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Bathroom, Kitchen, Basement Design & Remodeling Ideas for the Nicest Home or Business on the Block

Basement Remodeling – Cost Effective Space is Right Below Your Feet

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

Basement Remodeling Family and TV Room
A remodeled basement family room area
Home theater room in a basement
Home Theater Room

Are you trying to figure out how to add space without it adding up to big bucks? Maybe you’ve got a family member moving in, a teenager that “needs more space,” or you’d like an additional bathroom or home office. If a room addition is out of the question you may want to look right below your feet – remodeling your basement. Here’s 5 1/2 tips to lead you through the basement remodeling process:

Remodeling Trends 2010 & 2011 – How to get the biggest bang for your buck

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Basement Remodeling, Bathroom Remodeling, Exterior Remodeling, Kitchen Remodeling, Windows

Basement Remodeling to add cost effective living space
Basement Remodeling Adds Cost Effective Living Space vs. a Room Addition
Steel Entry Door for curb appeal and high cost/value relationship
Steel Entry Doors Add Curb Appeal and Provide a Great Value vs. Cost

Maybe at no time in recent history is it more important than now to spend your money wisely. We’re just pulling out of a recession (at a slower pace than most would like), housing and resale prices are still depressed, and unemployment is coming down (very slowly).

So – if you’re in a home that’s in desperate need of several home improvement projects where should you begin to get the most return for money spent? Is there some type of statistical guide to help you prioritize remodeling projects based on the market value they will add to your home? Fortunately the answer is yes!

Every year the remodeling industry with the assistance of Realtor magazine, the National Association of Realtors, Specpan (an on line market research company) and HomeTech Information Systems (an estimating software developer) team up to complete the Cost to Value Report. Here’s a quick recap of the findings:  

5 Reasons to Use a Tinted Acrylic Block Window

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Basement Remodeling, Bathroom Remodeling, Kitchen Remodeling, Windows

Sun and Solar Block acrylic block window wall
Tinted Acrylic Block “Solar Block Plus” Window Wall
Sun Blocking Acrylic Block
E 3 Sun Block Acrylic Block in 8″ x 8″ or 6″ x 6″ sizes

Are your carpets washed out from the sun? Are your heating and cooling costs chocking the family budget? Would you love to cut off the view of nosey neighbors? If you’re experiencing any of these problems you’re not alone. Here’s 5 reasons you might want to replace an old window with a sun blocking acrylic block window:

5 Steps to Design an Accessible Wet Room Walk In or Roll In Shower for Style, Safety & Resale Value

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

Wet room roll in shower
Wet room roll in shower
Accessible walk in or roll in shower
Accessible walk in or roll in shower wet room

Is your bathroom ugly, outdated or just doesn’t work for you? Do you think climbing over the bathtub and stepping over the shower enclosure is an accident waiting to happen? Here’s a way to add a sleek contemporary bathroom with a high level of safety – add a European design inspired wet room walk in shower.  Using an open design this system combines a shower pan which is set below the surrounding floor. Since the base is below the floor you end up with a curbless roll in or walk in fully accessible design. Here’s 5 steps to turn this concept into reality

Get rid of old dated colors in your 1960’s small bathroom – 2 Options to dress up your space without breaking the bank

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

Acrylic bathtub and wall surrounds
Acrylic bathtub liner and wall surrounds lining over an old steel tub and tile walls
Tub space converted into a glass block shower
Tub removed and space converted into a glass block walk in shower

Are you just sick and tired of an old outdated color scheme in your 1960’s bathroom? Are you tiles cracked, or are the walls and grout joints deteriorated?  Let’s face it – the 60’s color schemes are over and some of the materials used are not good enough to eliminate mold and mildew from your shower and bathroom space. How can you turn this eyesore into a shower or bathtub space that is functional, cool, and easy to maintain? Here’s 2 options to consider:  

Project Spotlight: Colored and Frosted Glass Block Shower Window for DIY Home Network BATHtastic Brick Bye Brick Episode

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

Frosted and colored glass block shower window close up
Frosted & colored glass block shower window wave pattern
Glass block shower wall insert using colored frosted glass blocks
Glass block shower wall using colored & frosted glass blocks

Quite frankly – shower windows can be a pain in the back end. What type of window can you use that will be private, add to the looks of your bathroom and shower and will not rot, rust or deteriorate. This is exactly the problem that Todd and Austene faced in their bathroom remodeling project shown on the DIY Home Network Brick Bye Brick show.  Here’s how they solved this challenge:

5 Tips to Selecting a Tile Shower Backer Board

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

Different thicknesses of extruded polystyrene wall backer boards
Tile over cement backer board
Tile wall installed over cement backer board

Remember the old Fram oil filter commercial – “pay me now or pay me later.” If you’re repairing or building a new tile shower enclosure you know that pay me later can cost you big time (ripping out a shower from water damage is very expensive)! What you don’t see with a shower stall (the materials behind the finished wall) is every bit as important as what you do see. Follow these 5 tips to choose the right tile backer board:

Universal Design Can Be Cool – Using a Decorative Glass Block Bathroom Window to Dress up a Home

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

  • Glass block bathroom window mural for a universal design based home

    Glass block bathroom window mural for a universal design based home - picture courtesy of Scott Cunningham

  • When most people think of universal design the words that come to their minds might be institutional or boring – and that might have been true in the old days but not anymore!
  • When one of my companies (Columbus Glass Block) was asked to sponsor the Universal Design Living Laboratory Project (a new home being built in Columbus Ohio which incorporates Universal Design and Green Building Concepts) by two friends of mine – Rosemarie Rossetti and Mark Leder – I had no idea of the level of cool elements that would ultimately be designed into their home.

Glass Block Bathroom Window Design – Mix Up Sizes to Make Your Project Pop

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

Bathroom window using colored & frosted glass blocks in 8" x 8" & 4" x 8" sizes
Bathroom window using colored & frosted glass blocks – 8″ x 8″ & 4″ x 8″ sizes
Vinyl framed glass block window using 6" x 6" , 6" x 8" and 12" x 12" sizes
Vinyl framed glass block window using 6″ x 6″, 6″ x 8″ and 12″ x 12″ sizes clear and colored glass blocks

Why settle for a boring glass block bathroom window when you can be unique? Let’s face it most glass block windows look the same – one clear cube of block stacked on top of another. Mix up the sizes, add color or frosted designs – why design “inside the box” when you can design “outside the blocks?” Use these 7 points for a unique glass block design:

6 Tips to Use Urethane or Sanded Grout for a Tile or Glass Block Shower

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Commercial Remodeling & New Construction, Glass Block

Urethane grout - premixed bucket

Urethane grout - premixed bucket

Sanded grout in a bag - powder form

Sanded grout in a powder form in a bag

Let’s face it – the #1 place tile or glass block showers fail is in the grout joints. So you need to use the right material the first time around (and save the expensive cost of re-grouting). Follow these tips to save money, time and problems with a shower enclosure.

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