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Blog for amazing home improvement and remodeling projects in the Philadelphia area. | June 28, 2017

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Shower Systems For an At-Home Spa

October 24, 2016 |

Who doesn’t want to end their day at a spa, relaxing their worries from the day away? What would happen if we told you that we can bring the spa to your home? There are a number of different shower systems that can provide you with the same relaxing, peaceful feeling as if you just ventured out to the spa!

Shower Heads for Anyone

In looking at shower heads and systems, there are a number of different types: standard wall-mount, top mount, sliding bar, and handheld.

  • A standard wall mounted is directly mounted to a wall in the shower and is typically installed at a height specific to the client’s preference to allow for ease of use while showering. A shower head can range from simple design to elaborate.
  • A top-mount shower head is affixed to the ceiling in the shower and usually best accompanies a rainhead shower to give the full access of bathing in a rainforest!
  • A sliding-bar shower head allows for each user to adjust the shower head height based on their personal preference along a wall-mounted base.
  • A handheld shower can be in addition to the wall-mounted shower head, where it can be removed or stationary depending on client preference as well.

In terms of finishes, typically all shower systems are available in polished chrome, satin nickel, and antique bronze.

Wall-Mounted Shower Head

In the simplest form, a shower can contain a wall-mounted shower head and temperature valve as pictured:

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This allows for a shower head to distribute water and a temperature gauge to have the user turn the dial to the desired temperature and water pressure.

Handheld Shower

A tier above a simple shower head and temperature gauge, an additional item can be added for better utilization from the user, a handheld shower. A handheld shower can be installed in addition to a shower head. This handheld shower can be of great use to clients with children, pets, or just for easier use of water distribution. A handheld shower can exist on either a bar where it has the option to move vertically or can be affixed to a stationary bracket, respectively.

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A popular option for the handheld shower is to have this affixed to the wall with either a stationary or moveable bracket and have an overhead rain head shower:

Alternate Nozzles and Sprays

In further upgrading your bathroom getaway, a shower can have alternate nozzles and sprays for steam and alternate water distribution.

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Feeling Overwhelmed?

We understand choosing the right shower experience can be overwhelming with all of the different options available, so here are a few items to think about to help narrow down the options:

  • Think about your dream shower/bath experience and make it come to life!
  • Adjustability to all users of the shower is key, so if you are on the fence about choosing between a stationary or removable handheld shower, go for the adjustable option so each user is able to customize their spa-like experience
  • If you see a product that breaks your budget, try to narrow down what specific features you like about that fixture and look for those features in alternate models below your budget

Overall, coming home after a hard day’s work is most rewarding if your bathroom space helps you to relax and separate yourself from daily life. So why not have the spa treatment in your own home?

Convenient and Stylish Shower Storage Solutions for Any Modern Bathroom

October 21, 2016 |

Storage space is hard to come by in a bathroom. Even with a recessed medicine cabinet, a linen closet, and vanity space, I still have trouble storing items for daily use. More storage solutions are hidden right in front of your eyes! Focusing on just one area, the shower/tub, we can already point out 4 points of added storage space: recessed shower niche, in shower bench seating, wire baskets, and corner shelving. Check out how you can maximize your bathroom storage below!

Recessed Storage Niches

Recessed storage niches can maximize storage greatly. While updating your walk-in shower and/or tub in your bathroom, we get so excited over the new finish material opportunities but often neglect to design specified storage within the shower for ease of use. Niches are great at accommodating small and large shampoo bottles, soaps, and anything else one needs in the shower. Compared to any other storage solution in a shower, niches do not take up any additional space. A typical recessed niche is 12” W x 24” H. The 12” width allows the recessed niche to fit between vertical studs behind the wall which are typically 16” apart. The typical depth of a recessed niche is 3.5”, which is the width of a wood stud. Niches can range in width and height but should be discussed prior to starting so as to make sure any plumbing or electrical wires are not in the way as well as supporting of cut stud if make larger in width.

Recessed niches should be installed in interior walls compared to exterior walls. Materiality for these niches have to be taken into consideration as well. Niches can be tiled and can be framed with different edges to retrieve a different look. For example:

Metal edges on a niche vs. bullnose tile.

Metal Edges on a Niche

Metal Edges on a Niche

Bullnose tile

Bullnose Tile

 

Recessed niches can also span to large widths such as:

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Wide Niche

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Niche

Wire Baskets

Wire baskets can be installed to either corner of the shower. These are meant to provide secured storage for soaps and shampoo/conditioner bottles without them slipping and falling off shelving. This is an alternative to recessed storage niches and pie shelves. These items are typically finished to be rust resistant. The wire baskets allow for moisture to completely escape, allowing for no moisture build up. Wire baskets provide a more contemporary/modern aesthetic to any shower.

 

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Wire Baskets

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Wire Basket

Corner Shelves

Corner shower shelves are an additional alternative to recessed storage niches and fixed wire basket storage. Pie shelves are meant to be installed in the corner of showers and tubs. Unlike the wire basket storage, pie shelves come in a few different materials such as marble, glass, and stone.

Shower corner shelving can come in the shape of a 1/4 pie and triangle size. Typically more 2-3 corner shelves are installed in a shower to allow for ample storage space for multiple users in the shower. A corner shelf can even be installed as a seat and/or foot rest for shaving. Heights for installation of pie shelves are based on their specific users. If you are designing for clients that are shorter or taller than average, it is recommended you install based on the needs of your client. As a point of reference, the corner shelves should be installed within minimum and maximum reach distance for the user, 36”-60” off the finished floor.

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Pie Shelf

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Shower Corner

Shower Benches

Shower benches can become another means of storage within a shower. Typically they need 15” in depth to allow adequate enough space while the seat comes 17”-19” in height from the finished floor. Corner benches are typically installed out of the spray area from the shower head, anchored at 18” from the ground so that feet can be tucked underneath. At this height, this bench can be utilized at a foot rest for shaving or lowered storage for shampoo/conditioner bottles.

Typical materials utilized for shower benches ranges from stone to wood, specifically teak. Shower benches can opt to fold for storage while showering and while not in use can store itself for added space in the shower.

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Stone Shower Bench

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Teak Wood

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Wall Mount Teak Seat

With all these storage solutions possible in just the shower/tub area alone, how can you just choose one? Each offers their own unique solution. When choosing some of these solutions for your bath remodel, don’t forget to consider what you seem to be missing in your current space and what can appeal to all users of the new space!

Renovating a 1920’s Normand-Style Kitchen

October 6, 2014 |
Original Floor Plan of a 1920's Normand Style Kitchen

Original Floor Plan of a 1920’s Normand Style Kitchen

An outdated kitchen in a gorgeous 1920’s Normand-style home was in desperate need for a total revamp to bring it into the 21st century. The hexagonal terra cotta floor was uneven and the ceiling light boxes made the short ceiling seem even more oppressive. Fresh white cabinets and streamlined design brought this once dark and crowded space into a modern arena great for entertaining.

A peek at the original plan drawn in 1920 shows the traditional servant quarters kitchen complete with a hearth for cooking, a pantry for dishes/cleaning, a cold cellar storage, and servant stairs. This original layout had been modified by the previous owners, but the structure still posed some issues for this renovation. The old stairs created problems when installing the recessed lights as the structure limited even positioning of the lights. 5” recessed cans were used instead of the standard 6” diameter when the lighting plan grew to include 4 extra lights. The once was cold cellar was framed with the one-and-a-half foot thick exteriors walls to help regulate temperature, which limited options for storage in this area. Keeping the existing walls as is, a shallow pantry was created with a sliding barn door painted in an accent color that acts as pantry storage in a new modern way.

Before and After Modern French Country Kitchen

Before and After Modern French Country Kitchen

With 4 entrances into this kitchen, the cabinetry lines became chopped up with distinct areas for cleaning, prepping, storage, and cooking. A large central island topped with a blended walnut butcher block, accommodates informal dining for 6, and provides plenty of room for prep work.

With the crisp white lines of Shaker style cabinetry, modern stainless steel fixtures and appliances, with a warm grey large scale tile underfoot and a light washed out grey on the walls, this kitchen sets its foot firmly into the modern day and age but lends a touch of its French Country Farm style into its architectural features and accessories.

Before and After of new 48" wide range

Before and After of new 48″ wide range

Top 10 Reasons You Should Remodel Your Kitchen

March 6, 2012 | 1

Kitchen remodels are always one of our top requests at dRemodeling. We take pride in all of our past Philadelphia kitchen remodel projects, and always look forward to taking on new kitchen remodel challenges.

Does your kitchen need an update? View these top 10 reasons you should remodel your kitchen to see if it’s time to remodel!

 1.    Your Kitchen Is Too Small. Need more storage space? Hate the cramped layout of your kitchen? Remodeling is a great way to update your kitchen and create more space. An experienced contractor can expand your kitchen to give you the look and the square footage you want.

2.    More Products Than Ever. With interior design and home remodeling at the forefront of many company’s minds, there are more kitchen products than ever to choose from. Get a custom island, new cabinetry, the latest backsplashes, modern countertops and beautiful appliances in your kitchen with a great remodel.

3.    Your Kitchen Is Outdated. If your kitchen is stuck in the 1960’s, it can really make your whole house look outdated. Updating your kitchen to a new design and layout will bring your home into 2012.

 4.    Huge Return on Kitchen Remodels. Kitchens are one of the few places you can see a huge return on investment with a remodel. Time and time again, a little spending in the kitchen can up the resale value of your home.

5.    Improve Your Cooking. If you love being in your kitchen, you’ll most likely cook more often and enjoy the space much more. Improve your cooking, and your quality of life, by making a few adjustments to your kitchen with a quality remodel.

6.    It’s a Quick Project. Hiring quality contractors that have experience with kitchen remodels means that your kitchen renovation will get done quickly and affordably. An average kitchen remodel takes just a few weeks at most.

7.    You Can Save on Energy Costs. When you decide to upgrade, go with appliances and lighting fixtures that will cut down on your energy costs throughout the year.

8.    You Just Want a Change. There is nothing wrong with deciding that the countertops you once loved just aren’t your style anymore. Make some quick adjustments to things like counters, backsplashes, flooring or cabinetry to instantly change the look of your kitchen.

9.    You Want a Gourmet Kitchen. Have you gotten really interested in cooking? Do you have a lot of guests over and entertain in the kitchen? It may be time to upgrade your standard kitchen to a gourmet kitchen. Remodeling your current kitchen into your luxury dream kitchen will make you feel like a master chef.

10.  Additions Are Necessary. If you once had no need for an eat-in kitchen, but now have a need for this extra dining space, you may want to remodel and make some additions to your kitchen. Other additions could include an island, a pantry, a wet bar and much more.

 

Remember, if you’re ready to give your kitchen a facelift, contact dRemodeling for all of your Philadelphia kitchen remodeling needs. 

Customers that miss appointments

January 2, 2012 |

My thoughts on customers that miss appointments

Kitchen and bathroom remodeling is my passion and business. Thus, as a through professional, I value my time. However, last week, it seems I got stood up 3 times in a row when I visited the client’s destination for an assessment of the place. Even though I understand that emergencies happen, the least they can do is give me a call from wherever they are. I mean, it is actually not asking for too much, isn’t it?

Though it is not that I have never missed an appointment, it does happen sometimes, but I ensure that I call up and apologize. Though this is extremely rare, I must admit that it happens. However, when I miss an appointment, customers post negative reviews, which even though cannot be completely justified. But what do I do?

I talked it over with my friends and other business owners and some of them had a simple solution- charge the customer. They said I need to mention it over the phone conversation to ensure that the customer knows that they need to be there at the given time. I usually drive for over an hour to reach a destination and nobody’s home…isn’t that a sheer waste of my time?

I know what my friend suggested was a good idea but I’ll need to think it over. Another suggestion that can save me valuable time is to hire a reminder service. Some of these services charge to remind the customers of their appointment with the company. A day or two before the scheduled appointment, the live attendants give a call to the customer to remind them of the appointment, so that when I reach there, they are home.

Another friend suggested that I call before I leave home so that at least I do not waste me time travelling up and down without doing any business. Customer satisfaction is my priority but I need to ensure that the potential clients understand that as a business owner my time is equally precious.

However, I think giving a new customer a benefit of doubt is essential as I have a service business but just like, Dave, another business owner said, “Dan, if that happens a second time over, just drop the client because they are not serious about the remodeling so no point putting in more time.”

It is natural that some people have hectic schedules and so the mess-up happens, but for some people, it is sheer inattention to details. These are just my thoughts on the subject, what do you think works the best?