Archive for Blog – Page 2

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 www.remodeling.hw.net 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:  www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2015/

 

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.

Accessorize

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.

Remodel Your Small Charlotte Kitchen

Remodel Your Small Charlotte Kitchen

Kitchen remodeling is an exciting but confusing task. You have got so much to do on hand in a limited amount of money and time, and particularly when you are an owner of a small kitchen, the task becomes Charlotte Kitchen Remodelingeven more complex. With a larger kitchen space, you have certain freedom that you don’t get to enjoy with smaller kitchens. However, with a little bit of planning you can take control of the matter and remodel the space into a functional, elegant kitchen. Here are 6 of the best ways to remodel a small Charlotte kitchen.

So, here is a list of basic things you should be doing to spruce up your kitchen into a modern looking, spacious kitchen.

1.     Downsize on kitchen appliances

You need to accept this fact that a small kitchen cannot be a jack-of-all-trades. So, focus on the main things first. Make sure that you have enough space for the appliances that you use frequently. You may save some space by using scale-down appliances, such as small two-burner stove, microwave oven, single sink, etc. This way, you get the function, but with minimum square-footage.

2.     Try open shelving

Small kitchens may give a claustrophobic feeling with overhead cabinets towering over your heads. Therefore, consider replacing them with open shelves. This way, not only your kitchen will look more spacious, with open shelving you can also show off your favorite shiny pots and pans and give a more traditional look to your kitchen.

3.     Lighten up

Charlotte Kitchen RemodelingProbably the best way to make any room look more spacious instantly is to use fluorescent lighting. Consider adding lights underneath the upper cabinets to make the space look more open up. You may also use mirrored glass on cabinet doors to reflect more light and to make your small kitchen look more spacious.

4.     Color it bright

Play with colors. Lighter colors reflect more light, drawing the eyes upwards and making the room seem larger. So, choose light pinks or pastels for your kitchen walls. Also, make sure that the kitchen appliances and furniture that you choose compliments your kitchen’s color theme.

5.     Have more storage

Kitchen is one of the most active areas of your home therefore make sure to add a lot of space. To avoid wasting storage space above the refrigerator or the oven, consider installing ceiling-high cabinets. These ceiling-high cabinets are usually eight to ten feet high so you have plenty of storage space for your not-so-fancy pots and pans.

6.     Get more organized

Make your kitchen as clutter-free as possible. Use baskets and trays to organize your grocery, frequently used spices and herbs, etc. Using light-brown colored trays and baskets will not only help you make your counter top clutter free, they will also give a warm, natural ambience to the kitchen.

To get more ideas on how to make your kitchen look more spacious, contact a kitchen remodeling expert.

Realistic Budget When Building Your Charlotte Home

Cost calculation on house design

One of the most common problems when it comes to building a custom home is not having a realistic budget or going over the budget when building your Charlotte home. This is precisely why it’s essential for everyone who is planning to have a custom home built to prepare a realistic budget in advance.

One useful thing to do is to look around and look at new homes that have been recently built. Pick those that are of the same size and type as your home. Check what its asking price is as well as the price of the land, and then subtract the former from the latter and you will have a rough idea of what to expect.

 Creating a Custom Budget

The best thing when creating a custom budget is that you don’t have to be on your own. You can seek help from your Charlotte custom home builder  they would have a much more accurate understanding of the prices of materials and other expenses.

Nonetheless, let’s discuss some of the things that you have to cater for in your budget.

You will have two major categories of expenses: hard and soft.

The hard costs would comprise the price of the land, the cost of labor, and that of the materials.

The soft costs, on the other hand, include all other things such as fees or any indirect costs associated with building the house.

Do not forget to allocate sufficient budget for things that many people often forget. These include:

  • The costs of moving in to your new home
  • Cost of building permits
  • Inspection fees
  • Development fees
  • Costs associated with closing

Materials and Finishes

The amount of money it takes to build a Charlotte custom home is greatly influenced by the types of materials and finishes you use.

For instance, carpeting is generally a cheaper item than wood flooring or marble. Creating an island in your kitchen with a marble top will increase the costs as compared to a kitchen that does not have it.

It is very easy to go for a grand kitchen, but do not forget that it will have a considerable impact on your entire budget.

Builder’s and Contractors’ Fees

You will have to pay Charlotte Custom home builders and contractors a certain fee for building your house. You should keep this in your budget right from the start.

Plumbing, Electrical and HVAC Systems

Installation of plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems is among one of the major expenses involved in building a custom home. The quality of equipment, such as pipes, wiring, and cooling/heating systems will have a significant impact on the price.

While there should be no compromise in terms of quality when it comes to these things, you should avoid installing things you may not need. For instance, if winters are mild in your region, there is no need to have a heating system installed.

 

Custom Home Construction Process in Charlotte

The custom home construction process in Charlotte is an exciting endeavor.  The excitement is multiplied when you are aware of the entire construction process. Do not forget that the home building process can vary slightly from one region to another. To be sure about how the process in your region is, ask a Charlotte Custom Home Building Processcontractor.

Nevertheless, the following overview of the complete custom home construction process will give you a fair understanding of the processes involved.

1.     Preparation of the Site and Pouring of Foundation

The site preparation and the foundation work are often done by the same group of workers. However, this may not be fully true with a wooded lot. The crew clears the site using a bulldozer and a backhoe, removing any debris, rocks, and trees.

The site is then leveled and wooden frames are set up to serve as a template for the footings of the foundation. The foundation walls are  Formed and poured or built using concrete masonry units.

2.     Completion of Rough Framing

The Charlotte Design Build Contractor will then have the floor systems, roof systems, and the walls completed. Plywood or the oriented strand board (OSB) sheathing is applied to the wall’s exterior. The doors and windows are also installed.  Once the wood framing is complete roofing materials are added to “dry in” the home.

 

3.     Completion of Rough Plumbing, HVAC, and Electrical

The electrical and plumbing contractors also start to install wires and pipes through the floors, interiors, and pipes.

Vents and sewer lines along with water supply lines for each of the fixtures are installed.

The ductwork for HVAC systems is also placed at this time. The electrician also installs the lights, outlets, and switches.

4.     Installation of Insulation

Insulation has a crucial role to play in making the indoor environment consistent and comfortable. It also improves the energy efficiency of the house. The most common kinds of insulation installed in Charlotte custom homes are cellulose, fiberglass, and foam.

Ask your Charlotte builder which insulation would be best depending on the climate and pricing. There are many other types of insulation options available. Make sure you have chosen the correct one for your home during the planning process.

5.     Completion of Interior Fixtures and Drywall

Drywall is hung and then taped so that the seams between boards are not visible. The drywall texturing is also completed at this point, if it is necessary.

After taping has been completed, the primer coat is also applied. Once the interior fixtures have been installed, the contractor begins to install exterior ones such as stucco, brick, siding and stone.

6.     Interior Trim Finishing

Interior baseboards, doors, door casings, moldings, window sills, and other decorative trims are installed. Fireplace materials and cabinets are also put in place as the final coat of paint is applied to the walls.

Countertops and hard surface flooring is also installed at this point and the yard is prepared for landscaping. All other accessories such as mirrors are installed followed by a final walkthrough to ensure everything is in place.

 

Expectations When Building a Custom Charlotte Home

Expectations When Building a Custom Charlotte Home

what should you expect

Expectations when building a custom Charlotte home with today’s tight inventories for existing homes have left many would-be buyers to have a brand-new home built based on their specific needs. Building a custom home can be a complex process, and this is why it’s important to know what to expect from the entire process.

Charlotte Custom home builders make it easier for people like you to fulfill your dream of having a custom-built house. When it comes to building a new house, the buyers have two distinct options. Firstly, they can work closely with a homebuilder who will show them the materials and plans that they can choose from. Secondly, they can take the truly custom approach where they have the plans created by an Charlotte architect followed by hiring a Charlotte contractor to transform the plan from paper into reality.

1.     Budget

Regardless of the path you choose, the very first thing you will have to do is determine a budget. It is recommended that you work closely with your builder and architect to design a home that will meet you financial goals.  Working with a Charlotte Design Build Contractor who works closely with a architect will assist with designing a home that does not exceed your budget.

You need to have an accurate estimate regarding the time it takes to build a new home. Expect time duration of a minimum of 3 to 8 months depending on how extensive your Charlotte  custom-home will be.. Consumers should mention what they expect in terms of the timeframe when meeting the builder and designer so there are no unfair assumptions.

2.     Loan Process

For those planning to get a loan, they need to understand that there’s a different in getting a mortgage and getting a construction loan. In the case of the latter, the consumer may have to secure both the construction loan that would cover the costs for the suppliers, builders and the subcontractors along with a mortgage loan that will need to be paid to the bank once the house has been built.  Some financial instatutions offer construction loads with a permant mortgage rollover.  Contact your bank for more information.

Typically plans are priced by the builder and submitted to a real estate appraiser secured by the bank.  The appraiser will provide the bank and the owner the anticpated value of the completed home.  Once the project is approved by the bank, overages and significant changes maid during construction may require additional funding. If the expenses increase beyond the budget, you will have to fund your project from your personal reserves.

Conclusion

Once you have decided to invest in a Charlotte custom home built for yourself, make sure you get your architect, builder and contractors onboard so that everything is crystal-clear right from the start. Have a detailed contract written down with the completion time, expenses, and all design features so there are no hassles during the construction process.

Charlotte Home Remodeling Mistakes

Just about everybody dreams of turning an their current home into a dream home. Home improvement stores and do-it-yourself television programs have become so popular in recent years due to this desire. There’s no reason you shouldn’t remodel… as long as you know what you’re getting yourself into, so you can avoid Charlotte’s Home Remodeling Mistakes.

So, how do you remodel or renovate your home correctly? Keep the following remodeling mistakes in mind when you’re planning and executing your project.

1. Be careful about over-expanding with home additions.

If you love your neighborhood and your location, and you’re planning on staying in your home for the rest of your life, a home addition can make sense. If, however, you see yourself moving someday, think about the ramifications adding a lot of square footage to your home could have.

One would think that any increase in size would automatically add value, but if the other houses in the neighborhood are one-level, one-garage ranches, your decision to add a second story and a bunch of fancy bump outs might just look out of place. This can make it difficult to sell. People want a big upscale home in a neighborhood with other big upscale homes, not a big home that dwarfs everything else in a neighborhood.

2. Watch out for under-budgeting problems.

Charlotte home remodeling projects are always more expensive than you originally estimate. Even the pro’s sometimes have difficulty estimating the budget and time to complete when working on complex projects. This means homeowners regularly go 20-30% over their budgets, which can leave them in financial trouble.

To protect yourself, be very conservative when figuring out how much of a remodeling job you can afford. Assume costs will go over estimates and make sure you can handle that additional financial burden.

3. Don’t turn your home into something it isn’t.

Make sure to take the style and design of your house into consideration when you plan remodeling projects. An ultra-modern bathroom with concrete countertops and stainless steel cabinets is going to look a little odd in a Victorian house. Changes that don’t match the style of the home will be a big turnoff to potential buyers down the road. This is particularly true with historical homes; people want the original details. They’re a big part of what gives those older homes their appeal and value.

4. Don’t do it yourself if you’re not qualified.

There are plenty of projects that homeowners can handle, but when it comes to big remodeling jobs, you’re better off letting a pro take care of it unless you’re experienced at both design and construction. Due to inexperience, amateurs end up doing sloppy jobs, and that’s something that devalues the house when it’s time to sell. Even worse, you may find out half way through the job that you’ve screwed something up big time and you need to hire a pro to fix it. Then you’ll not only have to pay the cost of the job, but you’ll have to pay extra for your own mistakes.

5. Don’t take on unnecessary renovations.

If you’re remodeling at least in part to increase the value of your home for when you sell it, don’t bother with projects that won’t recoup their cost (and there aren’t many major remodels that do). If you’re selling your home, fix anything that’s broken and do simple (and economical) cosmetic jobs. Let the future homeowner spend the big money.

Of course, if you’re remodeling to turn your home into your dream home and you want to live there for a long time to come, then you can make any changes that make sense to you. Just don’t think of remodeling as a financial investment; think of it as an investment in improving your lifestyle.

Thanks for Reading!

Otto W. Anderson
Licensed NC Building Contractor
www.DreamHomeBuildersandRemodelers.com
DreamHBR(at)gmail.com
704 659 1905

How To Remodel Your Charlotte Garage

How to Remodel Your Charlotte Garage.

A very cost-effective
way to gain more space for your house is to remodel your garage.
You can greatly expand your home’s living space especially if you
no longer use your garage to park your car using your driveway
instead.

Your garage offers a perfect environment to house your workshop,
studio or home office. Many people also find that their garage
can also be used for a gym or for another living room designed for
special activities. However, remodeling your garage does not
necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice your storage
space or your parking area. Garages today have become multifunctional,
allowing cars, general storage, a workshop and even a home office
all in the same place.

Because many garages are attached to the home they can benefit
from the same comfort as a home: phone wires, heating and
cooling and plumbing. All you need is a little imagination, a fixed
budget and a plan.

If you think that by remodeling you might be losing too much
storage space, you can always build a small storage space behind
your garage to house sporting equipment, tools and other items.

Moreover, when remodeling your garage you should consider an
addition above the garage. Adding a room for work space and even
for living, for one of your kids(they usually love this) above the
existing garage can give you additional space and also increase the
value of your home without major changes to the floor plan.

If you feel the need to remodel your garage but you don’t know
exactly what you want or need, you should consider the following
ideas.

You can transform your garage into a laundry room if you have your
laundry room in the basement. By building a laundry in your
garage you will eliminate the need to go up and down the stairs.

A music studio can be a great choice for your garage remodeling
plans if you or your kids have some tendencies in this direction.
The garage is the place where many “garage bands” got their start.
To avoid your neighbors’ complaints consider soundproofing your
garage walls.

Another idea for your garage can be to transform it into a gym. If
you have your equipment and you don not have enough place to
use it indoors you can always move it into the garage and have
plenty of place for your daily exercises and training. Also here you
will not be bothered by anyone.

Thanks for Reading!

Otto W. Anderson
Licensed NC Building Contractor
Certified Green Home Builder
www.DreamHomeBuildersandRemodelers.com
DreamHBR(at)gmail.com
704 659 1905