Historic Home Remodel Featured by Phoenix Home & Garden October 2016


Historic Home Remodel

October’s issue of Phoenix Home & Garden is just out featuring one of our remodels in the historic Willo neighborhood of downtown Phoenix. The cover photo is of the kitchen. The feature has beautiful shots of numerous other rooms that we helped create over a period of years.

Alex Rentzis of Sparta Photo took the following slideshow’s photos. They were the photos that inspired Phoenix Home & Garden to do the feature in their magazine.








Six Bathroom Upgrade Ideas for Your Remodeling Project

6 Bathroom Upgrade Ideas for Your Remodeling Project:

Bathrooms are one of our most used spaces, but can be a tricky space to upgrade or update. With unmovable fixtures and often tight footprints, options can seem limited at first glance. With a little creativity, though, you can add style and bring your bathroom up to date. We’ve put together 6 bathroom updates that will help move your bathroom remodeling project along nicely.

  1. Hide the Toilet – If you’re working with a larger, master bathroom, a half wall can provide a new look and add style while creating a discreet nook for the toilet. A piece of furniture like an armoire or dresser can also create a functional and stylish barrier without the need for framing.
  2. Update Your Surfaces – Bathroom surfaces contribute to your overall look while also taking a lot of wear and tear. Changing out your tile can drastically change the look of your bathroom. Look for larger tiles to minimize grout lines, which will make cleaning and upkeep easier.
  3. Modernize Your Shower – Many people don’t make use of their bathtubs. Why not remove the tub altogether and create a large, luxurious shower? Body sprays, overhead rain shower heads, and even steam generators can upgrade your shower experience.
  4. Create Space on Your Vanity – Bathrooms with double ‘his and hers’ sinks can be updated to create storage space. Getting a new countertop with a single sink can drastically change the look of the room while maximizing counter space for storage and décor.
  5. Light it Up – Utilizing different types of fixtures in your bathroom can do a lot to brighten and update the space. In addition to overhead lights, sconces or other vertical fixtures on either side of the sink or vanity will provide even lighting for beauty routines or shaving.
  6. Think Outside the Box – Replace mirrors and hardware with vintage brass for a chic, homey look or with chrome to take your bathroom modern. When shopping for tile and fixtures, look for something that suits your style and personality – even if it comes from outside the bathroom section of the store. Break the rules.

Remember when you’re upgrading and updating your bathroom to draw in design and style elements from the rest of your home. Having a functional bathroom doesn’t have to mean having a boring one! Give us a call at Homework Remodels at 602-478-5102 if you’re in the greater Phoenix area and planning to remodel your bathroom in the near future. We’ll schedule a consultation to help you design the perfect bathroom with amazing upgrades and appliances.

Remodeling the Bathroom? Think about the Layout


Remodeling the Bathroom? Think about the Layout

To get the best use out of any bathroom requires attention to the layout of the space. This is not as simple as it seems. So whether you are remodeling the bathroom you currently use or are adding on a new master bathroom, you should take care to get it just right. To help you decide on the right floor plan, you need to ask yourself some questions as well as determine how much you can afford for this project.

Questions to Ask

The answers to these simply questions is the first step in developing the ideal layout for your bathroom, whether or not it is a master bathroom or just an extra bathroom.

Who will be using the new bathroom?

This will help determine the placement of the toilet, the face basin and the bath or tub. This is also important as there should be enough space for the users of the bathroom to undress, to move around so as to get into the bathtub or even use the toilet. The door should be easily open and close even if someone is inside the bathroom.

If the bathroom will be used by an elderly adult, then extra will be needed to ensure safety. The wet zones should be separate from the dry zone to prevent slipping. Lowering or raising the toilet or the type of tub will all be dependent on the mobility of the person.

What functions will take place in the new bathroom?

This will help determine if you need a layout that can accommodate a stool if someone will be blow-drying or styling their hair inside. If the application of makeup will be done in the new bathroom, a nice, comfortable seat would be a great addition.

To control costs it is also important to make sure that the bathroom is close to plumbing lines. If remodeling it makes sense to reuse the existing line. If building a new bathroom, a plumber is needed to help determine the best location of fixtures that will require access to water.

When thinking about the bathroom layout, you need to remember that storage space is important. The greater the number of people using the bathroom, the more important storage space becomes even more important.

Bath Layouts to Consider

Do your research and look at common bathroom layouts to help in the decision-making. When you find some that you like, discuss with you contractor to see if your home has the space required. For example, if you want a guest bathroom, a simple three-quarter bath without a tub may be the perfect layout. For a family bathroom that will be used by both adults and children, the full bath layout is perfect. If space allows, you can include little perks to this layout such as a double vanity or sink.

Now that you the importance of the layout, you can get busy designing for the bathroom you want. Also remember when you’re upgrading and updating your bathroom to draw in design and style elements from adjoining rooms. Redesigning your bathroom also means incorporating colors and elements from other areas of the home. Give us a call at Homework Remodels at 602-478-5102 if you’re in the greater Phoenix area and plan on remodeling the bathroom in the near future. We’ll schedule a consultation to help you design the perfect bathroom with amazing upgrades and appliances.


Kitchen Lighting for Beauty and Function

Our experience with remodeling everything from budget minded galley kitchens to expansive kitchens that flow into adjoining rooms has shown that they all have one thing in common, the need for good lighting. Kitchen remodeling in Phoenix and its surrounding communities of Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Ahwatukee, and Mesa will all benefit from proper placement of multiple light sources.

Remodeling your kitchen is the perfect time to take a fresh look at how you use your kitchen and your lighting needs. The first thing to consider is your general purpose lighting, depending on your kitchen layout, you may want to choose either surface mounted light fixtures or recessed lighting. Each type has its own qualities and shortcomings.

Surface mounted lighting comes in a multitude of styles to complement any style of kitchen. These include ceiling lights, chandeliers, pendant lights, track lights, cable lights and wall mounted sconces.

Recessed lights are a favorite choice for many homeowners. They are typically not designed to be a decorative feature in themselves. Their quality is in their ability to light specific areas without cluttering the ceiling. They come in several sizes, both in line voltage and low voltage varieties, the 6” size is the most economical and works for many applications. The smaller 3 & 4“sizes come at a higher price point but they tend to blend in more while highlighting other attractive features of your new kitchen.

Areas such as kitchen islands and peninsulas can benefit from recessed lighting although many times a chandelier or pendant lighting will add an element of style and drama to these special areas. Pendant lighting comes in an ever increasing number of decorative options. Depending on your application, pendant lighting works best either solo or in groups of odd numbers.

For your assorted kitchen counter work areas, you will want to consider under cabinet task lighting. These lights also come in numerous styles. Under cabinet lighting is a favorite in that it puts ample lighting on your work surfaces without the shadows that often come from overhead lighting. Depending on your choice of under cabinet lighting they can also make a nice decorative lighting effect in the evening.
As a decorative effect, lighting can be added inside of your kitchen cabinets with glass doors and shelves.

You will want to consider energy use as you choose various types of lighting. Incandescent lighting has been the norm since its introduction by Thomas Edison. The problem with incandescent light bulbs is that only a small portion of the electricity they use is converted to light. Most of the power is converted into heat. This heat is a direct waste of energy and a contributing factor to higher cooling bills.

Fluorescent bulbs are now taking over as a replacement for the common light bulb. They use only a fraction of the power that incandescent bulbs use and they create much less heat as a by-product. Your choice of fluorescent bulbs will depend on not only the wattage but on the color spectrum. Many people judge fluorescent bulbs by the cool bluish light that the early bulbs put out and how the early bulbs were slow to light. Today’s bulbs come in a variety of colors ranges that more closely resemble the incandescent lights they replace and come on quickly. Keep in mind that fluorescent bulbs contain a small amount of mercury. Because of this, they should be recycled properly and not just thrown away.

The newest choice in lighting and ultimately the replacement for all other types of lighting is the LED light. This technology has been developed for every household and kitchen application. At this time, their shortcoming is the price. Their price is dropping and as they become more mainstream this should change making them the everyday choice. LED lights use the lease amount of electricity for the amount of light given off and give off little heat. They can be dimmed and can be made to produce almost any shade of light.

Most lighting fixtures will accept a fluorescent or LED replacement light bulb. Undercabinet lights come in all varieties but cannot be adapted. Keep in mind that fluorescent lights do not work well with dimmers, if you like to dim your various kitchen lights stick with incandescent or LED lights.

Kitchen Remodeling is just one of the remodeling specialties we offer to our clients in Phoenix and the surrounding communities of Scottsdale, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, and Mesa.

15 great ideas for bathroom remodel


As homeowners, we all strive for the same thing – home customization. We want our home to be different from others in the neighborhood, so we often go for different siding options, different doors and windows, and different landscaping options. The interior of our home needs the same attention as the exterior, and those personal decisions begin with each individual homeowner. Here are 15 great ideas to help customize your master bath and turn it into a true work of art.

  1. Shower – Showers have really taken a turn toward luxury in recent years. Give your shower serious consideration before the build begins. Consider options like curbless, multiple shower heads, multiple heating options, multiple massaging jets, lighting, and steam in order to customize your master bath.
  2. Tub – A standalone tub is a lovely, classic addition to the average bathroom. Most homeowners are steering away from the all-in-one shower-tub unit and opting for a luxury shower and separate soaking tub.
  3. Enclosure – Do you want the shower to be fully enclosed with a shower door or curtain? Do you want a separate enclosure or room for the toilet to maximize privacy? These are serious considerations.
  4. Partial Walls – Partial walls offer the ability to conform any bathroom into separate spaces while leaving a very open feeling.
  5. Furnishings – The furnishings you choose will determine the overall visual appeal and efficiency of the bathroom. Choose wisely.
  6. Storage – Storage is extremely important in the bathroom. Choose storage options that work for your specific needs.
  7. Lighting – Lighting is also extremely important, especially when most of us prepare for work in our bathroom. We need the right ambient lighting, task lighting, and mood lighting depending on the particular time of day and use for the bathroom.
  8. Windows – Add transom windows or decorative windows to help bring in natural light. Smoky glass or glass blocks help protect your privacy while adding natural light to the room.
  9. Faucets – Choose faucets that reflect your personal sense of style.
  10. Functionality – The bathroom, like the kitchen, is one of the most used rooms in the home, so it has to be functional. Always choose functionality over style, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have a stylish bathroom.
  11. Flooring – The flooring has to flow with the overall design and decor of the room. Choose heated flooring for an extra-nice touch to customize your master bath.
  12. Walls – Paint the walls and ceiling to complement other decor and furniture options. Choose a paint finish that will be able to withstand the rigors of bathroom heat, steam, and cleaning.
  13. Tile – Tile is a beautiful way to fully customize your bathroom. You can purchase custom tile from local crafters or people who sell their wares online. A slightly cheaper alternative is to choose tile options that work well together, but aren’t necessarily sold as a set.
  14. Decor – The decor you use in your bathroom should reflect your personal sense of style and your lifestyle. Choose your decor carefully, and consider changing it from season to season for a dramatic effect.
  15. Ease of Cleaning – This is something that many of us don’t take into consideration when designing our custom bathroom. It’s no big deal if you enjoy cleaning the bathroom – but seriously, who enjoys cleaning that much? Okay, yes, there are a few! But for the rest of us, we’d rather build out a bathroom that’s easy to clean.

Homework Remodels is home to some of the best remodeling in the greater Phoenix area. We truly enjoy helping homeowners transform their homes into something spectacular. Here are several examples of our work if you would like to view our handiwork before you give us a call at 602-478-5102 to get started on your project, perhaps to customize your master bath!

10 Fantastic Kitchen Remodeling Ideas


Many homeowners focus on the appearance of their kitchen when they make the occasional small upgrade. We’re all guilty of getting something cool because… well, because it’s cool. But when our kitchen gets to the point that it feels cluttered and loses the much-needed functionality, it’s time to take a step back and recreate our vision of the perfect kitchen. Here are 10 great ideas to add more functionality to your kitchen.

  1. Lighting – The kitchen is where we prepare food, so it must be well lit in just the right areas. Ambient lighting is important, but task lighting and spotlighting are even more so.
  2. Keep it Clean – A clean kitchen is an inviting kitchen. Keep it clean and tidy so you feel more comfortable preparing food and inviting company into the room.
  3. Keep it Organized – Keeping it organized is one of the more difficult kitchen tasks. We all enjoy a well-organized kitchen, but we’re also all guilty of putting the scissors in the wrong drawer or putting the dishes away incorrectly. Occasionally take a few minutes to make organize the kitchen so it doesn’t get frustrating over time.
  4. Add Storage – Lack of proper storage areas is one of the biggest reasons the kitchen may become unorganized. Build new storage areas or create new ways to organize your kitchen items.
  5. Wide Walkways – The kitchen island is often an amazing addition to the home because it adds functionality. Unfortunately it can also create a road block in the flow from room to room. Make sure your kitchen island or bar doesn’t impede the flow of traffic from area to area.
  6. Efficient Range Hood – Clean air is extremely important in the kitchen. A lot of oils and gases fill the air in the kitchen when we cook. All of those odors and oils can easily be removed from the room by a range hood with a fan.
  7. New Appliances – Today’s appliances are highly Energy Star rated and add more functionality than simply keeping our food cold, making ice, or cooking our meals. Take a long look at some of the added functionality of newer appliances before you purchase them.
  8. Lots of Electrical Outlets – Power outlets are a must-have in the kitchen. Consider doubling up and adding outlets that also have USB plugs for your electronic devices.
  9. Charging Station – The bar or the island are great spots to consider adding a charging station. Everyone in today’s world has electronic devices of some type. We often request that those devices be put away during meal times, so a charging station is the perfect solution. Your family’s electronics can be safely tucked away and on charge while dinner is on the table.
  10. Counter-Height Bar – A counter-height bar allows you to install additional base cabinetry and increase the amount of countertop space you have while maintaining the ability to sit at the bar to eat or socialize.

Homework Remodels is home to some of the best remodelers in the greater Phoenix area. We truly enjoy helping homeowners transform their homes into something spectacular. Here are several examples of our work if you would like to view our handiwork before you give us a call at 602-478-5102 to get started on your kitchen remodeling project.

Choosing the Best Sink for Your Kitchen


Kitchen remodeling is an exciting time for homeowners. We enjoy helping people make the tough decisions regarding materials and the overall design that their kitchen will be. We’ve discovered over time that choosing the kitchen sink and faucet are among some of the most difficult decisions. Here’s how we recommend dealing with one of the most difficult decisions – the best sink for your kitchen.

  1. Material Types: The kitchen sink has to be one of the most durable parts of the kitchen. It has to deal with pots, pans, and other heavy dishes on a daily basis. It’s where you empty pots of boiling water and where you wash your hands regularly before, during, and after cooking. The material has to be able to stand up to some of the roughest treatment possible.
  2. Size and Depth: The standard double basin kitchen sink isn’t big enough to wash things like large pots or roasters. Consider a sink that is slightly bigger than standard if you regularly wash large dishes or leave them to soak in the sink. The standard size is roughly 33” wide and 8” deep.
  3. Top Mount or Under Mount: Top mount sinks are also referred to as drop-in sinks because they’re installed from the top down through a hole in the countertop. The lip around the edge of the sink catches it and keeps it from falling all the way through. An under mount sink is raised into place from below and secured into place from underneath so there’s no lip, or edge, where the sink meets the countertop. They look sleeker, and they’re slightly more expensive to buy and install.
  4. Solid Surfacing: Solid surface sinks are found primarily in the bathroom, but they’re becoming more popular in the kitchen as well. They’re a solid piece that includes countertop and sink. They’re very attractive and available in a wide variety of shapes and colors.
  5. How Many Basins? The standard kitchen sink has two basins of equal size. Today’s homeowners can purchase single basins, double or triple basins, or even basins that have short separators so they can be used as a single or a double.
  6. Ease of Installation and Repairs: Top mount sinks are more popular and much easier to install where under mount sinks are less popular and more expensive to install because they require more work. Look at the installation requirements and ease of repair for each sink type before you make your final purchase.
  7. How Many Holes? Your sink and faucet will have to work together, so you need to decide up front whether you want a faucet that requires one hole or multiple holes. Will you have a single faucet hole that feeds the water to the sink or a hole each for hot and cold, and another for the faucet itself? Will the sink have a sprayer, and will the sprayer be attached to the faucet or the sink (and another hole)?
  8. Faucet Types: You may find it easier to choose a kitchen sink if you know what type of faucet you want. The faucet will likely become one of the focal points for the kitchen, especially the sink area. Make sure you choose a faucet that you like and that provides the functionality you desire.

The designers and builders here at Homework Remodels enjoy the challenges presented by homeowners in the greater Phoenix area. We’re very proud of the work we do and the awards we’ve earned. Give us a call at 602-478-5102 if you’d like to schedule an appointment to work with us on your new kitchen design.

Regret after Your Kitchen Remodel?


Almost any homeowner will be thrilled with the prospect of a kitchen remodel. Imagine looking at the latest options for backslashes, kitchen islands and cabinets. How will you make all of this work with different types of flooring and new lighting fixtures? Of course, as many have found out, kitchen remodeling presents many chances for bad decisions and technical mistakes. Keep reading if you want to avoid finding yourself in this position after you have spent your money.

  1. Know what your home needs. First and foremost, you should acknowledge the style of your home. This will help to guide your remodeling decisions, plus it will pretty much guarantee that the project won’t go off the rails from a design standpoint. For example, a modern kitchen may not suit a Victorian style home interior.
  2. Keep costs in check. Any successful kitchen remodeling project rests on getting your prices lined up from the start. After doing your research, you will be able to make a list of all the fixtures and materials you will need and can afford. There is no need to go for the most expensive products when cheaper alternatives will do. Some people overspend unnecessarily on their kitchen remodeling and end up feeling overextended.
  3. Plan the layout. A kitchen design is something you will have to live with for years. It will also influence your ability to use the kitchen comfortably and efficiently. Any mistakes in the floor plan may be too expensive to rectify right away. Start with a rough draft before you talk to a contractor. Mark the spots for the appliances and the fixtures, and the contractor will advise you on the best use of the space.
  4. Reuse where possible. Even a full remodel does not always mean making changes to every single aspect of the space. You don’t have to change appliances if they are still in good condition and functioning properly. A hardwood floor can be sanded and refinished, and the same applies to cabinets.
  5. Work with existing installations. Changing plumbing and gas lines can be costly, so if there is no need to move them you can actually save money. You can plan your remodeling with these installations in mind, and this will make the entire process easier. You can put the new sink, stove and other elements in the same position as the old ones and still get a new look for the kitchen.
  6. Read up on trends. Trends can make the entire project a whole lot easier. Everything from the color scheme to the type of backsplash can be influenced by trends. Luckily, kitchen trends do not necessarily suggest buying the most expensive products.

It may also help to be aware of trends and styles in your neighborhood if you want kitchen ideas you can be happy with. The designers and builders here at Homework Remodels enjoy the challenges presented by homeowners in the greater Phoenix area. We’re very proud of the work we do and the awards we’ve earned. Give us a call at 602-478-5102 if you’d like to schedule an appointment to work with us on your new kitchen design.

The Perfect Kitchen Sink for Your New Kitchen

Washing lettuce under water- preparing for eating

Washing lettuce under water- preparing for eating

Are you remodeling the kitchen and having problems choosing the perfect kitchen sink? There are so many to choose from; so many shapes and sizes, colors and styles. It’s difficult to know where to start your search if you aren’t sure how each of them would look. If you’ve been putting off making a decision, because you simply don’t know how to choose the right kitchen sink for your newly remodeled kitchen, allow us to help simplify the decision.

Choosing the right kitchen sink depends on your cooking style as well as the style and the size of your kitchen. A standard stainless steel sink with two basins is very practical and traditional. This doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you. Take a look at all other options before you make up your mind. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

How Do You Cook?

Are you an avid cook and need a lot of space for prep and cleanup? A single basin sink that is deep, wide, and has a drain board attached, is a good option. A deep basin is versatile, because it has the space you need while cooking, and allows you to easily clean large pots and pans. Since you’ll be running the dish washer most of the time, you probably won’t need that double basin sink.

How Big is the Kitchen?

If you have a small kitchen a large kitchen sink will overwhelm the space. Consider installing a smaller sink that’s the perfect fit for your small kitchen. The sink should flow well with the rest of the room, not stand out and draw attention.

What Materials are in Your New Kitchen?

When it comes to material, stainless steel is the most popular. The lower the gauge number, the thicker and more durable the stainless steel sink will be. High-gauge options are thinner, and therefore more likely to dent and scratch easily. Despite the benefits of stainless steel sinks, there are a range of materials to choose from. It’s okay to go with something else, as long as it fits well into the surrounding materials.

What Shape Sink Do You Prefer?

Once you have those key issues decided you can play around with the other features, such as shape, e.g. curved vs. angular shaped. The traditional sink is rectangle or square. That doesn’t mean your new sink has to conform to that standard. Go out on a limb and choose something truly unique if it suits you.

Functionality and Durability Over Appearance

The kitchen sink is a big part of your daily life, so you want to make sure its functional and long lasting. Choose a durable material that increases the overall functionality of your kitchen while looking amazing. But never sacrifice durability for appearance.

Give Homework Remodels a call at 602-478-5102 for more information. We have designed some of the most unique and amazing kitchens in the greater Phoenix area. Our work has been featured several magazines and online publications, and we’ve received the Contractor of the Year award four times. We love the entire kitchen remodeling process and would love to help you realize your kitchen’s full potential.

6 Kitchen Design Mistakes

untidy Kitchenware in the kitchen

Families often spend most of their family time in the kitchen, so it should be one of the most comfortable rooms in your home. We spend time in the kitchen eating our meals, having snacks, enjoying the company of others, and entertaining guests. The problem is, if the kitchen doesn’t flow with the rest of the house-or the room itself-it can make you avoid the room entirely because it is uncomfortable. Avoid these kitchen design mistakes:

  1. Open Shelving: Showing off some of your prized possessions is ok, and adds a little character to your kitchen. Too many knick knacks can interrupt the flow of your kitchen-and take away from the rest of your designs. Open shelving is a wonderful way to add character to the room, but no one wants to see all of your baking pans and skillets. Keep the open shelves to a minimum and choose other nice cabinetry for the less decorative items.
  2. Stainless Steel: A little stainless steel goes a long way towards making a kitchen look modern, but too much can make it look like an operating room or an industrial kitchen. Make sure to break up the stainless steel with some complementing colors from other areas. Choose stainless appliances with a colorful countertop, or a stainless countertop with colorful appliances, but don’t pack the kitchen full of all stainless steel items.
  3. Poorly Placed Appliances: Nothing breaks up the flow of a room like making it difficult to use. Not being able to open your refrigerator or opening two cabinets at the same time not only breaks up the look of your kitchen, it also stops you from actually using your kitchen. The open dishwasher door should never block cabinetry or the refrigerator, for example.
  4. Making it too Bland: Sure, “safe” colors like beige, tan, and white flow together, but they also make a kitchen boring. Add some flavor to your kitchen to make it flow while giving it character. Bring some of the color from the adjoining rooms into the kitchen to add depth and carry the flow of color from room to room.
  5. Trash Cans: A beautiful kitchen doesn’t need an openly available trash can. This not only interrupts the flow of your kitchen, it also interrupts the flow of travel in your kitchen-which can cause a traffic jam so to speak. Hide the trash can in a pantry or a cabinet to keep it out of sight.
  6. Not Installing in the Correct Lighting: Nothing makes your kitchen more functional than effective lighting. Most kitchens need an overhead light for general lighting and a spot light to perform specific tasks such as preparing food. Of course, you don’t want your kitchen only to be functional; you want it to look good too. In order to highlight the style of your kitchen, add in accent lighting.

Give Homework Remodels a call at 602-478-5102 for more information. We have designed some of the most unique and amazing kitchens in the greater Phoenix area. Our work has been featured several magazines and online publications, and we’ve received the Contractor of the Year award four times. We love the entire kitchen remodeling process and would be honored to help you realize your kitchen’s full potential.

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