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7 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Bathroom Renovation

Your bathroom is arguably one of the most important and complex spaces in your home, and like your kitchen it must capture an ideal blend of form and function. That makes a bathroom remodel particularly challenging since you need to worry about everything from layout to design, floors to ceilings, and plumbing to lighting. Mistakes are therefore as common as they can be costly, so here’re the top 7 — along with the proactive things you can do to avoid them.

#1:
Don’t Make Things Up as You Go
Do: Plan, Plan, Plan

One thing leads to another throughout a bathroom renovation, so make sure you plan your project—from must-haves and nice-to-haves to material selections, lighting, countertops, plumbing, flooring, and color. And, be sure to include present and possible future needs as well. Space is usually limited, materials need to be carefully chosen, and fixtures are connected to plumbing or electricity; so once you start it becomes difficult, costly, and sometimes impossible to change your mind. Detailed planning is also vital to ensure you don’t exceed your budget or blow past the scheduled completion date.

#2:
Don’t Be Penny Wise and Fixture Foolish
Do: Select Quality Fixtures

They say you should never save money on sushi or eye surgery — or bathroom fixtures! Sinks, faucets, shower valves, toilets, and other plumbing are available across a wide range of costs and quality. You get what you pay for and will end up paying more in the long run if you use cheap, off-brand fixtures. Good suppliers or an online retailer like Build.com are worth the added expense, money that you’ll get back through avoided damages, repairs, and replacements.

#3:
Don’t Put a Dent in the Vent
Do: Properly Vent Your Bathroom

Robust air circulation isn’t merely more pleasant, but it prevents mold and mildew. So you’ll want to ensure your bathroom fan has sufficient capacity for the size of your bathroom, is of the highest quality, and vents outside the house. Per code, venting into a wall cavity, joist opening, or attic is unacceptable. It compounds all your avoidable circulation problems at once while also putting moist air into those spaces, which can cause mold. Work with your contractor to create the ductwork necessary to properly vent foul air outside and bring fresh air back inside.

#4:
Don’t Immediately Pull the Plug on the Tub
Do: Keep the Tub

Some bathtubs take up plenty of room, and lack the flexibility and even the aesthetics of smartly designed shower stalls. But be cautious before removing the old bathtub while you think about your home resale value, which is immediately reduced if you don’t have one somewhere in your home. As an alternative, think about replacing the tub with something more modern, or if budget and space allow, go for an upgrade and install a whirlpool or jacuzzi unit that more appropriately uses the space in your bathroom. Your spouse will thank you!

#5:
Don’t Lose Steam on the Theme
Do: Choose the Design Carefully

Think about how much time you and your family spends in the bathroom, and how much that experience is influenced — for better or worse — by an efficient, comfortable, and appealing design. Keep the look consistent and pleasing, and don’t forget about the importance of layout, too. Maybe making the toilet the first thing you see isn’t the best idea, while a better idea is making sure you have enough room by the sink and tub to brush your teeth and move about.

#6:
Don’t Forget Essential Lighting
Do: Get the Light Right

Bathrooms demand excellent task lighting, essential for everything from shaving to grooming. Natural light is also easy on the eyes and refreshing during the day, so where possible supplement artificial lights with indirect sunlight. Numerous task lights — not to mention hair dryers, shavers, and electric toothbrushes — all need easily accessible and nearby electrical outlets, so ensure they’re handy and well-placed. Mood and color lighting adds a great touch.

#7:
Don’t Pile on the Tile
Do: Use Skilled Labor

Many homeowners insist on tiling the shower themselves, or hiring a contractor of questionable reputation or quality. Even small mistakes can lead to big leaks, which in turn send water into walls and floors. The resulting damage can be significant and difficult to fix, instantly negating the money saved. Similar DIY often happens with towel racks and other wall fixtures, which are not only dangerous when they’re torn down, but can take big chunks of the wall with them.

Trust Your Bathroom to a Pro

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

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

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

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

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

The construction industry is ready too!

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

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

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

1 – Financing Options Are Plentiful and Affordable

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

2 – Contractors Are Still Working!

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

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

3 – Safety Protocols Will Keep Your Family Safe

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

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

4 – Get Together through Virtual or In-Person Consultations

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

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

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

5 – Help the Local Economy Survive and Thrive

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

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

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

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

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

7 – Dream Big: Craft a Unique Renovation

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

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

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

5 Popular Kitchen Remodeling Trends in Lafayette

As cooler weather approaches, you might be coming back into your kitchen from summer’s cookouts, thinking, “Wow. I didn’t realize how dated this looked,” or “This setup is really inconvenient.” Here at Riverside Construction in Lafayette, we’re excited about the upcoming kitchen remodeling trends we see for 2019. So, if you’re planning a kitchen remodeling project in the coming months, here are 5 trends you’ll want to consider:

1. Cabinets with a Color Pop

Yes, all-white cabinets are still popular because they reflect light and make smaller kitchens look bigger. Colorful cabinets, however, are increasing in popularity. This is partially because cooking and spill stains stand out so obviously on white—but also because homeowners are looking for more color in their kitchens. Here at Riverside Construction, we’re an authorized dealer of Wellborn custom cabinets, and they’ve introduced some new standard paint colors for their cabinets: Mink Gray, Olive, Gray Mist, Aqua, and Mint. One popular design trend is using lighter cabinets around the kitchen perimeter with a more daring color for the island. Some are opting for darker colors on the lower cabinets with a lighter shade of the same color on the upper cabinets. Those still choosing all white cabinets are playing with mixed countertops, bright accent walls, fixtures and backsplashes with different colors and designs. Mixing neutrals and whites with bright color accents is also growing in popularity. Take a look at some of these great custom kitchen cabinet designs to get a few ideas for your own kitchen remodel.

Photo courtesy of Wellborn

2. Appliances: Thinking Outside of the Stainless-Steel Box

Bright, silver stainless steel has been the go-to finish in appliances for several years now, but for all its solid, time-tested stability, people are looking for more color even here. Yes, you can have black, graphite and slate finishes. You can even have white if you want it bright. But this is your kitchen, and if you want to have brightly-colored appliances, your options are growing considerably. If this is the kitchen you will be cooking, eating and working in for years to come, why not try some bold color combinations? If you aren’t sure how long you’re staying or want to have your kitchen ready for resale in a few years, you can still choose colors, but think of timeless combinations that work with the colors of your cabinets and walls. Reds with white, black or gray, blues with white or light gray, earth tones in different shades, etc.

Photo Courtesy of Savvy Home Supply

3. Everything in the Kitchen Sink

If you thought kitchen sinks were all the same, get ready for the kitchen sink designs of 2019. Kitchen sinks are being created out of different materials and adding new, time-saving accessories that home gourmets are raving about. For example:

New Kitchen Sink Materials—At least 70% of kitchen sinks are stainless steel. It goes with everything and is durable for years. But kitchen sink designers have been coming up with amazing, functional materials that go beyond what you’ve come to expect in a sink. For example, granite composite sinks (made of crushed stone and resin); they last a long time and are easy to clean and maintain. The timeless cast-iron enameled sink is also making a resurgence because you can choose different glaze colors than just silver or dark gray. It’s also very durable and easy to clean. The new fireclay sinks (often used in farmhouse sink designs) are made of high-heat glazed clay with a hard enamel finish (usually earth-toned). And while they are durable, they are vulnerable to impacts and may chip more than other materials. Natural stone, glass, marble, and copper are also up-and-coming kitchen sink materials you might consider.

New Kitchen Sink Accessories—Newer kitchen sink designs also tool up the functionality of the ordinary sink to help you save time and effort during meal prep. In fact, you could call them “kitchen sink systems” because they integrate so many tools seamlessly into a larger sink. Consider multiple levels, built-in colanders, removable cutting boards, ice buckets, pot holders, etc. A large, custom sink with these accessories can significantly reduce your prep and post-meal clean-up time; you’ll have more time to enjoy your meal with family and friends.

Photo Courtesy of Homestyle PR

4. Earth-Toned Rustic Never Goes Away

One look that never really goes out of style is the organic, natural, earth-toned rustic look, from backsplashes and cabinets to floors and farmhouse sinks. Think neutral colors that make custom wood cabinets glow warmth into your kitchen. If you’re going rustic, you’ll likely avoid glossy finishes and opt for rugged, matte, natural finishes instead. Ceramic or cast-iron sinks, wide-plank wooden floors, antique metal fixtures like distressed bronze, wrought iron or rubbed brass look great in a cozy, rustic kitchen. Butcher block or honed granite countertops complete the natural, sturdy look if you’re going this direction.

5. The Mix-it-Up Eclectic Kitchen is Now

And yet, if traditional or rustic kitchens aren’t your thing, variety may be just your style. Good thing too, because mixing up materials, colors and finishes is taking off like crazy. Bold colors on the custom cabinets, floating shelves, polished concrete countertops, stone accent walls and wild mosaic backsplashes with pops of color and shine will turn heads whenever guests arrive and have you feeling like you’re cooking in your dream kitchen every day. And really, if you can dream it, we can make it happen in your kitchen.

If you’ve got your eye on a kitchen remodeling project for the upcoming year and aren’t quite sure where to start, be sure to sign up for notifications on our upcoming kitchen remodeling seminars. We’ll notify you as soon as the next one is scheduled so you can be the first to sign up for these in-demand events where we can answer your questions, provide ideas and offer expert guidance on your dream kitchen.

If you’re ready to start now, schedule a personal consultation with Riverside Construction’s kitchen design experts today: (765) 838-1644.

11 Kitchen Remodeling Ideas to Add Long-Term Function and Value to Your Home

For most Indiana families, the kitchen is the home’s nerve center. Essential discussions, conversations, laughter, cooking and nourishment all go on in this room—more so than any other room in the house. It’s a place to cook, eat, work, socialize, play games and entertain.

So, if you’re considering a kitchen remodel, consider how you use your kitchen now, and how you’d like to use it in the future. A well-designed kitchen not only helps improve functionality, it can also significantly boost your home’s resale value.

In fact, looking at the 2018 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, almost half of participating homeowners said something like: “I can’t stand the old kitchen anymore.” And 36 percent reported they would jump into kitchen remodeling once they had the means.

If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen soon, list all the things that bother you, or that you’d like to improve. Then, talk with us about smart kitchen upgrades to improve functionality and value. These are the top eleven remodeling features that promise both in today’s housing market:

Smart, Spacious Kitchen Storage

We can’t even count the number of homeowners who complain about utterly wasted, poorly-thought-out storage spaces, i.e., cabinets that are too shallow, or drawers that are too small. Some cabinets are so deep that people can’t reach some items without unloading others. We can make it better! Storage design is one of the first line items we discuss when talking with homeowners who want a kitchen remodel. Here are some great kitchen storage design ideas we suggest:

  • Drawers with custom-designed dividers for cutlery or small kitchen tools
  • Kitchen cabinets with smooth pull-out trays to easily organize and access everything from spices and bottles to pots and pans
  • Separate, hide-away waste and recycling cabinets
  • Extra deep drawers for storing larger food containers and kitchen tools or appliances
  • Sturdy, adjustable shelves you can customize to your needs

As you go through your day, make note of your kitchen storage “pain points” and we can come up with great solutions!

New, Energy Efficient Kitchen Appliances

The kitchen draws a lot of energy, so incorporate new, Energy-Star certified appliances right into your new kitchen design. Beginning with the appliances in the design saves time and money from the start: they can be incorporated seamlessly into the whole kitchen design itself, and begin saving energy as you use them.

Also, think about ergonomics when you’re designing your kitchen. As you go through your day in the kitchen, think about appliance placement and workflow so the new design can boost efficiency and ease-of-use.

Stylish, Functional Kitchen Islands

Covington Contemporary Kitchen Remodel 1

Kitchen islands increase your work surface and storage capacity, as long as the cabinets are intelligently designed and organized.

If you’re adding a kitchen island, think about function and dimensions. An open living and dining island requires space for chairs and should accommodate convenient eating. If you’re creating an eating island in the kitchen, we recommend about 36 inches high, so it can be used both for casual dining and food preparation. If you’re adding a breakfast bar, then 42-46 inches high is about right. The countertop overhang for sitting should be about 12 inches.

Durable, Gorgeous Kitchen Countertops and Finishes

Durability is absolutely essential for hard working kitchen countertops. Evaluate your kitchen lifestyle to narrow down your choices for the right countertop material. For example, an active home chef teaching kids to cook may want to avoid marble countertops. They look superb, but they etch and stain easily under frequent use and require more maintenance.

Instead, a hard-working kitchen with a busy family could consider the many beautiful granite countertops or some of the newer, durable laminates that look like your favorite stone instead. Other options for busy kitchens include engineered quartz or Cambria natural stone. Quartz countertops, for example, are tough against scratching and staining. They’re incredibly durable and require little maintenance while also coming in a wide variety of patterns, colors, and edge treatments. They’re a smart, long-term investment that will work for you while boosting your kitchen’s resale value.

Fantastic Faucets and Fixtures

There are so many new, functional and beautiful kitchen faucets and fixtures to choose from these days, that it can be hard for many homeowners to choose which they like best when they’re remodeling their kitchens. High-tech touch features that make it easy to switch a faucet on or off… sprayers that make clean up quick and easy… consider some of the following fixtures:

  • Faucet mounting options—Sink mounted (the faucet comes right out of the sink assembly), deck-mounted (from the countertop itself, rather than the sink), or wall-mounted (easy to clean, but need extra insulation in our cold Indiana winters).
  • Faucet handle options—Single handle (twisting one handle to dial between hot and cold), double-handle (one for hot, one for cold), and “hands-free” (you simply nudge the faucet with your free elbow to turn it on, but you still need to adjust the side handle for temperature).
  • Faucet Finish options—Stainless steel, nickel, brushed nickel, chrome, oil-rubbed bronze, polished brass, black, white… those are just some of the more common options.

Fabulous Flooring

As always, consider how you use your kitchen to get the right flooring option for your needs. For example, hardwood floors never go out of style, but they need a bit more maintenance than some of the engineered hardwood and laminate options that look just like hardwood. But real hardwood can be refinished and refurbished, whereas damaged laminate needs to be completely replaced. You can also use reclaimed hardwood that looks amazing in many kitchen designs.

Today’s high-quality laminates can stand up to a lot of hard use, though, so it’s still an excellent, lasting investment. You also have more choices for design with laminate: think wide planks and exotic textures like Brazilian cherry.

And don’t forget tile. Porcelain and ceramic floor tiles are huge right now. They can be engineered to look like anything (even wood or fabric), they’re incredibly durable and easy to clean (but a bit more of a challenge to install).

Spectacular Backsplash

A backsplash protects your walls from stains and splatters, but they can also be fantastic focal points. It all depends on the materials and designs you choose—and there are so many options: wood, metal, glass, ceramic, stone, tile and more.

“Consider changing a tile backsplash to modern glass, mosaic tile, or a classic white subway tile, which never goes out of style,” says Riverside Construction owner, Andy Haste. “These now come in many sizes and shapes and can be laid in a herringbone or soldiered pattern for an updated, fresh look.”

Remember: neutral colors make your kitchen space feel bigger and brighter to you and to potential home buyers who may have different color tastes.

Natural and Artistic Lighting

Think about all the ways you can incorporate natural light into your kitchen from windows and skylights to light tubes. In addition to saving energy costs, natural light makes kitchens look brighter and bigger. Great, functional under cabinet lighting options brighten countertop workspaces while vintage chandeliers or brightly-colored pendants to add pop and focus over your kitchen island.

Neutral Colors Create Value

Neutral paints and finishes in shades of ivory, white or gray are the smartest colors, both for design flexibility and resale value. You can add personal color accents with accessories, light fixtures, and other design elements to tie other areas of your home together with the kitchen, but keeping the colors neutral also attracts potential homebuyers, helping them “see the possibilities” rather than being jarred by style choices that may not match theirs.

Clever Kitchen Sinks

One of Riverside Construction’s incredible interior designers, Kelly Grish, advises homeowners to consider the sink as both functional, and as a showpiece. Beautiful, apron-front farmhouse sinks are generous, functional and, as she says, they feel “custom and thoughtful”, demonstrating the long-term value of your home’s design, right from the kitchen.

Chef-Worthy Range Hoods

Grish also says that installing a new, stainless-steel hood over the stove says “chef’s kitchen” in a split second to any potential homebuyer, adding literally thousands of dollars in value. It also expands your kitchen’s functionality. You don’t even have to add extra ductwork if you don’t want to—you can use recirculating filters instead—while still enjoying the range hood’s benefits.

If you’re ready to remodel your kitchen, Riverside Construction is prepared to share the knowledge and experience we’ve collected over the years to help you create your perfect kitchen design experience. Schedule an in-home consultation to get the ball rolling with your own personal design consultant, or attend one of our monthly, complimentary kitchen remodeling seminars. Reserve your seat now as demand is high and space is limited! Let’s create the kitchen of your dreams!

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