Home Renovation



As part of the full services I offer to my clients, I have also engaged and developed a relationship with one of the premier home re-modelers and builders in the area, Jensen Custom Homes.

Jensen Custom Homes has specialized in high-end home building and remodeling. They have an impeccable reputation and are a Street of Dreams “Best of Show” award winning builder. Their quality is second to none and the relationships they maintain with their clients for years after the work is completed is a testament to the outstanding relationships they nurture during the remodeling and construction process.

Matt Jensen is the President of Jensen Custom Homes and Matt has over 25 years of building experience. Jon Lienert is the CFO and he has over 20 years of business experience and 10 years of construction experience. Matt and Jon make a great team as they complement each other and are able to handle any client need.

I strongly encourage my clients to consider Jensen Custom Homes when looking for expertise to evaluate a home’s condition prior to purchase (expert consultant) or for remodeling or additions of any kind. You will be very pleased with the outcome!

Remodeling Tips

Preparing for a remodeling project is a lot like preparing to buy a car. You may know the room and style you want, but the options you choose may drive the price higher than you can reasonably afford. But there are ways to stretch the modeling budget and end up with stylish results within it.

Getting Started

  • The most important step is finding a professional remodeling contractor for your job
  • Hire a professional contractor who is familiar with the building codes in your area (Updating work that does not meet code can be extremely expensive)
  • A well–written contract can prevent costly mistakes or additions to the scope of your project It is a critical step in maintaining your budget
  • Save money by planning ahead. Go through the design process first and choose everything you want to include in the new room(s), from appliances to light fixtures, etc. This will define your budget and prevent hasty (and costly) decisions later in the project. Be sure to include all your product and material selections in the contract to avoid confusion and unnecessary change orders. Include the model, size, color, and other specifications. It is also wise to save 10–20 percent of your budget to allow for items added to the scope of work
  • The number one way to decrease the cost of your remodeling project is product choices. Look around to determine whether you can achieve a similar look with a less expensive product
  • In addition, pay attention to how labor intensive some design features may be, for example laying ceramic tile on kitchen counter-tops and the back-splash
  • Compare products and their prices carefully before you make final decisions. And keep an open mind when you discuss product and design ideas with your contractor
  • Make decisions based on value and quality, not just price
  • Think about staging the work being done to minimize the initial financial impact. It is often easier to create a more manageable budget by starting small and adding to the project at a later date. This will break the work into several jobs instead of one large project. The downside of staging a remodel is that you may end up paying more in the long run

General Remodeling Tip

General Remodeling Tips

  • Be creative. There are often multiple solutions to accomplish a design objective, some more expensive than others. Discuss various options with your contractor
  • If all the room really needs is a face lift, make the most of changes with paint, as opposed to structural changes. Changing the color of a room can revitalize it. This is the easiest way to bring life to a room on a budget
  • Heavy or textured wallpaper can work wonders as well. You can save money by wallpapering a slightly damaged wall rather than replacingit. If the wall has grass cloth wallpaper on it, consider white washing it for a totally new look. Several layers of whitewash (in various shades of white) produce a clean, sophisticated look in any room
  • Faux finish painting or other textured decorative painting techniques also can hide minor damage or irregularities that flat paint won’t
  • Attempt to keep windows in their existing places during a remodeling project. Moving windows is nota cost–saving endeavor

Finding Space

  • Creating more space can be a big budget buster. Once you add squarefootage to a home, the price increases significantly. One alternative is to borrow space from a neighboring room (called space reconfiguration). A great place to steal space for a bathroom expansion is from the linen closet. You can make up some of the lost storage by finding small spaces inbetween wall studs for small niches or built–in shelves
  • You can also try borrowing space with optical illusions. There are many ways to make a small room appear larger. To transform a small bath, install a bow window or a skylight. Vaulted ceilings can be a nice touch, too
  • If you are going to expand outside the existing home, consider a small bump out of two to four feet. This may allow you to cantilever the floor joists and eliminate the need forexcavation and foundation. If possible, be careful not to extend beyond the roofline, which might require a new roof line to your job
  • Whenever you are adding on new space to a home, have a heating/cooling contractor determine whether your existing heating/air conditioning system can accommodate and heat/cool the extra space.If the heating/cooling system is damaged, you will be forced to replace the existing units

In The Kitchen

  • If it makes sense, re-use existing appliances, and build your new cabinets around them. This could save you anywhere from $1,500–5,000 easily.However, be aware that appliances, like anything electrical, are sensitive to change and may develop problems if they are moved. Should you decide to avoid potential appliance “burn–out” and purchase new appliances, choose energy conscious models fora reduction in your utility bills
  • Maintain present location of major fixtures, appliances and utilities relative to the plumbing, gas and electrical outlets. This could even apply to the location of the telephone. Moving plumbing, wiring and jacks can be extremely expensive
  • The faucet can be a costly item. The least expensive selection is chrome. Even a high-end chrome faucet is considerably less than a mid-range brass or porcelain version. A standard two-handle faucet generally costs less than singlehandle. Faucets and handles are sold separately, so you may want to choose a chrome faucet with brass or porcelain handles for a different look. Faucet caution: The price variances in faucets reflect the various internal and external features. Always choose a faucet with replaceable internal parts. You won’t want to have to replace the entire faucet if it breaks–it’s simply not cost-effective

In the Bathroom

  • Examine how you are utilizing space. You may be able to steal some space from a neighboring room or closet. If your overall space is limited, purchase a jetted tub and shower combination or install a pedestal lavatory instead of a vanity cabinet with a sink. Understand that while pedestal lavatories do eliminate the need for vanities and save space, some models may cost more than a separate vanity cabinet and sink.
  • Define what is truly needed in the bathroom. Sometimes an extra bath is planned when installing a double sink in an existing bath would meet the need.
  • If you are going to add a large jetted tub to your project, consider adding a water heater dedicated to that tub. A large jetted tub can hold up to an average of 75 gallons or more, which can easily over extend your existing water heater and cause problems in the future.
  • When revamping yesterday’s bathroom to fit with today’s homeowners’ expectations for luxury, homeowners can familiarize themselves with the latest options in home spa advancements. One such indulgence is an electric warming system beneath your new stone or tile floor