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Window and Door Drafts Affect Energy Efficiency

 

Frigid weather in Wisconsin is hard enough without having a draft around a window or a door that causes heat to escape. Drafts mean more heating expenses, and that can put a chill on your finances if you’re not careful. Improving energy efficiency is a must. The best option to improve this situation is to replace leaking windows and doors with energy-efficient products. According to the Department of Energy, heating costs are the most significant expense for homeowners and can be greatly reduced with proper insulation and quality windows and doors.

Not only that, but, Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report for 2017 claims an average ROI for replacement windows and doors is between 70-80% upon resale. There are some factors to consider when choosing new windows or doors such as frame type, glazing type, color, and energy performance rating.

 

What is The Energy Performance Rating?

 

The Energy Performance Rating is a regulated by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) who tests, rates, certifies and labels windows and doors based on their performance rating. Ratings for such things as the U-Factor are labeled and help to inform purchasers how energy efficient a product is. To learn more about the Energy Performance Rating, you can visit https://energy.gov/energysaver/windows-doors-and-skylights/energy-performance-ratings-windows-doors-and-skylights.

 

 

What types of windows are energy efficient?

 

Most traditional styles of a window are now energy efficient including awning, hopper, sliding, fixed, double-hung, and casement.  Each type must be installed appropriately and air sealed to prevent leakage and to ensure energy efficiency. How the window is installed depends on several factors such as the type of window, the construction type of the house ( brick, stone, wood, etc.), the exterior cladding, and any weather-restrictive barrier.

 

High Quality Contracting Inc. works with several vendors including custom window options so we can replace any window type that you may need.

 

What about storm windows? Will that help my bottom line?

 

Not really, unless your window is broken, missing glass or has a sever leak problem, a storm window is not made to reduce energy loss. Seeing significant annual savings on your energy bill is highly unlikely.

 

What types of doors are energy efficient?

 

Just as with windows, doors also receive an Energy Efficiency Rating that can help you choose the right product. Styles also vary widely and can be matched with the exterior design of your home to create a fabulous focal point.

 

If you are looking for expert advice on what type of windows or doors would be best for your home, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

 

      

 

Kitchen Remodeling Pays Off in 2018 with High ROI

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2018 kitchen remodeling ROI

The hub of every home is the kitchen. This is where the “magic” really happens with great lasagnas, roasts, taco Tuesdays, and family conversations. Investing in the central area of the home can be beneficial to your bottom line when considering resale as well as long-term use.
Kitchen remodeling in 2018 offers a range of excellent options to invest in that will bring a smile to everyone’s face.

Remodeling Magazine, a national magazine for remodeling experts, featured their 2017 Cost to Value Report for most remodeling projects and once again kitchen remodels showing a high ROI if 82% depending on the changes made, making it a great investment for your tax dollars this season.

Considering the significant return on investment along with the comforts it will bring, why wouldn’t you want to upgrade and improve your current kitchen? We have compiled a few exciting trends for the 2018 year to share with you for your home kitchen project.

kitchen cabinetsStorage Solution Cabinetry –

Cabinet manufacturers are changing the way they make cabinets look and function by including hydraulic, easy to close doors that close and fold up with a touch of a button. They also have engineered some pretty remarkable features into their cabinets including UBS sockets and charging stations, hidden dishwasher in a drawer, appliance garages, corner cabinets with a lazy Susan installed, tray storage cabinets, and warming drawers. The variety seems almost endless from the manufacturers and now is the time to try them out.

 

Two-Tone Cabinets-

For visual interest and contrast in your kitchen, you may want to contemplate two-toned kitchen cabinets. By using the two-tones cabinets, designers can create focal points on an island, create a cozy atmosphere with lower cabinets being darker, and contrast finishes as well as colors with stainless steel appliances.

 

Darker Floors-

Darker colored floors are in this year with lighter walls and cabinets. Products such as deep warm wood tones, slate flooring, dark tiles with accents and dark laminates are available.  Dark floors tend to work better in larger homes and homes with larger rooms and open floor plans. Although very beautiful, before jumping on the dark wood, we would not suggest there use in dwellings active with large dogs as they do show scratches more than the lighter shades. 

 

Samsung's Family Hub Smart Kitchens-

Technology has grown in every aspect of our world, and that includes the kitchen. New smart kitchens offer integrated technology that automates or makes life more manageable from faucets to appliances and lighting. The new products can be added to a new home as well as remodeling an older home.

  • Motion Sense-equipped kitchen faucets
  • Refrigerators that alert you when your grocery items are running low
  • Programmable coffee makers
  • Lights that can be controlled by your smartphone
  • A refrigerator that touts an HD touchscreen that can be used to search the internet, play music or shop for groceries (Samsung’s Family Hub ($3,300 approx. as of 2017).

 

Pet-Friendly Kitchen Spaces-

Keeping our pets’ safe as well as happy is always a concern, and in the kitchen, it can be a challenge. 2018 boasts some amazing kitchen renovations that will ensure the whole family is satisfied. where your pet’s bowls and food can be stored with ease and slid safely away un

The Feeding Station- Forget the random bowls forever being kicked over and making the kitchen an eyesore, introduced is the built-in feeding station until the next meal time.

  • Built-in Pet Beds – Pet beds can now be built into the underside of a kitchen island or side cabinet space to keep Fido’s bed tucked safely away.
  • Hidden Gate- If you are trying to keep your best friend safely away from the stove a kitchen gate is a perfect solution. Installing the gate so that it tucks easily away by sliding it into its place makes this a gate we can get behind.

2018 Bathroom Remodeling Trends

bathroom remodeling

 

Welcome to the latest and greatest bathroom remodeling trends for 2018 with a home bathroom remodel. Bathroom remodels historically are an excellent home investment with a high ROI. HGTV boasts in a 2017 article that the ROI on a bathroom can bring as much as 100% at resale. So, what do you have to lose?

Enjoy the great comforts of a beautiful and functional bathroom with some of the hottest bathroom trends for 2018!

Spa Showers-

Let it rain! Hand showers, body sprayers, and rain showerheads bring the latest in shower fixtures to your home. In an overall bathroom floor plan, increasing the square footage and adding a tiled shower which features a bench and nooks for comfort. The raining showerhead and other spa features can make each morning a bathroom dream to start your day off on the right foot. Image the elegance and simplicity of the space with the function of the rainforest. Now that’s living!

Individual Vanities-

Sharing is caring, except when it comes to bathroom space. Then it is each man/woman on their own. We all want our private areas to get ready, and individual vanities with sinks are the perfect way to share a master bath yet still keep your personal space. Avoid cluttering the countertops with plenty of storage for both of you. Outlets can be installed inside of drawers to keep the top clean and bright as well. There is a wide range of excellent vanities available that allow for individualized spaces.

heated flooringHeated Flooring-

Bare feet on a cold bathroom floor is never fun, so why not heat things up with heated flooring. There are a variety of products out now that range in price and features including anti-fungal properties. Electric in-floor heating mats installed under the tile are relatively inexpensive to run compared to forced air over the long run. There are two types of radiant floor heating systems including hydronic systems and electric radiant floors. Both work well under most conditions.

Tucked-Away Toilets-

Hot in 2018 is the tucked-away toilet. This is mainly placing the toilet behind a fogged glass, decorative screen, or half wall to allow for extra privacy. You do not need a lot of room to make your commode more private as even the smallest space can provide the required room. Also, do not worry that this will make your room seem claustrophobic as there are ways to create the feel without significant barriers.

Furniture Looking Cabinets-

Basic cabinetry has taken a new twist with pieces that contain sculpted legs, paneling and other unique features that create a furniture look rather than the traditional bathroom vanity. These pieces come in a variety of styles from very sophisticated to match an elegant theme to cute country themes.

Subtle Colors-

Invoke a feel of relaxation with neutral colors this season. Gone are the days of glaring or dark colors. Subtle colors do not mean boring by any means. Creating a fresh feel with tile arrangements, recycled glass, or metallic mosaics to spice it up.

vessel sinkVessel Sinks-

Vessel sinks are made from an array of materials such as glass, marble, tile and cast iron. They also are styled in a variety of shapes such as round, leaf, square, and more. The collection seems endless making the space a focal point of the room. Vessel sinks work exceptionally well with furniture looking cabinetry.

 

To get an estimate on your bathroom project for 2018, contact us here. 

 

 

Southeastern Wisconsin New Construction at Its Finest

In Southeastern Wisconsin, the top New Home Construction company is High Quality Contracting, Inc. 

We are licensed and insured with decades of experience behind us, you are guaranteed the best possible experience from planning to construction, our team of experts will work diligently to provide the best possible experience. 

Here are a few examples of recent projects from High Quality Contracting Inc. 

You will find everything from a standard home builds to a more elaborate build constructed deep in the country. 

Many of our customers return over and over again and recommend their friends because we go over and above to make sure this is the best possible experience. 

Our team of craftsmen possess creative and innovative ideas to help build the best possible home, garage, addition, or office space possible. 

If you are looking to build for the first time or the last, we are the team for you. 

Give us a call today at High Quality Contracting, Inc to schedule a consultation and hear what great ideas we have to help you along the way. 

Remember, High Quality Contracting Inc, Is Craftsmanship That You Can Trust!

Declutter Your Kitchen with a Charging Station

charging stations for the kitchen

A remodeled kitchen can be one of the best projects for your home and give you the highest in ROI. With Smartphones, computers, and tablets all being a large part of any homeowners’ daily routine, it would make sense to add a charging station to the hub of your home, the kitchen. 

Today’s modern cabinetry allows for contractors such as High Quality Contracting to add a level of convenience to your kitchen that we were not able to do in the past. Along with that, new outlets constructed to effectively power a USB are also available.  

Here are a few great decluttering power station ideas for your future kitchen project: 

  1. Tip-Out Drawers
    Depending on the configuration of your cabinets, you may have a space for a small tip-out drawer when a full depth drawer is not an option. This is often the case in front of a sink or built-in range. The are is usually small and can be used easily for this option, reducing the amount of space wasted. 
  2. USB Wall Outlet 
    If you’d rather add USB charging ports to your outlets than buy USB power adapters, the best option is to install them directly into the outlets in the kitchen. You will need to be aware of safety codes regarding outlets, however, there are many great options for USB Wall Outlets now that are functional, good looking and meet industry standards. 
  3. Full Depth Charging Drawers
    Placing a charging station inside a full depth drawer works well because the most devices that need to be charged (tablets, phones, laptops) are typically flat. Laying them inside a drawer means you don’t have to worry about them falling or getting anything spilled on them.  This is ideal to keep things out of sight as well as safe. 
  4. Under-Cabinet Outlets
    Charging holders combined with the under-cabinet outlets are semi-revolutionary and very helpful. You can install a charging holder for your iPad that will not only hold the iPad while you scan your list of Pinterest recipes but, you can easily charge the unit safely at the same time. 
  5. Shallow Cabinets
    Like the tip-out drawer, a shallow cabinet can be a great way to use a thin space left at the end of a larger cabinet. A simple cabinet with doors is generally a less expensive solution than drawers and offers plenty of functionality. Many times there is a small space that can be used for a small cabinet, and inserting the wiring for a charging station there will keep everything up out of the way and allow room where you need it most. 

These ideas are great for modern families on the go. If you can think of any other great ideas for a home charging station in your kitchen, please be sure to write us a note by contacting us on our Contact Form

Move Over Man Cave, Welcome the She Shed

she sheds

She Sheds are the latest in construction projects, that are bringing about a buzz among homeowners.

The man of the house has longed for the Man Cave for many years. You know the place where you and your buddies go to watch the games, have a few drinks and kick back without the interruption of the family.  Men have pretty well mastered the idea turning dens, garages, and basements into the ultimate male hideaways that include billiard areas, bars, recliners, work out areas, and the ever favored Theater Screen TV. 

Women across the country have decided it is now time for the men to move over and create a She Shed for their personal retreats. 

These areas started out as a simple shed turned into a place to read or work on hobbies and have now become objects of great craftsmanship and elegant beauty.  

She Sheds now have items such as:

  • Heated Units
  • Air Conditioning
  • Fully Carpeted, Wood Floors or Tile
  • Wide Open Windows and Secure Doors
  • Built-in Beds, Sofas, and Storage
  • Hobby Areas
  • Charming Patios
  • Electrical Outlets including USB Ports
  • Gardens and Green Roofing
  • Moats ( Yes some have moats around them with fish swimming) 
  • Lofts 

This is not an all-inclusive list and is limited only by our imaginations. 

Why get a She Shed?   

Just like a man, a woman would like a place to call her own and sit in private now and then. The stress from family, work, and responsibilities can drift away for a few hours each week relaxing in a spot all to herself. 

High Quality Contracting, Inc can help you design an amazing She Shed with all the bells and whistles attached. Our craftsmen are skilled and have a multitude of great ideas to make even a small space into the best possible getaway for her.