Tag Archives: remodel

Adding a room without adding a room

Spiderweb in the rain

How is that possible? Build-in the garage, attic or that unfinished basement, to add space without increasing the size of the home.

In all cases, the walls and roof already exist, so money is saved from an actual addition to your home. The biggest expense would be extending plumbing piping to the space, if that is on the agenda. In the case of a garage build-in the concrete floor will need to be removed where the waste piping will be located.

Existing plumbing and electrical lines should be located before any work is begun. An electrical contractor should be hired to add any additional outlets and wiring, and a plumber should be consulted for extending plumbing piping for the room.

How will the room be heated/cooled? It may be expensive to reconfigure the duct system; if so, you may choose to use a space heater and/or small split system heat pump.

The garage door and all its mechanical components have to be removed. You must decide whether to fill in the remaining opening with a wall and attempt to match the existing exterior, which will be difficult to do if the home’s exterior has aged some, or a glass system could be installed within the opening, which would provide plenty of light. If this sounds like too much exposure, the opening could be broken up with a panel infill between two windows.

The walls should be checked for adequate insulation. Plan to add insulation if needed; blow-in if the walls are already finished with gypsum board, or batt insulation between the suds, if unfinished – then install gypsum board to complete the wall. Walls can also be finished with paneling or insulated board.

Decide what type of flooring you want. The concrete should be sealed before installing any flooring. You can also build a traditional joist floor over the garage slab to match the floor level in the rest of the home, that is, if the garage floor is lower than the rest of the house, which is often, but not always the case.

Depending on the garage’s existing roof/ceiling structure and the intended use of the space, you could go with a vaulted, exposed beam ceiling, a pitched ceiling, a tray ceiling, a drywall ceiling, or a drop ceiling.

Final comments: This is a lot of work, especially for a non-professional carpenter, or a person with a full-time job! You might seriously consider hiring a contractor to do some, or all of the work. Design, permitting, and materials selection can take considerable time, and a reliable contractor will be able to advise you in making selections that will work for the look and budget that you have in mind.


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Filed under Additions, remodeling

Do you have a home built in the 1900’s to 1940’s?

Built in 1940 in Seattle

Jeb Design/ Build blog has a great article on this topic. For a home of this vintage, there can be many things that could be upgraded, if it has been put off. Jeb has some practical suggestions for where to start.

  1. Add insulation in walls and attic
  2. Replace clay pipes (waste pipe may be clay)
  3. Prop up a sagging roof
  4. Update the windows – they may be single pane! Save some energy costs here.
  5. Update the electricity
  6. Inspect the ductwork
  7. Fix/ or replace plumbing fixtures
  8. Check for termites (or carpenter ants, while you’re  under there)

I recommend that you go to the Jeb Design Build blog to get the full story on the suggested upgrades to your older home.

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Kitchens for those who don’t run with the crowd

vibrant colors

Kitchens.com has an excellent article “Vibrant Saturated Colors”, discussing how to incorporate bright, bold colors into a kitchen without overwhelming the visitor.  The designer used softer colors on countertops to bring the energy level down!

If your thing is lots of strong bright colors, this article is for you.

french country kitchen

Soft traditonal tones make this kitchen a dignified old-world style

Kitchens.com presents French Country Colors in this article. For the more traditionally oriented, this style and color choice presents a relaxed, countryside atmosphere.

Go to Kitchens.com and peruse the photo collections for ideas for your next remodel!

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Filed under kitchen remodels, remodeling

Stunning shower doors

Frameless shower doors installed by Rose Construction

Frameless shower doors provide a clean, modern look and open up the master bath. Houzz.com  has a great article giving the reader 12 reasons to consider installing them in your next bath remodel.

  1. To keep the space open and airy.
  2. Balance between traditional and modern
  3. Contrast modern and rustic
  4. Show off tile work
  5. Make a small room feel larger
  6. Natural light shines through it!
  7. Maximize the view
  8. Can provide an elegant look
  9. By it’s nature, it is minimalist by design
  10. The simplicity provides a sense of calm
  11. If your windows face a natural setting, a frameless glass shower wall connects with the outside.

Go to Houzz.com and find the 12th reason to include frameless glass shower doors and walls. There are 12 gorgeous showers shown in the article. Get some great ideas for your frameless shower doors!

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Filed under bath remodel, bathrooms, glass shower surrounds

NAHBR – National Association of Homebuilders and Remodelors

Why should you care if your home remodelor is a member of NAHBR?  Well, first off, what is it?

Founded in 1982, NAHB Remodelers of the National Association of Home Builders represents and serves the interests of more than 14,000 remodeling industry members.

The Federation of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) exists to represent the home building industry by serving its members and affiliated state and local builders associations. The NAHB members, who are involved in all aspects of a diversified building industry, create jobs for millions of people and contribute significantly to the economic activity of their community, the nation and the world.

The NAHB strives to improve housing affordability, availability and choice. To achieve this mission, some of NAHB’s goals are:

  • Public appreciation for the importance of housing, housing affordability and those who provide housing.
  • Recognized premier resource for industry and consumer information, education, research, technical expertise and networking.
  • Improved business performance of its members.

The NAHB provides education to its members and we are proud to say that Rose Construction Inc’s own DyLon McClary is a graduate of the CGR training program. CGR stands for Certified Graduate Remodelor and means that you are doing business with an individual who is committed to continuing education and professional growth and will bring exceptional skill and knowledge to your project.

To become a CGR, a remodeler must have at least five years of experience in the industry, take a qualifying exam and successfully complete a pre-set curriculum of courses specific to the remodeling industry, including project and business management.  

In addition, CGRs and GMRs are required to carry workers’ compensation and liability insurance and maintain a valid business license, where required by their state or local jurisdiction. Upon earning the designation, they must sign a Code of Ethics specific to their designation. CGRs and GMRs also are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education related to building and remodeling every three years. 

To find a CGR for your remodeling or renovation project or home addition, go to the NAHB designations directory and search by state or ZIP code.


Filed under Hire local contractors, NAHB certification, remodeling

Should you move or remodel?


VOZ! Home Remodeling has a timely article on this topic, “To Move or to Remodel, this the question.” I just had to read that article.

They start out with a dose of humor – “You should definitely remodel”, since we do remodels!  Just kidding . . .”

The article discusses the pros and cons of remodeling vs. moving in a down market. Some of the questions to be considered before making a decision are; Do you like where you live?  What is the financial investment you stand to gain (or lose) down the road?

If your family loves your neighbors, the school, and the distance from work is just right, it would make more sense to stay put and remodel. Balancing enjoyment in your home and return on investment for a remodel will help in making a decision.

Pros and cons for remodeling vs. moving are copied here from the VOZ! Home Remodeling blog; use the link to go to their website and learn more!

• You will see at least some return on your remodeling investment when you go to sell your home.
• More functional home, plus you will increase everyone’s enjoyment of it.
• Makes your home fit your family’s lifestyle better.
• Stay in neighborhood/school district you like,

• Certain projects pay off more than others.
• Don’t upgrade beyond what your neighborhood is worth – a $500,000 home in a $200,000 area won’t return the cost of remodeling. If your home is already the biggest and nicest around, it will not appreciate much more when remodeled.
• Remodeling is an invasive process.
• May take 5+ years to fully increase your home’s value.

• The layout you are looking for is already there with no time or work to be done.
• Your budget is the only limit on the size, style and area you move to. Depending on lot size, etc, you may not be able to remodel your current home into the dream you envision.

• Real estate fees– real estate commissions, taxes and closing costs; plus minor improvements in new home, furniture & window treatments, movers, etc
• Selling your current house.
• Cost of moving – time, money and energy spent moving

A lot of things to consider, but the home is usually the biggest investment most of us have, and decisions should be made only after much research.

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Filed under remodeling

Is the lowest bid the best bid?

Home exterior remodel

The blog “Kathy’s remodeling blog” has a very informative article titled “Why competitive bidding doesn’t work”.  If you are not sure of this, ask yourself if you would like to fly in a plane knowing the airline manufacturer who built it was the lowest bidder.

As Kathy’s blog explains, the contractors bidding will not have complete plans and so will not have complete information to bid on. An honest contractor will include everything he expects to encounter on the job, such as moldings, light sockets and etc. A shady contractor will not include them, and will have a low bid.

During construction these things will have to be added, and the costs will go up. So, what should you do to avoid this? Kathy’s blog suggests:

“So, what to do? I suggest you find an excellent contractor (whom you judge by face-to-face meetings, talking to staff, talking to references, visiting prior jobs, searching the Internet, considering awards and professional certifications), and an excellent architect or designer (judged by the same criteria), and put these two stellar individuals together to design your remodel. Find the great people first, then move forward as a team.”

Kathy’s blog lists additional resources and information on how to hire the best contractor for your job.

There is a humorous (and true) story highlighting why you should thoroughly check out the general contractor before hiring. (At Rose Construction, Inc. we work with the same subcontractors year after year, and know them well.)

From the Deseret News in Salt Lake City:

 “Handyman steals pills, jewelry, then passes out in clients bedroom.”  This fellow was hired to do some work on a woman’s house. When she arrived home at 7:30 pm, she found his truck still in her driveway. She called the police after finding things disturbed in the house. The police arrived to find the man passed out in her bedroom with some of her prescription medication scattered around him. They found some of her jewelry in his pockets.

I suspect the Darwin principle got this guy out of the business, but he might move somewhere else and inflict himself on another unsuspecting client. Don’t rely on the lowest bid to get a good contractor – do your homework and verify they are honest, reliable and have a good reputation in the area.


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Filed under Hire local contractors, remodeling