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.

3 Smart Ways To Make Your Bedroom Look Bigger

Homeowners leave no stone unturned when it comes to interior design that could make a space look bigger, especially a bedroom. If you, too, are on the hunt for some smart bedroom designs, then you have reached your destination! Here, we have revealed a few secrets that deftly fool the eyes and make a room appear spacious and splendid than it actually is. Read them below!

Continue reading 3 Smart Ways To Make Your Bedroom Look Bigger

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!

How Wood Characteristics Can Bring Balance to Interior Spaces

Interior photo of a wood characteristics

Wood is one of the planet’s most natural elements, and it is commonly used by our Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, North Carolina, and South Carolina architects today. Not only are wood materials beautiful and sustainable, but utilizing them strategically can promote a greater sense of architectural balance amid interior spaces.

Don’t Hesitate to Mix and Match Woods

While monochromatic wood interiors will always be balanced, they could result in a dull room where nothing stands out. That being said, using a mixture of wood finishes and implementing such layering successfully can be tricky, and many choose to consult with our nationally certified architects for guidance in the design process.

Balancing With Light or Dark?

Homeowners who appreciate high visibility in wood grain patterns will likely be more attracted to lighter grained woods. Going with light wood is also an exceptional choice in situations where natural light is scarce as it will open up the area aesthetically. Dark accents can balance light schemes. Dark wood works best in rooms with ample natural lighting and is commonly paired with lighter hues in the form of cabinets, focal walls, flooring, and trim accents.

Bringing Wood-Heavy Rooms Together

If it seems that mixing and matching wood materials has caused a sense of disharmony in a space, it can be tied together easily using a few accent pieces and colors. Lamps, curtains, pillows and carefully picked pieces of furniture can bring confluence to the room. Most importantly, be sure to consider the characteristics of the wood and how to work with them when selecting accent pieces. If you feel unsure, an architect at our firm can help you choose wisely!

Consult an Experienced Architectural Firm 

Our Vail Valley and North Carolina architects know every trick of the trade concerning the use of wood and aesthetic balance. Contact us today at 970-766-1470 for a consultation with one of our professionals to develop the design of your dreams!

Tips to Design a Room With a View

Interior bedroom photo

When you work with our Vail Valley architects or Western North Carolina architects to develop your dream home, you may find that the architectural design offers a beautiful view from the living room or from your bedroom. The challenge is matching your decor to fit with the view. By focusing on a few key strategies, you can select decor that enhances and improves your space.

Minimize Your Furniture

When you are decorating a room that has a stunning view, you want to limit your furniture. The focal point of your design is the view from your window, so emphasize the outdoor area by minimizing the furniture in your space. If the room with a view is your bedroom, then avoid heavy dressers. Make sure to leave a large open space around the bed. For living rooms, arrange a couch and a few chairs, but avoid cluttering the space with furniture or items you do not need.

Avoid Heavy Curtains

Heavy curtains distract from the view by drawing the eyes away from the outdoor space. If you want to put curtains on the windows, then opt for light and semi-sheer curtains. Alternatively, do not put curtains in your windows. Avoid heavy curtains or curtains with colors that do not fit well with the view. You also want to make sure any curtains you select do not have complicated designs that may distract from your view. The composition of the view does not start at the window, it starts from the interior.

Focus on Neutral Colors

Since the view is the focal point of your space, you want to focus on neutral décor that allows the view to shine. Select neutral, light-hued colors so that any colors outside your window attract the eyes. For example, opt for a basic white, cream or light brown couch.

Designing your space with beautiful architectural balance in Vail Valley or Western North Carolina is a process. For more details about architectural features on a home or to set up an appointment with an interior design professional, contact us today! We are nationally certified architects currently registered in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, North Carolina, and South Carolina. We can be registered in any state, and are willing to work where ever you are located!

3 Things You Need to Know About Fireplace Installation

Fireplace in HomeIf you’re like most people, you associate fireplaces with cozy evenings that involve enjoying a hot beverage with friends and family while a blazing fire lights up the room. Now that chilly weather has arrived, you may be thinking about contacting an architectural firm about adding a fire feature to your home. The following are three things you need to think about before deciding to have a fireplace installed.

Decide What Type of Fuel You Want to Use

Although there’s nothing quite like the woodsy aroma and crackling sound made by wood-burning fireplaces or stoves, this option comes with a certain amount of effort. You’ll have to chop and carry wood, and you’ll also need an outdoor area where wood can be properly stored. Gas fireplaces, on the other hand, only require a flip of a switch to have a full-fledged fire within a matter of seconds. However, some people enjoy the exercise they get from chopping and carrying wood.

Determine Your Energy Saving Goals

Unlike wood stoves, which are combined with an overhead fan to distribute the heat throughout the room, wood-burning fireplaces don’t produce enough heat to be reliably used as a primary heat source. Their value is mostly aesthetic, so go for gas if you want your fireplace to help keep your monthly heating bills down. Gas fireplaces have a greater heat output and use less fuel overall than their wood-burning counterparts.

Check Your Safety and Building Codes

Building and safety codes are specific to individual jurisdictions, so be sure to check with yours before moving forward with plans to have a fireplace installed! If you live within the city limits, check with your municipality. Rural residents will be subject to safety and building codes set by their county.

At TAB Associates, we have over 30 years of experience helping residents of the Vail Valley and beyond, achieve the home interiors of their dreams. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today to find out more!

How to Create a More Peaceful Environment in Your Living Room

Interior photo of living room architecture and design at Red Sky Ranch

Outside of the kitchen, your living room is likely where you and your family spend most of your quality time together. It’s a place for entertaining, watching movies, reading a good book, playing with the dog — or just hanging out.

As such, it’s important to make this space especially peaceful. By cultivating a calming quality in your living room, it’s much more likely that you’ll genuinely enjoy spending time there.

How to Achieve Peace in Your Living Room

#1 – Get cozy.

Make the space plush and comfortable to be in. You should opt for throws and throw pillows that you’d actually like to cuddle up with. Invest in a wood fireplace. Choose furniture that you can truly sink into. All of these types of elements create the peaceful and inviting environment you want.

#2 – Don’t overdo the knickknacks.

It’s fun to have photos, paperweights, vases, coffee table books, and other knickknacks as a part of your design aesthetic, but the overall effect can often feel claustrophobic. It’s much better to go with a simple look and avoid cluttering your walls, shelves, bookcases, and other surfaces with too much stuff.

#3 – Pick a few colors but stop there! 

Lastly, you want two to three colors maximum to dominate the space. When it comes to palettes, go with soft, muted colors or dark neutrals. Right now, white, beige, and everything in between (off-white, eggshell, etc.) are extremely popular and offer a peaceful “Zen” feeling. Of course, a trio of black, dark mahogany, and navy can offer a similar effect in a different way.

As you can see, much of realizing a more peaceful environment in your living room is about the architectural balance — designs and settings that are either plainly symmetrical or pleasingly offset and balanced by a keen and seasoned designer.

Achieve the architectural balance you’re looking for by partnering with TAB Associates on your next home remodel project! Our Vail Valley architectural firm has been helping residents achieve the homes of their dreams since 1997. Contact us today to begin planning!

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