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How to Design the Perfect Home Office

Over 3 million people now work from home at least one day a week. Whether you are telecommuter, self employed, or need an office to write correspondence and pay bills – a beautiful and organized home office can make your life easier.

Designing the perfect home office requires more than lovely furniture.  It takes an understanding of what you use your office for and how you organize your work day.  By building in spaces that house various papers and equipment your office can become a beautiful space within your home, rather than a room you hide from guests.

Here are our tips for designing the perfect home office:

  • Built in storage.  Rather than purchasing book shelves and file cabinets we can provide customized built-ins to house everything you need in its perfect space.
  • Printer cabinet.  We can design a cabinet to house your printer with an electrical outlet inside so you can avoid pesky chords.  Most printers are wifi enabled now so your laptop and desktop can reach the printer without being plugged into it.
  • Charging stations.  A cabinet, drawer or counter space can be designed to hold various electronics like iPhones, iPads, laptops, Bluetooth’s and any other electrical devices. By installing electrical outlets for all of your devices you can leave chargers plugged in and hook up your device as needed, no more fighting for charging space.
  • Music.  Entertainment systems are not just for the theater room.  Install speakers throughout your home office so that you can play soothing or upbeat music while you work.
  • Bar.  No home office is complete without a wet bar.  For people working from home it helps to have drinks and snacks at your fingertips without leaving the office for the kitchen.  Installing a wet bar in the office can provide you with refrigeration, a sink, and counter space for preparing lunch and other quick snacks.
  • Light.  Having proper lighting is essential for designing a productive work space.  Large windows and skylights let in natural lights while recessed lighting can provide a sense of calm when you need it.
  • Insulation.  It is important to have a quiet work space.  Hearing children playing or dinner being cooked can become a distraction for you and your clients.  Installing extra insulation can help create a sense of privacy in your home office space by reducing outside noise.
  • Separate entrance.  We can install an exterior entrance for your home office.  That way if clients or coworkers come to your home, the rest of your house can be kept as personal space.

Working from home provides a level of flexibility that going to the office every day cannot.  The challenge for many people is learning how to be as productive at home as they are in the office.  Cipriani Remodeling Solutions can help by designing and building the perfect home office space that includes everything you need and special features that make an office a positive and productive workspace.

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New Kitchen Appliances for Your Home

Technology has advanced leaps and bounds from when your Grandma bought the green Kenmore stove top and refrigerator.  If you haven’t updated your kitchen appliances in the last few years – now is the time.  New technology can make cooking dinner easier while also helping your food to taste better.

 

Here are our favorite new appliances:

  • GE Café 30” Gas Range.  This range provides an excellent, even temperature.  It comes with three different burners and a grill for morning pancakes, bacon and quick sandwiches. The oven capacity has double what many similar models come with.  This means you can cook more, faster.  The gas convection heat cooks evenly and with the double oven you can have desert and dinner cooking at the same time.
  • Dishwasher Drawer.  Instead of a standard dishwasher try a dishwasher drawer.  It is easy to load and unload and you don’t have to worry about the front seal leaking, as often happens with standard dishwashers.  KitchenAid has one with two drawers so that you can run them separately or at the same time.
  • American Standard 3 Bowl Kitchen Sink.  You don’t have to juggle dirty dishes, soaking pans, and rinsing vegetables in the same sink any longer.  This three bowl sink from American Standard has a large, medium, and small bowl so you can do a variety of tasks all at once.  It is stainless steel for a beautiful finish so it is just as lovely as practical.
  • LG Internet Refrigerator.  This refrigerator by LG is more than for storing food at perfect temperatures, which it also does.  It has a food management system to make it easier for you to know what to buy and when.  That isn’t even the coolest part.  You can use the touch screen display to listen to music, watch TV, take and store pictures, make a video phone call, surf the internet, and use it as a message board.  This is an amazing combination of computerized technology and a standard household appliance. Talk about connected.
  • Range Hood.  Cooking dinner can create smells that overwhelm your home.  A hood can help by circulating the air.  The challenge is that they can be bulky, load, and unattractive.  Sorpresa makes a line of hoods that look more like a piece of art than a functioning part of your kitchen.  We can install one into your home for the “wow” factor.

Kitchen appliances have come a long way and there is no need to settle for what you currently have.  Whether you are remodeling your kitchen or simply looking to update your appliances we can help.  Many home owners will avoid updating appliances due to the need for adjusting existing cabinets and counters.  At Cipriani Remodeling Solutions we can install your new appliances and make sure they fit within your current space.  If they don’t we can make minor adjustments to ensure that you can benefit from improved technology without doing a complete kitchen re-design.

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Kitchen Appliances for Your Home Remodel

When remodeling a home, kitchen appliances can be the last thing that comes to mind. Working appliances may be “just good enough” until you realize the wide range of time and energy saving appliances that are available today. You can improve your home by scrapping archaic appliances for a new and improved version. This way you increase the value of your property and lower your operating cost.

Here are some ideas for appliance upgrades that can make spending time in the kitchen a little easier:

  • Electric Range.  They are easier to clean and more fuel efficient than their gas counterparts.  Electric ranges are capable of maintaining a level surface, heating up incredibly quickly and many home owners prefer them to gas.  Smooth top glass top surfaces with hidden heating elements require little effort in the way of cleaning, giving your more time to enjoy dinner with the family.
  • Microwave.  With modern technology, a microwave can evenly cook food, and can be built directly into your cabinetry to allow for more counter space.  There are plenty of styles to choose from that will match your other new appliances.
  • Dishwasher.  Old dishwasher appliances are loud, obnoxious and use excessive amounts of water. Some antiquated dishwashers don’t even leave the dishes sparkling as a little elbow grease and some Dial soap might do. Modern dish washing units are both significantly more water efficient and energy efficient, leaving your dishes both cleaner and drier with more internal rack room and much less exterior noise. Never watch TV with dishwasher background noise again!
  • Refrigerator.  A new refrigerator unit can lower your monthly electric bill. The fridge runs on its own all day long.  An energy efficient version can be good for your leftovers and the environment. Many new versions come with a slide-out bottom drawer to store the meats, breads and dinners you need to freeze. Digital temperature read-outs and ice dispensers make life much more convenient and offer greater user control. Door mounted ice dispensers serve ice exactly how and when you want it.

You can conserve energy, make your life easier, and increase your home’s value by upgrading your appliances today. To save money you can purchase in sets and keep your kitchen looking fresh with matching upgrades.  Work with a contractor when installing new appliances to make sure it is done correctly.  Plumbing and electric work are required and something as simple as over tightening a bolt can cause a water leak.  To make sure that your new appliances operate efficiently let a professional handle the installation.  New appliances are also different sizes and shapes than their predecessors, requiring adjustments to cabinetry.  A professional carpenter can make minor changes to accommodate new appliances, rather than requiring a complete cabinet overhaul. Whether completing a full kitchen remodel or simply replacing your appliances we can help.

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Give Your Home a Facelift by Replacing Your Garage Doors

The outside of your home is the first thing someone sees when driving up.  It can be full of character or boring and drab.  If you are tired of pulling up to a house that looks just like your neighbors consider giving your home a facelift by replacing your garage doors and the surrounding area.  These simple tips are easy updates that won’t break the bank or interfere with the flow of your home or daily activities.

Here is how you can upgrade the exterior of your home:

  • Hardware.  Most people think of hardware in the kitchen or bathroom but you can install it on your garage door for a customized look.  This is an inexpensive way for budget conscious homeowners to add character to the exterior of the home in one day.
  • Lighting.  We can install customize lighting on the sides of your garage door.  This adds character and is practical by helping guest to see at night while walking to your front door.  While installing lighting, electrical can also be ran for walkway lighting as an additional safety feature that also adds ambiance.
  • Windows.  You can have windows installed into your garage door.  This touch makes your garage look like part of the home exterior, rather than having a boring box take up a large portion of your home exterior.
  • Paint.  Try painting your garage door a fun color or painting a pattern on it for visual intrigue.
  • Stone.  Have stone, bricks, or faux rocks installed on the sides of your garage door halfway up the wall. Make sure the stone you select matches the rest of your homes exterior for a customized look.
  • Barn Doors.  You don’t have to use a standard, one piece garage door.  We can install doors that open in the center for old fashioned charm.  This is ideal for people that use their garage as an extension of the house, rather than simply a place to park the car.
  • Pavers.  You can give your home a high end look by replacing your cement driveway. The large section of cement leading up to your garage can give your home a customized look.  Replace the cement with pavers, stamp a pattern into the concrete, or natural stone.

At Cipriani Remodeling Solutions we can make the exterior of your home just as beautiful as the inside.  Call us today to learn how a simple garage makeover can transform the exterior of your home.

 

Become Energy Efficient by Insulating Your Home

According to the Alliance to Save Energy, “It turns out that about half of the homes in the United States are under-insulated.”  Heating and cooling cost account for up to 70% of most energy bills.  If this winter has left you with high utility bills, and you want to save money going into the summer months, improving your homes insulation is a good place to start.

Whether your home is older or recently built, many builders don’t put enough insulation in your home.  At Cipriani Remodeling Solutions we can inspect your home and identify areas where installing more insulation or improving the existing insulation would help to make your home more energy efficient.

Here are some areas of your home that could benefit from additional insulation:

  • Attic.  Many homes have limited insulation in the attic.  As you pump heat into your home during the winter, the heat will rise and escape through your attic if not properly insulated.
  • Basement.  If you have an unfinished basement the heat from your home could be escaping through your floor boards.  Wood floors are not tightly sealed and with direct exposure to a basement the heat can easily seep through.  This can also make your floors a lot colder when you walk on them.  For toasty feet insulate your basement and consider installing heated floors.
  • Walls.  Walls without enough insulation can be bad for your energy bill and for privacy. There is nothing worse than sitting at the dining table and hearing the toilet flush in the hallway.  We can increase the privacy in your home by installing additional insulation. 
  • Garage. The interior garage wall needs to be insulated to help prevent the cold in the garage from seeping into your home. 

Go green by improving your homes energy efficiency.  Installing insulation into your home is an easy and quick way to start.  We can help reduce your energy bills through this quick remodeling project.  As winter draws to a close, summer will be here before you know it and so will the need for running an air conditioner.  Upgrading your homes insulation now will save you money throughout the year.

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Customize Your Kitchen with a New Backsplash

Whether you love glamour, the modern look, color, or want a country kitchen a customized backsplash is just the trick for transforming your kitchen from normal to exceptional.  Determine the look and feel you want for your kitchen and have your backsplash do the talking.  We can install this customized feature in your kitchen without taking out appliances or cabinetry so there is very little “down time” in giving your kitchen a new look.

Here are some design ideas for your customized backsplash:

  • White Subway Tiles.  This classic favorite can give your home the charm of a country kitchen and works equally well with art deco styles.  Subway tiles can be installed on all of the open walls in your kitchen.  As an added bonus they are easy to wipe down and clean when compared with standard painted walls.
  • Mirrors.  Add a bit of glamour to your kitchen with small mirrored tiles for a backsplash.  When used in a modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances it can create a very high end feel.
  • Glass.  While not a standard option, glass is very easy to clean.  If you cook a lot and are tired of the clean up – glass could be an ideal solution.  You can also have colored glass tiles installed.  Fans of sea glass can use green and blue to create an ocean feel in the kitchen.
  • Granite.  If you love the color of your granite counter tops continue it up the wall for a seamless look.  This easy to clean solution will blend with your cabinetry.
  • Patterned Marble.  We can install customized, patterned backsplashes made of marble.  This adds a unique and high end finish to any home.
  • Stone.  Stone backsplashes are as unique as the material itself. Since stone is naturally occurring you can select a design that will only show up in your home.  Solid stone backsplashes that cover all of your kitchen walls will add a modern feel to your kitchen where stone tiles in neutral colors can make your home feel like a soothing retreat.
  • Make Your Own.  Families that want their kitchen to be bright, colorful, and fun can design their own tiles.  Your kids can paint on white tiles, using their favorite colors and characters.  You can also write sayings and quotes to display on your walls.  We can install these home made designs mixed in with other tile for a backsplash that represents your family.

Giving your kitchen a fresh feel can be as easy as having us install a customized backsplash.  It can transform a standard kitchen into something that screams personality and taste.  It will make cleaning up even easier and make your kitchen work environment more fun to be in.  Call us today to learn how we can help transform your kitchen into something extraordinary.

 

Jazz Up Your Fireplace

As winter draws to a close you may be growing tired of looking at your same fireplace.  A fireplace is often the center of the family or living room, a wonderful addition to a master suite and a romantic way to stay warm at night.  It can also be an eyesore if you have not updated it in years.  We have ways to turn your fireplace into a focal point that you will love looking at all year long.

Here are some ideas for jazzing up your fireplace:

  • Build in Wood Storage. If you have a wood burning fireplace we can install a perfectly sized area to store wood.  Building it into the fireplace itself gives it a custom look that highlights your design taste.  It also keeps dirt off of the floor or fireplace hearth.
  • Built in Storage.  You can have a shelf designed into the fireplace to place keepsakes and other items.  In the spring and summer you can put flowers here to brighten up the space.
  • Stone.  Consider replacing your brick fireplace with stone for a more modern feel.  You can select a variety of sizes and colors to make the fireplace match the rest of the house.
  • Limestone.  This material will add a unique touch to your fireplace that wont be found in most of your friends homes.
  • Faux Finish.  If you want to jazz up your fireplace without replacing it you can place a faux finish over the top with paint.  Give it a Tuscan look or simply change the color.
  • Ultra Modern.  You can make your fireplace look like it is suspended in the air by designing it to have a gap between the fireplace itself and the hearth.
  • Built in.  Your fireplace can be designed to be built into the wall itself for perfect blending and a modern feel.
  • Mantel.  Replacing your fireplace mantel is an easy way to freshen up the space.  You can add something glamorous or simple, depending on your taste.  Using extravagant molding can add glamour where a reclaimed wood beam can give a country vibe.
  • Fireplace Surround.  We can install a fireplace surround that starts at the floor and ends with a large and gorgeous fireplace mantel.  This adds the finishing touch to a standard fireplace that makes it seem more like a decoration than simply a way to get warm.
  • Hearth.  Build out the fireplace hearth to add extra seating to your room.  This can become a warm and cozy place to sip a cup of coffee or have a conversation.
  • Indoor/Outdoor.  As spring and summer approach an indoor/outdoor fireplace adds a romantic touch to any evening.  You can have one installed in your living or dining room that can be used from inside or an outdoor deck.  It ties the two spaces together and adds a unique touch to any home.

Your fireplace can become a showstopper with some simple remodeling.  Call us today to see how your fireplace can be redesigned to enhance the beauty of your home and make those winter nights even more enjoyable.

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In-Floor Heating for Kitchens and Bathrooms Are Energy Efficient and Reduce Allergies

In the world of home improvement, many of our clients are looking for ways be more “green” and are choosing to remodel their homes in a way that is both cost and energy efficient.  In-floor heating is an easy way to improve your homes heating system and go green at the same time. The most proficient in-floor heating systems are “radiant heating” systems.  They are especially fantastic in kitchens and bathrooms where tile floors can get extremely cold in the winter.

Here are just a few reasons why radiant heating systems are good for you, your home, and the Earth:

  • Radiant heating is more energy efficient than both baseboard and forced air heating systems
  • Eliminating air ducts significantly reduces the number of allergens in your home
  • Great benefits for homes off the power grid or in places with high electricity rates
  • Humidification is unnecessary because radiant heat does not alter residential air moisture
  • Radiating heat feels more natural and comforting to the body
  • Warm floors create a more comfortable surface for walking around the bathroom and kitchen.

Many of our clients complain of suffering from seasonal allergies. Radiant floor heating is a better alternative for people who suffer from allergies or asthma.  Most homes are equipped with forced air heating systems with a series of ducts and vents going throughout the house. With forced air heating, the movement of the air stirs up dust and pollen, and can cause allergic reactions in susceptible people. They require frequent cleaning and an air purification system to prevent the dirt and dust from building up and causing allergies or asthma attacks.  In-floor heating reduces this problem because air is no longer being pushed throughout the house in order to heat it.  In addition to being a healthier alternative, in-floor heating creates a cozy, comforting environment for the family.

Hydronic or liquid systems are the most accepted and cost-effective radiant heating systems for all climates. Simply put, liquid radiant floor systems propel heated water from a boiler through tubing laid in a pattern under the floor. Also, these systems can use a wide array of energy sources to heat the liquid, including existing water heaters, wood-fired boilers, solar water heaters, or a combination of these methods. Radiant floor systems also have the benefit of operating silently, unlike forced air heating, which can be noisy when in use. Stone, concrete and ceramic flooring are the best conductors of heat, and therefore are the best options to use with a radiant floor heating system. Although other floor coverings can be used, they don’t carry heat as well and are somewhat counterproductive. At Cipriani Remodeling Solutions we create custom home remodeling plans that are unique to each clients needs.  We can tour your home, meet with you, and suggest the best place to install in-floor heating in your home.  Improve the air quality in your home, reduce your energy cost, and add comfort to your home by giving us a call and seeing how in-floor heating can work for you.

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Listen to Your Favorite Music in the Bathroom with the Kohler Moxie Shower Head + Wireless Speaker

As an experienced contractor, many of my clients are frequently asking for my opinion on the best new products for home improvement. I find that people are most often interested in products that are exceptionally unique. One of my favorite products right now is the Kohler Moxie Shower Head + Wireless Speaker. It brings impressive technology to the bathroom by letting you listen to your favorite music while showering.  It has the durability of Kohler products and the sound quality is really impressive.  You’ll find yourself singing along to your favorite tune while getting ready for your day.

The Kohler Moxie Shower Head + Wireless Speaker provides an impressive array of features including:

  • Angled nozzles for full spray coverage
  • Compatibility with all Bluetooth- enabled devices
  • Deterioration resistant finish
  • Silicone spray face to easily remove mineral buildup
  • Removable Moxie speaker you can use all around the house
  • Efficient lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • The spray face is available in 2- 2.5 gallons per minute, which saves on both water and money without sacrificing efficiency.

From a professional perspective, I strongly recommend that clients do not settle for cheap bathroom products, considering the frequency of their use.  These low-priced products often need to be replaced more frequently, which will ultimately cost home owners more money in the long run. Typically, a quality showerhead is going to cost home owners about a couple hundred dollars, more or less. Many of the quality showerheads on the market do not have the variety of features provided by the Kohler Moxie Shower Head + Wireless Speaker. Most retailers price this product around $150, which is an extremely good price for such a remarkable item. Shower radios have been a popular product for years, but I find that many of them are not equipped to withstand the damage caused by steam.  People using other listening devices, like their iPod, often find they stop working due to moisture damage as well.  Also, many of these other products deliver poor reception that makes the sound difficult to hear over the running water. This all-in-one design eliminates these problems and delivers high quality sound that lasts.

In the contracting industry, I get most of my business from repeat clients. I want my customers to come back to me for more projects or possibly even refer me to friends and family.  I take pride in providing a quality service, which includes recommending exceptional products that I can trust and stand behind.  I would strongly suggest this product to clients interested in a distinctive, modern bathroom remodel or a quick update to their home.

 

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Why You Should Hire a Professional Contractor

If you are starting a remodeling project and deciding on whether or not to do it yourself, or to hire a professional contractor, you should consider how hiring a contractor will make your project run smoothly.

Hiring a professional will:

  • Save you money in the long run.
  • Ensure quality work.
  • Get the job done faster.
  • Do it right the first time.
  • Provide insurance in case anything goes wrong.
  • Give you time as a family, instead of time with a paint brush.

“Help, it’s ruined!”  I have heard this cry from frantic home owners many times.  After deciding to remodel the house, bathroom, kitchen, or even do a general repair project, they tried to save money by doing it themselves.  Others will often use their cousins buddy “that does electrical work” or ask Grandpa for assistance.  The problem is that while their ideas are positive, and intentions well meaning, home repair and remodeling is not an easy job.  Even the simple replacement of a toilet can lead to additional problems.

As homes age and start to settle issues can arise with plumbing, electrical, the roof, flooring etc. that cannot be seen when everything is in place.  As you open up the walls or remove fixtures, you will often find problems that are beyond the scope of a simple repair.  When this happens home owners are left with gaping holes, leaks, and safety hazards.  Hiring a professional from the beginning can prevent families from being in an emergency, “fix it now” situation which always ends up costing more.

I had a client a few years ago that had a leak in their main floor laundry room ceiling.  They weren’t sure what caused it and decided to have their friend’s friend fix it because he had some home repair experience.  Offering them a “good deal” he opened up the wall in their upstairs bathroom, charged them $1,500 and never came back.  Frustrated they asked a friend in construction to come take a look.  He patched the hole, resealed the toilets, and replaced the flooring. The floor didn’t lay flat and the leak continued.  They then had Bathfitters replace the shower for the tune of $5,000.  This still did not fix the leak.  Throwing their hands up in frustration they hired us to solve the problem once and for all.  After tracking the leak we were able to stop it once and for all, fix the problems caused by “friends”, and give them back their master bath.  Using a professional contractor at the beginning would have saved them thousands of dollars and a lot of frustration.

Professional contractors have been trained and certified in all areas of home construction.  We know how to get the job done right and how to organize and supervise a crew to get the job done on time.  Professional contractors are licensed and bonded, which means if something goes wrong we have insurance in place to cover it.  This gives home owners the confidence that their expectations will be met and home repair problems solved.  At Cipriani Remodeling Solutions we work hard to ensure our clients are satisfied and love the results of our work.  Your home is your castle and together we can make your home the place you have always wanted to live.