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allredcookie bookmarked an ideabook

11 Things to Expect With Your Remodel

Prepare yourself. Knowing what lies ahead during renovations can save your nerves and smooth the process Full Story
     Comment   on Wednesday
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Jon Curtis
I have a few thoughts to add (and my apologies if they are somewhere else in the comments):

1. Plan ahead. Before you even meet with a contractor, go through your home space by space inside and out. Frankly, I'd do this regularly (someone asked when I started my current - and first - remodel and I replied 25 years ago when I finished having the house built). Note what works and doesn't work. Note what takes more wear-and-tear, what suffers from exposure to the elements. Keep a list of your items as well as clippings of articles and pictures of things you like (not what's trendy necessarily, but what you respond to).

2. Do your homework. Take the time to read, go on-line, visit showrooms, take remodeled home tours, new home tours, and find out, in addition to those things you like, whose work you like, what tile company has great suppliers, whose got the best stone selection, etc. Find out who carries the appliances you like and get them bidding for your business (you'd be surprised at what you can accomplish because, remember, your contractor may get a deal but s/he will tag his/her plus percentage on the cost). Your contractor will actually appreciate having some of this off his/her shoulders (just work on your timing for orders).

3. Plan for disruption, especially for children and (in our case) pets. Have a plan to keep them safe, out of the way, and happy/occupied. If there are times with loud noises, be with your pets to keep them as calm as possible. And remember, when the workers are gone for the day, do a thorough inspection of he spaces they've worked in to ensure there's nothing for the kids or pets to injure themselves or spaces for either of them to crawl into.

4. Enjoy it. No doubt it is a pain in the drain but if you keep your eyes on the prize, you'll enjoy every aspect from the peeling away to the final brush stroke.
18 hours ago     
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Sims Construction
Great points some need to be repeated.
Having fun that is sometimes missed.
I will never under estimate how lucky I am still enjoying what I do.

Not every day , week or month I work with the client doing the odd project.
Twice this week ( not the norm) I worked with past clients.
I was asked to help hang blinds as I was on site anyway meeting my HVCA contractor re working another contractors past work.
It was fun even comical as she went ahead and scattered the blinds , pulled old hardware from past blind and curtain installs .
I was also asked to install venting on a garage the other day that was closed in after I build a year and a half ago.
It was a fun break from the normal day.

Bathroom issues
Almost Never in the clients home unless its a total renovation and the house is empty.
On quick short jobs the guys know where the nearest restroom is, 7-11, coffee shop.
Portable restrooms have benefits and negatives.
If the porta potty is in close quarters to the home, bi weekly cleaning or extra deodorant may be an issue.

Reading through the post it would be scary if I thought bad contractors were the norm.
A number of the problems I see are from the contractor not keeping an eye on things or more common the home owner is being the GC.
Being the GC is a responsibly not to be taken lightly.
As the GC it is my duty to do what is the best for the house.
The house will take care of the client.
In turn the client will take care of you.

Keeping the job running smoothly, client happy and secure is the goal.
Trust is the key to success.
10 hours ago   
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allredcookie added 1 photo to ideabook: living rooms
   Comment   on Sunday
allredcookie added 2 photos to ideabook: living rooms
   Comment   July 4, 2014
allredcookie bookmarked an ideabook

Contractor Fees, Demystified

Learn what a contractor’s markups cover — and why they’re worth it Full Story
     Comment   July 4, 2014
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Michelle Portesi I couldn't agree with you more! Construction IS a highly specialized field. There are MANY tradesmen that are VERY specialized in what they do, and those who are not, you can clearly see through their quality (or lack thereof) of craftsmanship. Just because a tradesman makes his job look easy, doesn't mean it actually is. Remember, most have many years of experience in their fields. My husband specializes in rails and staircases, with majority of his work focusing on curved rails/solid treads, and hand carving. Curved and angled railings often have parts that that have to be hand-carved (this comes as a big block that has to be hand-carved to fit the rail and the profile). Bending a rail is a science all on its own. You have to know exactly how much each type of wood has to be over-bent in order for it to snap back to align with the stairs (bad alignment means the balusters will not be centered on the hand rail and stairs when installed, and potentially thousands of dollars in material and labor will get trashed). Each material has its own strength, density, and hardness. Knowing how each material will behave when it is bent comes with experience. It is not something you can look up in a DIY handbook and attempt on your own.
on Monday at 10:11am     
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Michelle Portesi
@mylilremodelproject - That is a GORGEOUS staircase. And it's one I wouldn't have attempted to design construction wise myself. That's why God created architects! Or even better, the craftsmen who specialize in building staircases. Having truly knowledgeable and skilled tradesmen are invaluable to construction companies, designers and homeowners alike. I have certainly relied on a master staircase builder on a few projects.
on Tuesday at 9:32am     
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allredcookie added 1 photo to ideabook: Entry and laundry room ideas
   Comment   July 4, 2014
allredcookie likes 4 comments on an ideabook

How to Tear Down That Concrete Patio

Clear the path for plantings or a more modern patio design by demolishing all or part of the concrete in your yard Full Story
     Comment   July 4, 2014
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Removing it is prohibitively expensive - my landscaper chunked it up - stained it with concrete stain - which gave it a flagstone look
June 26, 2014 at 10:57am     
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Slice it with a concrete saw (rent at Home Depot or many othr places) into manageable pieces and list it for free on Craigslist. If the chunks are about 2x4, they are movable and make nice recycled patios.
June 27, 2014 at 8:11am     
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Would someone please tell me what is attractive about pavers?

Newly laid bluestone or brick (real) in a patio or walkway is wonderful .... but rarely is it bedded in a masonry base .. so it shifts in a few years .. and it is frightfully expensive. I did a raised aggregate patio 10 years ago and it still looks great ... I used real brick and Belgian block in various locations for boarders and to aid draining ..... but it is still flat and crack free. I'm about to start a new house and its aggregate concrete for me.

If you have a sound concrete patio - consider using epoxy to glue aggregate to it -- or use it as a base for something else if you have the height.

Pavers are never going to look like anything other what they are .. I would much rather use real brick if I wanted that look. Done correctly concrete can will disappear and you will have money for what surrounds it and is on it .... plus it cleans up so easily.

I have real brick that I mortared over an old concrete walkway at a house in ME - 20 years ago.
June 27, 2014 at 1:30pm     
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Leesa Tilotta
we saw cut curves in our 1966 rectangle patio, surrounded it with curving beds, fountain & finally covered in rock
June 28, 2014 at 7:50am     
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allredcookie bookmarked an ideabook

How to Set Up a Craft Room

Keep bits and bobs from winding their way into the rest of your home by setting up a designated area for craft projects Full Story
     Comment   July 4, 2014
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July 2, 2014 at 8:34am     
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on Wednesday at 12:59pm   
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allredcookie bookmarked an ideabook

Grow a Garden of Succulents for Easy Beauty

Low-water plants in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes? Sign us up — and check out our faves here Full Story
     Comment   July 4, 2014
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Annie Thornton
HI ccclaxton, Thank you for all the additional information about Euphorbia tirucalli. As you point out, botanical names are very important for identifying plants accurately.

It would be interesting to hear how climate and location affect this plant's coloration. All of the resources I consulted confirm the coloring sequence mentioned in this article. The photo used here showing the plant's red tips was taken in late winter.
20 hours ago   
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Hi Annie Thornton,

I'm not a botanist but my info is based on own experience with sticks on fire and mine go green/yellow in winter and only turn red in summer sunlight. Mine are in a greenhouse all winter so they get plenty of sunlight. Perhaps they are native to South Africa or South America -- somewhere in the southern hemisphere where summer there is winter here? I haven't looked up the 'official' info. But that might explain the discrepancy.

Do you grow succulents?
11 hours ago   
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allredcookie bookmarked an ideabook

How to Keep Your White Kitchen White

Sure, white kitchens are beautiful — when they’re sparkling clean. Here’s how to keep them that way Full Story
     Comment   June 18, 2014
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I think it is the "how to" and interactivity of this thread that has made it so interesting and useful. I bookmarked it because there are many suggestions I want to keep. (Formica Calcutta Marble, Bon Ami, SCRUB, SCRUB, SCRUB!) Everyone has been so generous sharing. Thanks!
on Tuesday at 8:07am     
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Lizzie Swenson
White X
11 hours ago   
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allredcookie likes 4 comments on an ideabook

Key Measurements to Make the Most of Your Bathroom

Fit everything comfortably in a small or medium-size bath by knowing standard dimensions for fixtures and clearances Full Story
     Comment   June 17, 2014
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@opportunitiesknock -- I'll try to take a stab at your design dilemma, but I'm just a homeowner who likes to do graph paper floor plans. I am not by any means a professional. I don't know where on the longer side your door is located or where the window on the opposite side is located, so you might have to move things I suggest either left or right! You also don't give any dimensions on the window, so I don't know if it is 12" wide or 30" or a big picture window.

So, here's what I would do. I would put a 36" x 48" shower enclosure on one short end. There are some that can be installed right on studs, so I would think you could install it right over the drywall. You'd still need a drain and you'll need to build a wall for the shower. At the end of it in the limited remaining space of about 13" I would put a pull out wall storage unit like Rev-a-Shelf offers on top. I would use 2"x 4" studs to create "toe kick" and use a "blind" wall cabinet in the lower space which stick out into the room along that particular long wall which is big enough to get it to another sink base cabinet which will hold your sink. The "blind" cabinet would have one of those pull out storage bins that flips around so you utilize the whole space. The toilet would go next to the shower (across from that 12" blind cabinet). The door into the bathroom might have its swing changed to the exterior, if needs be. Good luck!

I found this article to be incredibly informative even if a couple of the designs made me feel claustrophobic (because of the size of the space, not the design!). I completely devoured some of those photos for ideas in the bathrooms in my next home (about to go for Building Permits). Awesome job on the article!

I totally disagree with one of the readers above -- tubs should not necessarily be 72" long. It depends on who is going to use it. For me, 66" is much better. For my daughter who will probably be 6' tall, a 72" tub makes sense. Don't forget, a bigger tub requires more water too! Design your bathroom with whoever is going to use it in mind and don't forget safety features such as grab bars.

Personally, I think round toilets should be banned unless they are for toddlers! Elongated ones are much more comfortable.
May 29, 2014 at 1:35am     
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Hardly a jazzy topic, but I'd like to see some discussion of toilet heights. Never gave it a nanosecond of thought until last year when I had abdominal surgery. Also placement of grab bars, as many seem to be, um, wrong ... even in the hospital!
June 11, 2014 at 7:57pm     
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Hillcrest Glass
Good article, but there is lot to consider with the design of glass shower enclosures that was left out. It's always a great idea to check with a glazing contractor before the tile is installed to iron out design details before the tile is done.
For bathrooms with a common plumbing wall it's usually best to use a sliding enclosure; you need to be able to reach in and turn the water on with out getting wet.
Keep in mind that if you use a screen and don't have a door it can get cold in the shower. We recommend designing a screen so that a door may be added if the shower is too cold.
If you plan to hinge a door to glass you either need a metal header on the top of the glass or the stationary piece of glass needs to go to the ceiling.
There are coatings that can be put on the glass during the manufacturing process that make the glass much easier to clean, well worth the expense if it's a shower that gets used every day.
I hope this helps, just remember to plan ahead and get the whole design settled before construction starts.
June 16, 2014 at 9:13am     
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Steven Corley Randel, Architect
@amagfx, Sketchup Pro & Preview on a Mac platform! But keep it mind that I already had the model. SCR
June 17, 2014 at 6:55pm     
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allredcookie commented on an ideabook

Working With Pros: When a Design Plan Is Right for You

Don’t want full service but could use some direction on room layout, furnishings and colors? Look to a designer for a plan Full Story
     Comment   June 11, 2014
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@clh59 and @ofgirl - Do you have Homepolish in your area? They offer small packages of design services that are much more budget-friendly, starting at $500. We're working with them to re-do just our living room, using mostly pieces we already own.
June 11, 2014 at 3:09pm   
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Again, thanks so much for all the advice, I think I'm getting more comfortable in my understanding of working with a designer. I do have major design plans, but thought that I would start small and see if we work will together?? So, do I start right off with, I need new windows and I want to change my fireplace from wood to gas, these things I just need advice of where yo shop since I'll be new to the area. I'll also need living room furniture and plan on remodeling two bathrooms and a kitchen. Of course I'm on a budget, should I decrease my budget by 10% known that most budgets will increase by at least that amount.
June 11, 2014 at 11:03pm   
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