wet bar is celebration-ready. A pass-through door connects the primary living areas to the gourmet kitchen featuring polished granite counters, ample cabinet storage, sub-zero refrigeration, double ovens, a six-burner range plus many other fine appointments.

    Off the foyer is a staircase with access to four bedroom suites upstairs. A cupola above, bathes the mahogany banister and central hall, in natural light. Southern lake views glisten through the window wall of the master suite, an unparalleled sanctuary. Each of the four suites are proportioned with individualized decor and private baths. Two of the suites teem with ambiance from fireplaces set in custom stone hearths.

    The home is exclusively represented by Craig Miller and Katherina Haug, of Sierra Sothebys International Realty. For details visit or call 530.209.4980.

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    Hollywood history hits the market in Lake Tahoe - Sierra Sun

    This Pleasant Prairie home remodel retailer is launching a new site to connect inspiration and purchasing – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - March 1, 2020 by admin

    When eImprovement LLC launched in 2003, the internet was a promising avenue for commerce and home remodeling television shows were taking off.

    Decades later, just selling online isn't enough to sustain a business.

    The team from Pleasant Prairie-based eFaucets launched its new site, Hausera, on Tuesday.The site,,focuses on products for kitchen and bath remodels.

    The way people think about and plan home renovations has shifted with online platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz servingas places for inspiration and ideation.

    The plan for Hausera is to provide anupdated andcuratedfull-service home remodeling site.

    The new Hausera isn't just a click-and-buy site.

    "We're trying to bridge that gap between seeing that inspiration and making a buying decision," Vice President of Marketing and Merchandising Wesley Ward said.

    The team has built out editorial content that will explain materials, finish types and other product information.A new "Room Inspiration" feature shows products curated by design professionals who createproduct lists for kitchens and bathrooms.

    The idea is to bring together a fragmented home remodel market.

    "The customers are so overwhelmed," Ward said. "They have a hard time making decisions. They don't know how to choose between one option or another."

    eFaucets would have around half a million products available. Hausera will have about half the number of products as eFaucets. It is launching with around 30,000 units and plans to grow to around 100,000 by the end of the year.Hausera features brands like Kohler, Kallista, Delta, Moen, Brizo, Hansgrohe, Grohe, Newport Bass and Rohl.

    eFaucets was really just focused on faucets, though it did expand into other product categories over time.

    "Because of the generic nature of the name, it really wasn't serving any group particularly well," Ward said.

    The team thinks all of these changes will result in aggressive growth. At peak, eFaucets annual revenue was around $80 million, according to the company. Hausera is targeting to grow that by three times. By the end of the year, Hausera plans to add another 20 employees to have around 100.

    Sarah Hauer can be reached at shauer@journalsentinel.comor onInstagram @HauerSarahand Twitter @SarahHauer.Subscribe to her weekly newsletterBe MKEat

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    This Pleasant Prairie home remodel retailer is launching a new site to connect inspiration and purchasing - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    A Washington author renovates a Port Townsend house, and her life – Seattle Times - March 1, 2020 by admin

    Editors note:The following is an edited excerpt from the new book, House Lessons: Renovating a Life, 2020 by Erica Bauermeister. All rights reserved. Excerptedby permission of Sasquatch Books.

    THE HOUSE STOOD at the top of a hill, ensnarled in vegetation, looking out over the Victorian roofs of Port Townsend and beyond, to water and islands and clouds. It seemed to lean toward the view as if enchanted, although we later learned that had a lot more to do with neglect than magic. The once-elegant slopes of its hipped roof rolled and curled, green with moss. The tall, straight walls of its Foursquare design were camouflaged in salmon-pink asbestos shingles, the windows covered in grimy curtains or cardboard. Three discarded furnaces, four neon-yellow oil drums, an ancient camper shell and a pair of rusted wheelbarrows lay scattered at odd angles across the overgrown grass, as if caught in a game of large-appliance freeze tag.

    Hugo House:Erica Bauermeister will read from her book at 7 p.m., March 24.

    Third Place Books, Ravenna:A Literary Luncheon is scheduled for 1 p.m., March 25.

    More information:Additional purchasing options can be found, along with more information about the author, coming events and her other books.

    The yard was Darwinian in its landscaping an agglomeration of plants and trees, stuck in the ground and left to survive. Below the house, I could just see the tips of a possible orchard poking up through a roiling sea of ivy. In front, two weather-stunted palm trees flanked the walkway like a pair of tropical lawn jockeys gone lost, while a feral camellia bush had covered the porch and was heading for the second story. Someone had hacked away a rough opening for the front stairs, down which an assortment of rusted rakes and car mufflers and bags of fertilizer sprawled in lazy abandon. In their midst, seemingly oblivious to its setting, sat a rotting fruit basket, gift card still attached.

    The Backstory: When where you live becomes how you live and, even more foundationally, who you are

    That one, my husband, Ben, said, as he pointed to the house.

    Its not for sale, I noted.

    I know. But it should be, dont you think?

    Our son and daughter, 10 and 13, stared out the car windows, slack-jawed.

    Youre kidding, right? they asked. But I think they already knew the question was rhetorical.

    WHEN I WAS young, my mother used to take all five of her kids on an annual quest for the family Christmas tree. We would travel around Los Angeles in our wood-paneled station wagon, from one lot of precut evergreens to another, searching for the perfect tree. As the trip dragged on, there were times I questioned my mothers sanity, and yet when my mother found her tree, it created a satisfaction within her that I could see even if I didnt always understand. Maybe a particular height reminded her of being a child herself; perhaps a certain shade of green reached into her soul. I never really knew, and perhaps knowing was never the point. When I would ask what she was looking for, my mother would just smile and say: It has to talk to me.

    Any honest real estate agent will tell you that most homebuyers decisions are no more rational than my mothers with her tree. There was a time in my life, years after I first encountered that ramshackle house in Port Townsend, when I was an agent myself, walking buyers through the process and dutifully helping them draw up their lists of requirements. I would listen to a couple emphatically assert that they needed four bedrooms, two baths and a no-maintenance yard and then watch as they fell in love with a tiny garden-becalmed cottage that they spotted on the way to the house that met every one of their specifications. It happened over and over and over. While we might like to believe that our house needs are pragmatic line items, our true needs, the ones that drive our decisions, come far more often from some deep and unacknowledged wellspring of memories and desires.

    Because heres the thing we arent looking for a house; were looking for a home. A house can supply you with a place to sleep, to cook, to store your car. A home fits your soul. In ancient Rome, the term domus, from which we get the word domicile, meant both people and place, an unspoken relationship that we feel like a heartbeat. A home fulfills needs you didnt know you had, so it is no wonder that when pressed for an explanation for our choices, we give reasons that make no sense, pointing to a bunch of dried lavender hanging in the kitchen, a porch swing, the blue of a front door almost always things that could be re-created in a house that fit the list. But sense is not the point. These small details are simply visual indicators of an architectural personality that fits our own, that reminds us of a childhood home, or a house, filled with color and the laughter of children, that we visited on a vacation in Mexico.

    And yet a choice of a home is not just about where weve been or what we remember; its also about who we want to be. As Winston Churchill famously said: We shape our buildings, and afterwards they shape us. When we choose a house, we are making a decision about how we will live. I dont mean in the obvious way of how long your commute to work will be, or whether there are schools or stores or friends nearby although all of those things are important and will impact your life. What I am talking about is something far more subliminal. The designs of our homes quite literally change us. An eating nook for two invites a busy couple to slow down every morning for coffee. A courtyard in an apartment building helps create community. A south-facing window encourages optimism, while alcoves foster book lovers. Perhaps one of the strongest blows for feminism came from the first sledgehammer that opened a kitchen to a family room and changed the view of the cook, from both sides of the wall.

    It is the rare buyer who sees these things for what they are. We are understandably distracted by the stress of what is for many of us the biggest financial decision of our lives. Our minds are busy. But we feel those subtle calls. We see that bunch of lavender. And, as often as not, we leap.

    THEY ARE GLORIOUS things, these leaps into love. We catch the wind of our own enthusiasm, and off we go, into the sky of a new future. But are they really as untethered as they seem? In his book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell talks about our instantaneous decisions flashes of insight he says are messages from the adaptive unconscious, the part of the brain that sifts through the bits and pieces of what is before us, focusing in on what is truly important. The process, Gladwell assures us, is a rational one; it simply moves a little faster and operates a little more mysteriously than the kind of deliberate, conscious decision making that we usually associate with thinking. We meet a stranger and experience an instant aversion or affection. We walk in a front door for the first time and feel at home.

    Its not just our minds that make these decisions, however. We live in bodies with five senses, and the stimuli they receive from our external environments have a far greater effect upon our thinking than we know. It doesnt take much to tip our decision-making scales, either. In one study, something as simple as the weight of a clipboard affected subjects opinions of the professionalism and intellect of the otherwise-equally qualified candidates they were interviewing. The heavier the board in the subjects hands, the more likely they would be to hire the candidate. Our physical senses are busy little puppeteers, playing with the strings of our emotions. So watch out for the pleasurable feel beneath your fingers of that smooth door handle, the satisfying click of the latch as it closes tight and secure. From such seemingly innocuous interactions are big decisions made.

    It can be hard to accept that our choices are being swayed by our senses, or that there is a hidden part of our brain that knows our needs better than we do ourselves. And yet what would be wrong with a moment of unconscious communication between house and human the kind that allows for that back-of-the-mind sorting of memories and desires, along with the equally unspoken delight our senses take in a curving front path or a kitchen that smells like home? It is the totality of each of us that will live in the house, after all.

    And thus, if we leap, perhaps it is with a greater safety net than we thought flying toward a house that calls us by a name we have long forgotten, or simply need to grow into.

    BUT WHY THAT HOUSE? my mother asked me a question I found amusing, coming from Our Lady of the Christmas Tree. But my mother had good reason to be skeptical. Among the five kids in our family, my role had always been the cautious one. In addition, while wed lived in four houses while I was growing up, none of them had been more than 25 years old, and there hadnt been much need for remodeling. So while Ben and I had made some changes to our Seattle home, there wasnt much reason to think that I would want to take on, let alone be successful at, the complete renovation of a 92-year-old house crammed with trash.

    What I find to be the loveliest bit of irony, though, is that the seeds of the desire to save the house in Port Townsend were actually planted by my mother, long before I even knew what a mortgage was. My mother loved books and always made sure we had plenty of them. As a young child, perhaps my favorite was Virginia Lee Burtons The Little House. It tells the story of a small pastoral cottage that is slowly but surely surrounded by the city, growing more and more decrepit and forgotten until finally someone finds it, picks it up and moves it out to the country again. Each time my mother read the book to me, I could feel the houses happiness, then sadness, then joy. I wanted to live in its glowing early iteration. When the city came in and the house despaired, all I wanted to do was save it.

    I think anyone who saves an old house has to be a caretaker at heart, a believer in underdogs, someone whose imagination is inspired by limitations, not endless options. When I was a real estate agent, I used to ask my clients how they cooked. They usually thought I was trying to find out what kind of kitchen they wanted and that was true, in part. But the question was really a way to find out how they approached life. Those who had little interest in cooking generally had even less in home maintenance and remodeling. Chefs who loved the planning of a meal from researching recipes to finding the right ingredients often had the temperament to design their own homes, and they could envision stunning remodels. But a fixer-upper requires a different kind of creativity, the kind that you often find in a cook whose mind is awakened by opening a refrigerator to an odd assortment of ingredients, knowing that dinner must come out of it. A cook sees leftovers as a chance to make something new and beautiful, and when someone with this kind of personality sees an old house, she is likely to want to save it. Save being the operative word, because for this group, the relationship with the house will be extremely personal and interactive.

    I am a cook, a champion of underdogs not just leftover ingredients, but long-forgotten novelists; stray pets; and, especially, houses. My children learned early on to divert my attention any time we passed a falling-down barn, or a house with good bones and paint that was peeling like a third-degree sunburn.

    Moms going to want that one, my son would say, shaking his head.

    It needs us, Id answer. But in the past, Id never done anything about it. Wed driven on, and Id held those enchanting wrecks in my mind, and at night when I couldnt sleep, I would mull over the possibilities of how I could save them, the same way other people count sheep.

    But why was it that house, out of all the ones Id seen over the years? Did I see symmetry and balance in its shape? Did I see a project, an outlet for a frustrated mind? Was it the big, wide porch underneath that rampant camellia, a vision of a time when people used to sit in rocking chairs and call out to their neighbors as they passed? Or was the house just the equivalent of picking up a lost puppy, on a very large scale?

    I couldnt have told you then. At the time, the back of my mind was doing the thinking, efficiently spinning through all the intricacies of the decision and finding the real reasons underneath. Maybe it knew better than I that I wasnt ready to acknowledge the lessons I needed to learn, the ones the house could teach me. So among all the details, it grasped on to the delicate, undulating curves of a corbel, an unnecessary architectural flourish tucked in the corner where the front porch pillar met the roof, far above the trash, and handed that image to my conscious self. Said: Here you go. This is what you want.

    A moment of beauty. A glimpse of a slower life in the midst of chaos.

    It has been many years now since that day. During that time, the house has been just what the corbel promised. It has also been the exact opposite. But in the end, the back of my mind was right this was the house I needed. I just didnt understand why yet.

    Erica Bauermeister is a bestselling author of four novels. She is a founding member of Seattle7Writers and lives in Port Townsend, in the house she renovated with her family. Mike Siegel is a Seattle Times staff photographer.

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    A Washington author renovates a Port Townsend house, and her life - Seattle Times

    LPG honors its Showroom of the Year | 2020-02-29 – Supply House Times - March 1, 2020 by admin

    LPG honors its Showroom of the Year | 2020-02-29 | Supply House Times This website requires certain cookies to work and uses other cookies to help you have the best experience. By visiting this website, certain cookies have already been set, which you may delete and block. By closing this message or continuing to use our site, you agree to the use of cookies. Visit our updated privacy and cookie policy to learn more. This Website Uses CookiesBy closing this message or continuing to use our site, you agree to our cookie policy. Learn MoreThis website requires certain cookies to work and uses other cookies to help you have the best experience. By visiting this website, certain cookies have already been set, which you may delete and block. By closing this message or continuing to use our site, you agree to the use of cookies. Visit our updated privacy and cookie policy to learn more.

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    LPG honors its Showroom of the Year | 2020-02-29 - Supply House Times

    Aging in Place With the Help of A-1 Builders and Adaptations Design – - February 5, 2020 by admin

    Whetherthinking of yourself or an aging family member, what will day-to-day life belike 10, 20 years from now?

    WillUncle Petes achy knee become a real mobility issue that curtails his abilityto climb the stairs in his home? Do you worry about your elderly mother, wholives alone, climbing in and out of the bathtub? When you are older, do youstill want to live in the home you built?

    Theseare some of the many considerations that may go into a decision around agingin placethe concept of equipping homes to allow their inhabitants tosuccessfully manage independently as they age.

    Agingin place encompasses everything from lighting to location, and A-1 Builders and AdaptationsDesign Studio has knowledgeable designers helping homeowners make(and implement) those kinds of choices.

    DesignManager Maggie Bates and Dave Kangas, a certified aging in place specialist,are part of A-1 Builders design arm, Adaptations Design Studio. They work with homeowners onaging-in-place improvements, which, they say, can be simple, inexpensive fixesall the way up to extensive remodels or new construction with aging-in-placeconcepts at the forefront of the design.

    Itsnot exorbitantly cost prohibitive to make simple changes that affect the wayyour space works, says Kangas.

    Accordingto Bates, one of the easiest and least-expensive improvements that can be madeis in improved lighting.

    Outsidethe home, that means no dark walkways or approaches to the house. Inside, thinktask lighting in the kitchen, garage, laundry or other workspaces, as wellample light for your favorite reading spot and in the bathroomincluding in theshower.

    Alot of people dont realize this, but you really should have a light in yourshower, Bates says.

    Bathroomsare also an excellent place to add grab barsa simple safety feature that cango a long way toward continued independent living.

    Similarly,graspable handrails for both interior and exterior stairs are an inexpensiveimprovement that greatly aid in mobility and confidence. People at any age mayhave trouble with stairs for any number of reasons, Bates says, includingprogressive lenses in glasses that make it more difficult to gauge where thestep is. Adding a railing is a simple, relatively inexpensive addition thatadds safety and peace of mind.

    Anotherplace to consider adding an exterior handrail is along an inclined driveway,Kangas notes. It can make taking the garbage out or getting to the mailboxeasier and safer in slick conditions.

    Makingfunctional changes to the kitchenone of the most utilitarian rooms in thehousecan be a game changer, and not just for those who are aging, Bates andKangas stress.

    Forinstance, putting a microwave at counter height instead of above the stove issafer in the long run for everybody.

    Ifyouve got children, or anyone in a wheelchair in the houseor youve just gotsomeone with limited mobilityyou dont want that microwave up at head height,Bates says. An under-cabinet microwave is another option.

    Add-insto the cabinetry that make things easier to reach is another place to makechanges. Anyone who has had to reach into the depths of a cupboard canappreciate these improvements. People are familiar with cabinets that roll out,Bates says, but there are also models where the shelving can be pulled downinto reach.

    Allthe kitchen gadgetry you see in a very well-designed, high-end house, oftenits also very good for universal design to make that kitchen accessible to alot of people, she says.

    And many of these changes, adds Kangas, arent just about aging in place, but also part of the larger concept called universal design. A home that applies universal design concepts works for everyone.

    Tome, it just makes sense to make your home as accessible to as many people aspossible, says Kangas.

    Universaldesign elements can become a selling point for your home in the future, areoptimal when an elderly friend or relative is visiting, or may even be a godsendwhen something like an unexpected injury or illness makes those accommodationsnecessary.

    Forhomeowners already planning a remodel, incorporating universal designprinciples and specific aging-in-place improvements into the home, such as astair lift or zero-threshold shower, are fairly simple to incorporate into theredesign.

    Bates sees many couples who come to Adaptations because theyre beginning to think about aging in place. With the luxury of time, homeowners can plan and budget for the major changes.

    However,sometimes peoples situations change quickly, and a ramp or an accessiblebathing area are needed right away. A-1 Builders and Adaptations Design Studiocan help in those situations, as well, working with the scope and budget thatmeets the needs of homeowners.

    Lookingahead might also mean a change of location.

    Ifyoure going to build a housesay its your last houseconsider where itslocated in relationship to shopping, the senior center, or publictransportation if youre not able to drive eventually, says Bates. Locationis so very important to consider.

    Itmight also look like adding an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) or suite withinyour home for a caregiver, for use now or in the future. Given a long enoughlead time, these considerations can be met with thoughtful solutions.

    Theteam at Adaptations Design Studio can also help homeowners anticipate needsthey may not have even thought about.

    Thats part of our job: to think of the things our clients havent considered, to forecast future needs for individual families, says Kangas. Planning for the future with our clients is a meaningful and fun part of our work.


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    Aging in Place With the Help of A-1 Builders and Adaptations Design -

    Report: Scope of kitchen renovations shrinks even as spending increases – - January 24, 2020 by admin

    The median spending on kitchen upgrades increased among homeowners who recently began or completed this work, according to the home design site Houzz. At the same time, homeowners were reducing the scope of their work.

    In its 2020 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, analysts found that the national median cost for a major kitchen remodel completed in mid-2019 was $35,000, a 17 percent increase over comparable remodels completed in mid-2018. Median spending on minor remodels held steady at $8,000.

    "It is remarkable to see median spend on kitchen remodels grow by double digits for the third year in a row," said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. "Combined with a two-year decline in the scope of kitchen remodels, spend increases confirm our findings of significant price inflation in the home remodeling industry due to changes in international trade policy. Homeowners are dealing with increasing product prices by substituting materials, as indicated by slower growth in the use of engineered quartz and a decline in the popularity of engineered flooring materials, highly impacted by tariffs on imported materials from China."

    The report found some indication that homeowners were scaling back the extent of the work they were doing. While 89 percent of respondents upgraded their countertops, this was down from 94 percent two years earlier. Similarly, the share of respondents upgrading their sinks fell from 90 percent two years ago to 83 percent. Compared to the previous year, homeowners were also significantly less likely to upgrade their backsplash, wall finish, windows, or exterior doors.

    Homeowners were also more likely to work within the space of their existing kitchen. Forty-six percent modified the layout of their kitchen, down from 50 percent in the previous year. Thirty-five percent increased the size of the room, down from 42 percent in the previous year.

    The reduced scope of kitchen renovations also meant fewer homeowners were pursuing an open floor plan. Forty-six percent said their upgraded kitchen was more open to the home's interior, down 7 percentage points from the previous year. However, 64 percent of those who opened their kitchen to the interior said they did so by eliminating wall separation, a year-over-year increase of 6 percentage points.

    Nearly every renovation94 percentincluded an upgrade to the cabinets. Sixty-eight percent replaced them entirely, while 27 percent opted for a partial upgrade. These options included refinishing cabinet exteriors (64 percent), replacing some cabinets (25 percent), or replacing the doors only (18 percent).

    Islands were also a popular choice, with 61 percent renovating this feature. One in three homeowners added a new island, while 22 percent upgraded an existing one. The islands were typically a large focal feature in the room, with 32 percent measuring more than seven feet long. Ninety-eight percent said the island had storage capacity, with 79 percent saying it incorporated cabinets and 70 percent saying it included drawers.

    Fifty-eight percent said they used their island as a dining area after the renovation. Forty-nine percent said it was used for entertaining, while 45 percent said they frequently socialized at this feature.

    Engineered quartz continued to gain popularity as a countertop choice. Fifty-one percent said they used this material, up from 48 percent in the 2019 survey and 43 percent in 2018. Twenty-nine percent opted to use granite, down from 30 percent in the previous year and 34 percent in 2018.

    Full-wall backsplashes were becoming a more popular choice. Sixty-three percent had the backsplash extend up to the cabinets or range hood, while 11 percent extended it up to the ceiling. Ceramic or porcelain tile continued to be the most popular choice for backsplash material, with 57 percent using it; the next most popular choice, marble, appeared in just 10 percent of renovations.

    There was a steady increase in the use of vinyl flooring, which appeared in 14 percent of renovations up from 12 percent in 2019 and 10 percent in 2018. Hardwood and ceramic were the most common flooring choices at 29 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

    More than half of homeowners55 percentreplaced all their kitchen appliances as part of their upgrade, while 31 percent replaced only some of them. The dishwasher, refrigerator, and microwave were the most commonly updated appliances.

    Interest in high-tech options declined slightly. Twenty-five percent of updated appliances included high-tech features, down from 30 percent in the previous year; wireless controls were the most popular high-tech appliance option, followed by color touch screen displays and built-in apps. Fifty-one percent of faucets used high-tech features, down from 57 percent in 2019; the most popular options included water efficiency, no-fingerprint coatings, and touch-free activation.

    Nearly every respondent94 percentsaid they used the kitchen for cooking after the upgrade, while 70 percent said they dined there and 60 percent said they used the room for baking. One in three homeowners said they felt they were living a healthier lifestyle after the renovation.

    The 2020 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study was based on survey respondents from nearly 2,600 Houzz users between June 19 and July 2. These homeowners were planning a kitchen renovation, in the midst of one, or had recently completed one.

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    Report: Scope of kitchen renovations shrinks even as spending increases -

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