Remodeling Design Talk - join the conversation, learn something new.

CHOOSING THE LOOK FOR YOUR HOME REMODEL

So you’re thinking about remodeling your house. Maybe your goal is to have your home renovated by summer? Maybe needing to just spruce it up a little bit? Maybe needing to make your best investment more valuable?  Maybe needing some more space for your family to spread out in? Whatever your reasons, it should be a well-thought out process which will benefit you and your family for years to come.

Where ever you live in Orange County, making improvements to your residential property is a wise choice.  The numbers prove it. Your foresight into investment for smart home renovations will be repaid to you whenever you choose to resell your property. And home improvements done by a reputable home renovation contractor will make it that much better for your heirs to inherit.

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To begin the process, it’s good to start to take note of other homes that you admire. Check out open houses in your neighborhood and take notice of what remarkable features you fancy in the property. Also make sure you compare remodeling projects successfully completed in homes found in surrounding areas, magazines and even television shows on the HGTV channel, for instance.

You’ll need to determine which styles suit you by comparing and contrasting and seeing what’s out there. Start by tearing out those pages in home improvement magazines and Sunday newspaper inserts. If your tech savvy, check out Houzz.com and Pinterest for great home remodeling ideas and create personalized idea boards.  While considering what’s attractive to you, it is also just as important to take note of trends and materials you don’t like.  When putting together your likes and dislikes try and determine what it is you lean towards—is it the wood or the style? Is it the counter material and its color? Is it the hardware used? Maybe it could be the color of one and the style of another and the hardware of yet another style of cabinetry.

When you have a sense of the look-and-feel you want from your project, schedule a meeting with your design consultant and residential contractor team. You will want to start by asking about the licensing and expertise of the experienced residential contractors around your area. A design/build firm will be able to help you get the look you want while staying within your pre-determined budget.

Stay focused and take baby steps.  Soon enough, your research will pay-off and you’ll be preparing for your summer barbeque in your newly remodeled home!

KITCHEN REMODELING TO IMPROVE FAMILY FUN

Have you ever been in the kitchen busy cooking a meal and silently wondering what everyone else was doing in the house? What about baking cookies but running in and out of the living room trying to grab the last bit of the family’s conversation while trying not to ruin that fabulous recipe by leaving them in the oven for too long? Clearly, isolating the person in charge of making dinner in the kitchen all by themselves isn’t conducive to conversations. After school and after work, during preparations for the last meal of the day, is an optimum time for family members to gather and talk. Just think of all the opportunities to communicate that you’re missing out on if the kitchen isn’t comfortable and inviting.

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Making a “Great Room” by removing part of a wall or two and expanding your kitchen area into the family room is a welcome change to our older houses here in Orange County. Kitchen walls are used for appliances and cabinetry, consequently dividing the rooms with a wall which separates family members into different rooms. The home’s floor plan is taken into consideration when planning for a happy home life. Achieving your goal for your family’s members to talk to each other with greater ease doesn’t have to be a seemingly impossible task. Try to ask a dependable and friendly home remodeler to help you create the type of a home that you can be proud of.

Family communication is nothing to sneeze at. It’s vitally important to ensure a happy family life. Talking to each other makes life’s daily grind seem manageable. Remodeling your kitchen might be the easiest way to allow the natural flow of conversation to occur. A new floor plan for your family’s well being is a worthwhile goal for you. With designers in a company specializing in home remodeling and experience in custom kitchen cabinets, you can ask for help to find the perfect kitchen redesign for you and your family. With careful assistance from a reputable residential contractor, a wonderful, customized new kitchen can be on its way.

 

WHEN HOME REMODELING GOES AWARY

Did you know that 96 percent of contractors go out of business in the first 5 years according to Qualified Remodeler Magazine? And 50 percent of those operations are actually out of business in the first 2 years? No wonder we’ve all heard of the remodeling horror stories.

Seapointe_22 Now this might be something you’ve experienced or something you’ve only heard about, but these nightmare occurrences do happen. Regularly and frequently. It’s the reason you need to do your homework and determine what company is going to work best for your needs. When searching for a residential contractor you should look into a firm’s reputation, longevity, licenses, insurance and labor resources.

Reputation: If you’ve remodeled before, you know that construction can have its hiccups. But its how your contractor handles them and communicates issues to you, so ask for referrals. Reach out to the company’s past clients and listen how their experience was. Did the project finish on-time? Did the working crews keep your home clean throughout the process? Was the staff professional and friendly? Once you start construction you’re at the mercy of your contractor, so make sure you trust the people on your project and in your home.

Longevity: It’s an unfortunate fact, but 96 percent of contractors do close up shop in the first five years of business. It may not seem like a huge deal to you as a homeowner, but it should. What happens when you have an issue with your remodel in three years? Who’s going to come fix it? Warranties should be considered an important factor in determining who you want to work with. California only requires contractors to give clients a one year warranty on their work – here at Sea Pointe we offer a five year warranty. We can do this because we believe in our work and after 28 years in business we stand behind every project we produce.

Licenses: There are about 300,000 licenses contractors in the state of California in 43 different licensing classifications. Do you really want a plumbing contractor touching your electrical panel? In the fiscal year 2012-2013 the California State License Board helped recover nearly $44 million in ordered restitution for consumers – that’s $44 million dollars’ worth of mistakes made by contractors that were not properly licensed. Make sure the contractors you have working in your home are licensed by checking at www.cslb.ca.gov.

Insurance: Asking your potential contractor what type of insurance they carry should be considered a requirement. If they don’t have liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance and something happens on your jobsite, guess who will be responsible? You. Your regular homeowners insurance will more than likely not cover construction incidents. Protect yourself, but asking your contractor the right questions.

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Labor Resources: If you could save $1,000 on your kitchen remodel, but it would take 6 months to build it, would you do it? You would probably end up spending that amount of money in take-out food during the process! It’s critical that you make sure your contractor has the support staff needed to make sure the scheduling of your project is as smooth as possible and the length of time that you are in construction is as minimal as possible. If your contractor is working with sub-contractors, make sure each sub-contractor is vetted with supporting insurance, appropriate licenses and referrals.

 

Home remodeling is a huge investment. Spend some time upfront to make sure you’re working with a reliable and reputable contractor. Whether it’s a Design/Build firm like Sea Pointe Construction, or a general contractor, let us know if we can help answer any questions for you to help figure out what fit will be the best for you, your family and your home.

MOTHER NATURE’S GREATEST GIFT: LIGHT

Here at Sea Pointe we have a few designers that like to call a remodel’s lighting plan the project’s “jewelry”.  It’s kind of a funny idea, but a room’s lighting really can be the icing on the cake.  Imagine that you just spent thousands of dollars on your dream kitchen, but when all is said and done there are shadows on your island or the space under the cabinets where you prep your vegetables is dark?  Many people don’t place much value on the lighting design of a project because they figure that lights are just lights.  But boy are they mistaken.  A room’s lights can dramatically beautify a project with the flip of a switch.

First, start with Mother Nature’s greatest gift: light.

By strategically replacing your windows and adding skylights you’ll notice how little you need to turn on your interior lights when the sun’s up.  Make sure to consider energy star-rated windows and doors to help control your home’s heating and cooling costs.  Then work with a professional to develop a good lighting design.  A well thought out lighting plan can improve kitchen function, appearance, and energy performance. Get the right mix of task and ambient lighting using energy efficient fixtures wherever possible. Try to keep recessed lights out of the ceiling if that ceiling is insulated since they pull energy out of the room.

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With your design consultant you’ll want to consider three main types of lighting: ambient, task and accent.  Ambient lights are the room’s general source of light which can be natural window light, skylights or ceiling can lights.  Task lighting will be tailored light for accomplishing prep work, dishes, etc.  This can be under-cabinet LED tape lights, puck lighting, or specifically placed overhead can lights.  And lastly, accent lighting would include pendent lighting over an island or peninsula that adds drama and interest to a space.  Accent lighting can also function as task lighting with mindfully designed.

It’s also important to reference California’s Title 24 energy conservation building codes when creating your lighting plan.  On a very basic level, Title 24 requires homeowners to have at least half the installed wattage of luminaires to be high efficacy in kitchens and bathrooms must have vacancy sensors installed that will automatically turn lights off after a period of non-usage.  Title 24 does not only apply to lighting, so check with your design consultant on what other areas may be affected in your home remodeling project.