Bathroom Remodeling

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Bathrooms are telling about the age of a house and they can make a significant difference when selling a house. We have a track record of updating bathrooms and we can also make them senior friendly. This includes custom walk in showers, safety grab bars and wheel chair accessibility. Oregon Trail Remodeling can make the master bath a work of art. We have extensive experience in the design and construction of modern bathrooms which have state-of-the-art steam shower systems. We have also done total make-overs of bathrooms in older homes to enhance the value and sale of the property.

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Fire, Water and Mold Damage

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We have specialized training and experience with insurance claims. Some companies use us exclusively for fire and water damage restorations when insurance claims are involved because of our consistent quality and fair pricing. We bill directly to the insurance companies using the most up-to-date Xactimate software which is the industry standard.

Our team recognizes that a water or fire loss is a disruption to your family and lifestyle, and we empathize by moving quickly and efficiently making sure we do it right the first time and within budget. We want you to return to your life as quickly and as painlessly as possible. With each insurance damage claim, we continue to maintaine our outstanding reputation with homeowners and insurance companies.

How to Prepare for a Kitchen Remodel

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So you’ve decided to have the kitchen remodeled, and you think your work is done. Not so fast. Even if you have talked with a kitchen contractor and a designer, there is still some work you need to do to ensure that your remodeling process runs smoothly. This isn’t much work, but this preparation will help all parties involved.

Packing Dishes

A spare bedroom is the best place for your dishes. Basements and cellars are fine also, except that you have to walk them downstairs then back up again. If you have enough room in whichever spot you select, don’t think that you have to pack them in boxes. Lay the dishes out on the floor or on beds.

If you do pack them in boxes, pack first the items you will use the least. Try to place any breakable items on the floor so that they can’t fall anywhere.

Start packing the items that you won’t need in your kitchen one week before the project will begin. By the night before the project starts, you should have moved the last of the dishes out of the kitchen cabinets. Once the project is completed, be sure to wash all of the dishes before putting them away.

Protecting Your Kitchen Floors

In some cases, the kitchen floors have already been redone before the kitchen remodel begins. Whether you have tile or hardwood floors, buy some carpet scraps from a carpet store and lay them over the kitchen floor. A smart idea is to tape them down with duct tape so that they won’t slide, but be careful doing this on hard wood. The adhesive might damage the finish.

If you have tile, or even for hardwood, consider getting a carpet pad to go underneath. Your kitchen contractors will be moving and using heavy objects that might mar, crack, or otherwise damage a finished floor. It doesn’t matter what these scraps look like. They are purely functional.

Contractor Parking

Your contractors and sub-contractors will have to park somewhere near or on your property. If you have things that might be in their path to the house, your cars for example, move them elsewhere. You can always move them back when they leave. This will let your contractors know as soon as they arrive that you are doing the extra little things to make their job easier.

Moving Items of Value

On your refrigerator there are school pictures, good grades, postcards from friends, wedding announcements, and other things of value that you have placed where anyone can see. Don’t forget to move these things, even if the contractors are just going to move your refrigerator into another room. Also, if there are any trinkets, plants, or other items on the kitchen window or on the window ledge, move them as well.

Kitchen Prep Goal

The overall goal is two part. First, you want to move everything of value or anything that can be damaged someplace safe. Second, you want your contractors to have an easy place to work in, where they don’t have to worry about tiptoeing around certain things or damaging others. Kitchen contractors work best when they don’t have to think about anything but their own work. By taking these steps, and any others you may have come up with, you will ensure a smooth start to the remodeling process.

3 Kitchen-Saving Renovations that Cost Less Than Your First Car

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Updating your kitchen doesn’t have to be a money-sucking headache. In fact, you can give your kitchen a new lease on life in no time for around $2,000. Here’s how:

Update your paint. A new coat of paint will spruce up any kitchen. Apply a lighter shade to open up a cramped space or choose a deeper hue to add a splash of class to dated décor. How much does a kitchen-saving coat of paint cost?

Install a new backsplash. Old paint and peeling laminate can drag a kitchen down. Update the room with an awe-inspiring backsplash. Classic subway tile, modern glass tile and useful (but beautiful) stainless steel are great ways to change up the look of your kitchen.

Add stylish hardware. Install a new faucet or cabinet pulls in your kitchen for a quick-but- gorgeous update to your kitchen. Swapping out your cabinet pulls is a simple DIY job — all you’ll need is a screwdriver and a little time. Installing a faucet requires some know-how.

How to Avoid Choosing the Wrong Front Door

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Good looks and value — what’s not to love? Not only does replacing your front entry door kick up your curb appeal, it’s a solid investment with a decent payback.

Steel Entry Door

If you’re looking to save money, a steel door is a great choice, especially if you have the skills to hang it yourself.

A simple, unadorned steel door can sell for as little as $150 (not including hardware, lock set, paint, or labor) and typically runs as much as $400 at big-box retailers.

Steel offers the strongest barrier against intruders, although its advantage over fiberglass and wood in this area is slight.

Still, the attractive cost of a steel door comes with an important compromise: It probably won’t last as long.

A steel door exposed to salt air or heavy rains may last only five to seven years. Despite steel’s reputation for toughness, it actually didn’t perform well in “Consumer Report’s” testing against wood and fiberglass for normal wear and tear.

With heavy use, it may dent, and the damage can be difficult and expensive to repair. If your door will be heavily exposed to traffic or the elements, you may be better off choosing a different material.

Fiberglass Door

Fiberglass doors come in an immense variety of styles, many of which accurately mimic the look of real wood. And if limited upkeep is your ideal, fiberglass may be your best bet.

Fiberglass doesn’t expand or contract appreciably as the weather changes. Therefore, in a reasonably protected location, a fiberglass entry door can go for years without needing a paint or stain touch-up and can last 15 to 20 years. Although it feels light to the touch, fiberglass has a very stout coating that’s difficult for an intruder to breach; and its foam core offers considerable insulation.

Fiberglass generally falls between steel and wood in price; models sold at big-box stores range from about $150 to $600.

Wood Exterior Door

Wood is considered the go-to choice for high-end projects; its luxe look and substantial weight can’t be flawlessly duplicated by fiberglass or steel — though high-end fiberglass products are getting close. If your home calls for a stunning entry statement with a handcrafted touch, wood may be the best material for you.

Wood is usually the most expensive choice of the three — roughly $500 to $2,000, excluding custom jobs — and requires the most maintenance, although it’s easier to repair scratches on a wood door than dents in steel or fiberglass.

Wood doors should be repainted or refinished every year or two to prevent splitting and warping.

If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of your door as well as its energy efficiency, you can purchase a solid wood door certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which assures you that the wood was sustainably grown and harvested.

Tracing the environmental impact of a particular door — from manufacturing process to shipping distance to how much recycled/recyclable content it contains — is quite complicated and probably beyond the ken of the average homeowner, notes LEED-certified green designer Victoria Schomer. But FSC-certified wood and an Energy Star rating are an excellent start.

A final note on choosing a door based on energy efficiency: Because efficiency depends on a number of factors besides the material a door is made of — including its framework and whether it has windows — look for the Energy Star label to help you compare doors.

Plant Trees to Save Energy and Grow Value

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The most tangible bang from your bark comes from energy savings. Trees properly placed around your home can reduce your air conditioning needs by 30% and save 20% to 50% in heating costs, according to the USDA Forest Service. The U.S. Department of Energy says three properly placed trees could save you $100 to $250 a year. Plus, says the Forest Service, healthy, mature trees add an average of 10% to your home’s value.

Do’s and Don’ts to Get the Most Value from Trees:

Do:

  • Plant deciduous trees on the west side of a house to provide cooling shade in the summer and warming daylight in the winter they lose their leaves.
  • Plant evergreens on the north side of your home to block icy winter winds.
  • Think about the tree’s full-grown size and shape before you dig.

Don’t:

  • Plant below power lines. Falling trees and branches can cause power outages.
  • Plant too close to your home’s foundation. Roots can damage the foundation or block sewer lines.
  • The wrong tree in the wrong place could actually lower your home’s appraised value if it’s deemed hazardous, says Frank Lucco, a real estate appraiser with IRR-Residential in Houston.

 

7 Ways to Mimic Moonlighting in Your Yard

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  1. Highlight trees. Whether illumined from below or given presence by a light mounted in the tree itself, trees make stunning features.
  2. Use uplights. Uplighting is dramatic because we expect light to shine downward. Used in moderation, it’s a great way to highlight architectural and landscaping features.
  3. Have a focus. The entryway is often center stage, a way of saying, “Welcome, this way in.”
  4. Combine beauty and function. For example, adding lighting to plantings along a pathway breaks up the “runway” look of too many lights strung alongside a walk.
  5. Vary the fixtures. While the workhorses are spots and floods, designers turn to a wide range of fixtures, area lights, step lights, and bollards or post lights.
  6. Stick to warm light. A rainbow of colors is possible, but most designers avoid anything but warm white light, preferring to showcase the house and its landscape rather than create a light show.
  7. Orchestrate. A timer, with confirmation from a photocell, brings the display to life as the sun sets. At midnight it shuts shut down everything but security lighting. Some homeowners even set the timer to light things up an hour or so before dawn.