Should I use a Custom Carpenter or buy from a Box Store

With any home improvement or remodeling project part of the decision-making process is the cost associated with the different products utilized as part of the build. Over the last few years, we at Samanco construction have seen this become a rather contentious subject as a large portion of a home remodeling project is the availability for, and quality of, the cabinets, trim work and mantle pieces; just to name a few. Box stores have been providing prefabricated materials for years, so as the quality of these prefabricated box store items have become better; the question comes into play…

“Should I utilize the services of a carpenter versus those prefabricated products from a box store?”

In this article, we will cover the advantages and disadvantages for each so that you can better incorporate the information into your decision-making process for your home improvement, remodel or area update for your Chicago home. This can be an important factor that we take into consideration when quoting your project at Samanco construction when the owner comes out to provide you with your estimate and options.

It’s true, Box stores are here to stay

Box stores in the Chicago area such as: Lowe’s, Home Depot, Cosco and Sam’s Club have steadily increased the quantity of home-improvement products that they are able to provide. Prefabricated cabinets, countertops, storage bins, doors, trim, closet kits, fireplace surrounds, mantles and shelving have flooded the market in a variety of textures, materials and sizes to fit nearly any space and budget. But are these prefabricated products too good to be true? Let’s look:

The Pro’s of using prefabricated products from a box store

The advantages are quite simple: cost and availability. Prefabricated products traditionally work well, have been manufactured utilizing laser precision techniques and are available in a variety of different colors, sizes and textures. Because they are mass-produced, the price can be significantly lower than products that have been custom manufactured. For those home-improvement customers working on a small budget this may be an option to look closely into.

The Con’s of using prefabricated products from a box store

Careful consideration should be made when utilizing prefabricated products from a box store in the Chicago area. While the advantages are clear, the disadvantages can easily show up over just a short period of time. Prefabricated products traditionally use substandard materials such as: plastic, pressboard, poplar wood and pine; these products are cheaper and can effect structural integrity over a short period of time. (Depending on use, within 3 years noticeable signs of fatigue can be observed)  

Because most of your prefabricated products are going to be pre-sized for a standard fit; your final fit may not be exactly what you want. The prefabricated product may end up being just a little too long or a little too short for the purpose that you needed for. Textures and colors are generally chemically manipulated, meaning that they can lose their appearance quickly based upon exposure and use.

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Craftsmanship in the Chicago area is still alive

If you open a phone book in the Chicago area you’ll find carpenters and craftsmen that specialize in woodworking and custom projects are few and far between. Because of the flood of prefabricated products into the home improvement market, many craftsmen have faded into the background; but some are still here.

Samanco construction is pleased to provide master carpentry that allows us the flexibility to provide a level of craftsmanship that we find is still sought after in the Chicago area. While we still have customers, because of cost, that would choose prefabricated materials; the final product simply cannot compare to the craftsmanship of a true master carpenter.

The Pro’s of Using a Custom Crafted Product

A master carpenter in the Chicago area can go beyond creating a cabinet or mantle to the creation of a work of art. A master carpenter will use fitment techniques and hand selected woods that will bring true color, texture and durability that will last for many years to come. A master carpenter has the skill to work within various types of wood finishes and projects such as: handcrafted built-in units, custom closet designs, porch designs, trim work, cabinetry, fireplace mantle and surround, custom table, wainscot and the manipulation of repurposed woods to create one-of-a-kind products.

The Con’s of using a skilled carpenter

The only disadvantage that one might consider is the costs that are often associated with the utilization of a master carpenter. Because a master carpenter traditionally will use much higher quality materials as well as the need for the labor to custom assemble and craft the project, the prices are going to be higher than purchasing a prefabricated product.

Weigh the costs against the final product

Now that we have looked at the pros and cons of both prefabricated products versus those products crafted by a Chicago area master carpenter… It really does come down to just a few things to consider:

  1. Cost – reality is if you’re working within a budget you have to weigh the costs.
  2. Quality – does the use of the project warrant the utilization of a quality manufactured product?
  3. Use – is your project going to be used a lot, how durable should it be?
  4. Appearance and style – will the use of prefabricated materials fit the style and quality level of your home? At the end of the day you don’t want to put cheap products into a $500,000 home that in comparison to the products already in the home would stick out like a sore thumb. (Not to mention bringing down the value of the home if it’s a bathroom or kitchen remodeling project)
  5. Space – is the area in which you need the product an odd shape or size that will require a custom build.

When it comes to the choice of using prefabricated cabinets, built-ins, closets, porches, doors, fireplace mantles and surrounds and other similar projects… You really do get what you pay for.

Experience Does Count

Samanco construction has been serving Chicago and the surrounding communities for years. Because we are a complete home improvement, remodeling and handyman service we utilize the talents of our in-house craftsmen to handle projects as small as fixture updates to a complete home remodel. Based upon the customer’s budget we have, without the need of subcontractors, the ability to craft custom builds and manufacturing to fit the style and appearance of your home. All estimates are given by the owner of Samanco construction, not a pushy high-pressure salesman.

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Bathroom Remodel: One Of The Best Decisions You Will Make – Part 2

Image of a bathroom  - Home Improvement In Chicago

As discussed in the previous article, the bathroom can easily set the style and feel for your Chicago home. Think about the impression that a bathroom appearance has left upon you visiting a friend’s home; that one time that you saw all the avocado green tiles with yellow accents screaming the 1960’s!

That’s the type of importance that choosing the correct materials can have when choosing the style and functionality of a bathroom remodeling project. Remember most Chicago realtors say that traditionally you can see a 75% to 85% return on your investment for the sale of your home with a professionally remodeled bathroom; so making sure that it’s right is an important choice. In the last article, we looked at: flooring, electrical, and the need to add functionality for a great bathroom remodeling project.

In this article will look at some commonly overlooked features of a successful bathroom remodeling project in the Chicago area.

Don’t Cut Corners on the Fixtures

Believe it or not, most of the expense for a quality bathroom remodeling project is in the fixtures. The toilet, sink, lighting, shower doors, faucets and such not only are the main functioning components of the bathroom but, are also much of the price as well. Chicago homeowners who are looking to save money on their bathroom remodeling project often will turn to cheaper quality fixtures to save money; which can create some problems down the road.

At Samanco, we consistently see the largest complaints from potential bathroom remodeling customers when cheaper fixtures have been used in a bathroom remodeling project. It just that bad taste in your mouth that you have when you spent good money on a gorgeous bathroom remodel only for the faucet fixtured to come apart in your hand six months later.

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Countertops – a telltale sign

Apart from the floors of your Chicago area home, the countertops can easily identify to a visitor the quality of your bathroom remodeling project at a glance. It’s hard to justify using top-quality materials in the floors, walls and fixtures and then skimp on the countertops; effectively denigrating the entire look of the bathroom remodel. Utilizing cheap materials such as Formica or laminate can easily give a cheaper, box store feel to your bathroom remodeling project.

While these materials are more affordable, they also scream cheap. Consider harder, molded materials will that give the upscale look such as natural stone and marble. Also creating a comparable mix of materials between the sink and the countertop can also make an attractive combination and be functional as well. Look to countertop choices that accents your flooring rather than creating a clash of materials; these materials may look good independently but together might create an unsightly mix.

Shed some light on the subject

Nothing dulls a Chicago area bathroom remodeling project faster than an effective lighting. Be sure to choose lighting sources for your bathroom remodeling project that really put some light on the subject. Around the sink and vanity is traditionally where lighting is placed; however, take the extra steps to put in overhead lighting and other areas of the bathroom such as above the toilet and shower.

By adding some good lighting to your bathroom remodeling project, it can really brighten up the colors as well as give it a larger open feel, especially for those smaller bathrooms. For those bathrooms sporting a Jacuzzi avoid the targeted spotlight that traditionally gets installed in the ceiling above; choose rather softer ambient lighting around the edges for more of a relaxing environment.

When Experience Counts

Samanco simply knows bathroom remodeling projects. It is become one of our trademarks services in the Chicago area over the years. We work very hard to stay within budget of our bathroom remodeling projects because of the prep time that we spend with each client prior to beginning the bathroom remodeling project. We make sure to go over each and every detail so that there are no surprises along the way. We show examples of materials, textures and colors so that you can make sure that you’re getting exactly bathroom remodeling project that you always wanted.

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Bathroom Remodel: One Of The Best Decisions You Will Make – Part 1

Image of a bathroom  - Home Improvement In ChicagoWhen you think about it… no room gains attention in your Chicago IL home like the bathroom does. When you are looking to buy a home, what is one of the first rooms you look at? For the majority of potential homeowner it would be the bathroom. The bathroom’s appearance is one of those factors that can make or break the sale of a home. The bathroom can easily date the home and set the mood for the style for the rest of the home, as a result having a bathroom properly remodeled is an important decision. It is also one of the few home improvement projects that you can do that you will see up to a 75% to 85% return on your investment for the sale of your home.

When you are looking for remodeling projects to do within your Chicago IL area home, a bathroom remodel is dollar for dollar the best investment that you can make for your home. However, Just as important as the project itself is, making sure that you make appropriate considerations for your bathroom remodeling project; if you simply throw together a hodgepodge of fixtures and materials you can end up creating a dated and sightly appearance for your home. Samanco Construction would like to provide you with a few tips for making sure that your bathroom remodel comes out perfect every time.

Flooring you won’t Regret

One thing that many homeowners don’t take the time to consider is the area of flooring. Proper use of materials, colors and durability factors greatly affect the overall quality feel of the bathroom. Choosing materials based upon their functionality rather than just color will mean the difference of whether or not you say “I regret having this floor”. At Samanco Construction we understand how important having the perfect bathroom floor can be. When we come out to make the initial inspection and assessment we utilize the latest in technology to show you not only how your bathroom can look, but we also provide examples of flooring options. We will show you how different textures work best to blend with the countertop and walls as well along with how different textures will work to protect the floor and increase functionality. For example: large ceramic tiles can make the bathroom feel very open and spacious but they can also create a slippery environment. Natural stone and limestone tiles can give a very earthy feel to the bathroom but absorb drips and spills which can cause them to become stained over time.

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Consider the Electrical System

During a bathroom remodeling project it is common to replace the electrical fixtures to more updated, economical switches, outlets and fixtures. However, depending on the age of the home it may be wise to take this opportunity to update the wiring all the way to the breaker box. The breaker and wiring, if over 15 years old, may have dry and brittle coverings that should be updated during a bathroom remodeling project. This is usually just a few additional hours of labor, and can help extend the life of your home’s wiring and help prevent expensive electrical wiring shorts down the road. It will also allow your modernized bathroom to handle the increased electrical loads that the bathroom was not originally designed to handle 15+ years ago.

Add Some Functionality

Think outside the box when it comes to remodeling the bathroom in your Chicago IL home. For example: Why not build in some functionality such as: recessed compartments in the shower for shampoos, a fold-down seat in the shower, under sink compartments that holds some of the smaller doodads that seem to collect on the bathroom sink?  Little improvements like this that help bring functionality to your updated bathroom remodeling project can really help get the most out of your investment.

When Experience Counts

Samanco Construction in Chicago IL is your first and best choice for home improvement and home remodeling services. Whether you are expanding the footprint of your home with an attractive deck, a bathroom remodeling project or wiring upgrades; give us a call and discover how experience makes the difference.

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What is the right tile for my Chicago IL. home?


Tile flooring in a bathroom - Kitchen Remodeling In Chicago

Tile is one of those home-improvement projects that can last the life of your home in Chicago IL. so making the correct choice is crucial. With so many different colors, shapes and sizes offered by Samanco Construction in Chicago IL; Samanco Construction would like to provide you with a few things to consider to make your choices a little easier.

Fashions come and go

Have you ever visited a home and walked into the bathroom with pea green tiles? Or a kitchen area that has yellow checkered tiles? During the 1970s in Chicago IL. these were common and popular color schemes to use in homes, but at present, not so much. Because tiles are, more or less, a permanent option; selecting the correct color, pattern or design is a very important decision. Choosing a themed pattern or color scheme means that if you change your mind in a few years, you will also need to change the tiles as well; which can be costly. We advise you choose tile colors that are neutral, allowing for accents of the bathroom or kitchen to complete the total appearance that you are looking for. Neutral settings also help with the resell value of the home.

Selecting the right tile in the Chicago IL. area

Selecting the right tile can not only set the mood for the room of your home in the  Chicago IL area.; but also can help for practical use and budget. With a variety of different materials to choose from Samanco Construction can help you pick the right material for not only the conditions but also for the style of the home.

Travertine – Ideal for specialty products because each tile has a little bit of its own character

Ceramic – Most widely used. Ceramic tile can be found in a large variety of colors and textures. Due to its expansive use it is also the most budget minded of the choices.

Porcelain – Valued for its durability, porcelain tiles can be used for indoor or outdoor applications.

Faux Wood – Becoming more popular, this Faux Wood is made of either ceramic or porcelain tiles and is crafted to give the appearance of wood. This makes for a great alternative for those traditional homes that want a traditional look but the durability of ceramic or porcelain.

Slate – The warm earth tones of a slate floor can really make the culture of the home standout. Both durable and versatile, slate is a great option when looking for a really unique floor tile setting.

Marble – Nothing says elegance like a marble floor. Available in a wide range of styles and textures, marble is a great choice for those looking for an upscale, yet durable, floor setting.

Call Samanco Construction Today – (773) 298-0620

Picture of a laminate floor - Kitchen Remodeling In ChicagoGranite – As a floor tile, granite is a excellent option when needing to add a little extra insulation to your floor setting. Because of granites unique color tones you can provide a warm, cultured floor setting without breaking the budget.

Pebbles and Stones – Traditionally arranged in a mosaic form a pebble and stone setting allows natural tones and unique shapes to dominate, while adding the durable elegance. Mostly found in bathrooms this technique can be mixed with other types of tile settings to bring in extremely unique presence to any home.

Onyx – unique and elegant’s, Onyx is a softer stone with a transparent quality that is unique to this type of tile setting. Best suited for light traffic areas this type of tile offers a quiet undertone of color while giving a smooth elegant feel.

Quartzite – probably the most durable of all your tile selections is a quartzite floor. While known best for its commercial applications a quartzite floor can provide a little bit of that rough texture and rigidity to any home. Available in a wide assortment of colors quartzite tiles can be a great accent when utilizing wood or stone interior designs.

When experience counts

As you can see using tile not only brings an elegant beauty, but durability to your home. Tile can also be easily manipulated to enhance the particular style of the Chicago IL. home, the design of the room or for a particular use such as: bathroom, kitchen, common areas or more durable settings such as patios and garage floors. The home improvement experts at Samanco Construction can help provide you with a variety of samples and designs to make the process as simple as can be. Whether you’re needing to update just the floors or updating the floors as part of a bathroom or kitchen remodeling project we can help.

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Tips for Painting your Walls

Food splatters? With the right paint that's no problem!  - Home Remodeling In ChicagoYou can’t become Chicago IL’s premier painting and home remodeling company without developing some tricks of the trade… It doesn’t matter what the home-improvement commercials say, just buying professional grade products isn’t going to create a professional outcome. Samanco Construction, providing professional paint surfaces to the Chicago IL area, has earned the reputation for not only using professional grade products, but professional grade people also. For individuals that would like to try their hand at painting we would like to provide you with a few useful tips to assist you with your home painting project in Chicago IL.

Purchase Quality Materials

The reason for painting your room sometimes can determine how much you’re planning to invest in paint and materials. If you’re painting a room for a house that you’re planning to sell, you’re probably going to be less motivated to purchase premium quality paint products; however, for those that are planning to keep their home for a while or desire to have the quality colors stand out, you need to make certain you purchase quality paint and materials. Although the big-box stores might have the lowest advertised price they may not necessarily have the finest quality materials for those that are wanting to do the job right. If your store is fortunate to have a paint retail store, for instance Porter paints, we advise utilizing them. Chances are you’ll spend a few more dollars here and there on paint and materials however the end result will be a paint that matches the surface that you are painting in addition to the quality that will prevent you from having to do the job with multiple coats. Professionals such as Samanco Construction recognize that choosing the best quality materials will not only provide you with a better outcome but will last for many years to come.

Devote Some Time to prepping the walls

Daddy used to always say “there is never enough time to do it right, but there always seems to be enough time to do it over” … meaning that you ought to take your time and do it properly to begin with.

Clean your walls, ceilings, trim, windows, window trim and baseboards before you begin. Paint doesn’t apply very well to dirty surfaces so devote some time to cleaning your surfaces with soap and water and let air dry overnight prior to beginning.

Fill in holes with spackle and sand as needed to ensure that there are no imperfections in the surface. When sanding work with a high grit paper as to not damage the drywall. Despite having good quality paint, cracks and holes still show. Some services may require primer so that it keeps the color of the paint that you chose, especially on darker walls.

Some services like concrete require an additional product to make the walls receive paint easier. You’ll want to research this aspect fully before you put your first coat of paint on a concrete wall.

Take the time to mask off the areas that you don’t want painted, remove light covers and socket covers instead of taping them and then tape the fixture instead. Avoid using plastic to protect the floors when you’re painting. This can become slippery easily. We recommend using drop cloths.

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When you are at your whits end turn to the experts!   - Home Remodeling In ChicagoPainting ceilings

Ceilings can be somewhat tricky as in some areas it is popular to have a textured ceiling. When painting a textured ceiling, you’ll want to use a thick nap roller so that it covers the irregularities of the textured ceiling. Working with a thicker paint specifically made for ceilings will make your life much easier as the center points have a tendency to drip, making quite a mess of things.

Time-saving tips

There is a time saver product on the market that truly is a time saver, it is a paint edger that has two nylon wheels on the side so you can avoid having to tape in a number of areas like trim and baseboards.

Work with a 2 inch angle brush for corners to prevent scraping the edges, use a steady hand and make certain you go back over to remove any excess buildup.

Unless you’re using multiple people, skip the paint trays and use a 5 gallon bucket that has a roller screen.

For gallon buckets of paint take a finishing nail and poke a couple of holes into the crevices that the lid snaps into, this will allow the paint to drip back down inside rather than splattering any time you put the lid back on.

When Experience Counts

Samanco Construction has been serving the Chicago IL area for years and has earned a reputation for high quality and customer service along the way. Before you spend too much time buying materials and preparing to paint, give us a call and let us provide you with a free quote for painting. We feel that our affordable quotes both for painting as well as the other home-improvement based services that we provide are competitive and fair for the high-quality service and namebrand materials that we utilize. We also backup our workmanship with a two-year warranty so you can have peace in mind with every project that we perform.

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