KC Home Solutions

2nd Time is as Charming as the First

2016 and 2017 REMY Awards

Late January award ceremonies are becoming a reoccurring theme that we are really enjoying! This January was no exception. We certainly do not do what we do for the awards but it is always nice to win them. The best part of the Remodel of the Year (REMY) awards through the Kansas City chapter of the National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI) is that all of the categories and entries are judged by a blind panel of experts from another NARI chapter. Winning an award truly shows that you are doing the right thing on the highest level of quality and craftsmanship.

So what did we win? We entered 4 categories and took home awards on 3 of them. We found out that the one category that we did not place in we missed 2nd by .132 points. The closest separation of placing of anyone in the entire chapter. We are of course still very proud of the results.

Below are below and after pictures of the 3 categories we placed in:

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After

From top to the bottom, the projects and awards are as follows.

*2017 Kansas City NARI Remodel of the Year "REMY" Gold & All-Star Award Basement Finish $50,000 to $100,000 Category Winner*

*2017 Kansas City NARI Remodel of the Year "REMY" Gold Award Interior Remodel $75,000 to $150,000 Category Winner*

*2017 Kansas City NARI Remodel of the Year "REMY" Silver Award Interior Remodel Under $75,000 Category Runner-Up*

2018 is already shaping up to be a fantastic year at KC Home Solutions. We would love to add your project to our list of awards. You never know! We hope to help you make your personal vision become reality! 

What Would We Do Wednesday - Open a Movie Theatre*

We have been working with a client on design for their home theater set-up in their basement. Framing is scheduled to start very soon. As you can imagine, we have been discussing alot of design options and details. Because of that I have been researching and checking on many ideas that the homeowner has sent my way. I thought it would be fun to go over a few of the things we have discussed.

The picture above shows many great ideas that can help a basement have much more depth. Take a look at all of the levels in the ceiling. The various wall depths on the TV wall, and if you look close enough you'll see recessed surround sound speakers as well. Another few design ideas that are great is the use of at least two flooring options and the fireplace. A very modern basement.

Of course we can't all have 2000 sq ft unfinished basements with unlimited funds to use. The picture above is showing a way to utilize a great design in a small space. I really like the built-in mantle underneath the wall mounted TV. The cool built-in shelves in the corner and the space saver bar with the glass see-through doors to help bring more depth to the space. The ceiling has been dropped and finished, likely to hide HVAC runs or i-beams and potentially water lines.

The picture above basement is cool for a few other reasons. In some ways you can say that there is a touch of simplicity in the design. The fur down boxed ceiling allows the projector to hide some inside the box. Different paint colors add levels to the room. There is a ton of natural light coming in the space, which could be a challenge with the TV during day time or if you have a bright neighborhood. You can see the recessed surround sound and can lights on both ceiling levels. A cool addition to this design would be recessed LED rope lighting hidden inside the box in the main TV area.

So to sum this up. Installing a 150" projection screen TV in your basement? That's a fantastic idea! Multiple ceiling levels, surround sound, custom built-in cabinets. Check, check and check. We are ready to help you open up your movie theater *in your basement, just let us know what you would like to see!

 

What Would We Do Wednesday - If you (*we) build it...

Surely you read the title of this post in a soft whisper voice, right? I know that I've read it a couple of time and it always sounds the same in my head. I thought today it would be fun to let you guys know what we are up to right now. What projects are going on currently? How about a list?

  • 7 complete basement finish projects
  • 4 kitchen projects
  • 4 master bathroom projects
  • 3 projects that have multiple action items
  • 2 home additions
  • 1 full home build

The answer to the picture is yes! I felt like I could see your face while reading that list. So is it bragging? Maybe. But we are proud of the work we are accomplishing, and we hope that you are proud of us as well. As you know, we are a small company. We take pride in the work that we do. When our guys do a great job we have no problem bragging on them. The volume of work completed is growing monthly and that excites us as well.

Over the next few weeks I'm going to do my best to start updating the 'Projects' tab on our website. We are going to do our best to swing by completed projects and take pictures and upload them for you all to see. So if we've recently completed a project for you, be looking for a call or email so that we can swing by.

So? If you (*we) build it...he will come? That he would be me (I would imagine the rest of your friends and family as well). I'm excited to see the completed projects and excited to share your finished space with everyone. Thank you in advance, this is going to be fun!

Fire It Up! What Would We Do Wednesday

I guess when people get hot in the midwest their thoughts turn to fire. At least it appears that way to us! In the last week we have had requests for, wait for it, fireplace options. Yeah, probably the last thing most of us would think about too. Clearly a few people in the Kansas City area can't wait for it to get cold, can't blame them for that I guess.

So on this week's WWWDW article we are going to take on fireplace remodeling! It may not be as daunting of a task as you would think.

Does that look familiar?

Or maybe this one?

Chances are, unless your home is only 10 or so years old, you may have one of these relics in your living, den or basement. I would imagine that most people simply deal with it and think that it's just too much work and too expensive to change. Well guess what? It may not be, it just depends on what you want to do with the space. So what are your options?

Easiest option is to paint the brick. It's gonna take a lot of paint, but it's do-able. Of course you don't need us for that now do you?

Another option? Remove the brick. Now you might want to give us a call for this task. It's gonna get really dusty and messy. Generally speaking these set-ups are not one piece full front to back brick and mortar structures. Meaning you can remove levels of brick and find a substructure of some kind, but you never know. The older the home the more likely it will be a full structure.

Another option? Covering the brick with something else. Stone, metal and tile are the three most common cover options. In some cases you can attach directly on to the brick, with some stone and most tile options. In others you may need to frame the brick and basically build a box around it, attach a backer board and then affix the product.

Painted brick example

Resurfacing example, laying stone directly on the brick.

Modern stainless steel electric fireplace with mounted TV and great accent pieces

There are a variety of ways to spruce up your dated fireplace. Don't sit there another night looking at that fire smoke burnt nasty thing. You don't have to just deal with it. Change it! Call us if you want some ideas or some help.

A REALLY GOOD QUESTION!

I was asked a question this week that I wasn't prepared to answer. It didn't so much throw me for a loop, but rather I just had never really thought about the question before. So what was this stunning question?

How is your company different or better than the next?

It was an opportunity to brag on KC Home Solutions. It was an open invitation to leave the client feeling great about having an extra piece of information to help make an informed decision. It was where I should have sold what we do...and I fell flat on my face. Hashtag fail for those of your social media fans out there. But I've had almost 36 hours to stew on this and here are a few things I (should) have come up with. 

1) Communication - We pride ourselves on this topic. Whether you working on a special design idea, looking to get help with a tile pattern, finalizing a paint color or making a change mid-project, you can lean on us to be there for you. Everyone that works on our staff including our subcontractors, we all want to see your project end up exactly how you expect it to.

2) Budget - When we write a number on your estimate, that's what we are going to stick with. We all have budgets in our personal lives for all sorts of things and no one ever wants to be concerned with wondering from week to week if it will change. Of course unexpected things arise, but that's where topic one comes back up and we work with you to help make the most informed decision possible. 

3) Trust - Compared to other companies out there, we are young. But in a short amount of time we have earned the trust and respect of many people. When you treat people as you want to be treated. Respect, honesty, communication, craftsmanship, attention to detail and a lot of smiles. We work hard but have fun doing it. Our completed projects speak for themselves but so do Angie's List Awards...and you can read about all of those HERE!

Have a question you want answered? Shoot it our way, we would love to answer a bunch of questions in our next Tuesday article. 

Get Dirty - What Would We Do Wednesday

Some people have the extra space, others don't, but a mudroom is a really cool space that most people aren't taking advantage of. This concept isn't new but the extra design and customization certainly is. Most home in the past had a simple bench, maybe a built in box-bench that you could put some things in. Now, well having extra full size storage is the trend, and it is a great trend in our opinion.

Of course, generally speaking, the main household is going to be the only one's utilizing the mud-room entrance but they are being built near the front of houses too now. Gone is the day that the front entry is reserved for a grandiose open space. 

Maybe it's the athlete in me, but I really enjoy the above picture. It looks like a rustic old locker room set up, almost country club golf-ish in a way. The extra light coming from the outside and the soft wall color and white trim balance the rich wood stain very well.

The mudroom/laundry room is also gaining steam in the design world. The tile floor allows for easy cleaning and dumping snowy shoes or muddy boots. Having the washer and dryer right there makes for easy access and convenience. 

Don't limit your home to traditional use. Be creative, see the possibilities and give us a chance to help bring your vision to life. So, who's ready to get dirty?!

What Would We Do Wednesday - Go Play Outside

With the exception of today's weather in Kansas City (65 degrees in July is RARE), getting outside and spending time on a back patio is something a lot of people love doing on summer evenings. Recently we have been getting several requests for outdoor living areas. From a space similar to the one picture above, to something similar to the one pictured below.

What's great about outside living spaces and kitchen's are that they can make for not only simple relaxing with family but they also great for entertaining. The options and design that you go choose make just about anyone happy. From built in bars to fireplaces, multiple mounted televisions to gas line fed stoves with custom vent hoods.  

We have been fortunate to have built several outdoor living spaces, check them out on our website when you have a moment. We hope that we'll be able to bring you several new options to check out when we complete additional projects. 

If you have something that you are thinking you would like to do, let us know. A custom built outdoor living space can be affordable and functional not only in the summer but the winter as well. 

What Would We Do Wednesday - Basement Potential

If you had to ask us what we are best at, of everything we do in regards to remodeling, I would imagine most of our guys would say basements. Unfinished basements like the one pictured above make us smile. There are so many options and ways to go. We aren't talking just about new home construction either, there are many basements that were built or finished years ago that have options as well.

So what options are there? Of course you can go with the basic finish, meaning four walls, ceiling and outlets. The picture above has a egress window meaning that you could add a basement bedroom. Most guys are always wanting to go with the epic man cave set up, which we are fans of. Don't forget the wet bar option or if you have high enough ceilings you can go with a nice movie viewing set up.

Nice wet bar with built-in's and engineered hardwood flooring.

Small basement's have options too. Don't limit what you think can be done just because you don't have a large space to start with.

Just remember, if you can dream it, we can do it! So if you want a spa in your basement, just give us your vision and let us pull it together. Swimming pool? We've never done that, but we're up for the challenge! 

FREEDOM!

"Get busy demoing or get busy somewhere else." So I may not have that quote correct from Shawshank Redemption, it's close. Or not. Just don't make us crawl through your main sewer line, okay? So I was talking with some prospective clients today and they were asking a few questions that gave me a thought about the topic of today's article. 

Of course it helped that the 4th of July is coming up this weekend when thinking about freedom. So why this topic from a general contractor? Because unlike some other companies, we have no problem letting you do some things on your own to save some money. You want to do the paint work yourself? No problem. You have a family friend that owns a carpet store that can do that for you? Sounds good! 

We are a small company and while we trust everyone that works for us and with us, we understand the desire to save money when it's possible to do so. 

If Captain America has volunteered to come in and install the tile in your new bathroom, we would love to meet him, shake his hand, and we aren't going to argue with him at all if he takes a little longer than our guys would have. The biggest factor for us is that you get the quality and end result that you are looking for. By the way, does anyone know if Flash does construction? We would like to talk to him if he does, just saying. Of course there are a few things that we will want to leave to the licensed pros such as electrical and plumbing.

Would you be willing to trade all the (demo) days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our (design) enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom (to do our our painting or anything else we want to do ourselves)!!!

What Would We Do Wednesday - We can keep a secret

First off, we aren't working a remodel in the Oval Office...yet. Although we would likely have to charge some travel expenses if we got that bid. Trust me, if we got a bid to do work in at the White House you guys would already know. 

So why the quasi-hidden door? Because we are building a hidden room for a homeowner! Now, before you get all excited, we aren't going to tell you where it will be installed. However, if we get permission once it's completed, we'll get you some pictures. It will be a while. So what's it going to look like?

The concept is very similar to the picture above. The idea is that when the door is closed you will have no idea that it exists. If you do a google search for hidden rooms you'll see a lot of different concepts, and they are all really cool. There are many designs that can be incorporated and locations to install. We would love to hear your ideas!

If you are looking to get your hidden BatCave entrance built we can work that out, probably even have a hidden button is a statue on your desk just like in Wayne Manor. We promise, your secret identity is safe with us! If you don't mind we would love to get a ride in either the BatWing or Batmobile, either is good with us.