General Information

1. Does the contractor have liability insurance? If something goes wrong who will cover your loss. I heard of a roofing problem in the summer of 08 they tore off the roof and installed a new roofing system. It looked good it didn’t leak, but when the roofers were tearing off the old roof they inadvertently unlocked the furnace flue pipe 8’ below the roofline. When the flue pipe was re-shingled into place the pipe was 1/2 on and 1/2 off the lower pipe venting carbon monoxide into chimney chase and ultimately into the house attic. They didn’t find the problem for 5 months, thank God no one died. When Natural gas or LP gas is burned it gives off carbon monoxide and a lot of water. The water leaves the furnace at about 350 degrees; at this temperature it’s steam being forced into a cold attic with a lot of cold surfaces. When the steam touches a cold surface it changes to water or ice. In this case about 2 inches of ice crystals on under side of the roof decking, on the trusses and on the surface of the attic insulation.  A quick calculation looks like about 200 gallons of water frozen in the attic. Looking at this job after the facts all the insulation in the attic has to be removed the roof sheathing has to be checked for soundness and may have to be replaced as well as the sheetrock ceiling. You might need new flooring also if the ice melted before you removed it, because it will follow the wall stud cavities to the main floor and under your carpets, or cupping you hardwood flooring.
This is only 1 thing that can go wrong; there are many other situation I have heard about.
2. Does the contractor have worker compensation insurance?
If person falls or get hurt in any way while on your property (grass, sidewalk, inside your house, etc.) you’re at fault, unless the contractor has workers compensation insurance.

Rules for hiring a contractor:

General Information
1. Does the contractor have a state license to do the type of work needing to be done?
2. Does the contractor have liability insurance? If something goes wrong who will cover your loss.
3.  Does the contractor have worker compensation insurance?
If a person falls or get hurt in any way while on your property (grass, sidewalk, inside your house, etc.) you’re at fault. Unless the contractor has workers comp. insurance.

4. Make Sure All Subcontractors and/or Any Person Coming Onto Your Property Has Legal Workers Compensation and Liability Insurance.
5. Does this person have the brains to pull off this type of job?  Watch out there a lot of cons out there calling them contractors only wanting to separate you from your money.
6. Can he/she prove what is being said in writing; a contract that protects you the Homeowner?
7. A lot of people have go good intentions but no knowledge or life experience to draw from.
8. There are 3 classifications of quality of work
A.  Poor and well below sub standard workmanship
B.  Just Average on workmanship
C.   Excellent work- any worker just above average ends up excelling to excellent static because of the person himself, I’ve seen this time and time again.

9. 2nd Classifications of motives.
A. Money is a good motivator
B. The lack of money is a poor motivation
C. Lack of time for said job or out of on contracts personal bills
D. The only job available this one, actually scores just above average
E. Actually caring for his work and the client.

Now is the contractor your hiring going to hire subcontractor with substandard work or money problems? Remember this your project is to be a work of art not a novel of science fiction.

Bathrooms say a lot about the people living in the home.

Are you sending the right message.
Before you remodel your bathroom,
2.jpg

Think long term 5 ,10, 15 ,or 20 years and/or 2 or 3 different types of jobs or hobbies you might have in the future.
You may spend 10 minutes and up 2 hours a day in this prep room. Doing things right in this room will set your mode for the rest of the days you live in this house.
Thing to think about when you design a bathroom;
4.jpg
3.jpg

Number of people needing to use this room at the same time; 2 or 3 kids, a couple, 2 or people staying over IE relatives and friends, room mates, etc.
With these things in mind your now ready to start answering questions.

a. Think about cleaning
B. Bathing
C. Midnight strolls
D. Getting your makeup on
1. Lighting
2. Putting on makeup
3. Storage
4. Accessibility to storage, and left or right handed people
5. Accessories- hair driers, curling
6. 6. Room accents

11.jpg

Attic spaces

Older homes have a large advantage over new homes. The designs of these gracious older homes have large attics with fun ways to convert theses spaces into unique personal rooms.
dscn2762b.JPG
In this attic space we converted a trusses roof system to create a personal office for this family.


We had some fun with personal area we installed quarter sawn white oak with accent walnut strips in the corbels, top rail of the panel system and the desktop edging.

Box and Custom Cabinets

Box cabinets come in widths of 3 inch increments (12″, 15″, 18″, 21, 24, etc.) this means if your cabinet length is 5’ 2 1/2” you will need a 2 1/2” filler section on the facing of your cabinets. Custom cabinets are custom fit with no filler sections and more useable storage.

With box cabinets you have face frame of 1 1/2” wide per box, when you join 2 boxes together it becomes 3” wide with a vertical seam between all the boxes. Custom cabinets have face frame of 1 1/2” –2” wide allowing more room for access as well as wider drawers.

Most box cabinets have a 1/8”-1/4” overhang on the face from the cabinet box. This makes it hard to put crown molding around the top of the cabinet, as well as toe shoe around the base cabinet. These box cabinets have no extra material to custom fit the boxes to the wall. There will be a gap between the back wall and the cabinet. If the person installing the cabinet followed the bow of the wall now the front face of the cabinets are no longer straight. Installing a counter top on these boxes will have to custom made to get a big enough overhang on the counter top to make it look good. If there is a bow in the wall this could be hidden with custom cabinets.

The only time a box cabinet looks above average is when it has a full over lay door covering most of the face frame.

All the quality in box cabinets is located in the appearance of the cabinet, not in the operation, structure, or functionality.

A Standard Closet is a Waste of Good Space

A standard closet has one of the following types of doors; bi-fold, sliding, or standard door(s). These doors make it hard to get into the closets as well as being in the way of storing items. Doors also inhibit the movement around the doors.
Standard closet

This closet was designed for more internal storage, but it uses up 18 square foot of floor in front of the closet that cannot be used for storage and or any thing else.

dscn1812b.jpg

Installing Lockers in the same place where you would put a closet, it will hold more items as well as being able to organize your items or your kids.

A walk-in closet laid out right yields more and better quality storage as seen in the next 3 pictures.

dscn1743b.jpg
Walk-in storage
Small walk-in

Changing places


House was built in 97 with a poor kitchen design.
Note the locating of the pantry at the far end of the room with a depth of only 12″.

The old kitchen layout

New Kitchen layout

We changed the location of the sliding glass door and the kitchen sink window. Then we flipped the kitchen layout to flow better with more storage.
There was a large footprint for the kitchen but no storage or ease of operation. People visiting had to pass through the cooking area to get to the dining table.

New Kitchen window

To the right of the kitchen sink is the dishwasher with a wood door panel to match the cabinets.
The new Island & wet bar

The center island has a built in microwave on the right around the corner on the right there is a built in bookcase. The center door has a 3′ drawer that hold 3 -13 gallon garbage cans with 2 recycling bins left the kitchen sink for glass and metals.

closen-750-1.jpg

The kitchen, and bar sink are cast iron w/ a gray porcelain finish. We also installed a secondary Reverse osmosis water system to the refrigerator, kitchen, and bar sinks for better taste, as well as no impurity in the water.

When making meals in this kitchen, everything is ease to get to with plenty of storage for food, supplies, as well as decorations for any type of family get together. The layout of the kitchen makes it ease to be involved with family whether there in the family room or in the kitchen.

Standing by the patio door there is plenty of room in the cooking area of the kitchen for 3 people work as well as 4 to sit at the upper level of the island and 4-6 more at the table. What a great place to entertain guests.

Hearth & Home

Master bedroom fireplace Clip on photo to enlarge it.
The first picture has a entertainment cabinet has a 4’wide radius drawer under the hearth for DVDs and VCR movies. The hearth is being supported by a 1/4″ piece of steel so a person can stand on it to install the TV or clean the mantel.

closen-01.jpg Family room fireplace system

The cabinet right of the fireplace has the Cable box and a DVD player for the TV. We have leaded glass being made for the cabinet doors.