5 Renovation Mistakes You Cannot Afford To Make

Anyone who has watched HGTV has seen plenty of renovation mistakes. Any renovation is an undertaking–ask every contractor and every homeowner that has been part of a remodel.  From the accidents that can occur to the ever-growing budget, taking on a reno project requires time, dedication, sweat, and patience.  From our experts to you, we have come up with the list of five renovation mistakes you cannot afford to make!
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Low-Balling the Budget

Drywall Renovation Mistakes
Surprises are going to happen. Sometimes they are good: like finding original hardwood floors underneath the carpet in pristine condition. Sometimes they are horrifying: like finding asbestos in your home’s walls. While installing backsplash, you might damage the wall and have to replace some of the drywall. Peeking inside the drywall, you could find electrical issues. Then, the next thing you know, you’re dealing with more than just installing backsplash. We suggest setting aside 15% of the total project cost (potentially more for older homes) for unexpected expenses. This is your safety net in the event that unforeseen issues occur. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you won’t break the bank at the first sign of the unexpected.

Floor Drains: the Laundry Room Essential

Laundry Room Drain Mistake
This is one of the renovation mistakes that you may not consider. A laundry room drain is required by code in most areas, but some people still omit it. If there is ever a break in your washing machine hose, you’ll flood your house. A floor drain directs the water into your home’s main drain system. And please, do not try a DIY installation. This can turn into another one of our renovation mistakes.  You will absolutely need a professional plumber, but again, you’ll have peace of mind, as flood insurance is not covered by most basic homeowner’s insurance plans.

Granite, Granite, Granite

Kitchen Design Trends
Of course, it is popular, but granite isn’t the only option for the kitchen.  Renovators could choose a different material for the countertops that can save tons of money in the kitchen!  Our non-granite picks: butcher block, plate steel, or a nice laminate for those who don’t necessarily have the budget for premium marble or granite. Explore the options that will work best for your family to avoid regret down the road. Don’t break your budget trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Hidden Gems

Tile Floor Remodel
Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t useful.  A bathroom membrane system (which goes under tile) prevents popping and cracking, and keeps water from getting into the substructure. Think about it: If you’re spending $15,000 on a bathroom, spend an extra $1,000 to ensure you’ll never have a mold problem. This is one of those renovation mistakes that could end up costing big bucks down the line.

Floored: Ultimate Renovation Mistakes

Beautiful Hallway
Most contractors typically buy 20% extra flooring since it is prone to cuts and breakage during installation. There’s no guarantee you’ll be able to find an exact match if you need to order more during a long remodeling project.  Most retailers often let you return unopened boxes for a refund, so you shouldn’t get stuck with too much material.  It’s also nice to have extra in case of damage down the road. If you suffer and water damage (especially in the kitchen) or a pet scratches deeply or has an accident that stains, you’ll be glad you did.
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For more tips on avoiding costly remodeling mistakes, download our FREE Home Reno 101 Checklist and sign-up for our newsletter, which has the latest tips and tricks, design trends, special offers, and expert knowledge on renovations!


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: Katie Hager

What Are The Most Efficient Kitchen Designs?

Here we cover the 5 most popular Kitchen design layouts.

Efficient Kitchen Designs

With lot’s of entertaining and cooking on the near horizon, this puts even the most efficient kitchen designs to the test! That means that everyone is going to be in their kitchens cooking up some wonderful meals.

Efficient kitchen designs, or lack of, can make or break a kitchen and one of the best feast days of the year. The best kitchen layouts will have enough space to prep, entertain, and generally do everything that you need to do without anything getting in the way, including yourself.

The easiest way to spot a kitchen that’s easy to work in is to use it. Ask yourself, am I able to get where I need to go quickly? Is anything in the way or placed awkwardly? Is there enough space for storage and prepping? An efficient kitchen should be able to accommodate however you use it, which means that each kitchen will be more or less efficient depending on who is using it.

Working Paths

There are really only two ways to travel in a kitchen. You can travel in a straight line, or in a triangle. These are mainly in reference to where your main appliances – refrigerator, oven, sink – are in relation to one another. These paths help to make your kitchen floor plan more efficient as you move about different steps during the cooking process.

The Line

This is a straight line that you travel in your kitchen, and it’s often found only in single wall or I-shaped kitchens. All of your appliances and working space are along a single wall and you work along with that line from the fridge to the open preparation counter space to the stove to the sink, going back and forth as you need to.

The Triangle

The triangle is found as the working path in just about every kitchen layout. It’s efficient in that it can allow your sink, stove, or refrigerator to be placed in a way where you’re covering less distance when moving around while still having a comfortable working area.Efficient Kitchen Designs: Triangle Work Path

Work Zones

The triangle is a great option – it works just about anywhere and it’s great in small or large spaces. But as kitchens have gotten larger and more spacious. Sometimes the triangle gets to be too big and it’s just as cumbersome to get from one spot to another because they’re just too far apart. An efficient plan that’s becoming more popular in larger kitchens is work zones where appliances and prep space are grouped based off of what they’ll be used for. An example work zone would be a ‘Cleanup Zone’ – this would be dirty dishes and the like; in this part of the workspace you’d have a sink, dishwasher, and a waste can. This kind of organization and mind-set will allow this idea to work with both of the working paths mentioned above. Awkward placement of appliances can mess up these paths and can leave you cramming for more time as the spaghetti is boiling over so instead of having a path to travel in which it’s easy to get from one appliance to another you’re working path looks more like a child’s drawing.

Efficient Kitchen Designs

Different kitchen layouts fit different spaces and personalities. Some people desperately want an island in a small space which can interfere with traffic, and some want a single wall kitchen – leaving empty space that has no value. Here are the 5 most efficient kitchen designs and why and how they work!

Single Wall Kitchen

Efficient Kitchen Designs: Single Wall

Also called an I-shaped kitchen this space fits along a single wall in smaller spaces. It uses a less efficient working path instead of the triangle, but it’s ideal for smaller spaces that want that open feel. Keeping work zones in mind will help to keep this floor plan more efficient. Stylistically you can treat this space as an accent wall that contrasts beautifully with the rest of the space!

Galley Kitchen

Efficient Kitchen Designs: Galley

This is also called a corridor kitchen, and unless all of your appliances are one side it uses the triangle work path.  Tt’s name comes from the small kitchen quarters in ships. This layout offers more counter space than the I-shaped kitchen and can also be well suited for small spaces. However, this is one of the few kitchen layouts where you won’t be able to use an island efficiently.

L-Shaped Kitchen

Efficient Kitchen Designs: L-Shape

These kitchens take a Single Wall layout and add more counter space along a connecting wall- this particular layout includes an Island. Likely, you’d move one of your major appliances along this other wall in order to work with that triangle path. They’re great for small-medium kitchen spaces. An Island can be incorporated nicely as long as it doesn’t obstruct the triangle!

U-Shaped Kitchen

Efficient Kitchen Designs: U-Shape

The other name for this design is a Horseshoe Layout. This layout ideally has one appliance on each of its 3 walls in order to maximize counter space and the working area around each appliance. This space can house an island if the area is large enough, however it can get in the way between adjacent prep areas.

Peninsula Kitchen

Efficient Kitchen Designs: Peninsula

A Peninsula Kitchen is what happens when taking an L- or U-shaped kitchen and take away one of the walls, kind of creating an attached island. Sinks, seating areas, or a combination of the two are popular in this design. This layout allows spaces to feel and appear larger and more open without compromising on counter space.

Island Kitchen

Efficient Kitchen Designs: Island

An Island in the kitchen can be used in just about any layout so long as it has space, however, they can be cumbersome in smaller areas. So having an island for the sake of having an island is never the best way to go. Fixed islands can be used for seating, an extra prep zone, you can add a sink, or a range – an Island allows for so many different possibilities. As an alternative in smaller spaces try a smaller movable island, which is less for appliance and seating space and more for extra prep space so you don’t have to keep running from work zone to work zone. Island layouts are best used in larger areas that can spare the extra space and they pair best in L-Shaped or Single Wall kitchens, but absolutely have no place in the Galley. There is a lot of information that can go into creating the perfect kitchen for you and your home, efficient kitchen designs can sometimes make that a difficult challenge when what you want competes with what you’ve got to work with. Keeping space, paths, and usage of the area in mind will often help compromise and find the perfect kitchen!

Efficient Kitchen Designs

Builders Surplus is a full-service remodeling company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, which comes as a free service to our clients. We sell building supplies ranging from unused surplus to first quality in stock, to high-end custom order and everything in between. We also provide measurement and full 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. Happy Remodeling!

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Storm Doors: Why Would I Need One?

Storm Doors

In this post, let’s dive into what can be a very important, highly significant feature that should accompany your main, exterior doors. Storm doors are relatively inexpensive given their purpose and can actually enhance the look of your front door, like the last finishing touch to an already outstanding piece of work. We’ll talk about who needs them and why people might just want them. Then, we’ll take a glance at Andersen’s storm doors, some of their installation options, and where you can find them. Let’s get started, shall we?

Storm Doors

Storm Doors

The Purpose of Storm Doors

Maintenance: Think of a storm door as a sort of force field, if you will, an added component of protection from the most obvious act of nature – storms. However, the protection isn’t exactly limited to those raging moments of thunder, lightning, and rain. The summer sun can enact just as much damage, if not more. In essence, harsh weather over a period of time can deteriorate your main entry door, leaving a grimace instead of an approving nod in terms of curb appeal.

Protection/Security: The security doesn’t just stop there, though; it also protects what’s inside of your main door. It’s like a lock within a lock, making theft or any other threat that much more difficult to perform. A storm door also allows you to visibly see who’s on your front porch before even letting them in if you don’t have a peephole. It’s just one more barrier to prevent anything from happening, ensuring the safety of you, your loved ones, and your possessions.

Money-saver: We all strike at the opportunity of saving a bit of cash, right? Installing a storm door is your primetime ticket for doing just that. Front doors are one of the primary places for air leakage in homes. A storm door will hide the cracks and small airways, making it plenty more difficult to seep through, which means a lower utility bill. See, these doors provide an extra pocket of insulation, so you can have more money in yours.

SimplicityInstallation for these bad boys are quick and easy. It doesn’t matter which frame your house was built in (brick, vinyl, stucco, wood), there is a storm door option for everyone.

Storm Doors

Storm Doors

Who Wants a Storm Door?

That’s another great thing about storms doors – they’re for everyone. Now, I will say that there are some homeowners who actually need one instead of merely wanting one.

Given what I wrote about maintenance, you can see where I’m coming from in terms of geological location and an area’s weather patterns, OR it could be as simple as where the sun hangs out during the hottest time of day (3 P.M. to 5 P.M.). For example, if one lives in the Midwest where tornadoes are more prevalent than trees, a storm door is probably a necessity. Or one might live in Tucson, AZ, where a step outside means an instant puddle of sweat in the summer time. In places like these, the Sun means business, and it has zero mercy with anything let alone a front door.

So, if it just so happen that the Sun’s main hangout spot around 4 or so is directly in line with your front porch, well, happy roasting. But then there’s the other side of the equation, the homeowners who simply like the elegant look and idea of a storm door that blends, both in color and functionality, with their front door. There’s a trait, a characteristic that’s ideal to every homeowner. It’s just a matter of perspective.

Storm Doors

Storm Doors

Andersen Storm Doors and Options

Storm Doors by Andersen are simply the best in the business. With top quality craftsmanship and a plethora of styles, this company has been grabbing the attention from homeowners, contractors, and others in the home renovation business since Andersen’s inception in 1903. Yeah, that’s well over a century of purely satisfied customers, and the products they dish out are just as long-lasting.
Installation: Andersen’s latest storm door design features what is called a Rapid Install system. According to the company, “this process makes installation easy by eliminating the need to cut and reducing the number of tools and assembly time required.” So, there are three installation options: Rapid 1 Install, Rapid 2 Install, and Standard Installation. In that order, the amount of time taken, tools necessary to complete the job, and the amount of cuts increases. Each option ranging from about one hour to around three for the installation time.
Color/Styles: FullView Doors, Full-Lite Doors, 3/4 Lite Doors, and 1/2 Doors are the available styles Andersen offers, and the differences are merely how much glass is visibly appropriated in each door. FullView being exactly that, the largest amount of glass, letting the sun pour into your home. After you choose a style, you can pick a ventilation system – seasonal or anytime. You can then choose from eight color options, including Sandstone and Wineberry. Now, of course, there are other options and variations to choose from, but these are the more foundational components. You can add a retractable insect screen, which allows for anytime ventilation and hides in the top of the door frame when it’s not in use. An excellent feature for those who love the breezy airflow in a house on a nice, cool Spring day.

Storm Doors

Where Can I Get One?

As you can see, storm doors are an all-around excellent feature for any home. Their look, functionality, purpose, and variety of design make it an excellent commodity to really enhance curb appeal. And guess what? You can get Andersen Storm Doors here at Builders Surplus.  Make the move to increase your protection and security, with a look and design of an elegant storm door. We promise it’ll be a decision you won’t regret!


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. Hope you’ll check back in for our next article! Happy Renovation!

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!

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 Durability is More Important Than Price in a Remodel

Today, I’d like to discuss a pretty important topic in the remodeling experience: Durability vs. Price. Now, as we all know, home renovation & remodeling can be quite expensive, which makes it easy to fall under the “cheap way is best way” mentality, but lets evaluate several ways in which durability actually makes your project cheaper, not more expensive.

Durability: More Bang for Your Buck

Flooring Example

Whether you’re in the process of selling your home or your home is rather outdated and it’s time for a change, the outcome is all the same: Renovation will improve value. For the most part, at least. 

For example, ripping up the linoleum in your kitchen or bathroom and replacing it with ceramic tile isn’t going to drive you to raise the price of your home in a significant way. But what it will do is appeal to the home buyer.

durability

I think it goes without saying that when it comes to saying yes or no, to pulling the trigger during your home search, it’s the amenities that can make all the difference.

On the flip side, if you’ve just installed tile flooring in your laundry room, you’ve made a strong, choice. Linoleum has the tendency to stain easily, rip & tear at the edges, and quite honestly, is seen as a “too cheap” option. In essence, that kind of flooring doesn’t last long.

Schedule Your FREE FLOORING INSTALLATION CONSULTATION!

durable durability

Additionally, if you keep replacing it every two to three years, you’re losing quite a bit of money on the long run. Replacing it with something as strong, durable, and long-lasting as ceramic tile may, yes, be a bit more expensive, but you’ll never have to rip up those floors again. Durability wins.

Kitchen Cabinet example

Another example would be your kitchen cabinets. Let us assume that the kitchen cabinets you open and close day-after-day are the same, ole relatively bland cabinets that you first set eyes on when you walked in. Now, I’m not knocking your cabinets by any means, but perhaps they’re looking a bit rugged (and not in the good way) these days.

durability

Perhaps, the corners are withered from constant usage, the doors slam so hard, waking up the whole house because the hinges & drawer slides are giving way, there are countless spaghetti sauce, grape jelly, and bacon grease stains scattered across the surface.

They’ve had their run, right? It’s time for a change. So you come to Builders Surplus, sit down with one of our professionals and look at your options. Sure, you can go the less-expensive route, grab some in-stock Honey Ash cabinets, and call it a day.

But you’ll be right back in the same spot in five years because the durability just isn’t there in that selection. Again, not knocking  Honey Ash cabinets, but let’s call a spade, a spade, yeah?

In the Long Run

The reason they’re our least expensive option is because their craftsmanship, their features, their overall longevity is far inferior to, let’s say, Waypoint or Wellborn cabinets.

Now, alternatively, let’s say you sit down and check out the aforementioned and purchase a beautiful set of kitchen cabinets from Wellborn.

Is the price going to be higher? Yes.

But is the durability there? 100%

Are you going to thank yourself ten years down the road when they look and function as good as they did when they were installed. Absolutely.

That’s the key right there, my friends. It’s understanding that you’ll pay more initially for extreme durability, but in the long run, now only does it pay for itself, you’ve invested in something that could potentially last a lifetime.

The price of that linoleum or those Honey Ash cabinets that you paid for five years ago is not going to be the same when you inevitably have to replace them in a few years. It will be higher, and you will hate it.

Durability wins because it prevails, where price does not — it conquers time.

Schedule Your FREE Kitchen & Bath Design Appointment!

I hope I’ve managed to open your minds up a bit when it comes why durability is more important than price during your remodel. But don’t just take it from, please. I encourage you to do as much research as you can before, during, and after your remodel.

Click here to check out any of our blogs and you’ll be able to research just about anything you can imagine!

And remember, at Builders Surplus we offer FREE KITCHEN & BATH DESIGN CONSULTATIONS, meaning we are more than willing to help you along the way. It can be a crazy process, so it’s always nice to have some professional support to fall back on!

Home Remodeling Nightmares & How to Avoid Them

Happy Halloween, everyone! I hope you’ve celebrated this petrifying holiday by diving into horror films, braving haunted houses, and decorating your porches accordingly for tonight’s festivities. Today, I’d like to look at a few home remodeling nightmares that I’ve researched and heard about over the years and how best to avoid them. It’s been said before, but home remodeling can be a (excuse the pun beforehand) tricky process. Much can go wrong if you don’t plan ahead, and if you don’t, well, beware — the night is dark and full of terrors. Let’s make like a pumpkin and cut right into it, shall we?

What Horrors Lurk Around the Corner…

Here’s the thing, folks, everything might look good-and-dandy on the surface, but the more you dig, the more you reveal. That’s as much of a life lesson as it is a remodeling one, and in this case, in a home remodel, things can get ugly. And quickly. During the remodeling phase, there’s what I like to call “the demolition stage,” that all-too-happy moment where one gets to destroy in order to rebuild. It is during this initial stage that things can, quite literally, come crawling from the depths.   home remodeling   I’m of course talking about insect infestations — termites, ants, wasps — and then, of course, there’s the ever-so-lovely mold outbreak that can spread like wildfire and completely deteriorate your home. Finding the unexpected can be an absolute nightmare. My father and I once were once at a job site, it was “demo” day, and we were replacing linoleum with tile in a bathroom. After ripping all of it up, we noticed dry rot surrounding the plywood along the toilet, getting moldy and downright disgusting. This put a hold on the entire job and we had to make sure that we weren’t laying the new floors over moldy plywood. Essentially, we had to replace the entire subfloor, which took time, more money, and ibuprofen. home remodeling   In essence, you really never know what can be hiding underneath your pre-existing materials. Stranger Things have happened during home remodeling. Solution: It may sound like an exaggerated measure, but getting an inspection before beginning your remodel will probably be best. Logically speaking, it will cost less in the long run than having to completely stop your renovation and figure out the situation while your home is in mass disarray, your contractor is on the clock, and deadline is quickly approaching.  

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Beware of Who You Hire…

It’s true, finding good work these days is incredibly hard to find. It seems like most people just don’t want to put the hard work and dedication into a job or focus on the attention to detail to assure a gorgeous, lasting, awe-inspiring product like you should have in your home remodel. I’ve heard an abundance of horror stories in this respect, and the outcome is never a good one. In the slightest.   home remodeling   Before a client calls on a true craftsman, they’ll hire a beat-down, raggedy company that looks decent on paper (usually a lower price), invite them into their home, and literal hell breaks loose. Either they never show up on time, if at all, take 17 breaks during an 8-hour day (if you’re lucky), and when they do finish (usually well past deadline) the “finished” product looks like five toddlers picked up nail-and-hammer and played house as a playdate. What’s more, you ask? When you confront them on their sub-par work and express your concerns, they’ll begrudgingly nod their head in agreement. Then they’ll proceed to assure you “they’ll be back tomorrow to fix everything” and then completely disappear, making themselves unreachable by simply ignoring your phone calls. This, my friends, is a realistic approach to the term “ghost.”   home remodeling   Don’t be a victim to such trickery, and then have to call Ghostbusters after. Save yourselves the stress…although I’m sure Bill Murray would give you a few laughs. Solution: Before you hire a contractor, do your research. Ask your friends & family for recommendations, go on Better Business Bureau, analyze reviews, look at statistics, price comparisons, and examples of their work before you dive head first into near irreversible turmoil. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our name, either. At Builders Surplus, we offer a free design consultation to help you gather your ideas, thoughts, and put everything on paper using pretty impressive programs. PLUS we offer installation services, as well. It’s a win-win for everyone, all around.   Contact-Designer-Shop-Ad  

The Madness of Measurements

I’ve talked a little about this before, but it’s something that needs to be stressed for convenient’s sake. In home remodeling, your numbers need to be as precise as humanly possible. An eighth of an inch may not seem like a lot initially, but in retrospect after forcibly trying to fit a wall cabinet in, destroying your drywall along in the process and adding a few pennies to the swear jar, you’re going to wish you gave that eighth of an inch some thought. Hindsight is more like 20/15 in that regard. Trust me. home remodeling Before you do anything, y’all, you need to make sure you have the proper measurements. There are few things more frustrating than having all of your brand-new, lavishly stunning cabinets sitting in the kitchen, but they won’t fit because tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum were off by more than an inch. The same goes for your countertops, sinks, backsplashes, listen, the list is endless. It’s Halloween, but I promise I’m really not trying to scare you. Stephen King does enough of that for everyone, but I am trying to paint a picture to make you understand that these horrors are very, very real.   home remodeling   Solution: Have a professional come out to your house and take your measurements. This way, everything is accurate, which is exactly what one hopes to have in home remodeling. Accuracy, above all, is key.  

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Troubled Minds Bring Tragedy & Turmoil

Alright, so that heading may or not be the most exaggerated statement in terms of this context, but you’ll see where I’m getting at in a minute. We all know a few people that are just way too indecisive, and usually that’s okay. It just means a person wants to take a second before they make the final call, but in home remodeling, this can be a heck of a conundrum.   home remodeling   Imagine, if you will, that you’re a contractor. Yes, here I go again, picking up the brush and the paint. I know this from experience, so buckle up. So, you’re a contractor, one that does excellent work, brilliant really, and the job is finished, complete, finite. You sit back and fold your arms, gazing at the details, the overall picture, mulling over in your head, task by task, piece by piece, and you’re finally able to witness the final product. Then your client sees it and begins to nitpick, but not about your work, no, the work is fine, but it’s the color of paint they personally picked out that they suddenly can no longer stand, or the type of fixtures or — and God forbid — “the tile just doesn’t look right with these cabinets.”   home remodeling   You’d be set in your own personal hell, in a never-ending loop, trying to completely satisfy a seemingly insatiable person. There have been quite a few jobs where my father and I have given each other the “oh, here we go” look because customers are indecisive and don’t know what they want before a job. This just causes more stress and work on the contractor, a huge hiccup in the entire process. Solution: Have a general, but strong idea about what you’re looking for. It’s okay to be on the fence during the beginning phases in home remodeling, but it’s another thing entirely when a full kitchen remodel is nearly complete and the customer decides they want different countertops, six days after they’ve been installed. If I sound bitter it’s because I am (lol). Just kidding. But really.   Alright, everyone, I hope yours truly provided you with an interestingly-enough, entertaining piece about how to avoid these unspeakable acts in home remodeling. All based on a true story, straight from the mind as meddlesome as the majority. But listen, be safe out there tonight, and steal all of your children’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. My father was notorious for that. Another true story. Happy Halloween, everyone, stay blessed!
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 remodeling, bathroom remodeling, flooring and tile installations, windows and doors in Louisville, Newport, and Cincinnati. We specialize in interior design, kitchen design, quartz countertops, granite countertops, marble countertops, bathroom vanity tops, 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    

Want to learn more about kitchen & bath remodeling?

PRO: The Estimate – What You Need to Consider

Professionals in the industry, I hope business is good and all is well. Looking at the title, I’m sure you already have preconceived notions about this topic. One thing I’ve definitely learned while working for my father at his home remodeling business is that each company tends to do things a little differently. Especially when it comes to the planning process.
Today, I’d like to take the knowledge I’ve gained over the years and discuss the estimate and the aspects you definitely need to consider when you finally sit down and price it all out before you present it to your client.

The Estimate – Meet for Measurements

Now, it may not seem like an important aspect, but appearances can go a long way. When first meeting a customer, it’s probably in your best interest to wear something nice. I’m not talking about a suit and tie or anything, but definitely respectable apparel.
After all, you’re being invited into someone’s home and potentially doing work on their house, so building a foundation of trust early on is encouraged.

estimate

Once you’ve exchanged the proper pleasantries upon initially meeting, it’s time to get down to business. Now, knowing you’re a pro, I’m not going to sit here and type out WHY it’s significant, just stress that it is highly-important to take precise measurements. Get it down to a thirty-second of an inch. You know as well as I do that the closer you are, the easier it is to map out.
My father sketches out a rough draft of the area he’s working and jots down the measurements along the entire perimeter, never failing to forget one edge, corner, side, or height. As you know, this is essential for judging the amount of materials you’re going to need. In essence, be precise. It will help you out in the long run.

estimate

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It’s also convenient to try to get a basis of budget while you’re at it. More often than not, however, you’re going to hear, “Well, we’re trying to keep the costs low,” or “We’re on a tight budget, so if we can be under (insert amount),” which understandably no professional contractor wants to hear. But, clients tend to stress this rhetoric in the hopes that materials will miraculously drop with one of these phrases or you’ll suddenly be more inclined to lower your hourly rate by being sympathetic towards a specific amount. Now, what you do is up to you, but quality work comes at a cost.

The Estimate – Planning

Alright, folks, so after you get your measurements, it’s time to sit down and really detail this out, right? Now, there are some things you definitely should be cognizant of.
Materials
I mentioned in the intro that I’ve learned some companies do this differently, and it’s true. I’ve come across owners that tend to “wing it,” not wanting to overcomplicate the beginnings of a project and plan things as they go. Don’t do this.
I’ve also heard about owners basing their material costs from previous jobs, thinking that the costs will be same. Unless you’re in the business of losing money, delete this method from your mind altogether.

estimate

When it comes to materials, you should first have a clear understanding of what your customer wants and needs in the project. Obviously, after initially discussing these things and taking measurements, you’ll have some sort of idea. From there, it’s all about breaking the entire project down in sections and making sure you’ve accounted for every element with each step.
For example, we’ve done quite a few unfinished basements, and the very first thing that needs to be done is FRAMING. So, accompanied by the measurements, he’ll count how many 2×4’s he’ll need, treated & untreated, for interior walls, headers, built-in cubbies, bookshelves, benches, etc. It’s an extensive process, but if you mess up on materials, you can be out hundreds of dollars. I’ve seen it.
Once you’ve detailed how much you need of everything, it’s time to go to your local home improvement store and get the material costs. And this is where you can lose money if you’re not careful. Like most products in a capitalist society, there’s means of inflation. Building materials are no different.

estimate
It’s best to get the most recent prices, so if your job isn’t for another one to two months, let your customers know that there may be an influx in price. Full disclosure is completely necessary. Remember, building trust is key.
Now, you’ve got all your prices for all of your materials, and it’s time to go back to the lab. Grab your calculator, some snacks, and a clear head because it can be a tedious session, crunching all of these numbers together and making sure it’s all as accurate as possible. The result should be one fixed number labeled “MATERIALS.” Bam.

Labor/Time Management
You’ve got your fixed rate, how much you charge by the hour, and it’s important that you don’t sell yourself short, ya know? The home remodeling business can be a hard and grueling one. Fun, yes, but 100% physically-intensive. Accommodate for this fact. Now, my father is crazy analytical and tends to map his time down to the quarter-hour. Not joking.
So, much like his material break down, he’ll list how much time it’s going to take to perform each task. When I say everything is accounted for in his estimate, I mean it. Going off the unfinished basement example, running wire is no small feat. Drilling holes for the wire to run through for an entire basement that boasts 24 electrical outlets is no small task.

estimate

With that said, my father we’ll assess how much time it typically takes to drill for a complete wall, so on and so forth. That may seem like too much of a breakdown, but this is your time we’re talking here, and you know the old adage: Time is money.
Once you’ve assessed how much time it’s going to take in total to get the job done, you’re presented with two things: A deadline and labor costs. Be EXTRA mindful of the first, people. Understand that you’re going to be working inside (or outside) someone’s house for a duration of time.

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Where I’m sure your clients are more than happy that you’re taking care of them, getting their projects done, there is always, always relief when the last screw is sunk in. Because of this, you should account for mishaps, mistakes, inadequate lumber, last minute trips to the department store, you name it.
As much as we’d all love for everything to run super smooth, it’s more than likely not going to happen this way. As is life, right? Accounting for these inconsistencies will help you, in the mind of the customer and your stress levels. Trust me on that one. That way if you think you’re going to need a couple of days to get everything flushed and finished, you’ve got yourself covered.

The Estimate  – Presenting your Quote

Alright, so you’ve got your final number, the sum of your material and labor costs. This is why I said it’s a good rule of thumb to gather some info on your client’s budget. If you’re able to read a room pretty well, you’ve got an advantage.. When you talked price, what was their tone? What did they say specifically? Were they eager to get things going, were they less worried about costs and more about process?
In knowing these things, you can gather whether or not your clients are going to be shocked or pleased at the price. Either way, your approach is CRUCIAL. Be mindful of how you present the estimate for this project. I’m not going to tell you what or how to do this, but it’s common knowledge that when you’re dealing with people, compassion is critical, tone is everything, and consideration is consequential.

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Sit down with them, and I personally just think it’s best to explain exactly how you got your estimate instead of hitting them with it head-on. This allows your clients to truly see the effort that goes into an estimate, as well as the breakdown of how you got to the price you did. That way when you do deliver it, high-price or otherwise, your clients comprehend exactly why.
Once you’ve told them your price, you’ll know what to do. They may want a copy of your calculations or material lists to see if they knock some things off or make some adjustments. And honestly, this is fine. There’s been many a time where my father has went back to the lab to adjust some things to an estimate to get closer to a client’s budget. It’s all a part of this process.

estimate

Be as accommodating as you can within reason. If you can knock off some additions — build in bookcases, recessed lighting, drop-ceilings, a change in floor type — then express these possibilities. Free-flowing communication is tremendously helpful when establishing a relationship with a client. Be personal and use empathy to work in their wants and needs.

I know, I know, it seems like a long list of things to be mindful of, but I actually enjoy this part of the process, especially if the client is eager and ready to get started. Definitely much more exciting. But there ya have it, pros. I hope this proves to be of satisfaction, and up-to-par with how you handle the pre-planning process. Take it easy out there, and stay safe!


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: Chris Chamberlain

 

PRO: Management Tips For Running an Effective Team

What’s up, pros? Once again, I hope business is well, and life is treating you good. We’re nearly at the forefront of Summer, which means long days, and even longer nights – perfect for getting things done.

Today, I’d like to like to give you some tips for running an effective team. Now, as I’m sure you know, finding good help is pretty much a rarity nowadays. Recent generations, mine specifically, are clueless to what a hard-days-work truly means.

But, for this post’s sake, we’re going to assume that you’ve acquired a heartfelt, diligent bunch that’s ready to get to the nitty gritty and make some money while ensuring a quality product. So, with that in mind, what are some things you can to run an effective team?

Management Tips: Lead by Example

This is fundamental with any leadership position. You simply cannot enforce rules without abiding by them, as well. Yes, you’re the head honcho, but if you want to be seen and respected as such, you need to make sure that you’re following the guidelines that you’ve drawn out.

If you tell your crew to be at job site by 8:30, you should be there at 8. If you tell them there are certain deadlines to meet for certain tasks, you should bust your butt to make sure those get done. A leader is defined by the energy and effort put in, not necessarily how well demands can be dictated. Just a little food for thought.

management tips

Management Tips: Create Incentives

With any type of work, in any industry, it’s nice to receive affirmation for your efforts. To be recognized for your dedication and work ethic is something people appreciate. Period. Providing incentives for achieving specific goals is one of those ways to show your team that you value them. If you can, provide bonuses. If a job is met well before deadline then that means you and your team have exceeded expectations, so if you’re willing, dish out a monetary pat on the back.

But showing your appreciation doesn’t have to be by way of additional monies. A simple “Good job” or “Nice work today, guys,” will do just the same. In essence, get creative with your incentives, and I promise that the outcome will be greatly beneficial, on all fronts.

management tips

Management Tips: Allow Your Employees To Thrive

It goes without saying that you should get to know the people that work for you, better yet, with you. In doing so, you gain insight to each individual’s strengths and weaknesses, and the tasks you give to each specific member of your team should reflect your knowledge base. For example, if Tim has vocally said that he cannot stand painting ceilings, then it’s probably best not to give him this task. It’s a fact that people do better when they have a passion, a liking to what they’re doing. 

Take me, for example. I cannot stand math. Words are my staple. If I was given 15 math problems to work out right now, you’d be lucky to get me to even look at them. I’m liable to crumple the piece of paper and practice my beer pong shot. Point blank. Swish.

So, let your employees thrive by assigning them tasks that they enjoy. It’s just a more effective, more efficient way of getting things done. Once again, you’ll appreciate the outcome.

management tips

Management Tips: Why So Serious?

Work is usually just that, work. You rise from your bed, brush your teeth, take a shower, and head to your place of occupation day-in and day-out, and at times, this can seem a bit monotonous. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Give the morale and general atmosphere a bit of focus. Pay attention to your employees, their banter, what they’re saying, their concerns, and what they aspire to do. Truly get to know them, have conversations with them and try to get to a place where you know them on a more personal level. Yes, business is business, but it doesn’t have to be serene 700% percent of the time. It’s okay to cut up, make jokes, rag on each other, and enjoy each other’s company. Think of how much time you all spend together.

management tips

Do you really want it to be a constant state of “business-as-usual,” or would you rather have some fun while getting stuff done at the same time? I thought so.

Don’t be afraid to have a good time with your team. It will instill positivity like you wouldn’t believe, when your employees also become your friends. It’s a matter of respect, loyalty, and communication that will inevitably result into a true, effective nature of the business you run.

management tips

Alright, y’all. That’s all I have for the moment, but I think it would be good for this particular post to be a two-parter. There’s simply so much to cover. Anyway, I hope this enlightened you at least a little bit and that you establish a true connection with your team. Be safe this summer, y’all, and stay blessed!

Social Media Tips Your Company Can’t Afford To Ignore: Part 2

Executing With Excellence

After my last article on social media tips for beginners, I thought we could step a bit deeper into the depths of the social media ocean and come up with a few pearls of wisdom. Some of these tips can be executed right away, but others will take time and you’ll need to build upon your skills in order to reap the full benefits. You’ve already gotten your feet wet, so now it’s time to dive right in with 10 more tips to take your social media game to the next level!

1. Remember the Reason

Relationships are the name of the game in social media, so no matter how badly you want to master this new craft for your business, don’t forget to approach it with a spirit of helpfulness and friendliness. The point of social media is to put a human voice and face to your brand. Don’t let the stuffiness of day to day buying and selling overwhelm your presence.

2. Collect Data

This is one of the most valuable functions of social media. The data you can gather on your demographic and target audience is priceless. In addition to the standard age and gender questions, you can find out what makes your customers tick. You can find out what their pain points are, what their questions are, what they relate and react to. Don’t let this data go by the wayside. Record it and return to it often.

3. Act On Your Data

When you find a new nugget of wisdom about your audience, don’t just write it in your notebook. Act on it. Adjust your efforts to fill this need, answer this question, or offer the type of information that their craving. This will help you produce quality over quantity in terms of content.

4. Focus on campaigns that run across all social media channels

As we discussed in the last article, you shouldn’t try to build a strong presence on all channels. Stick to 3 or 4 to start off with. Create a campaign that can be translated onto all your targeted platforms. But beware, you can’t typically take the same photo and content and successfully post it on all channels. Different word limits, ideal photo sizes and key hashtags will differ on these channels, so adjust accordingly. Keeping the message the same on all channels will promote easy recognition of your brand and it’s values.

Kitchen Cabinets-Shop-Ad

5. Research Repeatedly

We covered researching before planning in the last article, but research should be a regular part of your social media journey. Continue to research your competitors and see what is and what is not working for them. Research the best hashtags to use. You can find this on sites like iconosquare.com or hashtagify.me. Using appropriate hashtags can spread your content much farther than your immediate followers.

6. Testing

Test different image shapes, sizes, fonts, colors and even emojis to maximize your reach or gain quick recognition with your followers. Sometimes the small things make you stand out and can break through the clutter in a newsfeed or timeline. In our “Before and After” and “This or That” posts, we found that if we made our image twice the height of a standard Facebook image, our reach would triple or even quadruple! This happens because more than half of all Facebook users are on mobile. When you view this post on mobile, it entices you to click to see the “after” or the “that” image that you can’t see due to the size. The key is to put the “AFTER” or “THAT” text in the middle of the photo, so that people will understand that there is something to see below. When people are constantly clicking on your image, they’re telling Facebook that they value your content, and Facebook recognizes it as more important, making the reach skyrocket. In addition, those who click your post are served more of your content in the future because Facebook knows that they feel it is relevant. Without testing, trial and error, and closely monitoring the way that our fans are interacting with our content, we would have missed this awesome realization!

social media tips example

What they see in the mobile feed

social media tips full

7. Use calls to action!

As in any advertising medium, use calls to action and a sense of urgency to drive your potential customers into the buying funnel. While social media is not all about buying and selling, but when your posts directly relate to your products or services, there is no harm in adding a simple call to action. It can be as easy as “Click to shop more of these _____” or “Sign up today for more ways to save!”. Getting them to convert to your website or email list is the name of the game. Guide them in the right direction with a little encouragement!

8. Use contents to grow reach, engagement and the “fun factor”

Simple giveaways can be extremely powerful. Many contests will tell fans to like, comment and share to have a chance to win. These posts can get hundreds of thousands of interactions, with most of the giveaway prizes worth only a few hundred dollars. That kind of engagement is worth every penny.
social media contests

9. Make it trackable

Make sure that if you’re promoting contests, giveaways, discounts or specials on your social media accounts, that you have promo codes associated with them for your sales staff. This will allow you to see how many people are claiming this discount in store. This allows you to see which channels are working well for your target audience, or what categories are especially of interest.

10. Cross Promote Social Media Channels With On And Offline Channels!

I can’t stress this one enough. If you are going to take the time to use social media, make sure you get the biggest reach possible. This can be done by sending email blasts about your social activity, putting social share and follow buttons on all of your blogs, images, products, and pages on your website, putting social icons in your email signature (all staff should have this with an invitation for the recipient to follow for “Daily Design Inspiration” or whatever your company provides via social media.) You can also tie this to your other advertising channels, such as TV commercials, radio ads, or in store signage. This makes it easier for customers to follow you no matter where they are when they see your message or interact with your business.

Instagram poster at brick and mortar store

Good luck in your social media journey! If you have patience, persistence and dedication to follow the tips that I’ve laid out, I’m confident that your social presence will continue to rise daily. Don’t lose faith if things don’t take off over night. This is a marathon, not a sprint, so don’t burn yourself out in the beginning. Have a plan and pace yourself so that you will be sure to endure in your efforts for years to come. Pleasant posting!


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

Should You Upgrade to Hardwood Floors Before Selling?

Home sellers can get more money for the sale of their home if they can make their home’s interior and exterior as attractive as possible, such as upgrading to hardwood floors. To boost their property’s value, many homeowners will choose to make small renovations or upgrades before selling their home. In many homes, flooring upgrades are one way that home sellers can make their property more appealing to buyers.

Advantages of Remodeling Before Selling

There are many good reasons to remodel your home before selling it!

  • Hardwood floors are attractive and therefore make staging easier.
  • New flooring can boost offers from home buyers.
  •  Hardwood floors are a hot item that can help sell your home more quickly.

ROI of Hardwood Floors

  • Hardwood floors can be expensive to install. For a typical home, installing new hardwood floors can cost around $4,400. However, the majority of home buyers are willing to pay more for homes with hardwood floors, which can make the expense worthwhile. The best ways to maximize the ROI for your hardwood flooring includes:
  • Have the hardwood floors installed by a knowledgeable, experienced licensed contractor.
  • Take good care of the hardwood floors after they’re installed. Use rugs and furniture pads to protect the floor from scratches.
  • Install hardwood floors that look right with the rest of the interior decor.

hardwood floors 

Which Homes Need A Flooring Upgrade

You’ll know if your home needs a flooring upgrade if:

  • Your flooring is very dated. Carpet of a dated color or made from a dated style can be a turn off to home buyers.
  • Your home’s current flooring is damaged in some way. Some home buyers are reluctant to buy a home that has obvious cosmetic defects. Others will buy a home with cosmetic defects, but will use the defects as a negotiating tool, which can result in a reduced profit at the time of sale.
  • Your home has carpet and you have pets. Carpet can absorb pet hair and pet odors, which can make a home less desirable for anyone with allergies. Hardwood floor is far more hypoallergenic.

Other homes in your area have wood floors. It’s no secret that hardwood floors top the wish lists of buyers. When competing for buyers, it is important to at least match the desirable features of other comparable homes for sale.

hardwood floors

Getting Started With Your Remodel

  • Once you’ve decided to upgrade your home’s flooring, you’ll have decisions to make. Making smart choices at the time of the remodel can help you maximize your return on investment when it’s time to sell.
  • Pick the right wood stain for your home. You’ll need to choose between a dark, medium or light colored stain in your home. Often dark stains work best in homes with a lot of natural light and light colored furniture. Light colored stains work well in homes with medium or dark colored walls, or in parts of the home with little natural light.
  • Hire a licensed contractor to get the job done right. Hiring a qualified contractor to install your home’s hardwood floors will help ensure a good quality installation that will maximize your investment.
  • Meet with many contractors to get the best bid. Meet with a variety of contractors to get bids from several different companies before picking the right contractor for your needs. Shopping around will help you minimize your expenses during the flooring installation, which will help you maximize your profits at the time of sale.
  •  Get started many months before you plan to sell your home. This will help ensure that you have enough time to get the flooring finished before it’s time to put your home on the market.

hardwood floors

Consult With A Real Estate Agent

An experienced real estate agent will help you decide whether or not new flooring is right for your home. To find out whether or not hardwood floors are right for your needs before it’s time to sell your property, consult with your real estate agent to find out whether or not your home could compete better or bring in more profits with this change.

hardwood floors

By: Preston Guyton
Preston Guyton is the managing partner of CRG Companies, Inc., a custom home design, construction and real estate firm with three locations along the Grand Strand. They offer eco-friendly homebuilding solutions, design services and agents to help with the home buying and selling process.

A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Baseboard

There are many instances during a remodel that could potentially stump someone. One of those are undoubtedly how to choose the perfect baseboard that should go within a room. There’s only about two things you kind of need to watch out for, but for the most part, there aren’t any strict guidelines or things of that nature.
Today, I’m going to detail a couple elements about a baseboard, the materials used to make them, and then show a a few different, popular styles that have been used throughout the years. First off, let’s talk about the materials that you can purchase a baseboard.
 

Baseboard Materials

There are four primary materials that can makeup a baseboard: MDF, Primed Pine, Pine, and Oak.
Primed Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF): So, this stuff is pre-primed for that even consistency you’re looking for. Otherwise, if you’re painting, you’re going to have to put a couple of coats on it.
Primed Pine: Naturally wood-based; also pre-primed
Pine: Excellent thing about pine is its versatility – paint it, stain it, or just clear coat it.
Oak: Probably the most tried-and-true traditional hardwood moulding. Oak is well-known for its natural grain look, but it can also be stained, varnished, or clear coated.
 
 
baseboard Louisville Cincinnati
 
 
So, there are 5 types of baseboard styles that you should be aware of – Traditional, Country, Victorian, Arts & Crafts (Craftsman) & Modern.

Traditional Style Baseboard

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with tradition. It’s like oak, tried-and-true, and nearly always prevails. This style provides you with a seemingly common look that you honestly can’t go wrong with. It’s function has been perfected, the use of shorter boards gives depth to the ceiling, and you’re with a lovely look.
 
 
baseboard Louisville Cincinnati
 

Country Style Baseboard

This style tends to be a bit taller and is often accompanied by quarter-round to really emphasize the depth of this finishing piece.
 
 
baseboard Louisville Cincinnati
 

Victorian Style Baseboard

Ah, very majestic, indeed. This is probably my favorite style simply because of the intricate detail, much like the Craftsman. It’s pretty gaudy, but then again look what style we’re talking about. I just appreciate its high frame, and the fact that you can’t help but to appreciate the sophistication.
 
 
baseboard Louisville Cincinnati
 

Arts & Crafts Style Baseboard

Also known as the ‘Craftsman’ style, this one boasts curvature and, well, craftsmanship in its design. It’s ability to express lines and draw the eye is this style’s genetic makeup. It’s not subtle. It does not want to hide.
This is the popular kid at the high school with his shades on and one foot backed against a locker, eyeing the girls that walk down the hall. Smooth, yet edgy.
 
 
baseboard Louisville Cincinnati
 

Modern Style Baseboard

Sleek. Elegant. Smooth. I’ll be honest, this style is NICE. But, it’s largely due to the work put into it that makes it so. Typically, if you take something that’s usually of neutral color — like white — and sand it smooth, paint it a darker color, and apply some clear coat, it’s going to look modernized. And that’s exactly how you achieve this style.
 
 
 
baseboard Louisville Cincinnati
 

A General Rule of Thumb for Baseboards

Generally speaking, the higher the ceiling, the taller the baseboard. If you don’t use this rule, you’ll end up minimizing your room, and that’s the last thing you want to do. An exception to this “rule” is if you’re trying to pull of a more contemporary style.
In this instance, it is best to go for a shorter baseboard, simply because of its sleek look.


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

Jeffrey Alexander Cabinet Hardware: Feel The Luxury

Hello, everyone! Cabinets are, no doubt, one of the most defining features in a kitchen or bathroom remodel, right? Today, I’d like to talk about something that greatly accentuates the look of your cabinets — the hardware — and specifically, Jeffrey Alexander hardware.

The Most Luxurious Cabinet Hardware

Alright, so maybe I’m a bit biased, sure, but cabinet hardware by Jeffrey Alexander has some of the most beautiful styles and collections that I’ve ever seen. And I mean that quite literally. Ever since I was eight, I’ve been working with my father in his home remodeling business, and I’ve come across some pretty neat stuff as far as accessories are concerned, but these collections are downright jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring..you name it. They’re simply wonderful.

cabinet hardware

They’re also incredibly unique in their design, too. You won’t find many, if any, cookie cutter elements to these pieces. If you’re wanting to make your kitchen or bathroom standout, enriched in design and elemental enticing aesthetics, then stop what you’re doing. And head here.

Quite Affordable Cabinet Hardware

You all know the old adage: You get what you pay for. If there’s anything I’ve learned to be 100% absolutely true within the past century of my existence, it is that. If you want to go out and buy an $.89 cabinet knob, then so be it. But you can’t complain when it falls off or scratches or the day after you put it up someone says, “yeah, um, those look God-awful.”

cabinet hardware

cabinet hardware

Fact is, if you’re trying to achieve a sophisticated, luxurious look, you’re going to pay sophisticated, luxurious money. Porsche 911’s aren’t $20,000 for a reason. They sport the sleekest designs and have the performance packages down to a literal science. But it comes at a cost. I say all of that to say this, Jeffrey Alexander kinda defies that line of thinking. No, they’re not under a dollar, but they’re pretty affordable, and booyyyyy, do you get what you pay for.

Cabinet Hardware For Days

Definitely one of my favorite things about JA. They have so much, maybe even too much, to choose from. I’m more inclined to go with the former on that one simply because I know that options are always a nice thing to have in the remodeling industry. But seriously, they have near countless collections. Plus, they’re manufactured by certain styles — rustic, contemporary, traditional, and ultra-modern.

So, no matter what the certain style you currently have in your bathroom or what you’re wanting to create, they have one just for you. It’s perfect.

They’re Growing

To top it all off, this line of cabinet hardware isn’t going anywhere. Hardware Resources, the company that manufactures these beauties, is THE fastest growing manufacturer of cabinet hardware in the United States. Sidenote: That’s another plus. They’re made right here in the good ole U.S. of A., which is always an important characteristic in my opinion.

cabinet hardware

But anyway, yeah, so the main line just continues to grow and grow, darn near exponentially, which means not only will the current styles be in store for a very long time, but there’s room for more unique, trendy designs to come forth. It’s just nice to know that you can fall and love, knowing they’re jot going anywhere.

So, there it is, folks. Four reasons why Jeffrey Alexander Cabinet Hardware is the best in the business. Also, if you are in the process of doing a kitchen remodel, let us know and we’ll set you up with a free kitchen design consultation with one of our experts! Hope to see y’all in the store sometime soon, but until then, be safe and stay blessed!


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: Chris Chamberlain

5 Best Resources to Help Plan Your Home Remodel

Hello, everyone! Hope all is well, and you’ve found some time to go outside and enjoy this beautiful weather we’ve been having. So, I’ll get right to it. Planning can be a pain, right? Aligning schedules, stacking finances, figuring out exactly what you’d like, and then having to plan for something awry to happen because it almost always does for some reason. It’s because it’s such a pain in the butt that it can be easy to stave it off for a few months….sometimes years, especially with something as huge as a home remodel. Well, today I’d like to make that a little bit easier and discuss five resources that will get you well on your way! After all, it is Spring, a time for fresh beginnings and starting anew. Consider this your official banishment from Procrastination Nation. Leave…and never go back.  

Houzz this for your Home Remodel?

Okay, you’ll have to excuse me for the horrible pun. I simply could not help myself. Blame the incessant sun rays that I can’t get enough of aka Jack Sparrow Syndrome. Maybe a little less rum, though. Anyway, so, Houzz is absolutely fantastic. Think of ‘Pinterest,’ but with a motivated motif of all things home remodeling and renovation. Which is crazy to think about, really. This industry has grown so rapidly in the past decade that there’s actually a database, if you will, purely for its many factions. Very, very interesting.     home remodel   But, yeah, Houzz is pretty much a growing community of architects, contractors, interior designers, landscapers, and the like that congregate and discuss ideas, share photos, and provide inspiration to all that welcome it. Sign-up is free, of course, and once you’ve made yourself a little profile, you can start perusing around, letting your creativity thrive, so you can start planning your home remodel.  

Have I Piqued Your Pinterest?

I’d say about 95.7% of you reading this definitely know what Pinterest is, but in case you’re of the other 4.3%, I’ll tell you. Pinterest is largely a collection of ideas, thoughts, hacks, pictures, recipes, and infographics through a number of categories that work to gain your interest — for  you to pin and repin. It’s an excellent motivator, and an outstanding resource while planning for your home remodel. Truly, there are some epic ideas when it comes to home renovation. I have no doubt that you’ll not only find this site appealing, but extremely informational, as well.   home remodel     Once again, it’s a free sign-up, but I will warn you:  Engaging in this website/app is a time suck. You may sit down, open your laptop, type the appropriate letters in the browser in the afternoon, and the next thing you know it’s eight o’ clock, and you’ve skipped lunch and nearly dinner. Which is a crime.  

We Be Bloggin’

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our blog to you as a resource! Listen, y’all, I’ve never been one to brag, but this IS why we do this. We want to help you with your home remodel! It’s literally our job, and what’s more, is that we love to do it. Each post that we put out directly deals with some aspect of the home remodeling business, whether it’s bathrooms, kitchens, flooring, tile, cabinets, vanities, doors, or windows…we’ve got you. home remodel Just want to throw it out there that we cover a vast amount of ground in our blog posts, and if you ever need inspiration or you’re curious about something, there’s a free resource right in our website. Wanna check it out? Click…….here.  

Tools in the Toolshed

On our website, all the way at the bottom, is an assortment of pretty cool tools that you can use to help you plan your remodel: Find Your Style Quiz: This test, provided by Waypoint, attempts to gather your sense of style by a series of pictures and quizzes. Bathroom Visualizer: This program takes a vanity and let’s you tweak the characteristics, so you can physically see what you’d like or what you wouldn’t like. Kitchen Design Visualizer: My favorite one, by far. Completely design your kitchen, virtually.    

Designated Designers

In addition to some selective tools that we have on our website, we actually have real-life humans that would love to assist you in the planning process for your home remodel! We’re talking top-notch professionals that will personally guide you through discussions of color, style, blending, and personal preferences. For a little more insight on exactly WHY you should speak to a professional about your remodel, click here.         Fact of the matter is, planning these kinds of things can get overwhelming. Something that’s greatly going to benefit you and your home shouldn’t be so stressful, though, so we try make it as smooth as possible. Let us help you by setting up a free kitchen design consultation today! Well, there ya have it, folks! Five of the best resources one can ask for while trying to plan for their home remodel! I really do hope you consider these options this Spring if you become inspired to getting some things done around the house. And when you do, don’t forget about us, alright? Get everything, without spending everything — only at Builders Surplus! Hope to see ya soon, but until then, be safe and stay blessed!  
  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: Chris Chamberlain        

Want to learn more about kitchen & bath remodeling?

Home Value: 5 Easy Ways to Increase It

What’s going on, everyone? I do hope you’re well and enjoying the much-anticipated warm weather. Where it seemed like it was a rather mild winter, it felt like ages to me.  If you’re a summer baby like yours truly, then you literally countdown the days until April or May, where you can enjoy a nice drive with the windows down and music up. Plus, now that it’s warm, we can all start working on the most important asset we have — our home. In this blog post, I’ll discuss five ways to easily increase home value. May the warmth inspire and spark creativity, y’all. Let’s begin!

The Best Ways To Increase Home Value

Focus on the Entry Door

So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that curb appeal is a monstrous factor when it comes to home value. The front door simply further emphasizes this incredibly significant factor. Essentially, it pulls the eye in and acts as a main focal point to the entire house. Think about it, when you have guests over, what is the first course of action? Walking through the front door. So, naturally, that’s what the eye is going to be attracted to.     home value   Don’t be afraid to get a little quirky when it comes to your front door, either. Want to make it a crazy-cool color? Do it. Want to splash some sort of design on it? Go ahead. I encourage you to make it your own and let it standout. Because, honestly, it’s going to anyway.   home value  

Upgrade the Kitchen

Now, listen, I know those three words can seem a bit vague, and even once it’s broken down, it can still be a bit overwhelming. So for all intensive purposes, I’ll just name two components of a kitchen. Also note that your kitchen is arguably (but who would argue) the most important room in the entire house. Because of this, simply renovating a few things will no doubt increase home value. For sure. Cabinets: You may be surprised to know that simply switching out the cabinets in your kitchen will do wonders as far as aesthetics. Maybe you’re tired of the type of cabinet and color, or you’re like me and get antsy when you’ve staring at the same scenery for far too long. I encourage you to take a good, hard look at your cabinets and see if you’d like to make some changes. Remix it up. home value   Countertops: In my opinion, countertops can make or break a kitchen’s overall look. With this in mind, if you’ve been preparing your meals over, say, formica countertops then I think you’d really enjoy a granite or quartz countertops. They’re both sleek, modern-looking, and the characteristics for both are far more superior — in strength, durability, accident-resistance, and maintenance.   home value  

Beautify your Bathroom

Kitchens and baths, y’all, that’s where it’s at for value’s sake. These rooms allow a person to express themselves artistically and make a style their own. Like I mentioned before, don’t be afraid to go above and beyond. After all, IT IS your home. Do what you will. However, if you’re going to be selling in the near future, keep the style one that will appeal to a broad range of buyers. Vanities: A bathroom doesn’t call for as much space as a kitchen does, sure, but I’d be lying if I said that these pieces aren’t essential to your bathroom design. Take the same advice I gave you about your kitchen cabinetry and recreate a different design — use interesting colors, textures, and styles and make things harmoniously blend. home value Vanity tops: Much like your kitchen countertops, a vanity top can make or break the design. Now, if it were me, I’d take a look at our cultured marble tops, in addition to our large selection of vanity tops. We truly have some beautiful colors that will blend nicely with any design. I promise you.    

Watch your Windows

Windows may seem like a small aspect in home design, but I’m telling you, replacing the old with the new will greatly increase your home value. At Builders Surplus, we carry Silverline by Andersen windows, and they’re true beauties. Available in different designs and styles, these babies will quite literally make each room brighter.   home value   Another thing I kinda like about windows is that they’re two sides of the same coin. We talked about the importance of curb appeal before, and windows sort of add to that enhanced focus, but they’re also very endearing on the inside, as well.   Plus, if you’re kinda crafty, you can enrich the look and put a beautiful set of moulding around each window, achieving that ‘craftsmen’ style perfectly. Just a little food for thought if you want to really increase home value.     home value  

Spruce Up the Outside

This probably goes without saying, but a well-maintained, neat, and even colorful yard is going to get some looks. If you want to increase home value, this is definitely an area I’d focus on. Curb appeal, remember? If your grass is as green as a golf course, there’s a nice blend of trees, flowers, and bushes — all neatly clipped — and everything looks proper and perfect, don’t be surprised to see a car come to a slow crawl, peeking in.   home value     Having a yard that’s pleasing to the eye is going to get you those seriously-this-just-went-on-the-market kind of offers, and who doesn’t want to be in that driver’s seat, no pun intended. Just don’t make it TOO busy, you know what I mean. Keep it nice. Keep it neat. Keep it complete.   home value     I hope these five things gave you a bit of insight and, hopefully, some inspiration to make some renovations to increase home value. Change isn’t all bad, people! Remember that, and keep on enjoying this weather! Hope to see y’all in here soon, but until then be safe and stay blessed!  
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: Chris Chamberlain

Want to learn more about kitchen & bath remodeling?

Bamboo Flooring Shopper's Guide

bamboo
 
So, I probably know what you’re thinking. Bamboo? And just when I thought I’ve seen it all. And, honestly, I’m right there with you in that assessment, but bamboo is actually some pretty legitimate stuff we’re talking about. Today, I’d like to talk to you a little bit about some things you should consider when shopping for this awesome, abstract, type of flooring. So buckle in for a bit, and let me learn you a thing or two!

Why Bamboo?

Right? Like, whoever thought of taking this plant and manufacturing it into something that people can actually walk on is definitely on a completely different mental wavelength than I am, but I applaud whoever did it. So…why?
 

 
It’s ‘Green’: Well, for one, it’s environmentally-friendly. If you’re anything like us over here at Builders Surplus, that is definitely something to be valued. To put it in comparison, the trees that are used to make hardwood floors can take 20-25 years to reach full maturity. Bamboo, on the other hand, only takes a mere 5-7 years to reach its adolescence. Then it’s ready to go.
 
 

 
 
Strength: Secondly, it’s stronger than most of the hardwoods you’ll find beneath your feet. I know this can’t be the first time you’ve heard that bamboo is a rock-solid, so imagine that intensifying strength covering your living or dining room. Pretty cool, right?
 

 
 
Durable: This stuff can take a beating. For example, let’s say it’s Christmas, okay, and you and your cousin are playing your version of “Hot Potato,” with a snow globe. Game’s going good and then one of y’all messes up and the globe passes slips through a set of fingers, descending to your brand-new bamboo floors — everything’s in slo-mo — someone may or may not dive for it, I don’t know. The globe hits the bamboo with a loud ‘thud,’ and you fear the worst. Then you look….and nothing. Nothing at all. Yeah, guys, this stuff is like THAT.
 

Graphite


 

Where To Put Bamboo

High-Traffic Areas: This type of flooring was literally meant to be installed in those main areas where people congregate or walk through – living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, and hallways. Because of its strength and durability, you’ll achieve that same look you did when first laid it down, no matter where you put it. I told y’all. This is some long-lasting stuff, for sure. It doesn’t swell. Or contract.
NO Bathrooms: Okay, now this is some pretty excellent material, for sure, but it’s not superhuman, okay? It’s kryptonite is water, and bathrooms simply hold too much moisture for it. You don’t want those kinds of problems. Trust me.
 

Frosted Pearl


 

Who Would Love Bamboo Flooring?

People with Allergies: For all intensive purposes, it’s safe to say that this type of flooring is hypo-allergenic. Meaning, it can’t be penetrated by the usual, common allergens such as pet hair, pollen, dust, and the other crap that makes me want to yank my nose off.
Those Who Hate Cleaning: When I say this stuff is super low-maintenance, I mean it. Literally, all you need is a broom and a vacuum cleaner. But, I guess, if you’d like to get semi-fancy, you can grab a Swiffer broom. To each his own.
 

Obsidian


 
 

Colors of Bamboo

At Builders Surplus, we custom order bamboo flooring. It’s available in a variety of stunning colors, fourteen in total. The pictures that you see throughout are just a glimpse of what we have to offer. From darker tones like ‘Obsidian’ to lighter tones like ‘Frosted Pearl.’
 

 

Installation and Specs on Bamboo Flooring

Below is a chart that details the type of installation and some specified specs about bamboo flooring. You’ll notice that the installation isn’t any different than putting down regular hardwood floors. The glueless locking system is extremely easy. It also details some of the warranties, which is obviously pretty important.
 

 
 
Well, folks. What do you think? Pretty interesting stuff, isn’t it? I encourage you to not just take my word for it. Come on in to any of our two locations, and we will gladly give you as much info as you’d like on this outstanding product. Until then, stay safe and be blessed!


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: Chris Chamberlain

Our Favorite Stains For Unfinished Hardwood Floors

If there’s one thing I know, hardwood floors simply give that feel of class, sophistication, and beauty that can only be described as timeless.
Today, I’d like to discuss one of the aspects of unfinished hardwood floors – its versatility. I am, of course, speaking on the fact that it can be stained to a color of your choosing, and in this blog post, we’ll go over a few of my personal favorites that I’ve come across while working for my father at his home remodeling business.
 

 

The Product & Its Many Colors

My father holds the brand, Minwax, with the highest regard. In fact, that’s literally the only stain he uses, no matter what the piece. Now, I can go ahead and tell you that this is for good reason. It just coats SO darn well.
To be specific, the product he uses has been coined Minwax Wood Finish™, and it is available in no less than 26 colors. Talk about a variety, right? Sidenote: Where it does coat beautifully with just one application, for best results you should apply two. It will bring out the richness in the color, and you can just thank me later.
 
stain
 

Dark Walnut Stain

There’s something about darker hardwood floors that I really appreciate. To me, Dark Walnut brings out the texture in this style of flooring. It’s rich. It’s long-lasting. It exudes that feeling that I mentioned earlier.
And, let me tell ya, if you’re one to open up the windows on a warm, gorgeous days, the way natural light hits this color is simply mesmerizing. Dark tones, bright smiles with these stains. Outstanding.
 
stain
 

English Chestnut Stain

Ah, the traditional approach. Whenever I think of a stained floor, this is what comes to mind because it seems like the “tried and true” approach, if I’m being honest.
Not to say that it’s boring or timid in showing its flavor, but it’s just been known to get the job done — which is simply to accentuate the grain of the unfinished hardwood — much like the “Natural” stain color would, if you know what I mean. A bit of a reddish hue, this color works wonders in colonial-style houses. Lovely.
 
stain
 

Ipswich Pine Stain

I have to admit, every time I read the color of this stain, I think of the movie, “The Covenant,” an extremely underrated movie about a batch of brothers who are considered descendants of the  “Witches of Ipswich.”
Anyway, sorry for that little tidbit, just sayin’. Back to the blog. This color has a yellowish hue to it that I really admire. It’s nearly like “Natural” because of how light it is, but it exhibits something different, a lovelier feel in my opinion. This stained floor will work wonders underneath darker furniture. Oh, yes.
 
stain
 

Jacobean Stain

Ah, my favorite, which is why I saved it for last. Now, remember how I mentioned that I like darker colored hardwood floors? Well, this is IT. No, not the clown. Let’s not go down that road. We’ll stick to these floors.
Number one, how legit is that name? Go ahead and say it, like, three times. Jay-CO-Bean. So cool. I just love how incredibly RICH this color is. The dark swirls, smooth blend of lighter tones, and it’s ability to go anywhere.
 
stain
 
Alright, folks, there’s a little insight into some of my favorite stain colors! If it were me, I’d STRONGLY consider the Jacobean if it blends well with the style of your home and everything.
For something a bit lighter, hit up good ole Ipswich, or throw all of my words in the trash and pick from the other 21 colors. But I will say and will suggest once more, Minwax is definitely the way to go. Have fun this Spring, be safe, and stay blessed!
 


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

 

5 Bathroom Styles You Must See Before You Remodel

Okay, before you start the demo phase, which is incidentally my favorite phase, you absolutely positively have to look at these five bathroom styles. Now, I understand that if you have a sledgehammer on deck then you’ve probably (hopefully) already have your design plans in order and you’re quite ready break ground on this bad boy, BUT that doesn’t mean that you can’t allow of a few minor adjustments. Today, I’d like to discuss a few bathroom options, putting everything into perspective in terms of style, including vanities, tops, plumbing, sinks, and tiles.

Traditional Bathroom Styles

The tried-and-true style, as I like to call it. Some call it ordinary, some call it plain, I simply see it for what it is – classic. There is absolutely nothing wrong with going back to the roots without the fancy-shmancy accommodations that some other styles may provide. I’m not knocking other styles, I’m just saying that going the “traditional” route is almost like going to your hometown after a years and years from settling elsewhere. It’s comfortable. It’s safe, and it still provides that warm glow deep in your soul that filters throughout. Simply put, it’s home. And it’s as they say: There’s nothing wrong with going home.

bathroom styles

Modern Bathroom Styles

We’re talking glass showers, sleek sink fixtures, lone freestanding tub, large windows, and as much space as you can manage with this style. The greatest thing about the modern-style is how sleek everything looks. The picture below is actually identified as “modern-minimalist,” and when you get a good look at it, you’ll understand why, but as it is, every element of the bathroom is tasteful, sleek, elegant. It’s easy on color to give away its rich texture. In all of these bathroom styles, this has to be my favorite. Especially since it’s low-key minimalist themed as well. Very sophisticated.

bathroom styles

Hamptons Bathroom Styles

Something I’ve actually very recently been doing a bit of research on, is the Hampton-style. As you can see in the picture below, this style boasts very neutral colors, the majority being white and prides itself on chicness. Subway tile is usually infused in the mix or marble, one of the two. As far as the vanity goes, the shaker style is what’s best for the Hampton look. Usually, again, white to emphasis it’s standout, bright aura. Another added note with this style is the sconce lighting that usually hangs on either side of the mirror, or in the middle. The tapware is usually chrome or nickel-plated. Definitely more of a traditional feel when it comes to the fixtures. Anyhow…I think it’s pretty cool. What do you think?

bathroom styles

Contemporary Bathroom Styles

Similar to the modern style, contemporary brings you an extremely sleek design. Notice how the colors are all very neutral save for one, small accent wall in the background. The fixtures aren’t your common, typical ones, either. They’re fixed to the wall, which completely eradicates any “traditional” style make-up in this design. The look it portrays clearly defines as it a style that lives in the now, in the present, but still establishes room for variation. For example, you could accompany these tones with that of a Hampton-style and still get the same effect, if that makes sense. It’s not my favorite, I admit, but I do appreciate the bold nature of this type of style. For sure.

bathroom styles

Rustic Bathroom Styles

Ah, the rustic look. Who doesn’t like this kind of style is my question. This style of bathroom gives you many options to explore your creativity and allows you to antique some aspects of your bathroom and really push forth that rustic, classically-aged look that I like. In the picture below, I really really like the door style. It’s a craftsman style door setting, but it fits in with the rest of the bathroom. To make a project out of it, you could find an unfinished alder cabinet and reclaim the wood to give it that aged look. This style can usually be found in your country-themed houses, as it really works well with that design. What do you think?
bathroom styles


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: Chris Chamberlain

Eco-Friendly Flooring Ideas That Get the "Green" Light

There are many eco-friendly products that are made throughout the world that people choose to buy simply because of its roots, that the product they chose shied away from causing the world harm. Plastic bottles, food wrappings, and now, even vehicles have become a part of the side of consumerism that maintains an environmentally-conscious mind. Well, that also extends to home renovation products, as well! Today, I’m going to discuss three eco-friendly flooring options, including CORK, that are apt in both style and functionality, providing a classically unique look. Let’s dig in!
 

Eco-Friendly Cork Flooring

This material is relatively new to the world of flooring. Seriously, who would have thought that the thing you pop off to pour champagne or a glass of wine could – or – would ever be used to blanket the floors of a household. Fascinating, really. Anyway, cork is taken from the bark of a cork oak tree, which is commonly found in the Mediterranean forests. The best part about the process is that these lovely trees are not cut down to harvest this material – they are simply stripped. But even then, the bark regrows after three years, making cork a – you guessed it – renewable resource.
 
eco-friendly
 
 
eco-friendly
 
 
 
For this reason, it is undoubtedly my all time favorite as far as eco-friendly flooring options go. Crazy unique, visually stunning, and truly one-of-a-kind. What’s more is of its chemical properties! It has anti-microbial properties that reduces allergens, is fire-retardant, AND it repels insect. Seriously, though, can it get any better? Actually, yeah. With cork, you’re able to stain it, paint it, and make it any color you want so you’re not so limited. Lifespan of this material? It can last for up to 30 years with the proper maintenance, which by the way, is stupid low. Excellent product right here.
 
eco-friendly

Eco-Friendly Bamboo Flooring

If you know anything about bamboo, you’ll know that it’s strong, intensely durable, and not one of those twigs you can just bust over your knee and walk away happily.  Similar to wood as far as its species, bamboo has been gaining wild popularity as a flooring option. It’s very, very easy to maintain, as easy to install as regular hardwood, and will last you an exceptionally long time. Best thing is, it’s sustainable and only takes a few years to reach its full maturity. Again, much like the above, this material is available in a variety of colors, so you’re not limited to just one design or one style. Options are pretty endless in terms of bamboo’s versatility.
 
eco-friendly
 
Along with its color variety, is its grain! You know how would may have a certain grain you like depending on the direction of it, or maybe the pattern of dark knots? Well, bamboo, more or less, acts the same. This is one of the reasons why this type of flooring is on the up-and-up! You’re able to make this flooring your own, customizing it to your wants and needs.
 
 
eco-friendly
 

Eco-Friendly Concrete Flooring

Now, I’ve wrote about concrete flooring before, and I still think it’s crazy (in a cool way) that it has has slowly crept its way from commercial properties and into the confines of residential households. Usually, this sort of material is used as a sub-flooring, in which case people would just put tile or linoleum or hardwood for their floor. But, it’s 2017, and there are all kinds of things happening, so let’s run with the innovative ideas, shall we?
 
 
eco-friendly
 
 
In all seriousness, concrete can be polish and tinted to make it look completely different than your standard slab of concrete. You can create tiles from it or design a cool pattern yourself using glass and mosaics to really give your style the emphasis you’d like. In any case, this material is extremely eco-friendly. No chopping up trees to lay these floors down. No. Sir.
 
eco-friendly
 
It is in my extreme hopes that this post helped you realize that there are in fact some environmentally-friendly flooring options that have been tried and true, proving to be very sustainable, highly efficient, extremely durable in strength, and versatile in style and design to keep the options endless. We also have one of these materials in-store now at any of our two locations in Louisville and Cincinnati! I encourage you to give us a call or stop by soon to check out our Cork Flooring options and see if this eco-friendly material is right for you and your home. Until then, be safe and stay blesssed!
 


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: Chris Chamberlain