RESIDENTIAL

Demolition

Demolition can be one place a homeowner can save plenty of money on a project. It can be a great stress reliever, fun, and sometimes a treasure hunt. Demo can also require a bit of dissecting and a delicate touch by someone with building practices knowledge. This kind of work isn’t for everyone. We offer a wide arrange of demo services. Most services are for the specific remodel at hand, but we have the capability of removing structures from properties as well. Some demolition can be very green by nature. Some materials can be recycled and others donated to businesses like habitat for humanity. The average time spent on demolition for a whole home around 2,000 square feet is a week. Most homeowners demo the entire interior of their home for two reasons: the home is outdated or not big enough. Schedule an appointment and find out how we can better service your demo needs.

Footing and Foundations

Concrete FootingsFootings are an important part of foundation construction. They are typically made of concrete with rebar reinforcement that has been poured into an excavated trench. The purpose of footings is to support the foundation and prevent settling. Footings are especially important in areas with troublesome soils. The construction of footings is best left to the pros that can assess the soil conditions and decide on the proper depth and width for the footings as well as the proper placement. The dimensions of footings also depend on the size and type of structure that will be built. Placement of footings is crucial to provide the proper support for the foundation and ultimately the structure. Concrete Foundations T-ShapedA traditional foundation method to support a structure in an area where the ground freezes. A footing is placed below the frost line and then the walls are added on top. The footing is wider than the wall, providing extra support at the base of the foundation. A T-shaped foundation is placed and allowed to cure; second, the walls are constructed; and finally, the slab is poured between the walls.In summary:T-shaped foundations are used in areas where the ground freezes.First, the footing is placed.Second, the walls are constructed and poured.Lastly, the slab is placed.Slab-on-grade foundationAs the name suggests, a slab is a single layer of concrete, several inches thick. The slab is poured thicker at the edges, to form an integral footing; reinforcing rods strengthen the thickened edge. The slab normally rests on a bed of crushed gravel to improve drainage. Casting a wire mesh in the concrete reduces the chance of cracking. A slab on grade is suitable in areas where the ground doesn't freeze, but it can also be adapted with insulation to prevent it from being affected by the frost heaves. (see below)In summary:Slab on grade used in areas where ground does not freeze.The edges of the slab-on-grade are thicker than the interior of the slab.The slab-on-grade is monolithic (poured all at one time).Frost ProtectedThis method only works with a heated structure. It relies on the use of two sheets of rigid, polystyrene insulation—one on the outside of the foundation wall and the other laid flat on a bed of gravel at the base of the wall—to prevent freezing, which is a problem with slab-on grade foundations in areas with frost. The insulation holds heat from the structure in the ground under the footings and prevents heat loss from the edge of the slab. This heat keeps the ground temperature around the footings above freezing.In summary:Only works with a heated structure.Has the benefits of a the slab-on-grade method (concrete poured monolithically) in areas subject to frost.Concrete is poured in one operation, versus 3 pours required for T-shaped foundations.Helical PierA helical pier is a steel shaft with helices, similar to a large screw, that provides a foundation support for various types of structures. The shaft is usually square and manufactured in 5 foot sections. Helical piers are often used when challenging soil conditions prohibit a traditional foundation system. They are also commonly used to correct and support existing foundations that have settled or failed. The helical piers main function is to support and stabilize the structure’s load bearing walls by transferring the weight of the structure off the weaker soils and onto the piers. One of the key benefits of helical piers, is that they can permanently lift a sunken foundation back to its original level.

Kitchens

Kitchen remodels can be one of the most extensive remodels your home can go through. Beauty and function are just as important as all the kitchen components you don’t see. To assure that our clients are delivered a kitchen they can be proud of and an ease of mind that it was done correctly, the project could involve all building trades across the board. In Iowa, homeowners can expect about a 69 percent recoup rate on their investment. This is one of the highest recoup rates for a home. The kitchen is the heart of any home. It is one of the biggest determining factors for most potential home buyers.As a general contractor, we offer complete management of the project from start to finish. This includes consulting, designing, blueprints, planning, scheduling, quality control, and building. We offer a team of the best sub-contractors in the area who are licensed, insured, and knowledgeable in their respected specialty trades. HBH also offers a wide range of products and materials for your desired design to fit any realistic budget. We can deliver a quality kitchen that you will be eager to show off. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Bathrooms

Bathroom remodels are the most expensive remodel per square foot in a home. The recoup rate is around 70 percent. Keep in mind that not all bathroom remodels are alike. There is no set price for all bathrooms. A 45-square foot bathroom, completely remodeled, brought up to code by licensed and insured contractors, contractor grade materials, and on the first floor can cost a homeowner $11,000. That’s roughly $244 per square foot remodeled and upwards to $315+ per square foot for a bathroom addition. Where does all that money go? Design Fees: 4%Installation: 20%Fixtures: 15%Cabinetry & hardware: 16%Countertops: 7%Lighting & ventilation: 5%Flooring: 9%Doors & Windows: 4%Walls & Ceilings: 5%Faucets & Plumbing: 14%Other: 1%Remodeling magazine puts this number at a national average of $16,000 for a midrange and $50,000 for a master bath. Remodeling Magazine defines a midrange bathroom remodel in the following manner: “Update an existing 5-by-7-foot bathroom. Replace all fixtures to include 30-by-60-inch porcelain-on-steel tub with 4-by-4-inch ceramic tile surround; new single-lever temperature and pressure-balanced shower control; standard white toilet; solid-surface vanity counter with integral sink; recessed medicine cabinet with light; ceramic tile floor; vinyl wallpaper.”Schedule an appointment today and let us help you design a bath that fits all of your needs and comforts.

Doors

Doors are a great way to express your style. We offer service for garage doors, exterior doors, French doors, patio doors, and interior doors. Our services include general maintenance and repair to full replacement. Proper door installation is a must for energy efficiency and function. The door manufacturer market is saturated with options for anyone’s needs and some manufactures offer a complete custom build option to fit even the most bizarre of needs. Doors are a prime example of you get what you pay for. Seal technology, trim and door material, wood species, glass, and finishes all play a huge role in pricing. A 36” exterior door can range from $100 to $3,000. Most manufactures have a seal technology they offer. Trim options vary greatly from style and finishes. Frame and door options are pretty common across manufactures. They all seem to offer a basic pine, oak, maple, walnut, aluminum, and fiberglass. Some manufactures offer a mix for exterior doors. For example, a fiberglass exterior and a wood interior. Schedule an appointment and tell us how we can help you with your door project.

Windows

Windows can be one of the most confusing items to have replaced. The options alone for a single window manufacture can be over whelming. I’m sure you have seen the commercial…” Any size window, installed, only $200” What they don’t tell you is that they can keep these prices so low because they use the lowest grade materials available to construct their windows. Even if the windows are installed properly you will most likely have air leaks which can be costly to your energy bills. Did you really save any money? -Leaky and inefficient windows, skylights, and glazed doors account for more than 25 percent of the average household's energy bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. You can cut energy costs by as much as 15 percent by buying windows with double-pane insulated glass, heat-resistant coatings, airtight frames, and/or Energy Star ratings.-Cut noise with insulated or double-pane windows featuring 1/4 inch to 1 inch of air (or argon) between the panes. Wider air spaces and thicker glass reduce noise more.-Useful Life: Most manufacturers say windows should be replaced after about 20 years. Signs of a failing window include being sealed or painted shut, draftiness, and panes that collect condensation, ice, and frost.-Skylights provide 30 percent more light than vertical windows of the same size.-Add custom grilles to standard-size windows. Special grilles don't significantly boost a window's price, and you can even have grilles made based on a drawing or sketch. Ask a local retailer about the options and costs from various makers.-Solid Wood: Great insulator against heat and cold, but it's costly, requires maintenance, and is subject to swelling and contracting.-Aluminum: Strong, affordable, and low-maintenance, but conducts heat and cold.-Clad: The most expensive type, with wood frames inside and aluminum or vinyl shell on the outside; wood frame helps minimize the transfer of heat and cold, while exterior shell makes window low-maintenance.-Vinyl: Affordable and low-maintenance, but color may fade over time-Composites: Stronger and more durable than wood and vinyl, and priced between the two; can be painted to match a home's decor.-Low-emissivity (low-E) glass has a thin metallic coating that reflects heat back to its source, keeping heat inside the house in the winter and out of it in the summer. Low-E coatings also reduce energy costs and block UV rays while allowing 95 percent of natural light to pass through.-Awning: Comes in all sizes. Works well with fixed windows. Design allows window to remain open during a light rain.-Single- and double-hung. Classic styling. Makes for easy lifting, tilting, and cleaning. Doesn't protrude into adjoining areas such as porches, patios, or walkways-Casement: Easy to crank open. Works well with transom, awning, and picture windows. Great for over sinks, counter tops, and appliances, where leaning over and lifting a window open would be difficult.-Gliding: Like single- and double-hung models, won't interrupt usable space on adjacent porches, patios, or walkways. Good choice for basement locations because it brings in substantial light and meets egress requirements.-Fixed: Mostly architectural. Admits light and offers views.-Shatterproof glass, which has a piece of plastic sandwiched between two glass panes, gives homes an extra level of security against break-ins and severe weather. The fabrication produces glass that is two to four times stronger than standard window glass. These windows, which are now required by code in some hurricane-prone areas, are as efficient as low-E glass and also help reduce noise transmission.

Drywall

HBH offers a full service of drywall applications. From patchwork to whole homes, L1 finishes to L5, basic textures to specialty moldings, custom drywall art, and everything in between. L1-L5 finishes are defined in depth by the Gypsum Handbook. To shorten that chapter up, it is essentially a coat of drywall mud for every level (L). The tape coat would be a L1. Typically reserved for fire taping, garages, and any place that will not be seen. L2 would be a single finish coat over the L1 finish and so on. Typical house finish requires a L3 with some sort of texture coat. L5 is by far the most expensive and most appealing to the eye for smooth walls. L5 requires a 20mil coat of surfacer applied to the entire surface of the drywall. This level is typically reserved for high end structures and commercial applications. Schedule an appointment to discuss your specific drywall needs.

Tile

Tile can be a beautiful addition to any home. With such a wide variety of tiles available your design can be a bit challenging. Most tile use a rating from Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) The ratings are as followed:• PEI 0: Unsuitable for floors, and should only really be used as a wall tile.• PEI 1: Only for use on the floors of rooms where there won’t be much foot traffic at all, and generally without shoes. Probably not suitable for a bathroom if it’s the only one in the house and is used by everyone, but will be fine in bathrooms that see a bit less use.• PEI 2: Tiles suited for your everyday residential traffic – fine for your typical bathroom and most normal footwear, but you may want to instigate a rule for no heavy shoes or boots to keep them in top condition. Not ideal for a kitchen or hallway.• PEI 3: These will suit any room in the house, including all bathrooms and kitchens, and most hallways. They’ll stand up to any reasonable traffic in any kind of footwear, but if you regularly have a lot of people in and out of the house, you could need a higher rating.• PEI 4: These stand up to heavy foot traffic and will certainly cope with any residential hallway, although you’ll probably be a bit more limited on styles.• PEI 5: You won’t need to go this high in the home – they’re usually saved for shopping centers, hospitals and the like, and they’ll withstand just about anything.Some types of tiles have other ratings, though they’re usually a bit simpler to get on board with. Ceramic tiles in particular will usually have a grade from one to three – grade one is the best and will be ideal for a floor, grade two is best saved for a floor with less traffic, and grade three should only be used on walls.There are also various ratings for water absorption as well:• Impervious tiles absorb less than 0.5% of the water they come in to contact with, and can be used anywhere.• Vitreous tiles absorb less than 3%, and are fine for bathrooms.• Semi vitreous and non-vitreous tiles absorb more than 3%, and aren’t suitable for bathrooms.We also offer heated tile floors for any client concerned about the tiles. Heated tiles offer a great warm feel to the feet and act as a radiant heat for the entire room assisting in energy costs. Schedule an appointment today for all your tile needs.

Siding

Knowing when it is time to upgrade your siding is easy. Choosing what kind of replacement siding you want is not as simple. The choices available to you are extensive, with each material offering vastly different aesthetics, durability, energy efficiency, and price. Before upgrading or replacing your siding, it is important that you educate yourself on the different available materials, so that you can attain the aesthetics you want within the budget you’ve laid out. We have put together this guide to help you familiarize yourself with the different types of siding, so you can make the best choice based on your style, needs and budget. Vinyl SidingAccording to the U.S. Census Bureau, vinyl siding is the most popular siding choice in the U.S. today. This is due to the fact that vinyl siding is durable, comes in a range of color options, and it is relatively low cost. There are also a huge variety of profiles of vinyl, including: horizontal or vertical panels, Dutch lap, shakes, shingles, beaded, and fish scales or scallops. Advantages of vinyl siding•Vinyl siding is incredible durable and typically comes with a 30-40-year warranty post-installation•There is a huge array of color options when choosing vinyl siding•It is versatile in its textural options•It is easy to clean with just a power washer and a hose•It is often the most economical optionDisadvantages of vinyl siding•Vinyl siding is not waterproof (only water-resistant)•It can sometimes bend under extreme weather conditions, whether it be hot or cold•Once you choose a color, you cannot change it or repaint it•Hail and tree branches can leave dents and marks in the side of your homeFiber Cement SidingPerhaps the second most popular siding option is fiber cement siding. Fiber cement siding is a mixture of wood, sand and cement. It is created to look and feel like natural wood siding, but with greater advantages. Advantages of fiber cement siding•It has the same look and feel as wood, without the maintenance costs or susceptibility to insects•It comes with a class 1A fire rating•It is not prone to rot or decay and is also resistant to salty air in coastal areas•It is versatile in its finish and textureDisadvantages of fiber cement siding•It can be 2-3 more costly than vinyl siding•It needs to be repainted every 12-15 years•Color does not go all the way through the product, so if there are any chips or damages to the finish, touch-ups will be necessaryBrick Siding Brick siding is a popular siding option as it is considered to last forever. There are countless houses and buildings that are over 100 years old built with brick siding, and they are still in good condition. You can opt for regular brick or brick veneer, which is a finished exterior layer of brick that sits on the outside of the house.Advantages of brick siding•Brick can last over 100 years with not much maintenance required•It is fire resistant•It does not need to be repainted or finished and weathers very well•It is termite proof and durable, meaning home insurance is usually lower for brick siding housesDisadvantages of brick siding•It is one of the most expensive siding options available•Once you decide to paint the brick, it is almost impossible to return to the natural brick finish•Over long periods of time, mortar joints may deteriorate and may need replacing Metal SidingMetal siding comes in a few varieties, with the most popular types being aluminum and steel siding. Metal siding offers a modern aesthetic, and can provide your home with a unique look if installed properly. Aluminum is a good option in coastal areas as it protects your home from the salt air, while steel can be prone to rust but it is resilient to hail.Advantages of metal siding•Metal does not mold or rot•It does not require much maintenance•The siding will not fade•It is very eco-friendly because each panel is precisely cut, offering little waste of material•Metal siding is fire resistant (good if you live in dry areas or areas with many lightning storms)Disadvantages of metal siding•If not installed properly, it can lead to rust•Aluminum siding is a soft metal so can be dented easily•Steel siding is heavy and takes longer to install, making it a more expensive option•Metal siding will easily scratch and can rust quickly if not resealed and repaintedWood SidingWood siding is another popular siding option due to its natural and timeless look. There is a wide variety of wood species to choose from, including: pine, fir, cedar, and redwood.Advantages of wood siding•It is lightweight, making installation time quicker•Many agree that it is the eco-friendliest siding on the market•Wood siding can be stained and painted in custom colors•It has a high R-Value, and is very energy efficientDisadvantages of wood siding•While it can be stained limitless color, in doing so, it must be consistently maintained•Wood can be easily damaged over time by insects or water•It can be costly to maintain – required to be stained every 2-3 years and repainted every 4-5 years•It is not fire resistant, so it is not ideal for dry climate areasWith so many different siding options out there, it is important you do as much research as possible and weigh up the options of cost, durability, energy efficiency, and versatility before making a choice. We hope this guide has been educational in helping you decide on the best siding option for your home.