What You Need to Know About Home Surface Materials

Quartz or granite? Marble or solid surface? Selecting materials for kitchen and bathroom surfaces can be confusing. There are many materials from which to choose. Some can look almost identical to others. Yet they all have different qualities that will suit different functional and aesthetic demands. 

When choosing home surfaces during your next remodel, whether it’s kitchen countertops or bathroom worktops, it’s important to be familiar with the different material qualities prior to installation. In this article, we explore what you need to know when it comes to some of the most common surface materials. 

Butcher Block

Burcher Block

Butcher block is a heavy-duty surface made from assembled wooden slabs. It’s the only permanent surface that can be used directly as a chopping board, with a little sanding quickly removing blemishes and scratches. For some home chefs, the pleasantly worn look is a desired aesthetic and matches with country-style kitchen décor themes. 

If you’re prone to forgetting to use a chopping board, the soft wooden surface will be kind to your knives. Butcher block is susceptible to moisture damage. It’s, therefore, a good idea to oil the surface regularly to minimize swelling. When it comes to cleaning, simply wipe with soap and water. 

Laminate

Laminate Countertop

Laminate is a man-made material featuring layers of paper covered with a protective melamine resin top layer. Just underneath this resin, is a decorative print layer that is available in different styles, some of which even mimic natural stone like granite and marble. This makes it an affordable alternative to more expensive materials.

The protective resin seal means laminate is very easy to keep clean. Simple cleaning with soap and water is all that’s normally required. However, laminate is susceptible to damage, especially from knives, accidents, and abrasive cleaning materials. As repairs are difficult to make, serious damage will require a complete replacement. 

Quartz

Quartz Countertop

A Quartz countertop – also known as engineered stone – is a relatively new home surface option. While quartz countertops are a manufactured surface, the core property is quartz, a highly durable, hard, and strong natural material. 

The combination of quartz with different resins and pigments means quartz countertops are available in a wide variety of styles and colors. Its non-porous surface ensures it remains stain resistant, easy to clean, and impervious to bacteria. However, it can sustain heat damage from extra hot pots or hair tools, so it’s wise to be cautious. 

Tile

Tile Countertop

Tile has long been a popular surface option for kitchens and bathrooms. We typically picture tile forming a backsplash or floor, but it can also look tremendous as a countertop. With so many different shapes, sizes, colors, patterns, and materials from which to choose, tile offers hundreds of creative design options.

Tile is also one of the more affordable surfacing options. It’s heat resistant and it’s very easy to replace chipped or discolored tiles. That said, one of the biggest drawbacks of using tiling in the sometimes wet conditions of a kitchen or bathroom is the porous nature of the grout. Regular sealing is required but this doesn’t always prevent stains and bacteria buildup. 

Granite

Granite Countertop

Granite is a natural stone material without any added ingredients. This natural beauty is why it’s such a popular choice among homeowners throughout the United States. Often installed as a solid piece of quarried stone, granite countertops usually have few seams, providing an expansive look that’s also very easy to keep clean. 

Granite is extremely strong and resistant to scratches. It can also take a lot of heat, meaning you can safely put hot equipment directly onto the surface. One drawback is that granite is porous and so it’s important it is thoroughly sealed so as to prevent stains. 

Marble

Marble Countertop

Marble is another highly popular choice when it comes to kitchen and bathroom surfaces. With its natural grains, solid appearance, and timeless appeal, marble brings the beauty and elegant strength of nature right into the heart of the home. Marble countertops make a bold and luxurious statement and for this reason, they are at the higher end of the price scale. 

An intriguing quality of marble is that it maintains a low temperature. It always feels cold. This makes it ideal for baking. As stones go, marble is one of the softer ones, making it more vulnerable than granite to nicks and cracks. Also, avoid exposure to acidic foods like lemons as over time this can remove the polish or sealant that’s so important to prevent stains.  

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is used in restaurant kitchens throughout the world. It’s also a great surface option for the home kitchen. Stainless steel is durable and non-porous, making it highly resistant to water, heat, stains, and just about anything else. This is why it has widespread use in commercial and industrial environments. It’s very easy to wipe clean. 

Unfortunately, stainless steel does dent and scratch relatively easily. Denting can be minimized with the correct installation techniques used by experienced professionals. Stainless steel countertops can be noisy as well when placing objects onto the surface, and for some people, the industrial look can be a little too cold and clinical. 

Solid Surface

Solid Surface Countertop

Solid Surface (also known as Corian) is the perfect mid-range countertop material for homeowners seeking a middle way when it comes to surface types. It’s a man-made synthetic material usually made from a combination of acrylic, polyester resins, and stone pigments. 

It can closely mimic naturally occurring materials such as stone, granite, and marble, making it a more affordable alternative. While not as strong as natural materials, it’s less susceptible to cracking from heavy impacts. However, it is easier to scratch and is not as heat resistant. But it’s very easy to maintain and clean. 

With so many surface materials to choose from, it’s important to get professional advice and guidance before an extensive kitchen or bathroom remodel. 

Your Design-Build Remodeling Team in Lafayette, Indiana

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, and be with you every step of the way to ensure your dream home is achieved. 

Whether you’re transforming a kitchen, updating a bathroom, or adding an extension, let us guide your decision-making and partner with you to achieve the results you envision. 

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

Considering a Kitchen Remodel? Plan Ahead and Avoid These 9 Common Kitchen Design Mistakes

A kitchen remodel is an excellent investment both for the present and the future. It increases the value of your property and provides an essential functional environment for what is considered the heart of the home. Yet without proper consideration for the smaller details, a kitchen remodeling project can go awry.

It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the visual design aesthetics when designing any room. However, for a kitchen that serves multiple purposes like cooking and entertaining, functionality needs to remain a primary focus. With this in mind, we look at the common kitchen design mistakes to avoid when remodeling your new dream kitchen.

1. Forgetting the All-Important Work Triangle

Visualize in your mind a triangle connecting your cooktop, sink, and refrigerator. This important space is what is known as the “kitchen work triangle,” a tried and tested design concept used to create efficient kitchen layouts. When the concept is neglected or forgotten, the functionality and visual appeal of a kitchen can suffer.

According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), each leg of the triangle should measure between 4 and 9 feet for optimal results. Doing so allows home chefs to reach their cooking, cleaning, and food storage areas quickly and easily.

2. Lack of Counter Space

A lack of kitchen counter space can cause all sorts of frustrations and problems. When designing your new kitchen, make sure there is plenty of surface space for different tasks. For example, there are typically three stages of the cooking process: preparation, cooking, and cleaning. Ideally, it’s good to have three or more separate and suitably sized counter spaces for each stage to ensure efficiency throughout the entire process.

Modern kitchens are also multifunctional spaces where families congregate. It’s not uncommon to use a laptop or tablet at the counter, either during the cooking process or while working from home. Do you need your counters to function with additional seating? Are you a baker and need counter space for cooling racks or rolling dough? Consider how you might use your counter space for different purposes, including when friends visit.

3. Lack of storage

Underestimating the amount of storage space that you will need is another common kitchen design mistake. A lack of storage can lead to overcrowding which can impact both the visual aesthetic of your kitchen and minimize your counter space for food preparation. With so many wonderful storage options, including appliance garages, there’s really no excuse for a lack of storage, even in a small kitchen.

From built-in kitchen island storage features and lighted glass-door display spaces to corner pull-out shelving and walk-in pantries, and so much more, there are storage solutions big and small for every conceivable kitchen design, size, and style.

4. Choosing Low-Quality Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets are one of the first features your family and visitors alike will see. They define the style and ambiance of the space, making them such a vital aspect of the kitchen interior to get right. Quality cabinetry is not cheap, but it would be a mistake to choose low-quality cabinets just to save money.

The best cabinets are made from solid wood and are durable and easy to clean and maintain. They are free of imperfections and support the aesthetics of the kitchen as a whole. These days you can order quality cabinets in a wide range of colors and designs.

5. Not Utilizing Vertical Space

Another common kitchen design mistake is forgetting to make good use of the vertical space. This is particularly valuable for small kitchens where ground-level storage space might be minimal.

Overhead cabinets or open shelves add both extra storage space and visual interest to a kitchen interior. Floating shelves can be fitted on either side of a fridge or range hood. Hooks and rails can be attached to the walls and even the ceiling to store pots, pans, and even potted herbs and plants. There’s enormous potential with some intelligent planning.

6. Poor Lighting Design

It’s surprising how often lighting becomes an afterthought in the home remodeling process. Poor lighting design has negative consequences for any space but for the kitchen, where safety and functionality are so important, it can actually be harmful. As such, lighting design needs to be a priority focus when redesigning your cooking environment.

It’s essential to consider the different zones of the kitchen when designing the placement of lighting. Some areas need focused lighting for specific tasks, aptly known as task lighting, while ambient lighting illuminates more general spaces. The placement and number of electrical outlets are also important factors to consider.

7. Lack of Ventilation

The smell of delicious home-cooked food can be lovely in the moment, but you don’t want cooking smells lingering and wafting throughout the rest of the house. Poor ventilation is another common kitchen design mistake that can ruin the enjoyment of dining and hosting guests.

It’s important to choose a good kitchen ventilation hood that complements the overall kitchen design aesthetic. A nice hood can act as a focal point, bringing the rest of the space together. There are many different hood designs that come in various materials, colors, shapes, and even placement options, including above a central kitchen island.

8. Choosing a Design That will Become Dated Before It’s Time

A new kitchen is designed to last for a long time. Therefore, it’s important that the design survives the test of time both when it comes to functionality and visual style. From the rustic 70s kitchens with overhead beams to the oversized white kitchens of the 90s, identifiable trends come and go, and it’s wise to make your kitchen as future-proof as possible.

Consider using mixed materials that help prevent a thematic look. Mix and match styles according to functional requirements, technological advancements, and your family’s unique blend of style. An experienced and professional design team will help you create a tasteful bespoke design that will never look outdated.

9. Not Seeking Out a Qualified Design-Build Contractor

Talking of professional design teams, another common kitchen design mistake is hiring the wrong professionals to remodel your home. Or giving in to the temptation to do it yourself. As a space with significant functional and safety requirements, including complicated wiring, plumbing, and ventilation systems, it’s always best to work with fully qualified design and construction experts.

In the long run, it’s a lot more cost-effective to invest in professional design-build services where the project is carried out to the highest of standard from beginning to end.

Your Kitchen Remodeling Team in Lafayette, Indiana

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 pandemic-related 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 kitchen remodel. We’ll be happy to answer your questions, listen to your ideas, soothe your worries, and work with you to finalize your plans.

Why Patience is a Virtue When Remodeling During a Pandemic

Remodeling your home is an exciting experience and is on the whole a positive one, but it’s not without its problems. Even during normal times and with the best-laid plans, delays and supply errors can happen, but when remodeling during a pandemic, there’s even more potential for things to go awry. 

That being said, a pandemic is actually a great time to remodel your home, and we’ll explain why in greater detail in this article. We’ll also cover why patience is a virtue when remodeling during these unprecedented times. By planning ahead and being flexible, you can attain the home of your dreams regardless of what is happening around you. 

With all this in mind, let’s first look at some of the current pandemic-related issues facing remodelers and homeowners.  

Pandemic Material Shortages

The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown a monkey wrench into both supply and demand when it comes to materials. As a result, there are material shortages across the board, particularly lumber, appliances, and windows and doors. 

With lumber, the problems resulting from the shut-down of lumber mills were further exacerbated by wildfires across the Western US in 2020 and a surprising residential remodeling boom. 

Up to 87% of building professionals have found windows and doors challenging items to find over the last couple of years, according to data from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). With huge demand and not enough window and door manufacturers, lead times for these products are stretching from weeks to months. 

The national shortage of appliances, ranging from dishwashers and dryers to refrigerators and washing machines, mean homeowners and remodelers alike have been scrambling to find available products. 

The problems arose when the pandemic forced manufacturers to scale back plans and stores to pull backorders. Shipping was severely impacted the world over, and manufacturing companies, both at home and abroad, were forced to either close factories altogether or run a skeleton staff. As a result, everything slowed to a crawl. 

While things are improving compared to the previous year, it will take time for the situation to stabilize. There’s also uncertainty about what the short-term future will bring and whether the pandemic will see a resurgence. 

Rising Prices on Materials

During 2020, lumber saw record-high prices due to the compounding factors previously mentioned. Prices surged more than 48.3% from December 2019 to December 2020. 

Prices have since dropped but, at the time of writing, not to pre-pandemic levels. There are also fears the market might be volatile for a while depending on the course of the coronavirus as well as environmental and political issues.  

It’s expected that elevated prices will remain for the foreseeable future, even though they will vary. 

The price from a supplier, generally good for 30 days, might change quickly, and this is something both your design-build firm and you as a homeowner will need to bear in mind. 

Unprecedented Demand for Remodeling

Material prices are also being affected by the surge in remodeling and new home construction. Homeowners are using the record-high amount of home equity they now have to make modifications and additions to their residential properties.  

As house prices have increased as demand for housing has soared, families are also choosing to stay put and improve on what they already have. 

People are having more confidence in their homes as investments for the future. As such, with all the money saved from sheltering at home during the pandemic and missing out on vacations, homeowners have chosen to redirect the money into home improvement projects. 

Another reason why remodeling has seen unprecedented demand is that people have simply had more time. With so many people granted temporary leave from work and with many others being able to work remotely, there’s been more space and time for people to engage in projects they would have otherwise deemed overwhelming. 

The fact people have spent so much more time at home has also helped families identify reasons why their homes need remodeling. Homeowners realized they needed to reconfigure or update their indoor spaces for work, exercise, leisure, relaxation, and even for new health reasons.  

What does all this mean for you? Simply put, there may be delays because so many people are remodeling their homes at the moment. 

Advantages of Design-Build Remodel in a Pandemic

When choosing to remodel your home during a pandemic, there are many benefits to be had by hiring a design-build remodeling firm. In fact, it’s the one method guaranteed to rise above all the aforementioned pandemic-related issues and get your home modified as quickly and effectively as possible under the circumstances. 

You see, the design-build delivery model provides all required skills and services under one umbrella. The contractor looks after both the design and construction stages, with seamless integration of all relevant professionals. 

For the homeowner, there’s just one point of contact. This does away with the more traditional “design, bid, build” procurement system where you’re left to manage multiple contractors who have varying timelines, prices, ideas, and methods. Even at the best of times, this can be a minefield for the uninitiated, but it can be very stressful, confusing, and expensive during a pandemic. 

When you need your home remodeling project to be as simple and as stress-free as possible, especially during these trying times, then the design-build method provides these benefits and more. 

All of the design, planning, and ordering of materials is done well before the construction stage. The construction start time is determined by when materials are available, meaning everything is in place to begin as soon as this happens. 

While this might mean waiting a bit longer initially, it’s much more preferable and cost-effective than the often confused and chaotic method of the traditional “design, bid, build” system. 

When it comes to remodeling your home – pandemic or no pandemic – there’s nothing that comes close to the efficiency of the design-build method. 

Your Design-Build Remodeling Team in Lafayette, Indiana

Riverside Team

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 pandemic-related remodeling issues, and be with you every step of the way to ensure your dream home is achieved. 

Whether you’re transforming a kitchen, updating a bathroom, or adding an addition, let us guide your decision-making and partner with you to achieve the results you envision. Contact us now to schedule an initial conversation. We’ll be happy to answer your questions, listen to your ideas, soothe your worries, and work with you to finalize your plans.

Five Ways to Overcome Your Home Remodeling Fears

Buying or remodeling a house is a major financial decision that can bring you peace of mind and a comfortable place to live. It’s not surprising, however, that so many homeowners experience fear and anxiety when embarking on a home remodeling project. It doesn’t help that there are plenty of unfavorable remodeling experiences shared among friends, family, or neighbors and posted online—homeowners who have gotten tricked into trusting disreputable contractors, and lost tens of thousands of dollars. So, how can you overcome these imaginable home remodeling fears?

Whether you are a first-time homeowner or you’ve survived a remodeling project in the past, the most important first step is to become well-educated about your home, your project options, and how to find the right remodeling professional for you.

We’ve outlined five of the most commonly-shared remodeling fears and how to address each one intelligently, so you can prevent these remodeling mishaps from happening to you.

Fear 1: I’m afraid I’ll make the wrong decisions and won’t like the results.

The idea of spending thousands of dollars and sacrificing months of dust, noise, and inconvenience only to be disappointed in the end result is enough to scare away any homeowner. What if the materials don’t match? What if the craftsmanship is poor? Doing it once is disruptive enough, but getting it wrong and having to redo it is soul-crushing.

There are a couple of ways to banish these remodeling fears and ensure your project turns out exactly as you expect. First, consider working with a design-build remodeling firm that helps you create a detailed plan and scope of work for your project right from the beginning. A reputable design-build firm will not only help you flush out all of the “must have” and “like-to-have” details of your home remodel, but they will also offer creative solutions tied to a realistic and pre-approved budget. Then, upon guiding you through smooth remodel, they will ensure your remodel finishes on time, and on budget.

The more effort you spend with your design-build firm to conceptualize and plan your remodel, the more likely your project will turn out exactly how you envisioned it. Ask your contractor as many questions as you need to understand the process. The right contractor will be happy to answer your questions and give you the chance to sign off on each detail before construction begins. Allow yourself the grace to be fully immersed in the process, and you’ll start feeling more confident in the remodeling process and the results you hope for.

Secondly, during the planning stages, sophisticated computer systems can be used to help you envision your project well before construction begins. This takes the guesswork out of your design decisions. Remodeling firms that use 3D-design modeling can help you visualize your project in its entirety, including finishes, colors, textures, and other details. It can also create exact measurements and catch potential design or proportion inconsistencies during the planning stage.

Fear 2: My contractor will not finish on time.

We’ve all heard horror stories of contractors that walked off job sites before they were completed. The best way to overcome this remodeling fear is to do your due diligence. Commit to reading online reviews and ask for client references. When looking through reviews on Houzz or Google, it’s essential to look deeper than just the number of stars. Read the comments—as many as you can. Take notes and see if you uncover any patterns. How does the contractor handle challenges? What do they do well? How long have they worked in the area? What is their specialty? How consistent is the quality? How often do they finish on time or on budget? Note what customers liked and what they didn’t like when working with the contractor. Be particularly cautious of working with a contractor that doesn’t have a past or current review on Houzz, Facebook, Google or a third party review site such as GuildQuality.

Beyond online reviews, be sure to call on client references. If possible, try and speak to a homeowner who has completed a similar project as yours. Ask to see the work done in their home. Sometimes, it may even be possible to visit a home remodel that is currently in process. Above all, make sure you ask detailed questions of the homeowner, probing into their experience in working with the contractor. Also, make sure the contractor can verify it has insurance. A reputable contractor will be pleased to provide the information you ask for.

Fear 3: I’m going to blow my budget.

Going over budget is a huge concern for most homeowners. Even if your budget is generous, it likely has limits. It’s important to work with a reputable remodeling contractor that can design a project plan that meets your fixed budget before construction gets underway.

Traditionally, homeowners seek to work with an architect or designer first, separate from a contractor. In this way, design details are worked out before soliciting bids to a contractor. After a contractor is hired, change orders are then used to account for changes in the project scope. In this traditional design-bid-build approach, the budget is derived from the project’s design.

In contrast, a design-build firm works in collaboration with you, the designer and contractor develop a cohesive project plan fit to an agreed upon budget and timeline. Rather than the budget being derived from the project’s design, the design is derived as a result of the owner’s budget.

In addition, it is always best practice to plan a reserve budget for unknowns or changes you might make after construction begins. A reputable contractor will help you plan and provide a detailed scope of work, so hidden costs don’t seep into your project. Also, don’t hesitate to address any questions or concerns about budget items with your contractor. A reputable design-build firm will help you stay on budget and on schedule—as part of their delivery process.

Fear 4: The remodeling project will drag on forever.

Secondary to budget, homeowners are fearful of their home remodeling project going over a scheduled timeline. While the length of a remodeling project depends on its complexity (whether it requires HVAC, removing walls, or making structural changes, for example) it also requires coordinating suppliers, vendors and many other moving parts. Although every remodel has its hidden challenges that can impact a project’s timeline, working with a professional design-build team will certainly increase your likelihood that it will finish on time.

Reputable design-build firms utilize proven processes that start with a realistic and detailed timeline—built from years of experience working with vendors, suppliers and their own in-house team of lead and finish carpenters. You can also count on being assigned a dedicated project manager who is held accountable for keeping your project on schedule.

Fear 5: I’m not sure I can handle the inconvenience and the mess!

Unfortunately, remodeling is a necessarily disruptive and messy business—there’s no way around it. By planning ahead, however, you can better cope with the inconveniences.

If you’re planning a kitchen remodel, for example, you can set up a temporary kitchen in another room. You can also temporarily adjust your family’s meal plan by changing from heavily prepared meals to semi-homemade foods. You’ll want to stock up on nonperishable items, disposable plates and silverware, and choose recipes that are best prepared with small appliances. Instead of a stove, switch to meals cooked on electric skillets or in a microwave. If you’re remodeling a bathroom, plan to use a secondary bath for a period of time. Create a daily morning schedule where family members can be assigned specific bathing/grooming times to prevent traffic jams. All in all, a little inconvenience for a period of time is a small price to pay for a fabulous new kitchen, bathroom, or whole house remodel!

A reputable contractor will also take extensive measures to protect your home from excess dirt, dust, and damage. Be sure to ask how they control dust, damage, and air pollution in your home during construction.

Hire a West Lafayette Design-Build Firm You Can Trust

Riverside Construction has helped homeowners dispel fear and embrace the delight of beautiful, precise remodeling projects that meet and exceed their expectations.

Whether a kitchen, bathroom, home addition, or basement remodel, Riverside Construction promises an enjoyable, smooth remodeling experience, delivered on time and on budget. Check out our online reviews and view our extensive portfolio of work.

If you are thinking about remodeling your home but aren’t sure where to begin, sign up for our monthly newsletter full of remodeling expertise and ideas. And be sure to schedule a consultation when you are ready to dig into the details of your home remodeling project or call (765) 838-1644.

It’s in the Details: Small Remodeling Projects Can Make a Huge Difference

The old expression that it’s the “little things in life that count” may also be true when it comes to home remodeling. If you think your home looks dated or you dream of having a magazine-worthy kitchen each time you prepare a meal, consider the smaller details as you plan your next home remodel.

By breathing new life into some of your home’s spaces, you will gain a new perspective about what it is you love about your house. It might also turn out that the comfort and familiarity of your existing home are what’s truly important after all.

Update Your Windows and Doors

Updating your windows and doors can make a huge impact on your home. Not only can you potentially benefit from energy savings and a lighter, brighter interior, new windows and doors can enhance your home’s interior and exterior appearance, while also adding value to your property. How’s that for a double win?

Consider high traffic areas when rethinking the use of doors and windows in your space, like your kitchen and bathroom. How can a new window bring in more natural light and update the overall look and feel of your home? Today, there are numerous features and options to choose from that will enhance your living space.

And choices are growing with homeowners’ preferences. Modern trends include windows with black frames, modern bay windows, transoms, window walls, and so much more. Homeowners are choosing window and door frames that have narrower profiles, which enhance their views and visibility. They are also opting for color-coordinated door and window colors. Finally, with more and more importance placed on the outdoors, many homeowners are choosing between slide, folding, French, quad, single, and movable glass wall systems.

Whatever the style you choose, make sure to take into account how the replacement windows and doors will look from both the interior and exterior of your home.

Maximize Your Illumination

Nothing belies a home’s age more than a single ceiling light in a bedroom or long hallway, fluorescent tube lighting in a kitchen, or inadequate bathroom lighting. Today there is no reasonable excuse for living with shadows and dark corners. Updating a home’s entire electrical plan makes sense and will save dollars and cents in the long run. Pay attention to the three types of lighting that are part of a comprehensive plan for every room: ambient (general) lighting, focused task lighting, and accent lighting.

Consider retro and industrial design styles that are making their way into West Lafayette homes. Choose between soft gold lighting fixtures, vintage Edison-style bulbs, or ornamental lighting with cleaner lines. Update old-style plugs and switches with new versions that come in a variety of styles and colors.

A creative designer will introduce you to the staggering array of available options for long-lasting, energy-saving lighting. Ask about lighting that is voice or motion-activated or controlled by smart technology. And consider new high-tech devices and entertainment options.

Refresh Your Kitchen

Kitchen remodeling is typically high on a homeowner’s wish list. But a kitchen remodel doesn’t have to involve a total gut job. Here are some options:

  • Repaint, refinish, or resurface older wood cabinets: Change the kitchen’s entire look by changing the color of the cabinets or replacing cabinet doors with a different style.
  • Replace kitchen countertops: While granite is still a top choice, there are numerous other options. Modern solid-surface materials simulate stone, but they’re also available in bright colors and patterns for immediate impact.
  • Changing the backsplash is a relatively small update that makes a significant difference.
  • Add a specialty appliance: An under-counter fridge, a wine chiller, or a dishwasher drawer, perhaps. Or install a second sink in a counter section to facilitate cooking and clean up.
  • Add an island or extend an island counter to provide additional seating.
  • Add pendant lighting over an island or raised kitchen counter.

Add New Hardware

Many homeowners are unfamiliar with the impact new hardware can have on their home. It’s relatively quick and easy to replace dated cabinet handles and drawer pulls, or to update bathroom towel bars and toilet paper holders. Survey all the hardware in your home. Replace an old doorbell button with chimes and replace it with a newer wireless model. Personalize your chime while you are at it!

If your home has simple round brass doorknobs, know that they date your home more than any other single feature. Boost your home’s curb appeal with a freshly painted front door and entry hardware. Think about trading those standard brass knobs for newer black, brushed nickel, or oil-rubbed bronze finishes, or replace knobs with trendy new levers.

Consider Adding Moldings

Beautifully crafted crown molding is a feature of traditional design. Still, its use is not restricted to conventional styles, nor are architectural details confined to whole house remodel projects. Crown molding can emphasize the ceiling height, provide a distinctive accent at the ceiling line or be the “crowning glory” of kitchen cabinetry and built-in bookcases.

In addition to crown molding, there are a variety of other moldings to consider.  For example, a chair molding (or chair rail) installed horizontally around the perimeter of a room adds both visual interest and is practical (no more chair dings on the walls!).  Upgrading existing or adding window and door casing is also a fantastic way to freshen up a space, especially when painted in a dramatic color.  Spruce up a den or home office using different moldings to create wainscotting panels.  The possibilities are endless!

Redo Your Floors

Flooring is sometimes considered the “fifth wall” of a room. While the surface you walk on may not be the most exciting aspect of design, it represents one of the most critical choices for a home — in terms of style, function, beauty, durability, and price. What’s underfoot sets the tone, in many cases, for the total ambiance of your home.

Among available flooring options to consider when planning a home update are traditional wood planks, reclaimed or distressed wood, engineered wood, newly popular bamboo or cork, ceramic or porcelain tiles, laminate or luxury vinyl tiles, stained concrete, natural stone or carpet. Flooring doesn’t have to be the same throughout your home, but if you choose different floor finishes for other rooms, be sure to coordinate the colors, patterns, and materials.

Seek Guidance from Riverside Construction

Riverside Construction has expertise in all things remodeling. We specialize in home additions, basement remodels, and kitchen and bath updates. Our design-build team will help you achieve your design and renovation goals in ways that correspond to your vision, time frame, and budget. We have been serving clients in Lafayette and West Lafayette since 2008, and we have built a reputation for satisfaction. Browse our remodel portfolio as you crystallize ideas for your renovation project.

We understand that not every home needs a whole-house renovation. Our design staff will work with you to find creative solutions that fit your lifestyle and enhance your family’s enjoyment quotient. It’s what we love doing, and it’s what we do best. We concentrate on the details so that you can capture your dream home.

Contact us now to schedule a conversation. Or sign up for our monthly newsletter which is chock full of design trends and remodeling tips to fuel your creative spirit.

Compelling Reasons Why Now Is the Perfect Time to Plan Your Home Remodeling Project

Coronavirus, with subsequent social distancing and stay-at-home orders, caught us all by surprise. Now, although we are moving toward the easing of restrictions, there is an uncertainty that life will return to a pre-COVID-19 cadence immediately. There is, however, every reason to be hopeful about the future, and to move forward on a home remodel project, if that was something you were thinking about earlier in the year.

In fact, lessons learned during the mandated quarantine may have given you new ideas and even better reasons to get that renovation going. Recovery will take time, and our world may never be quite the same, but picking up the threads of your former lifestyle is now something to anticipate.

The construction industry is ready too!

Staying at home might have given you some new insights about home improvements. Can you envision a more comfortable home office? Maybe you would like a more efficient kitchen, one with more storage space and designed for two or more cooks. Or perhaps a basement activity room for the kids. A lot of options exist: A revamped master bath to use as a private retreat, an enclosed sunroom where you can enjoy a peaceful afternoon, or a quiet space that serves as a reading nook or music room. Maybe a combination home gym and yoga and meditation space. Riverside’s design team will help you bring your ideas to life, creating the kind of home that suits your family to a tee. We make it easy for you to turn your dreams into reality.

If the enforced togetherness of the past several weeks have you wishing for more space, or you dream of sprucing up the space you have, we’re ready to work with you to define your needs, make the right choices and bring new enjoyment to your life!

Here are 7 reasons NOW is the perfect time to plan your remodeling project:

1 – Financing Options Are Plentiful and Affordable

We understand that there are uncharted waters ahead. But with interest rates at historic lows, local banks and credit unions are also looking forward to building new business relationships. Explore home improvement loan opportunities, or talk to us at Riverside about our range of payment plans that allow you to design and complete your renovation.

2 – Contractors Are Still Working!

Although builders and the construction trades were affected by business slowdowns just as everyone else during the quarantine, some were able to keep working — outside — during a time of social distancing. Now we’re ramping up efforts to keep our crews busy. Our design-build team is looking forward to getting back in the field; we believe our 5-point promise speaks for itself. We promise:

  • Complete and ongoing communication, from the first contact through project completion;
  • A clean and safe job site, no matter how extensive the project;
  • Comprehensive planning, scheduling, and tracking during every phase of a project;
  • Completion within budget, with no ifs, and, or buts.
  • A two-year workmanship warranty, and guaranteed satisfaction.

3 – Safety Protocols Will Keep Your Family Safe

At Riverside, we take safety seriously. Not only do we provide our crews with the protective clothing and equipment necessary, but we also practice jobsite containment of dust and debris, noise, and toxic materials to every extent possible. Our goal is to cause as little disruption as possible to clients; we clean the site daily; we utilize effective barriers, and we always strive to contain the mess.

In addition, we focus on safety, and we take special precautions to prevent accidents and injury. Riverside Construction fully subscribes to the safety protocols issued by the CDC and local and state authorities. We put the well-being of our employees and the public above all other considerations. We will maintain safe distancing, wear face masks as necessary, and sanitize the tools and materials we bring to the site whenever possible, all in the effort to keep you and your family safe. We encourage you to discuss the protocols with us when we begin to plan your remodeling project.

4 – Get Together through Virtual or In-Person Consultations

During the Coronavirus quarantine, our team has become an expert at working remotely. The digital age offers us all the tools we need to work efficiently. The impressive ability to conduct “face-to-face” meetings virtually has transformed our business and it continues to offer new alternatives for creative collaboration.

We rely on computer drawings and 3-D perspectives that allow us to work together as a team, even though we may be physically separated. Those same tools and capabilities allow our clients to visualize the completed space, and we are able to adapt drawings and make changes instantly! We communicate via phone, text, or video conference as needed to ensure that all aspects of a project run as smoothly as possible.

It’s not just a two-way street. We have the same ability to interact with suppliers and subcontractors, and it all adds up to better efficiency, greater cost savings, and high- level all-around satisfaction.

5 – Help the Local Economy Survive and Thrive

It has been said many times by many people: During tough times, it’s wise to stick together and help one another. Today, in an economy that is trying to recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic, it’s important to encourage local businesses and to support our neighbors, friends, business associates, and local communities. One concrete way of doing just that is to do business with people you know.

Riverside has been a part of the local scene for more than a decade, and we are proud of our achievements as an award-winning design-building firm. We look forward to working with new clients in the coming months.

6 – Be Ahead of the Game When “Normal” Business Resumes

Timing is everything. You can get a jumpstart on your home remodel by contacting us now. If you follow the news, many analysts predict that pent-up demand will lead to longer lead times as “normal” business gears up once again. By getting in line for the renovations that you want, you’ll have priority. Contact us to schedule a virtual or in-person consultation, and let’s see how we can work together.

Don’t worry if your ideas are just beginning to gel; we’ll be happy to offer some guidance. In the meantime, sign up for a Riverside Home Remodeling Webinar.

7 – Dream Big: Craft a Unique Renovation

Great rooms are born from individual ideas: We look forward to helping you channel your ideas into a renovation plan that is creative, individualized, and cost-effective, no matter how large or small your budget. We encourage big dreams; work with our talented designers, and trust that our experienced team will make those dreams come true!

We encourage you to browse our portfolio for ideas, no matter if your dreams are for a unique powder room, or an expansive addition. We’ll be waiting to hear from you to schedule a virtual or in-person consultation.

Also, make sure to sign up to receive the Riverside newsletter — Designed for Home — to stay abreast of new ideas for the home.

2 Ways to Design and Build Your Perfect Home Office

Working from home has never been this popular — and in these times of physical distancing more important. Although a nice break from the office, having an ongoing work-from-home situation can become a little stressful when you’re not used to it. That’s why we wanted to offer our help in creating a conducive work environment for you. If you’re settling for a makeshift workstation, consider the advantages of designing and building your ideal home office instead. Now’s your chance, with two clear options to choose from to meet and exceed your expectations for a comfortable and efficient workspace.

Ideal Home Office Option #1: Repurpose an Existing Space

The first step in planning your ideal home office is asking a few basic questions about its utilization: How many people will it need to accommodate? Will the workload be heavy or light? Will you need silence for concentration, or distractions to keep you entertained? Most importantly, what’s your budget? The simplest, quickest, and most affordable ideal home office is using what you already have.

  • Bring a “Dead Space” Back to Life
    Take a tour around your home, with a discerning eye for areas that you and your family never even enter. You’d be surprised how much of your living space is under-utilized, often not used at all. These can include hallway alcoves, spaces under stairs, empty closets, and various nooks and crannies leading from one room into the next. Many of these have ample room for an ideal home office.
  • Change An Area You Already Have
    One step up from reviving a dead space is transforming a living one: Journey downstairs to your basement or upstairs to a loft or attic with an intent to design your ideal home office there. Evolving these spaces into a dream office is a combination of creativity and flexibility. Renovating above or below all the family commotion can give you the privacy and quiet needed to get work done.
  • Seamlessly Blend the Office Decor
    Whether you’re revitalizing a nook or remodeling your basement, your ideal home office should have the ergonomics and aesthetics perfectly aligned with your needs and design style. From the selection of desk and chairs to lighting fixtures and storage units, electronics to wiring, an optimal design heightens efficiency while matching the look and feel of the room and your home.

Ideal Home Office Option #2: Build an Entirely New Addition

Depending on your needs and budget, now might be the time to take things to a whole new level and create your ideal home office as a stand-alone addition to your home. The advantages of designing and building from the ground up are many, including having free reign over the layout, style, and functional basics such as workstation comfort, shelving and storage space, electronics, and even multifunctional use.

  • Choose the Best Spot
    An ideal location for your home office is actually where your needs and the existing architecture of your home come together. Depending on your current layout, a home office could be built off the great room in the backyard, or as an extension of the kitchen or dining nook.
  • Build Your Perfect Workstation
    If you’re committed enough to build a room addition for your home office, then demand nothing less than the desk, chair, and monitor set up just right for your body. Make sure you physically test each component alone and in combination to ensure optimal comfort in terms of position, orientation, storage, and lighting. Design your office around this personalized experience.
  • Make it Gorgeous and Efficient
    The same sensibility that created the work-from-home movement also inspires innovative homeowners to design and build home offices that are more than just “workspaces.” Make your new area not only ergonomic and efficient but comfortable, fun, and engaging! Add art, games, family photos, plants, electronics, other distractions. Mix work and play to bring out the best.

Partner with a Design-Build Remodeling Firm You Can Trust

Working from home makes more sense now than ever before, as does the opportunity to create your very own ideal home office.

Family owned and operated, Riverside Construction is eager to responsibly and safely work with you to bring your dreams to life. Now’s actually a great time to remodel, and Riverside is pleased to conduct most preparatory work remotely and effectively; we also help protect your family by conducting all work according to strict EPA lead-safe-certification regulations.

Riverside Construction is Lafayette’s top award-winning, design-build remodeling company. For more than 12 years we have provided loyal clients personalized and enjoyable remodeling services, delivered on time and on budget. By listening intently to your needs we provide the region’s best work: Take a look at our portfolio, and let’s build your ideal home office!

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.

Five Benefits to Downsizing Your Home and Simplifying Your Life

Photo Courtesy of Laurey W. Glenn

Are you considering downsizing your home? It’s not uncommon for homeowners to move into a smaller house after their children have grown and moved out, leaving them with too much-unused space. Or, the charms of living in a big home no longer seem to be worth all of the extra time, effort, and expense in the cleaning or upkeep.

Deciding to downsize has the potential to improve your quality of life considerably. It could also turn out to be a financially wise decision for you and your family. Here are just a few advantages that make downsizing a popular option:

Save Money

Owning a smaller home can provide several financial benefits: 1) It can potentially reduce your mortgage payment; 2) Lower your monthly utility bills, as you will need less energy to heat and cool a tinier space; 3) Lower your property insurance since the home will cost less to replace or fix than a much larger structure; and 4) Decrease property taxes, given the smaller footprint of your home.

Additionally, the savings that result from downsizing can be reserved to provide financial security and flexible lifestyle choices—such as travel options, vehicle or home upgrades, etc.

Clean Less & Minimize Upkeep

While some people enjoy cleaning, it’s safe to say most homeowners don’t want to spend their free time dusting, sweeping, mopping and vacuuming. And, the smaller the home, the less effort it takes to clean it. The less time you spend on the upkeep of cleaning your home, the more time you have with friends and family, and on activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. If you rely on a cleaning service, your cleaning bills should also reduce with less square footage to clean.

A smaller home requires less upkeep too. From mowing the lawn and cleaning out rain gutters to painting the interior and exterior and replacing light bulbs, you’ll spend much less time on basic maintenance. The result? You’ll spend more hours in the day pursuing the things in life that truly matter to you.

Take Advantage of Multi-Purpose Rooms

Chances are there is at least one room in your existing home that doesn’t get much use. Maybe a dining room, home office, or an unused bedroom? In a smaller house, there isn’t room for unused space. Instead of having a formal dining room separate from a breakfast nook, a downsized home might combine the functionality of both eating and entertaining in one space. A home office might serve as a comfortable guest room for overnight guests. A living room might double as a media room for playing games, watching TV or listening to music.

Lower Your Family’s Carbon Footprint

A smaller home means you are using less energy to run the heater and air conditioning. As a result, you will wind up lowering your family’s carbon footprint, which helps you do your part to conserve natural resources and protect the planet. Going green also saves money, of course. It takes less water to clean a smaller home as well as to keep the lawn and other vegetation healthy.

Simplify Your Life with Less Clutter

Another significant benefit of downsizing your home is that it helps you to simplify your life. Because space is limited, you have less space to decorate or fill it with material items. By bringing less into your home, you simply declutter your life. When it comes to purchasing items for your smaller home, they will be items that are absolutely necessary.

Questions about downsizing your current or future home? Connect with Riverside Construction by calling 765.838.1644 today.

6 Popular Flooring Trends in Tippecanoe County for 2019

Homeowners in Tippecanoe County who are looking to replace their floors are in for some fun this year. There are so many new and exciting options on the market today that span a wide range of colors, shapes, and materials. Here are 6 popular flooring trends we’re excited to share with you at Riverside Construction:

1. Wood Flooring Choices

Wood really never goes away as a durable, beautiful, lasting flooring option, so it’s no surprise that it’s still a homeowner favorite. What’s new are the colors, types of wood, patterns, and sizes that homeowners are choosing.

Fumed Wood—This flooring comes in rich, dark, natural and variable color tones that are achieved in a special chamber where ammonia vapor is released, changing the color of the wood without directly staining it. Source this one carefully; ammonia should never be applied directly to this product.

Bleached and Blanched Wood—Think sun-bleached, weather-worn, oceanside boardwalk-style flooring for the living room, kitchen or entryway. Woods of this type come in blond, gray and off-white natural tones that will brighten any room.

Distressed and Reclaimed Wood—That shabby chic look of distressed wood is becoming more and more popular, with homeowners able to choose the degree of distress applied to their flooring. It has character and a historical, rustic feel to the planks. Some distressed and reclaimed wood actually are historical; taken from older buildings and barns and re-purposed as flooring. This beautiful flooring option has less gloss and more wire brushing, hand-scraping, gnarls, knots and even mineral deposits left behind to add plenty of character.

Wider planks and pretty patterns—Homeowners are opting for plank widths between 5 and 8 inches this year, or they’re choosing to lay out smaller planks in interesting patterns.

2. Realistic “Wood-Look” Flooring

Homeowners can’t get enough of wood, even if they don’t actually use real wood. Wood-look ceramic tiles, laminate, and vinyl are on the rise, mostly because they’re so durable and look like actual wood, but don’t require the same kind of ongoing care and maintenance that real hardwood requires. This makes it possible to use “wood-look” flooring in bathrooms, for instance, to create the warmth and look of hardwood without worrying about water damage. This flooring option comes in all colors, textures, and styles and looks just like the real thing. This year’s go-to colors are lighter: grays, whites and cooler, natural wood shades.

3. Tantalizing New Tile Patterns and Sizes

Tile continues to be wildly popular, particularly for bathrooms and kitchens. However, newer large-format tiles (for example, 12 x 24) are working their way into living rooms and entryways as well. The materials can vary from ceramic and concrete slabs to natural stone, and stone or wood-look tiles. Also, a popular European style that’s hitting West Lafayette right now is tile with a wide footprint.

In addition to the new large-format craze, vintage black and white patterned tiles and tiles with exciting colors or textures that stand out from the norm are gaining popularity, as are hexagonal-shaped tiles.

4. Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)

Photo Courtesy of HGTV

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) is a real star for 2019, as it was last year too. This flooring option comes in many designs—from wood-look to all kinds of natural stones like marble, granite, etc. It can even be engineered to look like concrete tiles. It’s got heavy-duty durability, so it’s excellent in high-traffic locations, yet it looks luxurious and resists scratches, dings, and nicks. It can also fit into a vast array of patterns and formats (think large-format tile again), giving designers a lot of creativity to come up with stunning, custom looks.

5. Mixed-Media Flooring Trends

Some adventurous homeowners here in Tippecanoe County have been trying out mixed-media flooring ideas where they may have tile sections cascade gradually into a hardwood (or wood-look) section. When this is done with design in mind, it can be an eye-catching conversation piece that lends drama and excitement to areas where you want some pizazz.

6. New Carpet Comforts

A carpeted bedroom is still a necessity for homeowners because it provides the cozy, sound-muffling character you want in a quiet room. Living rooms are also favorite locations for new carpet. In 2019, two-tone carpets are on the rise, and not just because they hide stains better, some of the patterns are truly beautiful and add character to whatever space they’re designed in.

Learn More about Flooring Trends

If you’re thinking of a remodeling project, but aren’t quite sure where to go with the flooring yet, sign up for one of our free home remodeling seminars (space is limited, so make sure to sign up early).  Our newsletter also has excellent tips and insights for every aspect of remodeling, including flooring, so sign up for that as well. And if you’re ready to discuss your ideas with a professional designer, sign up for an on-site consultation or give us a call today: 765.838.1644. We’ll help you choose the right flooring for your project.