Building a New Home vs. Remodeling an Existing One: The Pros and Cons

Build a new house or remodel an existing property? This is a common dilemma faced by homeowners across the nation who are seeking a change in their living conditions. Unfortunately, it’s not an easy choice because there’s often so much at stake.

The correct course of action depends on your unique circumstances and location. Factors such as your family size, finances, future plans, potential lifestyle changes, and how you feel about your local area all play a big part in your decision.

To help bring you some further clarity, we’ve looked at the pros and cons of both options: building a new home and remodeling an existing one.

Why Are You Considering a Change?

Woman thinking about remodeling home or building a home

When making such a significant decision, it’s always important to begin with why. Why are you considering a change?

There are numerous reasons why people decide to build from scratch, remodel, or buy a new property. For example, you may need more room for a growing family, a more updated look, or a home with improved energy efficiency and smart technology.

What are your overall goals for the property? You may foresee a change in lifestyle needs for a growing family, or aging-in-place factors are becoming increasingly important. These considerations and more can influence a decision on whether to build afresh elsewhere or renovate your existing property.

Key Questions to Ask

Based on experience, we know some key questions that help Lafayette homeowners move closer to a firmer decision. They include:

Do you like your neighborhood? – If you love where you live and have a network of family and friends nearby, it can be an emotional upheaval for your family to move location.

Do you have home equity? – Home equity can be a smart way to finance a remodel that makes staying in place a preferable option.

What are the financing costs of both options? – Building a new home is usually more expensive than renovating, but a new house can sometimes be more cost-effective in the long term.

What’s the state of the current real estate market? – The real estate market is constantly changing. One year it can be more beneficial to move, and during another year, to stay put.

Do I have time to wait for a new house to be built? – A new house takes anything from five months to two years to build. A remodeling project is undoubtedly faster.

Is my family going to grow? – You can add extensions and remodel old rooms to add extra bedroom space. But sometimes, you just need a bigger place.

These are just some of the key questions to ask yourself when choosing between building a brand new house and remodeling an existing one.

Budget Considerations

Budgeting for home remodel

What’s your budget? Before deciding one way or another, it’s essential to figure out exactly what you can realistically spend. For example, it’s usually less expensive to remodel an existing property than to purchase a lot (or demolish an existing structure) and build a new house from the ground up.

For example, average home remodels cost approximately $100 per square foot with nonexistent moving costs. On the other hand, building a new house is roughly $150 per square foot, which doesn’t include additional costs such as purchasing fees or demolition (if rebuilding).

Define your budget parameters before making a final decision to avoid unpleasant financial surprises.

Pros of Remodeling Your Home

Remodeling Pros

Whether it’s a single room remodel or a complete property renovation, there are many benefits to remodeling your home instead of building anew.

You get to stay in the home you may have lived in for years that contains many happy memories and emotional investment. Remaining in place also reduces the disruption associated with moving to another area, which can be especially important for children and teenagers.

A well-planned remodeling project can increase your desired livable space in ways you might not currently imagine possible. For example, basements can be transformed, bathrooms enlarged, and kitchens opened up, thereby increasing the available space and your home’s resale value.

Skilled design-build remodeling professionals with knowledge of the latest smart home technologies can also help you incorporate environmentally friendly and energy-efficient features into an existing property. You don’t always need to start again to enjoy these benefits.

Similarly, an outdated and seemingly shabby interior can be almost magically transformed with an intelligent remodel, allowing you to stay in your dream home while ushering in a new ambiance and character.

If you live in a historic Lafayette neighborhood, you can maintain the historical features and charm while combining these with ultra-modern technology and fixtures.

Cons of Remodeling

Remodeling Cons

Remodeling can also come with some disadvantages.

If a bank loan is required, it can be challenging to gain approval, especially if you’ve not lived in your current residence for a long time. There may also be potential structural issues and other hazards related to toxins that might delay building timelines, significantly increase prices, and make things a lot more complicated in general.

Another factor to consider is that remodeling projects seldom return a 100% return on investment. That said, many types of renovation projects can bring significant value and returns. These projects include kitchen, bathroom, and basement remodels.

Depending on your family and plans, remodeling projects can be highly disruptive, especially if it’s a comprehensive home transformation. It’s not recommended to remain in the property during significant refurbishments.

Pros of Building a New House

Working with designersLike with staying in place and remodeling, there are also several benefits to building an entirely new house, whether on the same lot or elsewhere.

When you build a new house, you can design the structure to your desired specifications within your budget. You can choose floorplans and layouts that fit your family requirements, lifestyle goals, and interior décor dreams.

You have more freedom to design a home that aligns with your tastes and personality without needing to shoehorn designs into existing structures.

You can also go big when it comes to eco-friendly design options such as sustainable building materials and environmentally efficient energy features. Although you can also add these to a home during a remodel.

Cons of Building a New House

LandscapingBuilding a new house from scratch also comes with drawbacks.

As previously covered, building a new house is significantly more expensive than remodeling an existing property.

There’s usually not a lot of leeway concerning the price of quality home building. While there are cheaper building options, these often come with flaws that mean more money needs to be spent in the future.

There are also landscaping costs, which are separate from the cost of the house.

And finally, existing properties are usually closer to metropolitan hubs and desirable locations. By their very nature, new homes tend to be built on the outskirts of existing neighborhoods and districts. As a result, finding a plot of land close to your dream location can sometimes be tricky.

Whether you build a new home or remodel an existing one, it’s essential to work with qualified and experienced professionals who can guide you from start to finish.

Work With a Qualified Design Build Firm like Riverside Construction

Riverside Construction, founded in 2008, is the go-to professional design-build team that has earned the respect and confidence of discerning homeowners in the Lafayette and West Lafayette areas.

With an award-winning team of highly skilled and experienced professionals in a range of fields, we excel at listening to client ideas and then translating those dreams into reality. We can help you decide on a direction, provide guidance on remodeling issues, and be with you every step of the way to ensure your dream home is achieved.

Contact us now to schedule an initial conversation about your upcoming remodel. We’ll be happy to answer your questions, listen to your ideas, soothe your worries, and work with you to finalize your plans.

Bring March Madness Home

In lieu of an actual tournament this year — of upsets, buzzer-beaters, barn-burners, of the thrill of victory and of the agony of defeat, we are taking the competition home. Get ready! In the absence of watching our favorite players drill threes, block shots, and leap over 7-foot contenders to slam down a dunk, we can create our own action—our own basketball highlights, if you will! If you’re hankering for a little one-on-one competition or even a friendly game of H-O-R-S-E, it’s time to BRING IT ON!

While hanging a hoop over the garage will suffice for many, today there’s room for smart innovation, like an indoor court, to get your blood pumping and your heart racing.

We decided to tackle our March Madness withdrawals head-on so, we are bringing back to life some fun, inspirational March Madness-inspired remodeling ideas from all over the country. Enjoy!

 

Riverside Construction Basement Remodel

Riverside Construction Basement Remodel

Charleston Building & Development Indoor Gym

Charleston Building & Development Indoor Gym

Contemporary Home Gym by Detroit Interior Designers & Decorators, Tutto Interiors

Contemporary Home Gym by Detroit Interior Designers & Decorators, Tutto Interiors

Eclectic Kids by Austin Interior Designers & Decorators, Van Wicklen Design

Eclectic Kids by Austin Interior Designers & Decorators, Van Wicklen Design

Modern Home Gym by Downers Grove Design/Build Firm, Oakley Home Builders

Modern Home Gym by Downers Grove Design/Build Firm, Oakley Home Builders

Modern Home Gym by West Des Moines Design/Build Firm, Kaufman Construction Design and Build

Modern Home Gym by West Des Moines Design/Build Firm, Kaufman Construction Design and Build

Park Avenue Townhouse Boys Playroom by Perianth

Park Avenue Townhouse Boys Playroom by Perianth

Teen Room by Walker Home Design

Teen Room by Walker Home Design

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 a virtual 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.

Home Remodeling Guide: How to Choose a Remodeling Contractor that Is Right for You

 

Your home is an intensely personal space. If you’ve made the exciting decision to remodel your house, you don’t want just anyone working on your home. In fact, you want a highly qualified, trustworthy and conscientious team of professionals who are committed to helping you remodel a living space that fits your functional needs and design style. Taking the time up front to research and ask the right questions is not only time well spent, but will ensure you select the right remodeling contractor for you.

The Ultimate Checklist for Vetting Potential Remodeling Contractors

 

  • Assemble a list of Contenders

A simple Google search is an excellent place to start assembling names of local home remodeling contractors in your area.  Use words that describe what you’re looking for and your location. For example, search for “home remodeling contractor Lafayette” or “kitchen and bath remodeling West Lafayette”.

Websites like houzz.com, angieslist.com, and thumbtack.com can also be helpful resources to search for local contractors.

A safe and reliable way to assemble remodeling contractors is to reach out to your friends, family, and co-workers for any recommendations they may have.  Do you have a neighbor who just had some remodeling done?  Ask them about their experience and if they would recommend them.  Your local hardware store may also have some good suggestions as well.

  • Website Review

Once you’ve assembled your preliminary list of home remodeling contenders, review each company’s website. This is an easy way to find critical information that will help shape your decision. You should be able to find answers to important questions like:

  • Are they licensed, bonded and insured?
  • Do they have a physical office location?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • Do they have staff, or only use subcontractors? What is the longevity of their staff?
  • What special certifications or qualifications does the company have in performing a similar remodeling project as yours?

Qualified home remodeling contractors should also feature a project portfolio or sampling of their work. Take some time to peruse past projects and see what speaks to you.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then look at the finished project photos as an informative way to get a sense of the type of work they do.  Moreover, some remodelers only specialize in kitchens and baths, for example, and may not remodel other areas of the home, like basements or additions. This should help you rule out some contenders depending on the type of work you want to have done.

Another important distinction is the type of remodeling contractor you want to work with. Are they a full-service design build firm or a general contractor?  What’s the difference? The quick answer is that a general contractor works independently from an architect. As a homeowner, you would be responsible for finding an architect first—someone who produces a set of architectural design plans for you. Then, you would hire a general contractor independently to build the remodel from the set of drawings provided by the architect.

On the other hand, a design build company takes care of all the remodeling and design under one roof to make the integration of your project easier.  From the very beginning, you work with a personal designer to produce a set of plans that fit your budget, design style, functional needs and time frame. In contrast, you work with one company who handles every detail for you. Click here for more information on the design build difference.

  • Phone Interview

Once you’ve narrowed down your list, it’s time to call on the companies directly to fine tune your decision even further. Ask pertinent questions like, “How many projects do you currently have on-going?”, “Do you take on remodeling projects of similar size?” and “Can you provide a list of references?”. This will help you decide with whom to set up an in-person meeting. For a complete list of questions to ask of a remodeling contractor, read 8 Essential Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor.

Checking client references is another crucial step in your selection process. Reputable remodelers should be happy to provide you with a list of current and past clients. Taking the time to call a sampling of customers and asking questions like “What was your overall experience working with the remodeling firm?”, “What did they do well?”, “What did they do poorly?”, “Did they keep the job site neat and clean?”, “Did you have cost overages? If so, why?”, and “Was the project completed on time?” will give you tremendous insight on who you want to hire and work on your home. And, if you can visit a current or past job site, even better!

  • In-Person Consultation

An in-person consultation is a perfect opportunity to meet with the remodeling contractor to get a feel for the company, their process, and the people you will be working with. This face-to-face meeting is also where you’ll discuss the entire scope of work with the contractor.  Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions!

Once you’ve discussed your renovation goals, an established professional remodeling company will offer to provide a detailed scope of work and price estimate for you to review.  If you work with a design build company, you will have the added benefit of exploring concept designs for your project as well (this may include a fee, as it requires a lot of work to put together).

  • What Does Your Gut Tell You?

Finally, do you feel comfortable and see yourself communicating well with the remodeling firm that you’re considering?  Remember, these folks will be in and out of your home for weeks or months. You’ll be interacting with various carpenters, designers and office staff throughout the project and you want to feel that your home and family are in good hands.

Overwhelmed yet?  Don’t be!  Taking the time to do your homework and due diligence, before you approve your construction agreement, will help guarantee you end up with the ideal living space you dreamed of, with the least amount of headache as possible.

If you’re ready to take the first step towards remodeling your home, give us a call today at 765-838-1644 or fill out our Request a Consultation form to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation. We are ready to help you get started and answer any questions you may have about your unique home remodeling project.

A 2017 Recap: Riverside Construction’s Best Before and After Basement Renovations

Benefits of 3D Design in Home Remodeling

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.

 

An Inside Look Into the Remodeling Design Process

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.

8 Essentials for Your Next Kitchen Remodel

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.

10 Home Remodeling Design Trends for 2017 You Won’t Want to Miss

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.

  1. 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.

Photo Courtesy of Scout & Nimble

  1. 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.

Photo Courtesy of Italianbark

  1. 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.

Photo Courtesy of Acton Construction

  1. 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.

Photo Courtesy of Yale Appliance

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Riverside Project

  1. 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!

Photo Courtesy of Decor8

  1. 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.

Riverside Project

  1. 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.

Riverside Project

  1. 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.

Design a Custom Kitchen Perfect for Entertaining

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

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.

Storage

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.

8 Essential Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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!

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.