Author Archive for BTSS

A Custom Outdoor Kitchen Will Increase Your Property Value in Charlotte

Summer in Charlotte, NC is almost here and a custom outdoor kitchen is a great way to allow you to have all of your friends over for a top quality outdoor meal. While a really high quality outdoor kitchen can certainly run you thousands of dollars, it will definitely add to the property value of your home as well as make you the center of attention at any block party.  By having your own custom outdoor kitchen installed in your backyard, people will flock in whenever you invite them (provided you are a decent cook) for loads of fun, well cooked meals and an atmosphere you can only find in high priced restaurants.

You can choose to construct your outdoor kitchen in one of two different ways. The first, and most Custom outdoor kitchen_2practical is the enclosed variety. This type of custom outdoor kitchen is perfect for people who may live in an area with a lot of rain or wind, like some areas of the Charlotte metro region.  By building a roof on your outdoor kitchen you will be able to use it nearly all year round, so you really get your money’s worth. Alternatively, you can build a custom outdoor kitchen without a roof. Generally people can do this without hiring a contractor, but you will not be able to use it any time other than those days with absolute pristine weather.

Custom outdoor kitchen_1A custom outdoor kitchen can be as small or as spectacular as you want it to be. Your budget and your imagination are the only limits in the world of the outdoor kitchen. While many people may rather have an expensive in ground pool, there are those who are not comfortable with the water and would much rather enjoy their time outside in front of a grill or refrigerator.  Furthermore, an outdoor kitchen makes it easy to prepare any foods you may want, as you will have space to grill, places to store food and a sink to clean everything up in – all in one easy to use location. No more running back and forth from the indoor kitchen to the barbeque in the backyard.  Allow Dream Home Builders & Remodelers to help you envision and build your new custom kitchen or transform an existing outdoor space.

Converting a Garage in Charlotte: Is It a Good Idea?

Is converting a garage in Charlotte a good idea? There could be a numerous reasons for wanting more living space in your house. Maybe your children are growing up, or your parents are coming to stay with you. But whatever the case may be, making use of your attic or basement as extra living space is the first thing that comes to mind.

A few of the houses, however, have no basements. In some homes, you can’t even use the attic as a living space because the roof is too low to provide adequate headspace. The solution to this problem is that most houses come with a garage, whether it is attached or detached. This is a space that is just begging to be converted, into a guest bedroom, a home office, a game room or your own personal cabana.

So, should you do it? Sure, but don’t forget to take these things into consideration before going ahead with the plan:

Car parking space

This, of course, is the real function of a garage. But if you’re converting a garage into something else, make sure you not only have enough space to park your car elsewhere, but that it is also as safe and as weather proof as it was in the garage.


Unlike the rest of the house, the garage is not insulated. So if you’re converting it into a bedroom, for example, keep in mind that you’re going to be at the mercy of the weather all night unless you get it insulated.


This is another side effect of having no insulation, and is also something you should take into consideration, if you’re planning on using the garage as a home theater or a music room.


epoxy-garage-flooring1Your garage flooring is built at a lower level than the rest of your house. Also, unlike the flooring in the rest of the house, it’s a solid block of concrete with cracks and years of grease stains. So, make sure you know that the flooring is going to need some work.

Resale value

Last but not the least, and perhaps the most important of all, if you’re planning on putting your home on the market anytime soon, make sure you know that potential buyers are not going to look favorably on a converted garage. Many will deduct the area of the garage from the overall living space of the house. Some may even recoup the reconstruction cost of the garage in their final offer.

Thus, converting a garage is not as easy as it looks. But it’s a lot of fun. And like everything else, there are risks involved. But if you are certain that the risks are worth the returns, go ahead and do it. People have used their garage for a lot of creative activities. Let’s see you what you can come up with!

Charlotte Garage: Functional or Storage Space?

Is a Charlotte garage better used as functional or storage space? Garages, apart from being, well, garages – the place where we park our cars when not in use – are commonly used as the dumping ground of the house. Anything the family doesn’t immediately need, gets thrown in some corner, where it will stay for the next several years, probably gathering dust, never to see the light of day again. The result: your garage starts looking like the decrepit old warehouse of some abandoned factory.garage storage 1

But is it a given that a functional garage cannot have more storage space? Or a garage designed with storage in mind will have to compromise on functionality? Definitely, no! There’s a fine line between function and storage, and that is to have something aptly called a functional storage system in your garage. Attractive and conveniently arranged garage storage spaces not only create a pleasant, stress free atmosphere, they also provide an appealing interior design, which increases the market value of your home and helps you sell it quickly and for a better price.

With so many people in Charlotte, NC, thinking about remodeling their garages nowadays, it is a great chance to design it as a proper functional workspace.

There are a number of ways you can go about this.

  • First of all, you need to know how much space you need to make to store everything in your garage. Put everything into bins and group them by their use and size.
  • Hammer a recycled wood or fiber sheet onto the wall and hook all your tools on it and you have the beginning of a home workshop.
  • Tall cabinets are great for inconspicuously storing things but make sure to buy the ones with adjustable shelves so you can customize the space inside to meet your needs. There should also be one lockable compartment, at least, to store any harmful substances out of reach of children. Or put a couple of low cabinets side by side and set another sheet on top to make a nice workbench.
  • Make use of every inch. Keep sports gear and gardening tools on sturdy, wall-mounted racks.
  • If you have high ceilings in your garage, use them. Install overhead shelves and racks to store items scarcely used throughout the year in Charlotte, NC, for example, sledding or skiing equipment.
  • Try to keep as little things on the floor as possible. This not only reduces clutter, but makes it easier to clean.garage storage 2

And like this, a little bit of effort can go a long way to make your garage “functionally spacious”.

Do Garage Remodels in Charlotte Recoup Their Cost?

Do garage remodels in Charlotte recoup their cost?

Putting money into the house, whether it is for a remodel, or an additional room, is a kind of investment for the owner. There’s always the question of whether they’ll be able to recoup the cost when the house goes on sale. And for most other rooms in the house, a renovation makes sense from that aspect.

However, for a majority of the people, especially in Charlotte, NC, a garage is just a storage area for theirgarage remodel car and other equipment, and doesn’t really justify much, if any, investment into its outlook, before the house goes on the market. A small number of people, who do spend time and money on their garages, mostly do it for themselves without any expectations of getting a return on their money.

But how true is this notion? Should you totally disregard your garage if it doesn’t make a difference of the overall value of the house? The answer is, no.

The two major factors that dictate whether garage remodels in Charlotte recovers its cost are the location of the house and the purpose of remodeling. Contrary to popular belief, there are a few types of garage renovations that offer a very handsome return on the investments.

garage remodel 2Those that intelligently utilize the garage space to maximize living space or functionality of the garage top the list, while increasing curbside appeal is another big factor that buyers in Charlotte, NC are willing to spend extra cash for. If your home  as well. Just like another living room, dubbed as the “home theater” or “recreational room”, your garage can help elevate the house’s impression on potential buyers.

However, a little advice for homeowners looking into garage renovations is to focus on things with a wide appeal. A home office is going to be useless for most people, and the idea of having a built in gym wouldn’t be that exciting either. Instead, think of adding a living space that your house currently lacks, as that would make it seem lucrative to buyers, for example, a game room or a swimming pool.

These are some factors deciding whether you can recoup your garage’s remodeling cost. If you are thinking about remodeling your garage, seek advice from a professional remodeling contractor and find out what type of project would be suitable for your needs.

The Importance of Planning Ahead for a Home Remodel in Charlotte

Negotiating the permitting/planning process and actually beginning the construction comfortably inside the same building season can be quite difficult to pull off in a home remodel in Charlotte. Home renovation and remodeling is a big task, and most homeowners in Charlotte are simply not prepared as they head into such a project. This more often than not, leads to low quality work or high job costs. If you want to protect your investment and quite frankly your mental health as well, it is definitely necessary for you to get a head start on your plans for remodeling.

Home Remodeling Plans

First things first: you should avoid all the rush whenever you can. January is undoubtedly the choice for all those who wish to have a remodeling project done, which is why at this time of the year, all the folks have their time at a premium.planning ahead

Home Remodel in Charlotte That Works

Planning ahead means you get enough time to weigh all your choices, discuss the project with relatives and friends, find fantastic sales, and call or actually pay a visit to your reference list of contractors or designers in Charlotte, NC. You can do this all without being rushed, which is a welcoming feeling on its own. Always remember that you’ll have to live with the results of your decisions for years to come, so the more time have, the better it is.

The First Few Steps

If your project’s bids have come in over the projected budget, an entirely new selection of choices is underway. Will you be able to bring your project into line alongside material changes? Can you cut back on your project, with new or completely re-drawn plans? Which contractor should you hire? Can your project be carried out in phases? Have you looked at the work of the contractor?

Early planning enables you to find bargains and sales. By getting ready at the start of the building season, you have the best advantage of demand and supply as far as selective building and contractor selection are concerned.

All of these aspects as well as several others can definitely arise prior to the remodeling project. As such, you should do the best that you can to stay ahead of everything that surrounds your project before it gets underway. Keep in mind that your home remodel should be something you are able to truly enjoy; it shouldn’t be something you push through.

Energy Efficient in Charlotte – Windows and Doors Make a Difference

When remodeling a home, many people still do not know that there are many ways in which you can make your home more energy efficient in Charlotte. And while they may take care about putting LED lights everywhere, they do not really understand how much of a difference energy efficient windows and doors can make.

The benefit of energy efficient windows and doors

If you are thinking about home improvement, then you can definitely consider investing in energy efficient windows and doors. These windows and doors can reduce your cooling and heating bills drastically and make your home cooler in the summers and warmer during the winter months. Here are a few benefits of these windows and doors:

1.     Glass coating

Energy efficient windows make sure of a special glass that is low emissive, also called Low-E glass. This is used in blocking as much as 90% of the sun’s rays so that the heat outside can be kept out during the summers and the heat inside can be kept in during the winter. This also helps in reducing the overall energy bills, especially since you would not feel the need to use too much of the air conditioning or heater.

2.     Spacer systems

100% polymer structural foam is placed on windows to ensure that they remain properly insulated, condensation free, and thermally efficient. Spacer systems help to reduce the U value or heat loss rate. The lower the overall U value is, the more the efficiency of these windows.

3.     Window technology

Some recent technologies make sure that most of the UV rays get blocked. A triple paned glass window is especially useful in making sure that as much as 97% of the sun’s rays get blocked. Another amazing energy windowstechnology fills out spaces inside the glass with Krypton gas so that further heat transfer can be reduced.

Energy efficient doors and windows can make a great difference, especially with regards to your energy bills. And what more could you want in the long term if you can ensure a drastic reduction in your energy bills and the overall impact that your house can receive.

There are many consultants that can guide your purchase and make sure that you make an informed decision in regards to your home improvement. Such steps are also becoming necessary, especially since energy bills continue to rise year by year. So remember to make your home more energy efficient in Charlotte – windows and doors make a difference!


Building a Separate Garage in Charlotte or Extending Your Existing One?

If you’re planning on building a separate garage in Charlotte or extending your existing one, there are a few things you’ll need to consider beforehand.

Of course, the first step would be determining if it’s legally and physically even possible to make a garage detached garageon your plot or extend the one you have. For this, you’ll have to make an appointment with the Charlotte, NC, Planning Department, and find out about the regulations regarding garages.

For example, how close you are allowed to build to the edges of your property. Also inquire if there are any special restrictions that apply to your area. Some residences have a requirement to have deeper setbacks on the sides with doors. There might also be rules governing the way you should design your driveway, how tall the walls should be and what percentage of your plot you can cover with a roof.

But perhaps, the biggest question that arises here is whether you should just extend your existing garage, or build a separate structure? An attached garage wins in the convenience department, and also costs a lot less to make, compared to a detached one. You save footsteps and won’t have to get wet as you dash out to your car in a storm.

There are a few advantages to having a detached garage too, though. Parking your car in a separate structure means your house will stay free from exhaust fumes and the engine noise. It also provides a little bit of privacy in case you like to tinker with your car or use the garage for some other hobby. So carefully consider these things before deciding.

Another important factor you should consider is size. Cars today are much bigger than they used to be in the 90s. A single car garage needs at least 20 feet by 14 feet of space while a two car garage can be built in as small as 24 feet by 20 feet of space, but you’ll be happier with an extra 6 or 8 feet in length and width.

Finally, it’s important that a garage should look like a part of the house. It should neither be so big as to dwarf the rest of the house, nor so small that it looks like a big dog kennel. Most houses in Charlotte, NC are modest sized, so tacking a big garage onto the side will most likely deteriorate the visual impact as well.

Keep all this in mind to make the best decision!


Home Remodeling and Renovations in Charlotte: Cost vs. Value

Home remodeling and renovations in Charlotte for specific areas of any single family home is a great way for homeowners to get more beauty and functionality from their property at the expense of someone else’s money. By remodeling yourself many owners can enjoy those benefits until they are ready to sell.  By picking the right remodeling and renovations to enhance the living space, a significant part of the expenses can be passed down to the future homeowners by increasing the sales price to recover the improvement costs.

Minneapolis Home Remodelers 2014 Cost Vs Value Report by Hanley Wood

Think Before Building

The ROI (return on investment) of a renovation project is a local market characteristics’ function. This means that it is the condition of the real estate market during the time the property is sold and the overall quality of the work carried out. On average and historically, specific projects, such as adding a additions, bathroom and kitchen upgrades, as well as window replacement, seem to offer the greatest return on investment regardless of the location of the property or the state of the property market.

Consider the Location

When looking over any kind of project, it is important to ensure that the improvements being made are appropriate for the particular kind of local property area and dwelling. Homeowners make a common mistake of improving their home to a well above average condition as compared to neighboring houses. The buyers are usually attracted to any particular neighborhoods due to the nearby services and due to the fact that the houses in that area trade in their price range.

Despite the fact that a home improved well above all other properties nearby might still get the same or a bit more interest as compared to the other homes being marketed, it is unlikely that the home will get a premium more than the average due to the additional improvements.

It’s All About the Value

While a remodeling project is being contemplated, homeowners need to take into account the value they will be receiving from their project over any cost recovery which might be available from the sale. What’s more, while contemplating changes that are equally useful, homeowners also need to research the local guides on real estate for determining the specific projects that will be most likely to pay for themselves. Of course, apart from all of this, you definitely need to keep in mind that bigger isn’t always necessarily better. As such, spend wisely as spending big will not always ensure you get a greater amount of value.

Cost vs Value Report

Annually annual report compares cost vs value for 36 of the most common home improvement projects for 102 markets around the country.  Best of all its Free and can be found here:


Increase Your Charlotte Home’s Resale Value by Remodeling Your Bathroom

Increase Your Charlotte Home's Resale Value by Remodeling Your Bathroom

Increase Your Charlotte Home’s Resale Value by Remodeling Your Bathroom

There are many ways to increase your Charlotte home’s resale value by remodeling your bathroom. When buyers are taking tours of homes for sale, the main areas that they focus on are the bathrooms. For a few, the sheer amount of bathrooms inside a house is essential–the home must have a family bathroom (full bath), a half bathroom (powder room), and a master bathroom. If you don’t have enough bathrooms in your house and are looking to sell your home, then you might as well get to work on that right away!

Or if that’s not feasible (and we doubt it is), the next best thing is bathroom remodeling!

What to Do with Your Bathroom Remodeling Project?

For starters, consider your main requirements for the bathroom renovation. For instance, if you purely need to get a decent return on investment from this project when it’s time for your home to be sold, then it might be suitable to get your priorities straightened out regarding the things that sell a bathroom. Keep a keen eye on the costs; they are an extremely important component of this project.

Here are a few tips that will help you out considerable if boosting your home’s resale value through bathroom renovation is what you’re looking for.

Add Appeal

We’re talking about adding an appeal that’s reasonable. For instance, if you have a bathroom floor replacement plan in the pipeline, you can get radiant heat floor mats for nearly $600 and they are certain to catch you some big fish as far as buyers are concerned. The reason is that they add a real luxury to the overall outlook of the bathroom. Other cost-effective upgrade is hand showers, which are significantly convenient as compared to traditional shower heads.


A speedy and effective refresh in the most important room of the house can include simply replacing a dowdy shower curtain, switching towels, and adding an appealing piece (a beautiful vase, for instance). Even the way you arrange the necessities can make a huge difference. Roll the towels up and place them neatly in rows on an open shelf. Clutter should also be kept away from the vanity countertop.

Go for a Timeless Outlook

Having a bathroom that boasts a timeless outlook will definitely ensure you don’t need to spend on another bathroom remodeling project any time soon. You can do so by choosing neutral colors as they will provide a clean appearance. This will undoubtedly last a long time to come, plus it can also be personalized with your choice of accessories such as towels and other such options.

Consult Professionals

Speaking to Charlotte remodeling professionals will definitely go a long way as far as getting the most out of your bathroom renovation project is concerned. They will know what’s in, plus they will also have significant information on what some of the other people are doing. Also, talking to them will help you find out what bathroom features buyers are attracted to.

Tile and Back Splash Ideas for Charlotte Bathroom Remodeling

Tile and Back Splash Ideas for Charlotte Bathroom Remodeling


Tile and Back Splash Ideas for Charlotte Bathroom Remodeling

Tile and Back Splash Ideas for Your Charlotte Bathroom Remodeling.  Adding a new tile back splash is the ideal method for rejuvenating your bathroom without making any major amendments. The best thing is that there are a wide range of options and styles you can use to create the back splash, which makes it the perfect opportunity to really put your creativity to the test.

You can choose how much of your bathroom to coat with the new design, some homeowners use back splashes as only highlights over the sink, whereas others use them over the entire vanity section.

Some of the ideas and types of back splashes listed below will give you a good start with what you wish to achieve with your own bathroom’s new back splash.

1.       Large Tile

For a solid design which has easier installation as well, you can get larger tiles to craft your bathroom’s back splash. With this project, you can even consider opting for recycled floor tiles. The best idea in this regard would be to use dark marble tiles. They will provide a reflective and glossy back splash for your bathroom.

2.       Small Tile

Tile and Back Splash Ideas for Charlotte Bathroom Remodeling. Small tiles enable you to construct a rather personalized mosaic design. However, they are equally beautiful when you apply them in a solid color. Pale colors will help you achieve that classy look in your bathroom, whereas bold colors will get you get that striking shine that makes the back splash stand out. You can consider coming up with your own design. An earth-tone tile is a good example, or you can simply go for an easy and affordable DIY adhesive decal set.

3.       Arabesque

Arabesque is an individual and elaborate design which works as an embellishment on the simple tile back splash. It also provides your bathroom a pop of personal artistry, which is exactly what’s so special about the arabesque tiling in any shade of color. One interesting idea is to use arabesque tiling as highlights in your white bathroom.

4.       Herringbone

What makes herringbone so unique is the fact that it has a simple twist on standard tiling. With just an added slant on your design, you can get a non-conventional and edgier bathroom style that can completely transform its look. In order to achieve a stronger contrast, you can consider pairing a single area of herringbone alongside a wall of traditional stacked tiling.

5.       Painted

The versatile nature of tiles allows you to adjust them as per your personal preference. If all you require is a new shade of color, you can consider providing your tile back splash a simple paint job. Hint: cover it in chalkboard paint, it will surely do some real magic to your back splash!

6.       Mosaic

Tile and Back Splash Ideas for Charlotte Bathroom Remodeling. Instead of simply laying tile in stacked fashion or a grid, you can consider highlighting points throughout the bathroom, like above the sink or vanity area, with murals of mosaic tile. Try to add an area with varying style, color, or tile arrangement to achieve a customized look.