Sunroom Additions Are Great in All Four Seasons, Even Winter

When many of us think of sunrooms, we think of them as places to spend the spring and summer months enjoying the sunshine. Believe it or not, sunrooms are actually great additions for the fall and winter, as well. With the proper type of glass in your windows, you can take advantage of the sun’s rays for both heating and cooling purposes. Read more

5 Mistakes to Avoid in Bathroom Design


The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in any house and designing it for maximum utility and comfort is essentially. When remodeling your bathroom, here are 5 common design mistakes to avoid.

Inadequate Waterproofing

Bathrooms are naturally quite wet. It’s estimated that proper waterproofing costs should account for 5 to 10 percent of the total cost of the room. Also, many materials that work fine in the design showroom don’t necessarily hold up to long-term exposure to moisture. This is why it’s best to design and build with durable materials that stand up to any moisture.master-bathroom

Slippery Floors or Carpet in Bathrooms

Bathroom floors need traction. Having a shiny floor such as glossy tile or polished stone for a bathroom is a major no-no. Also, carpets and bathrooms don’t mix, due to the fact that with how much moisture ends up being in a bathroom, you invite mold, mildew, or other things to collect in the carpet. Bath mats are fine as long as they’re washed often, but carpeting, especially around the toilet, can collect a lot of unwanted smells and sanitary issues.

Insufficient Lighting

Many designers will suggest that having no natural light in any room, especially the bathroom, is a major sin. This can’t always be avoided based on where the bathroom needs to be put. Skylights and light tubes are good ways to get around not having space for a window available. But these options aren’t always available for the space, either. There are innovative design options such as finding ways to bring in light from adjoining rooms. In any case, if you have no way to let in natural light, use light cabinetry and have plenty of ambient lighting in the bathroom to avoid making the space feel creepy.

Using Bland or Overpowering Tile

Typical 4×4 white tile is something found in far too many remodeled bathrooms. This rather bland design choice is often made in anticipation of future home resale value. Some remodels go the exact opposite direction and use tile designs that are either incredibly bright or overpowering. It may be the choice of some to go overboard to add visual interest to one of the most important rooms in the home. The trick is to add a splash of color to make for a nice conversation piece, not to have a distracting design that confuses everyone but you that uses the bathroom.

Not Venting Quickly and Quietly

The last thing you want to do when using the bathroom is to feel like you’re taking off in a jet when you turn on the exhaust fan. Despite building codes requiring “fart fans” (yes, that’s an actual term), far too often cheap $25 fans that are extremely loud and attached to cheap flexible ducts. While they may pass inspection for the airflow, measured in CFM (Cubic Feet per Minutes), no one wants to turn on that fan. There are many options that are long-lasting and so quiet that you forget they’re even there, well worth the extra few dollars.

Keeping these 5 design aspects in mind, your next bathroom should turn out to be durable and enjoyable for many years to come.

All You Need to Know About Building a Front Porch to Cut a Long Story Short

A front porch is simply an outdoor patio with a roof, right? Not really. While some porches are as simple as that, most are more comparable to an interior room that is lacking walls and windows.

Porches, as a rule, have more durable floors than decks. At the same time, porch ceilings, while frequently made of timber, also offer a more finished look. In reality, just about all Luxury-front-porch-design-ideas-9aspects of a porch are better than its relative, the deck.

For example, a porch’s supportive posts are structural and ornamental at the same time. They can be boxed-in or columns 4x4s with molding fashioned foundations and capitals. Knee walls and balustrades are design backbones as well, typically finished with shingles, paint, or stucco.

Another diversion between decks and porches: You can add furnishings that wouldn’t fully stand up to the direct attack of the elements. Wooden furniture and chairs, upholstered furnishings and wicker, will all work better on a porch than they would on decks.

Picking the Location

A porch can be a great addition, so long as it does not result in issues with other areas of the home. The major issue homeowners are facing when they think about a porch addition is linked with daylight. A porch may considerably reduce kitchen daylight, or cut-off daylight in the living room. Make sure that building a front porch will not shade other parts of the house.

Building the Porch

A Porch can be built in different ways. Let your home’s architecture guide you. If a home pertains to a certain historical period, research the porch designs that were built throughout that period.  You can do it by taking a look at actual houses or studying old publications and history books on architecture.


Many porches are built on slabs over compressed gravel. The floor can be rock, tile, or brick. Other porches are wooden-framed and backed by beams and piers. With these, floorboards are usually narrow tongue-and -groove cedar planks looking more like interior floors than decking. Regardless of the flooring type you decide to install, the slope or the pitch of the floor has to run away from the home so that the wind blows, rainfall, and snowmelt would drain before leading to any damage.


Porch stairways can be constructed with cement and veneered with brick or stone, or be crafted with timber. In contrast to the stairs of a deck, they frequently have bull nose risers and treads.


The area around the porch must be secured with strong lattice skirting, if not critters will be competing to drill down their burrows in that decent, dry place you’ve built. Add an entrance door so that you can enter when needed.


Railings or balustrades must be built to match up the design of the home. Solid knee walls might be used as well, which also should be made to match the design of the home. For instance, in case a house is clapboard- sided, the knee wall structure should be the same.


For a front porch, columns should look very elegant and stylish. Be cautious with their size, though. If they are too narrow, your porch will look flimsy. If they are too wide, it will look snobbish. Columns made of wood must be lifted considerably off the floor to avoid rot. Pressure-treated materials clothed with moldings and PVC boards are an alternative solution.


The roofs of the porch, whether gable-style or shed, generally have a shallow slope. This is mainly because they attach to your house at the first floor top (or possibly a little bit higher for two – story homes), and also because the eve of the porch should let enough headroom. The exclusion, of course, takes place if a front porch is integrated within the design of the house from the start, if there is a living area above the front porch.

The porch is an ideal place to spend some time. Just make sure to spend the time developing and planning it, before you get started with its construction.

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.