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Regarding Covid-19

To our valued family of customers,

Pro Remodeling has chosen to remain open during our normal business hours during the current COVID-19 pandemic in order to meet the needs of our customers.  Pro Remodeling is following the Executive Order issued by Governor Doug Ducey on March 23, 2020 (EO-2020-12), listing essential services that should remain open: Critical trades, including contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc.

Rest assured all of our employees are observing the protocols of safety recommended by medical experts: wash hands frequently, avoid crowds, limit close contact with others, etc.  We will be diligent in following the measures set forth to ensure your safety as well as our own.

Month: July 2021

Guide to Renovating an Old House

Renovating an Old HouseRenovating an Old House

More and more homes are available as fixer-uppers in the market currently. Remodeling a property is a huge undertaking that requires a lot of planning and hard work. The challenge is to look past the neglect and dilapidation of the potential of the house. Generally, the buyers are turned off by the interiors and the fixures of an era gone by. However, if you are not afraid of hard work and a fixer-upper, you’ve got a bargain.

Our article takes you through the entire process of renovating an old house, the pros and cons, tips and tricks of renovating a historic home, and much more.

Here are the main topics we will be covering:

Is it Worth Renovating an Old House?

Old homes are worth buying and remodeling. Not only are they sturdy but also elegant. If not, they would not be standing as long as they are. Moreover, you can see many custom and handcrafted features that are not seen nowadays.

However, they are also ripe with problems (little and big) which can put any renovations plans on hold. Additionally, refitting them with new wiring, windows, etc., can cost you a fortune.

How to Remodel an Old House

Not all old houses are worth remodeling. The ones that are have period features not found in houses nowadays. They may include ornate doors and windows, hardwood flooring, woodwork, and custom cabinets. However, they may also contain not-so-desirable features. For example, old plumbing, electrical systems, rotted framing, and appliances that waste energy.

Here’s how you remodel an old house:

Assess the Old House

First, hire the services of a surveyor to assess the property and identify issues. This should happen even before you sign the dotted line. Look out for issues like subsidence, hazardous materials, structural issues, mold, and dampness.

The surveyor will highlight any significant repairs you’ll have to carry out to make the old house safer for occupation. In case it is not safe for access, an inspection of the exterior can help you get an idea of the costs involved. However, you should be ready for significant expenses inside the property. Unless you are ready to tackle the worst-case scenario, it is wise to opt out at this juncture.

Research the History

An old house is steeped in history with period features and such. Gather as much information as you can from the past owners and old photographs. You may need to know its historical significance. It can influence everything from building materials to interior design. Buildings with protected status will require special permission from the local planning authority.

Vision and Plan

Every fixer-upper needs a vision and plan for a successful renovation. Walk around your new home, making notes as you go. How do you want the room to look like? If possible, make sketches. Or, you can also use 3D Interior Design apps to design the room. Apps like “Design a Room” and “RoomStyler 3D Home Planner” have product recommendations (using targeted ads). You can design the room with real products and also buy them.

You need to be aware of the space limitations to make better use of every room. Decide which features you are retaining and those you are skipping in this phase. With the information, you may be able to decide on a budget. Are you planning on a DIY? Or are you hiring the services of a contractor and architect? This is another decision you may have to take at this point.

Consult an Architect

When it comes to remodeling an old house, the stakes are high. Unfortunately, the majority of the homeowners do not have any experience in undertaking a project of such a size. An architect can help you navigate the issues that crop up at every turn without impacting the result.

Keep in mind that it is possible to continue with a renovation without hiring an architect, even for big projects. Yet, hiring the services of one can help you save money in the long run. Architects help bring your dreams into reality. From securing planning permission, hiring a builder, and even maintaining the progress

Structural Issues and Repairs

An old house is likely to have issues related to an old foundation, cracked wall, window, and slanted floor. If that’s not enough, you may also have a leaky roof, currently or at any time in the past. In that case, there may be extensive rot in the structure.

The most important task at this juncture is to prevent the condition from worsening. It means fixing roofs, windows, and doors. You also need to weatherproof your home and repair any damage to the structure. Moreover, you may have to install insulation to increase energy efficiency.

Restore Period Features

At this juncture, you may have to decide the period features you are restoring and which you want to get rid of. Then, you can renovate the old house and bring it modernity. But restoring certain features seems to be the respectful course of action. When combined with a modern scheme, they can add a personality to a room. For example, old windows can be energy efficient when you add weatherstripping.

Features such as beams, ceiling roses, original windows, and moldings are immediately clear. Sometimes other heritage characteristics may not be evident. Unless you know where to look, you may skip intricate features. They include tiling, floorboards, original fireplaces, and wood paneling hiding behind modern additions.

Plumbing and Electrical Updates

Plumbing and electrical system in old houses have standards that are not applicable anymore. Besides, with the passage of years, the systems may not be reliable anymore. Start with the main panel, out-of-date wiring, and electrical fixtures. This not only increases efficiency but also makes the home safer for you and your family. The improved efficiency will also increase the resale value of the house.

In the same line, you need to replace the galvanized steel pipes found in old houses with copper. If the older pipes haven’t formed blockages, they will pretty soon. Ensure that your bathroom is up to standard with newer models and fixtures.

Fix the Walls and Redo the Floors

Now it’s time to deep dive into the nuances, plaster the walls, and install a new floor. They can bring about a significant impact on how your home looks. In the case of flooring, you have your choice between tiles, carpet, and hardwood floors. With these complete, your new house will start taking shape.

Finishing Touches

Once every renovation is complete, it’s time for the finishing touches. First, choose the paint colors, keeping in mind the architecture of the home. Do not waste time and resources on the surface prep if there is too much damage. Instead, go for materials such as Texturglas. It is a non-toxic wall covering made of fine glass filaments. They come ready to be installed on top of the existing surface.

Follow it with cabinets, window frames, trims, light brackets, handles, and handles. While these appear trivial, they can elevate the appearance of your home.

Curb Appeal

As a final touch, give your property a makeover with a few but significant changes.

  • Update the cladding and roofing
  • Landscape the garden
  • Pave the driveway
  • Replace the gutters and drains
  • Add plants and greenery

While they may seem trivial in the large scale of things, they can give your home a character. And also transform your home into a family home.

Which Is Cheaper: Renovating an Old House or Building a New One?

The cost of renovating an old house or building a new one depends on the scope of the project. A new house is always expensive considering the complex scope of work, materials, and man-hours. However, there are instances when remodeling old houses can turn to be costly.

The consensus is that the older the building, the more expensive it will be to remodel. The reason is you may run into unexpected issues once you start construction, which can drive up the cost. On the other hand, if the house is recently built or renovated in the last couple of decades, the cost can be lower.

Pros and Cons of Renovating an Old House

Buying and renovating an old house is a commitment that few are ready to take on. While the result is a beautiful home filled with character and personality, the path to it is not easy. Things can get tricky at every turn. Here are some pros and cons to remodeling an old house.

Pros and Cons of Renovating an Old HousePros

  • Old houses generally cost less in the real estate market. So whether you do the renovations yourself or hire contractors, you are likely to pay less than for a new build.
  • An old house has a character of its own which you cannot see in the new builds, even if they are suitable. They contain intricate woodwork and quirky features, some of which can be retained.
  • The blend of modernity and history provides for a comfortable living space.
  • Old homes are built to last. While you may have to upgrade the electrical and water systems, they have a sound structure.

Cons

  • Old homes can contain toxins. The paints and the roof especially may contain asbestos and lead. They need a professional touch, and that increases the cost of renovation.
  • The cost of renovation can be higher than anticipated. The roof, foundation, electrical, waterworks, and HVAC system can drive up the expenses.
  • Old homes aren’t generally a cookie cutter; hence you can expect the unexpected at any moment. This can affect the remodel both time-wise and price-wise.

Tips and Tricks for Restoring Historic Homes

A historic home is not easy to restore. However, you should be able to maintain the original work and not demolish or cover them up. With careful restoration, they should last and tell stories for years to come.

  • The homeowner should maintain a historic home to preserve its originality.
  • Replace the damaged masonry units with whole units. or at least something similar in color and texture.
  • Historic homes need contractors who know and respect the history. Hire someone with experience in historic preservation.
  • Remodeling a historic home is expensive. Make a list of priorities and finish the most important things first.
  • You may have to sacrifice certain amenities when it comes to preserving history. Add on rather than disturb the original structure.
  • Budget an extra 5% for contingencies.

Renovating an Old House with No Money

With a home renovation, every little expenditure adds up. And before you notice it, your budget is bust. So here are a few ways by which you can cut costs and save money when remodeling old homes.

  • Bring in the Natural Light – Instead of installing new windows, try a light tube to funnel in natural light from the roof.
  • Retain the Kitchen Sink – Do not move the kitchen sink or the toilet, for that matter. The plumping costs alone are expensive. But, if you are moving them for some reason, use the chance to change the old pipes.
  • Reorganize to Increase Efficiency– Do not remove the wall for extra space. Instead, reorganize for the most efficiency. For example, replace the shelves with cabinet-height pullout drawers for storage.
  • Recycled Materials – You can save money on recycled materials. However, contractors do not agree with recycled or homeowner-supplied building materials. It can help avoid liability issues.
  • Demolish Yourself – While demolishing may not be as expensive, doing it yourself can cut costs. However, limit it to exterior jobs unless you know what you are doing.
  • Hire a Contractor – You may have to hire the services of a contractor, depending on the scope of the project.
  • Consider Similar Products – Skip the more expensive wood like mahogany. Instead, invest in lookalikes such as eucalyptus hybrid like Lyptus. It looks similar in grain and texture to mahogany.
  • Wait Until Offseason – Skip the peak season and do your renovations when the jobs are fewer. That way, you can hire contractors at a much lesser price.

Conclusion

Older homes are not museum pieces. They have a history, and more than that, they have led a glorious life until now. They document the multitude of changes and the technological developments in its rooms. It makes sense to respect that and consider them when remodeling them. Approach it as a living place rather than a problem that needs to be solved.

Building a new home is always the more expensive option when compared to renovating an old one. However, if it’s a particularly old home or a historic building that has seen better days, the cost can be high and through the roof. Still, they are long-lasting value and durable. Above all, an old house has a personality and character that is absent in new constructions.

Pro-Remodeling Tucson LogoPro Remodeling is a local, family-owned business established in Tucson in 1971 and is regarded as one of the most trusted, best run, and customer-friendly contractors that provide the best home remodeling Tucson has experienced. If you are interested in renovating an old house or any other type of remodeling, contact the experts at Pro Remodeling today for your free quote.

Outdoor Kitchens

Luxurious Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor Kitchens

While outdoor kitchens have been a favorite of homeowners, they never gained traction until the pandemic. Finally, after months of sheltering inside, many are ready to start entertaining in the relative safety of their house.

If you do not have a large backyard, you can create an outdoor kitchen. However, designing one is not an easy task. From the layout to the appliance, there are many factors to consider.

Our article brings everything you need to know about an outdoor kitchen: Designing and planning, benefits, modern outdoor kitchen designs, essential features, and much more.

We will consider the following main points:

Designing the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

While it seems that your outdoor kitchen is an easy task, it is much more than that. Picking a grill and a fridge are probably the easy parts. However, outdoor cooking space is built for durability, endurance, ease of use, and function, to name a few.

The two elements that set an elegant kitchen apart in terms of design and style are countertops and cabinets. Here are the key factors you need to consider when designing the perfect outdoor kitchen.

While it seems that your outdoor kitchen is an easy task, it is much more than that. Picking a grill and a fridge are the easy parts. However, outdoor cooking space is built for durability, endurance, ease of use, and function, to name a few.

The two elements that set an elegant kitchen apart in terms of design and style are countertops and cabinets. Here are the key factors you need to consider when designing the perfect outdoor kitchen.

Layout

The layout is the key to an efficient kitchen. There are several outdoor kitchen layout options for you to choose from.

  • Straight
  • L-Shaped right and left-aligned
  • U-shaped
  • Galley
  • Side-by-Side

Each layout has its own pros and cons. Talk with your architect and builder to choose the right one suitable for your needs. Once you’ve selected your desired layout, it is time to choose the other features.

An important point to note: Ensure that your outdoor kitchen is an extension of the indoors by maintaining similarity in design and style. Place them closer to each other, connected by a sliding door if possible.

Cabinetry

Like your indoor kitchen, the one outdoors also requires cabinets. The popular choice of cabinet for outdoor kitchens is stainless steel. They are the choice of designers and architects for their beauty, style, durability, and elegance. It can fit seamlessly into any outdoor appliance, including smoker, grill, sink, and bar unit.

Other options for cabinets include frameless European styling with overlay doors and drawers with double-wall construction.

Countertops

Countertops in the outdoor kitchen need to hold up against time, and more particularly, weather conditions. They should be structurally sound and still maintain their beauty over time. Furthermore, they should complement your home and the landscape.

However, not every countertop is suitable for outdoors. The most popular countertop materials are granite, soapstone, and concrete. Other characteristics to look out for are UV resistance, color stability, strength, high resistance to impact, scratches, abrasions, etc.

Appliances

One of the advantages of an outdoor kitchen is including appliances like a grill, smoker, side burner, and a pizza oven. Even the most affordable kitchen can hold a couple of these appliances. First, however, the cabinets need to be planned accordingly.

Beverages

Having a beverages station is essential if you are planning on entertaining. If not a complete bar setup, at least a refrigerator, icemaker, generator, or sink integrated into your outdoor kitchen is a must.

Think along the lines of a bartending island, integrated with a built-in fridge, shaker doors with panel inserts.

Ventilation

Having a covered outdoor kitchen comes with its own challenges, like ventilating the smoke. With covered spaces rising in popularity, you need a hood that blends with the surrounding. Adding a muffler makes outdoor cooking much easier by reducing the sound and the smoke from the cooking.

Multi-Family

With the growing number of condos and apartments, the demand for an outdoor kitchen in the shared space continues to rise. Whether it is a poolside facility or a rooftop, the kitchen can be integrated anywhere. However, it should be ADA-compliant so that everyone can share the outdoor living space.

Lighting

You need appropriate lighting for your backyard, especially if you are planning to entertain. Moreover, you will need adequate light when handling sharp knives and preparing food.

Think about a statement overhead lighting for a smart and stylish look. Consider using string fairy lights for a cozy and whimsical setting.

Quality Materials

The outdoor kitchen is subject to elements, even in pleasant regions. Hence, it is crucial you choose the best materials to withstand wear and tear.

  • Marine-grade plywood or polymer sheets are ideal for cabinetry. They are durable and waterproof.
  • Stainless steel surfaces should be of grade #304. Though it lasts long and doesn’t rust, you need to clean and treat it. However, the screws made of other materials may rust.
  • Avoid glazed or porous tiles and stone for flooring. They become slippery when wet. Furthermore, concrete, brick, ceramic tile, and natural stone make for ideal outdoor flooring.

Ensure that the surfaces are UV treated (wherever needed).

Is an Outdoor Kitchen Worth It?

According to reports, adding a kitchen outdoors adds an ROI of 55% – 200%. But this depends on the architecture, materials, and also climate.

An outdoor kitchen is a beautiful addition to your living space. Not only do you get to spend relaxing evenings outside, but you also entertain and share meals with friends and family. Moreover, they can last as long as ten years, provided you maintain the space and clean the appliance.

Benefits of Outdoor Kitchens – Increased Home Value and ROI

Benefits of Outdoor Kitchens - Increased Home Value and ROI

  • Outdoor kitchens can add value to your home.
  • It makes it easier to entertain if it involves food and drinks. In addition, you’ll have more room for your guests.
  • An outdoor kitchen is incomplete without a grill. And grilled meals are healthy since it uses less oil.
  • With a cooking space and a countertop, you can cook your meals outside, especially in the hot summer months.
  • You can save on utility bills. Cooking inside heats the home in the summer months. And you would have to use your air conditioner over time to combat the heat.
  • An outdoor space with integrated cooking makes family time more relaxing. You can spend more time under the stars and enjoy the fresh air.

What to Consider When Designing Outdoor Kitchens

There’s a lot to consider before you commit to an outdoor kitchen. Here are some factors that will help you arrive at outdoor kitchen ideas suitable for your space and needs:

  • How far are your outdoor and indoor kitchens? Ensure that you use them together.
  • The design and architecture should complement your home.
  • Integrate your new outdoor kitchen with other areas to have a cohesive feel.
  • How will you install the utilities (gas, electricity, and water)?
  • You may want to plan for an entertainment center if you are not planning on putting one right now. Choose a spot in the shade to protect the electronics from direct sunlight.
  • What is the layout? Ensure that the fridge, grill, and sink are in a triangular setup.
  • Plan for the three zones; cooking (BBQ, cooktops, oven), cleaning-prep (sink, trash, counter), and refrigeration. Set aside space for storage.
  • Proper lighting is essential for the ambiance and also for safety. So, install lights around the prepping and cooking spaces. And also, illuminate near the dining area, steps, and other uneven spots.
  • What appliances do you need in your outdoor kitchen? Remember that you have a cooking range, full-sized refrigerator, oven, and more in your kitchen. So, consider mini appliances as it gives you space for work surfaces and entertainment areas.
  • Appliances should be practical to withstand the elements.

Essential Features of Outdoor Kitchens

Incorporate the features that you cannot use in your indoor kitchen like your grill, wood stove, and smoker. With a few more elements in your outdoor kitchen, it could become an outdoor oasis. You don’t need to go too far over the top; Just a few essential elements as mentioned below:

  • Eating surfaces like a dining table
  • Enough seating for your family and guests
  • A fire pit for colder nights
  • An entertainment system
  • A ceiling fan in the covered areas for those sultry days
  • Ventilation for covered areas
  • A bar

Maintaining an Outdoor Kitchen

Before you commit to a backyard kitchen, you may want to consider maintaining the appliances and surfaces. Taking care of your outdoor kitchen will help it last. Also, consider a design that is easy to maintain and clean. Here are a few pointers on caring for an outdoor kitchen:

  • Cover your grill, counters, and other appliances when not in use. This helps to protect from rain, wind, sun, and extreme weather.
  • Use sliders on the bottom of your furniture to protect your deck from scratch marks.
  • Clean the counters after every use. Regular cleaning keeps it sanitary but also ensures that it lasts longer.
  • Clean your grill and BBQ after every use. Brush it with a brush, and wipe off the racks.
  • If you are living in a colder climate, consider putting your grill and furniture in the storeroom. Us protective covers over the counters and other immovable surfaces.

Design Tips for Planning Perfect Outdoor Kitchens

Design Tips for Planning Perfect Outdoor Kitchens

  • Hot areas (grill and cooktop), cold areas (refrigeration), wet areas (sinks), and dry areas(prep, counter, and storage) should work well in coordination.
  • Hire an architect to help design an outdoor kitchen if possible.
  • The outdoor kitchen opens a whole new world of additional cooking options such as smoking or open-wood flame. Ensure that the indoor and outdoor kitchens work in symbiosis so that they can be used together when entertaining.
  • Your backyard kitchen should be easy to maintain. Consider materials that can endure the weather and rigors of being outside in the elements.
  • Counter, patio, and deck should be able to withstand high temperatures.
  • Natural stone counters require regular sealing. In the case of granite, use cultured granite with UV stabilizers.
  • Include task lighting and ambient lights for after-dark entertaining.
  • The cooking area, dining area, and entertainment coexist. Do not isolate the cook from the party.
  • Incorporate shade trees, pergolas, awnings, etc., in the cooking and dining areas.

Custom Outdoor Kitchen Design Ideas

While dining outside can be fun, ferrying food from within the house and outside is a pain. If you enjoy being outside on a warm summer evening, you may want to invest in an outdoor kitchen.

It can be as simple as a tiered car cart, prep surface, and a grill, or a full-on outdoor kitchen with everything. Here are a few outdoor kitchen designs in trend:

  • A pizza oven surrounded by potted plants set on pavers. A blue stone countertop lets you have a piece of Italy right in your backyard.
  • Cedar cabinets and a steel counter give your outdoor kitchen a modern feel.
  • Don’t have much space? A refrigerator tucked away in the drawers, a prep surface, sink, and a BBQ make for a stylish and functional kitchen.
  • Are you looking for a maintenance-free budget option? A customizable outdoor kitchen with tons of storage space, grill, and prepping area is enough for any large family.
  • For an outdoor kitchen with a farmhouse vibe, construct a cozy corner kitchen with reclaimed wooden pallets. With an awning overhead, you are entirely shaded by the weather, be it hot or cold.
  • A sleek stone fireplace, grill station, and wooden pergola add a beautiful outdoor kitchen dining area.

Take outdoor cooking to exhilarating new heights with this outdoor kitchen cottage. Measuring 250 sq ft, the kitchen cottage created by architect Ruard Veltman and Top Chef Masters winner Marcus Samuelsson gives a whole new definition to outdoor entertaining.

Conclusion

Outdoor kitchens have benefits as well as drawbacks. However, you may want to go with one if you:

  • Have a large backyard
  • Enjoy spending time outdoors
  • Have a budget large enough to cover an outdoor kitchen
  • Entertain guests often

Before jumping into it, take your time and explore all your options for the right design and layout.

The cost of building the outdoor kitchen of your dreams depends on the materials and appliances. Instead of attempting to do this yourself, enlist a contractor to provide you with an estimate. High-quality products do not have to come at high costs. Shop around for affordable products with premium quality.