KC Remodeling Blog

Is remodeling really a good option vs buying new

I have been remodeling homes as a license contractor for over 6 years on my own and have over 10 years of experience in the residential home construction industry. This may come to a big surprise but I have to say that Remodeling is not all it's cracked up to be. At lease here in the midwest where home prices are low, you are usually better off buying a new house. 

TV Shows give people unrealistic expectations for remodeling their home

The home improvement trend is fueled by DIY television shows, the only agenda for a TV show is to get the highest ratings possible. The more people that they can convince that this is a great way to save some money, the more people that get sucked into their show. Not only do they provide unrealistic budgets for their projects but there is also a lot that gets covered up. On TV, you cant spot a poor drywall finish, streaky paint job, gaps in trip, cast iron left in walls, or improper techniques that lead to failures down the road. 

Stop doing your own remodels to save money

This is why I am such a fan of buying a new house. Most older homes in my area have been remodeled by homeowner themselves. I for one don't want to live in a house that was hacked together. 

Most "contractors" also do incredibly shoddy work. I put in a water heater for a client yesterday and they had Nebraska Furniture Mart install tile in their kitchen. They skipped the backer board and installed the tile right to the subfloor. It's only a matter of time before that installation fails. Not only did they use the wrong technique but they also didn't even come close to creating a flat surface. The homeowners are selling the house so it's really not their problem.  

Sometimes a remodel can be visually appealing by under the surface big problems could be hiding. An updated bathroom that is still utilizing cast iron drain lines throughout could mean that the whole thing has to be redone a few years down the road. 

Here in the midwest there are a lot of basements, many of which have been finished by a homeowner or low level contractor. As a contractor who used to focus on basement finishing, I have had at least two dozen homeowners who wanted to demo and refinish their basement because it was poorly finished. This means that the basement being finished actually sets them back about $5,000 just to complete the demo. Some of the biggest problems with people finishing their own basement start with the layout. It's also common to see improper framing techniques, dangerous electrical connections, improperly installed doors, sloppy tile, horrid drywall, and poorly painted trim work. 

Major remodeling projects only work in certain areas

I sometimes watch the show Property Brothers that is based around buying a fixer upper to give these homeowner more bang for their buck. The show is a bit misleading because like all TV shows they make their money from the ratings. They put more into their budget than their numbers really show. Not only that but they are hiring the crews that they work with are no doubt at the top of their field. Most people that hire a contractor will go with a lower to middle of the road contractor. 

In order to take on a major remodel you have to really love the area. For the major remodels it's nice to be able to find a house that is priced 100,000 + less than the other homes in the neighborhood. Don't think that you are going to get ahead by doing some of the work yourself or hiring a buddy that you know that dabbles in construction. If you want to take on a major remodel you need to choose a contractor that has completed several projects that are of the same scope. In most cases you are going to get what you pay for. 

Water Heater Requirements

This is a video we had made to help explain the requirements for installing a water heater.


Web Design Kansas City

Inspire Web Designs has taken over all of the website design and maintenance for the KCHC network of websites. While it will be a slow process to redesign all of our sites, look for them to improve one by one. Inspire Web Designs offers full website design in Kansas City

We currently host and maintain just over 50 websites that are all related to the construction, remodeling, and plumbing industry. All of our websites were originally hosted through GoDaddy and we used their website tonight website builder. This is a template bases website design system that will allow a novice to build a website for their own company. The problem with the template based website builders is that you cannot customize them to fit your business. They can also be a bit expensive on a per site basis. If you only have one site it's not so bad but if you have several it can add up quickly. 

Over the last year we have converted many of our websites over to wordpress. Wordpress is the number one building platform for anybody looking to host a website or a blog. Wordpress can be used in a number or ways. You can build your own website using wordpress or you can have a custom template designed by a professional web developer.

One of the things that Inspire Web Designs offers to their clients is a content management system for the user. This will allow the website owner to add content such as photos, blogs, and company information without needing the help of a web designer.

Promoting your website is as important as designing your website, if nobody see's your site then it's not getting you any business. The best way to promote your site is to add valuable content that will assist the user. For most businesses a blog is the best way to achieve this. The blog should be written by an expert on the subject of the website, which usually means the business owner. 

Water Heaters

Water Heater have definitely improved on both performance and quality over past years. One thing that might surprise you is that a typical water heater does not last as long as it used to. We change out water heaters on a regular basis and we have noticed that most water heaters will have a lifespan on 10-12 years.

One of the reasons that water heaters don't last as long as they used to is because today's water heaters are under more pressure than water heaters of the past. A growing infrastructure can cause increased stress on a water heater.

One of the best ways to deal with increased amounts of water pressure is with the installation of a thermal expansion tank. An expansion tank is required in most parts of Kansas City including Overland Park, Olathe, Prairie Village, and Kansas City Missouri.

If you need a water heater installed contact KC Plumber Pro, they are a water heater specialist in Kansas City. Ask about our Bradford White 10 year guarantee on a 50 Gallon gas water heater.

Kansas City Electrician

It is important for any remodeling contractor to have a close relationship with trusted subcontractors for the various trades that go into most remodeling projects. One subcontractor that any remodeling company is sure to need is an experienced electrician or electrical contractor. 

Scheduling is an important part of keeping a good relationship with your subcontractors. Not only should the remodeling contractor make sure that the job is ready when it's suppose to be but the subcontractor or electrician also needs to show up when they are suppose to. It's a bit of a balancing act to try to finish projects quickly and keep your subs happy. There will always be changes and delays that come up in a project. Having a good relationship with your subs will will make things easier to deal with when they unexpectedly arise. 

CTC Electrical Service specializes in both residential and commercial electrical work. Based out of Overland Park, they can handle basic service request including panel upgrades and GFCI installations. Some of their other services include dimmer switch installation, ceiling fan installs, and outdoor lighting applications. 

Get an online quote to replace a water heater

KC Plumber Pro is one of the first plumbers in the Kansas City area to offer free quotes online for the replacement of a water heater. The installation is completed by a licensed and insured plumbing contractor. 

Get a quote to replace your water heater in Kansas or Missouri. 

There are a few things we need to know to get an estimate put together for your new water heater. You can submit your water heater information to get a free quote online. We also need a picture of the water heater in order to determine the price. Other things such as the location can also have an impact on the cost to replace a water heater. Our goal is to provide quick and easy quotes to make your job of finding a plumber easier. 

As a licensed plumber it is our goal to educate our clients to the best of our ability. We want your water heater to last as long as it can. If we see that your old water heater didn't last as long as it should have, we can evaluate your home to find the cause. 


Plant Care Kansas City

If you are looking to beautify your home or business consider hiring one of Kansas City's leading plant care providers. Plant Lady has been in business for nearly 20 years focusing on interior plant care and maintenance in commercial office buildings. Adding plants to an office building not only improve the aesthetics but they will also improve the air quality of a building. If you are looking for quality plant care in Kansas City, we recommend Plant Lady.

Typically, when providing plant care in Kansas City, the Plant Lady will provide each individual office with a unique tropical plant. Jimi Thompson, who is the owner of Plant Lady will also select a container that is not only sized for the plant but one that's fits well in the office environment.

One of the biggest mistakes that large companies often make is to invest in the office plants but not in the maintenance. Professional plant maintenance is the best way to protect your investment. If you have not had experience dealing with large tropical plants it can be a daunting task. There is a lot more than just adding the right amount of water to a plant. You need to pair the right plant with the right office space. Different types of plants have specific lighting requirements. A plant may thrive in one office and experience distress in another.

Plant Lady provided complete plant care and the maintenance is completely provided by the actual business owner. If you are looking for quality plant care we recommend contacting them first.

Plant Lady (913) 219-3376
Plant Care Overland Park

Low Flow Urinals for Commercial Buildings

We recommend to commercial clients that may be considering waterless urinals to consider choosing a low flow urinal instead. The maintenance on a low flow toilet will be far less demanding. A waterless urinal will require a cartridge change every 1-3 months. 

Zurn has a low flow urinal that only uses a pint of water per flush. The urinal can be installed in place of a standard urinal. A standard urinal will usually take about a gallon of water to flush. 

If you are in need of a  Low Flow Urinal Installation and have a business near Overland Park or Kansas City, KC Plumber Pro can help. 

KC Plumber Pro 

(913) 432-3258

9218 Metcalf Ave #181 
Overland Park, Ks 66212


Professional Deck Builders Forum

We are proud to introduce a deck builders forum that is designed to help professional contractors with issues that are commonly faced in the industry. The deckbuilderkc forum is intended to serve contractors who specialize in building decks, pergolas, and screened in porches. Creating a listing in our directory and participating in our forum is a great way to show your clients and search engines that you are serious about building decks.

One of the other features of our deck building forum is our "upcoming project" section. This enables individual homeowners to post their project requirements on the website. This will allow for deck builders to be paired up with homeowners who need projects completed. Specific details including what type of material you would like to use and the height of the deck to be built. Most cases will still require the deck contractor to come out to take their own measurements but you should be able to narrow down your selection fairly easily.

Future plans for the deck builder website include an extensive deck builders directory that will offer detailed company information including licensing, insurance, and examples of past projects. There will also be a review system for anybody that wants to leave feedback after a project has been completed. 

Outdoor Kitchens in Kansas City

Investing in your backyard has become more and more popular over the last few years. An outdoor entertaining area is a great way to compliment your current home. Creating an outdoor kitchen is the ultimate for backyard get togethers. Most of the outdoor kitchens will include such features as a built in grill, natural gas hookups, additional seating, and an outdoor sink.

While each backyard is different, it is important to address the backyard as a whole. This includes the deck, patio and landscaping. This could also include an outdoor fireplace or bar. A poplar trend in sunny areas such as Kansas City has been to create shades areas by building a pergola or other outdoor structure.