Have you just moved to the Sunshine State from somewhere like California or New England? Then perhaps you are surprised by the number of homes that feature textured walls. Whether it’s the small, rough specks on a popcorn ceiling or orange-peel walls, or the more sweeping texture known as knock-down, texture can seem rough and strange when you’re used to smooth finish walls. So why do so many Florida homes have textured walls? And how do you make your walls smooth if you don’t like the texture? Read on to find out.
Exposed bulb lighting has become increasingly popular and looks like a trend that is here to stay. Rather than hiding the bulb behind an opaque shade, exposed light fixtures put the simple, sculptured form of the bulb on display, creating an outstanding point of interest.
For those captivated by the look, there are a remarkable variety of options. Pendant lights are one of the most popular and widely available forms. They are being chosen to replace chandeliers and track lighting and work wonderfully well over kitchen islands.
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.
FEMA has very specific regulations about homes that exist in a floodplain. This can affect you in a number of ways, especially if you don’t understand how it works. You may be paying far more for your home insurance than you need to, or you may be surprised when it comes time to do renovations – for FEMA will not allow you to do work on your home that costs more than 50% of its value. This is an important part of completed planning and is always one of our first questions when we start designing a home or planning a renovation. Read on for the Florida rules on renovating homes that are in a floodplain.Read More »
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.
Tired of the same old song and dance when you arrive home every day? A simple but effective way to change the rhythm of your home design is to renovate the front entry. This can be done in a BIG way, with lighting and raised ceilings and high-end finishes, or with just a few simple changes. It all depends on your budget and the style of your home. Here are 4 ways to jazz up your front entry.