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

Is now the time to take advantage of bargain basement existing home prices?

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

Cash home buyers

Buying a home with cash can save on purchase prices A shower that was converted from a bathtub space

Bathtub converted to a shower
Bathtub converted to a shower

Have you pulled money out of the stock market over the last few years looking for a safe place for your capital? Do most of your investments carry low interest rates? If so – the timing may finally be right to consider buying a home or condominium for your personal use, rental, or resale.

You may say – real estate – you’ve got to be kidding! With continued tight lending practices cash buyers have all the cards – and there’s a lot of cards (i.e. home supply) available. With the large stock of foreclosed homes and short sales (sales where the value of the home is less than what’s owed on the mortgage) you can find great deals (note: cash buyers can often buy homes for 5 to 10% less in an already depressed market). These existing homes will likely come with a “price” – they often need remodeling and renovations.

Here’s some remodeling tips to consider to maximize the value of a newly purchased home:

5 Tips to Design a Cool Curved Glass Block Shower and Partition Wall

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

Curved glass block shower enclosure wall
Curved glass block shower enclosure wall
Blue colored glass block kitchen bar
Blue colored glass block kitchen bar

Why have a generic space when you can make it cool? Most people assume a curved shower or partition wall is way beyond their budget – and if you’re looking at a curved, bent and tempered glass wall you’re probably right. But there is an answer to get a cool, modular and functional radius wall without having to hit up your friends and relatives for a loan – it’s with glass blocks. Read these 5 tips to achieve a cool, practical and fully customizable shower wall or partition wall for a bathroom, kitchen, basement or commercial renovation project.  

Honey, I Shrunk the Bathroom and Kitchen Remodeling Project

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

Small Kitchen Remodeling Project

Small kitchen remodel Small bath remodel

small bath remodel project
small bath remodeling project

Maybe you remember the movie “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” about a crazy scientist’s miniaturization machine that accidently shrinks his kids (not exactly a cinematic classic – but kind of funny in parts). Well in these times of tight money and low real estate values many homeowner are also finding the need to shrink their bathroom, basement or kitchen remodeling ideas down to a size that fits their budget.

The key to smaller sized renovation projects is about creating cool, well planned spaces in reduced packages. If that sounds easier said than done here’s 5 practical tips to get started on a designer bathroom or designer kitchen on a 2011 budget:

11 ½ Home Modification Remodeling Tips to Help Visitors and Aging Parents

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Basement Remodeling, Bathroom Remodeling, Commercial Remodeling & New Construction, Exterior Remodeling, Kitchen Remodeling, Windows

Universal design kitchen remodeling home modification

No step front entry to home

No step front entry to home

Do you have a parent(s), relative, or friend who is having a harder time getting around your home due to mobility, vision or health challenges? The reality is almost all homes have been designed for people with now physical, mental, or visual deficits. Here’s 11 ½ home modification remodeling tips which will make your home “visitable,” cool and stylish for people of all abilities:

7 Tips to Select a Decorative Leaded Glass Window

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling, Commercial Remodeling & New Construction, Exterior Remodeling, Kitchen Remodeling, Windows

Square Operable Awning Style Decorative Glass Window in a Bathroom
Square Operable Awning Style Decorative Glass Window in a Bathroom
Oval Fixed Art Glass Window in a Bath
Oval Fixed Art Glass Window in a Bath

You no longer have to settle for a generic clear glass window. Add a distinctive decorative touch with a leaded glass window. Here’s 7 tips to help you select the right decorative glass window for virtually any room of your house:

7 Projects Using a Lighter Vinyl Framed Glass Block Window

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

Colored and Frosted Glass Block Vinyl Framed Window
Bathroom window with a vinyl framed and colored and frosted glass blocks
Den windows using glass block vinyl framed system
Den windows using lighter glass block vinyl framed window system

To many people glass block windows are just too heavy a product to use. The cool thing is they’ve gotten lighter now since that there are 2” thick glass blocks which are built inside vinyl frames. These windows are not only strong (since they are constructed with vinyl spacers between the blocks), but they also come in a wide variety of colors, frosted and etched patterns and are easy to install. Wondering where you can use these windows ….here’s 7 projects to choose from:

Deceptive Home Improvement Sales Practices – Don’t Be Victimized By “Tin Men”

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

Tin Men Movie about Deceptive Home Improvement Sales Practices
Tin Men Movie about Deceptive Home Improvement Sales in Aluminum Siding Industry in 1963
Vinyl replacement window industry has been target of deceptive sales practices
The vinyl replacement window industry was the first target of deceptive sales practices in Washington State

Remember the movie Tin Men with Danny Devito about high pressure sales tactic used in the 60’s selling customers door to door aluminum siding jobs? Although Danny Devito was hilarious in the movie getting pressured or deceived into making any type of purchase is not good.

Unfortunately if you think the days of the “Tin Men” (high pressure home improvement sales people) are over – think again. In Washington State Jack G. Zurlini Jr. (the Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Protection Division) is taking action against multiple home improvement companies selling vinyl replacement windows for unlawful marketing and sales practices (and the practices mentioned are not confined to the state of Washington). Here’s 3 questions to help educate and protect you against making a bad choice in contractors:

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:  

Project Spotlight: Adding a Front Porch Roof for Safety, Style, & Function – Cleveland Ohio

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Commercial Remodeling & New Construction, Exterior Remodeling

Front Porch Design Hip Style Roof Cleveland Ohio
Front Porch Addition Hip Style Roof Cleveland Ohio
Front Porch Roof Addition during construction with fiberglass columns and vinyl soffit
Front Porch Addition During Construction – Fiberglass Columns and Vinyl Soffit for Low Maintenance

The problem: Rich (a homeowner in Cleveland Ohio) had a problem – the lack of a front porch roof caused the concrete stoop to get icy and unsafe in the winter, the front entry door was hard to open, and the look of the front entrance was not as nice as Rich would like. Rich wanted to make sure to do this project with low maintenance materials to minimize time he might need to spend maintaining the roof and porch structure.

The solution: Steve Vlk (Project Manager from Cleveland Design & Remodeling) designed a hip style front roof which was attached to the existing home. Steve recommended materials for the project to compliment the architecture of the home and to keep the structure as maintenance free as possible for Rich. Here are the specific decisions Rich and Steve made to achieve a safe, stylish, and better functioning front porch design.   

Project Spotlight: Commercial Windows Using Glass Block and Vinyl Replacement Windows at Martindale Electric – Cleveland Ohio

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

Old Factory Window Martindale Electric
Old Metal Framed Factory Window
Glass Block & Vinyl Replacement Windows in a factory building
Commercial Glass Block & Vinyl Replacement Windows

One of the biggest money wasting places in old factories is existing wood and metal framed windows. These old windows are often single panes of glass, have frames that are rusted or rotted and offer an easy point of entry for vandals. When Martindale Electric called Cleveland Glass Block they were looking for a window solution that would combine high security, reduced heating costs and operability to provide air flow for their factory workers.

The solution: A mixture of operable vinyl double hung replacement windows with durable glass blocks.

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