Let’s Go Outside!

After cold, bitter wind, and frozen precipitation, the first breath of warmer spring-like air lifts our spirits. Combine the warmer temps with more daylight and you have the perfect reason to get outdoors. In honor of turning the corner towards spring, here are some great Wood Wise porches to imagine yourself enjoying. Give us a call and we’ll help design and build the perfect porch for you.




No Wash Day Blues Here

A great functioning, good-looking laundry room can change a dreaded task into a pleasant one. These homeowners asked Wood Wise to create new laundry areas in their homes as part of larger projects. Necessary items often requested include a sink, cabinets for storing products, and countertops to fold clothes, in a room or space that can be closed off. Adding cubbies and hooks for backpacks and coats are an added bonus. Although each laundry room looks different, the end-goal is the same: make the hard-working laundry room function well and look great. Done.



2018 Downtown Home Show

We’re getting excited about the Downtown Home Show coming up the weekend of February 23 – 25.  Plan now to attend the show to get inspired with lots of good home improvement ideas. Stop by our booth and we’ll show you how we can help turn your house into the home of your dreams.

Work of Art

We love to hear from our clients about how they are enjoying their newly remodeled homes. The following came in an email today from a homeowner who is very happy with her Wood Wise renovation:


     “There are so many things we love about our house, it is hard to name one.  I really appreciate the patience you have all given us.  The highest compliment I can give you is that you have created a team, from your staff to your subcontractors. They all seem to work well and respect each other.

      It is a work of art that translates into home.”

Home Appliances: Make Them Last Longer and Perform Better

Home appliances make our lives easier. Washing clothes in a cauldron or carrying blocks of ice to keep the milk from spoiling would be a burden. Appliances are essential elements in every home and we don’t give them a second thought unless they stop working.

Here are some tips for adding performance and longevity to your home appliances:

Washing machine:  Replacing older water hoses is easy and should be done every five years on rubber hoses. Braided jacket hoses last ten years or longer. Worn or cracked hoses lose flexibility and are the culprit in many laundry room floods. After moving your washer make sure the hoses are seated and clamped properly so they do not slip out during use.

Dryer:  Dryers are easy to maintain. Clean the lint off the filter before every load. Since lint gets stuck in the exhaust duct and restricts air flow, a yearly removal of the duct at the wall connection is recommended. This requires pulling out the dryer, unplugging, and doing the maintenance cleaning. Builders save money by installing the plastic duct but it makes sense to substitute with the metal duct when it needs to be replaced.

Refrigerator:  Refrigerators pull air in from below to cool off the coils which heat up in the cooling process. Special brushes (long and very skinny) are made to clean lint off these coils. It will save you electricity if your refrigerator coils are clean plus your refrigerator will not work so hard day to day. You may need to remove the front bottom panel to reach your brush into the spaces above and below your refrigerator’s coils.

Your ice maker water line has a filter which should be changed more often than people change them. Once it gets dirty from filter out minerals and bacteria the water line filter isn’t good at filtering. In fact, it is unhealthy for you to drink from the water outlet in the door or to use the ice filtered through the overloaded filter. Newer refrigerators have easy to change filters.  You can buy filters online once you know your refrigerator model number.

Finally, overloading your freezer makes it difficult for cold air to circulate up and down. If you have a bit of open space on most shelves it allows better circulation.  The cold freezer air is used to chill the refrigerator side so both sides benefit.

Dishwasher:  It doesn’t seem likely that dishwashers would get dirty since they slosh soapy water around each week. But the inside must be cleaned every few months, particularly at the door edge. Use baking powder and a wet paper towel to wipe the door bottom and the door perimeter.

For a deep clean (especially if you normally use the “Lite” cycle) sprinkle one cup of baking powder all around the bottom of your dishwasher interior then run it (no dishes) on Heavy Duty and Hot. This will clean the utensil baskets and all surfaces.

Bosch dishwashers have a waste basket that needs to be cleaned regularly. Check online or look in your manual (which you filed away for easy access, right?)

Annual cleaning could include removal of the spray arm (reverse threaded nut on top) and clean with warm, soapy water. Poke a thin wire in any clogged holes and scrub mineral deposits off the spray arm with white vinegar.

Range:  Gas stoves may require periodic cleaning of clogged burners. Most burners lift out to be cleaned with hot soapy water. Older stoves have a pilot flame; newer stoves have spark ignition instead of a pilot flame. Each may be adjusted. Go online for guidance with your particular range.

Replacing the oven gasket usually requires disassembling the door which may be better handled by an appliance technician.

Most ovens have a self-cleaning cycle, which runs for two and a half to three hours at an automatic 850 degrees setting but only costs about $2. to run. After this cycle has cooled (best done overnight), wipe out the residue with a clean wet rag. Before running the self-clean cycle wipe out any crumbs and clean around the door edge first.

Microwave:  No maintenance is required. Wipe up spills after cooking and clean around the door seal occasionally. Avoid plastic wrap as a covering when reheating foods and avoid plastics of all types in the microwave. The most common hazard is overcooked popcorn that can cause a fire so stay close by when cooking popcorn.

Radical Makeover

We all love makeovers. There’s something hopeful and encouraging about seeing a home not living up to its potential finally arrive. The Wood Wise team is privileged to see this happen with every remodeling project. We see the lackluster “before” become the beautiful “after.” Some renovations are more extreme than others but all improve the lives of the homeowners.

This kitchen remodel falls in the “extreme makeover” group. The existing space was very cramped, inconvenient, and unattractive. WW designer Kathy Walker borrowed space from an adjoining room to expand the kitchen and give it a fresh layout. Now the kitchen is light-filled, well-organized, and a pleasure to work in. Daily life in the heart of the home has vastly improved and entertaining is a delight.

We love helping homes live up to their potential.

Better lighting, KraftMaid cabinets, and new hardwood floors are just some of the improvements made to this North Raleigh kitchen.

This kitchen was more than ready for a makeover.


Improving the Heart of the Home

There’s no better time than the holidays to prove the adage true that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Guests and family flock to the kitchen for food and fellowship with the hosts. Multiple chefs join in the food preparations for special dinners and parties. Smooth traffic patterns, convenient storage, and plenty of space for food prep can help make entertaining enjoyable.


Are you pleased with how your kitchen and home are working for you this holiday season?  If not, make 2018 the year you improve your home. Wood Wise is here, ready to help you maximize the potential your home has to offer. With our excellent design and top-notch construction, your kitchen can become the heart of the home that best reflects your heart.

Here’s a Wood Wise remodeled kitchen that is a delight for family and guests.


Merry Christmas!


Plenty of Storage

Pantries are a great addition to any kitchen. Wood Wise designer Kathy Walker carefully customizes the pantry design for every kitchen remodel. She often replaces the typical existing home pantry that looks like a small coat closet with a cabinet style pantry that provides more and better storage space. If the space is available, a walk-in pantry can be the answer. Custom-shelving is arranged for convenience, often with specific items to be stored in mind. From docking stations to 2nd refrigerators, pantries offer a wide range of storage options for items that are best hidden from view.

Here are some examples of hard-working pantries from recent Wood Wise kitchen renovations:



Making A Wish List Reality

When homeowners come to Wood Wise for a complete kitchen remodel, they usually have a wish list of desired items. We listen to our clients, look at the space, and give several options on a better layout to achieve those goals, along with additional improvements.

In this kitchen remodel, the homeowners wanted a larger kitchen and a better layout for a smoother traffic flow. Incorporating space from surrounding rooms was not a possibility so an addition of 8 feet across the back of the kitchen was built to provide the needed room. A new large island that doubles as a place for food prep and dining has the look of a farm table. Plenty of room behind the island allows multiple cooks to move freely. The wish list has become a reality.

The homeowners have this to say about their Wood Wise remodeling experience:

“(Wood Wise designer) Kathy’s knowledge and guidance were very helpful. She thought of things we didn’t consider or had little experience with. She also brought ideas from other projects but was open to incorporating our needs and style.”