Big Fish Construction Helps People Love Their Homes

Take one married couple, add an unwavering work ethic, and mix in a commitment to quality. The result? Big Fish Construction, serving the South Puget Sound Region and Tacoma area. Big Fish helps people love their homes and business sites by providing construction services at competitive rates.

In 2010 Laurie and Doug Hoggard created Big Fish Construction, LLC. Laurie’s skills, which include extensive experience with business management, banking, and finance, complemented Doug’s 30 years as a Union Carpenter. Together they launched their own small business, and today it is accomplishing big things!

Big Fish is proud to offer a full menu of residential and commercial services. Inside the home, the team can assist with kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, and finish carpentry.

Outside, Big Fish also provides additions, decks, garage renovations, and siding services. The company is also leading the area as a contractor offering “aging-in-place” modifications for homes. Aging-in-place projects let homeowners continue to live independently and safely in their own homes.

These renovations include ADA-compliant wheelchair ramps, as well as wheelchair-accessible bathrooms and easier-to-navigate kitchens. This service is relevant whether you already have some physical limitations, or instead to stay in your home for the long run.

For commercial services, Big Fish Construction knows how to deliver the optimal combination of premier technologies and efficient practices. This helps business owners improve the aesthetics and function of their workplaces. When working with historic sites, Big Fish is noted for its ability to preserve the original integrity of existing structures, while performing the necessary repairs.

In addition to commercial remodels and historic renovations, the Big Fish team also offers warehouse reconfigurations. This is an interesting service to consider if your current layout needs safety, efficiency, and cost improvements. Instead of an expensive relocation or expansion project, reconfiguring your warehouse saves time and money, keeping you in the same spot by maximizing its available space.

Clients remark on Big Fish’s professionalism and flawless workmanship. Doug and Laurie go above and beyond to meet their clients’ needs, whether that’s finding someone to fix your heater on a cold night (and staying until it’s fixed!) or making a special trip to the county’s permit office to expedite securing necessary permissions for your project. Customers are repeatedly impressed by the crew at Big Fish Construction and the team’s quick and clean construction at a reasonable price. They are truly invested in providing excellent customer service.

Responsible Contractors is delighted to include Big Fish Construction, LLC in its directory and recommends their services without hesitation. Find their full profile here: https://www.responsiblecontractors.com/contractors/Big_Fish_Construction.html

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7 Concrete Ideas for Home Improvement Projects

Forget granite and hardwood floors – concrete is a fresh take on interior design that wins across the board. A mixture of stone, sand, and water, cement hardens into a slate-like material that is notable for both its durability and its customizability. Because it is poured, it can fit any space or shape you need it to. When using concrete as a home design element, it is typically described as a “modern industrial” look. Concrete is sleek, minimalist, affordable, and will serve as a neutral background so that other elements in your home can shine.

Here are 7 ways you can include concrete in your house:

  1. Countertops and Sinks

If you like cooking without the fuss of cleaning up, consider installing a concrete countertop. It can easily withstand heat and is one of the most affordable options out there. If you have an ideal size or shape in mind, concrete can be molded to accommodate your kitchen’s space. Concrete is available in a range of colors and it has a beautiful finish that rivals any granite or quartz countertop. You can even incorporate a built-in kitchen sink, which will retain heat when you are washing dishes in hot water and will insulate the area from the garbage disposal’s noise.

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  1. Stamping

Stamped concrete is a unique architectural element that stands to add beauty, originality, and value to your home. Select a color and design that tie into your house’s existing style, especially if you are using it in a room’s focal point such as a fireplace. You can use stamping outside for pool decks, driveways, or patios. You can also choose a stamp pattern that mimics the natural texture of stone or wood for indoor or outdoor spaces.

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  1. Soundproof wall

Another benefit of concrete? It is a noise-blocking material. The denser the concrete, the greater the sound insulation. Painting or plastering over the concrete will increase its noise blocking properties even more. You can use this to your advantage in the form of soundproof walls and ceilings. If you are a musician, you can even create a space with concrete with excellent acoustics!

  1. Heated Concrete

If you live somewhere where winter is long and harsh, consider installing heated concrete snow melting systems. Contractors can design and install customized heated driveways and sidewalks to improve safety and remove the need to shovel after every snowfall.

  1. Bathrooms

You can make concrete work for you by getting a custom-size tub or shower unit to fit the available space. It is possible to upgrade to built-in heated coils within the tubs to maximize its insulating properties and keep water hot for longer. As for a concrete shower and floor – no grout means no cleaning grout lines!

  1. Custom Design Walkway

Concrete is the most versatile material for customizing your walkway, driveway, and pathways throughout your yard. You can choose to have it stamped to look like wood or stone, but at a more affordable price. Or you can pick colors, patterns, etchings, and textures to make something truly unique. Neutral, earth-tone shades will blend nicely into your landscaping, or you can go with a brighter stain in pinks, blues, or yellows to highlight certain areas.

  1. Game courts

If you have any sports fans at home and your budget allows, consider installing your own game court! A thick concrete slab is durable and creates a uniform surface play. Just check the yard for grading or draining issues, as well as building codes, before you pour the concrete.

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Responsible Contractors has several concrete contractors available to help you with these and other home improvement projects. Find the full listing here: https://www.responsiblecontractors.com/concrete_contractor.html.

 

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Built-In’s Beyond the Bookshelf

Built-in features help enhance your home’s look and maximize usable area. Moreover, they are an excellent way to create a custom design for your house that stands to increase its value in the long run. Built-in’s can be incorporated into both the house’s interior and exterior, depending on your needs. Consider any one of the following projects as a means to seamlessly integrate more storage and visual interest into your living space.

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The Kitchen Nook

A little retro, a little minimalist, the kitchen nook is an interesting take on the built-in. Typically this involves two permanent benches facing each other or in a L-shape around a grounded table. It is an easy way to get eating space into an otherwise small kitchen. Hang a lovely light fixture over the table and consider making the benches open from the top or sides as additional storage space.

 

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Window Bench Seat

While we’re talking about benches, adding a bench seat under a window is another way to add an interesting design element to a room. Pick a window with a particularly good view or one that lets in lots of natural light. The built-in bench seat is a great option for a sitting room, a master bedroom, or a child’s room, where you can store blankets, books, and toys in or under the bench.

The Aquarium

A good aquarium does not have to take up a lot of space to have a visual impact. Small aquariums make stunning built-in’s in a kitchen’s backsplash area, a dining room, or in a family room. Some people make use of the aquarium as a room divider. This is an effective way to create a separation of space without a solid wall, so that you can still see through the aquarium into the other room.

The Desk

Your home office can be built-in to the room where you are most inclined to work. A table customized to your size preference between built-in shelving or bookcases keeps the area organized and streamlined. So even if your house does not come equipped with a designated office, you can build one into the space you have available.

The Headboard

Beds do not have to be a traditional four-poster or headboard-footboard design. Try something different with a built-in headboard. Using a wood, stone, or tile design, create a headboard directly on the wall. Another take on this built-in idea is to construct a headboard with built-in bookshelves.

The Shoe Bench

Whether it’s one shoe-loving person or a family of five, chances are you can benefit from a built-in shoe bench or shoe rack. If you want it available for everyone’s footwear, incorporate it into a mudroom or an entry area. This unit also works well in the closet if you need it to organize an entire shoe collection.

The Flower Box

Inside or outside, the built-in flower box is a beautiful and convenient way to showcase your plants. You can construct it from the ground up, so that it sits at knee or waist-level, or elevate it so that it is attached to a window sill and out of reach from pets and children. Either way, it is a simple and elegant way to incorporate greenery into your space.

Beyond the Basic Bookcase

Still, among the most convenient built-in’s, there remains the bookcase. Placed around a fireplace, in a home office, under a bench, or even built into a bed unit, bookcases can be used for books or other decorative elements. Think beyond the traditional bookcase and combine any of the ideas outlined above with your shelving needs, and you are on your way to creating a personalized, interesting space!

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Responsible Contractors understands that homeowners want the best professionals available to assist them with their custom home designs. Check out their free-to-search directory of verified, qualified contractors here: https://www.responsiblecontractors.com/.

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The Repair Works – the Premier Electrical Lighting Professionals

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Even the savviest home improvement DIY-er knows most electrical projects need to be left to the professionals. The Repair Works is Puget Sound’s premier electrical contractor for commercial, industrial, and utility outdoor lighting projects. The team is expertly trained to install, repair, and maintain complex electrical systems, ensuring the safety of its users.

In 1985 John Fisher founded The Repair Works, and is still the owner and operator today. He built his business on three main pillars. First, the company pledges to deliver efficient and affordable service. The Repair Works owns all of its own lifts, trucks, and vans, so that they are always prepared to respond to a client’s needs in a timely and well-equipped manner. Second, the business is set apart from its competitors with its commitment to professionalism. Electrical work is potentially dangerous and mistakes can be costly. The Repair Works technicians have the expertise and experience to diagnose issues and make the necessary repairs.

In addition to service and professionalism, John’s business is, above all, customer-oriented. He prioritizes building relationships with satisfied clients, many becoming loyal and repeat customers after a positive experience with The Repair Works’ service. The team encourages communication and invites prospective and existing customers to contact them with questions about how to best achieve their project’s objective.

For services, The Repair Works is best known for its work installing, maintaining, and repairing outdoor electrical lighting for commercial and industrial clients. Using their 62 foot boom truck, the team regularly installs and services lighting for streets, parking lots, sports fields, commercial properties, and signs. Some of their clients include schools, government agencies, homeowner associations, and property management companies. The Repair Works has truly made a name for itself by providing troubleshooting and installation services quickly and with little disruption, so that businesses can resume normal activity with a fully operational electrical system.

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Beyond basic lighting installs and maintenance, the Repair Works also provides underground fault location. This is a vitally important service informing property owners where underground pipes and cables are located. Techs can identify any malfunctions and complete speedy repairs using a minimally invasive vacuum excavation. This method is ideal for a safe and cost-effective for excavating pipes and cables. It is also non-damaging, so that repairs can be performed without affecting surrounding infrastructure or landscaping.

The Repair Works also performs specialty services including equipment relocation, control systems troubleshooting and repair, power system analysis, surge protection and grounding, warehouse and high ceiling lighting, and asphalt cutting. Additionally, techs are able to install precast concrete pole bases for outdoor lighting units. For projects beyond the scope of The Repair Works’ service menu, the business is partnered with G.G. Electric, Incorporated, a Washington State electrical contractor. Customers can be assured that The Repair Works will find a way to help them address any needs related to their electrical systems’ operations.

Although the business’ clientele is largely comprised of commercial and industrial customers, homeowners can also contact them for assistance with high ceiling lighting repair and installation. These projects typically include complicated wiring and electrical components that are important to outsource to knowledgeable professionals.

Responsible Contractors happily recommends The Repair Works as a team of lighting professionals with a verified reputation for safe and effective work. See their full profile here:

https://www.responsiblecontractors.com/contractors/Repair_Works.html.

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Northwest Natural Lighting Helps People Brighten Up Their Homes

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Northwest Natural Lighting is the leading expert in Washington for natural light installations. They have exclusive contracts with the best product distributors in the state, including Solatube and the Mirage Retractable Screen. In addition to lighting, they also offer railing services through their division, NNL Railing. Today, NW Natural Lighting is the first choice for local homeowners and contractors who want energy efficient solutions for brightening up their homes!

Over twenty years ago a contractor, a banker, and a manufacturing engineer combined their talents and skills to start NW Natural Lighting. During a routine kitchen remodel, the team first learned about Solatube, a tubular daylighting device that pipes in sunlight where traditional skylights or windows cannot. TDDs are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and mood-boosting, importing natural light and reducing the need for electricity. Recognizing their value, NWNL contacted Solatube International in California and won the distribution rights to sell the skylights in Washington state. Today consumers can purchase the Solatube from NWNL as a DIY kit or hire the team to install the system. The product is available in a range of decorative fixtures, so you can be certain that it will blend seamlessly with your home’s existing style.

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NWNL is also keeping homes bright and cool with its Mirage Retractable Door Screen, first introduced in 1997. The screen lets the fresh air in while keeping bugs out, and gives you a completely unobscured view of the outdoors. The team measures and installs in one trip to make the process as convenient as possible for customers. The screen is customizable to a number of door and window sizes and is available in a variety of colors. Mirage tracks easily and without a hitch, disappearing into a discreet and compact housing unit. You have a screen only when you want it. It has a lock option and is sturdy enough to withstand pressure from pets or children pressing against it.

Similar to how Solatube systems and the Mirage Screen keep your energy costs down, NWNL also offers the Solar Powered Solar State Attic Fan. It is lightweight, leak proof, and whisper quiet, while protecting your attic from heat and moisture. In doing so, the fan saves homeowners money by ventilating the attic and balancing interior and exterior temperatures, so that your air conditioning and heat systems are not working overtime in the summer and winter.

In 2000 NWNL created its Railing division, providing railing systems to residential and commercial clients. Their showroom features samples of customizable rails, specializing in Aluminum Railing Systems. The powder coated aluminum material is peel and flake-resistant, saving you money and preserving the appearance of your space. The NNL Railing professionals are experts in safe and efficient installations, and also offer sun shades, canopies, and trellises. For commercial projects, NNL does custom-built trellises and enclosures.

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Prospective customers are invited to visit NWNL’s showroom in Edmonds, WA or set up an in-home appointment. Either way, you can be confident that you are receiving superior service and the best products available for your natural lighting needs.

Responsible Contractors enthusiastically recommends Northwest Natural Lighting and NNL Railing to help you brighten your home! Find their full profile here: https://www.responsiblecontractors.com/contractors/Northwest-Natural-Lighting.html.

 

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Choosing Window Treatments For Your Home

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Shades can give you privacy while still letting light into a room.

No one window treatment fits all when it comes to your home. While you may want privacy and light-blocking curtains in a bedroom, you might also enjoy a softer, light-filtering option for your living space. Beyond function, different size spaces and windows demand scaling the treatment accordingly. Finally, your style preferences come into play when it comes to choosing between drapes or blinds, dramatic or minimalist, and bright or neutral.

Here’s how to think through picking window treatments for every room in your house:

1.What do you need the treatment to do?

Do you have little kids or pets who necessitate picking a cordless or retractable option? If you want to preserve privacy for the room’s inhabitants, say for a bedroom or bathroom, you want to look for materials that obscure an outsider’s view. Lined curtains work, or if you opt to let light in but protect your privacy, cellular (honeycomb) shades are a fantastic and attractive option. If you are a light sleeper, maybe you would benefit from a light-blocking drapery.

Window treatments can also be used to great effect to insulate your home or preserve its airiness. If you are concerned about trapping heat in a room, choose an insulated, substantial fabric. Alternatively, if you live in a climate where you enjoy opening your doors and windows most of the year and need to keep air circulating, you are better off with a breathable material or screen.

The first step to choosing a treatment is knowing what you need it to do, functionally. Then you can consider your options for accomplishing this objective.

2. How do you want the treatment to look?

Is this meant to be a statement piece in a room or fade into the background? If you are using the treatments to highlight windows, then you need to pick an option that is somewhat bolder so that it draws the eye when someone enters the room.

The most obvious choice for a dramatic look is a rich-colored or textured curtain or drapery. A floor-to-ceiling look will accentuate the window’s height and frame the view outside. You can add a swooping valance on top for extra embellishment. You can lighten up the overall look by choosing semi-sheer materials, or go with something heavier like velvet, tweed, or tapestry.

However, beyond the world of curtains, there are also now more visually interesting blinds and shades made from fabric, wood, bamboo, and vinyl.

If you want the treatment to blend in with the rest of the room, look for softer, light-diffusing, neutral-colored options. Consider making it a retractable treatment, that can be pulled up or moved over to one side easily.

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3. Consider alternative options.

Your choice does not have to come down to curtains or blinds. There are ways to accomplish light-blocking with shutters, or protect your privacy with stained glass. You can layer treatments so that you can adjust them accordingly to your needs. For example, layering an airy Roman shade under heavy, insulated floor-to-ceiling drapery is one way to let in the sun when you want, and close up the room when you need to keep it warm.

If you don’t see colors or patterns that your fit your style, work with a professional window treatment specialist on a custom design. Contractors can walk you through selecting the best curtain or shade to match the room’s size, your functional needs, and the house’s overall style.

Responsible Contractors has a free, anonymous-search directory of qualified, verified pros who can help you choose the best window treatments for your home. Check out your local contractors here: https://www.responsiblecontractors.com/blinds_shades_contractor.html.

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DIY Home Improvement Projects for Under $25

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It doesn’t have to cost a lot to improve your home. A house is charming thanks to the little details – a fun paint color, quirky fixtures, and thoughtful décor throughout. Fortunately, it is completely affordable to start updating your home today. Skip your daily drive-through coffee or lunch out for a week and you will be able to complete one or more of the following projects:

Update Light Switch Covers

Sure, light switch covers are usually a basic white rectangle. But did you know that they also make ‘em in bronze, brass, nickel, and a variety of colors? Replacing your light switch covers is a quick and inexpensive way to bring instant personality to a room. Creative covers start at under $3.

Add a Light Dimmer Switch

While you are thinking about upgrading your light switch, consider adding a dimmer switch. For less than $10, you can add ambient lighting to any room. This is a particularly nice option for dining rooms or bedrooms, where you may want to control brightness.

Rescue Old Furniture

There are lots of ways to give old furniture new life. If you are an enthusiastic DIY-er, find a tutorial on stripping and recovering couches or chairs for the cost of fabric, or you can sand down and restain or repaint wooden furniture. If you like how your furniture looks already, you can still switch up how it looks with a new plush throw or some pillows. Or you can find a local thrift or consignment shop to search for budget-friendly treasures.

Get Organized

Storage systems can be as simple as installing a few shelves or purchasing nice-looking containers. For a child’s toy room, you can buy or repurpose a bookshelf and store collapsible canvas boxes. In the pantry, use a label maker to designate shelves for specific categories of items (i.e. “canned goods”) and hang a hook to store aprons in an easy-to-find spot. Clear your laundry room by putting up a rod and adding hangers – you can use this to air dry clothes or sort your ironing.

Add Mirrors

Mirrors are an excellent, cost-effective alternative to framed art. It can be functional – update your bathroom vanity’s mirror or hang a small one by the front door to check your reflection before leaving. Hanging one or two big ones in your living space can give the impression of a larger room, as well as reflect light so that the entire area seems brighter.

Weather Stripping Your Door

Feel that cold air blowing in through your front door, even when it’s locked shut? That’s your house begging for new weather stripping. Knock this project out in an afternoon to save money on your energy bill for the rest of the year.

Replace Your Outdoor Lighting

Most homes come equipped with the same generic porch light, but there are actually a variety of styles and finishes available. The same goes for walkway and path lights. Adding lighting to a patio or pool is a great decorative touch for people who spend a lot of time in their backyard.

Unexpected Paint

Yes, you can freshen up the white trim around your windows and repaint your door the same muted beige. Or, you can use turquoise blue, a sunny yellow, or a surprisingly neutral plum to highlight flower boxes or re-do your shutters. If not your house, you can always repaint a rocking chair and place it on your porch. Inside, you can highlight areas with lively paint colors, like the backsplash area in the kitchen, the wall above a chair rail, or even a room’s ceiling!

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Need help expanding these DIY ideas into bigger remodeling projects? Check out Responsible Contractors for a comprehensive directory of the area’s most qualified contractors. It’s free to search and completely anonymous!

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