Increasing Your Home’s Value Through a Budget Bathroom Renovation

One of the most worthwhile DIY projects to take on in your home is a bathroom remodel. They can increase your own satisfaction, turning your ordinary bathroom into a luxurious spa, but also can add a great deal of value to your home if you are planning on selling it in the future. However, bathrooms also happen to be one of the most expensive home remodeling projects.  By carefully planning your budget, focusing on a good return on investment, and knowing the difference between subprojects you can take on yourself and projects that require a professional, you can take on the bathroom remodeling project of your dreams and drastically increase the value of your home, all while staying on or under budget.

Plan a Budget

The first thing you should do is plan out your budget. In order to do this, you’ll have to strike a balance between the amount of money you’ll spend on the project and the amount you’ll gain from it, whether in personal satisfaction or return on investment. To this end, you should focus on the projects that will add the most value to your home. Keep in mind that a good bathroom renovation will potentially increase your home’s value by up to 60 percent.

Once you have selected your projects, narrow them down even further by listing each individual component. For instance, if you want to add a new source of lighting, you’ll first need an electrician to wire the location. Next, you’ll have to pick the type of light source, keeping in mind that it should be protected from warm steam from the shower, as well as the bulbs and switches.  Remember to include the cost of hiring a professional if the project will require more specialized services. You can research the average cost to hire professional electricians, plumbers, and other knowledgeable handymen online to get a ballpark estimate.

Finally, be sure to also account for the cost of tools and materials, like screws and washers.  You can reduce the cost of materials by checking online for savings and coupons for big-box retailers. Add the numbers up to find the total estimated cost of the project, then compare that with the amount of money you were hoping to spend. You may find that you’ll have to reduce the scope of the overall project — in that case, you will need to narrow down the list of subprojects to only the ones that add the most value.

What Projects Add Value?

Many years of research have shown that there are certain projects to be taken on in the bathroom that add a great deal of value in the eyes of potential buyers. Particularly for master bathrooms, installing multiple sinks makes it easier for couples to get ready in the morning.  Many people will pay more for added convenience.

Along the same lines, it can never hurt to add more storage for towels, toiletries, and other paraphernalia. Certain aesthetic touches also are worth taking on; good lighting, for instance, will make your bathroom seem cleaner and more inviting, while glass showers and floating vanities will give it a sleek, modern look. Also, you can save a lot of money by choosing to refinish your tub, shower, sink, and tile instead of completely replacing it.

Know When to Hire an Expert

Finally, even if you are a skilled DIYer, it’s important to know when you should call in an expert.  In general, you should hire a professional for anything that requires skilled, technical knowledge, like electrical or plumbing work. Never try to rewire a room yourself — electricity is extremely dangerous, particularly when water is nearby. Remember to always shop around for the best deal when hiring an expert; you can often find great deals through sites like Groupon.

Doing a bathroom remodel yourself is ambitious, but well within your capabilities. Save money on the project by looking for savings on supplies, choosing less expensive projects that add value, and shopping around for the best deal when hiring a professional.

 

Blog Written By: diyguys.net

Photo Credit: pixabay.com

What Flooring Material Is Most Practical for Your Home?

wood accents

Great flooring can be the highlight of a space. The wrong flooring can be a pain in the side and require an unplanned remodel. When your architectural firm is considering flooring for your Vail Valley home, you will want to have experts who can help you find the ideal flooring for each room.

Tile Flooring

Porcelain or ceramic tile can be ideal for bathrooms or kitchens that may deal with a lot of water. Quality tile is easy to clean, durable under traffic, and comes in a large variety of colors, textures, finishes, sizes and patterns.

Carpeting

Some spaces, like bedrooms, are more plush and comfortable with a cozy carpet. Fewer allergens float in the air in rooms where carpet is placed. A high pile in the right color can be incredibly comfortable and feel luxurious. A shorter pile that is designed to resist stains can be very durable in a space that may be more frequently used.

Hardwood

Wood flooring is often considered high end and offers a natural beauty to a living space. Hardwood in historical homes is often a favorite because it feels more period accurate. However, it isn’t always the most practical flooring option, since it can scuff and stain easily.

Vinyl Flooring

Although we would not normally specify this flooring in one of our homes unless the Owner was adamant, we have specified it for use in offices and schools.  In fact, we installed it in our North Carolina office reception area.  The newest luxury vinyl flooring options are becoming popular with homeowners who are looking for relatively low cost, comfort, resiliency and quality design. Vinyl is surprisingly versatile, replicating the look and texture of other materials with fewer drawbacks. Vinyl that looks like wood isn’t as easily damaged, and vinyl that looks like tile can have more of a cushion to it. Waterproof vinyl can be ideal in spaces that may deal with dirt and water exposure, like an entryway.

If you are looking for design assistance, we would be happy to help! Contact us today and let’s talk about which flooring is ideal for your space.

4 Tips To Help Maintain Beautiful Hardwood Flooring

game roomHardwood floors bring a warm glow and elegance to any space. Whether you enjoy the luster of sturdy 18th Century flooring or contemporary hardwoods, it’s important to take a few precautions to protect their natural beauty from scratches and scuff marks. Our Vail Valley architectural firm understands the importance of vibrant living and work spaces. Consider these simple preventative measures to help maintain your floor’s long-lasting glow.

Pad Furniture Legs

One the most common ways that wood floors get scratched is from moving furniture across them. By fixing felt or other soft pads on the bottoms of chair legs, coffee tables and heavy pieces of furniture, wood-to-wood contact can be avoided.

Rugs and Carpets

Strategic use of floor coverings adds ambiance and mitigates impact on high traffic areas. A beautiful wood floor looks a little less so when some areas appear more worn out than others. Entryways, hallways and sinks can benefit from a little colorful foot traffic padding.

Shoe Check

Creating a place and policy that shoes come off and remain in mud rooms or by the door helps keep your space clean and avoids tracking grit across polished flooring. Obviously, foot traffic creates the most floor contact and wear. Think about all the potential scratches rolling through that door, from kids’ sports cleats to work boots to high heels. A solid shoes-off program will reduce the potential need for refinishing work.

Regular Maintenance

Hardwood floors enjoy tremendous strength, but the lovely sheen that gives them the warm glow may be subject to wear from everyday dirt, liquids and harsh cleaners. Sweep floors regularly and don’t allow spills to settle for very long. Everyday wear and tear may not cause permanent damage, but it will make your floors look unnecessarily dull. Select only cleaners designed to interact with wood floors.

We hope these suggestion prove valuable. If you are interested in professional services, contact our Vail Valley architects today!

Tips on Finishing Wood With Stain

wood headboardVail Valley architects love to include natural wood in their designs. Whether you’re finishing a new project or bringing life to an old piece, wood stain is the perfect way to get a smooth finish that enhances the natural character of the wood.

Prepare the Surface

Start by sanding the entire piece with 100-grit sandpaper, paying close attention to blemishes and rough spots to achieve a smooth surface. If you have large, flat areas to sand, a random orbital sander can speed up the task. Then, make sure all floors and nearby surfaces are cleaned as stirred up dust will land on your finish and stick. Once the area is clean, wipe down the wood with a tack cloth to be sure it’s spotless.

Apply Stain

Stir the stain well, but avoid shaking as that may cause bubbles. Use a natural-bristle brush to apply stain with the grain, making sure to use plenty of product so it can soak into the wood for a few seconds. Then, using a cotton rag, wipe off excess stain in the order you applied it. Use plenty of rags for even removal.

Seal and Finish

Once the stain is dry, apply a sanding sealer with a natural-bristle brush in the direction of the grain. When you reach an edge, quickly brush back lightly across the piece to eliminate brush marks. Once dry, lightly sand with a 280-grit sanding pad until all surfaces are smooth. Lastly, apply an oil-based varnish using the same technique.

Practice Makes Perfect

If you’re new to staining wood, try a practice run on a scrap piece to get a feel for the products and brushes. That way, you’ll be more confident and get better results when you do the final piece.

Want to incorporate wood into the look and feel of your home? Call TAB Associates to learn how we can integrate plenty of natural wood into your next home design.

How a Fireplace Benefits Your Home

The thought of sitting in front of a warm, crackling fireplace in your own home is something many buyers take into consideration when searching for the perfect place. TAB Associates, an architectural firm in Vail Valley, Colorado, understands how a fireplace brings structural integrity and value to any home. More than just a creature comfort, having a fireplace can bring many other benefits. Here is just a small sampling:

Cozy Environment

There’s just something about having a warm fire going, any time of the year, that brings a sense of comfort throughout the house. Gathering around an open hearth brings its own unique sense of ambiance and coziness, which is even better when it’s shared with friends and loved ones in your home.

Atmosphere

Dimming the lights and sitting in front of a bright, warm fire is a dream setting. Enjoying dinners and movie nights by firelight is truly second to none. As the sun sets, fire up your own fireplace to ensure you have a comfortable, relaxed evening at home.

Eco-Friendly Heating

Today’s wood-burning appliances have become incredibly efficient, and leave a zero-carbon footprint. Some of the higher-end wood-burning units qualify as smokeless heat sources because they produce such a small amount of emissions.

Cut Energy Costs

Electricity costs can become a source of stress as they continue to grow. Because of this, fireplaces are becoming a popular source of prime heating within the home. Some of the newer models have the possibility of distributing heat from the appliance through the existing ductwork to warm the entire home.

With the many benefits they offer, having a fireplace that is a sound and safe structure is also very important. Call the office today and learn how TAB Associates can design a fireplace for any home that is both safe and stylish!

5 Benefits of Designing With Wood

The Vail Valley architects at TAB Associates have been at the helm of many incredible wood designs. If you are thinking of designing or upgrading your next property with wood elements, take a look at 5 of the top benefits of designing with wood, here:

Infrastructure

Materials that are supposedly stronger than wood actually have a disadvantageous effect to heat. Wood actually dries when heated (not to a burning temperature, of course) and strengthens the infrastructure of your home.

Insulation

If you are building with glass, marble, aluminum or steel, you are working with materials that conduct heat exponentially faster than wood. Conducting heat means more energy leakage and more money spent on heating your home. Wood actually helps you save money in this regard—quite a lot of money over the life of a home.

A Quicker Build

Using wood is cheaper than alternative materials, and the job gets done more quickly as well. Master home manufacturers can erect a 1,000 square foot wooden home in 7 days. If you are looking to save money on labor costs while maintaining the quality of the building, use wood wherever you can.

Wood is Green

For every cubic meter of wood that you use in your construction, you save 0.8 tons of carbon emissions to the environment. Basically, every piece of wood that you are using in your home is helping to save the environment, no matter how small the construction.  Also, it is a renewable resource.  Just plant more forest.

Easily Modified

The different types of wood allow for a great deal of variety in design decisions—you currently have around 5,000 different types to choose from. Wood is also one of the easiest materials to modify once it has been set as the infrastructure of a piece of real estate.

For an architectural firm in Vail Valley that can help perfect your wood designs, call the dedicated experts at TAB Associates. We look forward to helping you create the residence of your dreams!

Making the Most of Indoor Natural Light

Most interior environments look better during the daytime if abundant natural light is part of the picture. No one likes to spend time in dreary, gloomy places. Following are strategies used by an architectural firm in Vail Valley, CO, designed to optimize natural lighting in the home.

Let the Sunshine In

The most obvious way to ensure large amounts of daylight is to use lots of glass. However, it’s not quite as simple as just placing as many windows as possible in the structure. Aesthetics such as architectural balance has to come into play as well as the home’s energy needs.

For instance, filling up a wall with large, north-facing windows probably isn’t a good strategy in locations that receive significantly cold winters, and the same principle exists with southern exposures in hot climate areas. A skilled designer will take local atmospheric conditions into consideration to ensure that the interior of the home has proper balance.

Advances in window-glass technology also offers options not available in the past. For example, southern facing windows in hot desert regions can be tinted to ensure that they don’t cause annoying glare.

The Importance of Balance

One of the most important aspects about designing for the optimal use of natural light is to pay attention to balance. Homes where the majority of sunlight is coming in through windows situated on the same wall experience uneven light, and even worse, shadows. Windows, as well as skylights, must be properly located to avoid glaring conditions on the side of the home where the windows are located, and gloom and shadows on the side with no windows.

Another important strategy used by architectural design firms is to place windows as high up as possible because the higher the light source, the deeper the light penetrates, which help keeps interior spaces bright.

Please feel free to contact us if you have questions about maximizing natural light in the home.

Tips For Mixing Different Wood Finishes In Your Home

You may be under the impression that mixing a variety of wood furniture in a single room will clash. On the contrary, if all your wood surfaces match, nothing stands out and your room can look flat and boring. While you don’t want to go overboard mixing different wood finishes, there are various techniques to help them blend nicely for a layered, more eclectic look that feels natural and balanced.

Contrast Different Tones

Mixing individual pieces of wood furniture in a room with a similarly toned wood floor causes your furnishings to blend with the floor and not stand out. You’ll make a stronger impact when you purposely contrast and break up these tones. Do this by pairing dark stained floors with lighter toned furniture or light stained floors with darker cherry or mahogany furnishings. If your still in the process of building your home and using an architectural firm in Vail Valley, ask them which wood flooring complements your furniture best.

Use a Buffer

When contrasting isn’t an option, place a buffer between the floor and your furniture by using an area rug. This option also works when the contrast is too different and incongruous to complement each other. Rugs can create a nice transition and soften the overall effect.

Tie the Room Together

Mismatched wood finishes can quickly get out of hand. You can create continuity by tying all the pieces together with matching accent colors. Curtains, lamp shades and throw pillows in the same color work well to make individual pieces blend harmoniously and flow together.

The more you understand your wood’s unique characteristics, the better you can achieve a complementary blend in your décor. Some of the most interesting rooms include varied wood tones that add character to your home and Vail Valley architects understand the importance of balancing various wood finishes. We can help you find  your balance. Call us at 970-766-1470 to start designing the home of your dreams.

Is An Open Floor Plan Right For You?

Open floor plans are one of the biggest trends being requested at Vail Valley architects today. Just as the name would imply, an open floor plan is one that makes several small rooms into one large one. Most commonly, people request that their architects create an open floor plan with the kitchen, dining room and family room all being combined into a single large area. There is no doubt that open floor plans are all the rage today — but is this type of floor plan right for your next home? Ask yourself these questions to find out.

Does Much of the Socializing Happens in the Kitchen?

Many families say that the majority of their family time and general socialization time is done in the kitchen.  This often happens because the people who do the cooking want to be involved in the conversations, and everyone tends to gravitate towards wherever the cook in preparing a meal.  If this happens in your family, an open floor plan may be perfect for you. You can wash the dishes, cook dinner and clean the kitchen all while chatting with the family and keeping an eye on the kids.  The kitchen is considered the heart of the home.

Do You Enjoy Entertaining?

If you love to entertain, there is no better option than an open floor plan. Rather than having small segments of people scattered all over the home, in an open floor plan people can mill around freely. As a host, you can keep up with all the guests every easily this way, too. Everybody is within your view at all times, and nobody will feel isolated.

Looking to create a new home with an architectural balance unique to your needs? Whether you want an open floor plan or an entirely different concept, TAB Associates can help. Give us a call to start planning your next home today!

How Balance Ties Into Architecture

What is great architecture? Several designers in Colorado believe that it is a rich interaction between various critical elements. However, there are so many elements that make up a building that it can often create confusion regarding which elements are the most crucial.

Typically, all architecture is aimed at achieving some kind of balance with respect to the design, whether symmetrical or asymmetrical. While designing, certain theories and laws need to be taken into consideration.

If architecture has to have some balance, designers need to think about synchronizing elements so that each of them relates to the other. Ultimately, the aim is to build some sort of system. Balance is not just about the physical building being structurally and aesthetically sound. Architectural balance is achieved when a designer manages to design for all human senses.

Importance of Symmetry and Asymmetry in Architectural Design

Symmetry is one way to achieve architectural balance. This means having a mirror image around a pivotal or primary axis. This is quite common in architecture, especially classical architecture. The symmetry could be radial as well.

Designers can also aim for approximate symmetry. This does not involve a mirror image. However, the elements built on one of the sides of the central axis get roughly imitated on the other.

Lastly, balance in architecture could be asymmetrical as well. Designers might find this more challenging to achieve. This could present a more intriguing view but if not done correctly, it can make all the individual parts look fine, the system as a whole could appear awkward. Asymmetrical architectural balance is usually considered as casual while symmetrical balance seems more formal.

In either case, form should follow function so manipulating the function to achieve symmetry is sometimes not true to the architecture.