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60 is the new 60. Why I view my ‘new age’ as a blessing not a curse.

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

Opening Image - 60 is the new 60 - why I view my new age as a blessing not a curse | Innovate Building Solutions | Reflection Blog | #Turning60 #BirthdayCelebration #RemodelingBusiness

Warning – Although this is ‘normally’ a remodeling blog – I sometimes choose to ‘go reflective’ on lessons life is teaching me. This post falls in this category.

The funniest post I read on Facebook (the social network for old people who aren’t ‘snap-chatting’ and ‘tick-tocking’) on my 60th birthday (note – my birthday was February 13th and it’s still not too late to send me some ‘cold hard’ cash on my GO FUND ME page) was from my former roommate and fellow Carnegie-Mellon alum Terry Slade. Terry summed it up best when he said….

Happy Birthday Mike. 60 is the new 60. Deal with it.

I know 60 is supposed to be a ‘milestone’ birthday everyone dreads. However, for me it was a birthday I was (silently) looking forward to. And it was for a reason my wife always found strange, but I sometimes resemble that remark.

You see I was looking forward to turning 60 and it’s not because I would start to ‘evolve into’ the older ‘distinguished look.’ I didn’t need to evolve into the ‘older’ look because I’ve ‘arrived’ at that milestone a long time ago. Drug Mart has tallied up sales for MANY bottles of $9.99 Just for Men dark-brown hair coloring (now my secret is out) with the ‘special applicator brush’ to show for my futile attempts to reverse the aging process.

5 Practical (Yet Stylish) Tips to Kid Proof Your Hall Bathroom on a Budget

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

PInterest - Opening Tips to Kidproof your Hall Bathroom and Shower | Innovate Building Solutions | #BathroomRemodel #ShowerProject #KidProofShower #ShowerSafety

When you saw the ‘kids’ hall bathroom while visiting the model home in your last neighborhood it looked so nice. The décor was perfect. Everything was fresh and new.

Then the inevitable happened…

Your boys started using the bathroom!

Over the years the fiberglass tub/shower became yellowed with dirt you couldn’t get out…no matter what you tried.

The wood trim deteriorated because the boys never fully closed the shower curtain.

And you can’t forget the water stains you ‘enjoyed’ (sarcasm intended) when the water they let lie on the floor after showering seeped through the tile floor (and floor backer board) and ‘graced’ the ceiling below.

The model home bathroom WAS appealing, but it was NO match for the ‘battle with your boys!’

So now that you’re remodeling (or building a new home) you’re determined to have a hall bathroom design which will stand up to the beating your kids will inflict on it. You’re also determined you won’t blow your budget. To do this you’ll need a space which is built ‘kid-tough.’ You’ll need a space which isn’t an embarrassment you BEG house guest not to peek into.

You need a space which will ‘win’ the battle of the boys (or the girls – don’t want to be ‘too’ sexist here). The question becomes how do you make this (seemingly) impossible dream happen? Here’s 5 practical tips to ‘kid proof’ your hall bathroom without busting your budget.

9 FAQ’s about Solid Surface or Cultured Stone Shower Pans

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

Pinterest - FAQ about solid surface or culture stone | Innovate Building Solutions | #SolidSurface #BathroomRemodel #CulturedStone

Finding a grout free shower pan which won’t fade, crack or can work in an odd shaped space isn’t easy.

I can tell you this. Homeowners HATE, HATE, HATE grout, yet still feel like they get ‘stuck’ with a shower pan with teeny-tiny grout joints they must maintain day after day after day because they can’t find a better alternative.

This dislike of grout – combined with faded (or worse yet- cracked) shower pans is what makes homeowners, builders and remodelers alike start digging into cultured stone or solid surface shower pans. When they start this research, the questions come fast and furious. However, the ‘answers’ are buried in self-serving web sites from manufacturers who are only ‘hawking’ their products as the greatest things since slide bread or tofu ribs (OK – I was just checking if you’re still reading with the tofu ribs reference).

As Colonel Nathan Jessup (from my favorite movie A Few Good Men) would say, I know you want the truth about cultured stone shower pans, and quite frankly I think you CAN HANDLE THE TRUTH.

The goal with this article is simple. I want to give you the truth about solid surface and cultured stone shower pans. Sure – our company does sell two lines of this product. However, we also sell acrylic, and ready for tile pans. So, all of our shower base ‘eggs’ (so to speak) aren’t in the same basket. We aren’t motivated to ‘push’ any one product. Our goal is to educate and guide you to your best choice.

Here’s the answers to 9 frequently asked questions about solid surface pans you need to know.

9 Hot 2020 Bathroom Design Trends Which Aren’t Only for the Rich and Famous

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

Pinterest - hot bathroom trends | Innovate Building Solutions | #BathroomRemodel #RemodelingTrends #HotTrends

I don’t know about you, but the ‘Bathroom Design Geek’ in me loves reading hoity-toity Interior Design magazines. I love drooling over bathrooms created for the rich and famous.

You know the projects I’m talking about. They have so much space – the bathrooms are as large as your master bedroom. These projects were birthed in the minds of high-end designers. They’re built by the most-expensive, finest general contractors in town. These bathrooms ‘live’ in neighborhoods where the cars in the garage are worth more than your house.

If only you had the money for this type of luxury. Wouldn’t that be special???

OK – now back to reality.

You love, love, love these fashion-forward looks, but also know (after the slap of reality hits you across the face), you have neither the space nor the budget to make these designs work for you.

The key question is (as it always seems to be), how can you get a champagne look with your ‘Budweiser-like’ budget?

You know your bathroom today is a complete disaster. It has dirty grout joints, dated tiles, yellowed fiberglass wall surrounds and tired plywood-based vanities the original home builder slapped in. To make matters worse your spouse is oblivious to your current (bad) state of affairs.

You’d like to transform your ‘ugly duckling’ into a hot, trending, 2020, bathroom design. However, you can’t drain every dollar out of your still way-too-thin kid’s college fund either. So, how can you get a cool remodel or bathroom addition on a tight budget?

In this article I’ll look at 9 fashion-forward 2020-bathroom design trends you can take advantage without completely draining (OK – that’s a bad bathroom pun, I know) your wallet. Let’s look at the trends.

9 Dumb Mistakes You Can Avoid Choosing a Custom Shower Pan

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

dumb mistakes you can avoid choosing a custom shower pan | Innovate Building Solutions | #CustomshowerPan #CustomShower #BathroomRemodeling

Unless you’re a remodeling contractor, buying a custom shower pan is a once-in-a-lifetime experience (or you might say, chore). However, here’s the problem. Making the wrong choice can not only be dangerous to your pocketbook but could cause you to ‘spring a leak’ into the floor below.

If this happens, you’ll be ‘re-remodeling’ (OK – it’s not a word, but plenty of people have lived through this nightmare) and redoing the whole doggone thing. Not a good day (or should I say weeks or months to get the shower back up and running).

So, whether you’re hiring a professional bathroom remodeling contractor or going to roll up your sleeves and DIY the job, you don’t want to be the victim of a shower base mistake which costs you an arm and a leg (and causes you to dip into your first-born-son-or-daughters college fund).

In this article I’ll layout out 9 dumb mistakes you need to know so this won’t happen to you.

Without further delay let’s check out the mistakes.

9 Stylish Bath and Shower Product Ideas You Need So You Won’t Want to Pull Your Hair Out Anymore

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

Stylish bath and shower accessories you need dont pull your hair out | Innovate Building Solutions | #StylishBathroom #ShowerAccessories #BathroomRemodel #InnovateInsights

You can complain about it, but you can’t avoid it. You may be asking, what is ‘it?’ ‘It’ is your cramped bathroom which makes you want to pull your hair out. It’s makeup you’re rustling through drawers to find. Its towels jammed into your linen closet. It’s grab bars which belong in your local hospital but are staring you in the face. It’s plastic shower caddies which resemble Dollar Store ‘specials’ – which in fact they were.

Your bathroom products (i.e. accessories, vanities, storage ‘systems’ – if you can call them that) are a source of frustration. They’re ugly, unsafe and uninviting.

The question is, what can you do about it? Can you transform your not-so-hot bathroom (or at least spruce it up) with better designed (and better made) bath and shower products? Can you create a time-efficient place to get ready during your morning scramble (while managing the craziness of getting kids off to school and yourself ready for work)? Can you organize and accessorize your bathroom so it’s actually a room you enjoy using (now that would be a Ripley’s Believe it Or Not moment)?

While this sounds impossible, it’s not as crazy as you may think IF you use the right products in the right places.

Not sure what those ‘magic’ products are? Well – you’ll take a journey to learn 9 bath and shower ideas in the article below. We’ll dig deep (if you dare) into your vanity drawers, linen closets and dare-I-say-it – shower enclosures – to get practical ideas to ‘spruce up’ the seemingly ‘un-spruce-able’ room – your bathroom.

7 Ideas for a Multi-Generational Bathroom You Won’t Mind Sharing with Your Crazy Family

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

7 ideas for a multi generational bathroom | Innovate Building Solutions | #BathroomRemodel #Rollinshower #HandicapShower

A multi-generational family evolves

Mom’s mobility isn’t what it used to be. She has begrudgingly moved in with you.

Then 2 months later your 20-something son Brandon decided to ‘re-enroll’ in college. To afford school he’s looking to ‘boomerang’ back to your house. While you had to say yes, you’re silently thinking, “Ready or not, here he comes again!

And while you love your daughter Morgan, and really love your granddaughter Olivia, you’re hoping she’ll still be able to make it financially on her own after the divorce. While it would be fabulous to spend more time with Olivia, you already have your hands (and house) full helping Mom, worrying if your house is safe for her and cleaning up (again) after Brandon’s stuff laying all over the place!

Now what to do about your house and bathroom since you’ve become a multi-generational household?

And just like that your time as a ‘free and easy’ Empty Nester is over. You’ve evolved into a multi-generation household. Whether this allows you to rest easy out not, know you’re not alone. You’re part of a growing trend. As a matter of fact, 20% of United States households (or 64 million people) live in a multi-generational household (which is 2 or more generations under one roof).

And this would be fine IF your existing home (and bathroom) was designed to work from grandkids to grandparents…but it’s not. Adding on an ‘in-law suite’ or A.D.U. (Accessory Dwelling Unit) would be swell – if you have the lot space or the money to make it happen. You know this ain’t happen’. In addition, you know your master bathroom and hall bathrooms are not exactly the safe (or stylish Better-Homes-And-Garden-Esque) places you wish they were. Not hardly.

The LAST THING you want do to is spend money remodeling (and making it safe for Mom) and the new bathroom reminds you of the hospital you’re trying to keep her out of. Plus ‘institutional-looking bathroom’ isn’t exactly the hot phrase your realtor will want to use when trying to sell your home years down the road.

So, here’s the challenge (and you have no choice but to accept it).

How do you create a multi-generational bathroom which is stylish, safe and works for everyone in your ‘expanding’ household?

Below I’ll give you 7 practical – yet cool – ideas to transform your hall or master bathroom into a multi-generational space you won’t mind sharing with your crazy family. Let’s check out these ideas.

Grout Problems? Here’s 7 Foolproof Ideas to Eliminate Them from Your Bathroom

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

Grout Problems and how to fix them | Innovate Building Solutions | #GroutProblems #TileShower #GroutJoints #bathroomremodel

Dark stains and mold ‘greet’ you in your morning shower.

You ‘get to’ mix up another crazy ‘brew’ of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and oxygenated bleach to try cleaning the dirt and yuckiness (not a word, but I’m using it anyway) from your shower and bathroom tile walls. You feel like you’re in 10th grade Chemistry class mixing bubbling elements once again (and that’s NOT a good thing).

Your nylon scrub brush is not supposed to be your BFF, but this tile shower is forcing you to ‘hang out’ together all the time.

Let’s call grout in your bathroom what it is.

NASTY.

It’s the enemy of the people. And that person is YOU!

You’ve told your spouse (or significant ‘utter) is no uncertain terms, you want grout joints eliminated, expunged, blown up (have I stated this strongly enough?) in the bath remodel you’re getting ready to do. However, the question is, how can you do this without using cheap plasticky products which look like dollar store specials?

That’s the challenge this article will tackle head-on. First, I’ll identify 7 places tile (and his evil stepbrother, grout) are used in bathrooms. Then I’ll give you practical (and stylish) alternatives to eliminate tile. Let’s dig into the 7 ideas.

15 Things Smart Bathroom Remodelers Never Do

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

smart bathroom remodelers never do | Innovate Building Solutions | #Remodeling #BathroomRemodel #SmartBathroom #BathroomRemodels

I know what a pain it is finding a bathroom remodeling contractor. As a matter of fact, I talked to a homeowner this week who said the wait time for a reputable contractor in her town was 2 years! Wow – 2 years, that’s crazy!

However, whether you’re doing a complete gut and bathroom redo or a makeover of your alcove with a bath to shower conversion, you’re investing a lot of money (likely in the range of $6,000 to $60,000). The stakes are high. If you hire an idiot, you could end up stranded with a job half-done trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces.

You need a smart bathroom contractor. Not necessarily one with the cheapest price, but one who knows their stuff and delivers value. You need a professional who knows how to run a project, work with you and is an expert in products and processes to get your job done efficiently and effectively.

So, in this tight labor market where do you find a needle-in-a-haystack contractor? During the quoting process how can you know if they’re someone you should work with, or can turn into the contractor from H-E-double-hockey sticks as your kids used to say?

Read 15 things smart bathroom remodelers never do so your money won’t go down the drain (OK – bad bathroom remodeling pun, but I’m sticking with it).

9 Questions You Must Ask Before Choosing a Waterproof Shower Wall Panel System

Written by Mike Foti on . Posted in Bathroom Remodeling

questions you must ask before choosing wall panel systems | Innovate Building Solutions | #WallPanels #BathroomRemodel #RemodelOnABudget

So, you’ve had it up to here (wherever ‘here’ is at) with your nasty brown or moldy tile grout joints or dingy yellowed fiberglass one-piece shower surround.

You’ve decided a waterproof shower or bathroom wall panel system is the way to go. However, the more you’ve compared what’s in the market the more confused you’ve become. What’s the best choice? Is it cultured marble and granite, acrylic or a PVC composite? Is it Kohler Choreograph or laminate wall panels? Too many choices. Every manufacturer, installer and supplier say there’s is THE BEST. What should you believe?

As a guy whose company installs regionally (in Cleveland Ohio) and supplies nationally a wide array of wall panels I wish I could tell you there was one system which trumps (oops – sorry for using this politically charged word) them all. If only it were that simple.

Here’s the reality.

There is no perfect wall panel system.

As I like to say, “Wall panels are like people. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, just like you and I (although my wife of 35 years – Rose – thinks I don’t have ANY weaknesses…. OK, I lied!).

So, in a nutshell here’s the only thing which matters.

At the end of the day (and at the beginning of the day for that matter), the perfect system is the one which works for you.

The best choice will fit your budget and décor, has features you love and is simple to install and clean.

My goal in this article is straightforward. I’m going to present 9 questions you need to ask, so you’ll make the best selection for you.

I’ll give you a money-back guarantee (oops, I forgot I didn’t charge you any money) these questions will help make the selection process easier for you. And if they don’t call our company and DEMAND more answers. Me and my team would be delighted to help you further (and my team will be less wacky than me – that’s a bonus for you).

So, let’s look at the 9 questions.

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