Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Family Room Addition


Planning a family room addition requires making some tough choices about what features are right for your space. As you work with your designer, architect, or contractor, here are the most important features to consider:

Location
The best location is right next to the kitchen. It should open onto the kitchen without a wall between the spaces, this will give an undersized kitchen a feel of being larger, and it creates a large multi-use space.

Windows
Plan for plenty of big windows that let you enjoy the views, and the sunshine, as with all of the details in your new room, look to match the existing house as much as possible.

Door to the outside
Many family room additions include a door to the outside. You will need to plan its location based on any existing deck, patio, or porch. Or come up with a rough plan for a future one, so you can put the door in the right place.

Home theater
A large flat screen television can be hung on the wall, the components can be placed in a cabinet or closet, and the speakers are installed in the ceiling.

Fireplace
A fireplace can be a formal design with a traditional stone surround and a wood mantel or a simple brick firebox. You may want to consider a gas-burning unit. It can be lit and extinguished with the click of a remote control, and vented directly through the wall. For a wood-burning fireplace, you’ll need to add a chimney to the project.

Ceiling features
Depending on the design of the roof above, you may be able to install a cathedral ceiling, possibly with skylights. You can bring a casual feel to the space by covering the ceiling with bead-board. Exposed beams and rafters also create a relaxed look.

The goal of a family room is to provide an open, useful gathering space to relax and get away.

Of all the additions you can put on a home. A family room may provide the best return. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2015 “Cost vs. Value Report.” On average, you’ll recoup about 61% of your investment when you sell the house.

The bottom line is that adding a family room addition to your property can bring both value and enjoyment. It’s a great feeling to be able to see the finished results of your new room and see the smiles on the faces of your family.

To find out more about how we help you keep your home beautiful and complete the project of your dreams, please visit our website:


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Creating a Master Suite Oasis

A master suite addition typically is about 400 square feet and includes a spacious bedroom, with a walk-in closet, and a bathroom with a walk-in shower, separate soaking tub, and double-sink vanity. With mid-range finishes, such as ceramic tile and solid-surface countertops in the bathroom, a master suite costs an average of $111,245 ($290 per square foot) and returns about 62% at resale, according to the 2015 “Cost vs. Value Report” from “Remodeling” magazine.
An upscale master suite addition is about 650 square feet and includes a separate sitting area in the bedroom with custom built-ins, fireplace, and a wet bar and refrigerator.
The bathroom is more luxurious, too, with multiple body sprays in the shower, a separate toilet area, a soaking tub for two, and twin sinks, each with its own vanity. Instead of solid surfacing and ceramic, the countertops and floors are stone. According to the “Cost vs. Value Report,” an upscale project averages $236,363 and returns 53.7% at resale.
Adding a master suite:
Adding an addition to your house means giving up yard space, excavating, pouring a foundation, and framing.  You’ll need zoning approval and building inspections, expanded heating and cooling systems, and possibly an upgraded electrical panel and water heater.
If you can take advantage of existing space, such as building over a garage or converting an unfinished attic or basement. You can increase your return, because you don’t have to build a foundation, exterior walls, or a roof, you’ll save 20% to 60% compared with a full-scale addition.
Master suite essentials:
A Large shower: An enclosure of 4ft by 6ft is ideal for two. It should have a bench and a few body sprays at different heights. In addition to the shower, possibly consider a large whirlpool or deep soaking tub.
His and hers grooming stations: Each with sink, mirror, and counter space.
Radiant floor heating in the bathroom is an efficient way to heat the space, and you’ll never have to put your bare feet down on a cold surface.
Big walk-in closet: Make it at least 7ft by 10ft. You will want built-in organizers with well-designed compartments for easy access to your wardrobe.
Private patio or balcony: A secluded outdoor room off your master suite.
Sitting area with fireplace
Lighting: A master suite needs plenty of light, such as recessed ceiling fixtures. Install multiple fixtures to provide good overall lighting and dimmer switches for ambiance.
View: Give your master suite addition the best view through the biggest windows.
The return on a master suite:
The return on a master suite addition depends more on how it compares with other houses on the block. If master suites additions are common in your area, then you’ll recoup more.
But turning a profit shouldn’t be your motivation for adding a master suite, or for doing any large home improvement. If you plan to stay in your house for another three to five years, adding a private oasis could just be priceless.
To find out more about how we help you keep your home beautiful and complete the project of your dreams, please visit our website:


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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Thoughts on Bathroom Makeovers and Renovations

One of the most common renovation projects we do is for clients wanting to remodel or renovate one or more bathrooms. Bathroom remodeling is surprisingly more enjoyable and rewarding than other makeovers in the house for several reasons. First, it is considerably less intrusive, easier, and faster than other rooms because bathrooms aren’t that big or complicated compared to your other rooms such as the kitchen. Second, it is a room with several specific and obvious purposes, so you can design it in a way that makes your life easier. Third, when on a tight budget, small improvements and changes make a huge difference in both the d├ęcor and the functionality.  Here are some considerations for bathroom makeovers and bathroom ideas:
Going Green
You can make your bathroom greener with just a few remodeling or design changes. From new water-saving toilets and shower heads, to energy efficient LED bulbs, to a repurposed and recycled driftwood mirror on the wall, you can make the bathroom look elegant while making it environmentally friendly and cost-effective.
The Walls
There are a lot of ways to change the bathroom walls to make them look and feel more personal and esthetically pleasing. By adding statement tiles, your bathroom can show off your individuality. Or you can use stencils to add your favorite quotes to give you and your guests something to ponder.
The Shower and Tub
If you have enough space, you can create two different bathing areas, one for efficient showers, the other for relaxing baths. If you don’t have the room, you can always choose to change your bathroom to have a great bathing experience. An enclosed shower with tile and a large, water-saving, shower-head will make the early morning or late night cleaning experience a more peaceful and relaxing. Adding a shower seat to relax legs and a weary body after a long day can also improve safety in the shower.
If you want a really relaxing bath, the sculptural tub is a great way addition to the bathroom. It looks sleek and lets you really soak after a long day. The look is reminiscent of tubs from a century or two back, but it has all of the modern day plumbing.
For more great ideas on bathroom makeovers and renovations, Houzz has an article on 15 Refreshing Ideas for a Bathroom Makeover.  Visit our website for more ideas and to learn about all we do to help you keep your home beautiful and functional:

Monday, July 20, 2015

Keeping Your Hardwood Floors Beautiful

Hardwood floors have so many benefits for your home. They increase the value of your home, they look elegant and clean, and they don’t lock in allergens, dust, and dirt the way carpeting inevitably does regardless of how often you clean your carpets. What you probably may not know is how difficult it can be to keep hardwood floors clean and looking beautiful year after year.  And if you want to read a great, detailed article on Houzz on caring for your hardwood floors click here.
Know Your Finish
Before deciding what you need to do to clean or refinish your hardwood floors, it’s important to know what kind of finish they have on top of the bare wood. This is actually the determining factor in how to clean it or determine if refinishing is in order, and not what kind of wood is installed.
How Do You Tell the Finish?
There are a couple of quick things you can do to get an idea what kind of finish your hardwood floors have if your don’t know. This is especially true if you just bought the house.
  • If you run your hand over it and it feels grainy, you probably have a penetrating finish with wax
  • If you drop a small drop of paint remover on a corner or place that is out of sight and the floor bubbles up, the finish is polyurethane
  • If you do the same thing with water and it is absorbed, either the wood is unfinished or the layer of finish has been worn away
  • If instead of absorbing the water white spots appear in 10 or 15 minutes, the floor is most likely waxed – be sure to lightly damp some fine steel wool and gently rub away the white spots
  • If you take a coin and scrape that same unseen area of the floor and the finish flakes off, the floor has an older finish
Easy Preventative Solutions to Keep Your Floors Looking New
  • Not wearing shoes is the best way to keep any hardwood floor cleaner
  • Always avoid wearing things like heels and cleats on hardwood floors
  • Don’t use cleaning products that were made for tile or vinyl floors
  • Use a slightly damp mop with something like window cleaner on occasion for the quick touch up
  • If deep cleaning is required, clean the floors with a cleaner meant for wood and the finish that is on top of the wood
To find out more about how we help you keep your homes beautiful and functional please visit our website:

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Home Renovation Survey Results

When you are researching home renovation projects, one reliable resources to focus your research on is the Houzz and Home renovation survey. The Houzz and Home 2015 survey is a fantastic way to focus your time and energy to help you plan what you want to do this year and next year. The following are the report highlights, but you can also review the full report if you have time.
What the Survey is All About
The survey asks homeowners about home renovations and the eight factors to consider when planning a renovation project:
  • Functionality
  • Energy efficiency
  • Sustainable materials
  • Resale value of the home
  • Cost for the renovation
  • Design considerations
  • Health aspects
  • Smart technology
The survey looks at where homeowners are more likely to focus their attention, which can help you when you are evaluating the cost effectiveness of a home renovation project or when you are investigating the different home renovation companies being considered for the project. Anything that is considered of high importance to a homeowner is going to be something to consider when choosing your home renovation partner.
Ranking the two aspects that most people considered of high importance were improving the design of their home and the home’s functionality.
Three categories ranked very high for being incredibly important with over 60% of home owners choosing these categories:
  • Improving the home’s resale value
  • Making the home more energy efficient
  • Reducing costs
The next three areas - health, materials, and smart technology - ranked as very important among the respondents of the survey.
Notable Findings
There were several factors that were noticed in the survey results:
  • Those with an income under $50K a year ranked reducing the number of renovations to be considerably more important than those who earned over $500K a year
  • Regardless of income, those surveyed found resale value to be extremely important when deciding which renovation projects to do
  • Younger homeowners placed more emphasis on reducing renovations and resale value than older homeowners
  • Younger homeowners ranked health considerably higher than older homeowners, but older homeowners were more likely to focus on greener solutions
For more information on BC West Building Company visit our website or call us now:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Flooring for Your New Kitchen Design

When it comes to remodeling your kitchen, the floor is what really pulls the entire look together. If you have a new kitchen design, but keep the same flooring, the kitchen will not look nearly as unique and upgraded as it would if you changed the flooring or refinished the flooring. The reason why a lot of people don’t bother with the floor is because you really can’t use the kitchen while the floor is being changed. Depending on your kitchen design, you really have three options to upgrading your floor.

Wood

Wood gives your kitchen a very elegant and classy look. However, it is also a lot harder to clean and take care of than the other two types of flooring. You have to be careful with wood floors in the kitchen to make sure you do not scratch, stain them as you work, or cause any water damage.  Oak is a nice hard wood to consider and beautiful with a natural finish.  If you already have wood floors in the kitchen, then consider refinishing to remove old stain and brighten the end result.

Vinyl

This is the most common type of flooring for kitchens (and bathrooms) because it is easy to clean and fairly simple to install. It is probably the most cost effective in the short term but Vinyl can be torn, the corners can come up, and it isn’t as durable as wood or tile in the long term.  There are new types of vinyl floors that can be installed over old floors and can provide a beautiful result.

Tile

Tile is by far the easiest to clean while looking elegant. It can also take a long time to install if you have a big kitchen. Tile is much more robust than vinyl and a lot easier to manage than wood. Of the three, it is the easiest to maintain, although you do have to make time to check the grouting (at least once a year) to ensure there are no breaks, which could cause water damage to the underlying sub-flooring.


Visit our website to find out about how we can help you with any home remodeling project and to see some of the work we have done in kitchen remodeling in Connecticut:


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Kitchen Cabinets - Considerations for Your Kitchen Remodeling Project

When it comes to remodeling the kitchen, your kitchen cabinets will probably be one of the most time consuming aspects to consider and probably have the most overall impact on the look of the finished kitchen. A lot depends on how much you use the cabinets, what you want the room to look like in the end, and your overall goals for the project. Here are a few tips and ideas if you are thinking about redoing your kitchen cabinets.

Space

Do you find that your cabinets are either too numerous or too few for everything they need to hold? Perhaps you have too much space between your shelves and would like to add another shelf or two within some of the cabinets. Think about what you would like to put in your cabinets that don’t fit now. Remodeling your kitchen cabinets means you may finally have the space you need for all of your items, or it means you can get rid of a few cabinets so that you have more room for adding other pieces of furniture or opening up the space in the kitchen.

Design

There are many different looks you can give your cabinets. From sanding and staining existing solid wood cabinets to completely replacing them, remodeling kitchen cabinets will give your kitchen an entirely new look if this is the goal of the project. If you want a modern look with shiny doors, this will make the kitchen darker but will also make it look sleeker. Remember that the handles are also part of the design. If you are going for a certain look, consider the best handles and knobs to really highlight the kitchen cabinets’ new design.

Color

The colors of the kitchen cabinets impact how we feel when we are in the space.  For example, black and blue are actually suppressants, so if you want to lose weight, the dark modern look can help. Bright friendly colors are more inviting, but also encourage eating.  There is lots of research on how color makes us feel and how it affects our appetites, for example.  Here is an interesting article on the science behind choosing colors at WebMD.

For more information on how BC West Building Company can help you remodel your kitchen and custom design kitchen cabinets visit our website: