Category Archives: Preparing for remodel

Flooring layout options for your home remodeling project

Most home remodeling projects in San Marcos CA include installing new flooring.  There are a more than a few things to consider when selecting your flooring.  First, you need to determine what type of flooring you want installed.  Then you select the color.  Next you will determine how you want the flooring laid out.  If you are working with a remodeling contractor you will be presented with a layout to approve.  If you are installing the flooring yourself (or you want to guide your remodeling contractor in a certain direction) then here are some flooring layout options to consider:

Straight Layout  This is a very basic straight forward and simply way to layout tile

Straight Lay Floor - Home Remodeling San Diego

Diagonal Layout:  A diagonal tile is set at a 45-degree angle. It makes the floor feel large.

Diagonal Tile - Home Remodeling San Marcos CA

Brick Layout:  Brick layout is a classic layout for placing Subway tile. Each row is offset to create long horizontal lines. Subway tiles are typically 3×6 but this brick layout can be used with various other sizes of tile.

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Running Bond :  This layout also referred to as a brick layout however this layout has tiles offset by half the width of the tile so it gives some dimension to the floor.

Modern Tile Flooring - San Diego Home Improvement

Checkerboard:  Two colors of square tile alternate to create a pattern. They can be set straight or on a diagonal

Checkerboard Tile Flooring - Remodeling San Diego

Diagonal with dots: This is a nice way to bring two tiles together. Lay out large tiles in a diagonal shape and add small diagonal tile to bring the tiles together in the corners. This is a great way to add more color and style to a diagonal layout.

Diagonal Tile - Home Renovation San Diego

Pinwheel:  This tile layout is also known a hopscotch, a small square tile is surround by four larger ones. Use darker tiles for the larger portions and a colorful color for the smaller tiles. This can add a unique look to your floor with small pops of colors.

Pinwheel Tile Flooring - San Diego Home Remodeling

Basket weave:  This is a classic pattern that can be made with squares and rectangles to create a weave effect.

Basket Weave Tile Flooring - Home Remodeling San Diego

Modular:  This tile layout is when three or more different-sized tiles are used to form a pattern.

Modular Flooring Layout - Home Remodeling San Diego CA

Windmill:  This is pattern where square tile is surrounded by four rectangles. The effect is like a grid of dots.

Windmill Tile Flooring Layout - Remodeling San Diego CA

Vertical Brick Layout:  This layout is a vertical twist to the horizontal layout. This layout is coming into the fold more often now because the look is very different and not traditional but gives the room a more contemporary feeling.

brickwork-vertical-layout

Stacked Layout :  This probably the simplest layout of all tile layouts. This layout gives your area a more modern flair and it looks great in any tile you may pick.

Stacked Tile Layout - Remodeling San Diego

Mosaic Layout:  The mosaic layout works great for mosaic tiles that are 1-inch by 1-inch square in glass or stone tiles. Mosaic tiles are not just square they come in various shapes, sizes and textures.

circle-mosaic

Herringbone or Chevron Layout:  A herringbone pattern is a pattern where tiles are laid into zigzag formations. This look is very sophisticated, modern look and can be done virtually anywhere.  The angle of this tile creates a unique look for any space and surface.

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The variations of layouts colors and types of tiles are endless but this will help you get on the right track of what kind of floor your new remodel will have.  When you are ready to discuss your next home remodeling project, give us a call at 858-224-7373!

 

Floor Tile Tips From A Home Remodeling Contractor

As a home remodeling contractor we have ordered hundreds of thousands of linear feet of tile.  If you are planning a remodel then we have some tips to for you to consider before you select and purchase your tile.  Yes, tile selection and tile purchase are two separate topics believe it or not!  Following these simple suggestions can make a huge difference in how your remodeling project turns out.

Location of flooring

Consider the location of where you will be installing the tile floor.  Is it space which is consistently near water, oil, or grease?  If so, you would be wise to avoid smooth or high gloss ceramic or porcelain tiles which will become dangerous in that type of setting.  We recently remodeled the front of a home where the owner had installed smooth ceramic tile in the entry way of the home.  Every time it rained or the sprinklers went off the homeowner nearly broke her neck.

Floor Tile by Product Type

Travertine, Marble, Slate, Ceramic, Porcelain, Faux Wood, Quartzite, Granite, Stone and Pebbles, Onyx, Cement – those are enough different types of tile to make your head swim.  Each product has pros and cons so you will want to research them to determine what product type works best for your home.  What do we mean by that? Each product type has different maintenance and cleaning requirements so before you purchase, make sure you are comfortable with how to properly care for your new tile.  Also, take the time to research durability, stain resistance, water absorption, matte finish options, and through-body color (in the event you chip the tile in the future).

Size of space being remodeled

If you are working with a home remodeling contractor ask their advice about what size tile you should purchase.  Tile flooring comes in different sizes starting at 1″ squares and increasing in size to 24″ squares.  Larger tiles can make a small room look larger and can keep a large area seem less busy.  Alternatively you can opt for plank tile which can add depth and texture to your space.

Tile Setters - Flooring Contractor San Marcos CAPattern options

There are dozens of different flooring pattern options for you to choose from.  Visually, tiles set in a diagonal pattern will give an optical illusion of the space being larger than it actually is.  You may want to consider adding a mosaic if you have a large space.  It is critical you make this decision before you actually purchase your tile so you can order the property quantity of tiles.  As you research your options, we feel the need to share with you that intricate patterns will likely increase the cost of installation.  If you are working a home remodeling contractor, we suggest considering the different patterns available to you.  If you are paying for a beautiful space and you are not the one installing it, why not take advantage of the professionals and get something that no one else has?

Getting measurements

When it comes time to purchase your floor tiles we can not stress enough – take proper measurements of your space.  Take the measurements and then re-take them.  In fact, take them a 3rd time for good measure.  One of the best things about hiring a home remodeling contractor is they are responsible for the measurements.  If you can’t tell, proper measurements are critical!  There are tons of tile calculators online, use them or give the measurements to the sales rep when you purchase the tiles.

Purchasing the tile

Find out from the retailer if they will allow for refunds for unused tile or unopened boxes because you want to order MORE tile than you need.  A safe bet is to order 15-20% more tile than you need.  If you do not use it all – great – return it.  Better yet, save it because if you break a tile and need to replace it the chances of you purchasing that same tile and having it match 100% are nil, none, nada.  Even if you measure three times, there is a chance you may have .miscalculated.

Home Remodeling Contractor Tip

Do NOT buy cheap tile.  If you buy cheap tile you are going to notice it once it is installed.  If you do purchase cheap tile then make sure you have larger grout lines.  Consequences of buying cheap tile include having edges which will not be smooth. Cheap tile is prone to moisture, cracks, and fading problems.  Trust us when we say you can not afford cheap, it is just not worth it.

If you are ready to speak with a home remodeling contractor about a project you are considering in San Marcos CA, call today 858-224-7373 to schedule a free consultation.

How to keep frustrations to a minimum during your kitchen remodel

We equate remodeling to pregnancy.  At first you are cautious, then you are optimistic. Eventually you are scared then you are uncomfortable.  You get frustrated and anxious toward the end and then you have a beautiful baby, I mean, kitchen.

Kitchen remodeling (and any other major remodel) can be stressful.  You and your family will have to make tough decisions about who to select as your contractor and how much you want to invest in your remodel.  You will have to make timely decisions about the design aspect of your kitchen remodel.    To top it off, your home will have little privacy as contractors and installers build your new kitchen.

Sometime in the middle of your project you are going to get frustrated.  It happens to everyone and it is because of the high level of stress you are encountering during construction.  You will want the job to be over and you will want to take out your frustration on someone.

As a customer (or potential customer) of Classic Home Improvements, we wanted to give you some information and tips for you to refer back to when you have those moments of frustration.

  • HGTV versus Real-World Renovations:  When it comes time to select your material (or your contractor), do not expect to pay the prices you are seeing on HGTV.  Most of the material featured on reality television is featured by advertisers who severely discount their material to networks as an advertising method.  Also, do not expect your remodel to be completed in a weekend. Reality television shows are for entertaining purposes, please do not use them for information gathering, you will be sorely disappointed if you do.
  • Homeowner Communication:  There will be over 100 moving parts in your remodel.  You will have no less than 20 people involved in your remodel.  Communication is imperative during your remodel but the key element is not that you communicate – it is that you communicate with the correct person.   You will be designated a project manager and it is absolutely critical that 100% of your communication is with your project manager to ensure your project is completed smoothly.
  • Keeping Informed by your Project Manager:    We have the benefit of working in the industry so we understand what is happening behind the scenes of your remodel.  Our goal is to keep you informed of what is happening every day during construction because we do not want you to think “nothing is happening” if you come home one day and it looks like nothing has changed. You will get daily updates of your project via email or text, we encourage you to interact with us if you have a concern.  You should never have to wonder “what happened today”.
  • Let Us Do Our Job:  We have found that most times when homeowners get frustrated during their remodel it is because they are trying to manage their own project.  We encourage you NOT to try to do that.  Reading articles online about construction, working as a handyman, and watching HGTV does not make you a contractor.   Think about it, when you go to your mechanic do you tell him how to fix your brakes or do you instruct a surgeon how to stitch you back up?  We are the professionals you hired to remodel your kitchen, let us do our job.  When you selected Classic Home Improvements to build your kitchen remodel, there had to be a specific reason.  We ask customers why they hired us and typically the response is that we were professional, we were responsive, or we had great referrals.  If and when you get frustrated we ask that you remember why you hired us.
  • We are not done until we say we are done:  Construction is a lengthy process and needs to be completed in a very specific sequence to ensure it is completed properly.  We encourage you to ask questions if you are truly worried about something, but we need to remind you not to try to manage your own project, that is why you hired us.  If something looks unfinished that is because it is unfinished.  We are not done until we say we are done. Trust us to complete your project in the sequence it needs to be completed in.  We want your job to be completed just as much as you do and we expect the same high quality of work you do.
  • This still isn’t done:    I know, I am repeating here.  We are not done until we say we are done.  Here is what you need to know:  once we have everything just about wrapped up, your project manager will walk the project on his own to create what we call a “pick up list”.  These are items that are not to our standards and need to be fixed or completed by our installers.  Once our internal pick up list is completed, we will invite you to meet with us at the project to point out any concerns you have.  Any items on your list of concerns that we agree are not to industry standards (or our high standards) we will fix for you.
  • We say we are done:  Now, we are done!  We pride ourselves on our high level of workmanship and we are pretty confident you are going to love your finished remodel. We will invite you back at your home to meet with our project manager and confirm we are completed.  At confirmation of completion we will ask for our final payment and have you sign final completion paperwork.
  • Feedback is important:  Classic Home Improvements is dedicated to continually improving our processes and procedures.  Employees and vendors are directly affected by reviews which name them personally and for that reason they are dedicated to providing the best possible customer service.  We have grown leaps and bounds above our competitors in customer satisfaction because we listen to our feedback and make adjustments based on them.  We will ask for you to respond a 3rd party, Guild Quality, when they reach out to you for a review of our services.  It will take you only 5 minutes but will make a huge impact on our organization.

How to prepare for a bathroom remodel

Once you have selected and ordered all your finish material, you will get an estimated date of delivery.  Upon receipt of all the material and inspection to confirm it is all in one piece and has arrived in its entirety, your contractor will give you a start date for construction.  It is imperative you are ready for construction the day that your demo crew arrives.  What do you need to do to prepare?  Here are some tips:

Entry way

Please relocate any shoes or shoe racks placed by the door.  They are a tripping hazard during construction.  Also, if you have anything on the walls which could be damaged by brushing up against them, please remove them temporarily to protect them.

Hallways

Clear all hallways.  The floors will need to be completely open to avoid tripping hazards therefore it is important to remove any rugs.  Your flooring will be protected by plastic.  Remove anything hanging on the walls including shelving, pictures, artwork, and clocks to avoid being accidentally brushed into and knocked off the walls.

Adjacent Rooms

During your bathroom remodel tools will be used which cause vibrations.  For that reason, walls adjacent to the bathroom will need to have all shelving, clocks, photos, and artwork removed.   In addition, if you anything against the wall such as a china hutch, we respectfully request that you move those away from the walls to avoid potential damage from the vibrations caused during your remodel.

Bathroom Space

  • Remove everything you want to keep from your bathroom.  Anything not removed from the bathroom will be considered trash.  This means if you want to keep your towel rings, towel racks, shelving, pictures, photos, etc – you need to take them off the walls.
  • Remove any shower curtains, rods, and shower curtain rings.
  • Take out any plants.
  • Remove everything from the bathroom including the shower curtain and anything inside of your bathtub or shower.
  • Clean your toilet.  This is more of a courtesy than anything.  Your contractor will need to remove the toilet, wouldn’t it be nice if the toilet was clean for the installer to remove?
  • Clean your shower and tub.  Again, this is more of a courtesy than anything else.
  • Clear out your cabinets and medicine cabinet.  Again, anything not removed will be considered trash.
  • Take out any rugs. They are a hazard and we would not want to damage any rugs during the remodel, especially if you intend to keep them.
  • Remove your trash can.  We will not use your trash cans so go ahead and place them in a secure place.

We might suggest closing as many doors as possible each day to avoid the spread of dust, which is inevitable during your remodel.

Watch the progress!

We understand you are investing a pretty penny into your remodel.  You want it to be perfect.  We do too!  Just a couple of notes for you:

  • Trust Us:   You hired us because you had confidence that we are the professionals, that we know construction better than you do.  You hired us because you trusted us with your home.  You hired us because you did not want to manage your remodel.  So we ask you to continue to trust us while we complete the construction phase of your project.  With that being said, if you have questions – ask us!
  • It may not be apparent:  Every day you come home, it may not be apparent what we have accomplished.  There are a lot of behind the scene actions that take place that you may not be aware of.  We will send you an update every day of what has happened so you do not have to wonder what is happening.
  • What you see is NOT what you get:  There are specific stages to construction that you may not be aware of.  This means that during production you may look at something that looks “unfinished” or that does “not look right”.  It is important to remember that there is a process to everything we do.  We are not finished until we say we are finished which means – Trust Us – trust us that your completed project will be exactly what you asked for.
  • Pick Up List:  Near the end of the job, your project manager will have an internal “pick up list”.  Once that list is completed, we will schedule a time to meet with you to walk the project to complete any additional “pick up” items that you would like to see completed.
  • Project Completed:  Once we have completed the items on your pick up list we will ask you to walk the job with us again to verify the project is completed to your satisfaction.  At this time we will request final payments and have you sign all final release documents.
  • How did we do?  Within 30 days you will receive a phone call from Guild Quality (a 3rd party company) who completes surveys on all our services.  We ask that you take a moment to answer their questions.  Having honest feedback from our customers is imperative to understanding where we excel and where we need to focus on improvement.  Within 30 days we will also request to meet with you one final time to take “final photos” of your project for marketing purposes.

How to prepare for a home renovation

Planning for a home renovation is an exciting and potentially stressful time.  Preparing for your home renovation is imperative to ensuring you have a positive experience.  Once your contractor has given you a start date you can begin your pack- up process.  It is best if you take 2-3 days to completely pack up your existing space before the remodel begins.  The last thing you want to do is have your remodeling contractor leave on “demo” day because the house is not ready to begin work.  Here are some tips for how to prepare for your home renovation project:

Decide if you are going to stay in the home during your renovation

A home that is being remodeled is many things.  It is dusty, it is loud, and it is an inconvenience.  You may want to consider staying with a friend or family member if you are going to have a major home renovation.  Another option may be to rent an apartment or stay in a hotel for an extended stay.  Alternatively, home renovations are a great time to leave town and go on a vacation.

If you are going to stay in your house during your renovation, it will be important to decide which rooms will be yours to inhabit during the remodel.  If you have a larger family, you may need to spend some time working on a bathroom schedule.  Condensing your home to one or two rooms during a remodel can be stressful so it will be important to keep your inhabited space clean to keep stress to a minimum.

Decide where you will prepare and eat food during your renovation

Most likely if you are planning a major home renovation, you will be remodeling your kitchen.  This means you will need to decide where you will prepare your food.  Do you have space in a loft, garage, or bedroom for you to prepare meals?  Will you be eating, sleeping, and reading in the same room during your remodel?  Wherever you plan to prepare your meals, you will need to set up a small temporary kitchen.

You may find that you can not prepare your meals and eat in the same location.  If you are preparing your meals in a loft area or in a garage, will you eat in there as well?  Is it possible to eat in an office area or in the backyard?  Does everyone eat at the same time?  It will be important to plan out these details before the renovation begins to avoid making stressful last minute decisions when blood sugar is running low and children are hungry.

Decide what you will eat during your remodel

You will have no pots or pans and no dishwasher.  Eating during a renovation can prove to be complicated, especially if you are feeding a  family.  If you decide what you will eat before your remodel begins, you can properly prepare yourself as well as stock your temporary kitchen.  This is a great time to explore your family’s favorite casserole dishes or crock pot meals so you can prepare them and freeze them to eat during your remodel.

Prepare your adjacent rooms for your remodel

Prevent disaster and heartbreak by removing items from your walls.  During your remodel there will be tools used which will cause vibrations to the walls.  In addition there will be quite a bit of foot traffic in hallways from the installers, inspectors, and project managers.  For this reason, it is important to remove anything attached to the walls in the remodeled rooms as well as in adjacent rooms (including shelves, pictures, and prints).  In addition, be sure to remove any floor mats to avoid any tripping hazards.

Remodeling is incredibly dusty.  To avoid getting dust on upholstery and on knick knacks you should box up what you can, making sure to apply labels to your boxes.   Anything that can not be boxed up should be covered  with thin plastic wrap.  If you do not want to invest in plastic wrap many times customers will simply drape old sheets over their furniture as protection. Clean up will prove to be much easier if you protect the surfaces in this manner.

Have a plan for your children and animals

Kids and animals are curious by nature.  They will need to be restricted from the construction zone for their own safety.  If you have a young child who naps during the day, it will be important for you to realize construction will be continued during nap time.  It may be in your best interest to make alternative plans if your child needs a quiet space to sleep or if you have multiple children who can not be supervised continuously.

It is important to have work zones restricted from pets during your home renovation project. Pets are sometimes easily frightened by loud noises.  If your pet is easily upset you may want to consider finding care for them outside of the home during your remodel.

Prepare yourself

You home renovation project will be loud.  Your home will be dusty.  You will not always have plumbing or electricity (especially if doing a bathroom or kitchen remodel).  Your privacy will be interrupted.  Some days you will need to have a glass of wine and unload your stress.  Other times you will need to take a walk to the park or go to the movies just to get out of the construction zone.  It is okay to feel stress during your remodel.  Keep a positive attitude, trust your contractor, and understand the renovation process is temporary.  Construction is not fun, but once it is all over, you will have a beautiful new home.