Archive for the Renovation Category

The Multigenerational Household Trend

Posted in Housing News, Lifestyle, New Homes, Renovation, The Drawing Board with tags , , , on January 8, 2014 by Pat Hansen

Family households consisting of three or more generations, or “multigenerational households,” have become increasingly popular in the 21st century. According to the most recent Census, approximately 4.4 million American homes had three generations or more living under one roof in 2010, a 15 percent increase from two years earlier. This is 5.6 percent of the total of 76.4 million U.S. households with more than one person.

There are many reasons for this trend. The recession caused many adult children to return home after college, either because they weren’t able to get jobs that would cover rent, or they wanted to save up to buy homes of their own. According to Pew Institute research, the share of the U.S. population aged 18 to 31 living in their parent’s home increased to 36 percent or a record 21.6 million young adults in 2012.

Multigenerational Home Plan
For many ethnic and immigrant groups
, multiple generations of a family living together is a common cultural custom.

Multigenerational households also form so that grandparents can help take care of their grandchildren, and as they age, their children can care for them. This type of arrangement can ease financial burdens as well, with several generations contributing to the mortgage payment and not having to incur the expenses of childcare, retirement housing or professional care-giving environments.

Home builders and remodelers are building and renovating homes to meet the needs of multigenerational households. These designs allow many generations of the same family to live together under one roof yet have private areas as well as combined living space.

Features of multigenerational home plans can include in-law suites within the main home with separate areas for independent living. These often have kitchenettes and en suite bathrooms, and sometimes private entrances from the street. They frequently include “universal design” products, which focus on maximum usability by people of all ages and abilities. Examples include walk-in showers, smooth flooring transitions, and cabinets with pull-out drawers.

Building professionals who have earned the National Association of Home Builders’ Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) designation have received training on how to build or renovate a home so that the occupants can live in the home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of their age or ability level. They have been taught the strategies and techniques for designing and building aesthetically pleasing, barrier-free living environments. While most CAPS professionals are remodelers, an increasing number are general contractors, designers, architects, and health care professionals.

To find a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist in your area, go to nahb.org/capsdirectory.

This article is courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders.

Easy Ways to Green Your Home

Posted in Green Building, New Homes, Renovation, Worth Repeating with tags , , , , on July 24, 2013 by Pat Hansen

Green building, where new homes are built using materials that conserve energy and environmental resources, is one of the fastest-growing segments of the home building industry today. But for the owners of the millions of existing homes in the United States, remodeling is the only way to incorporate green.

The National Association of Home Builders Remodelers offers the following suggestions to home owners who want to increase their home’s efficiency, decrease costs, and take advantage of the other benefits that green offers:

1. InInsulationstall maximum insulation. Forty percent of the energy consumed in a typical house goes to heating and cooling. Adding insulation is an easy way to increase efficiency. Insulation is rated by its ability to resist heat flow, known as “R-value.” The higher the R-value, the more effectively the insulation resists heat flow. Adding insulation will help save energy costs, increase comfort by better controlling temperature, and improve indoor air quality by eliminating gaps through which dirt, dust, and other impurities can enter.

2. Seal exterior penetrations. You can reduce cold air drafts and heat loss by inspecting your home from the inside and outside and plugging cracks or openings. Be sure to check the areas where window frames meet the structure or siding of the house. Use caulking to seal small cracks on non-moving surfaces and install weather stripping on windows, doors and other movable parts of the home.

3. Purchase ENERGY STAR-rated appliances. ENERGY STAR-rated appliances, ranging from dishwashers and refrigerators to computers and televisions, meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy. Qualified refrigerators, dishwashers and vent fans incorporate advanced technologies that use 10 to 50 percent less energy and water than standard models – more than making up for the slightly higher cost of these products.

4. Install low-flow water plumbing fixtures. In the average home, flushing toilets accounts for some 30 percent of water usage. By using low-flow plumbing fixtures such as toilets, faucet aerators and showerheads, you can save up to 25 percent of that water compared to conventional fixtures while providing the same utility.

5. Install high-efficiency windows. New-WindowOrdinary window glass transmits ultraviolet heat rays from the sun, which can increase your air conditioning bill dramatically. ENERGY STAR windows can help control this effect. These windows may have two or more panes of glass, warm-edge spacers between the panes, improved framing materials, and microscopically thin metal or metallic oxide layers deposited on windows to reduce radiative heat flow.

6. Upgrade to an ENERGY STAR-rated or tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand at a preset temperature rather than storing it. Replacing an electric water heater with a solar model can reduce costs by up to 80 percent a year. Over its 20-year lifespan, a solar heater will prevent more than 50 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. A low-cost option is to wrap insulation around your heater, which can reduce standby heat loss by 25 to 45 percent.

7. Purchase the highest efficiency HVAC system you can afford. Over a ten year period, the average home owner spends more than $10,000 for heating and cooling. Installing high efficiency HVAC equipment can reduce costs on average by 10 to 30 percent over minimum efficiency equipment. It also can improve home comfort with better heating and cooling and a quieter operation, and often features higher quality components that result in longer equipment life.

For more information on green remodeling, visit nahb.org/remodel
or RobertRJonesHomes.com/Remodeling.

This article is courtesy of the National Association of Home Builders.

Consider the Lighting When Choosing Paint Colors

Posted in Around Your Home, Home Maintenance, I Wish I'd Thought About That, Renovation with tags , , , on May 15, 2013 by Pat Hansen

In a recent article by Darylene Dennon, on LinkedIn’s “Official NAHB Professional Women in Building Network” group page, she points out that color selection is a challenge because you are choosing a color off a two-inch sample in the paint store. Sunroom (SW6102, Portabello) Robert R. Jones Homes (New Home Bloomfield Hills, Michigan)She suggests buying the color you are considering in a pint or quart can, then applying it in an area large enough to get the feel of the color. She also suggests taking a few days before making the final decision and observing the sample in all lights over a couple of days – overcast, in the sunshine, morning and at dusk, as colors appear to change hues in different lighting.

She points out that morning light is warm as it relates to the sunrise. At noon, our sunlight is cool, becoming warm again in late afternoon with the setting of the sun. Lastly, it is cool in the evening. This means you will have a warming of the walls in the morning and late afternoon with more warm yellow tones and the cooler grey-blue cast at noon and at night.

This would include interior light coming in from the windows, lamps, overhead lighting, etc. Each bulb casts different color tones, from cool blue to warm yellow which can change the color of your walls throughout the day. This is important to understand when staging a home for preview. “Natural” light bulbs are the best choice for staging. Pastels disappear in brighter, sunny rooms vs. darker shades.

Nook & Great Room (SW6127, Ivoire) Robert R. Jones Homes (New Home Clarkston, Michigan)Paint color selection is probably one of the most difficult aspects that most people who choose to build a new home, encounter, when choosing paint colors for the home. It is also a daunting task for those who want to stay in their present home, but want to refresh their home with new paint colors.

Sherwin-Williams offers a 90-minute consultation service with a paint color consultant, who for a small fee, will help the buyers of a new or old home, choose their paint colors. The color consultants will meet with the buyers at their new home after the drywall is installed, and will suggest the colors for every room. This service helps relieve the angst that many new home buyers struggle with.

Wood Floors and Humidity in Your Home

Posted in Around Your Home, I Wish I'd Thought About That, Renovation with tags , , on February 14, 2013 by Pat Hansen

Anyone who is thinking about putting hardwood flooring into their home should have a basic understanding of how humidity affects wood flooring. Often the problems that can arise when wood floors come in contact with water or water vapor can be prevented if the flooring contractor properly educates the homeowners. Unfortunately this information isn’t always communicated to the homeowners leaving them feeling frustrated or even feeling like they have been given inferior products or poor craftsmanship.

Kitchen | New Home in Clarkston, Michigan | Robert R. Jones HomesFirst of all, wood can easily absorb moisture from the air or atmosphere. When wood absorbs moisture it will also change in size. Before your new flooring is installed, your floor will come in generally around 6% to 9% moisture content. It will need to become accustomed to a new climate when it is delivered to your home. Experienced flooring contractors will measure the moisture content prior to installing it and will also make sure that your home will have stable conditions; i.e.: constant humidity and temperature, before installing the floor. If the floor is 9% moisture content and is installed into an environment that is 20% relative humidity, the floor will begin to shrink in size and you’ll see gaps between the rows.

HumidifierOn the other hand, if the floor is 6% and is installed into an environment that is 50% relative humidity, it will begin to grow in size which will in turn make the floor “cup” or begin to show a washboard appearance. This is a common, unsightly occurrence that many home owners experience with little understanding of what’s going on. This can be caused by homeowners not maintaining stable interior moisture conditions in their home.

Wood flooring has a comfort zone which is generally considered to be between 30% and 50% relative humidity and between 68 and 72 degrees. Homeowners need to understand that this is why you cannot go on vacation and turn off the heat or air conditioning and assume your wood floor will not be affected.

Engineered products made from multiple layers of hardwood with a hardwood veneer will be more stable than solid wood flooring in most conditions. Narrower widths are less affected than wider widths and some species are naturally more stable than others. A 6” wide solid hickory floor will be more likely to move in a higher moisture environment than a 3-1/4” wide engineered red oak floor.

Make sure when getting prices for your floor work that you ask the contractor if he will measure and document the moisture content of the flooring and sub-flooring and the interior relative humidity prior to installation. If he says it’s not important, then beware that he might not be taking all proper precautions to ensure your wood flooring installation will perform up to expectations.

Keeping your home within the proper humidity levels will lower the cost of heating your home in the winter and your physician will tell you that it is much healthier to breathe air with recommended humidity levels than extremely dry or extremely wet conditions.

Pre-Finished vs. Site-Finished Hardwood Flooring

Posted in Around Your Home, Renovation with tags , , on December 6, 2012 by Pat Hansen

As builders of luxury homes, we usually find that our buyers prefer to have site-finished flooring installed in their homes. But when someone is considering remodeling, they will often ask about the pros and cons of both pre-finished and site-finished flooring.

Wood flooringPre-finished hardwood flooring definitely has its advantages such as:

  • Ease of installation. Installers usually only need a day, depending on the floor area size, to complete the job with no sanding and no finishes used onsite.
  • Because the pre-finished floor already has been coated, usually multiple times at the factory and therefore does not have to be sanded and finished onsite, it is more convenient to install.
  • Since the multiple coats of finish are applied at the factory, pre-finished wood flooring has a very durable wear layer and the finish itself is under warranty by the manufacturer. Pre-finished flooring is accomplished with 3-9 coats plus an ultra-violet cured urethane finish.
  • No drying or curing time is required. Floors are ready to walk on immediately after installation.
  • No toxic fumes or strong odors are produced during installation, nor is dust from sanding.
  • No need to relocate family and pets during the finishing step.

Even with these strong advantages, pre-finished flooring has it disadvantages such as:

  • Pre-finished floors can be dirt traps and very hard to clean between the cracks since the cracks are not sealed at the job site.
  • When refinishing pre-finished flooring, it is necessary to remove a lot more wood to get a level floor, so in effect, you are losing more wood and more life of the floor in the very first refinish than with a solid ¾” hardwood floor.
  • Although pre-finished floors are convenient in that they install without sanding and finishing, most have a beveled edge on the wood strips which some people find unattractive. A custom, sanded, hardwood floor has a table-top appearance and is perfectly flat looking.
  • A pre-finished floor will maintain height irregularities of the substrate. In short, a bump in the subfloor means a bump in the pre-finished floor unless the subfloor is fixed first. Site-finished flooring is sanded flat, so it is more forgiving of slight irregularities or slight height variations.
  • If your pre-finished floor gets damaged, it means ripping out a whole section of flooring and completely replacing it to correct it. Whereas, site-finished hardwood flooring can, and in most cases, be easily fixed with a quick sanding and finish.
  • When installing hardwood flooring, it is necessary to top nail the boards along the perimeter, near walls or cabinets, to start the floor.  In site-finished flooring, these small nail holes are filled, then sanded and finished and are usually not very visible. In pre-finished flooring, these small nail holes are filled, but not sanded, so they may be a bit more visible.
  • Over time, and possibly over homeowner changes, many people don’t know or forget the actual manufacturer of their pre-finished flooring product, which makes it much more difficult to get an exact match if board replacements are necessary at some point, or if they want to add additional flooring to other rooms of the home and want an exact match. Additionally, some of the flooring may be discontinued in time, eliminating the availability of ordering more if it becomes necessary to match.

In the end, only you, the homeowner, can make the decision about which flooring is right for you.

We Will Build On Your Lot

Posted in Housing News, Manors of Deerwood, Renovation with tags , , , , on July 11, 2012 by Pat Hansen

In addition to building in our Manors of Deerwood community in Clarkston, MI, we will also build on customer-owned sites.  We often receive inquiries from people who own or are looking to own acreage or lake properties. While we currently do not have lake property, we can assist you in your search for a suitable lake lot.  There are lake lots available in Oakland County in areas where large, luxury homes have been built. There are also existing homes on lake properties suitable for tear-down.  It is not unusual to see new homes, both large and small, built on lake properties that at one time housed small cottages.  Orchard Lake, Commerce Twp., Sylvan Lake, Keego Harbor and West Bloomfield Twp. are all examples of this trend.

In addition to lake properties, there are also communities throughout Oakland County where older homes, built in the 50’s and 60’s, have been torn down and large, new homes have been built. Many of the tear-downs have been ranch-style homes. Many of the homes that have not been torn down have been remodeled with attractive, functional additions. These homes blend in well with the newly constructed homes giving the neighborhood an appealing presence.

If you are interested in building a new home or remodeling your present home, Robert R. Jones Homes can make your experience a pleasurable one. We have been building luxury homes for 33 years in our new home communities and also on customer-owned lots in Wayne, Washtenaw and Oakland Counties.

We have the in-house capability to design, engineer, coordinate and supervise the construction of your new home. We will provide you with guidance during the selection process for the exterior and interior finishes. Our customers are delighted with the color renderings we provide them at the beginning of the planning process. The color rendering, suitable for framing, enables you to envision the final outcome. From start to finish, our goal is to make the entire building process an enjoyable venture.

What our customers have to say…

“With Robert R. Jones Homes, everything was upfront…there were no surprises. The crew was friendly, the subcontractors were terrific and our sales associate was outstanding.” Carole & Gary Dimitry

“In the past 25 years, we have built three new homes.  Thus, we knew the challenges that were ahead of us. However, working with the Jones Team, each phase went smooth, and was rewarding.” Elaine & Fred Burger

If you have been considering building a home on your lot or ours, feel free to give us a call for a free consultation. You may reach Pat Hansen at (248) 895-1115.

Furnaces: to Two-stage or not? That is the Question

Posted in Around Your Home, I Wish I'd Thought About That, Renovation with tags , , , , on April 4, 2012 by Pat Hansen

If you have been shopping for a new gas furnace you are probably wondering whether or not it is important to spend the extra money for a two-stage model. What are the advantages of a two-stage furnace?

There are several benefits of a two-stage furnace that make them a popular choice for many homeowners.

  • They use energy more efficiently, reducing your energy consumption and your energy bills. A two-stage has 2 settings, low heat and high heat. On low heat, the gas burner runs at 65%-70% capacity, depending on the brand and the model. So, if you have a 100,000 Btu furnace, it will produce 65,000 to 70,000 Btu per hour on low heat. On many days, this is enough to meet the heating demands of the house.  If the furnace cannot heat effectively on low heat, the gas valve will open to 100% and bring the house up to the desired temperature. Running on low heat most of the time means less fuel is used in the long run. A single stage furnace runs full blast and then stops, and does this repeatedly, like a car in stop and go traffic. It will use fuel less efficiently.
  • Two-stage gas furnaces offer more balanced heating, with temperature fluctuations of only 2-3 degrees. Because a two-stage furnace runs at a lower capacity (65-70%), it runs more consistently, and that leads to more even heating. A single stage furnace runs full capacity every time it fires, so temperature fluctuations tend to be more pronounced.
  • Two-stage furnaces are quieter. Combustion makes noise, so 65%-70% combustion will be quieter than 100% combustion. The difference may be noticeable if the furnace is located near living areas.
  • Better air filtration is offered by a two-stage furnace. Two-stage furnaces run more, and that means that air is more consistently circulating through the furnace filters, where more allergens and pollutants are removed. If you choose an advanced air purification system for your furnace, two-stage operation will enhance its functionality.
  • Humidification is improved with a two-stage furnace. If you plan to include a humidifier with your furnace, two-stage operation will improve its performance. The humidifier only does its job when the furnace is running, and since a two-stage furnace runs more often, it will add more humidity to your home during the heating season.

Now that you know the advantages of a two-stage furnace, the decision becomes easier. As you price single stage and two-stage models, you have to ask yourself if the above advantages are worth the extra expense. If you want greater comfort from your furnace, then you should spend the extra money and get a two-stage furnace. If your needs for a furnace are more basic, then a single stage furnace may be perfectly adequate to heat your home.

Which Air Conditioner?

A single stage air conditioner is what you probably already have and if it is still in good working order, you can use it even though you may have chosen a two-stage furnace.  However, if you live in a warm, humid climate or are in need of a new air conditioner, you may want to consider a two-stage air conditioner.

Two-stage air conditioners run at 67% and 100% of capacity. The thermostat controls which speed is used based on the home temperature. Comfort is increased because cool air circulates almost all of the time between noon and 8 pm. This reduces room “heat up” that occurs during the off cycle of conventional, single-speed air conditioners.

The end result of using a two-stage air conditioner is that you will receive a relatively continuous flow of cool air throughout your home.  A two-stage air conditioner will send in a steady but smaller stream of cooled air as opposed to the large blast of cold air you would get from a single stage system.

This results in a more consistent and comfortable environment overall, and it also makes it possible for the air conditioning system to de-humidify your house more effectively. When the air is cooled too quickly, the de-humidification system does not always have time to do its job. With the longer cooling cycles of the two-stage system, there is plenty of time to make sure the right amount of humidity is removed from the air.

Savings are substantial in hot, humid areas of the country. A two-stage air conditioner can save 15 to 30% on a cooling bill. Economic evaluations of two-stage air conditioners have shown that the investment has a greater than 10% Return-on-Investment (ROI) and a 4 to 5 year payout.

Whether you are remodeling, building a new home or just need to replace your furnace or air conditioner, it pays to research your options.

Programmable Thermostats

Posted in Around Your Home, Renovation with tags , , on January 26, 2012 by Pat Hansen

You can save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10°- 15° for eight hours.  You can do this automatically without sacrificing comfort by installing an automatic setback or programmable thermostat.

Using a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the times you turn on the heating or air conditioning according to a pre-set schedule.  As a result, you don’t operate the equipment as much when you are asleep or when the house is not occupied.

Programmable thermostats can store and repeat multiple daily settings (six or more temperature settings a day) that you can manually override without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly program.

General Thermostat Operation

You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68° F while you are awake and setting it lower while you are asleep or away from home. By turning your thermostat back 10°-15° for eight hours you can save about 5% – 15% a year on your heating bill (a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long).

In the summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning, too, by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lowering the thermostat setting to 78° F only when you are at home and need cooling.  Although thermostats can be adjusted manually, programmable thermostats will avoid any discomfort by returning temperatures to normal as you awake or return home.

A common misconception associated with thermostats is that a furnace works harder than normal to warm the space back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings.  In fact, as soon as your house drops below its normal temperature, it will lose energy to the surrounding environment more slowly.  The lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. The longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save, because your house has lost less energy than it would have at the higher temperature.  The same concept applies to raising your thermostat setting in the summer; a higher interior temperature will slow the flow of heat into your house, saving energy on air conditioning.

Choosing and Programming a Programmable Thermostat

Most programmable thermostats are either digital, electromechanical, or some mixture of the two.  Digital thermostats offer the most features in terms of multiple setback settings, overrides, and adjustments for daylight savings time, but may be difficult for some people to program.  Electromechanical systems often involve pegs or sliding bars and are relatively simple to program.

When programming your thermostat, consider when you normally go to sleep and wake up.  If you prefer to sleep at a cooler temperature during the winter, you may want to start the temperature setback a bit ahead of the time you actually go to bed. Also, consider the schedules of everyone in the household; is there a time during the day when the house is unoccupied for four hours or more?  If so, it makes sense to adjust the temperature during those periods.

Other Considerations

The location of your thermostat can affect its performance and efficiency.  Read the manufacturer’s installation instructions to prevent “false readings” or unnecessary furnace or air conditioning cycling.

Place thermostats away from direct sunlight, drafts, doorways, skylights and windows.  Also, make sure your thermostat is conveniently located for programming.

Be sure to check the website of the company that supplies the energy for your heating and cooling.  Many utilities offer rebates for upgrading your heating/cooling systems and some of those may include rebates for setback thermostats.

Remodeling? Don’t Forget the Permit

Posted in Around Your Home, Renovation, Worth Repeating with tags , , on September 6, 2011 by Pat Hansen

As Remodelers, we often hear the comment, “Why do we need a permit?”

The following article, by Melissa Dittmann Tracey, appeared in REALTOR Magazine’s September, 2011 issue, and illustrates the problems that do-it-yourself enthusiasts and unlicensed contractors face by not securing permits with their municipality.

Home owners who fail to get a building permit for a remodeling project can jeopardize a sale.

When home owners take on a remodeling project, they’re often far more focused on choosing glistening fixtures for a new bathroom or debating the type of granite to use on a kitchen countertop than, say, navigating the intricacies of the building permit process. That could be a huge mistake, however, and it may not even come to light until the house is put up for sale. Ignoring local approval requirements not only poses safety and legal problems but also can potentially derail an otherwise smooth sale.

Home owners using licensed contractors for remodeling work typically don’t have to get involved with permitting. Most licensed contractors will handle the cumbersome process for them—filling out the paperwork with the municipality, collecting fees, and being present for the required inspections, says Michael Hydeck, president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. But when home owners tackle do-it-yourself projects or use unlicensed contractors, they risk problems later.

The permit process varies widely from city to city and state to state. But the purpose of the document is the same everywhere: It offers assurance by a municipal building department that the work being done meets all safety codes.

Ask Sellers before You List

Home owners may be asked about permits in the process of selling a home. At closing, they may have to disclose any remodeling work they did and verify permits. A home inspector evaluating a property for a buyer may want to know whether a permit was obtained. Furthermore, the buyer’s appraiser may want to see permit records to check the legality of any home renovations.

“If no permits are found and it’s obvious the home has been renovated, the bank will likely refuse to make the loan,” according to the American Bar Association’s book Legal Guide to Home Renovation (Random House Reference, 2006). If the permitless work isn’t discovered until after closing, the home’s value could even be subject to a lawsuit, such as in cases when an addition added extra square footage to the home’s value but the construction wasn’t done legally with a permit.

That’s why contractors and legal experts say real estate practitioners are well advised to ask sellers before they take on a listing for a renovated home: “Did you get a permit for that?”

Remodeling contractor John Price in Merced,Calif., has been called in to help home owners after permit problems have been uncovered. He once worked with a home owner who installed siding by himself, but added it too far down along the wall of the house, so it rubbed up against dirt and picked up moisture. Eventually the poor installation led to mold growing in the drywall throughout the inside of the house.

Some home owners, however, are tempted to sidestep the permit process not wanting to pay the fees (municipalities generally charge a minimum issuing fee—such as $25—as well as an additional fee—sometimes 1 percent—of total construction costs), or they might not want to risk delaying a project or a sale by waiting for city inspections (obtaining permits can take anywhere from a day to six weeks or more).

“People have strong incentives to cheat, and some of that lays squarely on the feet of policymakers who have sometimes created a system that is time-consuming and frustrating,” Price says.

But caught without a permit during resale, home owners may face big consequences. They may have to pay fines (possibly up to quadruple the original permit cost) or may have to tear the project down and redo it.

Virtually No Job Is Too Small

Home owners making any changes to the structures of a home will likely need a permit—and you may need more than one, Price says.

While kitchen and bathroom remodels and housing additions are obvious permit candidates, people may not realize they might also need one for such projects as installing a window, adding a new light switch, or replacing a shower. “There are not too many jobs you don’t need a permit for,” Hydeck adds. “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Reprinted from REALTOR Magazine Online by permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS. Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

I Wish I Had Thought About That – Master Baths

Posted in I Wish I'd Thought About That, Renovation with tags , , , on August 31, 2011 by Pat Hansen

Building a new home or remodeling is an opportunity to consider some new concepts or products for your new Master Bath.  Creating a wish-list will help you identify the must-have items and help eliminate those last minute, budget-busting extras.

Here are some of the ideas you may want to consider:

Showers

  • Larger showers with frameless enclosures
  • Coated, clear glass enclosures for easy cleaning
  • Dual shower heads; wall-mounted, hand-held shower heads with sensor temperature controls
  • Shower fixtures in oil rubbed bronze, Tuscan bronze, black, brushed nickel and more
  • Pulsating water jets that provide spinal and foot massage
  • Warm, neutral tile tones with colorful glass tile accents  
  • Recessed shelves for shampoo, etc. tall enough for Costco-size containers
  • Built-in benches

Bathtubs

  • Tubs separated from showers
  • Smaller soaking, jetted and non-jetted tubs
  • Sunken Roman tubs
  • Eco – friendly stone and wood bathtubs
  • Artificial stone bathtubs available in various shapes

Toilets

  • Pump powered, pressure-assisted quiet, dual-flush system
  • Comfort height versus regular height toilets
  • Water efficient models
  • Heated seats

Sinks

  • Vessel sinks in glass, porcelain or metal
  • Geometric and free shaped modern sinks
  • Hand painted sinks integrated into vintage furniture  vanities
  • Stainless steel sinks

Cabinets

  • “His” and “Hers” separate vanities; his with additional height.
  • Separate vanity locations
  • Storage garages for hair styling equipment
  • Coffee bar cabinets with refrigerator
  • Side storage cabinets above countertop
  • Armoire cabinet for linen storage

Mirrors

  • Antique framed mirrors above furniture vanity
  • Contemporary, stainless steel custom frames
  • Wall-to-wall, countertop to ceiling or crown molding
  • Steam-resistant glass

Tile

  • Glass tile in ocean colors
  • Metallic accent pieces for ceramic tile
  • Combination of glass and porcelain tiles creating borders or accents

Today’s homeowner is looking to make the master bath more comfortable, stylish and personal. For homeowners who aren’t confident in their design capabilities, it is best to consult a professional. It is better to get expert advice ahead of time, instead of after a project has gone wrong.

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