Mike and Hannah Maiorano, a team of professional remodelers, are here to help people tackle their kitchen and bath DIY and remodeling projects—or know when to call in a pro.
In a series of how-to videos for the Delta brand, Mike and Hannah, founders of Monarch Homes, offer simple, step-by-step troubleshooting and installation instructions and reveal the lessons they’ve learned through years of remodeling homes.
“We got our experience in DIY and remodeling from a bunch of different sources,” Mike says. “I grew up in the construction industry—my dad worked in it for 30 years, so I spent summers on different job sites doing different tasks.” With that solid foundation, Mike started doing small home improvement projects that turned into larger ones and eventually built up to whole houses.
Hannah says experience has been a great teacher for them, and they’re also continually learning from other sources. “There are books and the internet and forums and YouTube tutorials,” she says, “which is why we’re so excited to be involved in making how-to videos, because we’ve learned so much from them and we know how important they are. Every day we learn new stuff. We’ll always be learning.”
In work and life, Mike and Hannah have a healthy balance: Hannah excels in design and details, and Mike, “he’s not scared to try anything,” his wife says. “He can do everything, and do it really well, too.”
Hannah adds, “We’re a really good team. I think we work better together than we do apart.”
Mike and Hannah, founders of Monarch Homes, enjoy doing much of the remodel work themselves, but they also know when to call in a third party to help with certain parts of a project.
Mike and Hannah recognize even the best remodel teams struggle to get on the same page now and then. In those times, it can be beneficial to consult a designer or a contractor to help you come to a consensus.
“If you and your family are considering a remodel or a project and having some trouble agreeing on a design decision,” Mike says, “the biggest piece of advice we can offer is that sometimes soliciting the opinion of a third party can really work wonders. There have been plenty of times that Hannah felt strongly about A, I felt strongly about B and a third party actually showed us that C was the best option, and that’s the one we ended up going with.”
Besides helping people through the occasional sticking point, a contractor can be a valuable asset in a remodel. He or she will have the experience to keep a project moving forward. But how do you know whether you need one or not?
“If someone was debating between doing a project themselves or hiring a remodeler or contractor to help them with it, the biggest question I would ask them is: Is this within your ability?” Mike says. “You don’t want to get in over your head, because you can cause some problems that will cost more money and more time down the road to correct. If it’s something you’re comfortable doing, I think you could probably take care of it. But if it’s outside of your realm of expertise, then I would say definitely consult a professional.”
And not just any professional.
“The best piece of advice that I have for somebody who’s considering a home remodel is to know your contractor, and know them well,” Hannah says. “Make sure you’re comfortable asking questions and that there is a free exchange of information between the two of you.”
Hannah demonstrates how to connect the supply lines while installing a bathroom faucet.
In addition to being professional remodelers, Mike and Hannah are real estate agents, which gives them a uniquely personal perspective of their work.
“We get to buy and sell our own homes, and we get to stay involved in every step of the process,” Mike says.
“It’s also nice,” Hannah adds, “because we get to hear feedback from people who have seen the house and we get comments, good and bad. … We’ve learned a lot from selling our remodeled houses. Buyers are always looking for lots of storage, open floor plans and natural light.”
Having the buyer in mind helps Mike and Hannah determine the direction of their projects.
“When we make decisions about the houses that we remodel, the No. 1 thing that we’re thinking about is the family that’s going to live here,” Hannah says. “And that is why it’s so important to us that we do quality work and that we choose quality products.”
Take the kitchen, for example—Mike and Hannah’s favorite room to remodel.
“For me, kitchens are super fun to design,” Hannah says. “They’re almost like puzzles, where you have to figure out what size cabinet fits best where. And you have to think about functionality, too—where somebody is going to put their cereal. That’s actually stuff that we think about. The other reason why kitchens are so great is because they’re the heart of the home. We know they’re going to get used, and used a lot.”
Mike and Hannah installed a Broderick kitchen faucet in a recently remodeled home. The bridge design adds a unique element to the space, and the Black Stainless finish complements the dark hardware.
This sense of the heart of the home—and the couple’s appreciation for quality products—comes through as Hannah stands in a recently remodeled kitchen, reflecting on their work in that space.
“We have Delta’s Broderick kitchen faucet in Black Stainless,” she says. “I love the bridge design. It adds a unique feature to this kitchen, and the Black Stainless finish is really cool. It complements the black hardware and the light fixtures that I’ve chosen without being too matchy-matchy. I’m a firm believer that not all of your fixtures have to match exactly.”
When Mike and Hannah rave about Delta products, the enthusiasm stems from their being longtime fans of the brand, enamored by the human-inspired designs and technologies.
“We’ve used Delta products for years and years,” Hannah says. “And we use them because they’re high-quality, they’re well made and they offer tons of styles and finishes that match whatever project we’re working on.”
Mike and Hannah are not just using Delta products. They’re sharing them.
“A fun thing that we’ve been doing recently is buying and installing Delta Touch2O kitchen faucets for our real estate clients,” Hannah says. “And it’s been really fun to hear their comments. One of our clients just texted us and said that his 4-year-old loves to wash her hands now because she can touch the faucet on.”
In a series of how-to videos for the Delta brand, Mike and Hannah walk through product installations step by step and share tips based on their own experience to help make the job easier.
Mike and Hannah describe the opportunity to share their wealth of home remodeling knowledge on camera as “crazy” and “fun.”
Mike says, “I had zero on-camera experience before this whole thing. And I found out very quickly that I am my own worst critic. All those little mannerisms you didn’t know you had until you watch yourself on a YouTube video—that type of thing. But here we are! We get to do all these videos and meet all these great people and have a blast doing it.”
Hannah says, “It’s really important to us to show our personality and to come off like we’re real, genuine people, because we are real people and we do use and love Delta products. And it is really important to us that we share our own experience. We’ve learned lots of things, including Mike knowing how to put powder on his face. It’s part of the experience. We are so thankful for it.”
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