Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Personal Planning Before Bathroom Remodeling

We enjoy hearing what the average homeowner has in mind when they decide the want to redo their bathroom. We really chuckled at this personal account from Prentiss Gray, an NJ columnist ready to plan his bathroom remodel. Gray says "Bathrooms can be pretty boring. It’s amazing that we can take so little thought when putting in or refurbishing a bathroom. Most bathrooms are a major investment and we not only use them every day, but also spend a good deal of time in the process. 

It should be a nice room but so many of us try desperately to get them to be as inexpensive as possible. Unfortunately, it can’t always be both.

Instead, why not start from what we’d like to have? How do you imagine your favorite bathroom?

I once had a contractor tell me, with a very dour look, that bathrooms shouldn’t ever be bigger than a
Marietta Bathroom Remodel
jail cell, otherwise it was very wasteful and people would spend too long in there. Maybe that’s what accounts for how a lot of them feel. What do you really want? A deep comfortable tub, with massaging streams of warm waters? A wide open double sink with acres of counter space and voluminous mirrors? A grand throne of a toilet with a heated seat and plenty of legroom? Maybe one big enough for two people to use at the same time without intricately dancing around each other?

Most bathrooms have three major fixtures — the sink, the toilet and the bath/shower. In our latest bathroom, we are forgoing the bath entirely, just going “shower only” so we can really get the shower of our dreams. Bathtubs have never really been big enough anyway. Remember swimming around in warm soapy water, what happened to that? Sitting all scrunched up in a cramped tub is just not the same, no matter how many candles or bubbles there are. Give me a shower with a comfortable seat any day. 

 That sinking feeling 
 Sinks haven’t changed much since we used bowls and pitchers, in fact the bowl is back. Some of the nicest bathroom sinks today are effectively bowls placed on top of the counter. The nice thing about this above-cabinet style is that the sink can show off its styling, with many color and patterns available and we don’t have to lean over as far to use them, making it much easier on the back. It also means that just about any cabinet can be a stand for the sink, because plumbing has become so modular. For that matter, any bowl can become a sink basin just by drilling a hole for the drain and stopper. Imagine the possibilities for creating your own signature piece. 

 Le toilet 
 Although Consumer Reports says the best-rated toilets are the standard ones — big tanks on the back
Atlanta Custom Shower 
with cold plastic seats and old flush levers on the tank — we don’t have to go that way if we don’t want to. On a recent trip to Europe, I was pleased to notice that the toilets were far and away above our own toilets. Water savings has been the style in Europe for a long time, so that fits our needs beautifully. Most toilets flush using less than 1.7 gallons of water these days, some as little as 0.85 gallons. Minimal water usage has become a requirement in most building codes. But the Europeans also have a lot of models that are wall-mounted. The tanks are either hidden in the wall behind the toilet or don’t exist because the flush is assisted by design, pumps or both. There are huge benefits to wall-mounted toilets. Not only do they save a lot of space while providing more seating room and variable height, since they don’t touch the floor it makes it easy to clean under and around them. Not to mention it makes it much simpler to add options like rugs or other floor coverings to the bathroom.

 Bathing beauty 
 There are a lot of options for baths, but most are designed to fit in the standard 5-foot opening. For something bigger, it pays to take a look at the Japanese style Ofuros that have become available lately. The traditional soaking tub, long used by the Japanese, provides for a relatively compact but totally immersive experience. Beyond that, much the same experience can be had with walk-in tubs or sliding wall tubs like the Kohler Elevance. Sealed by inflatable gaskets and/or the pressure of the water in the tub, walk-in tubs are very handy for seniors, the disabled, or anyone who likes the feel of a really deep tub with a seat. All of these soaking tubs require good water flow as well as fast drainage. That’s because most walk-in tubs are filled after you get in and drained before you get out. Who wants to sit there for 15 minutes waiting for the tub to fill or drain? 

Options and accessories 
 What about steam showers or heated towel racks? How about task lighting alternatives or warmed floors and all the entertainment options? I’m pretty sure we can come up with a bathroom that we’d never want to leave." Ready to customize your bathroom? See what AK can do: Atlanta Bathroom Remodel

Friday, October 23, 2015

Proper Basement Renovating To Add Square Footage

   Would you like to add square footage to your house for a home office, extra bedroom or perhaps that deluxe new entertainment center you’ve been dreaming of? Remodeling the basement is an excellent way to expand your usable space without the hassle and expense of extending your home’s footprint. What’s more, it will reap about a 78 percent return on your investment when you sell your property. Don’t forget the essential first step of any basement remodel, though: getting rid of moisture and keeping the space dry.
Moisture due to condensation
Unfinished basements are often humid due to insufficient ventilation. Open the windows and run fans in the area for several days before starting your remodel. To avoid long-term humidity problems, install an exhaust fan. If your laundry facilities are in the basement, make sure that your dryer is properly vented to the outdoors, and never hang wet clothes inside to dry.
Reduce condensation in the air by insulating your cold water pipes to avoid “sweating” in the summer (theirs, not yours). To deal with a serious condensation problem, operate a dehumidifier and apply a waterproof coating to the walls.
Moisture that enters via the foundation
Water can seep into your home through the foundation in a variety of ways, and if it does, the 
Moisture Leads To Mold
basement is where it will end up … unless you take proactive measures to keep it out.
Clear out your gutters to prevent overflow. Make sure you have enough downspouts -- one for every 600-800 square feet of roof. Inspect the downspouts for leaky seams and check that they are safely channeling runoff from rain or melted snow a minimum of 5 feet (or even better, 10 feet) away from your home’s foundation. If not, protect your foundation by installing downspout extensions.
Grade the soil of the surrounding yard so that it directs moisture away from the foundation. The ground should slope downward 1 inch per linear foot.
Plant bushes and flowers at least 1-3 feet away from your house, depending on their size. Their roots tend to trap water (particularly if they rot) and you don’t want that close to the foundation. Decorative garden edgings, such as brick flowerbed borders, should be placed a similar distance away from the building.
Any cracks in the foundation or in your concrete driveway and walkways can also permit water to accumulate below grade. You can attempt to fix these yourself, using one of the kits on the market, but be warned: concrete cracks are both tricky to repair and potentially very hazardous to your foundation. For the most reliable work, consult a professional concrete contractor.
Anti-moisture installations
Vapor Barrier
If you happen to live in a locale with an especially high water table (the natural level of water under the ground), you may need to have a sump pump (be sure to get a battery backup system!) or perimeter drains installed to control moisture below the surface of the soil.
While simply painting the basement’s concrete floor is often suggested as a very affordable finish, it will not be a viable solution when you have an undersurface dampness problem. Instead, seal off moisture with a layer of dimpled polyethylene atop the concrete. Then go ahead and install new flooring. Ceramic tile or vinyl is a good water-resistant choice.
When the remodeling project begins, have a vapor barrier installed on both the walls and the floor. Use metal or wood furring strips to offset the framing from your exterior walls. Add insulation, which should include vapor protection to make sure that you stay warm and dry.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Why We Love To Remodel Marietta Homes

  For those poor souls who don't live in or around Marietta, Georgia...let us tell you a little bit about this wonderful city. Marietta is the largest city in Cobb County with about 59,000 residents. The first city plat was laid out in 1833, depicting a quaint town built around a city square that still exists today! Though many places in Marietta were set on fire during the first strike of General Sherman's "March To The Sea" in 1864, many historic homes and sites still stand. The Oakton House in Marietta has
been continuously occupied since 1838 and the original barn, milk house, smoke house and well still stand on the remaining five acre property.

  Homeowners in Historic Marietta enjoy close proximity to the Marietta Square with restaurants, antique shops, specialty shops, museums, theaters, and turn of the century architecture. With a variety of home sizes and styles Historic Marietta is also convenient to Kennestone Hospital, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield, and concerts in the park. Every year Marietta hosts the popular Marietta Pilgrimage Home Tour which features 6 private historic homes all restored and decorated for the season!

  You can see why we think Marietta is a pretty fantastic place, and why so much rich history has led to the growth of a community that lives in the past, present and future. And that is why we love to remodel Marietta homes...

  • The History
  Even newer homes or homes that are not officially deemed historic hold within them a heritage of the city it stands on. The new homes are beautiful and luxurious family-centric spaces while the older ones are being renovated and restored with such care. The homes in Marietta show the great pride their owners have!
The Hagood-Sheeler-Musolf House, c. 1929

  • The People
 We might be a little biased, but we have the best clients on the planet. Our Marietta remodeling clients have been some of the most wonderful, fun and kind people we have met. We have been able to explore all styles and trends in homes around Marietta and it is the variety of people and styles that really adds interest and spice to the city!

  • The Style
    Marietta grew as one of the first "suburbs" in the country. After the civil war this city would help invent a distinctly American form of house. The American Craftsman style and the Arts and Crafts movement created some incredibly interesting bungalows around Marietta that now flow seamlessly into the eclectic revival homes of the later 20th century. 

Get More Information About Marietta Remodeling And AK Complete Home Renovations


Thursday, August 20, 2015

5 Truths About Our Homes

AK Atlanta Kitchen Remodel

  When we work in a home, we are often times making significant changes that the homeowner has been thinking about, and wanting for a long time. The best part of our job is giving a family a beautiful space that improves their life at home. But it doesn't always take a renovation to fall in love with your home again, sometimes it just means remembering (or realizing) some basic truths about the place we call home.

  • Comparing your home to someone else's takes away from authentically creating yours
There's certainly something to be said about absorbing inspiration from as many sources as you can find. But comparing your home to others in a jealous, why-can't-I-have that sort of way just takes away from the energy of discovering what it is that you love. What it is that makes a home a home to you. Comparing yourself to others can lead to buying things that you'd never normally buy. You've got to step away from scrolling through people's Instagram accounts and focus more on creating spaces you'd want to Instagram.

  • You really probably don't need all that stuff
Clutter is a happiness killer. We're not talking about collecting things — if you're someone who loves a home full of fun finds that you've picked up throughout the year, fill that space up to your heart's delight (just maybe dust pretty often). We're talking about homes that are filled with unneeded things. Items bought out of boredom, because you wanted to impress someone else. Bought impulsively and without thinking. That kind of stuff? That's clutter. And you don't need it. It'll only physically and mentally bog you down. Learn that lesson as soon as you can — and be open to relearning it in every new home you live in (as it's easily forgotten).

  • Home is who you share it with 
So learn to get along with whoever shares your home, whether it's a roommate or a spouse. Communicate with roommates calmly (and don't leave passive aggressive notes — even if they're funny). Work with your spouse to come up with designs that make everyone comfortable. Consider your pets' needs so that they don't get bored or restless and tear the joint up. Celebrate your home by inviting people over, even if it's just for tea and packaged snacks. And learn to be alone if you live alone. Don't always be seeking out distractions. Use quiet time at home to listen to your surroundings and get to know yourself.

  • You don't have to learn how to fix everything, but knowing what's "off" makes life easier
    AK Home Maintenance
Creating a nice home means paying attention to what's going on within — how the appliances are working, noticing if the toilet's constantly running. You don't have to be an expert at fixing everything, but you should know when something's not quite right. Just being attentive to your home's normal state means you'll catch when things aren't quite right, and it might save you time and money on repairs later on.

  • Even the smallest studio will seem like a mansion when you learn that "home" actually extends beyond your walls
We've really encouraged you to explore your neighborhoods this summer. Though your home is your sanctuary — the place that recharges you and you find peace and solitude in, really delving into your neighborhood could be another way to find joy in where you live. Even if you don't live in your dream location, there might be a restaurant that could become your favorite Friday night hang out. There could be a small hardware store that makes buying home supplies a more pleasant experience. There could be a nice few streets that you can take walks on to clear your mind.

Excerpts from an Apartment Therapy post originally published 8.3.2014 - CM

Monday, July 27, 2015

Elements For A Glamorous Kitchen

  It sounds almost like a oxymoron, doesn't it. A glamorous kitchen? For those who are serious about their cooking, or have little ones running around, a kitchen isn’t a place for glamour. It’s for making a mess, feeding the masses and wreaking havoc in. Despite how strange it may seem, making your kitchen a glamorous space will actually make you want to spend MORE time in the kitchen - gathering with family, friends, cooking, creating even doing homework. 
  Wallpaper can have the same effect- a bold, feminine design that will instantly draw the eye and excite the senses. If you don't like wallpapering all walls, consider using panels, or an accent wall. 

 Glamour is a quality that makes a person or a thing appealing or special. Imagine feeling drawn to and happy in your kitchen space. Sound nice? We think so too. 

  A chandelier will inject instant glamour into any room, whether it’s a fuchsia pink plastic one or a glittering cut glass one. A charming light fixture helps to create a more ambient area as opposed to the harsh brightness of the central light. Consider adding some over the breakfast area, island or peninsulas.

  Add drama to the room with a splash of color. A passionate red or a regal purple, or if you’re feeling brave, something darker will make the room feel warm and sumptuous, as opposed to clean and clinical. Alternatively, go for a classic white, glossy kitchen with pastel accessories for a 50’s Hollywood glamour feel.
  Whether it’s through the reflective, glossy surface of your cabinets, or glittering glass mosaic tiles or simply through some sparkly accessories, sparkle is essential for a glamorous kitchen. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Death Of The Chevron & 5 Other Home Trends

 Judging by how often these images, and ones like them, are flooding our Pinterest feeds - we're going to go ahead and call these the 6 home trends hitting homes near you by fall 2015! From paint trends to predicting the imminent death of the chevron, these "In" and "Out" predictions are very specific....And very controversial!
   You can see below there is one that we just DO NOT agree with. What do you think? Will be you be an early adapter of these latest home design trends?

In: Oversize Art
Out: Gallery Walls
Just as we were starting to perfect the Tetris-like picture placement of gallery walls, oversize art has become the wall statement du jour. Supersized paintings, blowup photographs, and gargantuan art of every sort are dominating huge swaths of walls to stunning effect.

In: Sleek Modern TubsOut: Vintage Claw-Foot Tubs
The freestanding tub still reigns supreme, but the romantic claw-foot look is being usurped by clean, single-slab models.
Source: Signature Hardware

In: Open Kitchen Shelving
Out: Kitchen Cabinets

Good news for those needing extra kitchen storage: open kitchen shelving is now a fashionable (and affordable) way to stash your dishes.
**AK Is Calling A Quick Death On This One: Cabinets Are Not Out, They Can Never Be "Out"! While Open Shelving Has It's Place, And May Be A Trendy Look Now... We NEED Cabinets To Store Our Not So Pretty Stuff, And Keep Our Kitchens From Feel Crazy Cluttered!**
Source HouseBeautiful Pin

In: Matte Brass HardwareOut: Polished Brass Hardware
This It material is starting to look more contemporary in kitchens and bathrooms in brushed and antique finishes. 
Source: Lesley Unruh via One Kings Lane

In: ShiboriOut: Chevron
Just as you were starting to OD on chevron stripes, artistic shibori prints entered the picture. The popularity of this tie-dye-esque look is growing rapidly, jumping from pillows and bedspreads to curtains and rugs.
Source: West Elm

In: Accent TrimOut: Accent Walls
The accent wall feels passé next to its trendy cousin, accent trim. Paint that white crown molding glossy black or whatever statement-making hue suits your fancy.Source: Brittany Ambridge for Domino

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

AK Awarded For Exceptional Customer Service

AK Complete Home Renovations Recognized among North America’s Best
Customer Service Leaders within the Residential Construction Industry

Marietta, Georgia, May 19 2015- AK Complete Home Renovations, has been awarded a 2015 Guildmaster Award for exceptional customer service. GuildQuality, an independent customer satisfaction surveying company, has powered the Guildmaster Award since 2005 to celebrate service excellence in the building, remodeling, contracting, and home services professions.

AK was selected as one of the over 300 North American builders, remodelers, developers, and contractors recognized by GuildQuality for their superior delivery of customer care.

Over the past few months, GuildQuality reviewed numerous survey responses submitted by customers of Guildmaster candidates. In granting awards, GuildQuality considers two primary metrics for each candidate: the percentage of customers who would recommend and the percentage of customers who responded. AK Complete Home Renovations achieved a recommendation rate of greater than 90% from their customers, who were surveyed through GuildQuality.

“We are very proud to have been awarded with this great distinction for the fourth year! Great service is at the core of what we do for our clients; we're thrilled they feel we have fulfilled this goal and would recommend us to their friends and family.” Ed Cholfin, AK President

Remodelers, home builders, and real estate developers rely on GuildQuality's customer satisfaction surveying to monitor and improve the quality of service they deliver.For more on the 2015 Guildmaster Award and qualifications, visit