5 Essentials for a Great Home Renovation
By IntownCraftsmen, Last updated Mar. 26, 2019
Although home remodeling may be different for every project, there are critical aspects that definitely must be done correctly.
In general, home renovation can be tedious as there are often many hard choices to make.
In this guide, we will explain important factors to help you make better-informed decisions regarding your home renovation.
You should keep an eye out for any cracks appearing on the walls of your home since they are the signs of the possible structural damage.
This can happen for a number of reasons such as ground movement, failed building materials, mechanical impact, water ingress, timber decay and so on.
A crack in your home’s foundation means you have a problem, but the severity depends on the type:
This one actually doesn’t pose as much of a threat. It’s the most common type of foundation crack that often occurs due to concrete tension but is also caused by the heavy rains that create water pressure.
It is easier to manage since you only need to mend the crack and protect against water intrusion to prevent further cracks.
Diagonal cracks indicate a differential settlement and lead to more serious structural issues.
Differential settlement means that there is both vertical and horizontal tension building up due to the foundation moving in different directions.
It can be repaired similarly to vertical cracks using more material but it is also important to determine where the foundation is located to prevent further damage to your home.
There are different types of horizontal cracks but all of them point to a serious structural problem.
The most common cause is an uneven pressure from the soil to the foundational wall. Often the cracks will be near the center or towards the top of the wall.
There are a few different ways to repair a horizontal crack varying from bracing the wall with steel columns to installing yard anchors depending on the wall and the severity of the issue.
Repairing or replacing the floor will definitely change the quality of your home for the better.
Solid vs Engineered Hardwood
The first choice in picking the right hardwood floor is between solid and engineered. Both of them add value to your home and are available in variety of species, stains and styles.
Solid hardwood is made from pieces of one species of wood. It is authentic and extremely durable. If it’s installed and maintained correctly it will last a lifetime.
Constructed from several layers of wood, engineered hardwood is less susceptible to moisture. It is also very versatile and can be used in the basement as well as the upper floors
- SUSCEPTIBLE TO MOISTURE
+ LESS SUSCEPTIBLE TO MOISTURE
- CAN’T BE SANDED AND REFINED
Ecologically friendly, bamboo flooring is made from natural and highly renewable vegetation.
It is easy to maintain, a bit more water resistant then the regular hardwood floor and can be extremely strong, depending on the type.
+ Less expensive
+ Easy maintenance
- Lack of grading system
- Susceptible to humidity
- Susceptible to scratches
A popular choice for those looking for quality hardwood floor, hickory is unique for its style and colors.
It is also very durable and resistant, domestically manufactured from trees grown in the U.S. it is one of the hardest floors available.
+ Easy to maintain
+ Durable and resistant
+ Variety of colors and style
- Difficult installation
- Can be prone to warping
American Cherry Flooring
While one of the most reliable types of hardwood, American cherry isn’t one of the hardest. However, it is durable, so it’s used even for the under-flooring.
American cherry hardwood has a solid resistance to gradual warping and offers light colors that complement a more traditional home.
+ Easy to repair
+ Durable and versatile
+ Helps prevent allergies
- Less pet-friendly (smooth)
- Requires frequent cleaning
Brazilian Cherry Flooring
Brazilian cherry can be used to “warm up” your home with its bold and rich color while being able to endure harsher conditions than most hardwood floors.
Due to its durability Brazilian cherry is one of the most widely used exotic hardwood floors.
+ Very durable
+ Water resistant
+ Unique color and style
- Gets darker over time
- Bad in high humidity areas
American Walnut Flooring
Also known as Black Walnut, this hardwood has a rich brown color and a straight, very fine grain.
Even though it is portrayed as one of the softer hardwood floors, the dents in Walnut flooring are hardly recognizable due to its natural colors.
+ Easy to install
+ Hides scratches and dents
- Can increase noise
- Prone to scratches and dents
Beautiful, stable and versatile, it’s no wonder Oak flooring is the most popular choice for homeowners. There are two main types of Oak floors: white oak flooring and red oak flooring.
Some technical differences do exist but the main thing to consider is they have different graining and colors and will stain differently.
+ Less expensive
+ Very good for staining
- Bad for modern design
Being one of the hardest domestic hardwoods, Maple flooring is often used in bowling alleys and foot traffic heavy areas.
But aside from its hardness, Maple’s color is relatively light and warm and as such it will fit in almost every room in your home.
+ Very hard
+ Good color
+ Widely available
- Prone to humidity
- Marks and scratches are more visible
Similar to Oak in appearance, Ash flooring has large grain which intensifies the stain color.
Ash also has a very light natural color and is the third hardest domestic hardwood floor.
+ Stain options
+ Active wood grain
+ Comfortable surface
- Comes in shorter lengths
Mahogany hardwood is famous for its rich color and long life. It’s one of the hardest materials used for flooring.
Apart from flooring, it is used in making the guitar bodies and even yachts due to its outstanding features.
+ Rich color
- Hard to cut
Windows & Doors
It’s scientifically proven that sunlight makes human beings healthier so upgrading your windows and doors to let more natural lightning inside your home will definitely improve your quality of life.
Additionally, better door and window frames offer superior heat isolation so improving them will also contribute in lowering your energy bills.
Timber frames are one of the favorite building materials suitable for both traditional and modern style homes.
They consist of timber studwork usually fixed in place with plywood or OSB.
Although generally higher maintenance, requiring refinishing over the years, timber frames excel at providing a natural warmth to your home.
Today’s aluminum frames have improved a lot since the 70s and are one of the most used type of framing in the contemporary interior design.
Due to its strength it isn’t necessary to use as much material to hold the glass as in other types of frames available which allows the creation of larger windows and doors to expand the glass area.
Further, it leads to better wind resistance as well as an exceptional water and air isolation.
Used both in traditional and modern home design, steel framing offers an elegant solution that stands the test of time.
Well made steel framing includes thermal barriers that prevent heat conduction which ensures a good degree of heat insulation.
Although a bit more expensive than the other types of framing, steel frames present sturdy and graceful solution for your home.
Some of the most enjoying places in your home aren’t necessarily inside the house and that’s why upgrading decks and sunrooms definitely matters.
When choosing a wooden deck there are two options: softwood and hardwood.
Softwood decking is made from fast growing trees such as Pine making them cheap and quick to replace. But the drawback here is that they need a lot of maintenance and don’t last as long.
Hardwood decking, on the other hand, comes from the slower growing trees like Oak which makes them more expensive but also more durable. Additionally, they require less maintenance and look gorgeous.
Plastic decking may not look as good as wood but it offers much in return. Choices include PVC and polyethylene
It’s the best for resisting the elements without staining and also being lightweight, it is much easier to install and manage.
Offering the best weather resistance, aluminum decking won’t rust, rot, warp, crack or splinter. Its finish is extremely long lasting and with aluminum you won’t have wood-boring bugs, it can’t catch fire and is resistant to even cold temperatures.
Unfortunately, it is also one of the most expensive decking options.
If, on the other hand, you prefer the feel of the outside deck but without the drawback of having to worry about weather, you should consider adding a sunroom to your home.
There are four main types: a classic sunroom, four-season room, attached greenhouse and a screen room.
A classic sunroom is usually well lit by the natural light coming through large and numerous windows designed to function as an additional living room but may be too hot or cold depending on the severity of the climate.
Four-season room is similar to a classic sunroom constructed with heating and cooling in mind.
Using the same basic principles as the sunroom and four-season room, the attached greenhouse is primarily made for plants.
Less expensive and with the advantage of fresh air but no insects, a screen room forgoes the glass and uses mesh instead. Also, like the classic sunroom it’s usage is limited by weather.
Though some may not notice it right away, a good paint job brings another dimension of clarity to your entire home.
When to Paint a House
The best time of day to paint the outside of your home is around mid afternoon as the morning dew will already evaporated and there will still be plenty of time for paint to dry.
Watch out for moisture and the humidity as it will make paint dry slower. Also, the temperature will affect the paint curing process and direct sun may cause the paint to dry irregularly. Further, with temperatures below 34 F the paint is less likely to dry at all.
Picking a Color
Choosing the right color for your home is the most important, but also the most enjoyable part of the project.
If you are planning to sell your house try to find the color that fits the best in the neighborhood but otherwise pick the color that you like which matches with the rest of your home and boosts its visual integrity.
Decks & Sunrooms