Month: March 2017

Basement Remodeling: Realizing Your Dream of Added Living Space

More living space is a luxury that many homeowners long for.  A practical and great way to achieve this without having to break down walls and the bank is seeing and using the potential of your basement.  Other than providing for a priced extension to your New York home making up for better everyday life and enjoyment for the household, it can also be your ticket to added home value.  If done right, a good amount of your investment can be recouped.  Here are crucial basement remodeling tips to realize your dream of an appealing and functional living space ideal whether you are in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island or Long Island.

Evaluate and Correct

Being partially or entirely underground and not having been originally constructed to serve as a living space, there are essential issues that should be attended to first to maximize comfort and functionality in your basement remodeling finish.  A thorough evaluation is crucial to know the extent of problems and what methods of repair should be undertaken.

Waterproofing. Moisture and water problems are common in basements.  There are obvious signs of such problems such as flooding but there are also those that are unnoticeable until you take a long, hard look.  Here are additional signs that you should be wary about:

    • Dry rot on wood and rust on metal
    • Damp spots
    • Water marks
    • Mold and mildew
    • Peeling paint
    • White chalky stains on walls

Different waterproofing methods apply for specific issues and these can range from simply coating concrete sealers, rerouting gutters and downspouts, to using sump pumps for excessive entry of water.

Foundation and Soil Condition. Securing that your foundation and soil are sound and in good condition will rule out chances of unexpected damages and repairs that might waste basement remodeling efforts and budget.  Some of the most common soil and foundation issues include:

  • Uneven settlement
  • Warped foundation walls
  • Cracks in walls, footings or slabs
  • Unpleasant odors or poor indoor air quality (IAQ) in general
  • Pest infestation
  • Radon infiltration
  • Crumbling concrete or mortar

Insulation and Ventilation.  Basements are generally constructed in concrete slabs which are among the greatest sources of moisture.  To prevent problems with moisture, proper insulation and ventilation should be ensured.

Basement Finish

There are many valuable resources that you can brose through for basement remodeling ideas.  But when thinking out what finish to aspire, you have to consider the needs and lifestyle of the family to land with a practical and often used extension of your home’s living space.  One tip would be taking advantage of the ready access to plumbing which makes an added kitchenette or bathroom ideal.

Basement Remodeling Plan

Working on recreating your basement into added living space is not your average renovation job.  Basement remodeling poses a lot more challenges.  So if you are not confident that you can handle the work efficiently, then one excellent step to add into your plan is finding and hiring a qualified contractor to give the most value for your … Read More

A Tale Of Home Improvement

A Tale Of Home Improvement

Once upon time, in a quiet village, stood a small bungalow, which suffered from neglect because its owners didn’t have any money to maintain it properly. A sign "for sale" had been standing in the front garden for a very long time, but nobody was interested since the bungalow was of very modern design, which was a sharp contrast to the rest of the historic village. Day after day the wood rotted away and nature slowly took over the garden, until only a complete make-over could help the bungalow to survive…

Posted by Flitshans on 2013-05-04 19:33:10

Tagged: , Home Improvement , bungalow … Read More

The Importance of Kitchen Design

Professional and competent kitchen design services are carried out by architects, interior designers, and/or efficient installers. Or, if you are design savvy, you yourself can design the look and layout of your kitchen.

Results of a survey conducted by Kitchen and Bath Business Magazine in 2010 showed that 16% of the people surveyed had already renovated their kitchen in the previous financial year, while 22% understood the importance of kitchen design services and showed interest, but were undecided due to the lack of enough funds.

The Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report for the year 2011-2012 shows that for middle-range budgets, a major remodeling of a standard 200 sq ft of kitchen space can cost up to $57,494; whereas, a minor remodeling would cost up to $19,588. For upscale remodelers, the costs could go up to $110,938 for a major remodel.

When you decide to invest such an amount of money in your kitchen renovation, the importance of procuring the most appropriate kitchen design services cannot be overlooked. Hence, invest in kitchen design to make sure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

Unique space should be assigned to different kinds of utensils, containers and chinaware, in accordance with their usage and order of importance, so that they don’t create one big mess. Design your kitchen so that you can avoid bending over, stooping or running into appliances during your day-to-day activities. Drawers and cabinets should not clash with each other or with other equipment like the oven-door when you open them. Also, the design and appearance of the floor, walls, ceiling, countertops, and the cabinetry should go hand-in-glove while suiting your taste and budget. Invest in an efficient designer and a meticulous installer to see astonishing results and a trouble-free time in the kitchen.

Anyone can design a kitchen layout, putting all the appliances, cabinets, and countertops in the right places. However, you may run into some trouble in you are planning to turn two rooms into one kitchen, for example. In such cases, a professional can help you make the most of your space, taking into account your existing windows and walls. In most cases, all you have to do is look for inspiration from online pictures on home and garden sites. The general style of your kitchen is going to be determined by the materials you buy: flooring, cabinets, countertops, and appliances.… Read More

Renovation Contractor Hiring Tips

Renovation is the process of improving a structure. Two prominent types of renovations are commercial and residential. Before embarking on any renovation, it is good to look at some renovation contractor hiring tips to not only avoid con artists but also get the best contractors. Renovations can involve home modifications like stair glides, handicap modifications for disabled people, basement remodeling and renovation or business premises modifications like office space renovation. Whether one is a professional do-it-by-yourself genius or a homeowner, there comes a time when one needs some professional home building or renovating. The renovations may range from simple home modifications like bathroom renovations and remodeling to complex ones like porch lifts and elevators.

Depending on the complexity of the project at hand, the contractor chosen will be spending some time in or around the renovation premises for familiarization. Preferably the contactor should be local, since they understand the law governing the area on buildings and renovations. For instance for a person living in Toronto, it is advisable to find a Toronto home renovations company for building or renovating purposes. When looking for a renovation contractor to do some building renovations, beware of owner-contactor matchmaking services that advertise the contractor members having been pre-screened, verified or certified with valid licenses. They can be misleading to the owner who can be allured by the false sense of security. One should know for instance, the difference between a certified and a registered contractor.

A registered contractor is registered with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation after accomplishing several competency requirements in some jurisdictions, thus can only work within the certified jurisdiction. When hiring contractors for building or renovating, one is encouraged to check the validity of their insurance, licenses, bonding and other essential credentials. Check out the references provided and enquire on recently accomplished tasks similar to the one at hand. This will give an impression of how the work might be once completed. Get the names of previous clients of the contractor in question contact them for information. It is wise to ask several questions before settling for one. Some of the facts to consider are whether the contractor is open to communication during the whole duration of the project and if the contractor can keep the owner informed on the project’s progress. Others include whether the workers will work promptly and if they clean up the site after each day’s job.

It is also wise to consider if the project will be completed on time and if there will be any unnecessary delays. It is advisable to look for recommendations from previous satisfied customers as well. If possible, one should visit the contractor’s former project to see the way building or renovating work was carried out. In Toronto, Ontario, Mississauga and other parts of Canada, numerous contractor companies perform a wide range of additions and renovations. Generally Toronto home renovations involve painting, cleaning, roofing among a host of other building renovations. There are also Toronto renovation internet sites that … Read More

How to Do Simple Kitchen Improvements

One of the more popular renovations to the home is Kitchen Improvements. People often like to revamp their kitchens. It is always a good idea to seek expert advice in order to get this kind of job done.

There is a variety of ways in which to get ideas about how to get this done. Look at people's kitchens when you visit them, browse the Internet, buy magazines and there will be a wealth of ideas from which you can make decisions about revamping this room. Even chatting to the DIY and kitchen supply stores will give you a lot to think about.

You need to do some sums before embarking on this. You will want to work out fairly how much you need to do the job you want. There is nothing worse than running out of money half or three quarters of the way through the job. Once you have arrived at a figure then cut that by about ten percent, this way you are sure to keep within budget.

Once the budget has been sorted out, then put pen to paper and design what you want this room to look like. You could even build a small model of what you want it to look like.

The cabinets will need the most consideration, as this is probably the most costly item in renovations of this nature. If you do not have a lot of money to spend then refinishing them might be an option to consider.

Appliances for the kitchen are also very important. Functionality and style are considerations to be made. The appliances should not only look good in the kitchen, they also need to be functional and practical. Kitchen Improvements can be exciting, however you need to do your homework and ensure all your sums are correct. … Read More

Renovations Gone Bad!

It was not all that long ago that I just finished a bathroom renovation that had gone bad from the very start.

These very nice people had there basement finished by a couple of friends that used to work for GM. OK it was cheaper but what a mess!

They stopped them before they finished the bathroom, that was the best thing they ever did.

When I went to to there home in Thorold Ontario I started to poke around. They said they stopped them before they went any farther because we thought they did not know what they where doing.

They mentioned that they had put drywall up and they did not even realize where the shut off valves were. I started to take the drywall down.

Let me start by say WOW!

After removing just a couple of sheets I noticed that the bathroom was framed with that new aluminum framing. OK that is not that bad but, I always use wood for framing, especially in bathrooms.

They ran all the wires through the framing without using any grommets. They also had copper pipe running through the framing just with a little duct tape around them no grommets either.

You could see the metal was already cutting through the wires and the copper. You might say this would have been a problem in the future!

Let me start by giving you an example of what could have happened. Sean the home owner or his wife might have went and took a nice long shower. The wires that had no grommets makes a connection making the whole bathroom become live.

Then you have a copper pipe start to leak Now you got electricity and water making a connection. What do you think would happen to the person in the standing shower. Instant ground dead by electrocution.

Good thing these people decided to give me a call. They already wasted enough money so I had them buy all the materials and I just charged them the Labor of around $4,000.

The rest of the bathroom was just as bad, 0% of the insulation was installed, all the copper pipes were on the outside walls. Not to mention they where running in from of 2 vents to the outside that where not even sealed.

No insulation in the headers. The upstairs window was leaking through the wall down the side right behind the drywall they already installed.

This might be starting to sound like a little to much but it is all true. I have witnessed many times people trying get there renovations cheaper ending up only paying more in the long run.

Maybe people that wish a cheaper renovation should just call me first or visit my website at We do travel and we also just do labour jobs!

If you feel your renovation job has gone bad or you did not get what you payed for I would be more than willing to help.

I do jobs like … Read More