Colorado Home Remodeling Channel – Jach Project 3 Days & Counting

We’ve only got 3 days left before we have to turn the Jach’s Centennial home remodeling project back over to the homeowners and it still remains to be seen if we can pull it off.

Join us as we count down to the final reveal!

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Colorado Home Remodeling Channel - Jach Project 3 Days & Counting


Colorado Home Remodeling Channel – Jach Project Hardwood Finish

If this episode of Colorado Home Remodeling Channel is a little noisy, its because we’re sanding the hardwood floors so we can do our first coat of polyurethane. We’ll do our first coat today, our second tomorrow, and then our third and final coat right before we hand this project back to the homeowners.

This Centennial home remodeling project is on its way to an excellent finish.

Join us for an update… but bring some earplugs!

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Colorado Home Remodeling Channel - Jach Project Hardwood Finish


Colorado Home Remodeling Channel – Jach Project After Trim & Doors

Its always a good day when trim and doors go up on any home remodeling project!  So today is a good day at the Jach’s project.  Now that trim and doors are up, the character of the project is starting to show itself. 

Starting tomorrow, we’ll prep, prime and paint the house.  Then we’ll commence with all the other finishes (lights, sinks, faucets, flooring, etc).  But today its time to take a look at the project in its naked pre-finish state. 

Join us for another Centennial home remodeling episode!

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Colorado Home Remodeling Channel - Jach Project After Trim & Doors


Colorado Home Remodeling Channel – Jach Project Before Drywall

Things are moving along perfectly at the Jach’s Centennial home remodeling project.  We’ve completed all of our “rough” work at the house (framing, rough plumbing, rough electric, etc. – all the work that has to be done before walls are covered up), and are ready to start drywall after just a few final punch items.

We’ve got a front row seat to the project for you, so come along…

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Colorado Home Remodeling Channel - Jach Project Before Drywall


Colorado Home Remodeling Channel – Jach After Day One

Ah… demolition on a home remodeling project is always a fun day.  I’m never more nervous or more excited than on this day.  Its always exciting to get your hands dirty on a new project.  But I’m always nervous about what we might find…

We’re done with day one on the Jach’s home remodeling project.  Demolition is almost totally complete and we’ve started framing as well. 

Join us and lets take a look at what we found during day one.

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Colorado Home Remodeling Channel - Jach Project After Day One


The Colorado Home Remodeling Channel – Jach Remodel Before Demo

Hello and welcome to the Colorado Home Remodeling Channel and the first episode for the Jach home remodeling project.  The Jach family has purchased a home in the Centennial area (South Denver Metro – just north of Highlands Ranch) and they are remodeling before they move-in.

We’ve got a great project planned!  We’ll be giving the whole house a facelift and we want you to be there every step of the way.  Lets take a spin through the home before construction efforts get too far underway.

Join us as we visit this home remodeling project for the first time!

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The Colorado Home Remodeling Channel – Jach Remodel Before Demolition


A Bit of ‘Bama in that Kitchen Remodel?

So if you’ve followed my Twitter over the last few days you’ve probably wondered about the enigmatic tweets having to do with Alabama and cabinet factory tours and all that stuff.

Well, I’m here to clear up the mystery…

About four months ago we decided to try out another cabinet manufacturer, one that came highly recommended from a couple different sources.  Even so, it is always nerve-racking to try someone new.

We’ve developed a pretty sweet system for basement finishing and kitchen remodels, and it’s hard to rock the boat knowing that you’re messing with a proven method.

But we’ve committed ourselves to constant improvement and that means sometimes you’ve got to try new things.  Besides, this kitchen remodel deserved a high quality cabinet, and the recommendations vouched for the quality more than anything else.

So we gave Wellborn Cabinets a try.  If I’d been paying attention, I would’ve noticed their cabinets in the 2008, 2009, and now 2010 HGTV Dream Homes (more from the 2010 Dream Home: 2010 Bathroom, 2010 Kitchen).  I learned later that they are the second most recognized cabinet brand in the United States! 

The experience was awesome.  Cabinets came in 4 weeks after the order (fast for custom cabinet orders) and the order was 100% complete.  A couple doors were damaged during construction and replacement doors were shipped to us in less than 2 weeks so we could finish the kitchen remodel on time!

We decided we liked working with them so well that whether its for a finished basement or remodeled kitchen, we were going to present Wellborn to our customers as an option to consider.

 Whether it’s a kitchen remodel or a basement finish, we look forward to presenting Wellborn Cabinets to you at our next meeting.

Building more…



Quick & Easy Tip: Fresh Cabinet Look

While helping one of my best customers out with a partial kitchen remodel recently, they complained that their cabinets were starting to get a little old but they weren’t ready to replace them yet.

Without pausing to filter the first thing that came to mind, I blurted out something about needing to get rid of the ancient green glass in their corner cabinet.

As soon as I said it, I kind of went into a panic hoping that I hadn’t overstepped my bounds and been too blunt. Sometimes it’s easy to get attached to the things we have in our houses, and someone’s honest opinion may seem rude and unfeeling.

Fortunately, Dianne hadn’t liked the green glass in the corner cabinet for quite some time, so I was off the hook. Long story short, we ordered some very cool artisan replacement glass and for less than $100 instantly freshened up her kitchen.

Regardless of whether it is a $100 glass replacement, a $30,000 basement finish, a $75,000 kitchen remodel, or a $850,000 new home, one of my favorite things about working with my customers is helping them come up with creative and cost-effective ways to complete their project better.

For Dianne, it was a simple piece of glass that gave her a fresher look in her kitchen that will keep her happy for another few years. For someone else, it may be an integrated security, media, and electrical system so their new home is a safer, more efficient, and more comfortable place to be then their old home.

Whatever the situation may be, I’ve always felt that our resourcefulness is as important as our expertise when it comes to exceeding the expectations of our wonderful customers.

Building more.


Confessions of a Basement Finisher

Does anyone else feel like the digital age is complicating things? About a year ago I determined to start using the “social internet media” to promote our basement finishing efforts here in Parker, Colorado.

The idea was to devote 30 to 60 minutes a day updating blogs, tweets, profiles, etc., and prove to the digital world that we deserved a high page ranking from Google and the likes on our popular keywords; finished basements, basements in Parker, Colorado, basement finishing, etc.

Famous question: “How did that work out for you?”

Truth is, we’re so persistently focused on taking care of our customers that we don’t take much time to find new ones. Referral business is great, and since we started it seems that every time we complete a basement or a kitchen remodel, we’d invariably get a referral from the job and the cycle would continue.

That cycle is great, but the problem is this notion I have in my head that it’s not enough. (I think they call it dissonance?) We do a great job for our customers and we could be doing more, not just for them, but for others too.

I love the idea of blogging because I see it as a tool to share information with the Parker community (and others) about building topics that are important to them. Not only basement finishing, kitchen remodels and the like, but keeping people updated on lawn maintenance, how to deal with an insurance adjuster when the tornado tears part of the roof off, and what the heck does U-value and SHGC on those vinyl windows really mean!?

It’s not January 1st anymore, but why don’t we call this a New Year’s resolution anyway. For 2010, I resolve to post at least one blog weekly (and yes, to update my tweets, profiles, etc. with at least the link to that blog) on this blog, and to keep it fresh with occasional pictures of basements, videos how-to’s, and maybe a podcast or two… and we’ll be starting this New Year’s resolution just a little later than usual… how about February 23rd (you see how I covered myself there?)

Building more…


Lessons From the Butterman Kitchen Remodel

We just finished one of the most enjoyable projects we’ve ever worked on.  I love this business… creating something out of nothing, or recreating something out of something else provides a satisfaction that’s hard to match.  What makes this process even better is the opportunity to work with great people and see their vision come to life.

This kitchen remodel for Norman and Marilyn Butterman was one of those projects.  Their story is definitely worth sharing…

Mr. & Mrs. Butterman have lived in their home in Greenwood Village for a couple decades.  The house is about 35 years old, and most of the finishes were original (before we got our hands on them!).  They’re very pragmatic and despise waste. (A lesson we could probably all learn from).

At any rate, they decided several months ago that it might be time to update the tile in their kitchen, foyer and powder room – and while they were at it, the kitchen was due for a makeover too.  Their white 8×8 tile floors had been cracking for years – not the grout – the tile was actually cracking (we discovered the cause was 1/4″ plywood backer – don’t let your tile guy install tile over wood without a mortar bed please!).  Their kitchen was dated; dark brown cabinets, white tile countertops (which were cracking too), dropped ceiling in the kitchen, cramped layout – basically, dark & cramped.  And darn-it if I didn’t forget to take ‘before’ pictures!

The kitchen was functional, but needed some help to make the space more usable.  Counter space was at a premium and range was nowhere near the prep space.  Cabinet space was also difficult to come by.  Basically the layout needed some help.

The Buttermans took the attitude that if they were going to spend the money to update their kitchen, they would keep their eye on practicality, but also make sure their updates would be good for years to come.  This meant over-ruling some of my suggestions in favor of finishes they felt have greater staying power.  Mostly though, it meant selecting solid products that would last for decades.

Here are their selections:

  • Flooring: Dal-Tile Pietre Vechiee 20×20 tiles with 1/8″ grout joints. I love it when tile manufacturers make quality natural-stone/granite/travertine products out of porcelains.  They are generally much more affordable, scratch-resistant, lower maintenance, and give almost the same look and feel as the real thing.  The natural stone look was important to the Buttermans because it’s a look that doesn’t go out of style. 
  • Cabinets: Aristokraft Westbury in a natural oak finish – upgraded ‘select’ construction with full extension dove-tailed drawers.  Oak cabinets meant durability to the Buttermans.  I did my best to persuade them to select a maple or cherry cabinet in a different door style because I felt that it would provide them with a more current look and would appeal to more people if they ever wanted to sell.  They assured me they didn’t have any plans to sell the house and they wanted what they wanted.  Can’t argue with that!
  • Countertops: 3cm Golden Crystal slab granite with a double roundover edge.  They loved this granite from the moment they saw it.  I had my doubts at first, but there is no arguing with the finished product!  It’s beautiful!
  • Doors & Trim: 6-panel hemlock fir doors in a natural finish.  The old doors were really dark.  The new doors are very light.  They blend very well and keep the room light and fresh.
  • Baseboard: Dal-Tile Pietre Vechiee 3×13 bullnose tile.  Classy, clean, and very easy to maintain.
  • Appliances: They insisted that if they were going to remodel the kitchen, they wanted the newest technology in appliances.  How many 80-yr. old couples do you know who are willing to learn how to use an oven that can cook 8 times faster than conventional ovens?  These two are awesome!

    • Cooktop: GE 30″ Induction Cooktop in stainless steel (you can boil a pot of water in 30 seconds with this cooktop!)
    • Oven: GE Trivection Oven in stainless steel (traditional, convection, and microwave technologies combine to cook up to 5 times faster than conventional ovens!)
    • Microwave: GE Advantium Microwave in stainless steel (doubles as an oven and a microwave AND has speedcook technology to cook up to 8 times faster than regular ovens!)
    • Fridge: Kept their existing stainless steel side by side with bottom freezer.  A great upgrade from a couple years ago.
    • Dishwasher: Kept existing white dishwasher.  Despite my best efforts, they wanted to keep the existing dishwasher because it was only a couple years old.  I told you, they are very practical.

  • Lighting: We added 6 fluorescent can lights and relocated the ceiling fan.  They kept their existing breakfast nook light, and over-the-sink light.  =)
  • Sink/Faucet: Kept existing stainless steel sink, but had it undermounted under the granite.  Kept existing stainless steel faucet which was a very cool traditional design to begin with.

One of the ways we tackled their space issue was by adding a peninsula to their kitchen layout.  There really was not room for an island, but we made a peninsula work and it added valuable countertop and cabinet space.  In addition, it provided a more central food prep area and also gave easy access to their refrigerator for putting groceries away.

There was only one problem with this new layout – the fridge took up their old desk space.  They needed a spot to have their phone and computer.  So, we removed some dated columns separating the breakfast nook from the living room, and added a corner cabinet with a granite-topped halfwall.  It required moving some wire, but it freed up the space they needed in the kitchen, and fulfilled their need for a simple desk area.

In addition to the remodel, they also had us help them with a few other projects around the house that they’d put off for a while.  One of which was building a custom mail box (to look like their house).

All in all, it was a great project for a great customer.  Thanks Mr. & Mrs. Butterman for the project, and for the excellent recommendation too (see Butterman Testimonial )!