Thursday, August 28, 2014

Schluter Systems

Here at ADR Builders we are always looking for new ways to improve our craft and provide a superior finished product to our clients at the lowest price possible.  Recently we have begun using the Schluter tile backer and shower waterproofing system.  Schluter provides a wide range of products to increase the lifetime of tile installations while guaranteeing a waterproof and vapor resistant shower.

Water leaks are a major problem for homeowners and even small leaks can lead to serious rot and mold issues over time.  If your old shower leaked why would you put in a new one using the same method?  By utilizing this comprehensive system we can eliminate those problems.

Another large part of their product line is accessible showers.  Designing and building a bathroom using universal design principles ensures that you will have a bathroom that is functional and usable for your whole family now and in the future.  For more information, or to see a the bathrooms we have done in the past, visit our website or give us a call!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Baltimore's Best Remodelers

In an article in the March 2014 issue of Baltimore magazine ADR Builders was named one of the top 10 home-improvement companies in the Baltimore area.  Here is how they judged the myriad of renovation companies out there:

"Most of our picks are design-build operations, and all have demonstrated great attention to detail, the ability to solve unusual problems, solid communication with clients, and have earned the respect of their peers in blind project-award competitions judged by other builders."

It is great to be recognized and we would like to thank all of our past and future clients for allowing us to fulfill your dreams and making what we do possible.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Top Remodeling Trends of 2014

We've been polling our design crew at ADR Builders and have come up with the three best new remodeling trends for the start of 2014...

1. - The U-Socket

   Digital devices reign in most households, so the new U-Socket wall plug has two built-in USB ports to power devices including smart phones, gaming devices, digital cameras, and tablets. The U-Socket also has a smart sensor that allows it to shut off when the device is fully charged.

2. - The Spa Shower

    More and more people are forgoing a tub and opting for a large and luxurious walk in shower.  Features like large niches and benches, multiple shower heads and frame-less glass enclosures make your bathroom feel like a spa retreat.  Heated tile floors are another very popular luxury addition.

3. - Open Floor Plans

   Our world is becoming more and more social and interconnected, home design reflects that.  Many people value an open floor plan, merging kitchen, dining and living areas into one space.  Especially in urban environments where rooms can be tight, this type of design is a great way to squeeze as much breathing room as possible out of a small space.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Closet Storage Solutions

After completing a couple of closet makeovers projects, I realize that many people have closets that are overflowing with clothes. Over the years individuals accumulate more and more shoes, belts, and clothes of all styles and for all seasons. One way to alleviate the congestion is to maximize the space in your closets.

The traditional closet storage method has been to have one pole, hung at approximately 60” off the floor, with one shelf above the pole. There are many better options available if you use a manufactured closet system. The one we like is Easy Closets. Using their components a closet can have a combination of poles, shelves, shoe storage, pull out baskets and even drawers. The choice of what elements are used depends on how large the closet is, what type of door opening and what will be kept in the closet.

A standard 60” wide clothes closet could be designed with 24” of double hanging, 15” of tall hanging and 18” of combined shelving and shoe storage. This would accommodate a variety of hanging items, shoes and sweaters. The closet system can also provide pull out storage for belts, ties and scarves.  The arrangement of drawers, poles or shelves is totally open to customization  so you can get exactly what you need.  A design professional can help you through the planning process.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Explaining Under-Tile Heat

We have done several bathrooms recently where the clients have decided to use an under-tile floor heating system. This product consists of a mesh mat interwoven with heating wires, which is controlled by a wall-mounted thermostat. The heat mat is placed in the tile setting material before the ceramic tile is put in place. The installation must be coordinated with an electrician who has to connect the heat on a dedicated circuit and install the thermostat.

This product is typically used in bathrooms, but can be used anywhere ceramic tile flooring is installed. It does not put off enough heat to be the only heat source in the room but is typically used as a comfort element to warm the chilly ceramic tile in the winter. Many of the thermostats are equipped with a timer so the heat can be set to come on prior to using the bathroom in the mornings. After the mat has been installed it should function for many years to come. Most of the manufacturers have a warranty included for their product.

The main drawback of using this system is cost. Depending on the size of the bathroom, this can add $1,000 or more to the cost of a project. This includes the cost of the materials, the installation and the electrical connections. But if you can find room for that item in your bathroom remodeling budget you should have warm feet for many years to come.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Stress Free Remodling

  Remodeling a home can be stressful. Savvy homeowners choose a remodeler who will make it less so. But how do owners determine whether a company will deliver on its promises and not tax their sanity? The answers lie in good systems. Companies with clearly defined management systems tend to be better organized, communicate more effectively and minimize unwanted surprises.

  When it comes to remodeling, miscommunication is the root of most ills. Signs of a company that communicates well include detailed project descriptions (leaving no question about what the finished product will include), the ability to clearly explain financial concepts (where, exactly, the dollars are spent) and regular meetings.  Ongoing meetings, at an agreed upon schedule, tend to be shorter and less formal, but keep everyone updated on job progress and provide an opportunity to gain clarity and solve problems.
Schedules and Payments:

  The old adage "fail to plan, plan to fail" may have been penned by a remodeler: a schedule that details the job from start to finish is crucial to getting things done on time and within budget. Weather delays, delivery backlogs and other unforeseen events can shift production schedules over time, but a well-managed company starts with a plan and updates everyone when things change.
Payment schedules are also important. Remodelers typically get a percentage of the job cost as a down payment, and subsequent payments either on completion of production milestones (the end of demolition or after framing inspections, etc.)  or on agreed upon dates (normally bi-weekly). Well-planned payment schedules allow owners to clearly understand what is expected of them and help the remodeler to manage his resources over the course of construction.
Who, what, when?:

  As a professional remodeler, we invest time to help our clients understand how our team is organized and how to interact with team members. We clarify who will be responsible for the job at each stage, including the final closeout and punch list. Who the home owner can contact with questions or concerns, what's the best way to make contact, and how long before you can expect a response.
Understanding how a remodeler handles these kind of issues has real payoffs. The answers will indicate how effectively a builder communicates, pays attention to details, and has systems for getting things done on time and according to plan -- all of which help make the project the positive experience it should be.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sound Strategies

Many remodeling projects focus on improving the energy efficiency of a home.  However, an often overlooked aspect of renovation is sound control.  All those hums, rumbles and rattles may seem a minor annoyance but you would be surprised at how much more enjoyable your home can be when all that extra noise is kept out.  Sound can travel through the air (like from your television) or through vibrations in the walls (like from rattling water pipes).  Each aspect of your renovation can be an opportunity to give you some added peace and quiet.

Doors and Windows:
  • Install solid core interior doors along with weather stripping tape to close gaps
  • Foam door sweeps can also be used on laundry or utility rooms
  • Windows and exterior doors should have double or triple pane glass
  • All gaps to the outside should be sealed with acoustic caulk

Appliances and Mechanical:
  • Pay attention to the “sone” rating on your appliances.  The lower the number, the quieter and higher quality the unit.  The average refrigerator is 2 sones.
  • HVAC ducting and water pipes can be covered with closed cell sound absorbing insulation.  This will also help with temperature retention.
  • Where piping runs along or through wood studs make sure it is buffered with foam or silicone to stop vibrations.

Walls and Ceilings:

  • Sound deadening drywall is a great solution to prevent sound transfer room to room as well as from outside the home.
  • Sound deadening insulation can be installed in batts or sprayed in.  This could even be installed on interior walls if you need additional sound protection.
  • Resilient channels are metal tracks that can be installed between drywall and framing.  They create an extra “dead space” to quiet through-the-wall noise

By employing these strategies in your next remodeling project you will end up sleeping like a dog (or cat).