Black Kitchen Worktops!

Black kitchen worktops! You must be kidding!

What is the first thing which comes to your mind when we say “black kitchen worktops”? There are a few people who just love the idea of getting something so edgy home.

Still skeptic?  Here’s a few things to think about. The immediate factor which comes to mind is the maintenance of the worktop itself. Think about keeping a white or light hued worktop spotless and a black one in the same condition. Needless to say, you will immediately be able to appreciate the fact that black remains a fairly low maintenance “color” hiding stains and the such.

Black countertops along with light walls or tile can enhance the look of your kitchen  dramatically. If planned properly, black kitchen worktops can actually go on to add a very interesting look to your kitchen.  Also to consider are some of the new black or virtually black marbles and granites available.  The choices are endless.

So summing up – black worktops basically offer you almost all the benefits that you would probably look for in kitchen worktops:

  • Functionality (because they’re less “vulnerable” to stains vs white worktops)
  • Beauty (from rustic to traditional to stylish – black is for every style and look)
  • Suitability (The hue not only suits other furniture or décor pieces but also enhances them)

So, make sure you’re getting in touch with a credentialed craftsman today and finding out about their black kitchen worktop collection! If you’re in the Dane County Wisconsin area, give us a call  608-241-9009. We’d love to help you out!

 

Common Problems Seen with Garage Door Openers

The garage door is often taken for granted, but it’s one of the most importantcomponents of your home. It’s not only essential for the security of your garage—and your home by extension—but it’s also vital to your convenience and safety. A garage door that doesn’t function properly makes it difficult to park your car in the garage and can make it less safe for anyone to pass under. It’s why if you are having any problems with your garage door that you should have it inspected right away. The following are some of the most common problems that garage door openers can experience:

  1. The Wall Switch Doesn’t Work:
    If the remote to the garage door opener works fine but your wall switch doesn’t, it means that there’s either an issue with the switch itself or the switch wires. You will need to call a garage door repair professional or electrician.
  2. The Garage Door Opener Remote Doesn’t Work:

    If the wall switch works fine but one of your remotes doesn’t, then it could be due to a number of issues. The most obvious thing to check first is the batteries. If you replaced the batteries and the opener still won’t respond to the remote, you may need to invest in a new one. If you can’t find a remote that matches your garage door opener model, you’ll either need to try a universal remote or you’ll need to have a new receiver installed.

  3. The Garage Door Sensors Don’t Work:
    Every modern garage door comes with sensors on the side. These sensors ensure that the garage door doesn’t close on anything or anyone that’s passing through. If your sensors aren’t working, then your garage door isn’t safe to use. The door could close on your vehicle as you drive through—or it could close on someone walking through, thereby causing an injury.
  4. The Trolley Carriage Is Broken:
    If your garage door won’t open at all, then it could be the result of a number of problems. If neither your remote nor your wall switch is the culprit, check the trolley carriage. If you notice that the trolley carriage moves even though the door isn’t opening, then it’s most likely because the trolley carriage is broken. Replacing the trolley carriage shouldn’t be done on your own unless you have experience with such repairs. A professional has the experience, expertise, and tools required to perform the task safely and effectively.
  5. The Main Drive Gear Is Broken:
    If it’s not your trolley carriage that’s causing your door to stop from opening, then it could be the main drive gear. If you hear a grinding noise as you attempt to open the door, then the main drive gear has probably failed and needs to be replaced.
  6. The Tracks Are Misaligned:
    If you hear a rubbing sound when the door reaches a certain point each time it opens or closes, it means the tracks are most likely misaligned. You can check the tracks for alignment issues on your own. If you see gaps between the rail and the rollers, there’s an issue. Misaligned tracks can make operating the garage door a dangerous task. If it’s especially bad, the garage door won’t move at all.
  7. The Garage Door Springs or Cables Are Broken:
    The springs and cables help to lower and raise the door safely, preventing it from falling too fast. If the springs or cables break, then the door will slam to the ground, which could damage your property or your door as well as injure anyone underneath. If the springs or cables have broken or are visibly damaged, don’t attempt to replace them yourself. Doing so can be incredibly dangerous due to how tightly they are wound.

Garage door on carriage house

These are some of the common problems that garage doors can experience. These problems not only make your garage door less convenient to use, they can also affect the safety and security of your home.  Need help with replacing a door then give us a call – 608-241-9009, we’d be happy to help you.

Should you shovel your deck?

Snow is back and it’s turned cold here this December in Wisconsin.  You’ve kept your driveway and sidewalks clear of the snow, but do you need to shovel the snow off your deck?  Actually, the answer is simple:  NO.

If you are worried about your deck collapsing from the weight of snow, don’t.  Building codes require that decks support more weight than your roof.   Basic rule of thumb: Don’t worry until the snow is above your rails.  Most deck rails are 36″ high and weight of snow should not cause a problem unless it is over three feet deep.  The best thing you can do with your deck is just leave it alone while the snow sits there, slowly melting and clearing itself.  The deck will still be there come April, no need to mess with it in the mean time.

snowdeck

An exception to not shoveling would be if your deck is the second-emergency entrance into your home, or an entrance you use regularly.  Then you may choose to shovel it, but be careful.  Here are some basic rules to follow:

  • Before snow falls, make certain no nails are sticking out of the deck boards .
  • Try using a broom or leaf blower first. If too much snow, then get out the shovel.
  • Use a plastic shovel, not a metal one – so not to scratch the decking material.
  • Shovel in the direction/parallel to the boards, not across the boards.
  • Never chop ice off your deck, it’s too easy to damage deck boards. If you must get rid of ice, then use environmentally safe chemicals.

So, if you need to (or desire to) get that snow off your deck, just be careful not to scratch or damage the deck boards.  And be careful walking on your deck afterwards, ice has a way of creeping back for revenge.

What, you don’t have a deck? Are you considering having one built down the road? Well, give us a call for a free consultation…608-241-9009.  We’ll be happy to take a look — once all this snow melts that is …  Happy Winter!

Tankless Hot Water Heaters

We all know hot water is very much a necessity. Most of us have water heaters at home and do not give it a second thought, we just assume we will have hot water on a daily basis until…you are standing in the shower and the water goes cold because someone in the other part of the house decides to turn on the water, or there is just no hot water at all.  It may be time consider replacing your traditional tank-water heater with a tankless hot water tank.

Let’s discuss the advantage’s of replacing your old hot water tank with a Tankless water heater. Have you found yourself scratching your head when the electric bill comes, most of us have. Depending on your household size and use, your conventional hot water tank can drive your electric bills through the roof.

Did you know that most conventional heaters make up for almost 20% of your household energy consumption. Think about this for a moment 20% is a lot of consumption when you begin thinking about the different household items that make up your electric bill…clothes dryers, stoves, heat, washing machines, lights, hair dryers and the list goes on. So when you think about it on this level 20% for the use of hot water is quite a bit of your electric bill..

Lets review some of the reasons why installing a tankless heater could be very beneficial:

Tankless hot water heaters are energy efficient. You can cut your heating cost to up to 30%. Now think about this for a moment…If your hot water is costing you up to 20% on a conventional hot water tank and your saving up to 30% on a tankless hot water system and the tankless is also eco -friendly well, this sounds pretty beneficial.

Tankless hot water heaters work differently from the conventional water heaters. With a Tankless water system the water is heated only when it is needed. When you turn on the faucet that is when the Tankless heating system kicks in and at the same time the water is heated (using a heating element). That is why a Tankless hot water system is also called “Instantaneous or Demand. “  It creates a constant flow of hot water, so this allows everyone in your home to have hot water at the same time!  Wow….no more being deprived of hot water in your home.
And keep in mind tankless water heaters are safer because the system does not store water which can be a breeding ground for bacteria.

So, if it’s time to replace your hot water heater, check out tankless hot water heaters.  it will save you money and it can last up to 20 years and still maintain its efficiency!

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Traditional Hot Water Tank

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Tankless Hot Water Heater

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need Help?  Give us a call, we can always help:
Adams Design Construction, Ltd    608-241-9009
http://www.adamsofmadison.com

 

 

 

 

 

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.

doublehungwindows

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.

Bathroom Update – Low Flow Toilets

Do you still have an old toilet, pre 1994?  If so, then you are using a lot of drinking water every time you flush your toilet.  Older toilets waste a huge amount of water, they use approximately 3.5 gallons of drinking water every time you flush.  That can add up to an average of 20.1 gallons of water per person, per day, about the equivalent of one bath. These older toilets account for around 30% of indoor water use.  And it takes considerable amounts of emissions-producing energy – to say nothing of chemicals – to treat all this water, both at the water treatment and sewage treatment plants.  By installing a low-flow toilet you can save all that extra drinking water from being flushed down the sewers.

comfort-height-toilet

Congress, in an effort to conserve resources, reduced the amount of water which newly manufactured toilets could flush, to 1.6 gallons per flush.  The first generation of low-flow toilets had some problems with this low water, however low-flow toilets have greatly improved since they were first introduced.  There have been design modifications and outright changes to the method of waste disposal to make low-flow toilets more efficient. There are also dual-flush low-flow toilets available, where you have two options when flushing.  Most dual flush toilets flush 1.6 gallons on the main flush and as low as .08 gallons per flush on the rinse flush.

Something else to consider if you are replacing your toilet is to get a high-rise toilet (also known as comfort-height or chair-height).  They don’t set as low and can really aid aging-in-place.

Whether your motivation is to be more environmentally responsible, or just saving money,  installing a more efficient toilet is an effective and easy way to start to upgrade your bath.

We love re-doing bathrooms, so give us a call and get started with your new bath!

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.