Save Headaches With an Open Concept Kitchen & Playroom

Need to cook, as well as keep an eye on the kids at the same time? An open concept kitchen with an adjacent playroom may be exactly what you’re looking for. Imagine a space custom-designed for your family’s specific needs, design choices, and lifestyle. Knowing exactly what the kids are up to will surely save many a headache around meal times.

Decide How Much Space You Have

The space you have available will help you and your contractor decide on options that work for your family. Customizing exact needs, based on availability of space helps ensure optimal results. For this reason, going with a design build contractor can be one of the best choices. These contractors are experts at designing, as well as building a space that works for each unique situation.

Consider Your Child’s Habitscolorful-playroom

How does your child play? What things keep him or her busy for the longest? What are some favorite toys and play habits? All of these things should be taken into consideration when designing the playroom area. Busy and favorite toys are the best ones to occupy your child while your hands are full with dishes, dinner, or other kitchen tasks.

Factor in Your Cooking Habits

When you cook, clean, wash dishes, and perform other tasks, how do you like moving around the kitchen? Would you like to face the playroom while doing these things? Do these habits currently hinder your ability to keep a watchful eye on the little ones? A design build contractor can factor in things like this, as well as your style, budget, and more to come up with the perfect kitchen for your family. Even if your kids like to help with the kitchen tasks, a playroom break will come in handy.

Family Lifestyle is Important

How does your family enjoy spending time together? If reading is one of your favorite things to do, consider adding a library section to the playroom. This way, you can easily transition from kitchen activities to reading or playing together. Perhaps you can make a great snack to enjoy together in the play area. The possibilities are endless and can be custom-tailored to meet your family’s exact needs.

Keep Your Contractor Informed

If you have a change of heart regarding certain options, small or large, let your contractor know as soon as possible. Also, quickly notify your contractor about additions to the plan or concerns you may have. With design build, your contractor should already be working very closely with you. But it’s still important to remember this. Constant and clear communication is key to getting things done the way you want, which is important in getting the kitchen and playroom that works best for your family. The more you tell your contractor, the less you both have to worry about. Then, you can simply relax and watch your child having a blast without compromising whatever needs to be done in the kitchen. This not only saves headaches for everyone, but also allows for more family time and interaction, which is always a good thing.

Can I Remove a Load Bearing Wall?

Home renovation projects often lead to the moving or complete removal of walls, creating bigger and brighter spaces for your rooms. This is one of the most popular ways to change a space and make it your own, but there may well be complications surrounding it. One of the main issues that you have to look at is whether or not you have a load bearing wall. In some cases you will find that the wall is not what you thought – even experts can be baffled by the design in some houses, where a wall turns out to be load bearing.

What is a load bearing wall?

A load bearing wall is one that literally carries the weight of your home. It supports the building by taking the weight and then transferring it into the ground, ensuring that it does not all come collapsing down. There are usually at least two external walls which come into this category, and they will be situated opposite one another. The good news is that you can take down load bearing walls in some situations. You will need to take more precautions than normal, however, and will absolutely need to consult a professional before doing anything yourself.

Look out for stacked walls

One of the biggest problems with multi-storey buildings is going to be the stacking of walls. It is possible to put walls on top of one another while constructing a building, in order to distribute the weight the most effectively. This means that if you have a twelve story building, you are going to have a lot of trouble on your hands if you try to take out the bottom floor’s wall. The weight from the walls above will have nowhere to go. You can see how this can cause damage to the structure of the overall building!

Replacing the walls

If you take out the wall, you do still need to do something that will help to support the weight of the building. You need to be ready to do this as soon as the wall is removed, so normally it will be taken down in stages. The drywall is the first to go, followed by the concrete, bricks, and beams. Then you will need to put in your new support point. This can be something like a series of pillars spaced out evenly, or even some beams which are tucked into a beam cradle.

Taking professional help

Remember that this project will not be a small one. Unless you have received real training or are a builder by trade, trying this yourself is not advisable. Something can very easily go wrong, and when it does, you will find that your budget goes up rather steeply. It is better to invest in hiring a professional in the first place than to risk getting a big bill because you have made a mistake. Keep this in mind when planning out what you are going to do.


7 Questions to Ask Your Home Remodelling Contractor

When you are getting your home remodeled, it is How-to-Hire-a-Contractor-What-to-Know-Before-Work-Begins-Small-1024x682important that everything is done right. Any mistakes could cost you time and send you over budget, or may simply devalue the plans that you had to improve your property. Here are seven very important questions that you must ask your contractor before you start. If you skip them, you might end up regretting it later!

  1.  What experience do you have?

Make sure that you find out how much experience your contractor has. They also need to have all of the right licenses to carry out the work. A well experienced and licensed contractor will do a good job, and will be more reliable. You can even ask for references from recent clients.

  1. Will you be supervising the project personally?

If the person you are talking to will not be the supervisor, then you will want to talk to the person who is. Even if that means having every conversation twice, it’s important to know that you are all on the same page. This will prevent any big issues during the project.

  1. Can you give me a timeline?

Get a sense of how long everything will take. It is important to be realistic about the timing because this will dictate how long you are able to work on the project and how much time you have to get the money together, if you do not already have it.

  1. How much will it cost?

This is a big one! You need to know whether you have the right budget or not. If one contractor won’t fit your budget, you might be able to find someone else who will. On the other hand, you may just have to expand your budget to make sure that you get good quality work.

  1. What down payment do I need?

In most cases, you will need to offer around ten per cent as a down payment. Make sure you know the details beforehand. If you do not have the cash up front, you may need to delay starting your project. If you have gone over budget with the predicted cost, then you may not have the budget for the down payment yet either.

  1. Who do I write the check to?

In some cases you will deal with a sole trader and in others with a company. Make sure that you know who you actually need to pay as it may not be a straightforward matter. You need to have all of the payment details on hand when you start the project and for any payments for the duration.

  1. Can we confirm everything in writing?

When everything is agreed upon, get it in writing. Whether it is in an email or a printed contract, having it written down is very important. If you do not have it in writing, you have no proof of your legally binding contract and the agreement you have made.

Choosing Paint Colors

If you are repainting an area, or painting a new wall for the first time, there is a lot to think about. The color has to go with your furniture, and must not contrast against the carpet or curtains. It has to be a color that you like enough to live with every day, as well as being something that makes the room feel bigger or warmer. How are you supposed to get all of that right?! Well, there are a few simple tricks and tips you can follow to make the process a bit easier. If you are struggling to choose your paint colors, start here for the best way to move forward.

Start With a Small Area


The first thing to think about is testing colors. You can never really envision how they will look until you get them on the wall, so try testing them on a small area. If you need to see a full wall to visualize it properly, then choose a smaller room or a feature wall which has a smaller surface area. This will mean that you have less effort to waste if you decide afterwards that you do not like the color. Also bear in mind that dark color samples will be more difficult to paint over with light colors.

Change the Mood

Think about how color affects mood. If you want a dramatic room, go for strong colors. To make a room tranquil and quiet, go for cool colors and neutrals. Warmer and brighter colors make for an inviting atmosphere which encourages socialising, while formality can be achieved with blues and greens. Think about the direction you want to go in before you get started on choosing colors as this can have an impact on the feeling of the room.

Look at Lighting

The way light falls on a color can change it! Make sure that you view your sample painting areas in daylight, and with the lights on when it is dark outside. This will make the color look different, and you want to know whether you like it in all lights. Bear in mind that each type of lighting will look best with certain colors. Natural daylight will always give you the truest shade.

Consider the Ceiling

You can also paint your ceiling in a different color than white in order to make a strong impression. If it is complementary to the wall and carpet, you will have a great effect. This is an unusual choice and most people would not consider it, but you do not have to go wild with this option. How about a softer shade of the color you have chosen? If it is only a few steps away from white, the effect will be subtle – but it will make a huge difference to the overall impression of the room. This is a great way to create a strong look without having to go over the top. You will certainly appreciate it!

The Importance of Exterior Maintenance and Rot Repair


There’s more to maintaining the exterior of your DC area home than simply how it looks. Any damage to your home’s exterior can be a warning sign of further issues down the road. Even something that doesn’t look serious now could lead to major problems such as moisture infiltration, pest invasions, or worse.

Curb appeal is secondary to the structural damage that could occur if external maintenance isn’t kept up. If you currently have any visible exterior damage, it’s important to get repair experts in to fix it right away. Here are some preventative strategies to consider to avoid costly exterior maintenance or rot repairs for your DC or Maryland home.

Maintain Your Gutters and DownspoutsCity-Renovations-Exterior-Remodeling

The best way to stave off rot is to keep excess water away from the house as best as possible. Maintaining your gutters and downspouts is an important first step in proper exterior maintenance. Seeing that they are properly cleaned on a regular basis is a good start.

However, if you’re seeing rot around them, you’ll want to get them replaced. You’ll also need to have any damage in that area fixed up as soon as possible. Clogged or broken gutters and/or downspouts are not only ineffective. The excess moisture can even make things worse. Mold damage is a common side effect of having too much trapped moisture in the building envelope of your home.

Another place to watch is along the foundation. If you’re seeing stains or cracks, you’re going to want to bring in an expert to look at it immediately. Whatever the cost might be now is worth investing in now. It can only get worse if it stays in disrepair.

Broken or Loose Siding is a Serious Issue

Depending on what kind of siding you have, damaged siding can lead to a couple of problems. Broken siding can offer access to unwelcome guests from bugs to rodents. Old worn siding also may not keep out the elements as well  leading to moisture infiltration, a leading cause of rot.

If your siding is in especially bad shape, you’ll want to get a DC area rot repair specialist in to inspect the situation immediately. But even if you just have some shingles and panels loose or damaged, preventive maintenance is key.

How is Your Roofing Holding Up?

When it rains, you may not see it, but if your roof isn’t in good condition, moisture can get through and cause water damage. If you are seeing water stains in the walls or ceilings, it may already be too late. If it looks like there’s any damage on your roof, you’ll want to bring in an DC area roofing expert to have it checked out for potential issues.  Like with siding, preventative maintenance is the best thing to consider.

When it comes to any kind of exterior maintenance or rot repair, immediate attention is important. As soon as you see something that might need attention, call your local repair expert to check it out right away. It can only get better with proper care.