Turn Your Staircase Into A Grand Entrance

Staircases are arguably the most important part of a multi-level house. Not only do they serve as a very important tool for getting from one floor to another, but they also decide the flow of the house.

If your staircase creaks and you don’t even know the last time the boards were replaced, you’re likely looking at more than just a detriment to the fengshui of your home – you probably have a safety concern on your hands. If this sounds like you, drop everything you are doing and read on!

You may think that creaky stairs are a commonality and are nothing to worry about. Really, this is a sign of dangerous boards that could break or detach from the staircase, which could cause serious injuries to you and your family. But don’t worry, there is an easy DIY fix for both the safety and look of your stairs. All you need is some help of wood boards, paint, nails, and a saw.

Start by examining your stairs from the underneath, if possible. Often tightening screws, adjusting nails, or using a bit of wood glue can secure your steps more without having to replace them. If you see a lot of discoloration, holes from termites or other bugs, or rotting spots you should go straight for brand new boards.

Carefully take off a riser to use as a template to measure and cut the new ones. Remember that cutting a board a little too big is better than cutting one too small, as you can always cut them down a bit more. Before you nail on the new tread you must secure the new riser to the stringers (A.K.A the existing frame). After you secure the first riser you can then secure the first tread. For the treads, using boards with one rounded edge will be the easiest.

We recommend replacing one board at a time before taking the next board off. This way, you will always have a full functional staircase for the duration of your project. Once all of the treads and risers are replaced you can stain, paint, or add tile to your new stairs.

A dark colored tread with a complimentary colored riser will make your staircase look tall and modern. The tread can be painted a solid dark grey, brown, or black. If you like a more traditional or exposed wood look, try staining the treads with a black cherry or walnut color.

Your risers should complement the treads and tie in the color scheme of your home. You can use an off-white paint for a fresh look, or a pop of color to make it look modern. If you want to incorporate different colors or tiles into your staircase, then the risers are the place to do it! An added bonus of using tile risers is that they are so easy to clean if they get scuffed.

Now that you know how easy it can be to change your staircase, what other projects would help spruce up your home? Give us a call about any other home renovation projects we can help make happen in 2019!


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.


Make Your Tiny Kitchen Look Enormous

1. Eliminate Counter Clutter
With the busy lives we live, it is hard to keep everything organized in kitchen cabinets at all time. However, one thing that will create more visual space in your kitchen is a clear counter. Remove all food products, mail, and cluttered decor from your counter surface and reserve it for useful items like sugar and spices. It will appear to be a larger space when the clutter is removed.

2. Lighting
If you have the benefit of big windows near your kitchen, the natural light will help to make this living space appear bigger. If you do not have an abundance of natural light, providing adequate lighting for your kitchen is beneficial for cooking but also for create space in the room.

3. Add Hidden Storage
There are typically unused spaces in kitchen cabinet that can utilized for organizing kitchenware. Creating extra cabinet space can help to eliminate clutter on countertops.

4. Reflective Surfaces
A new trend for smaller kitchens is to add mirror fronts to kitchen cabinets or buy all stainless steel appliances. These reflective surfaces can add depth and create the illusion that the space appears larger.

5. Light Colors
Along with natural light, painting walls and cabinets light colors will brighten up the room and essentially make it look bigger. Painting walls lighter colors can also allow creativity with decoration themes being bold colors that will really stand out on the walls and countertops.


First impression Tricks for Your Front Door

When you’re welcoming a guest into your home, one of the first things they notice is your front door. Don’t you want it to make a nice first impression of your home? Here are a few tips to help make your front door leave a lasting impression.

Coordinating Color
The color of your door is typically the first and most important factor for changing the door’s appearance. There are many dynamics that can impact your color decision. For instance, what color are the shutters and house? What direction is the door facing? Do you want a neutral or bold color? These are all questions to start asking when deciding the color for your home entrance.

Personalizing Décor
Simple wreaths are common on doors, welcome signs, or the home address number. These are all fun do-it-yourself projects that really personalize your front door to create a welcoming persona. Changing up the decorations according to the season or upcoming holiday can show care for your home since there is continuously upkeep to the home environment.

Selecting Hardware
Doorknob selection can be an overlooked selection for some front doors. First priority, purchasing a secure lock for your home. Second, determine your decorative style and how you flaunt that within your home. Do you like a vintage appearance or do you prefer the modern and clean look that has clear cut lines? Whatever your preference may be, there are more options than expected when it comes to searching for the perfect doorknob.

Welcome Mat
This functional detail can add more personality to your home entrance. This addition to your front door could be a clean design or a quirky saying to make your guests smile. It also doesn’t hurt to give a reminder to wipe their feet before entering your beautiful home.


Maximize the Sun Rays in Your Home

Lighting for a home goes beyond simply the illumination of a room. Designing a home around maximum sunlight exposure allows you to harness the power of the sun to warm and light the rooms of your home as you desire. This not only creates beauty in design that you want but also minimizes your carbon footprint, since you’re tapping into a renewable energy supply to help with interior climate control. Here are some ideas on how you can do this effectively.

Place a mirror on a wall adjacent to a window or opposite a window. This will make your space feel bigger. If the space has a view and you put a mirror on the wall opposite that window you will double the light and double the view.

Let the Light in
Avoid heavy, light-blocking window treatments. Opt instead for translucent shades that provide privacy while allowing light into the space. This will even give a soft glow to the shade and bounce light into the wall directly adjacent to the shaded window.When designing your home, we also suggest that you optimize opportunities to add windows and skylights. These options will give you more natural sunlight to warm the room and provide illumination.

Carefully Choose Your Curtains
Curtains are a powerful tool that can help with the lighting of a home. They change the entire function of a window, beyond providing an outdoor view, by controlling the amount of sunlight that is allowed to penetrate into a given area.


5 Deck Renovation Tips

Are you looking to add value to your home? Upgrading your front or back yard deck is a remodeling project you should consider. The return on your investment could yield up to 80% with the proper updates. Here are five tips to help your deck renovation:

  1. Research Building Codes

State and federal building codes can get specific when it comes to the stairs, railings, and general height and width of a deck. Building codes change depending on location, so make sure to research the codes for your area and your property. In addition, make sure your contractor is aware of these codes and complies with them.

  1. Choose Building Materials Wisely

Ho w much foot traffic will run across this deck? You need to choose a surface material that can withstand all kinds of wear and tear. The lifespan of your deck will also depend largely on the climate you live in.  Choose a material based on these considerations, as well as your needs and budget.

  1. Observe Your Neighbors

Look at other homes in your area and build accordingly. It isn’t necessary to use the same design, but you should reference their decks to get an idea of how you should build.

  1. Factor In All Costs

The cost of renovating your deck depends on your project goals and how much you are willing to spend on labor and materials. Begin careful planning by estimating project costs and researching how to handle large-scale renovations.

  1. Design With The Future In Mind

While you might be pushing for a quick completion to your deck renovation, you need to make sure the project is done correctly. Make sure your deck serves a useful purpose for years to come. This means using the durable materials and following building codes!

For more inspiration on your next home renovation, visit the galleries on our website.


5 Ways to Improve the Look of Your Backyard for Guests

Is your backyard the ultimate hot spot for friends and family to enjoy during those fun in the sun months? If so, take time this spring to upgrade your outdoor space for entertaining guests. There are endless outdoor renovation options that will enhance the look of your space. Here are a few options to consider as you upgrade your backyard.

  1. Expand the Deck

Is your deck large enough to seat all of the guests you plan to have over? We can help you develop a structure that will fit to the scale of your backyard. Define your deck space with handrails or columns around the exterior with help create activity areas for your guests.

  1. Add a Kitchen

Cooking outdoors is relaxing after a dip in the pool or a game of Frisbee. Think about where you can allow space for a grill, mini fridge, counter space, and storage area for food. These features will make it convenient for you and your guests to eat while remaining outside when the weather is just right. Consider adding a bar off of the kitchen area for your adult guests. This is great for evening gatherings!

  1. Enhance the Landscape

Since decoration go hand in hand with renovation, you should consider adding plants and flowers to your backyard as you remodel. You don’t need to add an entire garden, as this requires a lot of upkeep, but placing plants around the entertainment space will beautify the backyard and include easy maintenance.

  1. Position the Lighting

How will guests be able to find their way in your backyard when the sun sets? If you host a lot of gatherings in the evening, it is important that you have light in the right places. Illuminate the backyard with low-voltage lights. These will be especially useful in areas where guests eat and hang out. Lighting also makes the landscape stand out!

  1. Create Shady Areas

During the day, it is important for your guests to have somewhere to cool off after basking in the hot sun. Take advantage of tree shade, or invest in an awning to keep the sun off your deck. Sunshade is necessary for you to have in your backyard, especially if it exposed to a lot of light for long periods of the day.

What ways do you enjoy your outdoor space? Maybe casual dining? Or a fire ring for s’mores and stories? Share with on Facebook!



4 Quick Springtime Renovation Projects

As the weather warms up in Ohio, it’s a great time to take care of improvements in and around your home. Whether you are focusing on DIY projects, or calling professionals like us to give you a hand, there are a few home projects that you should prioritize in the springtime.

Driveway Repair

The frigid, winter temperatures may have created cracks and potholes in the pavement of your driveway. Sometimes this kind of breakage in the driveway can be repaired with a pavement filler, but other times the whole area must be resurfaced. The amount of splitting on the surface will guide your decision to refill or resurface.

Painting Walls

After the dreary, winter months, you may notice the colors on your walls are faded. Springtime calls for room colors to be more aesthetically vibrant. Repainting every room in the house is much too large of a project to undertake. Make sure to walk through your house and see which spaces are worth changing.

Carpet Restoration

As you take on your spring cleaning, you may notice that there is wear on your carpet due to the dirt and grime that people have tread into your house all winter. The fabric can be restored  with a carpet cleaning machine. It is recommended that you deep clean your carpets every 12-18 months. If the carpet is in similar condition to as it was before you deep-cleaned, you may need to consider replacing it entirely.

Deck Repair

If your deck is worn or cracked, similar to your driveway, it’s a good idea to make repairs as soon as you notice breakage in the surface. Inspect the deck for common problems that occur after your deck has been exposed to harsh weather conditions. The way you take care of your deck will depend on the kind of material it is made out of, as well as the amount of damage that has been done to it.

Share your before and after projects of you home renovation projects with us on Facebook!


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!


What To Do During A Roofing Installation

One of the top questions we get from customers is: “What should I do when the roofers are here?”

It’s a great question, because for the time period that we’re working, your home is actually a construction site.

Here’s some tips to help you prepare and prevent any damage or disturbances:

  1. Remove all vehicles, potted plants, decorations, patio furniture, wood piles, and other items from the perimeter of the building. We don’t want to risk any harm from equipment or falling debris!
  2. It’s helpful to make sure the work crew will have driveway access and workspace in the yard.
  3. Children and pets should be kept indoors or, preferably, off the job site. Besides safety concerns, they may be disturbed by the loud noises and disruptions.
  4. Protect any valuables in your attic or rooms directly below the roof from dust and debris: cover them with tarps and turn off roof attic fans.
  5. Nail guns, hammers, heavy boots and the ripping off of old roofing materials are LOUD. Be prepared for near constant noise throughout the project that may disrupt normal day-to-day activities.
  6. We may need you to move or remove satellite dishes and other delicate equipment during the project.
  7. Talk to the foreman or call us at our office any time throughout the day if you have a question or need access in or out of the building.
  8. Take your time going through the final inspection after work is done – we want to ensure all debris has been properly removed, your property restored to pristine condition, and that the project is complete to your satisfaction.