Choosing the Right Tiles for Your Bathroom Renovation

Choosing the Right Tiles for Your Bathroom Renovation

Tiles are not merely functional components but a canvas upon which your bathroom’s ambiance and style come to life. The selection of tiles can define the mood, create visual intrigue, and harmonize the various elements of your bathroom design. Read on to learn how to choose the right tiles to transform your bathroom.

1. Durability and Maintenance

When it comes to bathroom tiles, durability and maintenance are essential. Choose materials that can withstand the moisture, humidity, and daily wear and tear that bathrooms endure. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are popular choices due to their water-resistant properties and ease of cleaning. Natural stone tiles, such as marble, granite, and travertine, add a touch of luxury but require more maintenance.

2. Size and Scale

Larger tiles can make a small bathroom appear more spacious, as fewer grout lines can break up the space visually. On the other hand, smaller tiles can create intricate patterns and textures that add visual interest to larger bathrooms.

3. Color Palette

The color palette you choose for your bathroom tiles can influence the mood and atmosphere of the space. Light-colored tiles like whites, creams, and pastels can create an airy and serene ambiance. Darker hues, like deep blues or charcoal grays, lend a sense of coziness and sophistication. Keep in mind your preferred color scheme and the overall aesthetic of your bathroom when selecting tile colors.

4. Finish and Texture

Floor tiles with a non-slip or textured finish can prevent accidents, especially in wet areas. Glossy tiles reflect light and create a polished look, while matte tiles offer a more subdued and sophisticated appearance. Combining different tile finishes can add depth and visual interest to your bathroom design.

5. Tile Type

Different types of tiles are designed for specific areas of the bathroom. Floor tiles should be durable and slip-resistant, while wall tiles should be aesthetically pleasing. Wall tiles near wet areas (like showers and bathtubs) should have water resistance. Porcelain or ceramic tiles are often suitable for both walls and floors as they offer a cohesive look throughout the bathroom.

6. Pattern and Layout

How you lay your tiles can dramatically impact the overall design of your bathroom. Straight-set patterns offer a clean and modern look, while diagonal or herringbone patterns add a touch of elegance and sophistication. Incorporating mosaic tiles as accents can create focal points or add visual interest to areas like shower niches or backsplashes.

7. Budget Considerations

Choosing the right tiles for your bathroom renovation is a meticulous process that involves balancing aesthetics, functionality, and your personal preferences. Whether you’re aiming for a serene spa-like atmosphere or a bold and vibrant statement, the appropriate tiling will be the foundation upon which your dream bathroom is built.

If you want to elevate your bathroom space with top-notch renovations, look no further than Rob Shea Carpentry LLC. With our commitment to excellence and years of experience in the industry, we are the top choice for transforming your bathroom into a functional and aesthetic masterpiece. Contact us today to get started!

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Custom Carpentry for High-End Kitchen Spaces: Elevating Luxury and Elegance

Custom Carpentry for High-End Kitchen Spaces: Elevating Luxury and Elegance

For those seeking to transform their kitchen into a high-end culinary haven, custom carpentry offers an unrivaled opportunity to elevate luxury and elegance to new heights. Read on to explore the artistry and craftsmanship of custom carpentry specifically tailored for high-end kitchen spaces.

The Essence of High-End Kitchen Design

A high-end kitchen is not merely a functional space but an exquisite work of art. It embodies a harmonious blend of sophistication, functionality, and timeless elegance. Every detail is carefully curated to integrate aesthetics and practicality seamlessly. From premium materials to intricate finishes, a high-end kitchen exudes a sense of luxury that captivates the senses and leaves a lasting impression.

The Artistry of Custom Carpentry

Custom carpentry is the cornerstone of creating a high-end kitchen that stands out. It goes beyond off-the-shelf solutions, offering tailored designs that reflect the homeowner’s unique style and preferences. With custom carpentry, every aspect of the kitchen can be personalized, from the cabinets and islands to the countertops and shelving.

Custom Cabinetry

In a high-end kitchen, the cabinetry takes center stage. Carpenters can craft exquisite cabinets that are aesthetically pleasing and highly functional. From handcrafted solid wood doors adorned with intricate moldings to sleek modern designs with hidden hinges, cabinetry can be customized to elevate the kitchen’s allure. Pull-out spice racks, hidden compartments, and built-in organizers ensure that every utensil and ingredient has its designated place, creating an organized and clutter-free environment.

Stunning Kitchen Islands

Customized carpentry allows homeowners to design the perfect island to suit their needs. The possibilities are endless, from marble or granite countertops to exquisite woodwork and built-in wine storage. Kitchen islands can also be customized with specialized features, such as integrated cutting boards, prep sinks, or even a professional-grade range, transforming the island into a chef’s dream workspace.

Handcrafted Finishes

Finishes play a pivotal role in creating a luxurious ambiance. Custom carpentry allows handcrafted finishes that add depth and character to the space. Intricate woodwork, custom millwork, and hand-rubbed stains create a sense of artistry that exudes opulence and refinement.

Tailored Shelving and Display Units

Custom carpentry extends beyond functional elements and includes bespoke shelving and display units. These personalized spaces offer an opportunity to showcase culinary treasures, cherished heirlooms, or curated collections. Glass-front cabinets with interior lighting create a captivating visual display, adding elegance to the kitchen.

Specialized Storage Solutions

One of the hallmarks of a high-end kitchen is its exceptional organization. Custom carpentry allows for specialized storage solutions tailored to the homeowner’s needs. From custom drawer dividers to pull-out pantries and integrated recycling bins, these thoughtful features enhance the kitchen’s efficiency and make every task enjoyable.

Custom carpentry is a worthwhile investment for homeowners seeking to elevate their kitchen to the epitome of luxury and elegance. With skilled artisans at the helm, every detail is carefully curated to create a kitchen that is as unique as it is stunning. 

Rob Shea Carpentry is the one to go to when creating a custom kitchen space that embodies luxury, functionality, and unparalleled craftsmanship. Our masterful artistry shines through in every project as we craft bespoke cabinetry, stunning kitchen islands, and handcrafted finishes that elevate the kitchen to new levels of elegance. We will strive to ensure that every element of the custom kitchen aligns perfectly with your style. Contact us today, and let’s start creating a space that is truly one-of-a-kind.

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Transforming Your Kitchen into a Chef’s Paradise

Transforming Your Kitchen into a Chef's Paradise: Must-Have Features

Are you a passionate home cook or an aspiring chef? Do you dream of creating culinary masterpieces in a kitchen that inspires and empowers your creativity? If so, it’s time to transform your kitchen into a chef’s paradise.

Read on to explore the must-have features that will elevate your cooking experience and turn your kitchen into a functional and stylish space.

Ample Counter Space

Every chef needs sufficient space to chop, mix, and prep their ingredients without feeling cramped. Consider adding an island or extending your existing countertops to create a spacious and versatile workspace. With enough room to spread out your tools and ingredients, you’ll experience a seamless cooking process that enhances multitasking.

High-Quality Appliances

Investing in high-quality appliances can take your cooking to the next level. A professional-grade range with multiple burners, precise temperature control, and a convection oven can be a dream come true for any cook.

A powerful ventilation system is also essential to eliminate odors and ensure a comfortable cooking environment. Moreover, consider installing a double oven or a steam oven for added versatility and convenience.

Smart Storage Solutions

Organization is critical in every kitchen, and smart storage solutions can make all the difference. Incorporate deep drawers, pull-out shelves, and adjustable dividers to keep your cookware, utensils, and ingredients neatly organized and easily accessible. Install a pot rack or a hanging shelf for pots and pans, freeing up cabinet space and adding a touch of visual appeal. A well-organized kitchen lets you focus on your culinary creations instead of searching for the right tools.

Effective Lighting

Proper lighting elevates the visual appeal of the kitchen while creating an inviting atmosphere. Incorporate a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting to create a well-lit workspace. Pendant lights above the island or the cooking area can provide focused illumination, while under-cabinet lighting ensures visibility while prepping ingredients. Dimmer switches are another great option to adjust the lighting intensity according to your needs and create the desired ambiance.

Thoughtful Layout

A thoughtful layout can streamline the cooking process and enhance your workflow. The “kitchen work triangle” concept, which involves positioning the refrigerator, sink, and stove in a triangular layout, offers optimal functionality.

High-Quality Materials

Choosing high-quality materials enhances the aesthetic appeal of your kitchen and ensures durability and longevity. Opt for durable countertops such as quartz or granite, which can withstand the rigors of daily cooking. Invest in sturdy and easy-to-clean flooring options like tile or hardwood, and consider stainless steel appliances for a sleek and professional look. Quality materials will withstand the demands of a chef’s kitchen and retain their beauty for years.

Kitchen renovation not only improves the aesthetic but also enhances the mood and spirit of the entire family. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or an aspiring home cook, these features will elevate your cooking experience and turn your kitchen into a true chef’s paradise.

Ready to transform your kitchen into a chef’s paradise? Allow the expertise and craftsmanship of Rob Shea Carpentry to step in while you get ready to unleash your culinary skills and prepare delicious meals in a space designed to bring out the chef in you! Schedule a consultation with our experienced team to help us create the kitchen of your dreams together!

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The Perks of Adding a Sunroom to Your Home

The Perks of Adding a Sunroom to Your Home

Are you considering adding a sunroom to your home? Not only does it add beauty and value, but there are several other benefits to having a sunroom. Keep reading to see why a sunroom might be a good investment for your family.

A Year-Round Oasis

A sunroom is the perfect addition to any home because it offers an oasis of relaxation and tranquility that can be enjoyed all year. With its abundant natural light and panoramic views, a sunroom provides an ideal space for lounging, reading, meditating, or entertaining guests.
During the warmer months, a sunroom can serve as a seamless extension of your outdoor living space, allowing you to bask in the sun and enjoy the fresh air. In the winter, a sunroom can provide a cozy and warm refuge from the cold, where you can curl up with a good book or simply enjoy the view of the snow-covered landscape outside.

Increased Home Value

The extra square footage and additional functional living space add to your property’s overall appeal, making it more attractive to potential buyers in the future.
Homebuyers appreciate the appeal of a sunroom as it provides a unique living space that merges the indoor and outdoor environments, offering a more relaxed, spacious, and cozy atmosphere. The additional space can be used for various purposes, such as a living area, dining room, playroom, or even a home office.

Lower Energy Bills

Adding a sunroom to your home can also save you money on energy bills. How, you might ask? Well, sunrooms are designed to maximize the amount of natural sunlight that enters the space, which means you can rely less on artificial lighting, thereby reducing your energy usage.

Improved Health

Aside from creating a beautiful and functional space for your home, adding a sunroom also has health benefits. Sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, which is essential for maintaining strong bones and a healthy immune system. Exposure to natural light can also help regulate our body’s natural sleep cycle, boost our mood, and even increase our productivity.

Enhanced Mood

We all know the power that sunshine has on our mood. Just a few minutes in the sun can help us feel more relaxed, rejuvenated, and happy. So, imagine having a dedicated space in your home that’s flooded with natural light throughout the year. That’s exactly what a sunroom can provide!

Not only does a sunroom give you a great place to unwind, but it can also enhance your productivity and creativity. Studies have shown that exposure to natural light can improve focus and mood.

When adding a sunroom to your house, it is essential to entrust the construction project to reliable building contractors. At Rob Shea Carpentry, our goal is to provide our customers with an exceptional experience. Our Building Division manages every aspect of larger construction projects, including home additions like second-story additions, in-law suites and apartments, sunrooms, family rooms, dormers, finished basements, and more. Contact us today to book a consultation!

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Cabinetry 101: Choosing the Right Materials and Design for Your Space

Cabinetry 101: Choosing the Right Materials and Design for Your Space

When it comes to home design, cabinetry plays a critical role in both form and function. Cabinets are more than just storage solutions; they are often the centerpiece of your kitchen’s design. Choosing the right cabinetry for your space can be daunting, but with some knowledge about materials and design options, you can make an informed decision that will serve you well for years.
Read on to explore the different materials and designs you can choose from to build an aesthetic and functional kitchen space.

Material Options

There are several materials to choose from when it comes to cabinetry, each with its unique benefits. Here are the most common options:

1. Solid Wood

Solid wood is considered a classic and high-end choice for cabinetry due to its durability, longevity, and ability to be refinished. However, it can be expensive and vulnerable to warping and cracking if not properly maintained.

2. Plywood

Plywood is a popular choice for cabinets due to its affordability and durability. It is made up of thin layers of wood glued together, which makes it resistant to warping and cracking. However, solid wood may have a different aesthetic appeal than plywood.

3. MDF

Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is an engineered wood product that is made by breaking down wood fibers and combining them with resin to create a dense, stable material. It is an affordable option that is easy to work with and resistant to warping and cracking. However, it is vulnerable to moisture damage and may not hold screws as well as other materials.

Design Options

Once you select your cabinetry material, you can focus on the design options that will best suit your space. Here are some of the most popular design options to consider:

1. Cabinet Door Styles

Cabinet door styles range from classic to contemporary, and the right choice depends on the overall design aesthetic of your space. Some popular options include shaker-style doors, raised-panel doors, and flat-panel doors.

2. Hardware

Cabinet door styles range from classic to contemporary, and the right choice depends on the overall design aesthetic of your space. Some popular options include shaker-style doors, raised-panel doors, and flat-panel doors.

3. Color and Finish

The color and finish of your cabinetry can tie the room together or make a statement on their own. Consider the overall color palette of your space and choose a finish that complements it. Popular options include natural wood finishes, painted finishes, and high-gloss finishes.
With the right cabinets in place, you can enjoy a functional and beautiful space that meets your needs for years to come.

Choosing the perfect cabinetry for your space requires material knowledge and design expertise. Rob Shea Carpentry LLC can help you create the kitchen of your dreams. From custom cabinetry to unique design solutions, we have the expertise to transform your kitchen into a functional and beautiful space that perfectly fits your lifestyle.
Contact us today and start planning your dream kitchen renovation.

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Five More Kitchen Styles to Inspire You

Five More Kitchen Styles to Inspire You

In the previous blog, we looked at five popular styles for your kitchen remodel. If you haven’t yet fallen in love with any of those styles, we are happy to offer you five more ideas for inspiration.

At Rob Shea Carpentry, we would be delighted to help you bring your dream kitchen to life.

Industrial Style

The industrial kitchen style is inspired by the look of old factories and warehouses. This style typically features exposed brick walls, concrete floors, and stainless steel appliances. The use of metal, wood, and glass creates a sleek, modern look that would be perfect for you if you love industrial design.

Mediterranean Style

The Mediterranean kitchen style draws inspiration from the sun-drenched coastlines of Italy, Greece, and Spain. It’s characterized by warm, earthy colors like terra cotta, ochre, and deep blue, which are often paired with natural materials like stone, tile, and wood. Hand-painted tiles with intricate designs are a common feature in Mediterranean kitchens, as are wrought iron accents and rustic wood finishes. The use of expansive windows brings the outdoors inside while creating a sense of openness and relaxation. This style would fit your home if you want to infuse your kitchen with a touch of rustic elegance and a warm, inviting atmosphere.

Mid-Century Modern Style

The mid-century modern kitchen style is inspired by the sleek, minimalist design of the 1950s and 60s. It features clean lines, bold colors, and geometric patterns. The use of materials like teak, walnut, and brass will add warmth and texture to your kitchen. The cabinets are typically flat-paneled and handleless, with a mix of natural wood finishes and painted surfaces, while the countertops are often made of materials like quartz or laminate. This style would be perfect for you if you appreciate the simplicity and elegance of mid-century design and want to create a timeless and stylish kitchen at the same time.

Cottage Style

The cottage kitchen style is inspired by the cozy, charming homes of the English countryside. This style features whimsical elements like floral wallpaper, open shelving, and vintage-inspired lighting. Soft, pastel colors like pale green, pink, and blue will help you create a soothing and relaxing atmosphere.

Scandinavian Style

The Scandinavian kitchen style is inspired by the clean, minimalist design of Northern Europe. This style features white walls, light wood floors, and simple, functional design. The use of natural materials like wood, stone, and wool will create a warm, inviting atmosphere that’s perfect for modern living.
Choosing the perfect style for your kitchen remodel can be an exciting and sometimes overwhelming process. The ten styles we have shared over the span of two blogs provide a diverse range of options to inspire your creativity and help you find the perfect fit for your home.

At Rob Shea Carpentry, we are dedicated to helping you make your dream kitchen a reality. Our team of experts can assist you in creating a customized design that perfectly fits your style and functional needs. Contact us today to start planning your kitchen remodel project and let us bring your vision to life.

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Five Ideas For Your Kitchen Remodel

Five Ideas For Your Kitchen Remodel

Are you planning to remodel your kitchen? At Rob Shea Carpentry, we are happy to assist with jobs of any size. We have a service division that was created in order to take care of smaller projects, such as kitchen remodels, for clients just like you.

In this blog, we’ll share five kitchen remodeling styles to inspiration you. Once you make up your mind, we can install custom, built-in cabinets and furniture in your kitchen to create a space you will love.

Traditional Style

The traditional kitchen style is timeless and elegant. It features classic design elements like:
  • ornate cabinetry
  • cupboards with paneled or glass doors
  • icebox or latched hardware
  • vintage light fixtures.
When entering a traditional kitchen, you would often find yourself walking across a hardwood floor and looking at countertops made of natural materials like granite or marble. A traditionally-styled kitchen creates a cozy and welcoming atmosphere emphasizing the importance of spending time with family and friends.

Modern Style

The modern kitchen style is all about clean lines, simplicity, and functionality. Its key elements are:
  • sleek handleless cabinets of two or more colors and finishes
  • stainless steel appliances
  • reflective surfaces made of high-tech materials like quartz.
If you are looking to add a futuristic vibe to your house, the cutting-edge design of a modern kitchen would be a perfect choice.

Rustic Style

The rustic kitchen style is inspired by the natural beauty of the outdoors. It features elements like:
  • exposed wood beams
  • stone walls
  • natural materials like slate and clay tiles
  • wooden flooring and cabinets.
Rustic kitchens often have a warm, cozy feel, with a focus on earthy colors and textures.

Farmhouse Style

The farmhouse kitchen style is another popular choice, featuring a mix of traditional and rustic elements. This style typically includes features like:
  • shaker-style cabinets
  • apron-front sinks
  • open shelving
  • cabinetry with traditional raised panel designs.
Soft, muted colors like cream, beige, and light blue help to create a comfortable, inviting atmosphere. If you want to create a weekend getaway vibe in your very own home, choose this style for your kitchen.

Coastal Style

The coastal kitchen style is perfect for those who love the beach and the sea. This style typically features light, airy colors like white, beige, and pale blue. Nautical elements like rope, driftwood, and sea glass are often used as decorative accents. The coastal style common features are:
  • rattan or wicker furniture
  • window treatments that let as much sunlight in as possible
  • waterproof flooring.
A coastal style kitchen is the perfect place to enjoy a morning cup of coffee or a leisurely dinner with family and friends.

Now that we’ve explored five common kitchen styles, we hope you’re feeling inspired to start planning your own kitchen remodelling project! Whether you prefer the timeless elegance of a traditional kitchen, the sleek and functional design of a modern kitchen, the natural beauty of a rustic kitchen, the cozy atmosphere of a farmhouse kitchen, or the beachy vibes of a coastal kitchen, Rob Shea Carpentry can bring your vision to life. We can install cabinets and furniture to perfectly fit your chosen style, creating a space that not only looks great but is also functional and practical. Contact us today to start planning your kitchen remodel project and stay tuned for the next blog with five more kitchen style ideas!

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Maximizing Your Home’s Value with Professional Remodeling Services from Rob Shea Carpentry LLC

Maximizing Your Home’s Value with Professional Remodeling Services from Rob Shea Carpentry LLC

Your home is a significant investment, and remodeling can help increase its value and appeal. Professional remodeling services from Rob Shea Carpentry LLC can help you achieve your renovation goals and maximize your home’s value.

Here are some ways in which our remodeling services can benefit you while also increasing your home’s value.

Increase Curb Appeal

The first impression your home gives to visitors and potential buyers is the one they get from standing on the curb outside looking at it—hence the idea and importance of curb appeal. Remodeling your home’s exterior can increase its curb appeal, making it more attractive and welcoming. From updating your siding and roofing to installing new windows and doors, we can help you create an eye-catching and modern exterior that will make your home stand out.

Upgrade Your Kitchen and Bathrooms

Kitchen and bathroom remodels are some of the most popular renovation projects for homeowners. Upgrading your kitchen and bathrooms can make your home more functional and attractive, and also increase its value. From installing new countertops and cabinets to upgrading your plumbing fixtures and appliances, we can help you create the kitchen and bathrooms of your dreams.

Create More Living Space

If your home feels cramped or lacks the space you need, remodeling can help. Adding a room or creating an open floor plan can help you make the most of your home’s space and increase its value. Our remodeling services can help you design and build the extra living space you need, whether it’s a new bedroom, a home office, a larger living room, or simply a better layout.

Improve Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficient upgrades can help you save money on your utility bills while also increasing your home’s value. From upgrading your windows and doors to installing insulation and HVAC systems, our remodeling services can help you improve your home’s energy efficiency and sustainability.

Enhance Your Home's Safety and Security

Home safety and security are essential for peace of mind and value. Our remodeling services can help you install new security systems, smoke detectors, and other safety features to protect your home and family. We can also help you upgrade your doors and windows for improved security and peace of mind.

Customized Remodeling Solutions

At Rob Shea Carpentry LLC, we offer customized remodeling solutions tailored to your specific needs and preferences. We work closely with our clients to understand their goals and vision for their home to create a design that reflects their style and taste. From small updates to major renovations, we can help you transform your home into your dream living space.

Professional remodeling services from Rob Shea Carpentry LLC can help you maximize your home’s value and appeal. Whether you’re looking to increase curb appeal, upgrade your kitchen and bathrooms, create more living space, improve energy efficiency, enhance safety and security, or all of the above, we have the expertise and experience to help you achieve your renovation goals. Contact us today to learn more about our remodeling services and start planning your dream home renovation project.

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Top 5 Tips for Finding the Right Building Contractor for Your Home Renovation Project

Top 5 Tips for Finding the Right Building Contractor for Your Home Renovation Project

Renovating your home can be a significant investment of time, money, and effort. One of the most important decisions you’ll make during the renovation process is choosing the right building contractor. A reputable and experienced contractor can help you achieve your renovation goals, while a bad contractor can turn your dream project into a nightmare.
Here are the top five tips for finding the right building contractor for your home renovation project:

1. Check for Licenses and Insurance

Before hiring a building contractor, it’s essential to verify that they have the proper licenses and insurance. Every state has its licensing requirements, and some states require contractors to have specific certifications or licenses to work on particular projects. Verify that the contractor you’re considering has all the necessary licenses and certifications to work in your state.

Insurance is also critical because it protects you from liability in case of accidents or damage to your property. Ensure that the contractor has liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance, which protects you if any of their employees get injured while working on your property.

2. Check Their Portfolio and References

Before hiring a contractor, ask to see their portfolio of past projects, including before and after photos. This will give you a sense of their style and quality of work. Additionally, ask for references from their past clients and follow up with them to ask about their experience working with the contractor. Ask the references questions about the contractor’s communication, reliability, and attention to detail. Also, find out if the project was completed within budget and on time.

3. Get Multiple Quotes

It’s crucial to get quotes from multiple contractors before making a final decision. Compare their quotes and the scope of work they’re proposing. Don’t just go with the cheapest option. Sometimes, a higher quote means a more experienced and skilled contractor who can do a better job. Ask the contractors for detailed breakdowns of the costs, so you can understand what you’re paying for.

4. Communication Is Key

Good communication is crucial for a successful renovation project. You want a contractor who will listen to your ideas, understand your vision, and communicate with you throughout the project. Ask the contractor about their communication style and how they will keep you updated on the project’s progress. Also, make sure they are responsive and prompt in returning your calls or emails.

5. Trust Your Gut

Finally, trust your instincts when it comes to choosing a contractor. If you have a bad feeling about a contractor or don’t feel comfortable working with them, it’s best to move on to another option. You want to work with someone you can trust and who has your best interests in mind. A good contractor will be transparent and honest with you and won’t pressure you into making decisions that aren’t right for you.

Choosing the right building contractor for your home renovation project is crucial to its success. By following these tips, you can find a reputable and experienced contractor who will help you achieve your renovation goals, such as the experts at Rob Shea Carpentry LLC. If you’re in Vermont and want your builds, remodels, and renovations done right, contact us today and we’ll get you started.

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Children Shouldn’t Play with Blocks

Children Shouldn’t Play with Blocks

When we see a child playing nicely on the floor, we encourage them to build something, anything they want, with the blocks that we have laid before them. From that pile and nothing more than the imagination of that child, the adults in the room sit and watch a tower being built. This sparks excitement for all viewers as the structure grows taller; more words of encouragement are uttered to keep the children building and constructing. Then, as if by magic, a three-foot-tall tower, complete with a sitting room for a stuffed animal is standing before our eyes. The child beams with pride and so do the adults in the room. “Can I knock it over now?” the child eagerly asks, and of course, that is part of the fun. We watch as the tower that was so painstakingly designed and erected crumbles to the floor with the teddy bear in tow. 

The second the last block hits the floor so too does that child’s dream of becoming a carpenter. The same adult that, seconds ago, encouraged his or her child to build and create something amazing now tells the child that college is the only true path, that a job in the trades is not a wise choice. It is as if having a career in the trades is a direction to take only if a person can’t cut it in an office setting. Adults have been telling children and teenagers for years, ‘if you can’t get in to a good college, then maybe you should consider getting a job in the trades’. The negative stigma that has been associated with the trades, especially since the turn of the century, has created a skilled labor gap that we desperately need to work to reverse. 

In Vermont, the average age of a contractor is mid-fifties. Over the next decade we will see a rash of knowledgeable, skilled, hardworking, trades-people retiring without young people to replace them. A career in the trades is full of endless opportunities for growth- both personally and professionally. It is possible to take vacations, raise a family, and own a home with a career in the trades. Working in the field allows individuals the opportunity to challenge themselves physically and mentally. Some of the most knowledgeable people with whom I have had the privilege of associating, had careers as carpenters, plumbers, and electricians to name just a few. With the lack of skilled labor, the everyday customer suffers with wait times that continue to grow by the day. 

So, go ahead, throw away all of the building blocks children inherently love. Don’t dangle that carrot out in front of them if you believe that building is not a legitimate career choice for your child. Or instead, I challenge you to think about all this world has to offer us. Ask yourself, what do you truly know about the construction industry? I encourage open mindedness and an honest discussion about what constitutes a successful career and future. The trades are not for everyone, but importantly, college is also not for everyone. Neither is better than the other. They are just different paths to take so please don’t label one or the other as good or bad. I ask that the trades get a fair shake as an amazing option for anyone’s future career. 

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