Fireplace choices, gas and electric

Adams Design Construction - Gas FireplacesBecause gas itself is cleaner and with no wood, sparks, ash or municipal restrictions to follow, it is infinitely easier to design around. Compared to wood burning it is cost effective as well.

Converting a wood burning to gas claims the best of both those worlds. If you can run wiring, a gas line and a small metal chimney, we can build it for you!

From a small, faux ‘coal burner’ tucked under a kitchen counter to take the chill off of Victorian floors to a clear glass, four sided stand-alone with colorful glass rocks instead of a gas log, we are talking major designing fun here! You have the ultimate freedom of having your flat screen TV right above the fireplace to intimate flickering flames right beside your bath tub. It’s positively dreamy to be outdoors with a “warming spot” for winter sport enthusiasts.

Electric Fire Places: with no flue to deal with, it’s instant installment100% of the heat stays in the room, often blown in with fans & with no fumes. They often have filter systems that clean your inside air. Because they are portable, thermostat & timer controlled, and come with a remote, folks who own them love them! Here in Wisconsin we are no strangers to harsh weather. Electric fire places can be outdoors and work on batteries making them a source of light as well as heat. Safety features include shatter proof glass with stay cool surfaces and an auto turn off if it falls down. The one feature no other fire place can offer, is friendly flames with out heat.

Our design team can work with you to make your fireplace decision easier as well as make sure whatever you decide fits into the “look” of your home. As winter winds down soon, thinking ahead sounds like a pretty good idea!

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When everything Old becomes New Again

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Wheelchair-Ramp

There is an expected increase in home remodeling due to the number of older adults that are in need of updated amenities. More and more baby boomers are choosing to stay at home. Adjusting these older homes for the aging requires some retrofitting to ensure a safe and comfortable environment. The right kind of improvements can help maintain freedom and dignity.

It Doesn’t Have To Feel Like a Nursing Home

So many memories are made at home and you shouldn’t have to settle for a remodel that feels sterile. There are lots of ways to increase safety without changing the feel of the home. A great place to start when making a home more functional for aging-in-place is a first floor full bathroom. This may seem costly but adding a chair lift or elevator tends to cost much more. We also receive requests for a first floor laundry room, which makes a lot of sense – heading to the basement and carrying laundry baskets upstairs becomes much more difficult.

Cooking Up Convenience

Make sure you get comfortable flooring in the kitchen. Tile, while easy to clean, is tough to stand on for extended amounts of time. Wood cork flooring, vinyl, linoleum, these will be a lot nicer to your joints. Another great addition is seated work spaces, that way you can still prep all your food while sitting down.

One of the more obvious upgrades is a ramp leading to the entryway of the house. Eliminating stairs of any kind is always a good thing, allowing for groceries and other items to be wheeled right in. Keep the wheels rolling in the house; less carpeting is better, making for easy movement in the areas where it’s needed most.

WoodWheelChRamp-1These are just a few things that can be done to allow for the aging to continue making memories where they’ve already made so many. If you know someone who doesn’t want to leave home but needs to upgrade soon for safety and comfort, we can talk through the options, so give us a call – 608-241-9009, or visit our Website adamsofmadison.com for more ideas!

Remodel the Basement for a Home Workout Room

The importance of fitness is more than ever! But most people end up skipping the gym or their morning run. The biggest challenge of maintaining an active lifestyle is to be consistent with your exercise. But, what if the gym came to your home? If you have idle place in the basement of your home, why not use it to meet your fitness goals?

There is a difference between having a couple of weight stacked in the closet and having a fully-functional home gym in the basement. It is not necessary to buy fancy gym equipment to create a workout space in the basement. You just have to work with a couple of elements that will enable you to exercise regularly.

Toss the Gym Membership: Make the Basement your Gym

Why spend money on gym memberships when your home can be your personal workout center? Learn how to design a gym that matches well with your fitness goals and allows you to be consistent.

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Work-out room added to remodeled basement by Adams Design Construction, Ltd.

• The Matters of Space

What is your workout style? Do you go for the treadmill? Or are you a fan of spinning? If your interest lies in weight-lifting along with a couple of Crossfit moves, you will require a large space in the basement. Remember that you can design the home gym according to your workout schedule. So, consider the different types of exercises that you do as well as the different kinds of machines that you will require. It will determine the basic layout of the gym.

• Injury-proof Flooring

The usual concrete floor cannot be used for exercising. It is because you may drop heavy weight on the floor and it will cause damage to it. Also, jumping on a hard floor means it will not absorb the shock and give you knee pain in the near future. It is essential that you consider your exercises and install flooring that absorbs shock and doesn’t let the heavy dumbbells damage the foundation of your home. When it comes to flooring for your home gym, you will find a plenty of options such as rubber flooring, carpet tiles, foam-based flooring and vinyl tiles.

• The Solution to Sweat

Workouts are supposed to make you sweaty. And, the basement is going to smell sweaty and musty because of the home gym. So, you have to take care of the air circulation. Keep the basement well-ventilated to avoid nasty odor. There are several ways to ensure proper ventilation. If there are multiple windows, it will ensure that the basement is airy. If not, consider box fans, floor fans, air conditioning units and dehumidifiers to keep the home gym ventilated. You can even install exhaust fans and humidity sensors to avoid growth of mold and mildew.

• More Tips to build a Motivated Workout Area

For building a motivated powerhouse, focus on the following things:

1. The Mirror – Install mirrors to ensure correct posture while exercising.

2. Lighting – Proper lighting fixtures create an energetic atmosphere in the basement.

3. Paint Colors – Choose bright bold colors to boost your energy level.

4. Posters – You can hang motivational posters and slogans to keep you motivated throughout your workout.

5. Music – Good music is essential for a home gym. Buy a good music system and consider installing soundproofing drywall.

“It is too far”, “it will be crowded” or “I will be stuck in traffic” – With a gym-work out room in the basement, you will be able avoid all the excuses and focus on achieving your fitness goals. So, if you are thinking of giving a new look to the basement, give Adams Design Construction a call – 608-241-9009, and take a step towards building good health.

Layered Lighting Inside Your Home

Illuminating a home is more than buying light fixtures. You have to consider several layers of lighting to create a beautiful living space. Know about layered lighting and get ready to brighten up your home.

We always think of choosing the perfect colors for our home. We spend time in finding the right furniture style. But, one often forgets about lighting. Lighting is one of the most neglected aspects of a home. The right kind of lighting can make any living space beautiful and comfortable. It has the power to add sophistication, warmth and style to your home. But, lighting a room is not just buying pretty light fixtures. Just as you make a room beautiful with different layers of colors and textures; you have to create a beautiful combination of different layers of lighting. Layered lighting not only illuminates your home but also provides practical lighting solution for your accessories.

There are three basics when it comes to Layers of Lighting. You have to combine ambient lighting, task lighting and accent lighting to create a beautiful amalgamation of lighting to accentuates your home.

  1. Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is the first lighting layer. Every room must have at least one source of ambient lighting. You cannot avoid it because it keeps you from getting your toe stubbed against a piece of furniture. By having adequate lighting, you ensure that you do not trip and fall. An electrician can create ambient lighting with the help of recessed lights, flush-mount fixtures, panels, large chandeliers, fans with lights, etc.

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Ambient Lighting

  1. Task Lighting

The purpose of ambient lighting is general illumination. But, it is insufficient as a light source for purposes that require more light. For example, activities such as reading, sewing, cooking, applying make-up, etc. require additional lighting. Usually, fixtures used for track lighting are visible. So, it is essential that you choose fixtures that match the theme of the room. You can ensure adequate light source with the help of pendant lighting, low-hanging track lighting, under cabinet lighting, bed-side lamps, bathroom vanity lights and so on.

  1. Accent Lighting

To add drama to a living space, you require accent lighting. You can use it to draw attention towards houseplants, paintings, or any other unique accessory in the room. If you have a beautiful sculpture, accent lighting can help you to highlight it. According to a general rule, accent lighting should be three times brighter than the general light source to create a focal point. An electrician can install a variety of wall scones, track lights, pendant lights, LED tape lights, etc. to emphasize a specific area in the room.

When you are thinking of layered lighting for a room, make a planned decision. First begin with the purpose of the room. Also, finalize furniture. Once you are done with it, think of the focal point the room. After you are sure of the layout, consider ambient lighting, and then focus on task lighting and accent lighting. Remember that there is no need to buy separate fixture for all the different types of lighting. For example, you can use a large chandelier for ambient lighting as well as accent lighting. Make sure that the electrician makes adequate use of dimmer switch to provide you with versatile lighting. Remember proper planning and apt combination of lighting can illuminate your home beautifully. And, as always, give Adams Design Construction a call 608-241-9009, we’re here to help.

Double Hung Windows – the new replacement

We all know new windows can help with your energy bills, but when it comes time to replace them, what to choose?  There are several different types of windows. Traditionally, most windows were side-hinged windows, referred to as casements, and sliding sash windows. New opening mechanisms such as friction and pivot hinges are increasingly popular and available in double hung windows.

So,why choose double hung windows? Cleaning. Double hung windows are much easier to clean than windows based on a spiral or string system, because they won’t allow the sash to drop out when you are cleaning them. They also tilt in a way that uses a flush fitting tilt release which is more attractive than the older screwed in tilt release systems. This system works well for two story homes and enables you to clean your windows from the inside.

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You may find that choosing a quality window is difficult because of the overwhelming number of options. So where to start?  We suggest picking a window that comes with a solid warranty offered by a quality manufacturer.  Besides your budget, this is an important factor in your decision making, since your windows should last decades.  Also to consider is the material you choose: vinyl, wood, aluminum and composite materials are all available in our area. And after you’ve made your decision, we suggest hiring a professional to install them – nothing worse than spending your hard earned money on new windows and then not have them installed properly.

Remember, window materials, shapes, and sizes vary considerably, as does terminology, so you should read your manufacturer’s literature carefully. Replacement windows for older homes often need to be custom-built to your requirements, which is also something to consider.

Windows are a large investment and if you pick wisely you can save money over the long run by improving your energy efficiency. In order to save money in the future you may be wise to spend a little more on your windows now…

Need help choosing and installing your windows – we’re here to help. Give us a call, 608-241-9009, and we’d be happy to get started on updating the windows on your home.

Open Or Closed Kitchen, Which Option Is Best For You?

For years the kitchen was just a workplace, sometimes tucked in the back of the home and always closed off.  Heck, Thomas Edison’s winter home in Fort Myers, Florida, has an entirely separate building just for the kitchen. Rumor has it that Edison hated the smell of cooking food.

But then around the 1980’s trends began to change. Rooms began to flow together and the kitchen became part of the living space or great room.  This created a feeling of much larger space and usually increased natural light.

Lately there has been a trend of returning to the closed kitchen, but not the same as yesteryear’s.  A closed kitchen does not have to feel cramped. There are many ways to achieve a closed area using pocket doors or half walls.  But which design is right for you?  Here are a few pros for closed and open kitchen concepts:

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Closed Kitchen

Advantages of a Closed Kitchen:

  • Odors: cooking odors are confined to the kitchen.
  • Space: more walls equals more cabinet space, more counter-tops and more room for appliances.
  • Appearance: messes, such as dirty dishes, are hidden from view.
  • Privacy: people are not inclined as much to enter the kitchen and disturb the cook.
  • Formal: with a closed kitchen there usually is a formal dining room, more traditional for dinner guests.

 

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Open Kitchen

 

Advantages of an Open Kitchen:

  • Natural Light: when you remove interior walls it allows for more sunlight from windows to enter the entire home.
  • Monitoring Kids: great rooms allow parents to cook and do other items while still keeping an eye on the kids.
  • Part of the Action: when entertaining, the cook can be involved and converse with others while preparing food,
  • Larger Feeling: when the walls come down, space is increased.
  • Resale Value: most new home buyers are looking for enough space.  Combining the kitchen, living and dining rooms will do just that.

So which layout is best for you?  Is your current floor plan working, if not maybe a change to an open or closed kitchen is just what you need.  Or possibly somewhere in the middle using pocket doors or partial walls. Adams Design Construction, Ltd can help you decide, we’ve been doing this for years. Give us a call:  608-241-9009.