Transform Your Basement Into A Rainy Day Escape

Summer is full of barbeques, backyard sprinklers, ice cream, and beaches. But what do you do when the weather is less than perfect? Here are some easy basement ideas that can transform your space and make it feel like you are outdoors, even when you aren’t!

Wood Textures
A simple pallet wall or wooden ceiling beams can completely transform the look and feel of a basement. Wood not only adds warmth to a space, but it also adds an element of the outdoors that you can easily (and affordably) bring inside. Throw in some cabin-themed decorations and some indoor plants and you’ll feel like you’re in your favorite lake view spot!

What is a finished basement without a bar area perfect for serving drinks? Consider adding this feature in your basement if you love entertaining guests! To get that outside feeling, decorate it for summer with tiki inspired adornments. You can use a natural raffia table skirt to decorate the front of your bar and create a tropical bar top display with coconut cups, colorful appetizer plates, and some pineapple décor! Hang decorative LED string lights such as lanterns behind and above the bar for a little festive lighting to really set the mood.

Indoor Picnic
Have a fun indoor picnic theme with family and friends on those rainy summer days! Pick up a large serving bowl and place various summer fruits, such as lemons, oranges, grapes, or watermelon slices, inside of it. Place the bowl alongside a mason jar style drink dispenser and put a classic red and white checkered tablecloth below the two. This will make for an easy and fun serving station or just a seasonal decoration (maybe use plastic fruit as a decoration)! Fill empty table space with fruity scented candles, a napkin display, or a cute picnic basket!


The Master Bath You’ve Been Dreaming Of…

Imagine having a space in your home that helps wake up your mind and body in the morning and helps you to unwind after a long day.  Your master bath could be that space.  With the right features, your master bath can turn into an oasis that will also increase your home’s value!

Heated Floors
No one likes waking up and stepping barefoot onto cold tile floor.  Consider adding radiant heating when remodeling your bathroom!  Radiant heating also tends to be more energy efficient, which makes this investment the perfect mix of desirable and practical.
Update The Exhaust Fan
Did you know that an exhaust fan is one of the most requested bathroom features for home buyers?  Make sure yours is up to par in fighting mold and humidity with an upgrade!  There are humidity-controlled fans, fans with nightlights, and many other customizable features you can have in a new exhaust fan.
Dual Flush Toilet
Your water bill (and the environment) will thank you if you make the switch to an efficient dual-flushing toilet!  These toilets allow you to regulate the amount of water used when you flush the toilet. These are a must for new or remodeled bathrooms, and it will definitely add value to your home when selling.
Multi-Head Shower
Make your shower a customizable experience with a multi-head shower!  You can place a rain shower above your head for when you want to relax, or strong jets to soothe sore muscles.  There are all sorts of different heads you can have in your shower, and you can pair this with a separate soaking tub for a truly relaxing experience.
Warming Lamp or Heating Rack
Not many things that feel better than a warm towel after stepping out of the shower or washing your face.  Installation of a heating towel rack right by the shower is a simple feature that warms you up any time of the year.


How to Relieve the Stress of Holiday Renovation

The holidays are busy times, and if you are in the middle of a home project, they are even more chaotic. Putting your project on pause while all of your festivities are going on may be an option, but it also might be a bad idea if you want the project to be completed as soon as possible. Even if you aren’t having guests over, the construction might be overwhelming for you and your immediate family. Here are ways to keep a renovation project going without interrupting your family or festivities.

Provide a schedule.

Check the schedule that your contractor has to stay on task and keep up with deadlines. You should add any additional notes that you feel will help the contractor out during the build. For example, if you are hosting a get together, you should tell your contractor to stick to the quieter tasks and make note of the hours of the party. Have the contractor review the schedule days or even a couple of weeks before your festivities take place, otherwise there will be holiday disruptions.

Stay on the same page with your contractor.

If you practice effective, face-to-face communication with your contractor you will save yourself a lot of hassle. Going by the same schedule is great for making your contractor aware of holiday plans, but talking through the project together will help get you both on the same page.


Just because your house is getting an upgrade doesn’t mean you can’t spruce your rooms up with some holiday decor. Set up the Christmas tree, drape the lights and feel free to hang stockings from the half-finished staircase remodel. As long as your family is safe, decorations are not only okay, but necessary.


We encourage you to remain open and flexible to new ideas from your contractor, because they might lead to a better end result. The James Construction & Renovation team of professionals will be respectful of your home and your time while we work.

Check out some of our remodeling projects here as inspiration for your next renovation!


How to Effectively Communicate with Your Contractor

If you are about to embark on a remodeling project for your home then you are ready to choose a contractor. Hiring the right contractor means finding someone who will have your best interest in mind. Take recommendations from family, friends and online reviews while considering contractors. You are the one with the vision of how you want the finished product to look, so it is your job to find a contractor who will get the job done correctly and at an honest price.

The First Meeting is Everything

The first meeting with your contractor should be on-site of your project. Not only will the wish list and budget be established, but a discussion of the complete project plan will take place when consulting with James Construction & Renovation.

Clarifying Terms and Conditions

Just as your contractor should know everything you want done on your home project, you should know all terms and conditions before committing to your contractor.

Budget plays a major role in your project, so your contractor needs to focus on value engineering. He or she might have a standard process that they use to work on homes, but you need to remind them that your vision needs to be executed regardless of what process they stand by.

Designing, Ordering & Scheduling

The design process involves discussions of what you like, parameters that you’re working in, and involves spatial planning. Refinement and modification are both part of the process. Don’t forget, it is your home and your vision. Your money means you’re in charge!

Upon approval of the layout and designs, project samples will be ordered and details of the project timeline will be identified.

Post Construction

Once the project is completed, James Construction & Renovation will do a final walk-through, formulate a punch list of any tasks to be completed to satisfy the contract terms, and discuss warranties and maintenance.

Let James Construction and Renovation design, develop, and deliver your next home project.


How to Pay For Your Project

We know that when it comes to a remodel, every penny counts. Start with a solid estimate, and always build in a cushion (10 percent for a contractor, 20-30 percent for do-it-yourself), before committing yourself to a project.

But once you do, where do those pennies come from?

1. Pay cash.

Make sure you have a contract and are working with a reputable, reliable company before writing any checks.

2. Mortgage loans.

The most common source of funding does have drawbacks – mostly in the risk of not making your money back by the time you’re ready to sell.

Decide whether to take out a second, home improvement mortgage or refinance by averaging the rates for the first and second mortgages. If the rate is lower than what you’re being offered for a refinance, a second mortgage makes sense.

3. Home equity loans.

Like mortgage loans, these are paid off over 15 to 30 years, but come at a higher cost.

4. Home equity lines of credit.

Financial institutions love these. Clients can borrow up to a certain amount, making multiple withdrawals as needed, but must pay off the credit in a shorter period of time and be exposed to fluctuating interest rates and fees.

5. Credit cards.

Even 0% interest cards come at a high risk. Only use these if you’re certain to be able to pay them off before interest or fees kick in.


Springtime Checklist

Spring has sprung (hopefully) in the Miami Valley and that means it’s time to open the windows, open the doors, flush out old man winter, and start preparing for much deserved spring and summer. For this blog post, we wanted to get everyone focused on projects that they have been putting off and dream projects they want to accomplish this year. Maybe you want to install a new deck. Maybe you want to paint your house. Maybe you want to help the curb appeal of your home. Whatever your project or projects may be, going in with a plan is your best recipe for success.

Assessing your home

The first thing you want to do is assess your home. Look for tasks and projects that NEED to be taken care of first. How are the shingles on your roof doing? How about the siding on your home? Do your trees need trimmed? Perform a detailed walk-through of the inside and outside of your home to get in your mind what needs to be done and what you would like to do.

Creating a list

The second thing you should do is create a list. Think of it like a personal “honey-do” list with all of the things you need to accomplish as well as all of thing things you would like to get done. Make sure you prioritize the things that need to be finished sooner rather than later, but also make sure you check off some of the smaller, easier projects. Seeing your list starting to shrink will keep you motivated to keep going.

Get Started

The last thing you need to do is roll your sleeves up and get to it. The sooner you get your list done, the sooner you’ll be able to sit back with a glass of lemonade and enjoy all the hard work you put it. If you find yourself overwhelmed with some of your bigger projects like remodeling your bathroom, or building a deck, make sure you give us a call. At James Construction, we specialize in all types of remodeling projects and would be happy to help you.