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5 Eco-friendly Cleaning Solutions for Your Kitchen

Adam Bakir - Wednesday, November 25, 2015

If you are a cooking enthusiast who spends hours in the kitchen, be it to prepare meals or make sure the environment is presentable, you have to consider effective ways to clean the room. You may be often forced to just fill the coveted space under the sink with commercial cleaners that are thought to provide perfect sanitation. 

The kitchen most certainly deserves all the care and effort you can spare. After all, you cook your food there. But that doesn’t mean you need to resort to harsh chemicals that contain dangerous toxins. What you can do instead is consider proven methods of sanitation featuring non-dangerous components you can expect to see in every kitchen. Green supplies, such as baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice make more than perfect addition in every cleaning inventory. Here is how you use them in the top 5 most common kitchen cleaning chores.

- Clogged drain - clogged drains usually cause panic and fear, because of how often the kitchen sink is used. You want to fix the problem as soon as possible, which usually means rushing to the store and getting the first product you lay your eyes on. This is a bad strategy, because such solutions are often acidic enough to damage your drain. What you can use is pouring a high dose of boiling water down the drain. If the problem is more severe, you can mix half cup of salt and half cup of baking soda for some serious unclogging action.

- Dishwashing - if you are rather worried that the enamel of your high-end utensils can be damaged by abrasives, you will do well to consider some green alternatives. One such is baking soda, which makes an excellent stain remover without the potential to damage your cookware. If you are scared to even look at your roasting pan, you can try scrubbing with salt. Cleaning this item will be easier if you fill it with hot water and scrub it later.

- Cleaning containers - plastic, silicone and rubber containers can easily be cleaned using a baking soda paste. Stains stand no chance against the power of baking soda. Simply apply some of the product to the stains that are giving you trouble and use a pad to scour. Mixing the paste with lemon juice instead of water will give you great refreshing effect.

- Oven cleaning - it is not easy to deal with a dirty oven, but it is necessary. Don’t worry about cleaning, since there is a proven method that works every time. What you need is mix a paste-like compound with baking soda and water. Once you have it, coat the inside of your oven with it after removing interior items. Let it sit overnight and then wipe your oven clean. Always keep in mind that not allowing grime and grease to build up inside can save you a lot of effort.

         - Fridge cleaning - again, you can use baking soda for this task. Work with baking soda on a sponge to get the fridge interior cleaned and     sanitized. It also does miracles in deodorizing. Using this solution makes regular cleaning service much more bearable.

Implement each of these techniques in your kitchen cleaning and you will have an easier time maintaining the environment of this room sanitized. Not only are they effective, but also easy and cheap.


Renovation Ideas after Kids Move out

Adam Bakir - Monday, November 02, 2015

Once your kids move out of your home, you will have a much easier time figuring out potential solutions for what you can do with the space you already have. For many of us this is the perfect time to make things work so make use of the moment and see about figuring out what new projects you can work on to make things work:

• Downsizing versus keeping items

A lot of couples don’t really retire as soon as their last kid moves out of the house, but there are many reasons why seriously planning ahead for a reduced income will be a good solution on making things work. For a lot of couples this means dividing the profits from the sale of their current home and making use of them between retirement plans and a smaller living space if need be. Your initial home improvement efforts and remodeling decisions will be based on whether you plan on staying in the home as a long-term solution or to improve it for a resale. If you plan on staying in the home indefinitely, then you will need to work on updating the kitchen and bathrooms accordingly. Regardless of your choices you will have a chance to pull it off with no kids around. Do keep in mind that it would be a good idea to focus on home cleaning as well once they are gone to make the rooms more accommodating.

• Keep your bedrooms intact

You may dream about a nice home office or a room where you can do some crafting, but you should avoid making any serious changes unless you feel this is the right time to do so. You will naturally have the kids come over once in a while, so they may bring friends around as well. Make sure you keep your rooms maintained and cleaned. Doing some regular carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaning will help that in the long run so you won’t wonder what is wrong with things.

• Making a master suite for your guests

Tearing out walls between bedrooms is a fairly common practice nowadays, with more and more residential buildings converting the extra space into multiple guest rooms for their grown up children and grandchildren, getting ready for potential visits. There is a difference between the usual bedroom and a guest suite of course, since the guest suite will have a different goal as a whole. You would need to add more than the usual bed and a few other thing, as in many cases this can be made into a bed and breakfast situation where you can really make the place shine. Make sure you plan the place with easier cleaning in mind, as the rooms will likely stay unused for most of the time and you will rarely get to use them yourself. Home cleaning will require a bit of work and preparation, so you will need to work on making it happen every week or so.


Increasing Sale Value through Renovation Projects

Adam Bakir - Wednesday, October 14, 2015

One of the best seasons for selling is spring. You are definitely on the right track in case you have decided to sell your home next spring, as there are many advantages to such decision. In order to make the best deal, you have to consider some renovations and doing those in the fall is best.

There is a lot you can do to improve your property and you must make sure you consider renovation projects as one way to do this. It is no longer enough to simply hire a cleaning service and show the prospective buyer a presentable environment. What they want to see is practicality, design, features; they don’t just want a clean looking home. Renovation and improvement is going to be necessary, and if you aim to sell next spring, it is wise to start on such projects now.

- Start from the outside - curb appeal is very important, as this is what people base their first impression on. If you want to win prospective buyers from the moment they set their eyes on your property, you must make sure that it looks great. For example, if you have a garden, consider clearing the space from dead plants and remove all junk. Patio cleaning goes a long way in making the exterior inviting.

- Give your walls a new coat of paint - fall is the best time to consider painting the interior walls, since this is when paint most easily sets. You can ventilate and also hire a cleaning service afterwards without any trouble. Doing this one project is very important, especially if the home you want to sell has wallpaper on. Remember that what works for you may not be preferable to others. People looking to buy a new home generally want neutral colors and tones. There is no way to go wrong, if you choose such an option.

- De-personalise the property - the more neutral you keep the home, the better. People don’t want to see your vision, they want to see an empty space and set their imagination to work before they make the decision to buy it. It is always a good idea to remove all personal belongings and leave as much open space as possible.

- Floor renovation - in case you have old carpeting, carpet cleaning will hardly be enough to get it back into shape. It is best if you remove it all and replace it with hardwood. This is one of the more popular options, which is quite appealing to all buyers because it is practical and relatively easy to maintain.

- Get the attic, garage and basement ready - these areas of your home offer extra space, which can really tip the scales in your favour when it comes to selling and also add great value to your property. For that to happen, you need to consider the potential of these areas and make everything in your power to improve them. Implement extra features, such as extra shelving and pegboards, as that is what buyers like to see. Some cleaning goes a long way in ensuring the areas are in good presentable condition.

Ensure you start such projects in fall, because you want to have enough time before you put up your home for sale next spring. That is the way to ensure selling will be a success.


Incredible Renovations Wins BBB Awards of Excellence: Winner of Distinction Award

Adam Bakir - Friday, August 21, 2015

Better Business Bureau Recognizes Incredible Renovations with Awards of Excellence: Winner of Distinction Award

    In recognizing businesses and non-profits for their achievements and commitment to quality in the workplace, Incredible Renovations, LLC was one of 314 companies recognized at the annual Better Business Bureau Awards of Excellence on May 13, 2015.   Recognized as a Winner of Distinction this was the fifth time to be recognized by the Better Business Bureau for service excellence and in 2011, Incredible Renovations was a Pinnacle Award Winner.

When asked what it means to Incredible Renovations to receive this recognition, Adam Bakir, states "We work hard to provide top notch service to our customers and clients and it is an honor to be recognized for our efforts."

Incredible Renovations is not just a home renovations company, we are a "one-stop-shop," with all the in-house expertise required to complete the job from start to finish. We are the only builder in Texas with the in-house architectural, structural engineering, and interior design capability. We accept all liability and that is why we can give you our solemn promise that every job we undertake is "On Time and On Budget."

For More Information:  www.incrediblerenovations.com

Pros and Cons About 2nd Story Additions

Adam Bakir - Friday, August 21, 2015

By Judyth Piazza

“When it came to deciding whether or not to choose a 2nd story addition, the deciding factor was the ability to add the second story at a reasonable cost while retaining more yard space by not adding onto the ground floor,”  said Justin and Jennifer Hyland, Memorial Area.  

One of the most popular reasons to choose a 2nd story addition is to preserve outdoor recreational space.  An increasingly popular trend in home renovation is the creation of 2nd story additions on single floor dwellings.   

There are several pros, cons and myths about building up.  First of all, a few pros are you won’t lose any of your yard nor will you bump into zoning restrictions about setbacks or floor-area-ratio limits, which in turn increases the value of your home, however, the cons are you have to account for a stairwell, which can easily eat up around 80 to 120 square feet or more of living space. And your contractor will likely have to tear apart the walls and ceilings in the space below to beef up the structural supports and feed in the electrical, plumbing and heating lines. 

According to Structural Engineer, Adam Bakir from Incredible Renovations, Houston, TX, “It is a common myth that existing concrete slabs cannot handle the additional loads caused by adding a second story.  In actuality, additional loads are transferred through various structural members down to the foundations at certain point load locations.” 

In actuality, the replacement of existing foundations is not a necessity when adding a second floor. A majority of the time you can add selected spots on the foundation where the new loads from the second floor are concentrated. This often consists of the excavation under a small section of the foundation and adding concrete and rebar to create a new wider and stronger footing in that spot. 

 For that reason retaining the services of a professional structural engineer is extremely essential so he/she runs the analysis and prescribes the correct solutions every time before your contractor begins the work. 

Another pro for adding a 2nd story to your home is the extra living space that you will gain.  Some homeowners use the extra space for living areas such as a game room for your children or an indoor gym.  The 2nd story addition also adds extra value to your home so if you ever decide to sell it, you will get back what you put into it.  Any time you increase your square footage you stand to increase the value of your home simply because the price is often calculated based on factors such as the amount of livable space.

“To be honest, initially we were only looking to build an addition that went out, not up.  Architectural Designer, Mayrem from Incredible Renovations presented us with two options, one being, just building out for an in-law suite and the other was both out and up, redoing the first floor bedroom area, opening up the living areas,  and adding the second story. We loved the way she made incredible use of our existing space and the second floor design was perfect for our kids.” said Kevin Timmreck, Houston, TX. 

Kevin’s wife Louann Timmreck said, “We had two reasons for adding on to our house.  After my dad passed away, my mom was alone in her house.  We didn't want her to be alone and wanted her to come live with us.  We decided to add an addition downstairs for my mom.  However, we also wanted to do a second story addition so we could add room for our three children.  Prior to adding the second story, my girls shared a bedroom and all three kids shared one bathroom.  Adding the upstairs gave them their own room and additional bathrooms.  It also gave them the space to hang out with their friends.  We have a large backyard and building up, allowed us to continue to enjoy that space. Now everyone has their own space and we couldn't be happier!” 

Many homeowners engage in renovations every year. Some prefer to hire an architect to begin the process and some prefer to hire a construction company that can do everything for them from start to finish. After all, unless you build your home from scratch, chances are you’re not going to get everything you desire when purchasing your dream home.   

If you are trying to sell your home that has been on the market for a long time and for whatever reason it is not selling, at that point it may be a better decision to build up and reconfigure the house rather than selling it? What do you think?  For a lot of families the answer is yes! 

If you are interested in exploring 2nd story addition options, for a free estimate, contact Incredible Renovations at www.incrediblerenovations.com.


Summer Gun Safety Tips

Adam Bakir - Tuesday, July 07, 2015

With children out of school, and spending more time at home, there is more of an opportunity for something tragic to happen if someone owns a weapon and it is not properly secured.

Potential tragedies can be avoided by following these gun safety tips:

• Keep all firearms out of reach of children. They should be stored unloaded and under lock and key.
• Do not hide them under pillows or in bedside tables or nightstands.
• Talk to your children about the dangers of firearms and remind them these are NOT toys!
• Most importantly, childproof your gun with a trigger guard or some other safety device.
• One should always assume and treat a firearm as if it was loaded.

• Teach your children to Stop, Don't Touch, Run Away and Tell a Grown Up

Police Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr speaks on child gun safety, and proper use and installation of a child safety gun lock on the HPD YouTube channel at http://youtu.be/e6wyXbnJgUY



10 Tips to Follow For A Smooth Remodeling Project

Adam Bakir - Monday, July 06, 2015

Follow these 10 tips when you embark on an exciting home remodeling project.

  1. Establish effective two-way communication with the home remodeler. It’s essential to have good communication for a smooth home remodeling project. Does the remodeler listen? Does he or she answer questions clearly and candidly? Can you reach him when you need to? Does he return phone calls promptly? Does he let you know when problems arise and work with you on solving them?
  2. Make sure you are compatible with the contractor. You’ll spend a lot of time with your remodeler so it’s important to have a good rapport and trust in him or her. 
  3. Set a clear and mutual understanding about the schedule. You and your home remodeler should agree on the schedule up front to avoid conflict and problems later in the project.
  4. Request a written proposal. Often, two people remember the same conversation differently. Get the proposal in writing and work with the remodeler to ensure it reflects your wishes.
  5. Get a clear and mutual understanding on miscellaneous details up front. There are a lot of little details that need to be settled before work starts. What times of day will they be working? How will he or she access the property? How will cleanup be handled? How will they protect your property?
  6. Remember to be flexible. Remodeling is an interruption of your normal life. Remember to be flexible during the project so that you can handle the unexpected and go with the flow.
  7. Discuss and agree on how change orders will be handled. With home remodeling there is always the chance you may want to change materials or other project details during the job. Before work starts, make sure you agree with your remodeler about how these changes will be handled. Also understand that changes could affect the schedule and the budget, so it’s important you have all changes in writing.
  8. Agree on a well-written contract that covers all the bases. The contract should include these elements: a timetable for the project, price and payment schedule, detailed specifications for all products and materials, insurance information, permit information, procedures for handling change orders, lien releases, provisions for conflict resolution, notice of your right under the Federal Trade Commission’s Cooling Off Rule (your right to cancel the contract within three days if it was signed someplace other than the remodeler’s place of business), and details on the important issues (such as access to your home, care of the home, cleanup and trash removal).
  9. Ask for a written lien waiver from the home remodeler upon completion of the work. If the remodeler hires subcontractors for portions of the work, then it is their responsibility to see the subcontractors compensated. In order to ensure this has been done and to protect yourself, ask for a written lien waiver when the work is finished. This document will verify everyone has been paid.
  10. Establish a project plan, covering all phases and dependencies in the work. Plan your big picture goals with the remodeler and discuss your needs. Hire a remodeler who will plan with you, listen to concerns and answer questions.

-- From How to Hire Your Dream Remodeler by Tom Higgins, Superior Products Home Improvement, Littleton, Colo.

Houston Remodelers Council Ranks #1 in The US

Adam Bakir - Thursday, March 20, 2014

Houston RMC Still No. 1!

bandit signsAre you curious to see where your Houston Remodelers Council ranks against others across the country? Well guess what?! Houston is still the No. 1 Remodelers Council in the nation.

To see how we stack up, download the Local Remodeler Council Ranking (as of January 2014).

Want to get more involved in the local Remodelers Council? We are seeking volunteers for two important events.

Annual RMC Charity Project at The Sonrise Shelter – Saturday, April 12 and Saturday, May 3. In addition to having a great time, you'll make a huge impact on the Houston community and the life of every person that The Sonrise Shelter serves. You really CAN make a difference in just a day or two. Skilled labor only is needed on April 12; all volunteers welcome on May 3.

RMC Booth at the Texas Home & Garden Show – March 28-30 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Help raise awarness for the council AND for your company. Volunteer for two hour shifts Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

To learn more about how you can be involved in the GHBA Remodelers Council, email Lisa Pepitone.

2nd Story Addition by Incredible Renovations

Adam Bakir - Thursday, March 20, 2014

Incredible Renovations specializing in large projects such as 2nd story additions.  This house is located in the memorial area in Houston. 

The house was a single story home with a detached garage that was eating up the backyard.  This family needed more space because the kids are growing so they decided to add a 2nd story with 3 bedrooms, a bathroom and a game room and move the garage to the front of the house. 

This is the 1st video shot at the start of the project.  More videos to follow:  



For more information about Incredible Renovations visit, www.incrediblerenovations.com or call 713-532-2526.

How Do You Envision the Future of Memorial Park?

Adam Bakir - Friday, February 28, 2014

This is a message from Houston Mayor Annise Parker...

The Memorial Park Conservancy, TIRZ #16, and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department will soon begin long-term planning for the park. Prior to planning, the team is taking public input.

Memorial Park is going through a major planning process, and we want you to have your say. How do you envision the future of Memorial Park?

Take less than 10 minutes to visit http://memorialparkmasterplan.mindmixer.com/ and let the planning team know what you think. Take the Memorial Park Use Survey and the Demographic Survey by Tuesday, March 11. Thanks for your input, and please share the link!

For more information on the survey and on the Memorial Park Conservancy, visit www.memorialparkconservancy.org or contact Suzanne Landau at 713.863.8403 extension 2 or info@memorialparkconservancy.org.

For more information on Memorial Park and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, visit www.houstonparks.org or write to Askparks@houstontx.gov.

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