"Experience SBI" – The Remodeling Newsletter

Want to get free tips and hints for improving the appearance and livability of your home? Trying to sell a house and want to increase the value? Or are you looking for ideas on remodeling projects? You'll find all this and a lot more in Sound Builders' newsletter "Experience SBI".kk

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An old fashioned lamp post adds a little charm to this delightful water feature.

Remodeling Success 101

Q: Where does the punch list get its name?

A: The punch list is a list of tasks that need to be completed before the job is done and the final payment made. In most cases, the contractor and client walk through the home and generate the list together. It gets its name from a time before computers, when the contractor would write out a list then punch holes next to items as they were completed.

A Touch of Drama

Outdoor lighting can transform a home's exterior, and the best result comes from planning ahead.

An exterior remodel represents a huge investment of time, care and money. So it's not surprising that some people want show off their home's new look with outdoor lighting.

If you are considering adding lighting to your home, it's tempting to postpone thinking about it until the end of the project, but we suggest involving a lighting designer before you begin, for reasons of creativity and efficiency.

Creative Opportunity

Improvements in LED technology—including better energy efficiency, color rendering, beam spread and pricing—make it possible to transform a home's nightscape in more ways than ever.

Maybe you'd like to make a bold statement with the entryway, add visual depth to a dark back yard, or experience the mood of a candlelit dinner on the patio. You may want to highlight a new architectural or landscape feature and to change the effects with the season or even on a whim. The fixtures, light sources and controls now available put all this within reach.

Getting these effects requires a skilled lighting designer—someone who knows how to blend light of varying color and intensity from different angles and fixture types, as well as how to create attractive highlights while avoiding excessive bright spots and shadows.

A good designer will also make sure the lighting fixtures call attention not to themselves but to what's being lighted. Done right, the lighting will draw your eyes to the beauty of an architectural or landscape feature with no thought about where the light originated.

If your project includes a new deck or patio, involving the designer early means he or she can work with the remodeler to conceal the wiring, which could include building chases into the deck frame or running underground conduit in just the right places.

The art of creating a good lighting scheme also includes thinking about safety, both in obvious spots, such as steps, and in not-so-obvious ones, like landscape trip hazards.

Planning Ahead

When it comes to lighting, it's also a good idea to think about projects you might do down the road. If you plan to add a backyard dining area in a year or two and want the fixtures to match the ones you're buying now, consider buying them all at the same time. Lighting manufacturers are quick to drop particular lines when sales lag.

It makes sense to start thinking early about the lighting budget and whether to spend just enough for a basic scheme or to invest in a more dramatic statement that showcases the new exterior.

One reason a lot of people don't consider outdoor lighting until project's end is that they can't visualize how it will look. The good news is that many lighting designers use demo kits to show how various combinations of light will look. The advantage of a remodel is that the house already exists, so the designer may be able to do a preliminary demo early on to get you thinking, then a final one after the exterior work and landscaping (if any) have been completed.

As with most elements of a remodel, the earlier you start thinking about lighting, the more likely you will make wise decisions, both for your taste and your budget. Your remodeler and lighting designer can guide you through this process.

Warm regards,

Jay DePhelps, CGR, CAPS
Sound Builders Inc.
(206) 246-7100

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It is important working with a company that is responsive and keeps open lines of communication. We won’t hesitate at all contacting Sound Builders for future projects.

– Marsha and Steve P.



Sound Builders Inc. - PO Box 568, Ravensdale, WA 98051 Phone: 206-246-7100 or 253-859-7978 Email:
Washington State contractor license number: SOUNDB*241K0
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