What Is Holding Your House Up?

Image of a rotten foundation

Most of us don't look under our house very often, if ever. It is a good thing to do from time to time as some big changes can take place before you know it.

Did you know - even a home recently constructed can have issues you would never dream of ? A minor, easy fix problem, like a board left under the house during construction, (an attraction for termites) which you can just pull out. Then there was a home that had a pipe connection that failed, and the washing machine was pumping out under the house! An easy fix but could have led to health problems for the family and structural problems down the road.

My crew has special training in earthquake retrofit and can inspect your home for any unseen decay, errors in construction or needs for modern earthquake retrofit. Call us today so we can explain to you how we can meet and exceed all of your needs.




A Little Respect Please!

Image of nice laundry room with a window.

The laundry room has been an often overlooked room when it comes to style and design. The long ignored laundry room is finally coming into its own with attention being paid to how it functions and looks.

We find that laundry rooms become catchalls for: sporting equipment, boots, coats, dog food, a jumble of laundry baskets and what have you. The room has to do double, even triple duty and is often last on the list when it comes to a home remodeling. A well thought out design can address all of those issues. Below are just a few options to consider including in your remodel:

  • A place to hang your coat, keys, and shopping bags.
  • A counter for folding laundry can be a lifesaver.
  • Custom shelving and cabinets that fit your lifestyle.
  • Punch up the look with some tile or wallpaper.
  • Adding a window to give you some natural light and open the room up.
  • In lieu of a window consider adding a mirror to reflect light and open up a small space.
  • Sinks in a laundry are a welcome place to wash things you don’t want in your kitchen sink.
  • A seat or bench for getting your shoes on and off and space under to store them.
  • Cabinets and drawers that are not too deep, so things don’t get lost.
  • Drawers designed with dividers to fit your tools, laundry products.
  • New paint in colors like a coffee color or soft grey can hide the dirt.
The entire house will benefit from a welcoming, organized laundry room.

We look forward to discussing how we can give your laundry room the respect it deserves. Our workers are respectful of social distancing guidelines and will work hard to keep themselves and your family safe. (707-257-2222).




Fall Color

Image of paint buckets and paint sample cards.

Here we are in October! Who would have thought that we would be still staying home so much? With people working from home and kids attending school from home it is going to be a very different fall from any other.

One thing you might think about to get a fresh outlook and prepare for the colder winter months, of even more indoor living, is to freshen a room with a new coat of paint. Making your home a sanctuary is imperative to being comfortable and lessening the anxieties of life. A fresh clean calm color or a vibrant splash of color will give you a nice start to the season.

We always do our work while social distancing, to keep your family safe. Give us a ring to schedule a color consultation today. (707-257-2222).





Alpine Worker on a Scaffold Doing Earthquake Repair

Napa residents are indeed missing our BottleRock Food and Music Festival this year. Three days of music, specialty foods, craft wine, cocktails, beers, spa treatments and more. This and other events are especially missed by the many merchants and businesses who depend on occasions like that for their livelihood. We are all looking forward to getting back to normal soon.

This blog is not about that kind of rock & roll although to those living nearby it may have sounded like an earthquake to them. We are remembering the 2014 California Earthquake. With over 900 earthquakes having hit Napa in the last year and so many concerned about the fires and the COVD 19 virus we don’t want our friends and neighbors to forget that deadly event. It is not “if” but “when” the next one will hit that is the question. To keep you and your loved ones safe we recommend having a home of any age inspected for areas that may have been neglected or even missed entirely by you builder.

Simple things we often find are hot water heaters improperly secured or not secured at all. Usually it is an easy and inexpensive fix to strap one, install an overflow pan and vent to the outside.

Homes that are 25 years or older will likely need to be retrofitted with Brace and Bolt. The current understanding of the how an earthquake damages a home has led to new developments in retrofitting. Newer homes should have earthquake-resistant features installed during construction. However not all construction is done with the latest understanding and or with building permits that require an inspector to call out any missing required safety measures.

Retrofitting can help keep your family safe and at the same time reducing the damage to your home. If your home is habitable after a major disaster, you will at least be able to stay in it even if there is minor damage.

Don’t be distracted by the current events we are all facing and neglect something you can do remedy, before it is a problem. Give us a call to discuss how we can inspect and retrofit your home today while social distancing. (707-257-2222).





Apline Worker Building a Deck

Making the most out of your yard can enhance your quality of life especially now when we are staying home more than ever.

Our crews are busy putting up privacy fences and deck so customer can enjoy their own outdoor space.

Decks get you up off of the ground and define a space for eating, relaxing and playing. You can have multiple levels or flat. We can add electrical outlet or other enhancements to suit your needs. The newer building products look great and will last for many years to come.

Our crew are extra careful to keep a safe distance from you and your family when coming out to do an estimate. During the installation the same is true - your safety is our greatest concern. Give us a call to see how we can help you make the most out of your outdoor space. (707-257-2222)




Now You See It Now You Don't

Small projects can enhance the look of your home more than you think. More and more homeowners do not like the look of a row of garbage cans sitting outside their home 24/7. To mitigate that look we can make a small enclosure or "garage" for your cans or plastice bins.

The materials used can be chosen to blend in with your existing fence/decor. Enclosures can be completely inside your yard too if there is not a good solution for putting it outside the main fence. This keeps the cans from being an eyesore when you are entertaining in your backyard

You may want a door on the enclosure to keep the critters out. Also installing lights an automatic eye to illuminate night access is a good idea.

Give us a call if you need an entire fence or just a fresh look for the cans. Our staff can come out to estimate with proper social distancing and wearing mask to get that project going.(707-257-2222).




Lights Camera Action

Iamage of Trex Lighted Pathway

A well-lighted front gate and entry walk is welcoming to your guest and adds a measurable amount of security to your home and family when you add cameras.

Each property will need its own design to take into consideration the individual building codes and owners' objective.

An attractive gate at the front of your property can be lighted so your cameras can see who is there in the day and night. Lighting the foot path for nighttime will add a safer access to your home as people walk up to you front door.

There are some good composite materials available now for fencing that can come with lights in the post caps and other innovations to add beauty and safety to your home. Two products we are using are: AZEK® (See our January 2019 Blog) and TimberTech® (See our May 2016 Blog). They are weather resistant long lasting materials. We can review the options and help you choose the best one for your property.(707-257-2222).




Stay Safe While Isolating at Home

Iamage of Al Gilet

If you are looking for something to keep you busy and improve your health, consider improving the air quality in your home. It is easier than you think.

Some of the things you can do (or have someone do for you) is to change the filters in your home. Most people know they need to change an AC system filter but there are others as well. Here is a list to consider:

  • Vacuum filter - some need replaced and some can be washed.
  • Kitchen vent- These should be used at all times when cooking and cleaned regularly.
  • Clothes dryer - clean the lint screen every time you dry a load - and regularly check the vent pipe - it can become clogged and affect your air quality and even be a fire hazard.

Lead can be a hazard in older homes where paint is peeling, or asbestos tiles were used in a floor or ceiling application. Our workers are certified to safely remove any of these pollutants and refresh your home with new safe materials.

Give us a call if we can advise you on any of the above issue to keep your home safe while spending so much time in it. We are available at (707-257-2222).




Looking Forward

Iamage of a desk with coffee cup

As we face the uncertain future together, we all can use some tips on how to stay positive. A positive outlook is imperative to being able navigate successfully without running aground.

I recommend spending some time to find your mental "happy place" and spend time there as we wait out this isolation.

Experts say that there are  3 emotional stages of a vacation. One - planning. Two - the vacation. Three - post  vacation reflection. Interestingly enough they say the planning part gives the highest level of happiness. I would like to suggest that the same is true for a remodel. If you have been dreaming about redoing a portion of your home -now is the time to plan! Not only can you enter that "happy place" mentally but you can have a project that we call "shovel ready" when this isolation ends.

The place to start is to nail down the objective first. Try writing a clear concise statement like: "Make a play area in the basement for the kids" or "Bring my bathroom into the 21st century". Then make a list of what you need for that "dream look" for the project. Colors, finishes, fixtures and so on. Don't forget - dreaming is free!

As we practice social distancing, we can still remain connected by phone and other digital means. When you have questions while working on your plans to remodel give us a call (707-257-2222) and we will be happy to help.




Relax in a Soaking Tub in a Tiny Bathroom

Iamage of a Kitchen with a shiny wood countertop

Maybe not a tiny bathroom but definitely you can still have a soaking tub in a small one.

Newer tubs are made to fit in corners and other unexpected spaces. With elegant lines your bathing space will be a quiet retreat.

Choosing the right size is important because a smaller tub still needs to be comfortable. Sitting in the tub you choose before it is installed is a good idea to make sure you can get comfortable. One too narrow or short will not accomplish the task.

The design process is important as you measure out where to put the tub so all the other elements will work. Positioning a tub in a small space is critical for the success of the project.

Talk with our office personnel to see when we can meet with you and measure your space to install a relaxing soaking tub.- 707-257-2222




Consider The Warmth of Wood

Iamage of a Kitchen with a shiny wood countertop

Wood countertops continue to be a favorite choice for new homes and remodeled for a variety of reasons. Number one reason is most likely the natural beauty of wood. Wood gives your kitchen a warmth that other products cannot match. The many choices of types of wood, stain and finish colors allow a homeowner to have a custom look. You can even get recycled material for a “green” countertop.

Some of the considerations to bear in mind is the care and upkeep of your wood countertop. Properly sealed and regularly treated with oil or protectant your wood countertop will stay attractive and sanitary.

Many homeowners use a cutting board on top of the wood countertop to spare it the worst of the use and abuse that can goes with a busy kitchen. An advantage to the wood is it can be refinished and may not need it for the next 10 to 20 years.

Our office can set an appointment for someone to review all options in your kitchen remodel - big or small just give us a call - 707-257-2222




Trending for 2020 Quartz Countertops

Iamage of a Kitchen with a Quartz white countertop

Quartz countertops are finding a loyal following over other countertops because of their many advantages. Quartz has the beauty and durability many homeowners are looking for when choosing a product that will stand up to the rigors of daily living. Homeowners find the hard surface of quartz is non-porous resisting staining much better than granite, marble and concrete. It stands up to juice, oil, wine, tomato, coffee and other sources of stains in the kitchen. For cleanliness, a non-porous surface means that it will not harbor bacteria or viruses.

Quartz has the same durability as concrete and granite, but is quite a bit more forgiving by not chipping or cracking as easily. Another difference is the hardness which has a feel that some people find more pleasant than stone. One caution is that you will need to protect quartz from hot items such as a hot pan, or hairdryer in the bath. So, if you foresee a new countertop in your future, consider the option of quartz

Call our office now to get an appointment for a design consultation - 707-257-2222

Next Month - Another Countertop Option - What about Wood?

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