2017 Remodel Omaha Tour

2017 Remodel Omaha - Copy

Come see what we have been working on at the 2017 Remodel Omaha Tour!  Our remodel is located at 16050 S 120th St. in Springfield, we hope to see you there.

Outdoor Fire Pits and Fire Pit Safety

According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, fire pits, or outdoor fireplaces, are the No. 1 requested design feature today. Why not? They add ambiance to a cool evening, and it’s nice to just sit and stare at a burning fire. Plus, you can have one for a lot less than you might think.

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This fire bowl is the perfect size for a patio. The top prevents rain from getting into the fire pan, and its open sides allow you to add wood easily. Plus, you can get a stick close to the fire for roasting marshmallows. During the summer, these fire pits make great planters.
Chimineas arrived on the scene back in the 1980s, and they remain as popular as ever. They don’t give off much heat, but the smell of burning wood adds a certain something to outdoor living. Good firewood includes pinion wood, alder, cedar, oak, hickory, mesquite, pecan and even fruit woods, such as apple and cherry. Don’t burn pressure-treated wood in a chiminea or any other fire pit or fireplace because it may contain harmful toxins.
This pit is nothing more than a ring made from mortared limestone. Although you can’t see it, there’s a drain in the center that’s connected to a pipe running underground and out into the lawn so that rainwater doesn’t collect in the pit.
This fire pit also has a drain. It’s designed so that the fire actually sits below the level of the stone patio, and the sight of flames shooting up from below is very cool. During the summer, the pit is a great place for a large potted plant.
Fire pits can be very simple and inexpensive to install. This one, from start to finish, took two people just a couple of hours to complete, and the cost of materials was less than $100.
Fancier fire pits like this will cost you more, but do-it-yourselfers can easily handle the installation.
 Fireplaces are a different matter. They can get rather pricey, especially for custom models, but modular kits are available as well for less than a third of the cost. And there’s no getting around the fact that they add a special touch to outdoor living, with or without a fire burning in them.

Fire Pit Safety:

When it comes time to actually start a fire, there are a few things to keep in mind, the most important of which is to keep your fire small. There’s no need for a blazing bonfire, and the bigger the fire, the greater the potential for disaster.

First things first, your fire pit should be at least 10 feet away from any structure or combustible surface. Before lighting an outdoor fire, check the weather forecast. Avoid windy conditions that can blow embers. Also stay up to date on any burn bans or burn ordinances that might be in effect at different times during the year. Doing some house cleaning, like picking up leaves and other combustible materials, around the pit is important to ensure the fire doesn’t accidentally spread. Always have a container of water nearby and a garden hose on standby before starting the fire.

To get a fire started, put a crumpled piece of paper or a store-bought fire starter in the pit, and cover one or both with small sticks — the smaller, the better. As the fire begins to burn, add larger and larger sticks until you’re finally able to add a log or two. But whatever you do, don’t try to start a fire with gasoline. It’s way too dangerous.

The best way to extinguish a fire is to take the ashes, spread them over a larger surface area and let them cool down for a little bit. Then take your small container of water and gently pour it over the ashes, but monitor it. Don’t just throw some water on it and go to bed because it can flare up in the night. If you have a fire that escapes your fire pit and moves into a nearby pile of kindling or a combustible surface, immediately call 911.

There’s no getting around the fact that wood smoke is a pollutant and that outdoor fire pits and fireplaces are completely unnecessary. In fact, in some cities, both indoor fireplaces and outdoor fire features of any kind are illegal. This isn’t just because of the potential for fires, but because of the pollution they produce. That said, the decision to burn or not to burn becomes, for many people, a personal rather than legal one. Regardless of how you feel about the subject, we can all agree that fires are far more decorative than functional.

Alternative sources for outdoor heating:

Although they provide heat on a cold winter night, there are alternative sources for outdoor heating. The most popular are gas-powered heaters, which burn propane or butane. They look nice, and they heat a fairly large area, although if it’s windy outside, the heat seems to blow away in the wind.

But the heat that emanates from infrared heaters isn’t affected by the wind, and there are no fuel tanks to mess with. You simply plug it in, and you get instant, penetrating heat.  Brush up on basic fire pit safety before you build your next fire. Discover what steps you should take to keep your family safe.

Whether you already have a fire pit or are planning to add one, invest some effort in reviewing fire pit safety. This is especially important if you’re new to using a fire pit. It only takes a second for a cozy fire to burst into a blazing inferno. Ensure you get the most enjoyment from your fire pit by keeping family and friends safe.
Fire pit safety starts with selecting the right site. Make sure the ground is level, especially when using a portable fire pit. Keep fires located at least 10 to 20 feet away from surrounding plants, as well as from nearby buildings, including your home. Check with your local city and county authorities to make sure you observe the distance required by law.

Never operate your fire pit beneath a building overhang or in a partially enclosed space. Use special caution related to overhanging trees, which can easily ignite from flying wood-fire sparks. In fire-prone areas, surround your fire pit with non-combustible materials, like crushed stone, brick, or sand.

In wood-stoked fire pits, safety begins with fuel. Only burn wood that’s been seasoned at least six months. Avoid using construction materials, such as plywood or composite woods, which can release toxic fumes when burned. Softwoods, like pine and birch, tend to produce more crackles and sparks than seasoned hardwoods, like oak or hickory. For wood-burning fire pits, cut logs so their length is less than three-quarters the diameter of the pit. Never use lighter fluid or gasoline to start a fire in a fire pit.

If your fire pit has a screen, use it whenever you’re burning. It’s also a good idea to have a bucket of sand or garden hose handy to deal with wayward sparks from wood fires. Attach a hose-end multi-pattern nozzle to the hose, setting it to “spray.” A shower-type spray douses a flare up, while a direct stream of water can spread sparks. Keep fire gloves nearby to handle hot parts of the fire pit safely.

Position chairs so folks can rise and move about seats without risking tumbling into the fire. Built-in seating prevents seats from being drawn too close to the flames; so do heavier chairs. Keep an eye on children whenever a fire pit is being used. Don’t allow them to get too close to the blaze.

Invest in a fire blanket to help extinguish sparks, the fire, and, if necessary, anyone who might catch fire. Also have a fully charged, dry-chemical fire extinguisher on hand with a Class B and C or multipurpose rating. Make sure you understand the effective range, which is typically 6 to 10 feet, and know how to use it properly. On gas fire pits, turn off the gas before attempting to extinguish a fire. Avoid lighting a fire in windy conditions.

When you’re done enjoying your fire for the evening, douse it properly. Most manufactured fire pits offer specific instructions for extinguishing a fire. Review the instructions before it’s time to put out your fire. Water can crack ceramic fire pits and some metal ones.

Design Trends for 2017

Top 10 Home Design Trends To Expect In 2017

Kitchen

1. Satin brass. Brass finishes have been making a comeback in recent years, cherished for their ability to bring shiny golden tones to a space without the high price tag.
20 Design Trends Set to Go Even Bigger in 2017
2. Voice-activated assistants. There’s been a lot of talk about voice assistants in the home.
Easton House
3. Vanity conversions. If you’re having trouble finding the right premanufactured vanity for your home, try thinking outside the cabinet box. Many savvy homeowners are finding chests of drawers, old file cabinets, vintage consoles and more, and converting them into one-of-a-kind vanities.
Hood River
4. Hardworking kitchen storage walls. In search of more open space, many homeowners and designers are doing away with expanses of upper cabinets and pushing all that storage onto a single hardworking wall. This one-stop hub frees up the rest of the space to create a breezy look.
Yorkston Home
5. White with off-white. There’s just something refreshing about a room bathed in white. But when done in one stark white tone, things can start to feel clinical. Balancing a white palette with creamy off-whites and natural linen hues creates a breathtaking look that can be rich with character.

Los Gatos Townhouse

6. Greenery. Pantone’s verdant color of the year for 2017, Greenery, seems to be an instant hit for those looking for a revitalizing, back-to-nature hue that brings zest while still managing to work with warm wood tones.
Ocean Lane, Palm Beach
7. Splurging on laundry rooms. Everyone knows that kitchens and bathrooms get the big remodeling dollars, but many homeowners are seeing value in making every space look great. And laundry rooms in particular are seeing more love. Design tricks to bring in more light, smarter storage and better function resonate with homeowners who realize that since they spend a lot of time doing laundry, why not do it in a space that makes them feel good?

According to the 2016 Houzz & Home Report, people remodeling their laundry rooms of 150 square feet or more will spend an average of $2,700. Take away appliances, and that’s a sizable budget to splurge on tile and other details.

Classic Coastal
8. Splurging on entryways. The entry, like a powder room, is a compact place where you can have fun with design without blowing a budget. Homeowners will spend on average $2,500 to make over their entryway or mudroom that’s 150 square feet or more ($1,400 for a space that’s less than 150 square feet), according to the 2016 Houzz & Home Report.

Sometimes all it takes is a small area to feature a fun piece of wallpaper, a statement mirror or a narrow table with a tray for shoes underneath. After all, first impressions matter.

Canyon Pass at Dove Mountain
9. Outdoor-feeling indoor showers. An outdoor shower is highly desirable but not practical year-round in most areas of the country. To get around the weather dilemma, designers and homeowners are looking to intimate courtyards and strategic site placement to create bathrooms that connect deeply to the outdoors while still maintaining privacy.
Hudson Heights Residence
10. Counter-depth fridges. For small to modest-size kitchens, remodeling is often a game of inches. Counter-depth refrigerators sit flush with adjacent cabinetry and counter tops, freeing up just a bit more space while creating a streamlined look.

7 Reasons To Remodel In The Winter

1.  Convenient Project Scheduling

It is usually easier for contractors to schedule work in winter months especially if painting, replacing flooring, updating lighting and plumbing are involved because there is a lot less exterior work being done. This will free up a contractor’s schedule for interior projects such as painting, replacing flooring, repairing drywall, updating lighting and replacing cabinetry.

2.  Contractor Availability

During the winter you may find that your contractor may have more time to work with you in planning and designing your project. This would be a good time for refining the details before the work begins. This process may take longer as work picks up for your contractor in the spring with outdoor projects.

3.  Avoid Manufacturer Spring Price Increases

Now is the time to look for and take advantage of reduced prices. If you’re remodeling your home, you may find close-out prices on appliances and be able to purchase materials before manufacturers increase prices. Typically, we experience price increases for lumber products, windows and cabinet lines in the spring. During the winter, manufacturers may feature special offers to reduce inventory.

basement-kitchen-storage

If you’re planning a basement remodeling project that includes a kitchenette, winter is the time to take advantage of pricing on appliances and cabinets before spring increase arrive.

4.  Clean-up

While some homeowners will wait until spring to remodel because of concerns about dust, fumes and areas for staging the work, current technologies and clean up methods do control these problems. Fans with negative pressure, plastic zip doors, and sealing off heat ducts with a filter will contain dust, debris and fumes to the work area.

basement-remodel-with-kitchen-and-living-area

Remodeling a basement can provide a place for activities during winter months. This multi-purpose basement conversion includes a kitchen and living area.

5.  Permit Approvals

Government agencies are usually less busy in winter, which makes it easier and quicker to obtain necessary permits.

6.  Outside Projects

If the weather cooperates, you may be able to work with your contractor on outside projects to get ready for spring. While we wouldn’t recommend outside painting during the winter, we have built decks, porches and additions for our customers in winter.

winter-exterior-addition

This sun-room addition was completed during winter months.

7.  Vacation Time

If you are planning a vacation this winter, it may be an optimal time to have work done in your home to avoid disruption of your daily activities.

Why You Should Hire A Contractor For Your Home Renovations.

21Home renovation is not a simple task and it gets even more complicated if you are a first time homeowner. A single mistake, such as using the wrong tools, can even cost you more money. If you want your home remodeling project done properly with cost-efficient and sustainable methods, it is recommended that you hire a professional home remodeling contractor.

Here are some of the reasons why you should hire a contractor for your renovation project.

Contractors understand building codes and building requirements.

Perhaps this is the most important reason why you should really hire one, most especially for large projects. Home contractors know the rules and professional standards set by the industry for your safety. If you entrust your home renovation/building project to the expert hands of a professional home contractor, you won’t have to worry about building requirements. This will also save you from getting into legal troubles later on. Remember that most especially in cities, there are building requirements to comply with and if these standards are not followed in your project, you could be fined or get your project re-done.

Home contractors have a team of experts and professionals.

You are guaranteed of quality results, most especially if you hire a contractor who has been in the business for a long time. These contractors have professional networks who know how to do the jobs right. And because they can bring in the best professionals in the industry, you can expect your home renovation project delivered in a timely and more organized manner.

Home contractors use the best tools.

Another reason is that home contractors have or use the best tools and equipment for construction projects. If you do the renovation yourself, it might either even cost you more if you have to buy some power tools to do the job right or not buy tools and sacrifice the quality of the work.

Home contractors know sustainable and cost-efficient construction methods.

Another good thing about hiring home contractors is that they know many cost-efficient and sustainable construction methods. For instance, they can give you advice on some techniques on how you can save money on energy with your renovation project. They can also give you advice on the different materials to use on your project so you can achieve the results you want

Kitchen Remodel Blog

“Replacing old elements, such as doors, windows and siding, in general yielded a better financial return than bigger remodeling projects, such as additions. But real estate agents and remodelers say updated kitchens and baths still bring a significant payoff, especially at resale time. The report found that kitchen projects yielded a higher return than bath projects, with a minor kitchen remodel adding 82.7 percent of the project’s cost back to the home’s value. Kitchens are important, Aaron says, because would-be buyers often overestimate how much they would cost to update.

“If you have a dated kitchen … and a buyer walks into that kitchen, they’re going to think that in order to redo that kitchen, they’re going to have to spend $40,000 or $50,000,” Aaron says.

But the average cost of a minor kitchen remodel – new cabinet doors, appliances, countertops, sink, faucet, paint and hardware – was $18,856 nationwide, according to the Cost vs. Value report. Savvy shoppers can do it for less than the buyer assumes.

But, like the front door, it’s important to do the right kitchen remodel. Adding a $75,000 kitchen to a $100,000 house is unlikely to yield $75,000 in value, although it may make you a happy chef. As a general rule, look to spend about 25 percent of the home’s value for a new kitchen and 12 percent to 15 percent for an updated bathroom, says David Pekel, president and CEO of Pekel Construction in Milwaukee and a master certified remodeler.

Putting an ultramodern kitchen into a 100-year-old Tudor home isn’t smart, either. “Whatever your home improvement is … I strongly discourage designing new spaces in a fashion that’s incongruous with the rest of the house’s architectural vernacular,” Pekel says. “It doesn’t really add value. It detracts.”

Whether certain improvements will pay off varies not only regionally, but also neighborhood by neighborhood, based on who is going to live in the house. For example, a pool adds more value to homes in some Los Angeles neighborhoods than in others, Aaron says. In cities with colder climates, a pool may not add any value. (Pools are not included in the Cost vs. Value report.)

Renovations within the existing envelope of your home – those that don’t require you to build an addition or expand the roof and foundation – often return more value than building extra rooms onto your home. For one thing, they’re much cheaper.”

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/03/06/which-home-remodeling-projects-are-worth-your-money

New Stone Option

One of Omaha’s premier hardscape suppliers is freshening things up with some great new products which are giving homeowners even more options when it comes to the look and feel of their new space.  Carson Stone & Supply is now offering Techo-Bloc pavers and retaining wall blocks to the Omaha market.  With this new assortment of amazing products our most recent outdoor living space project gave the homeowners just the look they were going for with their project.  Check out these pictures of a covered patio in Papillion with stone wrapped columns, natural stone steps, and a fire pit featuring a 420k BTU brass burner!  They are staying toasty and we’re fired up to do many more projects like this one!

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Omaha, NE 68138

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