Attention To Detail:

If you have followed our featured projects in our monthly newsletters, you may have noticed a reoccurring theme of “attention to detail”. We are dedicated to providing high quality in all aspects of building, from the manufacturing of materials to the installation on site. It doesn’t just pertain to the finishes either; high-quality homes require high-quality materials and workmanship all around. To execute, it takes attention to detail. In the end, you may notice the tight miters in the trim or strategic placement of lights to efficiently light a room, but if we did our job right, the majority of the details should not be noticeable. This month we are going to take a quick look at some of these details that we take so much pride in that allows us to not only provide a high-quality product but a high-quality experience as well.

This month’s featured project was simple in scope but took a lot of effort to pay attention to all the details. Our client was looking to add an additional exterior entrance off the back of their home to access their future outdoor kitchen and to give an alternate entrance for people using the pool to get to the bathroom instead of going through the kitchen. The entrance would be located between the first floor and lower level of the home. The plan was to cut open the floor to add a stairwell to a landing to access the patio door and continue the stair to the lower level.

Before After

Taking a look at the before and after, it is easy to see the path from start to finish. Cut a hole in the floor. Cut a hole in the wall. Put a door in. Put a stairwell in. But here a few of the things that you didn’t see:

Providing a comfortable and safe living environment during construction:

First and foremost, remodels can be messy. Dust is inevitable, but it can be contained. We were able to completely partition off the rest of the non-affecting area of the home with temporary enclosures. These keep the dust to a minimum but still allow you to access the area. Extra care was taken to protect the existing shelving and equipment as well.

Before After

Access was important to the homeowners as the space that was being remodeled is their exercise room. It was important to them to be able to be able to continue to use their equipment after hours. This meant continuously keeping cleanliness in mind to provide a safe a clean job site at the end of each day. This flexibility creates a positive and calming experience. Your home is your place of rest and our goal is to keep the disruption as minimal as possible.

It was also important to keep this space secure from falling hazards and injury from scattered tools and materials. Temporary guard rails were always in place until the finish railing system was ready to go in.

Guard Rails

This project involved cutting a large hole in the exterior wall to provide the opening for the new sliding patio door to access the outdoor kitchen. When you have people still living in the home and you have finished space that needs to remain protected, you have to keep the time you have this space open to the elements to an extreme minimum. To do this you have to have all of your ducks in a row and have a solid plan in place. You also need to have a backup plan in place. Our plan was to have the hole cut in, demoed, re-framed, and closed-in in one day.

Before Opening Up The Wall

Our plan was successful and allowed for a dry enclosure for the night so we could install the door and window the following day, eliminating any worry of the unwanted outdoor element entering the home.

Window/Door Install

Quality Control:

Finished projects take a high level of craftsmanship to provide a high-quality finish. However, if you don’t have high-quality materials to begin with, our carpenters can’t provide the highest quality job. Receiving damaged material is a daily occurrence. There are a lot of hands that handle the materials that go into these projects before they even arrive on site. Dents and dings happen. Our carpenters have a trained eye to spot these defects and have them exchanged for new, not just patch and “make it work”. Here are a few of the defects that were discovered and taken care of on this project.

Damaged Stair End Cap Damaged Nosing

Even with perfect material, if you don’t use the right material or install it in the correct manner, you will not achieve a quality product in the end. A detail that you wouldn’t instantly notice (and shouldn’t) in a home, are quiet floors and stairs. Nothing is worse than a squeaky floor or stair tread. The difference in a quiet floor and squeaky one is simply hidden in the materials used and the method of install. As you can see here we chose to use an engineered wood for our stair stringer material.

Engineered Stringer

This is a superior product over dimensional lumber which is prone to movement which will eventually lead to squeaks. Engineered wood is extremely stable and an overall stronger material. Another hidden install method is the use of subfloor adhesive and screws when installing the subfloor.

Proper Subfloor Install

The glue and screws eliminate any movement or rubbing of the materials which would produce noise.

Finally, what good is a brand-new door and window if they are installed improperly and leak. No matter how energy efficient and waterproof the window is, if it is not flashed and insulated properly, you will have problems with leaks in the future. All framing material and rough openings are securely protected with window tape flashing and house wrap. The remaining gaps are sealed with spray foam insulation providing a thermal and air break.

Proper Flashing


Next to planning, the biggest area that takes the most attention to detail is the finishing touches. Everything should be pleasing to the eye and tie together. Nothing, in particular, should stick out and seem out of place or seem like an afterthought. In order for this to happen a lot of planning and forethought takes place and is turned into a layout. Here our carpenters took a minute to sketch a few layout lines on the wall to ensure the nosings are cut to proper length and that a professional return is achieved to hide end grain and provide a clean look.

Nosing Layout

How many times have you noticed a newel post that is not equally spaced from all the others or a spindle that didn’t land where it was supposed to? With a little math and planning, these faults can be prevented.

Spindle Layout

One additional forethought that was put into action during this project was reclaiming the flooring that was removed from the stair opening and repurposing it to patch in where the new nosings were being installed.

Floor Demo

The existing flooring was staggered to seamlessly hide the patch, and the reclaimed wood was reinstalled. Overall, even the simplest of components to a project has many levels of thought and planning that go into it to make it fit in flawlessly in the overall larger picture of the project. It takes time, practice and experience in catching all of these details and even more practice in having the attention to make sure they are all covered. Simon Builders have this experience.

Lower Level Before Lower Level After


First Floor Before First Floor After

Are you looking for an experienced builder to help you with your next remodeling project? Give us a call at (608)-849-5916!