How to Hire a Winning NJ Home Remodeling Team

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Hiring a winning home remodeling team can be tricky, but there are steps a homeowner can take to ensure that the NJ home remodeling contractor is a good fit for your project and has all of the skills needed to produce an excellent end result. These easy steps can be the difference between endless headaches or total confidence.
Trade Mark Design & Build

Review Home Remodeling Contractors

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a good NJ home remodeling contractor. Ask your neighbors, friends and family about good experiences they have had with qualified professionals. Be specific when discussing a contractor. Ask them how the contractor handled problems, exactly what made it a positive experience, and if they would use that contractor again.

Take advantage of today’s technology when searching for a good contractor. Check out their social profiles online as well as their reviews from previous clients. Browse their portfolios of past projects, and don’t be afraid to visit the project location to see the finished product.

Look at the Home Remodeling Contractors Credentials

Do some research on any home remodeling contractors that appear to be good candidates. Visit the contractor’s website and make a few phone calls if necessary. Make sure they have all of the required licenses from the state and the local municipalities. You can also look for recognition from professional associations such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, the National Kitchen and Bath Association, or the National Association of Home Builders. Be aware, though, that not every certification is equal. Do your research to see what is required for these honors.

Ask How the Project will be Managed

Narrow down your options by asking perspective contractors what systems are in place to manage the details of a remodeling project. Once you have your candidates narrowed down to the top three, interview each one. How a contractor chooses to answer your questions is very important to finding the right one for your needs. Pay attention to how they communicate as well. Communication is a two way street, and you want your remodeling contractor to feel free to ask you enough questions to complete the job to your expectations.

Check The Home Remodeling Contractors References

Don’t be afraid to ask a potential contractor to see some of their past work. A remodeling company that stands behind their work won’t hesitate in showing you their finished work. Ask for references too, and call these customers to check up on the contractors work. Ask how they did when it came to executing the work they were hired to do. Ask if they were pleased with the finished project, and if they did have any issues, did the contractor resolve them to their satisfaction.

You can also ask about their budget. Was the contractor willing to work with the amount they wanted to invest in the remodeling project, and did they stick to the budget along the way to completing the work. Most importantly, were they pleased with the final outcome, and is there anything that they wish could have been handled differently.

Listen to Your “Gut”

Your instincts and intuition should not be ignored during your search for a winning home remodeling contractor. Listen to that “gut” feeling you get when interviewing possible renovation contractors. If there is anything that just doesn’t feel quite right, rethink your decision of considering them to complete your remodeling project. You will be investing a lot of time and money into your home’s renovation. You will want a contractor that you feel comfortable talking to, even when your opinions may differ. You will know when you find a contractor that fits with your needs because it will feel natural to have a conversation, and you won’t be afraid to ask them questions.

Following these simple steps will help you hire a winning team. You will go into your remodeling project with the confidence that the project will be handled professionally with the finished results you are dreaming of.

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Tips for Selling Your Parent’s Home

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At some point in time, you will be faced with the challenge of selling your parent’s home. There are several reasons why a child may need to put their mom and dad’s house on the market. The parents may need to move into a single floor home due to health conditions, they might be staying with a relative who will care for them, or they could have passed away. Regardless of the reason for selling, you will want to make the process as quick and easy as possible so that everyone involved can move on.
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What Buyers are Looking For

When it comes to selling your parent’s home, you need to think about what potential buyers are looking for. Adding a home addition, or remodeling specific rooms in the house, can increase the value of the property and make the home more appealing. Most new home buyers are looking for a house that they can move into without worrying about having to start renovation projects or finish up the previous owners remodeling jobs. Taking care of these necessities before putting the property on the market will add value to the bottom line and create a positive impact on the ease of selling.

Where to Begin

If you are considering ways to increase the value of your parents home, a NJ kitchen remodeling project is a great place to begin. A newly renovated kitchen will make the home easier to sell as new home buyers consider this to be one of the most important spaces within the house. It is where they will prepare meals, enjoy dinners together, and entertain family and friends. This room truly is the heart of the home.

Just about every kitchen remodel will increase the value of a home. You can talk to a home remodeling contractor about what areas will best increase the bottom line when it comes time to sell. They understand that home buyers are more willing to pay a higher price when the purchase includes high-end finishes and modern upgrades. A recent survey done by Realtor Magazine showed that 69% of new home buyers said they would have gladly paid more for a house if it had new, modern appliances. The study also found that 55% were agreeable to a higher price when the kitchen included granite counter tops.

Studies such as these are a wonderful way to see what buyers are looking for in a home. Investing in a remodeling project such as a kitchen renovation will help your parent’s house get noticed, but you want to make sure that you will be able to recoup a large portion of the money you spend.

What Type of Return can You Expect?

The amount you can recoup from your investment in a remodeling project will depend on several items. How much you spend and the exact type of renovation work you choose will both be major factors in the final figures. You can expect approximately a 54% return on an upscale remodel according to the national average.

This increases to 81% for smaller remodels. It sounds odd, but taking on even a small project like a bathroom remodeling job can make a large impact on the value of your parent’s home. A bathroom with modern features such as a walk-in shower or sunken tub will make the home more appealing to buyers. Consider working extra storage space into the design as well as double sinks for an even bigger return on your investment.

Use these figures as an estimate of what to expect rather then an accurate rate. Many factors influence the actual amount you can get when selling the home. For example, where it is located will make a difference. The rate of return may rise as high as 93% if you are selling a home in the Pacific area while it will hover around 68% in the Midwest. The housing market is constantly changing as well. Discuss these factors with your NJ kitchen designer before agreeing on a final plan.

Regardless of why you need to sell your parent’s home, a remodeling project is a great way to increase your bottom line. Even the smallest of renovations will increase the home’s value and make it more appealing to potential buyers. Creating a positive impact on the ease of selling their home while getting a larger offer will make the entire experience better for you and your parents.

Energy Saving Tips for the Winter

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As the winter months approach, it is important to get your home ready for the colder days ahead. You will want your house to be comfortable while saving energy. This will help keep your monthly utility bills low. Use the following tips to get your home winter ready in the most efficient ways possible.

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Taking Care of Drafty Windows

Older windows allow hot air to escape as well as let the cold air inside. You can fight drafty windows by covering them with plastic. Use a clear, heavy duty plastic sheet attached to a frame that you can affix over the entire window. Or you can apply plastic sheeting directly to the window. As long as it is tightly sealed, it will reduce drafts.

The best option would be to install new, energy efficient windows during your NJ home remodeling projects. Modern double, or even triple pane, windows provide an effective barrier between the interior of your home and the frigid air outside.

Whether your windows are new or not, there are certain types of window treatments that will keep your home warmer. Look for insulated drapes that can be closed during the night. There are also many varieties of window shades that will add an additional layer of protection to the glass.

 

Adjust the Thermostat

Set your thermostat as low as you can while still feeling comfortable during the day. During the night when you are sleeping, you can turn the thermostat down by 10° to 15°F. Adjusting it to a lower temperature for eight hours a day can save you roughly 10% per year on your heating bill. Talk to your home remodeling contractor about installing a programmable or smart thermostat that will make it easier to turn down the temperature each evening.

 

Seal all Leaks

Look for leaks that air can escape through while winterizing your home. Places such as around plumbing pipes, recessed lighting, and chimneys often have small gaps that you can seal off in order to keep your home better insulated. Check around doors and windows as well. Use caulk or weather stripping to fill in any cracks that might allow the cold air to come in. Don’t forget about any unfinished spaces behind closets and cupboards. You will want to have these areas insulated and finished off properly.

 

Heating System Maintenance

Schedule a routine maintenance visit from your heating and cooling system expert. They can inspect your heating unit to make sure it is functioning properly. You may also need to replace furnace filters monthly throughout the colder seasons. If you use a pellet or wood burning heater, clean out the flue vent regularly, and make sure the appliance is thoroughly cleaned periodically to ensure efficiency.

 

Reducing Heat Loss When Using a Fireplace

If you are not using the fireplace, make sure the damper is closed. Leaving it open is the same as having a window open. When the fireplace is in use, open any dampers found in the bottom of the firebox or open a nearby window by about one inch. Close any doors opening into this area, and drop the thermostat to between 50° and 55°. Some people don’t actually use the fireplace for heat but love the look of it. In these circumstances, you can have the chimney flue plugged and sealed to prevent heat loss.

 

Lower Water Heating Costs

You can turn your water heater down to the warm setting. This is usually 120°F. It will cost less to keep the water warm, and it will prevent scalding from water that is too hot. If this setting isn’t warm enough to meet your family’s needs, slowly turn it up a little at a time until you find a setting that is ideal. Another great energy efficient option is to install an on demand water heater. This unit will only heat the water you use as you need it. You won’t be paying to keep a full tank of water hot 24 hours a day.

 

Allow the Sunshine In

While heavy drapes and window blinds are excellent when it comes to keeping the cold air out, you don’t want to miss out on the free heat that the sun provides. Get in the habit of opening all window coverings on any of your south facing windows each morning. The sun that shines in will add heat naturally to your home. Close them again before the sun sets to trap the free heat inside.

 

Reverse the Ceiling Fans

Those beautiful ceiling fans that you had installed will keep rooms cool in the summer months, but they can also help warm your home’s interior during the winter time. Simply reverse the spin of the blades. When the fan runs in a clockwise direction, it will push the warm air back down into the room. This will also keep pockets of cool air from settling in the corners of a room.

Hawthorne Kitchen Cabinets

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Hawthorne Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to a kitchen remodeling project, you need a professional kitchen designer from a design & build company to help you make all of the important decisions. Their job is to guide you, the homeowner, through the entire process so that the end result is a beautiful, livable space that meets your functional, aesthetic, and economical goals. They will make sure all of your selections will coordinate perfectly into the kitchen style and design you have requested.

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The Conceptual Design

Your kitchen renovation begins with a conceptual design. A Trade Mark Design & Build Representative will first come to your home for a complimentary field visit. During this visit you can discuss the project. Describe exactly what you expect from the remodel and let the designer know your personal preferences as well as what styles you find the most appealing. Your designer will let you know what it will require to achieve your dream kitchen.

After this visit, drawings will be created based on your requirements as well as a proposed budget. Both the design plans and the estimated budget will be discussed with you and any necessary adjustments will be made to ensure that the finished project meets with your approval. A good design and build company professional will work with you until everyone is in agreement on the plans before any actual work begins.

Hands on Material Selection

A professional designer will work with you to choose your NJ kitchen cabinets, countertops, plumbing fixtures, tile, and other important elements of your remodeling project. These decisions can feel overwhelming to a homeowner. Walking into a retail space, shopping online, or looking through samples can leave you more confused than when you first started. For example, the cabinets are your kitchen’s furniture. A renovation expert from a design & build company will help you find ones that reflect your personal style while meeting all of your needs. They will guide you through he entire process.

Cabinets are basically a box with drawers and shelves for storing items you need, but if they don’t suit your new kitchen or function properly for your individual needs, you won’t be happy. You have two options when it comes to cabinetry. A NJ kitchen cabinet designer can custom make the cupboards and drawers so that they fit your space perfectly or you can choose stock cabinetry and work around these existing pieces in order to achieve you goals. Your renovation designer will help you decide which option will best suit your style and the budget for your remodel.

Design Revisions

The last step in your renovation project before the actual work begins will be to make any necessary revisions that will incorporate all of your selections into one beautiful design. As the homeowner, you can rest assured that the selections you have made will all coordinate beautifully as well as function properly.

Your design and build company representative will make sure this happens by coordinating key elements so that the overall design has a nice flow. The fixtures, faucets, lighting, cabinet hardware, and any metal finish appliances need to not only look great on their own, but they need to compliment each other.

You won’t get this attention to detail with a general contractor. General contractors basically say ”I need X, Y, and Z by such and such date.” This is a horrible way to work, and the end result is never cohesive. Unfortunately, the cost is pretty much the same.

If you are looking for a hassle-free kitchen renovation, a design & build company is your best option. Their design team will walk you through each step of the designing stage. They will help you make important decisions, and they will ensure that your finished kitchen is both functional and beautiful with Hawthorne kitchen cabinets, countertops, and fixtures that work together in a cohesive fashion.