Current Trends in Home Design

In today’s home market, home buyers have become a study in diversity. They come from all different walks of life, they want modern amenities but still have a taste for tradition and they want comfortable and easy going floor plans but still want well appointed areas. The current trends in home design are a reflection … Continue reading “Current Trends in Home Design”

In today’s home market, home buyers have become a study in diversity. They come from all different walks of life, they want modern amenities but still have a taste for tradition and they want comfortable and easy going floor plans but still want well appointed areas.

The current trends in home design are a reflection of this diverse new home buyer and here are some examples of what is popular among them:

Neutral Color Schemes
Gray is currently the neutral color that is most popular, and not only in paints and throw pillows. Gray has become popular in surface materials and cabinetry. Gray is always tasteful and appropriate, it enhances everything from abstract paintings to classical sculptures and even state-of-the-art technology.

Going Green and Using Green
Always conscious of the planet, homeowners are choosing to bring a little bit of the environmental look indoors. They’re using more shades of emerald, sage and even chartreuse.

They are also interested in recycling, using resources wisely and preserving the past. This is why you will find new homeowners rescuing items from buildings about to be torn down or reusing wood to build new tables.

Soft Pastels
For several years the main colors used in homes have been earth tones, with a dash of bold colors thrown in to keeping things lively. However, today’s home buyers are moving towards softer, more playful approaches to their color schemes.

Pastels aren’t only being used in paints, tiles and accessories, they’re being used more in collections of rugs and fabrics to soften up the overall decor of the home.

Metal Mania
Home buyers are partial to metal for their appliances, hardware and fixtures. This usually signifies an appreciation for longevity and value. While the most popular of these metals are nickel, chrome and steel, you will find a few who go for the glitz of gold.

Interesting Combinations
Along with their appreciation for quality and value, current home buyers love to mix it up a bit with a surprising twist on the traditional. They are looking for colors, styles and designs you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see together.

Today’s home buyers are opting for sleek modern cabinets paired with distressed hardwood floors. An elegant crystal chandelier hanging over a weathered picnic table. In other words they are stepping away the expected to keep things interesting.

Applying Vinyl Siding

In order to apply Vinyl Siding you need to prep your walls with a house wrap. Next you will choose the color of the siding and have it delivered to the location of the home.


• Hammer
• Tin Snips
• Chop Saw
• Measure Tape
• Ladder
• Scaffolding
• Large Square


• Siding
• Corner Beads
• J-Beads
• Drip Cap
• Nails
• Building Wrap
• Starter Bead

Before you start with the siding, wrap the whole building with Building Wrap, then apply the Starter Bead at the bottom of your building. Ensure that it is about 1/2′” over the concrete and level!

First Row:

On the first row snap the siding into the starter strip tightly, so it will stay in place and not come loose. If it is not tight, the wind will rip it off the wall. When you nail the siding, do not drive the nail all the way in. Leave enough space to move the siding from side to side. The siding will shrink and expand with the temperature change. If you nail it solid, it will buckle when it expands or shrinks.

On the outside corners of the building you will need to nail the Corner Bead before you start with the siding.

Also, pay attention to the openings of windows and doors where you need to apply the J-Beads. When applying the J-Bead around it, the bottom and top pieces should be flush with the window. The pieces on either side should be the length of the top and bottom of the J-Bead. When you work around doors, follow the same procedure except the bottom. If there is a step in the elevation of the foundation, apply a J-Bead on the side and overlap it unto the concrete, then nail it to the wall.

The best way to overlap the joints is by determining where the drive and walkway of the house are. If your driveway is from the right side, then you want to overlap the joints from the left to the right. If your drive and walkway are from the left, then you want to start and overlap them from the right to the left. This procedure will hide the joints while the appearance will be smooth and consistent.

Designing the Perfect Bathroom

Perfect bathrooms can be rather intimidating. If you walk into a friend’s bathroom and are stunned by all of the high quality products you see, it can be easy to feel a little discouraged. However, fashion bathrooms are indeed within your reach. If you want to make spending time in your bathroom a relaxing experience, then you should select products and fixtures for it very carefully. This involves a lot more than just looking at beautiful choices in baths, too. It involves assessing your many choices in enclosures, for one. It also involves meticulously assessing all of your sink options. If you want to attain a beautiful and fashionable bathroom for your home, you should focus on each individual component. A bathroom gains a lot of comfort, functionality and beauty with just a few simple tweaks and additions.

If you want to create a lovely bathroom that can truly make you feel at ease, you should first concentrate on selecting your ideal bath. This only makes sense, as you’ll likely be spending a lot of time in your bathroom inside of the bath. Some examples of the many options in baths include freestanding baths, whirlpool baths, corner baths, straight baths and shower baths. If you want to give your bathroom a luxury feel that’s comparable to that of a tranquil spa, you may want to go for a whirlpool bath. If you want to give your bathroom a nice classic vibe, you may want to go for a straightforward freestanding bath, instead. Your choices in baths are truly plentiful and exciting.

Basins are yet another important component in bathroom design. If you want a truly chic and attractive home bathroom, you should be highly selective regarding your basin. There are many different varieties of basins available these days. Examples are full pedestal basins, counter top basins, semi pedestal basins, wall hung basins and semi recessed basins. If your bathroom is rather tight, you may like a nice wall hung basin that won’t interfere with the rest of your space very much. If you’re interested in giving your bathroom a traditional and timeless charm, you may like a lovely full pedestal basin. If you make a point to be cautious, finding a great basin for your bathroom shouldn’t be too stressful and time-consuming a task. When you design your bathroom, you should also concentrate on bidet taps, bath taps and basin taps.

Six Tips for Choosing the Proper Concrete Sealer

Now that it’s getting colder, homeowners are gearing up for the upcoming months of snow and ice that will wreak havoc on their outdoor concrete surfaces. Concrete sealers are an important tool for protecting your concrete year around, but they are especially important in the winter. Ice melt can be damaging to concrete surfaces. The freeze/thaw cycle that occurs during winter is also extremely damaging. This is when the water that seeps into concrete during the spring, summer, and fall freezes and expands in the winter causing cracks. Sealers can help prevent damage from both of these things.

Here are some important things to keep in mind when choosing a concrete sealer.

Sealers should be applied when temperatures are at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. For most sealers, the minimum temperature is 40 to 45 degrees. However, to be safe, most professionals recommend applying sealers when the temperature is 50 degrees or above. This number depends on other weather conditions, as well as the type of sealer used.
It’s also important to choose a concrete sealer that is compatible with any treatments or decorative overlays your concrete surface may have.
Keep in mind the aesthetic you want your concrete to have. Some concrete sealers are high gloss, while others have more of a matte finish.
Be sure to choose a sealer that does not increase the potential for slips. Concrete can already get extremely slippery in the winter because of snow and ice. Make sure your concrete sealer does not add to the risk.
In order to insure that your concrete sealer has a long life, make sure that any outdoor surface it is applied to has proper drainage. Water pooling from rain or melted ice or snow can not only speed up the deterioration of the sealer, it can also turn to ice. This is, first of all, dangerous, but it also means you will probably need to use ice melt, which hastens the deterioration process of concrete sealers.
Note how much traffic your concrete surfaces endure, as well as the conditions it will be exposed to. Areas that are exposed to only foot traffic will need a different type of sealer than areas exposed to cars.

A professional will take all of these factors into account and choose the proper concrete sealer for you. Sealers reduce the deterioration rate of concrete which extends its life and preserves its beauty. It also makes surfaces easier to clean and maintain which reduces the probability of needing concrete repairs done in the spring. A properly applied concrete sealer can last for years (some sealers even promise a ten year warranty). Having a sealer applied to your concrete before winter hits will not only save you trouble this winter, but many winters to come.

Ortmann Concrete Inc. is an expanding business based out of Jefferson County. We serve property management and utility companies, commercial contractors, and residential clients throughout the St. Louis Metro Area. Our attention to detail, communication skills, and quality craftsmanship are what sets OCI apart from other concrete contractors.

How to Refinish Laminate Cabinets

Many people assume laminate cabinets can’t be refinished, but this is far from the truth! There is no need to replace laminate cabinets because they are old or outdated. Instead, you can simply refinish them! Instantly brighten, modernize, and alter the look of your kitchen’s laminate cabinetry all within your budget. It is important to review the correct process for laminate cabinet refinishing in order to achieve the best possible results. For those uncomfortable with do-it-yourself handy work, there’s no need to worry; you can hire a professional contractor and still remain within budget! Continue reading for a brief guideline to refinishing laminate kitchen cabinets, and who to call for professional general contractor work for kitchen remodeling in your town!

Laminate Kitchen Cabinets

If you are determined to refinish your kitchen laminate cabinets on your own, then good for you! Take a look at the guide below to learn some of the major components and key points for these particular projects. Be sure to prepare by first gathering all the necessary supplies and tools to get the job done right. These include:

Paint and Paint Primer (Water-Based)
Foam Rollers
Rolling Pans
Painter’s Tape
Sandpaper (240 & 150 Grit Sheets)
Old Bed Sheets or Drop Cloths
Disinfectant Spray
Clean Rags
Microfiber Cloth
Permanent Marker

For an even more updated look, you can purchase and install new, more modern-looking cabinet handles. These are available for a variety of designs and prices at any hardware or home store. If any laminate is peeling or cracking, it will need to be replaced entirely. Do not proceed to refinish peeling or cracked laminate cabinetry. However, if it is only slightly peeling in one corner or so, you can simply sand the exposed area behind the laminate, and then re-glue it using a water-proof adhesive. Use masking tape to hold it in place while it dries. This works best for small areas and corners. Once you have accumulated all the tools and supplies you need, you are ready to get started.

Here’s how:

First clean all of the cabinets. Dust them with the microfiber cloth to remove solids, and then follow with a thorough wipe down using the disinfectant spray. This provides stronger primer adhesion and ensures a cleaner smoother finish.

Using the screwdriver, remove each cabinet face and its handle while keeping track of where each one goes. Use the permanent marker to label each one so you will remember where to replace it later.

Place the cabinet faces on the drop cloths, making sure the edges remain exposed and accessible. Be sure the drop cloths cover enough surface area to protect the surrounding environment from paint.

Use the painter’s tape to line the inside edges of the cabinet faces to prevent paint drips. Take your time on this step to ensure accuracy.

Use the 240 grit sandpaper sheets to manually sand the cabinet faces. You may choose to use a handheld portable sander if you are familiar with its operation. Just be sure to not over-sand.

After sanding, use your microfiber cloth to wipe away the residual dust and sanding debris. Do this thoroughly and remove as much dust as possible.

Using your foam roller, apply a coat of water-based paint primer to each cabinet face. Allow this to dry completely, usually 8 to 12 hours depending on the brand.

Once the primer is applied and has dried completely, sand each cabinet face again using the 150 grit sandpaper. Remove excess sanding dust with your microfiber cloth afterwards.

Do steps 7 and 8 again.

Once both coats of primer are applied and have dried, it is time to apply your water-based paint of choice using your second foam roller. Be sure to use v-strokes during application to promote even paint marks and distribution.

Repeat step 10.

Allow the cabinets to dry for at least 72 hours before reattaching hardware and reassembling them in their rightful place. This ensures that the paint has dried and hardened completely.

Not a DIY Kind of Person? No Problem!

You may choose to hire a professional painting contractor instead of tackling this project on our own. If you are not familiar with handy work, and have never painted before, it may be the wisest choice. And you can still remain within a cost-effective budget when you hire professionals for the job.