50 Shades of Remodeling

3 bids 150 Shades of Remodeling…well maybe not 50, although if you contacted 50 companies, you would see all the different shades of each company!

However, you’ve decided that you do want to redo your the “shades” of your home, whether it is your kitchen or bath, or even add on to the house. First question is “I wonder what something like this might cost”. So you call three (or more) contractors, which is what you have heard is a good idea; since if you don’t compare how will you know you have gotten the right deal? The three contractors come to your house and you discuss the project with all three. Here is where the process falls apart.

You have some idea of what you might want and you discuss this with contractor #1. He makes suggestions and adds to the idea. He leaves with his perception of what you want.

3 bids 2Contractor #2 comes over and you discuss the project with him. This time you offer a little more information because you are wiser from the discussion with #1. You may have also gotten some new ideas since you spoke to #1. #2 offers more ideas and different suggestions. He leaves with his perception of what you want.

Contractor #3 enters and now you have an even better idea of what you want. More discussion happens and as you might guess he has some new and different ideas. He leaves with his perception of what you want.

All three contractors know at this point that you want to, let’s say remodel the kitchen. This is where the possible apples to apples comparison stops. Unless you have given each contractor a plan delineating the exact project and a list of the exact materials to be used, you will receive three estimates on three different kitchens.

At this point, the three estimates are almost useless. What is useful is that you have met three contractors and have gotten some feel for who you like. Regardless of the estimates, if two of the three contractors made you a bit nervous do you want them in your house for a few weeks. Do you want to deal with them if you have a small issue with something in your project.

Houser 581You may also be thinking, but I’m going to ask for a line item breakout, this way I can definitely line up apples to apples. What you have to understand is that remodeling is not like going to the grocery store where you can pull out one item and it has a direct effect on the cost; it is more like the entire recipe, if you don’t have a main ingredient, the recipe fails. A good example is a built in frig. If you pull that out of your estimate and put in a freestanding frig, your cabinetry expense will change, your plumbing and electrical could possibly change and installation will definitely change; it’s like a domino effect.

Another factor that you must take in to account, not each company operates the same way, so if you’re thinking a line item break out is going to let you compare apples to apples, it won’t happen since you’re dealing with different companies run by different individuals all with different business models. Also, keep in mind if you’re getting that estimate for “free”, at some point you will in fact be paying for all the “free” estimates that the company has provided since at some point they have to earn the money for their time and travel expenses. The old adage, nothing is for free applies in this case!

DeWils Cabinets

Mehnert 60Many, many moons ago, we use to make our own cabinets for our clients. Rob wanted to have custom cabinets that lasted for our clients. Upon being at a Builder Expo they ran into a representative for DeWils Cabinets.

Upon meeting with the local representative and inspecting DeWils products. We decided to team up with DeWils. Now we have the beautiful, long lasting custom cabinets that we have been striving for from DeWils, and we can concentrate on making our clients beautiful spaces.

O Bathroom 6

Let me tell you a little bit about DeWils Cabinets and what makes them so special. DeWils started as a small family owned and operated cabinet company. Their commitment to quality craftsmanship and business integrity have never been compromised as they grew larger and larger.

They have several choices on what type of wood you want alder, bamboo, cherry, maple, hickory, knotty alder, mahogany, white oak, red oak and walnut. They have a wide variety of stains, glazes and paints for any kitchen or bath. They even have some distressing that they can do.

O'Neil 397What most cabinet companies use as add ons for their cabinets, come standard for DeWils, such as:

• Premium full extension and soft close hardware
• Extensive use of sustainable hardwoods
• Hand sanded and hand rubbed stains
• Plywood case construction
• Full adjustable ¾ inch plywood shelving

They use eco friendly materials for their cabinetry. They strive for a product that is healthy for your home and the planet.

The care and cleaning are pretty simple as well. So you’ll have long lasting beautiful cabinets for years to come.

O'Neil 134You can read more about DeWils Cabinets HERE.

If you would like more information, please email or give us a call and we will send you some more information about DeWils cabinets.

National Cancer Awareness Month

February is National Cancer Awareness Month. I knew there were several different types of cancers out there. As I was researching on what I should write for this month, I found the ribbons chart. It shows you what color ribbon is used for each cancer. It really puts things in perspective. The harder part is to realize there are more cancers out there than there are on this ribbon chart.

No matter your age, or what cancer it is, it’s scary to hear the words you have cancer. You never get answers fast enough to ease or fuel your fears.

For those who have survived, going through and lost the battle of cancer, we honor you with these ribbons. We hope with all our hearts that cures and preventatives are found so that no one will ever have to hear those three awful words “you have cancer”.

Cancer ribbons


Rob & Robin

Friday, January 16th, NTSFA held a Mission of Cocktails for the Cure to Raise Awareness and Funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The NTSFA held a silent auction with all proceeds donated to BCRF in honor of our very own Robin Burrill. Robin was diagnosed with Breast Cancer June 2014.

I wanted to share with you the write up that NTSFA did on the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Robin Burrill.

The mission of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation is to prevent and cure breast cancer by advancing the world’s most promising research.

BCRF is a nonprofit organization committed to achieving prevention and a cure for breast cancer. BCRF provides critical funding for cancer research worldwide to fuel advances in tumor biology, genetics, prevention, treatment, metastasis and survivorship.

Founded in 1993 by Evelyn H. Lauder, BCRF has raised more than half a billion dollars for lifesaving research. Through a unique and streamlined grants program, we seek out the brightest minds in science and medicine and give them necessary resources to pursue their best ideas. As a result, researchers are able to make discoveries and design new approaches to address all aspects of breast cancer – and do so in record time.

“Our goal is to accelerate the breakthroughs bringing us closer to a cure to speed up the progress that will improve survivorship and quality of life for breast cancer patients today.” – Myra J Biblowit, President & CEO

In 2014-2015, BCRF will award $47 million in annual grants to 222 scientists from top universities and medical institutions around the globe. Every hour of research we fund improves outcomes and saves lives. But we still have more to do.

The thousands of women and men suffering from breast cancer today depend on us. No institution can conquer this disease alone. Together, we can.

RobinRobin was born in the District of Columbia and grew up in Arlington, VA. Her parents moved her family to Austin right after her high school graduation. She attended North Texas State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Major in Interior Design and Minor in Industrial Technology. After practicing commercial interior design for a number of years, Robin went to work at EDS where she stayed for 15 years until she met her husband Rob Mathews.

Robin then moved from her North Dallas home to Fort Worth and after commuting for 2 years back and forth to Plano, she joined Rob full time in his design/build remodeling company, Curb Appeal Renovations, Inc. Robin heads up the design and administrative aspects of their business and they jointly sell for their company. Robin’s parents, brother and niece still live in Austin and her step daughter and fiancé live in Georgetown. Robin and Rob live in Keller, where Rob actually graduated from High School, with their seven dogs!

Drought Stages

May Showers 1What Happens With No April Showers?

Remember the old silly saying, April showers bring May flowers? Thought it was fitting for our first blog in May.

Most of us, if not all of us in Texas are seeing some drought concerns. Many cities have been in a Stage 1 water restriction since late 2013 as we have not been getting the needed rainfall. Lake Lewisville has islands in areas that were common for boats to cut across and I’m afraid that we will see a lot of closed boat ramps and docks before summer arrives. We went scouting for boat storage up around Lake Texoma since it looks like Lewisville is out for wakeboarding, and found out that Dallas is already buying water from Lake Texoma.

I decided to look up the Stages of water restrictions because I see it all the time, signs in cities, on the news, but I never really knew how many stages there were or what they meant. If I don’t know, then maybe others don’t know.

Middle of lake Island

There are 5 different drought stages. They may be a little different for each city and I found descriptions of these on the Corpus Christie city website. You should always check your city’s website to see what restriction you have and what you need to do to stay within those restrictions. When the stages increase, fines are added to your water bill!

Stage 1 is a mild water shortage condition. The restrictions consist of limited yard watering and to start practicing water conservation such as discontinuing non essential water use.

Stage 2 is moderate water storage condition. There is more restrictions on yard watering. There will be no washing of motor vehicles except on designated watering days, and when washing it must be with a bucket of water or hose with a shut off nozzle. There will be no filling of any indoor/outdoor pools except on designated watering days. Operation of ornamental fountains of ponds is prohibited unless it us supporting aquatic life.

Stage 3 is a severe water. The same restrictions as Stage 2 apply. Constructions sites can no longer use water for dust control. Fees may be charged if you are over the monthly allocation.

Stage 4 is critical water shortage. All of the same restrictions for Stages 2 and 3. Irrigation of landscape, washing of motor vehicles, and filling pools is prohibited. Foundation watering by hand or drip irrigation with shut off only.

Stage 5 is emergency water shortage. All of the same restrictions for Stages 2, 3, and 4. Irrigation of landscaping and washing of motor vehicles are absolutely prohibited. Associated use of water not related to business processes terminated.

These descriptions came off the Corpus Christie website, so it may be a little different for each city. Be sure you know what your water restrictions are to avoid penalties and conserve water!