Thursday, May 29, 2014

Custom Home Tips by Room: The Bathroom

After the kitchen, bathrooms are the next most valuable rooms in your home. As such, you need to carefully design your bathrooms with both functionality and visual appeal in mind. Here are a few things you should consider before you meet with your general contractor:

Safety First

The constant presence of water makes bathrooms a slipping hazard. If you plan to have young children or elderly people living with you, make safety your priority. Flooring should be pre-treated to be slip-resistant. You should also provide ample space for grab rails near toilets and bathtubs.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

What to Consider When Building a Home in Florida

Who wouldn’t want to live in Florida? The sun is always shining, “winters” are warm, and the professional sports teams are pretty good. Add the fact that beaches are minutes away, and it’s easy to see why many people choose to have homes built in the area.

Living in Florida isn’t as care-free as it seems though. Homes in the area are subjected to a climate that is vastly different from the rest of the U.S. That in mind, here are a few things you need to consider when designing your new home:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Building out for Love of Tipple

A look at the social scene in Palm Beach, Florida will yield hits on various wine stores and fine dining restaurants. In some cases, the classy side of you will want to invest in a serious wine collection. However, wine storage at home has a science to go with it, which is something that an expert general contractor can help you with.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Basics of Tenant Build-Outs

Every building owner aims to generate income for their place by leasing space to prospective tenants, whether they may be business owners or residents in the case of condo complexes. If you’re a business owner who just obtained a good space in a commercial property, it is time to seek an expert builder who can do a build-out according to your preferences. However, you need to account for certain factors in determining the final cost of the project.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Green Advantages of Commercial Asphalt Pavements

Green building standards are enforced by federal regulations in order to promote energy efficiency across the board. For new constructions of commercial establishments like condos, malls, and corporate offices, asphalt pavement can contribute to green building objectives.

For its composition and manufacture, asphalt is considered as a sustainable material in itself. The asphalt mix comprises of recycled stones, sand, gravel, and other materials like used tires, glass, and roof shingles. Even old asphalt pavements can be reclaimed and reused to make new asphalt mixes, which lessens the demands for mining new materials. Producing and replacing asphalt also takes less energy and toxic emissions compared to alternatives like concrete.

The smooth roads produced by asphalt paving becomes advantageous to the fuel efficiency of travelers while still allowing strong traction with maximum tire contact and less noise pollution. Maintenance and repairs done on asphalt pavements are faster and less frequent, which reduces construction delays, traffic volume, and ultimately, fuel wastes.

A competent West Palm Beach general contractor and their trusted vendors can help in strategically designing and constructing asphalt-paved parking lots and roadways for your commercial property. Aside from asphalt paving, other cost-effective, sustainable materials and processes can be used and performed by such contractors in order to comply with green building standards.

A Few Good Options for Residential Siding

The walls of a house are among its most important parts, simply because their primary function is to protect the structure’s residents. When it comes to wall protection, a large portion of the work comes from the siding material installed. Function aside, the exterior siding of a house can be a good opportunity for an owner's creativity to step in, making the house more unique in appearance. Here are some good options for siding to make your property stand out.

Vinyl siding is one of the best options. It is relatively cheap, durable, comes in a wide variety of colors, and requires little maintenance. All these characteristics make vinyl highly adaptable to many different visual styles.

Wood siding is also another good option for siding. Though it requires regular maintenance, wood siding materials are some of the more versatile when it comes to design. Wood siding can be painted on and easily be replaced. However, it is one of the more expensive siding choices in the market.

Another cost-effective option, aluminum siding is quite durable and highly recyclable; perfect for colder climates because of its resistance to water damage. Like wood, can easily be painted over when its color fades away. Although the material is prone to denting, maintenance required is very minute, and its inexpensiveness and resistance to rot pretty much makes up for its shortcomings.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Different Phases of a Construction Project

Before hiring a general contractor to work on your home construction, it helps to have at least basic knowledge of the construction process. Besides buying materials and the actual construction, there are several other phases to consider, including designing and planning, securing the necessary permits, and job scheduling. Each plays a crucial role in the successful completion of the project in time.

Designing and planning refers to the drawing and analysis of the features of the building you specified. They may look plain and simple in your imagination but to an architect or engineer, it comes in complex details that have to be properly laid out on paper following existing building codes. This phase may take a while depending on the size of the project and features of the structure.

Since a construction project will likely involve massive tasks like excavation and material delivery, not to mention potential noise that can disturb your neighbors, you’ll have to obtain the necessary permits for it first. A building permit is normally issued by the engineering department of the city or town where the construction work will be done.

When all documents and preparations are done, it’s time for the actual construction to take place. Considering that the construction project may take several weeks or months to finish, the contractor will have to create a well-defined schedule of tasks. Workers are normally given specific tasks that they have to finish throughout the day in relation to a weekly goal.

Is it Better to Remodel or Build a New Kitchen?

One of the most common home improvement projects in the U.S. is kitchen remodeling. It is also lauded as one of the most lucrative home renovations in terms of increased home values. According to statistics, a minor renovation to the kitchen allows a homeowner to recoup as much as 72 percent of the initial value while major construction work can recover 66 percent of their costs.

Remodeling is also ideal if the family only wants to add some more aesthetic appeal or function to their kitchens. For example, installing a new countertop or a more-sophisticated ventilation system doesn’t require a full-blown makeover. The family also has more incentive to remodel their kitchen rather build a new one from scratch if they plan on selling their house in the future, as remodeling is much cheaper than a new construction.

However, there are some circumstances wherein building a new kitchen is more practical than remodeling the old one. For example, a kitchen that suffered extensive water damage is better off replaced with a new one because no amount of remodeling work can fix soggy tiles, faded countertops, and extensive mold infestation. A growing household size can also be a reason to build a brand-new kitchen since large families typically need larger kitchens.

So when should you choose one over the other? It mainly depends on your budget and intended purpose. It would help greatly if you have an experienced contractor take a look at what needs to be done.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Finding the Right Contractor in Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County is one of Florida's wealthiest counties. It is home to 12 cities, 20 towns, and 6 villages. Around 1.32 million people live in this county. With that population, demand for residential houses and commercial buildings will not slow down any time soon, thereby making contractor services in the area quite essential. So how does one look for reliable general contractors in Palm Beach County? Thorough research can help you do that.

You can start by getting referrals from friends who've had houses built or remodeled recently and from people online. Try asking contractors who have been referred to you if they can show you jobs they did that are more or less close to what you require. You may also drive by the houses that they made, so you can somehow assess the quality of their work.

Look into a contractor’s business practices too. There might be underlying business problems that can take a toll on you. Majority of leading contractors can build a good house, but not all of them can run a good business. You can also ask them to show you their contracts with subcontractors (if any) and do inquire about their operations and processes.

Finally, try finding out how a contractor interacts with his clients and team. The one who is the smartest, most creative, and approachable is usually the right choice. 

Building Proper Relations with a Contractor

Whether it’s for repair, renovation, or general home improvement, homeowners expect the best services they can get out of the contractors they hire. That said, home improvement and its outcome is not entirely a contractors responsibility—homeowners play an important role as well. With the client and contractor working hand in hand, problems are avoided and the entire construction project becomes more manageable. As a homeowner, here are some ways you can make the contractor’s job more efficient.

Prepare the work area before the work starts. By moving furniture and important items out of the way, you help the workers start on their job early and avoid potential losses and breaks with your belongings during the renovation.
  • Offer simple items and services to the contractors. For instance, you can give them food and drinks while they are taking a break. Allow them to use the bathroom if needed. This act of hospitality can really help them with their work, and their appreciation will likely reflect on the quality of their job.
  • Pay them accordingly and promptly when the construction is finished. If you’re satisfied with their work, you can refer the contractor to other homeowners that may be in need of their services. A little goodwill goes a long way.