Tag Archives: Bathroom Remodeling

The Importance of Fire Blocking Techniques and Products In Construction

The last thing that homeowners want or deserve from their contractor is short cuts taken in their home improvement project.  When doing any renovation around the home from installing a new door between your garage and your home, as in the picture above, or adding a new room onto an existing structure, the homeowner’s safety, now and in the future, is of utmost importance.

The need for for stopping or blocking

One safety issue we have found in many house’s that we have worked on is the lack of fire stopping or fire blocking with in the walls and door jams of homes.  Even though building codes and regulations state that fire blocking materials are included in construction, it is an all too often short cut that less than professional contractors take.  Talk with any firefighter and they will agree that this is a huge mistake.  Proper installation of fire blocks and fire blocking materials within walls and doorways is a property and life saver.

People have been seriously injured or lost their lives because of the lack of simple fire stopping blocks.  Fire stopping blocks are a simple component used in framing homes that when done correctly can help decrease the speed at which fire ravages your home, giving your family more time to escape.  This building technique is not as common in older homes, thus leading to a total loss of many older homes.

Modern day home construction

In modern day construction horizontal double 2×4’s can be seen on top of vertical studs to create a wall blocking system.  This helps to seal in the cavity and separate it from the one next to it which in turn works to prevent the rapid spread of fire throughout your home.

Without properly installed fire stop, the framing in your home can act like many mini chimneys throughout the home.  In older homes it was common to be able to drop an item from the homes attic only to have it shoot out on the basement floor moments later.  With out a barrier between the floors, flames are sucked up through the walls, acting very much like a chimney.

It may be hard to believe but the use of a single solid piece of wood at the top and bottom of the wall in between the studs can significantly reduce how fast fire spreads throughout the home.  If a fire does occur within the wall, the top block will help stop the fire from shooting upwards and into the home’s attic. Fire blocking at the intersections of joists and walls as well as sideways between floor and ceiling joists can literally save your family.

Materials used for fire blocking

Another material that can be used in construction and during renovations is known as Fireblock foam insulation and fire barrier caulk. When a hole is created within the home it is important that it is filled.  Not only will it help to prevent drafts, it also helps to stall fires from sneaking between the walls. Fireblock products should always be used when contractors are installing door jams or have created holes.  Plumbers, electricians, heating contractors, and even general contractors should all be well versed in the use of Fireblock products.

Glen Miller the Home Doctor is a licensed general contractor servicing Livingston County and the surrounding areas.  Glen offers a wide range of services including home maintenance plans, age in place remodeling, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, finished basements, and hardwood floor refinishing.  More information can be found online at https://www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/.

Remodeling for a More Accessible Home For Seniors

As people age, there always seems to be more and more limitation that makes it difficult for them to be able to do the simple things that they once took for granted. Whether it not being able to climb the stairs like you used to, to be able to stand for long periods of time or even reach items in the kitchen like you used to. All of these things could happen over time or change due to a medical issue that makes it difficult to do the things that you use to do with relative ease.

 

These days more and more families are taking in their senior parents rather than see them have to live out their senior years in a home. While some medical reasons may make that necessary, most people would rather make it where their parents can either stay in their own home longer or simply move into their home.

 

To be able to do this there are often things that can be done to remodel their home or your home in order to make life a bit better for them. Some things are quite easy and other things will require a bit of remodeling and that usually means hiring a contractor and could cost a pretty penny. Below is a short list of some of the things that we came up with. Remember, not all of these will apply to your unique situation.

 

10 Things to consider when remodeling for a senior person

 

Pay attention to the specific needs of your senior parent or loved one – Always remember that you are doing this for your loved one and you need to include them in any changes to be sure they fit with them. One size remodeling truly does not fit all.

 

Be sure you have a complete plan of what you want to do – Be sure to formulate a plan and put it in writing so that you have something to follow when you go to put your plan into action.

 

If you have any doubts bring in a professional to evaluate the home – While you may be able to come up with some good ideas, you may want to have a professional come in and evaluate the home and make some recommendation.

 

Remove any obstruction in all access points – A very simple change that virtually anyone can make is to remove any and all obstructions at points of entry in a room. When you have difficulty walking even a bump in the carpeting can cause an obstruction.

 

Talk to all of the professional caregivers of your parents to get ideas – Another great resource for you to consider is to talk to all of the people who provide care for them to get some ideas on how to make their home life better.

 

Get a professional contractor – When the time comes that you need to do any type of structural changes to your home you should bring in a professional contractor for advice and help.

 

No-step entry is the first best step – Like the obstructions at all access points into/out of a room, a no-step entry point into and out of the home is a must. This will more than likely require you to hire a professional.

 

Consider pocket doors versus swinging doors – Turning door knobs and twisting handles on doors can be difficult for seniors, if it is possible you should consider replacing all of them in the home.

 

Electric stair lifts – Having a two-story home climbing stairs for many seniors is not only a chore but at times it can be potentially extremely dangerous. If you can afford it look into the electric stair lifts, it will give all of you peace of mind.

 

Reconfiguring the home – If climbing stairs are completely out of the question then you should immediately look into reconfiguring the lower level to have everything on one that level for them.

 

Learn more about licensed and insured general contractor Glen Miller the Home Doctor and the variety of home improvement services he offers clients including: home maintenance plans, handyman services, kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, handicap ramp installations, age in place modifications, basements transformations, and hardwood flooring installation and refinishing at www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com.  To contact Glen Miller the Home Doctor call 734.255.9793 for a free estimate.

 

Local Trends in Bathroom Renovations For 2018

Now that it is a new year it is time to get started on those bathroom renovations you have been considering. Start by hiring a remodeling contractor, as they’ll be able to assist you through every step of the process. Otherwise, your bathroom renovations will likely remain a fantasy.

There are many different looks and styles for bathrooms. If you examine some of the local trends in bathroom renovations for 2018, it will help to narrow down your options.

Freestanding Bathtubs

This was a common feature of Victorian homes, but is making a comeback.  Don’t expect tacky or cumbersome stylings, the new freestanding bathtubs are both modern and compact for the 2018 bathroom. A wide range of faucets can be installed too. Choices go beyond your standard chrome and stainless steel to rose gold and dark brass. Homeowners with free standing tubs in their bathroom designs are considering the addition of a rain shower head so they can still take a shower in the immense bathtub.

Granite or Quartz Countertops

Many people choose to match bathroom countertop with kitchen countertop. It doesn’t have to be the exact same color; you can opt for a similar veined pattern for a cohesive look. These types of countertops are considered permanent and are the perfect choice for a bathroom that can suffer moisture or water damage. Now you’ll never have to worry again. Bathroom countertops can also wrapped behind the toilet, giving you more space for cosmetics or decorative objects.

LED Mirrored Lights

Not only are LED lamps low in energy consumption, but they can be extremely bright so you can put on your makeup or do your hair easily. If you’re worried they’re too bright, consider adding a dimmer switch in your bathroom. In the morning you can have a minimum of light while you wake up, then when it’s time to carefully apply your makeup you can increase the lighting levels.

Vessel or Bowl Sinks

Bathroom sinks no longer have to be boring white porcelain or ceramic models. The new style of vessel or bowl sinks not only gives your bathroom a touch of style, but also functionality too. The sinks can be as small or as large as you like. Its original function is realized for people who like to put the stopper in and splash around to wash. A wide variety of faucets can be added too. These need not be boring either. Faucets come in every color of the rainbow, and can be one or two handled.

Hardwood or Wood Laminate Flooring

In the past, wood or laminate floors were frowned upon, as the moisture and water from the tub could quickly erode away at surfaces. Today’s engineered flooring panels have protective layers that are suitable for the bathroom. They come in every color of wood you can imagine.

There are many local trends in bathroom renovations for 2018. Your remodeling contractor will be able to assist you with the above choices and more. Soon you’ll have a beautiful but highly functional bathroom that you can enjoy several times a day!

Learn more about licensed and insured general contractor Glen Miller the Home Doctor and the variety of home improvement services he offers clients including: home maintenance plans, handyman services, kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, handicap ramp installations, age in place modifications, basements transformations, and hardwood flooring installation and refinishing at www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com.  To contact Glen Miller the Home Doctor call 734.255.9793 for a free estimate.

 

Top Trends in Home Improvement & Remodeling

You can’t say we have returned to the times when housing was booming, but with 1,226,000 homes built in the last year, we’re not far from it. With Americans projected to collectively offload over $300 billion in home improvements over the next year the housing industry is currently looking pretty good.

So what are homeowners getting into this year as far as home improvements go? Here are a few favorite trends that tipped to being routinely installed this year.

Smart home technology is the latest in home improvement industry trends. The projection is that 33% of houses will get connected with at least one smart device, if they haven’t done so, with home security topping the list. The rise of voice activated technology is also leading the charge to make smarter homes more desirable.

Big homes are on the down swing as more people are choosing less square feet for their living space, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This new trend means a home modeler contractor needs to get more creative with their floor plans while still fitting in lots of storage space and energy efficient appliances.  New construction homes of 2017 are smaller than those seen in the past.

Matte finishes are taking over from the more sparkly finishes such as chrome and sparkly granite. Black stainless steel is now the favorite finish of choice. Matte is big in the kitchen, but it’s also filtering down to smaller appliances and other areas of the house such as bathroom faucets.

Even toilets are getting the treatment these days. Why settle for the standard porcelain throne you have to clean yourself when you can get one of the newer models that clean themselves. Toto’s Neorest 750H toilet has “Actilight cleansing technology” which treats the bowl with a mist before each use with the aim of preventing sticking waste. There’s also a built-in UV light that supposedly accelerates decomposition of inorganic substances.

There’s a lot to get excited about in home improvement this year, so if your goal is to live cleaner and better, then this is the year to start your remodeling plans.

Learn more about Aspen Construction and the variety of home construction upgrades they provide including: new construction, home additions, bathroom remodeling, kitchen renovations, and finished basements at www.aspencoinc.com.  To contact one of our home construction specialists call 517.404.2176 today.

Dreaming of New Construction

It’s not enough to have a house these days. Homeowners must be able to turn a house into a home that reflects them.  Your home speaks of who you are. In your home there are two major areas that stand out, areas people remember more than others they are the kitchen and bathroom.

When you are thinking about your new construction home it is important to not only think about the design of the home but also the design in these two spaces in particular.  More than any other rooms in your home, your kitchen and bathroom areas need to offer be spaces that define you and your family.

Let’s begin with the kitchen.  Why is the kitchen so important?  Every home has a central spot where people gather for most it is the kitchen.  With the kitchen being one of the most frequented spaces in the house it is important that it gets special attention in the construction of your new home.

It is one of the busiest places in the house and often full of people and activity.  It doesn’t only serve to function as an area to prep, cook, and eat food.  It actually services as an additional family room.  Many families find that they spend most of their time hanging out in the kitchen.  It is a central area for conversation and meeting up with one another between tasks.   It is important that this space is easy to use and maintain.  Continuous use of a kitchen space often makes it appear bland.  Permanent stains on cabinets and flooring date the space.  Therefore it is crucial to use materials in the space that are easily cleaned and simple to update as needed.

Next up is the bathroom.  Why is the bathroom so important in new construction?

You can’t prepare for your day or relax after a long day without going into the bathroom. Imagine yourself soaking in the hot tub or taking a bath after a long day. This is only possible because you have a bathroom.

The bathroom is also used constantly with water touching every part. This makes it a habitat for mold, spirogyra or even bacteria which can affect the paint, silicone or tiles.

Although you can clean it up with bleach, in some cases, it is better to remodel the bathroom.

Have an idea of what to do. You need an architect or designer to help you. They have the skill and expertise to counsel you that you are doing the right thing.

I always advise my clients to let the plumbing stay in place. If you move it, you might spend more than what you may ever imagine which can run into thousands of dollars. You can change your toilet seat instead of replacing the position. If you don’t want tile, there are wood panels you can use.

If there are parts of your bathroom you want to keep hidden, use a mirror in an attractive frame.

Creating your dream house doesn’t have to be stressful especially if you’re modelling your kitchen or bathroom. just know what you want and follow these steps.

Learn more about Aspen Construction and the variety of home construction upgrades they provide including: new construction, home additions, bathroom remodeling, kitchen renovations, and finished basements at www.aspencoinc.com.  To contact one of our home construction specialists call 517.404.2176 today.

 

 

 

 

Should I Renovate My Current Home or Buy New Construction

Ask any contractor that specializes in home construction what the most common question is that they are asked and I guarantee is will center around buying new construction or renovating a current space.  The problem with this question is that both options make sense depending on several factors.

The first and most important factor is to determine if renovations are even an option.  Is your home structurally sound?  If the home was properly built and has been maintained you can almost guarantee that the primary structure of the home is solid.  Thus meaning renovation would not only be possible but a solid option for homeowners that are overall pleased with their current home.

Contractors will inspect the homes foundation, outer walls, roofing, and support beams to ensure that your home can handle the renovation or addition you are proposing.  More often than not if your home is in a desirable location and you are overall happy renovating will be a better choice than new construction.  It allvieates the need to move and let’s face it hiring a professional contractor to knock a few walls down is less expensive and less time consuming than moving an entire household.

There are many things about a home that start to bother us over time and lead us to believe we would be better off starting from scratch by building a new construction home.  The reality is that most often your wish list involves on a few minor changes, repairs, and upgrades that a professional can easily and inexpensively provide.

In certain situations new construction is the only way to go.  If the home that you are currently in has a weak or failing structure that is in need of repair remodeling may not be cost effective.  If the home is in a location that you don’t love it may be better to find a piece of property and start from scratch.

If the renovations that you are looking to accomplish involve a great deal of electrical or plumbing needing to be changed, new construction might be a cheaper option.  In order to make a decision on whether you should look into building new construction or renovate your current home it is crucial that you take a look at all the pieces in the puzzle.  There is not a one size fits all answer.  While one family may decide that a new fresh space is exactly what they want while others may adore the idea of the convient option of upgrading the space they are in.

Learn more about Aspen Construction and the variety of home construction upgrades they provide including: new construction, home additions, bathroom remodeling, kitchen renovations, and finished basements at www.aspencoinc.com.  To contact one of our home construction specialists call 517.404.2176 today.

Work With The Best In Your New Construction Venture

There are some rather interesting challenges that come with building a new home.  New construction is a popular alternative when looking into customizing a home.  Many homeowners choose to renovate their current homes to bring them up to par with the latest trends while others are ready to embark on the journey of construction a new home from the ground up.

When looking into building a new home the first step you need to do is find a construction company to work with that specializes in new construction.  Locating a company that has industry experience, can take on a job of your magnitude, and have it completed in a timely fashion can be a process in itself.  As soon as you start to contemplate building a new home it is important to start getting feelers out to find a new construction company to work with.

The entire new construction process will require a great amount of effort and attention to detail.  This is why it is crucial, for the success of your home that you work with an experienced new construction contractor.  A team that is one hundred percent focused on delivering the very best result and is committed to the project’s success is essential.

A solid plan with the ability to adjust combined with experienced and proven results is exactly what every new construction client should expect out of their contractor.  Contractors that work in conjunction with you and not for you are the best at understanding exactly what you want and need out of your new home.  Working in this manner will allow you to receive the best results at the best value from quality contractors that are invested in the end result.

Happy clients equate to a growing construction company.  The best of the best in new construction will continue to deliver quality results that make home owners happy.  A true professional will focus on the entire experience rather than just one aspect of the whole.  Professionalism will be the norm with the contractor’s employees and referrals.  It will be important for the team as a whole to surpass customer’s expectations.   The difference between working with the best verse all the rest is the push to take your new home to the next level.

Delivering an overall experience in new construction is a gift that not all contractors possess.  It is imperative to go with your instincts when hiring a professional to work within the joint effort of creating your new home.  You will feel it inside of you when you have met a contractor that’s expectations mesh with your own.

Learn more about Aspen Construction and the variety of home construction upgrades they provide including: new construction, home additions, bathroom remodeling, kitchen renovations, and finished basements at www.aspencoinc.com.  To contact one of our home construction specialists call 517.404.2176 today.

Specializing In New Home Construction

The real estate market right now is ever changing.  Homes are hitting the market and buyers are scooping them up as fast as they are being listed.  Knowing this is making many buyers become more and more interested in new construction.  When looking into building a house it is important to work with a contractor that specializes in new home construction.  In order to do this you may have to search a bit.  Although you can rest assured that your home will be the highest quality and value on the market.

Having the right approach to hiring a top rated contractor can help. Contractors focused on new construction are committed to bringing quality craftsmanship to every build.  The success of your new home and the overall experience is the best advertising a contractor can receive.  For this and many other reasons there is incentive for contractors to bring their A game to your homes construction.

A contractor specializing in new construction is up on current and future trends within the housing market.  They offer you a multitude of updated features and project details that will reflect this.  The importance of technology within new construction can never be understated.  It is crucial to the resale value of your home that important trends such as environmentally friendly lights, appliances and technology upgrades are incorporated into the homes design.

Working with a professional contractor from purchasing the land, designing the home, picking materials all the way to the finished home is important.  Doing so will allow you a customized solution to your housing needs.  Professional contractors help bring your goals to reality.  The process of building a home along with professionals can not only allow your home to be built in a timely manner but also allows for a seamless process from start to finish.

Contractors building new construction homes are focused creating a home that has value to the owner and to the real estate market on a whole.  Hiring a professional allows the dream to become a reality.  Building a home has been synonymous with terms such as overwhelming, expensive, stressful, and more.  This does not have to be the experience that you have.  By hiring a contractor that specializes in building new homes you can rest assured that your project will be given the utmost attention.  Details that can be lost in remodeling and room renovations are found in new construction.

Learn more about Aspen Construction and the variety of home construction upgrades they provide including: new construction, home additions, bathroom remodeling, kitchen renovations, and finished basements at www.aspencoinc.com.  To contact one of our home construction specialists call 517.404.2176 today.

Things to Keep in Mind When Finding a Contractor

A Home Improvement Contractor is defined as any person who possesses or runs a contracting business who, through himself or others, undertakes, reasons to have the capacity to undertake, offers to undertake, or submits a bid for residential contracting work to a homeowner.

A Home Improvement Contracting Registration is governed by M.G.L c. 142A. Contractors who engage in residential contracting agreements with homeowners for work on their primary residence of 4 units or less, are required to register with OCABR. Residential contracting is defined under the law as “the reconstruction, alteration, renovation, repair, modernization, conversion, improvement, removal or demolition or the construction of an addition to any pre-existing, owner-occupied, building containing at least one but not more than four dwelling units.

But before you start flipping through the Yellow Pages and calling every contractor in the book, let’s get your expectations on the right planet. You should expect that in this day and age, skilled contractors are in high demand, good contractors are very, very busy.

This means when you do start buzzing contractors, don’t be amazed that they don’t instantly answer their phones – they are possibly standing on a ladder somewhere with their hands full when you call. Don’t take it personally or shoulder they are not interested in talking to you, but contractors won’t answer their cell phones every time it rings. Continuous disturbances slow down a jobsite. For this reason alone, most contractors wait until they are away from the jobsite before they return your calls.

Whether you work with a common contractor for house remodeling or act as one on your own project, getting a sight into the mind of a contractor can give you a new angle into renovation projects around your home. But what are the things you have to do before you start remodeling your house?

Here are a few things:

  • Interview candidate contractors:

When looking for contractors for house remodeling it is very important to get into the mind of contractors so that you know that they are able to do what you want and that they understand what you exactly want.

  • Do not delay your decisions:

If you want that your remodel goes well never delay decisions. Make sure that everything has already been planned out by you so that there is no hustle at the time you start your work and by that nothing will be left behind.

  • Don’t change your mind again and again:

Not everyone changes mind again and again but if you are one of those people who does then remember that every time you will change your mind a new order will have to be executed. Although to you the changes might seem minor but there are always added and hidden expenses which will show on later. So always be very sure about what you want to do at the first place. Do all the research and then execute.

  • Don’t work without a design:

The most important thing to remember when home remodeling is that never work without a design. Believe me it will result in devastation of all the resources and stuff. Make sure you have a pretty and a good sorted out design and all the design considerations.

The Home Doctor, based in Livingston County including Brighton and Howell Michigan, offers a variety of home renovations to clients ranging from bathroom remodeling to age in place home modifications.  Contact http://glenmillerthehomedoctor.com/ today all of your home renovating needs.

Your Ultimate Planning Guide: Home Addition and Remodeling

According to HomeAdvisor, the ever vocal and factual resource offering free pieces of advice, tools, and resources for home improvement, an average American homeowner will eventually have to choose between finding a lovely home or just making existing one. And, granted that adding a few more rooms of buildings is far much cheaper than buying a whole house, it might as well be ideal to go for home addition contractors. You will spend as little as $20,044, which as a great deal economically.

As much as home addition and remodeling is a sensible option, it’s important to consider one of the best, affordable new construction companies.  With such a company, you will be confident that your project will end well, maybe beyond your expectations. Moreover, you are allowed to choose per your style and through completion.

Types of Additions

A home addition has many and different meanings out there, and that’s why you have to decide the best suitable one. Sure, you can tack on an extra room to your current apartment. You can create a new room without necessarily expanding the size of the entire structure. Each option comes with its merits and drawbacks, aside from their individual prices.

The various types of home additions

Being a cost-friendly way of getting your dream home, home additions are gaining acceptance amongst many homeowners. Unsurprisingly, the many forms of this undertaking bolster the way home addition is growing. Naturally, the most popular additions to an average house include:

  • Ground level additions
  • Second-floor additions
  • Detached additions

Additional room

Whether your sole reason for home addition is getting an extra family room, a new bedroom or just a room, try finding a New Construction Homes form for just that. And, what’s glamorous about it is, you can either build up or build out. It is a great investment and construction project as it involves coming up with a building structure.

Per square foot, the cost can range from $80 to $200, according to HomeAdvisor and that calls for the involving a reliable contractor. So, consider how you can use the ground floor so as to befit your efforts to build out. However, if you are to work on getting an additional room without altering the footprint of your home, better try building up.

Sunroom

If the conventional home addition ideas don’t appeal to you, give this budget-friendly alternative a shot. An average room can cost as little as $16,000, although a prefabricated one can be a little cheaper.

Detached addition

Under this option, one can expect them to vary, both in style and price with simple, ready-made ones costing from $15,000 up. With the addition of other aspects like electricity, heat and other features of a full guesthouse, the price expectedly rises.

Aspen Construction is an innovative building leader specializing in home additions, new construction, bathroom and kitchen remodeling.  For all of your home improvement needs including electrical services contact us today at http://www.aspencoinc.com/.