Laminate Vinyl Flooring Benefits for your Home

Laminate vinyl wood flooring magnificent grey mixture wood pattern SemBro Designs

Want to know the Laminate Vinyl Plank Flooring Benefits for your Home. You will find many benefits of laminate Vinyl Plank Flooring for your Ohio home. At SemBro Designs we stock many different styles and colors for you to choose from, come see for your self.

Laminate Vinyl Flooring Design

Convenient Packaging: Natural hardwood flooring comes in planks that are 8 or 10 feet in length, and sometimes even longer. By contrast laminate vinyl planks that simulate hardwood are sold in convenient 4 foot strips. They are also available in tile form in varying sizes.

Versatility: Today laminate vinyl flooring can simulate the look of dozens of different natural hardwood materials. The printing process can also reproduce the appearance of a variety of natural stone, and ceramic flooring materials. With EIR embossed in register texturing they are even able to somewhat reproduce the surface texture of these natural materials.

Cleaning: The wear layer of a laminate floor protects the material from stains and some spills making cleaning and maintenance relatively easy. Typically the only regular requirement is sweeping or vacuuming of the floor to remove grit and dirt which can slowly erode the floors wear layer over time.

Installation: The installation of a laminate vinyl click together floor is one of the easiest do it yourself flooring projects you can undertake. New innovations in the manufacture of this material have made it so you do not even need to use adhesive. You just roll down a sheet of underlayment material, and then snap the planks or tiles of the floor into one another. An entire room can usually be finished in just a day or two.

Underlayment For Laminate Vinyl Floors

Goes Anywhere: With the exception of carpet, laminate vinyl flooring can be installed over almost any existing floor in the home. As long as a moisture barrier is in place and water prevention measures are taken it can also be installed at any grade. This removes the hassle and expense of having to remove old flooring installations before installing new laminate vinyl materials.

The Elements: Laminate vinyl flooring is resistant to many of the outdoor agents that can discolor other flooring materials. The wear layer protects it from stains and smudges due to dirt and mud making it a great material for hallways and entryways. It also resists fading from UV light exposure making it popular in sun rooms.

Health: Laminate vinyl flooring is naturally resistant to the growth of mold and bacteria. It can also be treated with special allergen resistant and anti-bacterial coatings to make them even safer.

Expansion: The nature of the installation process means that the flooring material is not adhered directly to the subfloor. Rather all of the pieces of the floor are interlocked, or adhered one to another. That means that the material can expand, or contract, due to changes in pressure and temperature, without buckling and snapping against the subfloor.

Acclimation: Hardwood needs to sit in an environment for 3-6 weeks so that it can acclimate to the temperature and pressure of the area. Laminates vinyl planks can be installed in as little as 8 hours overnight acclimation.

Look for our Laminate Vinyl Planks Floor Buyers Guide coming soon.


From kitchen upgrades to total home remodeling, SemBro Designs and Remodeling knows how to do it right and we love to build the confidence of every Columbus client, year after year.

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Outdoor Kitchen Remodel

Designing the Outdoor Kitchen Remodel – The grill is the main ingredient, but there’s a lot more to a successful recipe.

Today’s outdoor kitchen designs—whether part of a new home or a remodel—are more likely than ever to complement a home’s architectural aesthetic and environment. To create inviting and functional living spaces, where all the features work together, you need a refined and thoughtful approach. Here are a few design concepts to help you make that happen.

Start With the Grill

The heart of any outdoor kitchen, big or small, is the grill. It can make or break a client’s satisfaction with a project, so select the best one that fits within the budget.

When it comes to grills, there are no uniform depths, heights, or widths. This means that upgrading a grill sometime in the future could present a challenge, so its selection should be based on the cooks your clients aspire to be, rather than on the cooks they are now. Also keep in mind outdoor cooking options other than the standard gas grill, such as pizza ovens, smokers, cooktops, and charcoal- or wood-fired grills.

Once the grill has been selected, the next big decision is placement. If your clients entertain often, position the grill so it is perpendicular to the dining area to keep the cook in the party. That way, the cook can work without having his or her back turned to the guests and without having the open hood in the way.
In the Zone

The perfect outdoor kitchen for entertaining is about more than just the appliances. Like indoor kitchens, outdoor kitchens are made up of functional zones. These include hot, cold, wet, and dry zones.

Hot zones, not surprisingly, consist of all cooking areas, like grills, pizza ovens, and cooktops; cold zones include refrigeration and freezers; wet zones include sinks and adjacent workspace; and dry zones are dry prep counters and storage. The key to designing an outdoor kitchen that functions well is planning for all four zones to work together, along with providing plenty of countertop space to support the “workflows” of prepping, cooking, serving, and cleaning. For example, the cold zone should be next to the wet zone, to facilitate moving food from the refrigerator to the sink to wash it and get it ready for grilling in the hot zone.

Think about other outdoor living activities, as well. If there is a pool, consider placing beverage refrigeration near it.

Defining Size

Outdoor kitchens come in all sizes. When you’re determining design, layout, and available space for your clients, it’s helpful to think in terms of four basic categories.

Small (10 linear feet). A small kitchen generally includes a grill, a cooktop, a sink, and storage. It needs at least 36 inches of usable countertop frontage, no less than 24 inches deep.

Essentials (13 linear feet). A bit larger, this size typically has a refrigerator in addition to a grill, a cooktop, a sink, and storage. It should have at least 48 inches of countertop frontage, at least 24 inches deep.

Medium (16 linear feet). To the essentials kitchen, a medium kitchen adds more storage and counter space and sometimes more refrigeration. There should be at least 72 inches of countertop frontage, 24 inches deep.

Large (more than 20 linear feet). A large kitchen has all the amenities and can accommodate multiple cooks. Provide 156 inches of countertop frontage at 24 inches deep.

Space to Land

You can almost never have too much countertop space. Outdoor kitchens are typically smaller than their indoor counterparts, and insufficient countertop space is still one of the most common design shortcomings I see.

Ideally, you should provide your clients with free and clear “landing areas” on both sides of grills, sinks, and cooktops. This space can be used for ingredients, cutting boards, platters, colanders, and other items that the cook needs to have close at hand while using the station. When it’s time to pull the swordfish steaks off the grill, for instance, there needs to be space next to the grill where a platter can be ready and waiting.

Omitting landing areas on one side or both sides of key equipment such as the grill or the sink is the most common design mistake. Similarly, grills and sinks should never be placed at the end of a counter run; there should always be landing areas to the left and right sides of both.

To figure out how much space you should provide for your clients, you can use the following recommendations of basic landing-area dimensions for common outdoor kitchen workstations:

Grills. Be sure to keep 24 inches of open counter on one side and 12 inches on the other side.

Cooktops. Maintain 12 inches of open counter on each side. However, when you combine a grill and a cooktop into one station by positioning them next to each other, use the landing area recommendations for a grill (24 inches on one side and 12 inches on the other).

Sinks require 18 inches of open counter on each side, because your clients will be doing a lot of washing and cleaning in that area.

Pizza ovens. Landing areas are especially important for pizza prep work. Provide 24 inches of open counter on one side and 12 inches on the other side.

Kegs. Having room to place and set aside glasses is important for the keg tapper, so provide 12 inches of open counter on each side.

Under-counter refrigerator/ice maker. Be sure to have 15 inches of open counter above it.

When multiple workstations are combined, the minimum landing area between two pieces of equipment may be determined by adding 50% to the largest landing-area width recommended for the two pieces of equipment. For example, the landing area between a grill and a sink should be at least 36 inches wide because the largest recommended landing area related to those two pieces of equipment is 24 inches next to the grill.

Storage

Many homeowners want fully functioning outdoor kitchens. That includes having places to keep pots and pans, as well as dishes and plates, during the season. Other items, like wood chips, hot mitts, charcoal, and grill brushes, normally remain outdoors at all times, and need permanent storage there.

Because it’s outside, cabinetry needs to be able to withstand the elements. Whatever you select should be able to keep the items inside dry when it rains. I recommend weathertight cabinetry with seamless rain gutters around the door and drawer openings to help divert water.

The recommended amount of linear storage frontage varies depending on the size of the kitchen. The following suggestions assume that smaller kitchens will need to store fewer items outdoors, while larger kitchens are more likely to store pots, pans, and serving pieces:

• Small outdoor kitchen: 21 inches

• Essentials outdoor kitchen: 36 inches

• Medium outdoor kitchen: 72 inches

• Large outdoor kitchen: 96 inches

Seating

There are three main types of seating to think about: dining, bar, and lounge. Having all three is ideal for entertaining. When laying out a space, always try to keep the cook nearby; make sure the primary cooking areas are not isolated from the seating areas.

When planning for seating in an outdoor kitchen, you need to allow adequate width for each seat, as well as space for knees below the table, counter, or bar, and adequate space for traffic behind the seats. Typically, you should allow 24 inches width for each seat, but for more accessible seating, allow 30 to 36 inches.

If there won’t be any traffic behind the seats, you need only 32 inches between the table, counter, or bar and the nearest obstruction. To allow people to just edge past behind the seats, provide 36 inches. If you want guests to be able to walk past unobstructed, make sure you leave at least 48 inches.

For counter and bar seating, also provide space for knees. Here are recommended measurements:

• Lowered-counter/table-height seating (30 inches high) needs 18 inches for knee space.

• Counter seating (36 inches high) needs 15 inches knee space.

• Raised-counter/bar-height seating (42 inches high) needs 12 inches knee space.

• Accessible seating (30 to 34 inches high) needs 19 inches knee space.




From kitchen upgrades to total home remodeling, SemBro Designs and Remodeling knows how to do it right and we love to build the confidence of every Columbus client, year after year.

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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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How to Hire a Remodeling Contractor

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Are you looking for Home Remodeling Contractors in Residential Construction? Your best bet is to narrow down to exactly what you are looking to remodel in your home. You should look specifically for Kitchen Remodeling Contractors or Bathroom Remodeling Contractors and not for just a handyman. Here are some tips when selecting an working with a qualified professional contractor.

Get Recommendations

Start with your friends and family and then check in with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry for a list of members in your area. You can also talk with a building inspector, who’ll know which contractors routinely meet code requirements, or pay a visit to your local lumberyard, which sees contractors regularly and knows which ones buy quality materials and pay their bills on time.

Do Phone Interviews

Once you’ve assembled a list, it is recommended that you make a quick call to each of your prospects and ask them the following questions:
• Do they take on projects of your size?
• Are they willing to provide financial references, from suppliers or banks?
• Can they give you a list of previous clients?
• How many other projects would they have going at the same time?
• How long have they worked with their subcontractors?
The answers to these questions will reveal the company’s availability, reliability, how much attention they’ll be able to give your project and how smoothly the work will go.

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Meet Face to Face

Based on the phone interviews, pick three or four contractors to meet for estimates and further discussion. A contractor should be able to answer your questions satisfactorily and in a manner that puts you at ease. It’s crucial that you two communicate well because this person will be in your home for hours at a time. On the other hand, don’t let personality fool you. Check in with your state’s consumer protection agency and your local Better Business Bureau to make sure contractors don’t have a history of disputes with clients or subcontractors.

Investigate the Facts

Now that you’ve narrowed your list, put your research to use. Call up former clients to find how their project went and ask to see the finished product. But you shouldn’t rely on results alone. Even more important, visit a current job site and see for yourself how the contractor works. Is the job site neat and safe? Are workers courteous and careful with the homeowner’s property?

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Don’t Let Price Be Your Guide

Throw out the lowball bid. This contractor is probably cutting corners or, worse, desperate for work—hardly an encouraging sign in a healthy economy. Beyond technical competence, comfort should play an equal or greater role in your decision. The single most important factor in choosing a contractor is how well you and he communicate. All things being equal, it’s better to spend more and get someone you’re comfortable with.


Put it in Writing

Draw up a contract that details every step of the project: payment schedule; proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation payments; a start date and projected completion date; specific materials and products to be used; and a requirement that the contractor obtain lien releases (which protect you if he doesn’t pay his bills) from all subcontractors and suppliers. Insisting on a clear contract isn’t about mistrust, it’s about insuring a successful renovation.

Finally, remember that as soon as a change is made or a problem uncovered, the price just increased and the project just got longer. When this happens be sure to get an amendment to the contracted price and scope of work.

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Tell us your stories and share any tips on choosing a Great Remodeling Contractor in the comments below.

As always please share on your favorite social media with your friends, so they are not left cold in the dark when they have to choose a Remodeling Contractor.