What the Houzz?

I remember as a child gathering all the magazines in the house I could find. I would lie on the floor and look through them for hours. I would plan, draw and design spaces, anything from Tree-houses to travel trailers. As I grew into my career as a designer, I had an enormous collection of favorite pages torn from magazines carefully organized in special binders. Then, my friends, the age of Pinterest and Houzz were born. I can still “tear out all those pages” but just in a different way. They are digital. In this article I’ll get you up to speed on the basics for Houzz and how it is of great benefit to you for your home.
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What the Houzz?  It is pronounced just like house. It’s just a creative spin on the spelling for house. You can find it at Houzz.com. The creators of this site started out as homeowners who had done a renovation. They did exactly what I had done for years, collected pages from magazines. This is where the idea was born in 2009. Today, Houzz has tens of millions of users and an endless supply of imagery for all design styles. It is completely free to use.

Step one of becoming a Houzzer. Simply create an account here. Create a user name and password, then just start searching. You can type in anything you are looking for related to a home. For example, you can search white cabinetry, pools or paint designs.

Step two of earning Houzzer stripes. Create ideabooks and add to them. Let’s say you are planning a kitchen remodel, you can create an ideabook called my kitchen, the dream kitchen or ideas for the kitchen. You can create multiple idea books for the kitchen. These would be great ideabook titles, cabinet ideas for the kitchen or flooring ideas for the kitchen. Then when you find images that have something you love and would help to inspire your project, save the image to one of your ideabooks.

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Screen Snapshot of our Pro Houzz profile ideabooks page. Ideabook- Soothing Retreats

Step three of becoming a whiz at using Houzz. Create many ideabooks. Think of it as a very detailed organizational system for your ideas. If you find a photo that has kitchen cabinet knobs that you love, but the rest of the kitchen isn’t your style, just save the image to your Cabinet Knobs ideabook. The more ideabooks you create, the easier it will be to find and communicate with your remodeling designer.

Some suggested idea books for a kitchen remodel:
Cabinetry Style- kitchen
Cabinetry Knobs/handles-kitchen
Flooring- kitchen
Paint colors- kitchen
Lighting- kitchen
Trim work- kitchen
Counter top- kitchen
Back splash- kitchen
Appliances- kitchen
Layouts for kitchen

 

You can repeat this process for any room of your home. Thinking of a bathroom project? Just use the same ideabook titles above but change to bathroom instead of kitchen.

The last tip for using Houzz for your next home project is to share your ideabooks with your remodeling designer. This can be done digitally. Simply use the email share feature or the collaborate feature.

One other really important feature for you as a homeowner to note is the ability for you to search top local professionals. You can see their 2014_BOH_ServiceLARGEwork, and read reviews. It is a great way to find who is at the top of their game in your local area. If you are interviewing a remodeler or contractor and he/she does not know about Houzz, run! Service providers can earn badges like this one.

At Cipriani Remodeling Solutions, we love Houzz. We tell all of our clients about it. Why? Because over the years we have discovered that it is very difficult and sometimes uncomfortable for clients to communicate about the design of their space. Utilizing a site like Houzz has given them a voice. When I we have a client that has and uses a Houzz account, we find they are able to share their hopes and dreams for their home much more on point. It makes for a great project experience. Communication is everything and when clients have the right tools to communicate it is so helpful in facilitating ideas and inspiration. You can see our Houzz profile here. We update our profile regularly, so “follow” us once you sign up.
For more information, or to get a more personalized look at our portfolio, contact Cipriani Remodeling Solutions at info@ciprianibuilders.com or 856.853.8398. www.CiprianiRemodelingSolutions.com

Talent and Design in the Blood

Melissa Firth Joins the Award-Winning Design Build Firm of Cipriani Remodeling Solutions with Talent and Design Running Through her Blood.

 

Cipriani Remodeling Solutions of Woodbury, NJ specializes in providing a unique renovation experience and has been winning accolades in the industry for almost 40 years. Cipriani Remodeling Solutions announces the newest addition to their team of award-winning designers, Melissa Firth. Melissa is the daughter of Howard Firth a multi-award-winning accomplished designer in Sarasota Florida. As a young child, Melissa followed her fathers every move. She would be seen shadowing behind him with fabrics swatches, wood chips and various other samples that were larger than her. Following in his footsteps, Melissa took every possible art and design related activity available. While her friends were out playing sports, Melissa would be found with creative juices flowing in a studio happy as could be. At the age of 12, she built a 3 dimensional home model out of foam board. Melissa continued this passion throughout her young adult years while obtaining her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from Ringling College of Art and Design.
In this Remodeling Designer position with Cipriani, Melissa will guide clients through the company’s unique Ten Step Renovation Process, including initial consultation, design, product selection with personalized shopping, obtaining permits, pre-construction, construction, inspections and final walk-thru. Prior to Cipriani Remodeling Solutions, Melissa was a Manager for Avalon Carpet and Tile in Cherry Hill. Melissa was able to utilize her love of design, project management skills, and client service techniques while working in the industry she so loves. Even though Melissa was accomplished and cherished by her peers at Avalon, she still felt the need to exercise her talents. As a result, Melissa has decided to represent the leading remodeling firm in Southern NJ, Cipriani Remodeling Solutions.
Melissa Frith

 

 

Melissa is excited to start the next chapter in her career at Cipriani and had this to say, “Design is in my blood, literally. I eat, sleep, and breathe design for my clients. My passion is helping them turn a house into a home. For me, a home is where memories are built and should reflect the heart and soul of a family. Cipriani Remodeling Solutions was my first and only choice to partner with to exceed client expectations.”
For more information about Melissa Firth, visit www.ciprianiremodelingsolutions.com
Cipriani Remodeling Solutions specializes in a complete renovation experience. Cipriani’s unique Ten Step Process gently and thoughtfully guides clients through the entire renovation experience from initial concept to the quality control visit with the utmost of care and consideration. The company’s client satisfaction rating is an average of 9.8 on scale of 1-10 with ten being the ultimate goal. Their work includes master suites, in-law Suites, kitchen additions, luxury spa retreats and lifestyle home enhancements. With nearly 40 years of experience Cipriani’s design build experts have been artfully assisting clients with one of the most life changing events in home ownership. Their passion and commitment to developing spaces that truly impact the health of a family shows in everything the company touches. Cipriani’s commitment shows in their extended warranty and lifetime service guarantee program. The company holds over 100 design awards.
If you would like to learn more about Cipriani Remodeling Solutions or to schedule an interview with Jay Cipriani or Tammy Collins, please contact Kathy Jacquot at 856.853.8398 or email Kathy at kjacquot@ciprianibuilders.com or Tammy at tcollins@ciprianibuilders.com .

Show Stopper Renovation

2014 BLSJ MAME Award Best Residential Alteration                                                                                                                                         Sewell, NJ

Tammy Collins, CAPS                                                                                                                                                                                           Cipriani Remodeling Solutions

The only way to understand where this gem of an exterior face lift came from is to see the “before” pictures. This house went from “unseen” to “show stopper”. The cars stop daily out front to get a closer look.

Show Stopper Renovation Cipriani Remolding Solutions

Exterior Renovation Before- Sewell, NJ

The clients wanted to inject new personality into their beloved home. New siding and a faux stone material were used as the basis for the color palette and the theme for the home’s new aesthetic.

Show Stopper Exterior Renovation After

Show Stopper Renovation After- Sewell, NJ

The faux stone is so authentic and rich that it’s difficult to tell it’s not real stone. A random flag stone stamped concrete pattern was used on the new round entry stairs, the walkway, and around to home’s new exterior stairs. The use of black wrought iron was incorporated to bring a timeless feel and a touch of pizzazz. The addition of the wrought iron was a deliberate choice by the designer to create a subtle hint of formality. The exterior light fixtures were also chosen in an antiqued bronze with aged glass to compliment the new exterior, making this truly a show stopper renovation.

 

Outdoor Retreat

2014 BLSJ MAME Award Best Deck/Patio
Hammonton, New Jersey

Matt Slingerland, Remodeling Designer
Cipriani Remodeling Solutions

 

In the heart of the sprawling country side of Southern New Jersey lies the quaint town of Hammonton. As the owners of a local nursery, this family has an affinity for the outdoor environment. Sadly though, their existing patio felt un-useable because the only sun protection came from an existing retractable awning. It was clumsy and didn’t achieve the right outdoor environment. This family loves to be outdoor, especially spending time with their dogs.

BEFORE - CZARNIAK

Before picture

 

The new patio structure includes 32’ scissor trusses to make a gorgeous cathedral interior view. Other details that did not get overlooked were the stunning craftsman style columns and the perfect match to the paver stones. Now the owners can entertain and enjoy outside time with their four-legged friends.

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Outdoor Retreat- Hammonton, NJ

Their main request was to keep the existing patio paver structure. This proved to be a bit of a challenge because of the large size. To tackle the client’s request, the design solution was two 24’ x 18” steel beams to span the distance and to support the new roof structure. The overall end result is gorgeous and appears to have been there from the beginning.
The homeowners said “We are delighted with the project, it far exceeded our expectations. Cipriani is a top notch company which shows in the perfections, tenacity to detail and care given to our project and our home!”

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Outdoor Retreat – Hammonton, NJ

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Green Remodeling

You can be deluged with “green” building and remodeling tips if you do even some rudimentary research.

 

Although there is some overlap, there are 3 primary categories of “green.” These are energy, recycling, and health. All three of these are areas can be addressed during a home remodeling project, and the greenness of your home can be enhanced as part of the overall remodeling design.

 

The first, of course, is energy conservation. This has to do with leaving the smallest possible “carbon footprint.” The considerations reach farther than the energy used in your home after the remodeling project is complete. It also considers what kind of energy it took to; a. procure the raw materials, b. transport and process the raw materials. c. manufacture the product, d. package the product, and e. transport the product to your site. If you really care about being green, then you have to include the global carbon cost in your overall green project calculus. Over and above the energy savings you are apt to experience in your home, the number of years these savings will take to offset the global costs to get it into your home must also be considered. Some manufacturers are finally catching up to consumers in sophistication regarding this.

 

The recycling and repurposing of material that will otherwise end up in an already overburdened waste stream is another critical aspect of reducing your carbon output. Producing waste is something for which we Americans have become very proficient. In fact, we’re number 1! Recycling, repurposing, and energy conservation can work hand-in-hand to reduce the amounts of energy and water it takes for us to live. Reusing “gray” water is becoming a popular mode of conservation. Collecting, storing and using rain water is also a cost effective and common-sense approach. There are many roof gardens in action today—especially in cities where open soil is scarce. These not only use rain water in a productive way, but also can be beautiful while providing insulation benefits as well. Simply collecting rain water for use in our own gardens and lawns is an easy and beneficial way to be green.

 

While our planet and its sun provide us with much energy in nearly unlimited quantities, the solar, wind, nuclear, and geothermal options have their trade-offs. This trade-offs manifest themselves in prohibitive costs and perceived danger. Until the technology becomes economically attainable for the masses and can be proven to be safe, the best we can do as people, businesses, and communities, is the best we can do. The U.S. Federal Government has enacted several incentives for families to get greener. Some State Governments do still more. However, these incentives are erratic and dependent on the solvency of the respective institutions. Keep an eye on the available incentives if you are leaning this way.

 

The third class of “green” is concerned with how healthy the materials are that we are putting in our home. Again, this is not just about us, but also the human manufacturing cost. Many commonly used material in construction off-gas unhealthy toxins to which many of us unknowingly expose our families daily. Adhesives, binders, dyes, and coatings are all around us. Many of these can be harmful to people and animals. Beyond that, there are many materials whose hazards are most suffered by the people working in the manufacturing end.

 

Many are under the mistaken impression that you have to be building a home from the ground up in order to go green. There are many, many ways to lessen your carbon footprint in an existing home. From the materials being used to the methods in which they are employed have everything to do with reducing your carbon footprint. While you may not be addressing the whole of your home, the areas you are addressing can most certainly enhance your greenness.

 

A kitchen remodel, for example, usually entails the demolition of the existing kitchen. As the wallboard on the exterior walls is removed, the insulation material and method you choose to replace the existing can be your start to a greener life. If not otherwise specified, the common faced, batt insulation used by most contractors, while an effective insulator, contains formaldehyde. You can choose formaldehyde-free insulation, insulation made from recycled materials, or you can super-insulate with closed cell, spray foam. Care taken to seal off gaps in the exterior wall substructure can help a great deal with heat loss. If you are replacing or installing new windows and doors as part of your kitchen remodel, the careful selection of those units will also help with heat loss. From there, paperless drywall, zero VOC drywall and subfloor adhesives, cabinetry made from sustainable materials such as bamboo or cork, counter tops made from recycled glass, sustainable flooring, energy star appliances, water conserving fixtures, LED lighting, and zero VOC paint will considerably green up your act.

 

“Greenwashing” is the term used for a material that may have one “green” advantage, but then other elements that are not so green. For example: the aforementioned recycled glass countertops. While recycling glass is very green, the binders and adhesives used to produce the top can be extremely unhealthy. Do your homework. It can be difficult as so much marketing is at odds with the facts. One great website to begin sorting through the mire of factoids and truth is http://www.greenwashingindex.com  . There is a wealth of information there to help navigate the “green” forest.

If the Design Fits…

CHOOSING THE RIGHT DESIGN FOR YOU

While much home remodeling is need driven, a primary purpose of home improvements is to enhance the quality of life for you and your family. In order to gain this you must first address the design. The form, as well as the function, must be carefully considered before delving into your remodeling project. Advice and ideas on planning a remodel can come from many sources: your imagination, pictures in magazines, images and articles on the internet, a friend’s home, a remodeling contractor, an architect, or an interior designer. There are likely too many options for you than too few. When you distill the subject, however, it all boils down to you—to you and your family’s unique way of living. This is not to say, of course, that you’re weird, but that by virtue of being human, you are unique, and so are the people that live with you. Call it “exceptional” if you like.

The best design for you may not be the best design for your neighbor. In the most fundamental sense, a good design makes the best use of the space in question. “Best,” however, is a largely subjective term. Outside of a handful of rules, practices, principles, legalities, and ambiguous “rules of thumb,” ” best use” is little more than an opinion. You may be familiar with the “kitchen work triangle,” for example. This is a principle used in kitchen design since the 1940s. It involves the area between the sink, cook top, and refrigerator. With the advent of new appliances, such as microwaves, mixer lifts, pot fillers, dual fuel wall ovens, and multiple sinks, the kitchen work triangle has evolved into a polygon of ever-increasing complexity, with ever-expanding options. Likewise, not so long ago, a 3 piece bathroom was the norm. Now, it’s fast becoming extinct. A basement used to be where we kept our furnace, hot water heater, and stored our old paint. Now, the hot water heater can hang on a wall, the furnace can go in the attic, leaving the basement available for a home theater, bar, game room, master suite, or a combination of all of the above—and anything else you can dream-up. We used to have to go to a place of worship to see cathedral ceilings. Now, we may have one in our sun room, foyer, or any other room that doesn’t have a floor above it. We can have a fireplace and entertainment center in our bathroom if we choose. The emphasis on open space in homes has rendered the clearly-defined division between rooms obsolete in many cases. This is accomplished more today with furnishings and decorating accoutrements than with walls. The options are so endless, it’s hard to know where to begin.  This is not your grandfather’s home improvement project.

The evolution of residential remodeling design has progressed in leaps and bounds in the last few decades, and what formerly were details worked out between a home improvement contractor and a homeowner, (often while the project was in progress) are now refined by remodeling design professionals. A remodeling design professional can help in countless ways: advise you on alternatives, cost-effectiveness, and logistic reality, but it will be you making the final decisions, and it is you that has to live with those decisions. You need to be steering this process—especially early on. It could be a mistake to allow a relative stranger to make such personal judgments. Regardless of your experience (or lack thereof,) you are uniquely qualified to meld the design and your life together. No one can know more about what you need, want and prefer than you.

It’s unwise to put the cart before the horse. Before decisions regarding cabinetry style, flooring material, tile mosaics, paint colors, etc. are addressed, the fundamental spatial layout should be worked out. It’s crucial that the design works for you and your family. Approaching this yourself, beforehand, will save you time, money and much trial-and-error aggravation. Your best bet is to do whatever it takes to get your planning ideas as close as possible to what you envision–to communicate your ideas. Involve your family. Sketch your ideas out on graphing paper. If need be, make scaled, cardboard cutouts of furniture, cabinetry, islands, etc. Move them around until you achieve the desired effect. Clip, or print photos of things you like. Then call an architect, designer, or home remodeling professional for additional suggestions, costing advice, to finalize design, and produce the project, but do yourself a huge favor—start with you and the people that live with you. The best design is the one that best reflects you. 

*Below are the existing layout and 3 basic floor plan options for a bathroom: The object is to gain space in currently cramped area. The homeowners want to do away with the large whirlpool tub and half of a double entry door, replacing the large tub with a stylish claw foot tub that also leaves the option of an expanded shower with a frameless glass enclosure and possibly a second vanity bowl.

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OUTHOUSE to OPULENCE

While I’ve heard the ancient Romans, Chinese, and Indians supposedly had forms of indoor plumbing, that technology was largely lost during the dark ages, and just began making a comeback at the end of the 19th century. It’s hard to believe that in a single century we have come from a hand pump and an outhouse to what we call a bathroom. As indoor plumbing evolved and became common, we thought of our bathrooms, primarily, as a utilitarian space. We all know why we need them, and some of us still take them for granted. However, over the past few decades, the American bathroom continues to evolve, and has become far more than a place to do our bathroom business. The home improvement industry is constantly developing and expanding the usual bathroom necessities to the point where the bathroom is fast becoming the focal point for a family’s luxury and comfort. Plumbing fixtures and devices come in every conceivable size, shape, configuration, feel, look, finish, and function.

With the advent of thermostatic control systems, people can program the temperature and volume of the water flow to their personal specifications from a device that used to just be a faucet. Bathtubs can now be purchased with built-in entertainment and communication systems, and can include massaging features for comfort or therapy that would render most of us reluctant to ever leave the bathroom. Yes, refrigerators within the tub unit are available as well. What used to be just a toilet can be an adventure with the addition of a state-of-the-art bidet seat—but I won’t go into nature of those adventures.

Perhaps the greatest bathroom strides have been made in showers. Your imagination (and your bank account) is the only limit to what your shower can be. Endless lighting options, rain heads, steam generators, thermostatic controls, frameless glass enclosures, and the multitude of available body sprays can transform what we used to call a shower stall into a full-blown personal spa with boundless possibilities.

While as functional as ever, the bathroom sink area can easily be a work of art. Back-lighted vessel bowls with waterfall touch faucets and tops made of natural stone are appearing in more and more homes. In-floor heat, electric and hydronic, is also becoming commonplace. As low-voltage, LED lighting has broadened in both application scope and availability, new bathroom lighting options are exciting and also nearly limitless. Bath accessories are not excluded from the advances made in bathroom technology. Towel warming towel bars, air blade hand dryers, automatic soap dispensers with motion sensors are all available to residential homes now, and are all manufactured with artistry and style. Ultra-modern, or designed to mimic past style periods, such as Art Deco, Victorian, American Empire, etc., form and function has never been so integrated and diverse.

Once reserved for the very wealthy, bathrooms with opulence and true luxury are now available to the masses. Of course, even a basic bathroom remodel isn’t cheap, and the fixtures described above cost at least twice as much as your basic fixtures—and, unfortunately, there is no upper limit where cost is concerned. Americans pay a lot of attention to their bathrooms. The largest portion of home improvement dollars are spent on bathroom remodeling in the U.S. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010, nearly 7% of all home remodeling work was either in remodeling an existing bathroom, or adding a bathroom—by far, the highest percentage of all home improvements. A bathroom remodel is also well known to have a very high cost to resale value ratio.

 

Below are photos from a recent bath remodel:

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Common, but Still Dangerous

Asbestos in the Home

 

The dangers of asbestos are common knowledge to most people. Once hailed as a “miracle” material for its insulating, strengthening, and most of all, its fire resistance properties, asbestos was used in nearly all building materials that it could possibly be put in. These include wire insulation, plaster, drywall, roof and siding shingles, flooring and ceiling tiles, and all types of insulation. It was even mixed in cement products for added strength. There is barely a manufactured building material that hasn’t at one time or another contained asbestos.

There’s evidence that American manufacturers knew about the inherent respiratory dangers in mining and working with the material long before the rest of us did. The UK began regulating ventilation and the protection of workers involved in the use of asbestos in the 1930s. In fact the very first medical diagnosis of asbestosis was in England in the 20s. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the U.S. began restricting its use, and the banning and general phasing-out of the material was began in 1989. You may be surprised to learn that there are still consumer products on the market today containing the mineral.

Should you be worried? Well, it depends. It depends largely of the form the asbestos is in, the concentration involved, and how prone it is to becoming airborne. Materials such as floor tiles and siding are the least dangerous, as the asbestos is mixed in with other materials to form a cohesive, solid piece. In order for the asbestos to become airborne in these materials, the pieces would have to be pulverized. As long as reasonable care is taken when removing siding, floor tiles, or roofing shingles, there is little danger. Even when the asbestos is in a form in which it can easily become airborne, in most cases, it poses little threat as long as it isn’t disturbed. The most common, dangerous, and easily identifiable use of the mineral is in duct and pipe insulation. It usually appears as a whitish, fibrous wrap, often encased in another material, such as sheet metal or fabric. As long as the material is intact and covered, there is no reason for concern. However, when you see suspect materials flaking and falling, it’s time to act.

When you decide to remodel, or add onto your home the risk of encountering asbestos issues will almost certainly arise. The altering, demolishing, and replacing of asbestos-containing materials nearly always becomes necessary during these operations. While most experienced contractors are aware of the potential presence of the mineral based on the age of your home, few are trained in the identification, containment, disposal, and remediation of these materials. A competent contractor should stop when he encounters a questionable component and consult with a specialist for testing and obtaining costs for removal or encapsulation if needed. The removal of asbestos can be expensive, requiring the services of licensed professionals, and its best to know the potential costs before they arise as a surprise. It’s wise to have your home tested prior to beginning a home improvement project if you suspect the presence of asbestos. This way a plan can be developed to deal with the problems and costs ahead of time, and possibly an alternative to avoid the problems altogether can be established. Don’t depend on your contractor to know how much, and where the asbestos is in your home. If your home was built in the late 19th century to the early 20th century there is probably asbestos everywhere. This is not most contractors’ area of expertise. They will, however, know what will and what will not need to be disturbed.

Take care to protect your home and family. Always do the homework before jumping in.

 

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Beware the Stucco

Masonry Exteriors

Stucco, stone, and stucco-like exterior finishes cover buildings and facades all over the world. And why not? It’s attractive, colorful, sometimes even spectacular—and relatively cost-effective to boot. Stucco’s bastard nephew, E.I.F.S. (Exterior Insulation and Finish System) has been a popular subject of litigation for decades. The most recognizable manufacturer of E.I.F.S.  is Drivit®. Like Kleenex® or Trex®, Drivit®, while a brand name, is often used as the catchall name of the system. While properly applied stucco and E.I.F.S. can enhance your curb appeal and last for decades, all too often, however, it is not applied according to manufacturer’s instructions or even according to common sense. The improper installation of these materials can prove disastrous to a building, especially on wood-framed buildings—like most homes. This is mostly because the problems may not become apparent for years. Thankfully, a slow moving change is taking place, wherein municipal building inspectors are requiring a separate inspection prior to the application of masonry finishes. This is a welcome change for consumers, as countless homes are slowly rotting beneath their beautiful facades.

Moisture is the primary enemy of all buildings. In fact, most construction operations on exteriors involve steps that are designed to keep water out of a building. Of these steps, nearly all are beneath what you can see on the finished product. It’s usually some level of negligence beneath the surface that’s at the root of a moisture issue. If there’s a way for water to get in—it will. Special attention has to be paid to openings in a building like windows, doors, and plumbing and exhaust vents, and also at transitions between roofs and walls, cornice and walls, or roofs and other roofs.

Because all masonry is permeable to some degree, a clue that moisture is making it through the masonry surface of your home is after a rain, when the house is drying, there are areas that take significantly longer to dry than the rest. These areas are often beneath windows or around pent roofs. An area remaining wet after the rest is dry is where moisture is trapped behind the surface. That’s if you’re lucky. Because of the permeability of masonry, the membrane behind the surface has to be what keeps the water out. When it fails to do so, these types of moisture infiltration issues often don’t manifest symptoms until there is a great deal of damage. Moisture on the wrong side of a wall or roof also can entice wood-munching insects to infest the home, as well as provide an optimum climate for molds and fungi galore.

If you are considering the purchase of a home with a masonry exterior, do some homework. If you don’t get an independent home inspection report, buy a moisture meter (you can get one at your local home center for less than $30), check the moisture content outside on the masonry, any exposed wood surfaces around doors or windows, and on exposed wood framing in the basement, closest to the masonry area as possible. If these readings show excessive moisture—keep looking. If you are considering buying a newly constructed home with this kind of exterior, ask questions—find out about the installation methodology, and see if you have any legal recourse if there is a moisture envelope failure in the future.

 

Photos: The damage shown below is from a home built 8 years prior. While the damage was mostly isolated to around windows and doors, the entire stucco facade had to be removed, as well as the windows, doors and quite a bit of sheathing. In this case, the client opted to replace the stucco with vinyl siding (bottom photo). The top photo shows the home before the work.

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2013 Kitchen Appliances to Make Your Life Easier

Life is busy.  With work, school, sports, family, friends and events there is always somewhere to go and something to do.  With tight schedules, don’t waste time working with old appliances.  Technology has grown leaps and bounds since Mom bought her first washing machine. You can replace your kitchen appliances and increase the time you have to do the things you love.

 

Here are some new kitchen appliances that will make your life easier:  Appliances

 

  • Full-Surface Induction Cooktop.  The chef in your family will love cooking on this surface.  It is ideal for people that cook more complicated dishes or have a large family.  There is no wasted space, and you are able to place more pans on the surface.  It also looks really cool with its sleek, modern surface.
  • Smart Fridge.  Technology has evolved so quickly that you can now have a refrigerator keep track of what groceries you need.  One manufacturer is even using LG technology to have your fridge recommend recipes based on the contents of your fridge and families age, weight, and health goals.
  • LG Oven with Smart ThinQ.  This new technology allows you to monitor your range remotely and has robust self cleaning features that make cleaning a breeze.
  • Discovery Wall Oven by Dacor.  This oven is perfect for busy families.  It uses Android technology and has a built in tablet that syncs to an app.  You can select your favorite recipes, tell it the weight of your dish, and the oven will make sure the temperature is perfect for cooking it.  For example if you are cooking the Thanksgiving turkey you simply tell the oven the weight of the bird and it will tell you how long it needs to cook, sending you a text message when it is done.  No more guess work!  It even turns the heat to warm if you don’t take it out in time.

 

You can turn your kitchen into a chef’s dream.  Even the most novice of cooks can benefit from using modern technology in the kitchen.  Your meals will be easier to make.  You will also spend less time in the kitchen when incorporating new appliances into your home remodel.  Call us at Cipriani Remodeling Solutions to learn how we can give you the kitchen of your dreams.