Why Thinking Through a Design Plan for Your Remodel Is Important

A home remodel typically requires a large amount of creativity and imagination to get the process started, and homeowners will experience a range of emotions as they begin. You may feel a combination of happiness and excitement combined with a bit of uncertainty about how everything will work out, especially if you have limited experience with home remodeling projects.

Taking feelings and creativity into account is only part of the job, though. To ensure the best possible outcome, it’s essential to allow for some time and energy to think through a space design plan.

This is where an experienced design-build remodeling firm can really make a difference. A qualified designer can help homeowners transform an idea into a reality for projects of varying complexity. Spending time on a design plan upfront is well worth the time and effort and you’ll feel more confident about moving forward. Here are just a few reasons why:

Benefits of Extensive Planning

Your first task after brainstorming with your design-build team will be to make sure the plans and scope of work are detailed so that everyone concerned will have a clear idea of what the remodel project entails.

It has been said that “if you fail to plan you plan to fail.” This is especially worth keeping in mind before embarking on a serious project like a home remodel. After all, building the house in the first place required blueprints and plans, and so does a remodeling project.

Without plans in hand, you won’t be able to estimate the number of materials, how much space you will have for new furniture or appliances, or even determine just how much paint, carpet or flooring you will need.

It almost goes without saying that a remodeling project must have good plans for the project to go well. Better plans come from well-prepared experts who have undergone extensive training and have participated in many home remodeling projects. You can ensure high-quality plans when you work with professional design builders that have experience working on projects similar to the one you envision for your home.

Using the Right Tools When Thinking Through Design Plans

Plans are an excellent tool to communicate effectively between the remodeling company doing the work and the homeowner. You can actually see what the finished project will look like using 2D plans as well as intricate 3D modeling before the heavy lifting begins.

When planning out a project, many details must be addressed to get the details of your space plan just right. For instance, if you are designing a kitchen, you usually need:

  • Existing Plans
  • 2D Plans
  • 3D Plans

A design-build professional will create these plans with all of the details you need to see before signing off on the actual construction project.

The design plan should begin with an in-home consultation, where the design team can discover more about what you like about your dwelling and what you want to see in the remodel.

All of this planning helps to make sure your remodel runs smoothly and finishes on time, and within the budget, of which you established at the beginning. But 2D plans are only going to show you part of the picture. To really get started in earnest on the remodeling project, sophisticated computer systems come into play, by letting you envision your project in three dimensions.

3D Renderings

3D renderings are a powerful tool that can help you envision what your finished living space will look like and enable you to, make customizations to fit your family’s needs and desires.

It’s one thing to spend hours cutting out photos from actual magazines or clicking through images online for inspiration as you prepare your remodeling effort. You can rearrange these images and hold up different color samples as you contemplate the hues of your home’s interior and exterior. That’s a good first step.

To really get a good idea of what it will look like, you can take advantage of advanced 3D renderings for your remodel. You’ll have a much more precise view, and you can make changes to the design as you explore options and compare different ideas with your designer.

With a 3D design, you can see how one change will have an effect on other aspects of the house, from how you balance windows and skylights to adding another room. What’s more, details such as the color schemes flowing from the kitchen area to the dining room or living room are easy to envision when you have an accurate 3D model in front of you on the computer screen.

Creating and refining a 3D design is an excellent way to think your way through the remodel process well ahead of the date when the construction actually begins. It’s like rehearsing for how your home will wind up looking now, so you can anticipate problems and make changes before they become more expensive and time-consuming to solve. Setting up “what-if” options in your digital plans may inspire you to consider a change that you previously thought would be too difficult.

Could you use some help thinking through the way you will utilize space in your home remodeling project? The professionals at Riverside Construction are standing by to guide you through the process from beginning to end. Please contact us today at 765.838.1644 or complete our on-line consultation form to start a conversation.

Not quite ready? Sign up for one of our free home remodeling seminars packed with information on how to get your home remodeling project rolling. Or, sign up for our monthly eNewsletter with additional tips and design inspiration for all things home remodeling.

Kitchen Lighting 101: 4 Essentials to Consider in Your Next Kitchen Remodel

Homeowners choose, as priority number one, to remodel their kitchens every year, and it’s no surprise why. Every member of the family spends significant time in this room. It’s where we prepare meals, gather for games, congregate for chats, get work done, discuss family plans, snack, laugh, talk and make all kinds of daily decisions. And yet, as popular and as often-used as this room is, it’s surprising that lighting becomes an afterthought in the remodeling process. Instead, kitchen lighting should be an integral part of the entire design process, right from the start. It needs to be layered and carefully planned to effectively illuminate all the various activities your family enjoys in this space. As you plan your next kitchen remodeling project, keep these four lighting design essentials in mind:

1. Know Your Lighting Types

There are four basic types of lighting that can be used in any room. The utility and high-traffic areas of the kitchen demand using all four of them in various ways. These lighting layers include:

Ambient Lighting—This is broad, general lighting that should illuminate most of your living space. It’s not too bright, but it provides enough light to enable you to perform tasks and move safely about the room—a necessity for any space, and especially the kitchen. You can choose from a host of different light fixtures to include recessed lighting, track lighting, chandeliers or other ceiling-mounted fixtures.

Task Lighting—While ambient lighting provides general illumination of a large space, task lighting highlights specific areas where work needs to be performed. It illuminates focused beams on specific areas, removing unwanted shadows, making slicing, mixing, kneading and reading ingredients on food packages or a recipe a breeze. For example, puck or strip lighting placed under cabinets are used to illuminate countertops for food preparation. You can also consider adding task lighting inside of cabinets to make it easier to locate rare spices (or essentials) hiding in the back.

Accent Lighting—These bright beams are used to throw flattering light on a specific design element in a room. While they are par for the course in living rooms and dining rooms, they can also be used to highlight some lovely aspect of your kitchen design. For example, a shelf in a cabinet or island can be highlighted by accent lighting to spotlight a unique heirloom or art piece. Highlighting an accent fixture that is 4 to 5 times brighter than ambient lighting can really set off the space.

Decorative Lighting—While accent lighting focuses your eyes on a particular design element or piece of art in your kitchen, decorative lighting is the design element itself. A dramatic pendant or chandelier can really complete the look of your kitchen and make visitors take notice.

As you work with your design/build team on a kitchen remodel, make sure to discuss these kitchen lighting essentials from the outset and not as a last-minute decision.

2. Understand the Sources of Illumination: Think LEDs

In addition to the four different lighting types above, you’ll want to consider the ways in which lighting works and how much it might cost you. In the past, homeowners had to choose between fluorescent, incandescent and halogen options. Recently, however, LED lighting has taken kitchen lighting by storm with its bright adaptability and its very low electricity draw. LED lights last longer and they don’t heat up like other light sources. This makes them a safe, stable source of illumination that comes in almost any form.

Important Note: Don’t count out natural light in your kitchen design. Explore ways that you can increase it and add to the ambient lighting in your living space.

3. Design with Light: Think Spacing and Proportion

It’s easy to get all excited about light fixtures, even adding more than your kitchen really needs. But going overboard on lighting is just as bad as leaving it to the last minute. Think balance and proportion to get the right look, along with the proper illumination. For instance, island task lighting has very specific space and proportion guidelines you should follow:

Above island pendants should have between 30 to 32 inches between them and hang approximately 30 to 36 inches over the island, with a 6-inch clearance from the edges. Depending on how long your island is, you may have room for 2 or 3 pendants.

If you have a higher kitchen ceiling, consider a linear suspension light fixture over the island. This should hang about 40 inches above the workspace.

Recessed lighting, puck lights, track lights, and chandeliers also have similar spacing and proportion rules, something you’ll want to consider as you plan your kitchen remodel.

4. Ask a Kitchen Design Expert about Your Kitchen Lighting

Lastly, don’t let decisions about kitchen lighting overwhelm you. If you’re struggling to choose between pendants and chandeliers, track lights or recessed lighting, or any other aspect of the lighting in your kitchen, take a look at our kitchen remodeling portfolio for some ideas. You can also sign up for one of our free kitchen design seminars where you can discuss your ideas and questions with other homeowners and our design experts. If you’re ready to dive in and get started now, schedule a personal consultation and begin the process of upgrading your kitchen with light: (765) 838-1644.

5 Major Remodeling Design Mistakes To Avoid

You watch HGTV. You spend hours pouring through design ideas on Houzz. You have 20+ Pinterest boards organized according to room, color and materials. As a result, you might be closer to thinking that you can design your home remodeling project by yourself. This is very common, particularly from homeowners who are ready to jump into a remodeling project head first.

Unfortunately, this is often a recipe for disaster. While you are the best at understanding your needs and design style, a design/build remodeling company is an essential partner in making sure you get what you want in your remodeling project in the smartest, most affordable, most beautiful way possible. We can help you avoid these 5 most common remodeling design mistakes:

1. Choosing the wrong products

This happens frequently when homeowners “go it alone” in a home remodeling project. They’re so taken with the beauty of a luxurious marble countertop that they install it in a very busy kitchen. Soon, they discover the inconveniences of selecting a high-maintenance marble and wish they’d chosen a different countertop. And that’s just one example of the many design mistakes made by homeowners who forgo working with a design professional from the very beginning. Your professional designer can guide you toward the right materials to withstand your needs in the most beautiful, durable ways.

2. Not getting the best deals

Another way in which your design/build firm can help is to hook you up with the best deals on potential material selections. We have relationships with many suppliers, understanding their lead times, seasonal demands, inventory shortages, etc. We know how to navigate these issues, from lighting and floors to fixtures and lumber to paint and tile and everything in between. We can evaluate whether a deal you’ve heard about really is a deal, or if we can get a better one. And when that happens (as it often does), we’ll look for smarter options for you. 

3. The time vortexes and money pits of multiple change orders

We hear this repeatedly from homeowners who try to go it alone in the design process: “We wish we’d used a professional designer to help us before tearing down the walls.” The wrong materials, wrong measurements, forgotten (yet critical) under-the-surface design considerations like electrical wiring, plumbing, and lighting all conspire against homeowners to cause them to have to rip out fresh remodeling work and re-do it. This often leads to thousands of dollars in extra, unbudgeted costs and months of lost work. Getting a design pro on board before you make the first cut helps you minimize these errors so that you can minimize any costs for change orders and spend more time enjoying the results of a beautiful remodeling project done right the first time (like the ones in this home remodeling portfolio). Using your professional designer’s expertise up front is an investment in wisdom that will last for years to come.

4. Making choices based on limited knowledge of the options

While you may have spent a lot of time watching HGTV or wading through design magazines, the truth is that these media outlets filter the information. There simply isn’t enough time and they have to use advertising dollars to make decisions about what they present. Here at Riverside Construction, however, it’s our business to know about all the options, from materials to design considerations, long before you might hear about them on TV. Also, if you hear about a new material or have a design idea you heard about on one of your favorite shows, you can bounce that idea off of us and we can give you guidance on whether or not that would work in your project, or if there’s a better option for you.

5. Not getting the benefit of a design firm’s advanced tools

A lot of people still think about seeing remodeling plans in a flat, two-dimensional perspective. But Riverside Construction has gone way beyond that. We employ 3D design technology to help homeowners “see” their options and what the finished product can look like, even in the very beginnings of the planning stage. Using these proprietary tools, you can benefit from an inspired preview of your finished project as well as head off any potential wrong decisions, saving you thousands of dollars and time in change orders. These advanced tools simply help you understand the ins and outs of each design aspect of your remodeling project—before the dust flies. These tools also help increase measuring accuracy, which helps you use your available space in the most efficient way possible while avoiding common design mistakes that can leave you frustrated and disappointed.

Get All the Benefits of a Professional Designer for Your Remodeling Project

Aside from helping you choose the best materials while getting the best price on all the aspects of your remodeling project, not to mention avoiding grave measuring and under-the-surface errors, there are a lot of great benefits you receive by working with a design expert in the planning stages of your home remodel. We can help you use each space in the most effective, convenient way possible. We can even create space you didn’t know you had or increase your storage capacity and make your living space fully functional. Ultimately, the end benefit is designing a space that you will be happy with for many years to come.

If you’re not quite sure where you want to go with your home remodeling project, you can also sign up for our newsletter to get inspired until you are ready to remodel.

And we are happy to share our knowledge with you! Sign up for our next home remodeling design seminar—it’s free, but space is limited, so make sure to grab your spot now. Or, schedule a consultation to discuss your remodeling design project in person today at (765) 838-1644.

An Inside Look Into the Remodeling Design Process

A Q&A Discussion with Riverside Construction’s Interior Designer Kelly Grish

Many homeowners can feel overwhelmed when embarking on a home remodeling process. Where do you even begin? There’s so much to think about! And, once you decide to move forward, what can you expect in the way of working with a designer? Get an inside look at what it’s like to begin the design process, and the advantages of working with a design expert, from our very own in-house designer, Kelly Grish.

 

Q: “What can I expect in our first design meeting?”

We will measure the affected areas of your home and ask you deliberate questions that will result in a clear understanding of your needs for the space. Questions we might ask include, “What are your must-haves? “Nice-to-haves?” “What is working?” “What isn’t working?” “What are your biggest challenges with the space?” “What are you hoping to see changed?” “If you could do anything with this space, what would you want to do with it?” While we are in your home, we will also be looking to get a sense of your personal design style, color preferences, and making sure the new remodel ties in with the rest of your home, and your home’s architecture.

 

Q: “What are the most common question(s) you get from a homeowner at the beginning of the design process?”

Homeowners are commonly concerned about cost. They are seeking my help in finding the best way to add value to their home, improving their living space, all the while keeping within their budget.

 

Q: “So, how good are you at solving this problem for them—keeping within their budget?”

Pretty darn good, actually. That’s one of the primary benefits of working with a design/build firm.

 

Q: “How often are you able to design a space that the homeowners want, at a cost they can afford?”

That answer depends on what you want. Are they structural changes? Do you want to knock down a load-bearing or non load-bearing wall? Are we moving a wall with plumbing or electrical? Every space is different.

As a design/build firm, we can make suggestions for changes to the design that fit within the your budget. For example, we had a client that wanted to remove a soffit that had plumbing in it. To save money and make her project affordable, we designed the new kitchen cabinetry to hide the soffit instead. While the client preferred the soffit to be removed, the end result was that the ceiling no longer looked too short and our work-around kept the cost of the remodel in line with the homeowner’s budget.

 

Q: “I have never hired a Design/Build firm using an Interior Designer for a kitchen or bathroom remodel before, how does the design process work?”

We start by meeting with you, listening closely to what you like and don’t like about your home. We also discuss your hopeful timeline and budget. After a budget range is provided, we measure your space and narrow in on our design preferences. We take all of the information and transform them into a blue print—a space plan. You review the new concept drawings, brought to life through 2D plans and 3D renderings. We then follow up with a project budget proposal and start working with you on making final selections. Upon your approval of the final plans and specifications, we order materials, start the permitting process, and schedule your project to start.

 

Q: “What do you do as an interior/architectural designer? I think some people misunderstand your qualifications.”

As an interior/architectural designer, I make interior spaces functional, safe and beautiful by determining space requirements and helping people make selections such as colors, lighting, cabinetry, flooring, fixtures, etc. More importantly, I help homeowners with style selections that make their new remodel blend cohesively with the rest of the home.  Function is a huge aspect of what I do. No matter how beautiful a space is, if it doesn’t function properly for the homeowner, it is not a good design. Achieving better function in a space might include removing or moving existing walls— when budget allows.

As an architectural designer, I also work with CAD programs to make sure that building designs are feasible—drawing blue prints and measuring your existing space. I do almost everything (redesigning an existing inside structure) with the exception of HVAC and calculating load-bearing points. It is usually possible to determine if a wall is load bearing or not based on its distance from an exterior wall. However, if a wall were to be removed (all walls can be removed, some are just more expensive than others) I would need the expertise of an engineer or architect to specify the type of beam needed to span the space and carry the load. I do have the qualifications to create an electric plan and make the perfect lighting plan for your home.

 

Q: “How do you help homeowners make their selections?

First of all, Riverside Construction has a fabulous showroom, which I invite homeowners to—where you can touch, feel and compare a selection of cabinets, and countertops. We also take our clients to a local flooring store to select carpet, tile and wood flooring in person. For plumbing fixtures and lighting, we can effectively shop for selections online and at the homeowners request we are able to take advantage of a few local show rooms.

 

Q: “Do you recommend homeowners spend some time on their own narrowing down their design likes and dislikes, before meeting with a designer?

Yes, I do recommend that homeowners do a little homework up front. If someone wants to change the style of his/her home, then seeing it in person doesn’t help. Being able to look at finished project photos and material samples that portray the design style that the homeowner prefers is a big help.

 

Q: “What websites, magazines or books do you recommend homeowners use to identify their design style?

The main sources to rely on are Pinterest, Houzz, and doing a Google Image search online. There are also several remodeling magazines that provide some great ideas, like Kitchen & Bath Magazine.

 

Q: “If a client has a hard time deciding on a color palette for a particular room, how do you help them narrow down their choices?”

In a lot of cases, homeowners are not sure what they want. If space is open and connected to other rooms, I’m looking at their existing color selections and seeing how we can tie the color of the new space into the rest of the home. In other words, what exists in the home drives the design, to some extent.

It is also very common to start with one item, like flooring, and determine what their preference is. After two or three selections, we can see what they like.

 

Q: “What if a homeowner has caviar taste but a tuna fish budget? How do you handle?”

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to be a little shocked by the cost of materials. We are really good at educating people on the actual cost of things. And, after showing them how much something is, we offer alternatives that result in a similar look but are not as expensive. For example, a client may really want travertine tile until we show them a porcelain tile alternative that looks similar at a fourth of the cost.

 

Q: “Do you use special design software? If yes, how does this aid in the design process?”

Yes, Riverside Construction uses a 3D design software as part of our design process. There is no better way to understand and experience your new design than to see it in 3D first, before construction begins. Instead of relying on our imagination, you get to see your design and your material selections before approving any specifications. As a designer I’m able to visualize what some of these changes might look like without the 3D design work, but that’s rarely true for clients. If you want to see what your kitchen looks like with bulkheads removed, “Voila!”

 

Q: “What would you say is the benefit to a homeowner of working with a design/build firm?”

The biggest benefit of working with a design/build firm is that we tailor your home remodeling design to your budget. There are many architectural firms. They may do a great job of producing a beautiful design project, but may or may not take into consideration the best way to design your space affordably. A design/build firm encourages your active participation in the design process so that if your budget won’t allow it, we’ll come up with an alternative design to make it work. Then, we take care of everything from start to finish. If you were to take a plan from an architect, then you would need to find your own contractor.

 

Q: “What are the current kitchen design trends you see emerging in the Lafayette area?”

The kitchen continues to be the center of the home. It’s where people like to congregate. As a result, we’re seeing a lot of people requesting islands with bar seating. Homeowners are getting rid of soffits, to create more space. They are using under cabinet lighting, and many are choosing the fresh, clean look of glass or ceramic tile backsplashes. We are seeing less Corian in the kitchen, and more quartz and granite.

Many homeowners are choosing to use tile or wood plank vinyl—a smart choice that typically water resistant.

The colors, grey and beige are still big in Lafayette. Taupe, a mixture of the two colors, is also popular. A lot of people don’t want to renovate again. These neutral colors are popular colors that stand the test of time.

White cabinets are also very popular. Our cabinet manufacturer is currently delivering 70-80% shaker style white cabinets. We are also seeing some requests for darker wood cabinets.

 

Q: “What are current bathrooms design trends in Lafayette, Indiana?”

If homeowners have a tub somewhere else in there home, they are doing away with their master bathroom tub and replacing it with a large, walk-in shower. We’re also seeing a lot of floor to ceiling tile and glass wall shower partitions, which make the room appear larger. Storage is always a must. We are forever finding creative ways to add storage to bathrooms.

Bathroom Remodels: 3 Budgets, 3 Bathrooms

In years past, the bathroom was often considered a utilitarian space – get in, get the job done, get out. Not so much any more! Many consider their bathroom to be a space to unwind or relax—desiring spa-like amenities. If your current bathroom is woefully insufficient and outdated, now may be the time to take inventory of what is out of date or not functioning well.

From soaking tubs to curbless walk-in showers, the remodeling possibilities are endless, albeit sometimes overwhelming. If you are ready to update your bathroom but confused about where to start, how long it will take and how much it will cost, Riverside Construction is ready to help. Our four-step Design Build process takes you step-by-step through the renovation process while ensuring you end up with the bathroom you envisioned all along, delivered on time and on budget.

Speaking of budget, a common question we get from homeowners is how much is this bathroom renovation going to cost? While each project is different—based on size, scope and materials—we’ve outlined three types of bathroom remodels to give you a good idea of the options you have: Basic, “Pull and Replace” and Custom.

The Basic or Cosmetic Bathroom Remodel

If budget is at the top of your list of requirements, a basic bathroom remodel may be the way to go. It’s amazing how simple changes can make your bathroom feel new and fresh again. A basic bathroom remodel typically runs $5,000 to $15,000 and may include:

Use of existing layout – A basic remodel leaves the current layout of the space intact, while replacing easily removed products. For example, a tub remains in the same spot, as well as a replacement sink and toilet. Not moving the plumbing and electrical components keep costs in line with the budget.

Cabinets – The price of cabinets often eats up a large part of a remodel budget. Therefore, a basic bathroom remodel typically involves reusing your existing cabinetry. However, that doesn’t mean you have to live with dated or damaged storage. Fix up any broken cabinets or replace cabinet doors. And new hardware can go a long way in breathing new life into your cabinets.

Flooring – The floor material you choose will have a direct impact on your renovation budget.   Thankfully, there is a wide range of flooring materials on the market that will give you a big bang for your buck. For example, vinyl has come a long way in recent years, you can choose vinyl that looks like real wood or even leather at a fraction of the cost of its “real” counterparts.

Fixtures and Lighting – Does your bathroom faucet and vanity lighting scream 1980’s? New off the shelf faucet and lighting fixtures can make a dramatic statement in your new bathroom without breaking the bank. You could also easily swap out a toilet or sink for an updated look.

Walls – don’t forget color! If you’ve ever painted a room, you know the impact it can have on a space. New wall color and freshly painted millwork can breathe new life into your new bathroom.

 

Mid-Level, “Pull and Replace” Bathroom Remodel

If you’re looking for a step-up from the basic remodel, then a “pull and replace” renovation may be the way to go. A “pull and replace” remodel means that while the layout may stay the same, components like cabinets, countertops, and bathtubs could be pulled out and replaced with higher quality items. Moreover, this type of remodel could include removing an existing wall to open space and allow for new features like additional cabinetry for storage or a larger walk in shower. You may also have the option to add that one special splurge you’ve always wanted – like a soaker tub or heated floors. A “pull and replace” remodel typically runs $15,000 to $35,000 and can include:

New Cabinets/Countertops – As mentioned earlier, cabinets often take up a large part of a renovation budget. A “pull and replace” remodel may include semi-custom cabinets made with higher quality finishes and more intricate door panels for a more refined look and feel. Countertops may also be replaced with any number of higher-end materials like granite or quartz.

Flooring – While a basic remodel may keep the existing flooring or include a slight material upgrade, a “pull and replace” remodel could include new flooring using a wide variety of higher quality materials including travertine, cork, pebble or porcelain tile, to name a few. This adds to the effect of your living space, and can bring a more luxurious feel to your bathroom.

Fixtures and Lighting – A “pull and replace” remodeling budget may allow you just enough extra cash to include higher quality fixtures—ones that not only look nicer, but may also last longer than less expensive, off-the-shelf fixtures. You may opt for a higher end toilet for better flushing capability, a more modern glass enclosed shower or a tiled tub deck for a new custom look. A larger budget can also enable you to become more creative with lighting options, to include dimmers for mood setting or special task lighting for grooming and makeup applications.

Walls – Beyond new paint, you may have the budget for adding interesting borders or accent tiles on the shower stalls and on other walls in the bathroom for a unique look.

  

The Custom Bathroom Remodel

If you have aspirations of gutting your bathroom and starting over from scratch AND budget is not at the top of your priority list, then the custom bathroom remodel is a perfect choice. This may include knocking down an interior or exterior wall to expand the footprint of the space and/or completely relocating and rewiring plumbing and electrical to allow you to place toilets, sinks, showers etc. exactly where you want them. A custom deluxe bathroom remodel can run $25,000 to $75,000 and may include:

Cabinets/Countertops – From solid wood construction, to custom finishes and unique decorative cabinetry touches there is a world of choices at your disposal. When it comes to custom countertop materials, like granite, marble and quartz, your only limit is your imagination!

High-End Flooring and Tile – With a custom remodel, you could choose to incorporate different high-end materials throughout the bathroom to create your own unique custom look. For example, you could select natural stone on the floor that leads to a custom walk-in tiled shower with intricate accent boarders.

Lighting and Quality Fixtures – Varied lighting sources whether task, ambient or mood lighting (think chandelier), and high-end fixtures like rain showers, warming towel racks and touchless faucets, are all examples of what you may find in a custom deluxe bathroom remodel.

Walls – A custom remodel allows you to add detailed features like real wood beadboard, custom molding and custom window treatments to increase “the wow factor” of your new bathroom.

Ready to start remodeling your bathroom? Join us at our Kitchen and Bath Seminar to learn how to successfully remodel your home. We’d love to see you there!

If you can’t make it to the seminar, you can always schedule a conversation with one of our qualified design-build professionals to discuss your home needs, design preferences, timeline and budget. We look forward to meeting with you!

Kitchen Remodels: 3 Budgets, 3 Kitchens

Is your current kitchen out of date or not functioning well? Is it too small or closed off from the rest of your home? Perhaps you’re ready to get cooking with a brand-new kitchen remodel, but the whole thing is feeling a bit overwhelming, from cabinetry to countertops, and appliances to air ducts.

That’s where the design and planning at Riverside Construction adds enormous value. We’ll get to know you and your kitchen needs through an initial on-site consultation. Then, we deliver a comprehensive scope of work alongside a realistic budget, fit to bring your dream kitchen to life.

Before that, though, let’s start with an overview of the three types of kitchen remodels to consider: Basic, Mid-Level, and Deluxe.

The Basic Kitchen Remodel

Love to cook but not in love with your current kitchen? A basic, cosmetic remodel elevates your existing layout, appliances, and fixtures and spares expenses for plumbing and ductwork, while implementing the professional polish essential to a complete remodel. A basic kitchen remodel involves replacing easily removed products and typically runs $20,000 – $35,000.

So, what does a basic remodel look like? Here are some items it might include.

Efficient Lighting — Recessed lights are nice, but they offer a lot less illumination than the average light fixture (60 vs. 120+ W). Simple light fixtures with 120w, 180w, or more can be simple, tasteful, and brilliantly illuminating, all without the hefty price tag.

Simple Appliances — One of the keys to a successful basic kitchen remodel is the use of simple appliances that don’t need to be built-in. Nixing the custom cabinetry saves you both money and time.

Go Vinyl — What’s a remodel without new flooring? Vinyl is the versatile material of choice for floors and other surfaces, and can even make a great-looking backsplash. Speaking of backsplashes, if it’s in your budget, a ceramic tile backsplash is a great splurge for an extra stylish finish to your basic kitchen remodel.

Cabinet Hardware — Reusing your existing cabinetry is one of the key ways to keep costs down, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with dated or damaged storage. Fix up any broken cabinets or replace cabinet doors and consider adding new cabinet hardware to upgrade your kitchen. When it comes to cabinets, a little goes a long way.

Lovely Laminates — Laminate is a surface material whose reputation has come a long way in recent years. Photo printed laminate countertops and a bevy of striking edge designs provide lots of aesthetic choices at low cost.

The Mid-Level, Pull and Replace Kitchen Remodel

Want to break the mold of your existing kitchen layout? A pull and replace kitchen remodel lets you do just that. Whether it’s a new island or professional-grade appliances, a mid-level remodel totally reworks your kitchen from the ground up, including moving appliances, plumbing, ductwork, electrical, and more. Ranging from $25,000 – $55,000, a mid-level kitchen remodel creates the space you need for the renewed functionality you desire.

A pull and replace kitchen remodel may include:

Professional Appliances — Liberate your inner chef with awesome appliances. From stainless steel refrigerators to double convection ovens, it’s all on the table.

The Island — As the focal point to your new kitchen remodel, why not consider an island? It’s perfect for serving up a meal hot from the oven, or for the family to gather around as dinner is being prepared.

Upgraded Cabinetry — Upgrade cabinets with standard cabinet sizes and eye-catching materials like maple with a custom glaze. Get the beautiful storage you need without compromising. Make the most of your kitchen’s existing storage space by installing a pull-out shelf in one—or all—of the base cabinets.

Designer Accessories — Select the details and accessories that make your kitchen feel unique. Custom handles and knobs are a great way to make it personal.

New Floors — With a bigger budget, wood and ceramic floors enter the picture, and boy do they make a great impression!

Surfaces Built to Last — For surfaces that look and feel amazing year after year, look no further than stone counters and glass tile backsplashes. Pricier than laminate, quartz and natural stone (like granite), look sharp for decades.

The Deluxe, Custom Kitchen Remodel

Got great taste and a budget to match? Let’s talk cutting edge style and chef-approved functionality. Whether it’s a built-in refrigerator or a Wolf gas range, a custom kitchen remodel, quite literally, can have it all. From $40, 000 to $125,000, the deluxe kitchen remodel wipes the slate clean with a brand new, well, everything — all put together in a totally fresh layout. It involves redesigning the layout, moving walls, demoing an existing area or adjacent spaces, new framing, relocating and updating plumbing and electrical, and installing custom cabinetry.

Here are some of the items you might look forward to in your deluxe kitchen remodel:

Architectural Consistency — Not only should your kitchen look great, but it should also look like a part of your home. Tall ceilings with beadboard finishing, leaded glass windows, crown moldings, or authentic baseboards and casings are just a taste of what’s possible when it comes to integrating your remodel into the home you already love.

High End Material — Start with the richest of materials and accessories for your deluxe kitchen remodel— wood floors, stone counters, and even a chandelier. Add an oriental rug to add to elegance and style that’s uniquely yours.

Totally Custom Cabinetry — The finest craftsmanship and construction goes into fully custom-sized and custom-designed storage to make your kitchen cabinets both uncommonly beautiful and functional.

Creative Storage — Why settle for stock cabinets? Go custom with drop-down doors that turn into extra counter space for those big holiday spreads, or that tastefully conceal a small appliance when it’s not in use.

Cooking with Elegance — Serve up meals using pro tools in world-class style with a hand-made La Cornue range (or Sub-Zero and Wolf) and custom hood built to your specifications. Truly, it’s the most beautiful, stylish, and functional kitchen fixture that money can buy.

Backsplash With Style — Ground your cooking area with a stone mosaic backsplash that is the finest in class and can last literally decades.

Unified Style — Add the details that tie the whole kitchen together, from the table-like island to feet on the base of the sink, and know that cabinets don’t have to look like cabinets! Get all the details that age and style the kitchen to the surrounding house without sacrificing any functionality or efficiency.

Built-In Appliances — Tuck high-end appliances behind wooden doors and custom wood panels consistent with the style of the rest of your kitchen.

Attention to Details — Get the extra attention that achieves your vision of a perfect kitchen, such as a farmhouse-style sink or a faucet from the era in which the house was built.

You’ll pay more for high-end materials and detailing, but your remodeled kitchen will be both a visual treat and a joy to you and your family for years to come.

 

If you’re ready to get remodeling, join us at our Kitchen and Bath Seminar to learn how to successfully remodel your home. We’d love to see you there!

If you can’t make it to the seminar, you can always schedule a conversation with one of our qualified design-build professionals to discuss your home remodeling timeline, budget, functional needs, and design preferences.

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

Whether you’re building a new home, knocking down walls or adding a fresh new look to a tired old space, you will want to check out these inspiring home remodeling design trends that are trending in the Lafayette, Indiana area this year.

  1. Maximizing Kitchen Storage

In a continual push for more open space, designers and homeowners alike are nixing traditional upper cabinets in favor of a single storage wall. With all your kitchen storage in one place, you’ll free up the rest of the space for an open and airy feel. Searching for a storage look that’s uniquely you? Think outside the box and consider repurposing old file cabinets, console, or a chest of drawers for the storage you need with the vintage style you crave.

Photo Courtesy of Scout & Nimble

  1. Going Green

Studies show that the eye focuses green directly on the retina, allowing the muscles of the eye to relax. So it’s no wonder that “Greenery,” Pantone’s color of the year for 2017, is a hit with homeowners looking to bring the calming effect of nature back into the kitchen. This zesty color is bright and cheery, too, for homeowners looking to compliment the warm tones of natural wood.

Photo Courtesy of Italianbark

  1. Luxury Laundry Rooms

Does your laundry room need a little love? Most people spend a significant time doing laundry, so why do it in a dark, uninviting space? Consider updating your laundry room design to include smart storage and more light. The added functionality doesn’t cost a bundle, either. According to Houzz, homeowners are spending an average of just $2,700 (including appliances) to update laundry rooms of 150 square feet or more.

Photo Courtesy of Acton Construction

  1. Space-Saving Refrigerators

If you’re trying to free up space in a small to medium-sized kitchen, these counter-depth refrigerators are for you. We know comfort in your new kitchen remodel can be reduced to shaving off those last few inches.  Counter-depth refrigerators sit flush with the surrounding countertops and cabinetry, giving you a little extra room to move around while making a stylish contribution to your streamlined kitchen design.

Photo Courtesy of Yale Appliance

  1. Matte Appliances

Are you ready for the next viral kitchen trend? The vote is in, and matte finish appliances have won. According to designer Bobby Berk in an interview with House Beautiful, Matte appliance finishes create an unexpected layer of interest for your design while stripping away the distractions that accompany surface sheen. Give this cutting edge trend a try in your 2017 remodel for the latest in kitchen chic.

  1. Marble-Look Quartz Countertops

If you haven’t noticed it already, marble is back in full force. Especially when it’s paired with wood and metal, marble countertops are a modern take on a luxury classic – perfect for your kitchen, bathroom, and more. But you don’t have to break the bank to get the look. With genuine marble countertops coming in at nearly $250 per square foot, marble-look quartz is the next best thing with all the gravitas at half the cost.

Riverside Project

  1. Faux Marble Wallpaper

Marble isn’t just for countertops anymore. In fact, the marble-look trend is showing up all over the interior design industry (not to mention Pinterest) – from carpets and fabric to marble motif wallpaper. The soft look of marble motif wallpaper is especially elegant in powder rooms and on accent walls, but you could add it in just about anywhere!

Photo Courtesy of Decor8

  1. Subway Tiles

In true throwback style, this trend is plucked straight out of the turn of the 20th century. Subway tiles are nothing new, but this classic element boasts infinite versatility. Better yet, it’s entirely affordable. “It seems to be cementing itself as a style element of our generation,” Bobby Berk explained in an interview with House Beautiful. Available in a range of materials, subway tiles can complement almost any style or finish – from modern minimalist to classic farmhouse.

Riverside Project

  1. Farmhouse Style

Speaking of, it’s time to break out the cozy quilts and shop for weathered antiques (if you haven’t already) because farmhouse style is here to stay! The classic apron-front sink is a timeless focal point in any kitchen, too. Practically speaking, apron-front sinks are deep enough to handle large pots and platters for and they provide improved accessibility for shorter people and children. However, keep in mind that farmhouse sinks are a visually weighty item best suited to medium to large kitchen spaces.

Riverside Project

  1. Wood-Look Tile

Everyone loves hardwood floors. But why shell out for hardwood when the new-and-improved wood-look tile is a dead ringer for the real thing? Recently, homeowners are opting for wood-look tile on everything from floors to fireplaces, praising its waterproof convenience in places like the kitchen, bathroom, beach house, and more.

For more remodeling design trends, check out our portfolio of featured projects. Then, take the next step toward your 2017 home remodel and schedule an in-home meeting with your very own personal design consultant.

A Lesson in Kitchen Cabinetry Design

Everything You Need to Know About Designing Your Kitchen to Fit Your Needs and Lifestyle.

An integral part of any kitchen remodel is the cabinetry—from the initial layout to materials, finishes and colors. And, how you put these elements together will define a space that not only fits your functional lifestyle needs, but also expresses your unique, personal design style.

Put function first

When planning your cabinets, first consider their placement. Will you choose a more traditional layout, or follow the more popular open floor plan concept? Will you design your cabinets above and below the kitchen counter to create a divide between your living room or dining room; or will you include cabinetry in a center island to create a more modern, open floor plan? No matter which layout you choose, make sure it is functional (the classic triangle layout of sink/stove/refrigerator is preferred). Your choice in cabinets will make a big impact on your home—from aesthetics to flow and function.

Consider the materials and colors you will use

Choose from a variety of popular wood options straight from nature, including Maple, Cherry, Hickory, and Oak.

Some alternative options include manufactured products like Thermofoil (vinyl wrapped door) and laminate, which is made up of three resin-saturated layers: a base layer of paper, a printed and colored layer (which can look like wood), and a protective transparent layer.

The color of your cabinets is limited only by your imagination. An endless variety of paints, stains and glazes are available to suit every taste.

Next, consider Cabinet Doors

Door style is an important component of kitchen cabinet design and commonly defines the style of your kitchen, whether traditional or modern.

Traditional cabinets are commonly framed in their construction, which means horizontal and vertical wood panels form a frame at the front of the cabinet box. Framed cabinets attach door hinges to the frame face and shelves are usually, but not always, adjustable.  The frame extends beyond the width of the box and covers a small portion of the inside of the box interior.  A variety of door styles are available with framed cabinets and are an ideal choice for kitchens where saving space is not as much of a concern. This type of cabinet is a popular choice for traditional and transitional design style kitchens.

A Riverside Project

Modern cabinets have a more streamlined design featuring straight, clean lines without much ornamentation. They are also commonly frameless, which means they are constructed without a face frame and have minimal space between the doors and drawers—maximizing interior storage and drawer space.  In fact, frameless cabinets can give you up to 15% more usable space within the same footprint. The flush-finished end gives frameless cabinets a furniture-like appearance and is often used with contemporary and modern style kitchens.

Courtesy of Wellborn Cabinets

Choose a Cabinet Door Style

Whether your design style is craftsman, contemporary, rustic, Mediterranean or modern you’ll find a cabinet door design to meet your needs.  The following is a list of some of the more popular cabinet door styles. What style feels right for you?

Shaker – The Shaker cabinet is the most common style in kitchens today.  It consists of a frame made from four pieces and a single flat center panel for the fifth piece.  Its clean simple lines go well with a variety of décor.

Flat/Slab – Simple but stylish, the flat-panel cabinet door is void of fancy embellishments. With straight lines and simple form, it’s the perfect choice for contemporary and modern decor.

Beadboard – Beadboard was used in the past as an embellishing wall treatment before plaster, drywall and paint became common.  The center panel of the cabinet doors in this style are made to look like traditional beadboard paneling, this style is perfect for cottage and shabby chic interiors.

Open – Open cabinets are a popular trend with a casual style that essentially removes the cabinet doors and exposes the shelves and supplies inside.  Perfect for those who want to display their prized kitchen possessions and beautiful dishware, but probably not the best choice if you tend to have a cluttered kitchen!

Raised Panel – With this cabinet style, the center panel is raised above the rest of the door or drawer and there is usually a recessed border around it.  Raised panel cabinets are often more detailed and intricate and tend to work well with traditional, transitional, country and rustic style kitchens.

Recessed Panel – Unlike raised panel cabinets, recessed panel cabinets have a flat center panel with a raised border around it, which gives off a sleeker appearance. The lack of embellishments for this style lends itself to a modern or contemporary style but can also blend well with transitional and even traditional styles.

 

Consider Unique Cabinet Drawer Features

In most kitchens, alongside cabinet doors you’ll find a standard bank of drawers for holding utensils, cookware and other items.  Cabinet manufacturers have been busy coming up with more creative drawer features to ensure your kitchen is functional and clutter free – here are just of few examples:

Corner Drawers for Maximizing Space

Cutlery Drawer

Cutting Board Drawer

Deep Drawer Divider

Drawer for Fresh Bread

Spice Rack Drawer

Charging Station Drawer

Drawers aren’t the only area getting added features, below are even more examples of ways to ensure your cabinets work their hardest for you:

Towel Rack Cabinet

Stem Glass Holder

Pet Station (courtesy of Carla Aston)

Blind Corner Functional Shelf

 

Lazy Susan

Pantry Pull Out

Tray Divider

Vegetable Bin

Waste & Recycle Bins

 

With an endless choice of color, material options and style options to choose from, take some time to research some of your options. And remember we are here to help when you’re ready to start designing the kitchen you’ve been dreaming about.  The sooner you can narrow your selections and define a plan that fits your budget, the sooner you can be begin cooking and entertaining in your new space.

Ready to design your new kitchen cabinets? Take the first step by scheduling a conversation with one of our professional designers. Or call today at (765) 838-1644.

Looking to renovate your kitchen, but need some more inspiration? Explore these kitchen cabinet design ideas from Riverside Construction before starting on your kitchen remodel.

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

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.