Basement Renovation Tips

Basement renovation is a great home improvement project. Not only does it increase the value of your home, but it provides your family with more space for living and storage. As with any renovation, the most crucial stage is planning. This week, we’ve outlined some simple tips to help you get started. 

Envision How You Want to Use the Space

The first thing you need to consider when you start planning is how you want to utilize the extra space. For example, you may be looking to create a home gym, game room, or guest bedroom. What kind of space you’re looking to create will affect the rest of the planning and cost of the renovation. 

Draft a Detailed Floor Plan

Create a floor plan and use it to figure out how your finished basement will fit together. Once your plan is in place, check the foundation walls and floor for excess moisture. Any cracks will need to be repaired, and professional assistance may be required at this stage. Be sure to examine the structure for supporting posts, low ceilings, and floors below the sewer line. These can pose challenges, and you might want to consult a contractor for a thorough inspection.

Consider your electrical and plumbing needs.

Always make sure you hire a certified electrician for any electrical work and consult a building inspector on any required permits or considerations. Now’s a good time to decide what type of insulation you’ll be using, whether it be spray foam or sheets. Again, make sure to consult a professional to ensure you get the proper insulation for your needs.

Choosing Drywall

Next, choose your drywall. Moisture-resistant drywall is an excellent option as basement areas are prone to moisture. You also need to decide what kind of flooring you’d like and repair any cracks in your subfloor before installing anything new. You might also want to consider waterproofing your concrete. 

Calculate Costs & Budget Accordingly

Start by considering all the prices for installations and additions such as vents, windows, drywall, floors, and lights. Save your decorating and furniture expenses for last. The final step is deciding what you can do yourself and what requires the contractor’s expertise.

The Horton Group is always here to help with the trickier parts of any project, so don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions about building!

The Most Popular Paint Colors for 2022

An aspect of any home remodel that is often overlooked is repainting. Every year, top paint brands release their 2022 picks for paint color of the year. This year has a focus on soft, earthy tones inspired by nature. Here are a few of the top paint picks for 2022. 

Behr: Sea-Glass Breezeway 

A relaxed and uplifting sea glass green expresses peace and tranquility for forwarding movement.

Sherwin-Williams: Evergreen Fog 

Evergreen Fog SW 9130 is a versatile and calming hue, a chameleon color of gorgeous green-meets-gray, with just a bit of blue.  It’s a simple but sophisticated wash of beautiful, organic color for spaces that crave a subtle yet stunning statement shade.

Benjamin Moore: October Mist

Evoking the silver-green stem of a flower, October Mist creates a canvas for other colors -and your imagination – to blossom.

HGTV Home: Aleutian

Create space for refuge with this perfectly balanced washed indigo that sets a restful tone. Because it’s grounded in warm and cool tones, it brings relaxation to any room.

Valspar: Blanched Thyme

A cool, organic green that works beautifully with warmer wood tones for a natural and balanced look.

Farrow and Ball: Breakfast Room Green

The most cheerful of all F&B’s greens that remain lively in both bright sunlight or softer candlelight

Conclusion

We’re here to help with all kinds of home renovations. Have questions about new repainting projects? Contact us today!

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Home Contractor

Renovating your home is a big deal, and you and your home contractor must be on the same page for the most seamless possible process. That being said, picking the perfect contractor that understands you can seem like a challenging and scary task. It is essential that your home contractor know your needs and vision and actualize these items within your budget. Asking the right questions about your potential home renovation prior to signing any form of contract with them will make your home renovation process exciting and pleasant rather than stressful. These questions will also safeguard you and your home from fraudulent contractors and a home makeover disaster.

What Should I Ask First?

First and foremost, you should ask questions that provide more insight into the contractor’s credentials. Hiring a trustworthy and expert contractor can make all the difference in achieving your ideal remodeling experience – from communication with the contractor to the final product. It is crucial to ask about the prospective contractor’s experience, whether they are licensed, and the specifics of their insurance coverage. It is essential to inquire about the contractor’s insurance policy to ensure you and your family’s safety and protect the valuable items in your home. Contractors should be insured in the event that something in your home gets broken during the job.

Some initial questions that should be asked include:

  1. How long have you been working in this business?
  2. Do you have a contracting license?
  3. What type of insurance coverage do you have? For follow-up, you can ask to see their certificate of insurance. You could also ask about their worker’s comp policies.

The key is to look for clear, affirmative answers from the contractor. Long, round-about answers to your questions could signify that the candidate is not adequately qualified or adequately insured for the job. As with many jobs, it is also beneficial to ask the prospective contractor for references. References are particularly helpful when hiring a contractor because they can speak from their personal experience. Good questions to ask the references are about the contractor’s communication skills and adherence to the projected timeline.

Other Possible Questions:

  1. How often will you be on-site to supervise the progress of the job?
  2. Do you offer a guarantee for your work? If so, what is it?
  3. How frequently do you finish your projects on time?
  4. How do you plan to clean up at the end of each day?
  5. Where will you store your equipment and materials? Will you need to use space in my home for storage during the project?

There are careful considerations you should make before hiring a contractor to renovate your home, but the process doesn’t always have to be stressful. Have more questions about new projects? Contact us today!

Common Home Remodel Myths Debunked

Home remodeling can be a daunting task, and common myths about the renovation process can even more so deter you from finally pulling the trigger on those renovations. However, spending time renovating your home can give it the refresh it needs and increase its overall value. Instead of wasting more time dreaming about installing new countertops or tearing apart that old bathroom, think about how you can make those dreams a reality. It’s time to debunk the three of the most common myths about home remodeling.

Myth 1: It is more expensive to hire a professional than to renovate your home yourself.

Homeowners are often under the impression that it will be less expensive if they take on remodeling projects like roofing replacements and kitchen renovations themselves. However, hiring a professional to supervise the project will typically save you time, money, and stress in the long run. There are many hidden expenses such as engineering, permits, and hiring technicians that are associated with remodeling and easy to overlook when taking on a project yourself. Contractors account for all of these factors when beginning a project, take responsibility for any issues that may occur during the remodeling process, and provide warranties on their work. While small home remodeling projects may be manageable to DIY, working with a professional on a large-scale renovation project will save you many headaches.

Myth #2: You’ll have to move out of your home until the remodeling is complete.

Homeowners are rarely required to move out while their home is under renovation. Contractors are used to working with limited space and accommodating occupants. The only time you would be asked to leave your home while renovations take place is if there are safety or structural issues. Professionals will often work with you to create a schedule so you will know when workers will be in your home.

Myth #3: Renovations will always take more time and money than planned.

If a project is properly researched and planned out, it should not take longer to complete than expected. It is important to account for some wiggle room in your projected timeline and cost in case each step does not go as planned and to ensure the project will not exceed your budget. Hiring a skilled professional to build a precise timeline and budget for your home remodeling will ensure that your renovations will be completed on schedule.

Getting started with renovations can be overwhelming. Have questions about remodeling? Our team is here to help, contact us today!

Turning A Spare Bedroom Into Something Useful

Do you have a spare room that is not suitable for a bedroom? You’d be amazed by the endless possibilities that could come from transforming a bonus room. Turn it into something useful! Here are a few ideas to start with.

Storage Room

Typically, homeowners who decide to downsize their homes own more furniture, clothes, etc. Whether they are of a sentimental nature or being saved for a future use, it is hard to completely purge yourself of a whole house full of goods. Storage units became a viable option for people in this predicament, but those tack on an additional monthly fee. Transforming your spare room into a storage room to house all your overflow can be a solution to help keep costs down.

Using bins, baskets, and shelves you can manage to organize all your possessions in a thoughtful way and you will likely find yourself able to keep minimizing when the stuff is more present in your day to day. 

Private Office

If you value your moments of silence or getting away from all of the activity that runs throughout the house, then remodel your bonus room into a private reading room or office. Give yourself a secluded area with sensitive lighting and soundproof walls to keep you undisturbed and focused. 

Install a private library and invest in office furniture like a corner desk or a few modular seats to make the room more comfortable and accommodating.

Game or Sports Room

If you have children, giving them room to run free is always a good idea. As we all know, kids can be messy. Giving them a play or game room can keep that mess away and unseen. You’d be surprised how many kids value having space to play that doesn’t require much clean-up afterward. 

If a few arcade games or a big flat screen tv to watch sports is more your speed, then a sports room could be of service. Adding a dry bar and a lazy boy recliner to the center of it all would make it the perfect private sports arena. 

Fitness Room

Not interested in paying for a gym membership? Then invest in the necessary equipment and turn your bonus room into an at-home fitness center! Work up a sweat and get pumped up from the comfort of your home instead of having to share the equipment in a public setting.

A huge plus to installing a gym in your home is never having to wait your turn or constantly having to change the settings/add weights to your equipment. Many people avoid going to the gym because of intimidation or packed capacities. Working out from home is safe and much more relaxing. 

Vanity Room or Walk-In Closet

A vanity room or “glam room” is a pivot we are seeing as a new trend in homes in 2021. Using appropriate lighting and mirrors, you can easily set up a place to pamper and maintain self care. Vanity rooms can be remodeled any way but typically carry over a more classic and chic look. 

Move your clothes in, start hanging up shelves, and give yourself a grand walk-in closet. This is typically useful for those who choose not to part with their favorite clothing items or married couples who need the extra space. Turning your bonus room into a walk-in closet could be an excellent opportunity for an ROI and can accommodate more than one person. 

At-home Theater

Depending on the size of the room, one of our favorite ideas is an at-home theater. Add surround sound, a projector with screen, and the seating arrangements of your choice! 

This allows for flexibility in your own showtimes, as well as a place to gather with friends and family. The nature of a space like this would provide a more intimate and cozy atmosphere for your next movie night.

Do you have an idea of what to do with a spare room? Drop us a comment and share it with us!

What to Look for in a Professional Remodeler

May is NAHB’s National Home Remodelers Month, and the past year has been a busy one when it comes to remodeling! 

With so much time spent at home these days, chances are, you are thinking of making changes to your home. Perhaps you’re thinking of pulling out your toolkit and DIYing it. 

However, large remodeling projects usually call for an expert. Here’s how you can find the right contractor for your home project!

Why You Should Hire a Professional

  • Property Value

Remember that your house is a valuable asset. All upgrades need to be of professional quality to increase the value of your property.

  • Safety

A professional contractor knows how to bring your remodeling dreams to life in a way that is safely constructed and up to code. As a trained expert, a remodeler has a firm grasp of the requirements to meet city ordinances, regulations, and permits. 

  • Expertise

You are not just hiring a professional remodeler for their labor; you are hiring them for their expertise. Through years in the industry, they know where to get the best prices on labor and materials, and how to design the best solutions for your needs and your budget. 

How to Find a Professional Remodeler

  • Search for Remodelers in Your Area

The National Association of Home Builders has a Directory of Professional Remodelers that you can search to find professional remodelers in your area. Search the internet or social media for remodelers in your area and pay attention to reviews from previous customers. You can also reach out to friends in your community to see who they recommend. 

  • Reach Out for Quotes

Contact a few of your top picks to discuss your project and your budget. A professional remodeler can provide you with work samples to prove their expertise, and a detailed proposal on how they will achieve your vision within your budget. Do not immediately go for the lowest price offered. A price that seems too good to be true can mean poor quality work or a lack of professionalism.

  • Check Their Credentials

Do some background research on your potential remodelers to make sure they are running a legitimate business. They should have the proper licenses to conduct their work, and general liability insurance in case of accidents on the jobsite. It is also great if they are part of a trade association. A remodeler who meets all these criteria should be reliable and knowledgeable about all the newest industry trends and legal requirements.

Are you interested in learning more about the remodeling process?

Questions to Ask Your Contractor

Finding the right general contractor for your project isn’t easy. Knowing there are plenty of important questions you need to ask potential contractors isn’t surprising, but exactly which questions to ask are crucial to the searching and hiring process. 

With that in mind, at Horton Group, we appreciate any questions our clients have. We gathered some crucial topics to discuss with a general contractor before you start working on the project together.   

Can you tell me more about your business?

Find several contractors near you and do your research ahead of time. Investigate how long the contractor has been in business and the structure of their business. Asking for business history is highly recommended as you can have a better understanding of its journey and systems set in place. 

Do you have a contracting license and certificate of insurance? 

Cities and states have different regulations on whether contractors must obtain a license. Ensure your contractor has gone through all of the necessary procedures to obtain required certifications. Furthermore, not only should you ask your contractor if they are insured, but how they are insured. All contractors should have both workers compensation and liability insurance for the specific work they perform. 

contractor and permits

Will you assist in obtaining the permits and set up the inspections required for this project? 

Not all projects require permits or inspections, but most remodeling projects can affect the structure of the home. Your potential contractor should know what kind of permits you need and how to get them. Many will also help obtain those permits for you. 

What is your timeline? 

Before you hire a contractor, ask if they can provide a start and completion date. These dates should be included in the formal writing agreement. We also recommend factoring in clean up duties and delivery delays. Additional scheduling questions you may want to ask include: 

  • Are there any other projects you’re working on now that could affect our schedule?
  • Do you have any current bids that haven’t been finalized that could impact this job?

What is your payment schedule like? 

Request price estimates from each candidate. Learn about the payment schedule and determine how surprise expenses will be factored into the budget. The Better Business Bureau advises never paying for the full price of contracting work upfront. A down payment, followed by scheduled payments, is typical protocol.

questions to ask your contractor

What are your working days like? 

Having an understanding and expectations of the contractor’s routine is vital to the hiring process. It’s important for both homeowners and contractors to know what to expect on construction days even before work begins. You can explain to your contractor what the parking situation is like, which restrooms if any are available, and if anyone will be home during construction. 

How can I get in touch with you?

Communication is always key. You need to have a clear understanding of who your point of contact is so you can ask any questions during the construction process. It is also important to get a physical business address along with business or cell phone numbers of the contractor you are working with. 

 

Although finding the right contractor for your project can require a lot of research, having a specific strategy in your mind before you start looking can make the process a whole a lot easier. If you have any questions, contact us!

 

How to Plan Your Next Renovation

What is your plan for tackling your next renovation project? A home renovation project can be overwhelming, but with a little prep work and organization, you’ll be able to plan a home improvement like a seasoned pro. Keep reading to get the inside scoop on the work that goes into planning a remodel. 

Develop a Plan

plan for your renovation

First things first, you can’t start your project until you know what the final product will be. Begin with a clear understanding of your renovation goal. This is truly a process where you have to work backward, but once you have your endpoint in mind, you can create a step-by-step plan on how to get there. Your project plan should include blueprints or sketches of the finished project, a list of needs and wants, and a detailed list of project steps. 

Determine Your Budget

determine a budget for your renovation

Next, determine your budget. We recommend speaking to a professional contractor to help you set an estimated budget. Consider factors such as permits, materials, and expected labor costs. In addition,  plan for some unexpected costs. If your budget estimates are not what you expected, go back to your plan and eliminate project elements that are lower priority. 

Build a Timeline

timeline

At this point, you should have a solid idea of all the required project steps. Choose your desired start date and work with your contractor to schedule a projected completion date. Be sure your timeline includes time to clean out the work area and allows for shipping and delivery of materials. 

Look for Professionals

The Horton Group

The quality of your home renovation project and completion depends on the expertise of the workmanship. Discuss with your contractor what you expect of them, the terms and conditions, and notify them in advance of your expected timeline. Even if this isn’t your first time planning a remodel, don’t be afraid to rely on professional advice. At The Horton Group, we are always willing to answer any questions you have about your future remodeling project.  

Taking the time to create a solid plan before you start construction will put you on the right path for home improvements. If you have any questions, contact us!

 

5 Tips to Prepare for a Remodel

You’ve met with your contractor, set a budget, and are excited to see the vision for your updated home come to life. 

Now you have to live through the remodel. 

Remodeling your home is a thrilling venture, especially if it is something you have been working towards. Knowing the changes you want is the first step, and it is exciting when construction gets underway. If you plan on living in the home while renovations are taking place, you need to prepare for life in a work zone.

Here are some tips to make the construction phase as seamless as possible. 

Prepare Emotionally

By preparing mentally to live in a home that is being remodeled, you will ease into the mindset needed. There will be a certain level of mess (after all, things are being ripped up and put back together), noise, and workers entering and exiting. Find a contractor who communicates clearly and plan extra time outside or visiting loved ones. Remind yourself that though things may get hectic, it is just a phase!

Pack Up

Pack up your belongings as if you are moving. This helps the workers, as they will not need to work around any of your things. This step will also be beneficial to you because the space you are living in will not be overcrowded. Keep your essential items, and put the rest in storage.  

Establish Living Zones

Where will you be spending your time when you are in the house? Decide how you can repurpose the rooms that are not being worked on to help you live as comfortably as possible. Perhaps the master bedroom becomes more like a studio apartment, with an area for sleeping and a space for a living room. If your kitchen is being remodeled, set up a countertop with a coffee maker, small fridge, microwave, and toaster oven for use at home. You will need to be creative when creating living zones, but it will help make the transition easier. 

Seal the Work Zone

Work zones are full of dust, construction materials, and tools. If possible, make a separate entryway for construction workers, and tape off the work site from your living space. 

Prepare to be Flexible

During a remodel, unforeseen issues may arise. Your contractor works to make sure everything runs smoothly. Plan to communicate with your contractor regularly, so you understand the progress of the project. This way, if a surprise does pop up, you can calmly decide what your next step is. 

Renovations do not have to be extremely stressful, but they do require preparation, communication, and flexibility. Are you ready to complete a remodel?

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