Avoiding Basement Remodel Mistakes and Blunders

basic basement remodeling tips to help you avoid common mistakes and pitfallsTo add more square feet onto the average house, many homeowners today look down instead of up or out, and this means finishing a basement. The dark, scary, and cobweb-ridden basements of yesterday are nothing like today’s awesome entertainment spaces, extra bedrooms, and playrooms.

Basement Mistakes and Project Enthusiasm

However, if you get too excited about your remodeling and improvement project, you might fall victim to some common basement mistakes. Transforming your wet, dirty basement into a warm and inviting space requires planning and talks with your contractor about items like code, insulation, structural integrity, and the threat of water.

Seems complex and overwhelming, but a good plan will make any significant and complicated basement remodeling project run like clockwork.

Meeting the Challenges of a Basement Remodel

Canadian home improvement tipster Steve Maxwell suggests that many challenges of basement remodeling aren’t “obvious” when you first look at improving the space.

Underneath all these worthy possibilities you’ll find challenges unique to the basement finishing game. And these are especially sneaky because most of the challenges aren’t obvious at first. More often than not, they allow themselves to be ignored, at least for a while. But then, when all the work is done, they make themselves known in the form of trouble that’s almost impossible to fix afterwards.

Two Questions to Ask During Planning

Asking yourself some simple questions about your basement will help ensure you plan right and get the best result from the project. The most important questions revolve around water and the threat of a leaky basement.

Consider these questions when discussing the wishes for your future basement with your contractor:

  1. Does your basement have any problems with water?
  2. Does your basement have water-resistant insulation?

The biggest mistake any homeowner can make is to install some amazing features in the basement only to have continuous problems with water each season. One of the best reasons to consult with a contractor is because home improvement professionals can train their expert eye on a basement to determine its propensity and risk for flooding and the invasion of water.

A Warm and Dry Floor

One of the most important basement remodeling tips is to consult with a professional contractor regarding complications of water and flooding.
Just like the walls need special consideration for insulation, the floors also need special treatment. Unlike the floors on the upper levels of the home, the floor of a basement is rife with the risk for water and dampness.

The “Chronicle Herald” out of Halifax, Canada shares why floors become damp and wet in the summer months:

Humid summer weather causes many basement moisture problems because basement spaces are cooler than outside air. As warm, moist, summertime air makes its way into the basement it cools, losing its ability to hold moisture, resulting in condensation if conditions are right. This happens most often right at floor level because concrete floors are the coolest part of any basement.

DIY Pitfalls and Basements

Networks like HGTV and the DIY Network encourage homeowners to take control of their homes with projects to beautify the home. However, the basement is a wild area of the home where problems might not seem apparent at the start of a project and may cause some big problems after the basement is finished.

The New Home Blog explains the pitfalls of finishing your own basement:

Be realistic in assessing your skills. Having made a bench in high school shop class may not pre-qualify you for completing a full basement reno with plumbing and wiring, the scope of the project should always be part of your assessment. Sure, you’ll be gaining skills along the way, but the process could be long and arduous.

More Basement Remodeling Tips

Would you like to know how to turn your creepy, dark basement into an awesome entertainment room or an extra bedroom? Contact Artisan Remodeling, Inc. today for expert advice on how you can get a beautifully finished basement.

new bathroom trendsOne thing is clear, new kitchen trends and new bathroom trends are continually evolving. Over the past century, Americans started “hanging out” in the kitchen instead of formal living rooms, and a culture of standing around the center island was born. In the past decade, the allure of a spa-like bathroom filled with comfort and style has emerged as another popular area for relaxation and enjoyment.

Busy professionals and stay-at-home parents alike have started to look forward to time spent soaking in a tub after a hard day of work at the office – or in the home. Whether you’re interested in a completely new bathroom or just a few enhancements, the new world of bathroom remodeling offers several beautiful and enjoyable trends.

Let the Light Shine In

New Bathroom Trends Create Beautiful Bathrooms

While every bathroom doesn’t lend itself to massive windows and gorgeous skylights, significant remodeling of today’s bathrooms often includes discussions of enhancing natural light. Squinting into a mirror in the morning under the bright gaze of a fluorescent light isn’t an enjoyable way to start the day.

On the other hand, lights with dimmers and softly illuminated track lighting offers a much subtler way to begin the day. The tiny porthole windows of the past are also gone from many newly remodeled bathrooms. Large windows above the tub or to the side of the sink that allow the sun’s warm light to cascade into the space are much more popular than high, inaccessible windows.

The National Kitchen & Bath Association recommends cross-lighting for placing lights around the bathroom mirrors. They define this concept as:

“Light sources should be placed so that light emanates from above, below, and both sides of the mirror. This technique is called cross-lighting, effectively eliminates shadows. If you have light coming only from above, it hits your eyebrows, causing shadows beneath your eyes—not an encouraging sight first thing every morning.”

The Evolution of Tubs and Showers

A claustrophobic shower and a noisy Jacuzzi tub might have been all the rage in the 1980s, but savvy remodelers and homeowners today don’t have to put up with these old designs. Today’s showers often provide extra room and feature airy windows and glass walls that create an open, inviting shower, rather than a little closet space.

Likewise, today’s new bathtubs aren’t always the spinning and hectic whirlpools of the past. Homeowners today often choose a subtler soaking tub that offers a relaxing evening, rather than the chaotic, swirling vortex of a Jacuzzi.

Thinking About the Toilet

Bathrooms that offer a limited amount of space tend to restrict where a homeowner may place the toilet versus the bathtub and sink; however, moving major components of the bathroom has become a popular way to create a more hygienic and private space for the toilet.

The design pros at “This Old House” also recommend setting aside part of the remodeling budget for a nice toilet. They recommend finding a toilet with a high Maximum Performance score to ensure the best experience in the “loo.”

They suggest:

“Don’t settle for a wimpy flusher. Maximum Performance testing (MaP) gauges a toilet’s ability to get the job done with just one push of the handle. Look for a loo with a MaP score of 500 or higher; this group includes many WaterSense-rated toilets, high-efficiency models that use as little as half of the 1.6-gallon-per-flush legal limit. “

Fun Extras for the Bathroom

Technology has also invaded new bathroom trends with awesome features like special built-in sound systems around the bathtub and shower, televisions built into the mirror, and warming racks for towels and bathrobes. Automatic faucets, low-flow toilets, and efficient faucets also add an environmentally friendly flair to new bathrooms.

Would you like to know how to turn your old, tired bathroom into a relaxing paradise? Contact Artisan Remodeling, Inc. today for information on how your bathroom remodeling project can create a welcoming and beautiful new space.

Fort Collins Bathroom RemodelingHave you been dreaming of remodeling your bathroom? The idea of taking on such a big project can be overwhelming and intimidating but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring your options. If you still haven’t called a Fort Collins bathroom remodeler about upgrading your Fort Collins home, here are 5 reason to pick up the phone!

1. Boost Your Home Value – A bathroom remodel can garner an 80% return on your investment and help your home sell faster. When potential buyers walk through your home and see a bathroom that is out of date they will see a high price tag added to the purchase price and try to negotiate accordingly. According to Zillow, Colorado home values are increasing, making it the perfect time to invest in your home and your happiness.

2. A Small Update May Be a Major Improvement – Many bathrooms would be substantially better with updated fixtures. Fixtures bring a lot of the style into your space and previous homeowners may have chosen fixtures based on cost or a style that isn’t your preference. Not every bathroom renovation requires a huge investment. Talk to your Fort Collins bathroom remodeler about what minor changes can be made in your bathroom for the biggest results.

3. Your Needs Are Not Being Met – A bathroom is a high traffic area of your home. It is used multiple times a day by every member of your family and if it doesn’t meet your needs, it’s a problem. If you want to add more space or more function to your bathroom you need to talk to a remodeler about what potential you have to expand your space. A remodeling professional may have some ideas for making more space in your bathroom that you have not thought of. Call a Fort Collins bathroom remodeler who offers a free estimate and project consultation.

4. You Need to Remodel for Safety Reasons – When a family member can no longer use the existing bathroom safely without assistance it’s time to upgrade. An age in place bathroom will change the function of your bathroom and make it work for your family for years to come.

5. You Deserve It! – If you have been dreaming of a spa quality bathroom in your home, take the next step and learn more. Requesting a Free Estimate requires no commitment and it will give you a better idea of your how your remodeling budget can change your life!

Artisan Remodeling and Repair: Bathroom Remodeling in Fort Collins, CO

Artisan Remodeling and Repair is a family owned remodeling company with offices in the Fort Collins and Loveland, CO area. Artisan Remodeling and Repair offers a 5 Year Guarantee on all projects and no project is considered complete unless the customer is 100% satisfied with the work!

If you are ready to take the first step towards your new bathroom, contact Artisan Remodeling and Repair today for a Free Estimate. During the estimate process we’ll discuss your vision for the project and share our ideas for your remodel with absolutely no obligation.

DISCLAIMER: All information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as DIY project advice. Artisan Remodeling and Repair shall not be liable for any errors or inaccuracies contained herein, or any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Paul is a Fort Collins Kitchen Remodeling Contractor

Kitchen Remodeling in Fort Collins

If you are like many of us, your kitchen very likely is in need of updating.  Maybe your culinary skills have outgrown your current kitchen and you are looking for something more cook friendly.  Or perhaps your family has grown in numbers and the cabinet and storage space simply is no longer adequate.  Or, maybe  your kitchen is fine, functionally speaking, but the appliances and overall look have become outdated and just are not what you were thinking while imagining your dream kitchen–after all, it’s not easy to visualize your perfect kitchen when it centers around an avocado green oven from the early 80’s!

No matter your reasons for considering kitchen remodeling in Fort Collins–from ugly appliances to the need for more space–there are several tips any homeowner should consider when having their kitchen remodeled.   Keeping some of these tips in mind while making remodeling plans with Artisan Remodeling and Repair can help you achieve a kitchen that not only looks great, but has been designed to function in perfect harmony with how you and your family uses the kitchen.

Layout Matters

When planning your kitchen, you should always think about how you cook, or use each section of the space.  Ask yourself things like, “Where is the most convenient place to keep pots, pans, or dishes?”  “Is food storage easily accessible, and easy to get to when preparing food?”  “Are the separate areas of the kitchen conducive to moving from one task to another without wasting time and energy moving items, or pacing back and forth to get everything needed?”  A well planned layout that maximizes your kitchen’s functionality can save on future frustration.

Give Yourself Space

Unless your goal is to expand the vocabulary of  little ears (or big ears alike), making sure you have room to move around without banging your shins, elbows, or head on cabinets, drawers or shelving is probably advisable.  Kitchens with too narrow walkways, or tight work spaces can often lead to bumps and bruises which make your cooking experience more of a chore and less of a joy.  If you don’t plan work spaces and walkways that are too small for the sake of an overcrowded kitchen, you can easily maximize the shin friendliness and overall functionality of your new kitchen.

Decide Your Kitchen’s “Guest List”

If you are the only person in your home who uses the kitchen, then planning the perfect kitchen for you should be a breeze.  However, if your kitchen often has more than one person “invited” to the party, you should consider making the entire kitchen, or at least certain areas more adaptable to multiple users.  For example, if you have children who like to help mom or dad cook, making sure at least one counter top is an accessible height is a great idea.

Determining who, and how much each person in your family will be using all the areas of your kitchen will help in deciding important factors like counter height, appliance height, and how much space necessary between appliances and work spaces.  The forethought on who will be using what can make group cook sessions, or family time making cookies a much more pleasant experience later.

So, when the time has come to remodel your kitchen, no matter the reasons why, making the right plans with the right home improvement contractor is key.  Let Artisan Remodeling and Repair help you realize your family’s dream kitchen with our superior craftsmanship, trustworthy products and affordable pricing.  Contact us today for your free estimate.

choosing the right paint color for your home

Custom remodeling project in Fort Collins, CO

When you embark on a home remodel in Fort Collins (or Loveland, Windsor, Berthoud, etc.) the goal is redesigning and refreshing your home to make it more functional for your family’s needs.  Nothing accentuates this transformation quite like a change in your home’s color palette, with shades that reflect your home’s new features.

Choosing the perfect paint colors for your home, however, can be daunting.  With so many hundreds of shades in every imaginable hue, where do you start?  The design experts from O Magazine offer some great advice:

  • Start with your wardrobe.  In order to get an idea of which colors draw you in, shop your own closet and look for color trends among your favorite pieces.  Whether it’s sage green, wine red, or warm mocha that keeps popping up, you’ll get an idea of which colors naturally attract you.
  • Analyze your lifestyle.  Think about the room you’re redesigning.  When do you use it the most, and for which purpose?  If it’s a nook where you eat breakfast on most days, you might prefer a brighter, morning-friendly color.  For a study that you use primarily in the evenings, a warm brown or burgundy might set just the right tone.
  • Carry hints throughout.  Having echoes of one color throughout the house can give it an airy, open feeling, but you don’t need to repeat the same exact shade in each room.  Settle on a color that really appeals to you in one room, and then use lighter or darker shades of the same hue in adjoining rooms.
  • Don’t hug the wall.  While taping paint swatches to the wall is the first step for many painting projects, don’t stick to the wall for too long.  You may have visual interference from the existing paint color, distorting the look of the new shade.  Instead, move the swatch next to the items that will be in the finished room to imagine how it will look with your furniture, art, and accessories.

No matter which shade catches your eye, Artisan Remodeling and Repair will bring our professionalism and craftsmanship to your Fort Collins home remodel.  Contact us to learn more about our work, and for a free estimate on your project.