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Granite, Marble, or Quartz – Which Countertop is Right for You?

When you’re renovating your kitchen, replacing your countertops goes a long way! Not only does it revamp the look of your kitchen, but it can actually increase the value of your home! However, one dilemma that homeowners come across is figuring out which material to use for their countertops. You have three main options: granite, marble, or quartz – this blog post will go over each material in depth.

Granite

Granite is one of the most popular materials used for bathroom and kitchen countertops. Why? Granite is a gorgeous natural stone that features lovely flecks, crystals, and veining. No two slabs of granite are exactly the same, so you can be sure that your countertop will be one-of-a-kind! This material is usually used in kitchens because it is incredibly durable and can withstand most wear and tear.

Since granite is porous, it can be stained or damaged if it is not taken care of properly. You should get your granite sealed once a year in order to make it last longer and to protect it from stains, cloudiness, and scratches. In addition, be sure you only use mild, non-abrasive cleaners so that you don’t damage your countertop. If you want something classic, unique, and durable, granite is your best choice!

Marble

Marble is known for being exquisite. This material can transform any ordinary bathroom or kitchen into a luxurious palace. Warm and earthy, yet lush and elegant, marble is a popular material to use when you want to add class to your home. Marble is a natural stone that comes in a variety of shades, such as white, cream, black, pink, and green. With the classic marbling pattern, your countertops are sure to stand out.

Marble is softer than granite and quartz, meaning that you need to take extra precautions to protect it. Do not place hot pans directly on top, and be sure to use cutting boards when preparing food, place coasters under drinks, and wipe up spills immediately. Marble is able to be damaged and stained, but it can look incredibly beautiful if you take the right steps to maintain it. Like granite, marble should also be sealed yearly, and should be cleaned with mild cleaners. If you want something beautifully sophisticated, marble is the right choice for you!

Quartz

Unlike granite and marble, quartz is a man-made material. Composed of mostly ground quartz, this material is bound together by polyester resins to bind it and give it color. It’s designed to have those flecks and veining patterns that are found in natural stone, but it can come in a variety of different colors. With granite or marble, you are limited in the design and color of the slab you get; but with quartz, you have more flexibility due to the wide range of colors and patterns available.

In addition, quartz is designed to be practically indestructible. Quartz is stain, heat, and scratch-resistant, making it a perfect material for regular kitchen use. Quartz is also non-porous, so it can be cleaned easily with any type of cleaner. It never needs to be sealed, so it’s easy to maintain. If you want something indestructible with simple upkeep, quartz is the way to go!

Conclusion

If you understand your options, picking out the right material for your countertops turns into an easier decision. Do you need more help in choosing the best option for your kitchen or bathroom? Call us at Drake Construction! We have many years of experience in home remodeling, so you can trust our professional opinion when it comes to your home improvement projects. Once we guide you through the process of selecting a material, our skilled contractors will install your countertop for you!

Caring For Your Pet During Remodeling

So the big day for your bathtub renovation is ahead, and you’re concerned for your pet whose favorite napping spot is the edge of the tub. How will it react? How will the remodeling crew react? Questions can multiply, and the exciting day quickly becomes hectic. There are many tips to help with that!

Inspect Your Home, Inspect Your Pet

Breathing in dust and other harmful debris can be detrimental to a pet’s respiratory health. Having professionals inspect your home is crucial to identifying any lead-based paint, asbestos insulation, mold, and any other dangerous substance. In addition, making sure to have your pets stay clear of safety hazards like loose nails and open paint cans is important. Request the remodeling team to alert you when they are about to use any sprays, sharp tools, or toxic chemicals. Paying attention to your pets’ behavior is another key strategy. Dogs that urinate, bark, dig, chew household objects, and defecate when left alone may be trying to convey to you that they need help. Some signs of distress among cats include: low energy levels, aggression, and a lack of appetite. Contain your pets when necessary and remember that the team can also get hurt from the pets.

Angry cat.

Curbing Disorientation

Unfamiliar smells and sounds alone can be unsettling to pets, but meeting new people can be doubly so. Even for the most sociable, outgoing pets, a crowded home can sometimes be a disturbance and a stimuli overload. Thankfully, introducing the renovation team to the pet during consultation rather than rushing the members into construction right away can help the pet grow familiar with the strangers and the new routine. If the members of the renovation team are not fond of pets, keeping the pet away from the construction zone is also a solution. To bring further comfort to your critter, consider getting it a new toy or snack; human beings can comprehend what is happening, but our four-legged friends need more to go on.

Scared dog.
What’s going on…??

Noise Control

Since thunder and fireworks can be frightening to dogs and cats, it’s no surprise that the sound of drills and saws would have similar effects. One helpful way around these scares is to distance the pet from the site of the construction. Placing the pet inside a cubicle with soundproof walls can sound ideal, of course, but if such elaborate options aren’t available, it’s no biggie. If your pet has a separation anxiety, going on a walk with it is an excellent way to avoid the cacophony. Another tip is to accurately gauge your pet’s noise tolerance level. (Keep in mind that dogs tend to have a very acute sense of hearing.) If your pet can’t exactly go on a stroll with you, consider bringing it to a pet care facility for the duration of the construction.

Parrot being petted.

Conclusion

Pets are marvelous creatures; they keep us company in our sorrows and make us laugh when we’re down. In many respects, making sure they’re safe and sound is the least we can do. When the pets feel at home, the remodeling team feel welcomed, and hazardous elements are dealt with, your project should be a success! Contact Drake Construction and get to know more renovation tips today!

Why Sunrooms Are the Best

A sunroom is the perfect solution for adding functionality, value and space to your home. Sunrooms can increase the value of your home, while still adding enjoyment. They are economical, as sunrooms are one of the most cost-effective home improvement projects. In this blog, we’ll discuss how sunrooms can benefit your property!

Extra Space

Sunrooms are a perfect choice for those who are looking to add space that can serve a variety of functions. It can provide a lovely breakfast area, especially when the sun is rising. Your friends and family can enjoy meals and other activities in a bright, beautiful room!

Sunrooms can also make a perfect TV room! Add a pool table, television and comfortable furniture to customize your room the way you want it. Your family can enjoy the extra space away from the typical rooms in your house, while maximizing the rays of sunlight!

Workout Room

Are you in need of a dedicated exercise space? By adding a sunroom to your property, you can enjoy the benefits of a personal workout room. Bring your exercise equipment inside, such as exercise balls and weights, so that they’re right at your fingertips. When you need a quiet space to work out, your sunroom is the place to be.

Greenroom

If you‘ve had the desire to plant an indoor garden, a sunroom will provide you with an opportunity to do so. There will be ample sunshine and you can maintain a consistent temperature year round. Just purchase some containers and herb boxes to grow your plants, herbs and flowers, and you’ll have your very own green space indoors.

(Tip: Add glass roof panels to your sunroom to allow maximum light overhead.)

Zen Room

Meditation and mindfulness can be made possible with your new addition. Turn your sunroom into a peaceful and quiet space by designing a Zen room. These types of rooms have become more popular over the years, especially if you are looking to meditate or use it as a place to do yoga.

For a complete Zen room appearance, we suggest adding light fabrics, rugs, and plants to keep it simple and relaxed. Use the natural and soft lighting from the room to create ambience during the day and at night.

Conclusion

Sunrooms are a versatile, useful, and reasonably priced choice for anyone who wants to add more living space to their home; they are cost-effective to build and maintain, making them a suitable choice for any homeowner. Adding a sunroom is a wonderful way to bring more space, light, and joy to your home. Are you ready to add more living space to your property? Call for a free estimate from Drake Construction.

Hottest Kitchen Trends of 2019

2018 was so last year, literally. Diss your old kitchen and keep up to date with the newest trends that 2019 has to offer! This is one of those years you can get creative and add your own personal look, on top of what’s in style.

Make your kitchen look stylish this year

Make your kitchen look stylish this year

Dark Tones

Moody kitchens are the hot new thing of 2019

Moody kitchens are the hot new thing of 2019

White kitchens were cool for a while, but who really wants to take hours out of their day to constantly keep it clean? Dark and moody kitchens are the newest hit. Not only are they easier to maintain, but they add a chicer look to your house.

Bright Colors

You read that right, dark and bright colors are also in! Basically, any color other than white is the direction we’re going to this year. You could go with a soft, cute pastel pink for a lighter feel; or you could go the opposite way and go along with bright yellow cabinets for a happy, optimistic part of the kitchen.

Minimalism

Minimalism helps you keep more organized

Minimalism helps you keep more organized

This year, we’re getting rid of all of our old bad habits- especially hoarding. Not only is a clean kitchen pleasing to look at, it also radiates a laid-back appearance. When there’s too many things going on that the eye has to look at, it can be perceived as a cluttered mess no matter how organized it actually is. Get rid of all those extra little things, or just put them out of sight in your drawers!

 

Matte Finishes

The whole matte craze has been around for a while, but it never fully made its way to the kitchen. This year it finally did, so it’s time to throw out those glossy looking cabinets and start giving them a sleek, smooth matte touch. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it is also so much easier to clean!

 

Patterns

Adding patterned items into your kitchen will help make it look more unique. It adds a touch of fun looking furniture to not make it seem like it’s all business and no play. Flooring, chairs, sinks, and anything you want will add an exciting touch.

 

Back Splash

Protect your walls from splashes, and from looking boring

Protect your walls from splashes, and from looking boring

Back splashes have always added a unique look to everyone’s kitchen; stop staring at that bland old wall of yours and add a piece of color to it. Not only does it look amazing, it also protects from any splashes that may get on the wall. Covering your wall with cheesy quotes badly painted on a cheap canvas doesn’t make your house
as appealing as a back splash does.

 

Conclusion

We have seen many styles throughout the years, but this year is full of nothing but beautiful looking designs. It’s not just one trend that everyone is following, it’s so many different ones that people can mix and match to get their own original look. This is the year of originality as well as classier additions to your home.

 

 

 

From Imhotep to Fixer Uppers: The History of Renovation

When exactly did the culture of renovation and home makeovers begin? Well, to trace that beginning, we must travel back to a time before Chip and Joanna Gaines ever popped up on our televisions, before the first load-bearing wall was removed, and way before the term “remodeling” was ever used.

Ancient Egypt: Remodeling as an Idea

One of the earliest suggestions of renovation is found in the Step Pyramid of Djoser, which was presumably designed by Imhotep, the vizier to Pharaoh Djoser. This Old Kingdom pyramid, although not a makeover project per se, is known as a drastic departure from the older styles since it appears to be the very first mastaba (a rectangular funerary superstructure) made up of stone (mastabas were previously constructed of mud bricks). This spirit of upgrading culminated in the Great Pyramid of Giza, which was presumably designed by vizier Hemiunu. It was another step toward the advent of remodeling since it was a move toward aesthetic appeal—the Pyramid remained the tallest manmade structure in the world for more than 3,800 years.

The Great Pyramid of Giza.

Ancient Mesopotamia: Remodeling as a Passion Project

The tale of the Tower of Babel, the skyscraper of the distant and perhaps mythical past, is believed by some to be a legend and by others to be a true story. But they can find common ground in Etemenanki, a now-destroyed ziggurat (an ancient Mesopotamian stepped pyramidal temple complex) that once stood sometime between 2200 and 500 BC. After apparently enhancing the Etemenanki by the use of gold, silver, and enameled bricks, the Babylonian emperor Nebuchadnezzar II recorded that the deity Marduk, to whom the ziggurat was dedicated, excited Nebuchadnezzar’s mind “to repair this building.” There is even a cuneiform cylinder confirming the reconstruction.

The Ziggurat of Ur. The Etemenanki would have been three times taller.

Classical Antiquity: Remodeling as a Disgrace

In the ancient Greek world, philosophy and mythology influenced the arts. Philosophers and artists alike sought perfection and divine wisdom. Pythagoras’ golden ratio was incorporated into architecture; amphitheatres and temples stressed mathematical exactness. Loftiness of mind became tied to status, and therefore, renovation—a sign that the original construction was not perfect—appears to have been spurned at times.

One notable work of art that typifies this attitude is the mythical Labyrinth—a maze so complex that the architect himself was barely able to break out of it. Its creator was Daedalus, the genius architect who could fashion any number of things from a lifelike wooden cow to a lifelike statue that Hercules mistook for a living person. The Labyrinth in particular illustrates that a perfect artwork ought not need any renovation.

Another narrative of this era that undermines renovation is that of the hero Perseus. When a prophecy foretells King Acrisius that he will one day be killed by his grandson, he commands that his daughter Danae be locked away. To accomplish this, Acrisius remodels his dungeon, constructs a bronze chamber, and locks her in it. Zeus infiltrates this prison by transforming into a shower of gold and impregnates her with Perseus, rendering the renovation null and void.

The Parthenon is said to typify the Golden Ratio.

Roman Empire: Remodeling as a Culture

When Rome seized Greece, a full-on renovation was in order. The Greek gods were given Roman names and Greek art was appropriated. Enamored with Classical Greece, Romans borrowed the amphitheatre as well as the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian orders. But they added their own touches too—the now-iconic Roman domus was a combination of the Greek peristyle and the Etruscan atrium.

With the advents of concrete, aqueducts, and domes (as seen in such structures as the Pantheon), the toolkits in the box of renovation grew exponentially.

The dome of the Pantheon.

Byzantine Empire: Remodeling as a Paradigm Shift Declaration

After the Western Roman Empire fell, the Eastern half (Byzantine Empire) took on the mantle of Rome. After Constantine I legalized Christianity and renamed Byzantium as Constantinople, he is said to have commissioned the building of Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom). Through various earthquakes and tumultuous events such as the Nika insurrection, Hagia Sophia was reconstructed and enlarged. Built at the site of a pagan temple, Hagia Sophia toppled the previous paradigm by depicting Christ Pantokrator (“Christ Almighty”) in overwhelming gold.

After the Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople and renamed it Istanbul, Sultan Mehmed II remodeled the church into a mosque. The Christian mosaics were whitewashed; minarets (towers that issue the call to prayer), a mihrab (recessed part of a wall that faces Mecca), and arabesques (geometric and sometimes calligraphic patterns) were added to reinforce the Muslim paradigm.

The Hagia Sophia is a museum today.

Middle Ages and Renaissance: Remodeling as a Spiritual Exercise

There were many developments, too many to list here, but here are some honorable mentions: Numerous flying buttresses, basilicas, vaults, stained windows, frescos, naves, clerestories (sections in the wall that have high windows for admitting light), and castles of Gothic and Romanesque persuasions. In the 13th century, the word “renovacyoun”, connoting spiritual rebirth, entered Middle French. “Renaissance” also literally means “rebirth”.

Cologne Cathedral is an example of gothic architecture.

Baroque, Rococo, and Mannerism: Remodeling as a Theatrical Apologetic

Buildings added trompe-l’oeil, or illusionistic art, to their ceilings (e.g. The Palace of Versailles). The Catholic Church fought against the Protestant Reformation by adding to their cathedrals furniture packed with Catholic narrative. Some notable examples are: St. Peter’s Baldachin (featuring shafts with elaborate twists) and altarpieces that employed chiaroscuro (a painting technique that heightens drama via a high contrast between sheen and shadow).

St. Peter’s Baldachin. Forces the viewer’s perspective to gaze upward.

Neoclassicism (Reaction Against Rococo): Remodeling as Decluttering

The Prado Museum. Full of Greek rationality and lacking Rococo froufrou.

Romanticism (Reaction Against Neoclassicism): Remodeling as the Love of Nature

The Houses of Parliament. Shapes have become more organic.

Modernism and Postmodernism: Remodeling as a Coping Mechanism

These phases were an intermingling of many “isms” that came from disillusioned schools of thought: Impressionism, Bauhaus, Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism, de Stijl, Abstract Expressionism, and the like. And in 1789, the word “remodel” entered the vernacular.

 

The Eiffel Tower.

Today: Remodeling as Entertainment

Fixer Uppers, Trading Spaces, and home makeover shows shimmer on our television screens.

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