Transformation Tuesday: 80’s Bathroom

Remember the days when pink and teal were trendy colors to have in your home? It’s okay if you don’t want to admit it, but we’ve all been there.

We had the pleasure of helping one of our clients turn a very outdated bathroom into the luxury retreat they were searching for.

Our client had recently downsized and moved into a nice home, in which they planned to live in for the long term. The home was over 20 years old and the master bathroom was out-of-date and didn’t function as they desired. Fortunately however, the space seemed to be large enough to accommodate their wish list.

We relocated the vanity and water closet, which required modifying the existing plumbing and electrical. We framed new walls for the water closet, dressing closet, gym and shower. We installed concrete board on the shower walls and created a small niche for storage, built a bench for seating and refloated the floor to create the curbless entry they desired.

By removing the existing tub, we were not only able to construct a larger shower, but a built-in desk as well. We then laid sand colored ceramic tile throughout the entire bath and closet areas, as well as on the shower floor and walls. A glass/stone butternut emperador accent strip was added to the shower walls, followed by a piece of clear glass, which was installed on the half wall of the shower.Transformation Tuesday Master Bath80's bathroom transformation

We installed cherry merlot with ebony glaze vanity cabinets with soft close drawers and laid Madura gold granite on top. Per the client’s request, we installed a private storage compartment on the countertop, which included a roll up door and electrical outlet. This was especially important to the client, so they could use it as a charging station.

Transformation Tuesday Master VanityIn completing the bathroom, we installed a pocket door to provide privacy to the water closet, replaced the baseboards and applied a fresh coat of paint to the walls.

Professional Remodeler 550 List

DreamMaker Lands on Two Industry Lists

Professional Remodeler 550 List

Every year, two of the industry’s largest publications produce a list, which recognizes the largest remodeling companies across the country.

DreamMaker of Manasota earned spots on both national ranking lists. The first publication, Qualified Remodeler, ranked DreamMaker #494 on their list of 500 top remodelers. The second publication, Professional Remodeler, ranked DreamMaker #239 on their list of 550 top remodelers.

To be considered for these lists, remodeling companies must submit specific criteria including, but not limited to: total years in business, revenue, community service involvement, awards earned and more.

Remodelers included on these lists are involved in the following types of projects: kitchen and bathroom remodels, room additions, whole-house remodels, insurance restoration, design-build services and light commercial projects.

“It is a privilege to be considered for these high-profile lists,” said DreamMaker President, Ernest Gilbert. “To actually be listed is a great accomplishment and honor in which we hope to obtain every year.”

dreammaker universal design services

Five Universal Design Elements to Incorporate Into Your Home

If you’ve been considering a remodel, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard the term, “universal design.”

While universal design has been around for decades, remodeling for accessibility has recently evolved into a growing trend. Whether due to the growing number of baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) or the fact that homeowners are simply looking to fit their home for better functionality, universal design is here to stay.

Because universal design elements provide convenience and functionality benefits, the term has a tendency to be misinterpreted; leaving many to believe it’s only for those who are aging or having disabilities.

This theory is simply not true.

We’re here to set the record straight because absolutely everyone can benefit from a space that is universally designed and created to maximize comfort, convenience and accessibility.

Think back to a time when you were running late and had your hands full; using your foot to push down on a leverage-style door handle would have been much more convenient than setting everything down and twisting a door knob. Laugh all you want, but we’ve all been there.

In our experience, universal design elements are often not requested unless the client has a direct need for them, which makes sense. However, we also know that those clients who may not think they have a direct need for these elements, are inevitably missing out on added convenience and functionality in their home.

Here are five universal design elements that may already be playing a role in your home:
– Leverage-style door handles
– Pull-out drawers
– Motion sensor faucets
– Curbless showers
– Slip-resistant tile

As you probably noticed from the list above, all five of those design elements are meant to make your life easier in some way.

In our opinion, the most valuable advantage to universal design is that it provides convenience for literally everyone who walks into your front door, regardless of their age or circumstance. Moreover, it provides homeowners the flexibility and longevity throughout their lifetime while they live in the home, allowing them to enjoy their homes longer without having to move.

If you’ve incorporated universal design elements in your home, we’d love to hear what they are. Please share your opinions below in the comments section.

The DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Manasota team takes a break from installing trusses with the Manatee County Habitat for Humanity

Giving Back with Habitat for Humanity

It’s not every day that one is able to utilize their specialized skills and talents to give back to the community, but when the opportunity presents itself—you take it.

We believe that loyalty adds meaning to our lives, which is why our team recently spent the day with the Manatee County Habitat for Humanity, assisting with a new home build for a local veteran and his family.

We did everything from nailing two by fours to installing trusses (that’s right…even the office staff got their hands dirty).

In addition to lending a hand in the construction department, we make an on-going effort to donate all gently used materials from client remodels. “Just because a client wants new cabinets doesn’t necessarily mean their old ones are in bad shape,” said DreamMaker President, Ernest Gilbert. “If any materials can be re-used, we make sure they get to the local ReStore.”

Whether donating money, goods or time, we believe in providing superior service to our community and those around us. The benefits to volunteering are not limited to the recipients, as our team definitely walked away with the feeling that we really made a difference.

One of the many memorable takeaways from this day of giving back was actually meeting Sgt. Juan C. Garcia, the recipient of the home, which is set to be complete in October. He and his family are the first of the Manatee County Habitat for Humanity’s new initiative, which is putting veterans in the spotlight.

Read more about Sgt. Juan C. Garcia’s story here and check out some photos from the day below.

BuildClean Dust Control System

Surviving a Remodel: You vs. Dust

True or False: the #1 threat to livability during a remodel is dust. If you answered “true,” then you are on the right track.

As a clean contractor, your livability is our top concern. In an on-going effort to better serve our clients, we recently invested in a groundbreaking dust control system, which captures and removes up to 90 percent of airborne dust that accumulates during your remodeling project.

So, why is dust control important? Any remodeling project, big or small, can stir up jobsite dust that can include dirt and debris, organic matter, drywall, cement, silica and sawdust. With the dust control system, we can collect dust at the point of generation, while it is still airborne. This is the most effective way to capture and virtually eliminate all types of worksite dust.

While controlling all dust is near impossible, innovations and practices such as these, will serve as a courtesy to both the homeowner and our workers while on-site.

Onsite remodeling dust controlBuildClean Dust Control System

“These systems allow us to work in our clients homes and maintain a nearly dust-free environment,” says DreamMaker Construction Manager, Bob Meehan. “However, we still take other precautions by hanging up curtain walls, putting down floor protection, using exhaust fans, etc.”

In the end, you are investing in more than just a job well done and our goal is to provide you and your family with a safe and enjoyable remodeling experience.

Summer Entertaining Patio

6 Ways to Spruce Up Your Patio for Summer

Summer is officially here (as of June 21st) and with that comes sun-filled days and endless entertaining.

Summer Entertaining Patio

Whether you’re having a dinner party or just looking to enjoy the peace of your own home, we’ve rounded up our top six recommendations to spruce up your patio:

  1. Hang string lights. One strand, two strands, clear bulbs or colored; your patio will be putting off a brand new vibe.
  2. Plant flowers. Keep in mind that not all plants and flowers flourish during the summer, so it’s best to research that ahead of time.
  3. If flowers aren’t your thing, how about a potted topiary? These shrubs come in ornate shapes and sizes, and if you’re lucky, you may find a faux one that looks as though you’ve been manicuring it all year. Score!
  4. Install a fire pit. Whether you’re the DIY type or would rather purchase new, a fire pit is the perfect focal point to bring your guests together.
  5. Bring out the bright and bold cushions and pillows. Summer is one of the only times you can get away with a lime green bench cushion so why not take advantage of it?
  6. Hang a swing. From the typical bench swing to a single cushioned hammock swing, relaxation is guaranteed.

These are just a few of our favorite summer design ideas, what are yours?

Screwdriver Set

Dad Approved: Gifts for the Garage (and more)

With Father’s Day approaching and Summer BBQ’s heating up, there’s no better time than now to get dad something he’ll always have an excuse to use.

More likely than not, we’ve witnessed the look on his face as he entered his favorite home improvement store. His face lit up like a kid in a candy store.

We’re pretty positive that our gift recommendations will do the same. And hey, if he won’t stop talking about his need for more garage storage, we can definitely help with that!

Happy Father’s Day!

shop: fire pit // spatula // vacuum // screwdriver set // thermometer // tool box // grill // pressure washer


What’s a Kitchen Remodel Really Going to Cost Me?

When it comes to remodeling your home, one of the obvious considerations is what to spend. It’s a valid concern, and as the homeowner, you do have the final say. Our goal is to help you understand why different projects cost what they do and how to achieve the results you are looking for.

The good news is that with the exception of unexpected bumps in the road, most expenses can usually be pre-determined. However, many times we have caviar taste on a burger and fries budget. Translating that into remodeling terms, caviar would be a complete redesign and custom job, whereas burger and fries would be more of a cosmetic update.

We’re going to assume that you’ve probably watched your fair share of Fixer Upper and Property Brothers on HGTV. By the end of episode three, your wish list is a page long and you can’t wait to get started. The reality however, is that you might have unrealistic expectations and misconceptions about the time and expense that goes into a project.

While your greatest ideas might stem from your beloved home improvement shows, or as we call them “unreality TV,” it’s important that you not get fixated on the costs they might suggest.

According to the 2015 cost vs. value report, a national survey conducted annually by industry professionals, a major kitchen remodel with structural changes and higher end products is approximately $113,097. A midrange remodel is roughly $56,768 and a minor kitchen remodel with no structural changes and medium grade products is typically around $19,226.

With all of that being said, keep in mind that most of what you read is an average and many factors will impact the overall cost.

We’d love to hear from you! If you’ve recently completed a kitchen remodel, were you surprised with the cost?


Who Do I Hire for a Home Improvement Project?


So, you’re thinking about re-tiling the guest bathroom and replacing a vanity or removing a wall and completely redesigning your kitchen. You decide to hire the work to be done, but quickly realize how many options you have. Now what? While the potential outcome of remodeling is exciting, finding the right partner can be daunting.

Did you know that the majority of homeowners avoid home improvement projects because they aren’t sure who to call? Don’t let the fear of the unknown keep you from your dream space; instead, consider who’s available to help.

A general contractor is responsible for the overall coordination of a project. They are able to pull permits as needed, hire the labor and keep the project on track. While it’s common practice for a contractor to hire subcontractors for additional help, they occasionally have a team of their own.
If you remember from part one of this series, always verify a contractor’s license prior to hiring them.

Pro: A general contractor takes care of the necessary paperwork, tedious details and the physical work.
Con: They do not typically provide design assistance or help with products and fixtures, which would require you to hire those services separately.


An architect is highly trained and educated in design. While their services may not come cheap, they are creative problem solvers who bring your ideas to life.

Pro: Architects often have expertise in specialized areas, such as energy efficiency and green living and detailed drawings.
Con: An architect may not do a small project, such as a bathroom remodel, and you will need to hire a contractor to implement the designs.


A handyman does everything from changing light bulbs to building decks. While some are self-trained, others have formal training and specialize in specialized trades, such as carpentry and tiling.

Pro: They are a cost-effective solution to fixing odds and ends around your home.
Con: A handyman is limited in their scope of work depending on what they are licensed to do.


Design/build firms are a one-stop shop for your entire project. They work with you from start to finish and not only carry out the construction, but they also provide design services. Working with a design/build firm is typically cost effective because all of your services are provided in one place.

Pro: They are both a contractor and designer, and can complete your project without having to hire additional help.
Con: You will want to have a pretty good idea and level of comfort with the firm early on, as they will be working with you throughout the entire project.

So what’s the bottom line?
Unfortunately, the answer is not so black and white. Our best piece of advice would be to consider the complexity and priorities of your job, and decide what type of partner seems to be the best match for your particular project.

If you missed part two of this five-part series, you can check it out here.

Leave a comment below with any additional questions and we will do our best to provide you with an answer.

Pull and Replace Kitchen Remodel

Remodel, Remake, Redesign: Options to Refresh Your Space

We’ve all heard the saying, “no two people are alike” and the same is true for remodeling projects.

While we may wish for a “one size fits all” remodeling instruction manual, the reality is that they don’t exist, and for good reason. The objective to refreshing a space is not to match your neighbors or something you saw on Pinterest, but rather to accommodate your needs, wants and wishes.

We encourage clients to seek inspiration and use those ideas to create something of their own.

Regardless your budget, room size or style, we have three categories we feel most projects fall under:

  1. Cosmetic Remodel
  2. Pull and Replace Remodel
  3. Custom Remodel

A cosmetic remodel is where we replace some minor furnishings, those of which can be easily removed and reinstalled. This is a cost-effective solution to updating your space without re-doing everything.

Cosmetic Bathroom Remodel Cosmetic Bathroom Renovation

This might include:

  • Mirror framing
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Accessories and hardware
  • Painting and backsplashes
  • Countertops

A pull and replace remodel is where we replace all furnishings, but the functionality and floor plan remain the same.

Pull and Replace Remodel

This might include:

  • New appliances, fixtures and hardware
  • New flooring
  • Cabinets, countertops, faucets and sinks
  • Mirrors and lighting

A custom remodel is where we replace everything, update functionality and make structural changes. If you want to customize a space to look and function to meet your specific needs, this is the best solution.

Custom Kitchen Remodel CustomKitchenRemodelAfterPhoto

This might include:

  • Rework layout and improve functionality
  • New lighting in place of soffits
  • Removing a wall to open up the space
  • Removing a bath tub and replacing it with a shower

If you are interested in learning more about our custom design solutions, we invite you to join us at one of our upcoming seminars.