Contractor Tips Blog

Sep
10

What Could Your Basement Become?

Posted in Interior Design

If your home has an unfinished basement offering the potential for extra space, it may be time to consider remodeling this area. Often, basement areas are left unfinished to serve as storage or laundry rooms when they could be additional living spaces. With the right designer and contractor, you can turn this wasted space into a useful addition to your home. 

Ideas For Basement Remodels

There are many uses for the basement area in your home. Depending on the size of your basement and how much is of the available space is already being actively used, there may be several options available. Let your imagination run wild, thinking of how you could use that space just below your feet. 

  • Family or play room. For families with children, finished basements can offer a great area for a den, family or play room away from the main living area from the home. This can create a space where the kids can play, watch TV or have friends over which is conveniently located on its own level of the home.
     
  • Extra bedrooms. If your family has grown and you need more bedrooms, a basement can offer square footage to add extras rooms. Remodeling existing space is usually much less expensive than buying a larger home for your family.
     
  • Office or studio. Have you always wanted a home office or studio? Your basement may the perfect area to transform into your work space at home. 

Remodeling your basement can create more living space while adding to the value of your home. With the help of your professional designer and contractor, you can finally use that wasted space and add more room to your home.

Posted on behalf or J Christopher Design

Jul
3

4 Things To Consider Before Remodeling Your Kitchen

Posted in Interior Design

The kitchen is one of the most frequently used rooms in any home. Not only is it where meals are made; it often is also the place where family and friends gravitate during a party, where kids learn to make cookies and where that first cup of coffee is made in the morning. Before deciding to remodel a kitchen, there is much more to consider than just cabinet materials and wall colors. Function and atmosphere should play a big part in the overall design. Here are four things to keep in mind while dreaming up your kitchen design

  1. Atmosphere. Kitchens have often been utilitarian in the past; however, there is a move toward building kitchens with themes and their own atmosphere. Rustic or natural themes are popular, along with high technology hidden in under a classic design.
     
  2. Focal points. What area will be the focal point of the kitchen? Do you want to add a beautiful stone pizza oven or have an island for guests to sit at during parties? Finding the focal point can help the rest of the kitchen come together.
     
  3. Function. Make your kitchen work for your lifestyle. Love fresh produce chopped into all your meals? Make an area perfect for chopping up herbs and vegetables close to the stove top. Are more beverages made than food in your kitchen? Dedicate more space to a beverage bar instead of food preparation.
     
  4. Technology. Kitchens can be high tech. Consider what new technology you want to incorporate into your kitchen, such as in-counter touch screens which work like tablets to make finding that perfect recipe even easier. 

The most important step in building the kitchen of your dreams is finding the right kitchen design company to make your dream a reality. Find an experienced contractor who is willing to work with you to make sure your new kitchen reflects your personality and needs.

Posted on behalf of J. Christopher Services

May
27

Kitchen Design

Posted in Interior Design

Since the economy took a backward turn a few years back, many people have chosen to stay in their homes and renovate. Of the first rooms that people choose to renovate,  95% of people choose the kitchen. The kitchen is considered to be the heart of the home, where people congregate together as family and friends. Cooking is done together for family dinners and hosting parties. Therefore, many people want to update their kitchen to have an inviting atmosphere. 

Remodeling a kitchen can seem like an easy task when you are just throwing around ideas, but when it comes to actually executing your plans, hiring a reputable design company is highly recommended. The kitchen is also one of the most expensive areas of the home to renovate. A well established kitchen design company can help people take their ideas and dreams and bring them into reality inside their own homes while maintaining a set budget.

A reputable design company will take into consideration the needs of each family — large family, regular hosting events, single parent, compact space — and will make the new kitchen work for them and their specific needs as well as their desires. The design company also pays close attention to the details of the home as well as current trends. By mixing in contemporary kitchen designs with timeless traditions, an established design company can remodel a kitchen to exceed the expectation of their clients. 

Find a company that offers expertise in all aspects of kitchen remodeling. From design to installation to reveal, and everything in between, you should be guaranteed that your result will be the beautiful dream kitchen that you have always wanted.

 Posted on behalf of J Christopher Design and Construction Services

Mar
28

Kitchen Remodeling

Posted in Interior Design

Kitchen remodeling continues to be one of the most popular of all remodeling projects in the United States.  A remodeled kitchen that is modern, efficient, well designed and attractive adds a great deal of value to any home.  Kitchen remodels vary in size and scope depending upon the homeowner’s needs and budgets.  In some cases the kitchen remodeling could involve only the replacement of flooring and countertops, where in other cases an addition to the home could be built to accommodate a completely new and much larger gourmet kitchen.  One thing that all kitchen-remodeling projects have in common is the long lead times for materials, especially cabinets and tops.  Often cabinets take up to two months to obtain, as they are typically built when they are ordered.  Tops can take up to two weeks to fabricate after the cabinets are installed. 

Many homeowners find it beneficial to engage a contractor that specializes in remodeling projects early on in the process.   A qualified and experienced remodeling contractor will be able to manage the long lead times and schedule the project based upon the delivery date of the long lead time items.   Design build is becoming a very popular option in residential construction, because of the reduced risk to the homeowner as well as the reduction in the overall build time of the project.  In addition, to managing the entire design process, based upon the homeowner’s guidelines, the design build contractor will be able to provide updated budgets as the design process and selections take place.  

Kitchen remodeling is an excellent means for a homeowner to increase the value of their home, as well as the functionality!

Posted on behalf of J Christopher Design & Construction Services

Mar
28

What is Design-Build?

Posted in Interior Design

Design-Build continues to be a very effective and popular contract type for owners seeking to minimize their management and risk on project.  This contract format has been used for a number of years in the commercial and public construction industries and is becoming increasingly more popular in the residential construction and remodeling industries.  In this type of contract, the contractor provides the kitchen design services, as well as the contractor services.  In may cases, the contractor will have a number of architects, engineers and interior designers on staff to handle the design process.  Throughout the process the builder’s construction department will work with the designers to make sure that the design is cost effective and can be built as designed.  In a traditional construction, the owner hires the architect directly and the contractor is not involved in the design process. 

The amount of time is saved in the overall process is the biggest advantage most homeowners realize in a design build relationship with a builder.  The management of designers is time consuming and takes up lots of time.  In most cases, homeowners have work and family obligations, which reduce the amount of available time to manage the design process.  In addition, the overall time line of a project can be compressed with the contractor managing the architect and owner throughout the design and driving decisions. 

Another benefit that homeowners realize is the reduced financial risk associated with turnkey design build relationships with builders.  In this relationship, the builder is completely responsible for delivering a turnkey project at a set price and assume all responsibility of the accuracy of the plans and specifications, which there price is based upon.  In a traditional builder owner relationship, if the designer makes a mistake on the design or does not show something on the plans, the builder is in most cases the builder is entitled to charge the owner additional money.  No wonder design build is becoming more popular!

Posted on behalf of J Christopher Design and Construction Services

Jan
17

Get Creative With Your Powder Room Design

Posted in Interior Design

Many homes have a guest bathroom or powder room, a space which is often overlooked when it comes to unique and intriguing home décor. These little half-baths are the ultimate place to be creative and add to the overall look of your home. By adding some interesting fixtures or going with an elaborate theme, you can turn these small spaces into a beautiful place for your guests. 

Make Your Powder Room Unique

The great thing about powder rooms is that they are small and have very little clutter to get in the way of design. Most powder rooms have only a sink and toilet, with little need for storage or special lighting. This provides the perfect canvas for exciting colors and fixtures which may be to bold for other rooms of your home. Some ideas for creating a unique and memorable powder room design include: 

  • Rich colors – While a dark red wall may be too much in other rooms, a small powder room is the perfect place to add deep and rich colors.
     
  • Exotic themes – Use this small space to explore decorating with creative themes such as a Asian or African motif.
     
  • Modern fixtures – There are so many interesting bathroom fixtures available, yet may not be practical in other bathrooms. The powder room gives these fixtures a place to truly shine.
     
  • Artful lighting – Most bathrooms must have a certain light quality to make putting on makeup or styling work. Because these spaces aren’t usually a primary space for homeowners to get ready in the morning, powder rooms do not need specific lighting. Play with different types of light fixtures and lighting options. 

Most people who visit your home will use your powder room, so make it a place they will enjoy with creative design. For more ideas, consult with a professional designer to learn more about what you can do to make your powder room the jewel of your home.

Posted on behalf of J Christopher Services

Jan
17

Ideas For Your Finished Basement

Posted in Interior Design

One area of many homes which often gets overlooked for its potential is the finished basement. This spacious area is often left open and greatly unused, or only used for storage, despite the possibilities for increased living space in the home. With a little help from an experienced basement remodeling contractor, your basement can become the extra family room, play area or even the home office you always wanted. 

Finished Basement Remodel Ideas

Your basement can have the potential to add value to your home and add one or more new rooms to your living space. Depending on the size and layout of your basement, you may decide to dedicate the entire area to one type of space or create a few different rooms. Some ideas on how to use this extra space: 

  • Home office – Create a quiet working space away from the rest of the home, with room to store all your files, computer equipment and books.
     
  • Play room – Give your kids a place to play as loud as they want in their own level of the home. It could have a indoor jungle gym, a cozy TV area and a place for all their favorite toys.
     
  • Family room – Make a spacious room for everyone in the family to enjoy time together. Add a small kitchen for snacks, comfy furniture, games and even a home theater system to make it the perfect place for family fun and relaxing.
     
  • Extra bedrooms – Add an extra bedroom to give your teenager their own space or to have for guests. 

A professional basement remodeling contractor can help you make the most of your finished basement, adding more room and value to your home. Don’t let this area be neglected when there are so many ways to use that extra space.

Posted on behalf of J Christopher Services

Aug
28

Kitchen Remodeling

Posted in Interior Design

One of the most dramatic of all home improvement projects is a complete remodeling of the kitchen.  A professional kitchen remodeling can also add a great deal of value to any existing home, as in today’s world, people want gourmet kitchens that are well thought out, functional and have sufficient space to act as a gathering place for the modern family. 

An experienced kitchen remodeling contractor who offers both kitchen design and kitchen remodeling services is an alternative that should be seriously considered by any homeowner considering such a project.  Kitchen remodeling projects are fairly complex projects with long lead times on such things as kitchen cabinets and countertops.  In is critical that these items be ordered correctly before the projects starts in order to avoid delays. 

An experienced kitchen designer will be able to correctly prepare drawings that will allow the contractor to order the cabinets with confidence that the layout and dimensions are correct.   Often delays in kitchen remodeling projects are the result of design issues due to the lack of experience by the designer.  An experienced contractor will have the ability to accurately schedule and execute the project, while minimizing the amount of time necessary to complete the kitchen remodeling.  They will have access to the best and most experienced subcontractors in the marketplace as well.  In kitchen remodeling nothing beats an experienced firm that offers both kitchen design as well as construction services! 

A qualified and experienced contractor that is licensed and insured will be able to make your dreams reality.  They will be able to provide both design and constructions services to complete the kitchen remodeling project on time and on budget!

Jul
3

What’s Your Style?

Posted in Interior Design

A successful interior design project is rarely the result of a one-man show. In fact, most professional interior designers will always include a consultation with the homeowner in the beginning stages of the project to discuss such things as budget and timeline.  They will also try to determine the more nebulous question of the homeowner’s personal style. 

To help you prepare, here are some questions to think about: 

Color – Don’t just think about your favorite color, but what group of colors do you gravitate toward? Neutrals, such as beige, white and brown? Bright colors, such as orange, red, yellow or purple? Cool colors, like green or blue? Color is one of the most important aspects of a decorating scheme. Aside from walls, which can be painted, most color is a permanent fixture, such as counters and floors, so getting the color right is essential. 

Texture – By texture, we mean not just fabric texture like linen, cotton or lace, but the texture of the walls, floors and counters and the materials from which they are constructed. Do you like wood, and would that be wood with a smooth shiny surface or a rough, distressed surface? Do you like polished stone, or natural? What about the texture on walls, a stucco surface or smooth eggshell? 

Space – Are you comfortable in clutter or are you a neat freak? Do you love high ceilings and open areas, or do you prefer more coziness in your rooms, with low ceilings and less open areas? 

Objects – Finally, when you make a purchase for you home, be it a piece of furniture, artwork or decorative piece, what are you attracted to? Do you like boxy modern pieces, or plush floral ones? Are you worldly, a risk taker or more traditional in your thinking? 

Being able to articulate your style is one of the best ways to ensure that your interior decorating project will be a successful one.

May
20

7 Ways to Create a Home Spa

Posted in Interior Design

Whether you are building or redesigning, one of the most important additions to a home is a spa master bath. It not only increases your home’s value, it adds value to the quality of your life by providing a sanctuary for shutting out the world, reducing stress and restoring vigor.  

Creating such a space doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money, although elaborate designs can easily reach six figures.  Regardless of your budget, you can achieve great results by incorporating the following seven elements into your bathroom design

Clean – Most professional spas are clean, neat and organized and there’s no reason why you can’t do the same in your master bath. Find a place for everything, from make-up to cotton balls and shampoo by adding cabinets, shelves, drawers and separators. 

Space –  The bigger, the better when it comes to spa bathrooms. That means high ceilings, big windows and plenty of room for relaxing. 

Light – Soft light helps create a calm mood. Think about adding adjustable light switches, or adding light in unexpected areas such as around the tub or under cabinets.  

Warmth –  Nothing feels more spa like than being enveloped in warmth before, during and after you bathe. Luxurious touches include towel warmers, radiant tile, steam jets and heated shower seating. 

Color –  Remember that a spa should be a sensuous experience, so all aspects of it  should cater to the senses, including your color choices. Opt for neutrals or soothing or warm colors such as blue, green or yellow. 

Nature – It is a proven fact that natural elements such as stone and wood are beneficial to your health, as they do not omit any toxins into the environment. By going green in your home spa, you are promoting health.  

Spa tub – Of course, no spa bath would be complete without a spa tub, a place to rest your body and soul. If space is small, consider a corner whirlpool tub or if you have plenty of room, a step down spa or soaking tub.

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