Using Reclaimed Wood in Your Remodel

Using reclaimed wood

 

The use of reclaimed wood is an idea that has appealed to a lot of people, and it’s not always related to being conscious about the environment. One major benefit is that it adds warmth, texture and character to the look of your home. It can instantly “age” a brand new kitchen. Reclaimed wood has a natural rawness to it that will add balance to an Industrial or Modern style home.  It has an aged patina and each piece of wood is unique with its’ inherent qualities and the natural weathering of the boards. Sliding barn doors are especially popular and it looks as though they will remain so for quite a while. Interior designers are seeing an increase in the number of clients requesting the addition of reclaimed wood into their new remodel. Here are a few things you should know about using reclaimed wood to make your newly remodeled space even more visually interesting.

Old but Not Unusable

The idea of using wood from an old building or shipping crate might lead to some worry about rot or insect damage. Reclaimed wood should always be thoroughly examined for those issues prior to use.  Not all reclaimed wood is equal in its properties.  Old growth timber generally is denser than new wood harvested from younger trees. Therefore, it would be much better suited for a humid part of the home.  Teak, considered the most rot resistant wood, is highly resistant to weather. Along with old-growth cypress, teak is considered to be an exceptional wood for use in damp area, such as a master bath. Reclaimed wood may need refinishing and will require some amount of routine maintenance, but it can be well worth the extra effort and expense. One additional perk, by using reclaimed instead of new wood, you will not subject yourself and your family to the potentially dangerous off-gassing from a VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) which is found in new wood.

Other Notable Points

Even your own home can be a source of used wood if you are removing old cabinets or shelves. A big reason for the appeal of reclaimed wood is the fascinating details it contains. Odd knots, nail holes, and even the slight imperfections contribute to the character of the pieces. You may be lucky enough to find a rare species of reclaimed wood no longer being harvested. You will usually find reclaimed wood in different lengths and widths, but this is also considered a visual bonus.

Using reclaimed wood does come with a few challenges. Usually it is best to have a professional deal with this material, even if you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer. Since many of the pieces are very old, some more than a hundred years, they may be covered in lead paint. Many pieces of old wood may contain nails or screws that must be removed before the refinishing.

Using reclaimed wood

You can use reclaimed wood in any part of a home remodeling project that requires this material. Think about an interesting, one-of-a-kind table made from a vintage door. Sturdy and attractive shelves and cabinets can be constructed, as well. Repurposing wood to make your floors will significantly raise your costs, especially here in the southwest, where we have no 150 year old barns to salvage!  If you have your heart set on the look of reclaimed wood floors, you have two options. You may want to consider using new wood, stain it to achieve the same look and save yourself some money. The second option would be to use a porcelain plank flooring that resembles barn wood. Tile is more durable and less expensive. An accent wall of reclaimed wood would not be as expensive as doing all the flooring, and would add a lot of visual interest and a sense of history to your home.

Where to use reclaimed wood

In the kitchen we would caution you to be careful with where you place wood in relation to wet areas. Using wood for a small butcher block counter is one thing, having all of your counters constructed of wood will be a maintenance nightmare. These countertops would have to be refinished every few years, especially near the sink area. Spills would need to be wiped up immediately. This is definitely not a countertop material for everyone! Some of our clients have asked about using reclaimed wood as their backsplash material. Again, we would caution you about the extra up-keep. It can be done, however, you would need to have the backsplash sealed multiple times with a lacquer type sealant. In a sleek industrial style kitchen, for instance, as a nice contrast, you may want to add open shelving made from reclaimed wood. Pairing reclaimed wood with other salvaged items like a vintage sink, also adds drama and interest to your new space.

How about the Bedroom or Bathroom?

 

The master bedroom is a great place to add an accent wall of reclaimed wood, you may not even need to use a headboard. In addition, an entry or a dining room is also a perfect place to add an accent wall of barn wood.

The master bathroom is also a excellent place for reclaimed wood, as it will add a lot of warmth. It is a wonderful contrast to the cold finish materials we normally see in a bathroom like marble, granite, glass and tile.  Special considerations must be made in such a wet, humid area to protect the integrity of the wood. Proper ventilation is a must. All wood must be completely sealed, this usually takes more than one application. One other thing to be aware of when working with wood, it will swell and contract depending on the ambient temperature and the amount of humidity in the air. It is very important to use a flexible silicone caulking for installation purposes.

Call or email us for a free in-home estimate

If you would like to discuss more ideas using reclaimed wood or get some ideas rolling on how to remodel your home, we can be reached at 602-478-5102 or Steve@HomeworkRemodels.com.

The Absolute Worst Things You Might be Doing to Your Wood Floor

 

 

Anyone will agree that a well-maintained wood floor is a thing of beauty. If you take the time to learn about all the things you need to do for your floor, shouldn’t you also know what you should try to avoid? Hardwood floor care is more than just cleaning and occasionally sanding and refinishing. A lot of it involves knowing how these stylish surfaces can be so easily damaged.

  • Dragging heavy furniture. Furniture can leave scratches and gouges in floors as you move them. Get some help lifting heavy pieces, or use felt pads. Sweep thoroughly before you move heavy furniture. Dirt that gets trapped under the furniture will leave very deep scratches in your hardwood flooring.
  • Waiting too long to refinish. If your hardwood floor is beginning to look stale and worn, it is time for a refinish. Putting this off will only made the work harder, and force you to spend more time restoring the surface. Timely refinishing is especially important for high traffic areas.
  • Using chemicals. Cleaning a wood floor is easier than most people think. You don’t need soap, vinegar or strong cleaners to do a good job. In fact many cleaning products can damage the surface of hardwood floors.
  • Steam cleaning. Steam mops are more suited to use on tiles. Aside from the moisture which is not good for wood floors, the heat from steam mops can cause the top layer of the wood to deteriorate over time. On that note, avoid using too much water when mopping up your floors.
  • Poor pet management. Dogs and cats can do a lot of damage to this type of floor in a relatively short time. Keep their nails or claws trimmed to protect the wood.
  • Not using a welcome mat. Anything that gets tracked on your floors is slowly wearing away the surface. Make sure that you use a welcome mat to keep this to a minimum.
  • Tacking down rugs. Trying to keep rugs from shifting can be frustrating, but tacking them is not always the best answer. When you have to move the rug, some of the adhesive may be left behind. You can also strip off some of the finish as well.
  • Wearing high heeled shoes. Your amazing stilettos might look great, but they are not so great for wood surfaces. They can leave impressions and marks in the wood. This can be even worse if the heel is damaged.

Preventing any type of damage to your floors will actually make maintenance much easier. You can’t possibly protect your floors from everything, but you can help that beauty to last longer by taking several precautions and preliminary measures. Call us at 602-478-5102 if you’re interested in installing hardwood flooring or restoring your existing hardwood floor in Phoenix or the surrounding area.

How to Choose Flooring for the Second Floor Bathroom

Flooring is obviously an important part of any house. There are considerations to keep in mind when choosing flooring for different rooms or levels in the house. A second floor bathroom needs special attention. Flooring types are plentiful, so making a choice is no easy matter. It really helps if you have a good contractor to work with.

So how do you go about choosing the right flooring for a second-floor bathroom? The type of flooring will primarily depend on the purpose of the room and of course your budget. So let’s look at how to decide.

Which room on what level?

If the bathroom is adjacent to a bedroom that is occupied by children, special accommodations should be made. Make sure that the flooring is sturdy, easy to clean and can absorb sounds. Children are active by nature and depending on their ages, they will likely enjoy playing in the tub and making loud noises – possibly even dropping bath toys on the bathroom floor. This will make very loud noises downstairs if the flooring doesn’t help absorb sound.

Young children also spill colored soaps, toothpaste, and other stuff onto the bathroom floor. As such you need flooring material that can take some beating such as vinyl and linoleum. Bear in mind that you can find these in colors and design that even look like wood.

We recommend avoiding laminate and hardwood flooring in the bathroom. They may become warped or laminate may begin to peel in a wet environment. Carpets are great in the bedroom for children and teenagers, especially as carpets can muffle sounds, but avoid carpeting the bathroom.

The flooring for second floor bathroom should help muffle the sound of footsteps. Since you never want to carpet the bathroom, look for tile or some other flooring that helps muffle footsteps.

The Type of Maintenance

Will you have a lot of time for regular cleaning and maintenance? If you are like most homeowners, you want to minimize the amount of time you spend cleaning. If this is the case, think vinyl or ceramic tile instead of flooring that requires more than sweeping and mopping on occasion.

Since floors take up so much visible space, you need to make sure it is also aesthetically pleasing when choosing the best flooring for your second floor bathroom. In addition, they can be expensive to purchase and install, so you should make sure you can live with it for a long time. The type of flooring will also play a role in the resale value if you plan to sell your house at some time.

Give us a call at 602-478-5102 to discuss new kitchen backsplash ideas with us or to schedule a consultation for your bathroom flooring project. We’ll help you choose the best material for the job and provide a great quote that won’t break your budget.

Five Reasons to Choose to Add a Kitchen Backsplash

A kitchen backsplash makes a big difference in the overall look of this room. There are many reasons to add a backsplash.

  • A backsplash makes cleaning up a breeze. Since the kitchen is one of the messiest rooms of your home, a backsplash is a timesaver.
  • A tile or glass backsplash behind the stove will help prevent the wall from absorbing food odors.
  • A backsplash protects your wall. For instance, a backsplash behind the sink is great for protecting the wall from water damage. Moisture and water can lead to mildew and even mold. You definitely do not want these in your kitchen.
  • The backsplash can also serve to cover or hide any defects or gaps in your wall. Sometimes, countertops do not go straight back to the wall so there is an obvious gap. A properly done backsplash will hide this gap. Also, if the wall is defective you can use a backsplash to cover the defects.
  • The visual effect can be breathtaking. With the right design and tiles, a kitchen backsplash can immediate transform your kitchen into a thing of beauty.

How to chose the right one for your space.

The next step after deciding to install a backsplash is to know how to choose the right one for your kitchen. Some steps in choosing the right backsplash for your kitchen call for following certain steps. Luckily, these are easy ways to get the type of backsplash that you will enjoy for years.

  • Decide on the color: Take into consideration the overall color scheme of the kitchen. You also have the option of going with neutrals. While a colorful design can be immediately eye-catching, neutral designs give you lots of leeway to play with other colors in the kitchen such accessories and wall paint.
  • The material: You also need to decide on the type of material you want to use. In addition to a choice of tiles such as porcelain and ceramic, you also have glass, stone or a mixture. For example, if your kitchen is rustic, brick veneer may be a great choice, however, for a more modern looking kitchen glass may be the perfect choice.
  • The height: How high do you want the backsplash? This will depend on personal taste as well as the design of the kitchen. When deciding take into consideration your cabinets or if you want a part of your wall to show.

To get the right type of backsplash and ensure a professional design and installation it makes sense to hire an experience contractor to get the job done. The designers and builders here at Homework Remodels take your design ideas, style, and specific needs into consideration when designing your project. We will help you choose the best materials for your kitchen backsplash and ensure that it meets your idea of perfection before we begin laying tile. Give us a call at 602-478-5102 to discuss new kitchen backsplash ideas with us or to schedule a consultation.

How to Plan Your Bathroom Remodeling Budget and Get What You Want

If you have been dreaming about remodeling your bathroom and creating a space where you can relax and unwind at the end of a long day for quite some time, then it might seem almost too good to be true when the remodeling is about to begin. The only thing that you need to do before the project starts is determine your budget.

The budget should be the total amount of money that you want to spend on everything in the space. You will want to determine how much everything you want in the bathroom is going to cost. You will need to include the cost for the floor, shower, toilet, vanity, sink, accessories and anything else you will need for the space plus the cost of labor. If the cost of everything added up is less than your budgeted amount, you are ready to start. We don’t recommend starting if the cost is equal to your budget, because you always want a little money set aside for any problems that you may find during the remodeling project.

If the total cost of the remodel is going to be more than your budget, you don’t have to give up yet. There may be a way to get the bathroom of your dreams without breaking the bank. Your contractor should be able to show you superior products that do not cost as much instead of the items that you have already chosen. For example, they make tiles that look just like marble, but they do not cost as much as the marble tiles do.

Once you have reconsidered the materials that you will be using, the budget should be a little more under control. If it is still a little too high, then you may want to cut out some of the little extras that you will not need immediately. A towel warmer is a nice luxury that can always be added later on as you have the money.

Keep your budget in mind as the remodeling project is being done, because you may need to make some important decisions at the last minute. It is really easy to agree to an expensive item when your new bathroom is almost finished, because you want it completed, but if you take the time to look at your budget, you will realize that the money might not be available and you can avoid a costly mistake.

Spending a little time preparing for your bathroom remodel can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars at the end. You will be prepared for many last minute questions and have the answers ready instead of wondering what you should do and delaying the work that is being done. At the end of the remodel, you will be able to enjoy your new bathroom without the worry of any additional costs.

Homework Remodels is a premier remodeling company in the Phoenix area. We specialize in kitchens, bathrooms, and whole home remodeling projects. Call us at 602-478-5102 to schedule a consultation for your bathroom remodel.

Here’s Why You Should Always Choose High Quality Materials for Your Remodeling Project

After coming up with a plan to remodel your bathroom, you will move on to checking out the various types of materials available. Any contractor will tell you that it makes sense to spend a little more to get the best. For some people, this might mean doing only a partial remodel. This is preferable to buying cheap materials that you will have to replace quickly.

Attractiveness. People spend more on remodeling materials that help them to get the luxurious look they want. When you are shopping around, you will see that items like granite, marble and hardwood can cause your budget to balloon. Quality materials are still highly desirable despite the cost, because they often defy trends, and they can make any bathroom look elegant.

Durability. When you spend money to remodel your bathroom, you want it to last. A higher price is not the only notable feature of quality bathroom remodeling materials. Durability makes the expense worthwhile for many, and spending a little more always pays off for years after the work is done.

Low maintenance. In the bathroom you use a variety of products, plus you have to be mindful of the possibility of water stains. Some cheaper materials, like vinyl can withstand staining, and porous materials like marble can become stained. Generally however, high quality materials offer the advantage of easy maintenance, so you can cut the amount of time you spend on cleaning. Also, because of their toughness, you will have fewer repairs to deal with over the years.

Less strain on your budget. It is true that quality bathroom materials are more expensive initially, but this is only in the beginning. You will not have to deal with frequent repairs typical to remodeling jobs done with cheaper materials. Another point to consider is that a beautiful, well designed bathroom will not need a quick update. So you could keep the same look for longer, while others are changing features to keep up with the latest trends.

The bathroom is usually a high traffic area, plus there is the additional concern of moisture. You can always save money when remodeling a bathroom, but you should never try to cut corners when it comes to picking the best materials. Ultimately, this will cost you more, and you might have a renovation that you are not completely happy with.

Homework Remodels specializes in remodeling bathrooms, kitchens, and entire homes to increase the overall functionality and design of the home. We have helped many Phoenix area homeowners remodel their homes to achieve their ultimate goal. Give us a call at 602-478-5102 to discuss remodeling your bathroom.

Interior Remodeling – Converting a wood Fireplace

When you are ready for interior remodeling – converting a wood fireplace to now use an alternative fuel source is an easy and environmentally friendly interior project. Whether your home is Transitional, Southwestern or Mid Century Modern, we have the perfect solution for you. Interior Remodeling - Converting a FireplaceConverting a wood fireplace to a gas fireplace has many benefits, such as being more energy efficient than wood, without the mess and expense. Gas fireplaces can be used on “No Burn” days or when the electricity is out. No more cold nights! They are designed to produces real flames, like wood, without the hot embers that could potentially start a fire. Gas is reliable, easy to control and remodeling adds value to your home. Another environmentally friendly alternative to wood are electric fireplaces. No heat is lost up the chimney as electric fireplaces have a fan that blows the hot air out into the room. They too, can be used on “No Burn” days and are easy to clean and maintain. Interior Remodels Fireplace Conversion Installation is simple and to light it, just flip a switch! Since no venting or gas lines are needed, they are portable and there is no danger of a fire starting. They offer precise temperature control and are designed so they can be used without heat, if you only want the ambiance of flames. Alcohol gel fireplaces are designed to be vent free and portable also. These too can be used on “No Burn” days. Clean burning and smoke free, they do produce the sound of a wood burning fireplace, none of the others do, without the harmful fumes or hot popping embers. Alcohol burning fireplaces will produce more warmth for a longer period of time than wood will. Being environmentally conscience has become easier with the variety of alternate fuel sources available to homeowners today. Long gone are the days of chopping, hauling and stacking wood to dry, or having to pay someone else to do it for you! Interior remodeling – converting your existing wood burning fireplace is easy to accomplish, easy on your budget and easy on nature.

Upscale faux finishes and textures

As a local Phoenix remodeling company, we understand the numerous decisions homeowners are forced to make during such an endeavor. Ceiling finishes are rarely the main focus of a remodel, in fact they are often completely overlooked. Homeowners are missing a wonderful chance to show off their discriminating taste by not including a stunning faux finish on a newly textured ceiling. Upscale faux finishes for walls and ceilings will add to the value of your home. There is a multitude of choices, homeowners are not destined to a life with dust catching popcorn ceilings any longer! The following techniques can be used to create a captivating ceiling finish that will stimulate your new space. Upscale faux finishes and textures 1 A skim coat is a smooth, almost plaster-like finish that is sophisticated and classic. It can be rather plain and boring unless a faux finish is added. By introducing an intriguing color combination into an unexpected area, you are ensuring interest and excitement. A swirl texture, sometimes referred to as mud texture, generates the look of overlapping scallop-like half circles which can create an almost 3-D effect. Skip trowel textures like Santa Fe and Spanish knockdown lend themselves extremely well to Southwestern and Country style homes. An informal atmosphere is guaranteed by the hand worked, rustic lines integrated into the texture. Light catches and skips across the uneven, natural roughness illuminating the informality of the space. Raised stencils can be used to create many different looks for your ceiling. Formal, stylized designs incorporating a striking color palette can create an eclectic ambience. Muted hues of unrefined pigmentation will add character and visual stimulation to any home style. The overall mood of your space will be determined by your choice of texture, color and finish. A great service provided to homeowners are remodelers who utilize a knowledgeable design staff to assist their clients with the overwhelming variety of options. Intoxicating designs don’t happen by themselves, it takes an imaginative designer and a trusting homeowner to bring them to fruition. These before and after photos demonstrate how much more compelling and dramatic this dining room is after stenciling and faux finishing the ceiling with metallic paints and Venetian plaster. The rich, warm tones create a strikingly powerful, yet intimate dining experience.Upscale faux finishes and textures

Drop us a line!

Get in touch with us!