Monthly Archives: April 2014

Design the Perfect Master Bath

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While it might seem odd to classify a bathroom as one of the most important rooms in any home, your master bath is actually the most intimate area in your house since it’s where you begin and end each day.  Although it may be easy for some of us to simply brush off what it looks like—especially if it’s dated and a little rough around the edges—there’s nothing wrong with wanting a beautiful, relaxing master bath that makes you feel like royalty.

Therefore, if you’re considering making a few changes to your current design, take note of the following tips which will help make sure your plans are perfect.

1.) FLOW—While you’ll obviously want your new bath to be aesthetically pleasing, it’s important to remember that you will still want it to be an area built around functionality and organization.  In other words, it needs to mesh with your daily routine—to include possibilities such as his & her vanities, a spacious walk-in closet/dressing room, or a built-in laundry hamper.

2.) LUXURY—There’s nothing like a master bath that makes you feel as if you’ve left home for a resort spa; however, luxury can mean different things for different people.  Perhaps your idea of true relaxation involves a stone walk-in shower or maybe it’s about ending the day with a long soak in the tub.  Either way, your master bath should serve as a retreat, so don’t forget to add some a few well-deserved lavish details.

3.) FUNCTIONALITY—In line with designing for proper flow, functionality is important because it can make a huge difference when you’re on the run.  Whether it means adding a separate water closet for privacy or adding additional counter space for cosmetics, your bathroom needs to be more than just a pretty face.

4.) STORAGE—One of the secrets to stress-free mornings often has a lot to do with organization.  Instead of having to paw through the cluttered cupboard below your sink when you need to find your moisturizer or a loan tube of hair gel, extra storage space can help you organize your belongings so that they always have a place of their own.

In the end, a good place to start is by taking note of what you already like and dislike about your current master bath.  If you already know what works and what you’d like to do differently, then you have a great base from which to build.

Porch Additions: Don’t Forget to Plan!

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With warm weather just around the corner, it’s hard not to look forward to all of those summer evenings spent grilling outside with friends and family.  While any backyard will do, there’s nothing like a beautiful porch or deck to help make things truly serene.

Therefore, if you’re looking to replace or update your current outdoor space, or you’re simply looking to add one for the first time, it’s important to lay out your goals in advance.

To get started, ask yourself the following questions:

1.)  WHAT WILL YOU USE IT FOR?—When it comes to design, this question will actually help you determine the length and depth of the structure.  If your main use will be dining out, then a porch made to fit a large table and chairs will obviously have different size requirements than one simply made for lounging.  Combine that with extra room to circulate and socialize, and you’ll be on the right track.

2.)  WHEN WILL YOU USE IT?—Your particular region and climate will invariably make a difference when it comes to adding particulars that will make your porch usable year-round.  Details such as ceiling fans, screens, a fireplace, and insulation are just a small grouping of options that are important to consider.

3.)  IS IT ACCESSIBLE?—As with any space in your home, you’ll want your porch to maintain a good traffic flow.  For greater accessibility, large patio or French doors will not only add a bit of style and natural light, but they will also help with inside/outside navigation.

4.) WILL IT BE MADE FOR ENTERTAINING?—If you’re looking for a space that will keep people happy and comfortable for extended periods of time, you might want to consider creating separate sitting and dining areas.  For cocktails and conversation, a sitting area with all-weather furniture can create a cozy atmosphere, while a dining area with a table and comfortable chairs will encourage many fun-filled evenings to come.

5.)  WHAT SHOULD IT LOOK LIKE?—If you’re feeling short on inspiration, don’t be afraid to scour the internet for ideas that will get your creative juices flowing.  While the best porches are designed with scale and portion already in mind, you still want to make sure it’s a space that you’ll want to spend time in.

Remodeling for the Future

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While the housing market is certainly starting to recover, many homeowners are still choosing to invest in updates rather than move; however, simply because they’re choosing to stay put at the moment, doesn’t mean they won’t consider packing up in the future.

Therefore, if you’re considering a remodel, it’s important to make sure you invest your money in a way that will yield an increase in your resale value later.

OPTIONS TO CONSIDER

1.) ENERGY IMPROVEMENTS—With increases in energy costs, overall improvements to the way your home handles gas, electric, and water consumption can be extremely beneficial (i.e. high-efficiency insulation & windows).  In general, improving the quality of your home through technological and design improvements can be a boon when looking to differentiate your property through annual energy savings.

2.) BEWARE OF “TRENDY”—Yes, it may seem exciting now, but be careful with renovations that are “so now” that they rapidly become “so-two-years-ago” within moments.  Instead, consider quality materials, lines, and themes that can be considered timeless and classic.

3.) OPEN THINGS UP—One of the marks of an older home are separate, closed-off rooms; however, today’s buyer generally wants an open floor plan with an abundance of natural light.  If you’re considering a remodel, you might want to consider opening some of those sightlines for a free feeling.

4.) THE OBLIGATORY KITCHEN AND BATH REMODEL—It’s no secret that one of the best ways to improve your resale value is to focus your energy on kitchen and master bath updates.  In terms of biggest bang for your buck, even minor renovations can make a great deal of difference.

5.) DON’T NEGLECT YOUR FLOORS!—In general, there’s basically no going wrong with installing hardwood floors (or refinishing existing ones).  While many people are fine with carpet, hardwood floors are not only easier to maintain, but are more resistant to everyday wear-and-tear.

Cost Estimation: Know What You Can Afford

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower.  Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if heAffordable has enough money to complete it?” -Ancient Proverb

It’s no secret that we live in a society which revolves around instant gratification. Gone are the days when we used to repair things multiple times before deciding that they were no longer usable. Instead, we now find ourselves saying, “What the heck, I’ll just trade up!” However, with 2007’s housing market collapse, the importance of spending within our means has become extremely clear.

Therefore, if you’re considering building a custom home or you’re thinking about diving head-first into a full remodel, prudence in regards to your cost estimation needs to be at the forefront of your mind. While this may seem like a given, truth-be-told that many people often fail to have a concrete grasp of what they can or want to spend.

Plain and simple, determining what you can afford before beginning the design/build process is crucial. If financing is needed, speaking with an experienced mortgage lender is important so that they can help you determine your limits. While somewhat time consuming—you will need to produce documents stating your income, assets, expenses, taxes, credit history, insurance, maintenance, and utilities—the peace of mind you will receive in the end will be well worth it.

With this, it’s also worth remembering that, while a good builder or general contractor will always do their part in making sure that their work can be done within your means, unforeseen situations may still arise during the actual construction process. To combat this, when creating your budget it’s smart to shoot for a price that is about 5-7% below what you can comfortably afford. That way, if issues arise or you simply decide that you’d like an upgrade on your flooring, changes can be made without too much worry.

Without this due diligence, those who begin to design without first assessing the cost, often build to suit their dreams, while later realizing that they have gone way above what is feasible. Therefore, to avoid the panic, frustration, and anger which accompany an unexpected price tag, it’s also important for homeowners to realistically determine what they can afford. Once a target number has been reached, a design process can begin which focuses on creating the home you have always imagined.

If want to know more about how we can help, please feel free to contact us for more information.

Mirko Attolini | CRES Builders

www.cresbuilders.com | 770-983-4698