It’s February – the month we celebrate Valentine’s Day. If you need help falling in love with your home again, let’s talk! Reach out anytime – we’re here to help.
There’s More to a Great Family Room Than Just a Big-Screen TV.
The Family Room remains one of the most popular places to watch TV, movies, or play games. But there’s more to creating a great Family Room than simply installing a wide-screen TV.
If you want to get the most out of your Family Room, you’ll probably want to rethink the basic design of the room so that it accommodates all of your needs—not just TV viewing.
You may want some space for quiet conversation. Or you may want to have a nook for reading. It could be that in your home’s current configuration the Family Room is totally cut off from the kitchen. Perhaps you’d prefer an open, “Great Room” concept where your kitchen, dining area, and Family Room all flow together (and nobody has to get stuck alone in the kitchen).
If you’re having trouble envisioning that kind of a change, that’s where we can help! We’re trained to look at space a little differently. Often we can “see” solutions that may not seem obvious (or even possible) to you. Give us a call and we can help you design and create a Family Room that meets all of your needs – and is still a great place to watch whatever you want on television.
Where Should You Place Your TV?
It’s easy to get preoccupied with the size and features of a new big-screen TV. But once you get it home you have to figure out where it’s going to go! Viewing distance is a big deal if you want to enjoy that new TV.
If you purchase a 65-inch 4K TV, for instance, you’ll want to sit about 6-feet from the screen for the best experience. If you chose a set with 1080p resolution, you’d need to sit about 8 1/2-feet away at the same 65-inch screen size. CNET has a helpful article that will help you choose the right size TV for your Family Room.
Happy New Years to you and yours! We hope you have enjoyed (and are still enjoying!) a wonderful holiday season.
Check out the article below for a New Year’s resolution you might actually enjoy making (and achieving) in 2017!
Making Real Changes for the New Year
(3 Things That Can Help)
If you really want to make a significant change this year, consider what changes you might make to your home to make it more comfortable and enjoyable. But keep in mind that home remodeling ideas can be a little bit like New Year’s resolutions: They need to be realistic and specific, and you need to be prepared to follow through.
Here are three things to think about to ensure you get the most out of your home remodel this year:
- Think About Function: It’s fun and inspiring to look at images of fantastic homes on Houzz.com or BHG.com. You’ll see gorgeous rooms and improvements. But before getting wrapped up in the visuals, think about how you want your home to function. What would make your kitchen more useable? What would help to create a family room that’s more comfortable and inviting? Think about function first and then consider the visual appeal.
- Think About Budget: What are you really willing to spend in order to make the improvements you want? Be realistic about your budget. You don’t want to get in over your head with an outrageous project. But the flip side is equally bad. Trying to do something too cheaply can leave you frustrated because you won’t get the results you want.
- Think About Timeline: A good remodeling project isn’t an overnight affair. Allow enough time to plan, shop, and review. And when you talk to us about remodeling – let’s be sure to talk about a realistic schedule for completion. If you’re remodeling for an event (a birthday, anniversary, wedding, etc,) allow yourself (and us) enough time to complete the project and have some time left over for finishing touches and decoration. It can really take the stress out of the process for you.
Does It Make You Happy?
For years Remodeling Magazine has conducted a study on which projects homeowners are happiest with. One of the criteria is the years of pleasure owners enjoy after a project is finished, which they call the “Joy Score”. The top four projects are:
- Adding a New Bathroom
- New Fiber-Cement Siding
- A Complete Kitchen Renovation
- A Kitchen Upgrade
Reach out anytime! We are here to help.
It is easy to get lost in the flurry of activity during the holiday season. May you get time to take in the beauty and true meaning of the season and have a Merry Christmas!
What’s For Dinner Over the Holidays?
Let’s face it: Cooking and eating are a big part of our holiday celebrations. But what’s for dinner across America? That depends.
Ham, turkey, and roast beef are somewhat traditional favorites, but there are also regional favorites. Oysters, ham pie and biscuits are popular in Virginia (reflecting their English roots).
The Midwest often shows it’s Scandinavian heritage with offerings of lutefisk and mashed rutabaga or turnips. Gulf Coast areas often offer up shrimp and other seafood as appetizers.
In more rural areas (or in areas where hunting is popular) you might find fare such as elk or quail on the table. Family heritage and traditions often influence the culinary choices. What’s for dinner at your house?
Make Your Kitchen A Place You Love to Be
Regardless of what you’re serving for dinner at your house, having a comfortable place to enjoy your meal is an essential. We often have much larger groups over during the holidays. How can you make your home a place family and friends want to be?
Three rooms in particular play an important role for holiday entertaining: Your kitchen, dining area, and family room. Are those three rooms in your home optimized to allow guests to eat and interact comfortably? One way to tackle those three key areas at one fell swoop is to consider a remodeling project that transforms your home with an open design plan.
By eliminating some walls (make sure you have a professional – like us – working on this to ensure you’re not taking out a load-bearing wall) you’ll open the space up dramatically. The space in those three rooms will actually feel bigger (even if you don’t add square footage). Plus, family and friends can easily move from one space to another—and nobody gets stuck alone in the kitchen.
It may be too late to make this kind of change for this holiday season, but it’s the perfect time to start thinking and planning. And with January 1 coming up—you’ll have a New Year’s resolution that you’ll really want to keep!
Tips For Holiday Entertaining in a Smaller Space
What can you do if you’re entertaining in a smaller space and don’t have time to remodel before your guests arrive? Here are a few tips that can help you get the most out of your smaller space.
- Flexible Table: Consider purchasing a table that can be expanded with leaves. It’s small for everyday use and can be expanded for larger groups.
- Buffet Style Serving: If you don’t have enough room for a big spread use a buffet or folding table to hold the food and serve it buffet style.
- Think Vertical: Create centerpieces that are tall and dramatic (but thin) that won’t take up valuable table space. Keep things uncluttered. It accents the space you do have.
- Decorate For a Small Space: Use plenty of light and reflective surfaces (mirrors and metallic surfaces) to make the space you have feel more expansive.
When you are looking to hire a remodeler, you’re usually drawn in by the before-and-after pictures and by the potential of your new space. While those photos are attractive and grab your attention, BEWARE — they don’t tell the whole story.
What happens in the time between those before-and-after photos is just as important as the end result. That’s why when you’re ready to hire a remodeler, make sure to discuss the “during,” specifically how the remodeler will take care of you while your house is being remodeled.
Most homeowners want to stay in their homes during demolition and construction. We understand this, and it is why Nate’s Custom Renovations discusses a livability plan with clients before we start a project. This plan helps homeowners understand the timeline, logistics, dust control and safety precautions associated with the project.
For example, 85% of homeowners surveyed said remodeling dust was the most serious inconvenience of their entire remodeling project. To ensure a better remodeling experience, we control dust by isolating the work area, controlling airflow and capturing dust with an air scrubber known as the BuildClean Dust Control System.
During a remodeling project, the responsibility for indoor air quality is in our hands. It’s vital for us (and all remodelers) to use the latest technological tools such as BuildClean to control the excessive amount of dust that gets stirred up every single day of a remodeling project. One study shows that homes being remodeled have five to eight times the amount of particles in the air than homes that are not being remodeled. Remodeling dust – some of it so small you can’t see – can damage your short-term and long-term health.
You can rest assured that we use BuildClean to control the air during our projects because it is the most effective way to keep dust out of your lungs and off your belongings.
We were pleased to be recently featured in Strictly Business Magazine.
Strictly Business Magazine is Lincoln, Nebraska’s ONLY monthly business to business magazine containing vital Lincoln business knowledge for their readers.
Get to know Nate Bahm, owner of Nate’s Custom Renovations in this Q&A article with questions about business challenges, achievements, his family, turning points in his career, favorite things to do on his days off, and more.
Click here to see his answers!
Great Balls of Fire!
The month of August is a hot one, but that’s nothing compared to “Las Bolas de Fuego” (Balls of fire) celebrated in the small town of Nejapa, El Salvador every August. That’s when competing groups of young people in the village hurl flaming balls (comprised of old cloth and wire soaked in gasoline) at each other. Participants are well protected so that no one is burned during the festivities. Some say the event commemorates the eruption of El Payon volcano in 1658 forcing area residents to relocate.
Here’s What Else Is Hot…
The weather isn’t the only thing that’s hot in August. There are some pretty hot remodeling trends that you might want to look into before summer slips away.
- Livability Over Luxury: Homeowners are more interested in projects that add everyday comfort and convenience than in over-the-top opulence.
- Personalized Style: People are looking for design and décor that better suits their personal lifestyle and taste rather than blindly following fads. Homes are more customized.
- Separate Showers and Tubs: For years showers and tubs together were the norm. Today more homeowners have separate shower and bath spaces (and some homeowners opt for super-sized showers and no bath at all).
- Importance of Accessibility: As increasing numbers of Americans plan to stay in their own homes longer, they are taking steps now to ensure that their existing homes make it easier to access important areas of their home. That impacts outlets, countertops, hallways, and stairs. Making design changes now makes aging in place a much smoother transition.
- Open Design (Especially Kitchens): While the open kitchen design isn’t brand new, it’s still extremely popular – and is still a hot trend in older homes where the kitchen was isolated from other common rooms (family room, living room, dining room).
Late summer is a great time to start the remodeling process while kids are out of school and your schedule is a little less hectic. If any of the things mentioned here strike a chord with you, now is a great time to talk to us about creating a plan that will deliver the kind of result you want and help you enjoy your home even more as you head into fall.
Before sharing a quick remodeling tip below – we wanted to thank you for reading our emails and for your support.
Please don’t hesitate to reply to our emails (even this one!) with your remodeling questions or just to let us know how you, your family, and your home are doing!
We are happy to help and would love to hear from you.
Three Important Documents for Your Home Remodeling Project
As we celebrate the 4th of July with family and friends – we recognize that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were without question two of the most important documents in the building of our country.
There are also some very important documents you should pay attention to when you’re remodeling your home.
1. Your Plan/Design: The plan/design for your project is your chance to visualize how the newly remodeled space will look. This is helpful because sometimes seeing the plan/design laid out gives you a clearer idea of what’s really happening. And it’s much better to make changes at the planning stage rather than during the construction phase.
2. Your Contract: The contract you sign with your remodeler spells out all the terms and conditions involved in doing the remodeling work. It covers price, materials, schedule, job scope, and a host of other things. This document exists to protect both you and the remodeler, so don’t be in a rush to sign it. Your written contract spells everything out in detail and makes sure everyone involved is on the same page.
3. Your Change Order Form: Let’s be honest, sometimes changes do happen in the middle of a project. Some may be small changes – some may be more significant. A change order form spells out exactly what the change is, what it will cost, and how it may affect the schedule. Once again, it makes sure everything is clear and all parties are on the same page.
These documents are essential to making sure your remodeling project delivers the results you want, so read them carefully before signing your “John Hancock!”
We were happy to be recently included in the Business Achievements section of the Lincoln Journal Star.
You can see the online version here:
Nate’s Custom Renovations honored with Big50 award
New in June
June 25, 1951 marked the introduction of something new for the American public: CBS aired the very first commercial color TV program.
Unfortunately, very few people saw it because almost nobody had color TVs at the time. That’s not surprising, since – even several years later, a color TV sold for $1,295—the equivalent of $11,411 in 2015 dollars!
Contrary to popular belief, some things actually work better and cost less today than they did more than 60 years ago!
New Kitchen Ideas for June
Television sets aren’t the only things to change since the 1950s. The way we use our kitchens today (and how they look) has changed dramatically as well. Instead of being tucked away out of sight (presumably to hide the dirty dishes and cooking utensils?) today’s kitchens are generally the heart of the home, where family and friends gather.
That’s why today’s kitchen remodeling ideas include options such as:
- Opening the kitchen to the dining room and/or family room
- Redesigning the workspace to make it easier to use and host guests
- Kitchen lighting that enhances work areas (task lighting) and creates ambience
- Replacing worn countertops with surfaces that are both beautiful and durable
- Larger windows that let in more natural light
- Flooring materials that are stunning to look at and hold up to daily wear and tear
- Installing cabinets that provide a fresh, modern look, while offering ample storage space that’s easy to access
If you’re having trouble imagining how your kitchen can be an open area where friends and family like to gather, talk us about ways to turn even an older, darker kitchen into a bright, welcoming space. We may have some practical ideas you haven’t even considered!
A Guide to Choosing Kitchen Cabinets
It’s relatively easy to say that you want to replace the cabinets in your kitchen with new ones that better reflect your lifestyle. The problem is that there are lots of choices. How do you choose cabinets that fit your sense of style, the kind of use you’ll give them—and your budget?
Consumer Reports has a helpful Kitchen Cabinet Buying Guide that walks you through the basic-but-important elements to consider before you commit to a purchase that can account to as much as 40 percent of your kitchen remodeling budget.
Question For You:
Do you have a remodeling project you have been thinking about getting started? Please email us and let us know!