Q&A WITH PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTOR MIKE HOLMES
Mike Holmes is a professional contractor, television host, public speaker, educator, influencer and writer.
As one of North America’s most trusted home authorities, his no-nonsense approach has struck a chord with industry leaders worldwide, leading him to be recognized for his trustworthiness by Forbes and Reader’s Digest. He has built an international brand based on quality, integrity
Renovating a home isn’t just a necessity anymore. Gone are the days that homeowners wait to fix things until they don’t have any other choice. Today, more and more people are renovating to please themselves. It’s about love for their own environment, their own serenity. We sat down with Mike Holmes, professional licensed contractor with over 35 years of experience, to discuss some of the most important things to consider when helping your customer’s home renovation dreams come true.
Q: In your experience, what are the most important things to consider before helping a customer choose the right fireplace?
Holmes: For me, the most important thing to remember is that homeowners don’t live and breathe hearth
I always say “slow down” and begin by taking the time
The more that we actually talk and get to know the customer, the better we’ll be at giving them what they truly want. That will lead to increased satisfaction in you which subsequently equates to more positive social reviews and referral business.
| Q: How can dealers and installers sell more upgrades to homeowners undergoing a renovation?|
Holmes: I have always found that people will never buy something you don’t show them. One mistake I see in all forms of home improvement is assuming everyone wants the lowest price and not giving
Homeowners will buy more if they see more, and that includes fireplaces in rooms and spaces that customers didn’t think were possible. And thanks to innovations in the industry today, we can dazzle them with gas, electric and indoor/outdoor options. It makes sense to me to make a mess only once and get the most out of each reno so adding to the job can save the homeowner money down the road. This opens the opportunity to upsell better product, more product, and more services.
Q: How are today’s homeowners evolving and what can you do to stay ahead of the curve?
|Holmes: I think the single biggest evolution is simply that yesterday’s renovations were mandatory, and today’s are elective. I find that millennials are much more interested in buying “experiences” than previous generations. We’ve come a long way from the years when the main benefit of fireplaces was heat. Ask the millennials, like my son and today it’s about setting mood, style , safety, efficiency, and the environment. That’s why I believe that hearth professionals need to embrace electric fireplaces, creating installations that cannot be duplicated by DIY’ers and home centers.|
|I’m also seeing great opportunity outdoors. For example, I just love the gas indoor/outdoor Luxuria fireplace from Napoleon; I have one myself. The unit allows for two-way viewing from inside and outside, giving homeowners an outdoor living centerpiece, a relaxing indoor focal point, and double the ways the fireplace can be enjoyed.|
Choosing between wood burning, gas, ethanol, and electric can be confusing. The following information will help you choose which fireside is best for you.
Most will agree, the ambiance of a natural wood burning fireplace is picturesque, and is hard to beat. However, wood-burning fireplaces require more in maintenance, cost, and are not energy efficient. 90% of heat for wood burning fireplaces goes out the chimney leaving only 10% to heat the room.
In addition to being inefficient, wood burning fireplaces tend to cost $190 annually, while electric and gas firesides run on under half the cost. Yearly chimney cleaning is needed to prevent creosote excess and fires. Wood burning emits much more pollutants into the air.
GAS AND ETHANOL FIRESIDES
Gas and ethanol firesides produce heat with much lower emissions compared to woodburning fireplaces. These firesides produce up to 99% fewer emissions. Both gas and ethanol firesides cost about $60 annually to run and do not require annual clean up of ashes and soot in the chimney.
Typically gas inserts have gas lines and will need to have pressure checks from the main gas supply. Ethanol inserts, on the other hand, do not require this in most cases. Between the two, gas firesides produce more heat than ethanol. Ethanol hearths are ideal for small spaces that are not the primary heat source for the room.
For both inserts, simply turn a switch to ignite flames that produce a warm ambient glow. These hearths turn off with ease making it possible to leave the premises without the worry of a fire burning.
These fireplaces are the cleanest and release no pollutants into the atmosphere. Inserts annually cost about $25 a year and do not require vents. Electric firesides convert all they produce into heat. While gas and ethanol units have various safety features, electric are cool to touch making them very safe for small children and animals.
DESIGN AND BUILDING CODES
When thinking about installing a fireplace each style comes with permits and codes to follow. For a traditional wood burning fireplace, you’ll need a permit from your local government. Unlike many new inserts, wood burning fireplaces have a number of codes that must be met. This would include; chimney standards, flue, opening requirements, and more.
Some gas/ethanol inserts can be (depending on the insert) installed without a permit. When remodeling, inserts are often your only option since traditional fireplaces require much more structural preparation.
When it comes to the design of the room, it’s important to think about the purpose and the location of the hearth. Traditional wood burning firesides work in small/large rooms but are least efficient in producing heat. Ethanol fireplaces are typically used in smaller spaces. Gas inserts heat mid to large sized rooms. Electric firesides are used in spaces grand or small depending on the size.
Trinity Fireside provides various inserts to fit your specific needs! Contact us today to see which fireside works best for you!
In light of June being garage door safety month, we at Trinity Fireside have decided to provide a list of helpful tips to prevent possible injuries and complications that can occur. This is not a list that covers all manufacturer’s doors, but tends to be the most common issues that homeowners run into.
The springs on a garage door can be the most dangerous part of the door itself. Over time these springs wear out and need to be replaced in order to prevent them from breaking and causing injuries. Doors that have two springs should have both replaced at the same time. This will not only avoid injury but will continue to allow your door to work efficiently and properly. When the springs are squeaky, try lubricating first and if the noise persists call a technician for maintenance.
DON’T FORGET THE CABLES
Check the cables alongside the spring system for worn or frayed cords. When worn, these cables are at a higher risk of breaking and can cause injury. Call a trained technician to replace the cables when needed. When a garage door has extension springs, a safety cable should be used to contain the springs. Extension springs are under high tension and can cause injury if it breaks.
KEEP IT SMOOTH
Garage doors should open and close smoothly whether old or new. When doors move awkwardly up and down, it may mean that the spring system is out of balance. Similar to balancing tires on a car, balancing springs prevents wear which allows for long term use. Also, when purchasing a new door, it’s tempting to use the old garage door track in order to save a few dollars. However, each door is different in weight, size, and material. For safety, longevity, and ease, it’s best to replace the track to match the new door. Then the two will function as one.
WATCH YOUR FINGERS
Many homeowners pinch their fingers each year when pulling down a garage door to close. If the door does not have pinch-resistant joints, they should have lift handles or suitable gripping points on both sides of the door. Even for those with an opener, it’s best to have door handles in the event that the electricity goes out or if the opener isn’t working.
Installing a garage door on your own can be dangerous. It’s safest to have a trained technician install and to annually check/maintain your garage door. Each door is manufactured differently. It’s important to read the manual and to store it nearby when needed.
Make sure your garage door is safe this month! Visit https://trinityfireside.com/steel-garage-doors/ to view our selection of garage doors!
MORE THAN A DOOR
Some would consider a garage door to be another expense that does not provide equal value, but garage doors yield a number of benefits that far outweigh the cost. For example, an enclosed garage provides a layer of protection for your vehicles against weather and potential burglaries.
In addition to protection, garage doors increase curb appeal which raises the overall home value. In most cases you get what you pay for. Cheap garage doors usually reflect the cost. This results in a decrease in desired home value.
Your investment in a well designed garage can save money in the long run. Thermal insulation will aid in the reduction of energy needed to cool and heat your home.
Curb appeal greatly increases the monetary value of a home. Many realtors, designers, and architects would agree that the outdoor appearance makes a world of difference in equity. When designing, take into consideration the intended use of your garage. In addition, consider the elements your door will encounter over the year. Garage doors are usually made of wood, steel, vinyl, fiberglass and aluminum.
Steel doors are known for aiding energy efficiency and durability, while a vinyl door is ideal for locations with intense sun or high salt spray. When thinking about aesthetics, aluminum works with contemporary homes that allow natural light into the garage. Wood doors pair beautifully with various materials and can be painted or stained for a more natural look.
When choosing a door, know the design of your home, and then choose a style that will coordinate. Well designed homes take the overall style and use the garage door to enhance that look. Designing a 1950’s home may fashion a traditional or carriage style door while modern homes with clean and simple lines normally use aluminum. After determining the look, choose from single and dual color doors as a finishing touch.
Garage doors have options for insulation to aid energy savings. Double and triple layer doors by Amarr provide a steel exterior and interior (triple layer doors only) with insulation in the center. By having a well insulated garage, it can help to maintain the temperature, and reduce operating noise level.
Having an attached garage can help minimize the transfer of outside air into your home increasing energy savings. For homes with a room above the garage, having insulation will reduce temperature fluctuations to prevent higher energy bills year-round.
Your garage door is an investment in curb appeal, energy savings, protection and more! Contact Trinity Fireside today for your new garage door! https://trinityfireside.com/steel-garage-doors/
TIPS TO CREATE THE PERFECT OUTDOOR KITCHEN
With a plethora of designs and products, there’s a world of opportunity to create your backyard kitchen. Start by asking what you want in an outdoor space. Maybe your desire is to have the ultimate gameday grill area or a quaint retreat for two. Think about your specific needs and future plans to build an area that fits you.
Take into consideration the layout and space. This will aid in the design process and will help to narrow down which items will work best with your square footage. For example, a large space with an owner that plans to host parties may want to have a large grill, sink, fridge, and TV. While some with smaller spaces who intend to cook for two may desire a portable grill with a small fireside and fan. Either way, depending on the need and use there are options for all! (Click to see different design styles.)
With the rise in demand for outdoor living products, there’s no longer a need to compromise your style. There are a number of firesides, grills, furniture pieces, and outdoor kitchen appliances to choose from that are both high quality as well as a statement piece!
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Before getting carried away, it’s vital to remember the current structure of your home. When choosing a grill, for example, you may be restricted to electric due to HOA rules in a condominium. Others may not have a gas line and will have to decide on either installing for a gas hook up or using propane tanks. Think about what works with your space, and what is involved with each choice. Know your guidelines and zone in on a product from there.
Decide what kind of features will work with the design in mind. This can include; an outdoor fridge, fans, heaters, counter space for food prep, and more! Each space will have different features depending on the use. When investing in an outdoor getaway, try to anticipate future needs. The avid griller may require multi-surface grilling with a rotisserie, fridge, and outdoor sink. While a family designing for an outdoor pool cabana may want a small fridge, fan, and grill area.
Grills can range from $150 to around $10,000! If you’re planning an outdoor kitchen and your entire budget is $10,000 then you may want to consider a grill and appliances that will work within your desired budget. While having a spending limit is ideal, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Remember, you’re creating an outdoor dream kitchen that is an investment in your home, so try blending your budget with quality in order to have the best long term result.
WHERE DO I GO TO START?
At Trinity Fireside we provide a number of options for various outdoor living designs! Our company strives to provide high-quality services and products to help build your dream home. Visit our products page to see more options on outdoor living and contact us to start your design today!
By Kelly Simants
The time is here, we’ve all been waiting for it! It’s time to break out of our winter fog! The air is crisp, birds are chirping, and the end of cold temps are nearing. This is the time of year that inspires outdoor l
Your life outside is a continuation of your life inside. It’s an extension of your living room, as your outdoor space has the capacity to host special guests, invite laughter and warmth into your home, and create a safe place for your family to enjoy.
The space outside of your home should reflect your personal style and also what brings you peace and happiness. A true place of gathering, there is nothing better than keeping those you love close by. Your home is your sanctuary, and opening up your walls to the space outside creates an even bigger oasis for everyone to enjoy or just a special place to retreat to after a long day.
A few ways to enhance your space are with a beautiful Fire Bowl, the intriguing flames invoke warmth and a cozy ambiance that is a must to create an external continuation of your warm home. This is a simple and affordable way to bring new life to your space in just a matter of hours. A gorgeous outdoor fireplace can give your patio, deck, or outdoor living space a dramatic focal point.
As outdoor rooms continue to rise in popularity so do the needs for a great outdoor kitchen! The design and elegance for outdoor kitchens have come such a long way. In fact, the space that used to be considered in the same family as man caves is slowly being taken over by the females of the family, sorry guys, it’s time to share. Another way to create the perfect haven is with a comfy lounge area or a table and chairs for friends and family to gather around. When it comes to functionality, design, appeal, and comfort, outdoor furniture has become just as relevant as its counterpart, the indoor stuff.
Whether your style is edging more on v
For more ideas and inspiration visit our outdoor living page at https://trinityfireside.com/outdoor-living/ to create the outdoor space of your dreams!
Things To Consider When Designing For Outdoor E
EVALUATE THE CURRENT SPACE
When designing for outdoor living it’s essential to consider the layout and square footage available. Think about what is most important, and build the design based on your priorities. For instance, three-quarters of an acre will be used differently than a quarter acre. If hosting cook-outs and gatherings is important to you, having a functional multi-use grill and lounge area may be the main focus.
WHAT WORKS BEST?
Once you have analyzed the available space and future needs, it’s time to consider what will work. For example, those who have an outdoor space with less square footage and a desire to host cookouts; a smoker, small built-in grill, and efficient sized furniture may be ideal. On the other hand, more square footage with the intent to entertain family and friends, may call for different items such as; a large open-air grill, lounge furniture, fire bowl, outdoor kitchen, etc.
Trinity Fireside’s Delta, Twin Eagles, and Kamado Joe grills (click for more information) are options to consider for smaller spaces. OFYR (view photos) and Eldorado Artesian Firebowls (view photos) work beautifully with large open-air spaces. Skyline (photo below) has a variety of lounge furniture that can work with both large and small square footage. Whether you’re thinking of adding an impressive fireside, or quaint a reading nook, think about what works best for your backyard getaway.
Even when designing for a small location it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice having a personal outdoor paradise. It’s easy to think your space is too small, but sometimes a challenging space brings out the best design! With space, size, and personal ideals in mind think about the possibilities. Get creative on ways to utilize the area. Consider the overall arrangement, furniture layout, and landscape options.
Maybe you’re on the other end of the spectrum. Having a large backyard can be overwhelming, and some may not know where to start. Go back to the available footage and your ideas to start. From there think about the possibility of a pool, garden, furniture, fireside, dining area, grill, you name it! The backyard is your oyster!
Fireplace inserts are something to be considered for those planning on year-round use of their outdoor space. Fireplaces create warmth, ambiance, and additional lighting for design both large and small. Trinity’s variety of inserts ranging from traditional to modern opens up a world of possibilities! (click here to view more images)
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
Once you have decided what will work for your entertaining needs, from there it’s time to zone in on the details. Since the foundation has been set, the next step is to create an inviting and comfortable area. Color, texture, and style are all things to decide on what works with your design. This includes choosing wood, rock, brick, tile, etc. It’s helpful to zone in on a style and then to design around that.
THE END RESULT
No matter what you have in mind, Trinity provides a number of products that can work with your space. Whether it’s an outdoor kitchen, fireplace, and poolside, or patio lounge and grill. We aim to bring the ultimate outdoor dream to your home. Visit trinityfireside.com to see more options and ideas to start your design today!
THINK ABOUT THE PURPOSE OF THE ROOM
When designing a space it’s important to think about what kind of environment you’re designing for. What is the main purpose? Is the space for entertainment, or everyday living? Are you creating a serene quiet space or a room where everyone can gather? Will the area have heavy traffic, pets, and kids? When designing take into account the purpose of the room and then plan on what you expect to use the area for.
WHAT IS THE MAIN FOCUS?
Is there a feature in your home that is the main focus and center of the room? For instance, many living areas have a fireside as the central focus. However, a work of art or furniture piece can also be the centerpiece while the fireside is used to enhance the design you are creating. Think about how you enter and what the eye will meet first. This gives a good idea of what the focal point can be, and how to design around it.
WHAT STYLE ARE YOU AIMING FOR?
Take into account the main focus of the room, and know what style you intend to use. Are you looking to have a minimalist, contemporary, or mid-century modern? For ideas and explanations on different styles visit – rocheledecorating.com.au . This site breaks down 14 different looks and can help you decide on what works best for your home.
COLOR, TEXTURES, AND MATERIALS
Based on style and space, think about color, texture, and materials. If the area has limited lighting and the look is Shabby Chick, planning to have light paint and texture can brighten the space. If you’re going for a more rustic style, materials may include; wood, rock, and earth tone paints. Industrial involves exposed brick, ductwork, and wood. Thinking about space, size, and lighting will aid greatly when choosing color, texture, and materials.
DESIGNING AROUND THE MAIN PIECE
If the fireside is the central focus, your furniture and accent pieces will arrange around it. When artwork and/or furniture is the main point, choose a fireplace that does not compete with your central focus. This could mean using a more narrow design or possibly an insert that opens on both sides. Visit Trinityfireside.com for inspiration using different styles.
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
Once you have decided on the central focus, start arranging furniture and accent pieces around that focal point. Keep in mind how you will enter and walk through space on a day to day basis. You never know how the room will look until the furniture is in place. Rearranging will help to decide what will work best. For ideas on arranging furniture visit www.thespruce.com. No matter what style you decide on Trinity Fireside has options to fit your needs!
Visit our gallery for inspiration!
We are so excited about our new line of cutting edge fireplaces!
Creative architectural designs can present many challenges when bringing the fireplace from a grand concept on paper into reality. Many manufactured fireplaces lack the flexibility in size or dramatic options needed when a fireplace design sits outside the standard parameters. So go ahead and create away! Get the exact size, shape, and design to fit your style, location, and needs! Imagine the Possibilities!
DREAM IT. CREATE IT.
Stellar fireplaces allow flexibility when designing for your home or commercial use. Options include single, corner, bay, pier, 4-sided, and more! Sizes range from 4′-22′ wide and 18″- 72″ tall for two, three, and four-sided inserts. There’s no longer a need to question whether a fireplace will fit. Stellar firesides work with the design you have envisioned.
NOT JUST A FIREPLACE
Stellar products function as a fireplace while creating a beautiful atmosphere for both indoor and outdoor inserts. In addition to providing warmth and ambiance, Stellar creates an architectural statement. You’re no longer confined to a rectangular box when designing! With custom styles and unique sizes, you are sure to have a bold and sophisticated look.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Along with freedom in size, there are a number of styles to choose from. No matter what your style, Stellar has a variety of choices ranging anywhere from traditional to modern. Stellar provides options that are sure to spark the imagination!
BRING YOUR VISION TO LIFE
At Trinity Fireside we strive to provide the best service and products! Stellar fireplaces are high-quality in addition to being aesthetically pleasing. It’s time to bring your dream to life! Visit trinityfireside.com to get started!