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Should Your Fingerlakes-Area Bathroom Vanity Make a Statement or Be Functional?

Posted by John Graziose on Tue, Jun 21, 2016 @ 06:06 AM

Should-Your-XX-Bathroom-Vanity-Make-a-Statement-or-Be-Functional.jpg“Vanity, thy name is ... Form or Function?” OK, that’s not really how the famous quote reads. But it raises a valid question: should your bathroom vanity be all about making a statement (“form”) or about providing utility (“function”)?

To some degree, the answer depends on which bathroom you’re talking about.

If you’re considering remodeling the powder room in your Fingerlakes-area home, you can have a lot of fun making a statement (while still providing plenty of functionality). Your powder room (or guest bathroom, if you prefer) is a place where you can be a bit whimsical and playful. It’s a room that guests see and use, but it can be stylisticallydisconnected from the rest of the house.

Many homeowners use this small space to make a design statement or to simply create a space that’s a bit fun or different from everything else in the home. You can experiment with country-style vanities or sleek, modern vanities, or no vanity at all! You can use dramatic colors that you’d never consider using in the rest of your home. It’s really a fun room to play around with.

If, however, you’re talking about your master bathroom, we’re having an entirely different conversation. This is a room that fulfills a specific function. That doesn’t mean your master bath has to be boring or dreary, but it must be convenient, first and foremost. The master bathroom is where you generally begin and end your day. You want it to be highly functional, with enough space and light to apply makeup, shave and wash your face.

You also want your master bathroom vanity to be practical and well-appointed. When you’re groggily standing in front of it in the morning, or tired and ready for bed at night, you’re probably less concerned with how it looks.That said, appearance is important. In many master bedrooms, the vanity helps set the mood for the entire room. It should look lovely. But this feature must also make getting ready for your day (or night) convenient, easy and pleasant.

Our free 2016 Home Design Guide eBook has some great ideas about how to create the bathroom (or powder room) that’s just right for you.You can download it for free here!


Topics: Rochester Area Custom Home Builder, Custom homes, Rochester area remodeler, remodeling Rochester bathrooms, remodeling Fingerlakes bathrooms, Fingerlakes Area Custom Home Builder, Fingerlakes-area remodeler

I Wish I’d Thought of That! Avoiding Budget Missteps When Planning Your New Home

Posted by John Graziose on Wed, Jan 20, 2016 @ 19:01 PM


When building a new home, every homeowner faces the challenge of creating a realistic budget—and then sticking to it. One thing that causes a lot of homebuilders financial heartburn is when they make changes after the contract has been signed. 

They get into the middle of the process and realize that there is something they really want to add—but it’s not in the budget. That’s when they do a mental head slap and ask, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

I’m not talking about a complete redo of the design or having to redraw plans. I’m talking about some minor modifications and perhaps some upgrades that will make the home more enjoyable and comfortable. But if your budget is set, you may feel like you have to forego them.

How can you get around that? Here are two important areas where you’ll want to focus some attention.

Take Your Time Up Front to Plan

Building a new home isn’t something you do every day. There are a lot of details to consider, and many of them aren’t things you’re used to dealing with on a regular basis. Don’t rush the process. Sure you’re excited to see your new home come together, but take time to select the plan that’s right for you. Walk through the floor plan in your mind.Think about how you’ll use the space.

Think about features that are essential for your family’s lifestyle. You may even want to create a priority list of things that are: Essential, Nice to have, or Splurges

Then take time to talk to your builder. Share what you have in mind. If there are features or upgrades you think you might want, ask your builder. He or she should be able to tell you how adding these features will impact your budget. And you may pick up some ideas from your builder based on what others in your situation have done.

 Create a Contingency Component in Your Budget

If you talk to a builder and reach an agreement about what the home you’ve chosen will cost, it’s a good idea to build in a contingency component to your budget. You could look at this as building in a little “wiggle room” in your budget that can compensate for unforeseen expenses. For example, when you’re selecting your flooring, your builder may tell you that, for a little more money you could upgrade to a material that will look better and last longer. If your budget is so tight that it can’t accommodate that, you can lose out on an opportunity to get significantly more quality and comfort for relatively little money.

The same thing can hold true for making a slight change to the plans. Adding some square footage to a room is a lot cheaper if you make that decision before construction begins. If you make that change later (or add space a couple of years down the road) it will cost you a lot more. But you have to have room in your budget for this kind of change. How much should you allow? It’s not unusual for homeowners to allow anywhere from 10-20 percent extra for unforeseen changes. And if you don’t spend it, you have it available for decoration or landscaping.

So don’t slap your head after the fact and say, “I wish I’d thought of that!” Take all the time you need to review your plans up front to make sure they will meet your needs. Then build a little cushion into your budget so that you can make important changes without the fear of blowing your budget.


Topics: Budget Planning for Your Seattle Home, Fingerlakes Area Custom Home Builder

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