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Is it Time for a Subfloor Replacement?

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Today’s blog by Morgan Contractors wants to call attention to the adage, ‘do not judge a book by its cover,’ when viewing home flooring’s aesthetic beauty, as we discuss the underlying structure part of all houses, the subfloor.

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Types of Home Additions 101

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If feeling a bit squeezed within the present home quarters — consider enhancing the living conditions with a home addition. Additional rooms always bring a significant increase in resale value — if carefully thought out in terms of cost vs. value.

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Finding the Perfect Kitchen Island

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Kitchen Islands: From Rustic to Contemporary and Everything In Between

A kitchen island is beneficial to kitchen design in terms of form and function. The kitchen island form refers to providing the kitchen’s focal point that complements the cabinets, counters, flooring, and light fixtures. The kitchen island function is that of extra counter space for preparing the culinary delights, more storage space for the pots and pans, and increasing the seating for eating. The kitchen island can also be a step-saver between the work area and the fridge, stove, sink, and cabinets.

It is imperative to consider the kitchen space when considering the addition of a kitchen island. There should be adequate room for family members to walk around the island. Next, ponder the primary purpose of the island. If cooking and baking are the primary purposes, a scratch and dent-resistant counter material, such as Granite, is desirable. Be sure there are adequate electrical plugs built-in to allow for the use of appliances. If there is sufficient space, consider installing a dishwasher within the island. If the reason for the island is extra storage, do you want cupboards or open shelving? If planning to use the island for additional seating, ensure there is ample room, so diners are not cramped.

Another consideration for a center island is its shape. There are ‘L’ shapes, ‘U’ shapes, galley shape, the most common center island choice for kitchens, and circular islands. There are also double tiered island designs that allow cooking on the lower-tier and eating on a higher level. Island designs can also include a pull-out trash bin.

Some typical styles for a center island workspace

Rustic

For a ‘cozy’ kitchen ambiance, consider a rustic kitchen island with unpolished wood plank counters to complement the natural hardwood flooring, cabinets, and kitchen countertops. A rustic island can also be the focal point and contrast to a modern conventional kitchen motif with butcher-block, soapstone, polished dark Granite or marble, unpolished wood cabinetry, or open shelves storage. Another material used with rustic center islands is shiplap, with board planks overlapping each other in tongue-and-groove style. Such overlapping and interlocking planks keep water out, and a useful feature for a kitchen island. Shiplap is as a form of wainscoting.

Farmhouse

A country kitchen would be complemented by a farmhouse style island design composed of white painted cabinetry underneath to match the other white wall cabinets. A weathered wood plank counter showing the knots in the wood adds to the farmhouse flavor. Consider complementing this farmhouse style with copper light fixtures over the island and perhaps a wooden rack, painted black as a contrast to the white wood, to hang a country-style red-checkered dish towel.

Contemporary

If one has a modern, contemporary kitchen, consider an island design comprised of textured wood and Granite, Marble, or Quartz, pendant lighting, with stools for seating. A truly sophisticated, 21st Century center island design consists of polished stainless-steel panels, topped by a black Corian countertop, and a chrome-top kitchen table.

Whatever kitchen island style you choose, Morgan Contractors has the professional expertise to get it done with ease! Contact us and receive a free evaluation of your kitchen space to determine the best island design for your kitchen.

Summer Home Renovations 2020

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5 Home Renovations You’ll Want to Try This Summer

Are you contemplating your next home renovation project? There are several perks to renovating during the summer season. What’s more, there’s a lot you can do to make your home more aesthetically pleasing and functional. We’re seeing a rise in popularity with the following five ‘cooland safe renovation projects this summer. Are you looking to bring about envy-worthy curb appeal to your home? Keep reading.

Enhance your exterior with an updated deck

Let’s face it, outdoor living is coveted during the warmer months. Refreshing an outdated deck or installing one for the first time will have you extending your hours of enjoyment under the sun. You can add a simple, covered pergola to provide ample shade, low-voltage lighting for extra ambiance, built-in planter boxes around the perimeter to include more greenery and privacy, or add an extension to your existing deck to create two distinct living areas.

Get your home office in tip-top shape

Whether you’re working with a nook or an entire room, ensuring that you have a functional, clutter-free space to work without too many distractions is everything. As you may not be dealing with an area that’s perfectly square or rectangle, finding a layout that works may require some customized built-in storage or seating. A fresh coat of paint can also help to get those creative juices flowing.

Maximize your living space with an addition

Another great home renovation project for summer is an addition. If you’re looking to add a supplemental bedroom, den, office space, or screenedin porch, an addition can make this happen with ease.

Replace or paint your siding

Summer may be the best time to revamp your dated siding. Not only will the weather be more cooperative, but you will be amazed to see how updated siding can help you save on your energy bill. Newly installed siding is impactresistant, energyefficient, and won’t leave moisture trapped. What’s more, select materials are fully paintable should you ever want to give it a refreshing coat or change the color altogether. 

Install new windows and doors

The warm days of summer make this home renovation project ideal. Besides the apparent curb appeal and subsequent increase in the home resale value with new windows and doors, the installation of a modern Energy Star® window design provides ease of cleaning, higher energy efficiency, and impact resistance to cracking and breaking.

The above home renovation projects can be challenging and require an experienced home improvement contractor. Contact the NJ licensed professionals at Morgan Contractors to ensure the best results!

Navigating Your Kitchen Reno With Ease

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3 Tips to Help You Survive Your Kitchen Reno

If you read our recent blog, Home Renovation Ideas For Spring 2020, you’d know that updating the kitchen is one of the most popular renovation projects. It is nothing short of creating a ‘dream’ paradise, not to be taken for ‘granite’ countertops alone!

With the help of the many renovation ideas offered by home design magazines, a kitchen reno can run the gamut of installing newer cabinets, setting down modern hardwood, slate, or vinyl flooring, putting in a colorful tile backsplash over the sink, or the creation of a center island! Whether your kitchen remake encompasses one, or all of the above ideas, we want to prepare you for the reality of the renovation— before the dream comes to be!

 Keep serenity at peak during the kitchen ‘reno’ with the following three practical 
tips in navigating this period of transformation.

Adjust to the Dust

It is advisable to arrange other living arrangements for those who are most bothered by excessive dirt, dust, chemical fumes, and noise — infants, young children, the elderly, and the family dog and cat. Moreover, the innate curiosity of a two-year-old toddler, or young child, at the work area can bring safety issues. A barking dog can take from a contractor’s concentration.

Stay in the reality that the kitchen reno dust is one of those things that you cannot sweep under the rug. Put the dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming on hold. Cover chairs and sofa with washable slipcovers or a large sheet, and cover tables. Morgan Contractors will do its part in keeping dust from the rest of your home by hanging a plastic tarp in the general work area and using a commercial shop vac to keep dust at a minimum.

Rearrange the Meal Routine

Using your kitchen will require some adaptation during the kitchen-remodeling project.

The fridge and dishwasher will be off-limits, so opt for essentials only, such as milk, butter, eggs, and cold drinks in picnic coolers with bags of ice, or a small dorm-size fridge. It may be easier to skip formal dining and opt for paper cups and paper plates. Moving the refrigerator to another room may also be a good solution.

If spring is the season for remodeling, eating out can be as simple as firing up the barbecue grill and eating on the backyard patio or screened-in porch. For quicker meals, such as breakfast and lunch, consider a makeshift kitchen set up with the microwave, coffeemaker, toaster, or toaster oven in the family room, front or back porch, a spare bedroom, or home office.

Set the Boundaries

The kitchen reno will require establishing boundaries for those who must enter your home daily to do their work and for the inquisitive young children or teens. Provide contractors with use of door closest to the kitchen area, to enter and leave by, to avoid the tracking of dirt throughout the house. Advise children not to go near the kitchen work area, during the day or after the workers have left for the day.

Ensure that contractors are certified and licensed and carry liability insurance. Verify their business reputation with the Better Business Bureau and client testimonials, 
as found with Morgan Contractor testimonials. When you’re ready to start planning your dream kitchen reno project, we’re here to help. Contact Morgan Contractors today!

Home Renovation Ideas For Spring 2020

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6 Home Renovation Projects To Wake Up Your Home

SPRING IS HERE, and with it, there comes the arrival of warm sun, blue skies, green grass, and brighter days. As most of us have weathered these past few challenging months, finding ways to move forward has been a routine goal. Home renovation projects are a great way you can invest in your home and make your home that much more enjoyable.

Here are some of the popular home renovation projects that are sure to put your home in alignment with the inspiring warmth, natural light, nature’s proper order, and fresh, bold colors of springtime:

Deck Construction

The best way to enjoy the warmth of the sun’s spring and summer rays is to relax on a chaise lounge or Adirondack chair on a home deck! In a recent blog, Why Deck Material Selection Matters, we explained the many choices for deck flooring.  There are also many deck design options. There are raised decks attached to the lower level of the home, second-story decks, multi-level decks with lighted stairs, a ground-level detached deck of wood or stone, and decks built around an above ground pool, or atop the garage roof.

Reorganizing Closets

Spring is the best time to clean and eliminate closet clutter while updating wardrobes with the latest spring fashions. Feel lighter, as you open the closet and find there is a place for everything and everything in its special place! It starts with the popular home renovation project of closet reorganization. Consider adding adjustable shelves and rods, a built-in hamper, shoe shelves to eliminate floor clutter, differing rod heights, built-in drawers, and cubes.

Painting Interior Walls

The most straightforward home renovation is to modernize the rooms of a home to the trending 2020 colors, classic blue, blush pink, hunter green, and cavern clay. White-on-white-on-white, burnt orange and rust paint shades in limited areas, peacock blue, and off-black are also well-liked. Our recent blog, Do You Know The Different Sheen Levels In Paint, shares knowledge of when to use a matte, semi-gloss, high-gloss, satin, flat, or eggshell paint sheen. 

Updating Windows and Doors

Without a doubt, updating a home’s windows and doors is an open and shut case to retaining the value of the home investment — and an excellent home renovation project this spring!

A home’s windows and doors bring curb appeal as they highlight the home’s architecture. The initial expenditure of updating windows and doors, however, goes beyond the aesthetics of curb appeal; the initial spending of updating windows and doors returned in higher energy efficiency and cost-savings to the heating and cooling bills.

Updating Kitchen and Bath

Just a few simple updates can be a breath of fresh air to the kitchen. Consider keeping the old cabinets and re-face or repaint the doors, changing the light fixture over the table, and updating drawer and cabinet handles.  Create a colorful tile backsplash over the sink area. More elaborate updates include center islands, durable natural stone counters of quartz or granite, and hardwood flooring.

Consider the latest bathroom trends of 2020: vibrant and warm earth colors rather than neutral gray, painting a bold color on an accent wall, or add marble, mosaic tile, natural stone, or wood. Practical updates include dual sinks, a water-efficient toilet, and modern light fixtures with long-lasting energy-efficient bulbs. For a bit of luxury, consider the addition of a heated floor to take the chill off cold mornings.

Updating Home Siding

Always an excellent investment in curb appeal and home energy efficiency, update the exterior siding of your home from its outdated wood clapboard, wood shingles, and older aluminum siding. Popular options now include vinyl, stone, and fiber cement siding. Vinyl is the most budget-friendly choice. Logically, window and door updates should be first, so the siding is not disturbed by the installation of the windows.

Whether you’re interested in taking on a DIY project, you require the expertise of professionals, or you need to restore damage sustained from water or fire – Morgan Contractors is here. Contact us today for a free quote.

Why Deck Material Selection Matters

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Make The Right Deck Material Selection For Your Backyard

The deck best described as a venerable status symbol of suburbia is a personal oasis for homeowners after a hard week of work. Typical deck décor, playing host to the chatter of family, extended family, and neighbors gathered to celebrate the customary summertime events of Memorial Day, Father’s Day, and the Fourth of July. Of course, we can’t forget the barbecue grill, Adirondack chairs, and patio set complete with an umbrella. The deck is also a haven for young children to play on while affording mom and dad an easy view from the house window.

While the traditional ways of enjoying a deck have remained unchanged in the suburban American culture, deck design options have expanded, along with an abundance of new and varied deck material to fit any household budget.

Here are five popular and unique deck material selections to choose from:

PRESSURE TREATED NATURAL WOOD DECKS

The favorite natural wood, pressure-treated deck, is still popular for being a low-cost to build. There are two color choices of tan or brown. Such natural wood decks do require refinishing every two years with a clear sealer or stain. Nevertheless, the natural wood decks are the best economical deck material selection if seeking a large deck for those large family gatherings.

CEDAR AND REDWOOD DECKS

Cedar decks are both lightweight and sturdy wood. The natural oils and tannins make Cedar resistant to rot, insects, and an excellent deck material selection for homes along the coast. Cedar can be stained or sealed to thwart cracks and splinters. The beauty of this deck material, which comes in grades, is offset only by its cost per square foot. The best categories of Cedar wood are architect clear, custom clear, architect knotty, and custom knotty. Equal in many ways to Cedar is Redwood — but significantly more costly per square foot.

BLUESTONE DECKS

Bluestone is a non-slip, natural flagstone material that provides a touch of elegance to a home. It has a blue hue, as the name would indicate. Since it is a non-slip material, Bluestone is the perfect choice for decking around the swimming pool or as detached island decking in the backyard. Bluestone is a superb choice where rainfall is abundant but does get unpleasantly hot when in the direct path of the rays of the sun. A natural quarried stone material, it can be a beautiful addition to your backyard. 

COMPOSITE DECKS

A composite deck is a manufactured deck material that is a mix of wood fibers and recycled plastic. This deck sports a ‘wood-like’ texture but will not rot, warp, splinter, nor become home to insects as can befall natural wood decks. Non-textured composite decks can be slippery. While low maintenance, these decks are not maintenance-free. They can be prone to mold or mildew when located in a damp location and to decay due to its wood filler. Homeowners can, however, generally expect to get twenty-five to thirty years of enjoyment from such a deck and why it is growing in popularity.

ALUMINUM DECKS

The best grade aluminum deck is a waterproof, interlocking board design providing a uniform look without gaps. Waterproof aluminum is recommended in areas with much rainfall. Powder finishes offer the most color choices; however, bear in mind that manufacturers are known to discontinue colors, so consider buying a few extra boards in case repairs are required. Aluminum decks are low maintenance and provide decades-long durability due to inability to rust, warp, splinter, rot, crack, peel, or blister. These decks are mold-resistant and free of any insect infiltration.

 

Morgan Contractors, a licensed NJ home remodeling and renovation contractor, is experienced in both interior and exterior renovation, including decks! Contact Morgan Contractors, and we will be happy to evaluate and discuss the best deck design and deck material selection for your home and your budget.

Do You Know The Different Sheen Levels In Paint?

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Selecting The Right Sheen Levels In Paint For Your Space

Decisions, decisions — such is a part of life at every juncture. As any decision dilemma can best be described as a ‘Goldilocks moment,’ that of finding the ‘just right’ sheen level in paint is especially relevant. Consequently, the decision-making process is always made simpler with the attainment of knowledge and experience.

As well-seasoned renovations and remodeling experts, Morgan Contractors wishes to stress the importance of understanding the different sheen levels in paint, to begin with.

Selecting The Right Sheen Levels In Paint For Your Space

When trying to navigate the various sheen options, which include gloss or semi-gloss, satin, flat, matte, or eggshell — the sheen level in paint needs to be determined based on several factors.  These factors include:

  • Room size
  • Type of room
  • Amount of light in the room
  • Condition of the walls

The measure of sheen level in paint is determined by whether the light reflects or absorbs the paint surface.  Flat or Matte paint finishes absorb the brightness of a room, while high gloss or semi-gloss finishes reflect the light.  A high gloss or semi-gloss paint provides a luster — and is quite easy to clean! If there are several imperfections on your walls – consider the choice of flat or matte finish paint.

Keep the size, type, and amount of natural and artificial light of the room in mind when determining the best paint finish. A high or semi-gloss sheen would be an excellent choice in the laundry room, bathroom, or kitchen, where its staining and mildew resistant character reign supreme, as well as having outstanding durability where many hands may touch the walls daily. High gloss is the choice also for cabinets, doors, baseboard trim, and ceiling moldings.

In rooms that do not have much natural or artificial light and are small in size, it only makes sense to choose a higher sheen level in the paint to add brightness to the room space.

Where the home path is ‘less traveled’— such as entrance foyers, closets, master bedroom, or a guest bedroom, a matte or flat paint finish works well. In contrast, the elegance of eggshell or soft, satin finishes are popular options for the family living space, formal dining rooms, children’s bedrooms, and hallways due to its elegant, lower sheen, soft, smooth finish, stain, and scuff-resistant character. Satin and eggshell finishes are also more easily washed than flat or matte painted surfaces.

More Tips!

We conclude with the following additional painting tips to ensure a ‘just right’ paint project:

  • Matte finishes have less cost per gallon and require less prep of walls before painting due to its characteristic of hiding wall imperfections.
  • High gloss or semi-gloss paint will call attention to any imperfections of the wall and requires thorough cleaning and spackling of holes to ensure a smooth painted surface. High gloss or semi-gloss paints will look darker than what the paint swatch shows, so consider making the color a shade lighter.
  • Eggshell finishes provide the best ‘true color.’ Eggshell paint finishes are easy to paint over, should you wish a new room color.
  • Higher quality paints have higher pigment levels and resins, which provides long-lasting durability and fewer paint applications to cover the wall surface.

 

If you’re thinking of taking on a painting project, Morgan Contractors can help make your life tremendously easier. Contact us today, and we can help you sort through color selection, sheen levels in paint, and so much more!

Small Room Renovation Designs 101

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4 Small Room Renovation Tips You Need To Try

Living large does not have to ‘bust the budget.’ The ability to live large within a smaller space only takes a willingness to open one’s mind to new ways of seeing. The following are some small room renovation tips and ‘tricks’ to consider.

Create Open Floor Plans

The most common small room renovation trick to making a more modest space appear visually larger is removing the walls separating two or three combined small rooms. Minimize the room cluttering accessories of endless end tables, coffee tables, and table lamps. Use ceiling lighting or floor-to-ceiling pole lamps in opposite corners to provide even illumination to the room. Allow open shelving or cubes to act as a room divider, while also serving to display the bric-a-brac. Choose one sofa and a long, cushioned bench for seating, one that serves as extra storage space to store books, magazines, and blankets.

Use Wall Space Effectively

In a small bedroom where every inch of floor space matters, use floor-to-ceiling built-in cabinetry to eliminate the bulky clothes dresser. Let a bookshelf double as both a headboard and a nightstand for books.  Remove the doors of the closet and use the nook space as an out-of-the-way built-in desk. Painting walls a lighter, rather than darker color, will push those walls outward optically.  Naturally, for a children’s bedroom, the use of a bunk bed is a superb space saver!

Keep Design in Mind

Along with the previously mentioned bunk bed furniture design, consider nesting end tables for small living rooms, utility carts for a kitchen lacking adequate counter space, a drop-leaf table that adds or subtracts table width in small kitchen or dining room, and furniture offering multiple uses — such as sofa beds, multi-purpose cribs with changing table and dresser, and storage ottomans as part of the small room renovations.

Use monotone colors for floor and wall tiles in small bathrooms or when painting the walls of adjoining rooms to bring about a visual cohesiveness that optimizes the reality of a small space. Larger, rather than smaller, floor tiles will bring the eyes to see the unity of a room and make a small room appear larger. Horizontal striped wallpaper or painted horizontal stripes, as border design, will create the illusion of a longer wall. Vertical striped lines will draw the focus upward rather than on the room space.

Install Mirrors

‘It’s all done with mirrors,’ is the explanation of a magician’s trick that defies and skews reality — as when, ‘TA-DAAAH,’ the facts of a room’s dimensions are skewed by the presence of a mirror, which effectively extends a room’s length and width! Installing a mirror on one wall will give the appearance of more space, alleviating the feeling of being cramped or confined within a space.

 

If you’d like to take on any of these renovation tricks, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Morgan Contractors today!

Essential Winter Renovation Projects

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For several reasons, winter is a great season for fixer-uppers around the house. Not only are we spending the bulk of our time indoors, but contractors are generally less busy than in the spring or summer as well, so you’ll get some scheduling flexibility. Keep reading for some excellent winter renovation projects to keep you busy and make your home feel fresh!

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