Look For Credentials When Hiring

If you’re planning a home remodel and want to hire a professional, then you’ve likely heard some horror stories.

No one wants to be taken advantage of – whether it’s your time, money, and especially not your home. When researching contractors in the area, make sure you look at their credentials just as much as their portfolio online. A pretty picture is nothing without a few testimonials.

Remodeling professionals have the training, experience, skills, and solid references. Homeowners can hire the best remodeler for the job by checking credentials and choosing the most qualified candidate.

Ask about these credentials when hiring a professional remodeler:

Insurance and Licensing

All professional home remodelers should be insured and able to display a certificate proving possession of insurance. While not all states require remodelers to be licensed, the ones that do, contractors are mandated to share proof of licensure. Up-to-date insurance and licensing demonstrate that the remodeling firm is in good standing. 

Education

The most skilled professional remodelers not only have experience on the job but education. There are many ways contractors continue their education and numerous certifications, designations one can hold. Find a professional who continues to invest in professional development to keep their remodeling and business skills sharp and better serves their customers.

References and Reviews

Happy homeowners enjoy sharing their good experiences and appreciation of their newly upgraded space. Take a look at reviews online, or ask friends and neighbors for their referrals. 

Business Skills

Experienced remodelers know how to manage their business, which provides stability and security for their customers. These professionals will provide a written contract for a home remodeling project, a scheduled timeline, and guarantees and warranties for their work. 

Another vital sign of honest business practices from a remodeler is outlining a clear payment schedule and not requiring large amounts of cash upfront. Professional remodelers should also have a good reputation with the Better Business Bureau and a good credit report, indicating stable business operations.

Association Membership

Many successful remodelers are members of trade associations like the National Association of Home Builders because it offers business resources and continuing education. Membership also provides opportunities for professional growth and expanding knowledge of the remodeling industry.

Conduct thorough research when hiring a professional home remodeler so that you hire someone with good credentials. Verifying intelligent business practices and remodeling experts will better ensure that your home remodel will be completed successfully and safely. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry rather than trusting someone’s word.

Tips for Designing a Multi-Generational Home

Multi-generational living can be challenging. You want everyone to have their privacy and space, all under one roof. If you are currently living with multiple generations in your home, or anticipate this situation in the future, here are some tips to design a living space that works for everyone.

Design Your Home with Accessibility in Mind

With multiple generations under one roof, you’ll want to make sure the living space is accessible to the oldest of the household’s members. 

Make sure you have spaces wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs. Build bedroom suites on the ground floor, so people with mobility challenges won’t need to navigate stairs. If you have a large budget, you can even consider motorized countertops or cabinets that can adjust height to accommodate everyone’s needs.

Design your bathroom with safety in mind. Choose step-in showers, rather than a bathtub  that an elderly person will struggle to climb into. Install handrails or seats in the showers.

Lastly, make sure there is ample lighting in the house for older members who may have trouble seeing. Adjustable lighting is a great option to make everyone happy.

Design Private Spaces and Communal Spaces

There will be times where you’ll want to spend time with your family members, and times where you’ll want some privacy. This can be difficult to achieve in a multigenerational home, but there are solutions. You can build a separate suite in the basement, or even elsewhere on your property like a guest cottage. You can also consider separate entrances into the home, so every generation feels like they have a space of their own.

You’ll want some communal and accessible open-concept spaces, but you’ll also want some separate rooms for privacy. Pocket doors are a great solution to accomplish something in-between open and private. With a lot of people in the house, you’ll also definitely want to make sure your rooms are well-soundproofed.

Maximize Your Indoor and Outdoor Space

With a full house, it’s essential to maximize every inch of your home. Design plenty of creative storage solutions. Lots of people means lots of stuff!

Even if you don’t have extra family members living with you NOW, you can design for your FUTURE needs if you anticipate you will one day have extra members in your household. Design your spare rooms to meet standard bedroom requirements so that they can be used as bedrooms later, even if you’re currently using them as an office or exercise room.

If you have the yard space, designing a spacious, comfortable outdoor courtyard or deck where the whole family can come together for bonding time while having their private spaces indoors is a great way to achieve balance between alone time and social time.

Conclusion:

Living in a multigenerational home can be a challenge, but creating a harmonious living environment starts with the design of your house. It is important to design a space that is physically accessible to every member of the household, and that accommodates both togetherness and privacy.

Need help coming up with a design that fits your multi-generational needs? Get in touch today.

6 Outdoor Design Ideas You’ll Love

Outdoor living spaces can be designed to fit your needs and style, and remain an important feature for homeowners and buyers alike. From hosting daytime gatherings to relaxing evenings, your property expands your living space and allows you to enjoy the outdoors. 

Here are six design features to take your outdoor living space to the next level:

Patio Doors

Oversized doors leading out to your patio or deck extend your interior living space to the outdoors. French patio doors are easy to open, bifold doors can create a larger entrance, and multi-slide patio doors can extend the length of the wall, with panels that tuck into pockets. Each one of these options opens up your indoor and outdoor living spaces for entertaining or relaxing at home. 

Covered Outdoor Area

A covered space creates more opportunities to be outside, whether the sun is shining so brightly you need shade, or a light rain begins. You can also create separate outdoor spaces, keeping one covered and others uncovered to meet everyone’s preferences. Awnings, gazebos, and screened porches are all options for covered outdoor space. 

Outdoor Kitchen

If you love to entertain, an outdoor kitchen makes it more convenient to prep food and drinks while hosting, but also limits the number of times your guests walk in and out of the house. 

Built-in cooking and prep stations provide everything you need to make meals outside, so you can enjoy your company and the weather. 

Irrigation System

Beautiful landscaping can be admired throughout the warmer months, making your property a serene reatreat. An irrigation system allows you to maintain your landscaping with less maintenance, giving you more time to enjoy the outdoors. 

Privacy

There are numerous ways to create privacy, no matter what type of property you own. Fencing, hedges, and landscaping can all create a private oasis for you to enjoy. 

Fire Pits

An outdoor fire pit is a wonderful way to create ambiance in your outdoor living space. Whether you opt for a built-in or portable fire pit,  you can cozy up on chilly evenings and extend the use of your outdoor space. 

Most and Least Desirable Home Features

Every year, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) conducts a survey to determine what features home buyers look for in a home. 

This year, priorities have shifted as people began to look for more space while adapting to remote working and learning. 

Keep reading for more insights from NAHB’s 2021 What Home Buyers Really Want report. 

Most Essential Home Features

According to the survey, in which 3,000 recent home shoppers and buyers participated in, there is a growing demand for more square footage. As people look to expand their living spaces, here are the features they consider most essential:

Home Feature% Who Consider it Essential
Laundry Room87%
Exterior Lighting87%
Ceiling Fan83%
Energy Star rated windows83%
Patio82%
Double Kitchen Sink (side-by-side)81%
Walk-in Pantry81%
Front Porch81%
Energy Star rated appliances81%
Hardwood Flooring81%
Full Bath on the Main Level80%
Energy-efficient lighting80%

The survey didn’t stop with overall features. Below are top features, broken down by room.

Top Kitchen Features

  1. Double sink (side-by-side)
  2. Walk-in pantry
  3. Table space for eating
  4. Central island
  5. Water filtration

Top Outdoor Features

  1. Exterior lighting
  2. Patio
  3. Front porch
  4. Rear porch
  5. Deck

Top Accessibility Features

  1. Full bath on the main level
  2. Doorways at least 3 feet wide
  3. Hallways at least 4 feet wide
  4. Non-slip floor surfaces
  5. An entrance without steps

Top Technology Features

  1. Programmable thermostat
  2. Security cameras
  3. Video doorbell
  4. Wireless home security system
  5. Multi-zone HVAC system

Least Essential Home Features

In addition to noting what’s most important, buyers also provided input on what they consider turn-offs in a home. Here are the least desirable features in a home or complex:

Home Feature% Who Consider it Least Desirable
Elevator56%
Glass Walls54%
Daycare Center in the Development50%
Wine Cellar48%
Pet Washing Station47%
Roof partially or completely covered by plants46%
Golf Course46%
In-law suite42%
Cork flooring (on the main level)41%
Dual toilets in primary bath40%

What features are a must-have in your next home? 

A Look Inside the Whitfield Penthouse

Every unit at the Residences at 66 High Street is special. Designers worked with the owners to complete the Whitfield Penthouse, ensuring that every detail fits their vision. 

Scroll through the slideshow to see the expectational craftsmanship in this unit!

  • Whitfield Penthouse

Are you interested in learning more about the Residences at 66 High Street?

Kitchens at 66 High Street

From the historic Mill Building to brand new Whitfield and Leete Buildings, every kitchen at the Residences at 66 High Street is customized to meet the needs of the owners. 

As the social hub of the home, today’s kitchen is a place that is on display in an open floor plan. To accommodate for both function and style, we’ve worked with incredible interior designers to achieve the goals of each resident. 

Scroll through to take a look at some of the 66 High Street kitchens, and perhaps get some inspiration for your own!

What is your favorite kitchen? Let us know in the comments!

Add Architectural Details to Your Home

The difference is always in the details. 

When you walk into a custom home, you can immediately tell the difference. Architectural details can make any space come to life, adding a luxurious and timeless element to your home design.  

Keep reading for simple ways to add architectural details to your home. 

Baseboards

Baseboards cover the joint between the wall and the floor, hiding any imperfections and protecting the wall. Since baseboards run throughout every room in the home, they also serve as a visual link. If your baseboards are outdated, select a new decorative molding, or paint the baseboards to freshen up every room. 

Door and Window Trim

Door and window trim, also called casing, comes in various prefinished and unfinished options, ranging from simple to elaborate. Mitered door casings connect each piece of trim with an angled joint. If your home has high ceilings, butted casing offers a wider head casing for the top of the door, drawing the eye up. 

Crown Molding

Crown molding can be installed where the wall meets the ceiling or cap off cabinets and columns. This decorative finish changes the style of any room, makes the ceiling feel higher, and adds a sense of luxury. 

Chair Rail 

Chair Rail is another type of molding, applied horizontally to walls. Chair rail provides a classic decorative element and protects high traffic areas where furniture is frequently moved. Chair rail is often found in dining rooms, breakfast nooks, and living rooms. 

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors instantly create a flow throughout your living spaces. Hardwood can match any style, and typically adds to the value of the home.

Ceiling Beams

Ceiling beams are another way to draw the eye up. While some beams are essential to the property’s structure, exposed beams can also add to the design of a space. Whether opting for a rustic vibe with wooden beams, or a modern interior with metal beams, ceiling beams add a visually appealing focal point in any room!

Color Contrast

One of the easiest ways to highlight architectural details in your home is with contrasting colors. If you opt for dark hardwood floors, select a light paint color for the walls. Another option is to contrast light cabinetry with dark countertops, or vice versa, to create depth. 

Architectural details can create simple or bold statements. What’s your favorite way to add in architectural detail?

Home Design that’s Trendy and Timeless

A new home comes with endless possibilities – including the overall design. The best part about new construction is you have a blank slate to create the home of your dreams. While recent home design trends can be fun to incorporate, they don’t always last long.

No matter your preferred style, you can customize your home, so it is both trendy and timeless. Keep reading to learn how!

Start with Function

When meeting with your builder, decide on an overall layout that meets your needs. An open floor plan often allows for flexible living spaces that can be modified to fit your changing lifestyle. In addition, a bedroom option on the main level creates the opportunity for one-level living, should you or a loved one need it. Review the pros and cons of floor plans with your builder to determine what works best for you. By starting with a practical floor plan, you’ll be able to enjoy the space for years to come. 

Go Classic with Big Items

Big construction items are generally harder to change out, and therefore more expensive. If you want a design you’ll love for years, select classic options for exterior finishes, flooring, countertops, and cabinets. Selecting quality materials for finishes ensures these items will last in terms of function and design. While they may be more expensive upfront, high-quality finishes are both luxurious and timeless.

Sprinkle in Trends

If there is a trend you love, incorporate it in a way that can easily be altered. Paint color can easily be changed, as well as furniture and decor. Light fixtures and hardware can have a drastic effect on the overall style of a room. These small ticket items can easily be upgraded should you get sick of them in a few years. 

We’d love to know – do you prefer a classic look or love to switch it up with the latest trends?

Mixing Metals: Dos and Don’ts

Cool metal tones have been the norm in homes and offices for years. Now, stainless steel, nickel, and chrome are starting to take a backseat to warmer finishes. 

Gold, copper, and bronze are appearing in kitchen and bathroom designs, but not in the polished and shiny way of the 70s. Brushed brass is a fresh look for all who are tired of the cool metal tones. 

The new trend doesn’t mean you should swap all your hardware, light fixtures, and plumbing over to gold or brass – especially if you are not sure if you love the look. Mixing metals allows you to incorporate warm and cool tones. When done right, mixing gold and silver creates eclectic spaces, making it look like items have been collected over the years. 

Keep reading for the dos and don’ts of mixing metals in interior design.

Do: Choose One Dominant Metal

One metal should stand out as the most prominent in any space. To keep the balance, select one metal for larger features or decor pieces and then choose one to two metals for accent pieces. 

Don’t: Mix More than 3 Metals

Matching all finishes creates an outdated, monochromatic look. On the other hand, mixing too many metals creates a distraction for the eye. In a smaller space, select two metals: one dominant and one accent. In a larger room, you can go up to three metals, especially if the third is for a statement piece. 

Do: Mix Warm and Cool Tones

Warm metals include gold, brass, and nickel. These rich colors add a pop to any room. Cool colors, such as silver and stainless steel, can be mixed with warmer hues. All metals can go together, as long as each finish is a thoughtful addition to the overall decor. 

Don’t: Forget about Texture

Polished, hammered, and matte finishes change the look and feel of each metal. Consider changing up the texture of the metals throughout the space, as well as the metals being used. 

Do: Space Metals Out

Metal on top of metal can make a room feel too industrial and cold. Spread out metals throughout the room, both horizontally and vertically, for a finished look. 

Don’t: Disregard Small Accents 

If you are easing into the thought of mixing metals, you can begin with small decor pieces like a small sculpture or understated light fixture. This keeps it subtle while adding a new dynamic to the room. 

We’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you love the look of mixing metals or do you think it’s just a fad?

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