Monthly Archives: June 2012

Light Fixtures

 A Home Builders Chronology by Laurie DaRosa

TODAY’S DECISION:  Light Fixtures

As you all know from my last blog, I love shiny things.  Have you ever walked into a lighting store?  Hundreds of shiny lights to chose from.  Now begins the path of light fixture discovery. 

I am not a woman that loves to shop.  That is because it all becomes overwhelming to me and I either buy nothing or too many things.  There is no happy medium for me. 

My process begins with trying to pick lights for the outside of the house.  My last house had onion lights.  Love, love, love them until it is time to clean them.  My hands are small and I have trouble sticking it up through the bottom to clean them.  So…no Onion Lights for the new home.  I wanted something nautical looking.  Oh my goodness…there it is, hanging on the wall.  So, I tell the nice gentleman I like this one.  Ok do you want the large or small, hanging, not hanging, what type of finish.  The head starts spinning.  Then he says I have catalogs.  Now I begin to doubt my choice.  Mistake #1…go with your first thought and move on.  He gives me some catalogs and I begin going through them.  Wow!!!  There are millions.  I pull out my plans and count how many and what size lights I will need.  I give the man the numbers, my email and ask him to fax me the price of the original light I liked.

There was an attempt to begin the light fixtures for the inside but, this was enough for one day.  As this was beginning, I began to think recessed lights throughout.  Just kidding!

Stay tuned for my bathroom and kitchen fixtures.  Speed decorating 101…pick it and move on.  Talk soon!

Is your contractor pulling a permit?

by Matt Striebe

Having a proper permit pulled is one of the most important aspects of any project you are doing in your home.  Almost every job should have a permit pulled.  Different cities and towns have different requirements for when a permit must be pulled. When doing work to your home, one of the first questions you should ask your contractor is if they are pulling a permit?

Permits ensure that the work being performed is up to code.  Depending on the size and scope of your project, inspections of the work being done may be required to ensure the work has been done safely, properly and is code compliant.  It also ensures that your city or town has proper records of the changes that have been made to the home.

Pulling a permit also ensures that your contractor has the proper licensing and insurance to undertake the project.  If anything was to happen during the project and the contractor was not carrying any insurance, the homeowner would be held liable.  Having insurance gives the homeowner peace of mind that injuries on the jobsite or any unforeseen damage done to the home during construction will be covered by the contractor and not end up being the homeowner’s responsibility.

Best of all, the homeowner doesn’t have to do any work to get the permit pulled.  It is the contractor’s responsibility to get the permit, schedule the inspections, and ensure their work is up to code. Permits are required by all cities or towns when a home renovation takes place.  So on your next project; make sure to ask your contractor if they are going to pull a permit before you sign a contract.  Also, make sure you see the permit before the work begins.


Cast Iron or Stainless Steel?

A Home Builders Chronology by Laurie DaRosa

TODAY’S DECISION:  Cast Iron or Stainless Steel?

As I begin the process of building a new home, I will blog my dilemmas and thoughts along the way.

In my previous home I had a stainless steel under mount sink.  I did like it but then I loved my kitchen.  It was my favorite room in the house.  The sink did have a few dings in it and the finish was dull.  I had to use the stainless steel cleaner on it quite frequently.

This time around I have decided to install a farmer’s sink.  To my surprise they do make a stainless steel farmer’s sink.  However, when I went to pick out my fixtures I noticed this beautiful white cast iron sink.  I thought my mind was made up to install the stainless steel sink until before my eyes gleams this beauty.  Of course I love shiny things.  So I did my due diligence and asked the very knowledgeable man assisting me for the low down.  He said the prices are very comparable.  The stainless steel sink gets a lot of dents, dulls easily and the deepest I can get is 8 inches.  Again, keep in mind; I love to cook, which means a lot of pans. So, on we moved to the gleaming white beauty.  He said the cast iron is more durable and does come 9 1/2” deep. Although, it can get black marks from pans, there are cleaning agents that take them out.

I make decisions quickly because if I don’t, I will drive myself crazy.  All fixtures picked out in 1 ½ hours.  No messing around for me.

Next week we will attempt lighting fixtures.  Oh my, there is a lot of lights out there….


Age In Place Bathroom

By Matt Streibe

With more and more customers opting to remodel their homes rather than build new or move to an updated home the idea of remodeling with the thought of “looking ahead” has become increasingly popular.

One option that has become very popular with our customers has been an age in place bathroom.  There are many options to choose from with an age in place bathroom; it can be something as simple as adding grab bars around the bathtub or toilet area or removing a standard bathtub with a high front curb and replacing it with a sleek four piece acrylic shower stall with a small 5’ curb making it easier for the customer to get in and out of the shower. 

We have also completed a number ofADAcompliant bathroom remodels.  By widening doorways, installing wall mounted vanities and installing shower surrounds that are equipped with grab bars, a fold down seat and a handheld shower head we are able make your bathroom wheelchair accessible, making it easier and safer for the customer to maneuver around the bathroom.

More Than Just Paint

Often time’s homeowners are willing to pitch in on remodeling projects to control cost. I think it is great when homeowners want to gain some sweat equity in a project, but I also believe that some work should be left to the pros. Painting is something that most people can do, but very few can do well. If you are looking to freshen up an existing room and it is not being totally remodeled it is ok to tackle the painting yourself, but if the room is an addition or a large remodel please hire a pro. Paint is one of those finishing touches that make or break a project. The painter’s responsibilities are more than just slapping paint on the walls and trim. Typical task included in a painter’s price: • 1 coat of primer • 2 coats of finish paint • Sealing and caulking of spaced joints • Small plaster or drywall patches • Protective materials for guarding against spills • Filling and puttying of nail holes The list above may sound like average items to spell out, but once you see the amount of preparation a good paint job takes you will understand the value in the price. Painters make everyone else’s trade come to life, especially the work of the finish carpenter. Without a quality paint job even the best finish carpentry and plaster work can look lackluster. Ways to save during a renovation: • Only hire an Architect if you haven’t found a contractor that can develop plans • Do some or all of the demolition work • Move contents out of work area The moral to this story is short and sweet; it is ok to save money on projects by doing some work yourself, but don’t try and become a painter overnight. The true beauty of a large remodel or addition is something that can really only be seen if it is finished properly by quality painters. Keeping within a budget is important during a project, but don’t sacrifice quality for price.