Innovative Building & Remodeling
Residential & Commercial

At Sams Brothers, Inc. we pride ourselves on not only being the authority in home and office building and remodeling, but also helping all of our clients and potential clients create their dream home or office.  The goal of our blog is to help provide the latest industry and product news and  information, free tips, and helpful ideas. Enjoy! 

November 3, 2015

3 Easy Interior Lighting Tips

Now that the days are getting shorter, you may be thinking more about the lighting in your home.  Here are some helpful tips when it comes to lighting the interior of your home:

1.  Overhead lighting is important, but shouldn't be the only source of light.  Be sure to include task lighting from table and floor lamps in living and sleeping areas, as well as under cabinet lighting in the kitchen to add warmth and character.  In the living room, a good tip is to light 3 of the 4 corners.

2.  Don't forget the dimmers!  Dimmers are extremely important to help set the atmosphere you are trying to achieve.  They make it possible to provide appropriate lighting for different tasks from cooking and cleaning to cozy dinner parties.

3.  Make sure your lighting is hung at the appropriate height.  Kitchen pendants should be between 30-36" from the island.  If you are sitting next to a table lamp, the bottom of the shade should be at shoulder height.  You can also find more information on the proper chandelier height by reading our previous blog post here

For help with your next home remodel project, contact us.  We are happy to help!

February 3, 2015

Three of the most overlooked home maintenance tips to help keep you safe and save you money.

So, the groundhog saw his shadow and we’re in for six more weeks of winter.  Make sure you are ready for the extra cold days with a few easy home maintenance and safety tips.  We’ve listed below the top three most over looked, yet easy tasks that can truly help keep you safe and save you money:

1. Clean the clothes dryer vent.  Vents that are clogged with old dryer lint are a leading cause of house fires.   Pull out the dryer and disconnect the vent pipe.  Once disconnected, vacuum the lint out of the pipe and the opening where it connects to the machine.   You should also go outside and wipe the lint off of the exterior dryer vent and make sure the flaps open and close easily.

2. Check your shut off valves for rust.  Look under your sinks and behind your toilets for the shut off valves. Inspect them for any rust and twist the handle to make sure it moves.  These valves aren’t used very often and can slowly rust without you even noticing.  If they don’t move, break out the handy WD-40 (it’s like oil’s version of duct tape in that it’s a home owner staple that can fix just about anything) and apply it to the handle shafts. Then, move the handles back and forth to get that miracle liquid worked into the threads.  You may need to give the oil an hour or two to penetrate and then try again.  This can save hundreds by helping to prevent a future flood caused by a rusted, broken valve.

3. Stove exhaust fan – Wash it to remove all the excess grease that collects there.  Not only will this increase the efficiency of your fan, but it will also help keep flames from spreading if a fire breaks out on your stove top.

Check back regularly for more home maintenance tips, design trends and ideas.  As always, feel free to contact us if we can provide any assistance with your home building or remodeling needs.

October 30, 2014

Five steps to help make your renovation process 
more efficient & safe

What can you, as the homeowner, do to keep things running smoothly?Here are five simple steps:

1. Recognize that every change impacts time and cost.  It’s to be expected, you will change your mind at some point throughout the process.  After construction starts, you may realize that you want to
add something or delete something, you 
may want to change paint colors, you may decide to go in a different direction all together.  We understand this.  It’s important, however, that you understand this as well.  Of course everyone can appreciate that adding to the project incurs time and costs additions, but sometimes, removing an item does too.  Even what seems to be a very small change will add time; time talking about the change you want, time for us to figure out how to re-work the change into the plan, time to reschedule and make everyone working on the project aware of the change, etc.  If there is a change that requires an additional purchase, factor in the time to purchase the item, the cost of the additional item, the cost of re-scheduling, etc.  It’s perfectly fine to change your mind, we are happy to work with you, but please understand that any change impacts cost and will likely set back your completion date.

2. Make decisions promptly.  It’s best to make all decisions prior to the start of the project, but sometimes, that can’t be done.  Especially, when there is a change.  When the time comes to choose your flooring, lighting, fixtures, etc., you don’t need to make hurried or hasty decisions, but don’t drag your feet either.  Lots of times, contractors use a subcontractor for electrical and plumbing work, therefore, we need to work around their schedule as well. The delay you make in choosing, for example, your lighting or plumbing fixtures escalates into a delay in a parts order, a scheduling conflict with the subcontractor, and issues with not being able to paint or finish something else until the subcontractor completes their work, delaying not only the installation of the part, but the finish work for the entire project.  One small delay in your decision making can lead into a huge delay.

3. Communicate.  This goes hand and hand with making decisions promptly.  When we call, email or text, please respond.  If we contact you with a question, please respond promptly.  Your delay in responding to us can also escalate into increased delays and costs.

4. Try not to interrupt us while we are working.  We enjoy building relationships with our customers, however, when we are elbow deep in drywall, running sharp tools, swinging hammers and overall focused on the task at hand, please try to refrain from distractions.  Not only is it unsafe, but for every one minute we stop to chat, you can add up to a five minute delay in work (taking into consideration the time to get back to the original flow prior to the distraction), adding to the final completion time.  Of course, if the conversation is vital to the project we are working on that day, feel free to interrupt!  If it isn't, try to save it until the end of the work day.

5. Keep kids and pets away from the work area.  We love kids and animals, but having them around while we are working is simply unsafe.

As always, feel free to contact us if we can help with any winter preparation or emergency repairs, we're happy to help!

June 18, 2014

The Proper Chandelier Hanging Height

In addition to home maintenance tips, we also like to provide interior design tips from our in-house interior design expert. Here's a great one answering a common question we receive about chandelier height.

If you have any other questions about interior design, you can trust the professionals at Sams Brothers, Inc. contact us, we'd be happy to help!