Top Five Popular Northern Virginia Deck Design Options

Filed Under: Deck    by: Steve Kayhill

The ideal deck design takes several factors into account, including property size, architecture and lifestyle. Those planning to build a Northern Virginia deck should consider these top five popular designs, and then adapt to suit their own families. From shady spots to space for entertaining, these deck designs work for a wide range of homes in the region.

1 – Modern and Maintenance-Free

Design your deck with a minimalist attitude to create a modern space, including large open spaces, glass railings to avoid obstructing the view and angles that echo your house. Maintenance-free decking materials work well. Consider composite deck boards and railing components, as well as tempered glass panels in clear finish or smoked for privacy.

Subtle lighting adds a practical punch to this type of deck design. Install solar fixtures and recessed lighting in posts and stairs or along the perimeter of the deck surface.

2 – Multi-Level Entertainer’s Special

Multi-level decks are necessary for those who love to throw a good backyard bash. Combining two or three deck levels allows for optimum traffic flow and organization. Put your patio furniture on the largest level and place the grill or outdoor kitchen on the upper level, closest to the kitchen. Other levels can include additional seating or lounging areas, a dedicated play area for the kids or a private nook for more romantic times.

Be sure to keep the levels only one stair rise apart and minimize sharp turns. The ideal multi-level Northern Virginia deck design allows for conversation between levels. Privacy screens add to the overall atmosphere, but shouldn’t be an obstruction.

3 – For the Shade Lover

Too much sun affects your health and may keep you off the deck in the heat of summer. Create a more inviting space with shade structures built directly into the deck. Consider the design of your existing roofline and build the deck in the ideal location to minimize sun exposure.

Use a durable material for the covered roof, and consider options like mechanical awnings to allow for shade at certain times of the day.

4 – A Floral Showcase

Gardeners love to show off the results of their hard work. With the right design, this can be built right into the deck. Planter boxes double as railings and visual borders, as well as providing a spot for colorful annuals and delicious herbs. Raised beds planted around lower level decks provide space for perennials and shrubs, or you could include decorative beams in strategic spots for hanging baskets.

Be creative about how to display your flowers and your deck can become more than a simple outdoor living space. After a few years of growth, this type of deck design develops into part of your landscape.

5 – Classic Style Revisited

The tried and true classic deck form never goes out of style. This type of deck design includes wooden deck boards at a 45-degree angle, wide steps to grade and a standard wood picket railing. Homeowners dress up this basic, but incredibly affordable deck with privacy screens, unusual pickets in aluminum and trim around the outer framing (commonly called fascia board).

Classic decks come in a wide range of sizes and work for almost any yard. Grading issues do not pose a problem and wood choices like treated wood or cedar provide years of durability with a reasonable price tag.

Whether you opt for a modern, maintenance free design or go with something that shows off your love of gardening, entertaining or shade, take the time to consider all of the options. Your ideal Northern Virginia deck design is out there.

Tips on Choosing the Ideal Materials for Virginia Bathrooms

Filed Under: Bathroom    by: Steve Kayhill

Bathroom renovations change the layout and styling of an important space. Truly valuable Virginia bathrooms include the ideal materials for the modern family. Attractive, durable and eco friendly are three characteristics often sought after by designers and contractors across North America, but how can you choose the best materials for your space? Check out these tips and get shopping today.

Crazy for Tile

Bathrooms come in a few standard layouts and include a sink, toilet and shower or tub (or tub and shower combo). You can move these fixtures around to achieve the proper traffic flow and attain optimum storage space, but the bathroom materials make this room sparkle. Tile plays a vital role in bathrooms of all sizes.

Tiling works for the walls, floors and around the shower or tub. This durable building material is easy to clean and comes in a wide range of colors and textures. Take your pick. Perhaps you prefer mosaic tiles in a monochromatic pattern with a splash of brightness. Or maybe you love the look of larger subway tiles to create an urban feel. Shop your local building materials store or ask your Virginia bathroom contractor for a list of suppliers and browse their websites for samples.

Spectacular Stone

Tile requires grout, which can become difficult to keep clean over time. Avoid this situation by opting for stone veneer. This product provides the benefits of tile—easy to wipe clean, resistant to mold and other moisture problems—without the grout.

Choose granite for your shower and enclose the space with clear glass walls for an open, natural feeling. Or borrow a page from the ancient Romans and install marble veneer flooring and wall coverings. Stone adds visual interest to the space and can provide a sense of luxury unmatched by any other material.

Granite, marble and other natural stone can be used on the vanity as well, or installed as a backsplash. Be sure to support the heavy weight of natural stone and invest in good quality products designed for use in the bathroom.

Hire an experienced contractor to install stone in Virginia bathrooms. This process requires skilled hands and the proper equipment in order to minimize waste and ensure longevity.

Pulls and Hardware Make a Difference

Another secret to creating a beautiful bathroom is found in the tiniest details. Consider the finish of your drawer pulls, cabinet hardware and door hinges. A matte metallic finish lends a certain appeal, while shiny metal or colored hardware adds personality and flash. Think about how many components you’ll need for your vanity and storage cabinetry and choose a style and color that achieves balance.

Some homeowners shy away from expensive hardware, opting instead for the standard, inexpensive brands. While this may seem good for the budget initially, splurging on your favorite hardware can take your new bathroom from good to fantastic. Weigh your options and shop around to find the very best hardware, drawer pulls and hinges for your bathroom remodelling project.

From tiled floors to natural stone and small details like cabinet hardware, the materials that you choose make a difference. The most attractive and comfortable Virginia bathrooms combine excellent design with quality materials to create an inspirational room.

Examining the Pros and Cons of Northern Virginia Home Additions

Filed Under: Additions    by: Steve Kayhill

Northern Virginia home additions require a significant investment in time and money, but they also deliver massive paybacks in terms of space and interior design. Hiring the right home addition contractor plays a major role in the process. It helps to weigh the pros and cons of this home improvement project before taking those first steps, as you may discover that another type of home reno can fulfill your needs for less cash.

Pros of Home Additions

Building an addition comes with three major pros, including:

  • High Return on Investment in the Long Run – in most cases, homeowners make back the money invested in home additions. Many people realize a profit, depending on the type of addition and their local real estate market. Although several factors go into the risk versus return calculations you can safely assume that this home improvement investment will increase the value of your home significantly.
  • Interior Design and Decorating Opportunities – because you’re adding large amounts of living space to an existing home, building a home addition requires an interior design overhaul. This provides homeowners with the chance to completely redecorate their homes and achieve the look and feel they dream about. While redecorating on its own may cost less, the demolition and construction processes required in a home addition project provide the ideal opportunity to change flooring, architectural features and paint colors.
  • Less Expensive Than Moving – although this may not be the case in every neighborhood, Northern Virginia home additions often cost less than selling your existing home and buying a house with the additional floor space required. If your family plans to relocate across the country or move from an urban center to the rural areas, moving may seem a more viable option. But if space remains the major issue, building beats buying almost every time.

Cons of Home Additions

Just like any other major investment, home additions come with a list of three common cons, including:

  • Inconvenience and Mess – this home improvement project will inevitably disrupt your lifestyle. As most home additions require the demolition of an exterior wall, the construction mess spans from dirt to building materials and everything in between. Consider moving out during construction, but be sure to incorporate those costs into your budget and make arrangements for transportation and potential schedule disruptions.
  • Risk of Over-Improving – adding square footage onto your home or upgrading existing features could push your home beyond the value limits of the neighborhood. Think of it this way–property value incorporates location and features, but the lowest factor presents the greatest limitation. A large, custom built home in a less expensive subdivision will be difficult to sell in the long run. Be mindful of this balance when designing your home addition.
  • Utility Costs Increase – common sense tells us that larger homes cost more to heat and cool. Since home additions often increase the size of your home, the size of your utility bills also rises. Upgrades to windows and doors, as well as insulation and roofing may affect this trend, but remember to expect significant changes to your monthly heating and cooling bills.

Smart homeowners weigh the pros and cons of Northern Virginia home additions before signing the contract. Talk to your contractor about all of the options and take each factor above into consideration.