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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, and 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 and budget. Most homeowners design these with more volume for a sidebar storage area, and some combine seating islands with other features and functions. But watch out for clutter, and keep things practical for diners.

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, dishwasher, wet bar, and other similar functions. These can double-up from the ones you already have or take their place; either way, you’ll need to accommodate the needed infrastructure which can be costly. But for many the added convenience is eminently worth it, especially if you do plenty of entertaining or have a large family where the dishes pile up.

Island of Flexible Functionality

Whether you go basic or want a more functional design, you always have the option to design and build a kitchen island that you can physically move around your kitchen. The added flexibility is terrific to match your changing needs, but gets increasingly challenging as you add more features, such as those for cooking and cleaning. So considering all options at this point is essential as you and your contractor work your way toward a kitchen island that’s just right.

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 & Bar 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 small 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. For more than 15 years we have provided loyal clients personalized and enjoyable remodeling services, delivered on time and on budget. By listening intently to your needs we provide the region’s best work: Take a look at our portfolio and at our kitchen remodeling ideas. Home renovation can be daunting and the design process confusing, and we’re here to help.

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. Let’s get started on your island paradise.

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!

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.

Five Home Renovation Projects Perfect for Summer

While summer is the unofficial time for vacations and BBQ’s, it is also a popular time for home remodeling projects. The warmer drier weather makes it ideal to make changes to your home both inside and out. With that in mind, here are five home renovation ideas that are fit for summer.

Refresh or Remodel Your Bathroom

Your bathroom can be a refuge from a stressful day at work, and you’ll find it easier to relax when the bathroom works for you both functionally and aesthetically.

Consider who is going to use the bathroom the most before you start your remodel. For example, if your children mostly use it, you’ll likely want to keep the bathtub instead of switching to a shower. If this is a bathroom used more by guests, you may consider making this room as luxurious as what they’d find when staying in a hotel. If you have an older bathroom, upgrade the shower head and faucets with water-efficient plumbing fixtures to conserve water while improving the look.

Other popular upgrades include heated flooring, a new vanity or sink and extra storage in the form of shelves or additional cabinets. Room for extra towels and other amenities is an especially good idea when remodeling a bathroom with guests in mind. Changing out the tile and painting the walls is a great way to breathe new life into a tired and dated bathroom.

It’s always a good idea to consult with a professional to develop a design plan to help you tie the whole look together.

Give a Room New Purpose

Vigo West Lafayette Craft Room Remodel

Perhaps there is a room in your home that you barely use. It could be repurposed into a much-needed home office or a guest room. If a child has moved out of the house, now could be the perfect time to build yourself a media room outfitted with the latest technology, or an inspirational arts and crafts space.

Do you have an unused room in the basement? Transform it into a fun rumpus room for your kids and their friends to play in. Some homeowners are content to turn an old bedroom into a woman cave or man cave when there is no real need for a home office. Depending on your interests, you might want to turn an unused room into a home recording studio for budding musicians or even a meditation room or home gym.

Install a Sunroom or a Screened Porch

Wouldn’t you like to take advantage of the beautiful weather this summer by spending some time in a space that’s a mixture of outdoors and indoors? You can make this happen by installing a screened porch or adding a sunroom to your home this summer. Make sure to work with a design professional to determine the visual details as well as the construction approach, which could involve glass walls or a traditional framing method.

If you just want to upgrade your patio, enclosing it gives you an ideal place to sit and soak in the view, from bird watching to socializing, all year long.

Change Your Home’s Siding

The siding that shields your house from harsh elements must be inspected regularly for any needed maintenance or repairs. Older siding that has fallen into disrepair should be replaced as soon as possible, and summertime is ideal to do this work before inclement weather returns.

Fix or Replace Your Roof

The lack of rainfall and pleasant temperatures makes summer the best time of year for most roof projects. If it has been many years since your roof was installed or last repaired, now might be the time to hire a professional to fix it. But if you already know you have a leak or you know there has been some storm damage, set aside some time this summer for repairs. For older roofs or those with significant damage, the time to replace it is now.

A benefit of completely replacing a roof instead of just making repairs is that you can also change the entire look of your home by incorporating other exterior improvements. Be sure, however, to consult a design professional to ensure any improvements are made to look like they were originally part of your home. Updating your home’s curb appeal may be just what you need to fall in love with your home all over again.

For assistance in carrying out an upcoming home renovation project this summer or at any time of the year, please call us to schedule a virtual home consultation. Or, sign up for our monthly eNewsletter to stay up-to-date on remodeling tips, design ideas, and the latest in remodeling trends in Tippecanoe county.

Other Informative Articles You May Like:

2019 Basement Design Trends to Watch For in Tippecanoe County

Your Lafayette Home Addition Guide – How To Add Lifetime Value to Your Home

Bathroom Remodels – 3 Budgets, 3 Bathrooms

2 Ways to Design and Build Your Perfect Home Office

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

Ideal Home Office Option #1: Repurpose an Existing Space

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

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

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

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

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

Partner with a Design-Build Remodeling Firm You Can Trust

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

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

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

Responsible Renovation in the Time of COVID-19

 

Fortune favors the prepared mind, as they say — and the prepared design-build remodeling company. That’s because the firms that are already compliant with the EPA’s Lead-Based Paint Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule are already prepared to keep you and your family safe during the pandemic. Turns out the same rules that require workers to be certified and trained in the use of lead-safe practices also apply to coronavirus-safe practices.

So let’s explore the three components of EPA lead-safe compliance, and see how they apply to today’s strange and often challenging world of physical distancing and lockdowns. The good news is that despite everything that’s going on you can design and build the home renovations you’ve always dreamed of, and do them in a safe and responsible manner. Just make sure the firm you hire is Lead-Safe Certified, and that they rigorously follow these rules designed to protect your home.

Certified Work Practices: Containment

Home renovations are usually noisy, dusty, and messy projects involving numerous workers, heavy equipment, and physical disruption. Whenever lead paint might be involved RRP rules help prevent toxic particles from getting into the air and onto surfaces where they can be breathed in and do damage. As we’ve learned, COVID-19 also gets into the air and onto surfaces, so by applying similar containment techniques, your certified contractor can help mitigate any potential issues and keep you safe.

Proven work practices for containment include isolating work areas with temporary barriers, limiting worker movement through the project area, and using dust scrubbers to filter the air to keep any job site dust down to a minimum. In addition, when working with others in close proximity masks and various protective equipment are worn by workers for their own safety.

Certified Work Practices: Cleaning

EPA’s renovation, repair, and painting rules are rigorous regarding cleaning procedures within a project zone, including specifications around cleaning methods, chemical agents, and frequency. Whether removing lead or the coronavirus, these techniques — when properly utilized — ensure that contained areas are precisely cleaned for personal safety.

Your contractor should be zealously following these protocols. Responsible firms will standardize their cleaning procedures to ensure thoroughness, often designating specific times throughout the workday. Part of the cleaning ritual is stubbornly maintaining physical distancing between workers and your family.

Note: Riverside Construction has adopted standardized cleaning procedures to ensure thoroughness in direct response to the Coronavirus threat. They are not only practicing safe distancing but are also wiping down high touch areas daily with disinfectant wipes and sprays, and consistently washing hands with soap and/or hand sanitizer.

Certified Documentation: Recordkeeping and Reporting

To abide by the law, lead-safe certified renovation companies must retain and, if requested, make available to clients and to the EPA all records necessary to demonstrate compliance. Although coronavirus is now on everyone’s radar much more so than lead paint, the same procedures can work to help fight the spread of infection in your home, as we’ve seen, — and the same careful procedure can protect your family and your home during a renovation project.

Proper documentation includes training and guidance for workers regarding proper containment and cleaning protocols, and RRP certification documents and reporting for the EPA. The bottom line is your remodeling contractor doesn’t necessarily need to have lead-safe certification to be safe, but having the certification can certainly give you additional peace of mind during these unprecedented times.

Note: Riverside Construction IS Lead-Safe Certified and fully committed to remodeling your space with utmost care and safety.

Partner with a LEAD-Safe Certified Design-Build Remodeling Firm

Riverside Construction is Lafayette and surrounding communities’ EPA lead-safe certified, award-winning, design-build remodeling company. We provide our clients with personalized and enjoyable remodeling services delivered on time and on budget. We consistently deliver the ideal remodeling solution by listening intently to each client’s unique needs. We are purposefully putting safety measures first as we continue to serve our community.

Riverside Construction of West Lafayette Earns Coveted Guildmaster Award 8 Years in a Row

Independent Client Surveys by GuildQuality Rate West Lafayette Residential Remodeling Company Among the Area’s Best

 

GUILDMASTER AWARDWest Lafayette, IN, March 25, 2020 – Riverside Construction, an award-winning design-build firm in West Lafayette, Indiana, is proud to announce that it earned a 2020 Guildmaster Award from GuildQuality, for an eighth consecutive year, demonstrating exceptional customer service within the residential construction industry.

Since 2005, GuildQuality, an Atlanta-based third-party customer satisfaction software surveying company, has powered the Guildmaster Award to recognize and celebrate home building, remodeling, and contracting professionals demonstrating the highest level of customer service within the U.S. and Canada.

Out of 700+ eligible applicants, Riverside Construction is one of 300+ businesses within the residential construction industry recognized by GuildQuality for consistently delivering superior customer care.

In determining which businesses received the 2020 Guildmaster Award, GuildQuality reviewed thousands of survey responses submitted by customers of Guildmaster candidates and considered two primary metrics for each candidate: the percentage of customers stating they would recommend the business to friend and the percentage of customers who responded.

Riverside Construction achieved an all-time recommendation rate of 98% from their customers surveyed by GuildQuality.

“With clear intention of creating a remodeling experience that is smooth and enjoyable for all of our clients, I developed a 5-Point Promise, said Andy Haste, Founder and President of Riverside Construction. “This creed promises prompt communication, a clean jobsite, a guaranteed completion date, accurate budget estimate, and a two-year workmanship warranty. I am honored to receive this Guildmaster award now eight years in a row. This award is especially important to us because it is based on client testimonials, and it shows we’re doing something right.”

For more on the 2020 Guildmaster Award and qualifications, visit www.guildquality.com/guildmaster/.

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