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Kitchen Renovation

Remodeling Contractors – Their Role in Transforming Your Home

Remodeling ones home has become an extremely popular trend these days. Getting the right person who can do it for you is not very difficult any more. But you have to keep in mind that you are entrusting your most valued possession to a completely new person. Thus you have to be sure that you have chosen the best remodeling contractors available to transform your abode.
Remodeling contractors are experts in various fields of work. Some specialize in bathroom or floor renovation while others are skilled in altering your dens or game rooms. It is always better to select a designer who specializes in the area that you want remodeled. They can assist you in deciding what the alterations that you want are done.
Even though there is no dearth of such people today, the best way to select an ideal remodeling designer is to get their names form friends or acquaintances that have just got their homes redone. Once you get a list of some reputed contractors, you can fix an appointment with some of them and then decide who will be best suited for your requirements.
You also have to remember that these people will have to visit your home a number of times and so make sure that they are extremely reliable and trustworthy. These designers will have to employ subcontractors to aid them in completing the task that is assigned to them. They are completely responsible for any errors or drop in quality in the work that that get done and have to manage the remodeling process expertly.
Remodeling contractors will also need to mingle personally with architects or interior designers to get a clear cut view about what has to be done. So these contractors have to really get an idea about the actual work that they are going to undertake before giving their quote. The ultimate turn out after remodeling will to a great extent will be ruled by all these factors.

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Kitchen Renovation

Keeping Pets Safe During a Remodel – A Little DAP Will Do Ya!

When preparing for a home remodeling project, whether it’s just having a paint contractor in or a major kitchen remodel, we make sure to have a checklist of everything that needs to get done. We move furniture, take down pictures, arrange our schedules to be there when the contractor what about our pets? Do they have a safe place to go where they can stay safe and out of trouble?
First and foremost, it is important to remember that the contractor is not a babysitter for your pet(s). It isn’t their job to make sure that the cat has water in its bowl or that the dog is let outside at 2p. I suggest you find alternative residence for your pet whenever possible during your project. If a relative or alternative residence isn’t an option, check out pet day care. Most areas have this service available on a daily or per hour basis.
***Your pet must be up-to-date on all of their vaccinations and have basic “social” skills to be admitted to most establishments.***
Any type of design project is going to require “strangers” being in your home. For most pets, this is a cause of much stress as their primary job is to protect their people and property. If your pet isn’t too “neurotic”, introducing the workers to your pet prior to work starting can help. This will help to establish the contractor as a “friend.”
As stated previously, if you can’t find alternative care for your pet during working hours, placing your pet in a “safe” room away from all of the commotion will help. Construction sites, whether they are big or small, are fraught with dangers for curious animals. Open paint cans, nails and screws, hammers and saws can all be an accident waiting to happen. A pet gate cordoning off the work area can also be helpful to keep your pet safe.
If possible, have a separate entrance for workers to arrive and come and go as they need. This helps to keep the commotion at bay as tools and equipment are being brought into the home and construction waste being thrown out. Having a separate entrance will also help you to keep tabs on “Sparky” the dog (or Morris the cat) from escaping out into the neighborhood.
Dr Lisa Kluskow of the Silver Spring Animal Wellness Center in Glendale WI strongly suggests the use of DAP for dogs and Feliway for cats to help them deal with stress. DAP stands for “Dog Appeasing Pheromone” and mimics the scent given off by the mother dog that keeps her puppies calm and happy. These same “appeasement” pheromones have the same calming effect on adult dogs and aren’t detectable by humans. DAP takes about a week before the effects are noticeable-so start using before your project begins. It should be noted that not all dogs will be effected by DAP as it depends on the dog and the severity of the anxiety. Feliway is a pheromone which works on a cat’s sense of smell, and has been proven to be so calming that peace and harmony can be restored in even multi-cat households. (Feliway is also used to help prevent spraying and litterbox usage!). Both products are available as room diffusers and sprays
Make sure that the workers place plastic sheeting and/or tarps around the work area. Plastic sheeting should be hung in all doorways of rooms being worked on to prevent pollutants, dust and other debris from spreading throughout the house. Dust, pollutants and other airborne particles can irritate any upper respiratory afflictions, cause headaches or trigger allergies. Ask your contractor what steps they take to minimize the risk to avoid the creation of these indoor pollutants and contain those that can’t be avoided.
While there are many steps that have been taken to reduce the hazards of lead paint, if you live in an older home (older than 1975) there is a possibility that lead paint can be a cause of concern. This is still a threat even if you’d placed lead-free coats over it. If you scrape, sand or heat lead paint, the lead can become airborne and make it into your body or contaminate the soil around your home. This is a hazard for anyone that comes into contact with it. If lead paint may be an issue during your project, hire a trained inspector to test the surfaces.
***The EPA does not recommend home-use testing kits. Get the “Reducing Lead Hazards When Remodeling Your Home” brochure for suggestions and tips on how to proceed.***
Make sure the contractor uses low or no VOC materials whenever possible to cut down the risk of all home occupants becoming sick from breathing in these emitted chemicals and toxins. Carpeting is one of the largest indoor polluters of our spaces. Carpet off-gasses toxins and chemicals into the air upon installation and removal. Make sure the carpet installer unrolls the carpet BEFORE it is delivered to your home, or at least before it is brought inside to help air the carpet out. Make sure the installer uses a no or low VOC adhesive to secure the carpeting (although this goes for ALL flooring). Cats are more susceptible to VOCs and other airbourn irritations than dogs due to their shortened upper respiratory tracts and they should be sequestered away during any painting, sanding, scraping or carpet removal/installation.
***Paint is the second major “offender” of off-gassing indoor spaces.***
After the work day has finished, it is vital that the contractor secure the work area if the job isn’t finished. Dangerous items such as tools, ladders and other hazardous materials out of family member’s reach at all times. Any holes in walls, floors or in the yard should also be secured to prevent any 4-legged family members (or 2 legged for that matter!) from falling in.
Here is a checklist to help you manage your remodeling project AND your companion animals during the duration of construction:
– Mist down all surfaces before sanding or scraping areas to be painted or stained. This will help keep the dust from becoming airborne and you and your pet(s) from breathing it in.
– Work outside whenever possible. This will help to keep the mess to a minimum inside, and cause less chance of your pet getting into trouble.
– Ventilate the space, even in winter. Even if you are doing a GREEN remodel, dust and other particles will still be a problem. Position fans so that they exhaust out instead of in.
– DO run your HVAC unit when contractors are sanding. Make sure to change filters as often as once a week to keep dust from spreading through the house in prolonged projects. If your project is only a couple of days-change the filter once project is finished.
– Be wary of rodent droppings that might be exposed during demolition and can spread Hantavirus. This can be deadly for pets and people.
With these helpful tips and some careful planning, you can rest assured that your animals will be kept safe and sound during any and all of your remodeling projects

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Kitchen Renovation

Remodeling Your Bath Area – 6 Tips to Hire Help

If you have a Bathroom Remodel project that you want finished in a professional and quality way then these 6 tips will help you find the right contractor. From getting an experienced, licensed, insured, and bonded handyman service to knowing if you can get a free estimate you will be in a good position to make the right choice for your home remodeling project.
1. Can your handyman service provide you with any before and after photos from their past home remodeling jobs? Getting a chance to look at any past work is a great way to know what to expect from their particular workmanship. If the photos look good and they are multiple it shows they have the knowledge and experience you are looking for to get a quality and professional job done on your home’s bathroom.
2. Every and any city in the United States has different city and county building codes that must be adhered to when doing certain home improvements and this includes bathroom renovations. With this said just make sure your remodeling company of choice is aware of any standards that must be met.
3. Can the remodeling company give you a free estimate and do a free inspection of your particular bathroom project? Any reputable and professional home service will give free bids as a courtesy to their potential customers as a way of saying thanks for considering them. Don’t pay for a simple inspection just get a free quote.
4. When you speak with the home improvement company be sure to ask if they have any type of written guarantees that they provide for bath remodeling projects like yours. And if you know you are going to be having a lot of amenities added or replaced like your faucets, sinks, toilets, flooring, or showers see what type of warranties these particular products come with.
5. When you first meet with the handyman or home improvement company for your free bid or inspection take a look at how well organized they are and if they reflect a positive and professional image of the business. This includes asking if they have all the proper tools, equipment, and parts needed and noticing what type of shape the company vehicle is in. The better equipped and better looking the company image the better chance they will care how your remodeling project looks upon completion.
6. What about time management? Do you have a certain time line in which you are wanting your repairs or remodeling done for you bathroom area? Let the handyman know you have a deadline if you do and see if they will be able to help in a timely fashion to meet your goals. Even if you don’t have a deadline it is a good idea to find out about how long the project will take before any work is started so you aren’t guessing after production has begun with your home improvement.
If you follow these tips you will be in a good position to make a final decision for your bathroom project needs. From being able to get a free estimate to being able to communicate any time lines or other details with the handyman and even checking for past project photos these 6 tips will help you save time and money when you are choosing who will complete your Bathroom Remodel project.