What You Should Know Before Remodeling Your Bathroom

Although a more closely-knit space, bathrooms are one of the most important rooms in your home. As the saying goes, “good things come in small packages.” If you are considering a bathroom remodel, an affordable, stylish and functional design can make all the difference in your long-term comfort and use of your space.

Follow these helpful tips to ensure your bathroom renovation stands the test of time:

Determine How You and Your Family Uses the Bathroom

Your bathroom is a personal space, unlike any other room in your home. You should take some time to consider how you use your bathroom first. You may be someone that uses their bathroom to quickly shower, shave, brush their teeth and go. Or, you may be like other people who consider their bathroom like an oasis—a place to relax, unwind, light candles and reinvigorate themselves.

Regardless of how you use your bathroom, be sure to get input from all members of your household that use it. How many people use the tub or shower at one time? Do you need more private space for the toilet? How are you currently using the space and will your needs change as you get older?

Perhaps your bathroom is primarily used for your children. If that is the case, you may consider keeping your bathtub, rather than replacing it with a shower. For improved, functional space, you may want to consider building a bank of cabinets for each child to store their personal items.

Is your bathroom particularly cold in the morning chilling you to the bone? You may want to consider heated flooring, or installing a modern towel warmer.

While it is important to plan for all of the functional necessities of your new bathroom, you will also want to take some time to dream big.  Have you always wanted a spa-like bathroom with rain-style showerheads, a no shower enclosure, or bench seating? Or have you coveted the idea of a separate vanity to do your hair and make-up?  Flush out your list of requirements (no pun intended), separating “nice-to-haves” from “must haves” before establishing a budget. Then, value-engineer back, making choices on what features you need and what you can afford.

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Budget Considerations

Speaking of budget, most people have no idea how much a bathroom remodel costs, and, rightly so. There are many variables that have to be considered when planning for one.  Regardless of your budget, size or style requirements, most bathroom remodels fall under these three categories:

Cosmetic Remodel

In most cases, a cosmetic remodel is going to be the most-cost effective approach.  It involves changing certain elements of the bathroom without affecting the original footprint of the space. Essentially, you are giving the bathroom a “refresh” by updating amenities like the sink, fixtures, cabinet hardware, paint, mirrors and lighting. This type of remodel can usually be done in a short amount of time and with little disruption to your life.

Remove and Replace Remodel

This is your mid-range option that requires more labor and materials. Everything in the bathroom is replaced (toilet, sink, shower, flooring, lighting, cabinets, etc.) but every component goes back exactly where it was originally—the footprint of the bathroom remains unchanged. This usually involves removing drywall down to the studs, particularly if there are signs of mold or leakage. With a Remove and Replace remodel, you will end up with a completely new bathroom with minimal disruption to any other area of your home. 

Custom Remodel

The custom remodel is where your “dream list” comes into play. The sky is the limit. You have an opportunity to build your bathroom from scratch customizing the space to meet your needs exactly, limited only by budget. A custom remodel is perfect for someone with a smaller bathroom that needs a lot more space; or a bathroom with a poor original design that is in need of a more functional or visually pleasing design. This renovation option is more time consuming and usually involves renovation in more than one room in your house to accommodate the added space.

In case you’re having a hard time deciding which remodel is right for you, a qualified design/build remodeler like Riverside Construction can guide you through this process and help you determine which option best fits your lifestyle needs and your budget. Please contact us if you think we can help.

 

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Design Style and Functionality

Aw, now the fun begins…starting the process of thinking about what you want your bathroom to look and feel like. As you consider paint colors, tile choices, vanities and fixtures, you can start with one design item that you want to feature in your bathroom and design around it; or piece several design elements together to create your final bathroom design. There are plenty of online resources, such as Pinterest and Houzz, which make this process easy, giving you a multitude of bathroom design options to explore.  

As you narrow your choices, you will not only want to consider who will use your bathroom and how, but how your newly designed bathroom flows with the rest of your home. Consistency is key. You don’t want to add a rustic, farm-style bathroom to a 1950’s-era brick ranch home, for example. Choose from fixtures that provide a variety of style, material and color choices that match the existing design of your home.

 

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Lighting is Key

Adequate lighting is important to have throughout your home, but in the bathroom it is essential. As the bathroom increasingly becomes a place to recharge and relax, lighting requires an extra thought. When it’s done right, the payoff is great. And, you can never go wrong installing sufficient and luxurious bathroom lightingConsider these three key areas to improve lighting in your bathroom remodel:

Vanity Lighting

Top on the priority list is making sure you have the right lighting above the vanity, used for illuminating your head and face. A common mistake people make is installing recessed ceiling fixtures directly over the mirror, which cast shadows on the face. This makes daily grooming rituals, like shaving and makeup application, more difficult. Instead, vertical fixtures or sconces should be mounted on either side of the mirror to help cast an even light across the face.
Unfortunately, this is not always possible given vanity mirror size and positioning constraints. A Riverside design consultant can help you determine the best lighting placement for you.

Shower/Tub

The shower or tub is often the darkest area of the bathroom, and may require secondary task lighting. If the shower has a clear, glass door, a dedicated fixture may not be necessary. Otherwise there are plenty of moisture resistant recessed lighting options to choose from.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting serves as a substitute for natural light. You can consider a surface-mounted ceiling light, a pendant lamp or even a chandelier. Other options include “cove lighting”, which are rope lights hidden behind a molding dropped several inches below ceiling height – adding a soft glow around the room’s perimeter. Another option is adding a dimmer switch to adjust the mood in your bathroom.

 

Ventilation

Do you love taking long, hot, steamy showers? Did you know that you could be causing irreparable damage to your bathroom? Without proper ventilation, all of that humidity and moisture built-up in your bathroom creates the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can damage the drywall, flooring, wood framing and even your cabinets.

Thankfully, with proper ventilation, you can enjoy your hot, steamy showers and ensure your bathroom remodel lasts for many years to come. An adequate bathroom exhaust ventilation fan does just the trick. It removes excess moisture, odors and even mold spores that can lead to health problems. Before choosing a ventilation fan, make sure it is large enough to accommodate the size of your bathroom. There are also great fan options that include features like humidity sensors, automatic timers and built-in nightlights.

 

Think Long Term (Universal Design)

Once you decide to remodel your bathroom, it is important to maximize your investment by remodeling with your future in mind. Consider the principles of universal design, which is the design and composition of an environment that can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability.  

Whether you are planning to live out your retirement in your home, or eventually sell it, you’ll want to consider universal design principles when remodeling your bathroom. Grab bars, wider doorways, shower seating and non-slip flooring will go a long way towards maximizing your investment.

 

Efficient Use of Space

If you’re like most homeowners, you never have enough storage space. When you’re planning a bathroom remodel, it is a perfect time to design plenty of added storage into your new cabinetry, shelving and even custom nooks.

If your bathroom footprint will remain the same, there are many creative ways to squeeze a little extra storage out of your existing space.

For example, while a pedestal sink may speak to your design sensibilities, choosing a vanity instead provides you with plenty of extra storage.  Adding niches and shelves in the shower create space for your toiletries, while keeping items off of the floor; and installing a medicine cabinet is an easy way to keep beauty supplies off of your countertop.  

For questions about remodeling a bathroom in your home, contact Riverside Construction today!

Take the first step by scheduling an in-home meeting with your very own personal design consultant.

We also schedule complimentary bathroom remodeling seminars regularly each month. Let us know your interest in attending by signing up today.

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.

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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!

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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!

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.

REMODELING DESIGN TRENDS TO WATCH FOR IN 2016

If you are anxious to see what remodeling design trends are hot and what’s not in 2016, you’re in good company. Riverside Construction has compared notes with designers throughout the country to arrive at these six new looks that are consistently driving home remodeling decisions specific to Tippecanoe County.

  • A Color Palette of Neutrals
    If you’re already thinking of changing up your color scheme, you might want to stay away from bold, primary colors. While white remains a popular color choice of years past, there has been a natural shift to soft whites, light gray and browns; and even neutral pastels like pale blues and greens.
  • Natural Ingredients
    Homeowners are incorporating a variety of natural materials into their homes today. Natural wood, bamboo and stone products remain very popular. Bulk and thickness are also being replaced with thin, elegant countertops—the most popular being Quartz that comes in many striking colors, unique styles and a variety of patterns. While homeowners are opting for the look of natural wood, they are also choosing porcelain or ceramic tile that mimics the look of wood—purposefully blending style with function.
  • Smart Spaces
    This year, incorporating smart spaces for our smart devices is nothing short of a necessity. Anything from hidden charging stations to storage space for our tablets, phones and all of the accessories, are finding a way into our functional living space. As a result, we are seeing a majority of new kitchens being designed with a desk or home office space. And smart technology doesn’t stop there. It is also finding its way into state-of-the-art smart appliances such as convection steam ovens, built-in wine coolers and refrigerators that are wired with the capability to send text messages.
  • Simple Cabinetry
    Present day kitchens are embracing simple design that emphasizes clean lines. That is why Shaker style cabinets, characterized by their simplicity, are often a top choice among homeowners. For those who prefer wood cabinetry, the Shaker style showcases the natural beauty of the wood. For those who want the look of a clean, white painted cabinet, the Shaker style is also a great choice.
  • Kitchen Sink Styles
    This year, we’re seeing a comeback in demand for the larger, single-basin kitchen sink. Available in a variety of shapes and styles, homeowners are choosing undermount sinks used with solid surface countertops such as granite, Quartz or composite. For a more sleek look and seamless transition, homeowners are also choosing integrated granite or Quartz basins. For a timeless, country-style option, farmhouse sinks are the preference. We’re also seeing homeowners supplement their primary kitchen sinks with a separate food preparation sink.
  • Open Floor Plans
    Certainly not new, but definitely still in vogue, homeowners are finding ways to create that open, airy living space they’ve always dreamed of. With an open floor plan, space is opened up between the kitchen and living room and even the dining room, leaving plenty of room for everyone to sit comfortably.

Whether you are ready to update your kitchen with this year’s hot remodeling design trends, or you’d rather stick with timeless design elements, Riverside Construction has plenty of ideas to inspire your next remodel. Consider working with our professional design team to help you identify your own unique style and ensure your remodeling decisions last a lifetime. If you are interested in more information or are ready to start your next project you can contact us here.

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.

HOW TO CREATE A DREAM KITCHEN

Is your kitchen looking tired or worn out; does it lack the appeal it once had? We believe that your kitchen should be both highly functional and beautiful. Kitchens should be an expression of how you work and entertain.

When remodeling your kitchen think about how you work in the space. What types of activities do you and your family do in this room? Today’s kitchens have become the hub of the home. Here are a few thoughts to help you plan the kitchen of your dreams:

Create space for Cookbooks or Tablets
Being able to easily access your recipes is critical for anyone using a kitchen. Whether you use cookbooks, recipe cards or some other technology to give you your directions for cooking, it’s important to plan for their use and storage. Open shelving, easy access book cases, under cabinet tablet holders or charging stations at key locations in the kitchen can make accessing your information easier.

Carefully plan your counter space
Having open counter space to either prep food or mix your ingredients is incredibly helpful. The key here is to look at how you use your kitchen. If you enjoy making cookies or kneading bread it’s important to leave space for those types of activities. If you need space for chopping vegetables make sure to leave space near sinks and garbage cans to make that process as easy as possible.

It’s also important to think about the type of counter you will have. Choose a material that compliments the projects you find yourself most often doing. For example – Granite countertops stay cool longer so they’re good for people who knead bread or roll out other types of dough. It’s also important to consider the height of those working at the counter and potentially have lower sections of counter for those tasks you prefer to do sitting down or areas that you prefer to have accessible for someone with limited access to counter space.

Organized storage for Spices
Spices are vital to cooking of all kinds. A truly useful kitchen needs to have spices that are well organized. You can keep spices organized and within easy reach with an in-drawer spice rack or spice rack pull out. A rack can position the containers so they’re easy to read and access. Slim pullouts in your kitchen can offer the perfect solution to spaces that might otherwise be wasted.

Open Shelving for Quick Access
If you have items you access all the time, you may want to consider open shelves. Open shelves allow you to store the items you use all the time conveniently and not on your countertop. This is also a great spot for displaying some of your most colorful items to bring some extra decorating space into your kitchen as well.

Plan for the Appliances you Need
When you’re planning your next kitchen make sure to include the appliances that will make your life easier. Do you bake at multiple temperatures? If so, a double oven may be a helpful tool for you. If you do a lot of mixing, consider installing a base cabinet that includes a standing mixer stand that pulls up to the ideal height and locks into place to allow you to conveniently lift and lower your mixer as needed. Do you need more burners or unique range features. It’s important then to plan for a larger range to easily accommodate larger pots and pans. Do you hate to carry heavy pots filled with water? Make sure to add a convenient pot filler over your range top. Additional ideas may be standalone freezers, ice makers or convection ovens. The idea is to have easy access to the appliances that will allow you to make the best use of your space.

Creating a kitchen that allows you the best possible environment to be creative is a great way to practice and improve your cooking and baking skills. If you need help designing and remodeling your next kitchen please contact us.

HOW TO MAKE SMALL BATHROOMS FEEL LARGER

Corner bathroom sinkSmall bathrooms can be a big headache for homeowners who want style, storage and functionality. The best way we’ve discovered to make the most of your limited space is to be incredibly intentional about how you use the space.

There are plenty of challenges when designing a small bathroom. Things like ensuring that there is enough clearance space between sinks, toilets and showers define how the majority of your space is laid out. However creative ideas can go a long way towards making your space seem as large and comfortable as possible. We come up with a list of the best design trends for small bathrooms.

1. Install a Corner Sink
Corners of bathrooms are often an overlooked area. Installing the sink in the corner can save a huge amount of floor space and can allow enough floor space between toilets, shower stalls and sinks.

2. Use Clear Materials (Materials that you can see through)
Instead of solid cabinets or visible shower curtains, install cabinets with open shelving and clear glass for shower doors. Both allow the space to feel bigger and more open.

3. Don’t be Afraid of Color
When used in moderation creating a colorful, visual centerpiece for the room draws your eye away for the limitations of the space and provides a welcome focal point for your room.

4. Use a Rounded Vanity
Everyone who has been in a small bathroom quickly becomes aware of where the vanity corners are. Something as simple as installing a rounded vanity and counter can prevent some of those painful bruises.

5. Extend the Countertop
Extra countertop is always useful. In some cases there are ways to extend the counter space in small bathrooms by installing narrow cabinets or even just extra counter space that can be used to store or display items.

6. Install a Recessed Medicine Cabinet
Medicine Cabinets with mirrors continue to be a valuable addition to small bathrooms. Cabinets that are recessed (in the wall) provide you with the much needed storage space along with making the space feel larger.

Being intentional about designing your small bathroom can make all the difference. Making sure you have a good blend of style and flexibility will allow you to enjoy your space without constantly wishing it was bigger. Your bathroom won’t get bigger, but in the end, you can achieve the necessary balance between comfort, size and function. If you have a small bathroom that you need help with feel free to contact us.