Designing A Kitchen for People Who Love to Cook

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Reclaim Your Basement

Is your house starting to feel small? Need additional space in your home? If you are one of many lucky homeowners who own a basement, you have the option to transform an unused or cluttered basement into a large, functional living space. You may even increase your home’s value. Depending on the location of your home, a finished basement (properly remodeled) can add square footage to your home’s “for-sale” listing.

When undertaking a basement remodel, consider these three steps to ensure you are adequately prepared:

1) Evaluate Your Space

Start by assessing the condition of your basement. Do you have any basement obstacles such as low ceilings, excessive moisture, or ventilation issues? Would you need plumbing and electrical added for a kitchen or a bathroom?

Basements often store furnaces, hot water heaters, or HVAC systems and run plumbing lines along the ceiling and down the walls. At Riverside Construction, we are used to helping you navigate these issues, designing a space that fits your functional and lifestyle needs, as well as your budget.

Size

How you use your basement will be determined by its size. A smaller basement (under 700 sq. ft.) may be perfect for adding an efficient and inviting laundry room, complete with large-capacity appliances, a drying rack, utility sink, plenty of countertop space and cabinetry to hide laundry supplies, etc. Or, secure much needed quiet space, cut off from the rest of the home, by designing a new home office or workshop. At minimum, you will need to plan to run electrical wiring for computer equipment, lighting and other office amenities.

An average size basement is roughly 700 to 1,000 sq. ft. If you have a growing family and an average size basement, a playroom may be the best solution for freeing up more living space in the main part of your home.

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Obviously, the more space you have to work with, the more options you have. If you have a basement over 1,000 sq. ft., you have the option to create unique space out of an open-plan basement or create “zones”, breaking up a large room into multiple sections (each zone has a specific use, but everything is tied together through a common design style).

Use

A finished basement can add valuable living space to your home—the possibilities are endless. Here are just a few examples of how homeowners are reclaiming their basements:

  • Additional Family/Living Space
  • Rentable Living Space
  • Game/Sports Room
  • Media Room/Home Theater
  • Kid’s Play Room
  • Wine Cellar
  • Man (or Woman) Cave
  • Exercise/Work Out Room
  • Den/Home Office
  • Arts & Crafts Room

How will you use your space? A popular trend nowadays is converting a basement to a self-contained living space, complete with it’s own kitchenette, bathroom, bedroom and living area. This is commonly known as an in-law suite and is a fantastic way to add value to your home while catering to your families’ evolving needs.

2) Design your Basement

Once you have decided how you want to use your new basement, you’ll want to design your new space. With very few windows in basements, be sure to include a variety of lighting options to brighten up your space—to include recessed lighting, track lighting or mirror-backed sconces. You’ll also want to incorporate all of the necessary plumbing and electrical work while walls and floors are unfinished.

Basement flooring options vary greatly. Typical options include concrete, carpet, luxury vinyl tile, or laminate. After taking the appropriate measures to level your basement floor, you’ll want to choose flooring that will fit your design style and will survive any basement challenges with moisture or water issues.

Does your basement include unsightly load bearing pillars that can’t be removed? Incorporate them into your basement design by painting them with a contrasting color or covering them with wainscoting or another material. Our interior designers can work with you to select the perfect colors, materials and fixtures, designing a basement that fits your lifestyle and your budget.

Basement Remodel_Ex2 Basement Remodel_Ex3

3) Make Room for Storage

A basement remodel, no matter the size, is the perfect opportunity to add much needed storage to your home, the kind we never seem to have enough of. Don’t be afraid to utilize every nook and cranny, including under the basement stairwell. Custom built-Ins are always popular as well as open shelving. Consider using open shelving around support beams to minimize clutter.

If you are inspired to reclaim your basement, contact Riverside Construction today!  Take the first step by scheduling an in-home meeting with your very own personal design consultant.

In-Law Suites, a Sweet Addition to Your Home

Considering adding an in-law suite to your home? Given the changing landscape of the economy, in-law suites are becoming a popular choice for many homeowners. Particularly, with multigenerational housing increasing as well. Whether you are converting a room, adding a free-standing apartment, or building a bedroom and bath addition, one common attribute is the ground floor accessibility and added sales appeal (generally, in-law suites increase property value).

If you’re like the majority of Americans over the age of 45, you want to continue living in a familiar environment throughout your maturing years. As you think about your parents’ future and those of your in-laws (and even your own), some initial planning can ensure both you and your loved ones are comfortable, independent and safe.

Consider these helpful tips before you build:

1) Location, Location, Location

Decide where to build the in-law suite. You’ll want to assess your home to determine the best possible location. Do you have a garage or enclosed porch that can be converted into a living space? Do you have two bedrooms that can be combined into one, or a basement that can be converted into a separate living area? Or, perhaps you have adequate space to build a room addition?

If a room addition is necessary to accommodate your new in-law suite, you’ll want to make sure that the new space blends seamlessly with your home’s exterior. A design build contractor will work with you to ensure the addition flows with the original architecture of your home.

Basement Remodel 2 Basement Remodel Bedroom 4

2)  Accommodations

Once you have identified where to add your in-law space, you will need to decide what you want to include in the space and how it should flow. Typical in-law suites include a living room, full kitchen and a separate bedroom and private bathroom with adequate storage in both. Ideally, an in-law suite will also have a separate entrance. In this case, zoning restrictions may come in to play and determine what you can or cannot do. Your design/build contractor will help you navigate this process.

We’ve collected some in-law suite ideas for you on our Pinterest board. Enjoy!

Basement Remodel Living Room 3 Basement Remodel Bathroom 5

3)  Universal Design Principles

When designing an in-law suite, it’s important to incorporate universal design principles, to ensure whoever occupies the space is safe, independent and comfortable for years to come. The National Association of Home Builders defines universal design as “the design of products and environments to be usable to all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation of specialized design.” A universally designed space considers aging-in-place needs, whether you are young or old, short, tall, healthy or ill. These amenities include, but are not limited to:

  • No step entries and non-slip floors
  • Wider doorways to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers
  • Wider hallways (36-42 inches wide)
  • Extra floor space
  • Easy open, lever door and drawer hardware
  • Larger bathrooms with hand-held shower heads and level-entry, curbless showers
  • Good lighting to include well-lit outdoor walkways and entrances
  • Lower light switches and thermostat controls, within easy reach of the bed.
  • Easy access to separate heat and air conditioning controls as well as smoke, fire and carbon monoxide detectors.

For questions about incorporating an in-law suite into your home, contact Riverside Construction today! Take the first step by scheduling an in-home meeting with your very own personal design consultant.

8 Critical Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid

It doesn’t take much to run a home remodeling project over budget. If it’s important to you to keep your savings intact, avoid these common mistakes before construction begins.

We interviewed Riverside Construction’s owner, Andy Haste, to find out what breaks people’s budgets when they remodel their homes. Here are some helpful tips to help you circumvent those errors:

  1. Changing Your Mind After Construction Has BegunOne of the biggest, most costly remodeling mistakes a homeowner can make is making changes after construction begins. One advantage in working with a design/build firm is that every detail is thought through and even previewed, and fixed to a budget, before construction begins.
  2. Failing to Define Your Project Scope (Not Creating a Master Plan)Every home remodeling project should start with a clear project scope. A professional contractor can help you define your master plan and make sure every detail is accounted for. When meeting for the first time, expect to answer a lot of questions, especially WHY you are remodeling. By flushing out this deeper understanding of your home remodel, a remodeling contractor earns his weight in gold by coming up with creative, cost-effective solutions that you might never have thought of.Other questions you should be prepared to ask are “What are your needs, wants and desires for your new space? What do you love about your home? What don’t you like about your existing space? What is the size of your family? Is it expanding or will you be empty nesters soon? How often do you entertain? Where do you and your family spend most of your time? The more details you can flush out up front, the more precise a professional remodeling contractor can be in coming up with ideal solutions for your new living space.
  3. Choosing a Contractor Solely on PriceEveryone loves to save money! But the old adage “You get what you pay for” is never more true than when you hire a remodeling contractor. Choose a remodeling firm that has a stellar reputation in the industry. Start by asking for referrals and evaluate new companies by reading their online reviews and client testimonials. Some companies even provide direct access to their client survey results. Pay attention to the comments and how issues are handled.Instead of choosing a contractor solely on price, pay close attention to the overall value you will receive. Are they likely to still be in business five years from now when something needs fixing? Do they offer a workmanship warranty, and will follow up on their commitment to stand behind their work?Choosing a contractor shouldn’t be so much about “can they frame a wall or put in a sink”. It should be more about whether or not they have established trust in doing the job you need them to do. Emphasis should be placed on HOW the work is done. Will they protect your home? Will they do what they say they’re going to do? What measures will they put in place to protect your family or pets? Can you reliably trust them to carry out your vision?
  4. Failing to Create a Realistic BudgetOne of the key advantages in working with a design/build firm, in particular, is that they can help you determine a realistic budget up-front before construction begins. Make sure you work with a remodeling contractor that listens to your needs, develops a scope of work, and guides you in a design that realistically fits your budget. No time or money is wasted when you design to a budget that you can afford right from the start.
  5. Taking Too Little Time to Consider Specialty ItemsThe last thing you ever want to experience after spending valuable time and money on a home remodel is regret. “I really wish I’d put in that glass tile I wanted,” or “I’m really disappointed that we didn’t put in quartz countertops,” are statements that a quality contractor will ensure you never say six months or three years after your remodel is complete.Creating a list of ‘must haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’ is a helpful place to start. A design/build firm will incorporate these items into the design discussion early on, before a conceptual design and budget proposal are presented to you. This allows you to incorporate your needs into your overall plan and specifications right away. Be prepared to address why you want your ‘must have’ items as well. A reputable contractor will want to know WHY you want these items so they can present you with alternative options and steer you in the right direction.
  6. Not Knowing the Process Going Into Your RemodelHaving a clear understanding of the home remodeling process you’re about to embark on is a smart and effective way to alleviate anxiety. You should know approximately how long your project will take, what date it will be done, how your home will be managed and protected (both the construction and non-construction areas), when and how your ideas will be incorporated into the design process, and more. When you are looking for a contractor that is right for you, be sure to get a thorough understanding of their design and construction process.
  7. Not Being Prepared for the UnexpectedAny time you embark on a home remodel, no matter how old your home, you want to go into your remodel with a clear understanding of what to expect. Be prepared for dust and noise, for starters. And, have a plan in place for your pets.Unexpected situations can also rear their ugly head as soon as you start tearing down walls. Whether there is dry rot found behind a soffit, or dangerous electrical wiring that needs to be replaced, it is important that you prepare yourself for these types of surprises also. A reputable contractor will be able to set all of these expectations up front and help you set a realistic budget.
  8. Not Exploring ALL Options for Adding Space in Your HomeDon’t want to move, but desperately need additional square footage? One obvious solution is adding a new room addition to your home, but there are other options as well. You can maximize storage and reclaim space by creatively reconfiguring your existing space. Do you have a basement or attic that can be refinished? Do you have a wall that can be knocked down to improve traffic flow? By discussing your needs with a reputable remodeling contractor, you can explore all options that add square footage to your home, without breaking the bank.

Contact Riverside Construction today, for more information.  We would love the opportunity to help you with your next remodeling project.  Take the first step by scheduling a conversation with a design consultant.

A GUARANTEED PLAN FOR REMODELING SUCCESS PART II – SEE IT BEFORE YOU BUILD IT

A Unique Benefit of Design/Build Construction

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and when it comes to your remodeling project. Nothing could be closer to the truth!

Riverside Construction uses a unique process for remodeling called Design/Build.  This remodeling approach offers many unique benefits, particularly greater control and management of the home remodeling process. By providing architectural design, engineering and construction under a single construction agreement, you, as the homeowner, minimize your financial risk by providing a strong level of control over every step.

And while having greater control is critical to your ultimate satisfaction of the finished project, what you really want to know is if your home remodeling project is going to look exactly like you envisioned it. Will you still love it five years from now?

This is where the magic of 3-D design comes into play. As a design/build remodeling firm, Riverside Construction utilizes advanced 3-D design software to help you visualize your home remodel before construction begins. While a floor plan can give you a sense of how the new space will be configured, it doesn’t show you how large the room is or how different aspects of the room fit together. 3-D renderings allow you to move components around and see their special arrangement. You can actually picture yourself walking in the room doing everyday tasks. The power of 3D technology simply allows you to see the space from all angles, effectively illustrating the flow of the space, and trying out colors and textures of material selections like cabinets and fixtures.

3D Rendering Covington After (1)

Want to see what your master bathroom would look like with a large picture window? Not a problem. Want to check out your view from the window? Changed your mind and prefer not to have a window? Done. Want to see what a large island would like in your new kitchen? What about adding a bank of cabinets? All of these questions can be answered using advanced 3-D technology.

3-D design allows you to have a clear picture of your project before construction begins—a true mockup. It is also the best way to review and approve all material costs and selections associated with your remodeling project (to include lighting, appliances, fixtures, cabinetry, countertops, flooring, etc.) before starting construction. You benefit from knowing how much your project will cost, what it will look like and when it will be completed, all before construction begins.

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Riverside Construction’s advanced 3-D design and estimating software, combined with the professional expertise of its design staff, is a winning combination. Our clients benefit from a deep breadth of experience pouring over designs, reviewing plans, listening to clients’ needs and coming up with creative improvements that will sustain a lifetime. As a homeowner, you have the added luxury of seeing what your remodeling project will look like, tied to a realistic budget and timeline. No surprises. No mistakes.

Contact Riverside Construction today, for more information.  We would love the opportunity to help you with your next remodeling project.  Take the first step by scheduling a conversation with a design consultant.

A GUARANTEED PLAN FOR REMODELING SUCCESS!

For greater control and management of the home remodeling process, Design/Build is best

Imagine two finished remodeling projects, both with timeless design and expert construction. They have the same end result, but very different back-stories. One finished on schedule, within budget, and left the client pleasantly surprised and happy. The other moved slowly, missed deadlines, went over budget, and left the client wondering where things went wrong. The difference between these two projects is the planning and management of the design and construction process. It may sound like common sense, but proper management of each small decision and action can be the difference between a successful project and one that leaves all parties frustrated and disappointed.

The process that provides control and management of the home remodeling process is the design/build model. It provides architectural design, engineering and construction under a single contract, reducing the client’s financial risk by providing a strong level of control over each step of the project.

Let’s highlight the top 9 reasons why the design/build system is best:

  1. Control Over The Process – 
    In design/build, a clear chain of command is created in order to properly manage your project from start to finish. An assigned production manager coordinates each vendor and sets the pace and expectations for the design build remodeling process—greatly reducing any chance for things to fall through the cracks. Serving as the main contact between the architectural designer, construction crew and client, the production manager acts as an “air traffic controller” and oversees the entire project schedule, keeping the team moving as each deadline approaches.From the selection of appliances, flooring, fixtures and countertops to ensuring the design team’s plans only include materials and products that fall within the client’s budget, the production manager manages all tasks to ensure the project stays on schedule.
  2. Control Over Material Costs –
    In design/build construction, designers work with clients early in the design process to determine specific selections for product categories, as opposed to lists and allowances. They try to minimize allowances, using them for smaller items like door hardware, while keeping budget categories flexible, so clients can spend less on lower-priority items and dedicate funds towards a few specialty items—all the while staying within budget.
  3. Everyone Is On the Same Team – 
    In design/build, everyone is on the same team. From management to design and construction, we all work together to meet or exceed the client’s expectations. That means, instead of pointing fingers at individual parties when challenges are encountered (and challenges will happen), the team works collectively to arrive at a creative solution.
  4. Complete Accountability – 
    One entity 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 more than twice what the architect estimated. All costs are simply taken into account before the construction process starts.
  5. Remodeling Expertise –
    Design/build firms are experts in both design and construction.  This means the remodeling professionals are all under the same roof offering homeowners both architectural design and construction expertise—working together.In the new economy, several builders popped up claiming to be experts in remodeling or architects that think they can think like builders. Operating as a design/build firm is a choice and an expertise that takes years of experience and process refinement. Make no mistake. Design/build model is a preferred method among many discerning homeowners.
  6. Open Communication –
    Operating under the assumption that the client actually wants to be actively involved in the remodeling process, design/build is completely transparent. Systems and cloud-based technology are in place to openly share what is going on throughout the home remodeling process.
  7. Control Over The Supply Chain –
    In design/build, it’s equally important to control the supply chain for each item a client selects.Design/build firms actually prefer to purchase all products directly, including lighting, flooring and fixtures. This helps homeowners control the cost and quality of their material selections as well as the time it takes to receive the products from the suppliers.  The exception to this rule is appliances. Remodeling contractors often recommend clients purchase these items on their own.While most material selections are purchased directly by the design/build firm, thus assuming responsibility for any defects or on-time delivery, many clients find specialty items on their own that cannot be purchased through the standard material selections process. In this case, the remodeling contractor does not assume responsibility for a product that they didn’t purchase or evaluate. However, they typically will install that item for the client, but it may require an agreement of indemnification from responsibility.
  8. Avoid Costly Mistakes –
    As the variety of available home products continues to grow, it can become more difficult for clients to make decisions. Design/build firms have the advantage of recommending products that have been tried and tested, keeping you from avoiding any costly mistakes. By simply narrowing your selection to a brand or product type that is trusted to last longer or perform better, you save valuable time and money by tapping into their immediate expertise.
  9. Control Over The Finished Product –
    It’s rarely in the client’s best interest to source his/her own products. The quality may be below par and any problems with the product may take longer or be more expensive to fix, potentially slowing down the remodeling project.Just because an online product carries the same name as a showroom product, doesn’t mean the quality is the same. Chain-of-custody problems can occur too. If a client purchases a light fixture online, for example, with the hope of saving money, but the product arrives broken, the contractor does not have a way to put a rush on the replacement product in order to meet the project schedule.To ensure the best result for all parties involved, the design/build firm usually integrates the selection process right into the design process. This includes meeting at the client’s home early in the process to get a feel for the homeowner’s personal design style, family lifestyle and home functionality needs, including storage and entertaining. It will also include reviewing products or ideas the client has gathered from his or her initial research.

As you can see, design/build offers greater control over the entire remodeling process. From providing more accurate plans of the completed project at an early stage, to efficiently defining costs and a project schedule, homeowners can benefit tremendously from a well-planned and well-managed process—one that results in on time, on budget project delivery.

To schedule your first appointment with Lafayette’s premier design build firm, call 765.838.1644 or request a free consultation online.

ADDING ON: SHOULD YOU BUILD A HOME ADDITION?

Is your house starting to feel small? Does it lack vital amenities, like a spacious kitchen, which is negatively impacting your family? Perhaps you’ve been thinking about moving, but don’t want to take on the added stress and exorbitant costs associated with such a decision. Not to mention you like your neighborhood, the school district and the amenities that are close to home.

If you’re happy with where you live, perhaps building additional square footage is the right decision for you.

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To get started, explore your options

Consult a remodeling professional who can help you explore all of the many possibilities of expanding your house, including alternatives to a major renovation (referenced below).

Building Outward

A true way to “create space” is building out. This new space is unhindered by existing structures and usually pays for itself emotionally and financially. Homeowners don’t typically need to move out during construction.

Building Upward

Arguably better than building out, is building up—“the sky is the limit”. This usually is an expensive undertaking (and often cost prohibitive), but can be worth the investment, and might involve vacating the home for a period of time.

Here are 10 ideas for expanding your house out and up, courtesy of Houzz.

 

Know what you’re getting into

A successful addition is made to look like it was part of the original structure. It involves everything you would find in new home construction, including the foundation, framing, zoning, permitting, flooring, plumbing, electrical, etc.

It’s also one of the smartest ways you can add space to your home. Adding a new space is like designing a whole new house, but without the expense of a whole new house. But, it’s not something you can take on yourself. Ideally, consult a professional designer who can help you determine the feasibility of your vision, making sure your addition will add the desired value to your home.

Alternatives to a Major Renovation

If your home is too small or in need of a new room, there are alternatives to maximizing your home’s existing space without building more square footage. Here are a few examples of how you can simply reconfigure your home’s existing space, to save time and money:

Finish the Basement or Attic—Turning an attic or basement into a guest room, family room, or home office suite is by far less costly than expanding your home. All you )need to do is build finish details inside the shell.

Remove Wasted Square Footage—Take a look at the original footprint of your house and determine whether it’s feasible to remove a wall, eliminate a closet or reconfigure traffic flow to allow for the extra space you need. Designers are trained to help you discover your homes hidden potential.

Knock Down Walls—Many homeowners today are remodeling with an open floor plan in mind. Open layout floor plans foster family togetherness and provide lots of options for entertaining. By eliminating doorways and removing walls that separate the kitchen, dining room and living room, homeowners can obtain the space they need at a fraction of the cost of an addition.

Repurpose Existing Rooms—If you have rooms in your home that don’t get much use, now is the time to consider repurposing that unused room and turn it into space you can use. Turn that unused living room, for example, into a TV/media room; or convert a storage room into a much-needed home office that doubles as a guest room.

Whether you are considering a room addition or an alternative to an addition, Riverside Construction can help you develop a plan that fits your needs.

For inspiration on how to build a room addition onto your home, visit our design gallery. To schedule a free consultation with one of our designers, call 765.838.1644 or fill out our contact form.

We will also be scheduling a seminar on room additions this Spring. Let us know your interest in attending by signing up today.

KEY 3 – DESIGN YOUR PERFECT FLOOR PLAN

Designing your perfect floor plan is one of the more exciting steps in remodeling your home. But for those of you who struggle with visualizing what it will look like, enlisting the help of someone who has experience designing rooms or experimenting with various layouts may be incredibly helpful.

In the first two keys we recommended defining your objectives and creating a wish list for your project. The next step is exploring how to get help turning your wish list into a functional and visually striking floor plan and how to experiment and think through various layout options.

Getting Help – If your project requires structural changes or is a large scale project, it is wise to seek the professional services of an architect or designer who specializes in kitchens or bathrooms or a company that can help you with your entire process from designing to building. Architect and Designers can both help you design the rooms that you are remodeling, but they won’t do the building for your or be able to provide you with an accurate estimate. Full service contractors, like Riverside Construction, have design/build capabilities in-house which offers a more complete solution. These firms offer both the expertise in the design and construction of the part of the home you are planning to remodel. Choosing someone you are comfortable with who can guide you through this stage is vital to coming up with a floor plan, schedule, and budget that is right for you.

Choose a professional who will tailor a plan that will address your wish list and find ways to incorporate as many items as possible. Work with someone who is willing and experienced enough to recommend different materials and construction options to give you a plan that you can enjoy and afford. Good designers will be creative and provide multiple solutions to accomplish your design objectives. By being flexible you will find ways to create that new “space” that will be just right for you and your family.

Thinking through the Floor Plan – As you begin to think through and review your floor plan, you’ll also want to think through furniture placement, traffic flow, and visual appeal. If you already have a clear vision of the room’s size and shape, you can begin this process now. The easiest way to experiment is by placing barriers and moving furniture in your current space so you have an accurate feel for what the future changes will represent. When that’s not possible, the next best thing is to draw the room to scale on graph paper and add potential furniture to the drawing.

As you experiment, you may notice problem areas or creative opportunities. These are the areas a designer or a company that offers a visual design can help you make the most of. Riverside Construction offers a 3D image or “rendering” of your remodeling project from various angles for just this reason. The rendering allows you to visualize your space which can often highlight changes you want to make. Using the 2D floor plan and the renderings, you can experiment with the placement your furniture, cabinets, windows and doors to get the beautiful space you want. We’ll help you make sure that when new counters, cabinets, and doors are installed, or walls are moved, that the walkways will be to your satisfaction and the room will be a functional, enjoyable room.

A few thoughtful hours invested now with a tape measure can save you a lot of headaches down the road. Altering your design layout once construction has started can add both cost and time to your project. Spend the time to get the feedback of others and to get comfortable with all aspects of the project. You’ll be glad you did.

If you need help with designing a room that is both beautiful and functional we would love to help you. You can contact us for more information. Missed the first two steps in our keys to remodeling with success? Read about the first step in remodeling. Read more about step two.

THE SECOND KEY TO REMODELING WITH SUCCESS

It has been said that the most successful people are goal setters. It is the same with renovation projects. The most successful renovations are those where there is a clear set of goal oriented objectives followed by the priority of items that you would like to see in your newly remodeled space. By clearly establishing the objectives of your remodeling project and the importance that each item carries it will be much easier to communicate your “wish list” to your Contractor. This will have a significant bearing when you are establishing your budget and design options.

The first step to a success in a remodeling project is to prioritize each wish list feature as to how important it is to meeting your overall objective. Put your highest priority item at the top of the list and then rank your other items in the order of importance, realizing that when budget and design considerations are taken into account, the items at the bottom of the list may or may not fit into your budget.
Don’t forget to let all members of the household share their input on the prioritized list and the reasons why each item is important to him or her. Once this step is completed you will have made significant progress toward a sensible plan that will accommodate the wishes and desires of all those involved.
The next step is evaluating which parts of the project will add the value that you desire to your home. Almost all remodeling projects will add value to your home. Not only by increasing your resale value, but just as importantly by increasing the utility and enjoyment you and your family will receive from your investment. According to Remodeling Magazine, a few of the projects that recoup the largest amount of their original costs are kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, enhanced master suites and room additions. These values can vary depending on your home’s location, but regardless of where you live, any decision to remodel your home should be based on both the increased value and the personal satisfaction you will obtain from having new features and comfort added to your home.
If you are in the process of thinking about a remodeling project we are here to help you make your project a success! Please contact us for more information.

THE FIRST KEY TO REMODELING WITH SUCCESS

Each remodeling project should be designed to reflect who you are and how you use your home. The space you are remodeling should have the functionality you need, not just for your lifestyle today, but for as far into the future as you can see.
At Riverside Construction, we believe that as a more informed consumer, the decisions you make will ensure that you will enjoy the benefits for years to come, and potentially save you thousands of dollars in costly mistakes. Our team is here to help you get the most out of every decision. Here is the first key step to a successful remodeling project.


When you consider the space that you’d like to remodel, your emphasis should be on the way you hope to use the new room. You want to spend time considering how the new space should function – including how often it will be used, by who, and what possible wants and needs people might have in the space. Sometimes it’s easier to start with a list of frustrations and limitations of the current space.

Start with Walking Around
Having a general idea of what you want to resolve with your remodeling project is important. Start with walking through your home and making a list of what frustrates you. Be sure to include other family members as you go.
Is the space too small for your growing family or too difficult for an aging loved one to enjoy? Is the outdated style keeping you from entertaining guests? Is the room cold and drafty or does noise travel too easily from one space to another? Are you missing out on a beautiful view or stuck in the kitchen while the family is relaxing in the room around the corner? Are there structural problems as well such as low ceilings, leaky pipes, or creaky floors?
Of course some underlying problems will not be easily visible and will have to be dealt with when they arise. However, by taking into account as many potential factors as possible, you’ll help minimize surprises when it comes time to draw up a time-line and budget

Define your Project Objectives
Once you’ve completed your walk around and started to create a mental image of what you want to improve, the next step is to create your wish list and define your remodeling project objectives.
1. Are you wanting a new look?
2. Are there features of your home that have bothered you over time?
3. If there were no budget constraints, what would your ultimate space look like?
4. How do you see yourself using the remodeled or new space?
5. Do you like to entertain?

Asking yourself these questions can provide significant insight into the features you want and the look of your new kitchen, bathroom, or addition. By compiling a complete “wish list” you can then move to the next step and begin prioritizing your wants and needs in a way that will move you closer to your end goal.
If you are ready to take the next step forward with your remodeling project we would love to help you. You can contact us for more information.