While naturally adding square feet, room additions are a wonderful investment that allows you to prolong the enjoyment of your home (and your neighborhood) for years to come. But, integrating your addition into your home’s existing architecture isn’t easy. It often involves hiring a design professional to get it right.
Whether you’re building outwards or upwards, home additions are complex projects. Consider these five essential tips when planning your new space. The result? An intelligently-designed home addition that blends beautifully and seamlessly with your home’s original architecture and style.
1. Start with the Foundation
Behind every home addition is a strong foundation and it’s critical to match the floor and roof lines or elevations. It’s also important to make sure the foundation is deep enough to go below the “frost depth” in your geographic area. The depth requirements vary from region to region depending on the local weather. Building above the frost depth will cause the addition to shift over time independently of the main structure as the ground freezes and thaws, potentially causing foundation problems. Moreover, you need to make sure the type of foundation is appropriate for the soil type in your area. Again, failing to do so may cause shifting problems in the long run for your new addition.
For most home additions, it is also best to match the type of foundation used in the existing structure. So, if your existing home is built on a slab foundation, the addition should also be built on a slab foundation. If your original foundation is a crawlspace foundation, then the addition should also have a crawlspace foundation. This way, the addition is strong, level and seamless from the ground up.
2. Match the Exterior Finishes
Start with the roof and move your way down. Your room addition should match every detail on the original home, including trim, windows, siding, doors, hardware and paint colors. If you have a historical home, matching exact finishes can be more challenging, especially if some of the features are no longer in production. Home additions don’t have to match exactly, but the design should always be complementary in these aspects:
- The roof—The roof on your addition should closely match the rooflines on your existing home. This means mimicking the pitch, soffit style, overhang, eave depth, rafter size, and spacing. It also means you may need to consider an entirely new roof. Older shingles on the existing home may be faded making it hard to match shingle shades on a room addition, for example. If your roof is starting to show its age, this may be a good time to simply update the entire roof.
- The siding and other exterior finishes—Watch out for siding colors as well. If your existing siding has faded, it won’t match the new siding on the home addition. Having the same color and style of trim can also go a long way towards tying the two structures together. If you have brick or stone exteriors, these materials can be harder to replace, but there are also creative ways to mix and match finishes that still look beautiful and blend well together. The key is to choose colors and finishes that complement each other.
- Windows and Doors—These days, it’s becoming easier to find custom windows and doors that meet current Energy Star ratings and building codes, while also coming in historical dimensions and designs that might match those on your existing home. At the same time, exact matches are not always easy to find, so consider designs that work in harmony with the existing style. You can also replace older products with newer replacements to keep the design style consistent.
3. Blend the Interior Addition Design
The new room addition should also feel seamless from the inside. So, as you walk from the older part of the home and into the new space you should not feel a jarring sense of incompatible styles. It will be important to match elements like paint colors, window casings, crown molding and light fixture styles between the older and newer parts of the home.
4. Understand Local Building Codes and Zoning Laws
In every town, including here in West Lafayette, there are local building codes and zoning laws that dictate whether or not you can build a home addition on your property. Before getting too deep into your project, you will need to identify any restrictions that might be on your property. For example, some lot restrictions prevent certain types of home additions; and building codes (or the existing foundation on your original home) may prevent you from building up. A remodeling contractor can help you determine what the restrictions are, and then help you plan from there.
5. Don’t Forget Landscaping
Many homeowners are so excited about the home addition itself that they forget all about the landscaping—particularly the cost of new landscaping. Most contractors in West Lafayette will do some basic seeding around the home addition. Beyond that, homeowners will need to factor other landscape aspects into their home remodeling budget and plan.
If you’re considering a home addition, contact Riverside Construction today for a design consultation, or sign up for one of our home remodeling seminars to discuss your ideas with our design-build team and other homeowners in the area. You can also peruse our home addition portfolio for more ideas. If you’re still researching your next remodeling project, sign up for our newsletter to get new ideas every month. We’re always happy to talk with you, so call us at 765.838.1644.
Whether you have a broken faucet that needs replacing or you’ve decided that it’s time for an upgrade to improve your kitchen’s appearance, it’s a good idea to carefully examine your options so you can make a well-informed decision. Of course, the design team you work with can provide insight into selecting the perfect faucets during a remodeling project.
Before you get together with your design experts, you can take a moment to become familiar with what’s available today. To help you with the decision-making process, we’ve compiled a comprehensive look at kitchen faucet types and styles:
Kitchen Faucet Types
Faucets also come in numerous types, including gooseneck, high and low arc, wall mount, and bridge. “Touchless” faucets introduce sensor technology, giving you yet another option to consider. Let’s take a quick look at each to help you select the one best suited for your kitchen look and needs.
High arc or Gooseneck faucets are designed as their name suggests, with thin and tall stems that are sleek and elegant. Metallic finishes accentuate their brilliance, and their dimensions leave plenty of room in the sink and make pot-filling a breeze. A popular choice among Lafayette homeowners is high arc pull-down faucets.
Low arc faucets are available in various designs and arrangements. Choose stem height and finish based on your usage and aesthetic needs, great choices that offer an ideal balance between form and function. Many also come with a pull-out sprayer.
Wall mount faucets are not super common, but when used tastefully give home kitchens an interesting commercial look and feel. Completely freeing-up the sink area has its own numerous benefits.
Bridge faucets are distinctive designs where the hot and cold handles, levers, and controls are physically connected to the main faucet stem, literally creating a “bridge”. The look is traditional and not for everyone, but when appropriate can powerfully complement similar design features throughout the kitchen.
Touchless faucets now seem like the rage, adding high tech to any design and finish you choose. They might not be worth all the hype, but they offer convenient features that free your hands for doing other tasks. A simple hand wave turns these faucets on or off thanks to a movement sensor.
Kitchen Faucet Finishes
Once you’ve got a good idea of what type of kitchen faucet to install, the next step is to select a finish. Kitchen faucets serve a utilitarian purpose, but they can still look good while you use them.
You have several finishes to consider, including brass, bronze, chrome, nickel, stainless steel, matt black, and the newest exotic finish, ombre.
Brass faucets will bring a traditional look and feel to your home. They can pair nicely with white kitchen finishes to add warmth and work equally as well with a modern-looking kitchen sink. Matte or brushed brass fixtures are quite versatile and appealing. The “Champagne Bronze” listed in the picture above is Delta’s version of the brushed brass finish.
Bronze that is treated by rubbing it with oil gives the metal a darker look. Oil-rubbed bronze is one of your pricier options, but you can’t beat it for the traditional look it provides, giving your kitchen a bold and classic appearance. The “Venetian Bronze” listed in the picture above is Delta’s version of the oil-rubbed bronze finish.
Chrome is one of the original finishes for plumbing fixtures, giving them a very classic look. Chrome is durable, easy to maintain, and great for minimalist kitchens. With a bold, shiny finish, chrome faucets are favored by many home renovators. Look for quality chrome, which resists tarnishing while being long-lasting and easy on your budget.
Nickel faucets are available in various finishes, including brushed and polished. Brushed nickel is a slightly warmer version of stainless steel, and polished nickel is a slightly warmer version of chrome. Brushed nickel is also becoming the “new chrome,” and is used very frequently in all kitchen styles. Some manufacturers have even been able to engineer this finish to offer a “Spot Resistant Brushed Nickel”. Also known as pewter, brushed nickel works nicely to bring soft tones and warmth. Remember that the beauty of nickel faucets requires some maintenance. Periodic polishing of nickel faucets keeps them looking beautiful. Brushed nickel resists tarnishing better than polished, so keep that in mind when weighing your options.
Stainless steel is ideal for kitchen faucets thanks to the finish being easy to clean and maintain — especially useful when you have young kids since it possesses antimicrobial properties. Shiny like chrome, stainless steel is more expensive but gives your kitchen a more sophisticated look. So, for a more luxurious looking kitchen with sturdy, enduring faucets, stainless steel may be your preferred option.
Matte Black is a newer finish that has gained popularity in more modern and contemporary kitchens. In striking contrast to the metallic finishes, matte black is sleek and minimalist. The simplicity and purity of the aesthetic contrast well with nearly any kitchen style, making it very versatile and appealing.
Ombre is a new finish for kitchen faucets developed by Kohler. Taking its name from the French word for “shadow” or “shade,” ombre melds two vibrant metal finishes together to create an interesting transition from light to dark. Ombre currently comes in two variations: vibrant rose gold and polished nickel.
Selecting Faucets for Your Upgrade
After considering the various choices for kitchen faucets in your upcoming kitchen remodel project, you are bound to have some questions. Start by visiting our Kitchen Portfolio for ideas and then sign up for our free home remodeling seminars, which will give you more insight into preparing your own home to look magazine-cover worthy. Have fun browsing — your Riverside Interior Design Team is here to help.
To learn more about selecting kitchen faucets or to consult with a designer, contact Riverside Construction today at 765.838.1644.
The decision to install a home gym can be life-changing in any number of ways, but it also involves a lot of decision-making. The physical location of your personal workout space will influence its actual square footage as well as the floor plan, layout, and specific finishing materials. Basement gyms, for instance, might accommodate heavier fitness equipment, but can also present a logistical challenge for installing large equipment. A yoga studio, on the other hand, might occupy only a sliver of space in a seldom-used second-floor guest room.
In addition to basic decisions about space and use, you will want to consider privacy, convenience and finishing materials.
One of the primary considerations for any gym is the flooring type that will best suit your needs. Fitness flooring varies, and your decision must suit not only your particular needs but also your room décor or design style and your budget.
No matter what your exercise preferences might be — from Zumba to incline walkers or rowing machines, some common flooring choices are carpet, foam, vinyl, and rubber. Here’s how to evaluate the pros and cons of each:
Carpet tiles are used in both commercial fitness facilities and home gyms. Commercial grade, low-pile carpet is soft, resilient and comfortable underfoot, all pluses for a workout room. Carpet absorbs some sound and is as suitable for yoga and karate routines as it is for exercise machines. Carpet provides a non-slip surface and offers some insulation against cold or extreme heat. Carpet tiles, which are easy to install, may also be easily replaced if they become damaged or stained.
Overall, carpet is durable, versatile, cost-efficient, child-friendly and easy to care for. It is available in a wide range of colors, and individual carpet tiles can be mixed to create a custom design or to designate specific exercise zones.
On the minus side, however, carpet is not water resistant. It is subject to mold and mildew if used in a damp area, and can harbor pests and insects. Carpet also is more difficult to clean than other flooring types. Wall-to-wall carpet may stretch over time, unless it is a glue-down variety, and may require professional re-stretching.
Foam is a popular and playful choice for family-oriented exercise. Available in bright colors and sometimes sold as interlocking “puzzle pieces,” foam is comfortable, cushioning and extremely lightweight. A foam pad, or blanket, is a highly functional and economical alternative in a part-time workout room. Because foam is so flexible and absorbs the impact of physical activity, it is a good choice for a stationary bicycle, a lightweight rowing machine or for strenuous movement, including jogging in place or punching bag workouts.
It is soft and resilient for floor stretches, and for all age groups. In addition, foam allows the greatest creative flexibility for color and pattern.
The only reported downside to foam is that it is not usually considered the best option for extremely heavy exercise equipment. If your gym will have weight benches, elliptical machines, or heavy treadmills, another type of floor might be more durable.
Modern vinyl is as functional for a workout room as it is for a utility room or child’s bathroom: It’s easy to clean, resists mold and mildew, will withstand heavy use and some abuse. This category of resilient flooring comes in an array of products including planks, sheets, and tiles and allows extensive customization through color and pattern. Vinyl is flexible, easy to install with minimum preparation, and can be used directly over a slab, as well as over sub-flooring or an older wood floor.
High-quality vinyl will be durable, while low-quality material will be susceptible to rips and tears. Unfortunately, vinyl flooring cannot be refinished, so when it is damaged it needs to be removed and replaced. This is easier in a tile and plank installation than with sheet materials.
Vinyl flooring is also offered in three different types of wear surfaces, offering a full range of protection against scuffs and stains—from entry-level (Vinyl No-Wax) to Urethane and Enhanced Urethane, which offers the most protection.
Finally, a vinyl floor is only minimally shock resistant. Over concrete, as in a garage or basement, it will still be hard, and perhaps cold during the winter.
A fourth popular option for a home gym is rubber flooring, with all the best qualities of a flexible and easy-to-care-for floor and few of the disadvantages. It is available in rolls or tiles, is comfortable, shock resistant, durable and easy to keep clean. While economical color options are limited, it is extremely practical. If used as area matting or a temporary surface, it can be moved and stored easily. Rubber does not absorb odors, is anti-microbial, and will not be damaged by water.
However, like vinyl, rubber has little insulating quality and will be colder in the winter than carpet or foam.
When you’re ready to move forward with your plans for a home workout space, Riverside Construction stands ready to help you decide which type of gym flooring will best suit you. Contact our team at your convenience for additional information.
I recently ran across the Tour de Lafayette-West Lafayette website. As I started watching the videos of local homeowners talking lovingly about the unique architectural features of their homes, I was struck by how many of them clearly loved not just their homes but also their neighborhoods. In some cases so much so that they moved only a couple houses down the street because they loved their neighborhood so much. Do you love your neighborhood that much?
One of the things that we do at Riverside Construction is to help you stay in your neighborhood by helping you find a way to remodel your home so that it can fit your changing needs instead of going through the complicated process of moving. You can work with our sales staff and designer to find ways to either add on to your home or make better use out of the space you currently have. We can help you find ways to make a better floor plan for your home or just update a room that needs some help. Our goal is to help you remodel your home for life.
If you need help remodeling or adding on to your home feel free to fill out the form found here and we will contact you as soon as we can to see how we can help you.
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Home Remodeling Seminars
It is with an abundance of caution that we have decided to postpone the Kitchen & Bath remodeling seminar, originally scheduled on April 4th. All of us at Riverside Construction look forward to sharing our passion for design-build remodeling with our amazing families, neighbors, and friends at a later date (tentatively planned in May). In the meantime, take care of one another, and stay safe.
932 Robinson St.
West Lafayette, Indiana 47906
Hours: M-F, 8am to 5pm
Serving Tippecanoe County and the surrounding areas of Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana.