Three Stages of Virginia Bathroom Remodeling Projects

Filed Under: Bathroom    by: Steve Kayhill

Freshening up your bathroom involves a certain amount of work and investment, but not all Virginia bathroom remodeling projects require major chunks of time and money. Consider these three stages of bathroom renovations to pinpoint your goals and take off on the ideal course of action.

On the Surface

Many homeowners are happy with the general layout of their bathroom, including the location of major fixtures like tub, shower, toilet and sink. Is the size of your bathroom adequate for your family’s needs? Does traffic flow through the room smoothly? These conditions make surface alterations the most sensible choice.

Projects involved in this Virginia bathroom remodeling stage often cover or replace the existing elements. This type of reno tends to cost less and can be completed within a fairly short period of time, or spread out in stages without interrupting daily life. When you want to improve the look and feel of your bathroom, consider these surface renovation projects:

  • repaint the walls, trim and door
  • hang new mirrors and art work
  • choose new light fixtures and window treatments
  • change the shower curtain
  • add storage units and shelves
  • reface the existing vanity or change hardware and drawer pulls
  • replace the existing countertop
  • replace bath mats, towels and bathroom accessories

Layout Modifications

Perhaps the size of your bathroom works, and the structural framing and walls remain stable and in good condition. But when surface alterations do not address traffic flow issues and you’re dreaming of new bathroom fixtures, your home improvement project needs to move to the next level.

Any alterations or replacement of the existing bathroom fixtures will push the price of this renovation up. But you’ll end up with a more functional room and newer fixtures. When you need to update or move bathroom fixtures consider these layout modification projects:

  • install new soaker tub and shower enclosure to replace existing tub/shower combo
  • move toilet
  • install bidet or low-flow toilet
  • install double sink or move the existing sink
  • replace the vanity
  • upgrade to frameless shower enclosure
  • upgrade to a countertop vessel sink

Complete Bathroom Remodel

Rotten framing, moldy drywall and water-damaged flooring need to be removed before any other renovations can begin. Bathroom expansions also require major demolition and framing work, including installation of new doors and windows. Gutting your bathroom is a major undertaking and requires careful planning, a big budget and the help of an experienced contractor.

Make sure you have access to another bathroom during complete renovations, as this work takes time. Fixtures need to be removed entirely while the flooring, framing and walls are replaced or repaired. Tiling is another time-consuming part of the project.

When moisture problems arise or your bathroom needs to be expanded complete renovations are the wisest course of action. Think about planning for these elements of a major bathroom renovation:

  • enlarge the bathroom to include a separate shower & tub or double sink
  • add another window or skylight
  • transform the bathroom into a cheater ensuite with a new door
  • replace rotted flooring, framing, ceiling and drywall
  • retile the existing shower

What level of bathroom renovations are you dreaming about? Budget, timeline and construction options depend on what stage of Virginia bathroom remodeling you’re planning. Consider your vision and get moving on this home improvement adventure.

How Northern Virginia Additions Affordably Expand Your Living Space

Filed Under: Additions    by: Steve Kayhill

You love your home, but maybe those cramped spaces are becoming a problem and you’ve been considering a move. Perhaps your growing family requires more space or your home business is taking up too much room. Think beyond the current state of the housing market and consider how Northern Virginia additions can help expand your living space affordably and efficiently.

Home Additions Cost Much Less Than a New Home

Compare the time and expenses of moving with the time and expenses of a home addition project. Assuming you’re happy with your neighborhood and the structure of your home, adding to your home costs much less than constructing a new one.

Moving incurs many costs, including legal fees, taxes, real estate agent fees and other miscellaneous expenses. Hidden costs and super-tight budgets create serious stress during a move. Although home improvements come with a significant amount of costs and stresses as well, you’re likely to find a better level of control with an experienced contractor on your side.

Planning for Northern Virginia additions means working with familiar factors. You’ve probably lived in your house for some time, and know what to expect from the soil, neighborhood and structure. Pull out the maintenance history for clues to would-be issues and talk to contractors that have worked at your home in the past. These measures help you to reduce the likelihood of unpleasant surprises and additional costs creeping up during the process.

Dealing With Market Volatility

You may be able to nab a great deal on property in the current real estate market, but those conditions also affect the asking price of your current home. Will you realistically be able to recoup all of the investments you’ve made in your property? Or will you need to take a loss to make the move?

Professional real estate agents can help you to find the right sized home within your preferred area, but prices are dictated by market demand and you may end up paying out more than you have realized from your existing home. Although the cost of building materials and contractors does fluctuate with time, there is more certainty. The industry is somewhat predictable and much steadier than the housing market, making accurate home addition budgets possible to prepare, even months beforehand.

Daily Life Carries On

In most cases homeowners can continue on with daily life during a home addition project. Depending on the rooms affected by demolition and construction, you may need to relocate certain furniture or handle your day-to-day tasks differently, but for the most part life goes on. Careful planning helps reduce relocation costs.

Some home addition projects may be tax deductible, such as building a home office or commercially equipped kitchen. This helps to defray costs even further, putting more money back into your pocket while expanding your living space.

Assess the condition of your current home. Is it structurally sound with a basic layout that suits your family? Do your appreciate the view from your yard and the benefits of your neighborhood? Is the commute to and from work manageable, with schools, shopping and professional services close enough for your convenience?

If the main issue with your current home has more to do with space and less to do with structure and location, home additions present an affordable option. Be sure to investigate the possibility of Northern Virginia additions before contacting your real estate agent. You may be surprised at how affordable this option can be.

Top Northern Virginia Basement Remodeling Designs for Families

Filed Under: Basement    by: Steve Kayhill

Finished basements add valuable living space for a reasonable cost, a combination that appeals to growing families in a big way. Are you looking to create more room without breaking the bank? These Northern Virginia basement remodeling designs for families make a little below-grade space go a long way.

Move the Play Room Downstairs

Kids have toys, and throughout the course of each day those toys inevitably end up on the floor. Why not create a more comfortable main floor by moving toys to a dedicated spot downstairs?

This basement remodeling project includes a wide open space finished with durable walls, carpeting and plenty of storage. Think drywall covered with semi-gloss paint, easily cleaned and simple to paint over later. Build closet space into the room to give those toys a home, or simply use shelves and toy boxes to keep the area tidy.

Install berber carpet or something with similar levels of durability. Stain resistant brands are well worth any extra cost, and be sure to ask about closed cell underlayment. This product provides sound and heat insulation, as well as providing a moisture barrier to reduce mold and mildew in the basement.

Games for the Whole Family

No matter the age of your children, families love playing games together. And having an area dedicated to this type of family time makes it convenient to have fun together, even at a moment’s notice.

Install engineered wood flooring over a level subfloor, perfect for the pool table and air hockey table. Include room for seating and storage of the billiard equipment, as well as bright lighting to make game play easier. Natural lighting is important as well; you might consider enlarging the windows or installing a sliding patio door to create a brighter atmosphere in the basement.

If video games are your family’s favorite, make room for a flat screen television and an entertainment console with the latest gaming systems tucked inside. If board games are up your alley, set up large tables with plenty of extra seating and shelving to store your preferred games.

Create a Teen Hangout

While your teens may be happy hanging out just about anywhere, why not create a comfortable, inviting place with your Northern Virginia basement remodeling project? This area should include an entertainment center, complete with computer station, telephones and plenty of durable seating for a crowd.

Think about creating bedrooms downstairs as well, to allow your teens the privacy they crave. Always be sure the windows are large enough to be considered a fire escape and take pains to make the basement dry and odor-free. Your teen will appreciate having their own space, and if their bedrooms are close to an all-purpose hang out area complete with TV and computer, you may have to food or car keys to coax them upstairs.

For some families multiple rooms might suit this layout better. Leave the main area open to the upstairs, allowing minimal supervision and a more inviting atmosphere. And a bathroom with another shower is a must with teens living in the space.

However you design this Northern Virginia basement remodeling project, be sure to cater to your family’s lifestyle. Basement renovations are a fantastic value and can be easily and affordably altered as family dynamics change. Right now, make the most of your space with a finished basement custom made for your family.

Why Hire Virginia Deck Builders When You Can DIY?

Filed Under: Deck    by: Steve Kayhill

Warmer weather draws us into the backyard, and a beautiful new deck would provide the perfect space for relaxation and outdoor entertainment. Many homeowners wonder whether they need to hire professional Virginia deck builders when DIY deck building is so popular.

Are you considering building a deck this summer? Find out why it may be wiser (and cheaper) to hire the pros for this particular backyard project.

The Importance of Posts and Framing

Setting solid deck posts and constructing a stable deck frame are essential for durable, safe decks. Although the big box building supply store may offer deck blocks – floating piers made to hold 4×4 deck posts – these products won’t always offer the support your deck requires.

Concrete deck piers set well below the frost line provide adequate support for any size deck. Are you prepared to dig several footings that deep – as much as 48-inches down?
Mixing the concrete is a chore as well. Many DIY enthusiasts are surprised by the difficulty of setting deck posts. Virginia deck builders have the equipment and skills to make short work of your deck posts. Efficient and affordable, you can always be sure that deck posts installed by the pros are deep and solid.

Constructing a stable frame involves precise measuring and assembly. All the weight of your deck will sit on this frame, and strong fasteners must be used to ensure safety and durability. Beams are mounted to the posts, and a series of joists are nailed or screwed together to sit on top of those joists.

Blocking and hardware connect the deck frame together, and all local building codes must be taken into account. This stage tends to be the most complicated, and can mean the difference between a steady deck and an unstable surface. Professionals have the experience to design and construct a solid deck frame on any property.

Railings and Stairs

Assembling and installing deck railing takes a fair bit of time. Wood railing posts must be mounted to the deck frame, while aluminum railing posts are available with surface mounting brackets. Composite railing products often come with post sleeves that fit carefully over an existing wood railing post.

Professional deck builders know exactly how to assemble and construct deck railings for optimum safety. Maintain a clear view with tempered glass railing and make the deck secure with railing gates at the top of your stairs and across any entrances. Post spacing and picket spacing need to be properly calculated, and sleepers under the bottom rails will prevent sagging. Dress up your deck with a well designed railing installed by the pros.

Longer sets of deck stairs are built using traditional stair stringers made from wood or metal. Small box steps (one step down) are simple to construct, but can’t be used on decks more than 1-foot off the ground. Professional deck contractors know all building codes governing the height of stair rises and width of the run, ensuring your new deck stairs are safe and comfortable. DIY enthusiasts have access to that information, but deciphering, calculating and constructing properly built stairs takes time and practice.

If you want to invest in a beautiful deck that adds value to your home and lifestyle, call your local Virginia deck builders for a quotation. Create the ideal backyard living space with the help of the pros, and let your DIY passions loose on another project.