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I get to live my 1%! Seven Simple Tips for Living Life More Fully

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Personal Reflections from Mike

I get to live my 1 per cent. 7 simple tips for living life more fully - Mike Foti Innovate Building Solutions

Warning – this post is about life, not about remodeling!

Early Saturday morning writing and posting ritual

Saturday morning June 4th started out in my usual wacky entrepreneurial way. Got up at 4:15. Put on my running clothes. Fed the cats. Got the laundry started. Went into my den (joined by my favorite pet Sammy – a beautiful Maine coon cat). Started cranking out another remodeling article for my blog. Got the first draft done. Then did a little bit of social media posting (I’m not only an owner of a few remodeling businesses but I’m also a CDMG – Certified Digital Marketing Geek!). Normal day… so far.

The run

It’s now 7:30 and light outside and a beautiful sunny day for my morning run through my peaceful suburban Copley Ohio neighborhood. A little stretching, crank up some R & B tunes on my Spotify playlist and I’m ready to rumble for my one-hour EVERYDAY run (I am a bit – OK – maybe more than a bit – obsessed with running). I’m ten minutes in (not really rocking it yet) and started making the trek up Regalstone Dr. hill like I’ve done thousands of times before. I’m feeling a bit more tired than normal, not sure why. Then I start to notice a throbbing pain on the right side opposite my heart. I say to myself, “You must be imagining things. Suck it up and keep going.”

On I went for another 10 minutes and the pain is still there. Not an unbelievable crazy nasty pain – just something I’ve never felt before but it’s consistent. Divine intervention (as I will figure out later) tells me to stop running.

When I’m running I never stop (that’s what a somewhat crazy type A driving entrepreneur does – we never stop!). On this day I did stop. I thought should I call my wife Rose or just walk back. I opted to walk back, the pain’s really no big deal. I saw a 30-ish woman run by me with her child in the baby jogger. I was perturbed. I felt defeated and thought “who am I – some old guy who has to walk for exercise? I’m a runner – doggone it! Yes, I’m 56 years old but I should be blowing past this woman with her kid in tow (now there’s the competitive entrepreneur coming out of my brain)!”

Got home. Told my wife Rose about the pain and said I’d drive myself to the Akron General Emergency Center 2 miles from the house (I’m thinking, “I got this – I’m in control!”). Rose – being the smarter person (and also Dr. in the family) says “Not so fast. I’m driving you Mike.” Leave it to wives to stop husbands from doing stupid things. Of course I took a shower first (don’t want to be smelly in the ER!)

7 Ways to Take the Pain out of your Shower Enclosure

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

7 ways to take the pain out of your shower enclosure - Innovate Building Solutions

Is stepping into your shower enclosure like walking into a Haunted House on Halloween? You’re unsure what’s lurking (and growing) inside of this small spooky space. What’s worse is you have to go into this horrific tiny dark box on a daily basis – OUCH!

In many cases your shower has been doomed from the start. The original homebuilder put in a cheap fiberglass one-piece unit which is yellowing, cracking and has scum you can’t even bring in a magician to clean off. Possibly you bought your home from an “expert” DIY’er (or so they thought) who created a tiled shower you swear your 5-year-old could have built better (some homeowners just don’t know what they don’t know).

Why continue to put up with this spooky, ugly, high maintenance and maybe not so safe shower anymore? It’s time to no longer have your shower be such a pain in your _________ (fill in the blank). It’s time to take a shower “pain management” class. In this article get 7 practical tips to create a shower stall you’ll actually want to shower and relax in!

The 5 Step Program to Remodel Your Home out of a Fashion Time-Warp

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Glass Block

The 5 step program to remodel your home out of a fashion time warp @InnovateBuild

How do you know when your clothes or home have gone out of style and you need a makeover – BAD? You may ask a trusted consultant for their honest opinion. Someone who will not beat around the bush. I remember doing this during my early days as a professional speaker. I approached Danielle Turcola (a national image consultant) about how I was dressing and she said, “Mike – it’s time to ditch those button down shirts. It’s way too middle-manager looking for a professional speaker.” While it hurt to get Danielle’s “give it to you straight” advice she was spot on. I listened.

In many cases we’re oblivious to our own fashion – whether it’s in clothes (do you have any family members who are stuck in the 70’s with long hair and groovy outfits?), or in home décor (the wallpaper in their homes looks like Marcia and Greg Brady could show up any moment!).

Such was the case for Lilly Epstein of Orlando Florida when she brought in Interior Designer Laurie Lake with Floor to Ceiling (a contractor and interior design firm) in Winter Garden Florida. Laurie came originally to look at upgrading one of Lilly’s floors. While Lilly’s home was hot (it won the Best Home in the 1989 Orlando Parade of Homes) it’s current décor was stuck in a bit of a fashion time warp. As Lilly said to me, “I didn’t realize how dated the home had become until I saw the before and after remodeling pictures!” The reality is time moves on but sometimes we become oblivious to our own surrounding and sense of fashion (I would still be wearing those button down shirts if Danielle had not set me straight!).

If you look at your home today is it looking a little long in the tooth? I can still think back to the “June Cleaver Kitchen” my wife and I inherited as a young couple when we bought our first home (many people today probably don’t even know who June Cleaver is!).

Do you need help transforming your “much-too-long-absent-from-remodeling” home into one which looks like it belongs in a magazine (and not a magazine from 20 years ago sitting in your old dentist’s office?). If so, the time may be right to enter the “5 step program for non-remodelaholics” (i.e. those people who have waited too long to update, redecorate and remodel their homes). Join the meeting – now in session- to get 5 key steps to remodel your home out of a fashion time warp.

5 Awesome Tricks for a Lean, Luxurious and Low Maintenance Shower

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

5 Awesome Tricks for a Lean Luxurious and Low Maintenance Shower

Shower budgets are tight (anyone with 3 kids like me can relate to budgets!) and time to maintain them is even tighter. People want to have more function in less space (just check out the growth in the “not so big home” and “tiny home” movements). To make things even more challenging the desire for a higher level of style and luxury escalates every time we check into a sleek, contemporary hotel room.

How do you combine lean (in size and price), luxurious and low maintenance into a new shower project? You’ve got to dig into these 5 “tricks” to get the “treat” of a shower which will last (without a lot of maintenance effort from you) and look great. Let me know at the end which one would help you the most.

7 Answers Revealed Unlock the Mystery Behind Glass Floors and Decks

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Glass Flooring, Glass Floors, Uncategorized

7 Answers Revealed Unlock the Mystery Behind Glass Floors and Decks

Nothing quite gets a debate stirred up like walking on a glass floor. They are cool, scary, fun, sleek, crazy, contemporary and stylish all in the same breath. The word which is no one’s vocab about them is – boring! If you’re looking to create an exciting, light-filled and dramatic design in a luxury home, professional workspace or public building which can move light (and your eye) from one level to another a glass flooring system is the ticket. At this point you may be saying, “Not so fast buddy – I’ve got a million questions about these floors before I would even consider using this crazy product!” If you said this you would not be alone.

Glass floors are not well understood and viewed by some as risky and crazy. The fear of the unknown will do that to all of us. Have you heard the popular acronym fear is False Evidence Appearing Real? My goal with this article is to “take you behind the curtain,” to give you the straight scoop and reveal the answers behind the mystery which is the glass floor. So strap it on and let’s step out “onto the ledge” and learn the answers to 7 questions about intriguing glass floors.

6 Fun & Colorful Glass Block Window Ideas to Jazz up your Home

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Glass Block, Kitchen Remodeling

6 fun and colorful glass block window ideas to jazz up your home | Innovate Buidling Solutions

I love sunny falls days in Ohio where the leaves have turned multiple shades of yellow, green, red and orange – yet we still get near summer (in the low 70’s) temperatures. Life was made to be enjoyed surrounded by light, color and not too cold temperatures (unfortunately the winter will not be too far behind– bummer). You might ask what does all this talk about the crispness and colors of Fall leaves have to do with glass block windows? Well – I’ll tell you!

Glass block windows are a “workmanlike” product. Trustworthy – built thick and strong like a tank to protect your family and keep intruders out. Functional – they keep the nasty winds from whipping through your basement windows. Private – helping get light in places like bathroom windows without worrying about peeping Tom’s looking in. But maybe, just maybe, glass block windows can be about more than that!

Have you ever thought about a glass block windows as fun, colorful or even a piece of art (while still doing the “dirty work” of protecting you and your family against high energy bills and intruders)? This may be a “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” moment for you – but this timeless material can actually be fun and functional.

If you’re remodeling or building new home this Fall take a peek at some imaginative and evolutionary things you can do with glass block now! Life (and your windows) doesn’t need to be lived in “black and white” any longer. Don’t be afraid to jazz up your windows with pattern and/or colors to give them your unique sense of style. Check out these 6 ideas.

7 1/2 Cool (and unusual) Tile Shower Design Tips from the 2016 Columbus Parade of Homes

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling


7 cool and unusual shower design tips from the 2016 Columbus Parade of Homes P & D Builders shower

The Italians might have perfected the art of designing and manufacturing tile but these “Ohio State Buckeyes” (AKA Columbus Ohio custom builders) certainly have perfected the art of installing tile showers in unique ways. The gawkers (me included) through the 2016 BIA Parade of Homes are saying – wow!

As I quickly toured 9 of the 16 homes (I had 2 hours to “walk” – I moved fast- the show before picking up my daughter – definitely not enough time to take in this years’ Parade) I was blown away by the ingenuity of the custom builders in Central Ohio. I wish I could have visited all 16 homes – but life got in the way.

If you have a chance get out to this year’s show. If you don’t have the time I’m going to give you a deeper look a 7 1/2 cool and unusual tile shower design tips to ramp up your home – even if you aren’t building a $750,000 + new home (unfortunately most aren’t but wish we were!). You may wonder what the “½ tip” is. You’ll have to read the article to find out, but I’ll give you a hint, it’s my 2 cents of some cool things I didn’t see but I think are important ideas in shower design which matter for today’s families.

Let’s check out these tips.

Taking a behind the scenes adventure into an ingenious upscale tiny home

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

Taking a behind the scenes look at a luxury tiny home

Are you fascinated by tiny homes and tiny home living? The shows on TV about this micro home building movement are exploding. When I got approached a year ago by Kristi and Rafael Bugajski to supply decorative shower wall panels for the luxury bathroom in the tiny home they were personally building (also known as the Tiny House Escapade) I was intrigued and excited to participate, roll up my sleeves and learn more. I thought to myself, “Cool, this will be fun!”

In this article I’ve asked Kristi to take you and I “behind the scenes” into their tiny journey. Building a tiny home is NOT at all like buying a production home from the (fictitious) national builder Crank It Out Homes Corporation. With a production home the builder makes 95% of the decisions for you. Building a tiny home is an intensely personal (and can be an emotionally draining) experience designed around the new lifestyle and tiny home owner(s). We’ll look at “the why” they built this home, their overall design goals, and take a peek into their “multi-purpose” bathroom and kitchen. Lastly – I’ll sum things up with some life lessons any of us (whether we’re planning to build a tiny home or not) can learn from Kristi and Rafael’s tiny home building adventure.

This tiny home experience for Kristi and Rafael had its’ share of twists, turns and ups and downs but in the end they blazed new trails and created a home (and most importantly – a lifestyle) which works for them.

Let’s hop aboard the Tiny House Escapade.

The Pros and Cons of a Walk in Shower – The Untold Story

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Glass Block

Pros and Cons of a Walk in Shower

The walk in shower – are you a fan or a foe?

Who knew a type of shower could be such a hotly debated topic, but I’ve seen people struggle big-time on the merits of whether to use a door or doorless shower design. Unfortunately- like most things in life – there is no one right answer on whether the traditional American shower enclosure (which is closed-in on the open end with glass or a shower curtain) or if an open design is the way to go (yes – I have to admit I do have a personal preference – but I’ll share that at the end).

As someone who has a remodeling and shower supply business I will tell you we’ve sold and installed both systems many times and have a pretty good concept of both sides of this “argument” (I say argument because sometimes remodeling can become a “contact sport” between couples!). In this article my goal is to give you the straight scoop, the untold story and the pros and cons of a walk in shower. Let’s check out the points and counterpoints of this debate.

5 Myths about Anchoring a Glass Block Shower Wall

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Glass Block

5 myths about anchoring a glass block shower wall

Yes – I’ve been involved with selling glass block shower pans and walls since 1985. Ouch – that’s a pretty long time (it’s also why I like telling people I started in business at the age of 11 – although no one is believing me!). During this time I’ve heard so many myths about glass block shower walls I thought it’s high time to set things straight – in writing!

You see –  since a glass block shower wall is often a niche project for homeowners and builders it’s like everyone is needing to recreate the wheel each time a job is done. Many of you don’t have the answers to the correct way to build and anchor a glass block shower wall so you seek out advice from your general contractor, builder or some random clerk at a home center store. The reality – most of these people don’t know what the heck they are talking about.

My goal for this article is simple – bust the myths about how to anchor a glass block shower wall. Without further delay let’s go.

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