Kansas City

Recognized Excellence

Last night was amazing! But to say that it was a "dream come true" is not a fair statement. KC Home Solutions was founded with the purpose of being able to help people renovate their homes, to make their homes their personal "dream come true". Our objective was never to win awards. That said, last night we did just that and we couldn't be more proud!

Last night was the 2016 Kansas City Chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Remodel of the Year awards banquet. For short it is called the 2016 KC NARI REMY Awards. We were entered in 4 different categories. The categories were the following:

Basement Finish $50,000 to $100,000. Residential Interior Under $75,000. Residential Kitchen $30,000 to $60,000 and Residential Bath $25,000 to $50,000.

When the evening was completed we had won the Gold and All-Star Award in the Residential Bath Project and the Silver Award for the Residential Kitchen Project. The icing on the cake for the evening however was the award we were not expecting. 2016 KC NARI Best of Show Project Under $75,000!

All of the projects are submitted and judged by a blind panel with 3 remodeling experts from another NARI Chapter in the US. The projects are graded on a 90 point scale. In order to win the All-Star designation a project must be graded at 85 points or better on the scale. Of the 24 awards given out last night only 4 were awarded the All-Star designation. 

To win the Best of Show Award means that the project was the highest graded in regards to the 90 point scale of all of the projects in that price range. There are only 4 Best of Show Awards given out each year.

Below are pictures of the two categories that we won awards in:

2016 KC NARI Best of Show Under $75,000 Project - Gold & All-Star Award Winner Residential Bath $25,000 to $50,000 (before picture)

2016 KC NARI Best of Show Under $75,000 Project - Gold & All-Star Award Winner Residential Bath $25,000 to $50,000 (after picture)

2016 KC NARI Silver Award Winner Residential Kitchen $30,000 to $60,000 (before picture)

2016 KC NARI Silver Award Winner Residential Kitchen $30,000 to $60,000 (after picture)

Thank you to all of our fantastic homeowners, our amazing staff and all of our subcontractors who helped with these projects and all of our other projects as well. Without all of you none of this is possible! We have set the bar high for our first year as a part of NARI. We treat each project as if is going to be an award winner and that is something we will never waiver on. Here's to hoping that the next project we help you with will be a part of this post next year!

KC Home Solutions - 2015 Review and 2016 Resolutions

Picture credit www.visitkc.com

So today is the last day of 2015 and it's been a GREAT year for us...and we hope much of the Kansas City area! We thought it would be good to review a few things and make some 2016 resolutions. So here we go.

2015:

First and foremost, the Royals won the World Series! The Chiefs are in the NFL Playoffs and it's the first time they both have made the postseason the same year...EVER. 

We (KC Home Solutions) had our BEST year ever, setting records for total volume business...thanks to all of you! So what did we end up doing?

5 Kitchen remodels, 30+ master bathroom, basement and guest bathroom remodels, 22 basement finishes and 5 home additions and house builds! 

We also won the 2015 Angie's List Super Service Award in the categories of Basement Remodeling, Kitchen & Bathroom Remodeling and General Remodeling. That marks our 2nd year in a row to win those awards. Now we know what it feels like to be the Royals (they have won back-to-back American League Championships) it's the same, right? Enh, close. The boss probably won't buy us cool rings (bummer).

Can't wait to see the World Series Championship ring...we loved the 2014 AL Championship rings for the Royals!

Thanks to all our subcontractors and all of the people who work behind the scenes that you may never notice. That includes (in no particular order) All Dimensions Flooring, Central States Tile, KC Wood, Kitchen & Bath by Briggs, McCray Lumber, Petty Products, Stillwell Heating & Cooling, DWG Drywall, Teague Electric, HP Tile, LRW Plumbing, Ferguson Plumbing Supplies and everyone involved with all these great companies.

2016:

Well I HOPE to be writing about a Chiefs Super Bowl Championship this time next year...another Royals World Series would be great too!

We have some lofty goals for our company starting TOMORROW. We are hoping to continue to double our totals (we've done it every year we've been in business). Not saying that we will but that's what a goal is for, right? 

We are going to continue to work hard to improve our processes and keep giving everyone quality results. We really feel that our attention to detail, treating everyone respectfully and not rushing projects is the best way to do business. Speed in projects (like on TV shows) is great, but there's a lot to be said about making sure it's done right the first time.

We want to continue to set ourselves apart from the other contractors out there. Whether that's through design, attention to detail (big and small), or providing information to people who need help. We may not be the lowest bid you'll get but if you have a question you need help with, even if you did not choose us, don't be afraid to ask. 

Check out our booth at the Johnson County Home + Garden Show in January 22-24 as we go for back-to-back awards for "Best Use of a Small Space". Happy New Year! We hope to work with all of you in 2016! 

Flip the Switch with KC Home Solutions

We have been excited at KC Home Solutions over the last few months. There have been a lot of calls and requests for us to provide estimates and we have been extremely busy. It looks like all the talking that you are doing about us is paying off (we appreciate the kind words and referrals!) Recently we have been in discussion with a few people and a couple of companies that are looking for ideas and opportunities for us to help with flipping homes. So what's the deal with that, how does it work?

Here are a few suggestions and things to keep in mind when looking for a contractor to work for you on a house flip. In no particular order.

Have a realistic timeline based on your project. Keep in mind that the shows you see on TV, while real, are also staged. Some of the timelines and completion dates are simply not feasible in a "normal" setting. Basically, good luck finding a contractor who will work 20 hour days and weekends.

Drastic transformations, like the fire damaged "gut-job" pictured above are neither quick nor particularly cheap. The TV shows do a great job giving figures on transformations that sound too good to be true and they likely may be. Some shows have a lot of donated products and the production companies may sometimes pay for some labor expenses rather than passing it along to a homeowner. HGTV for example has several great shows but some of the pricing they talk about makes US question how the contractors stay in business. An entirely new kitchen with appliances for $8,000? We want that pricing too!

Finally, communication is key. You don't have to have your contractor on speed-dial, but if you have a question or concern make it known. Don't ever assume that you were 100% clear when talking about something. From our end, we would rather you call or email us twice and feel like you are annoying us than end up doing a job wrong. Just like the old adage says, measure twice, cut once!

Looking for a general contractor to help with your full house remodel? Give us an opportunity to earn your business, we love a good challenge!

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! 

Terminology can be confusing...

When you are new to something, things can be confusing. How does the phrase go? Every master was once an incompetent beginner and every professional was once an amateur. Meaning that we don't expect you to know what everything is and what it's designed to do. So we thought it would be fun to throw a few things out there to help you increase your remodeling vocabulary and understanding!

First one. Smurf tube.

If you thought that we were mentioning a Smurf holding a tube of toothpaste, close but not quite.

Smurf tubing!

Smurf tubing is used in many applications in remodeling. We use it mostly in an application to help a homeowner run cable lines inside a wall so that you can mount a flat panel TV and not have anything hanging down behind it. It is a part of our standard basement finishing package.

Next one. Fluting.

Is this the first thing that came to your mind when you thought of fluting? Well then you may immediately regret that decision.

Basement support post with fluting!

There are many options when it comes to fluting in a basement. Once again, this is something that we include in all of our basement finish packages. Generally speaking our setup is to box in the support post where as this picture has a rounded design. 

Last one, let's see how you do!

Astragal

Was this the first image in to your head? We are pretty sure that if her hair is coming out of the space suit helmet it's not going to be effective...but we aren't space suit experts. We don't know her name either, I suppose it COULD BE Astro Gal.

A true astragal.

Generally you'll find an astragal on French doors or a dual door opening set up such as leading to a deck. This strip can be found in a lot of decorative doors in order to hide point where the doors come together. It's a very classic look but can get worn over time.

So what phrases or terms do you think of when you think of construction? Anything fun? Let us know. Oh and just to put it out there, no, we will no be discussing flashing!

What Would We Do Wednesday - Pinterest Edition

You want to hear something that I never thought I would stay. I like Pinterest. There, it's out in the open and on the internet and therefore cannot be taken back. No seriously, it's true. I like it. I feel that most people (guys) think that it is for girls to get hair ideas, or what kind of dried out flowers to use for potpourri, or maybe how to design cupcake frosting, stuff like that. It's SO MUCH more than that. We at KC Home Solutions want to officially apologize to Pinterest, ok, so not so much KCHS as the individual writing this. KCHS has had a Pinterest account for a while...anyway.

So why the sudden change of opinion? Well, simply put, it has allowed us to become better at our job. Particularly it has allowed us to be able to crawl into the mind of a client and see exactly what they are trying to describe before we even start a project. Plus, well, there are so many great design ideas out there how can you not enjoy the website. Check out a few things we have pinned.

I'm still waiting for someone to request that we build them this shower. Any takers?

Ignore the decor. We would love to see someone go with a design similar to this full wall window. Probably needs to be a shaded and secluded side of the house, but how cool!

The golfer in us really want to see this basement come to life! Of course you may have visitors in your basement all the time, particularly us.

There are so many great ideas, from small design options to full remodels like the pictures above. To not use Pinterest to get an idea or inspiration is like not using a cell phone, it just makes things easier.

Feel free to follow us on Pinterest. We do our best to update our various boards when we come across cool things we see. We also want to follow you, so if we aren't, well tell us! The more ideas going around the better.

What Would We Do Wednesday - Trend Setting

It wouldn't be fair to say that we at KC Home Solutions are setting trends in design and residential construction, but it would be 100% accurate to say that we love helping people who want to be trend setters! We absolutely love when a client says that they want to do something that they found on Pinterest (check out our account and follow us please), or that they have an idea and want to know if we can do it. 

So what are we seeing and getting requests for recently? One would be an idea similar to the picture above. Dual purpose or multi-use garage design. We have had a few requests to enlarge garages recently, add custom upgrade cabinets for storage, one with a wet bar and always with great flooring. For those that like to entertain in many more places beyond just the back yard and basement.

Non-traditional kitchens with a TON of storage space are starting to become popular. People want to hide all of the appliances and remove the clutter that kitchens are known to have. These new designs are all about being functional and great livability. Entertaining is becoming much more of a "get people around the kitchen" and less about sitting around a couch and coffee table.

Under stairs storage options and custom reading nooks with lights are starting to trend upward in home remodeling ideas. There are so many different ways to arrange and set up various storage solutions from custom built in shelving, pull out drawers, and hidden options that only you would know about. Reading nooks can be great, especially if there is a way to include natural lighting options. 

From custom garages to reading nooks, run your ideas by us and we'll do whatever we can to make your dreams a reality. We look forward to hearing what you want to do!

Interrogation Time

We aren't saying that someone on our staff is Superman, but have you ever seen him at the same time with any of our guys?

I thought it would be fun to field a few questions that we get asked from time to time and then find the answer from some of your favorite KC Home Solutions staff members. Of course we know that you like everyone that works for KCHS, but we'll whittle it down for the sake of time.

Question: What's your favorite thing to do on a regular basis?

Answer: Jason (KCHS Project Manager): "My favorite thing is to build things, but in my role with KCHS I spend more time helping to make sure that projects are moving forward and things are getting done as needed. From time to time I still get involved in working on projects if we are short handed. I would say that intricate projects are what I look forward to most."

The more the detail in a project the happier Jason tends to be.

Question: What do you like most about KCHS?

Answer: Nick (KCHS President): "It really changes from day to day. Some times I really look forward to meeting new potential clients. The next day I'll be excited to do design work. The next I'll get a chance to get on a job site and get back to my roots of actually building something. Really from day to day, or hour to hour sometimes, I'll find myself really thinking that I have the best job in the world!"

Nick has spent countless years framing out custom homes, including the house the KCHS is currently building.

Question: What has surprised you most since you started with KCHS?

Answer: Nick (Director of Sales and Marketing): I really had no idea how much I would simply enjoy the job. I know that sounds corny but the days seem to fly by. I like that each day is different than the next. That each project always has an individual something that makes it feel unique. Most people would say that we work a long day, but it really never feels that way.

Nick has never handed a client a fresh fish, nor does he wear a suit to work. Handshakes do happen frequently though.

If you have any questions that you would like to see someone on our staff answer feel free to let us know. We do our best to be as flexible as possible and definitely hope that you can get to know us and what makes us tick!

What Would We Do Wednesday - Basement Flooring

When it comes to remodeling your basement, the flooring is one of the first things to consider. Why, you may ask? Well, primarily because it can dictate everything from your wall and trim color all the way to what you can put in your basement. Here are a few things to consider.

First, what is most important to you? Most basements are the coolest temperature room in the home. So if warmth is important, carpet may be the way to go. Second, are you using the basement for entertaining or are you going for a second living area? Entertainment may force you to lean towards an easily cleanable option such as tile or luxury vinyl. A second living space may have you going for a combination of carpet and a hard surface option. 

So what are we seeing most right now? We are getting a large request for luxury vinyl flooring. We recommend US Floors COREtec Plus 5" Plank product. Check them out here to see their website. Why COREtec? Primarily for their construction/build method and that the product has a limited lifetime warranty in a residential installation. Finally, because if something were to happen and water got in the basement you simply pull the floor up in the necessary area, dry everything properly, and lay the floor back down. COREtec is not glued down and it sits directly on top of most hard surface floors without much if any necessary prep work

If you didn't know that it wasn't real wood, could you tell?

Another flooring option that we are getting more requests on frequently is tile that is designed and made to look like wood. You get all the advantages of a warm and inviting wood look with the ease and maintenance of tile. Really the best of both worlds. I won't add a picture to this because frankly, it looks like wood. Shocker, I know!

Morale of the story, you don't have to automatically go with carpet in the basement. Check out LVT and tile options. You never know, you may like the price point and what you see. If you need help with the installation or design, let us know, we would be happy to lend a hand!

 

What Would We Do Wednesday - Egress Options

A very old and not to code egress window.

As a licensed contractor we are required to pull permits for nearly everything we do in just about every location in the Kansas City metro. One of the items we run in to quite a bit with basement finish estimates are egress window questions. Do I need one? Do I not need one. 

Johnson County, Kansas has several requirements for egress windows. They have a very nice PDF brochure HERE that gives a lot of great information. The brochure talks additionally about basement finishing and remodeling code and permit requirements. Riveting stuff, I'm sure you can't wait to read up on it!

What we wanted to give you for this week's WWWDW article were a couple of ideas that can make an egress window more than a large hole next to your foundation window. As long as you are following the code requirements, what the space looks like on the exterior of the home can be very attractive, assuming you don't want to simply look at simple metal frame and a French drain.

A large tiered landscape area. Allowing in abundant light and great use of treated lumber for many landscaping options.

Custom framing to allow more light with a decorative design around the window.

While the two options above are not installations that we have done specifically, we can certainly help to implement any idea that you may come up with. We love new challenges and we are always looking for great projects similar to these. 

Don't let your basement egress window bring you down. Codes are there to protect you and your family and make your home safer. We can follow the rules and still have fun doing it!