Design-build is becoming a widely used strategy for new construction, refurbishing, and remodeling projects. Essentially this means the same company that performs the initial planning, design, and concept development is the company that executes the plan.
Most remodel projects are undertaken during spring and summer when the weather is hot. But there are some advantages to remodeling during the offseason when the workload for the contractor is light.
The contractor will have the time to focus on your job and make it their priority.
There will be more time to work on your home, so your remodel should take less time.
If you’re planning to go to Grandma’s for the holidays, it’s a perfect time to remodel while you’re out of the house.
Here are some of the remodeling projects that should be considered in winter:
Many of today’s homeowners have a sense of environmental responsibility when it comes to deciding on fixtures in their homes. It’s an added bonus that these water saving bathroom fixtures offer savings by using less energy or water, but the idea of conservation appeals to their sense of obligation to society.
When considering fixtures for a bathroom remodel, updating to fixtures that offer a lower gallon per flush (gpf) or gallon per minute (gpm) rating can be a key factor in convincing a homeowner of the value of the fixture.
Enlisting the services of a design-build contractor can be beneficial because the services are being done by a general contractor who will handle the entire project for you.
This won’t eliminate issues, but it will combine them under one roof for faster turnarounds and more focused services without incurring higher project costs.
Indiana, as you know, is in the northern climate zone of the United States. That means the state is exposed to searing hot temperatures in the summer, and brutally cold weather in the winter.
To make sure your home has been built to withstand these variances in temperatures it needs to be well insulated with high-efficiency furnaces or air conditioners. These appliances help lower your energy bill every time they run.
Secrets to multi-generational homes
Many houses stand on large plots of land that can be challenging to manage. The addition of a small cottage or granny flat can have numerous benefits, as long as it’s planned correctly.
It can be used to house elderly relatives, or it can be rented out to generate extra income. Use it as an office, saving time and money on a commute.
Having enough kitchen storage is a dream for many homeowners. The dream can become a reality with a knowledgeable kitchen renovation contractor.
Start With The Pantry
A walk in pantry is wonderful, but make sure the entire pantry is being utilized. Add pull out racks for cans, even double stacking racks if the space between shelves is ten inches or more. In fact, the pulling out racks can be extremely efficient in storing food boxes, chips, crackers, drinks and cooking staples. Should the pantry have a wall without shelving, use that space to add spice racks.
It’s a big decision to remodel your kitchen. You’ll need to drop some money into your house with a promise to see a higher selling price when, down the line, you decide to sell your home.
It will also take emotional resources; putting up with not having a kitchen for cooking and all the remodel mess. Kitchen remodels can range from $18,500 on the low end to $50,000 to 60,000 for a major kitchen remodel.
The only real limit is your wallet. While that maybe a lot of money to spend on one room, most times owners see a rise in the value of their home after the remodel is complete.
What will you be doing in your kitchen? Do you like to cook? Will you be entertaining? Do you have large dinner parties or small family gatherings? All these questions will influence the layout of the kitchen.
For example, if someone likes to cook a lot, the fridge, sink, and range will be close together to make preparing meals easy. If the homeowners like to entertain, the kitchen may be more spacious and luxurious.
The point is for the homeowners and designer to come up with a layout that works for the household. One major piece of your kitchen is your cabinets. They’re on most of the walls and lend a lot of character to your kitchen decor.
A Game of Space
One of the most prominent deciding factors of the layout is the amount of space there is to work within the kitchen. A small kitchen means that the cabinets will have to function in a way that maximizes space.
Open shelving and glass doors makes a small kitchen feel open and airy. Adding a lazy susan to corner cabinets can give access to areas that were previously black holes.
Island or No Island
If the kitchen has an open floor plan a kitchen island can offer storage space, a place to sit and looks stylish. In a large kitchen floor plan often, the island will create a galley like feel adding a sink or range top to the bar.
Most islands include some type of eating area. Small kitchens may not fit a traditional island, but having a connected bar area offers some of the same benefits.
Homeowners can add some custom cabinet elements to their kitchen. Appliances can be hidden from view with cabinet fronts. Microwaves can be built into the cabinets. Other ideas include furniture feet and industrial accents.
Stainless steel kitchen cabinet are gaining popularity in industrial style kitchens. Other options include enamel covered colored cabinets and cabinets created with antique furniture.
Remember that you’ll need to clean those cabinets frequently so choose a style and finish that cleans easily.
You should love your new kitchen. With all the options available, you should be able to create the kitchen of your dreams within your budget. The kitchen is the most important area of your home, and it should be treated that way with quality cabinets and a winning design.
Please feel free to contact us if you’re thinking of remodeling your kitchen. We’d love to talk with you about all the styles of kitchen cabinets available.
Image courtesy of decor cabinets.com
Where do we even start???
This client came to us as a referral from another client for whom we had done a beautiful kitchen two years ago. His recommendation was that we had the talent and ability to work with all of the challenges that this project represented.
Challenges from the Beginning
This home is in a very unique English Village neighborhood. All of the homes are quaint English Tudor style homes built in the 1920’s by a World War 1 veteran who fell in love with European architecture.
Unfortunately, some of the structural elements were lacking and in this case, the roof structure was bearing on a second floor partition wall that had no direct support under it other that the 3 x 6 floor joists which had sagged 2 inches over the previous 90 years.
Part of the complexity of this project was the structural elements that had to be addressed before we could even start the bathroom remodel.
This was perhaps one of the most challenging projects our company has ever done.
Their existing bathroom was quite small and cramped. It was actually a Jack and Jill type bathroom with two entry doors into separate bedrooms, one of which was actually being used as a family room.
The bathroom had been remodeled some time before but the structural issues had not been addressed.
The wall you see on the left of this first picture was supporting the roof structure above it, shown in this picture.
This had caused the floor of the bathroom to sag significantly—a problem that would need to be corrected.
The existing bathroom had a standard 5’ bathtub and shower surround. very plain and uninspiring.
The first picture shows how small and cramped the space was. The next picture shows the closet that the owner wanted to incorporate into the Master Bath.
The Design Challenge
We engaged in the design process with our clients in the spring of 2014. The floor plan below shows the existing bathroom and closet that someone had previously built in the Master Bedroom.
Ultimately, the general idea was to remove the door to the family room on the left and remove the wall between the bathroom and the closet and incorporate that space into the Master Bath.
- The owner was concerned about having enough space so we also discussed creating an addition out over the existing first floor kitchen but ultimately felt that we could achieve the client’s goals within the existing space.
- We presented several layout ideas but nothing seemed to connect until the owner saw something on Houzz and asked us if we could do something similar. The idea was that of using rustic beams to provide the visual and physical barrier between the elements of the bathroom.
- As we began to expand upon this, it became obvious that we had hit upon something that could be amazing. The drawing on the next page shows the layout that became the plan for the new Master Bath.
The general idea was to create the space using reclaimed barn beams installed at an angle to the room creating an oddly shaped but very spacious shower while also leaving enough room for passage to the toilet alcove.
We actually moved the toilet back into the family room space about 12” to provide just a little more space and privacy.
The general specifications
- The plan called for removing the existing cast iron radiator and installing underfloor hydronic radiant heat with its own thermostat.
- The barn beams would be installed so as to create a window effect above 66”. This would provide ventilation and openness in the room. The plan was to seal the beams with a siloxane based sealant to prevent them from soaking up any water.
- The owner was interested in having a trough style sink with his and hers faucets. As we continued, the owner selected a custom made soapstone sink.
- They definitely needed a rain head shower hanging from the ceiling as well as a handheld shower on a slide bar. The rain head chosen was a 16” Grohe rain head.
- There would be a niche for soaps and shampoos on the inside of the shower wall.
- The cabinetry would be custom made, quarter sawn cherry with custom double drawers. Therewould also be a book case in front of the toilet along with a framed mirror and medicine cabinet.
- New lighting would be installed with recessed lighting over the shower and toilet and a vanity light over the vanity. In his searching the owner found a very unique vanity light made from an old wine barrel stave and steel strapping.
- The tile chosen was all natural Travertine tile—16 x 16 on the floor and 6 x 12 wainscoting on the walls.
- The shower would have a small seat/footrest for shaving with a soapstone top. The drain in the shower would be a Schluter Kerdi Line Drain so that the large 16” tiles could be laid right into the shower.
One of the really great features we designed was the no threshold shower.
We had a lot to do before we could even start the bathroom itself.
After gutting the bathroom and the adjacent family room to the studs and ceiling joists, we installed a 3 1/2” LVL beam with a Knee wall above it that effectively supports the rafters. This load is transferred to LVL posts set into each wall.
We then had to install all new ceiling joists in order to ensure that the ceil- ing was level and flat.
This was a major structural project and significant challenge to install while ensuring that the existing structure was not compromised in the process.
Once the beam was installed overhead and the new ceiling joists were in place, we then tore out the floor of the bathroom and “sistered” in new joists alongside the old 3 x 6’s that had been chamfered on the tops for the old wet bed. They had been notched and cut in multiple places.
We then rebuilt the partition wall between the bathroom and the family room and framed up the walls of the shower. This was a challenge because we needed the walls for the plumbing but still needed access under the floor to install the underfloor plumbing.
So as you see in the picture, we installed the subfloor under the walls so that we could build them, our plumber installed the piping, and then we cut the rest of the new subfloor around what we had previously installed. Not the most efficient but necessary.
Moving on, we now see the that the reclaimed chestnut and pine barn beams are installed along with the new veneer plaster wall and ceiling. The cement board is installed on the half wall for strength behind the niche on the other side.
We nearly always use the Schluter Kerdi system in our showers. This time we used the Kerdi Line Drain. Notice how we continued the Kerdi out past the completely completely flush entrance to the shower.
The bottoms of the barn beams were mortised out to receive 1/2” Kerdi Board and flashed with the Kerdi Band to provide a watertight installation.
We now invite you to witness one of the most dramatic transformations in this year’s CotY contest.
This picture shows the old closet that we incorporated in to the bathroom looking in through the door.
This shot beautifully displays the new custom quartersawn cherry cabinetry, medicine cabinet and framed mirror.
Notice the beautiful custom soapstone sink with twin wall mounted faucets
This shot also introduces you to the wine barrel stave and strapping vanity light.
Please note that in all of the following after pictures, no additional or supplemental lighting was used by our photographer. This is the bathroom as it is.
Changing perspective just a bit shows the existing home and trim work that we replicated inside the new bathroom.
This view invites you to walk in and see the beauty of this new Master Bathroom.
Let’s step inside.
This shot moves in closer to display the thoughtful and beautiful craftsmanship that was invested in this project. These finishes are just exquisite.
It is difficult to pick up but we also had a faux finish painted on the walls.
This before picture shows the old low budget vanity and toilet area.
Yes, this is the same bathroom. We promise.
This before shot provides a great perspective of the shower in relation to the old bathtub and it provides a proper contrast to the pictures that follow.
AMAZING is a good word that aptly describes this shower. This shower is nothing less than awesome. From the 16” Grohe rainhead to the Travertine tile to the beautiful soapstone corner seat,
everything is luxurious and yet rustic at the same time.
The uniqueness of this bathroom make it all the more impressive. This was unlike any other bathroom we had ever seen or remodeled and it was a lot of fun to create.
This picture displays the shower fixtures and also the small nook we created for hanging the owner’s towels while showering.
This picture is taken sitting on the toilet and shows the beauty of the beams against the custom cherry shelving unit.
This picture catches the edge of the shelf unit but also the vanity.
The vanity light creates really fun shadow patterns on the ceiling.
This picture captures the beauty of the reclaimed beams against the ledgerstone tile we installed on the half wall. It is truly beautiful.
Note the thermostat on the wall that controls the underfloor radiant heat.
This was perhaps the most challenging project we have ever done.
Including our own company, a total of 3 NARI members worked on this project.
This Master Bathroom is an amazing masterpiece that showcases the creativity and attention to detail that every member of our team brings to every relationship we have with our clients.
There were so many challenges that we faced over the course of the project. The structural work was huge but we first had to find a winning design and then execute it.
We also used the latest in innovations using Schluter Kerdi Board, the new Schluter Kerdi Line Drain, and especially the new Schluter Ditra Heat uncoupling membrane and Radiant underfloor heating system.
We also installed a Panasonic vent fan with an automatic humidistat and motion sensor.
The owners were very impress with our entire team—our staff and our trade partners and they are exceedingly pleased with the final result. We brought the new bathroom together in a way that exceeded their expectations and they are very happy.
We leave you with our beauty shots.
Thank you for considering our project.
If you have any questions contact us.
As more people embrace a greener lifestyle, renovations are moving towards making homes more energy efficient. When deciding whether to upgrade a home, the homeowner needs to consider if their investment will add value to their home, the value may come from an increase in resale value or reduced energy costs.