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5 Reasons Why Winter is the Perfect Time for Home Remodeling Projects

Michigan is lucky enough to encounter all four seasons. But Michigan winters can be long and harsh. Winter is actually a really good time focus on your home projects. You may be thinking the complete opposite.  Some homeowners have found they actually prefer doing home make over projects in the winter. Here are five reasons why winter may be the best time to do your remodeling project.

 

1. Convenient Project Scheduling/Contractor Availability
It is usually easier for contractors to schedule work in the winter months. A lot of people don’t want to start a project in winter. Allowing contractor’s to have much more availability and time to work with you on planning and designing your project.  This process may take longer as the work picks up in the spring with outdoor projects.

 

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2. Avoid Manufacturer Spring Prices Increases
Winter is the best time to look for reduced pricing.  When remodeling your home, you can find close-out prices on appliances and be able to purchase materials before manufacturers increase prices.  We typically experience price increases for lumber products, windows and cabinet lines in the spring. During the winter, manufacturers may feature specials to reduce inventory.

 

3. Permit Approvals 
Government agencies are usually less busy in winter season, which makes it easier and quicker to obtain necessary permits.

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4. Clean-up
While you might be thinking of holding off on your project until spring because of concerns about dust and fumes. With current technologies and clean-up methods do control these concerns. Such as sealing off heat ducts with a filter will contain the dust.

 

5. Vacation Time
If you plan on taking a vacation this winter, it may be a perfect time to have work done in your home to avoid disruption of your daily activities.

 

Before you say no to winter remodeling, keep these five reasons in mind. The winter season might be the perfect time for you to start your next remodeling project.

Top Benefits of Energy Efficient Windows

Since most high quality windows are built to last for ten or more years, replacing your windows is a project you should only expect to face a few times in your life. If your windows are allowing air or moisture to leak in or out of your home, or if they have become difficult to operate, it is probably time buy new windows before the overall energy efficiency of your home suffers any further.

Replacement of all of the windows in your home is no small expense, with each replacement window costing anywhere from $450 to $1000 dollars, depending on the materials used to manufacture the windows. Window replacements, though costly, are well worth the cost once your existing windows are beyond repair.

Top Benefits of Energy Efficient Windows

Reduce Energy Consumption

In the United States, only 7 percent of our energy is derived from renewable sources such as wind or solar. The remaining 93 percent of the energy we use is created from non renewables, such as fossil fuels, that are limited in availability as well as damaging to our environment. Unless you are able to make the switch to solar power in your home, consuming energy obtained from nonrenewable sources is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t decrease how much of this energy you are using in your home.

Cutting back on energy use is a surefire way to reduce your carbon footprint for a more environmentally responsible life—something that we at Modernize are passionate about. Energy efficient windows will protect your home from the extreme cold or heat, which keeps your home comfortable with less effort from your heating and cooling system that needs energy to operate.

Cut Back on Heating and Cooling Bills

By investing in energy efficient windows, you can cut back on how much energy your heating and cooling system uses to keep your home comfortable. Highly insulative materials block excessive heat or cold from entering your home, making it easier to keep your home comfortable with less work from your HVAC unit. The less your unit runs, the less you spend on heating and cooling costs each month.

Add Light and a Beautiful View Without Adding Heat

Typically, energy efficient windows use glazing, multiple panes, and insulative materials to keep heat from passively entering your home. Because these factors are working hard to keep your home cool during the hot summer months, you can still enjoy the view and natural light your windows provide without feeling you have to close the blinds or draw the curtains to block out the heat. Keeping your home comfortable shouldn’t mean you have to give up on the aesthetic appeal windows are meant to provide.

Top Benefits of Energy Efficient Windows

This post is brought to you by Mary Sauer at Modernize.com

History of Curtains: How They Came into Existence

Curtains are still the main form of window covering for the majority of households. They are versatile, warm and perform a wide variety of functions. Yet, despite their importance they are often hung as an afterthought! In fact, a well hung curtain can make a huge difference to the décor and feel of any room. When you choose your curtains you must think about their purpose, the style of your room and even the form of the curtains. Understanding their history will help you to choose the right one for your room.

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Warmth

Originally, curtains were used to help keep a property warm; there was no central heating!  These curtain were usually long, heavy affairs, the more of the space they covered the better the heat insulation. In fact, it was common to hang tapestries and drapes on castle walls to help keep the warmth in. Choosing a curtain to maximize light in a room was an unheard of option in medieval times. The earliest known curtains were hung over doorways and windows; they were made of animal hide and did not hang well.

The Egyptians

To many, the Egyptians are the founder of the modern clothing material. They were experts at spinning linen and flax, later they moved onto wool, cotton and even silk. These materials were created as advancements in dyeing; weaving and mass production were becoming a part of industry. The result was a curtain made of a pleasing textile that not only looked good but flowed well; whilst keeping the warmth in.

Glass

In the 13th century the Italians perfected the making of glass and it became an option for windows. Until then, wooden shutters had been the only option and these not only let drafts in but blocked out all light. Keeping a large house or castle warm was nearly impossible, even with an open fire in every room. The smoke inside the building, combined with the darkness would have made for a very unpleasant living environment over the winter months. The more northern you were the colder it got and the more essential these heavy drape curtains became.

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The Renaissance period

The period between the 14th and 17th centuries is known as the Renaissance; it was during this period that the average home started to resemble the modern homes we live in today. Glass became a standard feature and helped to reduce the drafts and coldness. Windows were even designed with obscure glass or stained glass; possibly negating the need for curtains altogether.

Most windows are plain glass and so the need for a curtain continued; if only to prevent noisy neighbors watching your every move.  Even with the development of glass, curtains remained pieces of material draped across the openings.

The 18th and 19th Centuries

The textiles that had been used for so many years in the eastern parts of the world started to come to the west during this period. This inspired a new range of textile production in France, Italy, Holland and the UK; each product was adapted to include a western feel.

It was only in the first half of the 19th century that mass production started to take off and these gave the humble curtain a new market.  Curtains were now a viable option for almost anyone, instead of being the preserve of the wealthiest. The middle classes chose to employ designers to ensure their curtains enhanced the look and feel of their homes.  Many curtain styles from this period are very ornate.

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War

The two world wars took their toll on curtain design. Limited materials and funds meant all curtains became simplistic sheets, designed simply to cover the window and even to stop light getting out. The post-war years saw many buildings becoming multiple dwellings and this led to curtains which fit with the architect of the building, although maybe not to the interior décor.

It has only been in the last twenty years that curtains have been seen as part of the interior design and more than just a functional item. They really can make a huge difference to the look of a room. The ideal height, model and material will transform your home into the most welcoming environment!

By: Edward Francis and VanessaArbuthnott.co.uk!

Garbage Disposals: Do You Need One?

If you live in Grosse Pointe Woods, you do.

We just failed a city inspection in GPW because the homeowners did not want a garbage disposal in their newly remodeled kitchen. Since 99% of people DO want a garbage disposal, we had never run into this issue before today.

My first thought was “who doesn’t want a garbage disposal?” But after some researching online, I found out that there are many reasons to go sans-disposal.

Garbage Disposals: Do You Need One?

Sending your food scraps back into the waste water is costly to the system, and the grease from food causes plumbing problems in your home. But throwing away your food scraps and sending them to the landfill causes an increase in methane gas emittance which is harmful to the environment. The greenest way to dispose of food scraps is to compost them, and return the nutrient-rich results back into the soil.

After living for years without a dishwasher or a garbage disposal, I felt like a queen when I moved into my new house with both of these amenities. But I found myself overdoing it. I put such filthy dishes in the dishwasher that food scraps collected in the bottom and started to rot and smell. I shoved 12 jars full of homemade pickles (a failed experiment…I was trying to hide the evidence) down the garbage disposal at once, and broke it.

My advice would be to keep the garbage disposal, for convenience, for those times when you need it, but not to over-do it. In some cities, you have no choice. But if you don’t have one, don’t worry about it; you’re not missing out on much. Then, start a compost bin and turn your waste into nutritious food for the earth!

Employee Spotlight: Katharine Sleeman

Employee Spotlight: Katharine Sleeman | Kopke Remodeling & Design BlogKatharine (in our design department) was nominated for Employee of the Month in September by five different coworkers for taking on an additional workload, not complaining, working hard and producing excellent work, always with a smile. I interviewed her to find out what she enjoys about working for Kopke, what makes her tick, and what activities she enjoys outside of work.

Kayla Kopke: What sets Kopke apart from other places you have worked?

Katharine Sleeman: Everyone at Kopke is so knowledgeable in various ways. This makes for great brainstorm sessions and in turn makes for very creative designs.

KK: What has been your greatest accomplishment at Kopke?

KS: Employee of the month!

KK: What is your favourite part about working at Kopke?

KS: I love that we are like a big family and even set aside time to celebrate birthdays.

KK: What has been your most memorable Kopke moment to date?

KS: The first day I came back to Kopke (after my internship) I remember it was like seeing old friends again. The whole day is very vivid in my memory.

KK: Aside from work, what is your biggest passion?

KS: I love volunteering in the community.

KK: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

KS: Growing up, I wanted to be either a chef or a designer, but I followed my passion into design.

KK: What’s your favourite new device, app or website?

KS: Lately, I have been listening to Spotify a lot, it makes small chores like cutting the grass a bit more fun.

KK: What is your favourite thing about living in Michigan?

KS: I love being able to enjoy every season.

KK: What are 3 things we may not know about you?

KS: I play coed indoor soccer

I love succulents

I refinish furniture for Habitat for Humanity

KK: What is one piece of advice you would give to anyone thinking about remodeling their home?

KS: My advice is to find a company that takes pride in what they do…like Kopke!

We Are Sponsoring a Holiday Toy Drive for Children’s Leukemia Foundation of MI

An Opportunity to Give Back This Holiday Season

We Are Sponsoring a Holiday Toy Drive for Children’s Leukemia Foundation of MI | Kopke Remodeling & Design Blog

Please join us in donating a new, unwrapped toy to the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan.

Living with a serious illness puts a significant strain on a family’s finances, time, and emotions. To combat some of these stresses and make the December holidays brighter, CLF distributes gift packages to child patients and their siblings, and to the children of adult patients.

We will be using our Sterling Heights Showroom as a toy drop-off location, and will be delivering all of the toys we collect to CLF around mid-December.

Toy Drive Dates: Nov. 10 – Dec. 10 
Drop-off Location: 38200 Van Dyke Ave. Sterling Heights, MI 48312
Hours: MondayFriday 8:30 to 5:30, Saturday 10:00 – 3:00

We Are Sponsoring a Holiday Toy Drive for Children’s Leukemia Foundation of MI | Kopke Remodeling & Design Blog

“We want to thank you very much for helping our family every year. Since our daughter got sick, we don’t really have the time and money to spend on Christmas gifts or any other activity for our children. The Holiday Toys program is a very important part of the holiday for our children. It makes them feel like someone really cares about them, even though we, the parents, don’t have the money to buy for them. Thanks again!”

– The parent of a child patient & Holiday Toys recipient

Please note: For sanitary/medical purposes, all donated toys must be new and not gift-wrapped. CLF cannot accept used/open toys or toys that are over 10 years old.

The A-Z Glossary of Home Remodeling Terms

The A-Z Guide of Home Remodeling Terms | Kopke Remodeling & Design Blog

Abatement
The encapsulation or removal of building materials containing pollutants (such as lead or asbestos) to prevent the release of or exposure to fibers.

Acclimation
The adjustment to changes in the climate or environment. Some materials may need time to acclimate before they are positioned in a kitchen or bath.

Accessories
Additional cabinetry items such as overlays, moldings, etc to enhance the appearance and quality of a project. Also includes towel bars, soap dishes, hardware, etc.

Apron
Trim attached below a tabletop or window sill

Backsplash
1)The portion of the exposed area between the bottom of the wall cabinets and the top of the countertop. 2) Also, an elevated section of counter material approximately 4″ high typically part of the countertop. Backsplashes are necessary to prevent water from seeping into the seam between the counter and drywall.

Banquette
A built-in table with chairs in an alcove.

The A-Z Guide of Home Remodeling Terms | Kopke Remodeling & Design Blog

Barn door
Hardware that allows the door to slide along a wall. Useful when a pocket door is too costly or not possible.

Base cabinets
Cabinetry used on the floor to provide countertop support and typically is 34 ½ inches tall and 24 inches deep.

Bearing wall
A wall designed and placed in a position to hold more of a load above it. Usually around the perimeter of a house and in strategic locations to support floor, ceiling, and roof beams.

Casing
An enclosed frame around a door or window opening. Also called trim.

CFM
Cubic feet per minute; used as a measure of the amount of air a fan can move

Chair rail
A trim piece that runs horizontally on a wall at the height of a chair back and is used to make the transition between a wainscot and upper wall. Originally used to prevent damage to a wall from the backs of chairs.

Crown Molding
Crown molding encapsulates a large family of moldings which are designed to gracefully flare out to a finished top edge. Crown molding is generally used for capping walls, pilasters, and cabinets, and is used extensively in the creation of interior and exterior cornice assemblies and door and window hoods.

In recent times, crown moldings have generally made their appearance as mostly decorated plaster or wooden trim where walls meet ceilings.

Clearance space
The space required for a safe and clear use of an appliance, cabinet doors and safe passage.

Color temperature
The color of the lamp itself as compared to the color of a black reference substance when heated to various temperatures Kelvin, and the effect the lamp color has on the color of an object being illuminated by it. Or an index of how the light source itself looks to us, measured in degrees Kelvin (K).

The A-Z Guide of Home Remodeling Terms | Kopke Remodeling & Design Blog

Compact fluorescent (CFL)
A type of fluorescent lamp with the fluorescent tube coiled into a compact shape in a size similar to an incandescent bulb.

Compartmentalized bathroom
A bathroom where individual activities, like toileting or showering, are separated by walls into individual compartments.

Concealed hinge
A hinge that is attached to the door and the inside end panel or stile of a cabinet, making it not visible from the exterior of the cabinet

Construction plan
A drawing that shows both the existing conditions of the structure and the changes to be made to achieve the design

Dormer
A structure built atop a roof to increase the usable space below or to contain windows. A window set vertically in a structure projecting through a sloping roof

Energy efficiency
Ratio of energy output of a conversion process or of a system to its energy input.

Farmhouse Sink
A deep sink that has a finished front. Set onto a countertop, the finished front of the sink remains exposed. This style of sink requires very little “reach-over” to access the sink.

The A-Z Guide of Home Remodeling Terms | Kopke Remodeling & Design Blog

Gable Vent
Vent openings mounted in the top of a gable of a house to allow the exchange of air in the attic.

Grab bars
Safety bars installed in bathtubs and showers to prevent falls. A device, usually installed on a wall, that provide support while rising from, sitting in, entering, or exiting a bathtub or shower.

HVAC
Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning.

I.L.T. (Integral Light Technology) Grilles
Grilles are permanently bonded to the inside and outside of your window glass. Nonglare foam spacer in between the grilles casts a realistic shadow like individual windowpanes would. Creates the most authentic look of true-divided-light windows.

Island
An area of cabinets and countertops which can be accessed and walked around from all sides. Considered free standing.

Laminate
Any thin material such as wood or plastic glued to the exterior of a cabinet, countertop or other surface.

Lazy Susan
A corner cabinet on which the shelves are mounted on a vertical axle such that items may be retrieved by pushing on the shelves to turn them may also be called a lazy Susan. This type is usually found in kitchens. Closed, this type of lazy Susan appears to be two normal cabinets at right angles to each other. When pushed on, the cabinet “doors” reveal the shelves, which are circular except for the ninety degree cutout where the doors are mounted.

Lead time
The time between when a product or item is purchased to the actual delivery date.

Linoleum
An all natural flooring material made of linseed oil, cork dust, wood flour, tree resins, ground limestone, and pigments; regarded as environmentally friendly flooring.

Low-E (Low Emissive)
Glass that reflect heat, not light, and therefore keeps spaces warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Molding
An embellishment in strip form, made of wood or other structural material, that is used to decorate or finish a surface, such as the wall of a room or around a door or window

The A-Z Guide of Home Remodeling Terms | Kopke Remodeling & Design Blog

Muntin
A small vertical or horizontal strip that divides window panes from each other.

Oil-Rubbed Bronze
The Oil Rubbed Bronze finish is a chemically darkened surface designed to simulate aged bronze. This finish is very dark and varies from a deep chocolate brown to a dark gray and usually has copper undertones.

Particle Board
A panel product made from sawdust or wood particles, bonded with a resin under high heat and pressure.

Partition Wall
A wall that separates rooms, or divides a room. Partition walls are usually not load-bearing. Partition walls are constructed of many materials, including steel panels, bricks, blocks of clay, terra-cotta, concrete, or glass blocks.

Pedestal sink
A free-standing fixture with a wide top and narrow base that conceals the plumbing.

Pendant
A lighting fixture hung from the ceiling containing one or more lamps.

Peninsula
An area of cabinets or counter fastened on one side which can be accessed and walk up to on three sides.

Picture Rail
A horizontal trim piece installed high up on a wall as a means of hanging pictures without puncturing the wall with nails or brads.

The A-Z Guide of Home Remodeling Terms | Kopke Remodeling & Design Blog

Pocket door
A door that slides horizontally on a track and is typically moved inside a wall for storage.

Powder room
A small bathroom for guest near the public areas of the home. Consists of a sink and toilet.

R&R
Remove and Replace. A term describing simple remodeling project that involves removing and replacing cabinetry, fixtures and appliances without structural or mechanical changes.

Radiant Heating
An efficient heating system that warms cold objects, which then radiate heat into the surrounding space evenly.

R-Value
A measure of the thermal resistance of material, especially insulation.

Sconce
A light fixture that is fixed to a wall.

Scope
The sum of the products and services to be provided as a project.

Sheetrock™
A brand of drywall that is itself often used as a term for drywall.

Sight lines
The range or visual field in direct line with a person’s eyes, impacted by the position a person will be in when the space or product is being used. This is useful in planning heights of fixtures, fittings, lighting, windows, and more.

Sill
The portion of the door or window assembly at the bottom or floor, including the fixed and movable parts of the window or door and the fixed portion of the building into which the window or door mounts.

Site Plan (Mortgage Survey)
A drawing prepared to scale showing the placement of a proposed building(s), location of existing structures, and other lot development features — setback measurements, driveways, fencing, landscaping.

The A-Z Guide of Home Remodeling Terms | Kopke Remodeling & Design Blog

Soaking tub
Extra deep tub that allows the user to submerge to their neck.

Soffit
A lowered portion of a ceiling. The horizontal surface below the eave. A porch roof. The under surface of a lowered portion of the ceiling. A “bulkhead” in Canada. An enclosed area used to fill a space between the tops of the wall cabinets and the ceiling.

Solid Surfacing
A class of rigid surfacing materials made of acrylic and/or polyester resins mixed with alumina tryhydrate.

Studs
Framing members of the wall, usually 2x4s or 2x6s which the cabinets are fastened to.

Subcontractors
Contractors who will work specifically for another contractor or design firm

Sub-flooring
The flooring applied directly to the floor joist on top of which the finished floor rests.

Task lighting
Added lighting for specific tasks, like grooming, dressing, reading, etc. Lighting focused on an work area.

Toe kick
An indented space in cabinetry near the floor to accommodate the feet while standing next to a cabinetry.

Tongue and Groove
A method of fitting similar objects together, edge to edge, used mainly with wood, in flooring, parquetry, panelling, and similar constructions. Tongue and groove joints allow two flat pieces to be joined strongly together to make a single flat surface.  Each piece has a slot (the groove) cut all along one edge, and a thin, deep ridge (the tongue) on the opposite edge. The tongue projects a little less than the depth of the groove. Two or more pieces thus fit together closely. The joint is not normally glued, as shrinkage would then pull the tongue off.

The A-Z Guide of Home Remodeling Terms | Kopke Remodeling & Design Blog

Traffic Patterns
The normal walkway or passage a person would go from one place to another.

Transom
A horizontal window set above a door or other windows.

Underlayment
A material placed over the subfloor plywood sheeting and under the finish covering to provide a smooth, even surface. A non-structural sheet material installed on a subfloor to provide a stable, level and smooth base for the floorcovering.

Updraft ventilation systems
A kitchen ventilation system that includes a hood over a cooking surface to capture the air borne by-products of cooking and a fan to pull air up; captured air is either exhausted to the outside or filtered and re-circulated into the room, depending on the system

Vanity
Bathroom cabinet with the sink on top.

Vapor Barrier
Any material used for damp proofing, typically a plastic or foil sheet, that resists diffusion of moisture through wall, ceiling and floor assemblies of buildings to prevent interstitial condensation.

Vessel sink
A sink bowl or basin that sits on top of the counter or ledge.

The A-Z Guide of Home Remodeling Terms | Kopke Remodeling & Design Blog

Wainscoting
An application of wood paneling up to the middle or lower half of a wall

Work Triangle
The distance between the three primary work centers (cooking surface, clean-up/prep primary sink, and refrigeration). Ideally between 12 and 26 feet in total length.

Source: Many of these definitions were obtained from the NKBA.

The Benefits of Visiting Our Showroom

The majority of our potential clients will initiate their contact with us by sending an email or calling us on the phone, and requesting a free in-home consultation. While we in no way discourage this, I would humbly suggest that the better route to take would be to first stop by our Showroom. We are open from 8:30 to 5:30 Monday through Friday, and from 10:00 to 3:00 on Saturday, which should accommodate almost any schedule.

The Benefits of Visiting Our Showroom | Kopke Remodeling & Design Blog

The reason I see it most beneficial to visit our Showroom before making an in-home consultation appointment is, by visiting, you will have the opportunity to meet with multiple members of our staff, from design, to pricing, to production. Even potentially the installers who will be working on your job, the bookkeeper who can answer any questions related to financing, and the marketing team who will gift you with a promotional item or two! We might be having an employee’s birthday party and invite you in for a slice of ice cream cake. You will have an inside view into our company culture instead of one stranger appearing on your doorstep.

Sometimes a walk-in client will be greeted by one of our designers, begin a discussion about their project, and come to a technical question that that individual is not an expert on. We can easily grab the nearby expert, and answer your question for you right there. Have a question about how long your project will take to start? Ask our production department, who know their schedules better than anyone. You can even meet the owner and shake his hand. I think you are beginning to get my point.

The Benefits of Visiting Our Showroom | Kopke Remodeling & Design Blog

Additionally, we have thousands of product samples here that will inspire you. You will have a much better direction of which samples you would like brought out to your home during the in-home consultation. You can even borrow some to take home with you!

I would sincerely suggest visiting us here, developing a rapport with a design consultant, and then making an appointment for him/her to meet with you at your home to proceed further. By visiting us you will have a much clearer picture of whether or not our company is a good fit for you. Call 596-777-6633 to make an appointment to come visit, or walk-ins are always welcome!

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