Featured Projects Blog

Sept.2020 Blog

Posted On: September 04, 2020

LABOR DAY

The first Monday of September is known as Labor Day. We have Labor Day weekend, Labor Day picnics, parties, and weddings! We all embrace the 3 day weekend that is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

So, I ask you what makes a good laborer? We all have heard about the skilled labor shortage, but what about the companies who employ the laborers? If the company can’t pass muster on a few simple points, rest assured their laborers are not going to be up to the task either.

So many people complain about the remodeling industry’s nationwide reputation. And while we cannot speak as to why so many remodeling contractors are sketchy businessmen at best, and some are outright con artists,  we can help steer you in a direction that will help you to avoid these companies!

  1. If a contractor doesn’t return your call in 24 hours, DON”T HIRE THEM!

  2. If they cannot show you a PA Contracting License and proof of insurance on the spot...DON”T HIRE THEM!

  3. If a contractor cannot supply you with a verifiable abundance of references you can personally contact, DON”T HIRE THEM!

  4. If they are the cheapest quote, ask yourself why. Are they uninsured, unlicensed, or unqualified? Home remodeling is not a bargain business. Very often you get what you pay for. Remember you are not only paying for a product, but the Professional Installation of that product.



  5. If they don’t have an online presence with real testimonials from real customers DON”T HIRE THEM...after all its 2020 and every reputable company is online.

  6. Look at their on-line ratings. Are they A+, 5 *  , or  3’s and 4’s? Compare these ratings to the references you can contact on your own. If they don’t match up, DON”T HIRE THEM!



Always start with step 1. If you call a remodeling company and they return your call and continue to communicate with you on demand, move down this list. In the end you will be led to a reputable company you can place your trust in, with laborers who are skilled and ready to do the work you have requested. 

Loebrich Contracting is proud to be the #2 Remodeling Company in the state of PA based on Top Rated Local® review of our online referrals from real customers. We are here to provide you with great communication right from the start and the skilled professional workmanship our laborers provide. Look at the customer report cards here on our web site and then give us a call because Dan will return that call!

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AUGUST 2020 Blog

Posted On: August 07, 2020

SHIPLAP…. Still a trend for 2020??

Shiplap is a trend which was started or made popular by a home remodeling fixer upper couple out of Texas. Shiplap walls and ceilings were a hot trend as far back as 2016. The decor was rustic and distressed and could be found throughout the home in kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, and ceilings. Yet some designers feel the white distressed look has reached a saturation point and thus like most trends is now passé. 

A more modern less farm-house friendly version of ship lap is currently trending. This would entail an accent wall of shiplap painted navy or black and mixed with modern textures and elements like glass and steel. This is the 2020 modern trend designers are currently using for shiplap.

     

  

The overused white and quirky while quaint shiplap has set sail for destination outdated in 2020.


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July 2020 Blog

Posted On: June 28, 2020

EMERGING 2020 TRENDS:


Movement away from open concept: Believe it or not people are actually finding they miss a cozy individual space away from disruptions. The open all inclusive floor plan is lacking the cozy private feel and some consumers have begun to reincorporate this into their new home remodeling design. Some just don't like the messiness that can occur with a well used kitchen spilling over into their living space. Many have begun to incorporate archways and other architectural designs to divide the space without completely closing it off. 


Induction Cooking and Hidden Appliances: Induction cooking found in microwaves, stoves, and even toaster ovens is an emerging trend in home appliances as well as hidden appliances like the microwave drawer. Convection ovens are also making the turn from fads to trends. Even cabinets and drawers are mostly soft touch replacing the need for hardware, making every item a little less conspicuous.


Wellness focused improvements: A hot emerging trend is wellness focused improvements like circadian lighting and touch-less faucets as well as advanced air purifiers. Circadian lighting is light that changes color to promote sleep at night and energy during the day. Blue light is necessary during the day and undesirable at night. Sceneswitch- a light bulb that changes the intensity of blue light for day and night is becoming extremely popular. The idea is to emit bright bluish light during the day to suppress the melatonin our brains produce and then in the evening to switch to a dim yellow light prompting the hormone to flow more freely. The touch free faucets are seen as a great way to prevent the spread of germs. And I'm sure we all agree after our start to 2020 with COVID 19 anything that reduces the spread of germs is going to be popular. And water and air purifiers help to promote healthy living by filtering out the pollutants that can cause illness.

   

             

Smart technology using unmonitored security systems: Unimonitored security systems employs cameras, and sirens which alert you but not emergency services that something is wrong. One type links to your mobile device and sends you notifications. Another type records video or sets off a loud siren for an intruder. The unmonitored system is much less expensive than paying for a monitored home security system and is rapidly rising in popularity.

Count on Loebrich Contracting to stay informed and up to date with emerging home trends!

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April 2020 Blog

Posted On: June 12, 2020

Remodeling Industry and Lack of Skilled Labor

85% of Remodelers report shortages of workers able to preform finished or rough carpentry.

The immediate impact is companies having to pay higher wages and benefits to retain skilled workers.

The cost is trickling down to you the homeowner in the renovation price and time of completion.

Lack of skilled workers and applicants unable to pass a drug test have 45% of remodelers classifying the skilled labor shortage for this industry as extremely serious.

 Foundations like Mike Rowe Works Foundation and his Work Ethic Scholarship are trying to educate Americans and reward those looking to learn a trade. The skills gap is wider than it has ever been and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 7 million jobs available across the country which do not require 4 year degrees.

 Our country has 1.5 trillion in student debt loans. Moreover our media portrays the blue collar worker unflattering in its representation. Yet, who will you call for that new kitchen and bath in the next few years if this trend continues? It may just be that there will be no one on the other end of your call who can help.

Loebrich Contracting has been in business for over 40 years. We can attest to the skilled labor shortage. Rest assured however, the workers who reside under the company name of Loebrich Contracting are top notch in their field. Just look at the comments from our customer surveys to see how our employees possess the necessary skills of the trade and competence to stand out to our customers.

You can be confident a call to Loebrich Contracting will result in a qualified, professional crew prepared to execute your home remodeling project.


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March 2020 BLOG

Posted On: March 06, 2020

March 2020 Blog


MICROWAVE DRAWERS

A hot trend for the kitchen is the microwave drawer. Of course, like any new trend there are pros and cons to be considered. In addition, it is important to keep in mind that all microwave drawers are produced by Sharp regardless of the brand. Sharp supplies all the vital components that other manufacturers use. Also, microwave drawers only come in two sizes, 24 inch and 30 inch.  Make sure to check the specs with a contractor/installer. These can fit into an island peninsula and wall cabinet and can be installed flush. Some even have a Wave to open door model “micro wave pun” intended, and feature Wifi connectivity.

So, let’s examine the pros and con’s of microwave drawers:

  

PROS:    Free up counter space leaving extra space for food prep and entertaining

                Free up room for hood vent over stove

                Looks better

                Easy to clean          

                Child lock to lock out the kiddos

                No crouching over to see food

                Safer heating, cooking, and reheating

                Waste high making it easy to reach controls and has a soft open and close


CONS:      *More costly between $900 $1200

                  

                  *No convection option

                  *No turntable/rotating plate

So, which is right for you, a drawer microwave, or wall or countertop version? Well, consider these factors when deciding, ….price, space, and over all need.  The first two need no explanation. However, to determine your overall need, chronicle your microwave use for two weeks to see what your microwave usage needs are.

   

                                 

Remember here at Loebrich Contracting we are your kitchen specialists. Talk to us about your specific needs and we will help you to determine what is precisely the right product for your home improvement project!

 

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FEB BLOG 2020

Posted On: January 31, 2020

FEBRUARY 2020 BLOG

DIY OR HIRE A PROFESSIONAL 

Home repair, home improvement, and home upkeep are all part of a homeowner’s life. What projects should you tackle on your own and why? What projects should be left for a professional contractor?

Some projects require a certain skillset. For safety reasons these should be left to a licensed professional like an electrician. Other projects require no skillset or knowledge and can save you $ when budgeting for your next home project. One such example almost every homeowner can carry out on their own is painting!

So, when should you DIY and when should you hire a professional?  Most times you can make this choice by considering 3 factors:

  1. Safety   2. Difficulty   3. Time

When considering Safety, look at these 3 major components.      1. Can it kill you?   Think about it, faulty wiring or falling off a roof could be fatal. This is your red flag warning waving at you and telling you to consider a professional.

 

2.Could it destroy your home?   Knocking down a load bearing wall, tearing out bathroom fixtures and reinstalling them improperly both have the potential to destroy your home. While a contractor could do the same, the difference is, he will be culpable for the mistake if you hired a licensed and fully insured contractor.

 3.Does it require a permit? If a permit is required, then that warning red flag  should be waving at you again. If a project requires a building permit, chances are it is not a DIY project. The building permit is required to prove that inspectors have checked the work to make sure it was done safely and to code. This level of home improvement may be out of many homeowner’s skillset.

Knowledge: Mistakes made for lack of knowledge can be costly if you’re not quite sure what you are doing in a project.  You could squander a lot of time, energy and resources, especially if you end up calling in a professional to fix your mistakes. Shoddy work is a turn off for future buyers. Beautiful tile laid out incorrectly is an eyesore no matter how beautiful the pattern.

    

Time:  Sure, the idea behind DIY is saving money. But remember the more a project costs by a professional translates into more of your own personal time to complete the project. If you and/or your partner both work, then your project will be worked on during the evenings and weekends only. A project that could take an electrician a day to complete could potentially turn into weeks or even months with your personal schedule. It may be far more feasible to shell out the 600 bucks for a professional and save yourself the time and energy.

Some great places for the beginner DIY’ers are the beginning and the end of the project. Demolition does not require a skillset. As long as, the contractor has shown you exactly what and where to safely demo, go for it and save yourself some money! Save yourself even more at the end of the project by doing your own clean up and painting. Remember you are paying for these tasks to be accomplished by your contractor and he is charging you by the hour. This is a great place to save some money.

  

The DIY trend is really hot with all the online youtube instructional videos. Just remember when that red flag pops up, pay it heed. And always know when you need a fully licensed, insured contractor with 40+ years’ experience and a 5*online rating, Loebrich Contracting is here for you.




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Jan. 2020 Blog

Posted On: January 03, 2020

January 2020 New Year's Blog

January 2020 Homeowner's Remodeling Survey Shows:

47% are very concerned about price

75% created a budget

49% paused a project because it was too expensive

42% find a contractor through friends and family

33% use Google and Facebook or Instagram to find a contractor

65%  get 2-3 estimates

23% won't hire do to lack of communication

38% stressed about up coming project

58% research their project on line ahead of time using Facebook, Google, Pinterest, etc.

According to this survey, price is a major factor when considering a remodeling project. In the cost vs. value report put out by Remodeling Magazine each year,  and found here  Cost vs. Value Report  You can research approximately how much your project will cost by your geographical location versus the return you can expect from your monetary investment.

This information can be invaluable when creating that budget.  It can also alleviate the concerns about price expressed by about ½ of the survey participants. Another advantage of this information, will be the ability to avoid a serious pitfall like pausing a project because it was too expensive as ½ of survey participants noted. You need the information provided in this survey because home value is vital when it comes time to sell your home.

As for alleviating the stress of the upcoming project, find a contractor whom friends and family recommend, or if looking to the internet for guidance, find the contractor with the best over all internet rating and reviews.

Loebrich Contracting has a 5* internet rating on various sites throughout the internet. We can help you with every item on this survey and make your remodeling experience the best part of 2020. Happy New Year!

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December 2019 Blog

Posted On: December 06, 2019

DECEMBE201BLOG


Change with the season of life....

Remember the Olive green appliances of the 70's that stuck around until the 80's? What about the almond or white appliances that went into the 90's, or the black and stainless steel appliances that took us into the new millennium? Seems like a while ago trends came and stayed for almost a decade, they had a season. But since the new millennium trends come and go rather quickly with the changing winds. They almost change as rapidly as technology!

    

    

What goes around comes around again in fashion design. The same is true for remodeling trends. What was outdated and an eyesore is suddenly 40 years down the road trendy and chic again.

Subway tile hits the scene hard and fast and is quickly replaced by decorative tile. Granite counter tops have given way to poured cement counter tops. Wood flooring is being pushed aside for luxury vinyl tile flooring. Even the strong rustic farmhouse design which emerged as a hot trend is not as long lived as it's forefathers from the 70's, 80's, and 90's! After only a few years Rustic Farmhouse is out. Technology is hot today. Smart kitchens are the rage!

    

Are the fast paced trends a result of our fast paced technological advances, maybe so. Either way, it's good to know that Loebrich Contracting has been adapting to trends for the last 40 years!

AND NOW FOR A HOT TIP: The hot remodeling color for 2020 is officially Classic Blue according to Pantone and Qualified Remodelers Magazine       

 

See you all in 2020 where we are sure the trends will change, but you will be able to count on Loebrich's to adapt! 

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