5 Things To Consider Before Starting Any Remodel!

Today we will cover our top 5 most important things we think you need to consider before starting any home improvement project. Regardless of the project you are tackling, following these guidelines can save you time & money!

1. Durability:

The first thing to consider is the durability of your products.  A lot of people do not take this into account in the beginning. Many homeowners are focused on price. They’re also focused on style but ultimately durability is the most important thing to guarantee a successful remodel.

No one wants to have a product that’s installed but goes bad in half the time that it should.

Take cabinets for example. Let’s say you’re comparing two different cabinet lines, one is particle board (or MDF box) which is lower quality material. One is a plywood (or all wood construction) cabinet. If cabinets are supposed to last at least 20 years, the all wood construction is going to last the longest.

The MDF or particle board is most likely going to be damaged much sooner than the other so technically you are going to be wasting more money by buying a lower quality product.

2. Maintenance & Lifestyle:

Lifestyle - Builders Surplus

The second thing to consider is maintenance and lifestyle. So many people don’t take this into consideration before starting a home improvement project. Lifestyle should be one of the most important things when determining which products or styles to choose.

For example, if you have children and pets, a solid hardwood floor (or natural hardwood) is probably not the best option. Pets can scratch the floors which means you’re either going to live with damaged floors or you’re going to pay to have them refinished.  Or worse, you may need to replace the floor if seriously damaged, which is all going to cost time, money or just you stress out!

Kids can spill things. Pets can have accidents and that’s also going to damage natural hardwood floors so you need to understand what type of maintenance you’re comfortable with. What type of lifestyle you have and does your lifestyle even allow you to keep up with the maintenance?

Granite countertops are something many people love but the maintenance is there! You have to seal them several times each year. So if you’re not willing to do that then Quartz is probably a better option for you. So understanding what your lifestyle is and what your maintenance requirements are is a great thing to consider high up in that list of priorities when you’re starting a remodel.

3. Personal Style:

The third consideration is going to relate to your personal style and this is going to be either “Do I want a timeless look or do I want a trendy look?”

I am all about staying on trend and love seeing what’s coming and what’s hot right now but there is a fine line between doing a remodel that you’re going to love for five years and one that you’re going to love for 30 years!

This is an investment and typically a large investment. If you’re doing a kitchen or a bathroom or even your floors, you want to make sure that you’re going to love it long-term!

Some of the things that are always in style are neutral colors, especially for cabinets. White, Grey, Taupe or even Black. These are typically always in the trends. Some may come to the forefront and some may shrink back a little bit but they’re always going to be in style.

Shaker-style cabinets and clean lines is another thing that never really goes out of style. Stone countertops are always a great option.

Trends will come and go but you know your personal tastes. You know what you’re going to LOVE versus what you just discovered you loved a year ago!

Really take that into consideration and if you want to add that trendy aspect, do it with your accent pieces or things such as light fixtures or hardware.

There are so many ways for you to add trendy elements to your kitchen or bathroom design without making the main large pieces the trendy focal point.

4. Installation:

The next consideration we’re going to talk about is installation cost and quality of your home improvement project. Installation cost is something that most people don’t think about but it’s going to be a HUGE part of your remodel.

Let’s take flooring for example. Let’s say you want a wood or a wood style floor but love also love wood-look tile.

The laminate (or LVT) is $2 sq.ft but you find a wood-look tile that’s also $2 sq.ft. You might think installation would be about the same. Right?  Not so fast!

The difference is in installation cost! The laminate (or LVT)  will cost about $2 sq.ft to install but the wood-look tile could cost around $5 sq.ft. to install. That’s more than double!

If you have a large space, that’s going to be a HUGE chunk of money!  If you have it in your budget and that’s the flooring you love, that’s great! Just remember to consider these things upfront so you don’t purchase a product and then realize the installation cost is going to be much larger or completely out of your planned budget.

Installation quality is also KEY.  Your install quality is going to directly correlate with how long your new products last and the way your kitchen, bathroom or floors look and function.

You don’t want squeaky boards, lippage in your tile where it’s sticking up or your cabinets to pull away from the frame or your countertops to crack because they’ve been installed poorly!

So be sure you find a qualified installer and that you’re not looking at the lowest price installer to determine who you’re going to go with based on that alone. Typically the lowest price is also the lowest quality!

5. Material Prices:

Material Prices- Builders Surplus

The last thing to consider is the cost of your material and lucky for you we are able to help you with all of these things! Everything product we offer our customers is of high quality, unused products.

We also offer installation for every product we sell and it’s high-quality. Our installers have already been vetted.They’ve been background checked and we can promise you that we stand behind the quality of their work!

We have interior designers that work for free with you to design your kitchen or bathroom. They essentially work as your project manager, whatever the project!

A certified designer can help you determine what is a timeless style and what is going to work best with your lifestyle. They will also educate you on the durability of specific products you may be considering for your remodeling project.

We encourage you to use their wealth of knowledge and the resources we provide to ensure you to have an incredible remodeling experience!

We are here to help you EVERY step of the way with your home improvement project. Visit our website to find the best remodeling products at the best price!

Schedule your FREE design consultation with our team today! No project too big or small! We are here to help guide you through the process!

Happy Remodeling!

Bathroom Vanity Materials – Pros and Cons

Choosing the perfect bathroom vanity is tough enough as it is, but when you factor in bathroom vanity materials, it becomes even tougher. Whether you’re fully renovating your bathroom layout or simply updating your decor, you will need to consider what is best for you, your home and your wallet – long term. No one renovates or updates to come back and do it again in a year or two. While choosing the first cheap, attractive vanity you see may seem like a no brainer, it would do you well do do a little research (or just read this article!).

 

In vanities or cabinets, you will most often find Solid Wood, Plywood, MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard), or Particle Board as the material listed. It can be confusing as to what you need to base your decisions on. Obviously price and durability are the most important. While ALL vanities work, they may not ALL work for YOU. Your daily hygiene habits and design choices can play a part in what will hold up best in your bathroom.   Let’s look at a Comparison.

Bathroom vanities- Builders Surplus

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Most Common Bathroom Vanity Materials

Bathroom Vanity Material – Particle board

  • Composite sheet material made by combining wood particles with glue and then heated and pressed into sheets
  • Classified by particle size and overall density
  • Some particle board is stronger than others

Pros

  • Price; cost less to produce and less to buy
  • Can be covered with wood veneer, melamine, or laminate

Cons

  • Sags over extended period of time and under the weight of solid surface countertops, such as granite or quartz.
  • VERY easily damaged by water, and most importantly, steam

You may not realize how much steam comes into contact with your vanity. Every time you shower, take a bath, or even have the hot water running for more than a few seconds, your vanity is subject to the steam. This will cause the material to break down, and you will need a replacement.

Particle board bathroom vanity materials

The photo below is of a water damaged particle board vanity

For this reason, we do not use particle board for our bathroom vanity materials at either of our retail locations. While profit margins might be higher, we value our clients and want their purchases to last as long as humanly possible.

Bathroom Vanity Material – MDF:

  • Engineered wood composite similar to particle board, but denser and stronger
  • Compressed using tiny bits of wood, for a long time and at high temperatures

Pros

  • Price
  • Smooth surface
  • No knots or splinters around edges
  • Takes paint extremely well; custom cabinet or vanity makers won’t want to paint real wood due to the cracking of the paint

Cons

  • High maintenance (not easily repairable if chipped or cracked)
  • Exposure to water causes swelling
  • Glue within makes it difficult to sink nails or screws
  • Cannot be stained

Plywood

Plywood is made from veneers of wood glued into layers that form sheets. Like particle board, these bathroom vanity materials come in a variety of thicknesses and qualities.

MDF bathroom vanity materials

On the low-end, soft woods, quick dry glues, and voids can be often found between the layers. This plywood is usually coated with a plastic that has a wood grain pattern applied because the wood they use isn’t very attractive and may not finish well.

On the high end however, it is a very attractive wood and a truly solid choice (no pun intended) for your bathroom vanity. It VERY rarely will degrade.

Cautions:

While you want to be cautious of water damage with all types of woods, high end plywood has a pretty high success rate in terms of holding up for a long period of time.

Some people question a vanity that has plywood on the sides or back, and wonder if solid wood would be a better choice? In reality, it’s not. The plywood will be more stable over the long run than solid wood. That is because the plywood will not move due to moisture/humidity/temperature changes like solid wood does.

If covered in veneer, it will be as stable as the plywood and will not chip/peel except under unusual circumstances. In that case, it would effect real wood in the same way. Plywood is a great choice for bathroom vanity materials, which is why we carry them in our stores.

Solid wood bathroom vanity materials

Solid Wood:

While nothing really compares with solid wood in most projects, it actually is not ALWAYS the best choice for a bathroom vanity. Solid wood comes in two variations; solid wood (all natural real wood) and solid hardwood.

Durability:

Solid hardwood is the most durable wood material and is made from woods like oak, cherry and maple. Solid wood has the tendency to shrink and expand as humidity changes. Expansion can cause cracks in the painted finish and also warping (in extreme cases).

Benefits:

Real wood is porous in nature so it will absorb water molecules in the air.  However, I won’t dare say that real wood is a bad material. It’s been used for centuries and is still the preferred option by many contractors and builders. The strength and durability of solid wood is why many choose to go with wood bath vanities, so it really depends on what you find most important. By keeping humidity in control, most homeowners won’t have any problems with this beautiful material. It works best with a natural or stained finish, as opposed to paint.

Happy Remodeling!

Want to learn more about bathroom remodeling?

Corbels: 8 Unique Ways To Use Them In Your Home

What are corbels you might be asking? For those of you who don’t know, corbels are structures projecting out from the wall or some other surface, supporting something above it. Pretty descriptive, huh! Some people have never used a corbel, but they can be great for adding something extra to the design of your home. If you’re looking for ways to use them, we’ve compiled a few for you below!

1. Corbels Under Countertops

This is one of the most common ways to use corbels is to put them under countertops to support an overhang. You can use wood or metal, whatever you feel matches the design of your kitchen best! You will generally see these used on islands or peninsulas.
Kitchen-Island-Corbels Louisville Cincinnati Newport

2. Corbels Under Shelves

You can use corbels under open shelves, in your kitchen or somewhere else in your home. These add a beautiful design accent and also give your shelves the support they need. Check out the beautiful shelves using corbels from Brittany at PrettyHandyGirl!

Corbels-shelf-brackets

www.prettyhandygirl.com

3. Corbels Under Fireplace Mantle

Using corbels under either end of your fireplace mantle is a great way to add a unique touch to what could be a standard looking mantle. You can use them to extend your mantle farther than the fireplace or on the base of the fireplace, the choice is up to you.
corbels-fireplace

4. Corbels Under Front Porch

This is not something that people usually think of when they think of ways to use corbels, but it gives it a great architectural accent! Hopefully you don’t NEED them to support your porch, but they are beautiful.
Corbels-under-porch louisville cincinnati newport

5. Corbels Under a Balcony

Similar to using corbels under your front porch, using large corbels under your balcony can be a unique way to add curb appeal and more depth to the front of your home!
balcony-corbels

6. Corbels as Bookends

This is a really cool way to use new or vintage corbels. Kathleen from FadedCharm used hers as bookends, and I have to say it turned out beautifully!

www.tidbitsandtwine.com

7. Corbels as a Nightstand

Laura, from Laura Miller Interior Designs, used an extra large corbel as a nightstand base, and I think it is such an amazing idea! You can use smaller ones as well, and it shouldn’t affect the strength of the end table.

8. Corbels Under a Kitchen Harth

Using Corbels underneath the hearth area of your kitchen is a great design addition. Again, you should not rely on these for the structural support, but it is a beautiful way to accent a custom area of your kitchen!
corbels-kitchen-harth
What are your favorite ways to use corbels in your home? Let us know in the comments below!


Builders Surplus is a full-service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are one of the leading providers of kitchen cabinets, kitchen countertops, backsplash tile, and cabinet hardware in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!

Written By: Allie Bloyd

6 Small Home Improvements That Get It Sold!

So, you are ready to sell but not sure which home improvements will give you the best bang for your buck? With very little effort, you can transform an average house into an above-average property that is sure to get second looks from buyers. Follow these home improvement guidelines to make sure your property stands out above the rest!

1. Paint Inside and Out

Fresh paint is the most cost-effective and profitable improvement you can make, even if your home doesn’t need a new coat. Paint All interior walls a neutral color (looks brighter) and the ceilings white to make rooms look bigger. You may love the multicolored walls in your home but it will definitely turn away a potential buyer. The more “neutral” the better when selling. Let a potential buyer imagine themselves living there, which is what they are doing. Right? 🙂

2. New Lights

Replace your outdated fixtures! This inexpensive improvement can update old decor that might have discouraged buyers. If you haven’t shopped for fixtures lately, you might be pleasantly surprised @ how affordable modern fixtures are these days.

3. New Flooringlaying-vinyl-x

Install new carpet, linoleum or tile and refurbish hardwood floors if needed. Choose a neutral color for new carpeting. New flooring will increase the market value of your home, while shabby floors can kill a sale.

4. Planted Landscape

Attractive front and back yards boost the value of any property. Mow the lawn, trim the shrubs, and plant new bedding flowers. Clean up perennial beds, plant some trees if the yard is barren, especially in the front parkway. Sweep the patio or deck and decorate with potted plants and flowers. Curb appeal is the first thing potential buyers will see, so highlight the good and camouflage the not so good.

5. Completed Repairs

Remodel your home before sellingBefore listing your home for sale, make all minor repair and catch up on maintenance. If you’ve deferred maintenance, get a professional home inspection and make any needed repairs before listing the home. If you don’t, the buyer will probably discount the offer price for more than the actual cost of repairs or replacement.

6. A Clean Garage

If you use your garage for storage, clean it out and rent a storage space. Paint the interior white. If your garage is unfinished, install wallboard or build storage shelves on the back wall. A clean garage will help solidify a buyer’s impression of home improvements and in move-in condition.

There you have it! These 6 SIMPLE improvements will greatly increase your chances of selling your home, and sell it quickly, for the right price. However, if you need more renovation to update your home, visit our Louisville, Ky or Newport, Ky locations for the best prices on kitchen and bath products, flooring, plumbing, hardware, tile and more! Happy Remodeling!
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Improving your home before you sell

The list above was provided by a recommended agent in Northern Kentucky, Amy Chrisman-Williams. Give her a call for your NKY Real Estate Questions!

How The Right Bathroom Layout Can Save You Money!

Today I’d like to discuss an aspect of planning that gets overlooked in a bathroom remodel: Bathroom Layout Options. When it comes to the design, you need to know your layout, first and foremost. The size, fixed plumbing, vanity size you’ll need, and so on. Allow me to dive in a few bathroom layout options! We’ll cover small, medium, and master bath options to make you aware of everything you should consider before breaking ground. Let’s get to it them.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP ALL BATHROOM PRODUCTS!

 

Planning a Bathroom Layout

Before we start looking at some of the more popular bathroom layout options, let’s go over what we need to consider first, shall we? Again, the most important step in any remodeling process is planning. Get all of your ducks in a row, so to speak, meaning, hone your vision and then act on it. Have a good basis of what you want to achieve before setting up your design appointment, measurements, what you like, dislike, etc. That way, when it’s time, everything is decided and ready for action.

 

Beadboard old bathroom remodel

 

Size: Define what you’re working with first and accommodate. Are you remodeling the main bathroom in the living area, small/family bathroom upstairs, or the master bath, full of space and opportunity? Your layout, you’ll find, is contingent on the amount of space you have.

Privacy: In understanding that this isn’t the customary approach, it’s one I am quite fond of, having designed and installed some myself. If you have space, make some sort of barrier between the entrance and the toilet, for privacy’s sake. Apparently, there are studies show that hiding the toilet from sight “can make a big difference mentally.”

Note A privacy panel of tempered glass atop a half wall, for example.

 

Vanity: This also depends on space, but you need to know what size vanity you’d like. Are there going to be two people sharing this bathroom, would you like his or her sinks, or maybe you just need a single vanity? Save some space and possibly put a separate “getting ready” station next to it, another grooming station, if you will. All things to consider.

Shower/Bath: Walk-in showers are all the rage in the industry. They maximize space, emphasize luxury, and are incredibly appealing for resale. If you have space, the perfect layout, to me, would be a beautiful, walk-in, tiled shower accompanied by a freestanding tub, either set in the middle or niched in a space. For less spacious bathrooms, many homeowners are just going for the walk-in. As long as you have a tub somewhere in the house, you’re good for resale.

 

Plumbing: When you start moving plumbing around, your labor costs skyrocket. If you can manage it, try to layout your design with the existing plumbing. It could literally save you thousands.

Popular Bathroom Layout Options

So there’s this term called “wet walls,” which means any wall that has plumbing on it, pretty much. The wall your shower, tub, sinks are located on. You should know that fewer wet walls mean lower cost because plumbing is not cheap, folks. If you’re looking for a low-budget bathroom, go with one wet wall. The only drawback is that you’re limited on your design in that way. A layout with plumbing in two walls is a bit more work, but it allows for a few options. A three wet wall design offers the most flexibility, but of course, can get costly.
I’ve detailed three of the most prominent bathroom layouts in bathroom design right now below! Use this as inspiration to gain a better understanding of what you’d like to do with your remodel!

 

Three-Quarters Style: Featuring one wet wall, all of the bathroom’s plumbing adheres to one wall, like a circuit of sorts. This saves labor and supply expenses, but you’re limited on design. Even so, with a bath and a sink, this is a pretty popular design for smaller areas.

Full Bath: As I stressed before, this is the most ideal. Having a shower in your bathroom with the option of a bath just covers most people’s wants and wishes. There’s usually room in this design for a double vanity, or as I mentioned before, an extra “grooming” station of the sort.

 

 

Storage Space: Two sinks extend out for an appealing entry, across from a linen closet. This design is centered storage for toiletries and cosmetics. Perfect for Master Baths, and as you can see, the Master closet in the above picture extends into the bathroom, shielding the toilet and providing just a little more privacy. Also features a walk-in shower!

If you’re ready for a full bathroom remodel, don’t start without speaking to one of our professional bathroom designers first! It’s FREE! Click here to get started!

 


 

A Beginner’s Guide to Basement Renovation!

Why Perform a Basement Renovation?  

written by Chris Vale, REALSEAL, LLC.

The two main benefits of finishing a basement are to add usable space and to add value to your home. You can choose to include an additional bedroom or add an extra bedroom for guests or family members; turn the basement into a playroom or entertaining space; make room for a fitness area or home office; transform the space into an in-law suite or rental income property; install a laundry room or additional storage; or opt for an alternative to a home addition. With all of these possibilities, it’s no surprise that a finished basement holds a lot of value for both current owners and potential buyers. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 “Cost vs. Value” report, the average basement remodel offers a 70% ROI. That means you can benefit from a lot of added value without spending top-dollar on materials or dealing with a major life disruption, which isn’t always the case with other remodeling projects.

70% ROI

What Elements Should You Include In a Basement Renovation?

Now that you’ve decided to go ahead and remodel your basement, you might be wondering where to start. First, you’ll need to decide how you want to use the space itself. Will it be a multi-functional space that includes a kitchen, a full bathroom, and a private bedroom space? Or do you want an open concept entertainment area for the whole family? If you need a quiet office space for full-time work, your needs will be different from families who want to turn their finished basement into a kid-friendly play area.

Once you determine how the space needs to function, you can then assess what elements you want to include -- and what you absolutely have to have. These may include components that are totally brand new, as well as fixtures that may already exist but are in dire need of an upgrade. Here are some elements your finished basement will most likely need:

  • Lighting: We’re not talking just floor or table lamps here. Built-in lighting is a must in an underground space. Even if you incorporate natural light (more on that shortly), you should consider adding light fixtures. Track lighting can be effective, but recessed lighting is considered to be ideal for basements with lower ceilings. To avoid creating corner shadows (and thus, the illusion of an even lower ceiling), place recessed lights approximately three feet away from the walls.
  • Windows: A windowless basement can feel dark and drab, even with light fixtures. An egress window is a must for most finished basements. Not only will it allow more light to come in, but it’s also required by most city building codes as an emergency exit route. Hopper windows, awning windows, picture windows, and sliding windows are all commonly used in basement renovations. If you can, choose double-pane windows, as they’ll add greater energy efficiency to your home.
Egress Windows
  • Flooring: Your unfinished basement most likely has a concrete floor. Though you can easily paint concrete, this option feels rather cold and doesn’t provide the highest level of safety. Carpeting can be an affordable and comfortable option. It can also be replaced for a relatively low price, should you experience any flooding. In general, stay away from installing hardwood floors in the basement. Even though it’s a renovation that offers a great ROI, the cost of hardwood floors simply isn’t worth it in this type of space.

Wall Insulation
  • Insulation: Installing proper insulation will allow you to control the temperature, minimize water damage, and reduce your energy consumption. In fact, good insulation can decrease the cost of heating and cooling your home by over 40%. You can add insulation to interior and/or exterior outside walls, as well as the ceiling. Spray foam is generally considered to be the most effective, but it’s also the most expensive. If you plan on spending a lot of time in this space, consider spending a bit more on this part of your remodel.
  • 40% Good Insulation
    • Plumbing: If you plan to include a bathroom, working kitchen, or laundry room in your renovation, you’re going to have to add plumbing. Adding plumbing below-ground can be a bit more complex, depending on how your home’s sewage pipes run. You may require an up-flushing system or a sewage-ejector system if your existing pipe system runs above your basement -- and this may mean extra time and money is required for the job. Even if you consider yourself to be quite handy, you should probably enlist the help of a professional if you want to add plumbing into your finished basement.
    • Waterproofing: Don’t forget that over 98% of homes with basements will experience some type of water damage at some point -- so you literally cannot afford to skip this step. Basement waterproofing costs can range anywhere from $500 to $15,000 depending on the complexity of the system, the size of the space, the potential source of water damage, and the contractor you pick. But this is definitely not optional.
    Water Damage
    • HVAC and Utilities: Your home already has HVAC components and water heaters. But if you live in an older home or these units are nearing the end of their lifespan, a basement remodel provides a perfect opportunity to have them checked out and potentially replaced, if necessary. You could also extend the system by adding ductwork . If your current basement setup has these components out in the open, you may have also considered the idea of closing them off in a separate room. While that can add aesthetic appeal to the space, you’ll need to consult with a professional to make sure this can be done safely and allow for easy maintenance when needed. 
    • Storage: Whether you’re going to be using your newly remodeled basement as extra living quarters, a place to entertain, or a spot for rest and relaxation, this area of your home can also provide additional storage space your family so badly needs. Instead of stacking up storage bins and cardboard boxes, you can curb the overflow by adding built-in storage shelving or under-stair storage in different places throughout the basement. You can easily incorporate clever storage options into a craft room, a playroom, a mud room, or your home theater. Don’t be afraid to get creative in order to make good use of your available space.
    • Furniture and Decor: This might be the part you’re most excited about -- and it’s no wonder why! Choosing your decor and furniture allows you to put your own personal stamp on the space and truly add function for your family. Unless you’re installing a home theater or wet bar, you’ll probably want to steer away from top-of-the-line furniture and decor. You can still make your basement look amazing without spending a fortune. Focus the bulk of your budget on multi-use furniture, a comfortable sofa, electronics, and personal touches.

    Drafting a Budget and Applying For Permits:

    Since you now have a better idea of what you’ll need to include in your basement renovation, you can start to draft a budget, hire a contractor (if applicable), and begin the process of applying for permits.

    Budgeting Tips for Basement Renovations

    The amount you spend on your basement remodel should reflect how long you plan to remain in your home. Home Adviser estimates that most homeowners spend anywhere from $10,500 to $27,000 when they plan to remodel their basements, while other estimates place the average cost of turning a basement into a livable space ranges from $6,500 to $18,500. Improving or replacing existing features can set you back $10,000 to $30,000. To keep costs down, consider the following:

    • Be clear about the scope of the project from the very start and don’t deviate from it
    • Don’t spend more than 15% to 20% of your home’s value on a basement improvement project unless you’ll be living in your home for more than five years
    • Remember that open spaces cost less than individual rooms do; unless you need a private space or require noise control to work in a separate room, opt for open concept
    • Don’t be tempted to splurge custom-made pieces; the use of credit cards to fund home renovation projects increased to 23% in 2016 -- there’s no point going into debt over a basement reno!
    • Keep in mind that the biggest renovation expenses are typically floor and wall coverings, followed by plumbing and electricity. Other costs may include interior carpentry (stairs, railings, trim), drywall and insulation, cabinets and countertops, paint, and cleanup
    • Avoid using organic products in basement renovations; not only are they more expensive, but they’re also prone to mold growth -- which could mean extra replacement costs in the long run
    • Steer clear of the most expensive materials; you don’t need marble countertops or stainless steel appliances to make a basement look amazing!

    Should You DIY Your Basement Renovation?

    At first, it might seem like DIYing your renovation, rather than hiring a contractor, could save you a bundle. In some cases, this could be true -- at least in part. While you should always hire contractors to install plumbing, electricity, waterproofing, and other elements with a safety factor, you might be able to save on labor costs by taking on certain parts of the renovation yourself. The size of your basement and the scope of the project are probably the two most important factors to consider here. DIYing a smaller basement could cost you $5,000, whereas hiring a professional team could cost $15,000. But you’ll also run the risk of improper installation, which can translate to added costs and frustration.

    Of course, you should conduct thorough research and ask for estimates from several different contractors before making a final decision. You can also find out from previous clients as to whether the projects were completed within the original budget and time period. Be sure to check with your state’s consumer protection agency and/or local building department to make certain that your contractors of choice have the proper insurance, licensing, and bonding to proceed with your project.

    All About Building Permits

    Permits Required

    Obtaining the proper permits is usually a necessary step for basement renovations. Essentially, every added structural, architectural, electrical, or plumbing component will require inspection and permitting approval. That means that if you plan to add lighting, HVAC, running water, a gas heater, drainage, electrical outlets, and framing, you need a permit to do it. Typically, you’ll need to secure building permits first, followed by electrical, mechanical, and plumbing permits. The cost of permits can vary from $100 up to $3,000, depending on the situation. It’s usually best to defer to a licensed contractor to ensure proper permits can be issued and that code compliance is in place. They’ll be able to tell you whether your basement ceiling needs to be at least seven feet high (and what you’ll need to do to obtain this height), whether your egress window provides enough square footage, and whether your design complies with other regulations.

    Ceiling Height Requirements

    Wondering whether you can just skip the permits? Don’t push your luck. If you don’t obtain the proper permits, you may face hefty fines or even be forced to remove work performed, whether it’s already completed or not. And if an adverse event occurs in your basement and you don’t have a permit to show work was done correctly, your insurance company could deny any claim you file.

    How to Prepare Your Basement For a Renovation:

    So you’ve decided on what to include in your design, made your budget, hired your contractors, and learned about applying for permits. What do you need to take care of before you can actually start renovating?

    • Get your foundation inspected
      You need to obtain a foundation inspection to identify structural damage, rust, waterproofing issues, cracks, sagging beams, and any other problems before you ever start the actual remodeling process. Fixing these problems can cost quite a bit of money and time -- but they’re extremely important in order to maintain the integrity of your home. It’s far better to take care of them first instead of taking your chances. Otherwise, your renovation could take much longer and cost a whole lot more.

    • Address drainage needs
      Water damage is a chief concern for homeowners, particularly in basement settings. If you perform a renovation without addressing drainage and potential water damage, you’ll likely regret it later on. Take the time now to grade your lawn, install any necessary drains, consider adding a water vapor or other waterproofing methods, and other steps your waterproofing company feels will allow you to protect your home.

    • Dry out the basement
      According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, approximately 60% of basements are considered wet. That excess moisture can cause rot and even mold if you don’t take care of it prior to remodeling. The source of moisture issues will likely be discovered in your foundation inspection, but there could be other issues at play. You might need to clear out or realign your gutters, install a sump pump, and more. These solutions can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to a few thousand bucks, so you may actually want to conduct an assessment before you even draft your reno budget.

    • Do a full clean out
      You can’t expect your contractors to be able to work around the existing mess in your basement. You’ll need to conduct a clean out of everything that’s currently being stored there and find a temporary home for it in another space (like a spare room, a storage pod, or an off-site storage facility). This is also really the best way to get inspiration for your space and see how much room you actually have to work with -- so you might want to consider cleaning it all out far in advance. It’s not a bad idea to host a garage sale or bring over some donations to a local charity in the process.

    • Determine how you’ll dispose of waste
      You might not have thought about this, but if you’re DIYing any part of your project or want to make sure your contractors keep costs under control, it’s something to include in your plans. Remodeling projects generate quite a bit of waste, and a lot of it will be too big to put out on the curb. If you need to rent a dumpster and take care of pick-up, you’ll want to arrange this ahead of time and factor this in to your overall costs.

    Now that you have a better idea of all the moving pieces that go into a basement renovation, you’ll be in a great spot to get started. Don’t forget to protect all your hard work by investing in waterproofing protection for this space. That way, your family can enjoy your finished basement in whatever way you choose, without worry.

    REALSEAL specializes in Basement Waterproofing, foundation crack repair, sump pump replacement, drain tile installation, window well replacement

    ADDITIONAL SOURCES:

    Our 8 Favorite Blue Cabinet Colors!

    Is Blue The New Grey?

    Longtime favorites for bedrooms & living spaces blue hues are really becoming the starring roles in kitchens! From baby blue to navy blue kitchen cabinets— stained, painted, glazed, lacquered, and antiqued finishes—re-energize your kitchen style from cozy cottage to sleekly modern. And with the right hardware, you’ve got yourself a kitchen that will make you happy for years to come!

    Blue is a versatile color that comes in a huge variety of cabinet coloring options. But, when choosing a blue kitchen cabinet finish, it’s important to consider what types of surfaces and accent hues will best complement your choice and design preferences.

    Here are a few ideas (and links to great articles) showcasing our favorite blue kitchen cabinets. We have compiled just a sampling in varying shades of blue however, there are SO many choices so do your research and find your favorite!

    Benjamin Moore Mozart Blue

    Benjamin Moore Mozart Blue Photo: Home Bunch

    behr-kitchen-blueprint

    Behr Blueprint Photo: Behr

    Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore

    Benjamin Moore Hale Navy Photo: HGTV

    27-Blue-Kitchen-Ideas-Pictures-Of-Decor-Paint-Cabinet

    Powder blue, robins-egg, or grayish blue hues. Photo: Nimvo

    Wellborn Colorinspire Photo: Amy Nusinger

    Wellborn Colorinspire Cabinets Photo: Wellborn Amy Nusinger

    Wellborn Colorinspire

    Wellborn Colorinspire Blue Cabinets Photo: Wellborn

    Benjamin Moore Wolf Grey

    Benjamin Moore Wolf Grey Photo: Emily Henderson

    Baby Blue Cabinets The Spruce

    Baby Blue Cabinet ideas by The Spruce!

    It looks like blues are going to be around for a while so if blue is your thing you can be fairly assured that its not going out of style anytime soon!

    And don’t forget your hardware. Finding the perfect hardware is like putting the “icing on a cake”! Whatever you do, Take your time choosing the right color & hardware that best fits your personal style.

    Our designers are here to help with any questions you might have & consultations are always FREE so why not schedule yours today?

    Every great kitchen or bath remodel starts with a solid PLAN! Its easy to get started! Just click below to claim your free Design Consultation and let us help you put together the perfect plan for YOU!

    Your Guide to Waterproof Flooring!

    Most people love the idea of hardwood floors. They are one of the few parts of a home that can transcend any style and trend and are able to last for decades.

    However, there are situations in which hardwood isn’t the best choice during a remodel or new build. A modestly budgeted renovation can mean that real hardwood flooring may have to be one of the products you nix from the list in order to stay within your price point.

    You could also be a parent to toddlers, pets, or both, and that means a lot of wear-and-tear on not only floors but every surface of your house.

    With the promise to supply quality products for every budget and lifestyle, Builders Surplus has a variety of waterproof flooring products, such as luxury vinyl flooring options that give you the look and feel of hardwood floors.

    There are so many options to choose from and that can get overwhelming, so let’s break it down so you get to know all about laminate products.

    Your Two Options: Luxury Vinyl (LVT or LVP) or Waterproof Laminate

    Laminate:

    History of the laminate flooring starts in Sweden in early 1920 and despite popular misconception, there are actually very few similarities between hardwood and Laminate.

    Whereas the durability of wood floors will vary with the different types of wood, laminate floors are not made from any particular species.

    Laminates are constructed using three principal layers: the decorative layer, the core, and the backing layer. These layers are compressed together using a high-pressure process.

    The higher the pressure used, the more durable the laminate will be–and it will have a higher AC rating. AC, or also known as Abrasion Rating System, was created to give us a way of determining durability and recommended usage level of different laminate floors. The common term used to denote the durability level of luxury vinyl plank and tile flooring is the Abrasion Criteria or “AC” rating.

    Luxury Vinyl Flooring:

    In 1926 vinyl as a useful substance was invented by accident. In Akron, Ohio, Waldo Lonsbury Semon, a researcher, was trying to develop an adhesive to bond rubber to metal for The BF Goodrich Company.

    Vinyl manufacturing was reintroduced after World War 11 ended, boasting some of its newly discovered properties, versatility and flame resistance. Vinyl flooring was shown to handle heavy foot traffic and to be relatively inexpensive, so it quickly took off in commercial spaces, then in residential homes’ high traffic area, and finally as a home flooring in general. It became a solid competitor!

    The first Vinyl Planks were introduced in the ’70s and they grew in popularity. Today these planks have a deal sealer. Vinyl plank is now available as a 100% waterproof floor. Top to bottom, inside and out, now they are 100% waterproof and benefit from the same technologies that have made laminate flooring become so increasingly realistic looking.

    The design options of LVT flooring make it a desirable material, but this flooring also has many properties that homeowners look for in their flooring. Extremely resistant to dents, moisture damage, heat and more, Luxury Vinyl Tile flooring is perfect for those who want durable floors. Additionally, there are many types of LVT that offer built-in soundproofing and don’t contain harmful chemicals that will affect the air quality in your home.

    Laminate Waterproof Flooring

    Most laminate flooring is NOT waterproof, some are just water resistant. However, there are some waterproof laminates. The ONLY waterproof element is the surface, so if water gets into the cracks or underneath, it will be ruined. It’s better than standard laminate, but still not as durable as Luxury Vinyl.

    What is the difference in Laminate and Luxury Vinyl Flooring? For starters, They’remade from different materials. Laminate flooring is made of layers. The primary layer (the core) is made of high-density fiberboard that gives laminate flooring its rigidity and strength. LVT is made in layers as well; its primary component is PVC vinyl, which makes LVT dimensionally stable and flexible.

    Laminate flooring can offer the appearance of real hardwood floors or slate but for about two-thirds the cost. Laminate flooring is an excellent choice–healthy for your family and environmentally friendly. It’s pretty durable and sometimes scratch resistant, it will not fade even after years of exposure to direct sunlight.

    Surprisingly, some laminate waterproof flooring can be both chemical and burn resistant. Even the toughest stain you can safely remove with acetone, with no damage to the floor. And burning embers falling from an open fireplace will not leave any mark or discoloration.

    The biggest downside to buying a waterproof laminate is the fact that only the surface is waterproof. Most major water accidents are in the cracks and under the boards.

    Luxury Vinyl Plank – COREtec One and Plus

    Luxury Vinyl Plank, also called Luxury Vinyl Tile, LVT or LVT, is becoming the flooring material of choice. Not only is it waterproof on the surface, but the ENTIRE plank is also 100% waterproof.

    Achieving a beautiful wood look that requires little to no maintenance has never been easier than with COREtec One luxury vinyl plank flooring.

    These planks are completely waterproof, highly durable, and resistant to dents, making them ideal for any room of the home.

    A no-mess, glue-less installation, these luxury vinyl planks can be installed with minimal floor prep over existing hard surfaces and will help to hide subfloor imperfections.

    With a 25 year residential warranty, you are sure to love your new flooring for many years to come.

    COREtec Plus represents the next revolution in luxury vinyl flooring. This waterproof flooring is a great alternative to glue-down, solid locking, or laminate flooring. The patented construction of COREtec Plus features an innovative core structure, which is an extruded core made from recycled wood and bamboo dust, limestone, and virgin PVC.

    Since COREtec Plus is 100% waterproof, the floors can be installed in wet areas and will never swell when exposed to water. Inert and dimensionally stable; it will not expand or contract under normal conditions.

    And the best part? Each COREtec Plus plank has an attached cork underlayment for a quieter, warmer vinyl floor that is naturally resistant to odor-causing mold and mildew.

    Featherweight Luxury Vinyl Tile

    When you install Featherweight luxury vinyl flooring, you get luxury planks that are reusable, anti-slip underfoot, waterproof, and anti-static.

    The union lock system clicks planks together and gives your floor a seam-free look. Click vinyl flooring makes for a fantastic DIY project and offers beauty that you will appreciate.

    With several colors and designs to choose from, you will be happy with your new floor once the installation process is complete. Click vinyl floors will offer an affordable, warm touch to any area of your home.

    Entryways and laundry areas are ideal for this Featherweight vinyl flooring. If you have kids who do not like to remove shoes or boots, this is a fantastic flooring choice for you!

    Mohawk Luxury Vinyl Flooring

    Mohawk Luxury Vinyl is a superb choice. With the extra comfort of knowing that luxury vinyl is waterproof, it gives you the extra confidence to install it in places where moisture can be an issue like a kitchen, bathroom, mudroom or utility room.

    Luxury Vinyl is a very durable floor comes with a commercial grade wear layer. It is made out of 100% virgin luxury vinyl and reinforced with fiberglass for extra durability. Mohawk Luxury Vinyl is beautiful and affordable, and installation is a snap. Glue is not needed and you can walk on your floors right after installation. It’s ideal for residential and commercial spaces.

    If you’re ready for your new luxury vinyl flooring, Builders Surplus has the top brands for the best prices. Click here to shop all of our Luxury Vinyl and come in store to pick some up today!

    Want to learn more about Flooring from an experienced Pro?

    Schedule your Free Tile or Flooring Consultation Today!

    6 Amazing Stain Colors For Your Kitchen Cabinets!

    When it comes to kitchen cabinets — beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder! Painted cabinets have long been the norm & are still preferred by many homeowners. Most of us have never given much thought to stained cabinets and keeping it real! Meaning simply allowing the beauty of the wood, with all of its natural character, to shine thru.

    This year we are seeing an emerging trend of uniquely stained kitchen cabinets. Companies like Wellborn or Waypoint have recently introduced their own personal lines of stain cabinets. Each with very unique undertones. This is a great option for homeowners who want to be able to see the grain and texture of the beautiful wood.

    If your budget is tight, you might consider unfinished cabinets. You could stain them yourself or even refinish existing wood cabinetry. But if you have any doubts about your stripping and staining skills, it’s definitely worth hiring a professional. Things could go from good to bad quickly if you’re not prepared!

    Here are 6 favorite kitchens with stained cabinetry. It’s amazing, depending on the wood and stain, how each collection is uniquely different.

    Wellborn Drift

    Wellborn Drift is a new stained cabinet in their extensive line of more than 30,000 finishes.

    Wellborn DriftWellborn Drift

    Waypoint Textured Stains

    Waypoint offers three uniquely different stains this year that work well with a variety of finishes.

    Waypoint Textured DriftWaypoint Duraform Textured DriftWaypoint Duraform Textured BreezeWaypoint_Duraform_CascadeWaypoint Duraform Textured Cascade

    Builders Surplus

    Builders Surplus has added 2 stained cabinetry lines this year. Ginger Creek Cinder Shaker & In-stock Maple Stone Shaker.

    Builders Surplus Ginger Creek Cinder ShakerMaple StoneBuilders Surplus Maple Stone Shaker

    Hopefully, you have fallen in love with these beautiful stained cabinets as much as we have!

    We would love for you to come in and explore all of these new cabinet lines.

    Schedule My Free Design Consultation Today!

    Can You Keep Your Kitchen Remodeling Cost In Budget? ( and still get the kitchen you love)

    Where Do You Start?

    Lets face it, starting a kitchen or bath remodel can seem like an overwhelming mountain to climb. You know it will mean "down-time" for your normal daily family routine but if you are like most homeowners, the real fear begins with thoughts of the "unknown" kitchen remodeling cost. You've been told you should always get estimates but where do you start?

    A kitchen or bath remodel is a BIG undertaking so you need to make absolutely sure you have a solid (and firm) remodeling plan in place BEFORE you start! Changes cost money! Deciding to move or add an outlet "here or there" is actually a pretty big deal for your contractor & perhaps your kitchen design layout & cost. If you have a remodeling plan then you minimize any surprises.

    We will always recommend you sit down with a trained designer first to begin the process. Designers are not just interior designers... they are well trained professionals who will help you with the bigger picture; design, plumbing, electrical, etc. and above all cost!

    They want to learn about you & your personal design taste. Dont try to hide your budget from your designer. They are your advocates, not your enemy! The ultimate goal is to get the BEST kitchen at the best possible price.

    Kitchen Packages For Every Taste & Budget!

    In an effort to help make the kitchen process easier for homeowners, we created our new "10 Kitchens Under 10K"  packages. Each kitchen is based on the standard 8' x 12' kitchen size and includes your cabinets, countertops, crown moulding & toe kick. Each package can even be customized to find your perfect design. Prices shown are with laminate, granite or quartz countertops depending on the package but you can choose to customize each package within similar cabinet lines & countertop options.

    Here are a few of our 10 Under 10K kitchen packages but we encourage you to visit our 10 Under 10K kitchen packages page to see them all here!

    Unfinished Alder Cabinets With Laminate

    Alder Shaker (In Stock) with Laminate Countertops

    Ginger Creek White Shaker Cabinets with Laminate Countertops

    Ginger Creek Value White Shaker With Laminate

     Ginger Creek Grey Shaker Cabinets with Laminate Countertops

    Ginger Creek Shaker Grey with Laminate Countertops

    Ginger Creek Dove Grey Shaker Cabinets with Granite Countertops

    Ginger Creek Dove Grey Shaker with Laminate Countertops

    Waypoint Maple Truffle Cabinets with Quartz Countertops

    Waypoint Maple Truffle with Quartz Countertops

    Waypoint 660D Cherry Slate Cabinets with Granite Countertops

    Waypoint Cherry Slate with Granite Countertops

    We hope our new kitchen packages (with prices) can help you make the big step to a beautiful kitchen remodel this year!

    Schedule your FREE kitchen design consultation today & let us help you create your very own kitchen remodeling plan!

    Happy Remodeling!

    Builders Surplus

    The Guide to Replacement Windows

    In this post, we'll discuss how to get replacement windows, from start to finish.

    There are many homeowners that overlook their windows. Where it may seem like a more boring feature of a house, I can assure you that it is not.

    They do more than just provide a pretty view and let you enjoy that natural sunlight every day. They can increase or decrease your curb appeal, home value, or overall comfort and function of your home.

    Maintenance and proper installation are key, but at the end of the day, old windows often just need to be replaced.

    Today, we'll go through the steps on what you can do as a homeowner to make sure your windows continue to do what they do best - Shine!

    Do I Need Replacement Windows?

    This is question our window installation team is often asked. How do I actually know if I need to replace all my windows? Here are a few simple things you can do to find this answer:

    • Do all your windows open and close properly? Remember that windows are another exit way in case of a fire or a similar emergency and you want to be able to utilize them for fresh air!
    • If air leaks in, out, or around the window. This is where efficiency comes in. If there is a passage for air to come in and leave, then money is literally flying out of the window. No one likes high utility bills or inconsistent levels of comfort in their home.
    • Notice any condensation or fogging that occurs on or between the glass? They're not working properly.
    • Appearance wise, chipping, deterioration, or water stains on or around the window. To put it simply, stain equals water damage equals mold. 
    • Outdated style or style that does not blend with the rest of the house. Windows shouldn't stick out in a negative way. You'd be surprised what new windows can do for the look of your home!

    Schedule Your FREE WINDOWS ESTIMATE TODAY!

    How Much Do Windows Cost?

    Window costs range wildly depending on who you’re using. That’s why Builders Surplus focuses so much on providing all of the options that homeowners would need at a price significantly lower than the competition (Does 40% off sounds good?). 

    For a standard sized home, you can get quoted from one big box window provider nearly $10,000 (or more!)

    At Builders Surplus, you can get an entire house of white vinyl windows – including installation – For only $3,600!

    See how important it is to not take the first quote?

    What are the Options for Replacement Windows?

    When replacing your windows, you need to think about a few things:

    1. Style
    2. Color
    3. Material
    4. Energy Efficiency

    In terms of style, you’ve got several options. 

    Casement Windows:

    Casement windows feature one hinged sash that swings out, welcoming the breeze in. These windows are coveted for their clean, uncluttered views and effortless operation.

    Casement Window

    Awning Windows:

    Awning windows are hinged at the top and open out like a casement. They’re often placed above or below other windows – and over doors – for extra ventilation and light.

    Double-Hung Windows:

    Double-hung windows have two sliding sashes providing efficient ventilation. Raise the lower sash to allow in a cool breeze. Lower the upper sash to pull hot air from the ceiling outside.

    Single-Hung Windows:

    Single-hung windows offer the same timeless style as double-hung windows but only the bottom sash is movable.

    Single Hung Windows

    Sliding Windows:

    A sliding panel allows for easy operation – an ideal choice for difficult-to-reach areas.

    Bay or Bow Windows:

    Bay and bow windows are combinations of windows that reach out into the world. Even with limited wall space, they allow you to have more windows to capture the view.

    Special Shapes:

    Special Shape windows are available in rectangular, curved and angled. They can be used by themselves, as an accent or with other products, providing endless design possibilities.

     

    Window Materials:

    You can typically find 3 types of window materials: Vinyl, Wood, or Aluminum.

    Wood 
    For centuries, wood was the go-to material for window frames. However, as technology has evolved other materials have slowly begun to replace this natural material. 

    Despite the growing number of synthetic options, many people still like the look and feel of wood. Wood can be a strong and warm material that provides adequate insulation and strong aesthetic benefits. You can paint, stain or otherwise customize wood as well. 

    The negative side of wood is that it’s less resilient to the elements. Water can lead to rot over time and sunlight or heat can eventually create unsightly cracks and damage. Additionally, the best quality wood is on the more expensive end of window frame materials. 

    Fiberglass 
    One of the synthetic frame options that’s replacing wood is fiberglass. This increasingly popular material is a durable option that is resilient to weather and household use. This material also looks great on both the inside and outside of your house. It comes in a number of colors and styles that can fit your home.

    Aluminum 
    Aluminum window frames are not the best choice for the Northeast. Although this material is inexpensive, strong, durable and able to be painted whatever color you need, it doesn’t insulate well. Although popular in warmer climates, the metal conducts heat out the frame. This can hurt your heating bill and nullify any energy-efficient glass you’re installing. 

    Vinyl 
    Modern vinyl frames are designed to withstand the impact of harsh UV light on them over time. Vinyl has emerged as one of the most popular frame options. It’s a relatively durable and inexpensive option that comes in a wide variety of colors and styles. the biggest benefit of vinyl is how much insulation it can provide. 

    Although vinyl frames are low maintenance and can help insulate your window, they are not as strong as many other materials and can’t be painted. 

    Use this information to inform a discussion with your replacement window technician about the best window frame material for you and your house. 

    Schedule Your FREE WINDOWS ESTIMATE TODAY!

    Window Color:

    You have a few options of window color if you're getting custom order windows. Most in stock options are going to come in basic white, but you can get trendy black frames, tan frames or cream colored frames as well!

    Energy Efficiency:

    If you're interested in getting rebates for your windows, then energy star rated windows are for you! This will also do a great job at keeping your air in, and the elements out! It can decrease energy use and allow you to get more bang for your buck! Most windows are offered with Energy Star Options, so just ask!

    Where to Get Replacement Windows?

    We'll be honest, you can get windows at many places. But, what you want to look for in your window provider are these 5 things:

    1. Selection - Do they have what you need or want in stock or through special order?
    2. Price - What is the price like compared to the competition
    3. Quality - Are these windows their bottom level offer or will they actually last for 20 years?
    4. Service - Getting windows ordered and installed is a process. Only work with someone who is going to treat you right! This is a large purchase after all!
    5. Installation Team - Most people would have no idea where to start installing their own windows (and it's not a very good idea either!) You also shouldn't have to find your own window contractor. Find a retailer that offers window installation.

    Luckily for you, Builders Surplus offers ALL of these things, which makes us the #1 in Louisville and Cincinnati for new construction or replacement windows. Just schedule your FREE Windows Estimate to get started!

    Who can Install Replacement Windows?

    We can! Seriously. There are a number of professional installers on our team that would be happy to help you with your replacement windows.

    See, we know how important it is to do perform this task the right away. If you're not too careful, you may hire some random dude named Jim who says he knows what he's doing, but in the end, you'll be miserable trying to manage the project, make sure it's done correctly, and making sure that it's completed on time. 

    If you're CONFIDENT in installing your own windows, then go for it! You'll save money. But if not, it's a very bad idea. You can cause water damage, mold and lots of additional problems with a bad window installation. This will cause you money and stress down the road.

    Rest assured that your windows are installed perfectly and without error by letting the professionals handle it at Builders Surplus! Interested? Contact one of our professionals today and Schedule your FREE In-Home Window Estimate!

    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Builders Surplus is a full-service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
    Written By: Chris Chamberlain

    Schedule Your FREE WINDOWS ESTIMATE TODAY!

    Why A Freestanding Tub Could Change Your Life!

    Ah, the freestanding tub. I can’t tell you how many people in my life have said, “I want one of those so bad,” but fail to tell me why. Well, today I’m going to talk about why these baths are so appealing and continue to be such a hot commodity. If you have one, fill it up, grab the iPad, and read along as you slowly nod your head in agreement. If you don’t have one, I can guarantee that by the end of this post, you’ll at least consider it if you haven’t already. 

    A Freestanding Tub WILL Relax You

    There’s a reason why in every movie or show that has a scene with one of these bad boys, the actor/actress is super relaxed. Case in point, taking a bath in one of these tubs is simply soothing. Unlike the Jacuzzi tubs fitted with jets and streams, a freestanding tub is set in silence, allowing you to soak in the solace that will inevitably de-stress you. Pour a glass of wine, light a candle or two, fill up one of these wonders with warm water, climb in, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

    Freestanding Tub Louisville Cincinnati

     

    Freestanding tubs are found in legitimate, luxurious spa rooms for a reason. Even the look of them is relaxed. They are “free,” and therefore exhibit the notion that while you’re soaking in suds, you should feel the same way. Not fixed to the wall, nothing to fasten you in, just you, water, and the vessel that seems to float. Simply put, it is your own oasis, and you’ll end up spending hours in one after a particularly long day.

     

    Freestanding Tub Louisville Cincinnati

    A Freestanding Tub Enlarges A Room

    So, whether it’s set on legs or chills on the bathroom floor, a freestanding tub makes a room bigger because it’s seen as a singular item. Unlike a fixed bath that accompanies a couple of walls, this one sets by itself. Look at the pictures in this blog or do some of your own research, and you’ll see that each kind of room works around the freestanding tub instead of the other way around.

    Freestanding Tub Louisville Cincinnati

     

    If the tub is set on pegs, the entire area around and underneath shows, which provides that depth that everyone looks for in a bathroom – and – allows you to show off your bathroom floor. Sidenote: These tubs look best on top of bathroom tile. I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention that bit. It’s a luxurious item that’s attractiveness only intensifies by more elaborate designs.

     

    Freestanding Tub Louisville Cincinnati

    A Freestanding Tub Fits Any Style

    Honestly, it’s a win-win-win all the way around. Yes, there are different types of freestanding tubs that will no doubt work better than others, but for the most part, you cannot go wrong with a crisp-white, beautifully-shaped tub that acts as a focal point to your bathroom. So, for example, let’s say you’re breaking ground on a bathroom remodel, and where you used to have the typical fiberglass tub and shower head, you want a standup shower and freestanding tub.

    Freestanding Tub Louisville Cincinnati

    Well, if I were you, I wouldn’t worry too much about contouring your entire bathroom design around the tub because it’s going to do that no matter what. The magic is within the perception of the person. We’re all so used to seeing the normal, most-common bathroom setting — fixed tub/shower setup, toilet, maybe a theme or something, but then you add something iconic like a freestanding tub and the eye is naturally drawn to the peculiarity. It’s more human nature than it is physics, and who doesn’t want that kind of reaction in any room of their house?

    Freestanding Tub Louisville Cincinnati

    A Freestanding Tub is Easy-to-Install

    I mean, this is pretty self-explanatory, right? It’s a bit heavy, sure, but for the most part, all that’s required on install is to choose your placement (which we’ll get to later) and hooking up your plumbing. Instead of bringing up a contractor for a built-in shower/bath combo, a freestanding tub only really requires a plumber to run the water lines and drain pipes to it. Simple as pie.
    Freestanding Tub Louisville Cincinnati

    Placement: A fixed shower is exactly that, fixed. There’s literally no room for variation, really. But with one of these tubs, the options are nearly endless. Notice the pictures don a creative element to the placement of the tub. It almost acts like a statue the way it presents itself. If there’s any word that truly grasps the essence of the freestanding tub, it’s stunning.

    Freestanding Tub Louisville Cincinnati

    Alright, everyone. Are you in love with these tubs yet? I know I am. Well, we happen to have a few of these in stock at our Louisville and Cincinnati stores. Check out our selection of Freestanding & Clawfoot Tubs right here or stop in-store and see them for yourself!


    Builders Surplus is a full-service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are one of the leading providers of  kitchen cabinets, tile, flooring, windows and doors in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design comes as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. 
    If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients, home improvement pros & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement, we hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
    Written by: Chris Chamberlain

    Rustic Bathroom Vanities To Upgrade Your Outhouse

    Rustic bathroom style is in right now, and I for one am thrilled. Rustic bathrooms are so cozy, unique and nostalgic. It takes the best of nature, farmhouse chic, and craftsman characteristics and combines them to take a sometimes cold feeling space and makes it feel warm. Here are a few examples of unique rustic bathroom vanities that will upgrade your outhouse in a flash!

    1. The Live Edge Slab Rustic Bathroom Vanity

    live edge bathroom vanity louisville newport cincinatti
    A live edge is when a slab of wood has not been cut on all sides and the natural edge of the tree is visible. This is an incredible feature to have in your home, whether it is your bathroom vanity, your kitchen countertop, island top, or kitchen table. It can be used in so many ways and is fairly affordable! Look for a local lumber yard to help you out. Now, just find the perfect vessel, undermount or drop in sink and you’ve got a rustic look instantly!

    2. Bourbon Barrel Bathroom Vanity

     
    Bourbon Barrel Bathroom Vanity Louisville Cincinnati Newport Kentucky
     
    Living in Kentucky, Bourbon Barrels are a big part of our culture and heritage. We live in Bourbon country, and we’re proud of it. One great way to pay homage to our great state is by using bourbon barrels as a bathroom vanity! You can use an undermount or drop-in sink, but the easiest would be a vessel sink, as you only need to drill one small hole, and not much more. Regardless of where you live, this is a great rustic touch for a bathroom.

    3. James Martin Driftwood Double Vanity

     
    James Martin Vanities James Martin Furniture Louisville Cincinnati Newport
     
    James Martin Furniture Style Vanities are some of the most well made, beautiful pieces that we’ve seen for bathrooms. One style called “Savannah Driftwood” Is one of my very favorites for the rustic feel that it brings. Shop James Martin Vanities 50% off or more in our store today! Quantities are limited for many styles, but we can always custom order any James Martin Vanity that interests you.

    Bathroom Vanities Bathroom Vanity Louisville Newport Cincinnati

    4. Industrial Farm Trough Bathroom Vanity

     
    rustic bathroom vanity louisville newport cincinnati ohio
     
    This is such a creative idea! You definitely need some space to pull off this bathroom vanity, but how unique! Finding an old farm trough may be the hardest part, but after that, simply create some wood countertops, polyurethane of course, and add a stainless steel undermount sink (found here). Voila! Rustic bathroom accomplished.

    5. Distressed Dresser Bathroom Vanity

     
    rustic bathroom vanities Cincinnati louisville newport

    One of my favorite rustic bathroom vanity ideas is to take an old antique dresser, update it (or not) and add a vessel sink. It is pretty easy and painless. It adds a beautiful farmhouse chic feel to your bathroom that you just can’t find brand new.

    Builders Surplus offers many bathroom vanity sink options. While many of our in stock and custom order products are online, the best deals are found in store. Quantities are limited, so stop by today! Bathroom Vanities in Louisville, Bathroom Vanities in Newport and Bathroom Vanities in Cincinnati are also available daily!
    ______________________
    Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!
    Written By: Allie Bloyd
     

    Want to learn more about kitchen & bath remodeling?

    Our 5 Favorite Design Trends For 2019!

    Beginning a new year always brings renewed excitement for those of us fortunate to work in home retail & remodeling. It’s especially exciting to meet homeowners who will begin planning or preparing to tackle a long-anticipated remodeling project. With an eye on 2019 design trends, we found our Top 5 favorites & hope they are some of your favorites too! Here goes:

    1. Darker Kitchen Cabinetry

    Top Interior Design Trends for 2019

     Navy Blue or Black Kitchen Cabinets paired with brass hardware & faucet

    Searches for black and navy blue kitchens are up 93% in past six months, with matt and powdery finishes. One of the strongest style trends that have come through in modern kitchen design is the color blue, and this can be traced from classic Shaker-style kitchens right through to chic and minimal modern spaces. Whether it’s on walls, floors, cabinetry or backsplashes, blue has replaced grey as the go-to on-trend color – and it is particularly navy blue kitchens. Wellborn ColorInspire Cabinet finishes is leading the trend! ColorInspire is a program that will allow a customer the ability to choose from thousands of colors in any of the Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams or Valspar color decks for that just right color.

    2. Vintage Style Bathrooms

    Tod Trends for 2019: Vintage Style Bathroom

    The Vintage Style Bathroom has found its way back home and we couldn’t be happier!

    Good design lasts forever and more than seventy years later it returns to rekindle an eternal style.  Soft, classic lines fill the entire ensemble with character in a relaxing and magical place where every detail has a reason to be there. With the ever-changing world around us, we still seek to find a calmness from days gone by but with the versatility of our modern storage needs.

    3. Brass Faucets And Hardware

    Top Interior Design Trends for 2019: Brass Faucet

    Brass Faucets & Hardware can add the finishing touch to a kitchen or bath.

    Like a beautiful piece of jewelry, Brass faucets & hardware are making a big return to add the finishing touch to your kitchen or bath. Adding just a bit of shine or extra bunch to marble or concrete bathroom elements. Brass also makes a beautiful statement with this year’s popular darker kitchen cabinets like black or navy blue finishes.

    4. Patterned Tile

    Top Tile Trends for 2019: Patterned Tile

    This year there is a  renewed focus on artisan inspired patterned tile creating a focal wall.

    Gone are the days of tile floors mixing into the background of a room. In 2019, we are seeing the reemergence of patterned tile everywhere! Perhaps my favorite trend this year because we are seeing so many new tile colors & shapes! Patterned tile allows you to create a space that shows off a bit of personality. They look especially great when paired with neutrals. Featured here is Havana Jazz by Roca.

    5. Green Sustainable Flooring

    Cork Flooring Trends 2019

    A Move to Green Flooring: Cork, Bamboo, Reclaimed Wood or Engineered Wood.

    Natural, recycled and materials obtained from sustainable sources will be big in 2019 and beyond.  Options like cork, bamboo, reclaimed wood, and engineered wood are proving to be very popular choices. Cork, for instance, is non-toxic and is taken from the bark of the cork oak tree. It is non-harmful for the tree and the bark can be re-harvested around every 9 years- up to 15 times in its lifetime! Special care is taken to strip the outer bark without damaging the inner layer. Reclaimed wood or Salvaged wood can provide new life from old buildings. It may take more effort to source but with a quick search, you may be surprised to find several companies specializing in recycled wood products.

    Hopefully, my Top 5 Design Trends for 2019 will be favorites of yours too! These are only a few of the MANY awesome trends for the year. Share with us some of your personal favorites!

    Schedule Your FREE Kitchen & Bath Design Appointment!

    How to Declutter Your Kitchen for the New Year

    Today, we’re going to give you our best tips on how to declutter your kitchen. As the new year comes in, it’s important to clear up your space, organize, and get yourself together. The kitchen can become a catch-all for an endless supply of dishware utensils, cooking tools and decor. It’s no wonder that it can become hard to find what’s necessary when you need it! Contact-Designer-Shop-Ad

    Declutter your Kitchen

    First – Keep, Store, Toss

    When trying to declutter your kitchen, the more stuff you have, the harder it becomes. That’s why we recommend taking this time to sort. You can make this process much faster by simply asking yourself “When is the last time I used this?” If the answer is never, you put in the toss (or donate or sell) pile. If it’s been a year, you should probably store. This could be things like seasonal cooking supplies and appliances. If you’ve used it in the last year, you can most likely add it to the keep pile.

    Second – Organize

    The second step in clearing up your kitchen space is putting “like” things together. We all do this to some degree, but the more specific you can get, the better. Putting all of your large spoons together, your tongs together, and your specialty utensils grouped will make finding them so much easier. Instead of putting all of your pots and pans together, group them by size and type. large pots here, small pots there. Large skillets here, Cake pans there. Give them their own designated space. Declutter your kitchen - drawer organizers Utilize Vertical Space. Vertical space is often wasted, so make it work to your advantage. You can do this with so many add on products for your kitchen. It can be as simple as using hooks on the inside of your cabinets to hang things like measuring tools and pot holders. Use risers in your cabinets to give you additional levels of space, apart from your shelves. This allows you to stack much more easily and not worry about breaking your dishes. Declutter your kitchen - pull out pot racks Maximize Corners. Your corner cabinets are often hard to reach into or truly dead space. You can add lazy susans or pull out shelves to make the most of your space, organize better, and gain better access to these items. Declutter your kitchen - pull out corner cabinets There are many ways that you can declutter your kitchen, organize and maximize space to keep it that way. Some of these can be added when remodeling your kitchen, while others are after market upgrades that are affordable and easy to install, like our Hardware Resources collection of “11 minutes of less” products. While we have a lot of these products in-store, ready to take home,  you can also order anything and have it shipped to your home in days. Check out all the options here! We hope you have a wonderful start to the new year!


    Builders Surplus is a full service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Bathroom Remodeling, Bathroom Cabinets, Vanity tops and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation! Written By: Allie Bloyd

    Want to learn more about kitchen remodeling? Subscribe here!

    Carpet: What to Consider Before You Buy.

    When you’re  shopping for carpet one of the first things most of us typically do is FEEL carpet samples. We want to imagine how this will feel to actually sink our feet into its luxurious comfort. But how much do you actually KNOW about carpet and what should you consider before making this big commitment?

    The “feel”of a carpet sample is just the beginning step in your carpet search! Here we discuss some of the main things to consider when doing your research.

    Do you know what your carpet is made of?

    Carpet: What you should know before you buy.

    There are five primary carpet fiber options you need to know and the benefits associated with each fiber type. Evaluating the area and activities where you plan to lay carpet is a good place to start and will help you narrow down the best fiber choice for your particular need. 

    The Five fiber options are:

    • Triexta– Highest performing & easiest to clean; less likely to mat down
    • Nylon-High performing less, likely to mat down; diverse in style and color options.
    • Polyester– superior stain-resistance, but unfortunately doesn’t have as good durability as Nylon or Triexta.
    • Olefin– Very durable & usually inexpensive
    • Wool– Natural fiber and durable.

    The Four Main Carpet Types 

    Four Main Carpet types

    There are four main carpet types to choose from.  All have pros & cons to consider, depending on the area of your home & the look and feel you want to achieve. You might choose a different carpet type for a bedroom vs. family room.

    SHOP CARPET, FULLY INSTALLED, STARTING AT JUST $1.90/sf!

    The Four main carpet types are:

    • Textured– provides an open canvas for flexible decor.
    • Twist– Delivers a casual and stylish look
    • Loop/Berber– provide a tailored look for more formal decor.
    • Pattern– provides an upscale look for more engaging decor.

    The Pad can make all the difference!

    Choosing the right carpet padding for your home.

    Carpet padding is just as important, if not more than the carpet you choose. Padding, or the cushion is the foundation of every carpet installation and helps to increase the lifespan and comfort of your carpet.  Padding is the real support structure for your carpet and will effect the life of your carpet holding up under constant wear & tear. Here is a great article comparing carpet padding to a bridge. The carpet=asphalt & padding=foundation. 

     The Six Main Padding types:.

    • Foam pad: Density is typically 2-5 lbs.
    • Frothed foam pad: Density should be 12+ lbs for durability.
    • Rebond pad: Density is 5-10 lbs.
    • Synthetic fiber pad: Usually rated in ounces but may be rated in pounds.
    • arrow-rightWaffle rubber pad: Go for a minimum of 64 ounces.
    • arrow-rightSlab rubber pad: Usually comes in 18-22 lbs

    Most carpets call for a 7/16″ pad but that depends on the carpet fiber you choose but its important to follow the manufactures warranty pad requirements! Not doing so could forfeit your carpet warranty all together! So do your homework. If you find a carpet you are seriously considering, research it thoroughly online & from the actual carpet manufactures guide.

    Never rely solely on a salesman or retailer to give you all the information needed to make an informed decision. We are not implying anyone is intentionally being dishonest. Only that, especially with major purchases, arming yourself with information is powerful & keeps you in control during the buying process. Usually with less regret!

    Good luck in your search to find the perfect carpet to fit you and your family’s lifestyle. Hopefully this article helped educate on your carpet buying journey! Check out our full line of carpet options here

    Schedule Your FREE FLOORING CONSULTATION!

    How to Know When It’s Time for Window Replacement

    Hello, everyone! I hope you’re enjoying your summer — driving around with the windows down, or maybe hanging around the house with the windows up. Wondrous things, windows. They allow the pleasantries of the outdoors, inside. Natural-light and warm sun rays are just a couple of the benefits windows provide, not to mention views. So, in essence, these assets are pretty significant to the homeowner experience. But how do you know when it’s time for a window replacement? Today, we’ll answer that question.

    Window Replacement: Damages

    It kind of goes without saying that if your windows are damaged, they need to be replaced. But what are some of the signs that tell you if your windows are damaged?
    Warping
    This is solely caused when wood absorbs water and expands, causing the windows to bend. The result is a obvious warped look that is anything but pleasing to the eye. Also, this gives your window more reason to crack and eventually break completely. Imagine a monstrous rainstorm heading your way just as your hear an ear-splitting crack coming from your bedroom window. Bad news, for sure. No one wants those problems.
    Deterioration
    Over long periods of times and excessive leaks from bad caulk jobs, the wood around your windows will begin to crack and crumble. The most important thing to note when it comes to windows is that water is your enemy. Any cracks that allow water to infiltrate your house need to be resolved immediately. And yes, you can try to repair, but when it hits this extent, the most effective solution is to replace.

    window replacement

    Air Leaks
    Run your hands along the sides of the windows. If you feel even the slightest wisp of air seeping through, it’s time for a window replacement. Windows draw in sunlight and let in fresh air, but their main function is to prevent the otherwise harmful weather from entering your house. Air seeping through obviously defeats this purpose, and what’s more, you’re losing money. Cash is literally flying out of the window because this seepage is combatting your efforts in regulating your AC. If you see a gradual spike in your energy bill, this is the reason why.
    Painted or Nailed Shut
    This is more commonly found in older houses. The windows are painted over or nailed shut, making it darn near impossible to open. I don’t have to go into extraneous detail for you to know why this is a problem, but this means that the windows haven’t been used in so long or they’re so old-fashioned that they’re probably useless.

    window replacement

    Difficult to Open and Close
    How your windows open and close should be as fluid as a cool, Summer breeze. If you have to yank, push, or pull with force then it’s safe to say it’s time for a window replacement. No one wants to dread opening a window during a nice day because your window sounds like a two-year-old teething every time it’s opened.

    Window Replacement: You Want to Reduce Energy Costs

    I mentioned this a bit earlier. Fact of the matter is, some windows are more energy-efficient than others. The windows we carry, Silverline by Andersen, all have the best Energy-Star ratings one can hope for.

    window replacement

    This simply means that these windows, specifically the materials they’re made from, keep the heat and cool inside of the home. For example, wood offers the best insulated value, but the general upkeep and wear-and-tear can be tiresome, whereas vinyl is a practical choice, and is still energy-efficient through tight seal construction and insulated glass.

    window replacement

    It’s no rumor that energy costs have skyrocketed in recent years, hence, the push for such products to be more efficient to stop the crisis. In essence, getting a window replacement now will ultimately result in lower energy costs, meaning more money in your wallet. So, if this is something you’re interested in, I’d HIGHLY recommend a window replacement.

    Window Replacement: If You Want to Increase Home Value

    window replacement

    You can’t really appreciate the look of a new window until you’ve replaced your old ones. It can completely change the look of your home, both inside and out. According to Modernize, a home renovation website, “overall, replacement windows are worth the money you’ll spend on them—you’ll recoup about 70 to 80 percent of your costs on your home’s market value. So if you spend $400 on a new window, you can expect that to increase your home’s value by $280 to $320.

    window replacement

    Now, of course, this has a number of variables attached to it — location, the kind and type of window, single – or – double-hung — but as you can see, your windows are a tremendous asset to the overall value of your home.

    window replacement

    So, if your windows show any of these signs or you’d like to cut your energy bill down, or refinance your home — it’s time to take a good hard look at your windows. For a little more information about windows and energy-efficiency, I encourage you to download out our FREE “Windows Buying Guide” E-book! Full of hearty information that will provide you with a little more clarity on how you can cut costs and save money.

    DIY Christmas Decorations: 5 Easy DIY’s for your Home

    Today, we’ll show you 5 easy DIY Christmas Decorations to spruce up your kitchen, bathroom, windows, doors, and floors!

    The holidays are a time to spread happiness and cheer, and that includes your home!

    One of my favorite parts of the season is making fun DIY decorations with my family. I hope you enjoy them!

    If you’d like to update your home in a more permanent way, sign up for a free design consultation to get started on your next home improvement project today!

    DIY Christmas Decorations

    Front Door Fabulous: Snowman Wreath

    This is the cutest little snowman wreath that will add a ton of holiday spirit to your home! Your front door is the first impression of your home, so it’s a great idea to have something warm and cheery to greet your guests as they come in.

    This tutorial from SweetLittleBluebird.com is so easy, and she’ll show you just how to make it yourself!

    snowman wreath DIY Christmas Decorations

    Click to view tutorial!

    Kick up the Kitchen: Table Luminaries

    Setting the table for holiday meals is a great opportunity to add a special Christmas touch to your home. Give your table and intimate feel with one of my favorite DIY Christmas Decorations, a simple, gorgeous luminary for your table! Learn to make it in 5 minutes by clicking this link or on the photo below!

    Christmas Luminary - DIY Christmas Decorations

    Click to visit the tutorial!

    Brighten up your Bathroom: Snow Globe Soap Dispenser

    This is one of the best DIY Christmas decorations I’ve seen for bathrooms! It’s cheerful, festive and actually useable! I will definitely be making these for myself and my family this year. It’s inexpensive and will definitely get lots of compliments this holiday season! Click this link or the image below to view the tutorial!

    DIY christmas decorations - snow globe soap dispenser

    Click to view the tutorial!

    Fun on the Floor: Lighted Burlap Garland

    This lighted burlap garland lets you light the way for your guests this holiday season! It adds a bit of sparkle and fun to the room and sets the mood as well! CreateCraftLove.com has done a great job laying out how to make this special piece, so click this link or the image below to learn how to make it yourself!

    Diy Christmas Decorations - Lighted burlap Garland

    Click to view the tutorial!

    Window Winter land: Snowflake Window Hangings

    Let it snow, let it snow! We all want a white Christmas. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don’t. But that doesn’t have to get you down! You can create your own white winter wonderland right in your window this holiday season! It will be festive, inviting and just adorable. You can make them yourself, of you can have your kids help you! Click on the link and get the step by step guide on making these yourself!

    DIY Christmas Decorations - Window Snowflakes

    Click here to view the tutorial!

    We hope you enjoy the holidays and that your DIY Christmas decorations turn out wonderfully!

    Builders Surplus is a full-service renovation company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We are the leading provider of Ledge Stone, wall tile and backsplash tile in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, bathroom remodel, building materials, and home improvement. Interior Design and measurements come as a free service to our clients. We sell building materials ranging in every price point, from unfinished kitchen cabinets to top of the line Wellborn cabinets. In addition to interior design, we also offer installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. We love sharing our knowledge with clients & potential home renovators. We write about interior design, home decor, decorating ideas, and home improvement. We hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!Written by: Allie Bloyd

    13 Outrageous Silestone Quartz Kitchen Islands

    Want to see 13 gorgeous and outrageous Silestone quartz kitchen islands? An incredible island is not only a visual focal point for your kitchen, it's a gathering place for your family. It's form and function at it's finest. But who says kitchen islands have to be boring? Not these homeowners! Lets see these fun and funky designs, all made with Silestone Quartz.

    What is Silestone, you might ask? In short, it's a combination of natural quartz and other raw materials that are extraordinarily hard and resilient. These characteristics combine to create an ideal surface for kitchen countertops, bathrooms, flooring and wall siding. It's scratch, stain and heat resistant and antibacterial. They have some of the most gorgeous colors on the market today! 

    Quartz is becoming the #1 countertop material and these islands showcase it in a BIG way!

    13 Silestone Quartz Kitchen Islands - Fun Shapes & Bold Colors!

    1. Amazon River and  2. Orange Fuego

    Silestone Amazon-River-OV1

    1. Silestone Amazon River Quartz Island

    Silestone Orange Fuego

    2. Silestone Orange Fuego Quartz Island

    In order to get an amazing kitchen island, you can either choose a unique shape, or a unique color, like the two choices above!

    3 . Silestone Mesa Dreis Kitchen Island

    Silestone Mesa-Dreis

    3. Silestone Mesa-Dreis - Click to shop Silestone Countertops!

    This unique island can easily sit 6 for your next casual dinner, but the look is anything but laid back! The black and red combination paired with the interesting edge shape make this island unforgettable!

    Schedule Your FREE COUNTERTOP CONSULTATION!

    4. Silestone Black and White Geometric Island

    Silestone Black and white island

    This incredible black and white waterfall kitchen island is beyond stunning. The shape is so out of the ordinary that guests can only stare at the beautiful form and countertop! A waterfall edge island alone is enough to turn heads, but add it with an upside down triangle attached to it and you've got a showstopper! 

    Would you ever have something like this in your home?

    5. Silestone Polar Cap And Iron Ore

    Silestone PolarCapAndIronOre_Overall

    5. Silestone Polar Cap And Iron Ore - Click to shop silestone!

    While this may be one of the more tame islands we showcase, it's gorgeous in it's own right! The levels make it ideal for eating and cooking at the same time, perfect to chat with the family after a long day.

    6. Silestone Brunette Fraccaroli and Acqua Fraccaroli Two Toned Modern Island

    Silestone Brunette-Fraccaroli-1-•-Acqua-Fraccaroli Tuca-Reines

    Silestone Brunette Fraccaroli and Acqua Fraccaroli Countertops - Click here to shop Silestone Counertops!

    This island is truly one of a kind! The double layers give it depth, the unique colors give it interest, and the interesting shape holds your eye! You can guarantee that no one would forget an island like this! 

    7. Crisp White Silestone Quartz Mega Island

    Silestone white island

    This crisp white, double level island is the perfect place to food prep or sit. It's neutral color pairs nicely with the bold backsplash, wall and stove color, as well as the dark cabinets on the island itself!

    8. Silestone Orange Fuego Cook Top Island

    Silestone Fuego orange top

    This modern quartz island is a chefs dream! The cooktop faces an open layout so that you can cook and entertain guests at the same time! The orange fuego color is BOLD, but life is about taking chances, right?

    9. Silestone Fully Loaded Centerpiece Island

    Silestone island

    This LARGE island has got everything you need! Storage, cook top, sink and seating areas. Who could ask for more?

    10. Silestone Cemento Spa Gathering Island

    Silestone-Kitchen---Cemento-Spa

    All I can say is WOW! This crips, clean kitchen has a super large curved island that fits the shape of the kitchen perfectly and allows you to interact with guests in a natural way, or eat with your family at every meal!

    11. Silestone Black Waterfall Island

    Silestone marquina Island

    Silestone Marquina Waterfall Island - Click to shop Silestone!

    This stunning island is one of my favorites on the list! It's such a huge contrast from the rest of the kitchen that it pops in the best way! The deep veining make a bold statement and the dark black is elegant and classic. The waterfall edge is always a luxurious feature!

    12. Silestone Cemento Sana Vieira Cooler Island

    SILESTONE CEMENTO-SANA-M-VIEIRA-SANTOS CARLOS-PIRATININGA

    Can you say man cave? This is the perfect island to store all of your beer or cold wines! It has a much classier look that a basic white mini-fridge! Elevate the look of your party room with a fun island like this!

    13. Silestone Haruo Mikami Kitchen Wide Island Set

    Silestone foto_Haruo-Mikami_

    This cool kitchen island almost looks like it belongs in an industrial kitchen! The size and setup are ideal for a professional chef, and because Silestone is antibacterial, you'll never even need a cutting board!

    Which island is your favorite? Would you ever choose such a bold design? Let us know below or schedule your FREE Kitchen or Countertop design consultation below!

    Schedule Your FREE COUNTERTOP CONSULTATION!

    Builders Surplus is a discount remodeling retailer and service provider. We carry everything you could need for your kitchen, bathroom, windows, doors and floors! If you need installation, design or measuring services, we can handle that, too. We're the one stop shop for your remodel, and we make it as pain free as possible so that you get the most gorgeous remodel for the lowest price, with the least amount of stress! Call or visit us today to see how we can help on your next project!

    How to Get Money Back on a Remodel

    If you're planning on updating your home, it's important to know how to get money back on a remodel.

    Return on investment is key, and if you play your cards right, it can be substantial. Not only can you get long term gains, but you can get money back in your pocket right away.

    Lets look at a few ways you can accomplish this.

    Get Energy Rebates

    Energy rebates are something that most homeowners don't consider, or don't even know about. However, they can get you money back right away by taking advantage of them!

    You can find rebates on ENERGY STAR certified products. Those are products that earn the ENERGY STAR
    label because they meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the U.S. EPA, helping you save energy AND money, while also protecting the environment!

    If you're in need of window replacement, opt for Energy Star rates windows to earn the rebate!

    You can find energy star rated windows at Builders Surplus for up to 70% off other retailers, meaning you save TWICE! Click here to see our window options!

    If you're updating your kitchen or laundry room, you can get rebates on refrigerators, washers and dryers or dishwashers!

    Other things that can earn you an Energy Star Rebate would include HVAC equipment such as heat pumps, Central AC Units, and water heaters.

    Schedule Your FREE WINDOWS ESTIMATE!

    Sell Your Old Materials

    You may have not considered that you can sell the products that you remove from your home while undergoing a remodel.

    I replaced my flooring last year because I wanted a style update when I saw a gorgeous reclaimed flooring from Builders Surplus. My laminate flooring was still good, so I sold all the flooring planks that we took up and go over $500 for it! That helped to offset the cost of my new flooring. 

    If you're replacing cabinets, often your old cabinets are in decent condition and someone will be willing to pay for them. Just make sure they remove them, and they remove at their own risk. Or, you could carefully remove them and only sell what makes the cut.

    Often people will pay for old windows and doors, as they're popular for crafts and even wedding props!

    MI 3500 Single-Hung Vinyl Window 20×30

    $139.99

    The 3500 vinyl single-hung window offers handcrafted quality, exceptional durability, and optimal energy efficiency. With standard features that include a pre-punched mounting fin and removable sash for easy drywall pass through, our 3500 window is ideal for any new home construction project. A full-length lift rail and metal reinforcements at the meeting rail provide aesthetic and performance benefits that complement the window’s builder-friendly attributes.

    MI 3500 Single-Hung Vinyl Window 30×30

    $169.99

    The 3500 vinyl single-hung window offers handcrafted quality, exceptional durability, and optimal energy efficiency. With standard features that include a pre-punched mounting fin and removable sash for easy drywall pass through, our 3500 window is ideal for any new home construction project. A full-length lift rail and metal reinforcements at the meeting rail provide aesthetic and performance benefits that complement the window’s builder-friendly attributes.

    Don't forget that your old appliances will definitely fetch a good price, so post them on craigslist or Facebook Marketplace STAT to get some money in your pocket!

    Look for Longevity

    I've discussed this in a recent blog post, the difference between durability and price, how the former always win because of its longevity.

    That continues to ring true. If you're looking for maximum ROI (return on investment)  you should be looking at premiere, high-quality, insanely durable building materials and products. But, that doesn't mean you have to spend more than you'er willing or able to.

    What it means is that you need to find the best deal on a durable product. When you pay less for a product that lasts twice as long, you're saving the thousands.

    hardwood, laminate, lvt flooring slider

    Click to shop Luxury Vinyl Flooring!

    An example would be CoreTEC Luxury Vinyl Flooring. It's scratch and dent resistant, as well as 100% waterproof.

    It costs between $2.99 - $3.99/SF. It's moderately priced, but you're getting more bang for your buck. It can easily last 50 years.

    If you paid $1.99 for a laminate floor, but it had to be replaced after 10 or 20 years, you're paying thousands for the flooring itself, and thousands more for the installation.

    So even though the Luxury Vinyl is more expensive up front, you get money back by not having to replace flooring twice instead of just once, which can save you big money.

     If you're moving, it matters less, but it's still always something to consider.

    Projects that Pay

    Another way to get money back on your remodel is to get more for your home when you sell. According to This Old House:

    An attic bedroom has an average cost of $31,366 with an average additional return of around $24k. That's a 73% return on investment. Adding an additional bedroom ads huge value.. A 3 bedroom, 3 bath house is worth more than a 2 bedroom, 3 bath. Livable space = money. 

    A bathroom addition has an average cost of $14,216 with an average return of $11,704, an 81% return on investment. Knocking out a wall or two, installing a stand-up shower or providing enough room for a freestanding tub. Some good ideas! 

    Here are the two big ones: Minor & Major kitchen remodels.

    Minor Kitchen Remodel: Average of $14,773, with an average return of $13,039. That's an 87% return on investment, the highest on the list!

    Major Kitchen Remodel: $38,769 cost; average Return on investment is $31,344; That's 80%! Kitchens are definitely where it's at.

    Finished basements have also been known to increase home value significantly, as again, you're increasing living space. It could even be rented out!

    New Windows: It has been estimated that mid-range vinyl window replacements can return as much as 77.5 percent at resale. Wooden window replacements, however, have a slightly higher ROI, at 78.8 percent.

    Front doors actually have the HIGHEST return on investment at 101.8% upon resale. That's HUGE!

    Schedule Your FREE KITCHEN OR BATHROOM Design Appointment!

    As you can see, there are several ways to get money BACK on a remodel!

    Want to know two more ways to save money when updating your home, business or investment property? Getting the best deal on products, and working with quality installation professionals.

    Poor quality of install or less than reputable installers can seriously effect your bottom line. Don't let that happen!

    At Builders Surplus, we offer FREE Design consultations on kitchen, bath, countertops, flooring and tile, FREE Windows estimates and installation services on everything we sell! Our designers are true artists and our installers are masters of their craft. 

    >> Click here to schedule your kitchen or bathroom design appointment!

    >> Click here for your flooring or tile consultation!

    >> Click here for your In Home Windows Estimate!

    Visit us in one of our two locations in Louisville and Newport Kentucky (also serving Cincinnati Ohio)  to find the best, most affordable remodeling products with the professional, quality service you've been looking for!

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