When is the Best Time for Remodeling Projects?

iStock_000000143564SmallSpring and summer months are notably the best months for home improvements and renovations mainly for weather and the schedules of homeowners. The warmer weather allows better working conditions for contractors especially for outdoor work. Also, construction projects may be less of a hassle in summer for families since time can be spent outdoors and they are not confined to indoor living space as they are in winter months. Families can barbecue and use decks and patios for having meals. Many families take summer vacations allowing contractors to work in an empty house to tackle projects without disrupting a family’s routine. Ok, so spring and summer is typically the best time for obvious reasons, but is it right for you?

Remodeling projects that are not high priority can be done in the fall and sometimes winter months for a savings. Some indoor projects that don’t require major disruptions , unlike kitchens and bathrooms, are usually not high priority and can wait until the better time. Fall and winter may actually be the best time for your project since contractors’ schedules free up and estimates may reflect more flexibility.

HomeAdvisor relates doing a home project in summer as going to a restaurant during the lunch or dinner rush. “Just as your sandwich is more likely to come without the extra pickles you ordered during a restaurant’s busiest hours, your contractor is more likely to make mistakes when he or she is juggling several other, similar jobs. Additionally, when every contractor within a 6 mile radius is putting in orders for hardwood flooring or replacement windows, there’s a greater chance that orders will get delayed or mixed up, causing everyone involved a little more aggravation!”

The best time for remodeling projects is when the time is better for these reasons:

Project Priority
Limited Disruption To Family Routine
Contractor Availability

Contact Us

Start thinking about the home projects that you would like to tackle and plan out when the best time is for each. Holidays fall in all seasons and an be considered “good time” or “bad time” depending on your family and schedule. Contact Jeff’s Carpentry to discuss your options and we are happy to work around your family’s needs. We have over 2 decades of experience and we can address all indoor, outdoor, and landscaping projects that you have in mind for your home. Call (732) 851-5575 for a free estimate.

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Outdoor Kitchens

Adding an outdoor kitchen may make your dream backyard complete! Your outdoor kitchen will require utility connections and then your imagination can run wild for designing ideas best suited for your family and entertaining uses.

The kitchen island comes in modular pieces that are made of steel-stud construction with permabased exterior cladding. These island components are attached with screws and brackets and then covered with tile or stone such as granite for the top where food is prepared and stone, bricks, or weather resistant wood like marine grade teak for the sides. If tile is used for the counter, it is recommended to go with 12×12 tiles and dark grout since it won’t stain as easily.

Electric, gas and plumbing lines may be needed for the appliances you choose. Common appliances used for outdoor kitchens are grills, pizza ovens, cooktops, refrigerators, and dishwashers. Sinks can be selected in various styles and sizes. The weather tight cabinets of stainless steel or weather grade wood will finish off the the island’s look.

Depending on your space, your outdoor kitchen can include ceiling fans, light sconces, a mister system which emits a mist for cooling, or heat lamps for cool nights. Some outdoor kitchens are under a roof and others are open-aired and even have fireplaces. Your outdoor kitchen flooring can be an existing patio surface or a new surface. Keep safety in mind when selecting appropriate flooring for an outdoor kitchen. Avoid glazed or porous tiles since they are slippery. Materials that meet the safety criteria include concrete, brick and natural stone.

Depending on the location of your outdoor kitchen, landscaping may be used around the kitchen to keep the feel of the outdoors. Obviously, choose flowers and greenery that will not attract bees and other bugs.

Qualified Contractor

Jeff DeNicola of Jeff’s Carpentry has over 30 years of experience with home improvement projects including kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, molding & trim, window installation, door installation, deck installation, painting, commercial installations of acoustal ceilings, metal studs and sheetrock,as well as handyman type services where “no job is too small.” Call (732) 851-5575 for your free estimate.


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Architectural Details

Moldings can make all the difference in a room! Transform drab into something spectacular!

There are 4 distinctive architectural details that add beauty and value to your home. The results are transforming and yet the costs are quite minimal. These finishing touches will give your home the “wow” factor and will enhance its warm and inviting feel.

As more homeowners are updating and renovating rather than selling their homes, architectural details can be the answer to a brand new look and feel with minimal costs and interruption as the work is being done.

Baseboards

The baseboard in your home will be the same throughout unless you already did upgrades to flooring, etc. Replacing or enhancing the baseboards will change the feel of your entire home! The height of your ceilings will determine what the most appealing height of baseboard and crown molding to use. An 8 foot ceiling can handle up to a 5.5 inch baseboard and a 10 foot ceiling can handle 8 inches. Choose molding that fits the style of your home – clam shell, colonial or sanitary. If you are looking for simple – clam shell, ornate is colonial; and modern is sanitary.

Crown Molding

Crown molding finishes the look of a wall at the ceiling. It should look lighter than the baseboard moldings and therefore be smaller in height. Choose a crown molding height that will work with the height of your baseboards. An 8 foot ceiling can handle 4 inch crown molding and a 10 foot ceiling can handle a 6 inch two piece crown molding.

Chair Rail

The detail of chair molding can be traditional to modern. Chair rail can be incorporated into any room, hallway, entranceway, and stairway. It can light up a space with a finished look that you didn’t realize you were missing. Adding chair rail to only specific places in your home will set that space apart and it doesn’t have to be part of all walls.

Columns and Pilasters

As noted by HGTV, columns and pilasters are a great way to separate a room without using walls. These can be used as load-bearing elements or just visual additions. Columns are either round or square and stand on their own, while pilasters are attached to a wall or part of the dwelling. Both details give your home a feeling of wealth.

Professional Installation Pays Off

Have your molding installed by a professional since in most cases, it is both time and cost effective. There is a definite skill required to ensure a seamless fit. The craftsmanship behind the work of Jeff’s Carpentry is what you are looking for. Call (732) 851-5575 for more information and to schedule your free estimate!

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Enjoy The Outdoors!

As winter starts to slowly fade, we find ourselves wanting to enjoy the outdoors more. In fact, we enjoy the outdoors so much that many homeowners are finding ways to bring it indoors! Many homeowners are creating spaces that have the feel and beauty of the outdoors, but incorporate the indoor luxuries of electronics, fireplaces, cooking appliances, furniture, etc.

Whether it’s a four-season room, three-season room , enclosed porch, sunroom or patio, your space can become an inviting and relaxing gathering spot or at-home getaway with a few simple design tricks.

The options can be endless for a homeowner looking to add more living space. A four season sunroom is considered to be a habitable, year round living space. It is heated and/or cooled, insulated, and includes appropriate electrical outlets. Foundation requirements are generally more stringent for a four season room than a three season room. Today’s versions are rooms featuring cathedral ceilings, skylights, energy-efficient windows, tile flooring, heat, and air conditioning.

A three season room can be enclosed on an existing deck or porch or you can start with a completely new structure. Windows and screens will keep out pests and debris while providing protection from the weather. An unobstructed view of your landscape and the natural beauty of the outdoors will be all yours to enjoy. Typically, a 3 season room is not connected to the HVAC system of a home but adding a ceiling fan will maintain the air flow within the space and create a comfortable temperature.

Enclosing an entrance porch or back porch can create wonderful spaces for outdoor living and entertaining. A front porch furnished with comfortable cushioned chairs is the most inviting place for a beverage on a spring, summer, or fall day. An enclosed back porch can host outdoor meals for family and friends. The design possibilities are endless and can be unique to the homeowner’s preferences.

Enjoy the seasons longer. Get started right away so you can enjoy your bright, airy, relaxing room on warm summer afternoons or entertain friends on chilly October evenings.

Jeff’s Carpentry

As winter starts to slowly fade, we find ourselves wanting to enjoy the outdoors more. In fact, we enjoy the outdoors so much that many homeowners are finding ways to bring it indoors! Many homeowners are creating spaces that have the feel and beauty of the outdoors, but incorporate the indoor luxuries of electronics, fireplaces, cooking appliances, furniture, etc.

Whether it’s a four-season room, three-season room , enclosed porch, sunroom or patio, your space can become an inviting and relaxing gathering spot or at-home getaway with a few simple design tricks.

The options can be endless for a homeowner looking to add more living space. A four season sunroom is considered to be a habitable, year round living space. It is heated and/or cooled, insulated, and includes appropriate electrical outlets. Foundation requirements are generally more stringent for a four season room than a three season room. Today’s versions are rooms featuring cathedral ceilings, skylights, energy-efficient windows, tile flooring, heat, and air conditioning.

A three season room can be enclosed on an existing deck or porch or you can start with a completely new structure. Windows and screens will keep out pests and debris while providing protection from the weather. An unobstructed view of your landscape and the natural beauty of the outdoors will be all yours to enjoy. Typically, a 3 season room is not connected to the HVAC system of a home but adding a ceiling fan will maintain the air flow within the space and create a comfortable temperature.

Enclosing an entrance porch or back porch can create wonderful spaces for outdoor living and entertaining. A front porch furnished with comfortable cushioned chairs is the most inviting place for a beverage on a spring, summer, or fall day. An enclosed back porch can host outdoor meals for family and friends. The design possibilities are endless and can be unique to the homeowner’s preferences.

Enjoy the seasons longer. Get started right away so you can enjoy your bright, airy, relaxing room on warm summer afternoons or entertain friends on chilly October evenings.

Jeff’s Carpentry

Jeff’s Carpentry provides design build expertise and individual attention to clients. Our personalized approach and guidance, partnered with unmatched craftsmanship sets us apart from other companies. Jeff’s Carpentry specializes in additions, renovations and remodeling along with interior and exterior home improvements. Call (732) 851-5575 for a free estimate!

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Beware of Pipe Bursts

In frigid temperatures, there is the risk of water pipes bursting. This occurs because when water freezes, it expands. That’s why a can of soda explodes if it’s put into a freezer to chill quickly and forgotten. When water freezes in a pipe, it expands the same way. If it expands enough, the pipe bursts, water escapes and serious damage results.

Why Pipes Burst

Surprisingly, ice forming in a pipe does not typically cause a break where the ice blockage occurs. It’s not the radial expansion of ice against the wall of the pipe that causes the break. Rather, following a complete ice blockage in a pipe, continued freezing and expansion inside the pipe causes water pressure to increase downstream — between the ice blockage and a closed faucet at the end. It’s this increase in water pressure that leads to pipe failure. Usually the pipe bursts where little or no ice has formed.

Generally, houses in northern climates are built with the water pipes located on the inside of the building insulation, which protects the pipes from subfreezing weather. However, extremely cold weather and holes in the building that allow a flow of cold air to come into contact with pipes can lead to freezing and bursting.

Pipes in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are all vulnerable to freezing, especially if there are cracks or openings that allow cold outside air to flow across the pipes.

Holes in an outside wall where television, cable or telephone lines enter can provide access for cold air to reach pipes. The size of pipes and their composition (e.g., copper or PVC) have some bearing on how fast ice forms, but they are relatively minor factors in pipe bursting compared with the absence of heat, pipe insulation and exposure to a flow of subfreezing air.

Field tests of residential water systems subjected to winter temperatures demonstrated that for un-insulated pipes installed in an unconditioned attic, the onset of freezing occurred when the outside temperature fell to 20°F or below.

Mitigating the Problem

Ideally, it is best not to expose water pipes to subfreezing temperatures, by placing them only in heated spaces and keeping them out of attics, crawl spaces and vulnerable outside walls. In new construction, proper placement can be designed into the building.

Letting the Water Run

Water freezes when heat in the water is transferred to subfreezing air. The best way to keep water in pipes from freezing is to slow or stop this transfer of heat. Letting a faucet drip during extreme cold weather can prevent a pipe from bursting. It’s not that a small flow of water prevents freezing; this helps, but water can freeze even with a slow flow.

Rather, opening a faucet will provide relief from the excessive pressure that builds between the faucet and the ice blockage when freezing occurs. If there is no excessive water pressure, there is no burst pipe, even if the water inside the pipe freezes.

A dripping faucet wastes some water, so only pipes vulnerable to freezing (ones that run through an unheated or unprotected space) should be left with the water flowing. The drip can be very slight. Even the slowest drip at normal pressure will provide pressure relief when needed.

Call Us

We help homeowners with home renovations and home projects of all sizes. Call Jeff’s Carpentry at (732) 851-5575 for all your projects and we will set up a consultation and provide a free estimate.


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Kitchen Renovations


Where do most families spend the majority of their time at home? It is guaranteed that almost everyone will respond, “the kitchen!” Our kitchens have become more than just a place to have meals. It is a gathering place even during formal dinner parties. Our beautifully decorated dining rooms can be found empty. Where do our guests congregate? Again, “the kitchen!”

The kitchen is the room in the house that carries so much weight and emotion when a buyer is considering choices. There are several items that are important to homeowners and should be considered when updating your kitchen.

Islands: Research shows that 48% of home buyers are willing to pay more for a home that has a kitchen with an island- about $1370 more. Okay, that may not seem like a lot of money, but an island ranks high on the list of top 10 things that buyers would spend more on a home for.

Kitchen islands are most important to people ages 35 to 54, with 24% of them indicating that it is a “very important” characteristic. Just 19% of people under 35 and 13% over 55 considered this feature important. Kitchen islands often come in handy for those who are raising a family. It provides additional room to put out food for the family and allows the kitchen to become more organized and can double as a work station for homework and office work.

Granite Countertops: Research shows that 55% of buyers will also spend more for granite countertops. Among homeowners between the ages of 35 and 54, 24% viewed granite countertops as “very important,” compared to 18% of people under 35 and 18% of people over 55. Although just one in every five prospective home buyers said granite countertops were very important, 55% of those who bought a home without such a countertop said they would pay extra for it.

Hardwood floors: Some 25% of buyers under the age of 35, and 28% of those between 35 and 54, considered hardwood floors “very important” when looking for a home. Only 17% of people ages 55 and up felt the same way. But for younger people looking to have many guests at the house and for people with children, hardwood floors are desirable because they are easier to clean than carpets.

Jeff’s Carpentry

Contact Jeff’s Carpentry at (732) 851-5575 for all your kitchen renovation needs. Jeff’s Carpentry has over 30 years experience and has provided hundreds of satisfied clients with quality work at affordable prices. Craftsmanship and individual attention given to each client is unparalleled.

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Remove Snow From Your Roof

As we start 2014, there is snow in the forecast. Living in the northeast brings snowstorms and usually icing during the winter months. We clean our sidewalks and roads to avoid the dangers of each storm. But less conspicuous, are the dangers of snow and ice buildup on our house roof and gutters. Fortunately, damage to our homes can be prevented with some maintenance. Start this winter season with good information about snow and ice on your roof and prevent any costly damage.


What is an ice dam?

An ice dam can form when water from melting snow re-freezes at the edge of your roofline. Without roof snow removal, the ice dam may grow large enough to prevent water from draining off the roof. The water can then back up underneath the roof shingles and make its way inside your home. An ice dam has the potential to cause serious damage to both your roof and the inside of your home. It is important to take steps to help protect your home from the risks associated with ice dams.

Snow Removal

Remove snow from your roof after every storm. Use a roof rake to clear the first three to four feet of snow from your roof immediately after each winter storm to prevent ice dams from forming. While the amount of snow and ice that your roof can handle may vary depending on a number of factors such as the roof type, age and condition of the structure, a good rule of thumb is if there is more than a foot of heavy, wet snow and ice on your roof, you should try to have it removed.

Clear downspouts. An easy way to help snow and ice drain off your roof is to make sure the area around your downspouts is clear. This will make it possible for your gutters to drain when snow does melt. It will also help prevent flooding when the snow and ice melts.

Longer-Term Prevention

Ultimately, the best prevention for ice dams is to eliminate the conditions that make it possible for them to form in the first place. Insulate your attic. Make sure your attic is well insulated to help prevent the melting-and-freezing cycle that causes ice dams to form. Check and seal places where warm air could leak from your house to the attic, including vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic hatches and light fixtures.

Install a water-repellant membrane. When replacing a roof, make sure to install a water membrane underneath the shingles. This acts as an extra barrier that helps prevent water from seeping inside the building.

Contact Jeff’s Carpentry

Jeff DeNicola has over 30 years experience with home improvement projects including kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, molding & trim, window installation, door installation, deck installation, painting, commercial installations of acoustal ceilings, metal studs and sheetrock, as well as handyman type services where “no job is too small.”

Call (732) 851-5575 for your home and office improvements. Check out our Facebook for updates.


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Bathroom Trends

A bathroom remodeling can substantially update your home and increase its value. Not to mention, give you and your family the luxury of current fixtures and the most appealing trends.

Keep in mind that your design choices of today may have to live with you 5, 10, maybe 20 years from now. Choose trends carefully so that your remodel doesn’t look dated in just a short couple of years. Classic design can speak volumes to new homeowners and can keep their value.

Bathroom Remodeling Trends

It is fun to shop the newest trends and see which may fit into your bathroom remodeling plan. The top ten best remodeling trends are below; see which trends interest you!

  • Glass tile is very trendy and can be used in all sizes and colors.
  • Subway tile with its crisp white color is classic and trendy! The white backdrop can complement bold colors and can be used with a vintage style sink or vanity.
  • Bold colors can add drama to a space, whether a large bathroom or small powder room. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
  • Multi-head showers are a new luxury. The multi-head shower is being used in good size showers so that water can mist you from all angles.
  • In – floor heating feels good on cold mornings. The radiant heat adds comfort but can also be practical since it may be more cost effective in some cases.
  • Framed mirrors and furniture style pieces are still very trendy. This adds the warmth of home in a cost effective way.
  • Steam showers are very popular. Your bathroom can become the spa getaway that you dream of.
  • A glamorous lighting fixture such as a chandelier over a tub adds elegance to large and small spaces.
  • Technology in the bathroom is a trendy must. Plan for the devices that you can’t live without and can make the bathroom more fun. Television, speakers, etc. are common in new bathrooms.
  • A fireplace or open flame fire fixture adds a romantic warmth and can set the stage for your dream bathroom.
  • Bathroom Remodeling For You

    Contact Jeff’s Carpentry at (732) 851-5575 for a bathroom renovation that can make your dreams come true. We will provide a free estimate and go over options that are right for you.


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    Home Improvements To Invest In

    As reported by US News, the housing market is seeing increases and homeowners are investing in renovations again. Some home improvements have better resale value than others, just like some cars have better resale value than others. Here are some of the best home improvements:

    Kitchen. People spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so upgrades in that area are both visible and valuable. It’s not just aesthetics. A kitchen has many working parts, like a refrigerator with a water and ice dispenser, a built-in microwave and a double oven. But it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing deal. If your counter top is scratched and stained, but the cabinets are still in good shape, just replace the counter top, and maybe add new cabinet hardware. And new appliances by themselves add both utility and sparkle to your kitchen. Rule of thumb: Expect to recoup about three quarters of the cost of a kitchen remodel when you resell your house.

    Bathroom. People like big, expansive bathrooms, so any fix-up that adds space – a vaulted ceiling, a skylight or stealing space out of an adjacent closet – is likely to pay off. Big, bright mirrors, modern lighting and extra cabinets are also desirable features. But don’t get carried away on plumbing fixtures and expensive tile. You can spend a lot of money on fancy faucets and special shower heads, and that money will go right down the drain.

    Outside the house. Landscaping is the first thing any visitor, or potential buyer, sees at your house, and this type of first impression matters. You don’t have to hire an expensive landscape architect. Just spruce up the lawn, clip back the bushes and add a few strategically placed shrubs. Decks, patios and screened-in porches are all highly desirable add-ons that are not that expensive in the overall scheme of things. Rule of thumb: You recoup almost 100 percent of the first thousand dollars you spend on landscaping, but close to zero on anything after that.

    Roofs and windows. No one will want to buy your house if the roof leaks or if plants are sprouting from your gutters. New windows can be expensive, but they bring in natural light to your home and often save money on heating and air conditioning bills. Rule of thumb: Look to recoup 30 to 40 percent of the cost in utility bills, and 60 to 70 percent at resale.

    Cosmetics. Don’t underestimate the value of a simple paint job. It’s relatively inexpensive, especially if you do it yourself. Ditto with cleaning and de-cluttering, as well as a few new lighting fixtures. All of these improvements return at least as much money as you put into them.

    What NOT to do: Install a swimming pool. Unless you live in a high-end development in Florida or Arizona, home buyers think they’re more trouble than they’re worth. Super luxury upgrades are nice, but nobody wants to pay for them. Garage conversions will give you more living space, but what do you do with the car? Better idea: Finish your basement (but only if it’s dry) or your attic (but only if it has standard-height ceilings).

    Consult With An Expert

    It is wise to consult with an expert like Jeff DeNicola of Jeff’s Carpentry about your ideas and your future plans if in fact you look to sell your home in the near future. Planning a home renovation with Jeff’s Carpentry will put you at ease to know that you will receive quality craftsmanship that you can enjoy while living at your home and the update will bring added value to your home during resale.


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    Popular Renovations and Tips

    We’re always looking for ways to make our homes more attractive, current, and comfortable. Although according to a recent survey, it seems Americans are keen on fixing up certain areas of their homes more than others.

    The National Association of Home Builders released its 2012 Remodeling Market Index, in which they surveyed a panel of approximately 2,000 professional remodelers across the country on which home renovation projects were most popular by their customers.

    Most homeowners use professional contractors, but some do-it-yourselfers can use some tips!

    Bathroom remodeling, at a staggering 78 percent, was the most requested home renovation. Oftentimes homeowners will tear out their tub and shower only to realize they don’t have the expertise to replace the studs, plumbing, backer board, and more that are behind all that tile! Also ventilation should be a concern when planning a bathroom.

    69 percent of all jobs requested were for kitchen remodeling, making this the second most popular job. Think function and not always “what is in.” Chandeliers might make a statement but typically don’t provide enough light for a room.

    Here’s a not-so-surprising result: 44 percent of renovation jobs were for window/door replacement. This project is requires accuracy and the experience of a professional. It is worth the investment of having an experienced contractor complete the installation for you.

    Mother Nature causing property damage repairs make up 36 percent of remodeling jobs. Be sure that the materials used are of quality.

    Coming in at number five is entire house remodeling jobs. This was surprising! It’s such a large undertaking, yet a whopping 35 percent of jobs encompassed the whole home.

    Americans love the idea of a finished basement- 27 percent of renovation jobs were geared toward remodeling basements. Plan in advance for electronics to avoid unsightly wiring. Be sure not to cover up key access points such as water shut off valves, electrical panels, and other access points.

    Another job recommended not doing yourself is roofing which came in at number nine with 24 percent of jobs dedicated to this task.

    Lastly, the tenth most popular remodeling job is…installing siding! 23 percent of jobs included this work.

    We have it covered!

    Jeff’s Carpentry is skilled to help with all your renovation needs. Feel free to call us at (732) 851-5575 for any project or task needed for your home or office!

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