Researching to Find the Right Contractor

While the thought of taking on any home renovation or remodeling project seems like a huge, daunting one, the thought of doing it without the help and guidance of a reputable and trustworthy contractor makes it all seem that much more intimidating and stressful — maybe even impossible.

One should never underestimate the many benefits of hiring the right contractor for their home renovation project. With all the countless contracting horror stories regarding incomplete jobs, budget overruns, and missed deadlines, it’s a potential minefield to wander into without the right contractor. So where can you begin to research your options?

Ask Around

A great way to start is by utilizing all available resources to get a good lead on reputable contractors in your area. One of the best and easiest ways is to simply ask your friends, family or trusted neighbors for recommendations. Perhaps someone within your circle of trust recently had similar work done or knows someone who did. Great contractors generally hold referrals in high regard because they understand the importance of word-of-mouth in their growth and success.

Public Records

First and foremost, a reputable contractor should be licensed to work in the state and/or municipality for which you’re inquiring. In addition, because each municipality offers a process with which to file complaints, records are kept and made available for public access to help you in your consideration. Make sure to check online with local disciplinary boards or even the Better Business Bureau regarding residential and general contractors to see if there is any history of complaints or litigation against the contractor.

Internet Reviews

While this should never be the sole source of your decision making, checking the contractor’s online reviews with various websites is another great way to peel back yet another layer of information on the contractor in question. In addition to the aforementioned Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Google, and Angie’s Listcan serve as additional sources of consumer experience with a particular contractor. While Angie’s List requires a subscription to access additional information, the price of a trial membership could be viewed as money well spent to find the right contractor for the job, saving you much money and hassle down the road.

Ask for References

Ask any prospective contractor for references from past clients to determine the level of satisfaction they received from working with the contractor. Did they adhere to timelines and budget? Did they communicate well throughout the entire process? Did the project live up to expectations? These and many other questions can be answered by asking the contractor for references from recent customers.

A Contractor You Can Trust

When you start looking for contractors, start by finding one with some stability and a track history for doing excellent work in the specialties you’re looking for. The professionals at Green Remodeling have been transforming spaces for over a decade now, with a long list of satisfied customers to show for it. Specializing in most every area in or out of the home, there’s no space too large or too small to transform into the visionyou have for it.

Call Laura Green and the Green Team today for your FREE consultation!

A Shower Upgrade Wish List

In this hustle and bustle world, everybody needs a place where they can go to relax and recharge. A retreat within their own home, specifically, where they can renew themselves and come out feeling invigorated and refreshed. For many homeowners, a custom shower is just the thing.

Not only does a custom spa-style shower provide you with your very own space within which you can feel like you’re being luxuriously pampered, but a custom shower/bath area can help to boost your home’s value significantly. In addition, there are many wonderful features to consider incorporating into your shower remodel/renovation project in order to create the blissful oasis you’ve always dreamed of.

Space

While it’s technically not an installed feature, space is a must-have item for most homeowners when it comes to redoing their shower area, as most wish to make their shower space larger and more comfortable. Also, consider including a built-in bench or seat of some kind. Not only is it a convenient feature when you want to simply sit and soak (or steam), but it comes in handy when washing and shaving hard-to-reach areas.

Grout-Free Surfaces

If you’re done with the thought of scrubbing and maintaining your shower walls, perhaps grout-free tile is the way to go. Available in a variety of faux finishes to match any decor, shower & tub wall panel kits are affordable, easy to maintain, and look fabulous. If grout-free surfaces don’t quite appeal to you, you could always consider larger tiles and smaller grout lines to reduce the need for upkeep and cleaning.

Built-In Shelving & Niches

Another convenient feature to consider would be a built-in shelf or niche upon which you can store your shower essentials. Place them at a height that’s easy to reach and make them so they’re easy to wipe down.

Multiple Heads

By far, the greatest recent innovation in bath/shower remodeling has to be the use of multiple shower and spray heads for that total spa experience. You can even incorporate more than one shower head for the his/hers convenience of no one being left out of the warmth of the hot water. In addition, there are also many different shower heads to choose from to suit your personal preference. From massaging shower heads to rainfall shower heads to – yes, even Bluetooth-enabled shower heads that play music, you’ll find no shortage of shower head options. When it comes to adjustable body sprayers, you can incorporate as many as you’d like in order to hit all the different parts of your body at once. Just make sure you have enough water pressure. Which brings us to…

Adequate Plumbing & Hot Water

Obviously, you’ll need to make certain that you not only have enough hot water for all the extra time you’re going to be spending in your new shower, but that you have enough pressure to push it out of all the sprayers and heads you’re adding. A professional contractor can consult with you to determine whether or not a tankless water heater is for you. Capable of providing unlimited hot water, many are adding tankless systems for the convenience of never running out of hot water. A professional can also consult with you to determine whether plumbing upgrades are necessary to provide ample water pressure for the spa-like experience you want.

Call the Green Team!

Whether it’s a bath/shower renovation or an upgrade in any other area in or around the house, call on the Green Team at Green Remodeling to help you create the space you’ve always dreamed of.

2018: The Right Time to Remodel

With a brand new year on the calendar, it just so happens to be the best time to look ahead to the hottest home design and renovation trends for the upcoming year in anticipation of a possible remodel or renovation. With a healthy and growing economy, now might be the best time to consider investing in a home improvement project.

No Time Like the Present

With the growth in economy and consumer confidence, 2018 is shaping up to be a great year to remodel or renovate – but you need to hurry. Because the longer you wait to green light a project while others are choosing to take the plunge, the greater the potential adverse effect will be on the very factors you’re hoping aren’t affected. In other words, while a low material cost is a good thing when considering a remodel, if you continue to wait while others have begun their remodeling jobs, their activity will, in turn, eventually raise the cost of materials on your potential remodeling job, once you decide to green light it.

Bottom line? Act swiftly.

Kitchens: The Hub of the House

Studies have shown that the return on investment on a kitchen remodel outperforms renovations made to any other room of the house. Great things to consider on a kitchen remodel include, but are not limited to, increasing available storage space, refacing or replacing cabinets, installing upgraded countertops, installing a walk-in pantry, and adding upgraded appliances. In addition, another great design trend for the kitchen is a large island that features either an additional prep area, complete with a sink and/or another seating area for less formal meals and gatherings, where the diners can sit closer to the person who’s doing the cooking.

Bath

Another design-trendy area of the home that it pays to renovate is the master bath area. Like kitchens, master baths evoke emotion in the heart of the homeowner. Where kitchens evoke a sense of comfort and fellowship, master baths often times evoke a sense of peace and relaxation. It’s those emotional ties that potential homebuyers respond to, seeking out upgraded amenities and features. For a master bath, such amenities might include a walk-in shower (perhaps with a built-in seat for comfort or convenience), steam shower, solid countertops, and additional storage, to name a few.

With a little help from the renovation experts at Green Remodeling, you can make the most of your opportunity this year to take on the remodeling project you’ve been considering. Whether it’s a kitchen or bath upgrade, finishing off a basement to enlarge your living space, or adding on a completely new space to extend your square footage, the home improvement pros at Green Remodeling will take a consultative approach to helping you create the space you’ve always wanted.

Be sure to contact Green Remodeling for more information about how they can help you with all your home improvement needs in 2018 and beyond!

 

 

Stop the Mud (and the Madness) with an Organized Mudroom

With all the torrential rain and afternoon thunderstorms we’ve been getting lately, it’s a pretty safe bet that there’s some mud and dirt being tracked unnecessarily into your home. Sure, you’ve equipped yourself with an arsenal of brooms, dustpans, vacuums, and mops to battle the mess, but it’s an endless fight that you’ll never truly win.

Mud Stopper

One option that goes a long way in helping to gain an advantage in fighting the mud and dirt from getting into the recesses of your home is a mudroom. A mudroom is basically a room or designated space between your primary point of entry and the rest of the home – usually just inside the garage and preferably adjacent to the laundry room/area  – that usually incorporates seating, storage, and a mud-friendly floor.

Seating & Storage

Since you’ll be stopping in your mudroom to remove your shoes, rain/snow boots, and the like, you’ll be best served by putting some bench seating in the area. Bench seats can incorporate storage space underneath that can be used for shoe and boot storage. Consider using overhead storage shelves to keep frequently used items within convenient distance of the door and within easy reach. For added convenience, use hooks along the walls to catch jackets, bags, backpacks, and other necessities.

Extra Amenities

In addition to the basic features, you can also maximize the available space by adding some custom amenities that add form as well as function. Some mudrooms go the extra mile when it comes to organization by incorporating individual “lockers” or cubbyholes that can be assigned to each member of the family for personalization and convenience. Basically, you’re limited only by your imagination when it comes to renovating or adding on a new space. Whether it’s a space for an umbrella stand to hold your wet umbrellas until it’s time to head out again, a floor length mirror to catch one last look before leaving the house or, for the ultimate in convenience, a tiled, mini-shower with drain that can double as a pet-bathing station and kid-rinsing room to get the extra mud off after a dirty day playing outside. And last but not least, make sure to go with a tile or laminate floor that can withstand the elements and is easy to sweep and mop.

Adding a mudroom to your existing space doesn’t just make your life easier, it also adds value to your home, which is always a great thing when it comes to home renovations and upgrades, which makes it a win/win. Trust Green Remodeling to make the most of your budget and your available space, whether it’s a mudroom or any other space inside (or outside) your home.

Contact the home remodeling and renovation experts at Green Remodeling for your free estimate today!

3 Summer Home Renovations That Cut Energy Costs

With the official arrival of summer, it’s also that time of year to welcome the sweltering Southern heat and the increased cost of keeping your house cool. It seems as if the constant heat is rivaled only by the constant need to run your air conditioning 24/7. Here are few investments and home renovations you can make to help keep energy costs down when the temps go up.

Energy Efficient Windows

If you live in an older home or find that you are spending way too much on energy costs, perhaps it’s time to look into replacing your existing windows with energy efficient windows that will save you money all year-round. While it’s not exactly a cheap fix, installing energy efficient windows is an investment that not only cuts energy costs, but adds to your home’s resale value. Energy efficient windows have a wide price range and feature everything from double panes, reflective coating, and weather stripping, all the up to having argon gas between the panes. Replacing your windows also allows you the opportunity to seal up drafty spots around the windows, preventing cool air from escaping when it’s hot outside and keeping warm air from escaping when it’s cold outside. Make sure to look into available tax credits when replacing windows, too.

Insulation

To further “seal up” the house, it may also be time to add new insulation. When it comes to energy costs, the attic and basement (foundation) are – pardon the pun – hot spots for increased energy costs. If you have an unfinished basement, make sure to have a professional add sealant to any exposed concrete. If your basement is finished, make certain that your walls are properly insulated. If they’re not, you can have a professional add loose-fill insulation without having to open the wall up. As for insulating the attic, there are many different forms of insulation that you can use to get the job done. Whether spray foam, fiberglass or cellulose, proper insulation will add comfort and cost savings year-round. Look for special tax credits, as well.

Storm Doors

Summer is also a great time to upgrade your front (and/or back) door with the addition of a storm door. Installed in front of your existing exterior door, a storm door features glass and screen panels that allow you to keep your exterior door open to allow natural light and air in while keeping the entryway closed and secure from bugs and other things you wish to keep out. In addition to the extra curb appeal, the increased ventilation can help to keep air moving throughout the house, bringing your cooling costs down.

Trust a Professional

For over a decade, Green Remodeling has worked hard to turn their clients’ dream home visions into reality. With an experienced staff of licensed designers and project managers, they will consult with you during every facet of your project – from start to finish – to ensure that your home remodel/renovation project exceeds expectations without exceeding your budget or timetable.

Whether it’s something as simple as helping to improve your energy savings or a full renovation that transforms your kitchen or bathroom into an amazing blend of form and function, they offer a full assortment of services guaranteed to improve on the very personal and precious investment known as your home.

Contact Green Remodeling for all your home improvement needs.

No More Moldy Showers!

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation says that one in four Americans are affected by asthma and allergies, with the main culprits are dust, mold, and mildew. Mold can grow anywhere there’s excessive moisture and it can grow on virtually anything in and around your home. Moisture doesn’t only lead to mold problems, it can also attract insects and severely damage your home’s building materials, such as the walls and foundation. The only effective strategy to control mold is to control moisture, so if your current shower consists of old, moldy materials, it’s time to replace them with ones that are mold- and mildew-resistant.

Waterproofing 101

The most important thing to consider when installing a tile shower in your bathroom is waterproofing. Cement board and backer board offer dimensional stability in wet areas but aren’t waterproof. Sealers maintain your tile and grout’s appearance, but they aren’t waterproof, neither are setting mortar, tile, or grout. But the worst mistake regarding waterproofing occurs when the shower pan is installed. The framer should install 2” x 10” wood blocking between the studs in the shower pan area to prevent the shower pan liner from flopping between wall studs. Then the plumber should properly install the two-stage drain and vinyl pan liner over a bed of pea gravel in the mud set around the drain…never directly over the subfloor! Your tile setter will install the wall board and mud pan over the vinyl liner without puncturing the liner below the curb line inside the shower pan. If your shower isn’t constructed with 1.5” or more of deck mud under the shower floor, your shower floor tile and grout will appear to dry in 24 hours, but the tile will never dry and eventually, the moisture will climb the walls behind the tile and become moldy.

New products on the market

There are new products on the market to make shower waterproofing much more effective and they can even completely eliminate the mud pan and cement board. Some are complete shower systems that include a drain, that when properly installed, create a 100% waterproof, moisture proof, and vapor proof envelope between the mouth of the drain and the shower head. With these new products, you should basically never have to replace your tile unless you’re tired of the color and the style.

Quality tile and plumbing contractors partnered with top of the line materials are the keys to successful bathroom renovations. That’s why you need to call us today to find out why Green Remodeling is smart remodeling!

Get Custom: Incorporate Unique Touches in Your Home

Custom touches make your home unique, so have you considered breaking out of your cookie cutter style and adding an eye-catching feature (or two) to your home? Custom barn doors, barrel vault ceilings, dumbwaiters, hidden pantries, and safe rooms are just a few ways you can make a statement in your home.

Barn Doors
Barn doors are beautiful and extremely functional. They eliminate the empty space necessary for a regular door’s range of motion and they are easier to open and close. A majority of the door’s weight and strain is removed from the user, with a door hung on a track. This type of door would be perfect for a tight space in your home.

Barrel Vault Ceilings

A barrel vault ceiling features a continuous arched brick or stone surface, resembling the inside of a barrel. Originally used in ancient Egyptian and Roman architecture, in medieval Europe the barrel vault was often seen in monasteries, castles, tower houses, cloisters, and great halls. What a perfectly decadent feature to add to one of your home’s long hallways.

Dumbwaiters

If you’re only looking to move objects between floors of your home, rather than people, there’s no need for a full elevator. Dumbwaiters are an ideal solution for many multi-story homes. You will not only reduce you and your family’s physical strain from lugging heavy bags, groceries, cleaning supplies, and meals between floors, you’ll add a great amount of convenience. No more spilling drinks on the stairs!

Hidden Pantries and Safe Rooms

Cover the entrance to your kitchen’s walk-in pantry to give a sleek unified look to your space, all while maintaining the functional properties of a pantry. With a streamlined row of cabinets, unless you already know the pantry is next to the stove, no one would ever guess. Another hidden feature that has seen a rise in popularity is a safe room. When a tornado or hurricane strikes you need a safe place for you and your family to take shelter, especially if your home does not have a basement. These safe rooms are usually on a ground-floor in an area where the foundation has been reinforced with steel and concrete. You can also elevate the security of this space to create a panic room for protection against home invasions.

In business for over 10 years, with two showrooms, one stop contracting, and design services, Green Remodeling can help you turn your home into the unique piece of art you and your family deserve. Contact us today to “Get Custom” and find out why Green Remodeling is smart remodeling.

How to Clean Kitchen and Bathroom Countertops

Kitchen and bathroom countertops need frequent cleaning. To keep your home’s countertops germ free and looking their best, here are few suggestions for cleaning each type.

Stainless Steel

Dry clean stainless steel with a microfiber cloth and wet clean with a solution of warm water and mild dishwashing liquid. Thoroughly dry after wet cleaning to prevent water spots, discoloration, or mineral deposits. Use a small amount of vinegar and rinse with water to remove these spots, stains, and deposits if they occur. Never use steel wool, rough cloths, or scouring pads since they will scratch the surface and ruin the reflective finish. To remove fingerprints and smudges, use a commercial stainless-steel cleaner.

Granite

Granite’s natural properties and unique color variations have made it one of the top countertop selections in recent years. To clean granite countertops, use warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly with a wet sponge or soft cloth. To clean dirt out of crevasses, use a soft bristled brush or a clean toothbrush and the same solution of water and dish soap, then wipe clean with a damp, soft cloth. To remove stains, make a paste of baking soda and water or talc mixed with a diluted solution of bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Gently scrub the spot with the paste and a soft brush and rinse thoroughly. Don’t use ammonia or vinegar based cleansers or scrub pads because they may dull or scratch the surface. Due to its porous quality, granite should be cleaned and sealed before it’s installed to help prevent stains and ensure easier cleaning. Consider resealing your granite countertops every 6 months.

Marble

Just like granite, marble countertops are porous and susceptible to stains. To clean marble, use warm, soapy water or rub borax onto the surface with a moistened cloth, rinse with warm water, and buff dry with a soft cloth. Never let marble air dry because it is prone to water spots. If necessary, a mild bleach solution may be used. Avoid abrasive cleaners, oil polishes, soft waxes, and scrub pads. To remove stains, make a paste of baking soda and water or talc mixed with a diluted solution of ammonia, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide. Gently scrub the spot with the paste and a soft brush and rinse thoroughly.

Wood

Wipe up all spills quickly to prevent stains on your wood countertops. To wash, use a mixture of mild dishwashing soap and water, rinse thoroughly, and dry with a soft clean cloth. Another option is to mix 1/2 cup baking soda in 1 quart warm water, rub the paste into the wood using a synthetic scouring pad, then rinse well and blot up excess moisture. To remove odors, rub the surface with a slice of lemon, or sprinkle with baking soda and rub in with a damp sponge. After cutting raw meat, wash your wood countertop with hot water, dishwashing liquid, and a scrub brush. Then use a disinfectant cleaner or a diluted bleach solution (1-tsp. bleach to 1-qt. water) on the surface to eliminate bacteria. Sprinkle stains with salt, then scrub with the cut side of half a lemon. Apply oil to your wood countertops monthly to prevent drying and cracking. Wipe the wood with a light coat of mineral oil, letting the oil soak into the surface. Wipe up the oil that does not soak in to prevent the surface from becoming tacky and attracting dirt.

If you have any questions about how to clean your countertops, give Greens a call today at 678-445-5533.

 

 

Bathroom Remodeling

Whether you are looking to increase your home’s value or you simply want to more fully enjoy your personal space, bathroom remodels top the list of home improvement projects year after year. After looking through design books, magazines, and websites for ideas, you may have been pondering a bathroom remodel for some time and have not known where to start. Here are a few questions to consider before you begin to ensure your finished product is exactly what you dreamed of.

What do you like and what don’t you like about your current bathroom?

Assess your bathroom and analyze how the room is and is not meeting your needs. By asking yourself what features you are missing and what doesn’t work with the current layout, you will begin to prioritize features you wish to include in your new space and what you want this remodel to accomplish.

How will your new bath be used?

It is important to consider all the activities that will be taking place in your bathroom beyond regular bathroom activities. By identifying how your new bathroom will be used, you can streamline the space to incorporate everything from relaxing, watching television, listening to music, reading magazines, making coffee, performing spa treatments, to getting dressed. For example, A family bath where children (and possibly the family pet) will receive a lot of wear and tear and will need different features from a spa-like master bath.

Who will be using the new bathroom?

If this is the only bathroom in your home you will need to meet the needs of both you, other family members, and your guests. If you have multiple bathrooms in your home, you need to think of the main occupants for this space. A bathroom for children or elderly parents may need features such as lowered sinks or easily accessible showers.

What features would you like to incorporate in your new bathroom?

Some features are necessary but a remodel also allows you to incorporate a lot of amenities you want as well. Some upgrades may be practical and some may include luxuries that will make your new space the most decadently detailed room in your home. Practical considerations such as energy-efficient and water-saving features, increased storage and surface space, and additional electrical outlets will make your bathroom more functional. Steam showers, heated floors, and soaking tubs will add comfort and relaxation to your new space.

Will you incorporate technology?

You may look at your bathroom as an oasis away from the technological world or you may want to embrace the idea of televisions, stereos, coffeemakers, and a laundry area being included in your new bathroom.

What is your budget?

It is extremely important to set a budget before beginning any project, but with a major home renovation such as a bathroom remodel, a budget is vital. Don’t forget to allow for unforeseen expenses such as water, electrical, and plumbing issues in your budget.

What is your plan?

Decide if you are planning to do the project yourself, hire a general contractor, designer and/or project manager. Once you’ve met with anyone who will be involved in the remodel, set out a timeline and finalize your contracts.

 

Why is the Schluter system better than the traditional method of tile installation?

Contrary to popular belief, neither tile nor grout (even sealed) is waterproof.  In a standard shower application, a pan liner is used to block moisture.  The pan liner used does not allow for tile to be applied directly to it, so a bed of mortar is used and then the tile is placed on this bed.  Because the water infiltrates through this bed, it can remain saturated with moisture, especially if the mortar weep holes become clogged or the pre-slope wasn’t installed properly.  With this moisture saturation, the possibility of mold and efflorescence or cosmetic staining on the tile, increases tremendously.  Most new construction homes only carry a one-year warranty and unfortunately, this problem may take a little longer than that to appear.  We see many houses where the homeowner is wanting to change the tile in their shower not because they want to change the size, shape, or style, but because there is a bad smell and mold growing throughout.

There is a German engineered shower system called Schluter that has a family of products that creates a “sealed” environment which is stated to be even more than water-proof, it’s vapor proof.  The beauty of the system is that it doesn’t allow moisture to permeate in to the mortar bed or solid backing so there is no chance of mildew growing there.  The system allows only the tile and grout to become wet when showering which is able to dry completely between uses.  The system also eliminates leaks, reduces the potential for efflorescence and mold growth in the system, dramatically reduces total installation time and makes shower installation much easier because it is light-weight in nature.  The product may cost a little more, but having a mold-free shower is worth every penny!