When building a custom home, nearly everything pivots on your relationship with your builder. You need someone who is more than just a contractor or designer – you need someone you can trust. Reversely, your builder will rely on you for many things throughout the course of the project. Understanding the relationship and working together as a team will determine how smoothly your project goes. To help you with this vital aspect of your project, here are five tips for working with a custom home builder.
Show-stopping kitchens are the top amenity asked for by homeowners.
Designing a stunning kitchen is more than just updating an old counter-top and appliances and putting on a fresh coat of paint. To truly create a show-stopping kitchen you need to consider all the details that will help bring everything together to make an aesthetic space both you and your loved ones can enjoy together.
And what are “all the details” that you should consider when wanting to create a show-stopping kitchen? To answer this question, here is a list of some of the top details you can consider adding to your kitchen design.Read More »
When Building or Renovating Your Home in Florida, Consider These 5 tips.
Renovating a house in Florida is not like construction in the rest of the country. Not only do you have to deal with the humidity (hello, mold), there’s also the hurricanes, termites, frequent rainstorms and beating sun (which lead to dry-rot). It’s no wonder the construction industry is so heavily regulated down here.
So what do you need to know to properly navigate the ins and outs of a renovation in Florida? Read on for five important tips.
From the Great Pyramids of Giza to the cathedrals of Europe, construction over the ages has been a source of wonder and amazement. Whether dealing with plumb-bobs and rugged stone or lasers and steel, builders and tradespeople are viewed with a sort of awe, as they carry a wisdom and courage about the material universe that seems several notches above the average person.
Although we are not building cathedrals or pyramids, today’s builder or remodeler is still accomplishing feats that often go un-acknowledged, because all people see is the finished product. Until one experiences or hears the tale of the barriers one had to overcome (and there are many), it seems that building or remodeling is routine and mundane, as if one need only stack up some lumber and slop on some mortar to build a house. The truth is, no one construction project is the same, especially when it comes to custom home building and remodeling, and we’re here to share some stories (and Before and After photos) of construction projects we’ve done that were, each one, an adventure in itself.
Did you know Design-Build can actually save you money? You have probably heard that if you want to build a custom home, the first place to start is with an architect. Even Contractors will refer you to an architect if you don’t have blueprints done, because they need plans in order to give you a proper estimate. The trouble with this is that most architects are going to draw you whatever you want and will not give you much guidance on what things cost. So if you have a budget, you will likely experience sticker-shock when you bring your completed blueprints to your Contractor and find out it will cost you far more than you expected to build what you want.
At our company, we saw many tears and much frustration in our conference room when homeowners discovered that they could not afford to build what their architect had drawn them. Since our purpose is to make the building and renovating process less stressful and more enjoyable for homeowners, we decided there had to be a better way to help our clients create their dream homes within their budgets. Because, let’s face it, not everyone has the cash flow of Warren Buffett – and even Warren runs a tight budget. That is when we discovered Design-Build.
What is Design-Build?
Design-Build is a project delivery system in the construction industry in which one entity handles both the design and the build aspects of a construction project. This means that one company (in our case, the Contractor) runs the design and planning portion of the project in addition to the construction. Not only does this give both the Contractor and the homeowner more control, it saves the homeowner a ton of money.
Solutions for Historic Homes
There is a large inventory of older and historic homes in Pinellas County and the greater Tampa Bay area. These historic homes are very desirable and hold tons of appeal – from architectural windows and solid plaster walls to marble windowsills, crown molding, pocket doors, arched doorways and in many cases higher-quality materials and finishing touches than are used today.
A potential drawback to these charming homes is that interior rooms can turn into a sauna with our hot and humid summer days. Older homes often don’t have the space to install ductwork for a conventional central air-conditioning system. Attic space is small, many times there is no basement or crawlspace and there isn’t enough room between the outer and inner walls for ductwork. Window units are loud and unsightly.
In recent years, a solution to air conditioning these historic homes is the ductless mini split system that consists of an indoor unit mounted on a wall or ceiling and an outdoor unit that houses the compressor and condenser. They allow each room to have a different temperature setting.
The mini split ductless system is efficient; however, they are not always considered aesthetically pleasing by homeowners who may not want a conspicuous wall, ceiling or floor unit competing with their décor.
Finding the Right Stone Flooring
Natural Stone flooring is a wonderful choice for Florida homes. Not only is its cool temperature perfect for withstanding the heat and humidity, it also adds a feeling of luxury that’s hard to find in other materials. It is eco-friendly, as it is mined from the earth in various locations around the globe, and today’s selection offers fantastic variations in color and quality. But with so much variety, how do you choose? Where do you even start?
We thought we’d simplify it for you. Read on to learn more about stone flooring and which kind might be right for your home.
We LOVE the current trend toward open-plan living. Who doesn’t want wonderful large gathering spaces in their home? The only downside is that spaces with an open floor plan can typically feel cold and empty. One way to fix this is by adding texture to bring a little interest – and a lot of personality – to the room.
Texture can be added to floors, ceilings, walls, doors and windows. A wide range of materials can be used including reclaimed wood, natural wood, stone, brick, paint, metal, molding and more. Here are a few ways you can add texture to your home.
In the world of home design, trends ebb and flow almost as fluidly as the fashion industry. They may come and go and come back again, but they always return with a new vibe, as cultural changes ripple through homes, businesses, restaurants and cafes, bringing new inspiration to homeowners, designers, architects and contractors alike. Recently the tides have begun to turn again, and – as controversial as it may seem – beige is making a comeback. Don’t worry, this is not the old-fashioned obsession with shades of brown and orange. Beige is returning with a subtle warmth and elegance that is giving the ever-popular gray palette some stiff competition. Read on for some cutting edge advice on incorporating beige into your home design.
It can be tricky to select the right countertop for your kitchen. You want to balance practicality, beauty and budget – but you’re probably buried in the variety of options out there. We decided to simplify things and break it down into the most common pros and cons of each material. Read on to discover the best countertops for your kitchen.