Healthy Home is where the Heart is

Healthy Home is where the Heart is!

Your healthy home is a great indicator of your health and happiness. Make sure that guests and family see the healthiest and happiest you when you meet with a SemBro Designs and Remodeling designer who can share with you the amazing ways that your home can be improved. SemBro Designs and Remodeling is the Columbus Ohio Angie’s List four-time winner of awards in the categories of Best Local Construction Company, Best Contractor, and Best Kitchen and Bath Remodeler. If we get stuck doing the same old things in our home that don’t seem to be working for us anymore, SemBro Designs and Remodeling can offer a new perspective and many fresh ideas for giving our home more of all the things we love.

For a home to look and function at its best for every occasion of life, whether for the parties, the new business ventures or the harder times in life, there are some key elements that play a big role. A few important essentials are the layout and lighting of the home. If there are obstacles to an easy flow in the home it will impede everything from easy clean-up to sincere communication and often it is an unknown culprit in the unhappiness of homeowners. With the lighting in a room, it is essential for the illumination to be sufficient, well-placed and easy on the eyes, as well as befitting the general style of the interior of the home. SemBro Designs and Remodeling has an eye for making every space as inviting, cozy and unique as you hope it to be.

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The kitchen is another spot in the home where it is easy to become lost in the chaos, and with a reliable, experienced design and remodeler, you can get back to a gorgeous kitchen where you are able to grow best. SemBro Designs and Remodeling knows the transforming power that an updated kitchen has on the whole environment of a home. Whether you are having a picnic at the park on a beautiful Columbus day or grilling in the yard for friends and family, it is all accomplished so much easier in a kitchen that makes clean-up a breeze, features clean lines and drawers that work for you, not against. Discover the beauty of your kitchen with a SemBro Designs and Remodeling kitchen makeover!
Being happy with the home is often something homeowners think can’t be achieved, until they learn about all of the amazing options there are for improvement from Columbus Best Local Construction Company, SemBro Designs and Kitchen Remodeling.


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Your Home is Your Castle by Design

Your Castle is your Confidence

With the homes of friends and family, it can be easy to see the many ways that their design is efficient or not for their lifestyle.  A fresh eye always adds new perspective on any matter, and a home where people live, work and play can be no different.  This year, make it your resolution to accept the input regarding your home from outsiders.  The number one best way to do this is to get the opinion of a professional such as SemBro Designs and Remodeling. Voted Columbus Best Local Construction Company, Best Kitchen and Bath Remodeler and Best Contractor with the Union Tribune for the fourth straight year, SemBro Designs has proven to be a leader in the home improvement sector of Columbus, Ohio area.

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With a second opinion on the structural efficiency, general layout and flow as well as the design impression that your home exudes, trust the professional knowledge of SemBro’s award-winning designer.  She has the capability to assess a home based on the myriad of other home designs she has planned and witnessed, and can offer much fresh insight into how new visitors feel about your home.  With the tools SemBro Designs and Remodeling has at their use, no project you can think of is too big or too small to affect an amazing transformation in your treasured home, and SemBro’s designer can get all the pieces into play perfectly.

When considering the efficiency and aesthetic appeal of your own home, kitchen, or bath design, consider some of the following essentials.  There must be appropriate lighting that is not too harsh and also is not too dull or warm that it makes one feel sleepy.  Also, a focal point in any room in question is a must so that the eye does not become overwhelmed with many competing points of interest in the same space.  The materials you employ in the service of your flooring, counters and cabinetry, all tell something about your personality, tastes, passions and goals so choose wisely!  And last but not least, your home design sends a big message to your friends and family about the attitude that is most prevalent in your home and life.  For the most peace-loving, relaxing and calming atmosphere, choose clean-cut lines, appropriate hues and add the personal touches that make the home all your own.

See how SemBro Designs and Remodeling can help transform your home into one you are confident in no matter who comes to call.

Choosing the Right Windows for Your Kitchen Remodel

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Some of the hottest home updates for 2015 according to HGTV and Trulia is the kitchen remodel.   When considering your kitchen remodel there are a lot of things to think about-counter tops, cabinets, flooring and appliances but don’t forget the windows.

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According to Remodeling.com 2015 Cost Vs. Value Report, window replacement – whether wood, vinyl or fiberglass – provides a good return on investment compared to other replacement projects, increasing the value of your home financially and aesthetically. So whether you’re making small updates or completely gutting your old kitchen, including window replacement in your project is a smart addition.

There are a number of elements to keep in mind:

Style

When choosing a window that goes above the sink choose one that is easy to reach and open.  An awning, sliding or casement is a smart choice.

Awning windows – which can be pulled in or pushed out – are perfect for ventilation, which can be especially helpful in a hot kitchen. Since hot air from the oven or stove typically rises, awning style windows perform the best when placed close to the ceiling or above eye-level.

Sliding or casement windows – which use a crank out method for opening and closing – are two good options for hard to reach areas, like above the counters or behind the kitchen sink. Pella motorized blinds and shades are also ideal for hard to reach window locations and can be controlled with the touch of a button.

Material type

With window placement above counters or sinks, moisture and staining can occur, so choosing an easy-to-clean material like vinyl or fiberglass, is equally important. Fiberglass windows can withstand extreme heat and cold, are energy efficient and can have the same quality look of painted wood. Vinyl windows are easy to care for, don’t require painting or staining, and stay looking great for years.

However, if wood makes more sense for you and the style of your home, then make sure to select a finish that will hold up against stains and moisture, and be prepared to do a little more cleaning and up-keep.

Features and options

Whether your new kitchen is traditional, modern or rustic, your new windows should complement the space. Window designs offer a variety of features including colors, hardware and grilles. Pella’s Designer Series windows even offer a between-the-glass solution that keeps blinds and shades located behind sinks from getting splashed. With so many options to choose from it’s easy to design a window that’s unique to you and the style of your kitchen.

8 Steps to Surviving a Remodel

One of the hardest parts of a kitchen remodel is making do without a fully functioning kitchen for the duration. This article has some smart ideas on how to make the process as smooth as possible!

Living through a kitchen remodel isn’t always fun, but these steps will help you work around a kitchen in disarray

 

Congratulations — the kitchen remodeling job you’ve planned for months is finally ready to begin! Now comes the hard part: making do without a fully functioning kitchen for the duration. There’s no escaping the inconvenience, but with some smart planning, it doesn’t have to wreak havoc on your household. Follow these tips to make the construction process as smooth as possible.

1. Designate a kitchen stand-in. Eating out all the time gets tiresome, not to mention the strain it can put on your budget. And no matter how much takeout you bring home, you’ll still need a spot to make school lunches, pour a bowl of cereal or brew coffee. Set up a temporary kitchen somewhere that’s out of the way of construction.

If you’re lucky enough to have a morning kitchen or a guesthouse, you can turn that into food-prep central. Or outfit a corner of the basement, garage or workroom with a few portable tables, standalone shelves, storage crates and folding chairs.

2. Winnow down your kitchen gear. During a remodel, your cooking and eating routine will be disrupted, and no matter how much you love to cook, ambitious meals will be a challenge.

Keep things simple and pare down to the kitchen tools you really, truly can’t live without. Be merciless — how often are you going to use your food processor or waffle iron? Stash the essentials close at hand and store the rest.

3. Plan meals around small appliances. Portable workhorses such as slow cookers, microwaves, toaster ovens, electric griddles and skillets, hot plates and coffee makers can get you over the mealtime hump.

Move your fridge to your temporary kitchen, if possible; if not, invest in a minifridge and a chest freezer (check Craigslist or Freecycle), or borrow them from a friend.

4. Stock the pantry with disposables. Without your usual spot to wash dishes, you’ll be getting creative (the bathtub, an outdoor hose, a cooler full of sudsy water).

Make life easier by stocking up on recyclable or biodegradable plates, napkins, cups and utensils. You’ll streamline cleanup and cut down on the stress of your temporary displacement.

5. If the weather cooperates, put your grill to work. Here’s a secret: Your grill can do almost anything your oven can. Need to roast meat or vegetables, or bake pizza? Look to the grill. You can even channel your Scout days and use it for foil-packet meals, pans of biscuits and rolls, skillet pies and cobblers and, of course, s’mores.

6. Keep a stash of nonperishable snacks. When you’re starving but can’t face putting together a full meal in your makeshift digs, snacks can save your stomach.

Peanut butter, crackers, dried fruit or fruit leather, canned goods, trail mix and more can make for quick meals in a pinch.

7. Leave town for a short time, if you can. If you’re considering a vacation or need to schedule a business trip, now might be a good time, assuming you’re comfortable with the remodeling work continuing in your absence. Bonus points if you’re visiting relatives — you might score a home-cooked meal or two.

8. Remember the big picture. In the grand scheme of homeownership, this is but a short period of inconvenience amid years of kitchen bliss. Keep the process in perspective and treat it as an adventure. When you’re hard at work in your sparkling new kitchen, the temporary hassles will fade from memory.

Have you made it through a kitchen remodel? Please share your best survival tip below.

8 Tips for Hiring a Contractor

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Sometimes it makes sense to hire a professional contractor rather than take on a job yourself. But choosing the wrong contractor can lead to delays, subpar work, and even legal problems. This guide will help you choose a contractor and ensure a good working relationship.

A contractor could be in your home and around your family for days, weeks, or even months while changing the way your house looks and functions. So if you don’t like a contractor for any reason, don’t hire him or her, says Tony LaPelusa, past president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).
“The biggest thing is choosing the right contractor,” he explains. “If somebody says something that’s even an embellishment, it’s enough of a reason not to trust him and move on to the next contractor. You have to trust the contractor 100 percent, not 95 percent.”

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1. Make Sure the Contractor is Licensed, Bonded, and Insured

Having a license and insurance demonstrates a contractor’s credibility and knowledge. The license shows that contractors have taken an exam and proved they know building codes and processes. A license minimizes the risk to homeowners of getting ripped off. To be sure, get the contractor’s license number or look up general contractors registration.
If a contractor doesn’t have insurance and a worker gets hurt on your project, you could be liable. The same goes with accidents that damage your next-door neighbor’s home. If you have scaffolding that fell and damaged the property next door, you want the contractor’s liability to cover the cost of that damage.

Get proof of insurance.

2. Pick a contractor who specializes in your project type

It’s important to research contractors to know if they have experience in a type of project. Today, so many projects are regulated and code-specific that you want someone who knows the details of what’s required.
The professionals often take classes and research the kinds of projects they undertake, so they’re experts in their fields. This enables them to address potential problems and perform the work correctly. A good Remodeler knows how to anticipate the nuances of the work.
If you’re asking several contractors for a bid, make sure each one is using the same set of plans and specifications, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) advises on its website:

“You can’t effectively compare estimates from contractors who plan to use different brands of building materials.”

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3. Have a Detailed Contract in Place Before any Work Begins

The contract should cover costs, brands of items being installed, approximate start and finish dates, and the complete set of drawings being used with written specifications. There’s never too much detail in a contract. If a specific brand for a part hasn’t been agreed upon yet, the contract can include allowances instead, such as “up to $500 for a front door.”
A lot of homeowners talk to multiple contractors to get bids on the job, and then they can’t remember who told them what. The contract spells out everything. A contract is really an expectation setting, right down to what color the hinges are. It’s all about expectations. If we agree on everything upfront, then there are no surprises.

4. Find out Who’s Performing the Work

Will the person you’re hiring do the work himself, or will it be subcontracted to someone else? It’s nice to know who will be showing up on your doorstep, and large jobs like additions and major kitchen remodels often involve multiple subcontractors, such as electricians and plumbers. General contractors often subcontract specialty jobs, like roofing or vinyl siding, to other pros.
Having subcontractors is sometimes a good thing. They have a more thorough knowledge of their part of the job. It all goes back to hiring a contractor you can trust because he’s never going to put a bad subcontractor on your job.

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5. Give the Contractor Guidelines for Working In or Around Your Home

If you don’t want the workers showing up before a certain time, staying past a certain hour, using your bathroom, or you need to have the project finished by a specific date, tell the contractor before you hire him. The contractor may not want or be able to accept the job based on your parameters.
The contractor has to know what your limits are and what your expectations are. If people don’t want you starting until 9:30 and want you out by 4, that project—instead of taking 30 days—might take 45. That means it might cost additional money.

6. Know Your Responsibilities

You may have to move everything out of a room so it can be painted or remove a fence so a concrete truck can be driven into your backyard.
SemBro Designs, for instance, doesn’t move items out of a room because they don’t want to be responsible for broken TVs or stereos. Because we recommend a furniture mover, we hold a pre-construction meeting with homeowners to discuss their roles. We set all of those expectations in writing. It may be that you need to take everything off those six walls and move the furniture out of the room.
The biggest fear, to be honest, could be losing someone’s dog or cat. It’s good to know upfront where you’re putting the cat or dog.

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7. Look at Work Samples

This lets you see a contractor’s handiwork and may spark ideas for your project. Samples are more important than references. They allow you to see the quality of our work. You can see the designs we came up with and how creative we are.
Looking at a contractor’s past projects also lets you see the variety of work the company has performed, such as contemporary, Craftsman, or historic designs.

8. Think Local

Area contractors who have been in business for a long time are usually reliable and safe bets for projects. If they didn’t do good work in your community, they wouldn’t still be around. You should look for an established business location with a show room on site. You could check the Better Business Bureau for any unpleasant complaints, how long they have been accredited with the BBB and what rating they hold. Shopping locally is the best approach. The company is involved in the community, the workers are probably local, and if you have a problem later, a local contractor is going to be on top of it.


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