Bathtub vs. Shower: Who's Winning in 2018 by Keith Moehle

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“Do I really need a bathtub in my house?” That is a question a lot of homeowners are asking nowadays.

Traditionally, 1 tub in a home been the standard, but many people are now opting for just 1 or no bathtubs at all! In 2018, more and more people and are choosing showers over bathtubs but it can still be a struggle for homeowners to confidently decide to let go of the bathtub altogether.

We want to try and make the decision easier for you by compiling a pros and cons list when deciding on bathtubs vs. showers. Let’s get started!

Bathtubs Pros:

  • Some people prefer to bath babies in a bathtub rather than a sink.
  • You can soak
  • You may have a desire to have a bath every now and then

Bathtubs Cons:

  • Losing popularity in past years
  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Dangerous to step in and out of tub
  • Requires lots of water
  • A risk of drowning
  • Higher risk of scalding since you are right underneath the faucet
  • Texture in the bathtub makes it easy to slip
  • Worse resell value vs. shower

Showers Pros:

  • Popular in 2018
  • Uses less water
  • Better texture. So, it’s more slip-resistant compared to a bathtub
  • Better Resell Value vs. bathtub
  • You can create a bench in the shower
  • Easy access for people with mobility issues
  • Babies can get showered with a handheld

Shower Cons:

  • Unable to soak
  • Unable to take a bath
  • Not practical for people with small children

In 2018, having no bathtubs will not hurt the resale value of your home! Nowadays, it is best to invest in a nice walk-in shower which can accommodate anyone with mobility issues and small children!

The Best Advice to Control those Rats & Mice by Keith Moehle

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When it’s cold outside all you want to do is stay warm under your covers, put on a movie and have a snack. Unfortunately, the rats and mice in your area have the same idea and want to come join the party.

Rodents cause a billion dollars in damage every year in North America. They can create countless problems for you and your home including your AC units, carpentry, insulation. They can also be the cause of water damage and can even lead to a house fire if they chew through your electrical wires. It’s hard to think these are only a few of the problems rodents can cause for homeowners.

We want you to know how to avoid rodents altogether. 

Thanks to Chance Taywater from Truly Nolen we have some steps you can take to keep these animals out of your house! That way you can keep your focus on warm blankets and movies during cold Winter days, instead of worrying about little critters playing house in your home.

How to keep rodents out:

  • Take a walk around your house looking for any holes or cracks. A mouse can get through a dime-sized hole and a rat can get through a quarter sized hole. Rodents are extremely flexible, so you have to be attentive when looking for entryways into your home.
  • Properly check your garage. The gaskets on your garage may not be compressing the seal properly which will leave room for mice and rats to come in. The best way to test this is to turn off the lights in your garage and see how much sunlight is coming in. If you can see a lot of sunlight you may have a problem.

How to detect if there is a rodent in your home:

  • Check in the kitchen for any bread eaten
  • Check for any feces on the countertops or floors.
  • Rodents build up grease on their bodies, so look for any grease on the floor which can vary from light brown, brown or black grease that will attract dirt. This will can also show you the pathways they usually travel in your house.
  •  A water leak can actually be from a rodent chewing through a PVC pipe and not a roof leak.

If you need to check out a possible rodent problem in your home call our friends at Truly Nolen!

You can check them out on their website or give them a call at 210-651-1720! 

 

Cost vs. Value: Mid-Range Bathroom by Keith Moehle

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So you want to remodel your bathroom, but you’re not sure of the Cost vs. Value of the project.

I have good news for you…the smart people at Harvard University put out a study every year on real estate markets and remodeling costs across the country every year and we are going to break it down for you and show you the true numbers in San Antonio.

San Antonio and Austin were included in this study because they are growing markets. The remodeling industry will continue to explode in the next decade, because of these hot markets!

But we all want to know what the Cost vs. Value will be when investing in a remodeling project. So, we will compare San Antonio to Austin because it is more consistent with the upper-end houses in San Antonio.

Let's breakdown what Harvard University considers a mid-range bathroom remodel to be.

Mid-Range Bathroom Remodel (5 x 7) Includes:

  • Replacing all fixture
  • Include a 30x60 in porcelain steel tub with 4x4 ceramic tile surround
  • New single temperature and pressure balance shower control
  • Standard white toilet
  • Solid surface (usually cultured marble) vanity counter with interval sink
  • Recessed medicine cabinet with light
  • Ceramic tile floor
  • Vinyl wallpaper

Harvard University’s study indicates that it will cost an average of $17k for this type of remodel.  This is around the right price because mid-range bathroom remodels typically begin in the mid-upper teens.

They put the cost vs. value in San Antonio at 96% and in Austin at 84%.

Keep in mind that the cost vs. value percentages are if you sell your home the very next day. If you are staying in your house for at least 5 years, you will make up your investment in the remodel because inflation is continuing to rise.

Keith would be happy to come to your house and give you a free estimate and talk about the cost vs. value of your future remodeling projects!

Call us at (210) 680-5626 to set up your consultation!

Let in Natural Light with Sola-Lite by Keith Moehle

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Natural lighting. It’s something that every homeowner wants, but it isn’t always a reality... or is it? 

You may find dark spaces all over your house…from closets, to hallways, to the kitchen and everything in between. Windows can be an expensive investment and sometimes that isn’t a solution to closed off areas in your home.

That’s where Sola-Lite comes into play to illuminate your home.

Sola-Lite brings in natural sunlight into any dark rooms in your home. They are able to do this by using ray bender technology through a small rooftop dome sunlight. So, if the sun hits the sunlight dome (no matter the angle) the “ray bending” technology will bend the ray which brings sunlight into the Sola-Lite tube into any area of your home.

BEFORE Sola-Lite

BEFORE Sola-Lite

AFTER Sola-Lite

AFTER Sola-Lite

The sunlight rays come into the Sola-Lite tube in two parts:

1)    Light rays: These travel through the tube to lighten up the darkest rooms in your house

2)    Heat rays: The heat rays will travel through the reflective coating of the tube and travel upwards. So, if you put your hand on the bottom of the tube it wouldn’t have any heat.

The tubes are flexible, bendable and can run up to 40 feet! So, you can get to any room in the house easily while placing the sunlight dome in an aesthetically pleasing spot on your roof. Installation typically only takes one day and our friends at Sola Light Texas offer a 5-year labor warranty and 10-year manufacturer warranty.

Sola-Lite is: 

  • Leak proof
  • Requires NO structural reframing
  • Requires NO tunneling
  • Requires NO drywall
  • Requires NO painting
  • Typically takes only 2 hours to install

Sola-Lite also provides a solar-powered moon-lit glow during the night which qualifies the product for a 30% TAX CREDIT!

That way you don't have to turn on every light in the house when you’re getting a snack from the kitchen or have to take a trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Sola-lite will allow you to: 1) Save money on your energy bill, 2) Help the environment, 3) Lighten your house during the day and night!

We use it here are KM Builders and you can contact them directly to lighten up your already beautiful home. Installation only takes a few hours! 

So call our friend, Sean Bean today at (210) 764-7652 or visit their website!

Ways to Save on Your Remodeling Project in San Antonio by Keith Moehle

Ways to Save on Your Remodeling Project

Many people watch the DIY network and reality shows like Fixer Upper (I know you love Chip and Jo!) or Love It or List It. When watching these shows, many people see themselves, they see their home (current or dream home) and think: "Wow! I can totally do this myself!" I mean it’s called the DIY Network, right?? "Cmon Honey! Let’s tackle this over the weekend!" 

Maybe you can do it all! We applaud you because the majority of folks simply cannot perform at that skill or patience level! If you’re one of the majority and can’t do all of the DIY’s, maybe you can do part of it. But which part? If I’m hiring a contractor in San Antonio, which part will save me the most money but are still doable?

FIRST work with a local San Antonio remodeler before starting anything! A good remodeler will give you tips on which part of the project you can easily tackle. He will also instruct you on how to do this project correctly! 

Demolition is probably the easiest thing to tackle! We can give you some tips on how to do it safely and how it can save some money.! Doing your own demo might not save as much as you think but, hey...every little bit helps.

One question we get asked a lot is "Do you have to have a license to do DIY in San Antonio?." The answer is NO! But the work does need to be done up to code and get inspected. If it is not done correctly you will have to either figure out how to fix it or hire a contractor (which you could’ve done in the first place).

IF you are going to go through with doing the demo, here are a few tips: 

  1. Get appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  2. Do lead and asbestos testing. These are serious health hazards and can be found in the most random places like glue in the vinyl flooring. 
  3. Have the whole plan lined out! We can help you with this. We don’t want you to end up doing things that will end up costing more in the future.

Here are some other ways to save:

  1. Do your own clean up. This could save you $300 to $500 right there. Again, every little bit can help.
  2. Consider alternative products. You don’t have to buy marble or travertine. With modern technology, there are similar products that look exactly the same for less and actually out-perform the originals.
  3. Do your own painting. We can guide you thru the process to do a good job. This one will actually save you a good chunk of money!
  4. Moving out of your house during the project. On a big project this will definitely save you money. The contractor can move a lot faster with the home owner out of the house.

What if I buy the material? It’s on sale right now so I might as well snatch it up, right? NOPE! There will always be sales! We highly recommend not buying your own material for the following reasons:

  1. The material you are buying may not be the quality you need for this type of project.
  2. It may not be the product you would use for this project. For example, the tile that you see isn’t made for water but you want it to go in the shower. Another common example is that this tile has glass in it and it will end up showing the grout underneath. It will completely change the look of the tile and you won’t like it.
  3. A lot of times the contractor will be able to buy these materials at the same discount you see or EVEN BETTER.
  4. If you buy them, you are responsible for the material now. You must store them; you must deal with the leftover product or locate more if you didn’t buy enough.  Obtaining the same material and dye lot might not be possible, leaving you with unprofessional results!

Another thing you don’t want to do is refurbish cabinets that aren’t worth saving. Painting stain-grade cabinets will not give the same quality results that a paint-grade cabinet will.  And if you're putting too much into cabinets like that or that have poor hinges, hardware and drawer guides  or out of style doors you may just be putting lipstick on a pig! Just not worth it!