This is What Happens When You Use 3D Design for Home Remodeling
Home remodeling can be exciting, and scary. Exciting because you anticipate an amazing outcome from what you currently have to the dream remodel you envision in your mind. But scary because—what if it doesn’t turn out the way you hope it will? What if you picked the wrong color or texture, or the measurements were off, and you have to go back and re-do things? Time is money and re-dos are expensive! There are a lot of “what if’s” in home remodeling. Fortunately, however, Riverside Construction can remove many of the scary elements with a skilled combination of remodeling experience and 3D design.
Whether you just want to renovate one room, like a kitchen, bathroom or bedroom, or you want to go the distance and remodel your entire home, 3D rendering techniques empower you with a stronger, more precise visualization of your space. It also helps us fine-tune measurements and catch potential problems before construction starts. It’s essentially a hyper realization of “measure twice, cut once” that makes the entire home remodeling process easier, smoother and more efficient, particularly in the following 4 ways:
Inspires and Clarifies Your Home Remodeling Vision
The pre-home remodeling time is an exciting one. Your head, Pinterest board and scrapbook may be bursting with ideas, paint swatches, magazine cut-outs, etc. But it can be hard to imagine how those ideas will work within your space and your plans can change from day to day. Sitting down with Riverside Construction to use our 3D design tools can help you see, clearly and accurately, how different colors, designs, materials, and shapes will play out—or not—before any cutting, sawing, hammering, installation or painting begins. 3D design and rendering injects clarity and precision into your brainstorming process so you eliminate ideas that won’t work as you finalize design options that will work beautifully.
Gives You Accuracy in Space Planning
One of the most important aspects of planning your home remodeling process is getting a clear, accurate model of what needs to be done. For years, home remodelers had to rely on 2D plans that had to use pages of layers upon layers with multiple models for each different view, even for just one room. This made mistakes in measuring far more common because it could be hard to keep track of every detail on every page. 3D design tools merge all those layers into one accurate, clear view that brings your home remodeling ideas to life together in one place and enables us at Riverside Construction to measure and plan with greater precision.
Eliminates Many Common Remodeling Mistakes
Taking the accuracy step even further, 3D design helps us, and our clients, to catch mistakes before they end up hindering the remodeling process, which, in the long run, can save you both time and money. Because 3D rendering shows us a clearer visualization of how the end design should look, it enables us to take extremely precise measurements so that we can assess each part of the construction process clearly, early in the process. This level of precision, in the beginning, makes the entire process much smoother and more efficient by reducing unexpected changes and mistakes—something that also helps you stay within budget and on schedule!
Improves Communication between Homeowner and Designer
3D design vastly improves communication between us, as a design-build contractor and you, as our client. We can all sit down together and visualize using 3D models, trying out different design ideas, discussing potential problems and coming up with even better ideas. We can incorporate your ideas instantly into the 3D model, enabling all of us to visualize how each change or idea holistically impacts the end result. As a team, we’re all on the same page about what needs to happen to bring your dream remodel to fruition.
While 3D renderings are an absolute must in today’s home remodeling process, they’re still no substitute for working with an experienced designer who can provide the perspective and depth of understanding to interpret and visualize what the renderings mean. Combining the high-tech wonders of 3D design and a skilled design-build team will help you breeze through the permitting process, fulfill the building codes and bring your design ideas to life efficiently, accurately and beautifully.
Discover the advantages of 3D design renderings for your next home remodeling project today. Contact Riverside Construction and our expert architectural and design team will show you how to get the most stunning results for your home.
A Q&A Discussion with Riverside Construction’s Interior Designer Kelly Grish
Many homeowners can feel overwhelmed when embarking on a home remodeling process. Where do you even begin? There’s so much to think about! And, once you decide to move forward, what can you expect in the way of working with a designer? Get an inside look at what it’s like to begin the design process, and the advantages of working with a design expert, from our very own in-house designer, Kelly Grish.
Q: “What can I expect in our first design meeting?”
We will measure the affected areas of your home and ask you deliberate questions that will result in a clear understanding of your needs for the space. Questions we might ask include, “What are your must-haves? “Nice-to-haves?” “What is working?” “What isn’t working?” “What are your biggest challenges with the space?” “What are you hoping to see changed?” “If you could do anything with this space, what would you want to do with it?” While we are in your home, we will also be looking to get a sense of your personal design style, color preferences, and making sure the new remodel ties in with the rest of your home, and your home’s architecture.
Q: “What are the most common question(s) you get from a homeowner at the beginning of the design process?”
Homeowners are commonly concerned about cost. They are seeking my help in finding the best way to add value to their home, improving their living space, all the while keeping within their budget.
Q: “So, how good are you at solving this problem for them—keeping within their budget?”
Pretty darn good, actually. That’s one of the primary benefits of working with a design/build firm.
Q: “How often are you able to design a space that the homeowners want, at a cost they can afford?”
That answer depends on what you want. Are they structural changes? Do you want to knock down a load-bearing or non load-bearing wall? Are we moving a wall with plumbing or electrical? Every space is different.
As a design/build firm, we can make suggestions for changes to the design that fit within the your budget. For example, we had a client that wanted to remove a soffit that had plumbing in it. To save money and make her project affordable, we designed the new kitchen cabinetry to hide the soffit instead. While the client preferred the soffit to be removed, the end result was that the ceiling no longer looked too short and our work-around kept the cost of the remodel in line with the homeowner’s budget.
Q: “I have never hired a Design/Build firm using an Interior Designer for a kitchen or bathroom remodel before, how does the design process work?”
We start by meeting with you, listening closely to what you like and don’t like about your home. We also discuss your hopeful timeline and budget. After a budget range is provided, we measure your space and narrow in on our design preferences. We take all of the information and transform them into a blue print—a space plan. You review the new concept drawings, brought to life through 2D plans and 3D renderings. We then follow up with a project budget proposal and start working with you on making final selections. Upon your approval of the final plans and specifications, we order materials, start the permitting process, and schedule your project to start.
Q: “What do you do as an interior/architectural designer? I think some people misunderstand your qualifications.”
As an interior/architectural designer, I make interior spaces functional, safe and beautiful by determining space requirements and helping people make selections such as colors, lighting, cabinetry, flooring, fixtures, etc. More importantly, I help homeowners with style selections that make their new remodel blend cohesively with the rest of the home. Function is a huge aspect of what I do. No matter how beautiful a space is, if it doesn’t function properly for the homeowner, it is not a good design. Achieving better function in a space might include removing or moving existing walls— when budget allows.
As an architectural designer, I also work with CAD programs to make sure that building designs are feasible—drawing blue prints and measuring your existing space. I do almost everything (redesigning an existing inside structure) with the exception of HVAC and calculating load-bearing points. It is usually possible to determine if a wall is load bearing or not based on its distance from an exterior wall. However, if a wall were to be removed (all walls can be removed, some are just more expensive than others) I would need the expertise of an engineer or architect to specify the type of beam needed to span the space and carry the load. I do have the qualifications to create an electric plan and make the perfect lighting plan for your home.
Q: “How do you help homeowners make their selections?
First of all, Riverside Construction has a fabulous showroom, which I invite homeowners to—where you can touch, feel and compare a selection of cabinets, and countertops. We also take our clients to a local flooring store to select carpet, tile and wood flooring in person. For plumbing fixtures and lighting, we can effectively shop for selections online and at the homeowners request we are able to take advantage of a few local show rooms.
Q: “Do you recommend homeowners spend some time on their own narrowing down their design likes and dislikes, before meeting with a designer?
Yes, I do recommend that homeowners do a little homework up front. If someone wants to change the style of his/her home, then seeing it in person doesn’t help. Being able to look at finished project photos and material samples that portray the design style that the homeowner prefers is a big help.
Q: “What websites, magazines or books do you recommend homeowners use to identify their design style?
The main sources to rely on are Pinterest, Houzz, and doing a Google Image search online. There are also several remodeling magazines that provide some great ideas, like Kitchen & Bath Magazine.
Q: “If a client has a hard time deciding on a color palette for a particular room, how do you help them narrow down their choices?”
In a lot of cases, homeowners are not sure what they want. If space is open and connected to other rooms, I’m looking at their existing color selections and seeing how we can tie the color of the new space into the rest of the home. In other words, what exists in the home drives the design, to some extent.
It is also very common to start with one item, like flooring, and determine what their preference is. After two or three selections, we can see what they like.
Q: “What if a homeowner has caviar taste but a tuna fish budget? How do you handle?”
It’s not uncommon for homeowners to be a little shocked by the cost of materials. We are really good at educating people on the actual cost of things. And, after showing them how much something is, we offer alternatives that result in a similar look but are not as expensive. For example, a client may really want travertine tile until we show them a porcelain tile alternative that looks similar at a fourth of the cost.
Q: “Do you use special design software? If yes, how does this aid in the design process?”
Yes, Riverside Construction uses a 3D design software as part of our design process. There is no better way to understand and experience your new design than to see it in 3D first, before construction begins. Instead of relying on our imagination, you get to see your design and your material selections before approving any specifications. As a designer I’m able to visualize what some of these changes might look like without the 3D design work, but that’s rarely true for clients. If you want to see what your kitchen looks like with bulkheads removed, “Voila!”
Q: “What would you say is the benefit to a homeowner of working with a design/build firm?”
The biggest benefit of working with a design/build firm is that we tailor your home remodeling design to your budget. There are many architectural firms. They may do a great job of producing a beautiful design project, but may or may not take into consideration the best way to design your space affordably. A design/build firm encourages your active participation in the design process so that if your budget won’t allow it, we’ll come up with an alternative design to make it work. Then, we take care of everything from start to finish. If you were to take a plan from an architect, then you would need to find your own contractor.
Q: “What are the current kitchen design trends you see emerging in the Lafayette area?”
The kitchen continues to be the center of the home. It’s where people like to congregate. As a result, we’re seeing a lot of people requesting islands with bar seating. Homeowners are getting rid of soffits, to create more space. They are using under cabinet lighting, and many are choosing the fresh, clean look of glass or ceramic tile backsplashes. We are seeing less Corian in the kitchen, and more quartz and granite.
Many homeowners are choosing to use tile or wood plank vinyl—a smart choice that typically water resistant.
The colors, grey and beige are still big in Lafayette. Taupe, a mixture of the two colors, is also popular. A lot of people don’t want to renovate again. These neutral colors are popular colors that stand the test of time.
White cabinets are also very popular. Our cabinet manufacturer is currently delivering 70-80% shaker style white cabinets. We are also seeing some requests for darker wood cabinets.
Q: “What are current bathrooms design trends in Lafayette, Indiana?”
If homeowners have a tub somewhere else in there home, they are doing away with their master bathroom tub and replacing it with a large, walk-in shower. We’re also seeing a lot of floor to ceiling tile and glass wall shower partitions, which make the room appear larger. Storage is always a must. We are forever finding creative ways to add storage to bathrooms.
As a premier design/build firm in Lafayette, Indiana, we’ve had the privilege of helping hundreds homeowners remodel their kitchens—all with varying functional, layout and design needs. Over the years, we’ve learned that these eight basic elements dramatically improve the usability of your space, and should be considered in your next kitchen remodel.
It’s all in the details!
1) Specialty Cabinets/Drawers (Slide Out Trays)
Kitchen cabinets have come a long way over the last several years. No longer are homeowners just selecting cabinet doors and drawers. They now choose from an endless selection of specialty accessories including, corner drawers, cutting board drawers, charging stations, utility cabinets, towel rack pull outs, recycle bins, vegetable baskets, and much more. Our favorite detail, that we think belongs in every kitchen, is the slide out tray. These can be customized to accommodate everything from spices and oversize baking items to condiments and cooking utensils.
2) Under Cabinet Lighting
Often an overlooked kitchen design essential is under cabinet lighting. Under cabinet lights are installed under the upper cabinets to not only provide good task lighting, but also add depth and ambience to your valuable kitchen space. Two under cabinet lighting options that Riverside Construction recommends is LED (Light Emitting Diodes) and Xenon.
LED is a solid-state lamp that uses light-emitting diodes as the source of light. LED lamps offer long service life (can last for up to 50,000 hours) and produces high-energy efficiency. They are also small and durable and can be grouped together to form concentrated light.
Xenon light is produced by lamps that have high-melting-point glass envelopes and contain a tungsten filament surrounded by xenon gas. When the light bulb is connected to power, the tungsten filament heats up and begins to glow. This light is close to natural sunlight and is very bright. It is also an incandescent bulb, so it is not energy efficient and does not last as long as a LED, but it operates more coolly than other incandescent bulbs.
3) High Arc Faucet with Pull Out Sprayer
If you’ve ever tried to fill a large, tall pot with water using a standard, 45-degree angle faucet, you know that it’s virtually impossible to do! A more updated, decorative option is the high arc faucet, which not only allows you extra workspace to fill up large pots, but also adds an elegant feature to your home.
Additionally, pull down and pull out faucets offer a wide variety of spray patterns that you can control with a button. The pull out sprayer allows for the flexibility of an extended reach for everything from giving your fresh veggies a rinse to cleaning up the sticky corners of your sink.
4) Under Sink Drip Protection
In an ideal world, the inside of your sink cabinet should never get wet. Yet, they do, whether from water or liquid chemicals. To protect against cabinet damage, Riverside Construction recommends installing a Hafele protective polystyrene mat. This mat can be cut to size and has unique dimples to collect water and other liquids to prevent damage.
5) 3/4 to 1 HP Garbage Disposal
It’s hard to imagine a kitchen without a garbage disposal, as this hard-working machine makes the unpopular task of cleaning dishes a whole lot easier. When it comes to choosing a garbage disposal that is right for you, the difference is in the horsepower. How much horsepower do you need? Riverside Construction recommends a ¾ HP or 1 HP. A ¾ HP disposal is suitable for a family of four and has more power than a ½ or ¼ HP disposal. It also typically comes with additional sound protection features—keeping unwanted noise to a minimum.
If you have a large family (greater than four) and anticipate heavy usage in the kitchen (where grinding up food items like orange rinds or coffee grinds would come in handy), a 1 HP garbage disposal might be your product of choice. However, the 1 HP is a large-sized unit and requires more space beneath the sink.
6) Slow-Close Drawer Glides
Cabinetry today requires modern innovation as well as functionality. That is why Riverside Construction recommends soft-close drawer slides to provide you with not only the latest in technology, but also the pleasant, quiet, functional convenience of smooth closing drawers—guaranteed to add to the prolonged enjoyment of your newly remodeled kitchen.
7) Solid Hardwood Dovetail Drawers
When it comes to quality drawers, Riverside Construction recommends Wellborn. Their dovetail construction has always been known as the strongest, most durable method of furniture assembly, creating a beautiful, long-lasting drawer.
8) 3D Design
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and when it comes to remodeling your kitchen. Nothing could be closer to the truth! When it comes to putting all of the right pieces together, Riverside Construction utilizes advanced 3-D design software to help you visualize your kitchen remodel before construction begins. While a floor plan can give you a sense of how your new kitchen will be configured, it doesn’t show you how large the room will be or how different aspects of the kitchen will fit together.
3-D design allows you to move the key kitchen components (i.e. sink area, island, cabinets) around and see how they work together. You can actually picture yourself walking in the kitchen doing everyday tasks. The power of 3D technology simply allows you to see the space from all angles and try out colors and textures of material selections like countertops and fixtures, ensuring you are happy with your new kitchen well into the future.
Ready to renovate? Let us share all our knowledge and experience we’ve gleaned over the years from past happy clients to help you create the perfect kitchen for you.
Take the first step by scheduling an in-home meeting with your very own personal design consultant.
We also schedule complimentary kitchen remodeling seminars regularly each month. Let us know your interest in attending by signing up today.
Whether you’re building a new home, knocking down walls or adding a fresh new look to a tired old space, you will want to check out these inspiring home remodeling design trends that are trending in the Lafayette, Indiana area this year.
- Maximizing Kitchen Storage
In a continual push for more open space, designers and homeowners alike are nixing traditional upper cabinets in favor of a single storage wall. With all your kitchen storage in one place, you’ll free up the rest of the space for an open and airy feel. Searching for a storage look that’s uniquely you? Think outside the box and consider repurposing old file cabinets, console, or a chest of drawers for the storage you need with the vintage style you crave.
- Going Green
Studies show that the eye focuses green directly on the retina, allowing the muscles of the eye to relax. So it’s no wonder that “Greenery,” Pantone’s color of the year for 2017, is a hit with homeowners looking to bring the calming effect of nature back into the kitchen. This zesty color is bright and cheery, too, for homeowners looking to compliment the warm tones of natural wood.
- Luxury Laundry Rooms
Does your laundry room need a little love? Most people spend a significant time doing laundry, so why do it in a dark, uninviting space? Consider updating your laundry room design to include smart storage and more light. The added functionality doesn’t cost a bundle, either. According to Houzz, homeowners are spending an average of just $2,700 (including appliances) to update laundry rooms of 150 square feet or more.
- Space-Saving Refrigerators
If you’re trying to free up space in a small to medium-sized kitchen, these counter-depth refrigerators are for you. We know comfort in your new kitchen remodel can be reduced to shaving off those last few inches. Counter-depth refrigerators sit flush with the surrounding countertops and cabinetry, giving you a little extra room to move around while making a stylish contribution to your streamlined kitchen design.
- Matte Appliances
Are you ready for the next viral kitchen trend? The vote is in, and matte finish appliances have won. According to designer Bobby Berk in an interview with House Beautiful, Matte appliance finishes create an unexpected layer of interest for your design while stripping away the distractions that accompany surface sheen. Give this cutting edge trend a try in your 2017 remodel for the latest in kitchen chic.
- Marble-Look Quartz Countertops
If you haven’t noticed it already, marble is back in full force. Especially when it’s paired with wood and metal, marble countertops are a modern take on a luxury classic – perfect for your kitchen, bathroom, and more. But you don’t have to break the bank to get the look. With genuine marble countertops coming in at nearly $250 per square foot, marble-look quartz is the next best thing with all the gravitas at half the cost.
- Faux Marble Wallpaper
Marble isn’t just for countertops anymore. In fact, the marble-look trend is showing up all over the interior design industry (not to mention Pinterest) – from carpets and fabric to marble motif wallpaper. The soft look of marble motif wallpaper is especially elegant in powder rooms and on accent walls, but you could add it in just about anywhere!
- Subway Tiles
In true throwback style, this trend is plucked straight out of the turn of the 20th century. Subway tiles are nothing new, but this classic element boasts infinite versatility. Better yet, it’s entirely affordable. “It seems to be cementing itself as a style element of our generation,” Bobby Berk explained in an interview with House Beautiful. Available in a range of materials, subway tiles can complement almost any style or finish – from modern minimalist to classic farmhouse.
- Farmhouse Style
Speaking of, it’s time to break out the cozy quilts and shop for weathered antiques (if you haven’t already) because farmhouse style is here to stay! The classic apron-front sink is a timeless focal point in any kitchen, too. Practically speaking, apron-front sinks are deep enough to handle large pots and platters for and they provide improved accessibility for shorter people and children. However, keep in mind that farmhouse sinks are a visually weighty item best suited to medium to large kitchen spaces.
- Wood-Look Tile
Everyone loves hardwood floors. But why shell out for hardwood when the new-and-improved wood-look tile is a dead ringer for the real thing? Recently, homeowners are opting for wood-look tile on everything from floors to fireplaces, praising its waterproof convenience in places like the kitchen, bathroom, beach house, and more.
For more remodeling design trends, check out our portfolio of featured projects. Then, take the next step toward your 2017 home remodel and schedule an in-home meeting with your very own personal design consultant.
If you’re a basketball fan like us, you’re gearing up for some of the most exciting days of the year—big upsets, buzzer-beaters and unlikely heroes. That’s right – 2017 March Madness!
With the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament prepared to tip off, now may be a perfect time to evaluate the functionality of your home for watching these big games. While hanging a hoop over the garage will suffice for many, there may also be room for smart innovation, like an indoor court, to get your juices flowing. This month, we put together some fun, inspirational March Madness-inspired remodeling ideas from all over the country. Enjoy!
Whichever in-door court suits your fancy, making the decision to incorporate a basketball court into your home is a healthy decision—and an accessible one.
Whether you are looking to transform an indoor living space, like an attic or basement, into an indoor court, or want to build your own detached 3-point shooting structure, take the first step toward creating your new space and schedule an in-home meeting with your very own personal design consultant.
Love these remodeling ideas? Riverside Construction specializes in kitchen and bathroom remodels, room additions and basement renovations. Check out Riverside Construction’s portfolio for more featured projects.
Assess how well your own kitchen functions this holiday
It happens every year—you host a memorable, family gathering; every room is decked out with your favorite holiday decorations; you’ve made a crackling fire; and appetizers are spread out ready for sampling. Where do all of your guests end up? You got it… the kitchen. The well-known expression “the kitchen is the heart of home” is never truer than during the holidays. Since food is central to most festive occasions, your guests spend much of their time in the kitchen visiting with you as you finish the final preparations of your meal.
As you host your family gathering this year, pay close attention to the functional use of your space. Use these design considerations to determine whether your kitchen can use an upgrade—perfect for entertaining.
A Kitchen Fit for Festivities
The challenge for many homeowners is configuring their kitchen to accommodate a house full of guests a few times a year, while serving their immediate family needs the rest of the year. This holiday, pay close attention to how much space you have. If it is becoming an issue, square footage can be added with a new room addition. You may also be able to reconfigure your existing space to increase efficiency and room flow without adding an addition.
Before any work is started, it’s important to ask yourself what you want to accomplish in your kitchen space. If you entertain all the time, a larger open concept kitchen might be ideal for you. If you host large gatherings two or three times a year, adding a large center island with additional seating might be the perfect solution. Create a “must-have” list for your new kitchen and keep those priorities top of mind as you plan your ideal working space.
Seating is a premium when you entertain large groups. If your kitchen doesn’t currently have an island, consider what it might be like to have one. An island creates additional seating and more surface area for prepping and serving. In fact, a popular trend is to have two islands in the kitchen – one for cooking and food preparation and the other for seating and serving. If you have a L- or U-shaped kitchen, an island can also eliminate the “dead end” space where people can end up “stuck” in the back of the kitchen.
Tiered counter heights on an island or a long counter are also a great way to create additional space for guests. Your family or friends can visit you in the kitchen without interfering with the food preparation or cooking process. It can also give your guests an area to place beverages and eat hors d’oeuvres, while concealing food that is being prepped on the other side.
Flow and Function
When you’re working in your kitchen this holiday, consider how you use your space. Are you in easy reach of all the kitchen appliances and supplies you need to complete your holiday preparations and finish your holiday meal? Do you have to maneuver around guests to get from one end of the kitchen to another? When you evaluate your kitchen space, consider the kitchen “work triangle,” which is a concept used to determine efficient kitchen layouts. The work triangle makes up the primary tasks in a home kitchen that are carried out between three points—the cook top, the sink and the refrigerator. Something as relatively simple as moving the sink to a more central location can make a huge difference in the efficiency and flow of the space.
Is there an empty wall near your kitchen or eating space? If you find yourself maneuvering around your guests in your kitchen, you might consider installing a custom side bar. This will create a natural place to set up a beverage bar or appetizer area for your guests to congregate while they are waiting for you to serve them. It’s also a great place to store additional beverages and glassware.
Speaking of storage, when you do a lot of cooking and entertaining you tend to have a plethora of kitchen supplies, i.e., glassware, pots and pans, dishware, cooking utensils, special holiday dishes, linens, etc. Consequently, storage becomes an important consideration to your kitchen plan. How easy is it for you to access your special holiday dishes? Are your chaffing dishes tucked away behind your pots and pans or are they on a shelf buried deep in the garage? As you rethink your kitchen, consider ways to maximize your storage space.
Walk-in pantries are a great option for storing holiday items that are used just a few times a year. If you don’t have space for a walk-in pantry, custom cabinetry can go a long way to maximizing your kitchen space. Custom cabinets can double or triple your storage by not only leveraging floor space but also areas up high. Instead of installing cabinets one or two feet from the ceiling, you can run them all the way to the top of the ceiling.
Appliances that Enhance Entertaining
There are some great products on the market today that can help a host or hostess pull off the perfect party or family gathering. Consider these appliances to enhance your entertaining experience: Warming Drawer, Cappuccino Maker, Convection Oven, or Ice Maker. A secondary dishwasher, refrigerator or freezer placed adjacent to the main kitchen area can also help with quick, easy clean-up and extra storage.
For questions about remodeling a kitchen in your home fit for entertaining, contact Riverside Construction today!
Take the first step by scheduling an in-home meeting with your very own personal design consultant.
We also schedule complimentary kitchen remodeling seminars regularly each month. Let us know your interest in attending by signing up today.
Getting ready to hire a contractor? Make sure you know who you are hiring. Finding the right contractor makes all the difference in your home remodeling experience—from the quality of the work, to your emotional stress, and the timeliness of your project. As you narrow your search for potential remodeling contractors to work with, ask these important questions to ensure the right fit:
- Is your company a full-service or a specialty firm?
If you are planning a small project, for example replacing the bathroom plumbing fixtures, you may be better off hiring a plumber. However, if you’re looking to change the entire layout (building an addition, knocking down walls or reconfiguring your living space), then you may want to consult a full-service company or a design/build firm.
- How long have you been in business and can I get a list of references?
Longevity often coincides with experience, and it’s important to find out how long the company you’re considering has been in business. A long track record of happy clients speaks volumes. Ask for a list of client references and call on them. Take the opportunity to ask questions that will give you an idea of what it is like to work with them. Some questions might include “What did the contractor do well?’, “What did they do poorly?”, “Were there problems or surprises along the way?”, “If there were problems, how were the problems handled?”, “Were there cost overruns?” If so, why?” “Did they complete on time?” If not, what caused the delay?” If you can visit a current job that the contractor is working on, even better!
- What percentage of your business is repeat or referral business?
A satisfied client wants to give referrals. So, if the remodeling contractor you’re considering has a high percentage of referral business, it is a strong indication that you would be in good hands—working with a firm that focuses on customer satisfaction.
- Are you licensed, bonded and insured?
Licensing laws vary by state, so check requirements and verify contractor licensing requirements before hiring. In the Tippecanoe county Indiana area the only contractors that are required to be licensed are plumbing and electrical contractors.
Bonding protects you if a remodeling contractor fails to complete a job, doesn’t pay for permits, or fails to meet other financial obligations, such as paying for suppliers or subcontractors or covering damage that workers may cause to your property. Any contractor who is bonded will be held financially responsible for completing your project.
It’s also important for a company to have general liability insurance, which covers property damage and bodily injury caused by the contractor’s work. Also make certain the contractor’s insurance policy includes workers’ compensation, which covers injuries the contractor’s employees may suffer while on the job. Without it, you, the property owner, could be held liable for personal injury if the contractor does not have proper coverage. Consequently, it’s in your best interest to ensure the company you choose is bonded, licensed and insured.
- Will a permit be required for my project?
Small changes to your home, like painting, new flooring, minor electrical repairs or fixture replacements won’t typically need a permit. However, updates that include major structural changes, room additions, window installations, or electrical wiring will usually require a city permit.
Failure to obtain the necessary permits or to arrange obligatory inspections can be illegal. A qualified remodeling company will be aware of any necessary permits and will handle obtaining them on your behalf.
- Is your company lead certified?
Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children. Contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes built before 1978 must be certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination if they find lead in the paint in your home. For the health and safety of your family, you’ll want to make sure the company you choose is lead certified and performs a lead test before they start your project.
- What professional memberships do you belong to?
Membership in an industry association keeps business owners on top of important, ever-changing issues, trends and legislation within the local area. For remodeling firms, membership in various trade associations like NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) and Remodelers Advantage can be a mark of quality and is another indicator that the company you are considering is among a respected, trusted group of builders.
- Are you a general contractor or design/build firm? What is the difference?
- What is your approach to planning and scope of work?
- How do you control the quality of your jobs?
- Do you use subcontractors of employees?
- How do you handle scheduling?
As you begin your research, you’ll discover that there are two distinct types of remodeling companies – general contractors and design/build contractors. General contractors traditionally work with a designer or architect independently, and hire a variety of subcontractors to help complete the home remodeling project. As an owner, you could potentially have multiple contacts during the design phase, as well as, multiple contacts during the construction phase.
A design/build firm is different from a general contractor in that there is one chain of command held accountable for properly managing your project from start to finish. An assigned project manager coordinates each vendor and sets the pace and expectations for the design/build remodeling process—greatly reducing any chance for items to fall through the cracks. Serving as the main contact between the designer, construction crew and you, the project manager acts as an “air traffic controller” and oversees the entire schedule. They keep the team moving as each deadline approaches.
A general contractor works independently with an architectural designer (of your choosing) and carries out construction based on the architect’s finished plans. If there are any issues (errors in measurement, structural issues, etc.) there is no one held accountable for the error. This unfortunately can leave the door open for “finger pointing”.
On the other hand, a design/build firm is accountable for your project’s end-result—including the finished design, cost and timeline. Because the same team designs and builds your project, there is more focused attention on accurately estimating and scheduling the project early in the design phase. As such, you will never hear complaints that the project ran over two times what the architect estimated. All costs are considered before the construction process starts.
We hope these questions help you establish a company’s qualifications and reputation and lead you decide on the right person for your home remodeling needs.
If a design/build firm is right for you, we would love for you to consider Riverside Construction. To schedule your first appointment with Lafayette’s premier design build firm, call 765.838.1644 or request a free in-home consultation.
Although a more closely-knit space, bathrooms are one of the most important rooms in your home. As the saying goes, “good things come in small packages.” If you are considering a bathroom remodel, an affordable, stylish and functional design can make all the difference in your long-term comfort and use of your space.
Follow these helpful tips to ensure your bathroom renovation stands the test of time:
Determine How You and Your Family Uses the Bathroom
Your bathroom is a personal space, unlike any other room in your home. You should take some time to consider how you use your bathroom first. You may be someone that uses their bathroom to quickly shower, shave, brush their teeth and go. Or, you may be like other people who consider their bathroom like an oasis—a place to relax, unwind, light candles and reinvigorate themselves.
Regardless of how you use your bathroom, be sure to get input from all members of your household that use it. How many people use the tub or shower at one time? Do you need more private space for the toilet? How are you currently using the space and will your needs change as you get older?
Perhaps your bathroom is primarily used for your children. If that is the case, you may consider keeping your bathtub, rather than replacing it with a shower. For improved, functional space, you may want to consider building a bank of cabinets for each child to store their personal items.
Is your bathroom particularly cold in the morning chilling you to the bone? You may want to consider heated flooring, or installing a modern towel warmer.
While it is important to plan for all of the functional necessities of your new bathroom, you will also want to take some time to dream big. Have you always wanted a spa-like bathroom with rain-style showerheads, a no shower enclosure, or bench seating? Or have you coveted the idea of a separate vanity to do your hair and make-up? Flush out your list of requirements (no pun intended), separating “nice-to-haves” from “must haves” before establishing a budget. Then, value-engineer back, making choices on what features you need and what you can afford.
Speaking of budget, most people have no idea how much a bathroom remodel costs, and, rightly so. There are many variables that have to be considered when planning for one. Regardless of your budget, size or style requirements, most bathroom remodels fall under these three categories:
In most cases, a cosmetic remodel is going to be the most-cost effective approach. It involves changing certain elements of the bathroom without affecting the original footprint of the space. Essentially, you are giving the bathroom a “refresh” by updating amenities like the sink, fixtures, cabinet hardware, paint, mirrors and lighting. This type of remodel can usually be done in a short amount of time and with little disruption to your life.
Remove and Replace Remodel
This is your mid-range option that requires more labor and materials. Everything in the bathroom is replaced (toilet, sink, shower, flooring, lighting, cabinets, etc.) but every component goes back exactly where it was originally—the footprint of the bathroom remains unchanged. This usually involves removing drywall down to the studs, particularly if there are signs of mold or leakage. With a Remove and Replace remodel, you will end up with a completely new bathroom with minimal disruption to any other area of your home.
The custom remodel is where your “dream list” comes into play. The sky is the limit. You have an opportunity to build your bathroom from scratch customizing the space to meet your needs exactly, limited only by budget. A custom remodel is perfect for someone with a smaller bathroom that needs a lot more space; or a bathroom with a poor original design that is in need of a more functional or visually pleasing design. This renovation option is more time consuming and usually involves renovation in more than one room in your house to accommodate the added space.
In case you’re having a hard time deciding which remodel is right for you, a qualified design/build remodeler like Riverside Construction can guide you through this process and help you determine which option best fits your lifestyle needs and your budget. Please contact us if you think we can help.
Design Style and Functionality
Aw, now the fun begins…starting the process of thinking about what you want your bathroom to look and feel like. As you consider paint colors, tile choices, vanities and fixtures, you can start with one design item that you want to feature in your bathroom and design around it; or piece several design elements together to create your final bathroom design. There are plenty of online resources, such as Pinterest and Houzz, which make this process easy, giving you a multitude of bathroom design options to explore.
As you narrow your choices, you will not only want to consider who will use your bathroom and how, but how your newly designed bathroom flows with the rest of your home. Consistency is key. You don’t want to add a rustic, farm-style bathroom to a 1950’s-era brick ranch home, for example. Choose from fixtures that provide a variety of style, material and color choices that match the existing design of your home.
Lighting is Key
Adequate lighting is important to have throughout your home, but in the bathroom it is essential. As the bathroom increasingly becomes a place to recharge and relax, lighting requires an extra thought. When it’s done right, the payoff is great. And, you can never go wrong installing sufficient and luxurious bathroom lighting. Consider these three key areas to improve lighting in your bathroom remodel:
Top on the priority list is making sure you have the right lighting above the vanity, used for illuminating your head and face. A common mistake people make is installing recessed ceiling fixtures directly over the mirror, which cast shadows on the face. This makes daily grooming rituals, like shaving and makeup application, more difficult. Instead, vertical fixtures or sconces should be mounted on either side of the mirror to help cast an even light across the face.
Unfortunately, this is not always possible given vanity mirror size and positioning constraints. A Riverside design consultant can help you determine the best lighting placement for you.
The shower or tub is often the darkest area of the bathroom, and may require secondary task lighting. If the shower has a clear, glass door, a dedicated fixture may not be necessary. Otherwise there are plenty of moisture resistant recessed lighting options to choose from.
Ambient lighting serves as a substitute for natural light. You can consider a surface-mounted ceiling light, a pendant lamp or even a chandelier. Other options include “cove lighting”, which are rope lights hidden behind a molding dropped several inches below ceiling height – adding a soft glow around the room’s perimeter. Another option is adding a dimmer switch to adjust the mood in your bathroom.
Do you love taking long, hot, steamy showers? Did you know that you could be causing irreparable damage to your bathroom? Without proper ventilation, all of that humidity and moisture built-up in your bathroom creates the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can damage the drywall, flooring, wood framing and even your cabinets.
Thankfully, with proper ventilation, you can enjoy your hot, steamy showers and ensure your bathroom remodel lasts for many years to come. An adequate bathroom exhaust ventilation fan does just the trick. It removes excess moisture, odors and even mold spores that can lead to health problems. Before choosing a ventilation fan, make sure it is large enough to accommodate the size of your bathroom. There are also great fan options that include features like humidity sensors, automatic timers and built-in nightlights.
Think Long Term (Universal Design)
Once you decide to remodel your bathroom, it is important to maximize your investment by remodeling with your future in mind. Consider the principles of universal design, which is the design and composition of an environment that can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability.
Whether you are planning to live out your retirement in your home, or eventually sell it, you’ll want to consider universal design principles when remodeling your bathroom. Grab bars, wider doorways, shower seating and non-slip flooring will go a long way towards maximizing your investment.
Efficient Use of Space
If you’re like most homeowners, you never have enough storage space. When you’re planning a bathroom remodel, it is a perfect time to design plenty of added storage into your new cabinetry, shelving and even custom nooks.
If your bathroom footprint will remain the same, there are many creative ways to squeeze a little extra storage out of your existing space.
For example, while a pedestal sink may speak to your design sensibilities, choosing a vanity instead provides you with plenty of extra storage. Adding niches and shelves in the shower create space for your toiletries, while keeping items off of the floor; and installing a medicine cabinet is an easy way to keep beauty supplies off of your countertop.
For questions about remodeling a bathroom in your home, contact Riverside Construction today!
Take the first step by scheduling an in-home meeting with your very own personal design consultant.
We also schedule complimentary bathroom remodeling seminars regularly each month. Let us know your interest in attending by signing up today.
If you enjoy spending time in your kitchen, nothing is more important than spending a little time and a few extra dollars to make it work flawlessly for you. We’ve put together a list of five essential ingredients our kitchen designers would recommend you consider if you enjoy cooking.
- Size and Function
The old adage “Bigger is better” is not always true when it comes to essential kitchen design. While most of us would love a large, expansive kitchen to work in, it’s not always feasible. If you’re designing with limited square footage, it’s important to consider “economy of movement.” In other words, you don’t want to find yourself running back and forth between areas of your kitchen when creating a culinary masterpiece. Instead, design your kitchen in a “work triangle,” strategically placing your refrigerator, sink, and cook top in an efficient kitchen layout.
If you have the luxury of a larger kitchen, you may want to consider oversized or even double kitchen islands, a popular trend today. With a smart layout and configuration, this additional space allows the cook plenty of room to prepare food, while still being able to interact with guests.
- Coveted Counter Space
Ask anyone who loves to cook, and they’ll tell you “you can never have too much counter space!” Easy-to-clean surfaces are also important to serious cooks. When choosing the right countertops, you need a surface that you can scrub and won’t stain. Choose a material that is both low-maintenance and beautiful. A popular choice like Quartz withstands high heat and makes cleanup easy.
How you cook can also determine the best countertop to choose. For example, the use of granite is perfect for kneading dough and marble is the better choice if you make a lot of confections. In some cases, choosing a mix of materials will give you the best option for creating a cook-friendly layout.
- Efficient Storage
Similar in importance to counter space is storage. Design your kitchen after taking inventory of everything you own. Make sure you measure and plan space for every item that you plan to store or use in your kitchen, before deciding on a final layout.
Choose closed cupboards to hide clutter and avoid open shelves, as they just gather dust. If you have the option to choose custom or semi-custom cabinets, plan to make your upper-tier cabinets 15 inches deep instead of the standard 12 inches to accommodate larger sized plates or platters. Adding dimension to an otherwise flat run of cabinets not only improves function to your kitchen, but creates visual appeal.
You can also plan to store specialty appliances like stand mixers or coffee makers. Serious cooks generally have a large number of pots and pans. Deep pullout drawers are a great option to keep your pots and pans out-of-site, while still keeping them within easy reach.
And don’t sweat the small stuff. Custom spaces can even be found for the smallest, albeit crucial, cooking items like spice jars, knives, cookie cutters, etc.
- Perfect Pantry
A serious cook can’t get far without the perfect ingredients to cook with. A well laid-out and well-placed pantry is essential for any chef who needs to access those ingredients. When designing your kitchen pantry, consider convenience, accessibility and visibility. If ingredients are hard to get to, you won’t use it.
There are a variety of pantry options and ideas that range from small to large and inexpensive to more expensive.
Common for high-end homes with large kitchens, are walk-in pantries that offer convenient access to ingredients while hiding them out of sight. For the average home, a butler’s pantry offers similar convenience and style. It can be located off the kitchen or dining room or tucked under a staircase. Rather than build a custom pantry, many serious cooks are also finding existing space near the kitchen that can be configured into a small pantry.
Other options for finding accessible space is making changes to existing cabinets with storage accessories such as pullout shelves and baskets, drawer organizers or built-in racks for spices or cookie sheets, etc.
- A Sink or Two
Would you believe that the sink is the most used area in the kitchen? That’s why choosing the right sink is so important. Most cooks would agree that a large deep sink is ideal (think large pots) over sinks that are divided into small, double or triple bowls, limiting their use. If space allows, you may want to consider installing two full-sized kitchen sinks. This allows you to designate one sink for prepping food, and the other for dirty dishes, among other uses.
An undermount sink is ideal for serious cooks who value being able to scrape food right into the sink. Single handle faucets also are convenient, making it easy to use when you only have one hand free.
Take the time to consider each essential ingredient and write down your thoughts. Make sure you have an idea of what you need to make your kitchen work flawlessly for you. Share this information with Riverside Construction’s design/build team and we’ll help you create a plan that factors in your budget, functional needs, logistics, schedule and lifestyle to design a perfect kitchen for you.
Take the first step by scheduling an in-home meeting with your very own personal design consultant.
Love Your Home
Learn the Keys to Successfully Remodel Your Kitchen or Bath
Saturday, March 24, 2018
10:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Holiday Inn City Center in Downtown Lafayette
932 Robinson St.
West Lafayette, Indiana 47906
Hours: M-F, 8am to 5pm
Serving Tippecanoe County and the surrounding areas of Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana.