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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Some Great Basement Remodeling Ideas

Image of a basement remodel   - Basement Remodeling In ChicagoThe basement is probably one of the most overlooked spaces in your Chicago IL home. If something is out of sight we tend to put it out of mind; and the basement is the dark, cold, and often creepy area of your house. It is known for its utility rather than its appeal. Samanco Construction has found that the basement is a great area to utilize for a simple and affordable expansion of the square footage and functionality of your home. The basement is ideal for an upgrade because it already has the wall structure, concrete flooring and overhead insulated beam structure in place making it a strong, sound foundation to build upon.

In this article we are going to take a look at a few great basement remodeling ideas as well as some considerations.

Have you ever dreamed of having a Man Cave?

Transforming your basement, or a portion of the basement, into a man cave will help move some of the clutter out of the living room and give it a nice place to go in the basement. You can easily accent your man cave to support your favorite sports team by utilizing neutral materials on the walls, floors and ceilings. One of the biggest advantages for putting the man cave in the basement of your Chicago IL home is the thick construction of the poured concrete walls, concrete floors and 8 to 10 inch thick ceilings make an amazing sound barrier; so you can crank up the volume on your surround sound and yell at the TV screen when your favorite team scores the winning touchdown, all without disturbing the rest of the household!

A perfect space for Additional Bedrooms

Often, when a homeowner asks us to come out and do a site survey on room extensions, they are  looking to expand the home out rather than down. However, the average basement size for a three-bedroom home is 900 ft.² making it an ideal space and size for 1-2 bedrooms, while still leaving room for a utility area complete with a washer, dryer and furnace! Depending on the access points to the basement it can even be turned into an apartment with an exterior access point.

Do you have Utility Functionality and Storage Space?

Because most basements in Chicago IL are very open, utilizing the space for utility purposes is ideal. When you design a sewing or craft room you often need a large open area to put tables and use for storage. This makes the basement the best option over any other room in the home. If you  organize a section of the basement for use as a primary storage area you could help decrease the clutter of the home, making the main areas more enjoyable.

Creating the Ultimate Game Room

Going along the same mindset as the man cave, the open space of your basement makes an amazing game room. The majority of standard homes in Chicago IL are 900 to 1600 ft.² for a 3 to 4 bedroom home and they simply don’t have the floor space to put a pool table, table top tennis or ice hockey machine. Just like with the man cave the concrete floor, thick concrete walls and ceilings make an amazing sound insulator for the loud nature that a game room can bring. Using  a little creativity and planning your ultimate game room can be designed to accommodate a themed approach and even a combination of themes Making it fun for the whole family.

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Some Considerations When Remodeling the Basement

Although creating additional square footage for your home by renovating the basement is a great use of space, there are some unique challenges that need to be met.

The HVAC system in your Chicago IL home is not usually designed to heat and cool the basement (after all there is no reason to condition the air of an unused space) therefore, the ductwork will have to be reworked from the main floor to help provide the proper airflow and air return for the heating and air-conditioning system. You will probably need to upgrade your HVAC system as well to help compensate for the increase in the amount of square footage it needs to maintain.

The materials you use in the construction of the basement remodel will need to be very specific so it resists moisture. Green board, traditionally used in bathrooms and kitchens, works great for this purpose. Wood that has been specially treated to resist moisture will also be required. After all there is nothing’s worse than to invest the money in having your basement remodeled only to never use it because of the musty smell.

A basement drying system, depending on the age and structure of the home, may need to be installed so that that moisture will be properly handled; treating the basement walls will be a must do. You don’t want your remodeling project to be destroyed because of water seepage.

Before you dive into a basement remodeling project make sure that you understand the very specific challenges that are entailed to make sure that you can enjoy your basement remodeling project in your Chicago IL home for many years to come.

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.

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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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Five Suggestions for building a deck that perfectly suits your home

We provide decks for a variety of homes  - Kitchen Remodeling In ChicagoIf you visit a variety of homes in the Chicago IL area you will quickly discover that decks can be found in all shapes and sizes. Some seem to be just tacked on while others seem to be an elegant extension of the home. At Samanco Construction in Chicago IL we specialize in deck design and construction for every style, shape and type of home. Choosing the right deck layout for your Chicago IL home is a very important choice, listed below is Samanco Construction’s top five suggestions for planning and building the perfect deck for your home.

Plan your deck to suit your lifestyle

The primary reason for someone to add a deck to their home is: (fill in the blank). It’s blank here because you have to tell us what your deck is intended to be used for. Some residents in Chicago IL like to have a deck for gatherings and cookouts while others are searching for a quiet retreat to settle down and read a book in the cool of the afternoon. When planning the deck for your home in Chicago IL you should consider carefully the use of your new deck and that it meets not only your immediate need, but is fashioned in such a way that will allow for additional uses also. For example: if you’re searching for that quiet deck to read a book, you might also want to make sure that it’s large enough to also accommodate an occasional gathering. Having the right deck that complements your lifestyle helps ensure the enjoyment of your investment for years to come.

Balance your space

One of the things that we sometimes see in the Chicago IL area is where someone has constructed a deck that was too large for the yard, creating an unbalanced overall appeal to the home. Ensuring that your deck shares the area of your yard is something that will help with the aesthetics of the home as well as the usefulness of both. By the same token, constructing a deck that is just large enough for a barbecue grill as a backdrop for a very large yard can also create a visual mismatch; either extreme will, at times, cause you to feel like your investment is wasted. At Samanco Construction we’ve been designing and building decks for years. We take into consideration the size of your yard and usable space to help create for you a deck that will not only exceed your basic need but increase the functionality of the home.

Choosing the right materials

Choosing the right materials for your deck at your Chicago IL home is just as crucial as the design. Each material has its own benefits and advantages which all should be considered before making your final decision. For example: A wooden deck has the classical look but will require upkeep and occasional maintenance as it ages to ensure that the wood is protected and does not warp or splinter. A deck using composite plastic materials (PVC) has the strength of wood and the durability of stone but tends to become discolored and rough in high-traffic areas. Materials may also be chosen based off the design because you’re trying to keep with a style that is specific for the Chicago IL area. Some designs require multiple types of materials such as a combination of stone and wood to give a very elegant appearance depending on the home’s style.

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Is your house missing something? Consider adding a deck!  - Kitchen Remodeling In ChicagoIt’s all about style

Choosing a style for your deck that complements your home is very important. Some Chicago IL homes have spaces in the layout or architecture of the exterior that can be complemented with the addition of a single or multiple decks that combine together. A second story deck, for example, can be tied into two levels providing a spectacular view of the property as well as functionality and privacy. Some homes, depending on the design, we can even build a Jacuzzi into the deck. Other homes may want to choose different shapes that complements the area between the home and the yard such as rounded or octagonal. Because Samanco Construction has been building decks in the Chicago IL area for so many years our design consultant will be able to provide you with a variety of different ideas and examples that would be able to complement your Chicago IL home.

Roof or no roof, that is the question

One major consideration that should be looked at Before starting construction of your new deck is whether you want a roof. Depending on the location and design of the deck you can choose to tie it to the existing roof line or have a freestanding roof to give a railed gazebo appearance. When building decks that have roofs we always build the support structure from the ground up as to support, not only the roof, but inclement weather that we sometimes see in the Chicago IL area. Adding a roof after the fact can occasionally alter the structural integrity of the deck and roofline; so, careful consideration should be made prior to making your final decision.

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 you should know about exterior painting

Exterior painting can be a tough job - Home Remodeling In ChicagoSamanco Construction has been providing extraordinary painting services and more to the Chicago IL area for years. One of the things that we’ve discovered is that people often don’t realize the number of uses there are for exterior painting. We would like to take a few minutes to identify the vast uses of our exterior painting services and experience.

Exterior Paint Surfaces

When one thinks of exterior painting in the Chicago IL area the first thing that often pops into your head is painting a house. Although this is a regular service that is provided by Samanco Construction there is far more to it than simply slapping some paint on the wall. When painting the exterior of a home or business one ought to consider the material that you’re painting on, along with the quality of paint that is being applied. Some of the varieties of exterior finishes that we can paint are:

  •     Stucco
  •     Wood, Composite & Vinyl Siding
  •     Doors & Windows
  •     Fascia and Eaves
  •     Wood & Vinyl Shutters
  •     Architectural Wood & Wrought Iron
  •     Fences, Railings
  •     Decks, and Patio Covers
  •     Driveways and walkways (concrete)
  •     and more

Each of these require different techniques to ensure that the color and texture are correct and will last for years to come.

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Trust the experts - Home Remodeling In ChicagoPreparation of Surfaces

Each of the exterior surfaces that we paint require special preparation to ensure that the paint properly adheres to the surface, especially in the unpredictable Chicago IL climate. Some surfaces require an additional chemical to work as a bonding agent between the paint and the surface while other areas that are more porous will need a sealer to prevent the paint from soaking into the material causing discoloration and spotty areas. Because Samanco Construction has been providing exterior painting services to the Chicago IL area for years our experience speaks to our final product knowing that every brush stroke adds to our reputation of perfection. We work tirelessly to ensure that every paint project that we undertake has been professionally completed utilizing experience, skill and technique so that the final application will last for many years to come.

Repairing as needed

In some instances surfaces will have to be repaired as part of our preparation process. Because we are a full-service home-improvement and construction company we don’t have to outsource for these types of services. When handling stucco, wood or other services that are common to chip or become damaged, we can easily repair or replace these items prior to the application of paint. This full-service ability helps you save money not having to hire multiple contractors to complete a painting project.

Additional Services

When considering exterior painting in the Chicago IL area some don’t realize that there are many things that can be painted to look new again. Surfaces such as wrought iron, metal security doors, security bars, metal window frames, metal doors, metal fences and gates can all be given new life with just a fresh coat of professionally applied paint. We also can handle additional surfaces such as staining and finishing natural woods found in thresholds, decks, rails, doors and windows.


Pressure washing and cleaning services available

As a full service Home Improvement Company serving the Chicago IL area, we also provide professional pressure washing as well. Whether you are needing pressure washing as a preparation service for painting or as a general maintenance and upkeep, trust the professionals to take care of this for you. Pressure washing in itself is an art and ought to be trusted to a professional because different surfaces require different applications of chemicals and pressure. If harsh bleaching chemicals are utilized on untreated colored vinyl it can discolor and fade creating quite a mess. By the same token if pressure is not properly applied you can actually rip the paint off the side of the house creating a problem rather than a solution. Be sure to trust the professionals at Samanco Construction for this valuable service.

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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.

Call Samanco Construction Today – (773) 298-0620

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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