Neal's Home Remodeling and Design Blog

Alan Hendy

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8 Questions to Ask a Remodeling Contractor

Posted by Alan Hendy on Tue, Nov 29, 2016

When it's time to move your remodeling plan from just a vague idea to a real project, one of the first steps is to locate a trustworthy general contractor, or a full-service design/build contractor such as Neal's. Not all contractors are the same, and not all are going to provide the same level of project management, quality, and planning, for a variety of reasons. To make sure that the contractor you select has your and your project's best interests in mind, it's a good idea to ask every contractor you are considering a standard set of vetting questions. Read on for the eight questions you don't want to leave out.

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Topics: Design Trends and Ideas, Home Remodeling, Hiring a Contractor, National Kitchen and Bath Association

6 Before & After Home Addition Projects

Posted by Alan Hendy on Tue, Sep 27, 2016

Home additions can achieve a few different things. The obvious is that an addition provides additional square footage to the year-round living areas of the home. On the exterior, an addition can facilitate architectural improvements to the home's look, enhancing the home's design or style. Inside, additions can become a catalyst for altering an interior layout in nearby rooms or hallways that may have been less than ideal. In this post, we'll take a look at 6 before and after addition transitions that accomplished one or more of those things.

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Topics: Design Trends and Ideas, Additions

Project Spotlight: A Tailored Kitchen Remodel

Posted by Alan Hendy on Tue, Jul 5, 2016

Sometimes a kitchen can look like it is working just fine, but under the surface there are issues that the homeowner can easily detail for you. This was one such project. Under-utilized spaces, inefficient details, and dark cabinetry with no personality were just a few of the issues.

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Topics: Project Spotlight, Design Trends and Ideas, Kitchens

Home Exterior Lighting Ideas

Posted by Alan Hendy on Tue, Apr 12, 2016

Chances are good that when you dream about your home's ideal exterior, you aren't automatically thinking about lighting. It's not the most glamorous aspect, especially next to new landscaping and beautiful outdoor living spaces. When the sun goes down, however, without lighting on the outside of your home, all those wonderful exterior spaces (and all that effort to improve them) are lost to the darkness.

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Topics: Outdoor Living, Lighting

Project Spotlight: A Rustic Lodge Room Addition

Posted by Alan Hendy on Tue, Oct 6, 2015

With a large extended family and a penchant for entertaining, the clients felt limited with their relatively small, screened-in porch. They desired a larger space for the wide variety of family gatherings and entertaining they enjoy. The completed project included a spacious all-season room addition and an outdoor patio great for entertaining as well as daily usage. This project was recognized as a 2010 Local & Regional Winner in the NARI Contractor of the Year Residential Addition category.

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Topics: Project Spotlight, Additions

6 Elements of a Craftsman Style Kitchen

Posted by Alan Hendy on Tue, Sep 8, 2015

Craftsman style is known for warm, earthy colors, well-crafted woodwork, and artistic details, as seen in this kitchen by Wood-Mode Cabinetry.

There are very few architectural styles in America as pervasive as Craftsman. Also referred to as Arts & Crafts, Mission, or bungalow style depending on where you are, Craftsman architecture, grew out of a European movement that challenged the ornate frivolity of Victorian style at the end of the 19th century. By 1905, the movement had taken a firm root in America, and influenced architects and designers, as well as home decor artisans like Cincinnati's own Rookwood Pottery. Read on for a look at how a Craftsman look can be achieved in the kitchen.

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Topics: Design Trends and Ideas, Kitchens

2015 Designer Trends in Bars, Entertainment & Dining Room Displays

Posted by Alan Hendy on Tue, May 12, 2015

In 2015 while visiting The Merchandise Mart in Chicago, our designers have taken note of three exciting trends they believe are worth keeping an eye on. While these trends all fall under the category of "cabinetry", their applications extend into more than just a row of cupboards in the kitchen. Bar design, living room entertainment centers, dining room display, and more, are all areas of the home that these new designer trends might find a place.

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Topics: Design Trends and Ideas, Home Remodeling, Kitchens, Lighting, Storage

Project Spotlight: A Private Retreat

Posted by Alan Hendy on Tue, Mar 3, 2015

A narrow, sloped swath between the brick home and a rustic forested area made up the whole of the homeowner’s back yard. While they loved the open view, they also desired to improve the livability of the area by introducing a covered structure for year-round outdoor living. The project offered a number of challenges, but for the homeowners, maintaining their view, improving their privacy, and creating a comfortable space were the goals that mattered the most.

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Topics: Outdoor Living, Project Spotlight

Project Spotlight: Old-World Kitchen

Posted by Alan Hendy on Tue, Jan 6, 2015

While relatively spacious, the original area in this Project Spotlight did not allow for much ease and flow when entertaining, especially near the island area. The clients desired a more open space that combined the kitchen and dining room, more natural light, and attention to carpentry details. The result is a new kitchen with a dramatic old-world quality.

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Topics: Project Spotlight, Kitchens

Outdoor Living: Creative Ideas for Enjoying Cool Days and Nights

Posted by Alan Hendy on Tue, Sep 30, 2014

The fall season is upon us. Leaves are changing color and we’re seeing changes in the gardens and landscapes of our homes. Fall is an exciting time and conjures up images of apples, pumpkins, warm food, hot beverages and, for many of us, football games. Cooler temperatures change the many ways we use outdoor living spaces. Here are several creative ideas to help you enjoy more outdoor living time during the cool days and nights that are ahead.

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Topics: Outdoor Living, Fireplaces


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