Tag Archives: General Contractor

A Professional General Contractor Makes All the Difference

A Professional General Contractor Makes All the Difference - Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights

Experience and Expertise

The best general contractors bring years of experience and expertise to the table. They have a deep understanding of construction processes, building codes, regulations, and best practices. This knowledge enables them to anticipate potential challenges, identify cost-saving opportunities, and navigate complexities effectively. With a knowledgeable general contractor at the helm, you can rest assured that your project is in capable hands.

Project Management Skills

Managing a construction project involves coordinating multiple tasks, subcontractors, and timelines. A GC serves as the project manager, overseeing every aspect of the construction process from start to finish. They develop comprehensive project plans, establish realistic timelines, and coordinate all activities to ensure smooth execution. Their project management skills ensure that deadlines are met, resources are optimized, and quality standards are upheld throughout the project.

Quality Assurance

Maintaining high-quality standards is paramount in any construction project. A reputable general contractor is committed to delivering quality workmanship and results that exceed expectations. They collaborate with reputable subcontractors, suppliers, and vendors who share their commitment to excellence. Additionally, professional general contractors conduct regular inspections and quality checks to ensure that work meets industry standards and adheres to project specifications.

Cost Management

Keeping costs under control is essential to the success of any construction project. General contractors have the expertise to develop accurate cost estimates, identify potential cost-saving opportunities, and manage budgets effectively. They work closely with clients to establish realistic budgetary constraints and strive to deliver value without compromising on quality.

Risk Management

Construction projects are inherently complex and involve various risks, including delays, cost overruns, and unforeseen complications. Mares & Dow is well-versed in risk management strategies and proactive mitigation measures. They anticipate potential risks, develop contingency plans, and implement strategies to minimize disruptions and mitigate adverse impacts on the project. Their proactive approach to risk management ensures that projects remain on track and resilient to unforeseen challenges.

Compliance and Regulatory Adherence

Compliance with building codes, regulations, and permit requirements is non-negotiable in the construction industry. Reputable GCs have a thorough understanding of local building codes and regulations and ensure that all work is conducted in compliance with applicable laws. They obtain necessary permits, coordinate inspections, and ensure that projects meet regulatory standards and requirements, mitigating the risk of costly delays or legal complications.

Your choice of general contractor can significantly impact the success and outcome of your construction project. When embarking on your next construction endeavor, entrust your project to a reputable and experienced general contractor who can make all the difference in bringing your vision to life.

Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights

Contact your local general contractor at Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights today to transform your home. We have over 40 years of installation and consulting experience.

6 Home Renovations That Demand a Great General Contractor

6 Home Renovations That Demand a Great General Contractor - Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights

Embarking on home renovations is an exciting endeavor that can enhance the comfort, functionality, and aesthetic appeal of your living space. However, for complex or extensive renovations, hiring a great general contractor is essential. A skilled and experienced general contractor can manage the project efficiently, coordinate various trades, and ensure that the renovation meets your expectations and budget.

1. Kitchen Remodeling

The general contractor plays a crucial role in coordinating the various aspects of a kitchen renovation, from design and demolition to plumbing, electrical work, and cabinetry installation. With their expertise in project management and construction, a general contractor can ensure that the renovation progresses smoothly and is completed on time and within budget.

2. Bathroom Renovations

Bathroom renovations involve a multitude of tasks, including plumbing, tiling, fixture installation, and waterproofing. A multifaceted GC is essential for coordinating these different elements and ensuring that the renovation proceeds according to plan. They work closely with plumbers, electricians, and other tradespeople to coordinate their schedules and ensure that each aspect of the renovation is completed to the highest standard.

3. Whole-Home Renovations

Home renovations involve significant structural changes and upgrades that require comprehensive planning and coordination. From floorplan alterations to structural repairs and interior finishes, these renovations demand the expertise of a skilled general contractor. Top general contractors oversee every aspect of the project, from obtaining necessary permits to managing subcontractors and ensuring compliance with building codes and regulations. 

4. Additions and Extensions

A knowledgeable general contractor has the knowledge and experience to oversee every stage of the addition or extension, from foundation work and framing to roofing and finishing touches. They work closely with architects and engineers to ensure that the new construction meets structural requirements and blends harmoniously with the existing design aesthetic.

5. Basement Finishing

Basement renovations present unique challenges, including moisture control, insulation, and egress requirements. An experienced GC is well-versed in basement finishing techniques and can address these challenges effectively. They oversee the installation of moisture barriers, insulation, and waterproofing systems to create a comfortable and dry living space. A general contractor can help you design a functional layout that maximizes potential while ensuring compliance with local building codes and regulations.

6. Exterior Renovations

Exterior renovations, such as siding replacement, roofing, or deck construction, require specialized knowledge and skills to ensure durability and curb appeal. A great general contractor has experience working with exterior materials and can recommend the best options for your home based on your budget and aesthetic preferences. They oversee the installation process, ensuring that proper techniques and materials are used to protect your home from the elements and enhance its overall appearance. 

Home renovations that demand a great general contractor are those that involve complex or extensive work requiring expertise in project management, construction, and coordination of trades. With their knowledge, expertise, and attention to detail, reputable GCs ensure that your renovation project is completed to the highest standard, on time, and within budget. By entrusting your home renovation to a reputable general contractor, you can enjoy the transformation of your living space with confidence and peace of mind.

Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights

Contact your local general contractor at Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights today to transform your home. We have over 40 years of installation and consulting experience.

For Optimum Warranty Coverage, Insist on an Authorized VELUX Skylight Contractor

For Optimum Warranty Coverage, Insist on an Authorized VELUX Skylight Contractor - Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights

When it comes to enhancing natural light and ventilation in your home, VELUX skylights are a popular choice for their innovative design and high-quality craftsmanship. However, the success of any skylight installation depends on the product itself and the expertise of the contractor. Here we will present the most popular reasons for choosing an authorized VELUX skylight contractors to ensure a successful installation process.

Warranty Protection

VELUX skylights are backed by a robust warranty that covers manufacturing defects and certain installation aspects. The warranty terms often specify that the installation must be carried out by a certified VELUX professional to ensure that the skylights function as intended and maintain their performance over time.

Expertise in Product Knowledge

Authorized VELUX skylight contractors undergo specialized training to gain in-depth knowledge of VELUX products. This expertise is invaluable during the installation process, as it ensures that the skylights are correctly integrated into the roof structure and that any additional features, such as blinds or controls, are seamlessly incorporated. Contractors with a deep understanding of VELUX products can address potential challenges and guarantee a smooth installation.

Compliance with Installation Guidelines

VELUX provides specific installation guidelines for their skylights to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Authorized contractors are well-versed in these guidelines and adhere to them meticulously during the installation process. This attention to detail enhances the skylights’ efficiency and ensures compliance with VELUX’s requirements, safeguarding the warranty coverage for the homeowner.

Access to the Latest Product Information

VELUX regularly updates and improves its product offerings to meet evolving industry standards and customer needs. Authorized VELUX skylight contractors have access to the latest product information, ensuring that they are aware of any updates, new features, or changes in installation requirements. This ensures that your skylights are installed using the most current methods, maximizing their performance and longevity.

Quality Assurance

VELUX provides certification to contractors who meet specific criteria, including training, experience, and adherence to quality standards. Choosing an authorized VELUX skylight contractor means opting for a professional who has undergone rigorous certification processes. This certification serves as a guarantee of quality workmanship, assuring homeowners that their skylights are installed to the highest standards.

Seamless Integration

Proper integration of skylights with the roofing system is crucial for preventing leaks, ensuring energy efficiency, and maintaining the structural integrity of your home. Authorized VELUX skylight contractors possess the skills and knowledge needed to seamlessly integrate skylights with various roofing materials. This integration is vital for preventing water infiltration and preserving the overall performance of your skylights.

Peace of Mind for Homeowners

Choosing an authorized VELUX skylight contractor provides homeowners with peace of mind, knowing that their investment is protected by a reputable warranty and installed by a certified professional. The confidence that comes with hiring an authorized contractor extends beyond the installation process, assuring that the skylights will perform optimally.

With the combination of product knowledge, certification, and adherence to installation guidelines, these contractors play a pivotal role in ensuring that your VELUX skylights enhance the beauty of your home and operate at their peak efficiency for years to come.

Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights

Contact your local VELUX skylight contractor at Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights today to transform your home. We have over 40 years of installation and consulting experience.

A Well-Qualified General Contractor Will Save Time and Money

A Well-Qualified General Contractor Will Save Time and Money - Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights

Selecting a well-qualified general contractor is a critical decision in any construction project. Beyond overseeing the day-to-day activities, a skilled general contractor plays a pivotal role in ensuring the project stays on schedule and within budget. Let’s look at some of the most significant ways a well-qualified general contractor saves you time and money.

Efficient Project Planning

A competent general contractor excels in project planning, creating a comprehensive roadmap for your construction process. This planning phase includes detailed timelines, resource allocation, and contingency plans. With a well-organized plan in place, potential delays and disruptions are minimized, resulting in smoother, more efficient project execution.

Resource Management

A key responsibility of a construction contractor is resource management. This includes overseeing the procurement of materials, scheduling subcontractors, and managing labor resources effectively. A well-qualified general contractor ensures that materials and personnel are on-site when needed, preventing unnecessary delays.

Expertise in Cost Estimation

Accurate cost estimation is crucial in preventing budget overruns. A seasoned GC has the knowledge and experience to provide you with precise cost estimates for materials, labor, and other project-related expenses. This allows for better financial planning and reduces the likelihood of unforeseen costs.

Negotiation Skills for Cost Savings

A skilled general contractor is adept at negotiating favorable terms with suppliers and subcontractors. Through established relationships and industry knowledge, they can secure better prices for materials and services. These negotiation skills benefit you by making it more likely that the project stays within the allocated budget.

Effective Problem Solving

Construction projects often encounter unforeseen challenges that can impede progress. A reputable general contractor will swiftly address issues as they arise. By proactively resolving challenges, the contractor helps to prevent costly delays, ensuring your project remains on track.

Quality Control and Inspection

Maintaining high-quality standards is essential in any construction project. An experienced GC follows stringent quality control measures, conducting regular inspections to identify and correct potential issues early on. This commitment to quality prevents rework and additional expenses and ensures the final result meets or exceeds your expectations.

Adherence to Building Codes and Regulations

Complying with the complex landscape of building codes and regulations is vital for your construction projects. A reputable general contractor is well-versed in local building codes and all relevant regulations. This adherence avoids potential legal issues and avoids potentially costly modifications required to bring the project into compliance.

Risk Management

Every construction project carries inherent risks, ranging from unforeseen weather conditions to unexpected supply chain disruptions. An experienced general contractor excels in risk management, identifying potential threats and implementing mitigation strategies proactively. This minimizes the impact of unforeseen events on the project timeline and budget.

The selection of a well-qualified general contractor is an investment that pays dividends in both time and money. From efficient project planning and resource management to expertise in cost estimation and negotiation skills, a skilled general contractor plays a pivotal role in the success of any construction or remodeling endeavor. Choosing a well-qualified general contractor is not just a sound decision; it is a strategic investment that can ultimately save you time and money.

Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights

Contact your local general contractor at Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights today to transform your home. We have over 40 years of installation and consulting experience.

Overlooked Home Renovations That Will Increase Your Resale Value

Overlooked Home Renovations That Will Increase Your Resale Value - home remodeling contractor - Mares & Dow

As a homeowner, you’ve entertained the possibilities of home renovation. Perhaps you’ve turned your imagination into reality, or like many others, renovation might be a wistful thought. If you’re skipping out because you don’t think it’s worth it in the long haul, you should reconsider.

Home renovation can benefit you now and in the future by increasing your home resale value. You’ll recoup most of the costs, and that’ll be after you’ve enjoyed them yourself. You can also get a lot out of your budget these days, especially working with experienced home remodeling contractors who make every penny work for their clients.

Here are a few overlooked home renovations that aren’t massive, but will increase your resale value:

New Entry Door

Overlooked Home Renovations That Will Increase Your Resale Value - home remodeling contractor - Mares & Dow

If you renovate only one aspect of your exterior, general contractors suggest you look at the entrance. Your front door is a major focal point when people visit your home. It serves both aesthetic and practical purposes, and shows off your home’s personality. With dual duties, it’s a good idea to make your front door appealing in style and functionally.

To appeal to a variety of buyers, find a midpoint between too ordinary and too outspoken. An easy way to find an appealing door is to consider the entirety of your home’s exterior. If you’re not changing the rest of the exterior, try to match the architectural design and complement the color scheme. Also try to fit durable materials into your budget, such as fiberglass or wood doors. If you’re on a budget, you can install steel doors.

If your listing date is unknown or far into the future, your entry door should be modern but timeless. Minimalist doors are a current trend that could last years, as they streamline the exterior design. These doors have clean lines and detailing to guide the eye along smooth patterns. Extravagant detailing with wood carvings are less trendy, and might fall out of favor years from now.

Bonus Room Conversions

Overlooked Home Renovations That Will Increase Your Resale Value - home remodeling contractor - Mares & Dow

Instead of spending a major chunk of your renovation budget on increasing your square footage, you can work with what you already have. An easy place to look is your bonus room. Is it currently a home office, guest bedroom, library, game room, or perhaps it’s a storage area for unorganized belongings. 

When it comes to attracting a wide range of buyers, you want the room to be as versatile as possible. Turn it into a bedroom that could be for family members or a guest. Generally, converting a bedroom into a home office doesn’t recuperate enough of the cost to justify the renovation. It’s more efficient to leave the wiring alone and work with the bonus room’s current amenities.

Repaint interior walls with neutral colors

Wall colors are a personal choice for all homeowners, but during the selling process, they should be a neutral color. This makes it easy for people to “color over” the current walls with their dream paint. For example, if your walls are painted a soft gray, buyers will have an easier time picturing what the walls will look like in another color. Bold colors like red and teal could distract and turn away buyers.

Another benefit of repainting is covering up scuffs and defects, turning your walls into a blank slate for future homeowners. For an added bonus, include white wall accents and trim to make your space appear wider. The illusion of extra space can make a small home feel less stuffy and add to your resale value.


Among the most overlooked home renovation features are skylights. Installing a single skylight in a strategic place of your home can make a room feel airy and expansive. Your square footage will feel much larger, increasing the price buyers are willing to pay. If you decide to add skylights, consider the following high-traffic areas: kitchen, dining room, living room, and hallway.

Mares & Dow – Home Remodeling Contractors

Contact your local home remodeling contractors at Mares & Dow Construction and Skylights today to turn your ideas into a plan that fits your budget. We have over 40 years of experience in planning and leading beautiful, long lasting, and energy-efficient home renovation.

Does Your Kitchen Feel Too Small? Try These Design Tips

Does Your Kitchen Feel Too Small_ Try These Design Tips - home remodeling contractor - Mares Dow

The largest culprit of kitchens feeling small and congested is styling. The wall paint might be too dark and create the illusion of a shrunken room. There might not be enough lighting—natural or artificial—to chase away the shadows. The reasons can go on and on. Instead of trying to work around them to make your kitchen larger, you attack the problem head-on with the help of home remodeling contractors and the following design tips.

Style your kitchen with white and neutral colors

Dark backsplashes, cabinets, and countertops will make a small kitchen feel claustrophobic. Opt for light colors that seamlessly blend together. White is a go-to for designers and residential general contractors because of its reflective nature. Incorporate different shades and textures of white to give your kitchen a multi-dimensional feel. You can accent the white with soft, natural shades that make for smooth color transitions.

Be careful with strong color contrast because that can emphasize edges and shrink your kitchen. Typically, countertops and cabinets should be of the same color family, while walls and trim are of the same color. One exception is painting one wall a dark color to create the appearance of an alcove or nook.

Increase natural light

One of the most immediate fixes to make a kitchen appear larger is increasing the natural light. You don’t need to install new windows. Instead, keep your blinds open or install shades or window treatments that offer privacy without blocking out light. Natural light can also bounce off surfaces from the windows of adjacent rooms.

If you’re open to window renovation, a trend is to install a single, long skylight above your island counters or the center of the kitchen. Flooding a room with natural light will smooth out shadows and make it appear seamlessly expansive.

Draw the eye up and out

Open shelves, or shelf uppers, in place of wall cabinets will make your kitchen appear larger by exposing the backsplash. They might not offer the same storage space as traditional 24-inch deep cabinets, but a single wall can make a significant difference. If you need that extra cabinet space, you can remove the cabinet doors or use glass doors to give the impression of open space.

If you want to increase your storage space, you can install wall cabinets that stretch to the ceiling. It has a similar effect to open shelves or doorless cabinets. To maximize the height, use cabinets with hidden hinges, simple designs, minimalistic door pulls, and flat doors. 

Mares & Dow – Home Remodeling Contractors

Contact your local home remodeling contractors at Mares & Dow Construction and Skylights today to turn your ideas into a plan that fits your budget. We have over 40 years of experience in beautiful, long lasting, and energy-efficient home renovation.

Spring Home Refresh: Adding a Front Porch

Harbor Springs Home Renovation Project

Why should you consider a front porch addition this season? There are several good reasons, primarily that front porches freshen curb appeal, offer a connection to your neighbors and community, and they provide a warm welcome for your guests. This type of remodel/addition project can be relatively straightforward, and with the help of a local general contractor, it can be a project that stretches your creativity and your dollar.

Explore styles and design options

As you consider undertaking a new front porch addition on your home, be sure to take time to explore the many porch options that will suit your style and budget. Front porches can be quaint, simple affairs, using poured or decorative concrete for the base and steps with a small portico over the front door, or they can be elaborate wraparounds with separate areas for seating, dining, and even outdoor fireplaces. Small or large, it’s important to give enough depth to your porch and it’s recommended to make it at least 6 feet deep. Other porch designs include a raised wooden base with posts supporting a roof, or a screened-in porch with fiberglass or aluminum mesh or sun-blocking screens. Some of these types of porches even have remote-controlled screens, lifting and lowering depending on the homeowner’s needs.

Prep the site

After you’ve decided on your design, work with your general contractor to finalize your budget and outline the construction schedule. Naturally, the front door is a high traffic area and access to your home will need to be ironed out while the project is underway. Construction teams may be able to flex their schedule to only work on site when you are out of the home, but many homeowners will opt to utilize a back door or garage entrance for the duration of construction anyway. Once you and your family have determined how to adjust your day-to-day routines to accommodate your exciting porch addition project, you can help clear the areas of the yard and home interior that will be impacted. This might include relocating plants or raised beds, moving outdoor furniture, or taking pictures or paintings from the walls that might experience shuddering from the exterior construction.

Sit back and relax

Now that you’ve done all you can to ease the beginning of your project for all involved, you can take a step back and enjoy the fruits of your planning efforts. With an experienced general or Home Remodeling Contractors, you can expect your porch addition and any adjacent updates or remodel projects you’ve included to proceed according to the design and schedule you worked out. If there are any hiccups, your
contractor will communicate and troubleshoot with you promptly. So sit back and relax, soon you will be enjoying the summer breeze from the swing on your new porch.

Transform your Siding in San Francisco CA with our expert remodeling services. From simple updates to complete renovations, Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights has the expertise you need. Contact us for a free estimate and let us help you create the bathroom of your dreams.

Mares & Dow Construction has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our team of general contractors are home remodeling experts and can help you with your next project. Contact us today to get started!

2019 Home Remodeling Trends

Home Remodeling Trends

A new year means new resolutions, fresh starts, and, for some, big ideas for home remodeling projects. Whether you are planning something large or small, there are several trends to keep an eye on for 2019. Some of the popular projects of the year lend themselves to DIY-ers with a healthy Pinterest habit, while still others may benefit from the expertise of your local home remodeling contractor. Whatever categories your project falls under, here are a few ideas and trends to consider for your next home remodel.

Kitchens and Bathrooms

A nice, transformative kitchen or bathroom remodel is an annual favorite and 2019 is no different. There are several ways to approach this type of remodel, and the one you choose may depend on your vision, budget, and space. One way to transform a kitchen or bathroom is to update a selection of high impact features or fixtures. In the coming year, many people are opting to drop overhead cabinets in kitchens and instead embrace a more minimalist aesthetic. In order to compensate for the loss of storage of overhead cabinets, some people will install a floor-to-ceiling storage wall, like an updated butler’s pantry – ideal for smaller spaces. In bathrooms, a statement shower enclosure can have a big impact and completely change the look of a space. In both kitchens and bathrooms, trading out old fixtures like tiles, sinks, or cabinets can be an easier, but no less impactful, project. In 2019, designers are predicting that fixtures with seamless features, clean lines, and subtle metallic finishes or splashes of bold color will be the popular trends to watch out for. Of course, for some people, this may be the year that they gut the kitchen or bathroom for a clean slate and opt for all of the above!

Exterior Renovations

Though exterior renovations might not be considered as glamorous as a new master bathroom, they are some of the home remodeling trends projects with the greatest return on investment and can also have a significant effect on the look and feel of your front or backyard. Roofing projects or foundation repair immediately improve the value and integrity of your home, while installing skylights or adding a retaining wall with a decorative concrete finish can also increase curb appeal. Additionally, these projects can have a big impact on the energy efficiency of the home, which means you begin earning your money back with your first utility bill. In 2019, many homeowners may opt for the path of exterior renovations, as it is a solid investment and can provide an updated outdoor landscape for them to enjoy in the years to come.

Home Remodeling Trends in San Francisco CA with our expert remodeling services. From simple updates to complete renovations, Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights has the expertise you need. Contact us for a free estimate and let us help you create the bathroom of your dreams

Serving the Bay Area since 1983, Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights are home remodeling experts that also offer experienced general contracting services.  Contact us today to discuss your next home remodel project.

Finding an Experienced and Knowledgeable General Contractor

general-contractor-san francisco

The many components to conducting a construction or home remodeling project can feel overwhelming at first glance, and hiring a residential general contractor can be a huge help in sorting and prioritizing all the elements of a project. The process of hiring a general contractor, however, can also feel like a challenging task. You want someone who is skilled, reliable, and experienced – but how do you go about finding a contractor with those characteristics? A good start is to determine the qualities that are important to you in the contractor you will work with on your project and then to look to your network for recommendations. You likely have friends, coworkers, or neighbors who have recently completed a home remodel and know a general contractor to recommend, or in some cases to avoid. Create a list of the top three to five general contractors and begin reaching out.

Interview more than one general contractor

Once you have generated a good list of recommended general contractors, schedule time to discuss your project with them individually. Outline your job, including materials you are looking for and any design inspiration. If you anticipate any tricky components to the process, go over your questions and concerns and see what ideas they may have for problem-solving. It may be helpful to walk through the space being remodeled or the site where construction will occur, so the contractor can get an idea of any limitations of the work environment. It is also important to discuss your budget. A contractor may be able to bring you savings in the long run by leveraging professional relationships they have with certain materials suppliers or skilled subcontractors. And don’t hesitate to ask for references from other projects they’ve contracted on and to reach out to those references to learn how the contractor works.

Don’t go with the cheapest bid

The contractor who bids the lowest elicits a few red flags, namely that they will cut corners and cost you more later in repairs. Generally, a contractor should cost about 10 to 15% of what you anticipate spending on the rest of the line items for the project. However, there is a lot involved in each project, including some unanticipated expenses. If this is your first kitchen remodel, for example, you may not have an accurate picture of what the final cost of the project will be. Of course, the more remodeling projects of the same type you have completed, the more precise an idea you will have about the total expense. But until you’ve cultivated your own expertise, it is a good idea to rely on the expertise of a general contractor and a safe rule of thumb to avoid the lowest bidder.

Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our general contractors are experienced and knowledge with home remodels in the San Francisco area.  Ready to start your next project?  Contact us today!

Waterproofing your Basement – What you Need to Know

waterproofing - after

Waterproofing your basement is important, not just to protect your belongings but also to maintain the quality of the foundation of your home. In the San Francisco Bay Area’s drier climate where rain comes now and again, a leak could remain unnoticed for a while, and because the soil is dry, when a large rainfall comes, the soil may runoff causing water to interact with the foundation differently over time. As housing prices increase, more homeowners are looking to finish their basement, either for storage or additional living space. Waterproofing is where protecting your investment in your home begins. This is why waterproofing your basement in the San Francisco Bay Area is important.

Check Drainage

There are several strategies for waterproofing your basement and the right solution for you depends on the origin of the water. Water can be entering your basement because of inadequate drainage or due to the water moving through the soil. If your home has poor drainage, the water running off your roof does not move away from your home. In this situation, you can extend downspouts, clean gutters, and increase grading around your house. You can start by checking your gutters and cleaning and repairing any damage you see. Downspouts should be placing water at least four feet away from your home for adequate damage. Lastly, look at the soil around your home to ensure it is sloping away from your home.

Employ Sealants

These drainage steps can help move water away from your home but may not solve your current or future water issues. Due to the intermittent rain in the Bay Area, it is possible that water will continue to change its flow year over year. To address these issues, you will need interior sealant, exterior sealants, or other exterior drainage methods. To stop water from damaging your basement, you can use interior wall and floor sealers. This is a category of sealants that prevent water from entering your basement by creating a waterproof interior. These are usually silicate-based, acrylic waterproof paint, or concrete waterproof coatings.

French Drains

Keeping water from coming in contact with your basement foundation is often a preferred waterproofing strategy, yet requires different methods. To keep water that moves through the soil from backing up against your foundation, exterior drainage such as a French drain can keep water away from your home. A French drain is a subsurface drain that directs water safely away from your home. Exterior sealants are effective to keep water from entering your basement walls. This requires removing the soil around your home and placing a sealant around the foundation to keep water out.

Often a combination of drainage improvements and sealants is the best choice for homes. This depends on the land around your home and your foundation. Contact the general contractors at Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights today to learn more about waterproofing your basement.

Creating a Schedule for your Next Home Remodel

Home Remodeling Contractors in San Francisco CA

Home remodel projects, whether you are adding another level to your home or simply adding a small bump-out, can alter your typical routine and disrupt the normal order of your home until they are finally wrapped up. The end result is always worth it, but it can be a relief when you get your newly remodeled home to yourself again. But how long before you can enjoy the fruits of your labor? Putting together a schedule for your next project can help you get an idea of what to expect and is an essential tool for evaluating if the remodel is on time and on budget.

Plan it out

The first step in your home remodel should be a thorough and well-researched planning process, which you can anticipate taking around one month. This portion of your project includes articulating your vision, budgeting, and yes, creating a timeline. At this point, it is also a good idea to acquire any permits or wiring or plumbing schematics you may need to begin your remodel.

This phase of your project can also be helped along with the expertise of a home remodeling contractor or general contractor in your area – don’t hesitate to use them as a resource. At Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights, we are happy to walk through the project with you, discuss the experience we have with the type of remodel you are doing, and share our insights in the planning process.

The next several steps of your remodel will vary depending on the size and complexity of what you are doing with your home, but generally speaking, most projects take between three and eight months to complete. When constructing your home remodel timeline, be sure to give yourself a little wiggle room. No matter how well prepared you and your team are for your project, it is very normal for there to be timing hiccups. Giving yourself a little padding in your schedule acknowledges Murphy’s Law while reducing your stress levels.

Schedule the project parts

For the bulk of your home remodel, there is usually an order of operations that is standard and ensures your project will go smoothly. For example, it makes sense to plan to do electrical and plumbing work after demolition and before framing and drywall. Once you know in what order to tackle the different parts of your project, you can start to build your timeline. As an example of a generic home remodel timeline, you can estimate two weeks for demolition; five days for electrical and plumbing; ten days for framing and drywall; one week for painting; ten days for installing fixtures and cabinets; five days for doors and windows; one day for cleaning up the project area and cleaning your air vents; one week for flooring; and one week for trim and finishing work. Lastly, be sure to keep in mind that some of these components of a home remodel may be able to overlap, while others will require the completion of the previous step before the next can begin.

Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our general contractors are home remodeling experts and enjoy working with homeowners as they start the process with their next project.  Contact us today to get started on your home remodel!

Home Remodeling Trends

Trends in Home Remodeling

Every year there is a new wave of remodeling and design trends that seek to capture home owners’ attention. This year, many of the trends are driven by a homeowner population that is staying longer in their homes and are seeking to revitalize their space and utilize more of it in efficient ways to fit their changing needs, all without breaking the budget. These remodeling goals can also be summarized by a trending design concept: lagom, which is a Swedish word meaning, “just the right amount,” and is meant to evoke designs that are understated and balanced. When you start working with your home remodeling contractor to put together your next project, consider these simple yet impactful ideas.

Large, open spaces

Many homeowners are embracing large, open spaces in their kitchens and living room, methodically removing walls and counters that break up the rooms. These spaces are also being remodeled to be diffused with natural light by adding large, energy efficient windows and skylights. For an even more minimalist design effect, kitchens are also being outfitted with open shelves instead of cabinets. An open kitchen or living room allows for more friends and family to gather, sharing the space for a dinner party or game night with ease.

Finished basements and attics

Why undertake an involved home addition when there is perfectly good space already available? Often underutilized, basements and attic designs are now the subject of many homeowners’ remodeling projects. Basements are transformed into offices and craft rooms or a place to lounge in solitude. Attics are reimagined as reading nooks and playrooms. Instead of using them as just another storage space, finishing one of these previously forgotten rooms can feel like your home just gained a significant amount of desirable square footage.

Remodeling for accessibility

A more functional but no less popular remodeling trend is to adapt homes for their multi-generational residents with greater accessibility needs. Many families now require houses that not only accommodate the new arrivals of children, but also parents and grandparents. For some homes, this means widening doorways and hallways and renovating bathrooms so they are wheelchair accessible or introducing ramps at entrances. In other situations, it may mean constructing a new room on the ground floor for easy, stair-free access. As more and more families welcome more generations into their homes, they are turning to creative remodeling solutions to reimagine their space in a way that can comfortably accommodate their changing needs.

Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our team of general contractors are home remodeling experts and can help you with your next project.  Contact us today to get started!

© Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights, Inc.
Customer rating: 4.5 / 5 Mares Dow Rating based on 57 reviews
Like Us On Facebook  Follow Us On Twitter  RSS Feed