How to Find Your House Plans

Older houses usually do not come ready with detailed blueprints like younger, newer homes generally do. Modern builds regularly have the plans that are foundationally important for home renovations or improvements readily available. Predating the early 1900s, builders seldomly drew up detailed specifications, which can be found in contemporary blueprints. Methods passed down by word-of-mouth was typically how house construction was accomplished in the past. Written manuals often referred to something along the lines of “build the usual way.”

An indispensable resource for remodeling and restoration work is that these plans solve all home mysteries and give a tangible roadmap for repairs. You can attempt to track down your home’s original blueprints by:

  • Consulting local inspectors, assessors, and other building officials
  • Visiting neighbors who have similar home structures
  • Contacting your real estate sales agents
  • Reviewing local archives such as plan books at the historical society
  • Examining neighborhood fire insurance maps
  • Researching local archived newspapers with old real estate advertisements for similar homes

Town Hall
Building inspectors or assessor’s offices usually know something about the buildings in your area. Permits are typically filed in the building inspector’s office, along with floor plans and elevation drawings. These can be helpful to learn about modifications made to your home within the past 20 years. Fire insurance maps in the United States date back to the 1870s. These documents are also located within City Hall and, at the very least, can indicate the original construction material used for your home. Three-dimensional drawings are typically included as well, which can be compared to Google Maps for real-time use. 

If your home was manufactured within the past 50 years, your real estate office might be able to help you locate construction details. They are often familiar with local developers and housing styles in the region.

The familiar houses in your area might have been designed by the same person/developer as your home. Oftentimes they were constructed as mirror images, with minor differences in finishes.

Countless communities throughout the United States maintain archives with old photographs, building plans, and maps. They are generally not well-organized or maintained; however, they typically exist within either the library, museum, or historical society. Rarely, a town historian can facilitate your search. Local newspapers, farm journals, and women’s magazines can be examined for homes of a similar type. 

While local municipalities might be your best bet, online resources such as NETR (Nationwide Environmental Title Research, LLC.) have public records available for view via their databases. Thousands of people are looking for house plans; forums such as Old House Web can help you in your search.

JFC Remodeling is committed to providing top-quality home reconstruction services to clients throughout Livingston County. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, our licensed contractors create unique, individualized, and polished renovations. Whether the site requires an improvement, repair, or is a new construction, you can trust our experts to deliver remarkable results. Call: 810-923-1123, e-mail:, or visit us at: today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems:

How to Achieve Optimal Bathroom Lighting

Bathroom lighting is critical yet often overlooked or underperformed. We frequent bathrooms before going to bed and after waking up in the morning, and there should be ambient lighting for bedtime, however, be bright and welcoming at daybreak. Light, particularly daylight, sets our circadian rhythms, which play an essential role in our overall health and wellness. The answer to taking the correct medication (seeing clearly), avoiding falls (recognizing water on the floor), and more troublesome bathroom issues are all solved with proper lighting.

Illumination The amount of light needed in a bathroom varies due to a few factors. Ideally, the lighting should vary based on the type of activity being performed, such as shaving or using the restroom. Dimmers can be tremendously helpful, as it is ideal to over-light an area and reduce than under-light with an inability to increase.

Daylights Natural light is the best way to regulate sleep/wake cycles (circadian rhythm) and brighten moods. Instead of one window, perhaps add two, or a larger-than-originally-planned window to increase lighting. Skylights lets in two- to three times as much illumination as the same-sized window. Larger windows also increase lighting and let sunlight in.

Vanity lighting Optimum lighting includes fixtures mounted on either side of the mirror at eye level. No part of the face will be in shadow, which sometimes happens with overhead vanity lights. LED bulbs are much easier to dim than fluorescent, and incandescent bulbs are being phased out throughout America. Plus, LEDs are much brighter than their counterparts. They don’t get hot and they last much longer as well.

Illuminate the tub Hanging light fixtures above bathtubs is against most building codes and is not only discouraged but simply not done. No open or hanging lighting can be within eight feet of the bathtub, nor three feet next to it. Placing tubs underneath a feature window or skylight is the best bet, which lets the light in but doesn’t cause a hazard.

Night light Bathrooms are usually frequented in the wee hours of the night, so it is critical to provide some light to ensure safe maneuvering throughout the darkness. A low-wattage nightlight either on all night or that responds to motion is a simple solution. LED lighting under vanities or countertops is perfect night lighting and provides a lovely ambiance to the room’s overall aesthetic.

To read more lighting ideas, check out the original article from ProRemodeler. For lighting installation or a bathroom consultation, contact the professionals at JFC Remodeling today.

JFC Remodeling is committed to providing top-quality home reconstruction services to clients throughout Livingston County. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, our licensed contractors create unique, individualized, and polished renovations. Whether the site requires an improvement, repair, or is a new construction, you can trust our experts to deliver remarkable results. Call: 810-923-1123, e-mail:, or visit us at: today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems:

Pandemic Home Remodeling is Booming

As people are working from home and staying put due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are choosing to improve their surroundings and create retreats within their own houses. Homeowners are likely completing these projects due to extra incentives. Record high home equity levels, despite the recent economic downturn, is causing the housing demand to soar.

Moreover, a significant number of people are cooking and eating at home, which makes kitchens the center of family life. Kitchen and bath remodeling projects have always been popular, yet the demand increased by 40 percent in June compared to last year.  Home extensions and additions increased by 52 percent compared to 2019. Security and privacy measures (fence installations and repairs) also saw a jump of 166 percent.

Shelter-at-home orders obviously guided the increase in demand, as more than three-quarters of all U.S. homeowners said they had done some type of home improvement project during the pandemic. More than three-quarters also say they plan to take on a new home project in the next 12 months.

One online remodeling platform saw a 58 percent annual increase in project leads for home professionals in June. Outdoor spaces had the most massive increase in demand; pool and spa professional searches tripled from a year ago. The need for landscape contractors along with patio and deck professionals doubled.

Justin Sullivan, a home remodeling contractor, said, “We’re also hearing that the money that folks are saving from not going out to restaurants, not eating out, not going on vacations, those things are being saved and they’re deciding to add that value back into their homes as an investment. They have more confidence in their homes as investments.”

Check out the original article from CNBC to learn more about the home remodeling inflation. For all of your construction, repair, or home improvement needs, contact JFC Remodeling today.

JFC Remodeling is committed to providing top-quality home reconstruction services to clients throughout Livingston County. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, our licensed contractors create unique, individualized, and polished renovations. Whether the site requires an improvement, repair, or is a new construction, you can trust our experts to deliver remarkable results. Call: 810-923-1123, e-mail:, or visit us at: today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems:

Five Reasons to Hire a Tiling Professional

Tiling is much more complicated than it might seem. Whether it’s a floor, kitchen backsplash, or bathroom wall, there are several factors to consider before you tackle this project yourself. Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects can be a nightmare if you don’t have the proper tools, let alone experience. Moreover, installations vary by medium, materials, and square footage.

Many tiles are made from delicate materials and installing them correctly can make a significant difference in the finished product’s lifespan. Hiring a professional to install tile might seem unnecessary initially, but you will be thankful in the long-run. Read on to discover why hiring a professional to tile your home is a better bet.

  • Design Options
    Since professionals install tiles daily, they are familiar with styles, textures, layouts, grout colors, and much more. Industry innovations and updates fluctuate – thus, licensed contractors can effortlessly adapt to changes and know best practices.
  • Speedy Installation
    It should go without saying, but here we are. Hiring a licensed contractor to install tile in your home will undoubtedly be much quicker than a DIY project, as you will have time restraints and schedules to follow. Additionally, an expert will lay tiles at a much faster rate since they are more familiar with the complex process.
  • Proper Equipment
    To install tiles, the tools sitting in your garage or basement probably won’t suffice. Specialists will not only come equipped with all of the right tools – they will also know exactly how to use them. It’s imperative to understand that tiling can be a messy job; letting someone else handle the mud, grout, and cleanup is the way to go. 
  • Reduced Waste
    Remember geometry class? No? Well, the contractor you hire to install your tile will be familiar with geometry to say the least. The progression of measuring, cutting, and fitting tile can be tremendously complicated. To lessen the amount of waste from your project, don’t DIY.
  • Home Protection         
    Hurdles will undoubtedly surface in nearly any home project. Tiling sounds fun and easy, but don’t forget about the dusty, dirty demolition. You might not have the capability to deal with unforeseen issues that arise in a DIY plan. Removing old tile, disposal, protecting trim and walls from damage, and closing off doors to contain dust are just a few of the extra precautions taken by professionals.

Thinking of re-tiling a floor, kitchen backsplash, or bathroom wall? Put the tools down, pick up the phone, and call the flooring experts at JFC Remodeling. Save yourself the headache and let us handle your flooring renovation from start to finish.

JFC Remodeling is committed to providing top-quality home reconstruction services to clients throughout Livingston County. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, our licensed contractors create unique, individualized, and polished renovations. Whether the site requires an improvement, repair, or is a new construction, you can trust our experts to deliver remarkable results. Call: 810-923-1123, e-mail:, or visit us at: today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems:

Choosing Materials for a Bathroom Remodel

Remodeling a bathroom can be exciting yet overwhelming due to the vast amount of available options. Having an overall plan or scheme is ideal; make sure to include a list of goals, priorities, and, most importantly, a budget. It’s all in the details – try to have a crystal-clear vision of what you want the aesthetic to be. Hardware, color scheme, patterns, textures, etc. are some ideas to explore.

How do you sift through hundreds of options to solidify your choice? Specialty design showrooms are a great place to start. They display finished plumbing, flooring, cabinets, lighting, and more. After you narrow down your ideal design, remember to factor in your budget. It’s also a good idea to have a backup or second option if your first choice is unavailable.

Here are some basic suggestions to help you get started:

Choose an easy-to-clean, non-porous surface such as tile, ceramic, hardwood, etc.

Any tough, durable, solid surface including granite, quartz, marble, and the like will stand the test of time.

Look for tall and spacious cabinets and sleek shelves to add a functional yet appealing touch.

Set the mood with accent lighting, illuminated mirrors, and achieve specific color temperatures with specialty light bulbs.

After you choose the aesthetic of your new bathroom, you can start shopping for materials. Check out the complete article for a more in-depth look at fixtures, countertops, cabinets, flooring, and more.

You have the perfect bathroom planned – now you need the perfect bathroom remodeling contractor. Contact JFC Remodeling for your next bathroom renovation project at 810-923-1123.

DIY Tips – Saving Money by Demoing Your Kitchen

You can save a ton of money if you demo your kitchen instead of getting it done; however, it’s not for everyone. Depending on your health and any available help you may have, you might consider paying for your demo work instead. For those considering ripping out their old kitchen on their own, this article gives you a quick rundown of a few tips to follow before grabbing the crowbar and hammer. 

Prep the Space. Turn off the kitchen power supply from your circuit breaker box. A good tip you’ll want to remember is putting a piece of tape over the breaker for the kitchen, so no one accidentally turns them on, giving you an unexpected shock when you reach for an outlet. 

Turn Off the Water. Demo work is messy enough without burst water pipes. Be sure to turn off the supply usually found under the kitchen sink with a value or handle.  

Turn Off the Gas Supply. If you have appliances that run on gas, you will need to turn them off with the valve located behind the appliance. Ensure that you pull the appliance out carefully so not to dislodge the hose out of the valve. 

Rent a Dolly for Heavy Appliances. Don’t break your back, get some assistance by renting a dolly typically found at rental centers or home improvement stores.  

Lay a Drop Cloth on the Floor. This will prevent scratches and other damage. If you are also renovating the floor, you obviously do not have to do this.

Rent a Dumpster. A typical average-sized kitchen will require you to rent a six-cubic yard dumpster. These can be rented from your local waste management centers. 

Now you’re ready to begin the demoincluding the garbage disposal, sink, cabinets, countertops, backsplash, and dishwasher. For the next steps, read more from this article regarding the main kitchen demo.

These are just a few tips on prep work you will need to consider if you plan on remodeling your kitchen. Contact JFC Remodeling for your next kitchen renovation project at 810-923-1123.

Top 10 Bathroom Trends of 2020

Let’s face it, sometimes we all walk into a room of our house and just wish it had the latest upgrades and designs. This is especially true of our home’s kitchen, bathrooms, and living room. The living room and kitchen are where our friends and family gather and where love and laughter are shared. The bathroom is by nature, a private room, but depending on which bathroom we’re referencing, it can be open to others for use or just meant for yourself and close family members.

When you are in your bathroom, you want to have a sense of yourself to which brings you peace and reflects your style. However, it’s not always easy to stay abreast of the latest design trends. Fashion and décor are ever-changing, so we put together this article for the top 10 emerging trends of 2020.

# 1 Freestanding Bathtubs and Sinks 

This is a classic design that does not go out of style. Modern freestanding bathtubs are made with stone resin designs and traditional styles feature clawfoot or copper tubs. A freestanding bathtub and sink may cost you a little more, but they will retain their value and increase your home’s worth.

# 2 His and Her Private Vanities 

Not only do private vanities offer a practical solution to your bathroom, but they are also a trendy and timeless choice. His and her vanities provide enough space for two people to prep at the same time with no fuss of room or personal space being cramped.

# 3 Accent Walls

As the name suggests, it is a wall or walls in your bathroom that that are made from different materials and design from the rest of your space. An accent wall creates a focal point that provides a centralized location that can highlight a vanity, bathtub, or any other object to make it stand out. Popular materials in 2020 are marble, brick, mosaic tile, natural stone, and wood; the choice is entirely up to you.

# 4 Bold Colors 

Ironically, earth tones (browns, greys, tans, etc.), which have been popular for years, are now being contrasted with bold, vibrant color tones. Lime green is starting to gain in popularity as a summer color. Blues match well with more saturated spaces, and orange adds more warmth and depth. Before you go this route, make sure to look up design ideas as this can be a significant shift in mindset from softer hues that many of us are used too.

# 5 Heated Bathroom Floors 

Stepping on a frigid bathroom floor during the cold seasons will shock you awake. The trend of heated flooring is becoming increasingly popular because of advances in electrical heating technology, which offer two options. The first is hydronic heated floors, which are comprised of rubber tubes circulating heated water underneath the floor’s surface. The second is electric, which is made using a thin panel grid that heats the surface of your floor much, in the same way, an electric blanket works.

#6 Modern Light Fixtures

 Small chandeliers and hanging bulbs are becoming quite popular in 2020 bathroom designs. Another trend is to install wall sconces near your mirror, which can enhance the ambiance for those relaxing nights in the tub. Adding small accents can go a long way toward enriching your bathroom’s atmosphere without breaking the bank.

#7 Matte Fixtures

Black matte has been making a comeback with striking contrast and offering a bolder option for those who like to make a powerful statement. Bathrooms are not the only spaces where this design feature can be added; countertops, sinks, cabinets, and even ceilings are growing in popularity, and it looks like the trend has just started. Going with a matte finish is one of the most modern options available for a bathroom or any area in your home.

#8 Water Efficient Toilets

With smart home appliances on the rise, it’s no surprise that water-efficient toilets are becoming more attractive. Like the next generation of smart water heaters to refrigerators and now water-efficient toilets, technology allows us to make our lives easier by offering efficiency, which saves us money. Water-efficient toilets reduce the total amount of water needed for flushing, helping the environment, and saving us money on our water and sewage bills.

#9 Diverse Tile Textures

Another growing trend isdiverse tile textures. Throughout the years, people have been compliant with the same tiles, colors, and textures in the bathroom. However, the trend is shifting to incorporate the opposite – a more diverse and open concept where tile textures don’t necessarily match but still complement one another. Also, think of practicality. Instead of always choosing matching designs, consider selecting a tile or material that absorbs warmth for the bathroom floor.

#10 Open Concept 

The open living room and kitchen concept has moved onto bathrooms in 2020. Offering both privacy and space, open floor plan bathrooms is another emerging trend for master bathrooms. These larger sized bathrooms with sometimes glass shower walls remove restrictive barriers and allow for a more liberating but private experience. 

These are just a few bathroom trends making headway in 2020. If you are considering remodeling your bathroom keep these ideas on your radar and contact JFC Remodeling for licensed contractor help, you’ll be glad you did! For more bathroom trends of 2020, read this article here.

For a Better Kitchen – 10 Tips to Consider

Whether you are looking for a new home, or considering updating your kitchen, or simply thinking of ways to improve your current setup, read our suggestions below for design and planning ideas.

  1. Eliminate Wasted Steps – Having all your essential items in one place with ease of access is the key here. Think about how and where you use your items. Are your dishes and flatware located near the sink for ease of access when unloading the dishwasher? Are your mugs near the coffeemaker? Simple reorganizations go a long way in overall kitchen functionality and user experience. 
  •  Design Wide Walkways – Typically, paths throughout a kitchen should be at least 36 inches wide. Roads within the cooking zone should be 42 inches wide for a one-cook kitchen and 48 inches wide for a two-cook setup. If your current kitchen space has less than this because of islands or chairs, try to adjust your surroundings to gain a larger working space in essential areas.
  • Direct Traffic – When considering layouts and appliance setup, think about how and where your traffic comes and goes. Try to keep the cooktop out of high traffic areas, so children do not catch handles and cause spills when running through. Position the refrigerator accessible to both the passerby and people working in cooking areas.
  • Stay Clear of Corners – Planning for a cabinet or drawer’s clearance and swing will make them more functional and allow for more breathing room. Try to keep appliances away from corners, and make sure doors will not bang into each other if open at the same time.
  • Optimizing Your Microwave Height – Typically, 15 inches above the countertop is the proper microwave height, although this varies depending on the chef or if you’re trying to be kid-friendly. If children are a factor, a below countertop layout may be safer and more appropriate.
  • Determine the Island’s Function – In the case of kitchen islands, form follows function, and less is more. Ideally, just having one centerpiece (such as a vase or decorative bowl), is more than enough for décor. Keeping this space clear and open allows for an inviting atmosphere that your guests will feel comfortable in. On the contrary, when you have clutter on an island, it can make the entire kitchen seem cramped.
  • Appropriate Landing Space – You should allow 14 inches of countertop on each side of a cooktop, microwave, and refrigerator. Having a landing space near the oven and other kitchen must-haves provides a temporary rest stop for items during prep.
  • Double Up – A second microwave oven, a mini-refrigerator, or a refrigerator drawer placed at the edge of a kitchen work center helps to keep snackers out of the cook’s way. Add a countertop bar with stools for an after-school spot for the kids to snack and do homework.
  • Arrange the Range – Placing a shelf beside or behind the cooktop range keeps cooking oils, utensils, and spices handy. Place S-hooks on the side of the range hood to hang regularly used items like pots and pans.
  1. Fill it Up – Installing a swing-out tap, also known as a pot-filler, can solve the issue of lugging pots around. Or, you can install an extra-long hose attachment on your main faucet to fill pots.

These are just a few ways to make your kitchen more functional and comfortable to spend your time in. If you’re considering remodeling your kitchen, keep these tips in mind; you’ll be glad you did. For more ideas about remodeling your kitchen, click here

Simple Home Projects You Can Do During the COVID-19 Lockdown

These days, most of us are finding that we have a lot more time on our hands as we stay at home due to COVID-19. The pandemic has locked most of us down, leaving people with not many choices to go out except to get groceries or to stop outside our favorite restaurant for curbside pickup.

For a lot of us, our home renovation plans have been put on hold as many businesses that we rely on have temporarily closed. However, there are many simple projects you can do around the house that can help you feel more productive and prepare you for larger renovation projects you have waiting this year.

This article lists out 7 simple home projects you can do during the COVID-19 lockdown, and we have broken them down for you below:

1) Painting

Painting is one of the simplest activities we can do to spruce up an area in our home. If you have enough paint cans lying around from the last project, it might be worth painting a fresh coat in that room you have been putting off. If you don’t have enough for a big paint project, you could always touch up certain areas that are wearing thin or have scuff issues.

2) Restoring Your Deck or Fence 

If you have a wooden deck or fence, you will know that these structures require regular maintenance to keep them in good shape every year. As the weather gets warmer, it’s always a good idea to spray or pressure wash your deck or fencing to remove the debris that gets embedded into the wood throughout the year. After your deck or fence is thoroughly cleaned and dried, you can add a fresh coat of paint or stain to make them pop for the summer.

3) Paint Your Front Door 

During these times, your front door probably isn’t getting the amount of traffic compared to the pre-pandemic world we are all used too. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make it stand out. Giving your front door a fresh coat of red, white, or blue paint can make the front of your home stand out and turn heads in your neighborhood.

4) Pressure Wash Your Siding

Every spring, quarantined or not, you should pressure wash the siding of your home. Vinyl siding accumulates a lot of debris, including mildew, bird droppings, pollen, and dirt. If you don’t own a pressure washer, you can always rent one at a local power equipment rental company near you. This can do wonders to the outside appearance of your home and, in some cases, make your siding look brand new.

5) Put Up a New Kitchen Backsplash

Surprisingly enough, a lot of people already have new backsplash pieces in their homes, ready-to-be-installed, but have never started on the project. If you have your backsplash lying around in your home and haven’t had the time to install it yet, this could be a perfect time!

6) Reorganize Your Garage 

We all have put off reorganizing and cleaning the garage at some point. We shouldn’t have an excuse this time around! It’s time to clear out the clutter, put up shelving, and sweep the floors! You will be thrilled you finally did!

7) Update Your Bathroom and Kitchen Hardware

One of the benefits of being stuck safely at home is that we can now tackle projects that we’ve procrastinated on because of their tedious or time-consuming demands. Such can be the case with simple bathroom and kitchen hardware upgrades like replacing old knobs and handles on cabinets and drawers.

Some states consider home improvement stores an essential business, so walking in to get these simple items shouldn’t be a problem. However, if these businesses are closed, you can still order products online. Ordering online may help you to make better purchasing decisions as you can price compare, expand your options, and readily see customer reviews more easily.


As a lot of us commute to work from the bed to the couch, we may find that we can’t wait to leave the house when this pandemic is finally over. However, before that time comes, let’s embrace our home fully and get going with those simple projects that can make being in our homes a little more exciting!

Tips for Planning Spring Home Renovations

Spring is the perfect time to begin home projects, and if you are considering updating your kitchen or bathroom, there is no better time to start planning!  We have put together a list of quick tips to help get these projects started on the right path, making home renovations easier.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

Many homeowners are eager to get outside again and look forward to landscaping and exterior repair projects. Upgrades such as adding a new deck or updating the siding on your house are popular home improvements during the Spring season. It is important to secure an appointment with a home contractor before spring as they regularly become over-booked midway into the season. Additionally, you should purchase any materials in advance so that you won’t have a shortage of supplies halfway into your project.

Certain home renovations may also require permits, which will take additional time for submission and approval before building can begin. Starting the planning process months in advance will allow proper preparation and peace of mind.

Function Over Beauty

Not all home renovations will add visual appeal, and that’s okay. Upgrading or installing new electrical, plumbing, or insulation are sometimes needed.  When making plans to renovate, other important issues can be uncovered within a project that was not anticipated but needs to be addressed. Common unforeseen problems can be leaky pipes, crooked floors, and roof repairs. If these issues are ignored, they will become more costly as time goes on, so it is essential to fix these problems early.

Choosing Your Professional

There is nothing worse than becoming one of those horror stories that you so often hear about with renovation projects. You want to avoid contractors who take shortcuts or charges double than the original quote presented. Getting stuck with a botched project that is unfinished or improperly installed is a nightmare to deal with and will only cause further problems.

When you put your home into someone else’s hands, you want reassurance that they will complete a project in a reasonable amount of time and that they have high-quality standards. It is essential to practice due diligence when selecting a licensed home contractor; having the right qualifications, experience, and positive reviews are critical when looking for professional help. Also, asking for references and getting several quotes can help assist in making your decisions less stressful.

JFC Remodeling is a full-service licensed contractor out of Howell, Michigan.  Specializing in kitchen and bathroom renovationsflooring upgrades, and home remodelingservices.  More information can be found online at