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Remodeling your kitchen can be painless and fun


Your kitchen is usually a focal point of the house. It brings family and friends together, making memories and meals. Although remodeling your kitchen may seem very overwhelming, with the right contractor it can be a very pleasant experience – painless and exciting!
Of course, as with any project you plan on taking on, preparation is important.
 
Below are some tips to take into consideration:

Research:
• If you do not already have a go-to contractor, make sure you get at least 2 – 3 bids for the work you are looking for.

• It is important to make sure the contractor and bids reflect the same vision ensuring an “apples to apples” detailing – same fixtures, same materials, same quality. Of course, there is always someone cheaper or more expensive, so value and customer service are key.

• Start with researching companies in your area. You can look to your HOA or community paper for local companies, as well as friends and neighbors.

• Make sure the contractors are qualified with a current license with the Registrar of Contractors, are listed with the Better Business Bureau with a high grade, and have current liability insurance as well as workers compensation for their employees.

• Contractors should have references and photos readily available for new prospective customers.

• It’s also very helpful and comforting to know your contractor has a showroom and office that you can visit, view, and touch the actual materials that will be used in your remodel.

Budget:
• Make sure you know your budget, and that you and your contractor are on the same page.
• Be realistic about what you can and cannot afford.
• Remember that relocating plumbing and/or electrical can be additional costs.
• Certain materials have different grade/cost levels to help with budget.
• Your contractor should be able to keep you in the budget range you need to be in but you may also have to be flexible when deciding certain details.
• Read the fine print and be aware of preliminary lien notices which are quite common but often misunderstood.

Planning Phase:
• Once you have researched and chosen a contractor that makes you feel comfortable and confident with your decision, planning will begin.
• Your contractor should be able to help you in designing your dream kitchen, explaining the different types of materials, colors and textures, as well as the layout.
• Be realistic in planning and schedules, jobs that require drawings and permits can take a few months before the job can begin and ordering certain materials and fixtures can take several weeks.
• A job walk should be conducted in order for the sales estimator, Superintendent who will be managing the job once it starts, and any sub-contractors for details, measurements, and questions the homeowner may have.
• The project coordinator will order all materials and line up the subcontractors with a start date so that the job proceeds in a day-to-day basis without any unnecessary delays.

During:
Your job begins on the start date agreed upon. Your contractor should be able to inform you on a daily basis what will be done, what to expect, and what will happen next. Communication is key.

Here is a list of some customer responsibilities to make sure job flows smoothly:

• Make any necessary arrangements for pets to not invade the work space.
• Empty cabinets, drawers, and closets of items necessary to complete the work.
• Disconnect all computers and/or electrical devices in the area being remodeled.
• Please move any small furniture items and personal items in the area.
• If stated in contract for customer to provide any materials for the remodel, please have such items readily available.
• Be aware of change orders, make sure any changes in regards to the remodel or any additional work is documented and signed.

Completion:

• The work area should be cleaned for you and left without any traces of debris and trash.
• Make sure to complete a job walk with Superintendent to ensure complete satisfaction, or to make note of any areas that may need or require more attention.
• Confirm final inspection passes if applicable.
• You should receive in writing a statement reflecting payment completion along with contractor and manufacturer warranties and any lien releases.
• Finally – enjoy your new remodeled space!

What should I look for in a company that will do my work?

• Is the contractor a licensed contractor?
• Is the contractor registered with the Better Business Bureau or any other organizations?
• Is the contractor in good standings with the Registrar of Contractors and these other organizations?
• Does the contractor have a physical location?
• Does the contractor have a showroom?
• Does the contractor drug & alcohol test his employees?
• Will the contractor provide English speaking employees?
• What are the contractor’s warranties or guarantees?
• Does the contractor have a written work schedule with dates, times, job inspections and completion date?
• Does the contractor have previous job pictures and testimonials to present you as well as job sites you can visit?
• If the contractor uses subcontractors, do they require their subcontractors to be licensed, bonded and insured with workers compensation and liability insurance?

 Call today at (602) 343-1683 or visit the website at: http://www.tofixit.com/phoenix/index.php/kitchen-remodeling/

Be sure to visit the Coupon/Promotion section on the website to view a special discounted offers.

Create an Arizona lifestyle at your home


Your home is the cornerstone of your life. It's your place to rest and relax, spend time with the people you love, build your future, and celebrate your successes. And for most of us, it's very likely the largest single investment you've ever made. So when it's time to create an Arizona lifestyle at your home, choose your patio covers carefully. There are many options available today to fit your style and budget. The experts recommend that prior to making a call for a free estimate, and to help speed up the process, you have the answers to these questions:

• Are you interested in a pergola, gazebo, patio cover or carport?
• What does your homeowners’ association allow?
• Where do you want the new structure built?
• Do you want the new structure built on an existing slab or will new concrete be required?
• Are you replacing an existing patio cover?
• Are any wires, sprinkler systems or gas lines buried near the job site?
• Do you want full or partial shade?
• How will you utilize the structure?

Don’t forget to do your homework on the contractor you are looking to hire.

1. Is your contractor licensed and insured?
Verify that contractors are who they say they are. Check the ROC & BBB for current information.
2. Reliability
Do they use premium-quality materials and offer a minimum one-year labor warranty?
3. Safety
Will the work meet applicable safety standards and building codes?
4. Project management capabilities
Will a production supervisor inspect the ongoing progress of your project for quality and timeliness?
5. Flexible financing options

Ask your contractor if they offer financing options, along with having competitive project prices and discounts.

Great reasons to add an AES AlumaWood patio cover:
• Heavy header-beam construction
• Richly textured wood finish
• Seven popular HOA acceptable colors
• Fasteners in matching colors
• Four style options for beam and rafter end cuts
• Extruded aluminum structure for strength and durability
• Low-maintenance paint finish will not peel or crack
• Rot resistant
• Insect resistant
• Lifetime warranty
• Functional as well as beautiful

Each and every component of your AES aluminum pergola has been engineered to assemble with flawless fit and finish. Every design detail has been carefully considered to enhance the aesthetic appeal and natural wood appearance.

AES aluminum pergolas are built to last with a heavy duty, corrosion-resistant, aluminum coated paint finish. This is to ensure that they will provide long-lasting, low-maintenance enjoyment for you and your family many years to come.

Other features of your AES aluminum pergola include:
• Weather-resistant paint finish withstands the harshest conditions, protecting your investment from the ravages of sun, rain, wind and extreme temperatures.
• A choice of HOA popular colors helps match your new aluminum pergola to your home, your style and your outdoor décor.
• Richly textured wood grain finishes simulate real wood for a more authentic, charming appearance.
• Color-matched fasteners integrate and blend in with the structure for a more pleasing appearance.
• Controlling the brightness in your recreational areas creating an inviting ambience
• Increases your outdoor living space
• Provides sun protection
• Avoids direct heat

Patio covers

1. Maintenance-free aluminum pergolas/lattice covers
Beautiful and practical, aluminum pergolas provide the same functionality and aesthetic purposes as wood products with a fully maintenance-free structure, incorporating natural wood grain effects in popular colors. An aluminum pergola is engineered to assemble quickly and precisely in your yard or garden.

2. Functional as well as beautiful
Each and every component of your aluminum pergolas have been engineered to assemble with flawless fit and finish. Every design detail has been carefully considered to enhance the aesthetic appeal and natural wood appearance.

3. Aluminum pergolas
They are built to last with heavy duty, corrosion-resistant aluminum, coated with an all seasons painted finish to ensure that your new aluminum pergola will provide lasting low-maintenance enjoyment for you and your family many years to come.

4. Solid patio covers
A patio cover provides elegant protection from the blazing sun and light rains so you can enjoy your patio when others are driven inside. Relax under your patio cover and let soft gentle breezes caress your skin and cool you on even the hottest summer days. Dine in al fresco splendor without fear that a summer shower will spoil your mood.

Provide protection from:
- Harsh solar heat, UV radiation and rain showers
- Protect furniture from weather and animals

Features:
- Extruded aluminum structure for strength and durability
- Low-maintenance paint finish will not peel or crack
- Rot resistant
- Insect resistant
- Lifetime warranty

Available in:
- Studio or cathedral designs
- Several HOA friendly colors

Available options:
- Skylights for added light without heat
- Roof fan beam (to support locally sourced ceiling fan)

Apart from being the perfect patio cover, this product also doubles up as an excellent car port, protecting vehicles from the harsh and damaging weather that they endure on a daily basis.

5. An economical screen enclosure
Turn your patio cover into an economical screen enclosure and increase the amount of time you can enjoy your patio, deck, porch or yard.

Screen in your patio cover for cost-effective protection from insects as well as solar heat, glare and light rains so you can enjoy your patio, porch or deck when others are driven inside. Relax in an economical screen enclosure and soft gentle breezes will cool you on the hottest summer days. Dine in al fresco splendor without fear that insects or a summer shower will spoil your mood.

Provide protection from:
• Annoying insects
• Harsh solar heat
• UV radiation
• Rain showers

Features:
• Extruded aluminum structure for strength and durability
• Durable vinyl/fiberglass insect screening
• Low-maintenance paint finish will not peel or crack
• Rot resistant
• Lifetime warranty

6. The process
From your free no-obligation in-home consultation through final review, there should be continual updates and communication throughout the process.

• Designer will determine gazebo, pergola or shade cover needs and review style options.
• Designer will walk the grounds, take measurements, draw up plans and discuss timelines and payment options
• Company will order your materials, set up an installation dates, verify all required permits and get started.
• Company will clean the job site when the project is done, conduct a final inspection and review all product and service warranties.

So when it's time to create an Arizona lifestyle at your home, choose your patio covers carefully and enjoy!  Call (602) 707-6678 or visit the website at:
http://www.tofixit.com/phoenix/index.php/patio-covers-enclosures-az-energy-savers/

Be sure to visit the Coupon/Promotion section of the website to view  special discounted offers.




Concrete or stamping- enhancement surfacing

As a contractor in the coatings installation and maintenance industry, we are asked many questions regarding what type of surface we recommend. It is always a good idea to ask what surfaces will be appropriate for the use of that area and what elements are present and how they will affect the enhanced surface installed. In choosing a contractor to enhance your concrete surfaces, it is important to ask questions about the life of the surface, the cost of maintenance for that surface, and the process used by their technicians in applying the recommended surface enhancement. Learn great tips from the experts and start enjoying your newly enhanced extra outdoor living space today.
Trunk Here

Suggested Questions to ask an installation company:
1. How long has your company been in business?
2. How long have the installers/applicators been working with your company?
3. What is the life of the surface being installed?
4. What is the warranty of the surface being installed?
5. Discuss the use of the area and what elements are present… i.e. dogs, children, amount of foot traffic, vehicle traffic, water (rain and irrigation systems), sun light, trees, and surrounding landscaping.
6. Can you explain the difference between stamped concrete and a stamped overlay?
7. Do you cover surrounding areas and landscaping during the application process?
8. What is your policy on cleanup when the project is completed?
9. What is the product made of?
10. How long will the work take to complete?
11. What is your availability to complete the project?
12. Do you have any complaints at the ROC or BBB?
13. Do you have a website for your company?
14. Can you provide references for me to contact about the services you recently provided?

Enhanced Surface Maintenance Mistakes:

1. The most common mistake that we see most people make:
They do nothing to an existing enhanced surface if it is stamped concrete, stamped overlay, hand trowel finish or lace decking in a pool environment.
The perception that many people have is that the enhanced surface will need to be completely replaced and that will be very expensive and unaffordable. There are a percentage of installers that want to sell you a new surface that can cost thousands instead of making repairs. We as concrete professionals have found that in many cases repairs can be made to match the existing surface and apply new sealer for protection thereby cutting the project cost by half or more, in most situations. All enhanced surfaces/coatings have to be sealed periodically. Enhanced surfaces that are maintained properly can last decades.

2. Not being cautious:
If a pressure washer is used, not to use too much pressure otherwise you can remove the protective sealer or even the enhanced surface being protected by the sealer. Use a wide fan pressure washer tip away from the surface to remove the dirt and leave the sealer intact. Over use or misuse of a pressure washer can damage the area and reduce the life if the surface.

3. Choose a cleaner that is non-toxic:
Non-acidic, and no bleaches are allowed on typical enhanced surface coatings. The use of citrus or orange cleaners is not recommended as well due to the acidic content. When cleaning it is important to remove all cleaner with water and also remove all standing water as well due to the hard water issues in the valley and can leave mineral deposits on a newly cleaned surface.

4. Self-performed repairs by the homeowner are possible but not recommended:
Knowing what products to use and the process involved can be complicated and takes experience to repair correctly. For the do-it-yourself person, we highly recommend that you do not buy repair products from the major retail outlets. The products on the shelf are not designed specifically for the surface at your home or business. The professionals that are trained and qualified know what products are best suited for the areas of repair and work closely with the manufactures to understand how surfaces are to be prepared and products applied for quality and longevity.

5. The key is knowing when and who to call for an honest repair quote: Unfortunately this industry has seen a lot of companies come and go due to many reasons.

6. Do your homework when searching for a company for these types of repairs.

7. Ask to look at hard samples or pictures when possible.
This will help communicate the final look you would like to achieve.

8. Be cautious if a company just wants to install their “own” product.
In our experience, replacement has been necessary for surfaces that have been installed but were not designed for that area. Manufactures design various products for particular areas based on the conditions to minimize maintenance and create a long lasting enhanced surface.

If you have additional questions or want more information about increasing your outdoor living space call (602) 863-4948 and will help alleviate this stressful task or visit the website at: http://www.tofixit.com/phoenix/index.php/concrete-coatings/





Cabinet refacing offers update look at fraction of cost

Want to update your kitchen without the hassle or expense of replacing the cabinets? Maybe you’ve just purchased a beautiful new home but hate the cabinets. If you’re cabinet boxes are still in good condition and you’re happy with your layout or want to keep your countertops but want to update or change the look of your cabinets, you don’t have to start over and replace it all. Try cabinet refacing. It’s a less expensive option that still offers the same result: a beautiful new kitchen. Cabinet refacing saves time and money by leaving your current cabinet frames intact and simply changing the appearance of your existing cabinets. Learn about the advantages from the experts.

• No need to make modifications to your cabinet boxes, plumbing, electrical, ceiling, or floor.
• Your old drawer fronts and doors will be replaced and all exposed areas of your existing cabinets will be covered with a veneer to match your new drawer fronts and doors.
• Refacing also includes new crown & mouldings.
• Cabinet refacing is entirely sized, manufactured and installed to the exact specifications of your existing cabinetry.
• Refacing can be done in wood or thermo-foil and is available in an array of wood types, door styles, colors. Only solid wood should be used to for doors and custom stain color can be created that is perfect for your taste and personal style.
• You can also add to or modify your existing cabinets to meet your needs or add any special touches to improve the style/functionality of your kitchen. For example if you are looking to extend the height of your uppers they can install all new cabinets in those areas and then reface the existing base cabinets to match. Or maybe you just want to add in a few staggered cabinets above the microwave and refrigerator but reface the rest of the kitchen- no problem! In some circumstances we can even increase the overlay of the doors to give your cabinets a different look and remove those center rails for easier access.
• Good cabinets are a terrible thing to waste.
• So instead of planning an expensive, complete replacement, think about having your cabinets refaced for less time, less mess, and best of all less cost!

What you can do to prepare for refacing?

• Plan to empty out all cabinets and drawers prior to our arrival.
• In addition you will need to remove any items on the countertops and move breakables into another room. This will ensure a clear work area, which gives the installer room to transform your cabinets and space and enables him to keep his focus on the details of your project.
• Depending on the size of your project refacing can be done in less than a week and allows you to have access to your kitchen sink and most appliances throughout. This eliminates the need to go to the expense of eating out every night, which is generally the case when getting all new cabinets and countertops installed.

Wondering what to expect with the refacing process?

• The first step in refacing is removing all the doors and drawer fronts from your cabinets. The drawer boxes themselves will be reused unless you have decided to replace those as needed.
• The face of the cabinets as well as the end panels are then sanded down. This will help the veneer stick. A 3M water based contact cement is used which is applied to the cabinets as well as the veneer. Therefore when the two   are joined a strong bond is formed.
• At this point in the remodel the cabinets themselves have been pretty much transformed.
• The new drawer fronts & doors are added as well as install all the new mouldings and trim to finish off the remodel.
• Handles and knobs are installed at this point and voila- a new kitchen is born!
• Your countertop and flooring remain untouched. One thing to keep in mind is that just like with any remodeling project there will be dust. This is minimized as much as possible by making most cuts outside as well as using a shop-vac to clean during the process. In addition the doorways are tapped off and drop cloths are used to protect floors.

Don’t forget to do your homework. Always check out your contractor before signing any paperwork! These are all great questions to be asking to ensure you are working with the right company for you.

• Be sure to verify that they are licensed, bonded, and insured.
• What kind of experience do they have in the industry?
• How long have they been in business?
• Ask for references and call to ask about the work done in their home? 

Call ToFixIt at (602) 863-4948 or visit the website at: http://www.tofixit.com/phoenix/index.php/cabinet-re-facing/
to start your project today.

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