Outdoor Lighting to Complement Your Home

back porch additionNot all outdoor lighting is created the same, and it requires more than just putting up a wall light and calling it a day. To create ambiance, it’s all about choosing the right type of lighting fixture for your home. Whether you have a small bungalow or a stately Victorian, your home has a distinctive look and feel and your lighting should match its personality.

First, assess the architectural style. When was it built? Is it more modern or traditional? Are there any defining characteristics? Once that is established, there is a vast array of options to choose from that can blend in with your home’s exterior. You’ll also want to make sure you’re choosing sturdy lighting, one that’s made of high-quality and weather-resistant materials.

Next, look at the colors that make up your stonework, siding and roofing. You will want to choose fixtures with complementary finishes in order to maintain a cohesive look. It’s also a good idea to match the proportion of your home with your lighting. Choose a light fixture that will align with the size of your home, you don’t want something so big it dwarfs your house or entryway.

Outdoor lighting not only provides ambiance, but it can also secure your home. Make sure all entry points of the home are well lit, and for added security, illuminate any side of the house in the shadows, such as side doors, walkways, and garages.

Choosing the right lighting is just one small piece of your home’s exterior puzzle. If you are  contemplating a home addition or major exterior upgrade, set up a time to talk with a designer about the possibilities. You can also learn more about additions, kitchens or other remodeling projects at an upcoming workshop. Check out the photo gallery or follow Normandy Remodeling on Facebook and Instagram for even more home tips and inspiration.


Online Reviews are Key to Finding the Best Remodeler

Woman looking at design ideas with her designer

Choosing the right company to help you remodel your home involves a leap of faith.  Unlike many other purchases you make, you can’t buy from 3 different companies, compare the items, and return the ones you don’t like.  So how do you decide which is the best remodeling company for you?

One of the most valuable tools available to consumers today are online reviews.  The second best thing to a personal referral from someone who just remodeled, is reading what other customers have said about their experience.  “Remodeling is a tough business, we’re tearing apart your home and interrupting your daily routine,” says Normandy Remodeling Owner Andy Wells. “Ultimately the best relationships come down to trust, and how that trust is maintained throughout the relationship.”

Online reviews provide a window into the daily interactions between the company and the customer. The words that homeowners choose to describe their renovation can tell you a lot about the type of relationship they have with their remodeler. “We believe strongly in the bond that is made between the homeowners and the designer, and your Normandy Designer is your main point of contact for the entire renovation, all the way through to the final inspection,” commented Andy.  “Our job as the company is to provide the expertise, the resources, the skill, training and talent to make the ideas envisioned by you a reality. We don’t believe in handing the customer from one department to the next, but rather maintaining that trusted relationship with one designer throughout the renovation.”

Modern kitchen in Chicago condo overlooking Lake MichiganWhile the actual renovation process is a piece of the puzzle, that experience is only part of the deciding factor when choosing a remodeler.  The quality of the products, the usability of the space, and how well the new space met your expectations are the results of your home remodel that you will enjoy for years.

Many people feel that a warranty offers some measure of security against poor craftsmanship, if an issue should arise in the newly remodeled space a few years down the road.  But not all warranties are created equal, and it pays to read the fine print.  “We feel it’s important to have a warranty that really has some teeth, which is why Normandy warrants the products, the labor, and all the structural elements of a renovation for 5 years,” notes Andy. Online reviews can tell you how the company has responded to any problems that have popped up after the project was complete. Make special note of repeat customers and the reasons they decided to purchase another project from their previous remodeler.

So if you are on the cusp of choosing a remodeling company for your project, where are the best places to find out what current and past customers are saying about your potential remodeler?
Logo for the Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau has been the standard for customer advocacy and quality companies for decades. Here you’ll not only want to look at reviews, but read any complaints along with details for how those complaints have been resolved.

Houzz.com has become a dominant player in the world of home improvement inspiration, and has reviews from customers who have been active on Houzz throughout their information gathering phases as well as their active construction phases.

Google is another resource for reviews on a company’s location page. Just type in “company name reviews” and you’ll see a company listing that links to their specific reviews on Google.

Guild Quality is a resource focused on the home improvement industry that allows companies to survey their past customers to make sure that the company is performing to the highest standards.

You’ll be well served to look through ALL the review websites for the company you’re considering to see what is said on the various sites. Some review websites seem to skew more positive, others more negative, and by looking through them all you’ll get a balanced view of a remodeler’s past performance. These few minutes of research can be invaluable when you’re about to spend tens of thousands of dollars with a company, and to help you ask the right questions or put your mind at ease.

Husband and wife looking at tile for a remodelSo you’ve read over the reviews, but would really like to talk to a real person about your potential remodeler?  Try calling your local building department. They interact with nearly every company that works in your town and knows which ones abide by the rules and which ones tend to bend the rules.  While some departments are very forthcoming of local builders and remodelers, others are not.  Virtually all of them will be able to tell you if a particular company has a good reputation in that town, or if you may want to consider another option.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask your potential remodeler to talk with past customers and visit current job sites.  You can then get your specific questions answered about how the renovation went and if they felt the company provided a good value for the project that was completed.

If you have a project in mind, done your homework, and are ready to take the next step, you can set up a time with one of our Designers to talk about the possibilities. You can also learn more about additions, kitchens or other remodeling projects at an upcoming workshop. Check out the photo gallery or follow Normandy Remodeling on Facebook and Instagram for even more home tips and inspiration.


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