Remodeling

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!

Houzz Your Project Design Going?

As we meet with new potential clients, one of the things we always talk about is design and ideas. It doesn't matter what project they are looking to take on, kitchen remodel, home addition, basement finish, master bathroom, mudroom, everyone tends to have at least some idea of what they would like to see. Of course there are a few occasions where that's not the case.

So what options do you have if you don't know what you want your project to look like. I've got your place to start. You may have guessed it based on the name of this post and the picture it started with. Houzz.com. So what is Houzz? Houzz is a website and online community about architecture, interior design, interior decorating, landscape design and home improvement. Almost everyone knows about pinterest. Well Houzz is pinterest on steroids but dedicated specifically to the things mentioned above and that's it.

A remodeled sitting room idea, picture from houzz.com.

So you see, Houzz is the perfect place to go when you don't know where to start. If you don't know what "your style" is. If you're not sure what's trending in design. If you just want to see some really great remodeled or new rooms. If you want to be sucked in, blink once and wonder where several hours of your day just went...happens to me all the time, it's totally worth it.

We would encourage you to check out Houzz. While you're there setting up your free profile, make sure to swing by our profile and click that Follow button! We are always updating our completed projects, uploading before and after pictures. You can also collaborate with us using an Ideabook for your project.

Oh that thing? Yeah, the Houzz community voted and we won this award. 

 

The ideas are limitless, so don't limit yourself. See yourself in a new space and don't settle for DIY ideas on other websites. Let us help make your home show room perfect! PS, that sitting room picture attached above from Houzz? Yeah, that was us. 

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.

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!

Big Box It Up...

Let's start by saying that we are not completely against those big box stores out there. They have their advantages from time to time. We will do our best to not mention a specific store but we can't imagine that any of you have never been in to one of them in your life.

Here's the deal, we aren't big fans of purchasing a lot of items for a remodel in those big stores. Beyond the pricing, it's the things you do not see that may be your downfall. For example, you can certainly find a great price on a good looking kitchen faucet in one of the two largest home improvement stores in the country. But you are paying for something that is loaded up with a lot of plastic "guts" and won't last as long as it should or could, even if you take great care of it. Now, with that said, the big stores do have some options with the great high-quality insides, but those items are going to be priced similar to specialty stores and they may not have the largest selection. They tend to make more margin on the lower priced items that the high-end ones.

Not how this particular product is designed to work.

Not how this particular product is designed to work.

So how are you to know if you are getting a good product? First, read the back of the packaging. Look for plastic fittings, or do an online search about it. Don't go looking for the least expensive option. Saving money is great but long term it may come up to bite you on a costly repair or simply having to replace the product again. Another option? Go to one of your local specialty stores that deal with just one product like kitchen faucets or bathroom remodeling items, etc. Stick to the nails, lumber, screws and tools at the big box stores, don't skimp on the plumbing.

What about this?

It's a pretty safe bet that sometime in your life you may have had an evening or two that went something like the picture above. One of the things about working with KC Home Solutions is that you're not going to be alone at any time throughout your project. That really is one of the best aspects of working with us...if you ask us...and clearly you did. 

Here's the thing. You've likely already come to a decision that you are going to go ahead with your project. You've also likely come up with basically 99% of what you want to do in regards to design and whatnot. The thing is, that final 1% could be the trickiest final hurdle to overcome...or it may not. 

This evening we had a pre-construction meeting with a client who is less than 1 month away from starting their basement finish. The client had basically every detailed lined up and knew what they wanted before even contacting us. But, as with a lot of projects, once coming to a decision to work with us (thanks for that in case we hadn't already made that clear) new ideas pop up. Questions arise. And you know what? That's awesome! 

You will never hear us say, please don't call us with another question. We also don't want you to ever think that you should apologize for emailing or calling us with a question. That's what we are here for! Bounce ideas off us. Ask us what other clients have done. In the end we want you to be 100% on board with your decision or design. We would rather you push a project back a week or two in order to make the best decision for you. 

We didn't get in to this line of work to make us happy. We got in this line of work to make YOU happy! In return we get satisfaction in seeing YOUR dream become a reality, we just helped make it happen. So ask away, don't ever think you can't. Okay? 

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!

I. Don't. Know. What. To. Do!

Is the picture above your reaction when someone asks what you are planning on doing with your remodel? Do you know that you want to finish your unfinished basement but you have basically no idea where to start? Don't worry, we get that all the time.

Most people claim that they have done a lot of homework, but I would guess that the majority of people simply know that they want to change or add something, they just aren't sure what. Guess what? That's okay! No really, it is. You aren't, "wasting our time" and you shouldn't be "really sorry that I'm not sure what can be done with this space," it's OKAY!

KC Home Solutions is proud to announce that we now have an Interior Design Specialist on staff! Let's first break down what an Interior Designer does. Interior designers identify, research, and creatively solve problems related to the function of interior environments in order to enhance quality of life and protect public health, safety, and welfare. Interior designers perform services such as programming, design analysis, spatial design, specifications of furnishing and materials, construction documentation, and construction observation.

So what does that mean for you? It means, once again, that if you don't know what a space can handle, you're good. If you don't know where a bathroom can or should be placed, no worries. If you have a space and you want an idea for it, you came to the right place. Our designer can help, right along with any of our other staff members. We want to do everything we can to make your project come out just how you want, even if you don't know what you want!

So no more of this guy ^...

And a lot more of this guy ^. We've got your back!