Common Renovation Mistakes

1

Not doing your homework

Renovating your home should never be a swift decision. Home improvement projects cost both time and money- requiring you to have a handle on your tight budget and hectic schedule. When it comes to selecting a general contractor, most homeowners “got a guy” or they “know someone” in the biz. If you know and trust your general contractor and you can count on the quality of his or her work, then by all means make the hire! Nevertheless, I would ALWAYS recommend getting three quotes on a project before making any decisions. In the long run, you could save yourself a lot of money by finding a better deal. Make sure your contractor has liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance. These are a must!

2

Under-prepping for the project

If you are a DIYer, then this one is particularly imperative! Let’s say you decide to paint your cabinets and casework: You’ve marked the time out on your calendar to sand and paint the cabinets, and your personal budget is on track for sandpaper, paint, brushes, drop cloths and rags. On paper, the project seems simple, but as you begin laying down the drop cloths, you realize that you will have to buy new hardware for the cabinets. You then realize what an inconvenience it is to have to remove all the old hardware and detach the cabinet doors. You then have to make your third trip to Lowes to buy painters tape so that the new cabinet paint doesn’t drip onto the adjacent walls. And lastly, you realize the pain and inconvenience of having to remove all your dishes, silverware, pots and pans from the cabinets for an entire week. Lesson to be learned? In nearly every home improvement project- 80% is PREP. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail!

3Busting down walls

Homeowners love the “open concept”. It usually adds natural light to your home, improves traffic patterns and adds space. Some homeowners decide to bust down walls themselves without educating themselves or inspecting for load bearing walls. If wall is load bearing, you can’t just bust down the studs. In most cases you will need to build a temporary wall, and then install a load-bearing beam. For most homeowners, to get the open concept they want, electric lines need to be rerouted, HVAC ducts need to be changed/hidden, and floors/ceilings need to be patched.

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Failing to contextualize your design

If you have made the decision to renovate part of your home, beware of failing to contextualize your ideal design! Although you may have the money to mimic HGTV’s dream kitchen, it might not be a good fit in your home. Just because a design looks good in someone else house does not mean it will fit the character of yours. A matchlessly modern looking kitchen may stick out like a sore thumb if the rest of your home has a classic look. Be intentional to promote the current qualities of your home while incorporating new design ideas. Classical and modern can go together!

Choosing a Backsplash

It seems as though we have been doing a lot of kitchen backsplashes lately! It a simple way for homeowners to transforming the look of their kitchens within a relatively short amount of time (usually just 1 or 2 days)! In comparison to other kitchen remodeling options (new appliances, cabinets, flooring, etc.), adding a new backsplash is a relatively cheap way to give your kitchen a quick makeover.

The challenge is that there seems to be an INFINITE number of options. With so many styles for backsplashes, how do you choose the right one for your kitchen? Below are some common backsplash trends that will hopefully give you some inspiration/direction for your next home improvement project.
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You can almost never go wrong with CLASSIC SUBWAY TILE! Many backsplash options these days are unique/flashy, but not necessarily timeless. Subway tile is modern, yet classic- as it has stood the test of time!
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SQUARE MOSAIC TILE is a popular option these days. Mosaic tile backsplash can really spruce up a kitchen that seems bland. They can come in any color/texture imaginable!
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STACKED STONE backsplash will give any smooth-surfaced kitchen a much needed “accent” of texture. Homeowners also like stacked limestone for a lighter option.
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Although, METAL TILE backsplashes were primarily used in commercial kitchens, homeowners love the functionality and modern look.
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SOLID GLASS backsplashes are also popular because of their soft-reflective appearance and easy-to-clean surface.

Residential Rehab- #before & #after

Our most recent project is a duplex located on the near east side of Indianapolis.

– Each side of the duplex has 1,680 square feet!

– 10 minute drive to IUPUI’s campus

– A 6 minute drive to Mass Ave

– 5 minutes away from Monument Circle

 

The before pictures are the unfinished side we are currently working on. The after pictures are from the finished side of the duplex that is already completed.

Dream Kitchen “Must-Haves”

With the holiday season already upon us, it is that special time of year when homeowners are disillusioned by the design and layout of their kitchens. The holiday season means hours upon hours of prepping, cooking, hosting, and feasting. Undoubtedly, the kitchen is the most utilized room in the home, but a kitchen’s traffic flow grows exponentially during the holidays!

We at JK Construction Group understand that our homeowners are on a tight home-improvement budget, so unfortunately this blog entry will NOT be very helpful! But let’s just pretend that money didn’t exist… And let’s take a look at some of the latest “Dream Kitchen Must-Haves” that would take your Holiday Host(ess) status to the next level!

(***This post is intended to be sarcastic and does not reflect the opinions/views of JK Construction Group. If your home-kitchen actually has these features, then please know that we are all genuinely jealous***)

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1 |  Single Dish Drawers

With the latest design in eco-friendly dishwasher drawers, you will no longer need to wait several days for your oversized dishwasher to fill up! The latest models of single dish drawers claim to use less than 2 gallons of water per cycle. Imagine the convenience of not having to trip over those bulky dishwasher doors this holiday season!

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2 |  Deep Kitchen Drawers

Deep Kitchen Drawers- the greatest invention since the cabinet door. Homeowners these days want accessibility to anything and everything, so why should your kitchen storage be any different?? Wow your holiday guests this season with oversized kitchen drawers that could also double-up as a spare guest bedroom!

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3 |  Stove Faucet

Are you sick and tired of carrying that pot of water from the kitchen sink all the way over to the stove? The average person has to walk an entire 5 FEET to complete this risky task! Imagine all of the dangerous scenarios that could play out during your next trek. Please folks, don’t risk it this holiday season… get a Stove Faucet. Stove Faucets are a great feature for men to enjoy using once every three weeks when making spaghetti alone while the wife is out of town on business.

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4 |  Prep sink

“Why would I ever want to rinse of my veggies in the same sink I rinse off my fruit???” Let me tell you folks, if I had a dime… As if already having an extra faucet above your stove wasn’t enough, every homeowner needs a third, tiny faucet for rinsing those brussels sprouts that no one wants to touch this holiday season. All of your extended family will be veggie green with envy as they watch you, your aunt, and your uncle using three different kitchen faucets simultaneously!

5 Easy Ways to Cut Your Energy Bills

The Old Farmers’ Almanac is predicting that this winter in Indiana will be just as bad if not worse than last year! Cold temperatures and snowfall means we should all expect higher gas and electric bills. With the colder months approaching, JK Construction Group wants to help you find ways to cut your energy bills without freezer-burning your wallet!

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1 |  “Turn Down For What?”

This winter season, turn down your thermostat a few degrees and opt to wear a sweater. Following this simple tip can end up saving you $50-$100 on your energy bill. Don’t forget to take advantage of heat from the sun. Open the blinds on all of your south-facing windows during the day, and the sunlight will naturally heat your home. When you leave the home, turn your thermostat back 5-10 degrees for 6-8 hours. This will save you a significant amount of money on your heating bills.

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2 |  “Cover Me”

Have you noticed any drafty windows in your home this autumn? Imagine feeling a draft that is even 40-degrees colder than the current temperature outside! We recommend using clear, heavy-duty plastic sheets to cover your drafty windows. This will improve energy efficiency and reduce infiltration.

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3 |  “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”

Before winter comes in full force, add weatherstripping or caulk to seal air leaks around doors and windows. Seal any gaps found around your chimney and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.

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4 |  #NoFilter

Furnaces run like crazy all winter, and air is constantly moving through your air ducts. The job of your furnace filter is to catch dust, dander, and bacteria. A clogged filter means that your furnace has to work harder to push air through. By simply cleaning your furnace filter every two months, you can increase its efficiency by up to 50 percent.

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5 |  “Lover of the Light”

If you’re going to hang up lights this winter, use LED light strings to reduce energy costs. Replace your home’s incandescent light bulbs with CFL light bulbs. These bulbs use up to 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. CFL bulbs can also save you about $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb’s lifetime!

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Granite 101

Granite countertops are the hot-ticket item in today’s kitchen renovation projects. Homeowners are trading in their fake granite countertops to get their hands on the real thing. Choosing granite as your next countertop comes with many advantages. Granite adds value to your home, it is a more sanitary counter surface as opposed to laminate, it is much easier to clean than other surfaces, and granite can handle the heat of your pots and pans unlike other countertop options.

Now that you are 100% convinced granite countertops will be your next big home improvement project, the process of actually selecting your granite countertops can be overwhelming! With so many styles, cuts, colors, hues and edging options, we want to help navigate your options by covering the basics.

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Thinking About Finishing Your Basement?

Most unfinished basements have tons of potential! Maybe with your basement’s current condition, you can hardly image it being the focal point of your home, but a basement remodel can bring surprising results! Remodeling a basement is often way cheaper than building a home addition, and you don’t eat up yard space.

In planning your remodel, here are a few thoughts to consider:

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1| If your basement has a few windows, then place your main sitting area in the spot that gets the most natural light. Also, if you are planning on having a bedroom in your finished basement, then make sure there is access to a window for egress.

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2| Pay attention to the flow of your basement space. Is the TV located in a high traffic area that people will be walking through to get to other areas of the basement? Is the bathroom easily accessible, yet appropriately placed? Is the guest bedroom tucked away for privacy in case other people using the basement at the same time?

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3| Prior to construction, take a look at the height of your ceilings. Many codes call for 7 to 7½ feet of clearance. If you don’t have that height, ask your contractor if moving ducts and pipes might solve the problem. As a last resort, consider the option of digging out and lowering the concrete floor. But beware: this process is very complicated and very expensive.

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4| Prior to construction, it’s a good idea to put slip foam insulation sleeves over hot-water pipes in order to to prevent heat loss. Putting slip foam insulation over  cold-water pipes prevents condensation from dripping on the inside of your drywall or ceiling.

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5| If you have hardwoods on the first floor of your home, you may want to consider soundproofing your ceiling. Adding fiberglass batts without a vapor barrier between the joists along with two layers of drywall will isolate the drywall from the joists, eliminating vibration and thus minimizing sound travel.

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6| Have a game plan for lighting your basement. Even if you pour thousands of dollars into a basement renovation, pour lighting will discourage people for enjoying the space. Recessed cans broadcast lights are a great option. Space them close together to avoid dark areas in your basement.

 

CLICK HERE to see JK Construction Group’s basement remodels.