Featured Projects Blog

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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Farmhouse Rustic Out and Biophilia In? Nov.2019 Blog

Posted On: November 11, 2019

Nov. 2019 Blog

 

Farmhouse Rustic Design Trend’s Out and Biophilia In?

Calm down I can hear you already saying WHAT??? Don't get your tinsel in a tangle! ( oh wait that's next month, oops)

Say what? I’m sure that’s what you’re thinking. But here it is. According to Zillow the rustic farmhouse design craze that has been so trendy for the last 10 years will be considered outdated in 2020. Trends change, it’s as simple as that. Believe it or not, it was once considered trendy to cover up that hardwood floor with carpet! The thought of it you gasp!!!

More industrial materials like glass and metal are about to replace the reclaimed wood phase. To soften the harshness of metal and concrete, a more modern sliding door made from glass will replace that classic barndoor design. Even those exposed Edison bulbs that were all the rage are going to be replaced with clean lighting from Europe detailed with modern lines and shapes!

                          

OUT                                                              TRENDING


And colors are moving away from the natural neutrals to big and bold.Overplayed grey walls are out. Rose gold and millennial pink are old news.

                          

                                      OUTDATED

Matte black fixtures are about to take the design scene over. Even that accent wall is about to be replaced with decorative accessories or a living wall. Which leads us to the newest rage, Biophilia!


                           

                                            TRENDING

What the heck is Biophilia I can hear you asking! Biophilia is the urge to affiliate with other forms of life.  Biophilia is said to reduce stress, expedite healing, improve cognitive function and creativity. The sight of living greenery, the sound of water and the unimpeded view of actual nature as well as the feel of a breeze blowing across your skin can all be incorporated into the design or the remodeling of your home. The contrast between the technological world in which we exist and biophilic design is set to become the newest trend in home design. A perfect example of biophilic design would be Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater property located in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands. The layout encompasses nature all around it with running water, open levels to the outdoors, natural light, and nature at your fingertips.

                           

How can this be incorporated into your home design? Most likely on a much smaller scale. Plants, open floor plans, open staircases, skylights or large windows for natural light and unimpeded views to the outdoor or even sliding walls to the outside, in addition water features in the home can help to incorporate the newest trend in home design.

   

       

However you slice the pie, rustic farmhouse has run it’s course and is giving way to new trends for the 2020 year ahead. (hey that pun is for the right month!) Happy Thanksgiving from Loebrich Contracting!

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October Blog 2019

Posted On: October 08, 2019

October 2019 Blog

 

Scariest Home Renovation Mistakes



WHAT TERRORS COULD BE LYING IN WAIT BEHIND YOUR ORDINARY BRICK WALL OR HIDEOUS POPCORN CEILING???


    


Frightened of the unknown? Here are some tips to ease your fears and help you proceed with caution during your home renovation, so that you are not surprised by what is lurking where you cannot see or haunted by a home reno job gone to the dark side.

  

Call 811 and find out where your utility lines lie before the digging begins. Utility companies can mark where your water, gas, and electrical lines are located saving you from a shocking experience!!!!!!


 

     

Menaced by a mold and mildew lab in your old bath? Make sure you install strong ventilation fans about 100 cubic ft per minute in your new bath reno!!!!


         

     

                  

Asbestos or lead creeping around in that ceiling or wall?? Thanks to the lead paint disclosure act you already know that A popcorn ceiling is a toxic hazard. However, ripping out walls and tiles can also expose you to lead and asbestos. Best to leave the demo to a contractor authorized to deal with asbestos and/or lead. 


 

  

Exposure to volatile organic compounds or VOCs can happen from new carpet installation and new paint. To avoid exposure to VOC’s you can purchase low-voc paint and carpeting.


   

Budget Boos!! Going over budget can be scary. The savvy home renovation planner will set aside 5-10% in addition to their home reno budget for those unforeseen issues Like water damage behind a wall that has caused undetected mold and mildew, or worse yet, animals or pests like termites that have caused hidden damage. These issues can be costly to correct and downright horrifying unless you have strategized ahead to pad your budget as a contingency plan.

So, take the fear out of scary home renovation mishaps, don’t let lurking, creeping, unforeseen, and horrifying surprises scare the bejeebers out of you and steal your hard-earned cash!! Plan and budget for undetected issues when formulating your remodeling budget!

 

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September Blog 2019

Posted On: September 06, 2019

Pet Project

 

Have a “pet project” you saw somewhere. Maybe a home design show, a friend’s kitchen remodel, or a post on facebook has inspired a pet project.  Here are a few tips if you’re wondering how to take this from the idea stage to the implementation stage.

Start with just the basic idea and then do some internet research.  A great way to save and store any ideas that you come across via the internet is Pinterest!

Pinterest allows you to create idea boards where you can store pictures relating to your project.  For example, let’s say you want to take out a wall and build a master bedroom closet. OK you have your idea, now research it.  Most likely you are surprised to find a rectangular closet may suit your needs versus a square walk-in-closet.

       

  Or maybe you want to combine both! Saving pictures to a Pinterest board named Closet Design will help you to envision your closet architectural plans.

 Next maybe you want shoes, purses, ties, suits, sweaters, coats, etc. to be organized in different spaces.  Saving different organization pictures of shelving, storage bins, baskets, shoe organizers, etc. will help you to decide what types of organizational products you will need.  After you have your boards with various ideas, combine your final choice into one board that will act as your personal blueprint.

   

Next check out Houzz.com See if the ideas you have combined into one Pinterest board have actually been implemented. Chances are you can find your design on Houzz.com or something very similar to your design concept.  You can even find local contractors like Loebrich Contracting on Houzz. You can refine your search by budget, location, style, size, color, and so much more. You can create idea books, ask questions and even place orders.

  Between Pinterest & Houzz, you will be exceptionally organized for that “Pet Project”!  Loebrich Contracting can be found on either Pinterest or Houzz!

 Last, don’t’ forget to “Vet” your contractor. Make sure he/she is experienced, licensed, and insured, and check references on-line and in person. Make sure you set a time frame for this project. Don’t start it a month before a major holiday or life event like a wedding, as you won’t want your house under construction during these times. Always, research and set a budget. Finally, check what permits you will need. Either obtain the permits yourself or have your contractor pick them up and display them when work begins.  Make your “Pet Project” transition from an idea to a reality by following these simple steps:

Pinterest Boards

Houzz Pics of Projects, Prices, and Local Contractors

Vet Contractor

Set time frame and budget with a little padding for both

Get permits.

Have fun bringing that Pet project all together!


Don't leave our blog without a peek at our project of the month below!

September 2019 project of the Month!

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Aging in Place and Accessibility Remodeling Aug 2019 Blog

Posted On: August 02, 2019

Accessibility Remodeling and Aging in Place

The baby boomers are now reaching an age where we see an upswing in a trend for people desiring to stay in their homes for as long as possible. Consequently, modifications need to be made to accommodate the needs of an aging generation. Also, we see a growing need for home modification remodeling among our disabled veterans.

 Thankfully our disabled veterans have access to federal resources for help with the cost of disability remodeling. The Department of Veterans Affairs promotes independent living for disabled veterans through several programs. Based on your disability, you may be eligible for a grant to make modifications to your home. One site to help get you started is https://www.militaryonesource.mil/military-life-cycle/veterans/make-a-home-accessible-with-department-of-veterans-affairs-programs

 What about seniors who live on a fixed income? Remodeling can be expensive. Are there any resources available to help them make their home more accessible? The short answer is yes. Check with your local Area Agency on Aging, State Housing Finance Agency, Welfare Department, Community Development Groups, or the Federal Government for what resources may be available to you. One site not to miss  is https://longtermcare.acl.gov/.

  Different physical conditions require different home modifications. Even diseases like emphysema or diabetes need to be taken into consideration when planning to age in place. Wheelchair accessibility, or walkers, scooters, stair lifts, or other special needs equipment will need to be part of the renovation planning. Luckily there are different organizations for both seniors and disabled veterans that can help them plan a home renovation to keep them in their existing home.

 Some remodeling ideas which help make aging in place/accessibility renovation easier are; doorways, landscapes, ramps, lifts, flooring, & bathrooms. Creating approachable entrances, wider front doors, and less cumbersome landscapes is a great place to start.

          

 Once inside the home stairs can be an obstacle. A stair lift, whether horizontal or vertical, can provide ease of access to an upper or lower floor. All inside doorways will need to be widened to 36 inches or more for wheelchair accessibility.

       

 Vinyl or laminate flooring is best for wheelchairs and easier on the body if a fall happens. It is much more forgiving that hardwood or tile flooring.

.          

 Even small things like light switches will need to be lowered on a wall if a wheelchair accessible remodel is necessary. A great way to take care of electrical hindrances is through the new technology available with Smart Home Additions. These technological additions can affect, lights, thermometers and door locks which can be controlled by voice activation.

                                    

 Another larger scale renovation for both aging in place and accessibility remodeling is the bathroom. Open space for wheelchairs, touch operated faucets, higher than standard toilets with grab bars, walk in or rolling showers with seats and grab bars and held shower heads as well as lever handled water valves all make for great accessibility in the bath.

            


So how expensive is it. Well that depends on the renovations undertaken. However, according to longtermcare.acl.gov/costs-how-to-pay/costs-of-care.html  cost of living for elderly or rehabilitative living can be astronomical:

  • $225 a day or $6,844 per month for a semi-private room in a nursing home
  • $253 a day or $7,698 per month for a private room in a nursing home
  • $119 a day or $3,628 per month for care in an assisted living facility (for a one-bedroom unit)

                                                       OR

 

Obviously the costs speak for themselves, the home renovations are much more economical than the institution solution.

  Home improvements and structural alterations can help aid those wishing to age in place or the disabled with their special adaptation requirements for independent living. Loebrich Contracting can help with All your remodeling needs!

 

 

 

 


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