Maintaining Your Gutters in 5 Easy Steps

Gutters are boring. When it comes to a home’s most appealing feature, gutters and downspouts rank right up there with attic insulation. But from a practical standpoint, the gutters that line the perimeter of your roofline play a vital role in protecting against water or other types of damage that can be expensive and time consuming to remedy. At Budget Construction Company, our family-owned business specializes in many affordable residential improvements to keep your home comfortable and safe, and help to improve its value in the long run.

Maintaining Your Gutters in 5 Easy Steps

The greater Chicagoland area is infamous for its brutal winters, so now is the best time to think of ways to prepare your home for colder weather, including repairing existing gutters, or replacing them with new, fully-warrantied units from the experts at Budget Construction Company. We have built our business and reputation by providing consumers with wallet-friendly solutions for all of their home improvement needs, and recognize the value offering common sense tips for homeowners when it comes to simple, everyday maintenance tasks around the house.

Maintaining your gutters and downspouts and ensuring their effectiveness for several years is not as difficult as it seems, if you follow these 5 easy steps.

  1. Check your gutters for signs of leakage following rain. If your gutters and downspouts leak, that could be a sign of holes or faulty caulking, or rivets and spikes securing the gutters are loose.
  2. Clean your gutters twice a year, once in the spring, and again in the fall. Gutters will clog during the year, thanks to natural debris such as leaves, dirt, or small branches, not to mention granules from roof shingles. Each of these can prevent water from draining properly, causing it to overflow onto the roof, into windows, or other sensitive areas around your home.
  3. Consider installing leaf protection. At Budget Construction Company, we can install gutter guard systems to keep your gutters clean, and from overloading downspouts with natural or other debris.
  4. Install downspout extensions. Typical downspouts end at ground level, but ideally they should extend far enough to redirect water away from your home. Flowing or sitting water not only causes mold, but can also damage your residence’s foundation and be a breeding ground for mosquitos and other insects.
  5. Ensure your gutters have been installed with the proper pitch. Any qualified roofing professional will tell you a gutter should drop one-sixteenth of an inch for each foot length of the gutter. This is mostly imperceptible to the eye, but you can check by placing a level on the top of the gutter, or just by observing the flow of water in the gutter in one direction.

Choose Us for All of Your Home Improvement Needs

The best way to protect your home year-round is to be proactive with maintenance chores, such as cleaning gutters and ensuring water flows away from your home. Simple DIY tasks can prevent costlier work down the road. For other tips, call us today at 773-283-9200 or ask about scheduling a free inspection of your roof, gutters, doors, windows, and other vital home components.

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Tips for Finding the Best Home Improvement Specialist

Now that you have decided to take the plunge on a complete kitchen makeover, it is important to protect your investment by selecting the best contractor available. You want a company that is qualified, professional, and provides value for your money at every turn. In Chicagoland and throughout Illinois, few home improvement specialists deliver all three like the team at Budget Construction Company. We have been Chicagoland’s leading home improvement specialist since 1975 because we deliver stylish, high quality, and affordable solutions for all of your kitchen remodeling needs, as well as new doors, windows, kitchens, bathrooms, roofing, and more.

Tips for Finding the Best Home Improvement Specialist

If you are in the market for a home improvement contractor, we would like to offer some tips to consider before signing a contract to have any work performed. Always remember:

  • – You control the purse strings. Our philosophy on this point is simple: Never let any company establish the budget for your new bathroom, kitchen, or other home renovation. Only you know how much you can afford, so make sure all project estimates meet the dollar amount you have in mind. Over the years, we have talked with many customers ready to start a major home improvement project without first seeing a detailed estimate. This is a mistake. At Budget Construction Company, we have built our business on professionalism, honesty, and quality workmanship, and never begin work without giving customers a written estimate — and agreeing to it in full.
  • – Get it in writing. With an estimate you can live with, the next step is signing a contract that clearly spells out the details for the work: estimated start and end dates, milestones, blueprints or construction drawings, and a materials list, among other specifications. Never agree to working with anyone based solely on a handshake.
  • – Warranties count for something. Considering how much you are planning to spend, it is perfectly reasonable to expect a contractor to warranty their work, including materials, in full. A home improvement company that does not offer a warranty is not worth your business.

Finally, ask for references. Thanks to a 40 year history as a top home improvement contractor in Chicagoland, we are blessed with thousands of satisfied homeowners, many of whom readily provide references at a moment’s notice. Not every business is so fortunate, but references are important because they speak to professionalism, quality workmanship, and other factors critical to completing work on time and within budget.

Other Points to Remember

It may sound clichéd, but we treat all customers as if they were members of our own family. Your investment is our investment, so here are a few closing pointers to keep in mind as you search for a home improvement company.

  • – Insurance is a must have. Home improvement companies must be licensed and carry insurance.
  • – Remember project goals, and refrain from making them up as you go along.
  • – Payments for services rendered should only be delivered after milestones spelled out in a signed contract. Also, most established and reputable contractors have the resources to purchase supplies and materials before work begins – meaning a down payment is not necessary.

Lastly, ask whether the company belongs to any trade groups or professional organizations. In our case, Budget Construction Company employees belong too many and we are an EPA designated “Lead Safe Certified Firm.” Please call us today at to schedule a free estimate or for more information at 773-283-9200.

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New Decks with Budget Construction Company

New Decks with Budget Construction Company

Like so many other features of a house, a deck is immediately recognizable as an expression of the homeowner’s unique style, value, and originality. Spring is the perfect time to upgrade your home’s appearance and functionality with a new deck, and the experts at Budget Construction Company offer unique and budget friendly designs that can transform any outdoor area into extended living space suitable for all occasions.

At Budget Construction Company, we are one of the Greater Chicago Area’s premier home improvement specialists thanks to our commitment to value, craftsmanship, and putting our customer’s needs ahead of our own. With more than 40 years of experience, our team of builders, designers, and renovation specialists can help add living space to any home at a price appropriate for all budgets.

If you would like to add a deck to your home, expand an existing structure, or take on a renovation project, do what hundreds of customers throughout Chicagoland have done: Give us a call at 773-283-9200 to arrange for a free in-home consultation with one of our sales and design professionals. Our team can help you select the right construction materials, as well as educate you on useful and stylish features characteristic of modern decks.

So what are design trends to look out for in the next few years? Customers call us every day from all over Chicago asking what is in and what is out, and here is a short list of popular features to consider for your next deck project.

  • – Imagine resting of your new deck in a comfortable, portable hammock. Admit it: You have actually lost track of the times you have driven through the country side only to see someone lounging on a hammock and thought to yourself, “Wow! I have to get one of those for my new deck!” Ask our design team about different styles of hammocks to fit your needs, including one or two-person models made from a wide range of colors and weather resistant fabrics.
  • – Talk to our design professionals about a gazebo, pergola, or hot tub. Each of these offer their own benefits, of course, but a creatively designed gazebo, for instance, can also serve as extra space for game night, arts and crafts, or numerous other outdoor activities.
  • – Wicker furniture and matching accessories are popular now, too. Depending on your needs and budget, we can suggest a wide range of items such as wicker chairs, ottomans, couches, recliners, and tables — all made from hand-woven fiber or even more durable, composite materials of any color, finish, and texture.
  • – Outdoor lighting is vital for any outdoor area that will be utilized after the sun goes down. Luckily, today’s homeowner can hose from many models and styles, including energy efficient, low watt electric lights to self-powered models that soak energy from the sun. Our design team can help you find the right light for any application, such as accent lights, lights to illuminate stairs and seating areas, or even draw attention to landscape features such as a waterfall, pond, or flower beds.
  • – A fire pit and outdoor kitchen. Because of Chicago’s notoriously early fall and winter seasons, we recommend an all-season fire pit made from Flagstone or another other durable stone to add value and usefulness to your outdoor living area. If you cook more than occasionally outside, why not consider an outdoor kitchen? We can help you choose features and design elements best suited to your needs, including food preparation and eating areas, a sink, bar, and refrigerator or freezer.

Why wait any longer? Get the deck you deserve with the best features at the price you need. Call Budget Construction Company today at 773-283-9200 or drop us a note to request more information.

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The Top 5 Trends in Outdoor Decks

A spacious, functional and well-appointed deck not only adds more usable space to your home, but also beautifies it and increases its value over time. Building professionals and homeowners agree: Nothing adds more charm to your outdoor living space than a deck that suits your tastes and needs. Winter may be in full bore, but now is the perfect time to call the home improvement specialists at Budget Construction Company for an estimate on adding a new deck before warmer weather settles over Chicagoland.

At Budget Construction Company, we have been one of Chicago’s premier home improvement specialists for more than 40 years, and have firsthand experience identifying the difference between a trend and a fad when it comes to adding functional improvements to your residence. Whether you are interested in new doors, windows, dormers, or kitchen or bath renovations, we have the skills and expertise to make your dreams reality within budget and on time.

The Top 5 Trends in Outdoor Decks

Homeowners are notoriously finicky when it comes to their house. They know what they want, but often times have trouble putting their finger on it. The design specialists at Budget Construction Company have you covered and will discuss your needs, what outdoor deck styles you like or may be interested in, and options that will best fit your goals.

Over the years, we have seen many fads come and go, but have identified trends that not only are popular, but provide lasting value to homeowners in regards to a new deck. Here are out top five.

  • Multi-level or wrap around decks. In many Chicago communities, thanks to the age or layout of the neighborhood, outdoor space is at a premium and homeowners often clamor to squeeze as much utility as possible out of what they have. A multi-level or wrap around deck may be just the trick. While a multi-level deck can create a sense of space by spreading out areas for eating, food preparation, games, or casual conversation, a wraparound deck gives you and your guests quick access to an attached residence, sometimes through multiple entry and exit points.
  • Composite or exotic building materials. Hearty pressure-treated wood is the de facto standard for the average deck, but more homeowners have begun expressing interest in composite materials and even more expensive wood species from exotic locations. Make no mistake, composite wood is high strength, lighter, and more resistant to corrosion and chemicals, but it has one drawback many consumers look down upon: Many types of composite wood turn gray over time. Because they are manufactured artificially, some homeowners shy away from them because of environmental concerns. Other natural wood species, such as Ipe from South America, Philippine-sourced Mahogany, and American-grown Redwood and Western Red Cedar, are popular because of their natural beauty and resistance to moisture, mildew, and bugs.
  • The weather-beaten look. Some homeowners shy away from composite wood because many brands turn gray over time, while other consumers find that attractive. But there is no mistaking that natural wood – when properly treated and maintained – takes on a certain patina over the years as knots and grains in the boards become more pronounced and wood takes on hues due to the weather, such as red, brown, and yellow.
  • Built-in seating. If the primary goal of a deck is to increase usable outdoor space, then a logical addition to the deck is built-in seating. At Budget Construction Company, our craftsmen utilize unique designs to provide as much seating as possible without affecting the sense of openness that comes from being outdoors.

Finally, outdoor kitchens built onto decks is growing in popularity. Whether you are interested in a simple mini refrigerator and sink, or something more elaborate such as a brick pizza oven, glass counters, and more, we can design to your tastes and budget.

Call the Experts at Budget Construction Company

No matter your needs, taste, or finances, Budget Construction Company has the experience and skills necessary to build the deck of your dreams. Contact us today at 773-283-9200 for more information or a free estimate.

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The Best 5 Home Improvement to Increase Resale Value

Chicagoland’s real estate market is in the midst of a turnaround, and now may be the best time to capitalize on that trend with stylish and affordable home improvements from the experts at Budget Construction Company. According to The Chicago Association of Realtors, the price of homes and the number of homes being sold are on the rise as interest rates hover near historic lows. At Budget Construction Company, we have been one of the areas the premier home remodeling specialists since 1975, and can help you boost the value of your home with in-demand and must-have improvements to fit budgets.

With a 40-year history behind us and a commitment to value, our company is renowned for helping thousands of homeowners in the Greater Chicago Area achieve their home remodeling dreams because of our commitment to doing right by the customer. This means that everyone on our team – front office staff, designers, and remodelers – believes the only successful remodeling project is one that delivers style, functionality, and adheres to a customer’s stated budget. This is critical if you are thinking of selling your home now or in the near future.

The Best 5 Home Improvement to Increase Resale Value

There are literally dozens of renovation projects to consider, and we are more than happy to discuss in person how each one suits the needs of you and your loved ones. Here are five with the best chance of adding immediate resale value to your home.

  • New flooring throughout, or in key rooms. Our design team can help you choose new flooring to replace dated carpeting, tile, or hardwood, each of which can give small rooms the appearance of spaciousness. It is important to remember that neutral flooring is the key to maximizing a return on your investment, because it helps potential buyers realize the potential of what is already there – rather than then visualizing the cost of total replacement.
  • A new or remodeled kitchen is sure to attract potential buyers simply because many homeowners spend more time in the kitchen and dining area than any other room, outside of a bedroom. High quality wood cabinets that appear dated can be refreshed with a few simple tweaks, namely refinishing the doors and adding new hardware. Countertops are worth mentioning, too, but we would be remiss if we forgot to mention the value, durability, and style of today’s high-end engineered synthetic materials which can be less costly and easier to clean.
  • If your main bathroom is on the small side with dated fixtures, one way to create a sense of space is by installing a stylish corner shower with brass hardware to replace a tub, and by adding a small, tube-style tube style skylight to bring in natural light.
  • If you put your house up for sale, it is only a matter of time until a prospective buyer asks to see utility bills. Understandably, he or she wants to know how your home fares during Chicago’s legendarily cold winters and baking summers. Ask one of our heating and cooling specialists about the benefits of installing a new high efficiency furnace or air conditioner, and energy efficient windows, doors, and insulation.

A final update that many homeowner’s overlook is closet space. Can you ever have enough closets to work with? Probably not, which is why we also design stylish and functional walk-in closets that include features like shoe organizers, tie racks, slide out ironing boards, and recessed lighting.

For information on other home improvements, call us today at 773-283-9200 or chat with us live to arrange a free estimate.

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The Best 5 Home Improvement to Increase Resale Value

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Budget Construction Company

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Pick the Right Insulation for Your Fall Remodeling Project

Fall is just around the corner and, hot on its heels, the brutal winters Chicagoland is famous for nationwide. Now is the perfect time to give some thought to home improvements that will keep your residence warm, comfortable, and energy efficient this winter and every season afterward. At Budget Construction Company, we have been a leading home remodeling specialist with a 40 year history of affordable renovations to add value to any home, including energy efficient doors and windows, dormers, second floor additions, kitchen and bath remodeling, and many other budget-friendly projects.

Pick the Right Insulation for Your Fall Remodeling Project

Choosing the right insulation for your home remodeling project is an important decision, one that not only affects your annual heating and cooling bill, but also the health and wellbeing of you and your family. Just a few years ago, it seems, the insulation of choice for additions, garages, and attic and crawl spaces was the pink batty stuff in rolls you can buy from any home improvement center.

At Budget Construction Company, we believe that education is the key for homeowners making informed decisions for their own benefit. If you are interested building an addition or reclaiming little used attic space, there are four major options to consider:

  • Fiberglass batting with paper backing, the kind in rolls we mentioned earlier. Made up of tiny strands of fiberglass, this kind of insulation is inexpensive, effective, and can be installed by an average homeowner. Unfortunately, the fiberglass threads pose certain health risks if inhaled or if they get into the eyes or under the skin
  • Cotton batts made from recycled blue jeans are not only eco-friendly because they do not release potentially dangerous fibers into their air, but also as easy to install as fiberglass batts. On the downside, some brands can be up to 20 percent more expensive than fiberglass batting.
  • Open cell foam is polyurethane-based and is blown into attics and crawl spaces and rapidly expands in spaces in walls and ceilings. Because it is sprayed in, this insulation fills areas that may not be reachable. The drawback? Open cell foam is expensive to the tune of two-times the cost of fiberglass-based insulation.
  • Closed cell foam is denser and has sealed air pockets filled with gas, giving it a much higher insulation value than other kinds of insulation. It has high draft-blocking capabilities, but it solidifies making it difficult to install wiring and plumbing. It also is expensive, about three times the cost of regular fiberglass insulation.

When looking for insulation for your fall remodeling project, it is important to pay attention to the R-value of the product you are considering. This number represents how resistant the insulation is to the flow of heat that can pass through it. The higher the R-value, the better able the insulation to keeping heat inside your home in the winter, and out in the warmer months.

Call us today for more information at 773-283-9200 or to schedule a free in-home consultation.

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Signs You May Need New Cabinets

There is an old saying that nothing lasts forever, and this is especially true with things around your house. Over time, major components or features of your home will need replacement – HVAC systems, windows, doors, the roof, and even cabinetry throughout your residence. For nearly 40 years, Budget Construction Company has offered innovative solutions for consumers in the market for quality home renovations at the best prices in town.

Signs You May Need New Cabinets

One of the most ubiquitous features of your home is cabinetry. No longer just for the kitchen, an entire cottage industry has popped up as builders and designers regularly integrate cabinets in every room and nook and cranny possible: the kitchen, bathroom, home offices, walk-in pantry, work areas, and garages. Cabinets can show signs of wear after constant use. How do you know your cabinets may need to be replaced? Look for these signs:

  • Cracks in the doors.
  • Cracks in the base.
  • Handles or pulls that can no longer be secured to a door or drawer.
  • Drawers that can only be opened with difficulty, or whose track is detached from the interior.
  • Doors that will not close properly.
  • Hardware that appears broken or not working properly.
  • Flakes or wood or wood particles in drawers.

There are other reasons new cabinetry may be in play. For instance, they no longer fit your storage needs or your home’s décor. But when you are finally ready to replace what you have, call us today at 773-283-9200 for a free, in-home consultation.

MDF versus Plywood

Over the last 50 years or so, homeowners have seen different options when it comes to choosing building materials for their cabinets. “Back in the day,” solid wood cabinets were the only game in town. Now, however, there are more ecologically friendly and less expensive choices, including MDF (medium density fiberboard) and plywood. Generally speaking, both are cheaper than solid wood, and have their own unique advantages you should be aware of when shopping for new cabinets.

MDF is less expensive than plywood and has a smooth surface, making it easy to paint. Because of its smooth nature, it forms a good base for veneer surface coverings and has smooth edges, resulting in less time for cutting and installation. On the downside, it is basically particle board and is very susceptible to moisture, mold, and liquid-based damage.

Plywood – like MDF – is another engineered wood made by pressing sheets of veneer onto a solid piece. Because it comes in different thickness and grades, homeowners and builders have more options for their projects. It also is strong and less susceptible to water damage, holds screws tightly, and is stainable.

The Benefits of Wood Cabinets

Wood cabinets are always in demand, but they are not for everyone. They are durable, but require periodic maintenance. Why buy wood cabinets from Budget Construction Company?

  • Every wood cabinet we install has a classic, timeless appearance that can fit with any architectural style or home décor.
  • Wood cabinets are very customizable in terms of design, color, shape, and size.
  • Wood cabinets are easier to install than other types, such as metal cabinetry.
  • With simple maintenance, high quality wood cabinets will last for decades without warping or other signs of wear.

Finally, homeowners have numerous wood species to choose from, including Maple, Oak, Cherry, Hickory, and Pine.

Call Budget Construction Company today at 773-283-9200 to speak with one our interior design specialists or schedule an in-home consultation.

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Transform Your Home with a Second Story

A strange thing happened recently – you discovered your family is growing, and your house is too small. What to do? Like many homeowners facing this dilemma, you could move to a larger residence, or carve out more space with a first or second floor addition. A tough choice, but there is one solution: Call the remodeling experts at Budget Construction Company, Chicago’s premier home remodeling contractor since 1976.

Transform Your Home with a Second Story

With the housing market still recovering, an option to think about is investing in a second story addition, giving your family the space you need – while increasing your residence’s long-term value. In many cases, building up is similar to constructing a new house because the addition is placed above the existing floorplan, according to Budget Construction Company owner Donald Schneider.

Adding a second story is a major undertaking, so where do you begin? The first step is to call us at 773-283-9200 to schedule a free in-home consultation. One of our design experts will visit with you in hour home, and begin evaluating the layout and possible options to suit your needs.

Part of our evaluation will determine whether your home can support a second story. Remember, building up will add weight because of the new walls and living space.

What to Consider When Building a Second Story

Building a second story is a big decision, and not solely due to the expense. There are other things to consider:

  • How much space do you need? Depending on your situation, a second story with a single bedroom-bathroom combination may be enough.
  • Building codes. Each community has different codes related to room size, minimum ceiling height, and other structural issues. Thankfully, our remodeling experts are familiar with building codes throughout Chicago and surrounding communities and can tell you what is or is not possible.
  • What to do about a new staircase? This can be a tricky situation, because a staircase will take up space somewhere – either inside your home, or along an exterior facing wall.
  • What about financing? At Budget Construction Company, we have a variety of affordable payment plans to help finance your new remodeling project.
  • Finally, building a second story often requires the homeowner to move out, at least temporarily.

To discuss your options, please call us today for more information or stop by our general offices at 5334 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago, IL 60625.

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Additions 101: Adding an In-law Suite

Homes across Chicagoland and America are growing, and we are not just talking about square footage, either. According to the Pew Research Center, more than 18 percent of the population live in multi-generational homes – a staggering 57 million or so. Besides grandma and grandpa, adult children – sometimes with families of their own – are also moving back home. This is driving up demand for home renovations, especially the construction of in-law suites.

Additions 101: Adding an In-law Suite

At Budget Construction Company, we have been the premier home improvement contractor throughout the greater Chicago area for nearly 40 years. We are experts in affordable remodeling projects, including new doors and windows, roofing, kitchens, bathrooms, or extra rooms for visitors who may be staying for a little longer than first expected.

The classic example of an in-law suite is a room or suite of rooms that has been built to accommodate the needs of an older adult or child moving back home. In the case of an older parent, it can lessen adult daycare costs and allow your loved one maintain privacy and dignity – two criteria that must be fulfilled when multi-generation families find themselves face to face every day.

Factors That May Influence Your Decision

One of the things we pride ourselves on is educating consumers so they can make an informed decision, solely in their best interests. Here are five things to keep in mind before constructing an in-law suite:

  • Be aware of Chicago area building codes. We can help you navigate the sometimes turbulent waters of different building regulations in your community, but encourage homeowners to research such topics on their own.
  • Settle on a floorplan that best fits your loved one’s health and physical requirements. Lifestyle and mobility are key issues, so do not forget to include features such as low impact flooring, grab bars, wider doors and entrances, barrier-free thresholds, wheelchair ramps, and video or monitoring systems.
  • Private entrances, which help maintain security and independence.
  • If possible, include your loved one in decisions about floorplans and features. Giving an older parent or adult child a say in the process can make the transition easier for the whole family.
  • Think about the future, and which features may attract potential buyers down the road.

Building a functional, comfortable, and ¬affordable in-law suite is within your reach. Contact us today at 773-283-9200 to learn more about our products and services.

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