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The Pros and Cons of Open Concept Design

The Pros and Cons of Open Concept Design

Posted by on Dec 6, 2018 in Home Remodeling |

Because the large majority of homes in our area were built when the quantity of rooms was considered a premium when putting a home on the market, many of them ended up with a lot of small, closed off rooms. Lots of clients come to G.M. Roth assuming they should convert their home to an open concept design as part of their home remodeling project. As experienced design-build company remodeling professionals, we don’t think open concept is for every family or every house, we see many benefits for some situations, but also drawbacks in others. Here are some of the reasons you might want to consider home remodeling to an open concept design, and others why it might not be the right solution for your family.   Why Open Concept Works Perhaps the biggest reason to consider remodeling to an open concept living space is the sightlines. If you’re a family with small children, they can play in one area while you cook or clean in another. Whomever is cooking dinner won’t feel cut off from conversation, so open concept may connect you better as a family. The same is true when entertaining. The cook isn’t separated from the guests and can enjoy company from the moment they arrive. Another benefit open concept brings is that spaces seem larger. If your kitchen is small and feels cramped, removing a wall may allow you to expand your kitchen into your living space. Sometimes removing a wall allows more natural light into some rooms, tricking the brain into thinking the space is larger than it really is. The formal living room may not be an often-utilized space in your home. If you have a room that isn’t being used, opening up your floor plan may be a positive change. Current trends don’t support having a room set aside, almost like a showroom just to say you have it.  The majority of people today want to use all the space in the home to support their increasing family size. It’s Not Right for Everyone Open concept has its drawbacks. For example, if you do entertain a lot, your messy kitchen will always be on display. You may also find that while entertaining, the open environment is much louder than when you had several smaller rooms. As you look at the cost for home remodeling to open concept, your estimate may contain many elements you may not expect. For example, support beams may be necessary if you’re removing a load-bearing wall. Your design-build company will evaluate the basement and foundation to determine if you need structural reinforcement below the living space. These can add significantly to the cost of a remodel.  Worse still, if not researched during the design process, this could cause a major unexpected expense during construction, or even mean that the design has to be modified because a wall or...

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Design Ideas to Make the Bathroom Work for Everyone

Design Ideas to Make the Bathroom Work for Everyone

Posted by on Nov 29, 2018 in Bathroom remodeling |

As families change, so do our bathroom needs. Because the bathroom is one of the most-used rooms in the house, it needs to be functional for whomever is using it. With current trends calling for people to want to “live in place”, or have extended family join them in their home, planning a bathroom remodel takes on another level of details.  A professional designer knows what questions to ask to help you make decisions that ensure the finish project will not only meet your current needs, but will also work well for your future needs. If you are getting ready to start a bathroom remodel, here are some design ideas that may make your bathroom work better for everyone.   Start With Sinks If you have multiple family members in the bathroom at the same time, especially kids, consider how the existing sink or sinks could be improved. You may have more options than you think. The most common change is to add a second sink when there is ample space in the bathroom for a double vanity. If there isn’t quite enough room for a double vanity with two sinks, look at the popular trough sinks and add a second faucet. Another rarely-considered option works when a bedroom is connected to the bathroom. Consider adding a sink to the adjoining bedroom by creating a space for it that serves as a hallway to the bathroom. If the bedroom and bathroom already share a wall with plumbing, adding an extra sink may be quite cost-effective. That extra sink could dramatically decrease traffic in the bathroom, both morning and night. Storage An ongoing issue in many homes is storage. This can be especially true with teenage girls and all their accessories. Consider switching out cabinets for drawers. Drawers can help organize necessities better than a large open cabinet.  Other options would be to have a cabinet on top of the countertop extending to the ceiling, a cabinet above the toilet, or a well designed medicine cabinet recessed into the wall above the vanity. Linen closets are another storage issue in many homes. You need a place for linens, but is a closet with shelving the best way to utilize the space? Linen closets tend to have small openings which render a lot of the space inside virtually unusable. Many cabinet lines have tall cabinets perfect for bathrooms and can include pull-out shelving or drawers. This helps you better use and access the entire space. The Shower A standard shower and tub measures nearly 3 feet by 5 feet, which can be a large percentage of the square footage you have to work with. Consider how often the tub is used for bathing. If it’s not very often or never, think about taking some of that space to address another need, like a second sink or storage space. Standalone showers can take up...

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Utilizing Accent Lighting in Your Home Remodel

Utilizing Accent Lighting in Your Home Remodel

Posted by on Nov 16, 2018 in Home Remodeling |

With new offerings available on the market, decisions on what type, and where to use accent lighting has grown significantly more important over the last few years. Homeowners today are adding accent lighting to just about every phase of their home remodeling project with stunning results. Accent lighting when selected carefully can provide both functionality and beauty, whether it solves a safety issue on a staircase or lights up a work space on the countertop.  Learn about the three most common areas to add accent lights. Stairways If you want subtle lighting on your stairways to use when your normal lighting isn’t desirable, modern options can increase safety and create visual interest. The two most popular are LED strip lighting that goes just under the stair tread, and louvered lights mounted every few stairs. Both light types remain cool and are safe for homes with small kids and pets.  If you’re planning a large home remodeling project that will require an electrician and opening walls, consider the louvered option. They are subtle and come in many style options, with various features including motion sensors. LED strip lighting works well when you have an open stairway or when you’re not opening walls.  Halls If you have small children who wander at night, and don’t like the look of the plug in night lights, you can have just the right amount of light with accent lighting. There are three main options: louvered lights just like discussed above for stairs, wall sconces and LED strip lighting. For minimal light, the louvered option is the best. If you want more light and to show your personal style, consider a few well-placed wall sconces. A modern option is to add LED strip lighting above crown molding. Each option adds a distinct look and feel to your hall. Accent Lighting in Your Kitchen Remodel The most common accent lighting in a kitchen is under-cabinet lighting. Accent lighting in a kitchen remodel can provide a soft glow or provide work light on the countertop. It is critical to work with a Kitchen and Bath Designer who really understands the relationship between the type of lighting and the type of countertop.  Different light options reflect in different, sometimes undesirable (think- a row of spots along your countertop) ways, and a good designer will know this way before they are installed. Under-cabinet lighting isn’t just for upper cabinets. Adding an toe kick light on your lower cabinets provides a nice touch and can highlight a beautiful hardwood floor in your kitchen. If you’re considering adding accent lighting to your cabinets, a qualified Kitchen and Bath Designer working for a  design-build company will ensure the cabinets are configured properly to hide the mechanics of the electrical devices, have you ever sat down at the kitchen table and looked up and seen the underside of the upper cabinets?  You probably will...

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Putting Your Bathroom Remodeling Budget in Perspective

Putting Your Bathroom Remodeling Budget in Perspective

Posted by on Nov 9, 2018 in Bathroom remodeling |

Bathroom remodeling and kitchen remodeling have a lot of similar elements. With either of these projects, you need new cabinetry, flooring and countertops, all of which make up part of your budget. What most people don’t realize about bathroom remodeling is how labor intensive it is.  Even though its a smaller space than your kitchen, you can’t necessarily assume it will be a fraction of the expense of a kitchen remodel.  If you’re in the beginning stages of a bathroom remodel, here are some things you should know about the budget so you can start planning appropriately. Budget Basics Depending upon which bathroom you’re remodeling and if you’re rearranging or adding elements, your budget can vary widely. A secondary bathroom might cost significantly less for a basic remodel as compared to a master bath with all the bells and whistles.   Remodeling magazine’s Cost Vs. Value Report shares some information regarding averages for remodeling projects, but even that report can’t give you any indication what might be involved with electrical and plumbing upgrades necessary just to get started on the project.  For instance, if you are replacing a tub/shower combo with a shower, you are likely going to have to upgrade the drain from 1 1/2″ to 2″ to meet current code for a shower.  Considering this would impact the floor framing, you can imagine how this would dramatically impact the budget for a bathroom remodel. Because of the labor-intensive nature of tile, the more tile you have in your bathroom, the costlier your remodel. Between labor and materials, tile can be the most expensive element of a bathroom remodel. The vanity is the next major element, followed by the countertop and sink. If you’re moving plumbing or adding or moving electrical, your budget will be higher than if you’re simply refreshing an outdated look. As you set your budget, use the 70/30 rule: keep 30% of your budget in reserve if you’re moving water and electric. Use the 80/20 rule if you’re simply duplicating the current floor plan. This will give you funds for the unexpected costs that invariably arise in home remodeling.  The other option would be to work with a qualified design build remodeling company, who would take the time to evaluate the necessary code upgrades in advance instead of just planning on hitting you with a bunch of change orders after the project starts. Tile As you begin to look at the tile you’d like in your bathroom, keep a few things in mind. First, there are two classifications of tile: porcelain and ceramic. Porcelain tile is less porous than ceramic and therefore more water-resistant, making it a great choice for bathroom flooring and shower walls. If you’re looking to save money on labor costs, the more variety of tile and the more intricate the pattern you want on the walls or floor, the more...

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5 Ways to Improve Your Outdoor Living Space

5 Ways to Improve Your Outdoor Living Space

Posted by on Nov 6, 2018 in Home Remodeling |

Although it’s fall, and winter seems like it is rapidly approaching, now is a great time start planning your improved outdoor living space with your remodeling company. Whether it’s a major home remodeling project or you just want to spruce up your entertaining space, improving your porch, patio or deck is a wise home renovation. These types of projects take time to plan, design, and build, and getting started with the right design build company now can help you get that perfect outdoor space for you and your lifestyle in place for next summer.  Add an Outdoor Kitchen An outdoor kitchen can be as simple as a grill and work area, or can offer all of the elegance and functionality of a typical kitchen. Depending on how much you entertain and if you enjoy outdoor cooking, consider a grill with a burner or two for pots, a pizza oven, a refrigerator and an ice maker. Don’t forget about some storage space for tools and other necessities for your outdoor space. There are many natural stone products that are well-suited for being outside year-round, so adding a countertop with a bar area is a great way to have both prep space and space for entertaining.  Build a Deck or a Farmers Porch With today’s wide range of beautiful low or no maintenance decking materials, its more practical than ever to create amazing entertaining spaces outside of the home, without committing to a maintenance nightmare.  New technology enables you to create two outdoor spaces with a second story deck by using the deck frame to create a roof above the space below it, giving you a new space to use for rainy days. Screen in Your Porch If you have a porch you enjoy until the bugs come out, consider screening in the space. A screened-in porch allows for a more enjoyable dining experience. Because a screened-in porch requires a roof, you can add lighting and a ceiling fan to make the space more useable than ever before.  The first step of the process is to make sure the frame and foundation of the porch or deck is suitable to carry a roof load.  If you don’t get the frame designed properly before getting started you could end up having to tear it all down and start over again.  A qualified design build company could handle this for you. Build a Fire-pit During our cool early summer and fall nights, a firepit can make your backyard the place to be. You’ll enjoy gathering with neighbors and family around the warmth and beauty of your fire-pit. There are a wide variety of different types of fire-pits, ranging from a stone unit integrated with a patio to metal ones that can be designed to work safely on a deck with the proper clearances to combustibles. Be sure to have your fire-pit designed correctly...

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