NJ HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR: Bathroom Renovation

NJ HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR: Bathroom Renovation

We have renovated hundreds of bathrooms in Bergen County NJ. Many of these bathroom renovation jobs are tied in with entire home remodeling contracts. We get many calls from homeowners looking to just have their bathroom renovated or also the kitchen bathroom renovation combination package that we offer. Home owners have a few options. They can do a quick fix bathroom renovation themselves or call a NJ Home Improvement Contractor for a bathroom renovation.

NJ HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR: A Bathroom Renovation’s Quick Fix

Depending on your budget, there are a few easier and cheaper ways to spruce up your bathroom. If your floor and tub area tile is in good shape as well as your tub, you don’t have  to renovate the entire bathroom. For a fraction of the cost you can remove the toilet, vanity and replace them with brand new fixtures. Add a larger vanity mirror, new light fixtures and now the bathroom is taking on a whole new look. As for the tile, there are a few options. Some companies specialize in refacing tile. For a fraction of the cost, you can hire them to change the tile color. Also they can pull out the old grout and apply a new colored grout. Large home improvement stores like Home Depot supply reasonably priced shower doors that can be installed in a few hours. Don’t forget new crown moulding, chair rail moulding and your favorite paint. For less than $1,000- $2,000, you can have a new bathroom.

NJ HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR: Complete Bathroom Remodeling

A complete bathroom remodeling is when the entire bathroom is stripped down to its framing. Then the bathroom is put back together step by step. It is best to hire a reputable NJ Home Improvement Contractor that has experience in this area. When remodeling a bathroom, most times it can be the only bathroom in the home.  In order to remodel a bathroom, that bathroom must be taken out of service for a week. The NJ Home Improvement Contractor must be fast and dependable in order to get the bathroom functioning again.

 

NJ Home Improvement Contractor: Let’s talk about a Contract

NJ Home Improvement Contractor: Let’s talk about a Contract

The moment has come and you are sitting down with your NJ Home Improvement Contractor ready to sign a contract. A bit nervous? A little worried that you are not certain what to look for. I know the feeling. I get that feeling every time I lease a vehicle. I know the dealer is going to slip something in the lease that I don’t want, so my guard is up. Whether you are building a Raised Level, addition, bathroom or kitchen renovation or even a finished basement, a contract is a contract so let’s go over a few items.

INTERVIEW FIRST

Lets break this down. Let’s get down to basics. In the beginning, when you first started calling NJ Home Improvement Contractors for an estimate on  your home improvement job, I’m sure you met with three or four contractors. It is during this time that you needed to start getting a feel for the contractor that you would want to work with. It is basically an interview. Then, when you think you are leaning towards a particular NJ Home Improvement Contractor, then you look into his references, drive past a few of his jobs to make sure you really want to work with his company. After you go through this process, hopefully you can get a sense of comfort and feeing  like you are working with a reliable and trustworthy NJ home improvement contractor. This will make the contract signing a bit more less tense.

READ THE CONTRACT

I have sat down with hundreds of customers for contract signings. The first thing you want to make sure of is that you actually read the contract. No matter what, read the contract. Believe it or not, I would show up to a contract signing and the customer is ready to sign the contract and hand me a check without reading it. Sure, sounds easy for me right? In this scenario, it would eventually lead to problems. The customer would think he is getting this option when he actually is getting something else. Each and every contract signing, I always sit down with my customers and read the “entire” contract from start to finish. This way any items that are cloudy to them,  I will stop and discuss so that each and every item is clear. I recommend that you do the same when you are ready to have a contract signing with your NJ Home Improvement contractor.

PROJECT STAGES

You want to know prior to the work beginning, how long your NJ Home Improvement Contractor thinks the work process will last. It is a law in most states that your contractor must give an estimated time of completion in writing. In our contracts, not only do we have absolutely every little detail from start to finish, included we have a full page of the entire job process listing from the date of contract signing until the very end in great detail. It also states the estimated date of completion. Look for that in your contract, it can eliminate many problems .

WARRANTY

Inside your contract package, your NJ Home Improvement Contractor must provide a detailed warranty. This is mandatory in most states. Your warranty should list the time frame that the warranty is valid and exactly what items are covered in the warranty. As a NJ Home Improvement Contractor, I like to have our   warranties completely detailed on a separate form. Every area of concern is listed. It eliminates any second guessing. You should go over your warranty and discuss any questions you may have with your NJ Home Improvement Contractor.

CATEGORY BREAK DOWNS

The last issue I want to touch on is the bulk of your contract which will be the individual item categories such as Roofing, Siding, Heating/ Air Conditioning, Flooring, Finishing, Windows etc….  .

A good contract will have individual breakdowns of each of these types of categories, such as the examples above. There will be full detail of material itemized and any possible credits that go to the homeowner for items that they have purchased. I have found that the more detail listed, the better. When we have a contract signing, there is nothing left unmentioned. All material and individual categories are listed from start to finish. It also makes it easy for the homeowner to reference any item in question for the future.

Remember to read your contract, ask your NJ Home Improvement Contractor as many questions you feel are needed until there is no stone left unturned.

NJ HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR: ADDING HVAC TO YOUR HOME

Have you been contemplating adding central HVAC cooling and possibly heating. Anything is possible but more important, where does your budget lie.  As a NJ Home Improvement Contractor, I have installed hundreds of systems for my customers. The systems were installed in both new and old construction

 

NEW  CONSTRUCTION

As a NJ Home Improvement Contractor, when we build, more than ninety percent of our raised levels and addition projects are all installed with new HVAC heating  and cooling systems.  HVAC is a very efficient system and cost effective especially for a family that is on a tight budget. The HVAC systems components are usually installed in the attic which makes airflow and recirculation to your bedrooms in the new Raised Level run effectively and efficiently since the system is just a few feet away from the rooms they are heating and cooling. New HVAC systems are easily installed in new construction projects. An HVAC technician will measure your square footage and size up the proper system that will carry your home’s space accordingly via single or multi zone.

OLD  CONSTRUCTION

Many homeowners ask us if it is possible  to install an HVAC air conditioning system in their home. As a NJ Home Improvement Contractor ,we get many calls from homeowners that already have hot water or steam heating systems. They want us to install a new HVAC system but there are a few considerations to think about first.

How old is your current furnace? This is a biggie because you don’t want to install a new HVAC cooling system then in two years your steam or hot water furnace goes down due to old age. So consider the age of your current furnace, it’s cheaper to install an HVAC furnace WITH your cooling system at the same time then at separate times.

If you are just looking for a single HVAC cooling system, in most cases it can be installed. It is very rare that your NJ Home Improvement Contractor can’t install an HVAC system. If you live in a ranch for instance, most of the components can be installed in your attic such as the blower and duct work. Install the compressor  outside and its finished. This type of install is easy, but when you install in a multi level  home, running the duct work sometimes gets tricky so you may need to have a dual system installation. Consult with your NJ Home Improvement Contractor.

What can your NJ Home Improvement Contractor tell you about a Gas Fireplace!

What can your NJ Home Improvement Contractor  tell you about a Gas Fireplace!

Whether you are building a raised level, an addition or even just an interior renovation, your NJ Home Improvement Contractor can help you decide if a direct vent gas fireplace will be able to be installed in your home renovation.

FRAMING             

Depending on which unit you choose, each model has its own individual framing requirements. Your NJ Home Improvement Contractor will need to know what the opening will be for the unit. Your renovation contractor will frame around the insert (which is the actual fireplace itself) and this is where the fire place will be placed. The insert will be framed on an outside wall so the exhaust fumes can directly be vented outside. The easy part about this is there is no need for a chimney to be extended above the roof. The insert installation crew directs the exhaust fumes through the wall “Directly” behind the insert. With the appropriate fittings, your fireplace is ready for its utility connections

 

NEW CONSTRUCTION

Ultimately, installing any item in new construction would be cheaper and faster since the construction is open and exposed.  With that being said, your NJ Home Improvement Contractor can run the necessary utilities quicker and more direct. This obviously would be more beneficial to you.

EXISTING CONSTRUCTION

Anytime you have to make an installation, in this case a gas fireplace, if you are working with existing or “old” construction the price will be higher. The simple reason is that the utilities need to be installed and ran to the appropriate spots. When the walls and floors are closed up, then running the utilities is more labor intensive for your NJ Home Improvement Contractor.

 

 

WHAT UTILITIES ARE NEEDED

Your NJ Home Improvement Contractor will arrange for a licensed plumber and electrician to make the necessary connections.

Gas Line

When installing a gas fireplace, most models will have two utilities that will need to be extended to it. First, a gas line will need to be connected. Depending on the size of the unit, the proper gas line will need to be extended directly from the gas meter to the gas fireplace. Your licensed plumber will usually run the necessary flexible gas line in one run meaning there are no breaks in the line except at each end where the connections are made. Before connecting, an inspection will be needed to make sure the gas line has no leaks. After the inspection, the plumber can install the gas line to the fireplace and turn on pending the electric connection.

Electric

The other utility needed will be an electric line. Again, pending the size of the unit, you will have a licensed electrician run the proper electric line to feed the unit. The electric is used for the lighting mechanism. Many times in the area very close to the unit, the electrician will mount a switch that you will use to turn the fireplace on or off.

 

FINISHING

After the utilities are connected, your NJ Home Improvement Contractor can finish  off with sheetrock, spackling and paint. Many times the insert’s manufacturer will sell specific mantles, surrounding and screening as options. Other times you can install stone or your favorite tiling.

 

FIRE PLACE ACCESSORIES

Pending the size of your fireplace and  its BTU output, a nifty option that is very affordable is a blower fan. The blower fan simply takes all that heat that is produced and when the blower switch is on, sends the hot air out into the room. This option is worth every penny. In a matter of minutes, your room is feeling nice and comfy.

 

Another option for your gas fireplace is a remote control for the unit. The remote is used to operate the fireplace. Rather than having to get up  to turn the system on and off, this function can be controlled with our remote. Also some remotes have digital read out showing what the room temperature is at.

If you have any questions, contact your NJ Home Improvement Contractor

NJ Home Improvement Contractor:Tips for a Larger Floor Plan on Your Raised Level

Are you thinking about modifying your home and adding a Raised Level. You may not realize it but there are different ways you and your NJ Home Improvement Contractor can make your soon to be Raised Level floor plan larger.

Raised Level Above Your Garage:

Have your NJ Home Improvement Contractor recommend ways for you to build above your garage. Let’s take a look at your garage, yes that’s right!!!. Many times you can also build your raised level above your attached single or double car garage allowing you more livable square footage in addition to the area above the main area of your home. If your home was built from the 1960’s upward, chances are the foundation under your garage can support a second level. You cannot be certain unless your NJ Home Improvement Contractor actually digs a few test holes alongside your actual garage foundation. He will be looking to see where the bottom of the foundation ends. Here in the Northeast,many local building codes require the foundation bottom to be a minimum of three feet below grade due to the frost line. This can be verified by having your NJ Home Improvement Contractor call your  local building department. In case your foundation does not meet  the local code depth, your NJ Home Improvement Contractor can modify the depth and fill with concrete to meet the needed code requirement. Once this is established, you can start adding the new Raised Level above your garage. With the combined square footage of the area that comprises above your main home and the additional area above your garage, you can have a beautiful new combined floor layout. Best part of this is that many building departments are becoming more strict in regards to the zoning requirements and setbacks within your town. It’s becoming harder to receive a permit when applying for additions to your home based on these new lot coverage requirements. If you slightly exceed these new requirements, the home owner will have to go through a variance meeting that involves usually a two -three month wait where you would go before your town and apply for the right to receive the permit to extend your home. By building above your existing garage for added square footage, you are building above an existing structure that  many times already conforms to your local building department requirements in which you may not need a variance.

Cantilever Your Raised Level

With the proper planning, your NJ Home Improvement Contractor can provide you with a larger floor plan for your raised level by cantilevering the new floor. When we say cantilever, it is simply referred to as an “overhang”. Many times, your new floor plan can incorporate a cantilever for additional square footage. When cantilevering, your NJ Home Improvement Contractor can add or sister new floor beams alongside the existing floor beams to create an extended beam that hangs out either past the front , rear , left or right side of your home. The most practical use to cantilever your raised level is in the front or back walls of your home. Many times a cantilever can extend two – three feet. For this example we will use two feet as our model. If you cantilever your front floor area two feet across the front top floor of a home that’s thirty feet wide, you just gained sixty more feet of floor space. Lets add to this example. If you do the exact same for the rear of the top floor you will pick up an additional sixty square feet for a total of one hundred twenty square feet. It a fairly easy way to gain more square footage. The only area of concern here is now you are extending your home towards the front and back property line. This could possibly infringe on these setbacks which would have to be looked at by your architect to confirm validity but for an architect, this is 10 minutes worth of investigating and you will have your answer if you think you are already close with your front yard setback.

As you can see, there are a few possible ways to gain added square footage  on your  new raised level. Discuss these options with your  NJ Home Improvement Contractor and hopefully you will benefit from the items mentioned above.

Building A Raised Level On Your Cape Cod

      

My Cape in Bergen County NJ              

Having your NJ Home Improvement Contractor build a Raised Level on your Cape Cod home has many advantages for you and your family in Bergen County NJ. A Cape Cod home (most people call it a “cape”) usually has two bedrooms on the first floor along with the kitchen, bathroom and dining room. As you open the front door a staircase going upstairs lies right in front of you although some capes also have the staircase located near the kitchen more towards the center of the house. Upstairs, there’s usually one of two choices. The entire top floor either is one large room or it’s broken down to two rooms usually split in the middle.  The trade mark ceiling line inside the top floor of the cape is known for their low lying ceilings maxing out usually at seven to seven and a half feet ceiling height. New home construction ceiling height is minimum eight feet, so these ceilings are considered low. The unfortunate point here is where the knee wall slopes up towards the ceiling, this slanted ceiling area is even more wasted space. It is
difficult to stand, walk and even put furniture in the area near the knee walls. A knee wall is a short wall, usually approximately four –five feet high. These knee walls are built inwards towards the center of the home from the very front and back walls of the first floor.

Raised Level Reconfiguration

The idea of building your raised level is to maximize the space or square footage that
exists on your top floor. The low ceiling height and two knee walls limit the functionality of your existing top floor in your cape. Remember the 4’ knee walls are built inwards from the front and back wall usually a minimum of four feet. This creates a dead space and usually ends up as a tiny storage area that is hardly accessible. We have a mix of different Raised Level packages. Each package is very unique, but more important we have made it possible to really maximize the new Raised Level floor plan. As a NJ Home Improvement Contractor, we have packages that can be seen here, our experience allows us to offer fast service and excellent quality at unbeatable prices. Again, this is based on our experience. There is no time wasted during the building process. While we are building and home remodeling, our goal is simple; we want to get finished in five to six weeks. As a home improvement specialist, our expertise in Raised
Level and Multi Level renovations helps the customer maximize your Raised Level options to their fullest. We find that most homeowners need a minimum of at least three bedrooms and one full bathroom. At no additional cost, we will install, if possible, a cathedral master bedroom ceiling with recessed lighting, as well as a jack and Jill door in the standard bathroom home remodeling packages. A jack and Jill door is simply a second door into the bathroom. This second door will go from the master bedroom into the bathroom so the owners will not have to go through the hall to the bathroom.                                              

Raised Levels: Offering Bergen County Families More For Less

Although this basic three bedroom, one bathroom is fairly standard, our pricing and
market leadership in Bergen County NJ for Raised Level construction allows us to
offer bigger, better packages for less. Sometimes our four bedroom two bath packages are priced the same as other contractors bids for three bedrooms with one bath. All of our new Raised Levels come standard with eight foot ceilings. In the master bedroom, we package in a ten foot cathedral ceiling for no additional fee.

                                                         Lots of closets In Your Home Remodeling

Would you agree that you never can have enough closets? Our master bedroom package has a standard walk in closet. If room allows us, we will offer for free his/her
separate walk in closets. The remaining bedrooms all have their own oversized bi-fold door entry closet, opening up for full easy access to shelving and or hung garments. In the hall, if possible we again provide a linen closet near the new bathroom locations.

My New Attic, A Home Improvement Must                                              

Since the original capes had low ceilings which were built against the roof rafters on
the slope of the roof, this usually meant that they had little to no attic. Our new Raised Level packages all offer an attic access pull down stair entry. This enables you to simply pull down on a chord attached to a foldable stair unit that collapses when folded. Pull down on the rope, the ladder unfolds and you have access into your new attic. Lift the stairs up and it folds back up into the ceiling. This attic serves a few purposes. In most cases the new furnace components are set up in the attic neatly tucked away. Also, your new attic can be used for additional storage. We provide lighting and the  necessary electric in order to meet code requirements.

For more information, Click here to more information on Raised Levels, Additions and
Complete Home Renovations.

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Your Raised Level-Hiring a NJ Home Improvement Contractor in Bergen County NJ

NJ HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR: RAISED LEVEL

The time has come and you want to call a NJ Home Improvement Contractor to build a Raised Level on your home in Bergen County NJ.. You and your spouse have a budget set, financing secured but you are not sure which NJ Home Improvement Contractor is going to build your Raised Level Renovation project. Also, you are not sure how all the small details are going to play out. You need to iron out some of these details early on so here are a few important things that you will need to go over.

DECIDING ON A NJ HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR:                

Deciding on which home improvement contractor to hire for your raised level project in Bergen county NJ can be a difficult decision. Everywhere you look, there goes another contractor vehicle but which one is a good fit for you. The only way to really know is to actually call some NJ Home Improvement Contractors, set up appointments and meet them for an interview….yes you read that correctly. An interview is exactly the way you must treat this as.

Meeting New Jersey Contractors

Remember a crew of workers is going to be literally taking over “YOUR HOME” for roughly three months. They will be coming and going, in and out all day long. If you live onsite as the construction is going on then you will be right in the mix. You want to meet the owners that run their crew of workers.  Feel him out to see if you think he is the type of person you want to have running throughout your home with a crew of workers. Does he seem like he can handle a crew responsibly?  It’s much better if you get along with the contractor since he will be at your home and more importantly will be the person that you communicate daily with.  Will he manage even the small elements as good as the larger daily functions?  I am a great judge of character. You give me five minutes and I can determine if a person will be able to accomplish the tasks that I ask him to be responsible for. If you can do this as well then it can save you lots of potential problems while the job is underway.

Who’s Providing the Architect for your Raised Level Renovation?

When it comes to your architectural plans which will be needed to apply for a building permit, the homeowners have a few options.

The first option is simple. Hire an architect, meet with him and have him draft your ideas into a set of architectural drawings. The architect will meet with you several times
and go over your ideas. This is a very one on one scenario. He is listening and accumulating your feedback and input then transferring it into preliminary plans. This is great if you want to be in direct communication with the architect. Remember, he is being paid by the hour so this option tends to be very costly. The other thing worth mentioning is you may not even like what the final product is after several meetings. At that point you may be $4,000 dollars and counting in the hole already. When it’s finally over with, the price may be up to $5,000-$8,000 for a raised level based on all the hours
spent going back and forth. On a positive note, your ideas expressed will be on paper for all those contractors to view and bid on.

The second option is the one that I have used with my customers throughout the years. Some contractors will provide their own architect. We have our own in house
architect that we provide to our signed customers. The way this works is simple and we can use my system as an example. You would call us for an estimate. When a representative arrives, we will listen to what your ideas are then within a few days we would provide you with a proposal. In most cases, people will call us a few times with the standard questions that most homeowners ask and we would answer them accordingly. Once a homeowner decides to move forward we would set up a contract signing. After the contract signing was completed we will provide a date within 2-3 days after the contract signing where the architect will arrive at your home. The day the architect arrives, he would be handed a package of information only pertaining to YOUR job. This information is everything stated in the contract which was signed days earlier. He would simply measure your home where the raised level or home improvement project will be built, then within 1 week you will be provided with a set of preliminary drawings. To speed up the process, we usually send the plans via email direct to the customer. The customer will then notify us of any changes. In
most cases, this usually goes back and forth one or two times. Once the homeowner approves, we will finalize the plans and then submit the drawings to your local building department for a zoning review. This system is usually included in our home improvement pricing plan and works out to save the customer thousands of dollars. Not all contractors have an in house architect nor work side by side with an architect but it is important to ask if they do, it can save you thousands of dollars.

Another Cost Saving Tip           

After stressing the savings you realize when hiring a contractor that has their own in
house architect, I can’t stress even more the savings you realize by working with a contractor that has its own architect especially if unexpected problems develop while building your Raised Level.

When building your raised level, many times things pop up that is not expected. When
this is the case and yes this happens a lot with existing home renovations and construction, an architect will be needed immediately to verify the findings and make adjustments to the plans. For instance, let’s say a raised level is being built and in the early stages while the new second floor is being framed the builder realizes that the original floor beams are not what they were thought to be or even let’s say the existing chimney which runs through the new second floor plan is off and in actuality falls inside the new upper bathroom by six inches. These items need to be addressed now. Not tomorrow nor the next day. Any hold ups can mean another day your top floor is not covered properly making it exposed to the outside weather conditions. When working with a contractor that has his own architect, most cases that architect is on call and
will arrive to verify and remedy the situation with an alternate plan of action that meets your local building department codes. If there are any fees for the unexpected issue changes, they usually are minimal. When we are hired, I usually make sure no extra architect fees are charged to my customers.

The opposite is usually the case when hiring an outside architect. I also found that the homeowner provided architects were slow to respond to emergency calls. These delays are very costly for the homeowner. In most cases where this has happened, I found that the overcharges directed at the homeowner were usually very excessive.

These are just a few of the things to consider when hiring your NJ Home Improvement
Contractor to build a raised level for your family.

NJ Home Improvement Contractor: Bathroom Renovation

BATHROOM RENOVATIONS     

Bathroom remodeling and or a bathroom renovation are good investments for your home. If you live in Bergen County New Jersey, chances are you own a home built approximately in the 1940’s  – 1960’s. The bathroom is probably a standard 5’x9’ space with a window in the tub area, a 30” vanity and the usual toilet. Also, it’s probably the only bathroom in the house. As a NJ Home Improvement Contractor,  We renovate many bathrooms each year. We also build brand new construction master bedroom – master bathroom suites. When we complete a home renovation, that single bathroom home is now two and a half to three and a half bathrooms. Imagine on a Monday morning 40 years ago, 3. 4 or even 5 people rushing to get ready in the morning with only one bathroom in the house. This is sometimes the
case these days.

NJ HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR: BATHROOM REMODELING

Most people now want their original bathrooms completely remodeled. There’s a couple of different home improvement options that can be accomplished here. The first thing is, you can strip the existing bathroom down to its studs. Then have your NJ Home Improvement Contractor replace it with more modern fixtures and tile products. The other home improvement choice tying itself into building a raised level is since the existing 1st floor bedrooms will then be relocated to our new bedroom layout upstairs, you can utilize the existing bedroom along side the first floor bath. Remove the wall dividing the two and expand the bath making it larger. Other times it is the exact opposite. Homeowners want their NJ Home Improvement Contractor to remove the tub making the final bath renovation into a powder room by downsizing that space. Most clients opt for a master bedroom- master bathroom suite as well as a standard bathroom upstairs
making it 2 full baths on the new raised level. With this option, in some cases there is no need to have a full bath on the first floor.

NJ HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR: HIRE THE RIGHT COMPANY                                             

Your bathroom renovation home improvement project shouldn’t take more than a week if you hire the right company. When choosing a bathroom remodeling company, again you must ask the New Jersey contractor for references. Crewmen will be moving throughout the home. You want to make sure that they are cautious and maintain a neat environment. Checking on a few of their previous jobs and previous homeowners feedback can save you a lot of trouble.  Moving forward, chances are the original bath was made with plaster board walls. When removing this material, it tends to be extremely dusty. This dust travels fast and can usually be a tedious clean up. Proper opening covering is a must to block the flow of this material and dusty particles. Plastic barriers can really do the trick. If the home remodeling company you hire is experienced in this type of job, the bathroom should be stripped down in less than 1 day. Prior to starting the work, your crew manager should have given you a list of fixtures and tile
quantities that will be needed on site. The process we go through for our bathroom remodeling projects is the following: We have custom forms for each bathroom. Most home improvement jobs we are hired for usually have both a bathroom renovation and at least one or two new bathrooms. On average, each of our jobs usually have two – three bathrooms so in our contract package we enclose bathroom forms labeled bathrooms 1, 2, 3 etc. Each set of forms has its own tile and fixture quantity forms. These forms are left blank and given to the homeowners as part of the contract package. When needed, we will take these forms and fill out all the necessary fixture sizes and tile quantities needed for the bathroom renovation. The homeowner‘s will then go and purchase exactly what they want as far as fixtures and tiling, then have it delivered back to the job site. A lot of times, the homeowner will go to select suppliers that we use and get a contractor discount which helps save them money. Having the necessary material onsite allows us to move through the home renovation project quicker. Also, you can take your time buying these items and once they are onsite, we can start the renovation. As soon as the items are on site, the homeowners job is basically finished.

NJ HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR: A Complete Bathroom Renovation         When considering a bathroom remodeling, we often factor in the following. In most cases, a bathroom renovation will need updated wiring and new plumbing such as shower valves and shut off hardware for the plumbing. You want to make sure these items are changed and part of the package. Since the walls are open, its best to get this
accomplished now. It may add a day or two to the construction but its well worth it. Assuming a bathroom renovation usually can be completed within a week, the stages for us are as follows.  Day 1 our demolition crew arrives to strip down the existing bathroom to its original studs. We usually accomplish this within 1 day. In a couple of hours the bathroom renovation area is completely clean and ready for the upgrades. Day 2 the plumbers arrive to install the tub, shower valve and replace the old water shut offs on the toilet and sink. Day 3 the electrical crew should be at the construction site replacing old electrical wiring, adding new high hats and even installing a new bath fan and GFI wall outlets. Now we are ready for inspections. If all was planned out properly, the inspectors would be set up for your utility inspections on day 3. Anytime the electrical or plumbing is altered, the appropriate permits are required, and an inspection will be needed.  Since the space is small, immediately after the inspections the insulation should be installed which in most cases in a bath wouldn’t take more than 1 hour for a bathroom renovation. Now we are set up for your insulation inspection for day 4. Pending the arrival of the inspector, next up is the sheetrock installation. This part of the renovation process usually is considered the messiest but if your home improvement contractor knows what he is doing, the mess should be minimal. For us this usually takes a few hours from installing to cleaning up. My crew uses a quick dry wall spackling application for small spaces such as a bathroom. This
quick dry method is only used when the homeowners are still living in the home and only have this 1 bathroom. In half a day the walls are spackled and sanded, ready for paint. With 2 days left, tile installation has to be installed in the tub area and on the floor the very least. Sometimes people opt for wall tile and even the ceiling can be tiled. Toss in a few accent tiles and a border and now the tile is finished. With the tile installation taking almost 1 day, they will come back the next day to apply the grout. Grouting only takes a couple of hours so as soon as its grouted the plumbing crew will show up later on  and install the toilet, vanity, sink and finally the shower head. The water will be turned on and you will be ready to roll. Hiring the right NJ Home Improvement Contractor will be very important in being able to finish your bathroom renovation within one week.

More on this subject to come . If you enjoyed this post, let me know.

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Building an Addition to your Home

NJ HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR:   

 ADDITIONS

Being a Bergen County New Jersey home improvement contractor, I am always asked what type of home renovation do I think would increase functionality to their home. One of the more popular choices would be an addition also commonly call an extension.

First floor additions can have many uses. Some of the more common uses for an addition are family rooms, kitchens, mother daughter space, garages, living room, dining room or even an entertainment room. Most families need more space, especially on the first floor. We get many calls for a free consultation. When we arrive to their
Bergen County New Jersey home, it’s obvious that the floor space is limited. Adding
an addition can answer all your problems. Whether its one floor or a multi level addition, adding that new space couldn’t happen fast enough. One of our best home improvement sellers is the sunken family room with 10’ cathedral ceiling. Add a bunch of windows and a French door to the rear yard and now you have a great area for the family to meet.

Your home improvement addition would solve a lot of your homes problems. In fact we usually add at least enough square footage space to include a family room and a kitchen extension when building behind the existing kitchen. This new area is usually built off of the original kitchen. Something to think about also is in most cases we add above this new square footage space extending the second floor with usually a master bedroom / bathroom suite or even standard bedrooms utilizing both upper and lower area of your multi level home improvement project.

When adding an addition such as a new family room, dining room or kitchen, many times we add a full basement below. This basement space can also become comfortable living space if planned properly. Many times we build entertainment rooms, media centers or even just plain storage which you can never have enough of. If a basement is not affordable, then a crawl space would be substituted. A crawl space is exactly what the name says, ( a Crawl space).  A crawl space is the area underneath the 1st floor finished room. It’s an open storage area usually anywhere from 24” to 48” high, more towards the lower number. A cement slab covers the floor and the walls are masonry block. Its fully enclosed and weather proof. Usually an access panel to this area is either on the outside or a panel is installed in the existing basement into this crawl space for access in the future. You never know if you need to access piping or wiring for the future. Either way, both access holes have a door to close off this area. If
the grade of your property is high, you may instead need a cement slab or concrete slab as your floor. An easy way to determine this is when you walk out your back door and there are only 1 or 2 steps to the ground outside, you may only need to have a concrete slab for the 1st floor which would be poured between your masonry foundation walls. Usually a shoe block would be used to create the perimeter of the addition.

What would be a great home improvement extra for your addition?  Many family rooms are built with fireplaces. We also install several inside the master bedroom suites.  We install many gas and wood burning units. I have a gas fireplace in my living room. There is nothing easier than grabbing that remote control, turning it on and within a minute or two it is producing heat while a beautiful flame is in front of you burning like a normal wood burner. Also, most gas burners can have an optional blower unit installed which
pushes the hot air out into the room. Great feature and wouldn’t install one without. For a few hundred dollars, you can get the blower and remote as an additional feature… well worth the expense for your home remodeling project.

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More on this subject to come. If you enjoyed this post, let me know.