Arlington Home Addition: Part 2

Arlington Home Addition: Part 2

Did you see part one of this amazing house transformation?  Eke, if you didn’t, make sure to check it out here.

In this blog post, we’re sharing the upstairs part of this Arlington home renovation. Our McDonald Contracting team added a master bedroom & bathroom to the upstairs part of the renovation. The bathroom has BEAUTIFUL glass tile with recessed shelving for additional storage. This home addition allowed the homeowners to stay in their Arlington home and in the neighborhood they loved. Let us know what you think.

Let us know what you think of this house renovation!!! Thanks for reading 😉

4 Tips for New Homeowners

4 Tips for New Homeowners

No matter what your age, if you’ve taken the leap into buying a new home, you’re going to need some guidance on where to go from here. Make use of these few survival tips so you can ease into the joys of owning your new home!

Focus on What Needs Immediate Attention
Moving into a new home can be stressful especially depending on the current state of the house. It’s important to take into account what you can afford in the beginning while always keeping in mind the future home projects your house may need along the way.

Figure Out What Repairs You Can’t Do On Your Own
One of the new expenses that accompanies home ownership is having to make repairs. There’s a time and a place to do small repairs on your own, but be careful trying to take on the ones that could put you in danger. Do not do yourself or your house the injustice of giving it the improper treatment. Remember that your home is both the place where you live as well as an investment, and it deserves the same amount of care you would give to anything else you value greatly.

Service Checks
Be sure to evaluate all of your home systems including your water heater, fireplace, and/or chimney, and any major appliances that must be checked. As a new homeowner, you want to make sure that your house is properly functioning before you begin to move in just in case the unexpected happens and your valuable items take a hit. Be proactive and take the necessary precautions beforehand to ensure a smooth transition.

Changing the Locks
Once again, protect yourself from another worst-case scenario by changing your locks before you move in. The last thing you want is to leave your home (and your valuables) vulnerable to previous residents of that home who might still have access. Don’t put this task off especially since you don’t know how many copies of the house key the previous owner made. Be able to enjoy your new home by first making yourself and those you live with as safe as possible by completing these tasks beforehand. It’s time to sit back and take some pride in one of the most memorable purchases of your life!

Did you just purchase a new house and do you need help with a renovation project?  Our team at McDonald Contracting will be happy to help you assess your new home and give you a free quote for any projects you may need assistance with.  Check out our recent work to get an idea of the work we do!

Need inspiration for you house? Check out our Pinterest boards for some great home ideas!

Beautiful Arlington Kitchen

Beautiful Arlington Kitchen

We’re excited to share a recent kitchen renovation our team designed for a client in Arlington, MA. The homeowner wanted to create more space in their kitchen, while also updating all the appliances.  They also choose a gorgeous and rare countertop, Quartzite, to make for an extra special space. Natural Quartzite offers unsurpassed durability and an elegant look; it is also very hard to find (making for a one-of-a-kind kitchen).

Check it out –

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Open vs. Closed Kitchen Styles – Which Is Better for you?

Open vs. Closed Kitchen Styles – Which Is Better for you?

Thinking of remodeling your kitchen? While the majority of our clients renovating these days opt-in for an open kitchen concept, there are also benefits to having a closed kitchen design. Are you looking for a more private room or a multi-functioning space for hosting? Check out the benefits of having an open and closed kitchen to help you decide which would be better utilized in your home.

Here are the top 3 reasons why you should consider an open kitchen –

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1. Great for hosting – An open floor plan is ideal for homeowners who love to host frequent parties or gatherings. If you’re hosting Christmas Dinner and want to interact with your guests while you’re whipping up appetizers, this is a good option so you won’t miss any of the fun. An open floor plan also allows for more seating and encourages guests to move around.

2. Makes home feel larger – An open kitchen allows for more natural sunlight in turn reducing your energy bill. By having less walls, you have more open space giving off the feel of bigger rooms and higher ceilings.


3. Optimizes Multitasking – Planning on having a family soon? Open kitchens can be great for young kids as you can keep your eyes on multiple rooms at a time! Check on the kids doing homework in the living room, while you’re preparing dinner at your kitchen island.

The more individual rooms there are in your home, the more opportunity you have to get creative with paint colors and wall space to decorate. Check out the top reasons why a closed kitchen design may be better for you –

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1. Cost-Friendly – Knocking down walls can create unforeseen problems and can cost serious renovation dollars. If things like high end appliances and countertops are more important to you, you may want to leave the structure as is and allocate your budget to the priorities on your wish list.

2. More storage – The more wall space, the more room for shelving, cabinetry and hidden closets. If you’re looking for a functional, secluded room with lots of storage, this could be a good option for your home.

3. More privacy – More walls also mean more privacy. Having a closed kitchen design hides a messy room full of dirty dishes – Some hosts want to prep, cook and clean without interruption so that they can provide a more formal dining experience for their guests.

The final decision is up to you, the homeowner. It’s not all black and white and you can meet in the middle somewhere by considering a cutout in your kitchen wall (as long as it’s a non-load bearing wall). 

There’s always going to be a new trend… Don’t succumb to what’s in, but rather decide based upon which option works best for lifestyle and personal preference. Want to start the conversation? We’d love to sit and talk with you about which kitchen layout works best in your home ===> [email protected]

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We hope you found this blog post helpful when it comes to designing your next kitchen!

Thanks for reading,
– The Team at McDonald Contracting

3 Small Ways To Go Green in Your Home

3 Small Ways To Go Green in Your Home

According to Energy.gov,  homes and commercial buildings consume 40% of the energy used in the United States; the majority of which comes from fossil fuels! It’s time to make your home more energy efficient! Here are some simple ways to save energy without breaking the bank.

Energy Efficient Windows: Windows provide our homes with light and warmth, but they can also negatively impact a home’s energy efficiency. You can reduce energy costs by installing energy-efficient windows in your home. If your budget is tight, energy efficiency improvements to existing windows can also be a huge money-saver. Adding storm windows can reduce air leakage and improve comfort. Weatherstripping around your windows can reduce air leakage. Thick window treatments and coverings can reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer.

Energy Efficient Lighting: Electric lighting burns up to 25% of the average home energy budget.The electricity used over the lifetime of a single incandescent bulb costs 5 to 10 times the original purchase price of the bulb itself! Light Emitting Diode (LED) and Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) bulbs have revolutionized energy-efficient lighting.

– CFLs are a smaller version of a full-sized fluorescent bulb. They screw into standard lamp sockets and give off light that looks similar to the common incandescent bulbs.
LEDs are small, very efficient solid bulbs! LED bulbs are grouped in clusters with diffuser lenses which have broadened the applications for LED use in the home. LED technology is advancing rapidly, with many new bulb styles available. They are typically more expensive than CFLs, but bring more value since they last longer.

Eco-Friendly Appliances:  An easy way to save money on your utility bill (and help the environment) is by installing energy efficient appliances.  Washers, dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers and air conditioners can all be purchased today as eco-friendly appliances, just look for appliances that have a Energy Star Rating.
– An appliance receives the Energy Star rating if it is significantly more energy efficient than the minimum government standards, as determined by standard testing procedures! The more energy efficient an appliance is, the less it costs to run!

Thanks for reading,
-The Team at McDonald Contracting | www.McDonaldContractingMA.com