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Anatomy of Home Remodeling

Approaching your home remodel project in a systematic, planned and structured way is the best way to get the results you expect out of the project. Home remodeling Ames Iowa is exciting as well as the tricky subject. Here are the different steps to go about your home remodeling mission.

  • Step-1
    Hiring the right contractor for your home remodeling is the first step. The important aspects to note here is whether the contractor you choose is bonded and licensed. Go through some customer reviews to ascertain the satisfaction levels they have guaranteed in their earlier works. Studying a handful of options and landing on the bet one is the right way out.
  • Step-2
    Once the room layout and design are completed, the next step is to obtain the necessary permits from the concerned authorities. Building permit and electrical permit are essential. Usually, a good contractor will take care of obtaining them on your behalf.
  • Step-3
    Protect the job site with plastic sheets hung and the floors covered. This is necessary to prevent any damages during demolition if there are any. The materials accumulated during deconstruction can be used once again or sold or donated to good causes.
  • Step-4
    Gather together all the products that the structure demands including framing for new walls, decorative hardware, a new shower as in the case of residential bathroom remodeling Ames Iowa, a toilet, doors, windows, skylights and other fittings and additions as necessary.
  • Step-5
    This stage involves plumbing works, laying new drains, water pipes, and water lines, laying new wires for additional outlets necessary, and installing lights, switches, lighting fixtures, accessories and other appliances as per the plans.
  • Step-6
    A request is submitted for plumbing, electrical and framing inspection. This is done by the concerned local government authorities.
  • Step-7
    Once the inspection gives a green signal, insulations are installed if any are necessary. In some jurisdictions, you are required to submit the photographs of the insulations for the installations to be passed.
  • Step-8
    During this stage, you can plan the painting if there are no other works pending that can cause some scratches on the paintings. You can either do the painting now and carry out the touch-ups if required later or choose to paint at a later stage.
  • Step-9
    Install the flooring. Depending on what type of floor you go for, it can take varying timelines to complete. Install them to a point that the new floor can be walked on without any damages to them. Around this time, you can also install the wainscoting and tile shower surrounds. After curing the floors, protect them by placing a Ram Board for instance.
  • Step-10
    During this stage, you can install the cabinetry and countertops and other appliances you have planned. However, once the countertops are installed, give not less than 12 hours before installing the appliances so that the adhesive is cured well.
  • Step-11
    This is the time to finish the plumbing and electrical works and faucets, hot-water dispensers, decorative lightings, cover plates, and others.
  • Step-12
    Once all the works mentioned above are completed as per your plans, you can call for final inspection. You can allow four working days for the inspector to carry out the inspection. When the project has received the final inspection signoff, you can remove the job site protection and clean up the site.
  • Step-13
    Ask the contractor to give you a walk-through of the entire project to identify issues that concern you and correct them before they commission the project to you. Make a thorough inspection personally spending enough time so that any major and minor rectifications necessary are done before you make the final payment.
 

Renovation Nightmare – How to Avoid the Giant in the Room?

Home renovation can be highly exciting as well as nerve-wracking. It is ‘Exciting’ because it can enhance the looks and comfort of your home. It can be ‘nerve-wracking’ as the costs associated with it and the hassles you will face can be scary. However, with the right approach, you can make a home remodelling Ames Iowa interesting and successful. Here is a systematic approach that can help avoid the renovation nightmare.

Plan your objectives
In the first place, jump into the project by listing the objectives in front of you. This means, you must figure out what you wish to achieve from the renovation project. The objectives can be improving the elevation, enhancing the looks, repairing some aspects, adding more comfort and convenience, going trendy, improving the resale value of the property and others. It is important to take into account the needs and expectations of your family members while finalizing the list.

Convert the objectives into specific tasks and modules
Once the list of objectives is ready, you can convert the objectives into specific tasks and modules so that you get a ready reckoner to discuss with the general contractors Ames Iowa and clearly state what jobs are to be accomplished.

Shortlist a few contractors to work with
The next crucial task is to find out the best general contractors Ankeny IA to work with. You can make a list of available options by exploring on the internet, doing a manual search and also taking referrals from friends or contacts.

Get two to three quotes
Once you have shortlisted the contractors to work with, you can give them the details of the tasks you wish to accomplish and ask for quotes. It is good to have the contractors visit your site and understand the jobs clearly in order to give a reliable quote. Getting no more than 3 quotes can immensely helpful in moving with the next important step of the renovation project. You want to remember you want to make this process easier and you’ll find if you go out and get a bunch of estimates, then you’ll have your hands full just trying to decipher and compare apples to apples between all the estimates. Nine times out of ten, you’ll get decent pricing options with a smaller estimate group. By keeping this process to 2-3 bids, you’ll still accomplish what you’re setting out to do and enjoy the process a lot more.

What do you learn from the quotes?
The quotes you got from the contractors can be highly helpful in several ways to proceed with the job.

In the first place, renovations are not every day jobs that you always engage in. Therefore, you might not know what they mean to your budget and efforts. As you go through the quotes given by different contractors, you will know if some jobs are going to rip your budget. In such case, you can prioritize the jobs you wish to do and remove the ones that might be extravagant or unaffordable. Ensure that the list of tasks you finalize will work out to 80% of the proposed budget so that you will have a comfortable margin of 20% to cover any unexpected expenses.

The other benefit of the quotes is they help you choose the right contractor. Before finalizing the contractor, get to know their accomplishments, reviews of the past customers and the price range. Once you choose the right contractor, the job is half done.

If it’s a renovation, remodel, or an addition type project, be sure you talk to a contractor that does only that type of work. Also choose a contractor that’s out on the job himself with his crew or ideally he’s a part of the crew himself. For instance, a company like Addition Doctors, the people you talk to about your project in the beginning will be the same people who will be out there making sure your job gets done correctly. Especially with renovation, remodel work, there are always issues that come up and having the boss out there on the job is critical.

Plan the necessary makeshift arrangements
During the renovation project, you might have to go for some alternative arrangements to continue with your regular routine like finding a makeshift or alternative bathroom or cooking place. Give a thoughtful approach to this aspect as your family must successfully be able to put up with the difficulties on the way till the renovation project is completed.

A planned and systematic approach to renovation can help you avoid the nightmare of the project and also get the best out of it without burning your pockets.

4 Types Of Home Renovation: Which Ones Boost the Home Value?

Home renovation is not simply an add-on to your loving home—it actually means a higher value for your property when it comes time to sell it. Now selling your house probably isn’t on your mine right now, but you always want to remember, “A House Is An Investment” so you have the opportunity to improve your investment as you renovate it. A renovated property, devoid of smudge marks on the wall, broken shelves and mould problem will fetch you a higher price when you sell it, right? Well, truly speaking, it depends. Suppose you are living in Iowa and engaged the finest home remodeling service Ames IA, still there is no guarantee that if you spent a fortune on renovating your house, you will end up getting a treasure in return. There is a strategic way of adding value to your house and you need to understand what type of renovation will get you more rewards.

Search on Google for “Professional remodeling contractor Boone IA” and talk to any one of them, you will get different opinions. However, industry standards put four different names to the types of renovation one can do. These are called the Basics, Curb Appeal, Value Added, and Personal Preference. There is a need to understand and categorize all type of renovation tasks in these four categories and choose accordingly.

Now, in this blog, we will understand which one will boost the home value if you are looking to sell your property.

  • The Basics: The basics include basic features of a house that anybody and everybody will look for. Talk about properly functioning plumbing, non-leaky roof, solid floors, and even a working HVAC system. All these can be maintained with small repair jobs and you need not spend exorbitant amount of money to increase the value because they might not get the returns.

  • Curb Appeal: These features, as you work on them, don’t always get too much of monetary value but they help the selling process becoming faster. As clear from the name itself, these features increase the appeal of the property and help in making the decision quicker for a prospective buyer. Things in this type of renovation will include well-maintained lawn, carpets that are clean, fresh paint and even nice-looking fixtures.

    A lot of homeowners add LED lights to make it more design-featured, and some very advanced gadgetry which turns the property into a smart home may also be included in this section.

  • Value Added: Value added features or projects that give you maximum returns include kitchen renovations, new windows and new siding. At the same time, if you have searched on Google for “bathroom remodel Ames Iowa” and find somebody really good to work on your bathroom, it will most likely give you good dividends, along with energy saving features.

  • Personal Preferences: As clear from the name itself, personal preferences are items that you have installed because of your own liking or need. Think of a swimming pool, a wine cellar, ponds, game room, and the likes. Though there is no harm if you have these things in your house but you can expect others to pay for these items separately because they might not like them or need them. So, if you are thinking of spending money to renovate these features, consider carefully.

  • Of Those Four Types of Renovation: Coming from years of living breathing and working in a home remodeling business, there are 4 areas of the house that the general public look for when they’re looking for a house to live in. A nice kitchen is always the most popular. Also a functional and nice clean working bathroom ranks right up there with the kitchen. An attached garage is almost always a must for 95% of the American public. Then windows siding and insulation are critical and important to just about every homeowner and perspective homeowner. These are areas that Addition Doctors focus on because they’re so important to you the home owner. Because we’ve spent so much time improving these areas for our customers, you can trust we’ll continue to make your home addition very comfortable for you. Your home will become hard to separate with until you see the added value you’ve actually built into it when you start talking numbers with a realtor.

    Conclusion: It does not matter what you add to the house unless it has a value for a home—a home needs amenities that will be used by family members and guests and relatives. If you are adding features that are suitable for a guest-house or a hotel, you are actually spending money on a property that may not get the value back because a homeowner will not like to buy a hotel. That’s a separate market there is hardly any need to take up home remodeling projects in that stride.

Finding the Best Remodeling Contractor in Ames, Iowa

Buying a home today is quite expensive considering the increasing cost of homes in the country. Instead of spending a lot of money on a new home, you can always improve what you have. You also increase the value of your home substantially through remodeling and make part of it or all of it more functional. Remodeling a home comes with a lot of benefits including:

  • Significant saving on your money
  • It can be done fast when compared to building a new home
  • Remodeling materials are easy to get today and are affordable
  • Getting a remodeling contractor is accessible and affordable
  • You get a chance to make it right

Getting a right remodeling contractor is not easy though; this is because not all contractors who claim to get the job done will meet the end of their bargain. Here are some of the qualities you should be on the lookout for when hiring one:

  • Expertise: do not settle for a contractor who is just competent in his job but one who is an expert. Competency comes through training, but expertise comes from experience. A right contractor is one who has been doing home remodeling for years. He should be able to prove this by a show of the many projects he has already completed.

  • Reputation: a service provider’s status is everything. Do not settle for what the contractor says but seek to find out what other people say about him or his company. This should be easy to find through reviews and testimonials he has received from his previous customers.

  • Brands: the brand-name of the products that the contractor uses is essential too as this will determine the quality of services you will receive. Check out the list of brands of products, materials, and suppliers the contractor uses, and you will know what to expect in the end.

  • How then do you settle for the best remodeling contractors Ames Iowa?

  • Get recommendations: your friends and family might know of a right contractor you can hire. If not, the National Association of the Remodelling Industry can provide a list of the best contractors in this area. You can talk to a building inspector too. Such inspectors will know the contractors who use quality materials and those who routinely meet the area requirements.

  • Check online: there is a good chance to improve it whether it’s major or minor renovation. These days, many service providers market their products online. You can quickly get a few contractors with a good reputation and strong reviews on the internet. Expert tips that will help you plan, budget and rebuild with the precise implementation of ideas.

  • Conduct interviews: once you have gathered a list, call the prospective contractors and ask specific questions relating to the kind of project you have. Find out if they take your type and size of the project, if they can provide a list of their previous clients, how long they have been in the industry and if they can start right away among other things. Ensure that you investigate the facts.
    Call for a face to face meeting with the best three, and then make plans.

  • There are different kinds of remodeling contractors in Ames, Iowa. You have to dig deeper to find the right one.

5 Good Reasons to Hire a General Contractor For Your Home Remodeling Service Ames IA Area

Whether you are sick of looking at your worn out kitchen laminate countertop or want to have a completely new look in your kitchen, it is vital to hire the best home remodeling service Ames IA area contractor. In any case, at times it may appear like there are more alternatives out there than you imagine. While some homeowners prefer hiring project-specific contractors, there are several advantages you get when you hire a general contractor. If you have been hesitant about hiring a general contractor, here are some reasons why you should hire one.

Home remodeling service ames IA
Remodel with Addition Doctors
  1. You Will Enjoy Better Supervision and Control of your ProjectWhen it comes to remodeling, general contractors are your best bet because they manage and take control of your remodeling project. They supervise how subcontractors complete their work and do all they can to ensure deadlines are met. Though you may consider your remodeling project a small task and don’t need much assistance, a simple kitchen remodel might need more than plumbing and electrical work. Hiring the best general contractor may help take control and supervise the timing, materials cost and everything else.
  2. Broad Understanding of Your Project With Excelent ExperienceIf you are looking for a trustworthy contractor for home remodeling service Ames IA, think about skills and knowledge.  This is one of the qualities you’ll find and enjoy with the Addition Doctors company. While you might consider working with a subcontractor, you are likely to fail to notice some simple mistakes. Hiring a general contractor (GC) can help lower the risk of calamities happening on your property as GCs can identify safety and structural issues even ahead of the project kick off. General contractors are experienced and work with reliable subcontractors who have the necessary skills for your remodeling project.
  3. Customer focusedEvery homeowner planning to hire a contractor for their bathroom remodel Ames Iowa will certainly have a successful remodeling project. Communication is critical to the realization of every project. That is why hiring general contractors make remodeling task successful. More massive projects such as a bathroom remodel, you would require the services of quite a few contractors and this can be stressful to manage. General contractors prioritize your needs and let you focus on other essential things. With the knack to relax and see your project go on, general contractors offer efficient services to clients. They assist you to realize your home remodel dreams while taking the home refashioning stressing off your shoulder.
  4. One contact personSome remodeling projects require you to hire several contractors. This can be stressful regarding supervision if you do not have one contact person to handle all the communication. With general contractors, you have got one contact person who manages the entire job with all and sundry and all services. This eliminates the stress of handling the project alone such as dealing with electricians and plumbers while you’re trying to do your own job at your workplace. It makes it hard to notice any mistakes that most likely will go  unnoticed.
  5. Bottom lineHome remodeling is one of the complicated tasks many homeowners face. But if you are looking to hire a remodeling contractor in central Iowa, consider choosing Addition Doctors as your contractor. Your work will get done in a timely manner, and there is accountability and responsibility throughout the process. It is vital that you also ensure that you hire a licensed and insured contractor regardless of the type of job you want to be done. This is what you will find when you’re working with the Addition Doctors contracting company.

    general contractors ames iowa
    We do porches you’ll love!
bathroom remodel ames iowa
Before and After the Ball

Creek Landscaping

There are so many ways you can do creek landscaping to update the look to the entrance, backyard, or garden area of your home.  Addition Doctors has had some experience dealing with various landscaping ideas.  The website houzz.com has some great ideas for landscaping.  The most difficult part is finding the right person/people to put everything together.  We have given advise to certain ones about how we set up our own creek landscaping.  Here are some Ideas on how to get started with your dry creek bed.

First try to imagine which way you want the creek to follow down the slope of your hill.. Mark the 2 edges of that course with spray paint. It looks a lot better when you let your course zig-zag back and forth rather than just straight down. You should make sure you have enough slope to make sure water drains properly instead of just pooling up in certain places.  Generally you want 1-2 inches of slope per 10-15 ft.  Always add a few water-falls along the way.

Disguise your creek by hiding it behind boulders or landscaping  and make it wind under a bridge.  When the source of a stream is mysterious, viewers have to use their imagination. And what we construct with our hands is rarely as pleasing as what we construct with our minds
Where and how should I make my creek landscaping end?  Direct your creek towards a pond or let it drain out into a street for the best results!

So much for the course. What about its depth and width? These dimensions don’t have to conform to any rule exactly. Look at dry creek beds in nature: they’re obviously not all of the same depth and width. But there’s a general rule you can follow: dry creek beds tend to be wider than they are deep, which is good news for you.

 

As your moving along with your project make sure the dirt you are excavating is mounded up in a pile so you can use it later when you need it to fill in around rocks or you need it for planting trees, flowers, or ground cover.  You will need to trench your creek in a way so that you can lay out a rubber or plastic seal so water doesn’t drain out of  your creek and so weeds don’t try to penetrate up throughout your landscaping.

Use mortar to firmly set rocks in place.  It is also important to have a layer of crushed rock underneath your rubber or plastic ground cover so that when the frost comes, it won’t disrupt your mortar very much!   Moving along slowly is better as long as your mortar doesn’t dry up on your too quickly.  When placing rocks, place some vertically along your creek to direct the water down the slope along your path.

After you build dry creek beds, you can dress them up a bit. Plants will soften the edges, for instance. If you’re more ambitious, you can install a landscape bridge over the feature and plant tall ornamental grasses to serve as “bookends” at both entrances to the landscape bridge. Adorn the landscape bridge with hanging container gardens to create a knockout focal point for your yard.

Good luck with your project ahead and give Addition Doctors a call is you would like something like this installed in your front yard, back yard, or landscaping area!

How to Talk to Your Remodeling Contractor Even After Awkward Moments

Beginning a house remodeling project is sometimes like signing up for a new roommate, albeit one you do not know very well. Your family and the construction crew will become intimately familiar with each other over the duration of the remodeling job. This can sometimes produce hilarious results with some awkward moments thrown in as well. Knowing this fact right from the very beginning, even before you sign that contract for the home remodeler, can help you realize that these incidents are almost inevitable. The best way to deal with them is with open communication.

Your home remodeler is going to be in your home for a specified time frame, though this time frame is subject to change. Before choosing the remodel contractors, you likely completed a great deal of research on items based such as their experience, their previous remodeling jobs, and their references. There is one more aspect that you need to make a note of, as well, though. You need to determine if the remodeler is a good communicator.

Sunroom Kitchen By Remodeling Contractor
Sunroom Kitchen Shelving Natural Light

Chances are you have already determined this, at least on some level, as you move through the process of speaking with them about your remodeling project. In order for your residential remodeling project to go as smoothly as possible, and whether the inevitable bumps that are bound to occur, though, you need to note how those sticky questions are answered as you discuss your plans. If the contractor really listens to your concerns and has concrete, actionable ways to address them, then you can be sure that there is the foundation for a good contractor-client relationship.

If, on the other hand, the contractor does not seem to want to address your concerns, such as while you two are completing a walk-through of your home during the consultation phase, or he seems to want to lay the responsibility for those concerns elsewhere, you might want to think twice before using that company. The best way to handle those awkward moments that tend to crop up when people who are practically strangers set up camp in your home for days, or even weeks, on end is to meet them head-on. Bringing the issue up as soon as possible, in a tactful and objective way, helps open the door for further communication. By doing so, the hurt feelings that can fester and grow, resulting in a souring of the contractor-client relationship that is not beneficial to anyone, can often be avoided.

Contractor Shares Once in a Lifetime Photo – Bear Quints

This came over the wire a while back so I have to share it – You should enjoy it too!

Black bears typically have two cubs; rarely, one or three. In 2007, in northern New Hampshire , a black bear sow gave birth to five
Healthy young. There were two or three reports of sows with as many as 4 cubs, but five was, and is, very extraordinary. The photographer learned of them shortly after they emerged from their den and set a goal of photographing all five cubs with their mom – no matter how much time and effort was involved. He knew the trail they followed on a fairly regular basis, usually shortly before dark. After spending nearly four hours a day, seven days a week, for more than six weeks, he had that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and photographed them. He used the equivalent of a very fast film speed on his digital camera. The print is properly focused and well exposed, with all six bears posing as if they were in a studio for a family portrait.

 

Contractor enjoys life of the bear quints

The photographer stayed in touch with other people who saw the bears during the summer and into the fall hunting season. All six bears continued to thrive. As time for hibernation approached, he found still more folks who had seen them, and everything remained OK. The photographer stayed away from the bears because he was concerned that they might become habituated to him, or to people in general, and treat them as approachable friends. This could easily become dangerous for both man and animal.

After Halloween, no further reports and could only hope the bears survived until they hibernated. This spring, just before the snow disappeared, all six bears came out of their den and wandered all over the same familiar territory they trekked in the spring of 2007.

The photographer saw them before mid-April and dreamed nightly of taking another family portrait, a highly improbable second once-in-a-lifetime photograph.

On 25 April 2008, he achieved his dream

Bear quints enjoyed by contractor
Second Year Out and Running Strong

When something as magical as this happens between man and animal, Native

Americans say, “We have walked together in the shadow of a rainbow.” And
so it is with humility and great pleasure that I share these
exhilarating photos with you.

The “Elephant in the Unfinished Room:” Dealing With Unscrupulous Contractors

There are horror stories of people hiring a remodeling contractor to do their remodeling who didn’t complete the work according to standards. Sometimes, due to various complaints from the customer or other issues of discontent, the job was left undone, leaving a “gaping hole” in the work (at times, literally). Now because of the work being unfinished or not up to the customer’s satisfaction, the situation begins to stink on both sides, creating the metaphoric Elephant in the Room. All parties recognize the ugly problem, but no one knows exactly what to do about it.

Remodel Contractors Unfinished Room
The Remodeling Contractors Elephant in the Room

So if you’re thinking about construction remodeling and are looking to hire a home remodeler, you just might be at the right place. Before you take that giant leap, there are some factors you should consider before hiring remodel contractors who will give you anything but satisfactory results. After all, you do not want to be left with an elephant stampeding around in an unfinished room because it can’t find its way out. You want to be able to address any potential issues concerning your house remodeling with your potential contractor. Here are some questions you may want to ask previous homeowners to avoid a nasty “jungle beast” situation.

  • Is the potential contractor certified to the work in the state in which the work is to be done? Just because he or she wrote on a website about themselves, or worked in the trade for a while does not mean anything. You will want to check with state contractor regulating agencies to verify this. Usually banks wont even loan money for a project if it isn’t a State licensed contractor doing your work.

 

  • Has the potential contractor ever had a complaint filed against his or her business? Check with the homeowners to see if they have filed such a complaint. Check with agencies like the Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List to see if any complaints has been lodged against the contractor. While you’re on Angie’s List see what kind of recent reviews they might have.

 

  • How well does the potential contractor’s past/recent customer satisfaction stand? Ask the contractor if they have a list of some of their recent customers contact information so you can talk to the customer about how well the project experience went for them. Was there any unfinished business that didn’t get answered? This is something you will definitely want to know that you might avoid potential liens against your property if you should refuse to pay because of unsatisfactory or incomplete work.

 

  • Last but not least, this comes out because I’m a contractor myself and I know from experience that (let’s get the great big elephant out here) MISTAKES DO HAPPEN, or snags come along that hamper the progress – probably more that we want to admit! So ask the home owner how well did that particular contractor handle these situations. Quite often if this is not handled very well, that can make things go sour real fast.

 

Now that you are aware of some potential circumstances that may arise from dealing with an unscrupulous contractor or home remodeler, you are better equipped to make informed decisions about who to hire. After all, you do NOT want an uncomfortable situation arising during the remodeling that is there, but neither you nor the contractor want to address it. You want to make your contractor remodeling experience a healthy one, and we do also! We can answer any questions you might have about your next remodeling project.

Really the whole idea for doing a remodel addition is to make your life better so why not get somebody that knows how to do it right!

The Benefits Of A Professional Deck Builder

Professional Deck Builder

A professional deck builder is a valuable resource when it comes to adding a new feature to the back of a home. Decks add a significant amount of flexible space that give the family more options than the bare yard allows. The number of ways a deck can be configured is impressive and it will tie in nicely with the existing structure. Friends and family will enjoy spending time in the new deck, relaxing in comfortable chairs as the sun goes down. There are no worries about walking in the muddy grass since the deck creates a dry platform off the ground. This also makes it the perfect place to grill. Leaning on the railing waiting for the steaks to finish cooking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

Madrid IA Deck Builders
Deck Builder Completed Deck for Happy Customers

When a homeowner and deck builder work together to create a functional space, it will enhance the home, the yard, and any other elements, like a pool. In working with a decks contractor, you will discover that adding a deck is a high value addition that will increase the area homeowners can use to entertain guests, as well as themselves. The flat deck acts as an extension of the inside without the walls and ceiling to block the sunshine. This is why it is so popular to have a table and chairs on the deck, where few people would choose to put them on the ground. It is impossible to ignore the improved functionality and decorative features of a new deck. Connecting with an experienced builder will help make sure every family gets the deck they want and can enjoy for years.