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December 2016

A Gift You'll Love for Years to Come

Are you considering remodeling in 2017? We've found that the holidays provide a unique opportunity to do some very creative dreaming about everything you'd like your home to be.

That's because the holidays really put your home to the test, from how well the kitchen works to how easily you can entertain friends and family or host overnight guests. With such a bright spotlight on how your home looks, feels and functions, you'll find you're brimming with remodeling ideas. The secret is to find time during this busy season to capture all those ideas. Here's how!

home remodeling by Sylvestre Construction

Find the perfect “gift” for each room

First things first – pour yourself a cup of coffee (or maybe glass of wine). Then, stroll through your home and think of each room as a special person on your holiday gift list. As you go from room to room, imagine you're seeing each space for the very first time. What's the first thing you notice? What's the lighting like? Is the space welcoming? Is the temperature comfortable? Does it feel cozy, or cramped and cold? Most of all, does the room make you smile?

Then, ask yourself, "What 'gifts' would I give this room to make it more beautiful, functional and fun?"

Let yourself go! At this point the ideas you come up with are just your "Wish List," but they are a wonderful starting point for planning what you're seeking to achieve in 2017.

A few ideas to get you started

Entry: What's the first thing you see when you come in the front door? How well does the space handle coats, boots, and packages? Does it feel inviting for your guests?

Kitchen: How well do your appliances and cabinets function? Would it be fun to have a fireplace, more natural light, or more seating? How is the traffic flow? Do you need more counter space? Would you love to have "specialty" areas like a baking counter, breakfast bar or beverage station? Can you cook, entertain, and hang out exactly the way you prefer? What about storage? What if the kitchen were bigger...?

kitchen remodeling by Sylvestre Construction

Powder Room: Is it beautiful and gracious enough for guests, with luxurious touches and plenty of space for hand towels, extra toilet paper, lovely soaps, and other amenities? Is the powder room also used daily by the family – and what would make it function better for guests and everyday use?

Family Room: Think about your idea of a perfect evening in this room. Do you have enough storage options and charging stations for your family's devices? Does your flat screen TV cry out for a built-in entertainment center or a different room configuration? What about expanding the room by opening it up to the kitchen, or integrating it more with the outdoors by adding a sunroom, deck, patio, or more windows?

Guest Room: Do you have one? Does it have its own bath? Imagine what kind of space you'd be proud to see as you welcome guests, in-laws, or your grown kids (and their kids) when they visit for the holidays.

Master Bedroom and Bathroom: Would you love a cozy, private getaway from the stress of a long day? What would it take to make your master bath feel like a luxury spa? A steam shower or a large soaking tub and a heated floor? Wouldn't it be nice to carve out a nook with a mini fridge, bar sink and a single-serve coffee maker for indulging in a relaxed breakfast on lazy mornings, without even leaving your room?

When your stroll is done, you'll have your home's gift list. But instead of tucking it away for "someday," share it with us! We love a challenge and will enjoy finding creative ways to turn your remodeling ideas into the gift of a "new" home that fits your dreams and your budget.

Maintenance Tip: Check Chimneys and Flues

Chimneys and flues should be checked and cleaned annually to prevent buildup (more often if used frequently). Residue on the inner surface of the flue can catch fire. Also check that no animals have nested inside.

Photo: South Island, New Zealand
Where are you heading this winter? This shot is from a friend and client
John Tobin who just returned from a visit to New Zealand.

What's the Story?

This month's newsletter is a good planning guide as you make your home improvement goals for the new year. We talk about options for almost every room of your home. If we were to list projects in order of inquiry here, I think there are 2 rooms that hit the top of the list in Minneapolis – a mudroom and the laundry. Two highly important spaces that are the working backbone of any home. Although your front entry sets the stage for guests to your home, the mudroom is the working "command" center. Many homes in Minneapolis do not have an attached garage, so you are walking from the garage – in the occasional rain or snow shower, with the kids, groceries and the dog. Having a covered space to protect you as you open the door would be the highest priority of any mudroom remodeling, not to mention a place to sit and take off your boots and hang up your clothes.

Laundries come in many shapes and sizes. Just be sure you have adequate storage for detergents and incoming laundry as well as room to sort and fold. This can be a movable cabinet, wall-hung top or now, many washers fit under the counter, which would provide a very handy location for folding and sorting.

Make sure you add these 2 spaces to your stroll through your home when you look to see what would be more functional and fun!

The weather has been very nice until last week when winter arrived in force! We were able to get a lot of our grading and site preparation ready on the garage we have been working on the past few months.

Steel beam   Garage construction

(Left photo) Heavy Steel Beams require Jacks and Rollers. (Right photo) Steel in Place.
Note 2-story brick addition that we had to support while we installed the new steel.

This simple garage is a masterwork of steel and concrete that has kept Craig and Les on their toes solving the complex puzzle of supporting the old house while we remove the existing support and install a new steel beam framework. We have a number of interior projects ready to go after the first of the year. Although clients are excited to have us start, sharing their homes with us through the holidays is not always their first choice. Imagine that!

All of us at Sylvestre Construction want to wish you, your family and friends a great holiday season and a prosperous and healthy New Year. We appreciate your friendship.

John Sylvestre

Until next month,

John Sylvestre
Phone: 612-861-0188

Sylvestre Remodeling & Design