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Newsletter #12

Autumn Trees and Fall Leaves

The leaves are falling and the wind is blowing. Can you feel the cold creeping in? Well you should because it’s right outside your door waiting for your first step. Heaters are always great but who can resist that cozy fire in the living room or even your bedroom? Just the thought of snuggling up in front of that warm fire with a cup of hot cocoa or tea makes me want to go home right now. You may already have the fireplace but its not appealing anymore, its more of an eye sore at this point. Let’s remodel that living room to give you enough snuggle room and a nice sized fireplace to warm the whole house. What about that kitchen, is there a wall in your way of easy access from your living room or dining room? Let’s open that up to give you more breathing room and enough space to move about the home. Whatever your remodeling needs, we are one phone call away. We will build your dreams. Give us a call for your remodeling project 425-224-2004.

Stunning bathroom with all new tile and a spacious walk-in shower.
List of Work We Perform:
  • Whole House Remodel
  • Additions
  • Bathroom Remodel
  • Kitchen Remodel
  • Custom Home
  • Design & Build
  • New Construction
  • Decks
  • Outdoor Living
Uniquely designed spice rack that pulls out right next to the stove.

Referral Program:

There is no greater honor than having our past clients/friends recommend us to their friends, family and co-workers. To show our appreciation, we would like to invite you to participate in our exclusive client referral
program.

When you refer a friend, family member or co-worker to our company and they sign a
construction contract with us, you will receive 1% of the total project cost on a future project with our company or cash. A $100,000 project=$1,000 credit.
The people who you refer to our company will also receive 1% off of their project costs to be used with their current project.

There is no limit on how many times you can use this program, so the more you use it, the more money you can earn.
We look forward to working with you, your friends and your family.

Trivia Question:
Q: Out of which vegetable were Jack O’ Lanterns originally made?

Call in correct answer for $10 Starbucks Gift Card 425-224-2004
(I have had one repeat winner for months, who wants to be the next winner?!)

Look at this elegant kitchen located in the Seattle area.
Classic Remodeling has completed some pretty nice projects recently. The pictures you see on our newsletter this month are of a Kitchen and Bathroom we did for a returning client in Seattle area. We love the way this kitchen has turned out. The lighting really makes the colors pop. The space in the kitchen allows more than one person to move freely and all the cabinet space for storage. Don’t you think this is just gorgeous? You can have a beautiful kitchen too just give us a call. Not just kitchens but any project you want to get started on check out our website to view our gallery, then give us a call at 425-224-2004 and we can schedule someone to meet with you to go over your remodeling needs. 

4 Ways to Finance a Home Improvement Project Without Draining

Your Bank Account
[realtor.com: Terri Williams]

Taking on a home improvement project can increase your property’s value, address small issues before they become large problems and make your house more livable. But while small projects may require only sweat equity(e.g. grabbing a hammer and scheduling out a few hours of your time), big changes typically require big bucks. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to be flush with cash to finance a big home improvement project. There are resources you can tap to help you pay for a renovation without having to drain your bank account. 

Below, the financial services that might be worth exploring if you’re ready to make some changes to your home.

Home Equity Line of Credit, HELOC
 
If you’ve lived in your home for at least three to four years, you’ve probably built up some equity.

“We like to call this “lazy equity”-money that is not being used that is tied to the home,” sayd Jordan Terrell, associate broker at Atlas Real Estate, a Denver-based realty group specializing in real estate investments, brokerage, and property management.

One way to use the equity is to get a home equity line of credit, or HELOC. This credit option allows homeowners to use their equity as collateral to borrow funds to use to improve the property.

“You can create an interest-only loan, which works a lot like a credit card or checking account, and you pay interest until it’s paid off,” Terrell says.

Ruth Shin, CEO and founder of Property Nest, a real estate startup in New York, says HELOCs are better suited for longer-term projects, or a series of projects that are projected to take at least a year to complete. Why? Because you can borrow funds as needed (as opposed to taking out a lump sum), interest rates are variable (so you can tap the funds when it makes the most financial sense), and repayment options are flexible.

Personal Loan
 
Suppose you don’t have a lot of equity in your home – or you don’t want to touch the equity you do have. A personal loan is another way to finance your home improvement project.

This is a variable option if you’re in a hurry and don’t need to borrow a lot of money, according to Abe Kahan, head of mortgage at Laurel Road, a digital lending company.

For some personal loan lenders, the minimum amount can be as little as a few thousand dollars. And Kahan says personal loans come with few to no fees. But there are also some disadvantages to getting a personal loan.

“Interest rates tend to be higher, because lenders aren’t relying on assets such as a home to back the loan, Kahan explains. In addition, the repayment periods are shorter – usually between three and seven years.

Credit Cards
 
Depending on the amount of your project, you may want to put it on your credit card.

Jody Costello, home renovation planning expert and founder of the website Contractors From Hell, says she’s seeing this more and more.

“People are choosing cards where they can earn points and use them for things like future travel,” she says.

One obvious disadvantage to this option is high interest rates. 

But some credit card companies do offer 0% APR for certain periods of time, allowing consumers to pay off during this time frame, you’ll probably end up with a double-digit interest rate.

Short Term Rental
 
This option doesn’t require equity or cash, just a little extra space in your home and a willingness to be a property manager. To generate some cash, consider renting out your house or a spare living space(e.g. the basement or an in-law unit) as a short-term rental on Airbnb or VRBO.

“Many of the homeowners I’ve seen do this can generate around $600 to $1,200 per month, depending on the location,” says Terrell.

It’s a relatively quick way to come into a chunk of cash that you can use for a renovation. However, you’ll be responsible for making the property livable and managing guests, which can be a tall order.

Most short-term rental sites have hosting standards that you must meet, which include making sure you’re provided essential items (e.toilet paper, soap, and linens) and are prepared for an emergency. Also, you may have to apply for permits (read: pay fees) or obtain insurance in order to legally rent out your home – even if it’s just for a few days.

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

(12-16 Bars)

 

Prep time

(25 Minutes)

 

Cook time

(45 Minutes)

 

Shortbread Crust:

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)

 

Apple Filling:

  • 2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced (1/4 inch thick)
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Streusel:

  • 1/2 cup (40g) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup (70g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed

 

Salted Caramel Sauce Instructions:

  1. Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn. 
  2. Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.
  3. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2 minutes. If you notice the butter separating, remove from heat and vigorously whisk to combine it again. (If you’re nervous for splatter, wear kitchen gloves.)
  4. Very slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while stirring. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble when added. Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to slightly cool down before using Caramel thickens as it cools.
  6. Cover tightly and store for up to 1 month in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove to desired consistency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pie Bars Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on all sides. Set aside.
  2. Make The Crust: Stir the melted butter, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the flour and stir until everything is combined. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan.. Bake for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling and streusel.
  3. Make the Apple Filling: Combine the sliced apples, flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until all of the apples are evenly coated. Set aside.
  4. Make the Streusel: Whisk the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a medium bowl. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or two forks(or even with your hands) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  5. Remove the crust from the oven, and turn the oven up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Evenly layer the apples on top of the warm crust. It will look like there are too many apple slices, so layer them tightly and press them down to fit. Sprinkle the apple layer with streusel and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours(or overnight). Lif the foil or parchment out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. I usually cut them into 16 smaller bars, but you can cut them into 12 larger bars. Once cut, drizzle some salted caramel sauce on top of each. These apple pie bars can be enjoyed warm, at room temperature, or even cold.
ENJOY!!

Salted Caramel:

  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons (90g) salted butter, room temperature cut up into 6 pieces
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt

 

 

Notes:

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can make this caramel in advance. Make sure it is covered tightly and store it for up to 1 month in the refrigerator. Warm the caramel up or a few seconds before using in a recipe. This caramel is OK at room temperature for a day if you’re traveling or gifting it. You can freeze the salted caramel, too. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature, then warm up before using.
  2. Special Tools: Copper Saucepan or stainless steel saucepan, wooden spoon, mason jar mugs.
  3. Butter: Unsalted butter may be used instead, though i prefer salted. No other changes need to be made to the recipe if using unsalted.
  4. Heavy Cream: Heavy cream (approximately 36% milk fat) may also be sold as whipping cream. Light whipped cream (30% milk fat), or double cream (48% milk fat) may be substituted. Do not use milk. Room temperature cream is best.
  5. Salt: Use regular table salt or kosher salt. If using larger flaky salt, add 1 teaspoon, taste, then add more if desired. This recipe works with 1 teaspoon of any variety of salt. You can always add 3/4 teaspoon, taste, then add more if desired.
  6. Caramel Candies: This caramel is great as a sauce, topping, or filling, but won’t set up properly to make soft caramel candies.
  7. Regular Caramel: If you want to make regular caramel, reduce salt to 1/2 teaspoon. Do not leave it out completely.
  8. Larger Batches: Avoid doubling or tripling this recipe. The added volume could prevent the sugar from melting evenly and properly. Make a couple batches instead.

 

Notes:

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: The bars will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. You can freeze the bars for up o 3 months. Then, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving and drizzling with caramel.
  2. Apples: I like to use two different kinds of apples for a more complex flavor. I typically use 1 tart apple variety such as a Granny Smith, and 1 sweeter apple variety such as Pink Lady. You’ll end up with about 3-4 cups. A little more or less is OK, based on your preference of filling.
  3. Larger Batch: Recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9×13 pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes and cool completely as directed in this recipe.