Garage maintenance in the winter

With the cold of the wind and the frozen falling sculptures comes salted roads and slush in abundance. Often during the winter through the slipping and sliding we track the slush indoors, and the location that receives the worst treatment is the garage. So for this little snippet, we are going to give some tips for protecting your garage from the harsh season and prolong its life!

Initial inspection

  • Before anything else, we need to return the garage to it’s former clean, salt free glory. This will require some manual labor, but it will be well worth it in the end.
  • Sweep, mop and scrub the problem areas of the garage floor to ensure there are no salt stained locations that will cause problems for the health of your concrete flooring in the spring.

Protection from the weather

  • Once the floor is clean and returned to the point of acceptance, it’s time to anticipate and prevent the further damage. Inspect your garage and make any repairs now that may be needed involving the concrete. This may involves cracks, gaps, or chips.
  • Once the floor is whole again we need to implement defenses from further snow, slush and salt encounters. We can achieve this protection from a simple garage car mat which can contain the mess that is drudged in from the cold world outside.
  • Garage mats are easy to clean and store when the need for them is no more, and this will ensure the start of the next winter season is already accounted for, because this mat is easily reusable through the years!
  • If your concern is bigger than just the car and what it brings in, and you need more protection for a wider areas of the garage, consider different mats. There are mats that can be tailored to your garages dimensions  and cover a much larger surface area, preventing the concrete floor from interacting with the winter at all!
  • Finally, there is a sealant option  to really ensure the protection of your garage flooring. Siliconate penetrating sealer is applied with a acrylic sealer and simple to use. The result of this sealant is a glossy finish that will enhance the clean and orderly look of the garage!
  • The sealant is a strong physical barrier that will prevent things like salt and deicing from running through your garage floor and causing larger concrete issues for the spring.!

That’s all we have for today! If you have any questions or concerns about your home please don’t hesitate to give us a call! We at Xpand are here for the family and you! 

Modern fireplace renovation ideas!

When you hear the word “fireplace” you usually think of the standard fireplace that is sitting in a brick chimney and in the living room of the home. Generally that’s how they actually are, but why stick with the generic? Let’s be a bit eccentric and exciting today!

Modern fireplace concepts

We are going to move the fireplace away from the generic chimney attached concept and develop some ideas for more unique and modern concepts!

Let’s start off by moving the fireplace away from the brick and chimney. Your fireplace can easily be installed into a wall now! This can hold great opportunities! For example, the wall could be made specifically for the fireplace, allowing the fireplace to be shown and functional on both sides of the said wall, adding a unique warmth and charm to more than just the living room!

If your worried about adding a wall to the house and closing the space up, why not consider a the midsection of the wall to be cut out, allowing for visual space to still be relevant, and a fireplace being functional on both sides!

Ventless fireplaces 

Most people don’t actually know that since the 1980’s there have been ventless fireplaces. There are, and they can be tremendously useful from a design standpoint!

Incorporating a ventless fireplace allows the location and incorporation of the fireplace to be faster and easier, foregoing the flute or chimney altogether! This means you can have a wonderful in-wall risen fireplace in your dining room to give an alluring charm during dinner. Adding onto the previous concept, the fireplace could actually function in two rooms, so when you move from the dining room to the living room you don’t have to leave the comfort of a fickle flame! Fireplaces don’t even need to be restricted to the main section of a home! If you have a workshop in the garage, or an enclosed porch of some sort, you could always install a fireplace in these locations!

Changing how you see the fireplace and the generic ideas of how it is supposed to be can open up some great opportunities for your home and it’s development of character!

Consider in the future, a renovation that incorporates a fireplace wall or ventless fireplace to add a strong visual appeal as soon as you step into the home. Fireplaces are key to a dramatic feeling in an atmosphere because it showcases an element defined by it’s fickle existence and undying charm in the glow of it’s oxygen burning life.

Give us a call today and let’s talk about some fireplace renovation ideas! We have some great insight to offer and we would love to collaborate with you to achieve those new standards of uniqueness!

 

Garage workshop renovation ideas!

During the winter seasons, it is easier to get into hobbies that are at, or near the home. For some, this may be difficult based on the hobby or profession, due to the need for specific machines/tools. For example, if your a hobby ceramics artist, or even a full time ceramics artist, and looking to move your workshop out of a rented space and into the home, we have a solution for you! The garage!

The garage has so many possibilities to become a workshop, be it a mechanic shop or something else, there is always a way to alter your garage for what you need! Since the garage is generally an open space already, it’s easier to convert from one function to another.

What to consider for garage renovations

Renovation Format

Renovate your garage to add a second floor dedicated to your workshop! You can add onto your garage and incorporate some form of loft style that can allow for interaction with the garage floor while dwelling on the loft working away perfecting your craft! This format would also prevent the issue of car placement, by not displacing your vehicles to fit the necessary equipment of your trade. Another option is to have a new car garage built on the property to the perfect dimensions to fit the family vehicles so that you may convert the ground floor of the home attached garage, into your new workshop.

Necessities 

When converting your garage into a workshop you must take into consideration the needs of your new work space. Consider a layout that that will minimize health hazards and ensure safety as a priority. An example  for a ceramics workshop would be to ensure you have a ventilation system applied to the garage so that you may dispose of the hazardous materials floating in the air. It is also important to make sure there is a clear fire escape route that has minimal chance to be hindered in case of a fire. Safety precautions and protocol should be considered before any renovations or additions are acted upon.

Convenience

Moving your workshop to your home garage area will be a huge convenience especially during the seasons that might prevent you from leaving your home. Having the workshop at home will allow a more precise execution of time management, helping your days become more efficient in all manners. Altering your garage into a workshop also allows for change! The issues you had at your out of home workshop can be addressed in the process of developing your in-home workshop! A workshop at home will also mean there is no longer the possibility for community sharing issues, unless you choose to hold workshops in your new space. This alone is a great bonus because it means you will know where everything is at all times and things won’t fall apart mysteriously when your gone.

The pros of an in-home workshop easily outweigh the pros of a community or rented work space. Converting your home garage into a workshop will no doubt increase productivity and efficiency for most all forms of trades/hobbies.

Be sure to give us a call today and let’s talk about those garage renovation ideas and additions, to ensure a high quality job that will be more than sufficient for your workshop needs! 

 

Wine and dine in your own home!

Going out to a nice luxurious restaurant can be a wonderful time. Beautifully made atmosphere with a sense of romance and charm filling the air. However, sometimes you just don’t have the time and energy it takes to go to a location such as this, getting the reservations and getting ready are just too much of a hassle. Your next best option is to stay home and enjoy time with the family at the dining area, the only problem is, the dining area feels lacking. In this post, we are going to give you some inspiration for dining room remodels and innovations! We want you to develop a dining room that gives a strong relaxing atmosphere, filled with a sense of luxury and sophistication! A dining room to be truly proud of, and excited to use!

There are many aspects to consider when thinking about dining room remodels, and while it’s easy to get carried away and completely change this room into it’s own little world (which can be very appealing when done correctly) however it’s good to keep in mind that this room is apart of the bigger whole, and there should be a strong cohesive element in this room in comparison to the rest of the home.

Now let’s break down some aspects of a dining room remodel!

Orientation

How the dining room is oriented can effectively make or break the room right off the bat. This room needs to have a set up that allows easy flow and movement from this room to another, giving no stress in transition. This room is primarily used as a family gathering spot to eat, however is often subject to being a place of activity, and that needs to be taken into consideration when choosing the layout of this room. Consider the windows and adjacent rooms, as well as the lighting placement for an overall effective experience with the design you want to implement.

Design/Style

There are numerous manners in which this room can be formed to have it’s own special atmosphere and quirks. For example, you could have one of the walls dedicated to greenery! Bringing the nature indoors to consistently provide a fresh feeling environment that is very aesthetically appealing and downright unique!

 

Open/Closed

Consider what interactions you would want to have with other rooms, while in this room. There is a more modern route that can be taken, that allows for visual access to multiple rooms while occupying the dining room, which thoroughly enhances the feeling of vastness/openness.

 

A very open style dining room that allows  for visual  access to other rooms while in the dining room is key. However if this seems too invasive to you, there is always the standard and other alternatives in terms of the wall layouts.  If you want a more secluded dining room, you can always enforce a very structurally closed of style that is still effective and actually stronger at achieving its own atmospheric feeling.

That’s all we have for today, but be sure to let some ideas stew for those dining room remodels and give us a call when your ready! We will work with you through every step of the way to achieve the dream home you desire!

 

Nursery room and baby tips!

If you are lucky enough to be adding an extra to the family this coming winter, i’m certain you are stressing about the room that will be dedicated to that soon-to-be. A nursery room is supposed to be the safest location for the baby and have nothing but positive affects on the little bugger. So what should be considered when baby-ing up a room?

Let’s break it down!

Environment

The new born baby will spend most of it’s time in here staring at a never changing ceiling. This room needs to be well thought out, from the lighting, to the noise, to create the least stressful environment as possible. To do this, it is important to consider all of the senses. When considering the light, it’s best to have forms of light that are natural, but not intense, something more subdued. This room also needs to have as much stillness as possible, so very little traffic should come through here, which means nothing of need should be stored in here that will require you to go in and out of this room often. Consider the placement of the furniture that works best with the needs of you and the baby, this will ensure a more peaceful environment, rather than a jungle gym. Once the child actually comes into the room, there may be a need to adjust things to make it a comfortable location for the both of you.

Baby furniture

The furniture you have will require some familiarization, to ensure smooth functionality in the moment of need, rather than struggle and increased screams. Become familiar with the bassinet and how it works, this will be an essential tool in the early stages of babyhood because it allows transportation of the sleeping bug, for a watchful eye. After the first four or five months, it’s time for the infamous crib. When choosing a crib, ensure it satisfies all safety regulations so that your child cant slip through the slates like Maggie in the Simpsons. Information on the new regulations and suggestions for cribs can be found here.

Sleeping arrangements

Since your baby will be sleeping most of it’s early life, it’s important to know the safety tips.

  • “Back to sleep”- always make sure your baby is placed on it’s back while sleeping, to avoid the possibility of the worst case scenario, SIDS (Sudden Baby Death Syndrome)
  • A firm and flat sleeping surface so the baby can sleep better and healthier.
  • fluffy pillows, crib bumpers, blankets, and toys should never be place in the crib with the child.
  • Do not use sleep-position devices. They may prove to endanger your child rather than help.
  • Zipper sleepers are a great way to keep your child warm, but ensure it is not possible for it to be pulled up and over the child’s face.

Having a child can be a wonderful experience if you have thoroughly prepared with the gaining of knowledge and mental confidence! There is more important aspects to consider than what is laid out here, so be sure to keep scouring the web for important aspects of nurseries and babies health! Also, congratulations!

Be sure to give us a call if you have any questions about remodels for the nursery to ensure a larger space, or better noise cancellation options, not to mention lighting options!

That’s all for today! Have a wonderful week, and we hope this was informative for parent’s to be!

Bathroom remodel ideas!

Master bath with hardwood floor and window overlooking lake

The winter is a great time to consider the inside of your home, and the rooms that are used on a daily. One such room of great importance would be the bathroom, we use it every day, so it should be one of the top priorities when it comes to comfort, access and spaciousness. If your bathroom is a cluttered room that drives anxiety, stress and frustration into overdrive just by looking at the closed that hides the beast within, you may want to consider a remodel!

Bathroom remodels can be very cathartic and really help you appreciate your bathroom much more. From the shower to the floor, a bathroom remodel has all sorts of possibilities! So lets think about some options!

Counter space, above and below

The bathroom counters are one of the main focuses when you step into the room. This will be the location you brush your teeth, do your hair and makeup, shave and a multitude of other functionalities. This space needs to accommodate your needs. Something to really consider is the type of counter, what material you will use, and what will help hide the fallen toothpaste instead of show it off. Usually there are cabinets of some sort underneath the counter space, to hold cleaning products or some random things here and there, however you could actually remove the space below and have the cabinets cut out, so there is a nice wide open space below the sink. this will open the room more, enhancing the feeling of space, while also being an option to store objects there if wanted.

Flooring

The kind of tile you have laid out in your bathroom is another strong attention capturing subject. The tile should be the cohesive element that ties the entire room together aesthetically, while still being something that shines on it’s own. Consider how far this tile is pushed, it doesn’t have to stop at the floor level. Some bathrooms can look great with the floor tile rising up and taking hold of some of the wall space, creating a cut across the room, before going into a different material for the upper half of the walls.

Bathtub or shower? Both? 

The cleaning station! the shower/bath in the bathroom can be the “make or break” of the room. Everything in the bathroom can look great and create an aesthetic appeal, but then be completely ruined by the shower or tub. The shower/tub needs to integrate seamlessly  with the rest of the room. A strong way of accomplishing this integration would go back to the flooring, which could lead right into the shower/tub. Another method could be the means of access, either curtain or slider, or doors. The method of access will also determine how open the room feels. If there is a curtain, the room will instantly be cut down, while a glass or frost door will open the room greatly, increasing the sense of space and decrease any claustrophobic feelings.

 

That’s all for now, but don’t for a second think that this is all that there is to a bathroom remodel! There is always the toilet, lighting, mirror, shelving, closets etc… that has to still be considered! Make your bathroom a place of peace and strong functionality! Once you have some solid ideas flowing around, give us a call and we will work through your ideas with you and help you through the entire process! 

Winter wonderland in an enclosed porch!

The home has a variety of things to offer in terms of functionality and services. I’ve said it once and I will say it again, the home has tremendous potential to become a character of its own. The only limit to what you do with your home is the limit of your imagination!…alright there might be a few other things too but those are currently irrelevant.

Something that is often overlooked, and that I think holds great potential is the idea of an enclosed porch! An enclosed porch can offer great potential for use all through the year, no matter the season, and connects the occupants with an intimate relationship with the surrounding nature! Be it storming, snowing, or a bright beautiful day, the enclosed porch will always stay relevant in the home.

So what do you need to consider when planning your remodel for the enclosed porch?

Let’s break it down!

 

Aesthetic

I’m like a broken record, I know, but aesthetic is a strong element in a home that must not be overlooked. The feeling you get when you walk into the enclosed porch should compliment the natural environment in all of its forms. A strong manner of accomplishing this is to extenuate the roofing, by installing glass panels on the ceiling, to feel further engrossed in the environment. The colors of this room should be painted with the surrounding environment in mind. If you have strong greenery around then use colors that would compliment green. Often cool colors can work well in these room, like a blue/grey, or on the opposite side, a nice tan/cream color has been known to work well. Finally consider the texture relevant in the room. Will you have a stone fireplace and exposed wood supports on the ceiling to match the rough forest in your backyard?  These questions can really decide how well the room ties together with the outside and rest of the inside areas.

 

Maneuverability 

There should be a flow of movement in the room that allows for comfort, because this room is for relaxing and contemplation, or family game night, you name it! Either way this room should allow strong movement which means, don’t pack the room full of furniture to try and overly impress yourself or your guests. This room works best with minimalism. Another thought should be how you enter the room. Will the room be open from the kitchen or living room, with no door for a strong connection to the rest of the home? Or will there be a sliding door to separate the rest of the home and keep that room its own atmosphere?

 

Elevation of the room

Finally, lets consider the elevation of the room. Will this room be level with the rest of the home and have stairs leading downward to the ground level from the enclosed porch? Or would you prefer to have steps leading down from the home, into the porch and then you can walk out into your backyard? Or will you just get rid of the stairs all together and have a slopped entry way into the porch? These forms of entry can decide who can and cant enter the location, while also causing more or less difficulty in certain areas of life. It’s important to consider who will be enjoying this room and what this room will be used for! Maybe you will install a miniature ceramic studio to work under the stars on those inspired nights? I can dream!

 

I hope you have some ideas swimming about for your homes new enclosed porch! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us and we will walk with you through the whole process!

Home library remodels, a space for the mind to wander and the soul to flourish

Master suite with sliding door and hardwood floor and chandelier and hallway to walk in closet

Our home can be an energy filled place, excitement, pre-teen angst, you name it. We need to have a place that allows  us to engage in a calm energy to process the day and get lost in worlds of the mind. Books! Stories created from the minds of silver-penned artists to engage the reader in a carnival of curiosities and allow them to rest the body and mind.

Enticed yet? Great! We need to talk about your next home remodel idea! A home library, for you or the family or your neighbors cats, you name it!

So what do you need to think about when building an environment dedicated to reading and studies?

Let’s break it down!

Environment

The environment of this room is especially important. The energy you feel in this room will determine your ability to concentrate on the resting function, and really immerse yourself in what your doing. this means there should be an aesthetic that has calming colors and clutter-free energy.

There should be plenty of room to walk, wander and wonder. When concentration is broken from the random inaudible noise outside the room you need to not get distracted by something else in the room. Ensure the room has very specific objects in it, so books and maps and things that are studied and involving sitting or laying and relaxing the body.

Noise

Noise is another important aspect to consider, as seen from the section above. Maybe consider having the room dedicated to soundproof so the neighbors mowing their lawn doesn’t cause distress and broken concentration. Think of the type of door you want to use because they all have different forms of noise cancellation. Maybe add an attachment to the bottom of the door to close the gap between the floor and the door but still allows it to open and close smoothly. Technology in the room can be another source of noise, so consider the hum of the computer or the buzzing of a radio when your planning the items inside the room.

Lighting

Lights! Naturally you need to be able to see what your reading. Think about all times of the day when your in this room. Will there be an abundance of natural lighting during the day? What kind of lights will be used during the night hours? It’s always a great idea to get lights as close to natural sunlight, this is good for mental health and is known to improve the mood and put stress on the decline.

Structural Layout

How will the flow of the library feel? You need to consider the layout of the walls and how the air flows in the room. There is always an option for a loft style, which is popular for libraries/studies. Enter the room and pick out a book then walk up the stairs that overlook the lower level that holds shelves abundant with your future journeys. You could also consider a lovely window seating, the stereotypical library functionality, but always a deeply loved location. A window seat can be a great place to cozy up and read or study, while being close to the outside world without the possibility of an icicle falling from your nose!

 

Home libraries/ studies are places of retreat and regeneration. They can improve a homes charm greatly and become one of the main attractions as well. Give us a call today and lets discuss some ideas so you can be ready before the winter hits to cozy up and get lost in wonderland with Alice. 

Bedroom remodeling ideas!

Now that the cold is sailing in on the frigid waves of winter, we all will be spending a bit more time indoors, which means our home will soon become subject to criticism due to constant interaction. So lets get the blood flowing and think of some new ideas for some indoor bedroom remodeling ideas!

For the bedroom, we often have quarrels with the look of our closets. Our closets are usually the epitome of clutter and discord, so lets straighten that out and help reduce the stress of even looking in that direction!

First off, we need to address the door, or doors that allow entry into the closet. This is the face of the closet and should be aesthetically pleasing to look at, and flow with the room.

Take the doors from the closet and replace them with some hollow core doors for some light weight movement. Paint the doors a color that matches the surrounding environment or has a great compliment to it. There is also the option of altering the hollow core doors with some extra wooden bars across the doors, to give them a unique style and not be so flat.

Next is the guts of the closet. There are many ways to go about this, you could have the back wall expanded and allow for a walk-in closet option, or even widened and turn it into a wrap around closet! After you’ve decided on your dimensions of the closet, you now need to choose a color for the inside of the closet. This color should match or compliment the walls outside of the closet as well, for a more appealing visual.

Once that’s decided its important to address the layout inside of the closet. Will you just have a clothes rack? Will you implement a top shelf for more storage capabilities, as well as doors racks and ground level compartments? These need to be chosen according to your needs. If your closet is mainly clothes, then improve accordingly to what holds clothes and allows easy access the best!

Congratulations! One closet is done!  Now you have the entire house to do! This is just the beginning! The closet is merely a part of a whole! You have the entire room to mess around with and re-design! If your interested in completely revamping a room, from the floor to the ceiling, you can always give us a call at Xpand inc. We are more than happy to help with those room remodel ideas during the winter!

Until next time! 

Hibernate this winter in your new cave dwelling! Basement remodels for an entertaining season!

Get cozy this winter with a basement remodel to fulfill all your entertainment needs! Commonly known as man caves, we like to branch out and give it an alternative name, the women’s retreat.

Basement remodels can be a fantastic way to liven up the opportunities available in your home! Giving your basement the aesthetic you’ve always wanted will ensure a wonderful time inside during those cold, dry wind, snow-filled days!

Before setting out to make an overly zealous list for the remodel, we have got some tips for you to consider!

  • Keep the basement light filled and positively bright!
    The basement can quickly become a location that serves an atmosphere of solitude and hermit like tendencies, but that’s no good for anyone! Ensure the basement has strong lighting that enhances the color of the objects and walls around it! Lighting has a strong correlation with mood, so lights that replicate natural sunlight the closest would be best! Don’t let the season bring your mood down!
  •  Get creative! This is your private get away! Be as nerdy or meticulous as you want with the details and have some fun! You could, for example, install a section of the basement to be a little movie theater escape room! The chairs could be leather like the real movie theaters and have a wide screen with a projector! But don’t stop there! Design those seats how you want! They could be reminiscent of race cars with the design, or maybe have a strong outer space feel! The mind is the limit!
  • Themes! When designing your basement, you have a few options. Stick with one theme throughout the entire space, or break it up into different themes based on the room! For example, consider one room to be more of a lounge and socialize area, filled with calm cool colors and strong decorative pieces reminiscent of the 70’s-80’s. Or An entire basement made to bring forth an atmosphere that brings retro video games back into the future! (see what i did there?)
  • Move on up in the world! Literally! These areas of retreat don’t need to be held withing the basement, that’s just where they originated. It’s totally acceptable to have the retreat become the first location that is entered in a home! Make the ground level of the home a place of leisure and relaxation so that as soon as you walk in, you can begin unwinding and thaw out! (warning, winter brings frozen limbs, a fireplace is recommended)
  • Commonly installed in basements for a strong social setting is some form of bar. This can be a great place for conversations and a few drinks before moving to the movie theater room or lounge! Think of the bar as a separate room as well, planning the theme around it to be cohesive with the bar!
  • Consider the flow of the basement! Don’t pack it super tight with fun gadgets and entertainment centers, be aware of the space you have available and the orientation of the objects in the room/s. Also consider the elevations of bars and counters for example. This can give a strong sense of intimacy within the room!
  • Consider the functionality of the basement. Do you want this place to be a strong social gathering place, a study basement, to relax and work on hobbies/the gaining of knowledge, or a basement that fulfills the needs of everything you ever wanted so you never have to leave? This should be something to consider first and foremost before designing your basement. You don’t want to have a basement to be the jack of all trades, but master of none!
  • Cave or no cave? Don’t limit your creativity based on stereotypical examples of basement ideas/layouts! Your basement doesn’t need to feel closed off to the rest of the home, it can be a place that is transitioned into from different levels of the home!
  • Lastly, lets consider for a moment the idea of a cave, in the attic! That’s right, just like before, you can actually have the basement ideas in a different location! Consider the options available to you for a basement remodel, and then take those ideas and try to apply them to other locations of your home to see which floor of the house it would work best!

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We hope you have some ideas flowing for some great additions/remodels! Give us a call and let us help you, be ready for the coming seasons and really get the most out of your home!