(Houston, TX — March 8, 2014) Home remodeling may have taken a backseat during the recession, but not anymore. The Houston new home market continues to surge, however, the supply is well short of the demand. Conversely, existing homes continue to fill a need among prospective buyers. There are properties throughout the metro area that need nothing more than the wave of a paintbrush, but others need a complete overhaul to make it livable.
Purchasing a home to renovate can be a great way for buyers to make their dollars go a little farther. Many clients will find a home that has almost everything they are looking for – but not entirety. Anything you can do to help people understand a home's potential and visualize the possibilities may create excitement about the home they're considering to purchase.
Home remodeling is a viable option for numerous home-buyers and there are many new and sensational remodeling design trends for 2014 that will inspire and motivate potential homeowners. This is a list of the top 10.
According to data compiled by Hanley Wood and Remodeling Magazine, 61% 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. Transitional Style:
Not so long ago, remodeled kitchens had a rustic feel with warm paint colors and cabinetry, and wrought iron hardware and lighting. Now, simplicity is in, with white or gray cabinetry, modest countertops, polished finishes and uncluttered 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 display beautiful dishes or 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.
In the Hanley Wood survey, bathrooms came in second to the kitchen with 58% of remodelers planning to do bathroom remodels in 2014. As far as style, vintage bathrooms with wainscoting and claw-foot tubs won't be very popular.
Trend #4. Resort-style Bathrooms
Glass tiles (for a glossy, sparkling look that can make the space seem larger than it is), heated towel racks, floating cabinets 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 #5. 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 #6. 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 #7. Multigenerational Living:
Bathrooms are being outfitted with multigenerational 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.
Trend #8. 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 #9. 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."
Kitchens may be getting the monochromatic single-shade treatment this year, but 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 #10. 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."
The real estate market in Houston has been better than anticipated for the last year, but Realtors are having to work harder to make those sales. For every home-buyer that knows exactly what they want, there are countless others that need reassurance about the home they are considering to buy. If we can help you alleviate their fears and take away the unknowns by providing assessments, estimates and visual aids of a home's possibilities. Please contact us so we can tell you more about how—we can make a difference.
Gryphon Builders Earns PRISM Award for "Best Remodeled Specialty Room"
Top honors at 2013 Houston's Best PRISM Awards
(Houston, TX — October 6, 2013) The best of the best in Houston's homebuilding industry were honored at the Houston's Best PRISM Awards. More than 1,500 were in attendance for the extravagant Gatsby-themed black tie affair held Saturday, October 5, 2013 at the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square.
Gryphon Builders brought home the PRISM for "Best Remodeled Specialty Room." The award-winning specialty room is a wine room completed in August 2012.
"We tried to strike a balance between comfort and style," says says Allen Griffin, president of Gryphon Builders. "The homeowners wanted to turn an unused room into a space for relaxing and enjoying wine, and for storing and displaying their impressive collection. With inspiration from the homeowners and our designers, the grandeur of the finished room has that 'wow' factor for entertaining, while remaining intimate and comfortable."
For more than 30 years, the coveted Houston's Best PRISM Awards have recognized excellence in the home building industry. Presented by the Greater Houston Builders Association, the Houston's Best PRISM Awards honor builders, remodelers and sales professionals in the categories of People, Product and Promotion.
The 2013 winners were chosen from a record-setting 667 entries, the largest pool of entrants in the PRISM Awards history. Entries were judged by 34 independent industry professionals from across the U.S. Winning a PRISM Award is truly a sign of excellence in the field of remodeling.
"Houston's remodeling market is on the upswing, and the competition is fierce," says Allen Griffin, president of Gryphon Builders. "With so many beautiful renovations to choose from, the team at Gryphon Builders is so honored to be chosen as the winner for Best Remodeled Specialty Room."
Gryphon Builders Honored as Star Award Winner
Houston remodeling company recognized for “Best Specialty Room”
(Houston, TX—June 28, 2013)
Gryphon Builders was awarded the Star Award in the category of “Best Specialty Room - Remodeler.” The award was presented on June 26, 2013 at a banquet at the JW Marriot in San Antonio, Texas.
Since 1992, the Texas Star Awards have served as a tribute to excellence in the home building industry. The highly-coveted Star Awards are given annually to recognize superior work in home building, remodeling, sales and marketing, and development. The 2013 awards showcased the outstanding work of builders, remodelers, architects, designers, sales professionals, marketing professionals, construction professionals and industry leaders throughout Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Gryphon Builders' award-winning specialty room is a wine room completed in August 2012. The masterfully designed wine room is one that meets the homeowners' need to turn an unused room into a space for relaxing and enjoying wine, plus storing and displaying their collection. All the elements came together so that it is intimate and comfortable but also maintained grandeur for entertaining.
“We are so excited and honored to receive this award,” said Allen Griffin, CGR, GMB, CAPS, CGP, owner and founder of Gryphon Builders. “We're very proud of the room we created for the homeowners, and we're pleased to have been awarded such a prestigious honor.”
Held in conjunction with the Sunbelt Builders Show, the Star Awards are judged by a distinguished panel of industry experts. With more than 100 categories to choose from and hundreds of entries each year, it is an impressive feat to be identified as a finalist, let alone a winner. Gryphon Builders would like to congratulate all of the winners and finalists who were recognized for their commitment to excellence in remodeling.
Awards are presented by the Texas Association of Builders (TAB), an affiliate of the National Association of Home Builders. TAB has 31 local home builders associations across Texas. Representing nearly 10,000 members, 315,000 jobs and $21 billion of the Texas economy, the state and local associations play a crucial role in providing housing for Texans.
(Houston, TX — May 1, 2012) The curbside appeal of your home contributes much to its perceived value. But what you don’t see can be equally important and will be more crucial in the coming years.
In its original version the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R.2454) called for energy audits of real property. Meaning that, any home put on the market would be required to have an energy audit done and made available to the prospective buyers. This was also part of the original cap and trade bill that passed in 2009, but it was negotiated to be made optional at the states' discretion. That was in 2009 before the city of Houston ever experienced a rolling black out or faced utility bills like we are facing now.
As a nation we consume more energy (electricity) then we can produce. Over the past 20 years very few power generation plants have been built. Our last nuclear plant began construction in 1977 and came on line in 1986. Currently, consumption exceeds production. Due to this reality it has become necessary to change how we consume energy as a whole.
Coming down the road are changes to the national building codes which will include mandated energy requirements. They are scheduled to be to be implemented by 2015, and with them there will be harsh financial burdens if states do not adopt and enforce them.
Home ownership is often referred to as a financial investment. Now it is more critical than ever to make smart financial decisions based on the future value of your home and future regulations. Close by in Austin, Texas the City Council passed an ordinance in 2008 requiring an energy audit and disclosure of said audit to any potential buyers of homes 10 year old or older. Other cities across the nation have done similar things. With this information in mind it is becoming clear what the future will look like. Decisions about home improvements or energy upgrades today need to have future regulations in mind.
Making changes to an older home without the help of a professional that understands building science and the complete system can have devastating effects on its health and efficiency. A house is a system; all elements are connected and work together. You save money and improve performance when you take cost–effective measures that reduce building loads, and then install systems and appliances that are the right size to meet the reduced loads. In general, over–sizing worsens performance and increases costs. The most effective strategy for improving household energy efficiency is to first target your home’s envelope—walls, attic, windows and doors. Then improve the energy efficiency of systems such as heating, cooling, lighting and appliances.
There are resources available for the “do it yourself” type person to get a basic understanding of a home’s needs. Energy Star’s Home Energy Yardstick is a good—as well as educational—tool to show how your home performs today. However, for your investment in the future, it is best to consult a professional that understands the interactions of building science. Look for a third party energy consultant that works for you and provides no products or systems for the best unbiased results.
Allen Griffin Named February NAHB Remodeler of the Month
(Washington, DC — February 1, 2012) Allen Griffin of Gryphon Builders in Houston, Texas was named the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers February Remodeler of the Month. Allen Griffin, selected through a stringent judging process of NAHB Remodelers leadership and staff, exemplifies the best in the remodeling industry.
Allen Griffin is founder and president of Gryphon Builders and Gryphon Property Services. He is a Certified Graduate Remodeler, Graduate Master Builder, Certified Aging–in–Place Specialist, and a Certified Green Professional with more than 20 years of experience in the building industry. As a member of the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) since 2000, Allen's commitment to raising the bar in his industry has led him to assist the organization in multiply capacities. He has served on the Membership Committee, the Custom Builders Council board of directors, the Education Committee, and has been on the Remodelers Council (RMC) board of directors for several years. In 2009 Allen served as the president of the RMC. During his presidency, the RMC received three national council awards for outstanding accomplishment in Membership, Charity Projects and Community Outreach.
In an ever changing industry, Allen demonstrates his commitment to excellence by embracing challenges as opportunities to improve his business model. Allen believes, “The evolution of my company is a direct reflection of my ability to adapt and my desire to do it better.”
The purpose of the NAHB Remodeler of the Month award program is to celebrate local, active remodelers who stand out because of recent quality work, customer service, community involvement, and dedication to furthering the industry. The winner, once selected by the NAHB Remodelers, is profiled in Qualified Remodeler magazine. Read the full interview here.
Volume Control Takes Top Honors at Texas Star Awards
Noted for Best Print Ad and Best Website Design
(Houston, TX — Oct. 31, 2011) Volume Control, a Houston, Tex.–based public relations and marketing firm, was honored for the “Best Print Ad” and “Best Website” in the Texas Association of Builders’ Texas Star Awards, held October 22 in Austin, Texas. The winning designs were created by Larissa Michael, president and founder of the company.
Since 1992, the Texas Star Awards have served as a tribute to excellence in the home building industry. The highly–coveted Star Awards are given annually to recognize superior work in home building, remodeling, sales and marketing, and development. The 2011 awards showcased the outstanding work of builders, remodelers, architects, designers, sales professionals, marketing professionals, construction professionals and industry leaders throughout Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
The award–winning print ad originally appeared in Houston Design Resources magazine. The ad was created for the Houston remodeling firm Gryphon Builders to highlight a major milestone for the company — completing the nation’s first Certified Green Renovation.
“We really wanted to highlight the green features of this beautiful renovation,” says Larissa Michael, president and founder of Volume Control. “Gryphon Builders went to great lengths to maximize space within the home, to re–use and re–purpose materials, and to increase energy efficiency using the latest technology. The result was an amazing transformation from a single–story 1950s ranch style house, to an environmentally friendly two–story, five bedroom, traditional home in which the family can grow for years to come.”
“After meeting with the owner of Gryphon Builders and discussing strategy, it became clear that our goal was to not only create a more–user friendly website, but to create a real educational resource for homeowners who are considering a remodel,” adds Michael. “In just a few short months following the site redesign, we have seen a dramatic increase in web traffic, consumer inquiries and search engine rankings. We are so honored to have been named Best Website by the Texas Association of Builders.”
Held in conjunction with the Sunbelt Builders Show, the Star Awards are judged by a distinguished panel of industry experts. With more than 100 categories to choose from and hundreds of entries each year, it is an impressive feat to be identified as a finalist, let alone a winner. Volume Control would like to congratulate all of the winners and finalists who were recognized for their commitment to excellence in the industry.
About Volume Control
Volume Control is an advertising, marketing and public relations firm, with a focus on clients in the homebuilding and remodeling industry. The company was founded in 2009 by Larissa Michael. She is a graduate of the University of Texas with a degree in Communication and has been working in the building and design industry for nearly 15 years. As a member of the GHBA Remodelers Council, Larissa earned her Certified Graduate Associate (CGA) designation, served as the 2010 Membership Committee Chair, and currently serves as special committees — Marketing Coordinator. Larissa received the 2010 Texas Association of Builders Star Award and the 2010 GHBA Houston’s Best Award for “Best Print Ad — Remodeler.” She was also awarded the 2011 Star Award for “Best Print Ad” and “Best Website.”
"Our classrooms can be just as important as our horse arenas in enriching the lives of the children and adults we work with everyday," said Pat Roddy, SIRE managing director. "People from all across the United States and many other countries will come to SIRE to be trained and certified as Therapeutic Riding Instructors, taking their skill and knowledge home with them. This allows SIRE to make an impact on the quality of life for people with disabilities far beyond our local community."
The one–day project provided improvements on two buildings and included new window installation, new floors, new paint interior/exterior, new ceiling tiles, new A/C and replacing the fluorescent lighting to LED lighting. Many of the materials were donated at cost by GHBA members.
ABOUT SIRE:SIRE is a facility that improves the quality of life of clients with disabilities through therapeutic horseback riding and related activities. Sire's services also positively affect the families of clients, volunteers, and staff members. The program is fundamental to successful physical, scholastic, social, and psychological therapy. SIRE, a 501 c 3 organization, is a rehabilitation charity that utilizes therapeutic equestrian riding to help disabled children, adults and wounded military veterans. Working with donated horses and largely volunteer staffing, SIRE helps nearly 200 disabled folks each week in the Houston area.