Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Non-TV Remodel

I flipped on the TV and tuned in that popular home improvement station—yeah, you know the one.
Suddenly, I was transported to California, land of sunshine and perfect weather, watching house flippers discuss what it would cost to remodel a wreck of a bathroom.

Now this bathroom was in a neighborhood of near million dollar houses, where granite was old school, a basic landscape plan would make even the fattest of wallets clamp closed in disbelief, and where the neighbors looked like Ken and Barbie—every last one of them.

They called in their contractor, authentically and reassuringly garbed in jeans and a t-shirt, met him at the door, and the viewers were treated to all the scripted non-scripted grunts and groans at every new discovery.
Finally, the contractor stands back, rubs his chin, crosses his arms, and with feet planted firmly on the warped subfloor of the trashed and flooded house, nods his head back and forth and pronounces it might cost up to $6000. The flippers gasp, the camera cuts to private shots of the husband and wife team as they wrestle with this potentially budget-busting surprise, and then, the commercial break. Oh the drama, the intrigue, however will they do it?

I clicked off the TV.

Did you know that just the tubs in houses like that can be more than $6K? Forget everything else.

Yet when people call, they seem to be convinced that any remodeler could recreate that miracle for $6K, well, actually less, because we are in Wisconsin, and things should be cheaper here. Right?

Wrong. Truth be told, I can’t figure out where they get their numbers. They are laughably unrealistic.
That doesn’t mean that a lot can’t be accomplished in a bathroom with $6K. In fact, you can have some major upgrades for a lot less, and if you are interested we can take a look at your home and let you know how much difference an investment like that can make.

But it won’t necessarily buy you a new bathroom with in-floor heating, a copper tub, a shower that threatens to drown anyone less than 6 feet tall, and the most expensive imported tile.

You see, what they don’t show you on those shows are the months and months of planning that go into creating the perfect space. And then they don’t show you the insanely talented and hardworking craftsmen that work around the clock to get it done in the TV studio’s time frame. And they really don’t show you the down to the pennies budgets that a real contractor works under.

We will show you, though. We take the time, we follow your budget, and we build to your specifications. It might not be done in 24 hours, and it might not be that special European tile, but there will also not be the surprises, drama, and the overall budget mystery.

Do you want a well-built, budget responsible, space designed just for you? Give us a call.

Designed for your Life.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Sump Pump Challenge

Sometimes we run into things that need a bit of extra attention. And typically these challenges deal with things that can't go wrong, because if they do, they could cause a lot of headache.

Anthony and Abe ran into one such problem this spring.

Like most other homeowners in Wisconsin, these homeowners had a sump pump. But unlike most other homeowners, this sump pump ran non-stop, and in the winter there was always the risk of freezing.

We first added a battery back-up, because the only thing worse than worrying if your sump pump is going to keep up to the storm is knowing it won't because the power is out. Then we dealt with one of the reasons for the large amount of water: the existing pipes were dumping the water right back down the foundation wall.

The homeowners wanted the problem resolved, but they didn't want to see downspouts and they didn't want to worry about freezing.

Here was our solution.

We buried the pipe at the house, while still allowing water to escape in case of a spring freeze/thaw cycle. And then we went to work on the aesthetic considerations.

We avoided the downspout by burying the pipe and creating a rubber outlet at the edge of the existing landscaping. We screened the pipe to keep the critters out, and the rubber material makes the pipe mower and weed-eater resistant for even the most enthusiastic of mowing companies.

Do you need a creative solution for an ongoing problem? Give us a call...we might have the answer.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fixing up the Nest

The birds are starting to move back to town, and they are gathering just about anything they can find to build their nests.

They don't seem to be very picky about color, or even material...not like us...

We know what we like, and we know what we don't like.

So why is it so hard to decide how to decorate our own nests?

Try this quiz, and please let us know if inspiration hits and you need a little help...