5 Tips for Finding the Right Contractor

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You've reached a crossroads; you're tired of your clunky floor plan, dated kitchen, boring basement, or cramped family bathroom. The next question is, where do you start? What style do you like? How much will it cost? And WHO will you hire to handle it all? 

Finding not only a reputable contractor but the right person for you is no small matter. Trusting the person you work with should be a given, still, what other benchmarks are also relevant?

To help in your search, we've put together a list below of the top 5 qualities and qualifications you'll want your contractor to possess. 

  1. Industry Cred
    One smart place to begin is by checking any potential contractor's industry credentials. A lot of people in this field are self-taught, which can make things more complicated. Many experienced contractors don't have a specific degree. However, serious candidates should probably belong to organizations like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, Better Business Bureau, or Kitchen and Bath Remodelers
     
  2. Glowing Recommendations
    Another given? Your contractor should have glowing reviews and recommendations from their former clients. No one enjoys asking for feedback, but legitimate business owners know its essential. Frankly, it's a pretty bad sign if your contractor can't find anyone to recommend them or is too lazy to ask. 
     
  3. A Good Personality
    This quality is a little more subjective, yet having a good rapport with your contractor is a big deal. Whether you jive better with someone who's serious and to-the-point or an informal jokester, all that matters is if they make you feel comfortable. You should like and get along with the person who's spending weeks in your home!
     
  4. Upfront Plans
    A good builder or remodeler is a strong planner. Sure, they might hire someone to manage organizing plans for them, but they should have their act together. Honestly, if a contractor can't present you with an orderly plan upfront, then what are the chances they'll pull everything together during the busyness of construction? (Answer: slim!) 
     
  5. Communication Skills
    Finally, remodeling and construction usually involve at least a bit of the unexpected - it's just the nature of the business. When snags inevitably come, you'll want the person heading up your project to be an excellent communicator. The building process involves extensive communication and teamwork from all parties. The person leading the show should be the first to speak up and set a positive tone.  

Want to Know More?
Ready to get serious about your project with an experienced contractor? Reach out to our fearless leader, Juke, anytime - he'd love to help you get things rolling! 

Project Feature: A Hosting-Friendly Home

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Our clients remodel for every reason under the sun, but some of our favorite projects revolve around hosting. Homes are meant to be enjoyed and shared with the people you love, after all! 

Alongside our talented friends from The Cabinet Store, we helped these Burnsville homeowners transform their kitchen, dining room, and lower level bar from traditional to tremendous. 

Finished as a two-part process, the designer Carly decided our team would renovate the lower level first so it could serve as the kitchen while the upstairs became a construction zone.

Between the new basement bar and the open and updated main level (we took out the wall separating the kitchen and dining room), this beautiful home is guest-friendly. From family holidays to fall football parties - they can do it all! 

While we always have a hard time picking favorites, on this project, we have to go with the basement bar. It's sophisticated, spacious, and functions as the perfect bonus kitchen! 

Pick out your top features and finishes from this stunning home as you browse through more photos below. And give us a call anytime if you're ready to get started on that long-dreamed about remodel or project! 

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2018 Kitchen Trends and Technology

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If we can single out one space our clients love remodeling most, it would probably have to be the kitchen. As floor plans have opened up and entertaining has become increasingly informal, more people are investing heavily in their kitchens. 

We are all about this trend; helping homeowners get the most out of the spaces they use every day is our mission. We want you to fall in love with your home again - our job is to translate your vision into a reality. 

So, what kitchen design trends and technology are heating up right now? Read on below for a list of our favorite styles and features! 

Embracing Color
White and grey will always be kitchen classics, however bright and bold colors are falling back in favor again. From painted cabinets to tile backsplashes to accent walls - fun splashes of color are popping up everywhere. 

Mixed Metallics
Whether it's gold, copper, matte blacks or stainless steel, metallic accents are still going strong in kitchen decor. We like this trend because you can employ it in small bursts like lighting or knobs or big statement pieces like range hoods. 

Modern Farmhouse Style
Farmhouse style isn't going anywhere, however, it has been evolving. Lately, the push is pairing classic farmhouse finishes with a modern flare. The result creates a beautiful blend of traditional, timeless design with the best of modern technology. 

Concrete Features
Another distinctive finish that's grown in popularity is concrete counter tops and sinks. This more industrial style makes a statement, but you should approach it with some caution. Much like marble and granite, concrete does require regular maintenance and sealing. 

Banquette Seating
Formerly common in older generations of kitchen design, built-in seating is making a significant comeback. We love how these cozy booths create casual areas to relax and hang out in the kitchen. Plus, they add interest and make your space truly unique. 

Increased Automation
Last but not least, technology is continuing to make its way into the kitchen. From smart fridges to ovens to automation to space for cooking with tablets, tech is becoming more at home in kitchen design. We're all for anything that makes people's lives easier to navigate! 

Are you ready to begin perusing your dream kitchen? Get in touch with us today - we'd love to help you get the ball rolling! 

Understanding the Design-Build Process

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Where Do I Start? 
If you're at the very beginning of the building or remodeling process, then you probably have a lot of questions. You might ask yourself, who should I hire? How much will my project cost? What will the design process involve? 

These are all excellent thoughts to consider, and brainstorming is a substantial first step in any renovation. Now is the time to gather as much information and as many resources as you need! You want to enter confidently into the next phase of your project. 

What Does Design-Build Mean?
As you've weighed your options, you may be wondering, what does it mean to be a design-build company? A lot of builders operate under this structure now, so what makes them different? Essentially, the design-build process a more integrated construction method. Instead of working with a separate contractor and designer (and their respective teams), everything rolls through one design-build team. 

Why is This Helpful? 
Now that you have a basic definition of a design-build remodeler, you're probably wondering, what the advantages are of hiring them over a more traditional company? As a design-build contracting business, we think there are countless benefits to this renovation path, such as: 

  • Streamlined Process - one company means one building method and one design-process, which means less fuss for you. 
  • Easier Communication - day-to-day updates, questions, and clarification all go through a single entity. 
  • Fewer People - a reduced amount of people coming in and out of your home, who have all been screened and picked by your contractor only. 
  • Less Stress for You - instead of managing multiple bids, designers, and contractors, your design-build leader becomes the point person for your remodel. (Sigh of relief, right?) 
  • Faster Competition - a simplified and integrated design and building process typically equals quicker results for your project! 

Want to Know More? 
We'd love to help you figure out if the design-build process is a good fit for you. Please, get in touch with us anytime! We'll happily walk you through what you need to know and answer all of your burning questions. 

Project Feature: Open and Fresh Main Level

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Spring is in the air, the birds are singing, and we decided it's time to share another beautiful client project! More specifically, we're spotlighting this bright, open, and elegant Apple Valley kitchen and dining room transformation. 

In partnership with our wonderful friends at The Cabinet Store, we helped create a space where this couple had plenty of room to gather with their growing extended family. The original U-shaped kitchen was cramped and cut off the main level's flow. 

We tore down the wall separating the kitchen and dining room, which then expanded the kitchen into the previous dining area. The living room became the new dining room, and the former sunroom became the living room. 

Our team couldn't be happier with the final look of this project. We enjoy creating spaces that are equally sophisticated and functional. More than anything, though, we love helping people see their homes with new eyes. It's a joy to watch clients fall in love with their spaces again. 

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Spa Style: Luxurious Bathroom Upgrades

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New Year, new home? Are you daydreaming about remodeling in 2018? One of the most common rooms we update for our clients is the master bath. We all know, a dated bathroom stands out like a sore thumb; it's hard to hide that 60's pink tile or 80's vinyl floor. You begin and end each day in your bathroom, shouldn't it be a place that puts you at ease?

Ready to start creating your own luxurious personal spa? Read through our top bathroom upgrades below!

Soaking Tub
Nothing says relaxation like a warm bath after a long day. A big, beautiful soaking tub isn't just spa style at its best; it's also a design opportunity. A classic clawfoot tub or a modern masterpiece is the perfect statement piece. 

Mood Lighting
Whether you're trying to create a calm bathroom oasis or a refreshing setting for your morning routine, lighting makes all the difference. Strategic accent lights or playful sconces could set a low-key mood, while plenty of bright, natural light will help you greet the morning with glee. 

Walk-in Shower
Another popular spa-inspired bathroom trend is the oversized walk-in shower. From rain showers to double heads to smart technology to steam features to luxury finishes, shower design has come a long way in the past few decades! 

Statement Vanity
Our next recommended bathroom upgrade is an eye-catching statement vanity. His and Hers sinks will never go out of style, and lots of extra storage doesn't hurt either. We especially love vanities that look more like a piece of accent furniture than regular a bathroom sink.

Open Storage
The last piece of the puzzle is lots of simple, elegant, open storage. Think of this as more curated storage, like the uncluttered shelves of towels and products at an upscale salon or spa. It's about creating a peaceful environment that only includes what's practical for daily life and visually appealing.