Basement Remodeling Ideas Empty Nesters

The kids have finally finished college and have moved out.  For years your basement served only your kids or just a place to store boxes and junk. In this video, let’s go over some basement remodeling ideas empty nesters style!

 

Basement Remodeling Ideas Empty Nester

When basement remodeling comes up into a conversation or seen on a TV show, most think of adding on an additional basement bedroom or entertainment area for the kids.  Well, it’s your time now as an empty nester to finally get to use the basement for your hobbies and interests.  Let’s go over a few ideas that you might like:

  1. Wine Cellar
  2. Wine Crafting Area
  3. Beer Crafting Area
  4. Cigar Humidor Area
  5. Wine Tasting – Entertainment Area
  6. Hobbies – Train Table or Sewing Room

Additional Items to Add to Your Basement

If you have committed to putting in a wine cellar or wine crafting and entertainment area, you’ll need to add a few things in the basement to make that all happen.  I’d strongly suggest having a bunch of outlets put into your basement.  Most basements have the bare minimum, but I’m of the school of thought to have as many as you can.  I’d also suggest putting in a small kitchenette.  Not a full-blown kitchen, but at least a kitchen sink, dishwasher, and small mini-fridge in your basement.  Also, don’t forget to add in better lighting.  I’m not suggesting the drop-down ceiling fluorescent lighting, but some upscale lighting from a really good lighting store.  I’m a huge fan of installing LED can lights in your basement ceiling.  These can be dimmed up or down, to fit your entertainment mood too.

Lotz of Logic

My wife and I are super excited to be able to remodel our basement in about 5 years when our youngest moves out.  I know my wife has mentioned she’d love to make our son’s old bedroom into a train hobby room.  And I’d really like to use the old pool table area (which we never used!) and convert that into an entertainment kitchenette area where I can craft some beer and wine.  And then throw some cool craft liquor parties.  Being an empty nester, you might miss your kids, but remodeling your basement into something you’ll enjoy will take away a little bit of that ‘hurt’.  And heck, your grown-up adult children can now come over to have a cigar and glass of wine with you too!  So leave me a comment if you have done some basement remodeling ideas empty nester style!

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on remodeling your basement, give me a call. My team and I have been serving the Plainfield, Naperville, Lisle, Shorewood, Joliet, Oswego, Yorkville, and all of Chicago area for 30+ years.

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Ways to Update Your Kitchen | Remodeling Tips from Pros

Let’s go over 9 ways to update your kitchen without having to do a full-blown remodeling project.  Check out my video below:

 

Ways to Update Your Kitchen – Part 1

So let’s go over a list of items you can change up slowly overtime to make an inexpensive renovation project happen as your budget allows.  And also, check out this blog with a video of a kitchen we remodeled to get some ideas for yourself.

  1. Countertops – If your kitchen cabinets are in good shape, then replacing your existing countertop with granite or quartz is the way to go to give your kitchen an instant facelift.
  2. Sinks, Faucets, & Disposals – If you are replacing your countertops, you should, at this time, also replace your kitchen sink, faucet, and disposal.  Your existing ones would have to be reset anyways at this time.  So you might as well update your sink, faucet, and disposal too.  You won’t regret doing this at the same time.  Be prepared to possibly have to pay an electrician to move or update some electric for that disposal.
  3. Backsplash –  Replacing your kitchen backsplash is a great thing to update every 5-7 years as the trends move forward.  You can take out your old backsplash and have a newer style installed.  This is an instant facelift, too, for your kitchen without having to break the bank.

Ways to Update Your Kitchen – Part 2

  1. Update Cabinets – Instead of replacing your kitchen cabinets in total, which can run anywhere from $8,000 – $15,000+, you can go two inexpensive methods.  If your kitchen cabinets are in decent shape, then replace the hardware.  By kitchen hardware, I’m referring to replacing the knobs and hinges to the cabinets.  It will make a huge difference, with a minimal investment.  If you want to update your cabinets but can’t afford brand new ones, hire a company to refinish the kitchen cabinets. 
  2. Add in Crown Molding or New Trim Work – By adding in crown molding by the ceiling, this will up-level your kitchen to look very elegant.  I’d only suggest this if your cabinets are not that tall.  If you have the newer style of cabinets that reach up closet to the ceiling, then don’t install crown molding as this would be ‘overkill.’  You can also install new trim work and toe kick-board in your kitchen too.
  3. Pantry Upgrade – You can update your kitchen pantry by installing some new shelving and install a new light to see better.

Ways to Update Your Kitchen – Part 3

  1. Update Appliances – This is an instant facelift, too, for your kitchen.  But beware.  Once you install the new appliances, your outdated kitchen will probably show it’s ugly head.  And you’ll want to do more upgrades to your kitchen.  
  2. Change out Kitchen Lighting – Switching out old, outdated lighting, and installing new lights in your kitchen.  You’ll see a huge difference.  Install new pendant lights over your kitchen island.  Try some lighting over your kitchen sink, cabinet overhead or under-cabinet LED light strips, and even lights down by the toe kickboard.  This will be an important update to your kitchen.
  3. Paint Kitchen – This is one of the most inexpensive ways to update your kitchen. And it only takes one day to get done.

Lotz of Logic

The list above looks small, but honestly, these are massive upgrades you can do over a year or three to four years.  And before you know it, you’ll have a brand new kitchen.  Sometimes doing a DIY renovation can be more manageable when doing it in bite-size pieces.  It is more time manageable, helps people on a smaller budget, and is cost-effective.  I hope you can apply some fo the 9 ways to update your kitchen.

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on ways to update your kitchen, give me a call. My team and I have been serving the St. Charles, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, Geneva, Batavia, and all of the Chicago area for 30+ years.

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How Long Does Remodeling Take | Realistic Remodel Schedule

Every contractor will come up with a different remodeling timeline to finish your bathroom remodel or kitchen remodeling project.  And I guess it really does depend upon how your general contractor gets things done.  But let’s examine some selections that will add more time to your remodeling project than you might expect.  Let’s check out how long does remodeling take with a realistic remodel schedule in mind in this video below:

 

How Long Does Remodeling Take

There are a few things you should keep in mind when remodeling that will add time to your remodeling project.  And maybe longer than you expected.  And sometimes you’ll see no activity on your job for a few days while things are drying or being fabricated.  Let’s go over the list:

  • CountertopsGranite or quartz countertops can run anywhere from 5-14 days.  This entails measurement, fabrication, and installation.  This is a custom item and takes time.  This all depends upon the time of year and how busy the countertop installer is.
  • Mirrors – Mirrors can take anywhere from 3-7 days.  Mirrors have to be cut and installed.  If you want to go the extra mile, I’d highly recommend having your mirror framed with the same wood trim as your vanity.  This might add a few more days, but it will be worth it when you see your mirror match your vanity.  
  • Drywall and Staining – If for some reason you need any drywall repair, it will take time to dry and need to be sanded multiple times.  And if you want your mirror trim work to match your vanity, you’ll need to have it stained to match, which will add a bit of time as well.  
  • Shower Doors – These too are a custom item.  And so worth the effort and time versus just having a shower curtain.  The shower door will have to measured, fabricated and installed as well.  But shower doors have come a long way from 10 years ago, and you will be so happy you decided to have it custom made.

Lotz of Logic

Custom selections can add more time than you realize to your bathroom or kitchen remodeling project.  But they are so worth the extra time they require.  If you are going to go through the inconvenience and expense of a remodel, then add in an additional 1-2 weeks to get custom selections to your room such as custom made countertops, mirrors and shower doors.  Ask your contractor for a realistic remodel timeline so you know how long does remodeling take.

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on your remodeling projects, give me a call. My team and I have been serving Downers Grove, Oakbrook Terrace, Elmhurst, Lombard, Carol Stream, Westmont, Willowbrook, Woodridge, and all of the Chicago area for 30+ years.

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Benefits of Buying Local – Secrets of Professional Painters

Do professional painting contractors have a secret to buying the best paint around?  Are there really benefits of buying local?  In this video, I go over why your local painting professional company truly prefers to buy local than shopping at the big box stores.

Benefits of Buying Local

So what are some of the benefits of buying local vs the big box stores?  So many of us now want to just drive to the big box stores like Home Depot or Menards and don’t give our local stores even thought anymore.  But the professional painters, for the most part, are purchasing from their local paint stores. 

In the Chicago area, I typically shop at Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore to buy my paint supplies and paint colors.  So let’s go over some of the benefits of buying local:

  • Local Store Staff are Educated – the local stores tend to educate their staff with training on paint and the related products.  When you shop at the local store, you might get a high school student who has no knowledge about what you need to buy.  The paint staff members are typically attending training sessions.
  • Fine Tuned Knowledge – Since they only are selling paint and paint-related products, they are fine-tuned in their knowledge and have a greater focus because they are dialed into the products in their store.  The staff is also super great about helping pick out paint colors.
  • Latest Products and Updates – When Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore put out a new product, they educate the stores.  The staff knows the benefits of why you should try these latest products.  They also understand the benefits of applying these latest products in or on your home.
  • Faster Service – Because these stores are so small and frequented far less, you tend to have faster service
  • Contractor Referrals – Because this is where the professional shop.  These stores tend to know which contractors to refer you to when you want to hire a contractor for a complicated project.  

Lotz of Logic

I have to admit, I do sometimes shop at the big box stores.  The one thing the big box stores offer is better store hours.  Great for when you need to run out late or super early to get supplies.  But I love the personal relationship I can make with the local paint stores with the staff working there.  They get to know me, my business and my type of customer.  When I have troubles with a product or a weird situation happening at a customer’s home, they help out.  They are well trained and sometimes even are willing to come out to the job site to inspect a problem.  Nowadays, you can’t beat the personal touch you get at a local paint store, such as Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore.  There truly is are benefits of buying local.

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on your painting projects, give me a call.   My team and I have been serving the South Barrington, Barrington, North Barrington, Inverness, Lake Zurich, Schaumburg, Elgin, Long Grove, South Elgin, Palatine, Wayne, Deerfield, and all of Chicago area for 30+ years.

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Why Do I Need to Pressure Wash Aluminum Siding

One of the best things of having an aluminum sided house is the low maintenance.  But that doesn’t mean it is completely zero maintenance. So you might be wondering why do I need to be pressure wash aluminum siding?  Click on the video for the full details:

Why Do I Need to Pressure Wash Aluminum Siding

You should power wash your aluminum siding every year just to keep it clean.  Clean from what?  Mostly bird do-do, spider webs, mold, mildew, and algae.  And check out our other video on how to clean aluminum siding and what product to use on the aluminum siding, check out minute 1:50.  A second reason to power wash your aluminum house siding is to prepare the house for painting and proper adhesion.

Gentle Aluminum Siding Cleaning

Now apply the aluminum siding cleaner wither with a pressure washer chemical injector or a garden sprayer.  Let it set on house and ‘do it’s job’.  Pressure off with no more than 2500 PSI, keeping away from the house 10-12 inches.  Make sure you stay far enough away that you don’t create a pattern.  You might have to clean and rinse it twice, but that’s the best bet. It’s important to pressure wash your house siding properly. 

Preparing Aluminum Siding for Painting

If you are wanting to prepare the aluminum siding for painting, then you’ll need to have a very thorough cleaning.  You’ll need to be more aggressive than your yearly clean and rinse method described above.  You want to get off oxidation (chalkiness), mold, mildew, and algae.  You want to make sure you get off anything that will keep the paint from sticking and have proper adhesion.  

Lotz of Logic

When performing yearly home maintenance by gently washing your aluminum siding, you really get to notice anything going wrong around your home.  You’ll also keep your siding in excellent shape and know when you start to have problems developing around the home such as bug infestation, rotting wood trim, and any window caulking that is starting to dry out.  And if you want to repaint your house siding, just make sure you properly clean the siding so that the paint adheres really well.

Don’t forget if you need an estimate from me to get your aluminum siding pressure washed, give me a call today. My team and I have been serving Downers Grove, Oakbrook Terrace, Elmhurst, Lombard, Carol Stream, Westmont, Willowbrook, Woodridge, and all of the Chicago area for 30+ years.

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Bathroom Remodel Costs Breakdown | Unexpected Budget Crushers

Learn the 8 hidden bathroom remodel costs breakdown when it comes to remodeling your bathroom. You want to be prepared! Together, we go through the costs you should know about before renovating your bathroom.  

 

Bathroom Remodel Costs Breakdown

There are typically 8 bathroom remodel costs breakdown sub-sections that either your sort of overlook or completely don’t think about.  This can crush your budget or make your remodel take a lot more time than anticipated.  So let’s go over some of the items that will totally come up in your bathroom remodel or kitchen renovation project.  And some of these might NEVER come up, but it is good to know that they could, so you aren’t blind-sided.  Here are the most common remodel breakdown costs that you should consider when drawing up a budget.

Waste Removal

Sound silly, but some people don’t think about this until the last minute.  This renovation cost won’t break the bank, but just remember to include dumpster or Bagster fees into your budget.  I always think its better to air on caution and have a dumpster vs a Bagster.  Bagsters hold less, and you might have to get a second Bagster if you have more trash than you think.  By the time you get a second Bagster, it would be the same cost as a dumpster.  

Permits

You might not need a permit.  It really depends upon if you are moving electric, water, or walls.  Check with your local municipalities for their codes.  You don’t want to skimp here at all, because problems will come up when reselling your home down the road.  Also, if you live in an unincorporated part of your city, you’ll have to deal with city permits and local permits (basically, working with two municipalities).

Architectural Drawings

If you are moving walls, you’ll totally have to have an architectural or engineering drawing done to make sure structurally that you can do the project.  Most kitchen or bath cabinet designers will do the drawings for you for simpler projects, but the more complicated ones, you should have an architect involved.  It is also good for resale down the road too.

Vent Pipes

Be prepared that you might have to move some vent pipes for your bathroom exhaust fan if upgrading it.  Sometimes too, in the kitchen, you’ll have to change up the vent pipes for the newer appliances being installed.  This is something overlooked.

Water Supply Valves

Old stops and valves can get corroded over time.  And you might have to replace them.  Also, if you change out a tub to a shower, you’ll have to close up and re-do that plumbing because you are going from two water supplies down to one water supply valve.  Many times when you go from a whirlpool tub set up to a large, walk-in shower (no tub), you’ll need to change out the water supplies.  Check out my video on one of the hottest and trendy bathroom projects homeowners are doing to convert their existing whirlpool tub to a large, walk-in shower with a seated bench.

Bad Electric Behind Walls

Sometimes when a home in originally built, there were different codes in place.  And now there are new codes.  So you might have to deal with updating bad electric behind walls to make sure your job is safe and up to code.  Also, some people hire out contractors that don’t follow code to cut corners and keep costs down.  So you might open up a wall and see some wiring done completely wrong.  And now that you are ‘into the project’, you have to deal with it, right there, right then.

Water Damage Under Tile or Behind Drywall

This happens quite a bit.  If you move out the dishwater or cabinet by a kitchen sink, many times you find water damage that has created wood rot or mold issues in the floorboard.  You’ll have to get that fixed and removed so that when you lay down new flooring, it is not going over rotten, wet wood.  In bathrooms, you can have water damage below tile from poorly drained showers or sinks.  Be prepared, because this comes up quite a bit.  It isn’t a huge increase in cost but can happen.

Changing Up Original Plans

This should be one that you avoid, if possible.  You should have all your original plans in place and not change up anything once you’ve ordered selections and signed contracts with your installers.  This will delay your project, run up costs, and then you might also have to start dealing with local municipalities if you’ve done major changes.

Lotz of Logic

You shouldn’t be afraid to remodel your kitchen or bathroom.  I’m a huge fan of plan your work and work your plan.  If you plan out your bathroom or kitchen remodel ahead of time, you will consider additional costs ahead of time.  This is then when you can work your plan and not have any hiccups and also have a good idea of how long your remodel is going to take.  You’ll be so much happier if you do your due diligence when it comes to a bathroom remodel costs breakdown.

If you liked this post, click here for my post on DIY vs Hiring a Contractor | Can I Remodel My Own Bathroom. 

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on remodeling your bathroom or kitchen, give me a call.  I’d be happy to give you a price on remodeling your bathroom.  So give me a call or watch my video on tips when hiring a contractor. My team and I have been serving the Hinsdale, Oak Brook, LaGrange, Darien, Western Springs, Burr Ridge, Hawthorn Woods, Lake Bluff, and all of Chicago area for 30+ years. Click here to watch a bathroom remodel testimonial video from one of our clients.

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Benefits of Wall to Wall Carpeting

Why should you install carpeting vs hardwood flooring?  Well, there are many reasons why, but let’s go through cost-effectiveness, noise-absorbing, and the fact that it is super comfortable to your feet.  Check out my video below on the benefits of wall to wall carpeting:

 

 

Benefits of Wall to Wall Carpeting

There are several benefits of installing wall to wall carpeting.  So let’s look at them briefly:

  • Cost-Effective – carpeting is way cheaper than installing hardwood floors.  And installation is much quicker than having hardwood flooring put in too.
  • Noise Absorbing – Hardwood floors make your home echo.  If you have kids or pets, you might want to consider installing carpeting.  Carpeting absorbs quite a bit of noise.
  • Comfortable – If you enjoy your feet feeling good after a long, hard day of work, then carpeting is your answer.  It is easy on the feet and much warmer in the winter months to keep your toes and feet warmer.
  • Takes a Beating – Hardwood flooring will show scratches and dents from the kids and dogs.  Carpeting will show dirt, whereas hardwood flooring won’t.  But carpeting can be cleaned, and if cleaned often, it will last longer than hardwood floors.  Hardwood floors, over time, have to be re-sanded and refinished.
  • Great for Children – Kids will eventually trip, fall, or take a tumble.  Having carpeting is a much safer option, I believe than hardwood flooring when raising kids.  

Another great benefit to carpeting is when you have comfortable carpeting on your staircase. You can either do full carpeting on your staircase or do carpet runners. 

Lotz of Logic

I honestly love carpeting over the hardwood flooring.  I love the look of hardwood floors better too.  But I love the feel on my feet and how much they can hide the dirt (if you choose a darker color).  I think when raising a family, carpeting is the way to go.  

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on carpeting installation, give me a call.  I’d be happy to provide you with a price so you can enjoy the many benefits of wall to wall carpeting.  So give me a call. My team and I have been serving Downers Grove, Oakbrook Terrace, Elmhurst, Lombard, Carol Stream, Westmont, Willowbrook, Woodridge, and all of the Chicago area for 30+ years.

Built In Shower Bench and Seats

It’s time to remodel your old and outdated bathroom.  I’ve been to many homes and most complain about their large, whirlpool tub that they never use.  Many of my customers are taking out the old whirlpool tub and having me install a large, walk-in shower.  But since they have a little bit more space to use because they took out the large tub, we are putting in a built-in shower bench and seats.  Check out my video below for my full description and suggestions.

 

What’s Right For You

Not everyone wants a large, built-in shower bench and seats.  I’m a rather large guy and I honestly like more room to move in the shower area.  But last year I broke my ankle, and I really could have used the extra space to feel safer when showering.  Let’s look at your options:

Shower Options:

  1. No bench or seat.  Just a large shower area.
  2. Corner nook ledge for shaving legs.
  3. Fold-away bench mounted on the wall.
  4. Free-standing pedestal base chair
  5. Built-in shower bench and seats

Built-In Shower Bench and Seats

Many homeowners over the age of 55 are wanting to stay in their homes as long as they can.  So putting in a sturdy built-in shower is a great way to age in place.  I typically put in at the same time a few safety bars in the shower area, outside the shower where you have to dry off, and near the toilet.  

Lotz of Logic

Trends are moving to install a built-in shower bench and seats when remodeling.  Especially when you have a whirlpool tub you are tossing out.  It’s a great way to use that extra space you gain.  Secondly, you will totally get more resale value if you need to sell.  The shower bench is a truly functional and useful addition to your bathroom.  Any age can use it:  kids when they break their leg or when someone needs hip or knee replacements.  But my busy professionals really like the shower bench to just be able to sit down and relax after a long, hard day.

Remember, it is important, before you do anything, to make sure you budget properly and are aware of all the remodeling costs.  

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on betting your bathroom remodeled, give me a call.  I’d be happy to give you a price for also putting in a built-in shower bench and seats.  So give me a call. My team and I have been serving Downers Grove, Oakbrook Terrace, Elmhurst, Lombard, Carol Stream, Westmont, Willowbrook, Woodridge, and all of the Chicago area for 30+ years.

Best Types of Kitchen Lighting | Recessed, Pendant, Undercabinet

Kitchen lighting is more important than most realize.  Let’s explore the best types of kitchen lighting so that your kitchen can really “shine” and make a great impression.  Check out my full YouTube video below:

Best Types of Kitchen Lighting

Some of the best types of kitchen lighting comes in three forms:  recessed lighting, pendant lights, and under-cabinet lighting.  Whether you are remodeling your kitchen (great video to watch that show’s our customer, Georgia, her kitchen that has all of these 3 types of lights) or just want to update this area of your home, let’s check these out:

  • Recessed lighting:  Some call these can lights.  They mean the same thing.  Recessed lights come in varying sizes for task lighting or ambient lighting.  In my opinion, this is the most expensive lighting to put in your kitchen, but the best kind.  The reason it’s so expensive is the really the drywall installation, repair/mudding, and painting.  But if you install different sizes, you can really show off your kitchen in ways you won’t appreciate until these lights are installed.
  • Pendant Lighting:  These can be used for either task lighting such as over your kitchen sink for doing dishes or food prep or as ambient lighting over your island for more of a mood effect.  Pendant lights come in such amazing styles now, you will totally be able to show off your kitchen decor and style flare by using these in your kitchen.
  • Under-Cabinet Lighting:  This is another one of my favorite lighting.  I like it for the ambient lighting effect of turning off all lights in the kitchen at nighttime and just having these on.  It makes the kitchen feel so warm and romantic.  But my wife loves it for task lighting in the morning for making coffee.  These add just enough light to make coffee or prepare lunches for the family, without having to turn on the super bright lights before she’s fully awake.

Lotz of Logic

I find that most homeowners want to invest in their kitchens for cabinets and great countertops.  But most don’t allocate enough money for their lighting.  Lighting is such an important aspect to the final look and feel to their kitchen.  If you cannot afford a full kitchen remodel, then I’d highly recommend updating your kitchen lighting.  And go to a really good lighting store.  They have professionals who know lighting design and will help you pick out the right lights to fit your budget and how useful the lights will be for your family.  I highly recommend recessed lighting and under-cabinet lighting.  Those are my favorites.

Don’t forget, if you need an estimate on installing recessed lighting.  I’d be happy to give you a price for the electrical work and drywall repair and painting.  So give me a call. My team and I have been serving the Plainfield, Naperville, Lisle, Shorewood, Joliet, Oswego, Yorkville, and all of Chicago area for 30+ years.

 

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