Custom Woodworking In Home Remodeling Projects

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Custom Woodworking

Custom woodwork mouldings or cabinetry can transform any room in your home. This cost-effective decorative touch will instantly add interest to the space without having to change the basic architectural elements of the home. Imagine being able to create a beautiful area you will love and enjoy by simply utilizing decorative mouldings into your next NJ home remodeling project.
custom cabinets in woodworking

Custom Woodworking Applications

Custom woodwork comes in many forms. You can use one of them, or a combination of them all, to make a statement in any room. Don’t feel like you have to stick with traditional placements. For example, wainscoting can be just as wonderful in a bedroom as it is in a formal dining room. The following are a few of the top custom pieces that are available.

Cabinets and Built-Ins

Custom cabinets and built-ins are storage spaces designed to fit a specific room. There is no wasted space with this option as they are created to perfectly fit your kitchen or bathroom’s individual measurements. They can be mounted to the ceiling or floor, and each cabinet is built to last with high-quality materials. You will discover that there are several types of wood to choose from as well as paint and stain options.

Mouldings

Custom wood mouldings include baseboards and crown moulding. Crown moulding is placed at the top of the walls up against the ceiling, and they are ideal for finishing off the room beautifully. Baseboards are found at the bottom of the wall near the floor. They are excellent when it comes to hiding any rough edges on the flooring material.

Wainscoting Panels

Wainscoting panels were originally used to protect walls and keep moisture at bay, but in today’s modern homes, it has become simply a decorative touch. Wainscoting is usually between three and five feet high. When deciding on the height, consider the height of the ceilings. Taller wainscoting tends to make a ceiling look lower. There are five types of wainscoting to pick from.

  • Raised Panel
  • Flat Panel
  • Beadboard
  • Overlay
  • Board and Batten

Ceiling Treatments

Decorative wood ceiling accents can make any ceiling look attractive. Circular detail pieces can be placed around lighting fixtures to help draw the eye to a chandelier or hanging lamp. Trim pieces can be used to create a border around the entire room to add interest. It can be straight pieces or made with scrollwork designs. Trim pieces are also used to give the illusion of several individual panels. Any of these ceiling treatments can be combined with crown mouldings for an elegantly finished style.

Cost Effective

When installed properly and professionally painted or stained, custom wood mouldings and accents are a very cost-effective addition to your remodeling project. The beautiful look they provide will increase the value of the home without requiring a large investment. They turn a plain room into an elegant masterpiece instantly. You will end up with the same results as an expensive architectural re-design without completely changing the house.

These mouldings and cabinets can also be used to hide flaws on walls or ceilings. Baseboards and crown mouldings cover raw edges around floors and ceilings while wainscoting can cover dents, scratches, and other damage found on the walls. On the flip side, these same custom wood pieces can help protect the walls from abrasions, furniture, and daily wear and tear.

Where to Find Custom Woodworkers

When you begin to ask yourself about finding custom woodworking near me, you can discuss with your contractor and interior designer ways in which to find the best ones. They will know where to direct you so that you will have beautiful custom woodwork that you will love for years to come.

You can also do some research on your own. Do an online search for woodworkers near me. This will give you an excellent place to get started. Be sure to read the online reviews to get an idea of the type of work they provide, and never underestimate the power of word of mouth. Ask friends, family, and neighbors which woodworkers they have used for their remodeling projects. This often leads to some of the best ones available.

Before you begin your next home remodeling project, consider using custom woodworking to create a beautiful space at a minimal cost. Whether you choose mouldings, cabinets, wainscoting panels, ceiling treatments, or any combination of these custom features, you will be instantly adding style to your home while increasing it’s value in one simple step.

11 Makeover Tips to Make Your Home Sparkle This Spring

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Spring is a season of renewal, and after the long winter months spent indoors, you are ready to give your home a much need sprucing up. If a complete NJ home remodeling project doesn’t fit your budget or schedule at the moment, don’t worry. There are several smaller renovations you can do that will give your home a sparkling new look and feel this spring.
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An Accent Wall

You can create an accent wall in any room of your home in order to give the entire space a fresh new look. This can be done by painting one wall in a different color or by adding texture. Depending on which wall you choose, it can create a very dramatic appearance or it can simply make a room look larger.

The first thing you need to do is choose the room and the wall to change. A living area can actually look longer if you choose a narrow wall at the end of the room. In a bedroom you can pick the wall behind the bed. Painting is the least expensive option, but adding texture with stone, brick, or wood panels can be amazing.

Upgrade the Fireplace

The fireplace is an attractive centerpiece in any room, but the same old look can grow tiring after many years. A new mantle is a quick and easy way to provide your fireplace with a spring makeover. There are many businesses that manufacture pre-made mantles that can be installed or you can hire a craftsman to custom make a new one.

A simpler project would be to change the fireplace surround or screen. The face of the fireplace can be resurfaced with stone, brick, or carved wood. There are even specially made paints for masonry work that you could use to change the overall color of the existing brick. A new screen that compliments the feel of the room will be the perfect finishing touch.

A Screen Door

The front door is the main focal point when it comes to the exterior of your home. It should draw attention without looking out of place, and it needs to welcome family and friends inside. Even the most beautiful front door can look less than attractive when it is hiding behind an old storm door. You can replace a tired screen door with a full view glass screen door. If you haven’t shopped for a screen door in quite a while, you will be surprised at all of the options that are available. Special features like a screen that rolls up into the door add convenience and allow you to open the front door to let in natural light on warm days.

Refinish Hardwood Floors

Over time, a hardwood floor can begin to look dull and lifeless. Once the surface is scratched and the top layer of finish wears down, you are left with a floor that is far from attractive. A scruffy floor can actually make the entire room look less appealing. Fortunately, you can have them refinished in order to bring back that brand new look and feel.

Your contractor can help you locate the right people for the project. These flooring experts will come in and buff out all of the scratches and reapply several coats of polyurethane to protect the surface. If your floor has suffered more than just the typical wear and tear, they may need to completely sand the surface down to the natural wood.

Add Beauty to the Foundation

Curb appeal is important. It increases the value of the house. Most homeowners take the time to do necessary repairs when doing a spring makeover, but the foundation is often forgotten. If your foundation is the typical cement blocks that many homes are resting upon, there are ways to give it an elevated look. By adding cultured stone to the foundation walls, you are creating a beautiful base that makes the entire house look better. You can choose from simple brick patterns to textured natural stone finishes. Depending on the stone you choose, you can create a sleek and modern look as well as a country cottage style.

Architectural Mouldings

Architectural mouldings can be the finishing touch you need. These trim pieces add a look of elegance that is otherwise missing while giving your room a fished appearance with nice clean lines. For example, place a chair rail around the entire room and add wainscot panels underneath for a look that can be formal or casual depending on the colors and style you choose. Crown moulding placed along the top of the walls will add visual interest to the space. These details can be used in any room in your house. They add charm to the bedroom and are perfect in a bathroom. When architectural mouldings are used in the kitchen, they tend to soften the look of so many hard surfaces.

A New Bath Vanity

It is hard to spruce up a bathroom without doing a complete renovation, but sometimes a simple change makes a huge difference. The sink, surrounding countertop, and underneath cabinetry is the focal point of this room. Replacing them can completely change the space, making you feel like it was remodeled.

Do you have a pedestal sink that leaves you with no storage or counter space? You can have a small vanity installed that won’t take up more space but will provide you with some hidden storage underneath as well as a small counter that frames the sink itself. When space is at a minimum, consider a vanity that is the same size as what you already have but includes shelves and drawers for better organization.

Kitchen Cabinetry

The kitchen cabinetry often over powers everything else in this room. It is important that it looks fresh and updated. If your drawers and cupboards are scratched, worn, or outdated, consider having them replaced. Modern designs allow you to go beyond the traditional wood tones with painted surfaces that are easy to clean. You can combine two colors for a more interesting look, or simply stick with a monochromatic design.

How you use these colors and wood tones will completely change the look and feel of your kitchen. Use darker colors or wood tones to create a cozy, warm environment. The modern bright whites that are being used in the latest farmhouse styles will open up smaller spaces without having to take down walls.

A Porch Makeover

Completely renovating the front porch would be amazing, but it isn’t always necessary. You can give the exterior of your home a much needed boost by simply upgrading a few of the features found on the front porch. Tackle this project by thinking of the porch as another room in your home. Start at the top, and work your way down. Sanding and painting the ceiling immediately updates this area. Add interest to the walls with a fresh coat of paint or have a stone wall installed. Refinish the floor with the same care as you would inside. Masonry paints can be used on concrete while garage and porch floor paint can quickly upgrade a worn wood surface. Finish the transformation by adding little details like a new railing, flower boxes, or built-in seating.

New Shutters

Your home may have shutters that are faded and look outdated. You could even be living in a house that never had shutters in the first place. Having new shutters installed along the sides of each window are an easy and affordable way to give the front of the house a makeover. Just like you would hang curtains or drapes up around the interior of the windows, shutters give the exterior of the window a finished look. Once you begin discussing your options with your contractor, you will discover plenty to choose from. Vinyl shutters eliminate the need to re-paint each year and are lightweight. They come in traditional louvered designs as well as rustic country styles that are less formal. Choose a color that coordinates with the existing trim work you already have on the house.

Elevated Lighting

Sometimes it isn’t the décor or the architecture in a home that needs sprucing up. It could be a matter of lighting. If the rooms in your home don’t have adequate lighting, they won’t be beautiful or functional. There are three types of lighting you need in every part of your home. This includes task lighting, general lighting, and accent lighting. General lighting would be the main ceiling light. It illuminates the space. Task lighting allows you to use the room for its intended purpose. For example, under cabinet lighting in the kitchen, vanity lights in the bathroom, or table lamps in the bedroom and living area. Finish with accent lighting over wall art, in curio cupboards, and in dark corners.

Contact us today to get started!  973-636-0100

Walk In Closet Ideas

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A walk-in closet is the dream of many homeowners. Who wouldn’t want a spacious area where they can easily keep all of their clothes and accessories in a neat and organized fashion? Many people never indulge in this dream because they assume they don’t have the room for such luxuries, but the truth is, today’s custom walk-in closet designs allow homeowners to create a wonderfully organized and spacious closet in small spaces as well as large. In fact, walk-in closets are no longer restricted to just the bedrooms. These closets are showing up throughout the house, and investing in the construction of a new custom closet can increase the value of your home as well as add some much-needed storage space.walk in closet ideas

Walk In Closet Ideas

The traditional walk-in closet is designed for the master bedroom. It is large and spacious with plenty of organizational closet systems in place to keep clothing and accessories neat and tidy. The main benefit of these closets is to have everything you need right at your fingertips. You can quickly see exactly what you have available to wear as soon as you walk in. Many are large enough that you can even get dressed in them, but the modern homeowner is thinking outside of the box and having custom designed walk-in closets installed throughout the home.

Smaller walk in closet ideas are now being used in the main living area near the front door. These closets are beginning to be listed as an attractive feature in homes that are for sale. The idea behind a closet in this location is to accommodate not only you and your family’s coats, shoes, and other outerwear, but it makes the perfect place for guests to put their belongings as well. No longer do you have to ask for everyone’s coats and place them on your bed.

The Walk-in closet is even being added to the bathroom area. A big problem for many homeowners is a lack of storage space for toiletries and linens. Walk-in closet ideas for this important space include multiple shelves for towels, toilet paper, and tissue. Drawers and closed cabinetry can hide personal items, and wire baskets work well for bar soaps, shampoos, and other smaller items.

In the kitchen, walk-in closets are being designed as a pantry. This allows the home cook to keep all of their foods, spices, and ingredients well organized. Plenty of shelves are incorporated into the design in varying heights to accommodate everything from canned goods to tall boxes of cereal. Drawers can hold silverware and utensils along with spices. Wire baskets can be worked into the design plan too. These come in handy for potatoes, onions and other produce.

Large laundry rooms can also benefit from a walk-in closet for storing detergents, fabric softeners, drier sheets, and other supplies. Racks, hooks, and garment bars are used to hold wet clothes that cannot be placed in the drier along with clothing that is laundered and ready to be put away. Some homeowners are simply turning the laundry room itself into a closet with the washer and drier located on the far wall and shelving, racks, and wire bins lining the walls on each side leading up to the appliances.

jenn air built in refrigerator

Walk In Closet Organization Ideas

There are several organizational pieces that can be used in a walk-in closet. These pieces make the closet look tidy while allowing you to see exactly what you have at a quick glance. These organizational pieces can be used in a multitude of combinations allowing you to customize the space to your specific needs.

Garment rods are a standard in bedroom closets. These can be longer, reaching across the length of a closet, or shorter. Shorter garment rods are often stacked to create more room to hang clothing. Since most pants, skirts, and shirts only hang down so far, a second bar can be placed under the top bar. This instantly doubles your space.

Fixed shelves are ideal for holding bags, hats, and other awkward pieces that simply don’t fit in a drawer. These shelves display items nicely, and vertical panels can be used to section off areas for specific needs. This adds to the organization. Hutch drawers, which look like a chest of drawers, can be incorporated as well with shelving above for even more storage options.

Slanted shoe racks are perfect for boots, sandals, sneakers, and other footwear. The angle keeps dust to a minimum and allows you to spot the pair of shoes your are searching for quickly. Include a stool in your design. This gives you something to step up on to reach higher items while also giving you the perfect spot to sit and put your shoes on.

In addition to these main walk in closet organization ideas, there are several accessories you can add to your own closet. Fixed or sliding tie racks keep neck-wear wrinkle free. Similar racks are available for belts. Wire baskets can hold odd shaped pieces, and they make the perfect hamper for dirty clothes. Velvet jewelry trays can be placed in drawers to eliminate the need for a separate jewelry box, and coat hooks are ideal for your most frequently used jackets that you will want to grab in a hurry. When installing a walk-in closet in the laundry room, consider adding mop and broom racks as well. The entire organizational system can have a nicely finished look by using toe kick and filler panels to cover empty spaces between shelves, panels, and drawers.

A Small Walk In Closet

A small walk in closet, or reach in closet, is the perfect solution for homeowners with smaller spaces. No longer do those with a smaller home have to do without the luxuries others have available. You may not have the room to design a full-blown walk-in closet, but your designer can help you seek out room enough for a closet that you can still step into.

In tight spaces, the shelving can be used from floor to ceiling in order to take advantage of height rather then floor space. When you cannot spread out, you go up. Garment rods placed one over the other also increase storage space. Paint the walls in lighter, bright colors to give the illusion of a large area while allowing you to see items better. Mirrors can also create a bigger appearance, and recessed lighting will fit better than a chandelier style light.

A Large Walk In Closet

The large walk-in closet is what most homeowners have pictured when they begin planning for their new storage space. These are either worked into the plans of a new home or require the use of a spare bedroom in older homes. You can create a master bedroom’s walk-in closet by opening the room up into the bedroom next to it. This bedroom then becomes the closet. Keep in mind that this eliminates one of the bedrooms.

One single large walk-in closet can utilize all of the organizational systems available for these closets. They can be customized for one or two people. Couples often use one half of the walk-in closet for themselves and the other half for their spouse. Each individual can choose the organizational pieces that will work best for their needs. When designing the space for one person, there is a lot more freedom in what can be added. Some people will still only store their belongings on one side in order to use the other half as a dressing room or vanity area.

Large walk-in closets also provide you with a little more freedom when it comes to decorating the space. Since these are often the size of a small room, you need to approach the decor in the same way you would in any room. You can keep it simple with basic neutral colored walls and carpeting. If elegance is more your style, consider a chandelier for lighting, glamorous wallpaper on the walls, and special features like an island with additional storage or a long bench for seating.

With all of these options available, your dream of a walk-in closet can come true. Even if your space is small, the wonderful organizational systems now offered to homeowners allow you to create a custom walk-in closet easily. Don’t think that these storage spaces have to stay in the bedroom. Take advantage of the ability you have to design a walk-in closet for any room of the house where you could use a little more storage space.

Need help with your walk in closet plans?

Give Us A Call At 973-636-0100

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.

Need help with your Home Remodeling Project?

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.

Home Inspection Red Flags

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Home Inspection Red Flags

A home inspection report is an assessment of a house. It includes a long list of everything that is wrong with the home. The inspection is done before the sale of the property is finalized. This gives potential buyers the opportunity to re-negotiate the price if there are issues that will need to be repaired. Not all of the problems an inspector finds are a big deal, but some of the issues may be significant. The following information will help you determine what you should be the most aware of when reading a home inspection and which items you shouldn’t worry about.
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The Summary

The first part of the home inspection report that you want to look over is the primary recommendations. This is also called the summary. This portion covers health and safety concerns. For example, it may state that there is a problem with mold. If you think it may be a harmful level, you can get it further checked out by a mold remediation specialist.

This section may also discuss electrical issues that could be a potential for hazard. Even a leaky roof being listed in this portion of the report can be cause for concern. Leaky roofs can create water damage that can affect the wood-framed structure of a house.

Costly Issues

The home inspection report can also list big-ticket issues. This includes electrical, structural, and mechanical problems. These are the types of problems that will be expensive to repair, and they may be cause for re-negotiating the price of a house. They are not problems that can be easily fixed during a NJ home remodeling project without costing you extra time and money.

Electrical issues worth worrying about would be old wiring that is dangerous, faulty wiring, ungrounded receptacles, or outdated knob and tube wiring from the 1950s or before. Structural issues range from older roofs that need to be replaced to cracks in the foundation that can be a sign of structural damage. Finally, mechanical problems are issues related to waste plumbing lines that do not drain properly or low water pressure.

Issues That Vary in Price

Some of the problems revealed during a home inspection can vary in price when it comes to fixing them. For example, termites are common in older houses. How much it will cost to take care of the issue depends on whether there is an active infestation or simply damage left behind from past infestations. This is something you may want to have the seller fix before finalizing the sale.

Mold is never good to find listed on your home inspection report, but it can be removed. The question is for how much. Surface mold is easily taken care of while mold found in the attic due to poor ventilation could require an entirely new roof in order to ensure the mold is removed.

Less Obvious Issues

No home will have a perfect inspection report unless it is newly constructed. Older homes often have issues that will be noted in the report. Some of these are simply a matter of age while others are red flags.

Look at any cracks found in a house as a red flag. As a home settles over time, cracks will appear. Although the cracks themselves seem harmless, they can be a sign of bigger issues. As homes settle, problems such as loose pipes can arise. Original pipes and plumbing may also rust with age. Cracks may even create further problems by allowing pests a way to enter the home.

Soil piled up against the house is another red flag. This soil can keep the water from draining away from the structure properly. This water can damage the foundation creating devastating damage.

Items You Shouldn’t Worry About

Although every issue deserves a certain amount of attention, there are things that will show up on the home inspection report that won’t affect the sale. Top of this list is appliances. The report may list appliances such as the dishwasher, stove, refrigerator, washer, or drier as not functioning correctly. These are items that you can have replaced during a NJ kitchen remodeling project or replaced with your existing appliances.

You can also overlook certain exterior issues. If the siding or paint is listed as being in poor condition, you shouldn’t worry. These are mainly cosmetic problems and shouldn’t change the sale of the house in any major way, but you will want to repair them on your own once the property is yours. This can be discussed with a home remodeling contractor.

Although the results of a home inspection report can be disappointing, it does allow you the opportunity to negotiate the cost of the house with the seller. A new offer could offset the price of repairs. You can also discuss whether or not the seller should pay for a portion of the repairs before finalizing the deal. Don’t become stressed over your home inspection report. Look at it as a helpful tool when considering the purchase of a new home.

What Makes A Great Home Remodeling Estimate?

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What makes a great home remodeling estimate?

Article written by Clear Estimates as a guest blogger.

Estimates are the backbone of any remodeling job. It’s the first interaction had with a customer, and it’s the framework for financial commitment between both parties. NJ Home Remodeling Estimates should always be upfront, inviting and completely transparent regarding the work involved. Some estimates may take weeks to complete after multiple back and forths, while others can be drawn up in a few minutes. Estimates are important to both parties as a contractor needs to price correctly, and a customer needs to understand what’s within their budget. Estimates are also a great way to outline scopes of work, understanding what is and is not included.

The First Interaction

An estimate is typically the first interaction between customer and contractor. It’s important to completely understand the customer’s wants and needs and to draft an estimate accordingly. It sounds simple, I know, and there are likely many revisions to occur. Different qualities of items, stone vs plastic, import vs local, engineered vs handcrafted. All can lead to quite a bit of back and forth. This is a crucial phase for the estimator to get right. Your customer has faith in you to work with them in finding the right material for their budget. More importantly, though, they have faith in you to bring their vision to light! It’s about finding that sweet spot between quality and price, ensuring that the scope of work meets the customer’s needs.

Transparency and scope of work

Does the estimate cover the entire scope of work? This is an important aspect between contractor and customer. Be sure that both parties are on the same page, as you don’t want any disputes later on over expected work. An estimate with great transparency is how you can accomplish this. Be sure that your estimate has a complete itemized breakdown, outlining the scope of work in its entirety. Be sure to also include any kind of legal language necessary. You want to make sure that both parties are aware of the ramifications if the contract is broken or not completed. Since there are no such things as “general legal language” for something like this, be sure to consult with a local attorney that specializes in contracts.

In the image below, you’ll see that the contractor has completely outlined the scope of work. Each item carries a sentence of text previewing what the task is and how much of it is being done. A categorized breakdown is typical, in the order that the scope of work should be performed.

NJ Home Remodeling Estimate

Home Owner & Contractor Personalization

Make sure your estimate has a personal touch. Not only for the contractor, but also for the homeowner. This is your opportunity to stand out from the competition. How are you different, what sets you apart? Be sure that your estimate has a company logo and even a few pictures related to the customer’s home or materials that might be used. Take it to another level and include past reviews, links to your Houzz and Home Advisor profiles. The more you can show your previous work, the more trust a potential customer might have in you and the work you do.

Home Remodeling Contractors Professionalism

How is your estimate drafted? If it’s transparent and personal but drafted on a piece of paper, you’re going to lose some legitimacy. A great estimate is computer generated and formatted consistently throughout. This gives the customer an easy to read and easy to understand professional format.

Estimate Presentation For Home Remodeling

After you’ve done all that work to make sure the estimate is transparent, personal and professional, how do deliver it to your customer? If you’re drafting back and forth, email may be the best option. It allows for flexibility and for both parties to make revisions in the quickest fashion. In the final stages, though, you may consider an in-person meeting. This is a great time to discuss the estimate, making sure both parties understand the estimate and scope of work (transparency), discuss job timeline and most importantly, solidify the relationship between both parties. Be sure that the final version of the estimate includes room for a signature, and outlines the total cost agreed upon. If a payment schedule is in place, be sure that is included as well.

Home Remodeling Cost Estimate

About Clear Estimates

Clear Estimates is an easy-to-use program that allows you to quickly determine a project’s cost in a variety of fashions, manage and customize a part library, maintain a customer and project database, produce several types of reports and proposals, process change orders, integrate with Quickbooks Pro (c), and update price information in the part library through an automated price updating service. Price updating services provided by RemodelMAX cost books quarterly for 400 regions in the U.S.

Most Popular NJ Home Remodeling Projects

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Most Popular Home Remodeling Projects

living room with built in cabinets and fire place

There are several possible home remodeling projects that you can do to improve your house. These projects will make your home more enjoyable to live in as well as increase the value of your house. Some are large and quite involved, but many are smaller and more affordable. In fact, smaller remodeling projects are gaining in popularity. Homeowners no longer look at their NJ home remodeling as an all or nothing adventure. Rather than completely gutting the house and starting over, many people are choosing to renovate over time by tackling one room at a time. The following are the most popular home remodeling projects that today’s homeowners are considering.

Bathroom Renovation

Bathrooms have surpasses the kitchen when it comes to the most popular home remodeling project. This is a perfect example of homeowners choosing to do the smaller renovations. When you remodel your bathroom, you can expect a return on your investment of up to 102%. Before tackling the cosmetic aspects, talk to your home remodeling contractor about the plumbing. This should be updated before moving forward. Next, you can focus on the lighting. Attractive and functional lighting fixtures can be placed on either side of the mirror or overhead as task lighting. Recessed lighting works nicely for general illumination. Be sure to include new cabinetry in your design that offers plenty of storage, and add double sinks, a walk-in shower, or an oversized tub for a touch of luxury.

Kitchen Remodeling

The kitchen is the heart of the home so it only makes sense that it is such a popular room to remodel. Any improvements done to this area are sure to increase the value of your home. Splurge on eye-catching backsplash materials such as stainless steel tiles, metal tiles, or mosaics. Flooring should be durable as well as attractive. Hardwood planks are a top choice among many homeowners. Invest in high-quality cooking equipment too. You will enjoy using it, and it will certainly give you a good return on your investment. Customized cabinetry can look elegant while providing necessary storage, and additions such as an island, large windows, and modern range hoods will take your remodel to the next level.

A Custom Wine Cellar

Finished basements always add value to a home, especially if they are turned into a useful and beautiful space. Wine cellars are so popular that they are actually becoming an expectation in many markets. The largest portion of your wine cellar investment should be devoted to temperature control. You need a reliable way to maintain the temperature as well as control humidity. Treating the room with weather stripping, vapor barriers, and insulation will help. When designing a wine cellar you need to include storage for bottles, glasses, and other necessities along with seating. Seating can be anything from a table and chairs to a full bar. Redwood and western cedar are often used in the design for its beautiful appearance and durability.

A Master Suite Addition

Creating a master suite within your home will certainly make the house more appealing to future buyers, and it will give you a peaceful area to relax in at the end of a busy day. Building a master suite can be expensive. You can easily reach a six-figure price tag if it is necessary to build on to the existing structure and add a master bath. You will save money if existing rooms can simply be converted into a master suite. In return for your investment, you can expect to get half of your final costs back when you sell. When designing the bedroom, keep comfort and simplicity in mind. Walk-in closets are a popular feature to add along with ceiling fans and large windows that provide beautiful views.

The Family Room

A family room is another great option when finishing a basement. An open and inviting space is ideal for gathering together with friends and family. It makes your home more livable, and you can expect to recoup more than half of your expenses with the increase in value it creates. Use floor to ceiling storage with cabinetry on the bottom for storing movies, games, and other frequently used items and higher shelves for electronics. Incorporate a wall mounted TV into this design, and consider a sectional and ottomans for plenty of seating when entertaining friends and family. Carpeting will warm up the space, and a gas or electric fireplaces is functional and beautiful.

A Deck

Popular home remodeling projects are not restricted to the inside of the house. Adding a deck to the exterior of your home will add value, give you a wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors, and increase your living space. Homeowners can recoup 80% of their investment when they sell the house. Wood decks will give you the greatest return while costing less than many plastic composite materials. On the other hand, composites require less maintenance. Pine is extremely cost effective while cedar and redwoods are well worth their cost as they are naturally resistant to insect damage and rot.

NJ Home Remodeling Holiday Gift Guide

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Wouldn’t it be nice to give your spouse or partner a present this holiday season that would make them happy all throughout the year? Giving a loved one the gift of a home renovation is definitely a gift that will keep on giving. It will please them each time they enter that area of their house while possibly providing them with additional storage and organization. Best of all, it can increase the value of your home. Each time they enjoy their newly remodeled space they will lovingly remember the thoughtful gift you gave them.

give the holiday gift of a home remodel

Which Area to Renovate?

If your partner or spouse is constantly complaining about one room, in particular, your decision as to which room to renovate will be easy. In fact, if you listen to exactly what they dislike, you will even know what direction to take your NJ home remodeling project in. On the other hand, you might want to simply surprise them with something completely different. We have a wife that is purchasing a wine room for her husband for Christmas. That is certainly one lucky guy.

If you are still indecisive, begin with the idea of a kitchen remodel. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and updating it will increase the value. You can update the appliances, add special, features like an attractive range hood, and design an island that will meet your individual needs. The island can be anything from a little extra counter space with bar stools on one side for additional seating to a command center complete with a built-in microwave, small refrigerator, and farmhouse sink.

The bathroom is another popular room to remodel, and anyone would be excited to be the recipient of that gift. You could put in a new walk-in shower, a large tub, and double sinks for luxury and convenience. If space allows, you could even include features like a dressing area or walk-in closet into the design. Whether going large or small with the remodel, be sure to include beautiful new cabinetry that will give you and your loved one extra storage while enhancing the overall look of the room.

Along with the kitchen and bathroom, you could consider giving the gift of renovating one of the forgotten areas of your home. Basements can be finished in order to provide you with extra bedrooms and bathrooms, a home office, or a family recreational room. Consider places like the laundry room too. This is usually the last place to get any attention. Homeowners see it as functional, but it can also become a bright and welcoming room that everyone will enjoy using.

The holidays are a busy time of year when you are entertaining many of your closest friends and family. As you host dinners and parties, you may realize just how little space you have. Think of how delighted your spouse or partner would be if you present them with a dining room renovation. Talk to your home remodeling contractor about possibilities such as opening it up into the kitchen and living area in order to create a great room that is ideal for entertaining.

How to Present the Gift of a NJ Home Remodeling Project

Although a home remodel is a wonderful gift idea, it can be hard to give as a present. You can’t exactly surprise someone with a newly renovated room while they are living in the house, and it certainly isn’t the type of gift you can wrap and place under the tree. Fortunately, there are ways you can still have the thrill of opening a present and surprising them. All it takes is a little creativity.

If you are planning on remodeling the bathroom as your loved one’s gift, buy them a new set of luxurious bath towels. Wrap them up with a note tucked inside that announces the renovation. The same can be done form a kitchen by giving a new set of dishes or cookware in the same manner. You will have the fun of seeing the expression on their face, and they will have an actual gift to open on Christmas Day.

No matter what area of the house you, decide to remodel or how you plan to present the idea, a home renovation project can be the perfect gift for your spouse or partner. It will, be a gift that keeps, on giving by offering you and your loved one an updated, organized room that you will both treasure for many years to come.

Basement Remodel – Increase your living space without an addition

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Many homeowners believe they have to put an addition on to the house to gain space, but in reality, they are literally sittting on top of a wealth of extra room. That dark and dingy basement that you avoid at all cost can be transformed into the extra room you have been dreaming about. When beginning a NJ home remodeling project, consider utilizing this wasted space.

basement living room

A Family Room

Basements are ideal as family rooms because they are in such a quiet area of the house. Along with being a peaceful place to rest and enjoy time with others, you want this space to be cheerful. Brighten the basement by adding an egress window to bring in natural light. Choose whites, ivories, light grays, or pastels for the walls and take advantage of reflective surfaces such as oversized mirrors. Furnish the space in the same way you would any living room with comfortable sofas and recliners, ottomans, and entertainment features like a big screen TV for watching movies and gaming.

The Media Room

A media room is simply a term used to describe an all purpose room that is most often used as a home theater. What could be a more perfect place to watch your favorite films than the basement where it is naturally darker and quieter. Use a drop ceiling to soften the echo effect, and add soft lighting that won’t distract from the oversized TV screen. Keep it simple by using a sectional for seating, or go for the full theater effect by adding stair stepped floors with reclining chairs and sofas placed on each level just like you find at the local cinema.

A Home Bar

A home bar is a wonderful room for entertaining friends. When it is placed in the basement, it allows you to enjoy yourself without your guests disturbing the rest of the family. Have your contractor bring in a bar with stools for seating on one side and shelves, a mini fridge, and wine storage on the other. Place a flat screen TV over head, and ad a pool table for extra fun. Rather then choosing a traditional drop ceiling, leave the pipes and beams exposed. Paint them in a solid color for an industrial look that still has style.

The Wine Room

A wine room is a more sophisticated space than a home bar, and the basement can easily be transformed into a place where you can store and enjoy your favorite beverages. Finish the basement with rich wood doors and trim as well as plenty of shelves designed with special cubbies for the bottles. Be sure to include a refrigerator for those lighter summer wines that are best served chilled. Instead of a bar that gives the room the feeling of a local pub, place leather upholstered chairs around a table in matching wood tones.

A Play Room

If you want a place where your kids can be kids without making a mess out of the entire house, finish the basement and turn it into a play room. Paint the walls and ceiling in bright, fun colors with whimsical murals thrown in for an unexpected focal point. Be sure to create plenty of storage for both small and large toys. Use specially designed padded tiles for the floor so that the little ones have a soft surface to play on. Child size tables and chairs, bean bags, and large pillows are all the seating you’ll need.

The Guest Bedroom

A nicely finished basement is the ideal place for a guest bedroom. Whether you have friends staying for the occasional weekend or long term family members moving in, they can enjoy the privacy a basement provides. Decorate the bedroom in soft, relaxing hues. Use a variety of lighting. This includes overhead lights for brightness, lamps for task lighting, and accent lights to create the perfect ambience. Don’t forget to include a full bath in the design. Having their own bathroom, complete with a shower and tub, will keep both your guests and your family happy.

The Laundry

You may already be doing your laundry in the basement, but finishing the space properly will make this mundane task more enjoyable. Concrete floors painted to resemble stone or marble flooring is both attractive and practical for a laundry room. Paint the walls in a cheerful color, and add home decor items that make it feel more like an actual living space than a utility room. With the the plumbing already in place, this would be the ideal location for an extra bathroom as well.

Once you have completed the transformation of your basement, you will find that not only have you increased the living space in your home, but you have increased its value as well. Best of all, you and your home remodeling contractor will have achieved all this without ever having to put a costly addition on to the house.