Is a Retrofit Right for You?

A retrofit can be a great way to improve an older home, adding amenities and custom features that increase everything from its resale value to its functionality. However, in some cases, it might actually be better to choose the new construction avenue, especially if the structure is energy deficient. We’ll look at the major factors to consider and how to approach the problem should you decide a retrofit is right for you.

Why Retrofits Are Popular

For the most part, you’re usually better off choosing a retrofit. Retrofits tend to give renovators more options because they can work within the existing infrastructure. It’s also the more cost-efficient option because it doesn’t require extensive replacement of the available systems.

Costs and Maintenance

Before you decide whether a retrofit is right for you though, you need to consider what it would take to bring the property up to code. Single-family homes are typically straightforward, but if you owned a duplex or larger property, the cost comparison might be closer than you think. If the structure needs a lot of work to meet modern-day standards, the process of retrofitting is potentially more expensive than starting from scratch. In addition, keep in mind that if you retrofit one area, such as the kitchen, it might make maintenance more expensive for the rest of the home.

Vail Valley and Western North Carolina Architects

If you’re searching for an architectural firm in Vail Valley or western North Carolina, it’s likely because you have a relatively big project to take on. Experts recommend approaching it one step at a time to get a sense of how each retrofit is benefitting the entire property. It helps to find someone who can take a closer look at the building and devise a plan for it. If you need help deciding where and how to retrofit your home, call TAB Associates today. Whether you need a more modern kitchen or a total redo, we’re here to find the best path forward.

Eco-Friendly Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

Your bathroom is one of the main areas of your home that boosts its value overall, so it’s good to make updates to it from time to time. If you’ve been thinking of doing a bathroom remodel, making a few eco-friendly changes could improve your home’s value even more. Keep the following bathroom remodeling ideas in mind for a more eco-friendly home.

Eco-Friendly Fixtures

If you’re planning on replacing the plumbing fixtures in your bathroom, such as your toilet, choose ones that are environmentally friendly. Consider getting a toilet that uses a much lower amount of water for flushing, which helps cut down on your household’s water usage. You can also look into getting a dual flush toilet that gives you the option to choose a lower or heavier setting for water flow. For sinks, consider getting low-flow faucets. These fixtures use considerably less water than standard faucets. We do not suggest using low flow shower heads because you will not enjoy your showering experience.

Energy-Efficient Lighting

If your bathroom remodeling plans include upgrading your lighting, make the switch to energy-efficient lights. LED lighting fixtures for bathrooms provide plenty of light while also reducing the amount of energy you use. Another option is to have motion-sensor bathroom lights installed that turn on when you enter the room and shut off when you leave. Proper placement of these motion-sensor switches is imperative or you will have the lighting going off while you are still using the bathroom. Energy-efficient bathroom lights are available in a wide range of styles, including overhead lights and wall sconce lights.

Sustainable Flooring

If you’re thinking of having a new floor put into your bathroom, consider sustainable materials rather than traditional ones. Bamboo and hardwood that are responsibly sourced are a couple of options to consider. If you prefer something other than wood for your bathroom due to moisture concerns, look into other sustainable options, such as ceramic tiles.

If you’re interested in making changes or upgrades to your bathroom, please contact our Vail Valley and western North Carolina architects for more information. We can help you get started on your bathroom remodeling project.

How To Make Your Home Energy-Efficient?

When it comes to building a dream house, every homeowner thinks of ways to live more comfortably, save money, and reduce their carbon footprint. Fortunately, we live in an era where technology and innovation are dominating the world of architecture. These smart technologies, when incorporated smartly into homes, make it easier for us to live efficiently.

Despite incredible innovations, many homeowners are not enjoying the benefits of going green because they’re not sure where to start.

If you’re building a new home or thinking about renovating your house, hire professional architects who are able to help you improve your house’s energy efficiency. To make the decision easier for you, we’ve shared some smart tips on home improvement in this post!

Take the advantage of the Sun
The orientation of your house should use sun rays to maximize the amount of natural daylight. The placement of your house depends on the design and also the climate where you’re building in. You can ask your architect for advice on how you should build your house to get the best results.

Maximize the insulation
To cut on heating and cooling costs, consider insulating your house. This provides resistance to heat loss or gain, depending on your climate. There are plenty of insulation materials – from rock wool and natural fibers to sleek foils and rigid foam boards, as well as spray foam – that you can consider for insulation. Not only does a properly insulated house save on utility costs but also keeps your family more comfortable!

Install proper doors and windows
To maintain the efficiency of proper daylighting, you would need to invest in proper doors and windows. You may also consider investing in quality window films for existing windows and doors, that prevent harmful sunlight from damaging your valuables and overheating your space. These sheets can block the sun if needed for the winter chills, so the proper film for the climate is crucial.  Proper overhangs are the first and most important step.

To know more about making your home energy efficient, get in touch with TAB Associates to hire professional architects in Edwards Colorado and Western North Carolina!

Three Reasons This Vail Valley, CO & Western NC Architectural Firm Is Your Best Choice!

indoor architecture

Life often moves fast.  In this life, we are each challenged to find ways to attempt to create a lasting legacy.  Shaping our shared external environment by creating physical structures is one way that we can share ourselves with the world beyond our years.  Sometimes you just need a place to live, work, and play.

TAB Associates has the experienced, balanced architectural approach you need!

Three Reasons TAB Associates In Vail Valley, Colorado & Western North Carolina Is The Architectural Design Firm You Need

We Design Structures For You

With over 30 years of experience and more than $600 million in development properties, we have proven our expertise! Over the years, we have been intricate partners in creating single and multi-family houses, as well as properties in resort, commercial, medical, and institutional categories.  Our company’s mission is to build properties to reflect our customers, not our egos.

Balanced Architectural Design

Once we set our egos aside, we were able to focus on a balanced architectural approach. We pride ourselves on our ability to combine the customers’ vision, site circumstances, and our experience.  Using these three factors, we can create structures that are practical, functional, and aesthetically pleasing.

One-Stop-Shop From Idea To Ribbon Cutting

Unless you work in architecture or construction, you do not spend your life building structures. Because projects are equally immense, intense and have a variety of unknowns, many people recall this process as one of the most stressful events in their lives. That is why we manage the entire building process for our customers.  We become our client’s point of contact from the first consultation through the entire design phase, and ending with the various construction contractors. Selecting TAB means getting the structure you want with minimal stress attached!

Don’t Delay Building Your Dreams

Don’t hesitate to leave your mark on the world. We provide a balanced architectural approach to creating the facility you need.  Contact TAB Associates today for your free consultation!

How to Use Negative Space to Transform Your Home Decor

living space with decor

Does your home feel too cluttered, busy or otherwise weighed down? Perhaps the issue is a lack of negative space, which can be rectified with the right interior elements and working with Vail Valley and Western North Carolina architects! Here’s a look at how you can update your home by effectively using negative space ― defined as the space around objects ― to bring balance to your home.

Invite Imperfection

We want our homes to appear lived-in and comfortable, not sterile or “too perfect”. Even though symmetry is appealing to the eye, placing a mirror, artwork or other decorative objects off to one side, rather than perfectly centered, can give your room a bit of character. Just a touch of negative space can produce this effect, giving your home an inviting look and creative flair.

Harmonize Awkward Spaces

An architectural space that is awkward, such as space beneath a staircase, can be beautifully transformed by leaving the area empty and simply adding the right lighting or paint color ― rather than filling it with furniture or decorative objects. You can achieve an artistic look this way without much effort.

Create Balance

Let pieces of furniture or artwork be the focal point in your room without overwhelming the space with items such as lamps ― that is unless the fixture or other object is perfect for creating a balanced look. This design strategy doesn’t require a simple, pared-down decor scheme, unless that is your aim. You can decorate with the style of your choice, whether shabby chic, mid-century modern or traditional, and still enhance your decor by keeping clutter to a minimum and introducing ample negative space.

A home that looks harmonious invites comfort and relaxation. At TAB Associates, an architectural firm in Vail Valley and in the mountains of Western North Carolina, we have the experience and expertise to help you create the interior space you crave. Contact us to learn more or to schedule a consultation today!

Log Homes – Advantages over Conventional Homes, Types of Construction & Maintenance Tips

luxury log home

Initially only used as reserved cabins, second homes, or vacation properties, log homes have gained a lot of popularity over the years as a place for full-time residence. People are not only looking to buy log homes in their desired locations, such as Vail, but also designing them for a more comfortable and personalized living experience. True logs are constructed with interlocking logs and notching at the corners. Log homes offer a variety of benefits over conventional homes. They are aesthetically more appealing in a mountain environment — both from the inside and the outside. They feature internal load bearing beams, a very sought-after design trait that gives a fantastic, traditional look. Log homes are also very strong and can withstand extreme climatic conditions such as hurricanes, earthquakes and snowstorms. In addition to that, they can be more energy-efficient than modern properties, and they smell great! Additionally, log veneered homes can provide the look of a log home without some of the problems associated with true logs, such as settling and checking.

Building a log home requires a lot more attention than what you may think

Are you also planning to build a log home? Great! Have you started doing the research on your options yet? Though it stands true for any property, log homes, in particular, can be a minefield of nuances and require a lot more attention. So, it’s important that you consider your options carefully to ensure that you don’t end up missing or compromising on certain things that later increase maintenance cost. A crucial part of the process is hiring a good log home architect in Vail, Colorado — somebody who specializes in this area and carries a good amount of experience. Keeping your requirements and expectations in mind, they can help you get exactly what you are looking for in your log home.

Types of Log Home Construction

The type of log home construction is determined by how the logs are laid and how they bear weight. In North America, there are four common types of log home construction: Stacked, Post and Beam, Square-Cut and Veneered.

  • Stacked – Stacked construction creates that iconic image of a log home. Logs are stacked horizontally, forming both the exterior and interior walls, without the need for drywall. Grooves are cut on the underneath of the logs to form a tight seal with the chinking. The stacked construction type is amazingly sturdy.
  • Post and Beam – Instead of piling logs on top of one another, post and beam construction uses a series of vertical posts and horizontal beams to create a structure that bears the weight of the property. The remaining walls are then built with cinder blocks, timber, logs, or framed with log veneer. This type of construction generally uses less logs than the stacked construction, so it is relatively less expensive. The design is also very flexible, which allows both owners and log home architects in Vail, Colorado more opportunity for creativity. Imagine big bay windows and the steeply peaked roofs! Post and beam construction also has fewer issues with settling as compared to stack construction.
  • Square-Cut – Square-cut homes, also known as timber-frame or hybrid, are very similar to the post and beam construction type with one major difference. With post and beam, the home features a naturally rounded profile of the logs. With a square-cut home, the logs are sawn flat or square to create a more modern construction type that owners typically pair with siding.
  • Veneered – These homes are traditionally framed and the half log veneer is applied as a siding material. Full logs with a corner cut out are used as corner treatments and as headers.

Maintenance Tips

There is one word that really haunts log home owners – rot! Preventative maintenance is the key, but keeping your log home moisture-free begins with the design process and ensuring your roofs overhangs are sufficient to cover both the foundation and lower logs. Typically, this will be about a two to three foot overhang. From there, many maintenance tasks are similar to a conventional home. Checking the roof at regular intervals and clearing debris from your gutters is crucial. However, there are some maintenance tasks that are specific to log homes. For example, you’ll want to check the exterior logs of your home about twice a year for any rot or checking, paying specific attention to the south facing wall as it receives the most weather damage. Experts also recommend re-staining your log home about every 3 years to avoid further Sun damage. Also, chinking the checks in the logs is a necessity.

So, there you have it. We went over some of the advantages, the four major construction types, and some of the maintenance tips of a log home!

Call TAB Associates Today – Your Log Home Architect in Vail & Western NC

If you are also seeking professionals to help build a log home in Vail, or need architectural, planning or interior designing service, get in touch with TAB Associates today! We are a fully licensed and insured log home architect in Vail, Colorado. If you have queries related to any project, call us at (970) 766-1470 or send an email at info@tabassociates.com or tab@vail.net.

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 sub-projects 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 the warm steam of 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 are also 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 any space. The wrong flooring can be a thorn in the side and require an unplanned remodel. When your architectural firm is considering flooring for your 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 any 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 while still retaining 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 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.