There are a lot of variables that come into play during a bathroom remodel. The size and state of the existing bathroom, the complexity of the project, the features and amenities to be included, the structural changes that need to be made, and of course, the intended use of the remodeled space by the homeowners – that is, determining what modifications will most effectively solve the homeowner’s current issues with the bathroom. These variables are different for every project: perhaps the existing bathroom is too small and lacks storage space, or maybe it is insufficient for an elderly parent that needs handicap-accessible features. Maybe a remodel was started with a contractor who did things incorrectly and failed to finish the job, leaving the bathroom completely unusable. Because each of these scenarios have different starting points and require different courses of action to meet the homeowner’s needs, they each require their own customized design plan.
If you’ve followed along with our blog posts for any length of time, you have probably noticed that nearly all of our major home remodeling projects are completed in homes that were built 20 or more years ago. Typically, after a home has been around that long, frequently used areas (like kitchens and bathrooms) need to be remodeled; not only because they’re out of style aesthetically, but also because they have become worn out and do not function as well as they once did. However, just because the homes we usually remodel are older doesn’t mean that new homes are not good candidates for remodeling. In fact, in some instances, remodeling a home that is less than 10 years old can be easier and sometimes cheaper. Working in older homes often entails correcting unforeseen issues, like plumbing that may be leaking or rotten, or electrical lines that are not to code. Fixing these things can add up, costing more in time and money. Newer homes, on the other hand, tend to be in much better condition and require less repair work. Most of the time, the remodeling of newer homes is for the primary purpose of meeting the client’s personal preferences, not for the sake of improving a design that is unusable. Such was the case for our recent master bathroom remodel in Fort Worth.
Once we begin the construction of a home remodeling project with our clients, the question is often brought up if we can include another “small project” on the side while the main remodel is being completed. There is nothing wrong with doing this, so long as the additional project is discussed ahead of time and included in the Scope of Work. Unfortunately, that is not typically the case. More often than not, these requests are made directly to our Project Managers on the jobsite — a point when the down payment has already been paid, the Scope of Work has been established, the proposal has been signed, and the primary construction is already underway. It may not seem like a big deal; the workers are already there, right? The reality is that add-on items can greatly disrupt the initial plan of the project as a whole. Clients fail to realize the impact that the add-on brings to the entire home renovation timeline, as well as to their carefully budgeted finances.
We have now reached the final blog of our 4-part series featuring our Arlington whole house remodel! It has been such a pleasure sharing the stunning transformation of the kitchen, living spaces, and master bathroom and closet. This major remodel comes to a close with the 2 guest bathrooms and one of the guest bedrooms we were able to renovate for our wonderful clients.
Because the two guest bathrooms were both relatively small to begin with, our team and the clients decided it was best to keep the original footprint and not change anything structural. The end goal for these rooms was primarily to update the aesthetic to match the rest of the newly remodeled house.
One of the top requests we get from our clients – whether they are remodeling their current home or have recently moved into an older house – is to have the popcorn ceilings removed.
These textured ceilings, also known as popcorn ceilings, acoustic ceilings or even cottage cheese ceilings, were very popular in the 1970s and ’80s as a quick and easy way to hide imperfections. Unfortunately, this texture can be very difficult to match if you have cracks or holes in need of patching. The uneven surface also catches more dust, allows for cobwebs, and really makes a home’s interior look stale and dated. These reasons alone are enough to make a homeowner opt for removing the texture! This is why we include popcorn ceiling removal in just about every home remodeling project we complete.
Our recent clients wanted to update their 1980’s Southlake home to better meet their needs. As it was, they used a small guest bedroom as their home office – a very crowded room that lacked the storage space and functionality needed for an individual that works from home. Unfortunately, this is often the case for homeowners that have a makeshift workspace. Luckily, these clients had a large upstairs bonus room that was not in use – the perfect area to be converted into a spacious home office!
Our recent clients have a beautiful home in North Richland Hills that they’ve lived in for several years. The house was in good condition, but the clients knew it was past due for an update. One of the rooms at the top of their list to remodel was the master bathroom. The original bathroom was very dated, including pastel pink wallpaper, builder-grade cabinets, poor lighting, and limited storage space. The updated design includes custom vanities, a frameless glass shower, a 60″ drop-in soaker tub, LED can lighting, and more!
Our recent clients have a beautiful home in North Richland Hills that they’ve lived in for several years. The house was in good condition, but the clients knew it was past due for an update. One of the rooms at the top of their list to remodel was the master bathroom. The original bathroom was very dated, including pastel pink wallpaper, builder-grade cabinets, poor lighting, and limited storage space. With hopes of redesigning the room for improved style and functionality, they contacted us to address their needs. Our knowledgeable team of designers met with them in their home, discussed the issues and possible solutions, and provided the clients with a clear course of action to get the project done.
Once they made the decision to move forward with a custom design package, the clients provided us with an inspiration photo of what they had in mind for their remodeled bathroom. Our designers took photos and measurements of the existing room and began creating the new floor plans, 3-D renderings, Scope of Work document, and Budget Items list. Our clients really appreciated the level of detail that was shown in the designs and documentation. It’s always important to have a clear understanding of your project and know exactly what is included before proceeding with any home remodeling project!
You can see in the before and after floor plans that due to the size and location of this bathroom, there wasn’t a lot that could be changed layout-wise. We opted to keep the plumbing lines where they were, so instead of reconfiguring the room completely, we updated the existing layout. The one structural change we did make was to remove the corner tub and angled shower and replace them with a 60” soaker tub and frameless glass shower. Doing this required taking in the shower 1-foot, allowing for a more streamlined look and functional tub that the clients would actually use!
The His & Hers vanities and the toilet room remained in their initial locations, with modifications to the cabinets for improved storage space.
One of the popular questions we get from homeowners that are considering a remodel is what options will give them the most return in the future, should they someday choose to sell their home. Although our ideal clients tend to be individuals that are not intending to move – those that have found their “forever home” and plan to live the rest of their life there—it is still a good idea to know what projects will provide the greatest ROI in the event that a move is necessary. Most contractors and realtors will probably tell you that a kitchen or bathroom remodel is going to be the best investment in regard to ROI. This is true, however, it’s important to know that this is only the case if you move a minimum of 10 years after your remodel. Moving within a 1 to 5 year timeframe is simply not a wise decision from a financial perspective, as the expense will be greater than the return within such a short time. For that reason, we typically are not the best fit for those that are working with investment properties or flip houses.
While it would seem that any update to your home would be good for your ROI, you should be aware that there are some projects that can actually lower the value of your home! Our owner, Mike Sr, will tell you that many times when he meets with a potential client to discuss a new project, he will spend the majority of the discussion trying to talk them out of it. If what they are thinking might serve an immediate need, but the long-term effect of the project on the value of the house will be a negative, he tries to get them to look at alternatives to serving their need. This might sound blunt, but our goal as a design-build firm is to provide our clients with honest facts and guidance when it comes to major home remodeling decisions. We want to educate you on the pros and cons of your potential project to help you choose the best option for the long-term!
Here are five home projects Mike Sr almost always tries to talk clients out of:
Many homeowners come to us with the initial statement that they already have their remodel figured out – they know how they’d like the floor plan, they know what walls they’d like to remove, they’ve picked out the paint colors, hardware, tile selections, and so on. Some have even gone as far as pre-purchasing their fixtures and appliances before they have even hired a contractor. In those cases, we often hear the phrase “I don’t need design assistance” or “the design isn’t necessary; can’t you just build it?”
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with planning ahead (we completely understand the excitement of it!) most homeowners don’t quite understand everything that goes into a kitchen or bathroom remodel and why the design process is necessary. Remodeling a kitchen or a bathroom without an organized design process would be like having a home builder construct a house without any building plans to go by. Even if the builder is experienced and knowledgeable, odds are that the completed house would not be his best work. Everything from intricate details like plumbing and electrical lines to larger portions like structural supports need to be addressed beforehand to ensure a quality finished product.
At Medford Design-Build, our design process is tried and true. With over 30 years of experience, our team has ironed out all the details so that nothing is overlooked during this critical phase of your project. Here are some helpful truths about the design phase in home remodeling to help you understand why it’s not something that can be skipped!
1. The term “design” is not limited to aesthetics.
In the world of home remodeling, the term “design” tends to make people think of paint colors, textiles, and tile selection; i.e. all of the pretty stuff that ties a room together in the end. Yes, realistic 3D renderings are an essential part of our custom design packages to aid in conceptual and visual understanding for both our team and our clients. We definitely want to make sure we’re all on the same page about how the space will look and function before anyone starts swinging a hammer! However, in some cases, the “design” is not only about the finished look of the project, but also the organization of the design itself. Even if a project doesn’t require visual floor plans or renderings, our Interior Designer, Stephanie, still creates a “design sheet” for every project we do. This document (separate from the Scope of Work document) is a part of the process regardless of whether or not the client has already selected their materials. The reason for this sheet is to list out every part of the design that is to be addressed, to ensure none of the pieces are overlooked. For example, a kitchen design sheet would specify the sink style and model, the drain strainer, the faucet, and the disposal under the “plumbing” section, while the “electrical” section would include details regarding the switch plates and outlets, undercabinet lighting, and fresh air vents that need to be added. Each section covers all of the little details you may not have considered on your own (sometimes as many as 60+ items!) even if you have previously selected all of the larger, more obvious items.