Category Archives: Kitchen Remodel

From Touchscreens to Mobile Applications: The New American Kitchen

 

With the tremendous popularity of real-time and streamlined Smartphone apps like Uber and Amazon Prime Now, it is no wonder that the American Kitchen seems to be following suit with perpetual advancements in appliance-technology. Imagine a grocery shopping experience where with the swipe of a button, you can see the physical inside of your fridge, allowing you to see which products you are out of and which items you are stocked up on. Well this seemingly futuristic experience is now actually possible. Earlier this year, Samsung released a top-of-the-line refrigerator with numerous special features including the one outlined above. And, it is not just refrigerators that are experiencing a serious technological face-lift; touch-screen microwaves, dishwashers, and even toasters are now also available on the market!

So what are the implications of all of these advanced, technology-savvy appliances? It seems that the days of touch-screens, mobile apps, and voice-activated features have only just begun. We are anticipating the “New American Kitchen” to be filled with these products. As a renovation company, we strive to steer you in the right direction with your kitchen remodeling needs. Want to learn more about which of these luxury appliances will best suit you and your needs? Contact us with your questions and we will be happy to help out!

We know that the new fast-paced, technology-dependent world can be daunting for some people. Let us help make your transition into a modern and up-to-date kitchen as seamless as possible by providing you with all the help you need.

St. Louis Park Kitchen Remodel Plus Bedroom And Bath Upstairs Addition


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Young Family/Unique Home
This may be one of the most unique homes we have worked on.

The clients had a few priorities to share with us to define the project scope. Expanding the upper level to provide separate bedrooms and a bathroom for their young boy and girl was number 1.

In no special order they also wanted:
– A fabulous new kitchen and entryway .
– Build a high performance energy package into the project.
– Improve water mitigation at the homes perimeter.
Back to the unique features of this home. The home is a combination earth/two story home. The back half of the home is built into the lot. Not so much a hill but about a 12 ft. rise in the lot from the front to the back. The back half of the house has grass growing on it.
By now you might be wondering what is holding up the yard over the house. Good question. The simple answer is the ceiling consists of concrete panels that are insulated and waterproofed under the soil/grass. The kind of panels you might see in commercial construction. This makes for a challenge to have a functioning mechanical system as it’s a no-no to drill through the planks. The planks run from the back of the house all the way to the front. The whole ceiling in the main level is cement!

To avoid drilling through the concrete planks and to add the necessary space needed for the bedrooms, we extended the upper level three feet. This allowed for a “mechanical chase”.

This home was designed by an architect who works at SALA and who also is the president for MN GreenStar. He insisted on a high performance package along with proper duct sealing. The system would be tested by a blower door. The thermal envelope features staggered stud framing, closed cell, and batt insulation at the walls. The ceiling featured closed cell insulation along with blown cellulose to achieve an R-60 insulation value.

The upper level required around 15,000 BTU’s to supply warmth. This was accomplished with what is known as a “mini-split” system. It uses an air source heat pump to warm and cool the space. Unique to this system is that it is ducted and also features electrical heating elements in the ductwork for back-up heat. They work the same as baseboard heat but have the advantage of being in ductwork which of course allows the heat to be circulated.

Water mitigation was challenging. Most of the home is underground and the existing waterproofing worked well but could be improved with drain tile. We added a tile to the side of the garage along with drainage boards and waterproofing above the tile to the finished landscaping. We also “cut” the back yard to improve water flow away from the building. We will track the water mitigation over time.

This was a great project with great homeowners. The finishes in the home are warm, beautiful, and friendly.

Contact Showcase Renovations if you have questions about this project or need a remodeling contractor in St. Louis Park.

Best Remodeling Projects For Return On Investment And Adding Property Value

People frequently ask, “What are the best remodeling projects for return on investment and adding property value?” And it’s no surprise that the answer identifies the hottest trends in remodeling today.

This topic was proposed by the winner of our recent contest for a good topic for a blog post. So here we go and with some pictures from a few of our projects!

When considering ROI, note that geographical regions vary in cost/value ratios which change over time along with housing trends. Based upon information gleaned from local and national sources, the highest return on investment is currently found in these types of home improvements:

Entry Door and/or Garage Door Replacement
– 70 to 90 percent return on investment


Exterior doors are a key home feature that are often overlooked, yet provide one of the first impressions of your home. We call that Curb Appeal. A door that looks new and complements the house style will contribute to the perception of a quality home. And most doors can be replaced in just a few hours.

Deck Addition
– 70 to 87 percent return on investment


People are tending to spend more time at home, and outdoor living spaces are becoming more desirable for relaxation as well as entertaining. Costs depend upon size of deck, design, materials, and special features.

Attic Bedroom
– 77 to 84 percent return on investment


Remodeling attic space to create a bedroom is an economical approach for “expansion”. It can be done without sacrificing existing high-functional space, such as a kitchen or living room, and does not require adding square footage to the home’s footprint.

Minor Kitchen Remodel
– 80 to 83 percent return on investment


A kitchen remodel can add significant value when you are considering selling your home, especially if it blends with the style of your home in terms of size and finish. On the other hand, an enormous ultra-deluxe kitchen with high-end appliances in a small home that is otherwise conservatively finished will likely result in a lower return on investment – something to keep in mind.

Bathroom Addition or Remodel
– 60 to 70 percent return on investment


Space that is underutilized, such as a closet, small bedroom, or under stairs, may be the perfect place to add a new bathroom. Or there may be an existing bathroom that needs a remodel. In either case, there is a flood of new products for bath design, materials, tiles, and accessories. A full bath includes a tub and/or stand-up shower plus toilet and vanity; a half bath (or powder room) includes toilet and vanity only.

Our thanks to the winner of our blog topic contest for suggesting this. It comes at a good time both economically and seasonally. If you have a suggestion for a blog topic please submit it to us and we’ll get your questions answered and try to publish the information you’re looking for! Thanks for visiting!

Corcoran Addition | Kitchen and Bath Remodel

This project incorporates remodeling a kitchen, adding/remodeling a bathroom, adding new space, a crawl space, as well as some exterior updating and improvements. It takes place in Corcoran, a Northwest Twin Cities suburb just west of Maple Grove and Plymouth. Read a homeowner’s summary here.

We’ll cover the project as it goes and try to keep it interesting and informative. We start with demolition and some of the preparation that good contractors employ when starting a project like this.

The porch you see will be re-built, the siding replaced, and the garage removed as well as a 4 season porch and other structure in back.


Notice the removal of windows, doors, and any glass or other items that can present a hazard during and after the demolition – best practice for any demo job where people live and work, especially when there are children around.

Of note in this image is placement of the cuts for separation of the demolished portion:

  • siding
  • wall sheeting
  • gutter
  • shingles
  • roof plywood
  • soffit
    As well as cuts you don’t see that remove interior ties from the garage to house, including termination of any plumbing supply lines or vents and any wiring. Notice the ‘very sticky’ tape covering the shingle cut – a nice detail against water damage should the weather turn on us.
  • A brief video of the roof cut being made – getting through shingle, shingle felt, and the plywood or oriented strand board (OSB).

    NEXT UP: DEMOLITION!