Halloween Re-Housewarming: The Snacks

6:34 pm

In our previous post you’ll find a handy list of cocktails to help bring your Halloween themed re-housewarming to life! Re-housewarming? Well, put simply, it’s a party to show off your new home renovations–we figured people celebrate a newly purchased home, why wouldn’t we celebrate homes that feel like brand new?! Since it is October, we’ve decided the best way to break in the newly remodeled home is with a Halloween party–here are a few spooky snacks to help set the mood:


Deviled Egg Eyeballs Via KathsKitchenNYC
Deviled Egg Eyeballs
Via KathsKitchenNYC
Cheese Witch Brooms Via Catman
Cheese Witch Brooms
Via Catman
Mummy Dogs Via Our Best Bites
Mummy Dogs
Via Our Best Bites

Halloween Re-Housewarming: The Drinks

4:21 pm

There’s no better way to celebrate your recent kitchen remodeling then by throwing a huge party–a second house-warming, if you will. Don’t forget that it’s October–the month dedicated to all things scary! Let’s take a look at a few different drink concoctions that will go perfectly with your Halloween themed re-house warming!

Pumpkin Spice + Bourbon + Cider = Pumpkin Spice Punch Credit: Steve Murello
Pumpkin Spice + Bourbon + Cider = Pumpkin Spice Punch
Credit: Steve Murello
Vanilla Simple Syrup + Cream + Vodka + Soda = The Ghost Cocktail  Credit: Steve Murello
Vanilla Simple Syrup + Cream + Vodka + Soda = The Ghost Cocktail
Credit: Steve Murello
Triple Sec + Vodka + Pineapple Juice = The Blood Sucker
Triple Sec + Vodka + Pineapple Juice = The Blood Sucker
Credit: Steve Murello

Now, bust out the contact list and have all your friends dress up to celebrate your new kitchen cabinets!

Home Automation: The Future Is Here

8:21 pm

home renovation njWe all remember the days when the talk of the town was Bill Gates’ amazingly technical home automation system. Rumors about the different characteristics were everywhere, from changing the temperature upon entry to having personalized lighting options for each member of the household. Well, we can’t promise you a recreation of the billionaire tech-giant’s home, but your NJ home remodeling experts can, and proudly do, offer you home-based technologies to help simplify your lives!

Our go-to interface is made by Crestron, and it makes home automation much more practical than the past, integrating your whole house to one major hub. Naturally, the best time to integrate your home with this automatic software is during a house addition or general remodel; we can, however, install this at any time! Take advantage of technology and check out some of the things you can do with home automation:

  • Lighting Control: Automated lights by time of day? We’ll take it!
  • Climate Control: Advanced climate control systems allow for personalized settings for time of day and outside temperature readings.
  • Security and Surveillance: Nothing is more important than keeping your family safe. With this monitoring system, it has become easier than ever!
  • Digital Media: Want your music to follow you room to room? No problem!

These characteristics are only a small portion of the possibilities that come with home automation. Contact us today to learn more about home personalization!

Cooking Tips from the Kitchen Experts

8:08 pm

kitchen cabinets NJOK, we’re most known for our New Jersey kitchen remodeling, but what you may not realize is that we love cooking! By day we design and install the best kitchen cabinets in NJ, and by night we return to our own kitchens and get cooking! Here are a few tips we’ve gathered that will help you out around the kitchen:

  • Fruit Storage: As a general rule, fruits (other than berries) should not be stored in the fridge. Unless you live in a hot climate, storing fruits like apples, bananas and pears will dull the taste and won’t help with longevity very much.
  • Spice It right: Don’t fear your salt! Salt and pepper are still your go-to  spices. The sodium used in home cooking is not much when compared to eating takout or processed foods.
  • Overcooking: Overcooking is one of the major problems for the burgeoning home chef. Overcooked meats are dry and tasteless, while overcooked vegetables are mushy. What can you do? The skill that is crucial here is pulling the product off the heat slightly before it is done–it will, quite literally, cook itself the rest of the way!
  • Cutting Boards: There are two important factors when it comes to cutting boards to note. First, make sure to never share a raw meat board and a vegetable board; it’s just plain dangerous! Second—a lesser known tip—is to have separate boards for cutting onions and garlic from everything else you’re cutting because their flavors will stick to the board!

Deck Material Options

2:30 pm

home renovation njHouse additions can be a bit daunting when looking at the big picture, from planning to finding a proper home additional remodeling team and picking out the materials; it’s most definitely stressful. Decks are no different. There are a multitude of options for materials that vary from metal and wood to composites. How can you wade through all this? Well, do some research on your own and work with your design-build team to figure out the best deck for your needs. In the meantime, here are some popular deck materials.

  • Pressure-Treated Lumber: Generally seen as the most economic option, pressure-treated lumber is used on over half of new decks made and continues to be popular. Routine maintenance is required to avoid swelling and cracking.
  • Hardwoods: Hardwoods are much more expensive than pressure-treated lumber but are seen as a much more visually appealing material. Generally darker and richer, hardwoods are also naturally resistant to moisture, making maintenance less of an issue.
  • Aluminum: The advantages of metal over wood are pretty clear: no rotting, warping, splinters, or cracks. However, making a metal deck look good attached to your home comes with its own set of difficulties.
  • Composites: Composed of fiber and recycled plastics, composites are a fast growing sector of the deck industry. Namely on account of its diversity and cheaper cost than regular wood.

Difficulty Selling Your Home? Home Remodel Time!

6:14 pm

kitchen cabinets in njAround the country, home sales, as well as real estate as a whole, have taken a huge downward plunge since the housing bubble burst in the early 2000s. Countless people are unhappy with their current living situation but unable to sell their home at anything worthwhile–in many cases still owing money on a home they no longer own. There are a few different options available for homeowners looking to sell their home at a worthwhile value–ranging from house additions to general remodeling.

A home addition is a major step in the right direction when it comes to increasing your home’s value and overall ease of sale. Brand new rooms give potential buyers a sense that you really care about the home and will absolutely help when it comes to making the sale. One downfall to that is the upfront cost, which can be intimidating when searching for a new home to purchase. A great way to dodge this issue is to choose a room to totally remodel instead of adding an entirely new room. The go-to room to redesign is almost always the kitchen. The kitchen stands out as the heart and soul of your living space and represents your overall home’s value and worth.

The story is the same in Northern New Jersey as well, so call Trade Mark Design & Build, your New Jersey home remodeling experts, and get the best deal when selling your next property.

Spring Into a Home Remodel

8:34 pm

kitchen long shotTraditionally, spring is the time of renewal. All around us nature is renewing itself. Thousands of folks are embarking on epic spring cleanings. Something about the season sparks a desire within us to make the changes we have been thinking about all winter.

The same goes for our homes. After being trapped indoors while it snows and sleets all winter, many of us have taken a good look around our homes and have realized we are in desperate need of a Bergen County home remodeling.

Perhaps the weather has gotten the best of your home’s insulation? Or you have realized the kitchen cabinets that worked so well last year are looking a little ragged now? Either way, you have come to the distinct conclusion that your home needs remodeling. Thankfully for you, spring is the best time to embark on such an endeavor! Do your online research. Browse through the different styles of kitchen cabinets, take a peek at home design magazines to see what others are doing and then give a Bergen County contractor a call to discuss the details.

If you act now, you will have a fully remodeled home to show off during summer barbeques and Fourth of July gatherings.

Visit our site and then call for a consultation today.

Adding a Bedroom

4:10 pm

bed room additionWhether you are about to have a baby or want a place for guests to comfortably call their own, sometimes the reality simply is that our homes are not as big as we need them to be. One solution is to up and move. Find a bigger house and relocate. Anyone who has owned a home even once knows that this is not the easier, softer way. Selling and buying homes is expensive, emotionally and physically exhausting and downright hard to do in today’s housing market. And that does not even begin to take into account the emotional attachment you have to your home.

By far, the easier solution is to do some research into home addition remodeling. A reputable remodeling contractor like Trade Mark will be able to come to your home, assess the foundation and surrounding area and lay out a plan of action that gives you the bedroom addition you need without the cost, stress and disturbances that come from moving.

While significantly easier than moving, adding a room is not something that deserves little or no thought. You will have to work with a contractor to draw up blueprints, plan for ventilation, insulation, windows and plumbing. Once all this is done, you get to embark on the fun of decorating an entirely new room from scratch.

Call Trade Mark today and talk to our home addition experts to see if this is the solution for you and your family.

Planning Your Home Addition

3:34 pm

home additionYou have decided that a room addition would make sense. Perhaps your family is expanding or you have decided to work from home and now need a home office. In theory, adding a room to your current home is the easiest solution. Now your mind is awash in questions, concerns and general planning chaos. Take a deep breath. Then sit down with a pen and paper and do some serious planning. Getting everything you need to do down on paper in black and white will go a long way towards slowing the racing in your head.

Home Addition Planning Checklist:

  1. Study the pros and cons of adding a room to your house. It might be easier to convert an existing room. Consider how much space you need and how you plan to use the room in the future. If you decide to embark on adding a room, continue with this list.
  2. List the things you know how to do yourself. For the rest, start doing research into hiring a home addition contractor. (We at Trade Mark do offer home additions in NJ!)
  3. With our guidance, create a floor plan. It might help to obtain a blueprint of your home’s current design to use as a starting point. Be sure to plan out all the features ahead of time.
  4. Sit down with a professional and map out what the process will look like in terms of time, money and labor.

Use this information to consult with your family and plan accordingly.

Surviving Your Remodeling

3:29 pm

You bit the bullet and decided to remodel the kitchen. Congratulations! Ideally, you have hired a professional NJ kitchen remodeler to do the job (us of course). Remodeling an entire kitchen is not a DIY job. Hiring respected and competent professionals will ensure that the process goes smoothly from start to finish. Still, home remodeling of any kind is a significant disruption to your daily living. Surviving a kitchen renovation requires preparation. Therefore, here is your cheat sheet for living to tell the tale of your renovation.

Staying Sane Through Kitchen Remodeling:

  1. Accept the fact that it will almost invariably take longer than you planned for. If you know this going into the process, you will suffer less sleepless nights.
  2. Isolate from the dirt and noise. Seal off the doorways and openings. Get a portable toilet for the workers to use. Keep the rest of your life away from the mess and chaos of the New Jersey home remodeling.
  3. For their health and safety, keep children and pets away from the debris.
  4. Set clear start and end times for the workers. Having a set schedule you can work around will go a long way towards helping you stay sane throughout the process.
  5. Set up a room as a temporary kitchen by moving your old appliances to that location.
  6. Finally, be nice and professional with everyone, even the workers. You get what you give in life. The same goes in renovations. The nicer you are to people, the more they want to please you.