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Inside View: A Client’s Kitchen Remodeling Experience with Riverside

Tamara tells-all, sharing her kitchen remodeling experience with Riverside Construction

Q: What prompted the need for your kitchen remodel?
A: Our home is located in West Lafayette near Purdue University. When we bought it, it had been used as a rental so we knew it needed work.

As a 1950s home, it needed a lot of updates and also is smaller in size—approximately 900 sf on the first floor, where the kitchen and living room is. With the two levels, it’s roughly 1,800 sf. As a dated home, the kitchen was designed in a closed-in space. I wanted to open it up and create more livable space. Our house is also a split-level. I had visions of tearing out a wall, opening it up to the backyard and adding a large island.

Kelly put my ideas to paper, and the results were amazing!

Q: You started your remodel during Covid-19. How did the pandemic alter your remodeling plans? Did your functional needs change in any way?
A: Yes, I believe we were one of the first of Riverside clients to start construction after the COVID quarantine. They started construction in April and ended in June.

Our kids were in college at the time, so it was just my husband and I in the house. We also moved a temporary kitchen downstairs, so we had a place to be while the workers were in the house. We always felt safe. Everyone was cautious. We kept clear from the workers most of the time, and there was always enough space to separate ourselves from each other. Riverside was also good about working quickly.

Q: Can you speak to safety protocols during construction? Did you and your family feel safe?
A: When construction started, we weren’t issued mask mandates (we still weren’t sure), so the crew wasn’t wearing masks. As we followed health updates, we all adapted. Then, I noticed the workers started to wear masks on site.

From the beginning, we made an effort to be distanced from each other, which felt smarter. We made it a point to not be in each other’s spaces. We also had meetings outside for added protection.

Aside from COVID, Riverside was good about locking up our home and securing the job site. Our team leads, Juan and Amos, were amazing—and felt like family. Amos could have been my husband’s brother based on how close they were.

Q: What concern(s) did you have going into your home remodeling project?
A: My biggest concern was finances. I talked to Andy two years ago. He advised me to pay down my loan and then refinance my mortgage to get the money I needed to invest in my house. I was basically trying to get enough equity built up. I came back two years later—I refinanced and got a one-year loan that I’m now paying off.

I didn’t worry about anything else. Our project came out exactly as I envisioned.

Q: What was a favorite part of your remodeling experience with Riverside Construction? Why?
A: Hands down the people at Riverside Construction. The employees are fun and very professional. They aren’t just about business. The workers would stop and talk to us. We got to know Amos—his personality, family and background. Everyone at Riverside really want us to be happy with our remodel, but they also want to build a relationship with their clients as well. And, Andy allows them to do that.

This may not be important to everyone, but it was really important to me. I think it’s a great way to run a business. It’s not just a job to these people. It’s actually something they enjoy, which carries over into their customer service. It’s a great business model and good for our community.

Now, I won’t use a remodeling company other than Riverside Construction. I won’t even request a quote from another company if we remodel again. Riverside is our only choice. It’s going to be them for now on. They are more expensive, but I’ don’t care. They are worth it.

Q: What was your least favorite part of the remodel? Why?
A: Waiting 10 days for the granite. During this particular time during the remodel, we were almost finished. Everything but the countertops were installed. The kitchen looked beautiful, but it wasn’t yet functional. The lag time between when the granite got measured and when it got put in was tough. We were excited to use the new kitchen, but had to keep using the temporary kitchen until the countertops were installed.

Q: After living in your newly remodeled space, what has become your favorite design feature?
A: The kitchen used to be dark, dingy and old. Now that it’s more open and inviting, we’re in this area all of the time and not sequestered in our rooms.

I am now working from home. They put electricity in the island, so I sit here on the island to work.

I hate Lazy Susans, but Andy convinced me to let him put one in that he said I would love. He was right. I love it!

You know, we don’t know everything. It was great working with a professional who could offer suggestions and help me decide what was good for me. I didn’t want to make all of those tough decisions. Riverside was great!

[Laughing] When they asked me initially, “What’s your design style?” I answered, “functional!”

Q: What was your inspiration behind the new larger window?
A: I wanted to be able to look out to the woods in our backyard—bring the outside in.

Q: Were there any big surprises during or after the remodel that caught you off guard?
A: The sticker shock. I was surprised how expensive it really is to remodel.

Q: Any pleasant surprises?
A: Although this was nothing, the only thing they did wrong was buy the incorrect light fixture. It didn’t look right in the space, and they agreed. I thought I was going to be charged for a new fixture, but that is not what happened. I was asked to pick out a new light fixture, and they took care of the rest.

Q: In hindsight, is there anything you would do differently if you were to remodel again?
A: I would have done more if I had more money, like the whole living room area.

Q: Anything else you want to share?
A: When I was searching for a remodeling company to work with, I wanted a reputable company that I could hold to task. I didn’t want someone who waltzed in once and awhile.

Riverside is very professional, while at the same time incredibly humble, fun, enjoyable, and easy to work with. That fabulous combination starts with owner and filters down. Not every person was perfect. But, Juan, Amos and Ben are literally amazing individuals—salt of the earth people who would give their shirts off their backs. We all got along so well.

If anyone is going into this for the first time, they need to understand that it’s a lengthy process. It’s important especially for a design-build company like Riverside that might be busier. I reached out in January and we were finished in June, which actually didn’t take too long at all.

Q&A: A Client’s Kitchen Remodeling Experience with Riverside

Sarah tells-all, sharing her remodeling experience with Riverside Construction

Q: What prompted the need for your kitchen remodel?
A: Our home was built in 1902 and was last remodeled in the mid-60s. Our oven model was dated from 1964. Bless my husband who was wise and blessed with many talents, but his philosophy was “if it still works, we don’t need to fix it.” Fast forward to November 2018, the oven stopped working and I only had one element working on the stove. After putting money aside, I retired in 2020 and decided it was finally time to remodel the kitchen.

Q: You started your remodel during COVID-19. How did the pandemic alter your remodeling plans? Did your functional needs change in any way?
A: Yes, we started our remodel during COVID-19 and it completed in August. The biggest impact on our remodeling plans was the availability of materials. We were 98% completed in August but then had to wait for the refrigerator, oven, and microwave which didn’t arrive until September. The cooktop was ordered right away because it was an older model and in short supply. Otherwise, Riverside Construction carpenters and subcontractors either worked when I wasn’t there or wore masks around me and each other when they were in my home.

Q: Can you speak to safety protocols during construction? Did you feel safe?
A: Yes, I never felt unsafe. Riverside Construction carpenters and subcontractors wore masks, put up barriers, used HEPA filters, and either worked in my home when I wasn’t there or masked up when we were in the home together.

Q: What concern(s) did you have going into your home remodeling project?
A: I was most concerned about the inconvenience during construction. I planned ahead for the kitchen remodel by loading up a dorm-size mini-fridge for perishables. I also ordered carry out a lot. My basement is where the washer and dryer are located. I was concerned about accessing it. But, after the guys were through working, I was able to get through to the basement without much problem. Riverside Construction also remodeled my half bath next to the kitchen. I wasn’t looking forward to having to use the upstairs bathroom during the renovation. More importantly, I live with three cats. It was imperative that the crew didn’t let any of them outside. They did great!

I never worried about the budget. When I signed a contract with Riverside Construction it was well-delineated. My design choices and materials were detailed from our initial planning meetings. The only exception was one change that I made and the other was an unforeseen circumstance. Otherwise, the budget didn’t change at all.

Q: What was your favorite part of your remodeling experience with Riverside Construction? Why?
A: I thoroughly enjoyed the Riverside Construction carpenters. Most days, it was the same group who was working in my house. They were skilled and very reassuring. There was one point in construction when I was fearful of how it was going to look. One carpenter, in particular, assured me to hang in there and it would turn out exactly as I had envisioned. He also said my project was his favorite one. He was right. It turned out exactly as I had envisioned, and even better!

Q: What was your least favorite part of the remodel? Why?
A: The dust. They put up dust barriers during construction a majority of the time. One of the subcontractors didn’t use a dust barrier. I believe it was the tilers, so it stirred up dust in the home.

Q: After living in your newly remodeled space, what has become your favorite design feature?
A: It’s all so wonderful. The ceiling and lighting have to be my favorite design features. The previous owners (in the 1960s) put in a dropped ceiling and panels in the kitchen. Riverside Construction removed the dropped ceiling and panels making it more spacious and brighter. The new pot lights and pendant lights over the island added the elegance and charm I was looking for.

 

Q: What was your inspiration behind your kitchen design?

A: I had visions of what my grandma’s beautiful kitchen looked like with dark oak cabinets, inset doors, and a particular type of latch. Under the linoleum was gorgeous oak hardwood flooring. I wouldn’t normally choose hardwood flooring in the kitchen, but because they were there, I couldn’t pull them up. Riverside sanded the floors and refinished them to perfection.

It was also important to me to design the kitchen to match the existing architecture of the home—to look like it had always been there, just refreshed. I think we accomplished that. As a testament, the cleaning crew came in after the remodel was done and said, “this looks like the kitchen was part of the original home.”

Q: Were there any big surprises during or after the remodel that caught you off guard?
A: Nothing big, no. There were a few small items like learning that the plumbers had to pull up the floor in the half bath to access the crawl space below. But, also not a big deal.

Q: Are you using your newly remodeled space differently now? How?

A: I absolutely spend more time in the kitchen. I’m not a really good cook. You have to remember, I haven’t had a fully functioning kitchen since November 2018, so I’m rediscovering cooking. I now spend a lot more time in the kitchen. And, I really like the butcher block island. Initially, I thought it would be hard to maintain, but I’m really enjoying oiling it—rubbing the oil into the wood once a month. My house gets particularly dry in the winter, so I’m sensitive to not letting it dry out.

Q: In hindsight, is there anything you would do differently if you were to remodel again?
A: Small things. There are a few of my lower cabinets that have pull-out shelves. I often think, having now worked in my kitchen, that I should have added a few more of those. Sometimes I also think I should have chosen different light fixtures, but there’s nothing major I would have done differently.

My original kitchen had a hanging pot rack. I thought I loved it and wanted it in there. As the design of my kitchen progressed, I realized that I could see more of the kitchen without it. Now, I have room for my pots and pans in the drawers and cabinets and they aren’t collecting dust. Ultimately, I’m happy with my decision to remove it.

Q: Anything else you want to share?
A: Yes, I definitely want to share something about Riverside Construction. I’ve had other contractors in my house before. They did a bathroom renovation upstairs years ago. I love Riverside Construction and all of its contractors and vendors. I was used to hearing a lot of cursing from contractors I’ve used in the past. Not that I’m a prude, but there was none of that language used by Riverside crew day in and day out. As they worked, they created a nice environment for me to be cohabitating with them in my home.

Now, Riverside is meeting with my daughter, doing a renovation on her upstairs bathroom. She was so impressed with my remodel that she decided to remodel her bathroom with them as well. Riverside Construction is becoming our “family renovator.”

For more information on this amazing kitchen remodel, visit our Portfolio.

How to Survive Your Kitchen Remodel

Aside from budgeting and decision-making for new surfaces, fixtures, and appliances, there are a variety of other factors at play in any home remodeling project, but especially when it’s arguably the most important room in your house. 

It’s finally time for construction to start on your kitchen remodel – but what will you do without a kitchen during the remodel? Without a fully functioning kitchen, your family’s daily routine could be thrown totally off-kilter. 

Rather than finding yourself unexpectedly without a meal for your family, take advantage of these great tips on surviving your next kitchen remodeling project in West Lafayette, Indiana. 

Create a Temporary Kitchen Space

The ideal first step for ensuring you and your family can comfortably survive your kitchen remodeling project is to create a temporary kitchen space somewhere else in your home. You might be tempted to rely on fast food for the duration of the project, but your wallet (and your figure) could be seriously impacted as a result. 

Your best bet for a stand-in kitchen is a low-traffic area in your home far from the construction area and close to a sink or other water source. Many families enjoy eating around the TV in the family room, so this could be your best bet for ease of access and comfort. Otherwise, use your dining room, garage, or even a spare bedroom if possible. 

Remember: kitchens can be messy spaces. Utilize plastic storage bins for items from your pantry whenever possible. Also, make sure any furnishings, flooring, or valuable items are protected from the mess you and your family might make while your kitchen remodeling project is in progress!

Keep it Simple

If you’re an ambitious chef who loves to prepare high-concept meals, you might find your cooking efforts entirely disrupted during your kitchen remodel. That’s why you should prepare yourself for keeping it simpler during the remodeling process. 

While you might miss some of your more specialized appliances and kitchen tools, there’s no need to transport everything to your temporary kitchen. Decide on the most essential utensils and minor cookware – you probably won’t need your waffle iron, food processor, or mandolin. 

During your remodeling project, it could be fun to practice a somewhat spartan cooking lifestyle. Think of it as a culinary vacation experience for your family!

Think Small and Multipurpose

Just because you don’t have your full kitchen at your disposal doesn’t mean you can’t prepare a full meal. These days, slow cookers, toaster ovens, electric griddles, hot plates, coffee makers, and microwaves are small enough to fit on most surfaces in your home. You could even purchase a minifridge and stock it with the essentials from your kitchen refrigerator.  

Keep in mind, though, that your temporary kitchen spot may not be able to sustain multiple appliances running in tandem. You don’t want to blow a breaker while your kitchen remodeling crew is hard at work – it might interrupt their work and delay the project longer than you want to wait!

Keep Disposables in Supply

Without the use of your kitchen sink, dirty dishes might pile up fast. That’s why it’s better to spend a small amount of money on paper plates, cups, napkins, and plastic utensils. These items make cleanup a simple task and function almost as well as your finest china. 

You’ll definitely be taking the trash out more often than usual, so make sure you keep your garbage and recycling bins close at hand. If you’re worried about smell or a dirty appearance in your temporary kitchen space, keep your bins in a spot out of sight and smell range but still near enough for easy disposal. 

Work the Grill and Takeout Options

Everyone has used a grill now and then for barbecue or grilling hot dogs on game day, but did you know your grill can handle almost anything your kitchen oven can? Whether you’re roasting meat, baking a pizza, or flipping burgers, your backyard grill is the perfect solution for whipping up some tasty meals without ever setting foot into your currently demolished kitchen. If the weather’s nice, you could even turn it into a fun picnic for the family.

Odds are good you have a grill gathering dust on your back patio. If not, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a friend or neighbor who has one you could borrow. Just remember to give it back once your new kitchen is fully operational!

Your other alternative for quick and easy meals is to find great local takeout options. These days, most restaurants either deliver or provide convenient pickup options. Clip some coupons before your remodel starts and plan a budget ahead of time to accommodate your evenings dining out. 

Consider a Vacation

Have you had any special trips, romantic getaways, or family fun-days planned for months? Now is the time!

Instead of throwing off your family’s at-home routines, leaving altogether and enjoying a few days on an exciting vacation or road trip might be the perfect solution for surviving your kitchen remodeling project. Take in some sights, bask in the sunlight, and finally feel excited to come home after a vacation – after all, your brand new kitchen will be ready and waiting.

Just remember, when leaving your home for several days, you want to be absolutely certain the construction contractors you leave behind are trustworthy. In order to feel completely comfortable with people in your home while you’re not there, be sure to hire a kitchen remodeling contractor in Lafayette or West Lafayette with a history of reliability and trust, as well as satisfied customers. 

That’s where the team at Riverside Construction comes in. 

Hire a West Lafayette Remodeling Company You Can Trust

Transforming your kitchen might take some time, but you’ll reap the benefits of a newly remodeled kitchen space for years to come. Not only will you get more functionality and enjoyment out of your new kitchen – it’ll also add tremendous value to your home in the long run. 

If you think you and your family are ready to take on a kitchen remodeling project, it’s critical you choose a kitchen remodeling contractor in West Lafayette you can rely on. The team of experts at Riverside Construction have decades of combined experience in the design-build home construction and remodeling industry. Our reputation speaks for itself – you can count on our experience and dedication to quality customer service as we create a phenomenal finished project for your new kitchen remodel.

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

Five Ways to Overcome Your Home Remodeling Fears

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fear 2: My contractor will not finish on time.

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

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

Fear 3: I’m going to blow my budget.

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

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

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

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

Fear 4: The remodeling project will drag on forever.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hire a West Lafayette Design-Build Firm You Can Trust

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update Your Windows and Doors

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

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

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

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

Maximize Your Illumination

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

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

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

Refresh Your Kitchen

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

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

Add New Hardware

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

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

Consider Adding Moldings

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

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

Redo Your Floors

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

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

Seek Guidance from Riverside Construction

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

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

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

Kitchen Islands 101: The Complete Guide

Kitchen renovations are more popular than ever before, not surprising considering the amount of time homeowners now spend at home. The need to balance form with function is increasingly important. As such, the kitchen has become an ideal multi-tasking space for the whole family, from cooking to eating, socializing and working. Also popular are open living areas bursting with plenty of natural light. Among these trends is the standalone, multi-purpose “kitchen island.”

Since a new kitchen island would become the centerpiece of arguably the most important living space in your home, designing and building the right one that perfectly complements your home’s style and your family’s burgeoning needs is job #1. Many options abound, so let’s consider everything you need to know, including the island’s purpose and building requirements. We’ll then review your many choices of appliances, storage areas, colors, and materials.

1. It’s your island, not Gilligan’s!

The last thing you want is a kitchen island that doesn’t make any sense for how your family will use it, so the first thing you need to do is decide between a few clear and functional options. These include islands that accommodate seating, storage, prepping, cooking, and/or cleaning. Your decision will dictate your island’s needs in terms of size, dimensions, and any built-in appliances or other functional components, along with necessary plumbing and electrical work.

Also note that your new kitchen island can combine several of these functions depending on your family’s needs, renovation budget, as well as the overall kitchen size and layout. Another option to consider is whether you want the island built-in, or a portable unit on wheels. Some homeowners go through the design process and decide not to build an island at all! So, to help you visualize and design your perfect kitchen island, consider a few of these options:

Island of Prep & Storage

The most basic kitchen island features an open top for additional countertop space, and units below for storage. These act as extensions of surface area for food prep, and are ideal for entertaining extended family or guests at parties. The entire volume below the top can be used in various ways for storing dishes, small appliances, and even extra pantry space. Of all your kitchen island choices, this one is the easiest to make mobile by simply adding lockable wheels.

Island of Extra Seating

This version combines additional countertop space with an inset base to accommodate seating. Depending on available island dimensions, you can build one to fit anywhere from two to four guests comfortably, or even more if you have the room. Most homeowners design these with more volume for a sidebar storage area.

Island of Cooking & Baking

Another level of kitchen island is to embed a stove top, oven, microwave, and even a refrigerator. The benefit is sheer convenience by locating all these units together and right in the middle of your kitchen floor, opening up all the space they would have taken up elsewhere. But with more functionality comes more cost; not only do you need to buy and install suitable hardware and appliances, you also need to extend the necessary plumbing and electrical work.

Island of Handy Cleanup

Yet another exciting and more sophisticated kitchen island to consider is one containing a sink, or wet bar. These can double-up from the ones you already have or take their place. Sometimes a second dishwasher is incorporated into the island as well.  If you have a large family or entertain often this can be a welcomed amenity.

2. No man — or woman — is an island

If you’re designing and building a kitchen island for extra seating, then make sure you leave plenty of space for everyone to sit comfortably. The National Kitchen & Bath Association offers guidance, starting with at least 24 square inches of elbow room per person on the countertop. Recommended height between a person’s knee and the countertop will vary depending on the type of chair used, and the overall height of the kitchen island, so plan the design accordingly.

Specifically, if you’re going for standard dining room chairs or low stools then the countertop should be 36” high. Bar stools or higher chairs will need an island to be at least 42” high. As a general rule, space above the knee varies by height, too, decreasing as the island gets taller. For example, experts recommend 18” above the knee for a 30” high countertop, progressively decreasing until about a foot of space for a 42” island. Work with your contractor to get it right.

Countertop overhang length is also an important factor, impacting comfort and the availability of storage space below. These also vary in proportion to overall island height; as the countertop height increases you’ll need less overhang length. These specs get more complicated and nuanced as you add more functionality to your design, such as a sink, cooking appliances, or other features. Each island is unique, so make it your own with an eye for efficiency and style.

3. The island of appliances

Transitional Kitchen West Lafayette 2

Your choice of appliances depends on the type of kitchen island you want your contractor to design and build. The more functionality you add the more appliances you’ll need to get the jobs done, of course. Since your island is by design smaller and more ergonomic than the other open spaces around your kitchen, choosing the right type of appliance is only the beginning: You’ll also need to choose the right size to accommodate a leaner and more efficient island design.

Depending on your needs and the design you pick, options include mini-fridges and microwaves, drawer freezers, and other “petite” versions of traditional appliances. Stoves, grills, and ovens are also available in smaller versions that retain functionality while adding efficiency and accessibility. Remember the “working triangle” of arranging components within an optimal and most convenient layout that demands the least effort from you and your family.

If you go the cooking and baking route for your kitchen island, then don’t forget about gas and electrical lines, plus providing ample ventilation. Some islands are designed with exhaust fans and hoods embedded in the ceiling directly above, so plan accordingly. And speaking of appliances, don’t forget to include sufficient and easily accessible plugs wherever they’re going to be needed, both on the countertop and within the cabinets or storage areas below.

4. Get the most from treasure island

As we’ve seen, regardless which type of kitchen island you choose, storage space becomes available as part of the build. Whether you go for a basic prep design or an elaborate combo island of cooking and cleaning with stove top and sink, the foundation below will provide ample room for containing pots, pans, cups, saucers, or even food ingredients and cleaning supplies. The overall volume and depth for storage simply depend on the other island dimensions.

Once you’ve determined how much storage space you actually have and in what configurations, options abound. Deep drawers are great for bulk items like dishes, bowls, and kitchen gadgets; vertical slots, in contrast, are ideal for serving trays and baking sheets; open shelves are useful for cookbooks and other immediately accessible items; drawer inserts useful for silverware; while glass-front cabinets can be perfect for displaying fine china and artsy knickknacks.

5. Turn it into an island paradise

Now that you’ve designed the essence of your kitchen island, you’re ready for the really fun part: Choosing materials for the countertop, cabinets, and other components. The need to match form with function (within your budget) applies here, too, along with an eye on blending your existing kitchen style with the look and feel of your new kitchen island. Your best choice of materials involves a considerate combination of utility, esthetics, maintenance, and economics.

Let’s start at the countertop: Options include laminate, wood, concrete, tile, quartz, marble, and stainless steel. If your island will be used primarily for food prep, then butcher block is a good bet. Bakers, in contrast, often prefer a marble top. If your new island will be mostly used for seating then an attractive, less overtly functional material might make the most sense. Remember, the top should match your other kitchen surfaces so the island fits right in.

Next let’s consider the storage areas: Cabinets are available in a wide variety of wood types from Oak to Maple to Cherry, depending on quality and appearance. Thermofoil (vinyl wrapping) and various laminates can ease cleaning and offer a modern esthetic. Cabinet door styles and hardware choices also abound, so work with your contractor to ensure the best match and optimum functionality. Make sure color selections also match and complement your kitchen well.

6. Partner with the best collaborator

Just as you have choices in selecting the type and style of kitchen island for your family, you have choices of the contractor to help make it all happen. Family owned and operated, Riverside Construction is your best choice to creatively and responsibly bring your dream kitchen remodel to life! Safety first, Riverside is pleased to conduct most preparatory work remotely and effectively; we also conduct all work according to strict EPA regulations.

Riverside Construction is Lafayette’s top award-winning, design-build remodeling company. Since 2008, we have provided clients personalized and enjoyable remodeling services, delivered on time and on budget. By listening intently to your needs we provide the region’s best work: Take a look at our portfolio and at our kitchen remodeling ideas.

If you need more ideas, check out our portfolio of kitchen remodels or sign up for our newsletter to get ideas delivered to your email. Our staff is always available to answer questions and provide more information about our design-build process. We can’t wait to partner with you to create the best kitchen island as centerpiece to your dream kitchen. A virtual or design consultation is only a click or phone call away.

How to Renovate Your Master Bathroom into a Spa Oasis

Luxury master bathrooms resemble expensive resort spas in many ways, but they don’t have to be extravagant. For example, you can choose between a jetted tub and an old-fashioned soaking tub, install a steam shower with a bench or a zero entry glass enclosed shower and a rain-forest spray head. There are budget-friendly options for additional storage and fog-resistant lighted mirrors. You can even integrate smart technology into your master bath—for a lighting, sound, or multimedia experience!

Your bathroom should, of course, cater to your individual needs and be compatible with your home’s current architecture and design. But it should also delight the senses, calm the spirit, and refresh the body. A bathroom renovation can make it possible for you to enjoy a personal spa retreat that is functional and pampering at the same time!

Think of it as an investment, not only in pleasure but also in value. Sophisticated spa bathrooms do not have to be overly large. Instead, they should be calming, attractive, and uncluttered. Focus on your unique preferences, and the result will be a timeless example of your personal taste. Personalize your bath as an efficient bathing and grooming center, and add the extras that will allow it to serve as a soothing retreat from the demands of a busy lifestyle.

Make no mistake: With proper planning, your remodeled master bath will perform well on both counts. Here are some design ideas to consider as you plan your spa-inspired bathroom renovation:

Add a Second Vanity

Even if there’s no need for two people to use the bathroom at the same time, there’s no question that having a personal sink, with ample countertop and storage to accommodate individual items, is a bonus for any couple sharing a bath. Much of the time, it’s possible to create room for an additional vanity without altering the footprint. However, if necessary, it is possible to gain space by relocating a closet, reconfiguring the existing floor plan, or moving a portion of a wall to steal some space from an adjoining room.

Separate the Tub and Shower

Although a tub/shower combination is functional, there is something much more appealing about having both. It’s unnecessary to incorporate a room-size steam shower and a jetted tub into your space, especially if it doesn’t fit into your budget. A modest-sized shower paired with a deep soaking tub can be every bit as appealing. With the availability of ceiling mounted flexible shower-heads and standard-size jetted tubs, it’s possible to gain an at-home spa in almost any master bathroom.

Consider Therapeutic Options

While efficiency and aesthetics are frequently cited as reasons for wanting to redo a bathroom, sometimes physical needs and health concerns are the primary reason for planning a remodel. Think not only about special needs but also about the wisdom of planning for the future. Consider adding a bench in the shower, or a full-body array of water jets to massage aches and pains and aid circulation. Hydro features are some of the best options to consider for enjoyment right now and in the future. 

Add Sensible Improvements

Investigate aging-in-place options for your bathroom remodel. Curbless showers, walk-in spa tubs, comfort-height toilets, grab bars, blade-handled faucets, and motion-activated lighting can be tastefully designed into your space without looking like a hospital room. Many of these fixtures and amenities are not only aesthetically pleasing but add comfort, security and safety to your bathroom space. 

You might also want to consider mood-altering and multi-level lighting fixtures, a panic button connected to an in-home or monitored alarm system, wider doorways, and easily accessible electrical plugs and switches. Current trends indicate that more and more homeowners want to remain in their own homes as long as possible. Incorporating these features or similar amenities in your home now, will make prolonged comfort and safety in your home easier. 

Improve the Lighting

Bathrooms with large windows or skylights (or even outdoor access) are considered the ultimate indulgence by many homeowners. Physicians and mental health specialists confirm that natural light and outdoor views have both physical and emotional benefits. If you cannot bring natural light into your existing bath, today, you can simulate that light with modern electrical fixtures. You can even incorporate changeable, mood-altering lighting into your shower, and take your pick of soft-pink, bright white, or natural golden light bulbs for fixtures. 

Like other home spaces, a bathroom will benefit from different “layers” of lighting: clear and bright for shaving and makeup needs, softer ambient lighting for overall illumination, and dimmable mood lighting that encourages relaxation.

Select Timeless Materials

Functional master bath improvements are all critical, but so are the materials and finishes you choose.

Forego the trendy, and opt instead for organic, natural materials that will stand the test of time. As an alternative, investigate newer composite materials that mimic the look of natural stone or wood but are easier to maintain. Tile may be a traditional choice for showers, but seamless shower enclosures require minimal upkeep. As an option, glass enclosures open up a small space are also easy to maintain. Whether your style tends toward rustic, modern, industrial, classic or eclectic, know that you can find vanities, tubs, faucets, flooring, and lighting that will speak to your design preferences.

Choose Colors and Accessories with Care

Bright colors and too many patterns can be distracting in a space meant to evoke calm and relaxation. Earth tones are soothing and grounding, but that doesn’t necessarily mean beige. Consider soothing greens and blues, the golden hues of wheat fields, and the misty tones of early morning skies or fading daylight at dusk as prime choices for a comforting, relaxing ambiance in your spa retreat. Keep accessories minimal — maybe just candles and a favorite painting on the wall. Add fluffy towels and your favorite personal care products in pretty containers, and your spa oasis will be complete.

How Riverside Construction Can Help

Every remodeling project begins with a plan, and evaluating your existing space. Start by prioritizing your pain points, and consider how much you can afford. Be ready to discuss what you would like to change, add, or improve. Finally, consult a design-build firm to help you consider your options, and realize your bathroom’s full potential. We invite you to schedule a conversation to explore ideas with us, Lafayette’s first choice for design-build remodeling.

In the meantime, subscribe to our newsletter to stay abreast of new ideas for the home, or browse our portfolio for design inspiration. 

Remodeling a Basement? Why You Should Consider Adding a Basement Kitchen

Gone are the days of dark, dank basements. Finished basements with amenities like home offices, home gyms, game rooms, and in-law suites are in perpetual demand.

The next big trend in lower-level or basement amenities is secondary kitchens. Whether it’s a full kitchen or just a couple of appliances and some counter space, the additional prep area and storage make entertaining easier and clean up faster.

If you are remodeling your basement, or thinking of remodeling it, consider adding a second kitchen. Repurposing this underused space in your home will provide many benefits.

A space for entertaining and special occasions

If you have a big family or like to entertain frequently, a basement kitchen can provide an ideal space for get-togethers. There’s no need to run up and down the stairs or worry about a mess.

Adding a basement kitchen allows you the ability to entertain large crowds with easy access to cooking and cleanup—and without disturbing the main part of the home.

Entertaining becomes even easier if you have a separate entrance and a bathroom in your basement. Guests have no reason to go up and down the stairs and you can keep everyone in one area.

Overflow kitchen storage

In every household, there’s never enough storage. A basement kitchen can be a great way to store extra dishes or small appliances. It can also be a great way to store additional food staples and supplies. It’s like having an extra pantry.

Have family heirlooms or unique items you picked up on your travels? Showcase them in open shelves or glass door cabinets and highlight them using accent lighting.

Build an apartment or in-law suite

Do you have a young adult moving back home, or a parent or in-law that you want to keep close? A basement with a kitchen is easily converted into an apartment or in-law suite. By adding a door to the outside and a full bathroom, you have an apartment-style living quarters, which provides you with an extra rental income opportunity. Make sure to provide all the proper exiting and safety precautions if the space will be used for an extended period of time.

Improve resale value

A home with a basement kitchen is more valuable than one without. Money spent on your basement kitchen will produce a return on investment up to 85% of your expenditure. The added amenities, such as a wet bar, appliances, and storage space, will also increase the home’s value should you decide to sell.

Basement kitchens are fairly new but are gaining in popularity, so having a home with this feature is unique. This will make your home stand out on the market, attracting buyers who like to entertain or have need for an additional living space.

Start now

If a basement kitchen sounds like something you need in your home, we are ready to start making it a reality. Peruse our basement portfolio for more ideas. You can also subscribe to our mailing list or schedule a call to start a conversation about your basement kitchen project.

How COVID Is Reshaping Home Design and What Homeowners Want

There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has changed our lives, and that it will continue to change how we live in the near future. Home design, of course, is not immune from these effects. In fact, homeowners’ needs have changed quite a bit, particularly as family members spend more time working at home, as their children continue virtual classroom learning, and as health concerns mount. Here are a few ways home remodeling is helping people improve their lives in Lafayette and West Lafayette, Indiana:

Adding Home Offices

Working from home is becoming the new norm, and many companies are looking to adopt remote jobs permanently going forward. Dining room tables may work for the short-term, but eventually everyone needs a quiet, well-lit space that they can work at comfortably. This has led to an increase in the number of homeowners looking to add a functional home office or workspace.
There are many aspects of a home office workspace to consider – lighting, storage, video conferencing, and sound transmission, to name a few. You will want to take all of these into consideration when selecting the right space for your office. Unfortunately, many homes don’t have extra rooms that can be easily adapted to this new use, so homeowners are having to be creative about where they carve out a new work area. Design professionals can help you make decisions about how to add a workspace into your existing footprint without losing valuable living space; or add on.

Building a Room Addition

After spending several months quarantined in the same house, many families are seeing the benefit of having more space to spread out. If it’s not in your plans to move into a larger home, building square footage onto your home may be the answer. Adding just a few square feet, or another level, can make quite a difference, and it will increase the value of your home when it comes time to sell.

Some families are having difficulty finding privacy in homes that are designed with an open concept floor plan. As such, they are looking to add walls, partitions, or doors to create private spaces. Look at the areas of your home that aren’t used very often and see if adding dividers or furniture can help you break them up into smaller, more personal, spaces.

Adding More Storage and Larger Pantries

Since stocking up and making fewer trips to the store is the norm now, many families are looking to add more storage space for their non-perishable food items and cleaning supplies. These areas are best located away from living areas, so products don’t have to be carried throughout the entire home to get them where they need to be.

Underused spaces, such as the basement or garage, can be modified to include additional shelving, drawers, and bins to hold groceries, spices, cleaning supplies, and other staples. Be sure to include additional lighting and ventilation to make using these areas easier and to help protect food from spoiling.

Upgrading Bathrooms

The shortage of toilet paper, as well as a heightened interest in cleanliness, has led to an increase in the purchase of bidets and other washing appliances for the bathroom. Bidets are used around the world, and offer a clean, sanitary alternative to paper. If you don’t want to install another fixture in your bathroom, there are toilet seats available that include a bidet attachment.

More luxury fixtures are also being installed in bathrooms these days, as many spas or pools have closed. Jetted tubs, walk-in tubs, voice-activated or touchless faucets and larger showers with multiple heads can all make you feel like you are being pampered, and safe, in your own home.

Adding Home Gyms

Homeowners stuck at home are looking to home gyms to keep them in shape and help them handle the stress that the virus has caused. The first step in designing a home gym is to look at the type of equipment that will be used in the space, and then design the space around it. A gym with a treadmill and free weights is going to need different features than one that is used for yoga and Pilates, for example.

You’ll also want to consider the type of media that will be used in your home gym. If you like to watch TV while exercising, then make sure a flat screen is part of the décor. If all you want is soothing music, then a sound system and speakers will be required. You may want to add ventilation or fans if the space will be used for strenuous exercise.

Using Easy to Clean Surfaces

Cleaning has become a focus for our lives the past few months. Installing surfaces that are easy to clean and disinfect easily will help contain virus transmission, as well as help asthma and allergy sufferers living in your home. Look for non-porous materials that can be easily cleaned with household cleaners and don’t require special treatment. Stainless steel, laminate, and porcelain are all good choices to use in the kitchen or bathroom.

There are some materials that are naturally antimicrobial or that aren’t hospitable to germs in general. Copper and brass are naturally antimicrobial and have been used in plumbing materials for generations. Cork flooring not only resists germs, it is soft, insulating, and water resistant too. Other materials to consider are luxury vinyl tile (LVT) for flooring, and antimicrobial paint.

More Hands-Free Fixtures

Hands-free faucets and dispensers have been in use commercially for several years. Now they are becoming more popular for home use. Both plumbing and electrical fixtures are available with hands-free operation. Some even offer voice-controls and they can connect to your smart home system and control through an app, meaning you don’t even have to be in the same room to make them work!

Improved Air Filtration

Homeowners are looking for ways to make sure the air they breathe indoors is safe and healthy, even during these times when more people are spending time at home. Buying better air filters and cleaning or changing them more often will help. Fresh air from the outside is, usually, better than recirculated air, so opening windows is always a good idea when you can.
If you’d like more protection, there are some additional filtration systems that can be added to your home ventilation equipment to help ensure that your indoor air is healthy. Technology such as infrared and ultraviolet light filters can be added to existing systems easily. The light kills viruses and microbes in the air before they get into the home, ensuring that everyone breathes easier.

Expanded Mudrooms and Entry Ways

One of the ways the Coronavirus can get into our homes is through the soles of shoes. Many families are instituting a “no shoe” rule in their homes to help calm the spread. This has led to more families adding mudrooms or expanding storage in their entry way to store shoes and other clothing. You could also add a small sink to the mudroom, allowing everyone the chance to wash their hands before they enter the living areas of your home. Besides shoe storage, it is thoughtful to add some additional seating in these areas, so visitors have a place to safely take off and put on their shoes.

Staying Safe While Staying Home

The Coronavirus has caused changes in all our lives. Some of these changes may be temporary, but others will continue long into the future. Making some of the changes above to your home will help you stay home more comfortably, so you can enjoy your family and your work more peacefully.

If you need more ideas for making your home safer and healthier, visit our portfolio. Once you have selected your project, we’ll be waiting to hear from you to schedule a virtual or in-person consultation.

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

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!

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