4 Tips for Designing the Perfect Kitchen

Whether you’re planning a full scale kitchen remodel, or building one from the ground up with a new home, a great design will help you make it the perfect kitchen. Here are four tips to keep in mind when working out designs for your new kitchen:

1) Create an Efficient Workspace – Above everything else, a kitchen is a workspace. And whether you’re preparing a meal for ten or two, it’ll be infinitely easier on you if your workspace is organized and efficient. Typically, while working in the kitchen, you’ll be moving back and forth between three areas: the refrigerator, the stove, and the sink; also known as the kitchen work triangle. Designing your kitchen to optimize this triangle will go a long way to make it a great place to work.

Kitchen Remodeling

Kitchen design and remodel by Adams Design Construction


2) Keep it Open  Every kitchen, especially smaller ones, can benefit from having an open layout. Keeping a kitchen open and flowing out into a dining or living room will make it feel way bigger than it actually is. This can be taken even further, by using open shelving instead of cabinets, smaller appliances, and sleeker furniture.

3) Light it Right – Too many kitchens try to rely on a single light in the ceiling to get the job done, when this usually isn’t the best way to do it. Often, a combination of different types of light fixtures, some providing softer, ambient light, and others more focused, is the most effective way to illuminate the kitchen.

4) Air it Out – Those onions tasted great in the dish you just made, but the lingering smell all around your house isn’t so great. Incorporating adequate ventilation into your kitchen design with windows and range hoods will help keep the rest of your home free from any odor, smoke, and moisture created from cooking.

Designing the perfect kitchen can be a daunting task, but you don’t need to do it alone! At Adams Design Construction, we’ve been designing kitchens that look and work great for more than 30 years – we know what makes a perfect kitchen. Contact us to make an appointment, and we’ll help you make your dream kitchen a reality.

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How to choose siding color

Spring time can also be called Home Improvement time. Step outside and take a look at your home from the curb, or otherwise known as curb appeal.  What does you siding look like? Is it time for a siding replacement? Or is the paint on your siding starting to show fading or peeling? Choosing a siding color can be an overwhelming experience. After all, it is likely that you’ll be keeping the same siding color on your home for several years to come.

it is important to address a few key tips and tricks in selecting the right siding color. We have complied a few key factors to help you choose the right siding color:

The color of your roof.
Your roof color will play an important role in your siding color selection. After all, the lifespan of a shingle roof is around 20-30 years. It may not be a good idea to select a siding color too similar to the roof color. For example, a dark roof and a dark siding color can make the home look dreary and uninviting; on the other hand, a light roof and a light siding color can make the home look too bright and sterile.

The size of your home.
The size of your home is another factor to consider when choosing your siding color of choice. A larger home may look drab with darker siding since the dark color can be overbearing. However, a larger home shouldn’t have exclusively light colors. It is also important to create contrast. A good idea would be to contrast lighter siding with dark accents, such as the shutters. Plus, since dark colors grab your eye, we suggest including dark colors in accents or places where you want to catch the viewers’ attention.

The architectural style of your home.
What’s the architectural style of your home? Often, different home styles are known for different siding colors. For example, Colonial style homes often have white siding and Craftsman style homes are known to have darker siding colors, such as sage. However, don’t be afraid to bend the rules…well, to an extent. To give an example, a home style that is known for white siding might look attractive with light gray siding. The subtle shift of color is unexpected and fun, without looking to out of place.

Color Trends
In addition to these tips, it is also a wise decision to avoid a siding color that is too trendy. After all, the siding that you choose is a huge investment and cannot be easily changed – no matter the material you choose. If you want to include a trendy color, it is best to include it in accents that are easier to swap out. This can be in items such as entry mats, planters, and the like. That way, it is simple to swap pieces out when you grow tired of that color.

In conclusion, choosing a siding color for your home can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience. Don’t be afraid to try out some sample colors on your home first.  Need help, Adams Design Construction are always happy to help, so give us a call if you’re in Dane County, WI  608-241-9009, or visit our website Adamsofmadison.com.  We’d love to hear from you.

Springtime and Clean Windows

Have you ever wondered how those professional window washers move so fast with the squeegee, and the windows turn out perfect? Well, there really are some tricks to it that are simple to learn, and once you do, dare I say it, you may even enjoy washing windows? It is possible!

So, read on for our Washing Windows Tricks:

The first trick is to invest in a good squeegee. They aren’t expensive and they are worth every cent! Those $1.99 ones just will not do. A professional squeegee has a very soft, rubber blade with no imperfections in it.  You can also get extra rubber blades and simply replace that when it wears out. There are many sources to get one, and a professional squeegee usually runs around $10 and up.

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Secondly, do your windows on a cool, or cloudy day.  If you HAVE to do it in the sun, do it in the morning. What you want to avoid here is heat. Heat works against you.

Now to get cleaning. Get a bucket of lukewarm water (not hot), and add 2-3 tablespoons of plain ammonia. Use a sponge that has a white scrubber on the other side (don’t use the green ones, they are too course). Wet your window with the sponge side, then flip to the white scrub pad side, and scrub the window. You’ll be able to “feel” when it’s clean. You’ll feel rough patches, etc when it’s still not clean. This is a step most people fail at, if the window simply isn’t clean, it’s going to look cloudy when done. Scrub well.

You’ll also need lots of clean, white cotton rags or lint free towels/cleaning cloths. Diapers work great here. Dry by hand a 1 inch strip at the top of the window. The trick for no streaks with the squeegee, is placing the dry rubber blade on a dry window. Take the squeegee now and place it at the top of the window in that 1 inch dry strip. Pull down smoothly. Dry your squeegee blade with between each sweep.

To finish the window, if need be, do one last sweep left to right at the bottom of the window.

Finally, take a dry, clean cloth and run with your finger down each window side and across the bottom to clean and dry the edges. They should look perfect! And you’ll feel great having clean windows.

Think you need to replace those windows? Well give Adams Design Construction a call at 608-241-9009, we’re here to help!

 

Move-It-On-Up, The Laundry Room

I remember as a child going to visit my Aunt.  She had an old wringer-washer in the basement and every Thursday was laundry day.

wringer washer

From: GoldOldDays/Pinterest

I helped, and was fascinated, by the old washer. And then came the time to hang everything outside on a clothes line to dry, which had to be propped up with a long pole.  The possibility of the washing machine overflowing happened a lot, which is probably why the laundry was originally located in the basement by a main floor drain.

Nowdays, the need for laundry to be near the main floor drain is almost non-existent with the state-of-the-art washing machines and dryers we now have. Over the years, laundry rooms have gone through several transitions. First, they moved out of the basement and onto the main floor. Still, they were often neglected and placed in the mud room or garage. More recently, they have been making a move to the second floor, or close to the bedrooms. Oftentimes, laundry rooms will be located nearest the master bedroom, or even part of the master closet. The biggest advantage in having the laundry room near the bedrooms, or as part of the closet, is because it is near where most of the dirty clothes, sheets, blankets, and other items are generated.

Upstairs laundry room

Photo from Connie Fitzgerald, RE/Max Closers, Pinterest

So, why then, do we still have our bedrooms on the second floor of our homes along with our clothes closets and laundry still being done in the basement?  Why not Move-It-On-Up near to where your clothes are stored?  Makes sense to me, especially as I get older and stairs can sometimes be a challenge.

While kitchens and bathrooms are still the most popular home renovation projects, the laundry room is beginning to become a sought after renovation area. We have been moving laundry rooms UP more and more.  Good bye to the days of having the laundry room hidden from the rest of the home! We can help you integrate a new laundry room into your home design, instead of being thrown into the floor plan as an afterthought.  Dreaming of that new laundry space, then give Adams Design Construction, Ltd a call 608-241-9009, we’d love to help your dreams come true!

Repeat…Should you Shovel your Deck?

I’ve been asked several times about shoveling decks this year..so I thought we would revisit this article from last December…

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!

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.

Basement-Remodeling

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.

Prevent Water Heater Repairs

There’s nothing more frustrating than discovering – usually in the midst of showering – that the water heater is no longer working. Sometimes it is discovered when you turn on the faucet and only get cold water and other times it can be discovered because of an unpleasant smell. Either way, dealing with a lack of hot water is not much fun!

But even more discouraging than the lack of hot water, is knowing that replacing the water heater is likely to be costly – whether it is the entire tank, or just having repair work done. Consequently, it is important to know some basic steps to take to keep water hear repairs at a minimum.

waterheater-traditional

Traditional Hot Water Tank

Tips for Preventing Water Heater Repairs:

  1. Be sure that your water heater’s temperature is not set any higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only will having it higher mean that your utility bill will be more expensive, but making it worker harder means that there is more wear and tear on the various parts.
  1. At least twice a year, check the pressure relief valve to make sure it is not corroded. Catching leaks or corrosion early means less chance of future problems.
  1. Schedule a maintenance visit with a plumber at least once a year to make sure all the parts and pieces are working properly.
  1. Check to see that there is plenty of ventilation – especially if you have a gas heater! If the vents are not properly working your home can be invaded by toxic fumes.
  1. Twice a year, take time to drain the water heater to remove any sediment. If sediment is allowed to build up it can result in an assortment of problems. You can drain the tank by first placing a 5-gallon bucket below the drain valve, then turning the valve counter-clockwise to release a few gallons of water into the bucket. Then close the valve and proceed as usual.
  1. Test the temperature and pressure valve by lifting up the lever part way and then letting it snap back into place. You should hear a gurgling sound that indicates that there was some water released into the drain pan. If you don’t hear anything, then it is time to replace the valve.
  1. If you have a gas water heater, make time at least once a quarter to ensure the pilot light is lit, and to remove any soot build up.

So, don ‘t wait until your water heater needs to be repaired– start taking care of it today to get the longest lifespan possible from your home water heater. Still have questions, give Adams Design Construction a call – 608-241-9009 – we’re here to help!