The writing team at Steam Showers Inc sat down with Niko, the Business Manager of Finecraft Building Contractors, Inc., to talk about general contracting and trends in home remodeling. Finecraft Contractors is a general contracting company serving Maryland and offering home additions, renovations, remodels and new home construction.

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You can read our interview with Niko below:

 

Steam Showers Inc: What is the bathroom trend that people ask you for the most?

Niko: Heated floors. [People want] more comfort in bathroom. There are bathrooms [in which] we incorporate a steam shower. And more and more people want to have the luxury of large spaces, tiled floors and just the experience of being pampered as if they’re in a hotel.

 

Steam Showers Inc: How many of your clients would you say ask for steam showers?

Niko: Well, at this point right now, I’d roughly say 20 percent.

 

Steam Showers Inc: What do you think specifically sets Finecraft apart from other companies?

Niko: Our slogan is “Because details matter most,” and we don’t take that lightly. We have a very keen eye on detailed work, and I think when everything’s said and done, that’s really what matters. When you’re sitting there, in your family room with your family, and you’re looking at the crown molding, and you’re perusing the new space that was created by your contractor. After you’re enjoying the general space, you start looking at the details; if those details are not nice, and they’re not put together correctly, you’ll start seeing them; and that comfort will sort of die away. We don’t like it if that happens and work to prevent that. We want the person to sit there, and look at the details, and think, “This area was really done with care, and we can really see it [by putting a] magnifying glass to it, and see that it was done really well from the get go.” Sitting there in the family room they can see that they’re very comfortable, and they can see that they’re sitting in a quality space, not just one that was put together, “Copy, paste, and here’s your room.” No, we want to create a home for people and make them feel comfortable, and it’s really those details that make them feel comfortable. That’s what we believe.

 

Steam Showers Inc: Can you describe the process Finecraft goes through with clients, from free consultation to project completion?

Niko: We have an animated video on that exact question here. Once we have the plans, we have an initial meeting to get to know each other, provide an estimate and so forth. We also have a preconstruction meeting to make sure everyone is on the same page and in agreement. We provide them with a schedule of the work, including when to expect what and when we will need them to make orders. We want the client in the driver’s seat throughout the process. They can also decide if they want changes. We’re open to change throughout as long as it’s not too late to implement it. We also let our clients know when subs are coming. We’re there with them until the end of the project. Even afterwards, we like to stay in touch and make sure everything is working and looks the way they anticipated; we don’t like to drop out of the picture. We like to be there for them as they need us, and we’d like to be the contractor they go to for the next project they have.

 

Steam Showers Inc: Your website mentions your company tries to keep the home livable for the family. It even mentions that Finecraft occasionally brings in a temporary kitchen for the family to use. Can you tell us more about that?

Niko: Yes, we don’t like to kick them out if we don’t have to, because then they have to pay for rent and stay with family, and if they have kids, it’s uncomfortable. So if we’re doing a kitchen renovation, we like to set up a makeshift temporary kitchen. Let’s say on the other side of the dining room wall that is the adjoining wall for the dining room and the kitchen we’re working in. We zip up the doorways to make sure that the dust is contained and work in that space. Meanwhile, they have their [temporary] stove, and they’re living in their space, as if we’re not there, so to speak. Yes, it’s possible, and when possible, we like to do that for them.

 

Steam Showers Inc: What is the most popular kitchen trend you come across?

Niko: It varies because a lot of work that we do just really depends on what drawings they come with. At the same time, there’s different styles; [a general] trend is open kitchen. Definitely open kitchens, which incorporate the kitchen as part of the house; as part of the living space and an entertainment center, instead of an enclosed space that people just cook in. An open kitchen says come sit with me while I prepare and join me while I eat and cook.

 

Finecraft Contractors, Inc. is an independent general contracting company based in the Washington, D.C. area. For over three decades they have been building and renovating houses and have proven their quality and service time and time again. Their award-winning projects have been featured in numerous publications. Learn more at www.finecraftcontractors.com.

You can do everything in our showers too….Even cook!

Everything in Steam Showers

A part of having a healthy body, in addition to exercising and taking steam showers (see The Health Benefits of a Steam Shower), including eating right. We need to put the right foods into our body to help it function and be the best it can be. Eating the right foods also makes us feel better mentally.

Take a look at some of these foods that seem healthy but may not actually be the healthiest options out there:

Dry Fruit – This makes a great, easy snack on the go, but it isn’t as healthy as fresh produce. Fresh produce has one third the calories of the dried versions; the dry versions also contain more sugar and preservatives.

Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter – The words “reduced” and “fat” are a red flag that other ingredients, like sugar, have been increased to make up for it. This food may be lower in fat content, but it usually contains added sugar.

Energy Bars – These can be deceiving because they’re marketed as being healthy; however, sometimes energy bars can be as unhealthy as a bar of candy. A lot of the energy bars on the market contain high amounts of fat and sugar.

Veggie Burgers – These are a great option for vegetarians and those trying to cut back on meat. If you really like having veggie burgers in your diet, then look for those that don’t contain hexane. Look for brands made with organic soy.

Microwave Popcorn – When popcorn is microwaved, it releases the chemical diacetyl, which is bad for the lungs. To avoid diacetyl, you can make stovetop popcorn, or use a hot air popcorn maker.

Gatorade – This is a sports drink, but it contains so much sugar and calories! It’s not really worth drinking unless you’re running a marathon or participating in a competitive sport.

Granola – This is another food item that contains a lot of sugar and calories for what it is. The higher level of these almost negates the good aspects of granola, like the nuts, fruits and oats. You can make granola at home to avoid this.

Fat-free yogurt – This is the peanut butter rule again. If something is reduced in fat, then it has to be made up for somewhere else. In most cases, this means more sugar. Choose a healthier yogurt instead.

Wheat bread – This can be a good food, but oftentimes bread is advertised as wheat and still contains unbleached enriched wheat flour and bleached flour. Read labels and choose the best option.

Bran muffins – This popular breakfast item has protein, fiber vitamin, but is usually served in huge portions and is high in calories.

Protein shakes – The actual amount of protein in these drinks is often exaggerated; you don’t actually need that much protein. Extra protein will just become fat in your body.

Packaged and sliced turkey – Turkey is a good choice, but pre-packaged, sliced turkey often contains high amounts of sodium and preservatives.

Applesauce – This is a delicious, childhood-favorite, but it has a third more calories than the equivalent in fresh apples. You can make applesauce from scratch at home. Just make sure not to add a ton of sugar to it.

We hope you’ve learned some tips and tricks to stay away from foods that are presented as healthy. Happy snacking!

14 “Healthy” Foods You’ve Been Lied to About | BuzzFeed