consider smart home technology during your home & kitchen remodeling

Building a Smart Home

Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling an older home, adding smart home technology is a smart move. Not only are there more options than ever but they can make your life so much easier. From kitchen remodeling to updating your master bathroom, here are some ideas you should consider in different parts of your home.

Kitchen

Kitchen remodeling is one of the most common changes people make to their home.  During a remodel is the perfect time to incorporate smart home technology. Here are some of the many features to consider:

  • Range & Oven – Smart ovens have many options. A few are the ability to pre-heat and adjust the temperature remotely.
  • Refrigerators – Some have a touch screen that allows you to load recipes. Others have a transparent door so you can look inside without opening it. You can remotely customize drawer temperatures on some models and others have cameras inside to allow you to look inside while you’re at the grocery store.
  • Microwaves – If you are not great at being there to stop the beeping, you might want a smart microwave. You can let it know you heard it’s finished without going back to the kitchen. You can also remote start or stop it.
  • Touchless Faucets – Some may argue that this isn’t smart technology but it’s a smart feature for your kitchen especially if you’re a foodie who cooks a lot or have kids who don’t seem to be able to remember to turn the water off.

Security

There are many security features available. One that you really need to talk about during the planning of a build or whole home remodel is whether you want security cameras. Although there are wi-fi options, wired ones tend to work more consistently and are also more secure themselves.

Other great smart home security options include lighting that you can set on timers or turn on and off remotely to being able to check if the doors are locked right from your bed, these security items are great things to consider. You can even remotely unlock the door for a pet-sitter or open the garage door for a delivery if you’re not home.

Comfort

If your home build or remodel includes a new HVAC system, spend the extra money on a smart thermostat. You’ll end up saving whatever you spend on this technology by being able to remotely adjust the temperature when you’re not home.

Smart homes are the future. If you’re looking for a custom home builder or a kitchen remodeling company or a remodeler to help with anything in between, call Build America at (727) 776-9023. We can incorporate smart home technology and other elements to make your life easier. That’s why we’re a local and leading builder and remodeler in the greater Tampa Bay area.

home remodeling company adds built in shelvig

Benefits of Built-Ins

As you plan your custom home or begin speaking with a home remodeling company, built-ins should be on your list of things to talk about. Built-in shelving is great for books, decorating and storage. It also is quite cost effective when compared to cabinets and books shelves you can buy at big box stores. In addition to their affordability there are many other benefits of built-ins designed by your remodeling company or builder.

A Perfect Fit

When you have an odd space in your home that you want to utilize, a built-in is the perfect way to do it. No matter how many places you look for a premade unit for the space, chances are good it won’t quite fill the space the way you want it to. Plus, if you have kids, you’re going to need to anchor it to the wall.

Space Designed for You

If you need cabinets to hide toys or exercise equipment, your home remodeling company can make the space exactly how you need it. When you have a special piece you’d like displayed, they can accommodate your needs rather than you trying to find a piece that works.

Create a Focal Point

One way to create a focal point in a room is to add built-ins. Many people choose to surround their fireplace with a custom wall unit. Not only can it create a great looking wall but you can also strategically hide cords and electronics if you have your TV in the same area.

Resale

Of course, it’s highly unlikely that you’re going through the trouble of hiring a home remodeling company just to sell your home, but in the future, built-ins add to resale value. Home buyers often site built-ins as a feature they’d like to see in their new home.

Although you can add your built-ins after you move in, one of the benefits of doing it during your new home build or remodeling is that your builder can take care of the painting and finish work for you. Build America is a locally based custom home builder and remodeling company ready to serve you. We’ve created numerous custom built-ins in hallways, closets, living areas and play rooms. Let us help you with your building or remodeling needs and ask us about some ideas for built-ins for your home. Call (727) 776-9023 to schedule your no obligation appointments today.

kitchen remodeling means new cabinets

Custom or Semi-Custom Cabinets

Because one of the most used and most visible parts of your kitchen are the cabinets, you want to chose cabinets that look great and do what you need them to do. Although stock cabinetry is cheaper and readily available, if you’re building a custom home or undergoing a kitchen remodel, the best options are either customer or semi-custom cabinets. Choosing the right one for your project comes down to needs and budget. Here are some of the differences in custom and semi-custom cabinets.

Custom Options are Virtually Limitless

A custom cabinet builder is an artisan. There are rarely limitations in style or finish in a custom cabinet. You can mix up the cabinet door styles – have some with glass and other solid front or custom inlay. And, if you have an oddly shaped corner, or a wall that doesn’t conform to traditional cabinet sizes, you may want custom cabinetry.

Another benefit is what you can do inside the cabinet or drawers. Some people like to store their dishes in a drawer, it’s a possibility with custom cabinets, no matter the size or shape. Others want a way to store their knives or other cooking utensils. A custom cabinet can be made to suit your needs.

Semi-Custom & Custom Cabinet Similarities

There are a few similarities with semi and custom cabinets. In most cases, neither use pressboard, but rather hardwood. The drawers come standard with soft-closures and dovetail construction. You’ll also find that they both come with full-length drawer extensions. Also, they’re made in the U.S. so you know that they’re safer and better constructed than something that was imported.

Semi-Custom Cabinets

Although your selection of both style and finish are slightly more limited than a custom cabinet, you will still have many options from which to choose, no matter which manufacturer you go with. Most semi-custom cabinet manufacturers offer a standard set of drawer and cabinet organizers for knives, utensils, silverware and even storage containers. Most semi-custom manufacturers will let you mix and match cabinet doors within their available options.

If you’re looking for a home builder or kitchen remodeler, call Build America. We’re a locally based contractor with vast experience designing and building kitchens. We offer many leading brands of cabinetry, both semi-custom and custom, meaning your dream kitchen can be uniquely yours. Call us today at (727) 776-9023 to schedule an initial consultation.

tub for a bathroom remodel

Choosing the Right Tub for Your Bathroom Remodel

Not every bathroom has a tub and your first bathroom remodeling decision will be whether to keep it in yours or use the space the way you need it. If you decide that you love having a tub in your bathroom and decide to include one in your new space, you have many options to choose from. Each one has different pros and cons and will reflect a slightly different style. The one recommendation we give all homeowners starting a bathroom remodel with us is to keep at least one tub in their home for future resale.

Decision 1: Whirlpool or Not

For a long time, a whirlpool or jacuzzi tub was a must have in the master bath. Nearly all new builds and remodels included one. Today, this is more of a 50/50 split of whether to include this option. A few things to consider are that there is an increased expense if you’re adding one where it hasn’t been previously for the electric. They’re more expensive than a standard tub of comparable size. And, perhaps most importantly, if you don’t plan on using it frequently or don’t clean it properly, you’re going to end up with mold growing inside the blower unit.

Decision 2: Size

Do you enjoy taking a long soak submerged up to your neck? Are you looking to be able to relax with your partner? How much space do you want to dedicate to the tub? These questions will contribute to your ideal tub.

Decision 3: Built-In or Freestanding

If you love the look of a claw-foot tub you probably want a freestanding tub. These now come in just about every style from traditional to modern and many sizes. The one thing to keep in mind is that even though they’re typically smaller than a built in, they still require a fair amount of space because they have space around the entire tub. For the most part, built-ins are less expensive so if you don’t want to use a significant part of your budget to your tub, keep this in mind.

Other Considerations

You may think you want a certain size or shape, but there are a few other things to consider. First, depending on your home’s construction, you may need reinforced flooring for a large tub. A jacuzzi tub full of water and two people can weigh more than 1500 pounds! If your flooring can support the weight, you’re going to end up with issues. You also want to look at where the faucets will be located. With freestanding tubs, sometimes the faucet comes up the side of the tub while other times it’s intended to be a wall mount which may increase your plumbing costs.

No matter what you’re looking for in your bathroom remodel, Build America is ready to help. We can provide a simple remodel where we leave the elements in place or reconfigure to better utilize your space. And, if you’re looking to add on to your home, as a builder, we’re the perfect company to help. Call us today at (727) 776-9023 to schedule your consultation.

kitchen remodeling styles explained

Right Kitchen Remodeling Styles

If you have a dated kitchen and are looking for the right kitchen remodeling style, today’s blog will help. Although there are some pre-defined remodeling styles that you may have read about or seen somewhere, you don’t have to follow any. The key to the perfect kitchen is creating a look that works with the rest of your home, functions well, has the right layout, and most of all, that you love.

How to Get Started Defining Your Kitchen Remodeling Style

Every remodeling company will see a specific design style slightly differently. And, over time, these styles change a bit. However, we’ve given the most popular styles a brief definition to help you at least start looking for a style for your home.

  • Modern – Clean and luxurious with little décor and the latest in countertop and cabinet styles.
  • Traditional – Think shaker style cabinets, warm colors and personal décor.
  • Contemporary – Just a bit of modern elements blended with traditional cabinetry and colors.
  • Coastal – Beach inspired with sunny colors and white or light flat front cabinets and countertops.
  • Old-World – Nearly opposite of coastal with dark colors, lots of curves and even historical elements as décor and lighting.
  • Mediterranean – A pallet of orange, red and yellow mixed with traditional style cabinets and lots of natural wood.
  • Farmhouse – Light and open you’ll want to include lots of natural wood, a farmhouse sink and a few rustic touches.

Choosing Your Design Elements

Once you have a general idea of what you want your style to reflect, you’ll need to begin working with your design-build company on choosing the perfect elements for your style. There really is no right or wrong place to start, but because your cabinetry is a highly visible element and significant part of your budget, it’s a great element to choose first. Because your countertops are also a highly visible element, you may want to choose them next. You want them to contrast yet coordinate with both your flooring and cabinetry. Although using your countertop material is an option for your backsplash, a more popular choice is tile. Consider choosing tile that adds to the design style your going for and gives some separation to the cabinets and countertops.

Build America is your local kitchen remodeling company who can help you with any style kitchen. We work with many cabinet manufacturers and offer a wide selection of tile and countertop materials and designs. Whether you’re looking for a total remodel or want a new look without changing the layout of your kitchen, we’re here to help. Call us today at (727) 776-9023 for your initial consultation.

consider home remodel with a home remodeling company

Reasons to Consider a Whole Home Remodel

Whether you’ve just bought a home or lived in yours for years, you may be considering a whole home remodel for one of many reasons. If you’re trying to find just the right reason to finally call a home remodeling company and get started, we have a few for you.

Your Space No Longer Works

Whether your family has grown or just aged out of your current space, a home remodel can make it work for you. Design-build companies are both designers and remodeling companies who work with your space to make it work for you. They can reconfigure existing space by removing or moving walls, changing layouts of existing space, and adding walls. If you need more storage, they can create what you need, where you need it.

You’re Already Planning a Partial Remodel

If you’re already planning on remodeling your kitchen, you’ve committed to one of the biggest parts of a whole home remodel. You may quickly realize that you want to move a wall or look at a different layout. Doing everything together may seem more complicated but in the long run, you’ll save money.

Too Many Little Problems

Do you seem to pull out your credit card every month to repair or replace something? Maybe all your little problems could best be solved by a whole home remodel. A good home remodeling company can perform a thorough inspection of your home including the plumbing and electric and help you understand what should be replaced and why. You may find that their recommendations also help your home become more energy efficient reducing your cooling costs. New wiring can make your home safer.

You Don’t Want to Move

If you bought your home during the recession when housing and interest rates were cheap, you may now realize that a new home will cost you more than a remodel and you still won’t get everything you want just the way you want it. Plus, it may mean changing your kids’ schools.

When you work with an experienced home remodeling company, you won’t be disappointed with the process or the results. Build America is your local and experienced home remodeling company. We’re ready to help you envision your whole home remodel and get the work done properly and on budget in as short at time as possible. Call us today at (727) 776-9023 to schedule your free consultation.

Take Your Bathroom Remodel to the Next Level

As an experienced bathroom remodeler, we know you want a space that you love for years to come. We’ve put together some tips for you to give you some ideas about your new space. Bathroom remodeling entails more than just choosing a new countertop, tile and vanity. You should want the new space to feel like a modern oasis, relaxing spa or functional modern space. No matter which direction you want to go, here are some ideas to take your space to the next level.

Remake Your Shower

If you have (or want) a stand-alone shower, there are many more options that just the half wall of tile with glass on top. In fact, many homeowners choose to have no glass at all by creating a walk through or walk-in shower. With the hard water in Tampa, this is a popular option because when you eliminate the glass door, you eliminate the hard water stains.

Of course, a shower is more than how it looks, you want to enjoy it. Consider multiple showerheads, either for you and your spouse or a wall and ceiling shower. Another option many homeowners love are shower jets positioned throughout the shower for a massaging spray when you need it.

Modern Features

Smart homes are all the rage and don’t seem to be going anywhere. Why not bring smart technology into your bathroom. Here are some ideas to discuss with your bathroom remodeler or builder:

  • Fans and lights on timers and motion sensors
  • Outlet and support for a television
  • Bluetooth wall or ceiling speakers for streaming music
  • USB outlets
  • Heated floors
  • Undercabinet lighting

Make Your Tile a Feature

You don’t have to have your bathroom remodeler lay your tile in straight lines or use all the same tile. Look at some of the more creative ways to make your tile a décor feature. For example, consider a herringbone pattern on the floor or walls. Mix the same tile style in different colors for a creative look. Have you thought about using tile for your backsplash or even to frame a mirror? There are so many options for tile today that you can do just about anything with it.

Build America is more than just a bathroom remodeler. We’re a complete design-build company ready to help you create a space you truly love that works for you and your family. Whether you need a bathroom addition or want to remodel your master bath, we’re here to help. Call us to schedule your free consultation – (727) 776-9023.

home remodel with the right lighting in kitchen

Lighting Throughout Your Home

Although we may associate the purpose of lighting in our homes as what helps us see, it also does much more. Think about an intimate dinner in your dining room, you might choose to dim the chandelier and light some candles to set the mood. On your stairs, you may want downlights to provide safety. Throughout our homes, lighting has purpose, but you also want it to compliment your style. Here are some tips for choosing the right lighting in your home remodel.

Kitchen

One of the most popular rooms tackled in a home remodel is the kitchen. Chances are good you’re looking to get rid of the florescent tube lighting your builder likely installed. Most homeowners choose recessed can lighting as their primary light source. If you have an island or peninsula countertop with seating, you might want to consider pendant lights as well.

Other options that should be considered are cabinet lighting above the upper cabinets or below the upper and lower cabinets. Light under the upper cabinets can fill in dark work area while lighting below the lower cabinets makes for a soft glow. Lighting above your upper cabinets can make the ceiling appear higher or highlight décor on your cabinets.

Bathroom

For smaller bathrooms, the lights above the vanity are sufficient light. However, in a master bathroom or larger secondary bath, you should consider fill light. Like the kitchen, recessed can lighting is a great option. However, if you have a separate toilet area, consider a wall sconce. If you want the look of a fancy spa, consider adding a chandelier from the ceiling with a dimmer. It’s not only a great way to add a personal touch of style in your bathroom, but it’s also a wonderful light for relaxing in your large soaking tub.

Whole Home Remodel or Custom Build

If you’re starting from scratch with a whole home remodel or custom build, don’t overlook the lighting in your entry ways and hallways. You want your entry lighting to provide a welcoming light for friends. Depending on the height of your ceiling you may want a chandelier or if your ceilings are lower, consider wall sconces.

With so many LED lighting options today, adding downlights in hallways and on stairs is an affordable and smart option for homeowners. Some options are always on while others are turned off when other lights are on. They can be as small as an outlet but because LED lighting is brighter than other lighting, you’ll get plenty of light from them. For primary lights, consider sconces or recessed lighting.

Build America is ready to help you design and build your custom home or assist with a whole home remodel. Because we’re a design/build company we won’t miss any details and will help you create your dream home with just the right lighting. Call (727) 776-9023 today for your free initial consultation.

Design/build company creates beautiful backsplashes

Choosing the Perfect Backsplash

Although we often think of our backsplash as something in the kitchen, most bathrooms also have a backsplash. If you’re ready to work with a design/build company on a new home or kitchen or bathroom remodel, you’ll want to put some thought into your backsplash design as it will tie the elements of your space together.

Bathroom Backsplashes

You have a lot of options when it comes to your backsplash. You can stick with the traditional option of about a 4” piece of your granite or quartz countertop, or you can opt for a more modern approach. One unique option is to use a complimentary or coordinating tile to the ceiling. If you have a plain mirror, the tile can install right up to the edge of the mirror creating a frame. This will increase your budget as the time to install and the materials are more than using granite or quartz. Of course, if you want to use tile, but not to that extent, add tile the four inches above your countertop like you would have added the countertop material.

Kitchen Backsplashes

Depending on the style kitchen and your countertop material and pattern, you can choose from many options other than the traditional tile and natural stone. Here are some ideas to talk to your design/build company about that can make your backsplash functional and fun.

  • Mosiac – If your decorating style lends itself to something creative on your walls, consider a mosaic tile or glass. Depending on what you are looking for and the skill of your tile installer, they may have something pre-designed or be able to do a custom design for you.
  • Wood – For kitchens where the sink is in the island and doesn’t require a backsplash that’s water resistant, consider wood. Bead-board, tongue-and-groove, reclaimed wood, and shiplap are all great options to install from the lower cabinets to the upper ones. Depending on the style of your kitchen and color, one of these may be better than another.
  • Metal – Copper and aluminum are two of the most popular options. Some come pre-stamped in decorative patterns and work well in modern and industrial kitchens.
  • Faux brick – Brick manufacturers now make thin brick for indoor décor. This is a great addition to a rustic or farmhouse style kitchen.
  • Polished glass – This easy to keep clean and grout-less option is beautiful in modern and contemporary kitchens.

Design/Build Company Benefits

One of the benefits over working with a design/build company for your kitchen or bathroom remodel is their design skills. Although Build America LLC is a general contractor serving the greater Tampa Bay area, they have a team of experienced designers ready to help you throughout the process. Call us today at (727) 776-9023 to learn more about our services and schedule your initial consultation.

The Pros And Cons Of High Ceiling

The Pros And Cons Of High CeilingHigh ceilings in homes have made a significant comeback in recent years. The reasons are multiple and we’ll look at the pros and cons of of having a home with high ceilings.

High ceilings used to to be the thing in Europe and early America. Usually wealthy homes could afford them and that trend carried over to the Americas. High ceilings were an aesthetic thing and people utilized the space with paintings an chandeliers and other overhead decorations. Nowadays the similar thought occurs but it may not be the preferred thing for the economically conscious homeowner.

Heating the home makes it difficult and expensive where high ceilings are concerned. Think f your rooms being twice the size they are with high ceilings so that if you would normally spend $100 per room to heat per winter you’ll spend $200 per room. If you can afford it, so be it, but if you’ve got a high mortgage and other expenses then it’s not a good idea.

The same goes for the hotter months. You’re using air conditioning at a double rate which means more electricity. Electricity can be expensive depending on your source. If you’re using solar panels then there’s nothing to worry about as the costs per kilowatt hour are considerably lower. That goes for the colder months too with heating. If you’re living off the grid, you’re going to be paying a pretty penny for sure.

High ceilings may make your home feel more majestic or battle claustrophobia. If this is the case it’s a creature comfort that has a positive goal. Several studies indicate a home with high ceilings may well have psychological effects of a positive nature. It all depends on the person and their natural behavior and mindsets.

What are some pros and cons of high ceilings?If you’re an artist or musician a high ceiling can improve the sound of your playing or your stereo system and it’s definitely a platform for displaying as much art as you can. These are personal preferences that you’ll have to iron out with trial and error.

People who like to utilize the higher space may want to put elevated platforms like lofts that allow for segmented working or play or resting areas. The creative person may find new and innovative uses for a high ceiling and that can lead to a viral new use of the space that others may find entertaining and useful.

The bottom line is that high ceilings have either practical or entertaining or psychological impact. Architects will explain the benefits of high ceilings and real estate agents will too. The home builder who wants a high ceiling house should do some extra research regarding this option. One should look over all options but believe it or not, even if the ceiling is very high, you can later partition it off to turn the area into two floors. The sky’s the limit here so let yourself simmer on the issue before taking the plunge.

Picking a company like Build America LLC will get you on the right track regarding high ceiling designs and building. They’re pros and know how to guide the new home builder to the right path.

Image credit: shadowfirearts