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So… When is the best time to remodel?

“What’s the best time of year to remodel my home?” We get asked this a lot and our answer remains the same: Any time is the right time – as long as you’re ready to do it. Some seasons – especially in the mid-atlantic area – offer more cost savings and contractor availability than others as well.

Remodeling January through early March

Regardless whether you are looking to do a project inside your home or out; this is actually considered the best time to start a project. Even if you’re only in the planning stage, this is a great time to get a jump on everyone else who is looking to do the same because generally speaking, more help is available. The winter months tend to be less busy for builders, because everyone is either still getting over their holiday expenditures or waiting for spring and tax refunds to start their projects. Builders, remodeler’s and many specialty contractors are looking to schedule work and often at reduced rates. Also, just like fast-food restaurants in January; many suppliers including home stores offer big discounts on materials and hardware this time of year to make up for less demand. Those savvy enough to take advantage of this time of year can be enjoying their finished projects while everyone else’s is just getting underway. And often for less!

Remodeling April through June

Spring is traditionally home building season, not only because consumers are finding the money to do projects, but also because it’s the time we start to come out of winter hibernation and want something new. This is also the busiest time for most builders, so it’s probably when you’ll pay the most money for their time and for materials. It’s the simple law of supply and demand.
However this is also a great time to get moving on that larger project you’ve been putting off that requires more planning and scheduling – if you would like it completed before the end of summer. Builders and remodeler’s book up quick and tend to stay booked through spring and summer. Miss their window and you might be doing that kitchen or basement build out through the holidays rather the summer months.

Remodeling July through September

Tackling indoor work like a kitchen or bathroom remodel is recommended during the warmer spring and summer months. The last thing you want to do in the sweltering heat is an attic bedroom! To most people’s surprise, however, roofing projects are often done in the summer, because the roofing material needs certain higher temperatures to seal. Also contrary to what many might think; this tends to be your last chance to get booked for that kitchen, basement or bathroom remodel if you want it completed before the relatives show up for the holidays
Another perk to getting your project planned early so as to be installed over the summer; If you vacation in summer or have a summer home, it’s great to plan your remodeling effort for when you and your family will be away. You can avoid all the unpleasant inconveniences of living with a renovation and come back to a brand new addition!

Remodeling October through December

While the first part of this quarter is ideal for outdoor work and new construction starts, it is traditionally the time when homeowners want their remodeling finished. The impending holidays are a looming deadline for builders, and there’s a scramble to get things done by mid-November. If the custom cabinets, appliances or components you want won’t be delivered for 8,10 – even 12 weeks; you don’t want to start your project in the middle of October if you expect them installed by Thanksgiving!
But if you’re willing to have crews in your home during the holiday season, this is a good time to schedule anything from an addition to remodeling a kitchen. Business is slower for contractors and materials tend to be less expensive. However, shipping may take longer due to weather or holidays shutdowns, so be sure to work those extra days into your timeframe!

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So, Think You’re Ready For A Kitchen Remodel?

You’ve been pinning and scrapbooking, saving pictures and cool ideas for your perfect dream kitchen.
Remodeling a kitchen, even a small kitchen, can involve a lot of decisions. It can also take up a lot of time and money. Although picking out tile for your backsplash, choosing countertops, and finding just the right sink are fun to do; do you really know what goes into remodeling a kitchen? Check out this article and infographic from the folks at Porch. If you’re considering a kitchen makeover in the near future, this could be a great tool to check your budget against and see if you are on the right track. http://porch.com/advice/kitchen-remodeling/

And as always, if you have any questions or need more ideas – we’re here to help!
Give us a call or visit our online gallery and see what we can do for you.

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It’s Spring Cleaning Time!! (yaaay)

SPRING CLEANING: 8 TOP ORGANIZING TIPS

Here are some Kitchen-Storage-Solutions; but really these could be used for nearly every room of your home, garage or office.

1) Set a date and stick it. Do it now because sometime “later” becomes “never”. Before you even you start organizing your book shelves, closet or kitchen cabinets you need to do a major “clean out”. And it’s even smarter to map out where you plan to take the items you are getting rid of, for instance, are you making a church donation, a thrift store donation or going to a Salvation Army collection site. Schedule and plan your day entirely on this event. Start in the morning when you’re fresh and have the most energy and psyche yourself for the project ahead. Make it a ‘special’ event for you, no help from friends or family, not distractions at all, just you and your mess! (And don’t forget a good reward for yourself when you are done – might actually be a motivator that helps get things done.)

2) Dump it all out. You must lay out each item for you to evaluate. You must collect all like items together, for instance, all clothing piled together, purses together, shoes etc. Look in closets, under beds, basements, anywhere these items might possibly be. Don’t be surprised or horrified by the sheer amount of stuff that you have accumulated over the years!

3) After you have cleaned everything out of the space: cupboards, shelves or miscellaneous boxes, start sorting. You will need to make three separate piles; keep, donate and throw away. Start with sorting through clothing first, it tends to have the least sentimental value and one of the greatest impact on your organizing project. You get a bigger feel of accomplishment which encourages you to continue and conquer! Follow by sorting through your books, miscellaneous stuff (various wires, free samples etc.), papers and finally mementos.

4) Gather big, big, big garbage bags and toss, toss, toss! Pick up each item and ask yourself, “does this bring me joy?” If you answer yourself no, then it goes in the donate pile. This gives you the choice of keeping what you want and tossing what you don’t want.

5) Now is the time to develop a zero policy. There are some things you don’t even have to think about tossing, you just need to do it. Among these items, for instance, would be spare buttons (really, you are NOT ever going to use them), books you haven’t read (if you haven’t taken the time to read them by now, you probably won’t read them), gifts that you love but don’t use and any type of cord that you cannot identify.

6) Have a no mercy policy towards paperwork. In other words, throw them all away or more wisely, shred or have them shredded by a company that does that. There are exceptions, of course. Bills that are current (although you only need to keep for a limited time), tax receipts, and paperwork that you need to keep for longer time frames like rental or lease papers.

7) Edit your photo collections, and most people will need to do it a lot. This may be one of the most time consuming organizing task. That is why this should be done as one of the last projects. You will need to go through your pictures one by one, this includes removing pictures from photo albums and asking yourself, again, if these “make you happy.” Scenery photos that you can’t even place or even people you don’t recognize belong in the garbage. You should try to keep no more than approximately 5 prints total per day of your vacation trip.

8) Think about purchasing matching storage containers. When your closets or cabinets look good and organized, you are more inclined to keep your areas organized and not revert back to your old unorganized ways. You don’t have to spend tons of money buy elaborate containers. You can purchase plastic shoe boxes at the dollar stores, practically anywhere. If you need bigger plastic containers you can get those at any Target, hardware store or even Bed, Bath & Beyond. There are even large plastic bags where you vacuum out all the air. Great for storing seasonal clothing or any type of bedding

Good luck! Now go do something.

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5 ‘Must Haves’ for today’s kitchens

[one_third_first]None of us want to miss out on the must-haves when it comes to remodeling. And for today’s kitchen, those “must-haves” are surprisingly practical and highly impactful to the function of the kitchen. According to the results of a recent online poll of more than 300 kitchen dealers and designers conducted exclusively for Kitchen & Bath Design News by the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence (RICKI), here are the top 5 “must-haves” for today’s kitchen:

1) Full extension drawers – Nobody wants to try and guess what is in the back of the drawer of any cabinet. Full extension guides allow drawers to come out to the front edge of your cabinet, letting you easily see and grab everything inside that drawer.

2) Trash/recycling bins- Just like nobody wants to guess at what is in the back of the drawer, no one wants to see their trash or recycling either. Today’s combinations offer both, with options from 1-4 bins to handle multiple trash and recycling needs.
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3) Kitchen island- The reasons people want a kitchen island are vastly different. More storage, a dedicated work space, a space for the kids to do homework, a place for friends or guests to sit, you name it. A kitchen island can do any…or all of the above.

4) Deep drawers – As our collection of pots, pans, serving dishes and more grow, so to do our storage needs. Adding deeper drawer cabinets to a kitchen offers greater flexibility for storing more of anything, including those larger or more oddly shaped items.

5) More accessible storage – from pull out spice trays that hide behind fillers to the classic tilt out sink tray, having storage where you really need it makes all the difference in a well-designed kitchen. Understanding the cabinets and cabinet accessories that can provide more accessible storage is a critical part of the discovery and design process.

Other must haves that just missed out making the top 5 include in or under; standard or LED lighting, separate range hoods that are not part of a microwave and custom and semi-custom cabinets that can meet the changing needs and demands of how clients store, prepare and serve their food.

At the end of the day, it’s most important to know what your own “must-haves” are for your kitchen. By doing your research (like reading this informative blog) you will quickly identify your own as you put together the kitchen of your dreams.Deep Drawers pic

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Questions To Ask Your Contractor

Good article today from Marcus Picket on choosing a contractor:

When it comes to hiring a contractor, most folks think they do the right amount of due diligence. They search for reviews, they check with the Better Business Bureau, and they likely ask the prospective pro whether or not they’re licensed and insured. Doing your research is a good thing. It helps you avoid the mistake of hiring the wrong pro. However, many homeowners still feel intimidated when dealing with their contractor. So much so, that nearly 84 percent of homeowners we surveyed spent time researching their project before talking to their contractor in hopes of sounding like they knew what they were talking about!

Getting taken advantage of is a legitimate fear when hiring a pro to tackle a major home improvement project. One of the ways to prevent that from happening is by knowing how much others in your area are paying for similar projects. However, you’ll need more than pricing info to get the peace of mind you’re looking for. Thankfully, all it takes is the confidence to ask any and all questions you might have. Here are five must ask questions every homeowner should ask, as well as five questions you might not have thought to ask:

1. How long have you been working in the industry or in business?

What you want to hear is that they’ve been in business long enough to establish a credible track record of successful work experience.

2. Are you licensed, insured, and/or bonded?

At the very least you want to know that they’re licensed (and it’s current) and carry worker’s comp and liability insurance to cover any accidents. Bonding is more often found in commercial construction where projects tend to be very large and high dollar vs. residential construction. Being bonded is not a universal requirement, so not all contractors are. Think of bonding as an insurance policy for the homeowner that protects you if the job heads south.

3. Do you guarantee your work in writing?

While a verbal guarantee is nice, it offers no guarantees that the contractor will actually stand behind their work. You want a written guarantee that states exactly what is and isn’t covered.

4. Can you provide references?

Ratings and reviews are a great resource, especially when coupled with references from previous customers. Ask your contractor to provide a list of references you can contact. Think twice before hiring them if aren’t able to. Visiting a recent completed project ‘without the contractor’ present enables you to ask the owner questions you may not be comfortable asking with the contractor present. In turn, they too might be more comfortable offering more information than if the contractor is standing there with you.

5. Do you pull all the required permits?

Failing to pull the required permits can cost you big time. However, many homeowners are unsure as to what permits they’re required to pull for a project. While you can obtain the permits, you’ll want your contractor to as it indicates that they’re going to stand behind their work and, more important, have the licenses required to pull the permits. If your contractor is hesitant to pull the permits it could be a red flag.
Building Permits

6. Who will be managing the project?

Knowing who will be managing the project is key, especially if your project is large enough to require sub-contractors. If the individual you’re dealing with during the estimate process is not the one who will be managing the project, insist on meeting the project manager so you can get a read on whether or not you’ll feel comfortable working with them.

7. What is the project timeline and daily work schedule?

The nature of construction is often dynamic. Workers get sick, orders get delayed, and weather can cause interruptions. However, an organized contractor should be able to provide you with a work schedule that clearly outlines when the project will start and end, as well as the hours the crew will be working.

8. Will you need water or bathroom facilities?

Most contractors are self-sufficient enough to bring their own water. However, unless they’re doing a major remodel that necessitates bringing in a port-a-john, there’s a good chance they’ll need to use your facilities. Asking them before the project gets started gives you the opportunity to tell them which bathroom you prefer them to use.

9. Will you need keys to my house or my garage code?
Who will have access to either?

Not surprisingly, many homeowners don’t feel comfortable giving their contractor the keys to their home. In fact, only 16 percent of homeowners we surveyed do so. That being said, unless you plan on staying home during construction, you’re going to need to give your contractor access to your home. Knowing exactly who has the key to your home or your garage access code gives you the peace of mind you need to know your home is safe.

10. Will you sign a contract?

Did you know 53 percent of homeowners we surveyed said one of their primary concerns when hiring a pro is that the pro won’t follow through with their service guarantee? Any contractor worth his or her salt will be willing to write out a contract that spells out the work to be done, the materials to be used, the time frame in which the project will be completed, the project costs, as well as stipulations outlining what will happen if the project becomes more problematic than anticipated (what’s known as a “time and materials” contract). The contract should also include a termination clause that spells out the circumstances in which both parties are allowed to terminate the contract.

For more information in working with contractors, visit HomeAdvisor.com.
Marcus Pickett is a professional freelance writer for the home remodeling industry. He has published more than 600 articles on both regional and national topics within the home improvement industry.

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Cedar Forest Cabinetry Wins 2014 Best in Business Award!

TopPanelAwardNOKESVILLE March 10, 2014 — For a second year in a row, Cedar Forest Cabinetry has been selected for the 2014 Chamber of Commerce “Best of Nokesville Award” in the Cabinetmakers category!

Each year, the Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Nokesville area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About the Award Program

The Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Nokesville area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. The organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. It’s mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.