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Pros and Cons of Gas and Wood Burning Fireplaces

As temperatures fall in the Kansas City area and daylight hours grow short, many homeowners are lighting up their fireplaces for added warmth and comfort. And those who aren't, are busy making plans to install a fireplace of their very own to help get them through the freezing months ahead.

When choosing which fireplace to install during your autumn renovation, it's important to keep in mind the pros and cons of the two most common types:

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Gas
Popular in most modern homes, gas fireplaces are an easy way to instantly warm your home. Gas fireplaces are great because of their ease of use (in most cases you can flip a switch and see a flame in seconds), the beauty of their realistic fires, as well as their overall efficiency (the logs are made of ceramic, and eliminate the need or waste of real wood). However, gas fireplaces can become costly due to their need for certain fuel that can often run out when used regularly throughout a bitter Midwestern winter season.

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Wood Burning
Traditional and rustic, wood burning fireplaces have been the norm for homes throughout centuries. Fireplaces that burn real wood are highly regarded thanks to the old-time ambiance they spread throughout a home, as well as giving you the choice of which wood to burn (different types burn at different speeds with varying scents). Wood burning fireplaces are also great because, unlike their gas counterparts, they require no electricity and will keep your home comfortable and warm even if the power goes out during one of Kansas City's notorious ice storms. However, while great for a number of reasons, wood burning fireplaces do require more upkeep to maintain, and additional work due to their need for real wooden logs.

No matter the type of fireplace you choose to install, Total Home Remodeling can help you find a style that fits your home and budget. Together with our friends at Fire Place and BBQ Center, our remodeling experts will have your house warmed up with a top-notch gas or wood burning fireplace this fall, that you can enjoy all winter long.

For more information on your fireplace options, visit Total Home Remodeling today.

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FAQ: Do I Need a Bathtub in My House?

The most traditional way to bathe for centuries, bathtubs have often been thought of as a staple of American homes. However, with the convenience and efficiency of showers growing in popularity, many homeowners are considering getting rid of their tubs altogether. After all, does your home really need a bathtub?

While ditching your tub can save space and give your home a modern feel, there are several reasons why your bathroom renovation should include keeping your bathtub. A few arguments for holding onto that old tub or even installing a new one include:

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Resale Value

Even though you may not be an avid tub user, the next person looking to buy your house from you might. In the same way that painting every room in your home lime green affects your resale value, eliminating a bathtub from your floor plan can be dangerous to your house's worth.

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 Versatility

Tubs are useful for more than just your daily dose of cleanliness. In fact, the basin of your tub is incredibly versatile and can be used for washing down several children at once, giving a good cleaning to bulky household items like laundry baskets or plastic shelves, and even hosing off the family dog.

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Luxury

There's nothing quite like coming home after a long day at work, and reading a good book while surrounded by suds. While not always the most practical or efficient way to bathe, bathtubs offer a sense of luxury and relaxation that showers simply don't.

While you may not use it every day, or even every week, a bathtub is an important piece of your home. Consider how a tub will increase both your home's function and value, and don't forget to make it a staple of your next bathroom remodel.

For more information on bathroom and tub remodels, visit Total Home Remodeling today.

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Grand Entrances Set The Tone for the Remodel

This has to be the best front entry we have created. It set the tone for the huge kitchen remodel we did at the same time.  

 Sarah Terranova Photography, Total Home KC Sarah Terranova Photography, Total Home KC

The choice of patterned carpet draws even more attention the stature of the staircase. Every detail was carefully chosen, to assure that the entry starts to unfold the story of the other complete main floor of this remodeled home. 

Looking through each doorway, you catch a glimpse of a well thought out space that compliments the room you are in.  

Looking through each doorway, you catch a glimpse of a well thought out space that compliments the room you are in.  

 Sarah Terranova Photography, Total Home KC Sarah Terranova Photography, Total Home KC
 Sarah Terranova Photography, Total Home KC Sarah Terranova Photography, Total Home KC

A neutral color palette lends to a feel of comfortable. The wood floor, and marble counters captures the full home palette, with colors in browns, creams, and grays. When it came to main family room space, we carried through neutrals, and then popped in cool blue hues.

 Sarah Terranova Photography, Total Home KC Sarah Terranova Photography, Total Home KC

Looking up is sight to see! The ceiling detail added a traditional home feel to the space. We aimed to create a home that invited guests to feel like they could come and relax in warmth of the architecture.

 Sarah Terranova Photography, Total Home KC Sarah Terranova Photography, Total Home KC

The dining room is anything but fussy.  Modern clean lines chairs pair well with the farmhouse curves of the dining table. In another design twist, the chandelier casts a more traditional glow on the whole space. A successful melding of three distinct decor styles are blended to make one stunning space. 

We will always look back at this remodel,  and be proud of the way that the spaces flow so seamlessly. We love it when a plan comes together! Stay tuned for more Kansas City remodels that make us say, “YES please”.   

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FAQ: How Can I Warm Up My Home this Fall?

Fall is in full swing in the Kansas City metro, and that means chilly nights aren't far behind. While fall is a beautiful season full of color, bonfires, and haunted houses that make you scream like a child, this season is also notorious for teeth-chattering wind chills that can leave you shivering even inside of your own home.

With the threats of a Midwestern winter ahead, chances are, you are scrambling to warm up your home before the season hits in full effect. Luckily for you, warming up your home this autumn can be simple.

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Seal Your Siding
Before ice storms become the norm, take advantage of a nice fall weekend to repair or replace any damaged siding on your home. Not only will new siding give your home the welcoming warmth of polished style, but secured siding will help to physically keep the warm air your furnace makes from escaping, leaving your home warm and comfortable for the dipping degrees ahead.

 Sarah Terranova Photography, Total Home KC Sarah Terranova Photography, Total Home KC

Put on a Coat (of Paint)
While it won't necessarily warm up your home by degrees, a new coat of paint in your living room or kitchen will help liven up your space for the chilly season to come. Opt for neutral tones like brown or cream to help incorporate rustic flair to your house that is both a current interior design trend, and an easy way to add much-needed metaphorical warmth to your home.

 Sarah Terranova Photography, Total Home KC Sarah Terranova Photography, Total Home KC

Light a Fire

Nothing says fall quite like a crackling fireplace, so light it up and revel in its guaranteed warmth in the months to come. Whether gas or wood, your fireplace will not only give your living room heat to enjoy, but it will also set a comforting warm tone for when you have friends and loved ones over to gather at your house this autumn.

Just because temperatures are dropping doesn't mean that you need to settle for mittens and scarves. With just a few adjustments to your home, you can warm up your space in more ways than one all season long.

To learn more about warming up your home this fall, visit Total Home Remodeling.

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3 Tips for Making the Most of Your Remodel

The time has finally come. No, we're not talking about football season - we're talking about the time to take the plunge and start your remodeling project.

Big, small, indoor, or outdoor, starting a remodeling project can be a daunting task, but that doesn't mean it has to be difficult. In fact, here are three simple ways to make the most out of your home project:

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Choose the Right Project

The first step of any home project is to decide on what you will be doing. Easy enough, right? When choosing which project to tackle in your house, just remember to be mindful of what you really need done, versus what you simply want done. Planning on adding a cinema screen to your basement? That’s great – just make sure any essential projects like leaking windows or cracked siding are completed first. By choosing the right project, you'll be able to get your remodel off to a stellar start.

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Get Involved with the Vision
You're the one who will have to live in your home once the remodel is done, so get involved with the planning process to make sure you are getting out of it what you want. Do the shower dimensions look wrong? Is that paint color a little too purple for your tastes? Speak up and help lead the project every step of the way so that you can guarantee an end result you'll love.

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Partner with a Professional
One of the best ways to make the most of whatever home project you choose to tackle is to hire a professional. By partnering with an expert like Total Home Remodeling, you will not only get industry-leading advice, but you will also receive construction you can trust. Remodelers like Total Home Remodeling will make sure your project is completed with top-quality standards, and will help you tackle every design challenge you face from day one, giving you the freedom to rest easy knowing your project is in worthy hands.

Don't waste your time with half-tackled projects and instead make the most of your remodel with careful planning, execution, and professional help. When you make the effort now, your finished remodel with thank you for years to come.

To learn more about making the most of your remodel, visit Total Home Remodeling today.

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Design Choices Make the Bathroom

In the process of remodeling, design selections make for  a beautifully remodeled space. Unique choices of color, shape, and materials can take a builder grade space, and make it a home to remember.  

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This space isn't huge, but style wise, it makes a BIG statement. The subtle blue gray paint color of the cabinets really makes them the focal point of the bathroom. Keeping the wall color neutral, creates an over all feel of simplicity. Feeling clean and refreshed is the outcome we are looking for. 

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Tile selection is neutral as well. Keeping with the darkest color values being the sink counter, and the cabinets. The long cabinet pull draws your attention to the custom cabinets. Cean liner lines remind us of modern hotels. Luxurious details like those, up the style game! 

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Another little detail with a strong impact is the niche in the shower. The choice to have it done in contrasting tile, make for a rich custom look. 

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Keeping with the modern feel, the faucet and shower surround are brushed nickel. Even, the towel hook was carefully chosen to hang by the sink, and speak to a transitional modern style.  

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That marble choice really made the marble the show stopper. Brown is not used as frequently in remodels, but after seeing this combo, we can see that it should be. The warmth of the brown stone feels inviting. 

What a difference was made in this bathroom! Contact us today to discuss the remodel dreams we can make a reality. 

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Natural Appeal Bathroom Remodel Take 2

Not all remodel jobs call for a complete demolition of the space. Sometimes, all a customer really needs is some color changes, and strategic updates.  

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ThIs remodel, we foundly refer to as Natural Appeal, needed just that. A natural clean palette of color, and some fixture updates. We had already completed a master bathroom shower overhaul, so The homeowner opted to keep the second bathroom renovation simpler.  

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The original cabinetry remained, and was  given an updated painted finish. The decision was made to set the tone for the bathroom by using a soothing taupe color. We are always open to keeping items that still function well, and save the homeowners money. With this bathroom, that meant keeping the nice large mirror. 

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Of major importance in the style, and quality departments was the bathtub tile. The smaller retangular cuts of the tile really gave the tan color some interest. We were shooting for simple, yet interesting. 

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We chose to carry the tile up in to the window well, to add architectural interest. An added bonus is the water resistant ledge that is provided by tiling it. It makes for a nice niche to decorate.  

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Keeping with the natural look, we opted to keep the original wooden doors and trim. They meld well with the warmer tans and beige colors of the painted surfaces. 

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Very simple 12X12 light tan porcelain tiles make the space appear open and clean. The slightly pinker beige wallcolor is a subtle contrast to the more yellow beige cabinet color. In keeping with all neutral tans, the space feels more tranquil. The ivory white marble counters throw a slight tan color vein throughout the slab. Chosen for their visual appeal, and functionality, the faucets were upgraded to new bolder chrome fixtures. The contrast of the cool silver metal pops nicely against the warm tans in the  counter, and wall color. 

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Overall this space is now fresh, clean, and welcoming. A pleasant bathroom to prep for the homeowners busy day. We love it a when a renovation stays within a very responsible budget, and comes out looking like a much higher costing renovation. 

 

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FAQ: When Should I Replace My Windows

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FAQ: When Should I Replace My Windows

While you stare out of them every day watching the sunrise or trying to figure out what in the world your neighbors are doing, your home's windows are an often overlooked aspect of your house. In fact, many homeowners in the Kansas City area are living behind windows that desperately need replaced.

But how do you know when your windows should be replaced?

While timing varies depending on households and the damage severity of the structure, you should consider replacing your windows:

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 When You Want to Increase Energy Efficiency 

As windows age, they lose their ability to be energy efficient. Because of gaps in stripping and other flaws that form with time, windows start to lose air to the outside, causing your heating and cooling system to have to work harder to keep your home comfortable. When you notice an increase in your electrical bill because of this, you need to consider replacing your windows.

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 When the Window Leaks

Midwestern storms are crazy enough as they are without the frustration of leaking windows. Not only is a leaking window annoying, but the water can cause serious damage to walls, floors, and any other piece of your home that the leakage touches. To eliminate these threats, replace your leaking window as soon as possible.

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 Every 25 Years

Even if your windows appear to be in top shape after more than two decades, it is best practice to replace them every 25 years. Of course, this timeframe depends greatly on the placement of your windows (structures in the West side of your home will need replaced more often due to heavy sun exposure), this number is a good rule of thumb to ensure your home remains in peak condition.

While replacing the glass in your window or tending to the frame can help prolong the life of your structure, it is best to always replace your windows before damage gets too out of hand to ensure that no further problems are spread to other aspects of your home, and to help keep your home looking and functioning at its absolute best.

To learn more and to start replacing the windows on your home, visit Total Home Remodeling today.

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Benefits of Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

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Benefits of Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

Like many homeowners in the Kansas City area, you may think that Remodeling your home is the perfect DIY project to tackle this fall. Replacing your house's siding or retiling the master bathroom can't be that hard, can it?

Stop right there.

Diving into major home projects without the help of remodeling experts can have disastrous outcomes. At best, taking on a tricky project can end with your home in rougher shape than before, and even worse, gives your spouse the freedom to harp "I told you so" for the next decade.

Before you start demoing your home with grandpa's trusty old sledgehammer, consider these benefits of hiring a remodeling contractor to help with your home project:

 Sarah Terranova Photography, Total Home KC Sarah Terranova Photography, Total Home KC

Expert Advice
Sure, you may think that shiplap looks good now, but an expert remodeler will be able to show you the difference between a flashy trend, and a design choice that will give your home the lasting, classic aesthetic it deserves. Remodeling contractors will be able to help you choose the best plan for your home, while giving you the freedom to pick and choose from a slew of proven designs and stylish patterns that will increase the overall value of your home.

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Professional Execution
Nothing is more frustrating than installing tile only to find that one is crooked, or getting splashes of red paint on your classic white crown molding. When you hire a professional to do your remodeling project, these amateur mistakes will instantly be eliminated, and your project will be completed with the kind of flawless execution that lasts for years to come.

 Sarah Terranova Photography, Total Home KC Sarah Terranova Photography, Total Home KC

Quality Guarantee
When you hire a remodeling contractor, you are guaranteeing that your project gets done right the first time. Your siding will be insulated with the best possible technology, your bathroom faucets will be installed securely, and even the small things like the hardware on your kitchen cabinets will be fastened with optimal care. By working with a professional, your remodeling project will be completed with the upmost care that is often overlooked during a panicked DIY remodel.

Step away from your project, put down that sledgehammer, and call the experts at Total Home Remodeling. Our team of professionals is standing by and ready to help you design and execute your project in a way that is guaranteed to add style and value to your home.

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Unused Attic to Flexible Living Space

Sometimes you just need to look up to find your new living space. These homeowners did just that. When we got called in to take a look at this home, we saw beyond an unused attic space, and visualized their dreams of a comfortable gathering space. 

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Maximizing the feel of the space that they could truly live in was key in this remodel. Cost vs value was important to this family. We had to see if this additional living space would actually return the value of the remodel. That is really key to any remodel. When your home goes to sell, we hope you to get a return on your investment. 

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Sky lights were a essential part of this remodel. The support beams added architectural interest, as well as structural support. The choice to keep to keep the ceiling area light and bright white, excentuates the tall vault. 

It is a great perspective to look back at the thought, and care taken in devising the floor plan. With locating the stairs where we did, we assured that your first step into the room, sets you up to enjoy this well lit space. This is not a cramped additional space squeezed in to an attic. This is just as free and spacious as a vaulted main floor living space. 

It is a great perspective to look back at the thought, and care taken in devising the floor plan. With locating the stairs where we did, we assured that your first step into the room, sets you up to enjoy this well lit space. This is not a cramped additional space squeezed in to an attic. This is just as free and spacious as a vaulted main floor living space. 

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Warm tan brown walls feel soothing and inviting. We kept the layout linear to allow for furnishings to be oversized, and seat the most guests comfortably.  

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We were happy to deliver a space that the homeowners will be eager to invite friends over to share in. Let us know how we can help you transform underutilized space in your home! 

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