Residential Remodeling & Maintenance in Lincoln, NE – 2019
It’s a unique experience to re-fall in love with your house after dealing with its imperfections for so long. However, since completing those personal preference and in-your-face projects feel so good, we may forget to maintain the little things that make life feasible. No one gushes over a brand new electrical panel, but the inner workings of your house need to be remodeled too, which is also known as maintenance. Maintaining the nitty-gritty aspects of a home should be just as important as achieving attractive remodeling results.
Planning for a Remodeling Project
Since remodeling a home can be such a big undertaking, we spoke to expert Jason Krueger of Kitchen Tune-Up for advice on how someone should decide if it’s the right time to remodel.
“There are several factors that go into the decision to remodel,” Jason stated. “Are you trying to sell your house? Can you live with how it is now? Why do you want to change it? In the end, it all comes down to personal preference. If you can’t stand to walk into your kitchen, then it’s definitely time to change it! However, if you just think your kitchen looks a little run down but you’re not appalled by the structure of the room itself, you don’t have to go all in for an expensive remodel. My team can come in and fix up a few things that can transform the whole space, like cabinets and countertops.”
Kitchen Tune-Up provides affordable services that recondition your cabinets to remove scratches and the areas of your cabinets where the color has faded. They can make your cabinets look like new in no time. The tune-up process involves separating, then removing, the build-up of dirt, grease, wax, smoke, and dust from your wood’s original finish. Then, they touch up and correct the color by applying a special colorant. Lastly, they treat your cabinets with their special penetrating oil that restores the wood’s fibers.
“Tune-ups in your kitchen are like taking your car to a detailer,” explained Jason. “We can fix the scratches and re-stain your cabinets to lengthen their life by a long time. You can easily restore the original look of your kitchen with just a little bit of maintenance. You would probably be surprised at the number of aspects in your home that simply need a little reworking to make your home perfect for you.”
“If you do want to remodel, then I suggest remodeling the kitchen or the bathrooms,” Jason added. “They’re the most expensive to fix, but they also typically help you break even or add more value to your house than the cost of the remodeling. The average money back for our customers is about 90–120% of what was spent on the remodel process.”
On that note, Jason also warned us about over-remodeling: “If your house is from the 1920s and has never been updated, you shouldn’t put a $40,000 kitchen remodel into it. It’s not going to increase the value of your home enough to cover the remodel price. You’ll be losing money, plain and simple.”
With that in mind, when planning for a remodel, it’s important to know that you will be able to finance your projects all the way until completion. That’s why it’s recommended to set a budget and stick to it! Also, knowing how your renovations will affect your home value is imperative to deciding how much to spend on remodeling. A misconception that many people have is thinking that the work they do on their home will add dollar to dollar towards the home’s value, but that is almost never the case. It’s recommended to have a market analysis done in order to get an idea of how the value of your home will change. The key to remodeling is making sure that the changes don’t hinder your resale value.
If you can’t pay for your remodeling project out of pocket, we recommend speaking with your bank about taking out a home equity loan or line of credit. Home equity loans and lines give you the freedom to do everything from remodeling your kitchen or expanding your living space to consolidating your bills, but pay close attention to interest rates. At First National Bank, they offer competitive home equity loans, which means low interest and affordable monthly payments. They offer a variety of payment terms to meet your needs. First National Bank also offers home equity lines of credit which would allow you to borrow money that’s determined by the equity you’ve built through home ownership. This option is best for multiple purchases, ongoing use, or projects with uncertain costs. You can go online to First National Bank’s website right now and fill out an inquiry form to find out what loan method fits your financial situation.
DIY and Maintenance Projects
When trying to stay on trend in home design, a lot of people try to do major DIY projects to change the look of their home. However, some work should be left to the professionals.
We spoke to Nate Krieser, owner of Krieser Drywall and Insulation, for more information about the dangers of DIY home projects. He told us, “The biggest misconception, when it comes to home remodeling, is that doing it yourself saves you money. Well, more often than not, it costs more to do it yourself than if you would have just hired a professional from the get go. It will save you time, money, and the worry of if the job will get done correctly or not.”
Krieser Drywall and Insulation’s business motto is “committed to quality,” so it’s no surprise that Nate feels so strongly about using a reputable contractor instead of trying to do it yourself. He gave us an example to emphasize this point: “If you wanted to scrape ‘popcorn’ off of existing ceilings to update it to a more modern texture, you need to make sure it gets tested before removal. They used to make it with Asbestos for a few years, so you always need to be careful. If you had simply tried to take on this project yourself without the help of a professional, you and everyone living in the house could have been in serious danger.”
In addition, hiring a contractor that you have not fully researched is potentially a waste of money, time, and security. You will have to work closely with contractors throughout the entire remodel process to be sure it’s a company that you trust and that you feel comfortable with the people who are in your home.
Contractors need to be experienced and knowledgeable in their craft. In Nate’s business, an ineffective contractor will lead to ineffective results. One of Krieser Drywall and Insulation’s specialty is insulating to save energy. If the job quality is poor from an inexperienced contractor, the full benefits of proper insulation will not be attainable. So, if you’re knocking down and putting up walls in your home remodeling project, you can trust the integrity of Krieser and that their team will do the job right the first time in order to save you money and discomfort down the road.
Another energy-focused aspect of the home that you definitely want to have a reputable contractor for is electricity. Think twice or maybe even three times before you try to do any sort of electrical work yourself for the sake of saving money during your remodel. Jon Eicher, project manager of ABC Electric, informed us of the dangers of inexperienced people trying to do an electrician’s job.
“DIY electrical projects are better in theory than reality,” Jon warned. “They can be very dangerous for untrained amateurs. A simple rewiring could land someone in the hospital with a huge medical bill and a long road to recovery. It’s honestly just not worth the risk in my opinion. Plus, when people choose to hire professionals we are able to guide them on how to avoid this issue again. We also save them a whole lot of time and frustration.”
There are certain jobs around the house where a faulty job can be extremely hazardous. Electrical work, for instance, can start fires and destroy your home. You definitely want to hire someone you trust when setting up new lighting fixtures in an addition or outside. Home fires are an all-too-common occurrence because of old switches, outlets, fixtures, and wires. Electrical failures or malfunctions were the second leading cause of U.S. home fires in 2012–2016, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment was the third leading form of equipment involved in these fires (Report: NFPA’s Electrical Fires, 2019). Since electrical parts normally last for a very long time, it’s easy to forget about them and assume they are fine. People also seem to think that since they’ve lived that long without updating their wiring then there’s nothing wrong with it. However, regular maintenance can help protect your home from devastating fires since eventually the wire insulation inside of electrical parts char and corrode.
It’s important to have a reliable electrical company to call when you are a second-or third-hand homeowner to make sure that everything was done correctly by previous owners. It’s important to hire experienced electricians, like the ones at ABC Electric. Each one has over 30 years of experience under their belt, and they all strive to maintain the highest standard of safety and efficiency.
Not only can a remodeling project effect the pipes and wires in a home, it also effects the heating and cooling system. If you’re thinking about adding on to your home, but not sure about the best way to heat and cool your new space, a ductless system may be the most cost-effective option. Ductless HVAC systems create a comfortable environment for separate indoor spaces where it might be impractical or expensive to add new ductwork.
If your remodel project doesn’t affect the square footage of your home, you might still want to check out the condition of your current HVAC system. According to the experts, your heating and cooling system runs about 2,600 hours a year. This number likely spikes during periods that your home is undergoing construction. With contractors going in and out of the house and opening doors a lot, equipment and labor that generates heat, and potentially parts of your home exposed to the outdoors during window replacements, roofing repair, siding installation, etc…all these things can put an extra demand on your HVAC unit. Can it keep up?
A well-maintained system has a life expectancy of 10–15 years. Efficiency is measured by how much energy is used to make the system run. The more energy used, the more cost to you, and the environment. If your heating and cooling system still has a lot of life left, then repairs make the most sense. Once it starts to lose its efficiency, it may be more cost effective to replace the furnace. Star City Heating & Cooling’s Residential Consultant can help you choose the best replacement option for your home and budget. With Star City, you can relax and trust that they conduct their business in a way that will put your needs first by making the process easy, comfortable, and informative. Their mission is to go above and beyond your expectations to give you high-quality products and services that you can rely on and enjoy.
Aside from your home’s actual heating and cooling components, a remodeling project can also change the quality of air. For people who have a lot of construction going on, it’s important to know that enormous amounts of debris are probably in your ductwork, polluting the air in your own home. Even though many people already have standard air filters installed, these mechanisms only collect 8–10% of dust circulating throughout your home. This is why the Air Scrubber Plus technology is a life saver!
The Air Scrubber Plus was created in 2013 to produce fresher, cleaner, and more sanitized air in homes and businesses. The air scrubber has been a saving grace for people who suffer from allergies, asthma, stubborn smells, and illnesses. Besides improving health, it also improves your home’s heating and cooling system. All Star City Heating & Cooling employees have tested and approved The Air Scrubber Plus! Since air scrubbers have been utilized, employee sick days have decreased, allergies have been relieved, and everyone has been happy to have one in their home. After installing an Air Scrubber, in as little as 30 minutes, 90% of surfaces are sanitized and 90% of pollutants are reduced. That is amazing!
Interior Remodeling Projects
When remodeling, it’s important to keep your lifestyle in mind when making decisions about the new structure of your floor plan. We spoke to Heidi Polacek, co-owner of Lincoln Cabinet for advice on what to consider when planning a remodel.
“Plan the remodel for your life in the next 10–15 years. What will that look like? Do you need to think about accessibility issues for walkers, wheelchairs, or grab bars? Will your family expand or downsize? Are you retiring and have some activities you don’t currently do but want to that we need to plan for?”
Heidi also warned us to not always do what’s trendy: “You don’t have to do a certain style or look because that is what is trendy now. Trends change. Designing something you love to walk into every day is better than being on trend.”
At Lincoln Cabinet, their goal is to assist you through your remodeling or new construction experience. They work with a quality team of licensed and insured professional sub-contractors throughout the design process. Where Lincoln Cabinet really shines is in kitchen design. To see for yourself and even get some ideas for your kitchen, check out their website and scroll through pictures from projects they’ve completed for other homeowners in the community.
Another remodeling aspect that can change the look of an entire room is flooring. If the floor looks dirty or old, that feeling resonates throughout the whole house. Your floor can also change how you feel about a certain room. If there’s a huge stain on the carpet in the living room, you obviously won’t be thrilled to entertain company. You also might feel a strong urge to get the floor replaced as soon as one thing goes wrong, but rest assured you don’t need to go to such great lengths to keep your floors looking fantastic.
If you’re dealing with carpet, the best way to maintain your floor is simple—keep dirty feet off the floor. Make a rule that shoes are absolutely not allowed on the carpet and watch your floor stay clean longer than it ever has before. Another way to extend the life of your carpet is by not keeping your furniture in the same place for too long. If you have the space, try to rearrange your furniture every six months or so to distribute foot traffic on the carpet. Lastly, make sure to vacuum highly traveled areas every other day! This prevents dirt, oil, dust-mites, and even insects from making themselves a permanent resident in your carpet.
When working with wooden floors, it’s important to sweep or dust mop every single day. It’s a bad idea to use too much water on wooden floors so make sure to mop with a damp rather than soaking mop every time. It’s also smart to avoid cleaning solutions with high amounts of vinegar or baking soda solutions, try to use a neutral solution instead. There are a lot of differing opinions of how to best clean wooden floors, so do your research before you buy a product and pay attention to how your floor reacts to it over time.
There are many ways to preserve your floors for a long time, but sometimes they simply need replacing. Maybe they no longer match the walls, cabinets, or furniture. Whatever the reason, finding a floor that fits your needs is
important. We spoke to Jacque Lee from EMO Flooring to hear about different flooring options for different needs.
“When people come to EMO Flooring, they will be greeted by a knowledgeable and friendly staff who can help the client pick out the specific floor type for their home,” Jacque said. “We have many types of carpet, hardwood, tile, stone, laminate, and even vinyl floors. We always advise clients to take all factors into consideration—the room’s use, its size, the aesthetic of the room, style of the furnishings, if children or pets will be in there, if they are looking to sell the home soon, and many more tiny details that will help us find the perfect match.”
When picking out a type of floor, it’s definitely important to do your research. Also, don’t just pick what you think would look the best…go for the one that will work best with your lifestyle. You might love thick, shag carpet, but if you have five, shedding dogs…that might not be the best pick! Beautiful and long-lasting, hardwood floors make an elegant choice for nearly any room in your home. Wood-look flooring in laminate, vinyl and ceramic tile has been hot for years now. In fact, it’s been the #1 flooring trend two years in a row now, with no end in sight.
Another trend that we don’t foresee going away any time soon is natural light. When remodeling, if your goal is to get as much light into a room as possible, you have a few options. One option to consider is bay or bow windows. These kinds of windows not only offer great amounts of natural light, but they can become a centerpiece in any room. Another great option is to choose picture windows. Picture windows cannot be opened or closed for the purposes of ventilation, which means that they can be made in lots of sizes because they do not have to be operational. There are even basement windows to bring light into the downstairs area!
All of these types of windows and more are available through Heartland of Nebraska Windows. Beautifully crafted with clean, smooth faces, all of Heartland of Nebraska’s windows are custom fit for every installation. Their made-to-order process helps eliminate drafts, leaks, and energy loss. Plus, their u-PVC vinyl technology virtually eliminates maintenance. You can rest assured that your windows from Heartland of Nebraska won’t split, rot, warp, crack, chalk, or rust when exposed to the elements.
Heartland of Nebraska Windows is a family-owned, local business with over 20 years of experience in the window industry.
Regardless of what type of windows you install in your home, make sure they aren’t losing you money on your heating and cooling bill. While we love the natural light, we don’t always love the heat, or lack of privacy for that matter. This is where The Tint Shop comes in. The Tint Shop is a 3M™ Window Films authorized dealer. Whether you’re concerned about excessive heat and glare, faded furnishings, security, or privacy, The Tint Shop has a window film to help you enhance the comfort of your home.
When you work with The Tint Shop, you can choose from different window film options for your home. The four categories of options include: Prestige Series, Ceramic Series, Night Vision, and Safety & Security.
Designed to maintain the appearance of your home, Prestige Series films combine reflectivity that’s actually lower than glass with films that allow up to 70% of the light into your home. Ceramic Series films reject up to 80% of the sun’s heat-producing infrared light and block 99% of UV rays. Slightly darker than the Prestige Series, these films allow up to 50% of the light into your home. Night Vision windows help block the sun’s damaging UV rays, reduce glare, and reject up to 70% of the sun’s heat. These darker, shaded films are designed to reject solar heat that is produced from visible light. You can let up to 35% of the natural light into your rooms by day and, thanks to a low interior reflectivity, still enjoy the view out by night. Plus, higher exterior reflectivity means you can enjoy enhanced privacy with your windows both day and night. Finally, 3M™ Safety & Security Window Films help to protect your home and your family from threats such as break-ins and severe weather events like thunderstorms. These films are designed to help hold glass together and they are available in clear, safety-only versions, or as a combination film with both sun control and safety features.
The Tint Shop not only has the knowledge of films, but is well trained in architectural glass as well.
Exterior Remodeling Projects
If you think about it, most of the value from your home comes from what people first see. We live in a world where first impressions mean everything. According to Neemann & Sons’ siding project manager, Lance Roach, the exterior of your home is one of the most important updates to consider.
“Making sure your home’s exterior portfolio is taken care of is one of the best home upgrades to consider right now,” Lance told us. “Updating siding and windows can add curb appeal and increase the value of your home.”
Neemann & Sons Inc. is family-owned business that is built on honesty, hard work, and 100% satisfaction. They can help you to re-do your siding for a fresh look on your home or repair that leaky roof. They have comprehensive solutions to execute your exterior remodel needs.
Landscaping plays a big component in residential remodeling as well. Outdoor living spaces are very popular and could be one the thing you feel like your home is missing. The options are truly endless when thinking about what vibe you want to give out with your lawn decor. One way to figure out what your options are is to visit a local outdoor supply company like Outdoor Solutions. Their team can help you come up with ideas that will match your vision and your budget. There are aesthetic features and there are functional features. To enhance the visual appearance of your yard, you can add some beautiful, durable outdoor pottery planters and are pieces, or you can install a fire pit, perfect for summer bonfires! The functional aspects are important too. Your landscape needs to be practical before it needs to be pretty. Make sure you have walkways where there is a lot of foot traffic so your grass isn’t getting ruined. Outdoor Solutions has a great selection of flagstone for this purpose. The varying colors of decorative stones make them ideal for individualizing your landscaping.
Another way to utilize stone is by adding a retaining wall to your property. By using brick, you add a rustic vibe to your yard with a splash of texture. In some cases, when you are adding on to your home, the lay of the land is affected and the grounds can end up unlevel. Retaining walls are a visually pleasing solution to this problem. Local companies like Yankee Hill Brick sell large amounts of bricks for you to use. They have different colors and variations so you can pick out a brick theme from a variety of options. This is a project that is DIY-friendly!
Another exterior aspect to consider is your deck. Dan Waters, owner of Decks Unlimited, offered to speak with us about how important it is to pay attention to materials when considering a deck!
“When it comes to building decks and staying in your home for the long haul choosing quality products is an absolute must. Using an off-brand composite can cost way more when you have to stain the wood every other year for the next 30 years,” Dan explained to us. “Also, using quality railings and not wood rails is a huge benefit. I prefer using TimberTech railings for composite and Westbury aluminum railings for metal rails. With new developments in colors and products, choice are endless. I love to see how each customer can fine-tune their deck to make a beautiful project of their very own.”
A well-built deck can increase curb appeal exponentially and, therefore, home value. Also, a quality deck will not need any maintenance for years. Decks Unlimited prides itself on using the highest quality materials on the product. They also boast a wide variety of colors and styles to match your house’s aesthetic perfectly.
One fun deck idea is adding unique lighting to your deck to help it become a focal point in your backyard. Deck’s Unlimited offers color changing under lighting, post lighting, or scone lighting to help you make your deck perfect.
Before, During, and After
If your project engulfs your whole house, you’ll likely have to move some furniture and belongings out of the way. The task of moving everything can feel colossal. Luckily, there are companies you can work with to do all the heavy lifting for you, like Heartland Moving!
The movers at Heartland Moving focus on safety, security, and comfort. They also believe that packing and taking care of their customers’ property should be a number one priority. Think about the family pictures and paintings on the wall and valuable items like pianos, china cabinets, TVs, etc. Don’t try to move these things yourself and risk breaking something fragile or damaging other structures in the process, like walls, door frames, and floors. Let the professionals do it.
If your heart is set on a larger-scale project, there’s a chance your furniture could be ruined due to all the dust and debris that construction makes. You can consolidate your stuff into another room that is out of the way and even use tarps, but dust normally find its way into every little nook and cranny. There’s no way to guarantee the safety of your furniture other than by removing it from your home completely. If this is the case, renting a storage unit is a sensible option. When we spoke to Megan Johnson at Kingery Construction Co., who works in the Store It All division, she told us how easy renting a storage unit is. “Renting a storage unit is a great option for people who want to remove their furniture while there is remodeling going on in their home,” Megan confirmed. “With our process, all it takes is selecting the unit size that you need, entering in your payment info, and then you’ll receive confirmation of your rental information! It’s that simple.”
“Utilizing a storage unit allows people to use the unit as an extension of their home,” Megan added. “Because of our convenient location, you can quickly access all of your possessions in one centralized location. Our units are all well-lit and have a wide drive way for easy semi access.”
Like we said, even if you can get away with moving your stuff into another room, you might still want to consider using a storage unit so that the dust and dirt that gets kicked up in the air during construction doesn’t find its way to your furniture. Which brings us to another point, cleaning up during and after a remodeling project. It’s imperative that the remodel zone gets cleaned right away. There could be sawdust, nails, broken glass, wire, and other dangerous debris in or around your home. Some of these materials cannot just be left in that week’s trash pickup. Drywall, wood, paint, and other materials require special pick up.
360 Clean is a local professional cleaning agency that regularly cleans up after contractors in interior remodels. Allisyn Meadows, manager of 360 Clean, offered to tell us more.
“Our service is for anyone who needs help cleaning up after a resident, or even commercial, remodel,” Allisyn stated. “It is actually safer to have professionals complete this task. We’ve done it so many times before, so we’re less likely to step on a nail than the average person! With our experience and equipment, we can get the job done quickly and efficiently. We also have the means to dispose of construction wastes while most people don’t.”
A final point to address during residential remodels is the potential of theft. Theft is very common during home remodels because contractors might leave out expensive materials—new materials that you’ve purchased for your house!
A recent and sad phenomena happening is criminals stealing contracting supplies. In one case, an elderly couple’s newly purchased HVAC unit was stolen right before installation. As a result, it’s becoming more and more common for people to take preventative measures when they know expensive equipment is vulnerable on their property. One measures is hiring a security guard to be on your property while expensive materials are there. We spoke to Spenser Ware, owner of AnyWare Security, to learn more.
“It may seem extreme, but it’s becoming more and more common for people to hire us for residential home remodels,” Spenser told us. “We make sure that your materials are secure at all times. Most of the time we do these types of jobs during workdays or weekends, when the clients can’t be home to watch the materials themselves. People who hire us normally work in areas where remodel theft has happened before.”
Whatever method you use, make sure your home is safe before, during, and after the remodel process. It can be scary letting strangers into your home, but there are definitely measures you can take to remain as safe as possible.
As houses age and trends change, the demand for residential remodeling services continue to grow. Just remember, before you give your home a facelift, make sure you’ve considered its bones—electric, plumbing, septic, air quality, etc.—and don’t forget about all the awesome professionals we have here in Lincoln who are eager to help you every step of the way!