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What to Expect During a Bathroom Remodel

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Jun 14, 2019 @ 13:06 PM

On the surface, remodeling the bathroom in your Rochester-area home seems fairly simple. But like any other remodeling project you take on for your home, there are little twists and turns involved in the process. It’s not just your bathroom that’s affected by the project, either. It can require some adjustments in your daily lifestyle as well. Being prepared ahead of time makes all the difference in the world. Let’s take a look at what to expect during a bathroom remodel—and some tips that can make things much less stressful for you.

How Long Is This Going to Take?

A significant remodeling of your bathroom isn’t an overnight endeavor. There are a number of steps in the process required to do a thorough and professional job. Here’s a kind of overview chart of the steps you can expect along the way—including how much time each one takes.

Task

Days

Details

Demolition

2

 

Carpentry

2

You may not need this step depending on the existing structure

Plumbing

1-2

This can take longer if you’re instating a tub or a toilet

Electrical

1-2

This only covers getting the necessary wiring to the bathroom

1st Inspection

1

The inspection itself doesn’t take long but getting scheduled can be an issue. This is out of the contractor's control

Insulation

.5

 

Drywall install

1

 

Drywall finish

2

This includes all the prep work so walls can be painted

Paint

1

 

Final Inspection

1

Once again, the inspection doesn’t take long, but you are somewhat at the mercy of the inspectors

Tilework

2

If you are not doing any tile work, this doesn’t apply

Cabinetry

1

 

Flooring

2

The type of flooring you are installing will affect how long it takes. Vinyl probably takes half a day. Tile or engineered wood will take a little longer

Hookups & Fixtures

2

This includes connecting toilet, sinks, faucets, etc.

Misc.

1.5

It’s always wise to allow for unforeseen issues.

TOTAL

23

 

* Adapted from https://www.thespruce.com/how-long-to-remodel-small-bathroom-1821360


These times are not set in stone, but they provide a sense of what actually goes into your remodel—and why the process may take four weeks or so. More complex remodels will obviously take longer.
 

How Will This Impact Daily Living?

Let’s talk a bit about what you can expect during the process. First of all, you’ll need to become accustomed to someone else being in your house all day. In addition, you won’t have access to your bathroom. That means setting up an alternative place to get ready for work or wind down for the night. Get all of your supplies organized ahead of time so that you’re not scrambling and trying to find what you need at the last minute. Here are some other things you’ll need to adjust to.

It Will Be Noisy: That’ just the nature of construction. Electric saws, drills, hammers, and air compressors are not quiet tools of the trade. You may need to make alternate plans if you work from home. If you have small children that nap, you’ll probably want to find another place for them to do that.

You’ll Deal With Dust: Some contractors seal of the rooms in which they’re working. That helps, but it doesn’t eliminate dust. It’s not a bad idea to cover furniture with sheets to protect them. It may be tempting to run your furnace fan to capture some of the dust, but you’re more likely to simply spread the dust around. Keep an eye on sensitive equipment (computers) and clean them regularly.

Expect the Unexpected: You can pretty much count on running into an unexpected problem or two. It could be the previous wiring that's not up to code or framing that wasn't done properly. You may run into plumbing that is convoluted and needs to be redone. Most of these things can't be detected until your contractor starts the job. It's a good idea to budget a little extra money (and time) for these "surprises."

Changes: You’ll want to plan as carefully as possible up front. But sometimes you’ll see something that just isn’t the way you wanted it. It’s not the end of the world. Just make sure you’re equipped to deal with a bit of extra cost (and time) to get what you really want.

Unexpected Delays: There may be situations in which the manufacturer said your tile or your cabinets or your light fixtures would be ready in two weeks. Then it takes four weeks for them to show up. Knowing that is a possibility ahead of time helps you to deal with the situation.

Be Prepared to Make Decisions: Often you may have to make minor (or even some big) decisions during the process. You’ll have to tell your contractor where you want an outlet installed or where you want a towel rack installed. There are many little decisions that can make a big difference in how comfortable your new bath is.

Preparation Keeps Stress at a Minimum

Let’s be honest: Remodeling is somewhat of a disruptive process. But the good news is that there are things you can do to keep life as normal as possible. Preparing yourself mentally really helps deal with the disruption. Having a good plan for how you’re going to deal without the use of your bathroom for a while makes it easier to do.

 

Another form of preparation that reduces your stress is to make as many decisions ahead of time as possible. Make sure you’re clear about what’s really important to you when you remodel. That doesn’t mean you can’t make small changes but being committed to your overall plan relieves you from last minute, pressure-filled decisions. It's also extremely helpful to have all the materials on hand (fixtures, tile, flooring, etc.) before the contractor actually needs them. You don’t want your remodeler waiting for materials.

 

Knowing what to expect helps prepare you for a much more enjoyable remodeling experience.

 

Gerber-Homes-Custom-Home-Guide

Topics: Bathroom remodeling, Bathroom Design

2019 Costs of Bathroom Remodeling in Rochester

Posted by John Graziose on Fri, Jun 7, 2019 @ 13:06 PM

For decades, bathrooms and kitchens have been two of the most popular home remodeling projects. That's really not surprising since those two rooms are generally the most-used rooms in any home. No matter what room you're remodeling, you'll want to keep an eye on the costs. Here's a look at 2019 costs of bathroom remodeling in Rochester.

 

Gerber-Homes-2019-Costs-of-Bathroom-Remodeling-in-Rochester

Bathrooms Are a Little Different

While your kitchen may be visited frequently by other family members and guests, your bathroom is a little different. It is your own private space. You want to make it as comfortable and convenient as possible. You may even want to pamper yourself a bit with a spa-like bathroom. How far you want to go with adding luxury, of course, will impact the cost. It’s really up to you to decide what features are most important in your bathroom. To give you an idea of how the different levels of luxury, size, and features will affect your cost we’ll look at several different levels of remodeling.

 

The figures we’re using for this comparison come from the 2019 Cost vs. Value Report (© 2019 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling

2019 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com). We’re going to look at typical costs for three different types of bathroom remodels: A Midrange remodel; an upscale remodel, and a universal design (aging-in-place) remodel. First, we’ll define the basic project and then we’ll show the costs (and the return on investment) for each project.

 

Gerber-Homes-2019-Costs-of-Bathroom-Remodeling-in-Rochester

Midrange Bath Remodel

This type of project assumes the updating of an existing 5x7-foot bathroom. It entails replacing all fixtures to include 30x60-inch porcelain-on-steel tub with 4x4-inch ceramic tile surround. The tub will be equipped with a new single-lever temperature and pressure-balanced shower control. A standard white toilet will also be installed. The vanity will consist of a solid-surface counter with integral sink. A recessed medicine cabinet with light will be installed. The floor will be finished with ceramic tile floor. And the room will be finished with vinyl wallpaper.

 

COST: Typically, a project like the one described here will run about $20,239 in the Rochester area. If you sell your home in the future, you should recover approximately $10,526 of your investment.

 

Gerber-Homes-2019-Costs-of-Bathroom-Remodeling-in-Rochester

Upscale Bath Remodel

The upscale bath remodel calls for expanding an existing 35-square-foot bathroom to 100 square feet within the existing house footprint. The remodeler will relocate all fixtures. The remodeled bathroom will Include a 42x42-inch neo-angle shower with ceramic tile walls with accent strip. It will have a recessed shower caddy; body-spray fixtures; and a frameless glass enclosure. The plans also Include the installation of a freestanding soaker tub with high-end faucets. Countertops will be stone and will include two sinks.  Two mirrored medicine cabinets with lighting will also be installed. The contractor will add a compartmentalized commode area with one-piece toilet and a humidistat-controlled exhaust fan. All fixtures will be colored. For flooring, the remodeler will use larger matching ceramic tiles on the floor, laid on diagonal with ceramic tile base molding. General and spot lighting will also be added (including waterproof shower fixture). The cabinetry in the bathroom will have a custom drawer base with wall cabinets. This project also calls for extending any required HVAC and also includes the installation of electric in-floor heating.

 

COST: An upscale bathroom remodeling project such as this one will run about $64,438 in the Rochester area. If you sell your home in the future, you should recover approximately $29,521 of your investment.

 

Gerber-Homes-2019-Costs-of-Bathroom-Remodeling-in-Rochester

Universal Design Bath Remodel

If you’re looking for a bathroom remodel that is based on Universal Design, this update assumes the remodeling of an existing 5x7-foot space. The remodeled bathroom will be wheelchair-accessible (zero- threshold, 36-inch-wide door). It also includes the installation of flat-panel electrical switches at sitting level (36 to 42 inches above the floor). The project also calls for replacing the existing toilet with a comfort height fixture featuring an elongated bowl and bidet-type seat. The existing bathtub will be removed and replaced with a curbless, tiled, walk-in shower that has an adjustable showerhead, fa old-out seat, a thermostatic mixing valve, and a bi-directional glass door. The Universal Design remodel also calls for replacing existing flooring with electric radiant heat beneath new luxury vinyl tile flooring. The remodeler will Install an adaptive living vanity with easy-grasp handles and an adjustable mirror. LED lights will be installed along with infrared ceiling light, a night light, and an ultra-quiet vent fan with humidity-sensing controls. The contractor will install ceramic tiles on the walls with two contrasting color stripes. Nine towel bars that can support 250 pounds will be installed. The storage area will be reconfigured to be accessible from a seated position.

 

COST: If you’re looking at doing a universal design bathroom remodeling project like this one, you can expect to pay about $33,327 in the Rochester area. If you sell your home in the future, you should recover approximately $25,227 of your investment.

 

What Will YOUR Cost Be?

The figures you see posted here are “typical” costs for this kind of project in the Rochester area. Changes in the specific materials and in the exact scope of the project will affect the pricing. These figures do, however, provide a baseline or a framework so that you have a starting point for your particular plan. You’ll want to meet with your remodeler to talk through exactly what you want in your bathroom to ensure that the results meet your requirements. That will also give your remodeler the information necessary to give you an accurate estimate.

Gerber-Homes-Custom-Home-Guide

Topics: Bathroom remodeling, Bathroom Design, Home Remodeling Costs

When to Consider Adding an Addition

Posted by John Graziose on Mon, May 20, 2019 @ 09:05 AM

Does your Rochester-area home need a bit of a facelift and reorganization that a conventional remodeling project can bring—or are you actually in need of an addition? The answer depends on your changing needs. Sometimes “re-engineering the existing space will deliver the results you need. Sometimes, there just is no substitute for more physical space. Let’s take a look at when to consider adding an addition to your Rochester home.

Gerber-Homes- Your-family-is-growing

Your Family is Growing

If you’re a younger family, a two-bedroom house may have been more than adequate before you had kids—or when you only had one. What if you are planning on another child? If your existing home doesn’t have the place or the space to accommodate a third bedroom or nursery, you may want to think about adding a nursery or a bedroom. If you’re thinking about adding a room upstairs, you’ll want to ask yourself if it makes sense to simply add one bedroom, or if it’s more financially responsible to add a whole second floor that could give you a fourth bedroom (or home office or craft room) and a bathroom. Material and labor costs are never going to be lower than they are now, so it can actually be cheaper (in the long run) to go a bit bigger now.

Gerber-Homes-adult-family-members-are-joining-you

Adult Family Members Are Joining You

Multi-generational homes have been a growing trend for some time. If you have older family members who may be living with you in the future, it’s not enough to just clear out a spare bedroom. You may want to create a space with more privacy—such as an In-Law apartment. Questions you'll want to consider are if this separate living space will have its own entrance, kitchen, and bathrooms to provide privacy. It's not just older relatives that you need to think about. Increasing numbers of families are providing additional living space for their adult children—until they get their careers going and are ready to strike out on their own (and own their own homes).

Gerber-Homes-You-need-space-for-the-kids

You Need Play Space for the Kids (or Yourself)

There are times when your sleeping space is adequate, but there is no place to go to play or to work on a project. You might want to think about adding a playroom or a craft room that doesn’t have to be picked up every time guests come over. If that’s something that could help, you’ll also want to think ahead about how the room could be used five or 10 years from now, so keep your options open.

Gerber-Homes-you-need-space-for-show-time

You Need Space for “Show Time”

A lot of families have taken to consuming media at home. Many homes, however, don’t have a space that they can dedicate to streaming movies, listening to music, gaming, or engaging in social media. But before you create your own media room, you'll want to think about how you're going to use it. What are the wiring requirements? What kind of lighting will you want/need? Do you want to build in a snack bar to enhance the atmosphere? Here's one additional thing to think about. Up to this point, homeowners have tended to design their media rooms around the TV—and TVs have gotten increasingly larger. What impact will Virtual Reality (VR) have on the media rooms of tomorrow? You may not need space for a humongous screen if you're wearing a pair of VR goggles that make the whole room your screen!

Gerber-Homes-Your-Current-layout-doesnt-allow-you-to-entertain

Your Current Layout Doesn’t Allow You to Entertain

Over the past 25 years or so, kitchens have become central for home entertainment. Guests gather in the kitchen to snack, drink, talk, and just hang out. Depending on how you entertain, you may require a lot more kitchen space than you have. Depending on how your home was designed, you may or may not be able to expand your kitchen’s footprint adequately. You may require an addition to provide the kind of space you want/need. But before you launch into adding a new kitchen, you'll want to pay attention to your "kitchen personality." How will you use your new kitchen space? Are you intending to do a lot more cooking (maybe even gourmet cooking)? Are you planning to eat most family meals in the kitchen? Will this space be primarily used for basic meal preparation and as a comfortable place for casual entertaining? How you plan to use the space should influence the kind of room you design.

If your family is in need of more living space, a home addition is your best option. Why not stay in the home that you love and allow our team to create the additional rooms that you need to make your family more comfortable. Still not sure if an addition is right for you? Our experienced team can help answer all of your questions about our process, design, and cost. Schedule your free home remodeling consultation now!

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Topics: garage additions, home remodeling, Home Additions, second-floor additions, first-floor additions

Exterior Home Additions

Posted by John Graziose on Mon, May 6, 2019 @ 09:05 AM

You may tend to think of home additions in terms of rooms that exist inside your house. But increasingly homeowners are adding living spaces to the outside of their homes as well. Not only do exterior home additions add living space, but they also expand the kinds of activities you can enjoy. Here’s a look at some of the exterior home additions that can help you get even more enjoyment out of your Rochester-area home.

Put on a Deck

Putting on a deck is one of the most popular external additions you can make to your home. It extends your casual living and dining space dramatically. It’s a great place to have casual meals with the family in warm weather months. And it’s also the perfect place for hanging out with friends on summer evenings or on the weekends. You can choose to build in seating or simply arrange outdoor furniture wherever you want. You can make part of the deck covered (as shown in the picture here). Or you can build a pergola over the deck to let in some light while still blocking out harsh sunlight. If you’re curious about the costs of adding a deck, you can click here to download the 2019 Cost vs. Value Report for the Rochester area to give you a baseline figure.

Add a Porch

When it comes to enjoying indoor/outdoor living some homeowners prefer a screened porch. It provides a cozier environment (it feels more like a room)—plus the screens help cut breezes and obviously keep mosquitoes and other bugs out. In addition to that, because a porch is covered, you can even enjoy sitting outside in the rain—without getting wet.

Add a Patio

You may enjoy actually being out in the yard in the summer. When you add a patio, you can make it extremely comfortable—and still be out and away from the house. You can build your patio on gravel, flagstones, or cement—whichever best suits your sense of style. You can make it really rustic, or elegant, depending on your personal taste. Adding a fire pit or a fireplace also adds a warm (and even romantic) touch. Plus, you can landscape around your patio to make it a beautiful little oasis right in your backyard. If you’re wondering what furniture to include on your patio Family Living Today has a review of the Best Patio Furniture Sets & Pieces for 2019

Include an Outdoor Kitchen

Including an outdoor kitchen as part of your external addition has become a growing trend. It takes outdoor entertaining to a whole new level. Now the barbeque chef doesn't have to be separated from his or her guests. You can make your outdoor kitchen as simple or as extensive as you want. Build in amenities such as a built-in grill with counter space, or even a mini-bar with refrigerator and sink. If you want, you can also build in eating space around the kitchen (as shown here) so that you can cook while engaging with guests and serving drinks at the same time. Of course, you'll want to make sure you install the right grill. The good folks at BBQGuys have published their list of the best BBQ grills and outdoor appliances for 2019 to make your choice a bit easier.

Create a Craft or Hobby Room

If you have a detached garage, you can use it for much more than simply parking your car or storing Christmas decorations. You may be able to add onto your garage and turn it into a craft or hobby room. Putting a second story on your garage can create great space for a craft room, an artist studio, or even a music studio. Another option might be to turn that upper room into an in-law apartment or another bedroom if you have an older child who wants more private space. You don’t have to go up to add on. You may be able to expand the space outward to build a woodworking shop or a pottery studio.

 

If you've been looking for ways to expand your outdoor living space, an exterior home addition is the way to go. Do you have questions about remodeling the exterior of your home? Schedule a free home remodeling consultation where we can answer all of your questions about the process, design, and cost. New Call-to-action

Topics: Home Additions, Exterior Design, Exterior remodeling

2019 Costs for Home Additions in Rochester

Posted by John Graziose on Mon, Apr 29, 2019 @ 17:04 PM

When you’re considering an upgrade to your Rochester-area home, a small change can sometimes give you all you need. There are times, however, when a small change just isn’t enough. And while a home renovation can help you get the most out of the available space you have, sometimes you simply need more space. That’s when a home addition actually makes the most sense. What can you expect to spend to make that kind of improvement? Here’s a look at 2019 Costs for home additions in Rochester.

Let’s look at some of the costs for a few of the more common home additions as compiled in the Remodeling 2019 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvsvalue.com). First, we'll provide a brief description of what's included in the project and then we'll follow with the cost you can expect to pay in the Rochester area.


Midrange Bathroom Addition

A midrange bathroom addition assumes adding a 6x8-foot bathroom over a crawlspace with poured concrete walls. Materials used would be a cultured-stone vanity top with molded sink; standard chrome faucets; a 30x60-inch white fiberglass tub/shower with ceramic tile surround; a single-lever temperature and pressure-balanced faucet; a white low-profile toilet; general and spotlighting; electrical wiring to code; a mirrored medicine cabinet; a  linen storage closet or cabinet; painted trim; and a ceramic tile floor.

Job Cost: $25,000 with an expected recouped of approximately 46% of your cost when you sell.

 

Upscale Bathroom Addition

For an upscale bathroom addition, the assumptions would be adding a new 100-square-foot master bath to an existing master bedroom over a crawlspace. It would also include a 42x42-inch neo-angle shower with ceramic tile walls and an accent strip; a recessed shower caddy; body-spray fixtures; and a frameless glass enclosure. It would include installation of a freestanding soaker tub with high-end faucets; a stone countertop with two sinks; two mirrored medicine cabinets with lighting; a compartmentalized commode area with one-piece toilet; and a humidistat-controlled exhaust fan. It assumes the use of larger matching ceramic tiles on the floor, laid on diagonal with ceramic tile base molding. General and spotlighting plus waterproof shower fixture would also be included. Cabinetry would include a custom drawer base and wall cabinets. The project would also assume extending HVAC access and installation of electric in-floor heating.

Job Cost: $38,000 with an expected recouped of approximately 46% of your cost when you sell.

 

Midrange Master Suite Addition

A midrange Master Suite addition would call for adding a 24x16-foot master bedroom suite over a crawlspace. Features would include a walk-in closet/dressing area; a freestanding soaker tub; a separate 3x4-foot ceramic tile shower; and double-bowl vanity with a solid-surface countertop. The floor of the bedroom would be carpeted. Tile would be installed in the bath. All walls, ceiling, and trim would be painted. Installation of general and spot lighting, and an exhaust fam are also included.

Job Cost: $90,000 with an expected recouped of approximately 58% of your cost when you sell.

 

Upscale Master Suite Addition

The assumptions for an upscale Master Suite addition include adding a 32x20-foot Master Bedroom Suite over a crawlspace. That would include a spacious sleeping area with lounging/sitting area adjacent to a large master bath. That space would include custom bookcases and built-in storage with millwork details; a high-end gas fireplace with stone hearth and custom mantle; and walk-in closet/dressing area with natural light, mirrors, and linen storage. It assumes the installation of French doors as well. The bathroom will include a walk-in shower with a dual-shower system; stone walls and floor; and a custom frameless glass enclosure. A freestanding soaker tub will also be installed. The bathroom also Includes two sinks in separate custom vanities with stone countertops and large mirrors. The builder will create a partitioned area for a luxury one-piece toilet. Outside the bath expect the installation of a 5-foot-long hospitality center with bar sink; under-counter refrigerator; custom cabinetry; stone countertop; and microwave. The project includes soundproofing; in-floor heating; custom wall finishes and hardware;  general and spotlighting; and high-end lighting controls.

Job Cost: $150,000 with an expected recouped of approximately 44% of your cost when you sell.

 

Photo by Willowood Homes

In-Law Addition 

If you're looking to create a space for your aging loved ones, an in-law addition is a great option. We can create an 800 sq. ft addition complete with 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, dedicated laundry, a kitchenette, a seperate entrance, and a 3rd garage bay. 

Job Cost: $190,000 with an expected recouped of approximately 52% of your cost when you sell. 

 

Composite Deck Addition/Wood Deck Addition

This project includes the building of a 16x20-foot deck using pressure-treated joists supported by 4x4-inch posts anchored to concrete piers. Then composite deck material will be installed in a simple linear pattern. That will include a built-in bench and a planter of the same decking material. The deck includes stairs and assumes three steps to grade. The deck will also have a complete railing using a matching system made of the same composite as the decking material. The specifications/assumptions for a wood deck are identical except that the finish material would be wood instead of composite material.

Job Cost (Composite): $20,000 with an expected recouped of approximately 54% of your cost when you sell.

Job Cost (Wood): $15,000 with an expected recouped of approximately 63% of your cost when you sell.

Keep in mind that the costs here are representative figures. The exact size of the project, the complexity, and the materials used can all impact the final cost. But these figures at least provide a benchmark to help you begin planning. 

 

What About Your Kitchen?

Your kitchen may well be the most-used room in your home. Perhaps the most common request Rochester homeowners have is to expand the size of their kitchen to better accommodate their needs for family use—and for entertaining. Sometimes that can be accomplished by redesigning existing space. In other cases, an addition may be required to deliver the space required. Wil the 2019 Cost vs Value Report doesn’t include figures for this specific kind of addition, we can help you calculate your costs. And if you're looking for an idea, you can download our free Creating the Ideal Kitchen ebook.

If your family is growing, building an addition is a great solution for providing much needed living space in your home without the hassle of moving. You can learn more about our process by scheduling a free home remodeling consultation now!

 

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Topics: garage additions, Home Additions, second-floor additions, first-floor additions, Home Remodeling Costs

What’s Your Kitchen Personality? How to Match your Rochester Kitchen to Your Persona

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Apr 13, 2019 @ 10:04 AM

Kitchen-with-personalityThere’s little doubt that the kitchen in your Rochester home has a huge impact on the look and feel of your entire home. It’s why homeowners pay so much attention to the details that go into creating their dream kitchen. That’s true whether you’re building a new home or remodeling your existing Rochester kitchen. Your kitchen, however, should be a reflection of what’s important to you. It should reflect your personality. What’s your kitchen personality? How can you match your Rochester kitchen to your persona?


What’s a Persona?

When I say your kitchen should match your persona, I’m not talking about whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. I’m talking about having a kitchen that matches the way you live and how you like to use that space. Here are some examples of different kitchen personas. You may not find one that matches you exactly, but the idea is that the kitchen should be designed to suit your specific lifestyle.

  • Cindy the Casual Hostess is all about convenience and making guests feel welcome in her kitchen. She’d rather spend time with her guests than spend time preparing meals and trying out exotic recipes. That’s why her kitchen appliances and design focus on ease of access and ease of use. Her kitchen has lots of space for family and guests to linger while food is being prepared. It’s open to the Family Room so that everybody feels connected. Cindy’s family also eats breakfast in the kitchen area so she might opt for a built-in breakfast bar at the center island or even a breakfast booth right off the kitchen.
  • Gourmet Gina is really into gourmet cooking. It’s not just something she tries occasionally—she’s passionate about it. She reads up on the latest cooking trends and even watches gourmet-cooking shows. She can’t wait to try out the newest recipes. The layout of her kitchen reflects that passion. She designs her kitchen space to enable her to do the kind of intensive cooking she and her family enjoy. It’s all about efficiency and preparation in Gina’s kitchen. For her, the "Kitchen Work Triangle” is extremely important. She still likes to host meals and have friends over, but her guests enjoy their special meals in a space adjoining the kitchen—not in the kitchen itself.
  • Emily the Entertainer is a true social character. Her kitchen is the place where she hosts friends and guest—for a glass of wine or for conversation while she prepares a meal or a snack. That’s why she wants a kitchen that’s spacious and gives guests room to mingle without worrying that they’ll get in the way of the preparation. Entertaining and doing food preparation in the same space means that Emily needs lighting that will enable her to easily complete tasks such as chopping, cutting, washing, and stirring. But then, when the prep work is done, she can switch over to ambient lighting that makes guests feel comfortable.
  • Thoroughly Modern Melissa is a big fan of modern design using clean, sleek lines. Countertop clutter is one of her pet peeves. That means she has a kitchen that allows plenty of storage space to keep things off the counter. If possible, she may even include a separate pantry for food items and seldom-used appliances. Her penchant for modern style also shapes her selection of cabinets, countertops, backsplash, and flooring—and she gravitates toward simple colors with bold accents.
  • Carol the Country Girl is a fan of warm, inviting, country-style décor. She wants her kitchen to be a place where friends enjoy a relaxing a cup of coffee or tea while talking about anything (or nothing). Her kitchen is a relaxing place so she chooses cabinets, counters, sink, furniture, and colors that are warm and comfortable. She does have a preference for natural materials such as reclaimed wood and metals that give her kitchen a comfortable “lived-in” feel.

You can see that some personas tend to be more driven by function (cooking or entertaining style), while others focus a bit more on aesthetics. Knowing what’s most important to you helps you work with your builder or remodeler to help create a kitchen that makes you feel comfortable and at home. If you’re looking for additional help to match your kitchen design to your personality, download our free Creating the Ideal Kitchen eBook. This helpful guide will help you identify the features you’ll want to build into your ideal kitchen.

Photo by Viscious-Speed

 Adapted from the original September 2016 post

Gerber-Homes-Creating-the-Ideal-Kitchen

Topics: kitchen design, Home Design

Preparing Yourself for Kitchen Remodeling in Your Rochester-Area Home

Posted by John Graziose on Tue, Apr 2, 2019 @ 19:04 PM

Preparing Yourself for Kitchen Remodeling in Your Rochester-Area Home repurposeRemodeling the kitchen in your Rochester home can have an enormously wonderful impact on your whole house. Of course, there are a lot of things to consider before you begin construction. There’s the basic design to consider. There may be flooring to choose and cabinets to pick out. On top of that, you’ve got fixtures and lighting to figure out. There are a lot of details, but the process can actually be fun and exciting. If you’re looking for help with these kinds of details and decisions, download our free Creating the Ideal Kitchen eBook for practical ideas.

There is, however, another aspect of remodeling that’s equally important. But it has nothing to do with cabinets or flooring or appliances. It’s all about how you prepare yourself for the remodeling process.

Download the 2019 Cost Vs Value Report

The Importance of Planning Ahead

Remodeling doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It happens in the middle of your home and in the middle of your life. It’s also something that isn’t finished overnight. Depending on the scope of your project, it could take a few months. How will you live during that time? Preparation can mean the difference between enjoying the process and being stressed out by it. Here's one big hint: Don't wait until the project has started (i.e. the tear-out of your existing kitchen) before tackling these tasks. These tasks really aren't too hard if you take them on ahead of time. Trying to do them during remodeling can be really frustrating.

Here are a few things to think about:

Meal Preparation

Life doesn’t stop when you remodel your kitchen. Your family still needs to eat! But where will you fix and eat your meals when your new kitchen is "in progress"? You may eat out a bit more frequently during the remodel than you normally do, but you probably won’t want to leave every meal to restaurants and take-out joints. Here’s one way to deal with that situation.

Set up a temporary kitchen in another room in your house. You might want a portable microwave, a hot plate, and even a dormitory-style refrigerator to make fixing meals a little easier. Your remodeler may be able to move your refrigerator to a safe place outside of the construction area where you can access it.

Pre-Plan Your Meals

It’s helpful to do a little bit of meal planning in advance. Think about meals you can easily fix using the microwave and hot plate. If it helps, think of it as camping out in your home. Maybe you’ll even fire up the outdoor grill more often than you usually do. Another solution is to pre-cook meals and freeze, or refrigerate them. Then pull them out and heat them up in the microwave.

Clean-Up

It’s one thing to prepare meals outside of your kitchen, but how are you going to handle clean-up? Where will you wash the dishes and pots and pans? And where will you keep the trash can? If you happen to have a laundry room with a sink, that may be a great solution for doing dishes. But think about what you’re going to need ahead of time. You might want to purchase a drying rack if your dishwasher is out of commission for a while. And you may want to get a large Rubbermaid® tub or tray for hauling items from your temporary kitchen to the area you’re using to wash dishes.

Organize and Pack

Think about all the stuff you have in your kitchen cabinets. If you’re replacing your kitchen cabinets, all of the items you store there will have to go somewhere. Make a list of things you’ll need on a regular (daily) basis. Set aside enough flatware and dishes to get you through a day or two. Set aside cleaning materials you’ll use every day. Keep out some dish towels, paper towels, and napkins. Think about what utensils you’ll need to prepare your meals. It may be great to think: “We’ll just open a can of soup and heat it in the microwave,” but if you can’t find a can opener, you’ll be frustrated.

Pack away any items you don’t use regularly and label the boxes clearly. It will make things so much easier to put away at the end of the project. Plus, if you pack and label carefully, you’ll have a better chance of finding that one utensil you forgot to leave out!

Preparing for a kitchen remodel can be fun and exciting. But don’t forget to prepare yourself and your family for living with the challenges that come with the process. A little bit of planning ahead of time will make the whole experience less stressful and much more enjoyable.

Photo by Wokandapix

Adapted from the original April 2016 post

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What’s the Most Important Thing to Consider When Remodeling Your Rochester-Area Home?

Posted by John Graziose on Sun, Mar 24, 2019 @ 00:03 AM

What’s the Most Important Thing to Consider When Remodeling Your Rochester-Area Home? You’re probably familiar with the old Chinese proverb: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Remodeling your Rochester home is a little bit like that. Maybe you won’t be faced with thousands of details, but there will be quite a few. So what’s your first step? What’s the most important thing to consider when remodeling your Rochester-area home?

Keeping First Things First

It's tempting to jump right into the details of a remodeling project. That's where the fun is, right? If you're planning a kitchen remodel, for instance, you may already have looked at things such as cabinets, countertop materials, flooring, or appliances. If you’re remodeling your master bathroom you may have checked out the coolest new tubs and showers, looked trends in vanities, or browsed through bathroom tile options.

All of those things are important details to consider when remodeling your Rochester-area home, but there’s one thing that’s even more important. Actually, it’s a question you have to ask (and answer) before you pursue any of those other avenues.

What Do You Really Want?

Remodeling isn’t just about making things look better. It’s also about function: it’s about making your home more comfortable and convenient. Even the best-looking kitchen or bathroom won’t make you happy if it doesn’t feel right—if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle.

Download our Home Design Guide

Get Specific

That means you want to move beyond general terms and think a bit more specifically about how you want your room to change. For example, you may think that your kitchen feels too crowded. But just making it bigger isn't necessarily the answer. How do you want it to function? Do you want more space for entertaining? Is it lack of workable counter space for cooking that you want? What's the one thing you really want more than anything else? Here’s a fun article that helps “your identify your kitchen personality” so that you can make the right remodeling choices.

The same is true for your bathroom. If all you want is to freshen or update the look, that's fine. But if your reason for remodeling is that you're frustrated by sharing a single sink, or that you don't have enough storage space, simply changing fixtures won't make you happy.

Before you get too far into the specific details of your remodeling project, it’s a good idea to get an overview of the process so that you know how to plan. You’ll want to research resources that help explain the big questions and issues.

Download Remodeling a House, Creating a Home

This eBook provides information for anyone considering remodeling—from choosing a color scheme for the bathroom through selecting a kitchen theme that reflects your personality, to finding a contractor and even applying for financing.

As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of details to consider when it’s time to remodel, but make sure you consider that one thing: What do YOU really want from your remodeling project? Everything else comes from that!

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Don’t Forget These Numbers When Calculating the Mortgage on Your Rochester-Area Home

Posted by John Graziose on Sat, Mar 9, 2019 @ 07:03 AM

Don’t Forget These Numbers When Calculating the Mortgage on Your Rochester-Area HomeFor many people planning to build a new home in the Greater Rochester area, getting a good handle on what their mortgage payments are going to be is a critical early step.

As a matter of fact, it’s smart to get your finances in order first when building a new home (and here’s an article that talks about why that’s true). It can be easy to focus just on the final monthly payment. There are, however, other numbers that will influence your payments. So don't forget these numbers when calculating the mortgage on your Rochester-area home.

Get a Quick First Look

You may want to start off with a quick look at what your payments might be—just to have a ballpark figure. There are a number of free online mortgage calculators you can use to help you approximate your monthly payments. Here’s a simple one from mortgagecalculator.com that lets you adjust a number of the variables that can affect your monthly payments (home value, down payment, interest rate, length of term, etc.). Here’s another calculator from Zillow.com. It’s not a bad idea to look at a couple of different sources.

Either of these tools can be helpful for providing a rough idea of your expenses. However, many homeowners overlook some figures a free mortgage calculator just doesn’t include.

  • Interest Rate Changes: We have enjoyed very low interest rates on mortgages for a long time. Current rates may not be quite as low as they were a couple of years ago, but mortgages are still very affordable. According to a February 21, 2019, New York Times article, “The average interest charged on a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage this week was 4.35 percent this week, down from an average as high as roughly 5 percent last year, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.  Still, those rates can change pretty quickly. It’s also not unusual for them to change daily, so keep that in mind as you budget. If you’ve budgeted too tightly, a small increase in the rate could put your mortgage out of reach. Make sure you have a bit of flexibility built in to accommodate those shifts.
  • Rising Taxes: While nobody really expects taxes to go down, many homeowners don’t consider that their property taxes could actually go up. As with the interest rate increases mentioned above, this could push your mortgage out of range if you’ve calculated too closely. While this is unlikely to happen overnight, you’ll still want to make sure you have a bit of wiggle room to accommodate increases.
  • Emergency Expenses: Nobody likes to deal with emergencies, but unexpected events sometimes occur (car repairs, education expenses, medical bills, etc.). Make sure the loan you qualify for leave you so strapped that you can’t handle those emergencies.
  • Those Pesky Fees: It's easy to forget about those additional expenses for things such as utility connections, inspections, access fees, and HOA dues. Individually, they may not be overwhelming, but they can add up, so make sure you take those into account when calculating your budget.
  • Changes to the Plan: Often homeowners want to make changes to the original building plans in order to make their homes fit their wants, needs, and desires. Sometimes the changes aren't extravagant, but there are times when they can be significant. If it’s a change you really want to make, it will probably never be cheaper to do it than while you’re building. But if you haven’t allowed a buffer in your budget, you won’t be able to take advantage of the opportunity.

Be Realistic

A major key to creating a good budget is to be realistic. That means not over-budgeting (and taking on more debt than you need) and not under-budgeting (trying to cut corners to save money). Here’s a helpful article about how to arrive at a realistic budget for your Rochester home.

Go ahead and use a generic online mortgage calculator to get a general idea of where your budget will land. Be keep in mind that there are some numbers those calculators won’t figure for you. If you plan for these “surprises” ahead of time, you’ll be a lot more confident and relaxed when it’s time to begin building.

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Avoiding Remodeling Regrets in Your Rochester-Area Home

Posted by John Graziose on Mon, Mar 4, 2019 @ 09:03 AM

Avoiding Remodeling Regrets in Your Rochester-Area HomeHow you think about remodeling your home depends a lot on your perspective. If you’re looking forward to the process, it can be fun and exciting (and even a bit overwhelming).  If you’re looking back on the process, you can either be delighted with the outcome—or you can have a case of buyer’s remorse because it didn’t turn out the way you planned.  Here’s a look at avoiding remodeling regrets in your Rochester-area home so that you’ll be happy with the outcome for years to come.

What Remodeling Veterans (Homeowners) Have to Say

A couple of years ago, Houzz.com did a survey of homeowners asking them to identify their biggest remodeling regrets. You can read all of the comments here, but let’s look at a few comments that are representative of the challenges many homeowners experienced.

  • Finding honest, reliable and talented contractors (which is more challenging than most people assume it will be)
  • Doing EXACTLY what you want when everything's torn apart, which is almost ALWAYS more cost effective on the front end than trying to do it later. It might cost you a few extra bucks, but spend it now to avoid regretting it later (and it will be more expensive if you can't live with it and want to change it in a year or two)
  • Not expecting it to come in on-time and on-budget. Expect it to be finished later than you thought and cost more than you thought.
  • The biggest mistake I made in the past was "settling" for something when I didn’t want to spend the extra money to get what I really wanted. So I purchased the less expensive item only to redo it later down the road because it was not really what I wanted and then I wasted even more money. [It’s better to] wait until you can buy what you really want, it will be so less expensive in the end.

Let’s look at those key issues in a bit more detail.

Who You Work With Matters

Finding honest, reliable and talented contractors.

So how do you go about selecting the “right” remodeler? Whether you’re remodeling or building a new home, it’s essential that you find a builder who is worthy of your trust. But how can you establish that? One good way is to talk to past clients and ask about their experience.
View More Client Testimonials

Know What You Really Want (What’s Really Important)

Doing EXACTLY what you want

It’s important to have a clear idea about what you want your remodeling project to accomplish. You need to know exactly what you want and communicate it clearly to your remodeling contractor. And your remodeling company needs to make sure he or she listens carefully and understands exactly what you want. That’s why t’s so critical to work with a remodeler who listens to you.

Download the 2019 Cost Vs Value Report

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)  provides some Remodeling 101 suggestions. Organizing your ideas and plans is important for sure, plus part of the process involves prioritizing what’s most important to YOU. That helps you and your contractor creating the perfect plan for your remodeling project.

Set Realistic (and Flexible) Expectations

Not expecting it to come in on-time and on-budget

First of all, budgets and schedules are important. A reputable remodeling company should be able to provide you with a realistic budget for your project and should also be able to tell you (within reason) when your remodeling project will be completed. There are, however, a number of factors that can influence both your budget and your schedule.

Material prices can fluctuate. The popularity of certain items can cause prices to go up. So can scarcity. Custom-orders can impact both prices and schedules. Weather can sometimes cause delays.  Changes you make to the design or the materials can cause slowdowns as well. Sometimes you'll get something in your home (such as tile for a backsplash) that looked great in the showroom but just doesn't look right in your house. You're not going to want to settle for that (see below), but it can affect both the price and the schedule. You may have to be a little flexible. The same goes for your builder. While you don't want a project to go on for months beyond your projected completion date, it's generally worth it if things take a few days longer—in order to get them the way you want them.

One thing that makes setting realistic expectations difficult is that our emotions often get involved. That’s not a bad thing! As builders/remodelers, we want you to be excited about your home. Knowing what to expect and how to handle the process can make things a lot less stressful for you.

Don’t “Settle.” A Budget is a Tool, Not a Goal

The biggest mistake I made in the past was "settling" for something

Quite often, the reason homeowners “settle” for less than they want is because of the cost. Naturally, you want to be smart about how you spend your money. Setting a realistic budget is important. But keep in mind that your budget is a tool—it’s not your main goal. There are times when it’s worth spending a little bit more to get what you really want.

At Gerber Homes, we’ve been building and remodeling homes in the Greater Rochester area for almost 40 years. In all that time, I don’t recall a single incident in which a homeowner said, “I wish I hadn’t spent so much.”  On the other hand, we’ve heard plenty folks comment they wished they had spent “just a little more” to get what they really wanted. Chances are very good that you’ll live with your remodeling project for many years. Make sure you get what you really want. 

Download Remodeling a House, Creating a Home ebook for your Rochester NY home remodel