Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen is the heart of home.  Adding new flooring, cabinets, counter tops, and a updated back splash are ways to improve your home valve while enjoying your dream kitchen.

Before you get started here are a couple of things to consider:

  • Find a good contractor who is licensed and insured.  For Tips look under my blog dated 12/2010.
  • Plan Smart  With your contractor's assistance plan smart by making appliance and fixture relocation's as practical as possible to fit your needs (more to follow in coming post)
  • Plan lighting ahead of time.  Upgrade your lighting the same time you do your electrical.  This will save you the cost of having a electrician visit your house twice. (more to follow in coming post)  
  • Work with your contractor to draw the kitchen design.
  • Work with your contractor to know how long your project will take.  This means you will be giving up your kitchen for a time.  Whoo hoo!!  You get to eat out!
  • Shop around for your appliances and have conformation of arrival time or on site.  Keep in mind when making your decision to select appliances that would be attractive to potential buyers should you decide to sell your home.
  • Depending on your budget you will need to make a decision to either have your cabinets resurfaced or purchase new ones.
  • Selecting counter tops; remember granite and Corian are the most popular.  They look expensive and indeed they are.  But there are many counter tops now that are not as expensive and are very attractive so again considering your budget decide what option works best for you!
  • Floor covering can be vinyl, hardwood, tile and other which your contractor can advise you on.
I will be posting a series of short topics here for the entire process of a kitchen remodel. I will also be making a link for you to like us on Facebook and receive a free Kitchen check list

Visit us on line at Conrad & Conrad Inc and give us a like on Facebook and see us at Google+.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Winter maintenance and water pipe protection

It is finally turning winter and it sure has been a nice and mild Fall.
By the looks of the weather forecast, the next several nights and days are going to be cold! This prompted me to post a few things you can do to help prevent your water pipes from freezing and causing you some possible severe damage to your home.
  • Make sure your water hose is disconnected form the hose bibs (outside spigots) and water hose accessories.
  • If you don't have freeze proof hose bibs, wrap a cloth around your hose bib and place a can or something over the cloth for wind protection
  • Do you have automatic foundation vents (used mainly in crawl spaces) and are they working properly? If you don't have the automatic vents, close their doors, if the door is broken cut a piece of cardboard or something to cover the opening. This is very important especially if there are water pipes close to the vent.
  • If you have water pipes close to foundation openings or vents, purchase pipe insulation form the local plumbing supply house or hardware store and place around the pipes.
  • If you had any plumbing work completed in your attic, surely your plumber insulated the pipes properly, this one is definitely worth checking on.
Just a few simple things you can check, and take care of yourself during these colder days and nights.
You can visit us at our Conrad & Conrad see some of our completed additions, custom homes and home improvement  work.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thank you for visiting our Blog Ask a Remodeler.

I have been in building since graduation form college where I majored in Industrial Technology and Business. After being graduated from East Carolina University my father took me as his partner and we started our current business of Conrad & Conrad Inc. where we continued to build new homes and started changing our focus to additions, remodeling and repairs to residential and commercial properties with our main focus on quality building, customer service and customer satisfaction.  Visit us on Facebook also.

 My wife Angie worked part time with us until 2 years ago and then joined the team full time in 2008.  She attended Lee's McRae College and has taken several business classes at Forsyth Technical College and continues to attend seminars and continuing education events with me.

Our mission at Conrad and Conrad is quality remodeling and building with very personalized service and assistance in the design, product and material selection and completion of your project.  We want you informed of where your money is going.  We will visit the suppliers with you if desired so you will know exactly what you are getting. We use various trade subcontractors that are licensed and insured that have completed many projects with us during our 24 years of service.

We have and are;

  • NC Licensed General Contractors
  • a member of the local BBB
  • a member of HBAWS and NCHBA
We are experienced in;
  • Room additions of all types
  • Kitchen Remodeling
  • Bath room remodeling
  • ADA and Aging in Place Remodeling
  • Basement and Attic Remodeling
  • Screen porch and Sun room Building
  • Deck Building and repairs
  • Custom Home Building
  • Pre Engineered Steel Buildings
If you have questions, please post them and we will see if we can help you.
Thank you and we look forward hearing from you.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Now that we have everything tore out and cleaned up, its time to get started putting your dream bathroom back together.  At this point,  you have selected your fixtures, tile or vinyl, faucets, lighting and they are already here.
Items that we would assist you with which is a part of our service;

  • Toilet
  • Tub or tub/shower
  • Tub or tub/shower faucet
  • Vanity and top
  • Lavatory faucet
  • Floor covering (vinyl products, tile, hardwood...)
  • Floor tile and pattern, shower tile and pattern and grout colors
  • Paint colors

Monday, December 12, 2011

The tear out is probably the most intrusive part of the entire process. It is loud, quite a bit of traffic and dusty.
We try to keep things simple as possibly to protect you and your home. Let's get started and walk through the process.

    All floors and the rest of the home have to be protected
  1. Install carpet guard, 6mil polyethylene and drop cloths on the path to the work area
  2. Install 6mil dust barriers on all openings to non work areas and seal with painters tape
  3. Cover HVAC ducts or turn off HVAC system to prevent dust transfer
  4. Next question is, was my home built before 1978 and if so, is my contractor a Lead Certified Renovation Firm
  5. If your home was built in 1978 or earlier, you need a Certified Lead Renovator to take care of your project so lead safe practices are used

Once everything is covered and protected the tear out can begin.
If possible, remove as large of pieces as can be managed safely. This reduces sawing (dust) and beating (busting of cast iron tubs...).
At this point it may be a good idea to strip at least the exterior walls to the stud so insulation can be checked and installed if needed.
All the while the tear out is going on, the bath exhaust can be running, a window opened to help remove any dust and if a pre 1978 (lead test and lead safe remodeling).
After everything is tore out, clean the work area well.

Now lets prep the new bath
  1. Before any of the prep work begins we have a new design in place and know where the new fixture locations are going to be and how that is going to happen
  2. Ideal lighting locations are selected
  3. Necessary plumbing fixtures and faucets have been ordered, have arrived and have been checked before anything is torn out
  4. Remove sub floor to relocate plumbing fixtures if that is part of the plan
  5. After all plumbing and electrical is installed it is a good idea to take pictures so you will know where each is for future changes or repairs
  6. Patch the sub floor and we always insert screws through the sub floor into the joist to help prevent squeaks
  7. Install electrical for bath vent fans, special lighting and switching
Visit our web site Conrad & Conrad Inc. to see some of our completed projects and give us a like on our Facebook page.

Our next post will cover the process of putting your bathroom back together.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Possibly one of the most important things you must consider when selecting a contractor is whether or not they are properly insured (Workers Compensation and General Liability). If not, let the buyer beware. If a worker is injured on your project, you are at risk if the contractor is uninsured. If there is a catastrophe and the contractor is uninsured, it may be hard to recover damages.

  • A properly insured contractor has more expenses and will naturally have a higher price to build your dream project. When getting your 2 - 3(at most) estimates, make sure all are on the same playing field in terms of protecting you.
  • ie: Is the contractor properly licensed and willing to acquire a permit for your project? Projects over a certain dollar value; are structural in nature; involve plumbing, electrical, or HVAC work require permitting.
  • Is the contractor you are considering a member of any professional associations? The Home Builders Association and the Better Business Bureau are good sources of information. Membership in these organizatons gives the contractor some legitimacy. Call these organizations before calling referrals supplied by the potential contractor. If there are any complaints against the contractor and how that contractor resolved the problem, there may be a record on file with the BBB. I suggest checking us out there in our initial visit.
  • Can the contractor furnish referrals? Do they provide them willingly? We usually furnish 2 - 3 and try to have the referrals in line with the type of project you want completed.
  • Does the contractor listen to what you want? Every project involving additions or remodeling is different as is each potential client. It is essential that the contractor is willing to spend the time to get a feel for who you are and what you want. Then he can make suggestions of alternative ways and possibly materials that are available that you may not have thought possible.
  • Is the contractor professional? Knowledge, letter head, and signage are things to consider. Is the Proposal broken down to give you an idea where your dollars are going?
  • Is the contractor willing to make follow up visits to make sure you understand what you are getting?
  • Has the contractor explained the process for handling additional work that the client may wish to add during construction. It is best to have a detailed proposal so the client and contractor have no surprises when the job is completed. This helps you and us stay in budget.
  • Thursday, February 11, 2010

    I am excited about sharing my ideas and experiences through this blog about bathroom remodeling with you. The coming post in the weeks to follow will be some of the tips and processes involved in remodeling your bathroom. It is based on our over 50 years combined experience in basic bathroom remodeling to a complete bathroom make over.

    We will go through the process of a full bath remodel.

    We are located in Clemmons, NC and serve Forsyth, Davie, Davidson, Guilford and Yadkin Counties. We are licensed General Contractors.

    The purpose of this blog is for you to answer a few questions for yourself before inviting a contractor over to give you an estimate.

    • Is the contractor I have chose licensed and insured?

    • Can my contractor furnish references of past clients?

    • Is the contractor local in case I have a problem?

    • Is the current fixture locations where I really want them?

    • Do I want a stand alone shower and does the toilet need to move?

    • Do I want a single bowl vanity top or double bowl?

    • Wouldn't a seat be nice in my new tile shower and built in niches to keep soap and shampoo?

    • What type of tub do I want?

    • Can I get a full height vanity?

    • Do I want tile or vinyl on my floor?

    • Do I need more ventilation?

    • Can I put a steam shower in?

    We look forward to hearing form you and answering these questions and more in the weeks to come. In our side bar, you will find a way to subscribe to our blog which will deliver new postings directly to your email. You can also bookmark our page for easy retrieval. Feel free to click the comment button to let us know what you think.

    We are planning to post a new blog entry about once a week, so stay tuned for our next post. The next post will be about selecting the contractor.