Posts Tagged ‘Small Addition’
Monday, February 21st, 2011
How to determine what makes sense for your family.
Before making the decision to renovate your existing home or move, ask yourself a few questions:
- Do you like the town you live in?
- Do you like your property and your neighbors?
- Is your property expandable?
If the answer is "no" to any of these questions, then you need not give remodeling another thought!
On the other hand, if you answer "yes" to the questions above then you still must consider the following:
The Selling Cycle: During the selling process your home must always be kept clean and tidy for potential viewings. In today’s economy it is taking an average of four months to sell a home in Fairfield County.
Moving Before You Sell: If you move and sell your home after relocating to your new home, potential buyers will believe that if you hold onto your old home long enough the stress factor will come into play. This increases the chance that you will receive lower offers on your home.
Unexpected Upgrade Costs: When upgrading your home and moving to a new location, you must consider the higher costs. A larger home also means bigger utility bills, homeowner’s insurance premiums and so forth. That lawn that used to cost you $100/week to maintain now costs much more. Do your homework and get estimates on these additional costs prior to purchasing your new home. We have heard from many homeowners who were taken by surprise when their Landscape Contractors gave them the estimate for their new property!
Related Fees: Real estate commissions, closing and moving costs will typically be 10% or more of your selling price.
Moving Costs and Headaches: Once you sell your home you have to pack up your belongings and move. The new home will be filled with boxes to unpack and redecorate.
Redecorating Expenses: Unless your home is custom built, you will also need to paint and refurbish your new home. Perhaps those drapes and blinds that fit so nicely in your old home no longer suit the new house. Sometimes, although the previous owners thought their taste was exquisite, you don’t share the same aesthetic.
Family Issues: If children are involved, they must be uprooted and transferred to a new neighborhood. Most children are quite resilient and able to cope with the transition smoothly, but this is obviously an important factor in a family’s decision to move.
If you are considering a move, don’t hesitate to call us before buying your new home. A Pre-purchase Consultation and Renovation Feasibility Analysis will help you visualize the renovation prior to purchase.
At Titus Built, we are able to transform your thoughts and ideas into reality. Your home will be designed to enhance your lifestyle with new technology, re-purposed rooms, and built-ins added to minimize your footprint in a clutter-free environment.
Monday, January 17th, 2011
Laundry Room Hidden in Kitchen Cabinets
Front Load Washer & Dryer
The need for multi-purpose rooms is usually associated with small homes, but according to a Procter and Gamble survey today the average American woman spends seven to nine hours a week on laundry. And, according to an ICPS Family Study on dual-wage families, “women devote an average of 28-29 hrs/week to all household duties combined, while men’s contributions range from 15.57 to 19.39 hrs/week, depending on whether the man himself, or his spouse is reporting.” Whether you agree with these reports, or not, we live busier lives and need to multitask to accomplish our daily responsibilities and spend time with our families.
Embrace the art of living by allowing one room to serve many purposes. Below are photos of several multi-purpose rooms to allow you to multitask and enjoy your family at the same time.
Kitchen & Family Room Combination
Office in Kitchen or Family Room Closet
Playroom & Workout Room Combination
Pantry & Mudroom Combination
Located between garage and kitchen
When architectural design is done right, rooms are configured to fit in your existing home by utilizing the space to its maximum potential. These multi-purposes rooms help you to enjoy a less stressful life.
Sunday, January 9th, 2011
In today’s market, many general contractors have decided that they can do the design work as well. Before you know it you are hiring someone to design your home who is only marginally qualified; you are paying enough for the service as if you had hired a bona fide architect; and, the design for the project usually ends up in the simplest form. When you inquire about more complex designs they and are likely to give you reasons why these designs can’t be done.
Hiring an architect to custom design your home renovation, and putting the plans and specifications out to bid, can cost you more than you are prepared to spend. Usually the bids come in way over budget because the costs are much higher than the architect anticipated. In turn, the architect ends up reducing the scope of the project. Also, since most architects are not builders – they can conceptually draw the plans, but it takes a quality builder to see the architect’s plans and know if the concepts can be transformed into practical, effective solutions without costly alterations during the project. What works on paper doesn’t always convert smoothly to the building process.
Before hiring the architect, it is usually best to retain a builder along with your architect to budget and estimate throughout the design process. On the other hand, if the architect and builder are not on the same page the joint venture can cause confusion, a loss of the client’s vision, and unclear communications, all areas which lead to significant disappointment during the process of a remodel or addition. It is best to choose an architect and builder that have worked well together in the past and can give you a partnering method.
When done right, remodeling design is thoughtful and complex. Quality remodeling contractors know how to reconfigure rooms to fit in your existing home by utilizing the space to its maximum potential. Choosing a design-build firm that has experts and licensed professionals working on both the architecture and construction portions of the project usually delivers a project on budget. The design-build process is completed faster, less expensive than an architect bid-build project and tops in quality measurements.
Titus Built has been remodeling homes for over 15 years. We are design-build remodeling experts. Our experienced staff and trade contractors specialize in residential remodeling by communicating clearly, keeping your home clean and livable while we are working, protecting your property, and paying special attention to the safety of your children and pets. Our integrated service provides a proven, systematic and efficient process from start to finish.
Next time you remodel choose a design-build firm, you gain the advantage of working with just one source for your remodeling project.
Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
“An amazing, award-winning exterior facelift has transformed a traditional but undistinguished Cape Cod with good bones into a sophisticated and charming Arts-and-Crafts style home in the center of New Canaan… All the millwork, including flower boxes and over 100 brackets, was custom designed and crafted in the Titus shop." www.titusbuilt.com
Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010
When choosing the right remodeling professional you must look for a person you feel will provide you with the best possible service available. Earlier this week we discussed questions regarding what client services you should expect from a professional remodeler. In addition to these questions, you must also consider the contractor’s qualifications. Is the contractor a reliable, professional remodeling contractor? The following questions will help you establish whether or not the contractor is a reputable professional. Affiliations and Education:
- Does the remodeling professional have recognized industry designations? Are they certified by the NAHB as a Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR)?
- Is the remodeling professional a member of professional trade organizations such as NAHB, NARI, NKBA, Remodelers Advantage, RCA, Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, etc?
- Has the remodeling professional achieved numerous industry awards for residential design, kitchens, general business and construction?
- Does the remodeling professional attend regular trade seminars and do they provide industry education for their employees?
- Are the remodeling professionals well established in the community?
- Does the remodeling professional promote professionalism in the industry through its image, policies and actions?
- Can they provide multiple references from clients within the past 12 months? Past three years?
- Can the remodeling professional provide financial references to attest to its good standing and business practices?
- Is the remodeling professional interested in understanding my expectations of the project to ensure our satisfaction?
- Do they specialize in home remodeling and truly understand the nuances of owner-occupied construction?
- Has the remodeling professional provided a copy of their state registration number as required by law?
- Does the remodeling professional provide comprehensive design services and preliminary budgeting?
- Will the remodeling professional provide a complete written contract specification, a fixed price contract with start and stop dates and accurate working drawings?
- Will the remodeling professional provide a written change order for contract variations prior to starting the work?
- Will the remodeling professional explain contract exclusions so that there are no hidden surprises?
- Will the remodeling professional provide a contract with a 3-day Right of Rescission as required by law?
- Will the remodeling professional submit and obtain the necessary permits for my job on my behalf?
- Is the remodeling professional insured for Workers Compensation and General Liability? Are their subcontractors insured?
- Does the remodeling professional have a two year warranty and will stand behind their product?
- Does the remodeling professional have a zero tolerance policy forbidding alcohol and drug use on the job?
- Will they follow up with me after the job is completed to ensure my satisfaction?
- Will they treat my home as if it was their own?
Remodeling can be very rewarding and enjoyable, especially after the work is complete. Don’t accept less than a design-build remodeling expert to design and remodel your home. Remember to ask for references, make sure the contractor’s insurance coverage meets all the minimum requirements, and check credentials. Asking the right questions will help you find the right professional for the job and will strongly increase your chance of having a successful project. Happy Remodeling!
Monday, December 20th, 2010
Remodeling any part of your home is a major decision to make therefore, it is worth taking the time up front to be sure it is done the way you want. In the long run it will save everyone time and money. As discussed in a previous blog, choosing a design-build remodeling company will save you time, is less expensive, and tops in quality measurements over construction management-at-risk and architect-bid-build projects.
Before choosing a remodeling company, consider the following questions when deciding on the best approach for your remodeling project.
Questions to Ask Before Choosing Your Remodeling Professional
- Does the remodeling professional have a clearly defined, step-by-step design and building process?
- Does the remodeling professional provide in-house comprehensive services such as architectural design, product selection and procurement, and construction services?
- Do they provide comprehensive in-house cabinetry design, fabrication, and installation?
- Does the remodeling professional have their own cabinetry shop to better control quality and scheduling?
- Does the remodeling professional align its trade partners and suppliers to be consistent with their values in order to deliver projects as promised?
- Does the remodeling professional conduct periodic meetings with its trade partners and suppliers to discuss ways to improve their service and working relationships?
- Does the remodeling professional’s local office have normal business hours and have support staff in-house?
- Is someone at the office available to take calls during those hours and will the remodeling professional provide you with emergency contact numbers for after hours communication?
- Will the remodeling professional communicate clearly, often, and in writing?
- Does the remodeling professional hire a 3rd party independent service to survey the satisfaction of their existing clients?
- Does the remodeling professional show up on time for appointments?
- Will they work for a win-win relationship and provide exceptional value for the many services rendered?
- Will they clean up the site daily?
After addressing the above questions, it is also important to think about the company’s Affiliations, Education, Community Standing and Professionalism. These topics will be discussed later in the week.
Should you have any comments or questions, please feel free to comment below, contact us at email@example.com or visit our website at www.titusbuilt.com.
Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
Check out November’s issue of Qualified Remodeler Magazine. Titus Built’s project made front cover. Thank you Heather Beal for writing such a great article! http://bit.ly/gYKu8v
Friday, December 3rd, 2010
Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful
and believe to be beautiful. William Morris
Has it been a while since you have entered your house through the front door? Maybe that cracked walkway and faded front door have seen better days? Perhaps your foyer has become the dumping ground for backpacks, old newspapers, umbrellas and your old running sneakers?
Updating the exterior of your home creates an immediately visible “facelift” and presents a fresh, warm welcome for family, friends, visitors, and neighbors. Updates can be accomplished at several levels of complexity. If you are considering a remodel, then you may want to add a portico, refinish the stairs and railing leading up to your door, or create a dramatic transformation with the porch you’ve always dreamed about. Smaller alterations to the front of your home can also make it more welcoming. Something as simple as replacing your front door and adding some transom lights can make a significant difference in appearance.
The foyer is your guests’ first impression of your home. It establishes the character of the rest of your home:
- Take a look at your foyer walls. If other rooms in your home are visible from the foyer, make sure the wall colors are complimentary.
- Consider the flooring. Usually, the foyer is a high traffic area of your home, so sturdy flooring materials are essential.
- Selecting a paint color, make sure that your flooring is cohesive with other rooms in your home. Select appropriate colors or stains, and perhaps interesting floor patterns.
- Consider adding crown molding or wainscot panels to enhance the look of the space.
- Stylish lighting can transform the whole room’s decor. Spot lighting highlight areas of your foyer enhancing the ambience of the room; wall sconces add character. Choose different types of lighting and make sure these styles are complementary to the rest of your furnishings.
- Dramatically change the whole look and feel of your home from the first step inside by updating the stairs coming off your foyer. A newel that makes a style statement and a visually appealing, more substantive rail make an immediate difference in the foyer space.
- Re-vamp your entryway. Bump-out the foyer to create a larger space, or install French pocket doors that lead to the rooms off the foyer.
Although the foyer is generally considered a formal space, that doesn’t mean that it can’t also be a practical, livable space. Try brightening up your space by updating the light fixtures and adding plants. Place an eye-catching rug in the center of the room and hang a stylish mirror in the entryway. “A quick and easy way to update your foyer is with accessories,” suggests Designer Stephanie Bell. “A new picture frame, seasonal flower arrangement, or other decorative objects are a great solution to keeping the entry of your home fresh and exciting for you, your family, and your guests.”
So now that you have a bit of inspiration, think about revamping your entryway and/or foyer to leave a lasting impression on your guests!
Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
Many of our clients express an interest in “green” building, but there is often some confusion about what the term really signifies. What does “green” mean to you? Is going green an important principle in your life, worth extra time and possible expense? Or, do you dabble in “going green,” appreciating both the environmental benefits and trendiness of a hybrid car, for instance, while not changing too many other areas of your life? Is a healthier and less wasteful lifestyle of primary concern as you decide upon green practices? Whether you are looking to save the environment or just save some money, there are many ways you can do both!
Increasing your home’s energy performance can provide your family with more comfort and lower utility bills. New, cost-effective products reduce heating and cooling expenses, lower energy bills, and decrease water usage. Recent developments in design products and systems for walls, roofs, foundations, windows, and doors can also save you money while conserving natural resources. When you decide to remodel or build your new home, consider these practical innovations during the design process. Keep in mind that even old homes can integrate green building principles.
Along with many exciting new products on the market, Energy Star has pledged in their new campaign to “Change the World” with their state-of-the-art environmental practices and products. Energy Star products are known for saving money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Visit the Energy Star website to learn more -http://www.energystar.gov/.
Titus Built currently uses these methods to build green into every project:
· Engineered lumber
· High performance windows
· Energy Star appliances
· High performance insulation for less heat loss/gain
· House wrap for reduced air loss
· High efficiency heating and cooling systems for energy
savings and health benefits
· Use of programmable t-stats and lighting controls
· We reduce waste and recycle materials to charities
· We attempt to buy supplies locally whenever possible to
reduce our carbon imprint
· Our office uses energy efficient fluorescent lighting,
recycled copy paper, recycle plastic/cans/cardboard
Titus Built is committed to balancing design aesthetics using new green products and technology. If you are interested in implementing even more green and sustainable building products in your home, ask us for details!