Why Quartz Countertops?

Thinking of remodeling your kitchen? With so many products on the market, it can be difficult to decide which products fit your needs best. When looking into countertops, consider Quartz. Quartz Countertops have many benefits that suit a wide array of customers’ needs and wants in the kitchen.

What is Quartz?

For those unfamiliar with Quartz, it is an engineered stone that possesses many of the great qualities of natural stone and much more. There is some Quartz stones that are actually man-made and there are some that are natural from the ground. Both are called Quartz.Quartz Countertops 1

For starters, it has a much softer feel than a natural stone like granite. This allows for a little more forgiveness when dropping things on them. Another bonus is that the stone itself will not be damaged as easily when you drop a hard item on it. It is scratch resistant and dent resistant for the best durability. In addition, spills are never a problem. The non porous surface of the countertops does not allow for stains so wine, tomato sauce, and oil will easily wipe away leaving no traces behind. Finally, perhaps the best aspect of Quartz Countertops is the wide variety of colors it comes in. You are not limited by nature as you are with granite. So you are guaranteed to find a product that compliments all aspects of your kitchen renovations.

Who Uses Quartz Countertops?

Many home remodeling companies are familiar with Quartz Countertops and are now displaying it in showrooms and making samples readily available for consumers. If you are in the Milwaukee area and are interested in renovating your kitchen, Refined Renovations has quite a few products to peruse. This Milwaukee Remodeling company can help you choose a flattering color and design for your kitchen countertops. The wide array of quartz products is impressive and helpful when choosing such an important statement piece of your kitchen.

With so many factors to consider in your kitchen remodel, let the professionals help with the counters. With research and experience behind them, specialists can suggest a perfect product that will meet your expectations and all with a hassle-free experience that will never stress you out. Get the kitchen of your dreams without the frustration and discover the products that are right for you and your family.


What Are We Talking About When We Talk About Design?

Design Crop

We’ve walked you through the design phase of our process before, but we still get the question a lot-

“We know what we want, why do we need design?”

We think this comes from a misunderstanding of how professionals use the word “design.” When homeowners think about design, they usually think it means a third party coming in and judging their current window treatments or dictating where exactly to put that couch for optimal feng shui. While decoration assistance is certainly a service we can provide, design is our process of discovery, research, and planning that allows us to know exactly what a project will entail before any ground is broken.

      Design starts with a contract and a conversation. If you’ve decided to move forward with Refined Renovation’s design services, you’ll sign a design agreement. This allows us the freedom to research your needs, wants, and current home to determine how best to proceed. We sit down and delve deeply into how you use the space you have now and how you need it to function after the renovation. We listen to your needs and wants and start to form a rough plan based on what you want and your available working budget.

During this first visit, we will take a lot of pictures. These come in handy during the many subsequent meetings between our architect and your project lead. We’ll bring in our architect to recreate your current home plan before starting on the new plan. Even if you’ve got an existing blueprint, homes settle. To avoid surprises, it helps to have an up-to-date measurement of your existing space. During the weeks before your first design presentation, your lead and your architect meet many times. This time is spent taking your dreams and translating them into realistic possibilities that respect your home, budget, and timeline.

You’ll have progress meetings. Your architect and lead will present a few different rough designs, and your input will dictate which of these moves forward. More meetings of your team will happen behind the scenes as they refine your design, discuss potential pitfalls and solutions, and consider new and exciting ideas. You’ll have more meetings to ensure that everything being thought of is something you want in your home, and you should always feel free to send over anything you want added or changed. Once the general layout is decided, a walk-through meeting will take place with various trades checking out the plan and the site. They’ll present proposals to our team, and the scope of your project takes shape.

The design phase is mostly behind-the-scenes and ultimately, and this leads clients to believe it’s an unnecessary part of the whole project. But a project without design is like a road trip without a map – it might turn out okay and it’ll certainly be an adventure, but flying by the seat of your pants is much more likely to land you in the middle of expensive and time consuming problems. Building requires plans, and the better the plan, the better the project.

While we are working on your designs, you can stay busy too! Making selections like appliance, paint colors, door hardware, and plumbing fixtures all contribute to the final total and save time once construction is underway. The ultimate goal of the design retainer is to allow us to put enough effort into our designs to create a construction-ready plan document and an accurate plan cost. You’ll receive a fully finished plan and cost of job, complete with color renderings so you know exactly what you’re getting and what it’ll take to move forward with construction.

Design Phase

8 Questions to Ask Potential Contractors

What to Learn When Talking to Contractors

This weekend we will be hosting our first-ever invitation-only home tour. These are always a lot of fun- not only do we get to spend time in spaces that we’ve worked hard to create for our clients, but it gives us a chance to connect with new people. We love talking about what we do, answering questions, swapping stories, and just providing answers to anything visitors need.

Mequon Kitchen

It can be daunting to find your perfect remodeling firm, so we’ve put together a list of good questions you can and should be asking any time you’re researching a potential contractor.

How long have you been in the industry/been in business?

Experience is everything in remodeling, so an established history within your community will speak volumes to the trustworthiness of a contractor. Today’s marketplace is competitive, and a company that has survived a decade will have good references and history to back up their work.

Will you provide a list of references I can contact?

A tour will propel you right into their handiwork, but ask for references anyway. Any contractor worth their salt should be able to supply you with a minimum of three references, including names, telephone numbers and addresses. As a follow up to this question, ask how long ago the project was completed and if the contractor can arrange a visit to see the finished job. They might not always be able to get you into these other finished projects, but it’s always worth it to ask.

How do you operate?

In other words, how is your firm organized? Do you have employees or do you hire subcontractors? If you hire subs, how established is that relationship? Many first-time remodelers get nervous when subs are mentioned, but good teams don’t need to be on the same payroll. When representatives from different trades have worked together for decades, there’s a natural teamwork and cohesion.

What is your remodeling process?

This is a good way to gauge the efficient and organization of a contractor or firm. This answer should be clear-cut and decisive. If they waffle on the explanation, they’ll waffle on your project.

Does your company carry worker’s compensation and liability insurance?

Ask for copies of the insurance certificates to verify coverage. Once supplies are delivered to your home, they fall under your insurance. But the people coming in to work should be covered by their own insurance. If something goes wrong, you’ll be grateful you did due diligence.

Are any of your company’s employees licensed and certified?

Some states require licensing and registration to build within their borders. If your state does have construction licensing laws, ask for your contractor’s registration and license, then confirm the license number and expiration date with your local jurisdiction. Trade certifications are also good indicators of continuing education and dedication to the industry.  Check the business card – if their name is followed by CRM, CRPM, CKBR or anything similar, rest assured they are dedicated to staying educated. For a full list of certifications, check out the NARI Website.

How many projects like mine have you completed in the past 12 months?

This will help you determine the contractor’s familiarity with your type of project. You should confirm that a good portion of those completed projects were similar to the type of project you are proposing.

Will we need a permit for this project?

Most jobs will require some kind of permit. If you’ve chosen to general contract for yourself. Failure to obtain the necessary permits or schedule inspections can be illegal. In some cases, if a project violates a zoning law or some other regulations, it may even have to be demolished if there is no way to comply with the law. A qualified remodeling contractor will be conscious of the permit process, and ensure that all permits have been obtained before initiating any work.

Of the many questions you can ask during an interview, the most important question is one you must ask yourself: “Do I trust and feel comfortable with the person I am about to hire?”

Your answer to that last question should make the hiring decision a lot easier.

Neolith, What Is It and How Can It Be Used?

Neolith Hearth

Neolith is a very new product that is quickly growing in popularity for Milwaukee home remodeling and home renovation projects. It is a high-tech compact surface derived from fusing raw clay, feldspar and silica at extremely high temperatures, resulting in a versatile natural product. Extremely durable, Neolith resists high temperatures, is nonporous and highly resistant to staining and scratching.

An eco-friendly option, Neolith is made from all natural materials, using environmentally conscious manufacturing techniques, resulting in a 100% recyclable product. Neolith requires no sealing and minimal maintenance, making it an excellent choice for high traffic areas.

Manufactured in large slab sizes, Neolith is a cost-effective option. The larger slabs require fewer joints and Neolith is lighter weight than natural stone solid surfaces. The coloring and pattern are consistent throughout the slab. The lighter weight makes it easier to handle and no additional structural reinforcement is needed, as is often needed when renovating with a granite or marble surface.

Neolith is available in a virtually endless variety of color options to fit any décor from traditional to ultra-modern. The versatile and durable nature of Neolith lends itself to a wide variety of applications for both the interior and exterior of a home.

Neolith in Countertops

Highly resistant to heat, scratching and almost completely nonporous, Neolith is an ideal option for kitchen and bathroom countertops. The lighter weight of the Neolith slab is a cost effective option and it’s easier to handle and cut than granite or marble. The nonporous nature of Neolith makes it a hygienic and easy to sanitize option.


The nonporous quality of Neolith makes it an excellent choice for flooring, particularly in high traffic areas, such as kitchens and entryways. Its resistance to ultraviolet rays, staining and high temperatures makes it an ideal choice for exterior applications, such as porches, patios and decks.


Neolith is well suited for interior walls in bathrooms and showers. The high heat resistance makes its an ideal choice for fireplace surrounds. The resistance to temperature and ultra violet rays make Neolith a low maintenance option for exterior walls and accents.


The beauty and durability of Neolith makes it an ideal product for use in interior furnishings, such as cabinet facings, tables and shelving. It lends itself well to exterior furnishings as well with its resistance to temperatures and staining.

A highly durable and cost effective option, Neolith provides the beauty of a natural stone product that is easier to handle and install than the heavier solid stone slabs. Neolith is a versatile option for any Milwaukee remodeling or renovation project.

What is an Egress Window?

More and more, families are expanding the living spaces in their homes by finishing their basements. It’s a great opportunity to gain play spaces, crafting areas, workout rooms, extra bathrooms, or even extra bedrooms without the hassle of an addition. It’s not as easy as throwing down some hardwood and a beverage fridge though – to be happy, healthy, and code-compliant, you’ll likely need an egress window.

An egress window? What the heck is that?

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