(612) 861-0188
Sylvestre Construction Inc.
Sylvestre Construction, Inc.
7708 5th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55423
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July 2015

Where Great Kitchens and Baths Begin: Remodeler Certifications

NARI and NKBA certificationsWhen you dream about kitchen or bath remodeling you dream about a happy ending – a gorgeous, up-to-date room with all the features, functionality and beauty you expected. You don't expect your dream remodeling project to turn into a nightmare. The truth, however, is that kitchen and bath remodeling is complex, and from poorly planned workflow to floors that sag under the weight of tiles and granite, there are countless ways for some remodelers to make mistakes that can saddle you with unexpected costs and the feeling you've "settled" on quality or features.

Kitchen and bath remodeling takes an extra level of expertise. That's why we're proud of our certifications such as CKBR, Certified Kitchen & Bath Remodeler and CKD, Certified Kitchen Designer. These are designations that NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) and NKBA (National Kitchen & Bath Association) award only to professional remodelers who have proven they have the skills and real-world experience to make every kitchen and bath project live up to their clients' dreams.

Why Certifications Matter to Our Clients

By working with certified professionals, you benefit from our completely up-to-date knowledge of what's new – and best – in kitchen and bath remodeling. That's important because today there are so many innovative ways to turn even small spaces into warm, welcoming kitchens and pampering bathroom retreats. Plus, there are creative ways to combine all-new storage options, energy efficiency, green materials and technology to make the most-used rooms of your home some of the best-loved rooms, too.

Bathroom remodeling Kitchen remodeling

Space Planning, Products and Priorities

Good space planning carves the most value from every square inch of your kitchen or bath and rewards you with a space that is designed for your lifestyle. You don't want to spend money on a beautiful kitchen only to find out that there is no space for a trash can or the dog's bowl. We can also work magic in reclaiming "lost space." Just imagine the space between wall studs becoming the perfect place for a niche with those extra shelves you need in your master bath.

Because we know what products are available and how they look in real-world homes, we can help you spend your remodeling dollars most efficiently. We can also help you get those special items you want and still stay within budget. For example, if it's a priority to have a Sub-Zero refrigerator, we can show you how to stay within budget by selecting a less-expensive cabinet line that still gives your kitchen a high-quality look and feel.

We want you to know you can count on our experience, knowledge and long-term commitment to the remodeling industry – and to you. That's why we've always believed that having certifications such as CKBR and CKD is where the great kitchen and bath remodeling we do begins. Remember, we're always happy to help you explore new possibilities for your home. Just give us a call any time.

Maintenance Tip: Storing Lawn Chemicals Safely

Lawn care supplies can be dangerous if not handled properly. Store the chemicals in their original labeled containers in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place, preferably in a covered area to avoid exposure to storm water or runoff. Keep different chemicals separated and in undamaged containers to prevent leaks and spills, and out of the reach of children and pets. Always dispose of deteriorating, unwanted or unlabeled lawn chemicals safely, as you would any hazardous waste.

Dusk in Woodland Caribou Park

Dusk in Woodland Caribou Park 

What's the Story

“It Takes a Lot of Money to Save Money”

What kind of animal is this?
What kind of animal is this?

The month of July is soon to be seen in our rear view mirror. We continue to be busy with a wide range of very interesting projects. During the past month, we have done extensive repairs on 2 projects. I am bringing this up to point out how sometimes the lowest number, may NOT be the least expensive number for your home remodeling project. We pride ourselves on doing a good job and doing it right the first time and although that is sometimes hard to see in an estimate, the sometimes unspoken and not referenced construction techniques can come back to haunt you, many times hidden under the heading of "lowest bid".

On Project A, we were called to inspect damage on the interior of a crawl space wall which was noticed by an insulation contractor who was upgrading this homeowner's insulation. We wanted to see why water was rotting their deck-to-house connection. It turns out that the deck contractor, about 15 years ago, had left out one piece of flashing, critical flashing. By leaving it out, water had not been diverted as it should and proceeded to rot not only the deck connection to the house, but everything between that board and the foundation. This deck wrapped around 3 sides of their addition and upon further investigation, we found the problem was consistent behind the entire deck. The piece of flashing, installed at the time of construction, would have added less than $50 to the cost of the project. The labor to install it would have been negligible. Our repair costs were over $10,000.

Flashing missing, bummer. If they only had added tarpaper.
Flashing missing, bummer. If they only had added tarpaper.

On Project B, we were replacing the siding on a large portion of our client's home due to some questionable design elements selected by the original builder in the late 1970's. But the largest surprise was when we went to look at the siding on the back of their home and found that the sheathing (usually behind the siding), in numerous places behind the siding was completely gone – rotted away because...the original contractor did not use a building paper behind the siding. At the time of construction, a roll of "tar paper" would not have cost more than $8 and labor to install it would have been less than $20. The cost of our repairs, on this wall only, exceeded $5,000.

The phrase "It Takes a Lot of Money to Save Money" was coined by John Relf, our building products salesperson. He has heard any number of these stories in his day-to-day dealings with contractors who want to "save money" to get the job and homeowners who want to "pick the lowest priced contractor" to work on their (typically) biggest investment, their home. "You can pay me now, or pay me later" was an ad campaign from Fram oil filters a few years back. Taking a few shortcuts on home remodeling may keep our carpenters busy, but paying a few dollars more to make sure the project is done correctly seems to make better economic sense. Spending money on repairs is not nearly as fun as a new kitchen, bathroom or addition. How do you, as a homeowner, know that it is being done right and correctly? That's a topic for next month.

Hope your summer is going well. Have you been on any adventures? I would enjoy hearing your stories and seeing your photos of your adventures. Keep me posted.

John Sylvestre

Until next month,

John Sylvestre
President
MCR, CKD, CKBR, CLC, CAPS

john@sylvestreconstruction.com
Phone: 612-861-0188

 
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