Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Create your own "Dreamy" Spa Master Bath

I love going to spas! The fresh clean feeling is so relaxing. I enjoy the atmosphere as soon as I arrive. Being pampered during my appointment is heavenly. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to experience that feeling in our own Master Baths? We rarely have that wonderful experience.

I do not feel the same peaceful feeling when I am in my own bathroom.  However, we have great news! It is possible to make the magic happen! We would love to help you create your home spa. Do you know how customized storage, statement lighting, new solutions to tubs and shower fixtures create a spa experience at home?

Most of us rush into our bath to get ready for work or clean up after a long day. If you are like me, the room looks less peaceful after my visit then before. Especially in our rushed mornings, our family either leaves towels on the floor or crooked on the towel bar.  Toiletries, makeup, tooth brushes and toothpaste are all over the counter. Sometimes, when I return in the evening, I am shocked by the reality left from my whirlwind exit earlier in the day! Restful is the last adjective I would ascribe to my Master Bath at that point.

So let’s talk about solutions. How do Spas create the inviting surroundings that alter our mood and blood pressure? It is in the details. Everything has a place and is in the perfect location to create the peace filled atmosphere we long to escape into. Ahhhhhh!

Bathrooms are less expensive to remodel than kitchens. Typically they are much smaller. Thus it can be the perfect canvas to splurge when it comes to lighting, hardware, sinks, and counter top choices. A kitchen needs many lighting fixtures and big expanses of stone or alternative counters.

A bath usually only needs one or two lighting fixtures. The right one can set the entire mood for the space. How about a small crystal chandelier to create a classic traditional ambiance. Wall sconces casting light up and down a wall add drama in a contemporary setting. The choices are endless!  

Heated flooring adds comfort. Whether you prefer tile or wood, flooring invites you into the sacred space. The shower floor can be specialized by placing river stones strategically to stimulate the same points in your feet as reflexology massage does.

Glass tiles of various shapes and sizes create beautiful drama and reflective tones. Mixing the organic natural stone tiles with glass as an accessory brightens up the room and your spirit. Surrounding  the  mirror with a wall of glass tiles creates a breathtaking  feature wall.

Adding touches to accessorize, such as glass tiles nestled between the organic stone tile used on the walls in the shower really makes the room “pop” It  is similar to wearing jewelry bringing pizzazz to your favorite outfit.

Another accessory that can truly set your bath apart as spa like is beautiful hardware. Vanities have fewer drawers and cabinets than kitchen cabinets require.  Knobs and Pulls can really drive the price up high in a kitchen remodel. However, since few are needed in a bath, it is a perfect place to express your taste beautifully without over spending.

Vessel sinks have been available for some time now. The choices are getting more creative along with faucets of every possible style.  A new trend that began recently in kitchen design is making an appearance in baths as well. Open shelving adds storage and doubles as a practical way to display beautiful towels, candle, art and accessories that are too beautiful to hide behind cabinet doors.

Clear towering glass shower walls visually enlarge the square feet in bathrooms. Coordinating the shower wall tiles with the floor tiles adds interest and visual spaciousness as well. Imagine stepping out of your steaming shower and reaching for a toasty towel hanging on the heated towel bar! Luxury!

Tubs come in every possible style these days. Many are perform double duty. Jets and colored lights soothe muscles and your mind as your body relaxes into the miracle water.

I am ready to live in luxury! How about you! We would love to create your own Spa retreat in your home. Stop in and let’s dream together.






Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Counterfeit Contractors vs the Real Professional

Hello there! Are you enjoying a break from winter? We are! It is looking like Spring really is coming  soon! We and our customers are excited about that. 2016 is going to be an awesome year for remodeling! If you are considering a project, please talk to us soon. Now is the time to begin the process if you want any remodeling completed for Thanksgiving.
Realizing your dream for the perfect kitchen or bath remodel is a multi layered process. These steps typically take more time than you think. It may seem very early to you, yet waiting until summer to get going may be too late. To enjoy your new space of the Holidays, we suggest you start the process now. Does that surprise you? Please remember, each project requires planning, designing, selections, and scheduling. To be fair, we work on a first come first serve basis. Our calendar fills up quickly. 

Now is a great time to reveal my goal for this post! How many times in your life and you heard or said, "You get what you pay for?" We all know our homes may be our biggest portfolio asset. It is
wise to compare contractors referrals, customer reviews, pricing , and reputation. Here at Apple Wood we often hear upsetting stories from homeowners when their plan to save money hiring a less expensive carpenter ends up causing frustration, damage, and loss of value in their home. Ultimately the final cost to them is more than if they had hired a true professional initially. No one plans to make a mistake like that. What can you do to avoid being a victim? For your protection, let me explain what can happen.

Design Build Construction like Apple Wood is the best choice! My last few blogs posts educated you about the different choices homeowners have in selecting a Construction and/or Remodeling professional. I feel responsible to inform you about another potential pitfall poorly informed New Hampshire home owners can fall into. Many homeowners simply do not know important facts that may create expensive and frustrating disappointments. All of us want to find the best result for the lowest investment. We want a fair deal. We depend on who we hire to keep their promise of excellence to us. However, we may neglect performing our due diligence before we sign a contract.
"Trade" or "craftsman" builders and support businesses in construction, rely on employee "build teams".  These employees represent numerous levels of expertise, skill, and experience . Excellent construction and remodeling contractors need to hire, train, and oversee Sub Contractors to complete projects. Economic developments in 2008 created a new paradigm in the building industry. Since that economic downturn, only the best contractors survived to remain in business. Many talented craftsman and carpenters were unable to find work. Some changed their careers, or moved away to greener pastures. The exodus of truly trained and experienced subs and carpenters created a new category of  what I will term, counterfeit contractors. Yes, that is a scary term! Let me explain.
Construction is in many ways an art form. Down through centuries the craft has been passed on primarily by apprenticeship. A young person interested in learning carpentry, electrical, plumbing,
and other specialties needed to build or remodel homes and businesses begins working for an established Construction professional. As they learn the craft, they become experienced, capable, and confident. Some may reach true master levels and be prepared to become the owner / manager of their own Construction Company.    
The 2008 drop in the economy slowed everything down, especially construction. As things began to return to pre 2008 levels the past three to five years, homeowners wanting to update their property found it harder to locate true skilled professionals. For reasons numbered below, less experienced
people found they could legally present themselves as General Contractors or Remodeling Contractors. Sometimes, the result for homeowners wanting to remodel has varied
from being extremely unhappy and frustrated to complete loss of deposits and payments paid when the contracted project was not completed as promised. Typically, through no fault of their own, inexperienced, uninformed homeowners looking for the "best deal"  hire the counterfeit inexperienced contractor. In the long run, any money they "saved" is lost. A true professional correcting the errors made can help. However, now the homeowner has to pay more for the project  than it would have cost the homeowner to hire the best to begin with.     

New Hampshire Facts in Construction/ Building/Contracting :

1. Anyone may attain a business name regardless of industry experience.

2. NH does NOT license Contractors

3. No testing of ability, skill, or knowledge is required to get a business name.

4. No personal or professional referrals from peers or professional organizations are required.

5. NH does NOT legislate insurance requirements for contractors.

6. Anyone who says they are capable to build homes or remodel them may open a

    general contracting company in New Hampshire

7. If you have any issues there is no State of NH governing organization for the construction trade

    to  help you negotiate or get your money back.


We know this is hard to believe. However, it is true. How do you know who to hire?

1. Ask for referrals from numerous people you trust.

2. Visit Showrooms and websites. Call the Contractor, make an appointment. Ask if they will
     give you some past customers referrals.

3. Ask homeowners you know just completed a project what they liked and did not like about their

4. Call your local building inspector for his opinion on who he would hire to work on his home.



Require anyone or any company you consider to provide proof :

1. State of NH Business Registration

2. Proof of Insurance, the policy coverage, value amount, and what it covers



Watch out for anyone that says they are a DBA ( Doing Business As) that permits them to ask you to
write the check to them personally for their professional services! It may mean their business is NOT registered. 

Finally, Apple Wood Kitchen and Bath or Apple Wood Construction will not be the cheapest company. We are competitive, priced fairly and realistically to provide the excellence we strive for in everything we design build. We would love to help you make your home perfect as we have for all of our clientele for years. Our customers love to give us referrals! Just ask!