How to Find a Trusted Contractor for Your Kitchen Remodel

Horror stories about reconstruction mishaps, poor renovation quality, and struggles with claims are all over the Internet, but it’s harder to find a good procedure for vetting contractors to avoid the disasters in the first place. While using word of mouth and looking for established companies with long lists of clients and a physical business address help narrow down the list, there are a few other things you should look for:

Do they have transparent insurance coverage?

Contractors should always have insurance, and they should have a lot of it to cover both mishaps during the project and for the finished remodel. Ask a contractor about their coverage and get it in writing; it should be part of their standard contract. If it isn’t, or you get a bad feeling when discussing it with them, move on to the next company.

Ask about building regulations and local laws. 

Different towns, even within the same state and metroplex area, have different by-laws regarding permits, permissions, and additions, especially when it comes to your kitchen and any combustion features like fireplaces. Ask the company if they’ve done renovation projects similar to yours and what additional paperwork or regulation concerns there might be. Again, this is more of a judgment call unless you do your own research into the regulations, but make sure they act more knowledgeable than indifferent about the long-term concerns of any inserts.

Getting your kitchen renovated involves a lot of moving parts, and those changes can involve your home’s electricity, plumbing, and ventilation. Finding a trustworthy contractor who can upgrade your kitchen while keeping both the building and your family safe is essential. Go to Chicago Renovation & Remodeling to get started making your list.

3 Ways to Revitalize Your Bathroom for Guests Through Remodeling

If you’ve just moved into a new home and are somebody that enjoys hosting guests, you may be looking for ways to make your home more inviting. Instead of simply purchasing new furniture and painting, you should look into how remodeling the bathroom can make a big impact.

Hiring a Chicago bath remodeling company and considering the following projects for your bathroom can help make the space ideal for entertaining guests.

Add Extra Storage

Increasing the amount of storage in the bathroom can be so helpful when you have overnight guests since it will allow them to have their own private space to place some of their items. Having more storage available can also make it much easier for you to keep the bathroom tidy and free from clutter.

Make the Shower Accessible

If you intend on having guests over that are older, such as your parents that may be seniors at this point, it’s so important that the shower is easy to use. While you may like the convenience of a shower and bathtub combo, it can be harder for some people to get in and out. Installing a safety bar can give them something to grab while getting in and out.

Brighten the Space

Adding a fresh coat of paint and screwing in some new light bulbs can make all the difference in keeping the bathroom looking inviting.

Remodeling the bathroom with guests in mind can help you design a space that’s easy to use. Contact us for more advice on remodeling your bathroom.

Chicago Remodeling: Making Your Perfect Home

If you are not quite happy with the home you have, you might consider selling and buying something else. Often, this leads to giving up something that is not quite right for something else that is not quite right. Unless you are changing location or want a great change in size, remodeling is usually a better option for getting what you want.

More Space

If you need a bit more space, adding on is a good thought. An extra room or two, or even enlarging a small room makes a huge difference. But first, look around your home for poorly used space. If the kitchen is not big enough, a seldom used breakfast room is the perfect answer. If you never use a dining room, combining it with the living room is a great idea. Remember that in combining rooms, you should first ask what walls are providing structural support to the home. Some walls can easily be removed, while others will take a lot more time and money to remove.

Kitchen and Bathrooms

It is not uncommon for people to hate their kitchen and bathrooms. These rooms are the last ones for remodeling, and they are likely due for an update. Changing the layout of the cabinets or adding a bit of space to one of these rooms usually makes a huge difference. Changing the colors and materials, also, makes a stunning change in these rooms. This is the time for you to choose the features that work well for you. If you only take showers, changing the bathtub to a walk-in shower could make your bathroom more functional and charming. Your kitchen might need a change from a breakfast bar to an island, or a more open layout.

What is it you really don’t like about your home? It is not unlikely that it is something that a remodel could fix. You might really already have your dream home, it just needs a bit of work. At Chicago Renovation & Remodeling, we have a lot of experience in making dreams a reality. Contact us for more information on all your remodeling need

Remodeling For Different Stages in Your Life

As your family grows and changes, so do your needs for space. Some couples or families consider moving in an effort to make their space more conducive for their lifestyle but we’ll give you some ideas for when remodeling is a better option.
  • Addition of a family member. As you add household members to your family, this includes babies and grandparents, so does your need for space. This doesn’t have to mean moving. Think strategically  about the space you need. Is it another bathroom for privacy? If so, remember bathrooms add value to a home so in the long run, you are making an investment. Is it another bedroom or two? Maybe think about going up instead of out. Kids love to have their own space.
  • Empty Nest. Is it feeling like you have too much space? Consider repurposing rooms for better use of space. If your child’s room would make a better hobby room, think about putting in a daybed for when they come home and shelving or cabinetry to the room so you can use it regularly. Maybe you crave a game room, think about putting it in an empty bedroom.
  • Boomerang Kids. If it has just been the two of you for a few years the return of your children with kids of their own can begin to feel cramped. The kitchen is the place where most families feel like there isn’t enough room. Consider a kitchen remodel. Sometimes knocking down a wall or two can create a big, open space for your family to congregate. This is another place where remodeling adds value to your home.

Whatever you decide, remember remodeling not only adds function but value to your home. Contact us for more information about remodeling your home.

If You’re Remodeling Your Kitchen, Start with the Flooring and Floor Plan

If you’re planning on remodeling your kitchen, plan from the bottom up. Whether you want new appliances, a new floor plan, or new cabinets, it all starts with the floor. Here are few considerations to keep in mind before you get started:

Look for durability over style.

Kitchen floors get the most excitement: they face lots of foot traffic, heavy appliances that can shift around a bit over time, heat, and food spills. If you have pets, the kitchen floor will also be exposed to claws, pet hair, and more. So look for nonporous, nonslip, heavy-duty flooring that’s easy to clean and can withstand a lot. Manufacturers of hard, sturdy materials like ceramic know that consumers are looking for the right style for their homes, so they come up with new colors, styles, and acid washes frequently. With that in mind, look for durability first and style second so you find precisely what you need.

Plan any changes before you plan the flooring.

Like with all renovation projects, it’s important to plan before you get started. But that’s even more crucial if you plan on altering the floor plan of your kitchen. If you want to add an island, the type of flooring might be added under it or just around it. The flooring also needs to be planned around your pantry, if you’re rearranging the cabinets to fit in differently-sized appliances, and more. Those changes could impact the overall style, too; if you knock out the wall separating the kitchen and living room for a more open floor plan, the styles will need to integrate and the flooring will, usually, be the same across the space.

For more ideas and ways to plan out your whole kitchen, go to Chicago Renovation & Remodeling.

Aging-In-Place Remodel Considerations

We often talk about retirement ready or age-in-place when it comes to bathrooms, but how about the rest of the house? It is not inconceivable that at some point in time, someone in your home might need a walker or even a wheelchair. While this is not a happy thought, it is something that will be easier if you plan ahead.

Wider Doors and Hallways

At least one exterior door should have no steps. A ramp or lift can take care of this on homes that are higher. You can choose to add this feature in your access from your garage. For interior doors, you need 32 inches for a door with easy access, but you need 36 inches for a door that is a tight turn off of a hallway. While a wider uncluttered hallway is important, it takes 60 inches to comfortably turn a wheelchair and nearly as much for a person supported by a walker. This means that a hallway is usually not a good place for turning around for someone using these devices.

Kitchens

As we get older, standing for long periods gets harder. Consider a sink that is lower and has no cabinet under it for access with a wheelchair or a chair. Split level counter-tops allow for food preparation from a sitting or standing position. The sink and stove are usually not near each other in a regular kitchen. However, if you start having mobility issues, this causes some problems. Pot fillers over the stove might help you fill the pot without moving it, but do nothing for you when it is hot and full. Plan these features closer together when planning an age-in-place remodel.

General Living Spaces

When walking with a walker, you not only need more space for moving around, but walking long distances is more difficult. Plan for leaving space in the middle of the room for moving around, and add features that allow for resting and organization around the edges. Furniture that gives when you lean on it is not helpful. Consider adding more built-in pieces to your home. Benches with storage underneath are great under windows. Bookshelves add organization to nooks and odd spaces, and small cabinets make sturdy side tables.

If you are planning for retirement in your current home, consider some of these changes earlier in life. For help with this and all your renovation and remodeling needs contact us at Chicago Renovation & Remodeling.

Invest in Long-Term Window Treatments with the Right Faux Blinds

There are multiple ways to keep your windows stylish, sunny, and environmentally friendly. Usually, when people are thinking of ways to go green, they think about solar shades and window screens that can cut down their energy usage. But you can also help rebuild the environment when it comes time to replace your window blinds. Faux blinds offer you all of the elegant appearance of wood blinds but with long-lasting materials that are better for the environment.

How are faux blinds environmentally friendly?

  • Faux blinds are long-lasting. Faux wood blinds are made from synthetic material that can better resist damage and moisture than their real wood counterparts. This means that they can last for years longer without replacement and reduce your total impact on your local landfill. Also, because the wood blinds just need water and to be wiped down occasionally, they don’t need any of the cleaning chemicals that wood blinds do in order to maintain their finish.
  • Faux wood blinds reduce the total number of trees being chopped down. Because most faux wood blinds are made from synthetic material or a combination material using leftover wood pieces, faux blinds are much more environmentally friendly than wood blinds that require whole slats. Also, many faux blinds can be made from recycled material or can be wholly recycled blinds, further reducing your environmental footprint. And because faux blinds are so long-lasting, when you want to replace or change the color of your blinds years in the future, you can recycle your blinds in turn.

Anything we can do to minimize landfill use and forest reduction is a great way to help the environment heal. Faux blinds give you all of the benefits of wood blinds but are far more environmentally friendly. If you’d like to learn more about our selection and what options can work well with your office or home, please contact Chicago Renovation & Remodeling here.

How to Make Sure You’re Getting a Good Contractor for Your Room Addition

Building on a room addition is one of the most stressful renovations you can do in your home. Not only will this change the layout of the space, adding square footage to your home involves a lot of particular to make sure the roof and foundation stay strong. Here are three tips for finding the right contractor for the job:
  1. Make sure they’re insured. Some contractors aren’t insured, and this can help them offer you lower rates. But it also leaves you and them on the hook in the event of large-scale damage to your home. It could also mean that the company doesn’t maintain adequate certification for specialty construction work like plumbing, electrical, and roofing. If there’s any hesitation about them providing proof of insurance or signing a standard contract, walk away.
  2. Take the time for a few bids and see if they’re all in the same ballpark. Construction bids are helpful in the same way free estimates for car repairs are: they give you context into what an appropriate price should be before you commit. Talk to a few different contractors (but not too many or you’re wasting your time and their’s) and see what the average price will be; an itemized bid is even better. Having a few alternatives also makes it easy to stay away from the contractor offering a drastically low price.
  3. Ask contractors about room rearrangement as an alternative to a room addition. Picturing the layout of your home as something adjustable is difficult, especially if you’re attached to it. But contractors are often in the business of seeing walls as adjustable and fixtures as less than permanent. Ask them if there’s a way to get your room within the structure’s given square feet and what your options are.

Room additions involve a lot of work, both for you and your contractor. Make sure you get the most out of the job by going to Chicago Renovation & Remodeling for tips and suggestions.

Advantages of a Guest Room Suite Addition

When considering an addition for your home, a room with a bath for your guests probably isn’t your first thought. However, if extended family and friends visit multiple times during the year, having a guest room suite will make their stay easier and less stressful for everyone.

4 Advantages of a Guest Room Suite

1. With a dedicated room for guests, anyone who visits won’t have to sleep on the sofa or a pullout bed in your office. Nor will they have to share a room with one of your kids, which is an inconvenience for your guest and your child. Everyone will be more comfortable when they can enjoy a room that’s all their own.

2. A guest room will also provide a sanctuary where your visitors can go when they want to make a private phone call or just get away from everyone else for a short while. If you include a television in the room, then they can watch the programs they like without interfering with anyone else’s schedule. Also, if they can’t sleep at night, they can watch television or listen to music without bothering anyone else.

3. If you include a full bathroom with the guest room, then everyone in the home can maintain their privacy. Guests will feel free to shower or occupy the bathroom longer without worrying about the family needing to get into the room to use it. Everyone in the family can follow their everyday routine and not get frustrated about not being able to use their bathroom as they normally would.

4. If you have a two-story house, a guest room suite on the ground floor has an added, important advantage for everyone in your family. If someone becomes injured in a way that makes it difficult to get up and down the stairs, then you’ll have a downstairs bedroom and full bath for the person to use until they recover.

For more information about residential additions, please contact us today. We can renovate or remodel any area of your house to give you a comfortable and spacious home that you and your family will love.

5 Tips To A Less Stressful Remodel

We have all heard how nerve-wracking a remodel is, but here are five ways to make that project go a little smoother.

 1. Plan As Much As Possible

Anticipating everything in a remodel is practically impossible but, the more you plan, the easier it will be. Have firm ideas of what you want the final project to look like, and try to remember systems such as electrical and plumbing could be affected by your decisions. Having experts look at your project ahead of time will make these problems less of a surprise.

2.  Communication Is Key

Make sure you have a contractor who will listen to you, and make sure you listen to them! To avoid many problems, have a quick chat every morning to confirm you are all on the same page. It’s also wise to go over each item ordered for your remodel to be certain it is just what you want.

3.  Choose Materials Wisely

A remodeling job is often costly, but you are better off choosing high quality materials. Poor quality cheaply made items will need be replaced much sooner, driving up the cost in the long run. Take the time to read reviews, and choose well-made components that will last.

 4.  Be Realistic

You and your contractor both want to get the job done, but it does take time. With good planning and communication, your project will be finished in the least amount of time, but there are still a few weeks of dust and debris in your future. There will always be delays, but that is part of the process. Try to keep hold-ups at a minimum by being flexible and willing to work with your contractor to solve any problems that might arise.

 5.  Enjoy The Process

We know that sounds hard, but try to see it as a journey. Before you know it, that new kitchen, bath, basement, or addition will be a reality. Take the time to see how each craftsman does his careful work.  You will have a new appreciation for what goes into your home, and a new insight into how your home works.

If you are ready to start your journey, and need a contractor who can make it all happen, contact us at Chicago Renovation and Remodeling.