How To Choose Durable Flooring for Virginia Basement Remodeling Projects

Filed Under: Basement    by: Steve Kayhill

The location and design of your basement creates a challenge – how do you build a comfortable, durable living space with all of that moisture around? Homeowners planning Virginia basement remodeling projects need to choose building materials with care, ensuring the products are high quality and designed to withstand the unique, below-grade climate. Flooring can be especially important, and you need to invest in reliable brands specially manufactured for use in the basement.

Carpet in the Basement?

Many homeowners still opt for traditional carpet in living areas and bedrooms. Since Virginia basement remodelling projects often include living space and a bedroom or home office, carpeting seems a natural choice. But unless you install the proper underlayment, you may soon face problems with mold and mildew.

Concrete is porous, meaning moisture penetrates your basement foundation naturally. Some homeowners apply concrete sealant to the foundation to block moisture, but condensation is unavoidable given the temperature and location of your lowest floor. Without applying a waterproof barrier between your foundation and carpet, the fabric will quickly become a saturated breeding ground for mold.

Ask your basement renovation contractor to install a layer of plastic vapor barrier on the concrete subfloor. You may also want to plan for a plywood subfloor underneath the carpet, providing additional insulation between cool concrete and your warm basement.

Another option for carpet installations is closed cell underlayment. Providing a dependable moisture barrier and soft cushion, this synthetic product also creates a warmer basement floor. Floating wood floors and laminate can also be installed over closed cell underlayment, and this quality product costs just a few hundred dollars more than standard underlayment (for an average sized basement project).

Wood Flooring in Your Virginia Basement Remodeling Project?

Many people assume that wood flooring is a bad choice for the basement. Although hardwood flooring works better on rooms above grade, floating wood floors (otherwise known as engineered wood floors) and laminate products can be installed in the basement for a warm, classic atmosphere.

Proper underlayment must be used to protect the wood from moisture – either poly and foam underpadding combinations or closed cell underlayment products are best. Floating flooring comes in click lock or glue down designs. Your basement contractor will most likely recommend click lock products, since glue down wood floors tend to be messier and more difficult to repair. Click lock floating wood floors go in fast, reducing labor costs.

Laminate flooring floats over your subfloor as well, and may stand up better to moisture and cooler temperatures typically found in basements. If long term durability is a concern, invest in a high quality engineered wood floor and closed cell underlayment, since the thickness and wear layer of this flooring lasts longer than standard laminate products.

Install the most durable flooring available and your Virginia basement remodeling project will deliver maximum returns in terms of comfort and value. Whether you use the basement for additional living space, bedrooms, home entertainment or a home office, high quality flooring creates an area where you can truly relax.

Top Virginia Deck Designs for Privacy

Filed Under: Deck    by: Steve Kayhill

We all love to spend time in the backyard relaxing, playing with the kids or cooking up a grilled dinner. But most families desire a certain amount of privacy in their outdoor living space. Consider these top Virginia deck designs that add privacy in stylish, affordable ways, perfect for the suburban backyard.


Privacy Screens

These tall, fence-like structures are the most common way to create privacy on a backyard deck. Install them in place of a railing and in locations that create the most amount of privacy without overshadowing deck space and leaving you with that ‘boxed in’ feeling.

Privacy screens provide the option of dressing up and personalizing your Virginia deck as well. Include a scalloped top plate on a wooden privacy screen or a higher beam to hang potted plants from. Or how about installing a decorative panel into a portion of the screen, to add color and style? Consider the screen’s shape, height, and direction of the boards to create a privacy screen that’s as individual as your home.

Gazebos and Screened In Porches

Incorporate a gazebo into the corner of your deck to create a nook for a dining table or lounge chair. Screen in the side walls for semi-private viewing and protection from bugs and pests, or grow greenery and vines to create natural privacy. Having a roof over this portion of your deck also blocks the view from above – a common issue with suburban houses packed tightly together.

Think about how a gazebo could be used to create an outdoor room, and how you could creatively cover one of the walls, or block in most of the structure to ensure privacy. Pergolas also provide an overhead structure suitable for vines, shades and other impromptu set ups.

Moving Up in the World

If you have a walkout elevation, or your home has a sliding glass door on the second floor, consider building a deck in that location as opposed to on the ground. The height actually creates more privacy, as long as your neighbor’s windows are not in the line of sight. Elevated decks also provide a lovely view from your patio furniture, and make good use of space.

Designing a walkout deck involves longer posts, higher railings and more stairs than a standard ground level project. But these challenges are easily handled by a professional decking contractor, who’ll also have suggestions about railing styles and landings that will keep that opening feeling in your yard, while providing a private deck space up above.

Will Planting Trees Work for Privacy?

You can also plant thick evergreen trees at the property lines to create an effective wind barrier that also blocks the view. But these trees will spread as time goes by, and landscaping requires more maintenance than a simple privacy screen or gazebo.

You need privacy in your outdoor living space, allowing for relaxation and peace on the property. Consider incorporating some of these top Virginia deck designs to create privacy in the backyard. From screens to upper levels and gorgeous gazebos, deck features that craft solitude in your yard are well worth the investment.

How to Budget for a Bathroom Remodel Virginia Homeowners Want

Filed Under: Bathroom    by: Steve Kayhill

Bathroom renovations improve the value of your Virginia home, but costs vary depending on the design and scope of the project. Understanding how to budget for a bathroom remodel Virginia homeowners want will help you make an affordable plan for your project – whether you’re adding a powder room on the main floor or expanding the master ensuite.

Typical Costs of Bathroom Renovations

The steps of a bathroom remodel Virginia homeowners typically need to plan for include:

  • demolition and removal of existing bathroom
  • install plumbing and electrical
  • preparation of structural components, such as installing water resistant drywall on the walls and ceiling, adding support to the floors and leveling the subfloor
  • finishing and painting of the walls and ceiling
  • installation of bathroom fixtures, such as the shower enclosure, bathtub, toilet, vanity and sink
  • installation of flooring (may happen before some bathroom fixtures go in)
  • hanging accessories, such as mirror, towel holders, shower curtains, window treatments, etc

Each of these stages incur additional costs. Some require the skills of a professional bathroom contractor or licensed plumbers and electricians, while others can be tackled as a DIY project.

Many homeowners consider removing the existing bathroom before bringing in the contractor. As long as you understand that removal costs will apply, and damage that occurs during the removal stage adds to the costs later on, this route may shave some dollars off of the final budget.

Paying for the Pros

Maybe you’re considering installing the entire room. Comparing the costs of a professional contractor with the cost of materials from a local building supplies store convinces some homeowners that DIY is the only way. But stop and consider the value an experienced professional delivers.

A DIY bathroom remodeling project will take up most of your free time; you may even need to book time off work, using valuable vacation hours. Hiring a professional to handle the work allows you to make better use of your own time, and speeds up the entire process. While contractors can complete a typical bathroom renovation in a week or so, DIY enthusiasts may take a month or more to get the job done.

The professionals will also be sure to install plumbing and electrical properly, following local building codes and providing a safe, reliable system. Faulty electrical wiring causes fires and dangerous conditions in the bathroom, while improperly designed and incorrectly installed plumbing can cause leaks and floods, destroying much of your home and possessions. Why take the chance just to save a few dollars? Hire the pros and rest assured that your new bathroom is well designed and properly installed for years of use.

Financing Options

Talk to your banker about home renovation loans. A bathroom remodel project increases the resale value of your home, and often improves your home equity. Financing could help you complete the project today, while paying for the work in affordable monthly payments.

Some local contractors offer in-house financing as well, and most accept credit card payments. Take advantage of seasonal sales and promotions to get the best deal on your new bathroom project by having the financing available ahead of time.

Budgeting for a bathroom remodel Virginia homeowners want takes careful planning. Consider how much you can complete on your own and which elements of the job need to be handled by the pros. Then discuss financing options and watch for local promotions. Your dream bathroom renovation is possible.

Top Three Home Additions Virginia Residents Love to Live In

Filed Under: Additions    by: Steve Kayhill

Additions expand your living space and provide countless benefits. Although the design depends on your unique lifestyle and property, consider these projects that made the list of top three home additions Virginia residents love to live in.

Garage Additions

If your Virginia home needs storage space, a workshop or additional parking, garage additions provide the ideal solution. Consider whether an attached garage can be added to limit costs and provide convenient access. Detached garages are a better option for workshops and private areas to indulge in hobbies like auto mechanics or woodworking.

Concrete slabs support garage additions, which are framed and finished just like your home. Vinyl siding or cement fiberboard are often used to finish the exterior walls, while asphalt shingles cover the garage roof. When designing an attached garage, your Virginia contractor will consider the existing materials, as well as the condition of the framing, roof trusses and foundation. Any structural repairs or replacement are done before the new addition is built.

Attached garages generally cost less than detached designs, but the overall price depends on the size and finishing options. Think about whether you’ll need an insulated garage door, how many windows are required and how electricity and heating will be run into the space.

Kitchen Additions

Kitchen renovations create a more efficient workspace and allow for optimum traffic flow. But when your existing floor plan limits the space for a new kitchen, an addition provides the ideal opportunity to improve your lifestyle.

Kitchen additions are generally installed at ground level and built on a foundation extension. Your contractor will design a room that fits into the existing floor plan with matching exterior finishing and a seamless roofline. Large windows, sliding patio doors and skylights are popular inclusions, and premium kitchen cabinets, natural stone flooring and durable countertops are used to add value to the space.

The cost of kitchen additions depends on the overall design and features installed. Much like the costs of kitchen renovations, an affordable kitchen addition is possible with the right contractor and a design that takes advantage of your existing home features.

Sunrooms

For affordable home additions Virginia residents can easily budget, sunrooms provide exceptional living space. Enjoy the sunshine all year round with a four-season insulated sunroom, or spend time in the yard without worrying about pests with a screened in sunroom.

Consider how you’re planning to use this space. Four-season sunrooms work well as dining rooms or family rooms, designed with comfortable furniture and open to the kitchen for convenience. Screened in sunrooms can be used for dining in the warm months and a fantastic place to read, nap or simply relax and appreciate the weather. Screened in sunrooms can be installed in nearly part of the house, including on the front porch.

Remember that heating and insulation need to be installed in four-season sunrooms, while screened in sunrooms are often built with a simpler design. Costs vary, depending on the size and design of the sunroom. Manufactured sunrooms are used in standard installations, while custom-built sunrooms work for unique situations and circumstances.

Hire an experienced contractor to design and build any of these top three home additions Virginia residents love to live in. Their expertise will ensure the space is built with style and durability.