Comparing the Cost of Virginia Additions Vs Selling Your Home

Filed Under: Additions    by: Steve Kayhill

As life changes and families expand, homeowners face an important decision about their living space—move or improve. Examining the cost of Virginia additions and comparing those figures to total moving expenses often helps to make the decision clear.

Are you looking at moving to a larger home? Have you considered the costs of building an addition and compared the potential finished product against available housing? Consider the options.

Option # 1 – Building Virginia Home Additions

Overall costs vary from contractor to contractor, and depend on your design. Here is a list of typical expenses associated with building Virginia additions:

  • Design Fees – preparation of detailed drawings outlining the structural, electrical, plumbing and mechanical elements
  • Demolition – labor, haulage and dumping charges
  • Materials – all of the building materials required to complete the project
  • Installation Labor – contractor and subcontractor wages for the installation of each element
  • Project Management Fee – applicable for those who hire a general contractor to oversee the project, typically a percentage of the total cost
  • Permit and Administration Fees – building departments typically charge registration fees for building permits, inspections and other administrative tasks associated with Virginia home renovations
  • Relocation Costs – renting another home for the interim or hotel costs for the odd nights away

All of these costs do add up, and a typical Virginia home addition runs anywhere from $50,000 to over $100,000 depending on the project scope. What you need to remember is the additional living space created. Compare overall costs of the addition to the total expenses incurred when moving to a larger home.

Option # 2 – Moving to a Larger Home

House prices fluctuate, but buyers in any market spend more to move up into a larger home. A typical two-bedroom detached home in Fairfax lists around $350,000, while a four-bedroom detached house in a similar neighborhood climbs to over $450,000. Talk to a realtor about specific properties and compare the purchase price to the expected selling price of your existing property. Look for homes that offer comparable features to those included in your home addition plans.

Homeowners incur additional expenses when buying a larger home, including these common costs:

  • Lender Fees – different institutions work on different fee structures, but typically include broker fees, processing charges, application fees, taxes and underwriting charges
  • Third-Party Fees – depending on the type of purchase, this includes appraisals, inspections, title searches, insurance, surveying costs, preparation of credit reports and attorney fees
  • Listing Costs – real estate agents charge to list your home and represent your interests in the selling process
  • Moving Costs – truck rentals, fuel, etc.

The web provides fairly accurate and up-to-date estimates on these typical costs of moving to a larger home.

Building Virginia additions makes more financial sense than moving in many cases. If your property allows for the space, home additions provide greater flexibility and customization without inflated closing costs and the frustration of moving. Assess the shape of your current home and consider how an experienced Virginia contractor can help you achieve your dream home without the need to move out.

Top Five Modern Tile Choices for Virginia Bathrooms

Filed Under: Bathroom    by: Steve Kayhill

Tile options have evolved from the bright ceramic choices of the 1970′s. Virginia bathrooms are now fitted with modern tile choices for the walls, shower stall and flooring, offering durability and a hard-to-match sense of luxury. What are the hottest bathroom tile trends of today? Find out and choose your favorite.

Mosaic Bathroom Tiles

This style of tile blends a myriad of colors with smaller tile shapes and a wide range of textures to create a visual masterpiece. Consider all of the bathroom mosaic tile options, including glass tiles, porcelain or even metal. And then have your contractor or designer draw up a mosaic pattern that suits your decor and style.

Do you want to accent an area of the bathroom, such as the shower wall or vanity backsplash? Mosaics can become overwhelming on large walls, but when combined with the proper paint, furniture and fixtures, even an expansive wall can be done in mosaic bathroom tiles with stunning effect.

Concrete Bathroom Tiles

No longer just for the vanity countertops, concrete has gained popularity on the floor and even across bathroom walls. Concrete bathroom tiles come in several different textures, sizes and tints, but most create a contemporary atmosphere in Virginia bathrooms.

Are you aiming to capture the peaceful balance of Zen in your Virginia bathroom remodeling project? Concrete tiles work well to visually expand the space and offer a calming tone. Consider products with a convex side—this shape tends to soften the look and feel of concrete.

Manufactured Stone Bathroom Tiles

Natural stone tiles create an incredible appearance, but tend to come with high maintenance requirements and inflated costs. Manufactured stone bathroom tiles have come a long way and now achieve virtually the same look and feel, without the uncertainty. Manufactured stone tends to be stronger and should cost less per square inch than the comparable natural stone.

Do you love the rough and unique look of stone, but dread the tasks associated with installing this material in your bathroom? Take a look at the various types of manufactured stone and choose something that mimics your preferred natural stone. You’ll find marble, slate, granite, cobblestone and many other styles available.

Light Tiles

These products combine LED lights with ceramic tiles to provide warm, dependable lighting in the shower, along the walls or around the vanity. Use white ceramic light tiles as an accent with nearly any other type of bathroom tiles. Manufacturers claim these products offer about one decade of use—plenty of time to enjoy your renovated Virginia bathroom.

Do you want to soften the bath or add a touch of modern appeal in your new bathroom? Research the brands of light tiles available and hire an experienced Virginia contractor to install this unique electrical system in your home.

Pebble Bathroom Tiles

Ideal for use around the tub and near the sink, pebble tiles are simply tiny pebbles attached to a mesh backing. This sheet of rocks is grouted to the wall in the same way as standard bathroom tile. Pebble tiles soften surfaces and create a natural appeal perfect for casual bathrooms.

Are you planning a DIY bathroom renovation and appreciate the beauty and texture of stone? Pebble stones go up easier than natural stone, but they also come with maintenance challenges. Make sure you want the unique look of these bathroom tiles before installation.

Any of these tile options work in Virginia bathrooms. Choose your favorite of these bathroom tile trends.

How to Build a Greener Home With Your Virginia Contractor

Filed Under: Virginia Contractor    by: Steve Kayhill

virginia-contractor-greenGoing green is on everyone’s mind these days. There is a push to recycle more, waste less and generally take better care of the planet. Whether you are building a new home or planning a renovation, your Virginia contractor can help you design and build a greener home. Move forward into a cleaner future with green building materials and construction techniques.

Contractors Offer Expert Advice

General contractors are experts in their field. Because they deal with subtrades, material suppliers and manufacturers, these professionals have an insider’s view on industry evolutions. As the green building industry expands and new products and technologies are offered your Virginia general contractors will have premiere access.

They can also help you to decide which green projects will work in your home. In some cases, a certain type of recycled material or construction technique will not be advantageous on your property. It could be that exposure or climate conditions will wear down materials quickly. Or possibly the size of your home will push the cost of a certain project element out of reach. You can trust a professional contractor, relying on their extensive experience and industry knowledge.

Elements of a Green Home

When working from the ground up, homeowners and house designers have many more options for green building. Consider advanced wall framing techniques (this style of framing cuts down on the amount of wood used, as well as reducing heat loss with comparable amounts of insulation used), high efficiency lighting and the latest window and door designs.

Interior finishing materials can also be green. Products made from renewable resources like bamboo, cork and other wood species are considered excellent choices that deliver minimal environmental impact. Think about the paint and wall treatments used, and try to reduce the amount of toxins and VOCs used. Recycled materials are popular in the kitchen and bath. And high efficiency heating and cooling systems will also help to create a greener home.

Professional Installation

Choose a Virginia contractor with a solid reputation and you can look forward to professional installation. Your new energy efficient windows will be handled with care, bamboo flooring and recycled glass counters will fit perfectly and lighting and solar panel systems will be wired well.

If your project includes an element that the contractor does not normally handle – such as solar panels – they should have connections within the industry. You can expect a reliable recommendation, at the very least.

A Warranty to Count On

One of the best things about hiring a reputable contractor for your green home renovation is the warranty. Smaller firms or handyman services do not often offer comparable coverage, and an investment of this size should come with the security a warranty delivers.

There is often separate warranty coverage for the materials and installation. Your contractor may cover the labor and installation for a certain period of time, while the materials will be covered by the retailer or the manufacturer. Be sure to obtain all of the details before the project is completed, including any paperwork or registration information you will need. Be aware that manufacturers of some products (windows, doors, lighting , etc.) will keep your personal information on file in order to validate the warranty.

Talk about how to build a greener home with your Virginia contractor. They will offer informed suggestions and help you to design a home that is truly environmentally friendly.

How Your Virginia Contractor Can Help With Building Permits

Filed Under: Virginia Contractor    by: Steve Kayhill

virginia_contractor_building_permitWe all want to live in a home that is safely built and efficiently designed. Life is just more comfortable that way. But in order for your home to be constructed in a safe manner with properly tested materials and skilled labor there needs to be a system of standards and accountability to ensure those standards are followed. Simply put, that’s why there are building permits. And you can count on your Virginia contractor to help you wade your way through the often complicated world of permits.

From Application to Inspection

Depending on the type of home improvement project you have on the go, the building permit process can be a lengthy one. An initial application will need to be filled out and submitted, along with an application or permit fee.

Your Virginia contractor may include this service and fee in their estimate. Or they may specify that you apply and pay for the permit separately. Good contractors will offer you the advice and information necessary to obtain a permit, even if they do not apply on your behalf.

From the date of application you will generally need to wait for the municipality or state to review the drawings and plans and issue their approval. There could be changes to the project at this stage, forcing you to comply with current building codes or insisting that certain parts of your home be upgraded to today’s standards. Be prepared to have some flexibility in your design until you have that seal of approval from the planning department.

Once the project is underway there will likely be inspections during the process. These usually need to be booked by the contractor, since they know how far along the work will be and when. You may need to be present at the inspections, although some projects and some inspectors will simply leave a confirmation of the process allowing the contractor to move forward.

Always be sure that any changes to the job are handled quickly and professionally. You do not want to take short cuts and have the building department shut down your job.

A final inspection is very often required in order for the final permit to be issued. There may or may not be infractions at this point. Be aware that even the best contractors get infracted at some point or another, sometimes due to error and other times due to design or communication issues. Infractions can usually be taken care of very quickly and the permit issued soon after.

Permits are Important

Your insurance company and financing arrangements may insist that a building permit be issued for your home improvement project. This covers your liability and ensures that the contractor follows building codes and produces good quality, consistent work. It is an added cost and does take a certain amount of time, but in the end obtaining a permit is not only necessary, it’s also wise.

An experienced Virginia contractor will have the tips and information to help speed the building permit process along. You can count on their advice, design and skills to make this portion of your home renovation move smoothly and efficiently.