Thursday, June 15, 2017

How to Select a General Contractor for My Home Remodel

When hiring a general contractor, it is very important to make an informed decision. The contractor ensures that the project takes place as you want it to, stays on budget, keeps subcontractors accountable and that the finished project is exactly what the homeowner wants. For these reasons, among others, it is critically important to ensure that the homeowner checks the credentials of the contractor.

People often question what the best way to identify a good general contractor is. There are a number of ways to do so. Here are some basic rules that one can apply to every situation.


States have very specific requirements when it comes to licensing a general contractor. Because of this, people that have a state license are going to be a high-quality contractor. Over the years, people who masquerade as a contractor, do a terrible job and are unable to meet the stringent requirements that are essential for licensing.

One of the first questions that a homeowner needs to ask a contractor is whether or not they are licensed. The next question to ask is to see the license. Never, ever, hire somebody who does not have an up-to-date license and cannot show it to you.


It is also critically important that the contractor has the necessary insurance. Carrying insurance is a sign of a contractor who takes their work very seriously, and will also be sure to have the safety precautions put in place. As with licensing, insurance companies have very specific requirements that a general contractor must meet in order to carry a policy.

In addition, hiring someone with an insurance policy helps to safeguard the homeowner in the event of an accident. Asking a contractor to provide their insurance information is a good way to help a homeowner decide if a contractor is right for their home remodeling project.

Estimates and timelines

One of the most critical functions that a general contractor performs is making sure that the project stays on budget, and on time. Asking a contractor to provide a detailed estimate is an important step in deciding which contractor is the best fit for a homeowner's project. A good contractor will always provide a detailed estimate with a breakdown of cost in materials, and give an estimated time frame of when the job can be completed.

It is critical not only to ask for this information but also to hold a contractor to those standards once the job has begun. It is important to understand that sometimes delays and added expenses can occur, however for the most part a contractor knows exactly how long the job is going to take, and what it is going to cost.

Finally, always try and work with a contractor that you get along with and can communicate with. This is essential when asking yourself how to select a general contractor for a home remodel. We are an experienced contractor and can provide all the information you need to be confident in our abilities. Call us today.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

What are Bathroom Remodel Options on a Budget?

If you are interested in completing a bathroom remodel, give us a call and we can make recommendations for the most effective remodel. Remodeling a bathroom is an excellent idea because it is an easy way to make a significant improvement on the aesthetics and functionality of the home. While a small space, bathrooms get an incredible amount of use. The more functional bathrooms are, the easier life becomes. Unfortunately, older homes were designed with bathrooms that lack in storage and functionality. Fortunately, we have the solution.

Try to stay on a budget

Being on a budget may seem challenging, but with proper planning, a bathroom remodel can still take place. The key to saving money often comes down to knowing what the homeowner wants and working with a contractor who is willing to make suggestions on how to save on materials and labor. Bathroom remodeling projects tend to get expensive when there are cost overruns.

This happens when homeowners change their mind about what they want or decide to use different materials close to the install date. These types of changes often create the need to find things quickly. Moving too fast means that there is no opportunity to look for sales or discounts. Forward planning is critical for saving on these costs.

Money saving tips

#1. Choose materials wisely

Bathroom remodels can include a variety of materials, which make a significant difference in the cost of the project. For example, one can purchase a shower or tub surround in a single piece. This is easy to install and does not require a tile specialist. While tile is incredibly attractive, a custom tile shower can take days to install and require the assistance of an expert. This increases the cost of materials and labor, making a difference in thousands of dollars on the overall project.

Other ways to save on materials is to shop around. Discount and bargain stores will often run specials that create an opportunity to buy things like the vanity or lighting at a serious discount. Sometimes even signing up for a store credit card can reduce the total cost. Just look for a contractor, like us, that is willing to allow you to purchase the materials.

#2. Select the right contractor

The contractor one hires for a bathroom remodel is critical. Contractors set their own prices and can charge whatever they want. It is wise to get a bid up front that includes the cost of labor and materials. Homeowners need to also budget for any cost overruns. A contractor that does not acknowledge that there may be cost overruns is likely to present a surprise bill at the end.

There are always things that come up unexpectedly. On the plus side, budgeting for the unexpected equals cost savings if everything goes according to plan.

#3. Add finishing touches later

When on a tight budget, it can be wise to add certain finishing touches later on. For example, the overall remodel can be completed but beadboard can be added to the walls or larger trim can be added at any time.

These are things that increase the cost but are easy for a homeowner to do on their own at any time.

Schedule an appointment

Learn more about your options and how to complete a bathroom remodel on a budget by calling our office today.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Design Matters When Choosing Granite Countertops

For several years now, granite countertops have been all the rage with people remodeling their house or building a new home. And why shouldn't they be? Granite adds a certain level of sophistication to the kitchen and elevates the way a home looks. In addition, when a homeowner puts in granite countertops they are automatically increasing the value of their home should they choose to sell the home.

Homeowners have questions

However, for first-time home buyers or people who are in the first steps of a kitchen remodel, they often have questions. These questions can include how can they get a great deal, be sure of the contractor and know that the granite they are installing is of the highest quality?

These are great questions to ask because investing in granite is a significant investment and one that should not be taken lightly. It is highly recommended that any homeowner who is thinking about having granite installed makes sure that they work with a well reputed certified installer, and also ensure that the granite they are getting is high quality and matches the decor of the kitchen. It is too much of an investment to be haphazard about it.

Work with certified contractors

When it comes to important pieces of a home or kitchen remodel, it is important for homeowners to understand the value of working with a professional and certified contractor to install granite. While there may be some savings in do-it-yourself, the quality of the workmanship will not stand up to the value of granite countertops.

In addition, granite is extremely difficult to work with, considering how hard it is to cut and how heavy it is. Therefore, it is not a do-it-yourself job. In addition, when a homeowner works with a certified contractor who understands quality kitchen and bath installations, they can rest easy that the contractor is going to work with genuine suppliers. We can ensure the highest quality of granite for the home.

This saves the homeowner from ever having to worry about what quality of granite they are getting, but also are able to carefully price out the market to ensure that they are getting the best bang for their buck. Working with a professional allows the homeowner some peace of mind and also gives them the most professional installation possible.

Design matters

At the end of the day, the reason why homeowners want to get granite countertops is to increase the aesthetics and also to add value to the home. For this reason, design is critical, and it is important that the right type of granite be chosen. Granite comes in all kinds of colors, patterns and styles.

For the homeowner working with a professional, this decision becomes far simpler, as a professional who believes in quality kitchen and bath installations is going to work with the design scheme to identify the best piece of granite for the job while also ensuring that the homeowner can fit it into their budget.

Make an appointment to view different types of granite patterns and to select what you think will look amazing in your home.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Ways to Make Your Kitchen Remodeling in New Orleans "Kid Friendly"

As contractors, we can complete your kitchen remodeling in New Orleans, giving you the kitchen you have always dreamed of. The kitchen is very often the heart of the home, especially for anyone who has a large family and likes to cook. Children require three meals a day plus potentially three snacks and dessert. This means that trips in and out of the kitchen could be happening every hour.

It is also a place for spending time together, working together and even doing homework. As such, the kitchen can be a place that is beautiful, comfortable and fully functional. If yours is not, it is time to speak with us about remodeling.

Kitchen remodeling in New Orleans: Tips for making your kitchen "kid friendly"

We understand that "kid friendly" can have a negative connotation. People tend to assume that if it is good for kids, it is not good for adults. This is not the case with our remodeling projects. We can create a space that is beautiful but also works well for the family. In fact, incorporating kid friendly ideas into a remodel typically makes life easier for mom and dad. Here are some ideas to consider:

#1. Lower snack drawers

Every time a child needs a snack, they are most likely to ask mom and dad for help. This is mainly because they cannot reach or are asking for permission. We can install deep lower drawers that one can fill with snacks, drinks, water bottles and other treats. This way, parents do not need to run to the kitchen every time someone needs a drink or snack.

#2. Install an easy water dispenser

Giving children the ability to get their own water saves parents time while also making it easier for children to remain hydrated. Imagine how much easier it can be for children to grab their own water after playing outside or when waking up at night. This is possible with careful placement during the remodel.

#3. Select the right materials

Certain cabinetry and counter materials are easier to clean than others. We can make recommendations regarding the durability and cleanliness of various materials when discussing the remodeling project. Making the right choice at this stage will reduce the risk for little hands causing stains or spills making permanent spots on the counter or cabinets. The ability to easily clean off marks is important with children.

#4. Touchless faucets are helpful

Prevent the spreading of germs by installing touchless faucets so that children can wash their hands without needing to touch the handle.

#5. Install modern safety features

There are certain safety features that we can incorporate into kitchens via the placement of objects, use of new appliances or even "hiding" things that are dangerous.

Call us for help with your kitchen remodeling in New Orleans

These are only a few of the possible options available in a kitchen remodel. We can help find the best options to make your kitchen remodel beautiful and friendly for kids. To discuss your options in further detail, call and schedule an appointment.

Monday, April 17, 2017

What To Look for When Hiring General Contractor in New Orleans

Are you looking for general contractors in New Orleans to complete your home remodel, extension or build you a new one? If so, this could be one of the more important decisions you ever make. The skill of your contractor will directly influence how well you love your home for years to come. With that in mind, here are things to consider:

#1. Experience matters

Any contractor one hires needs to be able to show pictures of past jobs for examples. Most, including ourselves, will have a book of photos for easy access that we show to any prospective client. This is critical because it is important to see the caliber of work and to ensure that the style is similar to what the client envisions. While contractors have creative license and can certainly do things to appease clients, there are certain things that tend to be consistent multiple projects.

It is important to make sure that those things are in line with your vision.  If none of a contractor's designs are of interest, make it clear what you were looking for and ask if any samples are available that are more in line with what has been discussed. It may be that the sample book just contains things that the majority of people like but there are other examples available.

#2. Being comfortable is important

A general contractor in New Orleans is likely to be on the job for months, even a year if building a new home. Being able to openly and comfortably have discussions about ideas, taste, and materials is critically important. During initial conversations, it should be clear if this comfort level exists between homeowner and contractor. If it does not, it is best to look for someone else. Again, without the ability to speak freely, the results are unlikely to be exactly as desired.

#3. Check reviews

Find out what others have to say and what their experiences have been by reading client testimonial provided by the contractor along with reviews found online. Keep in mind that some people will be unhappy no matter what but, in general, reviews tend to provide insight into what can be expected.

#4. Ask to see their license

A general contractor in New Orleans should be able to produce a copy of their business and contractor's license. This is a critical document required by any professional contractor. In fact, someone cannot simply decide to be a contractor one day. There is a process that must be gone through with the state and that includes becoming fully licensed and insured.

=Anyone unable to produce these documents is not a legitimate contractor, even if they are doing work around people's homes. The risk in not hiring a licensed contractor is that if something goes wrong there is less legal recourse and one mus ask the question, why does this contractor not have a license?

Schedule an appointment

As a licensed general contractor in New Orleans, we would be happy to help with any home remodeling or construction project you have in mind. To learn more about our services or see what we have done in the past, give us a call.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Tips from a Kitchen Contractor in New Orleans on Preservation

If you want to remodel while preserving the architecture of your home, call to speak with our kitchen contractor in New Orleans. Preserving existing materials and architecture inside of a home is actually far more challenging than conducting demolition, tearing everything out and installing new. It is faster to demo and can often save money which is why most contractors will offer that initially instead of discussing preservation techniques.

However, it is certainly possible to preserve a lot of the materials and character of an older home. It simply requires the homeowner's patience with the process and investing in a contractor with the experience to preserve historic materials.

Preservation tips from a kitchen contractor in New Orleans.

First, there must be a plan between homeowner and contractor. In most cases, not everything will be worth preserving or capable of preservation. For example, if something is too fragile to move or rotting, we may not be able to safely move it without causing damage. This makes it important to go over all the existing materials in the home and make note of what to preserve.

It is also necessary to have contingency plans in place. Once the process begins, things will be discovered and it may require some adjustment. For example, lighting fixtures may be salvaged but require new components or wiring. Having a plan for how a situation like this will be addressed makes the process able to continue without causing massive delays.

Quality takes time

Slow and steady is the name of the game when it comes to preserving materials. It is critical to hire a contractor who can carefully remove the existing cabinetry from the walls or restore it in place. This requires extensive patience but is entirely worth it to preserve the character of an older home. Creativity is also necessary when remodeling a historic kitchen.

Finding ways to incorporate modern appliances, update plumbing and wiring while still preserving the cabinetry, flooring, look and feel of the kitchen, requires not just skill but extensive creativity. As a contractor, we have the creativity necessary to identify solutions and work toward a successful outcome.

Many of the homes we work on are historic. We treasure them and the opportunity to bring new life to spaces without taking away from the historic charm that makes them beautiful.

We can visit your home and create plans as a kitchen contractor in New Orleans.

Getting started is as easy as calling and scheduling an appointment with our office. We have experience in these types of restoration and remodeling projects and can add valuable insight to the overall process. We will need to visit the property and discuss what the goals are for the project prior to making specific recommendations.

We are thoughtful and methodical during this process, understanding that there is only one opportunity to remodel a historic home correctly. After all, once the original materials are gone, nothing can replace them as perfectly as our team.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Features to Include in Your Custom Cabinets

Custom CabinetsCustom cabinets are incredibly useful when it comes to storage and function. Custom cabinets tend to be far superior to stock cabinets. Instead of being large open spaces, we can break custom cabinets into specific sizes that are useful for the appliances, tools, and solutions one uses on a daily basis. These cabinets also make organization easier than before.

From an appearance perspective, we can customize custom cabinets for any style or design that the customer prefers, with a finish or color that best suits the design. One of our designers can provide suggestions during a consultation. In the meantime, here are some features to consider adding to your cabinetry.

#1. Spice racks

Rather than hunting for the perfect spice in a crammed cabinet space, install a spice rack that is narrow and easy to pull out. Homeowners can store more spices here and easily see what is available with one glance, rather than needing to dig for it.

#2. Create a utensil cabinet

Similar to the pull-out spice rack, one can pull a utensil cabinet out with relative ease. Essentially, we create holes in a drawer-like space so that round utensil holders can slide in and out with use.

#3. Add pan separators

Do not just throw all of the pans into one large cupboard. Instead, install separators to help the pans remain organized and easily-accessible. No more clanking pans when it is time to bake.

#4. Built-in garbage and recycling

Hide the unattractive and smelly garbage by installing a built-in garbage system. We can build cabinets that accompany the trash and recycling bins in a discrete fashion. This way, no one will have to look at the trash bin in the middle of the kitchen.

#5. Pull-out counter space.

If your kitchen is rather small when it comes to square footage, one may need additional counter space. An effective method to gain additional square footage is to install surfaces that pull out under the countertops. When doing something like baking, people can pull out the counter space to place the mixer on or the hot cookies coming out of the oven.

#6. Install organization

When a person pulls out an open drawer it is likely to be a mess because it is one large space with no possibility of separating the contents. To solve this problem, we can install parts to organize each drawer organization tp create cubby-like spaces. Then, everything can go in a specific cubby to make a convenient space.

#7. Wine storage

Designate an area in the kitchen for cold and room-temperature wine storage. When designing the layout of custom cabinets, we can create spaces for the client's current favorites.

The sky is the limit

There is no limit to what a creative homeowner, and design team, can do when having custom cabinets installed in your home. Any requirement, suggestion, idea or concern can be addressed because these cabinets are literally being created for you. The key is taking the right amount of time to consider what will be stored in the kitchen, how it will be used, and what functional elements are necessary to create a fully functional space. This is something our design team can help with. Call today to get started.