2014 Home Remodeling Trends

condo master bath A_FINALHome remodeling may have taken a back seat during the recession, but not anymore. According to a 2013 Hanley Wood survey, remodeling sales were up 10 percent compared to 2012, and 45 percent of remodelers surveyed expected another 10 percent growth this year.

Home remodeling is back and there are many new and sensational design trends for 2014 that will inspire and excite homeowners. This is a list of the top 10.

KITCHEN

According to data compiled by Hanley Wood and Remodeling Magazine, 61 percent of remodelers surveyed expect to complete kitchen remodels in 2014, more than any other room in the house. And, those remodels are expected to follow a new trend.

Trend #1. Modern Style:

Not so long ago, remodeled kitchens had a rustic feel with warm paint colors and cabinetry, and wrought iron hardware and lighting. Now, modern is in, with white or gray cabinetry, simple countertops, glossy finishes and minimalist designs.  Appliances are more likely to be blended into the design or hidden away from view entirely to give the kitchen a sleeker appearance.

Homeowners who prefer a more traditional style can update their kitchens with popular trends such as black countertops, glass front cabinets or darker paint tones like deep brown, dark red and rich copper.

Trend #2.  Floating Shelves:

Cabinets can make or break a kitchen design, and in 2014 we will see more kitchens with less cabinetry and more floating shelves. Kitchens with long runs of cabinets can feel heavy because they take up a great deal of space, both physically and visually. Floating shelves create interest, open up spaces, and leave room to hang wall art.

Trend #3.  Eco-friendly Materials:

2014 incorporates looks from Mother Nature, and cabinets will be no exception.  Earth-friendly cabinets with no added formaldehyde and non-toxic glues, binders and finishes will rise in demand.

Going green is nothing new, but sustainability is getting easier in 2014 remodels. Energy efficiency is becoming an assumption, not an add-on. This year, remodels will include more renewable materials such as bamboo, energy-efficient appliances and additional designs that incorporate the local climate.

BATHROOMS

condo master bath B_FINALIn the Hanley Wood survey, bathrooms came in second to the kitchen with 58 percent of remodelers planning to do bathroom remodels in 2014. As far as style, vintage bathrooms with wainscoting and claw-foot tubs won’t be as popular as resort-style bathrooms. Glass tiles (for a glossy, sparkling look that can make the space seem larger than it is), heated towel racks, and custom storage solutions (for that uncluttered, spa-like appearance) are among the top remodeling trends you can expect to see more of this year.

Trend #4.  Bigger Showers are Better:

Showers are becoming more popular than tubs. Homeowners are looking to embellish the ‘shower experience’ rather than the tub experience. Amenities such as large walk-in showers with multiple shower heads and frameless shower enclosures are becoming the standard rather than the exception. Another increasingly popular feature is the curb-less shower.

Trend #5.  Stand Alone Tubs:

If homeowners want a tub experience in 2014, it’s likely they will select a free standing tub as a structural element, which takes up much less space in the room than the old tiled-in tub deck.

Trend #6.  Multi-generational Living:

Bathrooms are being outfitted with multi-generational features that can accommodate aging parents or boomerang kids. Wall mounted sinks for wheelchairs, walk-in bathtubs, and motion sensing faucets can make the bath a better experience for everyone.

GENERAL

Trend #7.  Brass Accents:

Brass made a comeback at home-design and remodeling conventions in 2013 and the trend is expected to pick up this year. While brass is nothing new, it has gotten a facelift. Highly polished, bright brass hardware and lighting is gone; rustic, dull and hammered brass is in. The new looks will be incorporated into kitchen and bathroom hardware as well as lighting and door hardware throughout the house.

Trend #8. Vibrant Colors:

While designers may disagree on what constitutes some trends in 2014, on one subject they all agree:  Bright colors are most certainly “in.”

While the kitchen may be getting the modern single-shade treatment this year, designers have a different idea for other rooms. Bright accent colors such as turquoise, yellow and orange that were popular in 2013 have a new twist; this year, they’ll be more of a focal point and even more vibrant with colors such as Green Flash, Lemon Zest, Nectarine and Rouge Red. Designers will start featuring vibrant accent walls throughout bedrooms and main living spaces. Cobalt blue is a particularly hot color in 2014.

Trend #9.  U-Socket:

Apple devices reign in most households, so the new U-Socket wall plug has two built-in USB ports to power devices including iPhones, gaming devices, digital cameras, Kindles and iPads. The U-Socket also has a smart sensor that allows it to shut off when the device is fully charged — an environmentally friendly feature that prevents “vampire drain.”

Trend #10. Self-Expression:

Whether it’s bold use of color or ornamentation, homeowners won’t be afraid to express their personality.  Jeweled colors, mixed metals, and unique finishes will be methods of self-expression in 2014.

THIS OLD HOUSE

While the rest of the United States economy struggles to regain their footing after one of the longest stints of economic downturn our country has ever seen, one city has not only recovered, but has truly excelled to new heights. Houston, Texas was recently ranked number 20 in Forbes annual rankings of best places for business and careers. Businesses and individuals are flocking to the city at alarming rates in order to either start up a company or find a job working for one, and in just five years we have seen over 300,000 people migrate to the city.

Single story home - Before
 
 

So many people are making their way into the city each year because Houston has been named one of the best cities in regards to cost of living, and potential homeowners are constantly on the prowl for that next beautiful home to call their own. Many of these potential homebuyers don’t have the time to build a custom home; therefore, they are opting to buy a “new to me” home. If there was ever a time to make a move into a larger home for a growing family, or perhaps a smaller home for “empty nesters”, this would be that time.

Transformed two story - AfterThat being said, in Houston, 38% of the available homes are more than 30 years old. Many of these houses need more than a little cosmetic therapy, they require some structural updates and changes just to make them safe and functional for today’s modern living. This may seem like a problem but consider; older homes tend to come with more land and, once it is remodeled, make luxury much more affordable than purchasing new. In an older home, what you see is what you get. If it look like brick, it’s brick. If it looks like a wood floor, it’s wood. This makes renovating a great deal easier, and adds to the character of the home.

Homeowners recognize that it is equally important for a space to functions well and be beautiful. Remodeling older homes can mean restoring a building to its original luster, or altering floor plans to accommodate modern lifestyles and tastes. A little extra time and attention paid to older homes can improve a homeowner’s quality of life and help boost the home’s value on the market.

Home Remodeling Tips: What NOT To Do

Award-winning wine room designed and remodeled by Gryphon BuildersWhen remodeling your house, there are a lot of things that go into it. That is why you should always use a professional contractor because they will help you understand that what you do is just as important as what you don’t do. For example, sometimes a homeowner can negatively affect a remodeling project by creating problems because they do not know when to trust the professional and get out of the way. Read on to find out how to help simplify your home remodel.

1. Don’t Change Your Mind. Even though it is inevitable that you will change your mind during the remodel, you should know that every time you do, it will result in a change order and that results in added costs, even if the change is minor. Scheduling can be affected, which may cause a delay in the project.

To ensure that your remodel remains on schedule make as any, if not all decision before work starts. This prevents any situations that might cause delays.

2. Don’t Work Without A Contingency Fund. It is very rare to find a person that has set a realistic budget for a project. Typically, what someone wants doesn’t match up with what they have budgeted for. Avoid buying your own materials because even though it might seem like you’re saving money, in the end it is usually the same price as a professional may get a better price than you to begin with.

Don’t start work without a contingency budget. If you follow rule #1 and you hire a qualified contractor, you can probably plan for a 5% contingency.

3. Don’t Try to Fix Up A Tear Down. Some houses should be knocked down rather than having money put into them to fix them up. Even though this is rare, many people put money into fancy appliances for a house with a sagging foundation.

Always listen to the professionals and be open-minded to their opinion. They know better about structural issues that you may not even be able to see.

4. Don’t Be A Distraction. Every minute working on a project counts, so don’t have a 30 minute conversation with someone while they are working on your house; it is only inhibiting them from doing their job. Another way to prevent distractions is to keep children and/or pets away from the property so they don’t get in the way. It’s not safe to have them around the building process and it will disturb the workers.

Most importantly, if possible, don’t live in your house while it is being remodeled because it will be messy, uncomfortable, and chaotic for you and the workers.

5. Don’t Work Without A Design. Don’t start a remodel without a detailed floor plan. Some projects may require and architect or a house designer, which will help you create a good plan. A detailed floor plan will catch any possible problems before hand.

Knowing what NOT to do during your home remodeling project can significantly impact the job and help to avoid many problems and/or delays from occurring.

Houston Home Remodeling with Less Stress

The key is accountability, communication and scheduling

A-Suffolk-living-room-renderingThe national housing market is turning around and as a result Houston home remodeling is on the rise. Remodeling a home could be stressful; however, a well organized and managed builder can more effectively minimize surprises and make the process less taxing. Accountability, communication and scheduling procedures are three factors that can dictate how comfortable your remodeling experience will be. If your builder can answer the following questions clearly and with confidence, they are more likely to deliver upon your expectations.

Q: What guarantee do I have that you will deliver upon completion what I hired you to do?

Accountability. Your builder, should invest the time needed to aid you understanding how their company is organized before a job begins. You should have in writing an outline of all aspects of the project; i.e., a complete Construction Contract, specifications and selections, budget considerations, and estimated schedule of completion.

Q: Who will handle any questions or concerns that I may have throughout the process?

Communications. When it comes to remodeling projects, miscommunication is the greatest contributor to an unsatisfactory experience. Before your remodel project initiates it is important to establish a “chain of command” so that you know who the appropriate person to connect with will be, all contact information, the preferred ways of communication, and the appropriate amount of time to allow for a response.

Q: How will I know my project is proceeding on time and within budget?

Schedules and Payments. An agenda that details your remodel project from start to finish is crucial, of course weather delays, delivery problems, change orders, and other unforeseen events can shift the projected time frame for completion. However, scheduled updates help keep you informed of date change and that expectations should be modified.

Payment schedules are just as important because they allow you to clearly understand what is expected and all resources are more effectively managed over the course of construction.

Understanding how Gryphon Builders handles these kinds of issues is one of the reasons our clients consider us among the best companies doing home remodeling Houston. We pride ourselves on communicating effectively, paying attention to details and getting things done on time and according to plan – all of which help make the remodeling process the positive experience it should be. If you would like to put our extensive experience to work for you, please call Allen Griffin at 281-236-8043, or email allen@gryphonbuilders.com.

Project Wish List

Living-Room-resizedBefore embarking on your building/remodeling project, walk around your current space and take note of all the things that aren’t meeting your needs and/or just don’t like, i.e.; structural issues, overdue maintenance, safety concerns, space limitations, dated countertops, or ugly floors, etc.

Next, think about what you really want out of your new home or remodel project. Creating a wish-list is an effective way to share your preferences with your builder. Not only will a wish-list help you decide what you want and don’t want, it will help determine what you can get out of your budget. Here are a few things to consider:

Basic Specifications

1. New custom home –

  • How big would you like the house to be or square footage?
  • What type of rooms do you need/want to accommodate your daily living?
  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want?
  • Are you interested in Green Building, Universal Design, etc.?
  • How do you want your house to look inside and out, i.e., what is your design style?

2. Remodel or Renovation –

  • Do you need/want an addition for more space?
  • Are there any major repairs or updates needed to electrical, plumbing, etc.?
  • Does the project include changes to the exterior? Would you like to create an outdoor living space?
  • Will you be changing the “footprint” of the home; i.e., move rooms around or adjust spaces?
  • Are you going to replace all the hard surfaces; i.e., floors, countertops, cabinets, etc.?
  • Do you want to incorporate Green Building or Universal Design?

Design Style & Preferences

  • Choose a style that reflects your taste, i.e.; Arts & Crafts, Traditional, Tuscan, Country, Contemporary, Transitional, etc.
  • Consider possible interior space changes that could enhance your life style; i.e., designing a mud room with a wet area for rinsing off after gardening or for washing your family pet, replacing the “formal” dining room with an expanded kitchen and butler’s pantry, or adding a wine grotto and sitting room for entertaining friends or enjoying a glass of wine with the one you love as the perfect end to your day. There are so many unique possibilities.
  • Products are the elements that reflect your design style. Selecting them can be intimidating but it can also be fun. Think about how you live and what is aesthetically pleasing to you while in the process of searching for: flooring, cabinets, countertops, hardware, plumbing fixtures, lighting options, colors, paint, wall coverings, windows, doors, and so much more.

After you have chosen to work with Gryphon Builders, your wish list will be the starting point for the project. Next, together we will create a design plan that incorporates your desires and respects your budget.

There are no right or wrong decisions, only possibilities. For ideas, flip through magazines or look in design books. But don’t stop there, search the internet or take note of features you like when at a friend’s house. You could even have a get-together with friends and family to ask them what they think would enhance your home and reflect your sense of style. In addition, visit product showrooms; you will find a great deal of information that can make your selection process more enjoyable.

We are always willing to assist you with any stage of developing your design ideas and selecting your products. We understand there is so much to consider and keep track of, therefore we want to help however you would like us to. Meeting you at a showroom, making suggestions, and organizing all the information are just a few of the things we do because customer service is a priority with us.

For your convenience, we have provided a list of our industry partners with their address, phone number, and website information.

By Design Interiors, Inc.
5629 FM 1960 Road West, Suite 113
Houston, TX. 77069
281-587-8755
http://www.bydesigninteriors.com/

Lynne T. Jones Interior Design
16107 Lexington Drive, #122
Sugar Land, TX 77479
281-437-3307
http://www.lynnetjones.com/

Thorntree Slate & Marble
7026 Old Katy Rd #167
Houston, TX 77024
713-750-9091

http://www.thorntreeslate.com/

Mainland Custom Marble, Inc.
3520 N. Gordon St
Alvin, TX 77511
281-824-9696
http://www.mainlandcustommarble.com/

Arizona Tile
10811 S. Westview Circle Drive
Houston, TX 77043
713-468-0511
http://www.arizonatile.com/

InterCeramic Tile & Stone Gallery
8785 Clay Road
Houston, TX 77080
713-680-0884
http://www.interceramic.com/site/USA.xhtml

Walker Zanger
7055 Old Katy Road
Houston, TX 77024
713-300-2932
http://walkerzanger.com/

Ferguson
4245 Richmond Ave
Houston, Texas 77027
713-626-3300
http://www.ferguson.com

Bath & Kitchen Showplace
10005 W. Sam Houston Parkway N.
Houston, Texas 77064
832-237-8200
http://www.bkshowplace.com/

Lighting Unlimited
4211 Richmond Ave.
Houston, TX 77027
713-626-4025
http://www.lulighting.com/

Lighting Inc.
4218 Richmond Ave.
Houston, TX 77027
713-623-6500
http://lightinginc.com/

BMC Building Materials
16002 Tomball Parkway
Houston, TX 77086
281-440-9090
http://www.buildwithbmc.com/

Pella Windows & Doors
8700 Fallbrook Drive
Houston, TX 77064
281-807-4222
http://www.houston.pella.com/home.asp?project=houston

Western Brick Company
7620 Washington Avenue
Houston, TX 77007
713-861-1751
http://www.western-brick.com/

Sherwin-Williams Color Studio
The Decorative Center Houston
4106 S. Shepherd Dr., 2nd Floor
Houston, TX 77098
713-629-1616
http://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners/

Imago Dei
2525 Robinhood St.
Houston, TX 77005
713-520-5557
http://imagodeigallery.com/

Decorative Wall Designs by Debbie Earle
832-257-9276
http://www.decorativewalldesigns.net/

Inspired Finishes by Laurie Lopez
Faux finish samples can be provided through Gryphon Builders upon request.

 

What are the Components of a Clear Contract

Krablin-tea-roomWhen it comes to building or remodeling a home, it’s important to be aware of everything that goes into the process in order to prevent common mishaps and conflicts during your construction project. The more detailed and specific you can be upfront, the less room there will be for errors due to misunderstandings and miscommunications. It’s important to clearly understand each part of the contract.

1. The contract is meant to prevent problems from arising by giving a roadmap and timeline of the details and expectations of the builder and client. This helps prevent any unexpected delays. Responsibilities, information about the scope of the project, payment schedules, and conflict resolution strategies are all included in the contract. A clear contract is a guideline for your endeavor.

2. The Project Description clearly identifies the elements of the finished project, including specific details about the plans. The more detailed and clear the description of the work to be done, the better the outcome will be.

3. The plans are the visual images of your completed project as expected. These could include a variety of things such as floor plans, elevation drawings, plumbing, electrical and cabinet details. All plans should be verified and signed by both parties involved in the home construction process.

4. The specifications, or “specs” are the written descriptions of what tasks will be completed and generally, in what order. The specs also identify the items that will be installed in the home. This includes the make, brand, color, manufacturer, and any other detail about the components that go into a home. The price of the project is based on the specs, so the more specific you can be, the more accurate the estimate will be.

5. The construction documents are made up of the contract, plans, and specifications. These documents allow the contractor to get accurate bids, as well as obtain needed permits.

6. Discretionary Funds include allowances and change orders. Allowances allocate budgets to cover tasks that haven’t been chosen yet, such as lighting or flooring. Change orders are any changes to the original scope of work requested by the homeowner. The contract should clearly indicate what changes can be made, the estimated cost of possible changes, and who can approve each change order. It’s extremely helpful to record each change order to avoid any surprises.

Clear and concise contracts that identify specifically who, what, and how will ensure that you get exactly what you expected without any of the common issues that can arise during this process. Building or remodeling a home could be a difficult process, but establishing a detailed contract can make the process significantly smoother.

10 Tips for Remodeling “Green”

Exterior-resize-2At Gryphon Builders we have a passion for Houston home remodeling, particularly “green” remodeling but we realize not all homeowners understand what it means or how to do it. There is no denying the importance of doing all we can to impact our environment in a positive way.

The topic of green remodeling and energy efficient building practices has been around for a long time. These 10 tips will help get you past the hype and on your way to “living green.”

1. Start with an existing house. If you want to go green all the way choose to remodel instead of building new. By remodeling, you are creating less waste and using less energy.

2. Be mindful of scale. A well-designed space does not need to be huge to serve your needs. With good/green design you can remodel your existing home to function better and be more beautiful.

3. Think about the future. When improving a home, you should realize you are making a lifestyle investment with the objective of improving the aesthetics and your daily routines for as long as you are in the home.

Green Remodel” = sustainability, the capacity to endure; spaces and systems that remain diverse and productive over time, or long-lived and healthy.

4. Manage light and heat. Remodel your home to take advantage of the sun when you want it and keep it out when you don’t. Adding reflective roof coatings, installing tubular skylights and creating thermal mass are just a few ways to work with the sun.

5. Waste not, want not. Construction and demolition account for roughly a third of all residential and commercial waste, but the majority can be recycled. If you can’t find a use for your construction waste onsite, donate it to an organization like Habitat for Humanity.

6. Watch what you breathe. You should use low- or no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, sealers and caulks. Look for products that don’t contain formaldehyde.

Baths and kitchens must have good exhaust fans to reduce carcinogens in the air (mainly in the kitchen) and moisture that can lead to mold (necessary in both the kitchen and bath).

7. Take advantage of incentives. Utilities and the government offer incentives, often in the form of a substantial credit toward the purchase of high-efficiency equipment.

8. Buy local. A green product isn’t so green when it has to be shipped across the world to your house. Bamboo is a fast-growing grass that makes for hard, beautiful floors, but if your bamboo floor was shipped from China, a greener option may have been wood floors from your home state.

9. Salvage, salvage, salvage. If you think creatively and leave yourself enough time for the search, you can find the right materials for many aspects of your remodel without buying new. And don’t stereotype salvaged pieces either, they can be used in most home design styles.

10. Make it beautiful. A space that is well designed and well executed with quality materials is much less likely to become “dated” but rather it becomes “timeless.” This doesn’t mean being conservative or stifling your own taste. Something that takes your breath away has the best chance of survival, and the goal of a green remodel is to create something that lasts.

Much has been written about the advantages of, as well as the simple solutions for “getting on board” with the green building movement. Green home remodeling Houston doesn’t have to be hard, you just need to work with a builder that is knowledgeable about green products and systems. If you are looking to do a green remodel, your search will undoubtedly lead you to the Houston industry leader, Gryphon Builders. Our company remodeled the Nation’s First Certified Green Home with an Addition right here in Houston. If you would like to put our extensive experience to work for you, please contact Allen Griffin at (281) 236-8043 – or email gryphoninterests@gmail.com.

houzz-badge36_36_2Explore the Nation’s First Green Remodeled home on Houzz!

The Equation for Selecting the Perfect Builder

Custom FireplaceGryphon Builders is a unique Houston home remodeling company, because our approach to every project is unique. In addition to quality work, our objective is to create lasting relationships with our clients through trust and professionalism. In this article we are going to look at the equation for selecting your perfect builder. When you are done with this article you will know the three factors that will most significantly affect the process, as well as the outcome of your remodel project.

The first factor in the equation is credibility; you should never hire someone to remodel your home without making sure they have a reputable business. You will want to know, for example:

  • Does the builder maintain a permanent address and how long has the builder been in business? *Longevity suggests financial stability
  • Does the builder carry insurance and offer a warranty in accordance with state requirements?
  • What is the builder’s reputation among clients and industry peers? *References

It is important to check credentials because a company with professional business practices is a reliable one.

The next factor is qualifications. A builder’s abilities can be seen in their industry involvement and accomplishments. For example:

  • Does the builder have any designations/certifications as a result of continuing education and is the builder a member of any industry related associations or organizations?
  • Has the builder received any local, state or national awards for completed work or professional accomplishments?
  • Does the builder have plenty of examples of completed work in their portfolio for your review?

A builder who is dedicated to delivering the highest level of craftsmanship and client satisfaction is one that values the industry and seeks to be among the best in it.

The final factor in the equation for selecting the perfect builder is compatibility. How comfortable will you be with the builder you select and does it really matter? A remodel venture can take time and whoever you choose to work with will be in and out of your home regularly as well as communicating with you frequently. Things to consider are, for example:

  • Are you comfortable asking your builder questions?
  • Is your builder transparent and does he answer your questions clearly and openly?
  • Does your builder have a working knowledge of the many types and ages of homes?

The relationship you have with your builder will last throughout the durations of your remodel, and if it is a good one, it could expand well into the future.

We have been custom home building and home remodeling Houston since 1999. We are humbled by the fact that most of our clients consider us “friends”. Throughout the years we have been invited to weddings, birthdays and sadly even a memorial. However, receiving a request to work with a client again is the most meaningful invitation for us because it speaks to the kind of relationship that has been built over time.