Where and How to Store your Stuff During a Remodel

When you are remodeling your home there are a lot of moving parts. Other than figuring out design choices, like what countertops to choose, you also need to figure out logistics. One of these logistics is where are you going to keep all your stuff? Storage during a remodel can be tricky since you want to keep your stuff out of the way while maintaining easy access to your items. Here are five temporary storage options that could help.

1. Rent a Storage Container

A portable storage container is a great solution because it's like having your own storage unit in your driveway. This is a great solution for a remodel because it provides you with the ability to completely clear items out of your home while also maintaining the flexibility and convenience of having those items on hand when you need them.

Make sure that you do your research before picking a storage container. There are many different options that different companies provide. These options range in size, cost, and delivery options with size being the most valuable so don't skimp on the size of the container.  Pick what makes the most sense for your living situation.

The amount of time you keep the portable storage container on your property is up to you. However, you may need permission from the homeowners association if you live in a condo or townhome. Also make sure you are following the rules and get the proper permissions from your town, city or village. Make sure you invest in a heavy-duty lock to protect your stuff since the portable storage company does not provide one.

2. Designate another room for storage

This option is great if you have another room in your home that you don't use very often, for example, a guest bedroom or an empty corner of the basement. This is the most cost-effective option as long as you are not remodeling your entire space since you might not have enough space to spare. If you are having trouble giving up your extra space, just remember this is only temporary. Make sure you do leave your self space to move around in the space so don't box yourself into space.

3. Hire Moving Labor

It can be very difficult to move heavy furniture or boxes even if it is just from your house to your driveway. Consider hiring a moving company to assist you with the move. Make sure you look at lots of different company, at least 3, and get quotes. Only work with a company that is licensed and insured.

4. Store things with Family or Friends

If you don't have room to store your items, maybe you know someone else who does. Ask around and see if anyone has some extra space and are willing to store some items for you. Just make sure that you check timelines with them and clarify if they expect a certain pickup date for those items.

5. Use Self Storage

If you won't need to access your items frequently or you can't keep a portable storage container in your driveway, a traditional self-storage facility is a great option. You can also opt to just store your furniture in the facility and just keep smaller items in your home. If you can’t transport your things on your own to the facility, you can always rent a portable container and have the company pick it up and store it for you. They will just drop it right back off when you’re done with your remodel.

What you need to know before renovating a NYC Co-Op

Renovations are sometimes a must, no matter if you have only lived there for a year or if it has been a long time. However, by living in a Co-op there is a list of rules and regulations that you need to follow and that includes renovations. Here are some questions you need to ask and the information you need to know before starting.

Can I even renovate my NYC Co-Op?

The answer to this very important question lies in your property lease. Reread your lease and that should tell you the guidelines you need to follow. Every property has slightly different rules but here are some general alteration guidelines that are pretty standard for co-op association renovation approval.

Approval needed

  • Removing or adding walls – If you want to do any change to the layout of your unit will require approval. Even if the removal of the wall between your kitchen and living space seems simple, speak with your board before starting.
  • Electrical or plumbing updates – If your project involves any wires or pipes it will need the board's approval. The more pipes or wires that are hidden under the floor or ceiling the harder it will to get approved.
  • Any Full Updates -  If you are trying to completely update a kitchen or bathroom be prepared for a lengthy approval process. You will need to provide every detail and may have a deadline to get it done. This deadline might come with heavy fines for you if your contractor misses the deadline.

No Approval needed

  • Painting - This normally doesn't need approval but definitely before painting you should check with your building manager just to be sure.
  • Small Cosmetic Changes - Switching out small details like faucets or showerheads normally doesn’t need approval. But if your building is LEED certified, make sure the new fixtures meet the standard requirements.
  • Hanging Wall Art - Most people assume this is a small change but make sure you ask before you drill holes in the wall. Some Co-ops don't allow you to drill any holes in the wall.

How to get approval?

Be aware that even though there aren't that many steps to get approved it still might take some time. The first step is to contact your co-op’s managing agent. You don't have to go to the board yet since the managing agent will be able to provide you with the updated list of building's alteration agreement. Then if your alterations require approval, write a formal letter to the board outlining your proposed work. In this letter, you should inquire if consent is required and if there are any other details you need to provide. Some buildings require contractors to be licensed and insured and may have guidelines about what time of year renovations can occur.  You also may even have some fees associated with your project.

As long as you are following your buildings alteration policy then it should be approved. If the board wants anymore information make sure that you provide it as quickly as possible.

Renovation Tips

Speak about renovations before buying your co-op - By making sure that you understand what is allowed with renovations going in to buying your co-op then it will save you many questions later. Also if you are buying an older co-op and know that you will need to renovate, think about adding your renovation plans with your application.

Seek approval before doing anything - This is incredibly important. Even if you make not think you need approval, still speak to the building manager. This will save you a lot of trouble if you do end up needing approval.

Find the right contractor- Always hire a contractor. If you know your board will need to approve your renovations, having a contractor can help you come up with plans and the proper details to share with them.

Have a plan and a backup plan - Having multiple plans in case something goes wrong is very important. You can never predict how a renovation will go. It could be a minor or major issue so make sure that you have multiple different plans. Have less expensive options if your budget gets out or control or have lodging set up elsewhere in case you miss the deadline and you’re without a bathroom or kitchen for several days.

 

Interior Renovations Step by Step

For a whole home renovation, there are some main steps that every renovation follows. Sometimes these some of these steps may not apply to your project if you are just updating the paint or the flooring.

The order of these steps may also vary based on the contractor. However, here at Golden I Construction, you will be guaranteed that these steps will be handled with the highest importance and expertise.  We will sit down with you and discuss any of your concerns as well as use the best quality materials for completion.

  1. Demolition - Before anything new can be added, you need to get rid of the old. This may mean pulling up carpeting, tearing down wallpaper or tearing down walls. Demolition projects can range in time and some can be done in a day or two while others may take much longer. You will want to have a plan in place before the demolition begins for staying somewhere else during the process or you can move the location of the demolished room to somewhere else in the house.
  2. Rebuilding - Next step is to start rebuilding. If this involves walls then this is the step where wood framing is reassembled,  windows are added, and doors are added to the framework. For room add-ons, the roof will be added and enclosed along with the gutters and exterior siding.
  3. Utilities - Now its time to add and reposition all the utilities. If you are installing new appliances or find you will be utilizing numerous electronic devices, the electrical panel may need updating as well. Gas and water utilities need to be considered especially if you are remodeling a bathroom and/or a kitchen. Water lines are not as easy to move so your remodeling project may have to be carefully planned around existing pipes. However, this is also a good opportunity to update water supply lines to new copper pipes which are not only more sturdy but allow water to run more quietly. For a remodel that is going to add gas appliances, running new pipes is a must but a larger meter may need to be installed too. During this step, the ductwork for central heating and air conditioning units will also be moved or extended to accommodate your new space.
  4. Walls - Now that all the interior stuff is properly in the walls it is time to start enclosing them. Insulation will be inserted or blown-in first. Then, drywall will be hung along with taping, mudding, and sanding. Once the walls are smooth they are ready for paint, wallpaper, or whatever finish you chose during your planning stages.
  5. Flooring - Depending on the contractor the flooring will either be installed after the walls have been painted and finished to avoid damage to floors or they could be installed before. This will depend on what you decided with your contractor during the planning stage.
  6. Cabinets - Cabinets are a great way for your own personal design choices to start showing through. This step is when any new cabinets for the kitchen or bathroom will be installed. Everything from upper storage cabinets to vanities along with countertops that have been pre-cut with spaces to accommodate sinks and appliances.
  7. Appliances - Now it is time to make the new space functional. Any new appliances will be fitted and installed. Everything from the refrigerator to the stove, sinks, and tubs with their stylish faucets and fixtures, as well as the washer and dryer. Also if you chose to keep your previous appliances they will be introduced to their new locations during this step.
  8. Final Touches - Now it's time for the last few touches before the clean up can begin. These touch-ups include any fixes to the paint or any wallpaper. This also includes customizable touches like backsplashes, and light fixtures, as well as, door and window trim, hooks, shelving, and hardware.

How to make a plan for Home Remodel

There are many reasons to remodel your home. Does your home feel small or outdated? Maybe you want a new house but you can't find anything you love? Or maybe you are trying to sell your house but want to update it first? It doesn't matter the reason because there are many ways to update your house to fit the needs and lifestyle that you want.

A whole-home remodeling project can be a large and overwhelming feat. There are numerous decisions to make from how much of the home to remodel to what actual appliances are going in. Despite all of these decisions, the improvements you do make are an investment. Any home improvements you make should elevate the functionality of your house as well as increase your home value. The first step is making a plan.

Start with a Plan

Home renovation is in essence just a really really large project. Like with any large project the first step is always to make a plan since there are usually too many choices to make during the actual project. For a home renovation, it is important to make sure everything you want to improve is well-thought-out, researched, and discussed. Here are some factors that should be included in your overall plan.

Have a vision - It is a good idea for you to begin by looking through magazines or visiting home improvement stores for ideas and inspiration. However, no matter your dream or wish for your home you will need to make sure it'll work in the layout of the house, add to its function or even fit into the budget. It’s a good idea to prioritize the top 5 -10 must-haves before making a definite plan.

Size - How much of your home are you remodeling? Are you adding on a new room or adding a whole new floor? If adding on is part of the plan, you’ll need to check if permits are needed or if there are neighborhood covenants to consider. Of course, all of these questions will depend on your budget.

Style and Design - Everyone has a personal style or design that they want in your home. However, you should make sure you pick a design that fits the test of time. Don’t pick a style that is so trendy that you will need to update again in 3 years or get so customized with your lighting or built-in cabinets that it’s impossible to resell later. There are many different styles to choose from like rustic, industrial, or modern and many more.

Budget -  The biggest decision to consider when making your plan is how much are you willing to spend? Once you set a budget you might discover your dreams are bigger than your pocketbook, but you can always scale back or put off part of the project until another time. Also when making your budget, many experts will tell you that you should plan for a contingency of 10 to 20 percent of your budget to cover any unforeseen discoveries that are made during the renovations.

Contractor - Hiring a contractor might be one of the best ideas you can make when doing a whole-house renovation. since they will be able to guide you through all aspects of the project. Contractors like Golden I Construction can help make the whole process simple and stress-free. Not only will we be able to tell you what will work or not work with your current home, but we’ll also provide suggestions for design, style, and the most current technologies in home improvement that you may not have considered.

Look into the Future  - It is important to consider how your remodels will fit your life and your family's life in the future. As your family grows or kids move out it is important to consider how the customizable spaces you have will still be relevant and usable in the future. A tip is to make sure the spaces will last 20-30 years in the future.

 

 

The Pros and Cons of Staying vs Moving out during a Renovation

Renovating a space can many times stir up old toxins like asbestos and lead and bring new toxins into your home, which is a huge pro for wanting to move out while renovating. However, moving out can add on to your budget and is an inconvenience. Moving out isn’t always necessary for every project. There are many things that you can do with your contractor to lessen the impact of a renovation. Some include installing drywall that converts toxins and setting up humidifiers. Here are some of the questions to ask your self so you can make an informed decision.

What are you Renovating? 

This is an incredibly important question when deciding if you are going to stay or go. If you are doing a complete gut renovation it will end up taking over your home and contractors suggest moving out. This will speed up the timeline and keep you away from any toxins. 
However, if you are not doing a complete overhaul, staying for most of the renovations is a good medium. Contractors, however, do encourage you to move out during the dusty demolition phase for at least a week so that the dust can settle and they can do a thorough cleaning. 

Can you stretch your budget? 

You should try to know if you are going to be relocating during the renovation as soon as possible. This will allow you to include your other living plans, whether that is a hotel or short term rental charges, in your budget. You could also plan a vacation during the renovation to get you out of the way as well. However, this could backfire if you are planning on keeping constant tabs on the renovation. 

Do you have children or a sensitive adult? 

Lead exposure has a harsher impact on children since their brains are still developing. If your home was built before 1978 it is possible that lead paint was used on the walls. When the paint is disturbed that's when the toxins are released. Your contractor will do a test for lead paint in older homes. When children are involved staying or going carries extra weight since the particles could get in the air or on their hands when they crawl around.  
Toxins can have a range of effects on an adult. If you are immune-compromised from cancer or some other disorder that will make it harder for your body to expel toxins. Asthma sufferers also have a harder time since they are more sensitive to air quality. 

Can you live without a bathroom or kitchen?

If you are renovating a kitchen you need to be prepared to adapt to not having one. This will mean having those extra charges of takeout constantly. Or you can set up a makeshift kitchen in the bathroom with a hot plate, microwave and running water. 
A bathroom renovation can be trickier especially if it is your only bathroom. Sometimes you will be able to use the bathroom before the contractor arrives but there will be a point where the bathroom will be unusable. 

What is the layout of your home? 

This is an important question to think about since you want to separate where you are living from where the work is happening. If there is only one point of entry to your home the contractors will be tracking dust through your space. 
Contractors can do certain things to prevent the spread of dust and toxins through your home. The renovation will be sectioned off with thick plastic and tape. The negative air pressure also stops contaminated air from leaving the renovation zone whenever a worker exits or enters.

Construction Project Ideas

  1. Residential - These types of construction projects includes houses, townhouses, cottages, apartments, condominiums, single unit dwellings and subdivisions. The designs for the housing are usually done by architects and engineers; the construction is completed by builders who hire subcontractors for structural, electrical, mechanical and other specific work. This type of project must adhere to the local building authority regulations and codes of practice. Because of its ease of entry into the real estate market, many new builders are attracted to residential projects. Although it is a highly competitive market with potentially high risks, there are also high rewards.
  2. Building - This type of construction project is possibly the most popular; it is the process of adding structure to a property, including room additions and small renovations. For current homeowners, this is the most common project because they often extend their homes with additional rooms, walk-in closets, garages, and kitchen renovations. 
  3. Institutional & Commercial - This category includes schools, universities, hospitals, clinics, sports facilities, stadiums, shopping centers, retail chain stores, light manufacturing plants, warehouses, skyscrapers for offices and hotels, and more. For these projects, specialty architects and engineers are hired for a particular building design. There a few competitors for this category because of its high costs and greater sophistication as compared to residential buildings.
  4. Highway Construction - This involves the alteration, construction, repair of highways, streets, roads, paths, parking areas, and more.
  5. Heavy Construction - These projects are those that are not classified as building or highway projects, such as flood control projects, water treatment plants and facilities, water and sewer line projects, and more.

Construction Tips for Your Workers’ Safety

1. Getting in and out of equipment:

– Check your boots and gloves for slippery substances and wipe them off to avoids slips and falls
– Get a foot or hand hold before hoisting yourself up
– Use a step ladder if necessary to make sure you can climb on the equipment safely
– If you need help, be sure to ask
– Avoid rushing to hop up or down on equipment

2. Personal Protective Equipment:

– It is important to wear the right clothes for the job, along with protective gear. On the job, your gear and other tools should be stored in a safe, dry place. First aid kits and fire extinguishers should be located near the work area and readily available.

– When lifting heavy objects, you should use a back brace to prevent damage to your body. You should also be sure to wear gloves and goggles on the work site if you’re using dangerous tools. If you’re working on an elevated area and there’s a risk of slipping and falling, you should wear a safety harness.

– Nonskid, rubber footwear is also important if you are working in an area with slippery surfaces, or if you’re lifting heavy objects.

– It is crucial to your health that you wear a mask at work if your workplace has bad ventilation and if you work with dangerous toxins, constant dust or other debris.

3. Staying safe loading/unloading equipment:

– No matter where you’re working, there is always the risk of equipment rolling over when you are loading or unloading it. This is why it is important to make sure the ramps you are using are straight and cleared. You should also be sure to allow plenty of room between you and the equipment in case of an emergency.

– It is always smart to use another co-worker as a spotter while guiding your equipment to make sure the machine is clear of the ramp before turning it. However, you should also make sure the trailer deck and you have proper clearance before loading it, in addition to using correct tie-down procedures.

 

How Your Next Home Could be Powered by Batteries

For Homeowners who feel incomplete when they leave their phones at home, or for the storm-haters who cannot stomach another blackout, battery-operated homes may be your solution. Solar panel energy has been brushed under the rug for a while, quietly being installed in American homes while it works toward improvement, as a company and for homeowners.

Beginning in a few U.S homes, and making its way in superstores such as Walmart (in Cali), Tesla's home batteries may be the green and efficient revolutionary technology America wants (and needs!). If this ideological improvement in saving and storing energy is so efficient, how come it isn't in every home and store across America? Why is the biggest machine on earth, America's power grid, still making its energy-stripping use in nearly everyone's home?

Maybe it's the ambiguity or uncertainty of Tesla's home batteries, charged by the sun. The biggest flaw may lies in that it needs sunlight to charge and usually goes off at night. But Tesla's batteries can store extra, or more than necessary, energy to make it through night. But that's not all, Tesla's home batteries can last up to three hours during a black out- including enough energy to run on the treadmill, make lots of coffee, cook dinner, and take showers.

Another reason that people, even the Green-goers, haven't switched to Tesla's batteries: the cost. Everyone wants to know what they get out of this 5-figure investment. Well, in the beginning it is a huge investment. Tesla believes that a small downpayment of $1,500 could get you started, with only $15 a month to keep generating (a 20-year lease). One of many reasons to pay the $50,000 outright would be that when you're home is fully charged, and not expecting bad weather, you can sell back the energy and make some money off of it!

In fact, though the initial cost is not desirable to many, in the end you'll save a lot more than you do with traditional power grids. Traditional power grid companies, of course, will look to make a comeback. They are certainly reliable- the energy and power works so long as there are no black outs. Some fear power grid companies will charge extra because of the "net metering" and potential money-back system that Tesla's batteries are promising.

Companies supporting solar-panel look at this as competition, and understand that people have different values on reliable energy and energy in its entirety. Some people find the worthy in the annoying (and frequent) black outs in their homes, like in Maryland or California. Others find it necessary to have for these blackouts, to ensure they have certain needs met for a longer time.

In fact, companies and people recognize that they may never make back the money spent in power grids, but the happiness truly lies in this small step toward going green. Consider remodeling your home or buying a new home with battery-operated energy installed. The investment not only helps the environment, but could potentially save you dollars (and even let you pocket money!). It's a small but worthy deed, and this country certainly needs it!

For more information, or questions about remodeling your home, click here to visit Golden I Construction. We offer a wide range of construction services. Would you like to speak with someone or ask a question? Call 1.212.837.8117 now!

Kitchen Showrooms NYC

Are you interested in having your kitchen renovated? Whether you are going for a modern or traditional look, there are many options for people with varying preferences. But sometimes it is not easy to start the process of looking for styles that fit your idea of the perfect kitchen. Therefore, we recommend going to see kitchen showrooms near me when researching.

If you happen to be in major cities like NYC, then you are in luck. Most of the high-end showrooms are located in such cities. Kitchen showrooms are a great place to find and actually feel what you might invest in. It is one thing to see the cabinets designs online versus going to a specialized showroom that features various designs for kitchens.

Kitchen design showrooms are designed with the customer in mind. It is important that you feel at home when looking for a kitchen design. NYC kitchen showrooms can range from apartment designs to home designs. If you are not satisfied with a color of a design, the company in charge of the showroom should be able to help with that. Colors and patterns may be subject to change in order to comply with a preference of a customer.

Golden I Construction currently has kitchen showrooms in NYC for different tastes and styles. We are currently located in 147 West 35th Street Suite 1204 New York, NY 10001. Come and check out our high-end showrooms for your next kitchen project! Call us at 212-837-8117 or email us at info@goldeniconstruction.com. To see more of our projects, go to our website at goldeniconstruction.com.