Things to Know Before Removing a Wall

Open concept living is all the rage in home renovating right now. Tearing down a wall seems like an easy task. All it is is swinging a hammer, right? Many renovators feel this is a good opportunity to save money and tackle the demo themselves. We love an open concept layout just as much as you do, but did you know there is a lot to consider before you pick up the sledge hammer and tear down a wall? 

  • Is it load-bearing? 

Thanks to renovation television and the internet, most have heard of “load bearing walls” at this point and know to have this evaluated before removing a wall. If you remove a load-bearing wall without the proper support you can cause major structural damage to your home including the roof caving in. This is one of the most important considerations when it comes to demoing a wall. 

  • Where is the electric at?

Any wall you may remove will (almost always) have electricity somewhere that needs to be removed or rerouted. It is extremely important to know where any wires or outlets may be hiding and to get them properly taken care of by a professional. Hitting electricity can cause major damage to your home and also can be extremely unsafe for anyone involved. 

  • Where is plumbing located?

Just like electricity, it is extremely likely there will be plumbing somewhere in your wall. Hitting a pipe while demoing can cause your home to leak or even flood. Hire a plumber before you begin any demo to tell you where any water lines or pipes may be and how to avoid damage. 

  • Check local permit laws. 

Depending on your local laws, you very well may need a permit before doing any renovations to the layout of your home. This is to protect the current and future homeowners to ensure these renovations are done safely. 

  • What is your plan after the wall is down?

As we’ve already said, taking down the wall is the fun and “easy” part, now you have to remove the debris and come up with a plan for the space. The ceiling and floor will have to be patched, as well as connecting walls. What about furniture? What is going where? Are you losing a bunch of storage space? What is the new flow of the space? These are all design elements to think of before removing a wall. 

  • Resale value. 

Tearing down a wall may seem like an amazing idea now, but what about in the future? Are you removing a bedroom? Is it a historic or older home? Many people look for original details when on the hunt for an older home and having designated rooms may be a big draw to a home. Think about what happens in the future as well before doing any major renovation to a home. 

So what now? You’ve called an electrician, you’ve called a plumber, and you have a permit. Time to knock out the wall? You could, but we still recommend hiring an independent contractor and professionals for any major renovations. Surprises always come up and accidents happen. Using professionals is always the safer option, and often it ends up saving you money in the long run because things are done correctly the first time around! If you’re ready to knock out a wall or for any other renovation big or small, contact Elite Improvement at 262-716-6663 today for a free consultation!

Protecting Your Home from Winter Damage

Ready or not, winter is right around the corner in Wisconsin. When it comes to winter, Wisconsin residents have a whole list of preparations: swapping your tires out for snow tires, adding some sand bags to your trunk, stocking up on ice melt for your driveway, putting away patio furniture, and tucking in any plants that may survive for the winter. We know you’re already busy enough, but did you know there are ways to winterize your house as well to protect it from any damage? Your home is most likely the biggest investment you’ll ever make, so here are a few steps to take to protect your investment during the harsh winter months. 

  • Apply a water repellent seal to your deck. We believe your deck is an extension of your home. Just like you keep your driveway clear of snow, keep your deck clear as well. Prior to the first snowfall, add a fresh coat of a water repellent to your deck to help fight off mold and mildew during the wet and cold months of winter!
  • Check your gutters. You should always check your gutters for excess leaves and debris after all of the leaves have fallen. Anything blocking water from traveling down your gutters could cause leaking and or flooding in your home. 
  • Let faucets drip. When the weather is below freezing, let your bathroom and kitchen faucets drip just a little bit to keep water moving to prevent your pipes from freezing. Another way to help prevent freezing pipes is to leave cabinets open under your sinks. 
  • Check window seals for cracks. If there is a crack or opening in your windows it can let in cold temperatures and excess moisture. Repair any openings with caulk to prevent outside air from getting in. 
  • Keep your heat on. When you’re leaving to go out of town it may seem like a good idea to turn off your heat to save money. Don’t do this. Keep your heat set at least at 65 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing causing them to burst and flood your home. 
  • Detach any outside hoses. Not only is this bad for the hose, it can create extra water buildup in your pipes and cause damage or bursting pipes. 
  • Evaluate your homeowner/renters insurance policy. Many policies cover flood damages, but sometimes that doesn’t include pipe damage. Pay attention to your policies to ensure that you’re covered in the event of an accident. 

In Wisconsin, we’re ready for whatever winter may throw our way but that doesn’t mean that accidents don’t happen. If you find yourself with any sort of damages following winter, trust Elite Improvement to get your home all fixed up and ready to go! We specialize in roofing, home improvement, siding, deck renovation, and so much more. For more information on our services, contact Elite Improvements at 262-716-6663 today!

How to Make Your Master Bath Perfect

Your master bathroom should only be described by words like relaxing, oasis, getaway, and elegant. Unfortunately, the master bathroom is generally the last room transformed when remodeling a house because it’s not a room guests typically see. Who ever said you don’t deserve nice things to enjoy for yourself? At Elite Improvements, we believe you should invest in yourself! Here are some elegant additions to make your master bathroom a luxurious spa getaway!

  • Dimming lights. Variant lighting allows you to change up the atmosphere in your bathroom for whatever you need for that moment! You can keep it bright when you’re doing your hair or makeup, and turn it down when you’re ready to unwind with a long bath and a glass of wine. 
  • Rainfall showerhead. Adding a rainfall shower in addition to a traditional showerhead is a great way to indulge and unwind when bathes aren’t your forte. The second showerhead makes sure that you’re always warm no matter where you’re standing in the shower. If your shower allows, adding in additional body jets takes your shower up to a whole new level. 
  • Heated towel bar. This may seem like an unnecessary extravagance, but this simple addition adds one extra touch of luxury. 
  • Use small tiles in the shower. While using larger tiles may seem like a better and easier choice, using smaller tiles adds extra grip to your tile floor to prevent slipping and falling!
  • Add heated flooring. There are few things worse than getting out of a warm shower and stepping on to freezing cold tile. Adding in heated flooring isn’t as big of an investment as you may think and it can completely transform your bathroom!
  • Opt for neutral permanent fixtures. Like we already said, a master bathroom is the last thing on most people’s minds when it comes to remodeling, so it doesn’t get renovated often. To help keep things fresh, use neutral tones for paint colors, countertops, and tiles so that updating to fit the latest trends and your new style is as easy as fresh towels and wall art!
  • Bigger isn’t always better. When it comes to bathtubs and showers, large and elaborate designs are becoming a thing of the past. If you choose to include a bathtub, look for a deeper option that takes up less square footage. When it comes to a shower remember that the larger it is the more it takes to heat it up. Your warmth in the shower comes from the water, if you have too much space a draft will make your shower a little less luxurious. 
  • Choose an elongated toilet. Choosing a toilet may not be something you would normally give much thought to, but you’d be surprised at the amount of time you spend on your toilet! Take the time to pick one that works for your space and is comfortable (because a comfortable toilet matters!).

Your bathroom should never be an afterthought. When creating a renovation budget, give yourself room to create a designated space for you to get away from kids, pets, chores, and to take five minutes and relax. Not only will this improve your day to day life, it will also help your resale value if you ever decide to sell your home! If you’re ready to invest in your own piece of heaven, contact Elite Improvement at 262-716-6663 today to get started with a free consultation.